IFH 102: How to Production Design Your Indie Film on the CHEAP!

September 26, 2016
00:0000:00

What if I told you you could production design an entire house with for a hundred bucks. Can't believe it? How about if I throw in labor, delivery, setup and guys will come and pickup all the furniture when you're done? I didn't believe either until I did it. 

In this episode I discuss the little loop hole/trick I used to furnish an entire house for my film BROKEN. You can get thousands of dollars worth of high end furniture, appliances, computers, televisions, lamps, tables, dining sets, bedroom sets and all sorts of accessories for pennies on the dollar. 

Now this solution is not for every film. If you are doing a period piece or drug den this ain't for you. This technique will work for contemporary decor and it works great. 

Are you drooling yet? Want to know the secret? Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most powerful ones. Take a listen to this short episode and find out. You won't regret it. 

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONSORS

  1. Werner Herzog Master Class
  2. Aaron Sorkin Master Class
  3. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)

KILLER RESOURCES!!!

  1. INDIE FILM SYNDICATE Filmmaking Community
  2. IFH's Online Film School
  3. Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!

THROWBACK FRIDAY: Dov Simens - Quentin Tarantino & Chris Nolan’s Film Teacher

September 23, 2016
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Dov Simens - American Greatest & Quentin Tarantino's Film Teacher

I'm so excited to have on the show this week Dov Simens, founder of Hollywood Film Institute. He created the remarkable 2 Day Film School and has launched the careers of Quentin Tarantino, Chris Nolan, Spike Lee, Kevin Smith, Queen Latifah, Guy Ritchie & more.

"Listened to Dov Simens, Shot Reservoir Dogs and became a director.
- Quentin Tarantino

Dov Simens' teaching style is entertaining, in your face and straight from the street. Real world, practical film education.

"Took the 2 Day and launched my filmmaking career!"
- Will Smith


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When I took his course over 15 years ago I was floored. He spoke about things I never heard in "film school." He teaches you how to make a feature film, not how to be creative, not why you choose a camera or lenses, and not how to writer the great script.

"Dov Simens has Revolutionized Film Education"
- Roger Cormen (Legendary Indie Film Producer)

Without taking his course I wouldn't have been able to make my first film BROKEN (Watch it FREE on Amazon Prime). He laid the foundation for my filmmaking career. It's sounds nuts that you can learn everything you need to know to make a feature film in 2 days but you can.

Sit back and prepared to be schooled in the ways of Jedi Film Teacher Dov Simens.

Right click here to download the MP3

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Action Items:

indie film syndicate, indie film hustle, filmmaking course, online film school, filmmaking, indie film,


Enjoyed this blog post? Please share it in your social networks (FacebookTwitter, email etc) by using social media buttons at the side or bottom of the blog. Or post to your blog and anywhere else you feel it would be a good fit. Thanks.

I welcome thoughts and remarks on ANY of the content above in the comments section below...


Get Social with Indie Film Hustle:
Facebook: Indie Film Hustle

Twitter: @indiefilmhustle 
Instagram: @ifilmhustle

YouTube: Indie Film Hustle TV
Podcast: IFH Podcast

IFH 101: How to Record Audio for Your Indie Film on the CHEAP!

September 19, 2016
00:0000:00

How to Record Audio for Your Indie Film on the CHEAP!

I was lost when it came time to record audio for my film. So since my podcast on How to Build a Pimp'd Out BlackMagic Cinema Camera Rig on the CHEAP! was such a hit with the tribe I decide to put a list of the gear I used to record audio on This is Meg.

I go into great detail on each piece of gear, how I used it and what worked and didn't work. The biggest tip I can give you is no matter how inexpensive the mic you have the key is to get that mic as close to the subject as humanly possible. 

The audio I recorded on This is Meg came out surprisingly great! Since I've never had the chance to record audio for any of my films this was a first. What saved my ass was taking an online course the explained everything I needed to know about the art of how to record audio on set and location. 

It's called Sound for Indie Film: Recording Audio Like a ProI not kidding you, this course was a life saver for me. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it to anyone even thinking of recording their own audio for a film. I also recommend it to any director or producer as well so they can get a better understanding of what the sound man is doing. 

SOUND SML THUMBNAILS

Below is a list of all the gear I used, tested and recorded with on my film. 

THROWBACK FRIDAY: Karl Iglesias Screenwriting Master Class & How to Create an Emotional Impact

September 16, 2016
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Please note: Throwback Friday 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. Now these episodes will not be posted every week but at least twice a month...if not more. There's such 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! 


Karl Iglesias Screenwriting Master Class & How to Create an Emotional Impact

This week we were lucky enough to have as out guest screenwriting guru Karl Iglesias. He has written award winning books including: The 101 Habits of Highly Successful ScreenwritersWriting for Emotional Impact, and Cut to the Chase(FREE AUDIO BOOK VERSIONS HERE)

I discovered Karl Iglesias' work reading Writing for Emotional Impact. It really transformed the way I wrote screenplays and created a bunch of new habits that I still use today.

It was a major treat to interview Karl on the show. His work is so specific but yet broad. His one rule that can never be broken,

"Always be interesting."

I think most films coming out of Hollywood today should take that advice. Keep your audience engaged and emotionally invested. So many filmmakers and screenwriters today don't understand that basic concept.

I really asked Karl the tough questions so we could fill this episode with amazing content for you. This is one podcast your won't want to miss. Enjoy!

Right click here to download the MP3


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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONSORS

  1. Werner Herzog Master Class
  2. Aaron Sorkin Master Class
  3. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)

KILLER RESOURCES!!!

  1. INDIE FILM SYNDICATE Filmmaking Community
  2. IFH's Online Film School
  3. Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!

Action Items:


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If you like this podcast, then click below:
Script Writing Software: 5 Apps Better & CHEAPER Than Final Draft
script writing software, screenplay software, screenplay formatting software, screenplay, screenwriting, screenwriter, Fade in, Celtx, Script It!, Highland script writing software, Save the Cat Software, Aaron Sorkin, John August


Did you enjoy this podcast? Please share it in your social networks (FacebookTwitter, email etc) by using social media buttons at the side or bottom of the blog. Or post to your blog and anywhere else you feel it would be a good fit. Thanks.

I welcome thoughts and remarks on ANY of the content above in the comments section below...

Also you can now watch Alex Ferrari's Award Winning Short Films 
(Played in over 600 International Film Festivals) for FREE on Amazon Video


Get Social with Indie Film Hustle:
Facebook: Indie Film Hustle

Twitter: @indiefilmhustle 
Instagram: @ifilmhustle

YouTube: Indie Film Hustle TV
Podcast: IFH Podcast
Podcast: Film Festival Hacks Podcast
IFH: Filmmaking Hacks

indie film syndicate, indie film hustle, filmmaking course, online film school, filmmaking, indie film, social media

IFH 100: Aaron Kaufman – Producing Robert Rodriguez & Directing James Bond

September 14, 2016
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Well, the first IFH Podcast episode went live September 2015. That’s a short time to be able to produce 100 podcast episodes, but what can I say I'm a hustler = )

I’m so glad I finally got around to launch Indie Film Hustle, because the podcast has done wonders for my brand, my career and my life. The results were far beyond what I had ever imagined.

It allows me to reach more people than I could ever do with just my blog alone, and at the same time create a much deeper connection with them too. Beyond that, it has opened up doors to my filmmaking career, keynote speaking opportunities, potential book deals and more.

THANK YOU TRIBE!

Without you, the Indie Film Hustle Tribe, the IFH Podcast would had never reached episode 100 or become the #1 filmmaking podcast on iTunes! I owe you guys so much, and that's why I'm extremely excited for the next 100 episodes of this podcast. Your support means the world to me, and I appreciate each and every one of you!

If you enjoyed this episode, or any of the other of the 99 episodes of the podcast, and you have not left a rating or review yet on iTunes, I would really appreciate an honest review and rating from you. It’s one of the most important parts of the ranking in the iTunes algorithm, but more than that, it’ll show future indie filmmakers that this is (or is not) worth their time.

To quickly leave a review, open up iTunes and search for Indie Film Hustle Podcast and then leave a rating and review as shown below. You can do this on your mobile device as well, and even if you’re not subscribed, and even if you listen on another platform – this is where I’d love your review.

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This Weeks Special Guest - Aaron Kaufman & Brian Levin

On this special episode of the show I have a chat with Aaron Kaufman. Not only was he Robert Rodriguez's producer on films like Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Machete and Machete Kills but he also directed a film called Urge starring James Bond Legend Pierce Bronson.

IFH 099: How to Write a Screenplay FAST with Jeff Bollow

September 13, 2016
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How to Write a Screenplay with FAST with Jeff Bollow

Have you ever wanted to learn how to write a screenplay fast? I know I do. This is why I invited on the show award-winning producer/director, best-selling author, film festival organizer and public speaker, Jeff Bollow.

He is the author of Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning SpeedJeff Bollow began as an actor at age 12 in his native Los Angeles (credits include Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and TV's Columbo) before working nearly every job in production, from camera to sound to lighting — and including jobs in development, post-production and distribution.

Jeff has worked on feature films, TV series, commercials, music videos, radio, and corporate productions for companies such as Universal, Castle Rock, Propaganda Films, DNA and the Oxygen Network.

After migrating to New Zealand, where he directed television for TV3 and co-founded the Big Mountain Short Film Festival, he moved to Australia, where he launched Embryo Films. Through his company, Jeff has reviewed over 20,000 project submissions, and has edited, assessed and/or mentored over 350 projects. He has script doctored in Singapore, Australia, NZ and the US; and has conducted over 80 live weekend workshops to over 1200 writers in 9 cities in 5 countries, with a unanimous "recommend" approval rating.

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His students have been optioned, produced and won (and placed) in competitions worldwide. He designed FAST Screenplay in 2004, and began officially building it in November 2009. It was finally completed in July 2016, nearly 7 years later. Alongside it, he created the FASTscreenplay YouTube Channel, which now includes over 30 detailed and insightful free videos to encourage writers and screenwriters around the world.

In May 2015, Jeff Bollow delivered his first TED Talk, "Expand Your Imagination... Exponentially" (see video below) at TEDxDocklands in Melbourne, Australia, to prepare for the next phase of the larger plan. Jeff's aim is build an independent film studio that inspires creativity worldwide, to help prepare humanity for the dramatic changes our future holds. When he's not busy helping writers with FAST Screenplay, he is working on a new book, developing a television series, and planning two feature film projects.

I've added below Jeff Bollow's TEDTalk and a series of amazing video on screenwriting. Enjoy!

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONSORS

  1. VideoBlocks.com - (IFH Discount SAVE $50)
  2. Werner Herzog Master Class
  3. Aaron Sorkin Master Class
  4. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)

KILLER RESOURCES!!!

  1. INDIE FILM SYNDICATE Filmmaking Community
  2. IFH's Online Film School
  3. Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!

IFH 098: How to Build a Pimp’d Out BlackMagic Cinema Camera Rig on the CHEAP!

September 7, 2016
00:0000:00

When I began my filmmaking journey with my first feature film, This is Meg, I had no idea what camera I'd be shooting with. I had access to both RED Cinema and Arri Alexa Cameras for free if I wanted them but I choose against using them on this film for the following reasons:

  1. The infrastructure need to make those camera work was complicated and expensive (even if you are getting the camera bodies for free)
  2. I wouldn't have the freedom to shoot whenever I had the cast available. (we shot over 6 weeks)
  3. The "footprint" of those cameras do not lend themselves to run and gun guerrilla filmmaking.
  4. The Post Production workflow would be costly and drives are expensive.
  5. Production Insurance would be needed and that's pricey.

So I looked around and settled on the BlackMagic Cinema Camera.

"But Alex you are nutz! You could've shot on a RED or ALEXA and you choose a BlackMagic Cinema Camera?"

Yes I did. For a few reasons:

  1. I could own the camera, play with it, test and experiment.
  2. No production insurance.
  3. Small footprint for those "guerrilla filmmaking" moment out in the streets.
  4. Amazing post production workflow (I edited and finish This is Meg on the DaVinci Resolve, more on that in the podcast)
  5. I could affordably pimp out the rig and customize it for my shooting needs.
  6. This is Meg is a small character driven indie film, shooting with RED or ALEXA would've been overkill.

Shooting with the BMCC

Now I've been a colorist for over 10 years and the image quality of RED or ALEXA is superior to the BlackMagic Cinema Camera but you need to choose the right tool for the project. The BMCC gave me the freedom that the other couldn't and the BlackMagic Cinema Camera is BY FAR the best bang for your buck. Speaking as a colorist and the director of photography of the film, the image quality is stellar. You just need to understand the camera's strengths and weakness.

Here are some tips when shooting with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera 2.5k.

  1. The camera need a ton of light.
  2. Make sure you shoot at 400 ISO unless you are shooting nights. Try to always shot 400 ISO. The BMCC Image will like it better.
  3. Record with a minimum 240gig Card.
  4. SHOOT RAW, not ProRes 422 HQ!

I also decided to shoot with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera because of its amazing RAW Cinema DNG file it produces. I shot with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera 2.5K not the 4k version. The 4k would've been nice but the cost in media and hard drives out weighted the extra pixel. I also knew I'd be mastering in 1080p and blowing up to 2k for the DCP deliverable.

You can shoot ProRes 422 HQ but I'd suggest shooting RAW because if you don't light the scene perfectly having that RAW Cinema DNG file can really get you out of a pickle...trust me!

I go into great detail on how I put this rig together in this weeks podcast. I share tips, tricks and real world stories of what worked and what didn't. I also talk about the post production workflow I went through editing in DaVinci Resolve.

For links to all the gear spoken about goto: https://www.indiefilmhustle.com/blackmagic-cinema-camera/

IFH 097: Doug Richardson - Screenwriting Bad Boys, Die Hard 2 & Making It in Hollyweird

September 6, 2016
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Can you imagine having a front row seat to the start of the filmmaking careers of Will Smith, Bruce Willis and Michael Bay? Well this week's guest Screenwriter Doug Richardson did just that. In 1989 20th Century Fox hired Doug to adapt Walter Wager’s novel 58 Minutes into the first sequel to the hit franchise Die Hard. In 1990, it was released as Die Hard 2, Die Harder.

Around the same period, Doug and his one-time writing partner, Rick Jaffa, garnered national attention when their spec screenplay, Hellbent…and Back was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash Bad Boys (1995), Money Train (1995), and Hostage (2005).

In addition to writing for the screen and print, Doug posts a weekly blog on his website, dougrichardson.com, where he shares personal anecdotes and insight from his thirty-year showbiz career. The first collection of his blogs, The Smoking Gun: True Tales from Hollywood’s Screenwriting Trenches was published in 2015.

I had a ball chatting with Doug and his stories from the set had been mesmerized. He dropped some major knowledge bombs in this interview. Enjoy!

IFH 096: Gravitas Ventures - Confessions of an Indie Film Distributor

September 1, 2016
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Gravitas Ventures: Confessions of an Indie Film Distributor

If you have ever given any thought to the process of distributing your feature film, you know it can be nutz! The film distribution landscape has changed, and changed again as I'm writing this article.

Finding a good and reputable film distributor in today's world is hard to say the least. So I wanted to bring onto the show a film distributor that has a very good reputation for working with filmmakers, being transparent and honest. Enter Michael MurphyPresident of Gravitas Ventures.

Indie Film Distribution from the Ground Up

Gravitas Ventures is a global entertainment distribution operation with the ability to connect filmmakers and producers with consumers through hundreds of media platforms throughout the world.

Gravitas was one of the first companies to develop a global network of digital media platforms as partners and now has relationships with many of the key providers of cable video on demand (“VOD”), subscription video on demand, electronic sell through and electronic rental platforms around the world. CEO Nolan Gallagher founded Gravitas Ventures in 2006 after helping shape VOD strategies for the largest North American cable operator (Comcast), and a major studio (Warner Bros). With a simple mission to deliver ideas to the digital market, Nolan recognized that Gravitas could build a bridge between filmmakers and consumer friendly technology offerings.

Soon after Gravitas’ inception, Nolan and Gravitas’ President and co-owner Michael Murphy began attending worldwide film festivals in search of thought-provoking features and documentaries while establishing distribution relationships with worldwide cable, satellite, television and internet based partners.

While not abandoning its digital roots, Gravitas Ventures is now one of the largest all rights distributors in the world, with the ability to distribute films into theaters and brick and mortar retailers. The company releases over 400 new films annually and is a scalable partner to new media outlets interested in licensing from our library of thousands of titles. As technology advances and new distribution opportunities arise, Gravitas Ventures continues to stay at the forefront, providing exceptional film product to audiences worldwide.

So as you can see Michael knows is stuff. I wanted to grill him on what it takes to get an indie film distributed to the world. Enjoy my interview with Michael Murphy from Gravitas Ventures.

IFH 095: How to Break-Through Your Fear & Shoot Your First Feature Film

August 30, 2016
00:0000:00

How to Break-Through Your Fear & Shoot Your First Feature Film

Fear, the one thing that stops most indie filmmakers from moving forward and following their dreams. Fear of shooting their fist feature film, writing that screenplay, making that short film or just taking the first few steps towards their goals.

Fear has been a strange bedfellow of mine throughout my career. It has slowed and out right stopped my progress. It has taken many years of failures to final realize I have nothing to fear. As they say:

"We stopped checking for monsters under the bed when we realized they were inside of us."

Breaking through the Fear

I finally decided to "feel the fear and do it anyways". Directing a full blown feature film always seemed like this huge, monstrous mountain I had to climb. It was like going to hike Mt. Everest when I never even climb a mountain before.

Then I figured out that that a feature film didn't have to be a "huge, monstrous mountain" and that many filmmakers started off shooting smaller films before climbing Mt. Everest. Chris Nolan shot The Following before he made Memento and then the The Dark Knight Trilogy.

In that spirit I ventured off into uncharted territory with the making of my first feature film This is Meg. Below is the story on how I got that film started.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONCERS

  1. VideoBlocks.com - (IFH Discount SAVE $50)
  2. Werner Herzog Master Class
  3. Aaron Sorkin Master Class
  4. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)

KILLER RESOURCES!!!

  1. INDIE FILM SYNDICATE Filmmaking Community
  2. IFH's Online Film School
  3. Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!

IFH 094: From Dusk Till Dawn to Nickelodeon with Director Joe Menendez

August 25, 2016
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From Dusk Till Dawn to Nickelodeon with Director Joe Menendez

This week on the show we have the very talented director Joe Menendez. Joe is an award-winning filmmaker of both a successful feature film director and a prolific television director/producer as well -- having moved seamlessly between both mediums his entire career. Joe Menendez has directed over 95 hours of television (both single and multi-camera), written a handful of teleplays, produced several TV series and films, and has directed eight feature films and TV movies so far. He is a multi-genre veteran of drama, action, comedy, family entertainment, horror and rom-com. His numerous and varied credits show that he is a skilled craftsman and an accomplished, versatile storyteller.

For this reason I had to have him on the show. Joe Menendez is currently in post-production on Nickelodeon's  LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE, an action-adventure TV movie he directed for Nickelodeon, based on the popular game show of the same name, from the 1990s.

His last feature, the action/comedy, LADRONES (THIEVES), was released by Pantelion Films October 9th, 2015, and received a CinemaScore of "A". LADRONES is the sequel to his 2007 feature film LADRON QUE ROBA A LADRON (TO ROB A THIEF), which opened at the time to a record-grossing opening weekend at the box-office for a Spanish-language film in the U.S.

Joe Menendez has directed multiple episodes of the one-hour drama FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: The Series for Robert Rodriguez and his El Rey Network, multiples of the new Amazon Series JUST ADD MAGIC and the Prequel Series plus the "uncensored" episodes for the 2nd season of HULU's hit drama series EAST LOS HIGH.

I also wanted to have him on the show to discuss what's it like working with a filmmaking legend like Robert Rodriguez. He did not disappoint. His stories are AMAZING! Get ready and enjoy my conversation with Joe Menendez.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONCERS

  1. VideoBlocks.com - (IFH Discount SAVE $50)
  2. Werner Herzog Master Class
  3. Aaron Sorkin Master Class
  4. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)

KILLER RESOURCES!!!

  1. INDIE FILM SYNDICATE Filmmaking Community
  2. IFH's Online Film School
  3. Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!

IFH 093: How to Brand, Market and Build an Audience Using Social Media & Marketing Hustle

August 17, 2016
00:0000:00

How to Brand, Market and Build an Audience Using Social Media & Marketing Hustle

So I had the plesure of speaking at the HollyShorts! Film Festival at a "fireside chat" with my brotha from another mutha RB Blotto from Stage32.com. We sat down and discussed How to Brand, Market and Build an Audience Using Social Media & Marketing Hustle. 

I had a ball and as promised I recorded the evening for those of you who couldn't make it. Check it out below:

You’ve got an amazing script, now what? The first step is to identify your audience and create a brand for yourself that you can leverage when crowdfunding or selling your film. Once your film is done, the next step is marketing and promotion. Join us for a fireside chat with Writer/Director and Indie Film Hustle founder, Alex Ferrari, and RB Blotto, Stage32.com founder, as they offer best practices on building an audience, creating a brand, marketing yourself and your film, and finally, getting the word out via social media, which is crucial to your success.

Sit back and enjoy this knowledge bomb filled episode. 

IFH 092: Why Having No Money Makes You a Better Filmmaker

August 15, 2016
00:0000:00

What is this guy talking about? No money = better filmmaker? He must be nuts. We'll I'll have to disagree with you. As I  am going through my adventure on the making of my first feature film THIS IS MEGI have discovered that is the truth.  Having less resources has made me a better filmmaker. 

When you have no money and limited resources you discover new and creative ways to solve problems. The creative ways end up on the screen and that is where innovation comes from. Doing something people say is nuts. 

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Credit: QuoteAddicts

"No one can stop you from doing exactly what you want to do. If you can accept that the cavalry won't come, and if you can be the cavalry, it gives you a chance to be happy." - Mark Duplass

When I announced I was going to direct This is Meg with a micro budget I can't tell you how many people said I was nuts. BTW, I love it when people do that, it lights my fire. I still think most of the cast and crew still don't know how we're going to pull this off. 

In this podcast I go over the techinques I used to not only get the ball rolling but also get the film shot and edited. Enjoy!

Screening Formats & Technical Specs for Film Festivals - Film Festival Hacks Podcast: 005

August 12, 2016
00:0000:00

Film Festivals: Screening Formats & Technical Specs

Film Festival Hacks is the podcast that explores the festival circuit “from both sides of the badge.” Alex Ferrari is an award winning filmmaker with nearly 600 international film festivals under his belt. He’s joined by Chris Holland, author of Film Festival Secrets: A Handbook for Independent Filmmakers who has worked closely with more than 200 film festivals including Sundance, AFI Fest, and SXSW. Together we explore the hidden world of film festival programming and pass along tips that give you that critical edge in the festival submissions game.
In episode 6 you'll get the skinny on what are the proper screening formats for film festivals today. We talk about techincal specs, formats, what Sundance requires and where and when to spend money on deliverables. Enjoy!

Action Items:

FF HACKS SML THUMBNAILS


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IFH 091: What Filmmakers Can Do About the Diversity Problem in Hollywood

August 4, 2016
00:0000:00

This podcast episode comes straight from the heart. Diversity in the film industry is a problem. The numbers do not lie.

Latino-Actors-Oscars-2

Original Source: Fusion.net

Women-Directed-Feature-Films

Original Source: GirlTalkHQ.com

The film business needs to have many points of views and not just a select few. The more points of views you have, the better the industry as a how will be. 

Filmmakers can not use their gender or race as an excuse for "not making it". The diversity problem in Hollywood is SLOWLY getting better. Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma, has become the first African-American Female director to helm a major studio film with a $100 million dollar budget. (Source: Business Insider)

Television-Diversity-1

Original Source: The Hollywood Reporter and The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies

Their are many examples of the industry changing. Robert Rodriguez, Guillermo del Toro, Tyler Perry, Spike Lee, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Ava DuVernay, Gale Anne Hurd, Kathryn Bigelow, Sofia Coppola, and many more have cracked the diversity wall. 

Asian-TV-Diversity

Original Source: Fusion

Now that being said, I'm not saying it has been easy for the filmmakers I've listed. It was DAMN HARD! Things are changing but very slowly. I've never allowed being latino stop me from creating my own opportunities. Indie Filmmakers have to create their own opportunities and stop waiting around for "Hollywood" to give it to them. I hope this episode inspires filmmakers to go out and make it happen...no matter what! 

Keep hustlin' my friends!

IFH 090: Life After Winning Sundance with Diane Bell

July 28, 2016
00:0000:00

Life After Winning Sundance with Diane Bell

I always talk about not counting on the "lottery ticket" mentality that so many filmmakers today count on. Winning Sundance is not a distribution plan. Well I was involved in a project, written and directed by Diane Bell, that did just that. It won not one but two awards at Sundance. She didn't count on winning, hell she didn't think in her wildest dreams that she would even be accepted. Here's the story.

In 2010, 16 feature films were selected out of 1,058 submissions to be screened in the US Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.  Diane Bell's OBSELIDIA was one of them.  It was made for less than $140,000, it had no movie stars in it, and none of the cast or crew had connections to Sundance.  And yet it was picked out of the slush pile, and selected to premier on this world stage, alongside movies that had cost 100 times as much with big name movie stars and recognized directors.

OBSELIDIA, premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival 2010, where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Award and the award for Excellence in Cinematography. It was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards 2011, including one for Best First Screenplay. It won acclaim at festivals around the world, including being named as Best of Fest at the Edinburgh Film Festival, Best Narrative Feature at Ashland Independent Film Festival, and winning the Youth Jury Prize for Best Film at the Valladolid Festival, Spain.

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to be accepted and win awards at the Sundance Film Festival sit back and enjoy on conversation with Diane Bell.

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IFH 089: How To Write A Screenplay with Fight Club Screenwriter Jim Uhls

July 20, 2016
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We I have a MAJOR treat for the tribe this week. I have no other than Jim Uhls, the master screenwriter behind David Fincher's "Fight Club", one of the greatest films in my generation, in my humble option.

When Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club was making the rounds in Hollywood, it was a tough sale to be adapted for the screen. But then Brad Pitt got involved; add David Fincher and Ed Norton, throw Jim Uhls into the mix and you've got a modern classic.

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Jim’s sceenwriting credits include of course the modern classic “Fight Club” the feature-film "Jumper" the NBC television film "Semper Fi" and the SyFy miniseries "Spin".

In this remarkable discussion Jim Uhls breaks the first rule of Fight Club: He talks about it, working with David Fincher, why he hates outlines and why you should interview your characters. Step inside the mind of the man who figured out how to conquer Hollywood as he lays down knowledge bomb after knowledge bomb in this eye opening interview.

Towards the end of the interview Jim gives easily the GREATEST ADVICE ON HOW TO BECOME A WORKING SCREENWRITER I'VE EVER HEARD! This podcast is not to be missed.

IFH 088: Why Filmmakers are Always So F*ckin’ Broke & What They Can Do to Change It

July 18, 2016
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Why Filmmakers are Always So F*ckin' Broke

I'm truly PISSED OFF guys and am tired of seeing my fellow indie filmmakers and artist struggle to make a living doing what they love. I decided to put together a lists of steps that every indie filmmaker needs to do in order to thrive in the film business.

Since this website is call INDIE FILM HUSTLE the terminology I'll be using will be aimed at filmmaking or screenwriting but all of these concepts can be applied to any art form.

PLEASE NOTE: If you were to ever listen to a podcast of mine, this is the one. I'll be laying out the steps in the article but I go MUCH DEEPER into each one on the podcast. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.

Right click here to download the MP3


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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Action Items:


If you like Why Filmmakers are Always So F*ckin' Broke & What They Can Do to Change It,
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IFH 087: Into the Madness: Shooting a Micro Budget Feature Film w/ Jill-Michele Meleán

July 15, 2016
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You knew it was bound to happen. Well the time is here. Please welcome the talented Jill-Michele Meleán to the Indie Film Hustle Tribe. Jill is the star of my debut feature film "This is Meg". She is one of the most talented actors/comedian I've ever worked with and we have worked on a ton of projects of the years. 

Jill-Michele Meleán, “Jilly” was born and raised in Miami, Florida (aka Cuba). She declared at a young age that she wanted to be like Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Benny Hill. Jilly started in Theatre and toured with The Coconut Grove Playhouse (which is the Broadway of Miami). In 2000, she moved to Los Angeles and needed to be on stage.

She took her natural comedic timing to the Standup Stage, headlining across the country while continuing her Acting career. After many years of hard work, she’s made a name for herself in the Comedy Television world with memorable performances on FOX’s “MadTV” and Comedy Central’s “Reno 911”. However, her first love is her dramatic acting career. As she continues her theatrical Film and Television career, she’ll never stop making people laugh.

Which brings us to This is Meg. Take a listen and get a window into how we are creating this "micro budget" film. 

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Jill-Michele Melean, This is Meg, Micro Budget Film. Alex Ferrari, Indie FIlm Hustle

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IFH 086: Jenica Bergere - Insanity in Acting & Directing a Micro Budget Feature Film

July 12, 2016
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What do you get when you add a stand up comedian, a fearless actress and a great personality? You get today's guest Jenica Bergere. This is one of the reason we cast here in my debut feature film This is Meg as the bitchy nut job Ruby

Jenica Bergere, This is Meg, Jill Michele-Melean, Alex Ferrari, Indie Film Hustle Podcast

Jenica Bergere began her career as a stand up comedienne becoming a paid regular at The Comedy Store as well as the Improv when she was barely old enough to vote. Jenica credits Russell Simmons for discovering and representing her as the only “crazy white girl” on his Def Jam slate. 

Since then she has continued to hone her craft becoming an accomplished writer, actress, comedienne and now award winning director with her feature film Come Simi for which Jenica co-wrote the screenplay with Doc Pedrolie (2010 Jack Nicholson Award for Screenwriting). Filmed ‘guerilla style’ in only 6 days, Bergere brought the film in for $10,000 and sites being a micro budget filmmaker as something she actually enjoyed. 

Distributors have called the film “brave”, a word that also defines Jenica Bergere as a director. Willing to take risks and do whatever it takes to get the desired results, Jenica brought her camera crew into the hospital room to film her labor and delivery, ensuring the shots were captured as she envisioned, directing everyone all the whilst.

Take a look at the trailer for Jenica's Micro Budget Film Come Simi:

Get ready to laugh out load in this amazing interview with Jenica Bergere.

How to Network Like a Pro at Film Festivals - Film Festival Hacks Podcast: 005

July 8, 2016
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Film Festival Hacks is the podcast that explores the festival circuit “from both sides of the badge.” Alex Ferrari is an award winning filmmaker with nearly 600 international film festivals under his belt. He’s joined by Chris Holland, author of Film Festival Secrets: A Handbook for Independent Filmmakers who has worked closely with more than 200 film festivals including Sundance, AFI Fest, and SXSW.
Together we explore the hidden world of film festival programming and pass along tips that give you that critical edge in the festival submissions game.
In episode 5 you'll get some great tips on networking at festivals – what exactly we mean by the word, why it's so darn scary, and what the potential benefits are. Alex reveals the thinking behind his core principles of making connections at industry events and some specific tactics for earning the attention of the people you seek. ("Be a human first" is a big part of it.) 
We also talk about why face-to-face networking is so much more effective than solicitation by email or social media, and some open-ended question to help you break the ice.

IFH 085: Why You Don’t Need a Screenplay to Make an Amazing Film

July 4, 2016
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Why You Don't Need a Screenplay to Make an Amazing Film

As indie filmmakers we throw a lot of obstacles on our own path to creating a feature or short film. No obstacle is larger then the almighty screenplay. How many screenwriters and filmmakers do you know that have been working on the movie script for 3, 5, or 7 years? They keep chipping at it in hopes of cracking that nut or it gives them an excuse for not actually making a feature film.

I was no different. One of the biggest things that slowed, if not stopped my filmmaking journey was "the screenplay." I decided to see if there was a different way to approach making a movie with my first feature film This is Meg.

In doing my research I came to  realize that in the last few years, some of my favorite films happen to be (almost) entirely improvised. No structured screenplay. Some were huge tent pole studio movies, Oscar winners (Ironically for best screenplay) and small indie films. It certainly seemed to be a more prolific style among independent filmmakers and I find that it can mean success when they cast the right actors. Especially in the "Mumblecore" and "Dogma 95" indie film movements.

Iron Man had no screenplay?

My favorite "lack of screenplay" story was the Marvel Studios tent-pole Iron Man. You heard me correctly. The film that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that show the word what a great leading  Robert Downey Jr could be. It remains one of the most enjoyable adaptations of a Marvel comic book to date.

iron man, no screenplay, indie film hustle
via Marvel Studios

Take a listen to what Jeff Bridges revealed in a recent interview.

"They had no script, man! They had an outline. We would show up for big scenes every day and we wouldn't know what we were going to say. We would have to go into our trailer and work on this scene and call up writers on the phone, 'You got any ideas?' Meanwhile the crew is tapping their foot on the stage waiting for us to come on."

Although a story and structure was firmly in place, the dialogue wasn't - leading to much improvisation on set, which accounts for the film's energetic, sparky atmosphere.

"I said, ‘Oh, what we're doing here, we're making a $200 million student film. We're all just fuckin' around! We're playin'. Oh, great!. That took all the pressure off. Oh, just jam, man, just play. And it turned out great!" Bridges recalled.

Here is a list of film I mention and discuss in detail in the podcast:

Take a listen on why you don't need a screenplay to make an awesome movie.

IFH 084: How Filmmakers & Artists Should Deal with Haters!

June 30, 2016
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How Filmmakers & Artists Should Deal with Haters!

Haters, a problem that artists, filmmakers or anybody who puts themselves out there have to deal with. I know of many filmmakers who are crippled by what other people think or say about them. The fact is that you are going to create anything; a poem, writer a novel, make a movie, write a song, cook a meal or build a house, there will be people who have opinions. 

Now opinions are fine. As they say ever has an opinion and the internet has given everyone with an opinion a voice. Now there is constructive, mature opinions and there are straight up haters. People who want to bring you down for a myriad of reasons. 

I decide to shine a bit of light on this topic because it is so important on your filmmaking journey to be free of the good opinions of others, as the late Wayne Dyer used to say. You can not allow other peoples opinions or thoughts bring you down or stop your forward momentum when making art of any kind. 

Take a listen to my experience with haters I've dealt with over the years. I hope it inspires you to continue creating regardless of the good opinion of others. 

"Don't let compliments get to your head and don't let their criticism get to your heart." - Anoyomous

IFH 083: 11 Golden Rules for Filmmakers on Social Media

June 28, 2016
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11 Golden Rules for Filmmakers on Social Media

With social media taking over the world it is more necessary than ever to use it to get the word out on yourself, you film project or your production company. Most indie filmmakers have no idea on how to build an audience or how to use social media to promote and engage with that audience.

In this podcast I go into great detail on each of the 11 Golden Rules for Filmmakers on Social Media.

IFH 082: How to Work with a Music Composer with Cris Velasco

June 23, 2016
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So I entitled this podcast "How to Work with a Music Composer" because it is a mystery to many filmmakers. As visual storytellers we focus so much energy and effort to the moving image. For many of us music is an after thought.

What would JawsIndiana Jones or Star Wars be without the musical score? With technology it has become more and more affordable to have a beautiful score added to your indie film. A computer can't do it alone, you still need a maestro to compose that music for you.

A good score can add a great deal of production value to your little indie film. This is why I invited composer Cris Velasco on the show. Cris and I have worked on many projects together. His music has definitely elevated my projects.

Here's some info on the man:

Cris Velasco is a multiple award-winning composer of epic orchestral, dark experimental and modern hybrid music scores for video games, film and television. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in Music Composition, Velasco pursued his passion to write music for visual media; his first major release was composing for Sony’s blockbuster God of War. 

A prolific and versatile composer, Velasco has become one of the most sought-after composers in interactive entertainment, scoring many major titles including Company of Heroes 2, Mass Effect 3, Borderlands 2, ZombiU, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, God of War 3, Tron: Evolution, Borderlands, God of War 2, Darksiders, Clive Barker’s Jericho, and many more.

I wanted Cris to go into his creative process and how he likes to work with filmmakers and creatives. Plus you get a bonus "Star Wars" themed music score he created on the Warner Brothers backlot.