Matthew Gentile is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles.
He most recently wrote and directed his first feature, AMERICAN MURDERER: a true-crime drama about a charismatic conman who became the FBI’s most unlikely and elusive top ten fugitive. Photographed in Utah during the height of the pandemic, AMERICAN MURDERER stars Tom Pelphrey, Ryan Phillippe, Idina Menzel, Jacki Weaver, Shantel Vansanten, Paul Schneider, Moises Arias, and Kevin Corrigan. Traveling Picture Show Company produced the film with Gigi Films, Productivity Media Inc, and Radiant Films International.
A graduate of the directing program at the AFI Conservatory, Matthew’s thesis films FRONTMAN (which won 12 awards including the Student Emmy for Best Directing), and LAWMAN played over 100 festivals worldwide.
A Brooklyn native, Matthew holds a BA in English & Film Studies from Connecticut College and an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute.
Please enjoy my conversation with Matthew Gentile.
Matthew Gentile 0:00
Every actor is different. They all have a different language. And you know, your job as a director is kind of figure that out, right? Not necessarily trying to figure them out and pinpoint them. Okay, no, you know, but figure out how they work what they need.
Alex Ferrari 0:13
This episode is brought to you by the Best Selling Book, Rise of the Filmtrepreneur how to turn your independent film into a money making business. Learn more at filmbizbook.com. I'd like to welcome to the show Matthew Gentile. How you doing Matthew?
Matthew Gentile 0:27
Great, how are you?
Alex Ferrari 0:29
I'm doing good, man. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Man. You, you wrote me an impassioned email to, you know, to come on the show. And, and, you know, tell everybody, first of all that how you found me and what, what the show is done for you. Because I always love kind of sharing those stories with the audience.
Matthew Gentile 0:45
Yeah, well, you know, as we were saying, I found the show in 2020 and COVID. You know, I was in a phase where I just want to listen to as many podcasts as I could with all the time we have in our hands. And this one rang red straight to the top of my list, because I saw your episode with my mentor and dear friend, Judith Weston. And I thought you just did an incredible job interviewing her about her process, and how she works with directors and actors. And you know, Judith is such an important person to be in for so many filmmakers have benefited from her wisdom. I just had a consultation with her recently for my next film. And, you know, she, of course, just blew my mind and pushed me and she's, she's just so she's such a deep thinker about film. And I thought your interview did a really great job getting to the heart of it. And I've seen filmmaker friends of mine, you know, Film School alums, like Chloe Okuno, and Max Barbic, who I went to AFI film school with, I've seen them do great interviews with you promoting your film and promoting their films. And I just think what you really specialize in is getting to the core of, you know, indie films, how we make them, how do we get them out there? But like you said, you know, you're you Britain, cut through the delusions about the film industry, I think you're there just real conversations with filmmakers. I feel like when I listen to your podcast, and like having coffee, with the person you're interviewing, you know, I'm a fan. And, you know, as I'm doing the press rounds through this movie, I thought I gotta get on that one. I have a few on my lesson. Like, I want to get on that one on that one. So I'm glad you were so receptive, and had me on Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 2:21
I appreciate it. Man, I appreciate I try to, we try to break through the delusion of most filmmakers, because most filmmakers are delusional I was, I'm sure you weren't? Sure. There has to be a sense of delusion. I think to get into the business, you have to be delusional. To stay in the business, you kind of have to be kind of delusional there is this level of delusion for us to even do or try to do what we're doing because it's insane. In sane to get a movie off the ground shot film, and then when you're exhausted, then you got to find distribution. And then hopefully, you'll get a check. And hopefully, someone will give you another job again, it's just this. So you, there has to be a healthy amount of delusion, but a healthy amount, not a unhealthy amount, which is what I generally run into, was I was extremely unhealthy with my delusion for quite some time for a long, long time. So that's why I can speak about it so clearly. So Matt, so first question, Brother, how and why did you want to get into this insanity that is the film industry?
Matthew Gentile 3:25
Well, the story I typically tell is when I was 12 years old, my father showed me Doctor afternoon. She's 12 years old.
Alex Ferrari 3:35
It was it was the 80s It was the 80s kids, it was it was 80s or 90s.
Matthew Gentile 3:41
It was early 2000's.
Alex Ferrari 3:43
All right. So yeah,
Matthew Gentile 3:45
I think I'm in my 20s. But I'm 32. So the Yeah, I saw talk to everyone. I was 12 in the early aughts. And you know, it was a film that just completely blew my mind. You know, to the point where my father showed it to me, I kind of said, Hey, I don't want I want that. Give me more of that. And you know, that led to godfather. Films I grew up loving. But so I that movie really spoke to me, you know, set in Brooklyn where I grew up. I'm from Brooklyn, New York. And when I saw the film, you know, I was so captured by Al Pacino and his performance. Just really, I felt sympathy for him. Even though he was going around the bank putting the gun in people's faces. I felt so much like when he finally gets caught that last shot of the movie, when he's it's all on his face, and just everything about spoke. I mean, I was you know, I was into theater as a kid, I was into film, you know, so I was into the arts, you know, and so acting was something that was going on my mind writing stories was on my mind. So I had a creative energy within me like, you know, but I didn't know where to necessarily put her whatnot. But finally, one day, I was still age 12. My mom and I grew up in New York City. We're walking down the street You and they used to sell at these on the streets it I don't know where you're from but New York, from New York. Well, yeah. So they used to sell these stuff on the streets dance, they would have scripts like that were printed.
Alex Ferrari 5:12
Oh, when I went back in the early to the 2000s. I saw that in front of like NYU and like they have like, yeah, Fight Club and like the bootleg bootleg scripts basically
Matthew Gentile 5:24
Exactly. Like they printed off like Drew scriptor, Rama and like, put a cover with the like, Yes.
Alex Ferrari 5:34
Put the poster like but it was black and white version.
Matthew Gentile 5:37
Or like, yeah, or some generic still from the film. Like I think dog afternoon. It was the picture of like him holding the woman holding Silvia outside the bank. So I saw this script on the streets. I was like, Oh, they had only scripts and I saw a job do you afternoon I was crying. And my mom sees that. And so she bought me the screenplay for $10 is a Hanukkah present. And I took the screenplay, I read it. And I had a VHS and I watched the movie. And I read the script. I watched the film. And that was the first time I saw in my own life that like oh my god, words on a page could become images on a screen. And I was just really fascinated by that. And I love the screenplay architecture. Fred Pearson who wrote the script was you know, one of my favorite writers Cool Hand Luke I saw shortly after that also became one of my all time favorites. I know right Phil things in the movie said that Paul Newman and cool I look was the reason he became an actor. So you know, I think there's there's a lot of you know, these movies and Frank Pearson was incredible screenwriter. And he actually was also the artistic director of AFI. But he passed right before I started as a student. So, you know, dogs, it was kind of that one movie. And then there was another film watching experience that really kicked me out the door. senior year of high school, my English teacher showed a cure curse I was robbed. In a King Lear class. And it was a class just it was actually a class was interesting. CG was cool. He did a class that was called King Lear to end it. So same effects end game and King Lear, and about existentialism and all that when you're 17 you're on your journey English is so mind blowing. And I loved King Lear as a play. But the Phil Ron just shook the box. And it's funny because when I saw it, we saw it in like segments, because it's high school. So they show you like 30 minutes. That's a long movie. So it took like four weeks to watch run, but I couldn't get anywhere. So I was like, I really want to finish run like so badly. But seeing Ron and more than that reading about the process of how Kurosawa made that film. You know how he was 75 years old, and he was going blind. And he was his wife, who had been with his whole life and career had just passed away. And he mourned for two days and then went back to filming how he built castles and blew them up, like for real, and the costumes and the extras and, and I just thought the madness of this was so interesting to me. And I just you know, he quickly became my favorite director of all time still is I have a Seven Samurai poster on my apartment. You know, I just love Carissa Moore. You know, I love a lot of great directors, but he's my, that's my all time spirit animal.
Alex Ferrari 8:16
I will tell you that the I own two autographs. One of them is Akira Kurosawa know what I have when we get off. I'll grab that it's sitting over there. I'll grab it. I'll show it to you and the other ones George Lucas. Which I got on a on a Star Wars lunchbox
Matthew Gentile 8:31
Personally, that says disciple. Yes. At the world premiere of this film, American murder hybrid premiered at the Toronto Film Fest in Sicily. And Francis Ford Coppola was there showing the Godfather night before my film screened. And I got to meet him and I. And I asked him about Kurosawa and like his stories, and they were great. He's talking about how they would like go to the steakhouse and talk for hours. And I asked Coppola. He asked me what my favorite Kurosawa film was. And I said, Ron, and he said back Oh, my bad sleep. Well, it's like, of course, I know that. You stole the cake scene. Whether they stole the shots or not. But he then Coble asked me, he was going Okay, so you've seen this one. And then basically, he goes for me like, yeah, of course, I'll be I think 30 feature films, total, something like that. So he basically goes about 12. I've seen them all. And then he gets to one I haven't. I'm liking what's called Looking after, but it was really funny. He stumped me finally, and I was like, do I lie and tell him I've seen it, or do I just tell the truth and I told the truth. But it's a fairly light hearted comedy one that he did. I mean, he just made so many incredible films and masterpieces. And, you know, I think Coppola's famous quote was like most filmmakers make one or two masterpieces you know, carousel only made eight to 10. Like it's, you know, it's an ending Made them across such a and I know a lot of filmmakers have cited him like Florence Carson said, you know, comparison of Shakespeare or the Beatles, you know, and yeah, he's just an incredible.
Alex Ferrari 10:09
Yeah, it's like him and Kubrick for me. It's, of course, I want to Kubrick. They may you know, masterpieces like they just come in and they just do what they do. But it's pretty remarkable now on your on your filmmaking path. Based on your IMDB, which I was looking at you did a good amount of shorts. You made a good amount of short films before you even got to AFI. Is that Is that correct?
Matthew Gentile 10:36
Yeah, you know, I did I, you know, my film path was, you know, I in high school, I made like, think like one or two with my brother, actually, who did the score for the film. He's a class my brother's a classical pianist and conductor. Sure. And this was his first film score actually did an incredible job. He just won an award yesterday
Alex Ferrari 10:55
And the price and I'm assuming the price was right. I'm assuming the price was right back then. Was that the price was right for hiring your brother.
Matthew Gentile 11:02
Oh, yeah. He was very unexpected. He's still we're both expensive. But yeah, the price was right. So he was Yeah, but we, we wrote You know, we were kind of like the Gentile brothers in high school, we made a couple of movies and what I don't know if those are an IMDB they might be. Obviously IMDb keeps everything on there. But I know a lot of people try to get stuff erased from them, and they never do it. So they aren't they aren't extensive, or exhaustive. But I made a couple of films in high school. You know, I in college, I did a liberal arts degree, I went to Connecticut College. I majored in English and film studies. But it was a semester abroad where I went to the family film school in Prague, which I'm sure someone else but as I've talked about before, a lot of filmmakers kind of seem to have come through that. And that was my first time experiencing film conservatory. And I made a short film that I adapted from a Hemingway story called got in the ring. That, um, you know, that was my first time making film. I was like, oh, you know, this is it. It's, you know, writing and directing is what I want to do. Like, for sure, you know, it's kind of always there in the background, you know, but like, I remember being in high school, I was like, really obsessed with acting like that was like my passion. And as a teacher kind of say to me, great drama teacher, who was a good actor himself and had worked and, you know, was teaching in between jobs. And he worked with me a lot. And I kind of asked him, I was like, Do you have what it takes to be an actor and he looked at me and he was like, one of the truth like, maybe, but I think your director or scream, he assaulted me. And I was really great. At the time, I was pissed at him. So I want to say it was gonna be the next you know, Marlon Brando. Retrospective like what a great teacher because he really told me the truth and, you know, pushed me to where he could sense the passion for the arts, but he saw was being used in the wrong place. And so so you know, but around Yeah, junior year of college, that was one of my when I did that semester abroad in Prague at the family film school, that was kind of like, I would say, my point of no return to use screenwriting terms. You know, after that, I was like, I'm gonna go, be a director, whatever it takes. And then, yeah,
Alex Ferrari 13:06
So so when you're on your journey, now, I'm assuming you're getting paid left and right, you're making tons of cash as a director, right, just tons and tons and tons of cash all the way through.
Matthew Gentile 13:16
I don't know what to do with all of it.
Alex Ferrari 13:18
I mean, it was just, it was kind of like, it was kind of like Pablo Escobar, you were like burying it in the back. That was just so much guys. Over the years, you know, because it looked like from when you started to when you finally got your first American American murderer is your first feature, correct? Yes. So from the point of view, getting your first feature done, you did a whole bunch of short films. I assume you weren't getting paid for these short films. You weren't making a tremendous amount of money. So this is the thing I love asking filmmakers, because so many of us listening right now are going through this. How did you keep going? How did you wake up in the morning going? Am I on the right path? Because this is we're talking about better part of a decade. And yes, you're at school and you're and you're, you know, you're AFI in Prague, I get that part of it. And you're when you're surrounded by that the delusion continues. Because you're surrounded by filmmakers and film teachers, and you're learning and you're just like, Yeah, but at a certain point, you have to go, you know, how many no more? I'm assuming you had a few nodes along the way, as well. So how did you so what what tips what how?
Matthew Gentile 14:28
Well, yeah, I definitely talked about the path because you know, when I, you know, when I graduated college and decide, okay, I want to be a filmmaker. It's like, great, who doesn't? You know, who doesn't want to be a director screenwriter, so you know, or act, right? Yeah. And so, my parents my first job in the industry, I actually, I mean, I had a lot of internships throughout college, but I actually worked at William Morris Endeavor in the mailroom. And then I became an assistant there. And with one week's paycheck, which at the time, I think was $670 I made a short film for that amount of money. And that's the film that got me into AFI, which is not a cheap film school to go to as well I know is not. And, you know, so I went to AFI and was very felt very lucky to be there. It was, I think the youngest director, there are one of them at least, because AFI tends to skew older in terms of the applicants to graduate school, not an undergrad. And, you know, but at such a talented class. Like I said, Max Barbra Cal was my class. Chloe Hakuna was the year before me was director Akasha Stevenson, who just booked the Omen film and has been doing TV for five years was my classmate. So I had a really, I think, I hope we become a what was in the water that your class because there are so many talented directors who I think, you know, we're gonna graduate now six, seven years ago. And I think there's a lot of them are going to come out and blow people's minds. So it was, it was quite a class, it was a matter they weren't talented, to the point where it scared me that these these people were good. And so but you know, you graduate film school, and in my case, I was quite lucky. My short my thesis short. Well, what's cool about AFI actually is your first year you make three but they call cycle films, where you make really cheap, and you you know, like the the, they make, like $5,000 budgets, right, and you like, you go out and shoot them in a weekend and you come back at them, and then you screen them for your peers, and they go to and on stage and bellick My first press conference for American murder and Terminator which went very well only reminded me of it just from the physical act of walking up on stage to be like to talk to or ask questions. But in the case of backpass narrative workshop, you specifically go up on stage, I know a lot of filmmakers have talked about how it just made them, you know, throw up on the waist, or whatnot. But it was, it was really great. Honestly, though, because it really prepares you for the industry. Because, you know, when you do a test screening of a movie after that, nothing really fazes you. But um, you know, it was it was it was incredible opportunity. But so, you know, you graduate film school, and in my case, you know, my first three films I made that year, were not overly exceptional. My third one was my best so I was getting better. But then you make a thesis film your second year, and for me my thesis film frontman, which was probably at this point, like short film, six or seven in the game. That one really opened a lot of doors while the student me got a lot festival traction. And I had the opportunity actually, I was paid to do one short, but very little money by AFI to come back and direct law man, because the director of the year below man dropped out and left the team and so they needed a director. So they paid me like a TA salary. And I was able to do that. And that was actually my first technical, you know, directing for hire job. It didn't feel like that since I was extremely passionate about. But that was the first time I think I got paid to direct. And you know, when I graduated film school, I kind of was in a bit of an awkward place. So I was like, I was like, you know, do I, you know, I was an assistant before I was like, well do I go try to be an assistant to a director again, and I had some kind of almost there. And I think that's a totally valid path that I know a lot of people have done, but what I was sensing was I kind of needed to embrace the indie film, hustle and the entrepreneurial way of, you know, you know, support myself get through this work but like don't work for someone you know, like an alias director because you're going to be working for them 17 hours day or no time to work on your own stuff. And because I was having traction with my thumbs, I was like, I need to work towards getting my first feature paid. And so you know, I did when I graduate I'm gonna do all kinds of gigs from you know, I did reality TV under a fake name. I did like these awful like cooking.
Alex Ferrari 18:45
Matthew Gentile 18:47
Something like, Sean, something. Um, but you know, yeah, and I did whatever I could, you know, to like keep keep the lights on like really cheap a rumble, I didn't know what write my scripts, and then I'd be like, oh, I need to go do another gig. But finally, what actually ended up sustaining me through my years up to American murderer was script reading. I was I was qualified for that, because I had worked at William Morris. And that became the easiest and most sustainable way for me to, you know, work consistently and be able to write my own scripts, and, you know, have the flexibility to be able to stop finding too or, you know, binge down. I read a bunch but and it also was for me script dream was my screen read school, you know, AFI was my directing school and script reading for I can't say the sites right now. Because, you know, they like anonymity, but, you know, think big screenwriting competitions or, you know, sites like that. And, you know, they were my screenwriting school, they really allow they gave me a way to support myself. So that book without them, I don't think I would not be here because I came here to support myself as I became a professional writer, and director. And so the path towards getting American work or made, you know, a year or two out of AFI. I thought I thought I was hardship because my film wildcards and then I realized after five seconds, nobody gives a shit anymore.
Alex Ferrari 20:14
You know, they didn't just walk up and go, How much money did you need?
Matthew Gentile 20:18
Yeah, do you think you're good? Because you want to know more? Oh my god, and then no one cares. And they're because they asked you the first thing you do when you make, you know, anything decent, as they say, what's your next thing? You know, what's your next three things?
Alex Ferrari 20:30
Let alone the next?
Matthew Gentile 20:31
What's your next? Exactly. It's a what's next business as we know. And so, you know, I was kind of in between a call er, because again, I think, if I can give some advice, which I don't know, if you should listen to but you know it, you know, when you leave film school, I think a lot of people have different visions of like, what they're, or even if you don't go to film school, because, you know, there probably are more great filmmakers that didn't go to film school that did, arguably, who knows. But um, you know, whatever it is, when you decide to build a career for yourself, you know, like, I don't know, I think everyone's vision of their own career probably changed at some point along the way.
Alex Ferrari 21:07
Every single Yeah,
Matthew Gentile 21:09
Like, because I never set out to be necessarily Mr. True Crime filmmaker, you know, now, American murder, I could say, and one thing I'm very proud of, is it is 100% A movie I wanted to make. It's not a film. I was like, hired to do. I mean, I wasn't contracts, I guess. It's terms with the contracts. But I but I did. It was a film that came from inside very personal, very deep rooted not, you know, but, but we know that it's very hard to get movies made. And, you know, everyone has to figure out how to work in the business and how to make films how to get financing for them. And it's a constant struggle on crime.
Alex Ferrari 21:44
So how so that was my next question. How did you get American murder American murderer off the ground, because you have a really great cast? You know, I won't ask you the budget, but it looks good. It doesn't look like you made it for five grand. So like for five grand? Five grand, we sold it for 50. And I'm done. And
Matthew Gentile 22:06
You've never heard of
Alex Ferrari 22:07
Exact the highest sale ever for, that you've never heard about. I saw I signed nondisclosure. I can't even talk about it. But how did you get this? I know you did a short film version of it. And that I'm assuming, because that's, that's a myth as well, that so many filmmakers, I'm going to make a short film version of this script. And hopefully, that's going to get me to the feature. I did that multiple times in my career and never worked out. But it does work for some people. But I've heard in most of the times, it doesn't work, because it's just so damn hard. So how did you get this thing off the ground? How did you get your cast to agree to work with the first a quote unquote, first time director?
Matthew Gentile 22:51
All that kind of stuff? Yeah, no, that's, that's a great question. And so basically, you know, going back, I was, yeah, 2017 or 2018. I'm thinking, What is my first feature? What, like, what, what will it be? You know, and there were a couple, like, I was thinking, MIDI go, you know, trying to make something like, and I was very inspired by the Duplass brothers, who's, you know, I like their films by sensibility. As you could probably tell from the trailers, absolutely nothing like that at all. But I really like their stuff. And I love what they've had to say about indie film, just go out and do it. So I thought, okay, maybe I could make something for like 10 grand or 50, grand, even right, through Kickstarter, or whatnot. But, you know, I didn't quite have a story that fit that budget. Exactly. So I was sort of like, and then there was a film that actually, you know, an agent had sent to me, that was like, a home invasion thriller. That was like, you know, maybe like a small budget, but an offer to direct something. But, you know, the script didn't even work. And the writers of it didn't really, like want to change anything. So I realized I was like, if I shoot this, I'm just going to be a traffic cop, basically, and I'm not really going to have any, like, you know, not contributing much. And so I've kind of left that project, which, you know, people might give like, why are you doing that?
Alex Ferrari 24:09
Right, it was it was a gig. That's, that's a really interesting because
Matthew Gentile 24:12
Yeah, but I didn't want to do you know, because one thing about, you know, directing a movie as we know, your your side to that for life, you know, that's a 25 to life. You know, and so, look, I'm in movies don't always turn out how you want and, you know, every director, you know, has to take risks and swings and some of my favorites, you know, taking like real swings, and sometimes they're not understood in their time. But, you know, at the very least, I think you got to be able to wake up and say, you know, like, I did something I want to do or I'm proud of, or has my heart in it or whatnot. And so I was in this awkward time, so cut back a little earlier. I'm 14. I wanted to be an FBI agent before I was a filmmaker, and I used to go on the FBI as top 10 list with the dreams and hopes of helping the FBI catch a fugitive. And it's at this time that the face of Jason Derek Brown enters my life. You know, you got to see menacing faces, Osama bin Laden white Bolger, right. And then the surfer dude from Southern California. So the face stands out to me. And I'm like, What's that? That's interesting. Cut you 12 or so maybe 13 years later, I'm figuring out what's my first feature? Some storyboarding. A shoot I think was a really bad dentistry commercial. But I also used a fake name. And I, all of a sudden, as I'm storyboarding, I always have documentaries on the background. And the face of Jason Derrick Brown was popped onto the screen. Again, I was the first time I'd seen it. And like, since, you know, age 14, and I'm like, that's crazy. skystone essay? What, like, what happened here? What's the story? And so I became absolutely obsessed with the story. You know, because it was a camp, that's charismatic con man becomes a bank robber, just really, it's dark to me. And, you know, I have a great writing mentor, named Billy Ray, who always says that, if he's in, he's a great guy. You know, he has in his lectures, he's very, like, tough, you know, in terms of like, he's very, like, you know, coming to the delusions, in your face kind of guy from what I've said, but he's a great human being. I mean, he's like, just a heartfelt good guy. There's so much for political causes everything. There's a real mentor and match of a human. And he, he's his big philosophy always is, if I don't wake up in the morning thinking about the project, I don't say yes, he's in a position to turn down projects, which a lot of us aren't. But he you know, he's as if I wake up thinking about in the shower, I'm not, I shouldn't do it. And I think it's kind of similar about a film. And so I kept waking up thinking about Jason dark brown, this could be a really cool movie, and it felt like it to me. So at first I thought, maybe I'll try to write it and sell it as a script. Because it might be too ambitious for first movie, you know, this would be probably, you know, some some cachet behind it. So I got I thought, just give it a go as a script, because why not? And so I wrote the script. And at the time, I had known this actor, Jonathan gruff, who was about to be on the show of mine, Dr. And I knew him because, yeah, yeah. And, and he, I knew him because I used to tape his auditions in the William Morris mail. And so after my short did decently for me, I kind of touched with him to his agents, I think. And I said to him, Hey, would you like to be in this? You know, I'm writing a script for you. And he was like, oh, that sounds a pitched it to me. That sounds cool. Send it to me. And, you know, we'll see. And so he read it a few months later, he really liked it. And, but I don't think his agents did.
He wanted to do it, though. And so we kind of were like, I was like, great. So I have this guy I have, he's gonna show it's about to come out with David Fincher, that's pretty cool. And so I was kicking the thing around, it was hard to get people to read it. So to go to the proof of concepts, or I go into a company one day, and I pitched the script, and, you know, I pitch the dragons and you know, wants to do it. And they're like, you know, they have five out of 10 interested, so not great. And so I'm leaving, and this guy kind of pulls me aside and he goes, you need to do a proof of concept of the script. And I kind of like looked at him. And I was like, oh, yeah, like another short, great. That's the last thing I want to do. Right now I've done at this point, maybe eight, right? I'm like, you know, how many more shorts can I do? What am I going to do? What do I need to prove? And the guys that are very smart. Like I said, You've proven you can direct with those shorts, but you have not proven you can direct this. And I was like, Damn, that's pretty smart. So he gave me kind of a different instruction that this guy really kind of gave me he was like, but don't try to make a short work as a short, right? Because like, what makes a great short film and I honestly I even though some of my shorts didn't win awards, I would say I'd never made a great short film personally. I mean, very well made ones possibly have in areas for the time of being a student. You know, I didn't make pioneer by David Lowery ever or curfew by Sean Christianson. Like those were shorts that really like you know, had that or even mark McDonough shorts over the broken like those shorts had like real, you know, payoff structure. All right. My shorts were like really like good trailers first features.
Alex Ferrari 29:16
So that's exactly what you needed. That's exactly what you needed.
Matthew Gentile 29:18
And so I went for American murder inside just to shoot one scene. And we shoot one shot one of the climactic scenes of a SWAT invasion. We did it all in one shot. And I got Jonathan to do it. And when I made that when I shot that scene and put it up on IMDb, all of a sudden, mine 100 dropped and then a lot of people were interested in reading the script and wanting to know about so I was totally right. The script did become a really valuable calling card by the called the short became a very good calling card for the screenplay. However, it did not walk me up to a deal, you know. So I would say that I think what you were saying earlier is is accurate that it can help you get a step ahead, but it's not necessarily going to secure a thing because what happened was that they were Getting the script by that point had gotten a lot better. So people were interested, but some were interested in me not doing it. Because it was like ambitious and you have a script and run with it, thank you, but I wasn't interested in that. And then two different producers slash companies kind of came into my orbit that were very supportive of me directing it. That was traveling picture show company. My producers, Kevin Metacell, and Karissa fell, and Gigi films, Gia Walsh, those two came at me from different angles around the same time, they now debate who came first, it was geotech, Kevin grossa. And they, they saw my short, they read my script, that's all my other shorts, and they were like, Okay, we'll develop this with you. And we'll go through a process and we'll get it out to the right actors, and they really helped me, you know, because that process of working with them, you know, we developed the script for the year, roughly, I think, and there was option for me, and they were giving me notes, and I was doing rewrites. And that was my professional riding school. Right. You know, and then after that, we finished the script, you know, are like, okay, it's ready to go out for casting now. Awesome. And it's March 1 2020. So at that point, you know, we don't know where the world is gonna go are thinking, yeah, that'd be filming, you know, the third quarter of 2020 and get, get an actor touch and let's go. And then it didn't really look like it was going to happen, you know, for a little while. But what I decided to do in the pandemic, I was working, I had remote work as a script reader. So I was, you know, fortunately, I was able to keep working. But in my off hours, all I did was prepare with my team, non stop, I cinematographer and I shot listened script six times, I've worked with all my thesis shorts. And same with my editors. You know, one of them was doing pre visualization with me on all the set pieces were like, Let's hit this thing. Let's do my about every shot and like, be ready to go for tomorrow. And I was it was nice, because it helped keep people's morale up and the time when it was not great. And then, you know, we were getting, in terms of the big thing about getting this movie made specifically because it's really all about the character of Jason Derrick Brown was getting the right actor. And by this point, Jonathan was no longer available. He was shooting matrix and you know, millions of other things because mine better blew him up into, you know, exponential proportions. But he's the nicest guy. And you know, we had the most amicable authority for the project. But now we need to find our Jason and Tom Pelphrey came onto my radar because my producer GIA Walsh was watching Noah's Ark. And she said to Matthew, this guy's dynamite, and I had actually never watched it. So I was like, Okay, I guess I gotta watch Ozark. And I did it. It was a great show. He was phenomenal. And it's very clear that he was the guy, you know, like, you have a lot of people on lists, this business and whatever. But it became very quick, clear, quick, that he was the right actor to play this character, quality, the right range, and all that. And so we sent him the script, he came in, he became attached. And then once he got attached, the other actors came Orion.
Alex Ferrari 33:03
And yeah, everybody else started. So So you had a producer, you had producing team helping you put this in cool thing together the financing. I'm assuming they helped to put together as well once the cast came on. So you had you had a doubt around you putting this together?
Matthew Gentile 33:16
That was all Yeah, no, I mean, I can take credit for writing the script and directing the movie. I cannot take credit for financing of that. And I very little do with that other than material.
Alex Ferrari 33:26
Exactly. So, so Alright, so you're off. You're off and running. You're making your film. Is there a day as directors we always have that day that everything comes crashing down around you? What was that day for you? And how did you overcome it?
Matthew Gentile 33:41
I love that question. I've heard you asked him before. But I don't know if I was prepared for it. So the on the fly. The day when everything came crashing? I mean, look, you know film is anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The first day, we filmed a scene that took place on a boat party. So we're here to help, you know, and the first thing we shot actually quite easy. It was was Tom's character. Jason's shooting targets in a national parks are doing nice, beautiful wide shots. It's just one after you know, it's gone and some squibs on the paper, please shooting but really not too complicated. We're like, Okay, we got this. And you're like, Yeah, I think I heard I think I heard Yeah, I think I read more in the hanaway, the director of the novice, she was talking about how like, you know, there's always a feeling of when you're directing at first it's going like, Oh, this is direct. It's easy. I just do this overall. Or even even Bob Schrader said in an interview, he was like, yes, Charlie Rose. I think you asked him like this directing a hard job and he was like, Wow, no hard job. It's just a it's hard if you wanna make a great film, for a good film, but it's not like a think about theory. It's like it's quite, you know, comfortable as a job as far as jobs go. But anyway, so we filmed a paper plate shooting, we descend the mountain to go into this beautiful lake and shoot A scene where this character is filming himself having a lavish party where he's doing drugs, what? Wild stuff. And we get to the boat, and the winds start blowing us 40 miles per fucking hour on the ledge. Surrounded, boom, boom, boom, boom. And so I'm like, oh my god, we're not gonna have sound and I also was a small boat we were filming. So the only crew that could be there were me. Mike, my cinematographer was operating and our sound man and my Ed those four people on the boat, crew, and then 12 or so extras. And we played actors. So it was just a, it was funny, because as I was walking to the set, you know, I see all these se trailers, I see honey wagons and stuff. And I'm like, Oh, my God, this is like, a real movie. We're making a real movie, like I'm here. And then I'm on the boat, and my camera operator is hanging on the thing and the sound guys trying to get in. And I'm like, This feels it's film school. Still nothing changed. It's the same ship. The honey wagons and trailers are are fooling nobody. You know, it's, it's the same, it never changes. You're still chasing the day, you're still just sneaking under the radar you're trying to get like, every day is like robbing a bank. You know, I just tried to get the shots unique because we filmed that movie quite young 22 shooting days as the as intense shoot and a lot to get them with action elements and SWAT invasions.
Alex Ferrari 36:34
Yeah, it's not all in one location either. So it's like it's
Matthew Gentile 36:39
No we have 27. So it was, it was a pretty intense, it was an intense shoot. But honestly, though, like I say, as hard as it wasn't, you know, intense as it was, it was also incredibly rewarding, because here we were, in this time we filmed, you know, December 2020, November 2020, and did some second year, early 2021. So, we were filming pre vaccine, you know, pandemic, right. And we were getting to do what we loved. You know, my cinematographer, I guess it was my classmate from AFI my editor, you know, was also moved, both my editors were classmates of mine, so to be able to do my producer. So you know, I know by this point that's going to start filming for at least two or three years. I'm getting to basically make movie with my friends, you know, on a pretty, you know, for first time director of quite a nice scale. So it was really nice to be able to do that. And, you know, so even though it was insane. And with a cast that far exceeded any extra extensor. Your other question, you know how this guests come together? I mean, if you know, by the time we were making offers to people like Ryan Phillips, a Jacki Weaver, and a dean of an Zelle or Moises Arias or Chantal, all these people would have, if it wasn't COVID would have probably been busy. Right? They would write on their mobile Deena tours all the time. Right. Ryan's current or at Ryan works more than anyone I know, Tom the same. Like they're all you know, Chantelle just is always on a show. So it would have been really hard to I think, get these people. And so, you know, I was definitely am certainly Jack waver a two time Oscar nominee playing, you know, a great but small part. So it just no small parts, only small actors I know. But, you know, yeah, to have that luxury. You know, I mean, it's it's a no, it's great. It was hard. But I
Alex Ferrari 38:29
And since you've already direct, I mean, in some of your short films, you were directing some very seasoned actors as well. But when you when you're working with, you know, the kind of caliber of actors that you were working on in this project, I mean, you have to believe there's some intimidation, maybe? Or like, how do you approach a two time Oscar nominee? You know, how do you how did you kind of work with those actors to get them to where you wanted to be as a first time director? Because it's a very different than when you're Ridley Scott, this is not a conversation. I would never ask Ridley Scott this. Because he's got he's not 40,000 hours on set. No, no exaggeration. That time, but when
Matthew Gentile 39:08
Can be so confident,
Alex Ferrari 39:09
Oh, my God, you just walk it. On a side note here. I was. Remember, I thought I was talking to somebody who was working with Tony Scott. And he was on a commercial. And it was like five helicopters, like a bunch of stallions running down in the desert. And like, you know, cars, like all this craziness, and someone's like, Tony, are you are you like nervous? He goes nervous. He's like smoking a cigar. He's like, this is vacation for me. What do you talk about?
Matthew Gentile 39:37
I love him. Yeah. He's one of my favorite directors. He's actually the one director. He's the one director who has my birthday. Birthdays. Oh, nice. I'm so I've been doing scars, but I'm like, What a great burger. sherbert.
Alex Ferrari 39:53
So anyway, so how did you? Yeah, he was the best. There's no question he changed the acting. He changed action film.
Matthew Gentile 40:00
And by the way, he he discovered right Philip and film. Which movie in which movie crimson Crimson Tide has rights first movie, and
Alex Ferrari 40:09
Ryan was in Crimson Tide really? Oh, wow. I have to double check. That was before Cruel Intentions, obviously. Yeah,
Matthew Gentile 40:17
A few years. I think it's a couple of years because Crimson Tide was in the early 90s.
Alex Ferrari 40:22
Yeah, it was early 90s. But it was all about right and intense.
Matthew Gentile 40:26
Yeah. And he was on TV first, Ryan. He has a great he has a very interesting story about how he broke it, but I'll let him tell. But um, yeah, Tony Scott. I know. It was like a mentor to him. And he just did an interview. I learned this recently. Because I know that the next time I see him, I will ask him more about it. But he said, Yeah, he like went to Tony Scott's guesthouse things like, the kindest guy mentor. Yeah. So very, very cool.
Alex Ferrari 40:49
So how did you approach working with these actors?
Matthew Gentile 40:52
Well, you know, like, like, we said, yes, these are incredible actors. I am a first time director, and you know, naturally, you know, you're gonna even if you're as confident as Tony Scott are, you're gonna have some insecurities, you know, but I felt like, I mean, I, you know, the thing is, every actor and Dude, this is a Judas quote, and I'm glad I got her. You know, every actor is different, they all have a different language. And, you know, your job as a director is kind of figure that out. Right? Not necessarily trying to figure that out and pinpoint and be like, Okay, I know, you know, the figure out how they work what they need, you know, some actors, like, peek early in terms of their takes, right? Some actors are like, kind of real hot, take 123 Some actors need more to fight it. Right. And, you know, Jack Nicholson, famously was, like, amazing, I'll take one and then he kind of does the same thing, right? Or some did, there's only six stories, but how they, how they work, Leonardo DiCaprio likes to take a lot of takes to get to where he wants to go, you know, and, and so there's no one way. You know, that said, I gotta say, I don't mean to be falsely modest, like, I just felt so as a director, taking care of why these guys because they were all so good in different ways. Yeah. And that I didn't really feel that I had to do too much like, micromanaging or anything like that, ever. And I'm not that way with actors, because I personally, again, taught, you know, all the things Judith talks about her, not just her book, but also in our, you know, consultations that, you know, she read many versions of the script and worked me on it closely. And, you know, it's always about first incomes, enter into the relationships, what are the relationships of the movie that are the most important, and that's how I would kind of work. When I would work the, with the actors and say, like, we did zoom rehearsals, you know, we would really, I would focus, like one day would be alright, Tom, and Adina. The next day would be Ryan in the data, because a lot of interrogations or, you know, some scenes I couldn't rehearse didn't have some scenes. I didn't know for sure. But I did have some significance in rehearsals and chances to work with Tom. And I mean, they each were different, Tom, you know, came so prepared, knew his parts so well. And you know, it was really fun, because he would sometimes go off the page and adlib and do incredible things. But, you know, it says in terms of the intimidation of being a first time director, and having these high caliber actors, you know, one pretty great moment was we were filming a scene. And as we'll also answer your one on all white Rob story, you know, we were filming a scene that's really midway in the shooting, things seem to be going quite well, overall, you know, overall, we're making our days, we're getting good stuff. You know, the actors are great. And then we're filming one scene, with the three actors, I talked about some of the commentary, where they just like it, the scene wasn't working, you know, just get there. It's it was written, you know, you know, we read it in a rehearsal, we talked about it, and then we get to set it's just not there. Like something about it's awkward, right, the tones off, you know, they don't feel present. There's, they're struggling to engage. So I couldn't really tell what was going on. But I took the three actors aside, and said, as well, great actors. And I said, Listen, something's wrong on the page. You know, I failed you. I don't know what I didn't get it. Right. I'm sorry. Somebody drops the script. But this scene seems to have stumped me in us. So can you help me? Like, figure out what's on what's up here? And how can we make this like, what can I do? Thank you. I can I can rewrite blinds for you right now. Like, what do we need? And the actors all looked at me, and some of them are new that they do, and I think it helped them really lower their guard and go, Okay, this guy's going to work with me. And we figured it out. And the scene plays beautifully, you know? And so I had moments like that, you know, where it would just Just like sometimes just, you know, being like, like, I had everything in this movie, in my mind, like so prepared, right, the whole storyboard of the whole thing. rehearsals, you know,
Alex Ferrari 44:55
The COVID Prep, it's the COVID
Matthew Gentile 44:58
Scene breakdown. gallons of every scene costume Florida, every little thing that I could think of I did. And then you know, you get there and things change. But you know, I think something Jacki Weaver said to me, because every actor I worked with, I made a point to ask them either whether it was in the rehearsal, or the phone call before, you know, they kind of set because I do think it's important to try to meet actors before they show up in some way. So it's not possible to meet the person for a coffee. But if you can do that, I think that's the best. But I called up. You know, I remember talking to Jack, I always ask, How do you like to work? Because I have a number one question, but to get anything you get that? How do you like to work? What can I you know, and what, and then I would also ask him, because a lot of these people, you know, Tom was coming from David Fincher, right. Ryan has worked with Robert Altman and Clint Eastwood and has stories about that, you know, Chantelle, are some of the best TV directors, you know, Jackie, David O. Russell, and like, you know, the heaviest of heavy hitters, right. So, you know, I would ask them, like, what are the, in your experience? What are the best directors do you know, and something Jack, they all basically actually said the same thing, which was the best directors are prepared, organized, but flexible. That was the recurring answer. So they will always have a plan. You know, they would have their, their ship together, more or less, but they were also flexible for changes, because I think that's like, sometimes people just especially writer directors, like, I know, you are, you know, we get like, you know, we can be very protective of our work, you know, so I think having that flexibility to let people's ideas, but also, there's a danger of being too flexible. Right?
Alex Ferrari 46:34
So you gotta you gotta guide them in. Yeah, we gotta you gotta think and
Matthew Gentile 46:37
Then you're not really making a move anymore. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 46:41
Do that. Let's do that. Why not? Let's just try it. And then you're like, we've only we've only done a quarter of a page. A third of a page all day. Sorry, we didn't make our day. You know, there's one scene in the movie, you know, that. I always love asking directors is because this is a very awkward scenario for directors is the love scenes. Man, how the hell did you shoot some of these love scenes? In the movie? They're intense. And also, I mean, it's an awkward, it's not sexy. It's not a sexy thing. It's awkward for the for the talent. It's awkward for you like anytime I've ever had to do something like that. It's just like, how, you know, and I was doing it coming up in the 90s in the early 2000s. Where, you know, there wasn't a an intimacy, you know, agent on I forgot what it is an intimacy person on set to kind of guide you through the process. How did you approach that scene? And how do you make the actors feel comfortable? And do you clear the set? What how do you work that?
Matthew Gentile 47:43
Yeah, absolutely. And that it's those digits. I was not scared of the action, but I wasn't scared about right. Yeah, it's. Yeah, it's definitely it's, you know, I mean, look, I think number one, yeah, you have to have an intimacy coordinator. There's really no way around that. And of course, like, why wouldn't you? Right, right. So we have intimacy coordinator, we did clear the set as much as we could for you know, other than the person operating the camera or whatnot. Everyone did not need to be out, in a way. You know, and it's about making the actors as comfortable as possible. It's hard to what I made sure to do when I shot those scenes was to be very clear about what I wanted and needed, and to not as much as I love him be David Fincher. On that day. Do you know?
Alex Ferrari 48:36
One more time! Yeah, one more time!
Matthew Gentile 48:39
What you need and get out and, you know, try to make you be sensitive to that, because grafting is very hard. You know, I think I once said to none of my actors were difficult and as the truth, like, you know, I hate to sound so forth. But really, none of them were. And, you know, there's one time when I know one of them is like, I'm sorry, if I'm like, you know, this is hard for me, I'm figuring this out. And also, you know, my job is hard as director, and I'd say it's not, but I don't have to be up in front of that camera, and I'm gonna get vulnerable in front of that. Right? I can hide by the camera, I can hide behind my script pages. You can't you gotta be vulnerable and truthful. And to get yourself to that place is very hard, and then to be seen really is no different. It's just it happens to be a physical product. So it's just yeah, it's important, I think, to be sensitive to people and making sure they have what they need. And, you know, hiring the right people to do the job.
Alex Ferrari 49:33
Fair enough. Fair enough. Now, when is this? When is the film coming out? Where can people watch it?
Matthew Gentile 49:38
The film will be coming out October 21, in select theaters, and then it will be on October 28. They'll still be in theaters, but it'll also be on demand and digital platforms. So you can rent it on all transactional VOD. So yeah.
Alex Ferrari 49:51
Now it's awesome to know I'm gonna ask you a few questions ask all my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?
Matthew Gentile 49:59
You know, While I'm, I think, trying to be a director, you know, I think learn, I think forcing yourself to write scripts is very valuable and important. Even if you know, you're not a good writer or you don't think you're a good writer, a lot of good writers don't think they're good. And a lot of bad writers think they're great writers. So I think, you know, because for me what really move the needle forward was writing, writing my screenplays, and you know, because I had to write myself into the director's chair. Personally, I do think making lots of shorts is great. I think short films are an incredible training ground. I know they work for me. And I know there were a lot of people I know. So I think making short films, I think, writing constantly and I think, you know, I'm gonna go back to Billy Ray Now, he says, You have to get that work, everyone. That doesn't mean it's such like a competition, I get that work, you know, bathrooms have to report Alex OFSAA Bauwerk, yourself, you know, I think constantly push yourself to do better to be better. And that's something I know, I'm taking myself right now, even, you know, I made a movie. That is my first feature. And in many ways, I'm very proud of it. But I'm also trying to learn how I can be better as a filmmaker and how I can go up because it's my first idea, like, on my last, so I think you know, yeah, and I think the tenacity is really important, because it's very easy to lose momentum in the process of moving. as a, as a director, I do believe you are responsible for charging the call. Because I think that's what everyone comes around. You know, I've seen a lot of movies fall apart, whether it's in development or whatnot, because or even post, like, you know, they get taken away, because the director kind of checks out. So I think as a director, when you're going to make a movie, you got to be ready to be like, Okay, I'm gonna spend, I can give three or five years to this thing. Because it's not just making the movie. It's like we said, selling it for distribution. It's, and I've said it myself many times, like, even now doing interviews, I was like, oh, man, if I hated this movie, I'd be so miserable. Get people to see it. It's an endless grind. And you're associated with that. So I think you know, yeah, my advice would be to have the tenacity and make sure that you know, the project, you're doing film, you're investing your time. And it's something you really want to do more than anything else.
Alex Ferrari 52:22
Three, film three of your favorite films of all time.
Matthew Gentile 52:25
Three or so my first favorite film is Lawrence of Arabia, seen it so many times on 70 millimeter on the big screen. Ron 95, Kurosawa total masterpiece that just blows my mind every time. And the third one I will go with for this one is also the Godfather, and people were out. But you know, upon my eating Coke, blood and all of that, I just, you know, I've seen that movie, not three times this year, and it just continues to hold up.
Alex Ferrari 52:56
Did you see Did you see the offer?
Matthew Gentile 52:58
I have not I heard it's great.
Alex Ferrari 53:00
I like it. I love if you're a filmmaker, you're gonna love the offer.
Matthew Gentile 53:05
That's what they're saying. Yeah, because that kind of the critics weren't. Because they don't get it. But people but people are loving it. I've heard I've had 10 People saying to me often guys,
Alex Ferrari 53:15
I mean, if you're a filmmaker, you've got to watch. There's very few quality projects out there about filmmaking. And that's just you sitting there going, Well, what happened here, it's like, it's crazy.
Matthew Gentile 53:31
I think I found the lesson that's taking me the longest to learn, I think is to never say never. I think that's something I continue to learn. Like, I get to a phase in film where like, I'm never gonna work with that person again, or I'm never gonna make that mistake again. And I'm never gonna, you know, do this gun or that kind of again, I think that while it's great to have a clear vision of what you want, and your career, I think, being open to possibilities and you know, not trying to control everything, because as directors we love control. You know, we love that and I think learning the biggest lesson that might be learning that actually you're not in control.
Alex Ferrari 54:11
Oh, no, no. As a director you are barely you're just trying to scrape some shots together for the day. You are you have no control of whether you have no control over locations. You know, no control over an actor not being able to get there or being difficult or a crew member who thinks he knows better than you or she knows better than you and giving you hassles and politics and fight you when you start listening to stuff. A director truly just like what wakes up and goes well help something's gonna happen today. Right? I hope that this camera working step one, good. Everyone here step two, always food is there no food, okay, no food, no lunch, everybody. Okay, so now we got to figure that out. Like it's just just very little You can control. But when you're there, you're just it's a carnival man. It's we're carnies. It's a carnival. It's but it's this insanity. That is I call it the beautiful sickness, that once you get bitten, it's with you and you can't get rid of it ever, ever, ever, ever, and it makes you to do insane things. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah.
Matthew Gentile 55:23
No delusions about that, man. Yeah, no, but it's a plan. I mean, to be able to direct and write and, you know, like, in some regards, I don't think doing a movie at 100 million is very different from doing maybe a 5000. Like, it's all there. You know, there. Of course, there are differences, but it is at the end, they had storytelling and its narrative and its art and, you know, finding a way to make things work. You know, you look at the biggest directors talk, like, I love listening to interviews with Scorsese. He's still talking like he just started, you know, he's figuring it out, or Spielberg to the same thing. He's like, I wake up, and I have no idea what I'm doing, or I want to call in sick, right. It's, you know, so I think, yeah, I think being able to embrace that being out of control is something that I'm gonna have to keep learning. Sure. You, you and our listener and your listeners. Oh,
Alex Ferrari 56:12
Yeah. And there's I forgot what directors said this, but that I interviewed on the show, but it was one of these big, you know, kind of heavy hitter directors I've had on the show. And they were telling me the cat was doing this movie was like, $100 million movie studio movie. And then we went down the street and stole the shot. I'm like you what you what? It was? Yeah. Yeah. We just like between takes everybody was setting up and I just grabbed a camera and my DP and the actors and went down the street and just stole the shots. You're stealing shots at $100 million. He goes, Yeah, dude, it never ends. And I'm like, This is great. Because cuz you think you know, you're sitting there in your reclining chair like Peter Jackson was in, in Lord of the Rings. And it's just like, No, no.
Matthew Gentile 56:59
You always have you always have a day to me. You know, you always have there's never pages.
Alex Ferrari 57:04
You got to pay
Matthew Gentile 57:05
Never enough time. Never enough money. You know,
Alex Ferrari 57:07
Never enough time. Never enough money. It's it's but we're here. And that's what we love doing it man. Man, man, I appreciate you coming on the show. Brother. Congratulations on new film, and I wish you the best with it. And keep making movies, man. Keep doing what you love doing and, and getting getting the stories out there that you want to tell my friend but congratulations, seriously, you are at the top. One 2.1% of all filmmakers, you made a movie. And it's you know, with with a budget and with a cast. And that is good. And it's a rare thing in this world that we live in. So be very proud of yourself, my friend. So thanks again.
Matthew Gentile 57:43
Alex, thank you so much. And thank you for all that you do for filmmakers and for the films you make today. So thank you, and thank you for having me. It's a real pleasure to be here and this is a great fun!
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