Collective Development Inc. officially moves into pre-production in search of a ‘Lost Heart’

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After months of development, one of Michigan’s most prolific feature film production companies, Collective Development Incorporated – ( based in the State Capitol of Lansing and with dozens of features on its resume – is now into official pre-production for its sixth film in the past four years.

The story of fading Nashville star, ‘Hannah Sweet’ (Melissa Anschutz, ‘The Christ Slayer,’ ‘Wild Faith’), who returns to her small northern Michigan home town after 30 years for the funeral of her estranged father (Dean Teaster), ‘Lost Heart’ promises to be a rich, layered story. A cinematic journey filled with an eclectic cast of characters, powerful messages, ‘laughing-with, not laughing at’ down-home humor, charm and a healthy dose of quirkiness.


In addition to the official pre-production announcement, Collective Development CEO, DJ Perry, who penned ‘Lost Heart’ and co-stars as ‘UFO Worldwide’ publisher/host ‘Niles Cass,’ said cameras for Principal Photogtaphy will roll in early July, and into August, with various northwest Michigan locales near the Big Lake serving as the backdrop.

“I’m so proud to once again be telling a unique Michigan story with many of our talented Michigan artists. Actions speak loud, and where one chooses to hang their hat, says volumes. I make my home in Michigan, because I believe in our state.” – DJ Perry

Casting also continues for ‘Lost Heart,’ which will be directed by frequent CDI collaborator Jesse Low (‘Forty Nights,’ ‘Wild Faith’). Mr. Low will be reunited with several actors and crew members from previous productions. That includes award-winning director of photography Jesse ‘Smooth’ Aragon (‘Forty Nights,’ ‘Chasing the Star,’ ‘The Christ Slayer’ and ‘Wild Faith’) from his two turns at the helm.

CDI Lauren-lastrada-joins-lost-heart

Award-winning actress and CDI alum Lauren LaStrada (‘Wild Faith’ and ‘MBF’ (Man’s Best Friend) is the latest to be cast in ‘Lost Heart.’ Ms. LaStrada, fresh off her 2018 Best Actress honor for ‘Haddie’ in ‘Wild Faith’ at the world’s largest faith-based festival, the International Christian Film & Music Festival, will play ‘Gayle,’ the small town’s auto mechanic. The role is somewhat of a departure for the multi-faceted Ms. LaStrada, who can be seen later this summer in CDI’s ‘MBF’ (Man’s Best Friend) as circuit court judge, the Hon. Judith Mays. But Ms. LaStrada’s range and character development always pays creative dividends to the story. Other supporting and featured roles will be announced soon. Casting for ‘Lost Heart’ is nearing completion and some big announcements are still forthcoming, according to Mr. Perry.

About the story-

Hannah Sweet had a dream, like most young people. But she was born as far from that dream as anyone can imagine, the small town of ‘Lost Heart,’ not far from Michigan’s mighty bridge. Hannah’s parents were survivors of the turbulent, yet invigorating Vietnam Era, where an anti-war folk singer and a combat veteran still managed to somehow fall in love.

But hard times were made harder by the arrival of a baby, money issues, crushed dreams and Harrison’s excessive drinking; pushing Hannah’s mother to an emotional breakdown. A single father haunted by his own demons of war and abandonment by his wife fuels his drinking.

The nasty attitude of Hannah’s father towards her musical dreams stem from two things: His fear of not wanting to be alone; and, his first-hand experience and knowledge on what the effect of being buried deep within a Michigan forest town can have on the mind of a young person who yearns for much more out of life.

Hannah has been ‘divorced’ from ‘Lost Heart’ for three decades. It may as well be a million miles from Nashville, LA, New York, Dallas, Memphis, Austin, Chicago, – all the cities and places where she’s be ‘on tour’ in the fast lane her entire adult life.

And at first glance on her drive into ‘Lost Heart,’ the facade appears frozen in time. Long-faded memories everywhere. City hall, the post office, grocery store, mechanic’s shop, diner, lodges, the park where she played as a child, her school, a small library, the town’s lone, family-owned funeral home, the Lake Michigan beach a stone’s throw from town.

Very little seems to have changed. Or has it?
For Hanna Sweet, her trip back to ‘Lost Heart’ is not one of nostalgia.
During her emotional journey upon her return to her childhood and youth, Hanna’s search for answers will compel her to confront her past. She’ll find out whether or not author Thomas Wolfe’s old axiom, “You can never go home again,” applies in her case.

Bridgestone Multimedia Group (BMG) is the distributor for the 2020 release of ‘Lost Heart.’

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