Eric Geadelmann

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Eric Geadelmann
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Born (1967-03-24) March 24, 1967 (age 56)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
CitizenshipUnited States of American.
  • Filmmaker
  • Writer
  • Producer
  • Director

Eric Geadelmann (born February 24, 1967) is an American filmmaker (writer, director, producer)[1] [1], music producer [2] technology entrepreneur [3], museum curator [4][5]. As a former college athlete and hobbyist musician, Geadelmann’s projects are primarily in the sports and music genres.

Geadelmann is best known for merging an artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence|AI technology company in 2001 [6][7][8] shortly after transitioning int to the film sector with no formal training. Making his directorial debut in 2003 with the world premiere of The Dance – The Billy Roth Story [9] [10] Which he wrote, produced and co-directed. Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage executive produced the film via his Saturn Films banner as part of a multi-project partnership. The success of this feature documentary and its subsequent development as a scripted major motion picture for Universal Pictures[11] that Geadelmann and Cage were attached to produce, prompted the launch of 821 Entertainment Group[12], Inc – that became a diversified media company - focused on Heartland entertainment and named after the address of Geadelmann’s small childhood home in rural Arkansas.

Early Life

An orphan from birth, Geadelmann was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa|Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and after less than a year in a foster home was adopted through Hillcrest Adoption Agency by Gene and Margie Geadelmann, a dairy farmer-turned-banker and a grade school teacher. The Geadelmann family moved from Iowa to the Ozarks in 1976, settling in Harrison, Arkansas|Harrison, AR where Geadelmann graduated from high school 1985 as a multi-sport All-State and All-Region athlete and honor student. A recruited walk-on football player by then coach Grant Teaff at Baylor University, Geadelmann was a member of the Bears nationally-ranked, bowl championship football teams 1985 -1986. At Baylor he served in various leadership positions in the chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE); was elected Senior Class President and was awarded the Glenn O. Hillburn “Most Outstanding Senior Man Award.” Geadelmann began dating his future wife, Angela Green, at Baylor University|Baylor.


A former Principal in publicly -traded, international management consultant firm Navigant Consulting who co-developed the firm’s healthcare technology division Axonal Health Solutions and a senior healthcare executive [13] , Geadelmann co-founded a Dallas-based venture capital backed technology company CareSteps [14][7][8]with physicians/medical scientists, Jeff Rice, MD, JD and Mark HT Ridinger, MD [8] that pioneered early web-based applications of advanced artificial intelligence Neural network|neural networks for disease prediction modeling and evidence-based medicine profiling. The company merged with the Nashville based disease management company Healthways and with some of the proceeds, Geadelmann began exploring film.

Geadelmann, thought he and his partners could finance production but would prefer to co-finance with a studio [8] “From a financial perspective, this is probably not the most prudent thing. Obviously, I’m leading with the heart rather than the head,” Geadelmann told Jeanne A. Naujeck of The Tennessean, upon the launch of his first project, The Dance – The Billy Roth Story, that world premiered in 2003 at SXSW.[7]

The Dance

The film chronicles the life of Billy “The Kid” Roth, a former champion fighter who has volunteered for more than 44 years in Louisiana prisons, serving as a surrogate father to hundreds of inmates whom he taught to box.

Variety stated, “The Dance is a strikingly beautiful piece of work … shrewdly composed and emotionally rich visuals … pic tells a story (that could easily inspire a dramatic feature) with tact, intelligence and skill.”[15]. Nicolas Cage and Saturn Films president Norm Golightly were executive producers.[9]

Cage and Saturn teamed with Geadelmann to collaborate on a series of projects; including the CAA packaged feature film based on the life of Billy Roth with Cage starring as the former prize fighter.[10] Universal Pictures nailed down feature rights[16] to the doc and pacted with Neil Tolkin The Emperor's Club|The Emperor’s Club to pen the script and attached 50 Cent|Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson to star alongside Cage.[16] However, due to the Writers Guild of America strike|screenwriters strike (2007-2008) and corporate turnover at the executive level for Universal Pictures, the film is yet to be made.

821 Entertainment Group

Although he had no experience in the entertainment industry, Geadelmann leveraged that single documentary and partnership with Cage[10] to build 821 Entertainment Group into a competitive studio. “This was an opportunity for me to challenge myself artistically, but specifically to have a venue to tell these types of stories, to attempt to create true art that tells legitimate, redemptive, heartland stories.” Geadelmann said.[17] For the first five years, Geadelmann and his production company acquired the rights to several other projects, including a biopic on the life of Hank Williams and the rights to John Grisham’s best-seller The Testament (Grisham novel)|The Testament.[18][17][19]

Hank Williams Biopic “I Saw The Light”

In 2009, 821 Entertainment Group and Strike Entertainment teamed to turn the life of country music icon Hank Williams into a feature film, with Strike Entertainment|Strike’s Marc Abraham writing and directing; based on Colin Escott’s Hank Williams: The Biography, and in cooperation with the Hank Williams estate. “The arc of Hank’s career lends itself to a screenplay, because it was so brief and incendiary,” Escott said. “And the commitment that Eric and Anastasia (Brown) and Marc Abraham have shown to doing this and doing it right impressed the (heck) out of me.”[20] Geadelmann told Variety, “It took us almost five years to execute this deal, and people told us we were crazy to try because the estate was so fractured,”[18]. It took another 7 years for it to reach the screen. Financed and produced by Bron Studios and RatPac-Dune Entertainment|RatPack Entertainment, “I Saw the Light (film)|I Saw The Light” was released by Sony Pictures Classics|Sony Classics in 2016, after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and received mixed reviews. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers declared that Hiddleston is a virtuoso and he gives the role his considerable all, including singing such Hank hits as “You’re Cheatin’ Heart,” “Lovesick Blues” and the title song in a voice that persuasively suggests the real thing.”[21] Geadelmann was an Associate Producer[22]

John Grisham’s “The Testament”

Also in 2009, Academy Award winning producer, Mark Johnson (producer)|Mark Johnson, and prolific producer and old friend of John Grisham, Hunt Lowry teamed with Geadelmann and 821 to adapt Grisham’s best-selling novel, “The Testament (Grisham novel)|The Testament.” Writers Jamie Linden (writer)|Jamie Linden, John Romano (writer)|John Romano and Aaron Robinson (composer)|Aaron Rabin have all been engaged to write the script and Yale Badik Torridon Films is co-financing and producing; along with Geadelmann, Johnson and Lowry.[23]

Film Slate --- Additional IP: Roy Rogers, The Beautiful Miscellaneous, etc.

Among the sixteen films that 821 was planning to finance and produce over a five-year period[24] included resurrecting the Roy Rogers franchise as he “rides to bigscreen --- Cowboy king returns in film trilogy”[25]. Geadelmann, attached to the project to produce, told Variety “the planned trilogy will not be a biopic, and will not be a traditional Western, but rather a family fantasy adventure.”[25] The partnership, that allowed 821 to exploit all the intellectual property; live action films, animated TV, interactive games and merchandising, was announced live on Fox Business as part of a profile on Geadelmann and 821 “America’s Heartland To The Big Screen”.[26]

Geadelmann partnered with producer Richard B. Lewis and Southpaw Entertainment for multiple projects including Dominic Smith’s novel “The Beautiful Miscellaneous,” starring Freddie Highmore. The project reunites Southpaw Entertainment|Southpaw chairman Lewis, 821 president Anastasia Brown and Highmore, who collaborated on Warner Bros.’ “August Rush,” that garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song “Raise It Up (August Rush song)|Raise It Up”.


821’s list of active or pending film deals, representing as much as $250 million, includes categories such as “Southern Drama,” “Music Biographies,” and “Inspirational Sports.”[27][28]

David Scarlett wrote in Country Music Magazine, “It’s a mission that 821 is in a better position to pursue than are the major studios, as Hollywood’s biggest players are quick to admit.”[29]

Film Slate Financing

As a result of the portfolio of projects and partnerships the company forged, it acquired a financing package from an investment group in Singapore for $325 million to produce 16 films and planned to partner with a major studio for distribution.[24][19] Geadelmann explained to The Tennessean, “Slate financing spreads the risk across multiple projects; it’s a more corporate, more studio approach to independent film, but we will work in partnership with a major studio that provides half the financing,” he said. “A total budget of $320 million would allow us to be a mini-major, with the ability to finance pictures and get distribution. And that would jump-start the music industry here as well.”[20]

Diversification- Digital Media

Geadelmann led the expansion of 821 into digital media and music with the 2005 launch of Crowfly Digital Entertainment; a technology platform and services company created to provide an artist-driven digital media management and delivery system for interactive services integrated into artist’s websites, centered on concert downloads. Crowfly partnered with music legend Mark Knopfler, who became the first major label artist to offer downloads of his concerts within 24 hours of appearance via the Crowfly platform. Fifteen shows from his Shangri-La World Tour were recorded and mixed by Crowfly, who assumed all costs and paid Knopfler a portion of each download.

Based on the success of the launch with Knopfler, Crowfly partnered with NBC/USA Network and Reveille to be the first reality talent competition series to offer on-demand music downloads of contestant and select guest star performances following each telecast of “Nashville Star.”

Nashville: Movie City? 821’s efforts to become a Mini-Major Studio

Along with artists Jack White, Emmylou Harris and notable entertainment executives, Geadelmann was appointed by Nashville Mayor, Karl Dean, to the newly formed Nashville Music Council; created to guide the city’s efforts to advance Nashville as the leading music community in the world.[30] During this time, 821 (was) also at the forefront of a push to develop a massive sound stage complex in the Nashville metro area on the level of Warner Bros.’s Burbank studios[24] and expand Nashville from “Music City” to “Movie City.” A pitch was made to redevelop the 117-acre Tennessee State Fairgrounds by Woodland, CA-based Tower Investments and 821 Entertainment. Geadelmann told the Tennessean, “This is about creating a whole new industry in Nashville, which is going by the working title, ‘Browns Creek Media Village.’” [31][32] It is expected to become a tremendous tourism mecca for Nashville.[29] By building what amounts to a film-studio lot – which would include retail, a hotel and a 5,000-7,000-seat indoor music venue, as well as an attached film school, Geadelmann hoped to make Nashville as much of a destination for movies as it is for music. Geadelmann envisioned having a “heartland” component to the Browns Creek Media Village concept, an identity meant to attract productions that roughly mirror the themes in country and Christian music. “Our goal is to plant the heartland flag, to dominate those niches and build a lasting brand,” Geadelmann expressed.[33]


After a period of time it became apparent thatthe Singapore film slate financing deal would never close and with that went the idea of 821 Entertainment Group becoming a mini-major studio; On the exact day of Nashville’s 1,000 year flood of the Harpeth and Cumberland Rivers flooded Geadelmann’s horse farm, named Shoeless Acres, in Franklin, Tennessee and he and his family went GTT (Gone to Texas|Gone To Texas), and moved to Austin[34] where he completed the feature documentary, “Dave,” that world premiered at the 22nd Annual Cinequest Film Festival in 2012 where it won the “Thrive Award” for best/most inspirational picture. [35]

Produced from 2006 to 2012, “Dave” is the story of Adam Donyes, an unlikely young mentor that uses basketball to shepherd an intellectually disabled minority teen Dave Sterling in rural Missouri and is led by Dave into beginning to heal the broken pieces in his own life. The film showed at 15 festivals – from London to Los Angeles; Innsbruck to Indianapolis – where it has won numerous Audience Awards and has regularly been a finalist for Jury Awards. Executive Producer, TobyMac|Toby Mckeehan aka “TOBYMAC” a multi-platinum and multi-Grammy winner stated, “Our goal is to go beyond just making audiences feel good, but to truly inspire and enable them to be intentional in society – in investing in the lives of others. ‘Dave’ points us in that direction.’’ Academy Award nominated filmmaker and prolific producer Michael Tollin|Mike Tollin (Executive Producer of “Dave”) added, “Adam asks us ‘Why do we invest in the lives of others?’ This film answers that in a profound and moving way.”[36]

“Outlaws & Armadillos” - The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum – “They Called Us Outlaws”

In January 2018, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum announced the launch of a massive Outlaw Country exhibit – “Outlaws & Armadillos: Country and The Roaring 70’s.” The exhibit will be fleshed out, not only by artifacts, but via visual art, film and historical footage, including interviews and concert footage from Austin filmmaker Eric Geadelmann, a co-curator of the exhibit that runs for three years.[37] The Wall Street Journal’s Barry Mazur stated, “Central to the exhibition, shown within display cases and mini-theaters on-site, are provocative film clips by Eric Geadelmann that combine personal interviews with musicians and previously unseen 70’s performance footage. An opening weekend panel detailed plans for Mr. Geadelmann’s six-part television documentary series, “They Called Us Outlaws,” which stands to be a lasting artifact of the era itself when it eventually airs during the three-year run of the exhibit.”[38]

Baylor University Football Scandal/Coach Art Briles Story

In January 2019, Geadelmann began a multi-part documentary on the Baylor University Football team sexual assault scandal and Head Coach Art Briles’s story. The film covers his tour of duty in Italy and will include his season in East Texas.[39]


  1. Entertainment, 821. ""DAVE" Wins Audience Award At The 2013 Durango Independent Film Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. Gallo, Phil; Gallo, Phil (2005-07-13). "A concerted 'Net effort". Variety. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  3. Gallo, Phil; Gallo, Phil (2005-07-13). "A concerted 'Net effort". Variety. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  4. Burchard, Jeremy (2020-01-31). "Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit 'Outlaws and Armadillos' Honors Unsung Heroes of Outlaw Movement". Wide Open Country. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  5. Thanki, Juli. "Country Music Hall's new 'Outlaws' exhibit stars Waylon, Willie and the boys — and much more". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  6. Retrieved 2020-07-29. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Naujeck, Jeanne (4 April 2003). "New venture to merge music,film". The Tennessean.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Naujeck, Jeanne (April 30, 2003). "Entrepreneur turns to storytelling". The Tennesean.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Haynes/Geadelmann orbit with Cage's Saturn". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Gardner, Chris (15 October 2003). "Haynes/Geadelmann orbits with Cage's Saturn". The Hollywood Reporter.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. Snyder, Gabriel; Snyder, Gabriel (2006-04-05). "U dons gloves for 'Dance'". Variety. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  12. Orr, Paige (8 April 2003). "Entrepreneur shifts career fields".{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. Retrieved 2020-07-29. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. Retrieved 2020-07-29. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. Leydon, Joe (April 29, 2003). "The Dance". Variety.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Snyder, Gabriel; Snyder, Gabriel (2006-04-05). "U dons gloves for 'Dance'". Variety. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "If You Build It, Will They Come?". Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Fleming, Michael (August 11, 2009). "Hankering for a biopic". Variety.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Fleming, Michael; Fleming, Michael (2009-06-23). "Grisham books 'Testament' for film". Variety. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Cooper, Peter (August 11, 2009). "Hank fil would be shot in Tennesee". Then Tennesean.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. Travers, Peter; Travers, Peter (2016-03-24). "'I Saw the Light' Movie Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  22. "Eric A. Geadelmann". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  23. Fleming, Michael; Fleming, Michael (2009-06-23). "Grisham books 'Testament' for film". Variety. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Rudder, Randy. "If you build it, will they come?". Nashville Lifestyles.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. 25.0 25.1 Fleming, Michael; Fleming, Michael (2009-06-15). "Roy Rogers rides to bigscreen". Variety. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  26. "America's Heartland to the Big Screen". Fox Business. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  27. Underwood, Ryan (August 25, 2008). "Nashville: Movie City?". The Tennesean.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. "Nashville: Movie City? Film Studio Complex Proposed". Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Scarlett, David. "It's About the Heartland". Country Music Magazine.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  30. "Mayor Convenes Music Business Council". 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  31. "Tennessee Makes Bid For More Films". Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  32. "Nashville: Movie City? Film Studio Complex Proposed". Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  33. "Nashville: Movie City? Film Studio Complex Proposed". Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  34. Gage, Jeff; Gage, Jeff (2018-01-12). "Country Music Hall of Fame Announces Massive Outlaw Country Exhibit". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  35. "Dave | Cinequest". Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  36. Entertainment, 821. ""DAVE" Wins Audience Award At The 2013 Durango Independent Film Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  37. Gage, Jeff; Gage, Jeff (2018-01-12). "Country Music Hall of Fame Announces Massive Outlaw Country Exhibit". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  38. Mazor, Barry (2018-06-06). "'Outlaws & Armadillos: Country's Roaring '70s' Review". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  39. "Art Briles is back in Texas high school football, but he still seems folksy, funny and fairly clueless". Dallas News. 2019-08-06. Retrieved 2020-07-29.

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