So today on the show we have to return champion RB Botto from Stage32.com. RB has been on the show six times. Between film festival panels, interviews, and Sundance. He’s always a favorite of the IFH Tribe so I thought it was time to bring him back. He finally finished writing his remarkable new book Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd.
Here’s some info on the book.
In Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd, Richard Botto explains how to put crowdsourcing to use for your creative project, using social media, networking, branding, crowdfunding, and an understanding of your audience to build effective crowdsourcing campaigns, sourcing everything from film equipment to shooting locations.
Botto covers all aspects of crowdsourcing: how to create the message of your brand, project, or initiative; how to mold, shape, and adjust it based on mass response; how to broadcast a message to a targeted group and engage those with similar likes, beliefs, or interests; and finally, how to cultivate those relationships to the point where the message is no longer put forth solely by you, but carried and broadcasted by those who have responded to it. Using a wealth of case studies and practical know-how based on his years of experience in the industry and as the founder of Stage 32―the largest crowdsourced platform for film creatives―Richard Botto presents a comprehensive and hands-on guide to crowdsourcing creatively and expertly putting your audience to work on your behalf.
This is an EPIC interview. Over two hours but it is FULL of knowledge bombs. We also discuss how I pulled RB out of acting retirement to play a big part in my new feature film “On the Corner of Ego and Desire.” I promise you this is a fun episode!
Enjoy my conversation with RB Botto.
Alex Ferrari 0:18
And today we're going to be talking about crowdsourcing for filmmakers, how to actually build an audience how to, you know, really use the power of the crowd. And his new book is called crowdsourcing for filmmakers indie film and the power of the crowd, which is presented by the American Film market, which is a pretty big deal. They don't pick many books a year to put their name on. So I've read the book, it's amazing, he really gets into the details, and the weeds of how to really understand building that tribe building that audience up, how to work with them, how to provide value to them, and how to have that crowd support you support your projects, and what you're trying to do as an artist and as a creative. And this is such an invaluable topic to talk about. Because so many filmmakers I talked to have no understanding about social media, have no understanding about how to create an audience or how to interact with an audience. Even once you've created one. It's just, it's just such a kind of black magic art form, if you will. And me and RB really sit down and of course, epic conversation, you know, every time we and RB sit down talk, it runs. So we're close to two hours on this episode. Because that's just the way we roll out. But there's so much information in there, there is a ton of knowledge bombs in there. So please take a listen to the whole thing. I think you're really going to like it a lot. Oh, and there's also a little treat, we also discuss our bs part in my new feature film on the corner of ego and desire. I pulled him out of retirement for acting. And he does have a part in the movie a very significant part. And we will talk about that as well. So without any further ado, here is my conversation with RB Botto from stage 32. I like to welcome back to the show returning champion RB Botto from stage 32. Brother, thank you so much for coming back on.
RB Botto 4:09
Thank you for having me back. What five times now?
Alex Ferrari 4:12
This is our fifth time I think at least the fifth one you are the record holder on the podcast for most recurring guest between our Holly shorts. conferences, our Sundance interview and the original interview that launched our relationship back in 20. Number 29 and we're now at 220 as of as of this recording 228
RB Botto 4:40
While in you know i in post I want the ringside bell to ring for the champ and of course you know it's like sort of like the saying it like five time host club right I get to be the first one right?
Alex Ferrari 4:52
The what you call it the the bathrobe is on its way. The bathroom, right yes, the bath Yeah. I may be wearing one right now. But for some strange reason, I think you are sorry. I just don't know why. Smoking or smoking a cigar. There's a Manhattan in your hand I just said. Yes. Yes. So we're here today to talk about your book that took you 75 years to write.
RB Botto 5:18
Yeah. and a half 75 and a half.
Alex Ferrari 5:21
I think we were talking about this when I first interviewed you, too. It's called crowdsourcing for filmmakers, indie film and the power of the crowd. Yeah. And it apparently is a runaway success right now. It's doing very well. You said, Your publishers very happy.
RB Botto 5:38
Yeah. So I've been told by focal it's one of the best selling titles that they've had. And they've been around for 20 something years. You know, it's under the the American Film market presents banner, which I think they all you know, AFM picks, maybe two or three titles a year for that. So I don't think that that's hurt me at all. And I'm very pleased with that. And, you know, the reviews have been off the charts that he was always 5055 star reviews on Amazon already, which I'm very, very pleased with. I'm always pleased when people leave these reviews, I actually got one one star review where I have a complaint was that I gave examples. That was that was the that was the problem that you got, which is that was the review. If you like examples, this is a book for you. I was like, I feel like that should be fine.
Alex Ferrari 6:25
If you want information about crowdsourcing for filmmakers, this effin book is for you.
RB Botto 6:32
Oh, no, don't buy it. I was like, I was like, maybe they were dyslexic or something. Maybe they thought a dyslexic with the stars. Maybe they thought maybe one than five. I don't know.
Alex Ferrari 6:42
Everybody has an opinion. There's always a hater out there. Trust me, you know it as well as I do. I'm sure you've had your, your taste of haterade in your in your day?
RB Botto 6:52
In my day? Yes, yes. But um, you know, but 55 star reviews. So I'll take those over the the one, you know, I gave too much information.
Alex Ferrari 7:02
But the funny thing is, Isn't it crazy how we artists are that you could have 1000 positive reviews, but the one negative one is the one that sticks in your, in your head.
RB Botto 7:12
Now, well, sometimes, sometimes sometimes I will say this and you know, because I don't want this to be a negative thing. There have been so many people that have written so many beautiful things on Amazon have written me about this book and talked about how it's changed their entire perspective, in some cases, changed their lives. Because you know, with the life changing part of it not to sound dramatic, or you know, like, like, Oh, my God, I'm, you know, curing cancer, you know, curing cancer here or whatever, but it but where it's the life changing ones have come in the context of, you know, I was ready to give off, because, you know, I didn't understand how to build an audience, I couldn't get any traction, you know, I had some things that failed, I didn't understand how to do it. And that's extremely rewarding. And, and, you know, some of these people have written just beautiful, beautiful reviews, and send me photos with the book and things like that, because that's part of my ask at the end of the book. So I can't say enough. And if you're listening, and you are one of the people that left one of those unbelievable reviews, I can't tell you how grateful I am because you can't leave a note on Amazon, they don't allow you to do that. So I'm saying, you know,
Alex Ferrari 8:16
Yeah, it's, it's wonderful. When you get good reviews, it's it's, it makes you feel like you can keep going, hmm, you know, because it what we do is not easy.
RB Botto 8:24
No. And it's like we were talking about welfare. Look, nobody's getting rich off this book. And I never went into this thinking that, you know, thinking that I was going to break the bank or you know, that I was going to be you know, trading publishing notes with Stephen King anytime soon, or with you know, any any other bestseller author that you personally know that you can think of, but but you know, I wrote it because, you know, when I was asked, and to because I felt like I had something to offer and I could bring some value to people and for people to creatives to recognize that. That is well worth it. And as made the whole journey. very rewarding.
Alex Ferrari 8:58
Yeah. Unless your name is king rolling or Patterson, you're really making a whole lot of money on book sales. No. Not really. So let's get into so what is the difference between crowdsourcing and crowdfunding? Because I know there's a lot of misconceptions this understanding of in regards to both
RB Botto 9:15
Yeah, it misunderstandings, misconceptions, and I want to settle one other one before we jump into that, and that is, you know, the book is called crowdsourcing for filmmakers. You know, we talked about this a little bit and I was talking about over the weekend at film con, the conference that we hosted that, you know, it's not I went I kind of went to the mattresses with my publishers about this because I wanted it to be called don't crowd source of film creatives, because really, the reality of the situation is the strategies and all the information within is applicable to actors, screenwriters, filmmakers, cinematographers crew people, and then beyond the I mean, folco publishes film books. So that's why this is, you know, a filmmaking book, but realistically, it's for entrepreneurs and business people, the tenants and the strategies and the rules of If you will, are applicable to everyone looking to build an audience for the brand of them the brand that their projects, you know, the back the brand of their products, it doesn't matter. It's really for everybody. So I just want to clear that up because a lot of people just say, oh man, filmmakers wants to do one for screenwriters. And I'm like, No, no, no, no, it's the same. It's the same thing. It's fulfilling, creative. And and again, even if you're an entrepreneur, and I consider all creatives to be entrepreneurs, because really, you are the CEO as the CFO. Yeah, you're the CEO of you. But crowdsourcing and crowdfunding us, yes. People will always say to me, thank you for writing this book, I'm looking to raise money and hold on. Crowd funding, I'm gonna give you the good news and the bad news. It's not a crowdfunding book. But that's, that's just kind of bad news. The good news, there's a lot of good news. The good news is, is that well, let me define it first, crowdfunding is raising funds, either to equity based or reward based crowdfunding, you know, you go to the audience, you raise funds, that you they either get a piece of an equity based crowdfunding to get a piece of the film in rewards base, they usually get some sort of either tchotchke, or reward or you know, an EP, depending on what you know, the person that's running the project wants to give away. And then crowdsourcing is all about identifying, engaging and moving an audience on behalf of you, the brand of you the brand of your projects, the brand of your products. And it's all about how do you go about finding who that audience is, engaging them in a proper way, giving them ownership of what you're doing, getting them involved in what you're doing to the point where they're so passionate about you, or the project, or in some cases bold, and you can talk about that a little bit as long that they want to move on your behalf, to spread the word for you and to go out there and build an army of support you or this you have an army of supporters like you know, as I like to say boots on the ground, that are going out and spreading like wildfire. The word of you, your your projects or your brand, the brand of you the brand, the projects or the brand that your products.
Alex Ferrari 12:14
Now, you touched on something a little earlier, right before the that all creatives should be entrepreneurs, I really want to focus a little bit on that quote on that statement, because it's something that I preach constantly and so many filmmakers, so many screenwriters, so many creatives don't think of themselves as entrepreneurs, they just like, Oh, I'm just a work for hire, or I'm just an artist, I don't want to think about that kind of stuff. I think in today's world, if you do not think yourself as an entrepreneur, you're you the chances of you making it. Even if you're in the studio system even or going after the studio system kind of work. You still have to think of yourself as an entrepreneur, do you agree?
RB Botto 12:53
Not only do I agree, but I think it's the reason why the subject of crowdsourcing at this moment is legitimately and seriously the most important thing that we could be discussing, because we're living in a DIY world, all right, we're living in. And what I mean by DIY world is that there is more content being created than ever, there are more people trying to take control of their material than ever before. There are more creatives that have worked in one space, let's say as an actor, or as a screenwriter, who now wants to become filmmakers or producers so that he can control their own content that are going out there trying to find their own financing. It is more important than ever, to understand the concepts and the tenants of crowdsourcing, because the idea is you are an entrepreneur, and you do have a brand. And you may even have brands that have sort of sub brands, if you will. So everybody is trying to fight for that same little piece of ground, right? Everybody is on social media trying to rise above the noise, I mean, get into some best practices and everything like that. The question becomes how do you separate yourself from the pack? How do you identify how do you identify an audience for what you're looking to do? What your projects are about who you know what you're about in general, and then engage them in such a way that they become champions of you in this business? You are nothing without champions, you are nothing without relationships. And the problem is that there's so many people in this business that all they concern themselves with his the craft, but the reality of the situation is you have to understand the business and you have to understand the brand of you and where it fits in, and how you're going to attract an army of people that are going to go to war for you and in support of you. That is really what separates out the people that have major success and the people who don't I always say if you look at two equally talented people, if you will. The one that has the most success isn't the lucky You want to hear when people say, they're so lucky. It's not luck. They are putting themselves in the best position to win. They're building the right relationships. They've fought there. They're nurturing those relationships. They're asking their audience and the people that they, you know, they the the army that they built to go out on their behalf because they built that audience in a selfless giving way in a given way that that presented value the whole way through. Those are the people that are winning every day. They just are
Alex Ferrari 15:31
Who is the director of Jurassic World? It was also the safety not included. Jesus, you know, I'm talking about right I do know you're talking about God after looking up. But that director, he went from safety not guaranteed, which was a small indie movie, which was like under 3 million $4 million, who starred Mark duplass to Jurassic World. And people were like, How the hell did that happen, and from what I heard on the street, was that he had champions. No doubt he had been writing for a while, but he always was in the conversation for these big movies for these big tentpole movies to the point where his name finally came up. I think from what I heard that he had made a relationship with Brad Pitt. And I think at the last point, Steven Spielberg even said, He's okay, he's good. And that's the way he walked in. Because you don't get a map a map a major franchise relaunching a major franchise like that, without some champions,
RB Botto 16:31
There's no question and I'll tell you what I mean, I'm kind of in a unique position where, you know, I've worked as a, you know, an actor or Writer Producer, throughout my career, or an actor, or let's say, just on the front end as an actor and a writer. And then I've been on the other side, where I've worked as a producer, where talent is sort of coming to me or where you know, the money, we're going to get the money and everything like that, I've seen it for both ends. And the reality of the situation is, is that more often than not, and especially more often, in this day and age, if it comes down to, you know, making a decision on a couple of different people are in the direction you're going more often than not, and I would say, I mean, I would literally say like 99.9 times out of 100, the person that comes with that army of support behind them, the person that comes with those champions, the champions, speaking loudly for that person to either get that role or be involved in the project, or get that gig, whatever the hell it is. That's the person that usually gets it. Okay. And it least always gets them in the room. And I actually saw this recently on a screenplay that I wrote, that is a cover medium, we were attaching our director, the director, you know, it can't get too far into this story, because it's still evolving and everything like that. But but it was a situation where some of the people on the team said, okay, there's some accomplishments there. But you know, there's some other there's some other directors in play. And you know, they have, you know, maybe their accomplishments are a little bit more, the credits are a little bit stronger. There may be, you know, they had a hit more, you know, more recently, and things like that. But there were a few of us that said, No, you know, what, get in the room, let him in the room, you have to see the way this guy handles room you got to see. And we went down that road. And sure enough that you know, because there were these voices that were trusted voices in the room, which we were they said, Okay, let's let's hear it. I don't hear him out. And he went any one over the room twice,
Alex Ferrari 18:32
But without but without those voices, you'd never get in the room,
RB Botto 18:34
He wouldn't have been on the list, he would have been off the list because we were going down the list one by one going at Nah, man, maybe at Yeah, he's on yet. We'll talk to him yet. And that's what we were doing now. So the whole meeting was about, and it was one of these things were like, Nah, I don't know, I don't know. And that was like, Alright, if you guys really believe that, we trust what you're saying. And we believe you guys. And we know you guys, we never want to hurt the project. And, you know, let's Let's have him in, and it mattered. And this is a guy that networks all the time. This is a guy that is out there. And he networks in a very selfless way, anytime you're in this guy's company. And he knows people around him. He's making introductions, it's not always about him. It's it's that selflessness thing that we always talk about that rule of three, you know, that we always talk about, you know, give three times before you ask for anything, he has a lot of that in him. And that's it, you know, the most successful people who crowdsource and the most successful people that build relationships really have that image to kind of embrace or they learned that, you know, people can learn it. But you know, it's adapting that sort of mindset. You know what I mean? And most people don't have that most people don't
Alex Ferrari 19:42
And it's also like, I know of a guy, a friend of mine, who works for a company that does stuff, you know, for film, film industry. And he's constantly connecting me with people. Like he's like introducing constant introducing it, and then I always try to do that as much as possible. And then I've introduced people to you, you've introduced me To me, it's just something that we do like, Oh, these guys will get along great, boom, here you go. And I do it selfishly like no reason I'm not asking anything of it. I'm like, I just wanted to put two people who I think will do good together, or it shouldn't meet each other, meet them. And if something happens one day in the future about a great, but it's not even my thought process. It's just about helping those people selflessly at that moment.
RB Botto 20:23
Yeah, I mean, kindness generosity pays. I mean, I you know, it sounds so cliche, but it really isn't. I mean, it this is a business of, it's a small business, and people really do want to help each other. And it's, you know, that the people in this industry, a lot of them get a bad rap. And that's not to say that there aren't selfish people and egotistical people in this business, they certainly are they usually at the highest level, and you know, they then probably not in a position where they feel like they need to give but there are so many people in this industry who do want to give I mean, it I'm at meetings all the time where people are, how can I help you? What can I do for you? And I love that. And I mean, I there isn't one meeting that I don't go into without it's not a question that I asked. And usually, it's the first question I asked, What are you up to? Well, one of the first like, What are you up to? Anyway, I can help you. Anyway, I can help you get what you're looking to do right now or help you get where you're looking to go right now. That's, that's not a game. You know what I mean? That's, that's inbred in me. I know, it's important. Okay. And I know, it's part of relationship building. And I, you know, it's not like you said, it's not like I'm looking for something in return. It's just that look, this is the way that you build long lasting and fruitful relationships. And it's weird, because you know, you and I've had this conversation a lot. For some people that are listening to this right now they're gonna go like, Well, you know, Isn't that obvious? You may think so No, I'll tell you what, if you really think it's that obvious, here's what I challenge you to do. Go on Twitter, and click on your home screen and start scrolling through scrolling through to start looking through your stream. And you'll see how many people have the wrong approach. It's insane. And I always talk about having a competitive advantage in this business and trying to find every competitive advantage, you can get the people that actually handle themselves well on social media, and understand how to manage their brand on social media have a competitive advantage over probably 90% of the people out there. And that's not something that you could put into practice today. You know what I mean? So it does matter. And it does have an impact. And then I can tell you stories where it's had an impact where people haven't gotten jobs, just simply because of the way that they handle themselves, either in a room or on online.
Alex Ferrari 22:29
Yeah, absolutely. And just to go back to what we were talking about earlier, the director's name is Collin, tremolo. Calm traveler. So now everybody's like, Oh, thank God. It was, it was by driving people listen to crazy, like, Who is that? Or the opposite? Like, it's called an Alex? I call it? I mean, seriously? Yeah.
RB Botto 22:47
Somebody, somebody screamed his name out while running on the treadmill. And I am just looking at them. Right,
Alex Ferrari 22:54
Exactly. Now, what are some common mistakes when crowdsourcing or just doing social media in general?
RB Botto 23:01
Well, you know, when you get on social media, when you sign up for any account, you know, for any platform, you're really basically being handed a microphone, right? So that microphone, you know, now you have direct access to people and you have an amplified voice. That's fantastic. But that doesn't mean that you go into the middle of a crowd. Now think about this, if you were on a city street, you wouldn't run into the middle of a crowd and go me, you know, like me, look at me, me. But that's really what you're doing on social media. And a lot of people do that. And nothing makes me to now faster than somebody that their first point of contact with me is, look at my checkout my help me with, you know, that kind of thing that bothers the hell out of me, okay. I always say like, you know, treat your online persona and treat your online behavior the same way that you would offline. So, you know, if you're going I think that people get so freakin crazy behind their screens, that they don't realize that this is a human interaction, because all they see is a you know, an icon or an avatar or whatever, right? They don't, they don't realize that it's, it's a, it's a human thing. And it really is, it's a relationship thing. So for me, you know, if I'm looking to go connect with somebody, and everybody is accessible pretty much on social media, and there's been plenty of times that I have gone, searching for, or, you know, trying to connect with somebody who has achieved a very high level of success and you know, may not want to respond to me, what I always try to do is, first of all, I do my research, because that's another huge mistake that people make, they have no idea who they're talking to, or they have, they know the name, but they know nothing about them, or they think about what and you know, and they approach them in a way that, again, is not only selfish, but maybe it's coming from a place that's not very knowledgeable, those people get ignored to me if I'm approaching somebody for the first time. Not only am I going to make it about them, but I'm going to make it personal in a way that makes them realize it and that you know, I'm Like I talk to them about the biggest success or the most obvious thing, I'm going to talk to them about something that, you know, a video that I saw that where they talked about a specific thing five years ago Why, you know, do you still think like, that is times, you know, times change, like, you know, you make it something that makes them go, Wow, this guy really, you know, knows a little bit about me and made it personal. That's another mistake that people make, they don't know who their target is, you know, they don't understand who they're going after and who they're talking to. So those are two, you know, two obvious ones, I guess a little bit in a way, again, to some people, but not very obvious. I mean, again, even on stage 32, you know, I'll get hit up every day, even on like Instagram or Twitter, where people will send me direct messages and say, What is stage? 32? Calm? Right? And I'll say, well, the time it took you to write that you could have typed that into a browser. And you could have figured out what stage 32 comm is like, you don't I mean, it's, it's an awareness thing. It's again, what would you do in a real life? I hate saying real life and online life. But you know, some people relate to that in, you know, a real life confrontation or in a real life. Engagement. What would you do do the same thing online? You know, be again, just be selfless. I mean, that's, that's a good way in, you know, the other mistake that people make is that they did that they post again, I feel like I'm saying, material that they post is, you know, again, like, here's a clip from my film, here's a clip. And it's like, No, no, no, share content, ask questions, be personal. Be a communicator, don't be a broadcast to be a communicator. And I think that's probably the biggest mistake on social media is that people a broadcast is not communicators.
Alex Ferrari 26:45
Yeah, without question. And I think one of the stories that you have in your in your little bag of tricks that you always bring out, which I love is the Austin Film Festival story. Can you tell us the Can you tell that story? Because it's, it's so it's such an allegory. It is and it's in the book. So, you know, I'm gonna tell us, does she still buy the book? No, I thought it was a few other things in the book
RB Botto 27:08
On his stuff in the book, but yeah, the Austin Film Festival story is is just an unbelievable one. And it's alright, so there, there is a director the Austin Film Festival, if you're not familiar with it is a screenwriting centric. It's a film festival, but the conference that's attached to it is a screenwriter centric conference. So everything revolves around screenwriting. They got some very, very good panelists down there and speakers down there. They're usually pretty accomplished screenwriters, or at least some of them are one of them that is down there kind of often is somebody you would all know, I'm not going to name a somebody you would all know, he has a couple of Oscars to his name,
Alex Ferrari 27:45
You've got it. You gotta tell me that his name off off air.
RB Botto 27:47
Yeah. And he's, you know, he's a writer, director. And, you know, he's written some of the biggest blockbusters of all time, you also wrote some really great independent films and directed some of those. And then he kind of fell out of favor. And now he's kind of back in vogue again, as these things happen in Hollywood, especially in the studio system. But anyway, he was down at the Austin Film Festival and I got to you know, he's, he's, he suffers no fools this guy, and it's just an interesting gap, man. And I had seen him like sort of eviscerate somebody the year before and on a panel asking a stupid question and him and I kind of became friends, we would we would sit down in between panels sometimes because it at the Austin Film Festival, there was a lot, it is a hotel bar that everybody goes to after the panels are over. And that's one of the beautiful things about it is that the writers can mingle with the panelists and the panelists hang out and everything like that. So he said to me, let's go grab a drink before the last panel glitched out because then you know, it's gonna be madness. And I said, Okay, fantastic. And we were sitting on the couch in the bar, having a cocktail, and all of a sudden the panels, the last panel comes out, and now they come rushing in. And there's a line of people that are starting to e4 is Weinstein to form sort of in front of them. And he goes, Okay, here we go, here we go. And he says, Alright, here's what we're gonna do. He goes, one at a time, he goes in, and the rest of you line up at least 10 feet behind, because he didn't want anyone behind, overhearing his conversation with anyone who was speaking to us. So the first guy comes up, and he's all swagger. And I wish I could, you know, wish this wasn't all audio, because I would act it out. And it's, it's great. I mean, it really is great. He's all swagger. And I mean, it was one of these things where I mean, I think the guy took two steps. And I was like, Man, this is gonna end badly. This is the I didn't open his mouth yet. But I'm like, this is the energy was just flowing. And like, this is just gonna end badly. You could just see it, the body language, the swagger. And he walks up and he says, How you doing? He goes, my name is Joe. And he's like, he starts going into this whole thing because I have this screenplay. And in the end, he just launches. I mean, he just wants us into this thing. And this writer director who is being pitched now Just starts looking around the room starts sipping his drink, he checks out the TV where ESPN is playing. He's doing everything he gleaned back to me. And he said, You want another when the waitress came by, and this guy, the the guy pitching didn't skip a beat just kept going. Sure. And didn't I mean, didn't make eye contact with this guy wants.
Alex Ferrari 30:21
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
RB Botto 30:32
So finally, he hits the end, Joe hits the end. And he says, so when you think you want to read my script, and this guy says to him, he goes, I'm sorry. He goes, were you talking to me this entire time? And he took the stupid, he put his hand out and he goes, I'm any set name. There's an AI says name. And he said, What was your name? And the guy was like, the kids like, you know, Joe. He goes, Joe, he goes, so this entire time, because I'm assuming because I guess you were just pitching me your screenplay. And he said, Well, yeah. And he goes, Well, Joey goes, let me tell you something. He goes, if I was stranded on a desert island, he goes in all my favorite books washed out to see I wouldn't read the fucking screenplay. Whose next?Show Next comes up.
Alex Ferrari 31:27
So he just walked away with his tail between his legs. He Yeah, he was just like, completely devastated that
RB Botto 31:33
Well, yeah. And, and deservedly so. And deservedly so I think this was this was, this was a guy that should have known better. You know what I mean, you know, and he wasn't 15 years old. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. So he walks away, and up comes this woman. And, you know, probably I would say, you know, maybe 24,25. And she says, you know, she introduces herself, she shakes his hand. And she says to him, and this is her opening. She says, You know, I wanted to ask you a question about, and she names a film that was his biggest bomb, by far, okay, and indie film that just completely bombed. And she said, there's a scene in the film, where this actress says this line, and she said the line, she goes, and I couldn't help but feel that maybe the actress improv that line that maybe you know that it might not have been written that way. And I'm just curious, did you decide to write it that way? Or was that an actor choice or hard choice? And he just looked at her like, he was dumbfounded. And he did our and he said, okay, two things. He goes, first of all, he goes outside of my wife, he goes to the only person that seen this movie. Because I think it opened at nine o'clock, and he goes at the landmark in LA, and I think it was out of theaters by 903. Second of all, he goes, I can't believe not only that, you recognize this in the scene. He goes, but that this is what you wanted to ask me about. He goes, You are 100%, right? He goes, I wrote that scene. 10 times he goes, we could not get it. Right. I guess we just was not working. And the actress said to me, let me take a shot at it. And I said, Okay, and she nailed it. And we were like, Holy hell, let's move on. So he said to her, he goes the tummy every Tell me about you. Okay, because it's not going to be the neck the natural next question, right. And she went into all about her writing and everything she did, and you know, and and what she was working on right now. And he reaches into his back pocket, and he pulls out a business card. And he says to her, I come down here every year with three of these cards. Most years, I go home with all three, you should when you go home, you send me the script that you think is the best that you would like me to read, I will read it, I will call you and we will go over it. And I will see if I can help. Okay, not only did he do that, and then you follow through on his promise, but he he ended up helping her get her Rep. Her manager, he ended up helping her get her eight that led to her getting her agent. And today they are still very, very close friends to the point where He sends her draft is great. And again, if you knew who this was,
Alex Ferrari 34:35
I can't wait to find
RB Botto 34:38
The fact that this woman is getting drafts of these scripts in complete confidence you will be completed some people on this listening to this podcast would be jealous enough to run into traffic. So but that just goes to show you it's all about approach. It he made it she made it about him and what a lot of people in this business don't realize is that you know So many people are so anxious to come. I mean, they even have film calm. But you know, we just did this conference. Like I said, they got like at the LA Convention Center, it was 14 hours. And I was being pulled in a million directions. three panels you saw
Alex Ferrari 35:12
Yeah. So you were beat up left and right, man,
RB Botto 35:15
Even at the end of what, 13 hour day, I had somebody come up to me and say, you can can I take five minutes to pitch you my script? And I was like, You got to be kidding me. I don't know you.
Alex Ferrari 35:25
Well, let me ask you a question. But I want to ask you like you What if they pitch you your script? What are they expecting you to do with that?
RB Botto 35:30
Well, because they know I produce, right, you know, and so they're thinking, like, if you're looking for something or whatever.
Alex Ferrari 35:36
Nobody knows what you produce. But you I mean, but you're a busy Dude, I don't, I don't see like you producing 20 movies this year. No question. But the other part of it too, is that, you know, it's the point, the point is that, like, Come on
RB Botto 35:48
14 hours a night, why not come up to me and say, Hey, this mine, I'm so and so and, and, you know, thank you so much for today. Thank you for putting this on. I learned so much, you know, maybe some way down the road, you know, or even like, ask me, like, what are you working on right now, like outside of doing this? So you get my point? It's Yeah, it's appropriate approach. It's approach approach. I know it's funny, I will, I will end this story by saying, I you know, at the following year, I sat down with this, this Writer Director again, and we I drank and I reminded him of I told him I was putting this into the into the book and and wasn't gonna name and everything and I, but I leaned over and I was stalling into the first part of the story, and he just paused. And then he just leaned over to me and he went to off.
Alex Ferrari 36:35
Awesome. The timing. The timing was unbelievable. And I went to her and I actually said, I go Honestly, I go, I don't think she goes, me neither, because I didn't lose any sleep. It sounds it's almost sounds like it's Don Rickles. delivery. too hard. too harsh. haven't gone too far. Oh, I miss Rick, you're dating yourself? I know. I'm Miss rickles, though. I'm circles. Alright, so how do you identify the crowd that you're trying to reach? In? General?
RB Botto 37:07
Great question. And this is the problem that a lot of people this is one of the biggest mistakes people make. And you know, I started earlier, we were talking about the difference between crowdfunding, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. And I said that there is good news. And the good news is because I guess this is going to play into this because if you're looking to crowd fund something, we're going to talk this is going to everything we're about to talk about is going to play into this as well. First of all, in the book, there are two chapters on crowdfunding. And I'll get to the reason why those are in there. And then there are three case studies that involve supply at least partially the funds being raised through crowdfunding. Now, why are they in there? And why, you know, why would in a crowdsourcing book when I'm saying that not to say there has never been a successful crowdfunding campaign in the history of crowdfunding that did not involve an element of crowdsourcing, right? It's the truth. Okay. The reason why most crowdfunding campaigns fail. In fact, I would say probably nine out of 10 that the primary reason why they fail is because the people behind the campaign did not crowdsource First they just put the damn thing up, said if you build it, they will come. And, you know, work. Doesn't feel the dreams, but not not it.
Alex Ferrari 38:23
It's a great movie. It's a great movie. Why would they lie? Yeah, that's what but that's what it was no sequel because it only works once. Honestly, I would kill to see a sequel to feel the just like, where do you go from there? It's time to go pitch it because you know, the studios have run out of the bank to mix with.
RB Botto 38:43
Or we could just pitch it like, we could pitch it as a TV show and make it like last style where every single player gets their own episode.
Alex Ferrari 38:52
Oddly enough, I could see that on Netflix. Alright, so so identifying your crowd.
RB Botto 38:59
So identifying the crowd, you know, think about the mistake you talked about you asked me earlier like what are the mistakes and you know, I went on this long winded thing about you know, social media but it really it's it's there's so many different mistakes and this is really one of the biggest ones is that people think the audience for their film or even the audience for their own personal brand is everyone and that's just not true. It's never been true it's never been true of any film I you know, you can name the most the highest rated on IMDB films of all time, you know, because that's an audience based rating. You know, films that have won Oscars you will find detractors of those films. Oh
Alex Ferrari 39:42
No. Just Shawshank Redemption, which is arguably i think i think it's number one if it's not number one, it's godfather one of those two. Yeah, but anytime I feel bad about anyone saying anything negative about me. I just go and type up and Google bad review Shawshank Redemption. Yeah. I go read these bad reviews. Because there were bad reviews of Shawshank Redemption. It's just like, What the hell are these people thinking?
RB Botto 40:05
No. And I mean, listen, I'm a huge Godfather, godfather to fan. But I mean, you'll get people that are like, you know, I don't like mob movies or I like, you know, I mean, look, it's just it's just the way it is, right? You're not there is, you're not everybody. There's not, there's not one film, one book, one piece of art that has ever been universally loved. And the same goes, the same is true for people. So and the same is true for every brand. And for every product. And for every film, especially if you're looking to film like a product, which you should in a lot of ways. It's you know, people think like, man, I need to carpet bomb the hillside and canvass everybody. That's a huge mistake. And it's a very big waste of time, energy resources.
Alex Ferrari 40:43
But you know, that's the studio plan. And they can have they have the pockets to do that.
RB Botto 40:47
Right? I mean, and they can cough it Right, exactly. Because they can carpet bomb the hillside. And, you know, let's face it, at the end of the day, the film really, really is a product that's a small piece of a small part of a bigger Corporation, you know, that is publicly traded on Wall Street. So what the hell did they care? But for an independent film,
Alex Ferrari 41:07
It didn't have Justice League.
RB Botto 41:09
It didn't have that. I would hope we would I you know, it shouldn't help a lot of the freakin things they're releasing, but, you know, one day they publicly speak with their wallets instead of bitching, or calls that was instead of bitching. But, um, but I digress.
Alex Ferrari 41:23
Yes, yes. But I think I think as I always say, the riches are in the niches. And I think that's true.
RB Botto 41:29
That's true. I think that's very true. I think that's very true. But you know, for people who are going out making that first film, you know, you have to understand, right? It's not about you. This is the idea of identifying your audience, okay, if you can remove yourself for a second from the equation. And you You and I, it's very, very hard for people to do by the way. And if you can just look at it. I'm saying this for people who are starting out and people who are going to try to build an audience for the first time for a film, and we could talk about personal brands in a second too. But for the film, you have to know who is the audience for this film? Who is going to watch this film or who is going to be interested in the subject matter of this film. The three case studies have in the book are very specific about this from the standpoint of this, these producers and the people that were behind the campaigns. The crowdsourcing campaigns understood who their audience was, for this film. An example of this. There's a case study called mile mile and a half in the book. It's a documentary that did extremely well. It ended up being like the number two documentary after Jiro dreams of sushi for a couple of months, it's sold out the LA Film Festival to the point where they had to up to two screenings, two screens, which had never happened before. And that was because they crowd sourced for so long that the audience came out in droves. But what they did early on, was they said, Okay, here's the basis of this documentary. six to seven, I forget the number Exactly. film, cinematography, cinematographers photographers, directors of photography, cinematographers and one sound engineer are going to hike the john Muir Trail, which is a 26 mile trail in the Pacific Northwest, they're going to do it in its entirety. For the purposes of not only being you know, a select few, they get to do this every year, they get to do get the permit to do it all the way across. But they were going to film all these different ecosystems in the beauty along this trail. They were going to be the first film crew, they're really, really film what they were going to bring state of the art equipment. And they were going to go out and film it and record it in a way that never been seen before. Okay, does it sound like the sexiest thing and they wanted to go out and raise like 85 grand, and they were going to do a lot of it through crowdsource crowdfunding. So again, I mean, that's a pretty hefty raise for something that seems like very niche and very sort of, but what they did was they said, okay, who is the audience for this film, and who would support what we're trying to do? Well, we have the gearheads because we're going to bring all this latest equipment, we're going to we're going to have the film enthusiasts that really appreciate seeing this type of film, we're gonna documentary fans, but also, we're gonna go to the fitness enthusiast, the hikers, the campers, the outdoors, people, the outdoors, men and women, okay. And what they do is they started targeting all these organizations, both online and offline, to say, this is what we're looking to do. You know, can we get your input on this? They started building a crowd, they identified who that crowd was. And then they started engaging them in a way to give them ownership for example, that like we're going to be gone for a long time. Can you guys give us the 10 best recipes that you could fit in a little travel cop so that we don't have to cap because we'll be carrying all this equipment man, like how do we travel right? And people started saying, well, you got to do this. Got it. And you know, people that call with the 10 best ideas are going You get a free DVD when this thing comes out, are they gonna get free access or they're going to get free, you know, a free trip to the premiere at the LA Film Festival where they made it. They gave everybody ownership, they made them a part of it. And then what ended up happening some of their fans, a couple of fans went to Rei and said, Hey, you gotta check out what these guys are doing. And guess what happened? Rei said, Don't spend money on equipment, we'll give you all the equipment, all we want is it just, you know, put our name in the credits. That's all we care about, and do well and make it cool. And we'll even blog about it on our blog on the Rei. So all of a sudden, they're sourcing this crowd to the point where by the time I played at the LA Film Festival, like I said the line was around the corner. By the time it came out on iTunes, they were still communicating with the crowd and they had delivered on every promise that they said, Look, it's coming out tomorrow, please stream it please tell everybody you know how hard it is to debut at number two on iTunes.
Alex Ferrari 45:57
Insane, right? Difficult, okay. sanely difficult,
RB Botto 46:00
But it was because they knew their audience, they knew how to engage them, and they knew how to move them. And that's what I'm saying. So this this, you know, everybody wants to put the brand in themselves out out there first, okay, as opposed the brand of their projects. And and here's the way I'll explain it to explain it to the audience in a way that to me, it makes the most sense. And I think even you'll appreciate this outside. I know a fan of this guy. But think about your favorite filmmaker. Think about your favorite director, one of them, right. One of my favorite directors is Kiki Anderson. Yeah. Okay. When hardy came out, somebody said to me, first of all, I love independent films. I love gambling movies. I like crime movies. I like well, you know, right in my wheelhouse, right. And somebody said to me like, dude, you got to go check out this movie. It's right you know, it's an indie it's got you know, this crime element. It's got that really heavy character driven shit that you like, you got to go check this thing out and I went to go see heart eight I didn't know PT Anderson from you know, it was a guy. Who was the guy a nightclub? What was that Anderson on?
Alex Ferrari 47:03
Oh, God did a photo of Annie Anderson, your game right? Now you got me, I got to look him up now.
RB Botto 47:11
So anyway, I went to go see Hardy, and I'm like, Holy hell, not only is this movie great, but this director is unbelievable. So now I went from being a fan of the film, to a fan of PT Anderson. And I said, Okay, whatever this guy does next, which ended up being Boogie Nights. But at that point, we didn't know what he was going to do next. But I was like, whatever this guy does. Next, I'm going to go see. And since then, of course, anything PT Anderson does, I'm there. So it's the same thing with you. It's the same thing with your brand. It's, you know, if you're looking to put your projects out there, you're writing out there, even the brand of your reels in a lot of ways you're acting brands so to speak, it's it's got to precede sort of the brand, the work has to proceed you, okay? Because then if you deliver on everything you're doing, then the people who you've engaged and moved, and you know, that you've, you've delivered every promise to now they're fans of you. Now, all of a sudden, your brand takes hold the brand of you takes hold. And that's the thing that a lot of people kind of miss is that, you know, everybody wants to go out there and shout out what they're all about. But again, if you have champions, talking about what you're about, that carries a lot of weight. If you're standing in the middle of the street screaming, go and look at me. I'm fantastic. Nobody cares. You don't have any, until you prove that you're fantastic. Then you can stand out in the middle of the street and let them rip your clothes off. Like you know, I don't know, The Beatles, like the Beatles, right?
Alex Ferrari 48:40
Oh, by the way, it was Harry Anderson, Harry and I went on PTs and from Maryann. Wow, I certainly do. Now we are extremely dated a nikecourt. Reference. Well, I was trying to think of Anderson's and that was the first one. Yeah, we're all folks. Guys. Sorry. Go ahead. Continue, sir. Well Speak for yourself. I mean, obviously, you're at but but you watch a lot of reruns. On TV, when you know, I come across it every once in a while. Now, let me ask you something. What is the difference between advertising, marketing and crowdsourcing?
RB Botto 49:15
Well, I mean, again, I think we, you know, marketing is sort of the cousin of crowdsourcing, but advertising I won't even get into because I mean, it's I mean, it's that that's also in the book, right? Go through a whole long thing of that, because I have seen people that try to explain crowdsourcing as a form of advertising is certainly isn't you know, advertising is is at its, you know, at its core, you're paying for promotion, awareness, and awareness. And you know, what marketing it is a sort of a cousin to marketing it, but even with marketing, it's not. Again, marketing is more of a broadcasting kind of thing. Marketing isn't really an inclusive thing. Marketing is a one sided thing, and I think if we're going to drive any point home here today, it's that building Audience is not, it's a two way street. But really, it should be a one way street out for a very, very long period of time, before the traffic could come back into you. And I that's, that's the really huge difference between the two. crowdsourcing is really, really, really all about knowing who you're talking to, and then shutting the hell up and listening, you know, asking the right questions, and then listening and then giving the people what they asked for. And that's how you really build that audience. You know? I mean, look, if you look at the one thing that when I say it's a cousin, when a film company that has money and marketing dollars, knows their audience, they will of course, you know, do some demographic research and go out and advertise in those places. I love baseball, I'll go to a baseball stadium, if there's a baseball movie out the big baseball movie everywhere they know that they know to advertise their show freakin geniuses. Right? Right. Okay. But that's still a one way thing. Okay? The crowdsourcing part of this is knowing your audience in a way that, you know, again, you're engaging them and giving them the feeling of being involved to the point where that ownership becomes a sense of pride. And then when you ask them to move, they go, and they do it. But you got to deliver them value, everything comes down to value. You know, in this book, for example, I talk a lot about your ask. The ask is really when you go to move your audience, you have to earn your ask. The last chapter I have in the book is my ask. My ask is basically to spread the word about the book, let people know about leave a great Amazon review, take a photo with the book and send it in so I can post it. Because what I'm saying to you is if I've delivered on everything that I promised, I start the book this way, I say, here's what I am going to give to you in this book, this is my goal is to give you this information, this knowledge that you will be able to go out and do ABCD and E, okay? If I deliver on this, I'm going to have an ask at the end, right? This process of going from identifying and making those promises to being in a position to actually ask for the Ask takes a long time. It's relationship building. If you think about the best friends you have, and your best friendships that you've cultivated, those friendships surely took some time. You didn't just walk up to somebody and go, Hey, you want to be my best friend. You know what I'm saying? But that's what people do. Like, you know, it's like going up to somebody going, Hey, you wanna give me money for my project? Hey, I'm crowdfunding today. Yeah, you and everybody else. You know what I mean? Hey, I got a, I got a movie. Yeah, you and everybody else.
Alex Ferrari 52:46
How many daily hits? Do you get a request on your for social media, for crowdfunding campaigns to promote their crowdfunding campaign crowdfunding
RB Botto 52:53
Campaigns, I probably get upwards of 25 a week, I would say, people I don't know. And request to read scripts, look at reels, you know, you name it, anything having to do with material, probably another 40 to 50 a week. So you're talking about, you know, 60 7080 people a week who I don't know, who have never had any prior engagement with me whatsoever. That only know that I have this this big network or, you know, have seen me talk somewhere or whatever, that feel compelled to just that I'm going to go Yeah, of course, you, you know, the 25 people that sent the crowdfunding campaign this week to me and said, you know, give me money or promoted, I'm gonna promote you. You know, you're the lucky winner.
Alex Ferrari 53:40
I get three of these cards out a week. Right? I go home with all three every week. too hard.
RB Botto 53:48
I won't even too hard on it. Is that too harsh? I will tell you this. Okay. It's got me I may sound like such a dick. But I mean, I'm not I'm really not. I hope everybody realized that. Honesty is a pure honesty, you know, hope you realize that that's not the case. But there are times there has never been a time sometimes I will get curious. And it's a morbid curiosity in a way. Sure. I will get the ones that people will say I have three days left, you have to help me hit my goal. And I actually have one of these in the book and I don't remember the exact number but I think it was close up mistaken. Somebody said to me, I got like three days left, or I have 12 hours left, like what can you do to help me push this thing and I clicked the link to see the project and what the goal was and where they were at. And it was a 75,000 goal that had like $380 in and I was like, check with 74 and change. No worries. Let me get that. Let me get that right out.
Alex Ferrari 54:46
I get that. But I get the executive producer credit though don't know.
RB Botto 54:53
But it really is. It's true if there is never been one time and this is God's honest truth. There is no Ever been one time where I have, click through where the goal at that point, like if somebody says only have a few days left with the goal has been anywhere over like 20 to 25%. And, you know, here's let me and let me take it in a positive direction to a lot of people just don't know. I mean, it's not you know, like I'm wishing you sane people late and there are there are people that are inherently lazy and people who do not want to put the work in. And you know, a lot of people who quit this business because they don't want to have they don't have the patience for relationship building and for cultivating those relationships and everything like that. But there are genuinely some genuinely some people that, you know, maybe they don't know where to go for the research, and they don't know what to do. And I wrote an article for medium like four years ago, because it was, you know, it was exactly what we're talking about. And it was called, you know, five mistakes you making on or I forget the exact name, it was something like five mistakes you're making on Twitter, as it relates to your crowdfunding campaign or something like that. And the thing got, like 8000 reads, it was crazy, it still gets a ton of reads. And but if you want to check it out, you just go to medium and it's RB walks into a bar, which is my Twitter handle on my Instagram, and you'll see the article there, it's still up there. But when people send me in this just just you know, you still try to be generous to people. And what will happen is when people do send me those crowdfunding campaigns, as long as they're not coming across as complete assholes, which some of them do, okay, if they're coming across me, like, Hey, you know, you think you could help me or whatever. And it's like, through a Twitter dm, or it's through social media, what I'll normally do is I'll say, No, I can't help you. I don't know you. We haven't built a relationship and and you know, that you're probably going about this the wrong way. Here is a you know, give this give this article read Nazi sentiment. But, but but here's the thing, right?
Alex Ferrari 56:49
You're doing them a favor, but they're like, you know what, fuck this guy
RB Botto 56:53
Was gonna say this is the surprising part. And this is what I'm saying. This is why not all people are bad. Sometimes they'll get radio silence. But I will tell you, more often than not, more often than not, people will write back and say thank you, though, sadly, you know what, I didn't realize that I didn't know that. Because they don't know. They just
Alex Ferrari 57:11
No, it's not taught. It's not taught. And it's not
RB Botto 57:13
You know, but here's the other part of it, you know, they go to Indiegogo, or they go to Kickstarter, and they see all these things up there, where they read the latest article about the latest success of the latest movie that played at schonbrunn. You know, crowds, the crowdfunded everything, and they think, Oh, I could do that, too. I know, 10 people that will give money to this thing, and I'm sure I can drum up another 50 that will do it. And it just doesn't work that way. It's you know, the people that have these usually successful crowdfunding campaigns. And this was actually a story of I was on on stage with a director at the Directors Guild, we were giving a talk at the Directors Guild a couple of weeks ago, and he told this great story about how, you know, they raised I forget what the number was, was, you know, but it was in the 10s of 1000s, high 10s. I think it was like 80, or something like that. And he said, Man, he goes, what I did, he goes, I went to like everybody else that you know, they talk about the friends and family week he goes, I went to the friends and family and I asked him straight out, like, What are you thinking about putting towards the project and not because I'm asking you, because I think you're gonna be cheap, or you're going to be overly generous or anything like that, I just want to have an idea of what I'm going to be dealing with afterward. And what he said was, okay, I know that I have this number coming in, I'm not going to launch this thing for another six months, because I still need about 80% more. So I'm going to spend six months, building my relationships, telling people what I'm doing shooting small clips of this showing people what I'm looking to do, explaining it, asking people to get involved, giving away, like, you know, spots on set, like who wants to be on set to come see it, you know, I'm gonna take some students that are interested if you know any, but things that made it look like hey, I'm a generous guy, which he is. And, you know, I want to give back, which he does, but I also need your help. And he blew by his total, because he's spent the six months doing that people don't want to spend those six months
Alex Ferrari 58:58
Imagine, but the thing that they only see is like that that film got into Sundance, and he crowdfunded it, they don't see all the work that goes behind the scenes and like, and that's a lot of dedication. I got to give it to him. That's a lot of dedication for one project.
RB Botto 59:12
But think about the flip side, Alex, I mean, right? What's the flip side, the flip side is is that you spend, you know, two months, you know, putting this in, you know, 45 days, let's say 40 days running a campaign. miserable because every day you're waking up going like this, no, money's coming in, no money's coming in, then you spend the next two to three months depressed, or three because it didn't work. What was the spending, and by the way, you spend those two to three months being depressed and angry, that didn't work and you walk away with less than what you came in with because you don't have the money. You don't have the relationships and you've lost all that time. As opposed to spending those six months building these unbelievable relationships. This is in bam, you know, the second crowdfunding campaign is always easier than the first because of this one. Fact. Everything that we just talked about.
Alex Ferrari 59:59
Will Right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
RB Botto 1:00:10
If you have a successful first campaign and you deliver on all your promises, when you go back that second time, people are going to be like, I don't give a shit, what movie you're making. I'm going in, I'm in with you. And that's the PT innocent thing I was talking about, you know, if PT Anderson had crowdfunded back in the day, if it was around, you know, Hard Eight, he said, Look, now I'm doing this, this Boogie Nights thing, and that extra would win, like, I'm all in. Are you kidding me? How can I help you know what I'm saying? Because I'm such a fan of you. And I'm so jazzed about what you're doing, and you got some serious chops, I want to be a part of that. So that's the thing is that you know, this relationship building and knowing your audience and how you engage them, and how you give them that ownership matters so much. And that's why, you know, it's where we came in. crowdsourcing to me right now is the most important topic for anyone looking to control their own content and build their brand or build a branded films. It just is, it just is it gives you a competitive advantage that other people don't have.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:06
Now, can you talk a little bit about the actual social media platforms? Which ones are the best for filmmakers or not? Obviously, besides stage 32? Well, if United States 32 you just you know, you're I mean, seriously? Come on, guys. It's free. It's free, guys. Come on
RB Botto 1:01:21
Yeah. Take your insulting word for that. I'm only kidding. I'm just kidding. I'm too harsh, too harsh, harsh. I, you know, oh, yeah, I absolutely should be on stage three to calm. And if you're not familiar with it, please put it into a browser, and please look at it. And I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. But But for me, look, everybody is different. Okay? I was never a Facebook guy. And it's one of the reasons why I started stage 32, I just didn't see any way to get traction on Facebook for my creative. And you know, the people that the connections that I knew that were on Facebook that were in the industry, they were still sharing pictures of their dogs and their salads and the babies and not really talk about the business. So that really had no appeal to me. And to me, look, to me, my time is my most valuable commodity. And if I'm going to spend time on social media networking, which I do every day, and which I treat, like a job, and you should too, and that's another thing that people make a mistake on. I want to be on networks that and platforms that get me the most bang for my buck for my time and give me the most access and the ability to you know, do all the things that we talked about earlier, you know, identify and engage in in a sort of a, you know, concise and quick manner, I guess, for lack of a better way of putting it to me, I mean, for me, personally, I'm on Twitter, and I've been on there for a while. And I like the fact that on Twitter, you it's very, very easy to share content, it's very, very easy to let people know that you're appreciative of the content that you're sharing, which by the way, is giving them value, and we can talk for a second. I'm also on Instagram. And the reason I like Instagram is because it is very easy with the hashtags on Instagram to be able to look at the various crafts and various aspects of the business and see who's posting on those things and connect with them. I think it's very easy to get to people. So those are the two that I really like the look of my suggestion would be you know, to find the ones that work for you just because I don't like Facebook. And because I think that they have majorly problems.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:29
Yes. Now definitely no, excuse me. They're just you know, and I go on a side note on Facebook, I personally don't like Facebook, I hate Facebook, when it's the largest. It's my largest social media platform. And I do get a tremendous amount of attention and traffic and I connect with a lot of people on Facebook, but their business model is so just pisses me off. I've got over 100 and I think 120,000 or as close to 120,000 followers on my my Facebook page, I could barely get to any of them without having to
RB Botto 1:04:05
I said I mean your same thing with the stage three toolkit. It's a joke. And I'm not going to say that, you know this, I'm not gonna say who said this Fallout was coming, but his initials are are be right now. I mean, seriously, I just, it's it's just a joke. Back to
Alex Ferrari 1:04:21
Back to MySpace, back to MySpace.
RB Botto 1:04:23
It is it is and it's why I'm you know, but again, I mean, I also you know, the content is being shared. You know, one of the things when when we were selling stationery too, and I told you I made a list of 100 people, one of the things I said to them is, you know, before I even told them what I was doing, I said I actually pulled them and I said what platforms are you on? And of course a lot of people at that time were saying Facebook and I said to them, okay, be honest with me for as long as you've been on Facebook and keep in mind these are all industry executives and you know, working creatives and I said you know what, have you gotten any jobs or anything that is giving you traction towards anything progressive for your career or for Facebook and to a man and a woman? They said no. And that's when I knew that I, you know, I needed to move forward with this thing and have sort of concentrated networking. And again, even though Twitter and Instagram are broad based social media sites, you can tailor it to become a niche social media site, which I do, that people I follow the hashtags that I get involved in. You know, all of it are, it's all film, and or business entrepreneurial related. And that's it, I don't worry about everything else, you know, I'm not on the hashtag, Mr. Trump sucks hashtag and I'm not, you know, it's, I'm doing the work, I'm doing the film stuff, you know what I mean? And that's what matters. So that's the other reason why I like those two platforms. But again, no matter what platform you're on, at the end of the day, it's really, really, really about what is the value that you bring what you know, part of my brand, and I know it's part of yours, Alex, is that part of my brand is to motivate and to inspire, and to educate. And to keep people that are serious about doing what they're doing in the game. To give them the support, I think as creatives, we're nothing without support, and you know, I preach that a lot. So, you know, a lot of what I post on social media is educational. It's it's inspirational, it's aspirational, I try to keep, you know, to those themes, and to those to that thought, those thoughts, because I think, you know, that's what I'm about, you know what I mean? And I think that people again, you need to know, what your brand is, I told this story again at film con this week. And it's it's it's just a, it's a state of the right now story. And I'll tell it really quick. But I mean, I got asked by a friend of mine, that Well, first, let me say I mean, again, not to lose his train of thought, the brand matters and what you put out there matters and how you put things out there matters. And this is a story about how it matters. We in this day and age, you know, a friend of mine was casting a film and said to me, Look, we have these two actresses that we love, they both have incredibly different takes on the part but they're both brilliant. We The room is split, we don't know what to do. We've had in Bolton three times, would you come down? And I said, Yeah, I'll come down. I said, you know, I'm not gonna be, I'll try to help. I said, You know, I don't want to be the one that you know, splits the room up. But I said, I'll come down. So I came down. And sure enough, they both were just brilliant. And for the next half hour, I watched the connection to this film, just struggle, and just you know, who liked this. And finally, one of the casting directors said, You know what, let's, let's see if there aren't, let's see what their online presence is, like, let's see what their online personas are like. And they went on to their Twitter accounts. And one of the actresses was posting a lot about the craft and helping people which is really, really cool. And posting some unbelievably unbelievably great content having to do with acting in the business and great videos and stuff like that. The other person, the other actress had, you know, almost every single post was political. Oh, no. Political, political, political and and, you know, getting into Twitter flame wars with people about politics. And this casting director turned around and said, Look, you know, done if this is you know, she, she she was very nice, but she may be very difficult to work with. And this one seems like a saint I think we should give it to her and everybody in the room when done. So this girl lost out on a job for better for worse or for right or wrong because of what her online brand was a brand wasn't a creative a brand was this firebrand Now look, you want to be a political activist, go be an activist, you you know, we all have very strong opinions on what's going on in the world right now. I think we all do, okay, I don't need to rage about them online, I can go to happy hour or to the dinner or, you know, and sit down with people and talk about it, you know, what I mean? I don't need to be raging to, you know, Billy 12345. And getting into a flame war with them, you know, about what's happening, you know, with with Trump or something, it's, you know, it's just not, it's, it's not smart. It's certainly not worth my time. If I want to be an activist about this, and I do do a lot of stuff behind the scenes that people don't know about. That's the point. I go, and I do it on my time when I feel like you know, it's the right time. But I don't need to be spending eight hours a day, doing it on social media I need to be on if I'm gonna have if I have eight hours a day and I'm gonna be on social media, you bet your ass and I'm going to be going out there making as many connections as I can, and helping as many people as I can and building those relationships because that's really what matters at the end of the day.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:49
Now, can you you were you said this earlier today that you treat social media like a job? Can you kind of elaborate a little bit on that because I think it's some very important to people here.
RB Botto 1:09:57
Absolutely. I spend at least an hour a day networking and on on relationship building. And that means that I'm usually a big majority that is usually on stage 32 connecting with people looking at, you know, who's joined recently, who's posting in the lounge, which is our version of the forums, like who's really contributing. You know, a lot of people don't understand we have Oscar winners Emmy winners, Tony winner, Tony Award winners, you know, influencers we have people that are on this site are amazing, they don't all they're not all out there every minute of every day. And some of them, you know, kind of stay behind the scenes a little bit, but they're not hard to find, if you put the work in, and it's not hard to put the work in, I spend, you know, I put a least a couple of posts on Twitter every day. And it's usually sharing content, I make sure to engage and respond to people who write to me, you know, and keep, you know, make them understand that if they're coming from a place of selflessness that is appreciated. And that I am going to, you know, engage with them. Same thing on Instagram, but I try to spend at least an hour every single day now, is it realistic with me running stage? 32, and writing and producing and all this other crap? Sometimes No, but you know what, I'll make it up on a weekend, I'll say, you know, the reality of situation is that I could be in line at Starbucks, and you know, be 10 deep, and it's gonna take me 20 minutes to get to the front. I could be doing 20 minutes and networking, as opposed to watching YouTube videos, cat videos,you know what I mean?
Alex Ferrari 1:11:25
But those cat videos with the cucumbers are funny, though. Yeah. person, I know I'm a dog. That's why I like when the cats get scared, because I'm a dog person. We're gonna add some cucumbers, and I had 7000 jokes, and none of them are perfect. None of them are appropriate. Anyone, anybody who has two seconds, just type in cat and cucumber and YouTuber, you find out what I'm talking about. But anyway, you're absolutely right. Not me hashtag Not me. But you're right, you're right. You could be doing work while waiting in line at the bank or at Starbucks or wherever you are.
RB Botto 1:12:03
While and it's just, you know, people make excuses all the time. I'm too busy. I'm too this. I'm too that low. There are plenty of times where I get out. I mean, you and I are exchanging emails this morning, I think at 545 in the morning. I mean, it's it's, I mean, it's just the truth. I mean, it's there are days where a short, I'd love to lay in bed, you know, until seven or whatever. But it's like, you know, there's a million other things that need to get done. And I'm not saying that you should work to the point of exhaustion. And what I'm saying to you is, is that if it matters, that, you know, sacrifices have to be made. I mean, the thing that changed my entire screenwriting path, for example, was when I sat and said, okay, for the next six months, you know, I had written a few good scripts, I felt pretty good. Anyway, let me let me rephrase that three scripts that I felt were ready to be seen and be out in the marketplace and be out in front of people that could make a difference, and, you know, the gatekeepers and all that. And so I'm gonna spend the next six months, you know, I'm going to cut down on the amount of nights about going to dinner, the amount of nights I'm out, you know, going to happy hour going to, you know, drink with the guys or whatever the amount of, you know, this Starbucks, I'm going to get and whatever, and I'm going to make, you know, a little bit of a war chest for myself, I'm going to invest in myself. And that means I'm going to really put in the time, you know, with the relationship building and the networking and making those connections. And I really did for six months, and you know, I sacrifice a little sleep here and there and, you know, got up a little earlier, went to bed a little late and whatever. And it made all the difference in the world. You know, I ended up landing, my manager ended up getting the option of the film, that's a COVID that you referenced earlier. I mean, all these things happened during that time period. But it was it was a absolute commitment to putting in that time. So when I hear people say, Oh, man, you know, who has the time to build relationships? I just sit there and I go, I gotta make it.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:52
But you watch three hours of Netflix tonight? Wow. That's the other thing too. It's like, you know, people. I mean, yeah, you watch three hours of Netflix a night you. You're chilling out, there's always time. Oh,
RB Botto 1:14:03
And here's the thing you so right, man. And here's the thing we talked about earlier about your brand on social media and your brand and your brand and your brand. Just understand something you can't hide on social media. So what'll end up happening is I'll get people that will write me like we'll do a podcast like this and or I'll do like an on stage or video on stage 32 and people writing privately and they'll be like, you know, I heard you talk about like, you know, the sacrifices and I heard you saying that you got to do this. Man. I gotta tell you it's just so difficult because I have this dad. The other thing is, and the first thing that I will do when I hear people bitching, moan like that is I will go to Twitter or Instagram usually Twitter and because Twitter is more of the microblogging, kind of Sure. And I will go look at that account. And more often than not, it'll be somebody being like just yeah, just took in 10 episodes a house.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:56
Like what a great season of Stranger Things
RB Botto 1:15:00
Season Five was much better. It's a good jump to season eight now whatever, like, you know, it's like, and you sit there and go, Oh, really? No. Oh, yeah, you don't have time.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:12
Right? So, so RB tell us where we can find this book.
RB Botto 1:15:17
Ah, you can find it on Amazon. anywhere, anywhere where Amazon delivers books, I think if you're listening to this in the UK, I think they have their own special link. But you can if you're in a place where you can't get it delivered through Amazon, you could go to focal press. They have the book as well, and they deliver anywhere on the world.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:36
And I'll put the links in the show notes.
RB Botto 1:15:38
Yeah, but you know, it's definitely obviously available on Amazon, for kindle and in paperback. And as a textbook, because as these things go, and I'm very, very pleased about this, apparently, there's quite a few schools interested in teaching it. The one thing that I will say about this book, and you know, focal, you know, they kind of come from an academic angle. And my agreement with them was that I did not want this to be sort of a stuffy book. So you know, if you've enjoyed listening to this podcast and the banter I have with Alex, that's exactly where you're gonna get the book, I guess, I called him I said, Listen, you're gonna get my voice. There's not going to be any End of Chapter homework assignments and checklists, and all this happy horseshit, I said, it's going to be me talking and making it fun. And I and I do think it's a very, very fun book. And
Alex Ferrari 1:16:29
I mean, your, your first chapter alone is called allow myself to introduce myself, I so that already tells you the attitude of the book.
RB Botto 1:16:38
A tone is set early on. Yeah, yeah. So you know, much of my editors, Har, when I had that, and then at first and then then they were like, all right, this is really, really freakin funny. And it should do well, and it has. So I mean, so I'm pleased with that. But that's, that's what you'll get, you'll get, you know, it's a very, very fun read. And, and just, I mean, a ton of information. So, and, and all the case studies as well, which I was very, very grateful. And it really was one of the reasons why it took so long to write the book. You know, part of it was being tied up with other projects and everything like that. But part of it also was, I had so many great people that contributed and, you know, when you have as many people, as you know, added their two cents to this book, and, you know, help helped out with case studies and everything like that, you know, it takes a lot of time to collect all that information and get it all in. And that's one of the reasons it took so long, but I think it was well worth it. Because I think the case studies alone are worth their weight in gold.
Alex Ferrari 1:17:33
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Now you not only are you an author, not only you are the CEO of running states 32. And I'm a screenwriter and all sorts of other things you do. You actually did a little bit of acting this year, for the first time in a long time. Is that true? Why? Yes, it is Alex. So are. So the story is guys that are B is actually in on the corner of ego and desire. He plays a pivotal character in the movie that I just shot at Sundance. And, you know, I remember I texted you. And I said, Well, I told you a few months earlier than I was gonna do it. And you looked at me like you're fucking nuts. No. I always I always look at me like a fucking duck.
RB Botto 1:18:23
That's true. Yeah. But I would I you know, I always, again, I, you talked about crowdsourcing, and you talked about relationship building, but the minute I met you, the kindred spirit, which is really interesting, because again, you don't have everything in common with somebody either. But you know, Alice doesn't drink. You know, I've been known to, you know, maybe once every few months have a cocktail. I'm vegan. He's vegan. And you know, he's not I hunt for my own food. You know, I you know, Alex, if I asked him to go to a baseball game, he would be like, is that the big orange ball?
Alex Ferrari 1:18:57
The first of all, that's true. If you don't know I played baseball, I play football played basketball. I know that I know, that actually did tell me that I have played so yes, I don't do it often now. But I you know,
RB Botto 1:19:12
And it also but we bonded over not only love to film but but that we're I think we're kindred spirits and that missions are very, very much the same. And that we, you know, we do like to give and we do like, you know, the everything that surrounds what we do on a day to day basis is very, very, very similar. It's almost exactly the same. So I consider you a brother, so when you said that to me. I was like, of course you're going to do and and the other thing too, is you
Alex Ferrari 1:19:35
Actually did say that.
RB Botto 1:19:36
Yeah, your work ethic is insane. I mean, they you know, other than that, which I also love and and, you know, he's like, yeah, you know, I just pumped out like 40 podcasts. I got like, 20 blogs going off. And I always shoot a movie at Sundance. I'm like, Yeah, of course. Yeah. Why wouldn't you? Why not?
Alex Ferrari 1:19:52
Exactly. Well, I was tempted but there was only four days. But so what so what I just I texted him. A few I think it was like a week or so before. And I said, Hey, I wrote this part for you, you know, will you be in it? And he's like, of course, of course, I'll be edit. Let me know what you need me to do. And he shows up to the scene, which we won't break down too much as I don't want to ruin the scene. But he shows up to the scene. It's late. There's there might be a couple of drinks in you. Well, it was a party. It was a chatter party is at a party, and then you just do like, so what am I doing? Like literally had to tell you that, like we broke down the whole thing, because there was no script that was based on a script. So we kind of work the scene out. I mean, we had the scene structured there. But it was all just kind of done in the moment. Yeah, while we're batting off drunks trying to get out into the balcony.
RB Botto 1:20:47
Right. Yeah, it was it was an interesting. Yeah. So yeah, I'll tell you my version. Yeah. Tell me.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:53
I want to hear from your side of the fence by side of the bed cuz I'm on my side of the fence. I'm literally in the party holding the light up at the ceiling, bouncing it at you while I'm going. Action. Action.
RB Botto 1:21:04
Exactly. Right. So yes, it is true that Alex asked me Actually, you actually asked me a while ago, but then you texted me and said, so we're definitely doing this. And I'm like, Oh, yes, yes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So yeah, whatever, whenever you need me, and whenever I'm gonna be up there for you know, like, seven days or however many days we're gonna be up there. And, you know, every day available at this time you bet like not, you know, gonna do this night. I can't do it tonight. And you know, on both ends, and then finally, I'm like, dude, we he say, Alex says, I'm leaving tomorrow. He goes, like, we got to do it tonight. And I'm like, Well, what time tonight? And he's like, well, we'll figure it out. I'm like, we'll figure it out. I mean, because you're here at Sundance, if you know anything about it, there is 6 million events going on at once you're being pushed and pulled in everything. It's like you got to be here. You got to be there, like your show face for five seconds, five seconds just running around the freakin town. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just saying that's just the fact. And but this party that Alice is going to film that does go on every year. And it's one of the you know, well known parties and it's in like a double condo kind of thing. And it's, you know, it's probably why a couple 100 people there you'd think, Oh,
Alex Ferrari 1:22:07
God, it was packed this year.
RB Botto 1:22:09
Yeah. I mean, it was crazy. At least a couple 100 people they released. An artist goes, we're gonna film at the freaking party. I'm like, How the hell is he going to film at the party now? I'm thinking like, okay, maybe before the party starts, we'll have a couple of people that don't act as like extras. Whatever. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. As the night going on, I'm getting the texts. And I'm like, now? No, not yet. Not yet. So no, you
Alex Ferrari 1:22:31
Showed up before the party. Don't forget, you showed up before the party. Just just kind of say hi. Hi, there. That's right. You came by you're like, Okay, so what's going on? I'm like, yeah, it's gonna be later tonight. We're shooting other stuff right now. Yeah. Fantastic. Great. Yeah, I'll see. I'll see you around 12 1230.
RB Botto 1:22:44
And I sit down, especially, you know, okay, that you know, that the the sort of meetings and the parties and everything started at like noon. So I can't promise you that I'm going to be completely coherent at this point.
Alex Ferrari 1:22:56
And, you know, I was I was I was, I was actually counting on it, sir.
RB Botto 1:22:59
Okay, not to be right. So a couple more card cocktails. And now I walk in, and I just want to emphasize that Alex stated earlier, and I want you guys heard if you want to rewind a deal, you'll hear him say it again, that he wrote apart for me. Yeah, I did. And I walked in and I said, Okay, so where's the script? And he goes, Oh, no, no, it's no script. Sample there. That's what I wrote it. There wasn't script meant,
Alex Ferrari 1:23:26
But I just give you the script. And I could just explain it to you
RB Botto 1:23:29
Go stand over a script. He goes stand over there. And I'm like, stand over here. He goes, and I go, and he's like, okay, and all of a sudden, they're setting up lights, and I meet the other actors and all this stuff. They're like, hey, it's so great to be working with you. I'm like, that's fantastic. I go Do You Do any of you know what the hell this movie is about? What's going on? I go, I go, you know, Alex told me like, they know that, like, months ago what the idea was, but so the idea was right, and remember the idea so I got that. And then they're like, okay, so you notice, so then finally I pull out this? He's like, Okay, I think we're getting set up. I think we're gonna just be a couple months away from shooting and I'm like, Alright, I guess he seriously like, you know, just,you know.
Alex Ferrari 1:24:06
Two minutes. I just need two minutes.
RB Botto 1:24:08
Yeah, give me a nugget. Give me you know, I mean, like word association. And it sounds like you're already paying whatever you want. I'm like even Brando was able to I'm not I'm comparing myself to Brandon with each brand that he could pin the lines to Jimmy Khan's chest and the Godfather. I'm like do something hold up a cube hold this something What do you need me to do?
Alex Ferrari 1:24:27
I'm very Cassavetes that way.
RB Botto 1:24:30
And but then, you know, it was explained to me and I totally got it and it was awesome. And then we It was hilarious because we filmed part of the scene inside the room. And then Alex says, Okay, now we got to take it outside. And it was about six degrees out
Alex Ferrari 1:24:49
Exaggerate. It was like
RB Botto 1:24:51
It was at like eight degrees. And you know, of course none of us wearing jackets or anything and he was always just to be outside for like two minutes and we were outside for about 30
Alex Ferrari 1:24:59
Warm because you had You drink in your hand
RB Botto 1:25:01
Drinking my hand and and it was, it was truly truly an awesome experience. Basically everybody who's somebody in Hollywood has seen this movie. Alice, let me see it. Until we have our date together. I have to go. I have to go somewhere with him to watch it with him even though ever to
Alex Ferrari 1:25:19
Watch it anyway,
RB Botto 1:25:20
I haven't seen it. You know, I have not seen it. I you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:25:23
Not everybody in Hollywood to see. Let's just exaggerate just just a few Academy Award winners. But that's it just emailed me and they're like, dude, congratulations on your greatness. I'm like, How? Like, what is happening? RV? Actually, I was I filmed God. And he like first words out of his mouth when he sees me a film con. He's like, I've got a bone to pick with you. How the hell is this guy? See it before? I got it? Oh, yeah, we got it. I can't believe he told you.
RB Botto 1:25:53
Unbelievable, man. Unbelievable. No, it was an amazing experience. And I gotta say, I mean, you know, all in all seriousness, I mean, kudos. I mean, it's, it's amazing what you pulled off and how you did it. And also, I gotta say, the actors that I got to work with, you know, it's, it's interesting for me, because I, you know, I started as an actor in theater, I haven't done a lot of acting in a long time. And, you know, it's interesting how it, a lot of it comes back to you from the standpoint of being in front of other actors and you had and you know, and just that listening and just, you know, that that thing where you just kind of relax because acting is reacting kind of thing. And in, that's all I kept saying to myself is just, you know, react to whatever is being thrown at you. And these three actors that you put me in the scene with, were just so good. And so giving, and it just reminded me of, you know, the best people I work with in theater back in the day back in New York, that you know, that the best ones were always the ones that gave so much in these three actors are just amazing, and you will grade and just all that it was just such a, it was an awesome experience. And it was you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:27:01
It was it was a little It was such a wonderful, you know, when you came in, because there were still bets out there. We're like Arby's not kind of come on, like our base comment. are really they don't know my brand. I go Arby's gonna be here. I promise you he would not he would never do that to me. He's gonna be I promise you. And they're like, I don't know. I don't know it's getting late. It's on 1230 or anything like that. Don't worry, RP will be or promise and then show up. And exactly what I expected you to have you had the exact amount of alcohol in you that I want. So you were exactly he was very you were being very Daniel Day, because you would literally method because you were the producer at the party at the time that we were filming was pretty much the time they would have found you at the party. It was like 1231. And we're shooting this seat. And I was like, This is perfect. So Arby's just, you have enough alcohol on you. So you're not too subconscious about your performance. So you're just rolling with it. And it just kind of flowed. And the one thing I loved that you did was I wanted you to be a bigger dick in the scene. And you couldn't be you're like Alex, I care. I can't because I actually busted out some lines for you on my paper that I wrote for you. And I said, read this and you're like I can't I can't do that. Like I can't I can't I can't say this. So because you're unwilling this to be a dick is seen work so much better. Because on top of it, it was authentic to who you were as a human being. And because of that came straight off onto the screen. And the other actress felt it as well. So the whole scene, I cried when I edited that scene for the for I called you when I was editing it I'm like I'm bawling on the scene because I've been in that scene too many times in my life to to count, so it was just a wonderfully emotional scene. It's a great scene. And and you killed it and you killed it. It was it was really, really wonderful to watch you go through all that I know you had a ball because you're you some outtakes that you had the stuff that I can't wait to see that stuff that was coming out of her mouth was it's
RB Botto 1:29:18
Oh, man, you know, and that's the thing too. It's so funny. It's interesting that you brought up the part about because you did say that to me from the beginning. You were like you're going to be you know, you got to be a deck and you got to be you know, you're the producer and you know they're coming to you and and it was what was interesting was again, that's that that instinct that I was talking about that it was so bizarre to me almost like out of body in a weird way that it came back in that way and like almost like flashbacks to being doing stage plays and stuff was that this like, it's not that I couldn't play that but because what they would giving me I didn't feel like I wanted to do that and and that was so interesting to me in the aftermath and but it's really, really cool. You know, I just like I said, and that that's just speaks to how awesome those actors who are.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:06
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
RB Botto 1:30:16
But it was just just going back a notch. You know, the funny thing, the funny side to this whole entire thing that you were talking about them saying, I'm not gonna show up, not gonna show up. Where I was prior to coming there was I was at the COVID Media party show philia, which played at Sundance and again, COVID is the company that bought my screenplay that's in development on my screenplay with a yada, and so I'm not despite having really good time. And I know a lot of people there, and I'm like, I gotta go. And they're like, What do you mean, you got to go because this party is going to like two in the morning? And I'm like, No, no, I gotta go. And they're like, what do you gotta go? I'm like, I gotta go to the movie. And they're like, What do you mean, you're? Like, every, like every single person. I said, it's because every single person that was like, when you go in, I'm like, I gotta go do a scene for a movie, though. Like, you're going to watch a movie that we catch in a midnight screening? Like, no, no, I have to go act in a movie. And then like, What do you mean, your act? It was just our Go man was
Alex Ferrari 1:31:09
Actually, actually your director was at that party. Yeah. And your director, when I met him at film con, he's like, wait a minute, you're the movie he went to go do? Cuz he tells telling everybody who's gonna go into a movie. I thought he was just biessing. It's like, no, it's really, no, but that was the funny part about the whole thing is like, anytime I mentioned it to anybody, I'm like, Oh, I'm shooting a movie. no one understood what I was talking about. Because it's just something that's never been done. And you really don't do. Now, you know, and shoot a full feature film at Sundance, it's just not something that's done, or ever has been done. So when you say you're doing it, you sound like a crazy person. So I'm sure the looks that you were getting, you're like, I'm sorry, what? You're shooting a movie.
RB Botto 1:31:53
What? Oh, it's hilarious. You're filming a scene? My god, no. And I mean, it just the way you guys went about it, like I said, and the efficiency, they you know, again, and that's the other part of it, too. And, you know, we've gone through this whole, this whole podcast, you know, talking about the things you need to do, and not making excuses and everything like that, like your what you did up there. And you know, even what you do what you did with this mag and you know, it's so impressive. And it's leading by example, on a lot of ways you mean, you're practicing what you preach, which is, you know, no excuses. And you can go do it. And you don't necessarily need to raise a ridiculous amount of money and you don't get, you know, there's ways around everything. And there's ways to tackle it. And it's just the people that you know, the people that really, really want to do it and the creatives that really, really want to do it find a way and that was the thing that was so impressive about that. That's why when you I mean you, I did get to see the trailer. Yeah, when you send me the trailer, you know, I was blessed with the, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:32:50
I should have held back with the viewing of the trailer. I you know, I felt like when I said to the trailer, you Your reaction was priceless.
RB Botto 1:33:00
Yeah, I was like, Yeah, I was, I was, first of all, I was stunned. I'm like, well, I've been graced with the trailer. But I watched it. I was like, you know, because, you know, this scenes on the shadow. And there's scenes in the street. And this, he and I sat there, and I just said to myself, like, you know, this is a perfect example of, you know, where there's a will there's a way and where, you know, if you really, really want to go do it, you're going to find a way to do it. And, you know, I was reading an article recently, it was funny, I forget which Hitchcock movie it was, but they were talking about one of the stars was talking about him, you know, him stealing shots on the New York Street. And you know, that, yeah, they were talking about the fact that they just didn't even want to wait for the goddamn permits or something like that, or the cops to move them from one street to the next or whatever. And Hitchcock was like, screw it, like, you know, I mean, when I was just gonna do it, I you know, and the point of the matter that what they were trying to get across was Hitchcock's mentality in that moment was Audible, and our and our mission Above all, and I think that's what everybody has to embrace, not saying go out there and break the law. Although I, you know, I'm saying, you know, it's
Alex Ferrari 1:34:12
In your, in your early days, you might have fractured if you have a you know,
RB Botto 1:34:17
Less than less than maybe my brand indicates but you know, but you get my point where there's a will there's a way and that was what was so much that was so impressive what you get what you did, I mean, and you know, hopefully I'll get to see it before you know, its actual major festival or something like that. Or if I don't get to see it until it said a major festival, maybe I'll get an invite or, you know, maybe somebody will, you know, record a couple of scenes on their iPhone and
Alex Ferrari 1:34:41
I don't know if I said it or you said it, but I know what I think when you saw the trailer you're like, Wow, it looks like a real movie. I think I said I knew it would look like a real movie. I knew I did not say that. But I will not be I will not My bread will not be tarnished, sir on your pod
RB Botto 1:35:04
Bag comment hung on me. I can see I can see that on the post there. Wow, let's take a study
Alex Ferrari 1:35:15
That is so going on the poster now. Exactly. Alright, so a few last questions cuz you know as I expected this This interview is gonna go long and we could probably keep talking for a few hours I record by the way i think is like two hours and 40 minutes on that. Oh forgot I forgot that that the Oscar special we did. So this is number six. Oh my God, that's another one. Wow, people got a really I'm gonna I'm laughing the field right now. Okay, so, um, what advice would you give a filmmaker screenwriter wanting to break into the business today in today's world?
RB Botto 1:35:52
First and foremost, control as much as you can control. I think that people are so anxious to give stuff away these days. Like, you know, for example, writers were just having this conversation yesterday with a development executive at a very, very big production company that I was having lunch with who, you know, she said, you know, writers are and filmmakers are so anxious to get representation and to, you know, just kind of give away everything. And they think that by doing it by relinquishing that control, things are going to move forward. But at the end of the day, really, you are your own best advocate. And you always will be to me in this day and age controlling it, you know, where we're living in such a content rich and sort of a renaissance really of content. Creation, I think that if you can control as much as you can control for as long as you can control it, you're going to win more days than you lose. And, and the other point about breaking in is to just realize, again, not to beat a dead horse, but it's the truth. That the way you get a competitive advantage in this business is is treating that relationship building which you could start doing today as job and recognizing the fact that this is a marathon and not a sprint. It is a freakin win. If you can embrace that philosophy, by the way, yep, you can embrace that philosophy that this is a long game. Like when people say I'm going to give myself two years, like I get this MAC there's I get this from writers I get this from filmmakers, like I moved out to La Liga, myself two years, it's been done because you're not you're gonna be you're setting a ticking clock on yourself, which is never a good thing. Like me saying earlier, I decided I was gonna take six months to be serious about that's a totally different, that's a strategy. Okay. I wasn't saying that. If I didn't get traction, I was saying that I knew I would get some traction because I was gonna put in the time and the effort and I was confident and but the people that you know, kind of step in and it's their first day or if they even been around for a year and they say, oh, man, it's nothing's happening. You have to instead of looking at the business and saying it's so tough, okay, you have to look at the things that make it easier. You have to give yourself the competitive advantage. That you know, Cato, I know we've gone kind of long, but I thought it was from a screenwriting perspective, for example, okay, I'll just use screenwriting. When I first started screenwriting. And again, I produce for years, so I it's not like I didn't know how many screenwriters out there and a lot of stuff, but it's different when you're doing it. And when I was doing it, I remember going to a panel where somebody said, you know, let me tell you, man, it's tough out there, there are 50,000 scripts that get registered with the W ga every year. And those are just the ones that get registered. There are hundreds of 1000s being written every year and being submitted around time. And everybody got deflated, right. But I started thinking about that. And I started talking to people in the business, right? And here's what I learned after talking to a lot of people. Sure. There are 50,000 scripts that are submitted to the web every year, probably 45,000 of them are complete garbage. And that's not a lie. Okay. Sure. And people who are in the know, and people who read these things, and people who read for contests will tell you this, okay? Then you sit there and you go, okay, out of those 5000. And by the way, it's probably more than 40.
Alex Ferrari 1:39:01
I was gonna say it's probably more than 40.
RB Botto 1:39:02
Let's, let's see, let's say let's say it's 49,000. Because I don't even think that that's algebra. I don't mean shit, but not good enough, because it needs to be good. Okay, so at least 1000 scripts, right? Out of those 1000. Some people are going to have connections that are going to allow them to get reads, and a lot of people aren't. If you're one of those people that are going to get read, you know, maybe you're cutting it down to 500. Maybe you're cutting it down to 250. And I'm talking about a great script that gets reads. Okay. So what I'm saying is, I could keep going down the list because there's my five other things I could name but the point of the matter is, is that once I started thinking about it in those terms, the first thing I said to myself was, I have got to write a script that is undeniably the best I can do. Okay, and then second thing I need to do is make sure that I am doing everything in my power to win champions that want to go out there and tell other people that they know you need to read this script and I need to be making those Relationships directly with people that can move the needle on my career. And that's all I set out to do. And within two years, I had a manager. Okay. And within, you know, six months after that, I had, you know, the paid option a covert and it's it you know, so because it shorten the game, because that's what I focused on. So, control what you can control. Don't listen to all the noise. Don't listen to all the naysayers. If you hear the statistics, and then negative, understand that for every negative statistic, there's a positive side to it be the positive side of it.
Alex Ferrari 1:40:32
Now, can you tell me what book had the biggest impact on your life or career?
RB Botto 1:40:38
Man? That's a tough question. I know. You said he sent me a question like two minutes before we went on. So you give me a lot of time
Alex Ferrari 1:40:42
So I can get so I could at least I sent it to you
RB Botto 1:40:44
Spontaneously, as you did send it to me. Best Yeah. It's tough to say one book. I mean, business wise, there's been quite a few. And I think sometimes business, you know, it translates again, because we're all entrepreneurs onto the creative side. So I did like zero to one by Peter Thiel. Recently, I'm talking about things that more recent, this year one, creativity, Inc, I think is an amazing book. It's such
Alex Ferrari 1:41:09
A great book, that's it's such a ggeat book
RB Botto 1:41:10
And I mean, it gives you and it gives you have a look into the philosophy of all this stuff. And the philosophy of being creative and the philosophy of sort of, you know, creating sometimes in isolation, but then having to collaborate. It's very, very interesting stuff. I highly recommend that book. You know, this was so many and that, you know, for the business side of things, I mean, I mean, from the industry side, you know, the William Goldman books, which Why did I, oh, are great, because, you know, again, the reason I love the golden books, I mean, the timeless and a lot of ways, even though, you know, he wrote some of the biggest movies of the 60s and 70s. And he still continued into the 80s 90s. You know, he's such a, he's such a straight shooter. And he's, you know, he, there's no bullshit with them, which I love. He's unvarnished. And the great thing about it is that you realize when you read a book like that, that even the biggest and the best on the grind, always, never get off the freakin grind. People I say this to people all the time, okay? airways has all gotten, you know, become a star, it's so much easier you get a manager. And I'm like, Listen, man, here's the two examples I'll give you Spielberg had to go to India to get the money for Lincoln. Scorsese had the rights to silence for 30 something years or 20 something years, and nobody would make it with them. Okay. You know, he had to find a champion, he had to find somebody that was willing to go to war and go to bat and that understood what he was looking to do. And it didn't end up working out great as far financially maybe. But the point of the matter is, is that even as big as you want, as he is, you know, that he, you know, he was on the grind with that with that property for over 20 something years. So, you know, that's the reason I like which lie. Did I tell when or Oh, I'm sorry. No, it's I'm sorry. Yes, I wish I told you. It's adventures in the screen trade, the golden books. She's in the screen trade, and more adventures in the screen trade. Which line Did I tell?
Alex Ferrari 1:43:10
Oh, I forgot.
RB Botto 1:43:12
Linson Linton I think, I think IBM that's a good book too. But uh, but but the the golden books are better. Rebels on the black backlog is another good one. It's all about the indie renaissance in the late 90s. And follows the careers of Tarantino and PT Anderson. And as you
Alex Ferrari 1:43:29
Rise, et rise, Rachel's,
RB Botto 1:43:32
The reason I like, well, is that instead of life changing, or they changed my life, what they did was they gave me enormous perspective into the inner workings of this business. And the more you understand the inner workings of this business, and the more you understand that, nobody does anybody, nobody's going to greenlight a project as a favor. Okay. You don't I'm saying like, people are like, Wow, it must be easy, like, wow, you know, like, you could just write something. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, you everything has to be excellent. You may open a door, you may get a door open because of a favor and because your relationships in fact, you will, okay. But that's the thing, your craft, your your ability to build relationships get you in the room, and your craft wins the room.
Alex Ferrari 1:44:14
Amen. Amen. And what's the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
RB Botto 1:44:20
I think I'm still learning I think the film business you always are, but I think the film business one. I think that, you know, when I was there was a piece of advice that I got when I was acting that changed everything. For me perspective wise, when I was going on auditions, and that was, you know, I can't you know, and especially in the man that theater actors in New York are a breed unto themselves. I mean, you know, everybody, you know, goes on all these auditions and then they, you know, everybody goes drinks and you know, they go they go me down by Broadway and all the places that the Broadway actors go who are By the way, even though once a Broadway a bitching just as much as the ones that can't get jobs, anywhere. You know, I went in and I'm like, Ah, you know, this casting director, table this and that. And with this experienced actor who was a friend of mine just turned to me at one point, and just he pulled me to the side. And he just said, you know, they want to like you, right? You know, they want to hire you, right? They don't want to think you bad. They don't want to think you're not right. They want to think you, right? Their job is to find you. You know, what I mean? Is that it put me on my heels, because I looked at everything as being sort of adversarial, right? Because this is such a business of No. And that's the thing. I mean, we hear no, every freaking day, and it is a business and no, that made me sit there and say, Okay, alright, everybody has a job to do in this business. Everybody has somebody to answer to in this business, everybody, if you're a producer, you got to answer to the financier as if you're a filmmaker, you got to answer the producers, and so on and so forth. Okay. Nobody wants to work with people who make their jobs more difficult. So that life lesson of sort of, you know, look, if you get criticism, you know, like, especially for people who get notes, if you're a filmmaker, if you're a screenwriter, and you get notes, to not be defensive, even if you think the notes sucks, you got to fucking digest it, you got to parse it, and you got to apply it either in the script or in the film, or apply it to a lesson, apply it to something, apply it in a way that you say, you know what, I reject that, but that's fine. You know, everything, you need to absorb everything. And you can't be what you can't be worried about deflecting everything at all times. Because at the end of the day, you're going to run into people that know what the hell they're talking about, you're going to run into people that don't know what the hell they're talking about, you're going to run into two people that know exactly what they're doing, who have completely different opinions about your art or your talent. It doesn't matter. It's how you navigate it. And if you navigate it, with an openness, and with class, and with charm, but inside, just understanding that everything that everything that comes out of somebody's mouth is a piece of information to be digested, parsed, and then applied in some way. That's how you're going to win. And that was the lesson that I kind of took away from that conversation. And that helped me enormously when I went out for my first piece of screenwriting feedback, and was like, No, for five minutes. I was like, these assholes don't realize what a great frickin script that was I sat there and I thought about my friend, my acting friend and I went, well, maybe they do know a little bit more than I do. And maybe I should listen to this and be and once I did that, I had a totally different perspective on things. And so that's the biggest lesson I think as it relates to the business.
Alex Ferrari 1:47:45
Now, where can people find you? My home address, yes, a home address, if you could please address and
RB Botto 1:47:54
They can find me. Obviously, you can find me on stage 32 if you're on stage 32 and you just put literally states that youtube.com\RB will go right to my account. But if you if you haven't signed up to stage 32 when you do, the first thing you'll see on your wall is me. That's an automated message but every other every other posts that you see from me on that site and I think it's over 300,000 now I've been told by my tech team is me as me responding so you can feel free to write me and send me a DM I am on Twitter and Instagram like I said earlier at RB walks into a bar exactly what it sounds like our B bar and as one of my friends says and nobody walks out and also on medium RB walks into a bar for some of my content. And obviously the book crowdsourcing for filmmakers indie film to color the crowd is on Amazon.
Alex Ferrari 1:48:45
RB This is as has been an epic interview as always, sir. Epic conversation as always my friend.
RB Botto 1:48:53
Absolutely always my favorite, bro.
Alex Ferrari 1:48:57
You drop some major knowledge bombs today to the tribe. And I think I think this is this this should be included. This little in this conversation should be included in every copy of crowd crowd sourcing for filmmakers, but a little USB and I'm just saying,
RB Botto 1:49:11
Hey, listen, I'd be down with if I can get my publisher to answer my emails. I don't know.
Alex Ferrari 1:49:17
Thank you my friend as always.
RB Botto 1:49:18
Thank you Alex. I appreciate it brother.
Alex Ferrari 1:49:21
As promised there were some major knowledge bombs dropped in this episode. RB thank you so much for coming on spending the time with the tribe and hopefully educating everybody a bit about crowdsourcing and the importance of of crowdsourcing when trying to create a sustainable, independent film career. Now if you want to get RB's book, you can head over to indiefilmhustle.com/230 for the link to his book and everything else we discussed in this episode. And before I go, I got two announcements if you have not signed up yet for the bulletproof screenplay podcast My new podcast dedicated to just this craft and business of screenwriting, head over to screenwritingpodcast.com and sign up on iTunes. Or you could just go to bulletproofscreenplay.com And it'll take you to the website where you can sign up through any of your favorite providers. And announcement number two, don't forget April 9, we are releasing Susan Lyons, indie film producing master class, it's over six hours of a workshop that she usually charges 20 $500 to attend, and I convinced her to let me record it so I can bring it to you guys. The indie film hustle tribe it is invaluable in it'll teach you everything you need to know about how to raise money contracts, sag deals, everything you need, on how to produce an indie film. And if you want to get in early and get early access plus a small discount is well email me at [email protected] I'll put you on the list. And you will get the course a little earlier than everybody else. And you're going to get a discount from the normal $90 price tag. And that is the end of this episode. Guys. Don't forget Wednesday we'll be releasing a new episode of The bulletproof screenplay podcast as well. And then we'll have another brand new episode at the end of the week that you guys for all the support and please make sure to tell as many people as you can if you if you could tell five friends about the podcast about what we're doing at indie film hustle to get the word out for everybody to help as many filmmakers as we can. I greatly greatly appreciate it. And as always, keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
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