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IFH 383: The Future of Hollywood After Coronavirus & Goodbye to Film Trooper with Scott McMahon

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Today is a sad day guys. My dear friend and fellow filmmaking podcaster Scott McMahon is closing up shop. Scott runs Filmtrooper.com and has been a beacon of hope for indie filmmakers for over 6 years. Scott wrote the best-selling book How to Make and Sell Your Film Online and Survive the Hollywood Implosion While Doing It. (FREE AUDIOBOOK VERSIONS HERE)

Scott decided to have me on his last episode of the Filmtrooper Podcast. We had an EPIC conversation about what both of us had learned all the years we were running our websites and podcasts. The information was so great I wanted to share it with the IFH Tribe.

We also discuss the current and future state of the film industry, how indie filmmakers should prepare for the coming changes and we discuss the three paths you can take as a filmmaker. Scott explains what he’ll be doing after Film Trooper and in the future.

Get ready for a great interview with my friend and ever-lasting Film Tropper Scott McMahon. Stay safe out there.

Alex Ferrari 0:07
Now guys, today I have a very special episode. It is a somewhat sad episode, but it is a special event. I have today on the show film trooper extraordinare Scott McMahon Now for those of you who know who Scott is, Scott runs filmtrooper.com, which was an amazing resource for independent filmmakers and has been running now I think for a little bit over six, seven years. And, and Scott and I have become really good friends over the years. Many of you know that I used to have a mastermind with Scott and a handful of other independent film, kind of blogs and podcasts as well. And Scott decided to kind of close down film trooper and wanted to have me on as his last guest on his podcast. And the conversation we had was so epic, that I begged Scott to allow me to publish it on my podcast because the information that we talked about was so so valuable. I wanted to make sure that everybody in the tribe got to hear it. And Scott and I kind of go over what both of us have learned over the course of the last five to seven years running our podcast, the biggest lessons, the biggest takeaways we've taken from all the people that we've interviewed and worked with over the course of the last five to seven years. And we also talk about the elephant in the room, the Coronavirus, how it is affecting our industry, how it's going to affect our industry moving forward some predictions of what might happen and how you can best prepare yourselves to take advantage of the new way of doing things. And I promise you, like I said last week, things will change and things will never be exactly the way they were before. So this episode is just chock full of knowledge bombs, and it is almost two and a half over two and a half hours. So not that you guys have much to do right now you're probably at home quarantine. So sit back, relax. If you want to bust out a notebook or your iPad to take some notes, do it because this is an epic episode. So without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Scott McMahon.

Scott Mcmahon 4:12
Thank you for like joining on literally the last episode for the podcast or film trooper. It's been I've been dormant for a while anyway, so people were like wait, I didn't know that podcast is still around. So those four loyal followers or listeners or are that are getting this episode, at least we can wrap it up I kind of wanted to really use this opportunity to do sort of as as we can a little bit of masterclass like everything that we've learned running our podcasts and working in the independent film space and meeting a lot of amazing people. And other people you're like what no, anyway, the the, I really just want to, you know, have these takeaways. So you can have like, here's one episode that says, Hey, man, this is after all these years doing this stuff. This is what I've learned. And this is how I'm putting Applying the knowledge that I've acquired to the future now and the future of independent film and this? I don't know, at the time of this recording, yes, we are basically a month into our COVID-19. Shut down. You're in California and Oregon. And yeah, being a month, we, you know, we don't know, if it's another month, a couple more months, whatever it might be. Let's definitely new world. And everybody is like, first of all, just trying to figure out how just to the basics, just survive, let alone your dream project or any film project and all that kind of stuff. Are the current projects you're working on? Like, where does that all fit into the play? So I'm hoping to use this this episode as sort of like breaking down the principles of what we've learned. And maybe that's where no matter what the situation is, the principles still hold true. So the biggest question is when asked you and then I'll answer myself too, for a my end of things is, after all these years are running any film hustle, not just the podcast, but like everything about the the empire that you've built? Okay? What is really kind of like the one takeaway that you've learned, after all learn? I don't know, what's the biggest thing you've learned about at all in terms of independent filmmaking?

Alex Ferrari 6:21
Well, there's two questions. So it's about independent filmmaking, or is it about running indie film hustle? Because there's,

Scott Mcmahon 6:26
Let's let's focus on any indie film, just filmmaking, because, like, like running, not everybody has a podcast and things like that. So let's let's focus on like the filmmaker going. Yeah, after all, you guys have talked to a ton of different people interviewed a lot of different people. What is their what is our biggest takeaway from all this experience?

Alex Ferrari 6:46
I think the biggest takeaway, for me at least is that the filmmaker mentality, or the mindset of the filmmaker, independent filmmaker, is really stuck in the 90s and early 2000s. And the way things are done, and not only in the way, that, you know, obviously, the way things are done, meaning the filmmaking process itself has changed dramatically, even in the last 10 to 15 years, it's completely different than when I you know, in early 2000s, to now, how films are made is drastically different. It's the more affordable more technology and so on. But the other parts of the business, meaning how movies are made, how are they exhibited? How are they sent out? How do you put together a project that is changing so rapidly, that I think the biggest thing I've learned is to constantly be adjusting constantly be pivoting my techniques, my approaches to the filmmaking process. Whereas in my last film, on the corner of ego and desire, which I shot in about four days at the Sundance Film Festival, I couldn't have done that 15 years ago, it would have been a lot more complicated to do something like that. And it wouldn't, even 15 years ago, wouldn't have been at the cost that I was able to do it. Now. As far as you know, I think we spent about $3,000 and change on that film. And that being able to understand where the markets going, understand the tech, understand how to pivot, I think that's the biggest lesson is to not be afraid to change your trajectory, to pivot to adjust to an ever changing marketplace. And like I was yelling at the top of my lungs for all of last year, guys, something's coming. Something is coming, we're due, I had no idea was going to be the pen. You know, I'm not Nostradamus, I had no idea there was going to be a pandemic. But I did say that, look, guys, there's going to be a financial crisis of one way shape or form, we're going to have a downturn. And everything that's happening in our industry right now is all in very good. In very good economic times, whereas in everything else that we did as far as, as good economic times. So as soon as something changes, all those, those weaknesses, all those cracks in the infrastructure, that is Hollywood are going to start to show and the water is going to start leaking in the dam. And it's going to just break down to the whole dam is going to come crashing down. And I do believe that. And you sir, with your first book, The Hollywood implosion, I don't think again, you didn't think there was going to be a pandemic that would do it or financial crashes that do it. But something was going to happen. And I think that and we're seeing it now even four weeks in, you know, there's reports of AMC shutting down period. So and yeah, and there's good I promise you there's going to be a few before this is all said and done. We're going to lose a studio or two either through acquisition or just straight up bankruptcy because they're just so leveraged, and so in debt, and so non diversified. That they're not going to survive in the new the new film world that we have the new economics or ecosystem that that we live in today. But I could keep talking forever. But that's just generally the The first thing I said, that's the biggest thing I've learned.

Scott Mcmahon 10:16
That it's, I'm gonna I'll do the improv thing like, yes. And sure, yes. And I will add on to what you were saying. It's just because we met up in person a few months ago, prior to all this stuff happening. I was drinking Corona. Yeah, pre Corona ice. Yes, pre credit, I stopped by the indie film hustle headquarters. Very cool. And, you know, we've known each other for many years. And I remember, you know, we're in your driveway, and I was showing you like that graph, like, Yeah, yes. Yes, basically, it was this, this chart that was showing we are probably in the largest economic bubble that's about to pop. And, like, again, we had no idea was going to be a pandemic that was going to kick it off. But we knew that was something was brewing around the corner. And so you and I both had this look, our faces in the in the driveway going, Yeah, man, something's happening gonna happen. I don't know what's gonna be but Oh, boy, here comes

Alex Ferrari 11:14
And I, by the way, I showed that graph to everybody, like anyone I would meet on the street, Hey, come here, come here, look at this thing. Look at this thing. And then you see their faces just go, Oh, my God. And by the way, everyone listening, that we are not in an economic crisis yet. This is all still spawn from a pandemic, the issues that are in the economy are starting to show, but they're pumping so much money into the system. Do you know this funny money that the Fed is throwing in there, that they're still going to? Oh, we have no, we just wait. And I'm not sure I don't wish it. I wish it doesn't happen. But we have not seen an economic crisis yet. We're just starting to see it.

Scott Mcmahon 11:54
Right. This is just the the impetus to, you know, set this thing off that it was already due for a correction anyway. But anyway, so moving forward, did that make sense? Because we were like, okay, when you're an independent filmmaker, and, you know, what is that classic quote from Orson Welles, like he spent 95% of his time hustling, chasing money, and like 5% of his time making movies, so and that's he was just like, That's no way to live. Like this is Orson Welles. And that epic economic paradigm, or the business model really hasn't changed in a long time? Because Isn't that like, the biggest question a lot of independent filmmakers have? It's like, Well, how do I get the money for my project? You know, where do I where do I get the funding to make something happen? Right?

Alex Ferrari 12:41
Where I think the question needs to be switched, is that how can I get money for my project is, how can I create a project for the resources that I have, or the resources that I can get to? So instead of chasing that golden carrot for five years, because I need 5 million to make my epic, I can't make a movie for less than 5 million, which I had that conversation with myself and other people. Unfortunately, throughout my career, I finally decided, hey, what can I afford? And what kind of story can I tell within that, and then humble myself to go down the lower budget, which is smart is much smarter financially, it's much smarter for longevity in this business, and then slowly build up from there, where then you can't get to the 1 million in the five minute, but you've got to prove yourself first. And even if you have made a few features, you want to make another movie, I promise you in the coming years, it's going to be a lot harder to find one or $2 million investors, because no, the one or $2 million movies aren't making money anymore, because that's a whole other conversation. We can get to it later, in regards to the distribution world that we're dealing with. But that's I think that's how you should switch that conversation in your own head.

Scott Mcmahon 13:48
Yeah, that's a good one. And so with, you know, with my experience, and all the different people I've interviewed on film trooper, you know, I was on I was on a quest to just find out the goal of like, how does it you know, we have like different paradigms of like the film world, we have, like, obviously, the studio system, I called sort of like the indie film market, or like the film market world. So this is like the people that are operating in the Cannes Film market world, the American Film market world. And then you have about whatever 95% of everybody else, working in the ultra independent the hustlers, the indie film, hustle, hustle community, the film trooper community. I mean, I was using a term called Uber independent filmmaker, which is like you are not you're not playing that world, like you can make your movies and you could use these different services that keep changing left and right. And you know, Who else knows better this than yourself with all the work that you've done on, you know, distribution companies and things like that, but having these resources to get your work out there to the world online. You know, we're 95% of us are working in that world. And a few a few of us a very small percentage. He actually gets to move up the ranks, maybe get into the film market world get into the studio system. Again, very, very, very few. So from that experience, I was on a quest trying to find out well, how does like the Uber independent filmmaker, who I've chosen not to live in California, up in here in Oregon, how to someone like myself, who wants to make, you know, story content or film content, make a living, using these online resources that we have now. And that was sort of the quest, the film trooper, and the biggest takeaway I got was from, to me, the greatest successful independent filmmaker of all time was George Lucas, you know, the guy, you know, made a Star Wars film for the studios, but ever since then, he you know, he all the money he made, he made all his movies on his own at that point, yes, or studio, you know, involvement here and there, but he wasn't enslaved by the studio system. And his biggest takeaway, after all his years of experience, he said, you know, what, all the money is in the action figures.

Alex Ferrari 15:59
It doesn't lunchboxes, that's it.

Scott Mcmahon 16:02
That's it. And when you unpack what that means, is, is simply saying that the the art that we create the films, the books, the music, you know, whatever it might be, that's just like a starting point. But in order to make money in terms of the money to create a sustainable living, you have to have this all these ancillary research, materials and sources coming out from that project, which is you talk about in your latest book, The rise of the film, entrepreneur, right? You mean this one, sir. Oh, love that. Okay. You, you know, watch this. Yes, it's also discussed. But it's through, it's, it comes down to this thing, like, okay, so I kind of I came away with it going. Okay, so our films are nothing more than an advertisement. And like, we're, you know, so what is it that we're selling that has a higher price point, especially if our films you want, you can get them for free online, or somebody might just wait to the 99 cents rental, or you get a streaming deal with, you know, which won't necessarily always match up to your budget, per se. But you're like, Well, how do I control the the ownership of that property so that I can exploit it more. And that's really what it is. It's like the whole business of film, the film business is exploitation license exploitation, is in a book by called the biz by Schuler and more, who is an entertainment lawyer, he just says it just bluntly, I mean, it's just like cold and you know, cut, cut and dry. The whole business revolves around the exploitation of the license. That's it. As soon as you wrap your head around that you're like, that is the business. So how do we, as Uber independent filmmakers, be in the business of exploitation of our own licenses? And that's why your book is fantastic, because it just lays it out. You know, and I hope that my book adds like a little bit of knowledge bombs here and there to help people, you know, takeaway from that. So my takeaway from the whole experience of film trooper was, okay, if our movies are, if all the money's in the action figures, what is the action figure that I'm creating, which is why those who have been following me, I switched a couple years ago, I got into real estate, and I said, I'm going to use film content, some sort of creative content, as my amplification to sell a higher price product, which happens to be a higher price service, which is real estate. So now, and not only that, but it got me out of the world of, I guess, servicing independent filmmakers, because any film hustle, your customer base would be that part of your empire is is for the independent filmmaker. Once I cease really putting once I switched the my audience and I went from basically independent filmmakers to people that are looking to buy and sell homes or real estate lot, then the whole I had to start from scratch. It's not like I had a huge following from like, independent filmmakers were like, oh, we're gonna fall into like buying and selling houses. In Oregon. It's like, Yes, exactly. It's completely started from scratch. But I was trying to apply the principles of like, I get to make a creative creative show, which I have. I have a little show called around the neighborhood, neighborhood.tv

Alex Ferrari 19:30
It's amazing. I watch every episode, sir, every episode. Look, I always love it.

Scott Mcmahon 19:35
So I you know, the principles of filmmaking are still there. I still have to come up with the subject. I still have to I actually write scripts because I'm trying to find nuggets of how to create like mystery enough questions to be answered upfront. That are questions proposed up front and then they throughout the story, you it's uncovered by the end of it and then and then the whole process of filming, you know, editing, you know, music, all that kind of stuff, all that stuff is there. It's just now that I'm, I've embraced knowing that this is a free product, this is the free content. But it's, I get to choose how I make it, because it's, it's creative enough for me to have that creative outlet. And the byproduct just happens to be selling a higher price service. And one of the other takeaways, I don't know if you've really came across this to Alex, but you know, a lot of people in the film industry, they, they have a production company, because they have the skill sets to just shoot video product. And, you know, and they have a production company, and a lot of these, and they're really a lot of them really good. And that but what it is, is the the basis of that business model is they have to wait for a company to hire an advertisement agency, that agency controls who they work with in a production company. So your production companies hoping you have relationships with an ad agency, that's going to give you money to make a production but your base off the clients needs. So that pays the bills. So for a lot of people out there, you're running a production company is paying your bills, but you always have this dream of like, I can't wait to make my short film, use this money, all the resources, I have to make more independent film. So I thought to myself, What if you flip it on its head? Instead of waiting for the ad agency to hire you or hire your production company or client to hire you? Why don't you find the product that you like, and maybe become sort of like a, an affiliate salesperson for that product. But the content you make for that product, you get to dictate it, you get to dictate, you know creatively how you want to advertise or sell that product. And that's really what I've just done. All I've done is saying, I get to create this, like around the man town show and creatively go into it. But again, the byproduct is that. What have interesting things have you found interviewing a lot of different filmmakers and their situation that makes you kind of that maybe a little added nuggets that you have in your book that can't expand upon that kind of go like flip things on its head a little bit so so filmmakers can start looking at things differently again,

Alex Ferrari 22:20
Well, the the book Rise of the filmtrepreneur is kind of like a complete mind shift in how you make films, it completely changes the way you read that book and you can't unread it. It's kind of like one of those things when you you hear the concept you just like, well, I can't not think about this anymore. I can't unsee it. One thing I have found, and I've had and I've had a few conversations, the books been out now for about four months or so. So like for about four months and change. And the one thing I hear from certain filmmakers is that I've actually had angry filmmakers who are just like, well, I'm an artist, and I can't, I'm an artist. And I know, it's hard enough to be a filmmaker, let alone have to think about how to sell a lunchbox or build out a business to sell vegan products for a vegan movie that I made like, this is ridiculous and all of this stuff. And I've heard that a handful of times, and I've had some debates with certain filmmakers about it. And you know, I want to kind of lay out something really clearly here. When you have when you create something that is a different way of looking at it at the same problem that's been looked at the same way. There's always going to be resistance, there's always going to be someone or somebody that's stuck in their own mindset. They're stuck in their own comfort zone and don't want to do it. That was the car with the buggy. That was the that was a gas light with the elect the electric bulb. It was it's constant. Anytime there's a shift. Anytime there's a big change in mindset, there's always going to be people who want to fight against the change, whether that be their own insecurities, or whether they just don't want to, they want to hold on to what was the only thing they've ever known. So I've had a little bit of, of pushback from that. And I wanted to lay out three different paths, very simple paths that all filmmakers can walk. film, film path number one is I'm going to be a director, I'm going to be a director for hire. So I'm going to try to create a demo reel, maybe even make an independent film really low budget just to kind of get my semones can see what I've done or before used to be music videos and commercials. But I'm good. My goal is to play in the studio system to play in television or in the studio system and basically be an employee a very high paid and well paid employee but an employ never the less and there's nothing wrong with that path. The greatest filmmakers of all time have gone down this path. And that that's fine. The second thing path is okay, well, now I'm directing and I'm working. And maybe I'm doing commercials and music videos, maybe I've been making maybe some making some documentaries or docu series or whatever. But I'm still, instead of being an employee working for all these companies, I'm going to build a production company. And now you basically become a self employed film director or filmmaker, you're a self employed filmmaker. So now you're not just an employee anymore, you're creating your own jobs by working directly with clients and or studios. So you could be producing shows, you could be producing commercials, music, videos, any kind of video content at all. But now you're in somewhat more control, but still dependent on a client still dependent on the whims of a client, and or studio down that path. And there is nothing wrong with that path, either. If you want to walk that path, walk it, I walked both those paths, before I found my path, then there's the third path. Now the third path is, arguably, you still have a production company, let's say you're still you're still making the film, you're still a filmmaker. But I'll go into the post world. Now, all of a sudden, now instead of instead of just being an editor for hire, and then opening up your own post house, or freelance editing with your own gear, now you create a post production company that is selling your services to clients. But again, you're like, you know, I wouldn't, I wouldn't mind some of that passive income, some of that, you know, that I'm asleep in money. And then I'll start, maybe I'll create a lot package for color grading, and maybe I'll create some motion graphic templates that I could put up online to sell. And all of a sudden, that company starts creating and generating other revenue streams, other than its key point, which is post production, whether those be editing, collaborating, whatever, you know, dollars for hours, basically, you're still here, that's what's paying the bills. But you're starting to build out these other revenue streams, maybe you're shooting some stock footage, maybe you shooting VFX, plates, all these things that you're putting out into the world and selling it on a passive income standpoint, meaning you put it up on a platform, and or sell it through your website. And people are buying this from you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without you having to put any more hours other than what you originally created, in that in creation of the product itself. Sooner or later, if you're doing your job, right. And you want to get out of that kind of that nine to five rat race of working for a client, then this business has to grow. And these revenue streams have to grow enough to overtake that revenue stream. And once that happens, you're free, you're free to do whatever you want, you're free to create whatever you want, within the realm of your reality, meaning within the realm of your financial reality of within your resources within your connections. That is what I am selling. And that is what I am preaching and teaching in Rise of the film shoprunner is to create a business that pays you while you sleep using the creative product that you are making, which is an independent film, a series A docu series, web content, whatever that is. It's all created within the film entrepreneurial method. That's what I found myself to be happy with. I know a lot of filmmakers like well, I want to work with the best of the best in the world. I want to work with deacons. And I'm like, that's great, dude. But there's like 30 guys who do that, you know, he's only made 60 movies or whatever he's made, you know, there's that that's a very small doorway to try to get into. I'm not saying it's impossible, but there's still a lot of other you know, filmmakers you can work with, with a cinematographer, director, writer, whatever. And if that's the path you want to walk at, go for it. Like I said, some of the greatest filmmakers in history have walked that path. But every great filmmaker that has walked the path in the studio system, understands the business understands what they're doing. Yes, some of them are tours, you know, a tours like Chris Nolan, David Fincher, those kind of guys, but they all understand the business of it. They're not just creating art for the sake of creating art. They understand their market, they understand their audience, they understand what they're trying to do. They're just playing in a much, much bigger sandbox. But even those guys have to work within the rules of the sandbox. There's only one filmmaker on the planet who could have brought avatar to life. And that was James Cameron. Nobody, they weren't given Spielberg half a billion dollars to go do what he was going to go do. He was the only filmmaker to do that. You see that? Just very small amounts of people at that level. And that's at any industry, any business whatsoever, the web be music, whether it be writing, whether it be whatever, there's only a handful at the very top. And my thing is, like you were saying earlier, there's the studio system. There's the markets, and then there's the 95% of us. I'm trying to help the 95% We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. The other people that the other people who are the 5% that want to make those kind of films, my god Go for it, you could actually still use some of the techniques in the film shoprunner method are in your path without question. But if you're smart, in my opinion, and the way I feel that the business is moving forward, because I feel that those two systems that those two paths that we talked about earlier, I feel that that whole infrastructure is starting to shake, and starting to crumble, we're seeing it right now. And in six months, you're gonna see it even more, where if you want to survive as a filmmaker and have a fighting chance, without the lottery ticket of getting into the studio system, or getting into that system by playing by those rules, and so on. creating something that you own, you create you control allows you to do whatever you want. And that freedom is I think the biggest thing I'm trying to sell with this book, and with this entire concept is the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. And it had I'm the perfect example. Because I walked all three of those paths. I started off as a director going up director for hire, and an editor for hire. Then I opened a production company, produced commercially produced series, I did all my post production for all that stuff. Then I while that was still going on, I started creating indie film, hustle, I started creating other revenue streams to the point where that other stuff took over the revenue stream that I was doing through post production. And I just shut down my post production and my directing, by production company, for outside business, unless it's something I want to do, or it's a partner I want to work with. But I don't have to do that anymore. And I became financially free by creating myself not rich, financially free. And that's a very, very big distinction. I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I'm still hustling every day, I still got to come out and work at my business every day. But I choose to do it. If I have to take a week or two off, the business still makes money. And that's what I want filmmakers to be able to do with their films. And in the book, I had lay out so many case studies about filmmakers or doing this. Is it a long term play? Absolutely. Is it going to take a lot of work? Absolutely. Is it completely the opposite of everything they ever taught you in film school? Yes. And that's why a lot of filmmakers are upset about it, a lot of filmmakers get angry about it. Like I just, it's hard enough making a movie, I can't think about all this business stuff. And don't, then don't walk the other two paths and see how it works out for you. If it works out for you great. If it doesn't, and you're 10 years in, and you're still trying to make that thing go and you're working at Taco Bell, as a side hustle to keep chasing that dream, do it if that's something that you want to do, go for it. But I've given another option that filmmakers have not really been thinking about on a grand scale. And that's what I'm trying to change the mentality of how films are made. But I wanted to kind of lay out those three distinct paths, because it's been a lot of confusion and confusion. But a lot of you know, I get a lot of pushback here and there from filmmakers. And I just want to clarify that and I think that hopefully will help kind of clarify the whole situation. What do you think?

Scott Mcmahon 33:21
No, I like it. I like how you applied aspects. So the Rich Dad Poor Dad model, employed self employed business owner and investor yes into the three scenarios as well as Pat, Flynn's a whole

Alex Ferrari 33:35
Passive income,

Scott Mcmahon 33:36
Passive income model that he's put out there to kind of get people thinking. So it's great to see it all wrapped up together. But I think to like what you mentioned about the angry filmmaker. It's true when I brought up the scenario, which is like, hey, guess what our films are nothing more than an advertisement for something more expensive, that rubbed a lot of filmmakers are in way, because they don't want to see that they're just like slaves to some sort of, you know, commerce or they see their their art form, as you know, something higher. So I, I said, Well, if you're not comfortable with that analogy, just use this analogy. If you're an artist listening to this, and you're still not comfortable away what we're talking about, then switch it, you know, turn on its head and come to grips to say that your film is an amplifier. It's an amplifier for something bigger. What is that bigger thing? What does that bigger message? And then if that message, can you monetize that message at a higher price point than your initial film? So that, you know again, it's it's basically the same thing, but as what you're comfortable with in terms of how to come to grips with it. Is it an amplifier? Or is it an advertisement or are they both the same? And how do you work with that? So yeah, so with that said, I, I want to talk about like just some principles of filmmaking that seem to hold true no matter what is going on in the world, in terms of what I, you know, come to grips with is, if we're talking about a narrative both either feature or like a feature or a short film, or even a documentary, the narrative, the it's the aspect of storytelling is still, that's it that's at the core of everything is storytelling. I worked in the game industry, I worked for Sony PlayStation for over, you know, a decade. And I discovered that in the world of video games. Gameplay is king, that is at the core of everything, which is why it doesn't matter if you spent all this money have the best looking graphics on like the latest platform in the video game world. And a little game that has, you know, like Minecraft, that's using eight bit graphics, but the gameplay is addictive and super fun. People will gravitate towards that. The same applies for the world of filmmaking. It doesn't matter how gorgeous your lighting is, and all that kind of stuff and what cameras are use. If the story is just dry, the performances are dry, or your documentary subject is dry, boring. It's not going to engage an audience. But you can have like the worst shot stuff with the sound pretty good. But if the stories is compelling enough, you'll stick with it, you'll you'll put up with all the other garbage just because the story is intriguing enough. So those are the two the main things that I came away with is like no matter what happens, that in itself is always going to be the tried and true principle. Do you know do you do you agree? Or do you see other other things that I might be missing in terms of principles of just filmmaking no matter what's happening in the world?

Alex Ferrari 36:43
Well, before I get to that, I wanted to piggyback something on the last thing we said really quickly. Then I like the amplifier. In the end, the Martina you're just trying to be nice, you're such a nice guy. I swear to God, you're like the nicest person I know, Scott. I'm a little bit more hard aged. So I you know, this is this is the Frank raw reality of this, if you have a problem with the concept of money and making money with your image with your movies, or with your video content, understand that you're a hobbyist. You're not a professional, there is a huge difference between a hobbyist and a professional. I see two guitars sitting behind you, Scott, I could pick up one of those guitars and start to learn how to play guitar, I could play the guitar, I could sit there for six months, and play the guitar and learn how to play the guitar in my house, then maybe if I'm even somewhat Okay, go out to some coffee shops, post Corona, go out to some coffee shops, and and maybe maybe work for maybe do a for a couple free gigs. And then maybe a little bit later I can maybe get a gig or two here on the weekends, is that going to support me and my family? No, it will not until it grows into something much, much larger. So during that process, I am a hobbyist. Now if I can go and sell out Madison Square Garden with my guitar, I am a professional. If I can go sell 10,000 streams and make a buck a stream for a month. I'm a professional, I am covering You see what I'm saying? That is the difference between a filmmaker who's like I don't want to talk about the money. Well, if you don't want to talk about money, you're a hobbyist period, you're an artist, that's fine. And there's nothing wrong with it. If you want to be an artist, be an artist, create content and create film, and create stories that are important impactful to you. But understand that if you cannot sell it, if you cannot monetize it, you will not survive in this industry at the level that you want to be meaning that if you can make your movies for five 500 bucks a pop, my friend, do whatever you want. But if you need $100,000 $50,000 $200,000 $500,000 to make your movies, you have a fiduciary responsibility to respect the money and understand how you're going to recoup that money. Unless it's a gift. You got to recoup it because unfortunately, unlike that guitar that's sitting behind Scott right now, I don't know how much that guitar costs, but I know it doesn't cost 5000 I know it doesn't cost 10,000 it's a very affordable art form to play where playing as a filmmaker is an extremely if not one of the most extremely expensive art forms and complicated art forms on the planet. So understand those distinctions and that will hopefully help clarify your position. I'm sorry, I had to go on that tangent. I thought it was very hard to say that.

Scott Mcmahon 39:49
That was great. I thought that was great. And then we could piggyback to the other one which is principles of filmmaking now that every gonna go okay. They hopefully people are in this situation go Okay, where do I fit In this camera, where do I want to go? You know, they're there lately. You know, Scott and Alex are laying down some things here. So now moving forward, you know, now that now that we're moving to the part of inspiration, I'm like, What can you do now? Now that we kind of laid out like, okay, here's the reality of the world that's changing, you pick what lane you want to be in, go for it. But just be aware that the other lanes exist. So it's one of those things like now, the inspiration, what do what the filmmakers do now moving forward? We'll start with the principles I brought up just a simple principle. It's like, it doesn't matter. The story is still King stories.

Alex Ferrari 40:34
Yeah, story is always King. There's no question about it. You look at paranormal activity. You look at Blair Witch, you look at some of these low budget films that that don't look particularly well. But the story is intriguing enough to to the core audience that they're going after. That makes sense. So story is number one, I don't care about the Alexa, I don't care about the red, I don't care about cook lenses, or whatever lens you're going to do, or whatever cool little drone, or a gimbal or what no one cares. No one cares about the gear, you've got to have it. Look, my iPhone shoots well enough, as Shaun Baker proved with like four versions, five versions back with a tangerine, he shot an entire his entire movie on an iPhone, and it and he was a professional, he understood he was doing with that camera, it doesn't matter about the technology anymore, that the image is going to be good enough. If you're remotely competent, you're going to be able to get a good image. It's about story. First and foremost. second principle is understanding your audience, you have to understand who you're making this movie for. If you're making a generalized drama, then I wish you the best of luck unless you have some major money behind you. So focusing on the audience and who you're going to go after with this audience, that's going to be really key. Because if you don't have someone who's going to want to see this film, then you have no chance of making your money back. And if you're trying to make a broad movie, and you're going to try to independently self distribute and all that stuff, you are doomed. It's going to take even I've seen some movies, I've seen some shows that are so good. I mean, talk about cream rising to the top, it's so good, but there is so much noise in today's streaming world, there's so much content to be could be consumed. That even if your stuff is the best of the best, it still might get lost and have to be found somewhere else later in life. But you're not by that time, it's not going to mean anything. And I know a lot of people like well, it's really that good. Someone's gonna notice. Maybe, maybe. And that was the case, I always argued that cream will rise to the top and I you know what they very might well be. But uh, you might say that and maybe the greatest films of you know, the great your great film is submitted to Sundance south by Tribeca can and all in like five or six of the other big ones, and none of them get the genius. None of them get it. And I promise you, Sundance has gotten it wrong many, many times, Southwest. And many, many times. And these films that got rejected from those but look, I mean, Chris Nolan's first movie, the following, was rejected not only from Sundance, but this popped by slam dance the first time, then you waited a whole year and submitted it again. And he finally got in Chris Nolan get out like they don't. They're not the Nostradamus of filmmaking by any stretch. So if you don't understand your audience, and how you're going to sell this thing, how you're going to get eyeballs on your product, then you're not going to make it you're not going to make it and the way this world is changing so dramatically. Were before theatrical was the that was the bulk of the money was originally back in the days that's the only place you could you could exhibit your film, and, and, and generate revenue from it. Then VHS came in and home video came in and DVD came in. Then this cable over the cable was in there somewhere as well tv deals, all that stuff. But then the streaming thing showed up. And then there was t VOD, and then there's s VOD. And now there's a VOD. And there's so many different ways to generate revenue. But that number, that money just keeps dropping lower and lower and lower. And the same thing that happened in the music industry is happening in our industry where music is essentially worthless. on a on a price point, not the the artistic aspect of it. But the model the way it's set up. Now, artists, musicians don't can't make money with their music anymore. They have to sell. They have to do tours. They have to sell engagements. They have to sell, you know photo ops, and t shirts and hats and get sponsorship deals to survive, to survive. And that's where we're going with in especially in the indie film space, and the filmmaking space. So those are the I think the two big principles story and understanding who your audience is and how you're going to get That movie to that audience.

Scott Mcmahon 45:02
I like it. I want to do the again, the improv. Yeah, and I think the that's a good point about audience not just Okay, I'm going to take a deeper level, we're going to go deeper level, unpack it even more in terms of audience, knowing your audiences, not just for your film, to the eventual audience, but made and getting it successful. all the way along the line, knowing who your audience who you're talking to is, this is really just a basic business principle and, and communicating principle. So you know, you and I've had opportunities to kind of dabble into the opportunity of like pitching ideas or getting a project in place that looked like it was going to go big, like it was gonna go studio. I had an experience knowing my audience I had going all the way to pitching a movie to Lawrence Bender, who was Tarantino's producing partner, you know, I made it all the way through all the gatekeepers, my script and the project, everything like that got all the way through. So I had a face to face meeting with Lawrence bender. The problem was, you have to know your audience. Even though I got that far, meaning my audiences learned spender. And I had a kind of raunchy American comedy that was in play. And he doesn't make raunchy American comedies. Right. I was selling my shoe design to a hat maker. This was not going to work. Right. Not only that, but I made the fatal flaw to have like talking about my production experience at Sony's PlayStation and things just to say my competence level, and the reality is when you get to these pitch meetings, number of stories King, they don't care. They didn't care. And when you ever go, our friend, Stephanie Palmer from getting a room, you know, she's transitioned from like screenwriters. She's, she's up here in Portland. So so so she is out there, helping business owners and taking the next step. But she was running for many years at the American Film market. They had the pitch conference. So it was a very popular conference and then our l Sondra had taken over since Stephanie's you know, stepped down you know, there's forget the producers name from Dallas Buyers Club. He's his brothers Cassie now was from The Princess Bride and all these great 80s and 90s. And he he's one of the main producers is for a long time and another producer. And you get to see, in real time in this conference, people pitching their story ideas to a known proven producer. And you'll see cringe worthy, these people that are pitching bas are hard, they have the courage to be exposed everybody in pitching their idea for real. You'll see the fatal flaw that I had made. And other people may because they will go into here's what the poster looks like. And all this kind of stuff you realize who cares that's knowing your audience producer at that very moment does not want to know that you're going to be that involved with like the art department and all this kind of stuff. They just want to know, do you have a interesting story that I can champion that we can move forward to the next step? Your Your goal is not to get the damn thing made right there. Your goal is just like, can you hook them with an interesting story. So the guy who wins the night guy with like, the few times I've been there that the ones that win the pitch conference is the one that has stripped down, they don't talk about their filmmaking experience. They don't talk about anything, they just go. Here's the story. They tell the story. It's if it's interesting, intriguing up, they always win. So again, knowing who your audience even at the micro level before you get things made is very important. On top of that, one of the one of the great takeaways I learned, after all the years running film trooper in the podcast was this episode I did where scientists, you know, scientists, a lot of them don't believe in luck. They believe in high probability or low probability. So you're talking about, somebody makes an amazing movie or a docu series, it's just really well done. So they've helped their chances because they've increased their probability of getting a discover or moving to the next level, because they made something phenomenal. But they have to put it in play with all the right pieces to increase their probability of getting picked up, or getting it sold or making the next level. If they don't, then that property goes probability goes down. So when you're looking at luck in the industry, it's one of those things like if scientists don't believe in luck, but they believe in probability, you got to work every little angle you can to either increase your probability, are you going to decrease it? So that's like, like pragmatic things that go Oh, okay, that's great. So now we're talking about, I want to kind of dive in a little bit about case studies. You No, because we you have in your book I have in my book and some of the stuff that the case studies are important because I think they, they leave a lasting impression because we're going to tell a story. Now you and I get to share stories about other people making it. You know, I'll start with mine mean that I made. We're talking about low budget. So I made a feature film called The Cube, where I made for like, 500 bucks without a crew. Now it was like what? Well, a crew. All it was is like you set up a camera, you set up all the gear, you light the space, I learned this term from the half Nelson cinematographer who got an Oscar nod for nomination, I think for his work in half Nelson. And all he talked about, he said it was so low budget that they were like, We just had to light the space. And let Ryan Gosling roam around and I just had to, you know, capture it, as opposed to film like lighting each shot. So I was like, okay, in the world of no crew, you like the space, you set up a crammer, there's not a lot of hands, you know, motion the camera and you hit record, you jump in you hope things are in focus, and you go. And so it was doable. But the main takeaway from that is that my film wasn't very good. Like, I'm proud of it, but like, I look like, my acting was really rough at the beginning. Because as an actor, I'm thinking about everything. I'm on camera going, Oh, my God, the microphones too far away, I got a project. I'm not being true. Like it was just terrible, like I got through it. But I'm proud of it. Because it still has a story. That's the beginning, middle and end, I was able to sell it online, I kept my budget so low, because I knew. Here's the thing that people need to know. For a while there, my wife worked at a company that actually saw the real numbers of what films were making in the VOD space, or the digital download space. To an I was appalled. films that had no stars, no major distribution backing, were maybe making $3,000 online at the time.

Alex Ferrari 52:01
And that was that was back in the day. And that was a success story.

Scott Mcmahon 52:05
Yes. And then when I did the analysis of films that had, you know, name distribution, and some name star or somebody who kind of knew, maybe they were making 25,000, then what I took away from that was like, holy cow, like this means that these budgets for these movies, were not $3,000, they were not 25,000, they were a lot more, and they're not making any money. It forced me to make a feature film for $500, then the exploration of selling that online was using all these different platforms, and realizing that I eventually made my money back a little bit more. So I can say I'm a successful filmmaker, because I made a profit on my film. But running film cheaper was exploration of like, all the things I was trying to do, and meeting people like, what's the next step? I found out that I made more money selling my book, then I did my movie. Shocking, so I'm just saying, Yeah, so I'm just saying like, they put that in perspective, but we're talking about the cream rises to the top. Just now just like a few days ago, one of the one of the great stories that a case study we can look at is the director David F. Sandberg, who's I think he's from Sweden, I think, up in the Nordic world. He made the movie The short film called lights out. Yeah, they got picked up made a feature film called lights out. Because the Oh gosh. The Great. The guy who made saw and The Conjuring movies.

Alex Ferrari 53:41
Oh. Lin, Justin Lin.

Scott Mcmahon 53:45
Yeah, no, not just in that he did. The Fast and Furious movies. But just Australian. Oh, another asian guy. Sorry. Okay, how likes another asian guy? that lets you know we're gonna take a quick look at Wait, I gotta look this up. I can't believe it's running. But he he. Yeah, he's Australian, but he's Asian. But he's from Australia. What like my I might my glasses on the Oh, James Wan

Alex Ferrari 54:16
James Wan. Thank you, James. James Wan.

Scott Mcmahon 54:18
Okay. James was amazing. If you don't get his films, I'm a huge fan. That I can't remember his name. But anyway, the by Okay, so he champions David F. Sandberg. Movie lights out becomes and our buddy Jason buff from Hindi film Academy at a really great long interview with him on his podcast and got him at the at the right when he was in the middle of making the lights out, you know, feature film, so you have to understand, and it was a really, first of all, his short film was fantastic lights. And he had a YouTube following because he was just sharing his filmmaking experiences. But he made a very solid two minute enjoyable, creepy scary horror film lights out.

Alex Ferrari 55:04
But with that said, it's a lottery ticket. He got he got a lot he went a lot ticket.

Scott Mcmahon 55:11
He did because he won a film festival in but what I'm saying is he he did the first step was make something good. And we're talking about directing shows his shops in the most economic way possible a two minute horror film that gets picked that gets the notice and gets the next step meetings you know, where he gets, you know, the the back? Sure, so they put them on a feature. You know what, from that feature, he gets Annabel creation into he delivers on Annabel creation, you know, because if you're a fan of those series, it just works. But then he gets Zam. He makes zahm Well, this is a great story because he if you want to take that first tract of becoming a director, he was making quality content in a short form translated to a long form. You know, that did well enough. He understood the economics of it. But during this Coronavirus, shut down, he made he just made another film called shadowed if you haven't seen it, again, it's just it's brand new, a couple like a week out, we could go came out. And it's fantastic. It's two minutes long. He's working with his I think I don't know if it's his actress or his wife or his girlfriend together. But he does this whole behind the scenes and you get to see his vulnerability where he's like, having the same struggles of all of us filmmakers. But what he's doing it's like he's still delivering even he went, went full circle. He did a short two minute film got three features I did well, he does this short two minute film, and he's still struggling at the two minute film. But that's a great story. If you look at look up David f Sandberg Look at his trajectory from lights out to his feature films to his latest short film and the Coronavirus called shadowed, yes, a lottery ticket. But for people that want to see if they're a good director, this is my little thing like you know, if you really want to see if you're a good director. Go ahead. They know also if you're a screenwriter, if you're a screenwriter, go ahead and adapt a famous short story that is in the public domain, something that exists already.

Alex Ferrari 57:27
Or Stephen. Stephen, Stephen King will give it to you for a book. It gives you a license, it gives you any of his short stories for a book for all filmmakers to make. So that's something you don't know about that you can get any short story that Stephen King still has the rights to, he will license it to you for a buck. You can't make any money on it. But it's a great showpiece and Frank Darabont did that and a bunch of other filmmakers have done that over the years? So yeah, go for that. That's another area. Okay.

Scott Mcmahon 57:53
So there you go. So there's existing so as a writer, you have to see how well your story chops are? Can you translate an already existing entity that is proven? Then to test your directing chops? You direct that you? Can you direct a Edgar Allan Poe short story. And if you can't direct it, then you know, you can't blame the story. Because it's proven. This really will test you to see whether or not you're a good storyteller. If you have story sense, if you're a good director, if you're able to do that, they'll give you the confidence to move forward with your own stuff. So those are like case studies of how to, you know, take that first path, you're talking about working towards a director for hire, or even that good, because let's be honest, we see a lot of independent filmmakers come through. And they do make a lot of a lot of filmmakers like, wow, they make a lot of films, and it's like, but then the other day, you're like,

Alex Ferrari 58:49
man, they're not that good, but they still make them.

Scott Mcmahon 58:52
So you're not gonna get hired as a director of hire. But you know,

Alex Ferrari 58:56
I if I may piggyback on that as well. That example is great is a great example. I know his work. But that, but David's David's opportunity was presented because he won a lottery ticket in the sense that James Wan saw and championed him. There probably 10,000 data sets on Sandberg Sandberg, David Sandberg, David F. Sandberg, yeah, David Sandberg out in the world, if not more, that are quality filmmakers. And if given the opportunity to play in that sandbox still kill it without question, but he was at the right place at the right time with the right product. That's a lottery ticket. And Robert Rodriguez was that way Kevin Smith, basically every filmmaker from the early 90s were in that in that camp where they made something at the right time because a lot of those films if they were released today, El Mariachi wouldn't even be looked at today. clerks wouldn't even be looked at today in today's world We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. So he was the right place right time with the right product. What I'm always talking about now with the entrepreneur method is to hedge those hedge your bet a little bit will help that probability a little bit more. Maybe by building an audience online, maybe by getting attention from a large group of people where you have an audience who's really loving, you may make 10 or 15 shorts like that, where now you have to 300,000 people following you, and then all of a sudden, that noise attracts certain people to you, as opposed to you throwing out that line. That one line to catch a fish, where you're creating a full net, where you can hopefully draw us and leaving bait for someone to come in towards you. It's happened to me in many ways, by what I've done with with indie film also on my other companies. And and I think that's another plant both the same, both the same path, just looking at it a little bit differently. So just because it's really good doesn't mean that James Wan is going to look at it doesn't mean that JJ Abrams is going to go Hey, kid, you can come and direct me, or what's his name from direct district nine? If it wasn't for Peter Jackson? Do we? Do we know who he is? Neil, Neil Blomkamp, and I'm not taking anything away from his talent. I'm a huge fan of Neil Blomkamp, and I've loved his films that he's made. But if that movie comes out 10 years later, five years later, does anyone care because he was at a certain point with visual effects where it could make a little noise. You remember that movie? That short film 405 Yeah, you remember those guys? Those guys made this little short film back in the day when visual effects were just coming out. And he they took the whole town by storm with this this little short film about a 747 landing on the 405 and it was a great to create short but that today it's just a cool YouTube video. It no one would really care but back then it was right place right time. Right situation. So you you always have to head yourself a little bit. But

Scott Mcmahon 1:02:22
yeah, I know. That's a great point. Because you and I know there's so many stories you see in the industry was right at type time replaced a lot of heat in the industry. Like they get a lot of attention. They might even get an opportunity to make a feature film studio back everything. But then you know what they make one he never heard from again.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:42
Correct. Happens all the time. No, there's

Scott Mcmahon 1:02:44
there's a lot of case studies, a lot of stories that I go what happened that guy that or like, you'll hear stories, like, you know, like, yeah, these guys made this amazing visual effects short, and now they're in development. But then their development hell they never gets they had they had an office space on the studio. Sure, nothing happens.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:01
No, and but that's the way it is. It's this town eats people like that up, this town eats talent up. It's insane.

Scott Mcmahon 1:03:12
So if we break it down back to principles, again, if you are always of the director, filmmaker, but you're really honing your craft all the time making solid, you know, stories in a film content world, then no matter what happens from there, you still have your, your core talent in place. I just, you know, I don't know what happened to these other you know, these all these filmmakers that had this the golden ticket in their hand, and they never move forward with it. The great thing about least David Sandberg is that he's capitalize, again, there's a few people like can you capitalize on the opportunity needs that are in front of you? And are you ready for them? You know, it's like that whole 10 year overnight success, which takes 10 years to get, you know, that 10 years of working towards Are you really you know, honed in on your craft that way.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:58
The problem is, I think with a lot of these guys that do get the opportunities and do get these like magical stories. And there was a lot of film directors from the 90s that that we you know, had this meteoric rise, and then they just fizzled out or they're gone. And that was the end of it. I mean, Kevin Smith was that basically at the beginning, he did clerks. Then he had a big studio movie called mallrats. That died a miserable death. And he was pretty much gone. He was he they just wrote them off. And then he went to Miramax and got $150,000 from them to go make Chasing Amy and that movie brought him back because it was that good as arguably still probably one of his best movies ever. In my opinion. And but that was exactly what happens. And I feel that when you when you're only focused on that employee standpoint, which by the way, I want to make it very clear if Kevin Fey he wants to call me about a Marvel movie. I will take the meeting. I'm not against that. at all, I think that would I would love to play in that in that sandbox. But while you're chasing that dream, I'm in the camp of building something that could support you building something that can support your dream, I was able to continue my directing, chasing my directing dream of being a filmmaker, because I opened up a post production company, because I was opposed to a freelance post production editor, and then colorist and post supervisor and so on. I would that was my foundation, it's creating that foundation. And I would much rather instead of, you know, having a taco truck, as my foundation of revenue, creating something within the industry, where I can learn and grow, to build a foundation to still continue to chase that dream. And I feel that a lot of these guys that that pop that go into that world, they don't have a backup plan. Like this is all they were going after. This is it. And if it doesn't work, if they like, you get to the show, you're at the show, and it's like the baseball player, all he does is work and work and work to play baseball all his life, and they get to the end, they get to the majors and they blow out their knee. And that's it. It happens all the time to athletes, whether NBA NFL, or Major League Baseball, I need to be they all their lives, they've been focusing on going after the one goal of playing in the big leagues, which would be playing in the studio system for us. And when something happens, you blow out a knee, something happens you can't play anymore, or you or you're you're basically Oh, you're that movie that they gave you. It didn't do financially what they wanted you to do. So you're gone now. Now you've got to figure something else out. And that's where so many of these guys fail. You've got to have a foundation to build off of to launch yourself off of if not, you're you're basically playing on the tightrope, you know, and look how many filmmakers we know that did four or five, six movies, but then they have like, Why don't happen to Wolfgang Petersen. So Cray filmmaker, where's what was, where's Wolfgang what happened Wolfgang is called the Poseidon. Once Poseidon bombed, he was he got put in director jail. He's made some of the great movies of our generation and Wolfgang Petersen haven't heard from him. There's so many of these directors who are gone after a certain amount. And if they don't have anything else to backup from, they better hope save the money that they did when they were eating the high in the hog. Because if they don't then, you know, all of a sudden, unfortunately, you turn into Gary Coleman. You know, who was making millions of dollars and then essentially crashed and burned. You know, he was a security guard. After a while because he didn't have a foundation. They didn't build something out for them. That's a different scenario. But you get you understand the the analogy, you have to have that foundation to be able to build something off. If you want to go real quickly. I always like using this example. On the on the kid star thing. That can be Oh, the awesome the Olsen twins. You have the Olsen twins and you have Gary Coleman. Okay? Both Okay, pretty much the biggest stars of their time, and also Urkel. Let's throw erkel in there as well. I forgot his name, but Urkel. That kid actually played Urkel. So Gary Coleman went down generally the path that is like legendary mythical, he was the biggest, you know, TV star of his time, he had a run in a very big show, he made millions of dollars. And then because the parents weren't there to build something for him, help him build a foundation help him build a career. He basically crashed and burned. And unfortunately, what happened to Gary happened to Gary, the Olsen twins, had good people around them and figured out Hey, let's start building something ourselves. And they started making these independent family films starring the girls straight to VHS, they bait and then after their whole bill, they built out such an empire, that it was over a billion dollars in just a billion dollars and worth of the Olsen Empire. That's insanity. But they built a foundation because once Full House was done, they had somewhere to go. And they knew that their window of opportunity might not last for 1015 years. It might be only 678 10 years total from the moment where they started to their early teens and maybe early 20s. And they're done. That's it. They can't generate revenue anymore. So they built that foundation. And I heard from I don't know if it was from you, was it from you? Did you Were you the one that met Urkel in Uh,

Scott Mcmahon 1:09:24
no, I didn't know.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:24
Okay, so it was another filmmaker who met Urkel at some, you know, talk, and he came up to him, and he was talking to him and Urkel real told them He's like, Oh, I'm in real estate. I own like, I own like six buildings. My parents bought all these buildings for me with the money because he was making obscene he was making obscene amounts of money like the last four years of that show. Because the first few he was like, screwed because he had a bad contract. But like the last four or five years, he was making millions. And his parents were smart enough. He's like, no, we're gonna buy you any bottom like 678 apartment. And buildings, and that generates so much revenue for him that he's good, because he has a foundation has a business that's paying him. And then he can go off and direct and he could go off and act and could do whatever you want. That's the basic principle of what we're talking about here.

Scott Mcmahon 1:10:15
That is that story scenario is great, because you'll find a lot of people like that. There's somebody we know that's in the film, education space, you know, and you that's been around for a long time. Yeah. Type Simmons, I think. Yeah, like, nobody, apparently, apparently. I think he's made a lot of his money in real estate. Most of his real estate. Yeah, most was my, I met an actor. I was I was acting for a while there. I've been, you know, making a part time living up here in Portland, as an actor, and I was on the show, grim. And I was working along this character actor, who has been everything from Iron Man to American Sniper. He always plays like a mill, like either FBI agent, a military guy, he's just that look, yeah. nondescript white guy that just plays those types of characters. Real quick

Alex Ferrari 1:10:58
show real quick, what is your description? Sir? What is your stereo?

Scott Mcmahon 1:11:03
I yes, I was fortunate, again, talking about a little less a little, little lottery ticket. On that's primary white actors. And I since I'm half Asian, half white, I had this, they've come to describe my type as the ambiguous non threatening ethnic,

Alex Ferrari 1:11:26
non threatening ethnic, but that is your that is that that is a perfect niche for you. And that got you. Because there's not many other there was little competition in that space, where you where you live.

Scott Mcmahon 1:11:41
So it's important to understand, like, I was how I was, I could help sell a lot of products that because my look or type was, you know, you go either way, wherever you want to go. Like, I was not threatening enough that that you know, it's going to decrement your products selling

Alex Ferrari 1:11:59
I could sell your products or I could have a much more threatening than you are, sir. Yeah, just my facial. I'm always Yeah, yeah, um, it's not the time not gonna work.

Scott Mcmahon 1:12:08
Well, that's it's funny, because, you know, all this stuff's going on. I remember being you know, I was paid an actor's salary for being a spokesperson for a credit card company, banking company, beverage companies, like all these companies. So again, the ability to turn in on a hit on its head and say, I'm going to make my own show where I'm the spokesperson, spokesperson for my own company, which happens to be this the real estate services. So, you know, sometimes I, you know, I've been asked to be like, a spokesperson for some other people's real estate companies prior. So I said, Well, why don't I just be get the license, you know, so that there's the three line right there. But while I was working on that episode, this particular actor, it was, you know, for any other actor, his resume is very impressive. And he's been able to be in all these major projects before, not a name, no name, just working actor. And he was mentioning like, Oh, no, I'm a full time real estate agent down LA, like this, you know, I just do this when it comes up. I thought to myself, that's all I need to know. You know, I mean, it's like it gets one scene, you know, it's just like, it changed my perspective, like, you need these moments. And this is hopefully this conversation is these moments for people listening. It's like, you need to hear these things. So that it's a shift, so that you can look at it differently, but still feel whole. Like you. You finally felt like Alex Ferrari like, this is you running you're hustling the world of indie film, hustle. You know, I was on a self exploration trying to find out what is the the secret tell this? And then how do I apply for myself moving forward? So a lot of this stuff is Does it mean that I'm not going to you know, making the next you know, narrative or feature? No, it just means I for the last three years, I had to like get my home base squared away first, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:13:59
yeah, you have to build your foundation. You have to build the foundation,

Scott Mcmahon 1:14:02
build your foundation, and then you move forward. And the great thing again, you know, talking about really quick some other case studies, I know that running long

Alex Ferrari 1:14:09
No, but no, no, please, guys, it's the last one. It doesn't matter. Scott, just go. Do you have somewhere to go Scott? I don't. I'm stuck here in quarantine as well. So let's just, let's just Yeah.

Scott Mcmahon 1:14:22
Okay, so hopefully, you're getting a lot of stuff out of this. So we can talk about some other case studies understanding your foundation. Meaning that the great quote that I always love is is I someone said it's from Mike Tyson. I guess it's from Mike Tyson, the one that says everyone's got a plan and you get punched in the face. Amen. And I teach that stuff and we are literally as a world. We all had a plan. Yes, we all got punched in the face by this epic pandemic. So now we got to pivot. Now. We got to change. Yes. Now we got to adapt. Yes, you know, and we can't sit cry like, buckled down? You know, we are, in some weird ways this could be like our version of the Great Depression, like there was the, you know, things has changed in terms

Alex Ferrari 1:15:11
No, it's active. Absolutely I my last podcast, I just did this last week, as of this recording, I basically had the first part of my podcast, it was about side hustles in the pandemic times how to make some money. But I started I'm like, Hey, guys, there's a, I want you all to know that there are filmmakers and screenwriters out there, who are still thinking that when this is over, it's going to go back to the way it was, I have a rude awakening for you, it will not, it will be changed, and it will be different. And if you do that pivot, and do not change, thinking, you're thinking about how things are going, we'd all nobody knows how it's going to end up. Nobody knows in six months where we're going to be, but you have to be aware and be just kind of like getting ready, getting ready to kind of like take advantage of opportunities that present themselves because in these moments in time, is where the big changes were out of the ashes come the new, the new evolutions, the new things that take us forward as a as an industry, like look at 2008 streaming started to come on board from Netflix, and that look at how that completely revolutionized our business. There are moments in time, and this is that moment in time. So you have to think that nothing's going to be the same. I just have to educate myself as take advantage educate myself, prepare myself figuring things are how am I going to think differently? Because if you're thinking the same, you will not make it.

Scott Mcmahon 1:16:37
Yeah, and then agreed, again, we all got punched in the face. You know, so let's move forward. But like at the core, you know, we're talking about foundations and the core principles. One of the things that's great about the filmmaking or the need, artistic need is to be able to tell a story, whatever that format might be, if you are a writer, you know all these I know we know a lot of screenwriters, you have the bulletproof screenwriting, our screenplay is a screenwriting, screenwriting, okay, bulletproof screenwriting, you know, so, at the core, you're starting there and saying, like, Hey, this is important. There is this visceral, like, enjoyment and struggle and pain of crafting a story, you know, and finishing it in a format if it's written format, like that's the first step. Like you're just excited for somebody to read your script. You know, one of the things I discovered in my time running film trooper was that it was so much fun just writing the screenplay for the cube and then making it just just the process of doing that and feeling satisfied going, you know, what, if there was a beginning, middle and end I completed a thought, like, I completed something of this and reflect on it. I go, Oh, my God, look how bad it is. So it's all man.

Alex Ferrari 1:17:56
Oh, yeah, we all we all have those. Yeah.

Scott Mcmahon 1:17:57
So so but when I thought about it was like, but I was able to make something for so little money without a crew you finish? What if? What if the story was better? What if the story was better? So that got me back to the core principles of that, but then writing the book, how to make and sell you from online is via the Hollywood implosion while doing it, that process you know, you've written several books since we've known the, my gods. the discipline of sitting down, buckling down and finishing these chapters is brutal. That last 510 percent is brutal, like you can get a lot done but that it's just finishing it. What's worse,

Alex Ferrari 1:18:39
worse, worse for me is the audio book. Brutal it's so brutal reading your own stuff and performing and all those horrible but yes, it's not easy. It's not easy. So,

Scott Mcmahon 1:18:54
no, so but what the joy out of that was finishing it, having it in a real paperback form, like it's, it's tangible. Oh, you know, something real. But yes, the audio book to like just having all this stuff. It's done. It exists out there. But it got caught me thinking like, I remember I was a huge verb fans of podcasts. You know, prior to starting my own podcast, I was a fan of the creative writing screen. screenwriting podcast goldbloom, I think was like Goldman Goldberg. I forget his last name, Jeff something he was the host did a great job. He did these private screenings in LA different theaters. And after the movie was finish you they would have this podcast interview for an hour plus, with the screenwriter, or sometimes the filmmakers. And then he turned that into q&a or something that his own podcast so he left as as as a senior editor for screenwriting, creative, screenwriting magazine, and then turn his own podcast into the same format. But one of the guests he had, which I can't remember her name, she was a proposal like a legendary screenwriter who wrote a script They did very well. And they were, in retrospect, interviewing her. But it was really fascinating to hear what she had to say at the end. She says, you know, what, if I would have known now, what you know, back then, you know, whatever, like if the stuff that I'm now Wish I could apply back then she said, instead of just writing the screenplay, I would have read it in the book, I would have read it, like, tell us, she was already realizing like, I had control over the content that I created the license that I created, that she could exploit many different ways. After, I don't know if you're experienced. But after writing this book, even though it's not a creative narrative book, like how to, you know, my book, in your book, their information, books, but the process of doing it got me thinking, like, wait a minute, the next story that I should be working on, I should make a book version, a narrative story, then you could turn that into a script, and then you can make your movie and you can say, Hey, this is a movie that's based on the book. And if you know how to work, Amazon's book selling algorithms, you could say this is movies based on the best selling book for one week or one day.

Alex Ferrari 1:21:10
Oh, no, no, absolutely. Absolutely.

Scott Mcmahon 1:21:14
So when I meet screenwriters, I tried to tell him like, is there a way they can turn this into a narrative and people like people think like books need to be long prose, and they're like, two 300 pages, I want people to go and get the book called A Monster Calls. Remember that movie that came out with the tree and it was up for a couple years ago? Well, it's a very touching, sad story. But if you read the book, I'm telling you, it is very short, easy to read, it will change your perspective of what a book really means in terms of the formatting. Because you can read this and that book, that narrative book and say yourself, this is a script that just got turned into a narrative in the most creative simple way. And so now you can create a book from your screenplay. So you have multiple sources that way. And if you're able to become a producer, or make the film, you put together a team, it can be any work, the understanding what it makes to sell a book online, listen to Alex's podcast, read his book, read my book, listen to my podcast, there or just go down that rabbit hole, you can see that you can on a very low budget way, still tell your story, which is that which is the core of it, which is like the the creative release of like, I had a thought I wanted to put in a narrative form I did it. It exists in a tangible way. And it's out there being marketing properly.

Alex Ferrari 1:22:43
I'll tell you, when I launched Rise of the film entrepreneur, I didn't the day that I put it out for presale, I also launched an entire website, an entire podcast, a YouTube channel, everything at once. And I remember when you call me like what Dude, what do you what are you doing, man? How do you when you call or text me like, what do you what what? Because I already realized that this isn't going to be a one off, I can build something around the concept of being a film entrepreneur and provide more value to my audience. Other than just the book, the only thing I'm missing is the course which I am working on, which is the online course on going deeper and doing a deeper dive than the book does. And that would kind of create the holistic ecosystem of the film shoprunner method. It's so vast, I mean, I can't explain to you how valuable that is. Because I have multiple revenue streams coming in off the book, which then I used my movies, and I'm making more money off the books than I am off the movies that I talk about in my books, and so on. And so many different revenue streams coming in from this one idea, this one source, as opposed to the normal way of going about it, which is where you write the book, you find a distributor, you are a publisher, you get through go to them, you get 10% if you're lucky, and you own nothing. And that's it and you pray that they're going to put it out there. And if they don't, you're screwed. And that would have been the normal way of going about it. But I decided no, no, I'm going to take control of this book, where my first book wasn't that I did go with a traditional distributor or publisher with that. That's another podcast for another day. But I take this and now I'm able to generate monthly revenue streams that are still coming in and surprising me monthly on what I'm able to generate coming off of that. Do you know the story of JK Rowling and her her film shoprunner serial inclinations with the Harry Potter series? Do you know what she owns and what she doesn't own? could share with us I don't know other people Yeah, okay, so obviously when she wrote her first book, she was nobody she was on welfare she you know, nobody wanted the book and so on. Then it blew up obviously got picked up and it kind of exploded from there. She did own I do. I do,

Scott Mcmahon 1:25:13
although I do know that. I just interject there like I if I understand correctly, when eventually got to a publisher, these publishers have relationships with producers, the smart savvy producers, film producers, know what books are on the horizon before they're ever released to the public. Yeah, so I think the, if I understand correctly, the the, the film producer got wind of this manuscript, before they even published it. So it was on the radar to be made an option into a film. Anyway. So it's one of those things like that. That's like a its own sub industry is like,

Alex Ferrari 1:25:53
Oh, yeah, Jurassic Park was that way Michael crighton. Me Spielberg had it before the book ever came out?

Scott Mcmahon 1:25:58
Right. So in terms of how that industry works, so I'm sorry, did I just want to make sure I got that in there before people understand, like, there's another sub industry where people are increasing their probability of successful project, because they are injecting themselves into the decision makers, for mass media, you know, and you might be find yourself down that track one day, but just see work,

Alex Ferrari 1:26:20
but just to understand, so she was smart enough to understand that she needed to control some stuff. So I don't know the details, but I know that she had leverage, meaning that if they wanted more books, they're gonna have to do what she says. So as far as the movie rights and so on, they made so much money that they basically gave her the keys to the castle, essentially, and that rarely happens. But the one thing that she has that I had no idea she owns, she owns the E book. Of all the she owns the rights 100% to all the ebooks for Harry Potter. And it's sold exclusively through her website. So when you go to Amazon, this is how big Harry Potter is. The Jeff Bezos had to kowtow to her when you go to Amazon and you click on buy ebook of Harry Potter it goes to their website her website and she that alone that one move alone made her a multi billionaire because of that move and on top of the the revenue and all the licensing and she gets I don't know how much the percentage she gets off the the merchant and stuff like that, but I'm sure it's it's it's good. It's good but that was thinking she she was thinking differently already. She was already like, you know what, I'm gonna control this this and this because I have a very unique scenario here and that and that's what happened with George Lucas but George did it really slickly with with Star Wars He's like, Look, don't pay me a whole extra a lot of money like I'll take a cut on my direct and just give me the the sequel rights and this merchandising stuff. You know, you guys don't even do that. The last big thing that came out with Dr. Doolittle on a died of merchandise, let me just have the merchandise and they said Sure, no problem. And that one, it was like it was like Bill Gates and IBM IBM's. Like, and Bill's like, you know what, I don't want to sell you my software. If DOS, I need you to license this license, I needed that one more that one moment in time created the which the richest man in the world great, one of the biggest fortunes in the history of this world. And it was just just thinking just a little bit differently.

Scott Mcmahon 1:28:31
You know, let's, let's another way to think differently, but it seems tangible, like reachable. Right now, like for anybody listening, this is what you could do. I'm gonna use this as a case study from Aaron manky who does the lore podcast. So l o. r e. It's like, you know, scary stories. So the big thing to look at this case study is he's a writer, he writes like scary books. And because it's just him writing, he's able to write his books. Mm hmm. upload them to Amazon. You can make a hardback copy a paperback copy like all the audio book, Amazon audiobook everything. So what he does is he did a he wrote a few novels original fictitious scary story novels. And but he decided to start a podcast. His podcast is called lor l. o RT. And he what it was it sort of like almost like a glorified Wikipedia research. So he, in his his efforts to create his art, his art is writing books on scary stories, is he has to do research on you know, folklore and all this type of stuff. And in his process of doing this research, he turns it into a podcast.

Alex Ferrari 1:29:53
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Scott Mcmahon 1:30:04
Boom. The podcast for some reason took off. It was just the right niche they got picked up. If you understand how to work like the podcast, launch, you know, like for a while there there there was like if you wanted to get high rankings and Apple podcast, you have like eight weeks to make something happen. So he a little bit of luck, little high probability. He was creating a stuff it got picked up. He got a lot of followers following his scary story podcast. And it started taking off, but he was using the podcast. It's so play and to let people know that he writes scary stories and he can find the links afterwards. Yep, so he was he was doing the film to printer or the film trooper like, by the way, it's funny because you have entrepreneur and mine is film trooper, because for a while there, I was messing around different taglines like empowering the film entrepreneur. So we're all in the same. You and I are in the same mindset. Yeah, absolutely. So. So he was doing this. He's not a filmmaker, but he was a storyteller. And he had different means to tell his story. And this thing takes off all sudden, like some of the producers from walking dead, or listening to his podcast, they turn he gets one thing leads to another and he gets this into an Amazon series. So if you go on to Amazon Prime, there is a an anthology called lore. So they've taken a an existing audience that had a following on his law podcast, that was enough to get the right meetings in place to turn it into a series on Amazon. It hasn't blown up, you know, but it doesn't have to, doesn't have to what we're saying here, this is a real case study, that doesn't necessarily have to do with hype, a lot like luck, or high probability. This is somebody I'm writing, I like to write scary stories. I'm going to put another aspect of my world out there and a podcast to share my research. But I'll do it creatively. But then I'll use the podcast it as a self published author, to drive people to my book sales. Yes, that's it. Yes, let's be honest, I'm going to uncover my podcast ended up turning out to be like a free content marketing advertisement for my book. And I still make money on my book today, you know, on a monthly basis, and ask will probably attest to with all the different revenue streams he has, with any film, hustle, and all this all the offshoots of it. Those are revenue streams that are, you know, making monthly and that we're not talking retirement money. We're just talking like, for me, I just make enough money to pay for the online services to keep it going. Like I'm not, it's not like I'm like, buying houses from this stuff. It's like you're not seeing that kind of money, and you're not going to see that kind of money with your film per se, you know, when we break it down. But Lisa lor Aaron minkeys, I think, pronounce his last name correctly. That is a tangible case that absolutely wrap our heads around saying that's something that you can chip at, and make something work.

Alex Ferrari 1:33:06
In the book I use, I use the case study of like, if you're a horror director, and you want to make zombie movies, would it be cool would it be it makes sense to create a zombie podcast or a podcast that leverages the biggest zombie property on the planet, which is walking dead. So maybe you have a show that talks about the show or about zombies and build up an audience of zombie lovers through your podcast? Oh, and by the way, I also am a filmmaker who makes zombie movies. And then Oh, you guys, you know, I know. We just saw the walking dead. My new movies coming out next week on Amazon and on iTunes or wherever, if you want, if you want exclusive to this, get to blah, blah, blah. And then oh, by the way, I also make zombie t shirts as IV hats. It's up emergent zombie, all this stuff, because he's been able to understand who his audience is his niche audience. Like I say the riches are in the niches. He understands his niche audience. He's creating content and being of service to that audience. And then he's also selling them his art. And by that time that you've given them so much free content, so much amazing service, that there is a percentage of the audience that will reciprocate, it will purchase your merge will purchase your movies, your offsprings off this stuff at the movies, maybe you have events, maybe you have zombie get togethers, there's so many ways to monetize and to build revenue streams. That is not only just about the money, it's about being of service to the community, if you are not of service, this does not work. If you walk into it only thinking about money, it will not work you have to think about being of service and everything else. You know, when you are able to be of service to a community and you're trying to build a business to keep your art or yourself to sustain yourself, then the money will come you have to start thinking about how you can provide that service. Even better to that audience but that's a great example. Particular um, you and me both are Casting was, it's my, I'm not a YouTube star by any stretch, because it was a lot of competition in that space. But when I jumped into the podcasting space, which you're you're older than I am, as far as being in the podcasting space, you were already around when I jumped in. But I've been in it almost five years. And there wasn't a lot of competition. There wasn't a lot of filmmaking podcasts. Now, there's a ton trying to do it. But you know, I'm one of the, I'm one of the last standing. From our time, you know, when I started, there was not, there's a lot of guys that were around when I walked in, are not there anymore. They're just not because this is hard. This is hard. And if you can't figure out how to monetize, if you can't figure out how to be of service, and then monetize that audience in one way, shape, or form to benefit them and benefit yourself. You can't keep going unless it's just a hobby. And when it's a hobby, it's a hot, it's a tough hustle, man, episode a week, you know, it episode a week, and I was doing three, I do three to four episodes a week now, through all my podcasts. It's it's a lot. But But yeah, that's, that's it? Yeah.

Scott Mcmahon 1:36:07
Well, you know, you, I think, the fact that you brought up the zombie analogy or the case study, I think that's great for people, I want to unpack that a little more. Because we get into wanting to do a movie or tell a story about a certain subject, you know, and this thought of like, Oh, my gosh, I'm only have to live in this world for a long time. You know, I we know a lot of filmmakers that are still they made a good film that but there at the same time, they it's five, six, almost 10 years of the same subject matter because it takes that long to build traction of something they made. Well, you know, creatively, sometimes you just like, I want to make something be done with it, move on to something creative. Another thing. Sure. And the idea that you have to build an audience, for each subject matter is daunting. Oh, and so it's daunting, it's hard. So like, you say, like, if you're going to be as if you're a zombie enthusiast, then that can be something that you're good with. We and one of the things I offer with people, you know, come in. to film super is I offer a hack, like how do you build your audience quickly? And the hack is make a fan film, like, you know, like Star Wars fan films, or stars or

Alex Ferrari 1:37:25
Batman vs. Aliens and stuff like that? Yeah,

Scott Mcmahon 1:37:27
yeah, so but you can do a Star Wars fan film, you can get a lot more followers to your movie. And then if you can get a little bit of following out of that, you can tell them the next project you're working on, you know, that might as long as it's in the same ilk of like sci fi, fantasy, or whatever it is. So that was a big struggle for me on if we're going to break down case studies and things like that is I reached a point with independent filmmakers where I don't know if I could service them, per be of service to them, as opposed to ServiceNow. But anyway, the absurd AV service to them. As because I was watching what you were doing, like I think Alex has got it. Like he's going up though Dan is like I, I may not be able to offer as much you know, more than where I've, I've hit this crossroad, where I was like, I became more interested in like exploring another audience. And so the ability to create a show, like my little show around the neighborhood, again, started from scratch. I was became a neighborhood. I was interested in neighborhood stories. And that allowed me to just focus on that. And then that allowed me to meet all these different people in town, which again, I understand that's my byproduct is real estate. But you're talking about being of service to somebody of you know, a lot of times like I'll do the show, and people want to talk to me about other things. But by just meeting them and helping them with right now we're talking about musicians being hit hard, we talked about, like, if they're if they can't make money, just selling their music online, because there's no money or merch or rely on live merchandise or live performances, all these musicians that I know locally that were making a regular living playing gigs, they can't pay gigs anymore. So now they're online. And so and now you see all these Facebook Live, you know, footage of somebody playing guitar, like send me some money and things like that. It's like it's getting a little daunting, you know, the virtual tip jar. So I'm working with some local musicians helping them out. And you know, I'm not being paid a lot, but I realize I'm helping them out there. They're both Hall of Fame inductees, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame here so, so I'm helping tell a story of like their life and music and then they would play music and it's just a subtle, standalone video that has like tip jar links to where they go. Well, because I was doing just helping some people out locally. Again, being service with the with the skills that I have, that is end up turning into like spawning like Oh, the turning into a little bit more of a documentary than I expected, you know, great job of that, right. But on top of that it's turning into remember how my higher priced service is real estate? Well, it looks like it's turning into a real estate deal as well. So it's like, you know, it's like, I didn't go out like hard press and selling it, it was simply being of service to a community. Again, breaking it down to the audience, like, I had to, like, do some deep soul searching of like, which audience do I which audience can I serve in a long term? Like, I'm thinking 30 years that I'm going to be exalt enjoying each time I get out there and do it. I think film super kinda reached the apex for me, where it's like, I'm not sure I'm enjoying. Because I don't feel like I'm just gathering and curating information, I'm not applying it. And then filmmakers I'm talking to, there's doesn't seem like enough of them are applying it, you know. So it's like, I got to move away from like, filmmakers, and I got to apply what we're talking about. And then then I have to find a new audience, an audience that I that I really, truly think I could serve for the next 30 years. And do that. And so that's a question I think a lot of people have to ask themselves, like, you know, if you find yourselves going down the path of making a film, can you live with this subject matter and the audience around it for the next 10 years? You know, it's something

Alex Ferrari 1:41:30
you know, it all depends on your, your perspective, like, I know, some horror guys who just love horror movies. And you know, and it's not a big stretch from zombie to horror. So if you're in that same kind of niche, in general, the horror niche, if you're a horror guy, and you're gonna do horror for the rest of your life, and again, although Toros probably not going to make a comedy, though, I would love to see a comedy like that, but but generally, he's, he's good. He's gonna be horror for the rest of his life. And he's very comfortable with that. And that's No, no issues with that at all. So you have to ask yourself the question, Where am I going to be in 10 years? Do I want to keep doing this? A lot of times you don't know that answer, man. You know, like, I, you know, you remember, I owned an olive oil and vinegar, you know, shop and a company. If you would have told me, I was gonna open up that like, you know, eight years ago, I would have said, You're crazy. You're nuts. But I did. You never know what happens during the path. But this is one thing that is true. If tomorrow, I decide to stop, you know, creating amazing, amazing amounts of content that I do for indie film, hustle, a bulletproof screenwriting or film shoprunner, this machine will continue to run. Without me at the helm, it might drop in revenue, but the machine will continue to run while I build something else. So if you're able to build a machine that runs in that niche, you can still service that niche and service that machine and keep that machine going. Because it's generating enough revenue for you while you're off making another movie, you know, that's not a horror movie, making or opening up an olive oil store or going into real estate, or whatever that other other opportunity might be. But you have a business that's still creating money for yourself and still generate revenue, while you're still able, because you've created so much content. I mean, look, I've got I got close to over 500 podcasts out of all my podcasts, that that's a lot of content, that's just the podcast, not to mention, the videos and all the other stuff that I do. That's a lot of that's evergreen, that's gonna keep finding, you know, I got articles from 2015 that are really popular. And people still find it all the time. And it's evergreen stuff. So if you're able to build up a business, in that niche that you're doing in generating those revenue streams, there's no reason why you can't pull back from that, go down the other path, and either let that do its thing, or just feed it every once in a while, or hire someone to feed it, maybe hire someone to take it over, where you're still generating revenue, and you're still servicing that audience. But now you're moving into another direction in your life, because you never know what's gonna happen. You know, I don't you know, like I said, if you would have told me I was gonna open up an olive oil store, I'd be like, what? Like, it doesn't make any sense still doesn't make any sense. It was a dark time in my life. I don't want to talk about it. But but but you never know. But again, the foundation is sound. If you're able to build a business with your films in that audience, then there's no reason why that can't keep going. If you've done it correctly, if you've built a very strong foundation up, if you haven't built a strong foundation up, or wasn't making enough money when you were up 100% then it doesn't make any sense. It has to kind of die off. But look, I have a great a great example of everyone listening knows Wes Craven, the famous horror director who kind of fell into horror, horror wasn't his thing. really wasn't the biggest thing in his life. He liked it. And he enjoyed doing it. But he eventually wanted to break out of horror. And the only time that I know of that he did a movie outside the horror genre was after he did scream. They really wanted him to do scream, too. He's like, okay, I'll do scream too. But you've got to give me a movie. And that movie was called music of the heart, which was about a drama, about 500 violins that go to a low income school starring Meryl Streep and Gloria Estefan. And had like insync in it. And like, that was, that was the movie he wanted to make. And it's, by the way, wonderful film. I enjoyed that film a lot. It was really wonderful film. But it didn't do box office numbers. And guess what, didn't get a chance again. So now he goes back, and he does scream too. And he continues his his path down that road. But I know, because I actually had, I was really good friends with his personal assistant at the time, that he he really wanted to break out of that, especially as he got older, as he got to like what what excited me at 20 does not excite me now, in my age of 45. It just doesn't the filmmaker I was in my 20s is not the filmmaker, I am in my 40s so you have to give yourself the opportunity to adjust. But if you're smart, and you build your your foundation, and you build revenue streams, whether that be in the business, or buy apartment buildings, and have you know, have a revenue stream, have cash flow coming in, to kind of support your creative endeavors. That is the dream that is the goal. And there's no reason why you can't have your cake and eat it too. In my opinion.

Scott Mcmahon 1:46:34
Yeah, definitely. So here's some other case studies that are things like impressions that that made a big impact on me over the years of running you know, film trooper and the podcast and different people I've talked to. One of the guys was this fella that I was in a in a mastermind with for a while he's out in New York, he ran, he runs bloop animation. So if you go to YouTube, go bloop animation more maryrose he just started off doing like being a fan of animation, 3d animation, Pixar animations, Disney animation. And then he views his growth in his YouTube channel, giving short tutorials. And then he turned into selling courses, beginning animation courses. And then that led to building more courses and that build to building courses on the different software because not every animation is software the same. At the same time. He's making short films. So he's like, I'm making this short film. So he's a filmmaker, we're talking to animator that made his own animating animation buddy. But behind all that stuff. He had a YouTube presence that was giving edge, you know edutainment, so it was educating but also entertaining, but he had a mechanism in place where he was selling his courses. So this builds this whole company. And because we're in the mastermind together, there's a lot of years, he's also getting hired as a contract for hire animator at different studios. So he's making like his, his day money as an animator for contract for hire. And then at night he was or whatever on the side side hustle. His side hustle was blue animation, building courses, doing YouTube videos, and then that grew. So then he didn't have to take on as much contract work. And he started meeting other animators and they start collectively, you know, doing their own short other short films. So and it just keeps growing. And every you know, ages new courses come out so it's his whole point is uh, he built a he built the film to printer system in place, he gets to make his animated film, but there's a mechanism behind it that allows this to continue

Alex Ferrari 1:48:51
You got to pay to play you got to pay to play brother You got to pay to play unless you've got a unless you're rich, or you got you know, a trust fund somewhere. You've got to figure out how to make some money. This is the world we live in, man, you know, unfortunately. So this is what has to be done. I know it's not sexy. It's not sexy, building up a bit. I think it's sexy, but a lot of people are like, I don't want to build the work of building a business. I'm an artist. I'm like, okay, man. And you know what? Da Vinci is a da Vinci or Michelangelo, one of the two I think it was the Vinci who you know, he was an artist. But he was he wasn't a starving artist. The whole concept of the starving artist is such bs because the Vinci was an extremely savvy businessman had multiple revenue streams coming in. He was extremely wealthy was probably one of the most wealthy people around in his in his town in Italy. Because he was doing a million different things and he was hustling all over the place. So he was able to generate all this revenue and still be able to create the art that he wanted to create. with, you know, sometimes it was commissioned, sometimes it wasn't, but that concept is something that we, in this world that we live in today have to understand. If you want to be in show business, you need to understand the business, as our friend Suzanne Lyons says the word show and there's the word business and the word business has twice as many letters as the word show. And there's a reason. So if you don't understand the business, you will not get to do the show.

Scott Mcmahon 1:50:23
There's it's interesting brought up Da Vinci, I read his book, Walter Isaacson book, Ananda was fantastic, very long. Way, right. He, you know, the he got into plays. He was like, he was just not a painter. He was a lot of other things that architect everything one of the one of the other aspects that you brought up that I wanted to make sure there are people listening, is there's a thing about a champion, we talked about early on about David F. Sandberg, how James Wan came in as a champion. There is this thing that's true out there. Like you said, there is in the world of filmmaking, there is a lottery ticket. But it's essentially, are you creating good enough content, good enough films that are interesting enough? And are you getting them in the right in front of the right people, and create increasing your probability of moving to the next level? Because what you're looking for is that champion somebody, if you look through the trajectory of all your favorite filmmakers, there's always like, you realize, like, wait, there's always somebody behind it. That is, was really helping it push forward. Oh, yeah. You know, well, Walt Disney, without his brother Roy, who was the banker, the the logical one, the financier, the one who's making things happen, you know, Walt Disney would not be as successful as he was, you know, the every, if you want to be an artist, you better partner up with a trusted, and the key word is trusted. Because a lot of artists get taken advantage of no matter what form of format, you're in music, art, you know, movies, whatever acting, people will get taken advantage of, if you don't have the right champion in place. And so you have to do what you need to do to increase your probability of finding the right champion, or putting yourself in the place to get to the next level, the right champion. So that's one of the major takeaways that I got from running the podcast is really breaking down sort of that through line like, Oh, that's interesting. If you want to get to the next level, that way,

Alex Ferrari 1:52:24
I found my perspective on the champion is that I got tired of chasing the champion and trying to try to get the attention of the champion in the in the traditional ways. So I decided to create bait for that champion to find my define me. And that bait could be an it's an amazing short film that happens to fall on this person's desk. That happens, but that, again, is a lottery ticket in today's world, where if you build enough noise, you build an audience, you build something that is makes you stand out from the crowd, because yet everybody in their mother has a good short film, but not everybody in their mother has an audience around the art or the work of a filmmaker, and or company. And that is the new way, in my opinion, to get attention in hollywood, hollywood cares. I was talking to an actor, a seasoned very seasoned actor, friend of mine, I had coffee the other day. And he was telling me, he was in, in a in a casting. And he was telling me how the world changed because he used to be one of those actors who he played like the bus driver, the landlord, he just plays that guy. And he would be able to play the dad in these. These national spots, he do one or two national spots a year. He's good. The rest of the year, offer residuals, because the business has changed so much that residuals are gone are going away. actors are getting it's going to become worse and worse for actors. As far as residual payments are concerned. He was walking in doing the casting, and he was there helping a friend of theirs. He was like he was basically just reading lines for the other people like hey, do you want to come in and we'll pay you X dollars to sit there and read lines all day? And he did. And he would have and we sit there and it would just be the the producers. And the second they would before the person would walk into like john john smith coming in 75. And then it was like, Betsy is coming in to 25 and then other Oh 10 in these numbers would just be spread out. And and then like at lunchtime, he pulled them off. Like what are the numbers? He goes, Oh, that's their Instagram followers. Yeah, that's your Instagram followers. Because even for actors, you can't just be an amazing actor. That's not enough. You can't You can't just be the best looking the most talented, right for the part. It doesn't matter anymore. It does to a certain extent. Of course you'd that let me just put it this way, all the things I just said, that's the starting point, before they used to be the finish line, that's the starting point, you just have to understand that there's at least another 10 people who have as much talent as you are as good looking as you and are perfect for the part is you. And the only thing that differentiates you guys is your following is the audience that follows you, as stupid as that might be. That's what it is, period. And that's the world that actors are starting to walk into. And they have been in that world for a little bit now. But now filmmakers are gonna have to start doing that as well, because their talent is great. And there's a lot of talented filmmakers out in the world, talking about generational for the last 100, like alive, how many directors are there, who are capable of creating amazing art, and amazing cinema, there's just hundreds of 1000s of that millions throughout. Throughout the last 80 years, let's say who are still alive and able to do it. Let and also the new actor and all the new directors and filmmakers are coming up. So that's the there's just too much competition now. Right, you're able to control that audience, if you're able to build something, whether that be a book that you own, an IP that you own, something that makes you stand out and want them to come to you, then you're in a position of power in that situation. And it's it's just starting to, you're not begging for an opportunity. You're having a conversation about being a partner. And there's a very distinct difference of having a conversation like so can I can I please have some money for my movie, sir? Sir, with your hat out, or that same person walking in, hey, I want to I want to do business with you. That's a different conversation. And that's the place where I've figured out that that makes most sense for me, is to partner with people not to beg for opportunities, I create my own opportunities. And that's where you have to be in this world, I think.

Scott Mcmahon 1:56:57
Right? And I want to definitely do the Yes. And I think that's a great thing. So there are there. Yes, yes. And because now, people listening to this, like said, like, you know, this is a marathon. This is like everything you're talking about you and I this is our opportunity, this massive brain dump onto the audience to close out this, this this show that for me to do the Yes. And it's true, which is I brought up again, like hacks like well, how would you? How does somebody get all those Instagram followers? How does somebody get a following if you're starting from scratch, and that's why we talked about the the advent of a hack, which is simply okay. Make a fan film. Like if you're a filmmaker, we're talking about filmmaking here. So you make a fan film. And we say I say stuff, like I just put Star Wars out there. But Star Wars, because there's already a built in following for that kind of content. And it's the same adage of saying like, if you want to be the leader of the parade, just jump in front of the parade. The analogy there is instead of working your way from the very back line of the parade, trying to work your way up to the top of the front of the parade. If you jump in front of the leader of the parade, that means that there's an audience already exists a following already exists. So how do you just jump in front, this hack of creating a fan film, like a Star Wars fan film, means that you can almost guarantee if you do it correctly, by just making it for free, put it up online, and tagging all the right places in Star Wars and all the fandoms that are out there, and Facebook and Instagram and YouTube, that you probably get about 25,000 views on your movie. And but if it's really good, it gets reshared. And you could do millions, we're seeing Star Wars fan films and the millions and millions of views. And your job is to make sure you have a mechanism in place to do what we call in the world of online marketing the conversion rate. So let's talk about the conversion rate real quick. So people get their heads wrapped around that. The days of like when you get mailers, you know, like advertisements in the mail, like Bed Bath and Beyond or whatever it might be, you know, these are coupon in that world of marketing, direct mail marketing or direct call direct to consumer marketing. The marketers are only hoping to get they're expecting to get about a one to 2% conversion rate, meaning that for every 100 mailers they put out, they're going to get a 1% You know, one or two people are gonna one or two people are going to show up. Yeah, that's maybe just show up the nest is that doesn't mean they're gonna actually buy anything, right? So that's why they have to do it in bulk. Why you have to have these vast numbers of like a million, you know, hundreds of 1000s because then you've you do the just the mathematics. Just count on it one to 2%. And does that actually work? weirdly it does. If I looked at the one thing that I've noticed, like you can take a look like if you have a mechanism in place for your film. For me, the cube was the I have the trailer for the movie online for years. And over time, you can do like an a breakdown of like how many trailer views your movie gets, do about a one to 2% conversion rate, that's how many people will probably going to buy your film, or rent it.

Alex Ferrari 2:00:25
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Scott Mcmahon 2:00:36
So you have to decide, like, if I'm renting it for 99 cents from selling it for $10. And I'm only getting 20 people, you know, do the math, you know, you're you're not gonna make your money back unless he has some other mechanism in place. So some of the other case studies we have in terms of by having a start like Star Wars fan film or a fan film of some sort, you jump in front of parade, you get like 25,000 views on your short film, is there a way to do a one to 2% conversion of that following to your actual website to the to the behind the scenes things you're offering to anything about how you made the film to get them onto a list, we call the email list, get them so that they're following you so that you can follow up with them later, with your own original movie. You know, hopefully it's of the same genre, so they're not totally thrown off

Alex Ferrari 2:01:25
It has to be the same it has to be the same shot. Yes. It has to be as to be something similar until you build up enough street cred or reputation that you could jump genres and you know, like, like Kubrick, you know, or, you know, those or Spielberg or these people like for a while Spielberg was not allowed to do anything other than fantasy Action, Adventure films. Then he said, No, I'm gonna do color purple. And then I'm gonna do Empire, the sun, I don't care. And to the point where he then did Schindler's List in Jurassic Park in the same year, and he was good. But yeah, but good.

Scott Mcmahon 2:02:01
No, no, no. So that's right. So that we're looking at like this thing. Understanding conversion rate understanding the way to get in front of an audience. Another case in point we can use an industry something like music, something more relevant. Today, Tori Kelly, this this this singer songwriter, she audition for? American Idol was told by Simon Cowell, she has like one of the most annoying voices this this pretty girl from San Diego, you know, but since she was, you know, changed by that that was her plan. She got punched in the face. She got Mike tight, you know that the world changed for her. But she started doing cover songs on YouTube. Yep, she's she she worked on her craft, learn how to play the guitar better. So she you know, talk about jumping in front of the the the prayed, which is simply like, what is the most relevant popular song going on right now. So a YouTube artists will I'll do a cover of it. So they get a following because then you know, the, if somebody sees like, Well, whatever the popular song is now Oh, there's somebody did a cover of it. And they really liked that person. And she gets this following. And then she was able to say I'm gonna be releasing my next album or my own album. And then people realize her genius was she has like the most one of the most amazing voices in the industry. And the same thing happen if you're talking about actors. Somebody or a personality, like a you know, on screen personality Michelle Phan for she did makeup tutorials on YouTube. Hey, girls, like here's how you do this is that those are super, super popular. We're talking about conversion rate. Well, she did like how to do like makeup for like a lady gaga video, because that's where the parade was. She piggyback jumped in front of that audience. Her YouTube subscribers jumped up to whatever, a couple million right? conversion rate one to 2% converts into really dedicated fans. So even though she had a YouTube following of a couple million, I think it was I think the conversion rate got down to like, she was offering exclusive, like, hey, if you want to get pre made, like makeup packages sent to your house, join my club, you know, and it's like $10 a month. So she has this free youtube channel. She's got a subscriber base of whatever couple million the conversion rate one 2% she's looking at, like 78 75,000 people that signed up that do the math there. 75,000 times $10 a month. Let me I'll do that real quick. So

Alex Ferrari 2:04:38
75,700 $50,000 $750,000 a month. Yeah.

Scott Mcmahon 2:04:46
Seven she talks about talking about she built her audience. And guess what? Major makeup companies came calling she signed a billion dollar deal. She has her own makeup line. Of course what I'm getting at what We're getting out is like these are the metrics or how to do it. So Alex is running film, indie film hustle and all the other offshoots bullet score screen, bulletproof screenplay and film, film intrapreneur. Like,

Alex Ferrari 2:05:14
but you match them up yet, but yes, sir.

Scott Mcmahon 2:05:18
Thank you. So, you know, it's a, what we're saying is, these are things that you can try to follow. It's, it's not. It's easy to understand. Because when x wrapped around it, it is so hard to execute.

Alex Ferrari 2:05:32
But it's simple. It's simple, though. It's easy. That's the thing. It's easy to grasp, but difficult to do. It's like playing the guitar. Sounds easy. looks easy. But to actually do it is extra to make a good to bake a good bread. Say it's simple ingredients. It's like, you know, can I just bake the bread because we're in quarantine. But, um, but you know, we have it's like five or six ingredients, but and everyone has the same five or six ingredients, but what do you do to execute it? To do it very, very well. Writing, same thing, all are all great art forms. It's simple, but they executed at a very high level is very, very complex,

Scott Mcmahon 2:06:15
you know, executing on you know, so I make my show. And so like, I'm not doing the YouTube youtuber paradigm. Like, it's not just a vlog show, you know, it's people will look at it. It's not like a vlog show. But the thing is, like, I'm not, I'm not trying to bet on the YouTube system, because YouTube but you want to be a YouTuber, that's they want you to be producing every day in order to feed the machine in order to keep your subscriber count high to keep the notification to be part of their

Alex Ferrari 2:06:45

Scott Mcmahon 2:06:46
that you get to seen all the time. And you see a lot of YouTubers burn out after a couple years. Our boy Casey Neistat, you know, he's the poster child who's done it. He's the first one if you're a fan of his stuff and YouTube member, he had a deal with HBO, he was making shows for HBO. He will be the first one to tell you he's like this is the next evolution to be able to be a YouTuber, like a filmmaker on his own terms. He feels like this is way better than working for like a company like making content for a company like he did before. And but even him, he's gotten to a point where he's he's had to take a break because he burnouts there.

Alex Ferrari 2:07:25
No, but he was he was going crazy. He was making so much calm. He was doing a daily vlog and these they were edited. I mean, he's taking two, three hours a day to edit. He's a beast, he's a beast makes me look, I know, I know. You guys. A lot of you guys talk about how I make content. Oh my god, nothing. I'm like this man. Nothing. Oh, my God, the definition of muscles. But but he's he's worth. I mean, he sold his his app, his like YouTube app or something to CNN for 60 million. Like he's, you know what I mean? Like, he's alright. I'm not crying for Casey, but he busted his ass for a decade doing this.

Scott Mcmahon 2:08:03
And then again, he's finding other ways to leverage and license and exploit what he's created to other venues. Career I think for people, we started this, this, this episode talking about I was mentioning like, the biggest takeaway I had was that our films are like all the money's in the action figures from George Lucas. Like our films are nothing more than advertisement for something more expensive. If you look at the world of music, I think no better example is Beats by Dre. There's Dr. Dre. Yeah, you know, world renowned rap artists, musician, but it really wasn't until some other champion entrepreneur, use his likeness has he leveraged that leverage leverage in his world to create these like, headphones, and sell it for a billion dollars to Apple? And if you want to know, like, the poster child for the ultimate, that might be it?

Alex Ferrari 2:08:56
Well, I mean, Jessica Alba is not too far behind.

Scott Mcmahon 2:09:00
Oh, yeah. That is where the radar

Alex Ferrari 2:09:02
Yeah, like for everyone not knowing Jessica Alba, who was you know, the most beautiful she still is. But we she, you know, she was a heart, you know, a sex symbol. In the early 2000s to mid 2000s. She started a company called the Honest Company, because after she had her first child, she wanted, she couldn't find any really clean baby products. So he's like, hey, there's a there's a there's a hole in the market here. So she created the Honest Company, which I'm sure you've probably seen that Target or Walmart, stuff like that. The company is worth over a billion dollars, and she owns 35% of it. And she's basically the poster child for it. So she's like, she's the, she's the model. She's the one up front, but she's got business partners behind her. But she was able to leverage her celebrity to get her into a business that now makes her so much money that she just acts when she wants to act and she's produces and she directs and she does her own TV shows. She does whatever she wants. Whenever She wants why, because she has built an infrastructure to build a machine that is now generating cash flow for her revenue streams for. So she has freedom. She has absolute freedom to do whatever she wants, whenever she wherever she wants. And she could give away money. She can do philanthropic things, she can do start charities when she has. She's helping people. Why? Because she built up a business. And it's not something that she's even doing 100% herself. She's got business partner, she's got other people doing a lot of the heavy lifting the things that she was not good at. But she brought something to the table that they couldn't have done without because she got the attention. She was on the Today Show. She was on these big shows, because she's Jessica Alba. And she was able to leverage her celebrity. And same thing. Look, the the the the entrepreneurs behind Beats by Dre would have tried to come out with headphones, it wouldn't have worked. They need Dre, who is Dre is the ultimate DJ and has the street cred that everybody said wait a minute, and then he leveraged all of his artists and all of his labels. So every music video had beats I saw the whole documentary about Beats by Dre. Every every every single music video he produced. All the artists were wearing Beats by Dre every single time. So instead of becoming a sponsor, becoming a spokesman, like you said earlier, become a spokesman for somebody else's headphones. Hey, I'm going to make my own headphones. puffy did this or P Diddy or whatever he called himself. He did this with vodka. So did what you call it, Ryan. Ryan Reynolds just did it with a gin a gin company. I know or tequila tequila company. And then George George Clooney did it. George Clooney has made more money outside the film industry because of who he is. And honestly, is because he made three movies, Ocean's 11 1112, and 13. Those three movies he is leveraged into multibillion dollar real estate deals in Las Vegas and has his own tequila company, which I think he's about to sell or has sold for 100 $200 million, or something like that. Insane. But these are all artists who leveraged what they had to build something else. And now they could do whatever they want, and they were fine before they were multimillionaires before. Don't get me wrong. But now they've taken it to a whole other place where now they can be philanthropic build up, create other opportunities for other filmmakers for other companies for their people that they wouldn't been able to do before. the more money you have in the the more money in the right hands equals more impact for people around.

Scott Mcmahon 2:12:32
Yeah. And you know, we talked about before that quote mike tyson ever he's got a plan to get punched in the face. Well, another boxer George Foreman, foreman. I mean, it's not like he made all

Alex Ferrari 2:12:43
this money boxing. He made it because his family is set up for generations upon generations, if they're smart with their money, he's a multi billionaire off of putting his name on George Foreman, by the way, just so you know, George Foreman wasn't their first choice. Hulk Hogan passed on that. Hulk Hogan passed on that. And believe me, there's not a day that goes by that he's not pissed off about.

Scott Mcmahon 2:13:12
Like that kind of stuff. So if we rein it back in on a smaller scale, like I was mentioning, like, I now been applying this for a few months, the last few years, you know, I changed professions to some extent, because I needed to learn how to become a really good real estate agent, you know, I didn't do it, learn my craft, and to serve clients the best, before I really started putting effort into the show. So I was dabbling with my show a little bit, sporadically once a month, once every other month. But now the beginning of year, I was like, I'm gonna commit to once a week. And then I got because I'm not a YouTuber, I'm, I'm able to create my show. And again, I'm writing it, I'm the spokesperson, I'm having a blast doing it. But I get to focus on a more very micro specific local level. And I realize the, the niche, the niche is much more active on Facebook, you know, you're in

Alex Ferrari 2:14:09
a niche, by the way, it's a niche you could control. It's not a control, but there's a niche that you can access. It's not like all real estate for all of Oregon. No, no, it's right. This specific area, this specific kind of customer, this is who this this content is created. You're using the the film intrapreneur method, without question.

Scott Mcmahon 2:14:26
Yes. So bit, so I don't have to be succumb to the algorithm of YouTube. I don't have to be a YouTuber. You know, I don't have to have this large, like million, 2 million followers to do a conversion 1%. I have a very micro like hyper local specific. And so then, it wasn't until I had a breakthrough on finding like a hot button that meant something in the community. And there's so many things was if you just sit and you listen and you read what these community posts are talking about, there's next door app as well. All of a sudden I think I was able to create very specific content with the right headlines, that just suddenly all of a sudden my videos took off.

Alex Ferrari 2:15:07
And what's the conversion? The conversion rate? I'm assuming is more than one or 2%?

Scott Mcmahon 2:15:11
Yes, it's gonna be a lot higher. Correct? I'll tell you. So it's been three months now. And that has led to, you know, I have been a part of three different local governments because of the the videos I'm making. And that's got me more exposure. And in terms of and it's it's my version of the modern day version of the bus stop billboard for real estate. Yeah, yeah, so now, but I also purposely tried to create the videos so that they are evergreen. So that's a matter when you find them, they will have some relevancy. And I know it's working. Because some of my videos have been banned from like places like next door app, because other real estate agents, I think, reported as promotional. And other real estate agents have, like, on their own Facebook groups that they started, and they won't put any of my content on. And so it's like, it's really fantastic. Like, Oh, great, now it's working. Because if, like the people probably see as a threat, and it's growing and things like that. So I wanted to share that with the audience is saying, Here, we are talking about how you and I are applying these things in our daily lives. And it's a struggle, it's at work every day. It's not like we're, we're pimping it, you know, it's like we are

Alex Ferrari 2:16:30
every every, it's a struggle every day. But the the big difference is that I love doing what I do every day. And it's, yeah, it's enjoyable. And I want to do it, I just want to do it every day, it's so addictive, to help people in my side. And I know you do, too, you're helping people get houses. But you're also able to express yourself as an artist, these are the times where the greatest opportunities are presented. If you're smart, this could be the time where that great shift that you need to make in your life happens. Because a lot of times you don't make this shift, you don't you don't take that jump until you're either forced to, or you're like remember that we've talked about this before on other shows like that place where you're like, it's not too bad, but it's not too good. I'm like in that little midway, like, I'll just deal, that kind of world, you only move when you come become completely uncomfortable. So you're going to go to the gym, once you find out that you just had a heart attack or, or your blood or your blood work came back and like if you don't change something, you're gonna die. That's when the pain becomes so, so powerful that it moves you it launches you into the direction you have to go, we are that we're in right now is that pain for a lot of people. And instead of being angry or depressed about it, look at it like, Okay, this is the world we live in, this is my reality, how can I use this pain in this place? To make that shift? Should I start writing that book I've been wanting to write, should I start, you know, doing that business I wanted to create online? Should I start doing you know, creating a YouTube channel, should I start doing this or writing that script, whatever that thing is that thing that you've been putting off, this is the time to maybe start down that road, and it could turn into the road, the business where you go, who knows in six months, you might just be the virtual tour guy in Oregon, Scott, and and that and that becomes you've cornered that market. Because you were the guy there when it all happened. It happens all the time in these kind of crisises. So maybe this is that time for you to look inside of yourself. everyone listening and see what can I do differently? How can I think differently? How can I build something from this pace? Because I would have would have never in a million years done it. If I wouldn't have been forced to the situation that we're all in right now. That's kind of what I was the message I wanted to put out there before we go.

Scott Mcmahon 2:18:59
No, it's, it's great. And we'll wrap this up here. Surely, we write it's the stressors that are needed. They have like a crisis. It really defines your character. And, you know, moving forward and all I can say again, whatever path any of us take, it's hard. Every day is going to be hard but you it's what's You and I are talking about. It's the process and dealing with that challenge. If that's what's enjoyable, that's the only thing that you can count on. One of the things I took away my made the movie The Cube was exploring in my mom's from Thailand, my dad's from New York, you know, there's you know, growing up with necessarily two ideologies, but, you know, the Buddhist teachings was like this one, quote that was really simple. It's like, really the whole point of life is to share, share knowledge with others. When you acquire it, you share it that's it. So with that said, is like the daily beings About a B in the moment doing the work itself is the is the is the whim. Whatever happens at the end, just kind of like you just hope that you're prepared enough for it that when the opportunity arises, you can take advantage of it. But before we wrap up here, I do want to share this one bit of information that I thought was really pivotal. In my experience running film trooper that gave me for the perspective of going down this path of the film to printer or the film trooper, or whatever it is, like you and I had just come across and talking about over years,

Alex Ferrari 2:20:36
is when people

Scott Mcmahon 2:20:39
we're going to go to how sort of like the movie, how movies make money, or where money comes from, for these movies. And where we all fit into this. We you and I've shared this before. But I got this from Scott Kirkpatrick you know, who works in the distribution world a little bit. But he wrote a book, but he just really briefly breaking down. Like, if you want to know how producers make money, or movies make money, this is just a case scenario. We talked about this before, which was this distribution company, or production company has a relationship with these international buyers, again, all this stuff is gonna change. But I'm just trying to say that these are sort of the principles of like how people like Harvey Weinstein made all his money, you know, before he went to jail, and you know, where all that kind of stuff happens. But, hmm, so these you, you and I could start a production company or distribution company, and say, You know what, and build these relationships with some international buyers like these, say, we have a relationship with some Japanese film buyers, like they will buy content if it's of a certain ilk. And so we have this relationship. And we're about we're good. We've over the years, we've been going to film markets, all the International Film markets, all the local flea markets is building up our relationship with them. And okay, and then this is it. So. So, from there, we just make a poster of a big giant monster destroying a city, maybe a helicopter over its head. Right? Right, right, just show this to our Japanese friends that we know that this is the type of content they buy. We show this to them. And then yeah, this is great. And they say, this is great. If you can deliver this film by this date, you know, let's make a deal. And so say it's 2 million, we'll give you $2 million for this movie. So we shake hands, we write up all the legal documents saying if we deliver this movie based on this poster we created, then they'll give us $2 million. Well, let's back up. This is how the world works in the film business. There is no script, there is no movie, it was just a poster and a relationship. And then this sort of promissory note that we got from this company saying, we will deliver $2 million, they're reputable. They'll give us $2 million. Yeah, we go we you and I will go to a bank that does this type of loans, show them that we're reputable, that they are reputable. Meaning that like we've done this before with a reputable company. Yeah, we've done this before. So they say okay, we'll give you the loan for $2 million. So you're thinking like, Hey, we're gonna make a film for $2 million. That's based off this monster poster. That's not how it works. You and I were going to pocket one and a half million dollars, we're only going to make the film for 500,000. So we hire the director, the writer, the producer, and all the crew member when you're working in the world of filmmaking, your your salaries based off what the budget of the film is, like, hey, the budgets only 500,000 so yours your your salary can only be paid this per week, right? So the film is made for $500,000 we deliver that to Japan. They said you made it That's great. It can be schlocky can be terrible, as long as they're delivered on the post and they're happy I was promised to them. They gave us $2 million. We take it to the bank, we pay back that loan. You and I just packed pocket a million and a half dollars. We didn't have to make the film we just made the deal. So this is all Harvey Weinstein and all those guys make their money. They're just making deal made

Alex Ferrari 2:24:17
past tense made their money he's not making movies anymore.

Scott Mcmahon 2:24:20
Yeah. I'm saying of his kind show. So if you're ever wonder where you fit into the whole scheme of things in the money making machine goes if you are working on a film or television project, and there's a budget set for X amount, just know that the bonds are making way more because they made the deal. You know, and then you're you're just stuck making what you're making. You're gonna make your day rate or whatever it is. And then you move on. And so you put your head wrapped around that it's like being a film to printer film trooper moving forward in this world is like do you want to be part of that world Or just be aware that that's how it works. And then how do you gain more creative control and self empowerment to weather the storm. So you're not, you know, basically part of that machine that that you don't have a lot of say in sometimes,

Alex Ferrari 2:25:17
if I, if I may bring it back to the beginning, the book and it, you have the, you have the three paths, you can be the employee, you could be the production company, or independent contractor or small business owner. Or you could build the business, an asset that generates revenue for you while you sleep. And all three are very respectful paths, but you have to choose the path that you want to go down. Because there's people who just want to be an employee, there's people who just want to own a production company. And then there's other people who want to build a business that generates revenue for them, to give them the freedom to do whatever they want, creatively, artistically, in life in general. And that is the question you need to ask yourself, which path Do you want to walk? There's no right or wrong answer. I'm obviously lean in one direction. Scott and I both lean in kind of One Direction. But if you you know, like I said, some of the greatest filmmakers of all time, walk the first path. You know, Hitchcock was, you know, I think Hitchcock was an employee pretty much his entire life, because he came from the old old Hollywood system, where he was just a hired hand. And then later on, I don't know if you ever had a production, I think he had a production company. I won't. But yeah, when he opened up the TV show, he started doing when he started doing TV, he did it through production, his own production company, but so on, so forth. But some of the greatest filmmakers of All Time went down that path, you just have to ask yourself the question, Where do you want to be in how you want to be? How you want to walk this path, which is a very, you know, you chose this this filmmaking world. And it's not an easy world. And it's getting more difficult and more confusing every single day that goes by. And before we finish up, Scott, I want to personally say thank you for doing all the work that you've done with film trooper over the years. He from trooper was around before I ever walked out onto the scene. I still remember the day that you reached out to me after you saw me show up with guns blaring. And you were like, Who are you? Where did you come from? Like, what's going on? And that story, I always tell all the tough like, you know, this guy from cooperia. This is what's God did when I first came on the scene. And we became fast friends ever since then. Yeah, but I really do want to thank you, for all the stuff that you've done for the community in the way that you've done it in the flavor that you have done it. Because it's a very Look, I can't ever be Scott McMahon. That flavor that non threatening ethnic, I can't be that. But what you've done is helped a lot of filmmakers along the way along the way. And I know this is the last episode of the show for you have a film shoprunner I'm excuse me, film trooper, excuse me. See Florida and slip. No. I'm so used to seeing film shoprunner I don't say film super often. But this is the last episode of film trooper, man. And I'm so blessed and humbled that I would be the last guest. This has been an epic conversation. This is so packed with information and value bombs that both you and I were able to drop in there. But I want to thank you again, for having me on the show. I've been on the show three times, I think three or four times four or five times. I'm one of them. Yeah, I've been on the on the show a few times. And I truly, truly, truly appreciate everything you've done for me for my audience, my tribe, but more importantly, what you've done for the, for the film trooper tribe, and for filmmakers who ever had the pleasure of listening to one of your podcasts or consuming some of your content. So from the bottom of my heart, my friend, thank you so much for all the work that you did, and you will be missed. But I hope this is a good send off.

Scott Mcmahon 2:29:01
Definitely. Thank you so much. Well, thank you for taking this time. And again, for everybody listening. I really do hope you got a lot of nuggets out of this just to think to be like, Whoa, where do I fit into this world? And how do we move forward? But, you know, we'll still be around. Hopefully I'll pop on your film. intrapreneur

Alex Ferrari 2:29:20
Yeah, anytime, anytime. Anytime, Scott, whatever you want to come on and talk about what you're doing in the film, like your film entrepreneur method with the real estate. I'm all about it. You let me know when you want to come on.

Scott Mcmahon 2:29:33
Right? It doesn't mean that I won't necessarily make another narrative or documentary stuff like that then and yeah, there's, it just means that I am applying something to a new my base, my foundation, and that foundation is solid. Nothing stops you from creating all these other things.

Alex Ferrari 2:29:50
So absolutely, man. Absolutely. Again, thank you so much for everything you've done, brother. And if anybody wants and you're still going to keep your website up and running, right Yeah, it exists. It always exists and the podcast will still be on archive for people to listen to. Yep. On our Yep. All right. So, all right, my friend will talk to you soon. I want to thank Scott for not just being on the show and also having me on as his last and final guest on his podcast. But I truly want to thank Scott for all the hard work, and dedication he's given the indie film community. In all that time that he's been running film trooper. He truly wanted to help filmmakers as much as humanly possible. And if you haven't checked out his book, surviving the Hollywood implosion, I would definitely suggest you check it out. And if you want to visit film trooper which is going to stay active as an archive, you can listen to all his podcasts, his articles, he's got a ton, a ton of information, and great knowledge on that website. So please head over to the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/383. And I'll have links to everything there. And if you haven't already have an audible account, you can download his book for free by signing up through audible and the link is in the show notes as well. Now I know a lot of you out there are in quarantine, listening to this podcast stuck at home, dealing with the uncertainty that is happening right now in this Bizarro world that we're living in right now. But I can promise you one thing that this will pass and this time that you have locked up in in quarantine by yourself or with your family or close close ones. You need to prepare yourselves as much as possible. For whatever comes our way. In this business. You should be taking this time to educate yourself. You should be taking this time to read books, to take online courses, to watch YouTube videos to write to read all of it. Educate yourself as much as possible. Make those contacts have zoom conversations or Skype calls with other filmmakers create groups. Talk about what you guys want to do, how to do it, start thinking outside the box. But prepare yourself because when this is over, I want you all to be locked and loaded ready for action. The business will change and it will not be what we were once was but it will be a new version of normal. And I want you guys to be prepared for it. I promise you, this will pass. I wish you and your family nothing but safety and success. Moving forward. Thanks again for listening guys. As always, keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. Stay home, and I'll talk to you soon.



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IFH 037: Surviving the Hollywood Implosion with Scott McMahon

Is there an implosion coming to Hollywood? Film Trooper Scott McMahon thinks so and he’s not alone. Think it’s crazy, think again. Listen to what the king of the blockbusters Steven Spielberg had to say,

“There’s going to be an implosion. Mega budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground and that’s going to change the paradigm.”

If the Hollywood implosion does come to fruition, then where do aspiring filmmakers go to make a living? Step in Film Trooper Scott McMahon. Scott created a book entitled “How to Make and Sell Your Film Online and Survive the Hollywood Implosion While Doing It.” (FREE AUDIOBOOK VERSIONS HERE)

There are a lot of books on how to make a movie and how to be part of the Hollywood machine; but this step-by-step guide will show you, the über independent filmmaker…

…how to bypass all of that and get to the heart of making and selling digital products (your film) directly to an online audience and survive the Hollywood implosion while doing it.

I’ve known Scott McMahon for a while now and he’s a wealth of information. He’s truly trying to help the “über independent filmmaker” make it in the film business. His site Film Trooper is a perfect extension of his mission.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:00
Today, guys, we have a special gift fuel as a treat for you guys. Scott McMahon from filmtrooper.com is a guest today I wanted to bring Scott on, because his focus is really helping filmmakers make a living doing meaning to make a living and sell their movies online. He wrote a book called How to make and sell your film online and survive the Hollywood implosion while doing it. He's referring to the quote that you heard at the beginning of the show from Steven Spielberg saying that mega budget films are going to eventually crash and completely crashed the entire film industry at one point or another that certain movies are going to get. So big budgets are going to be 400 $500 million. And they're just going to bomb and knock out studios. And it's going to take some pletely changed the paradigm of the entire industry, which very feasibly could do that. And that definitely can happen without question. But what will happen to us as independent filmmakers, when that happened, so Scott wrote an entire book, discussing it and showing you how he did it, and how he's doing it with his film, The Cube, which he made for 500 bucks, and is still selling online, and how you can do it as well. I really love what Scott's doing. And he's a good friend of mine. And we've known each other for a little while now. And he really you know, at the bottom of his heart just wants to help filmmakers out by teaching them how to survive and how to make a living doing what you love to do as filmmakers to become an Uber independent filmmaker as he likes to call it. So here's my interview with Scott McMahon from filmtrooper.com Hey Scott, thanks so much for coming on the indie film hustle podcast and sharing some information with the tribe.

Scott Mcmahon 2:33
Hey, that's just so so cool to be here. Thank you.

Thanks, Ben. So I wanted to ask you first and foremost, what is your perspective on the indie film business today? Because I know you have a very specific perspective

Yeah, you know I'm just real quick so I have this website as you know filmtrooper and was designed to help filmmakers become entrepreneurs or that was my quest. And a lot of it all stemmed from like there's something changing obviously in all the arts fields in all anybody making media and you know, several years ago I tried to produce a independent feature the traditional way you know, I had producers of all these cast attached brought to AFM all the stuff that you're supposed to do building the relationships to eventually make or sell a film. But when I was at this particular AFM I remember there's there was a filmmaker I forget his name I think it was March I forget his last name but he he essentially was saying that he used internet marketing strategies to sell his DVDs online and it made a you know a couple 100,000 or something like that you know very much like your story you know selling broken and at the time I was like that's amazing and but you can see like in that world everybody was looking at like bigger numbers. I mean a couple 100,000 we need to make millions you know like that's like that was that mindset right? I was like man wait a minute this is really interesting. So over the last you know, few years in and out of like you know, different work, you know, different full time jobs, whatever the interest never went away. of like, how does internet marketing work? How does people building online businesses work? And how could that be applied to the independent film world and during this time, we saw all these changes with the digital tool sets, I mean, the DSLR when that came out, when the Canon first the one of the first five D came out that was that just broke the mold. And then after that, like all these little, you know, portable digital audio recorders and a lighting gear, everything just got ridiculously accessible. But the caveat was, in my own case, study was out of frustration of always trying to write material for the market, meaning like the American Film market, the International Film market, and they have a very specific need, like all the distributors, they're like, Hey, this is how we buy or this is the type of films we buy, and they are they are majority of the time they're not even what like the independent, like films festival circuit, you know, celebrates, like when you go to the film market it's like it's like the schlocky, like action films or everything you're like, this is what's selling and buying, like yeah, this is what the critics are always people like in frustration about the film industry is like, why is the same schlock being you know, produced

Because somebody is buying it, someone's assuming it I get apparently,

Yeah, on an international base, like that. And that was the key because obviously like my case study was like, I had an American comedy and everybody in the international market was just looking at my stuff assessing and to be honest with you, American comedies don't sell very well, they're very difficult to sell overseas because they're so topical and cultural base that it's, you know, it's the comedy doesn't necessarily translate, which is why horror films do well, because it's a very carnal, emotional response that audiences you know, worldwide can understand, no matter what the language is, action is the same way. You know, it's a visual storytelling medium, that if you have a very strong genre, it sells you know, internationally very well, not to say that those films don't do well that the, you know, like, if you're gonna make a drama, that's why that you have to have a star for any international sort of interest because that particular star can carry you know, monetary weight. If you don't have any stars, there's, there's really no, it's very difficult for a distribution company make money off that. Anyhow, so I was looking all this kind of stuff. And I'm like, for me, personally, it's like, you and I are as filmmakers and people are listening here is the ability to take your gear, and just make something shoot something, make something and put it up online. And we're seeing that obviously, with the YouTube generation, people just making stuff and putting it online. But there's comes a point where every is like, Well, how do I sell it? You know, like, how do I make money off this product that I created? But that actually forced me to go deeper into like, okay, but it's just one product. Like how do you build an entire living from this? And so that's sort of why I started film trooper to explore all this stuff, you know, I'm not an expert on any of it is it's me standing out there going, I will be your crash test dummy. Like, you know, we're both fans of Pat Flynn. Oh, yeah. And I like his his approach to internet business, which was, I have an inner business and I am doing you know, fairly well here and there, I share everything that I'm learning I'm failing at, and he shares his trials and tribulations with his audience. And I thought that'd be kind of cool. Like, my, my focus is on making really kind of tiny films, like really, really micro budget films with the gear that you have, and then not even go into a distributor, just literally going online and selling it directly. And I'm trying to codify and curate all the best information of how that could possibly work out. So your question about where my perspective of the independent film world is, you know, we're seeing like an over glut of supply basic then much to my client, yet too much supply not enough demand. And, you know, I think Ted hope wrote an article or was able to identify somebody who talked about this, which is like, US filmmakers is not just we're competing with every film that's released this year, when we make our film, it's like we're competing with everything that was ever made in history,

Pretty much pretty much and that number is growing exponentially,

Right Right. So not to be afraid of those things not to feel daunted. Like it's a it's scary because if you follow in the old paradigms, which is we know that Hollywood is like the 1% there's only handfield handful of people they get to play creatively in that world. And then there's everything that's outside of those major studios the six slash seven major studios is indie Hollywood, which is the film market the International Film market and we just talked about like the genres the very genre specific content that they're looking for, but there's like 95% of us the rest of us that are just making stuff and having it available online and where do we go and what is the business model for us and so with that said, you know, we had this conversation on my podcast where we got off on about like George Lucas you know,

Of course the whole thing that he kind of set the set the bar as far as packaging other things along with your along with your movie.

Alex Ferrari 9:31
Yeah, and honestly that's how it's working online. So if we look at film is nothing more than like a digital product then you know, authors books are no longer and there's you can make a tangible paperback hardback book, but there's a explosion of the online ebook. So that's a digital product music is all digital now like hardly anybody's buying CDs. You know,

Scott Mcmahon 9:53
More people are buying vinyl, I think.

Yeah. Right. So there's always this outlier, or like Sub niche of each industry so you're gonna have people that want the hardback or paperback they want to be in a bookstore like with a lot of people are finding like it's just easier to read it on their Kindle or you know or Kindle app or whatever

Just just on a side note in LA they have a store called the last bookstore hmm that's the name of it it's downtown LA I was drive by it and it's in like a big neon sign like the last book so I'm like that is a brilliant brilliant name for a bookstore.

Seriously like look there's a whole Colin Hanks did like a documentary on the Dima the fall of the tower route.

Yeah, I've been wanting to watch I saw the trailer for that was that good?

It looks fantastic. Yeah, but what I can gather from that story knowing we all know that story those who live long enough young people like what are you talking about? What's Tower Records? Anyway.

What is this blockbuster thing you're talking about? Video Why?

Alex Ferrari 10:53
You guys are old. But there's like you said go to these record stores or like there's when I grew up in San Diego, down in Encinitas, and Carlsbad was lose records was famous like you just go and you spend hours there and it was just there was a fun like hunt like discovering like, Oh my god, this is like a total use been like 299 the CD or record. So there's a joy joyful like sort exploration of that

There's, there's there's a there's this generation and the jet, this generation that's coming up the millennials and anything for coming forward is they will never understand what it's like to walk into a video store. Oh, yeah. And that that wonderful. I mean, don't get me wrong look like the on demand stuff so much better. But there's that magic of walking into a video store, grabbing that video cassette hunting for this, like seeing this cool cover that's promising you all of these things that never ever come true. But finding some gems sometimes of movies that really affect you that you would never find or have access to in today's Netflix, Amazon Prime he kind of world. And that magic is, I think is something that's sad that they'll never be able to experience.

Scott Mcmahon 12:15
It's interesting because those stores a bookstore that was more independent, you would maybe read something but there's somebody working there. People then start conversations, have you read this book or heard about this, you know, then there's this social aspect of recommendation. Same thing with record stores? Can I guide you be like, listen to this track? Or did you hear this you know, but you might like this as new bandages came out from like Ireland, or whatever it might be.

Alex Ferrari 12:40
That's the rating system now on Alexa and Amazon.

Scott Mcmahon 12:45
Even the movies, I mean, you go into the I remember, I think we all worked at a video store. One time I worked in, like independent video store that wasn't blockbuster and you just patrons to come in and they want your opinion. Some you know,

And we all hated blockbuster, by the way. But yes, we worked in the indie stores hated blockbuster. That's why I love clerk so much. Because they made reference to it. They're just like the guy you're like, oh, he walks into and there's just movies everywhere and copies of everything. And okay, we're getting off on a tangent

that no, but this is all good because we understand where this world came from, which is our perspective is like, that's what we thought the industry was, you know, it's tangible goods, it's a DVD. It's a CD, you know, it's a hardback book, like, you know, they're tangible. And all sudden, things become digital, like, everything's becomes digital, right? So looking at what's going on with the book publishing industry, the music publishing industry, and seeing that, you know, you can read anywhere online, they're like, that's nobody's really making money selling books. nobody's really making money selling music. They're always outlier. So everybody's going like, Well, what about Beyonce? outlier? It's an outlier.

Alex Ferrari 13:51
Taylor Swift. Exactly. But you know, where they make the most of their money is not off of sales it off of touring off of mirch off of endorsement deals, that's where they make their money, the music is just basically advertising.

Scott Mcmahon 14:03
Thank you. And that in the books the same way, people are just developing business structures, a business framework around it, where they make they make their money and their living on the back end. And the biggest case study to this. It's not just like people used to say, like music, like, oh, they're there to do the tour, and they're making more money selling t shirts. But reality is like, if you want the best example is Dr. Dre. Beats by Dre. Yeah, that is that's what's happened here. If you look at that parameter, it's like his music develops a core following. And then they build a product that's totally in alignment with his style, you know, Beats by Dre and they're selling 400 or $500 price items. Now they're no longer selling a 16 nine or 1099 CD,

Alex Ferrari 14:52
and because he has them on everybody wants to wear them. It's the it's the it's the Nike Air Jordan phenomenon, but But instead, Michael Jordan owns Nike In this scenario, because that's basically Beats by Dre was owned by Dre and Jimmy, Jimmy, Avon. Avon.

Scott Mcmahon 15:11
Yeah. Forgot the guy who kind of came I think whatever the real creator that came to Dr. Dre and say, let's do this together. Yeah. And he's like the guy needed Dr. drays. Like St.

Jimmy Avandia. Well, Jimmy has a lot of street cred himself, but not as much as Dre. But yeah, and then he sold it for how many billions?

Alex Ferrari 15:27
Exactly. So that that is the model of all digital goods. So when we look at filmmaking, we were talking about George Lucas that he just recently a couple months ago, he said that all the money is in the action figures. So it's true. Yeah. And so what he's what he's getting at, there's a great book by Schuler and more called the business like, he's like one of the most renowned entertainment lawyers in Hollywood, and it's a really sort of boring book about taxes if you really want to get into okay, but it's like it's like nuts and bolts like there's no frill about the film business it's just it's taking from the perspective of a lawyer, an entertainment lawyer and dealing with taxes and things like that, but his in there he says that the entire industry revolves around the exploitation of licenses. So even from his perspective is like nobody's making films. We're not making film or TV content, we're not making that what we're doing is the stuff we make, it has to turn into into intellectual property a, a property a license that we can exploit over and over and over. So when you think about George Lucas's story, you know Yes, he retained the rights all the ancillary merchandise right so the first Star Wars films 20 Century Fox was just stupid enough to let him have it because they thought we were in the film business we retain the licensing rights to the film

so look at the first film only the first one

because once Lucas built this entire Empire and he was able to buy back the rights you know the best case scenario is like if you own the Star Wars license what would you do with it you do exactly what he did which was sell to Disney for like 40 something billion

dollar was 4.5 billion I think it was a good deal. I think it was a straight one it was a it was a robbery on on Disney's part they stole it because I think they're gonna make so much money

well they said here's the kitchen board so Disney what happens when they got hold that license? What do they do we're watching it unfold in every capacity they are exploiting that license to the nth degree

oh my god like you can't even walk anywhere now without seeing something based on the new Star Wars movie coming out. Yeah, and also just taking old Star Wars stuff and rehab like there was a lot of I mean George really did a lot of merchandising let's just see you know i mean a lot even when you when you're getting down to the the tat on sleeping bag the tauntaun sleeping bag ad what was it the

Scott Mcmahon 17:57
so gross and funny

though and what was it the the oh god this there's so many I mean there's like you know the Han Solo ice cube trays and I mean it's just goes on and on and on. So but now I'm like seeing things that are just you could I can just see things that Lucas might have not let go just these like oh yeah, so now it's anything and everything you've ever wanted in Star Wars is now available. Like anything ever ever it's like whatever you mind can think of there is a product the Star Wars product associated with it. So it's it's fascinating but you're right we're watching it see unfold right now and then obviously everyone's saying that the new movie is going to make it probably is going to be one of the biggest movies of all time. Just with all the anticipation. I haven't seen anticipation this this large for movie i can't i what was the last movie that had this kind of anticipation? Phantom Menace? Yeah, I would say Phantom Menace. I guess you're right. Phantom Menace was a lot of anticipation for this. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I was. I always remember I always remember the first Batman or not the first Batman but the Batman from 1989. Yep, that was just insane amount of anticipation. That's true. It was every day to remember like there was Batman single signals everywhere like you could not walk anywhere. See Batman?

Alex Ferrari 19:14
I was a roadie for my friend ska reggae band at 17 that that summer

that's a whole other story.

Scott Mcmahon 19:20
That's a whole nother story. But I remember traveling across the country and everywhere we go because we had like the worst places. I was like, you know your Taco Bell so does man Batman, Batman

Alex Ferrari 19:31
everywhere ever. I mean t shirts everywhere. It was just and my mother My mother was so funny man. She would walk by she saw you know, because they would just use the signal the bad signal. And she never saw the bat signal. She saw a mouth with teeth. And she's like, why is there this mouth with teeth everywhere? That's um, that's that's Batman. Who? I'm like, you know, she I know Batman isn't like but she's like, Oh, it's a bat. For a week so numbers like what's this thing with the mouth in the teeth

Scott Mcmahon 20:03
everywhere? She had the war shock test like yeah,

it was hilarious It was hilarious. So let me ask you Scott What do you talk a lot about the Hollywood implosion Can you explain a little bit about that

you know that really comes from obviously Spielberg two years ago and he and Lucas were they were just explaining that there's a there could be an implosion if another too many mega budget movies go crashing to the ground because if they're you're putting all your eggs in one basket in terms of the types of films that are released to the theaters right we're talking about mega budget films like Peter Pan that just just died Peter Pan Fantastic Four you'll always have these big flops but the problem is is that if the studio systems are only producing these mega budget movies you're creating a you know like again all your eggs in one basket if you don't like before a couple years ago there was diversified you would have they would have independent studios a subsidiary that would you know make thoughtful dramas or provocative or you know, comedies everything they had to like sort of diversify it. So when Spielberg was mentioning that there could be an implosion or there will be an implosion and then just recently though he was clarifying that you know, it's you know, the clarified his statement. You say no, no, no, I didn't say like Hollywood would implode. He said in a lot of things he was he was trying to allude to like perhaps the the comic book genre the superhero genre could go the wayside of the Western you know eventually over time well like

you know, like the mark what he just said that the superhero movies are going to turn into westerns eventually let that go away with Yeah, maybe but like, I think what's his name? Kevin. fig freak freak I can't say his last name Yeah, who runs Marvel is like Well yeah, no, westerns will run for about 40 or 50 years so we're about 1520 years in yeah we still got a good 30 years we're good

Alex Ferrari 21:58
yeah so it's fine it's it's not like the doomsday but what I looked at it from it when the Hollywood implosion which is simply that there could be because we see some things where we're already seeing that this again there's only six major studios there's Sony Warner Brothers 20 Century Fox Paramount Disney say that I say Disney and like a prior missing one

live like lions gates maybe universe yeah

that's kind of like that but you know it's interesting they a couple years ago they reduced their slate of films meaning that yeah studio has a number of films are going to produce a year and that got cut down to a couple years ago to like something like ridiculous like 12 to 18 for each studio that's ridiculously that's talked about a stop gap and stop gate you know like some

of them are like much like how many movies is paramount putting out like what

Scott Mcmahon 22:51
is that six so if you're putting all your eggs in basket on a mega budget type movies you know your anything that's to create a franchise because they all know it there's a reason why you have transformer movies is because you know Paramount got that license. Like we got to sell toys. So let's make some movies. You know, make some movie

Alex Ferrari 23:10
actually Hasbro Hasbro said Hasbro Hasbro Scott sell some toys so they're like yeah and Paramount's like okay well we'll help market your toys and I've seen the behind the scenes like they like they have complete Hasbro has complete creative control off of the of what they look like how they work and like I think Michael Bay had to go back and re render and re design stuff because it has was like No we can't get the toy to transform like that. Yeah it's stuff like this like what this is not movies anymore like this is that we're just they're just selling product.

Why right? Because like the old moguls were they were businessmen, but they were movie makers. They were movie producers Sure. Whereas they have suits they're looking at like Alright, we have this license how we are going to Are we going to explode it and that's sort of sort of the mo right now but so there could be implosion if you have too much. And the idea would behind Lucas and Spielberg saying that the theater experience could eventually go to this world of a theater or opera we're spending 50 bucks to so specialists not

not that far away from 50 bucks right now

it's not especially with the 3d enhancement. I mean, I spent like 25 bucks for one ticket is like see I think Interstellar and IMAX 3d or something. Yeah, right. Right. But But the thing is, is that's what they were alluding to and then you look at what's happened is like Netflix, you know signed a deal with Brad Pitt to make his entire film war machine for $30 million. And just recently they just released their beasts East movie in theaters, but the theater owners hate Netflix so much that they're boycotting anything that they're doing. And so you're in not only that, but they're boycotting Paramount's paranormal blast Paranormal Activity coming out, because they because Paranormal Activity last movie Paramount says To release on a video on demand, like, I don't know, like 30 days out,

Scott Mcmahon 25:03
it's not actually 17 days. Okay, so it's even shorter. Yeah, cuz it basically so with movies like paranormal I just read a whole article about it with paranormal activity like they make, I think it's 60 to 70% of their total revenue in the first weekend. Yep. Then second weekend, make another 20%. And then the rest is just windows off. So they're like, okay, yeah, 17 days after we're out. Yeah, and then we'll just put in a while, there's still some sort of hype around it, we'll throw it out on VOD, which is a good business model for Paramount, but the theaters owners are just getting like, you know, pissed about it, but they can't find it. And this is something and I don't mean to get off topic here. But this is, this is this is the one thing I can't stand and there's one thing I've been I've been preaching this forever. movie theaters and movie theater owners have a combative relationship with their customer base. It's a combative relationship to walk in, like I live in LA. So you know, I lived in Miami for a long time in New York. So I and I've seen different kind of movie theater experiences but in LA, I walk into an AMC I bought one of my little coupons over at AMC, AMC. Costco Costco sells those like little packages, like you know, like the gold ticket, right? Which meant that you can go in on first week or second week and just put the ticket down and you've saved like, you know, seven bucks, I'm like that. So you buy a bunch of them. If you go past four o'clock now there's a $2 fee per ticket. It's convenience fee or some crap like that I almost ripped the poor little 16 year olds head off. I'm like, Are you kidding me? And not only that, but then the abusive pricing of I'm getting on my soapbox here about movie theaters but but the abusive pricing on popcorn like they don't and water and soda like we don't know, it's like airports like they don't know what it really costs in the real world. You know, that plus the experience is never that great anymore with the people talking in the cell phones and the sticky floor. So it's like it there's so combative with it and they think that they hold the key to the kingdom but they're, they're so combative as opposed to like a theater chain like Alamo Drafthouse who charges for premium experience or arclight here I'm not sure if there's an Arc Light up in Oregon or not but the Arc Light here is there's a there's a premium pet you pay a premium for that experience and like you were saying that whole opera esque vibe but then you're becoming much more specialized and I think movie theaters have just they've they're so behind the eight ball and they and they're so behind the times and the only thing that I don't know how much longer they're going to have in the way that we see them I think what Spielberg says is very true I think it's going to be more IMAX see more things that you can't get at home like you can't get an IMAX experience at home right? If you have enough money you can't get a theatrical experience at home you know like at a certain point you can make a home theater sound experience better than you could in a movie theater in to a certain extent but I you know at a certain point I think it's gonna be much more specialized to the point where you know how much more can they expect people to pay like at a certain point like am I gonna pay $30 to go see a rom com Yeah, like exactly like what why am I what why why

like you know yeah audiences already have the are determining like yeah, I'll go see that in the opening weekend. Like because they know what they're getting into like you said sticky floors loud people just like but I want to see it opening weekend but then there's enough people says Oh, that's a rental I'll wait for that on demand you know it's like oh yeah there's there's already this mental shift that's happened and so that that's the the illusion to the implosion like so if things are changing so dramatically even for the big studios and you know, they are no longer like it's in the music industry is no longer selling CDs we seen what happened to the music industry like their their commodity their their what they sell reduced to like 99 cents you know,

thank you Steve Jobs Yeah.

But even still like even movies the same when I go to 711 I see like the DVDs have been that's like 99 cents Yeah, but you know online there's video on demand like special like 90 people or they're getting we're getting conditioned like I am only renting that movie if it's like 399 or 99 cents or like you know there's not there's nobody's going in there goes on I totally buy that special edition package for like 100 bucks.

Well, it was like, like when I split and spent money like I spent 25 bucks to go and watch a movie in the theater and then afterwards it sucked, which is that just that that just pisses me off like really badly. So let's say the movie sucked and I'm thinking you know what I could have bought and that is my mindset. I could have bought the blu ray for 25 bucks, because I'm still old. But then the buy point like I could have just bought it on iTunes and had it you know, in 10 ATP forever well, as long as iTunes is, you know, or bought it on blu ray and had it at home for the same price, but because I wanted to go The opening weekend or wanted to go see it in the theater I think the theater like I don't go to the theater unless it's something you know that's a theatrical exhibit like Star Wars obviously you know who's yeah I mean we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor and now back to the show

we're gonna call this an event and it's a you know, and that's what some of the experts in our space are talking about is like the independence are going to have to create this event you know when you're doing a theatrical it has to be more than just

it's but it's so difficult to do that financially too you can't you can't go after you know when a movie is cost 150 million bucks and they're spending 150 to 200 and market it there's no way the the indie filmmaker is going to be able to compete at that level but but they can compete on what they can't compete on is online and then we're going to get into what's your questions I'm going to ask you in a little bit in regards to audience and all that stuff but you made a movie called The Cube I must I must hear the story of the cube How did you make it

okay so the deal was like we were mentioning you know, I go I try to make a independent comedy the traditional way and in some things that happen that in this particular film The quick of it is you know, a story I'm sure a lot of your audiences could relate to because I'm sure they've heard other stories like this. So I had this particular film as a comedy and I created this poster and if you can remember the like the universal symbol for man and woman when you go to the bathroom, you know it's like the little circle head so this poster had four men and below so that was a title set for dudes with a plus sign with a girl with a little flame above her head that says one hot girl with another plus sign with like a swirly symbol I created said time portal equals do over if you could relive one day in high school, what would you do

Alex Ferrari 32:00
that all sounds very familiar. Yes, yes.

Scott Mcmahon 32:02
So I had, I had you know, I had these producers that brought it to MGM and MGM at the time at a time travel comedy in the works but it was described as one guy going back in time to fix three days of his life and it was entitled How soon is now based off the Smith song? Some you know, the then the the economy had imploded that time and oh 807 it was a lot of like, uncertainty nobody knew where money was coming from, you know, right. So but in that then I got the Rude Awakening at the American Film market that American comedies don't sell at that particular time they're telling me the number one comedy star in the world was Rowan Atkinson because of Mr. Bean and Johnny English because he doesn't say anything he's all physical comedy so that translates very well you know across all countries

Alex Ferrari 32:52
that's how I didn't know he was the biggest Yeah, that makes sense makes perfect sense

Scott Mcmahon 32:56
yeah cuz Will Ferrell Steve Carell, those guys their comedy was so topical and culturally reference is they they're not as big as stars internationally as somebody like Rowan Atkinson is and so that was eye opening but I was able to sort of build some relationships with some film buyers to see to get a better idea of like okay well this is what the markets really buying. So let me go creatively and start to write things for the market you know, instead of like creating something on my head and trying to push it onto the market in that process a couple years later, three years later, MGM comes out with a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine and the and the kicker is the poster because it shows like this little red bull plus vodka plus a squirrel equals this Hot Tub Time Machine it had like the four guys and every all my friends were just calling what I go you know no copyright there was no copyright infringement because the stories are completely different. All it has to be is like somebody saw the package come to MGM table chef course and you look at it and somewhere down the line, MGM decided to take their time travel comedy with one guy turn it into four guys and then subconsciously the poster is so eerily similar so it was like

man, I tell you I've heard I've heard a lot of stories like that Yeah, and there is and there's things like I've heard people walk in and pitch well it happened to me when I was doing commercial work you know when I do commercial work a lot of times these agencies will have directors you know pitch out you know ideas for how they want to do the movie do the shoot the commercial and so many times you know ideas that you you spit out at those pitch meetings end up being in the final commercial with someone else directed and I'm like how has nice and it's in that same thing happens in Hollywood all the time you go and you pitch your movies like you know I've got this alien who comes down for friends a boy and you know the government's after him and boom, all right. I'm not saying the Spielberg stole that obviously. Yeah, it's called that movie. called Mac in me, which was a complete ripoff of et. Right? By the way, anyone in the audience who wants to have a really good time on a Friday night Mac find the movie makin me it is one of the most absurd things ever. there's a there's a dance sequence in it isn't there Scott. There was a, there was a dance sequence in a McDonald's or Burger King with this really bad alien. And but this was like, there was there was a tie in. Mm hmm. This was like, this was during my video store days. So it was like there was sponsorships and tie ins. And it was this horrible this complete rip off of it, Matt. It was like five years after UT or something like that. It was called Mac in me and you've got to you've got to see that anyway, sorry.

Alex Ferrari 35:46
Here's a quick sort of Mac me so all right. Every time that he's on a guest, Ryan show he leaves. He's on it, isn't he? No, no, what he does is like because Conan O'Brien will ask Paul read like so you're in this movie. Let's take a look at the clip. So that's always shows a clip from makin me like for all these years he's ever been on Conan O'Brien

that's brilliant. I didn't know that. Was Paul running back

in me. He just Hayes's like Conan O'Brien about it.

Because it was Conan and he was quoted

Scott Mcmahon 36:21
to say this how ridiculous this movie is

that I'm just gonna bring it up every single time I'm on your show. It's so brilliant. It's it's one of those wonderful wonderful films that would never ever in a million years be made today. Who knows though

like you were talking about the we had a conversation about the guy who made like the chicken killer

that'd be thanks killing thanks good Thank you. Thanks killing a turkey I will actually put that in the show notes thanks killing to support my boys. Yes. This story of thanks killing is a story of one man's one turkeys obsession with killing people and they basically they basically just, it's just so people know what the story is real quick. We're going off topic on topic but off topic is they made a puppet a really bad one. Which is basically a turkey head and the turkey. The tagline for the movie is gobble gobble Mother effer. And ad which is brilliant. And they knew what they were doing. They I mean, this was not like they were not at would they weren't think they were making an Oscar nominated thing here. They knew exactly what they were doing. And they made this like hand out of you know, this, this puppet and the puppet goes around killing hot, you know, hot chicks in a college. And their big selling point was like within the first second of the movie, there is boobs. So what they did is they hired a porn star. And they literally started. The first shot is on her nipple. And they just pull back. And I'm like, wow, like they went all in. They went all into the camp. And just so you know, they made I think well over $150,000 on VOD, like they got into I think either Warner Brothers his arm or one of those guys arms. Got it on on like Comcast and those stuff and people were eating it up. So I was actually talking to them. I was working on another film with them an actual film, like a real film. And they were like, yeah, you know, we don't know what to do next. I'm like, Well, why don't you do another Thanksgiving? No, we don't want to be the turkey dude's and I'm like, Dude, are you insane? Like you've made money make another three of these things it cost you like two grand a make go make some money. So what happens like a year later I get an email. Oh they crowdfunded by the way they got over $150,000 to bake because they have a huge following like they had album sales they had a lot of merchandise they sold t shirts hats, buttons stickers everywhere like they were selling like crazy and I supported their Kickstarter campaign and they sent me a copy of the movie autographed add stickers and buttons and like clients would walk into my my suite that like what what was this thanks killing so the third part is excuse me they made thanks killing three in search of things killing too so they they talk about Thanksgiving too but they never made thanksgiving to us it's all about things killing three and of course with $150,000 budget they went all out you know like they made this thing look insane for you know, considering they made the first one for like I think three grand so that's just a great success story and they made money with it. I don't know if there's any more thanks killings coming but they created this wonderful little film and created an audience around it which I which is a great segue into Um, what what it takes to actually what does it take to be sustainable artists today as a filmmaker, like what it is,

like you said, it's an audience and everybody, like all the experts, everything you talk about, yeah, everybody's talking about you got to build an audience build it on. So what does that actually mean? And

nobody, no, no one's telling you how to do it. Yeah, it's

so you, you know, I think it's funny, but you look over to the YouTube stars, the superstars, they build this large subscriber base, so they have a fan base, but you're utilizing real like Internet metrics and stuff like that. The standards like a one to 3% conversion rate, meaning that even though somebody might have 1000 subscribers or something like that they're only really have one to 3% of them will actually maybe buy something and that person or or be a real fan. You know, obviously Twitter is that kind of way. It's like the end game. You might have a lot of followers, but it's very difficult. Yes, the engagement is small, because the way that the medium works, it's so quick to see so many things in the feed. And to to to stand out and have a stick.

Alex Ferrari 41:05
Yeah, I've noticed I've noticed that too, with my Twitter feed, like I have. I've almost over 6000 followers at this point. And I noticed what what clicks and what doesn't click and what gets retweeted. What doesn't get retweeted. It's Yeah, it's an ad of so many people. The engagement is minuscule comparatively.

Scott Mcmahon 41:21
Yeah. So it's fine. As long as it's cool. Because once we know that sort of like the rule, and it kind of just works that way, then you understand why businesses are always trying to get more leads are getting more impressions, because the more impressions they have, they kind of account for the standard conversion rate. Others tried to like, Okay, how do I maximize my conversion rate in terms of the small audience, I have to make them loyal so that so anybody, anybody, if you're an independent artists, musician, author, and now filmmaker, because here's the big thing, we're getting back to the cube, the ability to make a film, like I said, a thanks, killing for like $2,000, the film that I made the cube for. I was watching all the stuff happen over the years of watching the industry change, and then at the same time, analyzing numbers, and getting a chance to get privy to some sort of real listing video on demand numbers. If you don't have a star, if you don't have a discernible genre, when you're selling your film on iTunes. Most filmmakers are only earning about 1000 to $5,000. So that's probably that statement alone blows a lot of filmmakers mind so like not what and like and that

Alex Ferrari 42:31
and those are the successful ones. Yeah. Well, it's

funny because there's when you look even film that has a star on it. The VOD numbers sometimes are as small as like 50,000 to maybe 100,000. But you know, the film costs of way more than that,

you know, see if he's talking about 50 or $100,000. In VOD, this is a major studio release. This is like a 20 million to 50 million if not higher budget movie,

right? Yeah. And so you know, even in that case, so, on film tuber, I do offer this free video on demand and digital download report that goes into the analysis of, of figuring out what certain movies make or what you can project with, they're probably making on both video demand and digital downloads. It's probably important to make a kind of separate the two because most people think like VOD is like one thing. Majority of the numbers that we see reported in the press have like a certain film made this much on VOD majority that money is coming from the cable spectrum. So within cable there's like cable video, Noman transactional, to transmit transactional video on demand, movies on demand, then there's like free on demand, there's, there's gashes cable subscription video on demand. So they have all these subsections. But in order to get into the space of cable video on demand, you still sort of need a formal relationship with a distributor or studio. And that leaves like if you're not in that world, then you're stuck to what they call ESP electronic sell through, which is a digital downloads, which is straight up transactions, meaning that somebody sees your film, they buy it, or rent it, you know, and the reason why films are making like 1000 to $5,000, is that, you know, their their movie, the trailer only gets, you know, maybe 10,000 views. So that's 10,000 marketing impressions. So one to 3% of that is turns into a transaction. But if your transaction numbers around an average of $4 price point, that's an average of like a rental an average of a purchase. We're basically selling Starbucks coffee we're saying $4 coffees, but we as independent filmmakers cannot compete on the volume level of Starbucks coffee, we can't compete on the volume, quantity of like the Hollywood Studios. And so when the independents try to fit their film into the same mold, as in the studio systems that are working on this high volume, On your transactions, we always will always fail, we'll never quite get there. And so the difference is, and what I've been exploring on film trooper is to not play the volume game, but play the value game. So meaning that you're going to get less amount of transactions, you're going to account for only getting a couple 100 transactions, maybe a couple 1000 transactions. But if you can turn that price point from that $4 price point to $100, a $500 product, like Beats by Dre, then you're making money.

Okay, so with that said, with that said, Not everyone's going to be able to make Beats by Dre. So how do you change that for dollar into a 50 or $100 package?

Scott Mcmahon 45:43
Yeah, so that's what we were exploring a lot on film trooper. And this harkens back to what we were talking about earlier, if we're not in the film business, we have to like stop and go, we're not in the film business, yes, this show business. But what really is the business, the real business is licensed exploitation. And if we utilize our films, like the studio systems do as an advertisement, meaning that we are, you can almost give it away instead of you might make some money selling for $1 $10 product. But essentially, your mindset has to change and say my film has to promote something of a higher value of the $50 $100 value. And knowing that you're going to get small number of transactions. So I wrote this book, give me one second, I'm going to cough

Alex Ferrari 46:31
I've been clearing my throat the entire time, so don't worry about it.

So I'll do the best we were talking about the cube. So I was talking about being at AFM and I was trying to write product movies for this market. But this is something we can I think all of us can relate to creatively gets her point we get frustrated, where you just want to make something because that doesn't make any sense. But you just want to make it for yourself. And I already knew going into making this bigger film The cube that I cannot spend more than $5,000 or that's why that was my thinking. I was just I was like I'm going to write something and create something that I could just shoot on the weekends around my full time job that takes place in my house. And the premise of the cube is very simple. It's a mysterious red cube arrives at the doorstep of a married couple that it's very benign they open it up nothing happens and they throw it away and then another one comes back and another one comes back and each one comes back a supernatural event has happens and it kind of spins the couple's life out of control until they figure it out. So that's it's really simple and then but I wasn't sure if I The thing about it is not only wasn't made for $500 so feature film 90 minutes long, but I didn't really have a crew I would have I would hope not yeah I didn't have it It wasn't planned that way i think i thought it maybe you have a really tiny crew like a you know a dp I had a dp originally but then this is the funny thing is because I was acting in it the original scene that we shot my acting was so god awful that I had to like scrap it and go back and then at that time I didn't really have anybody to to work on it because

this is why actors should interact yeah

so I did everything wrong I knew going into it I didn't have a discernible genre it wasn't a strong like this is a straight up thriller This is straight up action or anything like that it

so it would sound like a supernatural thriller is what it sounds like that's

Scott Mcmahon 48:28
what it's this a supernatural suspense movie that's all I said it was and but not until afterwards I didn't know what it was until I created it but the fun thing was I wasn't sure if I could do it where I could pull off making a full length feature and and by changing things up or just literally putting the camera on the tripod that's a T three IKEA Canon Rebel t three I flipped over the LCD screen so I can see you know where things were I did approximate you know focus on like a like a mic stand I put in place and I lit the space as opposed to lighting each shot I just made sure that the space was lit and that way I can move faster by you know moving the camera around in static positions so it became the the process is very simple which is like I'll start with wide medium close up over shoulder type stuff covered and then I covered that's basic coverage and then I just made sure that I always had a foreground shot of the cube and then the actors myself and the actress in the background blurred out as my you know cheat in the editing to cut away from you know any bad acting or bad that would be

that would be your turtle or your Pitbull from El Mariachi,

right or like the dub summons or since How do you say?

dub dub dub like dos him? It's

a death sentence. So he's in his locker? Yeah, his book really deal he talks about it's the cat in the window sill

right? Or the clock to in his course. He's like just cut away to the clock.

Yeah, exactly. You know I kept it really simple but the thing is because I'm up here in Portland, Oregon, I was fairly new. So I didn't know the community that well. So I didn't have a a community or team to put in place to make, you know, make a proper crew. But you can just literally set your camera up is pointing outside and your production value just skyrockets, we have everywhere you look at these gigantic trees, there's rivers, and for the most part, we have this natural site or silk that I probably say it's like a nice, there's no harsh shadows, because it's always gray.

Right? You have you have cloud cover all the times, really soft light, it's not

at, they made it easy. So I finished this film, and then I know what to do with it. And the thing was, is like, I was like, I don't know, it's not really like a festival film. I was like totally just downplaying. I was just excited. I made the thing. I was like, Sure, of course, right around the same time I finish, like Vimeo on demand happens like all these, like VHS on the horizon dystrophy, all these direct digital distribution platforms are available, where you can upload it and put it behind a paywall and start selling it to the online world. So I was like, okay, cool, I'll do that. But then the bigger question arises, how do you get people to come know that you have a film. And that is why I started film trooper as a platform to explore these questions deeper, too, because I was looking at like, I want to make more of these little films. I want to be able to sell them online, but I do want to make a living. And so that led me to explore these deeper questions of okay film, I realized, after all this study, and analysis and curation and codifying that, it really is an advertisement, just as books are an advertisement for a back end sell just as music is an advertisement for something that the band sells later on. Yes, the best case scenario is Beats by Dre. So the independence it's like if we use our film as an advertisement, what am I really selling? So my selling point, my marketing message, originally for this film was this is a $500 feature film with no crew. That was it. Because my thought pattern was if you went to a film festival at a q&a, the first thing somebody is going to say is Hey, would you shoot it on? What was your budget? Right? Of course, like, nobody cares about what your film is about. They want to know the making of especially because that's the audience at a film festival. Pretty much. Yeah, they're

all filmmakers are generally. Yeah, yeah. So

you just cut to the chase and and what I discovered is like marketing to other filmmakers is is difficult. It's like, but you did very well,

because that's my bread and butter. Yeah, you did very well, because

you you right place right time, you you built a amazing product that says that delivered the goods, you delivered the value to a subset audience, then you knew like this is other filmmakers learn from this stuff. And so mine was just more of it out of curiosity, I knew that was the selling point. But um, so from that experience, I was like, Okay, I knew I did everything wrong. But how do I do make it right? How do I make the next one, right? Or how do I make sure that we knew there's a new trajectory for independent filmmakers, really the Uber independent filmmaker, and if you're if you're definitely not going down the path of Hollywood, you're definitely not going down the path of getting your film bought by a distribution company, if you really want to be make your film and have self distribution, what are the New Business Economics with a business system around that, that can give you an opportunity to succeed? And so with my platform, film trooper having a podcast allows me to bring guests on, it allows me to explore these questions deeper. And now and again, sort of codify it. So in this book, it's kind of funny, I wrote a book and in selling on Amazon, and so on, and it was done because that one of my sessions online on my podcast, I was asking, like, well, if a author writes a book and becomes a digital product, and they sell it on Amazon, what are the you know, what are the strategies are they using that are making it successful for them to sell online?

Alex Ferrari 54:02
Yeah, cuz I kind of believe like, selling a book is so much harder than selling a movie online. You think it's my guess but because you don't have anything visual, you don't have anything to kind of give them like, you don't have a trailer, you got a cover for a book, but it's a book. So it doesn't have the same sexiness that a movie would, if done right now I've seen filmmakers. I mean, I've seen book writers do that making it real sexy and make a trailer for it and because, you know, to try to do but I have to imagine selling, you know, a narrative. Or even worse than that, well, I guess it'd be easy to do a nonfiction book than it is to do a fiction book, I think because you could just hit that core audience of what you're trying to sell. right it's it's you're solving you're solving a problem as opposed to trying to entertain

Scott Mcmahon 54:48
right so in the book, so that's a good point. Because so so I made this movie, it doesn't solve a problem. It's more of a fascination point of like, what does a 500 film with no crew look like? And you don't need that. pretty much it. So but from this experiment, it's like, you know, obviously I hedged my bets because I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of money because I knew the back end wasn't going to be massive, super profitable. Sure, but it made my money back plus more. Okay, so and that is that is funny is that's sort of like what filmmakers think they're like, I just need to make enough money for in this film to make the next film. Like that's the mentality. But that's

but you can't sustain a life like that that will hold you for a few years. But if you're lucky,

Alex Ferrari 55:28
yeah, I think something's important that we're talking about Spielberg earlier. Can you let's just stop and say, What is it? Why do all most filmmakers that we think are successful? Why aren't they taking the profits from the what they made on that their the film prior to find their next film?

Scott Mcmahon 55:44
None of them do. That's the thing I always the only time Spielberg did do that with Schindler's List, he outputted the cash himself because the studio wouldn't do a black and white movie about the Holocaust. And you know, universals. Like we're never gonna make any money with that. This is just depressing. Yeah. And then, of course, there's this, you know, made tons. But that was the first time he'd done and there's a handful of directors you hear do that, but they don't generally, generally, they don't put their money where their mouth is, you know, they generally do now though, I've heard stories of like, you know, Gizmodo, Toro giving up all his money for Pan's Labyrinth, to continue his vision. Same thing with James Cameron, and Titanic. And other filmmakers, but to actually finance their next movie. I haven't heard a lot of that. George George, George Lucas, of course, because he is the biggest independent filmmaker of all time.

Exactly. And then he had a dip. But the funny thing is, is that, you know, he's probably following the motto of Walt Disney. And Walt Disney said that we don't make movies to make money, we make money to make movies. Yeah. And so Lucas had other infrastructure in place to generate the money, the exploitation of his property, to be able to finance all his movies. So the thing is, is that this concept of us independent filmmakers, we have to stop thinking like the film that we make we just hoping to make enough money where I can make the next film, and that and that has to stop, because even the big guys don't do it. And so like, but the thing is, I made a little film. And I was able to make a $500 feature film, but I don't want to leave that playground yet. Because I'm thinking myself, you know, I think I could tell a better story within these confines. Because my feeling is like, we saw what happened in the app world, when the iPhone app world hit. And all of a sudden, these independent program programmers would just like make something ridiculous, like the fart app, they sell for 99 cents and sell like 2 million units, you know, and you're good. Yeah. So one day, what's going to happen is somebody some kid is going to make a film a feature film or something for like 100 bucks, and they're gonna make a million dollars in selling directly to an audience online. And you know, whatever happens, and you know how it is the intercedes in shifts, like there, they'll turn and go, Oh, that's what I got to do. Just because we can harken back to a few milestones independent film history. verbis like, Oh, that's what I got to do. I'll follow that model, you know?

Yeah, well, look what happened in the 70s. With EZ rider the studio's had no idea what the hell they were doing Easy Rider shows up, independent film was was made for I think, at the time was like $200,000, or $250,000. shot on film, and then it turns into this huge hit, and the studios are like, what? Yeah, and that's what opened the door to Spielberg Scorsese at the Palma Coppola, they just kind of gave the keys to the to the, to the film school geeks, they're like, Oh, they must know what they're doing. Give it to them. And that's kind of what launched us and then it happened again in the 90s with you know, Tarantino Rodriguez, Spike Lee, all that, that new crew as well. So exactly, it goes, it goes into it goes in cycles.

And we're on the verge of that because we're seeing it, which we were talking about the YouTube stars is the ability that they have curated an audience that the audience goes where they are, and I've seen studios come in and make digital content with the stars. Basically the studio is trying to piggyback on their success. But the funny thing is is like even if the product is shit, sorry, cuz it's right by the

now I have no I have to put an exploit because I'm not bumping it out. So go ahead. The very disappointed in us.

Even if it's crap. What happens is that the studios, you know, the fan base will go with that, that talent, whether or not they're on a studio platform, or they're on their own personal platform, or wherever it might be. So that's where the empowerment is coming from. All these independent artists are beginning to collect as Seth Godin talks about your tribe, your you're accumulating your tribe, and your tribe does not have to be that big. It only has to be you know, as Kevin Kelley, his famous blog post says 1000 true fans, the concept they receive 1000 true fans that paid you a $100 every year for your art, you would make $100,000 that is a nice, middle class living, you know, depends.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:09
Depending on where you live in the country, it could be upper middle class.

Scott Mcmahon 1:00:13
Yes, exactly.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:15
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Scott Mcmahon 1:00:26
Or, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:00:27
la you're barely barely surviving Sir

2000 3000 at least. But you can see the metrics and metrics are now much more tangible. Now, it's not about trying to get a million views on your work, you're you're just trying to make sure you're giving value to a very specific group of people, a small numbers but but have high value. So I wrote this book, as a to be a guinea pig to say I will write a book put on Amazon, see how it works? how did how does the selling mechanisms work and don't work? That took me down a rabbit hole took me way longer to write this book. And the name of the book is called How to make and sell your film online and survive the Hollywood implosion while doing it. And it's designed to go through these things about what is the plight of the Uber independent filmmaker. And so we were talking about, if you have a film that doesn't solve a problem, like we are like a book that doesn't solve a problem, then how can you take that $4 product and make it $100 product? And what are you really selling that? So have an example of in my book where I wrote like, if you're making a horror film, say you have your horror film that you sell for $4, rental $10, download, purchase, or $19, whatever it is, so that's what you're selling on the video video on the demand side, you could do an upsell to $100 product which is like hey, grab our all our bonus features of you know of how to our video training modules of how to properly run your own ghost hunting expedition. Not only that, but here's a list of all the equipment that we use to do a proper ghost hunting here's your EMF reader, your voice recorder all this kind of stuff where you assemble in be a curate and basically become an affiliate salesperson for these these items. If you bundle enough that it's worth $100 you can see a fan like oh, check this out cool. I like this movie, or I really, really more interested in like knowing like, what do I need to do to do my own ghost hunting expedition and they offer it for 100 bucks, sure, boom. So now you're all of a sudden your film is an advertisement promoting to this higher price value, then you do another upsell to like a more one on one experience. Imagine like for you know, $3,000 come join us on a weekend expedition with the film crew, all the stars of the film, as we do a ghost hunting expedition at this famous castle this weekend, or whatever. So the whole thing is now you're not the independent filmmaker, the artist doesn't feel like they're selling out. Because they were whatever you create, you were inspired by something. So you're trying to make sure that the marketing message is in alignment with the spirit of why you made the film or what your film is about. And the cool thing is like you're not targeting other filmmakers, you know, Case in point though you were because with with broken it made total sense. So you had a great upsell, you had a great bundle package that totally worked great. But if you're if you want to go that down that path, then you can start targeting people that are interested in ghost hunting or, and then your films about that.

What did you see? Did you've ever seen the documentary food matters? Mm hmm. What those guys have done is amazing. They've actually turned one good documentary about food. And they've now packaged it not just like they they're like basically a distributor at this point. have other food related and health related content. And they sell courses and they sell all all based around one movie like they turn to one little movie into this amazing business. Same thing with fat Sick and Nearly Dead. Yeah. Joe cross turned this entire he built this little Empire off of this documentary, which is an awesome documentary and then he just released the sequel. So I

Scott Mcmahon 1:04:15
have no I was I had that in my book as a case study. And here's here's something for all filmmakers to learn that on the most basic level. So Joe cross he makes this film right Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He's overweight, on medication and he he takes us through a journey of 60 day juicing diet basically which works which works he does it cleanses you, we see him transformed before our very eyes. And then he shows other people that he meets along the way, doing the same transformation. It's amazing. So if there is such visual promotion, ample amplification of what he's done, and proof of concept of a concept that you makes you go when you go to the site, the original website that he had was he promoted The rebel, the rebel. Oh yeah, the Breville juicer juicer that was an Australian company because he's Australian. And he's an affiliate salesperson, because you would click that it would go to his affiliate link on Amazon,

Alex Ferrari 1:05:12
and he got it. But he got a he got a bit he did a better deal than Joseph. Yes, yeah. Yeah.

Scott Mcmahon 1:05:19
But what happened was that he helped increase sales like 50%. Or more

Alex Ferrari 1:05:23
than that. No. She's also she's, yeah,

Scott Mcmahon 1:05:27
so they came in, and they funded his second film, and they became, they brought him as a partner. But that's like the really great case study, study. But what we can gather from the most basic level is you make a film. And it maybe has, it's tied to a product that already exists, just sign up for Amazon and set it yourself as an affiliate, and just have that as part of your website, which is like, if you're doing a ghost hunting film, you know, package ghost hunting gear, you're not making the product, you're just using your film to promote and advertise this upsell of these products that exists. And if you're not selling out at all,

Alex Ferrari 1:06:07
no, you know, it's funny that I don't know if I told you this on our interview when we did it on on on unfilmed troopers podcast, but they tell you that I that I signed up for Amazon's affiliate program to sell broken Oh, really? Yeah, I actually this isn't that this is back in the day. They don't allow this anymore. But what I did was I would sell the only place you can buy broken on Amazon was through me. So then I bought I set up an affiliate link to my product from my website. So then when I had people go and buy on Amazon from me, I wouldn't get a kickback on my own product. You have to, but it was Britain now they won't allow that. Yeah, but it was like I was always making an extra two bucks. On each sales was like, Oh, this is great. You know, it was like it was insanity back in the day. But have you ever heard of a filmmaker called Isaac number one not wanna?

Scott Mcmahon 1:07:02
I don't even know how to spell that.

Alex Ferrari 1:07:04
Na BWA Na. Isaac is just so you know, and I'm going to actually if I haven't already, by the time this is out I'm actually going to do an entire piece on him. He is a he's ugen does first action film director. Oh, and he is made a movie called who killed Captain Alex Excuse me. He's made 47 movies in two years. His average budgets 200 bucks. And there are the Campion I mean obviously the the campus he's taught himself how to make movies. He He taught himself stop clicking Scott Scott clicking so because I'm trying to follow along. So, so anyway, he creates this this he starts his company and he The reason why I love him so much is that he has just a straight up passion. His his tripod is made out of a car jack and his jib arm is made out of car parts. The machine gun is a lawn mower that he built like so it actually runs like a machine gun like a Gatling gun. I mean, he's got it's obviously all community based. He lives in like a shanty town, somewhere in Uganda. He's made 47 of these movies. He's huge. I mean, huge there. He sells them. He sells out movie theaters locally. He because he's become this this phenomenon down there. Because but the thing I love about him is that he builds his own computer so he can edit himself when the power goes out, because there's a rainfall and the power goes out in the town. He's got battery backup, so can he keep editing, he does a movie basically about a movie a month. You know, and with blood and action and guts and all this kind of stuff. And if you watch this stuff he's like, he's like the Edward of Africa. You know, they're not they're not particularly at the same level as our stuff is because obviously technically doesn't have that training or equipment or personnel to do it. But the passion and the love that he has is in that you can see it. It's so in there. But what's more important as a lesson is that this man figured out his market and built his tribe, literally almost. Yeah. And sells directly to his tribe. Now he added on top of that, what you were saying early, creating a package. He doesn't just sell DVDs. Sometimes he sells full costumes, so you can play out the parts in the movie as a package deal with the DVDs. Yes, that's fantastic. It's a fantastic story. So I'm going to be I'm going to be spotlighting and probably in about two weeks, because I just found his story so amazing. I'm like there has to be more people who hear about him because I don't want to hear any more whining that you can Make a movie The man's tripod is it it's ga and he's shooting it on. I don't even it looks like some sort of, it almost looks like the dv x 100 day but I don't think it's tape based. I still do think it's the next level up. But it's like, you know, he's got his little sound guy. He's got that in there. You know, he goes, he shoots green screen. He does all his own visual effects, I think probably through avid through after effects or something. They're not particularly like I said they're not particularly good. But there's so it's just so much fun to watch someone so passionate about what they're doing. And he takes it. This is this is his business. This is his life. He owns a rat, was it Raman film productions, which is the first Buganda action film company, you know, and he's dealing with mafia stuff and ruthless drug dealers and gangs and all this kind of stuff. It's it's just amazing. It really, really is amazing. So anyway, we went on off topic there. Oh, no,

Scott Mcmahon 1:11:01
no, I was just, you know, when I was clicking around, I have to a friend of mine, fellow film trooper who runs his own podcast, Jamie Francis, backyard films of he's up in Canada. He's got he did an interview with that guy. And I say, Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 1:11:17
no. Yeah. So Oh, my God, I gotta listen to it now. Yeah, no,

Scott Mcmahon 1:11:21
Jamie's a great guy. So, but I'm excited to see his podcast grow as well. But yes, that's fantastic. Like, all the stuff we're talking about is getting. Really it is it's like, getting out of the mindset of like, you're gonna make something and somebody's gonna discover you. That's not gonna, you know, it could be outliers, it happens. But in

Alex Ferrari 1:11:43
the lottery ticket, man, it's a lot. I mean, and I was I was talking to john Reese the other day, not to drop a name. But do you know me and john were hanging out now I interviewed him for my podcast. And he did this a great analogy, because Okay, so every year, here are the number guys so everyone gets sobered up. This is gonna sober everybody up. 50,000 feature films are made a year, out of those 50,000 films, 15,000 gets submitted into Sundance, after those 15,000 feature films gets this is all local American stuff, not worldwide American. So that after that, out of those 15,013 will be picked for. For competition. Out of those 13. one, maybe two will get a distribution deal. If it's lucky. And out of those, the percentage drops down to almost nothing that those filmmakers will make any money past the initial money that they were paid. It's it's a sobering fact. These are all sobering facts that people can look up. So a lot of people you have to understand like that's a lottery ticket, and even the lottery tickets, not the lottery ticket anymore. I've worked with film I've worked with multiple filmmakers who've won Oscars for short film Best Short Film, I've worked with filmmakers who've won Sundance South by Southwest Tribeca, all the bigs to all the big film festivals. And it doesn't guarantee anything anymore. It just doesn't. So it's not that lot. That lottery ticket is not the lottery ticket that that everyone thinks it was back in the 90s. And if we can just keep preaching that, get that out of that mindset of filmmakers. Today, I think everyone will be better off I'm sorry, I got off my soapbox.

Scott Mcmahon 1:13:19
Oh, no, no, I mean, that's that's it. I mean, I think I mean, I mean, even those numbers are daunting. But but that's because everybody's racing towards like this scarcity model that you know, the Sundance or film distribution companies or Hollywood is set up is that's that's the breakdown of that business model. They can only select so much they can only, you know, release so many films. So where do we all go? If that's the case, if you build your tribe, if you build your own audience, and again, you're only looking for 2500 people that are loyal to you, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:13:54
and then if you have 500 people that pay you $100 a year, which it breaks down to like, what, eight $9 a month?

Scott Mcmahon 1:14:03
Well, how many

Alex Ferrari 1:14:05
500 people 500 people a year? $100 a year? That's $50,000? Yes. 50 grand? Yeah. And that ends up being about $8 a month. So it's only eight and I'm horrible math, eight $9 a month, something like that, right? Maybe less, maybe more? Yeah, in that general area. Wow. You know, that doesn't seem that daunting, all of a sudden, like, you know, but now you've got to figure out how to get that money from those people who really want to support you. I mean, look at look with Lloyd Lloyd Kaufman's done over a trauma over the years. I mean, Jesus, man, that guy is made, you know, 30 years he's been doing this since since the, like the early 80s. It was the 70s I think even and he's built up this entire little Empire. I mean, he's not like rolling in it by any stretch. He might be I don't know, but he doesn't portray himself to be that way. But he built an audience up for his specific kind of movie that talks Avenger crowd, and they love them and ape and they buy anything he comes out with, you know, Romeo and Juliet. He had another one a kabuki was a kabuki pie. You know, it's like, so many wonderful titles that but but he has his tribe and then he sells to his tribe all the time and his tribe loves him. So that's what all filmmakers should, should aspire to

Scott Mcmahon 1:15:24
do. And here's the funny thing is what we're finding is filmmakers are getting to a place where you have to drill down to find out what your voice is, what do you stand for? What, what makes your artistic voice unique? And what happens is majority of filmmakers that are starting out, they're just interested in the craft. So when they're sharing their stuff online, it's like, hey, check out the latest clip. They're just they're so excited to share just that they made it. And then they give you stop there just

Alex Ferrari 1:15:56
so excited that they made it Yeah, I get it. I get it. Yeah, I get it completely.

Scott Mcmahon 1:16:01
But if you stop and ask him like, what is what does this feel mean to you? What is it about? What's the bigger message? What is the theme of the movie,

Alex Ferrari 1:16:07
But I made it I made a movie is that is that not enough?

Scott Mcmahon 1:16:11
Exactly. And that's and that is the cycle that a lot of us in the independent film space are finding Case in point. So the cube, I can, you know, wrap this up, I don't want to go too long here because we've gone too long. But the if the concept is our films are an advertisement because we're exploiting the license. And we want to stop selling on video on demand with the same business model that Hollywood has put forth. Meaning that we're not selling a $4 product anymore, because that's what it is. But we use it as an advertisement to sell something more expensive $100 $500 product, and we are accounting for it, we are only looking for a few transactions. We're not trying to push a lot of transactions. So you know, the queue was made for so little, but I have I control that IP. So the thing is, is that I'm digging down I go What is the theme of my movie, The theme of my movie for the cube was letting go fear, fear and worry just letting go of fear. Because it has this Buddhist theme sort of overtones to it. There's a prominent Buddhist statue that takes that's has relevance into the movie. So I was like, Okay, I did like a just a simple Google AdWords search on letting go fear. And it's like 250,000 searches come up per month for that search term within subcategories, like depression, anxiety, whatever it is. So what that tells me is like, um, now I have an opportunity to reintroduce remarket the film to a whole new audience that are not filmmakers, and you haven't done this yet. I haven't done this yet. This is yes. So this is an analysis of like, okay, the great thing about is like, okay, made my money back, plus more, but how can I make more money, but utilizing this concept of I got to use my film as an advertisement to sell something at a higher price point, the first thing to do is I got to tap into the psyche that it's got to solve a problem of how do you let go of fear, and but I use my film as sort of the stylistic context of this discussion. And, but then I'm probably just going to upsell it to other Buddhist statues that are available on Amazon. That way I don't have to that I wanted to make it or not the manufacturer onto the ship it I just literally create a unique experience when somebody has watched the movie. And then there's some other added bonuses that lead them to a sale. Either they can watch the movie for the low price point or if they want more they're connected to it if a audience gets connected to it, perhaps they'll buy you know, the Buddha statue 150 bucks and I might make a 20% of it or actually, it might be a percent of that. That's all about packaging. It's all Yeah, but the whole point that the concept is there the idea that I can remarket it to a whole new audience not other filmmakers tapping into the deep emotional message the marketing message if you don't wanna use marketing use amplifier people get uncomfortable artists sometimes like my films and advertisement they as only sack religious it's like no don't use advertisement use the term amplifier What is your film amplify and what are the other products that you can create that totally makes sense for somebody experiencing it on any one of us if we're buying something Star Wars and they up sold us to like hey get this you get your own you know, Millennium Falcon that's like a big wheel you know whatever you know it's like whatever

Alex Ferrari 1:19:24
I would i would buy that this is like okay bilaterally

Scott Mcmahon 1:19:29
if you get the bundle package of course so this is that so that this is for anybody the filmmaker out there who is not documentaries haven't that's an easier but they're so targeted in their sort of specific causes sometimes Oh,

Alex Ferrari 1:19:43
like yeah, like that, like that guests you had a few weeks ago on your podcast, age of age of champions. Oh, that stories are amazing.

Scott Mcmahon 1:19:51
Okay, so we can sum that story up real quick. So I had on my these guys were amazing. They're just two independent documentarian. filmmakers, they made a film called aged champions winning never gets old is about following a few senior citizens competing in the Senior Olympics. I think the film was only like 40 minutes long. But they went to the film festival circuit got nothing, you know, like, no distribution deal, nothing. But they discovered that the real audience there, the biggest fans were these women in their 40s. That worked at a, like a hospice care or elderly care centers. They were using the film as a advertising amplifier to inspire the senior citizens there to show them what is possible, right? So then they took that they doubled down on that audience, they start going to conventions, then because we're talking about you need to control your license, you need to exploit the license.

Alex Ferrari 1:20:42
And real quick, was there a hospice conventions?

Scott Mcmahon 1:20:46
Yeah, the other conventions were like, people are showing like the latest prosthetics

Alex Ferrari 1:20:51
Sure, yeah, of course, I'm just joking. I'm just kidding. I was just kidding. I was just getting good.

Scott Mcmahon 1:20:57
So anyways, yeah, so they have, because they control the license, they didn't just sell the DVDs for like $10 $20, they decided to create a licensing package bundle fee. So a organization that wanted to use their film to inspire better living, healthier lifestyle for the elderly, elderly people, with license their film bundle for a price of $150, or $250, they were able to sell so many different licenses across the country, were able to get the notice by the AARP events, or the retirement people commute. Organization, they got some underwriting from that. There's long story short, is they they made, they grossed over $1.3 million, were able to keep more than half of that because their team was so small, and their expenses were so small. And now they literally are making a living just doing that. Because they've figured out a different, like NBA style of promoting their film, because they control the licenses they exploited. And they actually offered a licensing deal. So that's why everybody's like, what my films a narrative, or how do I how do I do the same thing? Well, like I said, you can figure out what product or value or something or bundle that's more that's worth more, and use it to advertise that bundle. And once we get started going into that place, we're gonna see a lot of these filmmakers that are just doing it. Because they're going to sorry about the cough, they're going to get to that place where they're totally on the radar, they may not be you know, the something sexy for the press. But when the implosion happens when an offer comes in from a distributor This is Oh, like what your film is? Yeah, I'll take all rights to it. I'll give you I'll give you back in money or I'll give you a small advance of 5000 again No, no, there you know use it if you own the license, like why would I hand over the my entire license my control to this company,

Alex Ferrari 1:22:56
I'm selling you my movie for $5,000 because I'll never make a dime back generally speaking

Scott Mcmahon 1:23:01
Very much or they they're like us, we also want your audience like so that it's actually happening now. In the book publishing industry. publishers are requiring authors to have already a marketing campaign and an audience before they decide to publish their book. musicians are the same way they require musicians already have a large enough following and this AFM that's coming up in a couple weeks there's already discussion that sales agents need to know that the director stars have a large social media following like then So the thing is like a sales agent and a distribution company they don't have any cachet they need the people that they're they're going to assume all the rights to also have the audience to bring with it to make their job easier selling the film amazing. Absolutely. So it's gonna get to the point where filmmakers artists collectively all artists, authors musicians, you know filmmaker because filmmaking because that's the last thing that was so hard is that filmmaking used to need a lot of people cost a lot of money just to make your art but we're seeing the case studies this guy in Uganda making his films I made my film for so

Alex Ferrari 1:24:11
so it's gotten to a certain point where it's it's it's more affordable than was before to make a quality movie that actually makes money at a larger scale there is certain costs that still have to happen even the iPhone movie and tangerine that one Sundance it was made for a certain budget in two there is some money that has to be put out but not what you know before look I when I did my demo reel as a commercial director back in the 90s It cost me $50,000 you know that same demo reel today would maybe cost me five grand Yeah, you know what I mean to shoot the same the same situation so it's it's but there's still money to be put out but drastically less

Scott Mcmahon 1:24:48
Yes. So that's what's happening is you know, we are finally coming to the same level as musicians and authors and but we're we have the same business marketing strategies that we can learn from each other. They have been doing for longer because this it's hit their industry first before it said the independent film sector so yeah so I guess that sums it all up if you know gosh you know people want to know more I actually offer this free three part video series on the new adventures and film distribution that's kind of fun because it takes them to this like sort of cartoon adventure of where film distribution is where what we think about video on demand cuz I go more in detail about the video on demand myth and really breaking down the numbers but then showing them there's there's a there's a outlet there's there's hope and it's tangible and it's in our control and it's very exciting but we have to change our sort of perspective on things but once you do you're like a cool so I'm excited because I didn't know any of this stuff you know a couple years ago when I finished the cube and started filling trooper like the last year and a half has been exploring these questions in depth and trying to come back from the I guess I got on my little hero's journey where I came back from the Indian brought the elixir a brought that back going back go Hey guys this is what I found out this this is all the people I've interviewed look at these things are happening we can do the same thing.

Alex Ferrari 1:26:06
I'm going I'm going through the same thing I'm going through the same thing here with indie film hustle on a little bit and a little bit same Yeah, similar thing. So let me ask you before before we go, because I know you're very very busy man. I have to bring this up only purely because I'm a huge fan. How was it working on grim? Oh.

Scott Mcmahon 1:26:29
So those of you don't know I make a part time living up here in Portland as an actor. Yes. And if

Alex Ferrari 1:26:36
you can't tell, can you tell them why you make it? Yeah.

Scott Mcmahon 1:26:40
It's not because I'm a good actor. It's because there's a lot of white people up here and there. And I am half Asian. So I have a very unique look. And it's what my type is. And I am considered up here the non threatening ambiguous ethic

Alex Ferrari 1:26:58
I just wanted to do to say that on my podcast, it's so amazing. You have no idea I call him that all the time. It's just the best description of a human being ever. Um, but what but I was looking at Scott's demo reel the other day and I I see grim and I'm like oh my god that was Scott on grim grim shoots up in Portland Yeah, I'm looking forward to the new season I'm a huge fan so how was it fun? You know what I'm gonna geek out now

Scott Mcmahon 1:27:29
Okay, this is so my job as a day player a co star the titles for it and usually like they're always the characters that are just giving exposition to set up for the main characters to to move the story along you know that's all your job is your like you're there for a couple scenes couple lines and you're out and you know, I got in for a couple auditions for the casting studio and and i i've gotten a few callbacks before but they were always things like European thug and so I've got my bit as a European thug and the director

Alex Ferrari 1:28:05
you're not you're not threatening How can you do

Scott Mcmahon 1:28:08
it because the director was he'll stop and the when I finished like okay jabi what are you Hawaiian? There's no way I'm gonna get the job it was supposed to be like European like I think some Hawaiian

Alex Ferrari 1:28:23
right you're definitely not Europeans got that just not a European vibe to you.

Scott Mcmahon 1:28:27
So so so funny I go into the callback and this time it's for a cop and the dream rolls up here are the good rolls again is on that particular show is you're trying to get like a paramedic role or lawyer or a cop because in this small market you want to have an opportunity come back on the show because you don't get killed off

Alex Ferrari 1:28:47
because if you get killed if you're a monster you're done. Yeah.

Scott Mcmahon 1:28:50
So I was like, cool, I got a cop maybe there's chance I can come back. But anyhow, so I go in for the role of the cop I do my callback and the main casting director she's playing the role of Nick who's the main actor, or the main character, and I wasn't she's a very petite small woman and she was so into character I wasn't ready for it. And I started laughing and I go sorry, we started over I wasn't ready for the full commitment right so I you know, I strike why exactly flub my lines that I was like I left I go and I'm like guy what a total failure. But I got a call that's like you got booked. I was like, Oh, I started this laughing he's gonna understand my family. When we moved up here to Portland the full time job I had I could tell it was on the verge of like folding apart so I was like, Oh, you know, I should start figuring out maybe some other employment options. And I was like, you know, I'm going to dust off my real resume or whatever my headshot and see if I can get any acting work up here. And my wife's like, what? Like, I have done acting since I was my 20s. She's like,

Alex Ferrari 1:29:55
She's like, I didn't marry an actor. was what like, like, we I have a family sir. Kept serious

Scott Mcmahon 1:30:03
she was he was like whatever and like we were already watching grim and we knew his shot and in Portland and so like just like the third season when I get it I just got cast and grand which is like what

Alex Ferrari 1:30:19
we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor and now back to the show

Scott Mcmahon 1:30:29
it's so surreal because being a fan of the show for like two years oh no yeah and then your bond Yeah, then you're on set and the scene comes in where Juliet Nick come in and they're totally in character. And they walk in and they're looking right at you in character and they're delivering the lines and I had like a split second go oh my god, like don't look okay, I'm not like I'm acting I have to act

Alex Ferrari 1:30:51
right right after I but it

Scott Mcmahon 1:30:55
was pretty fun everything you know what the experience was everything you hope it to be and from that perspective, I can say that the acting is got to be the best job in all disciplines. The my feelings when you're working when you're when you're working. Because yes, because when you're on set, they say is everything you hoped to be they give you like, here's your old trailer and they there's a PA comes over. Hey, Mr. McMahon, can I get you a breakfast burrito? I'm like, Oh, yeah, sure. You know, it's like, every season was very good. So spoiled in this whole mess. So spoiled. I was like in the makeup chair. And then it's hockey. And I'm like, this is fine. You get driven to the separate like van with the main cast to those to location, and then you do your rehearsal, and then you're sitting around forever, just you know, waiting to get here, right? Yeah. And then well, here's the funny thing because I'm a day player. I know that my job is has delivered the lines for exposition, like I said, the initial shot the master shot was they did a steady cam over behind me. So it was over my shoulder looking at the main actors to get the main coverage. Sure, sure. And I was like, I was supposed to be protecting a hospital wing for some sick boy that could be possessed could not be possessed or whatever. And I was thinking myself, Hmm, I only got two lines on this may actually be it. This may be the only shot they ever used. Oh no, it's the back of my head. So I purposely, like halfway through my line. I turned towards the camera. I deliver the line for

Alex Ferrari 1:32:21
frickin actors. Just stand where you are.

Scott Mcmahon 1:32:25
Low behold, they never say caught. What the hell are you doing? No, of course. And they went ahead and did a close up over the shoulder. So I had to design your things. I had to repeat the same motion over and over. But the only reason if you see this clip is that I turned into the the hospital wing was because that was me trying to get coverage on the master shots so

Alex Ferrari 1:32:45
you have something for your reel. Exactly.

Scott Mcmahon 1:32:48
I've seen Believe me, I've seen shows where I could totally tell the day Act, the tour poor day player didn't even figure this out and they delivered all their lines in the back of their head never saw their face.

Alex Ferrari 1:32:57
So that's a free a free tip for all the actors listening. If you ever get on as a day player, make sure they see your face. But unobtrusive way because as a director, if if an actor did that to me, I would lose my collective crap. I'd be like, Dude, seriously, I'll get your close up. Just sit there. I promise. All right, Jesus, you don't know you don't know. You don't know. So you gotta This is my shot. I gotta take it. Yeah, I don't fault you for by any stretch. So last two questions, sir. This was the toughest one of them all. I'm sure you know what they are. But this question is, what is your top three films of all time?

Scott Mcmahon 1:33:34
Well, I know I know this question, but I'm gonna I'm gonna throw you some. Some. Some side ones there. Okay, let's say somewhere in time.

Alex Ferrari 1:33:44
Okay. Wow, Christopher Reeve. Okay. Yeah, like, Whoa,

Scott Mcmahon 1:33:47
that particular

Alex Ferrari 1:33:48
No, that makes perfect sense for you. So don't don't don't don't it makes absolute sense. Go ahead. time traveling love story. I mean, I got it.

Scott Mcmahon 1:33:57
Yeah. I can throw that out there. Okay. Um,

Alex Ferrari 1:34:01
who was the girl in that? Please remind me right now. Jane Seymour. Jc more Thank you when she was like Jane Seymour.

Scott Mcmahon 1:34:06
Yeah, I'm gonna say Rudy.

Alex Ferrari 1:34:09
also makes perfect sense.

Scott Mcmahon 1:34:12
And that aside, there's just my top three but I can guarantee that when these films Come on, I stop and watch them. Rudy, I always cry

Alex Ferrari 1:34:20
now. Of course everyone cries it Rudy. I mean, you're you're a savage. You're a heartless bastard if you don't cry, Rudy. I mean seriously. It's that movie is so good. It's such like it's amazing. And it's not It wasn't like a huge box office hit or anything but people when they watch it, they're like that kid was he's a psychotic I mean seriously. Yeah, the kid that kid the guy really had issues you know, to do what he did. Rudy if you're listening out there, man. Seriously, Rudy? Rudy ruettiger my friend I know he's like a dentist or a doctor or something at this point but but got me No seriously. Book. Wow, what a percent. He just kept going. Go ahead.

Scott Mcmahon 1:34:57
I know. It's like that and Oh, man. There's a third one I really wanted to throw out there resist odd but I will. I'm gonna go with

Alex Ferrari 1:35:07
Amadeus. Okay, another great one. That's it's actually been on the show a few times.

Scott Mcmahon 1:35:11
Okay, cause those three films in particular, I remember as a young person watching on the day is not knowing anything about the film. And because I was so young, I thought, like every film had to be like Star Wars, right? So when I saw this film that was so just the storytelling was I was engrossed by this. I was like, that's when I realized film can be more somewhere in time was in special to me, because it's like a love story. I'm only watching this because a Superman, you know, you know that I know that I would fully just become enveloped with this story. And then Rudy was just touching because I cannot I always cry. Oh, at the end.

Alex Ferrari 1:35:46
I don't know. No, it's just just Yeah, like, there's certain movies like that, you know,

Scott Mcmahon 1:35:50
There's three that I was trying to throw out there was different, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:35:53
Not bad, and so they're all good. They're all good. Amadeus is one of those movies like when you I watched it probably the exact same time you watched it when we were young. And I've watched it during my high school years. So during the high school years, john Claude Van Damme was the greatest actor of all time. I'm sure you can relate Bloodsport, obviously is the greatest film ever made. And all his other I can I can really I can literally list off his filmography up to a certain year for back in the day, so for me to watch a movie like you know, Amadeus, I was like anchoring it into Amadeus. And like understand like wow, like, if you can go from Bloodsport, to being like the hardcore lover of Bloodsport and hard to kill Steven Seagal also another great great thespian of his time to go to Amadeus and you know that the same mind to like both it says a lot about on Wednesdays especially at the time frame of my life when I watched it, it was well it's amazing film and I got to haven't seen that movie in probably about 15 or 20 years I have to actually go back and watch it again so So Scott, where can people find you?

Scott Mcmahon 1:37:02
You know what just go to filmtrooper,com like Stormtrooper but just filmtrooper.com

Alex Ferrari 1:37:06
Trademark infringement

Scott Mcmahon 1:37:11
Literally there's only really one thing to do there you sign up for the free three part video series and you it's just fun, you get a chance to take this new journey to the adventures of film distribution. Yeah, and that's it I also part of like joining up on the film, the film trooper email list, you get a weekly free video on demand and digital download report, you know to help you kind of gauge your business plan if you needed to know what's going on in that world, as well as a bunch of other free goodies and I'm almost at my 100th episode of my podcast so it's a milestone coming

Alex Ferrari 1:37:43
Nice congratulations I'm I'm the rookie still sir. I'm still trying to catch up to you sir.

Scott Mcmahon 1:37:47
But you are crushing it and it's very it's so cool to meet you in these circumstances this way. So it's awesome.

Alex Ferrari 1:37:54
Oh, thank you. Now if anybody needs a non threatening Asian please look him up. He's amazing. His work. His work on Grimm was stellar. Why the Emmys did not did not look at him at this is Travis de ser a Travis. Scott, thank you again for coming on board bad a pleasure. Absolute pleasure having you on the show.

Scott Mcmahon 1:38:15
Man. Thank you so much. Thank you everybody for listening.

Alex Ferrari 1:38:18
Scott's a great guy. Man. I love having him on the show. He's doing some really great work over at filmtrooper.com and you can get all of the links to Scott and his book and everything at indiefilmhustle.com/037 at the show notes. So also guys, don't forget to head over to filmmakingpodcast.com and leave us an honest review of the show. It would really help us out a lot so have a safe and happy new year to all you guys. I wish you guys nothing but the best in the coming New Year and that you all get your movies made all of them get out there and you can start making a living and surviving and thriving by being an artist and by being a filmmaker in the coming year and for many years to come. So keep that dream alive. Keep that hustle going. And I'll talk to you guys next year.




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