Welcome to Film Trooper, where we empower the filmmaking entrepreneur. Why? Because film production is no longer a barrier—anyone can make a film. Film distribution is no longer a barrier—anyone can sell their film directly to the world. Film sales and marketing are the last barriers! To rise above the noise of the internet is the challenge — this is the place that explores these topics to help you, the filmmaking entrepreneur.
Proud Member of the IFH Podcast Network (www.ifhpodcastnetwork.com)
ANNOUNCEMENT: Filmmaker Process - Need Help Getting Your Film Funded, Finished and Distributed?
After working in the IFH labs for the first part of 2021 I can finally announce what it is. May I introduce Indie Film Hustle's FILMMAKER PROCESS.
Filmmaker Process offers comprehensive professional services for hire to help filmmakers and screenwriters, working at any budget level, get their film project to the finish line. I wanted to put the much needed services filmmaker need but rarely have access to all under one roof.
Filmmakers and screenwriters usually could only get access to these services if they "knew someone." Here are the services and products Filmmaker Process gives you access to:
- Pitch Decks
- Budget and Scheduling
- Domestic and International Sales Estimates
- Legal Contracts and Form Templates
- Indie Film Investor Package
- Consulting and Coaching
- Script Coverage
- Post Production Services
- Trailer Editing
- Poster, VOD and DVD/Blu-Ray Artwork
- Film Deliverables (Both Physical and Legal)
- Production Payroll
In this episode I go over what each service is and how you can use it to get your film project to the finish line.
For more info go to: www.filmmakerprocess.com
BONUS EPISODE: Richard Linklater - Inside the 90's Indie Film Revolution
Well I put out an episode back in 2019 putting my dream list of guests out into the universe and in the past four months I've been humbled to have some amazing filmmakers and screenwriters on the show. Incredibly one of those dream guests has made his way on the show today.
We are joined by indie film icon and Oscar® nominated writer/director Richard Linklater. Richard was one of the filmmakers who helped to launch the independent film movement that we know today with his classic 1991 indie film Slacker. So today, we will not only dive into the extraordinary career of Richard Linklater but also that of collaborator and longtime friend writer/director Katie Cokinos.
If this is your introduction to Linklater and his work, here are a few highlights you must know; Linklater helped launch the 90s indie film renaissance with his film Slacker.
The producer, director has juggled the TV, film, short-film, and documentary genres seamlessly over his career - typically focusing in fine detail on generational rites and mores with rare compassion and understanding while definitively capturing the 20-something culture of his era through a series of nuanced, illuminating ensemble pieces which introduced any number of talented young actors into the Hollywood eco-system.
One of the talents to emerge from this era is the Texas native, Matthew McConaughey in Linklater’s third movie and VHS smash hit, Dazed and Confused. Based on Linklater’s years at Huntsville High School and the people he encountered there, the film shadows the adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.
Throughout his career Richard has chosen to tell stories about the human condition, while many times making us laugh and cry at the same time. I found an immense philosophical under current to most of his life's work. From The Before Trilogy to Boyhood, his films tackle topics in an honest, raw and deeper way that is not normally seen in filmmaking.
Many of the actors who work with Richard call him the "Zen Director" on set. His philosophy can be felt throughout his work. He often tells long and transformative coming of age stories over years, if not decades, something that is unique to him.
His Oscar® nominated film Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before.
Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's Yellow to Arcade Fire's Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It's impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey.
Now the other remarkable filmmaker in this conversation is Katie Cokinos. She has made over ten short films and in 2000 wrote, directed, and acted in the feature film, Portrait of a Girl as a Young Catwhich premiered at SXSW. Katie produced Eagle Pennell’s film, Heart Full of Soul (1990); was a publicist for Richard Linklater’s Slacker, (1990). She was the Managing Director of the Austin Film Society, 1990-95.
Her latest film is the coming of age story I Dream Too Much, co-produced by Richard. Here's a bit about the film:
Presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something set, using a series of linear vignettes. These characters, who in some manner just don't fit into the establishment norms, move seamlessly from one scene to the next,...
CROSSOVER: The Art of the $9000 Micro Budget Indie Film with Edward Burns
We have made it to 450 episodes of the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. The IFH Tribe has given me 450 opportunities to serve them and for that I am humbled. Thank you all for allowing me to do what I love to do so much. With that said I wanted to bring you a massive guest for this remarkable milestone. Today’s guest is a writer, director, producer, actor and indie filmmaking legend Edward Burns.
Many of you might have heard of the Sundance Film Festival winning film called The Brothers McMullen, his iconic first film that tells the story of three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island who struggle to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity. His cinderella story of making the film, getting into Sundance and launching his career is the stuff of legend.
The Brothers McMullen was sold to Fox Searchlight and went on to make over $10 million at the box office on a $27,000 budget, making it one of the most successful indie films of the decade.
Ed went off to star in huge films like Saving Private Ryan for Steven Spielberg and direct studio films like the box office hit She’s The One. The films about the love lives of two brothers, Mickey and Francis, interconnect as Francis cheats on his wife with Mickey’s ex-girlfriend, while Mickey impulsively marries a stranger.
Even after his mainstream success as an actor, writer and director he still never forgot his indie roots. He continued to quietly produce completely independent feature films on really low budgets. How low, how about $9000. As with any smart filmmaker, Ed has continued to not only produce films but to consider new methods of getting his projects to the world.
In 2007, he teamed up with Apple iTunes to release an exclusive film Purple Violets. It was a sign of the times that the director was branching out to new methods of release for his projects.
In addition, he also continued to release works with his signature tried-and-true method of filmmaking. Using a very small $25,000 budget and a lot of resourcefulness, Burns created Nice Guy Johnny in 2010.
Johnny Rizzo is about to trade his dream job in talk radio for some snooze-ville gig that’ll pay enough to please his fiancée. Enter Uncle Terry, a rascally womanizer set on turning a weekend in the Hamptons into an eye-opening fling for his nephew. Nice Guy Johnny’s not interested, of course, but then he meets the lovely Brooke, who challenges Johnny to make the toughest decision of his life.
The film debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. While he was releasing that film, Burns wrote, starred and directed Newlyweds. He filmed this on a small Canon 5D camera in only 12 days and on a budget of only $9,000.
Newlyweds Buzzy and Katie find their blissful life disrupted by the arrival of his half-sister and news of her sister’s marriage troubles.
In his book, Independent Ed: Inside a Career of Big Dreams, Little Movies, and the Twelve Best Days of My Life (which I recommend ALL filmmakers read), Ed mentions some rules he dubbed “McMullen 2.0” which were basically a set of rules for independent filmmakers to shoot by.
Actors would have to work for virtually nothing.
The film should take no longer than 12 days to film and get into the can
Don’t shoot with any more than a three-man crew
Actor’s use their own clothes
Actors do their own hair and make-up
Ask and beg for any locations
Use the resources you have at your disposal
I used similar rules when I shot my feature films This is Meg, which I shot that in 8 days and On the Corner of Ego and Desire which I shot in 4 days. To be honest Ed was one of my main inspirations when I decided to make my first micro-budget feature film, along with Mark and Jay Duplass, Joe Swanberg and Michael and Mark Polish.
Ed has continued to have an amazing career directing...
SPECIAL EVENT: Oliver Stone | Directing, Screenwriting and Surviving the Vicious Hollywood Game
Today on the show I bring you one of the most influential and iconic filmmakers in the history of cinema, three-time Oscar® winner Oliver Stone. Throughout his legendary career, Oliver Stone has served as director, writer, and producer on a variety of films, documentaries, and television movies. His films have been nominated for forthy two Oscars® and have won twelve.
I hope this conversation inspires filmmakers and screenwriters to never give up. Oliver struggled for years taking jobs as a production assistant, cab driver, office assistant, and any other gig he could find to help him survive while he was chasing his dream. He wrote and wrote, meeting his goal of one to two screenplays a year, no matter what. Never give up, never surrender.
Enjoy my epic conversation with Oliver Stone.
CROSSOVER: Why Most Independent Films Never Make Money
Alex Ferrari has been thinking about doing this podcast for a long time. In the tradition of Why Filmmakers are Always So Damn Broke & What They Can Do to Change It this episode is going to be a cold bucket of water over your head if you are not ready for it. In the insane world we are all living in today, filmmakers need to break out of the mindset that we are living in the golden age of indie cinema.
The rules have changed dramatically since the 90s and even more so in the last 8 months of the COVID pandemic. The rules aren't the only thing that has changed but the game has as well. The film distribution infrastructure is broken and has been broken for many decades. It is not set up to help filmmakers make money. It is purely designed to put more money into the pockets of film distributors.
I have written extensively about this in my book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business. I want to put together one of my hard truths episodes to help filmmakers better understand the indie film marketplace and how to best position themselves to actually make money.
There is so much talk about new cameras, lenses, rigs, post-production software, and other more interesting aspects of the filmmaking process but when it comes to selling and making money with movies filmmakers rely on old information that is no longer relevant in the current marketplace. I hope this episode empowers you to not only make more movies but to also make money while doing it.
Strap yourself in because for some of you it will be a rough episode to listen to. Be well, stay safe, and keep that hustle going.
CROSSOVER: Big Budget Visual Effects on a Micro-Budget with Kevin Good
Today on the show we have low-budget visual effects master Kevin Good. Kevin is a freelance cinematographer, VFX artist, and director. He has worked on diverse projects from creating television pilots for Fox Television Studios to shooting interactive feature-length films for the U.S. Army.
His work has been featured in the Independent TV Festival in Los Angeles, the New York Television Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Edinburgh International TV Festival, the Festival Internacional de Televisão in Rio de Janeiro, the Boston International Film Festival, and others. Kevin now balances his time between teaching at Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts, freelance production work, and developing his own crazy projects, many of which are featured on his site.
Kevin Good’s debut feature, Dinner with the Alchemist premieres at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood as part of the Dances With Films festival. Dinner with the Alchemist is a masterclass in low-budget filmmaking and using visual effects to create scale and production value.
Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Kevin Good.
I AM A FILM TROOPER!
Scott has put together an amazing podcast that helps filmmakers make money with their films. This podcast along with Alex Ferrari's Filmtrepreneur Podcast are a must for ALL indie filmmakers.