IFH 045: Twitch Film – From Film Geek to On-line Media Empire with Todd Brown



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How does a film geek turn his love for movies into a media empire? Ask Todd Brown from Twitch Film. I met Todd Brown over ten years ago when I was promoting my short film BROKEN (Watch it on Indie Film Hustle TV). He did a killer review of the film and we became fast friends.

His movie review site Twitch Film.com was just starting out then but it has grown into a leading voice in global cinema. Twitch Film focuses on more obscure, independent and international films; something that was missing from the movie review site blogosphere.

Twitch Film’s focus on those kinds of films made it stand out and over the years has grown into a mega movie website. My advice always is nice to people you never know when your paths will cross again.

Todd leveraged his knowledge and access to great international and independent films and joined forces with XYZ Films.

XYZ Films is an integrated content company whose mission is to empower visionary storytellers from every corner of the planet. As an independent production company and worldwide sales agency, the company is uniquely suited to identify talented filmmakers and bring their stories to life.

You might have heard of some of their breakout hits “The Raid ” and “The Raid 2.”

Todd and I sat down to discuss all things film geek, the state on independent film and the new landscape of film distribution. Enjoy!

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Alex Ferrari 0:54
So today, guys, our guest of honor is Todd Brown from twitchfilm.com. Todd and I have known each other for probably going about 12 years now. We we first met when I was promoting my short film broken a few back in the early days of promoting broken and he was just done launching his site, twitch film.com maybe a year or two earlier than that. He was a big fan of broken and, and then afterwards of red princess blues and some of my other films. So of course, we became fast friends. So he's, he's amazing guy, he's seen more movies in the last 10 years, especially independent movies than anybody else. I know he's gone to 1000s of film festivals for his website and has seen every every thing from any walk of life you can imagine. So he was he's basically an expert on independent film and seeing independent film finding new talent and exposing new talent to the masses. Todd recently joined forces with x y z films, which is a distribution company and their first big hit was the raid. If you guys haven't seen the raid, I will leave links for it in the show notes. It kind of put action movies on their heels when it came out a few years ago. It's just a nonstop romp to say the least it's really great. And Todd was one of very instrumental in finding that movie and getting it to the audiences here in the in the States and around the world for that matter. So please sit back and relax and listen to to film geeks. geek out my interview with Todd Brown from twitchfilm.com. Todd man, thanks so much for taking the time out. I know you're very busy man. I know you're in Argentina right now at a film festival. So thanks for taking the time out.

Todd Brown 2:40
Yeah, of course. And yes, I'm down at the bottom of the world.

Alex Ferrari 2:44
How is it? What's the weather down, like down there?

Todd Brown 2:47
Alright, it's actually not bad. It's it's about the same as it is home in Toronto. So today, it got to just under 20 degrees Celsius. So that's like high 60s. Fahrenheit.

Alex Ferrari 2:58
Nice. Nice. Yeah,

Todd Brown 2:59
It's not bad. It's been sunny. People are nice. There's a lot of beef.

Alex Ferrari 3:04
I've heard.

Todd Brown 3:06
Rumors are true.

Alex Ferrari 3:07
It's so um, so you and I met God, it's going over 10 years now that we've met each other, back in the days when I was making my rounds with broken.

Todd Brown 3:18
Yeah, that's right. Um, you sent me sent me some materials, and I think was a short film or proof of concept.

Alex Ferrari 3:25
And it was it was a short film, it was a short film with a whole bunch of extras and stuff on it. And you were one of the early champions of broken. So I really do appreciate that.

Todd Brown 3:33
Yeah, it's, I mean, I obviously happy to do it, or I wouldn't have done it. But it's also I mean, you were kind of a little bit ahead of the curve on that stuff where those sorts of kind of proof of concept things online or drive driven a ton of movies over the last little while to actually get them made.

Alex Ferrari 3:50
Right, exactly. We were we were a little ahead of time on a few things with the, you know, with the three hours of behind the scenes kind of film school stuff on a DVD and self distribution and Yeah, kind of crowdsourcing we were already crowdsourcing back in 2004 2005 before you know everybody's doing it now but but yeah, it was really interesting. And I do again, I do appreciate you being that early one of the one of the early champions of of broken and then after that, you really helped me out with red princess blues and a couple of my other films. Yeah. So tell me, tell me a little bit about twitch film. TWITCH film.com it's been going now what? 11 years? 12 years?

Todd Brown 4:32
Yeah, we're we're into the 12th year at this point. Which is an eternity in online time.

Alex Ferrari 4:41
You're like, you're like the the eighth year that the at&t have like your forever. It takes me I don't even know what what what company has been around forever. You're like the Disney sir. You're like the Disney.

Todd Brown 4:53
Yeah, and kind of morphs and changes. We're in the middle of a fairly significant redevelopment right now. I'm where I want to bring some other stuff into it because, you know, we've we've effectively operated it the same way for that entire lifespan. And just the internet is a different place now than it was then. But it's something you know, I think we're I think we're about the same vintage. I mean, I'm 42

Alex Ferrari 5:19
Yep. I like that same vintage.

Todd Brown 5:24
You know, I grew up in I lived the transition to the internet, like my elementary school was like in that first wave of getting computer labs.

Alex Ferrari 5:33
Oh, yeah. What was your first computer? What was your first computer? No, no, no, no computer lab?

Todd Brown 5:39
Commodore pets?

Alex Ferrari 5:40
Oh, you too. Oh, my God, I had a Commodore PET as well. I, I was in fourth grade, when I saw it. And I was like, what, it was just such an odd thing to me. I know that we were gonna sound like such old people. But I mean, it was such an odd thing to see this thing. And I'd never really grasped what a computer could do for me, until literally I got into college. Because before that,

Todd Brown 6:04
I was like, I love them. I knew that.

Alex Ferrari 6:07
But it was all like it was all green with Microsoft Word. And like it always it was all dos. But when I saw the Mac, that's when I least offer me I was like, Oh,

Todd Brown 6:17
My can my current computer is a Mac and it's the first Mac I have ever owned. I was one of the guys like stripping down boards and like fixing jump jump settings and stuff and all that by hand. Oh, I love to be able to kind of get under the box. Get into the box.

Alex Ferrari 6:33
But you drank the Kool Aid now.

Todd Brown 6:35
Yeah, I have I'm fully up. Now it didn't take very long. But kind of growing up in that age, I had a bunch of friends who were into self publishing. And when I was in high school, I started writing really heavily about music for just kind of hand photocopied, ziens and stuff that friends of mine were running and that were being distributed in record stores and things. And, you know, when I was 18, I got published nationally for the first time. And it became something I toyed with the idea of doing and trying to do it for a living until I decided I really didn't like working for editors. But I, you know, I but I enjoyed the process of writing. So I wrote about music for a long time. ran my own little record label for a couple years that my sister is a doctor and she backed me on it and I spent all our money.

Alex Ferrari 7:28
That's what the sisters are for sir.

Todd Brown 7:32
Yeah. She was good about it. I paid her back eventually, okay. And then, as that stuff was winding down, I had a friend who, from college who kind of became the bridge to another guy who I knew from college, but we weren't tight. But he was starting a film site. And they knew that I had been writing for a long time that even though I had been writing about music, that I was also a film geek. So they asked if I'd be interested in writing for him. So I did that for a couple of years. And it became a little bit tense. And I wouldn't say contentious, but you could see it starting to go down that road, just in terms of taste. And in terms of

Alex Ferrari 8:16
I've never been I've never worked

Todd Brown 8:18
Than he is. And so I ended up being a very much a dominant voice on the site. And people assuming it was mine becomes this bruised ego thing.

Alex Ferrari 8:25
I've never heard of film, film geeks fighting like that before. Yeah, no, I never that It's unheard. It's unheard of.

Todd Brown 8:31
But what we both saw it coming before it arrived. And so there was a moment where, you know, I tried it. I don't even remember what the conversation started as john was like, you know, I feel kind of like we've been pulling in different directions a bit lately. And as soon as he said that, I was like, You know what, if you're feeling like that, I've been feeling like that. Now's the time where we just cut it. Then you go your way and you keep doing your own thing. I'm gonna go my way, and I'm going to find my own thing. And we'll Park as we're still friends and wish each other well. And away we go. Cool. Which is what ended up happening. And I launched Twitch. The name literally means nothing. It was just a word that I thought sounded interesting.

Alex Ferrari 9:12
Great marketing, great branding.

Todd Brown 9:14
So yeah, I know. It's a miracle that I've survived as long as I have in life. But it was really it was really only just an outlet for myself because at that point, I'd been writing for a really long time and I didn't know what I do if I wasn't and so I just wrote about stuff that I thought was interesting. It didn't I always assume that kind of the ceiling would be super low. And I ended up hitting a niche that nobody else was touching. And it just kind of all spiraled and grew organically from there and literally everything else that I'm doing in the industry has happened because of Twitch.

Alex Ferrari 9:49
And when I met you is like 2005 so you open twitch in 2004 right? Yeah, yeah. So was like you were you were kind of still brand new. When I You know, when I hit you up? So what else are you doing now in the industry?

Todd Brown 10:05
Um, well twitch within about the first year and a half led to me doing some festival programming, that's when kind of simultaneously I was approached by the Fantasia festival in Montreal, and I approached Fantastic Fest after their first year, because you can see that something cool was going on

Alex Ferrari 10:22
there, it's pretty cool.

Todd Brown 10:23
It is a pretty cool festival. Um, and when I did that, I was working a day job that left me very flexible with my time and paid really well, so I didn't need to get paid. That's Yeah. So instead, I asked both festivals to give me travel budget. And they started sending me around to the different film markets around the world. Oh, cool, which for me was travel and kind of a little bit of exoticism and, and all of this stuff. But resulted in me having a chance to learn the actual mechanics and the business of independent film from that end, without the pressure of having to monetize it, you know, I could just be around it and get to know people. And for the festivals, they had kind of me out there on the ground scouting, and chasing stuff down for them. So it worked out really well for both of us.

Alex Ferrari 11:13
So basically, you don't you're at a film market and not with the pressure of having to sell a movie or make money. You're just there absorbing information.

Todd Brown 11:20
Yeah, I was out there, kind of in the screenings, I was kind of handing out cards to the different sales agents, getting to know, you know, how the different companies worked, what sort of films different people were interested in what the different distribution models were, who the who the significant players were. And that was right, it was right before the home video collapse. So I was doing the market circuit. Well, that was going on. And you can see how the shifts in business model. We're affecting things and how technology was affecting things really, directly. And you could see who was adapting in the right ways and who wasn't

Alex Ferrari 12:02
one? blockbuster, sorry, sorry.

Todd Brown 12:05
Yeah. How much would they like to have the opportunity to buy Netflix bag

Alex Ferrari 12:09
for $2 million, with like, 5 million $20 million. It was something like,

Todd Brown 12:14
really small. It was really small.

Alex Ferrari 12:16
I always tell man, I always tell people like Don't be that blockbuster. Don't be anytime you have a business Don't be blocked. But you always got to look around the corner. And even if you're the big boy on the on the totem pole, because oh my god, they were they were like, they were huge. Yeah. And they just completely dropped.

Todd Brown 12:33
Yeah, nobody took it seriously until it was too late. There's an entire tear of the industry that's gone. Now when I started going to the American Film market, every single suite in the Lowe's was full from top to bottom plus three floors at the lomira go next door. When you go now, I mean, it's happening right now. Right? So I haven't I haven't been this year, I wasn't last year, really. But the year before that, when I was there. The lamere ago was completely empty. The top two floors of the Lowe's was were empty, the bottom floor of the Lowe's was empty and there were empty suites scattered all the way through. So that's like 4550 offices. So

Alex Ferrari 13:07
So why do you say so? What do you say? Why do you say that? What do you think that happened?

Todd Brown 13:12
Oh, it's it's all of those companies. Principally, those are the companies that were producing direct video content.

Alex Ferrari 13:18
Got it. And they're all gone. And they'd have no idea how to and they didn't switch, figured it out?

Todd Brown 13:24
Yeah, it's, it's, it's adapt or die. It's very Darwinian.

Alex Ferrari 13:27
Well, interesting. It's an interesting, I'd say I haven't been to AFM going, I'm going this. I'm going next week to AFM. My first one. And I've heard of course, I mean, I've talked to a lot of people, and I've heard of what goes on there. But it's interesting to see that perspective that there used to be so many more companies, and they just started to slowly go away because they can't adapt to

Todd Brown 13:49
changes. Oh, I mean, when it really hit it was three years. We are which is

Alex Ferrari 13:53
which is a bullet in in, in this in this industry without question. Yeah. So um, so you were saying,

Todd Brown 14:01
Yeah, but Well, I will have doing that I ended up meeting a guy who is now one of my business partners, who at the time was working for an agency in, in LA, in their independent sales division. And I covered a couple of his films, which were wildly divergent films. One of them was a documentary about a Filipino transvestite, and one of them was a really grimy, nasty horror film. Nice and I think that divergence in the fact that my name popped up covering both of them is what made me initially stand out tonight and so we got to know each other a little bit. And then the company that he worked for bought bloody disgusting, the PR website. Yeah. And at the time, they foolishly thought that there was money to be made and online media. So they tried to buy me as well and I wasn't interested. But Nate and I got to be friends. And one day he just said to me, Look, why don't you he's like you're finding this stuff all the time. I'm trying to sell it like, if you find something cool, why don't you just like just bring it to me. And we'll do it together. And we'll just kind of split it

Alex Ferrari 15:07
up pretty. That's it. That's a nice deal.

Todd Brown 15:09
Yeah, and I'd never thought of going that way before of actually doing it. But it's like, I just kind of hit the critical mass of knowledge that I was starting to feel confident in that world. And a few months later, while scouting stuff for festivals, I came across two different things, an animated film and a live action film, where I kind of looked at them, and they're both obviously really good. But I could see that they were about to make some really big errors. So I wrote both companies kind of cold, and just said, Oh, we'd already been talking about other stuff, because I've been covering them on Twitch. But in terms of business, it was cold. And I reached out and I said, Look, I don't I don't want to speak at a turn or anything like that. If I'm wrong, just tell me to shut up and piss off and go away. And I won't be offended, that's fine. But it looks to me like you're about to do kind of this and this and this. And if you do that, here's what's going to happen. And you're probably going to leave four or $500,000 on the table. And you need somebody with a really particular skill set who can do kind of this list of things for you. And I've got that skill set, and you should just hire me. Nice, and both of them did. And then I immediately turned around and called Nate because I am not a contract guy and I will, right? And so I just called him up and left a message and said, Look, where are you serious? Because I got these two things. They both want to work with me. And I need somebody who can handle this whole other end of it. He said yes. And that was the start of us working together. And that was also the start of us working with Gareth Evans. Because one of those movies was marital, the movie he did before he did the raid. Oh, nice.

So yeah, we kind of we hit a good one right out of the gate.

Alex Ferrari 17:00
He hitched your chair, your your wagon to a good train there. Yeah. Wow, that's that's it. I had no idea about any of this stuff. I thought you I thought you were you know, I know you did a little bit behind the scenes stuff with festivals and stuff like that, but I didn't know you. So your do you handle distribution now? Or do you like Yeah, no,

Todd Brown 17:19
I'm I work with. We're called XYZ films. Um, you know, the company is up to 14 people now. Oh, wow. So and I work on, on the acquisition and development side, kind of tracking either independent projects that are already going or the stuff that's about to bring him in help with the development end of things. And then we are both a production company ourselves. And then we are also a sales agency.

Alex Ferrari 17:48
Wow, wow. And this is you. This is you and Nate.

Todd Brown 17:52
Ah, well, Nate, what I didn't know is when I was kind of out having those initial conversations with kind of those first films, Nate and two of his buddies, two of his best friends from when he was in the UCLA producers program. Were all in the process of quitting their jobs, to found this new company together, which is XYZ. And at the time, it was founded on the back of a development deal that they had with time life where they had an one year exclusive window to just mine the time life archive of every magazine they've ever owned for articles that can supply the basis for stories. Oh, wow. And so yeah, in those days, they XYZ was initially founded on the belief that it was going to be a development company. And I joined about nine months into the life of the company, I think, so I'm not original with them, but within the first year as they as they quickly realize the development takes a really long time. It's very expensive to make some money while it's happening.

Alex Ferrari 19:03
Right now they're based in LA are they based in Toronto? They're based in LA. I'm still based in Toronto, as you should be, sir. Stay out, Stay out of this town as long as you can.

Todd Brown 19:12
Yeah, I'm pretty happy where I am, other than in February and March.

Alex Ferrari 19:16
I've been there. It's not fun. So um, so with Twitch, Matt, what made you focus on international and independent films? Because that is your focus, right? That's kind of what twitch does.

Todd Brown 19:29
Yeah, to Yeah, to a large degree, and we're not like we're certainly not anti Hollywood. There's a lot of Hollywood films that I love. And there's a lot of Hollywood stuff that we cover. Part of it is that part of is just that I bored easily. And I just, I couldn't get excited about being kind of the fifth guy to review this movie, Avengers, right? Just covering the same stuff that everybody else was covering for the sake of covering it. Right and You know, the way we laid our boundaries down, it also left me really versatile. I mean, like he talked to, I don't want to name them just because I don't know if he wants to be named in this way. But you know, the the film, the online film journalism community is very small. And especially if you kind of restricted to the guys that have been around I consider myself in the second wave like I'm not hearing OLS or Nick nunziata or those guys sure. But I'm in the next block. And I talked to some of the horror guys and like they've said to me, a few of them have said kind of outright they're like, man you are so call yourself a horror writer. Because he's like, as soon as we call ourselves a horror brand, we have to cover all of it and a lot of its shit. But it has comprehensive if that's what you've decided to call yourself. Where for me, if a bunch of stuff in one particular subset of of kind of the world is is kind of shitty, I just stopped covering it and I go and I looked at for other stuff that's more interesting.

Alex Ferrari 21:07
What a concept.

Todd Brown 21:08
Yeah. Um, it's it's left me it's, it's nice. It's completely self serving.

Alex Ferrari 21:15
But it's that's something unique to twitch because, you know, it'll I've done my rounds with every I mean, every every, you know, website that has to do with film journalism, and film covering films and stuff, you know, promoting my movie. So I've, I know the group that you're talking about, and you always stood out, you always stood out to me, at least because I was like, man, he's really covering cool stuff. It's just, it's just different. It's just, I'd like to

Todd Brown 21:43
think that kind of as a piece of unconscious branding, what it did, as people realize that that's how we operate it is well it man, we didn't fit into a clean genre niche. What it meant to people is that if we were covering it, it's because we really liked it. And it became a bit of a stamp of quality in a way that other sites ness aren't aren't necessarily

Alex Ferrari 22:07
correct. Yeah, no. And I mean, I did that I got it when you guys reviewed my films and and then I probably would, you know, put your review or a quote that you did on one of my movies. And it held weight, it held way people like oh, Twitch, and then as the years have gone on, that weight is become heavier and heavier. So you have much more

Todd Brown 22:26
of a sudden, it's still fun, weird, honestly,

Alex Ferrari 22:29
I know. It's funny because like, you know, before it, like I knew you'd like I said, new UI a year out, you know, so like, we were both kind of starting our journeys in different sides, you know, different in different worlds. But we were both starting our journey in this in this weird film world. And as we both kind of grown in our own ways, it's so funny that I go back to like, you know, like, I was reading the review that you did on unbroken and on red princess the other day, and I was just like, wow, this is cool. But then I start seeing, like, how, how much more weight than like, your name starts, like I've seen you on posters and stuff. Yeah, like it's, it's it's like, but that's but that's Todd. I know, Todd.

Todd Brown 23:12
Yeah, my family keeps me humble. Yeah. Really, cuz she's completely outside the film industry. She loves documentaries and stuff, but is not a film geek by any stretch. She's a journalist. And when she comes with me to industry stuff, she she finds it really interesting. Like, I mean, you've done these things. You know what it's like, where everybody's always like so So who are you? What are you here with? Just watching stuff? Well, what's your connection? How do you say, Oh, I'm, I'm Todd Brown. Oh, oh says like, the conversations change. And I'm like, it's so strange. And then I talked to my son, he's 14, and to this date refuses to watch the raid specifically because I'm involved with it, and therefore it can't be any good.

Alex Ferrari 23:58
My wife is the same way My wife is in social work. And she, when she got to LA, she's like, I can't go to these parties anymore. Like every time you go, it's like, so who you are. Who are you? What are you? What do you do this and it's awesome. It's just

Todd Brown 24:11
like, that's a big chunk of why I mean, there's there's other practical realities, why I can't move out of Toronto. Sure. But even if I could, man, the weather's great. Now lay, but I don't think I want to live that lifestyle. It's, it's, it's, it's very fishable it's extremely self referential. Yes. And you need people outside of the industry do to help you keep perspective.

Alex Ferrari 24:34
You know, and I've and I've been here for eight years now, because I originally started in Florida. So when I got here, it's at first it's like, oh, the streets are paved with gold. You know, like, Yeah, because if you're a film geek, this is this is Mecca, like you know, everywhere you turn, there's Oh, there's Warner Brothers. There's Disney. There's paramount. There's like 15 post houses. There's 15 you know, they'll say they're shooting something on the street. You know, it was so exciting. But then you start going to these parties and you start getting these ns all the say, any party you go to about in Hollywood or in LA, it's all about the business that no one discusses anything else. It's like, and that's what my wife was like, this is just I can't do this anymore.

Todd Brown 25:15
Yeah. And it said by very much when you go to the markets and stuff to like, I don't know anybody who actually enjoys going to Cannes. And it's kind of a weird thing to gripe about, because it's like you're spending a week on the French Riviera. And this is your job.

Alex Ferrari 25:28
Yeah. Or Sunday on same thing. Yeah. And

Todd Brown 25:32
but I mean, every market has its own vibe and its own energy but in can man when things are going badly, or if the weather turns a little bit because there's more people there then there's actually infrastructure and capacity for right. You can't have a conversation with somebody without them looking over your shoulder to see who else is there. And could they potentially make more money by talking to that person than they are by talking to you Wow, it's Yeah, it's really weird. It's exhausting.

Alex Ferrari 26:01
And this all started with a little website. Yep. How is it to run a global cinema Empire sir? Cinema News Empire she's

Todd Brown 26:12
mostly I mostly I do it because it's fun. Still, I still enjoy it.

Alex Ferrari 26:16
Yeah, you're a film geek at heart. At the end of the day,

Todd Brown 26:19
you know, when I get bored with it is the day that'll stop. Now,

Alex Ferrari 26:22
how did you fall in love with film?

Todd Brown 26:26
Um, I had. That's That's an interesting question. And there's a few different ways of answering it. One, you know, is I am kind of prototypical, geeky kid. And I grew up in the peak of the video era. And I had a couple of friends that we would just every week we'd be at the video store doing something my friend Steve and I when we were young, we had these stretches where we would kind of theme rent. And so we did one binge where we watched nothing but movie starring former professional athletes. I would have loved to be in it was pretty that was actually a good run because that was like oh no, they live they just come out Yeah, they live Oh stone cold out a few Yeah, how long was in a few although how he's we're usually pretty shitty.

Alex Ferrari 27:15
Baba. Don't forget boba Smith police academies. Yeah.

Todd Brown 27:19
So yeah, we kind of did that run. And then we had another run where we did. If it wasn't long enough to be on two tapes, we wouldn't rent it. So, which I think is how I saw the Godfather movies the first time. It's definitely how I saw the mission for the first time. Yeah. Man, you know, so you'd end up with these great things. And then I had an English teacher. I think he was he was my grade nine English teacher. Who I remember really clearly. We were doing Romeo and Juliet. And Mr. Shinya, and he was this German guy, he was the head of drama and the high school as well. His intro just completely, he made so many, like 14 year old, 14 year old girls angry when he introduced this book where he introduced the play. He's like, you know, everybody looks at Romeo and Juliet is this is kind of the classic romance. Like, this is not a romance. This is a couple of 15 year olds who want to get laid.

Alex Ferrari 28:20
It's pretty much it,

Todd Brown 28:22
kind of in that moment that the penny dropped in that kind of nothing is sacred, you know, and we're taught taught to a certain degree to kind of, or we're taught, at least at that point, that kind of art and culture is this thing that's out there somewhere in a bit. And Shogun was the first time where I understood that things will now we're actually really gritty, and even the absolute masters like even Shakespeare, you can criticize them. Of course, you know, even Shakespeare wasn't perfect at everything. And that popular opinion, just because people had said, This is what it is over and over and over again. That's not necessarily true. And I learned a lot about critical thinking from Rudy shingon. He was amazing. And then my English teacher the next year. You know, she gave us our independent study assignment that year where she's like, you know, we do too much on Canadian and British writers in Canada. She's like, you're going to pick a playwright or an author, an American one. And that's going to be your your independent study. And so I went to her and I kind of made the case I'm like, you know, does a screenwriter count. Oh, nice. Nice, nice. It's similar enough. And she went for it. She's like, yeah, she's like, if you can get some of the actual scripts beyond just watching watching the movies. And you're going to apply kind of the same rigor and look for kind of the same sort of thematic stuff. Yes, it does. And so I did, I was a huge money Python fan. And so I did my independent study that year. On Terry Gilliam

Alex Ferrari 30:01
Wow, that wasn't the nozzle. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Todd Brown 30:15
And I watched Brazil about 15 or 20 times that you're in every different cut of it that existed at that time.

Alex Ferrari 30:21
Right? There's There's 100 cuts of that day. It's almost as bad as Blade Runner.

Todd Brown 30:25
Yeah, well my first time seeing Brazil the my first viewing experience was the horrible broadcast cut.

Alex Ferrari 30:31
Oh, let's like watching Scarface.

Todd Brown 30:36
Yeah. Yeah, and that is where I really started Brazil is the movie that made me understand what film could be just, you know, and the versatility of it and how comedy can be a mask for so many other things and how sci fi allows for a level of satire and political awareness. You know, I never saw that movie. I didn't see that movie theatrical theatrically for like 15 years after that, and then seeing it on the big screen the first time. still finding just there's an incredible amount of information hidden in that film.

Alex Ferrari 31:11
Yeah. Was Terry Gilliam he is a genius. Yeah.

Todd Brown 31:16
Yeah, so that's kind of what made me

Alex Ferrari 31:18
got you into this whole thing.

Todd Brown 31:20
Yeah, to a large degree and Blade Runner is kind of probably a half step behind Brazil, but Brazil is the movie for me.

Alex Ferrari 31:29
Blade Runner is Blade Runner is that is probably that movie for me. I mean, I mean, I love there's a lot of other movies I love but when I saw blade runner, I was like, oh, okay, I see this now I get it.

Todd Brown 31:43
It's incredible how well it stands up to it's still gorgeous. It's like 19

Alex Ferrari 31:47
Yeah, they just released a blu ray version of it a few years ago that they remastered everything and they did it they updated a couple of the effects with Ridley's help and everything and it's just it's a 1981 83 right 8380

Todd Brown 32:01

Alex Ferrari 32:02
it was 8283 movie and it whole job brothers Yeah, exactly. It but it will it still holds up today like right now you could put it up against and I would argue is much better obviously it's much better than anything almost anything can be made today with all the VFX and stuff but that's a whole other conversation. So um, let me ask you a question. What do you What does a film have to have to catch your eye? You know as someone who looks at films and are looking for films for your company and for twitch

Todd Brown 32:36
it's a nebulous kind of answer but for me it all boils down to voice okay no, does this author have have a voice and a point of view that's distinctive I you know i'm not i'm not one of these guys who buys into everything has to be original quote unquote, whatever that means. I think that's kind of bullshit I have I have no problems at all with the formula movie if you understand the formula and how to how to work it but it's all you know, it's you talk to literary theorists and people and like depending on your talk to its most say that there's really only something like five stories in the world. Right, exactly. And then it's all variations and it's all about how you tell the story and what your take on it is your perspective Yeah, yeah. And so that's the biggest thing to me You know, there's there's a lot of stuff that I can that I can forgive, but you've got to you've got to know what you are if you're trying to tell somebody else's story if you're trying to pander to an audience you know, that's where it all starts to fall apart. So I think it requires a certain amount of you know, self awareness and self knowledge as a filmmaker and confidence.

Alex Ferrari 33:51
Right? And that's that I've seen I've been I've been to millions of festivals, so I've seen a lot a lot of indie films and you're right, the people who really kind of catch your eye are people who have a distinct flavor of their own their voice, as you said, and and it's, and it's hard sometimes, because a lot of filmmakers are so in the chase of trying to make it that they're like, well, I'm gonna do a like, you remember, you remember when Pulp Fiction came out? How many ripoffs? Oh, yeah, oh,

Todd Brown 34:18
that's still happening. There's still people trying to Nick Tarantino style.

Alex Ferrari 34:21
I know. Yeah. And the you can't it's just not possible. It's not a possibility. You can it's something they can't do. Like, yeah, I mean, everybody else, you know, like, you know, Coppola stole from Kurosawa. And everyone steals from everybody. But But you can't steal their voice like, I can't go make a Coppola movie. I can't go make a Scorsese film and minicard How many people have tried to make a Scorsese film. You know, over the years, it's something you have to find in yourself as a filmmaker as a voice and it's something I'm, I'm finding as myself, you know, as a as a filmmaker as well. So that's a that's a that's a great answer. Great. It's

Todd Brown 34:55
usually some kind of sort of kernel or something that's really personal. And I find when you meet people, and again, It's not about experience.

Alex Ferrari 35:02
Oh No, it isn't. Get have a 20 year old does it?

Todd Brown 35:05
Yeah, I had a chance this year leading into the Toronto Film Festival. You know, they asked me to come they do this boot camp for Canadian filmmakers to kind of prep them for what the festival is and how to kind of take advantage of it navigate and so they had a few panels of different people from different aspects of the industry. And then they had this guy named Andrew civic Dino. He did a film called sleeping giant that premiered in Cannes and then was about to have its Canadian premiere in Toronto, and his unit publicist is somebody that I've known for a really long time. And she's a very no bullshit been around the block several times woman and she was like, raving about Andrew, to me, and as soon as he sat down on stage and started talking, I was like, Oh, this is why, like, as soon as he started talking about what he was doing, and why he was doing it, you're just like, Oh, this guy's real, like, 100%. Real like, he's just, he's not flashy. He's not showy. He's not being pushy about it. But he had this real centered groundedness. He knew who he was.

Alex Ferrari 36:08
And it's so hard to find in any, any any realm of life.

Todd Brown 36:12
Yeah, yeah. But it comes in again, it comes through this film. Oh, that's awesome. Xavier Dolan. I mean, as a teenager, was one of those guys. He just he knew who he was. And I don't think I don't think he made those early movies trying to impress anybody. He was just trying to express something about kind of his own youth.

Alex Ferrari 36:31
Yeah, like what like a look like Scorsese. His early films were all about his youth and all about his experience. So I know, you get approached probably about 1000 times a day by filmmakers wanting that wanting you to promote their films. Yeah. And review their films on their website. How should a filmmaker approached a site like yours, or any kind of media outlet like this?

Todd Brown 36:54
Um, I mean, first rule, be polite. You'd be amazed how many people aren't. You know, second thing kind of, be thorough and be logical, there's certain baseline information that we need. And if you write me and say, you know, I've got this thing and throw a couple of vague details and write me back, if you want to know more about it. I'm not gonna write you back. Just not because I get between four and 500 emails a day? If, if I'm not liking that's like the bottom? And if I'm not answering and kind of engaged.

Alex Ferrari 37:36
And then including Facebook messages, I'm sure. Yeah, Twitter messages and stuff. Am I going

Todd Brown 37:41
to go back to you to seek out and kind of up my email volume? No, I'm not, I'm just not. And so you know, make sure you include your title.

Alex Ferrari 37:53
I don't know. It's funny, but it's true. It's I've seen it,

Todd Brown 37:55
include a little synopsis, include a link to a teaser. You know, if you don't have visual content yet, I am categorically not going to cover it because it's hype. Everything is hypothetical, correct? Yep. You know, there's there's got to be something tangible. It's, you know, as passionate as you might be about it, as important as it might be to you as confident as you are that you're going to make something good. You know, 20 year old, independent filmmaker making his debut micro budget film,

Alex Ferrari 38:30
not not,

Todd Brown 38:31
that's not news.

Alex Ferrari 38:33
Not anymore.

Todd Brown 38:34
It's like, it just isn't. Yeah, that's, you know, there's hundreds of those people. And of those hundreds of movies at any given time, probably five of them are gonna be good. If you're lucky. Yeah, it's so you know, you got it, you got to show me something, if you're not ready to do that, just hold off, keep your powder dry until you're actually ready. Right. And, you know, if you haven't heard back from me, or nothing's come up in three or four days, maybe send a follow up. But sending a bombardment, that doesn't help, that breaks the Be polite rule from the beginning, right? Right. It's not everything's gonna be for everybody. And that's part of the process that's part of the creative process is once you make something and put it out into it on a certain level, it stops being yours. And if my feeling about it, in my opinion of it is Thanks, but no, that's fair, and that's valid and on a certain level, you're gonna have to accept that and if you can't accept just the fact that somebody isn't picking up your story, man, wait until reviews and stuff start coming back. You know, you've got to be you've got to be aware that there's an interplay that happens here and be part of that.

Alex Ferrari 39:53
Yeah, I remember when I approached you because I get asked a lot about like, how do you you know, how'd you get so many reviews? How many did you Get this or that and I was like well you know i think you're right I sent you i if i remember this 10 years ago but I'm almost positive this is what I probably did I probably wrote you a very short concise email you I had a link I had a name obviously the name of my movie was probably in that first little paragraph and who I was in what I was doing and a couple little details about the movie like here's a trailer and here's our website yeah and that was it and you went saw that

Todd Brown 40:26
and that's it and that's the best way to do it like honestly unless I'm somewhere where the internet is not working you know which which happens these days where I'll get email but can't access even YouTube you know, but if somebody just sends me here's a sentence here's my synopsis here's my trailer. I will look I literally look at every single one of those trailers right? I absolutely do so but just yeah concise is good

Alex Ferrari 40:56
yeah concise it because it and that's the thing I always tried I did a whole episode on indie film marketing spamming you know like they just like you know the people that just keep shouting at you constantly like Hey, don't promote my movie promo on my Kickstarter and

Todd Brown 41:10
most people do stand out for bad reasons that doesn't get you any goodwill

Alex Ferrari 41:14
right and that's the thing and people don't get that and like you have to be polite you have to understand like you know someone like you who has a very you know, a very old and successful website you know, it's a standard in and what you do and you know, like I'm sure Harry gets 1000s of you know, Harry Knowles probably gets 1000s of emails a day and all this kind of stuff. And these kind of guys like you've got to be very short because they don't have the time to do it to look at it also. What am I going to look at the power I'm not going to read it I'm not going to read five pages. I'll read two sentences and if there's a link I might click on it if that two sentences

Todd Brown 41:48
Yeah, for me it's it's I immediately look for the link I'll kind of read the synopsis look for the link click the link 10 seconds. Yeah, pretty much you know if if that teaser shows me Okay, you're an actual filmmaker then I'll go back and I'll read the rest of the email.

Alex Ferrari 42:03
Right? It's all about Yeah, show me Don't tell me Yeah, kind of thing. So now Do you have any? Well I guess we kind of covered any advice that you could give filmmakers to get attention for their films which is pretty much what we just discussed. Yeah, and the

Todd Brown 42:17
biggest thing these days I mean if you want to prove to people that you can make something you kind of got to make something Yeah, you know there's too much noise pitching doesn't work anymore. But even for us as an established production company you know, we've been on a run and this this will break at some point but so far we've never made a proof of concept and not made the movie but to go in you know, with a mood board you know, you're showing people whether or not you have taste, but that doesn't tell me whether or not you can actually make it right you know, if you come in with a rip reel, you're showing me that you can cut but you're not showing me that you can shoot right? Or tell a story right? Yeah, and with the tools that are available to people these days. There are an awful lot of other people that are coming to me with stuff that shows me whether or not they can shoot and so you're kind of you're under equipping yourself you kind of have to have something right so that's the biggest thing and you know it's like these days like seriously you can I've seen movies shot on iPhones that look pretty great if done right absolutely yeah, yeah, you got to lay them right you got to know you're doing you got to know how to catch capture and handle the material. But you can shoot a video on the phone you can shoot really good looking video on an SLR that you can get for a couple 100 bucks you can edit it I mean my my 14 year old son is learning the entire Adobe suite of software in high school right now in grade nine

Alex Ferrari 43:49
of course he is and and that that probably just drives you and me crazy because we didn't have that when we were ill for that

Todd Brown 43:57
but but this is the reality of the world that you're in where all these tools exist, right? And if you're not using them it means you're competing with a whole lot of people who are and you're starting from a disadvantage.

Alex Ferrari 44:11
Yes and and to add to that I always kind of promote and like preach about learning how to market yourself learning how to brand yourself learning how to get people to look at you and get above the noise and obviously you need a good product but a lot of times even a good product you know like I was talking to someone the other day is like a good script in a drawer doesn't do you any good. Yeah, you know a good short that just sits on your website and no one ever goes to see it is no good to you. You have to go out there and market and promote it and yeah, that's what I've

Todd Brown 44:44
done in the indie world right now in my opinion. The absolute kings of that are Aaron Morehead and Justin Benson. The guys that made resolution in spring.

Alex Ferrari 44:54
Say that those names one more time. Aaron Morehead

Todd Brown 44:57
and Justin Benson. There First feature was called resolution that premiered in Tribeca. The second feature is one that we produced called spring that premiered in the vanguard program in Toronto spring. Yeah, okay. It's kind of like spring is like if you take Richard Linklaters before sunrise and make it into a monster movie and at Spring. That sounds awesome. Yeah, it's it's 100% true to both of those impulses. But I knew Aaron and Justin online that and they've got a very distinct persona, they travel and kind of function as a double act where they have very clearly defined roles. They they rehearse their Q and A's literary festivals, they know exactly what they want to accomplish. When resolution played in Toronto, after dark, they had this whole patter down. And they planted a couple of their actors in their audience to just speed these ridiculous questions to them on stage while also taking real ones from the audience. Sure. But they delivered like they understood that they are part of the show as much as the film is, that's brilliant. And they have absolutely created this thing around themselves. And it's all incumbent it only works if they put the the effort and the work into creating good scripts and creating good projects. But they understand that the job of filmmaking now isn't just about making the movie. It's It's everything from start to finish, you have to be out there and hands on. And you know, you have to find that line, like there's nothing that's more obnoxious than somebody who's always pitching and always showing Sure. So it's finding that balance between you know, you have to be honest, and you have to be true to who you are, and you have to be authentic. But you got to be prepared it kind of it kind of at any time when something comes up, you have to you've got an opportunity to make an impression, and you need to make that impression and it needs to be the right one. And it's really simple stuff like that, as I'm traveling around. I everywhere I go on my phone, I have the trailers and the proof of concepts and the in progress reels and you know, the mood reels from every project that is either in process of delivering or in process of development with me at all times, because I never know who I'm going to meet.

Alex Ferrari 47:20
Right? Ah, that's it,

Todd Brown 47:23
you know what, like, like 30 things on my phone right now that are kind of in those stages. So it's like, something comes up. I'm not being pushy and stuff, but something comes up. What are you working on? what's kind of interesting.

Alex Ferrari 47:35
Here, just see, it's right here, go take a take a look real quick. And that's something that wasn't around a few years ago. Yeah, that's exactly what happened. Me I was actually at Toronto, and Roger Ebert was in the audience of a movie that I was watching. And I happen to have a copy of broken with me. And because I was ready, he, you know, worked out that he liked it and watched it and reviewed it, you know, without a being in the movie in this in the, in the festival. And that was about being prepared. That's does, that's still the most amazing that's probably the most amazing thing that's ever happened in my filmmaking career. That and and meeting George Lucas, and getting up and getting him to autograph my my Star Wars lunchbox, which I happen to have on me.

Todd Brown 48:23
It's amazing.

Alex Ferrari 48:25
That's a whole other story for another. Um, so um, the so you were in his amazing documentary, rewind this. Yeah. Which is, it's so awesome, man. I was watching it. And then you popped up. I'm like, Todd, what is it? Oh my god. I couldn't believe you were in it. And it was so much fun to watch. And I wanted you to because you know, like you said, We're both at the same vintage. Can you talk a little bit? Well, first of all, do you have any more? Do you have any VHS is in your film collection? or laser discs?

Todd Brown 48:58
I've got a couple. I don't have a deck I can't play them. But you know, I've got I've got the like this ridiculously limited edition clamshell would be on the black rainbow. I've got the Norwegian VHS of Norwegian ninja. Nice, but also because like it's filmmakers that I know and that I have kind of an emotional attachment to sure. But very little i'm not i'm not hugely nostalgic about memorabilia and stuff in general, as you might have gathered from my interview. I'm not that guy. Right, right. Right, right. Do you have any laser discs? No, I never had a laser disc clear. And there's a part of me that wishes I did because, man I'd love to have that criterion. The killer LaserDisc.

Alex Ferrari 49:49
Oh, I have that. Yeah, it's awesome that it is

Todd Brown 49:53
that's one of the one of a kind of a small handful of titles that if I had LaserDisc clear those that that would be why and they

Alex Ferrari 49:59
never really They won't they never released a blu ray did they? know they they lost it. They lost the rights I guess to it, or they didn't have the rights for that. Yeah, there's a bunch I had, in my heyday, I had probably about 100 150 LaserDisc, and most of them were all the criteria, because that's why I would buy them. And and then slowly I believe it or not, I transferred them from LaserDisc to DVD. With commentary tracks.

Todd Brown 50:25
That's cool.

Alex Ferrari 50:25
That's Yeah, cuz I, cuz I'm a geek. I have stuff like that. Now, can you explain to the audience a little bit for the younger, the younger people in the audience, what was the real experience of that video store, how important walking into that video store is the magic that that video store, never, they'll never have.

Todd Brown 50:44
You never knew what you were going to walk out with is one thing is that there was a certain degree of discovery. You know, you just go through and it was just, I grew up in, in this town about an hour north of Toronto, which culturally is a wasteland. This place called Barry, where when I was in high school would have been about 45,000 people. In the video store was your connection to the world, like this was a super waspy. No culture, blue collar town. You know, I went to high school with 1300 kids. And in that high school, there were two black families and like three, maybe four Asian families, and everyone else was white, right? Like farm kids for the most part. So that was kind of your connection to the world. And you just walked through, and it was this whole, you know, this whole sea of possibility. And you never knew what you were going to walk out with. And you'd kind of strike up relationships with the people behind the counter, who had ridiculously exhaustive knowledge. And, you know, I bought as a more recent sort of example, you know, during my college days is there's this store still exists this place called suspect video in Toronto, which is amazing. And I was on this big David Lynch band and going through and kind of renting all of Twin Peaks before the day before the DVDs came out. And I was just chatting to the guy one day, and he just kind of looked at me out of the blue, and he's like, Oh, you know, I'll bet you you'd appreciate this. Here. You should take this copy of Army of Darkness because this has the alternate ending on it. And I was like, alternate What?

Alex Ferrari 52:33
Is there? Is there an alternate army of dark? Yes, there is. No. Where is this copy? You must send it to me.

Todd Brown 52:40
I got it got added to one of the one of the zillion Anchor Bay DVDs. I think the boomstick edition has it? Okay. Okay. But it wasn't available anywhere other than this, like super rare. VHS, I forget which it was one movie in particular that I was looking for. I can't remember what it was. It was I think it was some Lars von Trier thing, right? It was it was it was it was when I was on kind of a Lars kick. And I went in there and I asked them, Do you have a copy of Europa? Oh, yeah. Because it wasn't like they had like this. They had a whole large section and it wasn't in there. And now, we don't know. Okay, and so I went and looked at some other stuff. And he calls me up. He's like, hey, did that also get released in some places called centropa? I was like, Yeah, he's like, oh, here, I've got one back here that I found a bin without a cover. And that's why it's not out there. Because we didn't have the cover to put out on the shelf. But I said to myself, when I found it, oh, that's really rare, we should have that. And that's what a good video store was, like, you know, had these people who were no, no matter how obsessive you were, they were even more so. And you would walk in and you could come out with just this crazy random stuff, because somebody somewhere thought it was cool. And felt like they had some sort of connection to you. And that experience is gone

Alex Ferrari 54:14
forever. It's Yeah, this generation and the generations coming up behind us that will never experience that. Um, yeah.

Todd Brown 54:24
But at this, but at the same time, I look at the way that my son interacts with media, and he has a whole different experience that we never had this new kind of communal interaction that didn't exist that honestly is a little bit foreign and weird to me, but it's every bit as valid to him is what my experience was to me. I don't like to say which one is better, which one's worse, but it's certainly really different.

Alex Ferrari 54:46
Very, very different. I mean, I worked in a video store when I was in high school for four or five years so I didn't go to high school for five years, but I stayed in afterwards when I was in college, but I just watched you know, I'd watch four or five movies a day, and I just watched was working the store if no one was in there was always a movie was playing in the back, you know? And then, and let's not get into Nintendo. Yeah, that's a whole other video

Todd Brown 55:08
it was like in the college years it was the trips down into into Chinatown.

Alex Ferrari 55:13
Oh, oh cool. I already know where you're going with this.

Todd Brown 55:16
Yeah, Toronto's got a massive Chinatown. And most of the stores were bootleg Of course, I mean it is what it is. You couldn't you just couldn't get these things any other way. Like there weren't even options to order them in. But you'd go down and there'd be like these bootleg shops that were selling selling like seven for 20 bucks and I mean that's how I saw most of my Wong Kar Wai stuff that was my education in the shop brothers You know, you're just like pull these big swathes of stuff.

Alex Ferrari 55:47
It was textile, you could actually hold it. You could send it Yeah, and then the boxes

Todd Brown 55:51
that I mean I fully made the transition now I'm totally fine with with digital content and digital media. Sure, well 100% like, especially music I mean, I know Yeah, at least two Tuesday's of the month I would be in the record shop for new release Tuesday and I would usually have one thing in mind that was the thing that I wanted to buy and I would walk out with like five and I was one of those guys that every single time first listen, open the package straight into the player sit there with the packaging read through all the liner notes from start to finish read through all the lyrics from start to finish. And there was a whole ritual to media that doesn't exist anymore, right? Enemy the gain the advantages, I have access to far more now than I ever did in any time. Right? You know, I mean, that's the flip side of it. But the ritual part of it is gone.

Alex Ferrari 56:46
Right? Right in the end as in those like going back to the video store like those those covers those beautifully painted covers that promised you things that were never going to be in the movie. The whole art form is lost. I still remember Gator

Todd Brown 57:03
loss like Mondo is trying to bring it back. That's the whole appeal of of that whole yeah

Alex Ferrari 57:07
and yeah and Alamo Drafthouse is also that like they're really trying to bring all that stuff back and they should because it's it's you know, it's just another choice another way of consuming that media. But I do miss I don't I do miss the videos, and I don't miss views. I do admit I love the options that you could just log on and oh, I'm gonna, I need to I need to see that. That Scorsese film when he was in college that he did you know, okay, boom, it's there. Yeah, I mean, now it's like, you don't have to hunt 15 stores to go get that but the discovery aspect of things is Yeah, that's the thing. Yeah, I

Todd Brown 57:45
completely agree. I mean, that there was there was an aspect of that one. Yeah, it was part of a game that was part of what made it satisfying when you actually found what you were looking for.

Alex Ferrari 57:54
Right and you I worked in a mom and pop video store so I you know, anytime I would walk into a blockbuster, you'd be like, Oh my god, they have everything. So um, so twitch film has been around now for 11 years? What is keeping you going with that? And what are the plans for the future of Twitch, um, you know, I'm, I'm, at the most basic

Todd Brown 58:18
level, I still do it, because I like it. I don't particularly need to do it anymore. You know, it's something that I started for my own satisfaction, and to a certain degree, I'm still doing it, because I just still enjoy it. And there's this community of people that have been involved in it for a long time that are, you know, you can become a family. You know, and I'm very, very reluctant to give that up. In terms of future, we are in the process of a redevelopment right now. That'll I'm not sure when it's gonna roll out. I become really very aware of watching my own son, how radically different the online world is now than when I began. And we've effectively run the website the same way for the entire duration. I mean, some of the tool set is shifted a little bit and the design has shifted several times, but but the basic kind of underlying philosophy and stuff has never changed. And what I'm looking at right now is certainly not abandoning kind of the the editorial aspect and the curatorial voice. We're going to hold on to that as hard as we can pretty much forever I think that's

Alex Ferrari 59:33
kind of what makes you so makes you What is your secret sauce?

Todd Brown 59:36
Yeah. But at the same time, we're looking to bring in you know, watch a watch kind of the generation like twitch exists the way it is because we grew up in conventional media, and it really, it follows a traditional media format in terms of the way information flows through it and the way the audience interacts. For the most part And will now as a 14 year old, like he's grown up in a fully broadband world. And that is not how they interact, it just isn't. And the idea of kind of the separation between writer and audience, or editorial and audience does not exist for the broadband generation, the same way that it does for us. And so I'm trying to, we're looking for ways of really embracing that and building a lot of tools in that's going to continue to intelligently narrow that gap between ultimately long term between the actual creators and the audience. And try to make that gap as narrow as it possibly can be,

Alex Ferrari 1:00:48
which is getting narrower and narrower every day. Yeah, without question. So I've got three very hard hitting questions for you. Right, prepare yourself. Question one, what makes a good film?

Todd Brown 1:01:03
Um, my, my first criteria when I'm judging something as a critic, is I usually try to start with what is this the movie that the director actually wanted to make? You know, I don't think that like an arthouse movie is somehow inherently more valuable or better than a popcorn movie, by virtue of it being somehow more serious than the popcorn movie. But there are lots of bad arthouse movies and there are lots of that kind of popcorn movies, but you have to judge them based on their own criteria. And so for me a good movie is the movie that really satisfies its own its own set of goals and the the strictures and the conventions of the world that it's working within.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:53
Fair enough. Now what are your top three favorite films of all time?

Todd Brown 1:02:00
Well, we've already named two of them.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:02
That would be Brazil, Blade Runner Of course.

Todd Brown 1:02:07
Man The third one is kind of fluid that depends where I'm at with stuff. Um I might want to man I might want to throw The Goonies in.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:20
I love The Goonies man. Is it sure they're making the sequel is that yes yeah it seems to be is it's a really because I saw it and like you know cuz it like I've also read that they're making another season of Breaking Bad so I don't believe the internet. But it was very Richard Donner said,

Todd Brown 1:02:34
daughters daughters in the original cast is in so it'll all come down to whether or not they get to arrive at a script that they all agree to.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:42
Wow, God, and that's, you know, basically our generation is going to just show up, which is a pretty big generation, but still,

Todd Brown 1:02:49
My kids will totally show up. They both watched it like 10 or 15 times

Alex Ferrari 1:02:53
That's true. You're right. You're such a great little movie man. I do love The Goonies. Yeah, and and what's one of the most underrated films you've ever seen?

Todd Brown 1:03:02
Oh, wow. Man, that's a good question. I wish I had a little bit of lead time on that. It's kind of underrated. By whom.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:16
Might have been blockbusters might that might you know might have been just like kind of got under your radar. You're like hey, what what this is a really good film. Why didn't people see it? I mean, like, Shawshank was like that Shawshank was kind of

Todd Brown 1:03:28
Yes I'll have a Shawshank is one of the top rated movies now. I don't think he got Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 1:03:31
But now at the now it wasn't

Todd Brown 1:03:33
I mean the thing tanked

Alex Ferrari 1:03:35
Oh god it was

Todd Brown 1:03:37
Like it was reviled when it came out Oh no, it was it was like a pitch for the greatest films ever made. You know if you're kind of to look at kind of my favorite filmmakers and kind of their little misfire movies. You know for Gilliam? It's the adventures of Baron Munchausen.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:56
I liked I liked that movie. That was that was I enjoyed that film.

Todd Brown 1:03:59
PT Andersons or PT Anderson's punch drunk love or here's a good one. And this is gonna piss people off because I completely understand why people don't like this movie. In any movie that requires you know, a three volume graphic novel prequal just for the movie to make sense is deeply deeply flawed and I will never argue that this isn't a flawed movie. Yes, but man I really like Southland tales.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:22
Wow, you're gonna piss a lot of people.

Todd Brown 1:04:24
Yep, that would be but it's a bad movie that I really like.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:30
That's funny. That's funny. That's a great that's a great that's a great

Todd Brown 1:04:35
fountain in there as well i think is legitimately a great film.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:40
Oh, it's a it's a masterpiece

Todd Brown 1:04:41
I think partly that it completely plays to my own obsessions. I mean I've got a degree in religious studies I've got you know, Jewish capital A tattooed on my left arm, right. So you know Aronofsky is obsessions, and my obsessions are very, very similar, right? I legitimately you know, Southland I understand the hate Yeah. People who who hate on the fountain just missed it, they just completely misunderstood what it is, in my opinion or they don't have a soul.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:10
That's a very, very strong opinion as as it should be, sir, as it should be, I would expect nothing less. So where can people find you? Besides, I mean, wherever, whatever you want to say Twitch and wherever else they can find you.

Todd Brown 1:05:23
Yeah, I mean Twitch, I'm still on Twitch almost every day kind of writing and posting stuff. Otherwise, I'm pretty accessible. I barely use my Twitter, but it is there. And I do get kind of the tweets and stuff that are sent to me. You know, or kind of on the business side of things. It's just taught at XYZ films calm it's, I tried to make myself pretty easy to find.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:44
Alright, thanks again. Man. This has been an absolute joy to film geeks, just you know, talking about stuff. So I appreciate it, man.

Todd Brown 1:05:50
Yeah, thanks. Thanks again. Thank you, it was a lot of fun.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:54
Like I said, Guys, to film geeks just geeking out over film. He He's just a very interesting guy to talk to Todd. And his story is inspirational to you about going after what you want. And you never know where it leads, you know, you never know what you know, starting you know film website, just because he loved movies, has now turned into a full time job for the last 10 years, as well as now finding new movies and talent and making your own movies through his production company and all sorts of fun stuff. So never, never give up on that dream. Guys, always, always keep fighting for that dream. Because you never know where it's going to lead. I have no idea where this is going to lead within the film hustle. But I love doing it every day. And I love helping out other filmmakers and helping the next generation coming up behind me and hopefully be able to make better films as we move forward. So and if you want links to Todd and Twitch, film and all the cool stuff that he's doing, head over to the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/045. And don't forget to head over to filmmakingpodcast.com and leave us an honest review for the show. It helps us out dramatically guys, thanks again. So much for listening. I really hope you got something out of it. Keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you guys soon.




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