After years of working toward the goal of getting this musical made, I have finally reached the moment that will determine whether or not this musical gets produced. Before I dive into details about what I need help for, let me catch you up on where the musical has come from over the past year since I last spoke to you.
May of 2019, I had showcased the short film Sounds Of Summer for the first time publicly at United Recording on Sunset Boulevard, right here in Los Angeles, CA, where The Beach Boys recorded a lot of their hit songs. The event was a major success, people from all parts of the entertainment industry were in attendance - I could have not asked for a better night.
What transpired from that night is something from out of a "movie," if you will. I was introduced to Jim Brubaker's production team to see if he/they would be interested in producing Sounds Of Summer and turn it into the feature film I have dreamt of for so long. Mr. Brubaker, for those who do not know, is one of the legendary 800 pound gorillas of Hollywood. He was president of Universal Studios, and produced countless film classics such as The Rocky Franchise with Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Almighty with Jim Carrey, and The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy to name a few. Over the last part of 2019, Jim's team and I worked on rewrites of the script to knock it down to the 1 hour 20 minute mark for a feature. The script is tight, and we were pushing ahead with a meeting with WME...
Thennnnnnnnn....... COVID hit....
Hollywood since the beginning of the year has completely shut down. All the hard work my team has been putting in over the years to get Sounds Of Summer to this point has been put on pause. I now sit here writing this because I have not given hope, and continued to push forward into the unknown.
Through this thick fog we have all been sailing through, I have seem to found some sort of light with the musical. and have headed off into that direction.
Cabrillo Stage, located in Santa Cruz, CA, has read Sounds Of Summer and would like to put the musical on come the summer of 2021! I, along with my very supportive parents, were interviewed by the Director of Cabrillo stage, Jon Nordgren, and following this interview (which I will post a link to once the Stars of Cabrillo Stage episode featuring Sounds Of Summer is posted), my team received our first LOI from Cabrillo Stage to put on the show!
*Newspaper Headline* Sounds Of Summer, The Beach Boys Jukebox Musical debuts at Cabrillo Stage in Santa Cruz, California - the original Surf City, where surfing culture was birthed in the main land United States.
It's one word... perfect.
THIS IS AMAZING NEWS!
With this LOI, I now have movement to push forward to get this show made!
Here is where I need your help.
I now have reached the point where I have to obtain the Grand Rights in order for the show to be made. The Grand Rights are as follows. I have written an original musical utilizing the music of a band/person where I do not own the music rights but want to use the rights in my original book that I have written. These rights will bind the "music" to the "book." This allows theatre companies to license Sounds Of Summer for their own productions of the musical for the stage, Broadway, Off-Broadway, etc.
I have to obtain these music rights, the "Grand Rights" if I or anybody else including yourselves want to see this show come to life.
I am now in contact with top list attorneys from New York, to here in Los Angeles, and now have a direct path forward to obtain these rights.
I am looking to raise $5,000 dollars for the firm I want to work with, to send out formal letters to the music holding companies, to engage them in talks to obtain the grand rights for the show. The attorneys will have to communicate with multiple holding companies for all the songs within the show. For example, "Good Vibrations" has 6 holding companies that we will have to contact for just that one song.
This is the next step to see this 10 year dream of mine come to fruition. Let's get this show made, every dollar helps. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would get to this point... well, here I am, because I don't give up, and nothing is going to stop me, not even COVID.
So thank you. Thank you to everyone who has been following and supporting me throughout the years to get the musical to this point. Here we are, help an artist out, let's get this on stage, I promise you, you will leave the theatre with nothing but a smile on your face.
Thank you, God Only Knows What I'd Be Without You,
Blake R. Ward
Blake Robert Ward
Culver City, CA