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How to Squeeze Money Out of Your Indie Film with Patrick Solomon
Today on the show we have filmmaker and Filmtrepreneur Patrick Solomon. Patrick is the mastermind behind the celebrated film Finding Joe.
Finding Joe is an exploration of famed Mythologist Joseph Campbell’s studies and their continuing impact on our culture. Through interviews with visionaries from a variety of fields interwoven with enactments of classic tales by a sweet and motley group of kids, the film navigates the stages of what Campbell dubbed The Hero’s Journey: the challenges, the fears, the dragons, the battles, and the return home as a changed person.
“WE MUST BE WILLING TO GET RID OF THE LIFE WE’VE PLANNED SO AS TO HAVE THE LIFE THAT IS WAITING FOR US” – JOSEPH CAMPBELL
Rooted in deeply personal accounts and timeless stories, Finding Joe shows how Campbell’s work is relevant and essential in today’s world and how it provides a narrative for how to live a fully realized life-or as Campbell would simply state, how to “follow your bliss”.
I saw Finding Joe years ago and it just blew me away. This is why I was so excited to include the film in the IFHTV Streaming Service. Patrick and I sit down and discuss his film, his distribution journey, and how he used the Filmtrepreneur method to squeeze every drop of revenue out of the film.
Enjoy my conversation with Patrick Solomon.
IFH Academy’s Film Distribution: Confidential Course – What Predatory Film Distributors Don’t Want You to Know.
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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
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- Patrick Solomon – IMDB
- WATCH: Finding Joe
- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business (FREE AUDIOBOOK)
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Alex Ferrari 0:30
Well, guys, I am excited for today's episode, we have filmmaker and filmtrepreneur, Patrick Solomon, who is the director of the wildly celebrated film finding Joe. Now finding Joe is an exploration of Joseph Campbell's studies and the hero's journey. And I watched this film years ago and loved it. And I just saw it pop up here and there and constantly being you seen in Netflix and all these other streaming services and platforms. And I always wondered how Patrick, you know was doing with the film. And I come to find out that Patrick read Rise of the filmtrepreneur and was super stoked about what it had to say and how it could help his film continue to make money years after its release. So in this episode, Patrick and I get into it and we start talking about how the film came to be what he did right what he did wrong when he released it originally, what his distribution journey has been, and how the filmtrepreneur method is being used to squeeze every last drop of revenue out of this film and helping it find a new audience and being a value to that audience, which is always the key to getting any money and any revenue from a film providing massive amounts of value to your audience. So without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Patrick Solomon. I'd like to welcome the show Patrick Solomon, man. Hey, Patrick, how you doing, brother?
Patrick Solomon 4:29
What's happening? Thank you for having me.
Alex Ferrari 4:31
Oh, thank you for coming on the show. Man. I am a big fan of your film finding Joe. And I saw it years ago when it first came out. And I've actually gone back to it a bunch of times because it's just, it's like a warm cup of like coffee or like, you know, something like a piece of apple pie. Just very comforting. It's a very comforting film. For sure. It's comfort food because it's very hopeful. It's a very hopeful film. And it's just very well executed and it was unlike anything I'd seen before that time, or honestly since talking about the work and life of Joseph Campbell, but like more of his theories and stuff, but we're gonna get into we're gonna get into finding job but first and foremost, how did you get into the film business?
Patrick Solomon 5:17
Let's see I got into film business at a really young age. I was just into it right right out of high school. I started shooting on on Super eight film just to date myself. And I started shooting stuff that I was into like skateboarding and snowboarding and, and right when snowboarding was first becoming snowboarding, right, you couldn't really go anywhere except for like three places, once again, dating myself. I said, Okay, let's make a snowboard film. And then some sponsors at the time came out and said, Okay, well, we'll find that. And I started shooting snowboard films. And that was it, man. I was like, I'm, I'm off to the races. This is what I'm gonna do for the rest of my life.
Alex Ferrari 5:59
Very cool. And you and you worked on the commercials.
Patrick Solomon 6:01
That's why right? So in the summertime, when we come back to LA, and I've worked as a production assistant in commercials, so my context grew in commercials. And so somebody was like, hey, you're doing these stillborn films? Would you be interested in shooting any commercials? And I said, Yeah, I'd do that. And so I started shooting commercials. And I was like, This is great. I'm gonna do this for the rest of my life. And so and so I had a you know, as off to a commercial career as commercial director.
Alex Ferrari 6:28
And that was a different time because you and I are similar vintages? It's so I remember when there was just money flowing into commercials and Oh, hey, you would have half a minute like rain, half a million here million plus their campaigns. It was it was insane. And I was in. I was in South Florida during that time. And so I was I was working with some of the big commercial houses down there. And I just saw it was just it was the 90s. Like,
Patrick Solomon 7:00
It was I wasn't I got into it it like late 90s. Like, 96-97 I got my start there. And then. And then yeah, I just I worked all the way through to when I when I started making finding job, which was 2010, 2009?
Alex Ferrari 7:17
Yeah, that's Yeah. And that's it commercial work. If anyone listening right now, it's not nearly as easy to get into the commercial world. And it used to be,
Patrick Solomon 7:27
It's i i would i would back that up. It isn't it isn't right. Because if you're young, and you're just starting out and you can afford to, you know, if you're if you're in your 20s especially, you know, you don't have a relationship, you don't have a kid you don't have a lot of commitments like a mortgage, you can just go out and shoot whatever you want. It might be to get paid is a lot harder, but to get a client and just shoot some cool stuff for free and build a real job easier.
Alex Ferrari 7:53
Oh, yeah. free free services that are always easy to sell. That's not in any decade. It's a very simple, easy process, generally speaking. But yeah, I'm just like to get back up to like the, the David Fincher style budgets in the Michael based budgets back in the 80s and 90s. never coming back. Oh, my God, those days, man. I just remember those are coming back the propaganda days. Remember the propaganda day? Yeah, yeah, I worked for them that you worked for. Yeah. I mean, I was at my one of my best friends worked in the vault at propaganda. So he would send me he would send me VHS is a Fincher Bay Gondry, Jones Fuqua, he sent me their reels. And before the internet really saw would see all their demos and short films and aos frickin awesome, dude, it was a different world, different worlds. So then you got out of the commercial world for a minute and got into the highly, highly profitable documentary space.
Patrick Solomon 8:56
Nobody told me that at the time, though. So I was thinking, in my mind, I was like, Okay, I'm gonna make this film. And I was kind of, I was really, commercially I was like, okay, what's next? I'm, I know, I've kind of done this and, and I was getting a little soured on doing commercials. So I thought, Okay, I'm gonna do this film. And that'll launch me into this whole career doing documentaries and all, I didn't really think about the money to just add to your to your book filter burner. I really wasn't thinking that way at all. You know, I still consider myself an artist. And all I got to do is make something good. And the money will follow. Sure it really and I and I didn't even think that that was that was even an actual thought there was probably like a feeling I had. And so. So on that end of it, obviously, it didn't work out. Because, as you know, and as you write about, you really have to be intentional about your distribution and your marketing and how you're going to make money on this thing.
Alex Ferrari 9:50
Yeah, but the good thing about finding juggle First of all, we're talking about like everybody knows what it is. tell everybody what finding Joe is and how it came to be.
Patrick Solomon 9:58
Right? So finding Joe is a My dad, it was released in 2012. And it's a film about Joseph Campbell's work, right. And so if you don't know, Joseph, Joseph Campbell is that really quick, he was a mythologist. And he, he discovered this common thread in all stories of the world, hollywood uses. Joseph Campbell's work quite a bit. And he called it hero's journey, right? A hero in every single story goes on almost the exact same journey when you break it down. And so Joseph Campbell coined the phrase, the hero's journey, and he also coined the phrase follow your bliss. And what was different about him was he made this correlation? And he said, Well, the reason why every hero in every story in every time period is taking the same journey is because humans are taking the same journey. So he correlated, the story that you see on the screen to the story of your life. And so the film is about that part of it. The film is really about the story of your life, more so than Joseph Campbell.
Alex Ferrari 11:00
Yeah. And, and what I loved about it is you had a lot of guests come in, and in the people you were interviewing, so like celebrities, and, and, you know, just authors and other people who really just hadn't had such a love for Joseph's work. And anyone who's ever seen Star Wars, because it was just me, it was a May the fourth be with you, yesterday, if anyone who who has ever seen Star Wars, it was basically the blueprint of the hero's journey, the original Star Wars.
Patrick Solomon 11:30
Exactly. And so and so that was really what made Campbell's work famous was that George Lucas was, was a disciple of Campbell's right. And so he went so far as to flood flute Campbell, to his estate in Marin County. And they shot this series of interviews with Bill Moyers. And that made made him quite famous at that time.
Alex Ferrari 11:51
He has the power of myth, which is I think, available on Netflix. Now, Netflix
Patrick Solomon 11:55
It's available on Netflix available on YouTube, if you haven't seen Campbell's work and you're aspiring filmmaker, or you're a filmmaker, go watch it.
Alex Ferrari 12:02
So you so you start putting this movie together. And it I mean, as far as the film entrepreneur style, or mentality, I know you weren't thinking about it. But let's let's kind of let's do a post mortem on finding Joe. embarrass me now. No, I have not actually it actually, it has a lot of key elements that make sense. So you have a niche audience. It's broad, but it's still a niche audience was people who are interested in Joseph Campbell. That's why I saw it. I was like, I'm a filmmaker. I know who Joseph Campbell is. And this is a documentary that's going to kind of really, spoon feed me, you know, without having to read 1000s of volumes of or watch or watch mythos one and two, which is his lecture series, which I watched years ago. And it's, it's pretty academic stuff, but if you're not, it can turn you off. Exactly. So I was really excited about it. And I would feel that there would be a large audience for this film, right? Because Because of that, and the celebrities you had involved in it, as well. And so there was there were niche audiences and there were, you know, there's little pockets of people that you can bring in. So how did it actually play out for you?
Patrick Solomon 13:12
Okay, so yeah, just just to preface this, too, so I'm about to embarrass myself greatly with my ignorance at the time, right? And every and we all we all, as you were saying those things. I'm feeling like this little pinch, like you're stabbing me like, Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh,
Alex Ferrari 13:29
I actually, from looking at it from the outside. When I saw this, I was like, this is a really great package. Like it's, it makes sense to me. And it's, I'm assuming it wasn't super expensive to make because it didn't look like it was super expensive to make.
Patrick Solomon 13:44
The grand scheme of thing it was all in like distribution marketing, all in the entire budget was half a million.
Alex Ferrari 13:52
Right, which, which in the grand scheme of independent films is pretty it's an affordable price, but also right, which is also back in 2010. Allah probably even less to make now. Oh, yeah, you could probably make that movie much more affordably now. But, um, but it's still it seems. It seems smart. Even at that even at that price point. There's enough. There's enough people out there who know who Joseph Campbell is. who are fans of Star Wars. Yeah, you know, that would want to watch this film. So how did it play out?
Patrick Solomon 14:23
Okay, so so let's get into the postmortem and me embarrassing myself. Okay, so so first of all filmmaking, mistake 101 self distribution, right. I said to myself, This film is gonna have a theatrical release because I'm a filmmaker and and that's what films do. And that's how you that's just the way it is. I'm gonna have a theatrical release because I'm,
Alex Ferrari 14:46
I'm a real filmmaker. I'm a real filmmaker. Baker is still if Spielberg gets a theatrical
Patrick Solomon 14:52
I really I really like lay down the law there. I got Gods This is what I'm doing. Mistake number one. And the reason why is because A theatrical release cost so much money to do correctly, right? So you need, you'd need millions of dollars to do that correctly, right? We tried to get butts in the seats, as they say, cost a lot of money. So if you're doing at a small scale, like I was doing it, you're not getting the ROI, you just are not going to make, you're not, you're not going to get a bunch of people in the seats with with the money that you're going to have to spend. And so that was Mistake number one. So I, we initially started off with just some of these teaser screenings. So I would go to New Mexico, we would just advertise that we tried to get a big theater. And we said to ourselves, yeah, we got a niche here, let's let's capitalize on our niche. We get like a 700 seat theater and sell it out in one night. Right? It was awesome. But then we went to the we only did that six or seven times. And they were so successful and wonderful. They made me feel so good about myself. And then we got to the theatrical release the actual theatrical release. And that just suck man. We we released it in how do we do this? We rolled it out in New York, and then kind of rolled it across the country a little bit. And, and it was horrible, man, it was just it was you know, there was hardly anyone in the theaters. I think overall, we had good numbers. But I would go out to the to the beginning of each city, right each city so like on a Friday, and sit down and do a q&a. And it was like sometimes it was like three people in the audience is brutal.
Alex Ferrari 16:28
But But also, to be fair to you, I'm gonna defend you a little bit for yourself is that you were doing a theatrical release in a traditional standpoint, not in an in a kind of guerrilla standpoint, because now,
Patrick Solomon 16:40
It wasn't it wasn't right. So we knew we had this niche audience. We just did a really bad job marketing and understanding who our niche was knowing where to spend the money. You're right. We didn't run a real well, we weren't doing TV ads, right. I mean, we were doing, you know, we're doing a lot of Internet Marketing. But, you know, we neither me or my team had the experience to know where to put the dollars.
Alex Ferrari 17:03
Right. And so Facebook was around, but it wasn't the powerhouse that it was today.
Patrick Solomon 17:08
It wasn't the powerhouse today. And we didn't explain it to the to the degree we should have.
Alex Ferrari 17:13
Exactly. And there wasn't the the kind of pinpoint marketing that's available for the past five or six years was not available, then. You know, it's just in its infancy yet. So you really, you really couldn't go into New York City and just target within a five block radius of the theater. Like that. That's not something that was available back then. And then so you were for walling it I'm assuming you were paying.
Patrick Solomon 17:35
We were were we for walling it we were for walling it yes we were we were again it's been so long, I'm like, I don't know. Yeah, so we we exactly we were for wiling it meaning we rented, we paid for this for the screen time, and you know, what we just it just was looking back on it, it was like mistake after mistake and rookie ones to like, you know, don't do a theatrical release, you're not gonna make any money doing that?
Alex Ferrari 18:01
Well, I mean, then again, theatrical there is well now in today's world, there's no theatrical right now as we as we speak, because of the quarantine. But generally speaking there, there can be very successful theatrical runs, depending on how you do it. And again, to be fair to you, it was a different time, and there wasn't as much information on it. There just wasn't as much information. there hadn't been a lot of people who have done that successfully yet. Now, I mean, on my show alone, I've had a handful of people who've had extremely good, you know, documentaries who have done very well and the N narratives have done very well, theatrically, but they do profit sharing. They don't for a wall. They they use internet marketing exclusively. There are ways to make that work. But you write the whole thing again, I would be Yeah, so Alright, so now you did this theatrical run. You've you're not happy with this. So now where do you go from there?
Patrick Solomon 18:58
Right. And so now I stroke now. So now I'm behind the now on behind the curve, right? So there's a lot of catching up to do like, Christmas is coming. Somebody says, Hey, man, you should have a DVD and you know, we should get this online. And because then you could still buy DVDs. It was just shifting over at that point, but and so it was a scramble. Oh, all right. Let's get that done. So so we got that done, but we didn't really get the marketing place for it. So it just was okay. And then oh, there's these new platforms, you check out Gaia TV, all these other platforms, you should. Food matters was just coming out. So. So there was a lot of these platforms, but none of them were intentional. Like we didn't sit down and say okay, here's our roadmap. We were reacting to stuff coming up. Right? It was more like something would pop up and we go Oh, that's cool. Yeah, cheese, our tail a little bit in that process.
Alex Ferrari 19:46
Shiny lights syndrome Shiny light syndrome.
Patrick Solomon 19:48
Exactly. So So now going forward, right and I can't wait to finish the film that I'm on now because I'm not going to make one single mistake. But I'm gonna Learn from all those mistakes I made and really, you know, get ahead of the game on the distribution marketing release. What it what exactly is it that we are selling to the public?
Alex Ferrari 20:11
So okay, so Alright, so what happened with the Did you? Did you sell out? Did you do DVDs? How did you do it all yourself? By the way? Did you ever? Did you ever get a conversation with the distributor? No one approached you about this?
Patrick Solomon 20:23
I did. I had, I had a few different conversation with a distributor, but I didn't like their deals. shocker. Like I just said no to everybody. And then of course, I jumped in bed with distributor. And you know, we know how that ended.
Alex Ferrari 20:34
Oh, gee. So you were you were caught up in the distributor, but debacle as well. Oh, yeah. Yeah. But that was later but you must have been somebody
Patrick Solomon 20:43
That was way later. Yeah. So. So it took, like I said, I think it took about two years to get into the black. Right. And looking back on it, it should have just taken way less time. Right? Like, like, had I not done that theatrical release, that would have taken us less than a year, right? Just because because because the money we spent. But we did the DVDs, right? I felt like the DVDs had a good sale, I made it, I made a distribution deal with a DVD distributor. And with a couple markets that were exclusive to him, and then I and then I made some deals with people around the world, which I also discovered was a great, a great source of income was to make deals with different markets worldwide.
Alex Ferrari 21:23
You did that directly without a sales rep. Without a sales rep. Yeah. How did you how did you get access? Or do they find you?
Patrick Solomon 21:30
A little bit of both? Some people found me, but then I would do research? What God there was a few other films that were out at the time. And I just looked at their distribution list online. Like, who distributes What the Bleep in Germany or whatever, right? And then I just said to them, Hey, I got to film a bow.
Alex Ferrari 21:49
Okay, so then that and then so you start the you making any money with the DVDs.
Patrick Solomon 21:54
Um, we made an okay amount of money. I can't remember what the numbers were. But I remember going, Okay, this isn't too bad. Like, I wasn't overwhelmed, but I wasn't bummed about that either. Like, I wasn't bummed about the income on the DVDs the way I was on the theatrical.
Alex Ferrari 22:09
So when you went into the streaming deals, what was that? Was it a positive or a negative situation?
Patrick Solomon 22:16
It was positive. Like I liked the deals that we made. We weren't making a ton of money streaming like hardly at all. But I just liked the idea that the film was out there streaming that our best deal was with distributor, we were making pretty decent money with those guys for a while. And it was just Apple TV. That's it. No one else.
Alex Ferrari 22:35
It was in because people were renting.
Patrick Solomon 22:37
Yeah. Because we're renting it and downloading it there. Exactly. And and it was such a big platform that people get to it easy.
Alex Ferrari 22:43
And it's also different. What like What year is that? We're talking about? 2013
Patrick Solomon 22:47
Exactly. 2013 2014 2015. So VOD was a thing.
Alex Ferrari 22:51
TiVo, yeah. T VOD was still a thing back then people are still renting a lot. And still buying movies on on Apple and stuff like that. Now, now would be a very different, a different world. But overall, so at the end of this dis journey with this film, and you're still generating revenue with it, you own it still, I'm assuming. Right? Yeah. Right. So you're still generating revenue with it. It's still you know, overall, it's been a very positive experience. Overall, man,
Patrick Solomon 23:17
it has been such a positive and amazing experience, to even like, just the production of the film, like making the film was such an amazing, like, I would call it one of the high points of my life, like just just producing that film and the people that I met, and the experiences that I had making it were just priceless.
Alex Ferrari 23:34
Yeah, I mean, I love what you did with the children as reenactments. I thought that was such a clever way to shoot those stories. Like you're trying to tell stories, like the hero's journey, but you're doing it through children just up in it, like they're playing imaginary heroes or something like that, I think worked out. I'm
Patrick Solomon 23:53
glad that worked out. I was like, This is crazy. No one's gonna like this. And then we got a couple tests back and I was like, This is awesome. This is gonna be the way we're gonna do the whole movie.
Alex Ferrari 24:01
Yeah, it was it was great. It was just a very well produced piece. You could tell that whoever, you know, the director was, who knew what they were doing. It was it was very polished. But that's and that's one of the reasons why I reached out to you for for indie film, hustle TV because I wanted it I wanted it so badly. Because I was like, Oh, please, I'd love
Patrick Solomon 24:18
to have it on this platform is when I got your email. I was like, Oh my God, this guy knows who I am. I love it.
Alex Ferrari 24:24
I appreciate that, man. I appreciate that. So um, so let's let's talk a little bit about Joseph's work. Because I know him Joseph, Joe. Joe, talk a little bit about what they can break down the hero's journey for people who might not know what the hero's journey is in a very basic way. Sure. So
Patrick Solomon 24:44
the so the hero's journey breaks down like this, right? So a hero. There's there's basically three parts right separation, initiation and returning. And so you can think about it like this circle, right? So heroes starts off in their village or their place of comfort and Somehow they are called on some on an adventure. Sometimes you get kicked out of the village, sometimes you follow a butterfly into the forest. You know sometimes your village gets attacked by neighboring army and your burns down and you got to go. Or you know, and you know, Star Wars The classic example right sometimes you're an uncle or murdered by the stormtroopers, and you gotta go. So now the hero goes on an adventure where you learn things gain things, and you acquire the treasure right? That's the The goal of the journey is to get the gold or destroy the Deathstar. But you get some thing, and then that's not the end of it, you return with that thing, knowledge scepter to the village where you started, right? So separation, separation, initiation return.
Alex Ferrari 25:52
And that's basically the hero's journey in a nutshell. So if you break it down, if you just watch Star Wars, it is literally as perfect of a blueprint, the original Star Wars to the hero's journey as anything I've ever seen. Right? And you and you start and you start analyzing the hero's journey. And if you know the hero's journey is in almost every story, it's not an every story, but it is me if you start especially every Hollywood store every every major Hollywood blockbuster, even independent films. Yeah, all of them have a version of this and find a film that doesn't. Yeah, the only ones I've ever found is kind of like, like, you know, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, like, you know, Sherlock Holmes stories, detective stories, those those don't have that as much because it's a different kind of storytelling. But generally, everything else has the hero's journey in it. And it's in for people listening. If you you know, a lot of times I know, there's these moments in your life where, where things happen, like, you lose your job, you break up with your girlfriend, you're stuck in a house from quarantine, there are events that happen that are catalysts for you to start a new adventure and their opportunities. I always look like I've been fired. twice, I had two full time jobs, only two full time jobs ever had in my career. And I was fired from both very proud of my firings. And and both of them started me off on completely new paths. And and we break up with someone start you in a new journey, and you have to learn things. And that's what our life is. You're right, like that's exactly what Joseph was saying is that you start as a child and you go off on journeys, and you could let sometimes it's literally like, literally you get on a boat somewhere and go on a journey and then come back. But other times it's a little bit more metaphorical. But you do go off and learn things. I mean, I'm sure you learned a lot on that film.
Patrick Solomon 27:48
I did. I mean, I feel like I feel like so just in the making of the film itself was a classic hero's journey. You know, I went out in this adventure to make a film about the hero's journey, right? And then I made this film about the hero's journey, and I returned to the village that is the world and I shared that journey.
Alex Ferrari 28:06
Yeah, but basically and and is there any like what is your the the books that really draw you from from Joseph work, I'm assuming hero's has 1000 faces is,
Patrick Solomon 28:19
especially if you're if you're checking this out, then then the hero with 1000 faces is like really, really the classic work and that's the one that that Lucas really gravitated towards. However, it's kind of dense material. Right? I would start with the power of myth, which is the just was the Moyers series. It's a book right? The power of myth is they turn that into a book. Get that one first because it really breaks down in very easy to understand ways all these different ideas.
Alex Ferrari 28:47
And then yeah, they're there cuz I was such a Joseph Campbell fan. I actually went out and got mythos on VHS. mythos. And this those two, yeah. And man, dense,
Patrick Solomon 29:00
dense. I mean, and that's that's the thing is you can really get sucked into them if you're in the right mindset, or if you're just you know, if you're Joseph Campbell fan, but if you're not, man, I really recommend power of myth four, there's another one called reflections on the arts of living. That's easy. That's an easy way in and really in from video, you'll get a lot of great information out of that.
Alex Ferrari 29:22
What was it about the Joseph's work that drew you to him? Like what made you want to make this documentary?
Patrick Solomon 29:27
life? Right? So Oh, also, when I was a kid, when I was just starting my, my filmmaking career is when those Moyers interviews came out. And man, I was just hooked on those things. And I started reading everything that he ever wrote. And I really geeked out on Campbell for for years and years. And then when I would have a crisis in my life, I would go back to Campbell's work, right, which is essentially the myths of the world and you really is information about humans and you know, why we do the things we do and how to it provides a great map. When you look at A map, you can say, oh, man, I'm having this crisis here. But further down the road, I can see it's gonna be better. So it provides a good roadmap of life.
Alex Ferrari 30:09
And is there any of Joseph's philosophy that can help you on a daily basis? That's just a human being?
Patrick Solomon 30:17
I would say no, here's the classic Joseph Campbell line, which is follow your bliss, right? follow your bliss, and doors will open where there were only walls, right? That's the line. And so the, to me, the idea of trying to follow your bliss on a daily basis, is it's really a practice. And it's just, it's just been magical for myself. And I know for many people to wake up in the morning and go, what am I here to do? How can I do that serve people while doing that? If you can do that you've won Really?
Alex Ferrari 30:49
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. What is when you just said cert be of service? Is that something that's very important to you and your work is of being of service to your audience?
Patrick Solomon 31:07
I think so. And I think that the way I look at the hero's journey different now is that going back to Star Wars, for example. You know, everyone who is on a journey is their own hero, right? You're on you're on your own journey. You're a hero, I'm on my journey. I'm ahead of you. We bump into people, right? They're on their own journeys. But we can also be the yodas to people that are on their journey. Right. And that actually is, to me feels a lot better now. Like I love helping young filmmakers out I love I just love helping people in other ways, and sort of be of service and be a guide and be the the Yoda or the Merlin to somebody just coming up. That to me just feels better. It has a I love doing that.
Alex Ferrari 31:52
It's addictive, isn't it? Yes. Yeah. I started this. I started my journey five years ago, almost five years ago with indie film, hustle, and I can't turn back now this is just like
Patrick Solomon 32:04
you and Ryan, you're providing that service for many people, myself included, right? You're offering this guidance to people who really need it. And it's got to be amazing.
Alex Ferrari 32:13
It's it's a really great feeling to do it. And that's why I always tell people you know, when you are of service, if you want to follow if you want your dream to come to help somebody else follow theirs. Yes, I help somebody else achieve. There's my favorite quote of Campbell's is the the treasure that you seek is in the cave they are afraid to walk into. Yeah. Which is, which is a great. So true, though. It says so, so true. Now, what is the biggest lesson you learned? making that film? Like what's the if you had the one takeaway?
Patrick Solomon 32:46
God, there's so there's so many takeaways? I think from from a, from a filmmakers point of view, just there. So I there's some creative things that I learned about about how to get through creatively, right, because there's a lot of creative challenges in that film. And entry. Creativity isn't always sexy, right? Creativity doesn't always happen in these moments where you get this lightning bolt, right? A lot of times creativity comes from just getting dirty, sweaty, and, and suffering for weeks.
Alex Ferrari 33:18
Very true. Very, very true. Now, what is the what's the next movie you're working on? And how is it going to be different? Then, as far as how you're going to make money within sell it to get it to the audience?
Patrick Solomon 33:29
That's a that's a good point. So I'm making this film. And the title of the film right now is called what is money? Right? And the film is, is about the subject of money. I know it's a broad subject, but it's when I started, I didn't really have a central theme or a question that I was asking money just intrigued me. People at the q&a said finding Joe would stand up and say, Hey, man, I'd like to just quit my job and follow my bliss. But I need money. And that kind of hit me like, wait a minute, you do need money. What is money? That's weird. So the idea of money just stuck with me and I and I knew that I just I needed to make a film about it. So it's turning into kind of a not a definition of money. But But why? why what money is right? Why we stuck with it. And how we can understand money in a way that makes you go Oh, right. I get it. I understand money a lot better now. And maybe there's not so much stress and anxiety about it.
Alex Ferrari 34:24
Yeah, I've been studying the topic of money now for probably for a couple years now. I've read probably 40 50 60 books.
Patrick Solomon 34:32
We read the same books. Oh, yeah. I mean, I just read I'm constantly reading stuff about every every aspect of money hit me with your favorite bits because it's interesting with different people take about a takeaways about money. But man, it's a fascinating topic, very triggering, and I'm stoked to come out with it. And then and then on the back end of this. I'm doing things that I never did with the first film, which is immediately day one I started thinking about what's my distribution What's my marketing strategy? Who's my audience? So I just have pages and pages and pages about who my potential audience is about marketing? What the marketing strategy is going to be, what platforms are we going to run on just all these things that that you should think about? You should think about them just as equally as the as your production of the film.
Alex Ferrari 35:20
Oh, I think if not more so in many ways. Exactly. if not more, so. Yeah. Because there's so many filmmakers who just like, like you were saying, I'm the artist at the one post is done. I'm done. When post is done. I'm done.
Patrick Solomon 35:32
I don't I feel I thought that way for so long, man. It's like that's the killer is going to the kiss of death right there.
Alex Ferrari 35:37
Let me know what where's the red carpet? I just let me know where the red carpet I'll pick up the awards. Like I don't understand. Can I get my picture taken with? Yeah, let's do this. Now just and you can send the cheque to this address. And that's basically what you're doing that again. Yeah, it is such an it's such a myth that I've been trying to bust now for five years, basically, since I started doing this. And so as far as the what you're asking earlier about what like my favorite tidbits on money is the biggest one I the biggest one I took away and hopefully this could help some people out. Obviously, Robert Kiyosaki, and and yeah, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which the four quadrants of Rich Dad, Poor Dad are super was very impactful to me. And I'd read it years ago, but I guess at this age, I started listening to it a little bit differently, which is the employee, the self employed, the business owner and the investor. And the concept that when you're an employee, you're basically a serf, you're a slave to that job. And the second that job shuts down, you're done. And that were in that could be a high paying job. It could be a lawyer, it could be a doctor, it could be, you know, a big movie star, depending on you know, if you're making 234 million dollars a year, that sounds like a lot of money, but if you cost you four or $5 million a year to live your lifestyle, right, you're in the same boat as the guy making $20,000 make trying to make ends meet, obviously, at a different level, but you're still stuck there. So when that money stops, you stop. And, and the concept of passive income, about creating assets that generate revenue, that has been the biggest lesson. And when you have an online business like I do, that kind of is built into the business model is creating, creating passive income. Right? And it's never, it's, I can't tell you, I'm sure you know, this, when when you wake up in the morning, and there's just magic money that showed up, right from something that got sold somewhere. And that happens with stock footage, people and that happens with residuals for actors, and it's like mailbox money. But that passive income is addictive as well. And it gives you so much freedom and so much power.
Patrick Solomon 37:53
And that's really what it's about is that, um, the reason you're trying to create this stuff, real passive income and did multiple streams of revenue is is not just to get rich, right? It's a lifestyle you're trying to lead, right? The idea is that you have now you can live the short time you have on this planet, doing the things you want to do, instead of being a slave for, you know, the time that you have here and then retiring at 60. And then you only have a couple years left.
Alex Ferrari 38:19
Yeah, and I've been I've been basically self employed most of my professional career, like I said, I only had two full time jobs. And all the other time I was always self employed, but still employed. So there was a little bit more, a little bit more control, but not but I was still it was still dollars for hours,
Patrick Solomon 38:36
Dollars for hours, right? Like make it make a day work a day make $1
Alex Ferrari 38:40
Yeah, and in the people who are lack of a better term rich, it's they don't do that they understand how to leverage other people's money, they understand me when I mean other people's money, meaning banks, and you know, and other things like that, and they have money work for them, and they have assets that are generating revenue for them all the time. So they build Money Machines like that every revenue stream is a money machine. So that's kind of like what I kind of try to explain that in futurpreneur Rise of the entrepreneur where you're creating assets for your film, and those assets are generating revenue for you, even when you're not physically working, physically selling. It's constantly doing that. And the more of those you can have, the better you know, and so
Patrick Solomon 39:25
Exactly one of those you can have the better. That's exactly that's, that's the hope you get a few of those going. And pretty soon you can choose to do what you want in life.
Alex Ferrari 39:33
Right. And that's why people who work in real estate are so successful because they are able to leverage other people's money to purchase to purchase a house or an apartment building that's cashflow positive, then they're their their people, the people who are renting are paying for their asset. And maybe with appreciation, they can actually get another loan, pay back the bank and then all of a sudden that asset they own 100% and it's just generating revenue for them. So Basically a free cash machine,
Patrick Solomon 40:02
Right! Where films can be the same way to
Alex Ferrari 40:04
Patrick Solomon 40:05
If you create a film, right? Or you you're not, you know, you have multiple films out there creating multiple streams of revenue. And then on the back of the film, like for this film, for instance, because of the subject matter, it really lends itself well to multiple products, right? So we can do a course based on this film, we can do the book based on this film, we can sell the all the raw interviews, you know, we can there's, there's a lot of different ways to slice this thing. And you know, for the first time ever, I'm like, Oh, my God, we can actually make a living, making a film,
Alex Ferrari 40:38
Stop it, stop the insanity. Are you kidding?
Patrick Solomon 40:40
You can do that, right, you can really make an actual living and pay your mortgage and everything.
Alex Ferrari 40:45
But the thing is that and for people listening, you have to understand that you can't think the way you were trained to think that old model of I've done a post, or I'll give it a movie to somebody else for that one revenue stream, which is a distributor. That's it. If you think that way. This doesn't work. It's it's not impossible, because obviously, some people do it. But in today's world, it's getting so much more difficult. There's so much more competition. You know, I'm much more about creating those multiple revenue streams that can kind of always constantly build making like and there's, and there's, there's guys, like I talked about in the book who've built empires, like food matters. You know, what's it called? Fat Sick and Nearly Dead? Those guys, I mean, they've literally built multimillion dollar empires off of, you know,
Patrick Solomon 41:34
Exactly. You're right. It's definitely doable. But but it really takes, you got to think that way, right? You have to change your thinking from, from Exactly. I'm an artist. As soon as I'm done with this product, I'm either moving on to the next one, or, or the money's just gonna come in magically, because I'm going to make such a great piece that people are just going to give me money.
Alex Ferrari 41:57
Now, I want to I want to I want to do a little experiment with you. Let's let's go back and do let's go back to finding Joe for a minute. So let's say we're making finding Joe today. Oh, man. Okay, so let's say today, no one's ever made finding Joe, no one's ever made a documentary about so this doesn't exist yet. So it's not in the Zeitgeist at all. And you say, I'm going to make a documentary about Joseph Campbell's work, and you shoot it same way with the kids and, and the interviews and everything. How would you position that film? Today?
Patrick Solomon 42:26
This so great, so So number one, I would I would know, I would let the audience know and start building my email list from day one. I wouldn't say day one of production, I would have a website that said, I'm world listen world. I'm making this film by Joseph Campbell. Here's like some here's like a little teaser, please give me your email address, I would start targeting that audience. Facebook, same thing, I would start a Facebook group. target that audience, I want every camel but there are Joseph Campbell fans out there. Oh, this a who don't know what finding Joe is they just don't know. And so I would not, I would not let that happen. I would target this small audience. Number two, the biggest other biggest mistake, I did not leverage the talent in that film. I like Deepak was ready to go, he was like, Hey, man, you want me to hit my millions of millions of you didn't do that. embarrass myself. So I didn't leverage the people that were in the film, right. And so this time, like, I would leverage the hell out and I'll be bugging the hell out of them. They're like, on this date, I want you guys to send this tweet out this Instagram post out, like really leverage that and that's all free. Like you don't have to pay any money for that. That's, that's all free except for building a website, right. And I would really get into the analytics of the whole thing and start doing a B testing on different ads about you know that different trailers right and start cutting different tailors and start testing which one's working more which one's getting more views, you know how and try to really get scientific about how to bring that audience in. Because you know, with it with a very small budget, you can really target an audience develop some ads and just your ads now go out to just the people who may buy this has never happened before in history. So you can really make each dollar count when it comes to selling a film or product online.
Alex Ferrari 44:17
Alright, so So now you're leveraging you're leveraging your ridiculous cast because it was amazing cast of people that you had an interview It was really amazing cast and very high profile people and multiple, like not just spiritual people. You had athletes. Yeah, Tony Hawk and and a bunch of other guys in there. So you could have easily leverage that you did. He did? I didn't know that. You did. And so now I'm gonna poke you because I asked him. Did you shoot? You should have me Come on. Come on, like if you were that you already know that. You read my mind. I'm an artist. I don't I don't do that. Those things. Hey, look, we've all been there. Trust me. I've been there. I was there too long. But Alright. So now you have you have you have the leverage of your Have your interviews? How would you package this differently? What ancillary product lines would you create? For?
Patrick Solomon 45:07
I would. And the other thing is that okay, so for so for finding Joe, there would definitely be some kind of some printed material like a workbook or a book or something that goes along with that film that you can follow along. And it's a life lesson, man, there's like, what is the hero? What is the journey of your life? Like, how can you map out your own life? How would attach that to the film, I still really was still really like to do that. And then there's there's other ancillary products that people have already created. Right? Some some people in the film already have Hero's Journey workshops, which I would attach to that film for sure. I would, I would release all the interviews, just raw interviews, like as a package the PDFs of those interviews, like I would bundle all that up, and then you could buy that for 999 or whatever.
Alex Ferrari 45:49
And then would you create possibly an online course, as well?
Patrick Solomon 45:54
I would, I would create an online course if I were doing it again. Yeah, right. Now, I would create an online course. I think. I think the ship has sailed on that one.
Alex Ferrari 46:00
Yeah, no, of course, of course. So you create an online course for that. Now, would you also what other answer, would there be any possibilities for t shirts for hat? Because people this is that's a subject matter that people would buy, like, follow your bliss? I think you could get away with that. Like, you could just get it Yeah,
Patrick Solomon 46:17
Exactly. You get the I actually didn't think about that at the time, like all these great logos and slogans and even the Joseph Campbell foundation who just gave me carte blanche on all his stuff. Yeah, didn't didn't really think about that until much later. But yes, I would create some hats and I don't know if that'd be a big moneymaker. But just getting that out there in the world and and even though those things might not make a lot of money, it's just a little bit here a little bit there. And, and getting the name the word out there is really more important than the money you'll make on those little things.
Alex Ferrari 46:48
Could you create an ecosystem? Could you build a business around this kind of like what food matters did right? Food matters as a very big
Patrick Solomon 46:57
Around around finding job but this next film around? Oh, yeah, all day, it's like a no brainer. Not a no brainer. But it's like it is it really lends itself well, to an ongoing businesses a lot of different things that are already coming up out of it, a lot of interviewees that, that I just didn't have time to do that. We'd like to be in the film, we could just keep, we could just keep going on this one for a long time.
Alex Ferrari 47:18
Great. So so those are the lessons, these lessons that you've learned, I've never done that before, like going back to an original film like So look, if we would take it today, what would you do differently? That's actually really good. Because I think the answer is everything so and so you would have probably been able to make it for a lot less, you would not have spent if you wouldn't have spent all the money on the theatrical How much did it movie actually cost you?
Patrick Solomon 47:39
The production budget was 250, a little more than 250 to produce, edit and finish the film.
Alex Ferrari 47:45
So so for quarterman they said today, you could probably make that for less, you can make that for less. So you would be lower lower to get it wouldn't take you that long to get into the black. And, man, I think it would have been in today's world, you would have done very well. I think I think I think it would have done very, very, very well. Yeah, I totally agree. Yeah. I mean, listen, listen, if you read my book, you know, I had a whole chapter on how I spent 50 grand on on that short film and released it on an app because I was so cool. You know, and I made $700 on that release. So we've been we've all been there. Do we all done that? But that's been a very, it's very interesting, a very, very interesting and how, how you would do it differently? Well, I'm glad that the book has helped you. In any way, it's helped you at all the film intrapreneur book, because it sounds like you really are taking a lot of those lessons that I put in the book and are applying it now to you.
Patrick Solomon 48:43
Really, really 100% there. I feel like that was a and that book, actually, I'd been having those thoughts already. Because the people I've been interviewing around the subject of money have all been saying very similar things. But when I pick your book up, it was specific to film. And it really solidified my belief that oh my god, I just need to change my thinking on this. Like, I gotta I gotta view myself differently. And, and I did and it was amazing.
Alex Ferrari 49:11
It is a it is a mindset shift. It really is a mind shift mindset. And I can't tell you how important and everyone listening, I want you to be very Park up here for a second. And I think it please let me know how you feel about this as well. Changing your mindset, it is the thing to do in any aspect of your life in any part of your journey. If you want to change, it only will happen once you change your perspective. It only happens when you change that mindset when you get out of that comfort zone or that little box that we have. If you change the mindset of what you think is possible. Because like like Henry Ford says if you believe you can do it or you don't you can't do it. You're right. And I've seen that happen even recently in my life where I'm like, Oh, I can't do that. Oh, that's that's the top there. I like I'm only going to I'm only going to get to displace, and guess what, that's the only place I could got it was that place, but the second you shifted the mindset a bit, then all of a sudden, it opened up more, and you're like, Well wait, wait a minute, is that it? is all I have to do? And I've known that on an intellectual standpoint for quite some time. But changing the mindset is so so important. What do you think?
Patrick Solomon 50:21
Yeah, it's one of those things that is simple, but not easy. Right? The idea of change, your mindset is simple. But if you've been in the habit of thinking a certain way, you it really takes a lot of work and discipline on your part, you got to keep catching yourself. You got to keep going. All right. That's my whole mindset. I got to do something about that. That's why that's why it's hard to quit smoking. That's why it's hard to quit drinking. Really, the simple answer is just Hey, quit, stop, just quit smoking. But it's not that easy.
Alex Ferrari 50:48
Right? Right. It's if you if you don't believe that it's capable of being done that it will never happen. You know, it's, it's, it's, yeah,
Patrick Solomon 51:00
I guess, right. If you, you just need to, you need to get a little a certain, a certain level of awareness that, hey, this thing is possible, I can actually make films and make a living doing them. It just gonna take, you know, these steps, and you just have to embrace that. Once. Once you once your mindset shifts in that way, you know, you're off to the races, you're done.
Alex Ferrari 51:20
And that's the thing people always say, like, when I when I lay out sometimes I've had people, you know, he challenged me on the film shoprunner method. And they're like, Well, you know, I you know, this seems like a lot of work. I'm like, yeah, it is, is gonna take you some time to build an audience. It's gonna take you some that the blueprint is, like, if I showed you blueprints to build a skyscraper, it's there on paper. Right? It's like, it's like the construction guy going. This seems like a lot of work. Yeah, it is. But it's a complete, it's a completely mind shift. When everyone's ever was told, you know, all you got to do is the hardest part is making the movie, which is not and
Patrick Solomon 52:00
Honestly, it's kind of fun. Like, yeah, yeah, it's hard work. Like right now, it's a lot of hard work. And it's fun, do you with marketing, but it's kind of fun. Like I'm learning new things and learn, you know, discovering new platforms and meeting new people. And the process is fun.
Alex Ferrari 52:13
No, there's no knock. I've I've always loved the business side. I've always loved the marketing and design side of filmmaking. It's always been a it's a holistic ecosystem. For me. It's a, you know, when I made when I made ego and desire, I was thinking about the whole, the whole plan. When I was doing it, I was like, that's more. That's fun. That's more fun for me. Right? Without question. Now, I'm gonna ask a few questions, ask all my guests or what advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?
Patrick Solomon 52:44
Just right now if you're especially if you're young filmmaker, and you're trying to break into the business, there's two right? One is, I guess it depends on which part of the business you're after. But but you can, you can make films wherever you are. Right now, it's very easy to make films, just just make films man, make as many films as you can learn the craft of filmmaking. That's number one. Number two is which what I did is that you can also go to work, making money doing you know, in films, you can work as an assistant, you can work as a, as a lower member in a crew, you will learn so much, man, there's things you will never learn in film school, you will learn on a set. That's just a really, it's a really great way to get a free education or get a paid education.
Alex Ferrari 53:30
Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Patrick Solomon 53:37
Those are ego lessons, right? Like the ego lesson, especially as a commercial director, right? You're always just right, and your vision was always right. It's great to collaborate, but but being able to let go of your ego in a lot of situations and go Wait a minute, I might not have the answer here. Let's let some other information in.
Alex Ferrari 53:58
And what is the biggest fear you had to overcome to make to make the firt your first film?
Patrick Solomon 54:05
God? That's a good question. I think it was that you know, just failing, right? Like, my fear would be, man, what happens if I if I make a piece of crap and nobody likes it?
Alex Ferrari 54:21
Yeah, that the feel of failure is the biggest one. It's always it's always the biggest one. And three of your favorite films of all time.
Patrick Solomon 54:30
Oh, man, there's just so many. I'll tell you what, there's this one that I that I always go back to that I love and it is Stephen Chow is kung fu hustle. I love kung fu hustle. Yeah, so well crafted and so well done and so quirky and weird. And just, I think that's just an awesome just an amazing film. What else What am I go to that I always like go back to so many men up, I always go back to close encounters to close encounter. was so well written and executed like that, like the writing on that film. I think it's I think it's underappreciated. It's really just an I think it's just an amazing amazingly crafted film on every level. Yeah. And I don't know what would be number 3 The Incredibles Incredibles for sure.
Alex Ferrari 55:26
I love Incredibles. I liked the second one. I didn't mind the second one at all. But the second one,
Patrick Solomon 55:30
I didn't mind the second one. But the first one I thought was just that was another one that when it came out, I was like, oh, man, this is so well written, directed, executed, like everything. All the it's a seamless, wonderfully, perfectly crafted piece of art.
Alex Ferrari 55:42
Yes. Without question. Now where can people find you and in the work you're doing?
Patrick Solomon 55:47
Let's see. So I am on on Facebook. Pat's, Patrick Solomon Facebook. I'm on YouTube, Patrick Solomon. And what is money is on Facebook, the new film what is money is a group on Facebook.
Alex Ferrari 56:01
And when is that coming up?
Patrick Solomon 56:03
I have no idea. So I'm a year into production. My my, my deadline to be done with production was going to be this fall, we're going to try to release that earlier in the year. I don't know if that's gonna happen now. Like I was just about to shoot all my B roll. When, when the COVID hit. So I said I still have a ton of B roll. And she does. Basically almost all my interviews are shot. Not all of them, but most of them are shot. So just still trying to figure it out. If anyone has any suggestions about shooting in the time of COVID. Maybe you can do a show on that I tune in. How do we shoot? How are we going to move forward? How are we going to get a crew together?
Alex Ferrari 56:43
Got it. Got it. Patrick, man, thank you so much for being on the show. It's been an absolute pleasure. Your film touched me when it came out. And I'm so proud to have it on ifH. tv. So thank you for sharing Joseph Campbell's work to the world.
Patrick Solomon 56:58
I'm super stoked.
Alex Ferrari 57:00
I want to thank Patrick for coming on the show and dropping those knowledge bombs if you have not seen finding Joe, it is a prerequisite for every storyteller, every filmmaker, every screenwriter to watch this documentary it is I just love, love, love this documentary. And I'm so honored to have finding Joe available on indie film hustle TV. If you want to get links to anything we spoke about in this episode, including how to watch this film, please head over to the show notes at indiefilmhustle/404. And thank you all so much for the great support that you've given the new show that I just launched inside the screenwriters mind, a screenwriting archive of the best screenwriting episodes from the IFH Podcast Network. If you want to check that new show out, please head over to www.screenwritersmind.com and I hope all of you are doing well in this insane upside down world that we are living in right now. As as a wonderful meme came up on my Facebook feed the other day, this too shall pass. But it might pass like a kidney stone. Alright guys, stay safe out there. And as always, keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
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