Every once in awhile we all need to get a gut check. A “gut check” is when some new situation, or in this case knowledge, that tests your belief on what it takes to achieve your goal.
I invited Sebastian Twardosz to give us that gut check and lay down some major knowledge bombs on the Indie Film Hustle Tribe. Now Sebastian has been playing the Hollywood game for close to two decades and has racked up some major experience. Hollywood and the film business, in general, is a “relationship business“. Here’s what Sebastian said:
“Some of you will be successful and some of you will be less successful—it’s a numbers game, but regardless of the stats, you will likely fail if you don’t help each other.”
Sebastian Twardosz’s first production job was from 1995-1999 for Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner’s Paramount-based company where he started as an assistant and was promoted to an executive, actively participating in the making of Mission Impossible 1-2 and Without Limits.
Like many hopefuls wanting to get into the film biz, Sebastian Twardosz started as an agent’s assistant in the motion picture department at ICM. He graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 1993. His short film, Silent Rain, received a Student Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Student Emmy.
Sebastian co-produced the independent feature Small Town Saturday Night starring Chris Pine, and he has been an adjunct professor at both UCLA and USC Film Schools teaching about the art and business of film since 2006.
He also hosted a weekly show called The Insiders which aims to shed light on the “behind-the-scenes world of Hollywood” for aspiring filmmakers. Sebastian is currently a partner in Circus Road Films, which advises and represents emerging filmmakers. Take a listen to this eye-opening interview.
Alex Ferrari 0:30
I like to welcome to the show Sebastian Twardosz. I hope I didn't massacre that last name too much, Sebastian.
Sebastian Twardosz 3:51
It was it was perfect. Actually.
Alex Ferrari 3:54
No problem, man. Thanks for having me having. Thanks for having me on the show. I think I'm glad to have you on the show, man. Thanks for doing the show. I really appreciate it. We, Sebastian I met under interesting circumstances.
Sebastian Twardosz 4:07
Meet all my good friends.
Alex Ferrari 4:09
So I wrote many, many I think at the very almost at the beginning of the film, also I wrote this article about producers reps, and I have my bad experience with one in particular. And and Sebastian is a producer's rep now. He's done many things in the business and we're going to talk all about the stuff he's done in the business but Sebastian actually contacted me and said, Hey, man, you know, we're not all bad. I'm like, I know and then we just started talking I'm like, you know, and I got his perspective on what a real producers rep does a reputable one and what you know what the actual inside of that world is, as opposed to just my horrible experience. But so we're gonna talk a little bit about that and talk a bit about a bunch of the other stuff that Sebastian does. So Sebastian, you did a show on Youtube called the insiders which I have now become addicted to why Because you've got some amazing guests that come on, and you really kind of, you're similar to me in the sense that you kind of you're a straight shooter, you don't Bs, you don't kind of dance around it, you're like, this is what it takes, guys. This is what it really takes and to make it in the business and boom, boom, boom, you ask these kind of questions. So can you talk a little bit about the insiders? tell everybody about it.
Sebastian Twardosz 5:22
Right. Okay. Well, thank you, first of all, for having me on. That's very nice of you to say nice things. So yeah, well, you know, because I do a lot of different things. I mean, I also I teach at USC, I teach another place called National University. I am a producer's rep and you know, I just kind of my you know, I just believe in paying it forward and I try to be helpful to people that's these are really just avenues of being helpful. So the insiders Believe it or not, what's interesting, it goes right back to producer wrapping. If you look us up on IMDB, my co producer on that and director of all the episodes is Kevin hamadani. And we actually represented Kevin's film that's how I met Kevin. He made it true. So this is it all. It's kind of like what you do Alex, you have you do a lot of different things, but they all kind of you know, they're synergistic as they say. Yes, so I met Kevin we represented a film of his it's not the best Title I hate the title, but it's a very good movie. It's called junk. j u n. k.
Alex Ferrari 6:22
It's a rough that's a rough movie to sell.
Sebastian Twardosz 6:24
It's a rough movie just the titles that help us sell this movie but we did we did do a good job in selling them when Kevin was actually very happy hence he did a show with me that goes back to the beginning there are some good rubber good producer reps out there. But anyway so what what his story was if you look up Kevin that movie junk was in a lot of film festivals actually did really well on the festival circuit and he wanted to you know sell it and you know, we we got involved with them and we helped him get his distributor made the deal, etc. And he was very happy with that. And then it was probably about you know, Kevin has gone on to do even additional films and shorts and he's been like in Seattle Film Festival in Austin and Los Angeles from festival etc and other things. He's He's very good you can and watch junk. Oh, I should tell you but the movie is about kind of a burned out filmmaker who goes through the festival circuit.
Alex Ferrari 7:26
I got it. I got actually watched that now.
Sebastian Twardosz 7:28
Yeah, who goes through the whole thing of festivals and also, it's got a fantastic cameo in it. If you if you love movies in the 1980s this as one of the best cameos ever. Great movie, and it's about this filmmakers journey of making his movie, an independent film going through the festival circuit and then getting released. It's literally what we're talking about. Okay, it's a fantastic movie. Really. Okay. Anyway, um, so it's called junk and just just put it everywhere.
Alex Ferrari 7:58
I'll put it I'll put it in the show notes.
Sebastian Twardosz 8:03
Okay. So anyway, so that went that went well. And it was about two years after that. Maybe he he started directing for this YouTube network, YouTube channel called lip TV. And there's some other great shows on there. One of the best shows ever about interview about documentaries. It's called BYOD bring bring your own doc is fantastic. So if you love documentaries, you just go to YouTube and do BYOD anyway, Kevin was directing a lot of these he directed quite a few of the various shows and he asked me if I wanted to do one. Um, and I think he got the idea because I also teach at USC. So here's how this comes full circle because I asked him to be a guest on one of my classes. And we had a great time. Again, no BS, you know, we swear we do all kinds of great stuff in my class, and he had a rockin good time. And so he thought, well, maybe we could put this on the air. Now granted, we can't be quite as loose as we are, you know, setting Sure. He had the idea of doing the show. And I said yes. And the reason I said yes was because of my background, I you know, I know a lot of people like almost everybody on that show. Not everyone, but almost everyone I know, you know, personally or have worked with in some capacity. And I just knew all these people. And a lot of them I was invited to my class. So like, if you go if you Google my name Sebastian toward Oz, and USC, my class pops up and you see all this great list of guest speakers and are saying to myself, you know, this is really cool that I could bring him into class and teach everyone you know, because there's my classes, like two hours of me talking and then two hours of the guest speaker q&a. And so I said, You know, I really wish more people could hear what some what these guys have to say. And so the idea was to just get and I knew a lot of these guests because I've done classes with them. I've had a good rapport with them. So you know, Kevin gave me the opportunity and he said, look, I think I can get you the show on The lip TV and and so I went in to meet with the guys who who run it. This one guy Michael Lustig is the kind of creator, the executive producer of all of it. And they said, Yeah, let's give it a shot. So I did it, we ended up doing 42 episodes, we had to take a break. Because I have a lot going on. There's two reasons we took a break. I also want to do a different version of it, ultimately, but the whole idea of the show was to kind of, you know, really dissect industry. And for people who really want to know, like, how things work, or how people made it. My biggest question for everyone was always like, their origin story, and how did they? Yeah, they make it? Yeah, how did they get in. And then we kind of get into the weeds a little bit with some of them. But but it's not meant to be Entertainment Tonight, the show's really meant for people who want to, you know, make it in Hollywood, kind of, like, you know, like my students at USC, or national universities and other place or, I used to teach at UCLA to actually and, and just to kind of, you know, have other people experience and get to know you know, how it's done. That's it, that was the whole impetus for the show.
Alex Ferrari 11:10
It's a great show and anybody who's interested in getting it, you know, amazing access to some amazing guests and it's awesome. It's really really awesome.
Sebastian Twardosz 11:18
Well, some of the episodes are very good, some are a little slow. So you know, I didn't we didn't really have that much time was a little bit thrown together. I wish when we do a 2.0 version of it, which I hope to do. There I have a lot of ideas for making it better, but but it's it's it's pretty good. I'm pretty I'm happy with it.
Alex Ferrari 11:33
So can you talk a little bit from your perspective, what does a producer rep do?
Sebastian Twardosz 11:38
Okay, well, there are different kinds of producer reps. Ultimately, their job is to help you get distribution to like find you a distribution deal. And then to negotiate the basic terms of that, that that's the ultimate job and that's what most producer reps do. We we do more than that, but that's the basics and you say we who is we? Well, my partner Glenn Reynolds and I and then we have a couple of people that work with us we're also partners Alex nollie and Josh Holman you know we have varied backgrounds you know like Glenn produced conversations with other women he stopped you know he started like a really successful foreign sales company you know with the law school University of Texas produced other movies also and has you know just been working in business for a while Alex No, he used to be with film independent and has been with various you know, programmer various festivals Also producer I mean if you just look at the background for us, we are we are doing well Josh Holman by the way is really cool. I think it was two summers ago he won the Austin Film Festival for writing comedy spec oh nice he wrote you know, so we're all in the business to various ways and really what we're doing is you know, you make various relationships as you kind of go through and it just turned out that we knew a lot of people who could help in terms of distribution but like I said we do more like we do a lot of festival consulting which is a big aspect of it and then we actually do the the the deals to actual contracts
Alex Ferrari 13:16
Now you say we again but your name you haven't mentioned the name of your company wants to just want to make sure you get it out
Sebastian Twardosz 13:22
Sorry I'm sorry. Circus Road Films.
Alex Ferrari 13:26
Okay. No worries now Now you know the situation that I was in and the reason why we spoke heavily about that and the negative connotation is that the person has that has since been ousted from the business are there still in your experience producer reps out there who are doing that kind of negative you know, you know we talked a little bit about upfront payments and things of that we'll talk about what what producers reps generally get charged you know charge and things like that but you know the abuse that this person's and if you want to say her name I have no problem
Sebastian Twardosz 14:00
I'm gonna say that I think that's appropriate but I mean when you know when I read the article that you posted I knew exactly who you're talking about like instantly and anybody who in this part of the business because it's a very small part of the business this particular niche of it you know, anyone would know right away you somehow found your way to the worst very bad actor they say like like really probably the worst which is unfortunate and although you did get a deal at the end, which is you know, better than not getting any deal at all
Alex Ferrari 14:35
Some somewhere I still lost money but it was it was a little surreal. Yeah,
Sebastian Twardosz 14:38
Well, um so you know, that it's just unfortunate but are there other people like that there's no one that I'm aware of that it's at that level. Honestly, it's just, you know, because that particular person had various filings against them in the Better Business Bureau, all kinds of stuff. I have never seen that with anyone else. I you just happen to fall into the worst There are some other people who I'm sort of concerned with, because I know the appropriate, appropriate way to do this in the not appropriate way. Let me just say this, um, you know, because upfront fees in this part of the business are actually normal. But here's the thing, you know, it's hard, it might be hard to tell from the filmmakers side of it, I suppose. But, you know, like, we don't represent movies, if one we don't like them, or two, we don't think we can get them a deal, we just will pass, because there is the internet and there is, you know, our reputations. And like, for us, like, I've represented other students at USC, or I've represented, you know, some of my other professors, they're actually my boss, you know, and, you know, so much that that must be very interesting. Was it was what wasn't my direct boss, but she's definitely my superior. there at the school, because she's the head of the producing track. But you know, and we did the fee and everything, but you know, we come through for our clients. And you know, it, I suppose the differences, you know, do you just take money just to take the money? Or do you take it because you really want to be helpful, and you think you can be helpful? And that's kind of it for me, I'll, you know, if I think I can be helpful, then yeah, I'll do it. But if I, you know, cuz some movies are, you know, you just can't, there's just nothing we can do. So, you know, you just have to walk away, right? Also, there's some filmmakers, it's just, you know, my life might be too short. Walk away. I know the feeling again, but with you want, it was very unfortunate, you just happen to fall into the wrong hands. And, you know, I don't know what to say, I don't think most people are like that. There are some people I'm a little bit concerned with. It's true. Because you know, anybody can be a producer's Rep. So really, it's about just doing a lot of research. And I know, in your case, you said you even had a recommendation or referral. Oh, yeah. Which is even makes it even tougher.
Alex Ferrari 17:07
It was it was it was from a very major organization that I was a part of, and she and that producers rep came and spoke and was represented, you know, recommended by the head of the organization, everything. So that was a lot of due diligence right there. Because I trusted, the organization has nothing to do with the organizations that happen to be a bad situation. But
Sebastian Twardosz 17:25
I just don't know what to say to that. Because, you know, I just don't know what to say, because you do have to do the due diligence. You know,
Alex Ferrari 17:34
It was really it's okay. I mean, it's really early on in my career, I was I was literally in diapers almost, in the sense of the business. And she saw me coming from a mile away. And that was what happened and life goes on. But so with that said, What do producers reps generally charge as a general statement for, you know, representing a representation of an indie film?
Sebastian Twardosz 17:55
Well, what they charge depends on what they do, okay. And they charge at different points. So we'll start from various places, you can get a producer rep for just 10%. But you know, there's, there's two kinds of reps that will work in that, that zone. One is, you know, the major agencies. And, you know, they're really working with movies that you know, are pure Sundance movies that have, you know, very recognizable names. And then if not stars, just kind of moonlighting in indie films, you know, it's very hard for, for what I call a true independent to get that kind of representation. It's possible, but it's, it's very hard. And then there, there are the other reps who just do it a 10%. But what happens is, if they can't, you know, sell your movie in a month, or you know, if you don't get into a major festival, like Sundance Tribeca, Toronto, or South by Southwest, they'll just drop you and they might do it amicably. But really, it's for most, nine out of 10 independent movies, the 10% reps are really truly not interested or disinterested. You know, I even have a story of one film that we represent that we did a good job on. They had signed with a just a pure 10 percenter. And as soon as they signed, that person never called or emailed them back again. It was just purely the art of closing the deal. And they had to let that contract run Now fortunately, because I was also trying to sign that film. It's a very good film, small film but very good as Australia saying, but they said, Well, we just don't want to pay any upfront fee. I said, Okay, well, but the things change, let me know. And I said to him, I said, Look, at the very least, just sign three months. I said no more. I said because look, if they can't get it done in three months, they're not. They're not ever going to do it. And that's a good thing. They were able to get their claws down to three months so that three months later they contact me You said Look, I walked away because they live They told me you guys never call us back and so we took on the film and in less than two months we had a deal and they were really happy and on and on. So okay so that's the temper centers and mind you that's really good if you have the right kind of film the right kind of film basically means you have to be in the Big Four festivals or it's got to have like some extremely marketable element to it. But but this is the smallest minority of indie films it truly is. Then they're the ones that charge fees tip like us which we do typically the the reps that charge fees will also do your contracts and we do that so um, some will charge you upfront and I'll talk about how much in a second and some will charge you when they sign a deal. Like as soon as you sign a deal and it could vary I've basically the magic number seems to fall between five and 10,000 it really does vary also depending on you know, there's there's so many factors that go into it so but that number seems to fall between five and 10 which is where we are and then you know for us we do another thing though, so that's most reps most reps it's really just about making the deal finding a distribution and like which I said is the main thing but with us we do more like one of the main things that I do is festival consulting and I do a lot of festival consultant that you can just hire a film festival consultant separately and that could run you 500 to 1000 a month right? It really can't and so what we do is we do festival consulting we do the distribution submissions and then we do the contracts all three wrapped into our fee and I think we are well worth it yeah I kind of use like my class as an example like to get me in my class at USC you could just look this up my class there cost $6,500 which is a lot of money but mind you this class is a really good class so if you watch any of the insiders episodes, it is way better than even that because you're just getting a small taste of it not getting the real the kind of stuff you can say off screen you know all the stuff before that that you can that we talked about so you know you have to put it in the context for what you're getting what the person's actually doing, and what they can charge for because look we don't have to help you get into a festival The reason we do it we I'll tell you why we do we do it for a couple reasons one, it can help to sell your film if you get into the right festival 2 it's good for you and your career it will help you advance your career and really if you look at me specifically I mean I'm teaching Believe me I'm not teaching for the money you know I make more money doing you know circus road or doing other things that I do that I do teaching I do teaching because I really am trying to pay for night I love this business and I want to make it easier for people than it was for me basically that's kind of the same here what that's basically what it did my whole thing is like remembering like what it was like for me when I was 18 and I got out here I mean even the class the class that I teach at USC is actually the class I wish I had and then I eat it when I when I was at USC but I didn't have or they didn't have it there so there's really the impetus for all of it so yeah so anyway so so that's kind of how the fee stuff works it just depends what you get if they're doing your contracts are always going to charge the reason is because you're going to have to hire a lawyer no matter what you shoot you're gonna have to hire one I suppose you could do want to do it on your own but it wouldn't be I wouldn't advisable to do it yeah, so you're gonna pay one way or another and what we're doing is we have all that in house as opposed to just be being a you know, a pure rep without doing the contracts because the temper centers typically will have to match you up pair you up with with a lawyer and by the way when you're paying that lawyer if they're referring a lawyer they're probably getting kind of a fee kickback You don't even know about course course that's the way the system is getting paid. You just don't know about it. So with us we just happened to be very upfront about it. Well here's what it is these are the actual costs of doing this. And you know then if you get into good festival and say the Austin was obviously the Big Four like you know, talked about, let's say you get into a smaller but great festival like Austin or tell you writers cinequest will tell you for sure, but but you know, we go off into those festivals we don't charge anymore to do to do any of that, you know, but we go and you know, our advices is rock solid on all sorts of things because we've kind of been there before. But you know, these things cost.
Alex Ferrari 24:49
Yeah, there's a cost involved with it. So well thank you for explaining that a little bit more and getting your perspective on what a real producer's rep does and let everybody understand what That situation is now in your in your past you have worked with a lot of people. But specifically you had the opportunity to work with a mega movie star as a producer, Mr. Tom Cruise. What was it like working with Tom Cruise on on the level that you were working with him on?
Sebastian Twardosz 25:19
Well, that was really kind of one of the best times of my life was so amazing. I'm a I'm actually a working class kid. You know, my parents were definitely I'm an immigrant. First of all, I was born in Poland. And my dad was a machinist. My mom was a hairstylist. You know, I went to USC, on scholarship, USC, film, school, those all scholarship and stuff, thank God. But you know, but but I come from a very working class kind of area of Detroit and, you know, working for Tom Cruise. credible, I'm sure, flying around in private jets, you know, dealing with CIA, and, you know, the chairman of CIA, you know, because agent was the CO chairman of CIA. Yeah, you know, his, his publicist was the number one publicist in the business. Pat, Kingsley, Mk. And, you know, we were, you know, it was at the height of his career, he was, when I was there, it was a mission, one mission to Jerry Maguire and Eyes Wide Shut the movie he produced, which was without limits, which is, I was on set for that. So, I mean, it was eye opening. You know, in hindsight, hindsight is always a good thing, I suppose, you know, but these companies, they're small, first of all, you know, so when you have a, you know, it's the same today as it was, then, when you have a movie star, you know, you're only talking about a company of, like, 10 or so people at as many as 15, if it's big, or as little, I suppose, is like six, but it's a round number of around 10 that work at these companies and, and it is very high pressure. Because, you know, at that time, he was for sure, the biggest movie star in the world. And there's a lot of demands, and you know, there's a lot of money to be made and the choices that you make are important, you know, because everybody wants you in their movie, and a lot of people will profit from whatever choices you make. So it was I would, I would describe it as extremely a very high pressure place for sure.
Alex Ferrari 27:23
Yeah, that sounds that sounds like you've made obviously a lot of contacts along the way being in that in those kind of situations.
Sebastian Twardosz 27:29
Yeah, because everyone's calling you know, so you know, studio heads. I mean, literally chairman of studios or chairwoman of studios you know, all the heads of all the major everybody wants you because your time and what was interesting to me is you know, I would read variety or nowadays you're reading deadline Hollywood, but you know, you read like so and so was cast in the eye like Matt Damon gets this film or, or Kevin Reynolds Kevin Costner? I'm sorry, Kevin Costner gets this film or what have you Tom Hanks gets this film. And the truth of the matter is that we had seen that script and it had been offered to Tom Cruise probably six months or more before it ever got offered to anybody else and it appeared in the traits he was he would see everything like so all these announcements with all these other you know very big movie stars. Will Smith What have you we you know, these are scripts we have seen six months nine months before it was ever announced that somebody else was in it
Alex Ferrari 28:29
So you were where you were working at the top of the mountain
Sebastian Twardosz 28:32
It what's funny is it didn't feel that way when you were there because there's always you know working at these companies there's always consent you know this concentric circles and you know obviously my boss who was Tom's partner, Paula Wagner she's in the center of it and we're you know, there's rings outside of that we were close to the center but you know but yes I mean we were you know we were a Paramount's I suppose we were at the top of the mountain but I guess literally Yeah, but it doesn't it really doesn't feel that way it's just a lot of work a lot of script reading a lot of production just a lot of You're so you're working so much that you just you lose sight of the outside world innocence you actually you actually lose sight of where you are in a way because you know you still have to do the actual work and you're not you know, I'm not that I wasn't his producing partner or anything you know, I'm not the head of the studio. You know, I'm working at this company and I guess I was one of the 10 or so people core people there for a long time but you can't you do you lose you lose sight just because you're you're buried in so much work.
Alex Ferrari 29:44
Now, what they did with Eyes Wide Shut, were you involved with Eyes Wide Shut at all.
Sebastian Twardosz 29:50
No, with Stanley Kubrick is always an exception. I think. We were We were we you know, we we were not in involved with that movie. No, that was all Stanley. It was Yeah, it was all set it was going on at the same time as, you know, mission one mission to Jerry Maguire. And without limits Those were all happening around the same time. But you know, Tom, you know, actors are busy, they can do more than one thing at Tom is also a producer, they could do more, you know, they do numerous movies every year. So that was while everything else was going on.
Alex Ferrari 30:24
But I heard that. But I also heard that Stanley basically locked up Tom for what, 18 months?
Sebastian Twardosz 30:31
Um, well, that's true. But Tom was still he is a producer, you know. So although Tom may have been, you know, acting in that movie, he's still reading scripts for his next movie, you're still reading scripts of writers he wants to hire to, you know, right Mission Impossible to Yeah, he's working. Well, we were in development a mission to while so it's not like, it's not like he was only doing that there. We were an active development on mission to while he was there, he was reading and meeting with, you know, writers and directors for mission too. So that was the that was obviously the big impetus because we didn't want to just come out. And also he was producing movie, he wasn't even in without limits. And believe me, believe me every single day. He was on the phone with Paul, we were on the south Paulo. I was on the phone with him every day, every single day back then. We faxed pages to him. Even small changes every page of a script that was changed in any way was sent to him. He was overnighted back then. Video while back I was videotapes we could do now was we're talking about 1995 Sure, sure. Sure. Internet was just a baby. Yeah, we were overnighting you know, all the dailies to them. I mean, this is and we're not talking like FedEx. We're talking like private couriers to get it right to Tom, you know, on a set where he was, you know, England, Eyes Wide Shut. Everything was overnighted to him. He was incredibly involved. So basically, maybe producing sorry, producing without limits may have kept him saying maybe while he was working with um, maybe that's what it was. I mean, I don't know. You know, exactly, but, but I'm sure that that probably was a good a good thing for him to be doing while Stanley was, you know, doing 200 takes because the shooting ratio is so high 200 takes of a scene.
Alex Ferrari 32:31
Oh, we could talk about Stanley for hours. I'm a huge Kubrick fan. And that's one of my favorite Kubrick movies. Believe it or not, I love Eyes Wide Shut.
Sebastian Twardosz 32:38
Oh, I have some stories. I could tell you that because I would hear stuff. Like mind blowing. But uh, but yeah, so I'm sure the production company side the development side of all the other things Tom was doing probably kept him sane while he was doing Eyes Wide Shut. Like I said we had nothing to do with that. Sure. Sure, sure. So you know, Stanley could do his thing. Tom was in it. And I think he was very happy to be in it. But Tom has, you know, a life outside of that. And that was all the other movies we were working on.
Alex Ferrari 33:04
Now. In another interview, I heard you discuss the two paths an indie filmmaker can take when making a film The making money path and the jumpstart your career path? Can you tell us a little bit more about both of those paths?
Sebastian Twardosz 33:17
Okay, yes, it's it's, you know, this isn't like set in stone. This isn't like lanes of the highway. But yes, there seem to be two paths that I've seen for indie films. So if all you want to do is just make money. There are certain kinds of films you make in there certain kinds of things you put into those movies, and they tend to be more genre movies, or action movies or horror movies or what have you. Or you can make a pure for instance, most people don't know this, but making a pure family film is probably the best thing you could do. Like, you know, you don't know, the franchise that no one ever talks about. The most probably one of the most successful franchises out there.
Alex Ferrari 34:00
Sebastian Twardosz 34:02
No. But Close, air buds.
Alex Ferrari 34:06
Oh, God, I could imagine those air buds. Yes, they just keep going and go we can go
Sebastian Twardosz 34:11
Look who produced it originally. But if you look, it's Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
Alex Ferrari 34:16
Right! I suppose it was that was that? That was an amerimax thing that was
Sebastian Twardosz 34:21
Yes, it was a pretty or dimension or something. Yeah. Often Harvey Weinstein or the executive producers, because you know the secret in this industry. It's true. If you make like a dog movie or pure kids movie, it will make a lot of money. And so now there but movies are all owned by Disney, but that's because Disney bought Miramax Sure, sure they got it out from Miramax. But there's so many of those airborne movies anyway, if you make movies like that, it won't necessarily propel your career as a director. Because you're going to be looked at in a certain way, but you'll make a lot of money. The riskier bet is to try and propel your career as a director. And for that you pretty much have to make basically A major festival film Sundance Film south by Toronto, Tribeca. And those movies tend to be more dramas, they do have a midnight section. So you could get away with it. But they're kind of elevated movies in that sense. And they're much riskier, because making a drama. If you don't get one of the big four festivals will probably diamond financial disaster. So it's very tricky as to how to go about, about doing it. But those are the two paths. The other thing is, you know, what do people really look for in, in director clients, you know, so for writers, they're looking for your voice. And for a director, they're looking for your point of view. So they want to see, you know, how, how you direct, you know, scenes and actors and stuff. And that's the kind of stuff that goes to Sundance. So that's why you have you know, all these let me look at the Russo brothers, you know, that their first movie was actually at slam dance. Then they had a movie in Sundance, and then their careers took off. Same thing with Colin trevorrow. Sundance movie, and then, you know, Jurassic, right from a Sundance movie safety net County, which is a great little movie, by the way, it's just a little movie a character piece, not very proud. If it didn't go into Sundance, it probably wouldn't have been profitable at all.
Alex Ferrari 36:18
It didn't have any major stars, Mark duplass is the only I think, yeah.
Sebastian Twardosz 36:21
And then and then and, you know, and then he goes to Jurassic World, and this is normal. There are other examples of this. I mean, it goes way back, even, you know, Bryan Singer directed x men, you know, he did a movie called public access, which is a drama, really, it's kind of a mystery drama that went to Sundance and, and, and it was Sundance that gave him his break. So you know, you want to go for that, but it's very difficult. It's not very few movies get to go to Sundance. Um, so that's why it's a risky path. So that's why I say to people, you have to know what you want. When you start making a movie, or even Ryan Johnson, by the way, who did brick, this his first movie went to Sundance, and now he's directing Star Wars episode eight. And you know, I know kind of his whole story, his was kind of took longer to get to Star Wars, but Sundance makes a difference. So you have to know what you're doing from the onset. And what I tell people is, actually, and this goes kind of goes, goes back to producer reps again, by the way, you should not be making a feature film to make money.
Alex Ferrari 37:22
No, it's a worst worse idea.
Sebastian Twardosz 37:25
Right? And that's why this world of really good producer reps or consultants, or what have you, we all know this, and that's why we can we can charge a little bit also because we can give you the right advice. It's not about making, you know, a return on investment. It really isn't. It's about propelling your career. And that's why again, we focus on festivals a lot and that's why we focus you know, I'm getting you know, good distribution. And good distribution doesn't always make a lot of money either. But you know, but the festival thing really does matter. Because if you get into right festivals, it can really help you. And so we focus a lot on that. Um, so yeah, those two paths are interesting, but if all you want to do is make money, then yes, make a movie like air but or if you make a horror film, because you know, everybody thinks Oh, I'll just make a horror film. I'll make a lot of money. But that's not true. Because because there's a glut of horror films, but there's not a glut of air button movies. Yeah. Yeah, you have to make an either elevated horror film, or you have to give us something we just haven't seen before.
Alex Ferrari 38:29
Can you give us an example of an elevated horror film for the audience?
Sebastian Twardosz 38:32
Well I mean people will say you know saw the original saw was a Sundance movie by the way it was in Sundance
Alex Ferrari 38:40
Midnight Yeah, yeah. Blair Witch Right,
Sebastian Twardosz 38:43
Right. Blair Witch as well right? I don't know that I would call Blair Witch elevated Blair Witch was just new at the time because of the way
Alex Ferrari 38:53
It was an anomaly basically created a genre created genre.
Sebastian Twardosz 38:57
Yeah, because look, here's why you know, it's an anomaly because look at what the guys who made it have gone on to do which there hasn't been anything really major whereas the song guys Oh, yeah, careers have taken off so they were not an anomaly. They know. They've it's legal now and James one they've they've both like, done it more than once now. I mean, look at their credits. So that's how you know they're not one hit wonders, they, they know what they're doing. Yeah, but that I guess you can call an elevated just means that let me just put, this is how I phrase it. If you're going to make a horror film, just make sure this is the film. If you're only going to make one film and your entire life. You get one shot. Put as much effort, you know, into that horror film, and pretend it's the only film you'll ever ever make because actually chances are might be actually the only film you ever make. But as much effort and time into that as you would like if you were writing. I don't know Dead Poets Society or Amadeus or, or you know, Shakespeare in Love or it Any you know The Revenant? What at what? What whatever movie you think is an awesome movie that won an Oscar, you know the Birdman or what have you put as much effort into your horror movie as you would into that. And that will probably make it better. And that includes with the script, by the way, because it all does start with the script. So yeah, that's my long winded answer to like the the two paths to take
Alex Ferrari 40:24
Now with with that, which is something I kind of talked about a little bit as well is, you know, finding your voice and finding your point of view, like you pointed out, can you go a little bit more into dealing like the voice of a screenwriter and too many ways of voice or perspective of a director? Because obviously the strong the people who've all made it in this business, they all have very strong points of view, or very strong voices. I mean, Tarantino's voice is, it's like a bullhorn. You know? And you know, Scorsese, and even Spielberg and Fincher, they all have such a strong, distinct point of view, voice style. Can you talk a little bit about that? Cuz I think a lot of filmmakers that make movies today that just slap stuff together and try to copy somebody else, or have no real point of view that just kind of putting it out there just to say, Hey, I made a movie.
Sebastian Twardosz 41:16
Well, let me give you an example of voice. I'm actually because I'm, I start my one class at USC tonight, so I happen to have my syllabus, everything from I'm gonna give you an example. I will attribute this to a friend, a good friend of mine, his name is Alex liftback. And he's a screenwriter. You can look him up, he's made some rent some good movies. He's also an executive at 20th Century Fox. He's a great guy, but he said this was one of my classes. I wrote it down because I liked it so much. So here's an exact example of it. And then now we can talk about it. It'd be short. So here's here's a very good well written piece of screenplay which I'll read to you in a second. There's nothing wrong with it's well written, but it doesn't have voice and now read to you the version that that's so here we go. Ready? interior Jack's apartment night. jack is asleep on this couch. There's a knock on his front door. He stirs awake as Jane enters. Perfectly competent, well written. Sure. Fine. But it lacks voice. So here's voice ready. Interior Jack's apartment night. What a shithole. That's actually a compliment. Jack's asleep on his couch. There's a knock in his front door, he stirs awake, Jane enters, she can stop traffic, air traffic.
Alex Ferrari 42:36
Sebastian Twardosz 42:38
The difference ultimately, the differences, yes, it has taught first there's tone, there's attitude and the writing. But if you if you if you're listening to it, it's visual. You know, like he says, what a shithole instantly in your mind, you're thinking okay, he's got you know, it's apartments a show, you can picture. You know, Jane and her, they don't describe Jane, they just say she can stop traffic, air traffic. And in your mind, you whatever you, the reader, or listener thinks is the hottest woman that could walk in the room will come up in your mind. It's visual. So voice is as a couple things, as a writer, and then as a director is slightly different. But because obviously you can do your your visuals, but as a writer, it's, it's about it's about tone, and feeling you and the ability to make somebody picture something in their mind. But it's also the ability to make somebody feel ultimately your voices can you this is this entire business ultimately is can you make either the real reader feel something, or the viewer in a movie theater feel something, it's all about feelings? Really, that's all it is. And people who have a voice are a master of getting the reader to feel something. But one way of doing that is obviously getting them the picture. So you know, that that has a lot to do with voice. The other thing is don't self censor, that ultimately are no rules. Yes, you have to know how to write a good screenplay. So read a lot and I mean a lot of screenplays, but really there are no rules. So you don't have to necessarily be grammatically correct. You can say anything, never self censored. I always say in class, I mean, I mean, look at bridesmaids, you've got a you've got you know, you know you've got a fat chick taking a dump in a sink. In the I mean, okay, there's nothing, anyone, nothing you can write, the people in Hollywood will get offended by or whatever. It's like, if it's if you want to be funny than be funny. If you want to be serious, to be serious, but never self censor. And, you know, take risks, and just, you kind of want to be yourself. Be yourself in your writing. Then that's, that's what you want to be
Alex Ferrari 45:00
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. And it's I think, is a general thing as an artist, any artist anywhere in any any form is about being yourself. And also the confidence that the confidence is so good when you when like that second piece that you wrote, it took a lot more balls to write that kind of way than it did the first time. And you can call it voice, but it's also confidence because you know what a shithole? A lot of people like I'm not going to curse in a script, what am I going to, but that's not the proper way. I haven't read it like that. But you see, you already said that little voice craps into your head, but there's that then you got that guy who's just really confident just like boom, what a shithole what, or this or that. And that's that. And that's what people I think, in a lot of ways really are attracted to,
Sebastian Twardosz 45:54
I actually talk about confidence in class. So you totally nailed it. There's another word for it too, though. Confidence is the right word. But it's also it's called being in control of your story. The, it's like when you're giving a pitch to somebody, or when you're talking to somebody about what you want to make, they have to have a sense that you are in control of your story. And being in control of it means you are confident. And yes, because it's like dating, I mean, there's always analogies to dating. Yes. If you can be confident that's not cocky per se, but confident that that shows strength, and it shows that you really know your characters, you really you control the scene. And that's also what I mean by don't don't self censor, don't.
Alex Ferrari 46:40
Yeah, I know, a lot of a lot of young writers and a lot of filmmakers will censor themselves before they ever come out the gate. And I'm like, Look, other people are going to try to censor you. Why are you going to try to censor yourself before you come out the gate?
Sebastian Twardosz 46:50
Let other people do that. Because that's what happens, you know, good scripts, watered down. You know, by the way, one of the best scripts I ever read a long time ago. And anybody in the business back then will tell you this was in the mid 90s, again, was a script called East Grand Rapids. Hi, do you know what that will have never know which one was at East Grand Rapids high was I still have a draft of that, by the way.
Alex Ferrari 47:10
Oh, it's American Pie.
Sebastian Twardosz 47:11
It's American Pie.
Alex Ferrari 47:12
It's American Pie. I thought so. Yeah.
Sebastian Twardosz 47:14
Well, we read that because I was a creative executive at the time. People in the business was passing that script around. Like it was like it was butter, like it was chocolate got sold for a record amount. I remember cuz, see, everyone sees that movie, in the sense of having seen the movie, right? And it seemed the sequence which obviously aren't as good, but when you read that fresh, and there was no movies or nothing to look at, it was incredibly well written. well written and not censored, believe me at all. And it was hilarious. And you know, it just it kept hitting a nerve. I'm like, Oh, yeah, I did that. Or Yeah, that's funny. That happened to me, or somebody I knew bla bla bla, and it was not sent self censored. So I'm just, you know, go for it.
Alex Ferrari 48:02
Right. I mean, there was that movie, which I heard the script was made. I read the script. It was amazing. And it was much different than the movie was last Boy Scout. Shane Black script. Yeah. Original I was it sold for like 3.5 million back in the day or something like that. Yeah. And it was remarkable. And they changed the you know, they changed the daymond Wayne character from a wisecracking black guy to from a surfer dude, if I remember correctly in the original script, or something like that. It's stuff like that happens all the time, but at least shamed and watered down his version. He just Yeah,
Sebastian Twardosz 48:36
I don't know. I don't think Yeah, he's another one of these guys. Like if you read his scripts, it's it's awesome. By the way, there's a really good article, I think in Hollywood Reporter right now, about Shane Black, and his hay days. And he's, you know, he's coming back and he has a new movie coming out.
Alex Ferrari 48:50
I can't wait to see it, too. It looks amazing.
Sebastian Twardosz 48:52
Yeah. These guys know how to write Oh, yeah, I think there was no holds barred.
Alex Ferrari 48:56
Yeah, no question. So to go back to film festivals real quick, would you suggest that if a film if a filmmaker gets into a let's say Sundance, and they are not on track to get a let's say a distribution deal, like cuz there's I know a lot of Sundance, you know, you know, winners, that never got a deal because of the kind of tone to the movie or something along those lines, would you suggest that they they like maybe do a quick one week self distribution, you know, digital, digital streaming version of him like, Hey, you know, it's only after Sundance special only a week later. You can watch it here because all the attention is going to be on them, they'll probably never get as much attention on the film ever again. So would you leverage that?
Sebastian Twardosz 49:39
I don't know that it works. I'll tell you. Slam dance is doing that now like slam dance, will actually can actually distribute your movie for you because they're trying to make that work. Sundance hasn't quite done that yet. Tribeca is doing it, you know, because Tribeca films also distributes a little bit. It's interesting, it The real problem is that there are It's an ocean of movies now. It's all about marketing really it's about getting people's attention so I don't know that doing it on your own works I have to tell you I have never seen it I've only seen it work in very specific forms I'll tell you what they are because I have my in it's it's just it doesn't seem to work with narrative films at all it kind of works with in the non narrative space. Like there was there was a movie about like the education system that's making a fortune. Right now that's all self distributed.
Alex Ferrari 50:38
Yeah, Doc Doc's do very well with that model. I've seen many Doc's do extremely well,
Sebastian Twardosz 50:42
yeah, yeah, they seem to do better, but narratives. Not so much. I'm actually trying to find the name of the slipping my mind,
Alex Ferrari 50:50
What I mean. And from my experience, there have been films, the independent films that have done well, it's self distributed, but again, their budget levels have to be extremely low, the the audience,
Sebastian Twardosz 51:02
Remember any of them cuz I
Alex Ferrari 51:04
Camp Dakota, I remember was one that they did. That was a bunch of YouTube stars put together but they had a huge audience. So they saw they had the marketing because of the YouTubes. But that's my point. Like, there is a way to do it, but it takes a lot of work. And you've got to build up an audience and you've got to be able to leverage people's audiences to be able to sell them and so on. So if again, it depends on the budget. And if you if you make that movie for 5 million bucks, it's not gonna make money. But if you made that movie for, let's say, 100 grand, and they have 5 million followers, or the group of them have 15 million followers, you know, chances are you're going to be able to make your money back between that and
Sebastian Twardosz 51:42
By the way, I believe that's true. Although I also know the opposite. I do know some other YouTubers who have tried it, they have their very highly ranked channel in the comedy space. And they made their first feature and they got no traction. They even told me it's different. It's so interesting, because I asked him the same time like you guys have you know, 5 million people right? A lot of followers right and a lot of hits and they have some very successful YouTube series literally if I set it right now some of your mailing address right would know it i'm sure and I asked them well why they said to me Look, we even tried to fight you know, they we tried to crowdfund the movie that was one of their things but they had so many followers and it failed they didn't get that much money and they said look the peep the audience wants you know a certain thing they want their the the YouTube series you know that they've been producing they'll watch that but when it comes to because that's all free mind you but when it comes to pay putting extra money down into a crowdfunding campaign it the turnover from like fans to like oh contributors was shockingly low
Alex Ferrari 53:01
Well no the the I
Sebastian Twardosz 53:03
And the same with getting district it took them I would say a year and a half to finally get distributed and honestly I don't know that that the movie was profitable
Alex Ferrari 53:14
Well what's what's interesting is I actually had a I was talking to the head of seed and spark which is a crowdfunding website Emily and she was telling me I'm like what's the most successful when you guys have had and they said well it was this web series and they were able to generate like 100 $150,000 crowdfunding So it all depends a case by case basis it all depends on the audience yeah because if you're into like slapstick haha videos and you might have 5 million people who just like enjoy that but they're not really into that you know they're not going to put out but if you have a put out cash on a crowdfunding thing or or support your feature but there's just all depends on the personality it depends on the channel depends on the the celebrity the YouTube celebrity to you know what kind of content that is so it can be done but it is very strategic thing to do and it takes time to build up even once you have it.
Sebastian Twardosz 54:04
Right and I don't know well here's the thing The bottom line is I don't know that there is a path that if you do ABC Yeah, all the way to z that you will get the result I think it's more about that there is luck as part of it right place right time right movie, right? You know, you cannot believe me if anyone has tried to control their career in this business, you know, their path, it was me, believe me, you know, and I couldn't do it. And I know lots of people you know, it's just certain opportunities come up. Same thing with films so um, I don't think you can ever mirror anyone else's success. It's it is tough. You do have to there is like there's a direction like, you know, you have to go west. Okay. West. There's lots of different paths to go west. And yes, some people go, you know, through more, you know, Warren path, but that doesn't, you know, but there's also You know, a lot of people, it's a worn path. So predators and bad guys know people are going down that path, you might get hit on that path, you know, as a bad analogy.
Alex Ferrari 55:08
No, no, it's a good analogy. Actually, I completely understand what you're saying. Yeah, absolutely.
Sebastian Twardosz 55:12
So So it's, it's, it's, you know, you can only do what you can do, and you have to hope that you're meeting the right people along the way. And it's never the same right people every single time, but you can, you can, you know, educate yourself to the best that you can embark on it, know what you're getting into, be realistic, you know, and, and if you succeed at the end, great, try and help other people. If you don't succeed, well, you know, it's kind of like when you get knocked down, get, get back up and do it again.
Alex Ferrari 55:47
I didn't mean the, I think the best advice I've ever heard was just do the best work you can at all times. And you really won't know what because you'll plan some things out. But like anything in life, plans go out the window, and you'll meet this one person and this one person knows this other person and, and then all of a sudden, they're like, oh, I've met you at a Starbucks and oh, well, let's, you know, go let's go have the drinks. And all of a sudden, oh, hey, I love your movie. Let me give it over to my friend and who's my friend, I just happen to know, Will Smith I went to school with Well, you know what I mean? And then all of a sudden, things like that happen. It happens all the time. Yes. But you just have to put yourself in a position to be at the right place at the right time with the right project, movie idea, things like that. And I always tell people, you know, the very famous legendary mythical story of Robert Rodriguez. With a mariachi, it's, he was at the right place at the right time with the right movie. And if he shows up today, I'm not sure if he gets the action.
Sebastian Twardosz 56:46
It's right, you just have to you have to have your at bats, you just have to get out there and produce whatever it is you're producing. Like, I'm a big believer, and I think about this all the time. Because, you know, because I do all kinds of things in the business. And I haven't done all the things I've wanted to do. And I'm still very hungry for doing some of those things. But you just, you know, it's, it's about ultimately, to me, what I value the most is creators. Mm hmm. You know, so whatever it is, but you are creating something, whether it's a book, a YouTube series, a feature, or whatever you've created, it is a big deal. Yes, eventually, you could go on and make, you know, Civil War, which we were suppose are doing, but they've already announced their next film. And it's an original film that they want to do. Because they're that that's always for two filmmakers. That's always going to be there. Yes, you'll go and make the big movies because it's fun. And part of this has to be fun. But ultimately, you want to create something new that you know, because really civil, it's Stan Lee, right? It all just goes back to Stan Lee, he's the Creator. So you know, you you just, that's what I value is the people who can just create something from nothing, and put something out there for other people to enjoy. And that again, that goes back to distribution for indie films, ultimately, because you there is no one that can guarantee you will profit because look different people make a movie a different way. Like Alex, you know, you're embarking on a movie. Yes. And you know, I might embark let's say in exactly the same movie, I bet you can make that movie cheaper and better than I could the same movie because you know, all the technical stuff a lot better than I do. You know, and I think you know, the ins and outs of that better so you're going to make we can make exactly the same movie. I bet you could bring it in, let's say you know, whatever, you know, you can bring it in for a million dollars, I bring in exactly the same movie for $2 million. Right? So obviously you're gonna have a profit before I will with the exact same movie. But that happens all the time with indie films so so you know, it's not about profitability. It's about making the best movie you can make getting it into the best festivals getting people to see it to propel your career that's really what it is. If you want to just make money okay, well then go make air but you know make a lots of air buds Yeah, yeah, make everybody go go make which is completely fine movie. I actually can't you know, I have kids, I wouldn't mind making one really, really good Air Bud movie for them to enjoy. But, but you know, you're just going to be making those kinds of movies or if you just want to make b b thrillers, you can make money with B thrillers, you know, you can do that, um, but that won't necessarily elevate your career or get you an Oscar or get you, you know, you know, like the Russo brothers, you know, into the stratosphere of a career.
Alex Ferrari 59:33
Right! Exactly, exactly. Now, with that said, What do you think in your opinion has changed the most in the film distribution landscape and what stays the same? Because a lot of things have changed over the overall
Sebastian Twardosz 59:45
What's the biggest change was fine because a lot of things have actually changed the same to really the biggest changes this there's just more and more and more movies. There. You know, it's like there used to be, you know, 10s of 1000s of screenplays every year to two You know, to get through now there's 10s of 1000s of movies just right. There's so many movies. So that's, that's what's changed. What hasn't changed is I think actually distribution hasn't really changed that much. It's all the pipes are still, you know, yes, we now have the internet and all that stuff. But as you I'm sure well know Alex, you know those pipes the internet pipes are controlled by the major media companies they just are. You know what, people now instead of like, you know, when I was young we only had three channels. Okay, well, we have more channels now but really everyone's still want only watching like Netflix or HBO or whatever, still basically watching a smallish number of channels because there's only so many hours in the day, right? So you know, and that those pipes are there. I don't know what the right word is. I'm searching for the right word. But those pipes are monetized and controlled by corporations. And then DIY to my knowledge has not worked because I can't think of one that has. The only exception being that one Judd Apatow one that he produced.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:12
On a Louie ck Lucy Kay put out his stand up. concert ck is famous already. Right? That's my point, like but but for someone like him who has that audience, he's able to monetize it fairly easily. And there's been a lot of guys who've done that on the comedic on the comedy side, because they were like, Well, wait a minute, why do I have to go through Comedy Central, I could just put it out on myself. And I control everything.
Sebastian Twardosz 1:01:35
But you have to get to that level, like most of us, not at that level
Alex Ferrari 1:01:38
Sebastian Twardosz 1:01:39
So that's the thing. I'm, you know, we're really dependent on festivals, to indie filmmakers, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:01:47
It's very again, and the festival or the festival to my pitch from in my opinion is only there not only to propel and to showcase filmmakers, but in the right festival, all the eyes of the industry are on that festival. So that's why the festivals matter is because
Sebastian Twardosz 1:02:01
Yeah, it's discovering new talent.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:02
Sebastian Twardosz 1:02:03
Oh, point. That's why I put so much emphasis into helping people get into, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:02:07
One of the things for us, right, exactly. And that's, that's always the key with with, it's just getting eyeballs on your movie. And festivals are still a very, very big part of that. And if you can find other ways of getting eyes on movies, whether that be putting it on, like you know a lot of guys, right, you know, do direct a short, that's a killer short, and they put up online and it goes viral. And all of a sudden, some executives are seeing it like, Hey, you come over here and direct who's the guy?
Sebastian Twardosz 1:02:31
Yeah, you don't even have to make a feature. And I that's one of the things I'm gonna be talking about in class. A couple weeks, you know, I don't really know why make a feature, if you can make an incredibly good short, and do achieve the same results as a feature.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:47
Depends, again, it all depends on it's all case by case.
Sebastian Twardosz 1:02:50
Yes, it is case by case, I completely agree. But I'm just saying that if if what people are thinking I have to make a feature to prove that I can make a feature, that's just not true. I'll give an example right now. Wes ball who directed Maze Runner, you know, here's a special effects guy, he made a short film called ruin. That's what got him the directing job. And I can think of other people, you know, I did a whole interview with Luke Greenfield who directs comedies on the insiders. And he, he made one of the best shorts ever, no visual effects. just freaking great. I think you can find it on YouTube, I have the link to it. But just look it up. It's called the right hook. And just Google that, and maybe Luke's named Luke Greenfield, and hopefully it come up. And that's the movie is a short film that got him his first feature. And so you know, and that movies really good. You'll see, like, holy cow, is this great movie. And it's like, you know, sometimes I look at, like, when you make a feature, you're just giving yourself more time, more time to stumble and fail. Really good short film for 10 minutes. It's kind of controlled and contained environment, as opposed to 110 minutes. You know,
Alex Ferrari 1:04:01
There's I mean, there's a lot of different opinions of that. I mean, I know a lot of guys, I've you know, I've done some I've done some shorts that have done obscene amounts of business and a lot of attention and all that kind of stuff years ago. And then then I kept getting Well, you know, can you do it each? Can you direct a feature, we have to see you do a feature? And then vice versa? You know, like, I don't know, there's just so many different,
Sebastian Twardosz 1:04:23
Right! And that's where agents and managers come in. Yes, absolutely. Her team. That's like I said, you know, we're all going west high. There's a lot of different ways to get there. And we all want to get to Hollywood, right? Right. We know the endpoint. There's a lot of ways to get to Hollywood.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:41
No, there's no no question about it. Now I'll ask you one last question before I ask you my standard three last questions.
Sebastian Twardosz 1:04:48
Okay, good cuz I because I my pain medications wearing off. Okay. I was in a very bad accident this weekend. Oh, er, so I'm actually on pain medication. Okay, I feel wearing off.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:58
Alright, so I'll hurry then. What would you say to someone who loves movies and just wants to get into the business and make a living in the business? Like someone just fresh green right off the boat?
Sebastian Twardosz 1:05:10
Well, I strongly believe you have to come to Los Angeles, I believe that you have to make a lot of friends. And I believe you should help your friends. I'll just leave it at that. I mean, I could tell you the actual steps and things you should do. But it comes down to that.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:30
Those are the core those are the core things you need to do. Yeah. And when Yeah, because those friends are the ones are going to help you get your projects may get you connected to other people and you help you they help jobs, everything, everything, the whole ball of wax, and that gets you started. Alright, so what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Sebastian Twardosz 1:05:49
Grass is always greener, or seems to be, um, you look at other people and their careers or their success or whatever in life or whatever it is. Don't worry about what other people are doing. Just worry about what you're doing.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:05
Great advice. What are your three favorite films of all time? no particular order?
Sebastian Twardosz 1:06:11
Well, my favorite film of all time is at Okay, I really have one that then i would say i don't i don't put them in any order. I only have one favorite film. That's that and now I would say you know, you know it's my generation. So you know, I love Star Wars. Sure. I love you know Dead Poets Society. Toy Story, Forrest Gump. You know Raiders of Lost Ark. You know, some movies that people don't talk about much by love, like Amadeus. Love Like, this is also really phenomenal.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:45
Those are all good ones. Those are all good ones.
Sebastian Twardosz 1:06:47
Yeah. And Spielberg Lucas Spielberg generations Meccas? You know, Ready Player One?
Alex Ferrari 1:06:52
Yes. Now what? Where can people find you?
Sebastian Twardosz 1:06:57
Oh, well, I'm easy to find. Well, you can Google my name, which is hard. Sebastian Twardosz. Good luck. But you could just I guess the easiest way is just google Circus Road Films. Okay, because that takes you to our website for our company and my emails right there. Okay. Or, you know, my email is just [email protected] for you Just email Sebastian. I actually have a website Yeah, just www.SebastianTwardosz.com.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:26
I'll put that in the show. I'll put that in the show notes. And nobody needs to figure out how to spell your last name.
Sebastian Twardosz 1:07:30
Yeah. But the websites good because it has some links to all my shows. on there. Links to my classes link to my Facebook. I have a really good Facebook page. Actually, this would be great. I think it's good anyway, it's just called the insiders on Facebook. And it's got kind of like a, like a godfather like icon. The hands with the with the cross. Anyway, yeah, I'm pretty easily fundable.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:56
I'll put I'll put all those links in the show notes. Guys. Sebastian, I know you're in pain, man. So thank you so much for doing this interview. Man. I really appreciate it.
Sebastian Twardosz 1:08:04
Thank you. I really enjoyed it a lot. And by the way, your site, and all the things that you do, I think I've been nominal. Thank you, man. I mean, really good. I have to get to know you a little bit better. And I'm gonna invite you to my class that I want you to speak. Oh, thank you so much. Now I know for sure. I just want to kind of wrap my head around, like the right. Right, right place to bring you in at what you're doing is really great. So congrats.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:30
Thanks again, my friend. I appreciate it and feel better.
Sebastian Twardosz 1:08:33
Thank you. Bye!
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
- Official Site
- Savant Artists – Producers Rep
- The Insiders: YouTube Show
- Insiders: The Art & Commerce of Hollywood
- BYOD: Documentary Show
- The Right Hook
- IFH 004: What’s a Producer’s Rep and Can They Help You?