I always talk about not counting on the “lottery ticket” mentality that so many filmmakers today count on. Winning Sundance is not a distribution plan. Well, I was involved in a project, written and directed by Diane Bell, that did just that. It won not one but two awards at Sundance. She didn’t count on winning, hell she didn’t think in her wildest dreams that she would even be accepted. Here’s the story.
In 2010, 16 feature films were selected out of 1,058 submissions to be screened in the US Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Diane Bell’s OBSELIDIA was one of them. It was made for less than $140,000, it had no movie stars in it, and none of the cast or crew had connections to Sundance. And yet it was picked out of the slush pile, and selected to premier on this world stage, alongside movies that had cost 100 times as much with big-name movie stars and recognized directors.
OBSELIDIA premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival 2010, where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Award and the award for Excellence in Cinematography. It was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards 2011, including one for Best First Screenplay. It won acclaim at festivals around the world, including being named as Best of Fest at the Edinburgh Film Festival, Best Narrative Feature at Ashland Independent Film Festival, and winning the Youth Jury Prize for Best Film at the Valladolid Festival, Spain.
Here’s what VARIETY magazine had to say about Obeslidia:
“…the only film [at Sundance] that deserves to be called a rebel”?
The Cinderella Story
It is a Cinderella story for sure. I had the pleasure to color grade and on-line edit Obselidia and it was one of the greatest times I’ve ever had working on a film. Diane Bell’s story not typical.
She started her career in film as a screenwriter and moved to LA after optioning her first script to Wind Dancer Features. She went on to be hired to rewrite a script for legendary director John McTiernan (DIE HARD, PREDATOR, etc), and then wrote an original script with him. She has written a number of other commissioned and optioned screenplays.
Her screenplay, STEM, was selected for the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab in January 2011, where it was awarded the Sloan Fellowship. She was selected for the inaugural Women in Film/Sundance Mentorship program in 2012.
Diane’s second feature as writer/director, BLEEDING HEART, a feminist thriller starring Jessica Biel and Zosia Mamet premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 2015 and was widely released in the US by Gravitas in Nov 2015.
She is currently in post-production on her third feature, OF DUST AND BONES.
With her husband and producing partner, Chris Byrne, she launched the Rebel Heart Film Workshop, teaching 2-day intensives on how to make a standout indie film. She is passionate about sharing her experiences making films to empower other filmmakers with real-life knowledge.
If you ever wanted to know what it was like to be accepted and win awards at the Sundance Film Festival sit back and enjoy on the conversation with Diane Bell.
Right-click here to download the MP3
Alex Ferrari 10:52
So I like to welcome to the show Diane Bell. Diane, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the on the hustle.
Dianne Bell 10:58
Thank you, Alex. I'm thrilled to be here.
Alex Ferrari 11:00
So as you guys might have known or not, I worked with Diane on her Sundance winning film Obsolidia many, many years ago. And it was a fun story how we actually I think you put out an ad in either Craigslist or Mandy calm and I just kind of just kind of like said, Hey, I'll do it.
Dianne Bell 11:21
Yes, and it was amazing. The minute I met you though, I knew that I wanted to work with you. And it was so great. You had such a great time. It was at work is phenomenal on it.
Alex Ferrari 11:28
Oh, thank you so much. And that was when the red was just starting out kind of like red was a still a beast.
Dianne Bell 11:35
Yes. So I guess it was like 2009 when Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 11:38
we did it was around 2009 at the UN in my spare bedroom in my townhouse. And we we knocked it out. If I remember correctly, we color that entire movie in like two days.
Dianne Bell 11:51
Yes, but as I remember you saying it had like 250 cuts and it was
Alex Ferrari 11:58
a nicely like there's it's not as Michael Bay movie by any stretch. So it was a lot easier to color it because there's like these long, beautiful Yeah, takes of the desert and just like oh, it was just it was wonderful. It was wonder a lot, a lot of fun doing putting that movie together. So but we'll get into absolutely in a little bit. But first, I wanted to ask you, how did you get into this crazy life of being a filmmaker?
Dianne Bell 12:21
Well, sometimes I feel like I became a filmmaker almost by accident. Like I think I always wanted to be a writer, you know, from when I was very young. I was all about writing. And slowly, I think it was really when I went to university, I got into films. It wasn't until then I really realized that films could be as powerful as literature up until then it was for me about books, you know. But at university, I started going to the art house cinema and I saw movies by like Bergman and Bressan. And, you know, and these really had an impact on because I was like wow, you know, films can be as rich and as you know, amazing and challenging and poetic as books. And so then I really got into films, but I don't think I ever thought I would actually directing movies still at that point. You know, it wasn't really something that I obsessed about, you know, I was still about writing. And then I wrote a screenplay. I had an idea for a movie, and it was definitely a movie. It wasn't a book. You know, at the time, I was writing a lot of short stories, and I had this idea for a movie. And so I wrote the screenplay, and that was kind of what got everything rolling because that screenplay did actually get optioned. I was living in Barcelona at the time. But it was optioned in America in LA and I came over for meetings about that and then just to to actually do the rewrite and you know I ended up staying I ended up going hard to write something else and you know, suddenly you know, year later two years later I've written however many screenplays it was making my living as a screenwriter
Alex Ferrari 13:44
that's kind of
Dianne Bell 13:46
I know and then out of that I became I reached a point where two of the projects that I've worked on it seemed like absolutely dead certain to happen I mean everything was in place It was wonderful. I was like these movies are gonna get made it's gonna be awesome and they both fell apart for reasons completely outside of my control. And then at the same time I was working I was writing you know, as a writer for hire on a horror movie I just thought What am I doing? You know, like
Alex Ferrari 14:17
I can't even imagine you writing before
Dianne Bell 14:19
it's like so sorry, I just thought you know, I'd rather be back in Barcelona you know teaching yoga and writing in my free time which is what I did before I came to LA you know then doing this that's what am I doing at that time and it sort of the writer strike happened and my husband you know, very intelligently said why don't you just take this time to write something for you again? And when I after I wrote it, he said why don't you make us and that was the first time that I really considered making something but I'd seen kind of, you know, just the okay if I try to go down the conventional path of this getting made it will it won't get made, it will never be made, you know, and so suddenly I just felt that you know, the time was, you know, right to step up, and just make myself
Alex Ferrari 15:00
so so what is what what is your writing process because I know you like you said you made your living as a writer What is your writing process
Dianne Bell 15:06
my writing process is quite simple show up every day and write I just have a basic rule like when I'm writing a script which is you know, I set myself a page target and so I say right you're gonna do four pages a day and and I hold myself to it and whether it takes an hour and then I can do other things for the rest of the day, or whether it takes me all day and sometimes it does, you know, I absolutely hold myself to my page count you know, and so I just have a thing I've learned over the years that writing really is rewriting first the first draft is the hardest you know, and it just go you've just got to you've just got to be super disciplined and just make yourself do it and give yourself permission to write the worst garbage in the world because you will we write it you know, write it as garbage and you can go back and fix it later. But my, you know, for me, because I, for a long time, one of my problems as a writer was just like, you know, that blockage of fear or, you know, like, it's not good enough. I'm not good enough.
Alex Ferrari 16:09
I completely understand. I had to get over that whole Yeah, writing While You Write thing, which was Yeah,
Dianne Bell 16:15
yeah, exactly. No, I, I absolutely do not rewrite while I write, I just have a complete thing about just keep, you know, keep moving forward, and just getting zoned. For me, rhythm is very important. I feel like, my favorite time to write is first thing in the morning. Um, you know, and I just feel like if you create a sort of ritual of, you know, that you just sit down at certain time to do it. You know, it's important, rather than waiting for waiting for inspiration or something
Alex Ferrari 16:40
for the Muse to show up. Yeah, cuz it really well.
Dianne Bell 16:43
For me, it doesn't very often, if I realized that shows she never shows when you honor, it would be once every 10 years, I'd probably sit down to write if I waited for that. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 16:52
exactly. It's, it's hard work. It's hard. It's I mean, you know, digging ditches, but you know, it's hard work, you just got to sit there. And
Dianne Bell 17:01
I have a lot of the words who is also when you're not at the computer, obviously, you know, I realized after my son was born, that, you know, like, like looking after children writing is really a nice combination. Because you know, so much of the time you just like you just you just need to think you need to wander around and do something else and be thinking about it, you know, like not always sitting in your computer trying to hammer out but just being out in the world actually looking after kids I have found and thinking at the same time about your stuff is pretty good. It's pretty good. And then finding the time to actually sit at the computer and crack on with it. For me, it's
Alex Ferrari 17:35
Dianne Bell 17:37
Yes, yeah. I'm totally into drives and music. Yes.
Alex Ferrari 17:41
long drives, just like I'll hammer out beats of an entire script. Yeah, absolutely. During, like a nice long drive. And sometimes I'll be with my wife, and she's like, what do you do? I'm like, quiet.
Dianne Bell 17:52
Yeah, I know. I know. That's a friend of mine want to say it looks like I'm just sitting with my feet up. But actually, I'm working with every writer, you know, like, yeah, we're doing it all different times.
Alex Ferrari 18:04
So you told me a story that you as a writer was hired. I were hired to work with the legendary john McTiernan.
Dianne Bell 18:12
Yes, I was incredibly lucky. Not long after I came to America. I imagined by chance, the man who's now my husband, Chris had worked with him on a couple of his films as doing military check advice and stunt work. And so john was coming into town and my, you know, my then boyfriend now husband was meeting him for dinner and said, Do you want to come along? And I said, Sure. And so at dinner, I told him that I just optioned my first script, and he said, you know, well, who did you auction it to? And I said, Peter Samuelson, and he nearly literally fell off his chair because it turned out that he had optioned his first screenplay to Peter Samuelsson. And so and so that was like the beginning of like, the sort of connection, I think, you know. And so then he invited us out to his ranch in Wyoming. And every day that I was there, we stayed like a week, every day, he would give me another script to read. And in the evening, you know, he go, what did you think of that one, you know, and I was totally honest, like, I wasn't pitching for a job or anything. I was having a great time, you know, in this ranch in Wyoming going out horse riding and stuff and reading scripts, and, you know, noticed by God, it's terrible. I hated it. He said, Why? and say, well, that's not you know, who just like, chat away about them. And so after that week, I got I came back to LA and then just a few days later, I got a call and he said, Are you free to work? You know, would you come out here and work on a script with me? I was like, Yeah, absolutely. And it turned out and he said, which one is it? You know, all the scripts I'd read while I was there, and it was this one. That was just the worst of the worst. But then, you know, what was amazing was when I went out there and I thought, I have no idea like, damn what rewriting a script means, you know, it was like very green. I'd written one. One screenplay at this point,
Alex Ferrari 19:58
Dianne Bell 20:00
What would this mean? And, you know, actually we rewrote that script from the bottom up really all we kept with the premise. And it was the most phenomenal experience. And we have to say, working with him, I really have so much respect for him as an artist. And I think he's a genius filmmaker and a storyteller. I'm working with him like everyday, we would go to this local cafe near his ranch, called the branding art. And we'd sit and just like figure out the next few scenes, and then we'd figure them we divvy them up. And basically he would write, go and write the action seems the more actually ones and I would write the more character ones. And I would collate them. He would send me his pages later in the day, and I would collate it. And I remember after we got to about, we've got about 60 pages or something. And he still hadn't read anything that I'd written. Because he was never looking at my pages. Right, right. Right. I noticed like, you know, suddenly, he's like, Oh, I need to see the whole thing up. So now, you know, like, give me the whole script that we've got, and I'm gonna read it and then let's talk. Then I was like, I gave it to him. I was so nervous. I was this like, totally, like, Oh, well, that was good. No, you who'd be sending me back to LA on the next flight. You know.
Alex Ferrari 21:14
We keep talking about john. Like, for people who don't know who john McTiernan is. He is the director of some of the greatest action movies of all time. diehard. Yes. Predator, Hunt for Red October, medicine was found affair medicine, Crown Affair. I love Thomas Crown Affair. He's a genius. I mean, yeah, I mean, I still consider diehard and predator, greatest 80s movies, if not action movies in general.
Dianne Bell 21:41
I know. And when you know him, like you just like, I don't know, like, he is like those are so his movies. I mean, the French really recognize them as like an O tour. And rightly so because it's really he there's a very particular personality, you know, yes. This is a funny thing that he told me about Die Hard. Because what we did with the script we were writing, and it was kind of it was a it was about a it was a terrorist action, sort of thriller. And he kept saying, It's Frankenstein, it's Frankenstein. And we would go back to actually the novel of Frankenstein. We both we read it, and we would discuss it almost every day. And it was almost like, well, what happens in Frankenstein, and that was sort of inform us about where our script was going. And he said about this really fast me but the diehard, he said the movie, the story he felt it was underneath was A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. And then when he was working on because he said, you know, and it's really fascinating, because he said, I really thought it was a comedy, you know, and I think the original script that he was given, it wasn't a comedy. Do you know what I mean? a comedy, you know, but he really saw is this night in which everything gets turned upside down. But in the end, the lovers are reunited, which I thought was really interesting. That's part of genius, I think, if you can is genius. Yes. You know, like that sort of, like sense of the underlying story. You know, I think that can help all writers in their work. It certainly helped me, you know, what is the underlying story that you're telling?
Alex Ferrari 23:09
I mean, you look at diehard and I mean, he made I mean, he launched Bruce Willis his career off that film and Bruce is so funny that I mean, they mean Tomic it's launched another four sequels, some that should have ever been made. But But, you know, five sequels I think, at this point, and another six of them this
Dianne Bell 23:28
is that tone, isn't it? That was so unique and so I liked
Alex Ferrari 23:32
his the best. I liked one and I like three, you know, and it was Sam Jackson when he did that one as well. Yeah. But But yeah, john. Yeah. When you told me that story, I've just such a big fan of his so it was it was interesting to see how how he works.
Dianne Bell 23:46
Yeah, is I mean, as a working with him was amazing. And, you know, I hope he makes another film soon because this the weird thing in our industry, you know, like, he obviously hasn't made a film for quite a long time now. And had some legal troubles and spent some time in prison and so forth. But paid his dues. And I just think, you know, how can we let people like him who, you know, not make
Alex Ferrari 24:12
films, like when Orson Welles was alive, like, you know, exactly arrested? Exactly, and it just
Dianne Bell 24:17
like it just, it just boggles my mind and freaks me out. Because I just feel like there's so many, you know, just incredibly talented filmmakers who cannot get money to make films now, and it just drives me nuts. Yes,
Alex Ferrari 24:31
we'll get into we'll get into inspiring filmmakers later in the interview. Yeah. So let's talk about obsolete yet, which is one of the most, and I've said this publicly many times. It's one of the proudest things I've ever worked on, in any capacity. Yeah. And it's from it comes from you and Chris down, because it was such a pleasure working with you guys. And we've maintained our friendship over the years and it was just such an experience and Then the whole fairy tale of that movie, which we're going to go into was so amazing to sit and watch. Yes, you were in the carriage. I was outside watching it as
Dianne Bell 25:10
it right yeah. That's ridiculous.
Alex Ferrari 25:14
No, but in a good way in a good and a bad way, in a good way. Okay, maybe I was like I was I wasn't I was being pulled along in the back. Perfect. Yeah, but we were all it was such a wonderful experience watching that. So first of all, what so I guess the the project you were talking about the beginning of the of the interview was obsolete, right? The one they just like, hey, let's just go make something.
Dianne Bell 25:33
Absolutely, yes. Yeah, I wrote it during the writers strike. And when I got when I finished it, I just went, you know, like, I looked at the script. And I thought, This is such a strange script and the way that it develops in the way that I'd written it. I can't really imagine handing it over somebody else to direct even though I'd never directed anything before I'd never even directed a short before. You know, like it just felt like such a quirky. I don't know it, you know, such an old
Alex Ferrari 25:58
joke. Can you tell what the story real quick, though?
Dianne Bell 26:01
Sure. So it's about a guy who's writing an encyclopedia of obsolete things. And he's obsessed with, you know, this idea that everything good is becoming obsolete and extincted he meets a young woman who is a cinema projection as she works at a silent movie theater. And together, they end up traveling out to the desert to meet a scientist who's predicting the imminent end of the world. So it was a kind of, I mean, it's a meditation on climate change and loss, and, you know, the extinction of species and how we live with all that.
Alex Ferrari 26:34
It's actually quite uplifting, though.
Dianne Bell 26:37
Some people say, it's still
Alex Ferrari 26:39
quite uplifting and humorous moments.
Dianne Bell 26:43
Yes, no, absolutely. And it's funny cuz I just re watched it the other week, I hadn't seen it for a long time. And the Colorado women film asked if they could show it in their festival. And I went along to and I hadn't seen I haven't watched it in five years or something. And actually, you know, it's like, it's weird elves. I made the film as my film. But, you know, it actually moved me to tears. I was surprised to find myself like, five years later, I was like, there's a lot of things that I would do differently. But also, you know, there's, you know, it's a very earnest film it, you know, yes.
Alex Ferrari 27:19
And it is as close to an expression of who you are as a person that I've ever seen. I mean, you are, your stank is all over that movie.
Dianne Bell 27:29
Absolutely. Absolutely. I it feels like, you know, I mean, it's so hard. That's why I mean, that's why I mean, no one else could direct it, you know, it's like, I know that anyone else there actually would have changed in something completely different. You know, that thing, we just go. And I been through the process of attaching directors to projects, that very disheartening thing for a writer when, you know, you start the meeting with a potential director, and they're like, I love your script. And then an hour later, after they've told you all the things they really like, what did you love about the title? Yes. Director has to make it their film. You know, I get that, you know, but that's why we absolutely I, you know, I, I was totally clear that I didn't want to give it away and, you know, felt confident that I was the best person for the job, even though I had zero experience as a director.
Alex Ferrari 28:18
Yeah, I remember when you came to me, you're like, yeah, this is my first one. Like, have you ever gotten anything? He's like, No, I'm like, Okay. Like, I was like, All right, let's see how this I mean, it's so weird, because you're you were one of, you know, many other films I did that year, and there was nothing other than the beauty of it. And you and you guys, but you know, it's, you know, it could have could have been one of the other many films that I've worked on one as a first time director, and you look at it go, Oh, God. Yeah. But it was, it was so wonderful. And I had such a ball doing it. And it was just such a wonderful, and I can't say it.
Dianne Bell 28:54
Yeah. For us, it was for all of us making it to I think, because we made it in a spirit of like, you know, it was very pure, you know, it wasn't, you know, we didn't have massive ambitions for the film, we were thinking we're gonna get into Sundance. No, of course, we didn't think and you'd be insane to think you are. Right, like, because the odds are so stacked against you with all those kinds, you know, with all those things? I mean, it's, you know, it was we just made that film to make the film. We didn't make it for any other reason. We further our careers, we didn't make it to, you know, to get famous or do anything. We just made it to make the best film we could and that was it.
Alex Ferrari 29:33
I'll tell you what, I work at least on one or two projects every year that the director goes, Oh, we're getting into Sundance with this. So there is that madness out there without question. Yeah,
Dianne Bell 29:43
I mean, I don't know what the statistics are, but it's
Alex Ferrari 29:47
it like I could tell them to you it's pretty it's pretty staggering to say the truth. Yeah, like 10,000 submissions and 13 films. Yeah, yeah. So now how did you finance it because it wasn't like a deal. DIY movie, it was a little bit of a budget. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Dianne Bell 30:15
Our total budget in the end, I think was $140,000. Now it was in 2009. So it was right after,
Alex Ferrari 30:24
right after financial crisis, highly a
Dianne Bell 30:26
big budget. But, you know, but though, you know, we didn't crowdfund I think I would crowdfund, if I were doing it. If I was making a movie. Now, I totally would crowdfund entertainment, crowdfunding still seems a little bit iffy. To me, it seemed like a little bit like begging to friends or something. And I just, I didn't want to do that. The money came from a couple of different sources. We started out with the financier, a producer, that I had written a script for the horror script that I mentioned.
Alex Ferrari 30:54
By the way, I would actually love to read a horse script that you wrote. After
Dianne Bell 31:01
you pass it on to you, it wasn't you know, I think I gave it something, you know, I think there's like some character. But yeah, so it came from private equity sources, all the finance came from private equity sources, you know, and the people put it together from Yeah, you know, from a few different sources. Yeah. Now, what
Alex Ferrari 31:24
was the biggest lesson you learned in the making of that movie? What? What lesson stands out?
Dianne Bell 31:30
Oh, gosh, I mean, I just learned so many. I think the biggest I mean, there's like different kinds of lessons, but probably the biggest one, and my biggest takeaway is that thing about, like, following your heart and trusting your instincts. Okay? You know, I think like, if you really, and it's not always easy to do, but if you can really trust your own instincts, when you're making a film, I think you'll make a much better one than if you don't trust them. If you second guessed yourself cost? Absolutely, absolutely. Or if you second guess the audience or if you second guess, you know, try to second guess anything, you know, and it's not always easy, because there's so much, you know, like, I think one of the joys of making a film like ability, it was like, there was no pressure because I didn't think we would ever be seen anywhere. So, you know, and it was a small amount of money, it's a significant amount of money, but it's not also like it's not such a, an amount that you know, it's going to kill you or your investors, if it doesn't make them money. You know, so there was just like, no pressure, and you know, and then you just kept in this really beautiful, free creative zone, you know,
Alex Ferrari 32:35
yeah, I feel that I feel that way right now, making my way. I'm completely there's no pressure. It's funny, it's just kind of wonder and you don't have
Dianne Bell 32:42
to answer any, to anyone you know, like other than your own instinct, you know, or justify it. And, you know, and I think I honestly just think as artists like we will make our best work when we work that way, you know,
Alex Ferrari 32:54
and if we can create the circumstances to be able to work that yes, absolutely. Is is obviously ideal. No, I do remember easy. No, no, not easy at all. I do remember the the rush to get our final output because I was your colors and your online editors. I was outputting everything for you as well, I remember. And it was the last day that you could submit to Sundance on the air, I actually was burning the DVD and handed it over to Chris and Chris literally drove it down to the office. Yes. And handed to them before five o'clock that his motor scooter motor scooter handed it in. So all this all this kind of BS where people are like, Oh, you've got to you got to get early, you got better chances, or you got to do this or do that there is no rhyme or reason. It's about the work. I think so and also about the timing. Because, yes, you're telling me that like that was the year that a film like obsolete? Would I would get in? Yes.
Dianne Bell 33:57
That was the year that you know, john Cooper had taken over and that they had to say that there's you know, there's a big theme was rebel and their whole idea for Sundance that year was the going back to our roots. And you know, like real Indies,
Alex Ferrari 34:09
you know, you know, Steve Carell Indies.
Dianne Bell 34:12
Exactly, not like what we've been seeing the last few times, but you know, like, I understand they have different pressures and sponsors. And, you know, they have a whole thing that they have to deal with. But
Alex Ferrari 34:26
they've got sponsors, they got to put asses in seats, and they've got that I can only imagine the kind of pressure that's on Sunday, we were
Dianne Bell 34:32
very lucky that the year that we submitted it, they were, I think looking for some of those films. And I think you told
Alex Ferrari 34:39
me like the year before, would have probably not gotten it go, and maybe a couple years later, probably wouldn't have gotten that magical moment where the right product showed up at the right time at the right place.
Dianne Bell 34:50
Yeah. And that's something you can't control. And this is the thing that I say to everyone who's making films like you cannot control there's so much that you can't control. You cannot control how critics perceive your film. You can And control our audiences Do you can't control you know the market forces that are at play you know like all you can do really is make sure that you're making the film you want to make making the film that you want to see making the film that you love you know like the rest is honestly I just goes for the birds you just don't control it
Alex Ferrari 35:18
you know control is what you can control which is the movie
Dianne Bell 35:20
absolutely and which is why don't even know if you can control your situation. Yes, you know, it's like you can just do the best you can try to make the film that you want to make, you know, and then you just and then you and then live with it.
Alex Ferrari 35:35
So you get a call from Sundance. How is that? How did that work out?
Dianne Bell 35:40
Oh my god. I mean, I was actually I was out at john McTiernan his ranch when I got the call and we were working on a different script a really incredible script in original one of his about the Nez Perce Indians. And I'd been there for a while now his branches like his remote You know, when I'm out there working with him, I'm living in my own house on the ranch, like I'm, you know, and you like, you hardly see anyone it's quite like Wyoming is quite gloomy, you know, can be, I definitely like sort of hit my wall of being in Wyoming, I think, you know, that point of which I just want to see other people and eat sushi. And you know, just hit that little wall. And I was feeling you know, I just also was feeling suddenly depressed about obsah, Lydia. And I really remember that it was very strange, because up until that this night, I always be like, Oh, we made the film we want to make I'm so proud of it. And I love it, and who knows what will happen with it, but we had this great time. And then that night, I just had this, like, I just a dark night, you know, they creep up on us, I guess all of us. And I just suddenly had this night where I was like, shit, man, like, that was probably the only movie I'll ever get to make in my life. And I probably have screwed it up. You know, like, I didn't listen to the conventional wisdom at any step of the way. And I did everything my own way. And maybe, just maybe this is just a complete disaster, and I'm a complete disaster, you know, like, like that kind of night. And the next morning, I got an email from Sundance, and they said, We'd like to talk to you today. Is this the best number? You know?
Alex Ferrari 37:15
Yeah, yes. Yeah.
Dianne Bell 37:18
I immediately emailed Chris, my husband, because I was, you know, why don't we by myself and also Matt, the producer of obsidian. And I, you know, it's like, hey, sometimes wants to talk to me today. It's probably just to say, like, well done. Good luck next time.
Alex Ferrari 37:34
I really did think that it'll call for that. Yeah.
Dianne Bell 37:37
Like, you know, like, it couldn't possibly be, you know, and I think it was just a weird the timing of acts as I say, you know, it was one time that I'd had that doubt, you know, and then and then I got the call and to be honest, I was so emotional when I when course it was Sherry Friel I was like, because it was so unexpected. I mean, it was so unexpected, you know, and I just remember, like, I was literally like, me, I was solving Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 38:04
of course, I mean, I remember you, I think you the texted me or email me or call me, like, within your after, like, within a day of you getting it you think you everybody that was involved in a movie? And I was like, No. Yeah, no, no way.
Dianne Bell 38:22
Well, I think is it I think like for all of us, as artists, you know, like, you work away, you work away. And with very little expectations, you know, somewhere inside you, you dream about, you know, getting certain kinds of recognitions or something, you know, like something breaking through in some sort of way. But also part of you believes it never happened. I mean, I don't know if I speak for everyone, but I am certainly saying what I feel generally, you know, but you just start thinking, Okay, maybe I'm just maybe it's my fate as an artist, just to like, toil away, and, you know, for now, nothing ever to get any, any traction or ever to get through, you know, right. And it's possible, you know, and I think as an artist, you have to sign up for that, you know, like, I think if you don't, if you do it with expectations, you're sort of going to you could you end up being suicidal, you know, I mean, you just have to know that, like, I love being an artist, I love what I do, and I'm doing it to do it. And if anything else comes of it great. And if it doesn't, I can, you know, that's fine, because this is my path in life, you know, but when you suddenly get some kind of, you know, like, it's It was amazing, and I'm still just so grateful for that experience, you know,
Alex Ferrari 39:31
so tell us a little bit about the experience cuz I remember you invited everybody, to Sundance with you. Yeah. And I, one of the dumbest movies of my life is not going with because I'd been to Sundance probably four or five times prior, never being in the movie in the first visit. And after the whole experience, like I watched the ceremony and stuff online ly and I'm sitting there going, What an idiot. I can't believe I did not Take advantage.
Dianne Bell 40:00
He shouldn't be with us.
Alex Ferrari 40:03
So please, just in a nutshell, tell us how that experience of actually being in the festival is like well how do they treat you? What is the what is this kind of like, you know, Cinderella story.
Dianne Bell 40:15
I mean it really is amazing it's like a dream if you're a filmmaker so have a film there. It's, you know it. It's incredible. We we did invite everyone like so all our cast and crew came like everybody know, everybody,
Alex Ferrari 40:27
except for you. The sound guy, the PA. I mean, everybody was at that house.
Dianne Bell 40:32
Yes, I was booked on I was
Alex Ferrari 40:33
there music videos, do we and I couldn't get out of it. And I'm like, Oh, I should have just
Dianne Bell 40:40
I know cuz it was just lovely. Everyone stayed in this house that we rented. And, you know, everybody went to every screening and came up afterwards. And like our gaffer said he was like, you know, ever, like, all these different movies. I've never had anything like that, you know, like, because get everybody up on the stage after every single screening. Sure. I'll be honest with y'all, and I think I've told you this before. The premiere of The film was awful. Like, I had never watched our film, your screen was the biggest screen I'd ever seen it on. You know, it
Alex Ferrari 41:09
was not what Yeah, how the 720 p 38.
Dianne Bell 41:13
A and suddenly, you know, like, We're going into the premiere and it's like, it was at the the Racquet Club or something. I don't I'm not sure if it was one of the
Alex Ferrari 41:21
smaller Yeah, one of the other screens, right? It wasn't, it wasn't at the Egyptian or at the
Dianne Bell 41:25
it wasn't at the echos is much bigger than the Egyptian No, it's like, you know, it's like, 750 800 Yeah, yeah. Oh. And I just suddenly, like, I started, like, seeing all these people queuing up coming in the movie, I'm sold out and everything, and I was just feeling sick, you know? And then they, you know, like, I think it was Trevor Grossman, who introduced I'm not sure. And he said, like, I have to go up and say something for the movie. And I'm just sort of like, I'm shitting myself, like, I'm like, you know, are you serious, I'm not a public speaker. I don't want to get up in front of these people. And you know, and then actually watching the movie, I was like, literally in pain, you know, my neck was, I mean, I was just like, seizing up, really. And it was kind of like, you know, your child is doing a dance on a stage and you just feel everyone's got their knives out and stab over. So
Alex Ferrari 42:12
you're putting yourself out there in a big way. It was
Dianne Bell 42:15
awful. And I was I was in so much pain. And afterwards, I just went and got drunk, you know, with all our crew. Like, I don't know, I just couldn't really deal with it. And so then the next morning, I woke up, and I just, I didn't really know what to do, but I googled the movie, you know, to see if anyone had written anything about it. And obviously obsolete. Yeah, it's a word that I made up. So anything you know about it would come up immediately. Right. And, you know, the first thing I read in it's kind of tattooed on my heart was, someone had written on a blog. Absolutely a compendium of indie cliches. Oh, I remember you. Oh, yeah. And I read this review. And they just, I mean, they were nasty. They were they weren't just it wasn't like, it wasn't a review of the film. It was like a nasty outpouring, you know, that they even sort of like insulted me, it was kind of like, it was just like, weird, you know, to read this because you make a film, you make it with such good heart and such good intentions, and it's so pure to you. And, you know, like reading that I just like, I mean, it killed me. I was really into Chris, like, I think I just want to go home. I don't think I want to stay here. Like, I didn't sign up for this. I don't I don't want this, you know, like, like, I hadn't prepared myself for it. I thought it most people would be like, the film was boring. You know?
Alex Ferrari 43:34
Like, I thought that would be like the worst critics not like, and she's ugly to let
Dianne Bell 43:40
you know, and like, most pretentious this and this woman. Jeez, do whoever she is she does she is like what I mean really is shocking. Oh, yeah. And so you know, luckily, that day was the directors brunch. And what happens at Sundance is that all the directors are invited out to this brunch that's hosted by Robert Redford and no one else is allowed to go no producers, no actors, no agents are managed, like nobody, and all the directors get on these buses and go out to the actual Sundance resort and go to this brunch with Robert Redford. And it's amazing. And like so I thought, I'm gonna go to the brunch and then I'm going back to LA.
Alex Ferrari 44:20
Who was you told me who's on the bus with you? Well, this
Dianne Bell 44:22
was amazing. So this is this thing because, you know, obviously it was in the dramatic us dramatic narrative feature competition. And so all those dragons sort of found each other and two of the other directors that you remarked Buffalo and Derrick cm France, I think as high parents who say, they said to me, they were like, Oh, so which movie did you direct? And I said, Absolutely. But I don't know if you want to watch it because apparently, you know, compendium of Indian cliches and they when you read your present Mark Russell put his arm around he was like she did not read the press did not read it right. And and the two of them were just like they were so amazing. You know, and they were just like, they were Who did you make this movie for? What's it about? I mean, those guys who write these things they don't they don't put themselves out this way telling you listen to that, you know, so you
Alex Ferrari 45:09
basically have the Hulk giving you therapy.
Dianne Bell 45:11
I know. This is before he was the Hulk. Basically, but they were so great. I was just like, Oh my God, you're so right. And I thought, I'm thinking about leaving this party. Are you kidding me? Like I have got a ticket to this amazing party to hang out with people like this real artists. And there's no way I'm leaving, you know, and after that, I just changed my tune. I was just like, I'm not reading any more press. I'm just gonna completely enjoy the festival. You know, this is like, a dream come true. And I and I'm just gonna enjoy it. And haters gonna hate man haters gonna hate
Alex Ferrari 45:46
hate, they're gonna drink their haterade and just
Dianne Bell 45:50
too bad for them. You know, that's it, you
Alex Ferrari 45:52
know, like, I just I just did a whole podcast on haters, and how filmmakers should handle it. And it was a great quote that says, The lion does not lose sleep over the opinion of a sheep.
Dianne Bell 46:02
Yes, absolutely. And it's wonderful, wonderful. He just sort of like Look, you're not you're never gonna please any you know, everyone. No, like, it's never gonna happen, especially nowadays, when there's so many people on social media who you know, want to just make e? Yes, exactly. You know, and it's like, so don't worry about it. Just make what you want to make. And you
Alex Ferrari 46:22
do. Yeah, you just do you. So now so. So you go on this the Cinderella ride at Sundance, and you don't win one, you went to awards, and one of them is a cash award, which is the only cash.
Dianne Bell 46:36
I know, we didn't even know it existed until
Alex Ferrari 46:38
we go there when you get a check what I get paid for this. Yeah,
Dianne Bell 46:42
that was amazing. That was one just for the record as the Alfred P. Sloan award, yes. And which is given to film that has science or technology as a theme minute. And they also they have a p Sloan Foundation. Because after that, I ended up going to the Sundance screenwriters lab The following year, with a different project and I was a Sloan fellow it it did also have a science theme, and they gave me money for that to a grant for that. And the Sloan Foundation are for it. They're just phenomenal. If you you know, if you're a filmmaker who is a total working in that sort of like, you know, it's not they're not about science fiction, it's really about like science or technology. But movies, like the social network would fall under their sort of like domain, that's technology, you know, but they're interested in all kinds of projects, and they really do support filmmakers making those films. And I didn't know about them until I got to Sundance, but subsequently, you know, I've learned about them, and they as they've supported another project of mine, and they're just amazing. You know, if you have a project that is sort of connected with science in any way, that definitely worth checking out.
Alex Ferrari 47:52
Yeah. And you also won Best Cinematography,
Dianne Bell 47:55
which is, and that was like, I mean, that was a total surprise, you know, because obviously, we were in competition, you know, against films that had big budgets, yes. 10 times their budget 20 times our budget
Alex Ferrari 48:10
much better colors.
Dianne Bell 48:13
Apparently, oh. I mean, for exact Mulligan as well as didn't have a total
Alex Ferrari 48:19
he was, he was great. He gave me wonderful meat to cook. Yeah.
Dianne Bell 48:23
And that was like his first that was his, you know, first feature film. So that was not a bad start for him.
Alex Ferrari 48:30
You know, it wasn't a bad start for any of anybody.
Dianne Bell 48:33
Like he's just show Eva do bearnaise pilot and you know, and he's, you know, he works all the time. He does great stuff.
Alex Ferrari 48:41
So yeah. So after Sundance, now this magical ride is over. And absolutely, it doesn't get a distribution deal off the off now. So tell people a little bit of because there's a big myth that says like, Oh, you go to Sundance you when you just write checks, they just write you a check. And that's just often you living in a mansion somewhere in the hills. Yeah. I've always tried to tell people No, that's not the way it goes. And and for better or worse is is an example of that. Like, you didn't get a dish and I'm not most films don't get distribution. Now,
Dianne Bell 49:11
most don't end up with a film like obscene Lydia. If I was in that position. Again, you know, I would have done things differently. Before we went to Sundance, I feel like, you know, we went down. Once we got the news that we were in Sundance, we went down to sort of conventional route, we looked up, you know, we googled What do we do? And
Alex Ferrari 49:31
what do you do when you go to Sundance
Dianne Bell 49:33
and we sort of did what we were supposed to do, you know, we go to sales agent on board and, you know, but probably not the right one to some extent, and, you know, but we didn't even know what we were doing, you know, and we did sort of harbor some hope that we would sell the film there. Now in hindsight, you know, with what I've sort of learned about film distribution, so I don't, I think now I would be making my plans to distribute the film myself before Sundance, you know, and use absolute Like to distribute a movie. Because it's such a just like what I'm saying about why no one else could direct it is such a quirky odd movie is the same reason why no distributor wanted to touch it. Because, you know, it's like it's a lot of work to distribute a movie like that that has no stars. And that doesn't have an obvious template to follow it's you know, it's not a particular genre. It's, it's something very unique. And, you know, I think distributors are just basically quite lazy. They just want things or
Alex Ferrari 50:28
something easy to pop a star on when Yes. Which brings me to another thing I forgot to ask you this. But you were approached by a television star to star in the movie, if I remember correctly, right? That is correct. And you and there was there was a little bit of stuff involved there that you chose against going with a face? Yes, I did. Everybody's wishes apparent, yes.
Dianne Bell 50:51
Against all conventional wisdom, and that was one of the things that later I was like, oh, maybe I was really stupid, you know. But at the time, because also this the television star in question. She also, you know, her manager said it could raise a lot more money for the film to fund it. So it would have been a higher budget and so forth. More everything, right. But it goes into that thing of like trusting your instincts and following your heart. And, you know, I was really, I really, you know, at that point, I just realized I really wanted gainer, who's one of my oldest best friends to be in the movie. You know, she's
Alex Ferrari 51:25
one absolutely wonderful.
Dianne Bell 51:27
Yes. And, you know, and it was like, you know, in conventional wisdom, it's not wise, you know, of course, you go with the bigger star, you know, but I don't think the film would have been, would have had the success it did or be as beautiful and sweet. Had we gone down a different route is that thing like, I remember one of the Sundance programmers said to me, when I first met him, he said, we see so many films, he said, you can just feel people make decisions for different, you know, like to try to impress, or, you know, because they think this act is popular, or that song or this music, and he goes your film, you can just tell us pure love, like every decision is being made out of love. And, you know, that sounds really corny, but it was actually true. No,
Alex Ferrari 52:07
it came out good place. It didn't come from a fake place. Yes.
Dianne Bell 52:11
And you know, and I think when you start doing that, like if you're casting people, just with an idea how many Twitter followers they have, you know, if
Alex Ferrari 52:19
those kinds of movies there are those kind of movies when you're designing those kind of movies, but this was definitely not one of them.
Dianne Bell 52:25
No, absolutely, absolutely.
Alex Ferrari 52:27
So how was the festival run? Oh, absolutely. After Sundance,
Dianne Bell 52:31
it was so great. You know, like, it was such a great experience. Because after Sundance, we were invited to a lot of festivals. And it was great. We never had to submit again. But we played you know, that numerous festivals, both in America and around the world. And through that, you know, it was just like, it was a great experience. Again, it's my first film, I don't know that I would ever commit so much time again to sort of like going to a festival I don't know, you know, but at that time, it just, it was great. And it was a really big learning experience to on so many fronts, I feel like I've met so many other filmmakers got to learn so much about you know, independent film and how it works. And, you know, also the festivals themselves, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yeah, just just across the board, it was, you know, I, I encourage filmmaker, all filmmakers to go to as many film festivals as they can, because I just feel you know, there's just something wonderful about it. We were talking before about like community for filmmakers. And you know, that's where the community gathers to great extent, you know, and, and that's just and it's wonderful, and they're really awesome, just amazing film festivals. That nourish you as a filmmaker,
Alex Ferrari 53:43
you know, being at Sundance I mean, I mean, I know it's a little bit it's kind of like a carnival you know, yeah, show at this point. Yeah, with all the with all it's gotten worse since 2010. But I mean, the whole corporate everything, but if you cut through all of that the actual community and the filmmakers and stuff I've met some amazing people there. It's amazing
Dianne Bell 54:05
and, and so many other festivals that I went to after that too, you know, one that springs to mind that I absolutely love is called Ashland, independent professors talk about Ashlyn Yeah, I just love it I've been back there so many times I just love what they do. I feel like there's Sundance without all the hoopla you know? Just where they're
Alex Ferrari 54:23
in Oregon right?
Dianne Bell 54:24
Yes in Oregon great audiences is great films you know they treat they just everything is just It's so inspiring when you go there you always see amazing films connect with amazing filmmakers. You know, it's exactly say it's nourishment for a filmmaker, I think to to find the festivals where they belong.
Alex Ferrari 54:42
So did you you did sell a little bit you did make some money with absolutely because I remember you said you said you sold it to the airlines for a little bit of money.
Dianne Bell 54:49
We did. And that's a funny thing that you never think of but we got money for? Yes, like, so we sold it to a company that that took the rights for both air airlines and shipping shipping rates so like so because you get cruises yes cruise ships and and that was our biggest cash deal and then other than that we you know we went down the route it was kind of like self distribution but we did it far too late you know really from your when the film premiered at Sundance when we actually started pushing out and to be honest it's one of those things that you learn like we'd all run out of steam with it you know like a year later when we were actually distributing it and it was going out on iTunes and Amazon and then on Netflix and everything you know, we had all just we all moved on to other things you know, it'd been great and so fulfilled us and we were all busy with other things and there was nobody really sort of like pushing it into animating you know, which is that thing that I you know, the idea of a producer of marketing and distribution you know, is I think such an important one for indie filmmakers and you know, if you're making a film it's just so crucial to think before you make it you know before you even start shooting it how you're going to get it out to people you know,
Alex Ferrari 56:07
oh no, I preach that muscle all the time.
Dianne Bell 56:11
Like Don't you know don't wait like not having a plan you know or thinking that you're going to go to festivals and then sell it you know that like like that model three ticket stuff is lottery ticket you know, that's a fantasy you know, and it might happen and that's wonderful as if it was wonderful that happens but it's it's like it is saying my business plan is to win the lottery.
Alex Ferrari 56:31
Exactly. It's like what they say now is I heard a great a great comment the other day, Millennials all millennials think they're going to be millionaires by 30 but I have no idea how they're going to get there Yeah.
Dianne Bell 56:46
lesson is films you know because the brutal reality is there's so much out there now you know, and yes, so much choice for people and it's really really hard You know, but if you're going to take the time to make a film and you're going to put all that effort into it you should really do the same amount of effort into getting it out there really feel that and we didn't do that with video like I'm you know, happy to admit we totally dropped the ball in a in a you know, in a very big way after Sundance.
Alex Ferrari 57:16
So you are right now currently still self distributing. Absolutely All right.
Dianne Bell 57:21
Yes, it's available on Vimeo I think it's also available on Amazon you know we do you know one nice thing is that we've retained the digital we are we've retained all the rights to it you know and so I always feel like you know, it's funny watching again recently I thought that film has still not been seen by so many people who would love it
Alex Ferrari 57:41
you know, still needs to be distributed Yeah,
Dianne Bell 57:43
it's still there's still room for it to grow you know there's a market out there for it which has not been tapped you know, and I it's but we saw the rise to it, so it's good. Yeah, I feel so you need to
Alex Ferrari 57:53
make your your big Marvel horror movie.
Dianne Bell 57:55
Exactly. Exactly. You're telling the 10 year anniversary of Absolutely. I'll plan something for you know,
Alex Ferrari 58:02
exactly. So your next movie, which which starred Jessica Biel is called bleeding heart. Can you tell us a little bit about your unique experience on that movie?
Dianne Bell 58:14
So that one you know was a much more conventional film you know, like immediately after ops Lydia I did write another one that that as I said went to Sundance screenwriters lab with and I was getting ready sort of geared up to make that when I found out I was pregnant and then I ended up taking time out to have my baby which is just a pure joy and after having my baby boy I while while he was very little just for myself I started writing this new script which is what became bleeding heart at the time had a different title. And when he was maybe three months old or something and I was just writing it purely for myself I I went and pitched it to accom I went for a company I went to a meeting that was about something else completely and I just mentioned it at the end and they said we love the sound of this and you know within a week we had a We had a deal you know so that's crazy I know and so I wrote so I wrote that script and then afterwards you know and it was just funny we finished make we know we finished the script which took about a year and then but you know so it was written in a more conventional way because there was a production company involved you know, in their notes so it wasn't like that sort of like totally pure experience creative experience you know. And then when we when I finished the first finished a draft that they were happy with and we were gonna go out with it. This company super crispy read it, they had done like crazy and different things. And I knew the producers for I've met them through our experience at Sundance, they were at Sundance at the same time as us with a film called douchebag. And so they heard that I was reading any scripts and you know, said Oh, can we read it and they read it and they wanted to finance the film. You know, so we all happened very sort of like once that happened, it happened very fast. Like I think you know from I was then shooting the film, my son was like 15 months old when we were shooting it. So I mean for three months, so it took a year basically from when I first pitched it to when we were shooting it.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:14
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Dianne Bell 1:00:26
And super crispy are terrific, you know, but the experience for me was not a great one. Okay, we've talked
Alex Ferrari 1:00:33
we've talked we've talked at nauseam about it.
Dianne Bell 1:00:36
Yeah, we've talked about it, you know, it's one of those things and it's a learning lesson, you know, you know, in my heart and it is no disparagement to people made the film with because they're terrific producers and their record shows that you know, they've made great films, but I don't think we were the right personalities to work together. And it's a very curious thing and I'm always saying to people, and I'd heard it myself, you know, like, if you're a writer, director or director, you know, like your producers you need you're gonna it's like you get married to them and you have a baby together and the film is the baby You know, and if it doesn't feel right, the beginning is not going to get better.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:12
Right? Well we're gonna stay together because we're gonna we're pregnant.
Dianne Bell 1:01:16
No, no, no. Yeah, now you have to see it through and it's you know, if it's not right, and I think you know, I just think I don't know it was a very it was a difficult experience for me. You know, I didn't feel a lot of the time that I was making the film that I wanted to make you know, and that's very challenging. You know, there's many things about the film The final film that I really love, and I'm very proud of it overall. I think the actors were phenomenal in it. But it was just it was a very difficult experience for me personally, you know, it was very difficult it was just a
Alex Ferrari 1:01:47
mismatch of personalities and it's not Yeah, it's not anyone's fault.
Dianne Bell 1:01:51
Exactly, you know, and it's that thing just like and some people are just not meant to be married you know, right and we had just it was just a really really tough experience for me and it took a lot out of me like I definitely at a certain point during that process you know, because after we shot the film we didn't last picture we edited for over a year oh my god yes. With a lot of disputes about the shape that the film should take and and we cut it and we cut it and we cut it Nick I can't even tell you how many times and you know like a certain point during that process. I mean, I was I was depressed I mean I was just like and I was really like I never want to make another movie like it's just not worth it to me if this is what it is I don't care I don't want to do it. Because for me that thing of like you know fighting every day it's not like it's just it life's too short. Life is far too short Yeah, you know and like I just you know, I want to be creative and and this is you know, it's it's not it's not easy you know when making making films is not easy there's especially there's a lot of money involved you know, and then obviously finance you still have to they have to protect their investment and different visions of things come up they can just be very very tough and for me out of that experience you know, I finally did come through it because I I would think back jobs Lydia and think all but you know, we had so much fun and we made something really unique and I started thinking about that process like in with my second film I felt like so many decisions were made out of fear you know, like I felt like you know, I feel like so often it was kind of like you know, the script was changed in the film The Edit was changed because you know, it's like fear that it's too risky there's too This or it's too that or you'll alienate people you won't you know, and I just feel like God dammit I go this is why we have so many minutes you know, mediocre indie films because people are scared to take any risks. I know and actually indie films their strength is taking risks in a place
Alex Ferrari 1:03:59
you're good at risk with the $200 million tentpoles for
Dianne Bell 1:04:03
makes indie films great like that's the ones that stand out for us they take all the risks you know when you think like the history of independent films
Alex Ferrari 1:04:13
very secret let's see videotape
Dianne Bell 1:04:17
of the Southern wild
Alex Ferrari 1:04:18
I don't geez like these people are taking right
Dianne Bell 1:04:21
yes and push it you know, like like push it out there. And I just felt like you know, like everything I don't know yeah, this is why so many of them are just quite rubbish and there's a lot to be said for indie films like you know, if you can maintain creative control it's a very important thing I think you know, and make you want to make you know, because as I said before, like I feel like if you film goes out and it's like your film and you love it, and you stand by every moment of it, like even if people hate it, you kind of don't care, you know, it just slips off. When you haven't even made the film that you want it you know, it just kills you. It's like, it's just isn't. There's no winner in that, you know, it's, you know, the film goes out with your name on it. It's It's tough. No, no,
Alex Ferrari 1:05:08
I completely agree. I completely agree if you're going to make risk, I mean, if you're going to take risks, you don't like I say you don't take risks on a $200 movie, you take risks on $100,000 movie or even a million dollar movie?
Dianne Bell 1:05:20
Absolutely. That's it, you know. But I think, you know, the important thing is, when you're seeking out your collaborators, you know, just making sure that you are on the same page, from the start, you know, that you have the same idea of what the successful film would be, you know, what kind of film you're making? I think I read somewhere, it's like, oh, someone's saying something about that. But like, you know, it's when you can all make that, you know, when everyone's trying to make the same film, you know, like a good film is when everyone has actually been trying to make the same film. And it sounds so simple, but it's actually really not that common.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:56
So So after that experience, you went back to your roots in your latest film of Dustin bones? How did that come about?
Dianne Bell 1:06:03
So that came out directly from the experience of my second film, and as I said, because I was really kind of depressed for a while and, and then I remember, I'm sorry, and I just suddenly was like, just for myself, I thought, I really want to have that sort of creative experience making a film again. And I remember I was laying on my bed one afternoon, and I just suddenly was like, oh, what could I shoot in the desert with gainor and pitch and gainor and pitch with it to actors from my first film, and I just loved them so much. They're both like family to me. And my Matt Madeline, who produce absolutely, uh, he has a house out in the desert. And that's why I was thinking, what can I shoot in the desert? Because I spoke to him and he said, Why don't we shoot something at my house in the desert, you know, and I literally like lay down on the bed and I was thinking what can I do with them and within an hour, I just had this whole story in my head and I wrote it very quickly. And and, and we just and we went out we raised the money through crowdfunding and also some private equity sources and, and went out reshot it, you know, and it was just very again, very pure, very simple. And a terrific experience. Although it's a very different felt malaria. It's a lot darker
Alex Ferrari 1:07:11
now and you did the crowd and you did the crowdfunding on a seed and spark right.
Dianne Bell 1:07:15
How was it was absolutely, I mean, it was absolutely intense.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:21
Tell me about him in the middle of it right now.
Dianne Bell 1:07:24
It's, it's like, you don't know until you do it.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:28
It's so freakin nerve wracking. After the first three days, just like, nobody loves me, oh,
Dianne Bell 1:07:33
it was also that thing of putting yourself out there in this crazy way. Like, you know, you really do feel like you're just standing on the street holding out a flower hoping someone will take it in. You're so vulnerable. It is. So like, you don't realize until you do it, you know. Um, but on the flip side of that, it's so enriching. It's so empowering. It's so inspiring,
Alex Ferrari 1:07:59
you know, on the edge, your your, your pushing beyond the boundaries of being comfortable, you're out of you're absolutely doing this. And that's where you grow as an artist. Yeah,
Dianne Bell 1:08:09
no, absolutely. I you know, I just found it. Yeah, I found it to be really so beautiful experience. Ultimately, it was it was definitely harder than I expected. And we sort of, we planned our crowdfunding campaign to like launch just as I was going to Tribeca to premiere, my second film, bleeding heart. And then I was going to ask them actually to teach a workshop and stuff. And so I thought, this is the perfect time, you know, this is like, we'll never get more publicity right then right now, and I'm doing all these interviews and press for bleeding hearts. So I can, you know, mentioned my crowdfunding everywhere. And, you know, like, I quickly learned It's that thing, and it's really true crowdfunding, the people who are going to give money or people who have a connection to you. Yep. You know, it's you, or, you know, your actors or your, you know, like, it's people who are connected to you in some way, like strangers who, like see your movie, even if they like it, they don't really click to like, give you money for your other movies. It's rare, it's very rare. And I and I really learned I mean, for me, like the time that during the time that was in Tribeca, I really couldn't do any work on the crowdfunding campaign because I was like, caught premiering a film and doing all the things that are involved with that. And our crowdfunding campaign flatlined, I mean, like, I was like, Oh my god, you know, like no one's putting money in and the second that I go back to sort of like Facebooking tweeting doing things every day boom you know, money cat started coming in again, and I really like just learned that lesson I experienced as well, my dear. You have to like you have to work Work, work it, you know, to an email email list. We really learned that thing email list was golden. You know, most of the people like I can't remember the exact percentages but I think they convert rate, you know, like, the number of people who came from our email list? I think it was a 25%. That's actually
Alex Ferrari 1:10:06
extremely good conversion. Yes, I
Dianne Bell 1:10:08
think it's like 25% actually gave money. Oh, my God is obscene. That's an amazing convert. Yes. I think from the Facebook page, it was like 12%. And then Twitter was like, five, you know, and it's just like, a perfect example of how, like, the closer people are to you, the more likely they are to give, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:10:27
so So what are your plans with Dustin bones?
Dianne Bell 1:10:30
Well, we are just finishing the film. Now we are sort of in the, we're in our planning stage. And we all sort of this is the thing, people have no idea, like how long it takes to make a film and how much energy is, you know, with a film like this, we really, you know, I think, like, we worked and worked in the last year, and then I needed to take a break, you know, everyone needs to take a break, I've moved, you know, and it's sort of like, it's been let go a little bit, but we're now in the early stages of planning or distribution for early next year. Okay. You know, and, like, for me, my eyesight with this one, you know, it's totally it's, I mean, festivals would be nice, but I didn't make this movie for festivals, I really made it connect with audiences, you know, and that's my goal. Like, I'm totally sort of, like very focused about how do we get this film out there and connect it to people, you know, with people who will love it. It's a very particular film. Alex, if we thought absolutely, it was uncommercial. takes it to a whole new level. Wow. You know, it's you know, there's, it's a dark, it's a challenging fill, you know, it's it's a really, you know, like, like I'm It's that thing again, where, like I made it, and I think I was in a fairly dark place, as I told you like, creatively, like feeling frustrated, but also about the world. I was feeling very, I'm usually pretty optimistic. But at that point, when I wrote that film, I, you know, I was really feeling a little kind of pessimistic about where the role was. The film is about a woman who, whose husband was a photojournalist, and he was beheaded by ISIS. Nice, nice, cheerful film, very
Alex Ferrari 1:12:10
cheerful, uplifting Disney film.
Dianne Bell 1:12:12
Yeah. And so she's living out in the desert, she's just chosen, she doesn't want anything to do with the world. And she's obviously going through her own kind of grieving process, you know, just totally disconnected from the world. And it's about what happens when a man arrives at her house, who is her dead husband's colleague, and the man who was responsible for him going to Syria. And so is what unfolds between these two people, you know, and it's, you know, is about really some big things, you know, it's about, obviously, you know, what's about horror in the world, really, and how we live with, like, these levels of violence and barbarism, you know, and how do we use you
Alex Ferrari 1:12:55
to sell I don't know what you're talking about. I know. It's like that, and the Avengers. I don't understand why this is not.
Dianne Bell 1:13:03
I know. Like, I know, it's not it's not a crowd pleaser. I don't think it is particularly uplifting at the end. Regrettably, you know, that's why I'm going it's a challenging film, you know, but you
Alex Ferrari 1:13:14
know what you're doing, but again, you're being true to who you are. And at the budget level that you're at, you can take these kinds
Dianne Bell 1:13:21
and I love the film. I mean, the performances are like, absolutely phenomenal. It's beautiful. It's absolutely You know, I'm the cinematography I worked with the new cinematographer, this time TJ helmet, and it's absolutely stunning. It's really I mean, it's a very slow ponderous film, but that's the kind of film that I wanted to make and you know, that's the thing like I feel totally I just absolutely love it, you know, and I think
Alex Ferrari 1:13:43
you dropped it but you didn't have you had like had a very unique script for this right? You told me it was like how many pages?
Dianne Bell 1:13:51
I think it was like 60 right? So it was not and it was funny because a number of the people who worked on it said when they read the script, they couldn't really imagine how it was going to be a feature film you know, because it was only 60 pages and the old thing of minute page and whatever Yeah, and you know, and then the first cut of the film was two hours and 20 minutes
Alex Ferrari 1:14:11
I think you told me like the first day you did like take one and the take one just lasted.
Dianne Bell 1:14:18
Yes and TJ the cinematographers turned to me said I understand now why this is gonna be you know, a feature film. Like it, they're really long shots in it, you know, it's, it's, it's a meditation, it's a very slow paced film, there's a lot of silence I think there's hardly any dialogue for the first 30 minutes. There's maybe like, you know, three lines on the radio or something. You know, it's a particular thing, but for me as an artist, like I totally got to explore something that I really want to explore a different kind of film. There's no dialogue, you know, that storytelling in a different way and also the explored you know, themes and issues that are important to me. You know, I just say for myself, I I was feeling like I just want to Go live in the desert disappear, because the world is just too messed up. You know, I know the feeling I know. Yes. And so you know, so and this is what it's about, you know, I think these kinds of films, it's good if they're challenging, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:15:15
no, if it's not, if you're not making a challenging film, in one way, shape or form, you're not growing as an artist.
Dianne Bell 1:15:20
Absolutely, absolutely. You know, you got a race. And I, you know, I think this film, I think, for some people, this will be, you know, this will really fulfill some things that, you know, like, it's definitely not for everybody, it's for a very particular niche audience, you know, but if you'd like a film that makes you think, you know, and makes you work, because it's quite a challenging film, in that sense, structurally, you know, it's not handed to you on a plate what it's about. But I think if you're that kind of the kind of person that's willing to do some work while you're watching a movie, it's rewarding, you know, it's up to us now to find those people and make sure they get the chance to see it.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:57
So tell us about rebel heart, and I love what you're doing with rebel hearts. Please tell everybody how it came into being and what you're doing with it.
Dianne Bell 1:16:05
Yeah, so rebel heart really was born out of my experience, also making the second film, also out of that depression, where I just really felt like, you know, just thought, Oh, my God, if people looked at sort of like my filmmaking career, they would certainly go, Oh, well, obviously, absurdity is like a stepping stone film to get to make the better, you know, the bigger, better film, you know, and everyone's got this idea of this model of filmmaking career as being always like moving up to bigger things. You have bigger meaning bigger
Alex Ferrari 1:16:34
cars, bigger budgets, right?
Dianne Bell 1:16:35
Absolutely. And, you know, just all this baloney, and I just suddenly thought, God is just not true. Like, you know, I think that there's there can be huge freedom that results in better films, when you have smaller budgets, and you get creative control, you know, and I just started to feel overall, in our industry, there's so many lies that are peddled about distribution deals, for example, and about what to expect, and I thought, I really, really just suddenly felt like I was on a mission, to just share, like the Absolute Truth, as I've learned to inexperienced it, about making independent films, you know, and really is that thing of going, just like giving people the tools, you know, like, step by step, how they can make a film happened, how they can give themselves the best chance of making one that will stand out, and that will be fantastic, you know, not just get lost in the shuffle, and how to set up a situation in which they'll get to do it again, and again, regardless of how their first film or the second film turns out, you know, and so that, you know, and so that's it. So as we didn't set that up, and we started teaching workshops, and we do this two day workshop, in which we do, we, as Chris and I, Chris is my husband and also producing partner, in which we share really everything about how we made up solidia. You know, from raising finance, to getting your cast and crew to actually managing the shoot so that everybody's happy, and you have a great time and make something good, you know, and we just share everything step by step how to make it happen, you know, and what to do with it afterwards. And this has been fantastic. Like, I just felt like, really, and I've seen it, I've seen it now with like people who have come to, you know, like one, I think quite a few people have come to me, like be like, Oh, it's just a kick in the pants, because our whole thing is just do it. You know, do not wait for permission, do not wait. You know, you could sit around for the next 10 years waiting for someone to give you the money to make your film you have to make it happen.
Alex Ferrari 1:18:36
I actually I actually did wait 10 years.
Dianne Bell 1:18:40
You know, the first or the last, you know, but now you're doing it. Yeah. And that's what counts because a lot of people have to 10 years then just pack up and go home, you know, and live in the woulda, coulda, shoulda world, you know, and it's like, don't you know, so we are just all about sort of, like, you know, empowerment and it's just like, follow your heart, make stuff happen yourself, just do it, you know, but do it intelligently, you know, like, like school yourself, educate yourself about really what, like how much money you can hope to make from your film, you know, like, do it in a way that gives you the best chance for success in every sense. And it's not about having a lottery ticket.
Alex Ferrari 1:19:15
So basically, you're saying you're gonna have to work? Oh, yeah. I just I talked to a lot of young filmmakers that they just don't understand that it's not about the movie. A lot of times, it's that's a big part of it. But there's so much more about just oh, you always just want to direct I want to be an artist. I'm like, you've got to learn about
Dianne Bell 1:19:38
experience. I mean, I think because my second film was a situation whereby I was, you know, basically like a director for hire on my own film. You know, I didn't have ultimate creative control on it. And I realized that for myself, like through that experience, I went, Okay, if I want to have creative control, I have to take responsibility for myself, you know, and that was the whole thing for me about jumping out and doing crowds. funding, which was terrifying, you know, but I just went, Okay, if I want to be this kind of artists, then I have to take responsibility for building an audience, you know, I have to take responsibility for raising money in this way, you know, like across the board. And I mean, it's like, actually, I've heard Emily best saying Emily best is the CEO and creative seed and spark Yes, wonderful, was amazing. And I heard her saying, like, you know, she's like, of course, I would love to spend my days just talking to filmmakers about how we get their film made, but I have to do all this other work. Like, that's the deal. And she's like, when I hear filmmaker, say, I just want to make films, I just want to be an artist, she's like, glow up. If you want to do that, like, you know, there, there is all this other stuff you have to do. And actually, I've come to realize that that's a privilege. You know, like, I want to now be in the conversations about the budgets, like I want, like, when I started, I was also like, like, I don't want to deal with budgets. And I don't want to deal with you know, because I'm an artist. I don't want to deal with a contract. Yeah. Like, I don't want to be part of all that. Now. I'm like, No, I want to be part of it all, because that is how I have then control and get to make what I want to make Freedom, freedom. Absolutely.
Alex Ferrari 1:21:14
Cassavetes knew every aspect of the filmmaking process. He did everything himself he back in the day, and because in that gave him the creative control Exactly.
Dianne Bell 1:21:23
To do whatever he wanted. Exactly. And then, you know, of course, I still have fantasies everybody does about meeting this, like, ideal producer is going to do everything for you. Yeah. We all know, we all harbor that fantasy. Yeah, well, so I go like, really, if you want to make films, like you know, empower yourself, educate yourself, roll your sleeves up and get going. You know, there's nothing to stop you. There's nothing to stop you.
Alex Ferrari 1:21:48
So to to finish off, our amazing interview has been great so far. Thank you so much, Diane.
Dianne Bell 1:21:53
Alex Ferrari 1:21:55
Chris, who I absolutely am in love with Chris is one of the most interesting human beings I've ever met in my life. Yes. And I absolutely adore him. And he sits down and tells these ridiculous stories of his travels in the world. And one of his claim to fame is that he was in Titanic. He was an actor in Titanic. And he has these amazing stories about his experience. Can you share just one nugget with the audience of his explosive? Mr. Cameron?
Dianne Bell 1:22:29
Yes. So first of all, Chris is the guy who drops the keys, which is really funny, because so many people who've seen Titanic immediately go, I know that guy, I go, Yeah, he's the guy that drops the keys, you know, in case you're trying to get out of the door and locked in, he's shaking, and he's trying to unlock it. And then he drops the keys and runs off and leaves them. So that was his part. But I mean, because the funny thing is, although that was, you know, screentime is quite short. He's in different, you know, scenes, his background and stuff. Sure. He worked on it for I think, six months. And he says, though, I mean, he has only good things to say about Mr. Cameron, he does talk about, um, how he would be injecting himself with like vitamin B and stuff in between takes, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:23:10
wow. So he does because you have to do something to get that as
Dianne Bell 1:23:13
well. And he's like he said, he was I mean, he said, You know, he was working 18 hours a day, every day, you know, and he put himself completely on the line for this movie. And it was funny, because now it's like, oh, of course Titanic the biggest you know, the biggest successful film of all times perhaps something his avatar probably took over that now.
Alex Ferrari 1:23:34
Yes, it's number two, but he has number one. And
Dianne Bell 1:23:38
but you know, but the fact was, like, I think even a week before it was released, the you know, the people in studio were like, this movie's gonna flop, you know, right. Like it was, you know, in the fact that gone silver budgets over time and everything. But I mean, yeah, we easily get Chris on to tell her stories. But I would just go, Yeah, he has nothing but total respect and admiration to James Cameron. Well,
Alex Ferrari 1:24:03
I've met a lot of people who've worked with Mr. Cameron. And they've said, wonderful things. I'm very, I've heard very few negative stories from the artists because I've only
Dianne Bell 1:24:13
know he is like, he said, he's a true artist of visionary, completely committed to what he was doing. And every level. He said, that's what it takes, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:24:22
he did tell me the one story that when he was in a take, and it was looking down, like all the way down the, you know, huge, long hallway or something. He would like yell, cut, run all the way to the end, and move a glass like two inches, and then run a four yard back and people were like, Are you kidding me? Yeah, that's who he is. Yeah, that's the only
Dianne Bell 1:24:48
thing you know, this is the thing I think to make anything good. You have to be like, you know, tall and you know, and no detail is too small because filmmaking is the details and Chris talks about that to me, like he said, Like on tight on this, like how everything the attention to detail is it just was mind blowing you know down to I mean whether the carpet like how everything had to be the exact replicas of the real thing. You know, the porcelain like everything, you know, they go like no matter what budget level you're working at, like you have to be that obsessive about detail I really believe it to make a good film.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:25
You've got to be honest you can't have acid No,
Dianne Bell 1:25:27
absolutely you know and that's what you know i mean obviously James Cameron is like that beyond
Alex Ferrari 1:25:32
what he takes it to another there's a definite he actually has a definition in the in the in the dictionary about the word intense you see a picture of him. Excellent.
Dianne Bell 1:25:42
Alex Ferrari 1:25:44
All right, so last two questions. I asked all of my guests. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn in the film industry or in life in general?
Dianne Bell 1:25:54
My goodness, that's a tough one. You know, it goes back to what I was saying before about listening to your heart trusting your instincts. Okay, you know, because I think even though I thought I knew and I thought I'd learned it I hadn't you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:26:08
right it took it took it took your second movie to kind of
Dianne Bell 1:26:11
like I'm still learning it in some ways, you know, and it's it's really you know, I think that's one of the big ones because I think it's so easy for self doubt to creep in for artists. I mean, all of us are different there are the world seems to divide into those who are like completely entitled, overconfident. 100% know that their vision is true. And then there's people like me, who you know, like a beset by doubt. Like it took me all my 20s to believe that anything I wrote could ever be anything, you know, of any decent volume of worth in any way. You know, like, like, it was just like crushingly hard for me it's like yes, it's a hard path for me to do this
Alex Ferrari 1:26:52
you know, it's not an artists path is not an easy path. No, you know
Dianne Bell 1:26:57
and I like as I say that thing of like doubt and so I go like just saying to have faith that like what you do you know that it matters that it has value and you want to listen to yourself, you know, is, for me, the most important one.
Alex Ferrari 1:27:11
Coppola said it best is like, I don't know an artist worth his weight in salt. That doesn't doubt what they're doing. Yeah, it's very true. There has to be a flat out when you I
Dianne Bell 1:27:21
agree. I say I mean, I don't I don't know. Like, you just don't know what goes on anyone else's head. I just know for me like it feels particularly hard.
Alex Ferrari 1:27:30
Oh, no, I'm here. I'm with you. I'm with you. I'm with you. I'm in the middle of it. Right now. I'm editing a scene. I'm like, Oh, god, this is horrible. This is all gonna go. But I'll do that with all my projects. So it's just, it's just the way it is. Now, what are your three favorite films of all time?
Dianne Bell 1:27:47
Oh, Holy moly. That's hard to read that tickle your fancy at the moment. Okay. I mean, the one that always comes to mind like always, it's a wonderful life. Okay. The Capra movie, which people was really surprised, but if you know me, but it's the one movie that I do watch every year. I've watched it every year at Christmas time. And it always makes me cry. And it's the only movie that makes me cry because it's happy. And I just find that the most exquisite thing and the most extraordinary thing in that movie just never bores me. I've seen it more than any other film. I think in my life.
Alex Ferrari 1:28:18
Yes, it is to say something while being that diehard is my favorite Christmas movie. Oh, is it every year?
Dianne Bell 1:28:26
Die Hard is a good movie. So what are the other two? The other two? If you ask me, like every day it probably changes. One will be Tokyo story. I love that film. Great movie. Yeah, it was this film. I just that it just, you know, there's so many things about it that I love. The economy, though, is something that just, I don't know,
Alex Ferrari 1:28:48
his own language, if I'm not mistaken. Right? Yeah, you know, his own visual language, the
Dianne Bell 1:28:52
whole movie is shot from like, the level the camera is always in the position of where you'd be if you're kneeling. So it's quite low, and the camera only moves once in the whole movie. And when it moves, whether you're whether you're aware of or not, it just suddenly sleazy it just kills you. Because it's so like, it has such a subconscious impact on you, you know, and I often think of that, like, you know, you know, just like, how, like, where we put the camera how we move the camera when we move the camera, why we move the camera, you know, it's like, it's everything to me, you know? And that movie too, is just it's also just the most extraordinarily universal story and so specific but so universal everyone I know that watches it says that's my family, you know? I've never known anyone that isn't good. That's my family. And I'm like, yeah, and yet it's so specifically postwar Japan. It's like and that amazes me. And the last one today, I mean, in any data, you asked me it would be something different. I don't, it's possibly because I just got a copy of a new Tarkovsky film, but it has to be something back to the moment I'm obsessed with him.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:01
Dianne Bell 1:30:02
amazing is this you know, and I'm like, which one? Would it be nostalgia weirdly is one of my favorites.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:09
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. You know, but but he's one of those artists that he just did. He just did him
Dianne Bell 1:30:25
and it's just transcendental. Do you know? Like, you don't care
Alex Ferrari 1:30:28
about plot, it doesn't matter about. He didn't care about it. Like he cared about the
Dianne Bell 1:30:33
Alex Ferrari 1:30:34
Yes, he was just doing what he wants.
Dianne Bell 1:30:38
It's about cinema. Yes, big time. You know, it's like in cinema, it's not TV. It's not like talking heads. You know, it's cinema. It's a language. It's a fabric. It's like, it's that thing what you put in front of your camera, you know? Obviously last week, curious Tommy just passed away. And he was certainly one of my favorite living filmmakers. tasted cherries, a film that we watched a number of times before we show our last movie in the desert. I became like, I when I first saw I just, like, loved it. But then I really became quite obsessed with it last year, you know, it's, it's like and again, it's it's just staggering. But there's so many I can't
Alex Ferrari 1:31:15
I don't know, we could go on for hours just geeking out on movies.
Dianne Bell 1:31:19
When somebody asks like, Oh, you hate movies, I end up thinking about filmmakers, you know, and then trying to choose which one of their films you know what I mean, in a sense.
Alex Ferrari 1:31:26
Yeah, I know, like I have I have my list. But then there's like, it changes all the
Dianne Bell 1:31:31
changes, or, you know, but then it doesn't. The films I'm talking about today are films. They've been on my list for the last 20 years.
Alex Ferrari 1:31:36
Right. Right. The analysts right there. Yes.
Dianne Bell 1:31:38
You know, so
Alex Ferrari 1:31:40
where can people find you?
Dianne Bell 1:31:43
They can find me on Twitter. Okay. Yes.
Alex Ferrari 1:31:49
This is the point where you tell us what your your website's on?
Dianne Bell 1:31:52
Yes. Okay. Great. I like it. Where can you find me?
Alex Ferrari 1:31:55
I'm not asking for your home address.
Dianne Bell 1:31:57
So my Twitter Yeah, I live in Denver, come to Denver, Colorado. So my Twitter handle is at Diane Bell one di n he wanted. And then I have my website is rebel heart film, Rebel heart. film.com. And through that, like I sometimes blog about filmmaking and aspects of filmmaking you do and just try to share, you know, like I said, honest information. You know, the honest truth is I as I've perceived it working,
Alex Ferrari 1:32:27
I have to coerce you in doing a guest blog post one day for indie film. Yeah. Because your your blogs or your articles, and your blog posts are awesome, because they're just they come they're like your films, they come from the heart, and they come from truth. Yeah.
Dianne Bell 1:32:41
Thank you. I haven't blogged for a while since I moved here. I moved to Denver in March, my last post, my last blog post was about you know, does a filmmaker need to live in Los Angeles, I remember that one, as I as I, you know, as I hit the road, and the car drove to Denver. So yeah, and it's funny, like, I feel like I've just been sort of like, recalibrating myself, you know, and sort of re nourishing myself these last months. So I haven't been super active on it. Well,
Alex Ferrari 1:33:11
thank you so much for being on the show you have been, I knew you would be a pleasure and a wealth of information. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. And I hope everyone got as much as I did out of it. So thank you so much.
Dianne Bell 1:33:26
Thank you, Alex. I just love what you're doing with indie film, hustle. It's awesome.
Alex Ferrari 1:33:30
Thanks again, I appreciate it.
Dianne Bell 1:33:32
Alex Ferrari 1:33:34
Diane, by the way, is one of the sweetest if you can tell the sweetest people I've ever met, I absolutely adore her and her husband, Chris. And I look forward to working with them. Again, in the future on any of their projects. There's always an open call to work with them. I absolutely love, love, love, love working with them. And it was it's always a fascinating story to see how other people you know, get to places where you might dream to be and see what the realities are, and see what the realities are of, you know, winning Sundance and what it does, and it's not that magic carpet ride. Once you get it like you know, you win Sundance, and you know, it doesn't it's not that Harvey Weinstein writes you a check and and you move into the Hollywood Hills and you start making millions It doesn't work that way. And I think that's the story. And that's the dream that is sold very often only by film schools by the industry in general just to keep the machine going. But the reality is, are that's not just the way it is. And those days are the days of those times in the 90s. Those days are not now they're very different, very different world. And I wanted to kind of bring a reality check to everybody about what it really takes. Even after you win Sundance. You got to keep hustling. You got to keep pushing and keep trying to get projects made and you know she's a winner of son and a two time winner of Sundance and get, you know, she had to go crowdfund her movie because nobody would finance her third movie of Dustin bones. You know, and it was very interesting to go down that road with her. And I've heard a lot of things off air, and we've talked a bunch about her other projects and what she's gone through with them, but I hope it just kind of shines a light to what the real world is like, and but don't get me wrong. Her trip was magical when she was at Sundance. I mean, I mean, she told me that story with the Robert Redford story when she went up to have lunch at Robert Redford ties with Mark Ruffalo, and all these people and it just must have been amazing I'm like I'm giddy just listening to it I'm, you know, I hope and wish and prayed I get something like that would happen to me or any of my hustlers out there. I really am, by the way of anybody, any of my hustlers out there any of the of the tribe, get into any big major festivals, please let me know, you know, or if you've reached a goal of yours, whatever that goal might be, please reach out and let me know, I really want to know what happens with you guys. And, you know, Alex, I made my first movie, and I just got into South by Southwest, or I just finally finished my first feature film, and I got accepted into the x Film Festival. And it's screening and I'm so so excited. You know, I want to hear these stories, guys, I really, really do. So please just reach out to me via email or via our Facebook group, or through the film hustle on Facebook or Twitter. Let me know man, I really want to know what's going on with you guys. We are a community and you know, I want you guys to share the goods and the bads, the highs and the lows. So I get a lot of lows, I would love to hear some more highs as far as you guys making it, or you're like, hey, Alex, I'm making a living. I'm making a movie this year. And it's awesome. And you know, that's, that's all you could ask for is to make a living, doing what you love to do. And that is, you know, a goal that we should all have in our lives. So, guys, thanks again for for making this my one year anniversary, that we're still around that you guys are listening and spreading the word of indie film hustle. And I really again, appreciate it. And I hope you got a lot out of that interview with Diane bell. And I'm gonna leave all her show notes at indie film hustle.com for slash zero 90. And there you'll be able to get links to her directly to rebel heart films. And what she's doing with those amazing seminars which I've been invited to and I've listened in on and they're wonderful man. And it comes from her perspective of what it really took for her to get her movies out and the festival circuit and all that kind of stuff. And it's, it's wonderful. So definitely check out check out the show notes at indie film hustle.com for slash zero 90. Thanks again guys I am off to after I'm done recording this I am going back to the Edit room which is the same room I record this and but I'm going to be back in the Edit room. And by the way, there will be a cameo in this is Meg of my edit suite. There is a scene that takes place in an edit suite, oddly enough, so you guys will see where I actually record the podcast as well as do all my post production and things like that. But you'll see more of that later. As more and more parts of the courses in indie film syndicate come out. I'll be recording them in my suite. But I'm going to be heading back to the edit suite, cranking on the Edit and then preparing for my shoot tomorrow. So guys, thank you again so much. I can't stop Thank you guys, you know because you guys mean so much to me. So thanks again and if you hear my voice a little bit kind of off is because I just got done with a head cold. That's why I only released one podcast this week as opposed to our normal two. Because I have twin girls and they are little petri dishes of bacteria that they bring home all the time. And I apparently have very little defense against it. I will do the best I can to keep cooking. So guys, thanks again. Keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive and I will talk to you soon.
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- Diane Bell’s Rebel Heart Workshops
- Diane Bell – IMDB
- Diane Bell – Wikipedia
- Diane Bell – Twitter
- Bleeding Heart – iTunes
- Bleeding Heart – Amazon
- 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)