Tony Isabella


Meet Tony in person

Watch Black Lightning on the CW.




Cleveland Concoction

Been working on promoting the CRUSADE and had a chance to go out to Cleveland Concoction and speak and interview a lot of people.

Here are the videos below, including my interview with Tony Isabella.

Opening the Office

After talking to a good friend, I have decided that the best way to build the industry here is to do my own thing. I will be opening the “Office of the Cleveland Cinema Czar” as part of Prelude2Cinema. Here is our lofty goals and we are open to partnering with any individual or organization to achieve these goals.

  • Bring 4 Movies a Year to Northeast, Ohio
  • Bring 1 Continuing TV Series to Northeast Ohio
  • Establish a Production Fund for Films in Northeast Ohio
    • Open to filmmakers born or raised in Northeast Ohio
    • If not born or raised here, filmmaker must shoot over 50% of movie here
    • Must hire 25% or more local cast and crew

The Production Fund will be administered by Prelude2Cinema. We are still working on support and details for the fund. Since we receive funds for administering the fund, we will not submit our in-house productions but we may be involved as producers of the productions. While we do want to help local filmmakers, we are also local filmmakers and the goal is to create the infrastructure so we can all benefit.

Stay tuned for more info.

Open Letter 2 City of Cleveland

No doubt many of us have “Stars in our eyes” from seeing Bruce Willis and Matthew McConaughey in town. As Cleveland Cinema Czar, I definitely welcome them and any other stars and Hollywood productions here. Yet, let’s look at a more lasting relationship.

matthew-mcconaughey-faces-bull-in-lincoln-campaign copy

While it is nice to have a pair of movies shooting in Cleveland, make no mistake, this is not creating an industry here. Some of us who depend on their over a $100K a year salary from the city in terms of grants and taxpayer money will no doubt point to this as their crowning achievement.

Of course, Cleveland being a location for Hollywood movies, does bring attention here, but the jury is still out on the number of jobs it creates. Yet, if the Man in the Ivory tower at WKYC had ever produced a movie, he would know that you need to have more than tax incentives to “create an industry.”

Our tax incentive pales in comparison to these places which also support studio and independent producers. 

Looking down on low budget producers is not going to win one any awards either. All producers at one point and time, even the Russo Brothers, were low budget producers. There is a lot to be learned from making a movie and that is where I feel I have more skill at knowing how to create an industry here. Even if my budgets have been no or low, there is still knowledge acquired from actually producing a movie instead of just providing locations for one.

I won’t ask the city for over a hundred thousand dollars a year, but I will ask for support in building a real industry here that benefits all the local filmmakers and also welcomes incoming Hollywood and indie productions from all over who can see the benefits of shooting here.

I am definitely dedicated to my hometown and I have done what I can to make things happen here. Of course, the city of Cleveland is more than welcome to continue paying six figures a year for Hollywood to come here, close down some streets and if we are lucky as a crew, get a few days of work or as an actor get to be an extra (which I have done a few times). Although everyone who acts knows, another name for extras is “BACKGROUND” and that is what Cleveland has been to the Movie Industry. We are just a Background location.

We want more. We can offer more. We will not get it the way we are going with some people in charge.

It is time, we step out into the light. I am here. The question is, Cleveland, are you willing to support one of your own?

If you do not know who the Cleveland Cinema Czar, click my image below.


I am also on this thing called Facebook. Be my Friend and let’s create an Industry here.