DiscoverFilmtrepreneur™ - The Entrepreneurial Filmmaking Podcast with Alex Ferrari
Filmtrepreneur™ - The Entrepreneurial Filmmaking Podcast with Alex Ferrari

Filmtrepreneur™ - The Entrepreneurial Filmmaking Podcast with Alex Ferrari

Author: Alex Ferrari

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The Filmtrepreneur® - A Entrepreneurial Filmmaking Podcast shows you how to turn your filmmaking into a viable business. We do a deep dive into marketing, branding, growth hacking, micro-budget filmmaking, and creating revenue streams from your indie films. They don't teach you this in film school.

Host Alex Ferrari interviews some of the film industry's most successful and prolific filmmakers, industry professionals, and Filmtreprenuers. If you want to learn how to make money with your independent films then take a listen. Start thinking like a Filmtrepreneur today! This podcast is a mix of brand new interviews and the best of the IFH Podcast.
79 Episodes
Today I'm talking about marketing! Yup, marketing. If you, as indie filmmakers, do not understand branding, marketing, and social media YOU WILL NOT MAKE IT IN THE BUSINESS. I really want to get through to you guys. I've been consulting more and more filmmakers lately and I see there is a MAJOR disconnect between filmmakers and understanding the basics of branding (whether personal, company, or project), marketing, and social media.In this episode I'll be discussing:Tribe or Audience BuildingBrand Marketing vs. Direct MarketingUnderstanding your smallest viable audienceBrand BuildingBuilding Your Personal BrandDiscovering how you can love the GRIND or your journeyChoosing platforms to build your brandContent creationAlso below are six books that will help you along your path to understanding these basic concepts. I truly hope that you find value in this episode. The understanding, at a basic level, of branding, marketing, and social media is not a luxury but a necessity in today's and tomorrow's world.  Don't get left behind. I want every single #IFHTribe member to make their dream come true, to build a better life for themselves, and to love their own journey towards their goals.Warning: this episode might make you think about stuff so beware! Enjoy and keep on hustling.
Today on the show we have 17 time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jeff MacIntyre. Jeff is the director of the new film The Great Cookie Comeback. Famous Wally Amos introduced us to his famous cookie in 1975. It was love at first bite! 🍪 Then...he lost it all to a big corporation. For 30 years, Wally’s been hustling to get it back. At 82, facing huge personal and financial challenges, can he make his new cookie as famous as his first? Nobody deserves a Great Cookie Comeback like Wally Amos!Jeff wanted to be completely transparent on what he did right and wrong on his self-distribution adventures. He decides to create a 45 min+ mini-doc explain the good, the bad, and the ugly.I reached out to Jeff so he could share his story with the tribe. If you are thinking of self-distributing your film this is an episode you will not want to miss. Enjoy my conversation with Jeff MacIntyre.
So today on the show we have to return champion RB Bottofrom RB has been on the show six times. Between film festival panels, interviews, and  Sundance. He's always a favorite of the IFH Tribe so I thought it was time to bring him back. He finally finished writing his remarkable new book Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd.Here's some info on the book.Whether you’re a producer, screenwriter, filmmaker, or other creative, you probably have a project that needs constant exposure, or a product to promote. But how do you rise above the noise?In Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd, Richard Botto explains how to put crowdsourcing to use for your creative project, using social media, networking, branding, crowdfunding, and an understanding of your audience to build effective crowdsourcing campaigns, sourcing everything from film equipment to shooting locations.Botto covers all aspects of crowdsourcing: how to create the message of your brand, project, or initiative; how to mold, shape, and adjust it based on mass response; how to broadcast a message to a targeted group and engage those with similar likes, beliefs, or interests; and finally, how to cultivate those relationships to the point where the message is no longer put forth solely by you, but carried and broadcasted by those who have responded to it. Using a wealth of case studies and practical know-how based on his years of experience in the industry and as the founder of Stage 32―the largest crowdsourced platform for film creatives―Richard Botto presents a comprehensive and hands-on guide to crowdsourcing creatively and expertly putting your audience to work on your behalf.This is an EPIC interview. Over two hours but it is FULL of knowledge bombs. We also discuss how I pulled RB out of acting retirement to play a big part in my feature film "On the Corner of Ego and Desire." I promise you this is a fun episode!
f you have a micro or no-budget feature film shooting in one location will make life a lot easier. Now, how do you make that one location look great and not boring through your film? Indie Filmmaker Michael Williams did just that with his new horror film The Atoning. Michael Williams began creating short films in 2004 and since has consistently produced short films and screened them for audiences at annual film festivals and screenings across the U.S.Williams earned his bachelor of arts in film from the University of Southern Mississippi and was awarded the Top Film Student of 2009 Award. In 2007 Williams began his professional film career, accumulating a multitude of credits ranging from assistant camera to director of photography for many independent short and feature-length films.After writing, directing, and producing more than 20 short films, Williams broke into the feature-length film territory with the award-winning film "OzLand". While his desire to tell complex stories visually drew him to a career in cinematography, as an artist and storyteller, Williams writes and directs films like OzLand in order to share his stories with those interested in experiencing them while eagerly pursuing the opportunity to bring other people's stories to life as a director of photography.For his 2nd feature film, Williams turned to the horror/supernatural thriller genre for The Atoning, an award-winning family drama explored through a fresh take on the thriller/horror genre.Today, the filmmaker owns and operates Shendopen films in West Point, Mississippi, and continues to write and direct his own independent films, produce films by other regional filmmakers and work regionally in the industry as a director of photography. Enjoy my conversation with Michael Williams.
I've 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.
I always get asked,"How to make money as a filmmaker or can you make money as a filmmaker?"The short answer is yes, of course, you can but will it be easy, HELL NO! What's a filmmaker to do? I've been able to develop an over 20-year career making money as a filmmaker. So if I can do it you can too. In this podcast episode, I go into details on all the moneymaking ideas filmmakers can do to make money. I give examples, tell stories, and show you how I and other filmmakers make money today.Enjoy and I hope it helps you make some cheddar!
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.
Does Your Indie Film Have an Audience?I'm never surprised anymore when I speak to filmmakers or Filmtrepreneurs and ask them one simple but powerful question,Does your film have an audience?I usually just get a blank stare. This is probably the most important question you can ask yourself as an indie filmmaker. Now if you are making film as art and have no intention or care at all about making money with your film then you should stop reading this email.Now, there's nothing wrong with that but that is not what I'm discussing here today. For the rest of us that want and need to make money with our films, these few little words should be your mantra in the development process.Most filmmakers get so excited by the concept of a story, the emotion, or just with the idea of making a feature film that they never ask the question. They are scared to because it might stop the fun they are having. Trust me I know the feeling.Before you waste all that energy on writing a script, getting talent, crew, and money you better know if you'll be able to sell this puppy when it's done.Ask who is going to watch this, then find out where your audience is hangout online. Join a Facebook group, forum, etc. Ask the community if they would be interested in watching a film like yours. Ask what they would like to see in it and which actors get the group excited.I know this takes out the art and excitement of filmmaking a bit. Well, when you are starting out you need to take advantage of every opportunity you got.
Welcome to the SNEAK PEAK of THE DIRECTORS SERIES PODCAST, a show dedicated to appreciating and deconstructing the work of contemporary and classic film directors. In the show, we breakdown the careers of film directors like Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, The Coen Brothers, and Paul Thomas Anderson just to name a few. From their early works and short films to their blockbuster achievements and Oscar glory.In season one we will be deconstructing Christopher Nolan.
CROSSOVER EVENTToday on the show we have filmmaker and Filmtrepreneur Patrick Solomon. Patrick is the mastermind behind the celebrated film Finding Joe.Finding Joe is an exploration of famed Mythologist Joseph Campbell's studies and their continuing impact on our culture. Through interviews with visionaries from a variety of fields interwoven with enactments of classic tales by a sweet and motley group of kids, the film navigates the stages of what Campbell dubbed The Hero's Journey: the challenges, the fears, the dragons, the battles, and the return home as a changed person."WE MUST BE WILLING TO GET RID OF THE LIFE WE'VE PLANNED SO AS TO HAVE THE LIFE THAT IS WAITING FOR US" - JOSEPH CAMPBELLRooted in deeply personal accounts and timeless stories, Finding Joe shows how Campbell's work is relevant and essential in today's world and how it provides a narrative for how to live a fully realized life-or as Campbell would simply state, how to "follow your bliss".I saw Finding Joe years ago and it just blew me away. This is why I was so excited to include the film in the IFHTV Streaming Service. Patrick and I sit down and discuss his film, his distribution journey, and how he used the Filmtrepreneur method to squeeze every drop of revenue out of the film. Enjoy my conversation with Patrick Solomon. Proud Member of the IFH Podcast Network (
With social media taking over the world it is more necessary than ever to use it to get the word out on yourself, your film project, or your production company. Most indie filmmakers have no idea of how to build an audience or how to use social media to promote and engage with that audience.In this podcast, I go into great detail on each of the Top 10 Social Media Rules for Filmtrepreneurs.Take a listen to the podcast to get a full breakdown of each rule.Most of all these rules have helped me build up my social media reach on multiple social media platforms. Enjoy!
Today we have a very special episode. I am doing a cross-over episode with a member of the IFH Podcast Network, the Indie Film Academy Podcast. I will, from time to time, be highlighting Filmtrepreneurial stories and interviews from the network that I believe will be of value to the Filmtrepreneur Tribe. This interview does that and more.In today's episode, we talk to Documentary filmmaker Christopher Rufo about how his documentary, Age of Champions, went on to generate over $1.5 million+ through mostly self-distribution and the Filmtrepreneurial Method.Age of Champions is the award-winning PBS documentary following five competitors who sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics. You’ll meet a 100-year-old tennis champion, 86-year-old pole vaulter, and rough-and-tumble basketball grandmothers as they triumph over the limitations of age.This is truly an inspirational story that I needed to bring the Tribe. Enjoy!
The IFH Podcast Network makes it easy for you to discover, connect, and engage with industry-leading filmmaking and screenwriting podcasts, all in one place. We curate the best podcasts that will help you on your filmmaking and screenwriting journey. You can listen to any of our shows on your favorite podcast platform.
Have you ever wondered how much revenue a real indie film can make in the marketplace? Wouldn't you like to see the real and raw numbers for a nontheatrical film with no major film festival premieres? Today's guest has been brave enough to do just that. Filmmaker Liz Manashil decided to open up the accounting books on her debut feature film Bread and Butter, starring SNL's Bobby Moynihan and Lauren Lapkus. Liz Manashil earned her B.A. in Film and Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and her M.F.A. from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Post-graduation, Liz spent several years as a film critic for the PBS/Hulu series JUST SEEN IT (which she also helped produce and direct). Overlapping this, Liz worked with distribution guru Peter Broderick.
I'm so excited to bring this episode to the Filmtreprenuer Tribe I can barely contain myself. This episode is a CROSSOVER EVENT with the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. The info was so good I had to share it with the FT Tribe.Today on the show we have ex-distributor turned filmmaker Jeff Deverett. Jeff reached out to me after reading my book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business. He wanted to tell me that the book hit the nail on the head and that my film distribution chapter was right on.I came to find out that he was an ex-distributor and had was on that side of the business for 20 years.After this episode, you will know "where the bodies are buried."  As Jeff said on the show"It's not the film distributors want to screw over filmmakers is it just happens organically."This episode is going to be EPIC. Sit back and get ready to have your mind blown. Enjoy my conversation with Jeff Deverett.
I've been preaching from the top of the Filmtrepreneur mountain for a while now that filmmakers need to build multiple revenue streams from their projects besides just the traditional renting and sales of the film. In my book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur, I discuss the revenue stream of online courses and classes.You can either sell courses on your own site and drive traffic to them or you can place your courses on existing market places like Udemy and Skillshare that have huge audiences that you can sell to.I join Skillshare a few years ago and started putting up courses on the platform. My profile grew and grew where I became a leader in the filmmaking education space on the platform with over 5800+ students, close to 1400 followers and over 100,000+ minutes watched. I was doing so well on the platform that Skillshare actually reached out to me on multiple occasions to discuss my company creating exclusive education for its platform. Things were going great until they weren't.Well back in Dec 2019, when the world wasn't the insane bizarro version of itself that it is today, all of my courses were abruptly ripped off the platform without warning. I was floored. I contacted Skillshare multiple times and never heard back. When I finally heard back they said I had violated their terms of service.They never gave me a warning nor did they give me an opportunity to fix any "issues" they had with my courses. It's crazy. One side of the company is asking me to produce more content for Skillshare while the other side shuts down all of my courses.I later found out that I was not alone and that Skillshare purged hundreds of instructors without warning violating their own terms of service. You can read about that here.I wanted to share the entire story of what happened in this podcast as a warning to all Filmtrepreneurs that depend solely on other platforms for their income. If you play in someones else's sandbox you need to play by their rules. I explain everything in the episode. Enjoy.
Today on the show we have filmmaker and author Jon Fitzgerald. Jon has twenty-five years of experience in the independent film, internet, and film festival communities, a rare leader with a unique combination of skills.  As a filmmaker, he has produced a number of award-winning documentaries; and as a consultant, he has guided many independent film projects through the maze of festivals and hybrid distribution models.As a co-founder of the Slamdance Film Festival (1995), he led the event the next two seasons before being named the Festival Director for the prestigious AFI Film Festival in 1997.  After running AFI Fest for three years (1997-1999), he created a consulting business, guiding the launch of numerous film festivals (Bahamas, Lone Star, Orlando), directing several others (Santa Barbara, Topanga, and Abu Dhabi), and consulting to dozens more.Jon authored his first book, entitled Filmmaking for Change: Make Films That Transform the World, which was ground-breaking in the space.Again, based on the premise that powerful stories can create change, Jon founded Cause Cinema, connecting social impact films to related causes. The Company acts as a filter to the best of social impact cinema, integrating numerous film programs, social action campaigns, and unique exhibition models, giving audiences the tools to take action.Enjoy my conversation with Jon Fitzgerald.
Today on the show we have 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 Rightshighly 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.
Today on the show we have an OG in the online filmmaking education space, Griffin Hammond. I've followed Griffin for years and was so excited to sit down and talk shop with him. Griffin Hammond is a documentary filmmaker in New York City, known for producing DIY filmmaking tutorials for indie filmmakers, and his award-winning documentary Sriracha. We discuss how he made over $90,000 with a documentary short film.In 2014, Griffin moved from Bloomington, Illinois to New York City to cover the U.S. presidential election for the Bloomberg Television/MSNBC show With All Due Respect.The University of Southern California and the U.S. State Department named Griffin a Film Envoy for the 2017 American Film Showcase—a cultural diplomacy program that sends independent filmmakers around the world to teach.Previously, he worked for YouTube Next Lab, as executive producer of the YouTube channel Indy Mogul, and started his career as a video producer and social media strategist at State Farm Insurance.Griffin Hammond studied film at New York University, earned a Masters in Communication from Illinois State University, taught video production at Millikin University, and produced an online course—Shooting Documentary Short Films.Enjoy my conversation with Griffin Hammond.
Today on the show we have producer's rep Ben Yennie. Ben has the honor of being the very first guest I ever recorded for the IFH Podcast. He is a wealth of information so get ready to take some notes. As Founder and CEO of Guerrilla Rep Media, where I've gotten distribution deals for more than 8 films, that will soon be appearing on Starz and other major outlets across the globe.Ben is also the Founder and Executive Director of Producer Foundry, as well as Producer of more than 50 events on film finance and distribution.  He's worked with people like Lew Horowitz, the inventor of Indiefilm Gap Financing, Jeff Dowd, Executive Producer of Blood Simple, Fern Gully, and inspiration for “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. Ben co-founded Global Film Ventures, screened business plans, and advised the Film Angels and is the former chapter leader for the San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Vancouver Chapters of the Institute for International Film Financing.  And screened business plans for the Film Angels.Ben has also worked in the tech industry. Co-Founder of ProductionNext, a new set of next-generation tools designed specifically for the Movie industry.  Previously, he's been VP of Sales for Taal, a Mobile video interview platform for the hospitality industry.He is also the author of The Guerrilla Rep: American Film Market Distribution Success on No Budget, The First ever book on Film Markets, and used as a text at about 10 film schools.  He has also contributed to Office for One, a Sole Proprietor survival guide, and is the author of the upcoming book "The Entrepreneurial Filmmaker."  He also manages the blogs for and my conversation with Ben Yennie.
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