Posts

Summary

A true renaissance man of film, Alex Ferrari worked his way up through the ranks from the bottom to become an award-winning director and writer, as well as a producer, editor, colorist, cinematographer, podcast host, consultant, and all-around indie film guru. His commitment to making the art of indie filmmaking accessible and relatively inexpensive to the masses has garnered a massive following of dedicated fans worldwide. He can often be found on the guest list as a speaker at any number of film and media events, and his films have screened at festivals around the globe.

In addition, Alex Ferrari is the creator of the Indie Film Hustle website and podcast. He has also created the podcasts Bulletproof Screenplay and Ask Alex, and has recently launched Indie Film Hustle TV, which is a fantastic resource for filmmakers on the internet.

Show Notes

[2:06] Alex’s background

  • Born in Fort Lauderdale, FL, raised in NY, living in L.A. for the past ten years
  • Full Sail Film School
  • Inspired to create a guerilla film school on DVD to make it affordable for lower-budget filmmakers in order to give back to the film community  

[6:42] Alex’s take on the value of film school, then and now

[11:11] Connections that filmmakers make and their value

[12:27] Alex’s experience with his first job as a tape vault operator, and how he got it

[13:50] Building his first demo reel

[17:06] How Alex discovered that he was meant to be his own boss

[18:05] How Alex made his first director’s demo reel

[19:15] Going into business for himself

[20:06] How Alex got into color correction and a brief history

[21:52] Jumping on the Red bandwagon, and adding more tools to the toolbox

[23:13] “You always ask for forgiveness, not permission… you just gotta hustle, you gotta be bold.”

[24:20] The highs and lows of Alex’s career

[26:49] Alex’s take on the allure of the film industry

  • The sizzle of the American media industry
  • Discussing the Indie Film Boom
  • Advances in technology and the next generation of filmmakers

[36:21] Building your entire business on someone else’s platform

[37:25] The history of Indiefilm Hustle and Alex’s olive oil “odyssey”

[45:43] Alex’s initial motivation and plan for developing Indie Film Hustle

[51:31] The benefits of having your own podcast

[54:02] How Bulletproof Screenplay was born

[58:27] The art of curating guests according to Alex Ferrari

[59:40] The exploits of Faith Granger

[1:05:02] Alex’s favorite podcast episodes:

[1:09:44] Indie Film Hustle TV and how people can get involved

[1:12:28] Alex’s typical work day

[1:19:06] The top ten books that will change your life… (see Links & Resources)

[1:13:32] Maintaining a balanced life

[1:21:35] Who would benefit from watching Indie Film Hustle TV? What kind of content is available?

[1:25:08] The best piece of advice Alex has ever received…

[1:32:35] ”I’m super happy making small, little independent films that mean something to me, mean something to my audience.”

Links and Resources

Be sure to check out podcasts with other great guests in the film and media industry on our DMP Podcast Page!

Summary

Katie Gail Smith is a dedicated grip from the Denver market and has been an active member of the freelance film community for over 6 years. After transitioning from stage lighting, she’s worked on national commercials for top Fortune 500 companies, popular television shows, and feature films. Katie gaffed her first feature, Army & Coop in 2016, and is due to gaff her second, A Girl Like Me, coming in July.

 

 

Show Notes

Katie Gail Smith, The Grip Girl

[0:49] Katie’s personal background

  • Born in Fredericksburg, TX
  • How Katie ended up in Colorado

[1:23] What is a grip?

[3:00] How Katie got started on her career path

  • Got her degree in Theater Arts to pursue a career in Shakespearean acting
  • Went back to school at Colorado Film School to pursue cinematography

[9:31] The virtues of Tyler Martin

[12:57] What does it take to be a grip?

[14:24] Discussion of upcoming trends in lighting, and comparison between various lights

[17:27] Katie’s take on the merits of film school and networking

Grips do it better in Colorado

[20:30] How Katie started working in the industry, and how freelancers get work

  • “If someone recommends you …”
  • “Fake it until you make it” as a segue into furthering your skillset

[23:04] Why live in Denver? Where does the work come from in this market?

  • “Colorado is wonderful, the people here are wonderful, it’s beautiful here, I love the weather.”

[24:30] Discussion about the quality of life in Colorado versus other markets

  • The quality and varying types of work, especially in documentary filmmaking, has a great appeal

[26:57] How Katie deals with travel

  • How it can impact relationships
  • The support available in the film community

[28:40] Discussion of in-state vs. out-of-state work

  • The importance of networking
  • Examples of being flexible in your duties can helpPushing people around all day on a dolly is how a grip stays in shape

[31:38] How do you plan for slow times?

[33:21] Part-time work

[37:00] Recent and current work

[40:21] The perfect job…

[43:20] When things go wrong…

[46:24] When things go really, really right…

[48:40] Mentors

[51:07] The best books

[55:25] The best advice ever received

[57:02] The best advice for someone wanting to become a grip

[59:59] The best lessons from the past year, and over Katie’s career

 

Links and Resources

 

Be sure to check out podcasts with other great guests in the film and media industry on our DMP Podcast Page!

Summary

Kate Lowell is a director and conceptual artist and is fascinated with the unifying powers of an original story. She loves the harmony between visuals and sound and the way that they work together to create an emotional impact. Her experience includes work for American Idol, Odesza, and the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, American Ninja Warrior, and several others.

Currently, she lives in Denver, Colorado and enjoys avocado toast.

 

 

Show Notes

[0:42] The wonders of avocado toast

[1:25] Kate's background

  • Grew up in Lakewood, Colorado
  • Works for Profectum Media

[2:33] What is a conceptualist?

[4:35] The role Cody plays in the company and all things music

[6:34] Kate's media and video journey

[11:11] Kate's take on film school and how it correlates to real-world work in film and media

[14:25] How Profectum Media got started

[16:18] What do you do for entertainment when you work is all about entertainment?

[17:03] The definition of profectum, and how it represents the company's business attitude

[18:01] How Profectum Media is getting involved in virtual reality (VR) 

[19:05] The value of hands-on school vs. online education

[20:51] The future of Profectum Media

[22:28] Why Kate chooses to work in Denver

[24:52] How much do you travel, and how does that impact you?

[25:59] Discussion of how to handle all the gear while traveling

[28:13] The availability of work and logistics while in Denver

[29:46] Out-of-state vs. in-state business

[30:31] Best advertising and marketing practices, and client acquisition

[34:13] How Kate survives in slow times

[36:02] Recent projects

[39:59] Freezing time with Odesza

[42:41] Budgets then and now

[48:44] How do you deal with cash flow and clients?

[52:53] Dealing with conflict and how they affect contracts 

[54:01] Seeking legal advice

[55:18] What makes great clients, and how to deal with clients that aren't right for you

[58:44] The benefits of saying “no”

[1:01:08] The admiration of Kanye West

[1:04:46] The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papsan

[1:07:55] Siddartha by Herman Hesse

[1:09:29] The best piece of advice for Kate, from the late Patrick Sheridan

[1:10:46] Why Kate's believes “fake it 'til you make it” is horrible advice

[1:16:44] Kate's biggest lesson over the last year

[1:21:36] The best life lesson

 

Links and Resources

 

Be sure to check out podcasts with other great guests in the film and media industry on our DMP Podcast Page!

Summary

Tom Malloy is an actor, writer, and producer, a passionate and driven filmmaker committed to telling compelling stories with commercial appeal. Many of these projects are developed through the production company he founded in 2005, Trick Candle Productions.

In 2016, Tom co-founded the sales and distribution company called Glass House Distribution. Glass House maintains a presence in all the major film markets including AFM, EFM, TIFF, MITcon, and Cannes, and has grown from two people to a seven-person operation, recently adding a TV-series department.

Tom's unique ability to both write projects and raise funding for them has been a primary factor in the success of the company. In fact, Tom shared his expertise on the subject in the best-selling book about independent film financing called Bankroll. In 2019, Tom co-founded Filmmaking Stuff HQ, which is one of the premiere online training platforms for filmmakers.

Show Notes

[1:37] Dividing time between LA and upstate New York

[2:48] How Tom got into the film business

[4:45] How his various roles all work together

[6:33] Motivational speaking and getting started in fundraising

[8:50] Creating the perfect pitch

[10:53] Improving on earlier pitches

[12:18] The average day of a producer

[14:29] Juggling multiple projects

[16:14] The advantages of partnering up and building your network

[17:50] Moving from working with friends to working with pro talent

[19:26] The difference between a producer and a fundraiser

[21:47] Defining different types of producers

[23:57] Tom's take on crowdfunding

[25:41] Investors motivated by ROI vs. vested interest

[29:12] What kind of package do filmmaker's need to pitch a studio?

[31:35] Movie Plan Pro

[33:01] The merits of various funding sources

[35:19] What do producers take into account when producing a first-time director's script?

[38:13] How do find producers and investors?

[41:36] How to approach pitching single projects versus a slate of projects

[43:07] Pitching for the hot genre

[44:37] How does an aspiring filmmaker turn this passion into a business?

[46:45] How much does it cost to go to a film market?

[48:29] Investing in your career

[49:42] How do you keep the executive producers/backers out of the creative process?

[51:13] How do you figure the budget of how much you need to raise for a film?

[52:30] Quick tips, the most effective strategy, and advice for first-time fundraisers

[55:12] How do you know you have a great script?

[57:42] Advertising for readers

[58:10] What is involved in the pre-production development?

[59:30] Bankroll Your Film

[1:05:33] “Stay out of the movie business!”

 

Links and resources

 

Be sure to check out podcasts with other great guests in the film and media industry on our DMP Podcast Page!

Summary

Sara Elizabeth Timmins established Life Out Loud Films in 2008 to create quality, inspiring, impactful films that champion women. Her films have been seen in theaters, the Hallmark Channel, Starz, Showtime, and internationally. She's worked with talented actors such as Jane Seymour, Ellen Burstyn, Chris Cooper, Josh Lucas, Mackenzie Foy, and writers like NY Times best-selling author David Baldacci. Most recently, she field produced an HBO docuseries for Mark Wahlberg‘s company and is in development on several feature films and a series. She also works as a consultant for both films and filmmakers and has produced national campaigns for companies such as Meyer Natural Foods & Laura's Lean.

Sara Elizabeth believes she has a responsibility through film to spark conversations that spark action, that spark change, and remains dedicated to encouraging the work of talented writers – and championing female leaders behind the camera while providing strong female roles in front of it. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, SAG, both DGA– and PGA-eligible, and was a qualified independent producer for NBCUniversal/IFTA.

Show Notes

[1:39] Sarah's Background

  • Grew up in Warren, Ohio
  • Attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Was always very involved in front of the camera and theatre until graduation
  • Discovered her love of film while volunteering her time on the production of Tattered Angel with Lynda Carter
  • Moved to LA for 7 years producing for others
  • In 2008 she decided to start her own company, Life Out Loud Films
  • Did a lot of work in Southwest Virginia, now works out of Atlanta

[4:06] The impact that working in Atlanta has on Sara Elizabeth's business

[6:44] How does a market make its own work when incentives are small?

[10:26] The production value of working in rural communities and locations

[12:29] What About Bob? and how to give back to the community as a filmmaker

[13:50] How Life Out Loud Films dealt with the economic downturn of 2008

[18:44] Braveheart and finding the proper perspective

[21:21] Finding the balance between business and creativity

[24:35] How constraints of business can be a boon to filmmakers

[25:54] How Sara Elizabeth fosters quality, inspiration, and impact to produce films that champion women

[30:21] Crew building inclusive sets and finding a balance

[34:13] A day in the life as both a creative director and producer

[36:41] Sara Elizabeth's workshops, and working with the assets you have

[42:47] Budget ranges and saleability

[45:36] The merits of attaching recognizable talent to smaller-budget films

[50:14] Ways to sabotage your film

[53:06] Some of the realities of commercial and theatrical distribution

[55:50] Walking the fine budget line with your cast and crew

[59:06] The feasibility of involving SAG and union workers in low budget films

[1:05:16] Fundraising money as an independent filmmaker

[1:14:18] The quality of investors and why they invest

[1:19:37] Developing a community model for filmmaking projects

[1:21:35] What you should have in-hand when approaching investors

[1:23:04] How much a professional-sounding pitch can cost you

[1:27:11] Consulting services can be a source of invaluable shortcuts

[1:31:20] Finding funds to put towards professionals to elevate your project to the next level

[1:33:37] Sara Elizabeth's advice to young filmmakers

Links and Resources

  • View Sara Elizabeth's credits on IMDB
  • Visit Life Out Loud Films
  • View the Life Out Loud Films Demo Reel
  • Connect with Sara Elizabeth and Life Out Loud Films on Instagram and Facebook
  • Keep an eye out for a new program coming soon: No Film School, No Trust Fund, No Problem!

 

Be sure to check out podcasts with other great guests in the film and media industry on our DMP Podcast Page!

Summary

Oksana is a 15-year veteran of film, TV and the fashion industry, and also the founder of Oksana Starling Beauty. As an established makeup artist, she has worked with major networks like Food Network, Bravo, NBC, CNN, and VH1. She has also shot commercials for Microsoft, KIA, Duke's, DISH Network, and Frontier Airlines. Her client list includes Andre Agassi, Phil Collins and Genesis, Von Miller, Clinton Kelly, and Zac Brown, just to name a few. She was a makeup department head in the film Social Dilemma, which has been one of the most talked-about documentaries at Sundance this year.

Besides being a production makeup artist, Oksana is also a personal stylist and a makeover expert. She provides image and branding consultations for women looking to cultivate and uplevel their professional and personal style. One of her greatest joys is helping everyday women feel beautiful powerful, and confident.

 

Show Notes

[1:39] Oksana's Background

  • Born and raised in Soviet Russia
  • Graduated college and got her degrees economics and finance, and HR psychology,
  • Decided to move to America in 1998, initially moved to the Bay area
  • Has lived in California, Georgia, Nevada, and Colorado

[02:15] Oksana's career path

[06:02] Rose Hill Makeup Academy (Academy of Cosmetic Arts), and the move to Georgia

[08:06] Working with athletes and models

[09:12] Viva Las Vegas…

[10:33] Boulder, Yoga Capital of the U.S.

[12:59] Working yourself into the market in Colorado

[15:08] Using social media for self-promotion

[17:23] Typical work in the Colorado

[19:04] How stylists work with clients

[23:07] Putting the fun in back into the artistry of makeup

[25:44] How Oksana learns and grows as an artist

[28:04] The reality of working for experience

[29:59] Contracts and agreements

[31:01] Retaining a makeup artist

[32:21] Expendables and kit fees

[33:47] Commercial shoots versus indie films

[36:44] Negotiable expenses

[37:33] What do you look for when hiring a great makeup artist?

[38:24] What about insurance?

[40:28] To join or not join a union

[43:15] Staying healthy and fit on set

[45:45] Starting out with yoga

[52:19] The easiest makeup job ever and the perks of the trade

[56:32] Bucket list events

[59:08] The best piece of advice

[01:00:38] Single biggest lesson learned over the last year

[01:04:17] The biggest lesson learned over Oksana's career

[1:04:57] Advice for aspiring makeup artists in the Colorado market

[01:05:42] The wisdom of Rose Hill and Rhonda Barrymore, Cory Taylor Bryant and Cindy Cruz

Links and Resources

 

Be sure to check out podcasts with other great guests in the film and media industry on our DMP Podcast Page!