Face the moment, and improvise a better tomorrow.

Great, Once is a personal story for us. It explores the need to face the current moment and improvise a better tomorrow–something everyone is yearning for right now. In Jazz and in acting, improvising is all about finding a new story, a new way of playing a note, a new way of facing chaos and making it beautiful.

In the story, Reed Francis, a reclusive Jazz bass legend, has left the music world behind. He’s living in anonymity with his wife and daughters until his world flips upside down. As he fights to save his family, a documentarian finds him and offers to restart his career.

Crumbling under the weight of an opioid addiction, and the last thing he wants is to go back into the Jazz world. That is, until Evelyn Hahn, documentarian and Jazz musician herself, shows up with film crew and the offer to help him with his family crisis.

Reluctantly, Reed accepts the offer in exchange for being a part of the documentary by interviewing, performing in a concert and recording an album. As he awakens his dormant gifts and talents, things grow more complicated and more tense for him. Through the growing friendship with Evelyn, he discovers his life still has worth, and begins facing his failures.

But as the concert approaches, life throws him another curve, and tosses his promising future into question. With the support of his new friends, the re-emergence of his gifts, and the hope of future restoration, can Reed push through the raging storms of life and survive?

The story asks the question can Reed overcome his past failures and opioid addiction to save his family and reclaim his career?  We want to shine a light on the opioid epidemic ravaging people’s lives. We have both known people (friends and family) who struggled with this addiction. We want to give voice to the struggle the addict and their loved one’s face, as well as raise funds and awareness for this pressing issue.

Thank you for your interest in the film and we hope you join us in this journey to see Great, Once made.

Chris + Carissa Dalton

Why do we need this story, right now?

We don’t need to belabor the impact of the last two and a half years. It has been awful. Audiences are looking for stories filled with the characters who build and restore broken relationships, who fight for their family, and who don’t give up when facing life’s challenges–especially opioid addiction.

Why? Because everything around us is telling us things can’t get better. Here’s some current findings:


Major crisis

"Lockdown triggered a major crisis for many including those in recovery who suddenly lost their in-person support groups and often their service sector jobs and livelihoods." (https://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/news/2021/opioid-crisis-an-epidemic-within-the-pandemic.html)

Opioid related deaths

As of 11/2021, the CDC reports a 30% increase in opioid related deaths, topping 100,000 deaths for the first time. (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2021/20211117.htm)

Drug-related deaths amongst artists and musicians

"A 2016 study published in Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy investigated almost 300 drug-related celebrity deaths (occurring between 1970 and 2015) and found that the vast majority of those who died from drugs were either musicians (38.6%) or actors (23.2%)." (https://americanaddictioncenters.org/entertainers/addiction-among-artists)

There is hope

We believe things can get better, life can have a better ending, and stories are a way to help us move forward towards that goal.

The What, Why and How

  • Raise up a spirit of hope in the midst of life’s chaos
  • Advocate for family restoration whenever it is possible
  • Promote addiction recovery with truth
  • Create a well-told, touching story about facing the moment, improvising a better tomorrow, dealing with addiction and restoring life.
  • Enable professional artists, craftsmen, and tradesmen to work on a redemptive, life-giving feature film.
  • Shine a light on and raise funds to battle the raging opioid epidemic in our city, state and country.
  • Complete pre-production by January 2023
    • Raising $200,000 to produce the film
    • Donating 5% to Death2Life.com to fight addiction.
    • Hiring the crew, casting the film, and securing locations
  • Go into production by March 2023
  • Finish principal photography by April 2023
  • Begin post production in late spring 2023
    • Raising $200,000 to edit and market the film
    • Donating 5% to Death2Life.com to fight addiction.
    • Hiring the crew to edit and market the film


of $200,000 raised for production


raised for Death2Life.com and to save lives.


days until filming begins

Make the film and save lives.

Every donation made will be tax-deductible through Church For The Nations and a percentage will go towards helping Death2Life.com fight suicide and aid in drug addiction recovery.