IFH 706: Composing the Biggest Hollywood Blockbusters of All-Time with Klaus Badelt



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Alex Ferrari 2:02
Enjoy today's episode with guest host Dave Bullis.

Dave Bullis 2:06
And this episode of the podcast, I have a guest who has been a composer in some of the biggest movies like Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl, Gladiator equilibrium K 19. My guess I got to talk about all that about how you actually work with guys like Khan Zimmerman, how you actually develop soundtracks for these movies. You know how he actually got into that, because he actually was a film a completely different background. And we also don't talk about film hub, which is another avenue for filmmakers, again, it's all about this podcast is about is all exploring all these different avenues, talking about where the film industry is headed. And just hearing all these crazy stories, but how we all got here, and some of the crazy things that we've seen on set. So without further ado, with guest Klaus puddle.

Klaus Badelt 2:49
Yeah, I you know, it was a bit odd, like I had my first like tech startup at 18. And then assault that with 25 and turned around 180 degrees and then did music. And then I, you know, mostly film music, and then in Germany, and then I went on, I think, like 97, likely. So I went on to world Hollywood on vacation and got stuck here ever since.

Dave Bullis 3:17
So what kind of sort of did you have?

Klaus Badelt 3:20
That was already a tech startup there was like in at the time when they didn't call it startup yet to actually make money, and profit. And in order to hire the next guy. And they were writing software that's that at the time I because a part of that decision was that the German music universities didn't take me. So I didn't manage to convince them with my entry exam performance. So I did not, I'm just going to do the easiest stuff. Good stuff I know anyway, and that's a computer stuff. And then only a few years later, I then said, Let's This is good. Dinner was a very successful company. And I can feel it. Let's do music.

Dave Bullis 4:04
You know, it's so true with a lot of these startups is all about, it's all about future earnings or potential value. Have you ever seen a TV show Silicon Valley?

Klaus Badelt 4:14
Yeah, of course. Exactly. It's all true.

Dave Bullis 4:17
Yeah, it's amazing. I have friends, you know, who work out in Silicon Valley. And they swear by the show, they go it is absolutely so true to life. Where, you know, somebody makes, like you and I make a piece of software for a weekend in our in our apartment or, you know, dorm room, and suddenly, you know, we're selling it on Monday for you know, a couple million couple, you know, maybe even more, and it has it doesn't really have an audience or you know what I mean? It does it's just it's just like this theory piece of software that hasn't really proven itself yet. But the potential value is there.

Klaus Badelt 4:51
Yeah, no, it's, it's be creating a spin. I mean, we're going basically backwards here, but I spent the last year quite a bit in Silicon Valley and and Learn how they do things, they're not some of the techniques. And it's great though, it's great how to run a company I learned so much can believe. Compare this to La companies or European companies, how they operate is a very different different way of running things. And, I mean, it has to do with why I'm doing this, this startup as well in the film business to bring in different dimensions, even the way of looking at it, and helping to, you're aiming at like redefining, like a whole industry with us. Because our industry, you're in the film business doesn't really work. That way, you know, oriented with metrics, seeing that, you know, you operate fast and not out of your guts, but have data to back up what you actually do. And that's actually very refreshing to me. Now, as a, as a composer, where you it's interesting, it's quite a bit similar, even though it sounds like it would be just emotional when you're right and just intuitive. And that's true, but at the same time, now, I'm really getting carried away, stop me anytime. But if when you write a theme that say for movie, you are not a musician, you're a filmmaker, right? You you, you have the first five minutes or eight minutes, if you're lucky to introduce the characters, you have to be very careful about the arc telling the story you make people hopefully love the character. So they actually go along with whatever crazy story happens after. And there's a lot of, if you want to analytics about it directly, you know, like a script, they have the X you shaping a something and at the same time, you have to be very creative and emotional about. So this is a great balance. I work a lot with like songwriters. And when it comes to scores, they you can tell the songwriter to adjust or you know you to react or to, to, to tell the story that tell the story in just their absolute space. And that Afghans end in a disaster anyway, but that's different story. But you know, you i you end up being holding the hand and actually making it work to picture you like the director of, of music in a way. So that's shows me every time that it's quite different. Writing music to movies is quite different to writing music. And there's lots of analytics comes into play.

Dave Bullis 7:36
You know, what, what are some of the things you've noticed, just working from Germany to working in here? Because you always hear a lot about, you know, how were you know, America is always compared to Europe, both both in a good way and a bad way. So, what are some of your thoughts? I mean, have you noticed that you do like, what better working over here? I mean, because you know, if you if you were to stereotype Americans working, it's usually you never you never get a day off. You burned out your all your all your vacation days. And you know, you never stop answering emails on your phone.

Klaus Badelt 8:09
That's pretty much me. So obviously, I like it, but much better here. Now. I mean, look, I've been here for 20 minutes, not 20 years. And yeah, I think I can compare and also traveled quite a bit because of the movies. I went a lot to China, to Europe, different European countries, which are quite different. Anyway, the UK is very different to France, very different to Germany, when it comes to movies, but also to like, companies and their attitude and people. I mean, there's a reason I'm, I'm here and I'm staying here, and I live here is I do feel this lots more. I wouldn't call the cliche freedom, but it's much more open what you do look, I would have not have a career. If it wasn't, you know, I came here I had no basically education. And when it comes to music, and you can do whatever you like, if it was as long as you make, you know, make people feel comfortable, and you do a good job. And that's a pretty unique situation, I think in general, whether it's in, in tech or in film or music, but especially in in music maybe and film where you know, it's it's very hard to talk about music right to judge music, you have your opinion, I have my opinion everyone has. But what does the audience do? Everyone is different. So there's no measurement, no picture, you can see if it looks, you know, we can measure it, you can look at the frames, they look, move that visual effect of it over to the left, but in music is really hard. So you have to have that trust. And I think people here are much more generally open. You can totally scurried off quickly and then that's it. But you have much more of a chance, I think to do thing. And yeah.

Alex Ferrari 9:57
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Dave Bullis 10:07
Oh, I'm sorry, I was just gonna agree, you know, you know, as we as we talk about your music career, so at what point did you realize, hey, you know, I want to start composing musical scores for movies, and you've done some video games, too. So what point did you know that this is what you wanted to do?

Klaus Badelt 10:25
I always did more movie than music. I mean, I had my first I didn't have a keyboard first, I had like, a film camera first, and I shot some short movies with the neighbor's son and mother hen or something like that. But so I was felt for movies, but I really never knew that I wanted to do it. I, I, you know, like I said, I started with something very different. I wanted to but I was not like, I, I think part of fit was that I wasn't sure if I could do it. And even when I arrived here, and I sit here in front of, you know, the picture and then look at it like, wow, that's really hard. I mean, I've done this for years. But every time it's really, it's, for me, it's really hard to create music. And to be creative. It's really like, like a writer friend once said, it's like, you have to pour gasoline all over yourself and burn it. And when you feel a pain, then you actually start really creating. It's a bit like that for me. And I'm not alone, I think with that. So yeah, the process is as difficult as it is very rewarding when it works, but it takes a long time to get there.

Dave Bullis 11:43
So, obviously, I want to ask more about that. Because I think that that is a really cool way to put it when you start feeling that pain. And that's sort of the way you create. So if we were to sort of take that and dig a little deeper, do you think that the whole like starving artist, you know, create constant sort of pain? Do you think that if

Klaus Badelt 12:04
I noticed quite a few different types, when I worked also with directors and ultimate, also composers that it's really hard to strike the perfect balance that you are critical enough to create good stuff, but not question yourself to the level of pain that you cannot actually do in your way and beyond way of creating something good, because you might see it, and I think it has to do with experience. But also of course with character you can get get rid of. So it's it's this healthy balance where you don't be too full of yourself, but also be confident. I always say it's like, what you need is a lot of character, but no ego. And that's very difficult, right? So you have to bring in this, this profile and make it very unique, find the unique voice when you create, but don't bring in your own own personality when it comes to actually how to do the job. Because film is definitely teamwork. And that's actually the essential multimedia event, right? You have sound you have picture you have the actress you have, you know, the music, when all comes together. So it's been always the teamwork, which is what I like about film and I've never been the type who like says like, Oh, give me give me the picture. That needs to be the tape, right? Give me the tape and don't talk to me for six weeks, but always been always had like various studios where I move close to where the director is I had no, I have placed here mobile plays when the Warner Brothers and I sit next to the director, if they they're actually edit there or in our or in, in, in Beijing, where we have to go wherever the director is I want to be and right next to the editorial and, and talk not about music, but like just, you know, absorb what they do to you. So you're part of that creative team and to understand I'm often on the set to when they understand where but it is the director actually wants to get out of it, how he sees that arc of the scene, the emotional arc, etc. So you know, you're part of that. And you just have to express that in music, and the edit so to express this with, you know, that the Edit, but it's the same work.

Dave Bullis 14:23
So, when you're on some of these movie sets, and you know, you're getting that feeling and you're not really thinking about the music, you're more ingrained in in what everything's sort of like the minute you're engraved in the process of you know of how it's getting done and everything. Do you when you do go back to that to start composing the music for this like let's use Pirates of the Caribbean for instance. When you start going back and creating that music, you're just drawing from all that experience of being on set of you know, me talking the director of you know of what exactly that Knowledge is what the scene is about, or you know, or the sequence is about. We're just about the whole sort of underlying current of the whole movie.

Klaus Badelt 15:08
Yeah, actually, absolutely, yes. I couldn't agree more. I mean, maybe pose wasn't the best example, because they had virtually no time to create it. But I know what it it was a good example in that way, because you have to then trust your instincts, and improvise. And then it comes to your, what do you what do you do without thinking? But ultimately, it's a lot you're right. It's a lot of yeah, if you want experience to look, I have a lot of young writers who virtually want to prove themselves and I think I have to, and that's true, you have to but you know, the end here, this course, which all sounds like a pot pourri of stuff, because they want to show off, they don't really actively or consciously do this. But it happens like that. And when you make music for film, you're your subordinate to the whole multimedia event to the whole story. You don't, you don't want to not dominate. I mean, there's strong music you have to write off. And so yeah, you have to just be Be careful in the in the give and take.

Dave Bullis 16:11
So, so class, let me ask you this, when you're, you know, online, and maybe you're, you know, look just looking around at, you know, different websites and stuff. Have you ever come across some of the like the stock music websites?

Klaus Badelt 16:24
Oh, yeah, sure, of course,

Dave Bullis 16:26
What are your thoughts on that?

Klaus Badelt 16:32
It's like, I don't even do demos of you know, in this industry, you have this like, where directors asked like a handful of companies for demos. And it's not that I'm like, arrogant enough to say, like, I'm older, I don't do demos, it's about I don't believe in that process, because it's no process. It's a shot in the dark and something sticks. And then you don't know anything about the director, composer relationship, how it could develop, or if the composer understands your movie at the director. And so these sites are Yeah, of course, if you, I, I'm a writer, I always need a picture to work against, I need to be the the filmmaker. I admire that if you can actually write like, Hey, I imagined this kind of picture on here I go, I really, I don't think I've ever done that. So it's it must be a very hard job actually to do that. And as a director, of course, you you want that work relationship more than you want the music, the best directors I had, while I like to work with the best ways of working together was always a director where you where you do not want to show off where you don't need to. You don't talk about music. You don't talk about what instrument you would like God, that's actually the second secondary, but that's the output you don't want the input to talk about what it is not, symbolically what it is what's supposed to happen here. What's the emotional content? What What's that scene for? What's the moment for? How do they feel? And how do you want the audience feel. And by the way, when you write music, then you often as a director, also notice this the suddenly get into like the, the weaknesses of the movie, by putting music on it or, or writing to picture, you suddenly realize issues in editing and issues. And if we're not clear about that moment here, what do you actually want to say? So music kind of crystallizes, that gets takes it outside. And that's music as a filmmaker, right? As a character as a, as a part of the movie, not music, put in a slap on top, which sometimes works too, but it's not. That's not the same.

Dave Bullis 18:59
Yeah, like music as a as a character of of itself. You know, it's like the soundtrack of a level of a life because, you know, when you're watching a movie, it's the most interesting points of that part of that character's life, you know, and it's like, this is the soundtrack of your life. It means so yeah. So clouds. Let me ask you this, when you're watching what movie Have you seen recently, where you have just been like, sort of blown away by the soundtrack?

Klaus Badelt 19:26
I have to admit, I I'm the guy with the smallest score collection right? I have. My inspiration doesn't really come from move film music. And that's for several reasons. A when you actually work you, you inadvertently rip off and you don't want that sound in your head. You don't even know where it comes from. I mean, I rip myself off of project I did three years ago and realize much later like, Oh my God, that's the same thing. I can't believe I wrote this again. I literally had happened.

Alex Ferrari 19:57
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Klaus Badelt 20:06
And nobody told me and nobody noticed, obviously, but I, I get my inspiration from very different kinds of music. So I'm the Roman to ask if you inspired by that kind of with this off, if if it always movies, it would be hard for me to point out to is, but these were non traditional composers, right. You know, we have too many guys who want to sound like Jerry Goldsmith, or you know, it's like this, this idea which is over. And you need to develop new things and still serve the film. And you get this when Oh, when I listened to a Brian Eno score that to me, well, not all of them, but there are some which were like, Oh, this is interesting, I would have not done it like this. And I probably will never be able to do like that. But that gives you inspiration. I have lots of playlists of songs, though. And classical music and then electronic music, or why keep as an inspiration, like to rolling in my in my head and in the background often just to where I get something from.

Dave Bullis 21:13
So, so when you when you actually ripped off your own score, was it air through air after the movie had come out? You're like, oh my god, did I write that I have that I already wrote that I write that.

Klaus Badelt 21:21
I was the years after. Yeah, it was a TV show, actually, you know, a rip myself off. And I had no idea. And nobody at the time told me and it wasn't like that bad. But I was the same tune. And it felt great at the time twice. I mean, for me, like, like, Oh, I did it. Look, it sounds great. Oh, my gosh, I really, this is good. It works. And I had done this before. And it's big. I don't know it happens in a adult you don't want to. That's the last thing you want. And last thing I want this to sound like something I did before the last thing I want to sound is like someone else who did something which for some it but it's really hard sometimes.

Dave Bullis 21:59
Yeah, it is, you know? So speaking about, you know, just of your process and everything like that, you know, what was the, you know, the absolute best experience that you've had making a score to a film?

Klaus Badelt 22:16
And it's so many I mean, there are a few would like, but I think often is the indie films, which are more you have an opportunity to be you have more integrity, it's easier to have integrity in terms of collaboration and, and there's less opinions out there and Hollywood, there's a lot of different opinions. And it's great to work like that. But it's easy then to like know, take the edge off everywhere. And then at the end, you sound the end up with something mediocre. Because nobody dares. It's, it's dangerous, right. So I had some films like I remember I remember, like life changing was like when I did my first film in China where the director Shankar Agha did me know, let me let me write a little bit put me up in a hotel in the lake to enjoy and write and I thought I came up with something, okay. And he listened to it and nodded and said, Okay, let me make some phone calls. I think I'm going to, if you don't mind sent you around the country for the next few weeks, and you just absorb whatever we show you. So you get a much deeper feel for where we are with all this. Yeah, basically like a 4000 year history lesson, compressed in a few weeks of sightseeing. And that was part of this whole process that went in I think if I look back, I can hear that the I was most inspired and that took me five months there and I remember when I came back here to Hollywood people asked me so where do you move to China? Like no, it just wrote a movie but no movie but i i That was like life changing moment where you just want to be as good as the director. And you know you'll never be you know, achieve that but you want to contribute and there's a deep Yeah, just deep inspiration. That was also a project where we never talked about me I visited him a few times so traveled to China. We met for a week or two and I don't think a single time we even looked at the film The first few times we discussed his life and his his symbolism in every shot and in every not short but in every scene what he envisioned for this and and you just learn and be taught politics he taught all kinds of things. And then you prepared to to give I think that makes a good director right to who is just interested in getting the best out of your creation instead of trying to squeeze you into a certain track.

Dave Bullis 24:57
So what did that what that what else do You went on this, you know, this sort of history lesson this 4000 year history lesson and, and in a week or two, you know, we did when you got out, you know, and they finally got back and they asked you to compose this piece. What was the outcome after that? I mean, what did you was it a success?

Klaus Badelt 25:17
Um, yeah, it was a big movie there, it was called the promise in China was one of the very first, you know, was 10 years ago. So it wasn't one of the very first like, big effects movies and, and the biggest compliment, I mean, you can hear the themes, I had so many inspired themes, and they, and they all did something for the movie at the right time. In the biggest complaint was like, look, I mean, I was this German guy, or European guy who lives in Hollywood and does a Chinese movie. So what you expect me I asked him at the time, so I'm not the guy who writes your age Chinese movie, it was all in Chinese, of course, right? And he's like, no, no, and he wants people to tap with the music to open up the film and the understanding about the film, to a greater audience to the audience. And that's exactly, okay, well, so I absorbed a lot of these Chinese instruments in history and stories and dances had like, I was in museums and mountains, you know, they perform dances to me, you know, listen to ancient songs, and all these different minorities, and absorbed all this and put this in, but not to, like, rip it off not to, you know, use this as a superficial color and impose myself on it, but to really like, you know, work it in and have flavors of this in there. And there was some European flavors in there, and of course, Western flavors in there. So that was so satisfying for me as a process. And you can, you can hear this in the inspiration. It's, there's something new creative, you know, when I heard some people told me that this is one of their favorites course, and not and they didn't know the story. So we can you can always hear how inspired you are.

Dave Bullis 27:07
You mentioned about the indie films. And I, you know, earlier on, I mentioned Pirates of the Caribbean, you know, I imagined just for the sheer thrill of it, because Pirates of the Caribbean, no matter when it would come out is going to be one of the biggest films of the year, you know, you know, from the first one to the fifth one, I think that came out a year or two ago. You know, it's just the fact that it's the pie, you know, it's a huge, huge movie. It's got Johnny dept. You know, it's got, you know, a named director of gore, Gore Verbinski, but if I could actually talk, and, and so I imagine, you know, when that when that comes out, I mean, I mean, I can only imagine a class where you could say, Hey, listen, you know, you see, he's telling anybody, friends, family, whoever, hey, you know, Pirates of the Caribbean that's coming out. You know, I did music for that movie. Because everybody instantly knows Oh, my God, that's Johnny Depp.

Klaus Badelt 28:02
Right, of course. I mean, it's always great to have something where, you know, your your, your family asked me so what do you do next? And you talk about the movie, and they're like, Oh, I never heard of it. But in then there's one. You know, there's the occasional film we're like, oh, yeah, that's in everybody's mind and theaters and certainly one of the music pieces but more known but I don't know look at me I mean, I'm proud of it, of course, but torquing this down, but I it's so many different things. And I always like to it's so easy to fall into this Hollywood trap to to like what you do too much. And Korea was never an option to me to be in the center of my own attention. Just did one thing after another and honestly, I never really thought about like, like moving here. And I was one thing I never would have thought about. I was on vacation, I guess. I don't know. Maybe I can do this. Of course I loved it. And I had the passion for it. But I didn't never expected it to happen. I never expected and the same thing with Unity, right? So I had right after pirates, for example, I didn't. Then the last thing I would want to do is to do 2345 17 Make it a TV show. But instead I remember at the time where I used the opportunity then to do movie with Tecton or do a movie with Wolfgang Petersen to do a movie with Shang chi again, all you know what I just said like went to China five months. My agent was like, pulling his hair and it's like, what are you doing? This is like the moment you put you can your career. Like it's not that I'm not interested. But that is exactly what to do right now, because of this enables me to do really interesting stuff. I've done a lot of French movies, nobody cares, or here in America. They don't travel but just so amazingly satisfying that someone will hear the word ultimately and then you get another job.

Alex Ferrari 29:56
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Klaus Badelt 30:05
Based on something you did, which nobody would have given you an A did suddenly comedy in New York. Wow. And what it would have hired me for New York style comedy. Because the Pirates of the Caribbean but they did that because they're heard, I don't know PDD Kaline in Paris when they went on vacation or you know, had a meeting and like, Who is this and what this German guy amazing, let's do that. So this is, I think if you constantly do good work and try to not really re Have you always reinvent yourself and try not to repeat too much, because everybody wants that, like in other play that put your music and pretend and say, I want exactly this. Don't change the note. This works great. Can you do this again? That's how often you get an assignment here is that you are in the temp and sorry, but the last thing I want to do is, if I was director would ask the composite, right, exactly. Same thing again. That's like, so not inspiring for anyone. And you probably can hear this and you can hear sorry, but you can hear composer would mention names of films definitely where you? You're like, well, I know exactly what happened in the cutting room, how they asked the composer what to do, and he can hear it. That's not what I'm interested in.

Dave Bullis 31:20
You know what I found that in class, I found that in the latest Star Wars films. I like Star Wars. I like the idea behind it. I mean, I come from it from more of a writing perspective. Because if I if you asked me what I what I am made out of everything, you know, don't be enough if that's why whenever someone says they're a jack of all trades, Klaus I kind of go well, everyone has to specialize in something, everybody, you can have knowledge of everything. But everyone at the end of the day, everyone specializes in something that brought because that's what brought you to the dance. You know, you have you know, there's one thing that you do well, so for me, it's writing. And when I'm watching the store with the new ones, you know, and I'm sitting there, I just go, I just feel like everything is exactly the same. It's the same beats, it's the same shots. It's the same music. It's so repetitive.

Klaus Badelt 32:16
Yeah, I mean, this is what now we're getting into what I think is a bit of a problem of Hollywood and a serious problem of Hollywood, the last few years, especially that we are not afraid to tell a story. But yeah, in a way, like it's risky now to tell new stories. It has to be a franchise. And then you do that. As long as there's a lot of people paying tickets for that. How can they be wrong, right? And then it's okay when we have to all create new keep the lights on and keep the industry going. It's just not so much what I'm I know, I did too. I was about to say I never did sequels. I did two sequels, I have to admit, but when it was I made sure that if possible, this was like okay, there's a friendship by the new director a new like a restart or something like you know, a fresh angle at something. Like when I did my first horror film I told the director I don't like horror. Irish it should I'm not a big horror fan. Sorry. But so why are you asking me and then we started talking it turns out he neither so we want to do something no genre but something different. And there was no okay was Well, I wasn't really whorfin But I guess Constantine was a lot of like, dark dark stuff and then ended up with almost like if a French impressionist film score. You know, I think that's interesting stuff happens and and we're a bit we've become a bit afraid of, of doing this year. And that's why indie film can often be this way you try out things and then they become mainstream. I personally think that indie is the new mainstream Anyway, look, the last few years last 10 years, and it's been always indie films, winning or being nominated for for all kinds of awards. But and there's always that commercial blockbuster thinking where you will have to do another sequel of another prequel of another TV show. I know I'm just coming off a film which has like it's the fourth installment but but there was a new idea again in there. This quarter. I think I can talk about is still in the making. It's called the ocean Ocean's eight. You know as the ocean's 11 idea on a very different cast and a very different fresh ideas. It's an all female cast and fantastic fun in it. And it's like smart, right? So that I can live with. And it's a good mix of being okay as commercially very viable. But same time. There's a lot of new and fresh ideas and there's a twist in it. And you can talk about, tell the twist, and work on the twist.

Dave Bullis 35:17
Yeah, I actually have heard of Ocean's eight, you know, the all female, you know, based upon the George Clooney movie, Ocean's 11, but instead of being all males or females, and so, I mean, when you do something like that, you know, and you're sort of brought onto this franchise? Is there any expectations at all? I mean, because really, I mean, what I mean by that is, do they are they saying like, Hey, listen, Klaus, you know, if you listen to Ocean's 1112, or what have you, this is what they did here. And we want something kind of similar. And is there anything like that?

Klaus Badelt 35:53
Yes, and no, look, I mean, they will have, they could have easily asked the the old composer to do that if they want that same thing again. But there's a reason they didn't. But there's also the expectations of the audience that you remember when working on Miami Vice, right? You the audience has a certain expectations or expectation and you as a director or a film as a compositor, you have to not cannot ignore the audience, you should never do that. You play with that? No, no. And my advice was very hard, because the movie was very dark and very different than what you know, the TV show was 30 or 20 years before that, but And here too, it's slightly different, but it plays with it. And actually, to me, that's fun that that's okay, that's smart. That's, that's fulfilling the expectation and hopefully, adding the twist to it. So it's interesting and fresh again. That's fun. That's not like, Okay, I have to do Pirates of the Caribbean times 17. And they want exactly the same thing.

Dave Bullis 36:57
You know, I actually really enjoy the oceans movie. So I mean, I'll check out Ocean's eight. But, uh, yeah, it's kind of like, again, you know, I was saying, I totally get what you're saying about the indie films. It's kind of like, you know, writing you know, it's a it's like composing itself. You know, we are on an indie film, you can, you have a lot more freedom as we you know, but when you're on a big blockbuster, you know, your freedom is kind of constricted. But when you again, when you're telling people about it, you're like, Well, hey, listen, I just did music for excetera they like, oh, wow, I actually, you know, me like, holy crap. Johnny Depp. Sure, I keep going back to Johnny Depp. But he's, he's a very good example.

Klaus Badelt 37:33
Say, you don't have that obsession with Johnny Depp. I like that. No, but I know what you mean. Yeah, no, it's this Exactly. Like it's so tempting. But again, I mean, I remember this when my mom asked me, so I just came out of the meeting with Steven Spielberg and, and he kind of ripped half of the score apart on Gladiator. And we're like, gosh, this was one of the hardest days of my life at the time. And, and I tried to tell a little bit like, look, mommy just did this. And she's like, Okay, what, do you eat enough? So, you know, it grounds you she didn't care. And you you get back to like, okay, you know, what, you need to bypass all this hype about yourself and about others and I think just get to work so I'm not really impressed. Ultimately, with when it comes to celebrities, it's only I'm impressed when, you know, they're getting good sales like when they actually deliver him and when you work with them and you realize and understand why they are who they are. Then it gets very, very interesting. There's some directors out here new work with Tom Cruise. So then it's you understand you know, where that where the success comes from? If you have to have a chance to work well but but again, only an indie it's it's as refreshing as as taxing to your creativity. And again, you can you have more freedom to get out of the no to out of the box thinking. And you can see now that the audience is really tired of the same kind of Game of Thrones and Batman's and stuff, right? They, yeah, they see it, they watch it, but you know, we know they did a lot of gather a lot of data about this too. And not only there felt it, but there is data that people are want more variety. Now that you have the internet you watch much more and you have theoretically access to much more. You don't have these gatekeepers because of shelf space right before you could go to Blockbuster only and they had limited shelf space so you they couldn't put up everything. Or the theaters could only take on one movie night or something. But now you have all this plus the unlimited resources of the internet. So you should be able to watch much more and more more people want that.

Alex Ferrari 39:58
We'll be right back after a word from Our sponsor and now back to the show.

Klaus Badelt 40:07
They expect like everything to be available and that's a big chance of indie I think that you have now the chance of being successful without being broadcast style popular. That means you don't have to have the millions of millions of viewers or tickets sold or something. Without that your movies a flop, I worked on many flops, I know exactly how hot my pressure is read a and how limiting can be, but now you can create something and you make this foreign or maybe a smaller segment of an audience or have more integrity it's a little bit like music, like used to you have to you had to go to a recording studio, you had to use that two inch machine, that tape machine and it was all very expensive. You had to pay the 1000s of dollars per day. So you had to have all this machine would pay for this and you know the industrial these days are like for a few years now you can actually write you know, I've heard the best productions coming from your laptop of some I don't know Pro Tools or whatnot on it and, and it's really great stuff you don't need add on it sounds amazing. Isn't the talent good ideas. And we have this now in movies too, right? That's the big chance of indie we have now digital production pipelines make it very, very cheap for you to produce now including visual effects on your laptop at Starbucks, which rivaled those we do here in in those visual effects studios. But not only visual facts, you know, that's just an example of everything you just you still need just like a music a good idea. Tasteful implementation, etc. That's still the same. But you have now a great opportunity that you can move now a lot of things yourself and that there's a demand on the other side for all people who want to watch more different things want to watch and give you give the attention to your Indie film. Whereas before they didn't even have access to it. Because it wasn't there wasn't available. And now we can make it available world.

Dave Bullis 42:30
Yeah, you know, you mentioned Tom Cruise, by the way to Klaus, you know, I once met I forget what he what he actually is the Tom but I he just said that the he had before you ever met Tom. He goes he always wondered what he was going to be like. And then he said once I met him, I knew why he was successful. And he goes he wakes up every day at four or five in the morning. He gets up he just starts going and he goes he never complains about having to be on set or don't take he never complains about having to do extra work. He goes all the guy does is he party who is you know, he's professional as can be. And he goes he goes I've never seen him with with a bad attitude whatsoever. And he goes, you know, he gets a lot of crap in the media for different things. He goes but you know, all that aside, he goes the guy just is a really hard worker.

Klaus Badelt 43:22
Yeah, and the tabloid news that's one thing but as a hard worker, exactly. I mean, he was issued fantastic to work with us, probably the only you only have the director on the film, I work with him. But you know, you only like producer who, you know, he had no problem seriously, going out at night to the deli and get everyone who was still working because we had to work all night for the last few nights to get us some food. So he had Tom Cruise, looking over my shoulder taking an order for Jerry's Deli. So that's true. And that's not like you want to be a nice guy. He's just like, Yeah, let's do it. You know, keep keep working. And I really appreciate that. And then you can see how this leads to success and well of course how it can lead to divorce but he's a very reasonable man. So in the in the in the news and everywhere. So again, focus always, like I said earlier, like to focus on actually working with these guys. And that's when they gain my respect. And then they will realize oh, yeah, okay, I don't know why.

Dave Bullis 44:27
Yeah, yeah. And see, again, stories like that about Tom, you know, just, you know, insanely hard worker and just likes what he does. And, you know, that's why when his movies come out, you know, I'm always interested to see how well they do began with the whole balancing the tabloid side of things and you know, I mean, I you know, I saw the mummy and I can definitely see what they were trying to do with it. You know, I just think that the the mummy as itself, the premise itself works at its best When Brendan Fraser had the cab, the six cyclists, I agree because Brendan Fraser is just he's just that he looks like a leading man. But he also can act like a goofball. You don't? I mean, and it said funny, and he and you don't I mean, and it just, it works so well, I think the mummy with Tom Cruise just took itself too seriously. And I think a lot of audiences now, you know, with all the options, you know, with all the options of TV and YouTube and everything else and, and also with still going to theater. I don't know if it if it found its I actually I know, it didn't find itself, you know, some of the some of the horror and that was was was fantastic. But I just think at the end of the day, you know, it's a lot of pressure to put on a movie to set up an entire universe. So you know, essentially it has because you know what it you know, it has to do so many things. Well, at the same time, it has to be a movie by itself. So you don't either. It's just it's a lot to do and I think it got pulled in too many directions.

Klaus Badelt 46:01
That happens a lot. And again, it's hard to because we seem to only be able to do franchises and re re re manufacture refactor them. But now Oh, like that's the big thing to do. Yeah, I totally understand what you're saying. Like, the perfect anti hero, you know, was Frasier and you know, reminds me of I don't know Harrison Ford. You know. You know, Indiana Jones like he's like you want that character was like, you know, he's a goofy, but he's more like, he can do he can do it, actually. But he doesn't want to. That's not the character. You know, you. Yeah, it comes in Tom has always Tom Cruise. Right. And that's not whether he's good. Or he's a great actor, actually. But he really I really admire his skills. No, no questions, no matter what, how thin the movie exactly is. But he's really great. But he's always giving himself and into it. So do you expect that it's hard to play against your own character?

Dave Bullis 47:04
Yeah, it's true. And he's doing what he likes and doing what he loves. And he has his own stunts, too. You know, and I know because we talked about distribution. I want to talk about film hub. I know we're starting to run out of time. See how it's you know, Klaus is kind of like a movie. It's like how crab? How do we get all this in here? We've got too much to cover. We don't have enough time.

Klaus Badelt 47:24
No, don't worry about it. No, this is not supposed to. I like to talk about creativity. And I like to talk about the force and the awakening. Now indie should have and I want to bring because I believe in it myself. And I've done it a lot. And with indie film, and I believe that there's now this big change and, and distribution, whatever the the the overall solution is that we have now as indie filmmakers, and new confidence we should have it. And who doesn't have it yet should learn about it. Because it is now possible, all I'm doing all the time now is with either with music, in films to support this in with film up, I'm doing this, to support it on a much larger scale, hopefully, that you can now check this off as a commodity, you can now you know, you cannot do films cheaper with your digital cameras, you can now do visual effects cheaper with or on your own, you can now check that off and check off distribution, you cannot be in every living room in the world. And you have to think of the world and not just your own country or you know, we have to stop thinking in domestic and foreign terms. We have to stop with territorial limitations. We have to stop thinking, windowing this is all what the audience doesn't want. This is all what the industry wants to make a bit more money, you know, to exhorted even more to milk the cow more. But just like in music we've seen, music is like a few years ahead of us in film, we can see how things happen there. Because also, the difference to me is only like bandwidth, right? Music is just less bandwidth needed. But you can see the same flow. And you can learn from that you can see how unimportant a big industry can render itself. And then they come back to what's the actual value. Hollywood does have a big value. But indie film has a much larger value of bread, then we have given us so far, and to strengthen, strengthen that in this case with the distribution platform where you don't have to pay anything and just be there and let it check it off. And then keep creating. And we have much more much more to do there. It's still, even though we have the internet and everybody can watch and do whatever they want whenever they want it in wherever they wanted.

Alex Ferrari 49:56
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Klaus Badelt 50:06
That doesn't mean you don't make movies, by the way for cell phones, right? Like this has been talked about, like the last 10 years. But that's not the case, you just have much more freedom as the audience now to watch what you like, it's harder to find what you like, because there's so much more now. But we have to now put all these tools into place all these digital tools into place, and leverage them as filmmakers, you got to move on and, and embrace this too, we have to stop being that dinosaur ourselves. And there's a lot more to talk about, right when it comes to. But in general, it means like, this is a great opportunity is the digital opportunity now, to create actually very beautiful and meaningful film. Again, more than if I may say, so Hollywood, is dares to produce at this point.

Dave Bullis 51:02
In that's why, you know, stuff like film hub, and I and I was reading your website. So, you know, I've had other people on here, like Jason Brubaker from distributor, you know, things like that, where, you know, people are, you know, companies like yourself, they're, you know, it's a way to get on Amazon, it's way to go on Hulu. You know, so people can, because those are where the eyeballs are right? You know, especially with Amazon, and especially with Amazon, the way it's becoming, they're trying to get more into the video market, you know, who was Hulu? You know, and all these different channels? You know, how do you stand out? How do you get your film on there? Because I mean, even a couple years ago, I remember, you know, just talking to people, and I would say, how the hell do you even get a film on here? You know, how do you get a film? On any of these platforms? You know, do you have to get in a sales agent to pitch to him? And, you know, a few years ago, maybe it's only mean, and actually, you did have to, you know, they had to have the contacts, they had to go through this. And then you had to have deliverables the right way. And, you know, her high ratings. I mean, seriously, and your Netflix has their own way of delivering films, you know, and it's just, you know, do you have all that? Even deliverables a few years ago, before that, Klaus, you know, you had to have? Do you have a 35 millimeter print? You have this? Do you have that? And you're like, well, for indie filmmakers, you know, that's, that's, you know, what, what, how much did prints use the costs? Cost, like $50,000, I think, or something like that, or maybe a lot more so. Right. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, seriously, I would say it's, you know, and so, so that's why I wanted to have you on class to talk about filmhub. And just all this stuff. I know, we can't, we're running out of time. But, you know, just just in closing, Klaus, you know, is there any sort of parting thoughts that you wanted to say, to sort of put a period in this whole conversation?

Klaus Badelt 52:47
Well, again, like I think it's about to me, it's about like, and I love coming on the show like this is to talk about the strength of indie, and that we have to develop now really quick, our own confidence more than we think that often I still I was at Sundance again, and everywhere I go on these festivals is, we still think too much of what we want to achieve is to beat the old system to get your film being picked up. In in terms of, like, like recording artists in music, that also already means the kiss of death, you have to develop it on your own and be your own, have an ownership model, we have to change the model. And then the creativity can actually continue. And so what we're building here with this film, for example, what I'm doing with my movies, into support, like Chinese movies is like there is such a variety out there. And we just have to keep going. creating great stuff. And this is now a much more open world. And then maybe next time we can talk a bit more about how I how I see how, what the what, in my opinion the right way or for what is the right vision forward is where this industry can be in five years. But that's maybe too much for now. We could talk about Alexa.

Dave Bullis 54:02
I know I'm actually now I'm tempted to you know, keep talking to you. Just me I know you got I know you gotta run. And I'm just tempted to give you did to get you hanging on just to just sort of finished that thought. I mean, you know, that's why, you know, I'm getting back into the swing of things too. You know, I got just burned out from doing things and now for for listeners who you know, listen to the past couple of episodes Klaus, they know I'm actually going to start making I want to make a faux trailer again, just a fun fake trailer and throw it up on YouTube. I've been doing a lot more stuff, just with with back and getting into the saddle with this creative stuff I always been writing and you know, it's just it's just getting back into it because I realized you know, I just talked with everybody leaving you know, every guest you know, I always hear different things and it's just important to give keep going and keep trying and get back out there. Because I mean I flat out would be very honest with everybody I got so burned out clouds from just the amount of bullcrap. Just from like, you know, projects never went anywhere. Where to you shoot a project and then somebody holds it hostage on a hard drive, which I've seen, you know, that only happened to me once, thankfully. But other people, it's happened to them like two or three times, you know, just crazy. Because I just sing in the dark the whole time, you know, when it got to. But, but, you know, again, I know you have to go Klaus and, you know. So again, I want to say thank you for coming on. And where can people find you at online?

Klaus Badelt 55:25
So we're at filmhub.com and my own personal website is klausbadelt.com or klausbadelt.com So you can you can find me there and go from there and reach out on Twitter. We're a film hub HQ. I monitor that personally, too. And yeah, get in touch and let's think let's keep creating that revolutionary like that. And I love that, you know, going back getting back into it, too. We have to keep creating. That's the idea.

Dave Bullis 55:52
You got to have one foot in theory one foot and practice. It's dangerous when you don't I mean, so. Exactly. So it will thank you. Thank you Klaus. I just thought is off top my head buddy thought taught me. So, everyone, it's Dave bulls.com. Twitter. It's at db podcast. Klaus, I want to say Aveda sane. And in fact, you see that rudimentary German helped out

Klaus Badelt 56:16
That'll help you worldwide. No, thank you for having me. A lot of fun. Keep following your podcast and hope it was in little bit insightful for someone.



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