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Today on the show we have director, producer, screenwriter, actor and YouTube sensation Darious Britt I had the pleasure of meeting Darious at the Mammoth Film Festival. At the festival, we were snowed in and pretty much stuck in our hotel. We sat down and talked for hours about indie film, his journey, my journey, the state of indie film, fear, setting goals and so much more.
I knew I had to have him on the show to talk shop. What you are about to listen to is a DEEP DIVE into the psychology of a standard indie filmmaker. We break down the brutal and raw truth of what it takes to make it in today’s world.
We also discuss how to build and engage with an audience. His amazing channel D4Darious is a MUST for any and all filmmakers. I’ve been a fan of his work for years. I love his approach and teaching style. Here’s a bit about the man.
He attended film school at the University of Arizona and graduated in May of 2012 with a bachelors in Media production. He toured his short film “Seafood Tester” to four international film festivals including the Oscar-qualifying Aspen Shorts fest in 2012.
Darious created the youtube channel D4Darious, in August of 2013 and it has since grown to over 340,000 subscribers and over 10 million views in five years.
He has toured his first feature film “Unsound” on the film festival circuit screening at over 20 international film festivals, winning 7 awards including best director at The Pan African Film Festival in 2015. He loves telling stories and helping other filmmakers learn the craft to reach their highest potential as storytellers.
Now I warn you, this episode runs nearly two hours but I promise you it will be worth it. I lost count of how many knowledge bombs went off in this episode. Prepare to get your mind BLOWN and enjoy my conversation with Darious Britt.
Alex Ferrari 1:53
Today's guest is Darious Britt, or as anyone who's been on YouTube for the last five years, we know him as D for Darious. Now Darious has been able to build up a hell of a following on YouTube, he's got over 340 I think now or something like that 350,000 followers, he's been doing this for about five years, he runs a business now all about helping filmmakers and showing them tips and taking money taking them on his journey. And he's got a rabid fan base around what he does. And I was a big fan of his for a long time because he was spewing out some amazing content and great knowledge bombs on his YouTube channel. And the way he does it. It's extremely entertaining, really in your face. And I just generally love his style and presentation of his content. Now Darious and I had the pleasure of meeting at the mammoth Film Festival this year where we were snowed in and literally had nowhere to go. It was like the shining, where we were had all the roads were locked off all the no planes were leaving, we were basically stuck in a ski lodge very similar to jack nicholson. So we had nothing but time to sit down and talk and I'm not exaggerating, we probably sat down and talked for 10 or 15 hours over the course of the few days that we were there. We were hanging out all the time talking and and we really just flowed really, really well when we were talking to each other. And as I was talking to him, I'm like, Man, this would be a great episode for for the podcast. He's like, well, we got to do it. So we did and I blocked out a two hour chunk. Because I knew this episode would go crazy. And it did. We literally Darious and I can literally sit down and talk for four or five hours straight. But I felt that two hours was enough for this first session. But we really really went deep, deep deep into the psychology of filmmakers of independent filmmakers, philosophies of the brutal, brutal truth and raw truth of what it is to be an independent filmmaker in today's world, and what you have to do differently now that did not teach you in film school. So it was a really amazing, amazing episode. I cannot wait for you guys to hear it. So without any further ado, please enjoy my epic conversation with Darious Britt. I like to welcome the show the legendary Darious Britt man How you doing brother?
Darious Britt 4:26
I'm doing all right man everyday is a hustle
Alex Ferrari 4:27
Everyday. Everyday we hustle baby everyday we're hustling. So man, we had the pleasure of finally meeting at the mammoth Film Festival this year. And where we were snowed in like the shining like a complete whiteout we were locked in like landlocked in a way that we couldn't get it we couldn't roads were like you hear about these things in the movies like The roads were shut down and the airport does not know that nothing's leaving or coming in. But I had never been in that situation. I think you have either.
Darious Britt 4:59
I have Man, I felt like a tourist in that, you know, like it was nice to visit and see that but to live there, I couldn't do it.
Alex Ferrari 5:06
No, absolutely, absolutely. That's insane. God bless the people who live up there. It's it's just it's crazy. But uh but we got a chance to meet and all that snowed in time actually just you and I sat by the roaring fire in our in our hotel and we would just sit and pontificate to two days straight. Today straight up, I was just sitting down like doing like, these deep sessions of discussing about the state of indie film and filmmakers and what we went through and all of this kind of craziness. And I was like, man, we should be recording this, like, why isn't this being recorded? So this is what this pod this is what this podcast and this interview is about. So kind of talk a little bit about what we talked about that and share it with our both our tribes, in many ways. So for people who don't know who you are, who are you, what do you do? And you know, how can get Just who are you?
Darious Britt 6:02
Yeah, so my name is darious Britt, I'm a filmmaker and youtuber act direct produce, right all that as well. And I run the differ darious YouTube channel right now we're, I think, last time I checked sitting at around 320,000 subscribers. And what I do on a channel is I basically empower filmmakers. So I've released features short films behind the scenes, videos, tips, tricks, vlogs about filmmaking. It's almost like a variety channel and the sorts geared towards addressing the problems and the concerns and things that filmmakers have in the journey and also sharing my journey as a filmmaker, cuz I'm still learning stuff, too.
Alex Ferrari 6:40
Yes. So yeah, man, all of the above. Now, it's funny man that you because we, when I was doing interviews at mammoth, and, and you were on the list, I'm like, Oh, I got to talk to the areas because I've known about you and I followed your stuff for a long time. Just because you know, you you stand out your your, your technique in the way your flavor of how you give out the information definitely sticks out.
Darious Britt 7:04
And I've always been a fan of yours. I know about YouTube, because I was watching the indie film hustle. I was listening to indie film hustle like way back when? Before you did this is Meg.
Alex Ferrari 7:16
You are old school man.
Darious Britt 7:18
Yeah, listening to your stuff, man. So when I saw your name pop up when I got an email saying, you know, would you like to be? Or are you avails for an interview? And I was like, an interview as any film has. Oh, wait, my ears perked up like, no, this like really is even out here. Like what? It was like, obviously, it wasn't even a question, man. I was like, man, let's get on this. Let's talk about this.
Alex Ferrari 7:41
And then and that one, like 15 or 20 minute interview, whatever we did, then ended up being literally I'm not kidding, probably about 10 or 15 hours of talking.
Darious Britt 7:51
Yeah, the initial the initial interview we did I think was a 47 minutes,
Alex Ferrari 7:56
Or something like that.
Darious Britt 7:59
We're the same kind of elk in terms of our philosophies on how things should happen. And I think, you know, as you can, I'm surely attest to this. I feel like there's, there's two different types of people, there are people who they just kind of do, and they figure it out as they go. And then there are the people who have to have all of the pieces before they start. And sometimes you can flip, maybe you're the person who has to have all the pieces before you start. And then eventually, later on in life, you flip and you're like, you know what, I just got to do this. And sometimes it's the other way. But I think, you know, I, I've had journeys in my filmmaking experience or life where I just had to just do things and figure it out as I go. And, you know, I think I connected with you with your podcast, because you kind of call yourself on that. And it's like, hey, it took me 41 years to shoot my first feature, and a lot of it was fear. And you know, and I just had to at a certain point, it's like, I'm either gonna do it, or shut up,
Alex Ferrari 8:58
Right? Pretty much pretty much.
Darious Britt 9:01
Yeah, so yeah, man,
Alex Ferrari 9:03
That was it was it was always it was, yeah, it was interesting. When we saw each other, we're like, um, it's kind of like we've known each other for years, it was a real weird experience.
Darious Britt 9:11
It was work in the same space to be, you know, we both work in the online space. And I think that automatically, you inherit a sort of kinship with that, because it's a very different space than, you know, working in the classical Hollywood space, or even in some respects, like the indie film space, I think the online space, even though we have a lot to do with that, there are certain things that are different as well. You know,
Alex Ferrari 9:35
Like, what, what are the few of those things?
Darious Britt 9:38
You know, like, working with SEO, understanding how to cultivate an audience and that sometimes it's not about the project you're on, but it's about the micro content, and the value that you're giving people in between projects or in between jobs, as they say, whereas the classical Hollywood or even the indie film right is all about the project. You know, I
Alex Ferrari 10:00
One off a one off,
Darious Britt 10:01
I spent two years making this thing to three years. And then when it's done, here I am, here's my work, you know, you live and die by it, it takes off or it doesn't. But then you just disappear again, you know, there's not much of a footprint in terms of social media in terms of micro content. Whereas when you're working on the online space, it's the opposite, like your projects are important. But what's more important is your ability to brand and your ability to leverage micro content to build community around what you're doing. So that way, it offers you more relational value to your audience, but also in terms of the work that you're doing. It just offers you more opportunities.
Alex Ferrari 10:45
Now, so let's talk a little bit about your your rise in what you've done you you've been on YouTube now since what 20 2013 Yeah, 2013, right. So you've slipped you were there kind of before a lot of these guys were, you know, talking and doing their things, you know, like everybody now has a filmmaking channel, like everybody, I'm gonna teach you how to, you know, work with a DSLR camera. Here's how you can do B roll tips and five top five lenses, the best bang for your buck, and you know, all that kind of stuff. And you've been able to cultivate a fairly ravenous audience. You know, it's you're not you don't have four or 5 million in, but the audience which is still substantial, you still have over 300,000 subscribers onto your YouTube channel, but they're pretty ravenous, I noticed that they're very engaged. Can you give some tips and kind of understanding to people listening to how you build an audience and what it takes to maintain that because you've been doing it now? What, five years? So you've been doing it longer than I have? And, and you've been able to cultivate that and maintain it and grow it while you've been doing it? So what do you have to say?
Darious Britt 11:56
It feels weird, because it I've known you for a minute. So it When did you start?
Alex Ferrari 12:02
2015 2015 Oh, man, so Wow, okay, you already two years in started before I did it that way anyway. No, I didn't like life. But like, I was shooting I was. I was shooting. I was shooting while you were watching Saturday morning. cartoons, sir. But I just met indie film hustle. Yeah.
Darious Britt 12:23
So you know, man, that's a simple question. But it's a kind of a complicated answer, to be honest with you. Like, I'm still figuring out a lot of things. And I'm still learning things about, you know what I do even now, I think my idea of what it took to grow an audience when I first started is very different than what I think is required to grow an audience now. And I think, you know, to boil it down to something stupid, simple. It's basically value. The more value you offer, the more potential you have to grow an audience. But there's different types of value, there is the educational value, right? And then there's the entertainment value. There's the relational value, there's the what you represent value, there's inspiration. And I think, when you talk about creators online, whether it be podcasting, whether it be YouTube, there are certain thresholds of talent. And depending on where you are on that value scale will kind of ultimately dictate where you fall in those thresholds. And just for, you know, all intents and purposes, we'll just say there are three thresholds right now, right? threshold, one will take my niche, for example, or even years, to a certain extent, I'm threshold one is information. Right? If you've got the information, awesome, you pass the first threshold you made that may award you like, I don't know, 3000 subscribers on YouTube are three or four, the podcast was a little different, but that's the first threshold. But in order to get to the next threshold, you got to have more than just information because people in this day and age can get that information anywhere, really so many people doing the same thing. So the next threshold becomes execution. Okay, you can give me information, but how are your videos edited? How are they lit? What do they look like? How do you sound? Is the sound sound horrible? Do you sound like, you know, you're in the bottom of a submarine? Did you shoot it on a potato? You know, like, so that's like another threshold of value, right? So now you're like, Okay, I got the information. But I also got the execution like, Look, right, they sound professional, okay, boom, you cross another threshold of value. So maybe that gets you to the 10,000 mark or something. And then there is yet another threshold of personality and relatability. Are you somebody that people could see themselves getting a beer with? Or do you approach it with the classical horsemanship of I'm going to keep my hands in this little box right here and I'm going to talk like this and I'm going to and it feels good. Just like artificial instale, you know, like, if you pierce that second threshold, the value of being relatable and authentic as a person and not being afraid to be a person and basically just have personality, that's like a third, like threshold value that you cross. So then that may award you like 20. You know, it just keeps going up and up and up from there, you know, relational value, your ability to market yourself, your ability to think past your nose when making videos. Some people they have a lot to offer, but they don't study YouTube, right? So how are you going to be good at YouTube if you don't study YouTube. And that's another threshold of value, though. So you can have a lot of other things going for you. But if you don't understand the platform, you don't understand the kind of tropes and things that the community indulges. That's one less thing that you have to arm yourself with. And I find the people that are very successful on this platform, they just have lots of value to offer in different tiers. It's not just my information is the best. No, it's like, the information, the personality, it's like the the whole package, right?
Alex Ferrari 16:08
Yeah, I think I think you're absolutely right. I think information is just not enough anymore. I mean, when I showed up, I had arguably some different kind of information, because I was kind of talking about it from a very experienced, you know, very, a lot of the experience I dealt with. And you know, and there is not a lot of that information out there. If someone who's been doing it for 20 odd years, and like real, raw stuff. I'm assuming that's one of the reasons why you were, you know, drawn to my podcast, or like I was telling you how it is I'm like, Look, this is the way Oh, yeah, within 20 1020 minutes, you know, it's like, oh, yeah. So is. So I had, I appreciate that I had that. But it was not just about information, because at a certain point, that information will change. It's like, it's just not enough. It's not enough. And then even in the short time I've been doing indie film muscle that informs a lot of that information gets put out in other places, I still believe I saw very unique perspectives and very unique information. But I do combine it with presentation, how I put it out there authenticity, and character. And then
Darious Britt 17:12
It's not only the fact that information is not enough, it's it's worse than that. It's what good is the information if the people are gone before you get to the point?
Alex Ferrari 17:21
Darious Britt 17:22
I I'm a firm believer that as brands or online personalities, whatever our first responsibility is to entertain, period. Because if you can't keep their attention, they're not going to get to the value. Correct. You know, that's my my own opinion, though. I you asked 10 people, everybody's got their own, but I firmly believe your first priority is to entertain them first.
Alex Ferrari 17:49
There's no question, no question about it. I mean, and that's one of the reasons why I liked your channel. And what you do is because you are entertaining, there's no question about it, the way you presented the videos, the way you shot them, the editing style, there was an energy of kinetic energy to them. That was really nice. And also very unique in the space, I had not seen that approach. A lot of the other kinds of approaches are very well, this is a DSLR camera, and I have a DSLR camera now and you can put on a sigma and the sigma is for the best bang for your buck. And like you know, and then you come out like, what up everybody this is it's diaries. I'm Brittany Baba Baba, and you just like and you're cutting and it's like a fisheye lens. And it was just all this kind of information. But it's it's a good lesson for people listening to understand that. It is about presentation. It is about execution execution. And I have to use that word execution even put it like a real big exclamation point on that because it's really always about execution in movies in in a script like you can give a script of 15 directors it's about execution. How are you going to pull?
Darious Britt 19:00
Ideas are a dime a dozen execution is everything
Alex Ferrari 19:04
Now what? No, no, no. So what advice do you have for people who are stuck in this vicious circle or vicious hamster wheel of ideas like I have all the ideas in the world but I'm just a little too afraid to move forward on it or I'm going to make up excuses not to move forward with it. Like I need to read I need to read 8k to shoot my drama D that has shot basically in one room and I need this and I need that I need this actor I need that much money just for me to get up out of the bed in the morning. Those are all excuses. I did those excuses. That's just absolutely pure fear and experiences. Your pure fear is what that is. And you could call it whatever you want like that. I'll call I'll call shenanigans.
Darious Britt 19:54
Fear extract, you know, like, I got to default to something you said a number of times in your pocket. casts, stop throwing obstacles in front of yourself. Correct. And that's exactly what it is when you start to say, I can't make this idea unless x, that's an obstacle, because at the end of the day, you either want to do something or you don't. And that can take different shapes, right? Like, most of the time when we get into filmmaking, we want to make the films of our youth, right, like Jurassic Park, Star Wars, whatever, most of the time, because that's why we even thought that inspired us. That's the thing that gripped us, right. But the problem with that is, you know, there's a whole economics aspect of film that piggybacks on it's just like, great, do you have 234 or $500 million? You know, it's like, obviously, you don't, but it kind of goes back to the question of, you know, once you get past that, just making films of your youth and realize, wait, there's many different aspects to this. There's any film, there's short films, there's online making films for the online space, there's, you know, once you realize there's a whole bunch of different flavors, then you go back to that question of what is it you really want to do, if all you want to do is make your passion project, that script that you've had in your drawer that you've been working on for like five to seven years, and you're continuing to look for money from friends and family and everyone? If that's all that you want to do? Then you're a fundraiser, right? You're not a filmmaker, you know, like, because if you're a filmmaker, your urge to make films would override any one project. Yes, project. It's like, okay, I would love to do this thing. But I can't do this right now. So let me put that aside, and I want to make something I can do that you make something else, oh, this is great. But I can't do this one, either. You know what, I'd be happy just shooting a short, like, I just need to do it, I have to learn I, I am happy when I'm shooting. I don't care what it is, you know, I think that's the state you need to be that's the only way to, to not throw obstacles in front of yourself is to just like, if you want to make films, make films, but now, and I'm kind of avoiding this a little bit. But this kind of goes to the larger question of like, what is your real passion? And I find that, you know, maybe you can speak to this too. But I find that most of the time when I run into people not to dilute my first point, okay, most of the time when I run into people, and I hear a lot of obstacles are thrown in front of themselves. Usually they don't want it bad enough. Oh, absolutely. Usually they don't love it enough. It's it's conditional love. I'll say that. It's conditional love. It's kind of like having that girlfriend right where you're like, man, yeah, she's so cute. She's this 3624 30 you know, whatever, to measurements, you know what I mean? Like, yeah, like you I like you. I like you let her gain a couple of extra lbs is, you know, catch her in the morning time without makeup, you know, all these little things. And before you know it, that thing that you thought was love is just infatuation, right? It's just conditional at that point, right? Oh, I thought I really wanted this. But I only want it this way. If I can't have it this way, then I don't want to have it at all right? And I find that's what a lot of filmmakers have is, it's conditional love. It's like, Yes, I like film. As long as I'm only shooting on my idea, this way with this amount of money If I can't have it this way.
Alex Ferrari 23:34
I don't want to have it at all. It's almost like a comfort zone being spoiled mentality. In like, I need to have it my way and only my way. And if it doesn't fit within my little parameters that I've set, then I'm just going to make excuses or be Vader's be a bitter angry filmmaker. And like I think I told you and I say a lot. I'm like, we all know angry bitter filmmakers. And if and if we don't and if you don't know any angry bitter filmmakers, you are the angry bitter filmmaker that everybody knows. Because it's true. I was an angry bitter filmmaker you kidding me? But it's kind of like the Hey, I want to I want to look jacked up like the rock. But and but everyone look who doesn't want to have an A, like insane physical physique, you know, like you've just ripped up six pack, but buffed and all that kind of stuff. eight foot 12 a foot 12 whatever. Like, whatever you are, like, Who doesn't want that, but nobody's willing to put in that work that the rock does, like the rock works all the time. Like, I love when he says like, I don't have to get in shape for projects. I just stay in shape. It's just easier to do that. And I'm like, Man, that is, you know, for some guys get bought for the movie and then they drop and then they get bought on the job. He's like, Nah, man, I just stay all the time. That's who he is. And he's like, he's almost pushing 50 at this point. I think he's Look like it. No, it looks amazing. And he's the rock. Come on. He's the, you know the best. But the but that is that conditional thing that you're talking about, like, Oh, I want that, to be in the way that I want. And I don't want to put into work, I don't want to put in the work, I want it to be handed to me. And so many filmmakers, myself included, and I'm sure you did at one point in your career, not you, you were expecting, I deserve this. Or I'm entitled to this. And all of this kind of all this kind of stuff that goes in the mindset of a filmmakers like That's why, you know, when I do podcaster, you know, I talk about this kind of stuff. People were like, Man, you're like, inside my head. I'm like, Yeah, dude, because I'm inside my own head. These are all thoughts I've gone through. And if I haven't personally gone through them, I've literally talked to filmmakers sitting in my edit suite over the course of my career, who I talk to them about it, and I see what they're doing and how they do things. It's it's the mindset of filmmakers, and artists in general, the fight could be screenwriters, it could be creatives of any sort, is fascinating. Because a lot of times in this business, they just don't. They don't, they don't want to put in that work. They don't want to kind of get out of that comfort zone. And I did that for so I mean, I was 40. It was 4041 when I shot my first feature, because
Darious Britt 26:28
I think there's a trial by fire period that has to happen for you to figure out if it's for you. Oh, yeah, usually that involves getting slapped around a little bit. You know, like, I spent seven years on my first feature a lot of heartbreak, a lot of great moments, but a lot of low moments. And it was just a roller coaster ride, even on YouTube, it's been a rollercoaster ride to some extent in different areas, but you get slapped up a little bit. And your expectations get rattled of what you think you should deserve, or what you think is in the cards for you, or how fast you think whatever should come should come and then like it always gets tossed around. And that's kind of the the gauntlet that you have to go through to find out what what it is about what you're doing, you really love. And if you love it enough, because without the without that period, there's nothing to test your mettle to see if it's really for you are not. And if you get slapped around a little bit, and you go back to square one, and your responses, okay, well, the way I thought things were gonna happen, is not happening. But what are my options? If you, if you tell yourself, I can't do anything else, like, this is all I'm good at, this is all I want to do. I'm just gonna have to figure out how to make it work, then it's for you, because you're not going to stop at that point. But if you end up in that situation, and you say to yourself, you know, this is not how I thought it would work out. Oh, wow, the industry, the business side is very ugly. Whoa, do I really want to be a part of this, and this and this and this and all you see is negatives. And you say to yourself, you know, there's a couple of other things that you know, I wouldn't I wouldn't mind doing this over here, or this over here, then it's not for you. And that's okay. That's okay. But we have to be real with ourselves, you know, like, you have to be willing to take the bad with the good. And when all chips are down. Yes, I will go out now shoot a micro film with no expectations of getting into Sundance patients or launching a career no expectations of anything, right much making money off of it. But I will do it because I just want to get better. So I'm not going to spend any money on it. But I want to get better.
Alex Ferrari 28:58
Isn't that an amazing concept? Like, just like that is the way it should be. That's the way it should be like and so many so many filmmakers aren't that they just don't. They never get to that point because they're afraid I look I was I didn't want to make a first movie because I was like, I needed to be perfect. And because of that stupid perfectionism is ego. So because of that I it took me so long to finally get it out. And look what happened when I made the decision to make meg 30 days after I had the idea to make a movie. I was shooting a movie. Like I was just like, just that's the way I'm gonna roll and we're gonna shoot and we shot it in eight days and we just ran for it and I did everything I made mistakes I learned. I was the DP on it. I was everything, all the other hyphens that I did on it, but I mean, learn
Darious Britt 29:42
More in those 30 days, then I'm sure you've learned in I mean, because ya know, taking on an endeavor like that is like a film school unto itself. You know, like, you're just as much about yourself.
Alex Ferrari 29:53
Yep. As you are about what I'll tell you, but I'll tell you what, though for me, I just needed to prove to myself that I could do it. Because the theory was there like I'd been, I'd worked on 70 features in post production, I've directed commercials and music videos and short films. And I'd done all of that stuff. So I, in theory knew I could do it. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. In theory, like I've done this, I finished films for other filmmakers, I know I could finish it and post I'm not no doubt about that. I know I could shoot it. Because I've done that before. I know I've kept a cat. I knew all of it, in theory, but I had to prove to myself that I could slay the cracking. I can slay that crack and that I had created for myself. And once I did that, then all bets were off. And then my next film I shot in four days at Sundance, you know, like, because I was like, what, screw it. Yeah. And I'm like, Oh, I could do this. It's great. But I wouldn't have been able to do the second film. Without first go, I would have never tried to make ego and desire. Before I made Meg because I needed to test my mettle in mag and I was able to do it, and it ended up being really well. But proving to yourself that you can do it is also another big thing that a lot of people don't talk about.
Darious Britt 31:17
I think it's overlooked because we have this Cinderella mentality when it comes to like we want our first foray out of the gate to be the boom stars in the you know, like the fireworks crack. Yeah, the fireworks explode. The Cinderella like, we want people to just be like, You're a genius,
Alex Ferrari 31:38
Reservoir Dogs, Mariachi, Clerks.
Darious Britt 31:41
But none of those guys were overnights really, if you look at their stories, none of those guys were
Alex Ferrari 31:46
All of them have hard work. All of them had hard work, but their first feature was overnight. And but I always I was actually just saying this earlier today. Those guys did not start making their movie expecting that, you know, clerks when Kevin Smith made clerks, he did not even expect it to get anywhere. He wasn't expecting that thing to blow up in this day and age. No, it wouldn't. But at that moment in time, it worked. And same thing for mariachi I mean, Robert Rodriguez or Robert Rodriguez Rodriguez just wanted mariachi to go to the Mexican VHS market. Like he didn't even think of like what Sony Columbia Pictures What? And Reservoir Dogs just like a small little gangster movie that Darren Tina wrote like he was just he wasn't expecting it to completely shoot him up out of the world
Darious Britt 32:35
Correct me if I'm wrong, he went to the Sundance Institute and they hated the project.
Alex Ferrari 32:40
But he did get but he did get in no he did. He did do I have actually seen the footage of it. He did get into the lab and but uh, they didn't like it. They worked they worked. This is too much dialogue and all this and I think that's what the guy is known for. For crying, yappy yappy, all this yappy yappy
Darious Britt 32:59
Hey, getting slapped up, though, you know, you got to take your licks and get slapped. anything worth doing doesn't come easy.
Alex Ferrari 33:04
Darious Britt 33:06
Anything doesn't come easy. And I think that, you know, there's been several times in my journey, not only with the feature, but even on YouTube where things aren't looking good, bro. Looking good, man. Yeah, you're like, man, oh, you know, like,
Alex Ferrari 33:22
Why am I here?
Darious Britt 33:24
At this rate, how many years Am I looking at? To get where I'm trying to go? Oh, man, at least 15-20. Right. And that's not even talking about the monetary side, you're like, is this worth it? Or should I just stop and go get a job and Mickey D's right now? Yeah. You know, and it's like, you know, and it's these are hard discussions, though. These are hard conversations when when you're looking stats in the face, and you're having to say, Do I have what it takes? And the answer is, I don't know. Right? I've already given this thing my best shot. This is my best shot. I just gave it I don't have anything else to offer right now. Right? The marketplace is looking back at me and saying, nope. Yeah, bro. Like, you know, and the same with the streets want to see right now, you know, here like the streets. Let's see. You have to ask it. These are hard, hard conversations. And I I've had them at least three times, man where I'm like, Man,
Alex Ferrari 34:29
It's like, it's like,
Darious Britt 34:30
Yeah, it's like, if I keep doing it, there is no guarantee of success. There is no yellow brick road. There is no model to try that I know is gonna work. If I keep doing it. Now. It's only because I have some enjoyment out of it. That's it, because I can't expect to make a living out of it. I can't expect to have success out of it. So all I have left is you're doing it because you enjoy it and hopefully a couple of people find it useful. And that's it. You know what? Yeah. I'm gonna keep doing this. And I kept doing it. And then I started learning more and more as I went, and you keep learning and you keep learning and just one step at a time. And before you know it, you look back and like, Whoa, how did I get here? But it all starts with that. That moment where it's like, it doesn't look good, man. And, and I think when people hit that moment, and that that is the walk in the fire moment, that is the trial by fire the gauntlet, that's the moment where you decide if you love it enough, right there. And then if you don't, it's easy to turn away. It's so easy, because you're like, Man, look. No, I'm good. I'm gonna go over here, man. Like, this is ridiculous. But if you do love it, then you're like, Okay, well, I may not get the success that I thought I would. But I love it enough to be flexible. to just try other things and just keep learning hell out shoe commercials. I don't even like shooting commercials and dealing with clients is like, oh, but you know what? At least I'm around it.
Alex Ferrari 36:06
I'll do that. You know, I love you have to have man. And there's no question man, I actually had to, I've had that conversation with myself. So many times in my career, like after, you know, after my book, you know, that whole story came across, and I was like, Am I is this worth it? Like, you know, when you when you're devastated and broken, and, you know, selling comic books on eBay? Because you're hiding from the world? That is a moment in your life? where like, is this? Am I gonna come out of this? Like, how am I gonna eat it? Like, is this for me? But the question that the answer that always came back is like, what else are you gonna do? I was just gonna say that, like, Why, what else are you? What are you qualified to do? And like, and then that was the answer that always for me, I'm sure for you as well. For me, it was always like, Alright, sure what else you're going to do. But seven, and now it's going to be like, almost seven years ago, when my daughters were born. I, I had that question again. Because at that moment in my life, I was beat up by I was doing so many. I was doing way too many. Eric Robert movies in post. Let's just put it that way. You know, and like really low budget, Michael Madsen and Danny srei hoes, and I was dealing with these kind of unscrupulous deep distributors, and I had to go chase money and, and I was just doing a post on all this kind of stuff. And I just kind of was just so and this is like a year of this. And I was burnt. And then my daughters came. And I'm like, I don't know, ma'am, am I gonna keep doing this? And I asked the question. Well, I can't, I can't is this for me? Can I should I do something else? And what and for whatever reason, the universe said, Oh, yeah, you could do something else. Why don't you open up an olive oil and vinegar gourmet shop? That's oddly specific. Very, exactly. And I said, Yeah, I'll do that. And that was the universe going this month. You know, this, okay? Okay, you don't like what you're doing. I'm going to give you a little tip, I'm going to show you what you don't like to do. And I'm going to tie you up for three years in the least that you can't get out of. And, and that's what happened. And I it was the worst three years of my entire life. Maybe not the year of my gangster year, but other than the gangster years, or second worst three years of my life. And it was it was it taught me so when I came out with indie film, hustle, it came it out right at the tail end of when I was closing that business. So right, like they overlapped. Because I was already like, I gotta get out of this, I got to get out of this. But that taught me it's like sometimes when you're on your path, sometimes you have to take that detour to realize what your true calling is what your true mission is in life. And that's where I came back and I came back with a vengeance. You know, I came back hard, real quick. And it was it was you know, changed my trajectory in life but
Darious Britt 39:08
Doing you doing something you don't want to do. Just you running towards what you love to do, because I was in the Air Force for four years. The same thing jet mechanic. I don't even know why I picked that job till this day. Something about like, I should try something new. And
Alex Ferrari 39:23
I saw Top Gun I saw Top Gun and this is what happened.
Darious Britt 39:26
You don't pick a job based on like a hunch. You know, I should be more No, you don't. If you're going to do some Emmys. You need to have been working on cars and you need to know that you love it before you pick the job. And so I picked the job that I just hated. I love the people I was working with but I hated the job. So getting out you know, it's like this. It's like this soul deadening. Yes. Feeling where you're you're spending so much time on something you couldn't care less about it just like cripples you And it sends you running toward things that no matter how risky they are, it's better than that feeling you get when you're doing something that you know inside is not for you.
Alex Ferrari 40:11
Oh, preach brother preach. I'm sure people listening right now there's some chills going up people's spines in certain areas, you know, because they might be listening to this or watching this in that job. And I hope, I hope, look, I hope this, I hope this information, I hope this energy gets out to you, that if you are in that dead end job, and you're saying, oh, man, it's just because I have to pay, I have to pay the bills. You've got to figure something else out.
Darious Britt 40:37
You gotta you gotta I don't care if you're Carbonell 10 minutes, 20 minutes a day, you need to find some kind of time to start working toward your dreams. It's also your skill set.
Alex Ferrari 40:46
Yeah, you have to, you have to start a side hustle first. Like if your muscle for me was a side hustle at the beginning, I was doing posts in the day and an indie film hustle at night kind of thing. And then slowly but surely that side, hustle turned into the main hustle. And now it's the one thing I do. And same thing goes for you. You know, now you do the same thing with with your channel and your and I want to mention this before I forget, and I was having this conversation I don't remember with who might have been making. I was like 18 hours? It could have been.
Darious Britt 41:16
I could have been, um, we have to change our metrics for success. Yeah, it was really, yeah. It wasn't worth it. We have to change how we gauge success because I think that's an even bigger trap. Because with unrealistic expectations out of the gate, you're already hamstringing yourself for what's to come.
Alex Ferrari 41:38
But isn't that but but isn't that what the business is? And that's what the industry teaches. They teach the sizzle story. So yeah, that they all they do is sell the sizzle. And all they do is sell like film schools sell you on? You're going to be the next Spielberg, you're going to be the next Nolan. And the chances of that happening are so nil but that's okay. There's no Look, there's only so many guys, we're going to be able to how many? How many directors get the opportunity to direct the $200 million movie? Not many. I mean period like period in the history of film. How many directors got the opportunity? How many directors got to do a tentpole studio movie, or a big big budget, like how many of them are there, there's
Darious Britt 42:19
Your talk. You know, when you talk about Sundance, you talk about the you have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting into Sundance, but like sheer numbers, says how many they actually take Yeah, you have the better chance of winning the lottery. But that number, like how many directors actually get to play that in that ballgame? That number is less
Alex Ferrari 42:43
All come from the massive talking like an infant visible fraction of everybody who everyone who wants to be a filmmaker and everyone who wants to be a director,
Darious Britt 42:53
It's it's so that it's ridiculously you're I mean, you're talking about the cream of the cream of the cream of the cream of the cream. Yeah. Oh, and not even all those guys are good. It's just been able to leverage it. But I mean, that's like, it's almost like a pipe dream to a certain extent, you know
Alex Ferrari 43:13
But the thing is that what you're I think what we talked about was, and if you don't get there, that's okay. There's so many other ways to be fulfilled in the film industry, as a filmmaker, without having to go after that big dream. And with my story, I was chasing, I was raised in the 90s. I mean, I came up in the 90s when it was the what the just magical, early 90s for independent film, like every year that was a new Cinderella story. JOHN Singleton, you know, clerks, Tarantino, Rodriguez, SATA Berg, like every year there was, there was someone new emotion to it was just, it was a different world back then. So that mentality stuck with me where I had, like, I gotta have that moment for myself. That's why I got caught up with a mobster trying to make a movie because I'm like, this is my shot. This is my shot. This is my Rodriguez. This is my Singleton, you know, this is my eight, my baby. This is my shot, got one shot. But that was the thing. And I finally keep in my, in my elder years, as a 40. Now 44 year old man, as of this recording, I came to grips with what makes me happy. And I'm not, don't get me wrong. If I get a call from a studio tomorrow. I'll take that meeting. You know, I'll take that meeting. But at a certain point, look, is that really what I want anymore? A perfect story is Mark duplass. And the duplass brothers, they got called by Marvel to do a Marvel movie. And they turned it down, which goes against the EU came with it. They knew that like I'm gonna be locked up for three years on one project. I'm not gonna have the control about it and it's gonna be nothing but pressure. Sure, I'll get Money. Sure am, I open up other opportunities, but that's just not going to make me happy. And that was such an immense message to send out to the world, I believe, to the filmmaking world, because you're like, because everybody else Look, I would have taken it, I would have taken it. But that's not his definition of happiness. That's not this definition of fulfillment in the business. So you've got to figure out what that fulfillment is for you. And be okay with it not being like, it's like, I'm gonna play baseball. But if If I don't win a championship every year, it's not worth it. Like you can't think that way. Like
Darious Britt 45:37
It's my office also a sign of inexperience, it's a sign of naivety, because there's so many other things out there that you can do. But if you don't know about them, and even better yet, you don't know how you will feel about them. How can you make a judgement on something you don't know about? That's like having an assortment of 10 foods in front of you. The only thing you've had is a cheeseburger ice cream, you've got a well, you know all these other great foods pizza, but the only thing you've ever had is a cheeseburger. That's the only thing you've ever heard anybody talking about. Yeah. So you're like, well, I don't want ice cream. I mean, it's cheeseburger or bust. Right? What it's not like there's not enough bread, like it doesn't even look good. It's awful. If you never had it, like look at Pete looks awful.
Alex Ferrari 46:32
Darious Britt 46:33
Not happen that no, it's cheeseburger. But it that's kind of what I liken it to is like, you don't know what other things one are, like, what's available to you and two, how you will feel about them. And three, the sustainability options to those things. You don't know enough about what's out there to make those snap decisions. So when I hear people say that and myself included when I was back in that mindset, it was all my equity, because I didn't know what I didn't know now I'm in a space kind of like you are it's like, you know, if Hollywood were to knock on my door tomorrow, sure. I would entertain it. Yeah, like, Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 47:08
Let's talk. I'll have a meeting. I'll take that meeting. just purely just purely for the stories alone.
Darious Britt 47:13
Yeah, I've had them before, actually. You know, that's a whole nother story. But yeah. But if it like circumstances different and all that, and they knock on the door, and I'm like, yeah, sure, let's talk. But in the back of my mind, though, I always have that walkaway, where it's like, Okay, if the terms aren't right, for me, though, I'm doing fine, where I where I am, I don't need you to make a living, I don't need you to make a way for me, I've already made my own way. And I can continue to make my own way. But we can do something together. And if it works, sure, but I don't have to jump on everything offered to me.
Alex Ferrari 47:52
Yeah, and I'll throw a recent story that's happening. I'm actually in talks with different distribution companies for my film on the corner of ego and desire, I've been blessed to have options. And there was one company I really liked, and they're, they're a good company and in and they had some really good opportunities for the film. But I walked away from the deal. I walked away from, you know, theatrical and other avenues because I was like, You know what, this just doesn't make sense for me. Like I, I need certain things to be in place for this, this deal to make sense to me. And I walked from the deal. Where as before, filmmakers are so desperate sometimes in the distribution game that they just jump on whatever anybody gives them. And I'm in a, I'm in a very, you know, wonderful position where I could just walk away from it, because I don't have $500,000 invested in that movie I made I made a ego and desire for like, I haven't, I've even said this, but I made that movie for about three grand, you know, so like, it didn't cost me anything to make that movie. So for me, I, that's a lean project. That's a lean as project Baby, you know. So, you know, I think there's like three to four grand total, like, including audio posts and everything. And you know, favors Don't forget, and deferred payments and other things like that. But overall, though, I pocket like three, four grand, so I don't really, I can just walk away because I was able to keep my overheads so low, that I have the power to just, you know what, I just put it up on ifH TV, or I just distributed myself, I could do that. But I'm working with another distributor and we're gonna put it out in other places. But the power to be able to walk away is huge is huge, especially when you're negotiating with somebody just like cuz I just don't like when someone sits down, negotiate with me on something like that. I'll be like, Look, dude, this is what I got. If you don't like it, I'm good, man. It's all good. No hard feelings. But I'm not I'm not your normal. I'm not your normal scenario. You know, I'm not an uneducated that guy. I'm not that dude. I'm not an uneducated guy who doesn't understand distribution and understand that. Not that not that this company, by the way, was trying to screw me or anything like that. It's just the deal was not structured in a way that it made sense for me. It was a good deal, but it just wasn't. It wasn't what I wanted. And, but that has a tremendous amount of power to just literally just go, that's not for me, I'm going to walk away. And if you can get to that place as a filmmaker, oh my god, that's an immense, beautiful, powerful place to be that you are in control of your own destiny. Oh, my God, that's,
Darious Britt 50:22
I think you can get that way you can you can achieve that. But it's only for the people who love it enough to be elastic. Yeah, not I did not get into film to become a film school. Just going to be honest with you. My idea in filmmaking wasn't let me make tip videos online. It took me a long time to grow toward that, you know, because my idea is like, I want to be the next Tarantino, I want to be the next you know, of course, I make my film, I make my art, I put it out there for people to enjoy it. That was my idea of a filmmaker, right? And it goes back to that having 10 foods in front of you, and all you had is a cheeseburger. All I ever had was a cheeseburger. That's all I thought about film was autour filmmaking, you know? And you know, you know, so my journey in YouTube kind of broadened my horizons a little bit. And that was like, hey, I need to promote this film. I need to get out there. this YouTube thing, I'm hearing stuff about it. I did a couple of weeks research and realize Whoa, there's people building huge followings. Why am I not heard of this? Boom, let me just jump in. And I wasn't precious about it at all. I was like, Well, I'm gonna be going to these film festivals, I'm doing a whole Film Fest run real soon, if I'm going to start, I have to start now. So that I can like capture the whole thing from start to finish. And I figured people would jump on the chance to see like, this is what happens after you make a film. You know, like, that was my whole pitch, unbeknownst to me, then that's not even a discoverable thing to start with. But anyways, you know, I just jumped in. And I wasn't precious about it. And I didn't think much of it. My whole thing was my film on sound, this YouTube thing, just a means to an end. But that was the best thing for me because it allowed me to just jump in, without thinking too much about it. Because I didn't. I mean, I cared but I didn't, you know, it's like it was just a means to an end for this other thing that I've spent all this money on all this time on. So it was the best thing for me allowed me to just jump in. And in doing so I got to Hey, what's this ice cream thing here? Like, let me take just a little
Alex Ferrari 52:25
Oh, that's not bad.
Darious Britt 52:26
That's not bad. What is that a candidates, okay, and there's this, this pepperoni thing. I don't mean that every time I see that. I don't want no parts of that. But you know, there's just a little piece of sauce on the table here. Let me just, oh, it's kind of like this. But let me take a cut. So by just jumping in, I got to kind of just bump into these other things. Sooner or later. It's like, Hey, you know that thing that I thought I would never do that. When I see other people doing it. I'm like, why would I do that? Like, that's just now it's not looking so bad. I tried it and it came back. And then I saw this other person eating it. And then he looked like he was having a good time. And then it's like, and it allowed me to grow beyond my preconceived idea of what film was in ways to do film and ways to still be involved in ways to give value and be a part of the community. It allowed me to grow into the tips thing, you know, it's like, then it's like, Hey, you know, and then I did my first tips video, and it struck like lightning. And then I see the people and they're like, Hey, we really enjoy what you did. And it was so clear, and I was having trouble with this. And you really help shine light on that. And then you get a feeling from that you're like, wow, this really made a difference in somebody's life. But then it's going back to that how can you value something you've never touched? or seen? How do you you don't even know what you're missing? So know what you're missing?
Alex Ferrari 53:54
I mean, I'll tell you from my my little story of that, which is it took me a little longer than you did. But I made my first short in 2005 and was called broken and I did that DVD that had like three and a half hours of making of all right, that whole thing and I sold 5000 copies of it. But afterwards, we had this conversation like man, if I would have just kept going on YouTube, well, I would have owned it, I would have owned the space. There was nobody on YouTube doing it in 2005. But my trailers and some of my behind the scenes are still up on YouTube from 2005, which is hilarious to watch now. But I said to myself, I'm not. I'm not a film school. I'm not that dude. Why? Because in my mind, I'm like, well, Spielberg doesn't do that work. Yeah, Spielberg doesn't do that. You know, Tarantino didn't do that, you know, all these all these, you know, Fincher is not that guy. Like, I'm like I can't do that. Is like that's the thing they see. This is how the ego works in your own mind is so brilliant, like you're having the conversation that you are even in the same sentence as these masters. who have been working at their craft for decades of their lives? Hundreds of 1000 that 10,000 hours, hundreds of 1000s of hours. But then because I didn't do that, and I started to go down another road, which is much more egocentric. I'm like, I'm the tour. By the way, my very first production company, a tour pictures, no joking. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, very first. Tour pictures. Look it up. Fantastic. Anyway, so I went off the road, and I went on this dark, you know, journey. And then all the way back 10 years, literally 10 years to the day later, I launched indie film, hustle, I went full circle went back to like, I'm gonna educate the grow into it, though, but it didn't take you 10 years to do that.
Darious Britt 55:50
But also social media, you know, wasn't around but we're also talking about a difference in time to shore 2005 is up Scott out of film school. So I was like, clawing at everything at this point, you know, just like ravenous, you know, like, so it's, it's a, I think, a little different in time, because YouTube wasn't what it was when I started and only I had a case studies to look at, whereas you did your thing. You didn't
Alex Ferrari 56:14
Nobodyknew that that thing was going to be what it was, it wasn't
Darious Britt 56:18
A thing. It's hindsight wasn't killing it yet. But I had people who actually pioneered and did some things. So then when I turned to look at it, I could be like, that guy right there. That's interesting. They crowdfunded an entire web series for how much money? Yeah, for what? Huh. But if that wasn't there, I would not have had the idea because I wouldn't have had the case studies to see myself. That's
Alex Ferrari 56:43
What I like. That's what I
Darious Britt 56:44
Didn't show there. Yeah, that wouldn't have been there. You didn't have that. So I think you give yourself more credit to look like have you seen that? Maybe would have been like, Well, you know, in two, I think another part of the discussion is, uh, it's not that we want to put ourselves on the same level as the greats. It's more like we don't want to ruin our chances of being one of the greats by doing something that could be perceived as less than do you are like that?
Alex Ferrari 57:17
Do you remember that? There was a moment in time where commercial directors were were looked at as videos and music video and commercial directors were looked on in Hollywood, like like literally pa like they were horrible filmmakers. Like that's not a real filmmaker. I remember Michael Bay story with bad boys. And and David Fincher his infamous alien three story of how he got all that stuff. And he got slapped around, he got slapped around, and Michael Bade literally had to pay $250,000 for a shot, because he wanted and I still remember the shot because I heard it in the commentary. I've never forgot it. There was a shot in bad boys where it's towards the end where the plane and there's an explosion out of the plane when they're all fighting. And the dude flies out of the plane into the camera, like literally flies out flying out. That was our that shot. That was a Michael Bay shot, and he paid $250,000 to keep the crew late to do that. And the next morning, so Jerry Bruckheimer would see it. He had the check that he wrote and put it up in front of the lens. So he knew everyone knew that he paid for that shot, right before they shot the shot. And of course, the rest is history, whether you like Michael or not, we can have a conversation about that later. But, but you got it but Anton Fuqua, Spike Jones, all this is amazing group that came out of the commercial world. They had if they played by their own rules, they weren't like, well, Spielberg did direct commercials. I'm like, No, but Ridley did, and really did. All right. And Tony did. And Tony did all right. They were following a different model like Ridley Scott and Tony Scott, were the first guys out the gate. You know, they were the first ones and their first movies weren't papapapa power, you know, they're great films, the hunger and the Shootist. They're both great films. But it took Ridley a few a minute or two to do alien and Blade Runner.
Darious Britt 59:11
But all of these greats we're talking about though, they they had to do something else before they could get absolutely, you know, they all had, you know, in with each generation, or I should say a couple generations, that thing changes, right? Yeah, commercials are not the best way anymore competitions too high. Just the whole landscapes, different music videos. That's a whole nother discussion. Like there was a point when that was like, I think the thing you know, and it's like, oh, that's your way in but then times change the economics change, the business changes. And now that window closes, but a group of guys got in from that window. Then there was a time when like Sundance was the way to get in. And then that's how you got the whole crew. The whole Sundance crew, you know, where it's like, there was a window where Sundance was just starting and it was in its little infancy and like It Wasn't this giant brand. And so they didn't have like the paralyzing number of films coming in, it was only like 200 400, whatever.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:07
So technology wasn't there either to do that at the time, yes, you had to shoot film. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Darious Britt 1:00:23
So your taxes were a lot higher. And then there was a group of people who got in that way. Boom. But look at that.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:30
Look at that. Look at the film, school generation. Look at Scorsese, and Spielberg and melius and Coppola and all that. That was a time. Yeah, they came through. The studio system was collapsing. And they had no and they gave basically the keys of the inmates run the asylum.
Darious Britt 1:00:45
Yeah, no, but they, but I'm spacing on his name right now. Where he was in Roger. Oh, Rob.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:53
Yeah, you're talking about the kids in the kitchen? Sure.
Darious Britt 1:00:56
Yeah. Yeah. Well, he just like notorious for just like we're spending next to nothing. And we're just cranking these out like a factory. Yeah. And so many filmmakers came through this Scorsese like they went through his film school. Oh, Roger Corman. Yeah. Roger Corman. But that was another time where Ron Howard, jack nicholson, what how many people were like, I don't like Roger Corman's movies. I don't want to do that. That's not film, but I'll do it. I'll learn on somebody else's dime. Sure. I got I got to shoot it for next to nothing. But at least I'm shooting right.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:28
I think so. Alright, so now we just discussed something I think is really interesting. We were talking about generational openings, like there's opportunities per generation. If if the studio system wasn't collapsing in the 70s, and EZ rider hadn't shown up to, you know, that cost $150,000 and made millions and millions 10s of millions of dollars. And the studio said, Wait a minute, we have no understanding what the audience wants anymore. Let's get these young. Yeah, we're out of touch. Let's get this Spielberg cat. And this Scorsese cat and this Coppola guy. And let's give them this. Give them the keys to the castle. That was a moment in time, then, like you said, then there was the 80s. Then there was a 90s. And it was the music video time. That was the 80s the music video and I flipped 80s 90s commercials, music videos wave where a whole bunch of music video directors came in. Yeah, yeah,
Darious Britt 1:02:18
there was the right doors closed, that era was over. And then another era opened up and then the Sundance thing where you start hearing a whole bunch of Cinderella stories, but it was all Sundance that was what early 90s.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:29
Early, early to mid 90s is where those that's when
Darious Britt 1:02:33
the music video stuff anymore, then it was all about like these fast story success stories. Kevin Smith, you know, in his Boom, boom, boom, boom. And now that window I feel is closing, I have the outliers that still come through every here and there. Like I'm sure there's still people who come through from the music video at the volume as when the window was hot and wide open.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:53
So my question to you is being a YouTuber. And, you know, what do you see? Where do you see what's the window right now, to get in?
Darious Britt 1:03:03
You know, that's a tricky question. Because I think we're in an interesting time now, where all of the other times the business model was the same. Because it was a
Alex Ferrari 1:03:19
DVD was a different thing in the 90s. But generally speaking,
Darious Britt 1:03:22
The foreign sales market, like things were up and down, but the way things happened was the same. And I think we're entering an interesting time now where the biggest kid on the block is in the studio's anymore. The biggest getting the clicks. I mean, you look at the you know, what the studio spent in 2015 or 16, like the total number they spent, like combined to make movies was like 2 billion. Combined, right? Yeah. And the total number of
Alex Ferrari 1:03:56
Projects and things. Yeah,
Darious Britt 1:03:58
Yeah. Now talking like the indie film space, guess how much money they spent combined, like cooking, including all the films that didn't make money to less than 2% make money or something. That's how much money they spent, how much? 2 billion guess how much money Netflix spent that same year, that would be six to 8 billion if
Alex Ferrari 1:04:19
I remember correctly. 11 billion. Look at that. Yeah,
Darious Britt 1:04:23
They spent 11 to produce content. That's what they spent these other G's. So like, that tells you so much about where the market is right now? Who's really minting the dollars? And what business models actually making sense. Right? Those aren't really the studio model has been throwing darts in the dark the whole time but because of the technology at the time and the internet and not being word is or not even being around up to a certain point, right. So it allowed for that business model to thrive off scarcity off of exclusivity, you know what I mean? But then it's As the internet opened up, and then better business models came along like Netflix data analytics. You can beat that. You can't beat that. So now, you know, Netflix doesn't have to throw darts in the dark, bro. No,
Alex Ferrari 1:05:14
They know exactly. They know exactly what people want to watch when they're watching how long they're watching it. We got stats, baby, we got stats,
Darious Britt 1:05:21
Yes, that's all the day or behavior patterns of all 44 million Harvey made 100 something million subscribers 146 or something million. We got data on all of them, all of them. It's just a matter of mix and match at that point. And we and then we also know how much to spend on it. Because we can they can afford to take a niche topic and say, Oh, yeah, well, we'll throw 10 million at that, you know, but they have the metrics to tell them what's worth putting a ton of money into. And what's not, where's the studios never had that. That's why every single time they come out, we're swinging for the fences every single time just because you can't capitalize on niche markets without data.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:06
Well, as of this recording that new Ben Affleck action movies coming out on Netflix forgot like a heist movie. It's it's 100 it has to be like at least 100 million plus movie easily. I still am fascinated with the Christmas movie. They just get the Kurt Russell Christmas movie. Did you see it on Netflix? But you saw promotions for Yeah, he's playing Santa and stuff. It was directed by Chris Columbus, Chris Columbus, who directed home alone. And the first to Harry Potter's, you know, among other things that he directed in his career. And I looked at that I was like, they're gonna make money off of that movie for decades, because every Christmas, my kids are gonna want to watch that movie now because we loved it. We must have seen it two or three times. When it came out. And I looked at I'm like that movie would have if it would have gone theatrical. Easy would have pulled over 200 million to $300 million. It's seasonal. But it's but
Darious Britt 1:07:01
But it was back to your question, though, about how things have changed, or about the business models changing the landscape. I think we're at a time now where I don't think it's fair to look at like the classical Hollywood model. As the Pinto ultimate. It's
Alex Ferrari 1:07:19
Not it's not anymore. It hasn't been it hasn't been for a while. No. It's just it. You know, the viewership in the Oscars every year is going down this year. So this year, so it's gonna be horrible. Oh,
Darious Britt 1:07:30
There's so many other things showing that the interest is kinda going, Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:37
But also the generational thing to man like, Oh, yeah, the millennials coming up and stuff. They're there. for your attention. They're also changing the way their value system is different. They're like, I don't want to work for a company for 30 years and get a gold watch and retire. That's not my dream. My dream is to go to Bali for two months out of the year, and then work from home. Like that's, and I don't need to make $5 million a year I'm good with making 100 grand a year, if that keeps me in the lifestyle that I like. Like that mentality is changing everything. So now viewership is like I need instant gratification. I need things that are catered to me, because I remember when I worked at the video store, in high school, I watched everything that came out every week, which was approximately three to four, maybe five movies a week, were being released, I still remember very clearly, I need multiple lifetimes to watch all the content that's being created just this year, just this year, let alone all the stuff that's been created and will continue to be combinate. There's entire series that I've never touched, or watched, but I know that are really good. So there's no lack of good content. Now, it's got to be curated niched content that I want to watch. That's why I opened up ifH. TV, you know, it's a niche able to thrive on the niche because of data. And to data driven decisions are everything we live in the age of data driven decisions, analytics, the people who are successful on YouTube.
Darious Britt 1:09:08
Show me someone who has over a million subscribers on YouTube that does not understand how to look at analytics. And also on that other hand, I can show you more examples. And I know of people who are not successful in YouTube. And they probably don't even know how to look at their analytics, because it tells you everything. It literally tells you everything you want to know how can people aren't clicking or how long they're clicking or what, what what you're losing them on. If you don't know how to look at your analytics. You're missing the boat. It's telling you right there. They don't have to. They don't have to comment in your comments and tell you why. Because I don't know what the ratio was the percentage but like it was like 99.7 or 99.9% of customers. If they're not happy with something, they just go they don't say anything, right? If you go to a shoe store and you have a shoe, a Nike shoe, you pull off the rack and you don't like it you don't go up To the teller and say, This is what I don't like about the show, you just don't buy it. Right? You just go. And that's the same thing for online, the only time you start getting into all the hate and all that is when you've actually gotten somewhere because now it's worth it. It's worth my time to tear you down now, because it gives me visibility. That's the only time you start to get that but if you haven't gotten anywhere yet, you even get haters, bro. They guys find your video and you're like, oh man is saying this the same with the street. The streets don't want this. What is it? This?
Alex Ferrari 1:10:31
You should get a T shirts. There's this recent one.
Darious Britt 1:10:36
If they don't like it, or if they don't believe in what you're saying, or if you know you get facts wrong, whatever. They don't say anything. They just go. I'm out of here. That's it, right? But your analytics tell you everything even when like people are like begging for feedback. Give me feedback. Give me feedback. How can I get better? It's so hard to get feedback, bro. It's all in your analytics, man. It's totally clear. 22nd 10 You said this one thing boom, huge drop. Let me go and see what the top Oh, wow. Why aren't they dropping from that? Let me Oh, quick google search. Oh, there's a whole fact I got wrong. No wonder. People are looking at me like I'm an idiot. You know? It's like it's all there.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:12
Do you think that filmmakers in moving forward because there's so many filmmakers, so many screenwriters, so many content creators coming out of film schools and coming into the into the marketplace now? Who have this old mentality, this mentality of the old way of doing things I would, the classic call is everything your worth for the dream that you throw you risk everything on the one movie, as opposed to you know, I always tell people like reach my house. Like if someone tells me like, I'm gonna give you a quarter million dollars to make a movie. I'm like, great, I'm gonna go make five movies. Like, that's my mentality. That's my mentality. I'm gonna diversify. So I have complete control of my creative output. And I nullify the risk. As in that's the business. That's a business model that can make sense that can roll. But if you roll it all on the one, and you're like, well, I need 250 to make this story play. I'm like, well, that is your first one. Don't do that, man. It doesn't make sense.
Darious Britt 1:12:11
It's like this. Okay, I want to start a business. We'll just put film on the table. For now. I want to start a business and selling olive oil and vinegar, let's say, Yeah, well, what do you know more about that? So I don't even know where to? Look? I mean, something like that, you know, it's like, I want to start a business. But in order to start this business, I need $500,000. Sure. So I have to go talk to lawyers, doctors, whoever I know. Yeah. What's the business plan? Sure. It convinced them of this new software that doesn't exist. Oh, and by the way, my experience with software is like this, right? very minimal. I just learned it last year, I just graduated,
Alex Ferrari 1:12:45
I watched some but every school I saw somebody code once.
Darious Britt 1:12:49
Yeah, I saw somebody code once. But I have to go talk people into giving me $500,000. Or you can just say, like, some pilot product or something that you have to actually get developed or you know, whatever. There's a difference between, there's a way to do it. And there's a way to do it, like going out and trying to convince people for $500,000 on a theory, because that's all your stuff is is a theory, if you have right? You don't know if it's going to work until it's in the marketplace, and then the market is going to decide there's so many films that people are like, yeah, everybody's gonna love it. You get it in the marketplace flops, then there's films that everybody's like, Why in the world that this thing take off? Everybody's got question marks, but the market wanted to see it. It's the same thing on YouTube. How many people do you see on YouTube doing so well? And you're like, what is it about? I don't get it like, but the market loves it. And then there is content and channels, that's like, Man, this is really good stuff. They really need more views. But the market doesn't think so. So you don't know what the marketplace wants you you will never know what the marketplace wants. Looking in from the outside. The only way is to actually have a product that you insert into the marketplace. And you see what it does. That's the only way to figure out and you collect data. So for that guy who has that $500,000 business plan for this theory, and he begs people for five years,
Alex Ferrari 1:14:09
not to say at least five year 10 year process, right? Yeah,
Darious Britt 1:14:11
maybe he gets it maybe he doesn't. But if he does get it, he you know, makes the product or whatever puts it in the marketplace and flops, guess what happens? You're back to square one only worse. You lost a whole lot of people money now. Now you're in
Alex Ferrari 1:14:23
jail, not literally and now it's not theory. They know. They know that you can't do it.
Darious Britt 1:14:27
Yeah. So but so that's one way to do it and it sucks because you're taking all the risk. There's nothing to ameliorate that. There's no insulators, there's no nothing it's pure war on adulterated risk, like milk of magnesia straight up extract, you're putting the pipe in the tree and that's straight saps coming out. Risk k the other way. This is a solid is like pouring, pumping through your veins just risk is what you want. I just
Alex Ferrari 1:14:58
want risk. It's like mines was like Coffee mine was like utter fear. And yours is like risk.
Darious Britt 1:15:04
Yeah, it's just it's just pure risk for risk sake.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:10
Because of the dream because of ego, because of the way that
Darious Britt 1:15:15
it thinks that it's always been done even though time and time again, it's not how it's always been done. That's just the way it's projected to think even in film. The other way is minimum viable product. The other way is lean projects, you know, just with business, they say, the lean startup, you can go and you can shop around an idea that you need $500,000 for, or you can start a lean business that you can start right now with something that you have access to. So if you're talking about creating software, and you have limited experience, Well, how about you shelf that now don't get rid of it, just shelf it for now. And think about another business model that you can start that you have access to that you could start with your own money. And that's how you got the guy who? Napster he started printing people CDs for them. That's all he did. You know, and they were like, Oh, you print CDs, and then a whole bunch of people started and then boom, huge business. You know, it's like starting with something accessible, that you don't have to go find money for the lean startup, because what happens you can get into it for no money. So what does that allow you to do? experiment or product? Boom, what is the market what is the market do does it like it does or not. And even if it doesn't like it right away, you can hit him again, you can Gatling gun things out and make tweaks and zero in on what the market wants to see. And then once you find it, you're done. You just rinse, wash, repeat and scale, but you have something that works. And that's the benefit of the lean startup. So if we take the business side off, and then we go back to film, it's the exact same thing. Only you replace a business plan with a pitch and a script, I'm gonna go and convince all my friends and family that give me $300,000. Because this is so good. It'll get into Sundance and Tribeca or whatever everybody's gonna love is gonna watch my filmmaking career, you want to be you know, it's like the same thing. You have the guy who has the expensive pitch, and he can spend five, seven years looking for money for that pitch. And then you have the guys who are like, you know what, I do have my expensive ideas, but I'm going to show them for now. Let me do a film idea that is accessible to me. I'm going to use resource filmmaking I'm going to work with what I have. I got my buddies pool over here that's empty. looks interesting. Let me put that in the feature. I've got this abandoned school bus over here. That's cool. Let me write that in the feature. I have one actor who's actually decent in a whole bunch of people who could not get away out of a paper wet paper bag. Okay, well, you're the star and the rest of you guys, I'm kind of cut all your roles down. And this guy who barely talks and looks crazy, I'm just gonna have you looking crazy in the corner. I'm gonna write everything toward what I have. And I'm gonna make something out of that. And guess what? Now I have MVP, minimum viable product. test that out in the marketplace, the market either wants to see it, or does it doesn't want to see it. Guess what, I
Alex Ferrari 1:18:00
can do that all day. It didn't give us anything correct. And it's like I said, if you if you're lucky enough to get a 200,200 $50,000, make 567 movies with that money. Yeah. And then I promise you on movie two or three, you figured out something, hopefully. But you're still just trying things out. And like I did with my first movie mag mag was made for about five or six grand. And then my second movie went lower, I went down to three or four grand. And I'm like, I could take risks I can enjoy I could see. And if the marketplace doesn't like it, it's not a loss. But if it meant something to me as an artist, all good. I'm creating art, I'm creating a product that I'm happy with. And I'm cool with. And if you don't, it doesn't have to make them $220 billion. If it made if I made a $4,000 movie, and it makes me 10 or 15 grand over the course of the next three years. That's a success. Wherever you look, that victory. Is that a is that a viable career path? Is that a viable business? Yes, if you're able to do do that four or five times a year, and then you also do other side hustles. And you also create other other avenues. Like you create a school about teaching you how to do that kind of film, something like what you do and what I do. We're now you're able to it's all all relative, you have to create ancillary products, you can create other things.
Darious Britt 1:19:20
It's all it's all leverage. And I think I think that for the people who are stuck in that, because the business world has the same problem. Yeah, they have the exact same problem where people have these pipe dreams and it's all about like, I can't do anything unless I have this. And it's like it goes back to that one most important question, really, for the same entrepreneur entrepreneurs and for the filmmakers, like if you're an entrepreneur at heart, and your goal is to own your own business in work for yourself. It doesn't matter how it comes to you. You're going to be open to trying a lot of different things because your main goal is to To be an entrepreneur and work for yourself, so you're not going to be so married to one idea that if you don't get that idea, well, I'm just going to keep trying until I start. It's like, Well, no, because that's not your goal, your goal is to work for yourself. So if you can't do this thing now, well, I'm going to look for something else that I actually can do, because I want to work for myself. That's my goal. So for those people who are shopping, those business plans around that are completely unrealistic theories. They're not really entrepreneurs at heart. No, they're not really, they are married to an idea. That's it. And if it works, or if it fails, that's it. And if it does fail, they usually don't have any other ideas. That's all they got one shot and they're like, Well, I didn't work out, okay, well, I'm just gonna do up do something else then. But for the entrepreneurs, there is no choice. And that's the same thing for the filmmakers. It's like you're either a filmmaker or you're not. If you're a filmmaker, then your goal is to make films period, you have to make them you must make them you have stories you want to tell you feel alive when you're on set, period, no ifs, ands or buts about it. So if you have a project, that's $500,000, and you can't shoot it right now, you're not going to spend five years looking for that money, you're gonna be like, well, that's great, but I need something. Let me figure something else out or something for fun to shoot. I just need something else to shoot. Because I'm not happy if I'm not shooting. That's what a filmmaker sounds like somebody who's just married to an idea. Oh, yeah, I'll spend the next I have friends that still doing this man. And it's like, bro, before I started YouTube, I'm not saying no name before I started YouTube, right? This guy went to film school graduated before me. He had this idea. And he's like, Yeah, I got this great ideas and passion, and it's gonna cost 300 some $1,000 to make cool, awesome. He graduates and I graduate. A year later, he goes off to Europe and does some more like film training or something. I forget which school he went to. I got out shot a feature. started a YouTube channel really grinded hard on that did the Film Fest circuit with the feature at the same time built the subscribers up to over 100,000 you know, may several short films, then drop that feature and then dropped another feature I released two features in one month, two feature films in one month. Ice has 300,000 subscribers. And then recently I had met up with this guy again, and he was doing different things. And we got grabbed a beer and we talked you know, I was like, yeah, so what's up? You know? This guy was selling the same ticket, man. The same ticket. He's like, bro, yeah, yeah, that idea. You know, I've been working on the script and everything. And you know, I was like, Why haven't you shot that yet? Well, you know, I'm, I want to I want to approach this like a real filmmaker. Like, this is a real this isn't this isn't I don't want no backyard filmmaking. Oh, this is a real film. I need at least $300,000. Man, I can't make it happen for less than $300,000. Man.
Alex Ferrari 1:23:03
And I know No, it's it's it's hurt. It hurts. It makes my ass pucker. I mean, it's
Darious Britt 1:23:07
just Oh, man, you will never make it. You have no track record? Who's gonna trust you with $300,000? And you have no track record? You have no work to show for
Alex Ferrari 1:23:17
yourself? Right? No, there's no question. I mean, you see it on Shark Tank every week. Every week you see it on Shark Tank. You see these entrepreneurs come in with these these insane ideas? Yeah. And then we have an evaluation of $25 million. You have $50 in sales. How can you in god's green, do that? But that but you're right there is such a mirror image with filmmakers and entrepreneurs because they have this. Because right now, it's extremely cool to be an entrepreneur. extremely cool to be a filmmaker, where they're both. Now, but both by the way, if you look back a generation or two, back, what were the two cool things to be a doctor and a lawyer? Oh, yeah. Remember, that was the thing like you gotta be a doctor or a lawyer or a programmer? I remember that one. No, but that no, but that was later. Oh, no. That was later I'm talking about like two generations back like, that's all you heard. You could be a doctor, lawyer, doctor, lawyer, doctor, lawyer. And nowadays,
Darious Britt 1:24:18
it wasn't an accountant to Yeah, or an accountant. Like, if you like, well, if you can't be a doctor, lawyer, I guess you'd be like, you handle money and the doctor or the lawyer and you're good. Yeah, exactly.
Alex Ferrari 1:24:25
And but now things are changing. Now. It's like the entrepreneur is a rock star. And the filmmaker is the rock star. And it's so funny. I think Gary Vee says it so clearly. He's like, I have actors. I have big huge movie stars, huge athletes, huge people in other industries in the all want to be entrepreneurs. They all want to own their own business. They all want to create their own brands. They all want to do that because that's that's the thing at this moment in time. It is to be that that thing and I don't think it's going away anytime soon, because it's good stuff. Freedom. It is a perception of freedom. I mean, even though sometimes you create a cage for yourself,
Darious Britt 1:25:05
even though it's not, because it's it's more work, but it is freedom if you love it, but if you don't really love it, you can create a cage for yourself really easy. I'm sure in YouTube that I mean, you've seen burnouts on YouTube. Oh, yeah. People that like got a big following. And they just felt like I have to keep doing this because this is what I paid for. But then they just have little burnouts. I think the problem with with YouTube is, it's still young yet. And it's not, it's actually not a problem. It's still young yet. And so we're seeing we've only had two real cycles to see what happens with these big brands and their life cycles. And what happens,
Alex Ferrari 1:25:41
like when are the Kardashians going to go away? I mean, seriously, man,
Darious Britt 1:25:44
they're hitting on so many value points. You know, I personally am not like a huge Kardashian fan. But when you talk about a brand like that, they've tapped into the untapped bubble. somehow, some way by accident, I'm sure sold their soul to the devil.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:59
They sold their soul to the devil
Darious Britt 1:26:01
tapped into the untapped bubble, like there's different arms of value that they offer. Like, I'm not saying you're gonna learn how to be a genius watching the show. I'm not saying that at all. But they do have different arms of value that they offer. Because you can't reach that level with only one prospect with only one value proposition. You have to have multiple, you have to be multiple things to multiple people, you have
Alex Ferrari 1:26:24
to have you so many offsprings, they have so many siblings and kids and like there's it there's something for everybody.
Darious Britt 1:26:30
Exactly. You have to be like when you talk about Oprah and all that, like Oprah means different things to different people, right. That's why she's Oprah. That's why her reach is so broad. to one person, she represents honesty and truth. And she gets the truth out of people to another person. She represents therapy and a counsel to another person who may have weight issues. Oprah is a representation of an escape, like this woman had the same issues I did. And she was able to accommodate another person, she's African American, and look at what she can do. And I'm black. And I can do it too. Like, you have to have different tiers of value to reach those levels. So that something like the Kardashians, they've managed to do it. They will forever be studied by marketers and people forever,
Alex Ferrari 1:27:15
you know, and they're still going stronger than ever. It's
Darious Britt 1:27:18
insane. Especially with the makeup. Oh, man, as soon as they hit the makeup market. Yeah, they're here to stay there. The makeup when we're
Alex Ferrari 1:27:28
talking about billion dollar brands here, like that's who they are, they're a billion dollar brand, whether you like them or not, you got to respect the hustle, man. I mean, yeah. gotta respect it,
Darious Britt 1:27:39
you have to respect it. And so we're finding on YouTube, though, I shouldn't say week, because it's more like, I don't have like a staff of people. We're all thinking about YouTube, you know, but I guess I say we in the sense of the community of YouTube, because, you know, I listen to other YouTubers, some bigger, some smaller, and you know, you hear other people's observations about it. And it kind of echoes the same thing. Like, if you have a brand that only has one value proposition, and it happens to be connected to like Zach Geist, right, like, one directions in and then you have this brand that pops up and he's like, I'm a one direction fan. And so I get all the girls who are One Direction fans, and they all follow me. And then, you know, I happen to be gay or whatever. So then they fall in love, whatever. But it's like, your only prop is this one thing. That's it? Everything gets old, bro. Every everything gets old man. So that lifecycle is about four years, cut first couple years, it's like skyrocket as a shooting star and it's like, Whoa, this dude's amazing. And he's so charming. He's so charismatic and Wow, cool. But the only value he offers is these confessional type storytime type watch BBQ watch me be like me, and you tune in for me, me, me, me cool. If every here and there. I talk about you. And I want you to be empowered by watching me. Yeah, cool, cool, cool. But it's all just confessional content. That's it. So the audience that rocks with you, they eventually grow up, right? And they go to college, and they get other priorities as kids, so they got to grow out of you. Right? Because you haven't changed, you're offering the same value, you're not growing up with them, your values not changing. So they outgrow you. And the new generation usually hates whatever the generation before them was into. There is rarely a time when there's a mutuality between what except you talk about Michael Jackson or the Beatles. Yeah, that crosses generations off. Sure. But you're also talking about unicorns
Alex Ferrari 1:29:35
very much, very much as though
Darious Britt 1:29:38
you're talking about unicorns, okay? Usually, the generation underneath doesn't like anything of the generation before. So the people who were rocking with you about growing you and the people underneath you are not going to mess with you. Anyway, so what happens
Alex Ferrari 1:29:52
we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now, back to the Yo, what do you but do you agree that if you're able to create evergreen content, that is something that is of value no matter what generation you're from, or where you come from, because there are brands out there that are based around inspiration, or let's go into the self help world like Gary Vee, I think is gonna be around for a while, you know? And that Gary Vee,
Darious Britt 1:30:28
it's not just evergreen. It's the execution. Yes. And I can make a tip video tomorrow, and I can say 100 filmmaking tips you must know before you die. And then the video could just be me sitting in a chair talking to a webcam. Here's 100 tips, monotone voice, whatever, it's evergreen. Sure.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:49
its execution, baby.
Darious Britt 1:30:50
Yeah, it's the execution. And within the execution, are those tears of value? Present? What's the charm? Do people see that they can get a beer with you? Is the information actually good? Do you have experience with that information? Are you just talking from somebody who's going it's okay, if you're just learning, but you have to be upfront about that don't talk about stuff you actually don't know about. because that'll get you to, but it's the execution within the execution. That's where you fall into the tears of value the thresholds. You know, like, there is vlogging on YouTube. And then there's Casey Neistat, if you read my mind. Yeah. Before there's books, there's the before Casey era, and then there's the after Casey era right before Casey vlogging was Hey, I go to the grocery store. I'm looking at an eggplant I'm crack a joke about it. And it's just very informal on getting it off. Casey tastes it and he introduces a whole cinematic drone shot cut, professional edit, just you know, trick animation, stop motion, this, you know, flip flop time lapse before you look at over here, look at the screen over completely changed vlogging. But it's not just because he was a good vlogger. He's also really charismatic. He's also very stylish, he also gives a lot back to the community. He also makes it a point to be a representative of the YouTube community talking about the biggest issues that affect the YouTube community. And he's a tech guy on top of that. So he's always talking about the latest tech. And he actually uses the latest tech in his vlogs unlike a lot of other tech people where they talk all this tech, but they don't use any of it. No, I'm just unboxing look at this great thing. It's so great. Look, I'm unboxing Okay, oh, here's the latest drone is unboxing coils, okay, but they but they don't use any of it. Casey actually uses it because he vlogs with it. So like when you start getting into the details, what do you find all of these tiers of value, so he can mean different things to different people. And that's why he's where he is. It's more than just stellar. vlogs
Alex Ferrari 1:32:50
are so how do you how do you translate that to a filmmaker, he has all this eldest all this value, because I've always said many ways to, for filmmakers to kind of add value is there's multiple ways of doing it with a film. So you do a film, you create ancillary products, you create online courses, I always use the vegan chef. Example. Like if you're making a romantic comedy about a vegan chef meeting a meat eater, and chaos ensues? Why film for printer? A film a printer? Exactly. But But let me ask you though, don't you think that? Oh, for sure. Moving forward? In the indie space, if you are not a film tour, or a filmmaker who's an entrepreneur, alas, you're not gonna make it. Right.
Darious Britt 1:33:34
Right, because you're gonna get in your own way. My opinion, or my my leaning is this, you know, first and foremost, you know, for the new filmmakers, your most important thing should be putting one foot in front of the other and changing your metric for success. First and foremost, your metric of success cannot be the red carpet or my name in the marquee dead. That has to stop immediately. You need to reevaluate your new metric of success should be what did I learn today? And what will I learn tomorrow? period? I don't mean how many podcasts? Can I listen to how many YouTube videos can I watch? No, pick your stuff up and go make stuff. That's the only way you're going to get it actually make things and do it lean. So that's number one. You have to reevaluate your metrics for success to lean projects. We got to cut all this mess out with like, we already talked about it going and looking for money and begging in this Kickstarter campaigns for your first short film. Why are we running Kickstarter campaigns for your first short film
Alex Ferrari 1:34:39
you need 50,000 for
Darious Britt 1:34:41
why, like you're just gonna make a whole bunch of mistakes that you could have made for free. You have to make the mistakes. There's no shortcut to experience. You have to make mistakes, period. You learn the most. So we need to we need to lean these projects out. We need to reevaluate how we Look at filmmaking when you say, Okay, my first five projects are not my career projects. These are skill building projects. So let me get a couple of friends, I'm going to shoot a scene beginning middle end, call it a short film, and work on tension, or work on whatever. Or maybe this is my first time messing with the camera. Let me just frame shots and work on camera angles and just just be in the space. But we have to shift gears away from this immediate career stuff to skill building. And what am I learning right now? And how do I keep this going, because when we're talking about all those tears of value, you don't get there. until you start with just learning your crap first, you know, and we can't hide behind our films anymore, we have to be in front of our films, we have to be brands now. Because right, your brand is going to outlast your work, your brand is going to go further than your work can ever go because the relationship that devalue the connection is deeper. And if you mess up on a film, you can fall back on your brand. Whereas if you don't have a brand, you know you go make a film, he spent three years on it, launch it out there, and it falls flat on his face. Well, if you don't have a brand, you don't have anything to fall back on it. That's just it, you just made something and it sucked and you can't you can't do anything else with that thing. It just doesn't go anywhere. But if you've got a brand, you can fall back and say, Hey, I made this film didn't work out. This is what I learned. This is what you can learn. Hey, by the way, let's all talk about how it sucked. I'll do a reaction video talking about how you know it's like, you can do more with it. And you'll get even more followers from that, you know, but
Alex Ferrari 1:36:32
no, without question and I'll use a not an indie example, but I'll use an example of a brand that we all know Spielberg right. So Spielberg is a is a brand all in itself, right. A huge brand, right. So he had made Sugarland Express, then Jaws, then close encounters, right. It hit hit hit. Sugarland was a small thing, but you know, jaws kind of knocked them out of the park and Close Encounters also as well. Then he made 1941, which was in how many people remember 1941. But he directed 1941, which was a huge bomb, his massive bomb on Spielberg's you know, resume. But what happened? I'm sorry, it was a black guy. It was a black guy, right? And all of a sudden, the Golden Boy wasn't so golden. But he had a brand. He fell back on that. Then what did you do right afterwards? Yeah, Raiders Lost Ark, and then et. And then the rest is as they say it continuously. Brands were
Darious Britt 1:37:30
built differently back then. And if you had the leverage of the media, you were in there. But now, because of the economics of the social media space. It's so noisy now because everyone can do it. So it's extremely noisy. So now you have to learn how to build a brand for yourself for cheap. Usually, that means leveraging micro content, because like what the days before, it's like, well, if you're in the studio system, you get in a movie or whatever. Alright, here's a press run, you're like, boom, everybody knows you like that.
Alex Ferrari 1:37:59
Right? Exactly. Yeah, it was a lot easier to make, it was easier. If you're within the studio system back then you could make a name for yourself very quickly,
Darious Britt 1:38:06
hit the talk show circuit, boom, you're in there, your job. And now that's different, though, it's totally different. The game has changed now. But it's it's changed for the better because now it's democratized it for everybody. But it also means more responsibility. So if you want to build the brand, you have to take that initiative to learn how to do it, and how to connect with people and how to get value, educate yourself back valued and to build. And also, like, to your point, also, with entrepreneurship, I think, whether you like it or not, that's where things are. Because in order to cut through that noise, nowadays, you need a few times at bat, we this whole one hit knock out of the park, and I got all this money. If you have a rich family great, but then there's so many stories of people who had means and they made a film and it didn't work. So you need more times at bat. And you need to give yourself time to learn your craft, and learn about yourself too. Like I've been in film for a while I've done a lot of different shorts, and I feel like I'm only really falling into what I understand to be my voice recently. You know, and sometimes your voice isn't so much of your style. Sometimes your voice is the things you choose not to do. Right times your voice is the way you choose not to shoot. But that informs the stories you like to tell like, you know, for instance, you know, I did on sound for seven years and I just poured my soul into that movie. And I expected it to be my flagship and all that is very successful, and it's all right, they're successful. But I mean, what I expected to happen did not happen,
Alex Ferrari 1:39:45
Darious Britt 1:39:46
and I think that experience affected my voice as a filmmaker. I appreciate the stories. I will always want to tell heartfelt stories that mean things to people yes. But do I want to spend a whole have money in seven years on something that I don't even know is going to get me to the next level? No. I mean, I've been shooting micro films and short films, I'm having more fun doing that than trying to shoot a feature. I can build a business around that. I can have fun and work with my friends doing that I can take more risks doing that, because when you're spending 20 3040 5060 $100,000 on a feature, you're gonna think about risks, man, no, this got to work, bro. I you know, but when you should have short with your friends, or you know, you shoot a short and you just spent $200, you can take risks, hey, I don't know if this person's good at acting, they might have to look I'm going for but you know what? Come on, man. Let's get this man, let's learn it. And I'm gonna learn a lot in the process. But you can take risks doing that, and I enjoy the freedom of leaner projects. I really do. And I think it's a man speaking to my voice now. It really has, I'm happy doing smaller projects, we're
Alex Ferrari 1:40:58
happy. I mean, we talked about this a bit too is like redefining what success is for you. And, and we both said the same thing, like you're happy doing small films, I am extremely happy, making my micro budget feature films, and building out my online business. And, and they feed into each other. And it's, I've never been happier in my life, professionally than I am now. Like, I don't even have to do post, thank God, and work with clients, if I don't want to, I could do whatever I want, whenever I want. And that kind of freedom is I can't I cannot tell you that. It's, it's it's just, you know, I get up in the morning, I jumped out of bed running back here to hang out with Yoda in the back, you know, and just chillin and just getting ready to do my day's work, man, because I love it. And then I'm like, you know, maybe I could go shoot a feature this next month. And, you know, I'm like I you know, pull five grand out and or I'll file pull 10 grand out and go make a movie. And that's, that's the freedom. And what do we want, as filmmakers we want that we want to be able to put food on our table. I don't care about having a Tesla, I don't care about having a big giant house on the top of the Hollywood Hills, I don't care about going to parties or having the latest gear or any of that stuff. I care about making art that's important to me, that I get and also providing value to the audience that I've cultivated. And if I could provide value and be of service that I'd audience while I'm able to be an artist, Jesus man, isn't that the dream?
Darious Britt 1:42:38
Yeah. Freedom, autonomy. And, and there's also a little bit of the Be careful what you wish for, too. As I think that, you know, you know, you've talked to producers and things as well as I, you know, you see people who are very successful in the industry, and you're like, oh, man, what must it be like, I don't I need to get to talk to them. You realize, man, there's so much fear. They have to deal with the industry and the people and the culture and, and it just oozes out of their body fear and you're like, wow, I don't think I want that. I don't think I want that at all like to be living in fear. It's like you've reached the status where you can raise, you know, so many hundreds of 1000s of dollars in any given time with your connects and all that. But there's a price that comes with that. It's not all roses and sunshine. Like there's another side to that, that I think people don't realize, until if they're fortunate enough to get there. Get there. And then I'm like, Whoa, this is not what I thought it would be. Oh, absolutely. Now all of a sudden, I want something else.
Alex Ferrari 1:43:41
Look, we're not saying that, you know, it's it's, it's it's okay to have dreams of being successful. And getting into that system and doing all that. To be aware, there's always more to and you also have to be balanced. It has to be balanced in your life. Like if you're working all the time, and you are married and you never see your kids and you never see your wife and your personal life is gone to crap and your body is horrible, because you don't have time to work out because you're chasing the dream and others. You have to have a holistic plan for your entire life. That includes mind, body, spirit, career, love, social, there's all these different areas of your life that you need to have balance on education, all these other things that make you a whole person. And so many people in our industry are so unbalanced. And so in one direction. So I know guys who are super rich, who are extremely successful in the business, but they're miserable efforts and like they just do not like they're angry, they're bitter, but they live in these huge houses drive all these cool cars, hang out with all this, you know the big celebrities and stuff but at the end of the day, they're miserable. They're alone. Yeah, if you are not fulfilled Yes, sure. You've made it in one spectrum. One pillar of your life. Yes, I am a filmmaker. I'm making million dollars a year doing filmmaking, and I work on set, I work on TV shows, I work on this or that blah, blah, blah. But the rest of my life is crap. So is that worth it? Like, what, that's a thing that no one talks about. And you really got to kind of understand that. If you don't have fulfillment in all avenues of your life, you are an unbalanced individual. And you will be unhappy. If you can never lock down a partner, in one way, shape, or form. Because you're always consumed with your work. You're going to live a lonely, miserable life, even if you're rich, famous, all that stuff. Why do you? Why do you think that we see all these crashes of all these people that we thought were completely successful. And then you see suicides, and you see drug overdoses, and you see all this stuff. Why because they're trying to cope with not being balanced in all aspects of their life. And it's, it's, it's brutal, I think, changing those dynamics of success really is the first key like, you know, what, I don't need a million dollars a year, I'm okay, I need enough to put food on my table and, and make and make my life comfortable.
Darious Britt 1:46:07
And I think the trick with that, though, is a, it takes you time to learn enough about yourself to learn what you actually need and what you don't. And I think it's up to thing, when you're starting out, you think that you have to have the big movie and the cloud. And don't you think that you have to have that to be happy as a filmmaker. But you don't know enough about what else there is out there or enough about yourself to make an educated guess of what you need. Because like, it's not until I've had the experience of making a movie and spending so much energy pouring my guts into this movie for years. But had it not been for that experience, I wouldn't have the reference point, to really appreciate how fun it is to just go shoot something and just focus on execution, not to worry about money, I don't have to worry about crew, I don't worry about all this other stuff, I can just take something really simple. And just focus on how can I execute this thing to the best of my ability. And because I don't have all this other stuff, I can just really get into the details in a way that you can't, when you have these big, ambitious films like The details get lost, unless you have a really good crew, or you've done it before, on tails Get lost. But also you're just trying to survive.
Alex Ferrari 1:47:29
But also, isn't it important to be self aware of where you strive? Because there are people that are directors are filmmakers who strive in high pressure high situation big budgets like there's Spielberg can go on to set with $200 million and not even blink, you know, even though but he's earned it exactly. So you have to also figure out where you were in the spectrum, if you will, do you thrive in? Do you thrive in a high pressure, big budget world? And I'm not even talking about that. Let's talk about the studios, let's talk about 5 million bucks. Let's talk about 3 million bucks. Let's talk about a million dollars, which is a lot of money can use thrive in that world? Or do you make more sense and thrive more in a $50,000 world? a 25,000 or $5,000 feature? Do you thrive in that world where you're going to be happier, you're going to be more content, you're going to be able to thrive? as a storyteller. As a filmmaker, these are questions that you need to ask. And it took me Look, here's much farther along than I am because I got about 10 years on you. And you've figured this stuff out. Now, at your age. I'm figuring it out when I'm in my mid 40s, like early to mid 40s. But I figured it out. Like I finally figured out what makes me happy. What makes me content with my career with my life. And I only found it, oddly enough, and I'm sure you feel the same way. I only found that answer by being of service to my community, to being of service to me, because by doing that, I discovered what I want and what I need. And it became a wonderful synergetic relationship with my audience and with with the people who who listen to my babblings and things like that. And I feel that, you know, I'm talking to you, I'm sure you feel the same way.
Darious Britt 1:49:19
I do. I've I found that. I forget what the quote is. But you know, the best way to help yourself is to help someone else somehow. But it was something I had to grow into because again, when I started it was the whole tips thing. I don't want to I didn't go to school. I didn't go to school to become a film school, you know, but it wasn't until I was in the community of YouTube enough to bump into a couple things. And yes, over here, you know, and then you you slowly kind of grow into certain things. And that's something that I had to grow into and then once I got into it and saw that how I was in Acting people's lives, then it's stuck with me, for sure. But I always had to remind myself like, what I really am after, because I think it's too easy to. And this is a trap you can fall into, it's easy to fall into what works, and then lose sight of what your heart really wants. And I think there are some people on YouTube where it's like, once they find that, and it goes back to what you're saying, what makes you happy. Some people on the community are like, Oh, hey, I fell into this, like, giving advice and reviews and help people out cool. I'm totally happy doing this boom till the cows come home. But for me, you know, once I got into it, it was exhilarating at first, but I got so far into it that I was getting away from shooting, right? You know, because it's like, yeah, I sit in my room or a studio or whatever, and make these tip videos. And then it became the grind of making the next tip video on the next tip video, the next tip video, and people want this tip. And that's it and this tip and that tip, and it's like, Okay, well, now you got a whole assortment of tip videos coming up. And then before you know, you're like, Man, what am I actually shot anything, and when am I gonna shoot something. And if I'm like, I'm so busy making video after video after video after video that I'm not getting a chance to work on what I want to work on, which is to become a better filmmaker. And ultimately, I can't give my audience the best value that I can give them if my journey has stopped, right? Because there's a limit to your knowledge. You know, like, I haven't worked with every camera. My experience with crews is somewhat limited. I mean, I've had my own crew from my feature. And I've worked with some crews and some capacities and other features. But there's a there's a cap, you know, so it's like, I want to give more, but I can't do that until I level up to but I can't level up if I'm so busy shelling out everything right now. It's like, so for me, I had to find that balance. And you know, that's why I've gotten into like the shoot, start to finish series and all that. And I've been happier doing that where I'm giving value and sharing value, but it's along with my journey and what I'm doing because at the end of the day, I can't stop being a filmmaker just because you want all the tips in the world. So you can be a filmmaker is like what about me
Alex Ferrari 1:52:08
There has to be a balance there has to be my wants to there has there has to be a balance without balance. So sir. So we are we are honing in in almost two hours now. As I knew we would, and for everyone listening if you're still listening. This is a small example of what Darrius and I did at the mammoth Film Festival. Two days we just talked and talk like Vega cancel, man, let's grab breakfast. Later. Yeah, it was it was actually really a lot of fun. And it was an absolute pleasure meeting you in person and finding like a brother from another mother in this business. So it was really, really great. Now I'm going to ask you a few questions. I asked all of my guests. I'm sure you might know these now. All right, man, I'm ready to answer but go ahead on all right. So I we've talked about this at nauseam, so just make a quick answer. What advice would you give a filmmaker wanting to break in the business today?
Darious Britt 1:53:09
Start small lean projects focus on what are you learning right now?
Alex Ferrari 1:53:14
Can you tell me what book had the biggest impact in your life or career? Hmm, film wise, the matter of the film wiser already kind of book? Oh, that's a tough one. There's a lot of them. For right now. I will say Judas Weston's directing actors. Definitely. That's a great book. I like that one. That's a very, very good book. What lesson took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Darious Britt 1:53:42
You can't fake value. Their success is dependent on your value. And it's true across the board YouTube film. I think when people have the goods that shows and when you don't, or you're still working progress, it shows and it's okay to be a work in progress. But don't expect to own the farm when you're still a work in progress. You know, there's a reason why the people who hit especially on YouTube, the ones who just boom straight up to the top. But it's obvious when you look at their stuff. It's like whoa, they're hitting on so many tears man.
Alex Ferrari 1:54:20
Like Peter Mackinnon like Peter McKinnon and those guys,
Darious Britt 1:54:22
Very charismatic understands the filmmaking community. He's a student of YouTube. You can see it oozing out of his work that he understands YouTube itself as a platform, obviously good at photography. Very good at videography. Very stylish, also fashionable. Also what he represents because he's not coming in huge chains and you know, like, look at my suit. No, he's just a dude. And he dresses like just a dude. very relatable. Like he just checks a lot of boxes for a lot of different people.
Alex Ferrari 1:54:50
Three of your favorites. And three of your favorite films of all time, sir?
Darious Britt 1:54:54
Old Boy one I love chambo parks work then possession by with Sam Neill the guy from Jurassic Park session that is a transgressive film that got banned and a bunch of countries when it came out, but that was one of the films that made me want to make films and Star Wars.
Alex Ferrari 1:55:16
Sure. That's always that's always a good go to everybody who hasn't.
Darious Britt 1:55:20
I like like my end like entertainment type stuff too. Not everything's got to be a deep dive into like, existential whatever. I mean, I like
Alex Ferrari 1:55:30
Popcorn movies, man.
Darious Britt 1:55:32
Black Panther Black Panther.
Alex Ferrari 1:55:33
Yeah, man. That's uh i love Black Panther Do you think it's gonna win? Probably not.
Darious Britt 1:55:39
It might win something I don't know
Alex Ferrari 1:55:40
It was something it was something but
Darious Britt 1:55:42
It's not gonna go hand in that with the records they broke man
Alex Ferrari 1:55:45
No absolutely not man no it and where can people find you and your work sir
Darious Britt 1:55:51
d4darious YouTube /d4darious
Alex Ferrari 1:55:54
The D and the number four
Darious Britt 1:55:56
D the number 4 and then Darious even if you mispell it will pop up D4darious on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, everything is all D4darious.
Alex Ferrari 1:56:04
Brother, man, it has been an epic conversation. I know we can we can keep talking because I know. A week we could keep talking
Darious Britt 1:56:11
That's the tip of the iceberg. tip of the iceberg, man.
Alex Ferrari 1:56:16
I mean, I'm gonna call this the brutal and honest truth of independent filmmaking. That's what this got this episode is gonna be called something along those lines, because it's, there's a lot of great knowledge bombs in this episode
Darious Britt 1:56:27
Let's unpack but hopefully, you know, I want to leave people inspired, though. Yeah, man. You know, I know we did a lot of like, hard talk of like factual, realist type things. But at the end of the day, if you want it, it's out there for you. But you have to take it one step at a time. And be aggressive. You know, it's all about if you lay your head to bed at the end of any day. And you can't point to one thing you learned to help you get closer to your goal you failed.
Alex Ferrari 1:56:56
That's what it all comes down to Amen. There's no question and it's never been a better time to be a filmmaker than it is in today's world. Oh, yeah, opportunities are there, the technology is there and only getting better every day that goes by and cheaper and cheaper. But it's up to you to do the work to figure things out to educate yourself. And to get yourself out there and also be able to pivot from that ridiculous dream that they sold you Yeah, that they sold you back at film school. That there's only one way there's there's only cheeseburger and there
Darious Britt 1:57:32
You might be that lucky person out there where that is for you. Because sometimes it does happen. But I think you you're doing yourself a disservice if that's all you aspire to be because there's all different kinds of other flavors out there. You don't know what you don't know, as they say you reach for the stars just to fall into the clouds. And that's not so bad. It's true. Yeah, absolutely. Right now way more happier and freer where I'm at right now.
Alex Ferrari 1:57:58
Darious Britt 1:57:59
But I wouldn't have got here had I not been reaching for something higher. And that may come later. I don't know. But right now, I'm happy.
Alex Ferrari 1:58:06
I'm good, man. I'm good to Brother man. Thank you again for sharing all your knowledge brother. I appreciate it. And we will we'll do a part two or three or four of this i'm sure in the next year or so
Darious Britt 1:58:16
Alright brother man.
Alex Ferrari 1:58:18
Did I tell you or did I tell you this was an epic, epic conversation with Darious and I want to thank Darious for his time and being able to drop some major major knowledge bombs on the tribe today if you guys are still listening, God bless, man, thank you for hanging in there with us. Through this entire interview, I know is well worth it. There's so so much information, a lot of golden nuggets in there. And honestly, if you are a, let's say seasoned filmmaker, or if you know a filmmaker who's just starting out or they're just coming out of film school, and they just kind of have steel stars in their eyes. This is the episode you want to send them. Please share this episode with people like that with filmmakers and screenwriters and creatives like that because this is a real good wake up call to inform them on what the business is truly, truly like and the lifestyle that they are choosing to go down. Now if you want links to anything we talked about in this episode, including all the information about Darious, head over to indiefilmhustle.com/302. in the show notes, I put two great videos of his one of them is why are we filmmakers and that video has been seen three 400,000 times. And it is a great, great, great video explaining why we do this crazy, crazy job of being filmmakers and put ourselves through everything that we do to make our work and our art. But it's a great, great video, so definitely check it out. And if you haven't already, please head over to indiefilmhustle.com/mob and preorder my new book shooting for the mob. My story of how I almost made a $20 million film for a gangster. It's an credible story and I can't wait for it to get out there. And people who have read it already have been given me great, great review. So I'm so blessed and humbled by that and I really hope it gets out there. So please pre order it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble wherever you go, but this link will take you straight to Amazon indiefilmhustle.com/mob. And that's it guys. I'm not going to talk anymore because this was a long episode, but I think well well worth it. So as always, keep that also going. Keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.
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- Bulletproof Script Coverage – Get Your Screenplay Read by Hollywood Professionals
- Audible – Get a Free Filmmaking or Screenwriting Audiobook
- Rev.com – $1.25 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)