The Indie Film Hustle Podcast is your #1 source for how to hack the film business and indie film world! The show is here to help as many indie filmmakers as I could. We wanted to bring the best guests, industry leaders, creative legends, and film business friends to you, the IFH Tribe.
Some of the past guests include 3X Oscar® Winning Writer/Director Oliver Stone, Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black), Alex Proyas (The Crow, I, Robot), James V. Hart (writer Dracula, Hook), John August (Big Fish, Aladdin), Jim Uhls (writer of Fight Club), Oscar® Winner Russell Carpenter (DP of Avatar, Titanic) Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces, The Grey), and David F. Sandberg (Shazam!) to name a few.
We hope this podcast can help you along your journey as an artist, filmtrepreneur, filmmaker, screenwriter, and as a human being.
IFH 605: Vampires, Stunts, Bloodsuckers & Netflix with J.J. "Loco" Perry
JJ "Loco" Perry spent the last 25 years as a Stunt Coordinator and Second Unit Director, directing and designing action for talent such as Dwayne Johnson, Tom Hardy, Jason Statham, Keanu Reeves and Will Smith. A member of the prestigious 87Eleven Action Design, Perry previously collaborated with directors such as Ang Lee, Justin Lin, Chad Stahelski, F. Gary Gray, Spike Lee and Paul Feig – which prepared him for his feature directorial debut on DAY SHIFT.
Perry has trained additional actors for stunts such as Gina Carano (HAYWIRE), Gerard Butler (300), Milla Jovovich (ULTRAVIOLET), Hugh Jackman (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE) and Kiefer Sutherland (“24”). He’s also worked with Joss Whedon on ANGEL and FIREFLY and Mike Norris on WALKER, TEXAS RANGER.
Perry was nominated for a SAG Award in 2009 for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble for IRON MAN and nominated for a World Stunt Award in 2013 for SAFE and won in 2004 for Best Overall Stunt in THE RUNDOWN.
After graduating high school, Perry served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Corps. He started his martial arts training in 1975 and began stunt-work after he got out of the Army. He has had over 24 years of martial arts training and has a 5th-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a 2nd-degree on Hapkido and has experience with all kinds of weapons. He got his black belt for Tae Kwon Do at the age of 12 and competed from the age of 7 till 24. Besides martial arts, Perry is also skilled in cycling, rodeo and weightlifting. He is the co-founder of Taekwondo West martial arts schools in Inglewood, California, and Venice, California.
J.J. PERRY’s directorial debut, DAY SHIFT, is an action-comedy that begins a new franchise for Netflix starring Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg and Dave Franco. DAY SHIFT follows a hard-working blue-collar dad (Fox) who just wants to provide a good life for his daughter. But his mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income, hunting and killing vampires as part of an international union of vampire hunters. DAY SHIFT premieres on NETFLIX August 12, 2022.
Enjoy my conversation with JJ "Loco" Perry.
BONUS EPISODE: The Million Dollar Self Distribution Experiment (Monsters of Man) with Mark Toia
When I wrote my book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur I hoped it would help filmmakers around the world. I never thought that a filmmaker halfway around the world would read it and change his entire marketing and distribution plan for his million-dollar+ indie film. Today's guest is Australian filmmaker Mark Toia who created the insane indie sci-fi action film Monsters of Man.
After reading Rise of the Filmtrepreneur he reached out to tell me what he was thinking of doing. He was planning on self-distributing his film as an experiment to see if he could do it and also to prove to filmmakers around the world that you can get a great ROI on a million-dollar+ indie film without any major bankable stars.
I asked him,
"So a million-dollar Filmtrepreneur experiment?"
Mark said yes. He had already been offered multiple seven-figure deals from distributors but after looking at the convoluted fine print of the distribution contracts he decided to opt-out. The payment schedules were so insane it would take Mark forever to get any money at all. The traditional film distribution path was not designed to help him get paid and if a film like Monsters of Man is having these issues the system is most definitely broken.
Then he discovered my book and down the Filmtrepreneur rabbit-hole, he went. When I saw the trailer for the first time I almost fell out of my chair. I recently had the pleasure of watching the film and all I can say is:
"Monsters of Man is one of the BEST films I've seen in 2020. A must watch!"
To get the most bang for his buck Mark shot the film in Cambodia. He was able to hire an amazing local crew while also capturing the breath-taking locations, and culture that the country had to offer. The production value was off the charts.
This is a once in a lifetime Filmtrepreneur experiment. Can a multi-million dollar sci-fi, action indie film be self-distributed successfully? We will find out. Mark agreed to keep me updated on the progress of the film and come back next year to tell the tribe how it all went.
I can't be more excited to share this episode with you guys. Enjoy my inspiring conversation with Mark Toia.
IFH 604: How to Write a Screenplay Super 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 Speed. Jeff 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.
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" at TEDxDocklands in Melbourne, Australia, to prepare for the next phase of the larger plan. Jeff's aim is to 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. Enjoy!
IFH 603: How Indie Film Super Troopers Made Millions with Jay Chandrasekhar
Today on the show we have director, writer, comedian, and actor Jay Chandrasekhar has contributed to and appeared in a wide variety of critically acclaimed television programs and films throughout his career.
Chandrasekhar assembled the sketch comedy troupe Broken Lizard, which includes Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske. Together they performed comedy across the nation until they set their sights on producing television and feature films.
Under his Broken Lizard banner, Jay directed and co-wrote Fox Searchlight Picture’s comedy cult classics Super Troopers, Super Troopers 2, Club Dread, and Warner Bros’ Beerfest. He also directed the Broken Lizard comedy special, Broken Lizard Stands Up.
Super Troopers hit theaters in February 2002 and went on to gross $23 million with glowing audience reviews (and $80 million on home video.)
Jay continued on to direct The Dukes of Hazard, direct and star in Millennium Entertainment’s The Babymakers, and appear in DreamWorks’ comedy hit, I Love You, Man. Recently, Chandrasekhar published his book, Mustache Shenanigans: Making Super Troopers and Other Adventures in Comedy that gives a behind the scenes look at the making of Super Troopers.
In addition to his feature film work, Chandrasekhar has directed various TV shows, including several episodes of the Emmy Award winning series Arrested Development, Community, Chuck, The Grinder, Up All Night, Happy Endings, New Girl, and Psych. More recently, Jay has also directed episodes of Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, Speechless, and Schooled.
His new film is Easter Sunday.
Stand-up comedy sensation Jo Koy (Jo Koy: In His Elements, Jo Koy: Comin’ in Hot) stars as a man returning home for an Easter celebration with his riotous, bickering, eating, drinking, laughing, loving family, in this love letter to his Filipino-American community. Easter Sunday features an all-star comedic cast that includes Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley series), Tia Carrere (True Lies, Wayne’s World films), Brandon Wardell (Curb Your Enthusiasm series), Tony nominee Eva Noblezada (Broadway’s Hadestown), Lydia Gaston (Broadway’s The King and I), Asif Ali (WandaVision), Rodney To (Parks and Recreation series), Eugene Cordero (The Good Place series), Jay Chandrasekhar (I Love You, Man), Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) and Lou Diamond Phillips (Courage Under Fire).
Easter Sunday, from DreamWorks Pictures, is directed by Jay Chandrasekhar (Super Troopers, The Dukes of Hazzard), from a script by Ken Cheng (series Wilfred, Betas). The film is produced by Rideback’s Dan Lin (The Lego Movie franchise, It franchise) and Jonathan Eirich (Aladdin, The Two Popes), and is executive produced by Jo Koy, Jessica Gao, Jimmy O. Yang, Ken Cheng, Joe Meloche, Nick Reynolds and Seth William Meier. The film will be distributed by Universal Pictures domestically. Amblin Partners and Universal will share international distribution rights.
Jay also just launched a new app designed to give the power of reviews back to the people. It's call Vouch Vault.
"When my film, Super Troopers, showed at Sundance, it played to big laughing crowds. But when it was released to the public, the reviews were only so-so. On Rotten Tomatoes, Super Troopers, got a 38%-fresh aggregate score from less than a hundred reviewers. With the public, though, the film garnered a 90% fresh rating from more than 250,000 non-reviewers. This 38% reviewer-number stuck in my craw. I remember thinking, “Who are these reviewers, these strangers with outsized power, and why are we listening to them? Seriously. When’s the last time you walked up to a stranger and said, “Hey, what movie should I see?”
Our goal with Vouch Vault is to take recommendation power from anonymous strangers and give it to the people whose tastes you know and trust."
BONUS EPISODE: How a Predatory Film Distributor Screwed Over a Filmmaker with Terminal Cancer
Running Indie Film Hustle I hear story after story about predatory film distributors screwing over, taking advantage, and just plain stealing from filmmakers every day. I either get emails or read about them in our Facebook Group Community: Protect Yourself From Predatory Film Distributors/Aggregators.
I'm so sick and tired of this. These parasites need a light shined on them. The only way we as filmmakers can stop these predators from continuing to hurt filmmakers and devastate lives is to make their actions known. Predatory film distributors continue to screw filmmakers because their actions are performed in the shadows. They bank on that filmmakers will not fight back, that they will keep quiet and just take it. Well, ladies and gentlemen that ends here.
I broke the Distribber story around the same time last year. They were able to take advantage of filmmakers for a long time until someone finally brought their actions to the surface. That is the only weapon we as filmmakers have against predatory film distributors. Our Facebook group has helped thousands of filmmakers not get taken advantage of. I know that the podcasts and videos I put out have helped as well but it's not enough. I'm only one voice.
We as a community need to stand up and demand change. The traditional film distribution system is BROKEN. I was just consulting with a filmmaker yesterday that told me that he too was screwed over by a film distributor. This distributor told him on the phone, once he confronted him about the theft of his film, and I quote,
"I'll see you in the court of who gives a f**k."
This distributor was in the UK and the filmmaker was in the US. The distributor knew that the chances of the filmmaker taking him to court in another country were slim to none. The filmmaker's lawyer advised him to let it go because the cost would be too much. THIS CRAP NEED TO STOP.
Then I came across a video on YouTube of Michael Daniel, a filmmaker telling his story about how a film distributor screwed him over and never paid him the money he was owed. Oh by the way this filmmaker also has stage 4 cancer. This is the video I saw that moved me to reach out to Micahel.
He told me that this film distributor was literally waiting around for him to DIE so he wouldn't have to pay him. Jesus Christ! I mean I thought I had heard it all but man this is a new low, even for predatory film distributors. Micahel has been fighting this fight by himself for over 18 months. He felt alone. No one would help him. If fighting terminal cancer is enough, he has had to deal with this situation as well. It's just not right.
I knew I had to help and shine a light on this situation. So I invited him to the show and asked him to write, in his own words, his story and add proof in the show notes at http://www.indiefilmhustle.com/413
Both Michael and I are hoping this can help future filmmakers from making the same mistakes. I personally want to thank Michael for coming forward and sharing his story with the world. It takes a brave soul to do what he is doing. He's not only fighting cancer but he is also fighting to get his film back and receive the money he is legally owed.
This episode is brutal and painful to listen to but I believe it will help countless filmmakers. Stay strong Michael, you are no longer alone. Enjoy my conversation with filmmaker and fighter Michael Daniel.
#filmmaking #filmdistribution #filmmaking101
IFH 602: Can Martin Scorsese Save Cinema with Margaret Bodde
Margaret Bodde is the executive director of The Film Foundation, the non-profit organization created by Martin Scorsese in 1990 dedicated to the preservation and protection of motion pictures. Working in partnership with the archives and studios, TFF has preserved and restored over 925 films, including 49 restorations from 28 countries as part of the World Cinema Project.
TFF educates young people about the visual language of film through its cinema literacy program, The Story of Movies. In addition, Bodde is the award-winning producer of several of Scorsese’s documentaries.
"Our American artistic heritage has to be preserved and shared by all of us. Just as we’ve learned to take pride in our poets and writers, in jazz and the blues, we need to take pride in our cinema, our great American art form.” - Martin Scorsese, Founder and Chair
The Film Foundation, the non-profit organization created by Martin Scorsese to preserve cinema, invites you to come together for a series of beautifully restored films in the Restoration Screening Room, our new virtual theater, available through any web browser.
Presentations will take place within a 24-hour window on the second Monday of each month, along with Special Features about the films and their restoration process. Monthly programming will encompass a broad array of restorations, including classic and independent films, documentaries, and silent films from around the world.
The next free screening is August 8th. They will be playing an amazing Film Noir double feature. Arthur Ripley's 1946 classic The Chase and Edgar G. Ulmer's 1945 masterpiece Detour.
Margaret is also a producer, known for Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019), The 50 Year Argument (2014), Public Speaking (2010), George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011), No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005), and the PBS 7-part series The Blues (2003).
Keep it up!
Good info but too many ads.
I like IFH. Alex does a really nice job interviewing some really interesting people who offer tons of advice. And that is why it gets 4 stars from me. BUT - the number of ad breaks have increased exponentially over the years. Everyone is allowed to make a buck, but at some point the ad breaks just become too much and it interferes with the enjoyment of listening to the show. I find myself hitting fast forward way too many times lately.
Great content after the 1,000 ads
Alex does a great job but I can’t sit through ads about shoes, furniture, etc for what feels like forever.