I’m always looking for indie filmmaking models to study. I like to analyze how other filmmakers make successful indie films while doing through a new DIY method, self-distributing their film or achieving critical and fan respect for their work.
Well, I found a film that checks all the boxes, For Lovers Only create by the Polish Brothers, Michael and Mark Polish (more on that film later). These filmmakers have been making films, on their terms, for over a decade now.
Since premiering at Sundance with their debut feature, 1999’s Twin Falls Idaho, the brothers have remained steadfast in their commitment to creating personal, character-driven films.
Michael Polish has created a filmography of critically-acclaimed features, including the karaoke-themed Jackpot (2001), the self-financed period piece Northfork (2003) and the sci-fi drama The Astronaut Farmer (2006). Yet the Polish brothers have always maintained a collaborative—as opposed to competitive—spirit when it comes to finding success in Hollywood
In 2005, he and his brother published the must-read book The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking: An Insider’s Guide to Making Movies Outside of Hollywood, a how-to guide for first-time filmmakers.
How to Make $500,000 on a DSLR Feature Film
How does one make money shooting a feature film on a DSLR? The film in question came from a screenplay that Mark Polish wrote more than a decade ago called For Lovers Only (Available on IFHTV)., about an American photographer who runs into an old flame while on assignment in Paris. The film follows the rekindled lovers around Paris, France in a series of quiet vignettes that gradually reveal more about the complications in the couples’ lives.
Related: DSLR Video Tips: How to Make Your DSLR Film or Video Look More Cinematic
Inspired by the guerilla-style of the French New Wave filmmakers of yesteryear, Mark and Michael Polish came up with a simple plan: they’d fly over to France with only a Canon 5D Mark II camera (which they already owned) and one actress (Castle star Stana Katic) in tow and just go out and shoot feature film. Oh did I mention it was in black and white?
With no budget to speak of, they went out into Paris and captured its stunning beauty for free. Additionally, shooting solely on a DSLR had quite a few advantages. Not only was the camera extremely portable, and allowed for filming in tight spaces (such as the small alcoves in French churches), it gave the film the level of intimacy it needed.
No-one stopped them since they were such a small crew and the camera was a still camera (with video capabilities) everyone thought they were a married couple simply on vacation.
Screenwriter and actor Mark Polish explained the process.
“It was me, Mike and Stana, and that was it. We shot for 12 days, and the whole point was to capture this really intense intimacy between the two characters.”
Most of the team’s hotels and meals were comped by their contacts and friends; their only expenses were food and a few taxis, but Mark and Michael Polish don’t consider that part of the budget since those charges would have been incurred if they took a vacation instead.
Making of For Lovers Only (Available on IFHTV).
Michael Polish said that their hotels and some meals were comped; they shot and edited with the equipment they already owned; and they don’t consider the few grand worths of meals, taxis and the like to be part of an actual budget.
“There was not one dime that came out of our pocket specifically for this movie — besides the food we ate, but we had to eat, anyway.”
Now what makes the filmmaking story really interesting is the film made of $500,000 through self-distribution. Yup, that’s right. How might you ask?
Using Social Media to SELL!
Michael Polish was extremely smart for casting Stana Katic not only for her amazing beauty and talent but she also had a huge fan base from her hit ABC television show Castle. At Michael Polish’s request, Stana tweeted out to her over 67,000 twitter followers that the film was available on iTunes and word spread very quickly.
Related: How to Make a Feature Film for $1000 with Mark Duplass
Michael Polish leveraged not only his and his brother’s own social networks and also Stana’s. Katic’s rabid Twitter and Facebook followings spread the word.
Then Michael Polish found that the film’s #hashtag was drawing over 1,000 tweets an hour, he drafted up posters using the Twitter raves in place of critics’ quotes. Those posters went viral on Twitter and Tumblr, and further helped create an amazing amount of iTune pre-sales.
I can’t express to you enough that they created this enter film completely in the DIY, no-budget filmmaking process. From shooting it to marketing and selling it. This is a model that should be studied by all indie filmmakers. Now you can find the film on all the usual suspects of VOD (Netflix, iTunes, YouTube, Amazon & Movies on Demand via FilmBuff). Since he and his brother own the film, they keep all the profit.
Michael Polish sat down with me for an amazing interview about his filmmaking life, Hollywood and what it means to be an artist.
Right-click here to download the MP3
Alex Ferrari 1:42
So today's episode, man I'm so so so excited for this episode you guys are getting to get so much info and knowledge off of my guest. His name is Michael Polish Michael Polish is one half of the Polish brothers who are known for making some amazing independent films and films like northfork with Nick nulty, James Woods, Ben Foster, Daryl Hannah and a bunch of other movies There's a wonderful movie Roger Ebert called it a masterpiece. And it is wonderful to watch and the story behind that movie is even more impressive than the movie itself. They came out swinging with their first film, Twin Falls, Idaho, which was a independent film about Siamese conjoined Siamese twins, which is not the easiest thing to get financed. And they'll tell us stories about that, followed by jackpot. Again, North Fork, and then many other films like Big Sur starring Kate Bosworth, among others, but one of the reasons I really wanted to bring him onto the show is not just to talk about all his early indie indie work, but the specific film that I really wanted to go into with him is his movie called for lovers only. This movie was shot on a basically a zero budget. It was shot basically with him as a director, his brother as one of the stars. And the other star was staying at Kate tech from castle fame with Nathan Fillion on ABC. And this movie was has was shot first and foremost on a DSLR back in 2011. So they were kind of the first if not the first, feature film shot on a DSLR. They shot the entire movie in Paris, France. And Michael goes in deep detail about what kind of gear he used, how he was able to get into like amazing locations and cafes and things like that in France, without a permit without anything like that. So it's guerilla filmmaking at its finest. But that's all wonderful. And there's a lot of great stories about filmmakers who make these small, independent movies. But the wonderful thing about this one is that he actually made money and not chump change, bind you real money, they've reportedly have grossed over half a million dollars on a basically no budget film shot on a DSLR. It's one of the few films that have been shot on the DSLR that has made a lot of money. To my knowledge, I might be wrong. I'm sure there are others out there. But this is the one that I heard of. So please, if anybody knows of any other DSLR movies that have been made that have gone out and made money, please let us know in the comments. They were one of the first independent films to actually leverage iTunes and they sold the majority of that of all their sales on iTunes. They didn't make any big festival premieres or anything like that. They just kind of guerrilla did completely So he tells us the whole story I really asked him a lot of detail questions about how he was able to make that movie, along with all this other amazing gems of information. He was so kind to, he spoke to me for almost over an hour and a half. And I was just kept grilling him about questions. So he was such a pleasure to speak to. And just so giving of his time and of his knowledge and experience, he's been making movies now for God over 20 years, I think at this point. So it's been pretty amazing what he's able to do so without any further ado, guys, please enjoy my conversation with Michael Polish. I'd like to welcome to the show, Michael Polish. Thank you so much for being on the show, man.
Michael Polish 5:42
Appreciate it. Thank you for having me.
Alex Ferrari 5:44
So first question I'm going to ask you is how did you get that part in Hellraiser?
Michael Polish 5:49
Oh, man. You know, only only indie guru guys like yourself will ask that question. I've been asked that question maybe three times in my whole life. And guys that are very serious about cinephiles really understand. I, I was we were doing the movie Twin Falls, Idaho, we were actually researching makeup and how we were on those two, character two twins together. And Gary Tunnicliffe was the effects supervisor on that show. And in exchange for him helping us they asked us if we wanted to do a bit part in that Hellraiser. So sort of it was it was sort of a, you know, a trade. You know, and it was, it was great, because you got to meet Doug pinhead, and you've got to see how the movies are being made. And that's relatively low. We're low budget movies to that point.
Alex Ferrari 6:39
I was a sequel that was like, what the third sequel is? I'm like that was it? Yeah, it was Hellraiser bloodline. Right?
Michael Polish 6:43
Yeah. But my. And you, you got to see how long makeup sessions were in. And sort of how everybody got together to make something pretty, you know, pretty special in terms of you have a lot of people create, you know, do creating a movie that you don't necessarily get to see or hear about all the time.
Alex Ferrari 7:04
Right. And now when was that? That was what the 90s? Right?
Michael Polish 7:06
Yeah, that was the 90s. That was that was lesson three?
Alex Ferrari 7:11
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So let me ask you what made you want to become a filmmaker, you and your brother,
Michael Polish 7:16
I was. I was from, I was going to high school up in a small town suburbs of Sacramento. And I was fairly good at drawing. And I knew a lot, I was really obsessive about movies and watching movies. And from work. Remember, in the 70s. In the 80s, I saw just about everything that came out in the theaters. And I would see three or four movies a day, especially in air conditioning times, like the summer we'd probably watch for movies, and one, one complex. And then I didn't have the background in film, because there wasn't there was either super eight and seven, there were some 16 cameras around, but it's very difficult to get our hands in to get it all developed. So So what did I end up doing was applying to Cal Arts, which is just up in Santa Clarita with all my drawings and design work, and I and I was able to get into that school, right out of high school, and then get myself fluent in cameras and how it worked and how film works. So I didn't really get an education in filmmaking, but I was in an environment which had a lot of filmmakers in it.
Alex Ferrari 8:23
So you weren't on the track for because Cal Arts is kind of like a breeding ground for Disney is not
Michael Polish 8:30
yet true. And there are other bought other animation funding and a lot of their staff either worked for Disney or has connections to Disney. And it's a wonderful school for animation. It really isn't Pixar, when I was there was being born. And a lot of Pixar. A lot of Pixar, today's Pixar are the ones running the running Pixar on doing a lot of the films.
Alex Ferrari 8:51
They're very cool. So I first discovered you when I saw the film northfork many, many, many years ago what it's absolutely a gorgeous film, by the way. But when I did some research, I found out that the financing fell through a few days before Principal photography, is that true? Well, how did how did how in god's green earth did you get because that's not a simple little like a couple people in a room movie. That's a period it was a period of peace.
Michael Polish 9:16
Yeah, the sets are being built. And you find yourself you're you're find yourself when you're making a movie and financing false true that it's it's not that uncommon when you're a filmmaker. And that happens, you probably should figure out if you survive that you're going to be when a group of really good filmmakers that have had this happen to them. You're in pretty, you're pretty, you're pretty in a pretty good class when that happens. However, when we were we were up there for about four to four to six weeks, and every set was being built so we had money being spent, but the second, or the third round of money that is supposed to land never, never really landed. And so we stretched what we could into the first week of principle but By the second by the second week, we were just out of out of funds. And so we were having everybody's kind of scramble for money and we ended up borrowing money from, I ended up buying a couple hundreds of 1000s of dollars. That's an and in getting the movie finished, I just, we just got the movie in the can, it was new, we couldn't even get the post. And so what we ended up doing was borrowing that money coming flying back from Montana, cutting a teaser trailer that was a little bit longer and then started to show a very rough cut. And we showed it to Sony classics, which was the was the they released jackpot they released Twin Falls, Idaho, their first previous features, and Paramount classics was in Miramax and those those Paramount was having a really good run. And we went and showed Ruth fatale who was running at the time, and she put an offer on the minute the movie ended and, and actually paid exactly what the movie cost and then some and so we were able to finish the movie with without having that sort of stress of, of, you know, try to pay that person back. And and it was a remarkable time. And it was a remarkable time a very stressful time but but in the sense of making a movie that we actually want to see on the screen is it was intended that it was intended and for me is one of my favorite experiences regardless of financial.
Alex Ferrari 11:34
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, the for everybody who has not seen that movie. I mean, it has an insane cast with McNulty and James Wood. So I mean, it's like it's not only that you financing fall through on your independence, it was it was an independent film, right? Basically,
Michael Polish 11:49
It was I believe, we finished and then we got home for about 800 that I think we've paid about 800,000 at that point, and then we finished it for one, I would say roughly between one four and one seven, we ended up yeah. Yeah, no, no, no. To 30,000. To do Yeah, she doesn't just do we found it yesterday was released. And it's and you know, ironically, how I'm accepting the golden thumb award that Roger Ebert gives out post Roger Ebert next week, because it was one of his favorite movies. So yeah, and that, yeah, that was that was when we permitted at Sundance, we permitted at the big theater echoes and does it I don't know if there's 1000 people can fit in there. Maybe 1200. Yeah, and we, I remember, when you have to present it, and we come up, I came up after and it was dark, and the lights come on, and not a single person moved in. Oh, god, this is just it is. This is a disaster. And I'm just standing there No. And I see this big your walk in the middle of the front and back in the back in the theater, come up, walk up the stairs, and it was Roger Ebert. And he comes up on the podium. And just as we have breakfast with me in the morning, talk to us. It's a great episode. I was so shocked. And then then once he did that everybody started raising their hands.
Yeah. Yeah, he was. He's done that a couple times in my career. That's why I have a fairly good relationship with Him. And I've had a great relationship with him because he was he was such a film fan. And he also protected the people and helped usher people and filmmakers that, that he thought that needed other people to understand what they were doing. And he did that he would even tell you that if you missed the target, he thought a couple of movies submit the target, but he said I can't wait to see what you do next.
Alex Ferrari 14:10
That's a very impressive budget for that kind of period. Peace movie. I mean, even even back in the night with that, yeah, back in the night. 2000. So 2000s. So coming from an indie world because you definitely are, you know, definitely it's all up until astronaut farmer. You had never worked with a major studio. So what was that transition from complete control to do whatever you want to working with the studio? How was that experience?
Michael Polish 14:39
You know, we started with Warner independent, which was having fairly much a distributor on board to do that astronaut farmer as sort of a pseudo independent is especially in the early you know, in the mid 2000s, early 2000s, especially in the late 90s where studios were trying to land grab these before they were being made because they didn't want to get into these bidding wars, there was a few, many majors that were setting up and doing their own productions so they wouldn't have to go to Sundance or go out in the world and bid for these for these movies, because it was just getting very, very expensive for them, it'd be easier for them to make these ideas. So we went to mark Gill who came over from Miramax and he started wanting to order independent pictures on independent productions and it was called whip. And we knew Mark from the days when he wanted to do to Twin Falls, Idaho. And when we made it with weapon we did this movie it was more money that we've seen to make a movie, you know, we had to build a rocket and we wanted to do effects and luckily there was a studio executive way whose name was john Jimin, Jeff Robin off and Jeff was able to really usher in filmmakers and he was he was corralling a lot of early talent, like Christopher Nolan's and, and people like them, the Hughes brothers. And he found that me and me and Mark could probably do something special with the Astro farmer. So our relationship with with Jeff and Mark made that movie happened. And what was understanding with Jeff was, he said, basically, if you see me down in New Mexico, and you're feeling ever problem if you don't see me watch the movie when you get back. And yeah, and I found in recent years, I found Warner Brothers at that time, are really working with something that they're proud they really don't have. They don't have a lot of say they would, they don't have a lot of finger touching and figuring, you know, kind of the minutiae of everything. They want to see what you do. And if there's a problem, they're going to they're going to step in, at least that was my experience with Jeff. And I, and that was way easier than any independent ever made. And because you had you had the, you had the vision, they had the financing for it. And I think Jeff left a legacy at Warner Brothers to prove it. Prove that very, very, right. Yeah, it was jack. And when Jeff was with with Warner Brothers, it was it was a very special time because we saw a lot of, you know, we saw them work with spike Jones. And every, every he just knew how to curl this. This class that was coming in, I say it was about 9097 to 99. In 2000, he was getting these filmmakers to come to Warner Brothers. Yeah, yeah. I
Alex Ferrari 17:41
know, for world, it's a different world than that than 97.
Michael Polish 17:45
Different it's a real different time and their idea of, of not being so eclectic. Right, exactly,
Alex Ferrari 17:53
is what we're saying. And it's, it's a shame because I mean, I grew up we're both similar vintages. So we both kind of grew up around the same time period. So I remember when Disney and Warner's they would put out a $10 million movie or a $15 million movie. And, you know, and those comedies like downtown Beverly Hills back in the 80s. Like what about Bob and those kind of movies and they just don't exist anymore. There's just like, either it's, it's, it's under 5 million, or 100. It's like rare to see anything else?
Michael Polish 18:26
Yeah, they, they really put that Vegas mentality of betting, betting big all the time. You know, that nickel, the nickel and dime a business they just got away from which, you know, it's understandable when you're running a corporation, but it's not understandable when you're a filmmaker.
Alex Ferrari 18:41
Right? Exactly. And I think, you know, I think Batman vs. Superman is probably one of those examples right now that they've bet the farm on it. And they're, they'll do okay, at the end of the day, but I don't think it's what they expected it to be. It's not paying off. It's not paying off exactly the way and what Spielberg said, you know, the implosion of the Hollywood system, like, you know, if a studio can only do Imagine if Batman or Superman made, you know, $100 million, like it would cripple it could cripple a company could it could shut down a studio, and he says a few more of those happen. And it will I think it will happen. Do you agree? I mean, at one point or another, someone's going to make enough mistakes that you know, it's gonna
Michael Polish 19:19
I would have, I've always said when when was $100 million? Something that was a bad thing.
Alex Ferrari 19:27
Like, they would be extremely upset if 100 million if you made 100 million?
Michael Polish 19:32
Yes. When was when was $100 million? It failed, right? Well, when it costs 400. And that and then you have to look at the people that are doing the finger pointing that goes back to the person that's spending the spending the money that you know, having, you know, having said that, you look, you you look at some of the films that do require a lot of money to make, like the Martian. That was was spectacular look at and it was it felt like we were you know it felt like that experience of travel and even the movies like Lawrence of Arabia just thought you were there
Alex Ferrari 20:08
I mean Blade Runner Blade Runner to I don't want for $5 million. I want I want $150 million in that movie you know without and you know and let Ridley do what he does. You know that's
Michael Polish 20:20
yeah and you I mean he looked at Fury Road and you see every every penny on the screen and and more so because it pays forward in a way that is an experience that all the Mad Max films did. They gave you a world and they gave you made you pay attention to another world.
Alex Ferrari 20:40
Absolutely. And that's a fairy. It should be called Furiosa. Yeah, yeah. Max says like five words the whole Yeah. But the thing that's most amazing to me about that specific movie now we're just geeking out for a second but the thing that's the most amazing about Mad Max is that this whole younger generation had no idea that I think what a 70 year old plus director made that and he is his hip and visually stimulating as any younger director out there if not more so.
Michael Polish 21:09
I believe I believe it later. He's you know that's those are the films that got me into filmmaking was the ad Max, the original that was coming out of Australia. I watched what HBO just was a brand new home box office channel and there was two of them. I think it was no there's three it was Showtime, Cinemax, Cinemax, and HBO. And they showed Mad Max probably six times a day. I watched it. And then
Alex Ferrari 21:37
the other times they were playing Terminator. And yeah.
Michael Polish 21:41
Yeah, they ended up and what was fascinating was, how much I learned, you know, it was basically a no man with no name situation going into this world, which is very surgically only. And that's, I would have to say, you know, and then I watched the curve, I really watched the group of Mel Gibson and what he was doing because he ended up turning out to be a wonderful filmmaker.
Alex Ferrari 22:05
I mean, Braveheart and, and even the other one he did right after
Michael Polish 22:09
Alex Ferrari 22:10
is no, that's the one.
Michael Polish 22:12
Oh, Apocalypto is a feast it is
Alex Ferrari 22:15
a visual feast that movie and a wonderful wonderful wonderful stuff. So so it was an ask you you've worked with some legendary actors. What advice would you have for directors when they are working with very seasoned actors?
Michael Polish 22:32
Listen they've been there they've least listened to their stories of they've either been in the shot you want to do or know the shot you want to do you have acted in the movie like and so you're able to gain a lot of knowledge before you pull the trigger with these guys and or girls these these actors are all well seasoned that I've worked with before and I continue to work with a lot of even young talented actors that mean you treat in this that you everybody treated shows them while you listen to what's going on and then you're able to direct because if you start just shooting around just gonna just make a bunch of you're just gonna make a bunch of holes you know dealing with Nick naughty on in James was extremely two different types of actors extremely two different types of personalities. But yet they both have an incredible presence on screen and are able to demand your attention and if they trust you and what you're doing to walk in it's it's a walk in the park
Alex Ferrari 23:34
it's only a difficult thing when they don't trust you.
Michael Polish 23:37
Yeah, if an actor doesn't trust you in any level you're gonna have a hard time
Alex Ferrari 23:41
exactly and the more seasoned I think probably more difficult the situation might be
Michael Polish 23:47
because they've seen you know they've they've seen it all you know with with most filmmakers The first thing you hear with these younger filmmakers or people that are just trying out they usually say I want to I want to do something that's never been seen before I want to do something has never been seen before. Or I want to put the camera here because there's no cameras probably put in every single hole and every mouth and every year and every building and skyscraper there's every shots been made so do the shot that's going to tell the story correctly.
Alex Ferrari 24:17
Absolutely. Well I was gonna ask you like on the first day of set is there anything you do special when you walk on and like because I mean I know every every movie is a new adventure. So is there a thing you do a ritual because I know Coppola. I've read somewhere that he does like some sort of like a bonding experience with the whole crew and does a whole they eats meat he makes a meal for everybody and stuff like that. Is there something that you do specifically to kind of get this whole adventure off and running
Michael Polish 24:46
there's nothing specifically I've done because I've known a lot of these a lot of my crews since we were coming out of Cal Arts. With the actors I what I try and do is keep it fairly light and not in don't think I'm going to paint this very Heavy with them the very first day is just to show them that they're in really good hands. And I might think of maybe coming with a prayer next time?
Alex Ferrari 25:08
Well, I think I mean, is there any advice about making of an actor feel safe? Because I know that's a big thing with actors, they want to make sure they are in good hands, is there something that any advice you can give directors to kind of give that energy out?
Michael Polish 25:24
I always, you know, I think every director has a special way of communicating with their actors. And some are very, some some directors or actors, and some, they can express and I think if you can articulate exactly what you want in a meaningful manner, then that they can really get what you're saying, and not get too metaphorical with them. in certain ways, I tend to let the first take first or second take be what they what they want to see or what they feel their initial because they've been practicing on their own, or they've had rehearsals, they've come in with their whole, you know, their whole, their whole deck of cards that are going to show you and what your job Your job is to do is render down to see what hands you like, and, and that's speaking in metaphorical terms, what you don't want to do. It's just, you know, I always I always find other ways to explain how to, to communicate. And sometimes you have to use different ways of communication or different methods. But most of the time, I like to see the actor performing. And I trust what they're going to do, because that's, that's their job, and they're really good at it. And they're going to, they're going to try and make the best decisions they can make at the moment when you're filming.
Alex Ferrari 26:41
Now do well, let me ask you a question. They say never to work with family. But But not only do you work with your brother, but you also work with your wife. Right? How do you make working with both of them work?
Michael Polish 26:57
Trust, there's a big trust factor that we're in, we're in this business, business is family and we fall in love with the business and, and in the, in the interpretation when we create, we trust each other that we have chose best interest when they're performing or when we're writing or when we're directing. You want to you want to make sure that that we're all on the same page. And it's a shorthand when you have family that doesn't mean that there is not going to be conflict I find I find less conflict with my wife just because I have to
Alex Ferrari 27:37
go politics I'm married to my friend it's all politics.
Michael Polish 27:39
I have to I had to define the mascot because you
Alex Ferrari 27:44
don't go home and lie down next to your brother at night. Yeah.
Michael Polish 27:47
Yeah, I'm not I've only been tied to him once. Yeah, I was actually tied in once and you know, through the years we haven't done a lot of projects together in the past five years just because our careers took different shapes and shadows and colors. And so I work mainly more with with Kate now, just because I'm finding that you know, I've always loved the leading ladies, I've always loved women that can do leading roles. And I'm really fascinated just like Hitchcock was and all the other human Fincher and all these. You find that if I you know if I want to go down that route with with Kate, I find it really, really educational for me,
Alex Ferrari 28:33
right? I mean, she's a wonderful, wonderful actress. I mean, and then you have earn, what was funny that you have when you were shooting Big Sur? Yeah, I was. And I don't I couldn't believe this. But I literally was driving up the coast. And I saw the film crew on the side by the beach. I'm not I'm not kidding you. Cuz I mean, I mean, I live in LA so I always see film crews everywhere. But we were driving through Big Sur we were going all the way up to Napa Valley for a little vacation, a baby moon with my wife before our kids or my twins were born. And and we look I look over and I'm like, Oh look, there's a film crew. And I'm like, it's not like a little film crew. There's, it's a real film crew. And I was like, I wonder what movies being shot up here. So I later looked it up. I'm like, Oh, it's called Big Sir Michael polish.
Michael Polish 29:22
We were up on the road. We were probably doing some of those scenes where they were driving up and down. Because we were you got us on the day. This bright three days. We were actually on highway. One. We were in Big Sur for weeks. We were out we were down in the canyon for weeks. But being on the road, maybe three days,
Alex Ferrari 29:40
right. I saw I thought the cameras like Well yeah, I think they were I think maybe getting some ocean shots or
Michael Polish 29:45
Yeah, we were praying near Bixby bridge.
Alex Ferrari 29:49
Yeah, it was. It's just it's just ironic. It's funny.
Michael Polish 29:54
Right? I should have stopped by I wish I could. I wish I could
Alex Ferrari 29:57
have uh, we were on our trip to Napa and last thing My wife was gonna go like I don't want to go to another set right now I
Michael Polish 30:04
don't want to go another set essentially are set because we were really living like beings at that point
Alex Ferrari 30:12
so one of my favorite films you've done is for lovers only. I absolutely love that movie and it gave indie filmmakers hope that anyone with a good story and a camera can make an amazing film.
Michael Polish 30:24
So that was a that was a that was a very very fun movie to make
Alex Ferrari 30:28
I mean so it can you please fill in the fill the audience in on how the film came to be and the unique process in which you shot it. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Michael Polish 30:47
But the Mark and I were talking we were we were doing movies back to back with fairly big budgets and it was I think it was 2009 when economically films were being funded the way they were used to independence are usually funded from outside the studio space and you're finding fund film funds are drying up we wanted to you know we already aligned ourselves with a couple studios and we are writing screenplays at the moment but we weren't making anything and we always had this idea to do a black and white movie or just a French New Wave Titan cinematic experience was which was sort of our tour we are we travel a lot through Europe for all of our movies and we thought maybe France would be great to shoot in and he said well we have this idea I said let's not spend a lot of time trying to make something spectacular because we're not going to have a huge budget if we all shoot it all shoot it and I'll direct it and we'll make it a two hander you and we'll find another girl so we had this story he had an idea of a story of having a love of current Paris and I said well let me get you continue writing all go to Paris and I'll be there for four weeks and I'll scoop it all out and I'll get all of the fine locations so as a sort of a tandem act going on he was here in LA writing and I was in in Paris looking at stuff and I had the Canon five D was fairly new and it was being having the video component component on it was doing doing the work that most people were shooting small commercials on or you were looking you were just seeing the birth of this DSLR right that's yeah that's gonna happen what I found was if you were using cinema lenses they're a little too big and they weren't mount they were having to do another mount and I didn't I really didn't feel like carrying on those type of lenses so I went in and found these Zeiss lenses that were had the nice focus pool but they were smaller likes very short lenses and I was looking at a 15 millimeter and and I went to when I went to Paris I was going you know this deal they look great but there's something not quite right about it. And when I turned it to black and white the grays were very light and milky and and I go well if this is the way it's going to look I'm just going to try and figure this out. So I remember driving around Paris and stacking filters like threes and threes and sixes and nines on these I was just making the most dense image I could make and black and white I was going back to my hotel room and playing this back I go wow we're starting to get to a real black and like it very easy black and white. And I think we're gonna get somewhere in and um and so I called up Mark and I said I'm ready. I'm gonna send you a clip of Paris with a shot and you just tell me what you think. And he said, okay, he watched it he goes okay, I'll be over there next week. And he said yeah, but we need a girl on Star Academy who is on castle came in and we spoke to her and she was I get off those show in like two weeks and I'll come over and that's basically how that was done. We didn't tell him Mark gave her the script on the plane.
Alex Ferrari 34:15
How did you pitch her he said How did you pitch indigenous? No Are
Michael Polish 34:19
we she was at the same agency we were at
Alex Ferrari 34:23
are we we were but how did you did you know or did you reach out to her? I forget what agency we're at. We're at the same
Michael Polish 34:29
same agency they will give us a list of actresses that will wouldn't be willing to actually actually was they're not going to read the script you're going to go to Paris with the Polish brothers and that's it basically that's what's really it's about so whoever walked in whoever walked in whoever walked in that room was really really brave and she was one of them that said I choose so many moving northward and I would do you guys want I'm just gonna get you know I'm gonna she's very polite and very genuine about it. And and when Mark and Her got on the plane he handed her the script and I'm I was already in Paris and so when they landed with the minute they landed we started rolling and we did it. I shot the film and we were at night we were doing which they ended up naming it which we didn't have an idea was you just download we just download
Alex Ferrari 35:22
it. Download it right? Yeah, you weren't. We weren't
Michael Polish 35:25
in here we were just we were just I was downloading at night giving my SD cards arrest walking around Paris and we ended up circling the whole country of France we ended up going to send Michelle all the way down to what you do in the morning call her when can and nice and and we did all that within we did think we did it in 12 days.
Alex Ferrari 35:48
Jesus that's a hell of a hell of a beatnik pay.
Michael Polish 35:51
Yeah, it was it was a heck of a ride because we had motorcycles and cars and it was just me and Mark it's Donna. The majority of the time when we were driving around and then I had an assistant named Sean O'Grady who was carrying basically carrying a backpack and and the sound equipment
Alex Ferrari 36:10
Yeah, I was gonna ask you this with as far as sound is concerned, did you did you patch it directly into the camera or did you record it on a location recorder
Michael Polish 36:18
both depending on the environment I did just pretty much a scratch track onto the camera as much as possible because I knew even though it was tinny and the highs and lows are not so good there was a medium range that if they didn't get excited, we were able to get some some pretty nice dialogue that we could work with. I would say the film The film ultimately suffered with with some sound but then it also gave it a feel about authenticity. You know, it wasn't it wasn't great, I would say now if we're if we were to do that again I would just do a to system you know all the way around and just have it have somebody who was mixing them mixing the sound as we were going along but then it but then again I wouldn't say that would preclude anybody that's listening not to go do it and put it on your camera
Alex Ferrari 37:07
right it just it yes go especially with the whole mumble core and that that whole generation of filmmakers that just come out and just like let's just go shoot something Yeah. Now did you with in did you do audio post production at all?
Michael Polish 37:22
Yeah, we did it with a friend of mine that was that was his dad did northfork and Ascot farmer and did Big Sur do a lot of my recent movies and he was able to take the tracks and clean them up on his own time because we weren't we weren't paying anybody so he was he would take the tracks and spend time cleaning them up and he would do his passes on it and he also got some students to help with him to do it that we're learning sound at the same time and yeah, and you know we had a composers name was qubee whose name is kool aid you know, I went to Cal Arts with them and he did some work on with films before so he was able to bring in really classical classically trained musicians to put down tracks in his in his house so he could double up a cello he could do trumpet and I found that to be whenever when all the other crew members and all the other special positions that we're doing on the real talented people they pull they pull good I did which is what their people you know and that and I feel that that's that's a collective and it's also it works when when you're filming people that are going to do what you do what you can review
Alex Ferrari 38:31
what was the equipment just listed off like the lenses the camera the tripod?
Michael Polish 38:37
By took my tripod genius I needed Boba Fett
Alex Ferrari 38:42
you were Star Wars fan then.
Michael Polish 38:44
Yeah, it was just so it this thing was tough. And it was like a kubaton it was like a stealth It was a monopod that I used to do the whole movie but at the bottom of the Mondo pad. It had a chicken foot, you know it had three, three prongs on it. But mainly it could stand there by itself and you wouldn't see it as a traditional tripod. And so you could take the chicken foot off and keep it as a monopod. And this thing was a savior I still I shot with it this last week and I was I was in Hawaii and I was shooting some some surfing stuff and I think it's had its day I kind of might have to put it to rest.
Alex Ferrari 39:22
I retire it put it in the office,
Michael Polish 39:24
I would say Boba Fett was my thing. And I kept me as a cane and kept me going through things and and i i had two bodies that to camera I had to five DS but mainly I would say 90% of that movie was shot on Zeiss 50 millimeter lens. very wide and it could go in you could tuck it up pretty close. I did have an 85 which was probably stone as close ups and mark over the shoulders and similar stuff from Marcus Donna was 85 it was as close as I got with an 85 And then the 50 was basically at 550 that resides that I carried around basically,
Alex Ferrari 40:06
but they were photo lenses or they were cinema lenses. They were
Michael Polish 40:09
photo lenses, but they but Zeiss made these cinema lenses but they weren't those huge suckers that were thinking now they were. I mean, they've looked, what's the difference is is that they have focal points focal marks. So you're able to actually see when you pull.
Alex Ferrari 40:28
Oh, yes. So the focus is on the side down on the top. Yeah, like photography, it's in, you can see them,
Michael Polish 40:34
but they look exactly like agafay lenses and, and so we ended up doing that, and that was a lot that was that was basically one photo backpack that was a backpack that carry my, it was small, but the length probably about 24 inches tall, maybe less. And I put everything my clothes, everything. And then when I carried that around. For 12 days, I was back on a plane on the 13th day. I mean, I was already there for four weeks scouting it out. But it what was nice about being in France was going into cafes and shooting scenes. I
Alex Ferrari 41:16
was gonna ask you like what's like some of the ridiculous locations you got? Because you were just in them. You just look like a couple, you know?
Michael Polish 41:22
Yeah. It was I always said, I always said I was falling around for their wedding video, if anyone asked. Yeah, I would say they're getting married. And we're doing this video because a lot of relatives can't come to France. So
Alex Ferrari 41:34
that's how you stole locations. I love it.
Michael Polish 41:37
But, but because at that time, that camera wasn't even flagged for having a video or component and would take your degrees enough to shoot a movie on that thing.
Alex Ferrari 41:50
Like no one knew no one knew you were under the React.
Michael Polish 41:54
You know, I still believe that the five D gets away with a lot more stuff, too. I mean, you could probably still pull a few levers off the same way. Yeah, just yeah. And then the sensitivity to that camera as opposed to video cameras. two different worlds to deal with the common person that sees what we're doing. So basically, it was it was it was to answer your question. efficiently is, it was two bodies. two lenses. backpack and a tripod. Yeah, the monopod
Alex Ferrari 42:32
No, yeah. Oh, yeah. Cuz it looks like it's like just still camera.
Michael Polish 42:36
Yeah, we had Forgive me because I don't have the name of it. But it's the cross. You know, it's the it's the, it's the mic. It's a book that has the tube didn't matter people gonna say they're gonna say God damn as dumb as like, you know, talking about is like, the fact is, I know what I know what I see. I don't know the words on the on the machine
Alex Ferrari 42:59
then as far as audio is concerned. You had I saw a picture that you had a mic plugged into the
Michael Polish 43:06
that was the recorder that we were we were doing it on these. They were actually the small SD SD cards that were putting sound
Alex Ferrari 43:14
recording on the SD card.
Michael Polish 43:17
Alex Ferrari 43:18
You guys are really just, you mean just threw caution to the wind on this one.
Michael Polish 43:24
Yo, yo, yeah. Yeah, it
Alex Ferrari 43:27
must have been an adventure and a half.
Michael Polish 43:30
Yeah, brilliant when it's really done as in the theater. But before that, you're just you're building the roller coaster.
Alex Ferrari 43:36
Now with the screenplay was a lot of it. Was it all written out? Or was there a bunch of improv during that process?
Michael Polish 43:42
Say 75% of the 70 to 75% of screenplay was written, okay. The other 25% was, you know, like, when they're like putting on makeup in that hotel, or they're going out to drink a party, like going into other people's rooms and exit. That was all that was done on site. And then
Alex Ferrari 44:02
you just found it in the Edit.
Michael Polish 44:04
Yeah, we found in the Edit we, we were, we had a lot of footage like them hanging out. We'd be in hotel rooms waiting to go downstairs to do a scene and they'd be sitting in the bathtub or they would be looking at the view or just hanging out. We basically follow two people in love around Europe. I mean, we around France, and we were able to they were so in tune to what they were doing it they were on vacation, and I was just documenting it.
Alex Ferrari 44:34
Yeah, they seem to have an insane amount of chemistry. Yeah. No, it was wonderful to see.
Michael Polish 44:41
They didn't. They didn't understand that there was a camera and following and
Alex Ferrari 44:46
they were just there. They were just enjoying it. When I watched the movie, it's almost surreal. The whole process, the whole imagery, the the whole everything the the way that the almost I want to use the word ghostly, With surreal, dreamlike, they're like very, very dreamlike in the sense of the way it was percept that like the way it was shot and just the energy of it. I feel not to compare the movies but Eyes Wide Shut. How has that dream like surreal vibe. They're very different movies. But that I just said was the only film that came to me. Now with you did this amazing production you you push the envelope you were like the first feature to ever be made on a five D or one of the first?
Michael Polish 45:33
Yeah, one of the first I'd say we're in, we're in that we're in that discussion of being present based It was released as one of the first
Alex Ferrari 45:42
which was brings me to my next question. You are one of the first independent films that I know of to take full advantage of the VOD and digital distribution platform. Was that part of your plan? Was there a plan?
Michael Polish 45:55
Well, there was a, there was a plan that we wanted to make a movie without restrictions, meaning, we didn't feel like we had to go sell this movie at the end of the day or go have distributor meetings. Although that would, that would be great, too. I mean, we all intend to make our movies to be on the screen and we all compositions are to be on the big screen. However, when we thought of doing this, this five deep movie, we thought, you know, we can make something intimate that you could just watch it on your iPad. And you could be anywhere and it could we could just fly it out to wherever you're at. So this movie would have a small run anyways, maybe a 510 city theater and nobody would see it. So why don't we just make a deal with an iTunes or a VOD and zap it out to everybody?
Alex Ferrari 46:40
And this was 2011. Yeah, it was.
Michael Polish 46:45
I think it was 2009 when it came out, right? Yeah, but we didn't do that the deal was done in 2010.
Alex Ferrari 46:51
Right? So 2010 and 2016. For VOD online is still it was a very different world, not nearly as many options. But iTunes was around and iTunes was just starting to kind of ramp up.
Michael Polish 47:04
Yeah. Yeah. It had, yeah, didn't have a lot of on their catalogue. But they were showing, I think things that were associated with Apple, or maybe things or shows associated with Disney, that everything was going digital. They were they were we gave them the specs. And they took that they took the movie. And it was it was nice, because we got invaded by all the fans that heard about the movie,
Alex Ferrari 47:31
right? So how did that whole work like how did you how did you get the word out on the film? Like how did you mark it? Stannah had
Michael Polish 47:36
a really big following in, in Europe, especially Eastern Europe, there was some festivals being played. And so we sent the film to a Polish festival and a couple of them forget the other festivals, and we didn't even show up. But I believe Donna went to one of them. And it was the reverse effect. Worried was coming out of Europe that this French New Wave was coming to the United States, starring her. So all her fans built this huge, huge following for the film. So when it opened here, people heard about it already.
Alex Ferrari 48:12
Wow. So was the reverse marketing campaign
Michael Polish 48:15
first marketing without truly knowing and audience that she had wanted to see her do a feature monitor to see her in this feature film.
Alex Ferrari 48:23
I'm a big fan of Stan. I mean, I love it. We watched all the episodes of castle a big fan of she's, she's a lot of fun to work with. Yeah, she's she's a lot of a lot of fun. And so you basically we're doing something that a lot of people talk about today, including myself is trying to leverage social media and leverage fan bases of your actors to help sell your independent movie. Right?
Michael Polish 48:47
And, yeah, it's social media. And how many followers do you
Alex Ferrari 48:50
exactly that's like this is it's not like, what are your credits? Like? What's your following? Yeah, how many? How many Twitter followers you have any Facebook followers? How many?
Michael Polish 48:59
I just tell you right now, I could not open a movie with my followers. Even I couldn't make a movie with my vault.
Alex Ferrari 49:06
Well, I'll help you with that if you'd like sir. Yeah.
Michael Polish 49:09
Great. You're doing pretty dang good.
Alex Ferrari 49:11
I appreciate it. Man. I appreciate it. I've been in the field. hustles been around for about seven months. So we've been I work good hard.
Michael Polish 49:21
Alex Ferrari 49:22
I hustle, no question about it. And for people that and for everyone who doesn't know I literally just tweeted Michael on Twitter a couple days ago. Yeah, you'd had and he's like, yeah, I can do the hustle. Sure. Yeah. And a couple days later, it's the fastest turnaround for an interview I've ever had.
Michael Polish 49:40
Well, you know, I've been, I've been where most of these listeners have been, and hopefully they all get to go through the journey that I've been through as an independent filmmaker. I still consider myself a film, you know, indie guy all the way through but I never ever do not say I don't have the time to help or at least help somebody that Some advice in that situation in that situation because you get some good mentors in this in this industry and you get a lot of good advice and you get a lot of bad advice at the same time and you know getting down and doing your burn Bare Knuckle filmmaking is basically how to get it down.
Alex Ferrari 50:17
Thank you and thank you for that. I know the I know the indie film hustle tribe really appreciates it Now one other question this is a more of a of a tech as an actor technical question. With with four lovers for lovers only since you basically were experimental as far as a SAG is sag contracts concern How did that work when you actually started making money?
Michael Polish 50:39
Alex Ferrari 50:39
I'm sure that was a conversation that
Michael Polish 50:42
was occurring it's still a conversation it's a commerce it's a conversation with any union I DGA I won't say that they fired me but in any any it's a tough when you're dealing with union because I'm in line with all three of them and so you you can't you know what I'm going to what I would like to say is not really what I'm going to say but of course I will say something about the DGA they weren't very kind for me going out and making that movie.
Alex Ferrari 51:11
I've heard that about the DGA. They have wonderful benefits, and they're very strong Union for directors. But I mean, that's why Robert Rodriguez left that's why the Tarantino and Lucas aren't part of it, you know, but it's interesting that they're there to help directors but when directors go off and do something like this, like they they don't allow it or but I think now they're a little bit different. I think they're they're kind of like that ultra low budget. Yeah, like sag does now I think the DJ finally caught up to that, am I right? That are
Michael Polish 51:42
they, they caught up with it, it's, I feel it's still a slippery slope with unions. Because you know, every filmmaker has a right to go create whatever they want. And if it's not in the parameters, or in their guidelines, they're going to they're going to make a fuss and and you know, the union is good when it comes to benefits and taking care of zoo animals and stuff. Yeah, in your in your personal side of your living and what your whatnot. But in terms of professional professionally, they haven't seemed to have the, they're not built for renegades or any Mavericks or any of anybody is trying to do something that hasn't been done before. They're not built for that. Right. Now the status quo. Yeah, it's a traditionalism that I understand. Because it's romantic. And it's great to keep making, you know, 1020 $30 million movies back to back but that's not the way the world works and, and they have to adapt to filmmakers that go this Guess what, I'm gonna make a movie for 10 grand. And I'll make one for 100 grand, I'll make one for you. It's about the filmmakers work at the end of the day, and how they're going to provide for them or their family and actually get better because they have to get better at their craft. And sometimes getting a $10 million film school isn't going to work.
Alex Ferrari 52:52
So so then that conversation would sag and stuff like because I'm asking for my own now asking selfishly because I'm doing low budget films as well. And that whole sag ultra low budget you know, we're experimental and things like that I guess that's to a certain point. And then after money starts coming in, then the quest there's the conversation to be had basically correct.
Michael Polish 53:11
Yeah. And, you know, the strange The strange thing about that conversation is studios have been making money a long time and they're not they don't seem to be going to find them for anything. And everybody's there you know, studios being sued left and right surely just being for money they said has been made and they can't find where they've put in they said they've lost and some of the biggest movies you've ever seen are in the red still. And but yet you have the unions coming after the smaller people saying well, if you make money we want to see it it's a it's a as I say it's a it's a hard it's a hard conversation to have with the union that is actually looking for for money. And when you do make the money so happy you made the money, you've probably already spent it.
Alex Ferrari 53:59
And they're like, Where's our money? Iraq? I don't know. I don't know what you're talking about.
Michael Polish 54:04
Would you say we all filmmaker say it's called back pay?
Alex Ferrari 54:07
It's exactly, exactly. So um, you wrote a book, the declaration of independent filmmaking, which I had no idea about until I started doing research. I already it's on order and coming to me, so I can't wait to read it. Can you tell us a little bit about the book?
Michael Polish 54:23
Yeah, the book was written we were being approached. Because before you and a few other of your, of your contemporaries that do podcasts and other people and do this, this type of you know actually goodwill work. It's a lot of goodwill work. You had books that were coming out like Robert Rodriguez, you know, El Mariachi and in the making of how to make I remember the big book was how to make a $7,000 movie. Yeah, how to make or how to make a movie on use card price. Oh,
Alex Ferrari 54:53
yes, yes, Mr. Schmidt.
Michael Polish 54:55
I knew it see these things. But what You know, besides Robert and a few other you saw a lot of filmmaking manuals that were people that either made one movie or their professors in school, they were making, there wasn't a lot of I wasn't gonna do after my first movie because I didn't know if I was going to be able to the second one, the third one after northfork in that experience about that we have enough under our belt that we could help other filmmakers not we're actually not do some of the things that we did and actually improve the situation if they were able to understand what we were at. And also to say, we've had success three times in a row, but that doesn't mean we're we're more wealthy or richer, we what we do have is knowledge. And in those, that book is accumulation leads all the way up to astronaut farmer. It stops before we start making National Farmers. So you see Twin Falls, Idaho, how's that made and jackpot being the first digital movie because we're using Lucas's cameras that he was developing with Sony. And, and then we did northfork, which was the biggest of all three, but each of them were distributed, and we're out. And at that time was seen as a success. All three films are seen as somewhat of a success, but also they were made under all three different conditions. One was 400,001. One was 100,000. And the other one was at the end was 1,000,000.7. So you saw a different range of all types of budgets, and
Alex Ferrari 56:26
you could talk you could talk intelligently about all three experiences, and you had a range of experience talk about
Michael Polish 56:33
Yeah, and with actors, it started out with two unknown, completely unknown people, which were me and my brother doing Twin Falls getting in the jackpot and using a lot of working actors for that were really known just with the actors, which was john Grice. And, and even though beziehen Warren was, is was there, there was also Patrick Boucher, who was doing it, he was he was doing guileless show, he was on TV, but he was a fresh new wave actor, he was great. And so we were able to Garrett Morris who was from SNL, so we started to graduate into getting a lot of great actors great actors but not what we would call ones that were going to finance your movie which and then when we got into doing northfork we ended up working with idols that we saw on once upon a time in America and in seeing McNulty and James Woods so it was a you're able to see that we started by putting ourselves in a movie then you could graduate cast other people and then it was able to get your nor some very notoriety you know some big names and those I think those three movies I believe we're able to show in every different situation every situation most people are in even if they are now what is it like to do a movie when nobody knows you would like to do your second movie when you've had success you know it really as a combination of our career wrapped up in a few years with those those three movies and and you think it's difficult to make your first one it's harder to make your second one and then your fifth one you never think you're going to ever make a movie again. It's It's, it's, it's a it's a constant mental game also that I have to understand that. Don't if you write a screenplay and you hold on to it too long, you say this is my favorite movie. I've always gonna make it he doesn't get major you might be 10 years down the road has not been made. Best thing you can do is write another screenplay and another screenplay. And keep crafting that because one day one's going to hit you say, dang, I have a whole locker full of scripts.
Alex Ferrari 58:36
As opposed to just having one which is a big mistake a lot of filmmakers make
Michael Polish 58:40
Yeah, yeah, I've seen that. I mean, there's still filmmakers today when I started out in the 90s still have that are still humping that first screenplay. Oh, Jesus.
Alex Ferrari 58:47
Now, how did you like I had a question about Twin Falls, Idaho. How much was
Michael Polish 58:52
the budget for that? Just under 500,000. How did
Alex Ferrari 58:56
you get financing for your first movie of a half a million dollars with no. Did you have you? Did you have anything before? like did you shoot I mean, I
Michael Polish 59:04
I was shoot. Yeah, I had, I had a few shorts. I had a few shorts. I had a couple I would say music videos, because that was happening. And I did one really nice sync sound short that I cut and went around and festivals. And that was probably, I would say a calling card for people to say that I could direct a narrative. But But what's tricky about doing shorts and I don't know if it's still the same as today. But back when everybody's making shorts. It wasn't very much a graduation ticket to make a feature because they would say, Well, we know you can make a short. You're gonna make another short or you make a feature. And the short doesn't tell anybody you can make a feature. It just says you're capable of doing something in a short period of time and if you'd like it, then And so if so I felt that we fought we fell on trumpet that shirt because I would take it around and show it at the DGA. I show it to other people think oh, this is really great. What are you doing next I said why I was screenplay. And it was actually northfork was the very first screenplay we ever wrote. And they looked at that and they go, you're nuts. You're nuts. If you want to make movies big, it's in Montana. It's on the High Plains. And, I mean, you're looking at Heaven's Gate right now.
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You're looking at the second biggest disaster movie, if we give you money for this for this. And so we wrote 24 zero. And we know what that's going to be too big in North American Beauty. But let's do something we could actually just get behind. We can be in it, we can actually do it for 1000s of dollars. We have the crew, we have the person making the suit, we could actually pull it off that movie for $25,000. We could have pulled that movie out for that much. And we were getting ready to do it. We were three months out. And our motto was this not set a budget, let's set a time. And it was around Christmas. And I said, we're gonna give our six months to finance this movie if we don't have finance, but at least the costume movie belt locations will be found. I'll get we're shooting a film. So I said, I'll get Kansas short. And so I made all my relationships with division. I made everything with Fuji and I had everything set and I said June 1, we're going to shoot this in LA. And so we were going ahead and doing it for just whatever we can scrape together. Three, eight weeks, eight weeks before we started to shoot. A financer who was coming out of Seattle was coming down and financing small movies and one of the ladies named Rena Ronson. Now she's a she's an agent over at whim. Now she's not worried. She started at William Morris. she, her and Cassie nowadays are putting movies together. She said, you I want you to meet this. I want you to meet this investor, because she's coming out. Yeah, she's only here for a couple of days. And they're doing small, small movies. And I think she respond to it. And so one evening we drove down is right across the street from under the tarp, the bread tar pits, which is so ironic, because you could feel like that's where your career is at at that.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:34
I've been there. I know.
Michael Polish 1:02:35
It smells like it doesn't smell very good. And my we probably didn't smell very good. Yes. Can we blend it in really well. So we went into this meeting, and the lady read the screenplay and said, I want to let you guys know something. I have. I think she said I had twins. I have twin sisters. Oh, I understand what this is about. And I've been happily like to make this movie for you. Do you have a budget? I choose? Can you do it for a price? Because I'm because I'm going to? I'm going to warn it like, I'm never gonna see this money again. Because it's crazy to do a movie. Yeah, it's just nuts. And nobody knows who you guys are in. And nobody's gonna want to be in this movie if you even know somebody. So it just had everything work. Yes.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:18
Very much on paper. Yeah. Um,
Michael Polish 1:03:21
so I was when we said we do it for the low budget agreement, which was 500. And under. She said, you can get it for that agreement. That's, that's 50 times more than the money I'm doing right now. So we'll figure this out. And within six weeks, we were shooting
Alex Ferrari 1:03:38
it. Wow. That's that's pretty amazing, actually. Right? Every time.
Michael Polish 1:03:46
But my my advice to filmmakers is, continue, like you're just gonna make it and do it. Because when the money comes, you're ready to go already. You're not waiting for money, then you're starting up and saying, Well, I'm not sure. Get your budget on for what you think you can do for and understand that you might lock in bigger financing, but see what you can do afford, get your scheduling down. Get the people that want that you can get for your moving the timing, because you're going to have to if you want to make it you're going to have to make it you got to make something or you're really just going to be a Starbucks or somewhere, huh,
Alex Ferrari 1:04:17
yeah, we've all been in LA for those who don't live in LA. If you go to any Starbucks anywhere in Los Angeles at any time of day. There is someone writing a screenplay. I think they I think Starbucks hires them just to sit there. I don't know. Yeah,
Michael Polish 1:04:32
yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm really surprised. And this just, I'll share with you on this. You can share with me on this idea. Yeah, Starbucks should probably start naming coffees at a writer at writers expenses. You know, things like this. Like, this is the final draft cup.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:51
This is this is the Charlie Kaufman cup. Yeah, this
Michael Polish 1:04:54
is Charlie Kaufman could have a have a have a cup of Charlie have a cup of coffee. Yeah, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:05:03
have a cup of tea. Have writers sponsor you can there? Oh, that's brilliant. Only in LA though. No, no, it has to be la based only absolutely you couldn't go anywhere. But like it but but then basically in San Francisco then you could do tech startups like this Steve Jobs.
Michael Polish 1:05:20
Yeah. I think it would work. I think we would work. I mean, we're always looking at other businesses right now.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:27
Of course, it's just a case this filmmaking thing doesn't work out. Now, a quick question about film and digital, you've shot both. Where's your heart? And where do you shoot mostly nowadays,
Michael Polish 1:05:39
I've been my last feature was on the Alexa which I found, you know, beautifully fast and slow and has a lot of a lot of the light love, light love. And it's just as, just as they've done a really good job with the Alexa, I shot four features on the red, and the epic did Big Sur on the red in for the epic. And it was, it was a beast, it was great. It took it was it has really, really great things about it. I shot I first woke, Twin Falls was 35 millimeter jackpot was digital. And northfork was was was filming. I found that you know, the story should dictate what you want to see. But now that digital is where it's at. And there's no reason why you shouldn't be doing it. I was sitting with Irwin Winkler last or a couple weeks ago. And who was just finishing Martin Scorsese's movie, he said to me,
Alex Ferrari 1:06:41
oh, you're the ones coming out this silence number thing? It's Yeah, yeah. He said, Is that the one with the De Niro and the capreol together? I'm not
Michael Polish 1:06:50
sure but it was it was shot in in Asia and film I'm assuming Yeah. And he goes you know Marty shot someone film and someone digital and I'm not quite sure why he wanted to do why he wanted to do digital Dom or why do you want to use vi he goes hell I don't know why I do it and then when we show it to him he can't tell the difference right now anyway, so I don't know what we're doing. And I just I laugh because you know you have a legend like you have the you have a legend like that. Who speaks to in about another legend? And it feels as common as this conversation if you're if you're in the room to listen to it. They're talking about the same thing we're talking about. And they're having just as much fun and jokes about it and and yet, it's a common thing to talk about this world being digital and film and some holding on to this romantic part is you look at the book film the emotion process, it's just it's a beautiful thing and
Alex Ferrari 1:07:57
it's man it's really magical. I mean, I I've shot 35 shot 16 I shot eight. And isn't there is something magical about celluloid and there's a lot of filmmakers who are fighting very hard to keep it I mean Star Wars was shot 35 and it's actually making a slight comeback now I've actually seen I'm working on I own a post house as well. And I'm working on a film right now that was shot on Super 16 independently you know they shot it because they wanted to get that look like the wrestler had the look and Black Swan Those were all shot Super 16 but it's starting to come back and it's funny that I was talking to a couple buddies of mine over at the ASC and they're like we can't find anybody to load mags like there's just there's no the generation that is coming up has no understanding about loading a mag or film or and it's like it's I'm like really like
Michael Polish 1:08:53
they're at the ACS are just it's it's just the either moving nothing's really moving sideways it's just moving vertical and everything's going up and you know the when you had that film bag and you had the guy sticking his arms in mode scary you know and yeah and then they would say you know, check the gate which was a term which they still sometimes say just as a joke, you know, let's check the gate or
Alex Ferrari 1:09:21
for those who don't know what that term means, it means to check the gate to make sure that it wasn't a hair that got caught in the frame because sometimes you can shoot three or four takes and if there's a hair in the gate, forget about it. We got to reshoot and all those tapes are gone now digitally you can fix that if you if there was a major issue but it's it's interesting. I don't know if I'm maybe I'll shoot film again one day, but I do love the speed of digital and the quality of digital to be honest with you. The Alexa is a gorgeous camera and I've shot a lot of red too.
Michael Polish 1:09:50
Yeah, you know, once these film historians that have fallen in love with film, they do you know, end up taking the negative and digitizing it and Working in post and manipulating they're not truly taking it to a chemical situation in that unless you're going to release it but they don't do an inner negative or an inner positive that's all gone It's so there's a the actual shooting part I understand but right after it gets gets to the laboratory it goes back to what we're doing
Alex Ferrari 1:10:19
it's done yeah it's just it's just a recording medium now it's not a full circle. I mean you remember when di was the big thing with Oh brother where art though? Yeah, like now it's every single movie has to go through di Yeah. before and I tried to explain to people sometimes there was a chemical like how do they call her before I'm like well the DP went into the lab
Michael Polish 1:10:43
Did you and you're dealing with bats and you're dealing with with you know, three colors or four colors and
Alex Ferrari 1:10:51
more yellow they're a little bit more
Michael Polish 1:10:54
Yeah. When you hit you know the funny thing about North work was it's presumed to look like a black and white movie it mean people look at it and they think it's black and white because you saturated yeah we flashed the negative effect we actually flushed the negative in the camera and then we skip and we skip the bleach that left more silver in the print which would make it darker and so when the lab got it they didn't understand what we do with all the sets were painted black and white and gray and everybody wore black and white gray there was no color to it there's no color for them to see what kind of movie that we were making so when we got it it was all pink it was all pink and when we saw the first one I go there's no color to take off of we don't know we said no this The movie is shot everything in the movies black and white so we can we wanted to make a black and white movie but shooting in color in the studio when you know you couldn't sell a black or white movie so we said why don't we just make the movie in front of the camera all black and white. So we spray painted the grass gray. We took we all the milk bottles, all the ketchup bottles had gray paint in them. If you look every single thing in that movie was attend, we carried a 10 gray color chart on our belts. And so we would say pick number four do the bedspread do number five do the shoes. So every single thing in that movie was was out attendance. One being almost white and 10 being black.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:23
Wow. So you basically color graded in camera, your onset onset?
Michael Polish 1:12:28
Yeah, and so when they filmed we were watching when we would watch it you were looking into black and white movie except for the skin tones at the people you would see a sort of a blush blush but that's all the color that was it?
Alex Ferrari 1:12:41
Yeah, you did. Yeah, we
Michael Polish 1:12:43
shot one of the opening shots is the American flag that we had sown in black and white and the stars are white and the blue is black and the red is gray. And that flag flew over the state of a part of Montana and when you when you photograph it it looks black and white I
Alex Ferrari 1:12:57
mean and for Pete and for people who don't know what bleach bypass is it's the process that Fincher did on seven to get those darks like the blacks just pitch black and then he crunched it there at the deep they did they didn't do di there was no di then he did it all on the lab I think back then. Wow. So one one last one last question before I get to a few I always ask the same last questions to everybody so but one curious question I have Why did you change your name as the director on stay cool and smell of the success?
Michael Polish 1:13:33
Oh, those are those are my my movies that when you know you're in good company just like when you find financing false you when you don't get the cut that you want. When you don't get the cut you want you you take your name off the move
Alex Ferrari 1:13:50
you Alan Smith, he did. Oh, okay, so but you did those two back to back so you had two bad experiences.
Michael Polish 1:13:56
Two weeks? Yeah, it was two was two years of my life that you were two really special movies there were two really special movies and they were expensive to make and hell of
Alex Ferrari 1:14:10
a cast on the both of when we are when we
Michael Polish 1:14:15
sold them both. The minute we finished we sold them. The one premiered at Sundance one per minute Tribeca IFC, IFC Films which one of them both, and there was another company at the same time, both and we had the financier, the production company wanted to hold out for a bigger offer. And I said, you know, the success of these movies is going to be distributed. And so we got in a big debate of is it better to have a movie released or to make the money upfront and never or never seen or have a movie released and be able to be credible to make more movies and this this is a brand new production company and they wanted to they just had different ideas. And and I understand that they had different ideas, but At the end of the day, this this was my, I think it was my sixth or sixth and seventh promotion finance film I hadn't I had a really good understanding of what was going to happen. If they didn't sell fast, they would look like these movies. Were doing well, there was a failure. And it's better to have a perception in Hollywood, since it runs on perception that these films are sold, and they're coming out as opposed to holding on for two years, seeing if you're going to get a better offer. And they said, well, we'll get a better offer if we go in and recut these movies. And I said, Well, yes, you're going to get a better offer, then you go for it. And so I actually, before I room, I remove my name. I watched what they wanted to do. And I said to go ahead, and I watched the movies back, I said, are enough screenings for with that cut? Go for it? We didn't, there wasn't an offer. There was an offer for that for those movies for a year. And then I said, Well, go back to the original card, because you have an offer on these movies. And because I you know, because we proved to be right. It wasn't right to be proved wrong. You know, it wasn't till we. And so they sell in the movies and released and for. I mean, it was one of those tragedies and films that we've seen with other filmmakers, too. But
Alex Ferrari 1:16:17
But let me ask you, though, at the level you were at when you made these two movies, wouldn't you? And I'm assuming the budgets. I mean, they weren't like $100 million, or $20 million movies. Wouldn't you get Final Cut or wound? negotiate? final call? Yeah,
Michael Polish 1:16:32
we negotiated Final Cut, but but it's when you're dealing with attorneys that can sue you for sitting on a park bench for doing nothing. You know, you have you can start picking fights and what their idea was what they claimed was yet Final Cut. If it's sold, and they didn't want to make it, meaning they didn't if they didn't accept the deal, it didn't sell.
Alex Ferrari 1:16:57
So that was that was their loophole. The loophole
Michael Polish 1:16:59
was you have Final Cut. And yeah, you have a deal and we could sell it so you keep final crap. But if we don't sell it, it's not selling so we're going to cut it. So it was one of those fighting, you know, disasters that you walk into saying, Yeah, Final Cut, but if it doesn't, so obviously there was a problem. But and
Alex Ferrari 1:17:15
you did not one because normally you hear that story with one movie, but yeah, two. Yeah,
Michael Polish 1:17:19
it was two years of just taking it on the chin. I mean, taking it everywhere. Actually.
Alex Ferrari 1:17:27
I understand what you mean, sir. Well, with that said, Can you talk a little bit about your latest film hotpot, which I hear?
Michael Polish 1:17:34
Yeah. We made right after Big Sur. And it was a screenplay that we had it for a while. And it was, it was sort of a homage to Weird Science. And it was to be a small million dollar feature that we were going to go shoot and really have a lot of fun. And if we did, we had a lot of fun with that movie because it was just too goofy teenagers getting a sex robot way before it was halfway before the Scarlett Johansen robot came out yesterday, you know, way before it was years ago. I mean, we did this three years ago. And it was it was fine. It almost it didn't run the same risk as as the two moves are speaking just about it. What happened was we decided to what they wanted to get a true theatrical, and it was going to be a day on date movie. And so they just waited for that perfect timing went on and went on and went on. I don't think the distributor was happy with how they were going to release and what they're going to put in. So there's a lot of turmoil about how you were going to release a movie like that. However, having said that, it wasn't that kind of, it wasn't the same experience. It's the movies is the movie and it came out. I think it came out a little late. I mean, actually came out way late. But then that's a type of movie that can stick around and it doesn't have it somebody will always discover it. So I didn't have I didn't have too much precious feelings about it was it was a fun exercise was fun to shoot. And the kids and it was
Alex Ferrari 1:19:07
a lot of fun. Yeah, it looked like it from the trailer looks like a lot of good. Yeah. So what? What final advice, can you give young filmmakers venturing out on their first feature film,
Michael Polish 1:19:18
make decisions? And that you can ultimately correct because if you don't make a decision, you're just going to be like most everybody looking? What do I want to do how I want to do it? You know, I believe a director is for a better word is mainly a coach, not so much. They have to keep the stamina of everybody going. And especially independent films are based on relationships, not so much money. Although money starts and stops your production. What keeps it going are the days you don't have money. So you really have to be the person behind that builds that relationship with that crew that allows them to give you what you need, and get everybody to do the exact same thing. At Exact same time and you call action. And that is somewhat of being a coach in that term as a football analogy to get all those different personalities together on the line to say hi, that's pretty brilliant. to not move. Everybody stands still until I say, I mean that, to me is like moviemaking, to get all these people just to shut up. Stop.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:23
Yep, you know, you're absolutely right. It's like
Michael Polish 1:20:28
you are, it's the best position to be in and the worst position to be at the same time because it's controlled chaos.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:34
Everybody wants to be in that position, but very few people know what to do once they get there.
Michael Polish 1:20:40
And then thrive under those conditions. Because day one to day 30. You spent everything you've got inside and out, and you've got to act like it was day one.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:50
I was gonna ask you real quick with that. With that being said, the whole mumble core Mark duplessis. Jo, swans were kind of films. What are your what's your vibe on those? What do you What's your opinion on those kind of films that just got filmmakers that just go out with whatever camera they have. And it remarked upon Mark duplass. She's,
Michael Polish 1:21:09
she's is. I mean, I love that kid. I mean, I call him I love him to death just because we've we've run we've crossed paths so many times in our careers. And we're not that unsimilar about the way we've done our movies, and we will finance it, he is consistently going down the path that I kind of go back and forth with meaning I've done higher films and lower films, but and I do quite different genres back to back. But Mark has just been somebody I've always admired and I have a good relationship with and you know, there's nothing bad I can say about somebody who's actually kicking butt all the time, and his wife to his wife is tremendous.
Alex Ferrari 1:21:47
And his brother is now killing it on. Trans is a trans America. Oh, yeah. transparent, transparent. Amazon show as an actor now as well. Yeah. Jay. Jay. Yeah. Jay, as well. It's Did you like when you saw puffy chair, obviously, yeah. It's like I watched puffy chair and I'm just like, cuz you're, you're taught in film school, that everything needs to look like, perfect. You have to know the production value. You have to do this and that. And these guys just grabbed a camcorder. And when I shot a movie, yeah, they don't care about sound. They didn't care about anything. But the story was good.
Michael Polish 1:22:26
Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's, that's the fabric of a good movie. It's just getting that story down. And you know, executions always gonna be judged. Even when you make something that's beautiful. Look how people say I still didn't like the way that though Did you like they, they really spent time doing that. And there's people that say, I don't spend time I just want to make I want to see the acting and the story. And people say I didn't like the way it looked. But God that was a funny movie, or that was a really well acting movie. And I think the look of a movie has a free pass at this story is great.
Alex Ferrari 1:22:59
I think I mean, I actually have a podcast coming out. I are just by this time this airs that already had come out about basically telling filmmakers, like, no one cares what you shot your movie on. And a lot of people like oh, I shot it on the red or I shot it on the Lexan like, you could shoot it on your iPhone. Or is your story good? Yeah, that's what matters is is the story. Good? You're absolutely right. I think you do get a pass visually. And even auto audio is what if you've got a good story and those are so rare, aren't they?
Michael Polish 1:23:30
They're really they're rare. I'm I'm working on a picture right now. Where they're in the writing is fantastic. I'm working on speed the cloud with David Mamet. Play that up adapting to a movie,
Alex Ferrari 1:23:42
he's done, okay? He's he bites, okay. Oh, you see, you
Michael Polish 1:23:45
see what he's, you see his words and you go. What's wonderful about David is he's just say his words. You don't have to do anything. Just let them come out of your mouth, and you are there. And that's remarkable. With David's work, ma'am. It just has the ability to you don't have to put any touches on his words. You don't have to bring them up down, polish them, whatever you want you to Sam and they are in Mamet. You're Mamet no
Alex Ferrari 1:24:09
matter. Exactly like like a Tarantino, like your Tarantino. Yeah, it's like there's that voice. It's so crisp, and clear. And and it's non. You can't confuse it.
Michael Polish 1:24:19
Yeah, it's great writers have that tactic like care about when I did Big Sur you it was a definitely Kerouac piece because of the way he he was a language. It was language. He was able to spend language in a way that was unique at the time. And it was a train of thought that was recorded that was unique for a generation, which, you know, probably other bloggers have. Did they do the same thing?
Alex Ferrari 1:24:46
Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I want to I want to leave you with the last few questions I have to ask all of my all of these are the toughest questions. So I ask all of my guests this
Michael Polish 1:24:55
is there. If they're not time, then it's
Alex Ferrari 1:24:57
not time at all. What Is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?
Michael Polish 1:25:04
Well, I don't know if this this this the lesson that took me the longest to learn was Don't be so fucking precious.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:14
Oh man, that is a lesson most filmmakers need to learn in a big way. Yeah, don't be so precious about because that preciousness is what has you Hawking that same script since 1995.
Michael Polish 1:25:25
Yeah. And it will, it will, it'll kill you. It'll kill the spirit. It'll kill your spirit. It'll kill your wife spirit. It'll kill your kids spirit. It'll kill your dog spirit, because you're going to start defending a piece of art, just to defend whether it's right or you're going to start defending it and make choices based on that that's probably might not make some happen or make the film not that great.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:47
That's a great lesson to learn. And oh my god, if most filmmakers coming out of school, or are just starting out would learn that lesson, man. Got it? I mean, I've had so many. I mean, I've I've been in post for about 20 years. So I've had so many filmmakers walk through my doors and my God. You know, you never know a filmmaker or human being more than you do when you're in a dark room with them for eight hours, 10 hours at a time for
Michael Polish 1:26:14
For you to chat. It's, you know, these families that we create are the traveling circus families of today, and it's just different personalities for months on end. And Yep, you don't see him for two years, and then you're back in bed with them again. It's it's hard.
Alex Ferrari 1:26:29
Yeah. It's carnies. It's it's something that people don't understand. Like we are kind of like carnies in that sense, because you do you like, and it's weird what you make such intense relationships, being a director of being a filmmaker, with your crew, that you literally can not see them for five years. And then, hey, you want to come back to work with me? And the second you see them? It's like, not a day is gone.
Michael Polish 1:26:50
Yeah. And you, you've seen, you talk to your crew, you see your crew way more than you've seen your family. For the rest of your life, he spent 18 hours a day with most of these brothers and sisters. Yeah, it's intense. And it's a great bond when it works really, really well. And then you don't have to see him for two years, because he spent more time than those two years apart in one
Alex Ferrari 1:27:16
And one, three, and one two month period or something like so. And then what are three of your favorite films of all time, when in no particular order?
Michael Polish 1:27:25
Maybe not all the favorites. The influential ones, the ones I remember, I would say seeing what's more time in America was a film that influenced me because it wasn't the godfathers it wasn't. It was the Jewish mafia and how it was, it was wonderful to watch James Woods and Rob Robertson near a very young ages. duel it out on on this movie was just beautiful to watch. It was authentic. Yeah, and that was just his foray. Yeah, in America and and it just taught me a lot about music and cinematography. And why I felt and why you know, actually why didn't understand the movie, why didn't understand what what was the depth of it that I didn't get in this room? And what was the symbolism, the religious symbolism all throughout the film, and where was he coming from? And I think that was one of those movies, I look back on going, Wow, that was something night. And they're all childhood films in a way because we're so impressionable, and I'm pressing Close Encounters of the Third Kind was one of those films, which was just a stroke of genius to have the suspense that he built around these. These, these foreigners that we call aliens, and how they would come in and out in the world and be in our daily lives and, and attach ourselves to that, to that was, was wonderful to watch as a kid was just one. I mean, you watch jaws still holds up. Yeah, I would say those two on the same feeling. Same I was, I would say I could interchange those all the time. And then I know, the third one hasn't been made yet. Oh, wow.
Alex Ferrari 1:29:14
Very great answer. I like that answer. It's still coming. It's still coming online. Yeah. So where can people find you on Michael?
Michael Polish 1:29:23
Alex Ferrari 1:29:27
Online, sir. Oh, yeah, our website. I didn't I wasn't asking for your home address.
Michael Polish 1:29:35
It's a big it's a big state.
Alex Ferrari 1:29:37
It is a big state. And it's there's more cows than people though.
Michael Polish 1:29:40
Oh, yeah. They're definitely more are still under a million people in that state. Yeah, it was I'm thinking a lot about say because Merle Haggard passed away this morning. And, and in. He had a great song called Big City and it was about leaving everything behind and being dumped off in Montana. So You know, my blessings to him and his family because he was such a great iconic You know, he had something like 79 Top 10 hits in the top 10 or 73 I think of us 73 Top 10 hits.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:16
Yeah, that's ridiculous. That's more than Lady Gaga. I'm joking.
Michael Polish 1:30:18
I know. I mean, who all she want to do is have a duet with him right? But yeah, it's like you can find me on Twitter it's a pain on my face on my Instagram the same name as Twitter. Michael dash polish. Yeah, yeah. Michael. underscore. Yeah, Wonder Miko underscore polish is usually both of them. is you can find them on both, or Yeah, I think they're both.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:46
And do you have a website at all or no?
Michael Polish 1:30:49
No. I have your website. Now. You can find me.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:51
You can find them on indie film hustle. Which will now live will live all now that's that's your calling card now like, I don't know it just got any full muscle look my name up all my contact informations there.
Michael Polish 1:31:03
He's right there right in the corner anybody? anybody's looking for microphones? Just have that arrow.
Alex Ferrari 1:31:12
Michael man, it has been an absolute pleasure talking to you, man. Thanks, man. Really, really, thank you so much.
Michael Polish 1:31:16
Keep up the good work. And you're you're doing a good job for the community.
Alex Ferrari 1:31:20
I appreciate it, man. Hope you guys picked up some knowledge on that one man, I was asked I hope you guys appreciate I was asking him all those questions. I was really grilling him about all the technical stuff goes. And even some of the business stuff, because I was really curious to see how he was able to do everything you did on for lovers only. So if you guys haven't had a chance to check that out, I'm going to put a link to not only that, but a bunch of his other movies, as well as his amazing book, the declaration of independent filmmaking, which I've since read, and it is a really, really, really good book for independent filmmakers. It's a great, I would rank it up there with Rebel Without a crew, Robert Rodriguez book, which I'll also put the links in the show notes. Because it was a really great book and really shows you a passionate group of filmmakers trying to make their movies and they throw a lot of lessons out about how it really is and what you need to do to make a movie. So definitely check that out. The show notes are of course at indiefilmhustle.com/069. So once again, thank you, Michael polish, for being on the show. You are an inspiration. Thank you for showing us that we can do it. No matter what just a good story, a camera, and a dream. And you can go make something happen. As always guys, head over to filmmakingpodcast.com filmmakingpodcast.com and leave us a good review for the show. It really helps us out a lot. And I've been getting a lot of notes, emails, letters from the tribe, and of encouragement of thank yous of, you know, the how much the show means to them, and how much the website means to you guys. And I really meant from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for being loyal listeners of the show. And it really humbles me every time I get these letters and these emails, so please keep them coming. It keeps me going. You know, it really does keep me going and I do have a bunch of stuff. I'm working on some exciting stuff that I'm going to be bringing you guys in the next coming weeks. I am working heavily in the lab, as they say to to bring out some very cool stuff and I'm going to be doing some very experimental stuff moving forward in the feature film world coming up soon so I will keep you guys abreast of that as it comes goes forward. So as always guys, thank you very very much for being just being you guys. Thanks guys so much. Keep that hustle going keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
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- The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking: An Insider’s Guide to Making Movies Outside of Hollywood
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- For Lovers Only
- The Astronaut Farmer
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- Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
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