The Indie Film Hustle Podcast is your #1 source for how to hack the film business and indie film world! The show is here to help as many indie filmmakers as I could. We wanted to bring the best guests, industry leaders, creative legends, and film business friends to you, the IFH Tribe. We hope this podcast can help you along your journey as an artist, filmtrepreneur, filmmaker, screenwriter, and as a human being.
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Kevin Goetz has been at the center of what Hollywood calls the ‘movie research' industry for more than thirty years and his position in the entertainment world is quite unique. Named one of the most powerful and influential people in Southern California by The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Goetz became one of the leading advisors, researchers, and focus group moderators over two decades before starting his own firm, Screen Engine/ASI out of his living room.Today, his research firm is a multi-million-dollar company that employs over 300 people worldwide where he works alongside the major film studio chiefs, decision-makers, network and streaming platform executives. The insights produced by his firm touch every aspect of entertainment and television content creation from selection, acquisition, casting, and production, to post-production, marketing, and distribution.Goetz recently wrote the book, Audience•ology: How Moviegoers Shape the Films We Love about an important aspect of his business—audience test screenings. His podcast, Don't Kill the Messenger, brings this book to life with filmmaker interviews discussing filmmaking, their films, and how audiences have impacted their final cuts.Goetz has also produced twelve movies and brings both a marketing and filmmaking perspective to the interpretation of his research analysis. Kevin Goetz is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and several other distinguished organizations including the Television Academy and the Producers Guild of America. He is a board member of five charitable organizations as part of his philanthropic endeavors and resides in Beverly Hills with his husband, Neil, and their labradoodle, Kasha. Please enjoy my conversation with Kevin Goetz.
Today on the show, we have million-dollar screenwriter Diane Drake. Her produced original scripts include ONLY YOU, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei, and WHAT WOMEN WANT, starring Mel Gibson. Her original script for ONLY YOU sold for $1 million, and WHAT WOMEN WANT is the second highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time (Box Office Mojo).In addition, both films have recently been remade in China, featuring major Chinese stars. And WHAT WOMEN WANT has recently been remade by Paramount Pictures as WHAT MEN WANT, with Taraji Henson starring in the Mel Gibson role.Diane, who is a member of the Writers Guild of America, recently authored her first book, Get Your Story Straight, a step-by-step guide to writing your screenplay.She has taught screenwriting through UCLA Extension Writers' Program and now offers story consulting and her own guided online course via her website.Diane has also been a speaker/instructor for The Austin Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, the Rocaberti Writers Retreat in Dordogne, France, the American Film Market, Scriptwriters Network, Phoenix Screenwriters Association, Stowe Story Labs, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, University Club, Storyboard Development Group and the Writers Store, among others; and a judge for the Humanitas Prize, the Austin Film Festival and the UCLA Writers Program.In this episode, we get into the nitty-gritty of being a screenwriter in Hollywood. Diane is very open about her experiences, the good and the terrible. If you want to be a working screenwriter in Hollywood, then get ready to take notes.Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Diane Drake.
Marc Forster is a German-born filmmaker and screenwriter. He is best known for directing the films Monster's Ball (2001), Finding Neverland (2004), Stay (2005), Stranger than Fiction (2006), The Kite Runner (2007), Quantum of Solace (2008), and World War Z (2013).His breakthrough film was Monster's Ball (2001), in which he directed Halle Berry in her Academy Award-winning performance; the film also starred Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, and Peter Boyle. His next film, Finding Neverland (2004), was based on the life of author J.M. Barrie. The film was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Johnny Depp.Forster also directed the twenty-second James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. In 2013 he directed the film adaptation of the novel World War Z, starring Brad Pitt.His latest film is the remarkable A Man Called Otto.Based on the # 1 New York Times bestseller “A Man Called Ove,” A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol. She challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around.A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places. A Man Called Otto stars Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Cast Away), Mariana Treviño (Club the Cuervos), Rachel Keller (Fargo) and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (The Magnificent Seven). The screenplay is written by Academy Award® nominee David Magee (Best Adapted Screenplay, Life of Pi, 2012; Best Adapted Screenplay, Finding Neverland, 2004) based upon the best-selling novel “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman, and the film A Man Called Ove by Hannes Holm. The film is being produced by Fredrik Wikström Nicastro, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman.Enjoy my conversation with Marc Forster.
Today's guest is screenwriter Paul Gulino. Paul is the author of The Science of Screenwriting: The Neuroscience Behind Storytelling Strategies.Paul believes in Hitchcock's adage that "films are made on paper." Although students may obsess about a film's look, all of the visual elements, he says, function to enhance the story. And that, ultimately, comes from the mind of the screenwriter.In spite of the fact that there seems to be a screenwriter behind every corner (in California, at least), screenwriting is something of a lost art, Gulino maintains, having seen hundreds of flat screenplays as a story analyst for Showtime Entertainment.Honing his own skills through writing for the theater and practicing the craft as taught by Frank Daniel and Milos Forman, Gulino secured an agent with William Morris on the basis of his thesis script.With that "real world" confirmation in hand, Gulino went on to write and see produced features, plays and comedy sketches.Screenwriting, he says, isn't a craft you can learn from a book."The best way is to learn from someone who knows the craft, so you can see how theories can be applied to your own work."There must be something to that. Or at least it's worked for screenwriter Paul Gulino.Enjoy my conversation with Paul Gulino.
Today on the show we have producer Daniel Sollinger. Daniel and I have fought in the same indie film trenches for years. I had the pleasure of working with him on multiple occassion over the past 1o years.He has a new film coming out called Clean, starring Academy Award® Winner Arian Brody.Tormented by a past life, garbage man Clean (Adrien Brody) attempts a life of quiet redemption. But when his good intentions mark him a target of a local crime boss (Glenn Fleshler), Clean is forced to reconcile with the violence of his past. The film also stars Richie Merritt, Chandler Ari DuPont, Mykelti Williamson, RZA, Michelle Wilson, and John Bianco. It is written by Paul Solet and Adrien Brody. Clean, directed by Paul Solet, arrives in theaters, On Demand, and digital on January 28, 2022.Daniel and I discuss the brutal truth on producing and making indie films in today world.The conversation is full of real-world stories, advice and lessons to help you on your path. Enjoy!!!
At age five, Bruce Rubin had a spiritual experience playing in a sandbox in the middle of the afternoon. The sun disappeared, and a dense night sky appeared in its place. Infinite galaxies were swirling in the vastness of his own head, and he sensed the entire universe was contained within him. He knew instantly he was one with all there was. In the years that followed, Bruce became an Oscar-winning screenwriter, a spiritual teacher, and, most recently, a photographer. Each aspect of his life has been a conscious effort to explore and reveal what he learned in that sandbox.Bruce was born in the middle of WWII and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Sondra and Jimmy Rubin. He has a younger brother and sister, Gary and Marci. There was very little remarkable about him. He wanted to be an actor, writer, and director but had no talent to speak of. In 1965 he took a massive (and accidental) overdose of LSD and began a journey that lasted between 3 and 4 billion years. When he returned, he knew he would have stories to tell. He also knew he needed to find a teacher, so he hitchhiked around the world for nearly two years in search of one. After living in ashrams in India and in a Tibetan monastery in Kathmandu, he met his teacher Rudi in New York City just blocks from where he had begun his journey. Rudi taught a meditation practice that became the foundation for Bruce's spiritual life. He has meditated every day since. Bruce's screenwriting career began late in his life. Earlier, he had been an assistant film editor for the NBC Nightly News and Curator and Head of the Film Department at the Whitney Museum in New York. When Rudi died, Bruce gave up his museum career to continue his spiritual practice with a disciple of Rudi's in Bloomington, Indiana. While there, he was also writing movies, twice locking himself in a hotel room and refusing to emerge without a finished script. He also began teaching meditation to an expanding community of fellow seekers and continues holding classes to this day. After 44 years of daily meditation, Bruce experienced what is referred to as a spiritual awakening. For him, it was a revelation that no one could awaken. The illusion of a separate ego dissolved and left him in a state of extraordinary emptiness and inexplicable expansion. It was a profound step in a journey that began in a sandbox and continues to this moment. Bruce continues to share his evolving experience with his students. His talks can be found on YouTube and on his site. Recently, he also discovered photography as an unexpected opportunity for communicating his spiritual vision. The result of always having an iPhone in his pocket, he describes this new phase in his creative life as the discovery of seeing. As Bruce explains, “The mystery and magic of the world are not hidden. It is under our feet, on old walls, and in rusting garbage cans. The beauty, the wonder, never ends.”Please enjoy my conversation with Bruce Joel Rubin.
In this episode, you get a FREE PREVIEW of the IFH Books release of Writing for Emotional Impact: Advanced Dramatic Techniques to Attract, Engage, and Fascinate the Reader from Beginning to End by Karl Iglesias. Enjoy!When reading a story, there are three kinds of feelings: boredom, interest, and wow! To become a successful writer, you must create the wow feeling on as many pages as possible, which requires writing that engages the reader emotionally.In his best-selling book, screenwriter Karl Iglesias explored the working habits of A-list Hollywood scribes.Now, he breaks new ground by focusing on the psychology of the reader.Based on his acclaimed classes at UCLA Extension, Writing for Emotional Impact goes beyond the basics and argues that Hollywood is in the emotion-delivery business, selling emotional experiences packaged in movies and TV shows.Karl not only encourages you to deliver emotional impact on as many pages as possible, he shows you how, offering you hundreds of dramatic techniques to take your writing to the professional level.In this audiobook, you will learn:Over 40 techniques to humanize a character for instant empathyThe seven essential storytelling emotionsOver 70 techniques to create themOver 50 ways to craft powerful scenes, including the emotional paletteOver 30 techniques to shape your words and energize your narrative descriptionThe most common dialogue flaws and fixes for eachOver 60 techniques to craft dynamic dialogue that snaps, crackles, and pops off the pageNot only does Karl Iglesias "get" emotion, but he also shares insider secrets for moving the reader from tears to laughter and everywhere in between.
Ever since I saw District 9 and learned of all the mythical stories behind the short film becoming a feature, I have been a massive fan of today's guest, Neill Blomkamp. Though Neill is here today to talk about his new sci-fi horror fiction film, Demonic, we also chatted up about his other films that have been successful over the years.Released in August 2021, Demonic follows a young woman who unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades-old rift between mother and daughter are ruthlessly revealed.Neill is a South African Canadian film director, producer, screenwriter, and animator, best known for writing and directing multiple-award-winning films such as Chappie, Elysium, and the iconic District 9, along with a plethora of short films, commercials, and special effect credits.If you have seen a few of Neill's works already, you would already know and admire his dystopian, action, and sci-fi style of writing and filmmaking. He depicts the short film in documentary style, with xenophobic social segregation themes.In 2009 Neill and his wife, Canadian screenwriter Terri Tatchell, co-wrote a short film titled, Alive in Joburg, which later became his feature film debut, District 9. Neill received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture for this $210.8 million-grossing film from a $30 million budget.District 9 was a critically acclaimed splash, earning multiple awards, including the Bafta, the Academy, Golden Globes, etc., for its visual effects, editing, screenplay, and picture. And a 90% on rotten tomato. But the success of this film is truly in the story it tells and the inspiration that drove it. In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed "The Prawns," appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor.In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, was contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new 'Prawn' friends.As you will hear in our conversation, this project was inspired by parts of Johannesburg in South Africa's history Neill was learning. His journey involved gaining awareness of xenophobia from relatively poor South Africans against immigrants from Mozambique, Nigeria, and Malawi --- a sentiment is still prevalent with some South Africans to this day.The initial short film, Alive In Joburg that preceded District 9, had a socio-political theme shot in realism-based style paired with sci-fi but of performers sharing real-life experiences of illegal aliens/immigrants in South Africa. By the time he had to adapt the script for the feature, District 9, Neill had moved into an interest of South Africa's history, including apartheid, and precisely its border war period in the 1980s.As mentioned earlier, Neill started his career in this industry through visual effects and animation in commercials. When he moved to Canada at 18 years old, the pathway opened up for him to finally pursue his childhood dream of working in the film industry. He did Ads animation for some years while closely following the works of film directors who had gone the commercials to film directing route. One of his most prominent commercials to date, which was shelved by the clients based on creative differences, was a short film Superbowl ad for Nike.Even though he spent a short time doing commercials, Neill has held on to all the transferable lessons and tips to his filmmaking and screenwriting.IN 2015, Neill released his third feature film, dystopian sci-fi action fiction, Chappie, co-written with his wife, Tatchell --- starring Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, and Hugh Jackman. Chappie became a massive success at the box office with a gross of from a $49 million budget.Chappie, an artificial general intelligence law enforcement robot, is captured during a patrol and reprogrammed by gangsters after being stolen. He becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.Not to give too much away, let's dig into my interview with our incredible guest, Neill Blomkamp.
Have you ever thought to yourself as you were watching a movie"I've seen this somewhere before."Well, today's guest Chris Vander Kaay, breaks down the formulaic and predictable glory that is Hollywood filmmaking and how to avoid it.His new book Spoiler Alert!: The Badass Book of Movie Plots: Why We All Love Hollywood Cliches takes 38 mainstream movie genres, from ‘Teen Sex Comedy' and ‘Buddy Action Comedy' to ‘Film Noir Detective Thriller' and ‘Alien Invasion Thriller', and through detailed illustrations reveals what makes them so hilariously recognizable: the key lines of dialogue, the essential visuals, the crucial characters and the indispensable cast, scenes, and props.So grab some popcorn and buckle up for a laugh-out-loud ride through the wonderful world of cliché!Please enjoy my conversation with Chris Vander Kaay.
Academy and Emmy Award-winning writer/director/producer Alan Ball is among our generation's most important creative voices. Born in Atlanta, Ball studied Theatre Arts at Florida State University. In March 2000, AMERICAN BEAUTY, Ball's first screenplay to get produced, won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.Ball went on to create and executive produce the groundbreaking HBO drama SIX FEET UNDER. The series ran for five seasons and received two Golden Globes, six Emmys, and an Emmy and DGA Award for Ball's direction of the pilot.Ball made his feature film directorial debut with TOWELHEAD, distributed by Warner Independent Pictures. In 2008, Ball continued his successful collaboration with HBO by creating and executive producing the series TRUE BLOOD.The series received two Golden Globe nominations for Best Television Drama Series, as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, a Producer's Guild nomination, and a Grammy soundtrack nomination for Ball.Then, in 2018, he created, and executive produced HERE AND NOW for HBO. Most recently, in 2020, Ball wrote, directed, and produced UNCLE FRANK for Amazon Studios, which was nominated for an Emmy.Please enjoy my conversation with Alan Ball.
Well I put out an episode back in 2019 putting my dream list of guests out into the universe and in the past four months I've been humbled to have some amazing filmmakers and screenwriters on the show. Incredibly one of those dream guests has made his way on the show today. We are joined by indie film icon and Oscar® nominated writer/director Richard Linklater. Richard was one of the filmmakers who helped to launch the independent film movement that we know today with his classic 1991 indie film Slacker. So today, we will not only dive into the extraordinary career of Richard Linklater but also that of collaborator and longtime friend writer/director Katie Cokinos.If this is your introduction to Linklater and his work, here are a few highlights you must know; Linklater helped launch the 90s indie film renaissance with his film Slacker.The producer, director has juggled the TV, film, short-film, and documentary genres seamlessly over his career - typically focusing in fine detail on generational rites and mores with rare compassion and understanding while definitively capturing the 20-something culture of his era through a series of nuanced, illuminating ensemble pieces which introduced any number of talented young actors into the Hollywood eco-system.One of the talents to emerge from this era is the Texas native, Matthew McConaughey in Linklater's third movie and VHS smash hit, Dazed and Confused. Based on Linklater's years at Huntsville High School and the people he encountered there, the film shadows the adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.Throughout his career Richard has chosen to tell stories about the human condition, while many times making us laugh and cry at the same time. I found an immense philosophical under current to most of his life's work. From The Before Trilogy to Boyhood, his films tackle topics in an honest, raw and deeper way that is not normally seen in filmmaking.Many of the actors who work with Richard call him the "Zen Director" on set. His philosophy can be felt throughout his work. He often tells long and transformative coming of age stories over years, if not decades, something that is unique to him.His Oscar® nominated film Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before.Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's Yellow to Arcade Fire's Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It's impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey.Now the other remarkable filmmaker in this conversation is Katie Cokinos. She has made over ten short films and in 2000 wrote, directed, and acted in the feature film, Portrait of a Girl as a Young Catwhich premiered at SXSW. Katie produced Eagle Pennell's film, Heart Full of Soul (1990); was a publicist for Richard Linklater's Slacker, (1990). She was the Managing Director of the Austin Film Society, 1990-95.Her latest film is the coming of age story I Dream Too Much, co-produced by Richard. Here's a bit about the film:Presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something set, using a series of linear vignettes. These characters, who in some manner just don't fit into the establishment norms, move seamlessly from one scene to the next, randomly coming and going into one another's lives. Highlights include a UFO buff who adamantly insists that the U.S. has been on the moon since the 1950s, a woman who produces a glass slide purportedly of Madonna's pap smear, and an old anarchist who sympathetically shares his philosophy of life with a robber.So much was covered in this EPIC 2 hours conversation. I need to stop here and let you dive in.Enjoy my conversation with Richard Linklater and Katie Cokinos.
Scott Copper (Director, Screenwriter, Producer) made his feature film directorial debut in 2009 with Fox Searchlight's Oscar-winning CRAZY HEART, which he also wrote and produced. The film, which starred Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall, earned three Academy Award nominations, winning for Best Actor (Bridges) and Best Original Song (T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham). Cooper won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and earned WGA, USC Scripter and Independent Spirit Award nominations, for his screenplay.Cooper's follow-up was the Leonardo DiCaprio/Ridley Scott-produced OUT OF THE FURNACE, starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Zoë Saldana, Forest Whitaker and Sam Shepard. For his work as writer, director and producer, Cooper won the Best Debut and Second Film Award at the 2013 Rome Film Festival, where he was also nominated for a Golden Marc'Aurelio Award. Next was Cooper's 2015 Warner Bros. gangster film BLACK MASS, which Cooper both directed and produced and which made its worldwide debut at the Venice International Film Festival.The box-office hit garnered wins from critics associations across the country, and earned lead actor Johnny Depp the Desert Palm Achievement Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, as well as a Best Actor nomination from the Screen Actors Guild. In 2017, Cooper's western epic HOSTILES debuted at both the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festivals, earning widespread critical acclaim. The film reunited Cooper with his OUT OF THE FURNACE star Christian Bale and featured performances from Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane and Ben Foster. Cooper followed this up with ANTLERS, an exploration of yet another genre in the Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror film. Searchlight released the film to acclaim in October 2021.Most recently, Cooper re-teamed for the third time with Bale on THE PALE BLUE EYE, an adaptation of Louis Bayard's novel of the same name. The film tells the story of a series of murders at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1830 and a cadet the world would later come to know as Edgar Allan Poe. Robert Duvall, Gillian Anderson, Timothy Spall, Toby Jones and Harry Melling round out the cast. The Netflix film will debut in Fall of 2022. Born in Virginia, Cooper now resides in Los Angeles.Please enjoy my conversation with Scott Copper.
Cassian Elwes began his producing career with 1984's Oxford Blues, starring Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy, and has enjoyed continuing success in film. His earlier roles include Men at Work with Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, The Chase with Charlie Sheen, Kristy Swanson, and Henry Rollins, and The Dark Backward with Judd Nelson, Bill Paxton, and Rob Lowe.In 1989 he produced the independent film Never on Tuesday, which featured a cast of cameos including Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Nicolas Cage, and Cary Elwes.The Hollywood Reporter has said that Elwes was "involved in a virtual who's who of every great independent film of the last ten years." with films such as Thank You for Smoking, Half Nelson, and Frozen River (the last two of which garnered Oscar nominations for Ryan Gosling and Melissa Leo, respectively)."What people lose sight of," Elwes said to Screen International, "is that these films cost a tenth of the films that they competed against at the Academy Awards.The privilege was the recognition." Elwes is an expert in the field of arranging financing and distribution for independent films, having done so for 283 films during his tenure at William Morris Independent.Since leaving William Morris Independent, Elwes has been involved in arranging financing and distribution for 23 films, including Lawless, directed by John Hillcoat (The Road), starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy, and the thriller The Paperboy, directed by Lee Daniels (Precious), starring Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron.Elwes produced the period drama The Butler, which was directed by Lee Daniels and featured an ensemble cast, including Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Terrence Howard, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Robin Williams, among others.He also produced Dallas Buyers Club starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner, Ain't Them Bodies Saints starring Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, and Hateship, Loveship starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Hailee Steinfeld, and Nick Nolte.On 29 October 2013, Elwes launched the Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriter Fellowship, in conjunction with The Black List, to award one writer an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and mentorship from Elwes. Elwes and The Black List plan to award the fellowship annually.Please enjoy my conversation with Cassian Elwes.
After months of the IFH Tribe asking me, I finally finished the audiobook version of Shooting for the Mob. It was a tough project to finish but I knew I had to get it to you guys. As a gift for being so patient, I am releasing four chapters of the book for FREE for your listening pleasure. If you are unfamiliar with the story of Shooting for the Mob read below.A bipolar gangster, a naive, young film director, and Batman. What could go wrong? Alex Ferrari is a first-time film director who just got hired to direct a $20 million feature film, the only problem is the film is about Jimmy, an egomaniacal gangster who wants the film to be about his life in the mob. From the backwater towns of Louisiana to the Hollywood Hills, Alex is taken on a crazy misadventure through the world of the mafia and Hollywood. Huge movie stars, billion-dollar producers, studio heads and, of course, a few gangsters, populate this unbelievable journey down the rabbit hole of chasing your dream. Would you sell your soul to the devil to make your dream come true? By the way, did we mention that this story is based on true events? no, seriously it is.Writing this book is easily one of the toughest things I've ever had to do. Some days I would cry as I was typing. Who wants to go back to the darkest time in their lives and relive that hell. Well, that's exactly what I did. It took me 18 years to build up the courage to sit down and tell my story. I take you behind the scenes of the real Hollywood. and also see how gangsters and Hollywood go together like peanut butter and jelly. This book is RAW and UNFILTERED. I said to myself,"If I'm going to write this I have to tell the entire story, warts and all."The goal of this book is to help, not only filmmakers and people interested in having a career in Hollyweird but anyone stuck in a bad situation they feel they can't get out of. The story illustrates how someone can lose themselves while chasing that golden carrot that is their dream, not to compromise their morals and stand up for themselves.As cheesy as it sounds if I can help one person avoid even 1% of the pain and suffering I went through then it will be worth it. Now this story is not all doom and gloom, it's hilarious, ridiculous and one hell of an adventure. I hope you really enjoy the story and have fun, laugh, cry and maybe even learn a little something about yourself.Enjoy Shooting for the Mob and please leave a review for the book when you are done reading. Thanks!
Have you ever wanted to know what happens behind the scenes at Hollywood's major production companies and studios? How do new screenplays get read, approved and pass on by the script reader? What are the politics behind the scenes that make it almost impossible for a screenplay to make it through the Hollywood System?Today on the show, we have a former development executive, current script coverage reader, and professional screenwriter. He asked to remain anonymous, so I just refer to him as Deepthroat. Yes, I know that's a bit on the nose, but we both thought the Cloak and Dagger angle would be funny. He is a screenwriter that has worked in both television and features, a sought-after script doctor (he's worked on some MAJOR studio films), and a script coverage specialist.Deepthroat spills the beans on the inner workings of some of the biggest studios in Hollywood. He discusses how an idea he presented to his boss years ago was once stolen from him within the system and was turned into a successful property and shares tips on how to impress those studio readers that are the gatekeepers to getting your screenplay sold and produced.He is one of the amazing script coverage specialists I have worked with at Bulletproof Script Coverage.Deepthroat agreed to do this interview to help screenwriters try to break into the business. He's tired of seeing so many talented writers get eaten up by the system.The information in this interview is raw and real and will give you a much clearer idea of what happens behind the scenes in Hollywood. If you enjoy this episode, please share it with as many screenwriters and filmmakers as you can. We need to get this information out there.Enjoy my revealing conversation with DEEPTHROAT.
Today on the show, we have screenwriters David Diamond and David Weissman. Their credits include studios' movies like Family Man, Evolution, Old Dogs, and When in Rome. We discuss their adventures in the screenwriting trade, working with studios, and their new book Bulletproof: Writing Scripts that Don't Get Shot Down.The team of Diamond and Weissman has been writing movies and mentoring filmmakers for decades. In this practical guide, they take the aspiring writer by the hand and guide them through the logistics and tools of writing an attention-grabbing, audience-pleasing screenplay. Readers will learn the interests and needs of managers, agents, producers, executives, financiers, directors, and actors. Diamond and Weissman attribute their phenomenal success to a career-long focus on the motives and priorities of film sponsors and benefactors.Whether it's a theatrical release or a streaming movie, a major, big-budget tent pole, or an intimate, character-driven indie drama, Diamond and Weissman apply their time-tested approach. This fresh way of thinking will resonate with writers, industry professionals, and cinephiles excited to peek under the hood at what makes their favorite films tick.Bulletproof: Writing Scripts that Don't Get Shot Down is the rare screenwriting instructional penned by authors with both massive credits and decades of business experience.Enjoy my conversation with David Diamond and David Weissman.
You guys are in for a major treat. I'm always talking about those "lottery ticket" filmmaker stories that we all dream of happening to us one day. Well, today's guest's story is one of the mythological stories come to life.We have 90's independent film icon, Scott Mosier. Scott is an indie film producer, editor, writer, director, actor, and podcaster of Smodcast, which he co-hosts with his long-term filmmaking partner, Kevin Smith.From Vancouver Film School to Hollywood, Scott's trajectory has been inspiring for many in the industry. He produced some of the best 90s classics like Clerks 1 & 2, Jersey Girl, the Oscar® Winning Good Will Hunting, Dogma, and many, many more.Scott acted in, edited the movie, original sound, and contributed to Clerk's budget. After the massive hit they followed up with the embattled Mallrats. The film was not well received and did no money at the box-office. Kevin and Scott were essentially discarded and called a one hit wonders. For most filmmakers that would be all she wrote but not for Kevin and Scott.They decided to go back to their roots and make another low budget indie and prove to Hollywood that they were here to stay. Their next film was the brilliant romantic comedy-drama, Chasing Amy. The tells the unfortunate twist of a male comic artist who falls in love with a lesbian woman, to the displeasure of his best friend.After self-financing, the majority of their initial projects (Mosier & Smith), 2001, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was Mosier's first big-budget ($20 million) production.Based on real-life stoners Jay and Silent Bob, so when they get no profit from a big-screen adaptation they set out to wreck the movie.If that wasn't enough Scott also co-executive produced the Oscar® Award-Winning Good Will Hunting in his spare time.Wanting a change Scott decided to branch out and start directing himself. His 2018 directorial debut was a stand-out project! A box office hit, grossing about $512 million globally and the highest-grossing holiday film of all time. Dr. Seuss: The Grinch became the third screen adaptation of the 1957 Dr. Seuss book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.I had ball talking shop with Scott. We discussed the genesis of the independent film movement as we know it today, dealing with studios, what was it like being in the Clerks hurricane and much more.Enjoy my conversation with Scott Mosier.
Vanessa and Joseph Winter are a writer/director duo best known for their critically acclaimed SXSW midnighter “Deadstream,” a horror comedy coming to Shudder in October. They also wrote and directed a segment of the highly anticipated V/H/S/99 which will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.Their feature debut, Deadstream, has been getting rave reviews since it debuted at SXSW (it's at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes). The film is about a disgraced internet personality who tries to win back followers by live-streaming himself alone at a haunted house. The whole thing takes place in real-time and is a found-footage style film with the bonkers horror-comedy feel of early Sam Raimi. It's a funny satire of social personalities and a creepy, supernatural flick. It impressively balances the mixture of tones.They also have a segment in the latest entry to the V/H/S/ series, V/H/S/99. It premiered at TIFF, with many critics citing their segment “To Hell And Back” as a highlight. Like Deadstream, it mixes horror with comedy and is filled with horrific, practical creatures.Vanessa and Joseph met in film school and have worked together ever since. Before shifting to focus on writing/directing/acting, the duo cut their teeth doing everything from art direction to score composition to costumes to production design to editing. They have an interesting story about getting these projects off the ground that feels like a great fit for the podcast. Joseph also listens to Indie Film Hustle and was excited to be part of the show!Please enjoy my conversation with Vanessa & Joseph Winter.
Today's guest is screenwriter Geoffrey D. Calhoun. Geoffery is the author of the #1 best-selling screenwriting book The Guide For Every Screenwriter: From Synopsis to Subplots: The Secrets of Screenwriting Revealed.Screenwriting made simple. The Guide for Every Screenwriter is one of the most efficient instruction manuals on the craft. This book cuts past the verbose film school expository, and gets straight to work, delivering sample-driven outlines and templates that anyone can follow. It is quick to apply to your work and serves as a side-by-side checklist for the writing process. This is the book for anyone looking to write a screenplay and for any professional needing a refresher. Whether you are learning how to write a screenplay or are a veteran screenwriter, this is the perfect tool for you. This book reveals the mysteries of screenwriting from concept development, subplots, to format and beyond by using easy to follow templates and examples.Geoffrey D. Calhoun (Heroes from Heaven - S.O.S. - Lily) is the founder of WeFixYourScript.com where he and his team mentor indie filmmakers and support them with all aspects of screenwriting from concept to development, polishing a script, one on one consultation, and even write for hire. Geoffrey is a multi-award-winning screenwriter and is sought out as a script consultant and a re-writer for various stages of development and production. He is the director of the Script Summit Screenplay Contest which is listed as one of the biggest Screenplay Competitions by The Script Lab.He is known for his fast-paced thrillers but has also won awards for comedies and dramas. He has received honors in several film festivals and contests including the Louis Mitchell Award for Excellence in Writing. In 2017 Geoffrey was listed as a Top 100 Indie Writer in the World. He believes everyone is a writer at heart and has dedicated himself to help others learn the craft. His seminars are designed to break down the mysteries of screenwriting by using easy to follow templates, outlines, and modern popular films as examples.Enjoy my inspirational conversation with Geoffrey D. Calhoun.
CHRISTMAS BONUS:My book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business has become an Amazon Best Seller. I'm so excited to share this with you, the IFH Tribe. I've been working for months to make this happen. I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the book so in this episode, I'll be releasing the first two chapters of the audiobook for your listening pleasure. These two chapters set the tone for the book. In the episode, I even show you a way to download the entire book for free.Here's a bit of what Rise of the Filmtrepreneur has to offer:It's harder today than ever before for independent filmmakers to make money with their films. From predatory film distributors ripping them off to huckster film aggregators who prey upon them, the odds are stacked against the indie filmmaker. The old distribution model for making money with indie film is broken and there needs to be a change. The future of independent filmmaking is the entrepreneurial filmmaker or the Filmtrepreneur®. In Rise of the Filmtrepreneur® author and filmmaker Alex Ferrari breaks down how to actually make money with independent film projects and shows filmmakers how to turn their indie films into profitable businesses. This is not all theory, Alex uses multiple real-world case studies to illustrate each part of his method. This book shows you the step by step way to turn your filmmaking passion into a profitable career. If you are making a feature film, series or any kind of video content, The Filmtrepreneur® Method will set you up for success.I really hope you enjoy Rise of the Filmtrepreneur. I truly believe that the only way indie filmmakers will be able to survive the new film economy is by becoming Filmtrepreneurs. My goal for this book is to show filmmakers and creatives that they have to think differently. The old film economy is DEAD. Traditional film distribution is not set up to benefit the indie filmmaker. The cards are stacked against the creative and things need to change.Filmmakers need to take back control of their films and how they generate revenue from them. The day of handing over your film to a predatory film distributor because you believe there is no other choice is over! There is another way and the Filmtrepreneur Method is that way. Let me know what you think of the book. Enjoy and VIVA LA REVOLUTION!
Michael Damian is an award-winning actor, singer, director, writer, and producer. He first gained recognition for his 18-year run in the role of rock star Danny Romalotti on the #1-rated daytime television drama, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. On the stage front, Damian starred as “Joseph” in the Broadway production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, which broke box office records in both Los Angeles and on Broadway and earned Damian a Grammy nomination. In addition to his Broadway career, Damian has released five albums and has had eight Top 40 hits, including the smash single “Rock On,” which shot up the Billboard music charts landing at #1 and garnering Damian two gold records. Damian won the BMI Song-writing Award for his hit single, “Was It Nothing at All,” and has also written and produced songs for the soundtracks of A PRINCESS FOR CHRISTMAS, FLICKA 2, FLICKA: COUNTRY PRIDE, MARLEY & ME: THE PUPPY YEARS and SWEETER SIDE OF LIFE.Damian has also enjoyed a prolific career behind the camera and has co-written/directed/produced 15 films and television movies. He is a filmmaking partner with his wife Janeen Damian and most recently co-wrote, directed and produced Hallmark's #1 movie of the year for 2020, CHRISTMAS WALTZ. Some of his other recent credits include the feature film HIGH STRUNG FREE DANCE and its predecessor, HIGH STRUNG, Lionsgate's holiday romantic comedy, A PRINCESS FOR CHRISTMAS, which starred Sir Roger Moore and Sam Heughan (Outlander) and launched Hallmark's smash hit Princess Christmas franchise. Janeen Damian is an American writer, director, and producer of film and television. Together with her husband, Michael Damian she has made 15 feature films and TV movies. This year she co-wrote and produced the #1 add-supported cable movie of the year for 2020, CHRISTMAS WALTZ. She also co-wrote and produced the award- winning feature films HIGH STRUNG and HIGH STRUNG FREE DANCE which were released theatrically worldwide and distributed by Sony and Disney. Ms. Damian also co-wrote and produced A PRINCESS FOR CHRISTMAS starring Sam Heughan and Sir Roger Moore and distributed by Lionsgate and received Hallmark's highest ratings for the year launching their original Christmas Princess franchise.The Damians went on to co-write A ROYAL CHRISTMAS and A CROWN FOR CHRISTMAS. All three films air annually on Hallmark's power rotation with continued high ratings. Some of Ms. Damian's other Filmmaking credits include 20th Century Fox's MARLEY & ME THE PUPPY YEARS and the popular reboot of the Flicka franchise, FLICKA 2 and FLICKA COUNTRY PRIDE starring Clint Black and MOONDANCE ALEXANDER, which starred Don Johnson and garnered Ms. Damian best screenplay honors at L.A. Femme Film Festival. She also co-wrote and produced THE SWEETER SIDE OF LIFE, starring Katherine Morris and James Best. LOVE BY DESIGN starring Jane Seymour and David Oakes, and the award-winning independent feature film HOT TAMALE starring Jason Priestly and Randy Spelling. She co-directed the TV Pilot RED EYE for France's #1 television broadcaster, TF1. She also co-directed the award-winning film FINDERS KEEPERS starring James Best. The Damians went on to co-write A CROWN FOR CHRISTMAS and A ROYAL CHRISTMAS.Damian also directed three films for 20th Century Fox: FLICKA 2, MARLEY & ME: THE PUPPY YEARS (which he also wrote), and FLICKA: COUNTRY PRIDE starring Clint Black. He directed, wrote, and produced the feature film MOONDANCE ALEXANDER, which was also released by 20th Century Fox, and romantic comedies SWEETER SIDE OF LIFE and LOVE BY DESIGN. Damian also co-wrote, directed, and produced the indie crime comedy HOT TAMALE and co-wrote and co-directed the television pilot Red Eye for France's TF1 network, which he also starred in. Falling for Christmas is about a young, newly engaged heiress who has a skiing accident the days before Christmas. After she is diagnosed with amnesia, she finds herself in the care of the handsome cabin owner and his daughter.Enjoy my conversation with Janeen and Michael Damian.
John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood's most successful films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and Shrek. The Anatomy of Story is his long-awaited first book, and it shares all his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby's own unique approach to building an effective, multifaceted narrative.His new book, Anatomy of Genres, is NOW Available!A guide to understanding the major genres of the story world by the legendary writing teacher and author of The Anatomy of Story, John Truby.Most people think genres are simply categories on Netflix or Amazon that provide a helpful guide to making entertainment choices. Most people are wrong. Genre stories aren't just a small subset of the films, video games, TV shows, and books that people consume. They are the all-stars of the entertainment world, comprising the vast majority of popular stories worldwide. That's why businesses―movie studios, production companies, video game studios, and publishing houses―buy and sell them. Writers who want to succeed professionally must write the stories these businesses want to buy. Simply put, the storytelling game is won by mastering the structure of genres.The Anatomy of Genres: How Story Forms Explain the Way the World Works is the legendary writing teacher John Truby's step-by-step guide to understanding and using the basic building blocks of the story world. He details the three ironclad rules of successful genre writing and analyzes more than a dozen major genres and the essential plot events, or “beats,” that define each of them. As he shows, the ability to combine these beats correctly separates stories that sell from those that don't. Truby also reveals how a single story can combine elements of different genres and how the best writers use this technique to craft unforgettable stories that stand out from the crowd.Just as Truby's first book, The Anatomy of Story, changed the way writers develop stories, The Anatomy of Genres will enhance their quality and expand the impact they have on the world.Enjoy my conversation with John Truby.
I'm here to finally put to rest one of the greatest cinematic arguments of all time, is Die Hard a Christmas movie? I thought I'd tackle this epic question with my good friend Stephen Follows. In this Special Christmas Edition of the Indie Film Hustle Podcast Stephen and I use data to finally put this debate to rest.I believe without a shadow of a doubt that Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie of all time. Stephen is not so sure so we go to the data to find out. Stephen wrote an EPIC article about this a while ago where he does what only Stephen does. Below are some of the graphs he created for his dissection of this issue.From google trends to actual frames from the film that we see actual Christmas references. We leave no stone unturned in this debate. I promise you after this episode you will be armed to debate and film nerd at the next Christmas party. I wanted to create a fun episode for all the film geeks out there.Enjoy my ridiculous and entertaining conversation with Stephen Follows. And don't forget to have a Yippee ki-yay mutha f**king Merry Christmas!
Jariko Denman was born in Washington DC and as a military brat grew up all over the world. In 1997 he enlisted in the US Army. After basic training and Airborne School he completed the assessment and selection process for the 75th Ranger Regiment and was assigned to the 2nd Ranger Battalion at Ft Lewis Washington. Jariko went on to serve in the Ranger Regiment for 15 and a half years. Jariko deployed to combat 15 times in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2002-2012 as a Weapons Squad Leader, Rifle Platoon Sergeant, and Ranger Company First Sergeant amounting to 54 months of total combat experience as part of a Joint Special Operations Task Force.Jariko Retired from active duty in 2017 after four years as the Senior Military Science Instructor at St. John's University in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles. Since Retiring he has advised on several major motion pictures, national ad campaigns, and television series' as well as continuing to train and work within government and tactical industries.
Our guest today, is expert storytelling educator, author, and UCLA professor, Richard Walter--- bestselling author of Essentials of Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television Writing. He recently retired as Professor and Interim Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television where, for more than forty years, he chaired the graduate program in screenwriting.The amazing thing about Richard is he has been the instructor of some of the most amazing screenwriters in Hollywood history. A handful of them has been on the show, including Sacha Gervasi, Jim Uhls, the writer of Fight Club, and Paul Castro, just to name a few. He's written scripts for major studios, television networks, and even wrote the earliest drafts of George Lucas's American Graffiti. Talking to Richard in this conversation was essentially sitting front row at a masterclass of storytelling and screenwriting.It was an absolute treat talking to Richard. Not only has his work been appreciated in the US but in other parts of the world, conducting lectures in London, Paris, Jerusalem, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney, and Hong Kong.He complains that L.A. has relentless good weather which he says, ‘Is not writing weather', yet, in 1988, he released his first instructional book Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television Writing (Plume). This was followed a decade later (2000) by his debut novel Escape from Film School, which tells the sprightly tale of a young man who makes it in Hollywood without ever leaving film school.Richard is one of the few OG writers who have studied, and taught through the evolutive eras of screenplays and screenwriting in Hollywood. With his wealth of knowledge, he released his third and most recent book, Essentials of Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television Writing. In this one, he shares the secrets of writing and selling successful screenplays for aspiring screenwriters.It contains highly coveted lessons and principles from Screenwriting with material from his companion text, The Whole Picture, and includes new advice on how to turn a raw idea into a great movie or TV script and sell it.Besides his outstanding career, we chatted about his love for Spike Lee films, we talked about screenplay structuring and many more. It's been an absolute treat talking with Richard.Enjoy this epic conversation with Richard Walter.
Today on the show we have maniac writers/directors The Nelms Brothers, and I say maniacs in the best possible way. Ian and Eshom Nelms, grew up in central California waging two hundred man G.I. Joe wars and dreaming in John Ford landscapes. They have written and directed numerous award-winning and critically- acclaimed films.The brothers are known for their unique ability to traverse from one genre to another, seamlessly and successfully, from drama to comedy to thrillers. Their film, LOST ON PURPOSE (2013), was a heartfelt coming-of-age love letter to their small hometown.From there, the siblings wrote and directed WAFFLE STREET (2015), a comedic turn based on an autobiographical memoir about a billion-dollar hedge-fund manager turned waffle house server. Their film, SMALL TOWN CRIME (2018) is a crime thriller that premiered at SXSW and BFI London Film Festival and received positive reviews by top critics upon its theatrical release.We are here today to discuss their latest opus, FATMAN starring Mel Gibson, Walton Goggins, and Marianne Jean-Baptist. The film centers on a neglected and precocious 12-year-old who hires an unorthodox hitman to kill Santa Claus after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking. They had me at FATMAN.I absolutely loved FATMAN and am glad it is in existence. It is one of my favorite films of the year. In this crazy 2020, this is the film we all need to watch right now. I can't tell you how fun it was talking to Ian and Eshom.We discuss how they came up in the business, the 14 years it took to bring FATMAN to the big screen, working as a director team, and their misadventures in Hollyweird.Do yourself a favor and watch FATMAN tonight! It is brilliant. To be honest I'm jealous I didn't think of this. The idea for FATMAN is just so genius. I'm glad these two filmmakers brought it to life.Enjoy my conversation with filmmakers Ian and Eshom Nelms.
Josh David Jordan is a Texas filmmaker, director, actor and artist. Starting off as an actor, He appeared in several feature films, as well as the sitcom, SCRUBS. He began to slowly transition myself behind the lens. Josh worked on MTV featured music videos for the Polyphonic Spree, Rhett Miller of the Old 97's and many more.After premiering his short film, SAM AND GUS, and winning several film festival awards, along with audience awards, Josh decided to write and direct his first full length feature film, THIS WORLD WON'T BREAK, which won 14 film festival awards, received distribution, theatrical release, dvd and on every platform. Josh recently directed Joshua Ray Walkers hit single and directed the live spot on The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon. Currently in preproduction for the feature film El Tonto Por Cristo.Enjoy my conversation with Josh David Jordan.
Today guest is author, publisher, and producer Ken Atchity. Ken recently produced the global blockbuster (Jason Statham) and is the founder of Story Merchant. Ken wrote the best-seller Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer's Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business. I wanted Ken on the show to discuss the business side of screenwriting, a part of the industry that isn't spoken about enough. We also discuss the "story market."Here some background on Ken.In 1976, Atchity founded L/A House, Inc., a consulting, translation, book, television, and film development and production company whose clients included the Getty Museum and the US Postal Service. L/A House began by extending Atchity's teaching of creative writing to manuscript consultation and soon moved on to publishing with the production of Follies, a magazine covering creativity, and CQ: Contemporary Quarterly; Poetry and Art of which he was editor. In the 1980s L/A House moved into television, with a syndicated television pilot of BreakThrough! of which Atchity was executive producer and co-writer.In 1985, L/A House began development of a set of video/TV romance film projects entitled Shades of Love, which became 16 full-length films, produced in 1986–87 with Atchity as executive producer, that aired throughout the world, distributed by Lorimar, Astral-Bellevue-Pathe, Manson International, and Warner Brothers International, nominated for Canada's Gemini Award; in the U.S. they premiered on Cinemax-HBO.In 1989 he sold L/A House and founded AEI (Atchity Editorial/Entertainment International), a literary management and motion picture production company. Atchity sold Steve Alten's Meg to Bantam-Doubleday at auction in a $2.2M deal; and then to Disney, partnered with Zide-Perry, for $1.2 (later, to Newline Pictures for a similar price). Incorporated in 1996, its name was changed to Atchity Entertainment International, Inc. in 2005.In 2006, he and manager-partner Fred Griffin of Houston's Griffin Partners along with a group of investors from Louisiana and Texas, acquired The Louisiana Wave Studio, LLC in Shreveport, Louisiana from Walt Disney Productions. The LWS is the only tank specifically designed to make waves for motion pictures in North America. Films produced at the LWS include The Guardian, Mayday—Bering Sea, Shark Night 3D, Streets of Blood, and I Love You, Philip Morris; along with numerous government and industrial films.In 2011 Atchity was nominated for an Emmy for producing The Kennedy Detail (Discovery) based on their clients' Jerry Blaine and Lisa McCubbin's New York Times bestselling book by the same title published by Gallery/Simon & Schuster in 2010. AEI's films include Joe Somebody (Tim Allen, Julie Bowen), Life Or Something Like It (Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns), and The MEG (Jason Statham).In 2010, Atchity also founded Atchity Productions and Story Merchant.Enjoy my conversation with Ken Atchity.
Now let's get into today's AMAZING guest. We have on the show returning champion film finance expert Franco Sama. His first episode is one of the most downloaded episodes in the history of the show (Listen to that episode here). Franco and I joke that his last episode turned him into a celebrity at film markets and festivals around the world. I mean he can barely walk the halls of AFM without getting recognized.Franco is a well of knowledge in the film finance space and I have learned tons from him over the years. We discuss the effect the Coronavirus is and will have on not only raising money for a film but also selling that movie to an ever-changing marketplace. Nobody knows what will happen to the industry after this virus passes. We also discuss which studios are more vulnerable than others and the dos and don ts when raising money for an indie film into today's marketplace.Here's a bit about today's guest.Independent feature film producer Franco Sama boasts a remarkable and extensive history in public speaking, public relations, and nearly two decades of independent film development, production and financing experience.Sama has Executive Produced and/or produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) successful independent feature films including most notably, “Guns, Girls and Gambling” starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, and Dane Cook which is now a cult favorite; this film was released into theatres and acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures.Other films Sama has produced include; “Black Limousine” starring David Arquette and Vivica Fox, “Tooth and Nail” starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, and "Paid" starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti. Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the film festival darling “Petunia” starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti.His shingle “Samaco Films, LLC”, headquartered on the lot at the prestigious, privately owned and operated, independent film studio, Los Angeles Center Studios in Downtown Los Angeles, is currently financing and producing a slate of several independent feature films, including, “Vodun”, “Alexis Colette” and recently wrapped production on the $1M thriller, “The Inheritance”.In addition, Sama is also a highly sought after public guest speaker having launched his hugely popular film financing and distribution forum program “Finance Indie Road Map”, otherwise known as “The F.I.R.M.” which is designed specifically to educate and assist first and second-time filmmakers in their quest to develop, fund, produce and release their first feature film(s).This EPIC episode is by far one of the most important shows you could listen to. Please share it with all your filmmaking and screenwriting friends. If you want the latest information on what it is like to raise money in today's crazy world get ready to take notes. Enjoy my conversation with Franco Sama.
Award-winning director of photography Erik Messerschmidt, ASC has a natural eye for arresting and spellbinding images, thriving in a role that allows him to combine his love of art, craft and science. Recently, he lensed Devotion for director J.D. Dillard, based on the real-life story of a Black naval officer who befriends a white naval officer during the Korean War, with both becoming heroes for their selfless acts of bravery. He also is currently shooting Michael Mann's biographical film Ferrari, starring Adam Driver, Shailene Woodley, and Penélope Cruz, and recently completed shooting David Fincher's The Killer, starring Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton.Previously, Messerschmidt shot Fincher's passion project Mank, chronicling the screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz's turbulent journey to write Citizen Kane alongside Orson Welles. Messerschmidt's meticulous and striking black and white recreation of the period's aesthetic earned him the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, an ASC Award for Outstanding Cinematography in a Feature Film, a BSC Award for Best Cinematography in a Theatrical Feature Release, a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Cinematography, as well as Best Cinematography award nominations from the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle, the Broadcast Film Critics Association Critics Choice, and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.In addition, Messerschmidt co-lensed several episodes of the HBO Max original series Raised by Wolves from producer Ridley Scott. He also shot the first and second seasons of Fincher's hit thriller series Mindhunter for Netflix, earning a 2020 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (one-hour) for episode 206.With a background in the fine arts world, Messerschmidt honed his skills while working with such renowned cinematographers such as Dariusz Wolski, ASC, Jeff Cronenweth, ASC, Phedon Papamichael, ASC, Claudio Miranda, ASC, and Greig Fraser, ASC. Messerschmidt now lives in Los Angeles and is a member of IATSE Local 600. He is represented by DDA.Enjoy my conversation with Erik Messerschmidt.
Today on the show we have award-winning screenwriter, actor, director, producer, sketch comedian Rick Najera. Rick is also an author, playwright, coach and national speaker with an expansive portfolio of credits in all forms of entertainment.From starring in films with Sidney Poitier, George Clooney and most recently Mario Lopez, to writing sketch comedy for Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx, Najera is best known for starring on Broadway in his award-winning, self-penned stageplay, Latinologues, directed by comedy legend Cheech Marin. Najera is only one of three Latinos to ever write and star in their own play on Broadway.As a screenwriter, Najera has written dozens of scripts for TV, film and the stage, starting out in the industry as a staff writer on the groundbreaking urban comedy series, In Living Color, for which he wrote more than 30 episodes. Najera went on to write for Townsend TV (10 episodes), MAD TV (47 episodes), East Los High – a Hulu original (21 episodes) and more.He penned the feature film Nothing Like the Holidays starring Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, John Leguizamo and Luis Guzman, which won him an ALMA Award. Najera learned from great writers like Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino and Scorsese to “write what you know' and has been a pioneer in Hollywood telling his American experience, from a Latino perspective.Rick and I discuss the raw truth about working in Hollywood, writing comedy, working with greats like Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx and much more. This is a entertaining and informative episode. Get ready to take notes.Enjoy my conversation with Rick Najera.
Today, my guest is a prolific cinematographer, accomplished photographer, and member of the American Society of Cinematographers, Dean Cundey.Dean rose to fame for extraordinary cinematography in the 1980s and 1990s. His early start was working on the set of Halloween. Dean is credited as director of photography on five Back To The Future films and Jurassic Park.The Halloween slasher franchise consisted of eleven films and was initially released in 1978. The films primarily focus on Michael Myers, who was committed to a sanitarium as a child for the murder of his sister, Judith Myers. Fifteen years later, he escapes to stalk and kill the people of the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. Michael's killings occur on the holiday of Halloween, on which all of the films primarily take place. The second film, one of which Cundey served as director of photography, was based on Marty McFly, who had only just gotten back from the past when he is once again picked up by Dr. Emmett Brown and sent through time to the future. Marty's job in the future is to pose as his son to prevent him from being thrown in prison. Unfortunately, things get worse when the future changes the present.The three Back To The Future films Dean worked on grossed $388.8, $336, and $243 million globally, becoming all-time hits on budgets of $19, $40, and $40 million.Cundey is cited as being amongst some of the best directors of photography. In addition to his lighting skills, particularly in the famous hallway scene where the hidden face of Michael Myers is slowly revealed by way of a blue light next to the mask, he was among the first cinematographers to make use of a recent invention called the Steadicam, or paraglide.Some other shows and movies he's worked on include, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Tales of the Unexpected, Romancing the Stone, Invitation To Hell, Big Trouble in Little China, etc.Who Framed Roger Rabbit; A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hoping to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder. Basically, 'Toon star Roger is worried that his wife Jessica is playing pattycake with someone else, so the studio hires detective Eddie Valiant to snoop on her. But the stakes are quickly raised when Marvin Acme is found dead, and Roger is the prime suspect. Groundbreaking interaction between the live and animated characters, and lots of references to classic animation.Dean grew up an avid reader of the American Cinematographer magazines he would buy after school from a local camera shop close by. That was how his inspiration to pursue filmmaking came about. He shifted his focus to theater history while still taking some architectural design classes at California State University before he ultimately enrolled at the University of California Los Angeles film school.In 1993 Jurassic Park, Dean made a minor appearance as a boat crew member (Mate) while also staffed as director of photography. The film follows a pragmatic paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose. Huge advancements in scientific technology have enabled a mogul to create an island full of living dinosaurs. A park employee attempts to steal dinosaur embryos, critical security systems are shut down, and it now becomes a race for survival with dinosaurs roaming freely over the island.Cundey holds over one hundred and fifty cinematography & photography credits for movies, television, and short films. That is no small feat in this business. The man has stayed busy and booked since graduation from film school. That kind of consistency in Hollywood is only doable by having extreme persistence and excellence.One of the many things he did to stay prepared and on top of his craft was investing into building himself a ‘super van' or one couple call it a cinematographer's heaven that contained every equipment (cameras, editings tools, etc.) required to help him get work get and do work easily. We talk more about this in our chat.Enjoy my conversation with Dean Cundey.
Matt Stawski is a Grammy-nominated filmmaker and director of Nickelodeon's Blue's Big City Adventure, an original feature-length Blue's Clues & You! movie, premiering Nov. 18 exclusively on Paramount+. Marking Stawski's first feature film, Blue's Big City Adventure is a sing-and-dance-along musical spectacular for the whole family, featuring all-new songs and choreography with the show's beloved hosts–Josh (Josh Dela Cruz), Steve (Steve Burns) and Joe (Donovan Patton)—and fan-favorite animated characters. The movie also features BD Wong, Ali Stroker, Taboo, Alex Winter, Phillipa Soo, and Steven Pasquale's special star appearances.On A trip to New York City, Josh and Blue get help from Steve and Joe, but a greedy man plots to make the Big Apple his own, and he hasn't learned to share. With Blue on the trail, She must go on an adventure and save her friends and NYC before it's too late.Born and raised in Detroit, Mich., Stawski began his career “borrowing” truckloads of gear from his local TV station and filming punk bands with his friends. After attending Columbia College Chicago, he immediately moved to Los Angeles, where he began directing music videos full-time. From 2006-2019, he directed videos for a wide array of artists, including CeeLo Green's epic video “F**K You,” which garnered Stawski a Grammy Award nomination; “Hey, Soul Sister” for Train, as well as Fall Out Boy, The Wanted, Ne-Yo, Paramore, Fifth Harmony, Snoop Dogg and more. During that time, Stawski also began working in television, filming pilots for Awesomeness and Nickelodeon.Stawski is currently in development on an original horror film titled Monster Mash with Universal Pictures. In his free time, he gets lost in the Sierra mountains, practices close-up magic, and hosts a secret horror movie drive-in at an undisclosed location.Enjoy my conversation with Matt Stawski.
Austin Trunick is a Connecticut-based film historian and author of The Cannon Film Guide, a series of books about the beloved (and infamous) '80s b-movie studio, Cannon Films. He also serves as an editor for the nationally-distributed music and entertainment magazine.Under the Radar. He has written about movies and pop culture for Mental Floss and Consequence of Sound.Enjoy my conversation with Austin Trunick.
So today we are going to go down the rabbit hole of NFTs. What the heck is an NFT. It is a Non Fungible Token. Basically, an NFT is a completely original digital file or a digital collectable which is registered on a blockchain ledger just like any cryptocurrency. But unlike cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, an NFT is totally unique and because it lives on the blockchain it verifies who is the rightful owner of this one-of-a-kind digital collectable file.In February 2021, digital artist Peebles sold a digital artwork for $69.3 million at auction. You heard correctly almost $70 million for a digital file. The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, sold his very first tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million.It took me a minute to understand what these things were and then it clicked. NFTs are digital baseball cards, comic books, Garbage Pail Kids or Pokemon cards. They are just a digital version and in many ways better because you know exactly how many copies exist.The NBA is sell "moments" as NFTs through NBA Top Shots. Basically, they are selling highlight clips as NFT and they are killing it. Fans of the NBA are gobbling these NFTs as fast as they are released. I really think there is now one doing NFTs better than the NBA right now.Musicians are having amazing success selling NFTs directly to their fans. This is turning the established music industry on its head. NFTs are essentially killing off the middle man. No more label, just a direct relationship with the artist's fans.The other amazing thin about NFTs is that the artist continues to make money on every sale of the NFT forever. Let me explain. When an artist creates a NFT by minting it. Minting is the process of create the digital file (NFT) and placing it on the blockchain. The artist then sets the residual percentage every time the NFT sells.So if I mint a short film and sell it for $500. I get $500. Now, if the new owner sells it 2 years from now for $10,000 I get 10% of that sale. Every time that NFT is resold I get my cut. All transactions transparent. All on the blockchain.So how can filmmakers make money? There are so many options because NFTs are in their infancy. Everyone is trying to figure out how to use them in indie film. Some ideas are:Selling the distribution rights to the entire film, like Kevin Smith is doing with is latest film KilljoySelling the distribution rights to your film in shares like the indie film LotawanaCreate an NFT to a short film to finance itSell NFT collectables from the filmFund raise your film's budget with NFTsThese are just some ideas. I decide to throw my hat in the ring and created an experiment. I minted a few NFTs for my first short film BROKEN and some "legacy NFTs" of the first ever filmmaking tutorials ever uploaded to YouTube. Here is the description of one of the NFTs.This NFT is called Muzzle Flash Breakdown and is one of the first filmmaking tutorials to ever be uploaded to YouTube. It was uploaded on August 28, 2006 by filmmaker, author and Indie Film Hustle Podcast host Alex Ferrari from his 2005 award-winning short film BROKEN. It was taken from the best-selling DVD of the film. That DVD was one of the first indie short films to ever create a massive collection of tutorials and making of videos that explained how to make a low-budget independent film with off-the-shelf software and digital consumer cameras. This is part of a limited series of filmmaking tutorials that were uploaded to YouTube from the short film BROKEN. All the videos were uploaded and released on the same day in 2006. The external link attached to this NFT will show the original upload to YouTube.Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFPoBZY5BrAWhen you purchase this NFT you will also gain access to the short film BROKEN, the entire collection of tutorials and commentary tracks via private link and passcode. You will also receive the original QuickTime file that was uploaded to YouTube.To access my NFTs go to: www.ifhnft.comI released three of 6 of the total filmmaking tutorials I uploaded on YouTune back in Aug 2006. If these sell out I'll upload the rest and maybe some of my other popular short films I directed over the years. I wanted to give you an example of what an independent film NFT looked like and this is totally an experiment to see what happens.Maybe I'll never sell an NFT, maybe I sell them three years from now or maybe they will sell out in 15 min. Who knows. What I am excited about is the potential of what this could mean for the indie filmmaking community.In this episode I break down everything you need to know about NFTs, how to make money with them and more. Enjoy!
Today on the show we Pen Densham. Pen is a successful award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director, with an extensive track record in film and television. He is responsible for writing and producing some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters, such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Backdraft, Blown Away along with some of its longest-running television series including The Outer Limits.Starting with his first job in show business, riding atop a live alligator for a theatrical short film made by his parents, Pen decided to leave his English school system at age 15 and has since spent his lifetime in the business of entertainment, selling films and television series, as well as hiring, mentoring and collaborating with A-list writers along the way. His latest film is Harriet, which he is the executive producer of.Pen's latest project, Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing and Not getting Eaten was written with one clear goal in mind: to write the kind of book he would have loved to have read when he was starting out as a writer-filmmaker. Pen is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California's prestigious School of Cinematic Arts."Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create."- Albert EinsteinI had a ball speaking to Pen about his time in Hollywood, what it was like to screenwriter/producer monster hits and his screenwriting philosophy on how to make it in Hollywood.Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Pen Densham.
Linda Nelson began her career as an international investment banker, IT executive an entertainment real estate developer. After meeting Michael Madison, she pivoted into the movie business finally realizing her artistic potential. As an Executive Producer on NSYNC, she quickly realized that she was interested in being more "hands on" and was the DP for her next film, SHIFTED.As a Producer on DELIVERED she was finally able to gain experience in all aspects of the financing, development, production and distribution phases of moviemaking. In 2007, she co-founded Indie Rights with Michael Madison and has been active in distribution every since. Indie Rights now has a diverse catalog of more than 1,200 films and exhibits annually at Cannes and AFM. The company enjoys direct relationships with all major streaming platforms.Enjoy this conversation with Linda Nelson.
Hollywood Directing: How to Choose the Right Lens for Your ShotOn today's episode, I wanted to give you a sneak peek of one of the best selling filmmaking courses on Udemy right now, Hollywood Film & Television Directing Masterclass with former guest and master film instructor Gil Bettman. On the show, you'll hear a lesson on how you can AMP UP your static shots by the choosing the right lenses.Enjoy!LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODEBuy This is Megon iTunesHollywood Film & Television Directing Masterclass (EXCLUSIVE 50% OFF)Indie Film Syndicate Membership - First Month FREESPONSORSDirecting Actors Master Course – (30% OFF – CODE: HUSTLE)Get Your Film on Netflix, Hulu & Amazon & Keep 100% off the Revenue - DistribberHollywood Camera Work: Mastering High-End Blocking and Staging (30% OFF – CODE: HUSTLE)Werner Herzog's Filmmaking MasterClassAaron Sorkin Screenwriting Master ClassFreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)KILLER RESOURCES!!!INDIE FILM SYNDICATE Filmmaking CommunityIFH's Online Film SchoolSix Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!To share your thoughts:Leave a note in the comment section below.Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.To help the show:Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or via RSSFilmmaking ResourcesFilmmaking Hacks: Filmmaking Master Course Directing Actors Film Workshop USC Film School's ONLY Online Course: Directing the Actor