Skip to content

Episode 93 – In The Thick Of It!

This week Timothy is in Santiago Chile shooting a commercial and Alrik is in the middle of a four day documentary style shoot, so the guys talk about how their prep is going, what the next few days are like for them and how it kind of sucks that they have both been too busy to work on their creative projects! (The featured photo is from Alrik’s doc style shoot. They picked up a last minute scene at a tattoo parlor at a location Alrik scouted during lunch!)

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

Timothy talks about how he almost quit is job twice while prepping for his shoot and how he really had a hard time producing this project for a variety of reasons.

Alrik talks about the different expectations from LA crews and SF crews and how that’s been challenging leading up to his job.

Timothy than grills Alrik on how his work on The Alternate is going and really puts into perspective how difficult it’s going to be for him to raise a budget of under $500k. They talk about how he is going to make that happen as well as what Alrik is doing with his other projects and much more!

* The show notes are super light this week as we are both still working on our projects, so sorry for the lack of supporting info this week!

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you. Leave a comment on this episode here or send us an email

And if you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!

BONUS EPISODE! – Decompressing from the Just Shoot It Podcast

The morning after recording our crossover episode with the Just Shoot It Podcast Alrik and Timothy decompress about how they felt about it and how it could have gone better. It was a hard conversation for us and it forced us to answer the same questions of self-doubt and insecurity we constantly feel.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

On the last episode of Making Movies is HARD!!! the hosts of Just Shoot It Podcast, Matt and Oren, challenged us head on about not being in Los Angeles. They brought up a lot of good points and Alrik and Timothy react to them and once again break down the differences between being a working filmmaker in Los Angeles vs The Bay Area (or anywhere else).

Timothy wishes we spent less time attacking each other’s paths and instead focused on the quantity and quality of projects we’re getting in San Francisco vs Los Angeles.

Bottom line, this conversation made Timothy and Alrik question their Bay Area filmmaking paths: What are we doing? Why aren’t we in Los Angeles?

We restate why we think the Bay Area is right for us and discuss why we might all be in the same boat as filmmakers when it comes to getting our movies made.

Timothy wonders “Aren’t we all paying the bills with a day job and making it happen however we can? Whether that’s agency producing, script supervising, or directing branded content, it’s all in the service of getting better at being filmmakers, right?” Alrik questions this line of thinking, pointing out that Oren and Matt are getting opportunity and experiences we can only dream of.

“Preaching the Dream.” Alrik says that his dream of the Bay Area might be overshadowing reality. Timothy points out that we’re all talking about a dream and a career we want even though none of us are there yet. And maybe that’s what it will always be for every filmmaker.

Getting a movie off the ground is really hard. Does living in Los Angeles make it any easier?

Timothy thinks if you aren’t getting the opportunities you want, you have to make them yourself. He brings up the Dan Trachtenberg story.

Final Thoughts

Timothy says your experience, no matter where you are, will make you the filmmaker you are. Find the job that allows you to keep making movies and use it to learn directing skills even if you’re not actually directing.

Alrik says that you have to embrace your decisions and not to let the doubt stop you from pushing forward.

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you. Leave a comment on this episode here or send us an email

And if you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!

Episode 92 – Just Shoot It Crossover Episode!

This week we finally drop our big crossover episode with fellow filmmaking podcasters, Matt Enlow and Oren Kaplan of the Just Shoot It Podcast! We talk about our lives as directors but really quickly get into a discussion of why we aren’t in LA and then dive into how Matt and Oren are going about getting their next features made. It’s a fun if sometimes intense conversation, give it a listen and let us know what you think!

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

This week we do a crazy four way conversation with Matt and Oren from Just Shoot It! Check out their respective sites below so you can learn more about what Matt and Oren are about.

Matt Enlow’s Website – http://www.mrmattenlow.com/

Oren Kaplan’s Website – http://directedbyoren.com/

Topics we cover in our conversation.

  • When did we all feel comfortable calling ourselves directors.
  • Why Timothy and Alrik aren’t in LA.
  • How Matt and Oren are getting their next features made.
  • How they have gone about navigating their careers.
  • and much more!

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you. Leave a comment on this episode here or send us an email

And if you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!

Episode 91 – The Tech Scout and Shoot

We continue where we left off last week, talking about the shoot we’re working on together, Alrik as Producer and Timothy as Director. This week we walk you through the tech scout, the last week of prep and the shoot itself. We talk about our techniques, the experience of the shoot, what we could have done better.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

Last week, we discussed how we started the production of a music video from our perspectives as Producer (Alrik Bursell) and Director (Timothy Plain). We continue the discussion this week with the last week of production, from tech scout to post-shoot and everything in between.

The Dark Agent and Time Machine
This is a sneak peek of the music video we’re working on

Topics we cover in our conversation.

  • What happened at the tech scout
  • How the tech scout changed things for the director
  • How it changed things for the producer
  • Alrik talks about balancing a budget as it the production needs change
  • Timothy talks about getting his actors in the zone and building his story
  • The value of Assistant Directors
  • How we felt during the shoot
  • How we feel after the shoot
  • What we could have done better / differently
  • Do Alrik and Timothy still want to work together?

The Decks!

How do you go from an idea to real life? For instance, this coming up with a design and then building a time machine.

IMG_4480

Timothy likes to start with a deck of creative ideas to help everyone get on the same page. Here are all the decks he created for this project, from the location all the way to the story.

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you. Leave a comment on this episode here or send us an email

And if you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!

Episode 90 – How Do You Prep for Production?

How do you prep a production? Where do you start? This week, Alrik and Timothy describe the process of prepping a music video that Timothy is directing and Alrik is producing.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

time machine

How do you get started when you are making something? Do you start with an actor, a location, a piece of art? Timothy and Alrik talk over how we got started making the music video that we are shooting this week (in a mere five days!!) and how the two work together as Producer and Director.    16903593_10102265739322148_2898635294870901754_o

Here are some of the topics we cover in our conversation.

  • How Timothy got the opportunity to direct this music video.
  • Why is Alrik even producing it.
  • How the two are working together.
  • What they are struggling with.
  • Why they are so excited

Directing Vs. Producing

We have a brief conversation about directing vs. producing, here is what we cover.

  • Why Alrik likes Producing creative projects.
  • Why Timothy isn’t as interested but what it would take for him to produce for someone else.
  • What it takes to switch back and forth from directing and producing.

Share Corner

Timothy has nothing to share but Alrik has to let people know about…

And if you’ve seen all the Batman Animated Series Episodes, check out all the other wonderful series that came after it, including the Justice League shows!

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you. Leave a comment on this episode here or send us an email

And if you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!

Episode 89 – Commercial Directing in SF with Plummer/Strauss

This week we have local directing team Plummer/Strauss on the show! Justin Plummer III and Martin Strauss are two San Francisco, Bay Area directors who get paid to direct full time. They talk with us about how they got started, what it’s like to sign with a big time LA commercial production company, how they sustain themselves creatively and financially, and of course, why they aren’t living in LA.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

Justin Plummer III and Martin Strauss are directing partners based in San Francisco, CA. With a focus on visual storytelling, they use classic cinematic techniques to create stylized images. In 2014, they were featured in SHOOT Magazine’s 2014 New Director Showcase and shortlisted for a Young Director Award in Cannes and most recently signed with the LA commercial production company, Bullitt.


Plummer/Strauss’ Calico Jack commercial that we talk about at the top of the podcast.


The famous Michael Bay ‘Aaron Burr’ Got Milk commercial that we discuss.


The less famous Michael Bay Levi’s commercial.


The Tinkerer Trailer by Plummer/Strauss


California Lottery Spec by Plummer/Strauss


Converse Spec

For more work by Plummer/Strauss check out their website: http://plummerstrauss.com/

Here are some of the topics we cover in our conversation with Justin and Martin:

  • How the duo met and teamed up.
  • What inspired them to start directing commercials.
  • How they got started directing commercials.
  • How they manage to provide for themselves by directing only.
  • What it was like to get signed to a major production company.
  • Why they haven’t moved to LA.
  • What their ultimate goals are.
  • Finally, what are they working on currently.

Getting in Touch with Plummer/Strauss

Their website: http://plummerstrauss.com/

Bullitt’s website: http://bullittbranded.com/

Element E (German reps): http://element-e.net/EN

GoEast Films (Eastern Europe/Asia Reps): http://www.goeast.tv/

email the guys at: hey (at) plummerstrauss (dot) com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlummerStrauss

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you. Leave a comment on this episode here or send us an email

And if you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!

Episode 88 – Microbudget Filmmaking & Distribution with Liz Manashil

Liz is the director of the feature film “Bread and Butter” and is prepping her second feature “Speed of Life.” This week we hear how Liz is making her movies on a microbudget, finding name actors, getting distribution and sustaining her career as a filmmaker.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

Writer/Director Liz Manashil
Writer/Director Liz Manashil

After earning her B.A. in Film and Media Studies at Washington University, Liz moved to Los Angeles to attend USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

After graduating USC she found work in LA under John Morrison of the California Film Institute, Michael Shamberg of Double Feature Films, Adam Goodman at Paramount Film Group and distribution consultant Peter Broderick.

She now works for the Sundance Institute as an Artist Services Manager where she talks to filmmakers about distribution, marketing, and fundraising.

Her first feature film is “Bread and Butter” which she made for $100,000 using money raised on Kickstarter and from a few small investors.

“Bread and Butter” stars Christine Weatherup, Bobby Moynihan, Micah Hauptman and Lauren Lapkus. We talk to her about getting the movie off the ground, finding the money, getting name actors in her film, and the trials and tribulations of festivals and distribution.

“Bread and Butter” starring Christine Weatherup, Bobby Moynihan, Micah Hauptman and Lauren Lapkus

Liz’s excellent article “Filmmaker to Filmmaker: We Need to Talk About Distribution”

Here are some of the topics we cover in our conversation with Liz:

  • The difference between Speed of Life and Bread and Butter (budget, shoot days, location and actors)
  • how she got a name actors in Bread and Butter:who did she reach out to, what did her letter say?
  • why Liz pays her actors scale
  • why Liz likes microbudget filmmaking
  • The documentary  film “Official Rejection”

Getting in Touch with Liz Manashil

her website: http://www.lizmanashil.com/

Bread and Butter: http://www.breadandbuttermovie.com/

her IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3357568/

you can email Liz: womanashil (at) gmail (dot) com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lizmanashil

And if you liked this interview, consider donating a few dollars to Liz’s second feature film “Speed of Life,” she would certainly appreciate it: Help us make our feature film: SPEED OF LIFE!

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you. Leave a comment on this episode here or send us an email

And if you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!

Episode 87 – A Tweet from Jay Duplass!

This week we cover a myriad of topics including La La Land, Tax season, getting rejected from festivals, the Boston Sci-Fi film festival, a new idea for getting Anthony Mackie in Alrik’s film, the mind game of filmmaking and a Tweet from Jay Duplass!

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

Daily Struggle

Alrik talks about why La La Land didn’t live up to his expectations.

Timothy shares his film losses in 2016, his mini-freakout over the 1099-Misc form, and getting rejected from festivals. Yes, Sundance included.

We talk about the Boston Sci-Fi film festival where The Spirit Machine will make it’s world premiere: http://bostonscifi.com/store/films/shorts-12-mechronomicon/

Fan Fueled Campaign

Marc Madrigal writes Alrik with an idea for getting Anthony Mackie in his film:

What if you made an “Anthony Mackie for The Alternate” Facebook page? You could throw out some catchy images explaining why he is perfect for the project. Put up a link to the script. Ask your friends to like the page.

Once you have 50-100 likes, share the Facebook page on Anthony Mackie fan sites, Marvel universe subreddits, etc. Make it clear that the goal is to get the script to Anthony Mackie.

I don’t know. Sometimes people are willing to help with crazy ideas like this. What do you think?

This reminds Timothy of the fan fueled Twitter campaign to get Donald Glover in Spiderman: http://collider.com/spider-man-reboot-donald-glover-twitter-campaign-marc-webb-sony/

Or his co-workers “Win a Date with Lady Sovereign” stunt:  http://blog.sfgate.com/culture/2006/06/03/quick-help-zach-slow-get-a-date-with-lady-sovereign/

The Mind Game of Filmmaking

After meeting with a producer, Alrik shares his newfound enthusiasm for “The Alternate” and we discuss how much of being a filmmaker is mental. That reminds Timothy of a tweet he got from Jay Duplass.

A Tweet From Jay Duplass!

From ‏@jayduplass

@simsjamie @TimothyPlain @cullnane make great shit guys, repeatedly, and no one can deny you. the obstacle is not on the outside.

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 12.22.48 PM

 

Why YOU Should Start a Podcast (or come on ours)

We’re making this podcast to tell you how our films get made, but who are we to have a podcast? We’re not special in any way. We offer the single perspective of two bay area filmmakers trying to figure it out on our own, but there are many other stories to tell. So if you find yourself wanting to respond to our podcast every week, you might want to consider starting a podcast of your own to share your experiences. We’ll listen!

Don’t want to spend the time making a podcast? We have an alternative. How about calling in for a mini-appearance on the show. Write us and tell us what you’d like to talk to us about and we’ll arrange for you to dial in!

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you, find us on Twitter @timothyplain and @alrikb!

If you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Send us an email or leave a comment here

Episode 86 – Lighting TV & Movies with Ryan Thomas

Ryan Thomas started his career as a grip and gaffer in San Francisco, but when the non-union reality show he was working on turned union, Ryan was able to join the local 728 in Los Angeles and eventually make the move to LA to pursue a career as a Director of Photography. We talk about Union vs Non-union, Los Angeles vs San Francisco and TV vs Features.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

Director of Photography Ryan Thomas

Ryan Thomas is a freelance director of photography who simply loves telling stories through images. His dad was a photographer with his own studio who studied under Ansel Adams, so photography was always around while Ryan was growing up. He graduated from the year long San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking program, shooting 5 short films and a feature. After college, he found PA work through Craigslist and built his way into crewing as a grip and gaffer around San Francisco including positions on Timothy’s movie “The Spirit Machine” and Alrik’s film “Strange Thing.”

After doing AC work for two years and landing a Camera PA job on the local production of Trauma, Ryan decided that working his way through the camera department was not going to be as helpful as working as a Gaffer.

 

Four years ago, while working on a Non-Union reality show that started in San Francisco and traveled to Los Angeles. The budget of each show was large enough to attract the Union and they showed up on set and organized the crew. Long story short, the production turned Union and Ryan was able to get 26 of his 30 Union days on that production. With just four more days to go, Ryan called all his friends in LA to get more Union work.

He is now a member of Local 728 and just joined Local 600. He lives in Los Angeles and works high profile Union jobs as an Electrician and Digital Utility while building his Cinematography reel on the side

Some of the exciting things we uncover in our conversation

  • The details of a Non-Union production turning Union
  • What it takes to join a Union as an electrician and Cinematographer
  • What’s the difference between Union and Non-Union productions
  • The number of shoot days on a Television show vs the number of shoot days on a feature film
  • Shooting styles of TV vs Movies
  • The differences between living/working in San Francisco and Los Angeles
  • The average age of DPs and Directors
  • Building a career as a Cinematographer
  • Francis Ford Coppola’s advice: “find your oil well.”

Getting in Touch with Ryan Thomas

His website: http://www.ryanthomasfilm.com/about

His IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2287985/

@RDThomasDP on Twitter

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you. Leave a comment on this episode here or send us an email

And if you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!

Episode 85 – Getting a Name Actor in your Micro-Budget Feature

What makes for a satisfying ending to a movie? And how the hell do you get a name actor attached to your micro-budget feature when you don’t have an agent or a manager?

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

__________________

Satisfying Movie Endings

Right out the gate, the topic of discussion is “what makes for a satisfying movie ending” as Timothy tries to explain to Alrik why he wasn’t satisfied with the ending to Alrik’s feature script “The Alternate.”

Read Alrik’s Screenplay: http://www.bursellproductions.com/s/The-Alternate-09192016.pdf

Were you satisfied with the ending to Jaws?

How about Alien?

What about Die Hard?

Would you still enjoy the ending to Die Hard if you ended with Hans’ plunging to his death or do you need those extra four minutes of denouement?

Timothy argues that the success of an ending depends on the story you are trying to tell and though Alrik is channeling the endings to movies like Jaws and Alien they might be the best fit for “The Alternate.” You can’t justify an ending just because it exists or you happen to like it in another film, you have to find the right ending for your movie and Timothy thinks Alrik’s movie is less like Alien and Jaws and more like Die Hard. In movies about survival it makes sense that the movie ends when the last man/alien/woman is standing. But a movie with dramatic underpinnings, Timothy argues, need a denouement. Alrik counters that not all dramatic movies need them.

Alrik argues that he often feels that movies don’t end quickly enough and even Ex Machina, an ending he likes,  is criticized for being 3-minutes too long.

In the end, we agree that a satisfying ending comes down to personal taste and an ending doesn’t need to be satisfying to make the movie enjoyable. Although Timothy doesn’t like the ending to Jaws, he still loves that movie. Want some examples of endings that Timothy finds satisfying? You’re in luck!

“I was watching the endings to a bunch of films lately and noticed that after the hero gets what he/she wants, there is a 4-10 minute end sequence that ties up the loose ends. For me, this creates a satisfying ending. Here are a few endings that satisfy me immensely. I know other films get away with shorter endings, but I never feel very satisfied by them. Do you? Anyways, read these.” – Timothy

Die Hard (TOTAL SCREEN TIME 4-Minutes): Hans falls to his death and we pan down from the building to mass destruction. Twisted metal, a fallen helicopter, etc. And from the wreckage, John and his wife emerge while the fire department heads inside. John sees the cop, Al, that he’s been talking to the whole time and mouths his name, the cop nods and he walks slowly towards him and they smile. They laugh and hug. It’s an orgasmic release of emotion. John introduces his wife Holly. The chief of police pushes through the crowd yelling out “John, you have has a lot to answer for”. Suddenly, one of the bad guys, Karl, stands up with a gun and waves it around. He’s alive! John and his wife hit the floor and someone fires a gun, killing Karl. We reveal the man who pulled the trigger, it was the cop, Al, who has a moment of realization as he’s just experienced a bit of action on the job. Then a limo smashes through the gates of the parking lot and John tells Al not to worry, “he’s with me.” As John and Holly walk towards the limo a reporter sticks a mic in his face and says “Now that’s it’s all over, what are your feelings?” Holly punches him in the face. John and his wife get into the limo and the film ends with John and Holly kissing in the back seat while “Let it Snow” plays.

Home Alone (TOTAL SCREEN TIME 7-MINUTES): The burglars are arrested and Kevin watches them being driven off by the police. It’s Christmas Eve, Kevin readies the Christmas tree and stockings for Santa. Meanwhile, mom is in the back of a van with the polka band and John Candy tells her not to beat herself up about leaving Kevin and tells him stories about bad parenting including his own story about leaving his son at a funeral parlor and that his son came out of it. “Kids are resilient, they get over things.” Back at home, Kevin wakes up on Christmas morning, he calls out “Mom” and runs downstairs. He looks around the house, but no one is there. The house is still empty. He sighs in disappointment and goes to the front door and looks out into the snow. Nothing. He closes the door, and just as he does, the truck with his mom pulls up. Kevin is inside looking at a framed picture of the family when the door opens and he hears his mom yell “Kevin!” but he doesn’t answer. Mom walks in and sees the house is nice and neat and the Christmas tree and stockings are up. Kevin runs downstairs and stands in front of his mom. She looks happy, he looks mad. She says “Oh, Kevin I’m so sorry,” and his face turns from anger to joy and he runs into his arms. Kevin asks where everyone else is and mom says they couldn’t make it, but then they all walk in, arguing and bickering like always and make a few sweet gestures to Kevin in the way a family does like his brother saying “it’s pretty cool you didn’t burn the place down.” As the family turns to unpack and get back to their life, Kevin walks slowly toward the window at the other end of the house. He gets there and looks out at the old man next door who is having a family reunion with his son and granddaughter. As the old man hugs his granddaughter he waves to Kevin and Kevin waves back. Then we hear his brother offscreen yell “Kevin, what did you do to my room!”. FADE TO BLACK.

Inside Out (TOTAL SCREEN TIME 4-MINUTES): Joy and Sadness make it back to Mission Control and to Joy’s shock, Riley is on a bus leaving Oakland. The other emotions tell Joy to get up to the control panel and stop her. And Joy tells Sadness to do it. Everyone is shocked! Joy says to a reluctant Sadness, “Joy needs you.” As the bus starts and moves towards the freeway, Sadness walks to the control panel and when she touches it, it goes dark and then she simply removes the lightbulb. Suddenly, Riley runs towards the front of the bus yelling “I want off, I want off.” Riley runs home to her parents. She comes in and they run to her asking “where have you been? We’ve been worried sick. It’s so late”. Inside her head, Joy looks at Sadness at the controls with a realization. She walks over to her with a handful of happy memories. that turn blue in Sadness’ hands and as she puts them back the memories play, this time blue. Sadness presses a button on the control panel and Riley starts crying and she tells her mom and dad not to be mad, she misses her friends, she wants to go home. They say “we’re not mad. And Dad says “You know what, I miss Minnesota, too.” And they share some things they miss. They pull Riley in to a hug. Meanwhile, inside Riley’s head, Joy hands Sadness a final memory that’s been in her bag and Sadness pulls Joy to the control panel and presses her hand on the emotion button. We cut to Riley and see her feeling both oy and Sadness as a new core memory is created of this moment with her parents. The new core memory is both blue and yellow and the family island is rebuilt. The scene ends with a slow pull out on Riley hugging her family and then a similar shot with Sadness and Joy sharing a moment of Togetherness.

Getting a Name Actor in Your Micro-Budget Feature

The recent distribution stories we’ve heard makes Timothy believe that getting a return on a $100k investment really comes down to a film being something people need to see. They can’t just kind of sort of want to see it, they need to be inspired to pay to see it. So the standard for filmmakers at our level is to make a film that appeals to a fairly large audience. Either it works from a pure marketing standpoint (Sriracha, Super Size Me) it wins a bunch of awards (Krisha) it’s a novelty (El Mariachi, Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity) or it’s an crowd pleaser with good word of mouth (Napoleon Dynamite, Once).

The other way to get people to want to see a movie is to cast a name actor. Alrik has been talking about casting Anthony Mackie in his film, the Alternate. But how the hell do you do it without an agent or manager?

Timothy talked to his fellow filmmakers and came back with some answers.

 Our Sources:

1) The writer/director of a micro-budget film with John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers) Shelly Cole (Gillmore Girls) and Cindy Pickett (the mom from Ferris Bueller’s)

2) A local San Francisco Casting Director and Producer that were working with Timothy on Haunted Toyhouse

3) The Asst. Unit Production Manager on La La Land

4) The writer/director of an indie film shooting this year with Josh Brolin and Ben Foster

5) This article: http://filmmakermagazine.com/72600-13-ways-to-cast-a-list-actors-in-microbudget-films/#.WG_EwrYrJE4

Based on what he heard, Timothy came up with this list to help you get actors attached to your micro-budget feature:

1. Start with the material. Create more than a script.

No one we talked to went in with just a script. Either they had their funding secured or they had some other materials to show, like storyboards, concept drawings or a proof of concept video. This goes a long way to show how serious you are about your film.

2. Try the obvious solutions first (Sundance Labs, Grants, Producers)

No one wants to hear that the best way to get a name actor in your movie is to get a well known producer attached to your script, but that’s how it happens for a lot of filmmakers. So why not try the obvious solution firstt? Submit to grants, the Sundance Labs, or screenwriting competitions. The filmmaker with Josh Brolin attached to his movie only got that far because he was a finalist in the Sundance Labs program. Being a finalist was enough of a push to get his movie off the ground.

3. Assemble a Team. Build your brick wall one Brick at a time.

Success doesn’t happen overnight, you have to take it one step at a time. Getting a movie off the ground is no different. Start with what and who you have access to and build from there.

4. Raise the money and set a shoot date.

You’ll have an easier time booking an actor if you can make a firm offer.

5. Connect ! (however you can)

As with anything, the more connections you have, the better chance you’ll have at knowing the right person or person who knows a person.

6. Make a list, but be flexible.

It’s nice to have a dream list, but the chances all of the actors you want will be available at the exact same time is unrealistic. Even huge Hollywood movies have a hard time scheduling shoot dates. So be ready to take the backup. You might also want to just approach agents or managers with your shoots dates, your offer and see who they recommend you cast. They might recommend someone you didn’t initially think of. Be flexible.

Contact Us

Thanks for listening!

We want to hear from you. Leave a comment on this episode here or send us an email

And if you dig the show you can also leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher

Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!