IFH 335: How to Attract an Oscar Nominee to a $10K Indie Film with Nick Psinakis



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Today on the show we have writer, producer, and actor Nick Sinakis. Nick and his writing partner created the film My Best Friend’s Famous, an indie film produced for under $10,000 and made it entirely out of his apartment. He acted, co-wrote, produced and edited the film while his writing partner directed, produced and scored the film.

Through a little HUSTLE (haha couldn’t help myself) he managed to attract to the film MINDY STERLING (most known as Frau Farbissina from Austin Powers, Goldbergs) as well as OSCAR® NOMINEE RYAN O”NEAL (Love Story, Barry Lyndon).  The rest of the cast is rounded out with DAVID ROSS PATERSON (Saving Mr. Banks, Benjamin Button, Frost Nixon) as well as some young up and coming comedians.

I wanted him on the show to, first of all, find out how he attracted his cast for such an indie film, to discuss how he was able to make his film look much bigger than a $10k indie and what he learned from Indie Film Hustle that helped him along his journey making his film.

Sean is a walking cliche. He is trapped in a dead-end catering job and relationship with a girl that’s out of his league all while living in the underwhelming city of Los Angeles. Once his best friend, Freddy, becomes an overnight TV star, their relationship is put to the ultimate test. Sean attempts to conform to this new world but jealously and the stress to be successful prove to be too much to endure when everyone else seems to have it figured out in the areas of love, career and relationships but him.

Enjoy my conversation with Nick Sinakis.

Alex Ferrari 0:43
Now today on the show, we have filmmaker Nick Psinakis, who is the writer, producer and lead actor of the new film called my best friend's famous. Now this film was made for under $10,000. But the reason I got him on the show, because we've had a lot of filmmakers who have make movies for under $10,000. I've made two of them for under $10,000. But what I loved about my best friend's famous is that it doesn't look like a $10,000 movie, first of all, and secondly, the cast. He has Mindy Sterling who is famous for Austin Powers The Goldbergs and among other things, if you saw our face you would know she is. But even more impressive. They also have Ryan O'Neill, the Oscar nominated actor from the mega hit love story and even work with Stanley Kubrick as a star of Barry Lyndon, you know, to get someone like that for under a $10,000 movie, I had to get him on the show and find out what the heck happened. How did he do it? So the film looks really good has really high production values for a movie that was made for about 10 grand or less than 10 grand. So it's pretty, pretty remarkable. And I wanted to pick his brain and see if there's any knowledge bombs, he could drop on the tribe today. So without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Nick Xenakis. I'd like to welcome to the show Nick Psinakis man, thank you so much for being on the show, brother.

Nick Psinakis 3:44
Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm excited.

Alex Ferrari 3:46
I appreciate it. Man. I appreciate it. So you you made a $10,000 feature film, which is you know, it is unique, but it's not as unique as it used to be but the big difference is that yours doesn't look like a $10,000 film. So that's one of the reasons why I want to have you want to kind of you know dig into your secrets and why it looks the way it looks and for everyone listening if you want to see the trailer to his film as it'll be in the show notes, but before we get into it man, how did you get into this film business?

Nick Psinakis 4:14
Oh man, I'm so after give you the short version after undergrad I was actually a visual arts major. I went to the University of Delaware I played hockey there I was in a fraternity so to be an art major was kind of a little unique situation at the time I don't want to date myself and tell you when I graduated but but always always was into art more drawing painting when I was younger and then college was like the first time to like even touch that on a bigger you know kind of scale, got into Visual Arts, they had a good program and kind of let you pick and choose a little bit of what you wanted to do and then eventually, ultimately, you know, landed more towards the film stuff and By my senior year was like, Alright, if I want to do this for real, you know, let me figure out a game plan. So I actually started as an actor. I mean, I'm still an actor, but that was like, my way in, I guess. So I did a little research, I moved to New York City, from Long Island originally. And, you know, kind of hit the ground running and got into a two and a half year conservatory acting program in in the city. Studied theater, because I thought, you know, although, you know, great actors and directors came out in New York City theater, and that's where I figured it would be a good place to start. Yeah, so I went to a really good school. It's called William Esper studio in New York City. Really great alumni. Larry David went there, Sam Rockwell. Some really good people, studied there, and then kind of hit the ground running, auditioning and doing that game a little bit. I was on a soap for a little bit, I was doing good parts extra work. I mean,

Alex Ferrari 6:05
How is how is how is the self mad? You got to tell me how much is it like soap dish

Nick Psinakis 6:12
I got a really good soap. I got a really good soap story actually. Um, so I was, you know, in soaps more so than in, you know, regular TV like guest star co star, you know, recurring. But you know, the way in soaps is the five and under, you have five lines or less, and I call it the five and under. And like, so you get a couple of those. And then you kind of build up to like the recurring you know, and I got one on and my character's name was drunk idiot. And that was the character's name. So the way that they work, I wouldn't say what soap it was. But um, you know, it was in New York City. And there's a speaker sound system throughout the whole studio, and the dressing rooms, and they only address you by your character's name. So let's see where this is going. Yeah, so the whole thing was everybody was like, you know, Hey, can we get the drunk idiot to hair and makeup drunk idiot, if you could get off the booze for a second, we need your inherent makeup, you know, so that was interesting, but it kind of broke the ice and all the main actors were were really kind to me because of that. And we had a really good time and stuff. But um, it's interesting that it's its own beast, for sure. I definitely from doing it. I've done like, I've done almost like 10 episodes of, of soaps, but um, it's its own beast, I have a lot more respect for those guys. You know, they, they get a script at night, man, they shoot Monday through Friday, you get one or two takes, and you're getting a full, you know, a full hour script every day to take home with you. So it's, it's quick. And it's it? Yeah, it was it was an interesting experience, just to kind of, you know, see that world.

Alex Ferrari 7:54
Very interesting. So, so then you fall into directing, obviously, and writing and putting together a movie. What got you to the point where you made your first film?

Nick Psinakis 8:05
Well, so this feature actually, Kevin, Kevin actually directed this feature, and I wrote, produced and acted in it. But I met Kevin in New York City and kind of the whole do it yourself. Start making our own thing, which that was kind of the long winded I guess me getting to it was it was when you too, I was in New York City. It was kind of when YouTube was first kind of coming out and, and becoming popular. And I was actually an extra on SNL. And it was when the Lonely Island guys like Andy Samberg is here and you're by and Akiva and it was like their first or second season. And, and I was just watching these guys. And I remember thinking like, man, like these guys are best friends. They're making like they're making sketches. They're making art, and they're doing it together, and they're getting paid. I'm like, this is this is the coolest shit ever, you know. And from then on, we and I met Kevin in New York, we just started making our own stuff, you know, and we would switch, you know, like, I would ride and he would direct or I direct and he'd be in it and, and we just started making our own stuff. And it started in sketches. And it started in TV, and then ultimately got to the point where we're like, you know, we always wanted to be filmmakers. And and, you know, if we want to be filmmakers, you got to make a film, you know, and prior to this prior to this feature, we made two short films, and we kind of were testing the waters a little bit with them. The first one, Kevin directed and I acted and the second one I directed and Kevin acted in. And that kind of geared us up to this this kind of feature as our first kind of kind of endeavor, you know that we felt like we had kind of the tools that have some kind of structure in place to be able to to pull it off, I guess.

Alex Ferrari 9:57
Now tell me about the film. It's called my best friend's famous

Nick Psinakis 10:01
Yeah, so it's called my best friend's famous. It is about two friends that move to Los Angeles from New York and the less talented slothful one ends up on a hit TV show. And the other one is kind of, you know, it's very much like I think at its core, it's really about, like, potentially losing your best friends. And, you know, the idea of, you know, everybody's seemingly having it figured out and you know, that feeling that that you don't, you know, kind of thing and little fish out of water, trying to keep up, you know, with with this new world that his friends now and,

Alex Ferrari 10:38
And you will you shot the whole thing for 10,000 bucks.

Nick Psinakis 10:42
Yeah, actually a little bit under. So we kind of use this model for our shorts, which was, you know, my day job is I'm an editor, I'm a video editor. And Kevin, who's, you know, my writing partner for a long time. He's, he's a really talented musician. So we own our own gear, in some regards. So we, you know, that takes a little bit out of the cost. And then I was going to edit it, and he was going to score it. And that was kind of how we did the shorts. And then one of the things actually that film hustle. I mean, I've been listening to you guys for a couple of years now. But one of the ones was the Polish brothers. Yeah. So I think it was, I think it was, you did, he had mark and Michael

Alex Ferrari 11:25
Honor, I had Michael first and mark a couple years later,

Nick Psinakis 11:28
A couple years later, so I remember them talking about one of them. It might have been the first one that you did, about the sag new media contract.

Alex Ferrari 11:38
Yeah, that was one that was like, for lovers only. Yeah.

Nick Psinakis 11:42
For lovers only. Yeah. So because I was having a big problem with sag for this film, because I'm like, Listen, we don't have any money. Now, like, it's under 10k we're making in my apartment, you know? And they're like, well, you gotta get a payroll company. And you gotta, you gotta and I'm like, I'm like, dude, like, What? I'm making this out of my apartment. So. Um,

Alex Ferrari 12:05
So that is a it's a that does help. So the basically, you went through the second media contract?

Nick Psinakis 12:13
Yes, yes. To answer your question. Yes. So that's what we did. And, you know, people, like, we were lucky enough to have Mindy Sterling and Ryan O'Neal. And obviously, and David Ross Patterson is a very veteran stage actor in Australia, but also has done some film here in the US. So we pay, you know, we paid those guys. And, but everybody else worked for you know, 125 differed. And, and, you know, we're just kind of happy to be a part of it. And the way that we did it is we, you know, we had a script. And it helped that I was deleting it, because it meant, you know, we could get away with more. And because we could just be like, Alright, let's just shoot this stuff today. Because it's just you and me, you know, we basically rolled a dp and a sound guy, and that was it. So we were like, Alright, what's all the scenes that just this character eating, he could be walking down the street, you could be talking on the phone? Let's plan them, schedule them, shoot them, then Okay, you and your love interest, you know, so let's pull them all out. schedule them, shoot them. And that's kind of how we went. And we built up to the bigger scenes and the and the more complex scenes. And yeah, it was how long was this?

Alex Ferrari 13:25
How long was the shoot?

Nick Psinakis 13:27
We stretched it over about eight or nine months.

Alex Ferrari 13:31
So you stretch it. So how many days like if you add them all together?

Nick Psinakis 13:34
So actually, like, actually shooting days, we probably came in at around 18. Okay. But we but we really, you know, it was really dependent on like, okay, so you know, we have a bar for free, you know, so they weren't all 10 hour days, you know, they were like two or three hours or days or hours daily. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And like, that was kind of the benefit of having me be the lead in it also, because, you know, it could be like me and Kevin just being like, we have, you know, this, we have this place for, you know, four hours, let's go and we could just do it kind of quickly without a lot of crazy plan. And you know, so

Alex Ferrari 14:10
now I have to ask you, man, How the hell did you get an Oscar nominee and a legendary actor like Ryan O'Neal to be in your $10,000? And I mean, I have to know this, but no, of course.

Nick Psinakis 14:20
I mean, it's, it's crazy

Alex Ferrari 14:22
Is he is your uncle? Is that what it is? Like?

Nick Psinakis 14:25
He is my distant uncle. No, so um, you know, it's funny, man. Somebody wants told me. You know, you never know to ask. And everybody's a lot of times people are very afraid to ask and the end you'd be surprised. And this could be anything actors, writers, directors or just in life. People that you know, are willing to do stuff or help you out, you know, so, I mean, we did have a connection to him. Obviously, one of my really good friends from New York who actually she plays my sister in the movie. She's known Ryan for a while. And she actually, you know, she actually works for him, and has worked for him is like kind of an assistant and some other stuff. And it really started with we wanted to potentially use his house, right? Because it's the guy, the antagonists in the movie, you know, he's supposed to be a little cliche kind of Hollywood, you know, star and we wanted to kind of show that he lived in this nice, you know, Malibu house on the water. So it started with being like, hey, do you think you could ask Ryan, if it would be okay, if we maybe shot a day in his house? You know, you know, we'll send them the script, you know, really cool. And he was super gracious and let us do that. And I kind of was, I was, I was kind of, like, Can I take it one step further? And I was like, Hey, you know, do you think he'd do a little cameo? It'd be really fun, you know, kind of, you know, kind of write it to him. And, and he read it and was, you know, super gracious man. I mean, you know, it's funny. He has a presence about him, you know, it's been? I mean, everybody obviously, go ahead.

Alex Ferrari 16:17
Oh, no, no, because a lot of people who are listening don't know might not know who Ryan O'Neill is. But Ryan O'Neal was for us a part of time. Probably a good eight, five or 10 years, one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. You know, he was in the big one of the biggest movie blockbusters of the 70s called Love Story. He did a Stanley Kubrick movie where he was the star of it called Barry Lyndon. I mean, he is a he's a huge star. So when when I when you reached out to me and you're like, you got Ryan O'Neal and a $10,000 movie and like, I got to know this story. It's, it's, it's remarkable that he, you know, agreed to do it. But you're right. You never know what to ask. But isn't this like a such a classic la story? Like you just like, Oh, yeah, like I know, the assistant of an Oscar nominated guy. And hey, maybe he'll be a cameo in my movie. Like I say,

Nick Psinakis 17:13
it's so true, man. It's so true. And like you, you don't know to ask man, and I didn't know if you would do it. You know, like, I had met him a handful of times. And like, Yeah, I was just like, Look, this is a small little movie, you know, and, you know, credit to my friend, she kind of went to bat for me. And she was like, Listen, you know, like, I think these guys are super talented. And, and, you know, this is what they've done. And this is some of their work samples. And this is what the movie is about. And he was kind of like, yeah, I'll do it. You know, and then you obviously you make it, you know, you scaring him? Yeah, like, come in, you know, you're good. You're out in a couple hours, you know, um, but to his credit, I mean, he came in and like, I just think he really loves acting. And I think he loves filmmaking man. Like, you know, like, you could just feel it and like, everybody, of course, was like, how is Kubrick, you know, like, you know, like, everybody wants to know, you know, any. And he was like, he's like, man, he's like, he's like, he was great. He's like, he just kept making me do so many takes. And I was like, I was starting to go mad a little. And he's like, you know, he's like, Well, do you want me to change anything? Or do I, you know, and he's like, no, keep going. You're doing good, just keep going. And, uh, but he said, uh, you know, he said, obviously, that was one of, you know, one of the highlights, highlights highlights of his this stuff, and everybody wanted to talk to him about, you know, for sure.

Alex Ferrari 18:38
Yeah, of course. everybody's like, yeah, it was crazy. Anytime I talked to anybody who even remotely was touched Kubrick. Yeah, I'm like, oh, how was Stanley and everybody because he's such a mythical, you know, figure in filmmaking and, and to work with someone like not only just like an actor who worked with him, usually he was the star of Yeah, of one of his films. It's, it's fairly remarkable. And that he came out and did your movie is a testament to him, man. Like, he's just like, he just wants to do it. He just wants to have some fun.

Nick Psinakis 19:11
Yeah, like, I caught him too. We were at like, when we're filming at his house, I caught him kind of like looking over the balcony, like checking out the cameras and stuff. Like I just think he loves it. You know, like, it was cool. You know, I was like, I still got that itch, you know,

Alex Ferrari 19:22
and what did you shoot on?

Nick Psinakis 19:25
So we actually shot on a Sony A seven, which I which I own and I also have a Schneider Zeon prime 35 millimeters. So we shot the whole thing on that. So you know that Sony seven is really good in low light and also has a super 35 crop mode. So you kind of get like a 35 and a 50. But that's it, man. We shot the whole thing on that on that internal little 4k camera.

Alex Ferrari 19:52
And what do you do for sound?

Nick Psinakis 19:55
Sound We own a little We own a little sound kit. So we basically had We have like a zoom f8 which is, you know, it's it's pretty good and I mean a gh three loves and, and, and a lot of prayers the movie gods, we wouldn't fuck it up. Yeah. But we, you know, songs we were rolling double duty and some days we had somebody you know, the bigger days we had we had somebody like on the bag at all times, but um, you know, it was it was challenging.

Alex Ferrari 20:27
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Now what was like the biggest thing you learned in production while making this film? biggest lesson?

Nick Psinakis 20:47
biggest lesson, I think that we learned is I wouldn't spread it out again. Like we did. Yeah, I'm glad that I'm glad. I'm glad we did it. Like, I'm glad we got it in the can. But I mean, it became it started to really wear on me, you know, the the time that we were like, locked into this plus, you know, we're shooting out of my apartment. You know, I'm in every scene, you know, I wrote it with Kevin, we're using my gear, you know. So spreading it out over a long period of time. It allowed us to do it while having jobs in life. And you know, Kevin has kids and all that stuff that comes with it. But um, I underestimated how much that would wear on me. I think, you know, I would I would have scheduled it tighter for sure.

Alex Ferrari 21:37
Now you wrote it, was this a full blown script or a screenplay? Or did you actually improv some stuff.

Nick Psinakis 21:45
So it was actually, um, it was a, it was a full feature, it was actually set in New York. At first, and it was a little it was bigger, you know, it was Kevin and I were trying to sell a bunch of stuff. We had, we had a TV deal. That kind of jammed us up for about two and a half years, we were in an option with a big a big studio. And it was also a very Hollywood cliche and did not end well. And, but kind of made us be like, you know, let's, let's do this. Let's do this on our own, you know? So, I don't I don't even know if I answer your question. In the writing the writing, oh, the writing of it. Um, so it was the script. But it was much bigger. It was it was more like we were kind of we set it in New York, and it was more kind of to potentially option or sell. And then we were looking at kind of our, I don't know, Arsenal, our inventory, if you will, we were like what can we pull off for cheap, you know, if we could kind of rewrite it for what we have. And that's that was kind of the starting place for it. You know, we kind of worked backwards a little bit and changed it to work with things that we had access to, you know, but

Alex Ferrari 22:55
it was an act, but it was an actual full blown screenplay where you actually have to write log and all the actors had to know their dialogue and stuff. It wasn't improv like scriptment, like the

Nick Psinakis 23:02
like the Polish brothers did. No, it was not it was it was it was a fully written written piece. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 23:09
Now how are you handling post? You're going to be doing all the editing yourself. So

Nick Psinakis 23:15
yeah, so I, I edited Kevin and one of our producers did all the music for it. And we just got the first pass of our sound mixed on that we we reached out to you and actually really, really been helped so much. It's unbelievable, you know, I'm so we're really close, you know, we kind of playing the festival game a little bit, but kind of trying to figure out where we are gonna land distribution wise. And

Alex Ferrari 23:51
yeah, so what do you what are you gonna do for distribution?

Nick Psinakis 23:55
Well, I think most likely we're going to self distribute it. Um, we're talking to some people, some some companies overseas a little bit. But I've had, you know, the filmmaker Jim Cummings, who did on the road.

Alex Ferrari 24:09
Yeah, the name sounds familiar. Yeah.

Nick Psinakis 24:11
So he's, um, he did this one minute, not one minute. Sorry, this one take? Short that one, Sundance. And he followed up and did the feature version of that, that one south by and he's very vocal about having no deals at all. Yeah, distribution, right, you know, after winning south by, you know, and he's kind of been an advocate for self distribution. So, um, you know, we're kind of starting to research how he did and, and other people that have self distributed yourself included, I know that you self distributed some of your films. So I think we're leaning towards that kind of being probably the direction at least domestically, you know, and if we could, maybe Some deals overseas. We're looking into that. But um, it's it's it's still a little bit up in the air. You know, we're waiting to hear from festivals, but I don't have much faith in festivals anymore to be honest. Yeah, I

Alex Ferrari 25:11
don't think it from seeing the trailer alone. I mean, I don't find that this kind of film plays well at festivals, you know, and my opinion, it's just because it's, it's a comedy. It's a you know, it's about the industry, which generally doesn't play well at festivals, those kind of things. It's tougher. It's a tougher sell for for festivals. It's not kind of like what they're programmed for sure. So it's a difficult as far as sales are concerned, I think you you could definitely sell overseas with this because it's very American, it is Hollywood, and that does sell well. And you do actually have, you know, not only one face, but you actually have a name that people you know, will recognize at least and you could put the word Oscar nominated nominee, nominee on the and the trailer and in the thing if Mr. O'Neill allows you to do that.

Nick Psinakis 25:57
So we call it we call him Mr. O'Neill all the time, you know,

Alex Ferrari 26:01
but you know, Buster, like Yo, right, what up, man, we're going out? Yeah. No, I got a reshoot for you. I gotta, I gotta reach you can we do? Can you come in only 70 takes like Kubrick and I'm just trying to redo what you do with Kubrick. Not very cool, man. Now, you said originally that you learn you listen to a bunch of indie film hustle? How did indie film hustle help you on this process? I'm curious, because I always put stuff out there. But I really want to know how it's actually practically helping you guys.

Nick Psinakis 26:32
Well, I mean, I mean, listen, dude, like, I think everybody needs some reinforcement and inspiration sometimes, you know, and especially as filmmakers, and indie filmmakers and struggling and so I first came on to you guys, like maybe maybe a couple years ago, and kind of just looking for other, you know, like minded filmmakers. And just, and you have some really great guests and just educational stuff, too. But sometimes even just, Hey, you know, it's been a rough week. And, you know, do I want to do this anymore? Like, what am I doing? You know, and sometimes, you know, just finding you know, something on your podcast, where it's just like, Hey, you know, you know, this is my experience, or having a guest that it's like, this is their experience. So just from a, you know, kind of just a human aspect. It's been helpful. And then, um, you know, the, like I said, the Polish brothers one that was a big one with the, with the new media contract, because when they first talked about it, that was fairly new. Um, and that kind of helped us with a little loophole, especially having, you know, Mindy, and Ryan and people that, that we had to do something, you know, it was,

Alex Ferrari 27:47
it was interesting, though, that they actually asked for forgiveness, not for permission. So, if you remember that in the interview, like they, they went out and did like, screw it, we don't give a crap. And they just Oh, which is Yeah, and they're just like, and they came back. And no one would have cared because it was a little DSLR movie with no, like, your very little script, and they shot it in France. And it just happened to have, you know, major TV star on it at the time, but she wasn't a major TV star, or just starting out like a season or two in or something when she did it. Stena caidic, from castle when they came back, and they made a half a million dollar song on iTunes, because they were like the first guys to use iTunes, one of the first and she had a huge following. And the movies called for lovers only. So they're all like waiting for her, and him to have a you know, beautiful, you know, lovemaking scene or something like that. So you know that that bribe fed into it. And they just did this whole thing and then say, like, Hey, where's our where's our money? Of course, we didn't sign anything with you. What do you?

Nick Psinakis 28:53
I know, I do. I do remember that. So like they were they almost I think they said they almost were like the reason it came about, right? Yeah, they were media because they were like, Hey, you don't have a contract for us. Right?

Alex Ferrari 29:03
Right, exactly. That they would have never been able to make it with your traditional sag contract. And they just didn't care. They were making a French New Wave, black and white movie. Which is why I mean, I'm so humbled and blessed that I was able to get that movie from my streaming service and and the making of the movies on ifH. TV, because I love that movie. It's such an inspiration that movie for me as well. It was one of the inspirations I shot this is Meg with because I saw what they did was like, well, I could I mean, I could go into that. Like, I'm not not not saying it. Like I could just do it like they did it. But I think it inspired me like well, I can definitely go make a movie myself. Like let's do this. And it's such an inspiration. I'll put a link in the show notes for the both of the both of their episodes because Marx has a whole other angle on his movie that they came out with later. Yeah. Did you hear that last one?

Nick Psinakis 29:55
I did. I did. Yeah, I actually it's it's funny because I met I Kate Bosworth at a film festival. She's married Michael's wife. And they had done that movie. No, no. Yeah. That she was in. Oh, and oh, yes, yes. So but um, but I remember talking to her about it too, as far as being like, we're just gonna go shoot this thing and jump around countries and and, you know,

Alex Ferrari 30:25
my they did and Michael Tommy Baikal told me about that years ago and, and it was like, you know, for people who don't know like she actually said what the budget was publicly and kill their distribution deal because they're like oh yeah, we made this move here like 500 bucks or something like that and they're like what we were gonna give you $100,000 for this, you know because it's starring Kate Bosworth in it, you know like, yeah Mike Mark told us that story I was like, Oh, that's brutal. So brutal Oh, can you imagine that but but, but you know what that is that you're in the spirit, man. It's just going out there and ask you for asking for forgiveness, not permission and many times, making sure everything's safe and everyone's cool and all that stuff. But you know, going out there and making it happen so that you know, you guys are definitely a proponent of that and with your film without question, man, but I'm be I'm glad indie film hustle, you know, threw you a couple bones and help you guys out a little bit.

Nick Psinakis 31:28
Yeah, man. Oh, absolutely, man. And I appreciate it. Dude, trust me, there's a lot of you know, as you know, there's a lot of filmmakers out there, they need a little, you know, little inspiration and pick me up every every now and then. I wish I would have had keep going.

Alex Ferrari 31:42
I wish I would have had something like this, like 20 years ago. Like, there was no filmmakers coming up. Now. They've just no idea what it was like in the 90s man, or in the 80s and 90s. When there is no information about filmmaking, like none. Yeah, like the Raiders of the Lost documentary, there was a Lost Ark documentary and like the Star Wars documentaries are it? This is for DVDs is just like nothing. And then you had to go buy books books to learn about in the library? Yeah. Yeah, people were like, what is this library they speak of? So I'm gonna ask you a few questions about my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker wanting to break into the business

Nick Psinakis 32:25
today? I always go with just just make your own stuff. You know, if you're an actor, you put up a play, make a short film, you know, if you're a writer, write for somebody that wants to put up, you know, get with get with people that want to be proactive. And I always believe in the doing, you know, I think that's, you know, because you could have a million excuses to not do anything, you know, and I think you learn, I think you learn more from doing I've always been, you know, some people can read a textbook, and that like translates in their mind to them, you know, but for me, it's always been like, in the doing, you learn more than you could ever learn in a book, I think, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 33:04
Now, is there a book that had a big impact in your life or career? Um, you know, I don't know if I could.

Nick Psinakis 33:15
I don't know if I can, I could point my finger in one. I like a lot of kind of biographies, autobiographies. And again, just for like, inspiration, you know, kind of see where people started. So I know I read jack Nicholson's one, which is a good one. I forget the name. Over here somewhere. And then, um, and Scorsese on Scorsese on film is pretty great, too. Yeah. Especially being from New York.

Alex Ferrari 33:44
Oh, Marty's uh, gosh, dang Scorsese mix, Marty and Spike Lee in Spike Lee, both in New York guys that just like, you know, our, our gods in New York, you know, without question. Now, what lesson took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

Nick Psinakis 34:00
Um, I guess I would say kind of why, like being okay with why you're doing it? You know, I think early on, you're, or at least for me, you're kind of like, I think it's natural to kind of look for for approval from, you know, whoever peers, family, friends, you know, and kind of want to share almost share that journey with that, you know, with them. But I think when I kind of got to the point where I was like, you know, I'm doing this, I love it. I'm doing this for me, they're gonna love me no matter what I could do whatever. And I think that kind of opened up some kind of freedom to kind of really try to enjoy it. I know everybody says enjoy the process and the journey and all that stuff. And you know, I guess there is truth to it. But um, but yeah, and and know that, you know, results are like very fleeting Just because something's in a movie theater or it's on TV, it doesn't mean it's a good movie, necessarily. It doesn't mean you know, you're doing any less or somebody you know, it's, it's all relative to a certain extent. So, I don't know,

Alex Ferrari 35:12
What is the biggest fear that you had to overcome to make this film?

Nick Psinakis 35:19
I guess, fear of failure. I mean, people not liking it, you know, not reaching an audience or, you know, not getting the response that and we're still dealing with that in some regards. No, like,

Alex Ferrari 35:34
Festivals, of course. Yeah.

Nick Psinakis 35:36
Yeah. You know, like, you get like, you know, gazillion, you know, rejection letters and emails. But um, yeah, I think I think more so that I don't know, for us. We've never kind of had like, the fear of making like, like, we've been making stuff for so long that I think we know like, we get it done. But I think the quote, you know, the quality and the story and if it's going to connect with people, and if the message is right, and we're staying true to ourselves while doing all that stuff, you know, I think that's always think that's always the hardest. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 36:10
And three of your favorite films of all time?

Nick Psinakis 36:13
Oh, and I knew you I should have I knew and asked me this too. I like to separate them. I like can't put them on and like the top three. So I usually like to do. Alright, so I'll give you I'll give you three. more so because they kind of like oddly affected me. But so for comedy. I always have to go to like Caddyshack, man. Caddyshack. I don't know, it's, ya know, it's still still holds true. It's still true. It still holds. And then one that like really affected me and I don't know why that I watched when I was younger was Requiem for a Dream.

Alex Ferrari 37:00
Affect anybody?

Nick Psinakis 37:02
Yeah. And I really like that. And then like, from like, like a blockbuster, like an aha, like in the movie theater kind of moment. Like, I think E.T for me.

Alex Ferrari 37:16
Yeah, that was mine. That was mine.

Nick Psinakis 37:17
Like, I don't know, there's just something of some. It was just so much larger than life for me. And you know, and you know, another one that like, obviously holds up, but there's so many. I don't know.

Alex Ferrari 37:29
Yeah, that that song that Stevie Spielberg STV, Spielberg really helped out a lot of filmmakers. Yeah, I heard he's gonna make some waves. Look at Stevie Spielberg's gonna do. All right. And where can people find you and find out more about the movie?

Nick Psinakis 37:46
So for 18 films, calm is a website that probably has the most up to date stuff, or Instagram is we're probably posting the most about and that's at 418 films. And yeah, hopefully, within, you know, the next couple of months, we're going to kind of know what's, what's up and how we're getting out there.

Alex Ferrari 38:03
Awesome. Brother, Nick, man, thank you so much for coming on the show man and dropping some knowledge bombs and some inspiration for everybody listening. So hopefully now you can pass it along and pay it forward the same way by you listening to Michael and mark. You got to raise it to make it. So now hopefully now out there somewhere. There's a filmmaker going if Nick can do it. I can go do it, too. So hopefully that'll happen, man.

Nick Psinakis 38:27
Yeah, I hope so. Man. It's Yeah, it's it's nice to hopefully give back a little bit.

Alex Ferrari 38:32
I appreciate it, man. Thanks for coming on.

Nick Psinakis 38:34
Hey, thanks for having me.

Alex Ferrari 38:37
Thank you, Nick for coming in and dropping some inspirational knowledge bombs on the tribe today. It just goes to show you guys if you want to make it happen, you can make it happen. And I'm so glad that the indie film hustle podcast helped you in some way make your film. So thank you again, Nick, so much. If you want to get links to anything we talked about in this episode, please head over to indiefilmhustle.com/335 for the show notes. And if you haven't already, please head over to filmmaking podcast, comm subscribe and leave us a five star review. on Apple podcasts. It really, really helps us out a lot. And I really want to get this information out to as many filmmakers as humanly possible. also share. If you love what you we do here, share it, share links, share things on Facebook, on Twitter, Instagram, wherever you want to share it, please share this information to as many people as possible. I really truly appreciate it guys. And I've got a few other things cooking for the tribe. You know, I love cooking. You know, I love doing cool stuff behind the scenes for you guys. And that's what I'm doing doing and am doing as we speak, and I am busy. finishing up my new book Rise of the filmtrepreneur, which by the way, became a number one bestseller already on Amazon in the filmmaking book category. That's insane. So thank you so much. If you want to check that book out, head over to filmbizbook.comm, that's filmbizbook.com. And check it out preorder sign up all that kind of cool stuff. That's the end of another episode of the indie film hustle podcast. I hope this episode has been of service to you on your filmmaking journey. Thanks again and as always keep that also going keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.



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