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 this film, 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, 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 and offers 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. 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 battled 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. Film and jazz have the power do this.

Please consider your part in improvising a better tomorrow.

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.3

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.

Make the film and save lives.

Every donation made will be tax-deductible through Last Arrow Ministries. A percentage going towards helping the ministry promote mental health and deepen Christians values in people's lives.

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 Spring 2023
    • Raising $200,000 to produce the film
    • Donating a % to Last Arrow Ministries
    • Hiring the crew, casting the film, and securing locations
  • Go into production by Spring 2023
  • Finish principal photography by Summer 2023
  • Begin post production in Fall 2023
    • Raising $200,000 to edit and market the film
    • Donating a % to Last Arrow Ministries
    • Hiring the crew to edit and market the film


of $200,000 raised for production


raised for Last Arrow Ministries