IFH 385: The Film Industry and COVID-19 (The RAW Truth) with Richard Botto

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He’s back! The all-time returning champion and my brother from another mother Richard Botto from Stage 32 returns to the show to discuss the raw truth about what is happening and will happen to our industry post COVID-19.

The world is obviously upside down and the film industry is being affected in ways that many do not even see yet. From changing customer habits to giant companies folding under the pressure of change. Both RB and I have been keeping our ear to the grindstone and what we are hearing is a bit disturbing but yet hopeful, especially for the indie filmmaker/producer.

When there is uncertainty and chaos in an industry, there is opportunity. Doors that were slammed shut before not are wide open. You just need to be ready for the shot when it comes. Like every other time, RB is on the show this to is an EPIC over 2-hour conversation but trust me it is worth listening to all of it.

We cover the future of film festivals, film markets, Quibi, what film production will look like moving forward, film distribution, predators to look out for, and yes Tiger King as well. Things do look bleak but there is a ton of hope for the indie filmmaker in the new film industry that will be forming in the next six months.

Get ready for my conversation with Richard Botto.

Alex Ferrari 0:17
Well, guys, today I have another special episode for you. We are going to be talking to all time returning champion on the show, RB Botto. He has been on I think now 10 times on the show. So he is by far the most requested and returned guest of all time on indie film hustle. And RB and I wanted to get together to talk about COVID-19 how it's affecting our industry now. how it's going to affect it in the future, how to prepare for it, how to kind of see what's in the tea leaves and see what's coming around the corner, we make some sort of predictions we talk about where we think things are gonna go and where things are going right now in the next month or two. There's still a lot of unknowns, and nobody knows what's going to happen. But this is a very eye opening conversation. And if you have any questions in regards to how you can position yourself better for what's coming in our industry, then this is an episode you need to listen to. There is a lot of chaos, and a lot of uncertainty in our industry right now. But when other people see uncertainty and chaos, I see opportunity. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that were doors that were onced absolutely slammed shut on you are opening up to you because things are changing, the foundation of our industry is shifting underneath our feet. And if you are ready, and you have and you're smart, there's major opportunities to be taken advantage of where they might not come windows of opportunity will open doors will open that work close to you before and we talked about that. We talked about the future of film festivals of film markets of kwibi and what they're doing, what production will look like moving forward. Of course, we talked about predatory film distribution where film distribution is going forward in general and of course we talked a little bit about Tiger King, because what COVID COVID episode would be complete without just a little just a little talk about the impact of Tiger cake on our society as well. But all joking aside guys, this is a must listen to episode and as all episodes that I have with RB it is epic, it is over two hours and close to two hours in 15 minutes or so. So there is a lot to chew on. We we really do get into the weeds and I hope this is of value to you guys. And the one thing I wanted one of the reasons why I wanted to be on the show as well was that he hears things from his side of the fence and I've been hearing things on my side of the fence and we kind of got together to share it To share what we've been hearing, and the people we've been talking to in the industry, and see kind of the shifts and see what's in those tea leaves. So please sit down and get ready for the epic conversation I have with my brother from another mother, RB Botto. I like to welcome back to the show all time returning champion of the show. RB Botto from stage 32, how you doing, brother?

RB Botto 5:28
I'm doing excellent, my friend How you doing?

Alex Ferrari 5:31
You know, just live in the quarantine life man. Just live in the quarantine life.

RB Botto 5:38
House arrest. This is house arrest man.

Alex Ferrari 5:40
House arrest with children, which is always fun.

RB Botto 5:43
God bless you, man. God bless you.

Alex Ferrari 5:46
No, God bless my wife. God bless my wife. Because if I couldn't be doing this right now, because I would have Rugrats running around all around me, and I wouldn't be able to do this. But I wanted to bring you on the show. Cuz we talked about this a couple weeks ago, like, you know, we need to we need to talk about what's happening in our industry right now. And, and you have some you know, you got information about stuff from your side of the fence. I've got stuff from my side of the fence that you know, we hear rumblings from friends and things and seeing things are happening. And I wanted to kind of just put together this conversation about where we are right now. What's happening right now and where we're going and what the future what lies in the future for our industry in general. So first and foremost, how are you handling the quarantine? Sir?

RB Botto 6:34
I'm handled First of all, it's great to be back on indie film hustle show. I mean, I mean, how many times we've done this at least.

Alex Ferrari 6:42
We're getting close to a baker's dozen soon, sir. I think we're like 10. I think we're like this. So we got a few more between a baker's dozen.

RB Botto 6:52
Yeah. Now you sent me the silk robe when I got to five. And now now I'm thinking maybe like a kimono or something? Something like that.

Alex Ferrari 7:00
I send you a mask. I send you a diamond encrusted mask

RB Botto 7:04
Mask. That's nice.

Alex Ferrari 7:06
Very Bane. Very Bane style Bane style, though.

RB Botto 7:09
Oh, hang out on the wall. And this is all over.

Alex Ferrari 7:12
And have you seen? Have you seen those masks that are the face huggers? From alien?

RB Botto 7:17
Yeah, I did,really great. It's the mother of all invention, right?

Alex Ferrari 7:23
I mean, it is the world that we live in right now. It is a crazy world. So how are you holding up, man?

RB Botto 7:28
I'm holding up good man. I you know, it's interesting. I had obviously, as you have I've had a conflict, you know, conversations with dozens now, if not hundreds of people that are you know, dealing with this. And it's interesting to see that, you know, there's there's two different types of, I think people in a lot of ways, I think there are some people that are just saying like, fuck it. And you know, I'm going to relax and I can't get motivated, I can't get into it. You know, I have some friends that I know are getting up at eight in the morning and binge watching till midnight. And then you have others who are really legitimately digging in. And especially within the industry, I think there's a lot of people in the know, especially the executives, we work with the professionals we work with recognize the fact that even though maybe, you know, shooting isn't happening per se, except in small pockets. Now, I think I believe in like Denmark, which is brilliant, you know, the shooting isn't happening, that business is definitely happening. And you know, the need for content is there, there is going to be a gold rush when this is over. So I think that what I'm seeing is, you know, a little bit of both. And for me personally, I mean, you know, I can only control what I can control. We talked about this, we've talked about this in a million other podcasts and a million times you and I privately but it's like, you know, you, there's only so much you can control, right? I mean, I love to believe that I could go downstairs into my garage and create a vaccine for this thing. But obviously, there are people that are much smarter than I am. So I have to control what I can control. And it's been, for me it's been, especially with some of the initiatives we have going on, it's really legitimately been 10 to 18 hour days, seven days a week of working on stage 32. And on those days where it's maybe on the lower end where it's like 10 then it's been my creative pursuits, it's been, you know, the writing and the producing and all that. So I'm trying to have fun with it. You know, obviously, I'm recognizing that when I say that I don't want to be dismissive of what's happening around the world and all the tragedies and everything that are happening and obviously all the people that are suffering with this and I personally know some people that are suffering with it and but I'm saying in my day to day, staying safe doing the best I can trying to encourage others trying to encourage myself and inspire myself and stay motivated and doing a shitload of cooking is also carbon also creative pursuit. I love cooking.

Alex Ferrari 9:40
So carbs, carbs, carbs, our enemy,

RB Botto 9:43
Not a lot of carbs. But But I am cooking a ton and a lot of working out exercising and everything like that just trying to stay again healthy mentally and spiritually and all that.

Alex Ferrari 9:53
So we're basically the scene from Goodfellas in the prison where they're actually in prison but they're cooking their cook And there's a right and you can work out if you want to.

RB Botto 10:02
So the only I don't have I don't have 80 people you know, I don't have Johnny Do you know cutting the cut the garlic with the onions, you know doing too many onions, too many onions, I don't have that going. So, you know, when I have to kind of counter that I haven't cooking a lot of Italian food in mass quantities to give to my neighbors and stuff like that, which is fun. You know, it's fun to be able to sit there and say like, you feel like you're cooking for 20. And meanwhile, you're kind of sitting there by yourself with a bottle of wine. Oh, and I was like, you know, if you get done you like Who the hell am I feeding I 16 lasagna is.

Alex Ferrari 10:37
So it is, um, it is it is an unprecedented time in our life. And in our lifetime. I think this has never happened in human history, and let alone to our industry. But just in general, like in our industry, it's obviously like every industry, it's hit, it's been hit like a ton of bricks. I want the people I've been talking to, there's people who who honestly believe like, Oh, this will just fall over and we'll be back to normal. And back is doing business as usual. And I keep telling them like, if you think we're gonna go back to way things were in every aspect of our business, you're absolutely pulling an ostrich and in your heads in the sand. And in my opinion, I can't I can't see our industry going back to where it was. I'm not saying it won't get back to a place, but things will change. The world's gonna change. So we're going to change whether Do we agree?

RB Botto 11:33
I completely agree. I think it's changing already. And I think that the longer this goes on, the more change they'll be. I think that, you know, obviously, I said a little earlier, like, you know, vinci's mother will necessity or whatever the hell that line is, but it's the, that is the truth. And I think that as time goes on, and people realize that, look, I need to make money, or I need to find content, or I need to whatever the case is, but whatever you do in the business, you're gonna have to find a new way. And there are a lot of new ways that are popping up already. But I think you're entrepreneurs, them, right. I think that, you know, first of all, let me just talk about, if you want to just talk about the virus itself, I mean, from hour to hour, the news, everything changes, right, we hear, you know, it's airborne, it's it's, you know, eight times in the air for five hours in the air for an hour. You know, if you get it, you're you're immune to it. You're not I mean, so right now, I don't think anybody knows I, I really don't i don't think i don't was so early in this thing. And that's why I think people don't realize, because we're home for you, I've been home for a little while. So everything's, it's been happening for a really long time. But, you know, this is only four or five, six months, since the first case was, you know, seen or identified, let's say, and even then nobody, you know, everybody took it lightly. So here we are in a situation where the idea to me based on everything that I'm reading, and I'm seeing, the idea that we're going to be a film festivals are sitting in theaters, or getting on planes to go to film festival. You know, I mean, God bless Venice and everything. And they, you know, I understand that, but again, they have a business to run, they're part of the Oscar cycle, I get it. So they're sitting there saying, we're going to do it somehow. But they're going to, they're going to do it, somehow, they're going to do it with locals, and they're going to do it. People sitting 15 miles from one another, and, and, and the rest of its going to have to go online or something's gonna have to go on. So it's just the idea of, you know, what you're hearing what I'm hearing from people that are like, Oh, it's just gonna go back to normal, I think is absurd. And I think it's already changing. And I think you are seeing that online movement. And I think even before this started, and you and I had this conversation a couple weeks ago, but even before this started, what I was noticing was a lot of the the executives in the business had started doing more Skype meetings and more zoom meetings, simply because they didn't want to lose half their day in their car.

Alex Ferrari 13:44
Oh, yeah. It's more efficient. It's more efficient. Yeah.

RB Botto 13:47
So now what I'm hearing is man, you know, for the people that the people that didn't buy into that now, when I have meetings with them over zoom, or over Skype, it's like, man, I got, like, I'm never going back. I'm never getting my car again, even when this is over. Like, you know, I'm gonna be doing all my meetings like this, like, why not?

Alex Ferrari 14:01
Well, why wouldn't you? Like, why wouldn't you? It makes it look, I've been like, I've been as you know, I've been Skyping and zooming for five years doing this podcast. So you know, I already drank that Kool Aid A long time ago. I rarely go out to take meetings if I if unless I have to. And generally they come to me because of Porto's, but but but seriously, though, you know, the way the way the world? I think this is what I think is happening right now. We are we're being forced into scenarios that many people are uncomfortable trying to do. So. Scenario one, doing meetings and Skype. No, no, you need that personal touch. You need to be in the room with them. You need to do that. Yes. Okay. But but the Skype meeting Secondly, you know, having a theatrical run, skip the theaters and go straight to home that has been talked about for over a decade, as you know soon as streaming was a thing. People were already going, you know, we want that window that the utricle window cut that they've been trying to get that done. So now the excuses what we have to. So now we're truly testing that film festivals. Is it a thing? You know, how are we going to, you know, like, How important are they in the grand scheme of things other than a cultural event, like Jonathan Wolfe says, These are a lot of things that were being are now being tested that people wouldn't have come wouldn't have gone into them. It's kind of like going do you want the electric car do you want to stay with a gas guzzler, and it took a long time for the electric car to become a thing where it could have easily become a thing a decade earlier, you know, but it just took a long time for things to come around. So I feel that this is just a complete, just put the gas on the pedal kind of thing for all these things that we would have never never, it would have taken us another decade to do this. Because the system is the status quo. Nobody wants to go against the system.

RB Botto 15:58
Well, and and this is the this is the industry of all industries, that is resistant to change. And if they're, I mean, it's fascinating, and you know, being at the front of stage three to nine years, we knew when we launched that we were going to be hit with Who the hell, why did why do we need do? Like why the hell do we need that? We knew that going in. I mean, I was in the business. So I knew that, okay, but we also knew that there was a spot for this and there was going to be a need for it. And we There was also a vision, there was also Okay, this is where it's going to go. But it took four or five years for us to start gaining those partnerships, like with AFM and can and everything like that, because this is an industry that's just resistant to change troopers now. Now, they're being forced, I mean, now we're seeing like the whole thing with the online markets, okay. There were companies that were looking to do online markets five years ago, I remember taking a meeting, I won't name the company about five or six years ago, that actually had set up an online market. And I thought it was brilliant at the time. And I said to this CEO is nobody will buy it, nobody is going to It's great. It's brilliant. It's the future. Nobody's gonna buy into it, the people you need to buy into it are, you know, the markets, the producers, the sales agents, the distributors, you need the mall to buy in. And obviously, you need the filmmakers to trust and the producers to trust, they can put their product on your platform, and they will see a result. Okay. Nobody wanted to dive in with them. Nobody wanted to all of a sudden this year, can says, Well, you know, we're still gonna have our first and they kept pushing the date button, push the date back. And I love those guys. I mean, I mean, again, they're partners of us. But they would look into trying to figure out what they're going to do the market. But finally, the agency said, well screw it, we're not going to sit around, we're going to put it online again said, don't worry about it.

Alex Ferrari 17:46
We'll do another one. We were just, we were just joking. We're just joking. We were just figuring it out.

RB Botto 17:51
Now, I mean, I've known those guys for years. And I'm telling you that they had always thought about an online component, but at the same time, they didn't want to dilute and I understand this what can is and I mean, it is a you know, a festival in a market unlike any other you know, I mean, it's in the setting and everything in the history. And you know, it's undeniable, okay, but what's also undeniable is, was a lot of money to get there. A cost a lot of know how you need to have relationships. And a lot of people go and they don't know a lot of people any market, they go and they don't walk away with a deal. So if you don't walk away with a deal, or if you don't have you're not in the position to do this, what do you do the other, you know, 1515 and a half weeks a year? Well, this is what's going to start happening now there's going to be that online component, and it does exist and it has existed in different places, rights, trade, different things like this. But now I think it's going to become more than norm. And again, the further we go out, the more it's going to become the wall.

Alex Ferrari 18:46
Yes. It's kind of like when electricity showed up. There was a conversation like no, no, no kerosene, kerosene. That's, that's the future this This is dangerous is because the status quo didn't want to deal with it. And and that happened with blockbuster that happened with the studio system with streaming in general, it took forever to finally look Disney plus just showed up. What this year last now this year, this year, this year, or late last year for when it came out, but it just showed up and now now everyone's like, oh, wait a minute, this is a real thing that took forever. It's

RB Botto 19:20
Look, you know, we had this conversation as well. But if if you know somebody, somebody would have said to you 10 years ago, or even five years ago, that the majority of original television and smaller independents are going to be funded by netflix and and or other streaming platforms. Everybody would want What are you smoking? What do you got? Give me some of that. Okay. And now here we are, right? So look at that and that genies out of the bottle. He is not going back. Now. Everybody's saying How the hell do I get to Netflix? How the hell do I get in the studio? So how do we compete with it now? Everybody's going into the streaming game, as you just said, with Disney and everything like that. So look, this is just going to force a lot of people's hands. You know, at the end of the day, this is a business and a lot of people's businesses are being disrupted that, you know, within the ecosystem, and to make those businesses survive, it's going to be, you know, an adapt or die sort of business mentality. And I think that that's what's going to happen, it's going to continue to happen. And I mean, every day, every day, what you're seeing, if you look at, you know, The Hollywood Reporter, you look at deadline, were you seeing is innovation, consolidation, acquisitions, you're seeing all day, every day, people were scooping up companies on the cheap that are in trouble. People, you know, they're combining companies that merging with companies that you know, where it seems like a fit where they could be a juggernaut coming out of this thing, or there's this innovation happening, you know, sort of what, you know, Canada now will can continue that market online. So who knows? You don't? I mean, who knows? We'll see how it goes. Of course, I think they will go back to what they do best and what they are known for. But again, you know, how long is it going to be before people are really comfortable getting on planes of being in a market, you know, with 1000 people around them at any given time? I don't know.

Alex Ferrari 21:11
Yeah, I was telling, I was talking to somebody the other day about it, I go, Look, guys, I don't foresee myself going to a movie theater this year. As a frank, I'm like, I don't care what the movie is, there's no movie that's gonna make me go to the theater this year, probably. I don't foresee myself jumping on a plane this year. I don't see it. I you know, especially not to go to a festival or market or an event. Because I don't foresee those being around this year, either. And even if tomorrow, Dr. Fauci shows up at the briefing and says, guys, we've got the vaccine, we've got this rock solid treatment, it's now as easy to deal with as a common goal is over the counter, it's all of this stuff, you're free to go, there's still going to be a hangover, that people the second that information does get out, there's still going to be probably a six month to a year hangover of this extreme situation that we're in, which is going to obviously affect consumers behaviors. Obviously, you're gonna affect people who are are watching consuming the content that we're creating. And I think we're in this for at least two years, in one witness, like at home for two years. Right. Right. But also, four months ago, if I would have told you that she would have said it, but what are you smoking? You're crazy to be? Right, you're not gonna close down the entire planet? Like that's, like the economy? What? Hollywood's gonna shut down? What No, all the theaters are shut. Like, if I would have told you this in January, you would have said, Alex, there's absolutely no way this could happen. So I'm now saying, I don't think we're going to be locked up for two years. Who knows? I don't think so. I think it's, you know, without the information that we have today, I don't think that's gonna happen. But we are our lives will be affected for at least a couple of years. And I don't even want to start talking about the economical hits, that not only our industry is going to get hit get hit with, but the world is going to get hit with still because we're still with the water. I feel this is what's happening right now the water is being pulled back from the shore, you know, just just before that tidal wave comes in, it's just slowly being pulled back. Okay, well, the water go, that's where we're at right now, that wave is starting to build out there. And when it comes, it's going to come hard in that's my feeling economically. Within this year, probably or next year, it's gonna hit harder than were even being hit right now. So I have no idea where where we're going to be that way. But those are saying, we are going to have that hangover. It's in and we have to start thinking that way. We have to start thinking that way. It's two years, we're two years in, that's best case scenario is two years, let's say 2022, things might start getting back to whatever new normal is, at that point, hopefully, vaccine, whatever you've been coming out, treatments already been coming out, it's already starting to come down there. You know, everything is starting to slow down a bit. And we could get a handle on this. But as creatives, as creatives and creators, we need to start thinking about how we're going to place ourselves in that marketplace, whatever that marketplace might be. You got to start thinking about that. What do you think?

RB Botto 24:24
I think if you haven't been thinking about it already, you're behind the curve. I mean, that's that's just the God's honest truth. I mean, again, we work with nearly 1000 executives, right? We put out a call when this happened to almost all of them, and you know, pretty much the entire list. And we said, What do you want, tell us what you're working on. Tell us what you're doing. Tell us what you want to be doing. You know, all that. I can't tell you how many responses we got hundreds of people saying, send me material, give give us stuff that we have time to read or just imagine? Well, they just they like our app. actors have time to read, they're looking for the next thing. If they lit managers, we're looking lit agents will look development executives were looking. So it has been fascinating to witness this and to you know, see how many people are coming to us looking for material. Jason Murcia runs directly as the director of scripts services is like, I thought I was busy before my email is overrun with people looking for material like I need this, I need that what do you got? Who's your Who's your best writer here? Who's your best writer there. So that's fascinating to me. I mean, I can tell you, you know, on my side on the creative, I'm writing a script right now that i was i was brought into right by the head zero gravity. And I talked to them all the time. And they're like, we don't have enough hours in the day, we don't have enough manpower to handle all the requests, all this stuff, all the things we're developing, okay? Because what everybody gets in the know, realizes right now is that this will come to an end, right. And when it does, the need for content and desire for content, especially fresh content, is going to be off the charts. So my advice to creators right now is, is you know, if you are in a position to actually create something if you're a writer, or even if you're at work on monologues and table reads, get people together to stay fresh and stay active or whatever. If you're a producer, and you're trying to develop a project or whatever you have, there are so many people looking to do these things right now. And for a lot of people The other thing that we're seeing on stage 32, which I think is awesome. And I just think it's a it's inspiring to me to watch it is our education, people taking our education, webinars, everything is through the roof, because you're seeing a lot of people that are working in one discipline, looking to learn another discipline or looking to further the craft they're already working in, what a discipline they're already working in. And it's been awesome to see, like, I know a lot of writers, for example, who are taking filmmaking classes on stage, I do think in producing classes on stage, because this is the other part of it, too. It is a great opportunity now for creatives to put themselves in a position to learn the business, to be in a position where you can reduce your own material or understand how to go about attaching talent to a project and everything like that, like one of the other things I'm doing right now is right I have a TV pilot that we have attached a producer from boilers and and we'll look at buyer, we've attached an actor to it that I can't name right now for obvious reasons, because contracts and everything like that. We are out to actors and showrunners who have actively said now's the time. You don't I mean, so you would think like, shit, nothing's happening. And now you know, this is the worst time to be by this is the best time to be trying to package something. So if you don't understand how to package something you don't understand anything you don't know that you ever said to yourself, like, man, I love to learn how to do that, or that's a black hole than the I don't understand how to do that. I don't understand how financing works. I don't understand how producing works. Now's the time to go learn it. Now's the time to go take those classes, you know, dig deep into it dive deep into it. I think those are the two things I'm seeing right now people are, you know, the executives and the professionals are looking for the material. And the people that are creating the material either got the head down and doing it a lot of play. Another thing a lot of writers are doing, which I think is great. A lot of writers are taking old scripts out of their drawers and modifying them for today's mark for today's market. Like they're saying, Okay, how do I how do I make this? It's still a great story. But how do I make it relevant for what's going on right now for the needs right now. But I mean, I'll tell you, last night, I was on the phone with a producer friend of mine. And when we got done, he said, I'm going to send you over the mandates for every studio and for every streamer and tell what they're looking for right now. It's fascinating. I mean, everybody is looking for and they're looking for existing content to like, you know, like, this is also a good time if you're a filmmaker that maybe just got done with the festival circuit. Whether a film, yeah, if it's a feature, you know, now's a really good time to maybe be banging up against, you know, banging up sales agents and distributors again, or if you can if you're still eligible for certain things, or maybe seeing if there's a way that you can get it onto a platform if you're a short filmmaker, you know, to try to be getting in front of managers and agents everybody's looking at the talent right now looking for talent and they're looking for content.

Alex Ferrari 29:23
But so back to your question though, right now the the economics everyone seems to be playing this as business as usual like everything you just said like everyone's looking for content, there's gonna be this or that, but the financials you know, right now everyone's still probably, you know, buying and using off of whatever stored because there is no money arguably coming in, depending on who you're talking to. Yeah, Netflix has their monthly you know, but Netflix just had to pull a billion dollars in, in finances to start buying new content because they're netflix they have they have to be in debt. That's part of their rules. But but like Disney just laid off 100,000 or four low 200,000 employees and stuff, the studios are hurting, maybe some of the streaming platforms are doing a bit better. But they're still there, you know, whatever is happening right now could be off of whatever they have saved, or what they believe is going to happen in the next few weeks. But if this doesn't, if this, if this goes through the path of where we all were, a lot of people are saying, which is, it's going to loosen up in the summer a little bit, and that's going to come back with a vengeance in the fall. That pretty much kills the theatrical release schedule for the rest of this year. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. You know, can Sony handle not releasing bond this year? Like can date financially handle it as a company? Can Disney handle not releasing two Marvel movies? A Pixar? Like, can they, you know, I feel Disney could because they're diverse enough. But even then their parks are shut down their major revenue streams are shut down. So how is this financially and economically going to make sense? I know everyone's getting we need content, we need content, got it. But money has to come from somewhere.

RB Botto 31:19
Yeah, and I think it's gonna be different for everybody. You know, Netflix took that billion, I don't know, if it's gonna be all content related. Or if they're positioning themselves that you know, acquire some things, I wouldn't be shocked, I wouldn't be shocked if you know, some of these people that are a little cash rich or have access to cash, don't start snatching up companies and the world, the streaming world, or you know, the studio world or whatever looks a lot different. The landscape looks a lot different, you know, six to 12 months from now, what we're seeing is on the television side, for example, almost every single premium station that work is booking for 2021. There, they're booking as if this is going to happen, even if it's going to happen even if they have that content as new content in the second half of 2021. And it's being filmed in the first half of 2021. They are going forward so I can tell you that to a network that is happening. I've seen the mandates. I've seen it all. What we're also seeing happening is a lot of the streamers. Oh, and again, a lot of the networks are looking for low budget, reality, unscripted, filming and filming at home since that's crazy. Comedy Central one of their mandates right now is is the to do more comedy sort of reality from people's homes with

Alex Ferrari 32:38
Quarantine, quarantine, comedy, quarantine, quarantine comedy,

RB Botto 32:41
Okay. So, you know, it's cheap, obviously to produce doesn't take a lot of people can edit it, you know, the post production people can do it in their homes and everything like that. So there, they will find a way to content Do you know to get content, I think and fresh content, they'll find a way I think the bigger question is, you know, when you bring up Sony and you know, things, you know, bond and everything like that, that is sort of a different kind of thing. You still have Sony television, you know, you still have it, you know,

Alex Ferrari 33:08
it's been holding somebody up, it's been holding up Sony for the last decade.

RB Botto 33:11
Yeah, I mean, so I mean, you know, but again, how this is where I think the creativity is going to come in. And again, I think this is what where we kind of came in on this conversation is sort of, the longer it goes, the more innovative they're going to have to be. But I do think that you are going to have some casualties of this, that are going to either gonna have to make really, really, you know, sweetheart kind of deals to save themselves or are going to find themselves being acquired for you know, how many pennies on the dollar, but certainly not $1 on the dollar. You know what I mean?

Alex Ferrari 33:43
Well, there's I mean, the three big boys that are sitting on the sidelines just waiting at any moment to come in and just buy somebody or acquire Google, Facebook, Apple Watch. And they have so much cash that they could easily come in by Sony by Lionsgate by an MGM by a paramount all day. I mean, there was rumors that Disney was thinking of Apple is thinking of buying Disney I don't think that would ever happen not purely because it's just too big. There's just that would be just too large of a company. I don't think it would pass pass the you know, whatever that the FCC to do it. But could they buy Sony? Absolutely. in their sleep and could they buy Lionsgate and that library if they really want to go because right now like I I checked out Apple Apple TV plus, and because they had an amazing story, so I wanted to go back to my my childhood. So I watched a couple of amazing service, I got their free thing. And I looked around I'm like, nothing. I got nothing. They got like five shows seven shows. I was like they have nothing. So they seem to be dipping their toe into it and they're very nicely produced shows Don't get me wrong, but they seem to be dipping their toe because if Apple really wanted to come out they could come out They could they could put 20 billion down in content next year and not even blink.

RB Botto 35:05
Yeah, I think the other one, the other one you got to keep an eye on obviously, is Amazon. Oh, yeah. You know, I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if, you know, they start making some moves. You know, if you have some movie theater casualties, I wouldn't be shocked to see that the move that they might make, or Amazon snatches up some theaters. I mean, there's, there's so many different ways this can go. Yeah, I mean, for the for the people that are listening right now who are working more in the indie level and trying, you know, maybe working in TV and everything like that. I do think that now is the time to really be you know, if you're not motivated right now, and I understand Listen, well, you know, we have this conversation on stage 32. All the time, when we do a lot of our free webinars and stuff like that, we'll do Q and A's, and we get asked often, you know, like, how do you keep yourself motivated? How do you keep yourself, like, it's very tough for me and everything like that, and I get it, I get it, that it is tough for some people. But what I would, what I would say to you is if you could dig deep and understand that right now, again, you know, so many you have a captive audience, and you know, they want to read and they want to look at films, I mean, what we're doing with Stage Three, two screenings to response to that, from executives, we launched these 32 screens. And look, I know, we're talking about the secret of we've launched this initiative. I mean, obviously was predicated on and it was built on the entire idea of the fact that the swipe screen is being cancelled. But if we had put this out three months ago, and went to our executive list and and even vintages, which will, you know, we could talk about the partner, you know, one of our education marks and went to their list of 1000s people are at work, they don't have time, and they're like, yeah, we'll check it when we can check it. And yeah, that's cool. And yeah. Oh, you got some features? Oh, yeah. Great. Okay. Now, it's like, we're like, we can't approve these people quick enough. It's like, they're like I sent an application two hours ago, can I get on Can I get on, it's like, holy shit, I mean, and that's it, they just, they're home, and they have nothing to do. But they have a job to do to keep in mind that this still even for the layoffs and everything like that. There are still development execs and managers and agents and everything like that, that work for agencies or work for management companies or work for production companies will work with the studios, that their job is still to find content. And their job is still to get out there and take meetings and zoom meetings and, and find people so even before, for example, we put screenings online before we launched the goddamn thing. We like probably 50 sales, sales, agents and distributors came to us and said, can we can we get a private screening first? And can we look at it? We were like, Fuck, no, no, no level playing field. But I mean, it was amazing. Because now like, you know, like, we need we need we need it's just crazy.

Alex Ferrari 37:39
So So let's talk a little bit about the whole South by Southwest thing, you know, South by Southwest was one of the first big casualties of Corona because of the timing. And the festival went down to a bunch of filmmakers that were going to be on and you know and you work all your life to be a part of a Sundance or south by a Tribeca or when a can Toronto one of these big festivals and then it's it's canceled so now all you have is the Laurel have officially selected and yeah, maybe they're gonna run the the awards and stuff so you still but but it doesn't, it doesn't, it doesn't have the same umph to it because you don't have the screening you get the experience and also the eyeballs that normally would see it at a festival like that, that possibly could either buy the film or give you opportunities are now gone. I don't foresee any major festival happening anywhere in the world. And that includes Sundance next year. I you know I don't think by then we're going to be you know impaired if they do pull Sundays off would probably be the best year to go because be nobody there. You might be able to get tickets to anything and everything you want at Park City. But you guys decided to jump on board to help these filmmakers out and and and south by connected with Amazon to try to do like a virtual Film Festival, which seems to have completely blown up in everyone's face because I heard of what Amazon was trying to pay filmmakers to put their thing up on Amazon. So for everyone listening to my understanding and please correct me, Amazon and south by said hey, if you got accepted us out by will, we'll buy the rights for the screening on on our platform, and we'll call it the South by Southwest screening Amazon screening series. And and we'll put it up online and people can watch it and things like that. And Amazon offered everybody for $1,000 for the screening rights for the festival, which then basically kills major distribution. It's going to get bootlegged, there's just absolutely no reason. Absolutely. Second, it goes online streaming it's going to get take picked up. So you've basically are throwing your movie away. If you do that. Basically you're you're shooting you're shooting yourself in the foot. So I think how many people like that they like to I think was two three sign though.

RB Botto 39:59
I think But I think over 30 did it but I mean, can I let me? Can I back up and get it? Yeah. Because it's really interesting. And it's, it's fascinating to be in the middle of what, you know, this like kind of Hurricane of what's going on. So okay, so just to give you sort of the timeline, so south by cancels the live screenings and at that point had no, there was no plans to put it online, everything was the day it happened the day it happened. One of our employees, her name is Taylor Baker, she's a head of content, she lives in Austin, but she was in our offices in LA. And she came in and she's like, God, this is gonna be so devastating for the economy, it's gonna be devastating for the filmmakers. And again it out at night, I'm at dinner with a buddy of mine. And I said, you know, it'd be really interesting if, you know, we could bring those films on to stage 32. Because we have executives, you know, we have almost 1000 of them. And a lot of them are sales, sales agents and distributors, right. But also for short filmmakers, I was like I that that's something that's near and dear to my heart is the short filmmaker. For the short filmmaker, I'm like, we have all the managers and the agents still looking to get to, you know, if they're looking for representation, or if they're looking to do this as proof of concept or something bigger, we have access to the finances and producers that they would need to get on, you know, to help them back this back division. So that's how stage three two screenings was kind of born. We said, All right, let's put this online. Let's do this. We went to our executives said this be something interesting, like hell yeah. And we started building the platform. While this was going on. A lot of these other festivals were being canceled. And we were getting hit up by a ton of festival directors because we got some we got press, we launched this the UI, we announced it, and we got some presses deadline and variety in The Hollywood Reporter. So we started getting a ton of inquiries from again, sales agents distributors, saying how do we get on board, and then a ton of festival directors saying, you know, either we're gonna have to cancel our live screenings to or we have a festival coming up that we haven't made selections for. And we'd like to be involved even though we're probably because we're probably gonna have to cancel. But if we don't make selections, how can we be involved? So we had two different things to deal with. We were like, okay, let's let's talk to the festivals that had screenings, see which ones we want to bring in, because we wanted to do this in stages. And since then, now we bought in Tribeca, the telluride mountain film Film Festival, which is the biggest stock Well, one of the oldest documentary film festivals in the country. It's been 44 years. And we bought in BSI London flair, which is an LGBTQ festival in London. And we brought in Vale. So now we have five festivals, bringing in films, we're up over 100. And I think it's 120 films that have submitted which is fantastic. And we launched officially launched like two days ago. And sure the film's already off the board in two features from South buyer in off the board and conversations for distribution and two others have serious heat on him right now, and probably gonna come off the board later today. But also for a short filmmakers, there's already been like 30 meetings set up with managers and agents and producers. So all good, that was our intention, our intention wasn't so much. We weren't saying we want to put an online festival. And this is all going to tie up everything you're asking because I think it's very, very important for the filmmaker. And I know you're a huge advocate of all this and protecting the filmmakers rights and everything. Well, we were saying is, okay, we're going to give you two options. You can either screen publicly, to our network of 600,000 members, which is our entire member base, right? And all these executives that we talked about, and anybody else that you'd like to invite in anybody else that comes in from the press, or you can choose to screen privately. And if you choose the private option, you are only screening to those executives. So we're worried about eligibility and all this other stuff and gone, you know, gone right, it's so in that particular instance, it's like, why would I want to get and my way of looking at it. And I want to kind of shift just a little bit is that I am a producer and a writer but let's talk about producing I have taken films that have gone I've been involved with films have gone to Sundance been involved those films can, I was involved with a film they went to Sundance that how to three o'clock spot at the Eccles and it was packed and got a standing ovation and 10 months later, was playing in a theater in New York and a theater in LA and all the money was lost on even after the standing ovation because a lot of people got in the way and a lot of middlemen, and it was a lot of shit. And it was hard. And to be honest with you going to a prestigious festival like that with that kind of film, and having that kind of euphoria, and then having that euphoria kind of completely taken away and realizing that we just played to that audience. But now we're kind of done. Now. It's in the hands of whoever it's out in the ether and whoever comes to us, right. So my whole thing was when we talk about the festival experience, like as you mentioned earlier, what really is that festival experience for a lot of people I mean, 99.9% of the films that go to festivals have no afterlife, really, if you think about it, because they go to festivals that don't have sales agents and distributors and people, you know, decision makers there, right? So they get the laurels. They're all excited. And it's all but then what do they end up with? They end up with a lot of bills. They ended up with, you know, a lot of travel costs and everything like that. And now, and now they're scrambling because they don't have the connection. So the other reason why I thought this was important to tent this up, was not only to save for these filmmakers that spent years on this thing, for all the connections, these films, all the people that acted on it, were on the crew and not investing their time in it. Let's give them the platform. But more importantly, I don't care about you know, it doesn't matter. It's not about playing it to the masses, it's about playing it to people that can make a difference in their careers. So that's where screenings came from. Now make sense? Yeah. So now after screenings was launched, then the Amazon thing was now so that was only south by? And so the other festivals that we're dealing with, had no other home, really.

And my understanding is, I think it's the four grand, and I think it's a 10 day window, or a 14 day window, I'm not even sure I can tell you up, like, I think it's only up like 10 to 14 days. But again, like, I don't know who this you know, and I'm not gonna speak to them. And I'm not gonna, you know,

Alex Ferrari 46:15
But they are screening publicly, but they're screening publicly for private screening,

RB Botto 46:18
They asked me publicly to prime so as you said, that kind of,

Alex Ferrari 46:22
You're done, you know, just like so. You know, and I don't want to be the bearer of bad news here. But if you do that, you are going to get like my movie was bootleg, our movie was bootleg within four hours of its release. Yeah, it was already bootleg. It was it was it was in the in the it was gone. It was gone out of our control. And that was our little film, let alone a South by Southwest film on Amazon, no less. So all those films are going to get bootleg and I feel really bad about it. Because then that pretty much kills their distribution. options. Yeah. It completely self or traditional.

RB Botto 47:02
And I don't know if they like, again, I don't know if people understand. I don't know if all the filmmakers understand that. I don't know. But I mean, we make it very clear with what we're doing that this is, you know, if you want to choose privately, you going in front of these. Tech, you're eligible. Absolutely. And, you know, so what we've heard, I mean, we've we've, I would say it's probably three or four filmmakers that came to us and said, We want to scream with you over amazon for the exact reasons that we're talking about. They didn't want to expose you. But you know, quite a few films, I believe did and you know, that's that's choice that they made?

Alex Ferrari 47:34
That's fine. I wish you the best

RB Botto 47:37
So be it. But I but again, I don't know. I don't know if that helps them. Or I mean, I don't.

Alex Ferrari 47:40
I mean, nobody knows. But nobody knows. Because nobody knows what the EFF is going on. Like this is completely uncharted territory. No one's ever a major film festival has never cancelled all their physical screenings, and partnered with Amazon to put it up. Nobody knows what that means. Nobody knows how that's gonna affect it.

RB Botto 47:59
But for the filmmakers, I was saying that, you know, you just said it. I mean, you know, I mean, if you'll lose it, I know that if you had that option where you have film, and you were in, you know, that was the first festival you had made or whatever, I think that you would have kept your powder dry. And you would look to, you know, figure out, you know, I know you would have, and I think a lot of I think a lot of filmmakers would it's, you know, look, we're in a very, very unique position. But given the fact that we have all these exacts. Now the other thing that we did was we partnered with vintage shops. And if you're not familiar with vintage, I know you are. But you know, vintage is is the global leader in accounts management for films. So they are the people that basically make sure your books are right, that everybody is getting paid, who's supposed to get paid that there's no shady shit going on that if you're a screenwriter, you're supposed to get back end points. And the movie makes 10 gajillion dollars that they don't come in with fuzzy math, that they're those people so they

Alex Ferrari 48:53
I don't understand. I don't understand any of that stuff that that happens. Does that happen in our business? No,

RB Botto 48:58
Very, very rarely rarely, right? Very early. So anyway, didn't lead is in that and they have we've been education quarters with them for a long time. They teach exclusively for stage 32 and they came to us and said, Hey, we want to be involved in this. So they're invading their entire roster of all these people. I was saying the sales agents distributors managed to get the team of lawyers to finance ears, the producers, the development executives, and it's it's literally 1000s it's going to be so we've already sent out probably 3000 a little over 3000 invites we're expecting to send out at least 5000 more by the time we're done. And if I get if I sit here, even if half of them except if I said to you, you know what, you know, would you like to play in front of 4000 you know, exactly one time you know and not by the way not at one time that's the other thing that drives me nuts is you know, a lot of these you know, I'm probably gonna get shot for a lot of this but a lot of these festivals are quitting their films, the film Good films online, but they're doing it in a festival style to basically say at six o'clock 10 o'clock. You know, it's the world

Alex Ferrari 50:06
That's not the world we live in guys, that's not the world we live in the world we live in. So make sure to be kind rewind behind rewind,

RB Botto 50:12
I always say it's all these phones are out there online. Yeah, make sure they're private, privately, you log in, you get to watch and we're not taking them down. We're not saying you got to watch it between eight and 10. And then we're taking them that, you know, it's there. And until. And the way it works, by the way, is if, if one of the executives wants to get in touch with the filmmaker, or the producers, they just hit a button. And that sends a message to us. We go to the filmmaker and say, This is the interest you're getting, do you want us to facilitate a meeting? If they say yes, we connect them. And like I said, but now it's about 48 hours, we already have four films that have major, major interest. So it's, it's cool, it's very rewarding. And by the way, it's free to do. So. I will just say really quickly, you know, if you know anybody that had a film in Vail, try back up by the bfsi, London LGBTQ or mountain film telluride mountain film, please do send them our way. If you have a festival that wants to be involved in this, go to support. I'm sorry, screenings at stage 30 two.com, you can send us an email, if you want to look at all this. It's just states 32, comm backslash screenings, plural. And the other thing that we're doing, Alex, which I think is cool is for the people that the festivals that have come to us that, again, did not choose their films, okay, but are going to have to cancel their festival. We have been providing them to their alumni and the filmmakers who submitted free education. So we're trying to do whatever we can fabri everybody, but it's, you know, it's a troubling time. We know I can tell you this, I'm not gonna name the festival. But there is a film festival that has been around for over 30 years. Actually, it's long, it's probably 40 years, that has a staff of 35 people. And I've known three of them personally, for a very, very long period of time. they've laid off just about everybody. And who knows if it's an exam, that's the other part of this too. Who knows how many of these festivals are going to survive? I mean, if you're a filmmaker right now, are you allotting? I don't know, you tell me. Let me ask you this question. If you had on the corner of you going desire ready right now, like it just you just got done? Would you be? Would you be outlaying? No need?

Alex Ferrari 52:33
Absolutely not? Absolutely not. If I had to, if I had my film right now, and I literally just finished the Edit. And you've seen it and and everyone's watched it. We're all like we had a little private screening. I don't know if we can have that right now. But let's say we let's say for argument's sake, we had our private screening, I would be focusing on itself distribution digital release myself. But mind you again, the budget of our film was much more humble than to $300,000. So now when you're talking about a quarter million dollars, half million dollars, million dollar film, and all of the all the infrastructure and all the blueprints that we've been working out, like the way the path that has been laid out, since the beginning of time in our industry, is now shut down. And an alternate ways I'd normally go like, Okay, I'm not gonna go directly to distribute, I'm gonna go down the film festival route. Well, the film festival was shut down pretty much. So now you don't have an option to go down that route. And then the distributors are becoming much more predatory. We could talk about all the stuff I've been hearing about distributors and aggregators. Yeah, as well. So that that situated is weird. And now, your, your, your challenge to try to self distribute, without all the stuff that I've been preaching with film shoprunner, about building that audience, creating those product lines, creating an ecosystem, providing value, that all takes time. And if you just have a fresh movie, and you're like, Oh, I better start finding an audience, you're way too late. Unless you're gonna wait a year to release this thing. It's way too late for that. So in many ways, unfortunately, the only option left is a predatory distribution deal. Or if you're lucky enough, depending on the size of your film, you can go with a couple of the good predator, good predatory good distributors. There's good predatory there's bad predatory. There's like grits. Gray, no, you know, if you're if you're lucky enough to find, you know, one of the you know, one of the few really honest distributors and there are some out there, or you get picked up by one of the big boys and get a nice mg. That's another route to go but those are that's a lottery ticket. And then another one honestly is a lottery ticket. So then basically all the like, well, I'll put it up on Amazon, myself, like that's the options. So it's, it's depressing. And I've been yelling about this, you know this for a long time, trying to figure out A new system. But this scenario, it was tough. It was, it was nearly impossible to to be a profitable independent film. Prior to Corona, it was like the percentage, you know, it percentage is very, very nil, that you can make your money back break even or be profitable in that in that current marketplace. And now we're talking about fractions of a fraction. Because nobody knows what's happening. Nobody knows where we're going.

RB Botto 55:30
And it's interesting because again, I'd love to get your opinion on this being a filmmaker and a producer yourself. It's me I you know, I agree with you. I think that right now, if you're putting money into Film Fest knows that that may be playing a few that maybe, you know, I just tried. Two years, two years? Yeah, I don't get it. I don't get but the so I'm in this plays into your two years. And you can add, I think you can answer I think I know now you gonna answer now. But the thing I'm we're hearing from producers, okay. And from filmmakers, because we've talked about the expansion of screenings, we've talked to a lot of people. And what we will hear occasionally is, Well, you know what, this is going to be over in a few months. So I'm going to just keep my film in pocket in the can on the zoom I net, yeah, do undershelf to my networking, do you know, build up some hype for it and all this other stuff. And then when it comes back, whenever it comes back, I'm going to start streaming the festivals. Now my argument with that is twofold. One is I you know, I'm a strike while the iron is high kind of guy. And I'm also you know, the type of guy that I don't like anything passive, okay, that's the first thing. I think you adapt to your environment, right? you adapt to your environment, you find the opportunities, and you find what people aren't going and you go, Okay, that's the first thing But the second thing is, is that okay, I was gonna lose your my computer. My court wasn't plugged in. But the second thing is the a lot. I think the other part of this is, is that people don't realize that even though we're not filming right now, post production on completed films are still good. It's, it's absolutely happening. So when you go to release that shell, or when you do put that thing into the marketplace, might be a little stale in comparison to other stuff that's out there already, or it might have gone, especially if it's gotten into another festival or whatever. So I mean, so the thing about like, you know, festival saying like, Well, you know, you still you're still eligible, and you're still like, this is the thing that's going on right now.

Alex Ferrari 57:31
Who cares? With the eligible? Oh, it's

RB Botto 57:33
The thing I say to you is, wait, how how do they have the power? The power is in the hands of the filmmaker. Your hands actually think I think you would agree, man. I think that filmmakers, I think, look, it's the same thing with screenwriters. Right? What does every screenwriter want, they want a manager, they want a manager, they want a manager, they don't realize to get a manager and it might be the wrong manager, or it might be a manager, it's not gonna go to war for you. And then you realize that, well, shit, I'm worse off than I was before, right? You're a filmmaker, you're like, Oh, I just want to play in a festival. I'm playing a festival. I want to play a festival, you play in a festival. And you know, things don't quite happen. And you know, you're not getting your investors back. You're not getting everybody else back. Nobody wants to go into battle with you again, right? The thing is, is that as creatives a lot of creatives, and I know you'll agree with this, I know we've had this conversation before a lot of creatives, surrender their power. sit there and I hear certain festivals going like, you know, you can screen and you'll still be like, Wait a second. You don't have a festival without the filmmakers. Okay, the filmmakers have the power. And that's you want to talk about things that are changing right now or you want to talk about things that I think a change is gonna change right now is I think a lot of filmmakers and a lot of producers are going to realize, recognize that the power is not only in their hands, but with the options that they thought they had are much more plentiful than they were before.

Alex Ferrari 59:01
Can I can I can I be honest, I want to I want to give a little bit of raw honesty out here right now. This is going to be brutal honesty. Was this not wrong? No, no, no, no, no. With this was pG 13. I'm gonna get I'm gonna get a little harder now. The real The reality is that most independent filmmakers and or producers have no clue how to recoup their money, no clue how to generate revenue with the film that they just hustled to get made. All they ever focus on is trying to get the budget, package the deal, get the cast, get the director get the screenplay, that is what is taught. But nobody ever wants to know about the back end and how to make money with their films. And that was and they all they had these the idea of like, well, we'll go down a festival circuit. Oh, like before we make a joke about this. We have to make a joke about this and the movie was like oh yeah, well You know some of submit to Sundance and that's my that's my distribution plan. That plan is now gone. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. So even that ridiculous plan is completely out the window. So now I feel that the desperation is going to just get ramped up with all these films that are in the can right now they're, they're waiting and they're going to do any so any any schlock any any snake oil salesman that comes along goes, Oh, here, go here, this the film festival gone this route, or no, no, go over here. I'll distribute your film for you or this. So I feel that that's going to get even more ramped up. It was at a it was at a frenzy rate before Corona. Now I can't even comprehend what's going to happen instead of like a pit of Parana it's like a pit of sugar white shot of great whites in the same numbers as before, it's going to be absolutely brutal. And that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to give as much information as I can out there to help filmmakers and I'm getting emails dude daily, daily like what do I do? Where do I go? How do I do this? And I honestly sometimes I literally send the emoji like I don't I you know what? Tell me what your situation is. Oh, it's a million dollar it's a $1.5 million movies got this star this star in it. I'm like okay. Try this maybe go down this distribution route. Oh, we're thinking of self distribute. I'm like don't do that. You can't You can't you you like oh, we need to get an iTunes. No, you don't because nobody's making money on iTunes. Because transactional is pretty much a dead door especially for independent from Do you think anyone's renting the next off long run movie? Like it like seriously? I love golf. Oh, no footnote but no offense, but like our Do you? Do you see people other than maybe guys in your my age range that are still super fans of Dolf renting on iTunes, paying 599 for his latest movie or john clods or Steven Seagal latest movie? No, there you if you watch them to watch it on streaming for free, so you don't need to go to TV. you where you need to go is a VOD, because that's the only place there's any money right now. Anyway, that's a whole other conversation. But that But back to what we were talking about that is where

RB Botto 1:02:31
Can I can I comment on that? First of all, there is no there was there was nothing R rated about that. So I'm very disappointed.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:35
I mean, I you know, I

RB Botto 1:02:37
Very disappointed. I was all amped up. But I know it's very rare that

Alex Ferrari 1:02:42
You want me to do you want to throw some some curse words out. So I can if you like,

RB Botto 1:02:45
I would like to combine some creative curse words. A couple of things about that. One, it's very, very true. If you're if you're new to the show, if you're new to Alex and everything like that, first of all, you need to be listening to his body, you need to go through bad episodes, because he covers the gamut, okay, and there's so much great information there. So many good things that you can learn. And it ties back to what we were talking about earlier. There are three things if you are not motivated. Right now, there are three things that you could be doing that I guarantee you will make you get to that. The third one is the most important, which is the creating we talked about earlier, but here are the two things that you could be doing that will get you to the third one. The first one is network, relationship building and networking. The cool thing, one of the things that we've seen, I mean, I think it's a great I mean, for us, I mean, in a tragic time, I guess it's a great time to be on tour on a social network platform because our traffic is through the roof. So if you're not on stage, sorry to cut if nonstimulated calm right now you're just wasting time, the amount of interactions, the amount of requests the amount of touch. So it's great. So now you have no excuse not to be out there meeting if this is your interest, or your need sales agents or distributors, or if you're a short filmmaker, getting in front of managers, nation or viewer you know, feature filmmaker. Okay. The second thing is exactly what you just talked about education, if you're not listening to this podcast, if you're not taking education, if you're not learning, like for example, if you're actually a filmmaker right now, now had a film one of these camps with professors you're like, I don't know what to do, and you're not taking and I'm going to pick my own stuff. So it's 32 classes on on distribution on sales each how to find a sales agent how to vet a sales agent, all these different things. If you're not doing it, it's on you. And it's the old since this is Michael Jordan thing that's this template Michael Jordan thing I'll use Dr. Jordan you know, but but if you're not doing it somebody else's like we talked about this, I think the last time we talked to me, we talked about off the air but it's when people say to me like how do you get motivated every day and you're the same way man, like you get up every day in your attic right? I'm up every day I'm at Why? Well quite a bit. Yeah, that's in our blood. We love We love getting you know, we love you know, being involved in hustle, the hustle, we love the hustle we've loved. Right? But the second thing is, is that, you know, they asked Michael Jordan when he was at peak of his powers, why are you in the gym every day at 630 in the morning, shooting 1000 free throws. And he said if I'm not somebody else's, and by the way that walk gunning for me, live your life that way a little bit. Live your life knowing that your film is one of 1000s that got canceled, you know, Film Festival, you know, live your life that your short film is one of out even know how many that got produced last year or whatever, and that those looking for representation, and then put yourself in the best position, goal, need, make a meet, okay, and you will get to part three, which is the idea that you really should be creating right now. And putting yourself in the best position for one, this is all over.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:48
Yeah, and I'll pick my own stuff out as well. And also TV indie film, hustle TV is I've seen a big surge of people watching and I've seen how many people in the back end have been watching members and stuff. People are starting to figure it out. They they need to educate themselves, you know, our book sales have gone up, you know, because people are starting to buy our books and buy our audio books and things like that, because people are like, Oh, wait a minute, I'm sitting around. Yes, I do. You need to watch Tiger King. And by the way you do, by the way you do. But when I'm done with Tiger King, that's only seven hours of your life, including the new Act, including the new bonus episode. You should be educating yourself in preparing. And I've been saying that for weeks now. Like, you know, binge a bit, but you've got to educate yourself, you got it, you should be right now in the pit. And that training pit with Rocky and rocky three, when Apollo takes them back down to train to go beat up Mr. T. That's where you need to be. You need your own trading montage and whatever craft part of this industry you're trying to learn about. That's what you should be doing right now. I am I'm doing it right now with myself with all the stuff that I've been doing with with my company and what I'm doing, you're out there hustling, trying to provide value to filmmakers and create new opportunities that didn't exist. Because you know, you know, as as weird as it sounds like I don't know who it was, I think it was JP Morgan, which was like, you know, you buy when there's blood in the water. And I'm not saying that in a morbid sense. But right now there's so much confusion. And so much just nobody knows what's going on. This is an opportunity to come up with a new solution to figure out a new way of doing things and I i've been saying Rome is burning now for a while our industry, I feel that the walls are starting to crack down around us. And this is just just really put it into hyperdrive. And when this all comes crashing down in one way, shape or form, whatever comes out of those ashes will be the new way of doing it. And it's happened multiple times in our industry. But I you know, like I was saying I think I said this on a podcast. But like, I feel personally I'd love to hear your thoughts about this. But I feel our whole entire industry has been held up by a bubble. And that bubble happens to be international sales and international theatrical sales. And, and just international war because before if you remember, it was 7030 US market versus 30% foreign market. I remember those days, when the US was everything. And now it's completely turned on its head, we're now we're 30% of the box office and the rest of the world 70. But what happens when the rest of the world shuts down? What happens when this whole world starts changing? How is our industry going to be able to handle that so and then the bubble of the streaming bubble? I feel there's a streaming bubble, I do think there's still somewhat of a gold rush, but people are buying a lot of content on debt. It's debt based buying, like Netflix is the king of that. So they're buying based on future earning potential. But at a certain point, you're going to you're going to run out of subscribers, like there's gonna you're gonna hit a threshold of like, you know, like, there's only so many people in the US, let's say, who are going to subscribe to to Netflix. And I think Netflix is starting to fit. That's why Netflix has been so aggressive going after the world because I like we kind of are hitting the top market here in the US we need to go to India, we need to go to you know, try to get China. So at a certain point, and I'm going a little bit on a tangent here, but bear with me. Disney plus right now has plenty. I got plenty of coffee. If Disney plus just hit 50 million subscribers, which is insane how fast they were able to do that. But how many more subscribers do they have to really pick up in the US? arguably 150 total, maybe 175 total, maybe maybe a little bit more, maybe less at the you know, at a certain point they're going to hit? They're going to hit a crucial threshold. Then, if there's no theatrical which I wanted to talk to you about theatrical where you theatrical is going to go but let's say the theatrical component has has gone away or it's just dropped. You know, instead of a billion dollars, you're making half a billion dollars. Economically, can the studio's make tentpole 200,000,200 $50 million plus tentpole films? Doesn't make sense economically anymore? Is it enough to make a $200 million movie for a streaming service? Because the only reason Marty got 200 million for Irishman is because they want subscribers not to maintain the subscribers that they got. Because Tiger King did that just fine. It was a lot cheaper than Irishman. So I threw a lot of questions out at you. I just love to hear what you think.

RB Botto 1:10:39
Yeah, it's all over the place. I like the fact that I'm a little insulted as an Italian by the Rome is burning, it could have been had in any other place by

Alex Ferrari 1:10:57
Name another name another saying that's equivalent

RB Botto 1:11:03
It's 2020, we're offended by everything.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:07
I'm offended that you're offended.

RB Botto 1:11:10
That's normally that's like, that's usually my default position. I think there's a there is a lot to unpack there. I think that you know, the big thing about what the theatrical theatrical experience looks like. I think that is definitely one of those situations where the longer it goes, the more I think it's going to change. Because I do think that, you know, you said earlier, you know, what happens to Sony, if they don't if they're unable to release bond this year? If we're not able to go back to theaters? Well, then I think that Sony, I'm sure within the walls of Sony, they have discussed that they've discussed Okay, what do we do? How to recoup what how do we do it? Okay. There has to be contingency plans, it just has to be because there are way too many unknowns with the virus, like we said earlier that we really, we don't know if there's gonna be a second way we have no idea. We have no idea. I mean, it could put, we could all be back out. And you know, with whatever social distancing, we're going to be doing a movie theaters, and then we could have this second wave and they could shut everything down three days after the bond opens. So then what do they do? You don't? I mean, nobody knows. Right? So I don't know how that shakes out. I think that one of the things I said earlier, I think will happen is, you know, AMC filing for bankruptcy and and, you know, a lot of these other theaters that probably weren't even in as good a position as they were financially are going to go out. And does that mean, again that Amazon comes in and swipes them up? Or somebody else comes in and swipes them up? And then what did they do with it? How does that ecosystem change? Right now, as we know, the studio's own 90% of the screens in America? So is that change in any way? I think the idea, you know, you talk about things that accelerate, you know, obviously, we had the screening room thing last year, where was going to be I think it was the name of the Lord is gonna be 50 bucks to watch, like, you know, first run, you know, day in day cost. 20 bucks. 20 bucks, whatever.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:05
Oh, no, no, no, now it's 20 bucks. Yeah.

RB Botto 1:13:09
So now, you know what, you know, where does that land? I mean, where does that what does that look like? You know, what does that look like for the studios? As far as how do we recoup this money? And is that tied into something else? Like, is there something for example, where if you are a Disney plus member, that you get x, y, and z as well. And that's how they bring more revenue in to offset the theatrical, you don't know. But again, the first this goes out, I mean, those are two ideas that come at the top of my head. And I'm not sitting in you know, boardroom, you know, virtual boardrooms, zoom boardrooms and talking about this shit. But you could see, you could see that there is going to be one leader, and it probably will be you know, a Disney, you know, that's going to come out and just say, this is what the new normal looks like, for us, the article one

Alex Ferrari 1:13:57
And everybody will follow, and everybody will follow

RB Botto 1:13:59
up. Now look, you know, you and I are different in from the perspective of even even the films that that we would like a lot of the same films, but you do like the superhero stuff, and you like, you know, the,

Alex Ferrari 1:14:10
But that's, that's Hollywood, basically right now,

RB Botto 1:14:13
Totally fine. But I'm saying like, reach so far, you go into a theater to see that that's an experience for me, I just don't go right. But the me, I'm sort of an old school guy. Like, I like to see the awards type movies, like I want to see pericyte the theater, like I do, I don't want to see it on my screen. It's fine if I have to, but even when I get screeners, you know, at the holiday, towards the holidays, like I'll have the screener at home and I'll be like, Oh, you know, oh, yeah. I got to grab a few people and go, you know, go watch, you know, so. And I know there are some people but I know I'm in the minority that way. Now you have a lot of people that are being trained to say, no, it's okay to be home. You know why it's okay to order from our favorite restaurant as opposed to taking a shower, getting dressed, you know, you know It's not so bad, right? So, again, the longer it goes, the more that becomes as we like to stay tuned. All right. And so I don't know, I don't know how that shakes out. I do think that you're 100%. Right. I mean, obviously, there are billions upon billions of dollars on the line here. And how they're going out that border between she got, I think what's gonna be more interesting, in a lot of ways is how the independent film world is going to shake out because again, if these festivals are not happening, and these buyers are not, you know, and keeping in mind, okay, and I know, this is another thing that drives me nuts. I know, it drives you nuts, keeping in mind that a lot of these festivals, I mean, and I won't, you know, but a lot of the big ones have become, you know, from a business standpoint, a little bit kind of comical anyway, because a lot of the films that were screaming at them were had deals in place before they get their

Alex Ferrari 1:15:52
Marketing push. It's a marketing pull,

RB Botto 1:15:54
Marketing, right? So, you know, that alone makes you say, Okay, if these thing if these films are getting deals before they scream, do we really even need the screen? Do we really even need I mean, obviously, if you're a sales agent, or distributor, do I need to get on a plane to go to a festival with 65 or 70% of the films have already been scooped up and the other 30% are probably going to, you know, if I put a $2 million bid in Amazon's gonna come in and put 15 million on the table. And why the hell am I you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:16:23
So. So I want to I want to I want to just back up real quick on the the movie theater experience real quick. You know, you and I were raised with movie theaters. There's a whole generation that was raised on their iPhones. So they don't really understand that they've been to movies, but it's not the same emotional that we have. I love movie theaters, I think they'll always be a place for the community getting together. People want to get out of the house people want to do I get it and there will always be some version of that, like drive ins are becoming a thing. Now again, all of a sudden, so which is great, which is Yeah, IMAX is you can't compete with IMAX, you can't you can't compete watching dark night, or watching you know, in inception. in IMAX like that's something you can't do at home with the best situation you have. There's two things I want to say one, you know, for me, I'm a family man. So I've got my wife and I got my kids. So going to movie theater on a Friday or Saturday night, which I never do. I would if I go at all, it'd be early morning. But let's say I want to go out on a date with my wife. That means that I got to get a babysitter. I need to we need to you know go when we go out there tickets plus food when the whole night said and done. It's about 100 bones 125 bones when it's all said and done for a movie. So we've gotten less and less I don't even remember the last time my wife and I both just went we generally just go see kids movies Now if we go if we ever go at all. And even then we're still spending 5060 bucks. And I'm an I'm a popcorn sneaker inner kind of guy. I can't I can no, it's not because I don't want to pay for it is because have I worked in a movie theater. Do you know what kind of butter they use? Oh my god, it's horrible. It's horrible. Anyway, we know we know you got to go for the real butter. Yeah, yeah, you want to you want to know I remember pulling out the real butter from this tub that I had to pour in at the beginning of the day. And then at the end of the day, once it melted, you would pour back in and it just gets recycled again and again. So ever since that day, I'm like, you know what? I'm gonna bring my organic air puffed popcorn in sir. But anyway, they tried using that stuff to try to kill COVID Do you know what it's it's not that far that in Hennessy that with Hennessy. I think you'll be fine. Um, but I feel that the the experiment of the 1999 I'm calling it premium t VOD. It's premium. It's called pre I'm calling a premium t VOD, because it's a higher than normal t bot. So it's your show, whatever you want. I'm gonna call it a premium TV. I've been calling a deaf for a while. So premium TV, the 9099 to rent a first run movie. Why? First of all, there's no numbers, so nobody knows what's going on. So there's no box office returns on that on those numbers. So we really don't know what's happening. But I can tell you what happened with onward, which was the new Pixar movie, it came out on premium. A week later, it was in it was on normal TV for 699 and then a week later after that was on Disney plus. So I don't know if that was just a marketing ploy. Like look, we'll just let's just throw it out on DVD so we can get some more subscribers. And that might be been that play. But I don't know. I feel personally that we have been trained as as a society that what's on the TV is not worth 9095 we if we rent at all five like for me five 699 is ridiculous to rent a movie it I just like I'll just wait a week or two or a month or two and it'll be on Netflix or Amazon or wherever. We have as as a society as a country. Sooner base are used to spending so much money on our television on our on the way we consume things at home. Now you're telling us that you have to spend $20, to see the latest Black Widow, which I could really wait a month or two to see. I don't think it's going to be I don't think it's an it is going to be the revenue generator that Hollywood is hoping for? Would I spend money like on the next Fast and Furious, maybe, depending on what else is going on in my life at that time. But this is me. But for other people, maybe these big giant temples are what will drive but we're talking about 1015 movies a year that will drive that kind of purchase. I don't think the end up but no one, no one's going to spend $20 for an independent,

RB Botto 1:20:43
Opera independent. But I also think that that makes again, that's for a lot of people that are listening to this show. I mean, I think it ties back into what you were saying earlier about not having a strategy and not having a plan is this landscape is literally changing by the day. I mean, sometimes by the hour, I the the amount of moves that are happening, and the amount of options and the amount of changes within the sort of distribution ecosystem. It's just fascinating. And it's gonna it's going to increase before it decreases, especially right now. So for a lot of filmmakers, for a lot of people who are making independent films, you got to ask yourself, right, what is the goal? What is the ultimate goal? Like, what do you want? Like, you know, I talked to a lot of people that you know, when they go to Sundance, I'm like, well, you want of course they want the honeymoon purchase and they want, you know, the 500?

Alex Ferrari 1:21:39
Since 1992, circa 1992.

RB Botto 1:21:42
100% Right, so, but what if you don't get it? Or what if you're not in Sundance? Or what if you decide like I think a lot of people are going to moving forward to skip the independent, the film festival circuit altogether, right? I mean, and say, Okay, so how do you set yourself up? And what do you want, I think that's something that is going to become more important now. And I think, again, that's why you need to have that knowledge base ahead of time and not put all your your sort of trust, even if you hire the most, even if you hire the most competent and there are plenty of them, sales agents or distributors, what I mean, or work with a distributor, and there are plenty of them. You still have to know what you want. And you still got to set yourself up for success. Right? Right, what that looks like as far as how we're going to consume it, that I think, you know, if anybody thinks they know what the hell is going on there, I you know, no one knows it. foolish, foolish shit.

Alex Ferrari 1:22:37
So dude, so let me ask you a question. I was talking to a cinematographer friend of mine, and the bunch of the ASE guys are getting together. And they were just talking about how what the future of production is going to be like, and you know, what the studios are looking at, and things like that, because they feel as everyone feels like production is going to change. For for the foreseeable future, not only production at all being shot, but how it shot, whereas, you know, you know, we've been on sets a lot in our lifetimes, and sets are very closely touchy, touchy. And people are, you know, it's not a six feet scenario. Generally speaking, you know, there's no social distancing on a set. So how do you open back up for business with actors and crew on a big set that has 100 150? People see 50 people, 70 people on it? How do you do that? And it's like, on a TV show like that? There's the part. I mean, how do you do that? If you open up at all? How do you do that? So they were talking about what you know, like, it's going to be minimal crew, it's going to be less crew, it's going to be shooting things on green screens, the coverage is going to be different. It's going to radically change how things are done. Because now the studio and the production companies have are liable if anything happens if they don't set these precedents isn't. So onset production is going to change. Yeah, moving forward, at least for the next couple years. I don't. And even then I don't think it's going to go back to exactly the way it was before. So what do you think?

RB Botto 1:24:14
I agree, I think you're going to see smaller crews, I think you're going to see people doubling up on jobs. I think, you know, what I what I also anticipate, though, is I think this is gonna be an interesting time for for producers to end filmmakers and directors, because I mean, listen, there's always a give and take or what a director needs to make a film and what a producer wants to pay. I can't

Alex Ferrari 1:24:36
I can't get out of bed for less than 5

RB Botto 1:24:38
million, sir. I can't I mean, you know, I mean, so there is definitely you know, I want this guy, I want that guy or no, we need we need this. We need that. I think that I think that it might affect budgets in a positive way. I think budgets might come down a little bit, I think, you know, maybe some, I don't want to call them non essential jobs, but maybe some jobs that where you again, maybe combine forces Or where, you know, there could be some sort of creative way of going about it, where you're now paying, you know, where you're paying X amount of people instead of y. I think that is a definite possibility as well, I, you know, there's gonna be a lot of creativity, as we keep saying, I think there's going to be a lot of innovation of how these things are going to be done. I also think that, you know, you're going to have non essential set people probably back behind, you know, I don't know if you'd be partition. I mean, I don't know what the hell it'll be, but it'll be behind something. Okay, it's too. Yeah, it's crazy. I mean, it is crazy. But I mean, you know, this, I mean, I have never been on a set. Never. Where, if the production more than 10 days where, you know, some sort of crud, you know, whip didn't rip through that set,

Alex Ferrari 1:25:48
you know, yeah. Some sort of illness, of course. Yeah. You know,

RB Botto 1:25:51
I mean, so I mean, it's, it's a petri dish to begin with, especially when you're fighting and go into shoot fighting, and you're shooting in close quarters. I'm writing a boxing movie right now. So there you go. But when you're shooting in close corners, that is a you know, that's that's an issue. I don't know how that comes back. I definitely see the skeleton crew kind of thing. You know, you got your sound and you got your camera, and you got to

Alex Ferrari 1:26:13
kind of like what we did. So kind of like what we did. On the on a live Hollywood is finally came to my level, sir, finally. You're, you're a pioneer? You didn't? No, no, I do. I do think that there's there is going to be that indispensability where it's going to start stripping down to the bare what what do we actually need to make this go? And there's going to be a lot of people who have no clue like when you've been, you know, you'll enjoy this analogy. When you've been eating Philemon young all your life, you have no understanding how to eat a burger. You know, you're like, what is this? Like? You only that's the only thing you know, especially, especially television, there's a lot of crews. And so they've been doing their wit things. 10 1520 years, asking a grip from a television grip who has been gripping for 20 years to change. Anything that they do on a daily basis is nearly impossible. So am I wrong? Like and by the way, that goes for every crew member? Like, you know, it sound guy has been doing it for 20 years, the production is that like they all have their way. And now you're gonna say no, now we're all gonna have to wear bubbles. We're all going to be a plastic bubbles. Now. It's going to be outbreak onset. And that's how we have to move forward. It's since well,

RB Botto 1:27:30
but sadly, it's also you know, do you want to work? Or do you not want to work? Like, you know what I mean? And that's I think that's, that is the overarching question not just for our industry, but for almost every industry is how do you adapt to a point where the economics of the business still make sense. And where we can function at a rate that not only is something that can make us money, like if you're if you own a restaurant, for example, but gonna keeps people safe, and it keeps people productive and keeps people working. And I think that really legitimately is going to be the challenge. Now, you're already seeing a lot of the agencies, you know, even CNN reported yesterday that they are not allowing any non camera basically, or non, you know, production people in until September, I assume that's going to go way later. And you're seeing that with a lot of the agencies, they're saying, like, so again, through that, like, even with us, like, you know, we had everybody in our offices. My concern, when we all had, we said, okay, we're shutting it down, or Vega home was okay, you know, everything's gonna go down, you know, we're gonna, the, everything that the productivity is going to just plummet. And it's been, really, it's been the opposite, because everybody is just relaxed. And like I said, we are busier than ever, because we're busier than ever there is this need to be more involved. And this is need to be, you know, deeper in it. So we're fortunate that way, okay. But I also hear from a lot of, again, managers, agents, all these people that are working from home people that you know, that work at CAA or Wi Fi that, uh, like, I gotta tell you, man, like there's been, I'm working more because I'm not the weekend doesn't matter to me anymore. It's not like, like, I'm going to, like, Oh, I'm gonna go to the beach from home, right? So it's like, what am I going to do? I'll read some scripts, I'll watch a film that you know, from one of my clients

Alex Ferrari 1:29:19
perspective, it's going to fundamentally change the way everything is done. I mean, I'll look, I'll tell you what I've been. I've been working. I've been running indie film hustle out of my home for since the beginning. And I know of I know, like, there's one buddy of mine who runs a very large company that is completely remote. All his staff. He's got a 1015 minutes, Ban woman staff around the world. He runs it, and it's a multimillion dollar company. And I go, why don't you get an office? It's like, why do I need an office if he goes I get an up work every once in a while if I need to go pick a meeting, but generally speaking, I don't need to We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. So I think it's going to fundamentally change the way people do business, especially how we do business in town, because now they got a taste, they got a taste of that no traffic thing they got, once you get that taste of not having to get up like I've lived here for quite some time. I'm glad everyone's trying to join me. I've been, even when I was freelancing as a when I had my own post house, it was in my house. So I was like, Yeah, I don't have to have the commute. It's all that stuff. Now everyone's starting to feel that that freedom to like, Hey, I don't know, do I need to go to an office every day? and deal with the traffic and the cost involved with the trade, you know, driving? And, you know, getting food out every day? It's gonna affect so many different industries. But do I mean, how do you like so now, now, knowing what you know, now, and how your team is running? Do you see things going back? Or would you like, you know, I think it just might be more affordable, you know, to do work from home as remote and maybe have a place to go to? I don't know, what do you think?

RB Botto 1:31:12
Yeah, I think that it's a great question. Because we've, you know, we've talked about it already. I didn't have those conversations. And, you know, it's, I think that they'll I think I would keep the office and you know, I see no reason not to when we have a really nice layout and everything. Tonight, it's a nice escape and everything, right? But maybe the amount of times that some people need to be in the office would be a little less, because again, like even for me, I sit there and go, sure there's the expense connected with all that too. But there's also do i do i need them in the car an hour, both ways, you doesn't mean

Alex Ferrari 1:31:46
you're wasting two hours you're wasting,

RB Botto 1:31:49
extends, it's also the mental, you know, the drain of being in the car for two hours, or, you know, for a person and everything like that. So, you know, it makes you think about it makes you think about like, What? How do you keep everybody happy? How do you keep so of course, you know, of course, when you're running a company, like these are the things you think about all the time, I do believe I really do that. I think a lot of these agencies, and even some of the bigger management companies that were I know, the owners, they have said to me already, they'll like, it really is changing our perspective on things, because in the case of one management company that I will name, but it's big, I mean, they they have I think 50 employees, you know, 50 managers on on, on the left side and on the talent side. And they're like, you know, they're working their asses off. Like, we see the productivity, and we see who they're working with, who they're signing with deals to try to make everything like that. So we're like, you know, what do we need them in the office for all the time, like, let them be comfortable and let them do what they got to do. So I do think it'll change things dramatically. I also think the way that movies come together, I mean, look, we were headed this way. Anyway, you talked earlier about foreign sales and everything like that. The fascinating thing of running stage three to about nine years, one of the things that we thought from the very beginning was look where filmmaking is going is global, you know, I mean, you can shoot one place to post in another and all of those that obviously that, you know, and that's been borne out over the years, but what we've been seeing more of over the last few years, which I think is really, really interesting, this plays into the economics too, you know, you have co country production, you know, productions and incentives, I think those are going to rise dramatically, you know, and that's we're getting a lot of people asking us that I feel like you have scripts that we could shoot like in Europe, and these are, you know, American producers as not, because we know we can get money out of here. If we do it this way, Canada, we hear from them all the time, this Canada has deals freaking everywhere. They're like, you know, cocoa country production deals, and they're like, you know, do you have any scripts set in Hungary, you know what I mean, because we can get money out of it. It's crazy. That I think is going to become more common, I think the way that people do business in that way is going to become more common, that plays into everything we talked about earlier about the markets that people don't really necessarily have to come together for that, that if there is a place online where they could find that material with ease, people can connect, where there's a bridge, that will be calm, I think the new normal, I don't need to get on a plane to go over to hungry to try to find that material and sit down with producers and see what they you know, had gestating or that they're building. I could just get on that I could just get on a Skype and say, This is what we need to back into this deal. Like, you know, we need can you get cast there? Can you get this step? We're seeing that all the time. So I think you know, all this again, I mean, all of it is to me. And I hope that this is a takeaway for everybody listening again, that might feel down about right now or feel like To me, it's really fucking exciting. Like it really is exciting to me. Yeah, every call that I get on when an executive and even Jason like I said, you know, Jason, who runs through the director script services, Jason will call me three times a day and go listen to this. Listen to this and what follows to the listen to this is so and so. Doing blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, don't look into that. So and so just sign that. And it's, it's fascinating to me, because it makes you feel like, wow, you know, they're thinking outside the box, they're coming up with ideas, this isn't going to be the Azul and all the world's not ending, like, you know, I mean, there will be some sort of, you know, production, that things will happen. But everybody that I know, that does development for a living, or that makes their living in the 10% world, the managers, they are setting themselves up to like, they like taking all those tools, all that shit all that gold in that friggin island in the corner, you don't I mean, And to me, that's very exciting. And you know, you either appointed it or not. And that's what we were saying earlier. So, you know, by the way, if you are, I just want to throw this out to like throw a case in a couple of times, I don't give a shit if you're a writer, a producer with some sort of package attached. So you're putting together a deal, or you're a producer that is looking for other attachments. If you don't reach out to Jason, it's really easy. J dot merge j dot m, er ch at Steve's 30 two.com. If you don't reach out to him, I mean, this guy, literally the entire day is on the bottom with with just finding out what everybody that's just drop is just on the phone all day. And then what he does is he takes people in our arsenal and site states 32 and the material that's been curated through sticks to his visit to the top and says you need to read this, you need to look at this, you need to look for, I know a producer that has or a filmmaker that has this actor and this amount of money that they need this amount of money. And they need a showrunner at this amount of money and they need, you know, whatever, and tries to piece it all together. And he's been doing that for a long time. We've all been doing it for a long time. But I mean, that's the exciting thing now like when he calls me and tells me that somebody who like won one of our contests couple years ago, somebody got double recommend coverage and somebody like farmhouse or whatever, is now in discussions. Because this company needs a fucking contained horror script. That's really cool to me. Because it's it just goes to show it It motivates me and excites me because things are happening, you know, so be out there, man be out there,

Alex Ferrari 1:37:06
The the world of distribution. And we can we can touch a little bit upon this the world of distribution, as you know, as so it's a rough, it's a rough go to rough go of it, especially for the independent. And I feel that because I you know, I preach so much about distribution. I've talked so much about distribution, and obviously being in the middle of the whole distributor thing and the tug thing and all that other stuff that we've done. You could just start seeing and I'm already hearing rumblings of other companies. I'm already hearing rumblings of other companies from from aggregators, aggregator aggregators and distribution companies. What are you hearing? Oh, I can't say names. But aggregators are starting to fall behind on payments. There are certain aggregators are already starting to fall behind on payments. There is no aggregator to my knowledge there might be that had the distributor business model, meaning that that's all they did. Most of these aggregators are part of a giant post house, they're just a services based business. So their main money's not coming in from that. But as everything else starts getting affected, the pressure, they start grinding, the pressure starts being applied, you start seeing what these companies are really made of, which is what happens with like an AMC perfect examples like the second the pressure hit, we're out bankrupt, like we can't, they don't even there's no reserves, there's no found there's nothing they can't so you that's starting to happen. There are certain larger distribution companies who shall remain nameless. But they're starting to I'm starting to hear rumblings about them as well. And, and how that's happening. I've been saying for a while now that things are going to become more predatory. And it's going to be tougher and tougher for filmmakers to get anything, let alone a deal. You look you can get a deal. almost almost almost. I can't say all but a lot of films can get a distribution deal. Will you ever make any money from that distribution deals another story altogether? But you call up 20? distributors right now, one of them is going to take it for free? Why wouldn't they? They just put it in their library and they'll package it out with something else. You'll never see a dime. But that's what happens. So I've always been curious about and I've spoken to some other people at certain tiers. So like, the tier that I talked about to most is the independent tier, the filmmakers that are not connected who don't understand the business who don't know how the game is played, which by the way the game and the rules are changing daily, and now literally daily because nobody knows what the game we're playing anymore. At this, let alone the rules of that game. So I always wonder like, Okay, well, someone's making money and certain movies are being bought and certain movies are getting empty. And, you know, I talked to some some bigger acquisition companies and bigger distribution companies and producers, I'm like, how are you? Like, how is it and it comes to, from what I understand. It's always it's relationships. It's it is built on relationships, that that's how they're getting these deals. So it's not like the olden days, like in the 90s, where you like you, you played something at Sundance, and then, you know, that dude, who shall remain nameless shows up for Miramax and buys your movie, and then you're set for life. Those days are kind of gone. There happen rarely, but they happen. It's more about who you're either who's repping the movie and who they have a relationship with. Or if the producer has an existing relationship with a studio or distribution company that they kind of talk about a priority of and being like, that's how these deals are being made. Because I asked him like, how are you getting like, I know your budgets 3 million, and I know like, how are you actually getting paid? And are you getting an agenda? Like Yeah, what was your MGM? Like, we got a million and a half on a three mil. I'm like, Okay, did you see any money on the back end to like, Yeah, we got paid. So I'm like, how, why are they getting paid, and the rest of the 98% of films made are not. So I came to the conclusion that it is relationships, it's absolutely relationships, pre built relationships, and connections in that way. And if you're outside of that world, that's why you want a distributor because they have those connections to make sales, or you want a sales agents, what they say quote, unquote, you want a sales agent, because they're going to get they have the relationship that's going to get you the deal. And then that's where you, that's where you open yourself up to all sorts of fun stuff that they do to filmmakers, and the predators start coming out. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on the on the matter, sir.

RB Botto 1:41:49
You're 100%, right. It's a relationship business. That's the one thing that will not change. A pri it wasn't it's the same thing pre COVID, post COVID. It's it's relationship business, what I said earlier, the three things that you could be doing myself, one of them is building your relationships right now. It matters it is, I don't care if you're an actor or a writer, producer, you know, a cinematographer a grip, I don't care. The point of the matter is, is the way you get jobs. And the way you get things done in this business is by building relationships and winning champions. And we've talked about this so many times, on probably every episode that we've done on here, and it still amazes me when people come to me and they'll like, literally had this morning literally had to swing. This is somebody that's been on stage 32. And I hope he's listening. This is somebody that's been on stage 32 for seven freaking years,

Alex Ferrari 1:42:34
it does nothing for me does nothing for me.

RB Botto 1:42:35
Yes, no, no, no. I always get I got one of those last few queries like I've been on the spot for five years. I got nothing out of it. I looked at them yet. He had made two postings or two connections, which were me and Amanda, Tony, our Managing Director, which you get when you sign up. So I mean, I was like, Well, yeah, obviously, this guy wrote me and said, and again, seven years active on the site, everything that he if you've been active on the site for seven years, you're certainly seeing some of our interviews. I certainly have had the opportunity, you have certainly seen the insane amount of content that we put all over the platform and the insane amount of content that I put on Instagram, Twitter, on stage, everything like that, that speaks to these kinds of things. And he wrote me this morning and said, You need to get me an ENT now. I've never had any comments. I know he's been a member for seven years. I see him post everyone's like, always posts about himself. Always never contributing in a video. It's never his network. Network group never goes higher. Never. It's always what he's doing right. And he says me those you need to get me to Steven Spielberg and amblin because because, okay, I have a film that's only seven and a half million dollars. And it falls right in line to what they make. And when in 1973. So today go to one is that he has no knowledge bases now following the industry has no knowledge base. Okay. Second thing is, is that he's got no money, you only need something a half million and three. I have no relationship with him. I'm gonna bring him to Spielberg. Like I have him on speed dial. Hey, see?

Alex Ferrari 1:44:08
Yeah, by the way, I was gonna say can you can I would love to have a conversation with Stevie. Stevie a call for me.

RB Botto 1:44:13
Yeah, that's right. I see. I got this guy. You know, he's got only needs a seven and a half. Blige. That's all I mean, you know, I mean, this is what I'm saying. So, why illustrate that and why, you know, because the point of the matter is, is that there are a ton of people that are like that. And that is one of those things where we talk about controlling what you could control. The one thing that you can control. Every single freaking day is dedicating part of your day, to building relationships. I like to say to people, if you're on stage 32 and you're not using it an hour every day, it's on you, because I do I use it in our everyday to build relationships, everything that's good to tap into be as comfortable relationships that I built through the years they didn't happen. The second I sent that network request, they happened over time, even the people that are calling us right now. About stage three two screenings, there are two different types of people. There are people that I have never heard from before in my life that are like, you need to give me the exclusive. And let me at first because I do this that the other thing I'm like, stand in line. And then the second group is the people, the distributors, eyes, distributors and sales agents that I know and that I've worked with in the past, and even that might say, look, you know, are basically on a level playing field. But at least I know that if that person isn't, and this has happened already, we've gotten interest in certain films, right? So what am I going to do? I'm going to go to that filmmaker and say, Look, it's been four inquiries, okay. Two of them are from people that I really, really know well, and that are genuine and get the job done and can pick up the phone and call anybody Netflix. And this is what they do. Talk to those two, first, these other two, I will you could talk to anyone you want, you can talk any of the four names, what do you want, I'm just telling you, I'm going to champion these two, because I have a relationship with them. It's everything. And in the distribution world, this is the other thing else it has to be said. Because I think it's lost on people, you can make the greatest you can make the next whatever pick your favorite film of all time, you can make the next one, okay? If people don't, if you don't have connections, and you just go to somebody and say I've made the next whatever, okay, they're gonna go. How do I know, by the way, I have 50 films I need to watch right here that were recommended by 50 other people, and I trust them, because their taste matters. And their taste is, you know, is exceptional. And if they're telling me to watch is probably pretty good. You want to be in that group. You want to be in that group, you want to be in that group of people. So you are 1,000%. Right? The point of the matter is, is that everything from landing representation to getting a role, sometimes you know what I mean to being cold out of the blue to say, you don't even have to audition, you know, come down. Well, you know, to getting deals that matters, comes to relationships,

Alex Ferrari 1:46:57
like I did with you, I just called you and said you don't have to audition for my movie. rb. So your system your system works is I had that relationship with you, you call me and I said, Where do you need me to be mad? What time? What time? What time? And how much liquor do you need? in me, sir? At the time?

RB Botto 1:47:20
What liquor what liquor you're gonna have? And what is the food? What do you got? That's pretty much it's pretty much my advice. Oh, no, it's true. I mean, it's just relationships, man, it's the most under appreciated. It fascinates me that a lot of people don't get this because I always say that you should treat your business life like you treat the personal life and a lot of ways that you strip things down and make it as uncomplicated as possible. And you strip it down. And you think about like I always say, the relationships you have, from, you know, five o'clock on the people, you go to dinner with people that you know, that are non business related. And you think about how long you you cultivated those relationships and how long it took for you to get that trust and everything like that. It is no different in business. Like the I know, you get these all the time, let's just take it out of the film realm. Okay, and let's just put it into the business realm. The other thing I get all the time, especially now Oh, oh, God, we want screenings because we got so much media. It's, I can't tell you how many businesses you know how many people that run businesses have hit me up going, like we should partner we should partner we should put and I look at it. And they you know, they just launched and they have nothing and they or they you know, and it's like, you know, I don't know you. And I don't even know what you don't make me like, of course, the 15 to 20 people that come to me like vintage. Of course they're going to get first. I mean, I have a relationship with them. I know them. I love them. They're friends of mine. You know what I mean? We built this before five years, dude, five years, we've been trying to figure out a way to work together. That's how much we love each other just couldn't have haven't found that right fit. They call me to data screen. He's got wanted. They said this is the fit. And I went done. Let's do it. Okay, I don't have to sit there and go, what do you think? And what do you know, I know what they think and I know what they can do. So of course, they're gonna go to the front. That's the way you have to see everything you do when you reach out to somebody blindly ask yourself, why you why now, if they don't know you, you it's not enough to say I got the greatest thing ever. Because the idea is you got to get them to watch. You got to get them to read and they're not going to watch and they're not going to read if they don't have a relationship with you, or somebody doesn't champion you to them. It's just the truth.

Alex Ferrari 1:49:30
So let me ask you this then because I know it's been this last part this section of the interview has been kind of dire for certain people watching so I want I want to see if there is any hope what would be the advice for you if you have a film right now finished? In today's world in the in the COVID world that we live in right now? What do you do? Do you shelve it and wait six months? Do you try to self distribute? Do you try to go after distribution to try like what what's your What's your opinion? What's your They do,

RB Botto 1:50:01
I would find somebody that I respect in, you know, producers, I expect respect people who work in that side of the industry, you know, sales agents, distributors, I would and if I don't know those people, I would ask people that I do know, that have made films, and I've done things to give me an end to that person, the introduction into that person or those people. And I would ask them their advice, I would say, right now in this situation, what would you be doing with this type of Because? Because the answer really is different for every type. Here, there are certain genres right now that everybody wants the lbg LGBTQ market right now everybody wants that kind of because it was exploding to begin with. But now there's also a lot of online platforms that are streaming this kind of thing, there are a lot being picked up, there's mandates, I can tell you, there's a lot of mandates for otsego LGBTQ material, and you got it, you got to know who's who's playing there. And you got to know, you know, I mean, so the one thing I would say is, I wouldn't sit on anything like kinkos. To me, you know, you could sit on your hands, thinking that it's going to be done in a couple of months. And it could be like you said two years, and you're still sitting on the hands of them right now, about now your loss. I mean, now you're done, like all that work, and all the time and all the effort, and all the money you raise, and all the things you have, you know, everything you got to deal with, with your investors and all your goals are now going to be double, triple hard, or you know, it's going to be that much harder to win that back or, you know, make good on anything at that point. So to me, it's a great time to be aggressive. But it comes down again, to having a knowledge base, having connections to and if you don't have those connections, man, this is what I'm saying you should be working on them every day come from a place of selflessness. If you're an introvert, never a better time to step out of your comfort zone and just go at it be selfless bring value share content, to all the things that make you engage, that make people want to engage with you, because people will people will engage with you, you know what I mean? But you got to be aggressive right now.

Alex Ferrari 1:52:08
In your, from your side of the fence D Are you seeing? Are you hearing streaming services and content creators and producers and stuff? Are they looking for independent films for their streaming services? Are they like, are they actively looking for that? Or are they looking more for series? If they have series like what is there a market right now for like the real, independent infant genre? If it's a certain kind of genre, obviously, but like just a normal independent film that you would you would see play at a top tier festival? Is there a market for those? And I believe there is absolutely right now is their money, but there's their money for those as well.

RB Botto 1:52:50
It's certainly a Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and stuff like that. Certainly there is I think it's a lot of the premium networks there are, you know, there's money, there is money there. They're looking for it. I think now's the time to be outfitted to be perfectly honest with you. I think the longer this goes, the higher the need for content is but I also would say that or is going to be I would also say you have to be aware of like somebody asked me the other day, like, you know, I talked to you about this TV pilot that had the role of guy and that the ball is producer and everything that we're we're literally out there actively packaging, right. And somebody said to me with your connections, why not just walk the script into Netflix and Amazon and everything like that? And I can I can there are people like a cool that apps either actually that work that work in development approach streamers or know somebody that does, okay, but here's the problem. All right. There is so much content out there right now, there is so many projects and so many scripts and so much material and everything like that, on the script and the things are on the development and the things they want the layup. Okay. So for example, what we were hearing, we add three to one streamer and two networks that are interested in this show right now, all three of them have said get the actor get the show or not. We'll go get the iPad, we'll go get the show, right? Go get an actor, go get a show runner, bring it back. Or if you can get one of the two, bring it back. Okay. And we probably will be you know, we'll likely be in business, okay. They want there's so much of it, that the less heavy lifting they have to do. Right? And that's it. And that's again, why I implore you right now, if you are creative and don't understand the business, one that you're reading the trades to that you're listening to this podcast, 3d you're taking education and educating yourself and everything like that, that you're understanding that you're taking the time to understand how the business operate, it's not enough in this day and age to be a creative anymore. But it really isn't. You need to at least even if you don't want to be a producer, okay, you at least need to know how things operate, and how things move, because it'll put you in a much better position to succeed. And you won't be the guy that says, I have a script that Spielberg love, and I need seven and a half million. Now, by the way, if that guy had written me, even if I didn't know him and said, I have three and a half of the seven, seven and a half, and I have actor x, I would have been like, oh, let me see who I could call.

Alex Ferrari 1:55:36
But it's not gonna be Steven,

RB Botto 1:55:38
cuz I'm not gonna be Steven know what I mean. But let's see what we can do with that, you know, there's always, you know, things like that, that come across, or, you know, of course, save 32 loads. But the more value you can bring, the better the package, the more likely that something's gonna get done.

Alex Ferrari 1:55:55
Well, that's the thing is that even even with filmmakers, that's why that's why distributors and, and buyers are always looking like well, what else do you have? Besides the movies? Not enough anymore? Like, Oh, do you have an audience already built in? Okay, who your actors? What's their Instagram followings and all that kind of that ridiculousness, but it's it is a thing. I was talking to a an actor the other day, who's a buddy of mine, who is a very seasoned character actor, he's been in a million things. And he used to do a lot of work. He told me, he's like, I did two national commercials a year and I'd be good, I'd be good for the year. But now the game has changed, where they're not doing residual payments as much anymore. They're doing just fine. They're doing buyouts and all this stuff. So he had a casting agent, frankly, can you come in and just sit for the day and read against all these other ones we're doing casting, and he's like, I'll pay you. All right, I need the money. I'll do it. So show up. And right before every time and before the actor would walk in, there was a lady in the corner that will yell out 7230 450 10. And it went on all morning. And he's like, but no one would refer to them. And he would just say out this, they would say this number out. And then, like at lunch, he pulled up pulled her aside, listen, um, what's up with the numbers? What are those numbers? Oh, that's the Instagram followers. Oh, yeah, man, and casting and casting. And I was like, wow. And that's, that is like, why would you cast somebody? If you have two equal actors who could do the job and have the same fame or whatever, but one has 100,000 followers and one has none? Why wouldn't you just give it to the 100. That's, that's an extra, like, if another 1000 people watch your movie, or rent your movie or whatever, that's more than the other could offer. So it's not even enough about being the best of the best. And being super good. It's about what else you can package it and what else you can bring it in, what other ancillary, you know, value you can provide in every aspect. So you can't just be a director, you have to be a writer, director, or you got to be a writer, director, producer, with some credits behind you. Or I can also bring post to the table. Oh, I also have a relationship with this actor. And I already have a distribution company that's already pre bought this, like, you need to eat the days of just being the one trick pony. And that works for some people. Like if you're Chris Nolan, or David Fincher, and those kind of guys, that's a different time and a different caliber. But that's a small wind. That's a small group of guys and girls, that could do that. The rest of us have to bring other things to it. Like,

RB Botto 1:58:30
you know, what the well, and they did it when they started, they bought the value, too. I mean, that's the thing. They brought a game like this they brought yet that's how they got there. You know, I think that he everything he's saying is absolutely correct. And I think that when you bring you you have to be you don't want everybody to get like, you know, crazy about the idea of why don't have 100,000 Instagram followers, but not one of the matter is, is that there's a there is different types of ways you can bring value. One of the films that's on stage stage two screenings, I love this story. It's called Best summer ever. Yeah. And the people that made the film The whole idea behind film, it's an hour and 15 minute musical now. Okay, so let's just start there. And our 15 minute musical, the idea of getting theatrical and the idea of you know, it's kind of in a little bit nomads, that right plus some years ago, but the whole idea behind it was most of the actors and everyone down even down to the producing team, part of the producing team, or people with special needs. Okay. So they went and raised some money, okay. And then they went to Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, and Benjamin Bratt and said, We're not asking you to star in it, we're not asking you to carry the movie we're just asking you to, could we would you be willing to play a part in this and they got them to use the money they raised and they you know, and do what they need to do to get them. Okay. That's extreme value. Now, if they took that, even though even though it's got that Totally uplifting aspect to it. If they take that script, and I know music, unknown songwriters, musicians, and they take it out, people are gonna go, it's really nice. But this is show business. It's not real friends, right? Like we get it, but we just can't throw the money into it. But now they bring the value of the actors. So now there's both of these things, okay? They know there's an audience for it. They know they have these actors, there's more value. Now all of a sudden, boom, this thing gets elevated right now everybody wants to be a part of it.

Alex Ferrari 2:00:30
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

RB Botto 2:00:41
We put this this was one of the first phones we took live on screenings. And this is one of the ones that they've already had for that, I think this morning. That was one of the one requests for meetings for distribution. And it's because again, if I put together to put together the package, so that's just a way to illustrate what we're talking about your there's always way. It's like I said, with our pilot, it's like, you know what we here we go. Great producer, man. Oh, yeah, that gets the job done. Oh, that actor that gets the job done. Who's the showrunner? And we're like, Really? That's not enough with those who show right. Okay. All right. So now we got work to do. Now we got to go. Now we have show runners reading. And oh, you know, if you can get one more active, so Okay. So we have some actors reading because right now act as a home doing nothing except making, you know, videos singing imagine. So, you know, we, you know, we're in? We're in a golden time. It's just how do you take advantage of it? How do you position yourself? And that's the question you should ask yourself every day, what do I want to accomplish today? What do I want to do today, that puts me in a better position to get to my goal. You know, our goal is to get this show made. To get that show made. These are the two bridges, you have to cross we need to find that valuable showrunner we got to find at least one of the to find out about so okay.

Alex Ferrari 2:02:01
If you remember, of course, back in the day with with a movie like the player, it used to be based the way Hollywood used to work was was all based on a pitch, you didn't have to bring other value than an idea, not the script, not a Polish script, not a package deal. None of that is based off of a pitch. And pitches now are rare if they ever get picked up anymore, but now you've got to bring it they don't want to do any heavy lifting at all. They want everything to just be handed them on a silver platter. Why? Because there's a million other projects. So I says, Man, there's too much choices. So you've got to prevent, provide as much value as you can. So as an independent filmmaker, bring in an audience, bringing, bringing a system or having actors or cast that has an audience. What other value can you provide? Do you have some sort of distribution? Do you have some sort of deal? Do you have some sort of sponsorship that you can leverage? Is there something else that you can bring to the table other than the amazing film? Because the amazing film, arguably is not enough? In most cases?

RB Botto 2:03:05
And in you know, look, this is what goes back to the idea of the right Rep. It's kind of this is kind of interesting segue because, you know, I was repped by the guy that rep Shane Black. And if you talk about selling a pitch, I mean, he literally sold the last boy scout for 3 million off a napkin, an idea on a napkin, literally, he invited the studio heads down to his office, they got to spend a half hour with the napkin. And by the end of the day, they just remote. So, you know, that's changed dramatically. He was my manager for a while we decided to, you know, still applicable, everything is fine. But I wanted to move in a different direction I have not secure even though I'm writing the the the feature that I'm writing right now with the guys at zero gravity, I am not repped, I don't want to be wrapped, I'm doing it on my own. So putting this pilot together, putting my producer side on working with other producers, and I'm doing it now, if I had a rep that was of a certain stature, there is the chance that that rep might have been able to walk a pilot in or walk us the feature in or whatever, and say, we don't have any assets. But this is the deal. And they might say because this is a trusted source. And maybe they've done something before with that network, or they've done something extreme that they say, we'll take it on. Okay, we'll figure out a way to put it together or whatever we'll bring in our producers, you guys will co produce and we'll put it you know, it could be it could be anything like that, right? So I don't want to say there's only one avenue, we all know is a million avenues. But what I will say is, the best way to put this is, the more you can control, the better you're going to be and the longer you can control it better if you're going to be so for example, if you add a feature strip and you gave it to your manager and your manager goes and sells it or whatever, and then they say okay, now we want to rewrite the entire thing. You're off the film, okay, you're gone, but But if you have that same feature script, and you're helping to put it all together, and you're working with people to put it all together, and you bring it as a package, because now you have an actor or director or whatever, who loves the script for lunches script, your odds are, you're getting fired off that script, or much less. So again, it's everything is controlling, my whole thing is control things for as long as you can control them for as far as you can control them. And to be able to do that. You have to educate yourself on the way that things work. And you have to know what's going on in the business stuff. You're not reading the trades every day, it's another thing.

Alex Ferrari 2:05:37
I mean, but now more so than ever, because literally, the world is changing on a daily basis, our industry is changing on a daily basis, companies are going down. New new blueprints, and new paths are being created to generate revenue. Like there's there's thing kwibi all of a sudden showed up. And and now I've heard mixed things on kwibi as far as the backend is concerned, like it's they're spending obscene amounts of money. And they're not getting what they want. And they're not getting the numbers that they wanted. You know, I think the first and they quit, don't quote me on this was like 700,000 users or something like that when they were expecting. Yeah, a lot more. And I was talking about my dp friend, he's like, yeah, there were also talking about how they shoot, like, their productions are completely different. So they shoot it vertically and horizontally at the same time, and their deal to my knowledge goobies deal is they own for two years. And then after that, it's yours to do with as as you wish. And one of my actors from this is mag. He's Oh, he's from Reno, 911. And Reno 911 was one of the companies one of the shows that kwibi picked up. He told me that they paid me physically. Amazingly, they did really like and they only have an hour and a half of content. So it was basically what it nine shows. Yeah, yeah, no. They're paying. Good. Yeah, we

RB Botto 2:07:00
have a we're doing a we're actually doing a webinar. It's this week to this weekend. The beginning of next week, we triple Clancy tripper, it's about writing for quippy tripperz sold, trip has been in the business for a long time, tripper has sold shows to everyone, he sold two shows the quiddity. And so he's going to teach every it's not just the writing thing, it's producing to like how to negotiate with kwibi, and how to position yourself according, and he was like, I gotta tell you, this was, like, out of everything I'd done. These were like two of the easiest sort of deals to put together. And, you know, from the content to making the deal. He said, You know, it was it was amazing. So again, do you have that tool in your arsenal? If you're a writer or producer, don't you want to know, where you know, these people have spent a bajillion dollars buying content? Wouldn't you like to know how to get to them? Or how to write something that that's what I'm talking about, though, if you're either doing it? Well, you're not? You know what I mean? You're either doing it or somebody else? And if you did, I didn't know.

Alex Ferrari 2:07:59
Yeah. And if you didn't know what kwibi was, like, if you're listening to this right now, and you're like, What's quibi? I'm like, you're already you're already behind the curve. You're already behind the curve, if you don't know what quibi is. And I'm not saying that that's the future. It might crash and burn in a year. Who might it totally? It's not off to a great start. But there's real big money behind it. There's real power players behind it. I don't, I don't think personally, it's the future of content. I think it's an addition to where we're at. I think it's just another thing, another way to consume content, but I don't think it's the future like everything's going to be 10 minute episodes. I don't think that's going to be a thing I said, famously was talking to see what happens. But I don't think that's good. It's just another thing.

RB Botto 2:08:44
Yeah, I think there's a place to show up on content. I think that they had a blessing. They had a blessing and a curse thing happened, which I really I'll be honest with you, I thought it was gonna be a blessing, you know that I didn't think it all the way through. But I was like, oh, wow, they're launching? How lucky are they that they are launching what everybody's home? Because people are going to be you know, looking at Goodwill. I think the problem is, the thing I didn't think through was people, you only watch it on your phone. And people are now home with their 70 inch TVs and they're saying, Why the hell do I want to watch this on my

Alex Ferrari 2:09:16
kwibi needs. They need to set up they need to set something up for an app like a television app to have to, to survive. They have to survive the evil it's still 10 minute sentiment episodes. That's fine, but it's a weird, it's a weird education. A weird, a weird challenge to educate the public on what they're trying to do. Because it's a learning curve for people. It's a new way of doing things. So I'm interested to see where it goes. We'll see. We'll see. It's just such an it's just a weird. It's a weird, weird time and it is such a weird time to be around and to be what we do and what we do. I've never experienced anything like this. I've never even heard If anything like this in the history of our industry is there the unknown is so incredible, that scary and yet very exciting at the same time, because literally in a month or two from this conversation, the world could be completely upside down in another way our world in the industry could be completely in a different way. And all of a sudden now, okay, all markets are closed, everything's now digital. And this is the company who's doing it. And all festivals are, are shut down for the next three years. And Sundance is going to be on stage 32. Like, there's a million different ways of things happening. And I'm just, I'm glad that you were able to come on. So we could talk about this, I want to bring you back in the fall to kind of do to do a post mortem in the last, like, let's make the next four or five months and see what happens. And to see if all the predictions we might have had or talked about what actually laid out. Let's see what happens in the fall. Because, man, this is just so freakin unheard of. Man, I you know, and and i and i hope everyone listening takes what we've we've said to heart and goes out and educates themselves and gets prepared and be beast alone in Rocky three in that in that underground basement gym ready to go fight Mr. T, because this is the time like you were saying to smart managers and agents are just stockpiling, stockpiling. So when the doors do open, they can just come in and go Look what I've got. And that's where all all of us listening should be doing in one way, shape, or form. I'm doing it on my end. I know Arby's definitely doing it on his end. And that's what we got to do. Without question. Any any final word, sir?

RB Botto 2:11:48
Well, yeah, I would say that the doors are going to swing open, I think a lot of doors are open right now i would i would highly recommend. Look, again, I know, for a lot of people, this isn't easy. They're not feeling motivated, and everything like that. Shut the news off, do yourself a favor. Don't look at your Twitter stream. Because you know, not only is there a lot of gloom and doom and a lot of anger and a lot of hate out there. And right now, I don't think any of us need anger or hate and all that. So shut that out, shut out the noise. The other thing I highly recommend when we talk about educating yourself is don't educate yourself through Twitter as well. There's a lot of, there's a lot of bad information out there. There's a lot of bad information I spent a half hour looking through one day and I'm like, this is so damaging and detrimental, that you have to know who you're listening to. You have to do researches on the voices before you believe them. know who these people are, know who you're taking education from, or you know, you know, if you read the trades, you say, You know what's going on, but quit yourself in positions, if you're not feeling really motivated to to cut out the negativity and get yourself there. And if you are feeling motivated, there really has not been a better time. I can't stress it enough. Whether you're using stage 32, or whether using something else, make sure you're networking. Make sure you're building those relationships. Make sure you're educating yourself, make sure you're putting in the work and the time, and you're understanding what's going on in the business in the day to day. And if I could just throw out some follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

Alex Ferrari 2:13:15
Oh, obviously. Don't worry. It'll be in the show notes. Don't worry. Okay, yeah. rb walks into a bar, which ident which is not anymore. Actually. You gonna have to change your handle now because you can't walk into a bar anymore.

RB Botto 2:13:27
You can walk into my own boy now. But RV walks into a bar on Instagram and Twitter but also on stage 32 if you are new member, you will see my mug on your wall. The second sign up, do drop me a line I answer everything. And if you are on stage 32 like I said, get any questions or even Instagram or whatever doing questions, shoot me a DM and happy to answer them. And if you have any questions, like I said earlier about where your material fits, or where your finished film fits or anything like that, J dot merge, it's the date j dot m er ch at stage 30 two.com. And the final thing I'll just throw out again, it's great because we need we need everybody's help on this. We really do. Everything we've done with stage 32 screenings has been grassroots Vale has gotten a quite a few of the film festivals have gotten behind this but some of them haven't. So if you had a film when no submitted had to film at South by Tribeca mountain film, they'll or BMI, flat BMI London flair, LGBTQ, please send them our way. And if you're a film festival director or you want your if you were in another film festival, and it was cancelled, and you want to be involved with screenings just write us at screenings at stage 30 two.com.

Alex Ferrari 2:14:46
And before we finish there, we can't have a conversation about COVID-19 and in the entertainment business without speaking about Tiger King, did you see it sir?

RB Botto 2:15:01
I did kitty cat. You cool cats and kittens out there. cats and kittens. Did you happen to see today? that apparently nine big cats are eight or nine yet have COVID COVID it was just crazy. I did see I did see it. I didn't see I haven't seen the bonus

Alex Ferrari 2:15:19
at the booth. It's just it's just it's just interviews. It's just interviews. I watched half of it.

RB Botto 2:15:23
I was like, I saw it. It was I showered. Heavenly. Yeah. Yeah, very heavy. It's fast.

Alex Ferrari 2:15:33
It's fascinating to watch that show because and for everybody who has not heard of Tiger King is a docu series on Netflix. And I think the timing couldn't have been more perfect for that show. I'm not sure if it has if it comes out before Corona. I don't know if this if it has the same. Well, it does. It doesn't have the same cultural impact that it did. But because everybody was home and they said, Hey, what's this? This is exactly what happened. Like, I turned on Netflix. I like Tiger King and I just like watch the trailer. I'm like, Oh, that looks interesting. Let me see. You know, I'll pop it and so I watched the first episode. I just like, this can't be No, this can't be real. And like, it's just an every every episode just gets more ridiculous. And more ridiculous. And more and like and you're like, Oh, and there's a drug dealer. Oh, she killed her husband and fed him to tigers. Oh, and he has music videos now. Oh, and there's like, oh, there's merchandise. It's like a really bad Christopher Guest Phil. Like, you know, when he's walking around showing the merge. He's just like, and here the towels I really said like, and his mugs on it. And then I saw the best the best Facebook and Twitter remarks and like, I just thought Tiger King. Is it me? Or is Joe exotic? Not sound too bad as a singer. Like, is it I'm not in the country. But it's like, he's he's not bad, right? It's in me like he's not. I don't like I mean, I like some country, but like, I'm not a big country fan. His voice isn't bad. Like the music videos are hilarious. I mean, they're brilliant. It's just a level of genius. It's it's almost to the room level of genius. And how good you know, I saw cat I saw Tiger into me, like the pseudo erotic thing he had going on with the Tigers. Like, I can't but like, Is it me? It was he's not that bad of a singer.

RB Botto 2:17:22
I actually thought he was a very good singer, too. But then I found out that he didn't. He didn't say Oh, no. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Really?

Alex Ferrari 2:17:33
I was gonna say, Mike, so he was he Milli Vanilli did.

RB Botto 2:17:38
Yeah. He really even noted it. And besides watching it, I'm like, how does that voice come out of that? voice like you don't mean? Like, how does he get a damn for the singing when he sounds like when he speaks? He sounds like you know, it's been ripped Of course grab. It's, it's really interesting.

Alex Ferrari 2:17:54
So now you see I've learned something new today. Today. This whole interview was knot not for knot because now I know that Joe did not sink. But the music videos are?

RB Botto 2:18:04
Oh, yeah, I think I mean, those are epic. There's a lot of frickin epic things about that thing. I mean, it's just,

Alex Ferrari 2:18:11
it's the biggest it's I just, it's hard to explain in words, like the experience watching it because you watch it and you're just like, this can't This can't be real. Like it was just so many. Like, if you would have written that script. Yeah, you've jumped the shark. It's just you've just gone too far. Pull back a little bit. And no one's gonna believe this. Yeah, but then the the suit like the two gay guys who are the two husbands who are supposed to be gay, but they're not really gay. And they because he just has them on meth. And then the guy with no teeth, and the guy and then the guy, the guy or girl who got her arm ripped off by the tiger who went back to work a week. Like it's just, there's so much if there's it's hard to put into words how to explain it to me. It's hard to put into words why I watched my wife my wife looked at me She's like, I can't believe you wasted seven hours, six, seven hours of your life with this. I can't believe you did this. I'm like, you just don't understand. You just she's like this. And she saw it in the background. That was a funny thing. She'd be doing something else and she was just here going and then like, and then I would hear every once in a while. She killed her husband. Like is that is that did the arm come off?

RB Botto 2:19:27
It's like well we get on the air it's like if you work in Santa Ana right now you completely fuck I mean you just don't how do you come up with anything like how you go to the absurdity of what we're seeing right now and then stuff like that. It's like like you said if you wrote it you have to pull it back. It's like it's so absurd that it's you know, it's almost unbelievable but it's watching what do you think would be good to some recommend?

Alex Ferrari 2:19:49
I am I will Bosh I just finished Bosh, season five Season Five of Bosh. I'm very excited that there is going to be one last season. I wish it would be more but Bosh is arguably one of the Best detective shows on air. It's so good. The first five seasons were excellent, well written. The cinematography is amazing. The cast is great. It's just a hard boil la detective and it's just so well, well executed. So I finished that. I finished shameless. Finish the last season, the shameless that we finished off Ray Donovan, as well that's over, as well. And right now I'm in the blacklist, I'm in the middle of the blacklist. Okay, I hadn't come catching up and I'm catching up on all these shows that were supposedly really great. And I'm on season and almost at the end of Season Four of blacklist. So we're just like Vin bingeing that right now. Finishing that off and yeah, we that's it basically. I mean, we just when I was just TV, occasional news once in a while, but that's basic. And then of course, Shark Tank in song land. I Those are my Those are my two reality show. pleasures, guilty. Pleasure. Song. Song land. I love song. Like just because I love the fat fascinated watch how they fucking write songs. It's like they just, they're like, Oh, yeah, here's the beat and they'll just start at the end. Like, how did you How is what? So brother man, it has been a pleasure as always having you on the show. I you know, we could we have had epic conference. I think our longest record still is three hours and a half of that Oscar, that Oscar show that we did years ago. That was Yeah, that was a long epic one. But, but thank you for coming on, man. Thank you for everything you're doing for the for the community and for filmmakers in general. And, you know, we got to take it one day at a time. But thank you so much for for all your insight, man. I appreciate it, brother.

RB Botto 2:21:46
Nah, dude, thank you for having me on. You know, I love you. And you know, I love coming on here. And I love talking to this amazing audience that you've built and this brand you built. And like I said earlier, if this is one of the first ones, you're listening to the first one to listen to, you need to listen to the other ones. But Alex and I are dear friends, we built this relationship over a very long period of time. And, and I love what you're doing for the community. And I love you and you know that so look, we'll we'll get through this. It's going to be what was the movie? It's going to be a bumpy ride bumpy night. What was that?

Alex Ferrari 2:22:16
It's gonna be a bumpy, it's gonna be a bumpy ride. But, but but the industry is resilient. It's it's a very resilient industry, and it's never gonna go away.

RB Botto 2:22:24
Well, the most important thing, I'm glad you said that the most important thing and we can kind of end on this note is the industry is resilient. But right now is the time for if you're somebody that really desires or you're in the business, or you have a desire to have a career in this business, now's the time for you to be resilient, and to really, and to really dig in if you can. And I think when you're on the other side of it, I think the opposite, I really do think the opportunities are plentiful. Now, I think they're going to be off the charts, you know, because the need for content is never going to go away.

Alex Ferrari 2:22:55
Thank you, brother. I appreciate it. Man, talk to you soon. Stay safe.

RB Botto 2:22:58
Thank you!

Alex Ferrari 2:22:58
I want to thank RB for coming on the show and sharing his thoughts about what is going on with COVID-19 in our industry. And I hope you got something out of it guys. Like we said before, there is a lot of opportunity, there's a lot of hope for the independent filmmaker, moving forward in this new film industry that is being created day by day, nobody really knows where this is all gonna land where it's all going to settle where we're going to be in a year or two. But I do promise you that things will change and things will not repeat, not go back to exactly the way things were. There's just no way that Genie has been let out of the bottle. Thanks. Again, if you want to get links to anything we spoke about in this episode, or want to reach rb, head over to the show notes at indiefilmhustle/385. And on a side note, guys, I've been working on something fairly large for the tribe. Over the last couple of weeks, I hopefully will be announcing in the next week or two. I think you guys are going to be very excited. A few of you have already gotten a couple of sneak peeks at what I'm doing. And the reviews have been very positive. So I'm very excited about it. But this is a this is a fairly big deal that the thing that I'm doing as far as the amount of work I'm putting into it, but it is a big thing that I'm putting together for you guys. So hopefully it will provide more and more value to the tribe. So keep an eye out for that. Thank you guys again. As always, keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. Stay home and safe. And I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 341: Building an Audience & Industry Lessons with RB Botto & Alex Ferrari

Right-click here to download the MP3

As promised in this episode, I bring to you the live recording of my workshop from the 2019 HollyShorts! Film Festival on audience building and surviving the film industry with my brother from another mutha RB Botto from Stage32.com. We discuss the best way to build an audience online, do’s and dont’s, and tips on surviving the film industry from two filmmakers with a ton of shrapnel. Enjoy!

Alex Ferrari 2:10
Now today on the show, I am bringing you live from the 2019 Holly shorts Film Festival, my talk on building an audience online with my brother from another mother, Rb Botto, the reigning champion of having been on this show the most times I think we're at eight or nine times at this point in the game. So you guys should be very familiar with RB and of course every time RB and I get together it is just hilarity knowledge, bombs, inspiration, all sorts of things all rolled up into one I love talking with this man. We have to create some sort of sitcom together. RB and I you know, please write do a petition, you know, put it out there on social media, you know that we need to be some sort of like, you know, odd couple, it'd be fantastic. The Vegan the meat eater, the drinker, the non drinker, it'll be fan tastic. But seriously, it was a great time, and I can't wait for you guys to hear it in its entirety. So please, without any further ado, enjoy my conversation with Rb Botto at the 2019 Hollyshorts Film Festival.

So every time we get together, I mean, we've done I think we've done this three times in the Hollyshorts

RB Botto 3:25
Here. We've done it a million times.

Alex Ferrari 3:28
Yeah. So every time you in our being get together, it's, it's it's fun. We'd love doing it. And it's a rarity to get us both in the same place at the same time. So we're here to talk about building an audience. I'm sure we're gonna skew off of other other avenues as well. But for everybody who doesn't know who I am, I run a website called indie film hustle. It's a podcast. It's the number one filmmaking podcast on Apple podcast right now. And I also run filmtrepreneur.com, which is aimed at your how to make a business out of your movie, and how to generate actual money out of your movie. And I also run bulletproof screenwriting podcast, which is all about how to help screenwriters become better screenwriters. And I've got 1000 other things I do is I won't go on too long. But we also I also have a book we'll talk about that as well. And and then we made RB and I made a movie together.

RB Botto 4:25
Well, you made the movie,

Alex Ferrari 4:26
I made a movie I invited RB to be in my movie. And the movie was called on the corner of ego and desire which is a kind of the Best in Show we'd Spinal Tap for independent filmmakers. And we actually went to Sundance and shot the movie completely guerilla style in four days. And RB just showed where we could tell the story about your story. But I told RB like RB this is this is how I pitched it and like RB I'm writing really, we're gonna shoot it at Sundance and I want you to be in it. And RB just like all right, what do you mean? Like it's gonna be at the you know that that one place? Is that weird? Oh, yeah, that's pretty sure. I need you there about 12 o'clock one o'clock in the morning. He's like, Sure, why not? Yeah, sure. So then, the whole time we're there. Everyone's like, are you going to show up and like, maybe I'll be here, we'll be here. And, oddly enough, he had a drink in his hand when he walked in. And, and he killed it. He was he was the producer that they were chasing the entire time. He's the big time producer in the movie. And I always knew that he had, you know, he had the chops to be a good actor, because he was an actor in the olden days, back in the 80s, the 70s. But he was just why we don't get together. But anyway, so that's a little bit about me. I'm sure RB has a few things to say about himself. And when he

RB Botto 5:45
Yeah, that was good. Yeah, we can tell that story's pretty funny. Yeah, Richard Botto. Or as Amanda said, Richard Batto, my mother happens to be in the audience tonight. This is the first time she's ever gotten to see me speak anywhere. She's in town. So she's the only person that calls me, Richard. That's great. But a lot of people know me as RB and a lot of people know me from social media. As RB walks into a bar, as we talked about earlier, I'm the founder and CEO of stage 32. As Amanda said, stage 32, was a brainchild I came up with about eight years ago, because I understood the importance of social media in the life of a creative but didn't believe that Facebook and Twitter were the places to go, per se. I was connecting with a lot of people that were in the film industry, but I was looking at their salads, their dogs, their babies, and not talking anything about film. So I decided to start a platform where it would be strictly creative, and where we had like minded individuals coming together, to make stuff happen to make things happen. So relationships are everything in this business. We talk a lot about that tonight. And this is why I started the platform, I really started it for myself, to be perfectly honest with you, I started with 100, I went to 100 of my friends in the industry, told him to come on board, I did it backwards, I actually built it first, I put my money where my mouth was and built it first and invited them to come on board said no excuse to not try it. And I said if you like what we're doing, invite at least five full creatives if you don't give me three reasons why 97 of them joined and invited at least five people. The other three gave me the three reasons why and then I browbeat them into joining. And they started inviting people and within three months because every single person that joined the platform got that same message within three months and went from 100 people to 5000 people. And now we're well over a half million people worldwide. We're partners, we can AFM rain dance, Holly shorts, you name it. And as Amanda said, we have 500 people 500 development executives, agents, managers, producers, that teach for us, I started as an actor, as Alec said, I'm a producer and a writer here in LA. And we can talk a little bit about the phones and all that. And Franco who's here is actually one of our instructors, and has done extremely well. So that's a little bit about me, but you can get more into that and feel free to bring any question chat.

Alex Ferrari 8:16
Yeah, and, and Franco was also on my, my podcast many A while ago. And that's how we met I reached out to RB and say, Hey, you want to be on my podcast? And I was on episode 29? I think you came out. So we're I'm well over 300, which is clearly 28. Too late, obviously, obviously. But from that moment, the moment that we it was it was he hadn't been Hello. It was it was that and our first interview I think went like two weeks. And it was just like it I always I always refer to him as my brother from another mother because it's just that that kind of rapport that we have with each other. And then ever since then I think you still have the record for being on my show the most. I think it's eight guest spots on the show in different areas. Aviation saying none in two years. It's been a while this basket, it's been a while it's been it's been a minute, so we're gonna he's gonna come back on. This is going to be on the podcast. If you don't, you're on the podcast right now. And there you go. Instant gratification. So let's talk about building an audience. I know everybody's always saying Oh, you've got to build an audience. You've got to cultivate an audience to sell moving to and it's all about the audience, audience audience and everyone's always asking how do you build an audience? I'll tell you how I built my audience. And then RB can talk to you about how he built his audience. I my audience was going to be filmmakers, filmmakers and then screenwriters, both of those, those that those niche audiences as well I was going after. So I decided to go to where they were hanging out and just start talking to them start providing value to that audience. I started creating content for that audience. You can provide value in three ways. You can educate them, you can make them you can entertain them, or you can inspire them. It's very simple though. Three ways you can do it. And I just started creating content for my audience in that way. And within I think I went from I think the first month I launched that had like 5000 total hits to my website, where then the second month I was at all 40,000 and then just kind of ballooned from there. Because I was almost a relentless, I can't go online without seeing something. If you're a filmmaker, you will see something in the film muscle, or if not film, intrapreneur, bulletproof screenwriting somewhere, and Facebook or Twitter or something like that, I just kept pounding and pounding and just providing more and more value. And just give me that value away, I wasn't charging for anything, it was just I was building an audience. And when you provide value, and also value doesn't mean you have to create something you can actually curate as well. You can find articles from other websites, you can find videos from other websites, and curate them. That's another way of building an audience because you become a value you're providing value to them. If I don't have to go to YouTube to find out what the latest cool video on how to, you know, light a scene is and you're the one out, I'll just subscribe to you. And I'll just keep showing up there. So that's how I slowly built my audience. And then from there, it kind of just ran like wildfire afterwards. But those are the biggest tips I can say about building an audience go to where they are, provide x men's amount of value. I mean, immense, they can't hack it. You can't cheat it, don't buy followers, it doesn't work. Those are vanity matrix. matrix. So it's vanity matrix, that's not something that's really means anything, and people will know. Because it I'm sure you've seen a couple of these social media accounts that are like, oh, they've got a million but like if they post one thing, and there's like, two likes, you know, and their mom said, Hey, nice. Like that's, that doesn't make sense. If you have a million followers, you should have it a little bit more engagement for it. So there's that, but that's how I did it. RB has a different story.

RB Botto 11:53
No, not really. Okay. And a lot of ways. Well, no, I mean, if you write the keyword you're going to get tonight again and again, again, is value and the value that you bring piggybacking on what you were saying about fake followers and everything like that, it fascinates me. You guys are assuming all filmmakers, and some of you are probably writers, it fascinates me how many people will you know, go with a brand, you know, go by coverage or go by whatever, you know, take education, whatever, from a brand because of the amount of followers they have, and not do a little digging into whether those followers are real or not. Same thing with film festivals. You'll see a lot of these film festivals are like come summit, and they have like, you know, 50,000 followers, but if you click on their followers, you'll see that they're all empty heads, or as they call it on Twitter, eggheads. They have no profile, they have no nothing. They bought those followers. So do your due diligence. But let's get back to building an audience. The reason we were able to go from 100 people to you know now, I mean, well over a half million people were why would stage 32 was the messaging. The messaging was very simple. And you still if you joined stage 32. And I hope you guys will pull out your file name and joking go on your browser right now quick Sage 30 two.com. And she don't forget it. Because it's free. And you know, you can network immediately would have many people worldwide. But the message will get on your walls, the same message that you got eight years ago, which basically says this is a community for you built by you. And that's why we asked you to invite at least five photo creatives. Okay, it's free to join the education is premium, but you can network for free. Same thing as like LinkedIn, or anybody any of these other social media platforms. The whole point of the matter is, is that we're giving you ownership. We're saying to you that if you go out there and you put in the work and you put in the time you help us build the community, you get to create more opportunities for more people more opportunities. If you're a filmmaker, and you're looking for casting crew, you're going to find that on there. If you invite people, there's going to be more people on there for that to happen. There's gonna be a bigger pool of talent. That's how we were able to get we haven't spent a dime on advertising. We are from 100 to over half a million people. The other part of it is exactly what Alex said is the value. We bring tremendous value to the community at all times. We offer a ton of free content, but we asked the community to do the same. We asked them to bring content to us. We asked them to post articles, videos, things of that nature. The other value you could bring, by the way is very, very simple. How many people in this room would identify as introverts? Would you say you're introverted? They're introverts and this is a safe place to raise your hand if you're introverted. Thank you very much. introverts people who have a hard time and I hear this all the time they're like you know, we hear what you're saying but it's very difficult for us. There are three ways in my opinion, where you can get out of that where it's okay with you behind your you know you behind the glow of your screen, so to speak, and you can bring value. One is with Alex sharing content. Two is creating content If I say sharing content, by the way, I hope you're all reading the trades as part of your job. Okay? And if you're reading the trades every morning as you should, and knowing what's going on in the business as you should, if you read something that's really interesting, share it with people. And just put a little note on why it's interesting to you, Hey, I read this article, this one, it's really interesting. What do you guys think I just gave away my third, my third way to bring value. But the first one is, share the content that is important to you, and that you think is valuable to you share with other people. The second thing is compliment people on the value that they bring to you. If somebody shares a piece of content on social media, and you find value in it, thank them for it, tell them that it's fantastic. Tell them you know, you appreciate that you're bringing value to the other person, I don't care what their status is, how many followers they have, if they're sharing something they want a response doesn't matter. Okay. And the third thing is to ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask the biggest, you know, you and I know this story. I mean, I won't get into it. But I mean, it's in the book. But I mean that, you know, it doesn't matter. There's a story in the book about a very, very big director, Oscar winning director and writer. and the value that a writer that was an unknown writer, brought to this to this gentleman. And it's a fascinating story. It was just that she asked him a question that was so off the beaten path that it brought value to him, he was astonished that she would have even thought of it, you could bring value to anyone. That's three ways to do it. And anyone can do it doesn't matter if you're an introvert or an extrovert. There's just really no excuse actually

Alex Ferrari 16:38
Can't get I want, I want to just talk about one thing that I think is a just a virus in our community in regards to audience building and just networking in general, how it works in the real world as well as online. How many people? Well, I'm going to tell you the story of what happened to me on Saturdays kind of always, I was moderating a panel with some really heavy hitters in the in the space. These guys were all financier's producers, these guys are making 20 $30 million movies, they're heavy hitters, and some guy in the front row raised his hand is like, what do I need to do to get you to watch my short film. And you could feel the awkwardness in the room and like in the room, not only in the room, but on the panel, because it's like they're just not used to that I am. So I had no problem putting into this place really quickly. Because I said, Well, listen, dude, first thing is that don't do that. Like, don't do that. Like if you meet someone at a bar, and you're like, Hey, hey, I want you I need this, I need this, I need this, I want this, I want this. You don't just meet somebody and ask for something, by the way, you provide some sort of value to that person. And then later in that, that 20 minutes later, he raises his hand again, and I said we're not watching your damn. And everyone's like, oh, you're brutal. Like I rather me be brutal to him here than him being in a room somewhere, doing something stupid. So I think that's the biggest tip I can give you. And I know RB would agree is that if you're going to meet, like, like, I'm meeting you here, if you come up to me after the after the panel and say, Hey, can you watch my short film? No, I'm not going to watch your shorts. If you come up to me, like I'm going to provide some sort of value to you like and you've done research on this person, you're like, Hey, you know what, I know you doing this and this, I know somebody that might be able to help you. No strings attached, you start building a relationship. When I reached out to rb, I was I was a little nobody with a little podcast. And I said, you know what I'm gonna I want to provide value to you to spread your word, and to spread it, you know, to promote your brand through my podcast. And RV said sure, because I'm providing value for him. I'm asking him for something, but I'm providing value in return. And that and that relationship has been extremely fruitful over the last four years that we've known each other. So that's the key is being that way and then online. For God's sakes. Don't yell out. Hey, someone support my crowdfunding campaign. point drop into some HDM which is Oh, don't do that. Do not dm somebody. I get them all the time. Hey, I'm sorry, guys. You know, I'm doing this Kickstarter for my Bernie shortfilm. And you know, I can you can you like spread the word. No, no, I'm not going to spread the word. I'm not trying to be a dick about it. But I don't know you. I don't know. You're good. I don't know any of the talent. I know nothing. Exactly. So why in god's green earth would I put myself out there to promote you. Now. I literally have people like I had. Next week, I'm gonna release this podcast, but I had a guy sent me a email of at least it was like the Bible. It was this long, monstrous email. I don't I didn't know him from Adam. But for whatever reason, I started reading it. And I just for whatever reason it happens, but I just like it. Let me just some dude wrote a lot. So I'm just gonna read the first because this is crazy. So start reading the few and then I started reading and reading and reading. And it was a story about how he completely, um, he emotionally broke down after he made his first short film. And it was on the shelf for four years, had to move back in with his parents. And then by listening to my podcast, he was able to bring, get out, like rise from the ashes and release his film. And he wanted to share that information with me. And I said, You know what, man, I want you on the show. And for a short film, a guy from from Norway, who has no following has no nothing. But he provides a value to me, because I know how many other filmmakers in the world have gone through that, that was providing value to me. And because of that, I'm giving them shot on the show, you know, on a show that filmmakers would kill to be on to promote their movie, but he provided value to me. So that's a little bit. I could talk for hours, and both of us can.

RB Botto 20:55
You could talk for hours, just go down to the bar.

Alex Ferrari 20:59
You bring the bar to yourself,

RB Botto 21:00
I Well, yeah, I'm surprised they're rolling up. You guys should read an article called No, I will not read your fucking script. Look it up. Google it. I'm not joking. Okay. It was written by a writer, a feature writer, who basically talked about the fact that he gets hit up all the time, including by people in his family, who are like, Hey, you know, I wrote a script. Can you read it? And he's like, no. And here's the reasons why. And part of the reasons why is, you know, first of all, I don't have the time. Because you know, people say to me, sometimes, well, you know, you, it's only two hours to read my script. And that may be true, but I have 17 on my to read file, I'm really I'm writing I'm producing them. I'm running a company so that you know, and I don't know you, right. So look at that look at you know.

Alex Ferrari 21:54
It took him It took him about three months to read my manuscript for my book, and I know him.

RB Botto 21:59
That just kind of push it to the top. On, look, it really is, it's all about the value brave. And it's all about the relationships. And it's all about knowing your audience, right? I mean, at the end of the day, we get hit up all the time by people in this business. I mean, especially when you're running a platform like this, you know, everybody wants to hit you up. And I can't tell you the sheer amount I'm not even joking. Probably 30 to 40 DMS a week or vessels a week saying, can either read my script, finance my project produced my project has from people I don't know, you build relationships with people. This is a relationship is how many people here with a film Hulk out there? How many people here want to be filmmakers? that aren't they don't have a film here? How many people want to be writers? Okay, here's the deal. You all are searching, you're all reaching for the same brass ring. You're all trying to do the same thing. So the question becomes as you move along in your career, and I love saying this to people, why you Why now? You have to ask yourself that question all the time. When you walk into a room, and you're going to meet, you know, an executive, or you're on for example, if you're a writer, and I've been in the situation, or you're going to go pitch an assignment, okay, or you're going to pitch for a job. And you know, there were 20 other people pitching. The question I always ask myself is why me why now, it's not enough for me to walk into that room with a unique idea, or a unique take on what they're looking to do. I have to win that room, as somebody that can that they know they could work with somebody that's open to their opinions, somebody that's going to listen, you know, you get a lot of people that work and have great ideas and have massive egos. And guess what ends up happening. They love the idea that they don't like the writer, they don't want to work with me as a producer, I can tell you now, there have been plenty of times where I've met some very, very talented people and you start getting into the weeds with them and you start asking them some questions and you realize that their knee people, and this is a collaborative business. And when you're on a set for 30 days or 35 days or 40 days, you don't want people that are going to ruin the set. They could be talented as all freakin hell. It doesn't matter. I've seen people lose jobs because of that. So you have to ask yourself in every situation, you're all looking for the same thing here. You're all trying to be successful. You're all trying to win the day. You all want to be as big as great make as much money as you can all of that. But why you why now and you have to look at every situation like that. And that's the difference.

Alex Ferrari 24:55
I also want to touch on something that is also another virus that runs through the business and I'm going to talk from experience the desperate the desperate energy smell if you can familiarize RBI and people in the business, we can smell that desperate that desperate like that they, because I was that dude, when I first got here I met anybody with even a remote amount of any perceived perceived power to help me get to my dream. I was on them like white on rice, it was just like, Hey, man, Hey, dude, Hey, can you read my script? Hey, can you do this? It's such a turnoff. And it's such a, you need to get away from that, because we can smell it. And professionals can smell it coming a mile away. And it's, and you get one kind of first impression A lot of times, and you can't be that way. So that's another tip. It's about networking, more than odd and spelling. But I mean, it's something that I think is a major problem. Sure. Well, we were just talking about D. I mean, that's a desperate, those are desperate, kind of like, and I always feel like instead of being desperate, because people ask you now to like, Oh, you know, aren't you don't you want to like go out and make movies in the movies I made? And I'm like, yeah, sure, but I'm good. Like, I don't have a desperate energy anymore. Because I'm very comfortable with what I'm doing, how I'm doing it. I'm happy to design a company in a world that makes me happy. And I can provide value to my audience. And I'm able to make the movies that I want to make. I'm not desperate about that when when opportunities show up. You know, I'll take that Marvel meeting. I think we both know, you might have my own reasons. You probably took that mean, but but so to try to find that that place of happiness within you. So you don't give off that desperate energy because it's just gonna hurt you. And one other things don't become that bitter, angry filmmaker. Because they know we all know an angry bitter fame. How many people here know an angry bitter phone? And if you did not raise your hand You are the bitter as they say raising your hand. BSL I was guessing you are if you're not if you don't know someone, you are the dude that everybody else knows there. So don't be that person. Because I was I was so angry. I was so bitter. Anytime I saw anybody have any sort of success around me? I'd be like, why not? Me? I'm talented. I can do it. Why can't I Why haven't I got the shot that guy has and you would read the trades when you see these like you know kids getting you know $100 million.

RB Botto 27:29
But people think that those are overnight two of my they're not they're not like when brainwashing got nominated for the Oscars. Like she's an overnight success.

Alex Ferrari 27:36
She's not No, no. She was a Yeah, but there's like, you know, what's his name? The guy who did fantastic for you know what? No, hollywood will give the independent filmmaker does one success. Yeah, I shot the the shot. I mean, that's and that's that's starting to change a little bit. Exactly. But I would get so upset like all that he ruined that movie, I could have done so much better. You know, I don't know if I could have or not, it doesn't matter. You can't be in that place. So get out of that mindset is one step.

RB Botto 28:02
This is why I'm so happy because I don't go to those movies. So I don't have to think that they can do any better. I'm like, No, look, somebody said to me recently, the two keys to this relisted two keys to this business are perseverance and relationships. Think about what's missing from their talent. Yeah, we're assuming talent, right? Assuming talent gets you in the door, get you in the door. What? Yeah, may not even get you in the door. Sometimes talent and relationships get relationships are everything I can't stress this enough, is the biggest mistake that creatives make is that, you know, if you build it, they will come. And you know, it's funny. I've had this happen to me a million times, it just happened at another Film Festival, where somebody will come up to me and they will, you know, be standing at a party or standing at a bar, or whatever. And somebody will come up to me and they're like, Hey, you know, you're the CEO. So your RP Oh, that's great. Yeah. Yeah. You know, yeah. Yeah, you know, I get it. You know, I love the platform. Yeah, it's great. Like, I've been on there for a while. But you know, I really don't get anything out of it. And I'll be like, pull out your phone, log in. And they'll pull out the phone or log in. And I'll be like, I've been on for like five years. My login. they log in. They have two connections. Those two connections are me. The Managing Director of states vary to which you get by default. Okay,

Alex Ferrari 29:34
It's like Tom from MySpace

RB Botto 29:35
Exactly. Exactly.

Alex Ferrari 29:38
For millennials.

RB Botto 29:42
Im not old enough to know what that is. Yeah. So anyway, I'll be like two connections. And then this literally happened a week ago. 92 connections and they had one post. This is six years. One post and I said load that post. And the post was like, I have this film, and I'm looking to raise money. And I said, and I said to my go, Okay, so this is basically what you've done. Let me let me give you the equivalent of what you're doing in your day to day. You get out of bed in the morning, actually, you wake up in the morning, you stretch and you go, God, I'm freakin fantastic. I'm so talented. And then you walk into the living room, and you sit on the couch. And at like seven o'clock at night, you call up your mother and you go, you know, it's fucking crazy. Nobody came today. So hire me to give me money for my movie. I don't get it. And that person went, and I think I need to, I need to get more involved. At the end of the day, if you don't have relationships, and you're not working every day, you're not working. You're not working. People talk about I hear this with screenwriters, screenwriters all the time, you need to be writing every day, I'll tell you, if you're a writer in this room, that is absolute bullshit, right? When you need to write right when you want to write, but I tell you, I'll tell you what you can be doing on the days you don't want to be writing. And that is when networking, it is building relationships. And in this day and age where you have a platform like this, and I don't even care if you don't use stage 32, which I'll get into that in a minute, by the way, you could use your Facebook and you know, whatever the host you want to use, okay. But if you're not working it every day, then you lose it. You're getting out plead, you know, they asked Michael Jordan at the height of his you know, power is Why are you in the gym every day shooting 1000 free throws, and he said, if not me, somebody else is doing it. Okay, I want to be the best. If you don't want to be the best, if you don't want to be out there making the biggest connections, the thing that's going to separate all of you guys in this room that your wife may have raised their hand, the thing that's going to separate you in this business is certainly going to be a town of course you guys understand that. But it's going to be the connections you make along the way and how you manage those connections. So there's no excuses on that. And if you're not doing it every day, you lose it.

Alex Ferrari 32:07
Preach, preach, preach, preach, preach. Now, he got to be relentless. I mean, you've got to be so relentless, and so obsessed with what you're doing and work every single day. There's a reason why my podcast became the number one filmmaking podcast in a plethora of other podcasts out there. It's because I pounded it harder than anybody else. When everybody else was doing one a week I said, well, everyone's doing one a week, I'm gonna do two a week, because nobody else is I'm gonna double up everything everybody else is doing. And because of that, I was able to get more attention, more content was being pumped out. And now I'm at a point where I'm sick and I have no idea how I'm pumping out four podcasts a week, plus all the other content they put out a week. And but it's a machine now and I got gotten to the point where I'm just relentless about it. relentless is a great word to use relentless, you know, after Michael Jordan one, like one of the many rings that he won, the night that he won, he was back out after everybody was in the in the locker room celebrating, he went back out on the court to do free throws. He's like, go get started for next year. That's a champion. That's someone who's relentless. You know, if you want to write, write, write every day, if you want to, but also network every day network. You got it. You got to network every day, you've got to have you just got to keep pounding every single thing. The reason why I've been as successful as I have been, it's because I'm relentless. I'm relentless. Everyone looks around, like I don't even know how you do it. Because I'm just like, Oh, I'm sick like that. I just keep doing it out. I always tell people like you might be more talented. You might have more connections than me, but you will not outwork me. Because if someone shows up with two podcasts a week, I'll be busting off 10 podcasts a week, because I'm crazy. I'm local. You know, and you can't you can't you cannot you can't negotiate with logo. So and that's but that's me. I have a hustle hat on for God's sakes. It's true. It's about I'm on brand all the time. I'm hustling all the time is toilet paper says awesome. I didn't do is i'm not sure. But when you come from where I come from, which was like a small market in Miami, you know, with no connections, no networking, and I had no skills like he's talking about, about networking. I just didn't, I was a desperate filmmaker. I had to do something and I just outwork them. You know, I'll take someone who's who work harder than someone who's counting.

RB Botto 34:34
Well, and the thing about this business is that people you got to understand the people that have been in this business for a while are battle tested, man. I mean, they're battle tested, and they are cynical. They're cynical. Some people use this cynicism in a very good way. And you should you need to have that hardened shell and what I mean by that is you're going to face a ton of rejection, right? You're going to hear no, you know, 99.9 times out of 100 you got to learn how to deal with that. Know what you learn from that. No, we can get into all that if you guys feel like class. Questions, and it certainly could talk about that. But you have to learn how to handle that rejection. It's not easy things fall apart, you get that? Yes. You're like, Oh my god, we're running, this is going to be fantastic. And then you know, the wheels come off the wagon and the last 10th of a mile happens all the time. You're battle tested people that have done this for a long time. I've seen it all. So when you try to bullshit somebody, or when you try to bring, you know, this kind of optimism, even in a way that like, oh, I've done this, and I've done that, and people see right through it. So you know, the other side is, so if someone was standing on stage three to story, this is another one I use all the time. I mean, I've heard this like 50 times again, this year is amazing. People come up to me, they're like, oh, Steve, loves you. I'm on stage. I don't really use it that much. I got to get more busy with it. And he's saying to me, like, I'm going to be lying awake at night staring at the ceiling going like, dude, I hope that guy starts using states 32. Have you guys ever seen the fugitive movie the future? Have you guys know? Tommy Lee Jones Are you guys don't know the movie, I'll set this up. So Harrison Ford has been accused. For Ford has been accused of murdering his wife. He's innocent. Okay, but he asked to go on the run because he's being traced to chase by US Marshals, one of which Tommy Lee Jones plays, Tommy Lee Jones only job is to bring this guy home, he could give a shit about anything else, he's got to bring this guy home. So there is this great scene in the movie where he finally traps him in a waterfall, or whatever. And he traps them. And he says, you know, basically freeze and you know, Harrison Ford turns around, he says, I didn't kill my wife. And Tommy Lee Jones goes, I don't care. That's me when somebody comes. I'm on stage 32. But I don't use it. It's your loss. I don't care. It's more opportunity, honestly, for me, and for the people that are using it correctly. And the people who do get up every morning and work their asses off and make those connections. I tell everybody this. And this is no lie. Okay, I've been in this business for 10 years, everything good. That's happened to me over the last eight years, every movie I've produced everything that's happened, even meeting this guy has come through running this platform, not being the CEO, but being a member of the platform and connecting with people, okay? every single day. And when I tell people when they asked me for one piece of advice, I say your craft is half your job. And most creatives think the craft is 99% of the job. It's not your craft is half the job. networking and building relationships is the other half. And if you're not doing it every day, I don't care, you're doing yourself a disservice. I hope you do it. Because if you do, you may build a career will one day we cross ads. And maybe we work together because that's the way this business works. Because you'd be amazed over the last eight years, how many people I just produced the movie in Chicago, the guy to produce the movie was somebody I met on stage 32, I think my fellow producer, I should say, who brought me in was a member of stage 32, he used the platform to hire the entire cast and crew with the exception of maybe two or three people. And he basically spent that entire four or five years building up to this thing, including hiring the screenwriter, networking to make sure that when we had the money, he had the crew in Chicago also, that's awesome. But that's also working every day. These people came on set like they knew him ever. And they were meeting him face to face for the first time. But they had network with him for years. That's the way it works long, the longer and longer and the long. It's a marathon, not a sprint the long game. Absolutely.

Alex Ferrari 38:59
And I want to piggyback on something you said in regards to in regards to this some of the the whole battle hardened, battle tested idea. You know, rb and I both have lots of shrapnel from this business. And, and I mean, I wrote a whole book about how I almost made a $20 million movie for the mom, and then was run around Hollywood and you know chasing that dream and all that kind of things. The theaters in 2023 report yesterday. Yeah, I think I think Marissa would be a perfect board. So that battle hardened test that trap note is so important because I mean I've been doing I've been in the business for 25 years. I started when I was about 18 went to film school there the whole thing and I just been hustling hard all those all those years have gone up and down so many times. The biggest wish I can give all of you is that it takes time for you to make it in whatever way you Want to make if you want to be the overnight success, I do not wish that for anybody, because there's very few people who can handle overnight success. And there's examples all over Hollywood, and the history of Hollywood of people who were given the golden key too early, way too early. You know, if I was 26, when I was 26, trying to make that $20 million movie for the mob, if that mob movie would have gone through, I think I would have probably self imploded. Like, I would have just destroyed myself. You know, my ego was completely out of control. I just wasn't prepared. I didn't have enough strap not yet. And I really wish all of you it takes time for you to get because that is what's going to make you last long term in this business. Is that shrapnel that thing? You know, everybody who's anybody in this business has that trap? No. This year, there's an occasional Robert Rodriguez, you know, but I promise you, but he is your old man. Because his career right now. I mean, it'd been I mean, it's a long game, but he was trapped, but he was dealing with shrapnel inside the system. He was in the party, you know, the bouncers threw me out constantly. But he was invited in the party, but then he wants to because you don't drink obviously. And I'm being obviously so that's, that's another? We're gonna where's that juicy steak by the homies that juicy steak? Where is it? The grass by blueberry? No. So I really do hope that for you guys is don't be in a rush. That was my biggest mistake of this business is I'm like I want it now. When is it going to happen for me? I want it I want that lottery ticket. And I grew up in that time period where it was the 90s. You know, I grew up in the 90s boom of independent film, independent film was kind of born the independence that we know today where Steven Soderbergh and, and Rodriguez and Tarantino and all those great spiky, all those kind of directors every week, there was a check, and another career was being made. So that lottery ticket mentality screwed me up forever. To the point it took me until I was 40 to direct my first feature film, because I built it up so much in my head, that I couldn't do it. And then now, now I'm gonna start with making $3,000 movies with this guy. I grew up much later. So I don't recognize a lot of those. I would I would say the it's not great. I think there's a little there's no highlight highlight in green. That's very refreshing forward. Have you sir?

RB Botto 42:31
The shrapnel. It's not just what you learn. It's not it's not just taking on the shrapnel. It's what you learn from it. Yes. That's the key in this business. Everybody takes on the shrapnel everybody, you know gets hit. And it's really kind of what you learned. We talked earlier about having that rough, callus kind of skin. It really is important. Because it is a bit there's no other business. Really, there's none. Where it's not a meritocracy, we know that, you know, even for guys like Scorsese and Spielberg and everything like that, you know, it took it took, you know, Spielberg I said this all the time, it's Spielberg to go to India to get the money for Lincoln. Yeah, you know, it took Scorsese 20 years silence to get made. Now granted, if you would have wanted to get a made for a million dollars, which you probably should have been made for instead of 50, he probably would have gotten me to Europe earlier. But you know, get my point. Still, nobody was gonna give him that money for his passion project. So this is a business to know. And you have to be nimble. And you have to know how to adjust and you know, have a you know, you have to know how to find the value in every note, and the meaning and every note and the positive in every note. And it's not easy for a lot of people. But if you could do that, that also gives you a competitive advantage, in my opinion, because a lot of people wallow in that. And trust me, I did at the beginning to I have to say that, you know, I used to be here, I get a piece of bad news. And I would go here, I got a piece of good news. I go here. Now it's I get a piece of bad news. I go here, I get a piece of good news right here. The movies in production up here. The whole thing falls apart. Maybe I'm down here for a couple of days. But then I sit there and go, okay, where can we take it next? What can we do with it? You know, we had it here. So there was interest here. So there's got to be interest someplace else. Where do we go with it? You mean the money flow through? Not just the money. Sometimes it's creative. And sometimes the company goes bankrupt. I've dealt with that. Yeah, we're shooting in two days. Now. We have no money in the company. Oh, yeah. Well, yeah. Yeah. You know, that I feel that was ready to come on set tomorrow to read

Alex Ferrari 44:44
A letter of intent, but I have a letter of intent.

RB Botto 44:48
He's decided, no,

Alex Ferrari 44:50
Can I just take you to the bank.

RB Botto 44:52
I know this happens all the time. And it happens all the time. It sucks. It's again, it's it's a very If you're looking at it in comparison to other industries and other businesses, it's a very unfair business from the standpoint of I've done the work, I've created something, people are interested in people putting money into it, it's great. And then all of a sudden, it falls apart, or I just did this movie last year, it 165, Laura was of all these different, you know, film festivals, and now monitor the next thing, it should just blow up. And it doesn't, you know, it's unfair that way. But then that's, you know, that's kind of, it's also kind of, should be an incentive to you guys to control as much as you can control.

Alex Ferrari 45:40
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

RB Botto 45:50
In this day and age, in my opinion, in an era, in an era with studios, you know, controlling everything, and they're only making what they want to make in the big franchises, and they're making just things based on IP and everything like that, my opinion is you control the project as far as you can, until you have to relinquish it, you go all the way, this guy shot a film for $3,000. at Sundance, he's controlled it the whole way through. I know a lot of other filmmakers that have done that, where they, you know, they're holding on to it to the end, of course, they want to sell it, of course, they want to bring it to a festival and have somebody come in and go, Hey, we'll take it on for 3 million, we'll take it off for five, and we'll do whatever, everybody wants that. But at the end of the day, if you're controlling it all the way through, guess what, you can take it as far as close to the finish line as possible. And if the ultimate goal doesn't happen, there are a million other avenues for you to take that you know where you're going to take an entrepreneur. to film Yeah, like, you know, you control that all the way through, right? You're saying now I'm going to self destruct, I'm going to take you here, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that. That's my protocol. At the end of the day. My opinion, if you're making independent film in this day and age control as much as you control for as long as you can control it. You understand the business, I noticed a lot of filmmakers, a lot of writers, a lot of actors that just want to go create, you're doing yourself at the service on the stand what's happening in the industry, understand who's making what understand your distribution channels, understand your money channels, understand where the tax incentives are, understand what's going on with coal country pro coal country productions. Understand it all the more you know, I hate to say knowledge is power. Knowledge is power. It's an MVC thing, the more you know, the more you know. But the more you know, the better off you're going to be. And the bigger I keep coming back this bigger competitive advantage you're going to have throughout

Alex Ferrari 47:44
I want I want to

RB Botto 47:47
I kick my leg off as I did, because the emphasis

Alex Ferrari 47:51
Did you pull something, sir?

RB Botto 47:54
I exercise, I'm kidding. He's much more healthy than I am? He's a Vegan he does not drink.

Alex Ferrari 48:03
I wake up every morning at 4:20 to go to work out sir. How dare you.

RB Botto 48:07
You walk from the bedroom?

Alex Ferrari 48:08
No, that's not true. That's not true. I want to I want to make something very clear for you guys. And I don't know if anyone's going to tell you this. But I'm going to tell you this. And I'd rather you hear it for me than somebody else later down the line

RB Botto 48:22
You're coming out?

Alex Ferrari 48:24
RB I've always had this. No, I'm I don't care what your dream is. If it's filmmaking and directing, producing, writing, and your story of how you're getting there, how you're making your movie, I have a real big secret to tell you about this business. No one gives a crap about your dream about you or what you've gone through where you're going, what you want. No one cares, period. So that that settle for a second. I know it's rough, but it's tough luck. Because I want you to understand it took me forever to figure that out. No one owes you anything. No one cares about your background, what struggles you've gone through, you know, oh, I I made the movie for $1,000. I don't care that it's a movie good that we care. Can it make us money? At the end of the day, they only care about one thing. It's money. Period. Everybody in this business cares about one thing? Is it kind of being the money? Is there successful? Is there potential for revenue and this, that's what they care about. They could care less about your story. Many times I get pitched the movie now. Like I made the movie for $5,000. Like that's that worked in 1991 when nobody was doing that. Now, you know, everyone did that. And I tell people all the time, like that's not enough to get on the show guys. What's your story? What do you do? What else what other piece of value you can provide for me just on the on the example of being on my show, but no one cares. And as soon as you understand that it's very liberating. Because no one owes you anything. Nobody owes you anything in this business. And I promise you, if you don't learn that lesson, you're going to get it, you're going to get it like Mike Tyson says, I'm going to quote mike tyson says we all have a plan. So someone gets punched in the face, that my mouth, my face mouth. And secondly, if I may quote the incomparable Rocky Balboa, it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. And that is a perfect quote for this business, because you're going to get hit, and you're going to be dropped to your knees. And you're going to be sitting like I was across the table from Batman, who wants to be in my movie. And a week later, I'm off the project. And then I go into depression for two years, after a year running around with a monster, this this is this is the shrapnel I had. That's why when I launched my podcast, it was a little grizzled voice. You know, so I just want you guys to be clear about that. I want you to really let that soak in. Because it's very liberating. Once you realize that no one cares. That no one cares. No one gives a crap about anything that you're going through. We don't we care about one thing. being professional, can you get money out of it and so on. Would you agree, sir?

RB Botto 51:18
Well, it's still business. That's not film friends. Not sure it's showbiz, natural friends. You know, if you look throughout the annals of Hollywood history, you would wonder why I mean, you will see some filmmakers that work with the same producers and you know, over and over again, like a Scorsese with an Irwin Winkler, for example. But you look at that, even though there's some films that are Winkler did not want to get on board with Scorsese. I mean, it happens all the time, because they didn't see the value in the project. But they also had that relationship where they can go back to the well over and over and over again, the bottom line is everybody wants to make money in this business. That's what they're here for. And, you know, if you can prove that, you know, as much of the landscape as humanly possible, and that you can control as much of the landscape as possible, you are bringing an enormous value to people think about it. I mean, it's even the same thing. I'm producing films left and right. And every day when you sit there and you look at like, you know, your new book, people that will bring us the tremendous story with great IP, you know, it's based on a true story. They have the rights to the book and everything like that. And you know, we'll start talking about it, we'll say, Okay, is there a screenplay? Yes, there is. Okay, the screenplay is pretty good. Probably needs to be rewritten. And then we start talking to other producers and or production companies, and they'll say, do you have a director? Do you have an actor? Okay, so it's more and more value, because we have six other projects that have, you know, a director attached and an actor attached, same thing, which result in your prison? Maybe not yet. But I mean, I'm saying like, even TV wise, like, you know, one of the things like, there's a couple of projects that are moving around right now that are involved with that, it's like we love the project, but can you get a show runner, you have an active for the lead, because now if you bring in that value, the less work that they have to do, the more value you have. I mean, that's really what there's really when it comes to. And that's why I'm saying you have to know the business, I get out of bed every morning. And this isn't my routine for the last 5678 years, I get out of bed every morning, make my coffee, and I sit down and I read the trades. First thing, and I want to know who's moving where, who's producing what what agents have moved, what managers have moved, what tell us what film production companies now moving into TV, what guide it used to run this shingle has now moved into TV, I need to know that. And then if it has, if one of those people has is moving into a spot where they're producing, you know, crime drama, for example, which I have a couple of these that we're producing, I sit there and I say, Okay, I'm going to give them to, you know, a couple of days to get their furniture in, and you know, get settled, you know, and get, you know, feel, you know, feel good about where their desk is, and then I'm going to send it to them, I'm going to hit them up and say or I'm going to go to somebody at an agency, I know and say, Hey, you know, that guy, throw it over to him. That's an advantage. I know that. Okay. And I'm knowing that at 530 in the morning, you know, when I'm sitting there looking at Big, big advantage, even if it doesn't work, you know what I'm showing these people I'm aware. And you know what will happen? 99% of the time they go, I love when you shake your head, this is my validation, shaking his head the whole way. If there's anybody in this room that understands this is Frank, you know, if they don't like it, you know what, I get 99% of the time. This one isn't right, but you have an open door to bring me the next one and the next one and the next one. Yeah, this is pretty cool. I like it, we're not going to run with it. Or, hey, if you could bring this asset and this asset, bring it back to me. That's the way I mean, it's just this and it's bringing value. It's always value. So I just bring this Script. Everybody has a script. It's bringing the script. And you know, the producer, the other producers who have done things before the showrunner, the right. I mean, the the actor, maybe a director, whatever it is, that's the thing you bringing more and more value makes their job easier.

Alex Ferrari 55:18
So let's open it up for questions because you hit RV and we can talk for hours. So let's, let's open our questions to anyone have any questions?

RB Botto 55:25
What time is the bar open?

Guest 55:33
Okay, awesome question that hopefully relates to everyone. So since you guys are the value adding kings, I love that I think that's super important. I wake up every morning and add value via email. Do you guys ever at any point, find this someone? Maybe you do need something from someone? If you have an added value to that person? Do you ever think you know what, I'm a good person? I've added so much just today? Maybe I try it? Or do you think you know what I haven't add value to them before them interest toxic and wait until halfway through? Was there ever an exception.

Alex Ferrari 56:13
I mean, I mean, what I do is what I do is I design the platform that provides instant value to anybody. So if I want to reach out to somebody, I just go, Hey, I'm gonna be the guest on my show. And that's an automatic value. And then and then they're in my web, as you can see, and, but it's for me, that's, that's the way I do it. So that's one way of value I add right away. But, you know, if you don't know them, and you're just like cold calling them, it's gonna be rough, you're gonna have to figure a way out to do it, I think complimenting or posting or saying, hey, great article. And that's the way a lot of people got my attention online is because I'll post something and I just see someone constantly retweeting me, or, or constantly leaving comments and stuff like that it people do take awareness of that. They're like, Hey, I love what you're doing all of that kind of stuff. And that's a way of providing value to the person. So when you do reach out to them in some way, hey, that, you know, have a question, would you be so kind to ask, cuz you've already, you know, given us a lot of value by commenting and doing things like that, hey, what would you suggest for this, you know, and you start working it that way? It's a slow game, it's a slow, especially depending how big some of these people that you're trying to reach are? And then also do your research? Like, really? Who do you want to reach? And why do you want to reach them? You know, you gotta be you got to be somewhere authentic? And and the kind of value you want to provide for them? Because we'll smell it as well. But do that I think that's a that's a good do the right people?

RB Botto 57:38
Yeah, no, I think it's a great question. I mean, it really is. And I, I have a rule of three. And the rule of three is that I'm going to give three times before I ever asked for a job, right? I didn't read that. But okay. But despite that, but yeah, now my rule of three is I give three times before, you know, at least at least, I tried to give and give. But I appreciate where you're coming from. So I understand where you're looking at it more from a producing, like getting something done and making that connection. What I would say in that case, is that I would say that it's not impossible. And I would say that, yeah, you should go for it. But the way I would go for it is to try to find the connective tissue between why you're asking this person for this particular thing, and how it relates to something that they have done in the past. You know what I mean? So it's not enough to say, you know, Hey, blumhouse, you did this contained horror movie for under $100,000. And guess what, I have a container move. So we have something in common can be good cocktails, you won't get a respect. Don't sit in front of a computer. But there is a way to go to the director of that movie, or maybe one of the producers of that movie and to say, you know, hey, I really enjoyed that movie, I had an asset, a couple of very pertinent questions about it. And to say, you know, I have a, you know, this is project I'm working on that, you know, I would love to be able to maybe ask you a couple of questions, or, you know, any, you know, something that just gives it a little bit more of a connective tissue and makes it more personal. At the end of the day, the thing that gets lost in this business a lot, because you have the perception that people have achieved. I mean, it will certainly you have the fact that people will achieve more or you don't have climbed that ladder, but then there's also this perception that people are untouchable. Nobody's untouchable. At the end of the day, everyone's a human being and everyone has needs and as Francis Ford Coppola famously said, and I agree, they asked Coppola one time he was at the height of his powers after he had done the two godfather movies and he thought Apocalypse Now they said to him, while you know, we took a report and said, you know, you must feel really confident at this point. And he said any artist that was confident with anything at any time is truly an artist. That's the truth. Nobody ever feels. I mean, even Scorsese said recently with the Irishman, they were like, Well, you know, you got to feel really great going, he goes, are you kidding me? Because I'm worried and nobody's gonna show up. And because that's really the worry you have if you're a true artist, you don't think that the arts gonna connect, right? Everybody has insecurities. And everybody wants those insecurities to be served and to be addressed in a lot of ways. And the best way for an artist to have their insecurities addressed as to whether another artists come in and ask them questions. So if you can come in and pipe into that and tap into that, you'll do fine. But just understand also, if you do this 20 times, you might get two responses. And that's okay. Yep. You know what I mean? That's all right. Just don't get discouraged by it. Understand that not everybody, you know, not everybody is social. Not everybody is going to respond. Some people hate email, they just might not respond. So don't, don't get discouraged by that. But I would say if you come from a place of selflessness, and CO and a collaborative spirit, and an artist spirit feel get responses more often than you think.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:08
We're not going to watch your short film. Good.

Guest 1:01:12
So I do have two questions.

RB Botto 1:01:14
But could we only set one?

Guest 1:01:15
Okay, good. So you mentioned game challenge. Of course, at times that can be somewhat subjective, and you're an indie filmmaker, in particular, you're trying to get the biggest name. And yet that's kind of a dichotomy. Do you have a kind of litmus test of betting, you know, that they have talent, because what I wouldn't want to do necessarily, is attach them to quickly and suddenly they become a liability for some asset. And yet, I, you know, I've kind of heard the same thing, and I'm trying to discern the vetting process of that talent, you go to someone like with for pre sales type of thing and say, What do you think about this person?

RB Botto 1:01:52
It completely depends on the film you're trying to make? And I know, Franco, I hope you can just nod your head with this one. It really does, even though it really does. The other question was, you know, going after name talent, like, are you looking at, you know, somebody can bring value presale wise, you look at like, how do you vet it? How do you look at it. So we just did a movie in Chicago, that was the budget was about 250,000, we knew exactly what we were dealing with, we knew exactly what we were going into. It's a story about a lesbian couple that adopts a trial that has Jacob syndrome. And if you're not familiar with Jacob syndrome, that's a male that's born with an extra Y chromosome and causes them to be very aggressive. It's now recognized as being on the Autism scale. But it hadn't been for a long time. So nobody understood what was going on with these children. They were just as prone to violent outbursts and everything like that. Well, we went in, and we said, okay, at $250,000, who's the first thing we ask is, who's the audience? That was fine. And we address that, first and foremost, that was much more important to us than what is the foreign resale value of this film, because a $250,000. And I think you all agree, this movie is not going into 2000, you know, it's not going on 2000 screens, we're gonna have to find a distribution avenue for this thing. And so we kind of went the other way with us. So then it became less, how do we get actors that are going to be valuable overseas, and more, if people are seeing this in a supermarket, or they're on, you know, the red box, or they're out there, you know, are the same, they're watching Netflix on Amazon, if they see a couple of name actors that they recognize where they watch this, you know, this film, above and beyond, of course, marketing and going into film festivals that serve this kind of material. So we hire people like as Sean young, who was in grade one, I mean, always not a household name anymore. So face, Melanie gets a face today, you know, people recognize it. Melanie shandra, who was on a bit of a billion of those Chicago cop shows, and he designed it, you know, a couple of ABC shows, you've read on one of the I forgotten Gabriel blank or whatever now, but it's like Chicago, slash Chicago Fire, but it's one of those. And those are the people that we brought on, they're recognizable faces, in a film with other actors and actresses that are amazing that nobody knows. And we're not worried about it. We're not worried about, you know, what's it going to sell for in Turkey? You know what I mean? Like, what is turkey going to give us for this film, where Mormons are showing work and doing I'm not sure work and I think that the two of us combined. So I'm huge in terms of say I can do it. Are you are you are you not me? They don't know me in Turkey. But you know, you know, I'm saying so really, it's a matter. This is why I come back to this idea want to talk about earlier about understanding the business for us as producers, you know, when I'm producing it's a very, I'm a very interesting hybrid because I'm on Writer, I'm on the creative side, I want to write what I want to write, that doesn't mean that that that's going to produce, like I recognize when I go when sometimes when I write something small, that it's a small indie and man, if this is ever gonna get produced, we're gonna have to get down to the dirt. And we're gonna have to raise that money and, you know, dig it out, and we're not going to get, we're not going to go on 2000 screens, we're going to have to go festival and everything like that. Sometimes I'll write something big. I'm thinking, My God is the lions gateway, you know, but I'm aware of that going in. And it's the same thing when people bring projects to me, I noticed the same thing. For years, we've talked about this, you know, people bring projects, you know exactly what you can do with it. So you really have to sit there and ask yourself, what do I want for this? Where is this project going? And is it just a matter of getting some really cool names, so we get into some festivals, and people recognize it or get some heat? And people may want to buy it, give us some money for it? Or is it something that I think is gonna be much bigger, and I want to go out there and get that kind of talent that gets foreign pre sales, which by the way, that pool is getting smaller and smaller, as we're sitting here. And you know, and everybody that is valuable is going after,

Guest 1:06:05
So you're going after the actual talent, not necessarily the director, writer, town, wherever.

RB Botto 1:06:11
That's true. The writer and director actually came through stage 32, they were one of them, the writer had never written a they were never anything produced before she wrote a great script. And I have to say, she was one of our friends, I submitted scripts, and we picked ours. And it was fantastic. And the director had directed a couple of features, but nothing we would know. She directed actually, oddly enough, and this was total coincidence, she actually directed a short that had asked her about autism. And we were like, well, that's just you know, but that was like five years earlier, we thought the reason that we hired, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:06:46
The one thing I would say, to piggyback what he said is that you can also look, when you're looking at talent, you can make the mistake of going after talent, because you think there's some resale value. I did I did a movie with I don't want to say his name. But there's an actor that we all know. And this, this director is the director, producer paid this actor, you know, 20, grand, 30 grand with the out in the movie. And the problem is, is this actor likes to do a lot of movies. So his value dropped dramatically. So all of a sudden, he thought his key actor that was going to bring them all these sales was so oversaturated that he every time he went to a to a distributor, like I got three of those ways with him, and I can't use it. So it's really dangerous to do that. So you got to be careful about those things and see what the actors also doing. You know, and then secondly, you can also think outside the box when you're thinking about casting, because Who's your audience who's that niche audience. And if you're making a horror movie, you know, someone like Robert England, who's reading, you know, is huge in the horror space. And you can maybe get him for 10 or 15 grand for a day. And that will sell to that audience very easily. Where it doesn't really matter, overseas or anything. This is just this is how you're selling it. So also look at the niche you're doing and who's huge in that niche. I did. I interviewed a guys, some guys who did a movie called range 15. And it was aimed at military and veterans. And what did they do? They peppered it with, you know, Purple Heart waves, you know, and people who were huge in, in the military niche, who never acted before. And all that audience that all that niche audience came running out, and they ended up making over 3 million bucks self distributing it on iTunes and Amazon. But that's another story. But but that's my point. So it's not always just like, Oh, I'm gonna get Nicolas Cage because he's, you know, he pre sells Turkey. You know, it's not about that. I'm sure Nick does personally tell you that. He does. Franco Winchester. So um, but But yeah, be careful with that. It's a it's a dangerous slope. Yes, sir.

Guest 1:08:57
I started to address it

Alex Ferrari 1:08:59
Shut up!

Guest 1:09:02
When you started to address it concerning hiding, right, right, it seems like right. Yeah. Right. And so and so we've discussed this last time. I guess for the writing process starts with loss, potential buyout.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:25
So there's more letters in the word business. And there's the word show. Yeah,absolutely.

Guest 1:09:34
So that's my three. You start writing lots of I've got no in fact, I got a C protection and I'll call my dad sad. Yeah. Anyway, doesn't matter general with us. I think it's a great process in order to hopefully address things that may be maybe want to sell

Alex Ferrari 1:09:59
It's a very slippery slope. The question to everyone for anybody has do curtail the creative process for the business aspect of it. It's a very slippery slope I, I'm of the mindset to, yes, when you're writing and creating art, depending on the budget you're spending, it's how creative you be, if you make a movie for 3000 bucks, you could just kind of show up at Sundance and shoot a movie, you know, but if that movie cost me $300,000, it would be a completely different conversation. So it all depends on the budget range that you're doing is is something that you can are willing to lose. So if you're like, I'm gonna finance a movie for 20 $30,000. Is that your 20 $30,000? Then be as creative as you want. But also, are you looking at it as an artist? Are you looking at it as a business, so you have to look at the business. But if you then start going too far down that road, like, Oh, I'm going to do a horror movie. And I'm going to want to write this and I'm put this in there, because that's what sold before, then you just start getting it all money. And it's it gets it gets a little bit out of control. So there's a balance between the art and the business, you've got to find that balance. But I personally when I go after project, or what I consult filmmakers, I'm like, look at the business, don't just look at the art, you can't go deep on one way or the other, you got to kind of ride that line both ways.

RB Botto 1:11:09
I totally agree. I'm not chasing the market do not chase the market. It's like the stock market, it plays 18 months out. Yeah, that I mean, so don't chase it. romantic comedies were dead. 18 months ago, now we're doing gigantic comedy contests with getting media to find romantic comedies. So don't chase the market. He spoke to the film, and they'll speak to the writing as well. At the end of the day, you're in control, you are the CEO of you. This is what a lot of creatives forget, they want to get a manager because they think the manager is going to run their career. Bullshit the article you write straight out, they might want to manage a project, they might want to manage one script, or maybe a couple of things. You may have 10 others in a drawer that you really love. But guess what, they're not running with those because they have 15 other clients, and 15 other things that can make them money. So it's up to you to go run with those. For me, I write what I want to write, it doesn't matter how small or how big it is. But if I'm writing something small, I mean, a small indie like something that I know is sort of that art house kind of thing, that I know that it's going to be a lot of work. And I might have to go produce this thing myself, or try to bring it along someplace, to people that might want to run with it, or I'm gonna have to find a champion of this kind of material or the subject matter that's going to want to run with it to raise the money. I know, it's going to be a two, three year four year process. It's going to be a while right? One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from my manager, who was one of the biggest managers in the business, who I just recently fired. And I fired him because I'm the CEO of my creative career. And he was working from nothing A lot of people don't understand, he works for me, I don't work for him. He forgot that. Okay. And I reminded of them, you know, write the name of God facts and not a lot changed. And he was a guy that's been doing it for 30 years, 30 years, one of the biggest names in the business, but because he's been doing it 30 years of being one of the biggest names in the business. This guy's kept you know, this guy's catcher residual checks in his mailbox every day, that he's not waking up in the morning going, Oh, shit, I gotta go to work and Arby's thing, right? They got me in my gig at noon. He's thinking about it. But at nine o'clock in the morning, he's not I want the guy or the girl example waking up at five in the morning going my comp man go go run with Arby's thing. Okay, so I fired him. But when it but I still got one of the greatest pieces of advice from him. He said, You write characters. So well. He goes this so fantastic. He goes, but you're writing them in this small world. Okay? Because if you could take the same characters and find that bigger world, you'd be Writing Studio type films, I don't really run a rights to do if I post by God, what he was saying, this is where the money is. If I'm selling a $1 million movie, and I'm taking 10% of that. I'm not too enthused, but if I'm selling something to Lions, gay, the gammas are gonna whatever and I'm gonna make, you know, you're making this and your rate goes to this and I'm making 10% of that. Now we're talking. Okay? If you think about every movie, Starwars, all the way down to like beasts of the Southern wild. Okay. The common denominator is characters. Yeah, its themes. Its relationships. It's what all it is. It's just the difference between vsas southern island and Star Wars is that Star Wars happens in space. And if chases and there's things going on, and it's expensive

Alex Ferrari 1:14:46
Based on course, I was hitting fortress, which was a huge nerd. It's a small movie,

RB Botto 1:14:51
But what you get my point? Thank you. Are you kidding me right now. But you get where I'm coming from.Today write what you want to write But if you're good at writing a packet that is unbelievable. You're good at writing characters, you get it, you can tell you, you'll have the confidence to know that you could take that and put it into something much bigger. You look at a movie, like the sixth sense, is that based on something geeky? I don't know, No, I wasn't originally just Yeah. Okay. But if you look at something like that, I mean, that the friendship, the laws that there is a covenant that you walk home, and every movie has the same common theme. It's just the world that you put them into. So at the end of the day, write what you want. But if you understand if you don't understand if you're writing something small, it might not get you that big manager might not get you that big agent is there in the 10% business mostly. Okay, except the ones that are dealing with the W VA right now. Don't get me started. I could spend another five hours, but I'm saying, but you get my point, right? If you're not making the money, work, you're not showing that potentially make them money. But again, you know, at the end of the day guy, like Originally, we already have it laid. I think he's made it for me guys like this, make a career out of that, you know, making the smaller move with Dave carried it the whole way sort of her, you know, I mean, he's, you know, he's he's carrying it the whole issue of his iPhone, you know, Paramount's not giving him 50 million to shoot it on the iPhone, he's going out and saying, I'll do it for two. And I'll release that. That's the difference. You have to know that you have to know.

Alex Ferrari 1:16:31
To be fair, I do have a lot of size Yoda at my house. So I've seen that too. It's right next to the hospital toilet there has to be Fidel and George Lucas autographed lunchbox. But that's just me. Any other questions? And you want to say something? Every time I see your face come up on my Facebook feed. I'm sorry. Yeah. I love it. You want to hit him in the ass? That's kind of way I feel she's talking. Sorry. I'm sorry. Go ahead. I love like it's your little Facebook. So I'm like, oh my god. It's Alex. I've been fired. Thank you so much. Actually. It says, My little Santa little circle. I appreciate I do appreciate that. That's how I feel every time I see it. Every time a vegetable pops up. I think I get so inspired. I don't know. Harvey hasn't eaten the vegetable since 85. Any other questions, guys? Last Chance going once. Going twice.

RB Botto 1:17:39
Oh yeah. If I could just say before you leave. So tomorrow night, we are screening our short film program. It's a fourth. So again, knowing I know a lot of you are not familiar with stage 32. This is kind of one of the things that we do. amongst many, well, we have a short film contest every year that we run, where we curate, we you know, we take six or seven films there. They're all judged by usually the Oscar winning the Oscar winner of the short film, or the short film winning directors from the previous year for the Oscars, along with a ton of industry people. And we end up curating a program of 67 films that we take to kind of take it into and we take it to rain dance. We're taking it to Austin this year. And we've screened it for the last four years here at Holly shorts. It'll be tomorrow night at 730. It'll be our fourth annual and a bunch of of filmmakers will be here as well. So if you guys are here, you'll get to see the partner.

Alex Ferrari 1:18:37
And one thing before we go guys, I want everyone to take out their phones and download the stationery to app. And then also go wherever you listen to your podcast and subscribe to any film, hustle, bulletproof screenwriting and the filter printer podcast. It's free. It's an insane amount of information that we pop out all the time and stay true to it is I mean, come on. It's free. Why wouldn't you

RB Botto 1:18:59
And the book the book that enter your selling your buggy code or yours the book that Amanda is going to have the book I wrote is called crowdsourcing for filmmakers. crowdsourcing is not crowdfunding. It's about everything that we talked about tonight. It's just it's about identifying, engaging and moving an audience for your brand and the brand new your film and your brand develop brand new films and brand new projects, all that it's all about how to go about the best practices for building an audience for you and your brand. Also, they should take out their phone and follow you on Instagram on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook indie film hustle and I MRV water Google bar and I will be walking into a bar right now if you want to have any conversation so there you go.

Alex Ferrari 1:19:44
And I'll be selling my book as well shooting for the mob that I almost made $20 million dollars. Thank you guys.

RB Botto 1:19:51
Thank you guys.

Alex Ferrari 1:19:53
I want to thank RB for coming by and just you we just had such a good time. We always have a good time when we talk to each other Thank you to Danny and Theo the cofounders of the Hollyshorts Film Festival for allowing me and RB to go up there and just talk and just have a good old time. If you guys have short films, Hollyshorts is arguably the best Short Film Festival in the world. So definitely check them out. I'll put their links in the show notes. If you want to go to the show notes just head over to indiefilmhustle.com/341. And as a bonus, if you haven't heard on episode 11 of the filmtrepreneur podcast, I posted in that episode, my workshop on how to become a filmtrepreneur and if you want to check that episode out, head over to filmtrepreneur.com/011 or just check the show notes for a link. Thank you guys for listening. I really, really appreciate all the support. If you haven't already, head over to filmmaking podcast, com Subscribe, leave a review it really helps our rankings out on Apple podcasts. Thank you again so so much for all the love all the support all the emails and messages I'm getting all the time from you guys. I'm so glad that this show and all the work that I'm doing is helping you on your journeys, guys. So as always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 230: CrowdSourcing and Building an Audience for Yourself with RB Botto

Right-click here to download the MP3

So today on the show we have to return champion RB Botto from Stage32.com. RB has been on the show six times. Between film festival panels, interviews, and  Sundance. He’s always a favorite of the IFH Tribe so I thought it was time to bring him back. He finally finished writing his remarkable new book Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd.

Here’s some info on the book.

Whether you’re a producer, screenwriter, filmmaker, or other creative, you probably have a project that needs constant exposure, or a product to promote. But how do you rise above the noise?

In Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd, Richard Botto explains how to put crowdsourcing to use for your creative project, using social media, networking, branding, crowdfunding, and an understanding of your audience to build effective crowdsourcing campaigns, sourcing everything from film equipment to shooting locations.

Botto covers all aspects of crowdsourcing: how to create the message of your brand, project, or initiative; how to mold, shape, and adjust it based on mass response; how to broadcast a message to a targeted group and engage those with similar likes, beliefs, or interests; and finally, how to cultivate those relationships to the point where the message is no longer put forth solely by you, but carried and broadcasted by those who have responded to it. Using a wealth of case studies and practical know-how based on his years of experience in the industry and as the founder of Stage 32―the largest crowdsourced platform for film creatives―Richard Botto presents a comprehensive and hands-on guide to crowdsourcing creatively and expertly putting your audience to work on your behalf.

This is an EPIC interview. Over two hours but it is FULL of knowledge bombs. We also discuss how I pulled RB out of acting retirement to play a big part in my new feature film “On the Corner of Ego and Desire.” I promise you this is a fun episode!

Enjoy my conversation with RB Botto.

Alex Ferrari 0:18
And today we're going to be talking about crowdsourcing for filmmakers, how to actually build an audience how to, you know, really use the power of the crowd. And his new book is called crowdsourcing for filmmakers indie film and the power of the crowd, which is presented by the American Film market, which is a pretty big deal. They don't pick many books a year to put their name on. So I've read the book, it's amazing, he really gets into the details, and the weeds of how to really understand building that tribe building that audience up, how to work with them, how to provide value to them, and how to have that crowd support you support your projects, and what you're trying to do as an artist and as a creative. And this is such an invaluable topic to talk about. Because so many filmmakers I talked to have no understanding about social media, have no understanding about how to create an audience or how to interact with an audience. Even once you've created one. It's just, it's just such a kind of black magic art form, if you will. And me and RB really sit down and of course, epic conversation, you know, every time we and RB sit down talk, it runs. So we're close to two hours on this episode. Because that's just the way we roll out. But there's so much information in there, there is a ton of knowledge bombs in there. So please take a listen to the whole thing. I think you're really going to like it a lot. Oh, and there's also a little treat, we also discuss our bs part in my new feature film on the corner of ego and desire. I pulled him out of retirement for acting. And he does have a part in the movie a very significant part. And we will talk about that as well. So without any further ado, here is my conversation with RB Botto from stage 32. I like to welcome back to the show returning champion RB Botto from stage 32. Brother, thank you so much for coming back on.

RB Botto 4:09
Thank you for having me back. What five times now?

Alex Ferrari 4:12
This is our fifth time I think at least the fifth one you are the record holder on the podcast for most recurring guest between our Holly shorts. conferences, our Sundance interview and the original interview that launched our relationship back in 20. Number 29 and we're now at 220 as of as of this recording 228

RB Botto 4:40
While in you know i in post I want the ringside bell to ring for the champ and of course you know it's like sort of like the saying it like five time host club right I get to be the first one right?

Alex Ferrari 4:52
The what you call it the the bathrobe is on its way. The bathroom, right yes, the bath Yeah. I may be wearing one right now. But for some strange reason, I think you are sorry. I just don't know why. Smoking or smoking a cigar. There's a Manhattan in your hand I just said. Yes. Yes. So we're here today to talk about your book that took you 75 years to write.

RB Botto 5:18
Yeah. and a half 75 and a half.

Alex Ferrari 5:21
I think we were talking about this when I first interviewed you, too. It's called crowdsourcing for filmmakers, indie film and the power of the crowd. Yeah. And it apparently is a runaway success right now. It's doing very well. You said, Your publishers very happy.

RB Botto 5:38
Yeah. So I've been told by focal it's one of the best selling titles that they've had. And they've been around for 20 something years. You know, it's under the the American Film market presents banner, which I think they all you know, AFM picks, maybe two or three titles a year for that. So I don't think that that's hurt me at all. And I'm very pleased with that. And, you know, the reviews have been off the charts that he was always 5055 star reviews on Amazon already, which I'm very, very pleased with. I'm always pleased when people leave these reviews, I actually got one one star review where I have a complaint was that I gave examples. That was that was the that was the problem that you got, which is that was the review. If you like examples, this is a book for you. I was like, I feel like that should be fine.

Alex Ferrari 6:25
If you want information about crowdsourcing for filmmakers, this effin book is for you.

RB Botto 6:32
Oh, no, don't buy it. I was like, I was like, maybe they were dyslexic or something. Maybe they thought a dyslexic with the stars. Maybe they thought maybe one than five. I don't know.

Alex Ferrari 6:42
Everybody has an opinion. There's always a hater out there. Trust me, you know it as well as I do. I'm sure you've had your, your taste of haterade in your in your day?

RB Botto 6:52
In my day? Yes, yes. But um, you know, but 55 star reviews. So I'll take those over the the one, you know, I gave too much information.

Alex Ferrari 7:02
But the funny thing is, Isn't it crazy how we artists are that you could have 1000 positive reviews, but the one negative one is the one that sticks in your, in your head.

RB Botto 7:12
Now, well, sometimes, sometimes sometimes I will say this and you know, because I don't want this to be a negative thing. There have been so many people that have written so many beautiful things on Amazon have written me about this book and talked about how it's changed their entire perspective, in some cases, changed their lives. Because you know, with the life changing part of it not to sound dramatic, or you know, like, like, Oh, my God, I'm, you know, curing cancer, you know, curing cancer here or whatever, but it but where it's the life changing ones have come in the context of, you know, I was ready to give off, because, you know, I didn't understand how to build an audience, I couldn't get any traction, you know, I had some things that failed, I didn't understand how to do it. And that's extremely rewarding. And, and, you know, some of these people have written just beautiful, beautiful reviews, and send me photos with the book and things like that, because that's part of my ask at the end of the book. So I can't say enough. And if you're listening, and you are one of the people that left one of those unbelievable reviews, I can't tell you how grateful I am because you can't leave a note on Amazon, they don't allow you to do that. So I'm saying, you know,

Alex Ferrari 8:16
Yeah, it's, it's wonderful. When you get good reviews, it's it's, it makes you feel like you can keep going, hmm, you know, because it what we do is not easy.

RB Botto 8:24
No. And it's like we were talking about welfare. Look, nobody's getting rich off this book. And I never went into this thinking that, you know, thinking that I was going to break the bank or you know, that I was going to be you know, trading publishing notes with Stephen King anytime soon, or with you know, any any other bestseller author that you personally know that you can think of, but but you know, I wrote it because, you know, when I was asked, and to because I felt like I had something to offer and I could bring some value to people and for people to creatives to recognize that. That is well worth it. And as made the whole journey. very rewarding.

Alex Ferrari 8:58
Yeah. Unless your name is king rolling or Patterson, you're really making a whole lot of money on book sales. No. Not really. So let's get into so what is the difference between crowdsourcing and crowdfunding? Because I know there's a lot of misconceptions this understanding of in regards to both

RB Botto 9:15
Yeah, it misunderstandings, misconceptions, and I want to settle one other one before we jump into that, and that is, you know, the book is called crowdsourcing for filmmakers. You know, we talked about this a little bit and I was talking about over the weekend at film con, the conference that we hosted that, you know, it's not I went I kind of went to the mattresses with my publishers about this because I wanted it to be called don't crowd source of film creatives, because really, the reality of the situation is the strategies and all the information within is applicable to actors, screenwriters, filmmakers, cinematographers crew people, and then beyond the I mean, folco publishes film books. So that's why this is, you know, a filmmaking book, but realistically, it's for entrepreneurs and business people, the tenants and the strategies and the rules of If you will, are applicable to everyone looking to build an audience for the brand of them the brand that their projects, you know, the back the brand of their products, it doesn't matter. It's really for everybody. So I just want to clear that up because a lot of people just say, oh man, filmmakers wants to do one for screenwriters. And I'm like, No, no, no, no, it's the same. It's the same thing. It's fulfilling, creative. And and again, even if you're an entrepreneur, and I consider all creatives to be entrepreneurs, because really, you are the CEO as the CFO. Yeah, you're the CEO of you. But crowdsourcing and crowdfunding us, yes. People will always say to me, thank you for writing this book, I'm looking to raise money and hold on. Crowd funding, I'm gonna give you the good news and the bad news. It's not a crowdfunding book. But that's, that's just kind of bad news. The good news, there's a lot of good news. The good news is, is that well, let me define it first, crowdfunding is raising funds, either to equity based or reward based crowdfunding, you know, you go to the audience, you raise funds, that you they either get a piece of an equity based crowdfunding to get a piece of the film in rewards base, they usually get some sort of either tchotchke, or reward or you know, an EP, depending on what you know, the person that's running the project wants to give away. And then crowdsourcing is all about identifying, engaging and moving an audience on behalf of you, the brand of you the brand of your projects, the brand of your products. And it's all about how do you go about finding who that audience is, engaging them in a proper way, giving them ownership of what you're doing, getting them involved in what you're doing to the point where they're so passionate about you, or the project, or in some cases bold, and you can talk about that a little bit as long that they want to move on your behalf, to spread the word for you and to go out there and build an army of support you or this you have an army of supporters like you know, as I like to say boots on the ground, that are going out and spreading like wildfire. The word of you, your your projects or your brand, the brand of you the brand, the projects or the brand that your products.

Alex Ferrari 12:14
Now, you touched on something a little earlier, right before the that all creatives should be entrepreneurs, I really want to focus a little bit on that quote on that statement, because it's something that I preach constantly and so many filmmakers, so many screenwriters, so many creatives don't think of themselves as entrepreneurs, they just like, Oh, I'm just a work for hire, or I'm just an artist, I don't want to think about that kind of stuff. I think in today's world, if you do not think yourself as an entrepreneur, you're you the chances of you making it. Even if you're in the studio system even or going after the studio system kind of work. You still have to think of yourself as an entrepreneur, do you agree?

RB Botto 12:53
Not only do I agree, but I think it's the reason why the subject of crowdsourcing at this moment is legitimately and seriously the most important thing that we could be discussing, because we're living in a DIY world, all right, we're living in. And what I mean by DIY world is that there is more content being created than ever, there are more people trying to take control of their material than ever before. There are more creatives that have worked in one space, let's say as an actor, or as a screenwriter, who now wants to become filmmakers or producers so that he can control their own content that are going out there trying to find their own financing. It is more important than ever, to understand the concepts and the tenants of crowdsourcing, because the idea is you are an entrepreneur, and you do have a brand. And you may even have brands that have sort of sub brands, if you will. So everybody is trying to fight for that same little piece of ground, right? Everybody is on social media trying to rise above the noise, I mean, get into some best practices and everything like that. The question becomes how do you separate yourself from the pack? How do you identify how do you identify an audience for what you're looking to do? What your projects are about who you know what you're about in general, and then engage them in such a way that they become champions of you in this business? You are nothing without champions, you are nothing without relationships. And the problem is that there's so many people in this business that all they concern themselves with his the craft, but the reality of the situation is you have to understand the business and you have to understand the brand of you and where it fits in, and how you're going to attract an army of people that are going to go to war for you and in support of you. That is really what separates out the people that have major success and the people who don't I always say if you look at two equally talented people, if you will. The one that has the most success isn't the lucky You want to hear when people say, they're so lucky. It's not luck. They are putting themselves in the best position to win. They're building the right relationships. They've fought there. They're nurturing those relationships. They're asking their audience and the people that they, you know, they the the army that they built to go out on their behalf because they built that audience in a selfless giving way in a given way that that presented value the whole way through. Those are the people that are winning every day. They just are

Alex Ferrari 15:31
Who is the director of Jurassic World? It was also the safety not included. Jesus, you know, I'm talking about right I do know you're talking about God after looking up. But that director, he went from safety not guaranteed, which was a small indie movie, which was like under 3 million $4 million, who starred Mark duplass to Jurassic World. And people were like, How the hell did that happen, and from what I heard on the street, was that he had champions. No doubt he had been writing for a while, but he always was in the conversation for these big movies for these big tentpole movies to the point where his name finally came up. I think from what I heard that he had made a relationship with Brad Pitt. And I think at the last point, Steven Spielberg even said, He's okay, he's good. And that's the way he walked in. Because you don't get a map a map a major franchise relaunching a major franchise like that, without some champions,

RB Botto 16:31
There's no question and I'll tell you what I mean, I'm kind of in a unique position where, you know, I've worked as a, you know, an actor or Writer Producer, throughout my career, or an actor, or let's say, just on the front end as an actor and a writer. And then I've been on the other side, where I've worked as a producer, where talent is sort of coming to me or where you know, the money, we're going to get the money and everything like that, I've seen it for both ends. And the reality of the situation is, is that more often than not, and especially more often, in this day and age, if it comes down to, you know, making a decision on a couple of different people are in the direction you're going more often than not, and I would say, I mean, I would literally say like 99.9 times out of 100, the person that comes with that army of support behind them, the person that comes with those champions, the champions, speaking loudly for that person to either get that role or be involved in the project, or get that gig, whatever the hell it is. That's the person that usually gets it. Okay. And it least always gets them in the room. And I actually saw this recently on a screenplay that I wrote, that is a cover medium, we were attaching our director, the director, you know, it can't get too far into this story, because it's still evolving and everything like that. But but it was a situation where some of the people on the team said, okay, there's some accomplishments there. But you know, there's some other there's some other directors in play. And you know, they have, you know, maybe their accomplishments are a little bit more, the credits are a little bit stronger. There may be, you know, they had a hit more, you know, more recently, and things like that. But there were a few of us that said, No, you know, what, get in the room, let him in the room, you have to see the way this guy handles room you got to see. And we went down that road. And sure enough that you know, because there were these voices that were trusted voices in the room, which we were they said, Okay, let's let's hear it. I don't hear him out. And he went any one over the room twice,

Alex Ferrari 18:32
But without but without those voices, you'd never get in the room,

RB Botto 18:34
He wouldn't have been on the list, he would have been off the list because we were going down the list one by one going at Nah, man, maybe at Yeah, he's on yet. We'll talk to him yet. And that's what we were doing now. So the whole meeting was about, and it was one of these things were like, Nah, I don't know, I don't know. And that was like, Alright, if you guys really believe that, we trust what you're saying. And we believe you guys. And we know you guys, we never want to hurt the project. And, you know, let's Let's have him in, and it mattered. And this is a guy that networks all the time. This is a guy that is out there. And he networks in a very selfless way, anytime you're in this guy's company. And he knows people around him. He's making introductions, it's not always about him. It's it's that selflessness thing that we always talk about that rule of three, you know, that we always talk about, you know, give three times before you ask for anything, he has a lot of that in him. And that's it, you know, the most successful people who crowdsource and the most successful people that build relationships really have that image to kind of embrace or they learned that, you know, people can learn it. But you know, it's adapting that sort of mindset. You know what I mean? And most people don't have that most people don't

Alex Ferrari 19:42
And it's also like, I know of a guy, a friend of mine, who works for a company that does stuff, you know, for film, film industry. And he's constantly connecting me with people. Like he's like introducing constant introducing it, and then I always try to do that as much as possible. And then I've introduced people to you, you've introduced me To me, it's just something that we do like, Oh, these guys will get along great, boom, here you go. And I do it selfishly like no reason I'm not asking anything of it. I'm like, I just wanted to put two people who I think will do good together, or it shouldn't meet each other, meet them. And if something happens one day in the future about a great, but it's not even my thought process. It's just about helping those people selflessly at that moment.

RB Botto 20:23
Yeah, I mean, kindness generosity pays. I mean, I you know, it sounds so cliche, but it really isn't. I mean, it this is a business of, it's a small business, and people really do want to help each other. And it's, you know, that the people in this industry, a lot of them get a bad rap. And that's not to say that there aren't selfish people and egotistical people in this business, they certainly are they usually at the highest level, and you know, they then probably not in a position where they feel like they need to give but there are so many people in this industry who do want to give I mean, it I'm at meetings all the time where people are, how can I help you? What can I do for you? And I love that. And I mean, I there isn't one meeting that I don't go into without it's not a question that I asked. And usually, it's the first question I asked, What are you up to? Well, one of the first like, What are you up to? Anyway, I can help you. Anyway, I can help you get what you're looking to do right now or help you get where you're looking to go right now. That's, that's not a game. You know what I mean? That's, that's inbred in me. I know, it's important. Okay. And I know, it's part of relationship building. And I, you know, it's not like you said, it's not like I'm looking for something in return. It's just that look, this is the way that you build long lasting and fruitful relationships. And it's weird, because you know, you and I've had this conversation a lot. For some people that are listening to this right now they're gonna go like, Well, you know, Isn't that obvious? You may think so No, I'll tell you what, if you really think it's that obvious, here's what I challenge you to do. Go on Twitter, and click on your home screen and start scrolling through scrolling through to start looking through your stream. And you'll see how many people have the wrong approach. It's insane. And I always talk about having a competitive advantage in this business and trying to find every competitive advantage, you can get the people that actually handle themselves well on social media, and understand how to manage their brand on social media have a competitive advantage over probably 90% of the people out there. And that's not something that you could put into practice today. You know what I mean? So it does matter. And it does have an impact. And then I can tell you stories where it's had an impact where people haven't gotten jobs, just simply because of the way that they handle themselves, either in a room or on online.

Alex Ferrari 22:29
Yeah, absolutely. And just to go back to what we were talking about earlier, the director's name is Collin, tremolo. Calm traveler. So now everybody's like, Oh, thank God. It was, it was by driving people listen to crazy, like, Who is that? Or the opposite? Like, it's called an Alex? I call it? I mean, seriously? Yeah.

RB Botto 22:47
Somebody, somebody screamed his name out while running on the treadmill. And I am just looking at them. Right,

Alex Ferrari 22:54
Exactly. Now, what are some common mistakes when crowdsourcing or just doing social media in general?

RB Botto 23:01
Well, you know, when you get on social media, when you sign up for any account, you know, for any platform, you're really basically being handed a microphone, right? So that microphone, you know, now you have direct access to people and you have an amplified voice. That's fantastic. But that doesn't mean that you go into the middle of a crowd. Now think about this, if you were on a city street, you wouldn't run into the middle of a crowd and go me, you know, like me, look at me, me. But that's really what you're doing on social media. And a lot of people do that. And nothing makes me to now faster than somebody that their first point of contact with me is, look at my checkout my help me with, you know, that kind of thing that bothers the hell out of me, okay. I always say like, you know, treat your online persona and treat your online behavior the same way that you would offline. So, you know, if you're going I think that people get so freakin crazy behind their screens, that they don't realize that this is a human interaction, because all they see is a you know, an icon or an avatar or whatever, right? They don't, they don't realize that it's, it's a, it's a human thing. And it really is, it's a relationship thing. So for me, you know, if I'm looking to go connect with somebody, and everybody is accessible pretty much on social media, and there's been plenty of times that I have gone, searching for, or, you know, trying to connect with somebody who has achieved a very high level of success and you know, may not want to respond to me, what I always try to do is, first of all, I do my research, because that's another huge mistake that people make, they have no idea who they're talking to, or they have, they know the name, but they know nothing about them, or they think about what and you know, and they approach them in a way that, again, is not only selfish, but maybe it's coming from a place that's not very knowledgeable, those people get ignored to me if I'm approaching somebody for the first time. Not only am I going to make it about them, but I'm going to make it personal in a way that makes them realize it and that you know, I'm Like I talk to them about the biggest success or the most obvious thing, I'm going to talk to them about something that, you know, a video that I saw that where they talked about a specific thing five years ago Why, you know, do you still think like, that is times, you know, times change, like, you know, you make it something that makes them go, Wow, this guy really, you know, knows a little bit about me and made it personal. That's another mistake that people make, they don't know who their target is, you know, they don't understand who they're going after and who they're talking to. So those are two, you know, two obvious ones, I guess a little bit in a way, again, to some people, but not very obvious. I mean, again, even on stage 32, you know, I'll get hit up every day, even on like Instagram or Twitter, where people will send me direct messages and say, What is stage? 32? Calm? Right? And I'll say, well, the time it took you to write that you could have typed that into a browser. And you could have figured out what stage 32 comm is like, you don't I mean, it's, it's an awareness thing. It's again, what would you do in a real life? I hate saying real life and online life. But you know, some people relate to that in, you know, a real life confrontation or in a real life. Engagement. What would you do do the same thing online? You know, be again, just be selfless. I mean, that's, that's a good way in, you know, the other mistake that people make is that they did that they post again, I feel like I'm saying, material that they post is, you know, again, like, here's a clip from my film, here's a clip. And it's like, No, no, no, share content, ask questions, be personal. Be a communicator, don't be a broadcast to be a communicator. And I think that's probably the biggest mistake on social media is that people a broadcast is not communicators.

Alex Ferrari 26:45
Yeah, without question. And I think one of the stories that you have in your in your little bag of tricks that you always bring out, which I love is the Austin Film Festival story. Can you tell us the Can you tell that story? Because it's, it's so it's such an allegory. It is and it's in the book. So, you know, I'm gonna tell us, does she still buy the book? No, I thought it was a few other things in the book

RB Botto 27:08
On his stuff in the book, but yeah, the Austin Film Festival story is is just an unbelievable one. And it's alright, so there, there is a director the Austin Film Festival, if you're not familiar with it is a screenwriting centric. It's a film festival, but the conference that's attached to it is a screenwriter centric conference. So everything revolves around screenwriting. They got some very, very good panelists down there and speakers down there. They're usually pretty accomplished screenwriters, or at least some of them are one of them that is down there kind of often is somebody you would all know, I'm not going to name a somebody you would all know, he has a couple of Oscars to his name,

Alex Ferrari 27:45
You've got it. You gotta tell me that his name off off air.

RB Botto 27:47
Yeah. And he's, you know, he's a writer, director. And, you know, he's written some of the biggest blockbusters of all time, you also wrote some really great independent films and directed some of those. And then he kind of fell out of favor. And now he's kind of back in vogue again, as these things happen in Hollywood, especially in the studio system. But anyway, he was down at the Austin Film Festival and I got to you know, he's, he's, he suffers no fools this guy, and it's just an interesting gap, man. And I had seen him like sort of eviscerate somebody the year before and on a panel asking a stupid question and him and I kind of became friends, we would we would sit down in between panels sometimes because it at the Austin Film Festival, there was a lot, it is a hotel bar that everybody goes to after the panels are over. And that's one of the beautiful things about it is that the writers can mingle with the panelists and the panelists hang out and everything like that. So he said to me, let's go grab a drink before the last panel glitched out because then you know, it's gonna be madness. And I said, Okay, fantastic. And we were sitting on the couch in the bar, having a cocktail, and all of a sudden the panels, the last panel comes out, and now they come rushing in. And there's a line of people that are starting to e4 is Weinstein to form sort of in front of them. And he goes, Okay, here we go, here we go. And he says, Alright, here's what we're gonna do. He goes, one at a time, he goes in, and the rest of you line up at least 10 feet behind, because he didn't want anyone behind, overhearing his conversation with anyone who was speaking to us. So the first guy comes up, and he's all swagger. And I wish I could, you know, wish this wasn't all audio, because I would act it out. And it's, it's great. I mean, it really is great. He's all swagger. And I mean, it was one of these things where I mean, I think the guy took two steps. And I was like, Man, this is gonna end badly. This is the I didn't open his mouth yet. But I'm like, this is the energy was just flowing. And like, this is just gonna end badly. You could just see it, the body language, the swagger. And he walks up and he says, How you doing? He goes, my name is Joe. And he's like, he starts going into this whole thing because I have this screenplay. And in the end, he just launches. I mean, he just wants us into this thing. And this writer director who is being pitched now Just starts looking around the room starts sipping his drink, he checks out the TV where ESPN is playing. He's doing everything he gleaned back to me. And he said, You want another when the waitress came by, and this guy, the the guy pitching didn't skip a beat just kept going. Sure. And didn't I mean, didn't make eye contact with this guy wants.

Alex Ferrari 30:21
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

RB Botto 30:32
So finally, he hits the end, Joe hits the end. And he says, so when you think you want to read my script, and this guy says to him, he goes, I'm sorry. He goes, were you talking to me this entire time? And he took the stupid, he put his hand out and he goes, I'm any set name. There's an AI says name. And he said, What was your name? And the guy was like, the kids like, you know, Joe. He goes, Joe, he goes, so this entire time, because I'm assuming because I guess you were just pitching me your screenplay. And he said, Well, yeah. And he goes, Well, Joey goes, let me tell you something. He goes, if I was stranded on a desert island, he goes in all my favorite books washed out to see I wouldn't read the fucking screenplay. Whose next?Show Next comes up.

Alex Ferrari 31:27
So he just walked away with his tail between his legs. He Yeah, he was just like, completely devastated that

RB Botto 31:33
Well, yeah. And, and deservedly so. And deservedly so I think this was this was, this was a guy that should have known better. You know what I mean, you know, and he wasn't 15 years old. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. So he walks away, and up comes this woman. And, you know, probably I would say, you know, maybe 24,25. And she says, you know, she introduces herself, she shakes his hand. And she says to him, and this is her opening. She says, You know, I wanted to ask you a question about, and she names a film that was his biggest bomb, by far, okay, and indie film that just completely bombed. And she said, there's a scene in the film, where this actress says this line, and she said the line, she goes, and I couldn't help but feel that maybe the actress improv that line that maybe you know that it might not have been written that way. And I'm just curious, did you decide to write it that way? Or was that an actor choice or hard choice? And he just looked at her like, he was dumbfounded. And he did our and he said, okay, two things. He goes, first of all, he goes outside of my wife, he goes to the only person that seen this movie. Because I think it opened at nine o'clock, and he goes at the landmark in LA, and I think it was out of theaters by 903. Second of all, he goes, I can't believe not only that, you recognize this in the scene. He goes, but that this is what you wanted to ask me about. He goes, You are 100%, right? He goes, I wrote that scene. 10 times he goes, we could not get it. Right. I guess we just was not working. And the actress said to me, let me take a shot at it. And I said, Okay, and she nailed it. And we were like, Holy hell, let's move on. So he said to her, he goes the tummy every Tell me about you. Okay, because it's not going to be the neck the natural next question, right. And she went into all about her writing and everything she did, and you know, and and what she was working on right now. And he reaches into his back pocket, and he pulls out a business card. And he says to her, I come down here every year with three of these cards. Most years, I go home with all three, you should when you go home, you send me the script that you think is the best that you would like me to read, I will read it, I will call you and we will go over it. And I will see if I can help. Okay, not only did he do that, and then you follow through on his promise, but he he ended up helping her get her Rep. Her manager, he ended up helping her get her eight that led to her getting her agent. And today they are still very, very close friends to the point where He sends her draft is great. And again, if you knew who this was,

Alex Ferrari 34:35
I can't wait to find

RB Botto 34:38
The fact that this woman is getting drafts of these scripts in complete confidence you will be completed some people on this listening to this podcast would be jealous enough to run into traffic. So but that just goes to show you it's all about approach. It he made it she made it about him and what a lot of people in this business don't realize is that you know So many people are so anxious to come. I mean, they even have film calm. But you know, we just did this conference. Like I said, they got like at the LA Convention Center, it was 14 hours. And I was being pulled in a million directions. three panels you saw

Alex Ferrari 35:12
Yeah. So you were beat up left and right, man,

RB Botto 35:15
Even at the end of what, 13 hour day, I had somebody come up to me and say, you can can I take five minutes to pitch you my script? And I was like, You got to be kidding me. I don't know you.

Alex Ferrari 35:25
Well, let me ask you a question. But I want to ask you like you What if they pitch you your script? What are they expecting you to do with that?

RB Botto 35:30
Well, because they know I produce, right, you know, and so they're thinking, like, if you're looking for something or whatever.

Alex Ferrari 35:36
Nobody knows what you produce. But you I mean, but you're a busy Dude, I don't, I don't see like you producing 20 movies this year. No question. But the other part of it too, is that, you know, it's the point, the point is that, like, Come on

RB Botto 35:48
14 hours a night, why not come up to me and say, Hey, this mine, I'm so and so and, and, you know, thank you so much for today. Thank you for putting this on. I learned so much, you know, maybe some way down the road, you know, or even like, ask me, like, what are you working on right now, like outside of doing this? So you get my point? It's Yeah, it's appropriate approach. It's approach approach. I know it's funny, I will, I will end this story by saying, I you know, at the following year, I sat down with this, this Writer Director again, and we I drank and I reminded him of I told him I was putting this into the into the book and and wasn't gonna name and everything and I, but I leaned over and I was stalling into the first part of the story, and he just paused. And then he just leaned over to me and he went to off.

Alex Ferrari 36:35
Awesome. The timing. The timing was unbelievable. And I went to her and I actually said, I go Honestly, I go, I don't think she goes, me neither, because I didn't lose any sleep. It sounds it's almost sounds like it's Don Rickles. delivery. too hard. too harsh. haven't gone too far. Oh, I miss Rick, you're dating yourself? I know. I'm Miss rickles, though. I'm circles. Alright, so how do you identify the crowd that you're trying to reach? In? General?

RB Botto 37:07
Great question. And this is the problem that a lot of people this is one of the biggest mistakes people make. And you know, I started earlier, we were talking about the difference between crowdfunding, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. And I said that there is good news. And the good news is because I guess this is going to play into this because if you're looking to crowd fund something, we're going to talk this is going to everything we're about to talk about is going to play into this as well. First of all, in the book, there are two chapters on crowdfunding. And I'll get to the reason why those are in there. And then there are three case studies that involve supply at least partially the funds being raised through crowdfunding. Now, why are they in there? And why, you know, why would in a crowdsourcing book when I'm saying that not to say there has never been a successful crowdfunding campaign in the history of crowdfunding that did not involve an element of crowdsourcing, right? It's the truth. Okay. The reason why most crowdfunding campaigns fail. In fact, I would say probably nine out of 10 that the primary reason why they fail is because the people behind the campaign did not crowdsource First they just put the damn thing up, said if you build it, they will come. And, you know, work. Doesn't feel the dreams, but not not it.

Alex Ferrari 38:23
It's a great movie. It's a great movie. Why would they lie? Yeah, that's what but that's what it was no sequel because it only works once. Honestly, I would kill to see a sequel to feel the just like, where do you go from there? It's time to go pitch it because you know, the studios have run out of the bank to mix with.

RB Botto 38:43
Or we could just pitch it like, we could pitch it as a TV show and make it like last style where every single player gets their own episode.

Alex Ferrari 38:52
Oddly enough, I could see that on Netflix. Alright, so so identifying your crowd.

RB Botto 38:59
So identifying the crowd, you know, think about the mistake you talked about you asked me earlier like what are the mistakes and you know, I went on this long winded thing about you know, social media but it really it's it's there's so many different mistakes and this is really one of the biggest ones is that people think the audience for their film or even the audience for their own personal brand is everyone and that's just not true. It's never been true it's never been true of any film I you know, you can name the most the highest rated on IMDB films of all time, you know, because that's an audience based rating. You know, films that have won Oscars you will find detractors of those films. Oh

Alex Ferrari 39:42
No. Just Shawshank Redemption, which is arguably i think i think it's number one if it's not number one, it's godfather one of those two. Yeah, but anytime I feel bad about anyone saying anything negative about me. I just go and type up and Google bad review Shawshank Redemption. Yeah. I go read these bad reviews. Because there were bad reviews of Shawshank Redemption. It's just like, What the hell are these people thinking?

RB Botto 40:05
No. And I mean, listen, I'm a huge Godfather, godfather to fan. But I mean, you'll get people that are like, you know, I don't like mob movies or I like, you know, I mean, look, it's just it's just the way it is, right? You're not there is, you're not everybody. There's not, there's not one film, one book, one piece of art that has ever been universally loved. And the same goes, the same is true for people. So and the same is true for every brand. And for every product. And for every film, especially if you're looking to film like a product, which you should in a lot of ways. It's you know, people think like, man, I need to carpet bomb the hillside and canvass everybody. That's a huge mistake. And it's a very big waste of time, energy resources.

Alex Ferrari 40:43
But you know, that's the studio plan. And they can have they have the pockets to do that.

RB Botto 40:47
Right? I mean, and they can cough it Right, exactly. Because they can carpet bomb the hillside. And, you know, let's face it, at the end of the day, the film really, really is a product that's a small piece of a small part of a bigger Corporation, you know, that is publicly traded on Wall Street. So what the hell did they care? But for an independent film,

Alex Ferrari 41:07
It didn't have Justice League.

RB Botto 41:09
It didn't have that. I would hope we would I you know, it shouldn't help a lot of the freakin things they're releasing, but, you know, one day they publicly speak with their wallets instead of bitching, or calls that was instead of bitching. But, um, but I digress.

Alex Ferrari 41:23
Yes, yes. But I think I think as I always say, the riches are in the niches. And I think that's true.

RB Botto 41:29
That's true. I think that's very true. I think that's very true. But you know, for people who are going out making that first film, you know, you have to understand, right? It's not about you. This is the idea of identifying your audience, okay, if you can remove yourself for a second from the equation. And you You and I, it's very, very hard for people to do by the way. And if you can just look at it. I'm saying this for people who are starting out and people who are going to try to build an audience for the first time for a film, and we could talk about personal brands in a second too. But for the film, you have to know who is the audience for this film? Who is going to watch this film or who is going to be interested in the subject matter of this film. The three case studies have in the book are very specific about this from the standpoint of this, these producers and the people that were behind the campaigns. The crowdsourcing campaigns understood who their audience was, for this film. An example of this. There's a case study called mile mile and a half in the book. It's a documentary that did extremely well. It ended up being like the number two documentary after Jiro dreams of sushi for a couple of months, it's sold out the LA Film Festival to the point where they had to up to two screenings, two screens, which had never happened before. And that was because they crowd sourced for so long that the audience came out in droves. But what they did early on, was they said, Okay, here's the basis of this documentary. six to seven, I forget the number Exactly. film, cinematography, cinematographers photographers, directors of photography, cinematographers and one sound engineer are going to hike the john Muir Trail, which is a 26 mile trail in the Pacific Northwest, they're going to do it in its entirety. For the purposes of not only being you know, a select few, they get to do this every year, they get to do get the permit to do it all the way across. But they were going to film all these different ecosystems in the beauty along this trail. They were going to be the first film crew, they're really, really film what they were going to bring state of the art equipment. And they were going to go out and film it and record it in a way that never been seen before. Okay, does it sound like the sexiest thing and they wanted to go out and raise like 85 grand, and they were going to do a lot of it through crowdsource crowdfunding. So again, I mean, that's a pretty hefty raise for something that seems like very niche and very sort of, but what they did was they said, okay, who is the audience for this film, and who would support what we're trying to do? Well, we have the gearheads because we're going to bring all this latest equipment, we're going to we're going to have the film enthusiasts that really appreciate seeing this type of film, we're gonna documentary fans, but also, we're gonna go to the fitness enthusiast, the hikers, the campers, the outdoors, people, the outdoors, men and women, okay. And what they do is they started targeting all these organizations, both online and offline, to say, this is what we're looking to do. You know, can we get your input on this? They started building a crowd, they identified who that crowd was. And then they started engaging them in a way to give them ownership for example, that like we're going to be gone for a long time. Can you guys give us the 10 best recipes that you could fit in a little travel cop so that we don't have to cap because we'll be carrying all this equipment man, like how do we travel right? And people started saying, well, you got to do this. Got it. And you know, people that call with the 10 best ideas are going You get a free DVD when this thing comes out, are they gonna get free access or they're going to get free, you know, a free trip to the premiere at the LA Film Festival where they made it. They gave everybody ownership, they made them a part of it. And then what ended up happening some of their fans, a couple of fans went to Rei and said, Hey, you gotta check out what these guys are doing. And guess what happened? Rei said, Don't spend money on equipment, we'll give you all the equipment, all we want is it just, you know, put our name in the credits. That's all we care about, and do well and make it cool. And we'll even blog about it on our blog on the Rei. So all of a sudden, they're sourcing this crowd to the point where by the time I played at the LA Film Festival, like I said the line was around the corner. By the time it came out on iTunes, they were still communicating with the crowd and they had delivered on every promise that they said, Look, it's coming out tomorrow, please stream it please tell everybody you know how hard it is to debut at number two on iTunes.

Alex Ferrari 45:57
Insane, right? Difficult, okay. sanely difficult,

RB Botto 46:00
But it was because they knew their audience, they knew how to engage them, and they knew how to move them. And that's what I'm saying. So this this, you know, everybody wants to put the brand in themselves out out there first, okay, as opposed the brand of their projects. And and here's the way I'll explain it to explain it to the audience in a way that to me, it makes the most sense. And I think even you'll appreciate this outside. I know a fan of this guy. But think about your favorite filmmaker. Think about your favorite director, one of them, right. One of my favorite directors is Kiki Anderson. Yeah. Okay. When hardy came out, somebody said to me, first of all, I love independent films. I love gambling movies. I like crime movies. I like well, you know, right in my wheelhouse, right. And somebody said to me like, dude, you got to go check out this movie. It's right you know, it's an indie it's got you know, this crime element. It's got that really heavy character driven shit that you like, you got to go check this thing out and I went to go see heart eight I didn't know PT Anderson from you know, it was a guy. Who was the guy a nightclub? What was that Anderson on?

Alex Ferrari 47:03
Oh, God did a photo of Annie Anderson, your game right? Now you got me, I got to look him up now.

RB Botto 47:11
So anyway, I went to go see Hardy, and I'm like, Holy hell, not only is this movie great, but this director is unbelievable. So now I went from being a fan of the film, to a fan of PT Anderson. And I said, Okay, whatever this guy does next, which ended up being Boogie Nights. But at that point, we didn't know what he was going to do next. But I was like, whatever this guy does. Next, I'm going to go see. And since then, of course, anything PT Anderson does, I'm there. So it's the same thing with you. It's the same thing with your brand. It's, you know, if you're looking to put your projects out there, you're writing out there, even the brand of your reels in a lot of ways you're acting brands so to speak, it's it's got to precede sort of the brand, the work has to proceed you, okay? Because then if you deliver on everything you're doing, then the people who you've engaged and moved, and you know, that you've, you've delivered every promise to now they're fans of you. Now, all of a sudden, your brand takes hold the brand of you takes hold. And that's the thing that a lot of people kind of miss is that, you know, everybody wants to go out there and shout out what they're all about. But again, if you have champions, talking about what you're about, that carries a lot of weight. If you're standing in the middle of the street screaming, go and look at me. I'm fantastic. Nobody cares. You don't have any, until you prove that you're fantastic. Then you can stand out in the middle of the street and let them rip your clothes off. Like you know, I don't know, The Beatles, like the Beatles, right?

Alex Ferrari 48:40
Oh, by the way, it was Harry Anderson, Harry and I went on PTs and from Maryann. Wow, I certainly do. Now we are extremely dated a nikecourt. Reference. Well, I was trying to think of Anderson's and that was the first one. Yeah, we're all folks. Guys. Sorry. Go ahead. Continue, sir. Well Speak for yourself. I mean, obviously, you're at but but you watch a lot of reruns. On TV, when you know, I come across it every once in a while. Now, let me ask you something. What is the difference between advertising, marketing and crowdsourcing?

RB Botto 49:15
Well, I mean, again, I think we, you know, marketing is sort of the cousin of crowdsourcing, but advertising I won't even get into because I mean, it's I mean, it's that that's also in the book, right? Go through a whole long thing of that, because I have seen people that try to explain crowdsourcing as a form of advertising is certainly isn't you know, advertising is is at its, you know, at its core, you're paying for promotion, awareness, and awareness. And you know, what marketing it is a sort of a cousin to marketing it, but even with marketing, it's not. Again, marketing is more of a broadcasting kind of thing. Marketing isn't really an inclusive thing. Marketing is a one sided thing, and I think if we're going to drive any point home here today, it's that building Audience is not, it's a two way street. But really, it should be a one way street out for a very, very long period of time, before the traffic could come back into you. And I that's, that's the really huge difference between the two. crowdsourcing is really, really, really all about knowing who you're talking to, and then shutting the hell up and listening, you know, asking the right questions, and then listening and then giving the people what they asked for. And that's how you really build that audience. You know? I mean, look, if you look at the one thing that when I say it's a cousin, when a film company that has money and marketing dollars, knows their audience, they will of course, you know, do some demographic research and go out and advertise in those places. I love baseball, I'll go to a baseball stadium, if there's a baseball movie out the big baseball movie everywhere they know that they know to advertise their show freakin geniuses. Right? Right. Okay. But that's still a one way thing. Okay? The crowdsourcing part of this is knowing your audience in a way that, you know, again, you're engaging them and giving them the feeling of being involved to the point where that ownership becomes a sense of pride. And then when you ask them to move, they go, and they do it. But you got to deliver them value, everything comes down to value. You know, in this book, for example, I talk a lot about your ask. The ask is really when you go to move your audience, you have to earn your ask. The last chapter I have in the book is my ask. My ask is basically to spread the word about the book, let people know about leave a great Amazon review, take a photo with the book and send it in so I can post it. Because what I'm saying to you is if I've delivered on everything that I promised, I start the book this way, I say, here's what I am going to give to you in this book, this is my goal is to give you this information, this knowledge that you will be able to go out and do ABCD and E, okay? If I deliver on this, I'm going to have an ask at the end, right? This process of going from identifying and making those promises to being in a position to actually ask for the Ask takes a long time. It's relationship building. If you think about the best friends you have, and your best friendships that you've cultivated, those friendships surely took some time. You didn't just walk up to somebody and go, Hey, you want to be my best friend. You know what I'm saying? But that's what people do. Like, you know, it's like going up to somebody going, Hey, you wanna give me money for my project? Hey, I'm crowdfunding today. Yeah, you and everybody else. You know what I mean? Hey, I got a, I got a movie. Yeah, you and everybody else.

Alex Ferrari 52:46
How many daily hits? Do you get a request on your for social media, for crowdfunding campaigns to promote their crowdfunding campaign crowdfunding

RB Botto 52:53
Campaigns, I probably get upwards of 25 a week, I would say, people I don't know. And request to read scripts, look at reels, you know, you name it, anything having to do with material, probably another 40 to 50 a week. So you're talking about, you know, 60 7080 people a week who I don't know, who have never had any prior engagement with me whatsoever. That only know that I have this this big network or, you know, have seen me talk somewhere or whatever, that feel compelled to just that I'm going to go Yeah, of course, you, you know, the 25 people that sent the crowdfunding campaign this week to me and said, you know, give me money or promoted, I'm gonna promote you. You know, you're the lucky winner.

Alex Ferrari 53:40
I get three of these cards out a week. Right? I go home with all three every week. too hard.

RB Botto 53:48
I won't even too hard on it. Is that too harsh? I will tell you this. Okay. It's got me I may sound like such a dick. But I mean, I'm not I'm really not. I hope everybody realized that. Honesty is a pure honesty, you know, hope you realize that that's not the case. But there are times there has never been a time sometimes I will get curious. And it's a morbid curiosity in a way. Sure. I will get the ones that people will say I have three days left, you have to help me hit my goal. And I actually have one of these in the book and I don't remember the exact number but I think it was close up mistaken. Somebody said to me, I got like three days left, or I have 12 hours left, like what can you do to help me push this thing and I clicked the link to see the project and what the goal was and where they were at. And it was a 75,000 goal that had like $380 in and I was like, check with 74 and change. No worries. Let me get that. Let me get that right out.

Alex Ferrari 54:46
I get that. But I get the executive producer credit though don't know.

RB Botto 54:53
But it really is. It's true if there is never been one time and this is God's honest truth. There is no Ever been one time where I have, click through where the goal at that point, like if somebody says only have a few days left with the goal has been anywhere over like 20 to 25%. And, you know, here's let me and let me take it in a positive direction to a lot of people just don't know. I mean, it's not you know, like I'm wishing you sane people late and there are there are people that are inherently lazy and people who do not want to put the work in. And you know, a lot of people who quit this business because they don't want to have they don't have the patience for relationship building and for cultivating those relationships and everything like that. But there are genuinely some genuinely some people that, you know, maybe they don't know where to go for the research, and they don't know what to do. And I wrote an article for medium like four years ago, because it was, you know, it was exactly what we're talking about. And it was called, you know, five mistakes you making on or I forget the exact name, it was something like five mistakes you're making on Twitter, as it relates to your crowdfunding campaign or something like that. And the thing got, like 8000 reads, it was crazy, it still gets a ton of reads. And but if you want to check it out, you just go to medium and it's RB walks into a bar, which is my Twitter handle on my Instagram, and you'll see the article there, it's still up there. But when people send me in this just just you know, you still try to be generous to people. And what will happen is when people do send me those crowdfunding campaigns, as long as they're not coming across as complete assholes, which some of them do, okay, if they're coming across me, like, Hey, you know, you think you could help me or whatever. And it's like, through a Twitter dm, or it's through social media, what I'll normally do is I'll say, No, I can't help you. I don't know you. We haven't built a relationship and and you know, that you're probably going about this the wrong way. Here is a you know, give this give this article read Nazi sentiment. But, but but here's the thing, right?

Alex Ferrari 56:49
You're doing them a favor, but they're like, you know what, fuck this guy

RB Botto 56:53
Was gonna say this is the surprising part. And this is what I'm saying. This is why not all people are bad. Sometimes they'll get radio silence. But I will tell you, more often than not, more often than not, people will write back and say thank you, though, sadly, you know what, I didn't realize that I didn't know that. Because they don't know. They just

Alex Ferrari 57:11
No, it's not taught. It's not taught. And it's not

RB Botto 57:13
You know, but here's the other part of it, you know, they go to Indiegogo, or they go to Kickstarter, and they see all these things up there, where they read the latest article about the latest success of the latest movie that played at schonbrunn. You know, crowds, the crowdfunded everything, and they think, Oh, I could do that, too. I know, 10 people that will give money to this thing, and I'm sure I can drum up another 50 that will do it. And it just doesn't work that way. It's you know, the people that have these usually successful crowdfunding campaigns. And this was actually a story of I was on on stage with a director at the Directors Guild, we were giving a talk at the Directors Guild a couple of weeks ago, and he told this great story about how, you know, they raised I forget what the number was, was, you know, but it was in the 10s of 1000s, high 10s. I think it was like 80, or something like that. And he said, Man, he goes, what I did, he goes, I went to like everybody else that you know, they talk about the friends and family week he goes, I went to the friends and family and I asked him straight out, like, What are you thinking about putting towards the project and not because I'm asking you, because I think you're gonna be cheap, or you're going to be overly generous or anything like that, I just want to have an idea of what I'm going to be dealing with afterward. And what he said was, okay, I know that I have this number coming in, I'm not going to launch this thing for another six months, because I still need about 80% more. So I'm going to spend six months, building my relationships, telling people what I'm doing shooting small clips of this showing people what I'm looking to do, explaining it, asking people to get involved, giving away, like, you know, spots on set, like who wants to be on set to come see it, you know, I'm gonna take some students that are interested if you know any, but things that made it look like hey, I'm a generous guy, which he is. And, you know, I want to give back, which he does, but I also need your help. And he blew by his total, because he's spent the six months doing that people don't want to spend those six months

Alex Ferrari 58:58
Imagine, but the thing that they only see is like that that film got into Sundance, and he crowdfunded it, they don't see all the work that goes behind the scenes and like, and that's a lot of dedication. I got to give it to him. That's a lot of dedication for one project.

RB Botto 59:12
But think about the flip side, Alex, I mean, right? What's the flip side, the flip side is is that you spend, you know, two months, you know, putting this in, you know, 45 days, let's say 40 days running a campaign. miserable because every day you're waking up going like this, no, money's coming in, no money's coming in, then you spend the next two to three months depressed, or three because it didn't work. What was the spending, and by the way, you spend those two to three months being depressed and angry, that didn't work and you walk away with less than what you came in with because you don't have the money. You don't have the relationships and you've lost all that time. As opposed to spending those six months building these unbelievable relationships. This is in bam, you know, the second crowdfunding campaign is always easier than the first because of this one. Fact. Everything that we just talked about.

Alex Ferrari 59:59
Will Right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

RB Botto 1:00:10
If you have a successful first campaign and you deliver on all your promises, when you go back that second time, people are going to be like, I don't give a shit, what movie you're making. I'm going in, I'm in with you. And that's the PT innocent thing I was talking about, you know, if PT Anderson had crowdfunded back in the day, if it was around, you know, Hard Eight, he said, Look, now I'm doing this, this Boogie Nights thing, and that extra would win, like, I'm all in. Are you kidding me? How can I help you know what I'm saying? Because I'm such a fan of you. And I'm so jazzed about what you're doing, and you got some serious chops, I want to be a part of that. So that's the thing is that you know, this relationship building and knowing your audience and how you engage them, and how you give them that ownership matters so much. And that's why, you know, it's where we came in. crowdsourcing to me right now is the most important topic for anyone looking to control their own content and build their brand or build a branded films. It just is, it just is it gives you a competitive advantage that other people don't have.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:06
Now, can you talk a little bit about the actual social media platforms? Which ones are the best for filmmakers or not? Obviously, besides stage 32? Well, if United States 32 you just you know, you're I mean, seriously? Come on, guys. It's free. It's free, guys. Come on

RB Botto 1:01:21
Yeah. Take your insulting word for that. I'm only kidding. I'm just kidding. I'm too harsh, too harsh, harsh. I, you know, oh, yeah, I absolutely should be on stage three to calm. And if you're not familiar with it, please put it into a browser, and please look at it. And I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. But But for me, look, everybody is different. Okay? I was never a Facebook guy. And it's one of the reasons why I started stage 32, I just didn't see any way to get traction on Facebook for my creative. And you know, the people that the connections that I knew that were on Facebook that were in the industry, they were still sharing pictures of their dogs and their salads and the babies and not really talk about the business. So that really had no appeal to me. And to me, look, to me, my time is my most valuable commodity. And if I'm going to spend time on social media networking, which I do every day, and which I treat, like a job, and you should too, and that's another thing that people make a mistake on. I want to be on networks that and platforms that get me the most bang for my buck for my time and give me the most access and the ability to you know, do all the things that we talked about earlier, you know, identify and engage in in a sort of a, you know, concise and quick manner, I guess, for lack of a better way of putting it to me, I mean, for me, personally, I'm on Twitter, and I've been on there for a while. And I like the fact that on Twitter, you it's very, very easy to share content, it's very, very easy to let people know that you're appreciative of the content that you're sharing, which by the way, is giving them value, and we can talk for a second. I'm also on Instagram. And the reason I like Instagram is because it is very easy with the hashtags on Instagram to be able to look at the various crafts and various aspects of the business and see who's posting on those things and connect with them. I think it's very easy to get to people. So those are the two that I really like the look of my suggestion would be you know, to find the ones that work for you just because I don't like Facebook. And because I think that they have majorly problems.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:29
Yes. Now definitely no, excuse me. They're just you know, and I go on a side note on Facebook, I personally don't like Facebook, I hate Facebook, when it's the largest. It's my largest social media platform. And I do get a tremendous amount of attention and traffic and I connect with a lot of people on Facebook, but their business model is so just pisses me off. I've got over 100 and I think 120,000 or as close to 120,000 followers on my my Facebook page, I could barely get to any of them without having to

RB Botto 1:04:05
I said I mean your same thing with the stage three toolkit. It's a joke. And I'm not going to say that, you know this, I'm not gonna say who said this Fallout was coming, but his initials are are be right now. I mean, seriously, I just, it's it's just a joke. Back to

Alex Ferrari 1:04:21
Back to MySpace, back to MySpace.

RB Botto 1:04:23
It is it is and it's why I'm you know, but again, I mean, I also you know, the content is being shared. You know, one of the things when when we were selling stationery too, and I told you I made a list of 100 people, one of the things I said to them is, you know, before I even told them what I was doing, I said I actually pulled them and I said what platforms are you on? And of course a lot of people at that time were saying Facebook and I said to them, okay, be honest with me for as long as you've been on Facebook and keep in mind these are all industry executives and you know, working creatives and I said you know what, have you gotten any jobs or anything that is giving you traction towards anything progressive for your career or for Facebook and to a man and a woman? They said no. And that's when I knew that I, you know, I needed to move forward with this thing and have sort of concentrated networking. And again, even though Twitter and Instagram are broad based social media sites, you can tailor it to become a niche social media site, which I do, that people I follow the hashtags that I get involved in. You know, all of it are, it's all film, and or business entrepreneurial related. And that's it, I don't worry about everything else, you know, I'm not on the hashtag, Mr. Trump sucks hashtag and I'm not, you know, it's, I'm doing the work, I'm doing the film stuff, you know what I mean? And that's what matters. So that's the other reason why I like those two platforms. But again, no matter what platform you're on, at the end of the day, it's really, really, really about what is the value that you bring what you know, part of my brand, and I know it's part of yours, Alex, is that part of my brand is to motivate and to inspire, and to educate. And to keep people that are serious about doing what they're doing in the game. To give them the support, I think as creatives, we're nothing without support, and you know, I preach that a lot. So, you know, a lot of what I post on social media is educational. It's it's inspirational, it's aspirational, I try to keep, you know, to those themes, and to those to that thought, those thoughts, because I think, you know, that's what I'm about, you know what I mean? And I think that people again, you need to know, what your brand is, I told this story again at film con this week. And it's it's it's just a, it's a state of the right now story. And I'll tell it really quick. But I mean, I got asked by a friend of mine, that Well, first, let me say I mean, again, not to lose his train of thought, the brand matters and what you put out there matters and how you put things out there matters. And this is a story about how it matters. We in this day and age, you know, a friend of mine was casting a film and said to me, Look, we have these two actresses that we love, they both have incredibly different takes on the part but they're both brilliant. We The room is split, we don't know what to do. We've had in Bolton three times, would you come down? And I said, Yeah, I'll come down. I said, you know, I'm not gonna be, I'll try to help. I said, You know, I don't want to be the one that you know, splits the room up. But I said, I'll come down. So I came down. And sure enough, they both were just brilliant. And for the next half hour, I watched the connection to this film, just struggle, and just you know, who liked this. And finally, one of the casting directors said, You know what, let's, let's see if there aren't, let's see what their online presence is, like, let's see what their online personas are like. And they went on to their Twitter accounts. And one of the actresses was posting a lot about the craft and helping people which is really, really cool. And posting some unbelievably unbelievably great content having to do with acting in the business and great videos and stuff like that. The other person, the other actress had, you know, almost every single post was political. Oh, no. Political, political, political and and, you know, getting into Twitter flame wars with people about politics. And this casting director turned around and said, Look, you know, done if this is you know, she, she she was very nice, but she may be very difficult to work with. And this one seems like a saint I think we should give it to her and everybody in the room when done. So this girl lost out on a job for better for worse or for right or wrong because of what her online brand was a brand wasn't a creative a brand was this firebrand Now look, you want to be a political activist, go be an activist, you you know, we all have very strong opinions on what's going on in the world right now. I think we all do, okay, I don't need to rage about them online, I can go to happy hour or to the dinner or, you know, and sit down with people and talk about it, you know, what I mean? I don't need to be raging to, you know, Billy 12345. And getting into a flame war with them, you know, about what's happening, you know, with with Trump or something, it's, you know, it's just not, it's, it's not smart. It's certainly not worth my time. If I want to be an activist about this, and I do do a lot of stuff behind the scenes that people don't know about. That's the point. I go, and I do it on my time when I feel like you know, it's the right time. But I don't need to be spending eight hours a day, doing it on social media I need to be on if I'm gonna have if I have eight hours a day and I'm gonna be on social media, you bet your ass and I'm going to be going out there making as many connections as I can, and helping as many people as I can and building those relationships because that's really what matters at the end of the day.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:49
Now, can you you were you said this earlier today that you treat social media like a job? Can you kind of elaborate a little bit on that because I think it's some very important to people here.

RB Botto 1:09:57
Absolutely. I spend at least an hour a day networking and on on relationship building. And that means that I'm usually a big majority that is usually on stage 32 connecting with people looking at, you know, who's joined recently, who's posting in the lounge, which is our version of the forums, like who's really contributing. You know, a lot of people don't understand we have Oscar winners Emmy winners, Tony winner, Tony Award winners, you know, influencers we have people that are on this site are amazing, they don't all they're not all out there every minute of every day. And some of them, you know, kind of stay behind the scenes a little bit, but they're not hard to find, if you put the work in, and it's not hard to put the work in, I spend, you know, I put a least a couple of posts on Twitter every day. And it's usually sharing content, I make sure to engage and respond to people who write to me, you know, and keep, you know, make them understand that if they're coming from a place of selflessness that is appreciated. And that I am going to, you know, engage with them. Same thing on Instagram, but I try to spend at least an hour every single day now, is it realistic with me running stage? 32, and writing and producing and all this other crap? Sometimes No, but you know what, I'll make it up on a weekend, I'll say, you know, the reality of situation is that I could be in line at Starbucks, and you know, be 10 deep, and it's gonna take me 20 minutes to get to the front. I could be doing 20 minutes and networking, as opposed to watching YouTube videos, cat videos,you know what I mean?

Alex Ferrari 1:11:25
But those cat videos with the cucumbers are funny, though. Yeah. person, I know I'm a dog. That's why I like when the cats get scared, because I'm a dog person. We're gonna add some cucumbers, and I had 7000 jokes, and none of them are perfect. None of them are appropriate. Anyone, anybody who has two seconds, just type in cat and cucumber and YouTuber, you find out what I'm talking about. But anyway, you're absolutely right. Not me hashtag Not me. But you're right, you're right. You could be doing work while waiting in line at the bank or at Starbucks or wherever you are.

RB Botto 1:12:03
While and it's just, you know, people make excuses all the time. I'm too busy. I'm too this. I'm too that low. There are plenty of times where I get out. I mean, you and I are exchanging emails this morning, I think at 545 in the morning. I mean, it's it's, I mean, it's just the truth. I mean, it's there are days where a short, I'd love to lay in bed, you know, until seven or whatever. But it's like, you know, there's a million other things that need to get done. And I'm not saying that you should work to the point of exhaustion. And what I'm saying to you is, is that if it matters, that, you know, sacrifices have to be made. I mean, the thing that changed my entire screenwriting path, for example, was when I sat and said, okay, for the next six months, you know, I had written a few good scripts, I felt pretty good. Anyway, let me let me rephrase that three scripts that I felt were ready to be seen and be out in the marketplace and be out in front of people that could make a difference, and, you know, the gatekeepers and all that. And so I'm gonna spend the next six months, you know, I'm going to cut down on the amount of nights about going to dinner, the amount of nights I'm out, you know, going to happy hour going to, you know, drink with the guys or whatever the amount of, you know, this Starbucks, I'm going to get and whatever, and I'm going to make, you know, a little bit of a war chest for myself, I'm going to invest in myself. And that means I'm going to really put in the time, you know, with the relationship building and the networking and making those connections. And I really did for six months, and you know, I sacrifice a little sleep here and there and, you know, got up a little earlier, went to bed a little late and whatever. And it made all the difference in the world. You know, I ended up landing, my manager ended up getting the option of the film, that's a COVID that you referenced earlier. I mean, all these things happened during that time period. But it was it was a absolute commitment to putting in that time. So when I hear people say, Oh, man, you know, who has the time to build relationships? I just sit there and I go, I gotta make it.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:52
But you watch three hours of Netflix tonight? Wow. That's the other thing too. It's like, you know, people. I mean, yeah, you watch three hours of Netflix a night you. You're chilling out, there's always time. Oh,

RB Botto 1:14:03
And here's the thing you so right, man. And here's the thing we talked about earlier about your brand on social media and your brand and your brand and your brand. Just understand something you can't hide on social media. So what'll end up happening is I'll get people that will write me like we'll do a podcast like this and or I'll do like an on stage or video on stage 32 and people writing privately and they'll be like, you know, I heard you talk about like, you know, the sacrifices and I heard you saying that you got to do this. Man. I gotta tell you it's just so difficult because I have this dad. The other thing is, and the first thing that I will do when I hear people bitching, moan like that is I will go to Twitter or Instagram usually Twitter and because Twitter is more of the microblogging, kind of Sure. And I will go look at that account. And more often than not, it'll be somebody being like just yeah, just took in 10 episodes a house.

Alex Ferrari 1:14:56
Like what a great season of Stranger Things

RB Botto 1:15:00
Season Five was much better. It's a good jump to season eight now whatever, like, you know, it's like, and you sit there and go, Oh, really? No. Oh, yeah, you don't have time.

Alex Ferrari 1:15:12
Right? So, so RB tell us where we can find this book.

RB Botto 1:15:17
Ah, you can find it on Amazon. anywhere, anywhere where Amazon delivers books, I think if you're listening to this in the UK, I think they have their own special link. But you can if you're in a place where you can't get it delivered through Amazon, you could go to focal press. They have the book as well, and they deliver anywhere on the world.

Alex Ferrari 1:15:36
And I'll put the links in the show notes.

RB Botto 1:15:38
Yeah, but you know, it's definitely obviously available on Amazon, for kindle and in paperback. And as a textbook, because as these things go, and I'm very, very pleased about this, apparently, there's quite a few schools interested in teaching it. The one thing that I will say about this book, and you know, focal, you know, they kind of come from an academic angle. And my agreement with them was that I did not want this to be sort of a stuffy book. So you know, if you've enjoyed listening to this podcast and the banter I have with Alex, that's exactly where you're gonna get the book, I guess, I called him I said, Listen, you're gonna get my voice. There's not going to be any End of Chapter homework assignments and checklists, and all this happy horseshit, I said, it's going to be me talking and making it fun. And I and I do think it's a very, very fun book. And

Alex Ferrari 1:16:29
I mean, your, your first chapter alone is called allow myself to introduce myself, I so that already tells you the attitude of the book.

RB Botto 1:16:38
A tone is set early on. Yeah, yeah. So you know, much of my editors, Har, when I had that, and then at first and then then they were like, all right, this is really, really freakin funny. And it should do well, and it has. So I mean, so I'm pleased with that. But that's, that's what you'll get, you'll get, you know, it's a very, very fun read. And, and just, I mean, a ton of information. So, and, and all the case studies as well, which I was very, very grateful. And it really was one of the reasons why it took so long to write the book. You know, part of it was being tied up with other projects and everything like that. But part of it also was, I had so many great people that contributed and, you know, when you have as many people, as you know, added their two cents to this book, and, you know, help helped out with case studies and everything like that, you know, it takes a lot of time to collect all that information and get it all in. And that's one of the reasons it took so long, but I think it was well worth it. Because I think the case studies alone are worth their weight in gold.

Alex Ferrari 1:17:33
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Now you not only are you an author, not only you are the CEO of running states 32. And I'm a screenwriter and all sorts of other things you do. You actually did a little bit of acting this year, for the first time in a long time. Is that true? Why? Yes, it is Alex. So are. So the story is guys that are B is actually in on the corner of ego and desire. He plays a pivotal character in the movie that I just shot at Sundance. And, you know, I remember I texted you. And I said, Well, I told you a few months earlier than I was gonna do it. And you looked at me like you're fucking nuts. No. I always I always look at me like a fucking duck.

RB Botto 1:18:23
That's true. Yeah. But I would I you know, I always, again, I, you talked about crowdsourcing, and you talked about relationship building, but the minute I met you, the kindred spirit, which is really interesting, because again, you don't have everything in common with somebody either. But you know, Alice doesn't drink. You know, I've been known to, you know, maybe once every few months have a cocktail. I'm vegan. He's vegan. And you know, he's not I hunt for my own food. You know, I you know, Alex, if I asked him to go to a baseball game, he would be like, is that the big orange ball?

Alex Ferrari 1:18:57
The first of all, that's true. If you don't know I played baseball, I play football played basketball. I know that I know, that actually did tell me that I have played so yes, I don't do it often now. But I you know,

RB Botto 1:19:12
And it also but we bonded over not only love to film but but that we're I think we're kindred spirits and that missions are very, very much the same. And that we, you know, we do like to give and we do like, you know, the everything that surrounds what we do on a day to day basis is very, very, very similar. It's almost exactly the same. So I consider you a brother, so when you said that to me. I was like, of course you're going to do and and the other thing too, is you

Alex Ferrari 1:19:35
Actually did say that.

RB Botto 1:19:36
Yeah, your work ethic is insane. I mean, they you know, other than that, which I also love and and, you know, he's like, yeah, you know, I just pumped out like 40 podcasts. I got like, 20 blogs going off. And I always shoot a movie at Sundance. I'm like, Yeah, of course. Yeah. Why wouldn't you? Why not?

Alex Ferrari 1:19:52
Exactly. Well, I was tempted but there was only four days. But so what so what I just I texted him. A few I think it was like a week or so before. And I said, Hey, I wrote this part for you, you know, will you be in it? And he's like, of course, of course, I'll be edit. Let me know what you need me to do. And he shows up to the scene, which we won't break down too much as I don't want to ruin the scene. But he shows up to the scene. It's late. There's there might be a couple of drinks in you. Well, it was a party. It was a chatter party is at a party, and then you just do like, so what am I doing? Like literally had to tell you that, like we broke down the whole thing, because there was no script that was based on a script. So we kind of work the scene out. I mean, we had the scene structured there. But it was all just kind of done in the moment. Yeah, while we're batting off drunks trying to get out into the balcony.

RB Botto 1:20:47
Right. Yeah, it was it was an interesting. Yeah. So yeah, I'll tell you my version. Yeah. Tell me.

Alex Ferrari 1:20:53
I want to hear from your side of the fence by side of the bed cuz I'm on my side of the fence. I'm literally in the party holding the light up at the ceiling, bouncing it at you while I'm going. Action. Action.

RB Botto 1:21:04
Exactly. Right. So yes, it is true that Alex asked me Actually, you actually asked me a while ago, but then you texted me and said, so we're definitely doing this. And I'm like, Oh, yes, yes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So yeah, whatever, whenever you need me, and whenever I'm gonna be up there for you know, like, seven days or however many days we're gonna be up there. And, you know, every day available at this time you bet like not, you know, gonna do this night. I can't do it tonight. And you know, on both ends, and then finally, I'm like, dude, we he say, Alex says, I'm leaving tomorrow. He goes, like, we got to do it tonight. And I'm like, Well, what time tonight? And he's like, well, we'll figure it out. I'm like, we'll figure it out. I mean, because you're here at Sundance, if you know anything about it, there is 6 million events going on at once you're being pushed and pulled in everything. It's like you got to be here. You got to be there, like your show face for five seconds, five seconds just running around the freakin town. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just saying that's just the fact. And but this party that Alice is going to film that does go on every year. And it's one of the you know, well known parties and it's in like a double condo kind of thing. And it's, you know, it's probably why a couple 100 people there you'd think, Oh,

Alex Ferrari 1:22:07
God, it was packed this year.

RB Botto 1:22:09
Yeah. I mean, it was crazy. At least a couple 100 people they released. An artist goes, we're gonna film at the freaking party. I'm like, How the hell is he going to film at the party now? I'm thinking like, okay, maybe before the party starts, we'll have a couple of people that don't act as like extras. Whatever. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. As the night going on, I'm getting the texts. And I'm like, now? No, not yet. Not yet. So no, you

Alex Ferrari 1:22:31
Showed up before the party. Don't forget, you showed up before the party. Just just kind of say hi. Hi, there. That's right. You came by you're like, Okay, so what's going on? I'm like, yeah, it's gonna be later tonight. We're shooting other stuff right now. Yeah. Fantastic. Great. Yeah, I'll see. I'll see you around 12 1230.

RB Botto 1:22:44
And I sit down, especially, you know, okay, that you know, that the the sort of meetings and the parties and everything started at like noon. So I can't promise you that I'm going to be completely coherent at this point.

Alex Ferrari 1:22:56
And, you know, I was I was I was, I was actually counting on it, sir.

RB Botto 1:22:59
Okay, not to be right. So a couple more card cocktails. And now I walk in, and I just want to emphasize that Alex stated earlier, and I want you guys heard if you want to rewind a deal, you'll hear him say it again, that he wrote apart for me. Yeah, I did. And I walked in and I said, Okay, so where's the script? And he goes, Oh, no, no, it's no script. Sample there. That's what I wrote it. There wasn't script meant,

Alex Ferrari 1:23:26
But I just give you the script. And I could just explain it to you

RB Botto 1:23:29
Go stand over a script. He goes stand over there. And I'm like, stand over here. He goes, and I go, and he's like, okay, and all of a sudden, they're setting up lights, and I meet the other actors and all this stuff. They're like, hey, it's so great to be working with you. I'm like, that's fantastic. I go Do You Do any of you know what the hell this movie is about? What's going on? I go, I go, you know, Alex told me like, they know that, like, months ago what the idea was, but so the idea was right, and remember the idea so I got that. And then they're like, okay, so you notice, so then finally I pull out this? He's like, Okay, I think we're getting set up. I think we're gonna just be a couple months away from shooting and I'm like, Alright, I guess he seriously like, you know, just,you know.

Alex Ferrari 1:24:06
Two minutes. I just need two minutes.

RB Botto 1:24:08
Yeah, give me a nugget. Give me you know, I mean, like word association. And it sounds like you're already paying whatever you want. I'm like even Brando was able to I'm not I'm comparing myself to Brandon with each brand that he could pin the lines to Jimmy Khan's chest and the Godfather. I'm like do something hold up a cube hold this something What do you need me to do?

Alex Ferrari 1:24:27
I'm very Cassavetes that way.

RB Botto 1:24:30
And but then, you know, it was explained to me and I totally got it and it was awesome. And then we It was hilarious because we filmed part of the scene inside the room. And then Alex says, Okay, now we got to take it outside. And it was about six degrees out

Alex Ferrari 1:24:49
Exaggerate. It was like

RB Botto 1:24:51
It was at like eight degrees. And you know, of course none of us wearing jackets or anything and he was always just to be outside for like two minutes and we were outside for about 30

Alex Ferrari 1:24:59
Warm because you had You drink in your hand

RB Botto 1:25:01
Drinking my hand and and it was, it was truly truly an awesome experience. Basically everybody who's somebody in Hollywood has seen this movie. Alice, let me see it. Until we have our date together. I have to go. I have to go somewhere with him to watch it with him even though ever to

Alex Ferrari 1:25:19
Watch it anyway,

RB Botto 1:25:20
I haven't seen it. You know, I have not seen it. I you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:25:23
Not everybody in Hollywood to see. Let's just exaggerate just just a few Academy Award winners. But that's it just emailed me and they're like, dude, congratulations on your greatness. I'm like, How? Like, what is happening? RV? Actually, I was I filmed God. And he like first words out of his mouth when he sees me a film con. He's like, I've got a bone to pick with you. How the hell is this guy? See it before? I got it? Oh, yeah, we got it. I can't believe he told you.

RB Botto 1:25:53
Unbelievable, man. Unbelievable. No, it was an amazing experience. And I gotta say, I mean, you know, all in all seriousness, I mean, kudos. I mean, it's, it's amazing what you pulled off and how you did it. And also, I gotta say, the actors that I got to work with, you know, it's, it's interesting for me, because I, you know, I started as an actor in theater, I haven't done a lot of acting in a long time. And, you know, it's interesting how it, a lot of it comes back to you from the standpoint of being in front of other actors and you had and you know, and just that listening and just, you know, that that thing where you just kind of relax because acting is reacting kind of thing. And in, that's all I kept saying to myself is just, you know, react to whatever is being thrown at you. And these three actors that you put me in the scene with, were just so good. And so giving, and it just reminded me of, you know, the best people I work with in theater back in the day back in New York, that you know, that the best ones were always the ones that gave so much in these three actors are just amazing, and you will grade and just all that it was just such a, it was an awesome experience. And it was you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:27:01
It was it was a little It was such a wonderful, you know, when you came in, because there were still bets out there. We're like Arby's not kind of come on, like our base comment. are really they don't know my brand. I go Arby's gonna be here. I promise you he would not he would never do that to me. He's gonna be I promise you. And they're like, I don't know. I don't know it's getting late. It's on 1230 or anything like that. Don't worry, RP will be or promise and then show up. And exactly what I expected you to have you had the exact amount of alcohol in you that I want. So you were exactly he was very you were being very Daniel Day, because you would literally method because you were the producer at the party at the time that we were filming was pretty much the time they would have found you at the party. It was like 1231. And we're shooting this seat. And I was like, This is perfect. So Arby's just, you have enough alcohol on you. So you're not too subconscious about your performance. So you're just rolling with it. And it just kind of flowed. And the one thing I loved that you did was I wanted you to be a bigger dick in the scene. And you couldn't be you're like Alex, I care. I can't because I actually busted out some lines for you on my paper that I wrote for you. And I said, read this and you're like I can't I can't do that. Like I can't I can't I can't say this. So because you're unwilling this to be a dick is seen work so much better. Because on top of it, it was authentic to who you were as a human being. And because of that came straight off onto the screen. And the other actress felt it as well. So the whole scene, I cried when I edited that scene for the for I called you when I was editing it I'm like I'm bawling on the scene because I've been in that scene too many times in my life to to count, so it was just a wonderfully emotional scene. It's a great scene. And and you killed it and you killed it. It was it was really, really wonderful to watch you go through all that I know you had a ball because you're you some outtakes that you had the stuff that I can't wait to see that stuff that was coming out of her mouth was it's

RB Botto 1:29:18
Oh, man, you know, and that's the thing too. It's so funny. It's interesting that you brought up the part about because you did say that to me from the beginning. You were like you're going to be you know, you got to be a deck and you got to be you know, you're the producer and you know they're coming to you and and it was what was interesting was again, that's that that instinct that I was talking about that it was so bizarre to me almost like out of body in a weird way that it came back in that way and like almost like flashbacks to being doing stage plays and stuff was that this like, it's not that I couldn't play that but because what they would giving me I didn't feel like I wanted to do that and and that was so interesting to me in the aftermath and but it's really, really cool. You know, I just like I said, and that that's just speaks to how awesome those actors who are.

Alex Ferrari 1:30:06
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

RB Botto 1:30:16
But it was just just going back a notch. You know, the funny thing, the funny side to this whole entire thing that you were talking about them saying, I'm not gonna show up, not gonna show up. Where I was prior to coming there was I was at the COVID Media party show philia, which played at Sundance and again, COVID is the company that bought my screenplay that's in development on my screenplay with a yada, and so I'm not despite having really good time. And I know a lot of people there, and I'm like, I gotta go. And they're like, What do you mean, you got to go because this party is going to like two in the morning? And I'm like, No, no, I gotta go. And they're like, what do you gotta go? I'm like, I gotta go to the movie. And they're like, What do you mean, you're? Like, every, like every single person. I said, it's because every single person that was like, when you go in, I'm like, I gotta go do a scene for a movie, though. Like, you're going to watch a movie that we catch in a midnight screening? Like, no, no, I have to go act in a movie. And then like, What do you mean, your act? It was just our Go man was

Alex Ferrari 1:31:09
Actually, actually your director was at that party. Yeah. And your director, when I met him at film con, he's like, wait a minute, you're the movie he went to go do? Cuz he tells telling everybody who's gonna go into a movie. I thought he was just biessing. It's like, no, it's really, no, but that was the funny part about the whole thing is like, anytime I mentioned it to anybody, I'm like, Oh, I'm shooting a movie. no one understood what I was talking about. Because it's just something that's never been done. And you really don't do. Now, you know, and shoot a full feature film at Sundance, it's just not something that's done, or ever has been done. So when you say you're doing it, you sound like a crazy person. So I'm sure the looks that you were getting, you're like, I'm sorry, what? You're shooting a movie.

RB Botto 1:31:53
What? Oh, it's hilarious. You're filming a scene? My god, no. And I mean, it just the way you guys went about it, like I said, and the efficiency, they you know, again, and that's the other part of it, too. And, you know, we've gone through this whole, this whole podcast, you know, talking about the things you need to do, and not making excuses and everything like that, like your what you did up there. And you know, even what you do what you did with this mag and you know, it's so impressive. And it's leading by example, on a lot of ways you mean, you're practicing what you preach, which is, you know, no excuses. And you can go do it. And you don't necessarily need to raise a ridiculous amount of money and you don't get, you know, there's ways around everything. And there's ways to tackle it. And it's just the people that you know, the people that really, really want to do it and the creatives that really, really want to do it find a way and that was the thing that was so impressive about that. That's why when you I mean you, I did get to see the trailer. Yeah, when you send me the trailer, you know, I was blessed with the, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:32:50
I should have held back with the viewing of the trailer. I you know, I felt like when I said to the trailer, you Your reaction was priceless.

RB Botto 1:33:00
Yeah, I was like, Yeah, I was, I was, first of all, I was stunned. I'm like, well, I've been graced with the trailer. But I watched it. I was like, you know, because, you know, this scenes on the shadow. And there's scenes in the street. And this, he and I sat there, and I just said to myself, like, you know, this is a perfect example of, you know, where there's a will there's a way and where, you know, if you really, really want to go do it, you're going to find a way to do it. And, you know, I was reading an article recently, it was funny, I forget which Hitchcock movie it was, but they were talking about one of the stars was talking about him, you know, him stealing shots on the New York Street. And you know, that, yeah, they were talking about the fact that they just didn't even want to wait for the goddamn permits or something like that, or the cops to move them from one street to the next or whatever. And Hitchcock was like, screw it, like, you know, I mean, when I was just gonna do it, I you know, and the point of the matter that what they were trying to get across was Hitchcock's mentality in that moment was Audible, and our and our mission Above all, and I think that's what everybody has to embrace, not saying go out there and break the law. Although I, you know, I'm saying, you know, it's

Alex Ferrari 1:34:12
In your, in your early days, you might have fractured if you have a you know,

RB Botto 1:34:17
Less than less than maybe my brand indicates but you know, but you get my point where there's a will there's a way and that was what was so much that was so impressive what you get what you did, I mean, and you know, hopefully I'll get to see it before you know, its actual major festival or something like that. Or if I don't get to see it until it said a major festival, maybe I'll get an invite or, you know, maybe somebody will, you know, record a couple of scenes on their iPhone and

Alex Ferrari 1:34:41
I don't know if I said it or you said it, but I know what I think when you saw the trailer you're like, Wow, it looks like a real movie. I think I said I knew it would look like a real movie. I knew I did not say that. But I will not be I will not My bread will not be tarnished, sir on your pod

RB Botto 1:35:04
Bag comment hung on me. I can see I can see that on the post there. Wow, let's take a study

Alex Ferrari 1:35:15
That is so going on the poster now. Exactly. Alright, so a few last questions cuz you know as I expected this This interview is gonna go long and we could probably keep talking for a few hours I record by the way i think is like two hours and 40 minutes on that. Oh forgot I forgot that that the Oscar special we did. So this is number six. Oh my God, that's another one. Wow, people got a really I'm gonna I'm laughing the field right now. Okay, so, um, what advice would you give a filmmaker screenwriter wanting to break into the business today in today's world?

RB Botto 1:35:52
First and foremost, control as much as you can control. I think that people are so anxious to give stuff away these days. Like, you know, for example, writers were just having this conversation yesterday with a development executive at a very, very big production company that I was having lunch with who, you know, she said, you know, writers are and filmmakers are so anxious to get representation and to, you know, just kind of give away everything. And they think that by doing it by relinquishing that control, things are going to move forward. But at the end of the day, really, you are your own best advocate. And you always will be to me in this day and age controlling it, you know, where we're living in such a content rich and sort of a renaissance really of content. Creation, I think that if you can control as much as you can control for as long as you can control it, you're going to win more days than you lose. And, and the other point about breaking in is to just realize, again, not to beat a dead horse, but it's the truth. That the way you get a competitive advantage in this business is is treating that relationship building which you could start doing today as job and recognizing the fact that this is a marathon and not a sprint. It is a freakin win. If you can embrace that philosophy, by the way, yep, you can embrace that philosophy that this is a long game. Like when people say I'm going to give myself two years, like I get this MAC there's I get this from writers I get this from filmmakers, like I moved out to La Liga, myself two years, it's been done because you're not you're gonna be you're setting a ticking clock on yourself, which is never a good thing. Like me saying earlier, I decided I was gonna take six months to be serious about that's a totally different, that's a strategy. Okay. I wasn't saying that. If I didn't get traction, I was saying that I knew I would get some traction because I was gonna put in the time and the effort and I was confident and but the people that you know, kind of step in and it's their first day or if they even been around for a year and they say, oh, man, it's nothing's happening. You have to instead of looking at the business and saying it's so tough, okay, you have to look at the things that make it easier. You have to give yourself the competitive advantage. That you know, Cato, I know we've gone kind of long, but I thought it was from a screenwriting perspective, for example, okay, I'll just use screenwriting. When I first started screenwriting. And again, I produce for years, so I it's not like I didn't know how many screenwriters out there and a lot of stuff, but it's different when you're doing it. And when I was doing it, I remember going to a panel where somebody said, you know, let me tell you, man, it's tough out there, there are 50,000 scripts that get registered with the W ga every year. And those are just the ones that get registered. There are hundreds of 1000s being written every year and being submitted around time. And everybody got deflated, right. But I started thinking about that. And I started talking to people in the business, right? And here's what I learned after talking to a lot of people. Sure. There are 50,000 scripts that are submitted to the web every year, probably 45,000 of them are complete garbage. And that's not a lie. Okay. Sure. And people who are in the know, and people who read these things, and people who read for contests will tell you this, okay? Then you sit there and you go, okay, out of those 5000. And by the way, it's probably more than 40.

Alex Ferrari 1:39:01
I was gonna say it's probably more than 40.

RB Botto 1:39:02
Let's, let's see, let's say let's say it's 49,000. Because I don't even think that that's algebra. I don't mean shit, but not good enough, because it needs to be good. Okay, so at least 1000 scripts, right? Out of those 1000. Some people are going to have connections that are going to allow them to get reads, and a lot of people aren't. If you're one of those people that are going to get read, you know, maybe you're cutting it down to 500. Maybe you're cutting it down to 250. And I'm talking about a great script that gets reads. Okay. So what I'm saying is, I could keep going down the list because there's my five other things I could name but the point of the matter is, is that once I started thinking about it in those terms, the first thing I said to myself was, I have got to write a script that is undeniably the best I can do. Okay, and then second thing I need to do is make sure that I am doing everything in my power to win champions that want to go out there and tell other people that they know you need to read this script and I need to be making those Relationships directly with people that can move the needle on my career. And that's all I set out to do. And within two years, I had a manager. Okay. And within, you know, six months after that, I had, you know, the paid option a covert and it's it you know, so because it shorten the game, because that's what I focused on. So, control what you can control. Don't listen to all the noise. Don't listen to all the naysayers. If you hear the statistics, and then negative, understand that for every negative statistic, there's a positive side to it be the positive side of it.

Alex Ferrari 1:40:32
Now, can you tell me what book had the biggest impact on your life or career?

RB Botto 1:40:38
Man? That's a tough question. I know. You said he sent me a question like two minutes before we went on. So you give me a lot of time

Alex Ferrari 1:40:42
So I can get so I could at least I sent it to you

RB Botto 1:40:44
Spontaneously, as you did send it to me. Best Yeah. It's tough to say one book. I mean, business wise, there's been quite a few. And I think sometimes business, you know, it translates again, because we're all entrepreneurs onto the creative side. So I did like zero to one by Peter Thiel. Recently, I'm talking about things that more recent, this year one, creativity, Inc, I think is an amazing book. It's such

Alex Ferrari 1:41:09
A great book, that's it's such a ggeat book

RB Botto 1:41:10
And I mean, it gives you and it gives you have a look into the philosophy of all this stuff. And the philosophy of being creative and the philosophy of sort of, you know, creating sometimes in isolation, but then having to collaborate. It's very, very interesting stuff. I highly recommend that book. You know, this was so many and that, you know, for the business side of things, I mean, I mean, from the industry side, you know, the William Goldman books, which Why did I, oh, are great, because, you know, again, the reason I love the golden books, I mean, the timeless and a lot of ways, even though, you know, he wrote some of the biggest movies of the 60s and 70s. And he still continued into the 80s 90s. You know, he's such a, he's such a straight shooter. And he's, you know, he, there's no bullshit with them, which I love. He's unvarnished. And the great thing about it is that you realize when you read a book like that, that even the biggest and the best on the grind, always, never get off the freakin grind. People I say this to people all the time, okay? airways has all gotten, you know, become a star, it's so much easier you get a manager. And I'm like, Listen, man, here's the two examples I'll give you Spielberg had to go to India to get the money for Lincoln. Scorsese had the rights to silence for 30 something years or 20 something years, and nobody would make it with them. Okay. You know, he had to find a champion, he had to find somebody that was willing to go to war and go to bat and that understood what he was looking to do. And it didn't end up working out great as far financially maybe. But the point of the matter is, is that even as big as you want, as he is, you know, that he, you know, he was on the grind with that with that property for over 20 something years. So, you know, that's the reason I like which lie. Did I tell when or Oh, I'm sorry. No, it's I'm sorry. Yes, I wish I told you. It's adventures in the screen trade, the golden books. She's in the screen trade, and more adventures in the screen trade. Which line Did I tell?

Alex Ferrari 1:43:10
Oh, I forgot.

RB Botto 1:43:12
Linson Linton I think, I think IBM that's a good book too. But uh, but but the the golden books are better. Rebels on the black backlog is another good one. It's all about the indie renaissance in the late 90s. And follows the careers of Tarantino and PT Anderson. And as you

Alex Ferrari 1:43:29
Rise, et rise, Rachel's,

RB Botto 1:43:32
The reason I like, well, is that instead of life changing, or they changed my life, what they did was they gave me enormous perspective into the inner workings of this business. And the more you understand the inner workings of this business, and the more you understand that, nobody does anybody, nobody's going to greenlight a project as a favor. Okay. You don't I'm saying like, people are like, Wow, it must be easy, like, wow, you know, like, you could just write something. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, you everything has to be excellent. You may open a door, you may get a door open because of a favor and because your relationships in fact, you will, okay. But that's the thing, your craft, your your ability to build relationships get you in the room, and your craft wins the room.

Alex Ferrari 1:44:14
Amen. Amen. And what's the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

RB Botto 1:44:20
I think I'm still learning I think the film business you always are, but I think the film business one. I think that, you know, when I was there was a piece of advice that I got when I was acting that changed everything. For me perspective wise, when I was going on auditions, and that was, you know, I can't you know, and especially in the man that theater actors in New York are a breed unto themselves. I mean, you know, everybody, you know, goes on all these auditions and then they, you know, everybody goes drinks and you know, they go they go me down by Broadway and all the places that the Broadway actors go who are By the way, even though once a Broadway a bitching just as much as the ones that can't get jobs, anywhere. You know, I went in and I'm like, Ah, you know, this casting director, table this and that. And with this experienced actor who was a friend of mine just turned to me at one point, and just he pulled me to the side. And he just said, you know, they want to like you, right? You know, they want to hire you, right? They don't want to think you bad. They don't want to think you're not right. They want to think you, right? Their job is to find you. You know, what I mean? Is that it put me on my heels, because I looked at everything as being sort of adversarial, right? Because this is such a business of No. And that's the thing. I mean, we hear no, every freaking day, and it is a business and no, that made me sit there and say, Okay, alright, everybody has a job to do in this business. Everybody has somebody to answer to in this business, everybody, if you're a producer, you got to answer to the financier as if you're a filmmaker, you got to answer the producers, and so on and so forth. Okay. Nobody wants to work with people who make their jobs more difficult. So that life lesson of sort of, you know, look, if you get criticism, you know, like, especially for people who get notes, if you're a filmmaker, if you're a screenwriter, and you get notes, to not be defensive, even if you think the notes sucks, you got to fucking digest it, you got to parse it, and you got to apply it either in the script or in the film, or apply it to a lesson, apply it to something, apply it in a way that you say, you know what, I reject that, but that's fine. You know, everything, you need to absorb everything. And you can't be what you can't be worried about deflecting everything at all times. Because at the end of the day, you're going to run into people that know what the hell they're talking about, you're going to run into people that don't know what the hell they're talking about, you're going to run into two people that know exactly what they're doing, who have completely different opinions about your art or your talent. It doesn't matter. It's how you navigate it. And if you navigate it, with an openness, and with class, and with charm, but inside, just understanding that everything that everything that comes out of somebody's mouth is a piece of information to be digested, parsed, and then applied in some way. That's how you're going to win. And that was the lesson that I kind of took away from that conversation. And that helped me enormously when I went out for my first piece of screenwriting feedback, and was like, No, for five minutes. I was like, these assholes don't realize what a great frickin script that was I sat there and I thought about my friend, my acting friend and I went, well, maybe they do know a little bit more than I do. And maybe I should listen to this and be and once I did that, I had a totally different perspective on things. And so that's the biggest lesson I think as it relates to the business.

Alex Ferrari 1:47:45
Now, where can people find you? My home address, yes, a home address, if you could please address and

RB Botto 1:47:54
They can find me. Obviously, you can find me on stage 32 if you're on stage 32 and you just put literally states that youtube.com\RB will go right to my account. But if you if you haven't signed up to stage 32 when you do, the first thing you'll see on your wall is me. That's an automated message but every other every other posts that you see from me on that site and I think it's over 300,000 now I've been told by my tech team is me as me responding so you can feel free to write me and send me a DM I am on Twitter and Instagram like I said earlier at RB walks into a bar exactly what it sounds like our B bar and as one of my friends says and nobody walks out and also on medium RB walks into a bar for some of my content. And obviously the book crowdsourcing for filmmakers indie film to color the crowd is on Amazon.

Alex Ferrari 1:48:45
RB This is as has been an epic interview as always, sir. Epic conversation as always my friend.

RB Botto 1:48:53
Absolutely always my favorite, bro.

Alex Ferrari 1:48:57
You drop some major knowledge bombs today to the tribe. And I think I think this is this this should be included. This little in this conversation should be included in every copy of crowd crowd sourcing for filmmakers, but a little USB and I'm just saying,

RB Botto 1:49:11
Hey, listen, I'd be down with if I can get my publisher to answer my emails. I don't know.

Alex Ferrari 1:49:17
Thank you my friend as always.

RB Botto 1:49:18
Thank you Alex. I appreciate it brother.

Alex Ferrari 1:49:21
As promised there were some major knowledge bombs dropped in this episode. RB thank you so much for coming on spending the time with the tribe and hopefully educating everybody a bit about crowdsourcing and the importance of of crowdsourcing when trying to create a sustainable, independent film career. Now if you want to get RB's book, you can head over to indiefilmhustle.com/230 for the link to his book and everything else we discussed in this episode. And before I go, I got two announcements if you have not signed up yet for the bulletproof screenplay podcast My new podcast dedicated to just this craft and business of screenwriting, head over to screenwritingpodcast.com and sign up on iTunes. Or you could just go to bulletproofscreenplay.com And it'll take you to the website where you can sign up through any of your favorite providers. And announcement number two, don't forget April 9, we are releasing Susan Lyons, indie film producing master class, it's over six hours of a workshop that she usually charges 20 $500 to attend, and I convinced her to let me record it so I can bring it to you guys. The indie film hustle tribe it is invaluable in it'll teach you everything you need to know about how to raise money contracts, sag deals, everything you need, on how to produce an indie film. And if you want to get in early and get early access plus a small discount is well email me at [email protected] I'll put you on the list. And you will get the course a little earlier than everybody else. And you're going to get a discount from the normal $90 price tag. And that is the end of this episode. Guys. Don't forget Wednesday we'll be releasing a new episode of The bulletproof screenplay podcast as well. And then we'll have another brand new episode at the end of the week that you guys for all the support and please make sure to tell as many people as you can if you if you could tell five friends about the podcast about what we're doing at indie film hustle to get the word out for everybody to help as many filmmakers as we can. I greatly greatly appreciate it. And as always, keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 136: How to Break into the Film Industry with Stage 32’s RB Botto

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SPECIAL SUNDANCE EDITION of the Indie Film Hustle Podcast

One of my most downloaded episodes ever was my interview with Film Industry vet and CEO of Stage32.com, RB Botto (Click here to listen to that interview). Ever since then I’ve been wanting to bring him back on to the show. The stars aligned at Sundance and I didn’t just get him on the podcast but I also recorded the interview for the IFH YouTube Channel.

Here’s a bit on our guest:

Stage 32 is a US-based social network and educational site for creative professionals who work in film industry, television and theater. Stage 32 links professionals in the entertainment industry including directors, writersactors and entertainment staff.

It caters to film industry professionals with featured bloggers, online education taught by industry professionals, news from Hollywood and filming locations around the world, Stage 32 meetups page, an online lounge and a film business jobs page that allows members to connect with others on film ventures, along with standard social media functions.

CEO and founder, Richard “RB” Botto, an Orson Welles fan, drew his inspiration for the name “Stage 32” from the old RKO Soundstage 17 where Citizen Kane was filmed. That sound stage is now Paramount’s Stage 32.

We had a ball talking and partying at Sundance this year. A lot has happened since our last interview. I’ve done over 100 more episodes of the podcast and Stage32 has grown into a juggernaut. Add the hangovers, snowstorms and my co-host Sebastian Twardosz to the mix and you get a hell of an interview.

Curl up to a warm fire and enjoy our conversation with RB Botto.

All of these Sundance Series episodes are co-produced by Sebastian Twardosz from Circus Road Films and Media Circus.

YOUTUBE VIDEO

LINKS

SPONSORS

  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)