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From Homeless to Profitable Indie Filmmaker with Antonio Pantoja
Today on the show we have an amazing and inspirational story from filmmaker and entrepreneur Antonio Pantoja. Antonio is an Indie Film Hustle School graduate, as he puts it. He has been listening to the podcast since the beginning and has used everything he has learned to build up his career and finally direct his first feature film One Must Fall.
In Louisville, KY, 1986 a crime scene cleanup crew is on a job that turns deadly when they discover that the killer never left the scene of the crime.
Antonio’s story is one of the most inspirational stories I’ve had on the show. Coming from being homeless on the streets to building up a production company, photography business and directing career. He personifies H U S T L E.
He is proof that if you have the will, positive mindset and the hustle you can make anything happen for yourself in life! If you need some motivation or inspiration then take a listen to this interview.
Enjoy my inspirational conversation with Antonio Pantoja.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Antonio Pantoja – Official Site
- Antonio Pantoja – Facebook
- Antonio Pantoja – Vimeo
- One Must Fall
- Alex Ferrari’s Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Story) Book- Buy It on Amazon
- 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 1:47
Now guys, today we have on the show a filmmaker who was so inspiring to me and his story was so inspiring that I had to have him on the show. His name is Antonio Pantoja. And he is a director and a photographer. And his story is quite unique from literally being homeless out on the streets, to being able to build up a business as a photography business, a production company, and now doing feature films. And what he's been able to do was is just truly remarkable. And I just love his story. And we're going to talk about his new film, one must fall and the story about how he made this micro budget feature film. The one thing I love about Antonio's work is that short film after short film as I reviewed his work, they look stunning, he has such an amazing eye and he is pretty much self taught man, he just went out there and got the information and pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and was able to build up a career, a life a company, all by sheer will. And I think it's an inspiration to have someone like him on the show, to show the tribe what can be done by sheer willpower. I was truly inspired talking to Antonio, and I really cannot wait for you guys to hear it. So without any further ado, please enjoy my inspirational conversation with Antonio Pantoja. I like to work with the show Antonio Pantoja. What's up, brother?
Antonio Pantoja 3:24
Oh, man, nothing much. I'm just doing better than I deserve. I'm on indie film hustle right now. That's insane. Thank you, brother.
Alex Ferrari 3:30
I truly truly appreciate it. Man, you reached out to me a while ago, a little while ago, and you show me your movie, you told me the story behind it. And, and, and kind of what any film hustle is done for you in the process of it. So before we get going, I want I really want to talk about first of all, how did you find indie film hustle? And what does it been like doing for you? Like, because I like to know what I'm doing right? What I'm doing wrong, so I can better the situation for the for the tribe? So first of all, how did you find us in the first place?
Antonio Pantoja 3:57
You know, I mean, it was a desperate search to find anything I could grab ahold of, for like information on filmmaking. And then you were putting out content like I have never seen before. I mean, two, three episodes a week, it was insane. And then not only that, but the blogs and then Dude, I think I bought all of your Udemy courses and lipstick and bullets and anything that you were putting out, I was buying all of it. And the funny thing about you is you're not going to stand behind anything or endorse it unless it really works for your community. And I respect that it's so much so I've hung on every word man for the better part of I mean, about four years now.
Alex Ferrari 4:33
You've been almost three and a half years, man. So you were there at the beginning. You were starting out?
Antonio Pantoja 4:37
Yeah. Oh, yeah, I was there very early man. So I checked in and I listened to all of the podcasts early and a lot of them more than once on flights and commutes and Dude, I still have to still replay a lot of them. You know? Amazing changed my life man because I think a lot of people in this situation like filmmaking community. They don't have a positive voice. And and a lot of times you speak directly to the truth. You know, directly at them. And you know, just like at the hip hop preacher. Yeah. And it's funny man, because you are their only voice just like you were my only vote. I'm in Kentucky. And not a lot of filmmakers out here. There's a lot of people doing really great work. But you were my only voice. So like, when I went to make really rough decisions and tough decisions, it was your voice in the back of my head that helped me, you know, overcome those.
Alex Ferrari 5:25
That's so awesome to hear, man, I appreciate it, man. It's not easy doing what I do. I try to I do it with a lot of love and a lot of great energy and a lot of good vibes. Because I truly want to help the tribe and help people who listen to whatever I do, and, you know, consume the content that I create, but it's what's really wonderful to hear that and that the impact is, you know, is real, because a lot of times you just sit here with a mic, you know, you see the little numbers fly by and and occasionally you get you know, messages and things like that, but to hear it straight, you know, is awesome, man. So I'm glad I could I could be of help to you in any way, shape, or form, brother. Now let's get into it, man, first of all, how the hell did you get into this business?
Antonio Pantoja 6:05
Oh, man, it's a it's a crazy story. So So basically, my dad had passed away in 2009. And in my daughter and I had two seconds of video before he passed. And and that's all I had was a camera that like our one from like, selling stuff at this company. I was working for a two seconds of video form. And my daughter was always asking me Can you tell me stories about your dad and how it came from Peru and all these things and, and I said, baby, I think I told you all the stories I got. And I said it would be incredible if I could have a video of him telling her stories, or anybody, you know, their unborn grandchildren and, and I really wanted to get in the business and do video for people who were terminal or sick so that they could speak to their unborn grandchildren and people who didn't know him and they would really be able to get ahold of them. So I was on a search for that for a long time and interviewed a bunch of people and tried to get into that, you know, and do that thing because I felt so much fulfillment through it. And I started doing weddings and commercials and just anybody who would let me point the camera at him. I just kind of realized that video makes you immortal you live on forever through video. And, you know, your story goes on for all eternity. And I thought that was so beautiful. And I'll say this, too. I said there's not many filmmakers in Kentucky. There's not many. There's great ones here though. There really is some good ones. I don't want to like discount their efforts in any way because we have some really good ones who I'm so jealous of because they're amazing. But
Alex Ferrari 7:25
I got you. So you you kind of got started with photography, right?
Antonio Pantoja 7:29
Yeah, yeah. So I got a camera that did both. It was a Canon T two, long time ago. And it you know, it's it's dual purpose. So that's video and photography. So I started doing some photography, I took pictures of my daughter, and I just knew that you live on forever through through print, and photos and video. And so I started doing that. And it just it blossomed from there. I did my first short film six months after I had the camera, I did the 48 hour film project. And it was a ton of fun, man. And then I just became obsessed with it, you know? And it's easy to like in this industry, it's so easy to become obsessed.
Alex Ferrari 8:04
Oh, and then some
Antonio Pantoja 8:07
Maybe too obsessed.
Alex Ferrari 8:08
And then some my friend without question, what I loved about, you know, one of the reasons because I get hit up all the time for people to be on the show. But I really loved that you came from a photography background, because your shorts look really, really good. Like you can tell that there's a photographer behind it. Because I know photographers and I know other you know, ya know, photographers who've made that transition into either cinematography, or into filmmaking. And man, their stuff is always tight, man, it is tight. And I wanted to kind of highlight that in this episode, because you know, you've learned a craft, and then we're able to translate that craft into what you really love to do. And I'm sure you love photography. But I know you probably really love filmmaking as well. And the time it took time to get there, right, you had to build those tools up and put those tools in your toolbox. Correct?
Antonio Pantoja 9:01
Absolutely. I think that photography is a really good start for anyone who wants to get into filmmaking, because you can be as imaginative as you want to be. And you only have to focus on one frame, which is the beauty in it. So my work is really different. It's a lot of composites, and very fantasy ethereal kind of images. So they're all very different, you know, and I try to tell a big story in each photo, and each photo usually does carry a story with it. It's so different that I didn't think anybody would would like it and it wouldn't resonate with anybody. So I was very surprised that like, people were giving it a chance, you know, but um, but yeah, it's it's I think it's an interesting place to start in photography, where you can just focus on one picture to tell a story. And then video almost you can you can tell the story in much different ways and you have a lot of, I guess more leverage to be able to tell the story that you want to.
Alex Ferrari 9:54
Now I want to ask you a question because this is this is something I've I've always wondered about people and I love asking this question. What gave you the courage to go down the art artistic path? You know, especially in a place like I live in LA, this is very easy to jump into an artistic path here, because it's everywhere, when you're living in Louisville, Kentucky, not the mecca of Hollywood by any stretch of the imagination. So at what point what, what did you just say to yourself that got you off your butt to actually start learning a new skill, and the bravery to kind of just go into the unknown? Because it really was the unknown.
Antonio Pantoja 10:34
Yeah, I think that honestly, man, social media is beautiful for that. So like, as much as sometimes I hate technology, because I feel like, the human brain isn't supposed to go through all these emotions at once, where you're scrolling through, you know, Facebook, and you're sad, then you're mad, and then you're happy all in 10 seconds, it's you shouldn't do that. But I think we're not cut out for that, really. But, but I think it does serve a really great purpose for artists, especially because when you're putting stuff out there, and people are engaging with you, and, and, you know, giving you permission to create more, I think that's so helpful, man, because as much doubt as you might have people that really, that you love and respect might be encouraging you and inspiring you. So I think a lot of it was that man. And of course, you know, my wife is so close to me. And she, she, you know, enables me to do these things and helps me you know, and she's a photographer as well, too. But, um, but yeah, man, I think that social media is so great for that, because it's bad for a lot of things. And it really bad. But, um, but I think that, you know, you have to, you have to be able to groom your friends list and your audience in such a way that, you know, if people are speaking really negatively about you, then why do they feel the need to say that publicly, maybe you can take it offline, and like, Yo, man, that really hurt my feelings, man, you don't want a private message, I worked so hard on this image. And if you don't know what it means to me, and I don't want this short film, or whatever it is, and, and, you know, usually it's a power thing, when people are that negative to you, they really just want to put their thumb over you in front of a big audience, you know, when they get that platform. So I think if you just address it and communicate, man, you'd be very surprised that you can kind of pull the levers to, to defuse that negative feedback. So you're gonna get that in the beginning, you know, you're gonna like you always say, Man you make you're gonna make the first film's gonna suck.
Alex Ferrari 12:17
No question. And I always found that haters. Because I've had my share of them and over over my career without question, it's not about you. It's about them. It's much more about them and what they're dealing with and what they're projecting onto you. They're their own fears, their own biases, their own judgments, but a lot of it's all fears and judgments of themselves. So when they see someone else going in, is that whole going up or doing something that they wish they could be doing. It's the whole crab in the bucket vibe that they just want to try to pull you down. And that's why you just kind of got a roll it off. Like, you know, like, like, like the incomparable Taylor Swift says, Just shake it off.
Antonio Pantoja 13:00
Well, that is true, man. I mean, um, you know, somebody said one time that a lot of people want to see you succeed, but they just don't want to see you doing better than them, you know, and that's so true, man. And when you're doing something outside of your element, and you know, you're doing something positive, there will be negativity. But you know, you just got to, you will learn more negativity in this in this business once reviews started coming out of film and stuff like that. But, but yeah, he got to push through the negativity and you got to figure out why you want to do it. So if you're in love with the reception of it, like, oh, Antonio, it was such an awesome film. I love it. If I'm in love with that, then that's the wrong way to be, you know, I need to be in love with the work which I am. I'm in love with the work. I'm in love with things that people hate, like going and finding props, and location scouting and things that suck and people quitting on you. I love all that stuff. Man. I'm obsessed with it. But I think if you're not in love with that, it's going to be a very difficult, difficult journey.
Alex Ferrari 13:53
Without question, I think that you know, if you don't love what you do every day, and you and you're forced to go do it, which many, many, many people around the world do. It is. It is very difficult to move forward.
Antonio Pantoja 14:08
I agree. But But if you have so this might be somebody's first episode. So if you have this as an outlet, like indie film, hustle was my film school, indie film hustle was my film school. Like there's a lot of great content out there that exists that you can maybe piecemeal over a long time, but any film hustle can be your film school like this. This can get you through a lot of those like Alex's episodes deals with haters. He has an episode dedicated to haters like that changed my life man so I think that um, this show the power of it is that it can be somebody film school can guide them through man if if they go and listen to every episode now you're on like 200 and
Alex Ferrari 14:48
Almost 300 almost 3 almost 300
Antonio Pantoja 14:51
So so i think that you know, if you especially like the last few, but if you go through that, take that journey, and like you said, listen to it in the car. Don't wait. At any time, have a headphone in your ear while you're cooking clean and whatever, um, man, this could really put them on their path. This is what they really want to do this show alone.
Alex Ferrari 15:10
Oh, I do appreciate that there is many, many things out there that can help them, educate them audio books, things like that as well. But I'm glad that I can provide some sort of value to them on their journey. I would look that I wish I had I wish I had something like this podcast or even the lot of the stuff that we all take for granted when I was coming up. Did you forget YouTube, that there was there was a time that there's no information about filmmaking? Like you had to go to the library to pick up the book from the 70s to read about how Scorsese made taxi driver, that was the best to add. There's so much information out there. Now. There's so much there's no excuses for not making your own stuff.
Antonio Pantoja 15:48
Just just there's no excuses. You know, you put me on mute, or you put me on you to me would Yeah, amazing. But you also put me on audiobooks because I do audible now. And like, yeah, I've listened to so i don't i never I had never read a book. So like, I have literally never read a book except Rebel Without a crew only. Like, grateful when I got audible Dude, I listen to everything now, man. Oh, yeah. And then it's, it's huge. And I think that he's got links. So this is for the listeners, he's got links to audible books that he recommends, there's the top 10 that he has, and do. They're all amazing, they will change your life,
Alex Ferrari 16:23
I appreciate that I become much more audible centric lately, where I'm reading about two or three books a week. And it's changing my whole perspective on everything. And just educating you always educate, you're always learning, you're always kind of growing. And that's where you got to be as a filmmaker, as an artist. And as a human being in general. You just kind of keep educating yourself, keep exposing yourself to new ideas that you never know what's going to spark. The next big thing in your life. It could be a book, it could be an article, it could be a podcast, it could be you know, video on YouTube, it could be whatever it is, you always have to expose yourself to as much great stuff as possible. Now, let's get into your movie, man, because that's why I wanted to bring you on the show. one man, one must fall. Yeah, first of all, it looks insane. It looks beautiful. It looks ridiculous. It looks crazy. Tell us a little bit about the film.
Antonio Pantoja 17:17
So thank you so much for that, by the way, but one must fall is It's about a girl from the 80s. And in sidebar, I didn't do an 80s film because nostalgia is popular right now. I had to get rid of cell phones and technology so that I could make a slasher film, you know, so I didn't want to incorporate that into my film and just be like, Oh, you know, the service is dead here. That sucks. We can't call the police now. I just wanted to get rid of technology completely because I felt that it ruined the slasher film. So I made an 80s movie, and I got all the 80s props and all that to make it period authentic and everything but um, but basically it's about a girl in work in the 80s office environment. And she's working for this. You know, he's a very chauvinistic boss. He's a jerk and he fires are wrongfully so she gets a job on a crime scene cleanup crew where they clean up murders and suicides. It's a real job, by the way. Yes, it is. And that, and basically, this this killers on the loose in Louisville, Kentucky where I'm from, and he's he's killed people in warehouses and leaves their bodies. And basically, in this situation, they killed 10 people. And he's in this 80,000 square foot warehouse. And the killer was never apprehended. But guess what? The crime scene cleanup crew still has to come and clean the bodies of it. They're discovered, even if the killers not ended. So I thought what would happen if they're locked in there, you know, with a killer, and he was never caught. But he's somewhere in this massive building? What would what would happen? Can they survive the night? And so that's kind of what the movie is about. And, and yeah, man, it's just, it's everything that I've loved since I've been a kid. So I just kind of, you know, molded that into something that I would love to make.
Alex Ferrari 18:53
Oh, that's awesome, man. Now, how, how did you finance the film?
Antonio Pantoja 18:57
I did a couple different things. So I think in order to keep the budget low, I just kind of followed your blueprint. So you said and so did Robert Rodriguez and his Rebel Without a crew book. But you said, keep it fixated to one location, if you can view locations as possible few actors as possible, you know, that kind of thing and use your resources, the things that you have access to. So I had access to this warehouse. So that's kind of where I started. And then I wrote it based on that, so that the budget can be tailored to something that's small enough for me, me to be able to do it just like you, you know, my budgets under 10 million, you know what to say? But basically, I did, I had, I had a really unorthodox way of financing. So I created a business plan. And, and, you know, most people will ask, you know, people who are rich for money, and I think that's the wrong way to do it. So what I did, and by accident, I got the money. So I said, I created my business plan. I sent it to the two people. I respect the most And I said, Would you be willing to take a look at my business plan? I respect your business acumen so much. Would you be willing to give me advice on it, you know, for my movie, and both of them looked at it. So indirectly, they just had to read it. Sure. And both of them looked at it, and they gave me the money. But I think that if I would have asked him for the money, then they would have probably been like, No, man, no, I'm not looking at that business plan. But I was like, yo, do you think you can look at this, and I didn't do that on purpose. Of course, there was no malice or anything, but I just, I really did respect their business acumen. So I sent it over to them. And both of my friends funded the film, but they're, they're very close friends. So
Alex Ferrari 20:37
You know, what's funny is that that is a great way to get you in like you again, you did it without knowing, but you kind of snuck it through the door, you snuck it by the bouncer and got into the party, without without actually meaning to do so. But it's a great way. I mean, when you when you ask somebody for something, it's a completely different thing. Like when I'm wanting money from you, that's gonna you're gonna get your guard up. I'm like, I want your opinion. Because I respect you. So now you're you're feeding their, you know, ego. I know, you didn't mean to, but you're feeding their ego a little bit. You're like, you know what, I need you to be kind. Can you be kind to me for a second? And I just wanted because you're so good at what you do? Can you just look this over? And if you've done your job in the business proposal, you might get financing?
Antonio Pantoja 21:25
Yeah, I think that's what it was, you know, my work previously, and and then I think that man, a lot of people will just come right out. Like, you always say, just treat it like a date. You don't ask somebody to bed as soon as you meet them, you know, and you always say that, you know, and, and, and, you know, it was by mistake, almost, but I sent it to two of my buddies. And I think that that's what people should do. I think that they should send it to people they respect anyways, and get positive feedback on it. But yeah, man, so so I was very lucky. So they were like, this is it. And they financed most of it. And then we figured that it would be good to do a, like a crowdfunding campaign in addition, sure, so that I could just get the word out that it's in existence, then, you know, I'm actually doing it. And and then that will really hold my feet to the fire. So I did that as well.
Alex Ferrari 22:11
How was your How was your experience crowdfunding? Man, I hated it.
Antonio Pantoja 22:14
Yeah. second job, you have to curate these videos, like, you know, as often as humanly possible. And I mean, everybody knows who's in video how long it takes to do a good one. So you're doing that to three times a week or more. And, you know, it's tough. It's like a second job doing that. I still gotta, I've still got to get the T shirts to the people and the posters and DVDs that I've promised them. And it's taken longer than I had anticipated, so I feel horrible about it. But you know, that's part of crowdfunding. I think
Alex Ferrari 22:43
That Yeah, I can't, I hated it. I hated every minute of it. It's just grueling. And you're like, your stomach is all on thought knots. Like, is anyone gonna do anything? It was Oh,
Antonio Pantoja 22:54
it was brutal, brutal, brutal. It's scary. It's so nerve racking to do that, you know, and,
Alex Ferrari 23:00
but it works. And if you've got, look, if you got, you've got the, as I say, conus to do it. And you can hold on to it, man, go for it. It is a great way of doing it. But it is it is work. People don't really realize it.
Antonio Pantoja 23:13
I think people underestimate it when they're like, Oh, I'm just gonna get a bunch of money, because that's not what it is. There's work. There's a lot of work there. And then, and then post, like, once it's done, like, once you got the movie done, there's that now you got to give the stuff that you promised to the people who paid for it. So
Alex Ferrari 23:26
it's it's pretty, it's pretty brutal, no question about it. Now, I want to ask you something. What is the biggest fear you've had to overcome to make this film because this is your first feature, right?
Antonio Pantoja 23:39
This is my first feature. Yes. I think that the fear of rejection is the reason that people do not proceed in the first place. But um, but one of the guests on your show, has been an idol of mine for a long time. Lloyd Kaufman. It's been an idol of mine for ages since I was a kid. And, and I reached out to Lloyd, probably I met him three years ago, I want to say, Sure. And then and then he called me. And he's, he told me, he told me exactly what you said. So basically, he said, You know, you're treating this like, it's a huge dragon that you have to slay, but it's not. This is just your first feature. And I'm like, yeah, it's my first that's, that's why it's scary. And he goes, No, no, no, it's just your first feature. It's not your last feature. It's just a feature. Yeah. And then this is exactly what you had been telling me. You know,
Alex Ferrari 24:30
cuz I went through it with myself with my first film. Yeah.
Antonio Pantoja 24:32
Right. indirectly, watching listening to your podcast, you had been telling me this exact same thing. And we had spoken about you a lot as well. But Lloyd was in my movie. So he's like, Listen, man, you're going to do that you're going to do the film. And I said, I'm going to do the film. And he goes, No, you're going to do it because I'm going to be in it. And then he's been out really was like, Oh, my God, I really have to do this. My hero Lloyd Kaufman, you know, so. So I was in the film and Lloyd has been a huge wealth of knowledge as you know, yeah. He's been through everything in this industry and, and then you know, like, so overcoming that fear of like, you know, as soon as I get the Alexa, then then then then it's going to be tied. Well, you know, I got the Alexa now but as soon as I get the Zeiss lenses that I want, then surely then I'm gonna be ready, dude, you're never gonna be ready.
Alex Ferrari 25:17
Mascara, you always had to find the fear, man, it's, it's always something, it's always something I speak from, from doing it myself was like, why need this camera, I need these lenses, I need this location, I need this amount of money, or I just can't do it. Well, you're hiding, you're being scared, you know, as opposed to like grabbing a camera or whatever camera you got around, like, you know what, I'm gonna go do it. And I and something's gonna come out of it. Something, I'm gonna learn something, I'm gonna meet
Antonio Pantoja 25:42
Somebody, something's gonna happen, there will always be an excuse. If you make one. They said, If you truly want to do something, then you'll find a way. But if you truly don't, then you'll find an excuse. And that's the truth, man, you will find an excuse to not and then I noticed that in myself. But it was through your voice that I was realizing and identifying those issues that I was having. Because Dude, you say that about every other episode, man. Get out there and do it,
Alex Ferrari 26:07
Do it. Because it took me I was 41 when I made this is man, you know, it was a little short. You know, it's a little film, I just kind of like, you know, throw it together with a friend and, and it came out really, I loved it, I thought was the greatest movie in the world, not the worst movie in the world. It's just something I did. I was like, you know what I got to prove to myself that I can go do this.
Antonio Pantoja 26:27
I know, theoretically, I have the skills, theoretically have the experience, but I just never done it. So let me just just kind of you know, you know, get it out there, clean out the pipes, if you will. And then after that after that pipe was cleared out now it's like, Alright, now I'm open, let's do this. And, and you just keep you keep rocking and rolling after that. But you just got to, you know, your first film is not going to be Reservoir Dogs, it's not going to be mariachi is not going to be slacker, it's not going to be boys in the hood. It's not gonna be paranormal activity. It's just not, you know, there might be that one person who does it, but generally, it's not. So just get that out of your head, and then just do what you want to do. And I think your audience, I think they have seen this as make the majority of your audience. But if you haven't, go check it out, like ASAP, because I think that a lot of the people out there preaching and teaching and stuff like that. They haven't made a feature, they haven't even made a feature like most of the people that I was following had not made a feature film, you know that they're well, on the same level as me, they were both they were all scared to commit to it, you know, and then then you come along and you're like, you know what I'm going to take you on my journey, I'm going to show you every step of the process and how I fail and how I succeed with this film. And I thought that was amazing. And I hadn't seen that through that lens just yet. And it inspired me I did a whole behind the scenes for my movie as well that I plan to eventually like workshop and free classes for and stuff like that. So I do classes here locally, with like photography. And man, I didn't know if one person will show up and five people will show up. But I show them a whole process lighting, shooting, editing right there, you know, composites and stuff. And man 300 people show up to it, man. So you inspired that man.
Alex Ferrari 28:06
Oh, man. And before we continue, I did not pay you to say all these things. So let's make sure everybody knows this. He is not a ringer. I just I do not truly I honestly appreciate all the accolades and I'm really, really grateful and humbled by everything. But just so everybody knows. I never met Anthony before this day. We've spoken a couple times on email. This is the first time we're actually talking. So just put that out there.
Antonio Pantoja 28:33
Yeah, it's true. There's no endorsement. I just I love the podcast, man. I'm a huge fan. So that's so for me this this is huge for me, because I'm so I'm a guy who has an eighth grade education. I used to be homeless, you know. So like, going being on this show, to me is, is maybe the most important thing that I've done right now to date.
Alex Ferrari 28:52
Now, let me ask you a question, though. I want to I want to touch on something if it's okay with you, when you just said that, you know, you're homeless? How did you because that means a lot. I mean, that means a lot to me is like one of my favorite episodes is about a homeless girl who was an artist and couldn't break out. And I was inspired Episode 88, where I just curse on everybody for an hour itself. People are so angry. So I want to I want you to can you do you mind talking a little bit about that process and how you got out of it? Because a lot of times and the reason why I want to ask this and I'm not trying to be intrusive or anything but I really think it could be an inspirational story to people listening to this right now. Because there's so many people listening right now to this that are making excuses are like sitting in their house. You know, that's, you know, half a million dollars and or, you know, or have the support of their parents and have you know, all the money in the world but they're scared to do this or do that, or whatever your situation is, you know, but homeless is a whole other level of shit you got to go through to get out. Yeah, so there's So tell me a little bit about that man. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Antonio Pantoja 30:10
So I came from a bit of a broken home. My dad was an immigrant. He was a laborer, he worked all the time. And if anybody has had their kids their house worked on by, by like an immigrant, Spanish speaking immigrant, they know that they work forever, you know? Oh, yeah. Yeah. So that was my dad. So he was a painter. He left way before I got up for school when it was dark. And he came home way after I got, you know, when it was dark again, he never saw light ever. So basically, um, he was always gone. I came from a very broken home, I was sort of raised by the television. And, and then my mother had put me out, I think when I was about, I think I was 15, I might have been 14, I was I was 15. And I had a car. Luckily, I was driving illegally. But I lived in my car. There was one moment where I was, you know, in my car and stuff, and it rained on me and stuff like that. And I had to like, figure out a way to stop the water from coming in, there was another time where there was kids that were on their way to a party walking behind my car, you know, and I'm trying to go to sleep, and I'm thinking, will I eat tomorrow, and these guys are walking behind me, and they're headed to a party, and they're dressed beautifully and stuff like that. And I was thinking, God bless how different are our lives. But But anyways, I just always worked. So um, so that was the one thing I just, I got a chance. So when I was a little bit older than that, I've kept surf forever on friends, couches and stuff like that. I didn't go to school. And then and then I got a chance, a friend of mine, leek, HyperX, and Josh emhoff, friends of mine, they let me work at this place. It was like to be an account executive, and a fortune 50 fortune 500 company. So I borrowed clothes to do the interview. And I walked in this building and, and I could see my reflection in the building. And I'm like, God, this building is so beautiful. And I looked at the reflection, I said, That's the first time I've ever dressed nice in my whole life. I said, I'll try to clean the trash out of this place, said give me the chance, I'll work harder than every person in here. And I did. And I kept climbing the ladder. And then I got into like a management position. I had my own team and, and then eventually, they hired more people based on our performance. And it was beautiful. So I thought that was amazing. And I just kept on doing that. Because I've realized that the ripple effect of your positive actions can affect somebody else so greatly more than you will ever know. Like you you're doing this podcast, maybe you don't know if it now you know, people listen, but when you first started, you didn't know if anybody's gonna listen. But I still did it. And then and then you started realizing, oh, my God, this is really affecting people, right? Kind of the same deal. So so that's where I had started. And I was in a bad situation, man, I just, you know, I was hanging around people, I probably shouldn't be hanging around for years. I'm covered in tattoos, look, I mean, but but but man, eventually I was able to get out of that situation for somebody positive and took me under their wing who I owe all the respect in the world to and, and that guy who hired me and put me on and kept promoting me, he ended up in my film, man,
Alex Ferrari 33:05
That's amazing story. That's such an amazing story, man. And, and literally, I like I always say, you know, hustle outweighs everything. You know, it was way education, it outweighs talent. It outweighs everything, man, you just got to hustle and hustle and learn as you grow and just keep pushing, you just keep showing up every day. And growing every day, you just don't know what's gonna happen and look at this. You came from living in your car, and then the guy that gives you a leg up, or just opens the door near hitting, you know, kids can do anything, he just opened an opportunity for you to bust your ass. And then from there, you were able to build your life up to the point where then at the end, not at the end, but at this point in your journey. He finances your movie, man.
Antonio Pantoja 33:52
Yeah, he always told me man, he's like, you got to send the elevator back down. He always instilled that in me. And then he also said that the only time you should look down on somebody is when you're helping them up. And he this guy all the time, it's like hyper he's he's amazing. This guy, you know, and, um, but I've had so many opportunities, you know, because of him or because, honestly, man, it was always because of either I worked really hard. And someone recognized it or I was nice to someone. And that's how I've gotten every opportunity in my whole life. And by the way, I don't want to keep saying that without mentioning my friend, Dorian Washington, who also financed the movie was amazing. He was a genius, too. So I got to mention.
Alex Ferrari 34:30
Of course, of course. No, that's that's really an amazing story. And I hope everyone listening out there understands, uh, wherever you are in your life, you can, you can better yourself, you can get out of it, you're in a bad situation go. That's why I wrote my book. I really wanted to get people to just understand that it's your choice. It's always a choice to show a positive and or to show up at all. If you do, right. And if you do, things will happen for you that I can promise you. Now. When you start the movie, and you know, you're going through Post, when did you start working on your marketing plan?
Antonio Pantoja 35:05
Oh, instantly. So I had, I had anticipated this for the better part of you know, since I started. So I've almost been doing this 10 years now, my dad's been past 10 years, which is insane. But I haven't had to hear. So podcast guys won't be able to see it. But I've got him tattooed all over. It's awesome. But basically, I started instantly. So as soon as I knew that, I wanted to do this, and I wanted to make a film. I did what you said to do, you said, the riches are in the niches and, and I knew that I had to, you know, I went the horror direction, because I knew I didn't have to have a star in order for somebody to give my film a chance. So that was very important to me. So um, so I started marketing, the film and Facebook groups, not even just marketing the film, I started marketing myself and providing value to those groups by saying things like, just posting memes and funny stuff and getting questions started, where polls and where people started discussions and stuff like that, just getting my name out there in a situation where people recognize me when I post that way, because I knew I would set it up for success years prior. So now when I post, I get a lot of engagement. So sometimes I'll get 1000 comments or 1000 likes, sometimes more. But um, but it's because I had set that up so far in advance. The other part of it, it just sweat equity man is reaching out to magazines and websites, and I don't have a PR person, you know, I don't have any of that stuff. I reached out to every there's a guy named Russell Jeffrey Banks who did a film called who's watching Oliver. This guy has a huge wealth of knowledge. The film was blowing up awards everywhere, major success got picked up by I want to say Raven banner, maybe you know somebody bigger, but um, oh gravatars pick them up. But basically, he was just saying, dude, you got to get that trailer out there, you know, you only got 60,000 views on the trailer, you got to get that number up, man. And he's like, you need to reach out to the people who host trailers on YouTube channels. And here's a few of them that I used. And, dude, he was a huge help to man, when you're in this industry, man is so funny, like you're trying to like go through the pipe. And at the beginning of the base of this pipe, you're trying to swim through the pipe, right to get to the other side. But the base, there's all these people trying to deflect you from swimming through through that pipe and you finished your movie. There's all these like welcoming arms who were like, get up in here, man. Now give me a hug. And that's what it was, man. So I think that because a lot of people say and they don't do man, they never execute, they talk it, but they never do it. So. So once you pass it, you get through there, man that gives you your members only jacket, and you're in.
Alex Ferrari 37:37
It's awesome. And you know, you actually did what I've been talking about for a long time is, you know, it's another it's not a sprint, it's a marathon and you're starting to lay those seeds down early on. So when you build that audience up, or people at least are aware of you, the second you start posting stuff that you want to do to promote or get help with. They're on it, because you've given them that value. you've provided that to them. It's pretty awesome to see it in inaction.
Antonio Pantoja 38:06
And thank you, I learned from you, man, I just followed your blueprint, man. It's out there. You know, again, out there for people again
Alex Ferrari 38:12
I didn't pay him. Now, what is you know, this is your first first feature and I know you've been you've been directing other shorts and things like that. But what is the craziest thing that happened to you onset?
Antonio Pantoja 38:24
Craziest thing, man is it actually turned out to be a positive because I think that there are film gods that really exist.
Alex Ferrari 38:29
Oh, yeah, no question. No question. No question,
Antonio Pantoja 38:32
Somethin is out there just like Steven Spielberg jaws man, the shark did work. And that was the best thing that ever happened to him. But so basically, what happened was about it was less than a week before the the movie was supposed to start Principal photography. And I had paid special effects artists up front to be working on body parts and stuff like that, that are instrumental for my film, I knew that that was going to be the superstar practical effects. It's got to be a true 80s movie. Everyone who like loves at cinema hates VFX, right for blood gore and stuff like that. So I had to be very careful with it, right? So the guy I hit him up, and I'm like, yo, can I get some progress pictures? And he's like, you put me on a really bad situation here. You know, it's like a week before the shoot. I was trying to be very careful because I really needed him. So I asked him for progress pictures all the way leading up to about a week before the shoot. And he's like, and I said, Dude, are you are you quitting on me? And he did he quit on me Do not cried man. I paced around my house for six hours. Like what am I going to do man, you know, I don't know what I'm going to do. And a friend of a friend, just like I said, you're nice to somebody, and you will get opportunities. But every opportunity I've ever had was I was kind of someone But anyways, so a friend of mine, Lindsey Mormon had a Vincent Wasserstein. He called me who is a legend in the special effects community. So he did like Jared Leto his arm and Helen Burns's neck for Requiem for a Dream and dog, ma he did the the angel And he's done so much iconic work Stephen King's thinner child pledges tons of stuff. And he called me. He's like, I'm gonna come and help you What's that budget? And I said, Dude, take everything you know, just take take it all. And it was he just really hooked me up man and he's just a hell of a guy and he came out here and he did it any so above what I'm doing, man, he's worked on films that have won. I mean real like Oscars and stuff. And he still came out and helped me man which is, which was so beautiful. He's like, Yeah, man, I've got I've got body parts from you know the movie VHS that I did. I've got heads from cabin fever and I'll bring them to you man and and he did man and he came through and killed it. And I think that's that's part of it man. And but watching the machine work man on the on the opposite end of that spectrum. That was the toughest part. But watching the machine work was so beautiful, man. It's It's everything man when you put pen to paper, and you see that those characters come to life man, and from your pen to their mouth. That's the most beautiful thing you're ever gonna experience in your life man for real so but it was it was beautiful. I loved it.
Alex Ferrari 41:00
It was that's awesome, man. That's a great so yeah, there are film Gods there's no question that they're film gods. There's that sometimes there's there's also film demons. But generally speaking, and Gremlins. Oh, there's lots of Gremlins, a lot of film Gremlins. Like, why is the camera not working? And we're burning. We're burning through the sunsets at sunset and in 10 minutes. We got to go.
Antonio Pantoja 41:22
Yeah, you know, it's funny man is I sold my car to buy the red epic. And it was a camera that I had lusted over for years. Yeah. You know, and, and then your film came out like right after I bought it and it was beautiful. You know, it's beautiful. And I'm like, Oh, no. Oh, God. No. Why did I buy this? You know, because he shot on the Blackmagic the 2.5k $1,000 camera. Yeah. And dude, it was gorgeous. And right after you this is made came out. I had just got the red epic. And like I just like I just wanted to collapse. I was like, Oh, god, what have I done?
Alex Ferrari 41:55
I love red. I think reds are great. They make great great cameras, but I've I've kind of fallen in love with the black magics because they're just the best bang for the buck for in my in my opinion, in my humble opinion. But at the end of the day, man whatever you caught. It's whatever you got. You got to read epic man. That's not a bad camera at all. Just shoot with it. Make it Laureus King. That's all Dory is always King, man. No question. Now I want to ask you what is the distribution strategy for the film.
Antonio Pantoja 42:21
So right now we've gotten a bunch of offers already, which is good, it's good. But it's right now there's been no minimum guarantee. And in mind you I have learned all of my distribution strategy and information through this show. So listen to this, guys, this is very important. So there's a minimum guarantee that you can get up front. And what that means is that they are going to give you money up front before you start seeing incremental funds come in from hardcopy or VOD sales, right? So I haven't gotten any mg. No minimum guarantee offers just yet, right. But I've heard stories on this podcast and many others were filmmakers wind up Oh, in the distribution company, maybe $100,000. Because they'll say there's no marketing cap in their in their, in their contract. So they'll they'll be like, Hey, we went to Romania to market your film. And here's all the receipts, there's $60,000 in receipts, sure what, what they don't tell you is that they had 100 films in their catalogue, and they charged all of those 100 films that same $60,000 and they got the receipts to prove it. You know, it's it's all from the same. So you got to be very careful, you got to go with somebody you trust. But right now I'm getting a bunch of offers, because I'm just starting the festival circuit. So I've done two festivals now. But I'm doing my world premiere in front of a live audience dates in Cincinnati, March 15 17th. Not upload, I just want to tell you guys that in that the two festivals, I won 17 laurels. So now there's going to get more interest. So as I go through the festival circuit, and you know, hopefully I'll get accepted, fully prepared for, you know, not getting in because a lot of people don't get into a lot of the festivals. Especially I know that it's gonna be disappointed. But anyways, I think that as I go through that process, the offers will change once they see that there's an audience and that I have been doing the right thing beforehand, and pre production and marketing and stuff like that. So, so yeah, so that's, uh, that's my marketing strategy as of right now, not just sit back and wait, I'm going to proactively reach out to a few and see what they think. But probably as I get further in the festival circuit, and as I start to garner a little bit more attention, get a few more awards. Not that I think that my film can beat anybody because I know I've seen some stuff out there I'm like, Oh, God, I hope I don't have to go up against that film.
Alex Ferrari 44:33
Artists aren't meant art is art. You can't compete art can't compete with art. That's just the way it is. It's you know the film Gods shine on you and that day or not, man, it's all good.
Antonio Pantoja 44:42
Yeah, it's not some some time it's not for everybody. You got to realize that your film is not for everybody not to enter genre festivals if it's a horror film, but you know, just enter stuff that's catered to your audience already, or else Or else you know, you're gonna find people that don't like it more often, you know?
Alex Ferrari 44:58
Yeah, there's there's there's no question. About that, and everyone listening man, look, film festivals I've been rejected. I've been in five 600 Film Festivals over the years, but I've been rejected from all of them all the big boys, you know. And I literally just made a whole episode on why I didn't get into Sundance. And you know, now pissed off. I was about it, because I made a movie about Sundance. But, you know, some statistics
Antonio Pantoja 45:20
that I think you may have posted this statistics, but like, back in 1994, like when they had I think, I don't know, Reservoir Dogs was submitted back in 94, and El Mariachi, but there was like, 300 Films submitted to Sundance. And now I got the letter, like my rejection letter from Sundance. Yeah, and there was a 14,100,
Alex Ferrari 45:40
It was 14,100. So 100 of them got in, and 14,000 of us are all outside crying.
Antonio Pantoja 45:46
And you got to think and like half of those already have like a big name attached, you know, like,
Alex Ferrari 45:51
Studios, because they're not at Sundance is not as indie as it used to be without question that just, you got to look, they got to fill seats, I guess. And they got to do their own marketing plan. You know, I like South by you know, even though I was rejected from south by two, but there's a lot of festivals, you know, there's only there's only really a handful that really mean anything on a distribution standpoint, unless you get a whole lot of laurels like you're doing. And again, it's genres, different genres, a whole other, you know, you can show up with no laurels on genre film, and it's gonna get attention if it's done if it's done well. Right now. So what's next for you, man?
Antonio Pantoja 46:23
So I'm working on a bunch of film right now sadly, like I'm going like, right into it, you know, but a friend of mine, they did a movie called turbo kid, you had a horse? Oh, I think Yeah. And so basically, they did this film back in like, it's like four years ago, maybe five years ago, was it one, I think it was at Sundance, but it one everywhere it was killing it, man, turbo cadenza. And they said, the number one piece of advice to you is, make sure you have your second thing ready, because people are always going to ask you what's next. So I started working on stuff before one must fall one must fall, it's not even completely finished just yet. We should probably be wrapping everything, like within the next two weeks. But um, but yeah, I mean, you have to be working on your next thing right now, because everybody's gonna want something else. And if your film does do really well, then they're going to want to see what project you have cooking. So I'm working on so many men, and some of them take. I won't say they take political statements or political posture. But But I think that they definitely have a voice still in the horror genre, because I feel so comfortable, you know, in their, in my element there. I have the horror films tattooed all over my whole body. Yeah, but uh, but I love it so much, you know, and, and I think that it will still be in the horror genre. So I'm definitely gonna do another horror film. But I think with the next one, I might cut the comedy, because I have a little bit of comedy and one last fall. And I think I'm gonna make something a lot more serious. And, you know, I don't want to grow my audience to expect what I'm going to do every single time you know, and, and I want them to, you know, not have a general expectation. And
Alex Ferrari 47:52
I want to set the bar higher each time to do it, like the Coen brothers did, man, they set it up right away, like right after blood sample, let's do raising Arizona, let's throw Maria way out. And now they do whatever they want. And now they do whatever the heck they want, whatever the heck they want. It's so true. We could only we can only be so blessed to have a career like that.
Antonio Pantoja 48:10
You know, what's so cool about your show, man is that you're such a fan. And like, especially in the early episodes, like because you were asking questions, because you were setting up your feature. And then and then now like, dude, you've done it all but but you You're such a fan of like some of the people who come on this show. It's so cool for me like as an audience member to like, listen to you had just recently you had God, What is his name? Oh, my God. I can't believe it's escaping me. You he just shot he shot a film. He was the first guy to do a digital film right before Star Wars. Oh, Mark, Polish. Mark Polish was on and like you had I think you had Michael Poli. I had Michael Michael A while ago. Yeah. Yeah. And it was so cool to watch you like because you're a fan of them, too. And once you do that was so awesome, man.
Alex Ferrari 48:52
No, it's no of course, man. I mean, when I had like Jim rules from Fight Club on, I geeked out with him for like, you know, I always I don't want to talk to Jim. I always like, man, thank you for putting up for those first 30 minutes when I just talked to you saying, so how was David Fincher? How was it to work with David Fincher, what does David have for breakfast? Like, I mean, I was just the biggest fan boy, ever. When when but yeah, man, I'm looking like I'm a guy in Los Angeles, just trying to make it like everybody else, man. And, and anytime I pinch myself sometimes with the people I get to get on the show. It really is. And like yourself, you're an inspiration. Not only to me, but hopefully to everybody else listening, that you can break through your own fears. He can pull yourself out of wherever you are in life, and follow that dream. And that's, that's one of the reasons why I want to have you on the on the show, man. So thank you. Now I'm going to ask you those questions. I ask all my guests, so you should probably know them. And I wrote down my answers. What advice would you give a filmmaker wanting to break into the business today?
Antonio Pantoja 49:52
I would say just do it like you have to and I mean, you know, it's sad because it's kind of cliche and I hear a lot of people on this show say it but you just literally have I have to do it. There was a guy on this show who made a film and 24 hours. Yeah, hours. You cannot. I mean, dude, there, he had no excuses. He just did it. He, like I got I got a day to do it, I'm gonna do it in a day. And he did man, I shot my film and 10 days, you know, the budget was low compared to a lot of other films 10 million under 10 million, it was under $10 million budget. And I think that you just really have to put that fear aside. And you have to figure out why you want to do it. So if it's for the reception, if it's for the laurels, if that might if you know, then then make a film to do that, you know, maybe make a film to do that where people you know, they they love you for or if it's because you just love doing it. Like you love the work. Alex loves the work. He does because he loves the work. He's in love with that. And you know, Conor McGregor said, I'm not talented. I'm obsessed. Talent does not exist. I'm just obsessed. And I think that's so true. There's so many truths to that statement. But I think that if you're not talented, if you don't feel that your talent, talented, but you're obsessed, then you already beat and most be already out hustling most people anyways. Do it. Let's do it today.
Alex Ferrari 51:05
Now, can you tell me the book that had the biggest impact in your life or career?
Antonio Pantoja 51:09
I can I had three of them. Okay, go for us. It's Rebel Without a crew by Robert Rodriguez. And I was almost on his show, by the way. So I was
Alex Ferrari 51:17
Oh, you almost made it onto the Rebel Without a crew show?
Antonio Pantoja 51:20
I got the top seven email I did about 30 freakin interviews, I did a psychiatric evaluation and the whole thing. And I was gonna do one must fall on that show. And they sent me the top seven email and I got the contract. And I already had like five things booked where I signed contracts for in Kentucky. So I said, I will come back to Kentucky. And they're like, No, dude, you have to find somebody else to shoot that stuff. You can't leave the show. You can't leave the house. You can't even make any like can't even listen to music here. And I'm like, dude, so I'm like, I heard him already obligated you know, and, and I talked to the producer. He's amazing. And I made a really good friend. A couple good friends on the show. Alex was on Yeah. Oh, Josh stifter is a really good friend. But um, but I didn't end up going on the show. So I got to watch the show like without me on it man. It was I was depressed for like 10 months but um, but I made some really good friends on the show because of it and and they're great guys in the show was amazing. So check that out. If you guys haven't seen it, but the book definitely check out the book. Rebel Without a crew it will change your life. Make your own damn movie by Lloyd Kaufman. Yep. Lloyd is a legend. He he was the person who found Samuel L. Jackson. He gave the star to Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Oliver Stone Kevin Costner James Gunn. I mean, check that book out immediately. So good. Lastly, there's another one but um, but go preorder. Go pre order. There's a there's one thing you need to pre order right now. And it's called shooting the mob.
Alex Ferrari 52:48
Oh, shooting for the mob stop it
Antonio Pantoja 52:50
Shooting for the mob.
Alex Ferrari 52:50
I did not tell him to do that, guys. I did not. I mean, seriously, I'm like, I'm blushing. Seriously, I'm blushing.
Antonio Pantoja 52:59
But I push it. My real last one because the shooting for the mob is not out yet. So I'm going to preorder it today but because I get I'm like I got all Alex and stuff. But uh, but the last one was the book of Revelation. And when I was little, I wanted to be a priest. And for you know, for many years, because like, I told you, I came from a broken home and I won't divulge the details I'll spare you those but um, but I wanted to be a priest because of it. And, and then I asked God, the book of Revelation, it started really scaring me. And I think this is kind of when I first started discovering horror and putting putting it into my nature. And and I asked my mother to take down all the pictures of the Virgin Mary in the house and she goes, are you? Are you sick? Like, what is wrong with you? And I said, you don't take it for what it is. It's it's a woman who's like she's holding a, you know, her fingers on fire and there's a bleeding heart. And and it scared me so bad that like, it changed the way that I looked at religion entirely. Sure. And, and by the time I was nine, I didn't want to be a priest anymore, cuz I was so scared of it. So um, Book of Revelation, I wouldn't recommend it. But that changed my life. And that was the original question
Alex Ferrari 54:04
That would that that book is, it will, it will mess you up. It will definitely mess you up. Depending on where you are in life, it can definitely do that. Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Antonio Pantoja 54:18
Oh, I think I wrote my answer down here. I think Let me see. I wrote it down. But um, but I think the lesson that took me the longest was in somebody just said it recently on this show, but it was it was patience. And and I think that honestly, man, we do want things very quickly. And I'm almost 10 years into this industry now. And I've worked a lot of day jobs and I lost a lot of sleep in order to make this dream work. And you're going to have to make sacrifice in some part of your day and Alex posted an episode yesterday about it. I don't know when this will air but but it was on the 28th if you guys want to check it out. And basically he's just he's more or less telling you not to waste any time. And and I think that that's very important, you know, because it's gonna take you a long time to get where you want to go. I mean, you could pick up a camera and shoot a movie right now, will it be good? Probably not, it's, you're gonna have to have some sort of patience so that you can learn, you know, the things that you need to learn and get with the people that you need to get with. And in network and market yourself and stuff like that, so that you're in a position to set yourself up for success. But I think patience was ultimately the the thing that took me the longest and that was my dad's note. before he passed away, he wrote me something and he said, I'm not very good at English. And he said, patience, and you will make it.
Alex Ferrari 55:37
No, that's so powerful, man. That's awesome. Great answer, sir. A great answer. And what are three of your favorite films of all time?
Antonio Pantoja 55:46
Um, three of my favorite films of all time, I did write down some but um, but I swear, if you ask me like five minutes from now, sure, I'll be different. But I'll give you my three. Let the right one in. It's a it's an absolutely beautiful movie. It's a foreign film. So if you don't mind reading subtitles, there's a lot of amazing foreign films out there and let the right one in is a really beautiful take on vampire flicks. I would highly recommend it, it will blow you away that you're going to be thinking about it for months. Definitely check that one out. The Exorcist saw that when I was very young way too young. My cousin Tracy showed it to me. And and basically I ruined my parents sex life because of it because I was so scared by this movie, that I slept in their bed right between them for Intel's 12. And that's why my brother Vinnie is eight years younger than me because I ruin their sex life because I slept in their bed. They couldn't have sex. For sure. And then Pan's Labyrinth is a it's a masterpiece, and I'm in Spanish. I don't speak Spanish, but I'm Hispanic. But um, and in sometimes, like, I would have preferred a lot of movies to be in English. But this movie is so beautiful in Spanish that you would be sad if they lost that part of it. But But Pan's Labyrinth is it's a visual masterpiece. And I think Guillermo del Toro ended up having to fund that himself. Yes. Because no one would give him funding for it. It took him like nine years to make it manda and he wanted to make the movie that he wanted to make because the studio's kept making him make the wrong kind of not his vision. So so he did it himself. And and that's one of the only ones that you'll see where they just let him that he did whatever he wanted,
Alex Ferrari 57:27
Or shape of water Wasn't he pretty much do whatever he wanted on shape of water to and there's no question. Well, again, was good, most got to the point where he could do whatever he wants to do now at this point in his career. And I had the pleasure of meeting good well a couple times, and he is everything you think he is Guillermo is amazing human being, and so supportive of filmmakers. And he's a genius. He's a he you know, he is literally a genius. You know, creative genius, an artistic genius. He's on a different playing field than the rest of us. There's no question about it.
Antonio Pantoja 58:05
Are you excited for scary stories to tell in the dark?
Alex Ferrari 58:07
Of course I am. Anything. Gamma could read the yellow pages with a one light bulb on him? And I'd be like, Yes, good. Well, what would you like us to watch now? Like I love anything Guillermo does? It's absolutely amazing. Now and where can where can people find you your work your film? all that kind of good stuff.
Antonio Pantoja 58:25
I think you guys don't even worry about me. Go look at indie film hustle. Oh, stop. Coming out style. TV is coming out. You need to go there.
Alex Ferrari 58:34
Oh my god, man. Everything's crazy. You're killing me. You're killing me? No, see, answer the question, sir. Don't make me have to cut this out. Where can people find you? And where can people find your movie?
Antonio Pantoja 58:44
So I'm on Facebook, Antonio Pantoja. If you're local to me, I would love to meet you. I would love to help you in any possible way I can because I love this stuff. And I live for it. So I'm in Kentucky. But if you're anywhere around the surrounding area, Antonio Pantoja Alex will probably put it in the show notes. I will be able to spell that last name, but it's spelled like jalapeno. There's the J is soft. Okay. So Antonio Pantoja, and then my movie is called One must fall. And you can search that on Facebook or wherever. And you'll find it and then definitely watch the trailer, give the trailer a shot and see if it's your kind of movie. It's not for everybody, but bloody disgusting. It said it might be one of the most gruesome movies of the year. So maybe it might be up your alley.
Alex Ferrari 59:27
It will be on the show notes with no question, brother. Antonio, it has been amazing having you on the show. I have blushed more in this episode than I think I've ever did. So thank you so much for your kind words. I really do. I do truly mean it. And thank you sharing for sharing your honest story with the tribe. And hopefully it inspires other filmmakers to stop making excuses and get out of whatever they're in and get going and get going to doing and onto that path to get to their dream. And so thank you so much again, brother. I appreciate it.
Antonio Pantoja 59:59
One more thing.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:00
Yeah, go for it.
Antonio Pantoja 1:00:01
Um, keep that hustle going, keep that dream alive. I'll talk to you soon.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:07
Thank you for that. Appreciate it. I want to thank Antonio for being so honest. And so sharing and giving of himself and sharing his journey, his filmmaking journey, his life journey with us in the tribe. So Antonio, thank you, brother so much. We're really proud of what you've been able to do, man, and thank you for the inspiration. If you want to get links to any of his work, as well as links to his new movie, one must fall, head over to indiefilmhustle.com/311. And if you are in the Kentucky area, and you're listening to this, and you need video production, commercials, music videos, anything like that, reach out to the brother, he will definitely take good care of you. So thanks again, Antonio. And just like Antonio ally, I know a lot of you guys are finishing a movie or just finished a movie and need help with deliverables and especially closed captioning, on your films, short films, feature films, anything like that. So I have a company that I recommend called Rev. If you go to indiefilmhustle.com/rev, you will get closed captioning done for $1 a minute, which used to cost about $8 a minute, so that's amazing. And if you need to transcribe to another language, they do that for three bucks a minute, which again used to cost like $20 a minute, so it's pretty amazing. Head over to indiefilmhustle.com/rev. And get $10 off your first order. Thank you guys for listening. I hope this was a value to you on your journey. As always keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
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WATCH A FREE 3 PART LOW-BUDGET FILM PRODUCING VIDEO SERIES
Taught by veteran award-winning film producer and author Suzanne Lyons. The filmmaker behind over a dozen profitable low-budget feature films.