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From Indie Film Legend to Surviving Hollywood with Albert Hughes

I can’t be more excited about the conversation I’m about to share with you. Today on the show we have filmmaker and indie film legend Albert Hughes. Albert, along with his brother Allen began making movies at age 12, but their formal film education began their freshman year of high school when Allen took a TV production class. They soon made the short film The Drive-By and people began to take notice.

After high school Albert began taking classes at LACC Film School: two shorts established the twins’ reputation as innovative filmmakers. Albert and his brother then began directing music videos for a little known rapper named Tupac Shakur. 

These videos lead to directing their breakout hit Menace II Society (1993), which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and grossed nearly 10 times as much as its $3 million budget.

Albert followed up that success with Dead Presidents (1995).

On the streets, they call cash dead presidents. And that’s just what a Vietnam veteran (Larenz Tate) is after when he returns home from the war only to find himself drawn into a life of crime. With the aid of his fellow vets, he plans the ultimate heist — a daring robbery of an armored car filled with unmarked U.S. currency!

Albert continued displaying his highly stylized and visual filmmaking with From Hell (2001) starring Johnny Depp and The Book of Eli (2010) starring Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Gary Olman.

The Book of Eli has the distinction of being the first studio feature film shot on the RED Camera. In the example below, you can see how Albert pushed the camera to its limits with the ground-breaking color grade he gave the film.

Most recently Albert brought to the screen the epic film Alpha (2018). The project was shot on the Arri ALEXA 65 for a truly larger than life experience.

An epic coming-of-age adventure set in the last Ice Age. A young boy becomes unlikely allies with a lone wolf, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds to survive the harsh wilderness and find their way home before the deadly winter arrives.

My conversation with Albert was EPIC. We began the episode aiming for our standard 60-90 min run time but we were having such a good time talking shop we just kept going. The final episode clocks in around 3 hours and it was, by far, one of the best times I have ever had on the Indie Film Hustle Podcast.

Two filmmakers talking shop and telling stories. We discuss his public beef with Tupac, his rise after the breakout success of Menace II Society, how he navigated the shark-infested waters of Hollywood, working on big-budget studio films, his creative process and Albert even throws in a story about how he stood up to Harvey Weinstein while the disgusting predator was still a power-player in the business.

Do yourself a favor and listen to the entire episode. There are knowledge bombs drop throughout!
Enjoy my EPIC conversation with Albert Hughes.

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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONSORS

  1. DONATE to Feed America to help with people affected by the Coronavirus
  2. Rise of the Filmtrepreneur: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business (FREE AUDIOBOOK)
  3. $1 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)
  4. The Complete Indie Film Producing Workshop with Suzanne Lyons 
  5. Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story) (FREE AUDIOBOOK)

REAL-WORLD STREAMING FILM EDUCATION

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  2. Hollywood Film School: Filmmaking & TV Directing Masterclass
  3. Filmmaker in a Box – Learn How to Make an Indie Film – 18 Hours+ of Lessons 
  4. Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys
  5. The Dialogue Series: 38 hours of Lessons from Top Hollywood Screenwriters

WATCH MICRO-BUDGET CASE STUDIES

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  4. Bulletproof Screenwriting® Podcast
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  6. Inside the Screenwriter’s Mind® Podcast

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Book: Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story)
FREE 3-Part Indie Film Producing Video Series



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