IFH 238: How to Make Money w/ Short Films with Carter Pilcher

May 8, 2018

Have you ever wondered if you could actually make money making short films? Take it from the guy who made over $90,000 selling a short film, yes you can (click here to hear that story). Today on the show we have the founder of the world's largest short film distribution company SHORTS International, Carter Pilcher. 

Carter Pilcher founded Shorts International in 2000. Coming from a background in both investment banking and law, Carter has made Shorts International the world's leading short movie entertainment company, functioning as a distributor, broadcaster, and producer. Carter has extensive experience in short movie production and short movie entertainment. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of The US Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)

Enjoy my conversation with Carter Pilcher.

THROWBACK FRIDAY: Lloyd Kaufman & Troma: How I Make Money Selling Movies

May 4, 2018

Please note: Throwback Fridays are archival episodes from the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. After many requests from the IFH Tribe to bring back some of the show's best episodes, I decided to create Throwback Fridays. These episodes will not be posted every week but at least twice a month...if not more. There is so much amazing info and knowledge bombs in many of these past episodes and I don't want them to be lost in the sea of IFH Content so I'll be putting a spotlight on them in Throwback Fridays. Enjoy!

Lloyd Kaufman & Troma: How I Make Money Selling Movies

What can I say about Lloyd Kaufman? Director. Writer. Producer. Indie Filmmaker. Innovator. Nice guy. Pain in the ass of mainstream media. I believe all of those statements are true and then some.

Lloyd Kaufman is one the original indie filmmakers going back to the 1970's. The Troma Universe was born in 1974 with a series of highly original, raunchy comedies such as Squeeze Play!Stuck On You!Waitress!, and other film titles ending with an exclamation point.

In my favorite decade, the 80's, is where Lloyd Kaufman really made a name for himself. His 1984 sleeper hit The Toxic Avenger launched his career and his production company Troma Entertainment. Creating his own brand of independent films, Lloyd Kaufman discovered there was a market for his "unique type" of films.

The success of The Toxic Avenger was followed by a string of commercial and artistic triumphs in a similar vein, blending fantasy, comedy, bad ass action, and a bit of eroticism in a style that can only be described as “Tromatic”.

These films, including the Class of Nuke ‘Em High trilogy, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, and Troma’s War, were often ignored or scorned by the intelligentsia of the time but spoke to an entire generation (including yours truly) of young people who rejected the pandering, commercial films of the mid-to-late 80’s. Some of his fans include Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Mike Judge, Peter Jackson, and Trey Parker.

Related: How a 17 yr old Directed & Sold Her 1st Feature on 16mm Film

Always one to help indie filmmakers, Lloyd Kaufman just wrote his most recent book Sell Your Own Damn Movie!, the latest installment of his acclaimed series of books on guerrilla filmmaking that includes Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director, Direct Your Own Damn Movie! and Produce Your Own Damn Movie!  The books have inspired Kaufman to teach a successful series of Master Classes at colleges and institutions across the country and the world!

To say this was an enjoyable and entertaining interview would be an understatement. Enjoy my conversation with the one and only Lloyd Kaufman.

IFH 237: Why You Need to Get Up Off Your Ass NOW & Follow Your Dreams

April 30, 2018

If you are fans of episode  IFH 088: Why Filmmakers are Always So Damn Broke & What They Can Do to Change It, then you are going to love this one. I wanted to put together an episode as a wake-up call for the IFH Tribe. I wanted to scare the hell out of you a bit but in a good way. So many people talk about their dreams and so few actually doing anything about it. 

This episode is hopefully the kick in the ass you need to get start TODAY and follow your dreams. I share some personal and raw things in this one in hopes that it moves you into action. Disclaimer: I am a bit RAW in this episode so don't listen with small kids in the room. 

I hope this helps you on your path. Enjoy!



  1. BlackBox - Make Passive Income From Your Footage
  2. Studio Unknown Audio Post -  Mention the IFH podcast, and you’ll receive 50% off one day of ADR
  3. Filmmaker in a Box - Learn How to Make an Indie Film - 18 Hours+ of Lessons 
  4. Martin Scorsese Film Directing Masterclass
  5. Ron Howard Film Directing Masterclass
  6. Judd Apatow Comedy Writing/Directing Masterclass
  7. Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Master Class
  8. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)


  1. IFH MASTERS CIRCLE - Filmmaking Community
  2. IFH's Online Film School
  3. Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!

Action Items:

BONUS: Filmmaking Resources

IFH 236: Sundance, Hollywood and How to Break-Through as a Director with Qasim Basir

April 26, 2018

We have a very special episode of the Indie Film Hustle podcast today. Our amazing guest is Qasim Basir, co-writer, and director of the Sundance 2018 hit film A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. The film stars Power‘s Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good is the story of two people who meet in Los Angeles on the night Donald Trump is elected President of the United States. The film was just picked up by Samual Goldwyn Company for a theatrical release. Check out a few clips below.


Qasim Basir wrote and directed Mooz-lum (2011) starring Danny Glover and Nia Long about an African-American Muslim family and how their lives are changed by the September 11 attacks. The film received nominations from the NAACP Image Awards and Black Reel Awards.

Basir also wrote and directed Destined (2016) starring Cory Hardrict. Basir won Best Director at the American Black Film Festival.


The film was shot as a true oner, meaning the entire film was shot in one take. To be able to achieve a 90-minute one-take cinematographer Steve Holleran frankenstein'ed a 50-pound antigravity rig and unconventional Sony camera and Panavision anamorphic lens combination.

Qasim and I sit down and get raw, real and drop some MAJOR truth bombs on the tribe today. We discuss some the state of the film business from both of our perspectives, what it really takes to break-through and why he does what he does in the first place. This episode is truly eye-opening and I hope it resonates with you at your core.

Enjoy my conversation with writer/director Qasim Basir.

IFH 235: How to Become an Editor in Hollywood with Lawrence Jordan

April 24, 2018

Today on the show we have film editor Lawrence JordanLawrence is a veteran feature film and television editor who has worked with many of the top creatives at the world’s largest entertainment companies, including Time Warner, Sony, Fox, MGM, HBO, Netflix, and Disney. He has supervised creative aspects of the post-production process on over 45 feature films and television shows with budgets ranging from 1 million to upwards of 80 million dollars. He recently completed his latest feature film, “Naked” starring Marlon Wayans and Regina Hall for Netflix.

With a passion for technology, Lawrence was fortunate to have the opportunity to be one of the earliest adopters of digital, non-linear, editing workflows. Along the way, he became an adjunct professor at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Studies, and created and taught courses on non-linear editing at UCLA. He has also been a consultant and speaker for companies such as Apple, Adobe, and Avid Technology. Jordan has also written articles for periodicals including American Cinematographer, Editors Guild Magazine, DV, and MacWorld.

Jordan also created 2-pop.com, an Internet community dedicated to providing information about Apple’s revolutionary new post-production software, Final Cut Pro. 2-pop quickly became the premier web destination for the rapidly growing digital video marketplace and was a catalyst for FCP user group communities worldwide. It was later acquired by Creative Planet. 

We jump into the "editing" weeds and discuss the craft, the business and the politics of being a Hollywood editor. Enjoy my conversation with Lawrence Jordan ACE.

IFH 234: Directing Hollywood Blockbusters with Legendary Director John Badham

April 20, 2018

Today on the show we have a true legend from the film business, director John Badham. John has directed some of the most iconic films in history. From the decade-defining Saturday Night Fever to 80's hits like War Games, Short Circuit, & Stakeout. Check out his current demo reels below.



John Badham has not only continued directing but is involved with some of the most cutting-edge television show being made today. John is also the author of two books John Badham On Directing: Notes from the Set of Saturday Night Fever, War Games, and More and I'll Be in My Trailer: The Creative Wars Between Directors and Actors.

He's also is a Tenured Film Professor at Chapman University in Los Angeles. I can't tell you what a thrill it was to sit down and pick John's brain. He's been directing for close to five decades. His wealth of knowledge and experience is remarkable.

Sit down and get ready to take a TON of notes on this epic conversation with John Badham. 

IFH 233: Real Filmmakers Don’t Starve with Jeff Goins

April 16, 2018

Today's guest is bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins. In this episode, he dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is, in fact, a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. But the truth is that the world’s most successful artists did not starve.

In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength. In Real Artists Don’t Starve, Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with timeless strategies for thriving, including

  • Steal from your influences (don’t wait for inspiration)
  • Collaborate with others (working alone is a surefire way to starve)
  • Take strategic risks (instead of reckless ones), make money in order to make more art (it’s not selling out)
  • Apprentice under a master (a “lone genius” can never reach full potential)

Through inspiring anecdotes of successful creatives both past and present, Goins shows that living by these rules is not only doable but it’s also a fulfilling way to thrive. From filmmaker to screenwriter to graphic designers and writers to artists and business professionals, creatives already know that no one is born an artist. Jeff Goins’ revolutionary rules celebrate the process of becoming an artist, a person who utilizes the imagination in fundamental ways.


He reminds creatives that business and art are not mutually exclusive pursuits. In fact, success in business and in life flow from a healthy exercise of creativity. Expanding upon the groundbreaking work in his previous bestseller The Art of Work, Goins explores the tension every creative person and organization faces in an effort to blend the inspired life with a practical path to success. Being creative isn’t a disadvantage for success; rather, it is a powerful tool to be harnessed.

There's no need for filmmakers, screenwriters or any artist to starve anymore! Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Jeff Goins.

IFH 232: Test Screenings - Are They a Waste of Time or Worth It?

April 12, 2018


Today we are going to discuss Test Screenings. Are they a waste of time? How do you handle comments and criticisms? Who do you invite to test screening and how do you perform a proper test screening?

I have a group of five types of creatives I like to invite to see rough cuts of my films.

  1. Director
  2. Writer
  3. Cinematographer
  4. Editor
  5. Producer

In the episode, I go deeper into how to handle critiques and go into a bit of history of some famous test screenings that went right and wrong. Enjoy!

IFH 231: How to Engage an Audience Before & After You Make Your Indie Film with Kia Kiso

April 9, 2018

How to Engage an Audience Before & After You Make Your Indie Film

Today's guest is Kia Kiso, co=producer of the hugely successful indie film Mile… Mile & A Half. Kia and her team where case studies in last weeks guest RB Botto's book Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd because of the amazing job they did crowdsourcing. Check out the trailer below.

In an epic snow year, five friends leave their daily lives behind to hike California’s historic John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.).  Their goal — complete the journey in 25 days while capturing the amazing sights & sounds they encounter along the way.  Inspired by their bond, humor, artistry & dedication, the group continues to grow: to include other artists, musicians & adventure seekers.  Before they all reach the summit, hikers and viewers alike affirm the old adage — it’s about the journey, not the destination. Mile… Mile & A Half is the feature-length documentary of that journey…

Kia Kiso discusses how they identified, reached out and engaged before and after the production of her film. This episode is a PERFECT companion to lasts weeks (listen to that episode here). Get ready to be inspired and take notes! Enjoy my conversation with Kia Kiso.

IFH 230: CrowdSourcing and Build an Audience for Your Indie Film with RB Botto

April 2, 2018

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

Here's some info on the book.

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

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

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


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

Enjoy my conversation with RB Botto.

BPS 004: How to Sell Your Screenplay with Ashley Scott Meyers

March 30, 2018

Today’s guest is screenwriter/podcaster Ashley Scott Meyers from Sellingyourscreenplay.com. Ashley is a working screenwriter in Hollywood. He also spends his time running a popular screenwriting blog and podcast. His focus is on helping you sell your screenplay. Here’s a bit of his philosophy in his own words:

If you ask 100 different screenwriters how they broke into the business you’re going to get 100 different answers. There is no “right” way to break in. So my philosophy has always been simple: try as many different angles as possible and figure out what works best for you.

Below are two short lists of things you should be doing to try and sell your screenplays. I’ve listed them in order of what I think is most effective (your results may vary). One thing to keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list. You should be thinking of other ways you can market your material and doing those things, too. If you would like to share any of your ideas please email me as I’m always curious to hear how other writers are successfully marketing their material.

Also, you may not be able to do everything on these lists, but the more you do the better chances you’ll have. If you’re serious about success, however, you’re going to need to try most of these things, otherwise you’re not going to be giving your screenplay, or yourself, a real chance to succeed.

Things you can start doing today.

  • Make phone calls to agents, managers, and producers pitching your material
  • Write query letters for your screenplays and snail mail, email, or fax them to agents, managers, and producers
  • Scour sites like Craig’s List and other online resources for people looking for screenplays and send them your query letter
  • Enter screenwriting contests
  • Try and connect with agents, managers and producers on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook

Long term items which you should also be doing.

We get into it in this interview so take some notes on this epic conversation. Enjoy!

IFH 229: From Indie Films to Directing a Hollywood Icon with Adam Rifkin

March 29, 2018

Today's guest is Adam Rifkin. Adam Rifkin is a Writer/Director whose eclectic career ranges from family comedies to thought-provoking indies to cult classics.

Most recently, Rifkin Wrote and Directed THE LAST MOVIE STAR, a poignant drama starring screen legend, Burt Reynolds, Ariel Winter and Chevy Chase. The critically acclaimed film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival where it was bought by A24 and is set to be released in March 3o, 2018 in theaters and all streaming platforms.


Rifkin also Directed DIRECTOR’S CUT, a wild and twisted meta-thriller penned by iconic illusionist and comedian, Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller. DIRECTOR’S CUT was the opening night film of the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival and will be released by Epic Pictures under their new, DREAD CENTRAL PRESENTS, horror banner.

We discuss how he jumped from screenwriter to director, how to handle a problematic actor on set and what it was like directing an icon.

Enjoy my conversation with Adam Rifkin.

BPS 001: What Makes a Good Screenplay with John Truby

March 28, 2018

IFH has a NEW PODCAST. Introducing The Bulletproof Screenplay Podcast. Today is a CROSSOVER EVENT to introduce you to the new show. 

Today’s guest blew my mind on his approach to storytelling and screenwriting. John Truby is one of Hollywood’s premier screenwriting instructor and story consultant.Over the last 25 years, more than 50,000 people have attended his sold-out seminars around the world, with the American Film Institute declaring that his “course allows a writer to succeed in the fiercely competitive climate of Hollywood.”

Over the last 25 years, more than 50,000 people have attended his sold-out seminars around the world, with the American Film Institute declaring that his “course allows a writer to succeed in the fiercely competitive climate of Hollywood.”

Called “the best script doctor in the movie industry,” Truby serves as a story consultant for major studios and production companies worldwide, and has been a script doctor on more than 1,800 movies, sitcoms and television dramas for the likes of Disney, Universal, Sony Pictures, FOX, HBO, Alliance Atlantis, Paramount, BBC, MTV and more.


Truby’s former students’ work have earned more than $15 billion at the box office, and include the writers, directors and producers of such film blockbusters asRatatouilleIn TreatmentPirates of the CaribbeanX-Men I/II/IIIShrekMother Mary of ChrisBreaking BadHouseLostPlanet of the ApesScreamThe Fantastic FourThe NegotiatorStar WarsSleepless in SeattleOutbreakAfrican Cats (which Truby co-wrote for Disney) and more. Truby’s class is also regularly attended by top fiction writers and novelists who have topped the New York Times’ Bestseller List, won numerous prestigious literary awards, and have sold over 46 million books worldwide. Hollywood’s best-kept secret, Truby’s classes regularly attract everyone from first-time writers to A-list writers, producers, directors, filmmakers, story executives, novelists, fiction writers and more.

In addition to his sold-out seminars, John Truby remains on the cutting- edge of technology having created and developed Truby Blockbuster – the bestselling software designed to intuitively help writers learn and understand the art of developing their story ideas into fully realized professionally-structured scripts.

Truby’s principles and methods are the most modern, exciting approach to screenwriting and storytelling to be developed in a generation, which is why his classes regularly attract everyone from Oscar winners to first-time writers.

We get into the weeds of story in this EPIC conversation. Get ready to take notes. Enjoy!

IFH 228: How to Deal with Residuals & Paying Back Investors with David Zannoni

March 27, 2018


Have you ever had to deal with paying out investors, guilds, unions, residuals, and producers from the revenue your film makes? Today's guest is David Zannoni of Fintage House, does just that but on a global scale. David helps you, the producer, ALL the rights for your film globally. 

Now, this is a subject I didn't know I needed to know about. After meeting David at AFM I knew I had to have him on the show to drop some knowledge bombs on the IFH Tribe.

In today’s film industry, it is customary for independent film productions to have a collection account in place. Often film financiers, (international) production companies, sales agents, and lawyers representing any of these parties, require the establishment of a Collection Account before they step on board of, or have their client commit to, a project.

What is exactly a Collection Account? A Collection Account is an account opened in the name of an independent, neutral, trusted third party, the so-called Collection Account Manager or simply the CAM. The CAM receives into the Collection Account the revenues generated by the worldwide exploitation of the film from the distributors on behalf of the beneficiaries of the film.

This is called Collection Account Management. This ensures that each beneficiary of the film will receive its share of the revenues. Beneficiaries include the sales agent, the producers, (institutional) financiers, talent (writers, directors and actors) and equity investors in the film.

A Collection Account is set up in the name of the CAM. The film’s sales agent or worldwide distributor subsequently instructs the local distributors of the film, in each territory and for every media window, to pay into the Collection Account the royalties generated under the distribution agreements.

To make sure distributors actually pay to the Collection Account, the sales agent includes the details of the Collection Account in the distribution agreements, the invoices it sends to the distributors, or by means of sending a notice of assignment to the distributors advising them of the existence of a Collection Account for the film.

The benefits of having a Collection Account in place are amongst others:

  • Protection of revenues
  • Avoidance of conflicts between parties of interest
  • Creating transparency in the accounting side
  • Outsourcing of the film’s administration

Here's a bit on today's guest.

David Zannoni negotiates agreements for films and television series for Fintage House clients, is involved in business development, maintains relationships with clients specifically in the US, Latin America, and Spain, and represents Fintage at film markets.

On behalf of Fintage House, David has given presentations, workshops and seminars at universities across the globe and at events such as the yearly conference of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers in the US (NALIP), the Winston Baker Film Finance Conferences, the Rio Film Market and the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM). David currently resides in Mexico and speaks fluent English, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.

Enjoy my conversation with David Zannoni.


IFH 227: How to Make Money with YouTube with Christopher Sharpe

March 22, 2018

How to Make Money with YouTube with Christopher Sharpe

Today's guest is a bonafide Youtube Guru. Chris has not only created one but two massive Youtube Channels. His first was with his wife called Hilah's Cooking which has close to 400,000 users and launched books, speaking engagements, Food Network appearances and much more.

From there he partnered with actress/yoga instructor Adriene Mishler and launched the Yoga with Adriene channel. Now that channel's user base is 3.3 Million subscribers. If you type "Yoga" into Youtube Adriene comes up for the first 7 videos. CRAZY!

Together Chris and Adriene built an online empire. They have a huge membership site, licenced products, a US tour and more. Chris shares the secrets on how he was able to hack the Youtube algorithm and get his video ranked in a MASSIVELY competitive space like YOGA.



Chris literally wrote the book on the subject: [easyazon_link identifier="B00N6TZ19M" locale="US" tag="whatisbroke-20"]YouTube Black Book: How To Create a Channel, Build an Audience and Make Money on YouTube[/easyazon_link]

About the Book: Are you ready to launch your own YouTube Channel, develop a devoted fan base and make money while you’re at it? Christopher Sharpe is the producer of multiple YouTube Channels that attract passionate audiences and add thousands of new subscribers per day.


In YouTube Black Book, Christopher shares how he launched these channels and shows you how to turn a passion for creating YouTube videos into a profitable business. YouTube Black Book offers you a glimpse behind the scenes. Christopher shares his journey with complete transparency so you can emulate his success and avoid his failures. This book focuses on the big pictures strategy of what it really means to create a successful YouTube channel. From setting goals and developing your initial idea to strategies to get more views, YouTube Black Book covers all the bases.

Christopher Sharpe is the producer and director of the popular YouTube Channels Hilah Cooking and Yoga With Adriene. 

Get ready to take notes on this epic interview with Christopher Sharpe.

IFH 226: The NO Bullsh*t Guide to Making Your Indie Film with Jeff Leisawitz

March 19, 2018

The NO Bullsh*t Guide to Making Your Indie Film with Jeff Leisawitz

Have you ever been in a place where nothing is going right creatively? Do you ever feel like you are standing in your own way? Me too. Today's guest is author Jeff Leisawitz who wrote Not F*ing Around— the No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground.  This little pack quite a punch. 

I wanted to have Jeff on the show to drop some knowledge bombs to wake up the tribe a bit. To help you get out of you own way; to get you out of any creative rut. 

About the book: Can't quite get your creative juices flowing? The day job sucking your soul? Fizzled out before you put the finishing touches on your amazing creation? With relentless positivity, full-on authenticity and a punk rock thunder spirit, author Jeff Leisawitz pulls back the curtain on the creative process and reminds us that we are all creative SuperStars.

It's time to get off the couch and get on the path. It's time to tap into the cosmic heartbeat that thumps in your chest and shines from your soul. It's time to get NFA!

About Jeff Leisawitz: Jeff is an award-winning musician/ producer, a critically acclaimed author and internationally distributed filmmaker who has devoted his life to creativity.

As the guy behind Electron Love Theory, Jeff fused interviews with Seattle’s WTO demonstrators into electronic music, garnering more than a quarter million downloads worldwide. Jeff has released five studio albums and has landed thousands of music placements in film, TV and multimedia for clients like HBO, MTV, Discovery, Microsoft, NBC and many others.

As the founding writer for Seattle’s taste-making alternative rock station 107.7 The End, he chronicled the alternative grunge scene in the 90s.

After training as a Life Coach and practicing NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Re-Patterning) Jeff landed a gig as an adjunct faculty member at Pacific Lutheran University— teaching college students to rock. (Seriously)

When creative businesses, schools and organizations like Brown Paper Tickets, Tacoma School of the Arts, Gage Academy of Art, Northwest Film Forum and others need to amp up the creativity, Jeff leads workshops and events to fire up the creative spirit and empower people to tap into their true potential.

Enjoy my conversation with Jeff Leisawitz. 

IFH 225: How to Shoot a Feature Film in 24 Hours with Ivan Malekin

March 13, 2018

How to Shoot a Feature Film in 24 Hours with Ivan Malekin

Imagine shooting an entire feature film in 24 hours. How could you do something like that and not make it a bad stage play? Today's guest was not only able to do that but made a damn good film in the process. Ivan Malekin and his partner Sarah Jayne directed the feature film Friends, Foes & Fireworks in just one night (24 hours). Here's some info on the film.

An intimate New Year's Eve reunion of five female friends in the independent acting scene becomes a test of relationships when old tensions spark, truths are told, and rivalries are reignited. Will the group make it through the night together or will their friendship fizzle out like an overzealous fireworks display?

Filmed in a single night, the craziest and most chaotic night of the year - NYE - and relying entirely on improvisation, Friends, Foes & Fireworks is an ambitious Australian drama exploring relationships, love, friendship and the truths we try and fail to keep to ourselves.


We dive into what it took to make a film in 24 hours, did they use a script or scriptment? How many cameras? How many crew and much more. Get ready to be inspired and enjoy my conversation with Ivan Malekin.

IFH 224: TOP SECRET Indie Film Hustle Project Finally Revealed

March 12, 2018

TOP SECRET Indie Film Hustle Project Finally Revealed

The day is finally here. I've been teasing you guys for months now. The top secret project I've been working on is my next feature film called "On the Corner of Ego and Desire." The entire film was shot at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The film was written, produced, directed by me, produced by Adam Bowman of Media Circus, shot by Austin Nordell and starring Rob Alicea, Sonja O'Hara, and Randy Ramos Jr.

Here is the synopsis:

Three hapless independent filmmakers make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival and go through absolute hell in search for the elusive producer that is supposedly going to buy their independent feature film, all within 24 hours. With a producer who stole money from his mother's retirement account to fund the film, to a director who thinks she's the next Francois Truffaut, to an actor/editor who is a doormat for everyone, this motley crew of misfit filmmakers have a tough time navigating the chaotic world of the Sundance Film Festival. Ignorance, foolishness and above all ego drive the team to implosion as they struggle to realize their filmmaking dreams.

I wanted to make a film that would be an allegory of what "not" to do with an indie film. The movie is funny, sad, ridiculous and heart-wrenching. I didn't want to announce the project without being able to show the IFH Tribe something so check out the teaser trailer by going to On the Corner of Ego and Desire - Official Site

Let me know what you guys think. Take a listen to the episode as I go into more detail on how we shot it, what camera and lenses we used and much more. I'll be breaking down the process of how the film came together in the coming weeks and months. For some behind the scenes photos of the production go to: On the Corner of Ego and Desire - Official Site.

I hope this little film will inspire you to go out and tell your story. Keep that hustle going, keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.

IFH 223: Inside the Raindance Film Festival with Founder Elliot Grove

March 10, 2018

Inside the Raindance Film Festival with Founder Elliot Grove

Today’s guest is the legendary film author and founder of the Raindance Film Festival Elliot Grove. Elliot is not only the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He has produced over hundreds of short films and also five feature films, including the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead in 2006. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

He has produced over 700 shorts and 6 features including the new action film AMBER.

I sat down to talk shop, what the state of indie film is today and all things Raindance. Enjoy my conversation with Elliot Grove.

IFH 222: How to Shoot and Sell a $5000 Micro Budget Feature Film with Claudia Pickering

March 8, 2018

How to Shoot and Sell a $5000 Micro-Budget Feature Film with Claudia Pickering

Today's guest is writer/director/actor/producer Claudia Pickering. She recently wrote and directed the feature film "Frisky" for just $5000. I wanted to have her on the show to discuss the tricks of the trade when making a feature for such a low budget. The film has also played at countless film festivals and won a ton of awards. Check out the trialer below.

Two twenty-somethings move to San Francisco to chase their career but end up chasing tail instead.

When two twenty-something women move back to San Francisco, where they had met on exchange years earlier, their high career aspirations quickly become sidelined by their sexual interests. While wildly crass and charismatic in their public personas, they are in fact fundamentally at odds on many levels. Their opposing beliefs surrounding responsibility and romance, combined with their close quarters while crashing in an acquaintance's living room, find them thrust onto a fast track to discovering what their friendship is really made of. Based on true events, Frisky is an honest, tongue-in-cheek look at what it is to be a woman in the limbo years between college and "the real world".

★★★★  "This fearless, fun comedy offers a welcome female take on twentysomethings finding themselves amid aimless drifting, partying and hook-ups, its simple story bolstered by a sharp script and charismatic comedic turn from writer/director Claudia Pickering." - Empire Magazine

Here's some info on Claudia: 

Claudia Pickering’s comedy filmmaking career began with acting which lead to writing comedy sketches... and they just kept getting longer. To be more specific, it began when she and her mate Anna convinced Danny Trejo - movie star, ex-convict and face of Old El Paso - to perform a Backstreet Boys-style dance under a dimly-lit bridge. They did not ask the 65-yr old to take off his shirt, he did that all on his own as they evidently have that effect on people.

Since then, International film festivals have showered her two feature films Frisky and Winning Formula with official selections and awards, which is a nice change from when she and her mate Tori used to steal stickers in first grade and wear them on their school uniform collars as though they had been legitimately awarded them.

It surprised the pants off Pickering when Frisky was distributed by Madman and optioned by Jungle Entertainment to create a TV show, which is handy as she is likely to be pantsless for a large portion of the show itself. She did manage to keep her pants on, if you can call yoga tights pants, while directing the Resting Pitch Face webseries for Google and is currently in development on 3 features through her company Cliff House Productions with mixed pants status. One of her extracurriculars includes running the Freshflix Film Festival in Sydney (Vivid) and Los Angeles (AiF) which is mostly just an excuse to take photos at the media wall to update her LinkedIn profile.

The above projects have allowed her to avoid the field of Architecture in which she holds a Masters degree - a method superior to holding her breath until she faints, which was her avoidance tactic of choice up until about age three.

Claudia Pickering's Tips For Budget Filmmaking

  • Use Craigslist to advertise for cast and crew, also ask your network.
  • Offer profit share for people to work for free.
  • Use the majority of your budget for post-production sound and color.
  • Offer bigger credits for those working for free
  • Do most of the dirty work yourself.

Enjoy my conversation with Claudia Pickering.

THROWBACK FRIDAY: Fast and Cheap: Lessons Learned for the No-Budget Feature Film

March 3, 2018

Please note: Throwback Fridays are archival episodes from the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. After many requests from the IFH Tribe to bring back some of the show's best episodes, I decided to create Throwback Fridays. These episodes will not be posted every week but at least twice a month...if not more. There's so much amazing info and knowledge bombs in many of these past episodes and I don't want them to be lost in the sea of IFH Content so I'll be putting a spotlight on them in Throwback Fridays. Enjoy!

Fast and Cheap: Lessons Learned for the No-Budget Feature

On this week's episode, I go way to a simpler time, the 90s, and discuss the lessons we can learn from some filmmaking legends. I'll discuss films by Robert Rodriguez, Kevin Smith, Christopher Nolan, and Richard Linklater to break down and learn the techniques they used to make awesome, no-budget feature films with limited resources.

"In no-budget filmmaking, your limitations are your guide."

If you take note of what filmmakers did before you, you can jump-start your filmmaking career. Enjoy!

IFH 221: Finding an Audience for Indie Films in 2018 with Shaked Berenson

March 1, 2018

Finding an Audience for Indie Films in 2018 with Shaked Berenson

Today's guest is a returning champion Shaked Berenson from Epic Pictures. On this special edition Sundance episode Shaked and I discuss marketing and finding an audience for your indie films in 2018. We discuss their recent acquisition of the Horror Blog/Brand Dread Central and how you can use today's tools to find your audience. 

Shaked has produced films like the cult hit Turbo Kid (SXSW Audience Award), Entertainment (Official Sundance Film Festival Selection) and the animated film Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon. What is great about Shaked is that he has created his own ecosystem. From financing to production to distribution, all under one umbrella. This way he cuts out the middleman and he can keep more of the profits.

Thanks again to Media Circus PR who co-produced these podcasts episodes with me. Enjoy my interview with Shaked Berenson.


THROWBACK FRIDAY: Nina Foch: Directing the Actor - USC School of Cinematic Arts

February 22, 2018

Please note: Throwback Fridays are archival episodes from the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. After many requests from the IFH Tribe to bring back some of the show's best episodes, I decided to create Throwback Fridays. These episodes will not be posted every week but at least twice a month...if not more. There's so much amazing info and knowledge bombs in many of these past episodes and I don't want them to be lost in the sea of IFH Content so I'll be putting a spotlight on them in Throwback Fridays. Enjoy!

Nina Foch: Directing the Actor

Have you been confused and frustrated when directing actors? I think every director and actor has been frustrated with each other at one or more points in there career but don't worry Nina Foch is here to help. I'll get to who she is in a moment.

For a filmmaker, directing actors can be a daunting task. Actors seem to have a language of their own which us directors have a very hard time understanding. For those masters like Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese, directing actors is second nature.

They are able to understand the language of the actor. They are able to make a scene come alive. No matter how well a scene is written, if the director cannot communicate with his or her actors then all is lost.

RelatedUSC School of Cinematic Arts On-line Course Directing the Actor 

What to do? Enter Nina Foch, the legendary film teacher from the gold standard of film schools, USC School of Cinematic Arts.

As I was looking for filmmaking courses online I came across this gem of a course that I couldn't believe was available to us mere indie film mortals. A master class from USC School of Cinematic Arts called Directing the Actor by Nina Foch. 

Who is Nina Foch?

Nina Foch was a Dutch-born American actress of film, stage, and television. Her career spanned six decades, consisting of over fifty feature films and over one hundred television appearances.

Stanley Kubrick, Cecil B. DeMille and Robert Wise? Crazy I know.

Nina Foch: Hollywood Legend

This American-Dutch actress was born on 20th April, 1924 and had a very strong presence on the stage, film, and television. At the tender age of nineteen, she signed a contract with Columbia Pictures and became one of the favorites in the studio.

Throughout the 1940s and the 1950s, she established herself as one of the best leading ladies of the Hollywood industry. The actress ruled the screen for five decades having fifty feature films and hundreds of television appearance under her belt.

Hailing from an artistic background, her mother, Consuelo Flowerton was an actress and singer from America and her father was a Dutch classical music conductor named Dirk Fock. Although her parents divorced when she was a toddler but both of them always encouraged Foch’s artistic talents. She enjoyed playing piano and art as well but her major interest was in acting for which she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

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Film Life

As she had signed a contract with the Columbia Pictures, her debut was a horror film produced under this company. She played Nicki Saunders in the movie The Return of the Vampire in the year 1943. The film was by the director Lew Landers where Nina Foch shared the screen with the great Bela Lugosi.

Later on, she was again cast in a horror flick Cry of the Werewolf in the coming year. She has a very central role in this one as she played the werewolf herself and is known as the first ever film made on werewolves which had a female werewolf in it.

One of her most memorable roles was surprisingly in a B-movie classed named My Name is Julia Ross, released in the year 1945. In the move, she takes up a job of a secretary for a rich family and ends up being involved in a plot of murder.

She was also a part of the musical An American in Paris which was released in the year 1951. The movie went on to receive an Oscar for the Best Picture with Nina still remembered in that remarkable role of hers.

One can never forget her role in the 1956 epic movie The Ten Commandments where she played the pharaoh’s daughter who found baby Moses in the bushes and adopts him. For this particular movie by Cecil B. DeMille, she was honored with a special award by the American Jewish Congress.

She also acted in Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960). The film which finally ensured her entry into the Oscars was Executive Suite which was released in the year 1954. She received a nomination in the best supporting actress category in this film by Robert Wise.

Apart from these, some of her other finest works include A Song to RememberI Love a MysteryEscape in the FrogJohnny Allegroand The Undercover Man to name a few.

Work on the Television

During her films, she was also regularly a part of the television series Houseman’s CBS Playhouse 90. Some of her greatest works on television include The AmericansYour First Impressionand Mr. Broadway.

She has been a part of a number of television series where she proved that she had quality acting abilities. She had a very long career span and some of the most credited TV shows in the later part of her career include NCISBullJust Shoot Me, and Dharma & Greg. She even portrayed the elderly mother of Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard.

Her acting skills ranged widely, therefore, it is hard to miss a type of role which was not played by Nina Foch. If she has been cast as a werewolf then we also have seen her portraying herself as the victim of a heinous crime.

Also, we find her to be a part of a numbered radio programs where she featured for an episode or two.


Although she appeared in a limited number of plays but this shows where she managed to polish most of her acting skills. She gave 423 performances for her play John Loves Mary as Lilly Herbish on the broadway. This proves the popularity of that play back during the 1940s era.

Apart from this, she was also a part of the Twelfth NightKing LearA Phoenix Too FrequentMeasure for Measureand The Taming of the Shrew. She gave up on stage plays after the year 1955 and dedicated her whole time to television and films.

As an Acting Teacher

There is no denying the fact that Nina Foch dedicated her whole life to her love of acting and movies. She found some time from her career to focus on making acting easier for some aspiring students as well. This is the reason that she joined USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Not only did she work here but also offered her teaching services at the American Film Institute for years.

She started teaching in the 1960s and continued to do so till her death in the year 2008. This shows that she dedicated 40 years of her life in helping others achieve their acting dreams. Some of the most accomplished directors have been her students including Marshall HerskovitzEd ZwickRandal Kleiserand Amy Heckerling.

All her students related that she had a deep philosophy about human behavior and thinking which was not at all easily understandable. She was more of person who would teach something her students would actually encounter during their careers. This made her stand out as a teacher and influencing the acting, directing, and even writing of the students when they started their careers.

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Her Farewell

According to her son, she had a blood disorder named myelodysplasia which had long-term complications. She became ill a day before and couldn’t fight for long in the hospital, finally, giving in to her ailment of 5th December 2008.

She is still remembered by all the film enthusiasts as a role model, teacher, and an actress who gave her entire life and her efforts for the betterment of the film industry and to provide it some gems which will take the industry forward.

In addition to acting, Foch taught drama at the American Film Institute and at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, where she was a faculty member for over forty years until her death in 2008.

Nina Foch's classes touch so many students over the years that one of her better known pupils, George Lucas, decided to produce a course to capture the magic she taught in her class.

Before then this class was only available to masters students at USC School of Cinematic Arts. When I took the course I was completely blown away.

Nina Foch finally cracked the code. She teaches you how an actor thinks and how to speak to them, in their language.

She teaches you how to breakdown a screenplay in a way I've never heard of before. Nina show you how to understand the intention of the characters in every scene.

These teachings are for both filmmakers and actors. Actors in the class gain a much better understand of how to understand character and communicate better with directors.

IFH 220: How to Package an Indie Film for Investors with Tiffany Boyle

February 21, 2018

How to Package an Indie Film for Investors with Tiffany Boyle

Today on the show is Tiffany Boyle from Ramo Law. Tiffany helps indie filmmakers package their projects in a way that helps them attract producers, investors, other top-end actors, and studios. We had a great conversation at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Here's some info on today's guest.

Tiffany Boyle has been with Ramo Law since 2009, where she works with the attorneys to review, collaborate, develop, submit and supervise creative materials on behalf of clients within the Firm. Boyle actively works with clients in connection to production and distribution opportunities that bring their new material to life. From television (unscripted/scripted) to feature films to internet properties, she oversees all creative content represented by the firm. Her recent projects include REBIRTH (Netflix original film), YOUTH IN OREGON (starring Christine Applegate, Billy Crudup and Frank Langella), SPRING (premiered in TIFF), THE 12TH HOUR (documentary narrated by Jeff Bridges), STUCK IN LOVE(starring Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly), FRANKIE GO BOOM (starring Charlie Hunnam), SOME GIRL(S) (starring Adam Brody), and FREE SAMPLES (starring Jesse Eisenberg). She also executive produced I-LIVED (directed by Franck Khalfoun).

Prior to joining Ramo Law, Boyle was the Director of Sales at Crystal Sky Pictures (GHOST RIDER, TEKKEN). Her responsibilities included the creation of marketing materials, coordination of marketing and delivery materials for international buyers and planning and selling at markets and festivals (including EFM, AFM, Marche Du Film, MIPCOM, Sundance and Toronto). She also acted as the financial intermediary for buyer collections and proper bank filings.

Boyle was previously a development assistant at Crystal Sky, working under head of production Benedict Carver (UNDERWORLD, RESIDENT EVIL) and head of international sales Daniel Diamond (THE BELIEVER). She worked in all aspects of production on the company’s films, including DOOMSDAY, BIG STAN and BRATZ.

Thanks again to Media Circus PR who co-produced these podcasts episodes with me. Enjoy my interview with Tiffany Boyle.

THROWBACK FRIDAY: Top 5 Film Festival SCAMS Filmmakers Need to Be Aware Of!

February 17, 2018

Please note: Throwback Fridays are archival episodes from the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. After many requests from the IFH Tribe to bring back some of the show's best episodes, I decided to create Throwback Fridays. These episodes will not be posted every week but at least twice a month...if not more. There's so much amazing info and knowledge bombs in many of these past episodes and I don't want them to be lost in the sea of IFH Content so I'll be putting a spotlight on them in Throwback Fridays. Enjoy!

Top 5 Film Festival SCAMS Filmmakers Need to Be Aware Of!

I've been at a fair share of film festivals in my life and I've submitted to many more than I've been accepts to. With that said I have seen many less than honorable film festival organizers throughout the process.

Now not all film festivals are run by grifters and con men but you need to be aware of the signs that a film festival you are submitting to may just be in existence to remove you from you hard earned cash and not to celebrate amazing independent film and filmmakers.

I put together a few warning signs you should look out for when submitting to film festivals. Stay safe out there everyone!