Josh David Jordan is a Texas filmmaker, director, actor and artist. Starting off as an actor, He appeared in several feature films, as well as the sitcom, SCRUBS. He began to slowly transition myself behind the lens. Josh worked on MTV featured music videos for the Polyphonic Spree, Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s and many more.
After premiering his short film, SAM AND GUS, and winning several film festival awards, along with audience awards, Josh decided to write and direct his first full length feature film, THIS WORLD WON’T BREAK, which won 14 film festival awards, received distribution, theatrical release, dvd and on every platform. Josh recently directed Joshua Ray Walkers hit single and directed the live spot on The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon. Currently in preproduction for the feature film El Tonto Por Cristo.
Enjoy my conversation with Josh David Jordan.
Alex Ferrari 0:00
Oh, I think when you say you did, Barney, what did you do on Barney?
Josh David Jordan 0:04
I was the character. I could do the voice and I could be inside.
Alex Ferrari 0:08
Oh, yeah, the voice and what you actually were inside the Barney outfit
Josh David Jordan 0:11
I wore the costume. And they filmed that at Katie studio this episode. So I was right next door. And I thought, This is my big break, man.
Alex Ferrari 0:21
This episode is brought to you by the Best Selling Book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur how to turn your independent film into a money making business. Learn more at filmbizbook.com. I'd like to welcome to the show Josh David Jordan, how're you doing Josh?
Josh David Jordan 0:35
Man, I'm doing fantastic. I'm been so excited to be on the show. I was like whenever I wake up, and I'm going to go on a bike ride and I check my to see what apps to see what podcast have, you know, the newest I see yours. I get super pumped. Because it's the perfect bike rides an hour around my lake. And I listened to it every single time. It's like, it's the most inspiring thing to be riding your bike and listening to this this podcast.
Alex Ferrari 1:00
Oh, I appreciate that very much man. And, and I do put out a couple of them a week. I know why I love it. Love it. It's it's been my insanity for seven years, just continuously putting out just a lot of them. But I appreciate and I'm glad it's always nice to hear that because like I said many times before on the show, I just talking to a mic in a room and you just really don't know the impact that makes on people out there. So I appreciate you reaching out and, and telling me about your story about your movie, which is you know, it's it's an interesting, it's an interesting journey, man. I'll be honest with you. So I get pitched daily to for filmmakers to come on the show. And it's it's it's always got to be something special for me because at this point we're on like episode 630 or something like that. I've heard a lot. And a lot of things have been on the show. So if they call me up and they go, Hey, man, I made a movie five grand. I'm like, I made two movies for five grand doesn't matter. Like, that's no, I need it's not 9091 anymore. Your story was was really interesting to me is the budget that you did some of the interesting things that happened behind the scenes, which we'll talk about. And, and the quality. And it looks so gorgeous. Ben, so congrats on the look of that film. And because it it just I I don't see it often. I see I see any films that your budget range. And I'd be honest, it looked like crap. They might be good stories. It might be fun, but they don't look good. Yours looks six figures plus easy. So that was one of the things that caught my eye. So that was that was the combination of a bunch of stuff that got on the show.
Josh David Jordan 2:41
Yeah, that's that's the film. That's the film this role won't break. You just described it in a nutshell. And it was really hard. Alex when I would go to as I'm pitching for our, our next film, and people were like, No, we loved your movie. It was gorgeous. And I was like, Yeah, that was what do you need for this one, another two, three mil. And I'm like million. And I'm like, Oh, we did this for 36k. And they kind of shut down and they're like, oh, and they're not really interested. I'm like, it's so bizarre in this world that we live in of like indie film, if you can do it. And like imagine what I could do for $500,000. But it seems like it doesn't work that way. For some reason. As an as for me for right now. It hasn't worked out that way.
Alex Ferrari 3:21
So when you talk to investors, that's tell them yes, 2 million, please. Yeah,
Josh David Jordan 3:28
That's exactly how much it cost.
Alex Ferrari 3:30
I need to know exactly what I have budgeted 2 million cash. When can we start? Don't ever tell them the budget if you can help it.
Josh David Jordan 3:38
I've learned my lesson. Believe me, I've learned a lot of lessons. A lot of lessons.
Alex Ferrari 3:41
I would have, I would have I would have if I was coaching you I would have told you listen to everybody at cost. quarter million half mil.
Josh David Jordan 3:49
But in the revisor your book because that's gold, right? Already already. We're not even in five minutes, and you're already given gold.
Alex Ferrari 3:57
But it's but it's so true. Because you again, when investors are looking at you like oh, he only made it for 30. They don't look at it, like look at the value. They look at us like oh, they're not real. They're not a serious situation. And that's just short sightedness. Yeah, I mean, look at Robert Rodriguez. He, you know, imagine if they would have been short sighted with him.
Josh David Jordan 4:15
That's the thing. It's a different we live in a different world now.
Alex Ferrari 4:18
Oh, and then some don't get me started. Don't get me started on that. It's just he assumed that the 90s was a great time and it's ruined us all.
Josh David Jordan 4:26
Ruined. It has had I'm a kid of the 90s for sure.
Alex Ferrari 4:30
So how did it so first, the first question, Brother, how did you get started in the business?
Josh David Jordan 4:34
Yeah, so my, you know, going way back my dad was a traveling evangelist. He still isn't he still was a preacher. And me and my brother were on the road with him. three piece suits, we would open up his white tent revivals. And so I mean, I grew up in the South and the Midwest. And so like LA and New York were so so foreign, right. I mean, that was this is pre internet. This is pre everything and just blockbusters and, you know, I wasn't even watching foreign films because how cuz you know, especially traveling, we were homeschooled on the road. But my dad was a cinephile. And so he made sure that when we were going to these little small towns, we would go see movies, and the motels that we stayed in, we'd stay up late and watch TV. And that got me going. And then his favorite film is, It's a Wonderful Life. And I remember like, the way it made him feel, I was like, I want to do that. I want to, I want to, I want to make that. But you know, being a 16 year old kid, and in the south, you know, it's impossible pre internet pre like, digital cameras, just. So I go to the library, and I would get books on like, Alfred Hitchcock, or whoever it was, and just, it just seemed like a fable to me. And then I knew that acting. They were doing school plays, that's as close as I could get. Maybe I could be an actor and then go off to Hollywood. started acting, I still do acting, and I was in University of Missouri. And I was doing theater and I was miserable. Because I wasn't making films. I just didn't know what that I wanted to create and tell the story. Not really just be a day player, you know, a day or two, and then you go home and you're not really your hands aren't in it. And I went to Dallas, Texas, and started going to Katy acting studio, which was for film and television. And they walked in one day as well. My first days there, they were like, Hey, how tall are you? I said, I'm six, two, they will come with us. So at the time, Barney was a pretty big deal, the dinosaur and he was going through contract negotiations and they were trying to frazzle him. So I got to do one episode of Barney. And I thought this is then I'm in the TV world. Well, he renegotiated his contract and he went off and did his own thing.
Alex Ferrari 6:47
Oh, that's when you say you did, Barney. What did you do on Barney?
Josh David Jordan 6:51
I was the character. I could do the voice and I could be inside.
Alex Ferrari 6:55
Oh, yeah. The voice and what you actually were inside the Barney outfit
Josh David Jordan 6:59
I wore the costume. It was filmed. And they filmed that at Katy studio this episode. So I was right next door. And I thought this is my big break, man. You're not meant to be Barney. I mean, I'll take anything at this point.
Alex Ferrari 7:13
Money's money catches Jeremy. I mean,
Josh David Jordan 7:17
Everyone loves Barton.
Alex Ferrari 7:19
No, they actually just released a documentary that I hate Barney or hate me or something like that. And, by the way, that my daughter saw that walk by they're like, why do people hate Barney? I go. Don't Don't sing the song. Don't Yeah, don't don't don't. Please don't do it now, because I'm not gonna do it to our listeners. Because once it gets in the ear, it's an ear worm. And it's done.
Josh David Jordan 7:41
Yeah. So that didn't work out. But I kept pursuing it. And I was going on commercials. I was in a commercial for Wingstop with a chimpanzee and Troy Aikman. I thought maybe I can do this. And I only did like two or three of those. And then I got the call that I got a part on scrubs the TV show. So I fly to LA. And I'm in the episode, my choosiest choice of all bunch of lines. And I was like, Well, this is it. You know, because that day, I was coming in Michael J. Fox was leaving. So I got to meet Michael J. Fox. And it was you know, I was in Hollywood. I mean, I was in Hollywood on that day. Those on those two days. And then, you know, the pumpkin happens. And I fly back to Dallas, Texas. And then here I am bartending when my episode airs in a bar bartending watching my episode. And I was like, I don't think this is working out. I don't think this is I don't know what's happened. It's not really working out. There's a disconnect here. Yeah. And so yeah, so I'm a part of the okra house theatre here in Dallas, which has Matthew Posey as the artistic director, and he's been Magnificent Seven, No Country for Old Men, true lives. Piers bras Brosnan suns, and I've been there for 10 years. And little more satisfying. There's no auditions, Matt calls you on the phone and says, Do you want to be in this next play? I'm writing it for you. And I took that to heart. And I was like, Wait a minute. I'm surrounded by actors. I'm surrounded by people who have cameras. What if I write for everyone, and we just make this film? So that's how that part started.
Alex Ferrari 9:23
Wow, man. So I have to I always like asking this question. Because there's so many people listening who are in your boat, because not everyone's in LA, or New York or Atlanta or any of these big hubs where a lot of production is going on? I wasn't when I started. I was in Miami, you know, and I remember I would have killed for a podcast like this when killed to have this kind of information back in the 90s. Are you kidding? I mean, the closest thing I got was entourage. And Project Greenlight.
Josh David Jordan 9:48
This is true. All that is so true. I think we're the same age. Yeah, we're the same. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 9:54
Same vintage as they say. The same vintage as they say. So it's pretty remarkable but question I have is as especially as an actor, I'm assuming there was a couple of nodes along the way. How did you? Or did you not get any nose?
Josh David Jordan 10:09
Oh, no, my gosh, it was all nose. I drove to Austin, I bartended one night, and my agent was like, she was sending me on stuff. And God bless her soul, she was doing the best she could. And I drove, I left at four in the morning from the bar, drove to Austin, Texas, I had an 8am call time I walked in. And I was the only non Asian male in the room. And there was like, 50 in there, it was for Dell commercial. And she didn't read the notes. And it was basically they were looking for an Asian male for this. And suddenly, I didn't just take knows. So I went and I said, Hey, can I still read? Because I was thinking to myself, either I'm not getting this at all, or I'm 100% getting this wrong. It's always, yeah, I've always looked at it like that. I've always looked at it. Like, there's something on the other side. And the thing is, I mean, you can't learn that stuff. In a book, you can't learn how to have thick skin like that. Or to just be like, look at yourself in the mirror, be like, I am crazy for doing this. But so it's everyone else who has made it before me. They just kept up with the crazy. And so I just kept that I thought I was gonna make it in my 20s when I had a full head of hair and no gray in my beard. But you know, instead, I made my first feature when I was 42 years old. And you know what? I'll take it, you know, cuz I'm making my next one when I'm 45. So that's a pretty good the windows are getting closer, I think.
Alex Ferrari 11:32
Hey listen, brother, I made my first feature. 41. So I, you know, and I could have done it. And there's a whole conversation about how why I didn't do it before. But But yeah, I mean, it's okay. It is what it is. The question I was gonna ask is, how do you keep going, like, when you keep getting the nose? And I think you answered it to a certain extent, like, Yeah, you had a positive attitude about the whole thing, just like, there's something on the other end, I got keep, just keep going.
Josh David Jordan 11:55
Yeah, for me, it's like cinema and film. And just the FYI, you know, in the meantime, I make a lot of music videos. And I just I have to create, I mean, I don't know what that is, I wish there was times I would tell my wife, I wish there was a switch, I could turn it off, I could turn off. I don't want to create switch. But you know what I can't, you know, and you just got to deal with it, you know, and luckily, you know, for me is like having your podcast and your book and people who are putting things out, it's you now you can hear it from others is you're not necessarily failing, you just haven't hit the right stride or hasn't, you know, a lot of it is hard work. And a lot of its luck, a lot of its timing. And if you're gonna make it, you just you're gonna have to measure all those things. And hopefully it all hits at some point, you know,
Alex Ferrari 12:44
Right. And it's just this constant, just relentlessness of you have to keep going. Trust me, dude. Like I tried to quit so many times. So many times I tried to quit and I couldn't I just I'd always come back to it in one way shape, or form. And it is it is the beautiful illness as I call it. It is it's an illness that you just can't get rid of it just can't get rid of it.
Josh David Jordan 13:08
I mean, I don't have a film of the Dallas International Film Festival, but I'm there because I have to be around it. I have to sit there and watch all the shorts and I have to talk to these filmmakers and I love Q and A's I love film festivals. So that's one of the reasons I love making films is like man once the our last film all around the world. And I was like oh great. Another addiction with film. Great. Now I love film festivals. You know I love
Alex Ferrari 13:32
Yeah, I mean, I used I used to go so many of them. I would say guy just can't anymore. But uh yeah, but I agree. But I feel you brother No, I feel the especially that first few times. You walk the red carpet, you see an audience with your film in it and and then you see other cool films and have you been to Sundance yet?
Josh David Jordan 13:52
I have not been to Sundance, I've been to South by Southwest. But yeah,
Alex Ferrari 13:55
Go to Sundance man it is. It is a magical experience just to go to Park City and just be there. It's it's probably the most magical I made a movie there. Because of that, because there's just such a magical experience as a film festival. But anyway,
Josh David Jordan 14:09
I think there's like crazy part of me. It's like, I think that I'm gonna go because I'm gonna go with a film, but maybe I won't. So I'm gonna keep I'm gonna keep hacking at it just for half a second. And hopefully I can bring one there.
Alex Ferrari 14:20
I heard that a couple of times.
Josh David Jordan 14:22
I know. I know.
Alex Ferrari 14:23
But it just in case. You might not enjoy.
Josh David Jordan 14:28
Alex Ferrari 14:29
While you can still go up that hill. Because trust me, it ain't easy brother. In my 30s it was not easy, because he's so damn high up. You can't breed. But that's a whole other conversation. So tell me about your film. The world won't break.
Josh David Jordan 14:48
Yeah, so this world won't break. I was writing several things. And I was trying to find something on Netflix One night my wife was like, What are you doing? I spent like two hours trying to find trailers. You know, when she's like, we haven't even watched anything yet. And it's almost 11. And she goes, What do you want to see? And I was like, what kind of want to see a movie about a country singer who doesn't make it, like we see the ones of the guy who falls from grace and it gets old. And you know, or we see the young guy who makes it. And he says at the stadium, and I was like, how about the 40 year old? Who doesn't make it? Like, what do you do at that point? When you're, and I was writing from my own personal, like, struggle. All my friends here in Dallas, Texas, you know, in Austin, they're all country singers. And I'm in the friend rock, which I go to all my friends shows. And I was like, Man, I have a friend who one night at a barber having a whiskey and he was like, telling me the exact same thing. He's like, What do I do? He's like, I can't quit, because I've just put in 25 years of my life. But I can't really keep going because I'm getting old. And it it's not happening. And thirdly, what do I do? He's been, you know, a singer songwriter, his whole entire life. And it you know, it does pay the bills. But no, it's not on the marquee. He's not selling out the big shows. And I was like, Oh, I can write that. Because I was in, you know, I hustle here, as a bartender, and also in the photo and video world. So I was like, starting to put it all together, and realize, well, I got the people, I got the actors from our, our acting studio, I have all these great locations that I bartend at. And I can start calling on favors for the last 1520 years I've been in the photo and video world and staying late and taking care of things. And so I just started asking for inclines for favors. And so when we you see my actual budget, it's like $386,000. But when you take out all the end times, is 36k. Because I got locations that were five, six grand a day I was getting the main guy who owns bulk productions, call me one day is hey, I want to help out with your movie. And I was thinking, you know, monetarily with money. And he goes, put a list together. And whenever you need that stuff, it's yours. So got a grip truck, you know, I had all of this stuff. And I had all of these talented people who were sort of in the same boat as me as like, they want to create something commercial works great to pay your rent and to pay your bills. But like it's not feeding that thing inside you. That's not why everyone went to film school. I didn't go to film school. This one won't break was my film school, man. It's insane. So that was the whole premise of how to get started. And I had one guy, he was going to give me $25,000 $35,000 Excuse me. So that was going to be 60 grand ish. I was like, We can do this. I can pay everybody just a little bit. We can shoot this, you know, in 15 days. And I drove to go pick up the money. He takes me out to lunch. And basically he tells me No, I'm not gonna do it. I'm gonna do I'm gonna put this money somewhere else. He was like, sorry, this guy's a multimillionaire. And I didn't know what to do. I've literally freaked out, I paid for our meal, tried to leave and realize he drove us there. So I had a ride back in the car with this guy, I get in my car. As I drive off, I throw up because I'm so freaked out because we're supposed to start in three days, I run a red light. I call everyone and I say Hey, guys, it's off. We're not going to film the movie. And it got quiet. And then one person goes, we'll see in a couple of days. And everyone said, I'll see in a couple days, Josh, we had to make this film. And I had been I'd put so much work into it. Because I didn't have the money for locations. But I would drive every weekend and scout and take pictures of time of day, I would go to thrift stores, I got all the clothes. And whenever we would start shooting, I would actually be the wardrobe guy. There's a car in the movie that is really prominent in the film. And I would have to drive that to set get an Uber, go back, get the grip truck, drive back on the way grab coffee and breakfast stuff and bring snacks. I had to do that through the entirety of the film and I was sleeping two or three hours. But man, I was getting to do it. And I don't know what that thing is that clicks inside my head. I'm sure other creatives is like, you're on fire. You're at a 10 and there's no stopping you at that point. Because it's like that thing if you stop you feel like it's all gonna go away. So that was how I got it going.
Alex Ferrari 19:30
Man he's in that's the insanity. It's an insanity that we go through.
Josh David Jordan 19:35
Yeah, and then the, the crazy part, we were gonna start six months before that. And we had a play that night. And Matthew Posey left the theater. He's, he's one of the leads in the movie. And someone opened up his door and shot in there six times and shot him in the face. And so I'm getting phone calls at three in the morning and everyone's saying Were you with Matt, are you with Matt? I'm like what What happened? They said, Josh, he's in Baylor, they're not sure if he's gonna make it. And he knocked out all six of his teeth. He almost lost his tongue. And I'm using one of my best friends and I'm freaked out. But I'm also like, Man, I'm never gonna be able to create anything. That's, you know, he's the creative director of this theater. Yeah, so that was how it all started. So just the fact that that happened, and we kept rallying around, it's pretty insane because everything after that wasn't shot in the face, but it felt like and at times, it felt like shots in the face of all the things that were falling apart.
Alex Ferrari 20:40
You know, it's really interesting, because you did a semi auto, autobiographical film, my first movie was a little bit like that. But the second movie was definitely semi autobiographical, which was on the corner of ego desire. And if I think all three films talk about the same thing, which is not only chasing your dream, but I think as you get older, you start to define success differently. What you define success as a 20 year old is not how you define success as a 40 year old. Is that a fair statement?
Josh David Jordan 21:14
Alex Ferrari 21:16
Right, exactly. So the the character in your film, he's like, I'm 40, or that friend of yours, the bar is that I'm 40. It's not working now. But I'm making a living, doing some singing and songwriting. But you know, I'm not. I'm not a huge star. But the question is, do you need to be a huge star,
Josh David Jordan 21:34
Right. And that's the point. And the cool thing about it is the guy at the bar, who was telling me that story is the guy who plays the lead in my movie, he had never been in a movie. But his music is, so I was like, How does not? How does the world not hear your music? So it's kind of a little bonus there that I got to like, put him on the big screen on the biggest screens. And I was like,
Alex Ferrari 21:57
He's great. Yeah, he's
Josh David Jordan 21:58
He's Greg's phenomenal. He's phenomenal. So it's kind of like, it was a really cool moment for me and him to be like, we both just did it. That's insane.
Alex Ferrari 22:08
Right! We both we both kind of fulfill the dream together. In a different way, we helped each other fulfill our dreams in a certain way. But I think and everyone listening, I think it's something that really needs to be asked. Because I know a lot of people listening like yourself and other people, you know, before you made your movie, we're figuring out, man, it's not working for me, man, it's I'm not making it I'm not I'm not Chris Nolan yet. I'm not David Fincher yet, I'm not Tarantino yet. And, um, and I always said, like, you're not going to be those guys, those guys are those guys, you've got to be the best view that you can be. And at the end of the day, there's only going to be a handful of people who are going to get the opportunity to work in those in those sandboxes. Oh, for sure. It's just, it's just numbers, the amount of people who want to do it. And then there's out of those people who want to do it, how many are really even capable, if given the opportunity to do it, you know, at the top of the top.
Josh David Jordan 23:05
Yeah. And I pretty much saw that sandbox and knew I couldn't get in it yet. So I brought my own sand and poured it beside it. And I played with like I was playing with these guys in the sandbox. And that can give you a lot of like, when you're in a film festival, and your movie trailer is playing before like blockbuster movies, because they'll do that they'll program things like that. And I was one of the very few people to make a trailer pre go into festivals, like a really good trailer. Because we were at the Glasgow Film Festival, and our movie played the theater, the trailer played before every single event in every single movie. And that that alone keeps you going. Just seeing
Alex Ferrari 23:50
Exactly, it's just how you define your success. And if you can make a living doing what you're loving to do, and you really just love the process and not the outcome. That's when you because it sounds like you enjoy I mean, I know we'll go deeper into the headaches of the insanity of this film. But at the end of the day, you enjoyed this process. And did you have an outcome I mean, we all dream of getting into a big festival or we get you know getting found or getting, you know picked out of the crowd all the 90 stories that we heard, but were you happy were you happy at the end of this week? Like you know what, I'm good. I'm solid. It doesn't make a billion dollars I'm okay with that. I'm gonna make my next movie is that
Josh David Jordan 24:31
Yeah, yeah, I mean for sure. For me, it was like always dream really big like I always say like, well ahead and practice your academy award speech in the mirror. Because you never know and it can give you a little bit of but you know in the back of your head that you're crazy and that's insane. So that we are opening red carpet event was actually at the Dallas International Film Festival, and we ended up winning Best Feature and that was our first showing. And then we when we got into the Australia Film Fest of all, we got into the Glasgow Film Festival, and we got to travel to all these places. And a lot of the places put us up in really nice places. And so the fact that it was really cool because overseas, a Texas film about a country singer is just like, it's so foreign, huge, huge. So the Q and A's and the people coming up to us, you know, when you play a movie like that here in Dallas, Texas, it's like, we'll open the front door, bro. You know what I mean? Over there, it was like Australia, especially that was a that was a trip for sure. So you know, and I don't know if we talked about what happened with the film after that, or if we get into that later. Okay, cool. Yeah, I can I can talk about that.
Alex Ferrari 25:40
But yeah, you're right. And it's you see, but that's a different level. That's probably something you didn't expect. No, right. You didn't expect that? No, not that thing. So it's just interesting, the way the universe works, that's all it's just really fascinating how it works. And, and again, for every all the young, the young uns listening, you know, for a couple of old fogies who've been doing this for a few years, you know, you will redefine success for yourself, you know, and, and it's not giving up on the dream, you always, always hope and you keep going. But if you just enjoy the process, and not attach yourself so much, that that's where all the pain comes in. Because when you attach your outcome outcome, that you're like, I'm doing this movie, to get discovered, or to blow up or to make money, you're done, you're done. You gotta like, I love doing what I'm doing. And I don't care what happens at the end, I hope, and let's position ourselves the best we can to be successful. But at the end of the day, it's still just about the process. And that's it. It's kind of like a painter that way. Like, you know, painters generally don't pay to like, I'm going to sell this for $100 million, like, Van Gogh just painted and never made a dime.
Josh David Jordan 26:47
I was telling my wife just, I'm gonna touch on that. I was telling my wife she was we're talking about she goes, What do you want out of the film besides freaking blow up and a soundtrack to blow up and we become the new ones. You know, that's, you know, we win an Academy Award. But you know, I said, what I really want is a kid in a German library or an old bookstore, to pull off the shelf that this roll won't break DVD, watch it and his mind be blown that there's a place like that. It happened. Alex, someone emailed me and talked about the film that he saw in somewhere in northern Canada, his kid and he talked about this fictional place called de Belem in Dallas, Texas. This guy plays country music, and he wrote the greatest review, I think he was like, 16, or 17. And I was like, man, you know, I didn't conjure up the fame and the money, but I conjured up a kid pulling off a DVD and another, and another country, so that was really special to me. I was like, okay, that's, that's a way of me. I feel like I made it. Right. I felt like I actually was at our library. And I was scanning it to see if you might check it out. And it was like, this roll won't break. And then Thor, I was like, I'm cool with that. I'm okay with that.
Alex Ferrari 27:55
If you remember what you said at the beginning of our conversation, is when Dad Your dad saw, It's a Wonderful Life and how it made him feel and you're like, I want to do that. Well, you just exceeded. Yeah. And you you want you want you want 100% That was the goal you wanted. You wanted to affect people with your work. And you did that not only once, probably multiple times. But that's the one that picked out so that I just want people to listen to that. That like it's not always about the Oscar. It's not always because I've talked to Oscar winners. And it's not all it's cracked up to be. Don't get me wrong. We all want one. And I wouldn't mind one. I put it right behind me on this. I put it right there. Exactly.
Josh David Jordan 28:37
It'd be funny. If in fact, that kid's name was Oscar, but it wasn't amazing.
Alex Ferrari 28:43
When you tell the story again, has the name skip
Josh David Jordan 28:47
Gold gold tips go yeah.
Alex Ferrari 28:50
But alright, so there was a few other things that happened in this this film. before. Before we get into the really crazy story that happened to you. I always like asking this question, what is the worst day on production? And how did you overcome it? And that, that pre production or post production what was like that day you've got the whole world has come crashing down? No,
Josh David Jordan 29:13
I'll tell three real quick. Day one. I'm going into the oldest gymnasium in the world with the oldest owner. It's in Dallas, Texas. The guys at he just turned 90. And I had a monologue for him. And we're carrying all this gear up. I mean, huge c stands and rollers and huge lights. And he smoked he smoked cigars and he was Josh come in here. I was like, yeah, he goes, I'm not doing the monologue. And he left. And I was like, what? And he comes back in he goes, you can still shoot here. I'm just not doing it. And he was the chunk of the of that saying he was the old guy. And so I walked in and I said, here's the deal, Doug, can you just say that This one line, which is a line that you hear two more times in the movie, so I had to have that one line. And he looked at me ask that it'll be a close up. And he goes, I'll do it. And he does the line. And so, so what that was the worst thing that was happening on day one, and then we still we worked out of it. Okay, day two, I thought it'd be a good idea to have these boat scenes where he's fishing on these unless Lake. Well, I don't really have a huge crew, but we had three boats. And it was like, 90 mile an hour winds and I said, action, all of our boats go away. And we all go in different directions. And I was like, What am I thinking? It's my first feature film, I'm gonna shoot on a lake. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know what I'm doing. And there was self doubt. And all of a sudden, two boats come over. It was a friend of mine. She worked for the rowing team, and she was like, Do you guys need help driving some of this around? So she helped out. And the rest of the day was stellar. was stellar. I guess you know, the third one would have to be when we had just picked up the new El Camino. Okay, so the day before we shoot our lol a week, the El Camino in the car, the engine blew. And I was like, the whole point of this is this guy doesn't have a truck. He has an El Camino. You know, it's all it's old and rusty. We put the word out like we need a El Camino. What a crazy thing to ask for in the world. And somebody on Facebook said their mom's new husband had one in the garage. There was old rusty and brown. I was like what? So I haul over there and grab this thing. He gives it to me for the whole entire shoot, it gives me the keys as you'll have fun. And as I'm driving down the road, I'm like, Dude, I'm batting 1000 Even though I'm kind of within in the first two pitches. And then as I'm going up the hill, smoke starts coming out of this El Camino. But it was just a water pump. We fixed it in the cars in the whole movie. So you're not gonna go on and go on and go on
Alex Ferrari 32:05
Everyday there was something I'm sure
Josh David Jordan 32:06
Every, you know, Alex every single day something was going on. And something happened on our last week and a half our last week and a half of filming. It was perfect. And I mean, I'm telling you, it was like summer camp. And we all had a blast. We're pulling rabbits out of the hat, special effects that we were doing in camera. Everything was happening. And we ended on that high note. But the first half, I mean, it was every single day something was happening that I had to fix on the fly for sure.
Alex Ferrari 32:43
I mean, going back to the lake shots, did you not see jaws? Not here what Spielberg said. Don't
Josh David Jordan 32:53
At least least listen to Steven at least right?
Alex Ferrari 32:55
I mean, it's like a funny side story. I was talking to Kevin Reynolds who did Waterworld and he called up Steven. And he's like, What should I do? He's like, don't shoot in the ocean. He's like Nah, I'll be fine.
Josh David Jordan 33:10
I got a soft spot in my heart for Waterworld. I love Waterworld.
Alex Ferrari 33:13
I listened Peter who wrote it, who's a good friend of mine who's on the show. And Kevin was on the show. And it's oddly one of the most successful IPS the universe has ever had. Oh, wow. I didn't know if you know that or not. They made so much money off of Waterworld.
Josh David Jordan 33:33
Oh, well, good for them then. For a little bit.
Alex Ferrari 33:35
No, no, no, everyone always like oh, Waterworld, like the You know what, I don't know if you've been to Universal Studios and in Florida or in LA.But there's a Water World ride. 20 years later, they still are there and they're still one of the most popular attractions. And they've made so much money with WaterWorld IP. It's in seeding and
Josh David Jordan 34:01
That's another thing. A disaster turns into a profit. I love I love it. I love it. That's positivity for
Alex Ferrari 34:09
You mentioned to me in your email pitch that you there's something happened at the Alamo Drafthouse. What?
Josh David Jordan 34:18
Okay, so you know, making the film was insane. We know we shot for 26 days, over over a year and a half because I had to keep giving the gear back. And luckily, Greg didn't accidentally shave his beard off or Roxanna didn't get pregnant, like I was. I mean, I was walking on thin ice by doing that I was just everyday thankful that we were getting another day. And and they always say, like, you know, don't have a lot of locations. Do you have no money for a film where we shot in 42 locations. That's why he has the grand, the grand pneus of it. But I was always sleeping three hours a night and then when I was given some dailies to some different people grandma's around. South by Southwest wanted it. This is the previous year. And we were still filming. We still had, you know, half the movie to film. So I was rushing, rushing rushing, and my son who's now 21, he co edited the film with me. And so he even worked on it when I was at work that I would work on it with him. And when I got home, and I was still working a full time job and getting this film. And I was driving back and forth to Austin getting the color done, because it wasn't working out. And I wasn't sleeping. There was like a, it was a deadline to have the DCP in the hands of the festivals. And it was before, you know, the next morning before seven, well, I stayed up for like three days maybe and got the DCP and the blu ray, which was a gift actually from def, they provided that if you've got another festival, they would provide you a DCP and a Blu Ray, which was huge. And I'm driving back from Austin. I drop it off in the mailbox for the programmer to upload it. And I eat some breakfast. And my wife goes, we should go celebrate. You just your film is done. You're You're done. It's blocked. It's an DCP. And so we go to the Alamo Drafthouse and we're watching a movie and I'm like, why the trailers all vignetted I couldn't figure out why there were vignetted. And I started to like sweat. And I started. And I for half a second. I didn't know where I was. I didn't know I was in a movie theater. And the lady asked if I wanted a margarita. And I said no. And my wife turned to me like, Whoa, he must not be feeling good. If he was turned down a margarita. And I stood up. I walked out into the Alamo Drafthouse parking lot. Were there at 1030 shown or 11am showing because we, you know, we've just finished, and I'm walking around, and I know I need to, I need to, I need to sit down, but I can't sit down and all of a sudden, I can't feel my left hand. And then pain starts going up. And I can't really my heart can't really control. And I'm walking to my wife has no idea where I'm at. Well, she follows me in the parking lot. I walk in the Alamo Drafthouse. I'm on my hands and knees. And I look at the guy, Jorge, who I've known. He's at the front desk. And I'm trying to say, call an ambulance because I'm dying. I mean, this is it. And then my last thought, when I was trying to see amulets, I realized, well, I'm not going to be in the memorandum, I'm not going to be in the memory of in my own film, and I let go, I start to pass out and I go, I think that's pretty peaceful. And I, I'm out, I wake up, and my wife over me, she's on the phone, she's called our doctor. And she goes, I could hear it, I'm coming back in like, it's just a ringing noise. And he goes, she goes, you're having a panic attack. It's not a heart attack. And what happened was all the adrenaline that I had built up over those past months and weeks and year prior making the film, when I dropped off the DCP my brain goes, and we're done. And we can't go any farther. We're done. We've completed job well done. And then my body goes, sia and I, if you look up Wikipedia, a panic attack. It says symptoms and it says it feels like you're going to die. And I had to like, go to a functional medicine doctor for a long, long time, and build up my immune system. And he said, you just have to take it easy medical, because you will have a heart attack. And it won't be a panic attack. So yeah, I almost died on the Alamo, which would have been a perfect place if you really I mean, come on. Why? right smack dab in the middle of it, too. I was on Browse right there.
Alex Ferrari 38:54
If you're watching this movie of your life, Josh. I mean, it's it's pretty like it's like the it's the point of what is it the the point of no return and a point of no return? But the all is lost moment. In the screenplay. In the movie. You're like, Oh, he's made the movie. Wait, he's dying at the movie theater. Right? He is movie. All his loss. That is the I mean, you can't sell poetic.
Josh David Jordan 39:20
Yes, that's how and that's how Bob Fosse he died. I found out at a premiere. He had worked so hard, and he dropped dead in front of the marquee. I was like, poetic, poetic for sure.
Alex Ferrari 39:32
I mean, it's Well, I'm glad I'm glad it worked out with us. I just uh, you know, I just as a side note, my first film broken I had a panic attack on set. Oh, oh, I had a full blown panic attack that had to actually go I'm like guys I got Give me a minute. I went to the bathroom. And I had to get my give me like 10 or 15 minutes guys set up the lights or something like that because it was so overwhelming to me because I had never done it. It was just, it was just something it was it was a huge project for me at the time, it was all this stuff. And I, I literally just started to try to meditate and breathing in and out and there was nobody there to help me. And I was just like, Yeah, it sucks, dude, I've had probably two or three panic attacks all based around the film industry.
Josh David Jordan 40:19
I have to one was recently but the cool thing is, I can tell myself, you know, I have a lot of methods now to where I'm like, You're not having a panic attack, you just need to chill out for a little bit. And so once you've had it, but man, it's obviously never had it. But they say most ambulance rides. People are thinking they're having a heart attack. It's a panic attack. And by the time they get them to the hospital, they're like, Oh, I think I'm good. Because they give them the IV and it calms them down. But everyone thinks it's a panic, a heart attack for sure. Or stroke or something. Good Lord.
Alex Ferrari 40:51
I mean, that's an amazing story. But Well, I'm glad you made it, brother. I'm glad you might. And that's a warning for all filmmakers. You know, you're still human. And there's a lot of stress, especially when trying to get a movie together and things happen and how many heart attacks and panic attacks has has happened to filmmakers in the course of the last 50 or 100 years?
Josh David Jordan 41:12
Yeah, all movies cost something. It may be your heavy.
Alex Ferrari 41:17
It might be you know, how did you get now how did you because you've mentioned a couple times you've read my book, how did you decide to go with distribution?
Josh David Jordan 41:26
Yeah, so look, the timing of your book was great, because we were coming back from Scotland with the movie think Glasgow Film Festival. And we were things were starting to really happen with the buzz of the film. And we Funny enough, we were talking to Alamo Drafthouse and they were gonna put it in all the Alamo Drafthouse is like a little short deal, and have Greg play like a little and we can sell the merchandise the soundtrack. So we're I was working that out when we were in Scotland, on the airplane. And we had gotten word that South by Southwest, even though we weren't in a competition, what they were like, you know, maybe we can work something out where we can premiered in Austin, you can do a festival thing. And all our phones went off and said South by Southwest cancels. This was like early, early, early COVID. And a time we landed everything, all the other film festivals, we were part of everything else shut down. So I'm back to I mean, in theaters mean, Alamo Drafthouse especially closed its doors. And so it was like, I just made a movie. What I do with this, and I, you know, I am still thankful that we were able to least do that huge run of festivals, get the movie in the can, because I know a lot of friends who like we're shooting a film with the head, like kids in it, you know, the age of 10. And then COVID Gone, gone. Because those kids don't look the same. They have half a movie in a can. I mean, it breaks my heart to think about it. A lot of people lost a lot of things. We were very lucky that we still walked away, you know? So I'm, you know, I'm depressed. And I'm like, Okay, well, I'm just gonna make the DVD myself. And so I figured out how to do all that. I told people, if you want a signed autograph, I'm only doing 100. If you want a signed autograph of the DVD, it's 30 bucks. And we threw in some stickers, we sold out like that. Three grand, I have three grand, I make 1000 DVDs. So they're in my garage. And I'm like, Well, what do I do with this? And I did the whole like stuff before and all the different menus. And because of COVID. And because of so many film festivals that shut down that didn't have films come out. They're cut in half, what movies are for distribution, content, everyone's at home, everyone needs to be watching something. And people are running out of content. Well, my phone starts to blow up, like literally. And I was talking to a lot of different distribution companies. I mean, some and you know, I love how you talk the truth about how some of these are predatory. I mean, Alex, it was so sickening, you know, especially like, I've almost died. You know, I'm not gonna give you my film. I like give you this. You know, it was like 40 45% for 20 years now. Gee, yeah. Oh, and then we're going to redo your posters. I don't know if you've seen our poster. Our guy who did our poster did a phenomenal job. Yeah, of course. It's like they wanted to redo the poster redid the trailer and they just wanted to spend the money would be coming in. And then we got a phone call for the one that we went to with who was cast say their name on the map to you. Yeah. So this little company called Passion river films. reached out and I looked them up and they worked with libraries. I was like, okay, they don't really do theatrical, but they were like, you can keep your theatrical and you keep DVD rights and all these things. I was like, This sounds too good to be true. So I reached out to Ben and Jim Cummins over at vanishing angle. And Ben was nervous because Ben's name can be saying that wrong. I said, Hey, do you know about passionate River and they go, and Jim was like, Yeah, Thunder Road, they have Amazon and DVD sales, we sign out with them, because they're phenomenal. And they'll put it in every library in North America, including Canada and the US. And so they sent over the paperwork. And they like, we love the trailer. We love it. It was a two year deal. I'll say it. It was a two year deal for 20%. I mean, and they're gonna, and they're going to put it into every library and they're going to buy all the all the DVDs that I had. They said, We'll sell those for you. And we'll take a percentage by putting them into libraries. And so some libraries, if there's a big enough metroplex, though by 1015. And so they set us up, it works so well with us, and they put us through, obviously, we did the T VOD, the transactional. And then I still have theatrical right. So I was going around once COVID was over with and we're showing we're selling out here in the Dallas Fort Worth area 600 seat theaters. And that's just for us. And then they said, Hey, there's this new thing called Tubi. Goes and this is predecessor, they're pretty new. This is 2020, the beginning of 2020. And two, he needed content. And they loved our runtime The weather was country music and that they can advertise with like Chevy Miller Lite, bloodline Wrangler. So as of now besides the DVD sales, which sounds crazy to BS right there. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You know, I mean, you talk about on the show, you know, I remember like, I was talking, I was chasing daylight when you would talk on the show, because you were speaking the truth. And then a month later, you know, tug is gone. I'm like, oh, you know, that was my plan. And it's just like, something pops and something goes away. And you were talking about Avon. And I remember you talking about and I was like what advertising video on demand. There's, I feel like I'm gonna make it on Amazon and iTunes and dude, I choose. It's the lowest. Oh, it's horrible. Yeah. Then we got some good Vimeo stuff. Because like in Australia, that's one of their platforms is Vimeo for, for certain films that aren't rated? And yeah, so I 100%. As of today, own the film, VOD, DVD, theatrical, I own 100% of the of the rights of the shots amazing. And we had a great win a great prize, the best kind of run, you can do, like right now it's on Amazon Prime for free. And we're gonna keep it on there. Because it's a nice calling car. Because we're making our new film for people to like, go watch that, and watch it for free. And then once the next one will happen, we'll take that down, or you can rent it and then I'll start to build a collection, you know, Blu ray DVD and, and have it through our own website.
Alex Ferrari 48:12
Dude, I'm so happy that the book helped you with that. And the show helped you with a lot of this stuff that you're talking
Josh David Jordan 48:18
100% I always tell people, the three things that every if you're if you're a filmmaker, or if you want to be a filmmaker, or if you're needing to go level up in a different area, the three books that you have to have on your shelf is indie film has a filter printer. Right Rebel Without a crew. And then I really like Dan's book, this immersive guide to filmmaking. Oh, yeah. People should get your audiobook because it's really, it's really stellar. It was really listened to. And for some reason, I learned a lot of new things. I've just re listened to it on a drive. And I was like, Oh, that's really that's really solid if you listen to it, because it sounds like I read and I kind of blank out. So I listened to it and then went back and thumbed thumbnails, some stuff in your book for the next film that's coming up that I didn't do in the last one.
Alex Ferrari 49:09
And then the audiobook to also has extra stuff that I just stopped in the middle. And I'll just start like, real quick.
Josh David Jordan 49:14
Right, Gary Vee. I love it.
Alex Ferrari 49:17
That's why I got it from Gary did. Like I'm doing that when I have when I do an audiobook.
Josh David Jordan 49:23
That's brilliant. Brilliant.
Alex Ferrari 49:25
It's great. No, I'm so happy that that is the case. And that's a real great success story and distribution because I'm sure you were getting predatory stuff left and right and all over the place.
Josh David Jordan 49:37
It's make Yeah, making this it's really gross. And it's, you know, for a filmmaker, I think if maybe if I wouldn't have almost died, I would have just been exhausted enough to give it away. And I think what happened was I was exhausted. I almost died and I was pissed. And I was like, I'm taking this thing. I'm alive again.
Alex Ferrari 49:59
Josh David Jordan 50:02
I will sell these DVDs.
Alex Ferrari 50:04
I will say that's that's genius. That's really a genius way of looking about it. And libraries are a big thing that people don't don't understand, you know, also cruise lines and airlines too, for certain movies. You can get it. There's so many no streams, sorry, your airline? Yeah, it's so many revenue streams that you can create and go after distributors who just focus on those kinds of things and getting you into those places.
Josh David Jordan 50:28
Yeah. And because of your show, someone was talking about we funder. And so we were going that route for the next film. And then we got film independent to support us as a 5013. C, people can do tax write off. So it's like, I've learned so much in the past. And then like, with your show, and having people on, I'll listen to an hour. And then like five minutes, someone says something that like changes the trajectory of the film of the next film. I'm like, I'm listening to it. Like, I get that. And I've been there. I've been there. I've been there. I've been there and the EU hadn't been there. And I write that down. And then it really, you know, there's so many things that our fingertips that I think, you know, if people really want to do it, you can do it. It's out there for you.
Alex Ferrari 51:17
And so the film is a bit of a financial success for you.
Josh David Jordan 51:20
I mean, like I said, I'm not like, I'm not rich and famous, but we're in the black.
Alex Ferrari 51:28
You get your money back, you made your money back. Yeah, like you are in the top one person, one per one, one 1% of filmmakers.
Josh David Jordan 51:35
And the cool thing about it also is like, it's still I still get checks, and it pays for all the stuff that we have in our websites, it pays for our CPA, our LLC, it's like, you know, the film still. And once we get the next film made, we're really going to push this one break again, because a lot of people didn't get to see it. Right, because of just all the content. And we can repackage that it's forever, you know?
Alex Ferrari 52:02
Yeah, I mean, you could put that movie out. Right? Right. You could release it right now.
Josh David Jordan 52:07
Were given blu ray, and then vinyl, we're on a waiting list for a vinyl record. So we're going to package it with a Blu ray. Because you said one of the beginning of one of your shows you says the niches isn't the riches.
Alex Ferrari 52:19
The niches. Yeah. Yeah. And you have
Josh David Jordan 52:24
Yeah. And then the next film is about an orthodox monk on the coast of Texas. So it doesn't get more niche than that, you know?
Alex Ferrari 52:30
Yes. The name of that one El Tonto Cristo
Josh David Jordan 52:35
El Tonto Por Cristo
Alex Ferrari 52:37
Yes. And so that means basically translated if I am, I am Latino. So, the Fool for Christ essentially,
Josh David Jordan 52:46
Yes, that's exactly right. It's like, you know, it's not a Robert Eggers style film. It's not scary, but it's going to have that vibe. It'll have a neat, we're shooting in black and white. I'm doing I'm breaking all the rules. I've already broken rules. So we're shooting in one sick sick one, and black and white.
Alex Ferrari 53:04
Just but you're shooting color and taking the color. I mean, the black and white later, right. Are you shooting? Yeah. Keep keep the color just in case.
Josh David Jordan 53:12
Oh, believe me? Yeah, technology, technology. We're using the newest red. And it's like with this technology. If we get in there, like, oh, it's like,
Alex Ferrari 53:23
Just just keep the color for distribution, just in case. Like we love the film, but you shot it in black and white. I can't sell it. And you've got no stars in it. So it's gonna be a tough sell. They're like, well, you know what, I could just turn that color right back on for you. Yeah. That's what it takes.
Josh David Jordan 53:40
We have been less stars this time.
Alex Ferrari 53:42
Good. Good. Yeah. Always, always get a face man. Always get on can. Josh, man, I appreciate you coming on the show man telling us your insane story. I'll ask you a few questions. Ask all my guests. Cool. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?
Josh David Jordan 53:57
You know, I think it's really quickly. It's like a Chinese parable that I once heard about a man they had a beet farm and the beets all dried up. And the kid was like, what we're gonna do, we're ruined. And the father was like, maybe, maybe not. And then all of a sudden, all these horses came up the hill. And he was like, Oh my gosh, we're gonna be rich. And his father said maybe maybe not. We don't know. Well, as he was trying to train the horses, the horses broke his leg, both legs. And he said son said now I'm crippled. This is the worst thing that ever happened as far as that maybe, maybe not. And then the Chinese army came over the hill. They said we need your son for war. And he said, case crippled, and they left and all those men got slaughtered. So basically, when you're making an indie film, and your transmission blows up, or someone gets shoot in the face, it's not the end of the world. It's not.
Alex Ferrari 54:50
I may be the guy who gets shot in the face. It could very definitely be the end of the world.
Josh David Jordan 54:56
Or me or me and Alamo Drafthouse for sure.
Alex Ferrari 55:00
Yeah, I get I get that. I've heard that parable. So what is it wonderful parable? What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Josh David Jordan 55:08
You know, everyone always says this and it's the truth is like, the whole Calvary is not showing up by Mark Duplass. But I'll take it one step further and say, like, sometimes you're gonna have to do everything, because it's not going to be just yours. Until maybe one day you know, you are Wes Anderson. And you can tell if someone with color pink you want. But right now, just do it yourself. And if you don't find joy in that, and this is not for you.
Alex Ferrari 55:38
And three of your favorite films of all time?
Josh David Jordan 55:41
Oh, man, I forgot about this one. I'm gonna say Badlands. Yeah, I'm gonna say it's a wonderful life. Now, I'm George Bailey. At my age. I feel like I'm George Bailey. And number three is a tie because it's Point Break and karate kid. And because that shouldn't those films like shouldn't be so shouldn't have worked. And they did. And I love I love rewatching him. I just saw one break here in Dallas on 35 millimeter. It was gorgeous.
Alex Ferrari 56:17
And I'm assuming you've seen Cobra Kai? Oh, yes. Of course. I mean, it's, it's, it's awesome. Yeah. Brother, man, where can people find out more about you your films you're in we're gonna watch your movies.
Josh David Jordan 56:31
Yeah, you gotta joshdavidjordan.com. And that's gonna have everything about the new film, if you want to be if you want to invest, or if you want to throw money our way. It'll have this roll on break where you can buy that. And then all my links. I'm on Instagram and Twitter. Yeah, because when the pandemic happened, someone hacked my Instagram and Facebook account and they deleted them all. So I just restarted them. That really stinks. So go there. Follow me there. And yeah, that's it.
Alex Ferrari 56:59
Brother. I appreciate the story. I appreciate you coming on. I appreciate all the support for what I do all these years and I'm glad you made it. Glad you're alive. That this movie didn't kill you, though. It did try. Yeah. But I appreciate you brother. Thanks again.
Josh David Jordan 57:15
Welcome to Texas and I hope I see you in Austin man.
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- Josh David Jordan – Official Site
- El Tonto Por Cristo
- 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)