Indie Film Hustle® Podcast: Filmmaking | Screenwriting | Cinematography | Film School | Film Production | Independent Film
IFH 277: My IFH Daily Routine & How It Can Help You Make Your Film

IFH 277: My IFH Daily Routine & How It Can Help You Make Your Film

November 13, 2018

So many members of the IFH Tribe always ask me on what my daily routine looks like. I decided to not only share my daily routine but also give you tips on how to create your own daily routine. I found that once I created this routine my life started to change. I wanted to share with you what I do every day to make Indie Film Hustle and IFHTV going and growing.

4:30 am - Wake up and get ready for the day 4:45 am - Drink my protein shake and drink water 5:00 am - Hit the Gym for 1-2 hours of working out (most days just one hour) 6:30 am - 8:00 am: Help my wife with the morning routine 8:00 am - 6:00 pm: Start my IFH day Answer Emails Prep for interviews Interviews Write Blogs Create IFHTV Content Social Media Marketing Within the day I set aside 2 hours for meditation (extremely important) 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Family Time 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm: TV and Wife Time 9:40 pm - Sleep Tip: I drink over a gallon of water a day. This helps with so many things I can't even tell you.

In this episode, I go into great detail on my routine and give you a bunch of tips on how to create a daily routine to help you achieve your dreams.

Thanks again for all the support and happy streaming!

THROWBACK FRIDAY: From Micro-Budget to Million Dollar Budget Films with Christian Sesma

THROWBACK FRIDAY: From Micro-Budget to Million Dollar Budget Films with Christian Sesma

November 9, 2018

Many indie filmmakers dream of going from micro-budget to million dollar budget films. Well, my friends on this weeks episode I've got a guy who not only did exactly that but also had fun doing it. Christian Sesma is an indie film writer/director based in Palm Spring, CA. I've known Christian for probably over 10 years now and I've watched him grow from a small $15,000 horror film (On Bloody Sunday) to his latest action blood fest Vigilante Diaries starring Paul Sloan, Michael Madsen, Michael Jai White, Jason Mewes and UFC legend Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.

I wanted to pick his brain and share his unique journey with the IFH Tribe. Enjoy this one, it's a blast!

IFH 276: How to Direct a Micro-Budget Feature with William Dickerson

IFH 276: How to Direct a Micro-Budget Feature with William Dickerson

November 8, 2018

Today on the show we have an author, filmmaker and screenwriter Willaim Dickerson. William is the author of the book DETOUR: Hollywood: How To Direct a Microbudget Film (or any film, for that matter).

William Dickerson is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and author, whose debut feature film, Detour, was released theatrically and On-Demand worldwide. He has a Master of Fine Arts from the American Film Institute and teaches Directing at the New York Film Academy. William and I had a great conversation on how he put together his micro-budget feature. We go deep into the process so get ready to take notes.

Enjoy my conversation with Willaim Dickerson.

IFH 275: Indie Film Hustle TV is LIVE! It’s NETFLIX for Filmmakers & Screenwriters

IFH 275: Indie Film Hustle TV is LIVE! It’s NETFLIX for Filmmakers & Screenwriters

November 1, 2018

Today is the day. IFHTV is LIVE! Go check it out at www.indiefilmhustle.tv. It's taken me months getting this ready for you and I hope you love it as much as I do. It has been a dream of mine to have a place where filmmakers, screenwriters and content creators could go to get their "fix" of filmmaking behind the scenes, interviews, documentaries, online education, and feature films. This has truly been a labor of love. Here's what you can expect from Indie Film Hustle TV.

IFHTV will be the world's first Netflix meets Masterclass style streaming services dedicated to filmmakers, screenwriters and content creators. Thousands of videos to help you on your filmmaking and screenwriting journey. 

IFHTV is available worldwide and will be accessible on over 1000 devices including, MACs, PCs, streaming media boxes such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus Player. Coming soon iOS devices and Android devices Apps.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to www.ifhtv.com, kick the tires and let me know what you think. Please send feedback to ifhsubmission@gmail.com. I really want to make IFHTV the best it can be and I need your feedback.

Price is $10.99/month or $120.00/year. After Feb 1st it goes up to the normal price of $13.99/mth and $150/yr so if you are interested sign up now to get that limited time price for the life of your subscription. Go to www.ifhtv.com.

Thanks again for all the support and happy streaming!

IFH 274: Distribution Myths, VOD and AFM with Linda Nelson

IFH 274: Distribution Myths, VOD and AFM with Linda Nelson

October 31, 2018

Today on the show we have returning champion Linda Nelson from Indie Rights. I wanted to bring Linda back to discuss how much the distribution game has changed in the three years since she was last on the show. We also discuss the American Film Market and how to work it properly.

Nelson Madison Films/Indie Rights was founded by Michael Madison and Linda Nelson because they believed that the future was bright for independent artists and that there was a better way to produce and distribute movies.  They have been in business since 2000, when they produced their first film, NSYNC BIGGER THAN LIVE a Giant Screen Movie that played to sold-out crowds worldwide.

Known for innovation.  SHIFTED, their first digital feature,  was the first movie on Amazon's UnBox (the predecessor of Amazon Video)  and was used by Amazon to promote their platform for over five years.  DELIVERED was the first independent feature to edit and master a 4K movie using Adobe CS5.   Articles in Variety, HDVideoPro and an Adobe Success Story followed. Partnerships were forged early on with the leading digital platforms including Amazon, Google, Cinedigm, MGo and Adrise, and these partnerships ensure that Indie Rights can offer the very best audience opportunities for their own films, as well as the more than 300 other filmmakers they work with.

Linda Nelson began her career as an international investment banker, IT executive an entertainment real estate developer.  After meeting Michael Madison, she pivoted into the movie business finally realizing her artistic potential.   As an Executive Producer on NSYNC, she quickly realized that she was interested in being more "hands-on" and was the DP for her next film, SHIFTED.  As a Producer on DELIVERED, she was finally able to gain experience in all aspects of the financing, development, production and distribution phases of moviemaking.

I can't recommend Indie Rights highly enough. If you have a feature film that needs distribution do yourself a favor and check them out. 

Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Linda Nelson.

IFH 273: Movie Theaters are DEAD…Not So Fast with Phil Contrino

IFH 273: Movie Theaters are DEAD…Not So Fast with Phil Contrino

October 23, 2018

Are movie theaters dead? Every summer there is a barrage of articles announcing the death of the movie theater experience. Those articles state the new generation is not interested in going to the movies anymore, that they stream everything.

This kind of rhetoric has been spouted off since television was invented. Then it was VHS, then DVDs and not streaming. Movie theaters have always been able to find a happy home and compliment the new movie screening technology of the day. Today on the show we have Phil Contrino from N.A.T.O,  the National Association of  Theatre Owners. Phil and I discuss the movie-going experience. What theaters are doing right and where they can improve. We also discuss what place indie films have in the modern day movie theater experience.

I've always had a ​love for the movies. It's like a church for me. Whenever I've been in a tough place in my life I go to the movies to escape, think and see what comes to me. It's almost meditative. I truly hope they'll always be a form of the communal movie going experience and I have a feeling there will be.​

Enjoy my conversation with Phil Contrino.

IFH 272: How to Sell Ancillary Products for Your Indie Film (Pool Party Massacre) with Drew Marvick

IFH 272: How to Sell Ancillary Products for Your Indie Film (Pool Party Massacre) with Drew Marvick

October 22, 2018

For years now I've been preaching how filmmakers need to create ancillary products for their indie films. (listen to this episode for more on that.) Today's guest has done an amazing job at doing just that. Drew Marvick is the writer/director of the 80's style horror indie film Pool Party Massacre.

Drew not only made his film, which took over a year to complete, but decided to target his core audience and sell amazing assortments​​ of products based on his film. The audience ate it up.

Drew and I break down how he came up with his marketing plan, how he sources his classic VHSs, where he had that killer poster made, his sales numbers and how the hell he had an action figured made for a low budget horror film. BTW, check out the amazing artwork he had designed for Pool Party Massacre.

Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Drew Marvick.

IFH 271: Going Undercover and Directing for VICE with Natalia Leite

IFH 271: Going Undercover and Directing for VICE with Natalia Leite

October 17, 2018

Today's guest is writer/director Natalia Leite. This director is one of the bravest filmmakers I've ever met. Her work on the VICE documentary ‘Life as a Truck-Stop Stripper was breathtaking. Not only did she direct the piece but one of the subjects in the film as well.

Enjoy my conversation with Natalia Leite.

IFH 270: Changing the World with Your Documentary with Susan Kucera

IFH 270: Changing the World with Your Documentary with Susan Kucera

October 10, 2018

Today on the show we have documentarian, Susan Kucera. Here new film Living in the Future's Past stars Academy Award® winner Jeff Bridges.

THROWBACK FRIDAY: Secrets to Directing a Killer Action Sequence with Gil Bettman

THROWBACK FRIDAY: Secrets to Directing a Killer Action Sequence with Gil Bettman

October 5, 2018

You are in for treat guys​. Today's guest is directing and camera movement guru Gil Bettman. Gil is a seasoned director directing features, television shows, commercial, ​ and music videos for over 30 years.

Did I mention one of his filmmaking mentors is Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis. We discuss what lessons he learned from Mr. Zemeckis and he also goes into great detail on how to shoot a killer action sequence. Gil and I have teamed up to bring his amazing course Hollywood Film & Television Directing Masterclass and it has become one of the best-selling courses we've ever released at Indie Film Hustle.

Here's some info on Gil Bettman:

No one would ever see Gil Bettman as the retiring type. Bring Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis to his directing class and Bettman wades right in, challenging his old friend's point of view and sparking a good-natured debate about the best ways to tell a story using a camera. But that's Bettman's style. He has very definite opinions about how to block a camera or talk to actors from his days as a top action director for TV series like The Twilight Zone and Knight Rider.

Bettman learned the value of subjecting all film ideas to the acid test of a free-wheeling debate from Zemeckis himself while working as a screenwriter developing projects for Zemeckis at Universal and Warner Brothers. It's a lesson Bettman wants to pass on to his students as well.With a degree from Harvard (with honors in English Literature), as well as an M.F.A. from UCLA, Bettman has directed a wide range of projects from feature films to music videos and corporate profiles. He recently directed a feature documentary, The Long Road to Cabo, for rock icon Sammy Hagar, and published a textbook, First Time Director, through Michael Wiese Productions.

Enjoy my conversation with Gil Bettman.

IFH 269: IFHTV - The World’s 1st Streaming Service for Filmmakers & Screenwriters

IFH 269: IFHTV - The World’s 1st Streaming Service for Filmmakers & Screenwriters

October 3, 2018

The wait is over! This is what I've been working on for months. May I introduce you to IFHTV (Indie Film Hustle TV), the world's first streaming service dedicated to filmmakers, screenwriters, creatives and content creators.

I wanted to create a place where film creatives and storytellers could be informed and inspired, no matter where you lived in the world. When I was younger I would hunt for any content on filmmaking, behind the scenes, screenwriting, etc. Combing through DVDs, Laserdiscs and even VHS.

IFHTV is the natural evolution of Indie Film Hustle. My mission is to help as many creatives, filmmakers and screenwriters on their artist path. I hope to grow the platform into a Netflix-style place for people to learn and be inspired.

IFHTV will not only be an educational platform but it will also stream content covering the film business, acting, filmmaking, post-production, screenwriting, storytelling:

Feature Films Documentaries Series Documentary Filmmaking Social Media and Marketing Distribution Cinematography Film History Exclusive Interviews Exclusive IFHTV Original Content and Shows Inspirational Films as well

IFHTV will launch worldwide November 1, 2018. It will be accessible on over 1000 devices including iOS devices, Android devices, MACs, PCs, streaming media boxes such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus Player.

The launch special will be $10.99 for 90 days. On Feb 1, 20,19 the price will go to $13.99. 

Take a listen to this episode to get all the low down on what I'm doing with IFHTV, including content, films, and documentaries we'll be launch with. Thanks for your support and I really hope you love IFHTV as much as I do.

THROWBACK FRIDAY: The Art of the $6000 Feature Film with Joshua Caldwell

THROWBACK FRIDAY: The Art of the $6000 Feature Film with Joshua Caldwell

September 28, 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 are 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!

The Art of the $6000 Feature Film with Joshua Caldwell

I had the pleasure of meeting Joshua Caldwell, a brother in "indie filmmaking" arms. He directed a $6000 feature film called LAYOVER, which World Premiered at the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival where it was nominated for the New American Cinema Award.

The story of how he made the film was educational, rebellious and funny. Many things he said mirrored my experience making This is Meg. Josh really has a great philosophy about making films and content. Check out the trailer below to see what a $6000 feature film in today's world looks like.

IFH 268: Leaving the Money to Chase that Filmmaking Dream with Drew Waters

IFH 268: Leaving the Money to Chase that Filmmaking Dream with Drew Waters

September 26, 2018

Have you ever been in a job you hate? Would you leave a stable job to follow your dream? Meet producer, director and actor Drew Waters. He did just that. Drew became an entrepreneur with three retail businesses and a commercial/residential construction company with partners. One day he woke up at the age of 30 and realized I wasn't fulfilled with what he was doing, so he thought back to the moment he was the happiest.

That moment turned out to be a time, nearly ten years earlier when he was in Japan and was shooting a commercial. That realization led him to the decision to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

The next week he sold the companies to his partner and started acting/directing /producing. His first film was a D horror movie made for $3,500 That sold and was followed up by another D horror film that was made for $1,500.

From there he made a 30k film in 10 days that sold to a distributor for a 50k MG.  Now after 14 years, 60+ acting credits, 7 produced films later and working with some of the best people in the business, he opened his own production company Argentum Entertainment. Together with his producing partner, he created, directed, produced his first $2m film called New Life. Following a limited theatrical release, it now has worldwide distribution and is selling well.

I wanted to have Drew on to tell his story of how to follow your dream no matter what. He took a gambled and it paid off.

Enjoy my inspirational conversation with Drew Waters.

IFH 267: The RAW TRUTH - Self Distribution vs Traditional Distribution

IFH 267: The RAW TRUTH - Self Distribution vs Traditional Distribution

September 21, 2018

LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE, self-distribution vs traditional distribution!!! I wanted to finally create an HONEST resource for indie filmmakers to learn the TRUTH about both forms of distributing their films.

I get into the weeds on this one and talk about my experience self-distributing my film, This is Meg, what my experience was working with multiple domestic and international distribution companies and give examples on how and why self-distribution is a great path just not for every film.

It's a knowledge bomb packed episode so get ready to take some notes. Knowledge is power. Enjoy!

IFH 266:  Insiders Guide to Self Distribution with Nick Soares

IFH 266: Insiders Guide to Self Distribution with Nick Soares

September 18, 2018

If you have a film and want to learn a bit more about self-distribution​ and getting your film out into the world, then this is the episode for you. Today on the show we have returning self-distribution​ champion Nick Soares from Distribber. The last time Nick was on the show it was downloaded tens of thousands of times. He was dropping knowledge bombs left and right. 

The world of distribution is a tricky road to travel and the self distribution path is even rockier. Nick sheds some light on that dark path and discusses what is going on in today's distribution world. 

Enjoy my conversation with Nick Soares.

THROWBACK FRIDAY: No Budget Filmmaking with Mark Stolaroff

THROWBACK FRIDAY: No Budget Filmmaking with Mark Stolaroff

September 14, 2018

THROWBACK FRIDAY: I've been trying to get today's guest on the show for months. Mark Stolaroff is a No Budget Filmmaking maestro. Here's a bit about our guest.

Mark Stolaroff is an independent producer and a founding partner of Antic Pictures, an LA-based production company producing a slate of low-budget, high-quality digital features. He recently finished principal photography on DriverX, his 5th collaboration with award-winning writer/director Henry Barrial.

DriverX stars Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul), Desmin Borges (You're The Worst), Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and many other talented actors.

Stolaroff and Barrial's previous feature, The House That Jack Built, which premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival, played theatrically in December 2015 and is now currently streaming on Netflix and other digital platforms.

Mark produced Barrial's third feature, the micro-budget sci-fi film Pig, which was an official selection at over 35 film festivals worldwide, winning 10 awards, including 7 Best Feature award.

Pig was distributed by Kino Lorber in 2014. With Ron Judkins, Stolaroff produced Barrial's second feature, True Love, which was developed in the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and was a hit on the festival circuit. Stolaroff also consulted on Meera Menon's Farah Goes Bang, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, winning the Nora Ephron Award.

Other projects include: The Trouble With Men And Women Paper Chasers Some Body Manic (starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Cheadle, and Zooey Deschanel) Keep The River On Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale ...and others.

He is currently producing the horror feature Devil's Whisper, directed by Adam Ripp, which will be shooting in June 2016. Stolaroff was formerly a principal of Next Wave Films, a company of The Independent Film Channel that provided finishing funds to exceptional, low budget films; and through its production arm Agenda 2000, financed and executive produced digital features.

Included in Next Wave's 13 films are:

Christopher Nolan's Following Joe Carnahan's  Blood, Guts, Bullets, & Octane Amir Bar Lev's Fighter Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary Southern Comfort. In all Next Wave took seven films to Sundance and five to Toronto; nine were released theatrically in the U.S. and two premiered on HBO; nine were shot digitally and six of those were transferred to film. Stolaroff has lectured on low/no budget and digital filmmaking throughout the world and at many of the major film festivals.

He has taught film classes at UCLA Extension, the Maine Film Workshop, and The Learning Annex and has written for Scientific American, Filmmaker, Sight & Sound, Film Festival Reporter, and Film Arts Magazine.

He has been on countless filmmaking panels over the last two decades, including serving as the Series Moderator for IFP/LA's Digital Filmmaking Series in 2001 and 2002.  He has sat on the juries of several film festivals and was on the Advisory Board of HBO's US Comedy Arts Film Festival. He currently serves on the advisory board of Filmmakers Alliance.

Stolaroff founded No Budget Film School in 2005, and in addition to teaching his classes, has lectured at most of the major film schools.

Mark has extensive production experience on several low-budget features and shorts, including production managing the Academy Award-winning short film My Mother Dreams The Satan's Disciples in New York.

His background also includes two years in Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, and five years as the Managing Director of Curtains Theater, an innovative legitimate theater he founded in Houston.  A native Texan, Stolaroff received his BBA from the prestigious Business Honors Program at the University of Texas and minored in Film Production, directing several 16mm shorts.

Like I said, the man has been around the block. Enjoy my conversation with Mark Stolaroff.

BONUS - BPS 024: Screenwriting Confidential - Inside the Dark World of the Script Reader with Deepthroat

BONUS - BPS 024: Screenwriting Confidential - Inside the Dark World of the Script Reader with Deepthroat

September 12, 2018

I had to share this with the IFH Tribe. Have you ever really wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes at Hollywood's major production companies and studios? How do new screenplays get read, approved and pass on by the script reader? What are the politics behind the scenes that make it almost impossible for a screenplay to make it through the Hollywood System?

Today on the show we have a former development executive, current script coverage reader and professional screenwriter. In order for him to be completely honest, he asked to remain anonymous so I just refer to him as Deepthroat. Yes, I know that's a bit on the nose but we both thought the Cloak and Dagger angle would be funny.  He is a screenwriter that has worked in both television and features, a sought-after script doctor (he's worked on some MAJOR studio films), and a script coverage specialist.

Deepthroat spills the beans on the inner workings of some of the biggest studios in Hollywood. He discusses how an idea he presented his boss years ago was once stolen from him within the system and was turned into a successful property and shares tips on how to impress those studio readers that are the gatekeepers to getting your screenplay sold and produced.

He is one of the amazing script coverage specialists I have working at Bulletproof Script Coverage. Deepthroat agreed to do this interview in order to help screenwriters trying to break into the business. He's tired of seeing so many talented writers get eaten up by the system.

The information in this interview is raw, real and will give you a much clearer idea of what happens behind the scenes in Hollywood. If you enjoy this episode, please share it with as many screenwriters and filmmakers as you can. We need to get this information out there.

Enjoy my revealing conversation with DEEPTHROAT.

IFH 265: Indie Film Producing - The Craft of Low Budget Filmmaking with Suzanne Lyons

IFH 265: Indie Film Producing - The Craft of Low Budget Filmmaking with Suzanne Lyons

September 11, 2018

Today on the show we have returning champion producer Suzanne Lyons. Suzanne was one of my first guests (IFH 015) on the podcast. Her episodes are some of my most downloaded episodes so I had to have her back on to talk shop.

Suzanne will go over a ton of information on how to produce an indie feature film. She covers:

The dos and don'ts of Low Budget Filmmaking What is Soft Prep? Contracts Working with unions The hell of deliverables and much more

We also discuss Suzanne's new course Indie Film Producing Masterclass:

Here's some info on the Indie Film Producing Masterclass:

Have you ever wondered what it really takes to produce an independent film? How raise money, dealing with contracts, SAG agreements and putting together sales presentations for investors? Then this masterclass is for you.

Award-winning film producer Suzanne Lyons is about to take you from script to screen and beyond in this Mastermind workshop. After producing a number of bigger budget features Suzanne thought producing the SAG ultra-low and modified budget films would be a piece of cake. Boy, was she wrong? Wearing 100 different hats was a challenge and she learned so much. And now she will be sharing all that great info with you.

In this Mastermind workshop, you’ll learn from her experience and benefit from her success. Suzanne will take you through a structured crystal, clear step by step process that will actually make low budget filmmaking easy and fun!

This workshop is unique in that it will literally guide you through the entire process of making your film. From her own hands-on experience, she will be addressing every detailed facet of filmmaking.

“Suzanne has that rare ability to combine artistic creativity and smart business sense… she’s proven that by taking a SAG ultra-low budget and somehow squeezing out a quality film that looks like it cost a million!” Academy Award® Winner Mark L. Smith, Writer/Director “Séance” Writer, “The Revenant”

“Suzanne is brilliant… take her workshop and put her suggestions to work and you’ll be amazed at the extraordinary results you’ll produce.” Ross Grayson Bell, Producer “Fight Club”

From option a screenplay, development, designing your business plan, opening your film company, hiring your line producer and director. Finessing your budget, schedule and film timeline. Being smart about contracts and paperwork. Casting and working with actors. The details of pre, principle, and post, choosing your sales agent, preparing for film delivery and festivals, and so so so much more.

You'll also get a BONUS PACK of the real world used contracts, agreements and business plans word and PDF worth over thousands.

Enjoy my conversation with producer Suzanne Lyons.

IFH 264: Shooting an Improv Feature, with Movie Stars, in 5 Days with Jamie Adams

IFH 264: Shooting an Improv Feature, with Movie Stars, in 5 Days with Jamie Adams

September 6, 2018

As promised today's guest is Jamie Adams, the writer/director of the new film Alright Now starring (Cobie Smulders, “How I Met Your Mother, Avengers”) You can listen to her interview here. I wanted to chat with Jamie because he has made a career of shooting feature films fast, cheap and completely improv.

As you all know I shot my first two features, This is Meg and On the Corner of Ego and Desire, using the same style and techniques. They're not a ton of film directors shooting features films like this, let alone films with major movie stars in them, so I had to have him on to discuss his process.

in this interview Jamie breaks down:

- How he was able to cast Cobie Smulders - What his process is when writing the scriptment - How he works with actors - How he covers a scene and much more

Here's a bit about the film:

ALRIGHT NOW follows Joanne (Cobie Smulders, “How I Met Your Mother, Avengers”) a rock musician who drunkenly enrolls in college after she breaks up with her boyfriend and her band falls apart. Convinced she will give the youngsters a run for their money, Joanne is shocked to discover that no one knows who she is and they could care less about her rock star past. Completely improvised and Directed by Jamie Adams (Black Mountain Poets), ALRIGHT NOW is a feel-good comedy about love, life and the search for new beginnings.

Enjoy my conversation with writer/director Jamie Adams.

IFH 263: From Avengers to Shooting Improv Indie Films with Cobie Smulders

IFH 263: From Avengers to Shooting Improv Indie Films with Cobie Smulders

September 4, 2018

Today's guest is actress Cobie Smulders. You may recognize Cobie from blockbuster films like The Avengers, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Winter Soldier and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. She'll also be in the new Spidey film Spider-Man: Far from Home. I've been a fan of Cobie's for a while now. Her ability to jump from mega-blockbuster to ultra-low budget indie film has always fascinated me.

One of the main reasons I wanted to chat with Cobie was to discuss her new film Alright Now. What makes her new film unique is that it was shot 100% Improv-style, just like I shot my film This is Meg and On the Corner of Ego and Desire. I wanted to see why an actress used to shooting big studio tentpoles would be attracted to making a low budget improv indie in the UK. What was her experience being out there acting with no net. Also what it was like working with Jamie Adams (who will be a guest in the show soon), the writer/director of Alright Now. Here's a bit about the film:

ALRIGHT NOW follows Joanne (Cobie Smulders, “How I Met Your Mother, Avengers”) a rock musician who drunkenly enrolls in college after she breaks up with her boyfriend and her band falls apart. Convinced she will give the youngsters a run for their money, Joanne is shocked to discover that no one knows who she is and they could care less about her rock star past. Completely improvised and Directed by Jamie Adams (Black Mountain Poets), ALRIGHT NOW is a feel-good comedy about love, life and the search for new beginnings.

Enjoy my conversation with actress Cobie Smulders.

Alright Now is out Sept 9th on VOD from Gravitas Ventures. 

IFH 262: Top Ten Books That Will Change Your Life!

IFH 262: Top Ten Books That Will Change Your Life!

August 30, 2018

On today's episode, I go over my top ten books that ROCKED my world! I get asked all the time what are a few books I could recommend. So I decided to just put a list together of these books. The books on the list have transformed me into the person I am today.  They have opened my mind, showed me new ideas, changed the way I thought about life and most importantly shook the foundations of my existence. Enjoy and may you find value in this list, my friends. Now get to reading!

IFH 261: Making Indie Films as a BLIND Director with Gough

IFH 261: Making Indie Films as a BLIND Director with Gough

August 28, 2018

Today's guest gough, from Berrnuts Productions, really doesn't let anything get in his way. When the rest of us are making excuses on why we can't do this or that this legally BLIND director is making films he wants to make. You heard correctly, gough is legally blind and yet he's a prolific film director running a production company, with employees I might add, and doing it his way. He has shot 14 short films and 1 feature film.

He's a true inspiration to any filmmaker out there who says they can't do it. When you listen to his story you will see what an amazing journey he has had to get to this point.

Here's a bit on gough and his company:

Beernuts Productions is Australia’s most exciting and innovative production company. Founded by gough in 2006, Beernuts Productions has set out to prove itself as a prolific producer of contemporary, cutting-edge and award-winning cinema, television, downloads and books with a wide range of topics and projects to be undertaken.

“I Will Not Go Quietly” was Beernuts Productions first feature film project, a documentary discussing the important topics of mental health and disability. gough is the first legally blind person to write, produce, edit, direct and star in a feature filmmaking this project a world first. Since then gough has gone on to write, produce and direct many other projects, including a number of films, audio downloads, and books. Beernuts Productions has worked with some of Australia’s finest actors, artists, and production crew, helping make all content on the Beernuts Productions website world class.

Beernuts Productions also has numerous other projects in development and prides itself on its diversity and challenging range of topics and projects were undertaken, clearly demonstrating Beernuts Productions skills, fortitude and determination to entertain no matter the genre.

Enjoy my inspirational conversation with filmmaker gough.

BONUS EPISODE: On the the Corner of Ego and Desire gets into RAINDANCE!

BONUS EPISODE: On the the Corner of Ego and Desire gets into RAINDANCE!

August 27, 2018

Well, I finally have news for all of you IFH Tribe members who have been asking what the heck is going on with On the Corner of Ego and Desire. Our film has been accepted to the Raindance Film Festival in London, England. It will be the UK Premiere of Ego and Desire. Raindance is the largest and most prestigious film festival in all of the United Kingdom and we can't be more excited to be a part of it.

I wanted to do this quick bonus episode for the IFH Tribe to show you all that dreams do come true. You can do it. You have to follow your dreams if not why are we here?

This is the first stop of hopefully many for On the Corner of Ego and Desire. Congratulations to the entire cast and crew. More updates to come soon.

THROWBACK FRIDAY: How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck with Steve Stockman

THROWBACK FRIDAY: How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck with Steve Stockman

August 24, 2018

In this week's episode, we have Steve Stockman. Steve is an author/writer/director/producer at Custom Productions, Inc. in Los Angeles.  He's created and Executive Produced tv series Brew Dogs for the new Esquire Network, Dogs of War for A&E, Devils Ride for Discovery Channel and $24 in 24 for Food Network;  plus worked on over 200 commercials, music videos, and web series.

He also wrote and directed a film called Two Weeks starring legendary Oscar® Winning Actress Sally Field.

His book, How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck, is now in its 6th printing from Workman Publishing.  It’s based on a course he's been teaching to kids for the last 14 years, but adults understand it as well.

"Like two years of film school in 248 pages." – Steven Pressfield, Author of The War of Art and The Legend of Bagger Vance

It’s not technical—it doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting RED or iPhone. It’s about how to shoot video that’s entertaining, effective—and that actually gets watched. Enjoy my conservation with Steve Stockman.

THROWBACK FRIDAY: Turbo Kid & How to Create an Indie Film Ecosystem with Shaked Berenson

THROWBACK FRIDAY: Turbo Kid & How to Create an Indie Film Ecosystem with Shaked Berenson

August 17, 2018

I speak a lot on IFH on how filmmakers should create their own ecosystem and revenue streams, today's guest has done just that. Shaked Berenson is the co-founder of Epic Pictures Group, a film financing, production, and international/domestic sales company based in Beverly Hills, CA.

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.

Shaked came to my attention when I found out he was one of the producers of the internet darling Turbo Kid. The way that film was marketed, sold and distributed is something all filmmakers should study.

Here's the Synopsis of Turbo Kid: Set in the post-apocalyptic year of 1997, TURBO KID is a retro-futuristic nostalgic tribute to 80’s action-adventure films follows a teenager who goes on an adventure to save the girl of his dreams. 

"Mad Max on a BMX: 'Turbo Kid' is an '80s adventure with added gore, and it looks nuts." - CNET

Also if you want to study an amazing crowdfunding campaign check out what the Turbo Kid filmmakers did on IndieGoGo. We go deep down the rabbit hole all things Turbo Kid, indie filmmakers, building your own revenue streams and much more.

Here's a bit about Shaked Berenson: Prior to Epic Pictures Group, Berenson served as Renegade Pictures’ Director of Sales as well as the Director of Technology and International Relations for the Giffoni Hollywood Film Festival. Before Renegade Pictures, Berenson was in the Israeli Defense Force for four and half years where he served in managerial and educational roles as a project consultant to Elbit Systems and worked as a program developer for NetVision, an Internet solutions company. He holds a degree in economics and business from UCLA. - IFTA-Online.org

Enjoy my conversation with Shaked Berenson.