The Essentials



Jim Toepper (above) is a burnt out ex-spy, down on his luck at the end of a legendary career. After going rogue and screwing up yet again, his former Agency must bail him out, however vowing this favor will be his last. But in refusal to accept old age and a forced retirement, Jim recruits a young protege (Chris Barbis, below) to help him crack one last case: an international drug-smuggling ring… in Canada.

The Essentials was greenlit on September 25, 2010 and the final script was finished in January 2011, giving us six months to Pre-Produce for filming to begin on a part-time basis that summer. We finally wrapped Principle Photography in January 2012 after numerous breaks and part-time shooting. Post-Production continued part-time until July 1st, 2012, as I had the flight booked well in advance and was moving to Los Angeles… literally the next day.

Jeff Moon as Richard Knight

The award-winning film has been accepted in numerous festivals and screening series across the nation already. It was taken to the American Film Market (Santa Monica, CA) in November 2012, following which it was signed under Wonderphil Entertainment for worldwide sales and distribution.  More news to come in the months ahead on the film’s availability in various foreign territories.  We don’t have any domestic distribution offers waiting at the moment, but following a strong interest at AFM’13, we optimistically looking forward to responses in the months ahead.

Unfortunately, Blu-Rays / DVDs are not yet available yet for pick-up or purchase in the United States.  In the meantime, LIKE the film’s Facebook page (seriously, it takes two simple clicks and your support can help us reel in some serious investors for the next one) as you will certainly like the movie itself. More details to come, so stay tuned!

first sale3 Essentials ME sale1b

In the below film still, you can see we took over Newhouse 3 at Syracuse University for a day.  YNN stopped by to do a story on the production:

YNN Story on ‘The Essentials’


After the film’s LA Premiere in the Hollywood & Vine Film Festival, I was interviewed by and had plenty to talk about.  Give the story a read and listen to one of my favorite little anecdotes from production:

Foreign Sales questions / Wonderphil Entertainment:

Send all questions:

Essentials.Film @


  1. Sara DeMitry says:

    Just stopping in to check it out and say hi after seeing you on the news!

  2. Andre Nagle says:

    hey its nick brian’s son, i wanted to know where i can watch the movie i really want to see it!

  3. […] music composition, and music pedagogy. As a trombonist, he recorded tenor and bass trombone for “The Essentials,” an independent film which received numerous awards at the 2012 Hollywood & Vine Film […]

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