IFH 035: What Happens After You Win the SXSW Film Festival with Brant Sersen



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Have you always wonder what happens to indie filmmakers who win HUGE film festivals like the SXSW Film Festival? Well, wonder no more.

I’ve invited one of my oldest friends onto the show, Brant Sersen, the writer, and director of the SXSW Audience Award-winning film “Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story” starring Rob Corddry.

Some other films he’s directed are ReleaseSplinterheadsand Sanatorium.

Over the years I’ve heard Brant tell me all sorts of stories about his misadventures in Hollywood. So if you are expecting a “Entourage” style story you’re on the wrong website.

What I try to do with Indie Film Hustle is to give you the no-BS info, stories, and experiences you can only get by being in the heat of battle. Brant Sersen’s story is no different.

Brant shares his ups and downs on the Hollywood roller coaster, what it takes to make it as a working filmmaker and shares behind the scenes stories of working with big-name talent. Enjoy the podcast!

Here’s the trailer to Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story:

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:04
Now today, guys, we have an old friend of mine, he's probably one of my oldest friends, his name is Brant Sersen and Brant a director he's been he's he's one South by Southwest, the Audience Award for his movie blackballed and has one ton of other festivals, as well as directing other feature films at different budget ranges. And he's told me stories over the years about his adventures in the film business, so I thought it would be a wonderful idea to bring them onto the show, and have him tell you his stories of what it's really like to win a huge festival like South by Southwest when the Audience Award which is a huge honor. And what really happens to someone after that, what the realities are, you know, it's not like he all of a sudden just got tons of money thrown at him. He went off made $100 million movie and the rest is history, which is where a lot of people think happens when you went big festivals. But what he tells you the truth of what really happened to him is different adventures, and so on. So get ready for a very entertaining conversation with Director Brant Sersen. And, Brat, thank you so much for being on the show. Man. We really appreciate you taking the time out. I know you're you know, very busy, busy. big Hollywood. mover and shaker.

Brant Sersen 1:24
Yeah, big, big time East Coast guy.

Alex Ferrari 1:27
So Brant, I wanted to have

Brant Sersen 1:29
Bigtime New York indie film scene guy.

Alex Ferrari 1:30
Yeah, exactly, exactly.So Brian, I wanted to have you on the show. Because we've been we've been friends for I just did the math, getting close to 20 years. Jesus

Brant Sersen 1:37
It's insane

Alex Ferrari 1:37
It's insanity.

Brant Sersen 1:38
So you're so old Alex.

Alex Ferrari 1:39
I know, I'm so old, even though you're three months older than me, anyway. And I will never let you that I'll never let that go. So I wanted to get you on the show. Because you've lived a very, your experience through the Hollywood system, or the filmmaking experience is very unique. And I've been front row center for most of it, if not all of it, actually, because you kept, we kept talking back and forth over the years about what you're doing. And we've had our long sessions of phone calls that we had while you were going through some of these experiences. So I thought it would be really educational, to kind of break down a lot of myths and also just explain how you got started because it's a fascinating story. So I want to start by asking you, how did we meet? And how did that whole? You know, unfortunately, how did we meet?

Brant Sersen 2:11
Unfortunately, I went to the University of Miami. Now I was at the University of Miami for their film school, which was pretty decent film school back in the mid 90s, I guess. And you know, one of the requirements of the film track that I was in that I had to intern somewhere so there was a list of places that all the students were given and I guess it was called asi Yeah, right. If I film works Yeah, if I film works was one of the places on the list I I was working with someone else. Through asi being a gopher, I don't I forget the guy's name. But he had me driving all around Miami doing the war stuff. But I got to see Miami a little bit by doing that. And I basically after like a couple of weeks of being Terra gopher for this guy, and not really learning anything. I said, I'm out of here. He said, well wait a second. And he introduced me to you. And you were sort of like, I guess that you were like the vault guy. Maybe I was

Alex Ferrari 2:59
I was the dubber slash vault guys slash Mac technician for the entire company. Back in the days when Mac's you know working network together with Apple POC cables. Right so and you came in I remember you came in and you're like, Can I intern for you, man, because like, it seems like you could teach me something. I'm like, Yeah, sure. And we hit it off from that point on and I don't even remember it.

Brant Sersen 3:12
I remember he came in just to introduce me to you and I sat with you for a little bit and I saw what was going on.

Alex Ferrari 3:15
I was editing reels. Yeah, I was editing

Brant Sersen 3:16
Yes, I was like, this is where I need to be not like, you know, picking up detergent and weird stuff. Yes. supermarket. Yeah, it was crazy. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 3:22
Which is which which, by the way if you're getting into the film business that you're going to be doing that a lot of times when you first start out is gonna

Brant Sersen 3:27
But you dont have to.

Alex Ferrari 3:28
Exactly. So yeah, I was editing on a three quarter inch tape on a Sony three quarter inch from deck to deck to editing demo reel for the commercial direct. It was a commercial so we're doing commercial real estate. Which, and then yeah, I didn't I don't even remember what I taught you did? What did you learn?

Brant Sersen 3:42
You taught me how to use a three quarter deck. Alright, cuz I didn't you know, they weren't teaching that in school, you know, and betas and stuff like that. I think that we got betas like, you know, everything was you know, we were doing everything on 16. So, you know, we were in that analog world. So we, you know, it was, you know, I was learning betas and three quarters and like, just it was like, Well, what are these giant tapes? Like, what you know, what is this

Alex Ferrari 5:31
Which is like stuff that you needed to learn for, like, at the time, that was the norm that was like job skills

Brant Sersen 6:06
That was like the Yeah, the three quarter tape was like v tape to pass around your reel on, right. So yeah, so and then it was just, you know, all the dubbing machines and all that stuff. It was, you know, I was not super techie. But like, that was I felt I was sitting in like, you know, the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. It was like, it was pretty awesome. You know, like, just all the machines and stuff. And I was like, Yeah, I want to learn all this stuff.

Alex Ferrari 6:27
And I think and I think you came in, like, after maybe like, for like, three months or two months that I've had the job there. So it was like, yeah, cuz I interned I interned for the guy who had the job before for over three months, working for free every day, and just kind of like busting my butt until finally he left in the like, well, who's going to take the job. I'm like, I'll give it to Alex. He's been here for the last three months. And that's how I got the job. So enough about our dubbing times, let's get to some serious stuff. So after you left with me, you got you got a job offer, I guess, at the legendary propaganda films.

Brant Sersen 7:06
Yes. So I was living. I'm from New York, I grew up in a suburb just 30 minutes north of New York City. And when I went home, I ended up getting an internship at propaganda films, not knowing, you know, I was, I was going to film schools, I want to make movies, you know, I think I was still figuring out like, who I am and what I want to do, I, you know, my, I have to say, my mom was sort of, like, instrumental and pushing me down this road, because she saw early on that, like, you know, I was a big film, like love Star Wars and all those kinds of movies, and I was into, like, special effects. And she's like, you know, you're going to go to Hollywood and be a special effects guy, you know, so that was like, my first You know, that's why I thought I wanted to do and then you know, as you get in film school, you learn like, I'm gonna be a director, I'm gonna be running this stuff. So. So you know, I was a film guy, and I kind of knew someone that was over a propaganda through someone else. And I went there, and I interned for a week during my like Christmas vacation, just for a week. And I think that first day, I was there, interning the guy that I was, so I got an internship for propagandas in their vault. And so I was doing everything that you taught me, I used those those skills, and I brought them to New York where I excelled. I was editing on three quarter decks, you know, back to back betas. And you know, but it was for directors like Michael Bay and David Fincher and Tom Fuqua and then spec journalists and those guys yeah, little did I know that they had, you know, a little smaller company satellite films, which had spike Jones and then they had partisan that had Michel Gondry, and all of a sudden I am sitting in this place where it's like, the biggest directors,

the biggest commercial and the commercial at the time now there Yeah, biggest in the film that

Yeah, none of it made. I think David Fincher was, you know, I think he was just finishing up with Fight Club when I was there. Right. And, and he broke it. Yeah, so it was, you know, but anyway, yeah, so that I have some my first day. They were like, my boss was like, Hey, we're gonna go to this shoot. One of our directors is shooting a music video for Daft Punk. Like, who's Daft Punk, but I'll go, you know, and they're like, Oh, it's spike Jones. I'm like, Ah, what? So? Yeah, it was like, a few blocks away. We walked over and we watched spike Jones shoot a Daft Punk video and

then it's that it's the it's the one we all remember right? It's like that the dog

the dog walking around the East Village. Yeah. So if you look really closely, there's like a couple scenes where you see me like shopping for fruit in the background or like walking by with a backpack. But I was super excited because spike Jones was sort of, you know, when I really knew what I wanted to do, you know, I grew up skateboarding and unknowingly I've been you know, I was watching skate videos and there was one called mouse and one called goldfish and Who knew that spike Jones made those and it made sense because these were like the coolest, like skate videos. And then, you know, he was, you know, pretty instrumental. And you know, where I am now as far as like getting into this business because, you know, I was just sort of like a skate punk still trying to figure stuff out. And then you know, watching those videos was like, Oh, this is what I want to be doing. And then yeah, so then finding out that spike Jones was that propaganda was just like I won the lottery. So you know, now graduates, Yeah, go ahead.

Alex Ferrari 10:29
No, so so and I remember because when you got into propaganda, I was like, super excited. And I was like, Oh, and I think I visited propaganda. Yeah, I was in New York, doing some work and I got to take the tour of propaganda which was so much fun, like walking around that kind of environment. I'm like, Man, you get to work your every day. Yeah, it was super fun. And then I remember you, you were always so kind. And you would edit demo reels of David Fincher Michael Bay, Spike Jones Fuqua all the big direct and you would mail them to me on spin owns on the propaganda dime, which I appreciate and and I would get these like I still have those By the way, I still have them in in my archive somewhere relics, their relics and some of the stuff was like, you know, Michael Bay's commercials that no one's ever seen or David Fincher his early work or spike Jones like you know, I think was is a spanking

Brant Sersen 11:27
Dinosaur Jr. stuff

Alex Ferrari 11:28
Yeah, like this crazy stuff that no one will ever see. But I haven't I have it I have it on VHS so it was so cool. And I was learning a lot while you were sending me though so it was like it was it was like having a connect a pipeline into propaganda which, if you guys don't understand propaganda film was was the largest commercial music video house in the world. For a long time before they they finally there was nobody else like there was no one even close because of the staff of people. I mean, Michael Bay, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Fuqua, Michel Gondry, and the list goes on and on with these amazing directors. So, it was, it was a ton of fun. So after that, you Yeah, after that, you did that for a little while, and then you jumped over to Comedy Central,right?

Brant Sersen 12:14
Yes, sort of so like, you know, when I was at propaganda, you know, what I started doing actually, while I was in college, so I started doing a documentary. And, you know, I was I sort of discovered music for the first time down there, you know, punk rock, and I started just sort of documenting like the scene that was like around me down there because I was so enamored by it, and I loved the music and I love the people and that documentary, I worked on it for a few years while I was at propaganda and was interviewing bands and people up and down the East Coast for a couple years. Until we finished it. And you know, that was that was my first film you know, I think I did a music video for that.

Alex Ferrari 12:58
Yes, I edit it. Oh, God,

Brant Sersen 13:04
we were just talking about getting over that fun stuff. Right? I forgot about

Alex Ferrari 13:07
it was like a really like was thrash band.

Brant Sersen 13:09
It was a Miami hardcore band called brethren Bradbury. Yeah, we took over a club. I had no idea what I was doing. But I shout out 16 Yeah, the cool thing was I in college, I was in the production track of film, I switched over into the business track because I felt like what I was learning in the classroom, like that would take me a semester to learn, I could learn on like, in one day on the set of one of my friends films, so I switched over into the business track just to like, you know, see what they're saying about producing and marketing and distribution because that stuff is so important, you know, in film, and I think it's like you know, people they don't they forget that or they don't realize at the time when they're making a movie how important that part is, and it was like in one of those classes where I forget the professor's name but he said something about finding your niche and I was sitting there in the seat and I'm like, Oh my god, I know my niche. It's like, I go to these shows every every weekend watch these bands play where like they're skinheads on one side. And then these like, Cuban hardcore guys on the other end surfers and like they're fighting outside, but they're like, total bros inside and it was just a really unique scene. So I started documenting that and interviewing the bands. And one of the first bands I interviewed was blink 182 before they were anybody, and and then from there, the list grew. And, you know, I worked on for a couple years. And then, you know, we played at a film festival, the New York underground Film Festival, which was started by Todd Phillips, and we had a great screening. It was my first taste of, you know, showing a film in a theater with an audience and having to do a q&a and, you know, getting razzed, like left and right, you know, it was great, but I was hooked after that, you know, so then, you know, after that film, which was called release, one of the bands was a New York hardcore band, they sort of hired me to do their rockumentary. And so I spent a year doing that. In between working at propaganda films and Comedy Central, so that was great because I interviewed like, rancid and the mighty mighty bosstones and all these big bands at the time. And you know, and that did great. And these were two, you know, videos that were distributed worldwide through you know, independent video labels like the record labels and they did great.

Alex Ferrari 15:18
And you actually made money with them.

Brant Sersen 15:20
I made I release I made money we the first one, for sure I made it, you know, you know, paid myself back and decent not a lot of money. But no, no, sir for like a 21 year old, I was happy. Right, and then I, and then sick of it all was the band, I, they paid me to do that film. So flat, right, I ended up probably spending money out of my own pocket because they ended up cutting the budget in half while we were midway through and I had like an editor and a visual effects guy I was working with and I don't want to leave them hanging in this film was actually important to me, I was like, really emotionally invested in it. And I wanted to see it done. So I think I just like I threw an extra couple 1000 in there just to like finish it, you know, pay my guys. And then so during that time, I wrote a I wrote this script that got a little traction. Somehow I was a producer in New York, who ended up getting ICM interested, and some another producer out in LA. And it was called Jimmy the dragon. And it was a comedy about these backyard wrestlers. And you know, I just came off of these two documentaries. And now I am like, in on the phone talking to like ICM, this packaging agent. And they're talking about, you know, these million dollar budgets. And it was like, Whoa, and they're like, yeah, and we're thinking about Jenny McCarthy. And we want Jenna Jamison for this part, because she was all big time at the time. And it was like, you know what's going on? You know, we started, we started casting in New York, and I couldn't believe what was happening. I'm like, 2223 years old, and this movie's coming together. And then 911 happened, and 911 happened, and everything fell apart after that, of course, and that's so yeah, so it was just like the brakes were put on the project died, you know, everyone sort of like retreated back to where they were for a little while. And you know, one of the things that I learned during this whole thing is, you know, I didn't have anything to fall back on, I put all my eggs in one basket with this one film. And when this project fell apart, I literally had nothing because I was, you know, generating my own ideas and shooting my own stuff. You know, I wasn't in a position where people were going to hire me to direct anything, because, you know, I did a couple documentaries on bands, but like, you know, I just wasn't at that place. So that is when I took this job at Comedy Central working in their vault, basically.

Alex Ferrari 17:48
I'm responsible for your careers while you're telling me.

Brant Sersen 17:51
I don't forget. Yes, yes. So yeah. You're under your tutelage I learned. Then I yeah. And it

snowballed from there. The Oscar. Did you beta? Of course.

Yeah. Yeah. So then I got this job at Comedy Central. And after I walked in, and I said, on day one, myself, I will be here for three months tops. I just need a little cushion health health benefits. Just to like, keep me you know, the float me for a little while, why I get this, because then I had this idea that came to me like a week before I got the job. And it was like, a little movie that I thought of that I was like, I'm going to shoot this movie. I'm going to do it for no money, because that's the only way I think I could do it. And you know, I'm gonna just beer, you know, for like, no time. Sure. And, you know, I think three months turned into like, three years. But regardless, that film was blackballed. The Bobby Duke story, and that's when I thought of this idea. I partnered up with a friend of mine, who just started to manage some people in New York. And we used to go to comedy shows all the time. And, you know, we spent a lot of time at the UCB theater back in the early early days. And, you know, I told him my idea, and he's like, yeah, let's make this. Like, let's put some of my guys that I'm going to represent in this thing. And you know, it's a win win for both of us. So, you know, I would go down to the theater with them UCB theater, and we'd watch and basically I just sat in the audience and was like, Oh, I like this guy, Rob kubal. For this part, and man, Rob Riggle would be great for this part and Paul Scheer for this and john Ross Bowery for here and john, you

Alex Ferrari 19:28
had like this insane cast

Brant Sersen 19:31
blackballed because my friend Brian Steinberg, you know, he introduced me to this, this comedy scene in New York that, you know, wasn't really big yet, you know, still very small. So yeah, I was up, you know, in the way beginnings when UCB started and saw all those the pillars of UCB like just getting started. And you know, I, I kind of put together this mockumentary paint ball story, you know, and I figured coming from documentary like a nice transition into like narrative filmmaking was like a mockumentary, you know, you know, it felt it felt natural. It felt, you know, comfortable for me to try that first. So, you know, we were we were lucky that, you know, Rob Corddry signed on to play the lead character, Bobby Dukes and, you know, we filled in the casts with, you know, I could go through the list and no all and yeah, and people. And you know, and so we spent one summer every weekend shooting that movie. And, you know, not knowing what we were going to get, you know, I wrote the story, it was like, on 20 pages, and the movie was improvised, you know, a dialogue. And we just went out every weekend based on Rob core juries, his daily show schedule at the time, because I think he just got the gig. So you know, he had to do put in his time and he wasn't messing around with it. So he's like, Bran, I'll give you a Saturday and Sunday here next week, I could do give you a Sunday, the following week, I'm gonna be in Minneapolis covering this. And that's, you know, so it took a while to get that movie done. But when it did, and when we started putting it together, you know, we had something special. And I got the producer who was who set up the Jimmy the dragon movie, to take a look at basically for our rough cut of this of this film. And he was like, okay, we're on board, like, we want it on this movie. And I said, I need you because I'm not a producer. I was able to pull this thing together. But I need you now. And together. You know, we, you know, we started talking about like, you know, what are we going to do when we're like, I guess film festivals, I didn't really know much about some festivals other than that New York underground, and that was sort of like a fluke. So you know, we, he they submitted and, you know, I heard of South by Southwest, you know, I didn't know much about it. And there were some other ones I can't ever remember. And I got a call and I was like, Brent, we we got a call from South by Southwest, they want the world premiere. And it's like, okay, and you're like, like, what? South by Southwest? Yeah. So So then, you know, then it's like, well, let me see what this is all about. And then it's like, oh, uncredible so we we so we saw blackballed premiered at South by Southwest, big audience reaction. And it was one of the best, best moments of huge audience we played in the convention center. It was sold out, it was, I was sitting with caudry and shear and Owen Burke, and a couple guys from the crew. And Brendan Burke was there. And, you know, we have this he-man opening sequence that's like, you know, two, three minutes long for the credits. And after the credits ended, there was basically a standing ovation. We were like, What is going on? It was the people were clapping, we'd have corgis looking at me, like what's going on? was the most incredible experience of my life. Like, I mean, the audience in tech in Austin was like incredible. They, like everyone laughed at the right places. Every single joke hit, like everything worked it. And then it was the biggest like applause at the end of the movie. You know, the movie ended. You know, we were like on another planet. caudry runs out of the theater. I always remember this. I'm like, Where are you going? We have to go do q&a. He's like, no, I got to go to the bathroom. So I'm down there in standing in front of like, 600 people with sheer and are my editor Chris LeClair who's doesn't talk much. And I gotta like this is the first is like the biggest group of people I've ever talked to in my life. And I'm like, Where's cordrea? Like, this is what he does, you know, right? And, you know, so they, the, they start asking questions that I'm like, you know, then Corddry comes running in, he gets a huge applause and we ended up having a great q&a, you know, then we had this after party, after the whole thing. And then, you know, you start getting business cards, Hey, man, I love your movie, you know, what are you doing next? Can I interview you, you know, I got this site, hey, you know, I want to talk to you about this project, you know, that we think you'd be right for and you start getting all these people, like, you know, just kind of telling you all this stuff. And then you know, the week goes by, you know, a couple days go by, and they have the award ceremony and we're like, Let's go, you know, see what happens. And we ended up winning the Audience Award. And that was pretty incredible. And then there was a big party after the festival for that. And then the same thing, get all these people, you know, here's my card. Here's my card. Here's my card.

Alex Ferrari 24:19
So, so so the after after you got your after you won the Audience Award, you're approached by studios, producers, agents, all that kind of stuff, right?

Brant Sersen 24:29
No studios, producers? I don't any agents that I don't know. No agents, not one. Oh, no, sorry. Yes. 181 agent acted me from what agency? He had his own agency, the same name. It was like

Alex Ferrari 24:49
so I guess so.

Brant Sersen 24:50
I think we had the same name because I have an unusual name, but I think his name is Brent. That's all I remember. Okay. And so, so yeah, I just want the audience toward you know South I guess it was getting big I don't know if studios were like you know looking at their shopping you know I don't know if it was maybe a little too early maybe like some of the bigger films now let me remind you sup my cast they were nobodies besides Rob Corddry right they were nobodies no one knew who they were and we shot the this film on the Panasonic I think was the dv x 100 when they first introduced 24 p

Alex Ferrari 25:28
with not even the 100 A the 100 100

Brant Sersen 25:31
yeah 100 100 so and and my my two camera operators they were just like one of them was like a guy I worked with at Comedy Central and then another guy was just like a friend of a friend. So it was like yeah, push this red button, you know, because it's a great

Alex Ferrari 25:49
you know, it's a mockumentary so you can get away with it yeah

Brant Sersen 25:51
you know and you can get away with it but like it It didn't look it looked like an indie you know I'm saying not so so so but to go back to your saying getting I was approached by a couple couple producers mostly like journalists But no, no way no, no like big agents or studios. So

Alex Ferrari 26:13
that was one of the things I wanted to talk about about you know, a lot of people think you went to a festival like South by Southwest or Sundance or Toronto or or any of these big festivals and all of a sudden you have a golden ticket. They write you a check and they go Come this way. Here's your next $20 million movie and so on. Which is the myth it's the Cinderella story that we've all been told. But the reality is that it's not true at this point you've gotten some traction you've gotten some attention and now the real work starts for you as you continue to try to build your career after this it didn't open any it did open some doors for you right

Brant Sersen 26:51
it kind of did you know but you went to a

lot of other festivals after this I remember you telling me like Hawaii festival was really cool when you win a

festival like no no that was splinter heads well when you when you win a film festival what generally happens is like a big festival like South by Southwest you will be invited to play at other festivals you know they waive the cost they don't even like they just want your movie to play at the festival because you you just wants up by Southwest so obviously there's a reason to programming so we we played I don't know we'll be played so many festivals for maybe like the next year after South by Southwest and we want a bunch and we play we play up in Boston we played a phi we played you know all over the country everywhere and we and we want a bunch of awards and it was a real like you know festivals festival goers like love the movie and what as like you know after like maybe like six months it's like alright we're going to Atlanta now now we're going to New Orleans and now we're going down to Sarasota and now we're gonna fly back up to Woodstock and we're going here but like the one call that wasn't coming was a distributor like

yeah I was gonna ask you like I can I can I do you mind me asking you what the budget was on this

we shot senate up sorry we shot blackballed for all said and done maybe $50,000

Alex Ferrari 28:08
Okay, so at this point no one's made any money yet.

Brant Sersen 28:11
No, no one's made any money and no because we haven't made we haven't made one now There hasn't been even a talk about a sale Okay, so you know, my so my producers were working on it. And I guess the feedback that he was getting was that you don't have anyone famous in your cast. You have a studio vibe movie with a with an indie look. And the distributors and there were a couple of distributors I just take that back there were some distributors that the producers were talking to, they didn't know what to do with it. They didn't know how to market it. They didn't know they just didn't know what to do. And that's basically it like it was easy as that you don't have any famous people it looks to indie we don't know what to do with this thing. We're moving on and that's what happened even though we you know, won a ton of garnered all those awards and their audience awards to like it, you know, and it so it did great with the people but you know, but studios didn't see it make any money and they passed. So how did how did how did you finally get this thing distributed? So what we ended up doing is you know, we we did get some like straight to DVD deals that were horrible. You know, it's basically like give us your movie for free. And if you ever see money, good luck, you know, but we decided let's like Hold on tight. We know we have something special and we self distributed and you know, I no one was really doing that back then. But we sort of had like a niche audience. We had the paintball audience, right? That was like and paintball at the time. Like you could walk into a Barnes and Noble and there would be five or six paintball magazines on the shelf. So you know, paintball is actually big, you know? So we were like, Alright, we have the paintball audience and we sort of like a comedy audience because we have these, you know, these comedy guys that we're actually within that year of after premiering south by They're some of them started getting traction like jack McBrayer got on 30 rock and all sudden he was famous and Rob Porter was like oh we should put Jack's face on the cover of the DVD and then we'll sell them you know you know so we did a 12 city theatrical release in small theaters you for Walt it yeah

Alex Ferrari 30:17
we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor and now back to the show

Brant Sersen 30:29
and we hired a bunch of like interns and people to work with us and we sat in an office and we made calls to like or we got on message boards and like local comedy groups in the towns that we were playing we got in touch with paintball fields and we just set up you know we just did that way and we and we played theaters and you know we did we did 12 cities total we didn't do any we did we did actually New York played I think for like two weeks at the two boots pioneer theatre when it was still around and that was and that was great. And then after that, we shout factory a big you know, DVD distributor they wanted to do like some big unique deal with us and it was money to pay back over investors and for everyone to get paid a little bit and we took that deal and they made like a big deal with with Best Buy and you know and and you know financially we everyone got their money back which I was happy about the investors and everyone made a little bit of money but then basically that was the end of that run with that movie like that it ended up like on DVD you know and I remember Netflix and then eventually I then oh then Netflix definitely picked it up. And you know and as these guys in the film have just gotten so famous now Netflix just keeps picking it up and they pay each year or each you know each quarter or whatever it the price goes up a little more which is it's been amazing

because yeah because now there's so much traction on the stars they're huge star yeah

yeah you type in Hot Tub Time Machine, you know for Rob cordrea and then you may see a little picture of you may also like blackballed you know so so it gets a lot of planes so you know, you know so i mean blackballed as a you know i to me I mean that was my my one of the best movie making experiences of my life and you know, it's been a great calling card for me and you know, it's always it you know, it sort of became this like cult phenomenon. I you know, I take meetings and people find out you did blackballed. That was like my favorite movie and you know, I hear stories how the Patriots were watching blackballed on their tour on their bus to different games like I've heard the craziest stories about this movie. So awesome man, you can still search twitter and yeah, people are just discovering it and it still holds up you know it's just it just you know, I had a great great cast and I'm

Alex Ferrari 32:53
gonna put the trailer to all your films on on the show notes and I just actually before we start talking like let me refresh my memory and I watched the trailer to the blackballed and I'm like this that's funny as hell it was it was cool to see Rob I mean Rob 4g was so young I mean he was me 20 years ago almost one on that 2015 years ago or something like that when you did it but it was just fun to see all these guys like super young but they were still them like they have their their timing and their everything was there so I was always I was always not only proud of you for doing that you know but just I was so happy that you were you know seeing a friend of mine kind of get their stuff off the ground and then get traction and then win a big fight like you're the first friend of mine that won a huge like a huge festival and that got a movie release then everything of all the people all my filmmaker friends so it was always like man that's so much fun and then and then starts the whole journey of what happens after like okay so now so be playing blackballed and your movie splinter heads there's a gap of about four years right four or five years right

Brant Sersen 34:03
there it Oh, may I see blackballed played South by Southwest 2004 we premiered splinter heads 2009

Alex Ferrari 34:12
So yeah, five years but five years so what were you doing

Brant Sersen 34:16
between premieres but um right yeah, so I stayed at Comedy Central I was still a comedy I Comedy Central at the time wasn't owned by MTV, which was great and they gave me a leave of absence to go and edit blackballed after we finished blackballed I editing. I went back to work at Comedy Central because I still need to, you know, pay the bills, right? So I stayed, I stayed and I so then I blackballed. We went through the whole thing. I went on all the film festivals, did that for a while, and I was I was working on my other script, splinter heads, while you know, touring with blackballed and working in Comedy Central, and that one was going to be another indie film, and I was working with the same producer that I worked on, I would get blackballed with it. And he was putting together the financing he actually was able to pull the financing together because of blackballed. So as soon as splinter heads got all the financing together, I gave my notice to comedy, and I never looked back. I then I I stepped into the scary world of you know, being a freelance director

Alex Ferrari 35:20
which we could talk about that in a little bit.

Brant Sersen 35:25
Yeah. So then, yeah, then split our heads.

Alex Ferrari 35:29
So Brett, how did you get splinter heads off the ground?

Brant Sersen 35:32
I Well, my producer Darren Goldberg and Chris Marsh they took the scripts they they were doing some other films that were doing fairly well in the film festival circuit and I think that a couple small sales so they actually had some investors that were looking to get into comedy and we were able to pull together we basically Yeah, we pulled together all independent financing for that movie and and that was how we got that one off the ground

Alex Ferrari 36:02
that was a fairly larger budget than 50,000

Brant Sersen 36:05
the Oh yeah. Yeah, you know what that one was, you know, just over a million okay, but for me was you know

Alex Ferrari 36:17
wait a minute that film was over that was that film was just like a little bit over a million bucks Yeah. Oh, that looks awesome. I thought I honestly thought it was like a $5 million.

Brant Sersen 36:26
No, well, look, we're one of the first movies to shoot on the red. Oh,

Alex Ferrari 36:31
and you had a good dp

Brant Sersen 36:32
we were we were and we had a great TP and we were featured heavily on the red website

Alex Ferrari 36:37
I remember being one of the first first movies that's

Brant Sersen 36:41
Yeah, yeah that movie sort of like you know that agents Okay, so you know, so what ends up happening is that movie is I write splinter heads and then we're casting and then you know, we get all of our covering agents at all the agencies and every everyone all the agencies like love it they you know, we're getting some crazy names thrown around. And you know, so I get I get Rachel Taylor who signs on and you know, some of the you know, some of these other names were I don't want to say you know, it's a lot of names were like being thrown out and they are sorry,

Alex Ferrari 37:24
yeah, you're there.

Brant Sersen 37:25
Yeah, sorry. My phone just went mazurka. Okay.

Alex Ferrari 37:29
Alright, started up.

Brant Sersen 37:30
I'm trying to think of I am trying to figure out how to answer this question of like, how this got off the ground

Alex Ferrari 37:34
working from a micro budget movie like like blackball to go into an over million dollars movie like splinter heads. What was the experience like working because I know you told me it was a very difficult shoot for yourself. Can you elaborate a little bit more about why it was a difficult shoot and what was the experience with working on a larger budget and obviously, since it was a larger budget, you must have had less control because blackball you had complete control and you could do whatever you want it because it was you this was a little bit different. So can you explain to the audience a little bit about what your experience was like working on your fur and also your first thing right off of blackballed as well so you're still you're still you're still green, you're still wet behind the ears. Yeah, a lot of ways.

Brant Sersen 38:21
Yes. Especially Yeah, okay. Well, I think in essence they're they're exactly the same a small film and a big film it's just more people and as far as like the like the day like you know, everything is exactly the same like you're the casting the way we went about everything was the same it's just on a bigger scale. And I guess the the big thing is there's there you have more cooks in the kitchen and you have a there's a lot of like levels that you have to get through to get approvals for certain things. I mean, politics You know, this producer needs to sign off on this person's yeah politics you know, like then then investors you know, like this particular movie had one very large investor that finance a big chunk of it and part of I guess the deal that was said with it with him was you know, they had to sort of sign off on certain people and that was difficult for me because they were saying no to people that I liked and so I it was that was a very difficult thing for me because I felt like I was losing control over my vision a little bit and my vision was being taken over by other people that you know, that are that are weren't getting it. And so that were that was where my the frustrations began and continued through because I was right basically, you know, it I also learned, you know, there are certain battles, you got to just really pick your battles with certain things. And I think I was picking some of the wrong ones. And, you know, that was Yeah, that those were like some frustrations with this, you know, I was able to in the end, though I, you know, I put up a huge fight about our lead actor who ultimately went to Thomas middleditch. There were some pretty big names that were circling the roll, and I wasn't feeling them. And I, you know, I saw Thomas middleditch, at this little, this little comedy club. And as he was brilliant, and I saw him and I knew right away, that was the lead of my movie, and I need to somehow make, I have to persuade everyone, I got to do hypnosis, I got to figure something out to get these guys to like, sign off on this guy. And I dragged everyone to a comedy show that he was playing, he had no idea this was happening, by the way. And I filled the audience with like, we had like five producers, a couple investors were all sitting there. And he was brilliant, thank God. And, you know, we had an audition. And we were, that was like, the one thing that I'm like most proud of is that I was able to get Thomas middleditch, you know,

Alex Ferrari 41:14
in that role, and now he's the star of Silicon Valley, right?

Brant Sersen 41:18
And then he just so happens to go on to Silicon Valley, right?

Alex Ferrari 41:22
What do you know? What do you what do you know, I know, what do you do? So that film goes on. And obviously a bigger budget gets distribution. And you also you've also premiered it at South by Southwest and you did a bunch of other stuff with that film correct?

Brant Sersen 41:37
Yeah, so so splitter edge was fantastic shoe, I was shooting on a red camera. It was incredible. I had playback on a movie, which I didn't even know what that was, you know, that it was pretty amazing. Getting some of the gourmet like the tools, you know, I gotta say, you know, that's amazing.

on a on a million dollar budget. You it's not like you just went on to a Marvel set for 200 million bucks. You This is a million dollar budget.

Yeah, no, but you know, for me, yeah, of course. No,

Alex Ferrari 42:01

Brant Sersen 42:02
Like, yeah, that was like, Whoa, I have a giant monitor. I could see everything. And we could rewind it and look at stuff. That was it was incredible. Right. So so we finished up splinter heads. And we were asked to come and premiere at South by Southwest. And so we premiered there, and then went on and did the festival circuit, we picked up a couple awards at different festivals. And then, unfortunately, you know, that movie looked like a studio movie. I think it was a decent rom com It definitely has its fault scenarios. But you know, not not too shabby. But then the recession hit and I don't think that year 2009. I think there were like a handful of sales at Sundance that year. And I think none at South by Southwest. So it was just a horrible year for any filmmaker that premiere movie, I think, right? And that's what I remember. So, you know, we you know, we, you know, we had a digital deal. We had a DVD deal. You know, we did all you know, all those ancillary distribution deals and a couple small little international things

Alex Ferrari 43:09
in the end. Right, exactly. And then and then the movie finally make its money back. No, okay. Okay, fair enough. It. It has not okay. And that's it. It's just it was the bad timing. But yeah, so let me I was Yeah. So let me ask you a question. How was it? How was it working with Marty McFly? His mom.

Brant Sersen 43:31
Lee Thompson was fantastic. Now she was great. And, you know, that was you know, I learned a lot actually from her. Obviously, you know, she's been on a million sets. You know, she was in one of my favorite movies of all time Red Dawn. The original you know, Howard the Duck, you know, she was sharing the craziest stories about stuff but yeah, she was like a real pro. And, like, Alright, kids, get back here. We're gonna do another take, like, you know, he

Alex Ferrari 43:57
was a she was Mama. She was mama hand. Oh, she was

Brant Sersen 44:01
my mom to set for sure. But she was you know, she was amazing. And she was like, really such a hard worker. And, you know, it was a great collaboration with her.

Alex Ferrari 44:11
Sure. Awesome. So then you go from splinter heads, which was a rough experience for you creatively. And then you go to you go back to your micro budget roots with sanctorum and I remember when you called me about saying to me like yeah, I'm just gonna go off and do this horror movie and I'm like, you know, okay, I'm interested to see how it goes. So tell me a little bit about how that guy did you go back to the whole model of blackballed in the sense but just did with the horror movies.

Brant Sersen 44:39
Sorta. So yeah, so the sanatorium was kind of like a reaction to splinter heads. I was really I guess, in the dumps after splinter heads. Like I worked so hard in that movie, and I, you know, like what's up on the screen was not like my vision and was like, really depressing. And I was just thinking, if this is The way it's gonna be like, I don't want to do this, I don't want to do this anymore. And so like I went through like, there was like a little moment there where I remember I I just didn't know what I was gonna do like, what am I gonna do with my life right now because I don't like this and my director of photography on splinter heads was this guy named Michael Simmons, and Michael Simmons after splinter heads, I think basically went on and shot Paranormal Activity too. And it was after coming off a paranormal to, you know, we became good friends. He said, Brent, we should do a horror movie. And I was working with Chris Chris Gethard on the site comedy horror thing. We were like, kind of writing something. And, and, you know, I was I was thinking about it. And I'm like, you know, that would be fun. You know, I think I've never really played in that genre before. But, you know, my comedy stems from, like, practical jokes, like, practical jokes are what make me laugh the most. And, you know, I don't know, I just saw some sort of parallel with like horror and practical jokes. And like, Can I trick the audience? Can I scare them? Because I love scaring people like, and I have stupid videos of me scaring people. I have, like a whole, like, you know, right, next mixtape of that stuff, but um, I just thought, you know, yeah, I want to try this. So you know, Chris Gethard got some other gig. And I took this idea that I that we were working on, which was I took my part of it back, basically. And I teamed up with Simmons, Mike Simmons, and he said, Okay, if we're gonna do this, though, we have to do it for like, $5,000 and I'm like, You're crazy. And he's like, No, no, we got to do something as cheap as possible. So I said, perfect. You know, that's, I'm comfortable doing that. Let's do this. So, you know, I had the story all together, already put together and I went out I basically follow the blueprint of how I put together blackballed. I, I visited the same UCB theatre that you know, I spent a lot of time at I, I, I wanted to cast people that knew each other outside of comedy, you know, just they were friends I wanted you know, I wanted to get that chemistry right. So I put that movie together. We shot it for a little more than $5,000 but not much more. And we just went to one location and we shot this movie in the dead of winter.

Yeah, I saw that I saw that I saw that I saw the trailer. But wait. So how did you get that locations? Awesome. How did you get that location because that's basically your money.

Well, the one thing that everyone really needs to do in this business is relationships and keep relationships and the good thing is I I guess I'm good at that like I become friends with most people that I work with from if they were pa to location scout to a casting person, I always treat everyone with the most respect I admire what every position on every set does. And you know, I you know, because I when I was I piayed for a very short time and I was treated like like I hated the way I felt being a PA how some of these production managers were treating me and I said from that I would never treat anyone like that I would never let anyone treat anyone like that on my sets if I could control that. So you know, I think because of because of that, like you know, I've just fostered these relationships over the years with key people in different departments. So you know, when we needed a abandoned hospital I called the location scout that I knew from splitter heads and I was like Hey Tom, you know this is I'm doing this little tiny movie you know, I'm looking at this thing and he's like, and he was like Yeah, man, let me let me do this with you I'm down let's do it. You know, and it was easy as that and you know, we drove around all around all the different boroughs in New York City and outside of the city until we found this one place just just about 45 minutes north of New York City. And yeah, that's that was our location

Alex Ferrari 49:01
and I have to ask like, did they charge you because I know when I did broken that you know and I did broken that whole my whole movie was based around this one hospital which was not an abandoned hospital was an actually functioning tuberculosis hospital on the floors three four and five but floors to one and the basement were abandoned and that's why I got that cool look and and they originally were going to charge me like 500 bucks, but at the end of the whole week and a half that I was there, they were just like No, just don't pay us it's fine. So I added that $5,000 budget I'm just trying to break it down like what was the cost anything? A little bit You don't have to say numbers, but just the the cost?

Brant Sersen 49:41
Yeah, no, no, no, that that it costs Yeah, it costs something. It costs. I think same thing. 500 bucks. I think it was like, I mean, it's always great when you go you go to a place where films are not shot. You know, people like they love it. They love the excitement. So there were these There are all these abandoned buildings there, there are over 50 abandoned buildings on this property. And three of them were like in use for different reasons. And there was like, you know, someone from the town had their offices there and, and this woman's like, yeah, you can do it. This will be fun. Oh, give me something to do. You know if you guys are here, right? Oh, you know, she's like, I don't know, how long are you going to be here? We're like, three weeks. She's like, okay, 500 bucks sound good. We're like, deal, you know, because we were looking at places that wanted to charge us $10,000 a day of course, which was you know, closer to the city. So we had full rein of they gave us well, there were three safe buildings that didn't have a specialist in them that were going but we had full rein. Yeah, and you know, yeah, that's how that happened.

That's a pretty creepy movie. I mean, did you guys get creeped out in that movie in that and that's it?

Yeah, you know look, we were there. We were three weeks we were we spent most nights in there you know, Ghost Adventures. The ghost hunting show actually did an episode in one of the buildings that we used like you know, six months after we shot and they picked up some pretty crazy stuff during that show. Like Yeah, lots of a lot of craziness. A lot of crazy stuff. So yeah, who knows? You know, we definitely heard some things but like, I think you know, I don't know.

Alex Ferrari 51:21
Did you crazy? Did you jump but yeah, did you jump genres? Because from comedy to horror to kind of prove that you can kind of do that and not pigeonhole yourself into comedy?

Brant Sersen 51:34
No, you know, like there's only so much you could do with the camera with comedy. Yeah, because I did some commercials and stuff to sorry like in between films and stuff. Other comedy stuff you know, I just found like I was just you put a cat you set up your your wide or medium your close and you're kind of just providing a stage you know, for your comedians to perform on and I want to explore with something more visual because when I first got into the business I wanted to do music videos and commercials like I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Fincher and spike Jones and I felt like the stuff that I was doing I wasn't allowed to do that stuff like you don't really see any you don't see me stylized comedies you know rarely see many of them you know you rarely do and i don't know i you know i i never want to just be the comedy guy I don't know how I fell into comedy honestly. But um but I want to explore other genres and you know, and I'm not the biggest like I don't like blood and guts you know, I'll pass out with that stuff you know, but like I love scaring people and I felt like I don't know I just saw a parallel between you know, when you're doing you're setting up a scene to do a scare it was very similar to how you were setting up a joke. I don't know I just found something that was that felt familiar, but felt very different. And shooting Santorum, you know, it was found footage, you know, we you know, we shot this thing. You know, honestly, before the wave of found footage, movies, like, filled, you know, your Netflix queue, we it just took us a while to finish the movie, because everyone was working for free. So my editor was working for free. Everyone had points and that's how we did it. But his schedule was nuts. So it took us almost two years to finish that movie. And in that within that two years, like a billion found footage movies came out. And you know, and you'll see some criticism of my movie like, Oh, this is grave encounters, you know, like, oh, they're copying grave encounters. And I want to just be like, yeah, buddy, we shot this way before grave encounters. We just couldn't get it out, and, and also Lionsgate and ultimately bought the film we had, for whatever reason, we had a little bidding war, between Lionsgate and this other company, and Lionsgate got it and but then they they held on to it for like a year or so. And then we watched more of the same site type of movie come out and it's like, oh my god released the frickin movie already. You know? And then they finally did. And you know, it seems to get positive reviews. But I'll tell you what, Alex, that was like the best thing that ever happened to me because like it like I'm back now. You know, like that movie brought me back.

Alex Ferrari 54:07
No, I did. I actually just saw an interview the other day with the Guillermo del Toro. And he was talking about, it's funny that I've seen, I see a kind of a pattern with filmmakers, that they'll have their first movie that they do, which they have complete control of. It's awesome that people go crazy for it and they'd love it. And then they get offered a bigger movie, which they have a horrible time on because they have no control of and with Guillermo del Toro, it was mimic. mimic was the first studio movie he did after Kronos and Harvey Weinstein just beat the hell out of them. To the point where he almost like after after mimic, he was like you, he's like, I don't want to know how am I going to do that he was completely destroyed. And he realized that he needed to go back to what he knew. So he did Devil's backbone. But the funny thing is he was offered blade to before devils black bone. And he literally said no to new line. He said, Look, if you want me, you'll wait for me because he said that he had to get his creative juices back. Like to get as an artist as a human being he was destroyed his soul. He said, his artistic soul had been destroyed through the process of mimic. And I know a lot of that was happening happened to you now with splinter head. So yeah, sanctorum was kind of like the that kind of response to that. And then his was devil, but Devil's backbone. And then after Devil's backbone, he went right into blade two, but that at that point he got He's like, I would have never been able to make blade to like without that. So which brings us into your next project. Can you tell us a little bit about your latest project you're working on?

Brant Sersen 55:49
Yeah, I could tell you a little bit. Yes. So it only took 20 years. But I got my first I guess they call it open directing assignment. I was a, I know, after doing Santorum, I got new agents and a new manager. And there's been like a little shift in focus for what I like what I want to do and what they want to see me do. I was presented this one project who was looking for they were looking for a writer slash director. And, you know, I went up against a bunch of dudes, a bunch of other directors, and I guess I, you know, they liked my ideas. And I went through, you know, three rounds of basically pitching, interviewing, wooing, trying to convince them that my ideas are great. I got the phone call, you know, it was like, it was kind of like an amazing moment. Actually, I was like, just got home and I walked in the door, I see this Beverly Hills phone number, and I pick it up, and that's the producers. And they're like, hey, Brent, we we'd love for you to come aboard and direct this movie. And it was like, Oh, my God, like, you know, because I really liked the project. The people involved are incredible. And but yeah, an amazing moment. So yeah, it's a it's a it's a, it's a horror film. It's sort of in the vein of I guess you could call it a project x meets paranormal activity. And, you know, we're actually we're casting now, and we're gonna probably go into pre production, and then a few weeks and

then this is us. This is kind of it's a it's not a studio film, but it's a fairly large budget film.

It's a fair Yeah, this will be my biggest budget film ever. And I have some pretty big players. I could just tell you two of my executive producers are Michael Lin and Bob Shea. And the bob Shea, the bob Shea so yeah, they're they they did this little franchise called Lord of the Rings. I don't know if you're but yeah,

for everybody who doesn't know who Bob Shea is Google him. But he basically used to run New Line Cinema,

Bob's and they both did and but those guys they've produced 500 something movies together. And yeah, I think right before they sold new line, Lord of the Rings was their last film. So the way to go out a nice way to go out so now they've started this new company called unique pictures, and they're in the old new line offices. And this will be one of their first movies that they make under this banner. So yeah, pretty amazing.

That's what these guys so your it took you 20 years to be an overnight success is what you're telling me?

Oh, total overnight success. lesson is don't ever, ever give up. Don't ever give up. If you're passionate about filmmaking, just keep doing it. Don't ever ever stop. You're gonna, like, be depressed, you're gonna go through so many emotional stages, but you just got to keep pushing forward. And you know, and know that no one is ever going to help you, the only person that will help you is yourself. And you know, really like stick to your gut and like, Listen to your gut. And, you know, if you don't like an actor for a role, just say no. I wish I said no, you know, but I had to say yes, but I wish I said no, you know,

Alex Ferrari 58:58
And don't be afraid to say no, it's a lot of a lot of filmmakers who when they are giving an opportunity, they they just kind of become Yes Men, because they don't want to lose their opportunity to be in a movie set or to direct, you know, to direct the feature or anything like that. And a lot of times, they just will keep saying yes, because that's it. But the thing is that the directors who make it are the ones who have a vision, who are the ones who do have a strong personality. Like the Guillermo del Toro's of the world and the David Fincher of the world and those guys that just say, no, this is not the way it's supposed to be. And I think you learned that the hard way.

Brant Sersen 59:32
I learned the hard way. I wish I said no. A lot more times during spinnerets it probably wouldn't I would have been more satisfied with the filming. But yeah,

Alex Ferrari 59:44
So last question. This is a very difficult question I asked all of my my guests. What is your top three films of all time?

Brant Sersen 59:54
Oh, God.

Alex Ferrari 59:57
Choose no no specific order. Just go ahead.

Brant Sersen 1:00:00
too I could tell you two off the bat there's a movie Lehane there's a movie once were warriors

Alex Ferrari 1:00:07
Oh yeah once warriors it's good

Brant Sersen 1:00:11
And man the third one it's a tough one man I know it's like do you say like I don't know Ummm..

Alex Ferrari 1:00:17
Just pick one that tickles your fancy man that's it's not about you know you're not getting an award after this dont worry

Brant Sersen 1:00:25
Not like sound film snobby or anything there's just one documentary that really like influenced me a lot It was American movie.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:32
Oh, I remember American movie Yeah, that makes a lot of sense after seeing a black wall than an American movie

Brant Sersen 1:00:38
Yeah that was that was yeah that was that was like a though I you know it's kind of funny now after saying those those three movies were like big game changers for me they really changed the way that I looked at cinema. And you know, I Pulp Fiction sort of took over the spotlight of once were warriors when it came out but when I was down in Miami we got a free pass to see this movie and I went to see it and I sat there with my mouth open the whole time like yeah, New Zealand it's

Alex Ferrari 1:01:04
A New Zealand film

Brant Sersen 1:01:05
Yeah incredible you know the hain was another one that was just incredible and American movie was Yeah, that those three movies sort of like shaped me That's weird. Yeah, just Thanks Alex. This is a therapy just like yeah, just figure some stuff.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:20
So any other final words of advice to tell young or just a new independent filmmakers trying to get get their stuff off the ground?

Brant Sersen 1:01:29
Yeah, you know don't like like I said don't give up but like you got to you. Relationships are key in this business and if you don't have the relationships it's gonna be hard to do to get far because he can't do it all by herself. Now it's such a collaborative art you know, field that you know just foster those relationships keep them and and just don't ever you know, give up on you know, your dream or your idea and, and say no, every once in a while.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:00
Brant man, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to the indie film tribe by indie film hustle tribe. I really appreciate it was great catching up with you, man.

Brant Sersen 1:02:09
Thanks, Alex.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:10
It's always nice to hear other filmmakers journeys to kind of see what other people are going through so you don't feel so alone. In this crazy journey of being an artist and a filmmaker and especially when you're hearing it from an old friend. It was wonderful talking to Brent and I wish him nothing but the best and if you can definitely check out in the show notes. The trailer for Bobby Dukes are about blackballed the bobby Duke story as well as splinter heads and Centurion and you could check out the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/035. And don't forget to head over to filmmakingpodcast.com to leave us an honest review. It really helps to show out a lot. Thank you guys so much for listening. I hope you guys got a bunch of information out of that at least got inspired to go off and tell your own story. So keep that also going keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.


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Where Hollywood Comes to Talk

Oliver Stone

Oscar® Winning Writer/Director
(Platoon, Wall Street, JFK)

Edward Burns

(Brothers McMullin, She's the One)

Richard Linklater

Oscar® Nominated Writer/Director
(Boyhood, School of Rock)

Eric Roth

Oscar® Winning Screenwriter
(Forrest Gump, Dune)

Oscar® Winning Writers/Directors
(Everything, Everywhere, All At Once)

Jason Blum

(Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver)

Oscar® Nominated Producer
(Get Out, Whiplash)

Chris Moore sml

Oscar® Nominated Producer
(Good Will Hunting, American Pie)

(Menace II Society, Book of Eli)

Marta Kauffman sml

Oscar® Winning Writer/Director
(Last Samurai, Blood Diamond)

Emmy® Winning Writer & Showrunner
(Friends, Grace and Frankie)

Free Training of The Week


How to Direct Big Action Sequences on a Micro-Budget

By Gil Bettman

Join veteran director Gil Bettman as he shares the secrets to directing big budget action on a micro budget.