IFH 206

IFH 206: Crossover Episode with the Just Shoot It Podcast


Right-click here to download the MP3

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

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

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

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

Alex Ferrari 2:20
What's up guys?

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

Alex Ferrari 2:22
Good, man. Good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Ferrari 3:46
Isn't it?

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Ferrari 4:33
Yeah, exactly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Ferrari 6:37
I would agree with you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Enlow 12:29
In a school tear that

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Ferrari 14:36
And short film.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Ferrari 25:44
examples out there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




  1. Bulletproof Script Coverage – Get Your Screenplay Read by Hollywood Professionals
  2. AudibleGet a Free Filmmaking or Screenwriting Audiobook
  3. Rev.com – $1.25 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)

Free Training of The Week


How to Produce a Profitable Low Budget Feature Film

By Suzanne Lyons

Join veteran producer Suzanne Lyons as she shows you the three key secrets to produce a successful and profitable independent film.