IFH 224

IFH 224: TOP SECRET Indie Film Hustle Project Finally Revealed


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The day is finally here. I’ve been teasing you guys for months now. The top-secret project I’ve been working on is my next feature film called “On the Corner of Ego and Desire.” The entire film was shot at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film was written, produced, directed by me, produced by Adam Bowman of Media Circus, shot by Austin Nordell and starring Rob AliceaSonja O’Hara, and Randy Ramos Jr.

Here is the synopsis:

Three hapless independent filmmakers make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival and go through absolute hell in search of the elusive producer that is supposedly going to buy their independent feature film, all within 24 hours. With a producer who stole money from his mother’s retirement account to fund the film, to a director who thinks she’s the next Francois Truffaut, to an actor/editor who is a doormat for everyone, this motley crew of misfit filmmakers have a tough time navigating the chaotic world of the Sundance Film Festival. Ignorance, foolishness and above all ego drive the team to implosion as they struggle to realize their filmmaking dreams.

I wanted to make a film that would be an allegory of what “not” to do with an indie film. The movie is funny, sad, ridiculous and heart-wrenching. I didn’t want to announce the project without being able to show the IFH Tribe something so check out the teaser trailer below.

Let me know what you guys think. Take a listen to the episode as I go into more detail on how we shot it, what camera and lenses we used and much more. I’ll be breaking down the process of how the film came together in the coming weeks and months. For some behind the scenes photos of the production go to: On the Corner of Ego and Desire – Official Site.

I hope this little film will inspire you to go out and tell your story. Keep that hustle going, keep that dream alive and I’ll talk to you soon.

Alex Ferrari 2:01
Well, guys, the day is finally here. I have been working feverishly in the lab on this top secret project. And I've been holding, I've been teasing you guys for months now about it. Especially these last few weeks. I've just been fever Slee working on it, to get something to show you guys what I've been working on. And I really hope that this project will inspire you guys to do something on your own, and go out and make your own thing. But the the top secret project I have been working on is my new feature film. I did a new feature film this year, and I shot it at the Sundance Film Festival. That's right, I actually went out with a camera and a crack team of a few people to go out and shoot this movie. The movie is called on the corner of ego and desire. And the story is about three filmmakers chasing a producer at the Sundance Film Festival that is supposedly going to buy their film. And it was an adventure to say the least. We shot it while we were there at the Sundance Film Festival. And the way the whole project came along was I was sitting down in a meeting with Adam Bowman from media circus, who is my partner on all my Sundance stuff that I do. And we were just figuring out what we're going to do as far as interviews and how we can make things bigger this year. And what what more content we can provide to our audiences and so on. And I just, I just turned to him, I say, Adam, you know, I think it'd be irresponsible of us not to shoot a feature film at Sundance this year. And add them to his credit said, I'm listening. Didn't even didn't even skip a beat. So then I started putting together this, this idea of filmmakers going after their dream at the Sundance Film Festival, but doing it in a very irresponsible and ignorant way. And I wanted to make a movie that was an allegory of what not to do. In the entire process of making a movie, you know, how they finance their movie, how they shot their movie, how ego got absolutely out of control in their in their process. And these three characters go through absolute hell. So I wanted to explore the first time Sundance visitor which is can be very grueling. If you don't know about Sundance, and we did that little survival guide a little while ago, before Sundance this year, but it can be brutal, physically brutal on us, let alone mentally and spiritually for that matter. And I was able to cast three amazing actors out of New York, Rob Alessia, Sonia O'Hara and Randy Ramos Jr. And I wanted to get actors who were not household names or even faces that you would Recognize one of the young actors to, to kind of go down this adventure. So you really would really go with them on this, this this ridiculous journey which by the way, they do Sundance in 24 hours as well and story, which is another craziness, another level of crazy that we added on to the project. And, and it was amazing. And over the course of the next few weeks and few months, I will be dissecting the process of how we made it together. The just so I'll give you a little bit of details about as far as the, the crew and the gear that we used. We shot the movie on a Blackmagic Pocket camera. And I know a lot of you are going wha that's only 10 ADP. Yes it is. But I wanted to use a super 16 millimeter sensor because I wanted to give it this kind of old you know, 90s vibe like 90s independent film vibe from like Sundance days. So between the Blackmagic Pocket camera, and some filters that I used in in post production and color grading, I achieved the look that I was going for. And we use three lenses, we use vintage lenses, the canoptek 5.7 mil, we also use the angenieux 12 to 120. And we also use the Sigma 18 to 35 mil. And there's a lot more technical stuff that we use, we use the speed booster on on one of those lenses and the other lenses were actually super 16 lenses, that we were able to get some things I'll go into deep detail about that and later shows and other things I'll be doing to show you guys how we actually shot this. We had basically three crew members on the entire show we had my trusty dp slash camera man, Austin Nord, Dell, who did a fantastic job shooting this, I can't tell you how great of a job we did. You know, we were running around literally running around Park City, just grabbing shots wherever we wanted to, and and just jumped in and out of stuff. He was grabbing things as we walked. It was truly a wonderful collaboration. And we had Kyle Stumbo as our audio master and his audio. You know, it was amazing. It was great to have an audio guy, not me holding a boom. And Kyle is the utmost professional. And we had our actors lab the entire time and we busted out the boom every once in a while. But when you guys see the movie, you'll understand what craziness it was to do what we were able to do. And then we also had a good friend of mine the most overqualified first ad ever. Straw Weissman, who was basically our go to guy papa, papa straw, as we call him and former guests of the indie film hustle podcast, if you want to listen to his podcast, it is Episode 183. And straw was able to get us whatever we needed whenever we needed and blocked off people from walking in our shots, and things like that, while we were going. This is the absolute definition of indie film, hustle, you know what we were able to do running around in the cold cold weather shooting in the middle of the night. And, and just, you know, just just really grilling the entire process. And I am so proud of the collaboration that I had with not only our technical side of stuff, but also the actors who did a lot of improv. Through the movie, we did a scriptment of a full structure of a story. And and then they threw in some amazing stuff as we went along. And it just came out wonderfully. So it's a wonderful collaboration. And I wanted to wait to announce this project because I wanted to show you guys what we did. Now obviously, I'm not gonna be able to show you the movie, we are going to be going down the festival route a little bit, we are going after some of the bigger festivals to see if anybody is interested in our little movie and see what happens. But I did want to put out a teaser trailer at least so you guys can get a taste of what we did. So if you want to watch the teaser trailer, just head over to indie film, hustle, calm Ford slash two to four for the show notes of this episode. Or if you want to even get more information about the movie, head over to ego and desire film.com. Now, a lot of you are going to how did you come up with the title? The way we came up with the title was, I actually was standing on the corner of ego and desire at Sundance, where we were staying well, first of all this year, this year at Sundance, put all these inspirational words all around sight all around Park City in these banners and, and placards and posters. And it was like you know, yearning and dreams and ego and madness and all these kind of cool words. And literally when we were staying I walked out and I looked up and there was on one corner you Go on the other word desire and I just blurted it out to the, to the cast and crew. I'm like, oh, wow, look, we're on the corner of ego and desire. And I thought that was, wow, that's a great name for a movie, I think that will be great. And that kind of serendipity is what happened throughout this entire process. I literally cast the actors a week, before we left for Sundance, I had other actors that we were looking at, but we can never get anyone to lock in. Because to be honest with you, it was an insane proposal. I, you know, you're basically telling actors, hey, look, we're gonna go out and shoot a movie, at Sundance this year at Park City. And we're gonna see what happens. And you got to be really brave actor to come out and do this. And all three of our actors were insanely brave and trusting me, and trusting that I would put a team together that we could actually get something on screen. You know, I had this as Megan, obviously, in the years of directing music videos and commercials and other things I've done. But this was a very, you know, there was no one knew what we were going to get at the end of this, including myself, I had a real good inclination. But at the end of the day, I had no idea what we were going to be able to get, because, you know, we were grilling this entire thing. So, you know, with these actors came out. And then of course, often I did the same pitch to Kyle did the same pitch to straw straw actually wanted to jump on regardless, like I just want to go, I want to go, I want to be part of this, I want to see what happens. You know, so I've had a lot of projects like that in my career where people just sign up, because they just want to see me either crash and burn, or actually succeed either way they win. So it was really brave, especially the actors to be in front of the camera, and to trust me, and to trust what we were going to do. And when they saw the teaser trailer, which was the first thing they've ever seen, they all like freaked out. They're like, Oh my God, this looks like a real movie, which which was like the biggest compliment I could ever get from from my actors. And hopefully, I'll be able to show that to them soon. Because they're in New York, and we're in LA. So that is why guys I have been a little bit missing an action over the course of the last few weeks before and after Sundance, we were able to do all the post production for the movie it within five weeks, I think it was like five weeks, I was able to edit it. Obviously edited everything individually resolve, color graded individually resolve and, and I had an amazing sound mixer by the name of Lucien from tool shed audio, who did an amazing job with all the sound design in such a quick turnaround. And I had my trusty composer Chris Velasco, who's been who's doing original music for the movie as well. So we were rushing to get to a big festival entry. And because if we're going to go, let's just go big. So I'm not going to say which festival it is. But we we did submit to a very big festival. And we're going to be submitted to a handful more festivals this year, and see what happens with the film. But hopefully you guys will see it before the year is out. But trust me, you'll be seeing more and more about the process more and more about the movie over the course of the next six months of how we made this movie. Because it is a special movie, it is something I'm extremely proud of. Again, I cannot emphasize enough how what a wonderful pleasure was collaborating with all of my collaborators on this project. And and what we were able to come out with it is truly magical in my my point of view, at least from doing this for so many years, I really, really am proud of what we were able to accomplish under pretty insane insane parameters. And like I said at the beginning of this episode, I really hope that this when you see the teaser and when you keep seeing the stuff that I'm going to be putting out over the next six months or so that this really inspires you guys to go out and grab a camera and go out and make your movie. There are going to be obviously obstacles along the way. You know, but you can do it and even if you fail, go out and do it because you'll learn more from failure than you will from just sitting around not doing anything at all. You know the Blackmagic Pocket camera it and I'm not being paid by Blackmagic by this but I love the little camera. You know I could have easily shot it with a 2.5 but I had I have an Ursa I could have shot it with the Ursa mini 4.6k camera, but I chose the I chose the pocket camera for its look and also for its how compact it is. I mean we literally were running around with a monopod and an audio guy standing behind us during the entire time sometimes we lit the scenes with an iPhone, an iPhone light, and you can see that in the in the website that you go in desire film comm there's actually a few behind the scenes photos I put up there and you can see What the team was, and you can see, you know, sometimes how we live this thing. It was pretty, pretty remarkable what we were able to do. So I can't wait to share it with you guys. So please go to indiefilmhustle.com/224, or egoanddesirefilm.com to check out the some behind the scenes photos, and also the teaser trailer and let me know what you guys think. Email me back. I'm dying to hear what you guys think any critiques. Any, anything you guys want to say, I want to hear it. Please let me know if you have questions. Email me the questions, I'll do the best I can to answer them. If I don't email you back right away, I might be answering those questions coming up in episodes coming down the line of the of the podcast, or on my YouTube channel, or on a course that I'll put out eventually on how we made it because I think this is a real, wonderful case study of what we were able to do with very, very little budget. So that's it, guys. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it was worth the weight. And don't worry, you will get to new episodes with some amazing guests this week, as regularly scheduled since since I'm back for the most part, I am a little bit under the weather again. But But I'm fighting through it. And I'm going I'm gonna make sure you guys get your content I want to I just want to keep sending out as much good content to help you guys on your journey as humanly possible. And again, guys, if you do love the show, and you really want to get the word out on it. Please help us by giving us a good review on iTunes. So just head over to filmmaking podcast calm and leave us a good review. And as always, keep that hustle going keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.




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