IFH 319

IFH 319: How to Direct Successful Horror Films with Mike Pecci


Have you ever had a near-death experience that changed the direction of your life? Today’s guest has. Mike Pecci is a filmmaker with a unique path. With over 18 years of experience, Mike has cemented a name for himself not only as a photographer and music video director but as an abstractly edgy filmmaker who is undeniably devoted to the art of storytelling. His characters are the faces of his work – passionate, emotional, and distorted stories are the basis for some of Mike’s most well-received films.

His ability to touch audiences through his films is a credit to his commitment to understanding humanity. The work has an emotional quality that can both frighten and pull you in, playing off the darkest chasms of the human condition.

Mike’s story is inspirational, to say the least. I also love the aesthetics of his work and his ability to produce INSANE sizzle reels (Proof of Concept) for films he wants to pitch.

He also has a bit of cult status for directing a Punisher Fan FIlm that Marvel shut down. You can find out more about that project here. From his near death experience and his sizzle reels to his shorts and commercial work, Mike Pecci has a ton to talk about and we get into it for this episode. Oh did I mention he also hosts a killer podcast called “In Love with the Process Podcast?” I’ll be a guest on his show very soon.

Enjoy my EPIC conversation with Mike Pecci.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:30
Today on the show. We have Writer Director Mike Pecci. Mike has been in the business for over 18 years and comes from the world of photography and music, video directing. He has an extremely cool, edgy look. And I love his storytelling aesthetic now wanted to bring him on the show, because I wanted to show you guys, first of all his crazy story of how he came up how he educated himself how he came into the business. But I also wanted to touch on what he's doing with proof of concept reels and sizzle reels like what he's able to do, and how he executes proof of concept reels. Now a few guys don't know what a proof of concept reel or sizzle reel is. It's kind of putting together a fake trailer for a feature film that you've written that you want to try to get financing for. And I've done this before in the past, but he's doing it on a completely different level. Man, I got to give him props, it looks amazing. And he's not just done at once he's done it multiple times. And his aesthetic is so so so cool. He's able to make these trailers look really, really high budget. And he's getting a lot of interest from finance, ears, and studios. Based on these proof of concepts. I really wanted to have him on the show to talk about how he's putting those together, his mindset behind them what he's doing, and hopefully that can help you guys out. But the most interesting part of his story is that he had a near death experience. And it is such an inspirational story of not only how he came back, but how he was able to use that horrific experience in his life to propel him and propel not only him in his life, but also him in his own career, his own creativity, what he came up with, while he was going through that process, it was pretty crazy stuff that we go over in this episode. And I really wanted to bring it in to the tribe and wanted to show you guys that a lot of us sometimes think about, oh, things aren't going my way Oh, I'm not making what I want to do or I'm not I don't have my dreams not coming alive and all this kind of stuff and we start beating ourselves up and get angry and get bitter. And you hear my story. You just realize how much bullshit we put ourselves through how much crap that our minds tell us. And all this is not happening. But you know what, it's all BS. It's all made up in your mind. Sometimes. All the dreams and things aren't coming the way you want to. You can't control everything you want. And when you're in a place like where Mike was when you are literally at death's door, where he'd really had no idea if he was going to make it or not. Things change, and his inspirational story of not only how he came out of that horrific experience, but what it did for his life, and also his career, what he's able to ideas, the stuff that came out of that moment in time, and how it's really propelled his life in general. So I really wanted to bring this inspirational story, to the tribe to really, hopefully shake things up a bit, and really get deep in there for you guys to realize what is truly, truly, truly important. So without any further ado, please enjoy my inspirational conversation with Mike Pecci. I'd like to welcome the show, Mike Pecci. Man, how you doing, brother?

Mike Pecci 5:47
I'm doing great and very happy to be here, my man.

Alex Ferrari 5:50
Thank you, man. Thank you, I wanted to have you on the show cuz you have a very unique story and journey and filmmaking and and then love your aesthetic of the films that you've done and your style in general. And it just, I thought it'd be a nice a nice treat for the tribe.

Mike Pecci 6:07
Well, I appreciate it. And hopefully I can give you guys some stuff that you learn from.

Alex Ferrari 6:12
Alright, cool, man. How did you get into business in the first place, brother?

Mike Pecci 6:16
How get in. So at first, the short, the abbreviated version of a long story is that I grew up wanting to be a comic book artist. And so I would as a kid, read books and do sketches and do all that work. But I was a real crappy student. And so when I got out of high school, I didn't get an art school. And my parents like they wanted to, like, throw me out. so upset with me. In the I had a part time job, I was working as a manager in a music store. And I really loved introducing people to new music, I really loved the shared experience of listening to music, high fidelity.

Alex Ferrari 6:55
Exactly, exactly.

Mike Pecci 6:57
Very similar. It was at that time period. So I was like, You know what, I'm gonna do radio, because I had really good, great connections. Being a music store. I knew a lot of like a&r dudes from labels and that kind of stuff. And so I went to community college for for radio. And my first show I had, it was like, late, late, it was like 2:30am. And my first show, the program director sort of walked in, he goes, Okay, so every 15 minutes, the top of the hour, you can play the CDs with the red sticker. And at the bottom of the hour, you can play the CDs with the green sticker. That's like, what the fuck am I doing here? You know, like, why am I here. And luckily, I made that call. Because I was right around the time that mp3 is were starting, and music was becoming digital. And I'm like, I don't really see a career in this. And I happened to be just sort of taking a CT like a credit filler course, which was a filmmaking course, like a very sort of rudimentary theory course. And I had loved movies as a kid, and I used to make home videos, but I never really thought about, you know, you sit down, you're watching me in a job that I never thought at that time period, how did they make any jokes, I didn't even think that there are people that were involved in the making, and I just would watch it. And I knew Indy wasn't in this box in my room. But I was just so captivated with it that I didn't care. And this was pre YouTube pre behind the scenes, pre any of that stuff. And so I remember I went to the film course, I think we watched Citizen Kane, of course. And we watched labor, and we watched Blade Runner. And I had my mind blown open because I hadn't seen Blade Runner. And I remember the professor was like, so what did you think of the wardrobe? And I was like, whoa, wait a minute, there's someone that Oh, my god, there's someone that does that. And there's someone that does it. So it's like, sort of like taking the red pill or the blue pill in the matrix. And you're just like, wow, like, Oh, my God. And looking at it. I was like, Look, it takes everything that I love about comic book work. So compositions and working within a frame and creating depth out of a 2d image. And everything I like about music, and sort of that sort of communal thing. And then as a young kid, I worked as an airplane mechanic, I was a house painter, and a construction guy in that whole crew mentality is a big part of it, too. So it's sort of took all the elements that I loved, and made one thing. And so I went to I was going to a small community school and I went and I talked to my guidance counselor. And I was like, hey, so I want to do movies. And he's like, Cool. All right. And I'm like, cool. So when do I get to pick up a camera? He's like, well, you're going to take these required courses for credit ation. And I'm like, why are they Why am I taking site? Why am I doing this? I'm like, how much do each one of these classes cost? And he gave me the price. I'm like, I'll see you later, left. And I went to work for a public access TV station for a year. And in that time period, this was, this was probably 99 2000 ish. In that time period. Most of the film schools were like, Hey, you sign up for four year course. You hate it. You pay the same amount as the other guy and maybe you're holding a boom I just didn't want to be that deep debt. And this is right around the time where New York Film Academy was starting. And they had like a four or five month course. And I was like, let me do it. And I saved up went out did that in New York City, a city that I had never lived in, learned to produce, and shot three short films, and then came home and started my own business.

Alex Ferrari 10:25
So Wow, man, that well, first of all, I want everyone listening how smart It was, like, I don't want to get into debt. So many filmmakers just they look, this is the way I have to go. And they usually it may be a 1965, but not now. They walk out they walk out with like, what 80,000 a debt you napkin and what what year, how many years you have to be in the business, if you're lucky to generate $80,000. Exactly.

Mike Pecci 10:55
This is what this is what I talk about on my podcast all the time, it's like it, it takes you eight years before anybody gives a shit about you. Eight years of you doing practice, research, technique, building, and then going out in pa like expect not to get paid for at least two years. When you go you work for free. You work on these jobs. And it's the unfortunate part about this business is that they expect that. So that's part of what you have to do. And so to have that kind of debt, you the only way you can survive starting even now, not even starting out, I've been doing this for 18 years, and I still can only survive this way. You have to keep your overhead way down, way down. And I think it's a I don't wanna get too far up on it. But I think it's a crime I, I live in Boston right now, and Boston has 126 colleges. And I just feel like it's a bunch of vultures just waiting. And when you come out of school, they want you indebted to them. That's straight up. So like you have this massive student loan behind you. And I don't care what industry you're in right now. Unless you have to go to a school that requires intensive training, like biology, chemistry, like medical, all that kind of stuff. I get it because there's Oh, you can't fail or practice on a patient, you have to like go through that process.

Alex Ferrari 12:19
So they actually do practice on us. That's why it's called a medical practice. But that's a whole other conversation for another day.

Mike Pecci 12:25
Know, you know what I'm saying I know, our business, I see our business being very similar to like, a trade. So I think our business is an apprenticeship business. I think you learn more doing, assisting work and apprenticeship work. And if you're, if you're smart about it, you get right into that. And you figure out what position you like, you figure out where you land in the filmmaking world, and how it makes you happy or not. Because a lot of folks, everybody starts out they go, I want to be a director, everybody starts out that Yeah, right. Or they want to be a dp or they want to do that. And in theory, whenever I was in school, or classes, or I'm reading books about it, they're so dry, and they're usually being taught to you by someone that doesn't do it. And so like, here's technically how it's supposed to work. And then if you go and you do this, and, and then when you physically on the job, you realize that most of what a dp does, half of what he does is like image control and maintaining that but most of what he's doing is managerial. He's a father figure. He's dealing, he's, he's in a relationship with the director. And then he's also dealing with money and producers. And that is, if you're not wired that way, that'll kill you. If you think you're just gonna go in and like sit by the camera all day and like tweak things and push buttons. That's not your thing. That's not that's not what that job is. And if you read about that in a textbook, that's what they tell you that job is. So I don't know.

Alex Ferrari 13:56
No, no rant. I love it. I love it. Because also, the other thing that people don't ever think about or talk about, especially in a film, school, is the politics, the politics of the set politics, the you know, the money politics, the studio politics, the client politics, how you deal with, you know, you know how you deal with people one on one psychology, that's just the psychology of dealing with human beings. I think every film school on the planet should have a at least one course on human psychology, just basic human psychology.

Mike Pecci 14:28
Yeah, I mean, it's the most social job that you can take. I mean, other than being like, like a traffic cop, I feel like it's like whatever I say this on the podcast, whenever I might, my morning for a director like the way it works for me on set, like, if you do your prep, and directing is all about prep. So anywhere that you make your creative decisions, anywhere that the spot that you're going to do any of the stuff that you're known for by the audience, that's all prep shit. And then once you do your prep, and if you're lucky enough and you find it pretty soon you find the money and you go through that hell and you get there. Then your first day on the shoot. What I do is I typically show up early, and then I just grab something to drink, something to eat, and I walk around. And it's like smoothies. That's to me are kind of like circuses. It's like, well,

Alex Ferrari 15:18
They are sort of their absolute we all we are all carnies. I've said that 1000x.

Mike Pecci 15:22
Exactly, exactly. And so like it also, it also feels like you're at war. And so you have the front line, you have up front. And then as you go further back, there are these different tents that contain different departments. And so in the morning, I usually start with my breakfast, and I'll just walk from tent to tent to tent and go into these places and go like, how'd you sleep last night? How you doing? Oh, you haven't trouble with your husband today is terrible. Or like what's going on with you? So you just walking around being sort of like a psychologist? Oh, yeah. Oh, and you just make your way. I love it. Because you slowly work your way forward towards the front line. And it's like, you can almost see the battlefield as you're just making your way through the props, guys, who have been up all night, and the set designers and they haven't slept and they're filthy. And they're just like, Well, how do you think it looks? It's like, oh, let's go take a look at it. And then you come up to the front. And usually up at the front line is the DP and you sort of sit in there. And you guys just sort of come together? It's almost like you grab the binoculars and you just sort of looking and going. Okay, so what's coming at us today? Yeah. It's a lot of fun. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 16:28
That's a great and now I mean, it's, it's it is very, very, it's a great technique to walk around. I do that as well. Just kind of test out the test out the the audience in your your crew in the day because like you said, if you've got a dp who is going through a divorce, you should probably kind of know that when you walk on the set that day, because if not, I promise you the second you say, Hey, can you change that light, all Hell's gonna break loose, it has nothing to do with the damn light.

Mike Pecci 16:57
It's you're a psychologist, and, and even if it's on set, you're you're working with actors, you're dealing with, oh, my god, you're all over the place. But then prior to that, you're also like, it's like you're running for office. So you're like this, like, public figure sort of campaign person, where it's this really weird balance of being confident but not cocky. being inspired, but still open to great ideas. And you're just sort of campaigning, your vision and trying to take this, this image that's in your head and learning how to put it into words, so that they'll go into someone else's head, and then it'll project on their screen, the same way of projects on your internal screen. It's, it's, it's social shit. And you're completely right. They should be teaching psychology for directors,

Alex Ferrari 17:49
Oh, God, I mean, it's a psychology for DPS, or anybody, like just generally, it's just like, and I've worked with some of the biggest best, you know, craftsmen in the business as you have as well. And when you deal with with people at that level, you know, when they are, you know, many times I'm like, they're so obviously, I'm so out of my league, sometimes with the people I get to work with them something like wow, I'm, I'm just here learning and I'm just so blessed to be in your presence. But when you're in those kind of those kind of people in working with those kinds of people who are just at a different level, if they've been doing it for 30 years or 40 years and and they just seen it all their energy, their the way they approach problems, you know, I had Michael gray on the other day, Michael Goya, you know, Michael Goya is cinema, he was really He's like, he basically created the look for American Horror Story. He's cool. He's an amazing cinematographer. And listening to him talk about, about his process about what he does on set, how he walks around how he does a lot of the stuff he does, because he was like, the, you know, he's TV. So is it a little bit different energy and vibe, but the DP who and he created this, the look of the of the stuff, how he, how he, he just approached everything, you could just sit there and go, like, tell me more.

Mike Pecci 19:13
Some people I always say this to when you go out and you have beers with a group of guys, or girls, whoever. So you go out and have a bunch of beers. You have those different personalities that sit around the table. Yeah, you have those people that can, can tell great stories. So you have someone that sits down and they're like, let me tell you about what I do with my day. And then you have the people that listen to good stories, and I think great filmmakers, no matter what department you're in, are the people that can be at that table and captivate you, two or three people over beers, and you can really tell the difference. And I think a lot of people get into this business for different reasons. This business is incredibly ego driven and a lot of the stop Ah, there's a lot of that there's a whole lot of like, I'm going to show you Dad, you know, and all that kind of stuff. And I try really hard to filter them out, you know, because

Alex Ferrari 20:10
A lot of times they're the client nom joke. But yeah, but with the client. So how hard is it to be a director anyways? Like, agencies agency guys, oh agency guys are the best.

Mike Pecci 20:26
It's because they know that their job is on a very thin line. Like, the lifespan of agency dudes usually doesn't go past 30 I've met a couple of creatives that are in their 50s is like, How the hell do you still exist? It's such a young person's business. Yeah. And you you talk to these guys, and I have quite a few of them. I like Sumo. How do you get, I get a good camera if I want to be a jerk, because I'm thinking about going into direct. I'm like, dude, asshole. I've been doing this for like 18 years. And so suddenly, you're gonna jump off and just direct.

Alex Ferrari 20:59
It's like, just because you've been watching the process doesn't mean it doesn't mean I can listen to Beethoven doesn't mean I can compose any music.

Mike Pecci 21:08
And half the problem is you're not gonna know how to talk to yourself as a director, so it's like, relax.

Alex Ferrari 21:15
Exactly. Now. Now I wanted to touch on something that you brought up, when we are kind of like our when you reached out to me about your near fatal accident that kind of changed your life. I really want to ask you about that. If you don't mind me talk if you don't mind talking about it.

Mike Pecci 21:31
Sure. So just to give a bit of context. When I came back from film school, I went right to work. And I started my own company. And then for years I was a taught myself how to be a dp because I was a young director and I couldn't convince all the DPS to work with me. Part of the reason why I grew beard so young, is that I needed to convince older people to work with Lucas Spielberg Got it? Yeah. So did did that shit. And so I ended up doing mostly commercials, mostly music, videos, all that kind of stuff to sort of learn the craft. And I had been doing that for quite some time. Oh, God, I think this was like six years ago, this happened five years ago. And so I was being very successful with it. But I, I've always wanted to direct features. And I've always wanted to get into that. But I just didn't have the story to tell. So I'm spending most of my time just practicing technique, and learning how to do these things waiting for that story. And I was on a date. So I went on a date with a girl always starts that way. went on a date with a girl and or was dating her and she came to me and she goes, look, I want to go ice skating. Now, at this point, I'm like, 35, something like that. I've never put ice skates on.

Alex Ferrari 22:44
This is not far. This is not too long ago. Not too long ago.

Mike Pecci 22:47
Okay. So I've never put ice skates on in my life. And she's like, I want to go ice skating. And I was just trying to be cool, but blow it off. And like, Yeah, sure. You know, we'll go skating.

Alex Ferrari 22:55
I've been doing it 1000 times. Yeah.

Mike Pecci 22:57
So a couple days go by and she's like, why don't we gotta go ice skating. You never do what I want to do. And I'm like, Okay, all right, fine. And in my head, I rationalize it like, okay, so maybe I'll twist an ankle or, you know, sprain something that's still gonna suck. But whatever, we'll do it. So I go, and it's here in Boston. And I don't know if you know, Boston and all but downtown, they have frog pots. So they have like this big ice skating place. That time of the year, very romantic. People are all out. So I get on really nervous playing she'll put on his ice skates. And she drags me out onto the ice. And she's sort of pulling me along on the ice. And I'm getting impatient. And I'm seeing all these little kids doing, like pirouettes and stuff around me.

Alex Ferrari 23:39
So the ego, the ego is just like, I can't just Yeah,

Mike Pecci 23:42
I just I can't take this. So I was just like, Look, do me. I'm holding you back, go skate off. And I'll figure this out. She's like, okay, so she skates away. And his kid next to me, and I watch him push off. And I was like, Oh, no big deal. So I do the same thing I push off. And what happens is, is I slip back all the way back, my feet go into the air, and I land on the back of my head. And the last thing I hear is an old oak bow crack. And it's about. And so she tells me that everybody in the eyes hears it. And she comes skating over. And the people that are running the people that are running the ice skating rink, are so freaked out, but they don't want to make a big deal over it. So they start ice skating out orange cones around my body so that they can continue to skate. So people are just scanning around my body. And she begs them to call the ambulance. So I wake up, I wake up to a doctor staring at me, and he's looking down at me. And the first I haven't taken a day off since I started so the first thing I'm thinking is like shit, I broke my leg. I have work next week, you know, and that's what's running through my head, you know? And

Alex Ferrari 24:51
it's about priorities. Really?

Mike Pecci 24:52
Yeah, yeah. And he looks at me, he goes, look, here's the deal. I'm not gonna sugarcoat this. You've cracked your skull. Oh, You're bleeding internally, you have a hematoma forming on the top of your brain, which is pushing down on your brain. And normally what we do is we drill into your skull to release the pressure, but the hematoma is forming on the main blood vessel on your brain. So if we drill just a fraction, too deep, you bleed out, you die. So we're sort of talking here about what we're going to do next, what I'm thinking is that we're just going to see if the bleeding stops, and then we'll go from there, you should call your family and you can't go to sleep. So we're going to keep you awake. And so that started about 48 hours of staying awake, crazy hallucinations, really batshit mental things. And then there's really great recordings, actually, I had the girl who stuck with me, had the girl recording, and I sort of come out of like these waking nightmares, and be like, Oh, you got it, you got to lay this down, hold on, like, and I was convinced that the shadows on the wall were moving. And I was convinced that my inner voice was being controlled by somebody else. So it's just really wacky, adventure. So I was in intensive care for five days, the bleeding stopped after five days. And then the doctor was like, we're gonna see if your brain will absorb the blood in you have to recover from the concussions, I had multiple concussions. And so I went into five months of recovery. But the thing that was so it sparked the experience was so inspiring, inspiring that, you know, the inner voice shit. And then I was put through the sort of this medical like this Crash Course into sort of mental medical field, and then all this weird shit that happens with concussions. And I don't know how football players do it. But what a lot of people don't realize is that your brain is firing all the time. And it's doing things that you don't realize it does. And it isn't until you're affected in some way or another that like, one thing that blew my mind was that I lost the ability to filter out external noise. So I couldn't have a conversation without hearing everything. Like literally everything would come in. So I'd hear someone breathing across the room, I'd hear the air conditioner in the other room, I had cars in the street, I'd hear everything. And so it was just so physically exhausting to be in a conversation. And that went on for like a month. So all this stuff was really, of course me. I'm totally into it. It's like an adventure. So I was like, cool. And I'm writing all this stuff down. And I had this really great idea. And so I started in between headaches and migraines, I wrote a feature script for 12 cam, that's for 12 cam camera. And, and then once I recovered, it came back out my business partner at the time. I was like five months later, I come back and I go, so I'm making a movie, I have a script that's written and I'm gonna do proof of concept. And let's get right into it. That's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna do a fun, I'm gonna fundraise it and pay for most of it. And let's go.

Alex Ferrari 28:05
And how did that and then now how did that experience change your trajectory? Did it do anything to you as far as putting things into perspective or anything like that? Yeah,

Mike Pecci 28:15
I mean, you have them. Okay, so I had one of those moments. We have like a, there was a couple like near death experiences. They stupid shit. Like don't sneeze hard. You know what I mean? Because if you sneeze hard, the bleeding might start. And so like I had,

Alex Ferrari 28:27
You're terrified about sneezing?

Mike Pecci 28:28
Yeah, I had a sneeze. You know what I mean? It was like, Ah, you know, and like everybody piles on the car, we go to the hospital. And so

Alex Ferrari 28:36
Sorry, that's funny. I mean, it's funny. I'm sorry.

Mike Pecci 28:39
I love it. It's hysterical. And at the time, I was staying on the cape and they driving us to like one of the Podunk hospitals on the cape. And I swear that they run that place like the fucking Muppet Show that people just running around. Yeah. And so they go in and they run a CAT scan and like the dogs like, Oh, I think you've i think i think you're gonna die. You know, it's like one of those things like, Oh, shit, he's like, you got to drive up to Boston, which is like an hour and a half. And so that right up to Boston the whole time, I'm just sort of like looking around and stuff going like this the last time I'm going to see trees and shit because I was like, convinced that I like I was done. And that whole period, I was just sort of sitting there going, Okay, what have I done with my life? I've been a successful music video director. I've done really great commercials. I've got a solid little company that's running well. I've got a great family. I, I've got this girl that loves me. I've got all this stuff that's going on. This is really great. My only fucking regret is that he never made a feature film. I was like, that was Yeah, that was my only regret. And, you know, out of all things to be like, okay, so if I go, you know, but when I got out, I was like, Look, if I get out of this, no more wasting time. Like you have a good idea. You have a great sort of story. You have this inspiration. You got to jump into it. So it's like you earn to earn that time, you know,

Alex Ferrari 29:59
I mean, we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Now, let me ask you, because this is something that I find very interesting, because we're both similar vintages as far as our age is concerned. Yeah, it took me till I was 41 to make my first feature. And, and it took Wait, how old? Were you? 30? Also, I haven't made the feature yet. So you're still you're still on the journey, trying to get him

Mike Pecci 30:30
on the journey, man. And at this point, it's probably going to be about your age, probably about 41.

Alex Ferrari 30:35
All right. So both of us at this point had at the poor at 30. You and I both had the skills to make a feature film. Yep, we could have done it on a budget, we could have grabbed something we could have had that we had the resources. But yet we did it. I know what my reason was. Because I built up this monster that was the feature film, even though I was doing commercials and music videos and shows and other things like that. I built this just literally a Boogeyman a monster giant, because because it had to be Reservoir Dogs. first film, I had to be Reservoir Dogs, I had to be mariachi had to be clerics that have you know, all those all those films that came out in the 90s when we were coming up? Like that was it and it had to be that like, if I had to show up, I had to show up, like, guns are blaring, you know, yeah, that kind of pressure. Of course, you just never going to move, it was just too much stress. So for you, what was it that stopped you from doing it because I've seen your work, you're more than capable of making a feature film at a high and really high quality. So tell me in your, in your opinion,

Mike Pecci 31:37
I think it's a couple things. One, I made a decision. I made a decision when I was younger, because I was in New York. And I could have stayed in New York. And I made a decision going look, I had produced three movies in New York City without family without context without any of that shit. And I was like, I couldn't do this. But imagine what I could do in a city that I grew up in and imagine what I can get with all these different resources. So I ended up coming back here. And doing all that stuff back here, which was one of the coolest things I did because I learned how to do this stuff in a backwards way. So this whole, I didn't go in turn for you know, release God, I didn't go do that, which would have taught me the conventional way of doing stuff. I sort of did it my own way, which is great. Because my style is kind of dictated by that. Now, when I sit in a room with like Ridley Scott, and all those guys, they're like, how'd you come up with all this? And I'm like, oh, cool, I did it my way. And I sort of did that. The negative of that is that just takes longer. So like that. It's like, it's it's the difference between searing a steak and doing like a slow cooker. You know what I mean? And it was like a long, slow cook process. So I think not being on the sets, and not being there and seeing how relatable those sets are. Affected that and then I ended up like you were you sitting there going like, Oh, these things are so big. And they're so

Alex Ferrari 33:04
I can't make Blade Runner. Like, I can't do

Mike Pecci 33:07
that shit, you know? Because that's so that's so I'm in Boston. And that's so LA, right? I mean, it's like so far away from it. I think that's a big part of it. And then as I started to DirectX, and I started to get more comfortable dealing with talent, because there was that whole period. I'm a technical dude. So for me, it's, it's a cinematography image, you can tell about my work. It's very much a visual storyteller. That's what I love to do. And then there was a period of time probably like seven years ago, where I was crossing the hurdle of actors. And I'm like, I've never acted myself. I've never taken any acting courses. So then it's like, how do I communicate? Because I'm so good at communicating with all the tech guys. How do I take this and communicate it now with emotional people. And so that took me a few years to figure that out. And I'm happy I went through that. But all those things sort of take your time. And I was so focused on just becoming really great at it. Just going like here's how to write a really good set. Here's how we haven't even talked about like, here's how to stay inspired. Here's how to come up with great ideas quickly. here's here's how to flex my muscles as a writer, or as a concept or all that kind of stuff, which took a fuckload of time. So once I hit a point we would do in a couple. I did a short film. I did a short film a fan film, a Punisher fan film, marvel marvel shut down on me.

Alex Ferrari 34:40
I was gonna ask him about his eponymous fan.

Mike Pecci 34:42
Yeah, dude, I did his movie because I was doing a music video I did a music video for Azhar face which is inspected deck and seven all esoteric and is doing is this hip hop video. And they had this bit where we had them kidnapped this guy and they were torturing a guy in a basement. We had him in a bucket. Very like Lethal Weapon style. electrocuting them. And I'm shooting this stuff anamorphic and I'm looking at the monitor going like, Why the fuck are we not doing this as a movie? And I was reading this really great Punisher run by Greg rocket at the time. And I was in, in fan films, we're kind of doing okay, online and I'm like, why don't we just do this? Like, I can take this that I'm shooting, and then just do this? And we'll just do a short and then maybe I'll pitch it. This is pre Netflix. Yeah, pre all that stuff. Maybe I'll pitch into Marvel maybe we'll do some sort of online short thing. And so I got on my my dudes together. And we shot a really beautiful piece, we shot a really cool little short for the Punisher bit. And I made the grave mistake. Oh, no.

Alex Ferrari 35:45
Oh, ask for permission.

Mike Pecci 35:47
No, I did what I did, because I'm also a photographer and all that shit. So I made a poster. And then I cut together a teaser. And I just sent him out. And the poster the teaser got reposted on, like CBR like all these big websites. And then they're writing like shit, like, better than Mar anything Marvel's ever done at the time, the writing these fucking articles, all that stuff is coming out. And I'm in the process of just still shooting in editing. And that's when I get the cease and desist. And Marvel comes with a cease and desist. And they're like, hey, look, you got to stop. And I get it. Look, I don't own the property. I don't own that stuff. I totally understand. And I said to them, I'm like, Look, guys, I'm not making any loot on this. You can fucking have it. Like, let me just make it and then you can have it you can release it, you can do whatever you want with it. No response from them. I get understand legally, why. And then, you know, I love Marvel, I'm just kind of a kid. So I don't want to, I don't want to piss those fuckers off. And especially at this point where it's like Disney, you know, I mean, like, there's no, I don't want to get in that game. And you know, my lawyers at the time, like, they won't screw you now, they'll they'll get on you when you're good. You know, so like, you decide what you want to do with this. And he actually lawyer was like, you should just write an article on what you did. And because I was so concerned about my crew, and all the talent, all these people that I had done this, and no one could see it. But it was when I was shooting that, that I was sitting there going like we're gonna do this as a feature. And then then you're dealing with the next thing, which is like, Yeah, but who's gonna pay for? Right? So then your next step is like, sure I can now do this, but that now who's gonna fund the fucking thing?

Alex Ferrari 37:32
But let me ask you a question, though. Couldn't you have? I mean, obviously, you did the mistake, because you mean, you released the teaser and the poster prior to the movie being made? Or finished, at least? Because if you were to just put the short out there, then what are they gonna do? It's out. So after they sent the cease and desist, you arguably, could have still just released it. And they wouldn't have because the press would have been horrible, and they wouldn't have messed with you. But they would have screwed you some other way later down the line.

Mike Pecci 37:58
That's the that's the thing. You know, you make the mistake of talking to the lawyers and stuff. Yeah. And so you know, at that point, I had a business partner. So he had a family here, he's got all that sort of stuff. So then you're sort of sitting there going like, Okay, look, realistically, what do I want from this? You know, and you know, at the end of the day, it was smart for me not to release it because it became such a mythical thing. It's like that punk rock album that no one's been able to hear. Right. And and now, it's, there's such a mythos surrounding it. But I don't want to put it out because I don't think it will ever live up to the mythology.

Alex Ferrari 38:35
You have. You finished it for yourself.

Mike Pecci 38:37
I have like a finished version of it. Yeah. It's gonna have it be longer. But I do have a finished version that sometimes if I'm having screenings, it might be on there.

Alex Ferrari 38:46
No, of course. Of course, you never know.

Mike Pecci 38:48
But, but that was really cool in the long run, because that was the crew that I dry, basically dry ran for 12 km, which your audience doesn't know anything about that? Yeah. 12 cameras movie. Basically, in the 1980s, a Russian Drill Team dug the deepest hole known to man. And there's a myth that sort of circling around the internet. I think it's created by like a Christian or Catholic League, that they lowered microphones down into the planet, and they heard the screams of hell. And I had heard about this story years before my head injury. Sure. And so when I was writing the head injury thing I needed sort of a backstory of like, where this creature came from, and how, right the whole, the whole thing. And so we wrote this bit, and I decided to make a short film, but because my crew, I get so emotionally invested with the people that I work with, because my crew, I felt like I did them in, just like an insert is like, like, I fucked over. Basically, by not putting the movie out. I went Look, if I'm going to make another short, I'm going to make something that I could screen in the theater. It's going to have a 3x structure. So it's going to be Bit Longer. And so I'll just take the cold open in my movie that takes place in Russia, and make it bigger. And so I wrote this piece. And then since I was the boss, I was like, let's do it in Russian, because I hate it when you see American movies in different countries, and they're speaking with just Russian accents. So I was like, we'll do it in Russian, I don't know how to speak Russian. So well, brand translators will try to make all that work. And that began the crazy adventure. With 12 cam.

Alex Ferrari 40:31
When you've done you've done a handful of these proof of concepts you did the who's their concept? films? Well, let's I want to talk a little bit about proofs of concept in general, because that's something I have been asked a lot in my career I've done them. I've created worlds around my some properties that I created that at the end just could not get the traction, it was just very difficult to package. You know, it is the package of film to get stars attached to it's just a it's a headache. So how has it worked for you? And is it working for you? Have you ever been as any of these proof concepts actually relate finished doing a film or at least getting close to it? Or what's the process? And what is it about it?

Mike Pecci 41:11
So I did, I did 12 cam, so it ended up being a 30 minute movie. And my my goal for that was like, hey, we'll go to festivals, you know, we'll go to festivals, and then maybe we'll meet somebody at festivals. And so when I'm, when I'm cutting, I have this process that I do when I'm editing, where I have groups of people that I bring in at different stages. So like I know what their reactions will be. So I'm bringing them in just to get the reactions. And towards the end of it. I knew a couple festival programmers, and I'm like, just come in watch this fucking thing. And so I get them in. They watch the movie, and they're like, it's awesome. I'm like, cool. I'm like, Yeah, and I was like, so what do you think? Am I gonna have trouble getting this in the festivals? I go, yeah, you're not gonna get this in any festivals. I'm like, Okay. Why not? Like, cuz it's 30 minutes. And I'm like, Well, yeah, but the festivals, I'll say that, they'll take up to 40 minutes. And they go, they're not going to program it now, because if they program, you're short, they're gonna lose three shorts. And I said, Yeah, but mine's good. And they go, Yeah, but they're still not gonna program it.

Alex Ferrari 42:11
It's hard. It's very hard. I had a 20 minutes. I had a 20 minute short. I know. I know. I know how that

Mike Pecci 42:15
feels. And so I said to him, okay, okay, cool. So what would you cut? So you're watching this thing? What do you think I should cut out of it? And they're like, Don't cut anything. We love it. Like, okay, so I'm screwed. It's what you're saying. I'm screwed. And they're like, well, you can try. We have some connections. We'll send it around. We'll see. So I did the whole festival. Thanks, pet fucking like eight $900. You know, and so I sent the thing out and got into like, two. And then it was just so disappointing. And one thing, one thing I learned after doing the Punisher piece was the power of the Internet, and the power of articles and the power of all that stuff. So I started to put together sort of an internet campaign around the short, and I wouldn't release the short, I just released the trailer. So I had like a little teaser for it. And I had a bunch of different articles written, I was getting a little bit of traction, and I had a friend of a friend write to me. And she is Lee and she wrote for twitch film, I think at the time, which I had never heard of at the time. Yeah. And she's like, Hey, can I can I cover and review your movie? And I was like, sure, here, you take it. And I had done some other articles, I thought were gonna be shit for a bunch of other people. Nothing happened on that. And then she releases the article. And in that week, I had Netflix call me. I had another studio call me. And then I got this phone call from a guy claiming to be a manager. And I don't know if it's the same way for you, but whenever I hear someone calling to do that. I imagined some asshole in a closet and a polyester suit on a phone just go on like I manage people. You know what I mean? First of all,

Alex Ferrari 43:56
polyester suit. That's you're taking away too high class. I just I don't even in my in my mind. It's a dude in a Hawaiian shirt. No way see in the middle of summer somewhere in Van Nuys. But anyway,

Mike Pecci 44:11
Gene Hackman from Get Shorty? Exactly. So, you know, so I was like, yeah, you know, whatever, you know, cuz I had I had been wrapped for commercial stuff by people for a while. So I was like, yeah, you know, and he's like, Look, I'm a manager, and I do all this stuff. So I get off the phone with him and the guy. I ended up teaming up with a really longer story. But I ended up teaming up with a great writer who works in Hollywood to write to rewrite the feature version to 12 camp. And so he's repped by UTA. He's repped by a bunch different places. And will Simmons his name? And he called me right away. So as soon as I hang up the phone with this, this manager, I get a call from him. He's like, I hear you're talking to this company. And I was like, How the fuck you like, literally, like I just what are you bugging my house? Like I just literally hung up the phone. He goes, No, I know people that work in the office and they were, your name has been going around the office. And I was like, Yeah, he goes, they're great. They're good company. And I was like, really? And he goes, yeah. And at the time, we, him and I wrote a feature version, a new feature version. And then we packaging the short with it. And he had connections. With, I could say the name, he had connections with Platinum dudes. So Michael Bay's company. Sure. So he's like,

Alex Ferrari 45:25
this is a platinum, this does have a flavor of Platinum dunes. No question.

Mike Pecci 45:28
Yeah. So he's like, he's like, do you wanna, let's go pitch to platinum. And I was like, Okay. So, you know, I got on the airplane, this is my first time really pitching anything. So I get on the airplane, and I'm flying out in the management companies, like, Look, come see us and pitch it to us first. And if we like the pitch, then we'll send you out. And so we go to this place, and I go meet them on my own first and like I said, I'm picturing like, a, you know, like a fucking strip mall, and like a little office. And so I go, and it's like, this giant fucking building. And it's like, you know, Leonardo DiCaprio. His production offices are in there, like all this stuff. And I'm just sort of in the lobby going like, Oh, shit,

Alex Ferrari 46:11
Kansas anymore.

Mike Pecci 46:13
Sounds like whoa, okay. And so go up to this place. And I could it's Gotham group. So really amazing. A management company. Yeah, I've heard of them. I hear good things. Yeah. Justin, Justin Lippman is my manager. So go up and meet him for the first time. And you know, they do their thing. Like, I watch entourage. So like, their hits this point where it's like, you know, the assistants like Mike, Mike, Mike Lee, and they're just like, comes over and doesn't like, you know, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, you know, and I'm an East Coast. So I'm just like, really nice to meet you. But you know, you guys don't have to be doing this shit. Let's just get right to it. And so we go in, and we pitch to these dudes. And Will's agent from UTA is on the phone, all that kind of stuff. So we do our pitch. And they're all like, Oh, we love it. We can we can sell this. And so instantly, I signed with them. And then while I'm out there, they extend my time out there in LA. So I'm out there for like 11 days. And will and I, who are actually will and I have been writing together over the phone, we haven't spent time in the same room together. So we, we take that weekend and go on our first date, hang out, do all that. And then the two of us learn our pitch where we're both going in a room so it's like a presentation where like I say something he says something a baba baba baba and we work this really good pitch they go. And then we go on this adventure. And they book us. We you pitch to production companies first because you have to get a producer attached. And then once you get a producer attached to it, then they go off financing, and then they go. So we ended up pitching to like 1112 of some of like, these are production companies like George's with

Alex Ferrari 47:53
Ridley Scott movie, or these guys.

Mike Pecci 47:57
Like, we went everywhere like Michael Bay's offices, Sam Raimi, his offices, yeah, the whole the whole run. And it was like, every time I'd show up and be like, oh, and this is the first time Oh, magical.

Alex Ferrari 48:09
Oh, yeah. magical moment. You know, how old were you? How old are you? And this is going on a few. This is a few years ago, few years ago, right? So you, but you see, like, this happened to me when I was in my early 20s. So that different vibe back then, you know, you could say you were a little bit more seasoned, a little bit more grizzled? You know, but it's still like, I'm cool, but I know who I am.

Mike Pecci 48:30
But Exactly. And you go into the room, and you're like, Look, I've been because I've been pitching for commercials and music. Yeah. For years. So that really doesn't get me I mean, I get a little starstruck with certain directors. Sure. Maybe directors that made movies about aliens and robots and

Alex Ferrari 48:45
shit. Yeah, did that and sound like eight honor. Right? Got it.

Mike Pecci 48:50
Those people, but you know, some of the other ones. I'm like, this is really cool. It's cool to see what you're doing. And when you go into these offices, like these are very small offices. This is manageable. And you go in there and you look around you go, I get it. Like, beyond that amazing, shiny logo. It's like this is what it actually is. All right, this is I could do this. You sort of walking through the going like, cool. And the thing that was really great. Is it this goes back to what you asked about concepts. Yeah. Yeah. Having a great proof of concept. And if we could talk about how your listeners can see 12pm, but having a really great proof of concept, basically takes all the bullshit out of it. So I can, my my management, the way that they set up the meetings where they just took the short film, put together an email, sent it an email, and said, Shut the lights off, put on headphones and watch this. Like you have to watch this. And so I got to go to these places where they had already seen everything. So I get to step into a room and instead of having to go in there and pitch. I walk in the room and they already have questions like stuff like exactly how much was your budget? Like oh my god, how Did you do this? And how come you're not Russian? Like all these really weird questions that were coming to me. So it was, it was a great experience for that, because they knew immediately based upon my proof of concept, what my style is, you know what my voice is, and what I can pull off. So it really sort of pulls away. A good portion of that bullshit that you usually have to do is like, Oh, I'm really frugal on set, where these guys would look at stuff. Oh, yeah, yeah, they go like, how many days did you shoot? A shot for seven days total? How many setups per day did you do? 35? Holy shit. 35 setups? Yeah, Dolly steady cam, this and this. Holy shit. And if I had gotten into a room and said that to producers, without that, they'd be like,

Alex Ferrari 50:45
yeah, this kid doesn't know what he's talking about. Right? Right. Right. Exactly.

Mike Pecci 50:49
You know, and even though 40 you still get that like, Listen, kid, like, that still comes out? And I'm like, you're 35 You can't say to me, Listen.

Alex Ferrari 51:03
I bet it's it's funny he listening to you. It's exactly what happened to me when I did my proof of concepts and just walking in and people would ask, and you get into these these rooms and people start asking you but then of course all the all the struggles come up and like oh boy who's gonna get attached? We need that we need to who can we get attached to the project? And once we attach somebody, then they then we have to find financing for it. And and then they start all the foreign sales? And can you change the character from being Latina to being this? Or can you make them instead of a female lead character? Can we make it a male lead character? And it just like, and then that that whole game still is the swirl?

Mike Pecci 51:41
I mean, we did that with 12. Cam, two years ago. So two years ago, something like that. We ended up hooking up with the best possible scenario, by the way. I don't know if I'm allowed to say it yet. Okay, but I you know, out of all those places, is probably a place that does some pretty amazing stuff that I really liked that many have already said on the show, but you never know. Yeah. So we teamed up one of those spots and right now we're going through that talent attachment thing. Oh, brutal, brutal. And it takes for Ember, dude, I got so frustrated. And I'm gonna talk about I don't give a fuck, I got so frustrated over the Christmas season, because it's like, we're waiting for we're waiting for one actor specifically, to to read the fucking thing. And it's not that the actors not reading it. There's so many fucking layers between you and the talent. There are so many people that have their own opinions that their base agendas, yeah, agendas, and maybe reading three pages of the fucking thing. And so it's so sprawled out. And I know that if I get in a room with people, I can get people really amped that's what I'm good at, I get people really pumped about it. So I keep saying, like, put me in the room put me in the room put me in the room, like agents, and management, like I got signed by UTA immediately after that. So it's really great. So all those dudes are there. And I'm like, pulling them and put me in the room. And he's like, yeah, you know, there's steps in this processes. And I'm sitting back here at home, and I'm like, fuck this, like, I don't know how to do to get past this point. And so I just started making videos. So now I make videos for actors, or I will make videos like we're doing, or I'm like, here's, here's the project. Here's who I am. Here's what's happening. This is what I really like. And this is how I see you in it. And I will, I'll edit it really cool. And then I send it, and then I send it to my guys, and I go, guess what, this is small enough to fit on your fucking iPhone. So here's what you're gonna do. She's texted to the actor. That's it. So that way you can skip everything just fucking texted to the actor so that they can read it and they can look at it, they can watch it. And so that's, that's where I'm at right now.

Alex Ferrari 53:52
That is a really brilliant idea. Like that's, first of all that tussle. I love that. And it is a great way to cut through a lot of the BS that you have to deal with. Because it's your right man. Look, man, I've I've wrote a whole book about this. What am I proud of one of these journeys of mine, you know, like, you're just sitting there and you're dealing with agents and managers and lawyers, and then handlers around the around the actor. And the bigger the actor, the worse again, like, it's, I never I never fault the actor. No, it's just, it's just the world because

Mike Pecci 54:24
of, because I see it from my perspective, because I'll get scripts sent to us or to me, and I'll read scripts, and I know how that game works. And I'll get them filtered down through the run. And I know that the actor is just like, Who's this guy? What is he done? After he goes through all that shit that's coming at him where it's just like, you know, we think he's really good with you know, and there's a lot of that that comes with me where they're like, we did this really good idea and you look at you go, this is shit, you know? And so all they have at that point is to go like, Who's this director? What's he done? You know, and maybe if maybe they go online and they look Be up online.

Alex Ferrari 55:01
Do you have I mean, so you weren't you're you've worked with you're working with a company that was shall remain nameless. But that company has probably some producers that are well known. Yes. Let's say yes. Do you find that having a producer so let's say and say Spielberg, I know it's not Spielberg. But let's say Spielberg's, like, I vouch for this kid, and Steve calls up Leonardo and says, Hey, check this 12k m out I think it might be that's gonna cut through a lot of BS. Okay, yes,

Mike Pecci 55:33
I agree. But let's pretend like it's let's pretend like it's a guy like Spielberg movies, movie phrases, let's pretend like it's like that. So directors for a lot of folks that don't understand how it works directors that would be become successful usually start or already have their own little production company or development company and so like if you make a successful film, then with a studio you can often get like first look deal so like you get a first look deal with Warner's you get a first look deal with Paramount whatever the fuck that is. And so James want like James wants company, for instance, James Wan who has atomic monster they have first look with Warner Brothers. James, I've met with atomic monster guys love those guys love to work with those guys. I did meet with James Wan. So I went in, I met with Jim what James wants partners. So you go in, and usually you're meeting with like a junior exec. Or you're meeting, I've been lucky enough to meet with some of his big execs, which is great. So you go and you sit in the room, and they like it, and they will sign with it. And they'll do it. And and I've only had with the guy that I'm dealing with, I've only had those exchanges with the producers and the execs that worked with him to never wait but never him. I almost I was in the office one day, pitching to a couple of finance ears. And he was there. And and I had I had never met him and he was there in the it's a funny story.

Alex Ferrari 57:06
I see I see your eyes twinkling now. Yeah,

Mike Pecci 57:11
I've been trying to be as vague. As poss. I just did. And the and the producers, we were supposed to have like a conference room. And the producers were all flustered because all of a sudden the director was there. And he and the head of the company was there. And he's like, I need all the conference rooms. So like it was this big deal. And so and so they're like, Alright, we have we have to redo this mean, we do it in this small little office. And they bring me into this little office, not really a small office, they bring me into this office. And I look around and it's the Office of this director. It's like this amazing office. And so like I'm in this office, and I'm looking around all over the place and the producers there. And he's like, I think we'll do it on the couch here. We'll have that coming. And we'll talk here and do this. I'm like, Yeah, that sounds great. And he's like, do you want coffee? And I don't drink coffee. I never drink coffee. And I go, yeah, yeah. And he goes, what kind of what kind of coffee Do you want to go, wherever it takes you the longest to come back here. And say he leaves the room. And I'm just walking around with my phone, just going concept concept, statue statue.

Alex Ferrari 58:14
You're basically just geeking out, you're straight.

Mike Pecci 58:16
All right out. geeking out. So I had this moment. And so that come back. And we have this pitch meeting. And there's something cool about being able to pitch and point at concept art from big movies while you're pitching. And so I have I have this pitch thing. And then they're like he's here. And like, do you want to meet him? And I'm like, no. Like, what do I mean? It's like he's stressed out. He's here. He's working. The last thing I want is for one of you guys to walk into a fucking conference room, where he's dealing with shit. And then they go hey, this is uh, this is Mike. Remember, he did that little Russia movie. And I don't want to have that exchange. I don't want him to be like, trying to deal with millions of dollars in turn and go. Who? Yeah, all right. Cool. Yeah, great. Shake hands walk out. That's not what I want.

Alex Ferrari 59:00
Right? They're like, No, I want to have your coffee. I'm gonna sit down with him. I was like I wanted I want to twiddle our hair, braid our hair together. I mean, I want I want a moment.

Mike Pecci 59:10
And so like, that was a while ago. And then I've done quite a few meetings with him since and I'm always testing them because they're like, you know, he likes the movie almost says, he likes he likes the movie. And I was like, sure. And the first time I'd heard that they were pitching it to the finance ears were like, he thinks that Mike's wanted the next director to come out of this company really great. And I heard that for the first time in the finance series. And I was just like, Whoa, you know? And so afterwards, I was like, what's good line of bullshit that you guys feed? You know, to the dude's because they know East Coast guy

Alex Ferrari 59:44
here. So East Coast Dude, I'm just I'm like, smelling it like I like it's no way Oh, and this is great. Yeah, like

Mike Pecci 59:49
it's a good good lot of bullshit that you know, it's serious. He fucking saw the short and he likes short. He sees a ton of shorts and he really likes short nickel. Yeah, that's cool. But in the back of my head. I'm like, Huh and You know, a couple other times that I've been hung out with them. I test them. I'm like, so is he seen the movie? And I go, yep, I go. Yeah. What do you think? Like he loves it says the same one that did before. And I'm like, Oh, so maybe he seen it. And it wasn't until I met with another director, who I'm actually Zack Murch. I'm actually gonna have my podcast this afternoon, who is also also somehow connected, I'm giving it away, also somehow connected. He heard about it. And he was there. And he was like, Oh, yeah, I heard him talking about it. And I was like, wow. And it was at that moment where it's just brain blew up.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:40
Oh, yeah. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Mike Pecci 1:00:52
Like little little dude from Boston, shooting a movie in Russia in a tiny little suburb. And then now I'm here. And even though the movie hasn't been made yet, even though we're still in development, just learning in this long process to appreciate, and it takes a lot of work. My girl's always trying to get me to do it. She's like, take a moment. I know you're being fucking cynical. Take a moment understand where you are. And it's like, Oh, right. Yeah, right. Okay, cool.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:16
Enjoy. Enjoy the journey, man. Cuz Yeah, honestly, you don't know if it's gonna happen again. Yeah, but it is it is a it is a journey. And you just just enjoy the joy the ride while you're going on it. It might be painful. It might be like God dammit. But like, I promise you, God, since I've gone through it a few times in my career, you just got to enjoy the ride, because you just don't know if or when it'll come back around. It is a rarity. It is is a unicorn, it really is a unicorn, especially when we're just trying to come up, it is a unicorn experience. So enjoy it as frustrating is it?

Mike Pecci 1:01:52
You know, I mean, I, I've just got to the point where like, I understand that, you know, I say this in the podcast, I understand that. As a director, I direct probably 9% of the year. So most as it is. Yeah. And that's because I do commercials, right. So most of this is what my job is. So all of this, like you will be talking like all of this is what my fucking job is. So you got to really love it. And that's what my plug my own podcaster that's what my podcast is about. And so the mobile the process is like, How do you stay sane? For the amount of time that it takes for any of this stuff to happen? And then for those people that are just waiting to get on the stage for those people that just waiting to go like, this is mine. It's awesome, right? And then that literally lasts for maybe a week. Yeah. And it's like, you know, and then it's fucking gone. And so I really learned this early on where it's like, I really have to fall in love with all these little things. I have to fall in love with these little steps and in that's the life the life is like Tuesday location scouting in a fucking abandoned powerplant, or, like, Wednesday hanging out with a potential person that you're gonna work with six years from now. Like, that's what this is. And that's kind of what I promote. That's what I talk about, because I feel like you guys do you do a great job with your podcast? It's sort of the same way where most of what people are sold these days is all propaganda. Such stray propaganda, like this is how cool I am. This is fucking cool. My Instagram is all that shit filters everywhere, right? everywhere, and everybody has to do it's that fucking pitch all the time. Everybody has to pitch it. And you know, it's what gear Do you own and like you're not a professional unless you're fucking in debt with your gear. Yeah, you

Alex Ferrari 1:03:43
need to shoot 8k 8k constantly. That's a whole other podcast. Dude, like, I I literally, you should see people's face. My last film I shot I shot on 10 ATP on a good on a pocket camera. The Blackmagic Pocket camera. Yeah, it looks stunning. I love it's one of the best looking things I've ever shot and people were like, Oh, you shot in 1080 Mike Yeah, I did. I even zoomed in a little bit in the 1080 and fixed a little bit of post because I am a color so I could do that. And it looks fantastic. It was great. Instead of lugging around a red or lugging around on Alexa, or these big monster companies. It was perfect for the kind of film I was trying to make.

Mike Pecci 1:04:25
I learned that doing music videos because when we were doing music videos, me and my old business partner, Ian we were doing stuff for MTV, so MTV still existed. So we were doing like a lot of heavy metal stuff. We're doing a lot of like hip hop stuff. We wrote treatments for Ozzy all that kind of shit. And we would shoot stuff on fucking mini DV. So we would use like old school mini DV cameras with a glass adapter so we could put lenses on so you were you were looking at you were using the dv x 100

Alex Ferrari 1:04:53
A where you

Mike Pecci 1:04:55
were doing some Panasonic as canon. Maybe x Sell twos Yeah, doing a lot of that shit. And we would shoot videos that would be broadcast next to 35 millimeter. And people would would would say to us, because you get those nerds and people would say to us, like, said that was obviously like reversal, you know, 35 millimeter, or maybe it was like 16, you know, and you're just like is it was many DVDs, as many TV in a camera, it doesn't make a difference, like tell the story I always, I always say this man like an audience as long as you set it up, right an audience will forgive aesthetics, as long as the aesthetics make sense. They will not forgive sound. So you if you're gonna, if you're worried about tech worry about sound, and a lot of people don't it's like, worry about how you're recording sound worry about how it sounds worried about your mix. Because aesthetically, like a Blair Witch, you know what I mean? Like, you can make a you can run around with a handy shaky hand cam, throw away any sort of visual stuff in the audience. As long as the story's engrossing. As long as it sounds good. they'll stick with it.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:01
So that so the answer. So this was a very long answer to a short question. But sorry. Which has been fantastic. No, no, don't apologize. It's been fantastic. Because I asked you originally, are proof of concepts worth it. And I think we've established in the last 25 minutes that that know it, because it's a concept, I've really never talked a lot about that specific thing. Because I, I'm still bitter, you're not bitter yet of the proof of concept journey. I've gone through it at least two to three times with different projects over the course of my career. So I'm bitter at proof of concepts, because I see that they kind of go real farm and then Ah, ah, and then but you're still in that process. And you're obviously gotten to a place that you're a little bit farther along. Sure than where I was.

Mike Pecci 1:06:46
I forgot to. So yeah, exactly. There is as well as grade 12. Cam is with that guy and men who's there is about to be with somebody else.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:56
Right? So it's working. But the thing is that the proof of concept does if you're good, we'll maybe not even get the movie made. Maybe I get the project, man, but it will get you attention, production accompany attention. They're like, Hey, you know, this is not going to work this Russian thing. You know, we can't get anybody attached. But we got this other thing. Because we'd love your aesthetics. Would you be interested in reading this script? And all of us. And that movie's got about three, 4 million attached to it already. So do you want that movie? That's what can happen from it. But it's so difficult for filmmakers who put all their you've put your heart and soul I mean, it was literally a near death experience to help you create this. So you're attached emotionally to this proof of concept to the story. But I think you're also at a different stage in your career, where if someone said, you know, we're not going to make the Russian thing, but we're going to give you this and it's pretty damn cool. Sure, yeah.

Mike Pecci 1:07:45
I mean, I, for me, like I say this all the time, like, I don't have, I got great stories to tell. But I don't have the story that I feel like is like, I'm gonna release and it's gonna change the world socially. So. So for me, I like to make great adventure movies, I like to make scary adventure movies. And I'm in this business for the life. I'm in this business. For the creative. I might forget what they have they call it but I'm more of a, I'm a job guy. So for me, it's I want to have the ability to continue to hire the people that I work with. I want to have the ability to continue to spend my days I'm gonna drop dead on set. You know what I mean? Like I that's what I want. I just did a shoot last week, actually two days ago, where I brought together a bunch of people we shot on Super Bowl, I couldn't Sunday brought together a bunch of people that I love. We all shot for 10 hours. And then we brought in dude smoked ribs and brought in food and had a huge shippable party. And it was amazing. I'm still recovering from it. It was just such a great experience. That's what I want to do. I mean, if you work with me on my sets, they're fun. They're challenging. And they're family. And so I see what I have to do for the pitching and all this stuff is almost like being dad and going out and getting the ability so that my family can continue to work. That's all and that's kind of why I want to do it, man. And so if and I've had scripts sent to me, and there's a couple that I would work on. If someone comes to me and goes, look, it's not time for 12pm I'd go okay. It will be at some point, but Sure. All right. You want me to do some exorcism movie, if I connect to the material, and if I think my style is gonna work with it, and I'm inspired by it. I'm in. I'm totally in you want to do a reboot of Nightmare on Elm Street. I am in like, I would love love to do that because I'm jealous of Spielberg. Of course I'm jealous. I'm jealous of that period of time where I feel like the audience wasn't as sophisticated on this. They're not sophisticated is a way to put it but it's like right now. All The Magicians are showing you how the magic fucking happens.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:03
Yeah, Dad, you didn't know you didn't know.

Mike Pecci 1:10:05
And so at that time period, like Jurassic Park was the first time that they were really going like, these dinosaurs aren't real. But it wasn't until after Jurassic Park came out, because I remember going to watch that movie and going, like, How the fuck did they get dinosaurs? Like, there was no, there was no connection to it. And I think that they were opening the door because a it was two things. One Patterson's in the back, look what we're doing, but also to, like, look at the great technology we're developing. And that was all part of their PR campaign. I think there's a negative connotation, like, if you're a filmmaker, it's great because you have this, you have commentaries, you have all that stuff that you can learn from. But as the general audience goes, like, if I sit down with someone, and they're like, I hate CG, it's like, No, you just hate bad movies. Right? You don't know you like CG is just, that's not at all. Yeah, like, watch any Avengers movies, and you won't be able to guess what CG and I don't know,

Alex Ferrari 1:11:05
man, he's just like,

Mike Pecci 1:11:07
you just don't like bad movies, that that's all it is. That's fine in it as an audience member, that's all you need to know. The fact that people like this is how much you made in the box office. And this is how much and fucking rotten tomatoes and the fact that all that stuff. It's just killing it. So my point is that I'm jealous of the Spielberg days where he got to direct Columbo and do stuff on TV and then do the duel and do all that stuff and learn on screen. So he's literally they're just learning so it doesn't have to be a fucking perfect movie. A lot of these movies that we hold to high esteem these days. If they came out modern day at the level of quality they did, but you aren't. I love fucking diehard.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:47
I just I just watched it this Christmas best Christmas movie ever.

Mike Pecci 1:11:50
And what I love about it is that the camera fucking shakes. The Dolly moves are all fucking weird. Like they're rushing around doing that stuff.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:57
You can see the stunt guy, the stunt guy, Bruce Willis, the stunt guy, you could see him so it's like, that's such an ad. Same thing with lethal weapon. Same thing with predator. Same thing with all those kind of that genre of Yo, yo Commando.

Mike Pecci 1:12:09
You love it, because you're just in it. And no one gives a shit no. sitting there going like all the cameras shaking, or like,

Alex Ferrari 1:12:17
yes, a bad green screen

Mike Pecci 1:12:19
on the resolution. Like the rear projection and lethal weapon to is god awful. But like at the time when I watched it, it's fucking cool.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:27
It's Terminator two, man. Like, I remember watching Terminator two. And it's like, you go back into some of that rear projection, that opening sequence was all real projection. And you just like you look at it now going. It was good for the time, it means you can look at some of the CG in that movie, which was state of the art. It some of it still holds up. You know what, there was one man that we're going to kick out for a second. There's one movie that I that was in the 90s that if you watch it right now holds up almost perfectly is the matrix. Yeah, the matrix, the matrix is VFX. And what they did not age it, they did it so perfectly well. And because it combined practical with CG, and it didn't have I'm not talking about Matrix Reloaded or Matrix Revolutions. I'm talking about just the matrix. The other ones the other ones don't hold as well. But the first matrix and 99 men Oh, it chills Yeah.

Mike Pecci 1:13:21
Well, that it comes down to their practical CG element. And this is something that I talked about now that we're pushing these movies all the time. I'm a practical dude. So if you watch 12 cam, I sent you the full thing for 12

Alex Ferrari 1:13:33
Yeah, yeah, I saw the trash only thoughts on Cesar though. Oh, you got to watch it.

Mike Pecci 1:13:38
The whole thing there's no CG. Yeah. And so when you watch it, you there's all this stuff that you go Oh my God, look at the CG I literally got a microbiologist who's a macro photographer $500 and went into his basement in Amish country Pennsylvania I saw I saw the shot all of the effects through microscopes. So all those effects that you think are killing it

Alex Ferrari 1:14:04

Mike Pecci 1:14:04
Are actually science experiments.

Alex Ferrari 1:14:06
And I saw I saw that documentary I saw the behind the scenes of it and I said that the the biologist like I've never had a filmmaker call me to want to do this. So I said, this sounds pretty cool. This is better than my normal day of just looking through a microscope and picking out pores and should I you know, so it's like but it's a brick but you know what the Aronofsky did that with the fountain? Yep, yeah, he did it practically but it was like with this combination of chemicals and the way the chemicals are always so they go back to CG you can do in CG that way.

Mike Pecci 1:14:37
Did you go back you I love Bram Stoker's Dracula. Oh, I love Oh, God said it's so great in their work with light cues and shadow play in

Alex Ferrari 1:14:47
miniature miniatures and the way they respect the eyes. Sorry, sorry guys. We're geeking out just to filmmakers get get out about our generations times the films of what like oh, that movie.

Mike Pecci 1:15:00
Well, I mean, even though it is our generations not to cut you off, even though it is our generations of stuff, these techniques are still being used today. They're just being blended nicely with CG.

Alex Ferrari 1:15:10
Yeah. So if you're good if you're smart,

Mike Pecci 1:15:13
yeah. And you just blending those areas, because as a shooter one thing that this is what I said, when I was doing 12. Kim, I said, I'm not going to do CG because I don't have the money for it. And if you don't have the money for CG, and crappy CG looks like shit. But as a shooter, if I have something to film, something crappy filming, I can find accidents, I can find optical accidents and really great things through the lens. So let's do everything practically. And because of that, it just, it starts to build its own smell. I was like I said, that movie smells a certain way.

Alex Ferrari 1:15:49
It's a stank, if you will.

Mike Pecci 1:15:51
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You can only get that practically. You can't get that because it that when you're in CG land, you have like, a lot of people that are on the computer, and it's going through all these different brains. And then most of the computer people are just like, well, there's no high enough resolution on it, you know? And so like, their focus is different than when you're on set practically staring at a monitor and going like, wouldn't it be cool if we just turn the camera like this? And then put a light into it? Yeah. Okay, great.

Alex Ferrari 1:16:14
Yeah, that's it. Yeah, I would agree with you. 100%. We could talk about this for hours. But yeah, we're gonna, I'm gonna ask a few questions that ask all my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker wanting to break into the business today?

Mike Pecci 1:16:28
I would say, young filmmaker trying to break into the business, I would say, okay, make stuff that they can see online. So the best thing in the world I was, I was told this actually by producers. If you're a short filmmaker, don't expect to get a movie deal from a film festival. When producers and production companies go to film festivals, they go to look specifically at features. That's why they go. And so if you go to a film festival, and you're programmed to short, you know, like a 10 bundle, or 15, short bundle, or whatever it is, they're not going to sit through all that shit. They're just not. And so the place that they look at short films is online. And the place that they look at short films is like Vimeo. And different they, they hire people and assistants that go through certain blogs, and web and websites. So if you can make a good piece that is interesting, exciting to watch, promote that piece online, have that piece written about, have that piece become like a video with a day, or have it be put on someone's website, your chances of having it seen are a lot greater. And actually, these days, whether or not you're talking movies, or you're talking advertising, I know all creative directors hire off of Instagram right now. 100% re don't even they don't even go to your fucking website. They hire off of Instagram, everybody's hiring off Instagram. Because the people that are hiring for creatives on commercials, they're like mid 20s, low 20s. So they're just scrolling through going I really like this guy's art. How many followers? Oh, cool. All right, great. Let's hire and boom, everything Dude, I was literally doing a location scout in a hotel the other day for a photoshoot. And, and the young creative person at the hotel was bragging how she found all the artists for the place on Instagram. And they paid me Wow.

Alex Ferrari 1:18:21
Good to know. And I want to just and I just want to say one other thing, because you brought up film festivals a couple times and how you kind of with with 12 Okay, um, you kind of just started the festival circuit. And on my last feature, I wasted a year of a year, chasing the chasing, I was chasing the dragon. Not that dragon the other dragon wasn't as expensive as the other dragon is really much more expensive than film festivals. But that that dragon, I was chasing the I was chasing Sundance because I shot a movie at Sundance first feature film ever to be shot at Sundance narrative. So I was like, it's a love letter to Sundance man. I gotta I gotta believe this if there's a shot. This has to be it. Yeah, and it wasn't. And I just said I wasted a year I could have had this out earlier. And I just now have said to myself, I'm not going to do it anymore. I'm just not anything I made from now on. It's going to be either for online distribution, say and just FOCUS Online man because the festivals are great and everything but I think

Mike Pecci 1:19:24
There's just so many variables with and back when festivals were young. Back when like

Alex Ferrari 1:19:29
The 90s, early 90s Yeah,

Mike Pecci 1:19:30
Yeah. Because the internet didn't really exist for that. And then that's where you would go and then you had producers. Producers it turned out to be terrible people but producers that would go they would find these this talent

Alex Ferrari 1:19:46
That producers name sounds like RV Einstein Yeah.

Mike Pecci 1:19:50
As as terrible as that guy is. Terrible term unbeatable person. Yeah. He found all the greats in the 90s.

Alex Ferrari 1:19:58
He was there, man. And he did what he did.

Mike Pecci 1:20:01
You're talking, you're talking Tarantino, you're talking

Alex Ferrari 1:20:04
Rodriguez,you're talking

Mike Pecci 1:20:05
Smith, you're talking all of them. Guillermo del Toro for the American stuff. You're talking all that?

Alex Ferrari 1:20:10
Yeah, it did mimic Yeah.

Mike Pecci 1:20:12
And, you know, was really just a handful of producers that understood the power that film festivals had. And they exploited that to get great talent, right. And nowadays, it's different. I feel like I'm learning that the film industry is a lot different than it used to be. Film Industry now is becoming very corporate. So I feel like a lot of the skills that I've learned through doing commercials, I'm using on pitches and stuff, because it's almost like you're now pitching to Walmart,

Alex Ferrari 1:20:45
In a lot of ways, and you have to build a brand. And you're building your own personal brand, as a filmmaker and your website and your Instagram and your Facebook and your Twitter and all the all this stuff you're doing that's what you need to do to build a career now. Where because before you did, yeah, because that's how people find you. And that's how people are looking at your stuff. Now, can you tell me the book that had the biggest impact on your life or career? The book? That's interesting. Book, there's one book that constantly gets brought up on this brought on this podcast, but I'll wait if you in a second. I say you go. Oh, yeah, that's the one I was gonna say is one of your books. And no, it's not. I've only written one. And it hasn't come out yet. As of this recording, so no. Yes, it's called shooting for the mob. It's changed my life. It's available for every 22nd on Amazon. Yeah. When's it gonna be on Audible? I'm working on him. And I'm working on it.

Mike Pecci 1:21:47
I don't know. I mean, alright. So I would say books. For me, it's probably comic books, okay, because that's fine. For me. It's comic books. I think the stuff that really changed my world. I remember when I was younger, I was terrible at reading. I'm sure I have some sort of dyslexia. It's some sort of shade there. And my mother was just concerned that I would never read a book. And so she went out one day, grabbed a handful of comic books, and brought them home to me when I was a young kid, and like an amazing Spider Man, but it was really great books actually, the time period, amazing Spider Man and the x men. And I think that at first amazing Spider Man book was the one that changed everything for me because there's something so cool about opening it and seeing action conveyed in still images and body posturing and posing and all that kind of stuff. So I would say, for me, it was probably that amazing Spider Man, I forget what number is like 407 years. I'm like that but you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:22:44
Yeah, you're going up there. Yeah, I have. I have almost a whole collection of amazing Spider Man. Here. Yeah. I love, love. Love that stuff. The McFarland runs.

Mike Pecci 1:22:54
Oh, yeah, the whole we can get nerdy about image and all that stuff.

Alex Ferrari 1:22:58
Anyway. Oh, yeah, we can. That's a whole other podcast. Oh, that's a whole other conversation. Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

Mike Pecci 1:23:10
Longest lesson? I would say? I would say that. I'm just trying to figure out the right way to phrase this. I would say that. Learning the difference between confidence and cockiness?

Alex Ferrari 1:23:34

Mike Pecci 1:23:35
I think that was the thing that took a while. And I think that when you're young, when I was young, when you're young, as a filmmaker, you're compensating because what the thing with our job is that you really can't actually do your job unless you convince everybody to be there. So a follow you can write Yeah, yeah. So you can, you can practice aspects of it. But like, actual be a director on the day, you've had to convince a fuckload of people to actually show up and do. And so when you're younger, you're dealing with that insecurity, because you've never done it, or you haven't done it at the scale that you want to do it. So you're compensating with insecurity with ego. And so you're coming in and you're just sort of like, Yeah, fuck, yeah, I can kill this. Oh, yeah, this is gonna be great. This is gonna be awesome. It's gonna be great. And then you would you're combining that with your, you're still learning how to take what you have is a vision in your head and get it out of this thing. She's still trying to figure that out. And so what happens with a lot of young filmmakers is, you hit this point where your idea isn't coming across. And so instead of reevaluating and checking your ego in understanding that you're not communicating correctly, a lot of people would just smash and try to run over the problem. So it's just like, here's what I want you to fucking do it. Just do it. Just do it. Just do it. And I will learned over time that the people that are in that mode are just like, you go and they just set something up and they walk away. And you're just like, that's not what I wanted and sort of go through this process. So it took me a while to figure out like, Okay, well, you have to be confident, but you can't be egotistical and you have to learn how to make this thing work. For this fair enough, I think I think I answered I think you did.

Alex Ferrari 1:25:24
I think you did. And the toughest question of a mall, three of your favorite films of all time. I would say three all time. Alien. I would say the thing. I would say Blade Runner. Yeah. Blade Runner, man. Can I tell you my blade runner story real quick? Yeah, when I got here, I watched Blade Runner for the first time. I had not watched it. I always clipped like watch parts of it. But I watched it. decade or so ago. And I watched it and I was watching with a friend of mine who's a dp. And he said, Did you see that scene when they went when he visited the the? The the the police station? He's like, do you want to go do you want to go there? I'm like, Yeah, can we go there? And of course we go down with grandson. I'm not gonna statue but what does that the train station here in LA I forgot the name of it. The big visit. And then you walk in you look over like, oh my god. It's right there. Like that freaked me out. My mind was blown. And then you start going to all the locations that they shot around town and anyone who's watching listen to this right now or watching this please go watch Blade Runner. Just pro? Yeah, please watch Blade Runner. I mean, I was I was looking at I was actually I was actually coloring this years ago, one of the he's one of the biggest music video directors in the world right now. And I was working with him as a colorist back then. Oh, cool. And I was talking to him. And I'm like, hey, so you want me to do this little like Blade Runner here? And he's like, Yeah, I don't know what that is. He was like, he was like, 22 and I'm like, and I stopped and I'm like, are you effing kidding? Are you kidding me? You're a music video director. Do you not know Ridley Scott's work? That guy kind of invented all like it's all him and Tony here him and Tony man like they kind of like before Bay before Fincher before all those guys.

Mike Pecci 1:27:15
Here's Tony. Tony, Tony Scott. Man, Tony Scott. I love Tony Scott. God, I love Tony. And I just watched a man of fire again the other day. movies so good. And the cool thing. Like I said, My guest later this afternoon. on my show, Zack market Zack started as Tony Scott's assistant.

Alex Ferrari 1:27:37
Oh, he must have some stories.

Mike Pecci 1:27:39
I can not wait. And this is like days at Thunder time. Oh, this is like, this is then where I'm like, dude, I need to know. Like you what it was like

Alex Ferrari 1:27:50
You watch man on fire. And you're like, oh, that was that was directed by a 25 year old. Like music video director like it was not it was he was in his 60s. When he did that, like

Mike Pecci 1:28:01
Ridley made his first movie he made when he was 40. I think it was 4041. Tony was about the same time Tony made the hunger.

Alex Ferrari 1:28:08
Yeah, hunger was great fun. dualist was the other one. Yeah,

Mike Pecci 1:28:12
yep. And duels was the other one. Those guys were our age. Yeah, that's what really comforts me. That comforts me.

Alex Ferrari 1:28:18
So yeah, because before it was like, Oh, I got to do what Orson Welles did, or I got to do what Spielberg did. He was 27. Or that it's like, oh, well, I think Tarantino was like 31 or 32. And he did reservoir. But now Oh, Ridley and Tony, they were in their 40s when they did that, but they were very accomplished. Sure, much more accomplished than you and I, sir, at the same age. I mean, they had a huge commercial company. But it was it was a different time. Like they were the competition was everything, everything was changed. They set it up, they set the whole damn thing up.

Mike Pecci 1:28:49
I mean, even after them, you look at like propaganda films, and you look at David Fincher and all those guys. That was a period of time for music, because I thought I was going to be a music video director. And when I got into it, we started doing music videos at the tail end. So I would talk to older directors that had been doing it years prior, and I would have budgets on my videos, that was their percentage take off again. I remember those days. And so they would say to us, like, How the fuck are you guys going to survive? And as kids were, you know, as kids as younger guys were like, we're just gonna do it. We're gonna get in or we're gonna do it. We're just gonna go and it's gonna happen. And then you hit a point with music videos where you realize people stop buying CDs. people stop putting money into the industry. And the first careers that go are all of our careers, the fuckin a&r reps and the promotional people. Yeah, you know, I was around when like, like, Roadrunner Records had like three floors, and they condensed down to like 15 people. And so music videos quickly became a thing of the past and they still exist now. But now.

Alex Ferrari 1:29:56
Oh, no, I made $500 for if you're lucky. I hate to feel like

Mike Pecci 1:30:00
Like Trust Fund kids, they have a fucking sweet camera. They're like, yeah, I'll do it for free, you know, and they go and they shoot this really cool stuff. And you're like, wow, and there was a career there. There used to be. I would do two or three, four music videos a year, and be good to go. I was talking to Dale Reston Eenie, who did? He credits himself for doing over 1500 music videos and that guy. You know, he made so much fuckin lewd.

Alex Ferrari 1:30:25
And it was just a different time. It's like, but it looks like look, we're in that time right now. Instagram, Instagram influencers are making millions of dollars a year. Do you think that train is gonna live forever? A don't, it won't. This is a really YouTube stars. You know, that kind of there's this. There's a moment in time we're living in that moment. But that will not be around in 20 or 30 years. It just it just hopefully people like I hope that people are still going to be into this. This format. You museums in general like films. Yeah. I think films and TV like the demise of cinema has been, you know, heralded ever since you know, TV, you know, and then color TV and then then the cable and then DVDs and then now streaming. Everyone's like, oh, the movies are gonna die. I think they've been around, they're going to be around for a long time until we're all walking in the holodeck. And then even when we're walking in the holodeck, I still think somebody is going to want to sit back and just have the story told to you. It's all perspective rights point of view. Yeah, I think and then amendment and where can people find you where they can't? Can they see 12 Km I'll put a trailer and I'll put all the all your links in the show notes.

Mike Pecci 1:31:38
The best way to reach me is on Instagram if you go to at Mike pece on Instagram. It's a private account, but I accept most people. If you go there and then if you write me a note, if you write me a message on Instagram saying that you listen to the show and that you want to see 12 cam. I'll send you a link and I'm only sending out personal links. How about how about the Punisher?

Alex Ferrari 1:32:07
Maybe you and I can have a conversation about where to get that privately. Yeah, I'd love to see that. I mean, I mean of course you would never do it. Wink wink, but you would never ever in a million the movie doesn't think I burned ever you burn the negatives obviously, because I shot it on film. Also I of course, film but it's Yeah, I didn't I burned every shot 35 right 770 my burn the burn the building that we shot it in. So none of that exists. None of it exists.

Mike Pecci 1:32:38
But if you if you follow me at my pitch on Instagram and then check out my podcast called in love with the process. We do you think I rambled hard on this episode?

Alex Ferrari 1:32:52
No man was great stuff, man. Honestly, it was just you know, two, two old dogs, old salty dogs have been around a couple a couple blocks talking shop. So it was a great episode. And I really, you know, kind of wanted to spotlight a little bit about proof of concepts and your experiences with them because you're doing them at a very, very high level. So I really love your style and what you did, but thank you for dropping the knowledge bombs on the on the tribe today, man, I truly appreciate it, brother.

Mike Pecci 1:33:17
I appreciate it, man. Thanks for having me on the show.

Alex Ferrari 1:33:20
I truly want to thank Mike for coming on and sharing his story with us and dropping also some major knowledge bombs on the tribe today, Mike, thank you so so much for being on the show and inspiring everybody who listened to this episode. So thank you so much. And if you guys like Mike also check out his podcast in love with the process podcast and I'll leave links for that in the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/318. I'll also have the trailers for his proof of concept and sizzle reels for his films. You if you guys have to check them out. They're really, really top and really well done. I mean, they look like big, big budget blockbuster kind of images. So he's done an amazing job, greatest stetic. So if you want to learn how to put together an amazing proof of concept reel, or sizzle reel, definitely check out Mike's work. And guys, if you haven't already, please check out my new book shooting for the mob, just head over to shootingforthemob.com you can buy straight from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or wherever fine books are sold. And it is a story of how I almost made a $20 million film for a gangster for the mafia and my misadventures through Hollywood and the mafia and all sorts of insane things that happened in that episode in my life so definitely check it out. Go to shootingforthemob.com that shooting with two O's, the mob .com. And that does it for another episode of the indie film hustle podcast. Thank you guys so much for listening. I hope this episode was a value to you on your filmmaking or screen writing journey. Thanks again guys. As always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.



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