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To Film and Die in L.A: Micro-Budget Misadventures with Adam William Ward
Today on the show we have writer/director, Adam William Ward. His new film is called Wally Got Wasted. I brought him on the show to discuss the crazy misadventures he had shooting guerilla-style in the City of Angels, Los Angeles. L.A. is probably the toughest city in the world to shoot a guerilla-style film. His stories are not on filled with knowledge bombs but are entertaining as hell. Here’s a bit about the film.
“Wally Got Wasted” is like “The Hangover” meets “Weekend at Bernie’s.” It follows the adventures of 3 friends who accidentally kill a scumbag, then screws up getting rid of the body, so they are forced to pretend he is alive as they are chased through downtown LA in one crazy night.
Enjoy my entertaining conversation with Adam William Ward.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Industry Jump
- BlackBox – Make Passive Income From Your Footage
- $1 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)
- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business
- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: FREE AUDIOBOOK
- Indie Film Hustle TV (Streaming Real-World Film Education)
- Alex Ferrari’s Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story)
REAL-WORLD STREAMING FILM EDUCATION
- Indie Film Hustle TV (Streaming Real-World Film Education)
- Hollywood Film School: Filmmaking & TV Directing Masterclass
- Filmmaker in a Box – Learn How to Make an Indie Film – 18 Hours+ of Lessons
- Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys
- The Dialogue Series: 38 hours of Lessons from Top Hollywood Screenwriters
- Filmtrepreneur® Podcast
- Bulletproof Screenwriting® Podcast
- Six Secrets to getting into Film Festivals for FREE!
- FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)
Alex Ferrari 0:02
Now, today on the show, we have Writer Director, Adam William Ward, and he has a new film called while he got wasted. And the reason I want to bring him on the show is because how he made this film, they made this film on a very, very low budget. And they they made it look really really good. They shot with an Alexa. They made it you know they did it on a budget but made it look really good in the film, while they got wasted is basically the hangover meets Weekend at Bernie's. And they shot it not in a production friendly environment. They shot it guerilla style in Los Angeles, which is one of the more difficult places to shoot guerrilla, a full feature film with that kind of, you know, footprint as possible. So that's why entitled this episode to film and die in LA. Because it is it's amazing his story of how he got the movie made, how they're doing it and also the distribution model and what they're going to be doing, they're going to be self distributing the film, they decided that they're going to go down the self distribution model path. So it is a very eye opening episode to say the least and funny as all hell so I think you guys gonna be really, really entertained. And there are some knowledge bombs dropped in this episode without question. So without further ado, please enjoy my entertaining and enlightening conversation with Adam William Ward. I'd like to welcome to the show Adam William Ward, brother. How you doing?
Adam William Ward 4:00
I'm good, man. Good to be on here.
Alex Ferrari 4:01
Yeah, man. We hooked up actually. I think it was this. We were at Holly shorts. And I was I screening This is Meg there that night or not?
Adam William Ward 4:12
I'm not sure to be honest with you. Because I did not catch you in your screening. I caught you in the lobby.
Alex Ferrari 4:18
I might have been afterwards or something like that. Yeah.
Adam William Ward 4:21
Daniel and the other guys who run Hollyshorts introduce me to you. And then yeah,
Alex Ferrari 4:26
Yeah, yeah. And then we run into each other at AFM and in other places. So it's a small it's a small small town. So before we get into your movie in the ridiculous story, and how you made it, how did you get into the business in the first place?
Adam William Ward 4:44
Um, well, I mean, I was doing theater in high school and I like they named an award after me the a ward award. I was successful in high school theater. And so that builds
Alex Ferrari 4:55
You're huge in Japan like you're huge in Japan. You can't even walk the streets in Japan.
Adam William Ward 5:01
It was important because it builds confidence.
Alex Ferrari 5:03
Of course, of course
Adam William Ward 5:04
Like, and then I went to film school and hpu Hawaii Pacific University wasn't really film school. It was like a visual calm degree. And then eventually I made it to LA and I was like, What the heck do I do? And I was on a session on a plane ride and accidentally sat next to Jimmy Schmitz and Jimmy Schmidt,
Alex Ferrari 5:22
Jimmy, Jimmy the Schmitz, really?
Adam William Ward 5:25
The actor Yes. And he told me, he convinced me to go to an acting school, on Meisner acting school. And so I went to that acting school and then I just really dived in acting 100% from there, and I acted in was 11, short films, and oh nine. And I was a lead in three indie features in 2010. And two of the indie features never saw the light of day, I mean, they never even finished, you know, they had, I mean, one of them, I played Jesus in the head, like a whole boat on the ocean, and like waves and wind and rain and the movie never gonna finish, it's still never seen the light of day.
Alex Ferrari 6:05
Anytime I hear stories like that, just just it makes me so sad. So much work so much money, so much resources, and I've seen them I've seen those movies myself.
Adam William Ward 6:13
Yeah. And so after that experience of being in those features, and none of them turn, some of them not coming out, and some coming out not being the best. I was like, I gotta, I can't keep running out this just as an actor I have to take, I got to wear some other hats. And so I raised the money to shoot a TV pilot. And then everything fell apart. And then I was like, hold on, I'll write something. And I wrote it. And I ended up directing. It's called three guys in a couch. It's on amazon prime. For now, it's a TV pilot. And that was like my introduction back into filmmaking. You know, I had like, I had, I had a short film I made in college, which was horrible. And I had a god so I like I was showing it to people in the industry. It's horrible. And, of course, I was met with the Hank. Because I worked at DreamWorks the first day I moved here Actually, my brotherhood.
Alex Ferrari 7:08
Not a bad Not a bad gig is that when you land,
Adam William Ward 7:11
I got like, I got very lucky. I met with Mark Graziano. He's the head of post production there. And he basically just it was just a meeting and he was like, You seem really cool. We need some help around here. You know, we got Transformers Indiana Jones, like disturb you. Like, why don't you stick around and help? I was like, Okay, and so I worked there for like three months just running dailies of like, heartbreak kid, and like all these other movies, and I was in the editing bays on Disturbia. And watching Steven Spielberg like walk by it's like, my first month in town. You know, it's like, it's so cool. And they get free lunch, they get free lunch at DreamWorks. It was it was a big deal for me at 23 solid. And then from there, I went and worked at Warner Brothers. For Todd Phillips got directed hangover. I didn't know it's on hangover. Um, and I just was so excited about that script. They were really excited about another movie called man which which never came out. But hangover. I was like, hangover, hangover, hangover, and you read the script, you read the script before the movie came out. I read the script before the movie came out. I gave notes on the movie, I ended up in my notes. I heavily like cut a scene that ended up getting cut in the movie, which is great. But um, yeah, it was it was a great experience. But at the same time, it was like what am I doing? I need to go act and and then I met Jimmy Schmitz on the plane actually before after those jobs. Oh, yeah, it was that was that and if so, oh, fast forward to three guys in the couch. I made that and then from three guys in a couch someone at Fox all three guys and characters as a TV pilot I did and totally independent. And they brought me in and I was like, so excited. I was on Fox lot and they were like, Listen, we'd love to develop a new show with you. And I was like, Okay, sounds this is this is great news. You know, so I came in every week you know, I didn't sign anything I just went in and they they were developing ideas with me and like saying you know you should I like that idea. Go with that.
Alex Ferrari 9:13
So hold on a second but you had no representation at this time you did representation? I don't know. So you literally based on some dudes word at Fox. You're walking in and pitching ideas and developing something with no paperwork. No money. No nothing. You were just so excited to be on this lot. You would do anything
Adam William Ward 9:34
like kid absolutely excited. Yeah, like 2524 years old. I'm like dude on Fox. They want to develop a show with me I'm telling all my friends you know like this is a done deal in my head. You know? Nine months I drive No. No. given them idea after idea. The guys probably count as boss on my ideas every day like I came up with this idea.
Alex Ferrari 9:58
Nine months. She did this?
Adam William Ward 10:00
Nine months, nine months old, a couple different scripts for them. And one of them the one I was most excited about was parole officers and they were excited about it too. And so they he's telling me, we I think you're gonna get a million dollar budget for the pilot episode and let's set up a table read for all the exams,
Alex Ferrari 10:20
No contract, or nothing, do nothing have any data they bought you coffee? Have they ever done anything for you?
Adam William Ward 10:28
That that I remember. So anyway, but they did not know was I was taking all these scripts, and I was copywriting at home. So I owned everything. So at least I was covering my ass and he was somewhat smart. Like, nowadays, I'd be like, well, let's get a contract.
Alex Ferrari 10:46
You know, that's a napkin, a napkin, something, anything.
Adam William Ward 10:52
But when you're green, and you're young, and you're excited, you just go in a box every day it was was such a big deal to me. And so, you know, so from there, the table read was cancelled the day before the table. And he was like, I'm sorry. You know, we actually have an idea now that similar to that were shocking. That's what he says,
Alex Ferrari 11:15
Adam William Ward 11:16
So I decided well, okay, screw that. I'm gonna go and I'm gonna make it myself. Because first I'm heartbroken for a couple months and then I'm like, I'm gonna go my girl upstairs on my own. So I ended up finding it some independent money and shooting for like five grand, but it's a TV pilot. That's also on Amazon Prime for free for all. Okay, and when we did a lot with a little I mean for that little amount of money it looks pretty legit and pretty exciting. I'm you can just type in Google parole officers trailer and the trailer pops right up, it looks great. Um, and it was kind of my playground. You know, it was really well, I learned a lot about how to make film. And I mean, I had film school, but it doesn't really compare because film school you have a bunch of people that don't really want to do it. You know, with these at least I had enough to hire a crew up I had a first AC I had a grip, a gaffer, I had all that stuff. And so you can really lead people down in direction. So three guys in the three guys in account and parole officers I both got to do on my own. I directed to other short films that somebody brought me on to direct so that was nice, just for experience. And, and I was still acting in a lot of stuff and auditioning for stuff. But yeah, eventually, I think it was 2014 we started writing the rough draft for gorilla or for while he got wasted, which is the feature. And while he got wasted if nobody knows, it's about three regular guys, they're gonna have a night out on the town to cheer, the heartbroken guy up. And they accidentally kill somebody. And they have to get rid of the body all in one night in LA. So that is the premise of the movie while he got wasted. It's like hangover meets Weekend at Bernie's. Got it. So we wrote it in 2014. It took about a year to write it. And then and we want to we actually won in Pittsburgh Film Festival best script in 2013, I think or 2015. And then, with the script, again, you have these heartbroken things where you go to studios and you try to get it made legit. And you know that fairy tale kind of a fairy tale, this old fairy tale. And we actually had Sony really, really interested in it. The head of post production there, she was like, Oh my god, I'm looking for a script to jump into producing for years. This is the script I love. This script is phenomenal. I'm going to bring it to all the executives at Sony and we're gonna make this movie. I said, Well, I want to direct it to when she was
Alex Ferrari 13:46
Have you not seen parole officers? I mean, have you not seen? So it's on Amazon.
Adam William Ward 13:53
She was so excited. It wasn't at the time. She was so excited, calling me two three times a day for a month. And then eventually, nothing. Just total cut off. And she was going to meet the executives the next day. I don't know what happened there. You know, it just got cut off. I kind of know what happened, but I won't get into too much. But needless to say they didn't come through. So we were like what are we going to do? So we decided to raise the money on our own and shoot and shoot while we got wasted. So we sold units to the movie and and raised some money not as nearly as much as we wanted to. And we I we shot the whole movie for 70 grand. So I mean it's we only had 40 grand in the bank. And we had 30 grand we were supposed to get from my partner, my business partner and writer partner Seth. He had somebody in a bad business to rob him of like a lot of money and so the 30 grand that he was going to put in was gone. So literally I was like I can shoot it for 70 grand. And he found out he lost that money the first day of shooting while he got wasted And so he found out the very first day. And so he like, it's funny the photos, the videos of him everything. He's, you can tell he's having a nervous breakdown, like, like, take a photo on like half an eyes open, you know, like, he's literally like the wheels are turning because he thinks he has to talk to me that night and tell me we shut the movie down. So he eventually comes to me after you know, the day of shooting is over for 1213 hour day. And he says, Listen, man, we have to shut the movie down. I don't have the money. And we still have 40 grand in the bank. And I said that nothing in the world could shut us down. I said, I've already done all the work, everything's done. I said, we just have to stay true to the course now. I said, we'll put it all on credit cards. We're not gonna shut down. Nothing's gonna stop us. So that's what we did. And we ended up we shot 38 in 22 days.
Alex Ferrari 15:53
So that was like an Alexis well, right.
Adam William Ward 15:57
Yeah, I mean, I pulled up a million dollars to $750,000 worth of papers. Really. I mean, we had Arri Alexa, we had cranes. We had jib arms. We had good 310 grip truck. We had the whole crew from the TV show Teen Wolf came over on our movie. I mean, the movie looks like a studio movie. Everybody who sees the trailer everybody sees the movie, they assume it's a studio movie. They don't think it's an independent movie.
Alex Ferrari 16:26
I know the trailer looks insane. I mean, it looks really really good. When I saw it. I was like, Wow, this looks the production value is there. You can tell it's it was done by professionals. But one thing I want to I don't want you to skim over is that you said you pull favors, but you pull those favors, because you built those relationships over the years, right?
Adam William Ward 16:44
I've been here. I've been in LA since Oh, six. And you know, everybody sells this dream of like making it overnight. But no, I've built a lot of relationships, a lot of goodwill. There's a lot of people that support me and know that I'm never going to give up. And so all those people come to the table when you really I mean, it's my first feature while you're wasted is my first feature. So they they come to the table and they really support you they know, you know, the grip truck guy. I was one of the guys who didn't even know me. And he's like, it's your first feature. Don't worry, I got it. Like the deal he gave me was insane on the grip truck. And it was just like, he didn't know me and he was like, it's your first week. I get it. Like, people want to help. People are supportive. And you know, people really do want to help. Especially I mean, LA I got lucky I met a lot of great people, but especially in small bunkie towns. I mean, you say you're making a movie. I mean, if you're listening to this and you're in like Nebraska, like everybody around you is ready to help you. You know,
Alex Ferrari 17:42
I've had people on the show like that one one that did it in Africa, I think it was Kansas. goodland tans Kansas, the whole movie was about the town. goodland. And but it was like this kind of like, you know, no country for all men style movie. But all in, in this town. And it was like and he got the production value. He got a red box deal. He got a theatrical for it. It was like it's, and it cost him I think like 100 grand, but everybody like, his mom was catering it. And the whole town knew it. It was insane.
Adam William Ward 18:18
It's amazing how people they want to support you. They want to help you but I mean, the truth is the movies only as good as your talent. How much you make sure the scripts right? Make sure yes. Like, the more I do this, the more I realized, if you don't make magic on the day, the days used, you know, like literally, I mean, we had a few days when we made magic A while ago wasted a lot of people love the movie. Don't get me wrong, but and that's why movies shoot one page a day, three pages a day, it takes that much time to make something magical. You know, you go home and go Wow, that was amazing footage we got today that needs to be every single day. Because you need to make magic every single day. You know, when you're entertaining people if you if you want to be on the bar that I want to be on.
Alex Ferrari 19:06
Right exactly on that Spielberg bar and that Nolan and Fincher bar
Adam William Ward 19:12
That and it's a lot easier to do when you have a lot of money. Because you have more money and you win. Money equals time. And so if you don't get good footage in six hours, you just keep shooting this, you know, because you have enough money or you plan it, you know, so they're already planning so they have so much time to shoot the scene
Alex Ferrari 19:33
And also support crew.
Adam William Ward 19:35
Yeah, exactly. My movie, somebody is wearing three hats. You know, I'm wearing six that's alone, you know, but like my you know, one person might be doing costume and props and makeup and something else, you know, like, and they're not getting paid what they deserve. You know, no one's getting paid what they deserve. So if you have any problems, you know if you feel your worth is not being met. You know, you're not gonna work as hard as you can. So really, it's it's a labor of love. It's you know, everybody involved, it has to be a labor of love.
Alex Ferrari 20:06
And you also acted in the film.
Adam William Ward 20:09
I do act in the film. I'm one of the three leads. Yes.
Alex Ferrari 20:11
So you're not only a cameo, but a lead, and you're directing and producing and you wrote it and few other hyphen, it's, I'm sure. Yeah, cast it everybody. About by the locations? Mostly? Yeah, I mean, a lot of stuff. So how do you I mean, on a budget like that, on the speed, that turnaround that you did, how do you direct and act because I look, I was in my movie for five minutes, at literally a screen time in my last movie, where I had to play myself, unfortunately. And it was like, I'm trying to direct them, like, Do I look good? Am I okay, it was brutal. So I can't even imagine what you did. So how do you do that man?
Adam William Ward 20:54
I think, you know, for a long time, I was just acting. So I mean, that's the thing, I have enough experience with acting that I'm pretty good at it at everything that I like 300 cats or parole officers, I'm also leads to nose. So I have experience acting and directing. I kind of worked my way up into a feature acting and directing. But I mean, it's not an easy hat. I mean, you're sitting there acting with somebody, and behind the camera might be a cop or security guard, like asking, where's your permit? Like, you don't have, you know, and I'm still like, acting lines, as I like, I'm thinking in the back of my head, like, I have to go deal with this problem. Right, is take, you know, but at the same time, and that's the thing, too, is I, I can't give myself as much time as I give other people I usually take the last take, and I go, I'll do it in one take, you know, because it saves time, you know? And so I mean, I'm lucky, you know, people love like my acting in the movie, there was an England review that like, compared me to Jason Segal and praise my acting a lot. I'm so thankful for it. But to me, my opinion is it's it's not really my fullest acting ability at all I would, I would have been way better of an actor if I could just focus on acting in the film, but my life is what it is. And you know, you get a deal with what you got. So I feel your brother, I
Alex Ferrari 22:13
feel Yeah. Now, what is the biggest lesson you took away from making while I got wasted?
Adam William Ward 22:20
I mean, kind of knew it going in the biggest lesson, which is like, you just got to do it. You can't, you know, don't take no for an answer. It's so many people said you can't do that. What you're what you're trying to do, you know, clubs, fast food, restaurants, trains, cars, bars, every location imaginable. So many people said, Listen, you need to slow down and you can't do this for the amount of money you have, you know, you can't. And I I've always just press my luck. And always, I'm one of the luckiest people you ever meet. I tell people that all the time because I am positive thinking as positive results. I mean, that is kind of the outlook of it. And that's the thing that I learned it was it was proof in the pudding. I mean, we made it.
Alex Ferrari 23:04
So now what is the biggest fear you had to overcome when directing this film?
Adam William Ward 23:12
Oh, I don't know that I look at it. I have time for fear. Day. I mean, you know, there's no fear. I mean, that's the thing is that I'm the captain of the ship, you know. And we eventually had all together probably 100 people work on the movie. I have no time for fear. I have no time for doubt. I have no time for any of that stuff. I'm sleeping two hours a day, on average. Because after 12 hours of shooting, and then straightening up, where we're shooting, helping what everything I everyone I can working 15 hours a day. And then when I get home, I have to try to go over the next day and make sure there's no problems and really start trying to take care of those problems. And I mean, we had all kinds of crazy problems. I mean, emergencies every day, you know, then if the producers that come on board can't fix it comes back to me. You know, I've been like the cave location. We shooting this gigantic cave up north in California. They called us the day before and said you can't shoot. Okay. I'm like, we have a whole crew and a drivetrain. Like I'm coming tomorrow, like we're shooting. They're like, well, the cave didn't get finished. Sorry. The women didn't get finished. It was was it a real cave or set? It was it was so they dug in the ground. So half the cave is real. Dealing. It's fake. So half the breaking cave of Styrofoam. So we couldn't shoot in one direction. We're not painted. It's white, you know? So they basically go You can't come You can't shoot, I go, we're shooting and we're coming. And I had to figure it out. I went there and I was like, okay, we're going to shoot the whole scene in one direction. The whole scene so, you know, we cheated and no one knows when they watch the movie. No one's mentioned at once, but they're facing same direction, we just lighted it a little different, you know, so there's different because there's texture to the cave. So if you light a little different, looks different. So people that are talking to each other, the backgrounds the same, but it's different, you know, and no one's ever noticed, you know, so we got lucky with that. But there were so many other emergencies, too, we had, I think the the hardest stuff was shooting. I think the biggest thing I did learn is I need more support, but I need a good producer that can try to shield me from problems. So I focus more. And we had a lot of emergencies, we unfortunately had a crew member had a son overdose, man. So you're dealing with that upsetness, with the family dog guide. There's all this external stuff that makes things really hard on you. Because I have people calling and crying to me all day, every day. And I'm usually the people that come to people that they come to when they're upset. And I can't be that I can't take on any more hats. So I can't be there for my actor whose son died, you know, I can't I can't even take that in mentally, or emotionally. Because the time I spent thinking about that, or even taking that in, I will not be thinking about problems that we have on set that I need to solve. So it's just such a focus, you know, you really need such a focus, and but you really just need proactive people that can spot problems before they come. And if you had like two or three around you, you're you're really better off and don't get overwhelmed.
Alex Ferrari 26:32
Now, what's the craziest thing that happened on set?
Adam William Ward 26:36
To crazy? There's so many crazy stories. Um, I was I mean, almost every day, I was convincing security guards and cops to let us shoot. Because we have permits in some places and some places we didn't. So I mean, there was one day we were at a casino. We had no business at a casino.
Alex Ferrari 26:53
We didn't have a permit at the casino. No. Oh, Jesus. You are nuts, man. Like I've I've shot crazy places. But I don't walk into a casino and shoot that with an Alexa no less. It wasn't
Adam William Ward 27:05
in the casino was outside of casino. Here's the thing I got going for me. I got a grip Trump and I got a grip truck. 310 grip truck, I got a crew with 30 people. And everything looks legit. So everybody assumes I'm supposed to be there. It takes a while. For security to get up call the higher ups and higher ups. You got a good 30 minutes at least before they really realize you're not supposed to be there. Because you look so legit. Right? And I took full advantage of that. And we're at the casino and the security guards come up. We've only been there 3040 minutes. We're already shooting I'm shooting. I'm actually shooting my shot. I remember and behind the camera. The security guard goes up somebody goes Hey, what are you guys doing here? We need to see your permit you know and David Lee while writer dye guy drew drove the grip truck shot the behind the scenes was shot off still photography, he will normal numerous ads. He goes to the copy goes, Oh, we have a permit. I'll find it for you if you want like and they both the security guys go. If you don't have bro, we don't even give a shit. And they left. And I was like they're like of course you guys belong here. I'm sure we'll keep an eye out for you make sure nobody bothers you guys. I'm like, is really it's is a union crew. So you have cops security guards coming up to you every day asking if you belong here. Now my crew is a deer in headlights. They'll stop the freeze oh my god as a cop. So usually I'd run up talk to the security guard. And what I would normally say is Hey, how's it going, man? How long you been on shift today? Right on man? You gotta look like you had a good lunch, man. That's awesome. Well, you have a wonderful day, man. I'm going back shoot. Alright, see you enjoy watching us make a movie. I go back to the crew, the crew
Alex Ferrari 28:57
This is before they come in. Now this is a different day. No, no, but this is like before they would approach you or you see them coming and you just hit them first
Adam William Ward 29:05
nice bottle. I usually if I spot them before we started, I'll go up to them. Because the crews like oh my god. security's looking at it. Go up to the security, I'd say something like that to the security. I come back to the group. Oh, we're all agree like guys, we're good. They think we have permission. We don't have permission. The security assumes we have permission because I was so friendly and upfront with them.
Alex Ferrari 29:28
Right? You're not trying to hide or steal anything.
Adam William Ward 29:30
I go and say hi. Good to see you guys are like man, we must not get the memo. You know, we shoot for hours that one particular day. hours before anything happened. They ended up calling the higher ups who call the higher up Kevin was trying to figure out who the hell we are. We shot for like three hours before they even noticed weren't supposed to be there. Right. Then the head of security comes I can't say the location but the head of security comes to this place. It's very big company. And he's like Whoa, he happens to come right at the worst possible time. Because someone in my crew is running next to a moving object that's extremely dangerous and not safe. And I would not have had them do it. I didn't want them to do it. But I was distracted looking at a shot. And the DP got excited with the first ad. And they were like, go run, run and bang on the window, you know? And no, no, don't do that. But unfortunately, he did it right when the head of security walks up. So literally had a security walks up as we're doing something that's unsafe, not we're supposed to do. And he's like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, like you need, you need to shut this down. Like, what I don't know what you're doing here, where's your permit, you know, you need a permit to be here. And I literally took 30 minutes to convince him, like, I saved up all my money, that my whole life is in this. I'm shooting a YouTube video that's going to change my life. I can't stay movie, you know, wherever you'd really need a permit for a movie. I'm
Alex Ferrari 30:59
shooting a YouTube video with Alexis and a three ton group chat,
Adam William Ward 31:02
because he actually said that he said to me said, looks like a lot of equipment for YouTube.
Alex Ferrari 31:09
And then you should have to just like, have you seen YouTube lately. I mean, the production quality has gone up.
Adam William Ward 31:15
Eventually, after like throwing myself at the jury, like, Oh, my God, you have to let me shoot here. He said, Listen, you can shoot. But don't go back near that moving object other than go shoot on the statute in the parking lot, shoot whatever. Well, I arrange my shooting schedule fully knowing that we have to do the most dangerous most, you know, not deemed risky, risky, risky shooting first. Because if we get shut down, we could then maybe shoot farther away from the most important location. So I already had shot everything I needed to shoot in that location when he showed up, I want to do one more shot. So we ended up shooting on the steps like it's safe for us to shoot on steps. Okay, we're carrying a dead body. I'm steps like, why would you let us do that. But he had to leave, he had to like another emergency. So it didn't matter. So we shot in the parking lot, we shot on the steps. And then by the end of the night, we were like, okay, we need that one more shot, let's go up and shoot it and then just get the hell out of here. So we went up and shot it. And then by the time he showed up, we were packing up, because they'd call them and said, Hey, they're up here again. But by the time he got there, we were done. We left we were about to leave here in the parking lot lever. So I saw him up there talking to them. And I was like, Oh, they call them for sure. And then just like, we're out by I didn't wave. I didn't wave I just left. But yeah, it was risky business. And there's all that kind of stuff. You know, I mean, like, it was, I'm very good at convincing people are especially on this one, too, to do something maybe they don't even want to do because it really is my whole life at that moment. You know, I put 1000 of my own money in there. And I'm not a rich guy. You know, and just my whole life is on the line. You know, I mean, in the future don't get made. I don't want to try to make another one. So, you know, I, I make my case,
Alex Ferrari 33:06
what I thought what I find fascinating is that you actually stole locations, and got into guerilla filmmaking in Los Angeles, with a large footprint of a grip truck 30 crew members, Alexa, like you did the opposite of what I did, which I shot at Park City, with a small camera to people in my actors running around when there's 1000 other 10 1000s of other people to take the attention away from me, you did the opposite. Like, if you would have came to me and said, Hey, we're gonna steal all these locations Los Angeles, and I was I would have told you straight up as a as a consultant, I would have said, you know, chances are, you're gonna get shut down or I probably wouldn't do that. Well, let me see the list of locations just like it's like it but you only could do it with like one camera and a guy like you can't just have like, roll up there, you know, 30 deep, but you did and it and it seemed to work out for you. I want to go down this road a little bit with the guerilla filmmaking because it's not something I've talked about a lot on here on how to do illegal stuff. And it's definitely that's great. It's great. It's gray area, it's you know, you're not doing anything illegal. It's just
Adam William Ward 34:18
you're allowed to shoot anywhere we're looking. Yes, you are. anywhere if you don't put a beanbag if you don't set things on a sidewalk or somewhere. So if you have someone holding a line or holding a camera, everyone's moving, you're allowed to shoot there, you're allowed to shoot, there's nothing they can do about it. You know, we'll have cameras everywhere they have their phones, you know you can start making rules that people can't have cameras or no one could take their phone anywhere. So really, it's legal what's on what's not legal is when safety comes in. That's
Alex Ferrari 34:50
all private is how private property are they does even matter anymore.
Adam William Ward 34:53
Um, if it's private property, yeah, probably Matters, I'm sure But no, not at the place that we work. Private. Well, I guess other companies. But yeah, so yeah, we're but whatever
Alex Ferrari 35:07
you didn't put you didn't so you only busted out the cranes and stuff when you had permits?
Adam William Ward 35:13
Um I mean, we use the steadycam a lot.
Alex Ferrari 35:18
That's not touching the floor. So you're good.
Adam William Ward 35:20
Yeah, I can't think of any time No, no, we we had Jabbar. Yeah, we grill at some places with jib arms and stuff like that.
Alex Ferrari 35:30
But your your strategy is brilliant, because you're just you're like, literally like, these guys can't be this stupid not to have a permit. And that's your strategy. Like, you were just rolling so deep that everyone's like, these guys have to be legit. They have to be legit. There has to be legit. I mean, if not, they would be insane.
Adam William Ward 35:48
Yeah. Yeah, that's pretty. That was our strategy. I wouldn't suggest anybody.
Alex Ferrari 35:53
I wouldn't either. But it works. In Los Angeles. No less.
Adam William Ward 35:57
It worked because of me. Because I'm, I'm that guy that just says it's gonna work. I believe I'm like, I believe in my luck. And I pressed my luck. Like, as hard as I could press it. I literally like my Lucky Charms box was empty. By the end of the movie, I can feel I had nothing left of luck, all your lives, all
Alex Ferrari 36:15
your lives have been taken out all your nine lives.
Adam William Ward 36:18
They've built up again, you know, but at the end of the movie, I was stuck. We got shut down one day out of all the days one day, you know, we got shut down in my apartment. We got shut down at my heart. All these days grilling these crazy locations. And we're shooting in front of my apartment. It just so happened that we were shooting at rush hour. I was getting laughed at the same time I was getting. I was looking for something I was getting dressed for the next scene. I was very distracted in my apartment. What? We have to try to go under the radar a little bit. I go outside, they're directing traffic on my street. I know they got spotlights on the road, the whole roads laptop lit up like a like who's doing this? My first ad might.
Alex Ferrari 37:09
Adam William Ward 37:10
I didn't talk to everyone about trying to go under the radar a little bit. Now we could have got away with all of that not directing traffic per se. But on top of it. Everyone's yelling. So then the head of the neighborhood rot watches called in my neighborhood. And she's not taking no for an answer. She wants to see a permit. So we're shooting actually we're shooting the most iconic scene in the movie where we walk out in slow motion with Wally, for the first time in public the dead body. And it's just this the slow motion scene with the music. Well, that was shot with literally a woman to my left screaming. I don't want to see your permit. I want to see your permit. So I think at one point, Patrick, actually Mitch, our lead one of our lead guys looks left. He's looking at the lady in the shop. screaming at us. I want to see your permit. If you watch the movie, you might be able to see him glance left. That's what he's looking at. Luckily, the shot has no sound we wouldn't have been able to use the shot. Yelling. We got to take seven I wanted a third take but we couldn't get it there take she was like I went up to her. I talked her I was like oh my god, are you okay? Did we bother you? I tried to get to the root of the problem. So first thing I want to do because if we offend somebody, we bother somebody, I want to make sure that we're not going to do it again. She was not having that. She was like, I want to see your permit. I was like I have somebody go get the permit. She's like if I don't see the permit in two minutes. I'm gonna call the cops. And so I literally had to be like, I guys were shutting down because I know for a fact, we only have two more shots here tonight. Okay, we're coming back here in three days. And not only are we coming back here in three days, we come back here and three days, and I'm shooting people in the movie. I have people dressed as cops. We're not allowed to dress the cops. And I have people getting shot. Like I'm coming back here in three days. The last thing I want is the cops show up tonight and be aware of this whole frickin debacle. So I'm like saying, sorry, we're gonna shut down. I tell the whole crew guys, we're done. Alright, we're back out we'll go next location because they have another location that night to shoot. And the crews like totally salty and pests, everyone's super pest at this point. But I'm like, don't talk to her leave her alone. You know. And of course that my business partner actually was we went out to dinner with his parents. He didn't leave set very often. But he decided he deserved a break or something. He went to dinner. And when he came back, we were shut down. And he had a frickin mouth down. He followed the lady home like yelling at her and like I was like, Oh my god, but it was hilarious because my crew everybody wants to yell at the lady when they walk past her because she's literally on the other between my apartment building and where we were shooting. And like don't talk to her. Don't talk to her and James Babs and the guy who played while you did a phenomenal job. He goes to our way to destroy our thing ever. I'm making this silly goofy comedy, destroy our and he's wearing the full on American flag. He's in the outfit. He's a droid Are you say What did you say? She didn't say anything. What did she say? She felt bad I think after shutting us down saying how disappointed everybody was. But anyway, went to the next location. So when we came back here the next day and we shot the scene where the guy gets shot with a gun and and how, like, did
Alex Ferrari 40:30
you have blanks? Please don't tell me you shot with blanks?
Adam William Ward 40:32
No, we did not. We ended up special effects. We had the same special effects guys that did better actually worked on our movie I pulled favorites.
Alex Ferrari 40:40
Of course you did. Why was it you pull favorites. That was the set favorites. So then but so so then you just had but you still had guns and you had cops guys dressed as cops with guns. Not a good thing in LA.
Adam William Ward 40:53
So the cops eventually did get called that day. But luckily they got called after the cops was over, I got lucky. And that's why I shot it first. And by that time the cops and the guns were put away. So the cop posted up on my street down at the cul de sac. Just you know, like, I don't know, 50 yards, 40 yards from my house, my apartment. And the only thing we had left was all the cars. So we have the SUV we have all these lights pointing in the window. We have the camera strapped to the hood, all things you're not allowed to have without putting it on a tow truck. Right? And how are we going to get out of the driveway and pass this cop. So luckily, there's no lights on my street. So what we did is, we turned out all week, we set up all the lights, they're all pointing in the window, the cameras on the road, we turn out all the lights of the car, okay. And we drive down the street pull out of my drive, when we pull down the street and go around the corner, I get out of the car, I turn on the camera, I turn on all the lights. And then we proceed to go and we shoot we shoot for 40 minutes or whatever we come back to the apartment, a block or two away, I turn out all the lights, I turn off the camera and we pull in and he never saw the camera. He never saw any other than he was supposed to down there for hours watching.
Alex Ferrari 42:09
Just to make sure that you guys didn't shoot.
Adam William Ward 42:13
Well, he was waiting probably for us to light up the street again. Because she told him he was shooting in the street when we never shot in the street. We never went out there. So he's not going to come up to my apartment. He can't do that. So and he never was in a position to see my driveway. So we will go there. You know we we
Alex Ferrari 42:30
hear what you're saying. You're insane. Did you say actually and believe it or not, I had another filmmaker I'm not sure if he was on the show or not. But they were shooting in their house and a neighbor. And they had it was all everything was in their house. Everything was in their house. They had nothing outside it was all lit from the inside everything right? The neighbor calls because they're making too much noise. The cops come and knock on their door, Nick, do you have a permit to shoot? And you la you need a permit to shoot in the house. And they they and they they gave him a ticket. And they had to go to court and it was like $1,000 ticket. And it's like it's LA is no joke man they've made they know knuckleheads like you and me. They know we're going to go do stuff like this. And they're gonna get their piece. That's just the way it is. But so I'm assuming you had production insurance. You had production insurance for all of this, right? Yeah, you had to grip and all that kind of stuff. Did you do sag?
Adam William Ward 43:31
Yeah, we did. I do want to say though, I talked to every single one of my neighbors that are close. Yeah, what we're doing right? Number instead of you have a problem, let me know. Like, you know, and just kind of prepare them mentally. It was like, Please bear it. We're only here two days, you know, and only your one day, one more day. And, you know, they all like kind of knew what was going on. They didn't really like it. But they were like, okay,
Alex Ferrari 43:56
yeah. Because, because that you're guilting your neighbors because if they call the cops, they're like, dude, you got to see me every day. Like, why are you being that way?
Adam William Ward 44:06
I prepped them ahead of time. You know,
Alex Ferrari 44:07
that's a smart way of doing it.
Adam William Ward 44:09
Yeah. And I basically I begged and pleaded before knowing full well, that if somebody gets pissed, I'm screwed. So it was kind of like, Listen, I'm so sorry, we're doing this. But it's just the one day and I promise we'll be done before this hour, you know, so they just had to bear and take it because I mean, 3040 people running around my apartment. Were loud. Louder than than not being loud. We're definitely not a normal night, you know? But they were you know, they were nice enough. They were all
Alex Ferrari 44:38
they were set for that lady except for that lady.
Adam William Ward 44:40
That lady down the street. Yeah. As ever that lady down the street, and nothing else
Alex Ferrari 44:45
to do with her life.
Adam William Ward 44:47
everybody else's do busy with their life. Exactly. But, you know, I mean, you learn a lot, you know, and I also know I'm pretty positive. I was in a different city. I mean, I was golden. Really golden They're gonna say what's going on are your tools, you know,
Alex Ferrari 45:04
we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Adam William Ward 45:15
So, I, you know, again, like I press my luck 100%.
Alex Ferrari 45:20
So I actually when I was at Park City shooting my movie, the cops made a U turn behind me as I shot that it was like, it's one of my favorite shots in the whole movie because they literally are in my movie. They make a U turn. I don't even shift they looked over at us and not because it's Park City. There's 1000 people with cameras running around, like you could do whatever you want during that festival. It's, it was brilliant, but, but I was nervous as hell. But after like day one, I was like, Oh, hell with this. As when we went to we went to Sundance headquarters and shots. Mind you, I did not get accepted to Sundance. So they might be a little perturbed I'm not sure.
Adam William Ward 46:04
By getting accepted Sundance, because you're, you know, they they're so about minorities right now, you know,
Alex Ferrari 46:10
hey, I'm Latino, man. Come on. Now, but you're not a gala. No, I'm not a gay one legged Latino. I need to be a gay, let one legged Latino, who, who really wants to dance, and used to be a woman, and robot all that. But he said, Listen, I put down if you're transgender, and you used to be a woman to get into it, you know what, and and all joking aside, oh, we're joking. For everyone listening. We're just joking. But it is true. If you look at that. I mean, they are all about diversity and getting as many different kinds of people in but I always thought, This is what I always said, like, if you want to get into Sundance, here's a recipe. It's make a woman about a one legged hooker. Who lives who lives in, who's Puerto Rican who lives in the Bronx, she she's a ballet dancer, she's a stripper by day, but she really just wants to dance, you know, and he like that, that gets in. That's a good thing that that
Adam William Ward 47:08
gets in, that'll get it. I'm not knocking it. They're supporting those people. And those people need to be supported. I just knew that while he got
Alex Ferrari 47:17
so much the Sundance movie,
Adam William Ward 47:19
you know, they're not going to a movie about some dead guy running around town. It's not their style, and everyone has their own style. It's all good. You know, you're gonna have to see it on amazon prime.
Alex Ferrari 47:30
So let's talk a little bit about your distribution, man. So what is your distribution model and your plan? And how are you planning to get it out there? Because it is a little bit more unique than usual.
Adam William Ward 47:40
Um, right now we're on Amazon. You don't need amazon prime to watch. You can just watch on Amazon. A lot of people like oh, I don't have prime, you don't need prime just while ago wasted. It's right there on Amazon. Ah, yeah, it's been successful so far on there. But we're not nearly as successful as we need to be eventually. But in about 30 days, we're going to be using aggregator we're going to be on all the platforms will be on video on demand on on Cox on spectrum on direct tv, iTunes, iTunes, Google Play on all the platforms. We're going to be on all the platforms soon. And we're slowly taking over a country by country right now we're in America, and we're in England, and we just got in Germany. And it's all independent grassroots. We did not go with a distributor distributors gave us some offers a few different ones. But ultimately, my business partner Seth Himes is a online marketer, like he's a huge online marketer, and he was excited to do the marketing for this and excited to see the numbers every day and, and analyze what's working and what's not working. And we have a product that looks like a studio movie. So we thought that people would purchase it like they purchase studio movies. And so far, it's been great. I mean, I just told you before this meaning, you know, Sunday alone 60 people rented the movie and and 10 bought it, you know, so just got to keep plugging away and honestly, we need to start trending on platforms and stuff and I'm excited to be on the video on demand because I think when you're new on video demand you're like top 10 on new releases and some edited about that that's just free advertising. Um, and yeah, it's very much a college movie so very nippy in that way. And it's a comedy there's not a whole lot of companies that are good out there. Oh, we have our little niche market and we know it and we're just going for it and it's been great so far. It's been really great. podcast or radio interview like every three four days. Be interviews is what
Alex Ferrari 49:44
But obviously you've been waiting for. For my podcast as a special one. Obviously,
Adam William Ward 49:48
Yours is a big one. loyal fans, you know,
Alex Ferrari 49:54
I have to I'm stroking my own ego. I appreciate that, sir.
Adam William Ward 49:57
You're a great interviewer.
Alex Ferrari 49:59
Okay, stop. Stop, just stop. It's not it's not genuine. I can I can sense it. I can sense it on this show. I know you are. No, no, dude, I know I don't when I heard the story and I saw the video This has been we've been trying to do this for months. God's like six Gods almost he got it's like August. I'll bet you in August of last year when we met. Yeah. And the movie was it was done. But you were just going through all the, hey, maybe this guy will pick it up. Or maybe I could get there. You were still trying to figure it out.
Adam William Ward 50:31
You know, that's the crazy part. And it's like, every step of this way. I'll say this. For all the filmmakers out there every step of this way. There's that dream of like, someone's going to come on board and make. And it just never happened. Every step of the way down making the movie casting the movie. You know, distributing the movie, every single time. It's like somebody comes along and they kind of offer you a deal, but it's not really a deal. And in the end, that is the thing I've learned the most is betting yourself. Like, if you know you're the hardest working person in the room there bet on yourself. I'm not gonna stop until while he got wasted. It's a classic is as a hometown is a classic. People talk about that indie movie while they got wasted. I won't stop until that's the case. And I can bet in myself, you know what I mean? And it's going to be a pure effort of like, I see the numbers every day, people run it every day, and I'm going to get it until it's millions of people. And I won't stop until this. It's it's the hustle, baby. It's the hustle. As Mark duplass says the Calvary is not coming. And then oh, it'll get easier. I mean, like, I got really lucky on this with a certain amount of people. We got the same dp is teamwork. Like I said, we got some great actors. We ketamine nominated, actually, she won a Golden Globe, Sally Kirkland. Larry Hankins in it. He was like, Oh,
Alex Ferrari 51:47
I know, Larry.
Adam William Ward 51:48
I did a movie with Larry. So many things. I mean, he's great. Alec soul came out of retirement. Alex holes in the back room. We did the Russian Roulette scene. I'm not sure if you know, he was phenomenal at it came out of retirement for it was just so great. And I wrote that rule actually for JK Simmons, which is really funny. And I thought JK was going to be in the movie. So I used to have this job. I used to inspect Tesla's right. And I'll tell the story. So I go to JK Simmons house. I'm supposed to inspect his Tesla. They're like, Hey, we I'm like the best guy to inspect the Tesla's at the time. So they're like, we have a job for you. We know you do show business on the side. So we have this Jeff, you say go to Jake Kay's house, right? I'm like, I have to have to talk to JK like I want to try to get him in the movie. And I want to try to talk.
Alex Ferrari 52:39
So how LA is that? That the Tesla guy that's coming over to check the Tesla's gonna pitch JK? Is pre Oscar or after Oscar. It's literally a month after the Oscars. There's just one actor and he's doing and he and he's doing the Allstate commercials Got it?
Adam William Ward 52:58
Exactly. Like go to his house, right. I'm like, okay, I just got to get them. I'm fine with them. I was holding my head up vacates, like, um, here's the keys of Tesla. Here's the car in the driveway. If you need anything, let me know when he walks back.
Alex Ferrari 53:13
As as he should, as he should. There's no other reason to have a conversation with I mean, unless you want to with the Tesla
Adam William Ward 53:21
tech. So I'm sitting there inspecting the Tesla and like, literally, my mind is racing or what the hell am I gonna do? Like, I have to have to talk to this guy. And I can't be weird about it. So what can I do? He's like, y'all done. I'm like, I actually I have to take a drive and we have to take a drive. We don't have to take driving. We don't we're not. We don't take pride. I made this shit up. So I did. Like, do you want to take a driving test? I'm like, I don't really feel safe driving. I think you should drive. I'll ride and just kind of feel how it is. We drove for 15 minutes. We drove 50 you
Alex Ferrari 54:03
had JK in a car for 15 minutes. Okay, everyone listening. You see, this is the personification of hustle. This is like he's just figuring it out. As he goes, Oh, brilliant.
Adam William Ward 54:18
I was so depressed when he went back and said, Oh, my God, like this opportunity is gonna go by me. I cannot let this go by. I'm so brilliant. So I got him in the car. We drove around. He's like, Is that good? I'm like, no. car drives on the freeway. We got on the freeway. so ridiculous. Like, you know, I'm talking to him about how it started. I'm talking to him about music. I'm talking. I'm trying to befriend him as much as possible.
Alex Ferrari 54:47
I'm assuming I hear he's a cool dude.
Adam William Ward 54:49
He's a very cool, dude. Very nice guy. very down to earth. Dude, I got the car with him. I said I have to admit to yourself. I said I watched whiplash last week. I'm a little intimidated. little little scary right now. And he was like he laughed. He was like, Nah, man, you got nothing to worry about. I was like, Well, if I was a way to disarm
Alex Ferrari 55:09
them, way to disarm them right there, look at that.
Adam William Ward 55:12
Like, if I was driving, one of the reasons I didn't want to drive, I figured you might be coaching like in whiplash. And I think I couldn't handle the pressure. And I couldn't laugh again, you know, and it was on there. We were just, we were vibing and talking and stuff. And by the end of it, I mean, we did a video together. I was like, it's my nose. Like when I wanted to do a video with him. We had a ton, you know,
Alex Ferrari 55:31
No, no, you did not do a video with Jake. Is it on video? Yes, I did. Yeah. Okay. So if it's on YouTube, everyone listening and watching, I will put a link or I will, I will embed that video in the show notes. Because that's gonna be genius.
Adam William Ward 55:44
Yeah, I did a video with them. Um, I lied because my sister's birthday was like, five months from that four months. I'm like my sister's a famous singer. I don't know if anybody knows that. zz words. My sister. She's, she's a great singer. But I was like, Listen, I have this idea for a video for my sister. It's a birthday. I don't know if you'd help me. Do he know who she was? You did not know. But um, like, he was just a nice guy. I'm like, I have an idea to do this video for where I sing or Happy birthday. And then all sudden, you interrupt me and start doing the whiplash thing. And like, No, no, do it again. And he was like, he loved the idea. And so we did the video together.
Alex Ferrari 56:24
What like with your phone, like right there?
Adam William Ward 56:27
Yeah, with my phone right there. Yeah, yeah, we did it in his driveway. phone number, and I got him to watch the parole officers trailer. At the time. He laughed out loud when you watch the trailer, which is golden. And I said, I'm about to make my first feature. And he said, you know, well, maybe, you know, maybe we work out maybe I could. Maybe we could do something together in the future. So I literally wrote the scene, the Russian Roulette scene in the movie for JK Simmons. I had a cell phone number at that point. And it just didn't work out for him to be in the movie. He had too many ways so much work, but he was gone. The whole summary was like in Europe for other movies.
Alex Ferrari 57:04
Yeah, I was gonna say I was gonna say the agents would have kibosh that,
Adam William Ward 57:08
oh, agents or were extremely against that he did. But then we almost had Bradley Cooper do the part two, but he was shooting stars born so we can get that either. Jake J. Bradley Cooper is really good friends with James Babson plays Wally. And so they were like college friends and everything. But he's like, dude, Bradley would probably do it for one day, but he can't he's shooting this movie A Star Is Born, which I didn't know how big it was gonna be at the time. It's his first time directing and he's having a baby with his wife. So it was like, there's no way he has the time to do it. But I was I get I've actually got Alex and Alex killed it. I'm super happy that Alex killed it, though. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 57:48
that is a great, that's just such an LA story that said, like, you can't do that anywhere else in the world. Like you can't, hey, I'm just gonna go pick because I've heard so many stories of people like trying to meet celebrities or like you saw that movie living in Oblivion, right that old like 90s, that movies about making an independent film. And the D i think it's the grip or the gaffer has a script in his back pocket the entire movie, or it's either the scripted gaffer, the DP, and he keeps trying to pitch it to the lead actress who's like that one actress who one time was famous as she's now doing into movies back then. It was brilliant.
Adam William Ward 58:24
Oh, absolutely. And the truth is, this is good advice for anybody. Listen, when you meet a celebrity, you can go for the photo. I mean, go for the photo if you want whatever works. But the truth is, this industry is so small, that don't pitch them. Don't try to get them any try to be friendly. That's the number one thing is trying to befriend them. Try to get them to remember your name. Try to make them laugh. Try to make them laugh. I always try to make them laugh. And I wish I knew that when I saw Steven Spielberg, I see Steven Spielberg every day when I went to DreamWorks, he'd walk in with his dog. I was terrified to talk to him because my brother got me the job and it's like, don't get fired. So it's like I can't you know, I can't talk to Steven Spielberg. Well, other than Hello, but I seem like every day, but why are you not like trying to make this guy laugh, like you have a tool, you good at making people laugh? make him laugh, you know? Now I know nowadays, it's like literally befriend these people. And that's what you need to do. Even if you can get them remember your name. You'll see him again. You'll see him again. You know, you see these people again. But befriend them. That's the number one thing if you try to pitch him, everybody tries a pitcher. I mean, shit. People try to pitch me now movie ideas all the time. I can only imagine if somebody else said the movie idea. And they're telling me I'm like, I have 15 movie ideas. I don't know how I'm gonna make all the ideas I have let alone an idea you have. And you don't realize like, any idea I have. I have to be completely in love with it, because it is a labor of love. Oh, you're going to be in it for a couple years. Yeah. So these movie stars. I mean, can you imagine how many people pitch them like they do? not want to be pitched, make them laugh, entertain them, get them to remember your name. And then leave it alone and see him next time or get a photo at the end, you know, if you want, but don't try to pitch them. It's the worst thing you can do. Because they're not everything that's business. They don't want to talk business, their agent talks business. You know, that's
Alex Ferrari 1:00:20
great. But anyway, but yeah, exactly. Like, you know, if you know, they play golf, or you know that they like a certain kind of movie or kind of music. That's how you connect with them in one way, shape, or form. You have to connect with people on a human level, not on a business level.
Adam William Ward 1:00:34
Not on it's like you going up to the CEO of Apple being like, I got an idea for Apple, like, you think he wants to hear that from the link.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:42
It's like the I it's like the iPhone, but it's like an iPad, but then it's on your wrist? Like we're good. Thanks,
Adam William Ward 1:00:51
Buddy. You know, it's funny. But you know, I know a lot of filmmakers watch this. And so that would be my advice to them, you know. And if any filmmakers are watching this, I'm Adam William Ward on Instagram, if you want to connect with me, oh, and you watch while he got wasted, and you want to talk to me at all about the movie, I try to keep up with all the messages that I get from people that watch the movie, and I really enjoy people that love the movie. So if you do want to connect way more on Instagram,
Alex Ferrari 1:01:17
And obviously if they want to pitch ideas to you, where do they go? To? And should I just tweet my idea to you, Adam, is that? Can I just tweet it?
Adam William Ward 1:01:29
I don't usually use Twitter, so you can tweet me all you want. I'm on I think I have like 150 followers, but I don't really use it. So
Alex Ferrari 1:01:38
Now I'm gonna ask you a few questions. Ask all my guests, sir. What advice would you give a filmmaker wanting to break into the business today?
Adam William Ward 1:01:45
Do it, do it, don't break into the business, make the business trying to stop trying to put your hand out to somebody else and start doing it yourself. There's every all the tools in the world are there for you. Now, we have high def cameras we didn't have 10 years ago, you don't need 35 millimeter anymore. You can self distribute your movie. You know, you have all the platforms, you can get an aggregator to put him on platforms. You can do it all yourself or you need his money, of course. But you know, you pull that
Alex Ferrari 1:02:12
Not even that much and not even that much.
Adam William Ward 1:02:15
No, I mean, you can pull off a lot with a little. If you're in any filmmaker, stop putting your hand out start start making your own business.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:23
Can you tell me the book that had the biggest impact on your life or career? book?
Adam William Ward 1:02:28
I would say reading I don't know. I just thought you your book. Alex is gonna make the biggest difference.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:33
Oh, you mean? You mean this book? Give me this one right here shooting for the mob that one
Adam William Ward 1:02:38
For the MOBS by we're gonna make the biggest difference of my life. No,
Alex Ferrari 1:02:45
Thank you for the plug within my own show. I appreciate that.
Adam William Ward 1:02:49
So that books a big one for me. I sent you a book called catching the white tiger, which I am now responsible after this week of writing into a movie script. Someone's paying me to write a note for Yeah, that's awesome, man. It's a book about a man's life story. We came to America and made it made it made it all come true for himself. And, and so that's going to take up a lot of my year. I mean, obviously, I'm going to do other projects, but I just got hired on for that. So that's awesome did. And that's actually a lesson to a lot of people out there too. It's like, you don't know what's coming next. What you just got to get your work out there. People see it, and opportunities come but you don't know what opportunities gonna come? You know, I hear people all the time. It's like, I'm gonna do this. And then this is gonna happen. You don't know what's gonna happen. Stop trying to figure it out. Yeah, just make it do it. And stop thinking about outcome outcome is not important in art. focused on the art and and have a plan. I'm not saying don't have a plan, like, how are you going to get it out there or any of that, but don't have expectations of what's going to happen. Like, that's out of your control. Like, oh, an agent, I'm going to get an agent from this. I'm going to studio movie next. And this, these are all things you can't control. And it's really just stupid of you to try to put that kind of pressure on yourself. Well, that's the kind of pressure that will end your career doesn't happen. It's the heart Why put the heartbreak don't have any heartbreak, just literally stay focused on what you're doing. And make a piece of art and or whatever, if it's mine. I don't know how much you want to do while I got wasted as a piece of art. You know,
Alex Ferrari 1:04:25
I was I was gonna say something, but I just let you go, sir.
Adam William Ward 1:04:30
But, you know, that's what it is. You know, a lot of people are making this. It's hard to them. It's passion that drives it and just do that and focus on that and have fun doing it and stop focusing on an outcome. That's my
Alex Ferrari 1:04:44
Now what's the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Adam William Ward 1:04:48
Bet on myself. It's the same lesson. It's It's, you know how, you know, I've been in this now. 10 years hustling So much time was wasted on trying to wait for somebody to help. So much time is wasted on a studio or somebody saying this is going to happen and you just go home and you're excited. And, you know, but the truth is, like I've given up on that dream, and I'm sure that if I even happen one day, I'll get a studio movie or getting tight with Netflix or somebody and they're like, we want you to make stuff. sure it'll happen. I don't care at this point. I just don't care. I'm gonna keep making stuff because I want to make stuff. Stop waiting for people. You know, that's the number one lesson is go do it and stop waiting. It's the same thing with investors. I'm going to have a I think I'm going to teach a foam course eventually, but with investors, I learned so much on Wally and we didn't raise that much money. But we we raised enough to know and you got to realize when you talk to investors, I had 10 people turned me down, compared to the one person that did it. Or maybe even the ratio is higher, but I can sniff bullshit mile away on someone who's not going to invest. Because a lot of people want to talk to you about it, but they don't actually want to invest so much with all that stuff. And it does come back to not wanting to wait for people just kick ass yourself.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:12
So three of your favorite films of all time, sir. as of today,
Adam William Ward 1:06:19
Um, I mean, it's funny I Braveheart is I always want to mention because it's so well executed. He did it and he starred in it, which is mind blowing. I know how hard that is. And for him, he had 1000s of people that he was in charge of not 100 people. And the moral the theme of the movie is everybody dies, but not everybody lives and to have a film and comprehend conference, that whole ideology and show it to make you feel it. At the end of it. You're like, God, I want to do something spectacular in my life. He executed is enough.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:51
I'm gonna I'm gonna throw a quote that's gonna blow your mind. I just heard this quote today, and I'm going to use it on another show. Many most people die at 20 But uh, buried at 90. Yeah, Isn't that pretty? True? Isn't that amazing? I heard that quote. I was like, I'm sorry. Especially in Hollywood, they kill your dream. They at 20 you die. And then 90 you because they don't they don't go anywhere. They just stay. They stay in the safe zone this entire time. And it's it's especially in this.
Adam William Ward 1:07:23
That was one of the reasons I stopped working for the studios, you know, went to DreamWorks or went to Warner Brothers. Every single person around me, Todd Phillips, his assistant was a filmmaker was a director. But he was he was his assistant for 10 years. He was 10 years older than me. And I was like, what you want to be a filmmaker but your is it but
Alex Ferrari 1:07:42
Because they're hoping because they're hoping that one day Todd's going to come down go You shall direct?
Adam William Ward 1:07:47
Yeah, exactly. everybody around me was hoping to do another job. I found I found literally 80% of the people at the studio system wanted to do a different job. And I was like, and they were all 10 years older than me at the time. They were about my age. And I was like, I can't if I want to do what I want to do. I gotta go do it. I can't do this in turn to do that. I got to just go do it. You got to prove yourself. So you know, anyway.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:12
Alright, so so that's one. One. Really. Another one was predator back in the day. That's the best. It's one of the best top five action movies of the 80s. Just bar none.
Adam William Ward 1:08:23
I mean, you have everything you have the biggest buffets like badass dude,
Alex Ferrari 1:08:26
It is it. There's so much testosterone coming off of that film. It's just like you got to do what's wrong. You got the CIA pushing too many pencils. Like it's just that, you know, it's that heart that handshake with the two arms at the beginning of the movie, which is now literally a meme.
Adam William Ward 1:08:45
Brilliant. It's phenomenal. You have all the toughest guys in the world at the time in the end that are in cinema, and you have a monster that's actually worthy of killing a ball.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:56
Like, can you know, it's probably
Adam William Ward 1:08:59
How I was introduced to me was amazing, too. That's one of the reasons why it is my favorite movie because of how it was introduced. I was not allowed to watch it. I was too young.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:07
I was gonna say, and
Adam William Ward 1:09:09
I had to wait in the other room when my brother older brother watched it and I could hear the monster like Yeah, and I was so captivated. You know, I was like so captivated. I was six at thetime. You know,
Alex Ferrari 1:09:21
And he's watching it on VHS, obviously.
Adam William Ward 1:09:23
Yeah. And then a year later, I was allowed to just watch the end and I saw the monster finally that I was just like, Oh my God, look at this monster. And then a year or two after that I was finally allowed to watch the movie. So it was like a four year process. And it was just the coolest look at monster I don't think they've got that monster right ever since the first movie.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:44
No really, man. I mean, it's been I mean, it's just it's hard to it's like perfection man. Like it's hard to take that that that that series anywhere else man. It was like, the only time I saw it happen was like with alien. Like Alien is a masterpiece but aliens is a masterpiece without without question, but then it kind of
Adam William Ward 1:10:06
Cameron took it to another level. He took thearchaeology and he went, that's why like, everybody's like, Oh my God really is going back and doing aliens. I'm like, Yeah, but James Cameron so I want to go back and do alien. anyone's gonna do it like really did amazing Don't get me wrong but dude the second one he took it to the whole of the left
Alex Ferrari 1:10:23
I mean and and Jimmy Jimmy's doing some some blue people movie again four of them in a row so he's all right he's kind of busy
Adam William Ward 1:10:29
Alex Ferrari 1:10:31
No no it will terminator he's producing Terminator,
Adam William Ward 1:10:33
But he's writing as well.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:35
I think he's writing it. So if he's writing it, I'll go see it because it hasn't been a Terminator since Terminator two. And actually, that's where they're picking it up from they're literally just gonna like nothing else happened. We're picking up straight from Terminator two.
Adam William Ward 1:10:46
That was one of those I heard about it. I get it. I can just get a caviar that movie
Alex Ferrari 1:10:53
You in every buddy else in your age range in my age range.
Adam William Ward 1:10:58
I'm gonna keep rockin do a while, but. And third. Third. Oh gosh, I gotta think about that for a second. I gotta. I'll throw in a comedy Wedding Crashers. Yeah. And at the time, actually, like it was the same year it came out I think, or the year after. I was heartbroken. It was the only movie that made me feel better. I just watched Wedding Crashers like over and over again. Like, it's just such a fun movie.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:23
It's both of them at the peak of their powers. Yes. Oh, and and and
Adam William Ward 1:11:29
I made them both movie stars. Really? I mean, like, oh, one priority was a movie star. But
Alex Ferrari 1:11:33
But that took them that blew him up. And I can't believe I'm blanking on his name. Vince Vaughn Vince Vaughn. Thank you. Yeah, Vince Vaughn. He that blew I mean, he swingers got him going a little bit. He did a few things. But Wedding Crashers just catapulted them.
Adam William Ward 1:11:49
I ran into bits recently, and I was like a normal guy, all the shit. But just like, a bunch of kids and stuff. So I just left them alone. I actually didn't talk. But oh, and Wilson I met was I think this is the viceroy or something. He's hammered. He's frickin drunk out of his mind. And I literally have three guys in a couch that DVD, and I and somehow the producer with him thought that he knew me. So I came up and I sat with them. And I was drinking with them. And he was like, they will waste it out of their mind. And the producers like Yeah, he introduces me at a different name. I don't say no, I'm not him. I just keep hanging out. And I handed him three guys in a couch the DVD and I'm like, Yeah, man, check out the show. You should come on some dive. It's just oh, you probably ended up in the trash. But you know, they were super friendly.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:49
More Hollywood stories. We should do a whole episode of just your Hollywood Story, sir. I have many of them. Now where can people find you? And while they got wasted
Adam William Ward 1:13:00
While I got wasted right now is on Amazon. Are you gonna do is Google go to Amazon and type in while they got wasted? Please write us a review. We need reviews on Amazon. It really helps us and rate the movie on IMDB in 699, around $15 I think the buy on there. And the movie in about 30 days will be on all the platforms. So you should be very easy to find pretty soon Google Play video on demand and everything. Yeah. And to find me, Instagram is Adam William ward. You can connect with me on there. I'm on Facebook too, but not a lot of people use Facebook anymore. And the same thing Adam Ward, you can google me Adam way more everywhere. I'm Adam William ward. And I'm going to be making a lot more stuff three guys in a couch is free on Amazon Prime parole officers is free on amazon prime. And while he got wasted is our feature which I mostly talked about tonight, on Amazon. So please check it out. And I hope you enjoy it.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:57
It has been a lesson in guerilla filmmaking in Hollywood stories. It's been an a very enjoyable conversation, brother. So thanks for coming on, man. I appreciate it.
Adam William Ward 1:14:07
Thanks so much. I was happy to be here Alex.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:10
I'd like to thank Adam for coming on the show and dropping some hilarious knowledge bombs on the tribe day. Thank you Adam. If you want to get links to the movie or anything we discussed in this episode, please head over to indiefilmhustle.com/330 for the show notes. And if you haven't already, please head over to filmmakingpodcast.com and leave a good review for the show. It really helps out a lot. If you haven't subscribed yet. Please subscribe. It really does help the show out a lot and gets this information out to more and more filmmakers around the world. So thank you guys so much. Again, I can't wait to just share with you what I'm doing. Ah, you have no idea. It's torture for me to guys don't think it's not. But I know you guys are really excited and I'm excited to share it with you. So I'll give you one little Okay, one more thing. One thing I'm gonna do, I'm gonna drop another little clue. Not a little tip, little, little teaser. It's not just one thing. It's going to be a few things. So that's it. I can't say any more. I can't say any more. I can't I can't do it. I can't do it. I can't do it. I can't do it. That's it. That's it. But I know I'm horrible. I apologize, guys. But thank you guys for all the support. And thank you for all the interest and what I'm doing and what we're doing at indie film hustle. So I truly, truly appreciate it. And guys, by the way, if you have not had a chance, head over to the YouTube page of indie film hustle, which we're doing a lot of cool stuff there. I'm, I'm posting videos every single day there. And they're going to be clips from our interviews, video interviews, as well as the director series is back. So we're putting out these amazing video essays about great directors. I think the next ones we're going to be releasing are the shining and Clockwork Orange, analyzing both those films with the master Stanley Kubrick. So head over to indiefilmhustle.com/YouTube and it'll take you straight to that channel. Please subscribe there as well. Thank you guys so much for listening. As always keep that also going keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
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