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I have a treat for you today. On the show we have filmmaker and podcaster Alrik Bursell from the podcast Making Movies is HARD! I’ve had the pleasure on be on his show before and have another episode coming up in Nov where I talk about Rise of the Filmtrepreneur.
“Who am I to even have a podcast? Why is my opinion more valid than anyone else? In some ways it’s not, but that’s also kind of the point. We’re just two examples of people making movies in our own ways. We’re not any more special than any other filmmaker. There’s nothing about us that makes us any different or unique. We’re just doing it. And I think that’s the point, just go out and do it, make your movies. And these are the struggles that we face and this is how we’re trying to overcome them.” – Alrik Bursell Episode 87
In this episode we talk indie filmmaking, crowdfunding, distribution, the Distribber Debacle and much more. We also discuss his cool new film The Alternate.
Enjoy my conversation with Alrik Bursell.
Alex Ferrari 1:25
I'd like to welcome the show Alrik Bursell. Man, thank you so much for being on the show, brother.
Alrik Bursell 5:13
Yeah, thanks so much for having me, man.
Alex Ferrari 5:15
It's been it's, you know, we finally did it. You know, I've been a guest on your show. At this point twice yeah. And it's, uh, you know, we have two, two of the bigger podcasts in this in the filmmaking space. And the Well, sir, sir, you know, where you're prolific if it's not good, at least as prolific sir, as Same here, right. And if it's not good, at least we just keep doing it.
Alrik Bursell 5:41
We've been doing it for a while.
Alex Ferrari 5:43
And nobody, no one's stopping us. So it doesn't mean that's particularly good. But we just keep doing it.
Alrik Bursell 5:49
I got a few reviews, get a few emails from people here and there, you know, keeps me going. Pretty much can't stop the podcast until my features released though, because that was like the beginning for us was like chronicling the making of our feature phones. And my, you know, ex co host Timothy playing, bless his heart, stop filmmaking and didn't ever make it to his feature, or at least not yet. Maybe he will later in life, but I'm still going and, you know,
Alex Ferrari 6:17
He jumped. So he jumped the filmmaking ship. He just like,
Alrik Bursell 6:20
He Did he I'm out. I'm out.
Alex Ferrari 6:23
Well, I've said many times, once you have a case of the filmmaking, you can't really get rid of it. It will it you have it for life, it will flare up every once in a while. You can it's Oh, you can push it down as much as you like and keep it at bay. But at one point or another, that's going to flare up and you're going to have to fatik
Alrik Bursell 6:41
I think so I think that's going to happen. He swear I still so one of the things when he quit the show, like we talked every week for like four years, right? And we said, well, if you're going to quit, we have to become we have to stay friends. So we decided every month we're gonna meet for lunch or dinner or something. And we've been pretty good. So like, I see him. And you know, I asked him every time you want to come back, you want to make a movie, he always says no, I have no interest. He's learning Japanese. Now. You know, he's reading books, you know,
Alex Ferrari 7:09
I can tell you from somebody who jumped out of the business, I always had a foot in it. But for someone who left the business to go sell olive oil and balsamic vinegar three years as an owner gourmet shop because I was so disgusted with the distributors dealing with Wow, in post production. I understand it. But man, if I was making videos for my show for my shop, I was you know, I was it was it's always part of you. It is like it is like that disease that cannot go away, ever.
Alrik Bursell 7:43
That's how I feel like I think I'm gonna be you know, 90 making movies. You know, like, whether someone's paying me to do it or not, like, I will always have a project I'm working on just because it's like, it just feeds my soul. You know, and I love doing it. And I love the challenge. I love the whole experience. What comes out on the other end, you know, for better for worse, right?
Alex Ferrari 8:04
Just love it, dude. And then and so for everybody who doesn't know the name right podcast, what is the name of the podcast, sir?
Alrik Bursell 8:12
It is called making movies is hard with three exclamation points. All caps on a heart
Alex Ferrari 8:18
And a crying baby is part of
Alrik Bursell 8:22
Crying babies or logo. We're actually rebranding soon because I actually have a new co host Liz Manisha whose show a few times. Yes. Wonderful filmmaker, wonderful person, you know, kind of a thought leader I'd like to say into independent filmmaking, you know, to some degree. And yeah, she, we want to change the logo because like, you know, it's got to represent her as well as me, you know, because it's, it's a new show. Now. It's like, we've got a new person, right right now, I think it still says Timothy's name on the website. It's like he should still be on the website. But I think when it says Timothy and Marc present making movies it's hard. It's gotta be Liz man a shell Nora Purcell present, you know, writing movies aside, so we're working on that it's gonna be different, but it's still gonna incorporate you know, a child like a frustrated child of some kind.
Alex Ferrari 9:09
Obviously, baby, we all are frustrated children in this question. Most people can relate to that. Now, one thing that I found really interesting is when I was on your show for the first time, I remember you telling me the story how Timothy was so pissed off at me, because I have because I, you know, I said I had the number one filmmaking podcast and I write and I was just ranked the number and he would it was he was saying, like, Who told him that? How can he say things like this? What gave him the power
Alrik Bursell 9:42
We were we were doing some of our own like searching and testing and then there were some weeks where we would be number 173. You are being number one. And depending on the wording, if you say moviemaking, we would be number one. If you said filmmaking, you'd be number one. And then like, you know, it would go up and down and change and so Timothy was like tracking the numbers for a while we like that's just a false claim. Yeah. I mean, you know, it's like advertising. It's like good marketing, you know, like, we could call ourselves and everyone in the filmmaking podcast we wanted to, or we call it the number one movie making podcast. Like that's a valid claim. But that was never our style to go that way. And
Alex Ferrari 10:19
Myself, sir, that is my style, obviously, you know,
Alrik Bursell 10:22
Obviously, you know, I was doing some research. You know, when I'm, I'm doing my movie the ocean and doing my crowdfunding campaign, I was researching other filmmaking podcasts. And whenever I type in filmmaking, podcasts, no matter what the site where I find it, your podcast is always, always on the list. And not always number one, mind you, depending on who's writing the list, like sometimes they'll put their own number one, or they'll put a, you know, Film Riot, or the indie wire podcast, or whatever it will be number one, but you are always like in the top five, and our podcast. And even our friends that just shoot a podcast are often never even on the list. Not even mentioned, not even mentioned. So I think you have earned that title, my friend. Because you're out there in a way that I think a lot of filmmaking podcasts aren't, you know, like, everybody knows him. Indie filmmaking has
Alex Ferrari 11:14
And the boys over just just shoot it. I was on their show as well. And they're awesome, guys, man, they have great parts. You know, what's really funny, because I've been doing this, I've only been doing this for four years and change. So a lot of people think I've been here for a decade, I haven't you know, it just started around when we started writing in 2015. July of 2015, is when I launched. And you 2015 I believe so there you go. So, you know, I haven't been around that long. And when we started, there wasn't a lot of filmmaking podcasts out there. There were a handful. A lot of those aren't around anymore. They they have quit the business or just decide, because this is a grind, man. I mean, this is right, this is a grind.
Alrik Bursell 11:56
Well, that's why we started because I was looking for a director, like focused podcast and it didn't exist, like just shoot, it hadn't started yet. They started right around the same time that we did, you hadn't started yet. There was like a lot of screenwriting podcasts, a lot of video camera, heavy podcasts. But anything that was director focus that either finished or I couldn't find, you know, and so that was sort of why I decided to start it was because I kind of wanted to, like, create the indie filmmaking director based script notes, basically, which is like, also what the gist shooter guys say is they wanted to be the script notes for directors, you know. And they've done a better job than me, I have to say, I mean, partly because they're based in Los Angeles, and you know, they have a lot of great guests, you know, but I'm more like, I think we fit fit, like the really small, indie, micro micro budget niche, kind of like you do, you know, like speaking to filmmakers who maybe have zero experience, and are just figuring it out just the way that we're figuring it out.
Alex Ferrari 12:51
You know, right. And that's, that's always been my, my goal is to kind of walk the walk and talk the talk and just, you know, in, you know, like, hey, if I fail, I fail, guys. And I'm gonna tell you why I failed. And if I make it, I make it and this is how I did it, and so on. So the, you know, there's, there's a need for more shows, like what we do out there. And there's much more information now than there was when we started for sure. Yeah. And a lot more shows. Oh, god, there's a ton of shows. Now there's a ton of filmmaking shows up pop, like before, there was like, you know, 1012 now is like that list on iTunes just keeps going and go, yeah, and yeah, it's a lot of them. It's, it gets it gets out of hand, but, but like, I always tell people, everyone's like, you know, first of all, I don't consider anybody competition. There is no competition, right? We're all different perspectives, you know, different tastes, different flavors, different everything. It's just, you know, I can't compete with you, you can't compete with me, it's just a completely different way of doing about it. So people sometimes, maybe like Timothy was, but get really caught up in this whole throwing him under the bus. kind of throw him under the bus, though. He's good people. He's good people. He's like that, but, but some people get caught up in these whole like numbers and like, who's first and like, I care less. I mean, there's like, there's there's podcasts out there that get millions of views of millions of downloads a week. Right? You know, I'm not that guy. So it's okay. It's okay. Not yet. Well, well hold the way that you're the way that you're going. I see you right up to the top, my friend. I appreciate I appreciate that service already on the show. So there is no need for this. Us opinions. And then we actually got to meet in person really quickly at the break very briefly at the brave maker Film Festival up in the city in the Bay Area. Where I was I saw you and you were on the panel. And I think we were on the same panel. Right. You asked him,
Alrik Bursell 14:48
You came on I gotta ask you one question, right. Oh, and you gave me an answer that I was like, I want to dive deeper into this. But, you know, Tony, bless his heart was like, you got to keep it rolling. Gotta keep it rolling. And like I was like, and then he I should do away and I was like, oh, man, you know, and
Alex Ferrari 15:02
I didn't see you at the party that night. I'm like, Oh, I know. So hopefully you'll be a brave maker again next year. Yeah, I hope so. Tony has to be back. I'd love to be there. Yeah, it was a great, it's a great festival. It's a fantastic.
Alrik Bursell 15:14
I have a short film that I just finished in May that we should you know, Senator breadmaker, so maybe I'll be there as a filmmaker, that would be really exciting.
Alex Ferrari 15:22
Yeah, I mean, it's really, I've seen your work, man. And you can do some really cool stuff, man, you do some really good stuff. Like, you know, as I'm sure as you as well, as I do, we see just hundreds of films every, all the time, people sending us stuff all the time. And your production value is tight, you've got you've got some real craft in the way you make your images and the way you tell your story. So that's a rarity. In this space of not being serious, man, because, again, when I look at stuff, I can tell right away if like, Oh, this, okay, they three point lighting, guys.
Alrik Bursell 16:00
Well, I feel like the production value in general, like there's a lot of great production value out there, like people have figured it out, you know, like the the equipment's pretty inexpensive. There's a lot of people doing it, you know, if you're in the right market, you can get a crew together, you can make a good looking short film, but I think the thing that I'm always looking for is like the story in the takes, you know, and like how people are approaching, like, maybe what could be a familiar, you know, concept or idea. You know, because everything has been done, it's just like your execution is what separates you from anything that's come before, you know. So that's what really takes me away is like seeing the way people execute and deliver upon their premise and and what they're promising the audience, you know, and there is a lot of great filmmaking happening, especially in the short space. I mean, there's so many good shorts out there right now. And it's, it's kind of that's why film festivals are so tough, because it's really hard to break through when there's so much good content being made by so many different people from all over the place. It's like, you know, I can't get upset when I film doesn't get into a film festival, you know, or film of mine, because it's like, the competition is so steep, man, it's so tough
Alex Ferrari 17:04
it is. It's easier. Like I've said before, it's it's easier than ever to make a film, it's harder than ever to get it seen. Right, because it's just too much. There's too much competition for eyeballs as a general statement, let alone to go down the film festival route. And there's so many politics and things that have to happen. And just the, you know, is it what kind of genre is it? Does it have? I mean, if you have a star, I still never forget this. And this still pisses me off to this day. I was at Sundance, and I'm at the show. I'm watching a short film block. And all of a sudden I see Sam block, Sam Rockwell. And what's his name? The the the app the Mac guy, the kid that was the Mac he was? Oh, Justin Long, Justin luck. So both of them are playing there. Man, that guy the Mac guy forgot just to log right in. That's how old I am. The Mac guy hasn't been a Mac guy frickin like a decade, but I remember him as the Mac guy. So that there was a short with tool, both of them playing Batman and Robin and Batman and Batman but like horrible Batman and Robin like It's like he's just really bad. Batman, Robert, horrible outfits and everything. production value is atrocious. And it's about a Batman kind of like kind of muscling in on Robin's date. And he's like, Hey, I know you're Robin. But I'm Batman. You know, like that kind of that kind of stick? Right? Right. Right. And I'm sitting there watching this I'm like, if it wasn't for Sam Rockwell and Justin Long, this would have never in a million years, gotten programmed. And it just pisses me off so much that Sundance in so many ways I know lives as a former employee of the of the of the Great job, right, but, uh, but I find it that it's really upset me that not only Sundance, but a lot of these film festivals. They're, you know, there's their Star Wars. They love. They just want you know, because at the end of the day, they want to put assets in seats, man, and that's where, you know, if you're gonna see a short film with nobody in it, or Hey, do you see that that movie? Was Sam Rockwell playing Batman? Right? You know, what are you going to watch? So it kind of What's your thoughts on I mean, cuz I know you've been to a few festivals.
Alrik Bursell 19:12
It's tough, man. I mean, especially when you're you're at a festival with a film that you've made with your your hard earned money you've self funded, you've gotten the best actors you could possibly get in, in the movie, either local or getting them from Los Angeles. And then yeah, you see, like a movie with a movie star in it. And like, maybe it's there, they directed it, and they, they started it, or they got their, you know, a list friends to star in it. And it really does make you wonder is like, well, how can I can like, it's hard to compete with that, you know, but on the other hand, it's like, if I had those resources, I would use them. If I had friends who were movie stars, I'd put them in my movie, so I can't really get mad at them because of it. You know? It just it just makes it tough to compete. And, you know, you just hope that people will look at your movie and See the story and see the value and see the connection or hopefully have a connection to it personally. And like let that overrule the fact that I don't have you know, Gwyneth Paltrow as my star or whatever or, you know, like,
Alex Ferrari 20:14
get Brad Pitt or Sam Brock.
Alrik Bursell 20:18
Right. But I don't know, I think it's, it's something that as an independent filmmaker that you can't ignore, though, like, I'm going into making my first feature. And it's like, I get a lot of advice from people saying, just go with the best actor that you can find pop, like, you know, don't worry about their name or anything, like just put the best person in the movie who's going to really dedicate themselves to the role and really bring their own personality into it and really be in the trenches with you and really give a shit and right, like, that's like a really good way to go. And then I'm like, Okay, yeah, yeah, I know, I got this actor, I would love to put them in the movie. And then I go to my producer, and then he's like, well, like, let's see, if we get somebody that we've heard
Alex Ferrari 20:56
of what's what's the but what's the budget, though? So like, I agree with that for a certain budget range. Like, if you've got a half a million dollar movie, dude, don't do that.
Alrik Bursell 21:07
We're way under that, you know, but we're above the micro. So like, we're definitely, you know, gonna be paying for union actors one way or another, you know, sure. might be the low ultra low budget scale. And, you know, sure, we're gonna be paying for that. But you look at Liz, man, Michelle, these films and she's gotten some really like, well known actors in her movies. Absolutely. She's, she's, like, really passionate about not paying over scale for actors. And, you know, it makes me think like, gosh, I shouldn't be doing that. Like, if she's got, you know, you know, the guy from, you know, Bobby Moynihan. Yeah, and one of our features and this guy's like, on TV on SNL. And like, she got him for ultra low budget scale, you know, sag scale. It's like, man, like, why am Why am I not getting somebody like that in my movie, you know, like Lauren lapkus. Like, she's got Lauren lapkus in one of her films, like, why
Alex Ferrari 21:56
did why shouldn't you know, I'm sure it did help that she worked at Sundance. I gotta say that I mean, that has to have some sort of I mean, that right? Look you having so for sure, you have a you have, you know, resources at your disposal, you have an audience, you have a podcast, I have resources at my disposal. Her being part of the Sundance Institute, does not hurt when you call up. Like when she originally reached out to me, she's like, Hi, this is Liz from Sundance. That's how she's that's exactly. She's using it. She's Yeah, I would use it in 1000. Yeah, of course, I would tattoo it on my forehead. If I was, if I you know, I, you know, I would have absolutely lead with that. So that is something that helped, like I lived in I live in LA. So when I made my first feature, my star Joe, Michelle milyon. She called all of her friends who all were these insane actors and improv actors, and they all came out at sag minimum, to come out and do to do the job. So I didn't have access to those actors. But she did. And together, we were able to put together this film. So yeah, it's, it's, it's really interesting. And again, I agree with you 100%, that if you should always try to find the best actor, but there has to be a fiscal responsibility to the budget, because if you don't put known faces, and the higher that budget goes, the more you have to hedge your bets with right, some sort of talent. If you could get that talent at scale, God bless. But if you can't, you know, it might it might make sense to hire somebody for a day and put them on the poster and it again, it does a bit depends on the story depends on the genre. It depends on like an indie drama, not so much. But an action film a horror film, sci fi, sci fi and look, would it hurt to have Mark Hamill in your sci fi film? Probably not. Not? No,
Alrik Bursell 23:42
no. Yeah. It's interesting because like I tell that story to my producer about getting the you know, actors that ultra low budget sag scale, and he says, like no way like he won't even make these offers to people at that at that rate, like he wants to offer at least something you know, as what he said I think he won't mind me being this transparent but it's like he basically won't let me offer ultra low budget sag to the actors that I want. Like he says we have to give them something above it in order for them to at least take us seriously. You know
Alex Ferrari 24:14
what will happen in this town? I'll tell you exactly what will happen again, Liz's a very specific situation. Yeah, she's she's an outlier. She is an outlier. And because she had the name of Sundance behind her man, I'm telling you that opened up a lot of doors. It really did. I'm not saying that's the only reason but that definitely add hope if it helps. No, there's just no doubt about it. So if you make offers let's say you make five offers to five different actors and like hey, we love you We really want to do it scale. Really quickly around town, your project will be associated with these guys have no money and right they're not serious and bla bla bla bla bla it you know it would hurt you if you're going after. If you're going after these kind of actors and offering them scared Who are on TV are you know, in movies supporting or not? What? And this is also and this is your first feature, or is this?
Alrik Bursell 25:06
Yeah, so it's your first feature. And that's another thing that Liz had going for her for a second movie where she got even better stars than our first movie, she already had a movie that had recognizable faces in it to show that like, Look, people trust me, like, I can make a good movie, you know, and it got distribution with a reputable distributor. So I feel like those things all together like play in her favor, like me with five short films, no Sundance, you know, laurels, no South by Southwest laurels, just like, you know, some good festivals, but nothing like, you know, blowing me out of the water, like, you know, first top tier, I think it's kind of a harder bet.
Alex Ferrari 25:42
Yeah, it is. So then you have to play the game a little bit differently. And it's a sci fi film. So sci fi films in general, there's a higher risk of it not going well, because the visual effects are so heavy in this so that like, right, there's just a lot of, there's a lot of things, landmines that have to buy it Trust me. That's why I feel like,
Alrik Bursell 26:03
you know what, the teaser trailer that I made a teaser trailer for my film that we're gonna release really soon, like,
Alex Ferrari 26:08
I was on your crowdfunding, I saw your crowdfunding video look great.
Alrik Bursell 26:12
So that's just part of it. So that's like about 30 seconds of the teaser trailer. In the beginning, we have a two minute teaser trailer that, you know, we're going to release when we hit 30% of our goal, which probably would have happened by now when you're listening to this. But that's what's gotten people, you know, in involved in the film. You know, like, that's how I've gotten a lot of my investors. That's how I've gotten a lot of my crew. That's how I've gotten a lot of people who are willing to do me favors and support me and actually look at the movie. It's all because of that teaser trailer. And I've been sharing that privately for about a year now. You know, and that's sort of like, gotten the ball rolling. And I was sort of really resistant to making it a teaser trailer, because I was like, now I've made five short films, like I've got all this proof, like, look at this stuff, like, you know, you believe me, but no, no, they want to see the teaser trailer for the project, you are pitching. And it has to be of a high quality. And so you know, that was another piece of advice I got from my producer, Jeff. And, you know, we went out and did it for like no money. And you know, it worked out.
Alex Ferrari 27:08
Yeah. And I mean, the reason why I did my first movie on a micro budget is because I got tired of playing the game of chasing the money. I mean, I wasted I wasted a decade alone. on one project, I alone and I did a short film award winning short film that right and I did a Japanese anime prequel. I did like books, I did artwork, I had business proposals. I had a talent attached I had, and I just and I just walked around, I did all these meetings again. And again, I did everything the way everybody told me, I should do it. And, you know, when I finally got let go from that last, that last big project that was attached to again, or just fell through the project just just fell through in general. I just said, I can't do this anymore. So I said, screw it, I'm going to take five grand and and go make my movie. And then I crowdfunded and everything. But I was just like, I'm over it. I'm done. I can't do this anymore. And it's just it's a different. It's a different hustle. It's a different. I
Alrik Bursell 28:09
mean, this has been five years, to the point of getting this movie ready to be shot in December, you know, and last man. It's just it's a tough road. And I mean, I feel like I'm definitely thinking about my second feature already, just in my mind, and like how I want to approach it. And it's definitely lower budget for sure. You know, just because, like, a lot of people that I've had on my podcast before and the people I've talked to, they always say like, yeah, first, first feature micro budget second feature I'm going to do for 1,000,000/3 feature 20 million. It's like, I feel like that mindset is not gonna work man. Like unless you have an outlier unless you have a hit like our Fruitvale Station or some kind of amazing like first feature like the blade dynamite that just blows people out of the water. Like you're probably going to have to do the same method you did on your first feature for your second feature and probably for your third features.
Alex Ferrari 28:58
You know, I like I like Joe Swanberg a pro. Yeah, I like I like and Mark duplass says, but I mean, but the Swanberg approach was he made literally 35 films. And most of them were just two grand, three grand and he just kept pumping them out every day. And he just kept doing it. And he was an outlier in the sense that South by Southwest took a liking to them. And then every single one of his movies was starting to be put up on the festival and then they created a mumble core and that whole movement and right
Alrik Bursell 29:29
he was with the radio whole genre of the duplass brothers, you know, like they're like the beginners of that whole thing.
Alex Ferrari 29:37
Yeah, there's a handful of the handful of those filmmakers around that time that we're doing that and you know what, man it you know, I don't think there's a lot of you know, that kind of filmmaking done in that same way anymore because the technology's changed so it shouldn't be shot on a on a VHS or a high grade or a mini DV, you know, camcorder it shouldn't be doing that.
Alrik Bursell 29:56
But spirits alive like a lot of people are making films that way. Like with DSLRs or you know, these really inexpensive, like high quality cameras like the Sony seven series, magic. Yeah, like magic. I mean, they're, they're, it's amazing what you can get for no money and I mean, even with an iPhone, like I shot a short film on an iPhone, and it looked pretty freakin good, like, you know better than this stuff I shot like, you know, when I was first started, like on a Sony, you know, pd 150 or whatever, you know, it's like, it's crazy.
Alex Ferrari 30:26
The the the the advice I always give filmmakers is, is to keep working and keep creating product and keep doing things. Because you know, even if I'm not going to be taken seriously as a filmmaker, or I'm not going to be getting any notice as a filmmaker, at least that could be prolific. And, and it's at the end of the day, when you turn around and you go, oh, man, I've got 20 features under my belt that I've been able to sell, and make some money with and build a career off of that. And I'm like, all of a sudden, then someone shows up, dude, do you want How much do you want for your next movie? I'm like, I don't know. 100 grand, 100 grand. And they're like, great. 100 grand. Here you go. And that's, you know, and by the way, so Albert had a real tough time doing drinking buddies. Because that was a Yeah, I heard about that. That was a $350,000 movie, which was without a script, because he doesn't work with scripts, he uses scripts, with big stars. And people were like, what? I need a script and like, dude, the guy's made 30 his ages like guys made 30 movies. He obviously knows what he's doing. Can you please trust him? Just trust them. And they did. And that movie did a gangbusters it did a lie out of money. And now he's doing Netflix shows and movies and, and all kinds of stuff he's doing
Alrik Bursell 31:35
all right. He's right. He wouldn't do a lot of debt, though. I heard you know, and, you know, made a lot of sacrifices in his life to get that done. And I wonder sometimes, like, is that what we need to do as filmmakers to get our films made? Do we have to make these humongous sacrifices? Like? Or is there a way that we can just make our films and like, have a decent life? And, you know, just, you know, provide for ourselves? And, you know, keep going, I think there is I think it's like, you figure out how to make money. And then you make your films, and they they become separate things, you know, you don't necessarily have to expect that short film to like, get a return on its investment, because you have your main, you know, job to support that. And I think there's nothing wrong with doing it that way.
Alex Ferrari 32:16
No, I did that I did that for years, most of my career was running post production, and then doing directing gigs on the side commercials, music videos, a series and other things. While I was chasing that, directing the feature dream, so I would do shorts and other things. But my main gig was post productions, I Oh, no post production facility, where I would just do post production, post production, post production. And, yeah, my movies didn't have to make money. But I think today's world, there is a potential to be able to make money. And if even if you start at the beginning, like you were asked, the question is, do we need to go into big debt? I don't think you do. I think it right in the world today, if you've built up enough tools that toolbox like you or I have, we can go and make a movie for a very low budget nowadays, and everybody will get paid something, and we can make money with it. And we can generate revenue, if not only from the movie, but other ancillary revenues I talked about. And in my, in our interview last time, that whole entrepreneurial method, but let's air it, right, right. But if you make a $5,000 feature, and then you make $6,000 with it, well, that's a plus. Now you make another 5000, that now you make another $5,000 feature, and maybe you add 10,000 with that one. But now you're still making money off that first one, and you're still making money on the second and then you start building slowly. It's like put multiple channels. Yeah, but the problem is that and I don't know if you agree with this or not, but most filmmakers don't want to do that work. They don't want to do the long term play. They want that right. Big Lottery Ticket. They want that big movie that just blows them out of the water and people could just shower them with money and opportunities. Everybody wants that. Who doesn't? Who doesn't who doesn't want like I always say publicly, I'll take that marveled call. If Marvel calls I will take the meeting. So Kevin, if you're listening, I will take writing. You know, I will take them at the duplass brothers rejected that meeting. But I will take it gladly. I will take it i'm not sure i will make the movie. We'll see what the project is. Integrity. No, no, no, we just we just have to see what this product I hope I have these problems. I hope I can call you all right. I can't. They're asking me to do Avengers six or Guardians of the Galaxy seven. I don't know what to do you. Like, which one's better? what's right for me? What is my soul? Should I do moon night? The movie? I don't know. Right?
Alrik Bursell 34:39
Right. Right. Right. Right. Right. And then you know, they got this curvy idea from capcom. They want to do Kirby the feature I don't know about Kirby scoring like all these options here and
Alex Ferrari 34:49
We're gonna do Marvel vs Capcom the movie. Could you imagine?
Alrik Bursell 34:53
Oh, my gosh, one day. We're headed in that direction if they stay the same. That's where we're going.
Alex Ferrari 34:58
I think I think we should But I mean, so I lost my train of complete train of thought after the horrible comments. So we're, we're, we
Alrik Bursell 35:07
were just talking about how like, you know, if you make a $5,000 movie, turn on that 5000 and is doing them over and over in it. And I feel like for the right films and the right filmmaker, that's a great model, you know, and I'm, I think that the right, I like I have ideas that could fit, you know, and I would be perfectly happy making a $5,000 feature or a $10,000 feature. If the story supported that method, you know,
Alex Ferrari 35:32
well, and so perfect example, one of the biggest blockbuster directors in today's world is Chris Nolan. And Chris Nolan did that exact thing he was doing he was doing short experimental films. Then he did the following. And then off the off the following, which was rejected both two times from Sunday slam dance, Forget Sundance, slam dance rejected them. And then he rejected him the first year, he resubmitted the second year, the same film, and for whatever reason, got into slam dance. Well, did he re edit it? Or was it the same exact I don't? I don't know. I don't know the details of it. But I know that the second year he got in, right when nobody else would see him. But he understood that he couldn't make inception. upfront. Right. It took him time to build and then from there he did momento. Which momento was a big leap from the following. But it was still a, I think, a five or $6 million movie, it wasn't a monster movie.
Alrik Bursell 36:30
It had star in it. You know, I had a guy stars, you know. And then here's
Alex Ferrari 36:34
a Yeah, carry on moss. And it also had what's his name from? Joey pants? Job? Joe pant. pantaloni. Oh, whatever his name is. Yeah, exactly. So he had three really strong, three actors. But then from there, he got insomnia. And then Batman think he did write the whole Batman thing that that that whole thing that kind of, yeah, but but it took him a minute to get there. It didn't it wasn't it. And that's what filmmakers filmmakers want to start making inception, but they don't understand that they can't. It's kind of like walking into a gym for the first time. I'm like, I'm gonna bench 700 pounds. Like you. You're not ready. We're not ready.
Alrik Bursell 37:14
Yeah, you're not ready. Right? I had that same experience. Because at my first short film, The strange thing, you know, was all about this monster and had this loose creature that we did. And then I immediately had the feature idea for that, that I was writing. And as I was writing this movie, I realized like, like, Fuck, this is a $10 million movie. Like, I've got all these like special facts, fight scenes, like, you know, this is monsters in like, 90% of the movie. It's like, No, I can't make this movie. And so I had to shelve it, put it aside, like I had concept art made, I was like, ready to go. And then I wrote the alternate, you know, and that become became the film that I'm gonna make first, because that I can do on a low budget, very few locations, very few actors, very few special effects, all that are still special effects. But it's nothing like those creature that I was, you know, had designed for this first feature, this other idea. And so that's, that's my inception. Like, you know, three movies down the line for movies down the line. That's what I'm going to be pitching to people and be like, Hey, I got this thing. Working out forever. Let's make this make this awesome movie like this attack the block style film, you know?
Alex Ferrari 38:20
Yeah. And that's, and that's great. But you're already thinking about the long game you're thinking 567 steps ahead, where I find that most filmmakers don't even think one step ahead. They've just, they're just like, I this is the like, I mean, how many times have you heard this story, you they make a move that someone gives them $500,000 someone gives some first time filmmaker $500,000 you know them, I know them. They've never made a movie. And let's say for whatever magical reason they've actually get a decent movie made, they hired some good DPS. They hired some good talent. They had a good support team, they made a decent movie. Now the at the end of the post production process, there are only as the only distribution plan is to submit to Sundance. That is, right, right. Am I wrong? And then all of a sudden, then they're like, Oh my god, where am I gonna make my money? How can I sell this? Oh my god, they started because they never thought about it. There was just so much I need to just make a movie I need to make I need to bring my vision to life and people will recognize my genius. Right? They will recognize my way into
Alrik Bursell 39:22
we all think in the beginning, right? Like we think that our first film is gonna bring us all the fame and the fortune and the doors to Hollywood are going to open up and then the doctors the deals and the agents, the managers are just going to like, you know, carry us up to the top of the mountain the mountain Hollywood Yes, yes. Mountain out mountain Hollywood. That just doesn't happen. You know,
Alex Ferrari 39:42
in Japan generally. It's everyone thinks of you know, my first movie has to be Reservoir Dogs. I did right like my first feature film has to come out guns a blaring for anyone to take me seriously. And when I finally broke through that I was like, screw it. I'm just gonna go make my first feature, which then, which I sold to Hulu, which I made money with and I was able to make it to a successful film. And I'm like, and that's fine. Like, that's, that's sick, I didn't get rich off that movie by any stretch.
Alrik Bursell 40:09
But it's exciting keeps you going, and now you're making another you made another movie after that, and you're gonna be able to make another movie after that. And it's just like, it's the start of your career. It's like this, like you said, long game approach, you know, where it's not like, you know, put all the eggs in one basket. And if it doesn't deliver, then you're over, you know, which is like, how many first time feature filmmakers do we know? Like, 1000? And how many of those first time phone 31st time feature filmmakers make a second film? Like very few, you know,
Alex Ferrari 40:36
because, exactly, because they're not smart about almost any of the process.
Alrik Bursell 40:42
Even if they are smart, it just beats them down. Like, you know, the whole process beats them down. And it's really tough to get through, it's emotionally draining, you have a lot of high hopes and expectations. And when they're not met, it's like you failed, you know, and I think like, you know, the difference between that filmmaker making the second feature and not making their second feature is often their expectations, if they just lowered their expectation expectations to think oh, like, I'm not I don't have to be Sam Raimi. I don't have to be Quentin Tarantino, I can just be all reprocell and have people like my movie, get a few good reviews. And then, you know, put the hustle back up again and make the second feature the same way I made the first one, then I think it's different, but people expect like, you only have to work hard once. None, that you have to work hard for the rest of your life. making films like that is
Alex Ferrari 41:32
part of the game. I mean, and so many people don't forget, forget that Francis Ford Coppola, obviously a patron saint of the Bay Area. Also patron saint of cinema in general,
Alrik Bursell 41:43
and on a gentle kind soul as well. You know, I've heard he's just a really, really great guy worked on one of his movies, and he treated all of the crew with respect and dignity. And, you know, took ideas from the PA is up to the producers like no, no, no idea was a bad idea. Like he was open to everybody. It was a really beautiful experience.
Alex Ferrari 42:04
But people forget that before he made the Godfather, right made dementia 13 you know, for for sale. Roger Corman for Roger Corman. Right. Well, you know, which was a basically a schlock B movie. Right. You know that it was his first movie, because that was the first time he did he didn't even back then there was definitely no mentality of the blockbuster mentality because bloodlines didn't exist yet. There was no getting rich in Hollywood, that wasn't even a concept that he was coming up. But all these filmmakers had to go through these these paths and right, everyone just keeps holding on to these lottery ticket winners, like Robert Roberts is the worst. I mean, not the worst. His is the most mythical of all of the you know, the $7,000 feature El Mariachi like Right, right, right. Right. Right. Yeah.
Alrik Bursell 42:51
But you know, with with the thing about Coppola, that's good to remember too, is that, you know, he had all his success with godfather and with Apocalypse Now. And then he made one from the heart, which completely bombed sunk his studio that he started and then he had to go to work for another 10 years making studio features in order to pay that off. And, you know, it was like, he didn't had no free rides, man, like, Oh, no, my father he had he had to hit the slog and, and make the movies he didn't want to make and do that. And, you know,
Alex Ferrari 43:21
he made the Godfather he made godfather two, he made Apocalypse Now. I mean, he made the conversation like come on,
Alrik Bursell 43:28
and then he has to go do Dracula and Patch Adams and you know, all his other movies. If he didn't direct patch it did he
Alex Ferrari 43:35
know he didn't know wasn't patch Adam. So no, it was jack. It was jack. JACK jack. JACK. Yes. Yes. Yes. JACK. with Robin Williams. Sorry, Coppola. Sorry, Francis. But Dracula, he actually I mean, Dragon is one of my favorite films of all time. Yeah, it was. It was and he loved it so much that he went to do he went to produce Frankenstein afterwards, which Oh, yeah, didn't hit that, that that that thing. But dragon loves that Dracula was amazing. It's one of the films Oh, amazing. But, but I want to ask you something, man. In your opinion, what is the greatest threat facing independent filmmakers today?
Alrik Bursell 44:15
Um, I think, really high expectations. You know, like we talked about and like being set up for setting yourself up for failure, you know, because you have this idea that you're going to reach such great heights with your first project, whether it be a short or a feature, and that you'll just never be able to like that reality will never live up to the expectation. So I think that's one big danger. I think the other danger is, you know, developing your own work and letting someone else take it from you and not actually making the money for yourself, which is something that I'm worried about a lot. And I think there's a lot of information and a lot that being said about creative distribution and self distribution. And I feel like that's a big thing that you talk about a lot and we've talked about a lot on our channel. cast as well. And I think that is not something to be taken lightly. And to be honest, my first reaction to it was like, Why does it have to be my job? I'm the creative, you know, I'm the filmmaker, like, that should be someone else's job, I
Alex Ferrari 45:13
am the artist, I am the artists, right? Like,
Alrik Bursell 45:16
why should I have to do the business. And what I've learned over and over in my journey as a filmmaker is that you have to care about the business, if you don't care about the business, you will never get your movie made, if I didn't care about the business, I would not be able to raise the money I've raised for my film that I'm about to shoot, you know, or have a plan to get this movie released when it's done.
Alex Ferrari 45:38
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Alrik Bursell 45:48
You know, and I'm really lucky to have, you know, a professional, and a veteran in my corner with my producer Jeffrey Allard who's produced over 20 films, like this film will probably be his 21st or 22nd feature by the time that it comes out. But uh, you know, like, he's guiding me, which is great, but like, you know, he's old school model, like, he's gonna go to distributors, and he's gonna take the best deal that we get offered. But I'm gonna have to be the one to say, look, Jeff, like, if we don't get the right offer, like there is another way. And and this self distribution, finding your audience, finding your your niche market to get the movie out to, that's a real good way where you can actually make some return on your investment for your investors, you know, and I don't think it should be discounted, like, I think no matter how big your movie is, that whatever star you have onboard, like, I think we should all be looking at creative distribution, now as a real way to get our movies made like because, you know, distributors, they're there. They're having a tough time right now, it's really hard for them to turn a buck and for them to survive. And you see companies closing down left and right, you know, and I mean, distributor just had the big shut down recently, or we don't really know what's going on with them. And I think that like looking at how you can get a return on your investment for your investors, by doing it yourself, is something that we just need to be looking at, you know, and I think that getting taken advantage of that's like a huge it's a huge danger,
Alex Ferrari 47:08
you know, yeah, it is it is one of the reasons why I wrote the my new book, which is the rise of the entrepreneur to teach filmmakers how to be an entrepreneurial filmmakers, right. I truly believe that the future is entrepreneurial filmmaking is filmmakers understanding the whole concept of the ecosystem of making money with your movie, if they don't, if you know what it's like, in the 80s. In the 90s, you really didn't have to know do a whole lot or know a whole lot to make money with your movies. Don't get me wrong, there were still obviously levels that you had to meet. But in the 80s if you just produce the 35 millimeter movie, it was all right. It was just there's no competition. There was a market. Yeah. And the 90s the DVD market, basically guaranteed that anything put out would make some sort of money. Right, but now it's getting especially horror films. Oh, God, it was insane. But nowadays, you have to sharpen that tool so much. You've got to be before it was an axe would define now. Yeah, it's a scalpel. You got it? Or or a bat even, you know, yeah, maybe Yeah, exact blunt instrument would have been fine. But now you've got to be so surgical with the way you do things. And you have to have so much more information because the market is so much more dense. So much more competition that if you don't, so, you know, as your producer, just as you're telling me, your producer is going to go the old school route, a lot of the things that he might have worked for him five movies ago don't work now or, or even two movies ago, you know, you know, like these distributors, you know, to get an mg or a minimum guarantee nowadays, right? Man, you really, and if you do get an A minimum guaranteed do you think you're going to get 100 200 $300,000? Are you going to recoup the entire budget? I mean, it's, it's rare.
Alrik Bursell 48:54
It's you have to like have a special movie that has a special reaction at film festivals. You know, when it comes back to film festivals, like if you if you win Sundance, then you might get that deal,
Alex Ferrari 49:05
you know, and that's a big and that's a big gift. Because I've worked on films that did when Sundance and didn't get deals, because they had no they had no talent attached. So the higher the budget goes, unless it's up to me, we're talking now outlier style, right? Roll out, blow out, right? It's success at a big major film festival, then maybe you'll have a bidding war, maybe a 24. We'll jump in maybe neon will jump in or vertical, right? But these guys are XYZ or x, y, z or one of these kind of guys that will come in and carry that out. But even then, you know, it's such a that's a rare situation. So
Alrik Bursell 49:43
yeah, definitely. It is rare just to get into one of those festivals like to get into South by Southwest, you have to be an outlier, let alone get the MG deal. You know,it's really tough,
Alex Ferrari 49:53
Right? And then a lot and a 24 is basically the Sundance of of distributors right? But right like they how many movies they release a year 10 Yeah, you know something which is
Alrik Bursell 50:06
which is a good amount for for production company or distributor but I mean even that is like very very few you know you right there's one of the chosen ones Yes. So
Alex Ferrari 50:15
Neon is the same way vertical you know these other you know, XYZ they don't. They don't take out they're not like gravitas that pumps out 40 movies a month. You know what I mean? They're they're not that shotgun approach kind of distributor that just kind of throws up everything against the wall to see what sticks. These guys care about their films, their key their curation, it's a curation that they do, you know, like, because when every time an 824 movie comes out, you're like, well, this is an 824 movie, right? It's kind of like the olden days of unfortunately, Miramax but like, you know, when when Miramax was in? Its you know, we don't we don't like to say the N word but but when Miramax was in its heyday, they were that company you know Fox Searchlight? You know these you know, Sony classics. These are movie studios that really did it nowadays. Man, it's just almost impossible to get into though it's it's actually tougher to get an A 24 deal than it is to get accepted into Sundance. Oh, is it really wow. But that just look at the numbers just Yeah, the numbers, right? There's 118 movies get accepted a year to Sundance. 10 get accepted to 824.
Alrik Bursell 51:21
Right. So I'm just saying and it's like the last black man in San Francisco the world's Yes, sorry to bother us the moon lights. It's like you know, that a special movies that are getting selected? You know, hereditary, whatever, you list all their names. booksmart. It's like you gotta have some real gold. You know, in order to get there, you know? Yeah, it's in its again, some connections to you know,
Alex Ferrari 51:43
oh, yeah. It's never underestimate the power of relationships in this but yeah,
Alrik Bursell 51:47
yeah, like Guess who directed booksmart Olivia Wilde movie star, you know, okay. That's not that's not a coincidence. People, you know.
Alex Ferrari 51:56
And it was her first movie, by the way. It was first feature. First nature. And she did a great job. By the way. I enjoyed the movie. Yeah, but oh, I haven't seen it yet. I heard the trailers. Awesome. Yeah, I enjoyed. I enjoyed the movie. I thought it was really good. She did a fantastic job. I think she has a really, you know, good career ahead of her as a director. And as an actress, obviously, she's a fantastic actress as well. Yeah. But, you know, it does help that you're Olivia Wilde, you know? Absolutely. Olivia Wilde walks, you get more meetings and Al Roker, Alex does. A few more, just a couple more, not many. But just a couple more, a few more, just a few more. A few more access to some good actors to some good crews a little bit better access IV just just the slightest Smidge. It's a smidge. Not much, but it's a Sprite. So let's talk about this five year epic that you've been working on? Oh, yes, the alternate can you tell us about the film and where we're at with it right now.
Alrik Bursell 52:54
So it's based on my life as a videographer and a video producer. So it's about a, you know, kind of down on his luck Have you out or for Jake, who is having a really tough time, you know, getting his films made and doing the corporate thing hates it. One day, he discovers a portal, inside one of his video clips, like he finds this little speck and he magnifies it, he puts them after effects on it, and then expands it. And then it turns out, it's a portal to another dimension. And when he goes through the portal, it's another version of his life, like the better version of his little crummy basement office. It's like, you know, instead of having a you know, sheet as his projector, it's like a perfect pull down like automatic projector and like, get the best, you know, everything. And so he starts to travel back and forth between these two worlds and starts to see the different version of his family on the other side. So he has a wife in his regular life. But he's got the better version than sweeter, nicer version of his wife in the other world. And the kid that he never had the filmmaking career of his dreams, that's perfect. And so he starts to like, slowly impersonate his other self, who turns out to be a complete piece of shit like this douchebag workaholic, doesn't spend time with his family doesn't spend time with his wife. And so he starts to really hate his other self and starts to impersonate him and create a create a relationship with this other version of his family. And then eventually, he decides that he deserves this life and he decides to switch places with his other stuff and take the good life for him and then give his ultimate self the crummy life that he's created for himself. That's so it's kind of a switcher room sort of thing like a mind Bender, pretty dark, dark comedy, you know, but it's a it's a lot of fun.
Alex Ferrari 54:39
That sounds awesome. I mean, I like who doesn't know who doesn't want to have an alternative life in many ways. I don't I love my life. But But, but I when I was but let's say you know, well, how about if I was the studio director, if I was making the next Batman's or the next Marvel rise, or something like that, that would be pretty good. It's a nice thing to explore. It's a nice, a nice place to kind of explore, you're like actually making a vision board, sir. You're making a vision board, right? what you like, this was what I, this was should be right now. So you've actually made an entire movie
Alrik Bursell 55:17
about your vision of what you buy really, for my life Exactly. Like my, what I tell my therapist when I talk about, you know, with my, my counselors is like, this is what I want my life to be. Well, what I really did was I just took like, I took myself and then I imagined, like the worst version of me. Yeah, and then the best, hardest working version of me, like, exaggerated in both directions. And that's how I wrote the two different versions of Jake, you know, just sort of like using myself as a loose template for that.
Alex Ferrari 55:47
That's awesome. Did That's awesome. Yeah. No, where are you crowdfunding right now?
Alrik Bursell 55:52
Yeah, we're doing a crowdfunding campaign on seed and spark. You can go check it out at seed and spark dot c spark slash fund slash, alternate, the alternate. That's what is slash the alternate. And, you know, I don't know when this is gonna come out, but we're probably like 10 days away, or maybe 15 days away from completing right now. And, you know, it's been a really great process, a really great adventure. I mean, like you said, I've been working on this movie for five years from writing to developing to pitching and you know, all you talked about getting all those rejections and going through that, you know, the whole song and dance like, I did that, like, for a long time, I did 20 pitches to different executives in Los Angeles, I went to FM's in about 25 pitches there, you know, got rejected all across the board, a million different types of feedback. I did table reads, I did all these different things. And I finally got a producer attached. Jeffrey Allard, who read the script, believed in it believed in me gave me a shot. And, you know, basically the last two years we've been raising funds and, you know, doing some hardcore development and like now we're ready to shoot the film in December.
Alex Ferrari 56:57
That's awesome, man. Congratulate congratulate. Yes, man. Congratulations. I know. Look, I trust me. I I feel you I've been where you are. I've been I've walked I've walked a lot of the same. Same roads. We've we've walked over the same dead body, sir, I think. And I do believe that both of us have plenty of shrapnel. And yeah, plenty of scarring from this business walked right through the right or through our filmmaking paths, man, because it's, it's brutal, man. It is. Yeah. It's brutal. Yeah. And filmmakers who are listening this for the first time, it's fantastic. It's everything you ever dreamed. It's a wonderful, wonderful business, you should do it twice.
Alrik Bursell 57:43
I sometimes, like I'm sure you've gotten the same advice that I've gotten where you'll you'll talk to a veteran or somebody who's been in the business a long time somebody you look up to, and you ask them like, what what should I do as a young filmmaker, and I've had more than one someone tell me to quit, and go into a new business? I don't have you ever gotten that advice. And, and I feel like it's really like, debilitating to hear that, you know, for someone you admire, especially. And I feel like I never want to give that advice to anybody. Because I think if you're passionate about it, and you really want to do this, and you find joy in the process, you will have success, you know, no matter what, you know,
Alex Ferrari 58:20
in one way, shape, or form, but at the end of the day, I always anytime I see somebody who's really egocentric, which I know shocking in our business, you know, or just, I mean, it's it's rare. It's like a unicorn, but ego what existed in filmmaking. Why stop it? But, but when you feel when I see people are egotistic or people who are, are trying to get into the business, in a good way, and they're just humble about you know, which is rare. That is a unicorn, I barely, I barely felt makers, like, I know nothing. Please just teach me I rarely ever hear that. But and we all fight with we all struggle with that, right? Oh, I made a movie. Oh, my movie, last movie is called on the corner of ego and desire. I mean, it's a perfect example of what we had to do. But, but I always just think I always say to myself and I sometimes I'll say to them in their face. I'm like, Don't worry, man. The film business will will weed everybody out that needs to be weeded out. We'll teach the lessons that need to be taught. Right, right. And it might not happen now. It might happen in 10 years. It might not be on like I always say there's filmmaking karma. And that that comes around. You know, Brett Ratner got it. Bryan Singer got it. You know, there's a lot of guys that came out. A lot of those guys I had heard about for years. I was here. I mean, I was outside. I heard about it and I was outside of the business. Right, right. Living in Florida. And I heard these stories. Well, yeah, as much success as they might have had, you know, it does come around size. Yeah, karma is as they say a bitch. Oh, absolutely. And filmmaking, current filmmaking karma is, I think, even a different flavor of
Alrik Bursell 1:00:10
That's why, you know, I've had so many people helped me along the way, getting to where I am, I did a Kickstarter for my first short film, which was successful, I've had lots of people come out and work for, you know, for very little money, you low wages, or even for free here and there. And I always just try to give back. So yeah, that's like, kind of, you know, with the podcast, that's one way that I get back. And then also just working out other people's shorts when I can, whenever I can, or their features and just, you know, just being involved as much as I can. And in filmmaking, you know, not just for my films, but for anyone's films, like anyone who, who I believe in, in like, you know, who asked nicely, do what I can, but um, just to go back to the crowdfunding a little bit, we put it We put a lot of effort into getting this page together, you know, we did a lot of videos, and there's a lot of videos that are ever been released already along the campaign. So by this time, our teaser trailer has probably been released, which is a two minute you know, cinematic trailer for the film, it's, it's like a one scene, basically, in like, half another scene mixed together. There's also a documentary series that we're doing on the making of the film that you can watch. So, you know, as we get, you know, higher and higher in our goals and hit more milestones, we're going to be releasing more interviews with the cast and the crew talking about, like, why they decided to work on my film, when they have so many different film options to work on the you know, they're turning things down, because they started the time, like, why do they believe in me and give me a shot with the alternate you know, and I'm also gonna do a video series where I asked everybody who I've interviewed, what advice they have, for me, as a director, in some of these people, I've worked on 20 movies, 10 movies, you know, differ tons of different directors over their careers. And so it's really interesting to hear what everyone's advice was. So that's gonna be one of the last milestones that we release, when we get close to our goal of $25,000. You know, around 20, you know, 21 we're gonna release that video. So, you know, if you like the sound of the film, and you want to support, you know, elevated indie sci fi, you should go check it out. Yeah, we get a lot of awesome perks, you know, we're not doing physical perks, we're doing digital perks. So like things that I can get involved with your filming career filmmaking career, if you want me to, like, you know, consulting, on scripts, on shorts and features. Also, just thank us. And we're doing this really fun thing that people have really liked a lot, where we'll take a photo from you from, you know, one that you give us or anywhere from Facebook, and we'll put you in the portal. So you can be a part of the film. And if you don't, if you don't like the portal, you know, and you have another favorite sci fi film, like, you know, I see you got Yoda back there, you know, or whatever we could put you in your favorite sci fi movie. We put people in the alien we put people in Terminator, we put people in somebody asked to be put in passengers of all things. The film with man, Chris, from guards the galaxy, and we have Chris Pratt, Chris Pratt and Jake Gyllenhaal, wasn't it? A Jennifer? Jennifer Lawrence?
Alex Ferrari 1:03:13
Jennifer Lawrence. That's her? Oh, that one? That's a fine movie. Yes, yes. Yes. Yes.
Alrik Bursell 1:03:17
So you know, if, if you if you think the oil is cool, but you'd rather be put into something else, we got you covered there, too. So it's just been a really fun experience. And I've got actually to reconnect with a lot of people I worked with years ago, are old friends and family. And so it's been a lot of fun to do this, this crowdfunding campaign and, you know, come join us. And if you can contribute great if you can't just, you know, follow us on CD spark is super helpful, or, you know, give us a shout out on social media. That's great, too. So, yeah, hope you guys check it out. And hope you guys liked the film. And I open I openly accept feedback. So if you guys want to tell me what you think of my teaser trailer, and if you liked it or hated it, or whatever you what you would do differently. You can you can reach out to me and write me there too. And I'll keep that in my back pocket for the future. You know, because I'm always trying to grow, you know, it's like it's a collaborative community thing. It's not, it's not like I always say, it's not like the, you know, a tour on top of the mountain, you know, directing this movie with his own singular vision. It's like a shared vision. It's a collaborative effort. You know,
Alex Ferrari 1:04:18
so I wanted to tell you how far up my own ass I was a film student. I was so far up my own ass. I can't even tell right. I mean, as we all were, I know I'm like 2530 criterion laser discs. far up my ass laser discs. Yeah, a laser. Okay, that's how that's how far up as you know the name of my first production company, which was never real production. It was just the logo that I put up front. Well, what was the name? Prepare yourself a tour pictures for tour Not kidding like it is at the beginning. I'm thinking one day I this everyone listening right now, if you guys want me to release my first two short films oh yeah after that we're you know actually one of them has an actor who's actually a working actor now. Oh, yeah he like he was he was he was a college kid in Orlando and I just saw him on Bosh that Amazon show like he and he's been in like movies with James Franco. He's like a working actor. Oh, that's and so I could put it that one's called playing the field. And then another one. And then another one, which is our is an award winning film, which is thought of a prospective groom. And on that is just so full of pretension. I can't Oh my god. Like every they're not released. We can't they have never been seen. They've never been really Oh, I have them guess I have them. I've never released them. And so if I get enough people that messaged me on Facebook, Twitter, or email me and say Alex released these shorts. I will put them on YouTube. I'll put them on. I'll put them up put them for free on YouTube. Yeah, I'll also put them on ifH TV, but it has the logo I had this circa 1996 3d, 3d like embossed logo on stone on stone on stone like on this like marble like on a marble tour. And then you see that light go by so the shadow shifts? Oh, it's so bad. Oh, my
Alrik Bursell 1:06:30
Classic. I can't wait. I officially vote for this to happen. I want to see these films.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:36
I shot a beta shot on beta on beta beta SP beta SP It was a professional like news camera.
Alrik Bursell 1:06:46
It was basically newspapers and news camera, right? Yeah, I I released some of my early stuff from high school. I think it's on YouTube, you can see a short film I did very first short film about, you know, you think it's a football player. But it actually turns out to be something else altogether. And I star in it. As well, as I wrote and directed it with my friend. Dolly,
Alex Ferrari 1:07:08
I wasn't that far up my own ass or not, then
Alrik Bursell 1:07:10
I you know, we just basically remember the theaters, we didn't have anybody to put in our movies for the effort. So we just put ourselves in them by my senior year, I was like never acting again. I'm only working with professional actors, like the people who are starring in West Side Story and my school play. That's the that's the lowest algo only that, you know. So I was right there with the man. Don't worry.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:35
But did you have a company called tour pictures?
Alrik Bursell 1:07:37
I cannot claim that I had a pig. I think what we had so I had two friends. They're both Jewish. So it was two Jews in a goy. That was a production company. That
Alex Ferrari 1:07:51
high school that's actually much cooler. That's a much cooler situation. Yeah,
Alrik Bursell 1:07:55
I had I mean, maybe offensive? I'm not sure. But you know, I was the guy. So whatever. You know, I don't know, I didn't make up the name, you know. But
Alex Ferrari 1:08:06
so let me ask you a few questions I asked all my guests are sharing. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business to the gate other than calling their film company a tour pictures?
Alrik Bursell 1:08:16
Okay, well, yeah, so once you name it a tour pictures, the first step, then I would, I would say, you know, like, make your films, you know, tell your stories, don't let anything get in your way of doing it. Right. Small and, and just get out and make it and if i think you know, if you've never made a movie before, you know, take your iPhone, take whatever camera you have, and go make it. And then once you've done that, you know, get the best people around, you make your next one and make your next one and just keep on making stuff and don't. I think like for a long time, it took me Gosh, four or five years to make my first professional short film because I was like so much in my own head. Like I had worked on movies, I'd worked with really well known people and like, you know, on bigger sets, and I was like, I'm only gonna make it if it's the Sundance worthy, it's gonna, like really get to this big film festival thing. And then it took me years to just realize like, No, I have to make the story. That's true to me. And that's the story that I'll make when I finally got that I threw away 10 short film scripts and just made strange thing and but it took me forever from like, 22 to 27 you know, and I just wish I had gotten started earlier, you know, and like, gotten out of my own way.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:29
You know, that's the biggest thing man you get in your own way. It took me 20 years before I made my first feature. Wow, geez. So because I was
Alrik Bursell 1:09:36
still I'm still going to my first feature still going?
Alex Ferrari 1:09:40
soon soon. Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Alrik Bursell 1:09:47
The longest to learn? I think that there's still lessons I haven't learned yet that I'm going to learn soon hopefully. So I it's hard to say the longest but one big lesson I learned early on when I was a production assistant. was to relax. And just, like, calm down, like it's gonna be okay. Like I got so worked up working on the second feature that I worked on that I was like I just over stressed myself out, I was running around acting like a maniac as a PA, and my, my production supervisor benched me. She She benched me for like, three hours, she's like, you have to get off set with your, you're being disruptive more than you're being constructive. Just go have a beer, eat some food, and then come back when you're ready. So you were put in timeout you put in, I was put on timeout. And, you know, me in that production supervisor, we didn't get along very well, you know, I really have a lot of respect for her. But that was one thing I learned from her that was like, you know, yeah, just just slow your roll, relax, it's gonna be fine. Like, there's disasters, there's only so much that can be done, but keep your shit together, you know. And then I remember the location manager was a really, really veteran location manager on that movie. And I ended up working under him a lot in the second half of the shoot. And that was one thing like he never, he never got upset. They would like switch locations like we would have a location prep ready to go. And then we would get a call from the production like, no, we're not going to this location, we got to go to a completely different location, we were going to be there tomorrow instead. And no matter how disastrous he never lost his shit. He was always calm. And so after I got benched, and I got put in timeout, and then I got to look at that guy and watch him. I was like, yeah, that's the way to be. And I've taken that into every production I've worked on since whether it be a production assistant, you know, camera producer, director, I just keep my calm because, you know, what, what is getting stressed out gonna do is it's gonna cause more problems.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:45
You know, stillness is the way sir stillness is to become Zen on set. If not, you have to, you will, it will destroy you, it will destroy Well, now what and the production in that is not to mention the production. Now, what is the biggest fear you've had to overcome? To make the film that you're about to do?
Alrik Bursell 1:12:05
Biggest fear I had to overcome? Um, well, I think, you know, that's a hard one to answer. I think one of the things that was stopping me for a long time was the idea of feeling that I'm not ready, you know, and that I need more things in order to make my film, whether it be more funds raised, or, like more well known actors attached or whatever. And then I think when I when I actually got my experienced producer on board, one of the things I've learned from working with him is, you know, you just you need to take charge of the situation as the director or, you know, you're going to be producing your first feature, almost certainly, you know, if even if you're working with an experienced producer, you still have to be a producer. So I think it was hard to learn that I just had to do it, you know, and I just had to get the ball rolling, I had to set the dates, and just do it. Because, you know, you know, they're gonna change you know, things are gonna are gonna flux but putting it out there and saying, Hey, I'm making this film this year in in December 1, it was October now it's December. I think that was really hard to just decide that it's up to me, and that I have to take ownership and I have to do it, and no one's gonna do it for me. I have to do it. You know.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:24
Awesome. Now the toughest question of all three of your favorite films of all time, three of your favorite films of all time.
Alrik Bursell 1:13:29
Okay. Alien. Terminator. Good fellas.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:36
Now that's a heck of a mix. Now if you have if you have if you did a smash of all three of those?
Alrik Bursell 1:13:42
That be a great movie.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:44
I would watch that movie.
Alrik Bursell 1:13:46
There are so many other films I left off like
Alex Ferrari 1:13:49
I mean, there's a 1000s of but those are three those are three that just come to your mind now.
Alrik Bursell 1:13:53
Yeah. Okay, so there's one from the 50s that I really really like a lot. I can't remember the name of right now they remade it into sorcerer. That's this.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:02
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Alrik Bursell 1:14:04
What's the original called wages of fear?
Alex Ferrari 1:14:06
Okay. Yeah, remember that movie?
Alrik Bursell 1:14:08
Yeah, it's a French film. They shot it in English, French and Spanish. I believe in three different languages going because it was these people from all different parts of the world that were in this one camp together. But yeah, we just the fear is one of my favorites, Double Indemnity. I'm going to go pick up the classics now. Those are great but and then of course the thing huge inspiration but
Alex Ferrari 1:14:30
Obviously and obviously the room because it was shot in the Bay Area.
Alrik Bursell 1:14:33
Oh, right. Of course the room big time. Were probably scarred me when I watched that I got through. I got to the sex scene. nightmares. nightmares, that I just knew I was watching it with a bunch of friends.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:46
You have to watch it with a bunch of friends.
Alrik Bursell 1:14:48
You cannot watch that movie alone who is a man? Like I but I don't think I ever finished
Alex Ferrari 1:14:52
it. I've seen that movie multiple times. It's still one of my favorite. It's my favorite worst movie of all time. It's But without question, but you have to watch it with filmmakers. You have to watch it. Like I saw it. While I was shooting on the corner of ego desire at Sundance, in the middle of production. We at night when we were all hanging out, like we've got to watch the room. And nobody, I was the only one in the entire room and seeing it. And then we had to watch the room and it was just every month like, what is that? Is that stock footage from San Francisco? What's what's going on?
Alrik Bursell 1:15:25
Was that the same,was that the same year that disaster artists came out?
Alex Ferrari 1:15:30
Or was that? Yes, it was. Yeah, was that year? Was it? Yeah, it was I was on everyone's mind. Right? Like, is he humping her belly button? What is going on? Why is this man naked? Bear but, man, oh my god. He's like, he's like an alien that came in and put a meat suit on him himself. And the way he speaks is the way an alien would think that a human being speaks or has sex, right? Is that great? If whoever's listening right now on this show? If you've not seen the room, please go watch it. But you cannot repeat watch it alone. You have to watch it with a friend. Preferably actually filmmakers if you can watch it with a group of filmmakers even better. Do not watch it alone because it will not be the same experience. As I saw it. I saw the making of the the worst movie ever made documentary about troll two, which is a great documentary. Good pastic documentary about the worst movie ever made. Yeah, I think I've seen that. I think it was so good. It was so good. But then I went to go see troll to troll to frickin scarred me. Like I watched. I feel a little bit of myself die inside when I watched. It was just, there's something. There's something just purely evil about massacring of the cinema. Watching that film like even the room. The room is much better. It's a much really Oh, the room is much more fun. The room is so much more fun than troll two in my personal humble opinion. Because the thing that makes both of these good and what and they will stop the show with us if not we'll talk forever but the thing I love that makes these ship both those movies good, but the room more better, more better. made better. Is that troll to was made by a film director who was taking a completely seriously like, right, like that wasn't a spoof. That was right, this Italian director thinking that I think good cinema. That's what makes it great. But the room takes that to a completely new level. Because the producer, the writer, the director, and the actor are all the same dude. Right? And having it all in this wonderful thing and all the things behind the scenes he had to shoot in a digital and on film at the same time. And he's independently wealthy. And like that whole mystery of like, this movie cost $5 million. Like what is going on? It's just so good. It's just it's just so good. Just so good right? Now where can people find you and more about your movie and then of course where they can hear your show?
Alrik Bursell 1:18:03
Yeah, so first off, you know check out seethespark/funds/thealternate that's where everyone should go check out the crowdfunding for the alternate i'd love your support whatever you guys can do over there be great. You can find my website at www.alrik bursell.com I used to have it be a production company but I took the logistic guys advice and went with the name you know if you'd like that's a classy move. And then
Alex Ferrari 1:18:31
Classy with a capital case or go ahead
Alrik Bursell 1:18:34
The capital K and then then you can find the podcast at makingmoviesishard.com and we release episodes every Monday on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify all those good places awesome. And then I'm on Twitter @ Alrik B Instagram @ Alrik B but you really should just go see the alternate at at the alternate film on Twitter and no alternate film on Instagram and on Facebook and on Twitter it's alternate film one on Twitter so really ignore me when my podcast just goes check out all things the alternate that's where you should all head and if you like what you see you can help us make this this this movie that I'm you know they've been working on forever and that it's gonna kick ass when it's done.
Alex Ferrari 1:19:20
And I will put links to all of this in the show notes obviously please alright man, it has been an absolute pleasure having you on the show. It's your man you guys are welcome back anytime I know Liz is gonna come back on. Cuz I cuz I need to have Liz back on because I'd love Liz she's she's obsessed. Lizzie, I'm so lucky to have her. She's great. She's Yeah, you are sir. You are very lucky to have her as your co host. Fantastic.
Alrik Bursell 1:19:45
The podcast of likes doubled when she joined. And that's not an exaggeration literally doubled when we got this man show. So thank you, Liz. And yeah, I mean, I feel like if you haven't heard my show Like, all my listeners are probably listening to your show. And I feel like there's such companion pieces because it's like, different, like, you know, opinions on filmmaking different types of guests different type of style. And you know, I think everybody watched my show she listened to my show she listen to your show, and I hope that people who listen to this show will dig our show two.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:19
Absolutely, absolutely. There's it's a fantastic show. I've been on twice and I probably will have better it'll be Balearic. I'll recommend Liz again to be on the show when I'm talking about something new that I'm selling or promoting.
Alrik Bursell 1:20:32
Every time I have you on, we only scratched the surface. And I learned more about you this time this conversation. And I mean, there's so many things that we can discuss. And I think you have a very interesting perspective that can be lends to so many different topics. So yeah, and we'll be doing things together for sure.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:48
Absolutely, brother. All right, man. Thanks again for being on the show, brother. I appreciate it.
Alrik Bursell 1:20:51
Yeah. Thanks for having me. Take care.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:53
I want to thank all Rick for coming by the show. And again, guys, if you haven't checked this podcast out, check it out. It is a really fun show and does a lot of good for the filmmaking community as well. If you want to get a link to anything we talked about in this episode, including his crowdfunding campaign for his cool new movie, the alternative, head over to indiefilmhustle.com/355 for the show notes, and if you haven't already, please head over to filmmakingpodcast.com subscribe and leave a good review for the show. It helps us out a lot. Oh, guys, by the way, I just wanted to also let you know that I've been we just added a whole bunch of new content to indie film hustle TV. So if you want to check that out, go to ifhtv.com, and there's just a ton of new stuff. I've got a lot of plans coming up. We're gonna have a big special coming up for Black Friday. I'm just throwing it out there. But it's gonna be a pretty insane special on ifhtv. So keep your eyes out for that. Thank you guys so much for listening. Thank you for all your support. As always, keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
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