Matt Eskandari

IFH 613: Directing Bruce Willis’ Last Film with Matt Eskandari


Matt Eskandari immigrated to the United States as a child with his family, following the Iranian revolution. He is an alumnus of the University of Southern California, and would direct several award-winning shorts; including “The Taking” (Screamfest Award for Best Student Short). The film propelled him to nationwide exposure when he was chosen by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett; from a pool of 12,000 candidates, to participate in the Fox filmmaker competition ‘On the Lot.’

Matt would go on to make his feature directorial debut with the psychological thriller “Victim.” The controversial work was distributed by Ifc Films for theatrical release and hailed by Ain’t it Cool News as, “a thinking man’s Saw” and “both original and disturbing.” Eskandari’s next feature, “The Gauntlet,” starring international stars Bai Ling and Dustin Nguyen was produced and shot entirely in China. It was one of the first China/US co-productions recognized by the Beijing Film Bureau and after a successful worldwide festival run was distributed as “Game of Assassins” by Lionsgate Studios

Matt’s third feature, the self-contained swimming pool thriller “12 Feet Deep,” starring Tobin Bell and Alexandra Park was praised by critics as, “a tensely directed hidden gem that will leave you struggling to breathe,” and has gone on to become the single top selling title for MarVista – having amassed a record 40 million trailer views in its first months release.

Inspired by true events, sisters Bree and Jonna get trapped beneath the fiberglass cover of an Olympic sized public pool after it closes for the holiday weekend. They find themselves at the mercy of the night janitor, Clara, who sees the trapped sisters as an opportunity to solve a few problems of her own.

Coming from a unique cultural perspective and honing his directorial craft in genre films, Eskandari is ready to use his distinct voice to embark into a further exploration of human nature and delve into the relevant fears and themes of our modern day world.

His latest film is “Wire Room” and has been said that this will be Bruce Willis’ last film before his retirement.

Action legend Bruce Willis comes out with guns blazing as Shane Mueller, a Homeland Security agent who runs the Wire Room, a high-tech command center surveilling the most dangerous criminals. New recruit Justin Rosa (Kevin Dillon, “Entourage”) must monitor arms-smuggling cartel member Eddie Flynn — and keep him alive at all costs. When a SWAT team descends on Flynn’s home, Rosa breaks protocol and contacts the gangster directly to save his life. As gunmen break into the Wire Room and chaos erupts, Mueller and Rosa make a final, desperate stand against the corrupt agents and officials who seek to destroy evidence and kill them both.

Enjoy my conversation with Matt Eskandari.

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Matt Eskandari 0:00
One thing that I would tell him is, success is not a straight path. There's going to be ups and downs. It's going to be a journey. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy every step that you're on. Enjoy every film that you're making that show every little actor and collaboration and moment that you're working on.

Alex Ferrari 0:19
This episode is brought to you by the Best Selling Book, Rise of the Filmtrepreneur. How to turn your independent film into a money making business. Learn more at filmbizbook.com. I'd like to welcome the show Matt Eskandari. How you doing, Matt?

Matt Eskandari 0:33
It's a pleasure, man. Thanks for having me on. I'm a big fan of yours. And indeed, Fonasa. So look forward chatting.

Alex Ferrari 0:38
I appreciate that, man. Thank you so much, brother. It's really interesting. When I was doing my research on you, you and I have a have a connection, sir. Oh, really? We do an early old

Matt Eskandari 0:49
Date a girl ex girlfriend or something?

Alex Ferrari 0:52
Nothing. Nothing that scandalous, sir. But you and I had a we're involved with a little show called on the lot.

Matt Eskandari 1:00
Oh, you're on that.

Alex Ferrari 1:02
I wasn't on it. But I was almost on it. I went to the last edge. And apparently I wasn't scandalous enough to get on the show.

Matt Eskandari 1:15
You didn't sleep your way in like I didn't.

Alex Ferrari 1:16
I mean, I just need my way in. But I saw that up. I'm like, Oh, he was in the first two episodes. Oh, man. That's, that's crazy. That's awesome. So I want to talk to you about your experience on on the lot and a little bit because I've never spoken to anybody else. A really valid that's been on it. I've talked to I was almost on Project Greenlight. So it's actually in the first episode of season two of Project Greenlight, but I didn't make it on the full show. And same thing happened with on the on the on the lot. I flew out they did the interview. It was I mean, I was I was this close, that's fine. So and you're one of the few people who I know who are working.

Matt Eskandari 1:54
Right, exactly what happened together one of the thing I didn't get to deal with Spielberg or something like,

Alex Ferrari 2:01
Dude, that's the thing that all those shows most of the directors, not all, but most of the directors became upset, just they fell into obscurity. And I feel like there was a backlash against those directors in the business. And and before we just have to ask that question. What was your vibe after you were on that show? Since you didn't go too far. And you went to a couple, a couple

Matt Eskandari 2:21
other shows on a few episodes, and it's gonna make it too far. But, you know, I had to stay there the whole time while they were doing it, but because they didn't want us to reveal what was happening. But I was really young. This was like, right out of film school. So I was 24 I was really young. And, you know, didn't supergreen I'd never directed a feature before I just had short phones on under my, under my belt. And it was an interesting experience. It was definitely, you know, it being there. I realized it was kind of disheartening the first few weeks because you realize they weren't actually looking for the best filmmaker, they were looking for the most drama or whatever. And I was like, like, why are you guys wasting everybody's time here to make it like, I get you want to make an entertaining show. But you know, this should all just like, this should be like American Idol. You're trying to find the best singer, the best director, the best filmmaker, like why are we why are we here? If it's just if it's just to create, like, interesting drama or backstories of characters, and somebody was just kind of disheartening. But, you know, I did meet some people on that, that didn't make it to win either. And I stayed in touch with some of them, like I had them as Facebook friends for a while. And it was, for me, the the positive that I was able to take away from it was it was sort of a stamp of approval for myself from my own sort of ego at the time to be like, Okay, I'm, I'm not completely incompetent, if I've been able to make it on this thing. And, you know, I might know, a thing or two about making films if I made it this far. So maybe I should keep going and not give up on the dream. You know what I mean? So I think that was a huge positive for me to come out of it knowing that okay, this was like a nice kick in the butt. Let me keep going and see how far I can get.

Alex Ferrari 4:04
That's awesome. Because I mean, it was I thought I was I was so devastated when I didn't make it like I flew myself out to Atlanta to take a pic the interview. It was all Dude, it was. And then afterwards after I watched the show, I'm like,

Matt Eskandari 4:19
oh, dodged the bullet. Yeah, that's that's fine. Filmmakers on there, too, like Michael Bay, and

Alex Ferrari 4:29
Oh, no. Yeah. I mean, it was serious. They had some serious but there's the guy who made survivor so you could I mean, what are you going to expect? And by the way, the only reason I submitted it was because Spielberg was on it. He was the one that could be the only reason I haven't submitted to it. But funny side note, Hi, Chris. More on the show. Years later, like I had him earlier this year. first words out of my mouth. Roger Greenlight, man, why don't I get into second season, bro? Like so the first question I ask. And he's like, Man, I don't know what happened. But

Matt Eskandari 5:03
Back in the day, it was the first season or something. I mean, I didn't get that.

Alex Ferrari 5:08
It brought me perhaps a green light though that was that was entertaining as hell. And you could after the first season, you was like, come on. Why? Why did they get this guy million dollars? I mean, the shooting sound underneath a train, like?

Matt Eskandari 5:23
Like, at least that was a real filmmaking show.

Alex Ferrari 5:26
I guess it was something. Yeah. Is that is that American Idol? At least it was a real show. Right? But anyway, but I just wanted to touch on that, because it's brothers in arms. Reality Show brother in arms. So so after that experience, man, how did you kind of get into the business? How did you start? Start building your career?

Matt Eskandari 5:47
You know, looking back, it was definitely it was a process, right? I mean, after after not making very far on that show. I just continued on the path that I was doing, which was writing scripts, shooting shorts, trying to build connections, getting my name out there as much as possible. And this was it was this is a different time, obviously. So there was a, you know, the industry was different that filmed it independent filmmaking scene was a little bit different back then. But the 2000 10s are around then. But basically, I was able to get financing for a feature film. It was like a horror film called victim. And we shot it in 20 days was independent was shot on 35 millimeter, which is crazy to think of now, a double be shot on 35 millimeter, we only raised like, 700 grand, but we certainly raised 700 grand, this was back when there was a DVD market. So you know, you could guarantee that they would make their money back if it was a genre movie, and this and that. So so, you know, I made that movie. It opened a couple doors. But you know, it was able to do get another independent film off the ground, this film called The Gauntlet. And we did that in China shows up to shoot a movie in China. And then it was what was that? Like, by the way? That was an interesting experience. I was still young in my career. I was like, 2627, and being in a foreign country. And the movie, we raised a lot more for that one. So there was we were building these massive sets. And, you know, I had a translator on set all the time to communicate everything to the crew and everything. And so it was it was a challenging process. But the toughest aspect was when we were young filmmakers, right? And we made the mistake of we were like, Oh, we got enough money to shoot this movie. We'll worry about posts, like the money for post afterward. Like, let's just shoot this movie. So we shot the movie, we got in the cab, and we came back and we couldn't we couldn't raise financing for posts. We were like, stuck. We're like, how the hell are we gonna finish this movie now? So it literally took us and then we couldn't get the footage out of the country. So it took us a couple years to get the footage out of the country. It was insane. I mean, my filmmaking career was stalled, basically, because I couldn't see the last movie that I was on. It was it was a step back for me. It took me back a bit. And you know, it really disheartened me. And I was like, oh, man, I like independent filmmaking.

Alex Ferrari 8:00
So I got to ask him, How the hell did you keep going? Because that's, that's depressing. Like, it's depressing. Just to get to make a movie like, you like us. It's hard to even get the money to make a movie, and how to keep going. You've made a movie, it's in the can. And you can't literally even see the footage because it's in another country. Yeah, for 20 years. How did you keep going?

Matt Eskandari 8:21
It gets worse, because so we get the footage out of the country, right? What percent of it is damaged? This was this was the first time people started shooting on digital. And we use something called the Viper film camera. I

Alex Ferrari 8:34
remember the Viper. Yeah. Michael man shot collateral with it. But you didn't have Michael Mann budget.

Matt Eskandari 8:40
Exactly. So I guess we were cutting corners using a cheap hard drive. I don't know what happened. 20% of the footage was gone, right? And I was like, we can't finish the movie. Now. This is crazy. So then I had to go back to the producers. And we had to find backup footage that we oppressed to HD to be able to cut the movie to get like proxy, like proxy proxy stuff. Yeah, we had to appraise proxy footage to cut into the movie. And then what was crazy is it had been now like three years since we shot the movie, right? So we couldn't do pick up shoots because the actors looked all different. And and it was it was it was a it was a pain in the butt. So then, so then I'm just finishing the movie. I'm just like, I just want this to be over with done with this movie like and I just wanted to get it out there and I'm ready for my next movie. Next thing and I had this delusional thought in my mind that oh, this is going to open up so many doors and and this was such a cool movie that once we get it out there and by the time the movie was released and got out there and this and that. He got into some film festivals, but it didn't get into the into Sundance and getting the like really big film festivals, right. So I was like, oh, man, this is basically didn't open up any doors that hadn't been opened and I was like super disheartened by that. I was like, What the hell man? So I'm back to square one again. Sort of, I'm having to rebuild my career. scratch. So then now I'm back to writing I'm writing scripts and trying to scripts made. I didn't even have a manager at the time, I had no manager no reps at all. That was just going to film festivals and going to little things and like chatting with people chatting with producers and saying, like, Hey, I just shot this movie in China, you want check it out. And everyone was like, Oh, that's cool. Like, what are you doing? Next? We got next. And every time I would pitch them stuff. It was always like fake budget, like, oh, I want to just like matrix action, sci fi, this and that. And everyone's like, whoa, okay, well, what have you done? And I'm like, I've done like two movies. And so it was, so it was, it was tough, right? And then finally, I was like, you know, this has been a few years now and directed a movie, if maybe four years or five years almost had been five years. And I was like, oh, man, I need to just shoot something I need to get back on set. I'm just, I'm just, I don't even know if I like directing anymore. Like, just get back on sentence and find joy. So then I started thinking of like, what's a movie that I can just shoot? contained? It's just one location. And I just seen that when we buried that. Yeah. So I was like, Okay, if you can shoot a movie in a coffin, and make it interesting, I'm sure I couldn't find a location that'll work for 90 minutes, I can make interesting. So I started like, doing the research coming up with stuff. And then I found this story about these drunk people to get stuck in a swimming pool when the cover closes in on them. And they're stuck all night in the pool. Right? So I was like, wow, that's, that's a cool concepts. So that before, so I was like, let me do a contain thriller. And you know, I just worst case scenario, I'll shoot this in my backyard pool with like, some actor friends, and we'll shoot it for like, 20 grand or something, right? That was my backup plan. And we'll get into like slam dance or something, right? It'd be like a really character driven piece or whatever. And just just in my kind of going around meeting with people, I found this producer who was like, oh, yeah, I'm a sort of couple places. Let me read the script. If I liked it, I'll see if I get finance. So as I was getting ready to just shoot it myself, and my back, literally, like, in my back, there was an actor's, I get a call from the producer. And he's like, Oh, we got the financing for the phone. You know, can you shoot it for like, 700, grand, 800, grand or whatever. And I was like, hell yeah, that sounds good to me, I'll make it work. So basically, I was able to get back on set, kind of get my directing gear back in and, you know, just get back in the process, the filmmaking process. And that movie, it was tough to shoot, obviously, on the water. We had, like 1718 days, but it turned out really well, right. I mean, that one finally opened up some doors again, and was able to jumpstart my career, which had basically been flagging.

Alex Ferrari 12:41
So let me ask you, what did you do in those five years, man? Like, that's duck the dead zone of like, how did you keep going? How did you keep alive? How did you feed yourself?

Matt Eskandari 12:52
For being you know, I would take up stripping this database,

Alex Ferrari 12:55
you to YouTube, man, you know, I was young, I needed the money. Come on.

Matt Eskandari 13:01
You know, I mean, it was tough man. It was it was it was a tough period there were, you know, a couple things would get auctioned, and then didn't go anywhere. Yeah. Like I was living. My parents went back with my parents again, you know, it was like, this is this is pretty shameful, or whatever, you know. So my parents and training trying to get by and, you know, and then I was telling myself, okay, this is, you know, this year will be the year you know, I'll finally get some billing this year, I'll get a paycheck and I'll be able to move out or whatever. But, you know, it was it was it was disheartening. It's definitely, you know, disheartening, but I'm just one of those people that have always been very persistent, very dogged headed, and I just won't give up. You know what I mean, people told me no, and I'm just like, that's cool. That's your problem. You just don't You don't understand, like, how badass This is, to me. So I just take it from that perspective. And I think it comes to my immigrant background. Because, you know, you know, I don't know if you know, like, immigrant, we have this immigrant mentality where we come into this, and we're like, I'm here for the opportunity, man, just get out of my way. Like, you know, I'm gonna get shit done, because I appreciate the opportunities that are in front of me, and I'll just keep going, you know?

Alex Ferrari 14:08
I listen, man, I agree with you. 100%. I come from an immigrant family as well. And I just saw I learned I mean, you know, to store my grandpa shows up at 55 with doesn't know the language starts completely from scratch after losing his entire fortune and businesses and everything guilt built in Cuba. And because Castro came over and just took everything he had to rebuild from scratch, and like that kind of you see that? You see and you see that? So that's kind of why I definitely credit him. And my mom and my family, just they always all hustle to hustle, hustle. I mean, I mean, zooming that's branded everywhere. I lived the brand. I lived, it's always hustling. So yeah, there is that that persistence that you need to have. And that's why I always love asking those questions because those dark that dark time is the time that makes or breaks you Oops, can you can you survive this? It's easy when you're on set that's easy to survive. Yeah, there's problems on set and all that stuff. But the five years where after year one, you're like next, this is the year, year two, nine, this is a year, year three. This is this is where the this is what the mentality is, like, Am I insane? Right. And you at least have done some stuff. There's people who you're 10 this is the year and they've never done anything. Yeah. And they still going and then unable to do something later. But it's,

Matt Eskandari 15:32
it's it's really what it comes down to. And it's interesting, because yeah, like early on in my career, like I was on the on the law, I had an agent, right out of film school. So I had like this early taste of success. And then I did an indie movie. I was like, 24. And I was like, Hey, I just did an indie movie. I just directed a movie on 35. This is cool. And then to have to spend the next five years not doing anything was tough, right? Because I'd already had a taste of what like I literally gone to steel meetings to direct like big budget movies on like my agent was getting and I was like 23 at a time. And I still remember, like some big name producers, Emirates, like huge producers, but like, how old are you kid and I'm like, 22 and they're like, you direct anything like yes, in shorts. And to go from that to like, not doing move for five years. I was like, it was tough, but it gave me that, like hardheadedness, that persistence that you're like, Okay, if it was in the room once I can get in the room again, man, just just keep busting your ass and getting the

Alex Ferrari 16:28
room again. And I'm, and I'm sure when you were 2223 taking all those meetings, your ego was in check. Obviously, we're very humble about the entire experience.

Matt Eskandari 16:35
I was I was like, Man, I'm the next like Spielberg.

Alex Ferrari 16:41
Everyone says that, like, I'm the next Tarantino baby. I'm

Matt Eskandari 16:45
coming out. Like, oh, man, like I still remember on the lot. They were trying to pigeonhole me as like, the next day, like somebody was like, Oh, you remind me of like the next Tarantino like really?

Alex Ferrari 16:56
If you say so. It must be true. Just start dressing

Matt Eskandari 16:59
like Tarantino and

Alex Ferrari 17:02
start cursing more and, and I don't know, listening to like surf music? I don't know. Yeah, exactly. It's fascinating. Yeah, it's similar to me, I had a little bit of success at the beginning. And excuse me, and then you're like, in a desert. You're basically on a walkabout, you're in the Australian outback for five years, figuring yourself out, doing some sweat, lodging stuff, you know, like, kind of trying to trying to figure things out until finally you just get something going. But it's so important for filmmakers, especially young filmmakers coming up, or new filmmakers coming up to hear these kinds of stories. So they understand this is not going to happen overnight, even with

Matt Eskandari 17:43
people that are super lucky. And you come right in film school, they get a deal with the studio. Next thing, you know, they're directing a fucking Marvel movie or whatever, you know, there's that. But then again, there are people that win the lottery too. And those people are lucky, you know, sometimes you just, it's a one in a million thing. And you can't use that person's career as, okay, that's what I'm gonna follow, right? Because nine times out of 10 You're not going to jump out of film school on how to deal with Paramount and direct the movie, you know, with Colin Farrell, or something you don't I mean,

Alex Ferrari 18:14
it's just so So you mean to tell me that you're not going to make a movie called El Mariachi $7,000. And then 23 Start working in the studio system and then have Final Cut a film or two later, and then just live the rest of your career, doing whatever you want making as many movies as you want, on any budget you want, whenever you want.

Matt Eskandari 18:32
I mean, hey, man, that'd be cool. Yeah, hey, some people get it, they win the lottery. And it's

Alex Ferrari 18:37
and God bless Robert for being able to do that, by the way, but he's an anomaly but so was Spielberg so it was you know, so it was Lucas like all of them had these these they were moments in time that and trust me, I don't know about you, but I studied every directors career path. And when I was coming up in the 90s, I was in a video store when Robert showed up. And when like when Robert like his his El Mariachi legend began then I mean, Rick was first read click letter, then him and Spike Lee, Brothers McMullen, clerks, it just list goes on and on. And during the 90s was every five minutes there was a new lottery ticket that we were all like, yeah. You know, like, Ed Burns was a PA on Entertainment Tonight handed a VHS of a jacked up version of brothers MC voluntad Robert Redford in an elevator. And four months later, Robert, that Sundance office calls and was like, Hey, Robert saw your movie. Is it done? We'd like to, we'd like to screen it. Like, come on. Like, how can you? How can you go down that road?

Matt Eskandari 19:46
Yeah, it's hard to replicate that you know what I mean? Like, look at that story and be like, let me try to do that. You know, it's challenging.

Alex Ferrari 19:53
So, so you've worked with a lot of legendary and and really established actors. I always love Asking this question, how do you work with? How do you approach directing some of these very established actors who have been acting forever? And they're just they know what they're doing? You know, how do you like, so? Can yet yeah, I can I you know, I love what you did there, but can you just how do you approach that situation?

Matt Eskandari 20:21
Like the first time I got to oh, I've worked with some amazing actors 100% Bruce was obviously Bruce Willis was one where Sure, no, it's like one of those things. Like, if you look at his filmography, you're like, Okay, he's worked with Tarantino and Michael Bay, and all these like a list, like directors who I look up to, and I'm like, how, like, for some I was with them, or like, how am I gonna give them direction? Like, I'm not fucking Terry, like, what the hell? So you have, you can't psych yourself out thinking of that, right? So then I started doing the research, I looked into, like, interviews with Bruce, that he did, like, behind the scenes stuff from the 90s, the 2000s, or whatever. And I noticed because I heard some other stories like, Oh, he's tough to work with this, and that, you know, Kevin Smith, blah, blah, blah. I was like, man, like, I want to read about him, I want to know who he is. So I listened to some of the interviews, and I noticed that Bruce was one of those actors that he would, he would talk about how, like M knight would be very specific about what he wanted, what he was wearing this character and the shoes and this and that, and the color and the lighting, and this and that. And so it really isn't okay, so Bruce is one of those guys, he wants the director to, to basically come in with a strong vision, and to talk him through it. And he'll do his job, right. And he just wants to trust that you have something you're trying to tell right. And as long as you go in there with a strong vision, and like confidence, he'll trust you. Right. So that was one of those first things I noticed. So I went in there, trying not to be intimidated. I just want him to the first time I met him, I was like, hey, Bruce, how's it going? And he's like, he was really chilled. He's like, Hey, what's going on? Brother? How's it going? We were like, John, it was trailer. And I started talking about his character whose character is and this and that. And he's like, and then I was like, and I tried to get his thoughts on on the character. And he came back to do some interesting stuff. And I was like, Okay, this is cool. This boy like this. So we were vibing going back and forth. And, and then he's like, I want to try something on this scene. And I was like, and it's Bruce Willis. Once price on the lavatory, something. Yeah. So like, Yeah, let's have fun with it. So he shows up on his first tape. And he does something really crazy. Like he was like, like, it was not in the script at all, like certain

Alex Ferrari 22:25
Nic Cage, Nic Cage style, the cake shop.

Matt Eskandari 22:28
Excuse me, sir, screaming at the other actor, and the other actor wasn't expecting it. And I was like, holy shit. Like, he was like, react ram and the other actor, like, you're a disappointment with, like, what he was like. And I was like, watching this on the monitor. I was like, fucking love it, man. This is like crazy, but I love it. And the other actor was like, ah, shocked and stuff. And so I went to Bruce, he's like, so what do you think? And I was like, That was that was interesting, Bruce, you know, I like a lot, you know, let's try one, like, the more subdued while we like, I tried to talk, he's like, he's cool. You want to try something, right. And you just want to have fun and try something. And then from there, I was able to, like, I saw what he brought to the table. And you know, how he likes to play and have fun. And he'll sometimes add live food additives and stuff. So it's, it's interesting, I feel like with every actor, they're so different. One of your jobs as a director is to, to understand how they work, right. And to change your directing style based on the chapter that's really your job is you're a leader on set. And you're working with these different collaborators who work differently, right? Some actor, you know, they, they're very insecure, and they want you to talk them through the scenes and, you know, other actors, they don't want to over rehearse, they just want to jump in there and try it and see how it feels. And every actor has their own style. But one of the things as a director and you only get this through experience, right? You work with them, you talk with them, you go through the scenes, and you develop your own certain style. And for me, you know, some directors, they love, like, you know, that high energy or whatever for me on set, I'm very silicate, I'm attracted to calm, cool. Competence said, I don't yell. You know, even if somebody breaks something, I don't freak out. You know, the crew member like, you just, I just don't want the set to feel like it's stressful, right? Even though stressful stuff is happening. We all know several stuff is happening. But I try to keep it very stoic mentality so that the actors feel like they have that room to play and have fun. And trust that I'm controlling things right. Otherwise, if they see me run around and stressed out, they're gonna be like, Oh, shit, I don't know what's going on, like what's going on? So that's, that's one of the things that I feel like super key

Alex Ferrari 24:36
is I had a friend of mine who was working with John Malkovich once and first day he walked up to John and did similar things like hey, how you doing? Let's talk about the characters like and then he literally asked him like, John, how do you like to be directed? And John goes, You know what, thank you for asking, you know, and this is kind of my process and this I want to do it and they got like they got along like peas and carrots after To that, because imagine if you're if you're trying to direct somebody with a strong vision of the character, and they're like, No, I'm more method leave me alone and let's it's rough. So working with someone like a John Malkovich. That's not a not a dumb way to approach the situation.

Matt Eskandari 25:19
No, that's, that's actually brilliant, you know, you just walk up to and be like, how do you like doing? How do you like working? You know, it's, it's our first time working together. I want to build like a good collaboration. What's your style? Like? How do you like, and I could definitely see an actor responding positively, positively to that. So that's a cool, it's cool to that.

Alex Ferrari 25:37
Now is there if you had the opportunity man to go back in time, and talk to little Maddie? When he was just coming out, and just started to get into this business? What would be the one thing you would tell him and go, Man, this is gonna be a five year rundown is gonna suck, but just keep going. I know that that's the first thing you're gonna say. Well, what would you what would be something that you wish you would have been told at the beginning of your journey?

Matt Eskandari 26:06
That's a great question. I feel like the one thing I would tell him is, success is not a straight path. There's going to be ups and downs. It's going to be a journey. Enjoy the journey, enjoy every step that you're on, enjoy every film that you're making that show every little actor and collaboration and moment that you're working on set, because it's just a, you can't really look into the future and figure out exactly where you'll be right. So just enjoy those moments. While they're there. I mean, looking back on some of the little short films that I made, the DP that I worked with the front thing to even the moments that we created, and the actors and it's just like, those are the things that you'll remember later on, right? I mean, trying to obsess over being super successful is cool, but at the same time, it's gotta gotta enjoy the moments when you're there.

Alex Ferrari 26:57
Enjoy the journey. And don't worry about the destination so much, basically. Now, a lot of times when we're starting out, especially when you're working on some of these bigger sets, and it's like you were you actually had the opportunity to direct a couple movies when you were younger, I got to believe that a certain point, you ran into some, some resistance on set, let's say, from a crew member from an actor, how do you what any advice for filmmakers who have to deal with a difficult actor or a difficult crew member a DP was like, Nah, I'm not going to shoot the way you do it? Because I'm 30 years older than you and I work with Coppola. What are you going to tell me? Like that kind of attitude, which I've had that conversation on set, which is like, Okay, well, let's see, let's see what happens. So how would you how would you approach that situation?

Matt Eskandari 27:44
You know, I've had something similar. I remember my first film, or extraction. So this isn't exactly

Alex Ferrari 27:50
I know that the first film, early film, sir, early films, short, short, it was a short,

Matt Eskandari 27:56
it was very, there was a scenario where a producer came up to me and he's like, Why are you shooting the scene? Like this zoom lens? Like, why he was questioning? Why are we shooting a scene in a certain way? And, and I blew up on him right now. It was like, I'm the director. I used to like, it was one of those like, very bizarre, like ego moments, you know,

Alex Ferrari 28:16
but then the demonic will come out with a bullhorn did you

Matt Eskandari 28:20
came out, it was thrown on the ground. And, you know, that's not you know, and I burned that bridge hard, right? I was like, eff off and this and that. And I was like, young kid that right? But, but my ego was bruised. So I took it personally. And years later, looking back, like that, pretty. That person is very producer's very successful now and doing really well. And, you know, and it was, it wasn't even a big deal. You know, it was one of those things today, I probably would have been like, oh, yeah, for sure. Man. Like, I would have just taken him to the side and, and had a conversation together and been like, oh, what's the reasoning behind Okay, I'll think of that. Okay, I like that idea. Cool. I would have taken it from that perspective and then just shut it down in that way. Rather than turning into a scene and then from there you know, ruining a bridge and like burning a bridge right? So it's, it's just like those things that you do as a as an up and coming filmmaker, sometimes. You kind of learn from it. That was a was a dumb thing to do. But what do you do? Young?

Alex Ferrari 29:22
A young ego. You know, it's so funny. As a young filmmaker, you need ego. You need healthy. You need a healthy ego and a dose of insanity to even attempt to walk the path. Yeah, for sure. Because it's insane. This isn't your we're carnies man. We're, we're running away with the circus. That's what we are. I mean, this is an insane business to be in. And you have to be insane to believe. I was having this conversation with director the other day, and I go, you've got to be insane and the amount of ego and hubris you must have to talk to someone to go I need $3 million dollars from you to help me facilitate my dream, right? And my vision, and I truly don't give a crap if it makes money or not because it's my art. That conversation has happened multiple times, right?

Matt Eskandari 30:15
It's sometimes it's, you know, you're on set and you're like, hey, this is a $7 million movie, whatever. And it's like, all these decisions are landing on me now. And, I mean, one dumb mistake, and everybody's trusting me, you know, and, and everybody's trusting me to do the right thing. But sometimes I question myself and like, do I, how do I shoot this scene? Like, you know, you have those moments of doubt. And being able to not like, you're gonna be able to have that ego and craziness, like you said, to trust yourself? And say, like, you know what, yeah, let's, we're gonna do this thing this way. In the back of your mind. You're like, Dude, this is like a seminar move. I have to stop like, I'm in trouble, man, but you got to trust yourself. Right?

Alex Ferrari 30:52
Okay, so can you imagine that film students who got the shot that do the Marvel movie? Yeah. How? Can you imagine the pressure?

Matt Eskandari 31:03
Oh, yeah. I mean, in those instances, those people are so kind of catered and taken care of. But,

Alex Ferrari 31:10
I mean, it's a machine. It's a machine. I

Matt Eskandari 31:11
heard they don't shoot a lot of their action. I heard a lot of that stuff is there just like Marvel's like, Oh, don't worry about the action, we're going to shoot that and the directors like what I'd like to be on set for that, if possible.

Alex Ferrari 31:21
Unless you're Sam Raimi? And then they Yes, Mr. Ramey, whatever you'd like to do. So that's another really interesting point. How do you deal with the stress of working on these big movies because, you know, in the scope of independent film, 7 million, 10 million, that's, that's a lot of frickin money. You know, it's not studio money. But it's still in the independent world, you're on the upper echelons working with obviously, people like Bruce, and Kevin, unlike a new movie wire room, that these are upper echelon actors. So there's a stress and a responsibility on your shoulders that if you if you screw this up, you might not get another shot. And I'm imagining that's on your head, I don't mean to like throw you on the edge of on the edge here. You're just gonna jump off the bridge now. But like, you know, Alex, you're right, I can't direct anymore. But there is amount of stress that you have to deal with. How do you process that as a director, and so be creative?

Matt Eskandari 32:19
I remember reading the same like years ago that directors actually have or life expectancy is not very high and I can see why. But the DGA I think they like to do it at the DGA statistics. It's not it's not fun that I'm like, Whoa, okay, that's not that's not cool. But But yeah, the stress the day to day stress, like I said, the way I've learned to deal with that is still in flux who tried to steal the value, right? I mean, just don't let the emotions overtake the moment and just be in the moment. And whether it's something really cool that happens, or whether it's something devastating. And a lot of things do happen sometimes like, Oh, we're shooting at this house tomorrow. Guess what, Matt? You just lost the house location. You know, I could pick up a camera and slam it on the ground and lose my shit. But what does that gonna accomplish? Right? instead? I'm like, Okay, look at it, like, like Kubrick used to look at it like a chess game. Right? Okay, let's get to like a chess game. Okay, that piece got moved here. Interesting. Okay, so now how can we address this? Okay, so how do we address this problem? Or how do I make this next move? Or how do I get another piece back or something. So you have to really, over time build that sort of stoic philosophy, at least for me, I felt like that has helped me survive big G's independent films, even though they're a $10 million budget, whatever. There's a lot of stress. There's a lot of time constraints schedule constraints. On the Bruce movies, particularly, sometimes Bruce shows up, he's only there for two days, and you have to shoot 20 pages a day. So and it's guaranteed by the distributor, he has to be in 20 pages of a movie otherwise, yeah. Basically, someone's getting sued. So you know, so you have to make sure that the schedule is purely well, really tight, tight, like a screw. And if things fall apart, you got to be able to adjust right in the moment, right. And Bruce isn't feeling something, okay. He's not feeling doing this. Okay, let's, let's switch it up, man. He doesn't need to do that anymore. Let's figure something else out. I mean, that's just the way it is. Right? So you have to be able to be flexible and kind of roll with the punches as well.

Alex Ferrari 34:28
So as a director, we always go through that day. That is, you feel like the entire world's coming crashing down around you. Use location camera doesn't work, actors not showing up. Something happens. And you're like, oh my god, how am I going to make the day? What was that moment on any of your films? And how did you overcome it? Yeah, I mean, I feel like honestly, I know every day every

Matt Eskandari 34:51
one of those days, you know what I mean? But on this one was particularly challenging. We had such a tight schedule and I know it every day on this one was like that on wire room was like that. And it's just one of those things that you know, you just you roll with the punches and and sometimes I've had actors come up to me specifically and they're like, Man You seem so like common so despite all you, are you Hi. I'm just like, and I try not to put my stress on like the actors because I want them to like I let them be in their little bubble they don't even know what's going on I remember on a movie survive the night we'll get into but basically the crew unique because they they weren't getting paid or some some some crazy app and basically bounced or something. Something crazy happened, right? So then I had this crew members coming up to me like, like something that happened and I'm like, oh, it looks like rain shoot and now right? And they're like, No, we're not gonna shoot you this or checks bounced or something. And I'm like, Oh, that sucks. Like, any toxic producer right now. So like, I'm scrambling. And this is on a big this is on a 10 Nine diamond. Right? So I'm like, How did you like how did this happen to me like, oh, it was like an accounting error or clerical error. And I'm like, guys, man, now we got the crew. Like, we got the crew doesn't want to like they won't, they will get back on set until you pay them. So get the textbooks out and start paying people because we're in trouble. And and then I didn't let the actress find out either. They're just in their trailers like, Let's take him so on. And we're just, you know, we're figuring some things out. But let's just Google the scene and let's, let's dig into the scene. Let's do some rehearsing, you know, Chase chasing how the police was on like, he signed some checks, man, he's not gonna have a loony bus and actually made the producer come out and apologize to the whole crew, the oldest like to just to get them back on our team, right? Get back on our side, you know, and I was like, that's, you know, that's not something want to deal with and stuff like that happening. You have to just really just be a leader and take the punches and get back at it and look at it strategically, like like I said, like chess, like a chess game. And don't let yourself get taken down by it.

Alex Ferrari 37:01
I've been on shoots that the non union crew got flipped. Really? Oh, yeah. That's fun. That and that that movie was stuck in pose for nine months, because they had two big stars because they had stars in it. So that's why the union, the Union came like, oh, what they have these big stars that they can afford this and couldn't. And, and they're sitting with these things in the hard drive. They're like, yeah, we can't find money to finish this thing. I'm like, really, like, you got two huge stars. And this thing, you can't fit it? Yeah, it took them nine months to get some cash together because all the money went to the flip. And this is, this is the stuff they don't talk in film school. They don't talk to you about

Matt Eskandari 37:41
talking about like, you know, the French New Wave and Italian realism and stuff, which is awesome. It's great. I love it. I love that stuff. But then you're like, Okay, how do I actually do? It was shit when I want a movie?

Alex Ferrari 37:56
How do I get on a movie set? And let alone? How do I do? What's up what I get there? So tell me about your new film wire room. With with Bruce and Kevin and Kevin Dillon. Yeah.

Matt Eskandari 38:06
So you know, I've obviously directed four films out Bruce. And this is my latest one, this one for Lionsgate. It's an interesting script, right? So it was pitched to me by some producers. And it's all set in a wire room, which was an interesting hook to me. I've never seen scenes in a film where it was in a wire room. But was what was cool about this was the whole film is just in a wire room. And that whole challenge felt, you know, interesting to me, it kind of took me back to my days of basically prophy D stuck in one location and try and make it visually cinematic, given these constraints. So I thought that was cool. And just the arc of the character how he was doing this conversation with this drug cartel member over surveillance. And over the course of the film, they develop this sort of chemistry and animosity that develops who are expect and but they never actually are alive in a scene together, right? It's all just who monitors and surveillance and all that, to me just it felt like a cool challenge, a fun challenge or something that would push me as a filmmaker. So soon as I read the script, I was like, Yeah, it's interesting. Like, it's something I could definitely see myself doing. And it was a fun, it was a fun movie to make. I mean, it was definitely like I said, it was tough. It was challenging. It was crazy that it all just came together, though. Like one year, we're in the edit. And like, the pacing, and everything just fell into place in a way that I wasn't sure if it was going to work when you're on set every day you're like, and you know, it's one of those things where Kevin's off, I had him shooting all his scenes, right. And I didn't shoot the other actor on the other end yet, right. So I was off camera basically yelling to Kevin telling him like, Hey, this is what's going on. This is what you're seeing on monitors during the middle takes. So it was like, Oh man, how's that going? How's that gonna, like, translate on screen? That's the one of the cool things about working with these skilled actors. It's like something like Kevin. He's just, he's so on it. And he just he comes in prepared. And he's always on every tape. It's just something fun. It's something different. So not showing him how to act. You know what I mean? He's there. He's got something interesting to do.

Alex Ferrari 40:15
And I'll tell you what, man, I remember when I first started working with a real actor, I was like, Oh, so this is what it's like, as opposed to try to pull out performances and deal with egos and stuff like that. And you're just like, Oh, my God, just keep prepared.

Matt Eskandari 40:31
Yeah. That's one of the biggest jobs as an actor. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 40:35
that's like, all I have to do is your action. And cut. Oh, my God, this is wonderful. It's so liberating when, because in the indie world, you don't get to you. Generally speaking, you don't get to work with high end professional actors, not even movie stars, just professional actors, very often, until you get to a certain level. And then when you get to that level, you're just like, I can't go back.

Matt Eskandari 40:58
No, I've had a film that I did independent film where one of the main actors in the film, he didn't have a lot of experience and froze up on that first few days, because they were great actor to write all my auditions, chemistry, they did great. But being an actor, and then be given the pressure of being on a movie set, because you're one of the leads, that's that's a whole other thing, too. I mean, actors have to have their own shit that they got to deal with, right, and to have the exercises to relax themselves and getting them home in and that they've never done that before. Now you're stuck on a set, and you're like, Whoa, what was that? Why was that? So wouldn't and why isn't it working out? It's because they're so in their head, right? They're so stressed out, so.

Alex Ferrari 41:36
And also, and it's also our job to make sure they have a safe space to play. And if they don't feel safe, but they feel like you don't know what you're doing, then they're gonna go into defensive mode, and like, we're just I gotta, I gotta pull out a performance that's gonna save my ass. Because my pictures on this end, if not, my career is going to take a hit

Matt Eskandari 41:55
that 100% I've seen that on sets before where I'd show up. And I could tell that the actor didn't trust the director, and directed itself basically, or she was directing themselves. I'm like, oh, man, I never want to be in that situation. Because basically, you're just, you're not doing it is the director of that actor, you just stare at the monitor and move on to the next thing, and you're just assuming that they know what they're doing? And it's like,

Alex Ferrari 42:17
whoa. Now you've done a lot of action stuff, dude. How do you approach an action sequence on relatively smaller non giant studio budgets? I mean, because I mean, look, seven $10 million. It's not nothing. Exactly, no, nothing budget, but it's but you're the kind of book like the kind of action sequences I've seen that you've done, are on are comparable to $100 million budget, ya know? How do you handle it?

Matt Eskandari 42:45
I feel like a lot of it comes from experience, I mean, it's one of those things where first of all, I like to do as much in camera as possible. It's one of the things I've learned over the years is, as much as you can do practically, with with the action with the effects, you can always enhance it in post, right. So if you go into that with that mentality of like, oh attorney was imposed, or, you know, we can see this, or I can do this and CG, or you're gonna go into it, and you're gonna be trapped in that post, to the effects world where, without that under million dollar budget, it's not going to look like a Marvel action scene, right? Because you didn't spend the time or the money in post to do that. So I feel like a lot of it comes down to experience and preparation, I storyboard almost scenes. And I work with the same last few films I've been lucky to work in same step choreographer is MCU, he's actually worked on Marvel movies, which is clinical. And, and yeah, and I tell them usually like, Look, man, okay, we got this many action scenes in the film. I want this one to be the money, let's put all of our eggs into this basket and really milk the crap out of this one. And then these other ones, okay, they're just shoot out. So whatever, let's not, let's not go overboard on those. But let's, let's get that trailer seen that trailer action scene in this sequence right here. And he gets it. And so we work together. And I trust when he's giving direction to the stunt guys that they're doing the right thing. You know, I'm trusting and it just comes down to that experience and working with great collaborators.

Alex Ferrari 44:17
You know what's interesting, as you were telling me that story, like you're focusing your energy in your budget on a certain scene, I had a friend of mine who used to work at Disney as an animator, and I was I was always going in the back. I was visiting him and you know, seeing frozen before anyone knew what frozen was, I was like, he's against the ice queen thing that we're doing. No one knew what it was going to be or anything. And I was walking the halls. And then I see this board with like, scenes, and then dollar signs, like little daughter dollar bills. And I go, what is that? And he goes, Oh, well, every director gets a stack of money, a fake money. And then they put how much percentage of the budget goes to what Seems so I was like, interesting. So there's like, yeah, so if there's like a really crazy action sequence that they really want a lot of shots and animation stuff, they'll put more money into that. And then other scenes will have to take a little bit of a backseat. So like every scene is going to be a Michael Bay explosion scene, let's say, right, it's, it's good. So it was a really interesting way that Disney has been apparently they've been doing that for a long, long time, because that's just the way Disney works. It's really it's. And then I also found out that nine months before release dates, they usually scrapped the entire movie they've been working on for two years and start again. That is what since since Snow White. Why, since Snow White, that is just for whatever reason, their creative process, like they go through two years, sometimes 10 years like Rapunzel was like a 10 year I saw the original Rapunzel artwork. It was supposed to be like, Leonardo da Vinci artwork, but an entire town built around that style. Is it gone? And they just, and then like the release dates done that the T shirts are being made, the dresses are being built. You got nine months to rebuild, and I was like, what? How did 12 hour 1520 hour days? It's just It's just what they do, man.

Matt Eskandari 46:20
So I didn't know that. That's a little crazy. But the money to do the money and I do it.

Alex Ferrari 46:26
I mean, it's just Yeah, cuz they make you they made a billion off of just the frozen dresses alone. It's insane. Now, I wanted to ask you something, because you've been working with a young up and coming producer named Randall Emmett for a little bit for you just starting out. He's a good guy. He's doing some school stuff. No, but he Randall has this kind of machine that he has built a very impressive machine that he's built. What are some lessons you've learned from working with a producer like him? Because he's popping stuff out? Yeah. Like I haven't seen in a while.

Matt Eskandari 46:59
It's basically he's got like a deal with Lionsgate and basically, they turn and they have this process where, basically, if they can get an A list star, like a Bruce or Mel, it whoever, they get the right script, either a Lions Gate, or one of these studios will basically back to film, and they have a very strict schedule on when it gets released. What has to happen, I think the biggest lesson that I learned from it was, you know, like I said, I mean, you're, you're a director for hire, you're brought in and you have to execute a very strict sort of script, right? It's, it's this much action is to have Bruce or whoever in it for 20 minutes. And there's always to postpone process where you need to deliver the movie on this date has to happen doesn't matter, whatever. So if you're cutting shots out and dependent shots out, so you have to go in there very prepared. And you have to go in there knowing that, you know, I'm not in there to, to turn their movie, turn an action movie into a musical or something, you know, and I'm not coming in there to be like, okay, cool. I just like vision where I want to make this sort of like a, an artsy, whatever, you know, it's like no, man, this movie. There's, it's pre sold to territories all over the world. And they're going to cut a trailer and they're expecting it to be a badass little action movie for middle of the Middle East, you know, wherever it's going, it has to work, right? So you go in there creatively knowing that and being like, okay, how can I, as a director, elevate this, you know, and really take it to the next level, without changing what it is, right? It's like, it's like being given a Coca Cola and being like, Okay, your job is to sell this Coca Cola, don't turn it into it, it's like someone else, you know what I mean? You're still making a Coca Cola, but just deliver it in a way that is interesting and unique and an elevated as much as you can.

Alex Ferrari 48:50
Very, very cool. Yeah, cuz I mean, the closest thing I've seen that Randles deal is just kind of like what Jason Blum has, like, he has a similar thing, like, yeah, boom, boom, machine, boom, boom machine, and they keep pumping out and doing good stuff, doing good stuff at the budget ranges they're doing so it's really interesting, the way you said that is like, look, you're our director for hire, you're not there to rebuild the machine, the machine is running, you're a cog in a very important cog. And you're trying to do what you can within the realm of the limitations that they give you to do some good work within that. It's kind of like the same thing with Marvel, like, you can't,

Matt Eskandari 49:29
you can't go into Marvel and be like, Okay, you guys have decided to make a Marvel movie with, you know, no action in it, and there's gonna be a lot like X rated sexing and they're gonna be like, what? You know, it's not gonna work. So it's a model, right? It's a model that works and sells and audiences pay for it, obviously. So you have to deliver.

Alex Ferrari 49:50
And the one time that Marvel did let that happen, do you know the movie that they did let that happen on where the director had complete carte blanche, they rewrote the origin of The character, and it was a complete and other box office failure. Was it eternal? Oh, no Hulk. Oh, go away. Ang Lee the Angley Hulk, which was like, like, there was abuse in the family. And that's why he was angry in these transitions. And we're like,

Matt Eskandari 50:20
there was no like, action scene in that movie. Right? Well, that kind of was but there was no,

Alex Ferrari 50:23
he's like jumping and beating up tanks and stuff. There's no

Matt Eskandari 50:27
nothing. So once the Hulk smashing somebody, right, I want to say that

Alex Ferrari 50:31
there was no Hulk Smash. There was no Hulk Smash. So how can you have a Hulk movie with no Hulk Smash? Like, there's what so that was, that was the first and I think afterwards gonna face it. Okay. Okay, I don't care if you want an Oscar. This is our characters our way. And this is the way it is. And like when they bring someone like Sam Raimi in, Sam, they just give Sam has a big box to play in. Oh, yeah. But it's still a Marvel movie, but it's a SAM Marvel movie. And they don't do that very often. They usually bring in younger directors that have a cool vision. So but Sam, Sam, I mean,

Matt Eskandari 51:06
no, I mean, and when I was watching that film, I totally felt Sam in that movie. Like this the way scenes are shot, I was like, man, but like, it's still a Marvel movie, right? It wasn't like it's something different, right?

Alex Ferrari 51:20
Like I was, I was afraid to watch it with my daughters. Like, I'm like, I should I shouldn't watch this first before because and there's some imagery in there, man. Yeah, now there's there's some Serious Sam Raimi. But Sam got away with that in Spider Man two after the success of Spider Man One, that whole horror scene with Medaka box is like slicing people with like razor blades in the operating room, like this come from like, that's, that's the Evil Dead? Evil Dead Sea. It's awesome. Now, I'm gonna ask you a few questions asked all of my guests, or what advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Matt Eskandari 51:56
That's a good question. I mean, I know we talked about it briefly before this. It's interesting how so much of the industry has changed so much from when I was growing up in industry. So it's hard for me to say, a very specific thing that that a person can do to go up because I could give the advice that I did shoot a short film, or a film festival won an award, get an agent, right into indie film, but it's like that whole model, I don't know if I can tell you that confidently and say, that's still a viable model these days. Because I don't know. I mean, I'm not an up and coming filmmaker in the trenches. But what I can say is, have a unique voice, have a something to say. And really, don't give up. Like, I know it sounds cliche. And that's something that persist things all the time, but persistence, and if I could sum it all, it just comes down to toughing it out. Don't compare yourself to the one head guy who comes out of film school or whatever it is, erecting a Marvel movie, just don't do it. Just go in there and knowing that I want to be a working director or working cinematographer, or working editor, and focus on that every day. And after years and years of doing it. One day you wake up and I'm like, That's happened to me. I was like, I woke up one day, I was like, Well, I'm like a working director, and I'm getting paid money. And I'm working with like a list. Like if you told me 10 years ago, just one man in 10 years, you're going to work with Bruce Willis and Kevin Beeline and blah, blah, blah. And not only that you're gonna work on versus last movie ever. He's in retire after this and be like, Hi, no, like, no. So you just got to go into it, knowing that and that's, that's, that's hopefully will pay off.

Alex Ferrari 53:31
Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

Matt Eskandari 53:35
The adage of enjoying the journey, not so much a destination and it's another cliche, but you know, as you grow older, a lot of those those old adages, they coalesce in your mind for a reason, it really is the important thing, because then you'll look back and be like, Oh, I remember that movie of that movie. And it's the experiences and making them a really will make them memorable, looking back. And sometimes you won't even watch your old movies anymore. But you remember the people that you worked with the actors, the friends that you made, you know, it's just one of the things you learn as a filmmaker as you get more through your career.

Alex Ferrari 54:09
And three of your favorite films of all time.

Matt Eskandari 54:12
Diehard I gotta say because I'm a huge action director and it's Christmas movie greatest Christmas movie of all time, really all time and it's just a perfect action movie. Bruce is amazing. Genre Canyon.

Alex Ferrari 54:24
And he also made he also made predator another I was

Matt Eskandari 54:26
Gonna say predators, even diehard or predator is one of those. It's so tough. Then second is probably Terminator two. James Cameron sci fi action. I just, it's a perfection. Perfection.

Alex Ferrari 54:40
You can't get any better than that. Oh, no. Aliens so you can alien in Terminator on the same on the same one I'll give you because aliens is a masterpiece.

Matt Eskandari 54:48
Exactly. And probably going to throw a Tony Scott movie on there. So I'm gonna say I'm just so good. So, you know, he's Yeah, actually, that was one of the jokes. I was I had other friends when I mentioned that I was an intern for Ridley Scott and Associates. And I was I was interning with Tony Scott, which was a cool experience.

Alex Ferrari 55:09
What was that? What was those conversations?

Matt Eskandari 55:11
Like, was cool. I mean, I remember they told me like, my manager was like, don't talk to really don't talk to Tony. I was like, What do you think I'm doing it for free. I'm not here to like, you guys do coffee. I'm here to talk to these guys, man. So that we plug them all the time for stuff. And I remember what time I walked into. This was like, interesting. So I walked into his office at the end of the day, I told him the system I was at, it was like, for me, 10 minutes was really nice, too. I talked to him. Yeah. And it's like, 7pm when he's like, done for the day, we'll talk to you for like, 10 minutes have like a one on one. I was like sleep. So then I showed up at seven o'clock. I sat across from him and he's like, Oh, what do you do? And I was like, you know, I'm in film school at USC, blah, blah. I want to be a director, you know, and he's like, cool boys. Like, what are you doing now? What have you shot? And he's been I was like, Well, I shot a couple things, but I want to like, thinking about shooting this one thing. He's like, Alright, cool. I got this one. He's like, go into that bait that Attica when it was nattokinase office. He's like, there's these 35 millimeter short ends. I don't know what I'm using music video or commercial, because I take all those Oh, shoot your movie. And just do it and just go shoot your movie. They'll talk about it. I was like, okay, so I wanted to dedicate the short ends and I was like, Alright, man. Now now I have a mission. I gotta shoot a movie with these short and so it was a cool, it's cool.

Alex Ferrari 56:32
It was almost like a god from Mount Hollywood. And I was like, you take the short ends and go and follow the dream. And look at you as a filmmaker like Ridley Scott told me I have to go shoot this movie. And we're motivated, right?

Matt Eskandari 56:45
I was like, Okay, I have to do it, man really trying to shoot a movie short. And so I got to do it. Yeah. So yeah, it was it was a fun little anecdote in my career. And it was just like, it was cool as far as because that he would actually give me that advice. And but like you said, it's almost like passing on the torch. He's like, I don't have any wonderful advice, man. Just go do something.

Alex Ferrari 57:03
And here take take my short ends for luck. I have not blessed these. You may go and shoot.

Matt Eskandari 57:11
The first film that I shot that won an award so Hey, man, maybe he did?

Alex Ferrari 57:16
Let him man bless by the patron saint of commercials Ridley Scott.

Matt Eskandari 57:25
I used his leftovers but hey, they weren't.

Alex Ferrari 57:27
Hey, man. I'll take really Scott's leftovers any day of the week on about you so when is when is the wire room come out of where can people see it? Why room comes out

Matt Eskandari 57:38
September 2, and it'll be on select theaters. I don't know exactly what it is what it means select theaters or shopping cities. And then it'll be on most of the streaming platforms. Apple iTunes and all those good things so just keep an eye out for it. Search for it.

Alex Ferrari 57:55
Man it's been a pleasure talking to you brother. It's been so much fun talking shop with your continued success brother and and and thank you for bringing Bruce to us in these last few movies that he's been in I really appreciate the work you've been doing. And keep rockin and rollin brother and we should have like a get together for on the lot survivors.

Matt Eskandari 58:16
Man. No, definitely. I mean, it was a pleasure, man. Thank you so much. I mean, I had really great conversation with you. I think what you're doing is great with this podcast and with this site. So you know helping out the next generation. I think that's important too as filmmakers. We got to pass our short and it's down to the next

Alex Ferrari 58:34
I appreciate you brother.

Matt Eskandari 58:38
Yeah, same brother. It was good to talk to you, man. Take care.



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