Every once in awhile, I get sent a story that blows my mind. The story is a 17-year-old 1st-time director shoot and sells her first feature film (that was shot on 16mm Film) right out of the gate.
How that hell does that happen? Well, may I introduce you to Kansas Bowling, the director of the feature film B.C. Butcher. Inspired by the likes of Russ Meyer, Annette Funicello, and Roger Corman, Kansas and her friend Kenzie began writing a script in high school about a tribe of cavewomen being stalked by a prehistoric monster.
The film is unique in many ways, being a horror flick and a comedy, featuring live music, gore, gags, and campy historical inaccuracy. Because of this, immediately after shooting, “B.C. Butcher” caught the eye of Lloyd Kaufman (see Lloyd’s interview here), legendary producer/director and founder of Troma Entertainment Inc. Troma acquired the film for distribution.
Kansas remains fully committed to shooting 16mm film, Super 8mm film or 35mm film and making features and videos for the cult genre. Sit back and enjoy this wonderfully inspiring interview with Ms. Kansas Bowling.
Alex Ferrari 0:40
Now guys, every once in a while I get a call or I'm contacted by a filmmaker that really truly inspires me. And this girl, her name is Kansas Bowling is remarkable. And I brought a tear to my eye when I heard her story. She's actually a 17 year old filmmaker, who at the time made her movie her first feature film at 16 years old. But get this she actually shot it on 16 millimeter film. That's right film guys. Can you imagine? So she so we had a 16 year old director shooting her first film, which is called bc butcher. And I'll let her explain to you the story which is fascinating. It's just a fun, fun story. And I love the story of how she got distribution for her film her first feature film. It's such an inspiring story guys, I really wanted to bring this story to you She is just, she's just wonderful. I really really loved this interview with her. And it really is inspirational for for all of us older guys out there trying to hustle and trying to get our features made. This little girl just showed up and she's like, you know what, I'm not gonna shoot this on an iPhone. I'm gonna shoot this on 16 millimeter film, by the way, no experience with 16 millimeter film. So she actually had to learn a whole lot of stuff, had to get special deals at photo cam had to go find the gear, which was not easy to do, and all sorts of craziness to get her vision made. But she did and she's an inspiration to us all. So please enjoy my interview with Kansas Bowling. Kansas. Thank you again so much for being on the indie film hustle Podcast. I am very excited to have you.
Kansas Bowling 3:03
Thank you so much for having me.
Alex Ferrari 3:05
So the audience knows this young lady is a 17 year old director who created a amazing movie called bc butcher. So can you please tell us what bc butcher is?
Kansas Bowling 3:19
Bc butcher is a 16 millimeter prehistoric slasher film is it's the first slasher film to be set in prehistoric times. And and it features cameos by Kato kailyn, Rodney being in heimer and Kadeem Hardison, and really really great cast with a bunch of girls Flinn cave women, Natasha halevi Leilani Fiddler Devin Leah, Molly Elizabeth braying. Parker love bowling, it's my sister. And live musical performance by the ugly kids nice band.
Alex Ferrari 3:57
Nice. And they're in and just so you guys, so you know, a little bit of trivia Kaito kailyn used to be my next door neighbor. Believe a nice very very sweet guy and he was always nice to me and your
Kansas Bowling 4:13
Kiddos are really really great guy.
Alex Ferrari 4:14
Yeah, absolutely. So how'd you come up with this crazy idea? Cuz obviously it's, it's insanely awesome, but I want to know how you came up with it.
Kansas Bowling 4:23
Um, me, me and my friend Kenzie Givens when we were in high school. I was just 15 I think she was 16 we came up with the idea it was it was just that at my house and I I said we should make a like a caveman movie just because it would be cheap and we could just like go on the bushes and film things and then she said it should also be a horror film. And then we just came up with that the idea on the spot. And I started writing it. It's
Alex Ferrari 4:52
like I mean, because it's, I mean as as as horror movies go, it is pretty unique. What I love about your story is that not only is you know obviously the movie itself is you know very fun you're having a lot of fun with the genre and you know just having a good user having a good old time but you're that you're so young is another thing now a lot of young there's a lot of young directors out there I've talked to to kids that they're like you know, I've been directing since I was 12 I'm like shut up just shut up. You know, it's like it annoys me because I I couldn't even touch a camera a real camera it was much much older. But what made it so interesting when you when you contacted me is that you shot on 16 millimeter. So I want you to tell me why 16 millimeter and then we'll get into some technical questions.
Kansas Bowling 5:44
Well, I really, really fell in love with the 16 millimeter just because um, especially movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and then and then just like, a lot of like the low budget 60s like especially early 60s movies, and when they're shot on 16 they just have like these really vibrant colors like like there's one called The Undertaker and his pals and Color Me blood red Shi Shi freak, things like that I just got these really crazy colors. And I mean, it's probably a bunch of film stocks that aren't even around anymore, but still, it's just what I really wanted to go for. And also, I just think it's really important to shoot on film, just because people don't really do that anymore. I mean, there are like a lot of big movies that still shoot on 35 but 16 kind of gets forgotten about and I don't think it should be because it's it looks really great and I just think it's really important to maintain that.
Alex Ferrari 6:46
So it was an aesthetic choice. Because you just love 16 like I've shot I've shot I've shot eight millimeter Super 816 35 IMAX is the only thing I haven't shot in my career. So I remember I had a bowl I had an airy bl back in the day, my own and with the crystal sync so we have audio and the whole ball of wax. I know a lot of people listening to this are going What is he talking about? What is this? There's a film so that's what I caught my eye that would really not only your youth and this the obviously the nature of the story, but that you're a young person who loves film and wants to maintain it. So I have to ask Where did you shoot this by the way?
Kansas Bowling 7:29
In my dad's backyard in Topanga Canyon,
Alex Ferrari 7:32
okay, so you shot it here. You shot it here in California. Yeah. So you have um, where did you develop this? Like I want to know the workflow like how did you so people understand what what a difference it is shooting on 16 as opposed to shooting on on a digital format. So people understand what you've gone through at your also at your age?
Kansas Bowling 7:56
Well, first I had to go through Kodak, which is really works. They just have this location sound like like fountain? No, no, like Highland and romaine, something like that. And so I had to go to this big warehouse and pick up this big box of film. And I went there recently to get film for music video. There's nothing there right now really crazy. It was just like, just like, instantly been gone. But yes, I knew I had to go through them. I did get a big box of film. And they were really nice. And even though I wasn't a student, so I was out of high school. They still you know, got me like student hookups and stuff. And they're really supportive and how I wanted to shoot on film, so I got it from them. And I wasn't the cinematographer on my film. I had a cinematographer Richard Samuels. He has he had a SLR to just heavy duty 16 millimeter camera.
Alex Ferrari 8:53
I shot I shot with the ASR three. So that was what the digital timecode hardcore.
Kansas Bowling 9:02
Yes, so. So, you know, Richard shot it and everything. But then once we, once we shot everything, and I did take it all to photochem in Burbank to get it developed. And then after that, you have to do a telephony to be able to edit it digitally, because we edit it digitally. Because, you know, people don't really edit on film anymore. That kind of went out like 20 years ago. Right? maybe longer. And then, yeah, so that's scanning it, putting it from film to digital. And then that's how we have the finished product. But what right now I'm trying to do what I'm in the process of is trying to get it back to film to to screen it on film, but that's gonna mean that's a ruffler easier process. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 9:48
So let me because all of this has a substantial cost involved. So what was the budget of your film?
Kansas Bowling 9:54
Alex Ferrari 9:56
give or take
Kansas Bowling 9:58
it well, it was all Besides the money I raised crowdfunding which wasn't a whole lot It was just my savings so I didn't I tried not to keep track really just because I didn't I don't like knowing how much I spent
Alex Ferrari 10:14
you'll make a fantastic producer one day
Kansas Bowling 10:19
I'm just because you know it was a gradual just like you know over times kept spending money
Alex Ferrari 10:26
it wasn't something that was done over a weekend this was a long process really
Kansas Bowling 10:29
over like two years just because there's all these unexpected costs I kept popping up and then like you know, I get the rights to the song I use in the opening credits like I actually bought the rights for our value by the Hollywood Argylls 1960 is about I had to drop a lot of money on that but
Alex Ferrari 10:47
it must have they must have been very happy
Kansas Bowling 10:49
yeah but yeah, I think overall is probably close to 15,015 grants
Alex Ferrari 10:57
Yeah, yeah I mean in a lot of it was filmed cost obviously now i'm sure photo cam gave you a good deal and Cody Yeah,
Kansas Bowling 11:04
they're all really helpful. Yeah, but it was I raised 1700 crowdfunding probably like 1500 after that like what they took out but besides that it was all just money I raised waiting tables and stuff.
Alex Ferrari 11:17
God bless you You are God bless you man. Seriously, you're like you're like the poster child for like an entrepreneurial filmmaker at such a young age is is fascinating to me. But let me tell you something I was wants to also the youngest person in the room and it does it does eventually you're not so you can um so so with with 16 well first of all how did you even get exposed to shooting 16 millimeter was it just purely by watching the movies you loved growing up?
Kansas Bowling 11:51
Yeah, and also I mean I was sort of like a super eight camera so but I took there's there's this really really great resource in Los Angeles the Echo Park film center and I've taken a few classes there just how to shoot 16 million even though I didn't shoot the film in my movie just how to shoot rolexes and stuff like that and how to develop your own film. So
Alex Ferrari 12:17
I develop your own your own 16 millimeter
Kansas Bowling 12:21
Yeah, they do. Yeah, I took this one really great class there how to do in camera effects on a bolex because you can you know like rewind camera double Yeah, double you shouldn't you can make titles and stuff inside the camera. It's crazy.
Alex Ferrari 12:36
You know, this is such a lost art. And again, that's one of the reasons why I wanted you on the show because so many young filmmakers have no understanding about what film could do as an as as a tool to tell stories. And that's why JJ Abrams and Chris Nolan and antenna Tarantino are all fighting to hold on to film as not the mainstay, but at least an option you know for me because there are things you can do in film that you still can't do digitally. Whether that be like something as fun as double exposure or other things like that that just just has a different aesthetic to it. I love film but you know the I can only imagine so basically you shot and you had no idea if you got it or not until you went to development you Did you have a video system
Kansas Bowling 13:23
No Oh Jesus you don't
Alex Ferrari 13:25
even have a video you were literally shooting like the olden days like you literally had no idea like okay, I think maybe all right let's move on.
Kansas Bowling 13:36
Yeah, actually yeah, so I shot this movie and I've shot four music videos too before and just the last music video I did was the first time I ever had it video going to sing I didn't even know you could do that
Alex Ferrari 13:52
wow this is god this is amazing technology Yeah, that's awesome. That is awesome. This is it You have no idea how warm and fuzzy I feel right now because it's like that's what I shot I shot my first all my demo reels on 35 mil because there was nothing else you know, and there was so much so expensive. So I was just wondering about how the process was so then you edited what on Final Cut or on Premiere? avid on avid. Okay, so you transferred everything to what like a 1080 p file or
Kansas Bowling 14:25
that that's where I don't know anything. Got it.
Alex Ferrari 14:28
I just went over got it. Yeah, I geek out sometimes I apologize. So you transferred it, you transferred it to a digital file, digital files, you edit everything down. And now you're trying to digitally output it back out to a film print.
Kansas Bowling 14:42
Yeah, it's expensive. Very expensive. Yeah. But I just have to make like one answer print and then once I make that I can make cheaper prints off of that so it'll be worth it. Just Just so I have something physical that I can screen places and eat I mean, it's not like there's gonna be a high demand for theatrical release or anything but right just just just for me I really, really wanted.
Alex Ferrari 15:06
Well why don't you try? Why don't you just do a DCP of a digital DCP? You know what a DCP is digital cinema package. Yeah, yeah, I mean, and then from there just have it bumped up to a 35 millimeter print. You don't have to do an answer print.
Kansas Bowling 15:19
The problem is that with 35 millimeter it would be twice as expensive with
Alex Ferrari 15:25
Kenny even output to 16 that's the thing like oh, because that's why you need the answer print because there's just no way to scan out to 16 Mills
Kansas Bowling 15:32
Actually, yeah, cut the negative and apparently is like one negative cutter left in the entire world and I talked to her the other day, and it's it's all
Alex Ferrari 15:42
God bless you seriously, I'm like, I'm exhausted. And I'm not even making the movie. Like, like your determination with film is is is inspiring. It really, really is. So take me through your strategy of crowdfunding and how you got money around this because obviously this is a very unique story. You know, 17 year old girl wants to make a movie about a What is it? It's a slasher film and the prehistoric times and 16 millimeter film, like that's really, you know, you throw a one legged hooker in there and you've got a movie. Now I'm joking. That's a Sundance favorite right there. But um, so yeah, tell me your process of how you like went after your fan base, like how did you build a fan base? And how did you like kind of crowdsource them in crowdfunding? How'd it work?
Kansas Bowling 16:31
Well, for crowdfunding, I actually really did not have a strategy. That's why I didn't really reach my goal, okay. Because it was just after I shot the first scene, I did like a little promo was the first thing I ever really did. So I was pretty naive about things. So I just thought, Hey, I'll put this online everyone's gonna throw money at me.
Alex Ferrari 16:53
Maybe Maybe 15 years ago, but not so much.
Kansas Bowling 16:57
So but I mean, what I did, I put the campaign online and then I went to Monster Palooza, the horror movie convention in Burbank and I just I made little flyers, little handmade fliers and I pass them out to people of Scott I made a movie give me money. And I gave one I gave one to Devin faraci who writes for on birth movies death, it's like a horror website. And so he wrote an article about it. And then from that, then all these other people started seeing it and giving me donations and stuff. So he was kind of the first person to give it any exposure. And then from that Fangoria wrote an article and I started getting donations from like France and like China and it was really weird. But I ended up raising 17 $100 I was trying I was trying to raise Yeah, it's a lot of money I'll try to raise 10,000 but at least I did that and I got a lot of exposure and a lot of attention for it. So that was that was really helpful it at least started a fan base somewhat.
Alex Ferrari 18:06
Now how did you get like Cato and in the rest of your cast involved like how did you contact them?
Kansas Bowling 18:12
Um, well actually so Rodney being in Homer's in the movie he's someone I I just met not not really through the movie I just met him and he's really good friends with Kato so somehow that happened got it I got I got Rodney in the movie and then it got Kato and the movies. Yeah run run. You helped me get Kato
Alex Ferrari 18:33
got it. Yeah, it was all it seems like you just kind of going by the seat of your pants here. There's just like, Hey, I'm gonna go make a movie. Yeah, I'm just gonna make a movie. Let's see what happens. Oh, yeah, sure. Let's put this guy. All right. Yeah, cool. We'll do that.
Kansas Bowling 18:50
Pretty much. I was an ugly kid. That band and I just I put up fliers at a Meebo record saying, Do you want your music in a movie? Send your music to this email. And I got like, like 10 different techno bands, which is not what I wanted. And then I got the ugly kids. So I was like, Okay, you guys can beat it.
Alex Ferrari 19:11
You really, I mean, that is what I what I find fascinating, and I hope people listening to this podcast get is the inspiration of someone from your generation. A young person is hustling hard to get their movie made. And then you have obstacles in front of you that you've imposed on yourself by shooting 16 millimeter, which is like if I personally if I went on to shoot a 16 millimeter feature film right now. I just can't even comprehend it. Like I'm like, Oh my god, what would happen? It would be so much because I know what to expect. And I think your innocence has helped you dramatically. Because you had no idea what you were kidding. Am I right? Is it like that? That's the brilliance of what you're you've been doing. It's kind of like you're just like, I'm just gonna go make a 16 millimeter. You have no idea how to do it.
Kansas Bowling 20:04
I'd say so but but at the same time I do it all again.
Alex Ferrari 20:07
Right? Exactly. Because you love the process. Yes. Yeah. Love the process about it. So, um, so can you tell me a little bit of about some of the technical challenges with shooting 16 millimeter besides not having a video assist?
Kansas Bowling 20:22
Um, well, I mean, we didn't really have much of that there was one day where we ran out of film and we didn't know it.
Alex Ferrari 20:33
You just heard that you didn't hear that?
Kansas Bowling 20:36
Yeah, we just didn't catch it. We just kept shooting so there's, um, there's one character in the film who dies I'm not gonna say which which girl but we shot a whole chasing before she dies and we didn't get any of it. So we just had to kind of cut away and cut back to her dying. Oh, that's I mean, Oh, well.
Alex Ferrari 21:02
It happens it happens
Kansas Bowling 21:03
around it. There weren't really that many technical stuff. Yeah, not many technical troubles. I mean, just just like the normal stuff that doesn't really have to do with film like there. You know, we got like, wind in the sound stuff like that. I don't know.
Alex Ferrari 21:21
Yeah, no, it's just just just general production stuff. Yeah. So as a director, no, first of all, what made you want to be a director?
Kansas Bowling 21:30
Um, you know, I'm not even really sure I just I've wanted to make movies ever since I can remember Really? I remember being like, I was like, seven years old and I I mean, me and my sister my friend we would like play Charlie's Angels and stuff. I
Alex Ferrari 21:49
mean sure. Charlie's Angels the movie not the TV show.
Kansas Bowling 21:53
Yeah, to be honest, yeah.
Alex Ferrari 21:54
Fair enough. Fair enough. I just needed to clarify that for everybody. So the guys yeah, the guys are my age okay last
Kansas Bowling 22:06
but now I like the TV show. TV show was awesome yeah yeah then when I was seven that's gonna kill bill came out I know that probably makes me seem very very young. It's okay. Yeah, me and my sister we would always pretend to play Kill Bill we got big samurai swords and so I've just always loved movies my whole life and that's always what I wanted to do. Now,
Alex Ferrari 22:29
do you have any Do you have any training did you go to school for it other than the Echo Park stuff? Or did you just like kind of self teach yourself?
Kansas Bowling 22:36
So no, no, I haven't had any just like those classes I took on how to how to like shoot 16 millimeter that's that's pretty much it.
Alex Ferrari 22:45
And you just kind of went out there. I was like, I'm gonna go tell a story. Yeah. That's awesome. Scott, I mean, seriously, that's so that's so amazing. I hope I'm not gushing too much. I really it's just I feel I'm just so happy to hear you know, a young person like yourself doing all this. It's it's pretty crazy. It's it's pretty crazy. Um, now what are your idols? filmmaking? idols growing up like, would you what directors Did you just like, I love this guy's work, or they love this girl's work.
Kansas Bowling 23:14
Here's a story. I think I think it must have been when I was 11 years old when I fell completely madly in love with Quentin Tarantino.
Alex Ferrari 23:27
Like his movie or the person. Oh.
Kansas Bowling 23:31
And I met him when I was. I just turned 13. And I asked him to marry me.
Alex Ferrari 23:39
Oh, my God. That's so amazingly sweet. Go ahead. And what acquitting do, he said something like, Oh, that's so sweet. Maybe when you're older. Something like that. Fair enough. Yeah. Um, how did you meet him? Where did you meet him?
Kansas Bowling 23:57
I stalked him all the time. I just found out where he was going to be screenings and stuff. And, you know, one of my premonitions came true. He was at something that I actually thought he was going to be at. And, you know, dreams came true. You basically
Alex Ferrari 24:10
so you basically stopped putting, that's it. I know many people on listening to the show would probably would want to do the same. So don't feel bad at all.
Kansas Bowling 24:22
Yeah, I've seen him recently, too. And I've told him about my phone. He's just such a nice person. And he remembers me when I asked.
Alex Ferrari 24:31
That's so. So then. So what did any other films that like kind of like when you saw what was like the first film that you saw, like, Hey, I'm going to be a director after this. I gave you the idea. Because we all like as directors we all have that one movie that we see and just go, Oh, that's I'm going to be a director. Do you have one of those?
Kansas Bowling 24:52
I don't, it must have been because I think I started really, really wanting to make movies. Once. I saw Like the cheaper movies and like oh my god I can do that
Alex Ferrari 25:03
yeah oh the low budget the low budget kind of stuff just even stuff
Kansas Bowling 25:08
I don't know probably was like in middle school like 12 or 13 I think like trauma movies which is crazy because no one movies a trauma movies just stuff like Class A new compiler and rabid rabid grannies Toxic Avenger yeah Toxic Avenger i didn't i don't think i saw that one till later though I think I saw really weird trauma movies.
Alex Ferrari 25:28
That's kind of like an oxymoron weird trauma
Kansas Bowling 25:31
I know like i did i didn't see Toxic Avenger. But I saw things like night beast and really bizarre, obscure trauma movies that nobody's seen, like, just the weirdest ones. But even those even those movies that are just so bad, like I just thought they were amazing. Just like they have no plot don't make any sense but just have like, the slightest sort of merit like like there's pretty colors in one scene or there's like a pretty looking girl and it just makes it so good somehow, and I love it so much.
Alex Ferrari 26:02
So let me ask you then how would you great great leeway into this. Um, how did you get hooked up with trauma films? How did they How did Lloyd find you discover you if you will.
Kansas Bowling 26:12
I actually reached out to them because I because I've always loved trauma and actually, like, a year before I shot my movie. I was in New York and I took a tour of trauma because it says on their websites that they do tours. Sure, sure. I like rang the buzzer. There's like a little buzzer to get in there. Like Who is it? It's like I'm here for the tour. They're like what tour? tours. And so they took me off and Michael hers was there. Like, like nobody's been on a tour here in two years. No one asks for tours. No, and they just had like some intern like, walk me around. He's like, well, this is where we work. Here's our kitchen. Here's your here's Lloyd desk he's not here right now. And he they took me to the basement they're like okay,
Alex Ferrari 27:01
okay, stop right there. They took you to the basement of trauma films. Oh my god this is gonna get this is gonna get so much better.
Kansas Bowling 27:09
Like they're just like, they showed me where they keep all their their 35 millimeter prints and like, we can't stay down here too long. Because like there's rat poop or something. And he's like, sometimes people who come down here have to wear the Toxic Avenger mask so they can breathe better. Here's some of our posters for films that are never released. Oh, it was just a really, really surreal experience. I have a photo of me sitting at Lloyd's desk, which is the most bizarre desk ever. There's just prosthetics and dead bodies and trauma flyers are it's an experience
Alex Ferrari 27:48
so I was gonna I was gonna tell the audience for those who don't know who Lloyd Kaufman is and trauma films. Lloyd is one of the original, independent filmmakers. He was he came out with a movie called Toxic Avenger. Back in the 80s, which I saw when I was in high school, and Newcomb class of nukem high and things like that. And he built an entire brand around his his kind of movies, which are very distinctive troma. And then he became very famous by going to the Cannes film festival every year and just creating a ruckus every year and a lot of attention for his movies. And was it God what is that Kabuki mat is a kabuki magic
Kansas Bowling 28:31
Kabuki man, NYPD?
Alex Ferrari 28:33
Yes, Sergeant Kabuki man's one of his guys. And I think dolphin boy, or something like that, if I remember correctly. It's it's fascinating. And I plan on having Lloyd on the show. In the coming weeks. I've been talking a lot we just trying to get scheduling done. But I want Lloyd on because he is the he's one of the originating independent filmmakers. And he is and he's launched careers like can't even believe do James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy who wrote and directed that started off with Roma and a bunch of other people. So just for people just wanting to kind of give a little context to people who are listening, right who trauma is. And then that was the other part of the story when you contact me that Oh, yeah, my film just got picked up by trauma. I'm like, oh, guys, this is amazing. I got I got to hear the story. Alright, so So you've taken the tour now now what?
Kansas Bowling 29:22
Yeah, and I remember I, I was talking to this, this intern that they're making me like, take me around. I was like, Yeah, I love trauma movies, and I love the movie waitress which was like a really early trauma movie. And he's like, What? You like that movie? And he's like, hey, Michael, like Michael hers. He's like, this girl likes the movie waitress and Michael goes white Why? It's so funny. And then they're just like, I think Michael said like, give her some stuff like,
Alex Ferrari 29:55
she likes waitress give her some posters, some hats.
Kansas Bowling 29:59
They gave me a They give me a quote like an all these autographed posters and all these all just all this weird trauma memorabilia. And then this one guy, he he gave me a bar soap. I don't know why he just put it into my bag. He's like here you can have this too. It was really bizarre.
Alex Ferrari 30:19
Like, I would expect nothing less from the basement of troma films. But we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Kansas Bowling 30:37
Anyways, that has nothing to do with how Trump picked up my phone. I
Alex Ferrari 30:40
don't know it's wonderful. We're storytellers here on the income.
Kansas Bowling 30:46
Anyways, I was amazed because it was it was quite an experience. And I went around I told everyone that story and it was just really funny. And then a year later, I made this movie. And the day after we stopped shooting or it might have been like the day we ended production I sent an email right over to Lloyd Kaufman just like on the trauma website. And um, I just said like, Hi, my name is Kansas. I I took a tour last year. I don't know if anyone remembers
Alex Ferrari 31:17
that from that person who took it last year.
Kansas Bowling 31:19
I'm that weird person that took the tour. I made a movie. It has Kato Caitlin shot on 16 millimeter and it's caveman I gave him the whole spiel. And then then Lloyd contacted me immediately saying like, I'll be in LA Let's have lunch and a couple days. And then and then so I went to lunch with Lloyd Kaufman. I wore my Toxic Avenger t shirt Of course. We went to a Mexican restaurant in Venice and he gave me more trauma stuff. And then I just told him about the movie and he was so nice. Just one was the nicest person ever and he was wearing this little bow tie and it's what
Alex Ferrari 32:03
Kansas Bowling 32:04
Yeah And yeah, he was just so nice and supportive and said he wants to work with me and um yeah, and then trauma ended up releasing the movie. It
Alex Ferrari 32:16
hasn't been released already or is it going to be released?
Kansas Bowling 32:18
It's gonna be released early 2016 Oh, that's Oh yeah, we're getting all the promotion stuff together right now we're making the trailer right now as we speak. Okay.
Alex Ferrari 32:28
Yeah, that's that's that's awesome. That's That's an awesome awesome story. Again, you hustled you you love you love you You saw the company that you wanted to work with? You made a product that was tailored to them and then you contacted that company. It's not brain surgery. It really isn't but you did it and you have we have no idea how many filmmakers don't understand the simple concept of what you've done and that's something I want to clearly state for everybody there's so many filmmakers who who just like I'm just gonna go do this I'm just gonna do that but you had even this small plan that you did have it kind of all kind of worked out it's not like you had this mastermind plan but at least you kind of understood like okay well I'm done with this movie you know who I think will like this trauma and I want to go after this company and and you were able to do everything and
Kansas Bowling 33:20
yeah, I think in that case, it helps to be a fan of the genre you're in because if I if I just made a horror movie and I didn't like horror movies I would have no idea what trauma was you know it helps to really have a passion for what you're doing as a
Alex Ferrari 33:33
filmmaker and as an artist I think that's a very wise statement to stay say yeah, I mean like yeah, if you make a horror movie you don't know whore that's not probably gonna be a really good horror movie. Yeah, as a general statement.
Kansas Bowling 33:44
Got to know who your audiences God, you have no idea
Alex Ferrari 33:47
how much I preach that on this show. And on my website, like understanding who your audience is, and you clearly understand who your audience is, you know, trauma, trauma fans are going to love bc butcher. Like there's no question you know, but
Kansas Bowling 34:02
in trauma fans and horror fans, also very forgiving audience that's why I think it's best to start in horror because myself included I will watch any horror movie no matter how bad it is. It's very, very forgiving audience.
Alex Ferrari 34:18
Right? You know what, you're absolutely right. They it depends also who it's coming from. If it's someone like, you know, they'll they'll crucify Eli Roth, but they will not
Kansas Bowling 34:28
have a budget and they have no excuse. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 34:31
and they have experienced even less so. But I don't think anyone's gonna be lobbying, you know, grenades at you anytime in the near future. I think I think you're safe for at least another few years, at least. Yeah. Fingers crossed, fingers crossed. Just keep doing what you do and you'll be fine. Now what's next? What are you going to be shooting next and are you shooting IMAX? Oh, no, I'm joking.
Kansas Bowling 34:54
I'm kind of taking a step down. I'm, I have a plan. I don't know if it's entirely possible. But my next movie I want to do it in all eight millimeter super eight I want to do a straight up yeah it's probably going to be the exact same price of 16 which is kind of bizarre since it's supposed to be a step down just because you have to pay it pay for it in increments like two and a half minutes that's it that's all they make the roll of film for super great and you're
Alex Ferrari 35:19
working with super eight in Burbank.
Kansas Bowling 35:22
Y'all probably use like spectra pro eight. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 35:25
yeah, bro. Yeah, those guys. Do you know what? I'm talking about the guys in Burbank the super eight guys? Uh huh. Yeah, they're I've I've shot super, I used to own a super eight camera I still on a super eight camera. That's what's on my on the cover of my website. It's me holding my super my Russian super a camera, which is brand new. It's been used. I've used it on a music, a few music videos and I shot in the early days I shot some of my commercials with it. So I'd love super eight. And I love those guys, those guys are really, really good at what they do. And they're very niche. But now they do 16 as well. Like but with their specialized cameras not like old rolexes or Aries or anything like that they have their special 16 you know, then they have the cartridges and stuff like that. So your next goal is going to be shooting a super eight feature. Uh huh.
Kansas Bowling 36:14
Yeah, I already have the script written and everything. I'm trying to get it. I'm gonna try to get a budget this time because I don't want to spend my own money again. Which I think I could maybe do. You should
Alex Ferrari 36:25
you know, I hopefully this podcast will help you get a little bit of attention for what you're trying to do. And hopefully people can support what you're trying to do because you know, I'd be interested in seeing a separate feature film because there hasn't been a separate feature film.
Kansas Bowling 36:41
Like since pink flamingos was that super eight no it's eight millimeter
Alex Ferrari 36:46
was pink flamingos eight millimeter Mike
Kansas Bowling 36:52
yeah this is gonna be
Alex Ferrari 36:54
super worlds different though from oh no the technology he told
Kansas Bowling 36:58
me see butcher I mean Oh yeah, yeah. My next film I'm it's gonna be like those like late 50s early 60s like pseudo educational films all directed towards parents but this time it's going to be about what your teenage daughters are doing like that. You don't know. But it's gonna be like totally fake and
Alex Ferrari 37:20
you must do you must have like come back as a soul from the 50s I certainly got I because you're like deep into like I understand completely we talking about those things? Yeah, like the duck and cover in depth. Or the weed one the weed one what was that called? The weed one.
Kansas Bowling 37:37
Alex Ferrari 37:37
reefer madness which is absolutely brilliant. Yeah,
Kansas Bowling 37:41
there's also Mary Jane there's another Mary Jane, another of the 60s one. Really? This was the 30s one
Alex Ferrari 37:48
I mean that is just brilliant. Like the horrors of smoking pot
Kansas Bowling 37:53
Yeah, it's gonna be I don't know if you've seen there's these really terrible awful movies called faces of death
Alex Ferrari 37:59
oh my god I look I hate
Kansas Bowling 38:01
them so much but it's gonna be kind of like that where there's going to be like a professor like a narrator sitting at a desk Oh very official like this. Like this Justin we have footage of your daughter's right now like that I don't recommend that movie to anyone but it's going to be like that.
Alex Ferrari 38:17
So for the audience I'm going to clarify what faces a death is because that is from my time I worked when I was working in my video store. I know you I know Kansas you have no idea what that is. When I was working in my video store our best my three the three top renters were Pinocchio Scarface and faces of those three and and faces a death is a was a series of movies. I think it was I don't know, when it was created originally might have been the 70s or the 80s. I think 70s and then they made more than he faces up to three, four.
Kansas Bowling 38:56
I think there's seven of them.
Alex Ferrari 38:57
Yeah. And it's basically just scenes of like, you know, people it's really I cannot even want to get into it's just really kind of really disgusting live things of people doing some animals stuff, which is horrid and it's repulsive. It's absolutely repulsive. Yeah.
Kansas Bowling 39:18
But it's what I want to do in a sense, because it's a pseudo documentary, like you don't know what's real and what's fake, right? Except instead of actual gore and fake Gore, I'm gonna have you know, just, you know, happy teenage girls instead. Is is something a lot lighter, a
Alex Ferrari 39:35
little bit lighter than faces at that, but using that, but using that kind of like a narrator. format. Yeah, that format makes Yeah,
Kansas Bowling 39:41
like the early mondo, mondo, hollywood mondo, Tino you know? mondo, Mondo Cane Mondo Gallardo, all those ones.
Alex Ferrari 39:50
Wow, just I'm so impressed. Like, you know all this stuff like you're like a mini You're like a mini female Quentin Tarantino. Wow, I think like, you know, like so many of these kind of more obscure films, you know, like look if you if you say like you impressed trauma with your prowess of trauma films, they're like waitress watts. So you've you've gone deep down that rabbit hole and
Kansas Bowling 40:20
though I recommend the waitress,
Alex Ferrari 40:24
not the Keri Russell waitress, which was a Sundance favorite later, this is an earlier trauma. Trauma waitress is the
Kansas Bowling 40:30
bizarre 70s comedy about waitressing.
Alex Ferrari 40:35
I love Lloyd, I really do. I've met Lloyd a couple times. I met him at Sundance a few times him and his lovely wife, and he's just wonderful. He sees he's a character and that's and he did. It is so cool. And a bit of a bit of trivia for everybody. Lloyd is in Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, he is a cameo in the prison scene. James James Gunn gave him a cameo of him yelling and screaming right before the big fight and guardians of the galaxy. So I was like, like, it was wonderful to watch. So I'm gonna ask you the the two of the toughest questions I asked in the interviews. What is the most underrated film you've ever watched? And I'm dying to hear this answer.
Kansas Bowling 41:18
Okay, I got prepared. Okay, go for it. Okay, the Tammy show.
Alex Ferrari 41:24
I've never I've never heard of the Tammy show. Please enlighten me.
Kansas Bowling 41:28
Okay, the Tammy show. Tammy stands for something like teenage music international show something like that. Okay, it was a 1964 American International pictures and they they use the same format of like Ed Sullivan Show or hullabaloo shindig where it's just like cool bands coming out and playing with all the choreographed dance behind them except they made an entire feature length movie but based off of a live performance at the Santa Monica civic. And they have it's hosted by Jan and Dean.
Alex Ferrari 42:02
Just Jan and Dean just Jana did we don't know Janet Dean is
Kansas Bowling 42:06
Jen Jen and Dean the you know oh Janet Dean one person No, no Jan and Dean. Okay. The surf group. Oh, yeah two girls for every boy Got it. Got it. Got it. It features a Rolling Stones James Brown, Leslie Gore, Beach Boys Supremes, just pretty much everybody and it's amazing. And, and Chuck Berry, and it has gogo dancers, choreographed dancing, and it's just the most beautiful performance ever.
Alex Ferrari 42:38
Oh my god. That's, that's a that's an amazing that's like, I think honestly, the best answer I've ever heard. Really, for this for that is honestly of all the times I've asked this on the show. That is one of the best answers I've ever had. And I'm not just blowing smoke up you but it's really like, I want to go see that movie. Now. I'm like, I don't even
Kansas Bowling 42:56
it's just incredible. It's and it's just like every single band just gives like the most amazing performance like Leslie Goro make you want to cry. She's just so beautiful and amazing. James Brown everyone says it's like the best performances in his entire career. He killed it. He killed Yeah, he killed it. And the Rolling Stones close and it's just so great. And people people don't make movies like that anymore. Which and that's also something I went after my super eight movie I'm definitely 100% want to make a movie like this where it's just like a music movie because people do not do that anymore.
Alex Ferrari 43:30
No, it's rare. It's rare because of the world today. Yeah. Now let me ask you a question. Have you thought of doing I know you're doing you know you're you're you're a filmmaker and you want to make features but have you thought of building up like a YouTube channel or something else like a lot of other people in your generation are doing?
Kansas Bowling 43:48
I'm really I mean, I'm doing music videos for people. That's what I do. When I'm not doing like promotion for films or writing films or doing feature so I think that's sort of makes up for it. I don't know um,
Alex Ferrari 44:03
you do you like Do you like doing music videos is a good way to kind of Yeah,
Kansas Bowling 44:06
I really like the one I just did. It's gonna come out soon. I love it so much. I actually feel it's like the best thing I've ever done. And that's how excited I am about it. It's for this la band called kill my co kit. And the singer Natalie Denise squirrel. She's like an actress model. She's gonna be like the next Deborah Harry. She's so cool. And we did this. Like beauty fake beauty pageant music video where she plays five different contestants. We have the judges. It's Sheree curry, Rodney being in heimer and Richie Ramone.
Alex Ferrari 44:41
Oh my God, that's awesome. Now obviously shot on 16 Yes. 16 millimeter. Do you own it? Do you own your own camera or is it something that you have to rent all the time?
Kansas Bowling 44:51
Um, I do own. I like a 16 camp camera, but it's not crystal sync or anything. It's just fruit. If I want to You know B roll I assume for that too. For this music video, I actually use the same cinematographer for my movie. I did just do a music video for a band called citizenship is Canadian band right? I shot it on my super eight camera so I did all this cinematography for that well, and the singer shot some stuff too. So that's another one I did.
Alex Ferrari 45:22
And how are you getting work as a as a director? As a music video director?
Kansas Bowling 45:27
Um, well so far, I did one music video for a friend of mine. She's in a band called Alyeska. And I she, she she's trying to have like a Velvet Underground type sound so I thought I would do a like a split screen music video like the Andy Warhol movie Chelsea girls, just because I thought, you know, that's, well.
Alex Ferrari 45:48
Who are you? And how do you know all of this? Are you a robot that was made out of Tarantino's garage? Seriously? A sub genre of Tarantino I mean, seriously, because he knows all movies. You know this? Like, what? What 19 year old person I've ever heard talks about Andy Warhol his movies, I like
Kansas Bowling 46:10
Alex Ferrari 46:13
I would imagine so I would imagine
Kansas Bowling 46:15
if I just did this music video for her that one was on a bolex and Okay, like split screen half color, half black or white. And then people would kind of approach me after that, like they liked the video, and they wanted me to do them. So yeah, so I word of
Alex Ferrari 46:28
mouth basically at this point. Yeah. You haven't been you haven't found a production company to wrap you or anything just yet.
Kansas Bowling 46:34
I'm looking you look.
Alex Ferrari 46:37
You've got I mean, I wish I had one because I'd hire you because you're fantastic. So am I the tough question. I always ask everyone on the show. What are your top three favorite films of all time? And of course I definitely want to hear the answer to this.
Kansas Bowling 46:53
Okay, um, I have more than three. Go for it. Okay,
Alex Ferrari 46:58
does she keep the list under five?
Kansas Bowling 47:01
Okay, well tied for number one. Okay, is rock and roll High School genius for the Ramones movie, because brilliant Okay, I need to I need to say because okay, because so many bands in the 60s made movies like that where it's like, you know, the band has a story that rockville High School is about you know, like the Ramones number one fan and they come to her high school like every band did that, you know, Herman's Hermits, Dave Clark phi, The Beatles. They all had movies like that. But the Ramones were the last band to do that. The Ramones were the 60s in the 70s and the Ramones are perfect. So that is, that's my choice. Second, number one is Midnight Cowboy.
Alex Ferrari 47:41
Kansas Bowling 47:41
that's excellent film. Just because I think it's a perfect movie, but I know I'll never be able to make a movie that perfect so
Alex Ferrari 47:47
I never know my Do you know?
Kansas Bowling 47:51
It's too perfect. Okay, okay. And then also, okay, Russ Meyer, of course. I love all these movies my two favorite of course faster pussycat Kill Kill and super vixens because they're just outrageous and cartoonish and just every what I love so much about them. It's just how he's able to create a cartoon in real life. You know how every every single aspect of his films are just so completely, completely cartoonish. Just, of course, you know how they actresses look even just like a little boy's fantasy. And yes, yes. Okay, I have a few more go for spider baby.
Alex Ferrari 48:36
I've heard I remember spider baby. I remember that name. I remember that name. I haven't seen it. But I remember the name please tell me what it is.
Kansas Bowling 48:42
Spider baby is the most it's just like a really touching horror movie. And it has Jill banner who was like, like a Sunset Strip scenester who somehow landed a role in a film and that was like kind of the only thing she did. And then Lon Chaney, Jr. Beverly Washburn, the little girl from Old Yeller, and Sid Haig, and they're like this family that has this weird disease called the Mary syndrome, or that once they hit puberty, they slowly digress into homicidal maniacs, and then eventually they turn into these weird cat people. What? But it's like really touchy, and it actually makes you cry, and you really love
Alex Ferrari 49:23
All of these movies. Like we just keep getting Avenger movies like they're aware. That's interesting.
Kansas Bowling 49:31
I know. It's so good.
Alex Ferrari 49:32
It's so it's it just sounds like a good Friday night or Saturday night out like that movie like that.
Kansas Bowling 49:37
Yeah, it's, it's so it's so good.
Alex Ferrari 49:41
Kansas Bowling 49:42
Okay, and then Lord love a duck.
Alex Ferrari 49:44
Lord, love a duck.
Kansas Bowling 49:46
Alex Ferrari 49:48
Another one I've never heard of go ahead.
Kansas Bowling 49:49
My one of my favorite actresses in the entire world Tuesday Weld. Baby Queen at the beatniks that's her nickname. Okay, Tuesday, well Albright Roddy McDowall, Ruth Gordon. And it's like a parody of beach movies made in the 60s. But it's also like our super dark, violent comedy with a really, really cool theme song. And then this really bizarre scene it's most famous for this one really weird scene where she tries to seduce her father by putting on all these sweaters and it's it you just have to see it's it's very strange.
Alex Ferrari 50:25
Where do you see these movies? Like how do you this is all VHS because are they have they been released on DVD?
Kansas Bowling 50:32
Yeah. That I'm pretty sure it's on DVD somewhere I got I didn't get that one on VHS, though.
Alex Ferrari 50:37
Because I'm sure it's a little harder to find. These are not your standard iTunes fair?
Kansas Bowling 50:42
Yeah, yeah. Okay, the mic and then every single like beach party movie, every single Elvis movie, anything from crown International, or American International or new world pictures there
Alex Ferrari 50:56
Yeah. Then we can start getting into some
Kansas Bowling 50:58
Roger Corman, he's huge idol. And another one? Yeah, so many idols. I can just go on for days.
Alex Ferrari 51:07
That is awesome also one of the best answers to that question ever. as well. So you did your homework. Well, my dear, you did a fantastic job. It's im, in awe honesty, I'm actually in awe of your prowess in in film history of your genre, and of the movies you love. And that the passion you have for what you do, as an artist is all you could ever ask for. You know, it, honestly, so many filmmakers today, from your generation, and from up to mine and older, they're trying to figure out what's hot, what's new, what's going to get me the deal, what's going to get me this. And very few people are passionate about what they do specifically, and just want to make movies because they want to make these movies because that's what they want to express as an artist. And you are the definition of that. So you, I'm being honest, you are the definition of someone who loves what they love is unapologetic about it, and has such a reverence for the material, that their movies have to have that kind of love and passion in it. So I look forward to seeing all of the movies you come up with in the coming years. And I'm not trying to compare you to him. But the last time I heard someone like this was Terran, Tino and I'm not gonna say he's like you or the same, but someone who had such reverence for obscure movies, because a lot of the stuff you've said is completely out of the norm out of the mainstream, obscure movies that are gems, and there's so many gems out there 1000s of movies that are being lost, even nowadays, because they just can't no one's taking care of them. Tell Lloyd to make sure he takes care of his damn library. Because I mean, get him out of the damn basement with the rats and tell him to do something real with it. I'm gonna yell at them when I get them on the show, I swear. So thank you, again, so much, you have been an absolute inspiration to me. And I hope to add to our listeners, you've Eve. I hope you continue to make your movies the way you want to make them. Don't ever let anyone else tell you differently. Just Just make what you want to make. And if you can make a little bit of money along the way, all the better. But I wouldn't be cool. That would be cool. So you can kind of make a living doing this. But keep doing what you're doing and nothing but good things will come out of it. I guarantee you. So thanks again so much. And oh, by the way, how can people find you? That's very, very important. How can people find you and support?
Kansas Bowling 53:42
Well, there's a basically butcher Twitter page, you can find a bunch of updates on it just the LBC butcher Twitter, or just follow anything. Troma says troma has all the news for the film, you're gonna have a trailer coming out soon. I don't really have a personal web page right now.
Alex Ferrari 53:59
But just we will talk about that when we get off there. Use a personal web page. Okay, and do you have any other way of content? Do you have like a Patreon account yet? Do you have anything where people can like support you and support what you're trying to do?
Kansas Bowling 54:17
Um, again, feel free to email me I'll give up my email. I really don't care. It's it.
Alex Ferrari 54:25
I'll put it in the I'll put in the show notes.
Kansas Bowling 54:27
Okay, yeah. [email protected].
Alex Ferrari 54:31
Okay. Yeah, people can just reach out to you. Absolutely. And I'll put I'll put that information in. But thanks again, Kansas, so much for being on the show. You've been you've been an absolute joy. And I hope I hope this podcast helps you out and get some more attention for what you're trying to do. Cuz you are a rare bird in these parts nowadays, so thanks again.
Kansas Bowling 54:53
Great, thank you so much.
Alex Ferrari 54:55
Well, I'm inspired. I don't know about you guys, but I definitely am. Kansas really shows the true definition of the word hustle at such a young age she is definitely hustling hard to get her dreams to come true and and get her career off the ground and you know God bless man she is she was great and I just love that she had this amazing knowledge of and wealth of like she's basically like an encyclopedia or Google for the her genre of films that she went so deep down into she's like the Tarantino of her of her world of her the kind of films that she liked. She was spitting out movies I've never even heard of, because they are really deep in the archives of film history. So I was so impressed with her and I wish you Kansas if you're hearing this, I wish you nothing but the best in the future. And you are true inspiration to all filmmakers, getting their movies out there and hustle and heart. So thanks for keeping up the fight and inspiring all of us. So now guys, don't forget to head over to filmmaking podcast calm, that's filmmaking podcast, calm and leave us a good review hopefully, or an honest review of the show it tremendously helps us out tremendously and helps us get ranking higher in iTunes and gets more years and eyeballs on indie film hustle and gets the message of what we're trying to do out there and help more filmmakers survive and thrive in the film industry. And guys By the way, we will be doing a course on actual film making real filmmaking I know it's amazing. We're going to be doing a course on 16 millimeter filmmaking and 35 millimeter filmmaking I know a lot of you going well that's currently crazy when no one shoots film anymore Well Believe it or not, there is a lot of people that are starting to shoot film I've been working on projects that were shot on Super 16 which is a very popular format because of its cost and its ability to be transferred up to HD and to to k fairly inexpensively and and the cost and the look is really good they shot Black Swan on on it as well as the wrestler there and Erica Huskies two films because of the static so it it's never going to be film's never going to go back to where it was as the dominant format but it is a format that I think will stick around for a long while and it does have its benefits guys and you know and you've never shot film it is it's a fun it's a fun format man I love that love shooting it but anyway guys so just give you a little tip on that that's that's coming down the pipeline in the next few months or so. So thanks again guys for listening so much again if you need to go to the show notes go to indiefilmhustle.com/059 to get all the show notes to talk about everything that we've talked about in this episode. Keep that hustle going, keep that dream alive, and I'll talk to you soon.
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- Kansas Bowling – Official Site
- Troma Entertainment
- IFH 065: Lloyd Kaufman & Troma: How I Make Money Selling Movies