Today on the show we have the legendary indie film champion, Chris Gore. Chris is the founder of Film Threat, a magazine that’s mission is to champion indie filmmakers while giving the middle finger to the Hollywood establishment. In this episode, Chris and I speak about the glorious 90’s indie film scene, his time being a part of the geek channel G4, his new documentary Attack of the Doc and the state of indie film today.
I’ve been a fan of Chris’ for years. I even ran into him on my first trip to Sundance back in 2005. Chris also wrote the guerrilla guide to marketing and selling an indie film, Chris Gore’s Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, 4th edition: The Essential Companion for Filmmakers and Festival-Goers
Here’s a bit of history on Film Threat.
Film Threat began as a xeroxed fanzine started by Chris Gore and Andre Seewood in 1985. Only 500 copies of the first issue were printed and then distributed on the campus of Wayne State University on February 6th, 1985. It was on that campus that Gore and Seewood earned a reputation as disruptors by playing pranks on the film department and even going so far as to fake Gore’s death to promote a film screening. Seewood left after a year and Gore continued to grow the magazine beyond its xeroxed roots into a fully printed magazine.
Chris Gore moved the magazine to Los Angeles in 1989 and opened an office at the Cherokee Building on Hollywood Boulevard. In 1991, Larry Flynt acquired Film Threat which then split into two magazines – Film Threat was owned by LFP and Gore continued to champion underground filmmakers in the pages of the newsprint sister publication, Film Threat Video Guide edited by David E. Williams.
Gore briefly left the magazine in 1995 and Film Threat was then headed up by Paul Zimmerman. After Larry Flynt chose to cancel the magazine in 1996, the rights reverted back to Chris Gore. During the paper crisis of the late 90s, Film Threat printed its final issue in 1997
The Film Threat website launched just before the print magazine’s demise in 1996. Only two issues of this new incarnation headed up by Gore were published, a third issue which was completed never made it to the printer. Gore expanded the Film Threat website offering an email newsletter that contained reviews and news. The site expanded with extensive coverage of independent films and film festivals. Gore sold the website to Mark Bell in 2010. Bell headed up the site for the next five years with the rights reverting back to Gore in 2015. After an unsuccessful Kickstarter in 2015, Chris Gore chose to shut down the site for good. After public outcry over the site’s absence, Gore launched a new Kickstarter campaign in 2016 which succeeded. The website relaunched on February 6th, 2017, exactly 32 years after the first xeroxed issue debuted.
No matter the drama that occurred behind the scenes during its tumultuous history, Film Threat has always supported emerging indie filmmakers looking to make their mark. Film Threat’s mission continues…
If you love indie films then you will love this episode. Enjoy my conversation with Chris Gore.
Alex Ferrari 0:32
Now guys, today on the show, I have a very special treat for you. You know before the internet before so much information was available about indie film and all the things that we take for granted today. There was a time where that wasn't around. And in that time you were looking just searching for information about indie film about the latest filmmaker that just got signed to a multimillion dollar deal or how to even go to festivals, what to do with festivals with the film this information was not around. But there was a beacon of hope. And it started with a little magazine called film threat. And film threats been around since the 80s. And they've been a champion for independent filmmakers ever since then. Now the magazine and now website was founded by Chris Gore. And Chris is a very legendary figure in the independent film space. He wrote the definitive Film Festival guide Chris Gore's ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, the essential companion for filmmakers and festival goers. And he was also a member of the cast of the long running show talking about not only film, but geek culture in general Attack of the Show, from the TV channel, G4. And again before everybody and their mother had a YouTube channel talking about geek culture and independent film, g4 was really the revolutionary starting point of that along with film threat, and Chris was involved with both, he has been a champion for independent filmmakers, ever since he launched film threat. And I, I actually had the pleasure of running into Chris, at my very first Sundance Film Festival back in 2005. And you'll hear that story in this episode as well. I wanted Chris on the show, not only because, you know, I've been a fan of his and what he's been doing for independent filmmakers for all these years. But he also has a brand new documentary that he's putting together called Attack of the dock. If you guys were fans of Attack of the Show, he's putting the whole documentary about the whole show, interviewing everybody, including the original hosts, and all the people from behind the scenes and everybody involved with the show. And I was a big, big fan of the show back in the day. And Chris actually launched a Kickstarter campaign to get this documentary off the ground and boy has it ever it is gone like I think almost double if not almost tripled what he was originally asking for, and we need more help to get this documentary off the rebel. We'll talk about that as well in the show. But if you want to just know about independent film, what it was like to be in the glorious 90s when all of these filmmakers were up and launching Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater, all these guys, Chris was able to not only be in the room but talk to these filmmakers at the beginning of their careers and throughout their careers as well and he is just a wealth of information about independent film and the independent film scenes. So without any further ado, please enjoy our epic conversation with Chris Gore. I'd like to welcome the show the legendary Chris Gore thank you so much sir for being on the show, sir.
Chris Gore 5:33
Well, I don't I don't get it I don't get introduced often is legendary. So thank you for that.
Alex Ferrari 5:38
Well, like I was saying, like we were saying OFF AIR You and I are of similar vintages. So we've, we've walked over the same dead bodies that sent as many a day
Chris Gore 5:49
Like a fine bourbon. That's what we're like. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 5:52
Chris Gore 5:53
We've been through all that.
Alex Ferrari 5:55
Oh, we got the shrapnel without question. We got some shrapnel in this business.
Chris Gore 5:59
Alex Ferrari 6:00
So I actually I met you once you you don't remember I'm sure. But I met you once in oh six at the Mexican Cantina in the slam dance building in the slam dance hotel.
Chris Gore 6:13
I Oh, I remember that. I remember that. That was fun. That was usually where they have an open bar.
Alex Ferrari 6:18
Right, exactly. So it was that time and I was just starting out like it was like 2005 2006. And I remember meeting you for a minute. And you're like, Hey, how you doing? Man? That was and that was it. It was like, you know, real quick. It was good. People were going crazy. They were all around you stuff. But I never forgot that. And I've always been a big fan of film threat, which is a company so that you started. So I mean, we're going to talk for a bit. So I know we're going to get into this. And I know we could probably have a weekly show together. At this point. Yeah, we weave into By the way, everyone listening Personally, I've been talking for about an hour prior.
Chris Gore 6:51
Yeah, we've been trying to solve some sound issues, which I hope it sounds good. But also just like our conversation like that, we should have recorded that.
Alex Ferrari 6:59
It should have figured that to film geeks just talking. Yeah. Alright. So how did you get in this whole world of independent filmmaking in the first place?
Chris Gore 7:07
Well, I first of all, let's start back at the beginning with the first issue of film threat which came out in February on February 6 1985. And I was obsessed with the book Dune when I was in high school. I read it every year. Love that book. And then the movie came out. It was a colossal disappointment to me. Because I love David Lynch. I mean, David Lynch was an inspiration who was one of the filmmakers I loved I was fortunate enough to have parents who really were you know, encouraged reading and alternative media I went to see a lot of World Cinema I grew up like watching a lot of World Cinema as a kid. My mom would encourage me like go to the art house. Don't go see those movies at the mall. Right? And I remember growing up sort of hating john Hughes movies. I know everybody loves them, but I think the only one I liked was Ferris Bueller. Anyway, so that resulted that sort of like anger, the disappointment of Dune led to the first issue of films right, which was started with a guy named Andre seaward, who was my best friend at Wayne State University. We since parted ways, and I kind of took every issue of film threat just kind of got bigger than the last one. But really, my heart is in anything. I mean, it wasn't you know, back in 1985 independent film that word wasn't used. No independent film was born, I believe in 1989. Yes, so sexualized videos, when the United States Film Festival changed its name. Yep. When sex lies and videotape played that festival, and it had already the video rights are gone, but the theatrical rights were available. And then it went to Cannes won the Palme d'Or. And I believe that 89 is the year indie film was born. And then filmmakers like Spike Lee, you know, Jim Jarmusch, they were coming up there though. They were considered art films. But really, it was 89 I believe is when independent film was born. And then from then, you know, film thread covered anything that was considered cult alternative film that was sort of where focus was, but once that term was born, it was like, Oh, yeah, these are, these are all indie movies. You know, when you look at like, the landscape, and just you know, we had such a great conversation before this, you started recording. We're talking about just so how much because I actually understand what Coppola and Scorsese are trying to say. They're not I don't believe that the necessarily against these films but but the point is, is that they take up the oxygen on the room, they take up the conversation so that when you look on YouTube, the space that YouTube when people talk about movies, they obsessive Li talk about Star Wars, they obsessive Li talk about Marvel movies, and I feel like you've if you exist on a diet of Disney, Pixar Star Wars Marvel, it's gonna be bad for you. You know, it's sort of like eating living only on carbs. You know, it's not good yet. You got to have a balanced diet. You have to have a balanced diet and I believe a balanced Media diet is healthy little world cinema in their little independent film, some documentaries there. And then when the one Star Wars movie that comes out every two years and disappoints you, it's not going to be such a colossal disappointment, because you, you augmented your media diet with other types of movies. So the whole purpose the mission of films, which hasn't changed for the beginning, is to champion these films and give them a voice. So every day you're discovering new filmmakers, you're you're reading about short films, you never would have heard about playing at festivals. Every day, we post between three to five reviews daily, everyday, never not even on weekends. When we're at a festival. It's even more 10 or 15 reviews a day. From a diverse group of writers located all over the world. We have a writer in South Korea, oddly, who teaches English as a second language. Adam Keller he contributes reviews to the site so it really is many voices talking about all these films that you would never have heard about had you not gone to the website.
Alex Ferrari 11:01
And there's and there is a need for that now because I do agree with you like I ended look when Mark and Marty and and Francis you know because I know them personally obviously. So Marty and Francis said that what they said I I got the the there's a lot of people were like, oh, they're just the old grumpy men and there's a there that I get what they're saying. And look, look, it's Martin Scorsese, Martin Scorsese could say whatever Martin Scorsese wants to say. What he did do, though, is piss off. millions, if not billions, of people who have an emotional attachment to those films. Kevin Smith said it very clearly goes, Marshall says he doesn't have any attachment to these characters. But you and I do because we grew up reading those comic books and we're and and, and and really loving that that kind of culture of the other comic book culture. So they mean a lot to us. Like, you know, when I watched Avengers endgame, you know, and you know, what if Look, if no one's seen Avengers endgame, and I give a spoiler out right now, it's on you. I'm sorry. It's made like $3 billion. It's on you guys. But you know, when when what happens to Robert Downey happens and, and those characters and when all of them get to get like, there was so emotional, and you know, there's tears, you're coming down your face. That's what cinema is, if you're able to pull an emotion out, that is what cinema is. So to a certain extent, those movies are cinema at a very high level, not you know, not like boogy Buju kind of you know, very high class level, but it's doing what cinema was built to do. But I agree with what your comments are where it's you can't eat Look, it's just like when you have kids and you and they're away and they just eat pizza and ice cream all day. If you give if you if I gave my girls pizza and ice cream all day they would eat it they would eat it but they would they would pay for it. Right and i think i think what you're saying is perfect.
Chris Gore 12:58
Well I Yeah, I agree and also I think a lot of people forget that those Marvel characters not just about the movies you know this last decade of the Infinity saga it's the you know legacy of these characters in groundbreaking comic books also brought to life via animation I you know, watch those old 60s cartoons which are based on the original like a lot of the original jack Kirby art you know, with limited animation you watch those now they don't really move a lot that's what I thought they were based on the comic books so here it is an I get this is gonna sound cheesy, but every time that Marvel logo would come up and I'd hear that sort of music swell, I get chills and choked up because I grew up reading Stan Lee I mean when I was like you know seven eight years old I'm reading these comics now they don't hold up as well but they were operatic they were Shakespearean they were they were dramatic they were so so it's all that emotion built up not not you know from that and the movies so but at the same time, I love I saw the Irishman and I will say this let me confirm something for you. They are not going to make an Irishman theme park ride that's never going to happen
Alex Ferrari 14:01
Chris Gore 14:02
It's not going to happen
Alex Ferrari 14:03
Is there's going to be Irishman t shirts or lunch boxes.
Chris Gore 14:06
No action figures that are one six scale you know Denero character. It's not going to help.
Alex Ferrari 14:11
I would I would pay for that by but I haven't seen the movie i would i would get
Chris Gore 14:15
This got her someone's got to have made a Travis Bickle. One six scale action figure happy with someone during Halloween cosplay is Travis Bickle. Halloween are at like Dragon Con. That's what I've seen those care. But see, you know, while I love this mainstream stuff, I understand it for what it is right? It's also, you know, these these corporations that are built on a world market now, not just the US market. So there are all types of different concerns. I think I think Francis Ford Coppola said it best when he was saying that studio filmmaking has evolved into factory filmmaking. It's factory filmmaking now they're just, this is what they make. They make factory films and it's made for the widest possible audience and you know, I like a good popcorn movie, but I also like a Like, you know, I saw this movie The other day, it was sort of a low fi sci fi movie called the other Tod. I think it's gonna be at AFM. I don't think it's even out commercially, but it was I see it. I'm dying to talk to the interviews on a podcast. But it's just you see that they made the movie they could with the resources they have. But if you look also Marvel they have really fostered a group of when you look at the creatives they go after they go after people who are you know, filmmakers, filmmakers, James Gunn, you know, like
Alex Ferrari 15:29
John Fabro, the Russo brothers,
Chris Gore 15:31
There was a they all came from indie film, they all had like movies at slam dance or something, you know what I mean? Like that, you know, so so I, that's what I think is great about Marvel, I think they've been the most successful of those entities. So I think Star Wars has had its share of problems. So that's, that's another, that's another conversation. But I really feel like a balanced media diet will make you appreciate a good studio movie, as well as appreciate a good indie documentary or whatever, like, my taste is all over the map. But I feel like, I feel like we're living in this golden age where there's so much of it. And that's why you need I, you know, I think people at least if they read films that on a regular basis, appreciate that we cover these types of films.
Alex Ferrari 16:18
Yeah, and they're not there's not a lot of coverage at these kind of films anymore. Like, as opposed to the early 90s. And the 90s, in general, which was a golden, it was the golden era of independent film, as we really won't know it today. Can you talk a little bit about because you were, you know, in the early 90s, in 8990 9192, in those those first six, seven years of the 90s, and 89. It was every week, there was a new masterpiece, it was every week, there was a new filmmaker, being crowned by someone in mountain Hollywood would come down. Usually, it's that one guy we'd like to I don't like to talk about. But of course, we all know who we're talking about. There was that one guy, but but the point is that he for whatever they he did bring up a lot of people on open doors for a lot of people. And as far as independent filmmakers are concerned, can you explain what the energies like cuz you were literally running in those circles back then, like
Chris Gore 17:15
It was it was, it was crazy. It was exciting. And we're doing you know, I'm actually doing a documentary about film threat, called film threat sucks. If you just go to YouTube, you can look up film threat sucks trailer, there's a sizzle reel that we put out there, which helped us get a deal to do a documentary. I'm I'm a producer on it. But I'm not directing it. I'm not like, I handed over 100 hours of VHS footage. But it's amazing. We've been going through the old film threat archives, because I saved everything. And at the time, those were letters. Let me explain what letters are letters is like an email, but on a really thin slice of wood. That's what that's what a letter is and used to mail them to people. And you would correspond any case, I saved all these letters. I have letters from Kevin Smith, actually, you know, just sending letters to filter up before he did clerks, right. Like he was a reader of films, right. In fact, there was an article on vice recently about the 25th anniversary of clerks and Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith bonded over being readers of film threat. But yeah, it was exciting. I mean, one of my experiences I remember being in the room, seeing because we did a set report on Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, right? We did a set report like this new filmmakers making a movie, it's going to be amazing. And got into one of the very first screenings to critics of Reservoir Dogs. And my memory of it was sitting there with a bunch of the people from the film threat crew, we would go to see movies and groups at that time. And we just looked at each other like oh my god, this is a revelation like this is like we're seeing like the anointing of a new, a new talent. And then I looked over and during the year seen, the critic from Entertainment Weekly got up and walked out and was like, horrified during that scene. Right so and, and it got kind of limited coverage and Entertainment Weekly. Of course, it wasn't till later. I feel like film threats always been the pioneer and on the forefront, but you'd get no points for that. It's like we discovered people early. We talked to those filmmakers at the beginnings of their careers. And then of course, they ignore us and so that they can do something with Vanity Fair. I think that happened recently with Todd Phillips who Todd Phillips to Joker, I I reached out to him on Instagram. I dm them. I'm like Todd, you want to do the film threat podcast. Never heard back. Phillips By the way, I knew him when he was a student at New York, New York, NYU. He ran the New York underground Film Festival he created it film threat released two volumes of VHS tapes at the time of shorts from the New York undergrad Film Festival and film threat also distributed Todd Phillips first feature film which was a documentary called hated ggl. And in the murder junkies, it was about Gigi Allen you during the making of that we're working. I remember sitting there in an office with David E. Williams, who was the editor of filter video guide and we're working on the the video sleeve for Todd Phillips movie.
Alex Ferrari 20:11
What is this VHS video stuff you speak of? I really don't understand.
Chris Gore 20:15
It was on magnetic tape and anyways, is the night before DVD,
Alex Ferrari 20:20
Ofcourse. Oh, and DVDs called and DVDs are sorry.
Chris Gore 20:25
Like, I know, I'm just as guilty as anyone else. I've I can't tell you how many times I've read bought Star Wars.
Alex Ferrari 20:33
Though I had the laser Desborough I had the lasers. I had the VHS I mean, come on.
Chris Gore 20:36
Yeah, I kept the LaserDisc. I still have the Criterion Collection definitive. I don't even I have nothing to play it on. But I own it. It's got a book anyways. But yeah, we got to call the GG Alan had died. I mean, he died tragically. And Todd Phillips went out to film the funeral. So we had to recut his movie. And we changed the rate of change obviously changed the video box that was in the middle of that happening. So we were kinda at the forefront of a lot of things happening because there weren't any other outlets really. I mean, film threat was, well, by the time it was 92, we split into two magazines, film threat video guide, and then film threat magazine. But my whole thing was I read this great essay years ago, which you got to find just look up on the internet that Matt graining had wrote about leaking subversive ideas into the mainstream. And he wrote a whole essay about this. And if you look at the Simpsons, oh, history, if that was done as a live action show, it could never have been done with the Simpsons commentary on drugs, religion, politics, the police, just everything. society in general, you could never do as a live action show, they would be they would be canceled as the kids say today. But, you know, that was my whole thing with film three is okay. We're going to sort of give it a mainstream, you know, candy coated shell, but then we're going to feed you underground filmmakers, like your Bucharest from Germany, or, you know, like, like, Allison Anders, or, you know, Kevin Smith, or, you know, these are the people that would be featured in film threat. And when you look now, I do think that back to Scorsese and copalis comment, like, the oxygen in the room is taken a little up a little too much. I think that it's really incumbent upon. I don't have to tell you this at all. But other journalists in this space to go, do you only care about clicks Do you care about click Beatty headlines? Do you only care about like, outrage and triggering people? Is it just sort of a thing of like, you know, there's a whole argument now, like Ray is the best Jedi who gives a shit? It gives a crap I have a daughter, I have a daughter, I'm glad that there's a female Jedi. I question that even like when the early Star Wars movies, I'm like, Are there no female Jedi? It just seems like film threat or Star Wars, a lot of different species, but not a lot of women in the galaxy. You know,
Alex Ferrari 22:53
And, and they didn't have an apparently they didn't have braas according to, according to Carrie Fisher back in the past.
Chris Gore 23:01
Nobody know. But it's just like, Look, these are these are stupid arguments. You know, I mean, these are just like, I mean, like you can like there's some Star Wars movies I like more than others, you can pick them apart. But if that's all you're spending your time on and spinning your wheels, you're missing out on hundreds, if not 1000s of incredible independent films and experiences. And my my whole thing, you know, there's been a controversy lately about white male critics, right, white male critics and whatnot. And, and I think the best thing we can do is constantly seek out diverse voices to talk about film. But the whole point of a movie is so that you can empathize with someone who isn't you so that I can empathize with someone who is not my same gender, or my same ethnicity. Or even maybe a spork? Right, you can sport
Alex Ferrari 24:01
I absolutely. I empathize with the sport I
Chris Gore 24:03
saw guys with a sport or someone who's not your same sexuality shaped like, who doesn't share your same sexuality the whole point. And this is why I love going to Sundance or film festivals that champion these films, and this diverse group of filmmakers and always have I talked to a friend, journalist recently I won't name who was complaining that Sundance has become so woke lately. I'm like, how long have you been going to Sundance it was always woke, just we didn't use that word. It's just whatever. We use the we overuse these words in a divisive way, when really, it should be about experiencing the world through someone else's eyes. And I think once you have the opportunity to do that, you're forever changed as as I have been by so many of the films that I have seen at Sundance in slam dance and South by Southwest and Tribeca in Toronto, and asi and so many of the festivals that I've had, I've have been honored to to be a part of and and have that opportunity, I know you as well. So I really think that a diverse media diet in film will just be eye opening to so much more that you that you can see.
Alex Ferrari 25:15
And I want to talk about about that was grant
Chris Gore 25:18
Sorry about that. I guess it's fine. It's fine. But if I could Mic drop this mic, can I tip it over?
Alex Ferrari 25:24
You could No, don't tip it over, please, for the sponsor for this up. I want to talk to you about the there's an 800 pound gorilla in the room that we always talk about in film in the film festival world, you wrote an amazing book called The ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, when there was no internet, really. And there was no other information about film festivals like this was the Definitive Guide to dealing with film festivals and doing all that stuff. You know, you've been going to Sundance arguably the very beginning. I've been going to Sundance for probably since 2005, I think was my first one. So I've been I've been there
Chris Gore 26:00
96. But I sent other people from film thread to cover it. Right? It's but you actually Eugene Hernandez of, of indie wire, on behalf of film threat actually went to Sundance right back in like, I don't know, 91, maybe 82.
Alex Ferrari 26:18
So you know, Sundance has always been kind of like the the crown jewel of the independent film world. And it's because they crowned so many kings and queens at that festival at a certain point in time they did. And that myth that mythos, of Sundance has has, it's still ringing To this day, where filmmakers believe that if you go into something, you get into Sundance, and you God forbid, when Sundance your entire life will change forever. With that said, Absolutely, if you get into Sundance, you're going to get attention. You're going to get some people but I know many Sundance winners who couldn't sell their film. Never got a callback,
Chris Gore 26:56
never. I'll give you this statistic, it's 80% of the films that play Sundance have no distribution, two years after Sunday, Sunday, so so that that myth that it's it's all going to change, I think it'll change for attention. I also think that it might be better to go to a smaller Film Festival, like dead center, you know, or something like that in in Oklahoma, like, where you you be as part of a smaller group, right? So I look on, I look on playing festivals is sort of, you know, this sort of tour, but if you look at you break down the movies that play Sundance, right, which is north of 200, right? south of 300. When you look at the films that play there, there's a certain percentage that are meant to get attention these budget studio movies, right?
Alex Ferrari 27:46
Yeah, I was gonna ask you about that. Like, because when I was going, and even the 90s, there was no mini majors, there were no independent film was clerks. That was an independent film, not a $27,000 movie, or, you know, or, or six days a videotape, which was arguably a little bit more expensive at that time. But it was that range. Now you're talking about $10 million movies with, with stars that we know. And that's the
Chris Gore 28:10
indie. Well, but having said that, yeah, cuz I think this is the weird, I tend to look at the arguments on all sides. Okay. Okay, which probably makes me All right, at these days in this political climate fair does, I want to have some understanding of where things are. But there's a section of Sundance that has all these star films, they're star driven, right, with big actors. And a lot of what I'll say is, sometimes Sundance feels like a wrestling match, where the results of the wrestling match are, you know, determined, before the match begins, meaning a lot of films will go to Sundance, they already have distribution. And it's really about sort of kicking off our premiere. So it's a movie that is going to be on HBO in a month anyways,
Alex Ferrari 28:53
why Netflix, or an Amazon or
Chris Gore 28:55
Netflix? Yeah. And you know what, that's okay. Because those movies that have these big stars attract the world media, so that a new filmmaker who just made a movie with nothing, has the chance to get some some attention in the midst of all of that. So there still exists this desire to champion new up and coming filmmakers, the person who sold his collection, to, you know, to finance a film, Kevin Smith, with clerks. And that you know what I mean, that still exists. But the thing that gets and this is where I'll go back to the lazy media, the media is just lazy. They are the ones that only pay attention to those big films that are coming to Netflix are coming. You know, you're we're talking about filmmakers that can't afford a publicist. Right, which is why in my book, I actually tell you like, here's DIY publicity, and I would argue, looking back because people have asked, Are you going to rewrite it? And I look at the core information of the book hasn't changed. The mediums have changed, you know, now you can do a Snapchat, but I once argued with an indie filmmaker once I said you know, you can play the festival circuit, or you could take your 80 minute feature film, divided up into two minute segments, release your movie as an app, and more people might see it. Radical I know, but I feel like you have to be creatively radical. Because if you look at indie film, to me is on the forefront always of new ways of selling. And it even if you look at the way that studios sell their movies, they're using underground and guerilla marketing techniques to market in the big budget studio films, especially if you go to something like San Diego Comic Con, which is this big pop culture event that I've gone to that's also kind of, you know, experienced the same problems as Sundance. And that that problem is both Sundance and San Diego Comic Con, are victims of their own success. So no question. Exactly. But as a filmmaker, you have to try for that. But you always have to have a plan B, because that you got to have a plan B of like, you just have to assume you're not going to get in, but there's no reason not to try I mean people win the lottery, right? So submit to Sundance Toronto south by you know that you know the drill, and then and then submit to these smaller B festivals, you might not and or just take the pathway of getting your locking in your distribution. If you reach certain creative benchmarks. You can and you're able to backwards engineer, I co wrote and produced a film years ago called My Big Fat independent movie. And I just looked at like, well, what movies and then that's a it's a dumb spoof parody film. It did. Okay. 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, by the way, I just I don't want to plastic. I don't want to brag. I think that's still
Alex Ferrari 31:39
out there. Is it still out there? Do you own it still? Um,
Chris Gore 31:41
I got the rights back. And at some point, there'll be a digital release. Oh, you haven't released it digitally yet? Not digitally, but it is you can find it. Look, you can find it used on DVD on Amazon for like $2.
Alex Ferrari 31:53
Right. But you're going to do it but you're going to do a digital release on it. What
Chris Gore 31:55
did you did your release just so we can bring it to HD? Right. Okay, sure. So, so but like I just sort of backwards engineered like, Well, what do people in the space pay for this movie at this level? What are the kind of actors that we need to have in it? We had like Paget Brewster, Clint Howard, Bob Odenkirk has a big part in it. Like, I sort of backwards engineered what these movies make. And then so how much I should I should spend on the budget.
Alex Ferrari 32:24
Amazing. It's amazing. Like, do you thought this way? This is revolutionary?
Chris Gore 32:28
It's basic, isn't this? Yeah, I think it's because I I've always been somewhat entrepreneurial with launching film threat when I was effectively a kid, teenager at to, you know, just like I came from a pretty poor family back in Detroit. My parents got divorced. And I was young. I never knew that we were poor until I got to high school. And I'm like, what's with this all this ski club? And I think I might have had like two pairs of pants, you know, at the time, but like, I didn't care. I you know, I feel like and you're a father, I'm a father. I feel like when when when children are loved money, who doesn't matter? It doesn't if there's love in that family, you know, you figure everything else out, you figure Exactly. So I was so frustrated by like, I wanted to go to USC because my hero George Lucas, you know, bring it back to Star Wars. I wanted to go to USC and I could not afford to go to USC at all it was it was not an option for me. And I remember visiting my uncle in California and begging my mother to take me to the campus of USC, I walked into the campus bookstore, I bought a copy of every book I could it was a huge stack spent $200 on books. And then I wrote down the titles of every film and every every book, and every author and I read every single one of the books that the kids who went to USC film program, I read all those books. And then in my film class, which was at Wayne State University, basically a commuter college. For the I wrote, I typed out a list is two page list of here's all the books that the kids at USC read. We should read these books. I mean, I was I was so annoying in college. Not that that's changed.
Alex Ferrari 34:09
Oh, I was I was to my friend.
Chris Gore 34:11
Okay. Young, dumb and passionate. Yeah. So but I read all those books and I was just obsessed with like, well, I'm gonna get the same education I just and then you know, look, I'm a college dropout who wrote a book that some some colleges force you to read, you know, asi, USC, UCLA, I do speaking engagements there every once in a while and I'll, I'll point out that like you're paying for this education. I'm here speaking in front of you. And I'm a dropout because I looked at the money I was spending is just a clear choice for me. The money I was spending to go to college because I was working three jobs. I still had newspaper routes when I was in college.
Alex Ferrari 34:49
What is this newspaper you speak of?
Chris Gore 34:51
Yeah, exactly. It's another thing. And I was like, I can just read these books. I don't need to regurgitate to a professor to prove to this Professor that I had read the book, I can just read the book on my own. And then I started reading books about like how to publish a magazine, I read a book about marketing called which I, which is an A new edition, which I highly recommend called marketing warfare. And it's a history of marketing, which I read this when I was like 20 years old, you know, like these were in the wheel. Well, it's like, if I'm going to do a magazine, I need to know how to market things. If I'm going to make movies, I need to know how to market marketing warfare. It's the history of rivalries in marketing offer, Burger King, McDonald's, Coke, Pepsi, why some brands choose to be they choose actively choose to be a second or third in the space. Because they can be you know, they can be more profitable in certain senses. So it's fascinating book that that walks you through the history of, of marketing these various companies. So and then I also read books at Ogilvy and Mather Mather. George Ogilvy wrote a book about advertising confessions of an ad man, which is a great book, there's so much information there on fonts. Because one day, I would love to design a font, but no concepts of font usage. I was obsessed with stuff like that when it came to print. So so I feel like you know, and look at Quentin Tarantino he dropped out when he's not that I'm comparing myself to him, but there's no correct pathway to being successful in entertainment. Medium. There, there are people who went to film school and did that route and, you know, have advantages with with with money. And there are those that take other pathways Spielberg,
Alex Ferrari 36:34
Spielberg didn't get it turned Tino, you know, dropped out of school. He was in eighth grade, do me he, but he's a special case. He's an outlier. Without question. He's an outlier. But you know, and I always, we're the only we're the only business that that there is no clear path ever. There really isn't. I mean, there's something there's certain, like, if you want to be an agent, or you want to be a manager, you know, you want to do TV, if you're able to get into one of those programs, maybe if you work up up the way, but those kind of have fallen apart. They're not as big as they used to be those kind of mentorship. You know, right? Where they used to be, that was the only way. But nowadays with the technology changing, look, you know, this is what I tell people all the time, the world is changing so rapidly. Our business what was true, six months ago is no longer true now in distribution in the cameras we're using, and how we're like, there's so much radical change, that by the time you're like, Okay, I got it, you're gone. It's already it's already moved by the point like, like, you know, what, I think I got this whole 4k thing down. I'm like, that's fine. They're shooting 10k now Do we need to shoot 10k that's a whole other conversation. But cuz, you know, if you shoot 10k, the same camera they shot Guardians of the Galaxy with, it's gonna make your film a lot better, regardless of story. But But, you know, so there's things are changing so rapidly that you can't just look at what's going on. Now you have to look and think about what's coming around the corner. And like, just on distribution side, you know, because you and I both have a friend in common Linda from indie writes, you know, I've learned volumes from her, because I've seen numbers and they're like, and I've seen it in my own work. And I've seen it in another filmmakers that T VOD is pretty much dead. You know, transactional video on demand is pretty much dead for independent filmmakers unless you can drive tremendous amounts of traffic to those areas. Now, it's s VOD, and a VOD. Three years, two years ago, when I released my first independent film, I made a lot of money on T VOD. I know guys who made $3 million off their first movie with an over the dedicated audience on TV. But now that's gone. And now people like and I hear them, I consult them all the time. They're just like, Oh, I think we're gonna go to iTunes. Why? Like, so that's why I'm just my point that things are changing. So there is no path.
Chris Gore 38:49
Right? It hasn't. You have to pick your own path. And you have to you have to build your own audience. I think that that's important with this cache. Part of the reason I was coming on here was to talk about this Kickstarter that I have going on, currently, that ends November 12. And, and part of what we're doing with that is building building audience so that when the film does come out, right, we'll actually have an audience that wants to sit that may have just heard about it. I think it will, it will help us in the space in terms of distributions. So So yeah, I've got a Kickstarter, it's for a film that I want to make called Attack of the dock and attack of the dock is about this television show called Attack of the Show on this network g4 that was huge really dominated the nerd space from 2005 to 2013. And the show went away yet you know, I'm still going to conventions and people are still asking me Whatever happened to attack of the show what happened to the show. So I want to through this documentary, taking a static look back at the show, revisit an interview people who were involved behind the scenes and in front of the camera, Camera. And then also take a look at how like geek culture has changed between 1005 when we were all excited about all these new tech and devices, and we get together, and we'd have this sort of collective conversation to the kind of divided space that exists now the sort of fracturing of fandom due to I believe, social media. So So sort of by looking at the taking a lens, and pointing towards our recent past and looking like, here's how we used to talk to each other back Back then, now, how are we talking to each other now, because I feel like I think I can talk about this here is like, one of the one of the threads that I intend to explore is the way we talk to each other online. I feel that we're not going to solve, not one of the world's problems, hunger, economic disparity, the world race, and racism, and none of those problems will be solved until we learn how to speak to each other respectfully on the internet. Because if you just spend time on the internet and see the toxicity that's on our various social media platforms, you would think that we're spiraling towards Civil War Two, right? Except then I go out in the real world, and I realize no one cares. Most people, when you interact with them, I believe, our friendly, I believe our you know, I mean, you know, I feel lucky
Alex Ferrari 41:29
that we all run into our asses. I mean, there's always there's always that dude, and especially,
Chris Gore 41:34
there's always gonna be that jerky person that you know, is gonna get captured, being an A hole, like on camera like that exists. And that is a small percentage that will never ever go away, that will never go away. But the majority of people that I experienced in all my travels, and see, this is also easy for me to say, as an old white dude, right? But, but it's, um, you know, I feel like it's not as bad it's not as hopeless as it looks. Maybe it's something that people are sort of exercising demons online, that sort of like, it's this little Gremlin that comes out this sort of evil angry Gremlin that, that people have that that sounds like a horror movie. I'm pitching now that people express that online and then and then in real life, for the most part. I mean, you hear Milena people complain about millennials all the time. I love millennials. I think they're, they're the most polite generation. I'm not gonna sit there and crap all over millennials. There may be some work issues with that, but I work with me there's millennials that work out at film threat, but for the most part, my experiences, they're awesome. So it's just a different if a different criteria. But but so for this, if you go to attack of the doc DSC comm, it'll point you to the Kickstarter, and you can check out the video that we made, which is sort of a taste of the things that we'll explore. We just actually did cross our first funding goal, which was to start shooting the movie is 25,000 just to start shooting, we want to reach next milestone, we'll release the movie on Blu Ray hardcopies, which was only because everyone demanded that we do it. Like there's so many backers were saying how come there's no blu ray, it's like, people still like I buy blu ray, I know. But I'm not I've never considered myself a traditional consumer. Sure I should. I'm not. I'm not normal in a number of ways. But but it also will give us a budget to be able to travel, take the production on the road. There's just there gonna be a lot of legal hurdles to overcome. But we're just looking to make those stretch goals. You know, I know you know a lot about Kickstarter campaigns. I'll just tell you the one the one thing I've learned is that the way to have a successful Kickstarter is to first have an unsuccessful Kickstarter. Yes. Yes. It's like market research. So I launched this campaign summer of last year, which I realized was the biggest mistake I could have made was the timing never launched a Kickstarter in the summer. People are not on the internet as much they've got other concerns. Make sure you're average. The other bullet point what I learned, correct me if I'm wrong, your average backer donation is going to be around $40. That's pretty average. Because that's what willing people are willing to part with. And like, you know, if I never see anything fine. And and so I learned that and then having an unsuccessful campaign gives you market research to readjust the campaign to make it a successful campaign. So that's what we did in the second incarnation. We had all of our ducks in a row. We had like campaign assets up for social media, going weeks out into the campaign that we would roll out little by little so there'd be original material, and then we would create benchmarks for our backers, and then we would incentivize them, you know, like, helping to promote the campaign. I make sure that when someone backs it, they get message private message from me immediately. If not, Well, I don't know, I haven't been on I gotta check my phone. But one of the hardest things I've learned about doing a crowdfunding campaign is this. It's like asking everyone you know, how much money do you like me? I mean, it is, is
Alex Ferrari 45:18
it's brutal. It's brutal. It's brutal. I hate I hate it. I hate doing Oh. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Chris Gore 45:34
It's, it's just it. When I say hate it, I love engaging with fans. Sure, I love doing. But it is the energy that it takes to keep keep the strain of the stress
Alex Ferrari 45:46
is addressed to someone like me, that someone like me enough to get me to where I need to be. It's, it's the crowdfunding. You know, like, again, if we were talking about crowdfunding seven years ago, it's a different ballgame. But now I get hit up daily. Hey, support microphone support microphone support mic, and they don't know who I am. I don't know who they are. And they just don't respect it. Just shotgunning it and it's just, it's just people are just so fatigued of especially filmmakers, friends of filmmakers are abused at this. Yeah, for
Chris Gore 46:17
sure. But I've contributed to quite a few of contributes about 5050 back 50 things. I'm selective, you know, back some tech projects, and there's a movie that I backed like two years ago, that's a remake of one of my favorite 1950s exploitation movies, the head that wouldn't die, or the brain that wouldn't?
Alex Ferrari 46:34
Oh, I remember that movie. Yes.
Chris Gore 46:36
So some filmmakers have remade it. And it's now going to hit the festival circuit. I'm really happy for them. I gave him some money. You know, so so I back campaigns myself. But you're right, it is a constant. I will say that the best and most effective way is a direct ask, is a direct directly asking people you know, really, we're just trying to get to a milestone where we can. And the one the other lesson, I would say that I've learned is, postage is way more expensive now than it used to be. So I limited the number of physical rewards that we're giving away. It's a very limited number of physical rewards. So I did that's mostly digital rewards is what we're doing.
Alex Ferrari 47:16
Seriously, it's very smart to do it that way. Yeah. Even if it's like a video of you like doing a call out or doing an interview with someone for five minutes or talking like that. That's a value. And exactly do.
Chris Gore 47:27
And what we're doing is, is if you go to attack of the.com, the campaign ends November 12. I hope that you jump in even like I tell people like if people will a couple of misnomers about about a Kickstarter is they don't charge you the money. You're not being charged money. You can back it today, you won't be charged until well, it's actually be November 13. Because it's November 12. At midnight pacific time is when the campaign ends, but people you're not going to be back. So I hear the excuse, oh, wait until payday. But I'm going to forget. The other thing is, is that if you back the campaign just for $1, which I do I do, sometimes I'll just back a campaign for $1. Because then I get updates about the movie, just for $1. It's just it's just $1. Right. And what we've been doing with the backers is we have backers only videos. So we'll send an update to backers. And it's this is a video that's a private link that only backers can see. And this is how we're going to continue the project the way we'll be doing it. Which I've talked to a lot a lot of friends who are documentary filmmakers a lot of part of my focus with the film threat podcast, which is not like anything like what you're doing. But it's it's I interview a lot of filmmakers and doc filmmakers in particular. But the method that we're going about to do this documentary is I'm interviewing everyone involved in the show. And I've been in a lot of documentaries, myself a lot. They'll interview me for 30 to 60 minutes. And I'm in the documentary for two minutes, if you're lucky, if I'm lucky, which is which is fine, which is fine. I respect the choices of the filmmaker. And I thought like Wouldn't it be interesting if all the people that contributed to this crowdfunding campaign, we would interview people from the show that are really interesting. Sometimes they're not the stars and the talent that we're on camera will interview people. We'll film all the all of it. And we'll release the audio of that interview as a podcast only for backers. Awesome. So you'll be able to hear the 30 minute 60 minute interview with one of the editors or producers on the show awesome. They might get used or maybe they won't be used. Right. So if we reach a certain age, but one of the things I put as our highest milestone, I don't. It's been really difficult to get there. Our highest milestone if we get it. What I'm planning to do is release. I don't know any filmmakers ever done this. We want to release all of the footage used to make the documentary onto onto a cloud drive so that backers could go and re cut their own version of the documentary. I've heard I could take Yeah, I I mean, I know like similar things that Trent Reznor has, in his music has released tracks where he'll split the tracks. So you can mix your own version of his songs, which I think is great. So because the viewers that want us to watch Attack of the Show were so creative. I mean, they called it the viewer army, right? There was this viewer army that something would happen on the show. And within hours, there'd be means and crazy stuff and people communicating that sense of community, that sense of community that I don't believe exists. I really feel that fandom is fractured from all of this divisiveness that's permeated the culture. And I have tried to inoculate myself and be immune to it. But it's but it's it's difficult to it's just ubiquitous, it affects a lot of things.
Alex Ferrari 50:46
I'll tell you. I mean, for everyone listening, I used to watch Attack of the Show constantly. I mean, I was I was addicted to the show. I love the show. I was telling you off air that I was on the show in 2005 for like a like a like a minute. When I was interviewed at a convention when I was promoting my movie monster Palooza. No, it was it was kind it was a horror con. It was a horror convention in Florida, I think was the Florida, Florida horror con or something like that. Oh, I forgot I forgot what it was. But there was a guy dressed as Dracula, interviewing me with a g4 microphone, I'll never forget it. And I would love to get that footage when they were saying maybe check archives.org I'll see if I can find it. But it was great. I love the show. And if you guys are if you want to see stuff about independent film, and fandom, this is definitely go there's plenty of the episodes I'm sure like floating around YouTube or something
Chris Gore 51:35
girl, a lot of that there's a lot of that stuff and unlike archive.org, but really, if you just follow Attack of the doc on social media, it's we have Attack of the doc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you'll see we've been posting clips, when we tried to reach a benchmark if you know, if we reach this, we'll release the next clip. So we've been releasing clips every other day. There's ways for people to participate and spread the word. We also have a private discord where fans have been talking, what we're what we're doing is in a way, we're kind of reuniting that fan community, just to watch Attack of the Show in favor of doing this documentary and part of the crowdfunding campaign is to convince some of the talents that are higher up to be involved in the document,
Alex Ferrari 52:18
I know there's one specific, the higher up, I'm sure we all know
Chris Gore 52:24
you're going to be in it a little, absolutely, she'll be in at one mean, but my attention with it is to interview everyone over the course of about six months. Yeah, and interview Kevin and Olivia last, so that I would save them to the end to kind of like, tell their own story. It's also I need to earn their trust, they need to see some of the film and I'll be able to screen some of the movie for them. So that they'll see what my intention is. They they need to know that my intentions are positive that, you know, I'm not looking to do a warts and all gossipy to hell all, you know, like, and truthfully, there wasn't really a lot of drama behind the scenes of Attack of the Show. I mean, I was on the I was actually on the show from the very beginning because I was on screensavers before it was called Attack of the Show. And I was until the very end of the show. The only person even even Kevin wasn't all the way to the end he he had left and then the show continued for a short time after. So I was sort of one foot in I was on the show, but I was also a fan of the show. See, I used to watch the show too. But I wouldn't watch me. I already know
Alex Ferrari 53:30
what I remember your segments your segments would come in. And he was just there to talk about film. It was it was awesome. It was a lot of fun. Not much now is evidence of this this interview. Now I want to ask you, in your opinion, what is the greatest challenge facing independent filmmakers today?
Chris Gore 53:46
How to make a living? That's the greatest challenge is how do you balance? You know, your your passion and creativity with being practical. This comes from being entrepreneurial when I was a kid that also comes from, you know, having to have health care, because I have children. You know, like, you know, those things are when you have those realities like Well, how do you balance that creative passion? If you're a creative person, literally, you need to be creative, like you need air to live. Right? So how do I get that creative expression, create a positive feedback loop where you're getting useful feedback from your audience as a way to improve your creative muscles and also make a living doing it. That is the biggest challenge. So how do you have that balance? For some people, you know, myself, I've usually been fortunate enough to have a job. That was not a big time commitment. Right. So I'd have a side job working on other projects. And that side job would be a thing that would, you know, be my main source of income, but it only said to spend 10 maybe 20 hours a week on it and Then my 4050 hours a week would be fully focused on the film threat website or a movie that I'm working on or some other filmmaker that I'm trying to help write that I think is finding that life balance. I think the best answer to that question might have come from my friend Dan Mirvish, who I know you know, yeah, Dan, from slam dance, his advice in trying to reach that balance was marry a doctor. Because he always says that he is. His wife is I don't think he minds me quoting him. In fact, he is his wife's a pediatrician. She is the main breadwinner. He can go off and go and not the den also doesn't make money.
Alex Ferrari 55:42
Yeah, you know,
Chris Gore 55:43
then does make money doing, you know, making independent films. He just had a successful crowdfunding campaign himself.
Alex Ferrari 55:50
18 and a half. Yeah.
Chris Gore 55:51
Yeah, exactly. So so I think that that's smart. If you're in Look, if you have roommates, you know, if you're, look, you're an actor, you're comedian. You move to move to Los Angeles or New York. You're going to have roommates. Right? You got to I live in a small place. I'd show you my place, but you're seeing most of it. I have learned to live below my means. Right? Amen. I don't have extravagant taste. me God. This sounds weird. Like, I know people I friends of mine are foodies. I am not a foodie. It is driven. It's driven everyone. I've been involved in a relationship with crazy to that, like I'm just not a foodie. I don't really care about food. If I'm spending a lot of money on food, then how can I afford movies?
Alex Ferrari 56:44
Everywhere everyone's got their everyone's got their passions? It could be comic books, it could be statues are like a life sized Yoda.
Chris Gore 56:51
collection in the background, it's pretty awesome that Yoda Yoda is my Yoda is my favorite Star Wars character. Of course, small. You underestimate Yoda. And Yoda is a badass. So Yoda,
Alex Ferrari 57:03
yes was a lost puppy. With the widow. He's he's basically a Buddhist, essentially. And he's a method of Yogi in some ways,
Chris Gore 57:12
like, like finding that balance. That is the biggest challenge. So how do you as a filmmaker, because I see these filmmakers I have seen it, they get themselves $100,000 in credit card debt. And if you paid the minimum, you will 30 years more often, I think the estimate is 30 years. And you would pay three times the amount. It's ridiculous. It's, it's so don't get into debt. live below your means. come up with something that's sustainable. You know, I love that sustainability is now part of our larger conversation when it comes to recycling when it comes to food consumption. Well, you need to have a sustainable lifestyle as an artist. Yes. So having, you know, and also backwards engineering, you said you made your film for like $3,000 shot at Sundance, like, of course, you'd never tell anybody that
Alex Ferrari 58:02
i did i do all the time. I know, for my platform, it makes sense for me to tell anybody that
Chris Gore 58:07
right? But But like, you know, I know what it costs. I know what my friends who do Doc's what they spend, they spend upwards of $300,000 over a million dollars for some of these documentaries, I intend to make. I intend to make the best movie possible, really, we have to get around the 100 range. So this is our first round of funding, hey, we can start shooting you know, at least gets started. But we want to reach those milestones. So we can we can make the film that I think that that everyone involved will want to see us make the other great thing about it with these backers. I'm very excited as they can suggest questions. We plan to whenever we're about to interview somebody, we're going to throw it out to our backers, what questions do you want us to ask? Right? Then time to propose questions that we've gotten some really amazing suggestions. So this movie is going to be made, I mean, I'm technically producing and directing it. But it's, it's going to be this collective effort. And anyone who backs the campaign, if you back the campaign for $1, you're going to see your name going by and the end credits gonna be tiny. It's gonna be in a list. So I'm also be a producer on it. So
Alex Ferrari 59:19
but the other thing is, too, and I was I always preached this as well is the the whole concept of having an MVP, a minimal viable product. So the balance between what the budget can be and we could go deeper into like the audience, and can the audience justify the budget and so on and so forth that you're going to but if you have $100,000, but you can make the movie for $25,000. Doesn't it make sense to make three movies for 30 $33,000 because now you're diversifying your portfolio and now you have a much better chance of recouping your money as opposed to throwing it all on that you get one one hit at the slot machine. Now you get three hits at the slot machine
Chris Gore 59:56
because hell but but the you know, the more valuable asset is Time, because time and focus, you only need one good film to break out to increase your viability and to take sustainability to maybe break out and direct a Marvel movie. Who knows? So, so I do you think that focus, I know for me whenever and I, I'm the worst person to say this because I am juggling so many projects at once juggle film thread, but I am very good. I think if I one thing that I know I'm able to do is break down processes to have a method that will lead to a result. So that's how film thread is able to compete with websites that are have far more resources and money, how you know, I'm able to do content on a low budget level. So coming up with those processes is important. And another project. I'll announce it here right now. Film threat is putting on an award show. Oh, yeah, we're gonna watch your called award this award this you can go to award this calm or just follow award this on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, award this the intention of it is because I'm a big fan of award shows. I love the Oscars. I love the Independent Spirit Awards. But I think in the marketplace, I'm sure you've seen this. I kind of feel like some of these award shows are ignoring the vast library of films. In some ways some award shows have just become Oscars, Jr. Yeah, yeah. So like the same people that the Oscars are at all these other award shows? What's the difference? award, this is going to be presented in LA, it'll be you can't buy a ticket to the Oscars. You can't get into the Spirit Awards. You can buy a ticket to award this. So if you go to award this calm, you're going to be able to go to an event where we're going to award low budget indie movies, these are true indie films. We broke it up the castle 10. So
Alex Ferrari 1:02:04
10 million, so $10 million.
Chris Gore 1:02:07
These are gonna be mostly movies under 100,000 but indie, sci fi, indie, comedy, indie horror, you know, indie, LGBTQ films indie, like we're breaking it down by genre kind of like the globes does. But all indie films, indie ensemble cast, we are going to give an award to the biggest Oscar snub. So whatever the Oscars ignored, we're going to take all the people that were ignored, we're going to nominate them, hopefully one will show up. The purpose of this is because when you look at award shows and how they function and how political and it is, it's Bs, it's a lot of bullshit. I can can I swear on this?
Alex Ferrari 1:02:47
Yeah, it's still like you ever have
Chris Gore 1:02:48
already. I mean, it's, it's it's something you make up. But genuinely, we see so many of these films. I'm like, why? And I'm a big fan of documentaries. But there are genres of documentaries, there are sports documentaries, there are, you know, music, documentaries, there are pop culture documentaries, there are social issue documentaries. I happen to like all of those types of Doc's. But why do they compete with each other? We know when it comes to awards, giving. It's always a social issue documentary that ends up winning the day, and that's great. But they're all other types of films. So we've broken up our documentary films category into multiple genre categories. The and when is this? What is this? It's the award show will be presented on February 6 2020 20, which is, oddly enough, the 35th birthday of the first issue of film threat coming out. That's awesome, same day. So we're going to put on this award show. And then I'll tell you what, the eligibility requirements are very simple. All you have to do is be commercially released in the previous year. So 2019, okay, you have to be so it doesn't matter VOD streaming, it doesn't matter. Even YouTube. Did your movie is your movie commercially available to see in some form. I don't care if it's on crackle doesn't matter. There's only one other requirement you need to be reviewed on film. threat.com. Okay, so if you go to film threat comm there's a little button at the very top that says submit, just click on submit, submit your movie to be reviewed. And once you get a review on film, threat, calm, you're commercially available, you know, because when you played a festival, you may not have distribution yet. It's not commercially available. We want to make sure that we're championing movies that people can actually see in some form. So February 6, is the date award. This is the event. I hope that it grows as an event. So that's awesome. Yeah, so so that's happening. So I hope that you'll mention it to some of yours, maybe on some other podcasts or you know what other episodes of your show. I'm excited because I've always wanted Do I feel like there's just a whole group of films? Like I even my taste in indie movies is like I like troma movies as much as I like this documentary. Yeah. Lloyd Kaufman's a hero of mine. Sure, sure. But Lloyd Kaufman's never gonna win a Spirit Award. But I will say that Lloyd Kaufman there's there's a distinct possibility that he and or some of his films will be eligible to win awards that award this
Alex Ferrari 1:05:25
and he might get the Lifetime Achievement Award at award. This is you should probably you should probably give him the very first Lifetime Achievement Award.
Chris Gore 1:05:32
Well, I think so because if you know anything about Lloyd Kaufman was mentored and foster talent like James Gunn, who who is one of the longest existing may If not, if not,
Alex Ferrari 1:05:43
except for all armies except for corpsman maybe
Chris Gore 1:05:46
it's more maybe corpsman. But like how active is corpsman? Now I feel like he's like occasion trauma may be the longest existing Independent Film Company. in it. I mean, going to can since the 70s. Right. And he, he wanted five years. So like 45 years, you got to read. I mean, you just read Lloyd's book, go make your own damn movie, make your own damn movie. He's just I it's an amazing book. He
Alex Ferrari 1:06:09
was like one of my first interviews I loved I love Lloyd.
Chris Gore 1:06:12
His love Boyd is very practical advice. Very much like a guy who fights and has survived. So so this is what we're trying to do with this event is it's our film threats annual event to acknowledge these films and give them a voice. And because we see so many things that only come out there, just direct to VOD, like those direct VOD direct tv premieres, right, like, why shouldn't they have I mean, competing with other films that are in the same genre and space? Right, horror, sci fi. So that's awesome dude, though. So yeah, check it out. We did it as sort of a test last year, we just did it on YouTube. And this year, we're kind of upping the game, and every year, we hope that the event will grow.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:53
That's awesome, dude, that's awesome. Well, you're definitely put in, you definitely find the good fight for the independent filmmaker, and have been for many, many years. So I do appreciate what you do. And they try and you're trying to shine the light and throw a little oxygen over this way, as opposed to just the Marvel and Star Wars worlds, which we all love. But I think you're right, you do need that balanced diet without question. Now, I want to ask you a few questions. I asked all my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?
Chris Gore 1:07:21
The advice I would I would give is to make a one minute movie that is good. One minute, and then what you do is you make a five minute movie that's good. Then maybe you make a 10 minute movie. That is good. When I say good. I mean someone who isn't You liked it? And scale. Sometimes I meet these filmmakers that are like, well, I'm just gonna go they've never made a short film. They never made it.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:48
I just need 3 million, I just need 3 million
Chris Gore 1:07:50
3 million. How do you know you need 3 million? Basically, you need to fail when, when it doesn't matter when no one's looking as a way to learn? Yes. So make mistakes, if you can make a one minute movie, which is a lot to ask someone, because I can tell you when you scroll through YouTube, you know, I'm as guilty of it as anybody 15 seconds. I'm not there. I'm out, you know, first first 30 seconds. I mean, our attention spans have definitely eroded. So take baby steps learn your mistakes when it doesn't matter. And, you know, don't that whole philosophy, fix it in post? No, fix it in prep.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:30
Fair enough. Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Chris Gore 1:08:38
Oh, God. Wow. Boy, that is a big that's like a that's an Oprah question. That's a big question. I think I think, really what what took me a while to kind of grasp was just to think strategically. And by that I mean, for good, not evil. think strategically of like, why am I having this interaction with this person? For some, you know, a lot of instance, I'm just out to make friends. Because I think when you met me, when we were at that party, at the bar, I remember, at slam dance, I'm just out to have fun and meet people. And that's great, but like, but I think that you need to think about And by that, I mean, think about what is this other person? What do they want, right? Is there a way for us to have a something that's mutually beneficial? And I feel that the way I've been able to build film threaten these other things is I try to seek out people that have a similar passion, similar goals, similar, you know, just something we're we're on the same page, we're, we're on the same team. I like to take people on idealistic fool foolish crusades. That's what I like to do. So anyone I'm involved with, whether it's someone I'm working with on an award show this award show, if it's someone I'm working with on film thread, if it's our video team, you know, it's all like we have the same passion. So I look for and I also look, look the What I like to give is I would like to make sure that the people that I'm hiring get something more out of it than money. Because a lot of time there's not a lot of money. So you got to see, well, what does this person want? Well, they want to credit great to make that happen. I want to experience great, you're going to get experience. Because when you look at and this circles back to awards, when they ask people, do you want to raise your typical 2% raise in the corporate world? Or do you want to be acknowledged as the Employee of the Year, most people choose to get some sort of some form of acknowledgement by their peers, because people want the attention and acknowledgement. So whatever you can do to build someone up, whether you're building, building them up in a way that helps them sort of reach their next level that that I think, is the so learning how to mentor I think was the thing that was something I've learned, you know, I feel like I'm still learning, right? Like,I'm not
Alex Ferrari 1:10:56
We all are, we all are every day. Now. Now the toughest question of all three of your favorite films of all time.
Chris Gore 1:11:06
Oh, wow. See, that is one of those questions. Were you asking? If I were a robot, I would explode. But a couple responses that one is Night of the Living Dead, the original 1968 George Romero film, because it's so iconic, he created the john van, he created the zombie movie genre. And then what he did was because he created the rules, you die, you rise from the dead, you can only die by getting shot shot. Right? He created that and basically made it open source. So other creative people could come and build on that, that. Like George George Lucas or another creator, they'll be like, we need to own all the IP, including all the names, including all of this. It's like George Romero made this little independent film and other people made zombie movies. And his casting of Dwayne Jones in the lead has been, I think, is phenomenal. The fact that he did that, then I'm not sure if that's the first film that had an African American lead in the lead. But people asked, Are you going to change the script, you change nothing about the script, and it just added so much more meaning? The other film I would say is slacker Richard Linklater slacker. I was fortunate enough to see an early cut of it on a VHS that Linklater sent a handwritten note to me. And I think in a document an interview in a documentary talks about that maybe film threat might distribute slacker. You sent me a version it was 20 minutes longer than theatrical version. I saw it it like blew my mind. I, I just blew my mind that film like what you could do with this? You know, I mean, it's a day sort of day in the life of Austin, Texas, and meeting all these odd characters that really feels like Austin. I love that movie. And then I would say probably the original Star Wars, because that's really what set me on a path. It really is. If you if you think about it, it's one of the biggest independent films ever made, because George Lucas was truly an independent filmmaker. Right? So Star Wars,Slacker,Night of the Living Dead 1968.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:05
Good. Good. Good trio. Good trio. Now, where can people find you and find out more about what you're doing and everything else?
Chris Gore 1:13:12
Well, let's list all the things I'm doing right now. Go to filmthreat.com. And we're films right on everything on social media. And if you're interested in being a being eligible for award this go to awardthis.com, we're award this on everything. If you're interested in contributing to my documentary, Kickstarter, and I will send you a personal thank you note, which will come from me, we'll start a conversation on on Kickstarter, just go to attackofthedoc.com. We're also Attack of the doc on everything. And my personal social media, which, quite frankly, I don't use so much anymore. My feed is pretty much just retweets from all of those other places. is just um, That Chris Gore on everything. So just go to That Chris Gore, Twitter, Instagram, on Facebook, all of that stuff. Thank you for asking.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:03
No worries, no increase, man. It has been a pleasure. We could we could sit and talk about film for oh my god hours if we had we should do something in the future without question, I think was a lot of fun, man. But thank you so much for being on the show, man, thank you for doing everything you've done for you know, and I don't want to you're an Oji. You know, you're an original gangster, you're an original gangster in this space. And you've helped a lot of filmmakers over the years with film threat and with what you've been able to do for independent filmmaking in general. So I really do want to thank you for the work you do and are continuing to do it. Because a lot of people could have just, you know, walked away but you you stayed in the fight and now you're you're back with a vengeance with film threat again, and now you're doing an award show when you're doing the doc and you're doing so much that you're really just trying to push and push the independent medium back to where it was in the glorious 90s. But I appreciate everything you do, brother.
Chris Gore 1:14:57
Well, well, let's wrap this up. Because Hey, I want to Just say Happy Halloween to everybody. I'm actually I don't know if you noticed I'm wearing a weyland yutani jacket. You know stroma logo on here? This is my Nostromo crew jacket. Yes. So you got to get your kids out for trick or treating us? I don't know. I don't know. Wait, is it cool to celebrate Halloween anymore? I'm just, I'm just a little tiny employee.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:24
At the age of my girls. Yes, we'll see how long that they're they're still young. They're elementary still. So it's still I'm enjoying every Halloween as much as I can every Christmas as much as I can before it all goes to crap. So Chris, thanks so much. Thanks, man. Thanks for being on the show, brother.
Chris Gore 1:15:43
Alex Ferrari 1:15:45
I want to thank Chris for being on the show and just sharing his indie film knowledge with the tribe. Chris, thanks again, if you want to help Chris, with his goal of getting his film Attack of the doc made, and more information about the film threat and what they do as far as reviewing independent films and putting a spotlight on independent filmmakers in general, go to the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/362. And if you guys are going to be at the American Film market, I will be there Monday and Tuesday. And if you happen to be there Tuesday, please do not miss my talk on micro budget filmmaking, where I'll be moderating a panel on that subject is going to be at 2:30 on Tuesday at the AFM and if you're interested in meeting up seeing we grab some coffee, talk about shop and talk about all the stuff that happened with the stripper and your films and things like that. Just hit me up at [email protected]. Or I am me on Facebook. That's probably the best ways to get ahold of me. I wish you nothing but the best on your filmmaking journeys, guys. And as always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
- Film Threat
- Attack of the Doc Kickstarter
- Chris Gore – Twitter
- Chris Gore – Instagram
- Chris Gore – IMDB
- Chris Gore’s Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide
- G4 Channel