IFH 032: How a Post-Production Supervisor Can Save Your Butt!

So how can a Post-Production Supervisor save your butt? Well, I’ve been a Post-Production Supervisor for over 15 years and have seen a lot of indie filmmakers get beaten up, taken advantage of and just plain ripped off in the post-production process.

In short, the Post-Production Supervisor is there to protect the film or project from going over budget, getting ripped off and making sure everything is done on time and budget.

Here is the official definition of a Post-Production Supervisor:

Post-Production Supervisors are responsible for the post production process, during which they maintain clarity of information and good channels of communication between the producer, editor, supervising sound editor, the facilities companies (such as film labs, CGI studios and negative cutters) and the production accountant.

The Post-Production Supervisor has a pivotal role in ensuring that the film’s post-production budget is manageable and doable and that all deadlines are met.

The role of the Post-Production Supervisor varies depending on the type of film or project and the all-important budget.

On a big-budget, visual effects heavy film projects, Post-Production Supervisors start work during pre-production, going as an in-between with the VFX House and ensuring that the producer is aware of all the creative and budgetary considerations and how they may impact on the all-important post-production period.

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I know many Post-Production Supervisors who work on huge studio tent poles and let’s just say they are aging fast! It’s a high-stress job, to say the least.

On smaller budget film projects they also advise on the limitations that may need to be applied to the shoot in order to finish it, as well as providing an overall picture of what can be realistically achieved in post-production within the budget.

Take a listen as I describe what a Post-Production Supervisor does, what to look for when hiring one and how they can save you money in post-production.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:00
Now guys, today we're going to talk about post production supervisors and what they do, I've been a post production supervisor now going on about 10 years or so a little bit more probably. And I've worked on multiple different projects, from varying sizes, all the three little short films, music, videos, commercials, all the way up to three to $5 million feature films, working in the capacity of a post production supervisor. So I know a lot of independent filmmakers really generally don't have money to hire post production supervisor. But it's extremely important to have a post production supervisor on any size project if you can afford it. And I've already kind of went over that and nauseum in my other podcast episode, Episode 14, post production workflow, understand it or die. So I wanted to kind of go over what a post production supervisor does, and what you should look for in a post production supervisor. When you're hiring one, post production supervisors generally are there to help you or guide you through the post production process. Now, if you hire a post production supervisor, or at least consult with one prior to your production, they can definitely help you out dramatically. So perfect example is I've had a lot of movies brought to me towards the end, obviously, in post production, so they've already shot everything, they've already made all those those crucial decisions prior to get into post production, which then they throw on me and they're like, Okay, I need you to make this workflow work. I'm like, well, this is not going to work, this is going to cost you this, this is going to cost you that where if they would have just come to me in pre production, it could have saved them a tremendous amount of time and money. What I mean is this. So let's say you're starting out a project and you come to a point you consult a post production supervisor and they go and you go, I want to shoot this on a red camera. Well, if you're going to shoot on on a red camera, I'm going to ask you a bunch of questions in regards to how qualified your dp is, what kind of red camera you shooting out what kind of resolution you're shooting at, and then work you through the process of post production going down the line of the pipeline. So if you're going to shoot read, what are you going to edit on who's going to be editing it and is there is that editor technically competent, or they're just a creative editor, if they're going to edit on avid, okay, great. So we're going to edit on avid now getting the EDL out of avida, we're going to go to a dementia, we're going to be able to go to a da Vinci, or we're going to go to a baselight all this kind of information, I have to as a post production supervisor plan out all the way down the line, so everything runs smoothly, and it doesn't cost the filmmaker or the production any more money than it should and that everything runs very, very smoothly. So that's that's one step of things of what a post production supervisor does, it kind of organizes the workflow for you a good super a good post production supervisor does this. Now, another thing a post production supervisor does is also organizes everybody and kind of is like the, the director of post production essentially. So they're organizing and scheduling everything creating a schedule, like okay, by this date, we're going to lock pictures locked that this day, we're going to have first edit done eight weeks later this date, and then we have another week or two for re cuts. And then we have another week or two before we find a lock. Once we find a lock, then we go into color and visual effects. I'll get to visual effects in a second. Once we get that in, I need these elements in by this date and this date in this day. And they're just scheduling everything for you. Because as a filmmaker, it's very difficult, if not impossible, unless you have post production, post production background to kind of organize all this. And that's where a lot of filmmakers just fall flat on their face. And I've seen it so so many times in my in my my company, my post company, filmmakers coming in the door with like, well I just shot this and this and that and they just didn't understand the full the full scope of the workflow and not understanding what a post production supervisor could do for them. So post production supervisors also work with budget and understanding the budget of post production and what things are going to cost so they're in charge of hiring editors in in a perfect world. They're in charge of hiring the editors or at least organizing and scheduling the editors, hiring runners assistance, di T's, organizing anything that deals with post production there, their hands are in it. So if you have Have a $30,000 budget, it's their job to get post production done for that $30,000 budget or $5,000 budget depending on what it is. They also organize audio and audio is a whole other Gambit. You know, it's it's I don't do audio personally in my company. But I've obviously worked with tons of different audio houses. And audio has a whole other set of deliverables, all sets of workflow that needs to happen in order to get things done. And this is the job of the post production supervisor to not only take care of it all, but at least with me, I always like to educate filmmakers that I work with, and producers that I work with. So they're more educated in the process going down the line on their next project and their next project cuz it just makes life easier. for everybody. It's always wonderful for me as a post person to get a project that technically has no issues, that I could just kind of run through it and just do my job as opposed to having putting out fires constantly, because filmmakers were just uninformed, or didn't know or just ignorant to the process. And that's fine. I mean, but it's always a pleasure working with professionals who understand the workflow and understand what we do. And it's great to have that experience. So it's my job as at least at least the way I look at is my job as a post production supervisor, colorist editor, what have you to educate filmmakers who are working with me. So as they go forward in their careers, they become more educated and become better at what they do. And hopefully, later on, hire me again, or hire my company, again, to do more work for them in the future, because I had a positive experience. Now also a post production supervisor has relationships, like I have relationships with different audio houses, different visual effects, companies and visual effects artists and things like that, where I can actually pull together a team fairly quickly and at a very affordable cost. Because I have those contacts, I have those relationships. And that's something that you're paying for when you hire post production supervisor is those contacts there. They're the ones that are going to be able to like, basically, if you say, look, I got five grand to do color, you're going to go well, I know I got my 15,000 20,000 $50,000 guy, and I got a $5,000 guy. And let me see if I can get that $15,000 guy to come down to 5000, or work with the 5000 and see if we can make sure make sure the quality that he could put out is equivalent to the 15,000. This is jobs. This is the job of the post production supervisor as well to be able to negotiate these deals to be able to create create the most production value for the dollar. Now another thing that post production supervisor does, he puts out fires a lots of fires all the time. Anytime you're dealing with these digital digital workflows from red or airy, Blackmagic, gh, any of the DSLRs any of the workflows that are coming in, there's always going to be problems, there's always going to be emergencies, things that just don't go right. And unless you technically have the expertise to handle it, it's really helpful to have a post production supervisor on board. Sometimes, filmmakers lean on their editors, because editors nowadays are more technically more have more prowess in the technical aspects of filmmaking and post production. But when you start getting into some deep stuff, you know, they might get into the weeds and be a little bit over their head. So post production supervisors are there to get you out of the weeds. So that's another thing that a post production supervisor does and can save your butt while working in on your film. Now another part of the post production supervisors job is deliverables, being able to get deliverables out to whatever your final outputs going to be for your film, your project, your television show for whatever form of media you're going out to, we're going to stick with film for right now. So depending on what your final outputs going to be for K DCP, which is a digital cinema package for theatrical digital distribution, if it's going to be an H DSR for 1080 p Master, depending on the different if you're doing to a distributor, if you're doing it yourself, there's so many different variables that are in play that if you don't understand a lot of the stuff that I'm just talking about here, it could end up costing you 1000s and 1000s of dollars because you might do a whole bunch of deliverables because someone told you to because they're trying to make money off of you and you really don't need them. So one piece of advice I can give you is don't do deliverables until you absolutely positively need them. Your deliverable obviously at the end will be a digital deliverable which will be a quick time with a pro res Quick Time is more than enough out of 4k resolution is fine and you can have all your audio deliverables embedded in that same quick time. And as far as dcps HTS Rs, beta SPS for God's extra Digi betas, any of those other kind of deliverables that you might need. Wait until you absolutely need to have them before you spend the money to do that. Because a lot of times filmmakers and I've seen this happen, they they'll they'll just go on spend 1520 grand on deliverables, and then they're just sitting there on a shelf, they're never again used, they're not getting, you know, just wait, wait until the last minute that you can actually have to spend the money to spend it. So that's one piece of advice. But the post production supervisor will guide you in your deliverables depending on what your final outputs going to be. So again, if you're going to be doing self distribution, going through a VA Jack's, or Vimeo, that's one set of distribution, one set of deliverables, if you're going to be going to you know, you need a screener for Sundance, that's going to be another set of deliverables if you need if you're going to a theatrical through tugg. And you're going to be doing a self distributors, yourself distributing a theatrical run by yourself, then that's another set of deliverables. So there's all sorts of different deliverables. And this is again, a minefield of different options that can cost you 1000s and 1000s of dollars unless you do the research and understand what it all is, or consult or hire a post production supervisor to kind of guide you through this process. And one final tip here when hiring a post production supervisor, you should always check their credentials, check their IMDb and their resume to see what kind of budget levels they have been though IMDb can be adjust those budget levels can be adjusted fairly easily on IMDB, so something that says a cost $7 million, or $5 million, really could have cost half a million dollars, and they just put $7 million dollars on there to make themselves look bigger. So that does happen. I've seen that happen many times. So but check at least what they've done. And if you can't call a filmmaker who's worked with them prior to see how their experience was, that would be very, very beneficial. Always try to find someone that you trust, and that has experienced to do it. So you don't get you know, I make sure they are actual post production supervisors. And then I just editor saying oh monitor, but I was supposed to supervise, make sure that they have credits, make sure they have experience doing it because post production supervisor is a very important position in your crew. And they will either can bury you, or they can help you sail across that sea with calm waters. So or if not, that ship can sink very, very quickly if you hire the wrong guy. So now you can get all the links and things I was talking about in the show notes at indie film hustle.com forward slash zero 32. And there I'll have all the links of anything we talked about in this episode. I hope this was beneficial to you guys a little bit I do, I'm gonna do a shameless plug. I am obviously a post production supervisor, as well my company num robot does this kind of work as well. And if you need any consulting if you don't have the money to book to hire a post production supervisor throughout the entire process, just paying an hour or two of someone's time at the beginning of the process is probably the best money you'll spend in production. So you could also always go to indie film, hustle, calm forward slash consulting, if you want to have me consult on any of your projects. So that's my shameless plug. Thank you. I hope you guys learned a lot on this episode. Next week I'm going to be doing a visual effects supervisor episode to talk about how to work with a visual effects supervisor and what a visual effects supervisor does. So please head over to filmmaking podcast calm and leave us an honest review of the show. It greatly helps our rankings in iTunes. So thanks again so much guys. Keep that hustle going keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.


IFH 027: Kico Velarde – From Broke Editor to Emmy Winner

The Cinderella story that is Kico Velarde’s life is remarkable. From being a struggling out of work editor to becoming the toast of the Cannes International Film Festival to winning an Emmy for producing Jay Leno’s Garage. Crazy!!!

His film PVC-1 – was accepted into the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes International Film Festival and was nominated for the Camera D’ Or Award in 2007. He became the toast of the festival but barely had two cents to rub together as he spent his last cash on tickets to the festival.

Check out the trailer to PVC-1:

After the festival it took some time to get back on his feet but then he got an opportunity of a lifetime, to work as an editor on a small YouTube show about Jay Leno’s Garage. Fast forward a year and he wins an Emmy for the show and the rest, as they say, is history.

If that wasn’t enough he also directed an award-winning short film “The Shooting Star Salesman.” You can watch the entire short film below.

An embittered, magical salesman (Yancey Arias) repairs his shooting star machine and ventures out to restore people’s belief in shooting stars. Much to his dismay, he picks up a curious 8-year-old tag along (Elijah Velarde) who starts to question if perhaps it’s the Salesman himself who needs to have his faith restored.

Kico’s story is truly an inspirational one. Take a listen and get ready to be inspired.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:02
So guys, today I have a real special guest Kico Velarde and please kick off forgive me if I mispronounced that last name. Kico. I've been friends for years. He has been an editor for most of his career. He's a producer of one film that got to can the Cannes Film Festival and took it by storm. And like he was literally broke one minute and he's still broke. It can literally sleeping on a floor somewhere. But he's the toast of the festival. And then finally getting a shot to be on Jay Leno's YouTube show for Jay Leno's garage and just recently got picked up by CNBC, making it the highest rated show on the channels history. And he's a producer on it as well. So that I also mentioned that he's an award winning director as well. The man is truly remarkable. Kiko has an amazing story. I wanted to bring him on the show to kind of inspire you guys to show you what can be done. He's one of the hardest working guys and one of the nicest guys I know in the business. So without further ado, here's my interview with my main man Kico. Kico man thank you so much for being on the show man I really appreciate taking the time out I know you're very very busy, man.

Kico Velarde 2:19
Oh no problem my pleasure, man.

Alex Ferrari 2:22
Cool man. So we'll jump in so uh, you know both you and I started off as editors and we still obviously edit as well. How do you think being an editor has prepared you for what you're doing today in the in the business.

Kico Velarde 2:36
You know what i editing I don't think I would have done it any differently like you know people try to always figure out like how do you break into the industry or what do you try to do or what can best prepare you and I think being an editor was like the best way to start in our side as an assistant editor and I learned from other editors and stuff but it just helped me develop my eye as a director and how you become more of an efficient director and producer as well you know you know exactly what you're going to need you learn what works and what doesn't from other films that you work on. And I'm me being an editor was was just one of those things where it just like I think really rounded me out as a filmmaker like I I was really rough around the edges and just working as assistant editor to an editor to editing anything even even editing weddings it gets in yet I was when I was first coming up and stuff like that like seriously like it's like your everything is about telling the story you know everything is and being an editor you're taking images and telling stories and working with timing and it just like I cannot tell you like I always tell people what's the best way to start editing I always tell people start with editing You know, I think editing and writing other two's like strongest wasted to really get in because it's just it just really helps. Like for me as a filmmaker

Alex Ferrari 4:07
Yeah for me I like for editing I think as opposed to writing writing is an excellent way to get in but writing is a tough to make like a daily income with that job so that's why I jumped into editing too because it was like okay I could I could be pa while I'm working on my craft or I can be editing and learning about my craft

Kico Velarde 4:28
Absolutely. So it definitely it definitely kept my family afloat while while I was just trying to swell struggling you know what we're trying to get my foot in the door like I tried to keep together as a wedding they pay well.

Alex Ferrari 4:42
We all look I did demo reels. You know for a long time doing commercials on a real site I feel you brother like you know it's and that's the thing a lot of people they figure it out pretty quickly that it this is not an easy visit. And then when you and I were coming up it was a lot different environment than it is today. Oh yeah. I mean going you and I were coming up there with competition but it wasn't like, you know, you still had to go drive somewhere to edit. Yeah, you couldn't edit at home as easily.

Kico Velarde 5:07
No, totally. Yeah it was it totally totally like that. Yeah, you definitely there wasn't as many in home systems and if you did like if you did had your your home system it wasn't as powerful it is now like now you get a Mac looking like really kind of feature on it. Back then you had to have like servers and oh, huge setup,

Alex Ferrari 5:25
And not and not to mention the software. I mean, the avid software alone was like, you know, obscene until finally until Final Cut came out. Which was my next question. Yes. You and I both were a Final Cut guys. I know you've got an avid as well, so have I but you know, I think Final Cut was one of our go to, and then ever since its demise, when I jumped to Final Cut x. I've played with Final Cut x a little bit, you know, but it's, it's not Final Cut seven. What what are you editing on today?

Kico Velarde 5:54
A sensitive subject

Alex Ferrari 5:56
No, dude, it's like, it's like, you know, you're talking about my woman. You know,

Kico Velarde 6:01
I was a hardcore Final Cut disciple to man like, Yeah, I was like, I had the Bible of Apple, you know, saying,

Alex Ferrari 6:08
Oh, yeah, no, no, we drank the Kool Aid brother. We drank it.

Kico Velarde 6:10
I drank it, man. I was like, and I was like, I was like a Final Cut alcoholic man. Yep. But you know, I switched over to premiere. Oh, the P word. Oh, wow. Yes. The dreaded p word. Yeah, no, but premiere has been great, though. It's been really really good. It has a little quirks here and there. But But other than that, I've really enjoyed it. I've really, really enjoyed it.

Alex Ferrari 6:35
Oh, nice. Good. So I've kind of played with it a little bit. You know what I started editing on now Da Vinci.

Kico Velarde 6:41
You know what I have to dive into Da Vinci I got to download a demo of her and other people good things about it.

Alex Ferrari 6:45
Yeah, I actually started because I've been a colorist for a while. So I've been on da Vinci for a while. So when I saw the new editing software, I was like, well, this will do. I love it, man. It's like so it's, it has kind of like best of both worlds. It has a little bit of the final cut and premiere tie. It's timeline based obviously like everything else. But it's not as I movie ish as Final Cut axes. So but it has a little bit of both. It's it puts its foot in both worlds, which I think is a nice blend. But it's it but for me like if you want a full blown experience of this to master to I mean, you know, color grading right into Da Vinci and editing right there. You could do sound there, you could do a bunch of stuff. It's pretty powerful, though. And it's the price is right. Essentially, you can get it for free. When you buy the camera, right? No, no, you can get it for free period. And then if you want to do higher end stuff like 2k and 4k, you've got to pay. If not, you could download it for free man that's like it's like a it's like an app killer. Like, Oh, yeah, yeah, that's why DaVinci runs color grading, like because essentially everybody can download it for free. Only those few little things, they lock out of it for the money for the so you can do it. But overall, you 90% of the projects can run on it. So anyway, two editors are going off on a tangent on editing gear. So let's, let's let's move. So um, so you you've been working on a web series called Jay Leno's garage, what's it like working and producing on a such a high profile web series and then also working with a legend like Jay Leno.

Kico Velarde 8:26
You know, working on that show, it's been it's been a blessing to be honest with you is one of those things where I kind of just fell into it. You know, I was working at NBC at the time I was a struggling filmmaker trying to look for work, NBC was looking for a temp position for an assistant editor to edit these 32nd promotional clips for days of our lives and the friend of my works here said hey, you know you want to you know, you want to come and do this gig you're way overqualified for this, but I know you need a job, you know, you want to do it and I kind of humbled myself and I was like, I could have been like, Nah, I'm not editor producer, whatever, right? But I was like Screw it. Now I need the money. So I went in there and I did this little like, just Kenny 32nd promo clips for days of our lives and then a month later, the producer for Jay Leno's garage webserie was leaving and I threw my name in the hat and I got in and started producing the show and it was one of those things where it's kind of I was kind of intimidating at first because I didn't know I'm not a car guy.

Alex Ferrari 9:24
You are now I'm assuming now I am but yeah,

Kico Velarde 9:27
but before I you know, I drove my little Prius and that was good enough for me that was right and the Prius is a bad keyword in the automotive industry like you say Prius and although if you're a car guy you like Prius

Alex Ferrari 9:40
you know yeah, that's fine but you know what sexy mpg

Kico Velarde 9:44
Exactly that's what I'm all about

Alex Ferrari 9:47
Yeah right.

Kico Velarde 9:48
So I you know, it took me a while was a little intimidating because I didn't know my cars I didn't know anything you know, Corvette was a Corvette to me. I don't know there was like classic Corvettes you know, so working with J You know it was a little bit like you know when I first started I had to kind of get up on my knowledge really quick but you know working with Jay is great he's such a good guy super knowledgeable I mean just working with him right away you just realize the man's a human Encyclopedia of of the automotive industry I mean just know so much and he's so inspiring where when you just talk to him I mean just the wealth of knowledge that comes out of him is just so amazing he's just a overall nice guy good down to earth guy and like I always tell people he's he's a he spoils and he spoils us as producers and people we when we work with him because if I ever worked for another celebrity is going to be tough to hard to work with somebody else other than than Jay because Jay is just a no frills guy he's just a real down to earth you know, genuine guy

Alex Ferrari 10:48
And then now the show notes when you weren't when you working on the show you started off as an editor or you jumped right in as a producer,

Kico Velarde 10:54
A predator

Alex Ferrari 10:56
Ohh you are a predator

Kico Velarde 10:58
Producer editor it's a predator so I was editing the shows I still am I still edit the shows. And I started off just editing and then showing up on set and helping out all set and stuff like that. So I was I was a predator and then I moved into supervising producer, where I'm at now.

Alex Ferrari 11:14
Oh, that's awesome. And then that's going to be on CNBC. Right?

Kico Velarde 11:17
Yeah, it actually premieres tonight Oh nice. See 7pm on CNBC so yeah, we're really excited it's a television show and it's completely different from the web series so you know the web series is for like hardcore tech heads like gear heads okay. And this CNBC shows a little bit less gear heavy it's more fun yeah more fun a little bit light hearted you get pull people in who are not car people you pull them in you get them hooked and then you send them to the YouTube show so they can kind of get their deep deep gearhead news you know

Alex Ferrari 11:47
So let me ask you a question. This is interesting to me so you have a new sheet so basically you're creating a new show for the for the CNBC kind of Yes Okay, so it's a new show that's going to be airing only on CNBC and then you aim them towards YouTube for the older shows for the obviously the archives that you guys have and then also new shows that are a lot more tech heavy. Yeah, now as so and this is all owned by NBC Universal Yes. So it's interesting so NBC is actually using YouTube for I'm assuming advertising revenue and sponsorships and things like that but it's kind of like that's a new paradigm I haven't seen before

Kico Velarde 12:26
Well you know, it's kind of weird because I think as a first time that this has ever happened where like Jays garage on YouTube we have 1.4 million subscribers so it was the first time like where all the social media and everything was really built up. So usually when you have a show you started a new show you got to build a social media following you got to do all that by the time the show premieres so you get the word out there but this time it wasn't really all there i mean you know we have a huge Twitter following a huge Instagram following and a huge YouTube following so when we put the show together It was one of those things where it was kind of a no brainer you got to kind of use what's already there to promote the show

Alex Ferrari 13:05
Now so the show the so then obviously NBC approached you guys to say hey, we want to put a show on CNBC and kind of leverage all the stuff that you've been able to do online essentially.

Kico Velarde 13:18
Right exactly. So what happened was you know, what, Summer of 2014 we hit that 1 million mark on YouTube million subscribers subscribers Yes. Money subscriber mark, and that's when you know, see, NBC came to us and was like, Hey, you know, because we're part of the NBC digital department they're kind of Hey, this might be make a pretty good TV show so they approached Jay JCM for it and we shot a pilot that summer and then the pilot had the highest ratings on CNBC it's ever had so that's what we got approved for eight episodes. Yeah. Okay, so it's an eight episode run it episode run for right now hopefully after tonight we'll see if we can get picked up for more

Alex Ferrari 13:59
Nice that's that's that's very it's it's interesting, like the new way television and movies and online have to kind of work together.

Kico Velarde 14:08
Yeah, you know, it's it's it's definitely a new era. I mean, you keep hearing about, you know, all these YouTube stars getting picked up by CIA and other agencies, and they're getting their own TV shows and stuff like that, you know, and it's kind of funny how, like, Jay you know, the YouTube show was going while he was on The Tonight Show, it's been going into the YouTube shows been around for 10 years.

Alex Ferrari 14:28
Oh, really. He's just been doing it for fun.

Kico Velarde 14:30
He's been doing it for fun, but like it was on NBC calm and then in 2013. We put it on YouTube and it just exploded. And at that point when it was right around the good timing, because right when Jay was about to leave the tonight show, and then once he left it tonight show it just blew up even more. And then after that they were just like, you know, it's just one of those things where like, people do that on YouTube all the time or the girlie shows into TV shows and it just happened to be a perfect second Laci vehicle for J.

Alex Ferrari 14:57
Yeah, exactly, because you know j is J and And yeah, and he's retired. So he has so he needs to have something to do at this point.

Kico Velarde 15:03
And he's so passionate about like, when you watch the show, you will see like a different side of Jay. That's one thing everybody says when they watch the show, they're like, I've never seen him so passionate because nobody says, you know, when he was on The Tonight Show, he was just kinda like, yeah, yeah, celebrities, but

Alex Ferrari 15:16
Fe did for 20. How many years did he do?

Kico Velarde 15:18
22 years yeah. But now that now that he's a, you know, now he has his car show. I mean, you'll see he's really passionate and super knowledgeable. He's having fun. He's like a retired guy who's having fun with really fast cars.

Alex Ferrari 15:31
And it was kind of like what Jerry Seinfeld did with that show that he has a what's it called the

Kico Velarde 15:38
Committee's two cars getting coffee. Yeah, exactly. Great show. It's like it is a great

Alex Ferrari 15:43
Brilliant show. But then isn't that being aired somewhere? I thought that was a thought that's being aired somewhere now too. I think the channel picked

Kico Velarde 15:50
up crackle crackle picked it up, right? echo has it. But from what I was reading, I read a couple of reports Jerry has a really interesting insight to that, you know, they're trying to put it on television, he won't do it because he says he who loses loses creative freedom, which I understand. I definitely understand because when it comes to television, you have advertising, you know, parameters, you got to stay around and you know, you got commercial breaks, and you definitely lose our freedom where YouTube we have complete complete, complete creative freedom. You could do whatever you want, and it's really up to you. And you have this direct relationship with your audience which I ever experienced before. And that's one thing I do love about YouTube which makes YouTube like addicting is that once you start building your audience and you have a direct relationship you don't have Nielsen numbers to deal with your your your audience is literally telling you your stuff sucks or is good or not, I love you or hate you or whatever. But it's like right there. You're right there on their faces. And it's a really, really cool thing is it makes it super addicting.

Alex Ferrari 16:51
Yeah, absolutely. No, it's it. That's the thing with all all kind of social media once you start building up a proper, a proper audience, you have that interaction, that's insane, especially as a creator as a as an artist.

Kico Velarde 17:05
Yeah. And they show your love. And then pretty soon advertisers are seeing Oh, wow, you know, this guy has huge YouTube following. Let me start advertising any, it's like, it's a whole, it's the future. Like I've always felt like YouTube, that this whole online streaming everything that we're doing right now, it's the future of the entertainment industry, just the entertainment industry needs to just embrace it more and just accept it and figure out how they can make it cutting edge, you know,

Alex Ferrari 17:30
I mean it because essentially, it's going to be like a guy like Jay, who obviously is a legend and a powerhouse in what he does, could easily just, you know, even without NBC finance the whole thing himself, create his own show, and have his own thing and basically and then you can have a series of different shows on his YouTube channel. And it's all j and j is the last end of it and, and but I think that's where the future is everyone's going to be their own little studios, if they know how to deal with social media know how to create that, that following then, and I think it's a great time for independent filmmakers, and creators like with web series and films and TV shows and other things like that. So it's really interesting I would that's why I really wanted to get you on the show because I wanted to kind of hear your dynamic about what's going on with that kind of show and now this is just a selfish question. How was it winning an Emmy?

Kico Velarde 18:24
You know what, it's been cool man. It's been really really cool experience. You know, the year I joined the show is a year that we went to me and it was just crazy. I happen to get on the show that same year. And it was one of those things where it's like, I can't believe this is happening. Like literally the year before I was struggling for money I was struggling to like find a job right? And then a year later I'm at the Emmys and I'm like What is going on? You know, but it's crazy man. It's an honor and we've been nominated three years after that. I got nominated for three years in a row and it's just like every year you're just like whoa like it's an honor just to be nominated you know, and be amongst those other great shows that are out there. It's just it's just crazy. It's just a once in a lifetime experience you know,

Alex Ferrari 19:12
but you have been but it's an actually being at the show must have been just surreal.

Kico Velarde 19:17
Oh man, it was crazy. It's like you look around and you got like Bryan Cranston right there right. I met Steven Soderbergh which was crazy I'm a huge Steven Soderbergh fan and he was like right there at the bar and I was like staring at him and he played that I was on some crazy stalker but I was like, you know he's like some six foot three Mexican just staring at him.

Alex Ferrari 19:38
Which is, which is rare as if as a general statement, there's not a lot of six foot three Mexicans out there, let alone staring at Steven Soderbergh.

Kico Velarde 19:45
So he looked at me like how you doing? I'm like, I'm good, man. I just want to tell him, I'm a big fan. He's like, oh, cool, thanks, you know, security. Exactly. It was just like one of those things where it's just insane. Like, I People are just like people you watch on television producers directors. I was sitting there doing shots with with an Emmy Award winning director from from house. I was like, he's like, oh, what's your name? I'm Kiko I do I love deals graduate do you show to you I direct house I just want to me he showed me his me Like what? It was just like crazy. If we're do we shot, it is just awesome, man, it was a really awesome experience. And that was that I was able to take my wife, my wife went to the Emmys with me one year, and it was glorious. It

Alex Ferrari 20:29
must have been awesome. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. So um, so what advice do you have for someone wanting to start up a web series nowadays,

Kico Velarde 20:47
oh, man, there's so much so much advice, I could give them a couple of nuggets. One, I one thing I could say is, if you're going to build a web channel or a YouTube channel, plan it out. Really think about what you're going to shoot what your content is, who's your audience who, who you're trying to target and have a clear understanding of that. And even when it comes down to like creating your logo, your little thumbnail picture on YouTube, all that all that has to be thought out because once you come up with a vibe and a look in in your your brand, you got to stick to it because youtubers they love. Recall that they don't like change. And once they see something, they want to hold on to it. And you got to make sure you come through. So even with your shows, we can somehow see consistency, you have to come out every week, if you're going to be a weekly show, you better come out with a show every week and be ready to put out a show every week. If you come out and you miss a week here, they're Miss, you know, a month here or there and they're gonna forget about you and move on. If you're consistent, you will build your audience and it takes a while you got to be patient. I know people are expecting big YouTube cream out of the gate. But some of these people have been running the YouTube channels two or three years before they really explode. You just got to be ready and be willing and committed to doing that, to putting out a show every week or every day, whatever you want to do, but every week would probably be a little bit more feasible. And just make make sure you just know how to target your audience and who you're trying to target. You know.

Alex Ferrari 22:29
Very cool, very cool. Now I'm the shooting star salesman, which was your directorial debut. How was it transitioning from being a predator to being a director?

Kico Velarde 22:41
Well, actually, I did the shooting star salesman before I started working at NBC. Yeah, yeah, I actually directed that film before. Like his funny because as soon as I was done directing that film, I was broke. And then six months later

Alex Ferrari 22:56
still a work sir as being an independent filmmaker. So I can you're done with your movie, you're broke.

Kico Velarde 23:00
It's totally true man. I was broke. I was struggling like, you know, we raised the money on Kickstarter. But we blew through that money. I was like, literally just had that movie sitting on a hard drive because I couldn't afford to finish it. And I literally looked, it was looking for a job. I was desperate. And that's when I ended up getting on to NBC. So actually, my first couple years at NBC, get off of work and go home and work on the shooting star sales man.

Alex Ferrari 23:23
That's awesome. So how was your transition though, from being an editor to being to being what was your directorial kind of experience like being a first time director on that project?

Kico Velarde 23:35
It was you know what it was one of those things where you know, I produced a couple other films you know, feature films and I've got to work with a really great director and worked with other great people in the industry and kind of shadow people see how you know, they direct and how they do stuff. So you know, when I started directing, it was nerve wracking because I didn't want to screw it up. directing the shooting stars out my was, my goal was to prove that I can direct and I could tell a story. And it was one of those things where it was nerve wracking, but it was felt felt good. It felt like that's where I was supposed to be. You know, and it was amazing man, I have so much fun I had a great team. And it was it was it was a complete adventure man and I had a great time doing it. It was it was it was a breath of fresh air.

Alex Ferrari 24:22
Now when you were once the movie was finally done, what was your experience like kind of marketing it and getting it getting getting some attention for the project?

Kico Velarde 24:32
Yeah, man that was hard. Really, really hard the first year.

Alex Ferrari 24:38
I like that you just started that conversation that sentence like that the first year of marketing.

Kico Velarde 24:43
The first year yeah, it was the first year of most putting it out there. Like it's practically we're begging people to watch it. Like please watch our film and you're going to festivals send disseminate to festivals and stuff and, and they just wasn't getting any traction. I mean, I think I submitted till 50 festivals and I only got into two oh wow wow really yeah I got turned down left and right it was bad it was

Alex Ferrari 25:07
why it's a good film and it's it seems like it would be it would fit beautifully in a schedule like so you can program it nicely

Kico Velarde 25:14
oh no man I got turned down from so the first festival to ever accept me and it was after almost a year of submitting it was the New York Latino the HBO Latino Film Festival they were the first ones to take me and before that I was getting turned out left and right and I was kept you know you should question yourself as an artist you're like do I suck my delusional here does my phone suck and I'm thinking it it's it's good but it really sucks right? And it was one of those things where it was so depressing. And then when the New York Latino Film Festival took it I was like Okay, good, good. There's hope you know, right? And then um, it was just one of those things where I had to figure out another way of doing it of getting it out there you know, and you know, you could create a trailer and put it out there but it's you know, there's so many films out there's so many short films I like it's hard for people to sit there and watch it like to sit there and want to watch it or be a part of it. So it took a little while it took me like making I made a behind the scenes making of it. That helped out a little bit people got interested because once I started seeing the behind the scenes, it was beautiful. It was beautiful. Thank you. They were like yeah, maybe I will want to watch this film. So it was it was doing a lot of that. And then also too, I started doing once Instagram started taking videos, I started doing micro trailers,

Alex Ferrari 26:31
okay 15 second trailers,

Kico Velarde 26:33
the second trailers and they've a festival accepted me in I knew we're gonna screen up the festival and put their festival logo at the end. Just to put it out there so people like in not only your branding your your film, but your branding the festival, too. And you're like, Hey, you know, and they appreciated that. So stuff like that, you know, I just started doing in a sort of spreading the word programmers started talking to each other, like, Hey, you got to see this film, The Shooting Star salesman. And that's the thing, you really got to get programmers to watch your films because they may not accept your film and TV, their festival. But they talk to other programmers, right? And they and they're like, Hey, you know, so so programmer, you should watch this film. I didn't have it in my festival. I wanted to for whatever reason, I couldn't put it in, but you should consider it. And then they say, Oh yeah, I love this film this program, and then they reach out to you. So it's really about getting programmers to watch it and getting them to talk about your film. Because that's how you'll definitely start getting the buzz.

Alex Ferrari 27:23
Very cool. Now. Now how was it working with such a diffusely amazing cast? Like Yancy arias. Jason Kendrick and Sidney Poitier.

Kico Velarde 27:33
Oh man. Yeah, it was amazing. Yeah, she's just First of all,

Alex Ferrari 27:38
yes, he's the man just to say let's just say

Kico Velarde 27:40
he's the man dude. He's such an amazing talent, both in just acting and then you know, directing and producing to he's really, really an inspiration. And he working with him was so great Manny, he, he trusted me. I mean, I was my first time directing and he was, you know, he has a resume. That's amazing. And for him to say, I trust you as my director. I was like, Whoa, you know, like, it was an honor and him working with my son because my son started the phone. It was just one of those things where he just like they just got along, like as buddies, and they just work together. So well. He he kind of you know, took him under his wing. You know, as I was, you know, trying to prep Malaysia, he helped me pregnant Elijah, and he just, you know, Yancy just dove into the character. He did his homework. he'd call me every night and be like, Hey, you know, ask them questions about the character he sent me for being a short film. This is not a feature film. This is not a studio film whatsoever. This is complete independent and he just did his homework he studied he was really fascinated by the character and he just he just did his own homework on it and and took chances on stuff that I didn't even think about that worked out perfectly. So it was a complete honor to work with him. And then of course, he brought on you know, yeah, sending to me a party and Jason Gehrig, who are both amazing to work with to Sydney you know, she would do little subtle stuff that I didn't notice until post brilliant, like you know, she would do certain things and they say her line a certain way or look at Elijah Yancey a certain way and I was like wow, that's brilliant. That sounds a lot without saying anything You know? And she was great.

Alex Ferrari 29:13
It was a you know like when I saw when I watched the movie and I saw Jason in it I was like you know my one of my favorite movies growing up was the heavenly kid. Oh yes, dude. Yeah, dude, that movie and of course rooftops but that's now now I'm going now I'm going really really fast Eagle bro. Oh of course iron Eagle. How can we forget about iron Eagle one and two. But But heavenly kid man I freaking loved heavenly kid growing up. So when I saw him like, Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. Like we geek out that way. So what advice would you give a young director about to direct season and experienced actors because I know a lot of, you know independent directors. A lot of times they're either using, you know, you know, or working with, you know, actors who are not that seasoned or young or they're Friends and then when you work with a real professional there is a shift because that's what happened with me I mean I when I directed my stuff I directed mostly you know young direct a young actors who had never met but then the second I started working with real, professional and seasoned actors, the game changes so what advice would you give to a young director working with some seasoned and experienced actors for the first time

Kico Velarde 30:22
working with with a seasoned actor I would say like keep an open mind. I know a lot of times you walk in as a director you have your vision and you have what you want to do in a scene. But you know, I love to keep my set like open and collaborative and when you do that, an actor really appreciates that and I think working with Yancey he made a lot of suggestions where you know I could have been like no this is the way I want to do it and that's it you know, but I heard it out and I said you know what, we have time let's let's keep our options open just shoot it the way you saw it and I want to shoot it the way I shot I shot I saw it and then let's see what happens in the editing room. Because it's really about you know, film like I think any type of film lives live stronger when it's a collaborative environment. And if you if you become an iron fist and say no this is my this is the way I want to do it and that's it and then you're choking your phone. You know,

Alex Ferrari 31:20
it's a very it's very good advice. That's actually really really good advice. So how did you get involved producing those two feature films that you did PVC one and please pronounce it for me. Oh,

Kico Velarde 31:32
Metroa, Metroa

Alex Ferrari 31:33
Metro Ah, II see you had a problem too. Yeah, both of those were nominated for in Cannes and Berlin Film Festival. So how did you get involved with those and what was the experience producing those kind of films?

Kico Velarde 31:45
Oh, well, PVC one was the first feature film I ever produced and that film what happened was his crazy story but I was working at Apple at the time teaching Final Cut Pro course because you drank the Kool Aid I got to drink the kool aid you know, I had it ready to add an IV and you know CG Fabrica pronoun man, it's an old high school friend of mine I hadn't seen in like 15 years. And he comes in He's like, What are you up to these days? I'm a filmmaker. So I am to he does so we exchanged business cards. And then three weeks later, he calls me and he's like, hey, goes I have a friend I went to film school with this guy named spiros. He's like this crazy director when you meet me. he's a he's short. He has hair like Einstein. His hair is like sticking straight up. So he says, this guy's really he's a brilliant director, but he has this film he wants to do. And he needs help with post production and he's producers and I'm thinking about producing it but I want to meet with him and maybe you might want to be involved and I was like, Sure. So I met with this director I met with my high school buddy of mine, this director and he had this idea about shooting this film on one shot at five minutes about this woman in Colombia who had a bomb strapped to her neck

Alex Ferrari 32:51
Wait a minute, is this Hold on a second? Is this is this that movie? No. Is that this is the movie that I heard about the whole thing and wanted one like an award account the technical award because it did the whole thing on one shot yeah yeah holy cow man i didn't i didn't connect the two Yeah, that thing was huge. I mean everybody was talking about that movie because of what he bought goes what he did that was like insane movie Oh awesome.

Kico Velarde 33:15
Yeah literally we shot the film for $4,000 Beatles went to Columbia shot the film one shot came brought it back here to the US we did all the post production and

Alex Ferrari 33:26
post production meaning looking at it and doing audio

Kico Velarde 33:30
basically you know you know unfortunately it was so humid in Colombia when we shot it and we shot it on the dv x 100 on mini DV tape

Alex Ferrari 33:36
Oh Jesus Christ

Kico Velarde 33:37
and is when the 85 minute dv x tapes came out remember yeah yeah we literally took it to the end of the tape and by the time he got paid back you know so human that the tape started like coming apart like basically like getting moles there's a lot of parts in the film that like God digital hits, so we had to go in there and clean it up rebuild pixel by pixel those those images and also to it was a lot of sound design. Okay, yeah a lot a lot of times as I said it was a one shot there's really no editing or you know, adjusting exposure throughout the film and doing the color correction and doing the sound design so yeah, so we did the film and then I took it around try to get around Hollywood try to get people to see it and people watched it and wanted to go straight to DVD. We told me want to go to cons everybody laughed in our face. I said no way you guys gonna be able to go to cons there's no way so we ended up taking the film back and we submitted ourselves and we got into cons and got nominated.

Alex Ferrari 34:38
And did you um, did you go to con Yes. How was that

Kico Velarde 34:42
amazing? This is amazing as I thought it would be even more now you

Alex Ferrari 34:47
still broke during this time right? Oh, hello

Kico Velarde 34:49
broke. Yeah, I was working for Apple but I mean, I was getting paid $100 every two weeks that support my wife and my kids. You know,

Alex Ferrari 34:59
Jesus man. Yeah. That's craziness and but you're like hey I'm again

Kico Velarde 35:02
I had to take out a loan to go back and I remember we took I took out a loan for five grand to go to cons for tea. And we all slept in this small apartment in cons we all like stuck on the floor

Alex Ferrari 35:14
while we were there. So very, very, very luxurious. Yeah, I

Kico Velarde 35:18
mean seriously, like literally we walk the red carpet come back and they will go to bed to sleep on the floor. Like it was crazy. But it was it was like the best experience of my life, man. I mean, God who was the guy that the guy who directed the spider man there for Spider Man,

Alex Ferrari 35:32
you Sam Raimi? Sam Raimi?

Kico Velarde 35:34
We were sitting in the Hollywood Reporter tent, right? And we're, you know, all the hustle and bustle, like all these agents were like, pulling at us, and oh, yeah, we want to sign up last time you so we're sitting there and this man comes up to us. It says, a youth of PVC one guys. And we're like, Yeah, he goes, I'm a huge fan. Congratulations. I watched your film on the plane read over. I can't wait to see what you guys do next. And he shook our hands and walked away. I had no clue who he was. My degree was like, Do you know who that was? on my mind? As I said, for me. I'm like, What? I had no clue Sam Raimi came up to us and just gave us so much love and so much praise. And I just didn't even realize I was hanging out because it was just so many people so much hustle bustle round Yeah, it was it was crazy.

Alex Ferrari 36:17
That's awesome dude. That's a great story. Yeah, it was really crazy. So um so let me ask you another question. Why do you love the business? What What is it about this ridiculously unpredictable lunacy that is the film business Why do you love it so much?

Kico Velarde 36:42
I think I love at the end of the day telling stories man at the end of the day it's really been able to create images and to tell stories is my passion I can't see myself doing anything else you know I can't see myself being like a teacher I can see myself being a police officer I'm passionate about telling stories getting in there and just really beautifully telling the story and and working with the creative team and doing that I mean at the end of the day, I just love that you know I breathe it I eat it. I love being a part of it. You know just just you know, I think as a kid I was always fascinated by Steven Spielberg movies and how they do this and how to do that and now to be the person creating those worlds and those images it's like it's awesome you know,

Alex Ferrari 37:31
it is it's you know, and I'm sure all of us I think every filmmaker at one point or another has that question that has a conversation with themselves like do I continue to do I do I keep going is this worth it? Should I change course I don't know about you have you had that conversation with yourself?

Kico Velarde 37:51
Oh my God, I've had that conversation with my wife

Alex Ferrari 37:55
which is much worse which is much worse than

Kico Velarde 37:59
my wife is like like she's like sharing Moonstruck she slaps me like snap out of it

Alex Ferrari 38:05
well moodstruck reference nice yeah so

Kico Velarde 38:08
she she you know my wife's been so supportive and I wouldn't be here without her because she's been definitely my my rock and my foundation because there's so many times where I just wanted to quit I mean from from just projects not turning out the way I wanted them to turn out and getting like you know, you know just not getting the reaction I wanted to to just having bad you know, you know fall outs with the crew or with teen people you work with stuff like that. So it's one of those things where you just like so many ups and downs is definitely a roller coaster ride working in this business and it's definitely you know, one of I've had many, many conversations where do I really want to keep doing this? Is this really worth it? Am I you know, am I too old? Am I am I too old? that that kind of thing? Because it is a young man's game.

Alex Ferrari 38:58
But it isn't it isn't? Yeah, it isn't it isn't because I think that you know, the young is great, and they have experience that you and I never did. Like they grew up with this stuff. They've been editing since they were 10 Yeah, you know, so it's different but there's something to be said about experience.

Kico Velarde 39:15
There is they're really really really really yeah and I think a lot of these these kids coming up I mean they're super talented but there's something about having life experiences that adds an extra depth to your your films.

Alex Ferrari 39:29
Not only that just not only life experience to like make you more flavorful as an artist but but just business experience the film business experience, which is Yeah, you know, you could be a fantastic artist, but this this business will eat you up and spit you spit you out with a question. I mean, like I've had that conversation with myself a million times literally like, Okay, I gotta I don't know if I'm gonna keep going. I don't know if I'm gonna keep going. And then and then the only answer I've ever come up with like, so what are you going to do? Yeah, that's like, Okay, well, what else What are you going to go do get a job where what do you what are you going to do if you can't do this so that's honestly this

Kico Velarde 40:05
is the only thing I've been good at like I have a super good at like like cooking I have friends who are good at like fixing cars or fixing up cars I have friends that are just amazing all kinds of different stuff I have friends who are great lawyers great this amazing mathematicians or whatever but when I say this is the only even video games I have friends who are like brilliant I'm playing video games

Alex Ferrari 40:26
and which is a profession nowadays which is hilarious yeah

Kico Velarde 40:28
I can This is the only thing I'm good at this is only thing where I could got a story I can shoot it I can edit it I can make a gorgeous is the only thing I've ever been good at

Alex Ferrari 40:39
so you're you're obviously working on jay jay leno sub show right now now are you going to be doing any more feature work independent work shorts you're going to be directing again anytime soon.

Kico Velarde 40:51
Oh yeah, definitely. Definitely. I'm working on another short right now I'm trying to get together and I'm actually just got attached to my first feature film.

Alex Ferrari 40:59
Oh great.

Kico Velarde 41:00
Yeah, so we're just waiting for the funding but i'm i'm attached to it.

Alex Ferrari 41:04
Nice nice Congrats, man. Congrats. Thank you brother. Amen. I know I look I know that I know how that game is played too. So yeah, congrats. So this is the toughest question I'm gonna ask you the entire interview. Okay, prepare yourself okay. What are your top three favorite films of all time? Oh no particular order whatever tickles your fancy at the moment.

Kico Velarde 41:29
Oh yeah, that's so hard

Alex Ferrari 41:33
I get every every every guest of mine does the exact same ah

Kico Velarde 41:41
there is one from there's there's many films but cash that's that's a hard one.

Alex Ferrari 41:47
Yeah, don't worry. It's not gonna be engraved on your gravestone or something Don't worry whatever just pick three from that really did something to you. But it's

Kico Velarde 41:54
so it's so like subjective because like, you know you there's so many filmmakers out there. Let's see what he speak. Let's see what he says. You know,

Alex Ferrari 42:01
look, I'll tell you what, look I had a I have a friend of mine Suki who was a guest on the show. He was he's a cinematographer, he's at the ASC and I asked him that question and I was expecting like, you know, this really deep you know, Russian, he's a Bosnian he's from Bosnia. So I was expecting some really obscure, he said Enter the Dragon. Um, and I think like another like, I forgot the other but entered a dragon stuck out to me. I'm like, Enter the Dragon. Don't get me wrong. Enter the Dragon is a frickin awesome movie. Yeah, he goes, but that movie affected me as a filmmaker, because when I saw it as a child that it kind of blew me away. Yeah. So don't get caught up. Like I you have to say Citizen Kane. Whatever, whatever. Like I've heard from all my guests I hear. That's why I love asking the question. Because it's just like, what do you know, obviously, we all know that there's certain movies that are on everybody's top 10. But what affected you as an artist? So just three.

Kico Velarde 43:00
I remember. I can say one of the films I'll say right now that I remember watching and it left me with such a huge impact. It left me with a kick in my stomach. I remember when I left that theater. I felt like I felt like literally somebody kicked me in the stomach. Was do the right thing. Oh, wow. Yeah, I remember seeing that in a theater when I was I was probably a freshman in high school. And I was locked out and I was like, Holy moly. Like I walked out like thinking, like, I can't breathe right now. Like, I was like, that was just so heavy, you know, right? Do the right thing I could definitely say is one of them that really affected me that really, I think showed me the power of film.

Alex Ferrari 43:40
You know, the thing about do the right thing, too, is that it was so good that people still go to see spike. Spike Lee movies in hopes that one day? Yeah, he'll make another do the right thing or something of that, because he's never made anything of that caliber again. I mean, he's a great, don't get me wrong. He's an amazing filmmaker. But that's his Citizen Kane. That's absolutely that's that thing. He's never been able to reach that again. And

Kico Velarde 44:04
film my watch. And I smile when I watch it. Because there's so many great things in that movie, like, just the writing and then the directing and the performances of so many young like actors. Great

Alex Ferrari 44:14
film. Oh, God. Yeah, amazing. Amazing. Amazing. A good good choice. Yeah, yeah. So

Kico Velarde 44:19
I think I'll probably say full metal jackets.

Alex Ferrari 44:25
The huge Stanley Kubrick fan. Yeah, huge, huge metal jacket

Kico Velarde 44:28
was definitely one of the ones that like I remember as a kid, and then I'll pay you know, 80

Alex Ferrari 44:36
Yeah, that was the one that got started. That one's the one that started it. For me. That was the first time I ever thought of being a filmmaker was after 80

Kico Velarde 44:42
Yeah, 80 was a whole experience. I mean anything Spielberg at the time, I was a kid with this. Like, it's almost like the same excitement. JJ Abrams is building with the Star Wars right now. It's like, yeah, kids are that's all they're talking about. Right now. The Star Wars premiere, December 18. I remember anytime a Spielberg movie was coming out in the 80s. That was like the same thing.

Alex Ferrari 45:00
Yeah I mean after after Raiders I think because you know it gave me the jaws was jaws and then but Raiders is the one that kind of blew the door open for for our generation like for that kind of adventure kind of stuff yeah totally and then yeah at and then it just it just went from there and then he does like Color Purple and we're like what it is which is a great movie but not

Kico Velarde 45:23
a good friendly way to go see the color purple everyone's they haven't I say Villa which is the color purple thinking oh man it's gonna be adventure center just Whoopi Goldberg up there and

Alex Ferrari 45:34
like what's going on? Oprah Oprah what's going on Oprah

Kico Velarde 45:36
like what's what why are you Why are you so why is Danny Glover so angry? Yeah. Oprah

Alex Ferrari 45:46
Very cool event so let me ask you where can people find you find what you're working on?

Kico Velarde 45:51
Um, you know, they could kind of keep up what I'm working on my website KicoVelarde.com KicoVelarde.com, and they could check out some, you know, behind the scenes making of my film. And you know, more news on my film of the shooting star salesmen calm are very cool. And then obviously J's show. J show Jay Leno's garage comm you can watch that on youtube youtube channel, subscribe, you can subscribe to the channel to get weekly updates on all our shows. And then, you know, nbc.com as well,

Alex Ferrari 46:19
How many archived episodes Do you guys have that that have that show?

Kico Velarde 46:23
We have about 1200 episodes?

Alex Ferrari 46:27
Yeah, wow. So you guys are getting views left and right, people just continuously finding stuff.

Kico Velarde 46:32
It's crazy. Dude, we're averaging right now about 250,000 views a week on our new videos. So it's crazy. It's like it's just getting massive, massive views. And it's just growing. It's like, right now everybody's on YouTube contest and the best car show on YouTube, which is an honor because there's so many great car shows out there. Sure.

Alex Ferrari 46:50
Sure. Of course. Of course. That's so awesome. Man. Kico thank you so much for being on the show, man. I really, really appreciate you taking the time out, man.

Kico Velarde 46:58
Well, thank you Alex. Thanks, man.

Alex Ferrari 47:00
Man Kiko really inspired me. I hope you guys got a bunch out of that one because a key goes like I guess like, as you guys can tell, he's one of the nicest guys in the business. I all the success he's got. He's, he's, he deserves all the success he gets and he has men. He's busted his ass for years. And he's come up on top right now. So I wish him nothing but the best. And I hope it serves as an inspiration to you guys, that sometimes this business well not sometimes pretty much all the time. It's brutal, it's tough. It's tough to make it in this business is tough to make able to, to make money with this business to provide for your family. I mean, he was sleeping on the floor. And just like a comment, you know, he took that little job doing like really, you know, promos for NBC online, and it was like really beneath his skill set and where he was, but you never know what that can turn into. And look what a turned into it turned into a few months later turned into a job on Jay Leno show and all of a sudden, he's at the Emmys. He's a producer on the show. And all of that came from humbling himself down to the point where he had to do what he had to do to make it to survive and thrive in the business. So if you just keep pounding the pavement if you just keep honing your craft and keep trying and keep pushing forward. Good things come out of it and Kiko is a perfect example of that. So keep those heads up. Alright guys, don't forget to head over to filmmaking podcast.com filmmaking podcast.com and leave us an honest review for the show. Thank you guys again so much for all your support on the show. So please spread the word if you can. Also guys if you want the show notes for this show, head over to indiefilmhustle.com/027 thanks again for listening guys. Have a Happy, Happy Happy Thanksgiving. Keep your dream alive. Keep the hustle going. And gobble gobble gobble. Talk to you guys soon.




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IFH 014: Post Production Workflow – Understand it or DIE!

I know I’m being a bit dramatic when I say…

“Understand Post Production Workflow or DIE!”

…but I’ve seen and been involved with sooooooo many independent films that just die in post-production because of one simple thing, they didn’t understand post-production workflow.

Post Production Workflow is not a black art that only a few understand, granted it is getting more and more complicated these days but you as an indie filmmaker can still understand the basics.

Post Production Nightmare

Example: If you have a RED Dragon your director of photography can bring to the party when you’re shooting your film great! Now what you need to ask yourself is what that “FREE” RED Dragon is going to cost you in post-production.

If you had a plan of editing your film on your laptop forget about it. The post-production workflow for the RED Dragon 6K is a beast and you would not be able to edit at home. You would then need to hire an editor who can handle that workflow and understands where his work is going to next, color grading.

This is fine if you budgeted for an editor but if you have no more money and you have all this amazing footage sitting on hard drives then you are screwed. I’ve worked on films with major movie stars in it that fell into this trap.

I’m not even going to bring up visual effects, that’s another conversation entirely. Take a listen to this episode. I hope it shines a light on this dark little corner of independent film that is understanding your post-production workflow.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:00
Welcome, guys to another great show. Today we have a topic that I'm going to be talking about that is very near and dear to my heart. But before we get into it, make sure you can head on over to free film book calm, that's free film book calm, and get your free audio book immediately. So one thing I wanted to talk about, and it's something I seen so much time, I mean, I've, I've delivered over 100 different independent film projects over the years, not including over 1000, including all the commercials, promotions, music, videos, and other things I've done. One thing I've seen common common problem with not only all of those, but specifically with independent film, in the technical aspect of it is post production workflow. A lot of independent filmmakers who are not technically inclined trust, a lot of times the people around them to just take care of all this stuff for them. And it is hard I've seen so many filmmakers fail miserably to the point where their movies look horrible, can't get finished. They can't get distribution, they can't get it sold, because it didn't figure out workflow. So let me explain to you what post production workflow is, is understanding the workflow all the way from production to final deliverable, and I'll go over over that with you in a second. So basically, when you're on set, you're, you're going to shoot on a camera, okay, based on that camera, you see, the old workflow is much easier with film. So film was film, and the workflow is the same for 90 years, almost 100 years, that workflow never really changed, for the most part. But now, there's new cameras, new formats, new, you know, aspect ratios, everything's changing daily. So workflow is more important now than it ever has been before. So let's say you're going to, you're going to shoot a movie that is a $50,000 movie, first, let's say for an instance, and you've got a dp who has a brand new Red Dragon 6k, and he's like, we're gonna shoot this 6k. And I've got these, these lenses I'm going to be using and all this great stuff. But we're going to shoot since Kay, we don't have a lot of light. So don't worry about the light, because the dragon will pick up everything. Well, Mistake number one, a dragon will not pick up everything, you still need light. But back to workflow, I don't want to get into to my colors, I want to take my colors hat off and put my post production supervisor hat on. So let's say you have that red dragon, and you shoot the whole movie on Red Dragon. Now, unfortunately, you don't have money for post. So you were going to edit this on your laptop at home with premiere or Final Cut or you know any other editing software. But let's say you're going to do it with premiere, which could handle 6k natively. But unfortunately, you're doing this on a laptop and your drives aren't fast enough. So you can't really edit it, you can't even watch it, you can't even do anything with it. So you got this beautiful, or at least has a huge amount of footage on a format that you really can do anything with. So now where you thought you didn't have any money, that you weren't going to spend any money, you're not going to spend money, because now you got to go hire an editor who can handle this workflow. Who can handle that the workflow but can handle these files. Now, that's step one. Now let's say you find an editor that runs premiere natively, you're great. If not, you might have to find a guy who's cutting on Final Cut seven. And he's going to transcode everything which will take you depending on the kind of system he has could take you weeks of transcoding just to get it into a format that he can edit. And then once he's done editing it, let's say you lock that cut out I'm not even talking about visual effects. I'm not even talking about speech changes, ramps, re composition, I'm not talking about any of that I'm just talking the basic stuff. All those other things I just talked about are bigger headaches, that will create more and more problems in your workflow. So I'm just going to take you through the basics and then we'll go back and talk a little bit about the other stuff. So then you're gonna go, you're gonna have this guy, edit your movie, Alright, so let's say he he's able to edit natively, let's say best case scenario. Well, once she's done editing this, and this one workflow, we're gonna say native, native, meaning that he's just taking the raw files and editing those raw files. Once he's done doing that, Then he has to, once he's done editing and let's say you've blocked the picture. Well, now you've got to send all your red files and all your, your EDL edit decision list, to a colorist to color this because red without color grading is, it's garbage, you have to call a grade, all your movies have to be color graded, or else you're never going to be able to sell it, it has to have some sort of professional look to it. So now you send it over to a colorist who has to hopefully be able to understand red, Ed, premiere EDL and then also handle red. So a system that's strong enough and big enough to handle red. So let's say you go to a da Vinci system, which is kind of industry standard now. But let's say you go to a guy who has color for God's sakes or is trying to color grade this in Adobe, or color grading this and Final Cut x or, or baselight or scratch or a million other different colors, they all have a color system, they all have to be able to talk to each other whatever the color system is, I use the Vinci it is the industry standard for for especially for indie film, but you have to have a system that can be able to handle 6k files. And that's if you shot everything at 6k, let me go back for a second, you might have shot some stuff Slo Mo, and if you shot some stuff Slo Mo, guess what, it's not 6k anymore is gonna drop down to 543 and twos K, depending on how fast you go. So now you have to take that into consideration. So let's take that into color grading. So now we call it grades, the whole thing. And again, I'm doing this the best case scenario, I'll throw some worst case scenarios at you in a minute. So he colors, the grades, the whole thing, but he has to make sure you have to make sure our system can handle it. He has a calibrated monitor to that. So you actually see the color that you're seeing is an actual correct representation of the color. Once he's done with it, then he has to render it out. And now you have to figure out where you're going with this. So if you're going to a digital format, you know, there's a lot of talk about 4k right now. And I know in the future, this is going to sound old fashioned, but for right now at the moment that we're in 2015. 4k is still a bit of a pig to to master to it's doable. I mastered to 4k all the time now. But I also have a juiced up system that can handle that more unlikely to K is going to be more than fine for you and more than likely 1080 P is going to be more than fine with you for you. Depending on your movie, depending on what you're trying to do. If you can master at 4k for future proofing your ears, your your project 2k is industry standard right now. And most people master at 2k, you'll be fine. And many movies I've mastered are at 10 ATP. Actually most I would say 95% of all the movies I've ever mastered or worked on master attended EP because I was a standard as well. So so once he renders it out, you have to render it out to a quick time and who's going to online this for you now the online process is once he all those files, go back to an editor who puts it all together for you, you have to put together the audio, you have to put together any graphics. And I'll get to visual effects in a second. But let's say you have visual effects shots coming in, those have to be placed on and all these kind of problems happen. You have to make sure that new system that's gonna be able to handle whatever he outputs, which could be dp X Files, which could be QuickTime files, which could be a bunch of different type of formats. I'm not trying to scare you here. But I'm I'm trying to impress upon you how complicated this process can be, especially when you're dealing at the upper echelon of files. So we started off with a red camera, this conversation is completely different. If we're starting off with a five D, a black magic book, the concepts are all still there, you still have to be able to handle these file formats, and be able to have the hard drive space, be able to have a clean workflow. Preferably you'd hire someone like myself, or at least consult someone like me. You know, I'm telling you, if you hire someone like me for an hour conversation, and you pay their hourly rate, whoever that might be a post production supervisor or something, and they can just draft out a workflow for you Oh, my God, that will save you so much time and you do this before you ever shoot. If you have a budget and you have a little more money, you hire them for the shoot, and they can kind of supervise this entire process. It's so important, especially with the plethora of formats that you were dealing with today. It's absolutely nuts and I every day I'm getting new like oh this is new file format. Oh this is a new file format, which is one of the reasons why I love the Vinci so much because Da Vinci reads everything and works with everybody. The Vinci is one of the best color systems and online systems out there right now for the bank for the best bang for the buck without question. So anyway, so you go back, you get back to your online system situation. You got your online everything and then you output now you can output to a DCP you can output to a pro res file, you can output to dp X Files which will go to a DCP. And then the quick to this so many different options. So going back let's say you're shooting on a Blackmagic. You know I have a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and you shoot pro res. Well, that makes life so much easier. And that might be perfect for what you're trying to do. You should on pro res 442 to HQ, it take it into any editing system almost that's worth its weight is going to be able to handle progress. you edit it all, there's no big files to deal with, you can do that on your laptop, no problem at all. And that might just be what you can afford. Regardless if you're shooting it regardless, if you have a frickin Alexa, or a you know, shooting or read shooting 6k Ra, you might not be able to handle that. And it might take you two years to finish your movie. Or you can shoot pro res tree, you know, shoot with a smaller camera that still looks gorgeous. Get your kind of movie that your movie done, edit it yourself, you have complete control of it, send it over to a colorist, any colors is going to be able to handle progress. Without question, they color it, they send it back to you. But when you're shooting pro res, you have to make sure you have an amazing dp who really understands lighting and things like that. Because if you start bringing down your formats, or your kind of file format or your camera, the lighting has to be much better, I can save a lot as a colorist, I can save a lot in a red file, because the red file does have a lot of information in it or in a raw file from Blackmagic or a raw file from Alexa or Sony or things like that. But when you start getting into more of those compressed files, like a pro res file, or God forbid, a five D you know mp4, which is the lowest quality you can shoot with. If you're trying to do something else, you better have a really great dp to be able to make that image look good. If not, you're done, like you've wasted your time. So I wanted and I'm very passionate about this because I've seen so many movies die in post I've been I've been brought in to save many, many movies purely because they did not understand workflow. It was it was such an important part of the post production process. Without workflow you've got nothing. And I didn't even touch upon audio workflow making sure that when you lock your cut, that Final Cut has to stay locked, that information sends to the colorist and you also send that to the your sound people to be able to match everything perfectly. If one frame goes off, everything goes out of whack. I mean I can go on and on and on, there's so much information to be doing. So if you have a low budget movie, use a camera that gives you a beautiful image of Blackmagic cameras perfect because I'm not a big fan of the five DS and 70 cameras because you really need to have a really good lighting scenario or shoot a lot of stuff outside. But even then you've got to protect yourself from you know blown highlights and things like that. So the the range that the Blackmagic camera gives you is a lot better than the five D or seven D and it's approximately the same price point. And the workflow is a lot easier as well. So you get a big fat or file and so on. So I like the Blackmagic it's all preference but on a technical standpoint, an mp4 file is so so low on the totem pole versus a pro res file which then goes into the higher rez higher risk formats like a dp x, XLR or, or the raw files. So I would use I would use a black magic if you're going to do a low budget movie or, or something equivalent, you know even if you shoot Alexa Alexa has pro rats, you know you can shoot 2k a 4k Pro res files, if that's the workflow, you can handle crate the new reds are being able to shoot pro res files as well. So you might be able to just if your workflow can't handle read transcode everything from red to pro res and work with it I would suggest against it. That's what the reason you're shooting with red, but so on and so forth. I'm kind of babbling a little bit here. I'm sorry. But basic, basic takeaway from this episode is workflow, understand your workflow, get people who understand workflow clearly, to give you a guide on how to finish your movie, because if not, it will sit and die in post and I've seen it happen multiple multiple times. So hire someone like me to just consult with you, if you can't afford you know 150 bucks to 300 bucks out of your budget to talk to a post production supervisor to kind of you know just kind of get have them give you a basic workflow is probably one of the best investments you'll make in your filmmaking process while making a feature film. So if you have any questions at all about post guys, hit me up on On the website, I do offer when to do self promote, I do offer consulting as far as post production workflow as well as just a consulting you know over a phone call or I can actually build out an entire workflow for you. But I'm not trying to do a hard sell honestly guys, if you can't, you know, if you if you don't use me, you somebody, I don't care. Just use somebody that can help you with that there's plenty of amazing post production supervisors out there who will be more than willing to talk to you for you know, an hour on the phone or two hours on the phone or meet you for coffee, and you pay them for their time and the work the workflow out for you and if you can afford to hire them, it is so beneficial to your process. So sure, you can always just head on over to indie film, hustle, calm and at the very top of the bar it says do a one on one coaching, just click on that. Or you can head over to indie film, hustle, calm Ford slash consulting. And that'll give you all the information you need about what I offer filmmakers. But I'm real passionate about this guys, because I really want to see your movies get made, no matter what your budget level is. If it's 10,000 bucks, or if it's a million dollar budget or above, you really need to have someone like me, help you with the post production workflow. So thanks again guys for tuning in. And I will see you on the next podcast.


IFH 013: Inside the Edit with Paddy Bird

I’ve been an editor now for over twenty years. When I was starting out I looked everywhere for some course, book, video, or anything that could teach me the black art of creative editing. There are many courses design that teaches you AVID, Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro software but nothing on the creative process.

One day I was surfing the net and found this site called “Inside the Edit.” The site was boasting it was the world’s first “creative video editing course,” which I found very hard to believe. I took the course for a test ride and OH, MY GOD, they did it, they cracked the code.

Take a look at this:

I would have killed for Inside the Edit

I would’ve killed for Inside the Edit when I was starting out. I looked up the crazy man who created this and found Paddy Bird hiding behind the curtain. Paddy Bird is one of television’s most prolific and accomplished editors.

For the past fifteen years, he has edited dozens of prime-time documentaries, entertainment and reality TV shows for British and American television. He has even worked in war zones, spending time editing news stories on location in Iraq.

I had to have him on the show and here we are today. This episode is one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve had to date. Just to old workhorse editors shooting the sh*t! Paddy Bird drops a ton of info on this episode.

If you want to become an editor or if you just want to have a better understanding of storytelling Inside the Edit is for you. You get over 60 tutorial videos (he plans over 200 when he’s done) and new videos added every week.

Some of these tutorials are 2 hours long. The production quality is remarkable, he even lets you download footage so you can practice yourself.

Paddy Bird: The Mad Scientist

I’m going to say it, Paddy Bird is a madman or mental as he puts it. He has written over one million words creating this opus. What Paddy and his team have done is just remarkable. In a sea of crap video tutorials and courses Inside the Edit is just elegantly amazing.

If you’re interested in checking out his master editing course click here: Inside the Edit

You can do monthly or yearly membership. It will be one of the best investments you make on your storytelling journey.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:01
Paddy, thank you so much for joining the show. We really appreciate it, sir.

Paddy Bird 0:43
Absolute pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Alex Ferrari 1:10
And as you I are both some, as they say old dogs in the editing game we've been doing this for for many years. But a lot of my listeners are new to what editing is. And I think a lot of people who've been doing it for 20 years don't know the answer to this question I'm gonna ask you, but what is the job of an editor?

Paddy Bird 3:28
Yeah, that's a good question. It's Yeah, as you say, is difficult to define. Because editing really is the most unknown or nebulous kind of art form within the Moving Image medium is the one art form that no one really knows much about, you know you can do you can you know, what a director does what cinematographer does, sound person does an actor does bla bla bla bla bla, but the editing that sits very few people are privileged to go into an edit suite, and actually watch what an editor does. So that's why it's it's known as a kind of black art really. I mean, it is, every single genre is cut differently. Every single genre documentary is very, very much different to drama, which is different to commercials, which is different to music, videos, stuff like that. So each one of these genres has their own very, very specific set of rules and regulations and stuff like that. Where I come from is long form documentary. I think the best probably description is, is taking maybe the two, the two most well thought out genres, which is drama and documentary. drama is a lot of dramas, pre thought out the script and stuff like that. So it's about taking that looking for the best performance. Sometimes restructuring the script. It's also about, you know, recreating the pace within the dialogue, to make it more dramatic. Or more emphasis on a certain specific thing which the director wants to do, which didn't come out in the actual performances from the actors. And documentary is very much different. It's, it's, it's about shooting a load of stuff, and then finding the story there. Within that stuff within that footage within that raw material, you're bringing something out that some that you're actually finding along the way. And there's a you know, there's a classic, saying, in editing, you know, you give 10 editors the same footage, you'll come, you'll get 10 completely different films. But I think one of the most primary things that editors, their main, the main job that an editor does, is to be the first audience. And that really is a privilege, you're seeing something grow. You're taking the director's vision, all the performances, whether it's, you know, a documentary based character, or a, or an actor, and you're seeing them for the first time, you're making sense. And you're filtering through and seeing what's working, what doesn't work, and slowly piecing it together in this kind of very intricate jigsaw puzzle. And it ends up being very loose at the start, and then you tighten it in certain places. And it's like going through, I always say, it's like going through in waves. Each scene is very, very much an isolated unit, but it's also part of an act. And it's also that act is also a part of the structure of the film, whether it's a documentary, or an entertainment show, or, or, or a or drama, it doesn't really doesn't really matter. So I'd say it's primarily it's the abilities, you have to have a you know, you have to watch the same thing over and over again, if you're not prepared to do that, you know, editing is not for you, you have to have this kind of meticulous sense of detail, and nuance and, and don't mind watching things hundreds of times over and over again, which does drive a lot of people. Yeah, 1000s does drive a lot of people away from the craft. But we are the first audience we're there to react in an impartial way, you know, the director, I've had so many directors, I know, I'm sure you have as well, directors come in, they've gone through this long and arduous process of pre production, production, which is highly stressful, as lots of unforeseen, unknown elements that happen. And when they come walk into the edit suite, they usually, you know, they might be tired, extremely tired, they might be very stressed. And, you know, they want to know that the best they're gonna get the best out of the material. So our job is to kind of create kind of nurturing environment and say, Okay, let's go through this and give you their feedback in a kind of interesting and informative way and just say, Oh, you know, we could go in this direction, or this is what this is saying to me, you're, you're there to give a first impression about this, because the director can go off and get really obsessed about a certain set of performances, or we've got to get that great big crane shot in that cost. 20 grand, right. But then you come in, you say, well actually doesn't make any sense to the story. So we shouldn't put it on, even though I know that you're emotionally tied to it, because you had to stay up till four in the morning to get it no matter what. So

Alex Ferrari 8:11
That's one thing, I've noticed that I'm a director, and I've edited pretty much everything I've ever directed. Occasionally, I've worked with editors as a director. And I have to say, I actually enjoy working with an editor rather than me editing my own stuff as I've gotten older, purely because of that reason, like, you know, I'll sit there and go, Oh, it took us six hours to get that shot. It has to get in the movie. Yeah, and if I'm editing, it's gonna get in the movie, and it might not be right for the story. And a lot of a lot of directors don't get that in. I know what the the rise of Final Cut and laptop editing and all this kind of stuff that everyone's like, I'll just be my own editor. I'm like, sometimes it's really helpful having another set of eyes in the room.

Paddy Bird 8:53
Absolutely. This is that layer of impartiality where we weren't, we weren't there at all the performances. We weren't there in all the meetings with the producers that went on for months and months and months. We we are looking at this cleanly as a narrative observer as an observer of someone who is helping the director construct the narrative. And that kind of you know, impartiality is priceless. That's one of the major things apart from the skills of construction and stuff like that, and pace and timing and stylization. That's one of the major reasons we're there to give our, our feedback. So it's really, really important and I think yes, in today's world because because of you know, with the rise of the, the, you know, the final cuts in the premieres and stuff like that, but they you know, they kind of cost next to nothing and people think, Oh, I can just cut I can just do it, but it's an art form. It's not just putting shots down on the timeline. There's a whole load of sense laws, logic and feel that goes with it, whatever you came whatever style which, you know, doesn't come to someone overnight, just because they bought some software.

Alex Ferrari 9:58
Right, and literally, sometimes Frame means everything. And that's what people don't get like cutting a frame here. Trimming a frame there the timing, the pacing the emotion of a scene. Yeah, that frame that frame means so much and I've after years and years, you realize that but a lot of people don't get that yet. And I think you're right, the craft, the black arts, I like when you say Black Arts, I think I'm in a Harry Potter movie. So it's very nice.

Paddy Bird 10:24
What can I tell a really bad editing joke then? What's the difference between comedy and tragedy? What? Six frames? It's, it's, it's a terrible editing. Hearing back in the 90s. Old editor told me I was like, Okay. I'll tell you, I'm sorry, Microsoft now. Yeah, okay, that's great. That's fine. But it is it's like every single frame matters. I remember watching the making of jaws. And he seems cool. Spielberg was talking about you know, because the famously the shark was like, terribly fake and stuff like that. And he said, we stuck the shark in for I can't remember what the exact numbers were. But it was something like 70 frames. But if we cut it down to if we if we added more than 70 frames or 60 frames, the shark looked fake. But there was seem to be a magic number in every single time you saw the shark, it had to be a specific number of frames, because the model was so bad that if it went over that, people would just laugh it go that's a big plastic toy. That's not scary. Right? Exactly.

Alex Ferrari 11:29
So, in your opinion, I think you might have answered this, but I don't know. Maybe you haven't. What makes a good editor? Like a really good editor?

Paddy Bird 11:38
Um, God, that's very difficult to answer. I think it's a combination of talents. I mean, obviously, you have to get on with the hip, nevermind the skills, you have to you know, if you're gonna be political, yeah, you have to be political, you have to be the ultimate. I mean, if all the editors were suddenly fired. Tomorrow, I think we'd all go and work in the UN, because we'd be so diplomatic. We'd be brilliant ambassadors, I think we just, you know, we would get what we want without offending anybody. Which is a great assist, it's a difficult skill to learn. And obviously, that's, you know, we work in a collaborative industry. There's lots and lots of, you know, whether it's camera operators, working with directors, or whatever, you know, we're all working with people. So it's, you know, you got to learn to get on, but that's the basic one. Because there are, you know, I have met editors who, you know, the shout and scream and that editor and you're like, you're not going to go too far with that kind of attitude. But in terms of the kind of craft I'd say, A, the ability to watch something over and over again. I always think that, you know, people always say to me, how can I learn the craft of editing. And I'm, like, Well, I mean, editing really is, is getting yourself in the mood of, of a film of a scene of a character. So one of the best ways you can do that is, is watch as many films as you as you can. And I'm not just talking about your favorite films, because editing really is a big, I always see it as a big stylization database in your in your head. You know, whenever I'm confronted by a scene that might be nice, some academic or something from that film, I saw that film, you know, that's a really good way to start. I mean, obviously, when you're cutting a scene, it may not go that way. But it's a good way to go from the start, I always find that if you have that big sort of creative directory of things that you've got in your mind, you can apply that pretty quickly to any type of scene whether it's a fast paced reality TV scene, or you know, a medium paced you know, action scene and a drama or whatever, whatever you're cutting. So it's important to have you know, know your craft know what all the other amazing editors are out there doing and what they have done. And, I think being very logical, aware of logic and aware of structure you know, especially with documentary editing drama, as well but a lot of the thinking on the structure has been pre thought out I mean, a lot of dramas pre thought out beforehand by dozens of people that it's writers, you know, storyboard artists, stuff like that. I mean, it can all famously change in the edit suite, but there's been a lot of thought put out into it and you do often have a lot of restructuring in the Edit. I know lots of friends of mine who are big feature film editors, and they told me like quite a lot as you know, on certain films as obviously I can't say which ones but a lot of them get you know, they get switched around with large tracts of dialogue get cut out because they don't make sense. So you have to be the ability to watch something, a scene in isolation, but also that scene as part of a larger arc in in in the movie, but then the whole arc of the movie, or the documentary, whatever you're doing so it's working from micro to macro as well. Then also understanding good pace and timing and the velocity of movement and pace within a film. You know, that doesn't come easy or what they say one of the hardest than the last things to come for an editor is that is pacing timing, if at all, there's so many editors that they don't actually make that final step and that that separates someone from a good editor to a truly fantastic one and, and you know, editing this is like a roller coaster, it's like a, you go up and you're down, I'm here, we got to go slow. And this is where we need to the audience to feel this thing here. You know, I we're constantly asking ourselves, what are the odds? What do the audience have to feel here? What do I want them to feel and to know, emotionally, logically, stuff like that. So there's, there's lots of different factors, we have to take into consideration. Some of them are more important in, in, in certain scenes than others. And it's about being flexible, and knowing when to do apply these rules and when to when to leave them. But then, when to throw the rules out the window and go, you know, it's like the old Picasso, quote, you know, learn all the rope, learn all the rules, like a pro, so you can break them, break them, like an artist,

Alex Ferrari 16:14
That's a great quote. Yeah. So when you, when you start editing, do you stick to the script or the storyboard? Or do you start interpretating it right away?

Paddy Bird 16:25
I mean, I don't tend to do a lot of drama. I've done a lot of docu drama, which is as you know, combining documentary with drama. So I don't tend to do that I've, I don't, I must confess, and I probably shouldn't confess This is in case the my any of my previous or future employees or employers out there, but I never listened to any of the notes or anything like that. I just watched things through for performance, and, and stuff like that, as all I do, I need to have that reaction. You know, I know so many editors who go there, especially with drama, and they go, they watch, you know, takes one to 10 of an actor's performance and they go, don't believe it, don't believe it. Don't believe it, believe it, you know, take one take two take three. So then, you know, you just dismiss a good percentage of things that aren't excellent immediately, so you're whittling it down? But yeah, I I need to see it without any kind of people's opinions to give my own true opinion. ArrayList

Alex Ferrari 17:24
Yeah, and I feel the same way. I think, as far as performances are concerned, I think anytime an actor is winning an Oscar, they really need to thank the editor as well, because they did give the performance but that editor went through all of those takes to craft. Yeah, performance at that, that made it so I think they're definitely one of the big parts of that team, as well as obviously the director and the writer and everything, but at the end of the day, it's the editor Who, who, who puts that together, and a lot of times finds a performance that might have not been there. Sometimes I've seen I've seen performances in the Edit room that are horrendous, prior to the editor kind of going in there. Yeah. I know one. I know one movie specifically the Green Mile. Michael Michael Clarke Duncan when he was a no he's famously they gave him every acting coach in Hollywood because he was you know, he was he was a bodyguard he was an Armageddon he's not as you call the greatest, you know, actor in the world. But between all the coaching Tom Hanks and the editor who I slipped my mind who the editor was on that crafted together and Oscar nominated performance, specifically for that season. It's pretty crazy. So are there rules for editing certain types of scenes? Like comedy dialogue action that you'd like to follow? Or like the break and you have any examples?

Paddy Bird 18:53
I mean, I think in terms of the rules for you know, each each genre has their own rules, really is it's hard to sort of sit and break them all down. Sure, sure. But you you know, once you've watched, you know, once you've watched Woody Allen films to 300 times each, I mean, I think I've watched my favorite movies over 200 300 times. Right? You just analyze the first five or six times 10 times you watch a movie you're still engrossed in the narrative you're still Oh yeah, that's funny or Oh, that's tragic. Or Wow, that's a great action scene. But then after the sort of 10th 20th time you're sitting then you start analyzing and you're going okay, this is what they're trying to do here you memorize every shot and we're camera movement. This is how I learned editing anyways and and looking at the pacing and I always ask myself, okay, that's the Edit. What not Wow, that's amazing editing. What ended up on the cutting room floor. What didn't work. I will He's kind of looked I tried to look at it through the looking glass like you know black is white and white is black what didn't work there and how was that constructed you know when you're talking about you know, they say you know comedies in the timing but it's not just comedy tragedies in the timing actions in the title everything's timing with it with editing so we got to be very careful about what we're saying and what we're trying to make the audience feel every single specific moment. We're stuff like action action a lot of action stuff is driven by music so music has got its own set of unique emotional implications. So a lot of times we're cutting to music we're looking at the beats in the music we're looking at the structure of the of what's going on in the music What instruments are going on at certain points and stuff like that whether it's been scored whether we're buying a commercial track all these kinds of things. So you know, I think the best way to I always thought the best way was certainly the way I did to learn was to look at the performance look at the coverage find the kind of seeing that from your memory that works or would work in this and then try and start because it will never be the same start a construction a pace and timing construction around that but yeah, it's like and then you suddenly end up pulling out a couple of frames here between lines couple of frames there or between action if you want to go really really brutal enter in a specific action in an action scene, you know, probably the most still for me even after 10 years the most amazing action editing in recent memory was born ultimatum now i think i think he just didn't he Yeah, I mean it's just all crossing the line cut frames here he didn't care I was I remember watching that and I was doing a I was doing a science documentary for

Alex Ferrari 22:01
Which became all of a sudden very much more exciting when you finish cutting the

Paddy Bird 22:05
Discovery Channel a National Geographic or somewhere somewhere some some broadcaster news and I went in early I watched it on the Saturday afternoon when it came out and then I was like oh my oh my god, I end up watching it three times over the weekend. And I came in about seven o'clock in the morning into the edit suite and I will probably start chopping around that and then the director came in with his with his last day I said watch this and his jaw was on the floor and I said no he just turned I said what were you watching over the weekend? This is it man this is this is genius editing this is where we're gonna go

Alex Ferrari 22:52
How did it How did it How did it turn out?

Paddy Bird 22:54
It stayed in good for you see I kind of you know when you see a really amazing piece of editing you know unfortunately television we don't get the chance to do that kind of stuff very often in drama and commercials feature films you've got a lot more leeway to be more creative in certain circumstances but in television there's a kind of pulling back not all the way but there's a kind of pulling back and kind of what you can get away with. But yeah, I mean, the title sequence in what's the what's the Brazilian movie set in the favelas, oh, City of God. See a god what amazing film but the chicken chasing I remember seeing that. Like it's just astonishing editing, and a little action sequence of the guys trying to chase this chicken around. It's all mixed with you know, cut against Brazilian music. And that is you know, this is a couple of guys chasing a chicken around a favela. But what what he did the editor did that was just exceptional.

Alex Ferrari 23:56
Now let me ask you a question. What was the first time you as an ad I was like asking entered resists. What was the first time that you discovered the craft of editing like that? It dawned on you early like when you were a kid or in your when you're in high school, or whenever it was the moment you said, oh, there is a craft called editing. And this is how they do it. Oh.

Paddy Bird 24:24
Wow. I think I mean, I

Alex Ferrari 24:27
Was going but you're going back

Paddy Bird 24:29
Ive gone back Yeah. Going back through the years. I mean, when I was when I was younger. We got our first VHS player. I think I must have been about 10 Yeah. Back in the whenever it was the early 80s. And I remember watching films 7080 times my parents thought I was nuts. Oh, and I would learn everything I was I was only about eight or nine. I remember thinking How's that? You know, I remember thinking what's on the end of that shot? Did they shoot that And it stopped there and things like that. And then she were thinking about this already. I was thinking about that a very young age interest. And then I started Yeah, I started working one of the sort of very early adverts in the mid 90s, I was about 20. And I think I was at 10, I was doing a charity video, something like that. And the person who was presenting it was just, they were really bad, they couldn't even string a sentence together, they were so nervous, or guy was so nervous. And I remember to sort of playing around and cutting everything out and height. And then obviously, there's loads of job cuts, and then hiding certain jump cuts, and then cutting to this there and then and thinking, Wow, look at the power of this. I've made this person seamless, absolutely seamless. And then I started practicing and cutting other things like just cutting interviews with people making them say sort of crazy and outrageous things that they didn't say just why we call you know, I don't know if you call it the same in the US, but in England, we call it frame bashing, okay, which is, you know, just stealing words and putting them next to other words and cutting out knots and cutting out butts and becauses. And you know, so that people end up just really, you know, because that's what editing is really it's a bunch of words, and you can take those words and do whatever you want with them. As long as you got the coverage to hide those cuts. You can get away with pretty much anything obviously, the ethics around that are exactly, you know, but I remember then very early on in my late teens, that's when I really dawned on me. And this is unbelievably powerful. Oh, so yeah. Now I was fascinated drew hooked from the word go.

Alex Ferrari 26:46
The the what for me, it was you remember Robert Downey is Chaplin?

Paddy Bird 26:51
Oh, yeah, I actually watched that again the other day?

Alex Ferrari 26:53
Well, I was then you'll know the scene much clearer than I did. Haven't seen this in years. But when when Robert Downey or Charlie Chaplin shows up to Hollywood for the first time, and he gets caught up in the middle of that act, that little, that little scene with the cops and everything. And then he brings, he brings him down accurate brings him into the editing room. And he shows him editing. There, he cuts the film because you don't want to be on the cutting room floor. That's that place you don't want to be. That was the first time for me that I saw editing. Like Like, I got like, Oh, that's a job. Like I was in I was a teenager when I saw that movie as well working at my video store in Florida. And it was it was kind of mind boggling to me. And I didn't fall in I felt like I told you originally when we spoke first spoke, I fell into editing, editing because I didn't want to be a PA. It's like, oh, there's an avid in that room. And it's air conditioned. Let me let me go learn that.

Paddy Bird 27:48
And they bring you free briskets they bring?

Alex Ferrari 27:50
Exactly and then then the lattes came after. So

Paddy Bird 27:55
Just go better.

Alex Ferrari 27:56
Exactly. So this is a problem. I know, a lot of editor space. And I think it's a really important question to ask. When other people come in the editing room other than the director, like an actor or writer, or even a producer? How do you handle their opinions politically versus the director? And then you obviously need to find out who your master is at that point. Is it the directors at the producer? And this is a part of the editing process that editors don't know because this is all this politics? And then you just have to figure out what to do so I'm usually Switzerland as the way I handle it. I'm Switzerland I just like yes, whatever they tell me I kind of just move and someone asked my opinion I kind of quiet but I don't take sides because it could hurt you. Obviously, you know, you don't want to piss off the producer but you don't wanna piss off the director and who's gonna give you your next job and so on and so forth. So how do you handle it?

Paddy Bird 28:52
I mean, I think what's important is you have to take every single you know instance completely You know, every single one is unique I look at the you know, if you've been locked in a room with with the director for a couple of months, you know, you're gonna get to know who they are. And you know, how they handle pressure and stuff like that. And whether they're, you know, in arguments with the producer and you know, this these type of things happen all the time. Whether they promised you another job, and it's a big one they go on

Alex Ferrari 29:25
Always that's why they're not paying you that much this time.

Paddy Bird 29:29
Don't worry next time is going to be much more going to W Ray.

Alex Ferrari 29:34
Have you ever heard you have all the time in the world and we're going to double your rate. Have you ever heard those words uttered out of a producer's mouth

Paddy Bird 29:40
Never, never will never go? Yeah, take your time. Don't worry. Just don't worry. When it's ready when it's ready.

Alex Ferrari 29:50
Can you imagine?

Paddy Bird 29:51
I don't think I'd fight on the spot. No, I mean it's it's incredibly difficult man. It depends on you know, if There's arguments brewing if there's you know what the temperament of everyone involved

Alex Ferrari 30:06
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Paddy Bird 30:16
You know, that's that thing is who is your master? You know, there's this I remember a friend of mine who cuts just commercials. And he said, it's really difficult because in commercials when you're in the edit suite, there's like 25 people in the in the MDM. And you've got this person and that person, all of them don't know anything about making films. They're from branding, and they're from this and, and he says, the main key thing in cutting commercials is finding out actually who's in charge and whose opinion counts because there's only one of those people in the room. The other 19 can just leave but they're there to justify their job and stuff like that. So it's very, very difficult. But yeah, I try and be as diplomatic as possible and I always give my opinion, I've truly believed that I'm paid to give an honest opinion. Sometimes those opinions are you know, sometimes you're in a position where if you give an honest opinion about why this scene didn't work, and you know that the reason happened is because the director messed up, but you don't want to get the director into trouble. You know, you're gonna have to make a call on that because you know, the directors sitting there looking at you going

Alex Ferrari 31:23
Don't don't don't do it.

Paddy Bird 31:25
Do me over I work in this town. So yeah, it's it is a very, you know, each each one is very, very different in its, I mean, I'm like you, and I think most editors are Switzerland. I'm like, you know, the end of the day, I'm here to cut this film. And my only responsibility really, is to make it as good as it can be. But the politics are, I mean, that's actually one of the reasons I became an editor in the first place is I loved the fact there was no politics involved. Yes, there's less how much politics can there be in a dark room. So then I found out there's tons

Alex Ferrari 32:05
And now the craziest, the craziest story I've heard was cutting a commercial and I had two advertising execs fistfight in my room. Mmm, MMA style. I was in my house. I was in Miami, I was editing a commercial for a chicken joint. A local chicken joint. And the funny thing was that the client had just fired the agency that was editing in that spot that they just produced so the client through his wisdom fired them before the commercial was over. And then I think the new guy came to kind of oversee what they just finished and turn on each other they just literally I had to break up a fight in my edit suite I've never forgotten that I was like, Oh, you guys it's a chicken car. Never

Paddy Bird 32:54
That I've never heard of that. I mean, I've heard some pretty crazy stories but I've never heard of office. Yeah, no, that's wow

Alex Ferrari 33:02
Well, you know we're Latino. Latino down in Miami, you know, things you know, it's it's the heat is the heat it's a it's what it is, is the heat you know, but yeah, US Latinos we do have a little bit of a spicy edge too sometimes and add in, you know, a chicken joint, you know, things just go awry. So, um, what now I know this, this happens to a lot of editors as well. What do you do about editors block? Like, do ever get edited? Like, have you ever had editors block when you you can't cut a scene to make you happy? Like, what do you do? Has it ever even happened to you?

Paddy Bird 33:38
I doesn't tend to happen to me. No. Sometimes I'll see something that I'll be like okay, this is as far as it can go. Now, I'm going to leave that for a week I'm gonna come back with fresh eyes, you know that first. First impressions are so important. In that continual first impression, you know, that like butterfly wings, you know, once touched forever destroyed, we really do want that first impression that first, this creative side side of our brains to be engaged in how we're reacting to something because we have to put ourselves in character in the mind of the audience, even after, you know, we're watching this for the 180/7 time this week. So I think I sometimes I don't know, I don't know if I've called it editor's blog, but I've got to a point in the scene, I go, Well, I'm gonna have to think on that I'm gonna have to process that for a couple of days or a week or something. So I tend to leave things and then come back to them if there's a problem, but also, you know, specifically if there's, you know, something, that there's knock on effects up and down the timeline with that specific thing as well. You know, if I'm having a problem with that scene, and I want to start doing some really serious cutting to save it, that might have implications in seeing 12 down there or seeing the eight up there. So sometimes you've got to go back and I find you go, you go, leave a bit. Go. Back do some other stuff and process it subconsciously and then come back that's probably the way I do it. Okay.

Alex Ferrari 35:07
Now do you cut to music or without sound? And how does sound influence your cutting?

Paddy Bird 35:14
I am I'm all about music Actually, I find I have a an exhaustive library of music. Again if you've got that app out there in the state exam

Alex Ferrari 35:27
Oh yeah, this

Paddy Bird 35:28
Is like my favorite app of all time whenever I'm in a coffee shop or even in an elevator something's you know that's really nice that'd be really nice for a specific type of scene. Bam I'll Shazam that banger by that let's listen to that 2530 times great and I tend to do that as well with music libraries as well I get to know them really well so that I have a specific emotional reaction to a set of rushes a set of footage and go okay first of all, I kind of work out what the scenes is about and I take a quick look at the footage and then I do it kind of backward on I'm not comparing myself to Tarantino but I know that's his process he finds music and then makes the scene you know as opposed to create the scene then find the music he

Alex Ferrari 36:17
Writes to the scene to the music

Paddy Bird 36:19
Yeah, it's like it's a process I love doing that I because music for me is you know I did a lot of reality TV shows. I did a lot of stuff like X Factor where nothing happens in the footage nothing is not emotional it's nothing so we have to overcompensate that with highly emotional music you know that's the trick we do if nothing happens ramp up the music right let's get that this gets Celine Dion in here you know this this you know absolutely nothing happened so I did a lot of you know reality TVs as at the same time my documentary so music has an unbelievably powerfully an unbelievably powerful effect on the audience is the one thing that transcends cultures languages anything so I'm I'm all about cutting and finding the perfect track and I find I tend to try and find tracks that haven't been used and abused you know you get a tribe that's gets really popular and then they just turn on the television it's on every single show for the next six months.

Alex Ferrari 37:20
Oh Moby Moby that Moby album was on everything Yeah,

Paddy Bird 37:24
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely never listen to Moby ever again.

Alex Ferrari 37:29
It was a great album but I remember it's like yeah, every damn thing I watched had the damn Moby on it you know he was the most um it was the most licensed album of all time.

Paddy Bird 37:43
Really? Yeah Did Moby surprise me

Alex Ferrari 37:46
yeah most licensed album of all time every movie every trailer put it in their scores it was just like i mean i'm sure movies still just counting cash from that dance

Paddy Bird 37:56
It was through cashing in Well, I mean

Alex Ferrari 37:59
God bless Alright, so so you out of all you've been an editor for a long time and you sat down one day and looked around and said you know, I am not seeing anybody teach the craft the black arts of film so you you decided to put together something called inside the Edit which is how I discovered you originally found you online. And I saw this amazing site that was like inside the ad and I'm like what is what is this guy from England doing let me let me check this out. I'm like, the site look gorgeous, which I loved. I loved the grid design of it. And then I started looking at some of the videos you were putting in like oh my God, this guy's actually teaching people how to edit like I've never seen this in my life and I've been around a while and I've taken a lot of courses and I know a lot of you know the Lynda dot coms and the VFX PhD and all these other places but there was no one doing it and it was not just like oh well throw a couple videos up you're psychotic you have like a ton of I mean like it's insane so tell tell us and tell the audience what is inside the Edit

Paddy Bird 39:07
well inside the Edit was I came up with the idea about three or four years ago I I stopped editing for about six months because I was just a bit tired burnt out and you know, I just wanted to stop so I started training and teaching final car and avid and things like that at a training center and and I looked around I was like oh no one's actually teaching the craft I just looked at all I sort of widen my gaze and then looked at all the film schools and looked it's all software related. And they teach you a very basic amount of editing theory, but I was like, no one's teaching you know how to assign you know, different musical instruments to specific characters within and then physical nuances within a scene. No one's teaching how to construct a really tight sink pool. No one's teaching us you know, these literally I wrote down it took me a year. To write down probably a couple of 1000 theories that you need is a pro, a pro a list editor at the top of the game, and I just I tried to find all of them I interviewed film school alumni I went to the broadcasters training centers stuff like that and no one's actually teaching the craft it was all you know, buttons pull down menus and this software and that and that is it so I basically Yeah, I decided to, I thought oh, this is really interesting. And I basically wrote a very specifically crafted training course online training course that consists of about 200 tutorials some ranging from five minutes to like feature length we've got feature length one so it's basically like a 200 part series on editing with

Alex Ferrari 40:57
you understand this I understand you sound crazy.

Paddy Bird 41:01
I told my wife at the time and she just said how long is it going to take and I was just like three six months? I think it took me three years and not writing nearly a million words.

Alex Ferrari 41:14
Yeah. But you're mentioning you're working on other things at this time you know, yeah,

Paddy Bird 41:18
no, no I didn't I literally I didn't I couldn't as soon as I did I wanted to make in 100 years of editing I wanted to make the be all and Nando was like I could make I could just link some stuff up then it'd be great or I could make the you know, start milling and start milling and never have to wait this is the quintessential study of editing which no one's ever done all these hundreds of different techniques. I mean, we got 25 tutorials alone just on scoring. I mean no one's ever taught scoring before you go to lynda.com and you go to all these other websites and it's all techie and you know

Alex Ferrari 41:56
which goes away which goes away in a minute because anything tech will be changed in about eight years yeah yeah

Paddy Bird 42:01
change it's it's it's you know, we don't have loads of people in the industry you know, there's loads of people who know the techie side what we are what we're in short supply of and what we've always been in short supply of is people who know how to craft stories craftsmen and that's it you know that's always going to be you know, just because you buy an editing piece of editing software and you know how to use the timeline and stuff like that and trimming that does not an editor make so I yeah, I basically looked at everyone all the websites or the film schools and thought yeah, this is this is this could be really amazing. And I spent a long a long time crafting it but then what I also did as well was I mean, when you want to learn editing, the one thing I haven't taught hundreds of people the one thing that I always was asked at the end was okay, how do I get show together? How do I cut some scenes? And like Well, you can't really because production companies never ever release rushes footage, raw raw bits raw footage onto the market onto into the open public domain doesn't happen. So you're stuck in this next barrier, which is how do I get footage to practice on and I'm a director as well directed quite a few documentaries in the UK. So I went out and I shot a one hour documentary, like 40 hours of rushes 35 hours of rushes. So I thought there's no point in teaching people to editing unless you give them footage to practice on and know all the nuances, all the problems that you get all the good stuff all the bad stuff you get in any one set of footage, they have to practice on that. So I said right we're gonna give you all these tutorials and you also we give you all the footage as well.

Alex Ferrari 43:46
How long did it take you to shoot all this?

Paddy Bird 43:48
I shot it as an observational documentary and I shot it over two years while I was constructing the course so I was specifically shooting scenes with problems in them as I was writing specific tutorials knowing drawing on my experience of editing problems I'd had in the past I was like okay, I'm gonna shoot this scene perfectly and it's beautiful blah blah blah. And I will shoot this one with loads of flaws are not going to ask that question that I would do to to the interviewer or to the interviewee. I'm not going to do that. So we're going to have to learn how to fix that in the Edit.

Alex Ferrari 44:20
Now Barry. I don't mean to interrupt you, but I consider myself a go getter. I consider myself a hustler. You're absolutely crazy. I hearing the story as you're saying it is It's so inspiring like one man, and it's one dude that together like I'm gonna just write, like think about this. If I would have said this to you before you started. You're gonna sit down and write the end all be on on the craft of editing over 200 different tutorials. 1000s hundreds of 1000s of hundreds of hours of of thing plus 1000s of hours of work. It's insane. It's like you're literally writing words. Peace you know but

Paddy Bird 45:01
actually with currently 400,000 words more than war and peace want to correct you

Alex Ferrari 45:09
I appreciate that thank you I

Paddy Bird 45:11
know Spencer everyone says a mentor my wife says a mental all my friends I'm crazy

Alex Ferrari 45:16
but that's what Steve Jobs said it's the crazy ones that changed the world

Paddy Bird 45:21
wow there you go there you go from quite odd Steve Jobs level yet but in terms of the craft of editing yeah I just I guess the other thing was is the kind of you know one of the things about documentary editing is you love constructing and taking apart and reconstructing something that is inherently complex. And I think that's an editing thing you know, people like editors truly love taking apart and reconstructing something really really complex and the kind of pride and joy that you get out of that artistic highly complicated complicated and long winded process I kind of applied though to inside there it was like this is a it was it was it was I guess you know after all it was an intellectual challenge no one's done it before so I'm going to do that or I'm going to try and do it so yeah, but yeah it's it's

Alex Ferrari 46:17
if you if you would be telling me this before you did it I'm like this guy's off his rocker he'll never get this done. But you've done it. It's there. It's been it's been around for what a year now, right?

Paddy Bird 46:29
Where a year old yet we're already in like, over 5050 or 60 countries. We've got filmmakers all around the world. We've got directors, producers, camera operators, we've got teenagers, we've got octogenarians we've got Yeah, we've got people we've got major production companies like the BBC and discovery and vice media news, people using it, you know, commercials people, people who want to move from short form into long form. Yeah, it's really why this is it's it's it's a great, it's turned out to be a great success. And we're finding out film schools as well now. So yeah, it's going really well,

Alex Ferrari 47:08
which I find ironic. you're citing film schools.

Paddy Bird 47:13
I mean, yeah, he's.

Alex Ferrari 47:16
I just find it erotic. That's all

Paddy Bird 47:18
it is. Yeah, I mean, you're kind of going and going, Hey, look at this. This is awesome. You should sign up with us. And what about the other stuff you're teaching? Exactly. So yeah, it's but yeah, it's been going it's been going phenomenally well. So hopefully, it's um, and, you know, we get I guess it what fills me with joy is you know, I get emails from so many people, I get emails from people saying, you know, I got one from somebody in California the other day saying, ay, ay, ay. I've spent something like 60,000 pounds over many, many years doing a degree doing courses, doing an MA and editing. And I've learned more in the first four chapters of your course than I did in the last five years. That's awesome. And then I get people who working in editing houses who are like, Oh, you know, I was just doing mood drills, you know, they're not you know, just sort of taster tapes and stuff like that and they would only trusted me with 32nd spots and now now at work they call me the documentary guy and they've given me big projects on is taking my career on leaps and bounds in what would take you know, essentially editing high end editing takes a decade minimum to learn. But that decade is only for a lot of persistence. It's for a lot of trial and error and it's through a lot of luck as well. You know, if you go if you go into Edit facility and be a broadcaster and try and be a edit assistant, you're not going to get a pro editor to sit down. Maybe they'll have 10 minutes at some point, one week, if you're lucky and they might tell you something, but then you're not gonna have someone who's going to meticulously stand over your shoulder and go through the craft and what you should do and what you shouldn't do so so why it's

Alex Ferrari 49:02
so what's the process like I'm a new PR I just got went to the inside the Edit How do I what's the process of getting in? What do you What's the Is it a core like is it what kind of coursework is it how do you sign up? What's the deal? How does it How does it work?

Paddy Bird 49:17
Well is we from the very start we want to be very, very simple. So it's really easy. All you do is you go in you can do we do operate a monthly subscription or an annual subscription or a lifetime subscription. If you just want to come and try it out. For a month, you can sign up it's like 50 bucks. You can it's like yet 3040 pounds 5050 bucks, or you can you know buy your subscription if you if you really like it and you get 12 months for the price of 10. And yeah, you get you get on within you know, enter your details. And you're there within a couple of minutes just sent an access code and immediately you have complete access to All of the inside the Edit tutorial library. So you start a chapter one, it's a linear course, you know, every one is like learning a language, every seat, you can just watch them out of out of sync. Because you know, Bill, I think, right? Yeah, you'd be like getting to lesson five speaking Italian, I wouldn't know what they're talking about. So it's a linear course. So you go in, and you just start watching the tutorials. And at the end of each tutorial, you're given a least one creative task. So as soon as you sign up, you've got free access, free access to download all of the footage. But also, we've partnered up with universal Production Music, who are they were always my favorite, my favorite music library that they just got an astonishing array of like half a million amazing tracks. And so not only do you get 35 hours of rushes, but you also get hundreds of tracks, from Universal Music features, practice scoring, so you can download them, but you also download the creative task. We've basically tried to replicate everything you get in a pro edit suite. So you get PDFs of directors notes about the scene breakdowns, what's in every scene, all the log notes, all the time codes, the transcripts for the interviews and stuff like that. So you're basically you've got everything. So you go through and you start breaking down, you're basically cutting a one hour documentary over the course of this. Over the course of inside the Edit, however long you choose to take, and we update. There's about what 6065 tutorials up there already, we add the new one each week. Okay? So

Alex Ferrari 51:43
in your end goal, how many tutorials? Is there going to be an ongoing forever? Are you like, Is there a number like you think I've read?

Paddy Bird 51:48
I've locked it I locked all the scripts. I've written just over 190 Okay, scripts, tutorials.

Alex Ferrari 51:58
Sorry, every time you say stuff like that, just like your say,

Paddy Bird 52:02
sound I think does that mean? That whoever that is that sounds mental? What is mental? Yeah, remember, it's you should see that the script the pile of scripts, I mean, it looks like three telephone directories. It's just insane. So yeah, it's um, but there's other things as well, this we've interviewed I've, we're starting to bring out I've basically come up with all these ideas about training the brain for creativity, we've we've launched this new feature called metamorphosis. So it's basically about one of one of the specific things about editing or being a great editor that can really help you change your brain on my new differences when you're watching something over and over again. So we'll take a scene and we'll say, what's this scene? Or what's this 42nd cut of something? Okay, now, we've changed one thing could be a shot, we could have lengthened it, we could have changed something, a word, we could have changed anything, we won't tell you what it is, but what's the second version? Okay, now, what's the difference? So it gets you into this analytical frame of mind of like, sitting there and not being sucked into the narrative, looking at it and going, yes, this is really cool. But I've got a job to do here. So we're trying to, you know, you know, work out the muscles in the creative part of the brain. So that we become more analytical as editors. And we do it with timelines as well, we show you a timeline, you know, of a scene, so you're not watching visual stuff. So right look at this timeline. Okay, you got 20 seconds, like stop now. Now, we've changed two things, what are they Where's they're cutting the music on channel a and three, a four, or five and six, or something like that, or there's a cutaway put in it, or you swap those two shots around. So it's not just watching all the the theory and stuff like that, in the tutorials, it's also we're expanding and putting in a whole load of new fresh, original ways of looking at editing, which no one has ever done before. And the feedback we get is tremendous. It's really cool.

Alex Ferrari 54:04
What I find what I find fascinating about your whole story is that you've never done anything like this before, you don't have a history of stuff like this before. So literally, you just woke up one morning and said, I'm going to write more words than war in peace and create the definitive, the definitive course on the craft of editing, and the kid and as a, as a filmmaker, as an artist myself, I find that so incredibly inspiring that out of nowhere, you just decided to do it. And I think it's a lesson for a lot of our listeners, if at all our listeners to think about like, you know, just because you've never done it doesn't mean you can't and you obviously aren't 22 you know you're obviously been in the business for a while. So it's a it's really a year 20 obviously 28 2009 but you know, you have a wealth of your life of knowledge that you've picked up along the way that gave you the ability To do this, like right away, so it's not like you know, I'm just gonna wake up at 18 and start teaching the craft of editing, where you're at, you haven't had time to learn the craft of editing, it's like, I'm gonna teach you how to build a table. I've never built a table before, but um, you know, I've seen it, I've seen it done. So I think as a as an artist, you know, even as you get older, at a certain point, it's never a mistake that you're like, it's never too late, you could keep doing it. It's not that, but I just find it inspiring that like, all of a sudden, he's like, you know what, I'm just gonna do this. And it's not something small, you've taken a Herculean, I can't say the word. task. herculean, Thank you, sir. Task upon yourself. And not only have you done it, but you're continuing to do it. So it's not like you're talking about doing it, you've done it. So I'm not trying to blow smoke up you, but I just really, I really find it, you know, I find it so inspiring of what you're doing, and that you're doing it well, anytime someone goes out to achieve something, as an artist, because this is an art what you're doing as well, this is not just, you know, you're not just a number of ones and zeros, Allah, you're you're an artist creating art to teach other people how to make art, which is, in my, in my opinion, in a lot of ways, a very high level of art, because you're teaching others to be artists. And that takes at a high level. And it does take a lot to do that. And to do it in a way and the way the world is reacted to it. And it's only been around for a year, but you've got major corporations who see value in what you're doing, and your fat, your obviously your subscription base, and all that kind of stuff. But I just wanted to say that because it was just really, you know, I've heard the story before we've talked on the phone before, but this is the first time I've kind of heard the meat and potatoes of it. And I'm like, God, seriously, man, seriously, congratulations.

Paddy Bird 56:53
Thanks. Thanks, man. I mean, it means a lot to me. I mean, it's, I mean, we're all artists. And I think one of the great thing about one of the driving forces around art, whether it doesn't matter, what you're doing is, is you want to be challenged all the time. And that that for me was this that I just thought Hold on a minute, I can really, I could really help people's careers in an art form particular art form, which has not really been covered, because no one's sat down and deconstructed it and I just thought it's it is that idea of challenging yourself and that's why we come to the artistic process. And you know, we don't go and whatever working work in banks or wherever, like that we want, we want to strive to create the best possible thing that we can create. It is that challenge and that's the thing that kept me up, you know, that drive until three, four in the morning, and doing all the crazy hours that I had to do to do inside the Edit, but just getting the feedback and getting all these wonderful, you know, emails and LinkedIn messages from people saying, Oh, you know, you've, you've changed my life, you've inspired me to go out and then they send me their films and stuff like that. I'm like, this is awesome. They sent me their films at the start, and they're like, Oh, god, that's not well edited. And then you see the progress and you're like, that just fills you with joy as, as someone who's not, you know, I was I never grew up as a teacher or anything like that didn't start as a teacher, I just did a bit of teaching, you know, a few years ago, you know, after doing 1516 years of editing, so it fills my heart with joy. Seeing people progress and seeing people you know, really, really get to their artistic helping them you know, to their artistic capabilities. You know, I can I teach you to be a Renoir or a Picasso No, I can't do that. So I'm just igniting a flame that is in you already, and hopefully helping you to do for you to go off and be that Renoir going off and be that Picasso but that's up to you I can I can point you in the park that's what i think but you know, for me, it's it's as an artist and making that that daily challenge, you know, because it is a daily challenge you wake up in the morning are Gods what's you know, what have I got to do today? Oh, that's really complicated. And just pushing through that. I just, I just, I love that feeling. I mean, that's what a lot of editing is like this, the complexity of that art form. So I love it. I really do love it. And I was always really important to me that this looked exceptionally good. I mean, my target audience is a bunch of, like me, a filmmaker, lover of film, a cinephile documentary makers, you know, all the way around the world. It has to look beautiful, and I looked at everyone else's tutorials. They're like, God, this looks like corporate kind of, you know, it's like Excel. You're selling Yeah, you selling washing machines or something, you know, it's like, no, this has to be a cinematic experience. And that's the way we designed it. And that's the way I wrote it. And that's the way you know, because each one of the tutorials is cut, like a documentary with music and high end graphics, explaining everything so it's really important being You know, you've got to be a perfectionist as an editor and I took all that perfectionism even though it had, you know, even though I had to stay up till three, four in the morning, sometimes perfecting it, you know, the tiniest detail, there has to be perfect. And that's you know, that's what filmmaking is about.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:17
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. You've basically aged about 20 years in the last three

Paddy Bird 1:00:33
out actually that I worked out that I've, if you don't know what the average working week is, you did the numbers. I did the math, I did the math. In the three years I've worked on it so that if you take the average working week is 40 hours I've worked nine and a half years in three years. So yeah, I was doing 110 hour weeks for like a year and a half it was just insane.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:57
That's what I find fascinating that you don't have a history of being crazy. So that's what I find fascinating about your story is like it's like all of a sudden, you just turned crazy. And decided I'm

Paddy Bird 1:01:08
I was like this could be and

Alex Ferrari 1:01:11
this is this is your I this is your iPhone. This is your second Yeah, this is this is the thing that I like, um, this is where I'm gonna put my stamp on the world, you're gonna put a ding in the universe, at least the editing universe.

Paddy Bird 1:01:21
The thing in the editing universe. Great. I have that on my gravestone. Just as he finished the last tutorial,

Alex Ferrari 1:01:33
but he died on his mouse.

Paddy Bird 1:01:36
I don't have a keyboard is

Alex Ferrari 1:01:38
the way a good editor ship. The ship. So um, so I have a few more questions for you, sir. Um, what is your funniest editing story? something that happened in the room. Something you heard from somebody else that you can't say their names. Something funny that people were like, Dad, that didn't happen or really that happened?

Paddy Bird 1:02:06
Well, I mean, it's hard to do that without getting anyone or myself into trouble. Like most editors,

Alex Ferrari 1:02:16
just a fun one does a fun what doesn't have to be like a heavy political one. Just a fun something funny that happened.

Paddy Bird 1:02:21
I tell you I was actually ran out of a friend of mines for dinner the other day director I worked with several years ago. He's one of the last jobs I actually did before. Before inside the Edit. I shouldn't have said that actually, because then some people can look that up on IMDB and he was and then work at a production company. Now they just about to talk

Alex Ferrari 1:02:41
about well, you just what you just gave them the exact roadmap to do so.

Paddy Bird 1:02:46
While there's a lot of intelligent people out there, no, that was one of the last ones I was. But no, we were working on this. This this rather large budget co production between British and American television. And they're supposed to be a sort of legendary legendary exec producer who's you know won loads of awards and stuff like that. He's coming in for the first viewing of the rough cut. I think we're about three or four weeks in sunlight. It's a long way. It's like a 12 week, I think it was feature length I was at featuring for 60 minute I can't remember. And you know, when you go, you know when the when the exact producer comes is quite a moment. Yeah, they're in charge of everything. And they report to the channel and you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:03:36
in television, yeah, to everybody know that in television, the exact producer is the power as opposed to on it's on a film set the director many times is the the guy is the top top cheese, if you will.

Paddy Bird 1:03:47
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. The exec is, is you don't want to mess around the exec. They have they have the power of life and death in your career. Because it's a small world of exact producers. But this guy came in and you know, we'd heard that he was a legend during this, that and the other documentary maker and he sat down and a watch the car and he was like, Whoa, marvelous, marvelous, marvelous. And then he proceeded to give us what I think is the most bizarre set of feedback notes I've ever experienced. He was just talking gibberish. I mean, literally Jabra. She was like, you know, ask yourself the question, what does the voice service say about itself? Like, I was looking at direct again, is it me or is this guy nuts? And he proceeded to give us like, 30 or 40 notes, right? Which is insane. Right, right. And he sort of got up and left and went, thank you. It's wonderful and just but they were just jibberish. And then he walked out and which is She's a bit of a sort of you know because there are some less senior producers in there afterwards after we come in and gone I just sort of looked over today I said did you look down at the notes I mean is it me or was that just a load of rubbish? I mean I didn't understand it thing that he said is that how are we going to change this film? What are his notes what's we've got doing with the channel in no 10 days? how we're going to do this it was utter gibberish and this guy was supposed to be like one of the legends of television. So I was flabbergasted.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:32
So what did they say?

Paddy Bird 1:05:34
What are the series producers? Yeah, just as the other producers were just as flabbergasted they were like I have I have no idea what that you know, was you know, that guy smoking crack before he came in. To jibberish so yeah, we just sort of cut it the way we wanted to cut it and then send it off to the channel

Alex Ferrari 1:05:53
and what what happened at the end of the that everything go right I guess

Paddy Bird 1:05:59
well that was a whole other different story actually. they they they loved it. So this is brilliant. But the exact producer didn't and then they came back and went actually so we were like oh great we're gonna finish on time and you know we can go home at seven o'clock then they came back the lot of things happen in terms of like some someone else SR ends up watching it and then they turn around and go oh actually no, no, we want to change all of this. I want to completely restructure the whole thing and you've got three days to do it for transmission. So yeah, of course.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:30
Of course of course that's that was just the

Paddy Bird 1:06:33
bizarre I've heard I've never heard anything like that it was just I actually wrote down some of these things I can't remember a lot of them but they were gibberish utter rubbish

Alex Ferrari 1:06:42
you should put them into intercourse somewhere

Paddy Bird 1:06:45
you know what it's funny say that I did actually write a one specific tutorial about taking feedback and I said sometimes the feedback will be crazy so don't expect you know how do you know what what notes to to reply to and change in the edit and what just insane because you do get that you know, you get execs and service producers who come in or senior producers come in you know, they've been up for five days and they've had you know, five litres of coffee and they don't really know what they're talking about. And they watch something and they give you a load of notes and and you're like yeah, three quarts of these are just, you know, rubbish rubbish. So how you going to reply to it so yeah, I did I did actually build in some of those responses. I said, I worked on a film once where I got these type of notes. And yeah, they were just rubbish. So it does happen.

Alex Ferrari 1:07:37
Now I'll tell you my funny it one of the funny stories I did, or I heard of, I was in I was early in my editing career. And I was in again down in Miami. And this was doing I think it was commercials if I'm not mistaken, I was like assistant editing on this. And this editor was this old editor who had just been around for ever and he you know, he's like, this nonlinear thing is never going to get out. So that kind of dude. He was working online I was in an online was in a CMS 3600 at the time. So but this, this battleaxe of a producer shows up and everybody's like, Oh, this this lady is just horrible. She's just she's just gonna and the editor as you get older you just don't care as much and it's true you just don't care as much as you get older. So he really didn't care. So she comes in and he's like, he told me he goes watch this so she comes is like I'm like I'm sitting there with popcorn in my head are waiting to see the show. So the lady comes in she's like I need this or that and he's like, okay, sure no problem no problem because but you know the problem is with the with the footage she's she's like, well, what's the problem? What's the problem? He's like, well, it's the time code it's you know, it's not the best kind of time code that we can use. What do you mean she's like, well there's time code and then there's double downtime code. Double downtime code is really really accurate while this other time codes not as accurate it's hard to sync the reels she's like really you need double time down code? Yes, you need double downtime code if you want to so when you go out tomorrow to the set make sure everybody knows that you need double downtime. She's like all right all right. All right. Cool. And she went out to the set and she was just yelling at the top of her lungs as people what is this graph this shows that being shouted double dog type code This is horrible and the sound guys like and then I was I was on set I was on set to do doing stuff add the camera guy I'm like yeah Larry Larry Larry sent this over she's like everybody was like ah, everyone just pissed themselves like oh Larry and then everybody's like yes of course we'll do a little

Paddy Bird 1:09:51
Yeah dont worry. We got it.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:53
We got we got this covered where Paulina, but she's like, All right, good, good, good, but it was just the best to see

Paddy Bird 1:10:01
Sweet Revenge

Alex Ferrari 1:10:02
oh it's just brilliant it's just brilliant Oh when I was asked you do as an editor and I know this this might be controversial to answer you don't have to answer this Do you sometimes leave a red herring in the Edit for the Producer Director or the powers that be to have something to change

Paddy Bird 1:10:20
the classic classic I was told that when I was a teenager right if you get a problematic hands on you know really pain pain in the butt creative or whatever. Yeah, yeah, just always give them something I was always told about two thirds of the way through the scene because they'll start watching the scene and then what what will happen so it's always about a third of the way through the scene so let's start watching the scene so so we're near the front the front third make a really bad deliberate mistake and so then they will immediately take their head away from the screen scribble for 10 minutes like that and they'll miss the rest of the of the scene right? They come back and they'll go stop they go right well it's good path from this you didn't do blah blah blah blah blah and then you go oh god Sorry about that. I'll change that Yeah. Was the rest of the scene right? Yeah, yeah, yes fine. No worries you can get one all your ideas if you just do one colossal so that they can you know you can see it

Alex Ferrari 1:11:27
It can't be it can't be a can be a mistake that just makes you look incompetent, but it has to be it's like that fine line if it's something like completely competent, then like why are we hiring this editor? But it has to it has to be that balance of something for them to say I usually either do audio drop outs I'll do a double frame in the Edit you know, like little little little things here and there.

Paddy Bird 1:11:51
Yeah, plastic Oh brilliant. Brilliant. Fantastic they will work then they they're brilliant. They're just you know

Alex Ferrari 1:11:57
it's it's all transit.

Paddy Bird 1:11:59
Yeah, get him to shut the hell up and get your get all your changes what you want under the radar and I don't even realize it. It's all over. There's no CD of producers.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:09
No, no only filmmakers listen to our show. So if I if I finally get the executives and senior producers listening to the show, then I've taken the show to a new level. And by the way, if there are any senior producers or executives listen to show, email me at and you can email Patty code. Alright, so what finally what what advice do you have for young editors just starting out in the business?

Paddy Bird 1:12:43
I mean, you just got to keep on editing. I know it's a crazy thing, but you have to get those hours up in the in the, in the course in the in the in the course of your career. You got to hit hit the get into the 1000s

Alex Ferrari 1:12:56
you know, as they say you need 10,000 hours to master something.

Paddy Bird 1:12:59
Yeah, the old Malcolm Gladwell. I remember reading a refutation to that there's like more it's like apparently more than 10,000 hours so you know 10,000 hours is not that much I think it's about five years of you know 4050 hours a week you know, you can do a lot more but you know, I would say watch as many films as you can watch as many as you want don't just stick to the genres that you like, start get in as much music under your belt because the one thing you know if editing is the most nebulous art form in the Moving Image medium scoring is what is probably the most nebulous art form in editing and there's you know, that really sets you apart

Alex Ferrari 1:13:45
when you say scoring You mean like cuz I'm not hearing

Paddy Bird 1:13:49
music for the scene because you're not scoring as in writing the music scoring as in going and finding the perfect piece of music for that particular scene so yeah, that's another another big one but you know, just watch as many many things you can keep on cutting as much as possible. But I'm obviously going to say this. Come and join inside the Edit is the one and only major league editing tool that's out there. You could go to three years of film school, you could then make t in a production company for another two years. You won't get anywhere near what we teach over inside the Edit.

Alex Ferrari 1:14:31
Oh absolutely. There's no question no question. So we're in so we could do the hard sell what's the website

Paddy Bird 1:14:39

Alex Ferrari 1:14:40
All right, there it is. And two more questions and I asked all my all my guests this. What are your top three films of all time? Oh, like I always say whatever comes to your mind right now. We want to hold you this forever, but three films that really you know moved you in some way or are considered in your top three not not an order just any

Paddy Bird 1:15:03
thought. I mean I'm a bit high fidelity here I've got sub genres within I've gotten top fives within specific genres, top five comedies. I mean top five documentaries top five war documentaries. I don't know if we're just gonna go plane drama not in any order, I'd say. One of the films that really influenced me I saw it when I was nine when it came out in the cinema. And I was like, Oh, I want to be in films. This is a beautiful film is Amadeus. God is such a brilliant. I've seen that film over 200 times.

Alex Ferrari 1:15:38
Such a brilliant movie. And a lot of a lot of people. A lot of this generation don't know about Amadeus. It's not one of those films that is like taught in all the film schools as much as a genius. It is absolutely brilliant, brilliant, brilliant film.

Paddy Bird 1:15:55
I'd say films that really influenced me. I mean, you can't have lived through the 80s as a teenager and not see, not mentioned Goodfellas even though it was 1991 I think it was 19 8090 Yeah, I mean, that was just genius. Absolutely genius. I'd say i mean i'm actually attracted to a lot of films. I mean, I love action movies. I love you know, I love them all. I don't I don't have a genre. I'll watch anything I grew up on watching European arthouse movies, and john Claude Van Damme

Alex Ferrari 1:16:35
obviously is the greatest actor of all time. We all know that he great stuff.

Paddy Bird 1:16:39
I don't know why he's not you know, nominated. Actually,

Alex Ferrari 1:16:43
JV was a it JVCD. That was was actually a really

Paddy Bird 1:16:47
Great movie. That's brilliant.

Alex Ferrari 1:16:49
It was a brilliant, brilliant performance by him. I honestly I was like I was blown away that monologue. He did I was like, holy cow. He he can act holy cow

Paddy Bird 1:16:58
can act and it's so honest. I was like, wow, oh man, you know after you've watched death warrant, and Bloodsport

Alex Ferrari 1:17:04
well, Bloodsport, Bloodsport is the greatest You know, one of the greatest action movies of all time. Let's just start out there.

Paddy Bird 1:17:10
Right now maybe we shouldn't rage. But now I actually like films that are based on plays. So I do like the you know, one man to man to character. films like sleuth you 60s Mark Kane Laurence Olivier, Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet. You know, James Foley directed that genius movie. I mean, I think that's got to be the greatest cast of all time. Yeah, yes, sir. alpa Chino, jack Lemmon.

Alex Ferrari 1:17:41
spacey, Alec.

Paddy Bird 1:17:43
Alec Baldwin, Harris, and Harris. Jacqueline price. Oh, yes. I mean, it was obscene. This this? Yeah. I think Al Pacino Didn't he say this is the greatest cost of a word with

Alex Ferrari 1:17:54
Yeah, well, yeah, of course. Yeah. And he wasn't the Godfather.

Paddy Bird 1:17:59
But ya know, I love that kind of quick. You know, man, it's so good for that. I love that. You know that Mamet style, you know that Mamet talk, as they call it, right? Bam, ba ba ba bam. I love that kind of quick, fast play. It's a play, it plays a film. And so yeah, big fan those those are those are the films

Alex Ferrari 1:18:18
that I mean I've come to that I mean, you can go on forever I got you.

Paddy Bird 1:18:21
Well, we'll rule film buffs

Alex Ferrari 1:18:22
and last question. Since you're this is this is very editing focused show. What is the best edited sequence in the last 25 years?

Paddy Bird 1:18:35
Wow. I knew talking about the difficult questions here. Oh, wow.

Alex Ferrari 1:18:43
Something that you saw that was just like I mean, obviously the Jason Bourne stuff was insane. But

Paddy Bird 1:18:48
I mean, it's gotta be Yeah, I mean, it's got to be I think it's gotta be the either one of the two, the second or the third Bourne movies. So you know, the Bourne Ultimatum that was the third one and the bones supremacy I was just literally blown away at the pace the timing the daring, I can't, I can't think of anything. I mean, there's obviously a ton of amazing you know, even this year, whiplash you know, that was just, it's just phenomenal editing but but in terms of pushing the boat out there. But you know, then you look through the history you know, that is a lot of that kind of, you know, you look look at the way jaws is cut. Look at the way Bonnie and Clyde is cut that was a massive, you know, look at all the cutting techniques that he used. Now, a lot of them stemmed from, you know, films like Bonnie and Clyde, but I know it's more than 25 years ago, but there's a history of it. And there's this really daring, creative editing artists out there pushing, pushing the boundaries. It's so lovely and refreshing to see but for me, I'd have to say it was just a giant that I was just blown away, watching watching the second and third Bourne movies, they were just exceptionally edited

Alex Ferrari 1:20:00
Those action sequences are insane they're just insane though the way they cut and just like I said like pop I was like even my wife who's not you know in the business she was like that was edited amazing so when you have someone who's not in the business go That was really good it's it says something

Paddy Bird 1:20:18
Well that's the thing is that we're you know no one's supposed to recognize what we do if people start recognize what we do you know, we haven't done our job correctly we're supposed to be the invisible eyes that were and if you sit there go wow, bang you're really affected by the editing and, you know, the I had a director friend of mine who didn't like them who's a commercials director. He said Paul Greengrass has just shot a three hour movie and cut it down to an hour and a half on steroids. That's not editing that's not structure and we agree this is like an exceptional jump forward in the craft. There's those movies

Alex Ferrari 1:20:53
Totally I mean push the whole medium forward when matrix came out on the action and visual effects side I mean Star Wars obviously there are those movies but in the genre of editing there are Bonnie and Clyde

Paddy Bird 1:21:12
I mean genius that that end scene when they get shot. Ah.

Alex Ferrari 1:21:15
I mean like I mean the Godfather was I mean the Godfather was brilliantly cut as well, the pacing and that and that maybe that's you know, but anyway so badly thank you so much for being on the show. I think you've given us the pleasure that you've given our audience a ton of great information this is almost a little mini masterclass in an editing so I would have killed to have this course when I was me I would I you know, I had to draw it you know, when I'm not going to do the whole I walked uphill to school and snow barefoot story but

Paddy Bird 1:21:47
And the violins coming.

Alex Ferrari 1:21:48
You can hear the violins right. You know what I there was I didn't have no fancy laptops with Final Cut on them. We did the old fashioned way I drove an hour I woke up at four in the morning woke up to get into the studio early. They were buddies and they in but that's what I did on the avid for like the the year that I sat, you know, doing dubs in the other room as a dubber dubbing commercial reels for for other directors. I sat and I went in and you know what, I think a lot of a lot of that means something like when you have to struggle a little bit to get that and like nowadays, you just, Oh, I just got a laptop and I'll get Final Cut now. I'll learn it. But that's

Paddy Bird 1:22:30
Good. It's sent as your you know, it, it gives you the driving force. It's like this isn't easy. No, no becoming really, really good at something. There's very few geniuses that are born every generation. You know, in our generation, it was Tarantino we all saw Pulp Fiction was like, Oh, yeah, this guy's a genius. Yeah, but you know, he did a lot of work getting up to that point. But it's, you know, becoming a true artist takes an enormous amount of work and, and fire and, you know, pushing through when you just like, Oh, I can't go on, I can't have, you know, another cup of coffee to keep me going free in the morning because I know this has got to be done at seven. It's just like, you know, it's it's it's struggles good.

Alex Ferrari 1:23:12
But talent is not enough. Talent is never

Paddy Bird 1:23:15
Enough. And it's 5%. Yep. 95% is just grit and determination. And that's that's what you know, there's a thing we say in certainly in television, it's like, you know, the reason we pay you nothing and get you to do insane hours and crazy requests in those first few years of your career is because we want to sort the wheat from the chaff. We want to see how committed you are, you know, I said, I certainly had that, you know, you get people I've seen now that you don't want to go home at six o'clock, or get in a bar or go out partying and stuff like that, it's like you're not going to be, you know, in after a period of years, one two years in a production company or brokers, they sort through that stuff. And you're like, these are the people who are truly committed. Because you know, if you want to make money, you don't go into filmmaking, very few people make, you know, you're going because you're a passionate artist. And you have to display that passion. Because unfortunately, there's 100 people standing behind you without waiting to do to 1000 people, you know, 10,000 people in any one city in the world waiting to do exactly the same. So that's that's the only real advice I would give just that getting that that real commitment and drive to just go through and do what no one else will.

Alex Ferrari 1:24:27
And that's in here in LA, you can only imagine how many people are in line waiting.

Paddy Bird 1:24:31
Oh, yeah, I've done some I've worked a bit in LA and you just, you know, I remember Actually, I was thinking about the first time I came to LA and in the 90s. And I was like, this is just everything is movies about this. And I remember walking down Third Street promenade in Santa Monica. There was these two homeless guys, and they were drinking booze and they were you know, really felt quite sorry for them and they were in rags and stuff like that. And I remember just catching their conversation. And as I looked down. And one guy was sent to the other one. He was saying, Yeah, my agents gonna try to get Burt Lancaster interested. And I was like, I'm pretty sure but X is dead. But the homeless guys were talking about everyone's got a script in their back pocket and even the homeless guys were like, bang you know, it's everyone oh look

Alex Ferrari 1:25:22
I got out here eight years ago and when I got out here I just couldn't believe it. It was just like the most amazing place in the world like fulfillment like oh my god, everything's movies.

Paddy Bird 1:25:31
Mecca is the the Holy Holy Grail I love I just, I love going to LA and just, I spend my whole time going to the movies, they're just loved it.

Alex Ferrari 1:25:41
Movies here are fun to watch because actually, their screens here are done right. And you know, you can go to the arclight and they actually you know, will throw you out if you have a phone on, you know,

Paddy Bird 1:25:51
That built for movie theaters in London, you know, it's terrible, because all our movie theaters are around. They're all Victorian, you know. So that, you know the acoustics are terrible, I remember going to see Mission Impossible three, our largest cinema here. And I couldn't understand anything or anyone saying because it's an it's an old musical. So you go to movies, in the state, especially in LA or New York, or, you know, in the big cities, and like, it's such a beautiful experience you it's a movie house built to me, built, you know, for watching movies. So I would I would just, I would I'd go crazy. And I'll be watching three, four movies a day. drawing from like,

Alex Ferrari 1:26:31
Just just hopping, throw you out, they'll throw you out is what you're saying. Movie nerd. Thank you, again, so much for being on the show. We really, really appreciate it. And all and all the golden nuggets that you tossed out there, man,

Paddy Bird 1:26:44
Thanks. And good luck, take care.

Alex Ferrari 1:26:46
I had an absolute blast talking to Patti, you know, like, like I said, the beginning of the of the episode is like too old wardog sitting down and talking shop and you know, bitching and complaining about I wish this would have happened and I have clients and blah, blah, blah. So it was so much fun listening to his stories and swapping stories and things like that, I hope you guys got something out of that. Because, you know, if I was starting out as an editor, a lot of the stuff that we talked about, really would be beneficial if you if you're looking towards trying to get an editing career or trying to get a job as an editor. But even for filmmakers, like directors and stuff, I mean, anybody who's a filmmaker should go to inside the Edit calm and, and just go and start learning from Patty's course it is remarkable. And it's so amazing what he's able been able to put together. So it's a film school, it's a film, they're going to teach you things there that you will never teach in film school. I mean, I know right now that a lot of film schools are talking to him about putting his course in their schools because they have nothing like it. There's just nothing like it on the marketplace. So as promised, I have a discount code for inside the Edit. You have to email i f h discount at inside the Edit calm that's I FH discount. At inside the Edit calm. I'll put the email in the show notes as well. But you email them, tell them that you're an indie film hustle, they already know you're an indie film hustle, tribe member, and they'll send you a discount code and you'll get 10% off for inside the Edit. So well well worth it guys, so definitely head over there and start learning because there's a lot of stuff to learn. Also, don't forget to go to an indie film hustle.com forward slash iTunes, and leave us an honest review of our podcast. It really helped us out on the rank in iTunes and helping spread the word of the indie film hustle tribe and get more people in our tribe. So thanks again for listening and I'll talk to you guys soon.




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IFH 006: Indie Film VFX Masterclass with Dan Cregan

In this episode, we tackle what visual effects artists can do to help you in your indie film. Visual Effects in Indie Film is really hit or miss, mostly miss. Many indie filmmakers don’t have any idea what to do when it comes to visual effects.

Uber visual effects artist Dan Cregan takes you through a master class on indie film visual effects and tells us how he went from indie visual effects to huge studio films like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Hobbit.

Dan started working as a visual effects artist with my visual effects/post-production company Numb Robot over 10 years ago. We’ve worked on countless independent films and projects over the years, some good and some painful.

We even co-directed our Japanese Anime Short Film  Red Princess Blues: Genesis.

His road from indie film to tentpole studio films is a long and painful one but it has a very happy ending. I hope you enjoy to film geeks talking about the film business and hopefully sprinkling in a few nuggets of knowledge for you.

Here’s a list of a few of the films he has worked on:

The Martian
Fantastic Four
The Equalizer
Guardians of the Galaxy
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Game of Thrones
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Enjoy my conversation with Dan Cregan!

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:00
This episode is going to be fun. It's it's our have a good friend of mine, Dan Cregan, who is a big visual effects guy now. When I started out with him, he was my visual effects guy on my small film broken. And also on my red princess blues. We've co directed the animated movie references blues Genesis, where he did all the animation on that as well. And, and involved with lipstick and bullets, my blu ray as well. So then I can call him one of my best friends. And it's been amazing to see how he is grown in the visual effects world. He went from broken to films like guardians of the galaxy's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Games of Thrones, Mount Millicent 47 Ronin, and The Hobbit just just to name a few. And he just got done off of Fantastic Four as well, which we do discuss a little bit of Fantastic Four, as well in this episode. So it's a long one, it's about an hour and a half long, you know, it's a couple film geeks talking, but a lot of great information about visual effects visual effects in indie film, and, and just general good times. So without further ado, my good friend Dan Cregan. And thank you, Dan, so much. Are you there, sir?

I'm here.

Thank you so much for joining us on the show today. I really, really appreciate it. I saw I wanted to thank you, man. I wanted to talk a little bit about there's It's no secret I don't think that you and I have been real good friends for going on 11 years now. So I wanted to I wanted you to tell the audience how we met and all the fiasco that we've gone into since then.

Yeah, it's been a few. Well, where to start?

At the beginning is always at the place

At the beginning. Alright, um, well, 11 years ago, just about I was working as a professor at a digital art school that sent me to a film festival to do a talk about high definition animation. I think it was at this point, because that was like a new thing then.

Yeah, I remember I remember that panel. It was like, you know, HD is gonna change the world.

Dan Cregan 4:04
Yeah, it might catch on. Yeah. So it was like a panel discussing I don't know render times and how it was gonna change the workflow for animation, visual effects, post production and things like that. Because you know, it's like 2004 and it's just starting to get out there. Anyway, I do this panel as excited because, you know, I was pretty fresh out of school, and I was teaching and I was like, oh, now they now they want me to be on a panel. So I feel all professional and whatnot. So both so I knew so little, I knew so little

Alex Ferrari 4:36
That we all we all we all knew so little and we still do in many ways.

Dan Cregan 4:41
And then I was we were given the talk and my buddy Ken, who we also work with. He was on the panel with me and I guess we got two bantering pretty good on the panel and, and, and you were in the audience and and sure enough, you kind of took a shine to us, I think because you approached us after the panel and That's where it all began.

Alex Ferrari 5:02
The rest is the rest of the worst day in your life, I'm assuming.

Dan Cregan 5:08
I remember, I remember you asking if we had business cards, and I was like, really I don't, I'm a visual effects artist, I don't have a business card. And, and I said, but here, here's my phone number, whatever, here's my email address, I think it was at the time. And I don't think it was a day before you would contacted me and said, we're doing a short film. And I wondered if you'd come down to the studio in Hollywood, Florida. And

Alex Ferrari 5:33
Then for that distinction,

Dan Cregan 5:35
And check it out, you know, and, and see, if you want to be a part of this, there's no money, but maybe you'll be interested in working with us. So that's kind of where it started. And I just wanted to work at the time working on projects, that meant something or, you know, just film projects, I have done one movie at that point, and not even as a visual effects artist as a concept, designer, storyboard artist. And it excited me to have the opportunity to just work at that point, I was earning money teaching, I just wanted to work. So yeah, I came in and we did a meeting. And then the rest is, as they say, history.

Alex Ferrari 6:16
So what? Why did you decide to work with a young, independent filmmaker who had no real credits to his name? at all? I mean, I know I was, I was a working editor at the time. And I had us had a room, or an office in a production facility in Hollywood, Florida. So I know that might have like, legitimize me a little bit. But beyond that smoke and mirrors, what was it about the, the project about me? I'm asking this question, because I want other filmmakers to understand the reasoning why, and how I was able to, you know, get to work with someone of your caliber, for, you know, for free, at the beginning of basically the beginning of the real beginning of my directing career.

Dan Cregan 7:03
Well, I think the first thing was when I came in and did the meeting, it was a good location, I hadn't been in a studio setting before so location was one thing that it was impressed with, right off the bat. The other thing was your passion for your project. There was, I don't know if it was justified or not, but the secrecy that you had around the project, you were like, you got to sign something before you can read the script. And it's gonna be huge, and we're gonna make we're gonna change the world. And, you know, I was like, Oh, this is this is the real deal. This is something serious. Yeah, man.

Alex Ferrari 7:41
Well, you, you really just fell off the turnip truck.

Dan Cregan 7:45
I really, really did. And,

Alex Ferrari 7:47
And I saw you coming from a mile away, sir,

Dan Cregan 7:49
You did take advantage of me, I know, um, you know, I knew I had a lot of ability at the time. I just didn't know what to do with it. And I saw somebody who needed it at that point. And I thought, you know, I had been involved in, in one independent project before, and I've seen other independent projects go. And this was different. Broken was a film. And that's what it was called. And that was the start of our collaboration. It It was a film that had a lot of visual effects and action and it was a thriller and it wasn't the typical independent you know, talking heads drama, you know, it was it was more of a mainstream you know, just exciting thing to do. And I immediately said, Well, this is how I want to spend my free time I want to do this. The other thing was that I mentioned the production setting first. Alex that you also showed me your reel and like all this stuff that looked like you had done MTV promos, music videos, you know, mainstream commercials in like a dozen films before that. So to my eyes, you know, you always knew you always knew how to look pro and to my eyes, I said, Well, this guy's the real deal plus he's making me sign legal documents to read a script, he's got to be the real deal. And you know, I just I was taken in by the whole thing and like I said, I was young and naive, and and you know what, that can be a good thing. Because I think that's, that's when you do some of your best work is when you have nothing but passion. I think later on, you become a little jaded by the process and you kind of lose that spark. And I kind of missed that spark at this point. So yeah, it's a good time. It's really a good time.

Alex Ferrari 9:39
Well, I mean, I think just so just so you understand, I've been faking it till I make it since the beginning of my my since I was 19. When I when I started in this business. So all those demo that demo reel that you were looking at were all fake commercials. I happen to grab a bunch of footage at a at a commercial house that I was working on. I was a double I was dubbing reels I grabbed the whole bunch of raw footage that they had in the back, re edited it myself on the weekends and threw on a Nike logo and threw on different kinds of logos to make myself look bigger and that's the real that started getting me work so you know sometimes you got to fake it till you make it and obviously it worked with you so if there's a lesson swindled well if there's a lesson to be in and I think you've we've done a lot of work in the over the year so I'm sure you know you fake it till you make it thing is very viable and in many ways needed if not you can't even you can't even crack the door you know if you show you're very very true so so let me ask you a question since broken obviously your greatest work you've worked on massive massive movies hobbit guardians of the galaxy and the recent Fantastic Four as well how did you leverage or better yet let's let's go back I know how you got kind of got in because you and I were bumping around doing a lot of independent film visual effects and things like that for many years and and I know it's very difficult for you to kind of crack the door open for anyone to even give you a chance to even look at you can you tell me a little bit about the the digital domain experience and explain to the audience what digital domain was what happened at digital domain and Florida and how that you leverage that into where you are today?

Dan Cregan 11:30
Sure um you know it's everybody needs a first big break some people though they kind of wait for their big break you know working with you and doing other independent shows I think we did six years seven years of independent film well yeah you know, I'm just building a real kind of cutting my teeth on on on not all great projects but professional level projects you know as professional as you can get working in the film industry out of Florida you know, able to get myself to a certain level where when digital domain happened to build a studio in in Port St. Lucie Florida that I said wow you know, I just submitted my stuff and and hope for the best and you know, it kind of helped everything kind of came together the choices you make really do have an effect on on where you end up I mean, people ask me all the time How do you get there how do you get into the industry How do you break in there's no one way there's so many different ways and there is a great element of luck. I mean, but you got to work hard i mean you know my father always says luck is when you know preparedness meets opportunity and it's so true you just have to work and work and work and you may not get your big break right away. You it might come way down the line. But you know you it will come you know and some people do get that big break really quick. So you know, it's funny like seven years I worked on independent film six years seven years, I got into digital domain I started and I sat down next to a kid who was 19 my buddy rich and he's like yeah, I just worked on Thor and I'm like you know I just felt like

Alex Ferrari 13:26
You felt like slapping it yeah they

Dan Cregan 13:29
Digital domain pulled him out of community college to work on the program and brought him right in they were looking for a lot of young fresh you know potential talent you know they brought me in as an experienced artists but still I hadn't done the big shows and seeing everybody get an opportunity I felt good for him but obviously you start feeling like what have I been doing for seven years I guess you know, I know we talked about it a lot of times you always thought I should move out to LA and maybe I would have gotten into the industry sooner if I had moved out i didn't i like Florida I still live here in Florida and you know I kind of wanted to go my own way and

Alex Ferrari 14:08
Yeah so what happened what happened at digital domain once you've got in there? What happened with the the fall the rise and fall of digital domain and then how did you leverage that into the next phase of your career?

Dan Cregan 14:20
Well, digital domain lasted for me and for most everybody at the company for about two years. There's a lot of available out there on the internet, you can pretty much find the whole story. It basically you know, john texter who was running digital domain, you know, he had a lot of big dreams. He wanted to do so many things. And he wanted to do it in Florida, you know, and he wanted to, you know, kind of get digital domain, you know, into new avenues like an animated film and military simulation and video game design. And he wanted to do it all and he wanted to do it all right away. And you know, they They had a lot going. I mean, the animated film was the big thing. And I think that's what we were counting on to help us survive as a studio and grow and creating your own content is really important in this day and age. And the problem is that making an animated film, you know, is a long, long process, it takes four or five years, maybe, you know, best case scenario, from conception to theater, to get one of those out, you know, you know, the Pixar is the DreamWorks, they can do it faster, still not that much faster, but they can do it faster, because they've, they've got a good pipeline, we were building our own pipeline, you know, we were using digital domain Venice's structure, but for an animated film, they were creating it as they went. And you know, we had a lot of great people, you know, people from Pixar and from Disney, you know, and, you know, industry veterans, they all knew what they were doing and everybody had great intentions and you know, the money just kind of fell through you know, I it kind of comes to, you know, everybody going where they get help from states and help from governments and you know, it's just the reality of the industry right now and, and you kind of need that subsidy money to keep it going. And that wasn't the whole story with digital domain, but that was kind of part of it, you know, you know, kind of running the company on, on on government money, which was it's working to a certain degree he was we were employed 300 people here in Florida. You know, and you know, that's a lot in industry, a lot of people came from other studios and other places around the world. And, you know, they they wanted to get away and settle in a nice quiet place and go to the beach and have no traffic and, you know, they bought houses, but the problem is that when we fell when, when we were all let go and in the company restructured, you know, you can't work in the industry here. So a lot of these people who had moved here, had to move back or go someplace else, or switch industries. It was a, it was a tough time. But you know, for a lot of us for myself, and a lot of the people who started out with digital domain, it became the springboard to bigger and better things. You know, you can work on independent film for a long time, but until you've done some major films, a lot of studios won't really treat you like you're a veteran. But once you have a major studio on your resume, all the sudden you remember the club and it's like hey, you know, you were good filming You're good. You're in here

Alex Ferrari 17:29
And you've been vouched for

Dan Cregan 17:30
Yeah, so all of a sudden you know, the email start coming and you start having choices to make and it's not Can I work it's where do I want to work? You know, and, and I think I've said it many times I I was told this when I was in school and I didn't understand it and it was that artists would come into my my eyes where I went to school and say, networking is the most important thing if you want to work and and there is nothing truer people I met at digital domain I still work with at studios around the world. And you know, we kind of are a special group because we were a part of something that was starting up here and there's there's nothing like a startup there's nothing like starting out something new when people up those people become an extended family and, and working with them. You know, in other studios has been fun. But who you know, they're like, Hey, I worked with him in another studio here. Let's bring him in here. You know, it's the most important thing when people know you and you have a good reputation. That's how you get into other studios. So after digital domain, it wasn't really that difficult all the sudden, after seven years of, of trying to break in through the door. Now, everybody wanted me to a certain degree. I mean, it's still you know, challenging to get a job. But you know, you were taken seriously. And that was a nice change. So, you know, right after digital domain, I went up to New York and I and I worked at Blue Sky, which is really in Connecticut, but they put you up in New York. So it's kind of the same, you know, on a movie called epic and I got to see how animated films are made. And after that somebody I worked with a digital domain and at Blue Sky said, Hey, we're going to Ueda and they're looking for people. Do you want to come? I'm like,

Alex Ferrari 19:18
Yeah, they're doing. They're doing independent film called The Hobbit.

Dan Cregan 19:21
Yeah. You know, so it's like, oh, New Zealand. For 6000 I got to go there. Exactly. It was five months. And you know, and I said, Okay, that's a long time to be away from home. But how many times Am I gonna get paid to go to New Zealand to work on a, you know, a huge film, I mean, it's probably still the biggest film I've been a part of, you know, as far as worldwide coverage and events and, you know, Buzz and hype. You know, I'm not saying they turned out as good as Lord of the Rings because they didn't, but I was. I was really proud to have gone down there and worked with what I also got to do. Donna, the Planet of the Apes when I was down there. Which was an amazing film. I'm proud to have worked on that. So the weather trip was great. And then of course, you know, then people start looking at your rain on your reel and your resume go Oh, you worked at what a blue sky digital domain and then it just snowballs and snowballs. And, and before you know it, you know, you're you're in you can then it's just choosing where do you want to work and for VFX artists now, you know, it's, you know, Vancouver, Montreal, London, New Zealand, Australia, these are the places where the work is. So you kind of have to choose what you want to do. Do you want to go to move to one of these places? Do you want to stay at home and just take short contracts? Do you want to, you know, leave the industry, it's it. The industry is in a strange place right now. And, and you kind of have to decide what's best for you as a person, and how you want to move forward, you know, but you know, I love working on movies, there's no anything I've ever wanted to do. Really. I mean, they've been a passion of mine since I was just a kid. And I can't imagine doing anything else. Really. It's it's hard to imagine do anything. thing else.

Alex Ferrari 21:07
So that's awesome. That's a great story. I'm not I'm not jealous at all.

Dan Cregan 21:16
I couldn't get there without you, sir.

Alex Ferrari 21:17
No, no, no, no, it's too late. It's too late. Let's move on. So let me ask you a question. What are your experiences? And I've been on a lot of these experiences with you, but what is your experiences in visual effects? When dealing with independent films? As a general statement, what kind of problems do you run into what kind of issues things like that?

Dan Cregan 21:39
Well, I think for independent films, the worst, the worst thing is probably the lack of understanding about the visual effects process. So the people who are making the independent film tend to be a little bit less educated in how to VFX work. Therefore, when they're shooting, they don't prepare properly, either what they're shooting, how they're shooting it, what their expectations are, about what the result is going to be. I mean, the lack of knowledge is, is definitely the most difficult part, when you're working on independent film, when you have a tight budget, and you have a, a lofty goal, if you will, it's it's you, you have to plan, you have to figure out how it's going to get done. And you have to plan everything out precisely, you don't have extra money extra time, you know, you know, in big films, when I work at big studios, if, if there's something wrong, and it needs to be fixed, you know, big studios can just throw more money at it independent films don't have that luxury. So, you know, they have to plan more, they have to prepare more, and they have to get educated about what they're trying to accomplish. And the problem is that they often don't. So they often think they go to the movies, and they see all these things, and they're like, I want that I want, you know, a character a full CG character like Gollum in my, in my short little independent film, you know, you know, there's just a button on the on the, on the keyboard for that, isn't it, it can't be that difficult. And, you know, they, they don't really, they don't really think it through precisely. And, you know, and I think it's just, it's just not knowing, you know, so if you're an independent filmmaker, get educated about the process about what it takes the man hours, the computing power, you know, the preparation, how you shoot something, the difference between, you know, visual effects and a locked off shot versus visual effects and a moving shot. I mean, how to light a green screen properly. You know, we could talk hours and hours about just everything that needs to be done for things to work smoothly on the post production side. And I don't think enough young independent films makers really do that unless they come from a visual effects background, which you're seeing a lot of like, you know, on YouTube and whatnot, you're seeing visual effects artists doing short films, right, like, like, like the pixels short, which they bought and turned into pixels. And well, we

Alex Ferrari 24:13
Don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing at this point.

Dan Cregan 24:15
Well, it was alright. But you know, it's, I'm just saying those those those people maybe aren't the best filmmakers, but sometimes they are I mean, it's, it's what's Where are you coming from? Are you a writer that wants to be a filmmaker? Are you a visual artist that wants to be a filmmaker, there's many different types of filmmakers. And the problems are different for everybody. So there's never any one answer to any of these questions about, about how you, you know, do it correctly. It's just, it's just kind of a it's just kind of every situation is different. That's it?

Alex Ferrari 24:51
Yeah. So what like when I had a client of mine or a student, call me up asking for quotes on visual effects and general When we work together, I work as your visual effects supervisor. More for the client not supervising you, but kind of just the middleman. I can see I can speak your language they can so I translate for them for you. And the guy told me he's like, Okay, did you see that scene in Avengers? And like, you need to stop right there.

Dan Cregan 25:17
There is that that is the problem.

Alex Ferrari 25:21
If there is nothing in Avengers that we can do nothing, nothing at all. Just stop. Just stop right there. Nothing. So and I think there was a lot of that going on in indie film, and I've, I've gone I mean, we've dealt with it on God, numbers of numbers of features that we've worked on. And I agree with you, I think it's, it's getting a little better. But there's still a lot of lack of knowledge and just ignorance.

Dan Cregan 25:47
Well, yeah, I mean, if you think about it, the audience is becoming more knowledgeable. You know, people are you know, the the argument out there Oh, CG sucks, or this is too much CG or, you know, I'm you know, there is a, you know, a lot of visual effects out there. And these big tentpole films and people are getting tired of it. It's like a lot of noise and the filmmaking is, is what's being neglected in favor of a lot of, you know, razzle dazzle visual effects in the audience, though, is starting to understand and their eyes are getting more developed. And they're starting to see, you know, the process on their own. So if the filmmakers are going to come from the the new filmmakers are going to come from the audience, they are going to have a more, I don't know what the best way to put in a more thorough understanding of the visual effects process. But you know, it's still a little different tinge to knowing it when you see it, to knowing how to create it.

Alex Ferrari 26:44
Well, yeah, I mean, my wife, for God's sakes, who's who's not in the business at all, she will go to a movie and go, Oh, that was a horrible green screen, in major in a major motion picture, none that you've done, of course. So I find that funny, but if she's doing that, I can only imagine the, everyone's becoming more the visual effects literate, is as things go, as all the behind the scenes come out, and, and people have just got become much more knowledgeable about how the process is, in a lot of ways. I think it's kind of ruined the film industry a bit because the magics kind of gone. Because before you would look at, you know, King Kong back in the 30s. And nobody knew how they did that. They just, were amazed at the spectacle.

Dan Cregan 27:26
Now, what about Star Wars? 1977? I mean, when I was when I was a kid, you know, we could I couldn't even fathom what was creating the imagery I was looking at, I just accepted as real. And I feel bad that people aren't having the same experience today, and maybe they are maybe kids are nowadays, but sometimes I don't know how to look at something from that from that perspective anymore. And I wonder if anybody does, you know, because because, like you said, all the behind the scenes and the common knowledge and, you know, in all the technology that's available to every person, everybody has a video editing program that can do a key and they know what green screen is, and they and they can do basic stuff. So you know, Photoshop, you know, a lot of people know Photoshop and and, you know, they know what's possible. So, you know, it's a, it's, it's kind of a challenge now to actually Wow, people nowadays requires a crazy amount of, you know, you know, innovation, I would say,

Alex Ferrari 28:28
So, I agree with you, 110%. That's why avatar did what they did. Like when avatar came out, it was the kind of First time I've felt magic at the movie theater. Again, because I really, I kind of got what he was doing Originally, the technology hadn't been explained quite yet what he would he had done with Avatar with James Cameron did with Avatar, but it was amazing. If you watch it today, you're like, Jesus, man. It's like ridiculous. What is it, and I can only imagine what the next three movies are going to be like. But he's one of those directors that constantly is pushing the medium forward. And so it was exciting to see those kinds of films, which are rare and rare nowadays.

Dan Cregan 29:11
Well, they're always kind of been rare. The problem is that, you know, we all know, you know, hollywood does, what works. And so if something works, they copy it over and over and over again. So we as an audience, get to see the same product over and over and over again. And you know that that's the problem. But every once in a while, a visionary comes out and pushes the envelope. So you have the matrix in 1999, you've got Terminator two, you've got, you know, Jurassic Park. I mean, and all these things have in common is that they showed you something that you've never seen before. So that so that's like, you know, one of the things you have to do, it's either something you've never seen before, or you have to do it better than anybody's ever done it before. So you know, like, you know, Think recently, you know, gravity was impressive, I think, you know, Donna, the planet of the apes, I worked on at some kind of disqualified, but I thought the looking at the apes in that movie, I started to really, truly believe that digital, you know, actors were just a fact of life at this point. So but it's still have to take a studio to the level of what to do something like that. So independent films, no, not so much. So, you know, that's, you know, but independent films have their own place.

Alex Ferrari 30:35
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Dan Cregan 30:45
Do other things really well?

Alex Ferrari 30:48
No, I didn't mean to interrupt you. But I think now, are we kind of like 20 years behind in technology in the sense. So let me explain, like, Jurassic Park came out in 1992. So 9393, excuse me. So you know, to make a dinosaur back then was insanely difficult. Nowadays, you can almost, and I hate to say, touch a button or two, and get a dinosaur. In other words, it's a lot easier for us to do it today. Even in an independent film world, I wouldn't, and maybe dinosaurs, not a good analogy. But that technology is a it's a lot more accessible. So now before, keying used to be a huge event, now it's in every editing system known to man, and really good cures, especially if you know what you're doing. So a lot of this stuff, so like, you know, in 20 years, are we going to be looking at avatar, like, That was cute, and I think, and I think we will get to a certain extent, cuz you look at the matrix now, which is now what, 1516 years old, oh, 99, it came out in 99. So like, 16 years old, a lot of that stuff still holds up, like, most of that movie still holds? Very, very well. But a lot of the technology that they were using then, is much more accessible now. So do you, do you think that we're like about a 1520 year gap between the everyday man everyday filmmaker, the indie filmmaker being able to even attain that kind of technology? Or are we or am I just talking out of my butt?

Dan Cregan 32:23
Well, you know, I don't know about the gap, it's more of a knowledge gap and a hardware gap. And not the complexity of the hardware and software, just the actual, you know, amount of it, right. So, you know, if you have a really good gaming rig a good computer at home, and you've got a lot of talent, you know, you can do some pretty complex CGI. But you know, to really render, you know, a lot of it for a film, you would need a render farm that was massive. So like, transformers. So the so the alleyway scene, when you see them all transform, and we're all introduced to the Autobots. The first time, I think, that was taking four days a frame at ILM with their world class render farm back. So back then, you know, and and, and they're still doing stuff, and Noah, you know, broke their render farm with all those animals in the ark just a year ago. You know, so it, you know, it, it's not so much the technology change, it's the process, yeah, it's the horsepower or the sheer amount of computing power. And as you get more of it, you can do more of it. So it's never really a knowledge thing. It's never really a software thing anymore. It's Yeah, it's more of a actual horsepower, you know, you know, problem. And not only that, you know, it's, it's something I love to tell people, and anybody who will listen, it's the problem is that more isn't better. You know, the reason why the matrix, you know, holds up is because they, they could do what they could do on a budget they had and they had to be creative. The reason why jaws holds up is that the shark wasn't working. So Steven Spielberg had to come up with different ways to build suspense, and it makes for a better film. So over the years, with visual effects, more or less is better. So actually, from an independent standpoint, having limitations is good. And, you know, I think when you look at the matrix sequels, and they have all the computing power and all the manpower and all the, you know, the biggest and the best, and was the product a little bit inferior than the first one, well, maybe for a variety of reasons, but you see the seams more in the work in the second two movies than you do in the first one because they tried to do more and be more ambitious, and more usually equals something that's going to age badly when you have to be reserved, and just kind of sneak it by the audience. You actually get a better product. I In my opinion, it's just my opinion, but I think it you know, struggle breeds a better product a better art, you know, when when you have everything available to you, you know you tend to get lazy or not not try as hard, you know. So you know there is an upside to struggle, there is an upside to having limitations. And I think it's an important thing for every filmmaker to go through.

Alex Ferrari 35:27
Well, it's I'm going on that theme of less is more. Hitchcock famously said, What's more suspense? what's what's more suspenseful, to see someone get murdered in a bedroom, or to be outside the room and hear a murder happening in the bedroom? You know, it's obviously the second one, because your mind fills in all the blanks. So that is, that's what, that's why when you watch Reservoir Dogs, when they when he cuts off the ear, you don't see it. And he actually shot it with them cutting it off. And when he looked at it in the editing room, quit and said, No, no, no, no, it's much more powerful. Letting letting your imagination run wild. And that's exactly why people are so disturbed by that scene, because their imagination is much more vivid than any visual effect can ever be.

Dan Cregan 36:15
That's true that is that is 100% correct. And I don't care how good the art form gets, you know, it's never going to match what you could the worst that you can imagine, or the best or the best that you can imagine. So you know, it's it's it's good, it's good that that is a is an issue because I think filmmakers still need to learn that technique. You know, I thought, Boy, this is gonna get me in trouble but I thought m Night Shyamalan actually knew that pretty well you know in the early days in his career, and you know,

Alex Ferrari 36:48
You don't have to worry about it I completely agree with you yeah, you know,

Dan Cregan 36:51
I just felt like that's why he there was so much hope behind him and his work Yeah, because you know, it felt like he was a filmmaker that got that you know, and

Alex Ferrari 37:01
You know, he got a few films I'll give it to him he i mean but look, most of us will never have a sixth sense in our in our lives as a creative artist, you know, so I can't knock them too much. But or an unbreakable I enjoy science but but I agree with you yeah, let's make it on the M night bandwagon right now

Dan Cregan 37:25
Because that's a whole other show that's a whole other show

Alex Ferrari 37:28
We could just talk about what directors we're all directors have failed and we are so no joke a good joke all failed we've got and then some my friend and then some so um, so what advice would you give independent filmmakers when it comes to visual effects I know we went over a little bit but any specific advice maybe about I know you and I talked about green screen and tape among other things, so some basic stuff that that you see that we've seen come through the door and use Command if they could just get these three or four things right. Got it make things so much easier, so much more affordable, and a better product at the end?

Dan Cregan 38:06
Well, any any you know, we've talked about it in the past and I think that in our in our work, and I think anytime you have a lock off shot you you factor down the difficulty of the shot by 10 you know, it's it's so much easier to work in a locked off shot now. I know dynamically are I nowadays film you know, we're used to seeing the camera move a lot. But you don't necessarily need that to make a great film. You know, Fincher will have a lot of locked off shots so it can be done. A lock off will will save the digital artists a lot of work because it eliminates tracking, it eliminates You know, a lot of the complications, perspective changes, things like that, that come from a camera moving, so it allows you to cheat more when a shot isn't in motion. So I would say that's like the number one thing you could do to help a visual artist on a very low micro budget film or low budget film.

Alex Ferrari 39:07
Now the the other thing is also though, with technology the way it is people shooting 6k and now 8k, if your final output is going to be less a to K or or just HD. If you shoot something even just old, good old fashioned red camera, 4k and do the visual effects at 4k. You should be able to do small camera movements within the frame in post without losing quality issues. It's as a cheat. Would you agree with that?

Dan Cregan 39:35
Yeah, I think that's a really you know, good point. It's it's definitely better to do a post move you know, as far as it would allow you to still work as if it were a lock off and you would still get the motion that you want. So yeah, that's, that's a fair. That's a fair thing except you do introduce a couple new problems when you're working in 4k or five calves working on a hobbit and 5k boy, everything goes slower you know I think there's no I think way back 11 years ago we were talking about that HD in animation panel where we met you know we're talking about oh render times with HD and you know how is it going to slow down your computer? Well nowadays you know 4k 5k you know 48 frames a second like we did on the hobbit 60 frames a second like Cameron wants to do on the avatar sequels this creates it's beautiful stuff but it creates so much more work for the digital artist it actually slows down the process you know, so much to go bigger because every time it will every time you throw a paint stroke down the computer's got to think about it you know, twice as hard or four times as hard and 10 times as hard whatever it's just it's just so much more for the computer to deal with when you're dealing with large file sizes so there is that factor if you do go that route you have to be aware of it as well. So So yeah, but that is that is definitely something and as far as green screen goes for independent films, lighting it well is the key thing people think that you can put anything in front of green I've seen so many so many projects right they'll they'll throw a green towel over one part of the background behind the actor and be like oh you can just remove that right that's how official effects are done.

Alex Ferrari 41:16
No Don't you forget Didn't you forget that we had a movie back in Florida that we did that had four different visual four different greens is part of the green screen like they use like a paper than paint then a blanket and it was all and then of course the actor crossed all four of them and I'm like are you kidding me? Like seriously

Dan Cregan 41:41
What is it What is that supposed to do? I mean at that point you just wrote a scope but it was mastered you know what are you doing it's it's it comes back to what we were talking about it's a lack of understanding of how the process works so you know the whole point to throw an even color you know with with no variation is lost on people who don't understand that that's the whole point of a green screen you know,

Alex Ferrari 42:05
Right and then also the tape marks because I know a lot of a lot of filmmakers see on behind the scenes that there's a couple markers on the green screen Yeah, and they go a little nuts don't they?

Dan Cregan 42:15
Well, they immediately think we got to have those Well first of all, if we go back to my point number one if it's a locked off shot you don't need to have any tracking markers on your green screen because you're not tracking there is you're not tracking but if you are moving the camera Yeah, I understand you need tracking markers, but guess what, you don't need 600 of them, you know, all you need is more is better. All you need is a couple that the artist is head can see that is visible in the frame, you know, every frame so definitely you know yeah, it's it's on the hobbit we had a problem with that actually, there was there was a few too many tracking markers in the scenes. And it took the paint department quite some time to paint them out. So

Alex Ferrari 43:00
And then look at that even on a multi billion dollar budget No, not $100 million budget films. And I see I look I've seen $200 million movies with bad visual effects in it. So it happens. It's not it's not a perfect art by any stretch. It's always about the artist and the team behind it. bad decisions

Dan Cregan 43:19
Are made by people with $200 million and with people with a million dollars or $200,000 you know, dollars or $2 bad decisions are made across the board that's just life that's people so yeah, it's it's something that you're gonna have to deal with, you know, no matter where you go and what you do, and the only thing you can do is be a little bit more prepared and educated and do a better job than the people who do that because I guarantee you'll have less headaches.

Alex Ferrari 43:46
So I'm going to take you back for a second back in I just remember their story and I think you'll get a kick out of it. It kind of illustrates what we're talking about. You remember the Star Wars fan film?

Dan Cregan 43:58
Yeah, I do remember that. What a great example.

Alex Ferrari 44:01
So for the audience there was this Star Wars fan film guy was putting together you know that there was a run of star when there still are a lot of Star Wars fan films made out there are some very good ones some very very good some very talented people some are amazing like amazing. My favorite of the old school one was trooper as a troops true troops true true cop the cops parrot that was that was kind of like the first big one that kind of popped out right?

Dan Cregan 44:28
The one that hit the mainstream. Yeah, we're passing around on the internet, you know, or passing

Alex Ferrari 44:32
Around on DVD. I don't even think the internet could handle the load.

Dan Cregan 44:36
I saw it on the internet. I think I think it was the early days modem internet. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 44:40
Were you watching it on AOL, sir.

Dan Cregan 44:42
Yeah, I think it took like, you know, an hour load or something like that. It was well worth it. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 44:47
Um, so this guy came to us with this. This um, the Star Wars fan film, and he literally thought he was gonna sell it to George Lucas. He was Going to have he was going to be a director of one of the Star Wars shows he had a whole vision for this so we saw the footage that he had shot and he had worked so hard and had put together so many people to put this thing together and when we saw it we looked at him and we just go this is unusable it's going to cost you a fortune to fix he had wires everywhere he had green screens in places that didn't need to be green screens he didn't have any motion trackers he didn't have I just remember the stunts like there were there's camera gear in the way he's like oh you just you know you'll just take that out or just take this out and I remember sitting there with you Dan just tell it look at I'm like this is gonna cost you a fortune. Like first of all we can't do this you can't afford us to do this and I don't even know where the film ended up I don't even know if he ever finished it

Dan Cregan 45:54
But it never come out because I don't I don't know if I ever saw it come out

Alex Ferrari 45:57
I don't remember it either. We kind of looked for it you know months later and i'm not i don't i don't know if it ever got released or not but that was a perfect example of a filmmaker not not just doing their homework and figuring it out and being so in love with their own project and in love with their own and love themselves in many ways that the project suffered the art suffered and it was sad it was really sad for us to because we were excited because it was a cool Star Wars film. You know they'll be cool, but it it was just so grossly poorly done as far as visual effects when starred in a film that is visual effects heavy is almost unexcusable. Do you remember the whole process right?

Dan Cregan 46:46
Yeah, you know, I was just thinking it you know, I do admire his his ambition and it's kind of like what I was saying at the very beginning I missed that spark you know like that's a good spark to have you know absolutely just want to do it to say I'm going to do this and it's going to be amazing and you know I love that I love that enthusiasm but a little knowledge helps yeah the knowledge could have saved him you know it could have saved him a lot you know I thought it was a little ironic because I think I remember correctly on that project they were like yeah, and we're we got to this point of the movie and it looks like it's coming out really good but we're kind of out of money so can we do the visual effects for i don't know i remember the amount I think

Alex Ferrari 47:29
It was like 500 bucks or something like yeah for like for 4000 visual effects shots and oh yeah it was paint work and and then you know we were we're gonna bring in our buddy Sean, who also worked with us on broken and other movies. And we all looked at I'm like, You're out of your mind like you're crazy like I love Star Wars is next you know as much as the next guy maybe a little bit more. But I'm not I'm not doing I can't I can't do that that you Dan would be Dan you'd be doing this for what a year

Dan Cregan 47:59
It would have been bad we that was at least a six month project. I think it might have we could have done it if it was like our full time job. And you know, but there weren't enough of us to do it to the level that they needed to be done honestly they needed a small boutique visual effects house that was staffed with you know 30 people or something of that nature maybe they could have done it but

Alex Ferrari 48:21
We're also looking back I think that was like 2006 or something like that. And in 2006 the technology wasn't up to par just yet that there wasn't as much horsepower as there is to do that kind of job now it sounds like oh yeah, you could do this this and this because a lot of the Mac's coming out now have insane amounts of horsepower and you could buy video cards and render cards and all this kind of stuff now that could you could do some cool stuff but back then you really needed like a mini ILM to deal with yeah and there weren't they weren't around

Dan Cregan 48:51
He kind of he kind of did okay if he was a studio because then he could have just thrown out more money you see if he had more money all the problems could have been fixed but it's it's what you have to remember when you're an independent film you don't have more money so you can't fix these problems you know, they're people who shoot giant films still you know do what we're just saying that have bad habits you know, they they leave too many tracking markers in or, you know, they leave crew people in the shot or they leave camera gear in the shot. But they have the money to tell an ILM to just remove it. And I love Okay,

Alex Ferrari 49:32
Yeah I remember when you were working on the hobbit you were telling me that Peter Jackson like everything was being painted out. Like he just left everything he didn't matter. Like he just saw us paint it out. I'll just paint this out, paint that guy out. paint this out, paint that out.

Dan Cregan 49:46
And it was all the time but he's owns wetter. Yeah. And you can do that when you own what and that's that's an awesome thing. Like, like Joe like, yes, there are very few people who have this kind of power. You know, George did with his whole his whole empire. have, you know post production facilities and, you know, visual effects and all that and, and Peter Jackson built the same thing with weda and stone street studios and Park Road post, and he had the same freedom that George did. And that's, you know, I can rework this film until the day it hits theaters. And I can do it at a super high level, because I have the resources, having the resources changes everything, but when you don't have the resources, you have to think in a completely different manner. So yeah, I mean, there's a different ballgame.

Alex Ferrari 50:32
But there's literally like, you know, you can count them on one hand, how many guys on the planet can do that?

Dan Cregan 50:39
Yeah, it's true there, there are very few people with the kind of power I mean, it's not so much even power. It's, you know, besides, you know, Lucas and Peter Jackson, and maybe Robert Rodriguez, who kind of built a mini version of this, how many people have that whole control over their film and their process, you know, so they're, they're powerful directors of Chris Nolan, James Cameron, you know, these guys can get their films made, and studios will throw a bunch of money at them to do it. But very few guys have control over everything. And you know, like Lucas or Jackson and Cameron kind of does have the same I was

Alex Ferrari 51:15
I was about to say, the, the only guy do whatever he wants. Well, like I was saying, I forgot someone interviewed Cameron about avatar. And, and I think he said something like, I'm, I'm pretty much like one of two guys on the planet that could do this. Like literally, like what, like literally, who else is going to do avatar? Who else is going to be handed arguably what $400 million budget on a property that has never been seen before? It had to basically launch an entire property an entire brand, invent new technology along the way? How many guys right? It's just it's so rare.

Dan Cregan 51:56
You know, it's, it's absolutely, you know, miniscule the the percentage of people who get to play in that kind of sandbox. And the The problem is that they kind of give everybody a you know, like, James Cameron is kind of famous for saying go out and shoot it yourself. Go out and shoot something, you know, and it's just that if you do go out and shoot something, don't expect it to look like a James Cameron movie. You know, it's, it's, it's, it's so such different worlds, you know, that they play in such different fields. You know, in Cameron, I was gonna say the thing that separates him from a Lucas or, or a, or a Peter Jackson is that he hasn't really built his own Empire. But his films are so successful, that he can just borrow other people's Empire and they'll just hand them the keys and go, go ahead, go do whatever you want. You know, so he has a blank check all he does, because he's literally has a nearly unblemished record. I think his worst performing movie was the Abyss and I love the abyss. So he has a almost a perfect record of filmmaking. How many people could say that,

Alex Ferrari 53:01
And the Abyss being the arguably I think they rated it the toughest film shoot in history. Yeah, outdoing Apocalypse Now, you know, as as, like the most difficult film shoot in movie history. And if you ever watch that documentary on his on that blu ray, which I've watched a million times since I was in college, it just, you just sit there going. There's just there's just very few human beings directors on the planet that could do something like that. But we're going off topic, we've kind of swayed off into movie geek land.

Dan Cregan 53:34
Let me That happens a lot with us. We apologize.

Alex Ferrari 53:37
But but a lot of good information popping out. So um, what kind of advice can you give young visual effects artists starting out and trying to break into this extremely diluted market and difficult market to get into in the visual effects world?

Dan Cregan 53:53
Well, this this answer, it changes and it doesn't change. Because, you know, I think it's the thing I get asked more often than any other thing whether, you know, wherever I go, if people know what I do, they're like, oh, how do I do that? You know, they're, like I said earlier, there is no one way to get into the business. I mean, you could argue so many different paths, right? We could say, well, you go to school, but then if you go to school, and you pay an exorbitant amount of money to go to an art school and you build up 40 $50,000 in student loans, that's not exactly a good way to go. If you could have learned the same on the internet, which you can. Nowadays, the information is all out there. If you want to learn, you can learn on your own. But then what's important to get in the industry is to know people in the network, one of the best place to start your networking is at school. So you can go back and forth over which first step to take self learning or school. Either one of those is the first step. But you're going to have to make some concessions, whichever way you choose and once you taught yourself what to do, whether you You're in school or whether you self taught, then you've got to get in the door of a company and how do you get in the door? When, when nobody wants to give you a chance? When is visual effects is one of those fields that has a quote unquote, you know, a glamour, kind of, Oh, yeah, you know, around it. And it's funny because it's very unglamorous. You know, and I know a lot of people like to say that, you know, some people even say, being a movie star is unglamorous because you spend a lot of time in a trailer waiting on set. And there's a lot of doing nothing and you know, a lot of strange locations, but, you know, visual effects is very similar in that the idea of what you do is amazing, and what you actually produce is amazing, but the actual process of doing it is very difficult. 16 hour days, seven days a week, months on end, living out of hotels, you know, traveling a lot, which can be a good and a bad thing. I mean, these things are very challenging. So, the next thing if you want to do this, make sure that you love it, you have to love this more than anything else, otherwise you're going to fail, you know, so I've known a lot of people starting out who said Oh, kind of sounds cool, I like movies, I'll go learn to be a visual effects artist, but that's not enough. You have to you know, you have to love it and you have to want to work on a movie more than anything else in the world because otherwise this industry will just eat you up and spit you out. I mean, when you get in your first job, I mean, you're going to be excited and you're probably going to not understand how tough it's going to be. And then you know after you work three months at you know, seven days a week for 16 hours a day you start to feel not human anymore and you might at that point wonder whether you want to keep doing it or not. And it's an important question to ask yourself because the internet is full of people who will complain about this field and complain about how hard it is but you know if you love it, it's still worth doing and that's definitely for sure. As far as getting that big break you know, I would say even today the best place to get your start is in stereo I know that sounds a lot of people like oh I don't want to do 3d conversion or whatnot but a lot of places will hire inexperienced people to do stereo so it a break in

Alex Ferrari 57:27
I hate to interrupt the can you please explain to people what stereo is exactly

Dan Cregan 57:31
Okay. It's you know the process of making a film 3d a lot of movies that come out nowadays are 3d and you know, it's you know what it has to be done a lot of films are shot two dimensionally and then converted into 3d by VFX artists so the film has to be essentially dimensionalized or any other word you want to call it at any rate this is a good starting out job for a visual effects artists because there's not as much creativity I really hate to say that because because you know the people who do 3d well are extremely talented and have an extremely you know, specialized skill set and they they do really good work that that produce amazing effects good 3d is awe inspiring and the people that can do it I have so much respect for you know, but but a lot of 3d today is just done for the sake of saying our movies in 3d Let's charge $25 a ticket you know, so it's done for not artistic reasons like a Cameron would do you know, it's done more for let's get more dollars per head in the theater you know, and the rest of the world loves 3d so you know, that's a 3d is a whole discussion onto itself to got it but it's a good place to start out if you're a visual effects artist because you can they hire a lot of inexperienced kids and it's a good place to get in the door and you don't have to be kid if you just anytime you're in entering the industry, you know, it's a good place to get your start. The the trick then is you're not out of the gauntlet yet, if you get into a 3d company like legend in San Diego, stereo D in Toronto, prime focus, your next challenge is getting out of 3d and into 2d because there's a whole kind of invisible wall that tends to block those two disciplines and rightfully or unrightfully so I think unrightfully so there's plenty of artists who do stereo that can really do 2d, you know, normal visual effects as well. So, you know, after you get out of there, you can get another job, you know, that you know, is closer to what you want to do, you might have to do undesirable jobs. And that's that's the kind of the lesson here. The other thing you can do if you don't want to go the stereo route, you can kind of do what we did, which was more independent film much, you know, which a lot more painful because you weren't working on big films. You can you know, go out out there and, you know, push your services on every independent film that just needs digital effects done for very little money.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:09
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Dan Cregan 1:00:19
And so when you're when you're starting out, yeah, and when you're starting out, if you got good skills, but nobody will take you in as an artist, your best way to improve your reel is to work on independent films that look good. That's a kind of a different distinction than just independent films. As an artist, if you really you know, as a visual effects artists, your reel is everything right? So you're judged by your reel doesn't matter what your resume says, You're judged by that. Two minutes, you can put on screen that shows this is who I am, this is what I can do. And when you come out of school, or you have self taught lessons, you tend to look just like every other person of that level, either work tends to all look the same. And it's not even close to professional. So the best thing you could do is kind of offer your services to a good looking independent film. Now this is kind of like why I hooked up with you, Alex, because your stuff looked good. At the end of the day, when I looked at your reel, regardless of whether it was a real Nike commercial or not, you know, I liked it. Well, I knew what I was looking at was done by somebody with a lot of talent. And I said, Well, I'm going to combine my talent with his talent, and we're going to make good looking stuff, we may not make any money, but we're going to make some good looking stuff. And that's a good thing to have on your reel that pays off later. There's a lot of people, you know, and rightfully so who will say don't work for free, don't get taken advantage of. And it's true, you shouldn't. But sometimes, you kind of have to do some pro bono work to, to get the real looking good, you know, but make sure that you choose correctly, you know, you've got to be a good judge of project, if the stuff that they're shooting for their film looks terrible, any VFX work that you do is going to look terrible, because it's combined with that footage. So make sure that you're working with good looking footage, that's, that's number one, if you're going to work cheap, make sure the work comes out really well or free. You know, and then hopefully, if you do enough of these projects, the people you're working with will start paying you. And that's that's hope, number one. Hope number two is that you build a real that will grab the attention of a company that is looking for new artists then and be prepared to make less obviously when you're starting out you're going to be making the entry level and your greatest asset when you're an experienced to a big, big studio is that you work cheaper. So you know it's gonna be a long road up and you know, that's that's just the reality of it. And there will always be that person who knows somebody who has a some good student project that gets picked to go right into the Big Show, and gets paid a senior rate right off the bat that this is happens everywhere. Like, I know, I've heard you tell people Alex like, you know, The Blair Witch guys, or, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:03:23
Rodriguez, Robert Rodriguez, Kevin Smith,

Dan Cregan 1:03:25
You know, this doesn't happen to everybody, right? It just doesn't. And everybody thinks, oh, I'll do that one great thing, and I'll be on my way and a lotto ticket, the lottery ticket Exactly. And if they do, it does happen to you. That's awesome. That's amazing. And, you know, and I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna downplay that, you probably earned it, and it's probably a great thing that had happened to you. But for the 99% of the rest of us, we're gonna have to grind and work and toil and and just kind of pull ourselves up under our own steam. And, you know, it takes time and you know, like, you know, an overnight success if, if, if, if somebody said, oh, wow, you know, you're pretty successful, you know, you know, it happened pretty fast. You might, you know, I started a digital domain in 2011 it is now 2000 you know, 15 and most of my big work has been done in the last four years, but guess what, the seven years before it, were what made me it'd be in a position to actually do the last four years. So you know, that's that's an important step. You know,

Alex Ferrari 1:04:31
So and if you told me correctly, that one of the reasons why you got hired at digital domain was because of our work together with non robot.

Dan Cregan 1:04:39
Oh, yes. Yeah. Though, those seven years of independent films, I picked the best of what we worked on. And, and the best stuff was the stuff we had done together and created together because we had control over what we were creating. You know, you're kind of at the mercy when you're working for a client. You're at the mercy of their I have their Once you know of their preferences, so, you know, the stuff that we did together ended up being the best stuff on the reel.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:07
But you also had some, it never hurts to put a star on your reel. Oh, no,

Dan Cregan 1:05:13
Well, that's that's a good point, too. I mean, you know, it's funny just, you know, just just being doing an independent film, when you're when you're choosing an independent project from where I said, choose good looking, you know, footage. The other thing you should choose is uname. Actor, if you if it has a name actor, and you can get shots with the name actor, people tend to take you more seriously, as I know, you worked on a professional project. Why? Because I recognize that actor, you know, I mean, for me, it was, you know, a couple things, but I think the big first big one was Richard Dreyfuss, right, like numbers first, you know, and, and having that on the reel helped. And so I went to digital domain. It's funny, it's it's a strange story, because when I interviewed with the person later on, that person ended up being my lead on the floor. And, and I asked him, How did I do in the interview? And what was it about my reel that got me hired and he said, You fell right into the right category. We weren't looking to hire really experienced people, because we don't have the money to pay really experienced people. And we weren't looking for people who do nothing. We were looking for somebody right in the middle segment. So the Goldilocks Yeah, it kind of worked out for me at that point, I had just enough professional work to where I look like I knew what I was doing. But I didn't have the big shows that look like I would have been way too expensive for for them. So you know that that worked out perfectly. And, you know, I'm really I'm really, it's been a strange road. It's been a long, strange road, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:06:44
We're still on it, sir.

Dan Cregan 1:06:45
Yeah, I know it. Sometimes. It's a, it's, it's it, I don't know, it's, it's hard to wrap my head around at this point.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:55
So, um, we're gonna start wrapping it up. I have a couple more questions for you. I know, I know the answer to this, but I want you to answer it for the audience. How important is design, marketing and promotion when it comes to promoting yourself, or your film projects out to the world?

Dan Cregan 1:07:16
I mean, it's hard to quantify, but it's definitely one of the most important things I would say that you need to do. I mean, it's got to pass the eye test, everything you do has to pass the eye test, you know, we usually people see something they can tell right away, whether it's professional or not. And looking like a professional is more important than being a professional, when you have big dreams. So when when you're trying to when you're trying to impress people or get noticed or be taken seriously, let's just, we don't even have to change the world, right? You just want to be taken seriously, you have to look professional. So, you know, the presentation of something is the most important thing to me. You know, I mean, this is one thing about independent film that I've I am not particularly fond of, you know, since way back before I had any credits or any experience, you know, I would go to film festivals and and see a lot of the product and and I would be like that looks terrible. I mean, maybe the idea and the art behind it is in the right place in the hearts in the right place. But Wow, the audio is terrible. The lighting stereo terrible, or the or whatever they shot it on is an inferior camera. All that matters so much and, and then their movie poster, you know, looks terrible in the in the you know, everything just screams Don't take me seriously, I don't know what I'm doing. And that's unfortunate, because I want to take people seriously I want people to do well. presentation is everything to me. I can't make a blanket statement and say it's the only thing that matters because

Alex Ferrari 1:08:56
It is of course not. It's a combination.

Dan Cregan 1:08:58
Yeah, it's you kind of have to have everything you have to this is why this is a tough thing to do. It's not easy to make art. Because you have to put a lot of things together and, and even I won't even say go as far as art. I'll say something as commercial or because to make commercial something for public consumption. It has to be it has to hit so many notes. It has to look good. It has to sound good. It has to be good. You know, it has to, you know, be interesting, you know, no, but I guess good design and good promotion. That's got that's to get people in the door. If you want people to actually look at what you did, you're going to need that. Now maybe what you did is amazing, and you better hope so because if you can, but if you can't get the people in there, it's not going to matter. If if you do all this work and have all this heart and soul buried in a project and then 100 people see it on YouTube or on some film festival then I don't know, you could argue is that worth it? Or is it not worth it, it's not something that I want to do, if I want to do work, I want to be seen a lot of people, you know, doing the work is the reward. And I agree with that, too, that's perfectly valid. But if you want to go somewhere, if you want to be a professional, if you want to make more movies, if you want to make a living a living, you have to have an audience. And the only way to get an audience is to look like you know what you're doing, and to get the people in the door to actually see it. And, you know, I think even today, it's my favorite thing about what I do, you know, there'll be hard days, and we'll be sitting around and talking with other artists, and they'll be saying, wow, this is really bad, or this is really good. And, and, and I said, we'll just stop and go, how cool is it, though, that at the end of this process, our work will be seen by millions of people. And that's a great and that's, that's where it's at, you know, that's, that's an amazing thing to, to create something and maybe it's, it's commercialized, and it's watered down for the mass audience, and whatever else you want to get into, you know, an artistic argument about it, but it's still, you know, it's, it's an art form, and it's seen by millions of people, millions. And that is, that's what makes cinema so great. And that's what makes working on movies, so great. And, you know, and I think, you know, to even the most artistic, you know, outsider creatively, you know, a counterculture person, I still think they could benefit from from really good promotion, self promotion, you've got to, you've got to package stuff you have to, that's the way it gets out to the people.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:43
Well, I think with the gluttony of product that there is out there, and whether you're selling yourself with a gluttony of people vying for the same jobs, or the gluttony of movies out there, there's no way to kind of shift sift through that without presentation presentations, the equalizer at that point, it's the only thing that that equalizer is the only thing that's gonna make you stand out. So if you have a great movie poster, if you have a great trailer, if you have an amazing website, and you're able to build this kind of world around your project, same thing goes for your for yourself, if you have a great demo reel and a great website, and you present yourself in a professional manner, and package yourself in a professional manner. That makes you stand out from all the other guys, that's the only thing that you really can do, you will never even get a chance that's anyone to see how good or bad your work is, unless you know how to present it. And I think that is honestly one of my goals for indie film hustle is to show people how to present their work, how to get attention, how to package their work in a way that they can make a living, doing so and with all the options that there are out in the world now for self distribution, and Kickstarters, and all that kind of stuff that you can actually make a living, you're not going to get rich, but at least you can make a living and you can continue to make art and make a living doing it. So I do I believe like you it's it's so important to be able to package yourself or your project in the proper way. No, it's true.

Dan Cregan 1:13:15
And, you know, it's it's not even that hard to do, you know, out there, you know, how do we learn, we learned by emulating that since we're children, that's how you do it. So if you see an ad campaign, a poster, movie, anything, a trailer emulated, if you I mean, I know it sounds like copying or a key to or, you know, but it really isn't because this is how we learn when I used to be an illustrator. And like any illustrator, when you start drawing, you emulate your heroes, you emulate the artists you like the most. Same for filmmakers. Same for visual effects artists, you know, you start emulating what you do the most. So what you like the most. So I would still say this is a good thing, not a bad thing. So when you're starting out to fake it until you make it thing, emulate the best and emulate what you love. And really look, I don't think they look closely enough to really look at the details, what makes it what makes it great, what makes a poster look professional, what makes a website looks professional. And I don't care if you have to copy a professional website down to the letter, do it because that's how you're going to learn the actual form of what makes something good versus something that doesn't look as good.

Alex Ferrari 1:14:38
And generally when I when I do work, I always start with something I'm trying to emulate, let's say and then by the time I'm done, I doesn't even look like what I started with. But at least I got a starting point. And then it kind of grows from there. And that happens with every art form, whether that's painting, photography. I mean Tarantino has made an entire career out of that, you know, he emulates every movie. She's ever seen. He writes amazing dialogue and he's an amazing, you know, he's an amazing talent. But he's the first to say he goes, I can quote him. I steal from every movie ever made. And that is a direct quote from him and it's but everyone does it. You know, as a filmmaker we're all stealing from DW Griffith and from an Orson Welles like everybody, you know, who are who did the first two shot. Well, someone stole that, you know, who moved the camera first, someone stole that, you know, it's, it's there. Everyone's always stealing from everybody. And, as as Coppola said, steal from if you're gonna steal, steal from the best. It's true. And it's industry. I think it was Picasso. I think they said that as well. If you're going to steal steal from the best, so um, anyway, so um,

Dan Cregan 1:15:46
I don't know, his his line wasn't his line without great artists. Good artists borrow great, great artists steal or something.

Alex Ferrari 1:15:53
Yeah, exactly, exactly. Thank you for correcting me. So I know, it was awful.

Dan Cregan 1:15:57
I might be wrong, too. But it's what popped into my head.

Alex Ferrari 1:16:00
So um, are there any stories? We're going to wrap it up in a minute? So is there any stories, working any fun stories working in the in the big leagues that you would like to share that won't get you in trouble? Or deported?

Dan Cregan 1:16:16
Yeah, um, you know, it's, it's, it's tough, because, you know, when we're working, I think, you know, I would say that it's a general blanket statement, it's not specifically directed at one film that I've worked on or another. Now that that's my, my, my little my legal speak there. But I've noticed something that happens in the big leagues, and, and you don't feel like it's gonna come together until the very end. So a lot of the projects I've worked on, have felt like the film wasn't going to be a film six weeks from the time it's hit hits theaters. So you know, we'll work these horribly, long hours, and clients will have really crazy notes. So usually what happens is, about a month from the movie being done, you'll start you're starting to finish things. And when they start seeing the finished product, invariably, people have opinions. You know, the client always has opinions. So they'll say, No, can we just try it like this, this and this, and then it's like, well, we've just been working six months to get it to this point. And I thought we were done. Yeah, but you know, we've got a month let's let's try this, this and this. Alright, so we tried this, this and this, and then they'll send it back. And can we do a little bit more of this a little bit more of this. Another week goes by and we'll do it again. And we'll do it again. And before you know, we're right on the deadline, and they'll go you know, that shot, it looked good a month ago, let's go with that. And so that's usually what happens in the big leagues is this weird kind of circle of doing it good. The studio wanting to make tweaks making a bunch of tweaks for the client because you've got to please the studios, and then ended up right back where you started from? I can't count how many times that's happened in the creative process. And always feeling like the movies never going to get done. There's too many things too many moving pieces. We haven't nailed down this we haven't nailed down that. And then like two weeks before the film's supposed to come out you're like hey, it's looking pretty good. You know, I mean, it just seems to be that you know, we have to have our backs against the wall sometimes to produce what we need to produce you know, I wish it didn't have to be like that. Maybe it doesn't but that's kind of the way the business works now. And I always found that was kind of, you know, an interesting way to work to put it to put it out there. I don't know interesting would you call it

Alex Ferrari 1:18:48
It's basically art is never finished. It's abandoned?

Dan Cregan 1:18:52
Yes. I mean, I don't nobody wants to let a movie go to the cinema. You know, almost everybody wants to work on it another day. Do another revision, try another thing. And sometimes you have to have deadlines, because deadlines are the only thing that make you stop. You know, as an artist, absolutely. Yeah. Otherwise you'll tweak something to death. So you know, if you're experiencing that out there, don't worry. It happens all the way up to the all the way up to the top of the chain.

Alex Ferrari 1:19:18
So I'm, I'm going to ask you the question I ask all my guests when they come on, name your top three movies of all time. Oh, I know. And everyone's not there. I just picked three that you really enjoy and tell me why. All right, well, no order doesn't have to be an order. Yeah, there is no order.

Dan Cregan 1:19:40
Man, it's it's really tough. I've got to say Star Wars only because regardless of whether I think it's one of the best films of all time, it was one of the most influential films of all time for me, you know, so I would have to say there's no way to not have Star Wars in the top three. You know, I'm gonna have to go just off the top of my head because there's just too many movies that I love to death and watched a million times but I'm going to go with the Shawshank Redemption because whenever it's on TV, I watch it endlessly and each time it's like I'm watching it for the first time. And I think I've seen the thing hundreds of times hundreds of times and I love it every single time. I don't know what it is about that film. If I could bottle it, I would it's it's just such an amazing film. And for number three got to be jaws another film that I watch every single time I see it on TV good. And I'm captivated by it frame for frame. So if I absolutely am boxed into a corner off the top of my head today, those are the three I would choose

Alex Ferrari 1:20:43
The three very good choices to know one Spielberg one Lucas and the Darabont. Yeah, Shawshank and I'm going to just throw in my two cents on Shawshank Redemption because I have analyzed it in my own mind and this is my ramblings of why I think it's so so amazing and how it touches a chord with everybody. I have yet to though anytime any of my movies or any of my projects get a bad review. I always just look up online. Bad review for Shawshank. And there are out there so you got to be kidding me. Oh no, just google it bad reviews for Shawshank. And then I read some idiot. Shawshank Redemption in a negative light and I go Oh, I feel better now It happens to everybody and that's saying that my films or my projects are anywhere near as good as Shawshank but it makes me feel better that I'm not the only one that has to deal with bad reviews

Dan Cregan 1:21:38
So what you're saying is that there's hope for fantastic for yet

Alex Ferrari 1:21:41
And and absolutely not whatsoever for fantastic for sir. So the reason why I feel that Shawshank Redemption has touched his touched a nerve with so many people throughout the world and has has quietly risen above the Godfather is arguably the best movie ever on IMDB at least but considered in the pantheon of one of the best movies ever made. Is that I feel that in many ways, we all feel like any frame we all feel imprisoned, whether that be in our jobs, whether that be in our marriages, whether that be in our relationships, whether that be in any million of ways you feel imprisoned, and and wrongly imprisoned that that you don't feel like you deserve to be imprisoned. That's why a Count of Monte Cristo I think has as touched so many people that story over the course of so many 10s of 1000s hundreds of years well I don't know when was that written I forget when it was written but anyway and and I feel that one we all get when we see Andy go through that pipe full of crap it's us it's an analogy for us. We if we just go through enough crap especially as indie filmmakers if we go through enough crack crap we'll just break through the other other side clean ourselves off get the money from the man who's been screwing us all this time and move to Mexico and and sand the boat and wait for and wait and wait for your best friend to show up. You know I feel that's one of the reasons why it it touches everybody I've yet I haven't met anyone who doesn't like Shawshank yet.

Dan Cregan 1:23:19
I mean really have you I mean Yeah. Is there a person who doesn't I least like The Shawshank Redemption

Alex Ferrari 1:23:25
There are people out there because I saw the reviews so there were at least that you look there were people who gave Star Wars horrible reviews I remember George Lucas walking around with a T shirt that had that review on it and it's just ironic and hilarious that he did that. But but I've never met anybody who didn't like Shawshank nor do I really want to meet that person honestly. It says something about no I'm joking but I think that's one of the reasons why because it's on my top three as well that that that without question is on my top three

Dan Cregan 1:23:55
I think it's my number one I quite honestly I keep coming back to it over and over again. Whenever my head goes into the hole. How would you do and usually it's a top 10 or top 25

Alex Ferrari 1:24:04
And it's it's one of those but it's not it's one of those movies that it's not like you're not watching it because Spielberg or Hitchcock or Fincher did these cool camera moves or or Scorsese, like did this thing. It's just the purest storytelling that there is honestly and in so many ways it was just good writing, good character, good direction, good music, his scores, remarkable everything just jelled

Dan Cregan 1:24:31
Everything lightning in the bottle. I mean, sometimes I don't even think the filmmakers have absolute control. You know, Lucas himself has said, You know, sometimes movies just work and sometimes they don't and sometimes you all you can do is put the pieces together and hope you know that it works and sometimes it's just the perfect, perfect storm. And no, I think Shawshank is one of those perfect storms.

Alex Ferrari 1:24:54
Well, I mean, there's the famous, the famous screening of Star Wars that George did for all of us. Friends Brian depalma Spielberg and all those guys. And they all you know every one of them came out like poor George man, you know,

Dan Cregan 1:25:06
Except for Spielberg was the one who said it was gonna be the biggest thing ever

Alex Ferrari 1:25:10
He from what I from what I've read Spielberg was the only one that kind of got it he's like you might be onto something I don't think he predicted that it was going to be this monumental hit. But he did say I get it I get what you're doing I think you're gonna do well with it. But the other like Brian De Palma and and john melius. And all these guys like port George man, he spent all this time on this thing. It's gonna be horrible. And then the same thing happened for Quentin Tarantino. On Pulp Fiction. I just recently found out watching a documentary about him that he showed his he showed Pulp Fiction to a bunch of his friends and he's famously good friends with Robert Rodriguez who wasn't there he was in Austin shooting something so he couldn't make the screening. And then Robert called the friends and everyone was like, Quinn's gone man it's not this is not no one gets it No one's ever seen anything like that this is going to be a horrible thing. And one of the guys went as far so I don't think anybody got I think there was also the only person who quit and said that got it was Kathryn Bigelow. Kathryn Bigelow saw it and she's like, I get it. This is gonna be huge. And she like literally showed it to everyone she like went over to James Cameron's house is like, you're gonna watch this. You can't even imagine what you're in store for like you've never seen anything like this. And like the matrix and Star Wars, I think Pulp Fiction in the has also moved to cinema and moved cinema in a certain way, maybe not visual effects wise, but story wise, but even to a point where one of the one of his friends was going to have a quote and said, I had one of my friends was going to give me a call and had a stern talking to about Pulp Fiction need to do better work. And this is right before or right after he won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. He calls up because I was gonna give you a stern talking to but what do I know?

Dan Cregan 1:26:57
Yeah. opinions. You know, everybody's got them. You know, it's, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:27:03
It's very true, man. Well, listen, let's wrap it up. Man. I really appreciate you taking the time. You know, talking to the indie film hustle tribe, and spreading out your your pearls of wisdom. And as always, then you know, you're one of my best friends. So thank you so much for coming on board and, and you have been with me for almost an hour and a half.

Dan Cregan 1:27:24
My pleasure, sir.

Alex Ferrari 1:27:25
All right. Talk to you soon, man.

Dan Cregan 1:27:27
Talk to you later.

Alex Ferrari 1:27:28
Hope you guys got a bunch out of that episode. I loved having Dan on the episode I've been wanting to have him on ever since I launched indie film, hustle, I thought a lot of the knowledge of visual effects, which is something we really want to focus on also on any of your puzzles, a lot of the post production and visual effects because that's where I come from. And Dan is a great teacher. He is also a teacher as well. So I thought he'd be a great guest. I hope you guys got a lot out of that. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. In the after the show notes I'm going to put a bunch of cool links in the show notes as well. And if you want to learn how to get into film festivals for cheap or free, my six tips to get in are at Film Festival tips.com. That's Film Festival tips calm and I'll show you how I got into over 500 international film festivals for cheap or free. So guys, thanks again for joining me on the episode. I really hope it was beneficial to you guys. And I will see you in the next one. Thanks again.




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