So this week I’m doing something different. I occasionally get asked to be guest on other people’s podcasts. In this podcast I go over topics I might not have spoken about on the IFH Podcast in the past so to mix things up, with the permission of the hosts, I’ll be uploading bonus episodes with these interviews.
In my effort to bring you more value I think you’ll enjoy these interviews. First up is my interview with Doc Kennedy from the Filmmaker’s Focus Podcast. This interview was a ton of fun. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Alex Ferrari 1:08
So guys, today we have a special episode, I did an interview a while back on a wonderful podcast called filmmakers focus with Doc Kennedy. And the interview was so cool. I really wanted you guys to take a listen to it. Doc did a great job. And I talked about a whole bunch of different things about the industry that I haven't spoken about before on on the show, so I thought it'd be a nice little bonus episode to kind of toss in there for you guys. So I hope you guys like this bonus episode. So enjoy.
Doc Kennedy 1:40
Hey, Alex, welcome to the show.
Alex Ferrari 1:41
Thanks for having me, man.
Doc Kennedy 1:43
This is exciting for me. I love, love, love indie film, hustle.
Alex Ferrari 1:47
Thank you so much
Doc Kennedy 1:48
Awesome stuff going on.
Alex Ferrari 1:49
I appreciate that, brother. Thanks again. I appreciate that.
I was excited to see that indie film Academy recently ranked you number two. Man, that's, that's crazy.
Jason is Jason's a good friend of mine. And he did that on purpose. He called me up he's like, I'm not going to ranking number one, man. I'm just not going to do it. It was just a lot of fun. Because I always we, Jason I have kind of like a wonderful rivalry. But it's very friendly. We're really good friends. And, and even ever since he I think he mentioned it to me once when we're talking when they just like Hey, did you know you like the number one filmmaking podcast on iTunes, and I'm like, I am and, and I looked at her like I am. And the second like, within three hours, I had a post about it. I was promoting it as the number one film and he's like, son, oh, that was Black Friday for me Alex but we're friends now Look, man, we'll take any look, we'll take anything that anything I could give you a little bit of a leverage or a little bit of a, you know, bump to help you move forward and your business is is greatly appreciated. And, and I think it's always a good thing for for all of us, you know, in this space, the filmmaking, space podcast, specifically, to kind of help each other out as much as we can, because we just want to get more people, more filmmakers to, to come to this amazing resource that is podcasting. And there are some really good podcasts. There's some really horrible ones. But there are some really, really good and there's a lot of great information in this medium that I think filmmakers are slowly starting to come around where a lot of the other niches like internet marketing or business or other things like that have kind of you know, they these guys get, you know, millions of views a month, a downloads a month. So it's something that I'm trying to do myself just trying to bring as many filmmakers to the podcast medium as possible.
Doc Kennedy 3:54
I love it. Nice for me. So I'm doing a lot driving right now, I'm able to just flip on your show, Jason show, download all this information into my brain that you know, while I'm doing nothing, literally, right? I'm able to soak in all this knowledge and I mean, it's invaluable to me.
Alex Ferrari 4:15
Yeah, it's I mean I when I I've been a big podcast listener for probably over a year now and I just started listening to a lot of guys outside of our niche and outside of the film industry just kind of learning about all this kind of stuff and a man it's insane. Like the stuff that the knowledge, the knowledge bombs, if you will, are insane, that kind of stuff. You can sit down and listen to like, you know, I just listened to a podcast on Tim Ferriss. I love Tim Ferriss podcast. He's like one of the top podcasts out there. And he was interviewing Kevin Costner. He interviewed Jamie Foxx and you just sit there listening to like Jamie Foxx talk about how he came up and stuff like that's freaking awesome. And you get so many cool stories and not only entertaining but the knowledge that they come With his insane I was just listening to Gene Simmons this morning at the gym, from you know, kiss, and he has a new book out about, you know, being a businessman. And the stuffing was laying down I was like, This is awesome. podcasts are so so powerful, you know, and whoever's listening to this obviously knows that now, but but it's so so powerful especially it's kind of like an audio book but really quick bytes of great information if the show's done right.
Doc Kennedy 5:29
And agree more. I love this man. So, uh, why don't you give us just a little bit of background about yourself, Alex?
Alex Ferrari 5:36
Um, I am a carnie I've been working on the carnival. No, I'm joking. I'm
Doc Kennedy 5:43
Sure there was something.
Alex Ferrari 5:43
Yeah, I know exactly right. I'm a circus circus folk. Now I'm basically I've been a filmmaker for about 20 years, I've been in the film industry for about 20 years, I've probably produced over finished and post production where I've made my bones most of the time. Most of the time in this business. I've been in post production for about 15 years in the business of post production. I've delivered probably over 1000 projects, or more, you know, between commercials, music, videos, feature films, short documentaries, and all that kind of stuff. And that experience of just being in the post side of things has given me a very unique perspective on the film industry as well as being the director for the last 12 years or so. I've been a director commercials, music videos, short films, and I've been produced I've been a producers on features as well. And I have a very unique perspective on the film industry because I've, I get a front row seat, but I get a back door seat, and I'm in that back door room while the things are going on in post where you sit down and you're in a room for sometimes months at a time with people. And a lot of information gets shared and in a good way not unlike you know, the cheesy gossip boy, but just like you should sit there and you watch what they go through you sit and you see the processes of finishing the movie, the technical aspects of finishing the movie, the story, all that kind of stuff. But the business side is very fascinating to me because you kind of see what they go through like Oh, if I would have had this Act, or maybe I would have done this or, and figured something out or if Oh, you know, like a perfect example give you a perfect example of a movie I worked on. They made a movie that I call a graded it for them. You know, small movie was out of town out of LA. And it was like a sci fi thriller. And they know stars at all. The guy went out try to sell it couldn't get it sold. Because he had no stars in it. And the genre hadn't built up an audience or anything. We could talk about that later. But he was just going down the traditional distribution routes. And then he came back to me six months later he goes Alex, I need you to color Grade A few more scenes for the movie. We've shot a few scenes. I'm like, Okay, great. Who's in those who's in it is like, oh, Michael Madsen and another actor that you might know. I'm like, fantastic. And then he it re edited the movie replaced the shots with the old actor put the new actors in when unsold it because he was a he was a very smart producer and filmmaker, he figured it out. He's like, if I don't do this, if I don't spend a little bit of money to get these actors to come in and do a few scenes for me, I'm not going to be able to sell this movie, which was so eye opening for him. And I knew I mean, I'd already known that, but I've never seen someone actually implement it, which was really wonderful to like, kind of go back and like you know what, I gotta go redo these scenes with a name actor, because that's the only way I'm gonna sell this thing. So anyway, that perspective of being in the film industry. It gives me like that really unique point of view on the whole thing. And when I came up as a filmmaker. years ago, I created a short film called broken which is I think, at this point, the most nauseating, most spoken about short film in the history of short films. I keep bringing it up and people keep bringing it up. So I'm like, Alright, well just let's talk about it. And I was able to back 12 got cheese about 12 years ago now. It was released in 2005. So about six years ago. I 16. Yeah, 11 years ago, sorry, I'm horrible at math. We were able to shoot this movie on dv mini DV. We had over 100 visual effects shots in it we made made it for 1000 bucks at the time, no stars no nothing. shot in West Palm Beach, Florida. And edited on Final Cut color graded on Final Cut on a TV monitor was a very first thing ever color graded in my life. And I color graded it in Final Cut with a bunch of different plugins that I created this insane look for. And we released it into the world. And I got into over almost 200 Film Festivals with it. Roger Ebert reviewed it, which is a whole other story and But the big thing was I was able to sell it. And I actually put together this course map course but I put together this Got to film school behind the scenes of how I was able to do it. Because a lot of filmmakers want to know how I was able to pull so much out of that technology out of the mini DV technology, I was able to take it and make it look very filmic when a lot of people had the exact same camera and just had no idea how to do it. So I put together about three hours worth of stuff and put it on a DVD and sold it and we made roughly over $90,000 with it. You know selling DVDs sold over 5000 DVDs. And just kept going in and just kind of grew into this thing. And today people are still talking about it. And you know and I, I just repackaged it and put it together and another course that I released called filmmaking hacks, how to shoot and
market your film. And I put a bunch of the stuff that was still very relevant, added a whole bunch of new stuff and people still like love it. Like there's still love all the all this kind of behind the scenes stuff that I did on it. So that's a not a quick breakdown of who I am. It's something Sorry, I didn't mean to throw a pitch in there. I just was just kind of just went into it.
Doc Kennedy 11:04
And that's what that's what we do. Right!
Alex Ferrari 11:06
Yeah. hustling. Yeah, we hustle, baby, we hustle.
Doc Kennedy 11:10
So one question that I want to ask you. And this really ties into what you were just talking about? What do you see up and coming? indie filmmakers doing right?
Alex Ferrari 11:21
I'm just doing right in general
Doc Kennedy 11:23
Just doing right now. And we can talk about what they're doing bad all day long. But let's talk about a little bit about what they're doing right, and then we'll turn down.
Alex Ferrari 11:30
Okay, well, I think a few filmmakers that I've seen in study to understand the concept of audience building. Understand that that is the new paradigm that the whole film industry is changing into. If you want to be an independent artist, independent filmmaker, you have to build audiences, you have to be able to build the audience. Have you ever heard of the the, the concept of the 1000 1000 true fan theory? Yeah. So for the audience, for the audience, for your audience that might not know the 1000 true fans is was written by an art, it was an article written by the co founder of Wired Magazine, and basically stating that all you need is 1000 true fans to support you as a artist, filmmaker, whatever. And the concept is, if you got 1000 people to pay you $100 a year $100,000. That's not a bad deal. Most people can make a decent living at $100,000, doing what you love to do. And if you start thinking about us, like, well, that's about $10 a month, you know, 10 to $12, whatever the math is, and it started making sense. So if a filmmaker can build an audience, that audience can support that filmmaker through multiple films. So one of the there was a movie that just came out, called Kung Fury. Have you heard of that one?
Doc Kennedy 12:49
Yeah, I've seen it. It's insane.
Alex Ferrari 12:52
And love that and hilarious. It's so funny. But that was such a wonderful example of what a filmmaker did, right? This guy who is outside of the business, and when I say outside, I mean, outside. He's in like, Sweden, or something along those lines. He's not in the US at all. He had a love for 80s movies and decided to make a short film about, you know, I think it's a kung fu cop, who's in the 80s, who goes back in time to kill Hitler.
Doc Kennedy 13:25
And which seems like a logical concept,
Alex Ferrari 13:28
obviously, obviously. And then, and there's Thor involved too, and they go back into time, there's some dinosaurs. It's just brilliant. It's just a brilliant concept. So but he went on to Kickstarter, and I think he raised 130 $30,000 for a short film. But he was able to crowd crowdsource and crowdfund. So as he was building his budget up his money, his war chest, he was building up an audience. And then that audience started talking and they started evangelizing for him. And all of a sudden now he's made obscene amounts of money with this short film, puts puts by poor little broken to shame. He, he's made obscene amounts of money, he's been able to merchandise like crazy. People are cosplaying to him at Comic conventions, you know, it's this kind of underground thing. But it doesn't have to be Star Wars. You know, it could be underground, it could be that that small audience. And that's the thing. I think one of the things that if I can jump to one thing that people do wrong, filmmakers do wrong is they try to appeal to everybody. But the people who really succeed appeal to a very niche audience. So if you try to be broad, you can't afford to get the attention of an entire broad audience. So you can't go I need that I need to I need to go after males from 18 to 45. You don't have the money to do that. You're not a studio you don't have $100 million to blanket. All media for a week for people to to be aware of your movie, but This guy did. He's like, you know, I'm going after guys and girls who love the 80s. And I'm gonna do this really ridiculous little short about the 80s. And people who love the 80s. And love those action movies of the 80s in the sci fi of the 80s. And that's what his niche, that's what we went after. And he was able to not only make a living off of that, now he's building it up into like this little Empire, that, you know, I'm sure he's not making millions with it, he might be who knows God knows how much he's making with it. But the point is that he's, he's a successful filmmaker, he's made a profit. And as a short, it's a short, it's not even a feature. It's a short film. I can't wait for him to do a feature film version of this, like, I'm sure he's working on it as we speak. And I'm sure the second that he puts it out there, to crowdfund again, he'll probably get half a million bucks that make it or 2 million bucks to make it, you know, because there's such an audience, he was able to build that audience up and start mining that audience, giving the audience what they want, and the audience and then is in return paying him or giving him money to continue to do his art. So it's a it's a wonderful exchange, you create a product, the audience wants that product, they exchange money for it, it's called commerce. You know, and but it's a wonderful thing when an artist is able to do that. And I think that was a that's a wonderful example of someone doing it right? And just building that audience is so, so, so important. And then there's so many other steps along the way. But audience building and crowdsourcing as opposed to crowdfunding and those are two different things. It's so integral into the filmmaking a filmmakers process nowadays it has to be
Doc Kennedy 16:34
so I can even though I can't hear people, I can hear them right now saying, I don't have an audience. How do I I can't do that, you know, how do I even start? Well, I'll tell that person now.
Alex Ferrari 16:46
Well, I'll tell you what I just did. I launched indie film hustle six months ago.
Doc Kennedy 16:52
That's all six months ago and you're already the top rank making podcast on iTunes.
Alex Ferrari 16:57
So I'm going to tell you how I did it and this is how and this is what I am now teaching and trying to spread the word on I literally came out of nowhere I was not active on Facebook I was I had a Facebook account of course and you know I've had you know people from the olden days from broken days and stuff don't I was huge on Myspace By the way, but she was on Myspace By the way, so I wasn't I had no Twitter account. I had I mean I had my personal again just just had no other reason but never really used. It. Had no no website, no concept. This was a brand new entity. No one had ever heard of it before. And I leveraged nothing leveraged the only thing I leveraged with a handful of people who knew who I was. And that was a small handful that wasn't a mount you know, I didn't have a huge following by any stretch. And when I made a handful of people I mean these are friends of mine, you know, that's it. So I literally launched indie film hustle and started to build an audience now that I'm sure you're gonna ask Alex How did you do this? I created I created a brand new Facebook page had zero followers I created a brand new Twitter page zero followers created a brand new Instagram page zero followers and created a YouTube page zero followers, brand new starting from scratch. And then I just started pumping content out pumping really good content out because for me, I knew who my audience was my audience was independent filmmakers. I know independent filmmakers, I love independent filmmakers. They are they are the the audience that I know inside and out because I am an independent filmmaker. So I understand what I need and what I want. And I would I would pay money for what I would find valuable. And I did not see that in the marketplace. Similar to come theory, there are no other you know, cop Miami cops who go back in time to kill Hitler movies. So they're very rare. And if they're if they're already at all, other than his so I saw I saw a hole in the marketplace. Now don't get me wrong, there are other people doing what I do. Like, you know, like, we talked about Jason with indie film Academy, Scott over at film trooper and a bunch of other guys who do what, you know what I do. But the difference was I came in from a different perspective altogether. And everyone has a different flavor of what they do and how they, how they present their information. I came from a position or a place of 20 years experience a lot of post experience and also filmmaking experience. So I can just kind of go out there and go, you know what, guys, I'm going to tell you guys the truth of stuff that I know for a fact that these are these are truths that I I'm not seeing anyone tell you. So I started creating content based around that. And then I fell into this podcasting format, which was very strategic. I was going to create a podcast but I had no idea how powerful podcasting really was until I jumped into it. And then I saw that there was a very big hole in the marketplace. Casting. So I was like, You know what, let me go, I want to, I want to give everybody as much great information as I possibly can, things that nobody else talks about. Things like how to know how to know when to work for free, post production workflow, understand it or die. You know why you shouldn't maybe shoot 4k if you're not ready to shoot 4k, because you might not understand the workflow. And you might die in post production, which is something I've seen many times now. So these are things that I was just kind of going down the road don't hire a dp just because they have a red camera, you know, mistakes like that, that people aren't talking about. So like, let's just put some shine a light on it. So because I was able to do that, I started building a following. Because I created great content, I created content that was relevant to my niche. So I understood my niche, I understood my audience. And then I started to give the audience what they wanted. For free, I'm giving it to them for free, I just want to build an audience. So as I keep giving them free stuff, free stuff, free stuff. And by the way, it's insane the amount of stuff I put out. And by the way, I do this all myself, I have nobody else with me.
Doc Kennedy 21:06
All the graphics or everything, everything.
Alex Ferrari 21:08
I designed the website from scratch myself, I'm the tech guy I have no, I haven't I have nothing I've nobody else. This is everything you see that has any film hustles name on it, it's either by me, or occasionally I'll get a guest post from somebody. And even then I'm still creating the graphics and launching it and marketing and and pushing it and all that kind of stuff. So I put out a tremendous amount of content, because I'm insane. And I have a vigor of what's the word? ambition, it's it's almost insane the amount of ambition I have. And when I turn it on, it's very difficult to turn off the spout. So I just wanted to keep going, keep going, keep going. So when I hit the scene, like Jason and Scott, and these guys, they contacted like, Who are you? Like, like, what's, where did you come from, and I came in like a freight train a couple of I think a few people call me a freight train, because it was just like a non stop entity that just kept coming. And, and, and we became friends, and we kind of start talking to each other and helping each other out. Because I believe that if you help other people around you, the tide lifts all boats. And that's, that's, you know, as opposed to like, oh, you're my competition, you're my competition. I noticed that from other niches that I was studying in, you know, other internet marketers and things like that they don't cannibalize each other, they kind of help each other. So I think a lot of times filmmakers themselves like, oh, I've got a movie, you got a movie, you're gonna take my money away from my crowdfunding? Like No, dude. Like, I guarantee you, the guy who's gonna give 50 bucks to come, fury is not going to give 50 bucks to the period piece. You know, it's just like, it's just the it's there's no competition. And I learned that also from George Lucas, who said at the early days, that him Scorsese, Spielberg, malleus, the Palma Coppola, they were all at the gates, but they wouldn't be let in the studios wouldn't let them in. So instead of trying to beat each other up to try to get in like a crab, you know, pulling each other down, they all helped each other. They said, well look like out in the olden days, you know, the cavemen, they said, Well, you know, if we're by ourselves, we have a much less chance of survival. But if we group together, we have a much bigger chance of survival, and helping each other and then we can grow and become a stronger entity. And so itself, and that's what they did. And there's always competition, of course, but, but they help each other. So I've gone on, I've gone off on a tangent, Oh, okay. Sorry about that. But anyway, so that's how I've been able to build this up, I build up my Twitter account now just hit 14,000 followers. I'm over 12,000 followers on Instagram, my, my Facebook's around 1500. Because Facebook's really tough, unless you want to pay, and I refuse to pay. So it's a lot harder to get followers there. But even if you got a million followers, Facebook doesn't let you talk to them, because that's the way Facebook is. So um, I started going after other other areas. And then I got almost 1000 followers on and I think almost like 50 50,040 50,000 views on YouTube. So I did this all within six months. And then you know, my traffic for my site has grown and grown and more people are seeing what we're doing. But that was done literally by one guy who did a lot of research. I did a lot of work. I studied this whole thing, probably about a year before I launched. So that might just be age, because I'm not a young buck anymore. So I sit there and I kind of analyze things. And when I when I launched I launched hard I didn't launch like quietly like let's just build it up like no, I launched very hard and that's how filmmakers need to be you have to be aggressive, but you have to understand what you're doing. You have to understand this study the techniques and learn the craft. What you're trying to do so that's, in a nutshell how to build an audience, I'm actually going to probably going to create a course one day about how to how to do this, like, you know, I'm going to hopefully be doing that with a movie. You know, like actually take everybody through a process of actually doing that with an actual film itself. But, but I have been able to build up a pretty decent sized audience very, very quickly.
Just have to just got to study it, man got to study who you're going after, if you're a hoarder, if you're a horror guy making a horror movie, well, hell, man, there's a lot of horror fans out there. So go find them, build that audience up, do something cool, you know, and give them good content. People want to be entertained, it's kind of like Gladiator. Are you not entertained? Like they, they want to be entertained, they want good quality content, whatever that niche is, if you're a vegan chef, you know, and you're sell recipes. You know, give recipes away, you get people, there's, it's easy, it's not as hard as you think to build an audience. It's just giving them great free content, at first, to build that audience to build that trust to build that rapport. And then slowly but surely, you start adding more value to them with other content that you charge for would that be a movie t shirts, events, meet and greets, you know, you know, audio courses, mainly the books, you know, it's a million ways to then eventually monetize an audience. But first, you just want to, and you have to continue to give them free, great content and just build relationship. Solid is
Doc Kennedy 26:33
exactly did we just had to Ashley Scott Myers on selling your screenplay calm, okay. You know, he's got 10,000 people on his email list. That's awesome. And it's something that has taken a little bit of time, not everybody's gonna run out of the gate like you have Alex.
Alex Ferrari 26:49
Well, yeah, well, I'm not I'm look up like, like, yeah, okay, go ahead. Sorry.
Doc Kennedy 26:55
Same time. Well, now he's got this short film, or a feature film that he's producing. And he's using the email list that he's created to help fund some of that. And it's not just trying to take money from people, it's not building this list to be able to use them in that way. He's just given so much free content, like you have that people are absolutely willing to help him out with the project that's important to him.
Alex Ferrari 27:26
Absolutely. Absolutely. It's, it's, you're leveraging your audience. And but that's in a really good way. You know, I see this from you know, do you know, you know what, Tim Ferriss? Yep. Alright, so Tim Ferriss, he, he did a TV show that was supposed to air I don't know, CNN or something like that, for whatever reason, they shot 12 episodes of the TV show, which is him him doing, you know, crazy stuff, and kind of, you know, learning how to be a world class drummer in seven days and stuff like that. And watching the process of it, and that was a great show, but it was it never, I think aired twice, two episodes, and then they pulled it and then something happened and they just lost the rights to it. So he went after the rights to get it back because he's like, Look, I know I can monetize this. I know I can I know I can get this to my audience. I need the art my audience to see this. And he has a very big audience based on his book, The Four Hour Workweek, which every filmmaker on the planet should read it's amazing amazing book. And so he got that got it and he started leveraging his audience he's like Hey guys, I got a new show. Within a week he was the number one TV show on iTunes Wow. Because he but he has a huge audience that he's given you know, he's given so much free content out to and he's built this this wonderful fan base that people just and he started off with nothing as well like they don't understand the all the audio everybody in the audience has to understand. Everyone starts off with nothing. Everyone no one's born with an audience. Unless you're the Royals then even then you don't really care about the audience at that point because you know, you're just doing your thing. But generally no one starts off with with a big audience no one it you have to build it, you know, Kevin Smith has been a genius at giving his audience what they want. And he has built an industry around himself and around his not only his films, but about him around himself, which he can monetize much easier as a celebrity than he can as a director. And some people might, you know, might judge them for that and other people might not, but gotta give it to the man he knows what he's doing. And he leverages it leverages his audience constantly and his audience loves him for it I mean Same thing for I mean, if you want to go even deeper a trauma you know, trauma films is I don't, okay, so if you if you type in trauma tr, Mo trauma, trauma, trauma trauma films Lloyd Kaufman created and Lauren's gonna be on the show in a few weeks prior in a month or so I interviewed him he's been around since the 30s he made a movie that 30s he's been around for about 30 years, he made a movie called Toxic Avenger. Be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Which is a classic and the 80s classic movie and he built an entire company around this kind of schlocky filmmaking which is so odd because he's such a classical Lee trained very intelligent man I found I found out but he makes you know Toxic Avenger to Romeo and Juliet you know so many different crazy movies but he built an audience around that he took he took Toxic Avenger and people started following about and then they they just started pumping out movies like this and he's built an entire business over the years about this process about how he was able to to to to mine his audience and give his audience what he wants that what they want and that's something a filmmaker needs to figure out they need to figure out who they are as a filmmaker as a person as a business person and then find their niche and then attack but in a good way you know just go after who wants to see your stuff? And it might it might be it might be the chicken meat them the chicken before the egg kind of scenario like I don't know what my audience is, but I like making these kind of movies I'm like well if you like making those kind of movies go find the audience to make those kind of movies or if you want to go after an audience find the audience first then make content for that audience you know, but don't try to be everything to everybody because you'll never you'll never make it it's just it's impossible it's impossible to do something like that and I hate to use the word impossible but if the studios with hundreds of millions of dollars can't do it you can't do that nobody can no one can be everything to everybody ever it's not possible this
Doc Kennedy 32:09
totally makes sense you know when you go to see a turn to you know film you know what you're getting,
Alex Ferrari 32:13
he's filled he's built an audience up he's built it up and he's built it up in a different way and then every every like Robert Rodriguez has an audience obviously. So does Tarantino so it's Kevin Smith but you know Tarantino Kevin Smith are two very different audiences but but they kind of overlap a little bit there you know, because I you know, I like Tarantino films, I like Kevin Smith films, so they kind of overlap a little bit, but the true fans of Kevin Smith and the true fans of Tarantino probably wouldn't hang out often. But Tarantino has built his audience around his movies. Same thing as Spielberg Spielberg has an audience that he's a brand so as Martin Scorsese, you go to see Mr. Scorsese movie you know what you're going to get generally you go to see a Spielberg movie, you know what you're going to get generally and it's only when, when filmmakers vary from what they're known for, is where that's when things become awry. So like when Scorsese did Last Temptation of Christ and Condon you know, which are not his standard stuff, people were like what's going on but then you know, after you do so many movies you could do whatever the hell you want. You know, Ridley Scott does a million different genres and stuff. So then that becomes your brand you just jump from genre to genre? So you don't go see a Western because they're in Tina, did you go see it? Because Tara Tina made it Yeah, and that's a brand and then you know, it's I can go on for hours about this.
Doc Kennedy 33:33
Well, so one of the podcast episodes It was early on that really turned me on to what you got going on here. Alex? It was talking about you have to move to LA to be successful. Yeah, share with us a little bit about that. And is it mandatory that you move to LA?
Alex Ferrari 33:50
No, what I said in the podcast I'll repeat it here but it basically I moved to LA because you know, I was in Florida, which is a smaller market obviously it's a it's a large filmmaking market, probably one of the top five in the country. But it was a small you know, is this about much smaller than la but I also stretches but I moved out here because I, you know, I just worried about LA and needed to be where the action was. So that was the difference for me. I came out here with nothing. I knew three people, just like launching into film bustle, I had a I had a Final Cut system and a color grading system, which were both the same. And I put it up in a second bedroom, and I just started going after work. And I started getting work. But I mind you I also had, you know, 10 years of demo reels and you know, work underneath me that I did in Florida, so I wasn't just a fresh kid. But But I was a nobody here and I just started doing good work and good work and good work. The thing about moving to LA or to a big market is that your skill level will grow faster, because you are around people who are doing this 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So you You can't walk into a Starbucks in LA, anytime of the day without somebody working on a screenplay. Like it's just prerequisite. I feel that if there isn't somebody I think Starbucks hire somebody to sit there and write a script. Because everywhere I go every time I go there's always a guy writing a screenplay or talking about a screenplay or talking about a story. It's just like it's it's so embedded in the culture here of La that you are around 24 seven so you're challenged when you work with certain people because they've just been doing it so long so you'll learn faster you start get you know, it's kind of like when you're a carpenter, you know, if you're, you know, you're at home whittling away on some wood and all of a sudden they throw you into like, I need you to carve, you know, a six foot statue, you're gonna learn a lot of things you might have not learned because you were just whittling away on a little piece of wood as opposed to go into this huge you know, Michelangelo's ask event you know a project Same thing happens here in LA now to say that LA is the only place now it might have been before but not anymore. New York is still a very big market. Atlanta has become a huge huge filmmaking market because of their wonderful incentives you know before was Louisiana for a little while before the incentives dried up Florida had incentives to but Florida has a really big production community as well. Austin has a pretty big you know, has a lot of pretty big community as well. But there's a handful there's not a lot of like big communities but la if I was if it if it were me today la New York, Atlanta, and possibly Miami because Miami is smaller now than Atlanta is or Georgia in general like Savannah and those places but I think those are the three right now and I and I'm sure a whole bunch of people around the country are well how about Kansas I'm like well, I'm not here at all a lot of stuff coming out of Kansas guy sorry Austin's also a very big filmmaking community as well but from what I understand and from people who go there it's nothing compared to LA is nothing compared to what Atlanta is going the amount of partners 26 feature films going on right now in Atlanta, like right now. So and a lot of them are big studio movies. So you know, it's those I do think that you should if you are a filmmaker go to wherever you are in your mum if you're in India you know go to where Bollywood is, you know if you're in England go where you know pine studios is I don't know where that the Mecca is London I guess you know, go wherever the Mecca is for filmmaking and set up shop and just start learning because you'll learn much faster I learned in a couple years here things that took me five six years to learn back home in Florida, it's just because you're just exposed to so many more experienced people and projects that you just wouldn't have access to, you just would not have access to so you're just kind of honing your skill at a much faster rate as opposed to just watching YouTube videos or taking courses online. Those are wonderful and they're invaluable but getting on a set you know walking on the set of 24 which I had the opportunity to in kind of watch what they're doing and you know work with some of those guys you just like Jesus man like you know you don't get this backhoe you know, where there might be one guy in Florida that has you know, he's the Big Kahuna as far as stents are concerned. You've got 400 guys out here who have you know, credits list down to your arm and you know, to work with someone like that is insane, which I had the opportunity to work with on some of my projects. So yeah, I say I say do it. But do it when you're ready as well because don't come out to LA or or New York or a big city. You know when you're 20 and just kind of wish and pray that something's going to happen.
Doc Kennedy 38:53
So I agree with that. 100% Yeah, because
Alex Ferrari 38:58
if it will, it will it will destroy you. Like I came out to LA I didn't I don't know if I said this in the show or not. But I came out to LA in 2001 trying to peddle my my little editing reel route. And the town eight min. Remember you're talking about my area in my the town ate me alive. I was so not ready. I had no plan. And I was completely eaten alive. And it took me another 676 years seven years to come back. But by then I'd already had a lot more stuff under my belt that was a lot older. And I came with a plan. A crazy plan. I don't know if you remember the plan it was it was crazy. But because I literally my you know my wife who was not my wife at the time, but we both came out here new three people got up got a room and in Toluca Lake or apartment in Toluca Lake, which is kind of like the right by Burbank by Disney and got a got an apartment, put up an editing system and I brought a whole bunch Have DVDs that I bought from going out of business Hollywood videos, and sell them on Amazon as a as a revenue stream, I got things going. So you know, and that's a whole other story. But that's the hustle. And that's, that's why I call it indie film hustle, because that was like, you know what we all hustle all the time. And why not? Why not call it
Doc Kennedy 40:20
Whatever it takes,
Alex Ferrari 40:21
You got to man, I mean, all these guys who've made it, you know, a lot of people see that a lot of people only see the overnight success, they only see the award, they only see that one box office hit, they don't see the 20 years about behind them, or the 10 years behind them, or the 1000s of hours that they've put into their craft, or into, you know, networking properly, or understanding what they're doing. To get to that point, it takes so much time to do to get to those certain levels. I think that's one thing that filmmakers, young filmmakers in general don't understand is they think that, Oh, I'm gonna put some stuff up on YouTube, and I'm gonna be huge. Like, it doesn't work that way it does doesn't, you have to understand your craft, you have to understand what you're doing, and really learn your stuff before you can make it big. And even then, there's guys who have 20 years of experience underneath you, and under underneath them, and they're still struggling to get noticed to get this that that, you know, so it takes a lot of work those 10,000 our theory is probably light, it takes many more hours than that to, to hone your skills in whichever way whatever. Whatever you want to learn, or whatever you want to do in life.
Doc Kennedy 41:42
And that and there's the value in surrounding yourself with people that have been there done that. That's a totally nother episode. But yeah. So as we kind of wrap things up here, Alex, you want to share with us just a little bit about what you're excited about this coming year?
Alex Ferrari 42:00
Well, this year, indie film hustle is, you know, I've that for I've worked so hard to get this, this kind of audience, I'm building this audience and building what what I'm doing with indie film, hustle. So I'm really excited that I'm going to be bringing a bunch of new stuff to the audience, because the audience has actually reached out to me, this eventually will happen once you start building your own audiences is that, like, Alex, we want? We want you to help us in this way, or help us in that way. And you know, I even get I even get emails like, how can I support you? Like, what can I buy something, I want to give you money, because they're so grateful for all the free knowledge in the free, you know, content, and I'm giving them the value that I'm giving them that they actually asked like, Where can I you know, what do I can I donate to you? Can I buy something? And then a lot of other people are like, Can you put a course together on really breaking this down? Or can you do a course about this? So that's what I started to do. I started creating courses for my audience, because in certain areas that I think people in our in our, in our business don't have, you know, if my basically my take on certain things, so I created filmmaking hacks how to shoot and market your film, because I think that's invaluable, it shows you goes through the whole process of how I did three films, I'm going to add my 44th film, and soon, it's a living course I'm always changing and adding stuff to it. And it's about nine hours long at this point. And it goes through how I made a bunch of my movies, commentary tracks from a bunch of different departments from all the movies as well. You get to see the movies as well in there and analyze what I did what I did what I did, right what I did wrong. I'm not saying that they're the greatest movies of all time, I'm not saying they're Oscar winners, they're just my movies. They're just what I did at that time, I look at some of the stuff I did in the past. I'm like, Oh, I'm sure but but with all artists, we all do that. It's just it's just the way we all are. So I created that course I had created another core course called Twitter hacks how to get 10,000 true fans in 10 weeks because it took me about 10 weeks to get 10,000 followers on Twitter because Twitter came along a little bit later and now I show you how to not only to get those followers but how to leverage those followers how to engage with those followers, how to bring them into your ecosystem, how to get them into your website and you know, start building the community around them because that's just another funnel of finding people you know, YouTube is another one you know, Facebook's another one, the podcast is another one, and so on. There's multiple different funnels that you can find that people can kind of come into your little ecosystem. So I created that course it's doing very, very well. I sell it now for I think we're selling for 97 bucks, but if you go to our site, you get it you can just click on it, get a coupon for 25 bucks. So it's invaluable, that's normal three, four hours long and it really breaks down. How how quickly. If you take that course you'll have $200 Within the first day or two, I have one guy who took it. And he doubled from 1500 to 3000, in less than a week, just by using basic stuff. And these are real people like these are real. Those are the thing. They're real people. They're people who are interested in what you're doing. They're not fake. I'm not telling you go by 20,000 followers. Now, these are real, real people that that you've taken time to build up and it takes time to build them up, but and then they become your army. That's the thing. That's the thing about building an audience is they become your army, they go out and evangelize for you. They retweet your stuff, they'll repost your stuff, they'll comment on it, and they'll kind of share it with their communities, and so on and so on in it. And I've seen stuff happen like I did, and I'm going off on a tangent, I apologize. But I saw the most controversial post I've done. Which do you do? Do you know which one it is? I can't pick. Yes. It's the 4k. Why filmmakers should not Yeah, oh, god. I've gotten a lot of heat from that. But I also got a lot of love for that. And basically, it's like why independent filmmakers should not shoot 4k is that it was a podcast and a post. And that one alone has been downloaded 35,000 times. Wow. As a podcast, that's insane for a for a podcast and our niche. Now mind you, not all of my podcasts get 35,000 downloads, I wish. But it's insane. That that's how popular became and I saw it virally just explode. Like, literally just went to digital. And I literally was watching it in real time. It was fascinating. I posted somewhere, then it would get shared five more times and then boom and boom, but and within the first day was just like an onslaught. It was like, my, my website almost crashed because I was getting so much traffic off of one really popular vote. And I wasn't doing it to like kind of clickbait or anything like that it was a really valid argument trying to help people. And the majority of people I want to say probably about 80 to 90% of people really understood what I was trying to say, whether they agreed with it or not. They understood and they validated. And then there's of course the people who were like you're an idiot, and I'm like, you're gonna get that in the world. It's I don't care, that's fine. But that's the that's the power of kind of like an audience. And when
Doc Kennedy 47:21
I know what I like about those people, they're saying, You're an idiot, they're still talking about you.
Alex Ferrari 47:24
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I learned that from Howard Stern. Because every you know how many people hate him, but they kept listening to them, just to see, just to see what you would say.
Doc Kennedy 47:36
So they'll tweet it out and say, This is stupid, you know? And then Oh, hey, there's my link.
Alex Ferrari 47:42
Exactly. So um, so I created Twitter hacks. And then I just created a new course, which will be out, I don't know where this is going to air. But we're hopefully going to have it out next week, which would be first week in February, called Film Festival hacks, which is a co co creation with Chris Holland from Film Festival secrets.com. Chris has been around in the film and Film Festival business for over a decade. And he's been behind the scenes. And then I have all this experience. And on the other side of the badge, as we like to call it with being in I've been, I've been my films are playing in probably almost 600 Film Festivals worldwide. So I have a very unique perspective on film festivals that way. So the combination of both of us in the same course talking about both perspectives of things is so powerful. And my God, I wish I would have had this course. Because I would have saved me probably the first 1000 books that I spent on broken sending up, you know, submission fees, and how how that whole magic happens and that kind of like dark art of like, Am I going to get in? I mean, I'm going to get in, is this the right festival? Are they just going to take my money? Are they even watching it all this kind of stuff. So we put this whole course together, it's about almost four hours long or a little over four hours. It's insane. Like it really, really is insane. And that one people can go to film festival hacks COMM And they'll get a thing for the first two weeks. They'll get it for 25 bucks after that, and then it's gonna go up. And then I have one other course that I have you ever heard of Michael Haig? Or Chris I have Michael Haig and Chris Walker.
Doc Kennedy 49:13
No, I can't do that. Have
Alex Ferrari 49:15
You heard of the writers journey? Yeah, that's the author.
Doc Kennedy 49:18
That's where I've heard.
Alex Ferrari 49:20
Yeah, the writers journey. Chris bolgar. And Michael hay who wrote how to write the exact title is writing screenplays that sell which has been around for about 20 years or so. And, and Michael and I kind of got together to do another course called storytelling and script screenplay and story secrets. The heroes two journeys, which is basically these two guys lecturing about their the hero's journey, which is the Joseph Campbell's story, and Michael heggs six stage process of story and combining them the two. It's an insane course it's about four hours, four hours long and they sit there for an hour. And break down Erin Brockovich, like, beat by beat. So we kind of joined forces to release this course. And that's going to hopefully be out as well next week on the on the first week of February. So we're going to be doing for indie film, hustle is going to be a one indie film hustle to be kind of a resource for filmmakers on affordable resource for filmmakers to get really insane training that they might not get anywhere else, and have access to training that they might not have anywhere else. And especially for people from around the world, not just the US. But you know, a lot of people who listen to me are in India, or in South Africa, or in Australia, or, you know, in England or outside of the US. And a lot of times, they just don't have access to the stuff we have here. So I want this to kind of be a worldwide access, I'm an indie film, hustle, be kind of a hub for not only great free content, but also really detailed education that they can really sink their teeth into and help. I just want to help at the end of the day, I want filmmakers to succeed. Man, I'm tired of seeing so many filmmakers get their asses handed to them by the business, which is the exact same, that's the first thing you read when you go to indie film, hustle calm, is that like I was just tired of seeing so many filmmakers get destroyed by the business that I'm going to throw my hat in the ring and see if I can help them out a little bit. And then one other thing, I have a big announcement that I'll be announcing in the next few weeks or so, a very big project that I'm going to be doing that will further educate the indie film hustle tribe, as I like to call them and do something that I have never seen done before. So I haven't I haven't announced it yet. And I've been teasing people for the last few weeks about it. And I've been getting emails, what the hell are you doing what you have to know, am I calm down, though, it'll come. So uh, you know, at the end of the day, I'm going to, it's going to be something that's going to really help a lot of filmmakers, as well as do something I think that no one has done in the way that we're going to do it. So that's, that's enough for 2016
Doc Kennedy 52:08
Thanks for leaving us hanging on the edge. And we're gonna play in common, but you can't know
Alex Ferrari 52:13
Exactly, exactly. And we're going to be doing, I have probably another 10 or 15 courses that we're planning to release this year, post production workflow and working on Instagram, one to help again, marketing and trying to get the word out a bunch of different kinds of courses that we're going to be releasing, and I'm in negotiations with a few other people to try to bring other content in as far as really high end lighting courses. And the camera course isn't breaking down a red camera and all this kind of stuff that I'm I'm currently in negotiations with because we're really trying to create a hub we're trying to, we're trying to change the world. But our little niche again, not trying to change everything, but just trying to change our world, which is independent filmmakers and really help them out from a truly humble place to kind of just let guys we just want to help you out here. I wish
Doc Kennedy 53:06
That you're you make a guy like me feel like it's doable.
Alex Ferrari 53:10
Yeah. And that's what I that's what I hope we could do. man that's, that's if I've done that. And I've gotten so much fan mail from people who said exactly that, like man, you've, you've changed my perspective on on this I after listening to your podcast, and reading what you do, I feel that I could do this, like I there's hope for me. And I really never knew that. Like I never felt that I was doing something that profound for people, I just thought I'm gonna click, I'm gonna give you guys some information. But when when you start helping people at that level, those are the kind of fans you want. Those are the kinds of people that you want in your tribe, because you're helping them at a big level and you want to continue to help them many years to come and continue to build that relationship to the point where you know, it they they become their own big thing because like look, you know, like like, have you ever heard of Pat Flynn? Yeah, well, Tim Ferriss wrote a book called The Four Hour Workweek. That book helped launch Pat Flynn helped launch john Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire launch up probably about another 10 or 15 juggernauts that are in that space. All because Tim Ferriss wrote that one book. And then so he's kind of the godfather of all these guys. And I hope I can do that for other filmmakers. I hope not that I'm as big as Tim Ferriss by any stretch but I hope in my small way that I can inspire other filmmakers to go off and just tear down the walls of the you know, the business and just go look, we did it a different way. We don't need the studio. Don't get me wrong. If a studio calls me tomorrow, like would you like to do spider man too? I'm like, Yes. Absolutely. Would you like to do a Star Wars movie? Absolutely. Let's go it out. I would, it would be wonderful. But when you're starting out, you don't have to lean on them. You can do it by yourself, you can go out there, make your movie, The technology is so cheap, it's so affordable, it's so powerful. If you take the time to learn the technology, if you take the time to learn your craft, there's no excuse. Now you can literally make a movie on your iPhone, like tangerine did, and release it. But let's say, you know, tangerine is a very unique example. But you can get a camera very inexpensively borrow a camera, you know, rent one, whatever, go make your movie, get a bunch of actors, write a great script, make a movie and sell it to an audience that's already waiting for what you want. And you can self distribute when you have to go through distribution anymore. And by the way, I actually had my film, which was called lipstick and bullets with a combo, it was a compilation of all my short films, plus all this kind of cool content that I was talking about. And I got it all back. I'm like, you know what, guys, you haven't done anything for me. I'm tired of what you're doing. Um, our deal is over, and I'm out. And I started selling it myself to my audience. And guess what I'm making money with it, you know, because I'm able to get it to the audience that wants it, they had no idea how to get it to the audience that wanted that content. And that's a problem with distributors, they do very much shotgun approach to things as opposed to niche approach. And that's the future niche, niche, niche niche, the riches are in the niches, and the riches are in the niches. And it's called show business for a reason. Because business is twice as long as the word ship to and I can't take credit for either of them, but we'll use them here because other people told me those those quotes, but I love them. They're great. The riches are in the niches, and the word business is twice as long as the word show. And there's a very specific reason for that. But you guys, whoever's listening to this, you have the ability to do it all You just have to educate yourself go to resources, like Doc's resource here, this wonderful podcast, go to our podcast, go to go to our sites reach go out that the informations there, you just have to do the work. And that's what a lot of people are afraid of doing is the work. But if you do the work, you can make it there's no excuse anymore. When I was coming up, you know how much it cost me to do my first demo reel 50 grand shot on 35 millimeter to do three commercials. You know what I mean? And I was in debt for I was in debt for years. Nowadays, I would have done 20 commercials for that, you know, shot on a red and I would have an insane reel. And I could have gone out and hustled that reel, but nowadays is a lot different than back then 35 was the only way to do it. There was no internet there. There was no anything like it was it was a different world. I know I sound like an old fart when you talk like that. But it's very it was just very, very different different place in the in the world at the time. So no excuse guys, you can do it. There's no question about it. I believe in you.
Doc Kennedy 57:56
That's awesome. Love that. Well, Alex, this has just been phenomenal. Now I could go on another two, three hours. I'm sure you could. No problem. We'll just have links in the show notes. And at Kennedy calm that link up with you. There's gonna be a mountain of show notes here. Link to everything that you were talking about as much as I can get in there.
Alex Ferrari 58:16
I appreciate that, my friend. I appreciate that.
Doc Kennedy 58:17
Yeah, if there's anything we can be doing for you. Besides the support, we're there for you.
Alex Ferrari 58:23
Spread the word, man. It's like a it's like a virus. We gotta we gotta you gotta be that outbreak, monkey, man. We got to get it out there. Ya gotta get the I'm sorry.
Doc Kennedy 58:32
We're that cowbell.
Alex Ferrari 58:35
Yeah, I need more cowbell. I definitely need more cowbell without question. Just get the you know and if it And last thing I want to say guys, if you don't get the information from me just go find or from doc or anybody go find it somewhere the information is there. It's so much good information out there. To go get and educate yourselves and learn there's books or videos. I mean, there's just a plethora of information out there that you can go and find what you need to make your movie and make not only make your movie, but plan out a strategy to maintain yourself as an artist and not just kind of put all your energy in trying to make a movie because that's not enough anymore. You have to build an audience you have to build a strategy that you can maintain yourself as an artist for many years to come. Because if you don't you just going to be one of the many filmmakers I see on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams here in Hollywood. And that that Boulevard very real by the way. I see I literally see them. It's a very, very rough place. So just plan things out and go after your dreams and don't let anyone stop you man. You have no excuse anymore. You guys, I hope you liked that one. It was a lot of fun cuz it was a lot of fun to talk to doc and you know, he's just starting out on his podcast. He launched it a little bit ago and he's just kind of rubbed that back up now. But he has a lot of great resources as well on his website. If you want to go to his website, head over to Doc kennedy.com that's DLC kennedy.com. And he's got a lot of good articles as well as his podcast, and he has a lot of good guests as well. So speaking of community, and speaking of getting out there and learning as much as you can about the film biz, I've created an online community for us to all kind of get together and interact with over on Facebook is a private group is the indie film hustle, private Facebook group. And you can, you can sign up for free at indie film, hustle, calm forward slash Facebook. And there you'll get first crack at any new materials and content that we're putting out. Because we posted there first before anywhere else, as well as interact with other people show your work off, ask questions, to direct line not only to me, but also to the rest of the community. So indiefilmhustle.com/Facebook. And as always, please head over to filmmaking podcast calm and leave us an honest review of the show. It really helps us out a lot. And thank you to all you guys who have done it, you guys have been giving us great reviews and great comments on the show. And I really, really appreciate it. It does help us out getting the word out on indie film, hustle and what we're trying to do, and help the film the indie film community out. So filmmakingpodcast.com. So guys, I also get a lot of emails from you guys still asking me what I can do to support you. And what we're doing here at indie film, hustle. And the best way you could do that is by visiting our sponsors, partaking in whatever they're offering. And then a lot of the courses and things like that that we create, as well. We're going to be coming up with a brand new film school and online film school that we're going to be launching hopefully in the next couple of weeks. And that's going to have all new courses, all new everything we're going to be giving a lot of free previews away for those as well on our YouTube channel, and just going to be a lot of great stuff. So with that said, Our second sponsor of the day is one of my favorite courses that we offer is the USC film schools only online course directing the actor by the legendary Nina Folch. This course is awesome. I took it I learned so so much about getting into the mind of an actor and understanding their language and Nina breaks it down so well not only for directors, but also for actors and understanding the craft of acting better so you can head over to indie film hustle.com forward slash USC and it's really cheap, something like 25 bucks. Online Course really, really well worth it guys, so definitely check that out. And as always keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
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