2004: A Year In Review
Just yesterday, it seemed like 2004 was just beginning. Now, almost 12 months later the year has come and gone. The first half of the first decade of the 21st century is over. But many things happened in '04 with ICON and of course the rest of the world. So, here's a month by month review of 2004.

JANUARY: The start of the new year which happened to be a presidential election year. The question was who was to face off with George W. "The Apprentice" debuted on NBC. Donald Trump's reality show became a hit. The death of Captain Kangaroo. Andy Lalino's Oddservations column debuted on Crazedfanboy.com. And The Brothers Guzzo start up The Coffeehouse Film Review in Ybor City. Every second Thursday of the month, Pete and Paul Guzzo of Too Productions set up a mini theater at Romeo's Studio 1515 Coffeehouse and screen local independent films. "To Live Is To Die" was one of the films that was shown. ICON started working on the scenes from "POP", exclusive pics were posted on ICON's site.

FEBRUARY: The New England Patriots beat The Carolina Panthers at Super Bowl XXXVIII, but the win is over shadowed by Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. A sad ending in Sarasota when a missing girl, Carlie Bucia is found dead. Joseph P. Smith is found guilty of the murder. In theaters Mel Gibbon's controversial film "Passion of The Christ" opens. Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton of The Horror Channel starts up a local film group in Tampa Bay called Independent Florida Filmmakers (IFF). The ICON Boys, Simon Lynx and Chris Woods are interviewed on an up and coming TV show, H.I.P. produced by The Guzzo Brothers. Three ICON films are shown at The Coffeehouse Film Review, "Shadow of a Victim", Luis Mato's "Honey, I'm Home!", and Andrew Ross' "The Trust".

MARCH: "Lord of The Rings: Return of The King" wins the Oscar for best picture. Peter Jackson picks up best director. Sean Penn got best actor for "Mystic River" and Charlize Theron won for best actress for "Monster". The remake of "Dawn of The Dead" is released. The famous image of The Virgin Mary on a window in a church in Clearwater was smashed by vandals. Turns out it was a teenage boy who committed the crime. Local Shock Jock of 98 Rock, Bubba The Love Sponge was fired. "To Live Is To Die" plays at The HCC Ybor Film Festival. Also playing there, Too Production's "Life's A Circus" and Other Side Cinema's "Night Demons". ICON was interviewed on the public access series "Scream @ The Wall", "To Live Is To Die", also played on the program. ICON also starts working on a new short film, "Broken Tomorrow" about a woman being stalked by a serial killer, but the tables are turned. Simon Lynx wrote the story which was inspired by the kidnapping and death of Carlie Bucia.

APRIL: Hockey fever in Tampa Bay, as The Lightning head into the play offs. Jennifer Porter is one of the drivers who struck and killed two young boys in North Tampa. "The Punisher" is released to theaters. The film was shot mostly in downtown Tampa and features some local TV news reporters, like Carleth Keys from Bay News 9 EnEspanol. The TamBay Film Festival takes off featuring films from Andy Lalino ("Filthy"), Other Side Cinema ("Homeland Security" and "Night Demons"), The Guzzos ("A Joyce Story"), and Fear Film ("Realms of Blood"). ICON had no films playing, but up in New York, "Bleed" was screened in Utica, hometown of Lynx and Woods. IFF Yahoo Group site launches. Indy Filmmakers can post updates and messages about their up coming film projects.

MAY: Prisoner abuse in Iraq and Gay Marriage hit the headlines. Actors Tony Randall and Alan King pass away. "Van Helsing" starts the season of summer films. In the ICON world, "Broken Tomorrow" is released. The short film played at the May edition of CFR. The film was well received. Woods launches a campaign to build the film scene in Tampa Bay and to get the scene noticed nationally. The first draft of "POP" script is complete. And Simon Lynx starts writing "The Confession".

JUNE: The Tampa Bay Lightning's quest for the Stanley Cup becomes a reality, when The Lightning beat The Calgary Flames. The streets of Tampa Bay were filled with joy as everyone celebrated in their victory. The death of an American president, Ronald Regan, the 40th president dies at 93. In theaters, "Spider-Man 2" opens and becomes a summer blockbuster. The Detroit Pistons beat The L.A. Lakers in the NBA Finals. In ICON news, Lynx and Woods appear on another episode at Scream @ The Wall, this time promoting "Broken Tomorrow". Chris Woods "Film Explosion" article is posted on the ICON site.

JULY: The IFF Trailer Reel is complete, with trailers from all local filmmakers from Tampa Bay. The main goal was to send the reel to a national motion picture studios and television stations to see if they would promote our growing film scene. Legendary actor Marlon Brando passes away. "Chameleon" plays at CFR and gets rave reviews. This film was the first major movie produced by ICON Film Studios. Andy Lalino's "Filthy" comes out on DVD. Lalino and his company Metropol Productions self distributes it on their web site. The "POP" trailer was included on the DVD.

AUGUST: Hurricane Season is on for Tampa Bay, as the area is hit by Hurricane Charley. With most if not all the damage was in Polk County, which is east of Tampa Bay. This would be the first of four hurricanes to hit Florida in the next two months. "Bleed" and "To Live Is To Die" make it on IMDb. Other Side Cinema's Vito Trabucco and Mark Terry venture off to California. The third member, Shelby McIntyre stays in Tampa and joins up with ICON. And local band Danky Groove and The Voodoo Machines, play to a good crowd at The Blueberry Patch in Gulfport. ICON's Simon Lynx and Chris Woods was at the event. Danky provides music for some of ICON's films.

SEPTEMBER: Three more hurricanes hit Florida. For September, it started with Frances which was a slow moving hurricane that flooded Tampa and damaging Polk County once again. Then it was Ivan that was suppose to hit Tampa Bay directly, but went off to the gulf and hit the pan handle. And at the end of the month, it was Jeanne. Hitting Polk County for a third time and also the bay area. Strong winds and rain hit both St. Pete and Tampa. During the time of Hurricane Frances, the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival was going on. It took place the weekend after and it went on without a hitch. ICON's "Bleed" played at the festival. At another festival in the bay area, Other Side's "Night Demons" won for best short film at The Education Channel's Independent Filmmakers Festival that was held at Tampa Theater. Cult film director Russ Meyer passes away. Rick Danford returns with a new film and a new company. Now called Enigma Films, Rick screened his short film "The Reaper" at the September edition of CFR. The Star Wars Trilogy finally makes it on DVD. Also the original "Dawn of The Dead" comes out with a four disc DVD box set. And the "POP" trailer is posted on Crazedfanboy.com.

OCTOBER: A month of mixed emotions, with highs and lows. Recovering from all the hurricanes from the past two months. The Tragedy of three great talents pass away. Janet Leigh, Rodney Dangerfield, and Christopher Reeve. In 1995, Reeve was in a horse riding accident, leaving him with paralysis. For almost ten years Reeve struggled and fought to some day walk again. Chris died at age 52. We lost him too soon. He was a true man of steel. The Boston Red Sox beat The St. Louis Cardinals in The World Series. A new member was introduced to the ICON family, Luis Matos, who is a screenwriter from New York and long time friend of Lynx and Woods. Matos is not really new to the group, he and Woods attended The University of Tampa together and worked on many films. Matos was assistant director on "Chameleon". A new Creature Feature debut on UPN 44 for the month of October, with host Professor Paul Bearer II. New shows may come back in 2005. Nolan Canova of Crazedfanboy.com was interviewed in The Tampa Tribune. "Bleed" was shown at CFR along with the IFF trailer reel. And the highlight of the month was The Halloween Horror Picture Show which was held at USF the night before Halloween. Andy Lalino, Rick Danford, and The ICON Boys helped organize the event. It was even plugged by Bay News 9. Also fans got to meet and greet some local filmmakers and actors. Films that were shown range from local films, such as "Chameleon" to international, like "London Voodoo". Simon Lynx and Chris Woods were there at the event to support their company and the indy film scene in Tampa Bay.

NOVEMBER: Election Day came, and George W. Bush beat John Kerry to win a second term in office. This time it took till the next day to find out who the winner was instead of several weeks. Ohio was one of the states this time around who was late in getting results. Kerry conceded before the votes were in for that state, but Bush ended up winning it anyway. Monica May (To Live Is To Die) lands a role as a Power Ranger. She began shooting in New Zealand and the series will air in 2005 on ABC Family and Toon Disney. A tragic scene at a Radio Shack in St. Petersburg, where a man opened fired in the store killing two people and wounding another, then shooting himself. In ICON news, a new film was on the horizon. As they began work on "Sever", which is a story of a man, played by Jereme Badger, who is trapped in one dimension that is in black and white and wishes to escape to a bright and colorful world where his dream girl lays. The dream girl is played by new comer Natali Ragan. The film also had a great cast and crew. Jorge Gimenez, who has been a member of ICON since 2003 was the director of photography and is working on visual effects. Another crew member to mention is Charley Cioffero, who was a huge help in lighting and camera. Thanksgiving came and went, now it's time for Christmas.

DECEMBER: Christmas time is here. And the year is almost over. As we write this, the month of December isn't even here yet, but ICON will be busy in the last days of the year. They'll be hard at work on post-production of "Sever". Trying to get it out for '05. Also ICON will be featured on Scream @ The Wall which was taped at The Halloween Horror Picture Show. This will be the third time ICON has appeared on the show. Now it's time to ring in the new year.

So, that was the year in review for 2004. Some ups and some downs. Every year has them. But what will 2005 bring to the world of ICON Film Studios. Will they finally get there big break and launch into Hollywood. Will the film scene in Tampa Bay grow bigger and bigger and finally get national attention. We'll have to wait and see.
Coffeehouse Film Review
Scene from "POP"
Pete Guzzo, Nolan Canova, Paul Guzzo
Other Side Cinema
Scene from "Broken Tomorrow"
"Scream @ The Wall"
Vito, Simon, Chris
Danky Groove and The Voodoo Machines
The Halloween Horror Picture Show
Scene from "Sever"
Icon Crew
Luis Matos
The girls from "POP"
Prof. Paul Bearer II
Monica May to play Power Ranger
 

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