Top 15 Indie Filmmaking Podcasts (Oscar® and Emmy® Winners)

Indie Filmmaking Podcasts have been so important to me over the past few years. Indie Film Hustle entered into the podcast space in 2015 with the launch of its first original podcast series, The Indie Film Hustle Podcast.

The response to the podcast was so amazing that after a few short months the show became the #1 filmmaking podcast on Apple Podcasts & Spotify, and still maintain that honor. I’m truly humbled and thankful by the response.

The show is only as good as the indie filmmakers who listen to it. Thank you all for the support. I have put together the Top 15 Indie Filmmaking Podcasts from the IFH archives. This list will be updated every few months so keep checking back.

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1. Oliver Stone

Today on the show I bring you one of the most influential and iconic writer/directors in the history of cinema, three-time Oscar® winner Oliver Stone. Throughout his legendary career, Stone has served as writer, director, and producer on a variety of films, documentaries, and television movies. His films have been nominated for forty two Oscars® and have won twelve.

2. Joe Carnahan

It’s been a hell of a year so far. I’ve been blessed to have had the honor of speaking to some amazing filmmakers and man today’s guest is high on that list. On the show we have writer/director Joe Carnahan. Joe directed his first-feature length film Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane. which was screened at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, and won some acclaim.

3. Richard Linklater

We are joined by indie film icon and Oscar® nominated writer/director Richard Linklater. Richard was one of the filmmakers who helped to launch the independent film movement that we know today with his classic 1991 indie film Slacker. As a bonus, we will not only dive into the extraordinary career of Richard Linklater but also that of collaborator and longtime friend writer/director Katie Cokinos, the filmmaker behind the film I Dream Too Much. 

4. Edward Burns

Today’s guest is a writer, director, producer, actor, and indie filmmaking legend, Edward Burns. Many of you might have heard of the Sundance Film Festival-winning film called The Brothers McMullen, his iconic first film that tells the story of three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island who struggle to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity.

His Cinderella story of making the film, getting into Sundance, and launching his career is the stuff of legend. The Brothers McMullen was sold to Fox Searchlight and went on to make over $10 million at the box office on a $27,000 budget, making it one of the most successful indie films of the decade.

5. Jason Blum

I’m excited to talk to a fellow low-budget independent filmmaker today.

Granted, he does low-budget films on a completely different level than I or most people do at this point. But if we are going to talk about budget filmmaking, it is only fitting to have expert horror film and television producer, Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions.

That is a testament to his company’s high-quality production. Blumhouse is known for pioneering a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality micro-budget films and provocative television series. They have produced over 150 movies and television series with theatrical grosses amounting to over $4.8 billion.

6. Edward Zwick 

We have been on a major roll lately on the podcast and this episode keep that going in a big way. Our guest on the show today is Oscar® Winning writer, producer, and director Edward Zwick. Edward made his big shift from his childhood passion of theater to filmmaking after working as a PA for Woody Allen in France on the set of Love and Death.

7. John Sayles

John Sayles is one of America’s best known independent filmmakers, receiving critical acclaim for films including Eight Men Out (1988), Lone Star (1996) and Men with Guns (1997). He’s also written screenplays for mainstream films such as Passion Fish (1992), Limbo (1999), The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) and did a draft of Jurassic Park (1993) for Steven Spielberg.

8. Neill Blomkamp

Ever since I saw District 9 and learned of all the mythical stories behind the short film becoming a feature, I have been a massive fan of today’s guest, Neill Blomkamp. Though Neill is here today to talk about his new sci-fi horror fiction film, Demonic, we also chatted up about his other films that have been successful over the years.

9. David F. Sandberg

So many times we hear those mythical stories of a filmmaker who makes a short film and uploads it to Youtube in hopes of a big time film producer sees to and comes down from Mount Hollywood and offers him or her a deal to turn that short into a studio feature. Today’s guest had that happen to him and then some. On the show is writer/director David F. Sandberg.

David’s story is the “lottery ticket” moment I speak about so often on the show. His journey in Hollywood is remarkable, inspiring and scary all at the same time.  He created a short film called Lights Out. That short was seen by famed filmmaker and producer James Wan (Furious 7, Aquaman, The Conjuring) who offered to produce a feature film version at New Line Cinema.

10. Albert Hughes

I can’t be more excited about the conversation I’m about to share with you. Today on the show we have filmmaker and indie film legend Albert Hughes. Albert, along with his brother Allen began making movies at age 12, but their formal film education began their freshman year of high school when Allen took a TV production class. They soon made the short film The Drive-By and people began to take notice.

After high school Albert began taking classes at LACC Film School: two shorts established the twins’ reputation as innovative filmmakers. Albert and his brother then began directing music videos for a little known rapper named Tupac Shakur. 

These videos lead to directing their breakout hit Menace II Society (1993), which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and grossed nearly 10 times as much as its $3 million budget.

11. Taylor Hackford

Sitting down with one of the big names in this business this week was a really cool opportunity. I am honored to have on the show today, Oscar® winning director, producer, and screenwriter, Taylor Hackford.

Taylor’s has directed films like An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), White Nights (1985), Proof of Life (2000), Dolores Claiborne (1995), Against All Odds (1984), Parker (2013), the iconic Ray Charles biopic, Ray of 2004, and The Comedian (2016) just to name a few. He also has served as president of the Directors Guild of America and is married to the incomparable acting legend Helen Mirren.

12. Troy Duffy

I’m always looking for success stories in the film business to study and analyze. Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullan) Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi), Kevin Smith (Clerks), and Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) come to mind. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the cult indie film classic The Boondock Saints but many of you might not know the crazy story of its writer and director Troy Duffy.

Well, prepare to get your mind BLOWN. I had an EXCLUSIVE discussion with Troy this week, and let’s say, he did not hold back. Nothing was off-limits – from his instant rise to fame to the brutal fate he met – getting blacklisted, all of it. He wanted to set the record straight because there is always another side to the story, and what better side to hear than that of the man who lived this brutal Hollywood adventure?

13. Barry Sonnenfeld

I can’t tell you how excited I am for today’s episode. I had the pleasure to speak to the legendary director Barry Sonnenfeld. We discuss his idiosyncratic upbringing in New York City, his breaking into film as a cinematographer with the Coen brothers, and his unexpected career as the director behind such huge film franchises as The Addams Family and Men in Black, and beloved work like Get Shorty, Pushing Daises, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

We also chat about the time he shot nine porno films in nine days. That story alone is worth the price of admission.

14. Alex Proyas

I can’t be more excited to bring you this episode. On today’s show, we have the legendary writer/director Alex Proyas, the filmmaker behind The Crow, Dark City, The Knowing, Gods of Egypt, and I, Robot.

Alex Proyas had a huge influence on my filmmaking life. The Crow was one of those films I watch a thousand times, in the theater, when I was in film school. He began his filmmaking career working in music videos with the likes of Sting, INXS, and Fleetwood Mac before getting the opportunity to direct The Crow.

15. Sean Baker

Sean Baker is a writer, director, producer and editor who has made seven independent feature films over the course of the past two decades. His most recent film was the award-winning The Florida Project (2017) which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was released by A24 in the U.S. Among the many accolades the film received — including an Oscar nomination for Willem Dafoe for Best Supporting Actor — Sean was named Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle.

His previous film Tangerine (2015) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won an Independent Spirit and two Gotham Awards. Starlet (2012) was the winner of the Robert Altman Independent Spirit Award and his previous two features, Take Out (2004) and Prince of Broadway (2008), were both nominated for the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award.

Bonus: Eric Roth

This week, I sat down with one of the most legendary and successful screenwriters/producers in Hollywood, Oscar® Winner Eric Roth. Over a 50+ years career, he’s well-known for writing or producing films like Forrest Gump, A Star is Born, Mank, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Munich, Ali, and the list goes on.

Bonus: David Chase

The legacy of the crime drama television series, The Sopranos remains a defining art of storytelling for mob TV shows. We have the genius behind this hit TV series, David Chase as our guest today.

As expected, Chase is a twenty-five-time Emmy Awards-winner, seven times Golden Globes winner, and highly acclaimed producer, writer, and director. His forty-year career in Hollywood has contributed immensely to the experience of quality TV.

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of Chase, let’s do a brief of the HBO 1999 hit show, The Sopranos: Produced by HBO, Chase Films, and Brad Grey Television, the story ran for six seasons, revolving around Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, a New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his family life with his role as the leader of a criminal organization.

Bonus: Billy Crystal 

There are performers that impact your life without you even knowing it and today’s guest fits that bill. On the show, we have comedic genius, multi-award-winning actor, writer, producer, director, and television host, Billy Crystal. We’ve seen Billy’s versatile work across all areas in the entertainment world, stand-up, improv, Broadway, behind and in front of the camera, feature films, television, live stages like SNL, and animated movies.


IFH 321: How to Prove Your Doubters Wrong

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In this episode, we discuss proving your doubters wrong. Proving to yourself that if you have a dream and you have some hustle then damn it you can do it. Why are people so scared of your success? We get into it. Enjoy!

Alex Ferrari 1:37
In today's episode, guys, I want to ask you how many times someone has told you you can't do something? How many times has a family member, a friend, a co worker, a stranger? A teacher tell you, you're not going to achieve that dream? You're not going to amount to anything in this life? How many times has that happened to you in your life? Now before you answer the question, a better question to answer first is, how many times have you believed it? How many times have you let that thought? consume your mind your thoughts, your actions? And worst of all your mindset? Because I'll tell you something, I've been told many times that Oh god, you're gonna be in the film business. How can you make a living doing that? That sounds crazy. Or even people who are in the film business go, Wait a minute, you're freelance, oh, my God, you don't have a steady paycheck? Aren't you scared? Or were like, what are you going to do? I don't think you're going to be able to make it Oh, my God, all of this kind of crap. I've heard all my life by small minded, very fearful, very scared little people. When someone says that to you, they're just saying that about themselves. It has nothing to do with you. They're so afraid of you possibly succeeding that makes them look bad. That hurts their little egos. So that's why they say things like that to you guys. That's why they say things like that to me. You know, many people said, What are you going to do? Oh, I'm launching a podcast, I'm going to open up a blog. And I'm going to try to help filmmakers. And even today, when I tell people what I do, I can even see it in their face, because they just don't understand. There's it's like, how do you make a living? Like how do you? How do you do things? Like how can you do that? Like it's baffling to them? To see what I've been able to do in my own life in my own career. Oh, and the best is when you tell them, oh, I made a movie for three grand or I made a movie for five grand. And it's world premiering over at the Chinese Theater this weekend. And they're like what, and that goes into what we talked about before haterade, an episode 319. But we won't get into that we talked enough about haterade about hating on people being bitter and angry. But I wanted to address this because I feel that there's so many tribe members out there who've been told again and again, that they can't do it. That it's too tough. That you don't live in Hollywood, you live in Ohio or you live in Bali or you live in in Mumbai or you live in the Sudan and you just are not able to make a living as a filmmaker or as a screenwriter or as a creative Because all artists are broke, right? There are a whole a whole episode about on that. And if you want to listen to real artists, real filmmakers don't starve. That episode I'm going to put in the show notes. Because it's such a good episode about the myth about the artists who's always starving and you can't make a living and all that stuff. It's crap. It's absolute crap. So understand, when people degrade your dream, tell you you can't do it. Oh, it's either them, projecting their own failures on you, or their inability to believe past their own mindset that anyone else could do something. Do you think that Robert Rodriguez, when he made El Mariachi was telling a whole lot of people that he was going to make a an action feature film for $7,000 back in 1989 9090, that he had to sell his body to science to raise the money that he was a lab rat in order to save the get the money to make his movie? That's insanity, right? Do you think that a young 17 year old director who becomes basically a mercenary and starts ghost writing short films and selling them on blogs to raise money to make his short film? Is that is that possible? That's Jonathan Perry, by the way, Episode 313. If I'm not mistaken, that hid that's his story. People would have told all these people, you can't do that. That's insane. How many people told James Cameron when he was about to make Terminator that you can't make a sci fi action movie? on a on a what I think it was a four or $5 million budget back in 1982. He was basically trying to make a studio movie at that budget range, I think it was even less than that. A sci fi action movie no less. Or that he's gonna make a movie about a bunch of blue people with technology that no one's ever heard of how many people said he'll never be able to make anything happen? How many guys understand that every artist, every filmmaker, every screenwriter, every every creative out there has always had someone waving their finger at them, saying, You're not going to make it. You're not going to get their kid. Your dream is too big. You're just that you don't have that you don't have the goods. You know, and I'm here to tell you this. I want you to prove them wrong. I want you to work so hard. and educate yourself so much and hustle. like no one's ever hustled before, to prove them wrong. Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players to ever play, the game was cut from his high school JV basketball team. Michael Jordan did. And what did he do? That was basically someone telling them, you're not gonna make a kid. So basically what they said, the coach said by not having him on the team, that you're not good enough to make it. So what did he do? He went all summer, and hustled and practice and trained and educated himself so much, that by the next year, when he came back, not only do they make the JV team, he made the senior varsity team. And the rest is they say is history. Everyone gets people saying you can't make it. It's only the ones that believe that that don't. Do you believe it? Do you believe that you're not capable of getting to where you want to be? Do you believe that your dreams are not achievable? Do you believe that you were put on this earth to have this yearning inside of you that will never be quenched? Seriously, do you believe that? Do you truly believe the universe is that? Do you truly believe that the universe is here to punish you and constantly berate you about this dream that you have? Well, if you do then you're right. But if you don't guess what, you're right as well. I don't believe the universe is out to get me. I believe the universe is here to help me. I believe that whatever I want to do in life will be achieved. Maybe not overnight. But one day if I keep Working hard and keep pushing and keep hustling, and keep educating myself. I will achieve whatever I want to achieve. Period. I always love that movie Rudy, which is a great movie about a student who wanted to be on the Notre Dame football team, the college football team. But he had no talent. He had no height, he had no strength, he had no size. He was not a football player. But his dream was to be on that field and play as an order Dame football player. And he did everything he was obsessed for years, to finally he got his shot, he worked so hard that he finally was able to get his opportunity. And he had two plays, just two plays, as in Notre Dame football player. And after his second play, the team carried him off the field. It's the only time in history that any player had been carried off the field. I want you to understand that dreams are wonderful. They're great. They're that fuel that is inside your soul that makes you get up in the morning and do things and move forward and, and have those that mission in life. I got to tell you, though, dreams do change. They shift they morph as you go on life. The dreams I had as a 19 year old or 20 year old film student. It's very different than the dreams I have now. As a almost 45 year old filmmaker. Are they similar? Yeah, I still want to make movies, I still want to make a living making movies. I still want to make the movies that are important to me that will help impact people's lives entertain people in one way, shape, or form. But they're very different than the dreams I started out with. Very, very, very different. So understand that. Things can change. Things can move around. other opportunities. Other things that you will discover along your path might make you happier. Other dreams might come in into your world, other things might want it like you might start off being wanting to be a screenwriter and you write and you write and you write and you write and all of a sudden you realize that I want to write a novel. And all of a sudden you discover that you love writing novels. And it's something you can do and all of a sudden doors are swinging open for you to be a novel writer. Where the screenwriting world the doors were closed, for some reason, at this point, and you go make off a novel and you write a novel and guess what that novel gets optioned in a studio to make a movie and guess what they're gonna call, they're gonna call you because you have a handle the screenwriting knowledge that I've been building up all these years, I want to write the screenplay of this. It happens, guys, but I want you from the bottom of my heart to prove all of those naysayers wrong. prove them all wrong. And the only way you're going to be able to do that is by work by hustle, the termination. educating yourself every single day, moving an inch forward every single day being willing to do things that others are not willing to do. That is what's going to make you succeed. I'll get I'll bring back Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan wins the one of his many championships. And guess what he's doing right after the championship? Once the stadium empties, and everyone's calm, and people are still partying, in the locker room, he's out on the court, practicing the shots that he missed. That's a true story, guys. He's doing things that others are willing to do. Are you willing to read two or three books a week? Are you willing to dedicate two hours three hours extra a day, to educating yourself on the filmmaking craft on the process on practicing filmmaking and practicing editing on learning a new skill that you could put in a toolbox a new tool to put in that toolbox? Are you willing to do it? Because that's what's going to help you prove them wrong. The power of you making your dream come true lives in your hands, not in anyone else's hands. I don't want to hear that. Oh, I'm not making I'm not getting the opportunities that I want. I'm not doing this. Make your own opportunities. That's what I did. I wasn't invited to the party, I wasn't invited to the big Hollywood party. I snuck in a couple times in the course of my career, but I wasn't invited. And you know what? I started to make my own party, I started to make my own path. It's not easy blazing your own path. But you know what, nobody else here has a lot less competition over here. It's great. And I'm happy. And I want that for you guys. So prove them wrong. So anytime you're feeling a little low, listen to this podcast. Hopefully it will light a fire in your butt to move forward and prove them wrong. Hope this episode helps you guys out. I really wanted to bring a little bit of positivity, and not just beat you up like I've been doing with all these tough love episodes, I wanted to give you an episode that really can help really set that fire in your belly, a flame. I want to turn that spark into an inferno. Because I truly, truly want you guys to succeed in whatever you're trying to do. Again, I might have some books for you to listen to in the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/320 to help you along your journey. If you haven't already, please head over to filmmakingpodcast.com and leave a good review for the podcast. It truly truly helps us out a lot. And I have a couple things I'm working on in the indie film hustle lab. I'm cooking up some insane things for you. And you guys know when I say there's some stuff coming. You best believe that there's some stuff coming. So keep an eye out for that guys. And again, I hope that this episode really lit a fire in your stomach in your belly to prove them all wrong. And not to believe any of that crap. Because when you believe it, that's when it stops you when you don't believe in that kind of negative energy and that negative thoughts. That's when magic happens in your life. As always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. prove them wrong. And I'll talk to you soon.



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IFH 313: Why You Are Failing Your Filmmaking Dream

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WARNING: Listening to this episode might shake up your life. 

Seriously, on today’s episode, I get RAW and REAL with the tribe. This is by far one of the most impactful episodes I’ve ever recorded. Truth bombs will be dropped. Hearts may be broken. The purpose of this episode is to force you to confront some real and raw truths about your filmmaking journey. My hope is to help you not turn your filmmaking dreams into filmmaking nightmares.

Watch this video for some inspiration before you listen to the episode.

These are questions that I have asked myself on multiple occasions. These questions have helped me refine and sharpen my filmmaking dream. I hope it does the same for you. Prepare yourself. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. = )

Alex Ferrari 2:33
Now guys, today is going to be a rough episode for many of you. This episode is going to be a mega truth bomb for many of you. And I wanted to put this together because I've kind of been you know me, I've been analyzing I've been studying and kind of just going deeper and deeper and deeper, not only within myself, but also in many of the filmmakers I work with. And I see patterns and I wanted to kind of bring it up in this episode. So the first thing I'm noticing and I think everybody listening will understand is all filmmakers want to have success in their career. Whether that is making big budget studio films, or personal little indie films. We all want some sort of success in our film. We all want to be able to make a living doing what we love to do. We all want to have respect from the film industry from our peers. We all want to pick up that phone pitch an idea and get financing with complete creative control on that film or project you are pitching. Most filmmakers want fans who love their work. They want mega fans of their films. They want conventions to be created around their films. And the fans celebrate their films. Many filmmakers want that many filmmakers want to win Sundance Cannes, Toronto or even the ultimate filmmaking prize. And Oscar. filmmakers love that it's easy to love that it's easy to want that and to live in that. If you ask filmmakers or screenwriters, what they want out of their career, most of them will say something like I just said, but I hate to tell you, but that means nothing. The better question you need to ask yourself is, what pain Do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Knowing that answer will have a much greater impact on your life and career than you'll ever know. I know a lot of you are going Alex, what are you talking about? What pain Do you want in life? Let me explain. Every one wants to be a great filmmaker or a great screenwriter. But not everyone is willing to suffer through the 1000s of hours it takes to learn their craft. Not everybody wants to write 10 or 20 screenplays. Before they sell a produced the next one, not every filmmaker wants to hustle on us on a set as a PA and wake up at three o'clock in the morning, to get there before everybody else does to make coffee, to learn to, to pay their dues to learn from other people watching them on the set to watch other masters, you know, master their craft in front of you to learn from them. They don't want to go through those hours, they don't want to go through that pain that struggle. Not everyone wants to make 30 short films that no one will ever see that teach themselves the craft of filmmaking. This is exactly what Robert Rodriguez said before he did El Mariachi, not everybody wants to put in the time, gather some friends and actors to come together to make a film with little or no budget, and have to deal with egos and personality and production problems and then trying to get the movie shown to people in Film Festival submissions and rejections and then trying to find a distributor to get the money back that you that you pulled together some magical way to get that going. Not everybody wants to do that. filmmakers and screenwriters want to be successful, but many without taking any risk. Without the sacrifice, without putting in the time it takes to be a success in their field. All screen martyrs won a million dollar sale from one of their screenplays. But not many of them are willing to take the rejection after rejection from agents and the business and producers. All filmmakers want to make a living, doing what they love to do, but don't want to deal with learning how to raise money, or marketing or distributing their films, or how to build a base or any of that stuff. Happiness requires struggle. how good you are at handling those negative experiences will determine a lot. Our life is not determined by the good experiences we have. That's super easy. We all love good experiences. We all want positive experiences in our life. It's easy to deal with that. It's easy to get up there and get the award at that Film Festival. What's not easy is making that movie, going through all the negative experiences that you have to go through to get there. Our lives and careers are determined on how well we handle negative experiences. The rejections, the naysayers, your parents or spouse that don't believe in you, your friends that think you're crazy, that agent that will return your call that film that doesn't get into Sundance, it is your ability to handle those negative experiences that will take you to the positive ones. We all want to have an amazing body. But not many are willing to wake up early every day and hit the gym five to six times a week, change all their eating habits and make better choices in their lives. We all want that amazing body. We all want the six pack. Not everybody's willing to put in the work. We all want to be the rock. We all want to be making millions upon millions of dollars and have millions of fans adored and following you not saying all of us but many of us want something like that. But man did he put in the work man did he put in the hustle for decades for time and years. That is the difference between people who make their dreams come true. And those who just sit around fantasizing about their dreams. I don't know about you, but I could sit for hours dreaming, fantasizing about my filmmaking dreams about my screenwriting dreams about being up there and getting the award How many of you listening have made an Oscar speech into the mirror? I know Don't laugh. Don't laugh. I know a few of you have. Because we all have in one point or another. How many of you have fantasize about selling that million dollar script or getting that phone call getting that check and showing it to your wife or your husband? showing it to your family to go Hey, look, I did it. All those naysayers, all those? All that negative crap you threw at me here? shove it up your butt. I made it. How many of you fantasize about that? Well, that's easy. It's wonderful to be in that world, isn't it? It's wonderful to think about the amazing spouse that you'll get with, that's perfect for you. But you're not maybe not willing to do everything it takes to attract that perfect spouse into your life. What's hard, is getting up and doing something every day to get you closer to that dream, regardless of the outcome. Regardless, if you succeed, or if you fail, as long as you learn and move forward. That's all that matters. Are you willing to fail? Are you willing to take the risks needed to succeed in your career or in your life? Will you be that bitter filmmaker or sorry Ryder just making excuses why they never made it. Will you be those guys those filmmakers who blame everybody, everybody else for why they didn't make it? Why didn't he get that chance to make it? Or will you make the decision right now, to change, to change your habits, to make a commitment to learn something new every day. The faster you learn, the faster you earn. Say that again. The faster you learn, the faster you earn. You will earn more in your life, you will earn more in your career, the faster you're able to learn something, to put it in your toolbox to build new tools to grab new tools and put them in those toolboxes. Are you willing right now to get up early and work out? Are you willing to get into the best physical shape of your life to meditate every day? So you can be more centered and creative? The question is, what are you willing to do to make your dream come true? What pain Do you want in your life? What struggle Are you willing to endure to reach the mountaintop that you want to reach? getting good at dealing with negative experiences, is getting good with dealing with life, not just this business. But life. If you want to be a rock star, you can't just want to be up on the stage and getting all those fans and all those yells and cheers and applause. You got to want the hours of pain, learning the guitar, let's say the countless late nights of playing and dive bars, dealing with other people's egos, bandmates egos and attitudes and dealing with the never ending rejections of the music business. You got to want that you've got to be able to endure that. Because that's what's gonna get you to that stage. That's what's going to get you to the applause and to whatever other reasons you want to be up on that stage. If you find yourself wanting to be a screenwriter, or filmmaker, month after month, year after year, but nothing is happening, then maybe you actually don't want it. Maybe you just actually want the fantasy. Maybe you don't want what you want. Maybe you just enjoy wanting the dream. Living in that fantasy, that ever intoxicating fantasy. I promise you that this filmmaking dream, this screenwriting dream will not be pain free. It won't be all unicorns and rainbows. Wanting success is easy. We all want some sort of success in our lives. The question is, what pain Do you want in your life? What is the pain that you are willing to sustain? If you can answer that, then you are on the path to making your dream come true. Are you in love with the result of the dream? And that actually the process of getting there? Be honest with yourself? Because if you don't answer this question soon, and honestly, tomorrow, you will wake up and you will be 70 bitter, angry at the world for not giving you your dream. Don't be that person. If you're not in love with the process of screenwriting or filmmaking, then you will fail at it. You need to love the journey, not the destination. It's like having a dream of getting to the top of Mount Everest. But discovering that you really don't like the climb a whole hell of a lot. You want the reward, but not the struggle, not the process of getting there. This career, this life does not work that way. Your success is defined by what you're willing to struggle for. screenwriters who write and write and have 20 to 30 screenplays in their desk drawer finished are the ones who get an agent who make that sale. filmmakers who direct short after short, or micro budget film after micro budget film and learn along the way, are the ones who build a career. The ones who embrace the craziness and uncertainty of the film business are the ones who make it. Our struggles, determine our successes. Choose your struggles, choose the pain you want to endure wisely. I've been enduring pain for 20 odd years in this business and sometimes buckled me to my knees to the point where I couldn't get up that I might have left the business for a little bit. But at the end, I kept going. Just like rocky says, if I may quote the famous Rocky Balboa, it's about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward. That is what life is. That is what this business is. We are all writing a book of our lives. Each day, each experience and decision is another entry in that book. When your last chapter is written, what will it say about your decisions, your dreams, and your life? I hope that lit a fire under your butts today, guys, I think this is a good episode to listen to. And listen to often, it will hopefully fire you up, it will hopefully guide you and give you that motivation to keep moving forward day in, day out. I want you to make me a promise that you're going to ask these questions to yourself, and be honest with yourself. Because I've seen so many filmmakers waste their lives. Because they didn't answer the question. What pain Do you want in your life? What struggle Are you willing to endure to get to your dream? What risks what calculated risks are you willing to take to get to your dream? What uncertainty Are you willing to put up with? To make it in this business? You have to answer these questions, honestly. Because if you don't, like I said before, you're gonna wake up tomorrow, and you're going to be 70 bitter and angry at everyone. Don't be that guy. Don't be that girl. All right. Thank you for listening. I hope this episode is of service to you and also promised me something else. If you liked this episode, please share it with somebody you know who needs to hear it. I need to get this out there. I want this to help as many filmmakers, screenwriters or anybody in this world that I can help. So if you know somebody who needs to hear this truth, then please share this episode, share the YouTube video, share the link, which is indiefilmhustle.com/313. Share it to anybody in our new book, everybody that you know that needs it. I appreciate you guys. I appreciate everything you do for me on a daily basis. I appreciate all the emails and messages and goodwill that you send me. And I hope I'm returning that to you guys with the work that I'm doing on a daily basis. Thank you guys again. So so so much. And as always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.




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IFH 206: Crossover Episode with the Just Shoot It Podcast

Right-click here to download the MP3

I thought it would be fun to do a crossover episode with filmmaking podcast Just Shoot It with hosts Oren Kaplan and Matt Enlow. I was invited down to their studios to record a “recorded live” episode and we had a ball.

The conversation was energetic and turn heated in a few places. We talked about directing, USC Film School Grads, the state of indie films, the wonderful world of digital series and much more. It’s a great listen. Enjoy my conversation with Oren Kaplan and Matt Enlow of the Just Shoot It Podcast.

Alex Ferrari 0:08
So today guys, we have a special episode, we have a crossover episode with the podcast just shoot it, which is hosted by Matt Enlow and Oren Kaplan. And these guys, they have a pretty cool podcast. And they talk a lot about filmmaking and talk to filmmakers and things like that. And they come from the perspective of the director because they're both professional directors working in Hollywood today. And it's it was really interesting, we had a very energetic and sometimes heated discussion in regards to the state of the film business. And from our both perspectives, and I thought it was really great, very informative, and a lot of fun to listen to. We thought that we would share our audiences, our tribes together and kind of introduce each other to each other's audiences, and I thought it'd be a lot of fun. So without any further ado, enjoy my conversation with Matt Enlow and Oren Kaplan from just shoot it.

Matt Enlow 2:17
Okay, so we're here with Alex Ferrari.

Alex Ferrari 2:20
What's up guys?

Matt Enlow 2:21
How's it going, man?

Alex Ferrari 2:22
Good, man. Good.

Matt Enlow 2:23
Thanks for reaching out to us and saying, Let's, let's chat.

Alex Ferrari 2:27
Absolutely, man, I'm a fan of the show. And you know, the filmmakers, there's a few of us doing these podcasts. So I think it's time for us to kind of join forces and help each other out as much as we can cuz it's a small community is and if we can share more information with everybody, the better.

Matt Enlow 2:40
Well, when you consider the community like when you say the community every time at directors?

Alex Ferrari 2:45
No filmmakers in general, my community is made up from everybody from the person who just wants to make thinking about making movie all the way to the high end professional that might need help with distribution. And they've never self distributed a movie or knife and gone down the distribution line. So I get everybody screenwriters, filmmakers, directors, you know, cinematographers. Every every discipline, listens to me.

Matt Enlow 3:10
And you folk, you do all types of filmmaking commercials, corporate videos, feature films, everything, mostly,

Alex Ferrari 3:16
I mostly focus on independent film. I have had commercial stuff, since I'm a commercial director, and I'm a music video director. I've had episodes that go around that that stuff, but I've mostly I'm gonna say 95% focus on independent filmmaking and being able to make an independent film or series now because series or streaming series are such a big thing now. And so many more filmmakers are going towards that world as opposed to film because it's much harder to make a film in many ways than it is to make.

Oren Kaplan 3:44
Isn't it funny how it worked out that way?

Alex Ferrari 3:46
Isn't it?

Matt Enlow 3:50
And is it? Like you're saying a streaming series? Is there any difference between a streaming series and like a network series?

Alex Ferrari 3:58
Yeah, a lot of different money. budget is the first big difference. But a lot of times when you're doing a streaming series,

Matt Enlow 4:05
Or I mean like a series on HBO versus FX versus Netflix versus Hulu, isn't it at the end of the day, kind of all the same?

Alex Ferrari 4:12
Budget, budget a much bigger budget HBO has a much bigger budget than Netflix depending on what kind of show it is and who's in that show. You know, Hulu has a much different budgets, generally speaking than Netflix does, but again, or HBO, HBO? You know, what is it Game of Thrones cost an episode

Matt Enlow 4:30
Sure. Right. But what is going to Curb Your Enthusiasm cost?

Alex Ferrari 4:33
Yeah, exactly.

Matt Enlow 4:34
What does a stranger things cost?

Alex Ferrari 4:36
Exactly. So it but when I say streaming, I'm also saying independent fee and penance series that are streaming. So there's a lot of filmmakers who are going out and raising 100 Grand 200 grand what we used to call a web series maybe right? Yes, that's a dirty word. You can call it away man. Anyone out when I was making a beard, right? It's weird, right? It is. It's super weird because you know, I always anytime someone says I want to make a web series. I'm like First thing you got to stop calling it a web series and call it a streaming series in the real world. It's a marketing perception thing. You say a web series, they think YouTube. They say I say digital digital series works fine as well streaming or digital series was much better than web series.

Matt Enlow 5:14
Yeah, when I worked at Disney and direct and web series, but now when I tell people what I did there, I said and directed a digital, like a digital show, episodic, digital episodic show.

Oren Kaplan 5:25
You just call it a show at this point, right?

Matt Enlow 5:27
Yeah. on IMDb they put TV show.

Alex Ferrari 5:30
Yeah, it's always there because they haven't caught on yet to watch it. And thank God, they haven't because it makes you look bigger when

Matt Enlow 5:37
Wow. It kind of has the opposite effect. Sometimes I'll see someone and they'll have like a TV credit on IMDB. I'm like, Oh, yeah, right. And then it turns out, it's like a real TV show.

Alex Ferrari 5:47
But there's just so much content out there. You can't even keep track of it. I'm sure. When we were when we were coming up. I mean, you know, we can watch everything. We literally could watch every movie that came out that week at the video store. Or every series. I'm like, you could really but now there's what I think 500 scripted series. Yeah, I think that's the number. That's the number I think, four 450 500. That's insane. Like, I know shows, yeah, they have massive audiences that I've never seen an episode of.

Oren Kaplan 6:14
Sure. I think it's more interesting when those audiences are very small, right? Like, but still have the same sort of budget, not even passion. I'm talking about like, I'm talking about that we're in a bubble, right? And that like scripted, episodic series of eventually, sooner than later probably are going to start going away. And that number 500 is going to be less and less.

Alex Ferrari 6:37
I would agree with you.

Matt Enlow 6:38
But even like a madman that won every award like nobody wants it outside of LA, right.

Oren Kaplan 6:43
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I don't know the actual numbers on Mad Men, but like,

Alex Ferrari 6:46
It was like three, I saw The number Actually, I did just see an article with the numbers. And it was it was like three, I think it never hit more than three, 4 million. Oh, no, I'm sure it's less than that. even less than that. Probably 1.8 or something like that. Yeah,

Oren Kaplan 6:58
I remember, I can't remember the exact numbers but realizing like oh, more people watch College Humor sketches that I shoot then watch the newest episode of girls. Like I'd be disappointed with the performance of like a funny internet sketch comedy video relative to plenty of premium xyc guys t Emmy Award winning TV.

Matt Enlow 7:20
When I was working on the quiznos campaign, we were doing all these parodies. And I pitched them they had this like lobster sandwich. And I was just gonna do like a video called lobsters, which is like a, like a girl's parody. Sure. And cuisine is based in Denver. None of them had ever seen girls. And they're like, we don't know what that show is or like, why anyone would care about it. I was like, What are you Tom? its biggest show all the teens are talking about it? No, no, like, no. Just you.

Alex Ferrari 7:45
But I mean, you look at YouTube. I mean, you get these YouTubers that are, you know, they put out an episode of them just sitting there talking and they get 2 3 million downloads. So that's more than most television shows, you know,

Oren Kaplan 7:56
I mean, and like millions of people are listening to this show as we speak, right?

Alex Ferrari 8:00
If not billions, if not billions. But it's true, though. And the barrier to entry has gotten so affordable. That I mean, YouTube is a perfect example, these guys who are who have 567 8 million followers, and they just put out these little videos that for their audience works beautifully with, you know, either sometimes a little production value, or it's just them talking or whatever it is. But it's content, you know, and like I said before, on another show an hour of content, if I'm watching an hour of something, it doesn't cost It doesn't matter if it cost $100 million dollars or $100. Still an hour. And that's you know, that's and that's where before you couldn't make an hour of content for $100. Right, you know what I mean?

Oren Kaplan 8:45
Yeah, I mean, I think it's interesting because we lump all pre recorded linear video content together, right? But like the difference between, say the video of us all, like shooting the shit around the table, versus a vlog that's maybe a little bit more produced versus Conan or feature. Yeah, like doing a monologue or interacting with your community or your fan base versus scripted. It all gets lumped together. And it's always been so strange and so fascinating to me. And I feel like I've seen a lot of articles recently that are like about the nature of premium advertisers getting upset with advertising against less than premium content, and that there's kind of a course correction there going back to more traditional avenues of like broadcast and cable, even though YouTube ad spends are like through the roof right now. Yep. So we'll see. Well, nowadays,

Matt Enlow 9:44
definitely, when I'm doing like commercial stuff, if it's gonna be like a YouTube pre roll, and it is literally playing at the same place that the Geico and you know, Little Caesars in the State Farm commercials are playing. So I kind of feel like even though it's not a broadcast ad, it's basically well being Might as well be it's gonna be a minor 32nd ad,

Alex Ferrari 10:03
you'll get more eyes than network ad in many, many, many ways. Yeah, just won't get the cat. Yeah. It's not the same. Exactly.

Matt Enlow 10:13
Well, let's just to back up a little. So you have a podcast? Yes. And you film hustling you have a website, you have the soul basically, kind of like an educational film education community that you've built over the past couple years. And you're also a director, and is, so when you set out to create this, you know, kind of like indie film, hustle. Was there any connection to your directing? Like, aside from your experience? Like Did you do it to try to get more jobs?

Alex Ferrari 10:39
Not I mean, I mean, who in their right mind would start a podcast or blog to get more directing work? Like that's just craziness? Funny story? No, and it did happen for me as well. But you don't go into it writing corn that you're going to like that was the last year

Oren Kaplan 10:55
that's a bad plan to go start a podcast in order to do

Matt Enlow 10:58
well? Well, I mean, I guess that's what I think I'm asking what I think is worth discussing is like, there's people, there's filmmakers, we have listeners, you have listeners that want to move to LA and make movies or TV shows or commercials or whatever. And they're writing and they're pitching and they're doing all this stuff, but they're not that busy. Like what are these? What are the other things they can be doing to kind of generate a network and a community and like, basically, opportunities for work? Like for us? This is one of those things like, is that kind of part of what drives you for indie film, hustle?

Alex Ferrari 11:33
No, what drives? I mean, look, there, I wouldn't be lying to you, if I didn't say insane amount of opportunities have opened up, I've got you know, I landed, you know, a $10 million Hulu job, you know, doing all the post production for it purely because of my podcast. Like, you know, the producer listened to the podcast and said, Hey, I need some help with post. I'm like, Okay, great. And let's and then all of a sudden, I got the job. And you were post super. I was on that one. I was a I was the online editor, color grader and I did all the deliverables for the Hulu show. And handled all the visual effects like placing it on the Nintendo Switch. Oh, yeah, it was dimension 4040 cool throughout the jump for any level you are Yeah, rocking jumps. Yeah, rocket jump. Yeah. To work with rocket jump, which was an education in itself. What are those guys? And yeah, Matt went to college with all those guys. Did you? Well,

Oren Kaplan 12:22
I'm a little bit older than those students. Really like my roommates little brother

Matt Enlow 12:29
In a school tear that

Oren Kaplan 12:32
three or four years, there was a little bit overlap anyway.

Alex Ferrari 12:35
But yeah, dad's and Freddie and Matt, those guys were awesome to work with. And, you know, I picked their brain about how they built their community. And I did a whole I think, a two hour podcast with Dez. Just about how they built, you know, this massive community. But yeah, and then I landed a show they did a digital a digital series for Legendary Pictures recently. And that was, again because of the show. So those doors open up a lot. But it was not my, my focus. I didn't open up, you know, didn't start a podcast and start up in the film hustle to go. This is going to get me directing work. Because on paper, that sounds ridiculous. Sure.

Oren Kaplan 13:09
And it's more really that there's a great opportunity in meeting other filmmakers right now. That's just plain old networking, but also like you would do it for fun anyway.

Alex Ferrari 13:22
Right? I mean, I have access. In sure you guys do too you meet these directors or screenwriters, or producers or finance ears or whoever, that you would have never in a million years been able to sit down and talk to for an hour and a half, and make a connection of some sort with them. So the podcast is extremely powerful for that. But if other filmmakers want to try to get in on that game, it's gonna be tough because it it I mean, you know, you guys been doing this for two years, I've been doing it for two and a half years. This is a long game. This is not a short game. And you've got to love what you're doing. But But the main reason I even opened up in the film, hustle start is because I honestly wanted to help filmmakers, because I found there was so much misinformation out there. And there's not a lot of people that have actually walked the walk, who were talking,

Matt Enlow 14:06
and I'm putting you on the spot. Sure. Can you name five of these common misconceptions that you can send out to correct? They don't have to be the five biggest ones. Just five, five, I mean that you should your distribution plan should be Sundance, that is your distribution plan, that you're going to make a movie and I'm going to get into Sundance and win and then I'm going to get a million dollars and live in Hollywood Hills. That's like a Craigslist posting that's like, please come work on a Sundance submitted work.

Alex Ferrari 14:36
And short film.

Matt Enlow 14:38
I'm working on a project that's being submitted to Sundance, right? Yeah, there actually is not a project that is

Alex Ferrari 14:44
exactly so those kinds of things. Understanding marketing, understanding how to build an audience how to distribute your own film. Just how to put as many tools in your toolbox. You know, I'm a kind jack of all trades kind of filmmaker so I learned every aspect of the of the business because I needed to I was you know, I hate to say I came up from the street but you know, I started in a very small market in Miami. So you had to just to be able to live I've only been out here for 10 years and when I got out here It sounds funny to say that but that is about how long it takes to like kind of get it right it takes it takes a while to get going especially if you can now like 10 years ago was a lot easier than coming in today.

Oren Kaplan 15:29
I feel like Miami actually as a scene is really kind of like hopping right now. Like I feel like more and more I'm hearing about people shooting in Miami and

Matt Enlow 15:36
have you heard of moonlight ballers? not asking when? And now shooting in Atlanta wait does the show still take place in my you know, I

Alex Ferrari 15:52
think I don't know I haven't I haven't seen the nieces but they did leave. I think it's Louisiana or or Atlanta.

Oren Kaplan 15:58
I'm really behind on my ballers as well.

Alex Ferrari 16:00
I do. You know it's on my list. I really do want to watch ballers

Matt Enlow 16:03
first season is great. That's the second season is horrible. It's just like he's great. And like an entourage. They're just yeah. And there's like a breakout performance in there. I I would say look out for this guy. The Rock. No, you know, I forget Isaiah Washington everywhere. Yeah, no, what's his name? He's Denzel Washington. Son. He's Oh, what do you mean football players? Oh, my God, His name. But he's really he's quite good. Yeah, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 16:30
So I lost track what we were talking about. Oh, you're telling me your five things. Yeah. So those are the kinds of things that kind of set out to kind of show and, like, basic understanding is something called post production workflow. And understanding that concept, because I've seen so many filmmakers walk through my doors, who had no understanding about workflow. And they're like, Hey, I'm going to go shoot this, and I'm going to shoot it on five cameras. And I'm going to, I'm going to edit it on two different systems. And I'm going to do it at or download it, you know, on the side somewhere, and then, and then we use proxies. And we're gonna come back and reconnect the red files. And like all this kind of horror stories that costs filmmakers, 1000s and 1000s of dollars, or just stops the movie I know, I saw, remember, one movie was in the heart, the kids hard drive for like two years, because he could not afford to get and it was shot cable. And it was also shot on the red one. Back when red ones workflow was challenging to say the least. So they brought it to me, I'm like, I can do it for you. But I can't do this for free, this is gonna be a lot of work. And the poor kid was like waiting and waiting till they finally got the money to get his movie. So those are the kinds of things that I wanted to try to help because that's just simple conversation to help could have helped that that project all the way through this is how to prep a project. Just Just understanding basic workflow.

Matt Enlow 17:49
What's like, what do you see between filmmakers that make one movie and like the people that have sustainable? Yeah, well, making

Oren Kaplan 17:56
the difference? That's the thing that we think about all the time, the difference between a first time filmmaker getting one movie made and then never making another one again, which is a common Oh, all the time. All right, most. what's the what's the difference between that and the person who makes a living?

Matt Enlow 18:11
Yeah, like, Who? When you Yeah, I guess. And that's what we try to talk about our pilots, how can you make a living as a filmmaker, right? And not like, crowdfund this and do this and meet rich dentist, you know, like, not the like credit card and filmmaker, but the sustainable life filmmaker that can live forever? Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 18:31
have put food on the table for his family, and so on and so forth.

Matt Enlow 18:34
Yeah, I mean, and what mistakes like what are what misperception to people have about that, that you kind of talk about through indie film, hustle?

Alex Ferrari 18:41
Well, through any film, hustle, I talk? Honestly, with filmmakers, I know more filmmakers who don't do a second feature, then do a second feature. Because doing if you don't know how to do the first one, right? Meaning you overextend yourself, you become too ambitious, you spend too much money, you have no idea how to make money with it, you're not going to get an opportunity to make a second one, no one's gonna hire you. So that means that you're gonna have to do the credit card thing. And then you know, when you make a quarter of a million dollar movie, chances of you make a $10,000 movie are pretty nil. Unless you've started at the 10,000 worlds. So you started at the 250. And then just you're done. And then you're done at that point. What I see filmmakers, at least that that I've seen have made it is they're smart about it. I had a friend of mine who had a big hit with a really low budget film. What was the film I was called blackballed with my buddy Brandon. He's been on the show. And he, he made a movie. He's used to be the tape vault operator over at Comedy Central. And he did this like little movie on the weekends. I think his budget were like 30 grand or something like that. When it was all said and done. And he got some investors. It's like maybe partially improvised. It was mostly Yeah, it was mostly like, Yeah, because those guys were amazing. revisers so they kind of shot a bunch of stuff on like, the Canon XL or whatever it was back in the day. And he made that movie. And it went South by Southwest. And he got an agent and he went down that path. Then he got, if I'm not mistaken, he did one. I think he did another movie before this big they won't. But he made a big movie was a big movie being 1,000,002 million dollar movie. But it didn't do well, because it wasn't positioned properly and stuff. So what did he do? So after that, many filmmakers would have just been like, I'm done. He went out and did another found footage, horror movie, you know, by himself for like, no money. And he went out and sold it. And he went out and made money with it. And that put him back on the map. And then he then he's in now he's working on a much bigger budget film, and he's been able, and then he does commercials on the side, and does music videos, other things like that, that keep on going. But that's smart. You know, you don't give up and even after, you know, fair, you know, pretty much a fit, not a failure, but because it was a fun movie, but it just didn't make money. It was too It was too commercial for the Indian to end for the commercial. So he was in that really gray area. But he kind of built out his career doing this like thinking about what the next step is, and not putting all his eggs into one basket, which I think is a mistake a lot of filmmakers make, they're like, this is the thing that's going to blow me up. This is the big one that's going to get me the Oscar the Sundance or whatever that bs is where the filmmaker who makes a career out of it understands that this is a job. This is one project and I'm going to have multiple other projects and I don't put too much emphasis on the one. It's going to it has to be good. It has to be great. It has to get to the next level. Sure. But it's not the end all be all if it doesn't succeed, and you have to have other things at your one shot. It's not your one shot.

Matt Enlow 21:48
Look if it is there, is there kind of the other example like I guess there's one way to think about it. It's like, I want to be a filmmaker, I'm gonna make a movie and make the money back so I can make another movie and I can kind of keep making like I'll make the $10,000 feature then the 100, then the 250 then the million dollar, but then there's also the guy that's like the DP that shot like a bunch of movies learned how to make a movie and then went goes and makes blue ruin. And the next movie he makes is going to be like a $20 million studio film right. or green room, which was I think 1.50 no way it was 1.59 way 1.5 with it now. Yeah, yeah. scale, we should double check. But like it's not it's not a

Alex Ferrari 22:28
it's not a $20 million.

Oren Kaplan 22:29
It's definitely not a 20 they don't make 20 million. They rarely do anyone actually realized they The reason the only way to make a $20 million movie now is for it to be a female driven ensemble comedy. Like girls trip or girls trip rough night. Yeah, stuff like that. Moms Bad Moms too. I mean, and they're great. It's like so awesome. But it's so funny that that's like the new formula for a $20 million movie because they're gonna spend probably 50 marketing. Sure. Well, and, you know, probably 18 on cast.

Exactly. I think that's probably literally true. I've relied on it. Alright, so we're meet in the middle.

Matt Enlow 23:06
But but by 20 times the budget probably from Blue ruin. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 23:10
You look at you look at Matt isn't Matt Webb who did the spider man's artwork when Mark lab right. So Mark Webb,

Matt Enlow 23:16
but after a giant music video commercial. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 23:19
Mark is like, yeah, and then he did fine.

Matt Enlow 23:21
He's doing multimillion dollar music like commercial. Sure. Of course. Yeah. He's

Alex Ferrari 23:25
a big guy. But there are those weird scenarios where like, oh, the commercial director or the musical director or the guy who's in one feature gets a tentpole.

Matt Enlow 23:34
But what's the better strategy? Like, I guess, in my mind, it's funny, I, you know, my first movie, like all I wanted to do was get the investors paid back. That was like, my number one thing, and I didn't care if I had to, like, sure go out and like, have people pay me $10? Yeah, I was literally I literally, my basement is filled with hundreds of DVDs of my movie. He still hasn't given me one yet. Do you even own in DVD player? Yes, you probably had the word VHS. No, that's not true, everyone? Well, I think making as many movies as you can is always the best move, making as many things as you can, right? You always get better. But I think for my next movie, unless something happens, and I get a studio film, which probably won't happen, but for my next movie, or even TV series or short film, like To me it's more about kind of showing my point of view and hopefully proving that I have something interesting to say or like I'm an interesting filmmaker. Sure, then it is about making money. Oh, absolutely.

Alex Ferrari 24:34
But the thing is that your film has to make some sort of money in order to continue to make more art.

Matt Enlow 24:40
But do you think blue, maybe blue ruin made money? Yeah.

Oren Kaplan 24:43
You know, I think that maybe what we're kind of circling around is, is the fact that we had this dream. I want to get back to talking about dreams actually in a minute as well. Because I don't I think dream is kind of a dirty word to me. But The point is, is that we grew up thinking that a filmmaking career was one thing, right? And over experience and time, and also the industry shifting now it's something totally different, right? So tomorrow be something and do tomorrow do something different. But also like that idea of like striking it rich and moving to the hills. It doesn't really exist for anyone anymore.

Alex Ferrari 25:22
That's the lottery ticket mentality is one of the that's the mariachi is the Kevin Smith's. That was the 90 Yeah, you're naming people that would suck so long ago.

Matt Enlow 25:30
No, but what about, you know, the Trish seas of the world or whatever, like people that did music videos, and then they did a sequel, like Pitch Perfect three, and then their next movie will be right. But those are very giant music, but they're very few of those

Alex Ferrari 25:44
examples out there.

Matt Enlow 25:45
Well, but there's this giant studio says, I mean, there's all this content, all these TVs? Sure, sure. Directors, there's all these movies that need directors, there's all these digital series that need directors and commercials and music video here and there. Right? So well, directors have to come from somewhere. Right? Right. So he's not going to direct these guys

Oren Kaplan 26:05
to do the pilot and but so so we're in this weird or in an iron brothers situation. I haven't done a feature yet. Right. But we're both booking series a scripted content pretty regularly,

Matt Enlow 26:18
right? Like in the million dollar. Yeah,

Oren Kaplan 26:20
totally. Like, you know, if you travel back in time, and be like, Hey, this is how you're gonna spend, you know, your year. I'm stoked, right? Like just shooting like crazy, a bunch of fun stuff. But I still want to do a feature. Why do I want to do a feature? There's two good reasons one ego share, right? That's the thing that drives me constantly. But then the other thing is, I think there is a little bit of a resume building aspect to it. And that's I think, what Oren you're getting at and we're all kind of circling around Is that you? It's hard to be taken seriously as a filmmaker without a film Evo. I shot you know, but

Matt Enlow 26:53
you don't think if you had you think like Tony ascenta who's never made a movie,

Oren Kaplan 26:59
Tony, Tony said on Google listen to the podcast, he caught so much it he had a great pitch and a great team behind them but like hot, constant shit, he meet me in American van he made American radio and didn't have a didn't have never made a feature. And like was questioned the entire time. We texted him a little bit. And I

Matt Enlow 27:17
guess even Paul brigante who directs SNL and has done a ton of TV now, he hadn't done a feature before and he just went made like a tiny micro micro budget feature. Just doing even though he's drinking like crazy ex girlfriend, all these like great TV shows. It's It's a weird thing. The the the feature, which in all honesty is is is going away more and more and more towards Siri. It's kind of for old people.

Alex Ferrari 27:45
I mean, I hate to say it, I mean, but I look, I'm always gonna watch features. It's sure I love features. It's you know, but overall, look, I just, you know, watch, I love watching Stranger Things, you know, and bingeing on that that's another kind of entertainment. But I think the feature does still have this, this kind of cachet, especially within the industry. You know, I just directed my first feature last year, and doors opened, just because I did this micro budget feature. And people were just like, whoa, wait a minute, and like, oh, now he's and I've been directing videos and commercials and shorts that are award winning, and all this kind of stuff. And the second you do the feature, everyone just felt like okay, now he's a real filmmaker,

Matt Enlow 28:28
but do you think that they perceived you differently, or you perceived you probably a little bit of both. And that you because when you make a feature, you spend so much frickin time on it that you end up telling everyone about it, you're promoting it, you're really pushing it when you make a digital series. You've talked about it for two weeks, and then you move on to the next thing. Well, I

Alex Ferrari 28:46
think also that what the feature is, like a lot of people that were talking to me it was people that I've known for years, that all of a sudden have a different perspective on me, purely because I directed a feature film and does it so doesn't matter if the movie is good or not. And a lot of ways yes and no, it all depends. Does it have a nice trailer? You know, at the end of the day, I hate to say it but you know like is the trailer look good? If it looks good? Does it look good? Where's it been? Like I sold it to whoever nice famous actors in it yes I have some famous famous but that all recognizable yeah everyone you probably recognize oh that's that person yeah that guy died in that thing Yeah, but no no actually had like people from Reno 911 and mad TV so like, okay, it's his faces Yeah,

Matt Enlow 29:29
that's actually the same actor that was both on Reno nine on one and Manti

Alex Ferrari 29:34
but a really good weeks on it was great. But no, I'm I lost my train of thought What?

Matt Enlow 29:42
I was asking if the movie had to be good. And you said that the trailer has to be the truth

Alex Ferrari 29:46
in all honesty in the look how many people in this town actually watched the frame?

Oren Kaplan 29:50
Well, but I guess to qualify, right, you said the trailer has to look good. So it's pretty hard to cut a good trailer from a bad movie. That's one and also It's hard to get a bad movie into good film past. So people aren't going to watch your movie, but they want to know that it's good by signifier. But

Alex Ferrari 30:07
I think what's more important than getting into a film festival because there's really only five that matter. sure that's true. That's the only five that matter. And I've been in over 600 film festivals, all my projects over the years. And so I know the five the LA funny films festival, obviously, New York Film Fest in New York funny film. Sorry. But what's more impressive now is did you get it on Netflix? Did you get it on Hulu? That is different because I was just another micro budget film until I sold it to Hulu. Plus, Hulu doesn't take everything you have. Alex, do you know why? Hulu was interested in your film? It just hit the right note for them. And they and I think it was probably a combination of the genre. A hopefully I'm hoping it's they'd like the film. And the cast, right. This

Matt Enlow 31:01
is the movie about the actress mag. Yeah, this is Mike that's trying to figure out like she's on the right path. No, she's

Alex Ferrari 31:08
no, the story is about an actress who has is a success. You know, she was successful. And she's a working actress, but she's not 21 anymore. And she's kind of left behind. Like, she doesn't do social media. She doesn't do YouTube stuff. And she's like, I got 20 years of amazing experience. And I you know, I've been on big shows, but I can't get booked because the 20 year old sure because she has a million Twitter followers, like this is so frustrating. And you wrote this to write, she wrote, we wrote it together. But she's the one who wrote the final we came up with the story. And we went obviously

Matt Enlow 31:40
something that you could find a personal connection to,

Alex Ferrari 31:43
I don't know, she I called her up. I said, Jill, I want to make a movie about your life. And she's like, okay, and we and we came up with the scriptment. And then she ironed it all out. And she she wrote it for her friend. And they came over and we shot in a daze. And who paid for it. I crowdfunded it to my audience. Oh, wow. So it was, you know, it was in the profit before we finished the final cut. So Wow, that's, that's, but that's how you kind of do it. And then then we sold it. To Hulu. We itself do we did self distribution through iTunes and Amazon. And then I went through, I wanted to kind of control the distribution on and a lot of ways I use Mac as an example to my my audience to go Look, guys, this is the path, I did it, you can do it as well. And I'm going to take it all the way through and I'm gonna show you how I take it all the way through,

Oren Kaplan 32:35
it almost becomes a case study for your art

Alex Ferrari 32:36
interesting without question, and I did it in many ways, as a case study for myself. Because after so many years, I'm sure you can relate the like, Can I make a movie? Like, you know what, like, what what do you make this big mountain you got to climb and I just kind of cut that mountain down. I just it's funny, I don't have that. I'm like so ready to go make it? Sure.

Matt Enlow 32:58
Honestly, you have a different problem, which is a problem that I have that a lot of us have, which is that you have a job offer to go do a digital series or branded content or whatever, you don't want to turn it down because there is someone saying, Hey, we want you and we're going to give you a crew and pay you and everything's ready to go. You just step in, and the budget is like significant and yeah, and here you talk a little bit of a little bit of golden handcuffs.

Oren Kaplan 33:23
I think honestly, for me, there's a little bit of like, creative and decisiveness I'm dealing with right now. I think that's I know, I can go make a movie, right. Like I was alluding to the the series that you know, I did the previous years, like, I did eight half hour episodes back to back just this summer, right? Like that's two movies in a row. So like, I know, I can do that stuff. And I'm not scared of it. It's more just like which one do I want it like what it is the one that's exciting and

Alex Ferrari 33:53
that and then tomorrow you wake up and you're 60 sure exactly. Yeah. That was what I was afraid. Oh, yeah. Man is none of us. Here are 28 I just turned 59. Exactly. You look fantastic. Hey, thanks, man. The secret is beer and salty snacks. Yes. Sodium sodium preserved. But yeah, that's that's how I finally I did it. And by doing that, I did show a lot of of my audience that it could be done. But what the second I announced that I went to Hulu, it that wasn't it's like, oh, no, you're not just a dude. They just made a microfilm micro budget film and on iTunes. Sure, you know, throughout an aggregate again, it's signifiers, right? It's just like, people don't have time to watch your movie, but they need something to grab on to to say, oh, okay, this is good, because there's a 1000s of movies. Yeah. So just by being able to say that it was purchased by Hulu. And then we also went with a foreign distributor to handle my foreign sales. And we sell China we sell South Africa, we sold a bunch of territories, which is shocking to me like, Well, I

Oren Kaplan 34:57
mean, the signifier again, right like that's probably part Have it

Alex Ferrari 35:00
i'm sure yeah, I'm sure and now we have other after AFM. We have other deals on the table as well. So off of this little short it's a little a feature film alone, you know? Sure only took you eight days, bro. It took eight edited in three weeks.

Matt Enlow 35:13
Wait are you serious? Yeah. You shot in eight days? Yeah. edited in three weeks

Alex Ferrari 35:18
I shot in an eight days I was a dp on it. I did I took me three weeks to cut cut it four weeks to color it because I was the DP so I want to make sure you've seen it on shot on the Blackmagic Blackmagic 2.5 cinema. We shot two camera brick yellowbrick Exactly. Oh fun. And we shot it raw because I knew I was here to help. Yeah, and I did it. And it was the first thing I ever do paid. Meaning the first thing feature I didn't feel Sure, sure. But I've been a colors for mine to choose to shoot yourself because I couldn't afford to hire dp and also I wanted to do it myself. I just I just this story was controlled enough that I think I can make it look good because also I'm a colorist I've been a colorist for 10 years. So I seen what I could do with really bad footage. So I'm like I can shoot better than this.

Matt Enlow 36:06
Right? You had like a gaffer and key grip.

Alex Ferrari 36:09
The crew was three people. It was Roman. Yeah, it was me. I was I was a camera and the director, Jill was the slate girl and care and craft service. I had my gaff and my second big camera. And then I had a guy who held the boom, because I can't call him the shower. I actually showed them how to use the Tascam and here's the record and I bought the gear was all my gear and I taught myself how to record audio and let's shoot and I did testing beforehand. I took it to my audio guys and I'm like, is this good lights? Yeah, of course. Yeah, we had some lights. But I'm curious how many lights? Like two three? Yeah, yeah, de la DC. I

Matt Enlow 36:53
just LED on battery power. And ladies are nuts, man. Just name the whole game. Oh, it's like I used to not be able to shoot anything without like an HDMI which kind of like forever 120 bucks a day. I needed 2000

Oren Kaplan 37:06
watts ci the big changes like you don't see people with hot hands. You don't see gloves anymore.

Alex Ferrari 37:11
You don't need to know Well, yes. Yeah. And they're so insane. Like he literally he had you know, you put a brick on the back of it and we'd stick it on top of refrigerator. Forget about it. And you're good. Yeah. And you're good and you just like turn it on doesn't get hot.

Oren Kaplan 37:22
Sure. Sure. I like I don't like that. And then somebody dial something in on it color temperature you want. Yeah, yeah. So

Alex Ferrari 37:27
we use mostly that and I think one day we use the dimmer with China ball for a big outdoor scene. And that was it. So I really kind of stripped down the process to like, what do I absolutely need to capture image capture an audio and tell a story and then write that story around it and it was also a script so it was a mostly improv but we structured out scenes and had story beats that they had to find but again the guys that were all my actors they're just the legendary improv t shirt you know not gotta you like so it was like by wow that Yeah.

Matt Enlow 38:03
Did you have any teeth scene Did you know Yeah, when they say cut? Absolutely. So

Alex Ferrari 38:08
we just did it was very duplass brothers kind of way or just Weinberg kind of way of just kind of like a lot of nudity in this movie. There was no nudity you know? There was there was inside your shirt. It was some side boot and maybe a nipple through a shirt no balls. No there was no testicle there was no testicles now

Oren Kaplan 38:27
I'm not watching it. Sorry. You know it I think that's really interesting though because I was just running around shooting some night exteriores we talked about in another episode but I wonder if there's we're about to see kind of a new indie movement of like the three man five man crew like I'm curious to see as lightning has changed some Yeah, with all the stuff that we're talking about.

Matt Enlow 38:52
I think it's like 10 years ago. There was like the dv x 100 or whatever.

Oren Kaplan 38:57
This camera of all time. Oh, man. amaze me my fretboard and the DVS

Matt Enlow 39:01
that made everyone like everyone can shoot cinematic stuff now, right? Yes, yes, but you can light cinematic so now you can light led so the next revolution hopefully 10 years from now. It's like some plugin and After Effects. It just adds extras. That's the only bet to me that thing? Well, I biggest thing that is like if I want to go make a no budget movie to me like you want to David Fincher scene. You know, there's two guys talking in a bar. There's like, yeah, there's 30. Yeah. No, it's true. They'll never reuse them. And that's what I my stuff can never look like that. Because no one is going to get me 100 extras for a two person conversation in a bar.

Alex Ferrari 39:39
Right, exactly. But I think honestly, the next revolution is going to be distribution, because I think technically we're at a place where anyone could shoot pretty much anything, though. Even the stuff that I just talked about with how I shot it. I mean, I've got 20 odd years behind me. Sure, sure. You know, there's a level of skill there's, there's some tools in the toolbox you need to be able to do That. So you need someone like me or someone who has that kind of skill set that be able to handle all those jobs and be able to do it at a, at a decent level or, or just has made three movies worth of mistakes.

Oren Kaplan 40:10
Do you know what I mean? Exactly? You can be 22 and have done this a couple times now. Absolutely.

Alex Ferrari 40:15
You know, absolutely. But you know, there's something to be said for Ah, you know, after you do it so many times it does, it does help. But yet the more Look, I'm sure there's I know, for a fact there's 22 year old that I've done six features. Yeah. You know, they've been on my show. And I'm like, how many features? Oh, yeah, I'm done. I've done six somewhere myself. How old? Are you 90? And I'm like,

Matt Enlow 40:35
Yeah. Is it bad? And I don't care at all about distribution. It's been zero?

Oren Kaplan 40:43
Maybe? Yes. I honestly, I think that because, Alex, I don't mean to cut you off. But I think that what you're getting at is that it's the it's the final point of the, of the chain, right? And is the thing that has changed significantly. And if we can master distribution, and master our audiences and master how to get our movies into people's hands, then you make whatever the fuck you want.

Alex Ferrari 41:05
Absolutely. And I think, you know, you're coming from a different perspective, as far as I don't care about distribution, because generally your projects have distribution or have a marketing budget or have a budget period, you know, when you're doing it, but you know, for people who are making 100, you know, even $100,000 features, or $50,000 features or $10,000 features, they have to understand not only distribution, but they also have to understand marketing and audience building and or at minimum marketing, and how to use Facebook, which is the most powerful marketing tool on the planet. And if they understand those three things, that's I think that the final thing because I think it's a crime that any film school today does not teach, distribution, marketing, social media, and audience building, it is as crucial in the filmmaking process as lens choice camera, if you're going to try to do it yourself, if you're going to go into the studio system, or you're going to be working with other you know, other scenarios. But if you're going to try to do it yourself, which in all honesty, most of us when you start you start doing it yourself, and tell us how you got to where you are.

Matt Enlow 42:09
Well yeah, I guess it's not that I never cared about like when I was doing all my YouTube stuff like you and although our garbage that ruined to YouTube, I mean, I was at least part of the you were part of the problem. I was involved with the people that did it that would like make 100 YouTube accounts, comment on their own videos and get them to the top of the front page of YouTube. You can gain like,

Oren Kaplan 42:29
like profile or a thumbnail image. Yeah, well, you were the you were the click clickbait

Matt Enlow 42:35
clickbait. But I would back when YouTube first started and it should, you can set your own thumbnail it would be this literally the the haidle frame. Yeah, so if you had a seven minute video, that frame at three and a half minutes was what your thumbnail would be. So yes, you would gain like, let's say, like, we made this video called spinning rainbow, which was about like that spinning rainbow on your Mac, you know, and computers get stuck as well, right? Yeah, the beach ball of death or whatever. And my wife Kara, there is a shot of her at the end of the video that where she's like about to take her shirt off. And then you see the beach ball of death. You see some cleavage. And you know, it's one of those types of frames. And I've made that the middle frame and the second half of the video is just the spinning ball. But yeah, so that's the that's the thumbnail on the comments must've been beautiful of that. But that's what you used to have to do to get views. So yes, and my first feature, you know, we got screwed by the distributor. Like they made a million dollars and we son none of the money, all that stuff. But I guess my dog care as a filmmaker, my evolution on thinking about the business has gone from I used to really care about cameras and lenses and lights and how am I going to buy this? And how am I going to make this and how am I going to get people to watch it. And now I'm much more focused on trying to make something that I think is good and people will like so that I can give it to somebody else to like worry about like distribution is its own, like beast with professionals, and people and like, I don't want to compete against Netflix and distribution. I want to make a show and have Netflix distribute it you know, our Hulu distributed like marketing is different, you know, and that's I think even the biggest filmmakers in the world like are like Oh, there's like the billboards are crappy or like the artwork is dumb or like look at this Justice League poster like who had seen this movie with this dumb poster racers are so dumb, you guys. Yeah,

Oren Kaplan 44:32
but when you look at like PT Anderson, like shot extra footage for the Magnolia trailer, it's an It's incredible. You know, like there are those are tools like the social network and the Fincher stuff. Yeah, trailers.

Alex Ferrari 44:43
Yeah, they're incredible. The Deadpool one of the best marketing campaigns, yeah,

Matt Enlow 44:47
marketing, I love marketing. And that's like a lot of what is my background is trying to make videos that are marketing other projects, you know.

Alex Ferrari 44:58
We'll be right back after a while. word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Matt Enlow 45:08
So, I think the marketing side is really important advertising I obviously like love you I just don't want to get into until like distribution accurate uploading things to iTunes and do like, I don't know, I guess it's just like, if the goal is to be a filmmaker, why am I wasting my time worrying about this? Like

Oren Kaplan 45:29
how? Well the answer is the obvious answer is that you're the only person who really cares. That's the truth. Right? Right. And so unless,

Matt Enlow 45:39
but I want to get on but I want to make stuff that people care about, I guess, does that make sense.

Alex Ferrari 45:43
But in today's world, in today's landscape, if you don't have the privilege, or the opportunity to do what you're saying, to give it to a distribution person, or to give it to somebody to market, your work won't get seen. And as this every day that goes by, and every minute that goes by, and another 200 million hours is uploaded to YouTube or online somewhere. It's the the waters are getting muddier and muddier and muddier to the point where what do you think it's going to look what the landscape is gonna look like, in five years, or in 10 years, it's gonna be impossible to get anyone to even pay attention to you, unless you have one of these big, you know, companies that will pump, you know, Justice League kind of money out there for your project to get seen, and they'll get lost. So if you don't understand the way that works, you might get left behind as a filmmaker. And it's sad, but it is the reality of and from my point of view, at least, it's the reality of where we're at. And where we're going. I don't think it's going to change anytime soon.

Matt Enlow 46:40
But that I guess the opposite thing. Look, I think there's something pure about making a film and getting people to see it, because you think it's people should see it. Because it's, you think you're saying something that's worth listening to. And they're, you're really trying to get the biggest audience you can get, or at least the demo that will connect to your stuff. And then there's the other point of view. I talked about this on podcast before, like during the writers strike of 2007 or whatever, I made this video about the writer strike. And that's like how I got like my first agent, my first manager, it had got like, 20,000 views, not not a ton, but all like 95% of those 20,000 views were Hollywood people. Right? So like, like in a show, like Broad City like nobody watched that web show. But Amy Poehler came, you know, found it and now it's those people are super successful. And they have this giant show that a lot of people love. But I don't think Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson care about distribution, right? They just care about making the best show they can make and pushing, you know,

Alex Ferrari 47:45
but the thing is, you just said something. Amy Poehler founder,

Matt Enlow 47:49
you know, without Amy they're still wobbling around with an audience find them because she's, like, opened up new york times, and they're like, check out this awesome web series. She found it because they knew someone and they said, I mean, you probably

Oren Kaplan 48:02
haven't been the reason they, they were UCB people. And so like, it was a buzzy show, and they pitched me on it. They lived in New York, and hung out at the theater that Amy Poehler founded. That is the reason and then also on top of that, can volterman Hulu and comedies ran Comedy Central this time? New Amy Poehler because he was on the UCB TV show back in the day. Well, everyone knew subpolar Sure, sure. But, like, I never texted him. Yeah, yeah. I mean, maybe not. Not literally, but like, yeah, they were friends. They knew each other from back and but there's always stories like that.

Alex Ferrari 48:37
And there's always I mean, we've all felt fallen into luck. You know, like, Oh, this person knew this person need this person got me that job. And that got me that job. But my point is that there's two systems in the world and the in the entertainment world, there's the studio or big company system, and then there's the independent. So it all depends on how you go. I look. I don't want to hustle for the next 20 years. Doing everything myself. I would want an indie film, chill, you know? Look, look, look what perfectly example is Joe Swanberg. You know, he busted his ass for 12 years, making his kind of movie, whether you like them or not irrelevant. He had an audience and he made his films and he was unapologetic and how he made them. One year he made six feature films. That was the one year he had to because he had to make money that year. So he had an output deal with IFC and that was the way he did it. And then all of a sudden, he found a deal with nothing. He found a home at Netflix, where now he's he's now starting is finishing up a second season. I think it comes out a few weeks of his series easy. Excited. I love I love that show, too. I love that show and that he did in between that he did a feature with with Jake London. In London, right. They've got Johnson Johnson, Jr. Yeah. You're thinking of the guy from drinking, but he's dazed and confused. Yes, yes. Yes, yes. So, but he's got a home now. They're the duplass brothers. How home now at Netflix,

Matt Enlow 50:01
but I would argue that those guys like Joe Swanberg, even though he didn't get into the studio system, because the studio system was not interested in his type of movie necessarily. But he got into Hollywood like you look at the cast of his films, like you know, from the very beginning, they're like these top Hollywood actors because he was

Alex Ferrari 50:21
the very beginning, not for the first 1520 movies. How many movies is he made? 30 features Yeah,

Oren Kaplan 50:27
he's made a bunch of movies are 70 didn't have no Nobody. Nobody gave him basically drinking buddies. That was

Alex Ferrari 50:35
like his movie. And that was a really No, no, no, he hit No, he did something prior to drinking buddies. But do plus do plus was in one of his first big ones, but he was still just duplicate. And it was they were both nobodies at the time. Other than that, he was just there was the app man, he had no big stars. And I clearly

Oren Kaplan 50:53
don't have my info correctly. But the point is, your point still stands though, because he just got in bed with IFC at the right time.

Alex Ferrari 51:00
Yeah. And that was a moment in time and that left and he was left IFC changed ownership or whatever. And that deal he had went away.

Matt Enlow 51:08
But my point is that he didn't make movies that like, reached a niche market in the Midwest. He wasn't on Google Trends, figuring out what to do what he wasn't worrying about distribution, he was making. Stuff that he connected with, and and eventually, he found famous actors that also

Alex Ferrari 51:27
I'm gonna, I'm gonna because I've studied Joe a lot, so I have not enough. I'm gonna I'm gonna disagree with you a little bit. The way Joe worked on getting his stuff done is he wholeheartedly was interested in distribution, because if he didn't understand distribution, he wasn't going to make any money. And with his kind of films, if you guys I'm sure you have seen some of his films, they're not for everybody. You know, as boss. There's a lot of balls. Yeah. And there's definitely some nudity. But the he all those movies that he did before he started making drinking buddies is still to this day, I think the biggest budget thing he did, which was a $350,000 budget, and his agents were they just was so hard to get that movie made with Olivia Wilde with was Olivia Wilde, Johnson Johnson and, and God, okay, Kendra, and Annika Kendrick? Yeah. Even with those stars, they were having trouble getting him a $350,000 to shoot it on 35 and they'll ball the wax.

Matt Enlow 52:30
We can get any of us can get 350 grand for those three names. You now so

Alex Ferrari 52:36
now but back then even then, you know, Anna wasn't? She was she was big, but she wasn't as big. She wasn't. I don't think Pittsburgh had come out

Matt Enlow 52:43
yet. Right? What's the movie in the George Clooney movie?

Alex Ferrari 52:47
She had, but that wasn't she wasn't bankable. You know, there's a difference between being a big movie. Sure. You're, you're an Oscar nominated actress. That's all nice and dandy. But do you sell foreign? Yeah, that's the again, we're back to business. So if you don't understand these basics, it's difficult to you know, I think only I don't think you need a PhD in this stuff. Because I definitely don't have a PhD in it. We have to understand the basics of it. But that's how Joe got going. He I think he didn't do anything. I don't even know what number drinking buddies was sure. But I think it was like 2523 out of the 30 years something like that was up there for sure. Right. So it so all of that time he was self distributing or finding distribution for his movies in any place he could because the self distribution avenues weren't open back then because those things didn't exist. But he sold to IFC, he sold to a few other you know, in the he was really like, when you think indie he's in that in the indie was he got into Sundance, Sundance rejected him, mostly. and South by Southwest is what blew him up South by Southwest found one of his first few features like that was like, yeah, South by Southwest, again, a moment in time where it was like it was the mumble. It was the mumble core moment when mumble core became a thing it was because that year, I think, I don't know if it was puffy chair was at South by or not. But it was tiny furniture and you know, all of those, those and he was one of them. And they call that mumble core. And that's how he got lost. So he was at the right place right time. But prior to that moment, he had already done 1520 movies shooting on VHS, you know, no, you know, no sound than Gary and I just shot whatever, you know, the GoPro would have been fine for him, you know, total, just editing it on like iMovie. You know, and that was fine for him. But that was his style. And that was the style of the whole mumblecore movement. But they were and he said it very clearly once like if I can't be taken seriously, as a filmmaker, at least I'm going to be prolific. And that's exactly what he did. So now he's at a point in his career where he's got a deal. He's got output deal. He's doing series, and he has complete creative control. And he has budgets. He's he his big thing was getting into the DGA, because he needed insurance for his family. I mean, he's and if you ever watch that South by Southwest keynote that he did, or do you see that it's in saying like he tells you the real truth about what it's like being an independent filmmaker financially. So in my opinion, I do think you do need to know some of it. Because if you don't you will even if you're working within the studio system, if you don't have a basic understanding of it, you will get screwed at one point or another. Right? Well, I think orange doesn't.

Matt Enlow 55:20
That's not that you I don't disagree. I don't think there's a right or wrong, I guess there's like just thinking out loud here that there's kind of two strategies as a filmmaker, you can basically make what you want keep making stuff. And, you know, thinking about distribution, and like the Joe Swanberg method, or whatever your time, I just keep making things and get them to as many people as possible, whether you're building a following on YouTube, or whether you're going to a lot of film festivals or whatever. So that's strategy one, and the strategy two, is make something that someone in Hollywood will really like and want to hire you to do that same thing again, but for more money without you having to worry, man.

Oren Kaplan 56:01
Yeah, I guess that's the same strategy, though. I think the the differences is that in the circumstance where you make the following, and no one cares, then you distribute it and you try to figure that out or whatever. And then you make you have to make momento before somebody cares. But

Alex Ferrari 56:16
without following there is no moment. Exactly.

Matt Enlow 56:19
Right. So when you say you have to make them momento, yeah, yeah, noose and the fall momentum, no momentum. Okay.

Oren Kaplan 56:28
You have to make momentum to make. Right, yeah, but so you get what I'm saying, though, it's like, I don't think that either, you have to do both at the same time, right? Like, you can't try and make a movie that's for Hollywood. And in the same way that you kind of can't make an art movie for an audience in a certain sense. You just have to make what you want to make. Be true to yourself, be true to your voice, and like, make it as good as you can. And then if, if Hollywood comes knocking great, and if not, you still know how to make money off of your movie. So you can make another one, right.

Alex Ferrari 57:01
I mean, like, the The point is that if you go down the road, and you go down this, it's a very slippery slope, by the way, trying to make something to get Hollywood's attention, take it from someone who was trying to do it for almost a decade. It is a very slippery slope, where you put all your hopes and dreams into this one project, that someone magically will come from the mountain Hollywood and anoint you as a director. That is also very, very, you gotta be real careful with that. Because you know, as well as I do, you can't kind of do that. Like you can make something that's super amazing. And but if you're aiming it is specifically to impress somebody in Hollywood, it's, a lot of times it feels I've been in agents offices, you know, sitting there and the like, and they saw my short film, and they got me into the office. But they're like, hey, look, these are, and they showed me like five other shorts, from guys around the world who they are amazing. Never heard of them. You guys have never heard of them. But they did amazing stuff. And I was like, wow, how Why didn't those guys pop? If I'm here, why not? And then why did I, you know, get to where I want to go from it. Where after doing this so long, from my point of view, at least, if you if you continue to create content that you're true to, if you do it on a budget that you can afford, or either find money to do ads on a smaller budget and just keep producing those. If you're a guy who has five feature films, and they've all made money in one way, shape, or form, somebody will give you money to make another movie. So and you look at and I'll use Joe as a perfect example. Because look, you know, you look at some of Joe's early work, some of it's unwatchable, and I'm a fan of Joe's, but some of his early stuff was really unwatchable, because that was a kind of filmmaker he was doing at the time, because that's all he had access to, you know, and a lot of people are really turned off by his work, but he didn't give a crap. Like this is the kind of work I want to do. And I'm going to keep doing it. And I'm going to make my $2,000 movies. And I'm just going to keep going down this road. And eventually someone's and that's exactly what he did. He became he's to the edge like you know, you don't get your first big break until May 22 features.

Matt Enlow 59:02
So it's just a point of view. But I guess continuing to play my demo. Do you think that the type of films you want to make like look, Joe Swanberg makes kind of these edgy or sexy character pieces that take place in small towns and houses and apartments and that's his niche. Yeah, right. If you want to make a big visual effects monster movies, you're going to make a magical $20,000 you know, well it all depends if look I mean to make to be taken seriously, I

Alex Ferrari 59:32
guess well look, look at 500 Days of Summer. I mean that's not it's small movie. No, but it's well how much was that movie?

Oren Kaplan 59:39
I don't know that 500 Days of Summer is like a good example of how to get Spider Man after that right because that's what you're going yeah, I think you that it's commercials and music videos or the the

Alex Ferrari 59:51
commercials in the media commercials or musically that didn't get him that job. 500 days of software did the other stuff was kind of like oh, and he's also got

Matt Enlow 59:59
ads and it's all So Zoey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt and yeah, but I've seen movies that with with big stars, that doesn't matter. I mean, the story has to be good. It has to be I mean, it's not $100,000 movie.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:09
No, it's not $100,000 movie. It was a few million dollars. It was a it was a Fox Searchlight phone Right, right. So I'm probably gonna

Matt Enlow 1:00:15
get a film. I'm gonna probably say it was 5 million or below seven and a half million,

Alex Ferrari 1:00:19
seven and a half million. Alright, so that was a fairly decent budget back in the day when there was those kind of budgets or I had a movie.

Matt Enlow 1:00:27
That was Fox street light switch like don't know exactly. Who was the director of Tron. Joseph Kaczynski, he did Halo camera. David Fincher, Deborah was getting offered these Halo commercials. They were with the same management company. He's like, well, I can't do them. But check out this guy Joe Kaczynski. It's a hell of a hell of a nice boy. And by the way, tron is pretty bad. And so is oblivion. Yo, you know what's good, though? The Trump pinball machine.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:58
But the point is that visually he I did like them visually, both those he was a very visual director. But story wise, it didn't work as well. You know, I really wanted to like Tron so wanted to like draw, give that pinball machine a shot. But But yeah, there are those stories of these directors who get these big movies. But I think those are again, those shot in the dark lottery ticket things.

Matt Enlow 1:01:22
It's more of the grind of building it slowly. from someone who's tried to go that hack the system, and make that one thing that blows you up or gets the right attention. That's a dangerous place to be because you could keep doing that for a decade. And But you see, like, there's I feel like there's more. I know Josh Trank is like this weird example. But he made Chronicle right, that was his first movie, then he got fantastic. fornia was supposed to do Star Wars. You see, even like a Ryan Johnson or Ryan coogler. Who does, you know, Fruitvale Station then crean then Black Panther, like, like you see a lot more of those examples, or at least we hear about, but more than just one station,

Alex Ferrari 1:02:05
what was the budget on

Matt Enlow 1:02:06
that? Probably 1 million or some right then from there, he

Alex Ferrari 1:02:09
went to creed. And why 10 million and why did he get created because he wrote that idea. And he came and he pitched it the sly,

Matt Enlow 1:02:15
right? And he didn't he I wasn't even into it until after Fruitvale Station,

Alex Ferrari 1:02:19
right? So he had to hustle that second job. And he had the he had the access because of Fruitvale Station. But that could have easily gone nowhere. And then from there, that was such a big hit. They're like, Oh, wait a minute, we need someone to do Black Panther. He would be there. And boom, it's just the luck

Matt Enlow 1:02:34
of but instead of spending a year distributing Fruitvale Station he spent that year hustling sliced alone, you know what I'm saying? He wrote he wrote the script rather than

Alex Ferrari 1:02:45
learning about everything everyone has. Everyone has different paths. Yeah, of course. It's a path. Look, I would much rather make a movie for a million dollars and let someone else distributed for me, but he was at a different level. Coming out the gate. Where do you go to school? By the way? Yeah. Yeah, I thought, bro. Yeah, I thought so. So there's a big difference from USC grads that come out because I know a bunch of USC grads and there's a connection and there's, there's, you know, it just there's a you pay for you earn the money you spend at that school you get back. Well knock on wood to a certain extent. Not everybody in your class. I'm sure it's your wedding director. Yeah. I've spoken at USC many times I see the students there. It's a you know, it's amazing. But anytime people ask me about film school, they're like, should I go to film school? I'm like, Well, yeah, it's cool. You know, in but you can anything you need to learn about filmmaking. You can learn now by yourself. But I'm like, well have an opportunity to go to USC, I'm like, can you afford it? Yes. Then go. The connections you'll make it will set you up for your career. And it's the truth. I mean, you're USC grad. And but you still have to hustle. You still have to hustle. There's no question. But you're hustling here. Or you're hustling here. You know, like, it's a lot easier to hustle out of being a grad at USC than being a grad at Broward Community College in Florida.

Matt Enlow 1:04:05
You're plugged into a network of people that are really committed to succeeding I think that's the difference. Yes. The other thing that I have spent a lot of money or investing a lot of money to succeed got

Alex Ferrari 1:04:14
a court you know, quote unquote, the cream of the crop, if you will, and a lot of ways you know, even Spielberg got rejected. Yeah, I will say this. I love USC.

Oren Kaplan 1:04:26
I don't think that the quality of student is that much higher, quote unquote, than any other dedicated film program. Honestly, I think I think that like, there's like money and like some book smarts for sure. Like the test scores are like, incredible. But in terms of commitment, which is kind of the main thing and resilience as as battle tested as any other program.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:52
But the thing is that there's a network, there's a connections that you make, and you know, that's also

Matt Enlow 1:04:56
based in LA which makes things very easy. When you've got the guest speakers that you have coming in talking to you now, man, that doesn't matter you could like

Alex Ferrari 1:05:05
things are still pretty cool. Yeah,

Oren Kaplan 1:05:07
super cool. Cool. I know I you know I was there's a class Thunder Mountain teaches a class there that's very shareable but it's all just movies that are gonna be out in two weeks and then the director comes in toxin. That's incredible, but that's $4,000 class. You know what I mean? Like, that's insane to do, right when you could go to the DGA, and just like, wait in line and go see the same commerce director and conversation exactly right.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:33
There's always ways around it. If you can afford film school, it's a wonderful thing if you need someone to kind of set it all up for you and teach you that way. Great. But if you can hustle it yourself. There's so much information on YouTube. There's so many online courses I was just watching. You know the masterclasses? Sure. I have early access to the Ron Howard one. And I sat there watching today watching Ron Howard direct the scene from frost Nixon and my mouth was on the floor I was just like just watching him and whether you like his movies or not, you know I always liked this movies.

Matt Enlow 1:06:09
masterclasses are worth it. Yes always like

Alex Ferrari 1:06:12
depends on which ones thumbed, some are good some are not like Aaron Sorkin's I thought was really great. If you want to get into TV writing, Shonda Rhimes is amazing. Werner Herzog's I enjoyed, but there's a lot of like, it's explained. Yeah, I keep paying for these. Oh, are you paying for all of them? I've paid for some of them, but I thought it was just subscription. Now it just turned into joy. I see. So now you have access to all of them for like a buck 80 a year. That's it. So it's not that bad. And you get access to the $180 $180 so you get access to their entire 26 lessons. So the I'm still paying off USC. But I also just saw Martin Scorsese's and that was amazing. But the Ron Howard one I just sitting here watching him direct the scene. And this like, you know, and you're sitting there as the director and I see what he puts up. I'm like, that's not gonna work. That's not gonna cut and then you're like, God dammit, he's good. You know, you can see that tats invaluable. Like that's much better than having some guy come in to the letter mountains class. Yeah, you know, so those things are accessible to us. Like we wouldn't have killed to have Martin Scorsese talk to us. For two and a half, three

Matt Enlow 1:07:21
hours. We used to have to watch the director's commentary, right, which is, which was that was what I on LaserDisc

Alex Ferrari 1:07:25
that's what I had it on the laser just before the DVDs came out. I had the raging bull $125 criteria. Hey, man.

Oren Kaplan 1:07:33
I hope you still have it. I do very cool. I still have it. I have Casa Blanca. back. Yeah. Excellent. That's a real talk about street cred right there. Oh, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:43
Some old school songs are endorsing all this geeky stuff. probably start rapping. We can keep talking for another day forever, and jump into our unpaid endorsements section. Okay. Oren, you want to take it away. You got something? Yeah, I'm gonna endorse the worst thing. But I did see lady burn. And I know it's probably gonna be up from mine Oscars and how was it? I loved it. I don't know. It's just like so that way that Matt talked about Helen highwater, when he endorsed that that was such a good, it's like, it's, I mean, obviously, very, very, very different. actually didn't even really like Helen highwater that much. But there's something just so simple about the setup. And just like, really amazing performances. In the very first scene of the movie, you find out who the characters are, what their relationship is, and what they want, you know, and then, when you see them either getting or not getting it. It's like, makes you cry by the end of the movie, you know, and it's a comedy. It's hilarious, too. But the you know, the lead actress who nobody can say her name, sir, show Ronin, or whatever. She's doing, like an impression of Greta gerwig. She's Irish, but she's like, plays this like girl from second unit.

Oren Kaplan 1:08:57
I'll take some notes about my childhood. But I think that maybe a different part of town that I grew up in.

Matt Enlow 1:09:04
Well, that's part of what the shows like she's from kind of the wrong side of the tracks. But I'm looking forward to seeing that one I want to see that was great. So so check it out. And just, it's a good one to just study and how simple a story you can tell. And I think we already endorsed the meyerwitz story. Yeah, Paul did want to see that is that but it's free. It's awesome. I mean, if you have Netflix, you can watch it. And it's um, it's of a similar genre, but it's another example. That one's like a little more complex of a story directed it. I mean, yeah, you know, but there you can see why they're a good couple. And think they're like a good double feature if you watch them on separate nights.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:45
One thing I just finished watching yesterday, actually, do you guys watch the net? You watch the Marvel stuff on Netflix like daredevil and

Matt Enlow 1:09:54
Jessica Jones, what do you think? I love Jessica Jones. She's great. It was a great series. But I heard Punisher was really good I just finished watching punish. Oh, you got into it's the best one of the bottom Really?

Alex Ferrari 1:10:04
Oh cool without question. And the reason why I love that so much was it is the most grounded out of all of them? Because it's just like two dudes there's no superpowers there's no nothing it's just like straight up. And the way the story is intertwined with the backstory of the villain and how the villain becomes the villain and how that's all connected the villain. I don't want I don't wanna spoil it. It's not like a known thing. That's not No, it's not straight. you're figuring out who the villain is along the way, you won't know who the villain is, I think until like, you know, eight episodes in or something like that. So it keeps you on your toes the entire time. He actually wears the skull I think three times in the entire series. So it's all just him. You know his backstory building it up. It's just so and he's in this What's the name of the actor? Oh, God, john guy from walking dead. Yeah, I guess I movie? Yes, yes. Yeah, he is. Oh, he was a baby driver, too. wasn't he? Oh, yeah. Whatever as well. He's amazing. JOHN. Something I can't say his last name. But it's if if you're even remotely interest

Matt Enlow 1:11:11
now we'll watch it we're like so my wife and I it's pretty violent. Oh, when he shows Oh, it's really catching

Alex Ferrari 1:11:18
up on that's what we were just talking about. Look at all the content that we have

Matt Enlow 1:11:20
just been at all curbs he's a nine. Yeah,

Oren Kaplan 1:11:23
well, I might I can help you out or and with my endorsement, which is just the pilot episode because the rest of the series hasn't been created yet. For love you more which is the Amazon you know, they always do their pilot seasons where they supposedly we vote on whether or not a show is coming back. But I have a hunch that they've already decided if it's you already, but love you more is Bridget efforts. New Series. It's great to see. So Bridget Everett, you would know her from she was in patty cakes, which didn't do great but she's in train wreck. She's kind of like a New York kind of cabaret comedy person who's been around forever. And she would at the end of every show. She's in lady dynamite as well if we're talking about like shows, but she was always at the end. Oh, yeah. Amy Schumer. Yeah, every Amy Schumer season this like she was the final sketch. Anyway, she's got her own show on Amazon Prime called love you more. It's like in this realm of like grounded comedy kind of slice of life stuff. But I just found it to be really like raw and funny and emotionally true. And also really like over the top in ways that are awesome and incredible. And I was super excited to eight is a very adult show. You see not for the faint of heart. You see some D in the very first scene so like spouse Yeah, yeah. Nice. Yeah, stoked. I guess technically. It's the second thing anyway. Love you more on Amazon. You're watching amazon prime. So Alex Yes, so much for hanging out man,

Alex Ferrari 1:12:57
you man for having me guys. how can listeners learn more about you? Where can they find you? And they can find me at indie film hustle calm. You can find me on iTunes as well for my podcast and on YouTube. I just type in any film hustle anywhere on computers on a computer with me. Should I ask Siri?

Oren Kaplan 1:13:19
You love asking Siri well and where it's asking about

Matt Enlow 1:13:21
Indie film hustle. Alright, well well series. You can follow me at Matt Enlow and you can follow our show at just shoot a pod and I am at mighty pilot and Alex is at indie film hustle.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:36
I had a ball talking to those guys and please definitely check out their podcast at justshootapodcast.com there are a lot of fun man and I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. It was a lot of fun going down to their place and recording kind of live with actual people in the room, which I rarely get to do. I'm usually doing everything over the internet so it's been so it was actually fun to have a energetic conversation about the film industry. So hope you guys liked it. If you want the Show Notes for this episode, just head over to indiefilmhustle.com/206 and as always keep that also going keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.




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