On October 26th, 2017, Dan Hennen interviewed Mike Boggio III, President of Michael Entertainment Group (MEG). During the interview, Mr. Boggio discussed how he met David Crowley, the alleged “thirty-million-dollar-deal,” and when negotiations with the Gray State project ended.
Here is the full interview conducted by Dan Hennen
Mike Boggio III met David Crowley through a mutual friend, “The mutual friend connected us together. So we set up a meeting with David in California. I talked to David numerous times on the telephone prior to our first meeting. So that’s how we got together.”
In May of 2014, David Crowley met with the Michael Entertainment Group in Los Angeles, California.
“It was a very promising project,” Boggio told Hennen. “David wrote the first go-around of the screenplay. We went through it thoroughly, made numerous changes, advised David to make numerous changes.”
“At first we were taking it to the big screen,” Boggio continued, “and then, as we thought about it, we figured, How can we pack in all of this information in a two-hour or two-and-a-half-hour film? Let’s take it to television…and have a series made out of it, which would have been a lot better for the concept…of David’s idea.”
Without specifically naming names, Mr. Boggio commented on the actors considered for the Gray State project, “We were talking about hiring some pretty substantial A-list actors to fulfill some of the roles in the project.”
Two months earlier, David stated that Sean Stone wanted a role in the future project.
Mike Boggio thought David’s version of Gray State “would be a great, great, great A&E show, it’d be a great cable network television show that could spin off into a film.”
“David was always very mature,” Boggio told Hennen, “very professional, very kind and courteous and outgoing and excited. That’s the keyword.” Mike called David’s excitement about the project “phenomenal.”
The original setting for the Gray State movie was in the mid-west, Minnesota area, but MEG felt the movie setting needed to be “nationwide…coast to coast. North to South.”
“We were negotiating with David at the time,” Mike Boggio told Dan Hennen, “We were talking about budgets for the film. We were talking about getting into production. Like I said we had a list of A-list actors that I’m not gonna even mention in this interview…and we talked about a twenty-five to thirty-million-dollar budget. We could easily see the budget in this film being a twenty-five to thirty-million-dollar budget.”
On May 23rd, 2014, David Crowley posted an update about the deal with Michael Entertainment Group.
“So, there were negotiations,” Boggio explained. “We were actually trying to option a screenplay. When we option a screenplay, we option a screenplay for a certain amount of time. I think we were going for twenty-four months, if I remember right, and within that twenty-four months we had to get into production with the film. Otherwise the option goes back to David. So, that’s what our negotiations were with David at the time.”
Mr. Boggio then clarified, “When we talk about twenty-five to thirty-million dollars, that’s what we budgeted for the film project. That’s what we budgeted for everything to do from start to finish.”
As far as MEG’s last conversation with David went, according to Mike Boggio, it was some time in September of 2014, and negotiations continued until David died.
“We actually met face-to-face in Hollywood,” Boggio relayed to Hennen, “sat down…right on Sunset Boulevard. Sometime in that time-frame with David, David was out in California, flew out for the night just to come sit down with us to discuss the updates on the screenplay and discuss the concept and everything else. So, that’s when we sat down, and he actually made a new trailer. We’re sitting in there watching the trailer, and then we discussed, ‘Hey let’s think about taking this to television.’ And we gave him the reason why. You get picked up by a network and it was just off the heels of Sons of Anarchy leaving the network. So, we figured this could be a good spin-off for the network that sons of anarchy was on, and it would pick up the demographic of Sons of Anarchy. So, we talked to him about numbers and statistics and discussed, if we take this to series, then not only do you have a series, it can play out longer, then at the end of the series it can go to big screen. And he was excited about it. He was open-minded about it and thought it was a great idea…so I don’t know where the whole depression comes into play when it comes to regards to making Gray State network.”
In the beginning of David Crowley’s connection to MEG, “We put out an offer to David to option the contract,” said Boggio, “which would of gave him some money upfront, and then we would of went and ran with the film project or the television project. David would have been a producer on the film, so he would have been paid to be a producer on the film. And then he would have reaped some of the benefits of whatever the film grossed. We all would of…David had an idea and it was a very, very, very strong idea. So that’s why we all got together.”
Asked about the allegations that David walked away from the project or if MEG decided not to go forward with the project, Mike Boggio seemed to deny both allegations, “We didn’t fire David, or we didn’t get rid of David, however that went, and he didn’t walk away from us. I mean there was never any of that and I don’t even know where those two ideas came from. Nothing to my knowledge…Again, we never told David to get lost. I tried contacting David after our September meeting or discussion, I tried contacting David for months to discuss things…I didn’t hear from him or anything. So, I was getting a little nervous myself. Not nervous for our business transactions…David and I became friends. Not only were we business acquaintances but we became friends…I called him on the holidays and wished him a Happy Thanksgiving to him and his family…I did that numerous times until I heard the very, very disturbing news.”
When Mike received the news of David’s death he “was in total shock. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it.”
“So Christmas comes,” Boggio continued, “December 2014 I guess it is, comes around. I call David on Christmas, around Christmas time to wish him and Komel and the baby happy holidays. I went out of town for New Year’s. When I got back I called him to wish him a Happy New Year and then I still didn’t hear anything. So I felt it was kinda weird. So, I contacted a mutual friend that David and I both had and asked this person…let me take a step backwards. Prior to that, I called this person saying, ‘Man I haven’t heard from David in at least a month. Have you heard from him?’ He’s like, ‘Na, but it’s the holidays. You guys got him in the studio writing…when he gets into that writing-mode he shuts down and he secludes himself and he just focuses on what he has to do. You know, but it’s the holidays are coming up. I’ll run by and see him, and see the family, and see how things are going.’ And I’m like, ‘Alright cool.’ So, like another month goes by and then after New Year’s, after I left David a Happy New Year message on his voicemail, I called this person and said, ‘Man I still haven’t heard from him. Did you go over there for the holidays?’”
The mutual friend had not gone to David’s house yet, “And then like the next day the guy calls me and says, ‘Did you hear?’ and when he told me I was in total shock.”
Owning the Gray State Franchise
Who owned the rights? Who owns them now? If the deal with MEG was only with David, where did Danny Mason fit it?
“I have no idea what David and Danny’s deals were. I can’t answer to that. We had nothing behind that, we didn’t have anything to do with that whatsoever. We didn’t advise David to do that. So, I don’t even know why – I know that was brought up when we were doing our interview with Erik Nelson. But other than that, I have no idea why David did that, to be honest with you.”
Dan Hennen then asked if the script still had value. “Well, when all this transpired,” Boggio answered, “we backed away. We backed away because of all the conspiracy theories and everything else. For a long time, for at least over a year, we didn’t even discuss it. We just figured it was too toxic to even be involved with.”
“Whoever got involved…I know since then they’ve made something. I know there were a couple guys out there that contacted me saying, ‘Hey man, we made this thing. We want you to see it. What’s your thoughts?’…we’ve never even got involved. Then we had a conversation at least a year, if not a little longer than a year after David’s death, with David’s dad and I think it was Danny Mason. I think it was. I can’t remember for sure, but we had a conversation with them about picking this thing back up and running with it because, as far as I remember, David’s dad got the rights to the film. So, or got the rights to David’s estate. So, he wanted to do something with it. We started talking with David’s dad and then, nothing ever transpired out of it.”
Four months after the bodies were found, Dan informed Mike Boggio III, Danny Mason was already in process of getting the Gray State name trademarked with an attorney.
At the end of the interview, Mike Boggio made his view clear, “We always had a pleasant experience with David. We never saw any downside to David whatsoever. Very, very motivated young man. It was actually a pleasure working with David. He took all of our ideas and all of our thoughts and took them to heart, and never balked about it whatsoever to us. So, if he did something on his own time or around someone else, we were never privy to it whatsoever.”
Please consider watching the full interview with Mike Boggio III posted above. Up next, hopefully, will be my interview with Danny August Mason. After Dan Hennen’s interview with MIke Boggio III was published on YouTube, Danny August Mason posted in the Justice for David Crowley & Family Facebook Group, requesting an interview.
Here is a thirty minute video in preparation of that interview.