Our guest on today’s episode is Emmy award-winning filmmaker, actor, Filmtrepreneur, best-selling author, and instructor Shane Stanley. Shane’s been in the business way before he could walk. He started off as a child actor at 9 months old when his father, who was a working actor volunteered him for national TV commercials, starring in commercials and films and even going on to win his first two Emmy Awards at age 16 and 19 for his role in the Desperate Passage (1987) series.
Along with his outstanding talents in front of the camera, Stanley also had an eye out for the producer’s seat. He learned and honed camera and editorial skills and could comfortably find his way around behind the camera by age 10, and has since clocked directing, production, editing, and acting credits for over 58 shows, films, commercials, and music videos.
In 2001, he launched his production company, Visual Arts Entertainment under which he executive produced culture hits like the sports drama, and Box Office #1, Gridiron Gang starring Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson as lead, and critically acclaimed film, A Sight for Sore Eyes which was Shane’s directorial debut.
The film won several awards in 2004. It bagged a Special Jury Award at WorldFest Houston, won two Telly Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Film & Television as well as winning top honors at the International Family Film Festival, and ultimately won dozens of prestigious awards, and was invited to screen at Cannes Film Festival in 2005.
Shane’s latest book, What You Don’t Learn In Film School: A Complete Guide To (Independent) Filmmaking, offers a wealth of knowledge for anyone who wants an entertainment industry insider’s professional guidance on how to create a movie. I loved the book so much I decided to publish the audiobook version through my company IFH Books. If you want to get a FREE copy of the book all you need to do CLICK HERE and sign up for a FREE Audible account and download Shane’s book.
The book is an especially invaluable tool for anyone thinking of going to film school. It is an in-depth, no-holds-barred look at making movies from ‘concept to delivery in today’s ever-evolving climate while breaking down the dos and don’ts of (independent) filmmaking.
Directed and written by Shane, Mistrust is about Veronica enjoys being a mistress. Having no commitments and never being vulnerable, She comes to realize her best friend holds the key to her heart and is the only one capable of extracting her emotions.
His latest film, Break Even (2020) tells the story of four adventurous friends who find 50M in cash on a remote island only to discover it was left by the DEA for the Cartel in a rogue deal.
Shane is a wealth of information and he drops some MAJOR knowledge bombs on the tribe in this conversation. If you are a filmmaker do yourself a favor and pick up his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School: A Complete Guide To (Independent) Filmmaking, it is a GREAT companion book to Rise of the Filmtrepreneur: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business.
Get ready to take notes and enjoy my conversation with Shane Stanley.
Alex Ferrari 0:21
Now guys, today on the show, we have filmmaker, producer and best selling author, Shane Stanley. James is a multi Emmy Award winning filmmaker who has produced or directed over 49 projects in his amazing career. He's best known for producing the gridiron gang starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Now Shane has had so much experience in the business that he decided to sit down and write a book called what you don't learn in film school, a complete guide to independent filmmaking. And after reading the book, I was so impressed that I reached out to Shane and decided to partner with him and release the audio book version of what you don't learn in film school through IFH books. This book is a prerequisite if you want to be an independent filmmaker, there's so much amazing information. And after reading it, I'm like, Oh my god, I wish I would have had this book when I was starting out. There's just so many knowledge bombs that he drizzled throughout the book that will help you avoid those massive pitfalls of independent filmmaking. Now I wanted to bring Shane on the show so we can kind of dig into a little bit about what the book is about his long career mistakes he made and just wanted to squeeze as many knowledge bombs out of him as I could for this episode. So I want you to sit back and relax and take in everything Shane has to say in this conversation. And at the end of the episode I will show you how you can get a free copy of the audio book what you don't learn in film school. But until then, please enjoy my conversation with Shane
Shane Stanley 4:15
Alex Ferrari 4:17
I'd like to welcome Mr Shane Stanley man How you doing?
Shane Stanley 4:20
Alex? I'm good Thanks for having me. How you doing?
Alex Ferrari 4:22
I'm as good as we can be in this crazy upside down world we live in sir.
Shane Stanley 4:27
Whoo. Every day. I keep thinking it may just start finding its right way back up and then the wheel and the ball just spins back. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 4:35
And then and then it starts raining murder Hornets. So I mean,
Shane Stanley 4:42
and what was the new animal they threatened us with last week.
Alex Ferrari 4:47
25 foot 25 foot Grizzly like I don't know it like it's it's it just saw but this is this is going to be a film geek thing before we get started. Did you see that the trailer for Grizzly too. The film that was shot in 1980 something and is now being being released in 2020. But starring George Clooney, Laura Dern and Charlie Sheen.
Shane Stanley 5:11
Alex Ferrari 5:12
And I saw I just saw it was on my Facebook feed. I was like, This is never been released. It was sitting in someone's closet and they finally Brent remastered it and edited.
Shane Stanley 5:23
You know what's weird, is I used to run Charlie Sheen's production company from 96 to 99. Okay, he was he was friends with George Clooney. And he kept saying, Yeah, we did a movie together years ago. That's it years ago. And and wow, I'd like this and it never came full circle. Now it did.
Alex Ferrari 5:44
I'm glad I can bring closer to that part of your life
Shane Stanley 5:47
is wondering what that was because it never I never got answers
Alex Ferrari 5:51
Grizly to start. It says George Clooney, Laura Dern and Charlie Sheen. And oh, God, the guy. No, the star of credit. The star of it is Oh my god, I can't john. JOHN Reese, the guy from Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings. With the big the big voice in the beard.
Shane Stanley 6:13
Yeah, I know. You mean he's English actor.
Alex Ferrari 6:16
Yeah, he's an English actor. Exactly. Yeah. He's, he's, he's the star of it. And you see him. And I saw him and I saw him in the trailer. He's literally lassoing a 25 foot which is so obviously not a 25 foot crazy, but it's just so brilliant. I can't wait to watch it. So I'm sorry, everyone. We had to start off with a little bit of film geekery But so, uh, so Shane, tell me how you got into the business.
Shane Stanley 6:51
You know, Alex might my journey into Hollywood was was a little different than most but not uncommon. My father when I was born, was a working actor. And he had been in films like ice station, zebra rock cuts, and Mannix modsquad. He was a working blue collar actors under contract with MGM and Aaron Spelling. And as I was born, he volunteered me for a national television commercial. It was for a new company called century 21. I was the little baby in diapers that this new couple was buying a house and so I became a childhood actor before I could even walk and did that for a number of years and was quickly bored with being in a trailer and being there all day to do a couple of minutes of work. And my father had transitioned into becoming a filmmaker, a documentarian and a very successful one. And he had a movie all around the house. He had the RS 16 millimeter cameras, the flatbeds splicers, and I was fascinated by that equipment, Alex, and before I was seven years old, I was running a movie Ola, I was assisting him and his editors doing sound sync and splicing and fixing films that would come in and needed repair. And I just, I fell in love with the process of just from watching them storyboard ideas and doing educational and documentary films and then seeing it on the screen when it was all done was just that whole concept of delivery was fascinating to me and that that's really what what brought me in
Alex Ferrari 8:22
and, and then you you worked on a film called gridiron gang starring the Rock Can you tell us how you got involved with that project?
Shane Stanley 8:29
I executive produced that it was an interesting story. I'm being independent filmmakers. My my father, my my stepmother, Linda and I were producing this documentary series called the desperate passage series, which ran from 1989 to 94. And in involved at risk youth taking them out on at sea expeditions, you know, Michael Landon, Lou Gossett, Jr, Marlo Thomas, Sharon, bless Eddie James, almost all used to host and we had a great pool of talent. And there was a story in the LA Times about this juvenile football team that had hatched up at the local prison. And we had already shot I think five or six films up there. Camco Patrick in Malibu. So my stepmom found the article, she brought it to my dad and said, I think we should do this. My dad said, No, I'm kind of done. I mean, we've done five or six of these shows on these kids. Let's move on. And she wanted us to really pursue it. So he called probation and so he helped us again, we'd like to do it and he said, Oh, get in line. Hollywood's Hollywood's come knocking in some, some big studio had the rights to do it. And three weeks later, they called us and said, do you want to do it get up here they start practice tomorrow. So my dad myself, Philip Byrne, Ken Schaefer and David Johnston God rest his soul, went up to camp Kilpatrick and shot for three weeks, and a documentary that became known as gridiron gang, which as soon as it aired became in 94. Those property your parents have gotten more Really and then 15 years later we made that pyramid Saudi Columbia for 15 years before we made it.
Alex Ferrari 10:09
So yeah, that's a that's a lovely little thing that film filmmakers listening should understand that the Hollywood is not fast. by any stretch of the imagination. It's still these. There's projects that stay in development for decades and decades.
Shane Stanley 10:24
Well, what was really interesting is we weren't in the gridiron gang and nobody would Eric for two years and we had already had a ton of success with acid series. We had 13 Emmy nominations, we won like eight. And I don't know I think it was because it was football, you know, high school football who wants to air that that's that, you know, and they're kidding.
Alex Ferrari 10:46
Like, everybody wants to see how like so many people want to watch high school football.
Shane Stanley 10:49
9192 different time, Friday Night Lights hadn't hit. So once it got aired on, KTLA, everybody wanted it. And it was interesting, too, because a lot of actors want to know, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, we were talking about john candy share. You know, as Sean Penn, a lot of people were calling for the rights and wanted to get involved. And then we made our deal with Sony. And they put it on the fast track. And at the time, Mark Campbell was the president of the studio and they were going to attach everybody from Bruce Willis to Andy Garcia to Dustin Hoffman. They had all sorts of plans. And then it went into turn around when more Canton would show the door at Columbia wanted to turn around and sat for another eight years without, you know, being able to do anything because they had over $2 million charged against the film. So anytime a producer called us Alex and said hey, whatever happened gridiron getting be great to make that. Yeah, great. You know, pay Colombia 2 million. And then we can talk about as a they had that much invested in those terms.
Alex Ferrari 11:52
And then how did so then they sold it over to paramount. Paramount picked it up?
Shane Stanley 11:55
No, no, no. What happened was is Neil Moritz was a budding producer. You know, Neil is known for fast and furious SWAT and about every other hit Hollywood is cranked out in the last decade. And Neil was was somebody who was involved with us early on, and he went on to do fast and furious and SWAT and triple x and all these great films and we always stayed in touch with Neil he's he's genuinely a good guy. He endorsed my book as you saw. And Friday Night Lights came out and then we knew we were Marshall was getting made facing the Giants was this big indie Christian head. And it was like movie after movie invincible. We heard in one thing we have to admit Alec, you and I joked about this before we started as Hollywood repeats itself, they copy it's a copycat industry. And it was kind of like if there was ever a time to make Baron gang, it's now so my dad and I called Neil and said, Do you want to make it? He said, Yes, let's meet tomorrow, but have a cast in mind. Because that's what's always stalled this thing out so I'm coming up with a cast list a mile long Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis again, let's go with these guys. And Jason state them and, and my wife, then girlfriend at the time, was in the bedroom watching TV. And she came in and she said, I need you to come see something and I said, I'm busy. I'm making a list for Neil Moritz. And she said, Stop what you're doing come in here and look at what I'm watching and it was the E True Hollywood Story on the rock. And he had been arrested a dozen times before his 18th birthday. He had played a very high level in the national championship. Miami Hurricanes was drafted into the CFL NFL blew out his knee and started from dirt and made something great of themselves. And I watched that five minutes Alex and I went back to my office I tore up my list of 35 plus names that I'd spent four hours coming up with, went into Neil's office the next day. We caught up a little while since we saw each other and he said alright, where's your list? And I said, I got one name for you. I said Dwayne Johnson. And he yelled to his assistant, Nikki, Nikki, when's my dinner with the rock? She said tomorrow, he said, Give me a copier. Give me a DVD of the grid of the documentary you and your dad made. Two days later. We were up at the jail with Dwayne Johnson walk in the premises. And he knew we were making a movie. I mean, you know,
Alex Ferrari 14:06
that was and and Dwayne. I mean he was he was the rock but he wasn't the Rock like he was he was big but he wasn't what we know of him today.
Shane Stanley 14:14
He just done Walking Tall Scorpion caves
Alex Ferrari 14:17
early early. He had done if
Shane Stanley 14:20
it was early Yeah. And he was leaving to go do God that video game movie he did right? Oh, don't do
Alex Ferrari 14:28
that. Do that. Yes. He jokes quite a much about a bit about that. But it was still early on. Yeah, walking to Walking Tall was a hit and you know, but he wasn't what we would call like the rock now is the rock.
Shane Stanley 14:43
And I can't think of a I can't think of a person who deserves the success more talking about humble, sincere, gracious human being. I feel honored to say that we're to this day. 12 years later, we're still good friends. We stand regular touch. He's if anybody has earned it, and you really know his story. You would say it's him. And if you ever get a chance to work with a run to it, you'll be glad you did.
Alex Ferrari 15:05
That's amazing. Yeah, he's, I'm a huge rock fan. I've been watching the rock since the WWF days and I frickin love the rock. Oh, no, the I could do one eyebrow, that's it, I could do. I could do the Y kit. I could do one, I can't do the other one. Now, you wrote a book called what you don't learn in film school, which is basically my entire brand. What I've been, it's been pleasure. No, it's been what I've been talking about for years. And it's like, Guys, you know, one of the reasons why I started the podcast was like, I didn't hear anybody really out there at the time. telling it how it is from a place of someone who's walked the walk, like being in the industry, and really getting the shrapnel and getting the hell out beat out of them. And, you know, 20 I mean, at the time I launched, I was already like, 18 to 20 years in, you know, and just working with a ton of people. And I've been, you know, in all sorts of craziness. And, and I wanted to give like a voice to like now guys is not really what it is. So that's when I when I found out about your book, I was like, Oh, I gotta I gotta have shading out. We got it. We got to talk. So what are your thoughts on film schools in general? Do you do need to go?
Shane Stanley 16:21
Well, I think you know, it's a question that is the the age old it's a $64,000 question. I am not against film school, what I am against is charging PVS six figures to get a degree in French noir cinema. Yeah, theory in cell silos and how to keep it preserved in an archive. I mean, there are curriculum that I think are completely useless. But there are things here that I think are important, and I definitely know, like me, you're a blue collar guy, you know, if you come on to set on my Jane Seymour film, if I wasn't working with Jane or my dp, I was physically unloading the grub truck and helping the guys set up. It's just who I am. But I think there's a lot of us who didn't have a parent who bought us a camcorder or we didn't grow up at a time when our phones could make movies. Or I really was like his maid who grew up with movie holders and dads who were making documentaries. So if you don't have an understanding of the craft, or have any idea about it, I think, you know, to become an architect, you would go to school to become an architect to become a lawyer, you would do that. I think the most important thing somebody can do is read a book like the one I wrote or be involved with websites and movements, like indie film, hustle, because there's only so much they're going to teach you at school. They have to keep the persona on that you do need this or there without work. I mean, that's the way it is. But there's so much the business of the business that they don't teach in school is, you know, they don't teach about distribution deals. They don't talk about how to hire crew or how to make I mean, I do all my own contracts, whether it's actors Screen Actors Guild, I IATSE teamsters, it'll teach that. Nope. Look, where are you going to learn it, you're going to learn it from guys like you and me and the other people out there that have that have, you know, stood on a soapbox and try to promote it. So I think film schools are good, I get nervous where a lot of them their instructors are not tried and true filmmakers are people that that haven't been on a set in 20 or 30 years. I go around the country and do workshops and seminars will now that we're on zoom, I do them from air, but it amazes me the lack of credentials, the teachers teaching our next generation of storytellers have that's all just third generation stories about the history of cinema that's not filmmaking.
Alex Ferrari 18:44
No, I agree with you 100% I again, I always tell people look if you can if you can, if you have no understanding and you have no no other way to get this information. Then school is wonderful. At a price at a at a price like my film school. I went to full sail and I paid 18,000 bucks. I know what well, I paid 80,000 bucks in 1990 something and and for 18 grand it was was well worth the cost. You know, because I learned how to ride. I'm sorry.
Shane Stanley 19:15
Were you in Orlando?
Alex Ferrari 19:16
I wasn't I was there for a year and a half.
Shane Stanley 19:18
I was there in 93. I taught us a workshop in 93 in Orlando. I
Alex Ferrari 19:22
don't know if he was I was I was not there yet. I'm a little bit a little bit older than you a little bit a little bit younger than a little bit older than that. I'm not a little bit older.
Shane Stanley 19:31
I'm sorry. I'm 49.
Alex Ferrari 19:33
Well, sir. Well, no, I'm I guess some were similar vintages. Let's say. We're similar vintages. So but the thing is for that 18 grand, which I still think was a little bit pricey for my taste, because I learned how to wrap cable. And I learned how to make a cup of coffee. Those were the two biggest takeaways from my film education because because the technology was changing when I went so I was I was Did you know I was I was still told by my post production professor, that a computer will never be able to produce broadcast quality images. So yeah, that was a quote. I was like, wow, okay. Yeah. Okay. So the big issue I have with film schools is that, yes, I do have some great stuff in it. But the ROI is not there cannot charge somebody 60 7080 100 $120,000 for an education that you and I both know, will not return its investment. If you're going to be a doctor, there is a system setup to get your money back. If you're a lawyer. If you're a pilot, if you're an architect, if you're any of these other if you're an engineer, there are ways their system set up for you to start. And it might take time, I'm not saying the doctors, they cost like, you know, 300 or 300 $400,000, for their education, but there's systems in place to get that money back. Whereas in filmmaking, there is absolutely nothing you can do to guarantee anything, and you and I both know, that it will take if you're good and lucky, and you hustle like there's no tomorrow, maybe five years before you start generating enough money to support yourself if you live in Los Angeles, and that is like the outskirts, more likely 10 years.
Shane Stanley 21:28
You couldn't you couldn't say it best and a better and, and you know, my whole thing. When I started this, I learned the hard way. Because, you know, I like you was trying to come up with a way where in between films, what could I do to make a living and also help others there's got to be way because I tried to be a teacher, I squeaked out a high school. So nobody has hired me as a teacher because I didn't have a degree. Yes. Okay, fine. I get it. So how can I help? And my things, I was meeting with some of the top film institutions in the country. And I said, and I still am very close to a few of the chairs, and they let me in on some very private stuff. But I would be under exaggerating. If I said they know 86 to 92% of the kids who go through their full programs will never earn a dime in this industry Absolutely. Know that. And my original approach Alex was, what if because of the connections I have in my passion to help these students become because they are a next generation of storytellers, my way of giving back, how about if we started a mentorship program their senior year, so when they get out, we're almost handing them a baton. So people like numerous people like Amy Powell, who was running Paramount at the time could know these students and help place them in introduce them. And maybe once a year, we can have a gathering, you know, obviously before COVID in an arena or something where there's a lot of film people, a lot of students who can make connections. No, nobody wanted to do it. No, they didn't want to do
Alex Ferrari 23:03
no, and there's and look, they're selling the sizzle, man, they're not selling the steak. And that's that but that's the that's the thing. They have to sell the dream Hollywood needs to keep this dream alive. Where if you go to film school, and by the way, before that was the truth, which was you had to go to film school to get the kind of education you needed to get even a job in the industry in the 70s that's true in the 80s there was no other option where now there's guys like you and me out there talking writing books, doing podcasts, YouTube channels, there's so much information out there that you don't need to and I know a lot of filmmakers who decided you know what i got $50,000 for an education I'm just gonna go make a movie and they learned so much more by just going out and making a movie which might be good or bad regardless, it's an education I promise you if you go make a movie it's it's
Shane Stanley 23:59
you will you will learn more making a movie whether it's a short or a full length because you know you've made more than I I learned something about others. I learned something about how society interacts because I come back to a cave you know, I shoot a movie. I do concepts of delivery. So I'm usually editing it I'm post supervising it it's an 18 month process for me. I go away Well, I think it's safe to say the last 18 months our world has been to quite a bit in my studio last 18 months working on break even which comes out later this year. So to be honest with you, I kind of know what's going on but I can't wait to get back on a set it schooled and reminded where we really are I use those as such learning curves for me because I go in and I'm like okay, this is where we are today. And it's it keeps me on my game. It's an exciting experience. And every time I do something I learned
Alex Ferrari 24:53
no without without question every single time I want to set every single time I do you know in post production every time writing a script, you learn more and more, it's, it's like anything else, you got to learn the craft in every part of our craft, and it's so complex, it's not just writing a song, it's not just playing an instrument, it's not just carving wood, a table out of some wood.
Shane Stanley 25:19
Alex Ferrari 25:20
it's multiple disciplines that you need to understand at least if you don't have to do them all. But you should understand this entire process, which is massive. It is what it is a complex art form. And we haven't even talked about the business. That's just the art form, then the business is a whole other conversation.
Shane Stanley 25:38
There's the business side, you're right, you've got to go hustle your your money to get attached to the project to get the actors to sign them up to get going. And then you got to crew it and cast it and location it and feed it and make it and then sell it.
Alex Ferrari 25:54
It's a process and the do it all again. And and it doesn't and it doesn't generally, generally speaking doesn't work out exactly how you have planned whether the positive or the negative, it's always something else. And, and it will break your heart. More times than not. It's it this is a horrible relationship. This industry we have with it. It's an abusive relationship. It's an absolutely. It's a toxic, abusive relationship.
Shane Stanley 26:21
It's so well said it's awesome.
Alex Ferrari 26:22
But with that said, we can't quit crazy. We can't we can't quit. Like I need
Shane Stanley 26:32
it said it says bro back now I just can't quit you right?
Alex Ferrari 26:35
I can't quit you, man. It's the truth. It's the truth. You can't quit. Because, you know, I've been saying this for a while. It's kind of like you catch it. You catch it. And it's with you for life. You can't get rid of it. It flares up. Sometimes it goes dormant for decades, even sometimes, but it Oh, I'd literally had a conversation with a filmmaker the other day, who was 65 just retired and said, Hey, I'm starting to write my screenplay, because I always wanted to make a movie. And I'm like, that is the case it's it's flaring up. It's flaring up now.
Shane Stanley 27:11
Well, you know, it's funny, I I've had a good run if I if I dropped it tomorrow or was told I'd never make another movie. I'd be sad, but I fought the fight. I won some battles. I'm proud of my body of work. So I wanted to just become a workshop guy and a seminar guy and a mentor to these film students. I was done I feel if I don't make another movie again. I'll be on a team I've done my I fought the fight my resume is there and I don't want to go teach. And I did that for six months and and I still love teaching and mentoring and workshopping. I do it a few days a week now. But I couldn't wait to get back on a set. I missed my crew. I missed five oh, the writer. I missed arguing with a dp and fighting with an actor and being told I don't know shit and you know the hell with you and having them stormed off and all that fun stuff that actors do and they know they're wrong. And I missed it. I missed being the big one. Why did I get that extra angle? God dang it. Why aren't we got to make it work anyway, you know, I missed that
Alex Ferrari 28:09
I just can't quit. You just can't I just can't. I can't I always say I just can't quit crazy, because it's crazy. It's it's insanity. Now, what is the biggest thing you see film schools leaving out of their education, besides absolute honesty that 93% of the people going through the program more likely will never make a diamond the business?
Shane Stanley 28:34
I you know, that's a great question. I think when you look at a standard curriculum, I think that the most important thing that film schools leave out is the importance of learning different variables within our industry. Because when I go to a seminar, the first thing is how many you guys want to be writers hands go producers, hands go up directors, all the hands go up. And I say, look, there's 200 of you in this room right now, if two of you were able to make a living as a director in 10 years, I will eat this podium, still haven't eaten yet. And I say you know what, I always try to preach it, you have a choice. And you you touched on it. Alex's it takes five to 10 years to get a foothold in this industry. And what I always tell the students in the kids coming up, and I do a lot of work with community colleges now more than university because they're older, they've had to fight for everything they have they take buses to school and skateboards and kids and but what I always say is I you want to write I get you want to produce direct or act and I love that don't ever let that passion go. But if you want to work in this industry and better you're learn how to be a gaffer, learn how to be a grip, learn how to be an AC learn how to edit, learn how to learn how to learn how to because I bet you would much rather be on a film set as a script supervisor than driving Uber. I bet you'd much rather be helping unload a grip truck and setting up for a cinematographer than flipping burgers. And if you're honest that you're going to be around actors, producers and directors, and if you stand out and you conduct yourself, Well, people will take notice and want you for the next journey. And that is what I feel the film schools leave out, which isn't a specific curriculum. It's common sense. It's life skills. It's how if you don't make it as the next Quentin Tarantino or Billy Bob Thornton, or you know, Damian, helped me to
Alex Ferrari 30:31
sell, sell, sell, sell
Shane Stanley 30:34
those three, which they always tell you, you can be what you're going to do. And one thing I love is Chris Christopher Rossiter, for anybody listening at La Community College, he has an entire course off of cinematography, that is just grip and electric. He does that so people can learn a blue collar skill on a set and go make three to $500 a day.
Alex Ferrari 31:00
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. I can't even tell you that's like music to my ears. Because when I first started out, I didn't know how to do anything. I start pa and I realized that pa ng sucked. I hated it. It is atrocious. It was horrible. And I worked. I worked at Universal Studios Florida. I worked in Disney MGM. If Are you familiar with the Orlando area during that time, the other productions?
Shane Stanley 31:33
My father's whole side is from Orlando. Okay,
Alex Ferrari 31:36
so I so this is just a little bit of a trivia I've never I've never even said this on the air before but a little bit of trivia. Let's see if you can. Let's see. I'm gonna test your Orlando knowledge. Live first, pa job, which was an internship pa job started off as an internship intern pa was with Kim Dawson. On the back on the backlot of Disney MGM, he was the producer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oh, geez. And he did a show called the news on on the backlog of universal so then he started off they started off on on Disney MGM, but they actually shot it on the back lot of universal and then we moved over to Universal. And it was like, it was like a Saturday live ripoff. And I that was like the coolest thing ever to work for the producer of it, which at the time was the biggest independent film of all time.
Shane Stanley 32:34
And it's made a comeback.
Alex Ferrari 32:35
Yeah. Oh, now it's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Obviously they've done. They've done well. But that was that's why and then I worked on Seaquest I worked at Fortune Hunter.
Shane Stanley 32:45
Did you work on Seaquest in LA?
Alex Ferrari 32:47
No. Universal Studios, Florida.
Shane Stanley 32:49
You know they had they also shot here at Universal here. I worked on seaquest here. There you go. Castle Rock back in 9394. On Seinfeld, they throw me on Roseanne even I was at a castle rock show. They threw me on seaquest American girl and a couple other ones. And they would occasionally coach and they would throw me on seaquest when they needed extra bodies over there. And it was usually the fake dolphin in the tank.
Alex Ferrari 33:13
Oh, yeah. All day, I get to see Roy Strider and on the set was the coolest thing ever. And then I was there when they switched the seasons that Michael Ironside is the lead. So I mean, I it was it was it was an entertainment. But that was my whole and I also worked in Nickelodeon. Of course.
Shane Stanley 33:30
Alex Ferrari 33:32
I worked jobs. I actually worked on global guts. Global guts was like this. This show for it was kind of like a it's like American Ninja for kids back in the day. And it was awesome. It was so awesome. But anyway, we're taking. We're just going down the Orlando road
Shane Stanley 33:52
going down memory lane. Well, we did a film with Dennis Hopper called held for ransom him dead Bayes R and I think that deal and it was based on Lois Belkin book who wrote I Know What You Did Last Summer my dad directed and we went out and shop with them for was when they were first getting started, you know, for oil has done a million things since then. And that was quite a hoot going out there to see family and work on this film. It was interesting, but that was the only time I ever actually did a film out there.
Alex Ferrari 34:21
What Don't forget that don't forget that Orlando was going to be the next Hollywood don't you? Don't you remember it was gonna it was gonna be the next Hollywood everything's the next Hollywood
Shane Stanley 34:30
Alex Ferrari 34:31
I mean, the only thing that's even come closest Georgia at this point became that they've actually pick up the next Hollywood
Shane Stanley 34:38
start wearing masks, they actually may have a chance.
Alex Ferrari 34:42
So what is the what are some of the biggest mistakes you see first time filmmakers make? You know that?
Shane Stanley 34:51
I'd say some of the mistakes that that I see first time filmmakers make Alex is and I touched on it in the book. I feel everybody's trying to make that move. For Sundance they're so convinced their ideas fresh and bright and are going to be the next you know Damien chazelle are gonna be the next you know, whoever and I like you and probably guests on set all the time I get invited first time filmmakers last time filmmaker, same difference. And it's the attitude. It's this air of arrogance and all this bs precisely, just shut up. treat people with respect make your movie the best you can and learn from it. And to me, it's, it's they try too hard to to be a part of something that's probably not going to datum as you and I were talking about before we started this interview. And hey, if you get into Sundance and all that, that is the greatest thing an indie nobody can get on their on their resume, and I hope it happens for them. But go make a movie, enjoy the process embracing consume, learn, be a team player. Don't be above that all because you raise $6 or you're directing this stupid movie to go help a guy who's struggling setting up a craft service table, I watch more people's egos. You know, you go work on a film like gridiron gang or some of the studio films I've done even though there's union rules, it's unbelievable how helpful everybody is for one another. And you get on some of these indie show Oh, fighting for position of what their value is or what they're worth, maybe, God forbid, they see a guy who cuts his arm off trying to figure out a, you know, hydraulic lift out of a moving truck before they discover and help the guy and that's to me is put your pride aside, help each other out. You'd be so amazed how far you can go.
Alex Ferrari 36:39
I always find it interesting that filmmakers in general, they're taught and the myth in the industry is that you're going to be the next winter. And you know, you're you're going to be the next Robert Rodriguez. That is, but what they don't tell you is like, well, that's nice. And one out of a billion people is going maybe that'll happen too, because we're still talking. We're still talking about guys in the 90s. Who made it you know, there's not a lot of new up and coming stories. There are a handful. But
Shane Stanley 37:12
I'm not to cut you off. I'm a firm believer Hollywood, make sure there's one or three every other year just to make sure that
Alex Ferrari 37:18
keep that keep that thing going. Yeah,
Shane Stanley 37:20
to keep that. Absent not to cut you off. But I do believe there is a method behind the madness of development out of nowhere. Success, I think there is
Alex Ferrari 37:29
no there's no question but they don't teach you what happens if you don't become the next point Tarantino if you don't become that, and that is so toxic for for a filmmaker and when you're young. And I was definitely a guilty of this. The ego is rough. I mean, there's a reason why I called my last film the corner of ego and desire because as a filmmaker, if you have even a remote amount of just if you get an award at the local Film Festival, your ego is out of control. And I early on in my career got a lot of attention for some shorts. And that was a little bit I was already beat up a bit. But I was a little bit in a little a little ego. egocentric in regards to the way I approach stuff. But I never once walked on a set with a big hat that said director on it. Or a big t shirt that said director on it or walked around with a eyepiece that I didn't know how to use not like a net like the James Cameron like, you know, let's set up a shot or Martin Scorsese. Yeah, a real like no, like one of these really small ones that have no association to the lens that you're going to use. It just makes you feel like you're a director, the only thing that were that they were missing was a monocle and a blow horn. I mean, it was it's insane. The stuff and I've seen these stories, and I've seen these directors on set. And And nowadays, like when I see that happen, I'll just don't Don't worry. worry about it. He'll be fine. It'll be fine. It all works itself out. It all works itself out.
Shane Stanley 39:05
I found that the best experiences the best synergy vibe on a set is when you know you may be the guy who raised the money, the guy wrote the script, producing it directing it going to do the whole thing. And you make everybody feel comfortable. Everybody feels safe. And that's our thing. You know, as you read in the book, it's about respect. It's about treating people how you want to be treated. And I know that sounds so cliche, but it seems to me unless you're a few of the real crazy tyrants out there. I won't name them. It seems like the smaller the filmmaker, the bigger the ego. And that's just something that's always wrote I just don't it's true, I think missing tremendous opportunity to collaborate with some great people that feel stifled that can. I'll give you an example. We were shooting breakeven last summer. There we CJ Wally. Up who, you know, wrote this scene, as I asked him to write it, I gave him a Google image of the harbour we're at, there's a part where the two people come off of paddle boards onto the dock, walk down the dock, throw a guy in the water, jump on a speedboat and steal it. Okay. And I wanted it as a winner on steady cam that would pick it up. And I'm looking at the logistics of the actual now that I'm here, and the boats here in the fuel docks are there and this and that, I'm going, I can't get what I designed. And, you know, I've got 40 people staring at me. And the first thing I did was I said, guys, take 10, if you can contribute to the thought process here, I welcome you to stay in, if you can't just go get some food, we'll call you in a minute, I got to rethink this out. And I need help because this is not what I envisioned. It's not what I envisioned won't work. And I suggest anybody has an idea to sit with me. And you know how hard that was to do. Here. I am, Rector, producer, and I'm leading the charge and I'm sitting on the bow of the boat. And I'm like, what I want to do won't work. And I want some help. I need some suggestions. And it was probably a second AC that came in and said, Hey, why don't you do this? Holy Toledo. That's not a bad. Alright, everybody, let's go. And
Alex Ferrari 41:12
you know, but that's as opposed to someone who has no confidence in themselves, because that takes a secure person. And I think that does come with age, man. Like unless you're wise beyond your years. Age is where that comes from, or just life experiences where that comes from. Because it's like, I couldn't like a twin. I'm afraid of what would have happened if I would have I had a project that I worked on when I was in my mid 20s that had big stars. And I wrote a whole book about it and about like working with a mob and all this kind of craziness. And I was afraid I look back now like if that would have gone. If I would have actually gotten a $15 million movie and was working with the caliber of stars that I was meeting and working out I would have I would have completely self destructed I would have would have I would have never been able to handle that because I was not prepared for it for
Shane Stanley 42:07
nothing all over again.
Alex Ferrari 42:08
Oh, sure. Yeah, Jeremy. And if it didn't, if it nobody knows that Troy Duffy, please. I wrote a whole giant article about Troy Duffy and the and the boondock saints. And you why you've got to watch the movie overnight. Every filmmaker should watch to watch that every filmmaker has to watch. Because you see the deterioration of of of a film director who's out of control. And by the way, years later, I had a friend of his on my show, and he told me about you because because you still talk to Troy he goes yeah, talk to Troy all the time. Troy By the way, did very well on boondock Saints to like he did he didn't millions did extremely well. Nobody's crying for joy. No, no one's crying for joy right now. But, um, and of course ever since the whole Harvey Weinstein thing which he you know, he Harvey he was making Harvey to be the villain and overnight and now you look like, Okay, this now makes sense. He maybe he wasn't wrong about that. But he said it goes imagine dude, if someone ran ran around with a camera during your early 20s when you would do in a movie like that? I promise you, you probably wouldn't look that great. And I go You know what? You're effing right, man. You're absolutely right. If someone had been following me during that time period of my life, and now that is the image of my name and with my brand for the rest of my career a Troy would have to do so much to break away from that. But that is
Shane Stanley 43:30
you're right. And you know, what's funny is is you know, we talked about the George Clooney, Charlie Sheen Grizzly movie. Yeah, I was I was very young and I was put in a situation of running a movie stars production company. And he was at a point in his life where Okay, was he still do he just come off terminal velocity in the arrival and shadow conspiracy and he wanted to he was hot. Yeah, he was. Charlie was still making 11 $12 million. A movie. Yeah. Who's rolling? We were we he was rolling. We were getting a lot of moving money to make movies. And he wanted to start doing indie films, and they paid us a lot of money to do indie films. I was, let's see was 96 was it 2526 years old? I'm sure I was. I thought I was being nice. I never really became a deck that I know of. I don't have those cringe worthy moments. When I look back. There's a few things I said or may have done to people that I wish I hadn't said it in that tone or with such enunciation. But you know, I look back and go thank god people weren't following me around with a camera I was on my best behavior.
Alex Ferrari 44:27
But the thing is to also you were raised at the business so it's so it's not like you kind of grew up with this. So it's not as like from coming from nowhere to all of a sudden being associated with big stars and big projects. And then all this crap that Hollywood in the film festivals shoved down your throat like the myth the Tarantino's Robert Rodriguez, you're going to be the next big thing. And then and then you're not. So
Shane Stanley 44:53
to me every day is a grind. I always you know, people always say what was it like growing up with nepotism? Well, to me, it made it harder. When I was a child, I was given jobs. I remember when I was done pursuing a professional music career and said to my dad when I was 17, okay, I'm serious. Now I want to be a filmmaker. He said, Great. Do you want my Rolodex? You want to call some people and see if they'll hire you? I'm not hiring you. I was like, Well, what do you mean? You got to find pitcher deal? What do you and he's like, I can hire you go work for the world, dude. Give me a call. He said, Oh, and by the way, the other phase down there third door to the left. Why don't you go spend five or 10 years in there, and then we'll talk you'll go learn filmmaking. He didn't. He didn't give me anything. I mean, my dad was a maverick. He pissed off a lot of people off which which made it hard for me to get meetings. And still some of those calls ever been returned. But I wouldn't want it any other way. It keeps me It keeps me fired up. It keeps me churning. It keeps me doing things like this and wanting to inspire others it just don't ever get complacent. And it's never easy.
Alex Ferrari 45:52
It look I got in a lot of people get all caught up with nepotism. And all you got to you got to weigh in. I'm like, Look, man, they might nepotism might open the door. And it might get you a meeting. And it might even get your project. But it's you and I can get you a job. But it's you doing the work. And actually seeing if you have talent, and can you make the money. That's the only thing that keeps you in the door. I don't care if you're max Spielberg, that doesn't mean anything. You're gonna get a meeting, if you're max. And Max didn't go into the business to my knowledge, they'll know what it's like. So he's like, no, I if you're max Spielberg, you can get a meeting, though everybody, everybody, that's how we'll meet with you. And maybe even get you a job. And maybe even you just start to direct, but it's about you, your hustle, your work ethic, all that other stuff that's going to keep you inside the door so I don't nepotism, yes, it does give you some opportunities that might have not gotten elsewhere. Like my kids. If my kids want to get into the business one day, I would yell at them first. But if, if they if they ever want to do get into the business, they're going to have, you know, decades of my experience that guide them, which I never had. I was in Florida.
Shane Stanley 47:04
Well, you know, there's something that I've always tried to remind people and I know a lot of people who had nepotistic opportunities who are selling storage bins right now they're selling cars, and there's nothing wrong with that. But they've got a list. Parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers running studios, and they can't keep a job in Hollywood anymore. And what I learned quickly was it's not okay. It may not be what you know, it's who you know, but you better know what you're doing when you get there. And you better put all that nepotism aside in your conduct. And I think when you're when you have a contact to get through the door, you have to work that much harder, because so many people are hoping you'll fail. I remember the first job my father ever picked up a phone and got me and all it was was was a second AC job on a on a Richard credit movie back in the late 80s. Yeah, all the DP he knew and said, Look, I don't care if you pay him or not. I'll send them with a sandwich. I want to get the kid on a few sets that I'm not running. I want him to get his ass kicked, thrown to the wolves. So they threw me on this Richard credit film. I didn't get paid, I was allowed to eat.
Alex Ferrari 48:09
Shane Stanley 48:09
I remember the DP didn't like me anyway. But he liked my dad. And him and I are friends now, which is great. We've done a ton of things together. But back then I was at 17 year old punk. And he threw me to the walls man. I got called every name of the book. People were playing tricks on me. They were putting signs on my back. They just wanted me to fail. And I wasn't even getting a paycheck. I was just another guy to just move cable and hang a barn door. And you know, they didn't care.
Alex Ferrari 48:34
Oh, no, I'll tell you what I had. I was consulting a friend of mine who works in the business. She works over at Universal but like in the legal department or accounting or something like that. And her daughter was just getting out of film school, a local film school that would remain nameless. And and then she was like, can you talk to her a little bit about what the business is like, I'm like, do you do you want me to? She's like, Yes, I want you to tell her the truth. I'm like, okay, so I had I had coffee with her. And I said, Listen, I want you to you know, you see that your mom and this and your mom can make a few phone calls and get you on into our, you know, into the DP section or are in the art department or someone you can get on the backlot, she could do all that for you? And she's like, Yeah, I know, you know, and I'm like, if I were you just understand that if you do go in that path, and I By the way, if it was me, I would take that opportunity, because anything you can get get it. But understand that the second you walk on the set, if anyone finds out how you got the job, you've got a target on your back. That's right. And she's like, what do you what she'd like you could literally see that she never thought of that. And you really have like deer in headlights. What do you mean she's like, they will want you to fail because the same person that's next to you the same PA. That's next to you. came up from Kansas. Drove cross country is living on someone's couch right now and is in busting their ass to get to the same place that you got because mommy made a phone call.
Shane Stanley 50:03
Yep. I you couldn't, you couldn't be more correct. I remember I used to produce a bunch of commercials for an ad agency here in town. And I remember the owner of the ad agency said, Hey, I need a favor. There's a newscaster, who will remain nameless. But she is one of the biggest 3040 year running broadcast news anchors in the business. Her son just graduated high school, he's thinking about getting into production, can you find a job for my school, I can't be a PA. And he's like, I don't know, just treat him well, mom's a good friend. And I remember like getting 50 or 60 people wanting that job. But he got the job because of who he was. And I sat him down. And I said, I happen to know your mom. I haven't seen her in years. But I've met her I thought she was wonderful. I said, Look, you have a target on your back. Because you're you're at the bottom, you're going to be getting thrown the most crap to do, everybody's going to be watching you because you have the same last name. And it wasn't a common last name as your mom, people are going to connect the dots, you have a choice, you can either rise up as the water starts to get high around your neck and rise up with it. Or you're going to sink and I will tell you, if you fail me, I will fire you. I'm not I don't have warm body syndrome on our sets. Dude, you'll get the opportunity. And you know what he was his star, he did a really good job. And but you're right, these these youngsters coming up don't realize the target that's on her back. You know, getting these opportunities. It's very tough. It's not? No, it's not.
Alex Ferrari 51:29
And can you talk a little bit of stuff? Because I know this is something that they definitely don't teach in film school. How about the politics of a film production?
Shane Stanley 51:38
Alex Ferrari 51:40
Exactly. Just Okay, so I sit in the director's chair, no, no like that. So like the politics of, of the other set, okay. And then each department has their own hierarchy of politics. So the DP with the firt, the kid assistant camera, and then, and then there's the light, the gaffer and the lighting department and, and then the key grips, and the dolly grip, and all these kind of things. But the thing that people don't understand, at least from my experience is that there is a lot of politics going on. A lot of a lot of times, people have different end games involved. So I've always told people, like whoever you hire as your dp, make sure that they're there for the story and not for their real, because they will, they will bust their balls to get that crane to get this nice, long 22nd crane shot that will never make the Edit, you're going to use two seconds of it, but they want it for their real so and you're and you've burned for hours because they're lighting it like it's a Scorsese film,
Shane Stanley 52:38
and 20 grand to get the crane and all the permits to and all
Alex Ferrari 52:42
that so. But as a young filmmaker, you don't know any better. So you really need to understand. So that's one set of politics, then there's the power struggle, where if you have a young director on set, which I've been the young director on set, not as much anymore, but but I was a young director on set where then the script soup was sent in by the producer to test me and push me to see if I had the metal to actually hold the production together. Right and because they didn't know who I was, or what I had done prior and a redonk commercials and music videos and other things like that before I got on a narrative film set. And and does this before IMDb this before the internet so that other people didn't know they could check up your work they just heard so that they needed the test. So that's the kind of politics you have. And then sometimes there's like spies, from the production that come in to see if you're directing, right? Or they're spies from your head of your department. They're like, hey, hear the cat, you're the head head camera guy. Keep an eye on on Joe there, see how Joe's doing? And you never know that you're being watched? So there's all these kinds of things can you can touch a little bit of I've touched on a bunch of it. Can you touch a little bit or add to that?
Shane Stanley 53:56
Well, you know, that I can take up to hours doing that. I mean, that's an interesting, that's an interesting, the politics and the dynamics on a set are unbelievable. I mean, I kind of I mean I work with a lot of the same people now I try to have a loyal crew that I enjoy working with but yeah, there's times where I'm a work for hire, I got up bringing on other people and you try to keep those things. You know the one thing I always do with the DP if I'm hiring one is I say look, this isn't about your reel. It's about the overall when I look at a new dp I don't want to see as real I call directors and editors he's worked with and say send me raw dailies I don't want to see is real because you know all ask a director or an ad that this dp where you guys ever held up because he was slow setting up? Did you guys need 10 1520 tapes because the camera or do you do five or six takes and everything was great and it was more a director's choice. I like to find those things out. I always let people know this isn't about you. It's about us. That way. They don't feel alienated, but it's more a team effort. And I was telling them upfront you're not getting anything for your real until the movies out and that can be anywhere between a year happened three years. So suck it up. You're here to make a movie. But there are dynamics. I, you know, I was taught very young Alex, that anybody who's a camera man wants to be a cinematographer or cinematographer, they want to be a director there are this they want
Alex Ferrari 55:15
your first they do a lot of times they want to be the director,
Shane Stanley 55:17
they want to be a director too. So I remember that going in. And to me again, I always found that's probably why don't hire a DS when I'm with these. But yeah, there is a, there's politics, there's dynamics. On a set, I feel, you know, I learned from Jeff McGuire, who is the tremendous writer, he wrote gridiron gang, he got an Oscar nomination for in the line of fire with Clint Eastwood. Jeff taught me something 30 years ago, he said, just remember something in this business, no matter what, no matter how kind somebody is being or how accommodating they may seem to you, they are doing it for their own gain. Don't ever forget that he was you'll make a lot of great friends in this industry. But he said, Just remember, everybody's got a purpose for what they do. And is it true or not? I think it's more true than untrue. But I just think it's, it's about working with people that you can trust and making sure everybody's on the same page. And I think if people feel comfortable, like we talked about earlier, that they feel from the top down, it's like we look at what's going on in our country. And people can say, why is things happening the way they're happening? When you look at the top and how people are behaving coming down? Oh, well, it's happening up there. It must be okay to treat somebody this way. I think if you can, I think you can, you know, leave with a soft voice and a big stick or whatever the term is, I think people the respect, and the backbiting and the conniving on a cetera did become a lot more minimal.
Alex Ferrari 56:48
I agree. That's what I, from my experience, too, if you cast the crew, appropriately, it's casting the crew, you cast those personalities to see if it's all in because if you have one toxic person, especially if they're a department head, it's tough because I mean, I've had a boom guy who was toxic, and it just brings the whole set down until I have to have to go over my get another guy here tomorrow, cuz I'm not going to work with this guy. He's just, he's just toxic. His attitude, his energy was heavy, everything was just rough. And it's just too damn stressful. making a movie is a stressful scenario.
Shane Stanley 57:23
It's hard enough. We don't need that Apple's to use a generic term. And you know, it's funny when you said that it reminded me of something. I was on a film a couple of films ago. And it was weird. I always do a SAG AFTRA film with a non IAA crew. That's just how I work. Some of my guys are a guys, they want to come work for me. That's fine. That's the right. I love having them. But we don't have union rules. So what are those rules? Well, we don't pay the union rates we still have the days are the same length. We still pay overtime. We're still feeding them feeding them
Alex Ferrari 57:51
Shane Stanley 57:52
very well, we overfeed. And they're just some things like hey, you know what, guys, I need grace, we need to get two more taxes. So we all good, everybody good. You know, ask for grace. And then you get that one guy who's part of the union that shows up one day that just angry, bitter. Trying to tell everybody let's turn the show and all our budgets 400 grand, you really want to turn the show.
Alex Ferrari 58:15
I've been I've been involved with productions who had their shows turned in for everybody listening, if you if you don't know what turning a show is, or flipping a show, is when a when you're in a non union shooting, you've got union guys working on it. And the film I was working on, I was doing post on, they actually were 50 were outside the circle, they were outside the 50 mile circle. So they were they were they were quote unquote, okay, they had some union guys, but there was this one guy, one assistant camera, who wanted to be part of the Union. And he made a phone call. And the next day the union was there, and they and they shut down the production. And they had to flip the production. And because of that one dude, that film sat in my hard drives for a year, because it had to, they had to raise another, like, you know, another few $100,000 to finish the film. And it was all because this guy flipped the film. So that's,
Shane Stanley 59:13
it's just one of your productions.
Alex Ferrari 59:15
No I, was I was I was just working post, just a dude in it for themselves. So it what I
Shane Stanley 59:22
what I do is I have an understanding of where budgets need to be to not get flipped. I mean, if your budget is a certain amount, they're gonna leave you alone. If you start treading in areas that you risk,
Alex Ferrari 59:35
go ahead. One of the thing was that our project, that project that was working on was a low budget project, but it had two high profile stars.
Shane Stanley 59:43
Ah, well, yeah, I mean, something I guess anything's possible. It's just, you know what? I always I always try, I don't, I don't subscribe to the theory. Permission or forgiveness is easier to get them from When it comes to filmmaking, I always try to knit the budget. Like what I set up to do my independent stuff with visual arts entertainment, I called the head of the CIA. I just I call them got to the head of the I introduced myself, this is what I'm doing. I've got three films I'm doing. These are the budgets, I need to know that I'm not going to have a problem. He goes, You called me. You're telling me your budget, your budget, I believe you. I told him where we were shooting, we're way out of the T zone. And he said, Dude, I will keep a note of all of this stuff, you will not hear from us. And guess what, in a four and a half year period making those films we did have one guy not a problem,
Alex Ferrari 1:00:37
or is it all is relative to the production because I was on another project. That was a million dollar production. A Million Dollar production had Austin in Florida had Oscar winning ask Oscar nominated actors in it, like big actors. I otzi showed up. They didn't know what the budget was. Now they I otzi showed up and they were shooting on a Panasonic dv x 100. A a million dollar production. Don't ask me why. On that camera, they were shooting this is this is back in the 90s. This is actually early 2000s
Shane Stanley 1:01:13
vs 2000. Remember,
Alex Ferrari 1:01:14
it's amazing. It's amazing camera. And they said, Oh, sorry, we didn't die. They just walked away because they said there's no money here. Okay, great. But what if you haven't had that conversation, and they see a big star, they're gonna flip they're gonna they're gonna, you're gonna have problems. I agree with you 100%. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Now, can we can we talk about the film deception, I mean, distribution. As you know, I don't know if you know or not, but I've become a kind of like a warrior for film distribution. I want to help filmmakers navigate this ridiculous system that is film distributors. I love to hear your thoughts on the system. What's wrong with it? How can it be fixed? Your horror stories, all that stuff?
Shane Stanley 1:02:12
Well, you know, that's the chapter in my book, film deception. I mean, distribution. Exactly. Right. And it's, you know, I've been involved with some some big indies that were like million $2 million entities that had deals and nobody's made any money, nobody's seen money, and they go in and they audit and they find out the film's made $3 million. And Oops, sorry, I missed that. You know, um, I think you have to realize that it's hard because you as a filmmaker, you got you create a product, you raise the money for it, as you say, you cast the crew, and then you cast the film, you know, the actors, you go through the brutal process of making you go to war, let's be honest, making a movie is a war. And then you kill yourself in post, and then you get it done. And then you and trust it, you entrust it to somebody to sell. And I you know, unfortunately, you will never know the true numbers that a movie makes or doesn't make. And I think you have, as I say, in my book, what I always try to say is try to find a group that will capture the vision early on it, you know, everybody has that envision, oh, well, I'm gonna just throw it up and let the bidding wars begin. It doesn't work that way anymore. Night,
Alex Ferrari 1:03:25
it's not the 90s. And we're not at Sundance that
Shane Stanley 1:03:28
not, it's not you know, who dreams it's, you know, come on. So what I always suggest is really try to develop relationships with distributors that have got longevity, you don't want somebody who just fell off the turnip truck or a guy's running a company who was part of a company for two years and part of the company six months before that, you know, there's some good companies out there that are tried and true. Just no going in there. They're all going to have their creative accounting, and butts up
Alex Ferrari 1:03:55
right there. So stop there for a sec. I just want to I want to touch on that. And this is what I've been yelling about from the top of the house there. And is it's a systemic problem in that side of our business. It has been going around since the days of Chaplin, which is called creative accounting. I feel that it is as prevalent as the casting couch was prior to the me to movement, like the casting couch was a it was just like, you all heard it like oh, yeah, you have to go on the casting couch if you want to get the part or you heard of this, of this casting couch. And when I was in film school, you heard about that, and it was even joked about in movies and stuff. It was just part of the way movies were made until finally, that that horrible cycle was broken. I feel that the same thing is happening on a financial standpoint, in the distribution side, where Oh, there's and I love the way you just said like, oh, there's gonna be creative accounting. Why? There's no other industry that I know of like the cookie business. If you see if you make a cookie, you sell a cookie, you send it over to the supermarket to supermarkets, like there's no creative accounting and the Cookie business. Why is it right? So why is there creative accounting in our business? And why is that still acceptable in today's world?
Shane Stanley 1:05:08
It's well the reason sadly it's acceptable is because you know, you got 33,000 movies a year Alex being made through sag with at least what somebody deems a bankable actor. Okay, that's a whole nother discussion. But, but people are beholden to investors or their wife if they wrote the check themselves. And they got to get a film out, and distributors know how desperate us filmmakers can be. And they also know there's 54 territories on the globe 174 buying countries. So Alex, if I'm a distributor, and I take your film, and I know I'm a hip pocket dealing, Guam, the chances of you going to Guam on vacation with your wife and staying at the Radisson and seeing it at two o'clock in the morning on Guam vision or whatever, you're probably not going to see it and you're not going to know if I got five grand for 2500 for it. So what happens is there's 54 territories, they're going to hopefully sell the biggies. You know, you may get somebody come in and buy up 20 territories, you may sell them Germany, Southeast Asia, Vietnam, China, but most of us filmmakers don't realize and it's in my book, there's 54 territories, all those territories equally need content, what is what I believe keeps a lot of the smaller distributors awake and alive is those hip pocket deals they make at AFM Toronto, MIPCOM Berlin, where they're like, Look, I'll tell you what, you can have these 10 movies for 10 grand, you would I will never know about. We just don't know about. I mean, I've traveled the world and seen my films on TV. years later. Like, I never made a deal here. And like, you know, like, seriously, I mean, it's happened. And that's, I think, and then there's also the charges, the market charges, you know, they'll charge you up to $25,000 then there could be a market overhead charge for another 25 plus anything that you don't have the money to do you need to surround 5.1 surround fully filled m&e, well, we didn't do that I only had a few grand that makes the film in stereo, they'll gladly do it for you. So you have to be sure they're not charging you more than it should cost. Will you mean like, what
Alex Ferrari 1:07:17
do you mean like $10 per minute for closed captioning?
Shane Stanley 1:07:22
Yeah, we're doing 90 minute movies that can cost you more $212 I mean, remember, I remember doing a music video for VH one for an artist. I won't say who? And VH one demanded. We did closed captions for their video and I found a place that was for a music video three and a half minutes. You've done a lot of closed captions for
Alex Ferrari 1:07:45
what year was this?
Shane Stanley 1:07:47
Alex Ferrari 1:07:50
Okay, sure. Okay.
Shane Stanley 1:07:51
Not a long time ago. They was $582 I'm freaking out because I never like closed captioning three days I called a friend of mine, Todd Gilbert. Robbie Lerner's post production. I love Todd I called him I said, Hey, buddy, I got a question. He's like, what are you out of your mind call this place in San Francisco, it's gonna be like, it's gonna be like no money. So the music video did cost me like $38. And right, this money for my 90 minute movies, it's $112 for 90 minutes, all in.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:21
Exactly. And there's so many other options now as well. But so I love I love the term hip pocket deal, because not many people understand what that is. And what you've basically explained is like, they have your movie, they have worldwide rights, what they're going to do is they're going to call up South Africa, or even a smaller market, and you have a relationship with Guam, let's say Guam, and you're like, Look, I'm going to give you 2000 give me 2000 bucks for this film. And, and you'll never hear about it, because you unless you audit them. And even if you audit them, good luck. And so that you have no power,
Shane Stanley 1:08:54
you will get away from it, not to have to wait to get away with it as they do the block deals. So there is no paperwork for that
Alex Ferrari 1:09:02
film. Although they do talk about packaging don't get
Shane Stanley 1:09:05
it will do 10 to 20 films for 20. It's 1000 to $2,000 per title, take all these titles, a lot of people. I had a guy who came to me to help sell this film. And I befriended a former scorn distribution guy. And he said, and I said to him, this guy's got insomnia. He's up at 230 in the morning watching Cinemax. He can't figure out how some of the worst movies in the world are on there and why his movie can't get on. Here he goes, Oh, I can get it on there tomorrow. We'll just have to package it with 10 to 20 others we'll get two grand and Ruby on Cinemax and four months. He goes because those deals are packaged. They don't show up. They just hurry but that's it. None of that though Cinemax, under the bus Cinemax isn't doing anything wrong. It's the people peddling these package deals to these foreign networks and countries and ancillaries just
Alex Ferrari 1:09:53
what happens and there's also don't forget the fire sales and there's fire sales as well that like oh yeah, here. Yeah, I'll give you this movie for 500 bucks. Just you know. Here we go. And, and those deals are done at AFM. They're done at a con. They're done at Berlin.
Shane Stanley 1:10:06
Yep, they're done online now. Yeah, but you're right. And when where that comes from is a sales agent takes on a film, they can't give it away. It's a stinker. And they may have put together some artwork or a trailer and be out a few grand of liquid cash to their vendors to get it done. They need to start recouping. So what I always tell filmmakers is please, please, please, please read the fine print, read my book because I actually copy and paste a lot of contract misleading language. in that chapter of my book, I the way the book came about, I get a lot of calls from independent filmmakers for advice. I even get some calls from very well known filmmakers for advice when they need to save a buck or two. And what what happened was as I started writing a blog, and they said, Hey, do you want to write a book? And then my wife was like, you know, you're getting a lot of time to people? Why don't you just you keep She goes, I've been listening to you do this for 20 years, you keep telling them the same thing? Why don't you just write your thoughts down, and it's all in one place. And that's how the book became. And while I was writing the book, I had a really respected indie filmmaker, who for the first time in her life was stuck, he raised over a million and a half dollars of his own, you know, of liquid cash, made a movie got a couple of big stars attached, and it was on his ass to sell his movie to get distribution, he had no idea how to do it, he was a very good filmmaker would know business and distribution. So he starts sending me all these contracts, and his investor wants him to sign this with this company. And I that is when the light bulb went on. For me, Alex, I went, Oh my god, I got to write about this, I have to take these documents and copy and paste them and put them in a book. Because these are so duplicitous, and so misleading. People don't realize when they have a $20,000 market charge, and then $20,000 service charge, it's 40 grand that the movies gonna make before you see a dime plus a percentage, plus marketing costs of a trailer. The trailer probably cost 1000 to make they're gonna charge you five grand, the posters cost them a few 100 they're gonna charge you 1500 how it gets back charged, do and then they're gonna take 20% on top of that
Alex Ferrari 1:12:14
as a commission. Oh, yeah. But they'll take no forget, they take that 20% before all of those expenses, they make sure that yeah, oh, yeah. So if you're, say, 100,000, that 20 grand goes right off the top, then they start pulling out all the it's you it is, it's such a scam. And I think that I mean, my second book, Rise of the film entrepreneur, it's about giving the filmmaker the power to take control of their own thing. And, and which leads us to the next question I want to talk to you about because you worked a bit in the music industry as well. And I've been yelling from the top of the lungs from top of the hill as well. And in my book, that if you want to see where the film industry is going to be in the next five years, all you got to do is just look at the music industry, it's the exact same pattern that is happening. Whereas the actual art, the actual content is, for lack of a better word worthless, it means it has no value to it, where a song used to cost $18 to get the album so you can get the song. Now, Beyonce is getting paid a 20th of a cent for a play of one of her songs, what do you think an independent artist is going to have? What chance do they have? So I want you to talk a little bit about where you think. Because if if you think that's not happening, look at Amazon Prime, and you're getting a penny. And I'm sure they're going to go to fractions of pennies soon, I promise you they will. Or they not already. If and if they're not already, you're right. So that, you know, a penny for an hour of viewing is what Amazon's paying. So essentially, the movie is almost worthless. It's essentially free.
Shane Stanley 1:13:52
I you know what, let me let me answer that by starting going backwards on what we just talked about. I knew the sales agent, not a distributor, an agent that got so frustrated not being able to sell somebody movie that was actually pretty good. He made a couple of foreign deals like in South Africa, in Germany, and like, you know, the same areas, the movie was starting to make a little money back. And he got frustrated. And before his contract, his three year or five year deal was over. He uploaded it without the filmmakers permission on amazon prime. So then it became worthless. He couldn't give it away after that. And he got his first royalty check after a year and I think he saw $7.38 and you're talking about a six figure movie. I mean, I think the guy paid six 700 grand for his movie, it wasn't cheap. So that is happening. You know, I'll tell a story and this is directly from artists that I've worked with over the years, Alex and you and I were talking about this before we started today. The music industry used to be something that you know those artists for the writing. They're performing recorded material had value. Like he said, in the 90s and early 2000s. We would go to the CD store on paid and spend $19 plus tax on a CD for that one or two songs. There was no you know, downloading on Napster, which really changed it. Yeah. And it really did, sadly. And I learned from some artists that I'm very close with one day about 10 years ago, they said, Well, you know musics free now. As soon as our CD comes out, somebody puts it on YouTube or music video on YouTube, you go to YouTube to mp3 convert, you download it, it goes on your iPhone, your iPod, your iPad, your iPhone, whatever people have, there are music everywhere. We can only make music in the touring and merchandise. So the question now becomes, I know there are titles I have that we have to go on YouTube every single day and 510 times a day, there are titles of mine that are being purged on YouTube that I have to go in take 20 minutes of my day, and fill out a copyright request thing. And it's the movie was out and sold that people are watching it for free. It's basically useless and worthless. We don't have live performance touring and merchandise, really, I mean, unless you got Yoda like you do in the back, there are some of the cool things you've done here. You're a pretty smart dude, you've got things that you're moving I figure, I don't know what the hell yeah, it's this industry is this sustainable independent is going to be tougher and tougher. Because the deals are going to get smaller and smaller. The content is not slowing down, everybody's making something I don't know where we're gonna go. And then you still have the demands from the unions on the royalties and
Alex Ferrari 1:16:47
backup, but they're, but they're also building that out off of a model from the 80s. In the 90s. When money was five, which money was flowing, like I was working in Miami, where they did a music video and I saw it was a $500,000 budget on a second tier artist. Not even deficit, the top tier artists there was the there was the 90s there was money flowing like there was no tomorrow, all those deals, all those residuals just like there are there's not going to be any more fro any more friends deals, or Seinfeld deals where those actors are pulling in 20 million a year off of residuals, those days are gone. Gone. And it's going to be rough. It's not only refer musicians, but on ours, outside actors are it's getting tougher and tougher for any residuals on actors. Before you could do one or two national spots a year. And now and that could keep you afloat comfortably. You could pull in 60 to 120. If it's a Superbowl ad or even a big national ad that gets played about you will get residuals. Hold on a second.
Shane Stanley 1:17:49
One of my best friends did a Bud Light ad for a Super Bowl three years ago.
Alex Ferrari 1:17:54
And how much it was brand, man, how much was it? five grand, right? So now that's what that's the only so now. So before you used to be able to do that.
Shane Stanley 1:18:05
Yeah. Now. Whoa, are the guys the shell guy
Alex Ferrari 1:18:10
or mayhem mayhem mayhem is making.
Shane Stanley 1:18:12
Those are the guys that you know flow. Brent Bailey, who's the shell guy and mayhem are the guys that are making good quality because they are owned for two years. They signed two year contracts with these companies that their first refusal they may get paid. But you're right. And I remember growing up as a kid I you know, I grew up in the industry. I had a neighbor who was a gator raid girl or a Coca Cola girl she I remember when she was in high school. She went to her mailbox one day we got off the school bus. I heard this screaming we all go over there. She opened up a check for her Geeta read worldwide residuals, it was $74,000. And this was in 1986.
Alex Ferrari 1:18:48
I had in full and full sail. One of my teachers was the associate producer of parenthood. Huh, okay of that movie parenthood by Ron Howard. He was he was a happy days guy and all that stuff. So he was telling the stories like he played the part of the opposing, literally coach for Steve Martin. And he had two lines.
Shane Stanley 1:19:10
He's under five, right?
Alex Ferrari 1:19:11
Yeah. He said two lines. And he said, Come on, Jimmy, you could do it. Come on. And that was that's all he did two days. They held them for the first day. They didn't get to him. They said he paid he got paid like whatever it was at the time, like five or $600 a day it was like 89 or something like that when it came out. Then first residual $50,000 Yeah, $50,000 was a really good buddy of mine was the unit production manager of seven movies. So the movie seven with Brad Pitt, David Fincher movie. Sure. First residual check 50 $70,000 as the as the UPM because he's a DJ. So UPM first ad and director all get residuals. All of that's going away because Netflix changed the game. And they said no, no. Why are we going to pay residuals? No, don't worry. We're going to do buyouts and as you as you saw the Disney Disney is actually saying, Yeah, we're going to give you two seasons of residuals, two years of residuals. And that's it, is it. And so the whole game has changed. So they're literally the corporations are trying to squeeze now, even all of those kind of like placeholder things to help the artists to survive. As an actor, as a writer, as a director, as a filmmaker. The lot of things that we grew up with or were taught with are no longer going to be around or are around period.
Shane Stanley 1:20:29
And I'll be honest with you sag afters made it difficult because they basically make you sign your life away to get your film cleared. So you can make it with a SAG actor. And then they want to know why the result. There's our name, well, I got a streaming deal. Somebody's paying me $3 to stream the movie. You got a $600,000 movie here, it's made back $18,000. What like, you've got investors, you've got costs, you got overhead, you've got commissions for nutrition. It's such an in, you're right, it's like everybody is still going everybody who's squeezing the filmmakers working off of boiler plates from the 80s and 90s when there was tons of money, and there was DVD markets, they won't be honest with you.
I had a film a couple of years ago air on a cable network. And the buyout from the cable network was five grand five grand. So the union saw that was like oh, why didn't it up, buddy. We're backing up the Brinks truck. Oh, it was it was fun to show them that oh, I lied. It was actually $4,000. They expected this huge six figure and it was a big and it was a big network. It was huge network they bought it out for they had a six month run on it for like one of the big paid pay networks. Now they give us four grand, but the whole the whole, like six months or a year for four. And don't forget the sales agent took 20%. So we really obviously,
Alex Ferrari 1:21:52
obviously, obviously, this agent took 20% where's the residuals for what they're that's and that's the point. So and as and what COVID is showing us is the pressure now it's showing us how flawed the system is, and so on and so flawed. So I am saying Rome is burning. I've been saying this for a little while now. Rome is burning, and Rome is Hollywood. And the systems that are around Hollywood that be in film distribution, whether it be the unions, whether all of it has to burn down because it's not that I want it to it's just has to burn down now. And then out of the New World. This new system is going to come up I hope this new system can help filmmakers and artists. I'm not sure it will, I hope there is more potential for the artists to get more control of their art and of their finances. But it's going to be a battle and what it was before like when you and I were coming up. You could make a living as an actor, as a as a writer doing small projects as a filmmaker doing small things. Remember music videos like I was just saying you can make a living to music videos, your kids music videos as a living nownow unless you're at the very level
Shane Stanley 1:23:08
When I was doing 80s rock band music videos talking about the half million dollar budget Oh, motley and poison and Guns and Roses because we're getting seven figures to do videos.
Alex Ferrari 1:23:18
Oh, yeah. Well,
Shane Stanley 1:23:20
I still work with a lot of those bands when we do videos now is hey, you know, can you grab a camera and a couple buddies will give you five grand Can we make a video? Yep. And it's not that they're poor. These guys were smart with their money that it's just they're not dumb. They're not getting the record label support they did back in the day. They're not having 100 grand go to catering and limos and blow. It's now coming out of their pocket and they know what things cost. And they're like, hey, Shane,
Alex Ferrari 1:23:44
can you get a couple buddies? together? five grand for you? Can you do a video for us? Oh no, I was doing videos. I was doing videos with Snoop Dogg and ludicrous. And I saw ibw $2,000 because they knew the artists knew a lot of times mshs Luna and Snoop specifically, they were guest starring and some other people's stuff. But they knew that as a director, you're like, well, if I have Luda and snoop on my reel, I'm gonna be able to get some work. And they know that. So they're leveraging that to get you work. I mean, it's I you know, I wanted this episode to be kind of like a little bit of a box that opens up and exposes the truth about our industry in a small way, especially things that they don't teach in film school. So this is really geared towards people who have not been on sets who've not been in the business for a long time to really understand the reality. And this is a pretty raw and brutal conversation. You and I were just two old, old old war dogs who have got a lot of shrapnel because we've been in the business for a while. But I'm sure a lot of people listening right now are horrified.
Shane Stanley 1:24:49
And I don't want it to discourage anybody. No sessions with you until the frickin cows come home. I enjoy it. Yeah, it's the fact and point is is are we going to be real Are we going to sugarcoat It's like, right you know, you want to tell a woman who's thinking about having a baby. It feels really good giving birth, especially make sure you don't get the epidural. You'll love it. Yeah, have to be honest, creative. Because I, I mean, I hate breaking hearts I hate. I would never want to crush your dream. If it was easy, everybody would do it. I still want to encourage people to do it, but know what you're going to up against. And you know, you've opened my eyes to some stuff here. And it's like, yeah, you
Alex Ferrari 1:25:26
know what? That's the problem. I never heard it voice like that, Alex, it's brilliant. There's so working off of the 80s and 90s contracts to turn things into date. That's sure me. But the system is built on those boiler plates. The system is built. The sag contracts are built on that the DGA contracts the wg a contracts are built on with the assumption that there's money that there's money flowing, that everyone's making money. And yes, there are, but that about people who are actually making money, it's extremely small, and they're all the way at the top. Okay, I always I always use the example of like Blade Runner. I'm not where the owl is at the top of that building. I'm at the bottom where the really good food is. That's where I live. I live on the street level where Harrison is where Harrison's game picked up by James any almost Okay, that's, yeah, that's where I live. And that's where most filmmakers live. We live down at the bottom level of Blade Runner. But most of us want to be up where the owl is up where Sean young is introduced. That's where we all want to be. And I've been in that room a couple times. You've been in that room a few times, we get to visit it, but we never get to stay.
Shane Stanley 1:26:38
Yeah. For a little while, have you over for a drink?
Alex Ferrari 1:26:42
Right? You know, you might even stick around for a little bit. But sooner or later security finds you and kicks you out. That's still a way I always look at it. But but that's the game. And that is that is our industry. And that's why I've been yelling and film distribution is the worst out of all of it. Because all of their systems are built on shit from the 90s, early 2000s they're still talking about DVD sales. Like it's a thing. Don't get me wrong, there is still money in DVD but nothing like it wasn't
Shane Stanley 1:27:12
a 30% comeback during COVID. Let's hope it sticks.
Alex Ferrari 1:27:15
Right. But the point is that that's not that's not the growth industry. DVD is not the growth. It's not vinyl. It's not vinyl, it's there's no
Shane Stanley 1:27:24
Best Buy and Walmart to find them or the 99 cent
Alex Ferrari 1:27:28
store. Right? And all of them are enclosed areas that generally people don't want to go into now because
Shane Stanley 1:27:35
people don't realize this DVD deals are done where they say hey, we'll give you $2 a disc or four for 4000 of them. We're going to sprinkle them around Walmart.
Alex Ferrari 1:27:43
Yeah, but they don't talk about the the returns. Oh, no, no, no, no, you
Shane Stanley 1:27:47
don't get that you get the $3 per disc less, you're 20% but they're gonna sell them for nine or 12 or $15.
Alex Ferrari 1:27:54
But a lot of it but a lot of those Walmart deals because it's Walmart, they'll go Yeah, we didn't sell about 500 of these. So we're going to ship those right back to you. So you're gonna eat those costs. And I always tell people do you think that you think the film distributor is gonna eat that? Don't you worry. You will you won't you won't ever don't you'll ever even know what happened. And that's
Shane Stanley 1:28:15
you wouldn't be better off getting a credit card that you may get a five or $10,000 limit on and just buying up every desk. Yes, so that doesn't cost you back I know that sounds crazy.
Alex Ferrari 1:28:29
Oh no but buying them all out because at that point then at least you could go out and sell them yourself if
Shane Stanley 1:28:34
you want like you did I mean you're you've been very smart selling your neurons I gotta learn from I want to get your next your last book about that because it there's so much to learn from guys like you that have figured it out. No, it's it's just one thing. One reason I was really excited for us to talk besides your platform being something that was excited to be a part of it in researching you and what you've done Alex it's brilliant because first that's all like I hate to keep bringing him up that's one reason I think we hit it off. I mean the guy's been poisoned back in the 80s they could not get a record deal. And they find every record label passed on them. They literally got a deal it was them to smithereens and one other band I can't writing was great white got a deal from a nygma they went to a warehouse in wersi Airport that area then no no van de la excellent What is that?
Alex Ferrari 1:29:24
I know what you're talking about. I know you're talking about yeah the
Shane Stanley 1:29:27
house there that the guys were literally shrink wrapping and packaging and putting the sticker on there for the label labels like that will give you a record of you got to come here and help us package it and ship like literally Brent and Bobby and CC and Ricky were shrink wrapping their own records and helping get them out to the stores. And then what happened was is Capitol Records ended up buying a nygma and then exploded at the right time and everything worked out but that's how we have to remember it really is and how it was and how it very well could be again unfortunately, we have to So we can sell
Alex Ferrari 1:30:02
it, the game, the game has changed so much. The rules are so different and I just want filmmakers listening to understand that the industry is still still built around those old models. And that's why the industry is having that's why took Disney 10 years to launch a streaming service 10 years 10 years before before they launched a real streaming service that compete with Netflix because when Netflix showed up, everyone was like, I don't know. And Hollywood is definitely not no for innovation. It takes for it takes someone with some major weight like a George Lucas, like a Steve Jobs, like someone to ship come in, and go or James Cameron and come in and just go You know what, guys? This is the new way. Follow me. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Shane Stanley 1:31:01
I will tell you how Right you are. I did gridiron 1212 years ago with Sony, I stayed on the good graces and in regular touch with the regime for another two or three years, you know, developing other things. Hey, you want to have lunch? You know? And I remember talking I think it was Amy Pascal. She was still there. And I think I remember her saying she had this really bizarre meeting with all the heads of the other studios it was paramount. Universal Warner Brothers Sony Disney, Disney and Fox It was like it was like a you know, a big gathering
Alex Ferrari 1:31:33
was like all the all the all the mob. You were just like all the mob bosses were getting together in an undisclosed location. Got it?
Shane Stanley 1:31:41
What was the person and she said, Netflix is going to be a major problem for us. And we all need to have a meeting of the minds and we're gonna start pumping the brakes with these with these guys. And we are we need to all create our own streaming service.
Alex Ferrari 1:31:52
What What year was this? What year was this
Shane Stanley 1:31:55
was 10 910 years ago, probably nine or 10 years ago. And I said so wait a minute, you guys, you're gonna start pumping the brakes on what you're giving these issues. They don't pay much. And they're owning it right now. Why? We have Sony streaming impairments streaming and universal streaming or Disney and it wasn't called Pandit she wanted we I don't remember this conversation was like eight years 10 years ago.
Alex Ferrari 1:32:21
And you're right. Have you commit your right to Disney 10 years, 10 years. And Disney's and Disney is killing it. And Disney is killing it right now. But peacocks having peacocks having a rough time right now. I know HBO Max is doing okay. And they're I think they're fine. But they also had they were leveraging HBO Go already.
Shane Stanley 1:32:42
Yeah. And I think Maverick is going to end up being paramount. Paramount network's big push at the end of the year. I think they're gonna end up just screaming that well, I don't know theaters are starting to open up but I still think they're gonna use Maverick for something.
Alex Ferrari 1:32:54
Yeah, and but and I've been saying this and then because this is we can keep talking for another four or five hours I'm sure. But um, but I've said this before, a ton of times I'll say it again. Within the next 12 to 18 months, Paramount Sony, or Lionsgate or MGM is going to be absolutely absorbed by either Google, Amazon, apple, or Facebook. Those four guys has so much cash that Facebook wanted to really come in to this game. For real. They're playing in the streaming they they do a couple little shows on their Facebook watch thing. But if they really want to come in, they buy MGM catalog, they buy Sony's catalog, they buy Paramount's catalog, and all of a sudden, you got content and lots of it. Oh, yeah. And they're all and all of them are prime their prime targets because they're not doing well.
Shane Stanley 1:33:52
I am a firm believer that, um, I think Apple's gonna end up buying Netflix in the next three years.
Alex Ferrari 1:33:59
I that's that's been the rumors for a while. It's gonna take a lot because I think also Apple has the cash to buy anything they want. I mean, there was talks of them by Disney. I know. That's like, like, just wrap your head around cash. By the way. It was cash. It's like they have enough cash to buy Disney.
Shane Stanley 1:34:18
Alex Ferrari 1:34:18
That's a slush account in Ireland somewhere. But um, but I don't I think Netflix itself and then we'll and then we'll start we'll start winding this down guys unless you guys if you're still listening fantastic. I think that Netflix itself as a company is not diversified. So they are they are very vulnerable. Because if they get hit if this this plus goes away tomorrow, Disney's fine. If HBO goes away tomorrow h Warner's is fine, don't make it. If Netflix is numbers drop. That's going to hurt and they're going to they're going to drop go out there in debt up to their eyeballs. Yeah, it's taking forever for them. To pay their filmmakers not that they're not paying them, they are paying them. But it's taking delayed responses and things like that you can start seeing the writing on the wall on what's going on. And now Netflix is having a pump so much more money in to compete with the Disney pluses to compete with HBO backs that compete with Hulu, and all of these other platforms. So right now I don't think Disney would buy them because they're just too big for what as a compared is comparatively to the deals in the marketplace. The deals in the marketplace because they have the they have the distribution. They have the membership. They have emails from millions and millions of people have all their other accounts and stuff like that. So but if you buy Sony, which has all Columbia and TriStar and all of Sony's content and all their television and all that stuff, that is a bargain. Paramount's a bargain. MGM is a bargain. Lionsgate is a bargain, comparatively to buying Netflix, in my, in my opinion, if I was if I was Apple, or if I was Google, or only these guys, I'm like, Okay, we've got the tech now the Apple, Google Facebook figure out that if they don't figure it out, now they already have the technology, technology is not a problem with them. infrastructure is not a problem for them. Content is a problem for them. And Netflix also comes along with a lot of debt. A lot of it so anyway, okay, let's let's finish off this, this amazing conversation. I'm gonna ask you a few questions. I asked all of my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?
Shane Stanley 1:36:33
The advice I would give a filmmaker trying to break into the industry today is where a crash helmet. Just be prepared to hit a lot of brick walls. be tenacious, don't give up. Don't give up. Because if you do, it could have been that one next try that could have done it for you. And I just see if it's in your heart and you're passionate about it. Just Just keep going. You hit the door enough times for the bad it's eventually going to come off the hinges.
Alex Ferrari 1:36:59
Amen, amen. No question. Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Shane Stanley 1:37:07
Um, you can't change people
Alex Ferrari 1:37:10
was a good answer. A real good answer,
Shane Stanley 1:37:12
I think I think a leopard shows their spots. And that could be me, it could be somebody I'm working with, or a partner, I think I think people show you who they are. And if you think you're going to change people and mold them into who you want them to be, you're gonna waste a lot of time and energy in that and you either can accept who they are and work with that or move on from that if it's toxic or unhealthy.
Alex Ferrari 1:37:34
And three of your favorite films of all time.
Shane Stanley 1:37:36
Three of my favorite films of all time, they're not what you would think they are. I would have to say sideways. Yep. I'm Jerry Maguire, Notting Hill. I will stop everything and watch every time they're on.
Alex Ferrari 1:37:50
Yeah, there's just there's that that's a that's a group of films that make sense together.
Shane Stanley 1:37:55
I think the greatest movies of all time, absolutely not. But I can I can spin past anything. But when those are on I gotta stop. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 1:38:03
exactly. Now, where can people find you what you do and get access to your book? Well, thank
Shane Stanley 1:38:09
you. Um, what you don't learn in film school is you can go to what you don't learn in film school.com it will guide you to the different places you can buy it. It's available on Amazon. A whole bunch of different retailers, Barnes and Noble all online or you can get the hard the hard cover books as well. So what you don't learn in film school comm you can go to my website, Shane's family info.net lm sorry, Shane Stanley. dotnet. I think God, yeah, the email is info chain, Stanley dotnet. If you want to get something to me, I'm pretty open and accessible in that respect. So yeah, so those are the places you can find me.
Alex Ferrari 1:38:49
Shane, it has been an absolute joy talking to you and having you on the show is it's always nice talking to to an old battle hardened dog, as yourself and myself together. I always love I don't like to use the word old, I think seasoned, seasoned battle dog, man.
Shane Stanley 1:39:07
Seasoned indie rad
Alex Ferrari 1:39:08
ops. Absolutely. And we're still here. And we're still we're still here. We're still fighting the good fight. And and you and I both know many filmmakers who are not still here. They've left the business they've gone to do other things because the business got the best of them. So if you're able to just be persistent, a lot of times the people who make it are not generally the best. Not the most talented. Not the most experienced. It's the people who just nice and not the most nice it's just the guys who the guys and the gals who just just keep showing up,
Shane Stanley 1:39:41
keep showing up they figured it out. You know, I learned a long time ago it's balls and passion that makes it happen and you know, films get made you know a lot of people will watch a movie it's against worst thing I've ever seen how they get made. Well back up and look, how did it get made. Somebody was passionate about it. Somebody had tenacity, they had balls and capital. They had something because they were able to get it on. The screen, so it's doable. You got to snap it on and figure it out and do it yourself.
Alex Ferrari 1:40:06
Again, Sam, thank. you so much for being on the show. I appreciate it, brother. Stay safe out there.
Shane Stanley 1:40:10
Alex, it's been an honor. I hope we get to do it again. Thanks, man.
Alex Ferrari 1:40:13
I want to thank Shane so much for coming on the show and dropping those knowledge bombs on the tribe today. Thank you so, so much, Shane. If you want to get links to anything we spoke about in this episode, including how to get a free audio book copy of what you don't learn in film school, a complete guide to independent filmmaking from IFH books, just head over to the show notes at indie film hustle.com Ford slash 452. And I'll have links and information on how you can get that free copy. Thank you so much for listening, guys. As always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. Stay safe out there. And I'll talk to you soon.
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- Shane Stanley – Official
- Shane Stanley – IMDb
- What You Don’t Learn In Film School: A Complete Guide To (Independent) Filmmaking
- FREE AUDIOBOOK VERSION