Invite Chris to Speak!

Talking with college students

What will Chris talk about?

Do you want to be a great communicator? Would you like to better understand why, and how, certain stories have the power to profoundly move people? There is awesome power in understanding the fundamental elements of great storytelling. Give Chris just one hour and you will never look at the structure of stories—or life—quite the same again.

And Chris doesn’t just talk—he shows. Using hundreds of images, presented with candid wit and insight, Chris unravels the timeless wisdom behind great storytelling—from Aristotle to Spielberg, from "Gilgamesh" to "Little Miss Sunshine".

Chris not only shows why the best stories resonate with us so deeply, he also teaches how anyone can master, and benefit from using, the tools of the classic three-act structure—and he makes it fun! He offers four talks, each customizable to your group:

1. General Audience. Considering stories as a sort of “flight simulator” for our lives, Chris explores how films provide a safe environment for us to vicariously experience, and grow from, the challenges and trauma characters face.

2. Academic. An intellectual analysis of the elements of a well-structured story. Provides practical tools to writers, students, or anyone who aspires to understand how to craft great stories.

3. Business and Marketing. In this shifting, fast-paced world of short attention spans, she who tells the best story—wins. Mastering the timeless power of three-act structure will help you design your personal or business narrative, make you a superior communicator, and give you the competitive edge.

4. Storytelling for Kids. A simple approach to teaching children the basic elements of story structure by using advice from the team at Pixar.

Chris is also available to facilitate lively, interactive workshops.

Learn much more here. Or please contact Lisa Millis to find out about Chris's availability.

Johnny Knoxville, Matt Lucas, Chris, and director
Jonas Akerlund entertain the audience at SXSW

MY NEW NOVEL NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!


IT’S FINALLY HERE!

After eight years, a studio film option, lots of revision, and lots more whiskey, my second novel is now available for purchase.

God & California is the story of Norbert Sherbert, a wounded Iraq war veteran, and Wilberforce Wendell, a defrocked Catholic priest, who set off together from the Adirondack Mountains of New York State to deliver a pink, 1975 Cadillac Eldorado convertible to Monterey, California. Along the way, they will break all Ten Commandments on a mission to provoke God into a conversation.

I’m psyched to share this book with you and hope you’ll buy a copy to discover why the Hollywood Reporter calls my writing “singularly weird,” and acclaimed Detroit poet, M.L. Liebler, says I’m “one of America’s most original, hip young writers.”


Also… great news! Jonas Akerlund, director of “Small Apartments” (my debut film from Sony Pictures) is now attached to direct my screen adaptation of God & California.

You can buy it now on AMAZON

Read the entire first chapter HERE

Learn more about CHRIS MILLIS and his Sony Pictures comedy "SMALL APARTMENTS"...


Join the online community by "Liking" Chris's Facebook page and by following him on Twitter.

View the official Sony Pictures trailer of "Small Apartments" -- or treat yourself to the far-superior, R-rated director's cut trailer by the totally kickass Jonas Akerlund.

View a terrific 18-minute behind the scenes documentary on the making of "Small Apartments."

Here's a cool column in the Sunday Times Union (Albany, NY) about Chris writing his novel Small Apartments.


Here's star Matt Lucas on the "Graham Norton Show" talking about "Small Apartments.


SMALL APARTMENTS Ebook Now Available for Kindle and Nook!

Hooray! On the same day the SXSW Film Festival begins, the Small Apartments ebook becomes available for purchase on kindle and nook. Please buy your copy today to support the dream of weird, dark comic fiction writers turned screenwriter/producers everywhere!

Small Apartments SXSW Film Preview in the Austinist

By Matt Shiverdecker in

Swedish director Jonas Akerlund is probably still best known for his iconic 90's music videos like Madonna's "Ray Of Light" and The Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up." Over the years, he's brought his unique visual style to the big screen with cult favorite Spun and 2009's little-seen Horsemen.

His latest film, Small Apartments, is making its World Premiere at SXSW this year and it stars Matt Lucas (from the hit UK comedy series Little Britain) along with a bizarrely fantastic cast of characters that includes Peter Stomare (Fargo), Dolph Lundgren, and Billy Crystal. There isn't even a trailer online for this one yet, but it's high on our list of must-see films at the festival.

You'll have four chances to catch it at SXSW, including Saturday, March 10 at the Alamo South Lamar and Saturday, March 17 at the Alamo Ritz. Visit autinist.com here.

"Small Apartments" director Jonas Akerlund interviewed for SHOOTONLINE


Spotmakers Set To Debut Films At SXSW Festival

AUSTIN, Texas, February 17, 2012, Robert Goldrich --- Over the past year, director Jonas Akerlund balanced a workload of close to 30 commercials, five music videos and a feature film, Small Apartments. The latter—with a cast that includes Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple and James Marsden—makes its world premiere at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival slated for March 9-17 in Austin.

Akerlund is one of several helmers with spotmaking ties (he is repped by Serial Pictures) to have a feature-length film at SXSW this year. Small Apartments is a dark comedy in which a man accidently kills his landlord, kicking off a wild journey that meshes both humor and more serious considerations. "The movie is really about hope and not giving up, opening up your mind to deal with changes in life," related Akerlund. "The film starts out like a traditional comedy with strong characters and funny moments. Yet as the story unfolds, it becomes more serious, offering a bit of a message and an emotional aspect."

Akerlund first came across Small Apartments 10-plus years ago. "I always loved the book. This is one of those passion projects that I've been hoping I could get made into a movie one day." One of the stumbling blocks for Akerlund was finding "someone special" to play the main character, Franklin Franklin. "The question for me was always, 'who is the guy brave enough in Hollywood to become Franklin?' A few years ago I cast my eyes on Matt Lucas, an English actor, mostly known for the U.K. TV series Little Britain. I liked what I saw and promised myself that if he wants to do Small Apartments, I would somehow get this film made. I sent him the book and the script, and got an instant response from him that he wanted to do the movie."

It took another year or two to get the film going. Favors had to be called in so as to make production viable within a limited budget. "We decided to shoot in Los Angeles, which might seem odd to some in that it can be more expensive to produce here. But it was a good decision because this is a character-driven film and we needed a strong cast," noted Akerlund. "We aimed high on the cast and when you're asking actors to do you a favor and work for less, you've got a much better chance if all they have to do is roll down the hill and shoot in L.A. rather than them having to fly to Canada, Prague or somewhere else."

This will mark Akerlund's first time attending SXSW. "I'm not much of a film festival guy," he related. "Yet I've heard about South By Southwest the past two or three years, even got some phone calls from friends who were there and told me I would enjoy the experience. From what I've heard, it seems that it's becoming what Sundance used to be, which sounds like it could be a good place for a weird movie like mine."

Akerlund said that another "good place" for him is the spotmaking arena. "It's what I do the most of and without my experience in advertising, there's no way I could have done movies and documentaries. Commercials have helped me in collaboration, creatively and on the practical side."

"Small Apartments" co-star named among Best L.A. Stage Performances of 2011

Scott Sheldon, who plays the hilarious Officer Smith in the upcoming feature, "Small Apartments," which will debut March 10 at the South by Southwest Film Festival, has been named by "Stage and Cinema" as one of the best stage performances of 2011 for his role as Moony in the Tennessee Williams play, "Moony's Kid Don't Cry," staged by The New American Theatre in Los Angeles.

In "Stage and Cinema," Harvey Perr writes, "(Tennessee) Williams, of course, loved actors, and wrote some of the greatest parts in the history of the American theater; actors have so much fun playing them, and that particular joy was expressed in Five Beauties. But of the five one-acts, it was in Williams’ early and uncharacteristic “Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry” (one of the five) that Scott Sheldon exploded into one’s consciousness by transforming himself into the hapless Moony."

And in an earlier review, The Los Angeles Times hailed Sheldon's performance as, "bravura."

Read the the "Stage and Cinema article here, and the Los Angeles Times article here. Link to the play here. Unfortunately, the play has closed its run. So, look for Sheldon when "Small Apartments" hits theaters.