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Today on the show we have maniac writers/directors The Nelms Brothers, and I say maniacs in the best possible way. Ian and Eshom Nelms, grew up in central California waging two hundred man G.I. Joe wars and dreaming in John Ford landscapes. They have written and directed numerous award-winning and critically- acclaimed films.
The brothers are known for their unique ability to traverse from one genre to another, seamlessly and successfully, from drama to comedy to thrillers. Their film, LOST ON PURPOSE (2013), was a heartfelt coming-of-age love letter to their small hometown.
From there, the siblings wrote and directed WAFFLE STREET (2015), a comedic turn based on an autobiographical memoir about a billion-dollar hedge-fund manager turned waffle house server. Their film, SMALL TOWN CRIME (2018) is a crime thriller that premiered at SXSW and BFI London Film Festival and received positive reviews by top critics upon its theatrical release.
We are here today to discuss their latest opus, FATMAN starring Mel Gibson, Walton Goggins, and Marianne Jean-Baptist. The film centers on a neglected and precocious 12-year-old who hires an unorthodox hitman to kill Santa Claus after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking. They had me at FATMAN.
I absolutely loved FATMAN and am glad it is in existence. It is one of my favorite films of the year. In this crazy 2020, this is the film we all need to watch right now. I can’t tell you how fun it was talking to Ian and Eshom.
We discuss how they came up in the business, the 14 years it took to bring FATMAN to the big screen, working as a director team, and their misadventures in Hollyweird.
Do yourself a favor and watch FATMAN tonight! It is brilliant. To be honest I’m jealous I didn’t think of this. The idea for FATMAN is just so genius. I’m glad these two filmmakers brought it to life.
Enjoy my conversation with filmmakers Ian and Eshom Nelms.
Alex Ferrari 0:17
I like to work on the show Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms. The directors of Fatman how are you guys doing?
Ian Nelms 4:42
We're good. Thank you for having us Alex.
Alex Ferrari 4:44
You know I appreciate you guys coming on man. So you know I I get I get I get hit up by you know PR people all the time. Like hey, man, I want you guys that you know I get these directors I want them on the show. And I'm like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I get I literally get them on a daily basis but when I saw Fatman come across my email. I was like, I have to see this. And I get screeners sent to me all the time. And like I was telling you, brother before that before we start recording I normally don't. My wife's not in the business. So she doesn't watch any of the screeners. She's just unless it's something really specific, what watch it. But I told her, like, we got to watch this. And then I showed her the trailer, she's like, that seems extremely interesting. I want to watch that. And we sat and watched it. And at the end of it, I'm like, I can't believe these crazy guys pull this off. This is because it's an insane concept. Everything about Fatman is insane. And in the best possible way, and I love it. But before we get into Fatman, how did you guys get into the business?
Eshom Nelms 5:46
Yeah, and I would say it starts like this, like Fatman was not an easy was not easy to get to. Right. I mean, that's something that we've been trying to get made for a very, very long time. And, you know, this career trajectory finally landed us at this moment in time right now, but I get that one made.
Ian Nelms 6:03
We started so we still I was finishing up college at Cal State Bakersfield. I was a I wrestled my way through college, but I was an English major and a theatre minor at Eshom was in Kansas City on a on a Fulbright art scholarship, where he was painting and drawing and doing a lot, lot more illustration. And he was leaning more towards illustration. And he was doing these comic books at the time. And I was writing some plays and talking about writing a screenplay and I didn't even really know what that meant. But I grew up loving like a lot of a lot of movies. Our mom, you know, was a was a was an avid movie buyer, she would buy all these VHS and then DVD copies of like she had she got she got this Clint Eastwood collection. So every two weeks, we'd get a new Clint Eastwood classic in the mail. And it was all the Dirty Harry's the Leone westerns, the Eiger Sanction you know, the lesser fare Firefox, and we just wore those things out. Then we started walking down to the video store, which was a mile and a half from our house. And we rented the whole place out we go down the weekends, we get a box of doughnuts run about six to 10 movies go home, devour them over the weekend. And we got so far into the titles that we were literally, you know, we were we found El Mariachi in the Spanish language section. That's where we first saw it. But we started running out of the Spanish language, even though we don't speak Spanish. And the town we're from is called Woodlake. And it's about when we were living there, it's by about 4000 people. Yet, it's literally an intersection, you walk down the intersection, which is my own half of our place. And it was a gas station, a donut shop, a couple of you know, there's a grocery store. Another one a little further away. But yeah, it was very, very small town. And movie making was not a job that anybody did there. It was very, it's a very agriculture based, you know, it's dairy farms and walnuts and oranges and, and so we went to college that wasn't even in our heads.
Eshom Nelms 7:59
But I will say this, like our dad is a professional photographer, and was for 20 years. And so he would drag us along. And he had a color lab we had you know, three or four studios and several sort of satellite towns around. And he would drag us along force us to shoot like the back cameras and like load his film backs and
Ian Nelms 8:17
In weddings and graduations I see pictures.
Eshom Nelms 8:20
Ian and I probably been to like 300 Weddings by the time we were 15 years old. We were so worried. Yeah, our dad would be like, Oh, you guys are gonna be using this your whole lives like we hate this whenever we're gonna be doing anything with photography, this is trash. And then he retired and started, you know, started to become a teacher after 20 years and he put all of his equipment in the garage and he was out there shooting like, you know, independent commercials in the area. So when we were in, I was in college for art school after I'd given up my paintball career, just go because I wanted to become a professional paintball player for many years. And that Alas, the dream didn't happen, but I still have a reverence for the game. But but he is in studying literature and wrestling his way through Bakersfield and I'm over in Kansas City and we have this moment right so we're we're both up late at night. Unbeknownst to each other. Ian watches two movies over and in Bakersfield and I'm watching two movies in and in Kansas City and we don't know this but we're both watching the real blonde and Barfly at the exact same time in the middle of the night, like a Turner Classic movie or whatever, like independent film channel, Sunday staying up all night, right? And I call him the next morning and I'm like, Dude, I watched two movies last night, they sort of rewired my brain and he's like, he's like, your I watched two movies last night that rewired my brain. And so I'm like it. Honestly, we both watched the same two movies, you know, many, many states apart and had this same sort of epiphany moment and was like, holy smokes. What do you think about making movies and we're both in our early 20s At this time, like we didn't go to film high school like a lot of the kids that are there doing now you know, I moved to LA I was like, Yeah, I went to film High School and like are you kidding? Like they I had that's like, I wish I had known that exact. Yeah, like you know, I was barely able to wipe my fanny in high school.
Ian Nelms 10:08
So we like decided we decided let's let's come home and try to write some scripts and try to figure this out and see if this is something we want to do. So we literally came home. We took our mom's you know, crappy little $200 Cam quarter Walmart camcorder, we started shooting these shorts over the summer. And we were having such a good time. With really like, crappy in camera facts and like, just and we wait, we were waking up our friend at like, 3am going look at this short we made today, you know, we ended it all together and woke him up. He's like, bleary eyed in his bathrobe. Like you gotta be fucking kidding me. But we got into laugh a couple times and and we're like, that was fucking amazing. Like, this is what we want to do with our lives.
Eshom Nelms 10:51
It just felt like all the the tools that we had gathered throughout our lives, like my ability to draw eons and eons, you know, penchant for writing and literature, like our dad's photography skills that he had imbued upon us at a young age, like we were like, holy smokes, this is all sort of coalescing into this profession that we should maybe be, like paying attention to. And so
Ian Nelms 11:10
The skills that we begrudgingly learned from our father.
Eshom Nelms 11:13
Yeah, and so we, we, we decide that summer we're like, okay, dude, I'm like, I'm dropping out of art college, I'm gonna come home, let's go spend a year in Bakersfield writing, like learning to write because, I mean,
Ian Nelms 11:25
I had one more year, I wrestled for four years straight, but I had a couple of more classes to fit to finish. So I had finished my eligibility for wrestling. And then it was like, Okay, I've got a few more classes to finish up. Let's go to Bakersfield the whole up in an apartment and write and try to figure this out. So that's what we did. We spent it. We spent, I think, maybe like, eight months or something like that, like, just writing and trying to trying to trying to write and trying to figure it out. We read everything. We get our hands on a watch ton of movies and tried to educate ourselves. And then we headed down to we wrote a script and we headed down to Los Angeles right around Christmas time. Just for a day.
Eshom Nelms 12:01
And we read in this book, like how to sell your screenplay in Los Angeles, I think that was literally the book's title.
Ian Nelms 12:08
And it was like it was like write a query letter. The secret to Hollywood is a query letter. And we're like, yeah, it's like, a paragraph we could figure this shit out.
Eshom Nelms 12:18
And then we're, like, be shocking, like standout like, oh, we can be shocking, like we wrote the most offensive thing.
Ian Nelms 12:23
We're gonna shock the shit out of them. So we wrote something incredibly offensive. And then we went out there. And we were going, it was a weird time of day before Christmas. And so like, there were no secretaries that any of the front desks, we would walk into like, Gersh is the one I really remember. Because we're like, oh, this is a big agency. We walk in a garage, and we're like, yeah, there's nobody there. So we blow past the secretary desk, and we start looking down the lanes offices. And we're like, Hey, hello, anybody here and that's this guy's head pops out of a booth. He's off, who's there? And we're like, Oh, hey, whoo screenwriters. And we like, move in and push them. And he's like, wheeling backwards. And he's like, What the fuck, you know, like, the guard is gone. And we come right up to him. And we're like, oh, we throw him a query letter. We're coming out of
Alex Ferrari 13:10
Oh my god!
Ian Nelms 13:12
So he's like, Well, who the fuck are you guys? And we're like, oh, we're the screenwriters who came into town for a day and we're shilling this query letter, we got a query letter. And he was like, reading it right there. And he's like, Well, Jesus, you know, we'll Okay. Well, yeah, we'll get back to you guys. We're like, Alright, great. That happened about a dozen to 20 times that day. Cuz nobody had their secretaries there. And then we went back home. And I think we got like two emails that was like, you know, like, good, interesting query letters. No one wants to see the script. But we were we were blindly naively encouraged enough by two people writing us back email saying interesting query letter.
Eshom Nelms 13:49
But they were also like, we'd be interested in like, one of them did say they'd be interested to see the script. I do specifically remember that. And we said, we were like, Okay, great.
Ian Nelms 13:56
Feedback on the script, though, right. We set it on the script. Right? We have a script. Script. Yeah. I thought we did. Didn't we haven't by that?
Eshom Nelms 14:04
I don't think so. We're like a scene. Okay. All right. Anyways, you didn't have much except we have a letter.
Alex Ferrari 14:09
That is, that is basically so what you're telling everybody now listening is, if you want to make it in Hollywood, you need to go December 24. and knock on CA's door with an offensive cure a query letter. And that is the that is the way to make it in Hollywood.
Ian Nelms 14:26
It works for us.
Alex Ferrari 14:29
You should you should write a book. You guys should write a book like how to sell your script in Hollywood with an offensive query letter on December 24.
Eshom Nelms 14:41
Yeah, that's how it works. It's so then from there, we were both working at Applebee's and like I do, let's pack up. We're gonna go to LA like let's make the plan. So we both moved to LA with our girlfriends, and we both moved. All four of us moved into a one bedroom apartment in the middle of Hollywood.
And that was oh, Yeah, that was pretty fun for about a year. We did that and And he and I got ended up getting our own place together and a fort you know
And I don't know if if the craps quarters caused the breakup but we both ended up breaking up. So we had to go get a place by ourselves and and that really began like the next chapter. I got rear ended in a car accident. So my beloved van again got rear ended in a car accident. And instead of fixing the car, I just pounded out the dents and I bought the dv x 100 camera, which had just come out
Alex Ferrari 15:38
Was it the Acer or was it the 100? Or was it the B which which ones we have to be specific here?
Eshom Nelms 15:44
The very first one
Alex Ferrari 15:45
The first one. Yeah, the first one right? Yes, that's I have fond memories. It was a beautiful little camera man.
Ian Nelms 15:51
It was man what it was.
Alex Ferrari 15:53
Oh my God, it was such a beautiful it was the first 24 p camera and I'm assuming you hooked it up through firewire 400 to a Final Cut system to edit.
Eshom Nelms 16:02
Oh, that was a big learning curve. So like plugging that in and like no like I remember this the camera came out and I like we need to start shooting our balls off because everyone's gonna get this tool and start making movies. Yeah, and so I think we we shot like, like the heads wore out in like four days for like four months, right? We took it to kick Panasonic after four months of owning it. And they were like, like you have 560 hours on these heads or some insane number like we've never seen heads with this many hours on them. Because we were just shooting everything were shooting like three short films we shot two features. Everything.
Alex Ferrari 16:35
Good. That's easy. But I want to, I want to because I want I want everyone listening to understand what the story means. They're doing everything I've said 1000 times, educate yourself shoot like mad people just keep experimenting, keep shooting, keep playing. I always tell people, everyone from our generation, our vintage as I like to call it. Our vintage El Mariachi is is the mythical it's mythical, essentially. It's like it's our Greek myth, essentially, with Robert did. But a lot of people just think that he just showed up with a 16 camera. He's like, I saw a lot of movies. I want to go shot on mariachi, you know, he had done like 30 VHS shorts that no one has ever seen before. And he had practice and practice and practice till we finally got up to Omar and mariachi was supposed to be a practice run. He never, he never intended that to go anywhere. He's just like, dude, like what you have, I can't release this. But it's fat. I just wanted to I wanted to point that out to everybody is that you guys? Actually, were smart enough, even in your early 20s. To go you know what we need to educate ourselves, educate ourselves and practice. And that camera man was that with Final Cut Pro was a lethal combination if you knew what you're doing?
Eshom Nelms 17:47
Well, he first started stringing stuff together. Like they hadn't even figured out that to frame drop thing. So like, we edited the feature. And we got like 22 minutes into the feature. And we're like, why is our audio out of sync? And we're writing, you know, Apple, and we're like, hey, the audio is all out of sync with this, like what's going on? We're right in Panasonic. And like two months later, they're like, oh, there's a two frame drop that we we fixed him like, oh, well, there you go. Like that was.
Ian Nelms 18:13
So so the first thing we did was after we bought that camera, I mean, we had run around, I think we'd written like two scripts at that point a bit too big, too big for anything to shoot. And people were reading them. And we released getting encouragement enough. You know, people were giving us notes, of course on on the scripts we had written but we were at least getting encouragement enough that we were like people like like the ideas we had they were a little off the wall. All right, cool. Well, I think what the problem is, in our mind was that you haven't seen our stuff up on its feet. That's what the problem is. So we we wrote this script in like three months called squirrel trap. And it was about four people who go or five people who Junior junior college students who are writing a paper on Thoreau, and they decided to take a four day weekend out in the woods, to try to write the paper get back to get back to nature. And then of course, one guy goes off his meds and it turns into a bit of a thriller. So it's like Breakfast Club meets a little bit of a thriller. And so I remember I wrote the, I remember, I finished the script, and I handed it to ash as the first draft. And this just happened to be how this one went. But I cranked out a first draft and I gave it to ash and he reads it. He goes, I think we could make a movie out of this. And so we did some rewrites since but what we ended up doing was we said how much would we need to shoot this so we came up with a budget and then it was $1,500 was the entire budget for the feature film. And we we but again, we had the camera because ash had been rear ended. So costs outside of the camera were Pfister car.
Alex Ferrari 19:55
Camera was much more important than the car guys I have to say for your career is much more important.
Ian Nelms 20:00
Absolutely. So so we took we took that camera, we took that script we cast out of Tony, Roma's, and perky. And we cast Arclight Hollywood where Ashton was working. And so we cast out to places all budding filmmakers and actors are in hot, they're everywhere. So you throw a rock without hitting a budding filmmaker, writer, director, actor, so we cast the best ones, we could find that were in our peripheral. You know, I mean, like, we cast the people that co workers we were working with. And they actually did a really good job, we finished the film up, and we sent it out to festivals. And we did all the posts ourselves in the house there in the apartment on
Eshom Nelms 20:40
I remember, like getting like going down to the bookstore, like Barnes and Noble and like buying the Final Cut Pro, like 600 page manual? And I'm like, Okay, I just said there. Uh, huh. Like 600 pages later and walks up to me goes, Okay, how do you run this thing? And I taught him how to run it in like 30 minutes, and I had to sit like a week, the whole manual.
Alex Ferrari 21:00
That's just before online courses in YouTube. Really? Were a thing.
Ian Nelms 21:04
Yes. I wish that existed back then. That didn't even exist back then.
Alex Ferrari 21:09
I know. I remember fondly or on finally because I just like you guys. I mean, like, we are of the same, same vintage. So everything you're saying like I'm going to make you I'm going to make your mouth water here for like, I worked in a video store for five years. So I got all of that for free and also got Nintendo free. I'm just I'm just I'm just gonna I'm just going to boast a little bit. But But yeah, I did the same thing I would I would take a frickin movies home on the weekend, just cook through everything. And I was exposed to so many different movies and different things and and I was there when mariachi showed up, I still have my mariachi poster. My out mariachi original video poster. I have it framed. It's of course. So it's all this. So it sounds like you guys are like walking very similar. Not similar paths because I But technology wise video store check. dv x 100. A check, Final Cut check. I but I wasn't as brave as you guys, because I was on the other side of the country in Miami. So I didn't come out to LA till much, much later. I wish I would have done what you guys did.
Eshom Nelms 22:11
But even three hours away, I'm sure you would have made the trip. Exactly.
Alex Ferrari 22:15
Ian Nelms 22:18
We just had to get over a hill, you had to get across the country.
Alex Ferrari 22:22
Eshom Nelms 22:24
So we sit we shoot that independent film and it gets into a handful of festivals. And I remember we went to like we got into Palm Beach Festival, which was like a top 20 at the time. And we don't know jack shit about anything. Like we show up there we fly in and like, we're just excited to like, be there. And we're seeing like people watching our movie. So we went into a house and it was like a legit theater projecting our movie and like maybe 50 People are in there. People are laughing or whatever. But it's the first time that we've ever seen the movie with an audience, one of our movies with an audience. And it just was like such an eye opening experience. And number one, it was exciting. And that adrenaline bump. And that excitement of people laughing at the lines and like getting the jokes and like being involved, like really hooked us that was like, Oh, wow, that's really amazing. And then the second part was the self consciousness, which we realized the movie was way too long. And we went back and cut like 10 or 15 minutes out of it as soon as we got home
Ian Nelms 23:11
Now way too long. And it was like 85 minutes. So we cut it down to 75
Alex Ferrari 23:17
To a to a tight 75 minutes.
Ian Nelms 23:23
A little bit of context in like how we made a $1,500 feature. Because we cast five people. We shot it in seven days. We shot it up near our house by the Sequoia forest where they were camping. We convinced the actors that they needed to camp in live it so they camped up there for seven days. Well actually when I ran batteries back and forth from our parents house which was a half an hour away. And we got zero sleep for seven days but it was a week we were like we got to make it a week. And then the crew was me ashram and our dad and so dad would pack all of it down a half hour on horseback or parents have horses they would pack all the dad would pack all the equipment down a half hour into the down the trail for us and we'd all in we don't pack it and then he was our gaffer Eckstrom and I would either be manning the camera or manning the mic, you know, and we just switch off and dad lit the entire thing and there's literally 20 minutes of of night footage in the thing. And he lit the whole thing with with a flashlight, a bounce card, a fire and two Coleman lanterns from Walmart. fun movie you live with that.
Alex Ferrari 24:31
And that camera and that camera if I remember correctly it that was with the dv x right? Yeah, so I remember that was a fair I mean, it wasn't like like Sony, you know, a seven s Yeah, but not like that kind of sensor. But it wasn't bad. If you throw a little light in there, you can get some you can get a nice image.
Eshom Nelms 24:47
And there was like a hack. If you adjusted the shutter. You could get an extra stop or something like that. And so like we're doing that at night, like we're tweaking the setting at the extra.
Alex Ferrari 24:56
I actually I actually sprung for the the widescreen adapter? No, you remember that? Yes, because I wanted that more cinematic.
Ian Nelms 25:05
Peter had one of those.
Alex Ferrari 25:07
Yeah, we screwed it. You screwed it on. You screwed it on the front. It was just
Ian Nelms 25:12
Amazing, amazing little wall. But it looks fucking great.
Eshom Nelms 25:16
And now looks like your darn phone shoots 4k. You're just like Jesus!
Alex Ferrari 25:21
It's no it's, it's it's a whole other world that you know, I know people are listening to like these old farts I swear to God, talking about cable.
Eshom Nelms 25:30
I guess the method is still there. Right. It's just take what you have. And like, of course, like what's amazing now is like, everybody has the way better equipment in your phone than we were making movies within.
Ian Nelms 25:42
Absolutely. And that was passable. Consider it considered passable. Yeah, so so we took this 15 hour movie, we went around, we got into a few festivals the top 21 a Palm Beach was the was the most amazing one because we were actually there with like real stars. And they had real movies there. And the cheapest movies besides us for six figures. They were like 100 $200,000 And people were like, how much did you make your fucking movie for? And they were fucking pissed. They were like, What the fuck? Like, how did you make a movie for that little
Alex Ferrari 26:10
And as you get into this festival
Ian Nelms 26:14
On film, and like we had shot on a fucking dv x and they're like, that's fucking think that's the image you got out of that camera. They couldn't believe it.
Alex Ferrari 26:21
What What year was that? That was what 2003 2004?
Ian Nelms 26:26
We went to the festival 2004
Alex Ferrari 26:28
Eshom Nelms 26:28
I remember like, we remember when that woman walked out. So like, this woman walks out. And she's like, 70 80 years old.
Ian Nelms 26:34
That's a great lesson for you as a filmmaker as to like, because they always tell you, Oh, this person and that person is the type of person that are always watching movies, you know, for festivals, like these are the people curating the festival movies, and you're like, at what age? But yeah, go ahead.
Eshom Nelms 26:48
It seems like we're seeing that we're thanking everyone as they exit the theater like, Oh, thanks for coming in. Like appreciate it. And this woman walks out and she's like, Oh, thank you. Who are you guys? Like, oh, we're the filmmakers were the international gnomes. Like we made the movie and she's like, oh, you know what? Like, I just I'm so glad this got in the festival. You know, I chose this movie. I'm the one that curated it and she was like, a senior citizen for short. Like just found a little charm in it. And like what like, this is the woman that champion.
Ian Nelms 27:15
Yeah, she was walking around with like a volunteer shirt on. She's like, 80 years old. This little woman. I've just loved this movie. We're like, amazing. I can't believe it. Like what?
Alex Ferrari 27:26
Yeah, I mean, those are the those are the things you just can't You can't plan for that. Like that's just and that's the thing. I was still filmmakers all the time. Like with film festivals, man, it's hit or miss and it has nothing a lot of times has nothing to do with your the quality of your film. I mean, Nolan got rejected the following got rejected from slam dance one year. But then he when he did it the next year, he just admitted it again. And he goes alright, this year, we'll let you in.
Ian Nelms 27:49
Be persistent movie that movies fucking legit.
Alex Ferrari 27:52
No, absolutely. It's a great, you know, not only a great first film, it's just a great film period. You could see it now. I mean, obviously, we all can, like see the genius from this distance, of course. But back then it's like, but that's the thing that filmmakers need to understand. It's like it's hit or miss man some days. Like I one of my films I worked on got into Sundance one year. And they the programmer actually said last year this wouldn't have gotten next year and probably won't get in. But this year, we wanted this this this and this checked off the box. That's amazing. No stars. No, nothing dropped in 15 minutes before the deadline was over in the office in LA. And so but that's, that's just the way it works. So yeah, people got to figure that out. No, so from also from that time, did you make any money with that film? Did you sell it? Did you get distribution on it? Everyone, everyone not watching this as just face was so brilliant. There's like
Eshom Nelms 28:48
We learned a lot on that movie.
Alex Ferrari 28:51
Is was educationIt was an education. Yeah. Cuz they weren't distributing a lot of DVS 100 Day features back in 2005, they would have probably laughed you out of the office.
Eshom Nelms 29:00
What's interesting is so then we came back and we were showing all of our like, because everyone at Arclight and at Tony Robbins school, right like they were USC grads and like, and I when we first got to LA we're like considering going to film school. So when we did the tour, like we went to USC and when they're like if your favorite movie star wars like you should be here and then we went over to UCLA and they're like, if your favorite movie Star Wars Get the fuck out of here. And then we went to film school and they were like, you're gonna get to touch a camera like the fourth year and we're like, no, like that. None of that works for us. Like we're just gonna make our own shit. So we went back to Arclight with our movie, and we had like a film crew there like a bunch of our buddies and then we would get gather and we would drink cheap beer and talk movies every week, no other night and in our humble apartments, and they were like, holy shit. You guys just made this movie. And like, yeah, like, like, we want to make a movie. So we gathered up for other collaborators so as in myself and for the people of our dearest friends amongst that crew were some pretty it came going on to be very established. Yeah. But we went out and we made a movie where we were going to say, Okay, let's do a collaborative movie. It's kind of like show Robert Altman shortcuts where it has to start in one place and end in the other end, we're all going to do a little vignette and we'll enter cut him like traffic, and like, like the worst case, and we're going to all star right and directing them. That was the idea. And so it
Alex Ferrari 30:28
Sounds like a recipe for success guys, just, I'm just saying recipe for success.
Eshom Nelms 30:35
You're right, like any anyone would be like, that's gonna be a disaster. But I think we were all just so stupid. And yeah, what do they say about the be like, it just doesn't? No, it can't, it shouldn't fly. So it does. And so we all went out. We Peter Atencio, who went on to do like all of Qian peel episodes was amongst these filmmakers. And we Jeremy Catalina and other guys in a very successful screenwriter, I think we all made these movies. And we went out and shot these movies. And we started cutting. I mean, we just did these like renegade style on the streets of LA, like no permits, no permission, nothing like cops would roll up on us in the middle of Beverly Hills, and we'd have extension cords, like running down to the streets. And maybe like, you guys don't have a permit to be like, Absolutely not. And he's like, I'm gonna be back in like, 20 minutes, you should be gone. Like, okay, cool.
Ian Nelms 31:19
We'll be thinking about that as we weren't like, Alright, let's start packing up. We're like, we got 15 minutes to get this scene go. And we just started shooting our asses off. Yeah, we get like, sometimes we get like an hour to shoot before the cops showed up. And they'd be like, fuck out of here, like, okay, 15 20 minutes go, you know, and then we can extra time.
Eshom Nelms 31:37
So there's like a scene where one of the guys running down the street in his underwear. Like we literally did that we're just like, this dude looks like a crackhead running down the street and his chonies. And then we went to the we did one scene where was on the beach. And so we needed like, lighting down by the ocean. So we're running 450 feet of extension cord down to the ocean. And we have this out, we got this house and they're partying on their deck. And we're like, hey, we'll shoot a little independent film down the beach. Can we plug it in? And they're like, oh, yeah, come on here. They like let us plug in gave us two bottles of wine. And we're like, go have fun kids
Ian Nelms 32:11
Into the side of their house ran at 450 feet extension cord down to the fucking beach and shot the worst sound we've ever shot in our life because it's just waves rolling in. We had a budget later, but we made so many fucking mistakes on these movies. But we just fucking you know, we we did all that. Again, we did all the posts in our house. We cut it together. And then we invited the head because we become friendly with some of these Film Festival folks that we gone around with on squirrel trap. This movie was called Night of the dog. And it was just a bunch of fucking guys running around getting their asses kicked by women for like 85 minutes. And so we were like, alright, like, let's try to get into whatever. And so we call the the director of the film festival and said, Hey, are you she had a place in LA? We're like, Hey, are you in LA? She's like, Yeah, we're like, Hey, can you come over and watch this new movie we made? And she's like, Oh, you fucking guys are ahead, I'll come over so she came over, sat down, watch the whole thing in our living room. And fuckin was laughing all the way through and she's like, alright, this is fucking in. I'm super pumped. This is really funny. Great job guys. And that was a $5,000 feature. And like we won the Audience Award at that Film Festival and we won like half a dozen other awards that other film festivals won a big award at Santa Barbara which was a big fuckin deal.
Alex Ferrari 33:26
Huge deal. Yeah, so huge. Now mind you, mind you with all these awards, you're just making obscene amounts of money, right? The money truck is just coming in and dropping off 100 attendees, right? Just hundies everywhere, right?
Eshom Nelms 33:37
Dude, we literally like put five people in a hotel room at the festival because we had no money. We were going to like Chipotle burritos and like buying one burrito to split amongst all of us. It was like if there was a free drink being served within like five miles of the festival, we were there. There was like nothing. We had no money we had no money.
Ian Nelms 34:00
We were fucking scrappy and shit. We're literally like going to those after parties like eating all the crackers. And we're like we're those fucking guys like,
Alex Ferrari 34:08
Are you taking the chick? Are you taking the hors d'oeuvres and putting them in like your pocket?
Ian Nelms 34:13
Like there wasn't a chicken nugget bit fucking got past us, man.
Eshom Nelms 34:18
I remember we would like because they only gave us two filmmaker badges. And there's six of us. And so we were like
Alex Ferrari 34:26
I know where you going? I absolutely you would go in give one the passes. Go back out. Go back in get one of the passes. Go back. Dude. I got Yes, I did that.
Ian Nelms 34:35
The filmmakers and we would go in and they would give us a couple of badges come back out with some guys or gals from some of the other films and we would go back out with five lanyards and put them on and get everybody in and that yeah, it was fucking but that was the spirit of the fucking day. We were broker than broke. Like we were all just fucking scrappy as shit. And that that thing won a bunch of film festivals like focus called Miramax called they all wanted to see this fucking Crazy indie, Ain't It Cool News, who was a big deal at the time reviewed us and said, we were the next broken lizard gang and like, we were fucking tear and shit up and we're like, oh my god, this is gonna fucking blow up for us. And then they watch the movie. And they're like, Okay, guys, look, it gets all the way to the head of a lot of these companies and want one of them we know for sure. Because we became very friendly with one of the acquisition guys. And he was telling us how it got all the way to the top of focus, I think. And then they were like, it was literally the president of the company was like, I'm on the fence about taking this film on. He's like, because there's no stars in it. You it's literally a $5,000 production budget budget. It's just fucking gorilla shot. He's like, if they ended up saying no, but that was the closest we got to getting the fucking movie going at a big fucking place. They end up saying no, they passed on it. But we're very complimentary about how entertaining it was. So we were just like, thank you. And then at one point around Oh, eight, this is like three years after we had done the festival run with it. Around oh eight, we had a distribution company that was gonna put it out for us and for no money, but they were gonna put it out for us. And we were like, Alright, great, exciting. And then the DVD market and the financial crunch hit. And the strikes all hit. And they went out of business, literally, a month after they bought it from us. Well, we signed it over to them for free.
Alex Ferrari 36:20
It was a gift. It was a gift. It was a gift. It's a non non tax deductible gift.
Eshom Nelms 36:25
Gave it out like producing our special features like doing the commentary tracks. We had it all done, like ready to go.
Ian Nelms 36:32
Yeah, and so that so it never got put out. We just put it up on Vimeo all by ourselves, though. after that. And then from there, we got a bunch of representation because the film was pretty damn entertaining. And people liked the writing. And we want a bunch of screenwriting and audience awards everywhere. And they were like, What have you got managers and agents were like, What have you got to? Like, what scripts do you have? And we had Fatman, we had the Fatman script. And so we pass
Alex Ferrari 36:58
What year is this?
Ian Nelms 37:00
This is 2008 we wrote it. And we're running around with it 14 years ago.
Alex Ferrari 37:05
So overnight success, overnight success. Got it!
Eshom Nelms 37:07
Well, we had Fatman like in oh five or four. I don't even know.
Ian Nelms 37:12
We did a version of it. We had a version of it. We've been we rewrote it every year since then, as we hopefully got better at what we were doing. But I would say here's it. Here's a really interesting story for for filmmakers as well. That it's just it's it. I think it's just what you have to do. The kind of mentality you have to have is that right around night of the dog when it was doing well and winning awards. We read rebels on the backlot that shouldn't Laxman book. Yeah. And it talks about Tarantino and it talks about Paul Thomas Anderson and like all of our heroes, right? In the 90s. And we were in it mentioned Tarantino and Avery's manager in there, her name was Catherine James. And it was talking about how she was like a brownie baking mother yet she would like bust into people's office with Quinton scripts and be like, You need to fucking read this. Why haven't you read this? I gave it to you a week ago. And they're like, Jesus, hold on. I'm in the middle of a meeting. They don't care read the fucking script. Then she go walking out I don't think she cuts because I really don't think she she was a sellout or not. She was Taylor, but she but she was very passionate. So she she she would smash it on the deck. Say you need to read this. And then they'll be like, Dang the so she would get them to read the scripts. And then obviously that took off for him. Because of her and passion, please to people. And we were like, that's who we need is our manager like that woman. So I literally found her email, and I started emailing her. And I emailed her once a week for six weeks with no replies. And then finally at the end of six weeks, she replied to me, and like every email I sent was very positive. I was just like, hey, we just want this festival. We're excited. Hey, we've got this idea for a script. Hey, we just got into this other festival it was like any stupid thing I could update her on I would update her on for
Eshom Nelms 39:02
Always like the answering machines seen from swingers
Ian Nelms 39:07
Or or cable guy Hey, I was at payphone thought maybe you called it was that type of shit for six weeks one week. She never will be back and then finally she said oh, hey, finally she wrote me back like hey, obviously this fucking guy's not going away. Hey, you know, let's let's schedule a time to talk on the phone. So I talked her on the phone for like ended up being like a two hour conversation one night and I really gelled with her and she's like, sent me a script send me that script. You're telling me about that Santa Claus one right. Okay. So I we sent her that script, she reads it falls in love with it has a meeting with us and is like, Hey guys, like I really fucking think you guys have something here. I really I really think you're talented. She takes us on as representation. And for the next like four years. You know, she was our sort of guiding light. She was fantastic. She really was amazing. She did passing away of cancer. And that's it. The reason she wasn't answering for six for six weeks is she was going into remission. For the first time she was recovering. And she was like, I'm thinking about getting back into the business when we were contacting her. But she's like, because I'm in remission. I'm beating this thing. We're like, alright, amazing. And then she took us back on, picked up a bunch of rural clients. Again, it was it was sailing along for about four years, and then it caught back up with her, but she was an amazing person, she, you know, we still we still really good friends with a lot of the contacts and her old clients that that, uh, that like James Lafferty a guy we've made four or five movies with was one of her old clients that we met through her. But yeah, like, that was a huge stepping stone for us. And it just came off of cold emails, honestly. And me getting her a script. So I think that that story of perseverance and and just trying to connect with somebody, it that's it really paid off for us.
Alex Ferrari 40:50
So alright, so since you've done this amazing transition into Fatman, let's start talking a little bit about fat man. So tell us so tell everybody what Fatman is about.
Eshom Nelms 41:03
So a 12 year old boy receives a lump of coal on his stocking. So he hires a hitman to kill Santa.
Alex Ferrari 41:09
I'll give you 20 million. I'll give you 20 million for it right now. I mean, how? So? Okay, that's, that's first of all, brilliant. And that was back in 08, you start showing this around? 08 09, something like that.
Ian Nelms 41:23
06, we probably started running around with the script that we were excited about.
Alex Ferrari 41:27
And I loved it. I just want to I want people listening to understand the process of what how ridiculous this town is. So this script, which was updated, obviously, during the years, he kept rewriting it, but the concept was there. You know, what was in 06, in 2010? In 2012? What were people say about the script? And I haven't I haven't have an instinct about what it might be. But I'm just curious, what what are you hearing? Because obviously is moving. It's not like this sucks. So what was going on?
Eshom Nelms 41:58
So I think they first of all, they just wanted to see the two maniacs that would walk in that had crafted this. That was number one, I think because it was just been, you know, for them. It was so outside of anything that ever read before. But I also think they were the number one thing we would get is like, what's the tone? You know, of this? They would say? Is this serious? Is this a joke? Like, what is this? I mean, like this is this is excellent. We keep they kept telling us, someone's gonna make this. It I don't know if it's gonna be you because this is execution dependent. So they always kept telling us and he said, I didn't know like, what is this? Like? What's on the page? It's right here. Like, what do you mean? What is it?
Ian Nelms 42:28
It's comedy, it's kind of a Western, it's got, you know, it's action. There's drama. It's heartfelt. And they were just like, Yeah, but if you stick that in this director's hand, it's gonna lean this way. If you stick it in this directors hands gonna lean this way, like, what is it? And we would say, well, it's this, this, this and this. And it's kind of this a little bit of that. And they were like, well, you're gonna have to do something in that tone. Before I can even see what this is. But I liked the script. And we're like, okay, great. So that was literally what set us off on. Okay, we need to make something we need to get something to get up to this movie. So we wrote this script. And we almost got it going in about in about oh eight. Again, it was right around the same time is that writer's strike. And they were we had like a five and a half million dollar budget over new Regency with some pretty great stars attached. And then the bottom falls out of the market. And it was within like months that we got a call and they're like your budgets down to like $2 million. Now two and a half or something like that. And we're like, fuck, we can't make this for two and a half million dollars, we were barely going to pull it off for five and a half. And then they said, Well, if you can't do it, then you should probably write something else. That is around 2 million bucks. And so we wrote that, which is small town crime, we wrote small town crime, which we've actually shot and made now, the previous film, and we wrote that film. And then when we went back out with that film, it was about 2010. And they were like, Well, look, we like this script a lot. But in the subsequent year that you guys have been writing this script, the bottom has fallen out of the DVD market now. So there isn't a $2 million market to make this film. You're gonna have to do it for like, 200 grand, and we're like, 200 grand, what the fuck? Like, I don't even think that's possible. Some of the shit we want to do in this thing. And they're like, well, then you got to write something that's 200 grand. So like, fuck. So then we were like, you know, we're gonna do we're gonna write something that these motherfuckers can't stop us like, I don't think so. We wrote something. And we saved up every fucking penny we had we had been saving our fucking pennies since the Arclight and Tony Roma's days, everything we fuckin had. And then I started doing this swim business with two and three year olds, where I started to make a little bit of money. And I was able to save up a chunk, like 40 grand. And I was like, Okay, this is over the course of six, five or six years, I had a while. And I was like, we're gonna make this fucking movie. And we wrote last on purpose, a dairy epic, which obviously there's a big market for dairy films,
Alex Ferrari 44:56
Obviously. Obviously. There's at least 30 40 people solid that will show up for that film easily.
Ian Nelms 45:13
Yeah, exactly. But it was our like, it was our HUD it was our last picture show was our American Graffiti. And we were just like, fuck it. I don't care. If anybody wants to see a dairy movie, we're gonna fucking make one. So it was it was basically about how we grew up and where we're from, and the people that live there. And so we were like, We're gonna shoot this shit for 40 grand, whatever we fucking have. And so we came up with a business plan. We picked up a buddy of ours who who is our DP and who shot our last like four films, Johnny Durango. And he, at the time, Ash met him shooting safety videos in skyscrapers that was gripping for him. And he would come over and watch our movies. And he was like, You know what, the only problem with these movies is well, what he's, uh, I'm not shooting them. That was it, so we were like, we're like, alright, well, shit. Let's see, this guy can shoot something besides a safety video. So he was showing us his stuff. And then we decided to let let's do a short together and we did a short film together, it came out incredibly well. It's the best fucking thing we'd ever like looking thing we'd ever fucking shot to date. And we're like, holy shit. This just upped our game like ridiculous. Like, this guy actually has cameras with fucking lenses, you know? Like shit looks good depth of field
Alex Ferrari 46:26
Cameras and lenses and shit, like
Ian Nelms 46:29
Eshom Nelms 46:32
That came on the DVD X, you know.
Alex Ferrari 46:34
Which by the way was an is a Leica and it was an amazing lens. It was that lens had no business being on a camera that that that cheap.
Ian Nelms 46:43
It was but when we when Johnny started rent he saw I've got to rent two lenses raw. Fuck you. You don't need to rent the lenses. That's like two or 300 bucks. And he's like, for this short. He's like, do you want to look fucking good? Well, yes, he's a thing. Trust me. So we did. And it looked fucking amazing. Like we had real depth of field, you know? So we were just like, silly shit. And the colors were all popping. Like, everything looks fucking amazing. And the lighting was good. And we're like, fuck, like, Okay, we need a DP. Because we were deeping all of our own shit. And then from so from there, like when we did last on purpose, like we shared the script with him. And he was like, he grew up in a small town. He really enjoyed the script. And so he came on board as a producer and started raising money with us. And so we each basically raised half of the money. He went out raised about 90 grand the DP did we Yeah, and we, we went out with our 40 and ended up raising another 110. But we started shooting $25,000 Short of our budget of our end budget.
Alex Ferrari 47:42
Again, we weren't a recipe for success of recipe for success and filmmaking, absolutely.
Ian Nelms 47:47
We were going to shoot with whatever we had. And we knew that if it came down to it, I had a $5,000 limit on my credit card, and we can at least finish production with that, you know what I mean? And so,
Eshom Nelms 47:58
I'll never forget that time when he came up to me about day 20 You're like, I don't know when, but we're gonna run out of money if we don't get some more and I'm like, Oh, great. Okay, just keep shooting till the nails come off.
Alex Ferrari 48:08
And I just I just I just wanted again, stop for a second because I want everyone listening to to understand the insanity that it is to be a filmmaker. We are we are we are sick. There is a there is an actual illness. It's a disturbance that we have. And I always call it like once you get bitten by the bug, you can't get rid of it. It can like dormant for decades, but it will come up I've got 65 70 year old guys who are retired who reach out to me like look, I've been a doctor all my life, but I really want to do is direct and now um, I want you to and I'm writing my first script, and I'm like, it never goes away. It's insanity. There's no other business that you can go into. You're like, I don't care that I'm spending $200,000 I just need to make this thing and if it makes money, great. If it does, yeah, who cares?
Ian Nelms 48:53
And like and you're literally like your backup plans are like well, I could sell my house and I could sell my car
Eshom Nelms 49:01
Ian Nelms 49:02
She's never gonna be money but fuckin at least I'll have a movie you know?
Alex Ferrari 49:06
It's It's insane. And I think as you get older and you start getting a wife and or a significant other and then children come, then that conversation starts to be tweaked a bit. Just just like because like right behind me. I have a life size Yoda like sitting behind me. Everyone knows about my life size Yoda I got that in 99 That is not a purchase that I can have a car I have to have a conference serious conversation with my wife about like, you know, I really need a life size Yoda like that's pre wife purchase. There's so everyone listening if you're not married by any crazy thing you really go hard court now.
Ian Nelms 49:47
That is your stance.
Alex Ferrari 49:48
Exactly. But the conversation changes though as you get older. You're like, I can't can't mortgage my house now because I've got kids, but it thought goes through your head though.
Eshom Nelms 49:59
Yeah, it's just like kids were you know, you know what's really exciting is a trailer. You know? You live in a trailer. It's like camping all the time.
Ian Nelms 50:08
We're gonna do tent living.
Alex Ferrari 50:10
No van. Don't forget van people. There's people who just like, purposely sell everything. Yeah. And they go around the country that's living in a van. Down by the river. Sorry, Chris Farley. That's it. All back to the ultimate callback the rest of these Chris Farley. All right. Sorry. So are you so fat man, you say finally you get fat man, someone is crazy enough to finance this thing? Someone's writing a check. And then I gotta know how'd you get Mel? Like, how do you get Mel and Walton? You know, to Femi Mel is a legend. And Walton, such an amazing actor, very well respected actor. I love everything he does. How the hell do you get these guys attached?
Eshom Nelms 50:52
So I mean, I think let's start with now. Right. So we go to a screening of Hacksaw Ridge and like 2016 2017. He's got the picture. Yeah, he comes. He comes out afterwards to do the q&a. He's got this beautiful full beard. He's just finished the production. He's on the press tour there. He's looks a little worn a little threadbare. You know, he's kind of hunched over and eating his beard. Looks like he's carrying the weight of the worlds on his fucking shoulders. But he's still got, like the spark in his eye and the passion. He and I were just turned to each other. And we're like, oh, man, like, that's our Chris. Like, he's disenchanted. He's like, he's got the weight of the world on his shoulders. But he's still got the passion in him, you know. And so like, that's when we latched on the idea of now. And then when we started to put the movie together three days, three years later, we got producers and we started submitting we, we had to formally submit through his agent. I remember we wrote him a letter, and we're like, hey, now like, this is you know why you're amazing. And also, you look fantastic in a beard, you know? And so, we sit that away. And you know, you hope for the best, right? And it been a couple of weeks when we hadn't heard anything. It's kind of radio silence. And we're like, oh, I guess we got to move on. Okay, and then all of a sudden, ping, you know, you've got mail shows up and Ian sitting there at home.
Ian Nelms 52:05
I get an email and it says in word word. We're talking to producers and financiers, and everybody you can think of the email right now. Like, okay, I set up that meeting. Great. Okay. You want to talk to us about it? You enjoyed it, whatever. Okay, great. We'll meet we'll meet with you guys and talk to you about it. And then I get this one to my box. It was like, hey, I really enjoyed the script. I think it's really funny. Let's sit down for a chinwag. And there was like, no sign off. And I'm like, Who the fuck is this? And I look at the name on the email, and it's like, a weird pseudonym. I'm like, What the fuck? Like, who is this? I'm like, okay, great. Thanks. Glad you dug in. Like, who am I talking to? And then like, Oh, hey, sorry, I forgot to sign off. Sometimes. This is Mel and I was like, Holy fuck. I was like, Oh,
Alex Ferrari 52:46
By the way, everyone. Everyone listening. That's Mel Gibson. If we haven't mentioned his last name, it's Mel Gibson.
Eshom Nelms 52:51
Yeah. And it wasn't like he's going like mildewed 25. Right? Like, we have no idea. It's him. Well, like,
Alex Ferrari 52:57
Number one fan 72.
Ian Nelms 53:00
Now, so we so we, we, our agent hits up his agent is like, hey, you know, like, Yeah, let's the guys wants to down and they're excited. So they're like, Alright, we're gonna give you 45 minutes in a cafe over Malibu, like, you know, he, like, you could go hang out with them and chat with them and see if you guys gel on this. So we sit down with him, and that 45 minutes turns into three and a half hours later. And we're like, you know, still talking and walking to the car at the same time. And like hugging and shit. At the end of it. It was like that kind of meeting where we talked about film, we talked about life. We talked about love we talked about. And he's an amazing, like, open book, you know about his life in his movies. And he's very, he's very forthcoming. So it was pretty fucking amazing conversation with him. And we got to ask every geeky nerdy question we'd ever wanted to ask. And we were pumping him for everything. When I Apocalypto when you did this, you know, like, everything you can imagine. And then we talked about Batman. And it was this amazing moment where he goes, you know, that moment where Chris is standing out over the balcony, and he's looking out over the elves. And he's got to tell him that really shitty news about the about the military and well, yeah, yeah, yeah. And he goes, he goes, I think I should be like, damn near, like near tears when I'm ready to tell him that, like, it should be that devastating. Well, yeah, yeah, exactly. He goes, I think that's what's gonna make it so funny. And we're exactly, exactly like, he instantly got, you know, like the layers that we were going for. We wanted this very grounded approach to something that was fantastical for multiple reasons. But he understood it, and he wanted to do it, and he was pumped about it. And he got really excited about it talking to us about it. It was awesome.
Alex Ferrari 54:40
And I'm assuming, and I'm assuming that once Mel was attached to the project, the financing opened up a bit.
Eshom Nelms 54:46
Yeah. That that being real, that made it real. Yeah, for sure.
Ian Nelms 54:50
And what God is in the room with the producers, because that's the real base question, right? It's like what? So after 14 years, what had changed? Well, we'd made a lot of movies up until then, like Fat Man is our sixth movie, I think six feature film, two of them were nano budget. Then we did a $200,000 film, then we did an $800,000 film. And then we did a 1.9. A $1.9 million film, small town crime. And the cool thing about small town crime was is that it we we had finally gotten up to a budget level where we could do the tone that we were after, because there was a surface. Yeah, there it was. It was action packed, it was dark comedy. It was it had a Western vibe to it. It was very, very character driven, what would you say? Little drama, and they're very dramatic at the same time yet, we had splashes of gore, we had some cool action scenes, what we were able to do for what we had, but, and then we got a great cast for that movie. And so when we went into production offices with Batman Next, we were able to point back to that movie and say, that is the tone. That movie small town crime is the tone. And there we go. Okay, so they would read the script, watch the movie. And we started getting a lot of meetings,
Alex Ferrari 56:03
Which was great, which is that and that's how that whole thing, and that's how the whole thing came about. Now, I have to ask you, man, because you know, Mel, is not only legend, an Oscar winning actor, but he's also an Oscar winning director. So what's it like directing an Oscar winning director like, you know, okay.
Eshom Nelms 56:24
Like, those are the butterflies, right? You're like, what are we gonna tell Mel Gibson, you know, but, but I think it's like, Mel Gibson is there to make the same movie you are. And so we're all on the same page, like he wants to facilitate. And I think that's what really comes down to the amazing experience we had, as Mel knows, as a director himself, what he, what he what a director would need from their actors, you know, and their collaborators in that respect. So he's utterly respectful of that, of that role, and like, is there to collaborate to the umpteenth degree, but don't get us wrong, like he and I are absolutely like, between takes like picking his brain like, hey, you know, I'm Braveheart is like, Oh, I'm Braveheart. I like was double printing frames for emphasis, you know, like, double printing frames, like we're writing that down, and like we double printed frames and Batman. So like, we're, he's a resource man. Like, we're taking everything we can from and it was a wonderful collaboration for that regard.
Ian Nelms 57:17
And his approach was incredible. Because he would come up to you. And he would say, if you had a suggestion, or a thought or a question or something, he would say, now Hey, I just had the Stata Take it or leave it completely throw it out. I'm making your movie. I'm here. I'm here for you guys. And with you guys. But but you can you don't have to take this but But what do you think of this? Or what do you think of this little improv line or whatever. And it was great, because it took all the pressure off of us to have to accept the idea was he was he leaning on us? Because you know, he needed it this way or whatever. But no, he was. He was very, you know, disarming, he would come up, disarm you and say, It's okay, if you don't want to do this. But here's what I was thinking. And, and that gives us a lot more freedom as artists as well were like, well, of course, we'll fucking try it. If it doesn't work. It's no big deal. You know, we don't have to keep it great. You know, and that's how he approached everything. He was very, like, let's fucking try it. If it doesn't fucking work. Like, I don't care. We're like, Alright, great. Like, and yeah, it was great. It was really a great fucking collaboration and like, those little moments with him and Marianne, at the end, where she like, picks up the rolling pan and comes after him and stuff like that. Those are all little improv moments that they were just having such fun doing. And there was so much stuff that you know, we could have used this take or that take, but they were giving us so much gold in those types of in those types of like the the the moments that showed their chemistry and love between each other.
Alex Ferrari 58:40
Go ahead. No, no, go ahead.
Eshom Nelms 58:41
Well, I'll never forget like like about was it two or three weeks into shooting? They'll come to us he goes, Hey, you guys think I could see some footage because we hadn't been showing him any of the footage. Like it never really even occurred to us and so
Ian Nelms 58:53
So we didn't even think about it. We were just I mean, we're watching all the fucking dailies with our DP and fucking talking like non stop about and together and fucking around the footage and we hadn't shown it to him though. And he's like, you might if I look at some of that. We're like, absolutely shit. So we like came over that weekend, we ran through a bunch of stuff and a couple scenes we'd cut and he was cracking up through it and he's like, Fuck, this is exciting. He's I'm really excited. And he was mainly worried about his performance and he was just like, I'm doing this cowboy thing I'm being very gruff and I'm great we love it like but he hadn't seen it he wanted to make sure that he was okay with it you know?
Alex Ferrari 59:29
Now you guys cuz I nowadays I just assume everything shot digitally but I heard you say you double printed did this shoot on film?
Eshom Nelms 59:37
No, well, he just we just you know, we just cheat it he's cut the same frame and double it up.
Alex Ferrari 59:40
Got it. Got it. Okay, got it. Got it. I was gonna say I was gonna say I was like wait a minute. You shot this on film to Jesus.
Ian Nelms 59:46
We shot on the Alexa which it's a beautiful camera.
Alex Ferrari 59:49
It is it is a stunning candidate. It was actually it looked gorgeous. And I mean, I can't wait by the way Walton like a major amazing.
Eshom Nelms 1:00:10
Yeah, like we were out, like trying to figure out who the skinny man is gonna be right. And I remember, they floated us, Walton, and we're like, okay, great. Then we'd sat down with a few people that we were excited about, we thought they're gonna be really good options. And then we sit down with Walton at a coffee shop. And he's just a force man. He's a beast, and like, right there, across from that's from us, he starts acting out scenes, and he's like, I'm right there, and I'm looking at an elephant. I'm bearing down on him. And we're like, Dude, this It's like, shit. Guy, like, we got juiced on that. And really, like, I remember from that, from that moment, like, I he's a skinny man, we got to get him. So he came to make such such a great impression on us. He was the only one we saw after that meeting. And
Ian Nelms 1:00:46
He was really fun to work with. Because we would we would be he's, you know, there's there's the he's somewhere between a somewhere in between or near a method actor, but he doesn't he's not. He's not. He's, he's great to work with because we would go in and he would be sort of that skinny man's always kind of bubbling beneath the surface. And whether you're asking him about a question about lunch, or, or, or the next take, he's he's answering you in that voice. And it was so funny, man. You're like, what do you want chicken for lunch? Is that what you Bill? Yeah, I think lesson chicken was so. So amazing. It was so amazing. We had so much fun with that guy. And he gives you such a like subtle nuance, you know, differences every take, and he gives us a varied range. He's like, let me push this to the app. Click on this one and see if you guys like it in you know, use whichever one you want. But let me push it really hard on this one. Trying to ride that line between comedy and and realism. You know, it was it was a he was a lot of fun to work with, because he just gave us so many great options.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:46
And did you guys watch? Watch him and son of anarchy? Sons of Anarchy.
Ian Nelms 1:01:50
I see clips of him and it is incredible.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:54
Oh my God, when I saw him show up, like I was telling my wife, I'm like, that's the guy from Sons of Anarchy. She's like, Whoa, my God. Like he's, you know, he's so amazing. And that that part that he played in that show was just like, but he's me. He's Oscar nominated. I forgot what he was nominated for. But it was the nominee. He was nominated. Even now. He should have been
Ian Nelms 1:02:12
He won an Oscar for a short film. Yes. Okay. He produced
Alex Ferrari 1:02:17
Because I remember seeing his name and Oscar something or you know, they throw it up there, but he is just
Ian Nelms 1:02:23
He'll get there.
Eshom Nelms 1:02:24
Yeah. Oh, dude.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:25
It's amazing. Amazing. He's amazing.
Eshom Nelms 1:02:28
We'd be sitting there be like oh, wow, he's kind of got like this Nicholson vibe. And then like, you know, every way turns, you're just like, oh, man, he's just got he just exudes that star quality.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:35
And he in this movie. He shot me like, both him and Mel are just so brilliant in the part and Marianne as well. She was wonderful as Mrs. Claus. She's amazing, amazing casting there. And that the set design the elves I don't want to give away too much of the storyline. But the storyline how grounded in reality it was, because you guys are right. It could have gone into li major Scrooged really quickly, because that's the only thing I remember. Like when I saw this first concept. I saw the trailer for Batman, which I saw probably a little while ago. I said I was like Oh, that reminds me of Lee Majors in Scrooge because that's such it. I just remember Yeah, majors SNL with a gun, but it was nothing compared to Batman. But it was this the only concept of like, other than the jolly dude. And I was like and it could have gone down that road but the way you guys grounded it in reality just makes it so much funnier. It's so much more insane
Eshom Nelms 1:03:36
For us like that doing the straight take on it had so many different facets for us right like it enables the stakes to go up and enables the drama to go up it does it have innate comedy within it like taking it so straight like that. So I don't know it was just so multifaceted for us. It's the only way we ever saw the picture being like there's just no other way for us.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:55
It was it's I recommend it highly like I said at the beginning of the show. I'm so glad that this exists. It's one of those films that just I'm so glad it's in the world. It is I feel a new holiday classic it should definitely be out there like with my heart obviously. But I mean obviously I did a whole episode last year proving Did you die hard with a proof with actually statistical status a statistician who actually did the work and did the research to prove without by math that Die Hard is a Christmas movie and and he did it through algorithm not I'm not even joking. He did this. Algorithms searches for per Google for Christmas movie diehard how it goes up the whole the whole gambit, he's a he's amazing. And we sat there just you know just talking about it and and I told him next year we have to do Lethal Weapon because I think Lethal Weapon is on the fringes of being a kid. It's not as Die Hard. Not like that hard, but it's on the fringes of being an amazing Christmas. We're gonna have to bring them right back to Mel. Now, I have to ask you guys one question because I've always, I've never actually asked this about to a directing team before. I've been directing for 20 odd years, I can't even, I can't even begin to think about having to direct with somebody else. Like, it's just like, it's insane. To my mind, I love to collaborate, but to have an actual co director, how does it work? And I know you guys are brothers about probably helps a lot. But how does that work? Do you have arguments? What happens when you both aren't seeing the same thing? Are you? Are you ying and yang? How does that work?
Eshom Nelms 1:05:34
Well, I think most if not all, of our writing, or our, our sort of quibbles are solved in the writing room. So when we get to the set, we're utterly synched up. But I think, if we do get into, you know, debates or heated conversation that happens, while we're sculpting the story, and it may take, you know, one of us, you know, we'll write and I think the way we write is like, we'll brainstorm an idea, one of us will hammer out the scene, the flow to the other one, he'll do his thing to float it back. Like we just sort of toss it back and forth till we're really happy with it. And if something bounces off in that I may have a disagreement with it. Oh, man, I don't know that line. He's like, Well, yeah, but if what if it was said like this? Right, and he'll act out the line, and we're not SPS degree, but we're like, oh, well, if it's like that, like, that makes sense. You know, like it gets in the script and the other truck.
Ian Nelms 1:06:22
Gosling said it like that is gonna work. All right?
Eshom Nelms 1:06:28
Whoever is most passionate, right? So we sort of like, well, we'll be like, Okay, you're really, really passionate about this. Like, let's let a roll. I guess.
Ian Nelms 1:06:36
That's an IT. There's been a lot of interesting moments in all of our films, where, like, it's probably 99.9%. We both are happy with everything that's in there. But there's always a line or a moment or this or that, that somebody was like really passionate about it. The other person was either on the fence about or was like, well put it in if you're that fucking excited about it, you know? And I can't even tell you there was there was one line in one of our films where Ash and I think it was loss of purpose where Ash and I were, were, he was like, I took it out, he put it back in, I took it out. He goes, Why do you keep taking that line out? I'm like, I just don't like it. I don't, I think it's too, whatever. And he's like, he needs to stay. And he's saying like, I fucking will stay and leave it in. So and I'll be damned if every time we didn't do because we do little screenings, like five to 10 people at a time as we're honing our edit. I'll be damned if we didn't do one of those screenings, people would comment on that line, and be like, oh, man, that line, it just really got to me, it really connected this and this to me to my human motherfucker, like, so as I feel like, it's just when somebody gets that passionate about something, they have a fucking vision for it. And with us, like, I trust him implicitly. So if he's like, no, no, no, I got it. This is going to be this way. And it's going to be fucking amazing. And even if he can't talk me into it, which usually he can usually we just we describe it to each other, and we're pretty synched up in our taste, and like, oh, yeah, that would be awesome. You know, but even if, if a line like that gets by me, and I just can't fucking see it. Usually, he is he's probably 100% Right? In those moments, and vice versa. If I'm passionate about something, he's like, I will fuck leave it in there. And usually somebody will comment like, that fucking moment was so great. And he's like, cat Damn it, you know, like, How did I not see that, but we just trust each other. We have to trust each other. Because you know, we are a hybrid. So it's like, but we have very much a hive mind we have we have the similar tastes and 99.9% of the time, everything on the page is something we've batted back so many back and forth so many times that we don't even know who wrote it, that we're changing. It starts with a sentence the other person erases half the sentence and writes finishes it their way then we're down to five or six passes later, literally changing grammar and like a word in there and I can't tell who wrote it after we're done. But the directing process Ash is a professional storyboard artist as well. So so helpful. Oh, he'll every fucking frame of the movie whether it's a whether it's one shot, fucking close up for the whole fucking scene that's in the storyboards. And it's like, and it runs through here. So like, when we go and talk to our crew and our cast, it's like, we hand out the storyboards. And we talk about it with everybody. And if somebody has a suggestion, because it's a blueprint for us, and there's fucking brilliant minds, we try to surround ourselves with the best people possible. And there's brilliant minds that like, I mean, like, one example is like when we're talking to Walton about something, and he's like, Well, what if I did this, and I split in that way, instead of that way, like fucking great, you know, if you got a reason to do it, fucking do it. And so, if things like that would happen, and then Johnny's got to craft his lighting around whatever that movement is, so it's all it's all very similar to block it out, you know, and, and have the DP light it up and then fucking fire away. And John Hawkes, I remember on small town crime he told this story to at a film festival. He was like, I tested him. I fuckin tested him. I was like, I've never worked with two directors before and he's like, and I was nervous. I was like, Is this these guys would be like, fucking fist fighting, you know, off to the side in between takes he's like, this is gonna be insanity. How are we going to do this? And he's like, So I went up to him he's on like, day two, I went up to ask him and I asked him a specific question. He was on his own. He's on then I waited like half hour to Ian and wandered off on his own. He's like, I went up to him and asked him the same question. He gave me the exact same answer. And I was like, Okay, I think we're gonna be okay here.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:17
Isn't it amazing, isn't it? And a lot of young directors don't realize that they're actors test you. They're smart actor this video, especially if they are seasoned actors, and they have any suspicion and suspicion whatsoever, they'll test you to see, okay, am I safe here? Am I safe? Am I safe to work here? And they'll test you sometimes it gets ugly. But sometimes, I would wonder if you would have said a different different answer how that would have continued that shoot, how about
Ian Nelms 1:10:47
When he's already in to a certain extent,
Alex Ferrari 1:10:52
But it could be a smooth ride, or it could be a painful ride. It's we're going the train is leaving. So it's all about bumpy. You want to make this
Eshom Nelms 1:11:03
Definitely become dysfunctional, codependent over the years, though. And we lean into each other's strengths really hard.
Ian Nelms 1:11:10
So we both have complementary skills. And I think what reinforced it for us too, is like I read this, I mean, we tried to read as many fucking books about, you know, being a fucking decent human being and trying to organize your life as we do about filmmaking. So I remember I was reading this Tim Ferriss book, of course, and he's talking about, you know, like, swimming upstream to a certain extent when you're trying to do something he's like, why are you trying to teach yourself fucking how to make a banner he's off, go on Fiverr and pay some guy 10 bucks to fucking do it. Who that's what he does. You don't need to make the banner. You don't need to spend a month learning how to make a banner and working five programs, pay this guy $15 He's gonna do a bang up job at least way better than you would have ever fucking done. So why are you fucking around with this torturing yourself, just write your book and hire this guy to do your book cover, like, fucking calm down. So I was like, That is such a smart way of like, you know, aggregating your fucking time and effort into it in a productive way. It's like, like, like, there's certain things that Ash is really fucking good at. And there's certain things I'm really fucking good at. And we just go, you fucking do that. I'm gonna fucking do this, what I'm really fucking good at. And we do that. And it fucking helps us a ton.
Eshom Nelms 1:12:26
That I've never, like, asked to look at the budget. I don't know, like, I can't even balance my damn checkbook. They're like, You got to tell me that we can afford that.
Ian Nelms 1:12:35
So like, I will come up to him and say, Esh, there's a problem or ash, there's not a problem. And this just comes from us doing every fucking job when we started. And it's a good idea to do that. Because when, because the problems that you have as a filmmaker, and fucking out, you know, this, like, you go on a set, where you're not in control of the budget. And the line producer tells you, you can't have that fucking tripod or whatever. And you're like, I can't have an extra tripod, you don't have the money. Oh, really? Like, okay, but that's what you have to accept that answer. If you don't know anything about the budget, or you don't know anything about departments. But if you know how to read a budget, if you have done your own budgets, and then you look through the budget, and you say, I need a fucking tripod in pre production, and he goes, I need a tripod there. And he's like, okay, figure out how to make that work. Okay, great. Then you get there on the day, and they're like, I need a tripod, where's that tripod? And they're like, We don't have the budget, you're like, No, we do because of this, this, this and this, and we can take it from here and pay this, or I can do this and this and that. It's so much, it's so helpful. Because there's a lot of times, like, it's not that he's a bad producer, line producer, whatever is the guy has fucking 800 things going on. And he can't go back to the fucking office and try to figure out where he's going to get that extra $400 or whatever to rent the tripod for that day doesn't have time, he's putting out 800 other fires. But if you can just quickly tell him, let's do ABC, we'll get the fucking tripod data and then it go, he goes, Great. I don't have to put my time and effort in that the answer is yes. Here's your fucking tripod. So like it's helped us so much in that regard.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:19
Yeah. And I similarly, like I lit my first feature, why I still don't know why I did that. But I did it because I had been a colorist for like 10 or 15 years. And I was like, You know what, I think I could just get it down. If I could throw it down the middle. I'll save it and post like just I just got to expose it down the middle and it's not pretty. And I showed it to a couple of my ASE buddies and they're just like, stick to directly my friend. And, and then so my second feature I got a DP to come in. But I wanted to do it. But I couldn't have I could have an educator conversation with a cinematographer. I'm like, Oh, this lens, I want the Can we try this this Leica lens or can we try this canoptek lens that Kubrick used that 9.8 Because I want that super like I can have those conversations with them. Can I do what Roger Deakins does absolutely not. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. But I might be able to have a fairly educated conversation about it. And that's all you really need to like. You don't need to know everything about everything. But you should know enough about everything to have educated conversations about because unlike unlike Mr. James Cameron, who actually can do everything on every department, from many people I've interviewed and spoken to who have worked with James like a clone. He is just insanity. But yeah, but as educated as you can be. Now, listen, guys, I'm gonna ask you a few questions. I ask all of my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to get into the business today?
Ian Nelms 1:15:48
Easy, just make stuff, make stuff, make stuff, be relentless with it, don't be afraid to fail. That's another thing people get really caught up in is they spent five years trying to make their first feature, whatever the fuck when they could have just made it for 10 grand or $5,000 and fucking got it done. And realize all the fucking mistakes they were gonna make way early on. And then you'll end because the guy who spent five years to make one feature, and the person who spends makes five features in five years is way the fuck far ahead of you, like so far ahead of you. It's not even funny
Alex Ferrari 1:16:21
I'm gonna steal that one because that is an amazing, amazing quote. If you one movie in five years or five films in five features in five years, that other way and they could all stop by the way.
Ian Nelms 1:16:33
Yeah. We don't use an amazing example of that. Who I can fucking point to as a filmmaker. Joe Swanberg.
Alex Ferrari 1:16:41
Yeah, of course. Oh, no. Joe is here. I've studied five films a year. He did. I think one year he put he busted out six features in one year. And he said that and he said, he said, I might not be the best, but I'm going to be the most prolific and he said a straight up he's like, I don't care if you don't like it. I'm just gonna bust them out. And that
Ian Nelms 1:17:03
I will say, he's Joe Swanberg has good movies. There's good movies in his fucking catalogue. And you're like, This guy is is uh, he, he, he, he, he walks out the fucking door with three sentences and says, I'm going to make a feature out of this and start shooting without a script, like the guy's fucking amazing. Like, that's insanity, to a certain fucking extent, but it's also incredible like that you have the balls to fucking do that and just try it and fuck because that guy's gonna get in trouble and now he's doing studio films to a certain extent, but that guy's gonna get in trouble on a studio film, and a lesser director that hasn't tested himself like that and hasn't made 65 films by the time he's 35 isn't gonna know what the fuck to do or is he gonna have a lot less confidence and Joe Swanberg at lunch gonna write three sentences on a fucking napkin and have it fucking solved and improv his way out of it at lunch like and you're gonna be like, How the fuck did this guy figure this out? Well, he's made 65 feature films. That's how he figured it out.
Alex Ferrari 1:18:04
I just did you guys just see the new movie coming out with Meryl Streep and oh god, what's her name? It's coming on HBO. Max is it's a new Meryl Streep movie directed by Steven Soderbergh. The whole thing shot in two weeks. All improv That's fucking awesome with Meryl Streep. Uh, we uh, we saw Diane Weast and Murphy Brown I forgot her name JESUS CHRIST Calacanis Bergen so all three of them on a on a cruise ship in two weeks on a real cruise ship by the way with Rick it was a it was an active 2000 people on the cruise ship thing he went around shot the whole damn thing himself with them with like, two Oscar winners and like a five time Emmy winner, and they just rolled with it. Yeah, so confidence that's confidence. Like that's
Eshom Nelms 1:18:55
There's one other thing too that I think and I kind of carry with us like people believe that in order for you to be successful. There's this Miss Miss Miss misunderstanding. Like, in total, I think that for order for in order for you to succeed, others have to fail, that there's like this finite amount of success in the world. And once that that's depleted, no one else can succeed. That says yeah, like the more people around you that succeed, the greater your chances are of succeeding. So you should be busting your ass to help your friends and family and collaborators succeed just as much as you should be busting your own ass.
Ian Nelms 1:19:28
Tell you how many times someone in our lives is reached down to help us in some way. Whether it's them coming on and working for free as a PA or them coming down and helping us fucking find financing because they're a fucking big deal. Now, you know what I mean, to some extent,
Eshom Nelms 1:19:42
Like Octavia did on small town crime. I mean directly,
Ian Nelms 1:19:45
Octavia Spencer reached down. We pitched her the scripts such as the script, and we were friends with her since oh two. And she was in a position obviously after the help to where she could help someone help someone out and she helped and we aren't the only ones there's fucking a dozen other friends that she had. out but she literally fucking shepherded that thing for us, helped us get John Hawkes helped us get Anthony Anderson, and it helps get our financing.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:09
Yeah, that's that's and I always tell people all the time, the fastest way to succeed is by helping other people. And the and after doing this for been in this stupid, ridiculous business that we're all in for 25 plus years, the last five years since I opened up indie film, hustle and started giving back and started helping filmmakers and helping people. My career has exploded, and opportunities and connections and people and resources all open up because of because of me giving and I agree with you, I couldn't agree with you more. And there is there's always that there's enough for everybody, man,
Ian Nelms 1:20:45
It's a collaborative medium and all those people, you can help each other out, and they end up going well. He fucking helped me out on that. I can't wait to help him out on something like this is gonna be great.
Eshom Nelms 1:20:54
But look at like all your favorite prominent filmmakers, and not all of them, but a lot of them. They're gonna be in these clusters, right? Like, Millie is Coppola Spielberg like they're all like Lucas. They're all in these clusters. They all know each other. You know?
Alex Ferrari 1:21:08
Yeah, Tarantino Rodriguez Smith. You know, Linkletter. They're all Yeah, all those guys. Now, okay, so what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Ian Nelms 1:21:19
I think we're still learning it. And it ends up it ends up being, it's lessons that we have to reteach ourselves, or remind ourselves of, and I think that at least we're getting quicker at recognizing them because I remember, we stopped making shit between
Eshom Nelms 1:21:33
The same lesson, right? It's like, are you really against it? I'm like, It's make stuff. Like it's literally the same lesson over and over again.
Ian Nelms 1:21:39
Yeah, it's it's, don't be afraid to make things. Don't let anybody shake your confidence. If you think something's going to be great. I remember and I had just had this conversation. I remember reading the script. We're big. We were big Tarantino fan still. But so we read this. We got the script early to a friend to Death Proof. Right? Yeah. Oh, so I read the script for Death Proof. And I think Ashley actually read it first. I go, What do you think? What do you think? What do you think he's, uh, well, I think you need to read it. And so I was like, fuck, okay, so I read it. And within three hours, I'm standing, you know, mouth agape in the fucking hallway. And he's like, you read it? And I'm like, yep. And he's like, Well, what do you think? And I was like, I didn't even know if this is a fucking movie. Like, I'm like, reading it. I'm like, is this is I can't see the movie. It's repetitive. Like, what the fuck is this? Like, I don't even know if this is gonna be any good. Like, how the fuck is he gonna make a movie out of this? And we were just like, What the fuck is gonna happen like, what is this? Like, what the fuck is this and
Eshom Nelms 1:22:41
Go Grindhouse day one, you know release
Ian Nelms 1:22:44
We were there for fucking four hours, like loving every fucking minute of it. And we're just like, these guys. Like, you couldn't have read what he was gonna do with it on this on the fucking page. Same with Rodriguez. I guarantee it, you read that those scripts, you can't see what those guys see and what they're seeing and what they're going to do. And that and that's, it's just, it's such a good point of proof of like, you're gonna write something that you're fucking really excited about. And you're like, I'm gonna go fucking do this and someone someone is going to read it and say, Yeah, I don't see it. Or you know, I don't and you go. I see it. I'm gonna go do it. Even if you fucking fail. It'll be the most amazing failure you've ever fucking had. Because you will learn a shitload off of that film. And you will pass that fucking naysayer. Like he's standing still on the next one like and and it could be something fucking brilliant like breath Death Proof like that movie that chase sequences the repetition it all have point it's fucking there's
Eshom Nelms 1:23:47
That's the thing is like nine times out of 10 Like if you have the vision for it, it works. Right? Like there's no matter how you like you said so many times it's like a recipe for success there it's like that's what you think off the top of it but then somehow you pure what out of it and it freakin works. And you're like I don't know how it worked. But I
Alex Ferrari 1:24:03
Preach preach brothers preach. Preach. Preach.
Ian Nelms 1:24:06
You just told us about Alex we're using it to fuck Sundance and shot a fucking film. Like, if you would have told that idea before you went and shot it. What would they afford? You probably have one been like, you know, Alex, I think you should spend that four days doing something else. You went and shot that fucking film had a fucking amazing experience. Fuckin four days made a fucking feature films that is now available to fucking buy on. Or I think you said it's up for fucking prime right,
Alex Ferrari 1:24:41
You know, the funny thing is about that is I actually I actually because I have some connections to some actors here in LA and I actually went after some more seasoned actors, people who had some names, and I approached them about it and they were like, I sweat one quote was like, Dude, you're gonna get me arrested. And I said, and I said, this is not the movie for you, dude. It's Okay, it's we'll work on the next one when it's more, you know, controlled and union. And just like, you know, yeah, just a little bit. This is this is not that film. And I did it. We could talk about that forever.
Ian Nelms 1:25:15
Like, it's fucking punk rock. If you don't want to go punk rock, baby, that's Okay,
Alex Ferrari 1:25:19
Let's go and God props to everybody who jumped on like I my actors dude never met me they're just like, this is this is the best selling point I had the whole thing like, I don't know if this is going to work. But that's the way I started the conversation like, look, I don't know, I don't know if this is even going to be a movie at the end of it. But I can promise you one thing. 20 years from now you're going to sit down somewhere at a party, you're going to sit there was this one time I made a movie at Sundance, with this crazy guy running around stealing all the shots that I can promise you. And that's exactly what they got not only a movie, but they got a story that they will take to their graves. And it was so it was super fun. But that's right, you just got to go and do it. And so I'm all about I waited for permission for so long. That I said screw it. I can't I can't do it anymore. And you guys did that early in your careers where I took it took it till my 40s to fix it.
Ian Nelms 1:26:11
Well, we keep using it. We were just a couple of weeks ago or a week ago. We're just like, which one we want to do. And then we talked to our reps about what we want to do. And we're like, you know what? I think the better question here is like, look, these people have fucking amazing guidance, and they're amazing people. We fucking love them and they love us. And we're all in it to win it. But there's a certain if you have an idea of what you need to be fucking doing, you need to do it because you're going to regret it if you don't. That's not That's no way to live your life at all.
Alex Ferrari 1:26:39
Amen, brother, I can preach, preach, preach my brother's preach. And last question three of your favorite films of all time.
Ian Nelms 1:26:48
I'm going to warn you I'm on 8% on my computer, just in case we don't make through these factory questions. Okay, all right. Okay, of all time. I'm going to go with the ones that I keep going back to and watching and ones that pop into my head because it's fucking strange. Like if you if I were to mention these films as like, these are my top three films of all time. They probably wouldn't be if I sat and thought about it, but it's the movies that I think about a lot for a lot of different reasons predator.
Alex Ferrari 1:27:16
One of the one of the best action movies ever made.
Ian Nelms 1:27:19
No fucking idea why? Because it is the best fucking action movie made. And sci fi and fucking
Alex Ferrari 1:27:24
It's everybody's got everything data. It's got everything.
Ian Nelms 1:27:29
Fucking amazing. Yeah, so if that movie ever comes on me where I stopped dead fucking you watch it. Yeah. And laugh and love and enjoy. Yes. Another one that I fucking love is true romance. And it's just a DVD or Blu ray that I keep fucking putting in. It's like, fucking Scott just nailed the shit out of fucking Tarantino script. Yeah, nailed it to the fucking wall. It's like someone doing a Mamet script at that point, you know, I mean, now Clinton's got his own thing. And he's fucking killing everything he fucking does. But at that point, I don't know if Quinton could have done that with that movie. It was like it would have been his first movie because remember, he regrets that he didn't direct it. I've read a couple places, but I don't know if he was he wasn't as seasoned as Scott at that point. So I don't know if he would have been able to to give us what that movie is out of that, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:28:16
Arguably, arguably, no filmmaker, not many filmmakers are seasoned as the Scott brothers because they had directed like 4000 commercials and music videos prior before ever shooting a frame.
Eshom Nelms 1:28:26
So late in their lives, you know what they like in their 40s when they got into like making stuff? Yeah, I mean, that's to your point, like they've been making. They've been shooting for their entire lives and didn't do feature films. Yeah.
Ian Nelms 1:28:37
My last one is a tie. So I'm kind of cheating, but it's Lethal Weapon and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly together.
Alex Ferrari 1:28:44
I mean, these are amazing. All of them a great top top notch, top notch Lethal Weapon I've probably seen 100 to 100 times. It's good.
Eshom Nelms 1:28:53
I like so I'm gonna overlap with my printer. That's one of our staples. We get to that every time. Last Picture Show is one that I really enjoy and Big Lebowski
Alex Ferrari 1:29:03
Good Times good times. I had Barry had Barry on the show. And Barry Sonnenfeld and I asked him about how he got the first read his book instantly Yeah, that's great. Yeah, he that's why he was on the show want to promote this book. So I talked him for two hours the greatest one of the greatest first 10 minutes I've ever had because he starts talking to me about how he started in porn. And the most graphic tours are making that story that's in the book in the did that he did that in the show. And like how graphic Do you want to be and like do to to bury you do whatever you want. First 10 minutes I was blushing. I don't blush dude. Like the stuff he was saying was like holy oh my god this is gonna be amazing. And yeah his his whole story if you write
Ian Nelms 1:29:46
That you can that back in the day cuz I don't think it would work like this. Now. Go down to the fucking whatever store that was or it was a hotel or something. Find a cute girl drag her back and have her do a porno movie where she's getting nailed in the behind like, wear the hat. It was the 70s it was it was sad that connotation anymore.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:06
That's not the world we live in anymore. I it's just not there. But yes, that was a different time.
Ian Nelms 1:30:12
Yeah. Insanity you're just like what it's like a scene out of a movie you wouldn't believe you know, you're like that didn't happen.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:20
So guys and when this Fatman out is it out already.
Eshom Nelms 1:30:23
So now it's it's dropped. It's on the it's on the demand services right now.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:27
I suggest everybody go out and rent or buy Fatman and watch it because you will get a chuckle. It is. It is definitely want to watch. Guys, I really appreciate you being on the show. It has been a ball talking to you guys. It's it's lovely talking to a fellow directors of my same vintage so we can kind of geek out over the same archaic technology that we all use.
Eshom Nelms 1:30:51
Oh, man, the struggle was real.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:55
Guys, thanks again and much more success to you guys.
Ian Nelms 1:30:58
Thank you very much.
Eshom Nelms 1:30:59
Have a great one.
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- Eshom Nelms – IMDB
- Ian Nelms – IMDB
- The Nelms Brothers – Official Site
- WATCH: FATMAN
- Bulletproof Script Coverage – Get Your Screenplay Read by Hollywood Professionals
- Audible – Get a Free Filmmaking or Screenwriting Audiobook
- Rev.com – $1.25 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)