IFH 188: Making a Micro Budget Film That Cracks iTunes’s Top 3 with Julian Galea

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Today on the show we have writer/cinematographer/director Julian Galea. He directed a micro-budget film called Love to Paradise.

Set in the magical Mediterranean islands of Malta, this indie travel romance proves it does not love until it’s paradise. When American tourist Giovanni falls for local artist Carmen, they embark on a passionate and unforgettable journey across the Maltese islands only to be broken by the truth. Now at a crossroads, Giovanni chooses between his livelihood or a fight to win the love of a woman that forever changed him.

I wanted Julian on the show, not only because he made a steller micro-budget film but I wanted him to give us the secrets on how he cracked the top 3 of iTunes Pre-orders with his little indie film. Check out the picture below and see which Big budget Hollywood tentpole films he was beating.

LOVE TO PARADISE, Julian Galea, Malta, Myko Olivier, Marysia S. Peres

Julian Galea is a Maltese-Australian filmmaker. He studied at New York Film Academy as a writer-director. His work includes a series of awarded short films and his latest feature film debut, LOVE TO PARADISE. Enjoy my conversation with Julian Galea.

Alex Ferrari 1:25
Let's talk about today's guest, film director Julian Galea. He lives in Australia and contacted me about a film that he made called love to paradise. Now one of the cool things that he kind of told me about and I saw I went and searched myself was that he had been able to get to the top three of all the pre orders on iTunes, in Australia. And he was beating out alien and Wonder Woman and all sorts of other big budget Hollywood movies. So I was really interested in seeing how he was able to do that. And also how he was able to shoot, basically a love story, which he shot mostly, if not entirely in the islands of Malta. And it's just amazing. The trailer, you definitely got to check out the trailer the show notes. But it's looks gorgeous. And I was so amazed at how he did it. He shot with the GH four. And he shot with basically very small crew, most of the times it was himself. But on the bigger days, he had a two, two to five people on his crew. And some of the things I found so amazing was he had these great monsters beautiful aerial shots they use with drones. And I was like, how'd you get the drone out there this and that is like, Look, you know, one of the stories he talks about is how he just met a guy with the drone walking around. And he got 20 minutes of this amazing footage that he uses throughout the movie, in this kind of tips and techniques of how he was able to do this on a ridiculously low budget, and also the marketing of how he was able to crack the top five of pre orders on iTunes and how he avoided the festival circuit and how he decided early on that he would not go through the festival circuit at all and and how he was going to go his own way. So just really interesting stuff. I think you guys need to hear so without any further ado, here's my conversation with Julian Galea. I like to welcome to the show, Julian Galea. How are you doing, brother?

Julian Galea 3:27
Hey, Alex. Good mate. Good. How are you?

Alex Ferrari 3:29
I'm good, man. I'm good. Thank you so much for being on the show, man.

Julian Galea 3:32
Thanks for having me.

Alex Ferrari 3:33
I appreciate it, man. So, you know, you reached out to me about your movie love to paradise, which we're definitely going to get into. And your story was intriguing to me and I think it could be very beneficial to the tribe. So I thank you again for being on the show and sharing your journey with us.

Julian Galea 3:50
Absolutely awesome. Really happy to do it. Kind of Yeah, kind of went about it a little bit we'd I guess like I changed careers. I finished school and and I'd always loved photography and and film I was always screwing around my dad's like you know the old video camera and stuff and making crappy video things with my pets and family and stuff. Right? I was always the guy at the parties I was always had the camera and that and I got into photography in high school. I loved it and I had a darkroom and I used to experiment a lot with with film and and you know with with different lenses and in light and filters and all that type of stuff. I used to fool around I spent way too much time in my darkroom. So but I finished school I just it just occurred to me to explore a career in the arts. I just think it was a bit too far removed from my sort of blue collar background. I you know, I guess I did what I was expected to do and I went to university and and got a career in building project management. That sounds fascinating. I absolutely hated it. But I was really good at it. And I was kind of in my late 20s. And I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life actually, I took a sort of a trip to New York a bit of a soul searching trip to New York. And when I was there, I went on this like two days, little filmmaking thing, right. And, you know, when I had some old cameras, some old like 16 mil elephant aeroflex, they call the 16 aeroflex cameras and use them and just like, Man, this is awesome. Right? I was like, I just fell in love with it. And I get this is it, this is what I'm doing screw up. This is what I'm doing. So I went back, I quit my job. So my car came back three months later enrolled in film school. And I said to y'all for a couple of years, and she's in film school, and just made as many shorts as I could got onto any indie film production that I could to get as much experience and came back to Australia opened up a little production company quickly a peaches, which is what I produced my feature through eventually. And then basically, I spent the next eight years not getting any feature films off the ground.

Alex Ferrari 6:13
That's so unheard of in the film business. It's completely unheard of in the film business. Yeah, it was a Yeah. It was a tough slog, you know, it's a hustle. It's a hustle, man, it's a hustle is definitely a hustle. So how did but that's my background. Yeah. So how did love to paradise come to be?

Julian Galea 6:34
Okay, well, of course, I had all these other feature projects that I had been working on, not getting out of development for one reason or another. And you know, how many reasons there are other they don't. And I got to a point where I just, I couldn't do that anymore. You know, I was at that point, really, I just needed to make a movie, but I want to make something that was, you know, obviously, very personal enough and important enough for me to, to commit the next chunk of my life too. And I was, you know, trying to come up with an idea of, and it took me a couple of months actually trying to come up with an idea because I'm thinking of doing something where I could manage it, you know, I didn't need too much sort of crew to do it and maybe minimal costs, and I couldn't come up with anything interesting enough, right? And I was at my aunt's house is one day and we got talking. And she said to me, and my family is all from Malta, right, which is a three little islands underneath Sicily, in the Mediterranean, Europe. And we got talking and she said to me that whenever I wanted to go to Malta had a place to stay

Alex Ferrari 7:45
Productive production value. Being

Julian Galea 7:52
I don't even know what you said, After that, I was like, you know, my brain was just ticking. And I came back home and I mapped out what was to be loved to paradise, pretty much, you know, I wanted to, and you want to tell a story about a time in my life where I was really uncertain about my future, and like, relationship, you know, I just felt like I was in a place that really didn't explore my full potential and, and I wanted to tell a story like that. And what better place to like, sit it in, in malls, because it's absolutely beautiful. It's like, it's such a old country and its, and its landscape is, is quite unique and exotic. And it's all juxtaposed against the Lewis border of the Mediterranean. So I just figured, like, you know, if I fuck up the story, because if I if I screw the story up, you know, at least I've got some pretty

Alex Ferrari 8:53
You've made a great travel video.

Julian Galea 8:55
Yeah, exactly. So yeah, that's why I ended up you know, shooting in Moulton. And what happened was like, so I had my Auntie's house. So I stayed in, but that pretty much became a production base. You know, that's, that's where we stayed. I actually actually shot a few scenes of the movie in that house. And it became a production office, you know, domain and our sort of, you know, every morning cast and crew would meet there. I'd have days, like, you know, day mapped out and we'd have our production meeting. Yeah, it was that like our base, which works so well. And it was kind of like right in the middle of the country as well, so we could get around very easily. So worked out really well. Very cool.

Alex Ferrari 9:33
Now, did you have a full blown screenplay? Or did you do a script meant How did you actually put the story together?

Julian Galea 9:40
Yeah, I had a screenplay. It was was quite short, though. It was only like 60 pages. Okay, something like that. But I had, I love montage, and quite a lot of montage scenes in there. And I wasn't because I visited multiple a couple of times before, but I couldn't remember all the locations and stuff. I was kind of going off my memory, you know, but I kind of figured that I could get a lot of these montage shots that I that I wanted by just exploring the country in which I did. And the end of that first end of the movie was 100 minutes. But I, you know, I really tried to, to, you know, cut that as clean as I could and I kept killing my babies, so to speak. And the final the final film is now 80 minutes.

Alex Ferrari 10:31
Nice. Nice. Now, how did you raise? How did you raise the budget for the film?

Julian Galea 10:36
Ah, well, I actually did something very painful and went back into my old career to save up enough money. Come out of it and, and and make this movie. Yeah. So you, you heard yourself out.

Alex Ferrari 10:51
I understand. It's okay. What I did I feel I feel you hold yourself up. But brother. I've done it many times in my career. So don't feel bad. It has a bigger purpose. You knows there's a bigger purpose there. You're a hooker with a heart of gold, sir. Now, so you shot on it on the island of Malta? Right? islands islands. So you jumped to islands. So it wasn't just an island? Yeah, there's three islands in Malta. There's molto camino and goes and you shout it out and all of them.

Julian Galea 11:22
All of them. I shot all over that place. So I think it was a place that didn't shoot. There's

Alex Ferrari 11:28
so many people were on your crew.

Julian Galea 11:31
There varied? Well, we had a small crew, like at the most was like five letters. Sometimes it was just to where I was shooting, and you know what I could sort of get away with?

Alex Ferrari 11:46
So did you let me know when you were out when you're on location? Because I'm assuming you just would show up to location like, okay, because I'm assuming you didn't storyboard everything out. So it was a little bit more running gun, in the sense that like, kind of what struck what struck your fancy that day, and you can like, this would be a cool shot. Alright, do the scene over there? Is that kind of how it went?

Julian Galea 12:04
A little bit like that? I think No, it was certainly certainly opened myself up to, to, you know, the situations that came past our way. But I was I had I got to Malta two weeks before was going to shoot. And really, when I was planning this thing, I had no idea how long stuff was going to take, right? I just had a crack. So I figured that I'd need about two weeks to work out all my locations and this and that. And that's what I did. And I actually got it like when the locations I wanted to shoot, I had chats with the you know, the owners of the cell cafes or bars or this and that. And I'll just let them know, like I'm in I'm shooting this little movie and it'd be great if we could get a couple of shots. Isn't that the people most are so friendly? Like, I just like if I tried to do that stuff here in Sydney. Yeah, that wouldn't fly. Yeah, same here in LA. Oh, yeah. Right. Okay. Yeah. There was Yeah, there was so supportive, interesting. And people just curious, you know, and interested. So, yeah, so sorry, getting back to the question. I did not storyboard. I'm not a big storyboard guy. I tried to do it in the past. And I don't know. I'm not a storyboard guy. I'll shortlist my shot list my films, but I don't necessarily storyboard the same here. Same here. Oh, yeah,

Alex Ferrari 13:20
Yeah, I shot lists more than I storyboard only if it's an action sequence or something like that, where it really need to get a real clear idea to the crew of what I want to get. But generally speaking, is mostly it's mostly shortlisting. And then you start off with 50 shots for the scene, and then you end up shooting three, but that's just the way it's because you only have time.

Julian Galea 13:40
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, sure. But yeah, so I did, I did definitely have, you know, a script and everything planned. But in saying that, we were very open to our environment. And, and the fact that I was, you know, telling this love story, which is just basically two people in the whole movie. And, like, you would shoot our scenes. And then if, then if there was opportunities to do more, I saw something that that, you know, wasn't scripted definitely took advantage of that. And that was so great about having a small crew as well, I could do that. Right? If I saw somebody that I liked, I'm good. Just go for it. I didn't have you know, 50 people behind me my way that I couldn't turn my camera, you know, or, you know, get through like it was it was great. It's very, very refreshing. Freeing Mike and freeing it. Definitely. You know, I love that like, how we can get into the state of it. I was just going to one of the one of the movies that I saw that really was in this stage of trying to come up with a story, you know, a movie that I saw that really inspired me. And I was I remember watching an interview with Scorsese, and he mentioned a film called breathless, which is film in 1959. It was made in 15, iCal and brilliant. It's brilliant. I'm only talking about this movie and how like, you know how like cutting edge it was for its time and this and that. And I remember flicking through criteria collection I saw breath is like I couldn't watch this, right? started watching this movie. And I was just blown away, like, by so many things, the way it was shot, where was edited, it just really appealed to my senses as a filmmaker about how freeing that type of filmmaking is. And it kind of felt like, well, that's how I was sort of, you know, I had always built my first feature up to be this monstrous thing that I should never have done was the worst. It's the worst thing that I could ever have done. And that took place over those eight years, like, Oh, my God, it's got to be this. It's got to be that I've got to come out of the gate as this like, you know, filmmaker who, maybe but that was the most. That's the worst thing you can do.

Alex Ferrari 15:46
I mean, it sounds you sound like I like me, like that is exactly the same path mines was in the eight years mines was 15. So it took me a lot longer to get past them. But yeah, it's exact same thing you'd like, I'm going to come out with my first feature has to be like, you know, Reservoir Dogs, or it's got to be a broad, yeah, big monster thing that everyone's going to talk about when Sundance and get to the Oscars. That's the pressure you put on yourself. And then you just sometimes you just like, kind of like, Hey, I'm just gonna go tell a story. That's personal to me. And those are generally always the best movies. Mm hmm. Yeah. So so you're so you're running around. Now you have to two actors. Now. Was it a conscious decision not to cast known actors because I'm not sure if they're known in Australia, but they're not known here in the states with those two actors known at all.

Julian Galea 16:35
Well know my costume quite well actually. Miko Olivier, who plays Giovanni in the film. He's, he's been in Glee using castle he was actually just in that lifetime. His Menendez brothers. I don't know if you saw that.

Alex Ferrari 16:49
No, he's actually he said he's a known actor.

Julian Galea 16:52
Yeah. And he's a he's a great actor. Like it was so good to work with you know, and really professional and so, yeah, when I when I got to, because I actually flew out to LA my brother lives out there. I stayed with him for you know, that was

Alex Ferrari 17:07
So you cast out here? Yeah. And you flew these actors all the way to Malta.

Julian Galea 17:13
Well, this is the thing. I like I for Miko, yes. And for Mercia, mercy just came off as she played a small role in Assassin's Creed. She played Clint Queen Isabella in Assassin's Creed, right Assassin's Creed was filmed in Malta, Malta, they should a lot of big movies in Malta. Like just thinking like Troy giving Gladiator parts of Gladiator as Game of Thrones is shot there. Like there's so many big budget Hollywood movies that shoot out there and they just use Malta to make it look like anything they want basically. And it's quite cheap over there too. But for me shooting in Malta was a basketball personal decision and obviously a production design decision for me. But also like I've never seen a movie shot in Malta for showing multiple being Malta, you know, and I really captured that culture and, and vibrancy of the country in this film behind like, you know, behind this really inspiring and passionate romance that I've told,

Alex Ferrari 18:14
Now. Awesome now. So you've got your movie, you've got your actors. You're now back in the in the dark hole that we call the editing room. First of all, what camera did you shoot on? I shot on the Panasonic GH four. Great camera. Great camera and you and you told me earlier that you shot on some vintage glass. I did. I did big fan. Big fan of vintage glass. So what was it? What was the glass?

Julian Galea 18:40
It was all the old nickels. It was at a full like prime set. Yeah, I had like I had 20 I had the 24 5085 105

Alex Ferrari 18:55
Yes. And some drones and some drones. Yeah, funny story about the drones. Tell me Yeah, tell ya because that was one of the things that really caught my eye. When I was watching the trailer. I was like, Wow, man, those those drone shots are gorgeous. And they really just give you so much production value, especially in that location. So yeah, what's the story on the drones?

Julian Galea 19:18
Yeah, excellent with those dry shots to just we had our screening just a few days ago, right? It premiered here in Sydney. And when when we when that first drone shot, like hit in the Blue Lagoon, it's called camino it's one of the islands in Malta, his paradise literally paradise. And when that song came on, and that scene came one where the drone just punched up into the air like people just like lost it. Anyway, getting back to the drone thing so this is so funny. So this is what happens. I think when you just like you know, you just go all out and you just have a crack. I just think the universe works with you. You know, I was I was prepping for the film and I had these drone shots in the in the movie, but I didn't own a drone. And I didn't have time to learn to drive a drone. And I didn't have time to try to organize a guide to in Malta because it's, it's not like here I could find crew in LA, it's a little, it's a little bit harder to sort of get things going when you're over there. And my mate had a drone, but it was like I shot in 4k with the GH four drone. But it was 70 1080. And I didn't love the quality of it. And I didn't think it was going to mix well. And I said, You know what, don't worry about it. I don't need it. It's just pretty, you know, it's like not essential to the story. As such, I can still make it work without it. So I was happy to make this film without these shots. And we had the day that we shot in the Blue Lagoon. We were going back to the ferry to go back to the mainland. And I saw a drone in the air. And so I said to the sitter, I got my the cast and crew, I sit here, take my gear, I'll meet us back there. I'm going to go have a chat to this guy. So I went up to this guy, Shawn, his name is and I said, Hey, man, I said, like I told him what I'm doing. And I said, Could you modify the Have a look at like, you know, the shots that you're getting with this thing? And he's showing me what he's done. And he's like, awesome. He's so such a great operator. And I go, would you mind like, spending the next half an hour getting these shots? I said, and he goes, Yeah, really? Yeah, man, we're gonna get this one, we're gonna touch up to the water, we're going to come in the sky. And then we're going to get this other one coming across the island. And who's got excited as I was right. All right, and then, and then we got these awesome drone shots that ended up being in the movie. And also, we also that the last shot in the movie, got another drone shot off another island, in gozo, and it's got a really famous structure there. It's called the zoo window. It's been in the game of thrones a bunch of times. And that it's like one of the most famous monuments in Malta, and that actually collapse this year, just through natural, big seasons that and we were the last movie to get that and to showcase that. So that was pretty cool. Wow, that, that that's,

Alex Ferrari 22:11
That's a pretty amazing drone story. Right? I mean, but that's but as a filmmaker as an indie filmmaker, and as you know, a guerrilla filmmaker, in a sense, you've got to take advantage of things and just not be afraid to ask for stuff, man. As soon as you got all this amazing. So you have all this amazing footage, you're back in the Edit room? What did you cut on? How long did it take you to cut? Were you the cutter where you end? Did you color it? How did the whole the heart of the workflow work?

Julian Galea 22:40
Okay, well, I originally when I wasn't going to edit the movie, but I realized that probably like drive someone insane if they would have hit a big deal over them. So I said, I'm gonna just edit this thing myself. And I was kind of under a deadline or trying to get beat the deadline for Sundance Sundance at the time. Yeah. I can't wait to see and chase.

Alex Ferrari 23:06
Everybody have a crack, right? Hey, dude, it's the lottery ticket. Why not? Bro. It happens. It happens. Yeah.

Julian Galea 23:12
So I was pretty much So actually, I flew back to LA, my brother had had was filming a series here in Australia, and he's placed was free in LA. So I went and stayed in his house because he kind of puts a smile on my face. And I'll say you're like, Alright, cool. So I was I was living in LA. And I was editing ridiculous hours a day. I think I was doing like 16 hours a day on this movie. And I, I had my first like, assembly cut in a week. And I had finished I finished editing the movie in six weeks. Mmm. And my buddy my AP on the film Nicholaw. He lives in he's Italian guy that I met in film school, like, you know, eight years ago and film school in New York. And we've since made, like, shorts and stuff together is our first feature film that we made together. And he goes, he goes now. I mean, you got to take your time again. It's gonna take you about a year. I know. Yeah.

Yeah, so I had this thing done in six weeks. Yeah, yes. Sundance, and then like, I tried to rest and you can't rest, right? It's like a painting. It's never finished. So I spent the next 10 months editing the movie.

Alex Ferrari 24:23
And it had been a year it ended up being a year.

Julian Galea 24:25
It was exactly 12 months from the time I started. From the time I started editing, to the time that I actually premiered the movie in the cinema was 12 months. Wow. And I wasn't Yeah, I was the editor. I also actually I've got a funny color story for you, too. So I had no money for posts like everyone, of course. And

Alex Ferrari 24:46
Of course, of course, of course is like oh, no, no, we're gonna spend the money like to fly to Malta, but we have no money for color. It's always exactly Oh, so now it's gonna look like crap. But none of I'm joking. So like, I

Julian Galea 24:59
I saved like I had this little bit of money left rice if there's one area that I cannot skimp on. And I was very impressed with actually the sound that we've got, we're very lucky, we got great sound, which was really important to me. But with the with the color correction, I go, I need a really good colors to do this to do this film, you know, because it's the way it's going to look, it's just so important for me to for it to look good, especially with the narrative that I was saying the telling, you know, and I was in LA and I was I got to talking about to a few colors today, which are awesome, but I had to come home for a family emergency. So I ended up doing the rest of the posts here. And I found a color as the local colors here that ended up coloring like I gave him like reference stills from from films and this and that blah, blah. Anyway, long story short, I had a I had a film that was colored, that was useless, hated it. and ended up having to pay this guy. And I was I had no money left to edit to color my movie. Sure so. So I was at a point where I had no choice but to learn to cut, you know, color grade on a feature film, because that's what you do. And I ended up calibrating the movie myself as well and actually use film converters one of the essays you did with with Meg as well, which was really integral as well, to get that sort of, I really wanted that kind of real rich, organic look to my especially because of the located location just lends itself to that, to that sort of, you know, real texture alized sort of organic, natural look that I was that I was going for, and I ended up ended up getting it, you know, I was really happy with the way it looked. And especially the way I projected the other day up in on screen at the cinema, it looked fantastic. I was so so impressed. How could it look? It's like the it's the TCP magic.

Alex Ferrari 27:02
You know, it's, it's not just the DCP it's actually having a good starting base first. And then the DCP really holds basically whatever you've got now. So let's let's get into distribution, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to have you on the show how to swing a theatrical release for your film in a city as large as Sydney.

Julian Galea 27:21
Yeah, you know what, it What I didn't plan it, I'll be honest with you, I didn't plan it. My whole plan for this film was to do a digital release. And, you know, get it, you know, get it open around the world as wide as I could digitally and do a little like, you know, pre order stage and try to build try to build a you know, pre order list for it. And then and then drop it in and see how we go, you know, but I had What happened? I'm trying to think now. Okay, yeah, this is what happened. So and then I listened. I remember listening on your podcast about Todd, right. And I remember when I was in LA that I heard about Todd. So I gave him a call. And they weren't operating here. I think they tried to get it up. But it didn't work or something. And there's there's another couple of companies here in Australia that there too, and I got to talk him to them. And I was looking at that model of maybe doing a you know, on demand theatrical model. And I don't know, I just wasn't just the way that the way it's structured here. I wasn't 100% on it. Basically, basically, because the number of seats that are needed to fill and all the marketing and everything that have to go in, involved in it, I just, I like I'm in pre production for my next movie now. Right. So like I for me to, like do that properly. And you know, for the work that it would take. I wasn't, I wasn't sold on it anyway. So I said, Well, I'm just going to call up a few cinemas and let them know about my movie and what I have and see if they can have a look at it. And maybe they might be interested in just cutting a deal direct with me as my own distributor, I guess. Right? That's right. And that's what I started doing. I just started calling a calling cinemas directly and you'd be surprised. I was right that, that. Like exhibitors are quite open if they've got something that they think will sell and people want to say they're quite open to talking to you. You know, interest. Yeah, yeah. So So I did, and I just started calling everyone. And then, you know, took some meetings and ended up getting my film a special event screening at event cinemas, which are like the biggest chain of cinemas in Australia and had had my film premiere on Monday. And we're playing again tonight as well at Parramatta and these CDs like they're nice.

Alex Ferrari 29:51
They're not they're not shabby sir. They're nice.

Julian Galea 29:54
Yeah, they are. They're like really nice. And so I couldn't deal with the guys that event and Then I said, Well, okay, why don't I do the same thing in? in Malta where I shot this film? Right? Because they would surely be interested in having a local film there. I'm not sure like, Well, hopefully. Anyway, so I did the same thing. I got in touch with them introduce myself and then film and I tell them what I had. And, you know, they watched it just like the event guys did. And they want to do a deal with me. So, um, you know, it's not a full walling deal actually did a proper, you know, split split deal. Yeah, yeah, we did a revenue split, you know, that time because I didn't want to take on, you know, the responsibility of, you know, paying a footballing fee and last because, um, you could probably make a work but you need like a marketing team behind you to make that work, you know, in for my mole to do as well, like, you know, this is commitment in there for you know, PNA and radio advertising and all that, like, it's a full like thing that they want it to work.

Alex Ferrari 30:58
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Yeah, and it made sense because I'm movies about Malta has an highlights market where it hasn't been highlighted before.

Julian Galea 31:16
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So we opened in Malta on September 8, actually, I just got word to the other day that we got awarded Best Feature Film that Malta Film Festival, which is going to play. That's, yeah, that's pretty cool. That's pretty cool.

Alex Ferrari 31:30
So how did so then how did you get your movie on iTunes? Like, what is the process? And then I'll talk a little bit about your pre order situation.

Julian Galea 31:38
Okay, cool. So yeah, so went through an aggregator, you know, did research on different aggregators, they ended up going through bit max. Okay. And they've been great. And, you know, we've, you know, I've also told me talk about my strategy with the police. Okay, cool. Sorry, my film just finished rendering. Okay.

Alex Ferrari 32:05
I love it.

Julian Galea 32:08
So my strategy was this, I'm going okay. And I really thought, I thought a lot about it. Right? I thought about, Okay, can I, on one on one side, I could try to make this film as cheap as possible to get as many people to see it as possible, because that would that would help. On the other side, it's like, well, you know, you're only going to have the buzz for this movie for a limited amount of time, especially being the little turtle, if you're able to get any buzz at all, which I have been, which have been really lucky. I'm getting a bit of press now that this movie, especially because of the fact that it's been screening, and then cinemas, right, that I go, Well, you know, why don't I you know, create windows of of releasing this movie in regards to price, like, I'll have a premium price, you know, a regular price and a discount price. And that's what I've ended up doing like, and that's how I sell the movie opens, not opens, it's going to be available. It's available now on iTunes. For pre order, it's going to go on sale on August 29, which is on Tuesday, August 29. And it's going to be I've selected to do it at a premium price. And I'm going to run that for you know, a window. And then I'm going to drop my price to a regular price. And maybe do you know a discount price towards Christmas or something like that? I just figured that I this is the best time to sort of cash in on on any publicity is able to get for the film, and why not give it a crack. And at the end of the day, as you said, Alex, on your podcast, like being out like our first film. It's all an experiment, right? Like, you know, I'm trying to make decisions based on my research and, and you know, my gut instincts, and if this works, well rinse and repeat. And if it doesn't, I'll change it for the next one. You know,

Alex Ferrari 33:58
I see I see a malt I see a Malta trilogy. Man. That's awesome. Yeah, that's the way to do it, man is you just got to rinse and repeat. If it works, rinse and repeat. And just keep doing it until other opportunities show up. And they always do, especially if you continue doing what you're doing and getting, getting your film out there getting your work out there. You've already you're already at the top 1% of all filmmakers in the world, you actually did something that you said you were going to do. You know, and you're a GS I guess you're right, and you're achieving it at a higher level than most do. So that's you know, you're selling it, you're making money with it. That's the top of the top 1% so you're like at the point 2.1% you're like you're actually some money has come in. That's amazing. You know, that's amazing.

Julian Galea 34:47
So now what do you want to be my life coach? I you know what, actually also it was pretty cool. Yeah, we were ranked three on iTunes preorder bestsellers,

Alex Ferrari 34:57
I was just gonna ask you that early on. How did you beat alien and Wonder Woman in Brazil? Australia? How is that possible? So I face when, like, but seriously not moving? How to left? In all honesty, though, how did you How were you able to push it up though? Did you do a whole lot of social media marketing?

Julian Galea 35:18
Yeah, push it, we had to do. Yeah, all that I, I basically built built up a network of, of people that I got in touch with personally, every one of them. And I let them know about my film, I told them what I'm doing. And I told them how personal it was to me, and that, you know, I've got this little movie coming out. And, you know, if they could support it, like, I'd really appreciate it, because it's going to help build the ranking in iTunes. And, and, you know, my whole strategy behind that was, as you know, with with all the pre orders, they will count as day one release, right? Yeah, on day one, if you've accumulated, you know, whatever, 100 pre sales, then pre orders, then it's going to count as 100 100 sales on day one, which, you know, you want to sort of rank yourself up with sort of bigger titles next to you. So, people who have never heard of you movie, jump on iTunes and see your movie, and they might get interested, right? I mean, that's the whole thing. That's when you start making money. Right? So, so that's what I did. I made it very personal, I guess, I think that was probably my strategy. I just made it very personal to people, I reached out to everyone on the phone, you know, I've emailed on the phone and had a chat to them. And they became a bit invested in what I was doing. So I think that I mean, that's the strategy I used

Alex Ferrari 36:41
Anyway, it's you, and I hope everyone listening understand you never underestimate the power of the personal connection by calling someone uh, personally and talking to them and, and putting in that legwork and working that work that hustle. People do. People do react to it, people do react to it. And it's obviously it worked for you. Because my God, I mean, Australia is not a small market by any stretch, and that you can get up to the top three on pre orders beating the big Hollywood movies is an accomplishment. It's a monster accomplishment. So congrats for that, man. Thank you very much. I mean, I'm not number three anymore. Oh, no, of course. No, you weren't? No, no. You can never stay up there. I mean, even even that movie that I did the interview range 15 that made 3 million bucks. Oh, they only got to the number two spot and they only stayed there for probably like 1012 days. And but but they still got there. You know what I mean? That's huge. That's a huge deal. Now,

Julian Galea 37:36
I mean, just on that, too. I mean, those guys are like the, you know, poster child for a digital release. Right? I mean, I killed it.

Alex Ferrari 37:45
They killed it. I mean, they killed it in a way. That I mean, I they I bow down to range 15. And now and I'll put it I'll put the link to the into the interview in the show notes. Because it's, I wanted them on the show so bad. I chased them probably for about three months. Because we just couldn't get the scheduling. Right. And I'm like, Nick, you've got to come on. I got it. I got to spread what the word about what you've done. And he was so awesome. And it was it was really inspirational to see like, oh, shoot these guys took on the studios. And, and one. Yeah,

Julian Galea 38:17
It was pretty insane. And I love their attitude about it as well. Like, I just like, I just like the way they went about it and how they talk about it. It's great. I think that's very inspiring. You know, I mean, your whole show is inspiring.

Alex Ferrari 38:29
I thank you, brother, I appreciate that.

Julian Galea 38:30
It is it is and it really helped me on my journey as well. And as I said, you know, we will you will make a megabit at the same time I was making my film, right. And, yeah, I just felt like, you know, you, you know, there was a community there, that, you know, I didn't personally know, but I knew we're going through this, you know, the same same journey. So it was comforting and supporting as well. And your, your program is very, very supporting to the community.

Alex Ferrari 38:58
Oh, man, thank you so much, man, I try, I try to be as as much service as I can and, and try to give as much good information as I can. And it's just such so much bs out there with people who talk a lot and don't do anything. So I wanted to actually be one of those guys that actually said, Hey, you know what, I'm gonna go put make a feature. And I'm gonna go do it. And I'm a call myself out on my show and, and I'm gonna hold myself accountable and went out and did it. So I'm glad that my journey helped you in some way. Because I'm super impressed. I can't wait to see the movie. And I'm super impressed with what you did with love to paradise because it's inspiring that the and I know and look, you and I are both filmmakers who have made our first feature films, and we did it a little bit later in life not like we're not 20 neither of us are 20. But neither of us is seven to either. Yeah, so we did a little later in life. But the thing is that we are in that top 1% of 1% man because it's it we did it. We actually got on our butts and actually went out and hustled and spent a year of our life, putting it all together and it's something to and I think don't realize it as much as I should. And I think you probably don't either.

Julian Galea 40:02
I'm the same. Actually. I'm just I can't I think I'm going through that at the moment where it's still probably hasn't sunk in.

Alex Ferrari 40:10
Yeah, yeah. When I was at the premiere last week of mag, I was just like, Did I make a move like that? It just seems surreal. Like some I'm watching it from someone else's perspective. You know, it's pretty, because you know what, I think both of you. And I, as you said earlier, in the show, were saying that, you know, the feature film was his monster mountain that you had to climb. And you, you couldn't get it out there. And it had to be big, big, big at the big guns blaring. And I think we built it up so much. I think so many other filmmakers build it up so much, that they never move, because oh, my God, why would you It's huge. It's right. And you become your own worst enemy. Yes, you throw those obstacles in front of yourself. And, and we finally broke through. And I hope anyone listening to this gets that message that it's not that big of a deal. Go out there and just make it and if it's great, great. If it's not, no big deal, keep moving forward. And just

Julian Galea 41:02
Yeah, man. Absolutely. But I think also, if, if, if people you know what, we're also I got stuck, I think for a long time as well. And it's very important. So I was always always juggling this, you know, always thinking about your audience that you're about your audience and who's to smooth for Are you going to get out there, all that stuff, right, and it's so important it is right? That's out. But it can also be inhibiting as well. Because, you know, you may have something really personal to say and and you're racking your brain thinking about how you're going to sell it to, right. And just say you do something that's a real personal story to you, and it's hasn't got a hook or something that you can take into or it's not like a you know, it's not like a duck or something with sure people to you know, and you go Well, I'm not gonna make that because I've got no way to sell at this and that, but you know, what, if you do it for a price, you know, and it's really mean something to you, then you can look back at that in forever long, and always be proud of it, because it's meant something to you, you know, a minute, go submit something to, to, you know, an executive that that wants to get out to whoever it is. And if you do something that's really personal to you, like, especially love to paradise with my film, you know, I never looked at it as a I never looked at this as a sort of money making exercise, although, of course, I need to make money. Yeah. But it was kind of secondary to really making, you know, a piece of art, I guess that's personal enough to me, and something that I wanted to explore and dedicate myself to, you know, for that chunk of my life, you know, and now I think hopefully, well, from the reactions from my first screening anyway, like it, it really connected with people on the levels that I wanted it to. And I hope, I hope that, you know, the word spreads about the film, and that people get the opportunity to see it, and it has an impact on them the way I intended.

Alex Ferrari 43:01
It's exactly my feelings with Mac. I didn't I didn't expect it to, to have any. You know, money was a secondary idea for me. I just did it for a price. Yeah. Under under a million dollars. A million. Yeah, under a million of course. And, and if it didn't make any money, okay, no big deal. If it makes money, great, but I'm gonna make my movie and hell or high water, it's gonna go out. And that's a great way to do a personal film. I'm not gonna make $100,000 personal film. I can't roll like that. You know what I mean? But if you do it for a price, you're absolutely right. Why don't you do it? You know, put it up on YouTube. If it's, I mean, seriously, I wouldn't, I would, I would try to make money with it first, but afterwards, just get it out there, man. let other people see it. upload it to Amazon, get it wherever you want.

Julian Galea 43:47
Well, that's it right? You can you can go now on on Amazon. Video direct for free. You don't even need to go through an aggregator. Yep. Right. And then you can point everybody there. Exactly. I mean, distribution has been solved. Yes.

Alex Ferrari 44:02
But the thing that hasn't been solved is the audience and getting people to loot and the marketing. That thing that is has not been solved yet. Now what what are your international release plans for the film?

Julian Galea 44:13
So we are in Europe with everywhere by Europe is basically opening up on iTunes and Amazon on the August 29, which is Tuesday. Okay. And in Europe, we we are in cinemas in Malta on eighth of September and it's going to be released. I shit. I haven't got the date next to me here at the moment. But somewhere in October, I think it's October for you. Okay. Okay. Okay. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 44:44
And how about the States?

Julian Galea 44:45
In the States 29 August 29. So Tuesday, it will be available and it's available now for pre order

Alex Ferrari 44:51
On iTunes and an Amazon. Yeah,

Julian Galea 44:53
Yeah. Well, there's no pre order on Amazon. Okay, that I'm aware of, Okay, um, but on it It's available for preorder, and it goes on sale on Amazon as well on August 29, awesome, man. Awesome now Yeah, and all that info is on my website love to paradise calm, you can jump on that. There's there's links to everything on there and some stills and information about the film trailer all that because I'll put all

Alex Ferrari 45:17
Of that stuff in the in the show notes. So I'm gonna ask you the questions I asked all of my guests at the end. And if you've heard my podcast, you know, some of these questions. So what advice would you give a filmmaker wanting to make their first feature?

Julian Galea 45:34
I would say, don't wait. No, I don't wait. I did. You know, I waited for for Favorite thing. I waited for someone to say yes. So what did someone give me money? What did you know, the right crew, I waited for the right car. So waited for everything. And you know what? That like, that can filia just just go back to the drawing board and you know, write something that you know, you can get made. And it doesn't need to be, you know, it doesn't need to be something, it doesn't need to be all that, you know, make us some personal character piece. And, you know, get it out there. And as I said before, if it's personal to you, you're going to enjoy the process. You know, if something comes out of it, it doesn't try to be smart about it as well. like think about your audience while you're doing it. But that lead that I don't think that should be your number one factor, although other people would disagree, obviously. But I don't I think as a filmmaker, I think you really need to make make make films that mean something to you. Yeah. And, and then, you know, get them going on their journey. So yeah, just just don't wait, just do it. I mean, as I said, distribution is being solved. It's it's done, you can get your movie out there. Think about your audience as well, and how you're going to how you're going to, you know, market to them as well while you're doing it. But write something that you know, you can get made you don't need, you know, a cost of 50. Like how many times have I met like filmmakers that they're still talking about this first feature film, but it's got like, it's so big and so involved and want to get backing from people that have never made a film before? no cost. No one's going to give you money. Right? Yeah, to prove yourself like no one owes you a favor. Let's get that straight. You're gonna lose that chip off your shoulder. You know, you come out of fields. Cool. Thank you like your next one's

Gonna give you like, no one is no one at the gates wedding money. Okay,

Alex Ferrari 47:24
Money and ageless cast and an amazing script. And you know, and cappuccinos and organic fruit.

Julian Galea 47:32
Yeah. Like, you know what, like, you referenced this before, like, you know, Jay duplass, his keynote speech that he didn't just go rising, man, that is, yeah, everyone's needs to listen to that regularly. Right. So it's like, yeah, you know, carry in common. There's no one waiting. Okay, go out and do it. Like you need to prove to the world The world doesn't need to prove to you you know what I mean, it's up to you to make it happen. That's it.

Alex Ferrari 47:55
Great advice. So great advice. Now, can you tell me a book that had the biggest impact on your life or your career? Should Alexis a new one It is, isn't it? I threw a curveball threw a curveball not yet.

Julian Galea 48:09
Okay. I would say Oh, it's got to be the alchemists. Definitely. Oh, you read my mind. Dude. I love that movie. I mean, I love that book. Book. Yeah. Paulo. Coolio. I think his name is

Alex Ferrari 48:25
Paulo Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian Hey, say hello. Yeah, he's uh huh. He's that book is amazing, isn't it? And anyone who and I put it in the show notes. Anyone who has not read that book needs to read it? It is, well, how did it impact your life?

Julian Galea 48:40
Well, it's so inspiring. You know, I just, it was it was all about, you know, you know, following your dreams, and when you're on the right path in your life, that the world will, you know, open itself up to you and make your dreams come true. I know, it sounds all like, you know, fairy fairy, but I can tell you from from my experience in making this movie, and, you know, taking that leap of faith that you don't need, like, you know, one thing I love, you didn't need to know all the answers. Like, I didn't have all the answers. I jumped on a plane to motors to make my film. I didn't know all my locations. I didn't know I was going to pull all these scenes off. Right, like I did it. Yeah, but if you're trusting yourself and trusting the process and trust that you're doing the right thing, then, you know, things happen then, like I told you that story about the drone, but there was a lot of other scenarios in in my film that happened, that I did not know those answers when I went out there. But I, I took a leap of faith and and it worked, you know, and I think, you know, that book really, you know, instilled that, you know, then that whole sort of law of attraction, you know, philosophy, which I definitely believe in.

Alex Ferrari 49:54
Yeah, I'll tell you now, and I've said it before on the show is the second I started down the path with indie film Doors just swung open opportunity. You talk about that. Yeah, absolutely. All the time. I can't even tell you, the people I've met the opportunities that have been presented to me the jobs that I've gotten purely because I started down this path, and just started putting things in momentum and started putting momentum forward. And you'll be amazed at what happens when you when you start, you start something and as they as I think it was Robert Rodriguez that said, when you try to compete with somebody, you usually fail, but when you try to work, now, what's up, guys, I'm murdering the quote. But the bottom line is, when you start down a path, the doors open up from the universe and they will forces will come to help you down your path, but you have to get off off your ass and do it. Absolutely. It's all it's all about work, right? work, hustle, baby hustle.

Julian Galea 50:54
It is it is like you whatever your dreams are like it's it's there. It's a point and in between where you are right now. And that is a whole bunch of work, right? Yes, start working.

Alex Ferrari 51:05
Okay, get me get to work, get to work, and you will get there. It might take a year might take 10 but you will get there. Now what? What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

Julian Galea 51:18
Okay, I maybe I muddled that up in the last in the last answer, but I think it's, for me, it's like trusting in my instincts. I didn't before, you know, I'd sort of danced around it, you know, um, but I definitely learned now, to trust my trust my instincts in go with it. And for the most part, it's, it's working out for me, you know, and not listen to other people. You know, you don't need to, you know, like being trapped by dogma and, and just what you see to do and all that stuff is just, it's just destructive. Don't, don't, you're your own person, you're

Alex Ferrari 51:58
Not someone else. Just do your own thing. only listen to things that sound true to you. You know, you can listen. If it's if it rings true to you and to who you are, then do it. But don't stick the dog just because. Because I'll tell you what. But I'll tell you what, if, if I would have listened to everybody I told Hey, I'm gonna go make this movie called This is Megan. I'm going to shoot it in eight days. everybody around me said you're nuts. Yeah, you're crazy. But I did it. And you just got to go out and do it. Now. Literally, what are three of your favorite films of all time?

Julian Galea 52:30
Yeah, geez. Okay. I actually wrote these down. The thing is, throughout this interview, they're really starting to change.

Alex Ferrari 52:39
Change depending whatever, whatever tickles your fancy.

Julian Galea 52:42
Number one. I got to go taxi driver. Okay, great. It just never gets tired. I just love that movie for so many reasons. And it's, it's my Yeah, it's the I think it's probably my favorite movie. of all time. Okay. Next I'd go any haul. Excellent. I love one. Love Woody Allen.

Alex Ferrari 53:03
Yes. What a wonderful movie. And any horror is probably one of my favorites appears. So it's perfect. It is as perfect of a romantic drama, romantic comedies as ever. It's just perfect.

Julian Galea 53:17
I guess a romantic comedy. I your drama is probably more romantic comedy, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. Also, also, I love that film. It's I've seen it too many times. And I'm gonna throw a curveball here. And this is like one of my it never gets tired. And it's I think it's come from my 10 down to like top five now. I'm gonna say cuz I haven't heard on your show before. Midnight, Ron?

Alex Ferrari 53:40
No. Yes. John void. No, not john. Were you Oh, no, no, I'm sorry. De Niro and groden. I'm thinking I'm thinking the midnight train.

Julian Galea 53:49
I mean, they run I love that movie. It is. I think it's the best comedy ever.

Alex Ferrari 53:55
Like, it is so good. The night run is amazing. If you guys have no suiting run, you should definitely go watch it. It's so good.

Julian Galea 54:05
Yep, yeah, it's it's awesome. It I love that. I love De Niro ingredients together. They are just amazing. Like they chemistry together. It's just, it's too funny. I'm laughing right now thinking about it.

Alex Ferrari 54:17
Yeah, I was working on my video store when that came out in 89. If I'm not mistaken, that movie came out in 89. And I saw it 100 times in the store. I just put clothes out, right. I would just play it. I would play it on the screen in the store. And just because I loved it. It was a great, great movie. I haven't thought about that movie in years. Thank you for bringing that up. First time on the shelf. First time on the show, sir. So you had a video store? Did you I worked at a video store. Yeah, I worked. That's how I got that's how I jumped into this crazy business. I worked in a video store for five years during a little bit before High School and then all through high school and a little bit after high school before college so yeah, man I I own 3000 data. Well, you know, I was, yeah, maybe a little something like that. But I had 3000 VHS is in my collection at one point. Wow. And it was ridiculous you should not have 3000 VHS is to do with all them eventually now identically just either gave them away because I couldn't do anything with them when I moved to college, you know, to a certain point, you know, I started switching to DVD and then it just kind of like, you know, a moot point to go back to VHS. A lot of it but, but some movies you can't even get anywhere else other than VHS. But anyway, that's another story for another podcast. So where can people find you sir?

Julian Galea 55:33
So you can find me Okay, find the film I'd love to paradise calm. And I'm on Instagram, Julian Galia. Facebook might love to paradise. I think it is. And that's your Facebook tool. What else is there?

Alex Ferrari 55:54
Okay, that's, that's good. That's good. I'll put all of those links in the show notes. Julian man, thank you so much for your inspirational story. And and and really sharing your story with the tribe. I really appreciate it. I'm so so happy that the podcast and my journey with Meg really helped you out on your journey with love to paradise. So I really am proud of you that you got out and did it and and congrats on all your success on on iTunes, Amazon and your theatrical release in, in Australia, brother so and in Malta to man. So congrats, brother. Thank you.

Julian Galea 56:28
Thanks so much, Alex.

Alex Ferrari 56:31
It was so funny to hear that Julian was making love to paradise at the exact same time. And as I was making this is Meg. And that, you know, he felt that there was kind of like a brother in arms out there going through the struggle as the same time he was. So just I hope you guys take this big message from this interview is, you know, both both Julie and I were just tired of waiting, have tired of waiting for other people to to give us the permission to go out and make our movie. And you know, both of us went out and did it. Julian was half way across the world. And I'm here in Los Angeles, and we're making our movies. And that's the wonderful, powerful thing about being independent filmmakers and the power of this podcast, that it goes all around the world. And people from every background is listening, hopefully, to this message. And you guys can do it too. And there's no reason why you can't. So if if Julian and I were able to do our low budget micro budget films, you know, on a shoestring in a dream, then you guys can do and I hope this interview lights a fire in your ass and you get up off of that ass and go actually make something instead of talking about it, planning it or thinking about it, just go do it. If you want to get links to anything we spoke about in the show, just head over to indiefilmhustle.com/188. And as always, keep that hustle going keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.

YOUTUBE VIDEO

LINKS

  • [easyazon_link identifier=”B073SKX3M4″ locale=”US” tag=”whatisbroke-20″]Love to Paradise – Amazon[/easyazon_link]
  • Love to Paradise – Official Site
  • Love to Paradise – iTunes
  • Love to Paradise – Facebook
  • Julian Galea – Official Site
  • Book Mentioned – [easyazon_link identifier=”0062315005″ locale=”US” tag=”whatisbroke-20″]The Alchemist[/easyazon_link]
  • This is Meg – Feature Film

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