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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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