During the NYC shoot, one guy gave me the telephone number of an NYC indie feature film producer who was working on his seventh feature.
In the months that followed, I packed my car and moved to New York City. There, I quickly learned how to hail a cab, where to find cheap food, and how to navigate the subway. I remember those first couple of months…
Everything in that town seemed like an adventure!
Soon after, I began reading stacks and stacks of screenplays and writing coverage for the producer. Every day a new shipment of scripts would come from managers and agents (and a few savvy writers who got past our gatekeeper).
Then it was my job to go through the pile and read everything in hopes of finding a gem. Unfortunately, most of the screenplays were pretty bad and ended up in the filing cabinet.
But every so often we found a story that worked.
As this happened, my role in the company changed. Because I had so much production experience from my days working on corporate shoots, I was invited onto the set and helped out with production.
In addition to this, I was invited to deal-making meetings with potential investors and was able to participate in conference calls with acquisition executives. This experience gave me a script-to-screen understanding of indie filmmaking.
But my best lesson came in our last movie together. We were going into production on a 1.5 million dollar budget.
At the time, this was our most ambitious project, which seemed like a good investment because all the marketable elements were in place. We had great actors, a great script, and money in the bank… Then disaster struck. Three weeks before production commenced, the project fell apart.
Suddenly, I was in New York with no job, bills to pay, and 96 dollars in the bank.
But like all periods of adversity, there is always a silver lining. My former instructor in Maine needed an assistant for his filmmaking course and I was just the guy for the job. So I packed my car and drove to Maine, where I spent the rest of the summer helping new filmmakers learn the ropes.
Somewhere between then and now, I relocated to Los Angeles, spent time working as an executive for a fortune 500 Investment bank, started a production company, garnered producer credits on some feature films, became a cult zombie fighting action hero (dream come true!), and made friends with some of the most well-respected professionals in the industry.
With Filmmaking Stuff, I’m going to work very hard to provide you with Hollywood success strategies and help you avoid common pitfalls. And above all, I want to give you the confidence to not only make features but make money-making features.
I invite you to check out the filmmaking articles, and the filmmaking and screenwriting books. Additionally, we have included filmmaking 101 videos as part of the site.
Basically, I’m working to supply you with everything I wish I would have had.
Also, if you look to your right, you should sign up for the free 21-part mini course.