This is a transcript of SYS 448 – Co-Writers With Boxing Gloves: Diego Hallivis and Julio Hallivis.
Welcome to Episode 448 of the Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter and blogger over at sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today I am interviewing writer, director, producer brothers – Diego and Julio Hallivis. They just did a cool contained horror film called American Carnage. They’ve done a good number of shorts and a bunch of features now. So, we talked through all of that, as well as this latest film, and how it all came together. It’s a great conversation, so stay tuned for that interview.
If you find this episode valuable, please help me out by giving me a review in iTunes or leaving a comment on YouTube or retweeting the podcast on Twitter or liking or sharing it on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread the word about the podcast, so they’re very much appreciated. Any websites or links that I mentioned the podcast can be found on my blog in the show notes. I also publish a transcript with every episode in case you’d rather read the show or look at something later on. You can find all the podcast show notes at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast, and then just look for episode number 448. If you want my free guide How to Sell a screenplay in five weeks, you can pick that up by going to sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. It’s completely free. Just put in your email address and I’ll send you a new lesson once per week for five weeks along with a bunch of bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screenplay in that guide. I’ll teach you how to write a professional logline and query letter, and how to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for material, really is everything you need to know to sell your screenplay, just go to sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.
A quick few words about what I’ve been working on over the last week or so. So, I’m still very much plugging away getting this film festival in order. As this episode publishes, I think September 5th, the festival is October 7th. So, about a month away. I record podcast episodes a couple of weeks before so I’m actually recording this, you know, August 19th is actually when I’m recording it, even though it’s publishing September 5th. So, if you want to stay up on the Announcements do join my email list. Again, that’s just sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. I will keep the announcements going and they’ll just be a little fresher, there’s a limit to how fresh I can make the podcast content, at least in terms of just you know, day to day, new day to day information. Hopefully by the time this episode publishes, I’ve got the schedule all figured out. But that’s the main thing I’m actually doing today. After I get done recording this podcast, I’ve got to get the schedule really finalized, we’re still trying to do something with Virtual Pitch Fest on that Saturday night, actually, we’re going to do sort of a co-sponsored screening, and we’re trying to get those films in order. There’s a lot of moving parts to all of this. And as I said, I’m sort of at the early stages getting it all set up. But we’re definitely going to do a screenplay reading I mentioned this before, on October 9th at 2pm at our theatre, the Yard Theatre in Hollywood. I’m going to bring in a bunch of great professional actors to read the screenplay. And then me and some of the other writers and judges, industry judges will be in the audience listening. And then we will give notes to the writer afterwards, I’m basically going to run it like I used to run the writers group, we’re going to get as I said, a bunch of actors on stage, they’ll each have a part and they will read it. And we’ll be listening. It’s a great fun, interesting learning experience. I always found it interesting. Just hearing what other people thought about the same material, you know, the same reading, and you get to hear this in real time. You know, you’ll have your thoughts, you’ll hear somebody else and you might disagree or agree. But it’s just an interesting way of sort of critiquing a script and you learn as much in the audience, I always felt like, as you do, even when you’re having your own material critiqued. So, get your tickets. If that sounds like something that’s interesting to you, I will be sending out the link again to my email list. And maybe by next week, I’ll have this set up. So, you’ll be able to find that link in the podcast show notes. But for sure, as I said, I’ll send it out to my email list. And as we get closer, as I said, all the announcements for the festival, I will just keep sending them out. So, keep an eye on your email. As I send these links out for buying tickets and other announcements. Anyway, again, the festival is going to be October 7th to October 9th in Hollywood. Hopefully you can come out. But that’s the main thing I’ve been working on here over the last week or so. So now let’s get into the main segment. Today, I’m interviewing writer directing producing brothers, Diego and Julio Hallivis, here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Diego and Julio to the Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. I really appreciate you guys coming on the show with me today.
Diego: Thank you. Thanks for having us.
Ashley: So, to start out, maybe you can give us a little bit of background about yourself. Where did you guys grow up? And how did you get interested in the entertainment business?
Diego: So, we were born in Mexico City, but then we moved to Florida when we were around, you know, 11 or 12 years old. And then we grew up in Florida. We went to film school there. And we actually started making short films in high school. And then early on in college. We kind of always knew right away that we wanted to be filmmakers. Even before I knew the concept of what a producer was I started reaching out to Julio for help. And you know, getting things done for our short films. And then quickly that turned into a great partnership. And that’s when we started writing together and coming up with it gets together. And then we just kind of formed a production company.
Ashley: Gotcha. Yeah. So, Julio, give us your sort of version of that. What were you doing as Diego was starting to do some of these shorts? How did you sort of fit into that? Did you want to be in the film business as well?
Julio: I mean, yeah, I was always interested, you know, especially from San Diego. So, into it. I mean, he’s who he was always watching movies, we’re always watching behind the scenes. And when we started doing short films, he started asking me for help, you know, as a brother, I was like, yeah, let me help you with whatever you need. And then, little by little, we started collaborating more and more and more until we did our first feature we did in New York for very, very little money. And after that, we started we got to move to LA and just make it happen.
Ashley: So, let’s talk about some of that. What were some of your guys first steps? You did a bunch of short films, how did you get that first feature film off the ground?
Diego: Well, it started it was going to be a thesis for school. And, you know, I was like, alright, we need as many sources like, how can we make this line look as good as possible? But that’s what really was like, why are we making the short, like if we’re going to go out there and like, really do this? Let’s make a movie. So, we can sell it, otherwise, we cannot sell it. So, it was really cool pushing. You know, how far we could take this. And then it became; Alright, when making a movie, I guess.
Julio: I mean, we knew that a short film we couldn’t sell. So, I told him like, look, nobody cares about short films. There are so many short films, we have the equipment, you know, we have some time, you know, spending for this thesis. Let’s just make it a feature. So, we raised a little bit of money from friends and family. And we went to New York, we had a little bit of resources there. And then we just shot it.
Ashley: So, perfect. Perfect. So, then what was that moment where you guys decided, Okay, we got to get out to Los Angeles. And how did you guys make that transition?
Diego: Well, once we finished post production for that film, we just sold all our things. And then we just bought a one-way ticket and we landed in LA. I mean, it was kind of stressful, because I mean, I’ve never been there before. So just getting inside an airplane and landing and saying, like, this is where I live. It’s kind of shocking. But if you want to be a filmmaker, you kind of know that that’s the step you have to do. So, like there was never a Plan B.
Julio: Like 11 years ago, I mean, it was not so much like remote, you know, working or anything like that you have to come to LA in New York with there’s a lot of things happening. And we had a finished film that we needed to figure out how to sell. So, we just came to LA and started knocking on doors, you know, and we went to the AFM film markets post, that’s a place to sell your film. So, we’ve got a batch and we started knocking every single person’s door to see who would sell it, who buy our film, and then Grindstone got our movie, and they released and then from there, we just started working here freelancing until we were able to get another project going.
Ashley: Gotcha. So, now that you guys have been here in LA for a while, do you have any advice for people who are maybe looking to make that same transition from another part of the country or a world and moving to LA? And just some real specific stuff? Like we’re in LA do you recommend people live in this the year 2022 if they just arrived here? Exactly what you’re saying they get off the airport? Where should they go to first to look for an apartment? Where should they go to look for a job? What are some resources that maybe you could offer to them?
Diego: Yeah, I mean, I think the main thing is just try to keep your expenses low because LA can be a little bit expensive. So, you know, even if you try to have to go to East LA or Burbank or the valley or wherever you can get you know, cheap rent and keep your expenses low. That way you can, you know, concentrate on creating projects and creating stuff because you’re going to have to get a day job, you know, and, I mean, the best way is to try to get into a company, staffing company or something like that, that can get you jobs here and there and start meeting people go to every single event, you know, the PGA has great events or for people that are not in the PGA, the WGA the DGA, I mean, you can go to events you can kind of meet because a lot of film festivals, you know, and in this industry is a lot about connections, you know, so the more people you meet, the more people you’re going to know. And it’s just the way it is, you know, and also a lot of people say we want to be filmmakers, screenwriters, and but they really are not writing, you know, I mean, we’ve written 10 scripts before we were able to make something happen, you know, and rewrite and rewrite and rewrites and it’s just tough you know, but if you keep going if you keep trying, I mean, there’s a lot of people that make it up here.
Julio: I guess for me the advice I would say is, you know, making a movie, it’s a team effort. It’s not a just a single person kind of thing. So, you definitely want to find a someone like a partner. So, you can bounce ideas so you can like help each other out when you’re feeling down because like this industry is it’s kind of like brutal in that sense that it takes a long time, a lot of rejection in the way, and you can get easily discouraged, right. But if you’re with a group of friends that everyone wants to make movies, you know, then you help each other out. And then you have like a little group, a little clique that you can rely on in order to survive and make things happen. Because then if somebody gets a gig doing something, they can bring your horse because like that, as you know, we experienced that, right? Like, you get up to a gig here, then you get another gig somewhere else, but you need someone to pull you along for another job. And then you need someone to then introduce you to someone else. So definitely, it’s a team effort.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. Sound advice, for sure. So, let’s dig into your latest feature film American Carnage. Maybe to start out you guys can just give us a quick pitch or logline. What is this film all about?
Julio: It’s a movie where after an executive order, some young kids are sent into government program, and then quickly they find out that there’s a sinister secret waiting for them.
Ashley: What was the genesis of this? Where did this idea come from?
Julio: The Genesis came from us being immigrants ourselves, and then seeing the political climate, seeing the videos of the separation of families, seeing how both political parties use the Latin community to manipulate the masses. And so, what we just wanted to do was something that was a social commentary on that. But doing it in a way that it felt fun, because you know, there’s a lot of documentaries and stuff about this subject matter, but it gets very dark very quickly. It’s not something it’s easy to consume. So, we wanted to make something that you had a fun time watching it. But it also made me think I’m very animated at the same time. It’s a fun experience.
Ashley: And I’m curious, you mentioned your first feature film, you guys are sort of just getting out there, you’re going to AFM talking to distributors. How much of this was a business decision just in terms of this? I mean, it’s a fairly contained movie, once you guys get to the main location, you know, it takes place a lot there. So, there’s a lot sort of going in terms of just a low budget genre film. But how much did that sort of play into your going for this and trying to get this movie made, as opposed to something that maybe needed a bigger budget?
Diego: Yeah, I mean, I think that you are always conscious with the budget, you know, as an indie filmmaker, you never have enough money, you always have to cut corners, somehow there’s so prices every day. I mean, you write a movie with something in mind, and then when, when you shoot it, you know, it’s something a little bit different. Because, again, you have a lot of limitations, you know, and that you always keep that in mind. But I think that we knew that we wanted to do something that look bigger than what was, you know, I mean, I think that, right now, there’s a lot of content out there, there’s a lot of movies out there, and you have to be conscious of what you’re writing in order to make something that is going to be a little bit different or a little bit better than the other stuff, you know, so we had to kind of always keep that in mind.
Julio: Yeah, definitely. When you’re developing, when you’re writing story like this, you figure out what is it that you want to tell, but then you are, you’re always going back and rewriting and re-engineering based on what’s available what you have in order to make it happen. It doesn’t matter, you have like the best script, if it takes $100 million to make it, you know, it’s just not going to happen. So, it’s that struggle between in your mind, what’s the movie that you want? Versus like the reality and how do you know, where do they meet? And how do you make that happen?
Diego: I mean, we had to rewrite a couple of scenes on you know, already in pre-production just because we knew, Okay, we have to love this. We have to we know we’re going to go to another location, we cannot find this. We have to consolidate cover locations, and you have to you have to be lenient when it comes to that and make it work, you know.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So, let’s dig into your writing process a little bit. Talk about your collaboration. How do you guys work together in terms of producing a script? Do you do like index cards in the same room? Do you get on Skype or something, just talk through your sort of collaborative process, how it works, do you divide up scenes, one person does a pass on the scene and the other person takes it, just maybe walk through sort of your collaboration, how you guys work.
Diego: So, in terms of like, the ideas and the beats and everything we use, we use a whiteboard, we have a bunch of whiteboards, and we write everything. And then that way, we can like you know, rearrange things. And then when it comes to the development of it all like all that stuff, the writing the dialogue and all that it’s the two of us in the same room, just you know, with a computer in front of us and we just like make it happen, bounce ideas back and forth. We always start pretty much with an outline. I mean, I think that’s the first then once we have an outline we start developing, you know a little bit more of each scene and that’s what we continue doing but it takes a long time. You know, we sometimes argue a lot you because we have very different opinions. But at the end of the day, we figure something out that works. And we’re both happy. But it’s a long process. And it’s a lot of rewriting. I mean, if we rewrite a lot,
Julio: But we definitely make sure that we know where we want to go with it. We like we already know the ending.
Ashley: How do you guys, and especially being brothers, it’s a little bit of a different situation than just a typical writing partner. But when you guys have these differences of opinion, and you guys are arguing, are there any just moments where there’s just no, you just don’t see eye to eye? And ultimately, how do you get past those moments? How do you come to some sort of, you know, consensus?
Diego: I mean, we yell up to each other. I go to my house, you know, I leave him alone for a couple of days. And he texts me an idea. And then I text them another one.
Julio: Sometimes we do like have, you know, we would pitch to someone that we trust, like a writer friend of ours, and see what a third opinion is. And then sometimes they think, something completely different. And then we’re like, oh, actually, that’s even better than both of our ideas. Or sometimes, you know, that person would say, with me and with him, and we kind of like, it’s like a democratic process. But even there’s some times where we like flip a coin, and then we just kind of experiment with that. And then we ended up rewriting that scene anyway, because we just ended up going a different direction, we have a pair of boxing gloves, we do this alone. We’re not kidding. Like in the living room, we push all the furniture to the side. And sometimes we just kind of like fight it out. And then and then once you blow some steam, then you’re like, in a better mindset to just talk creatively, because like, you know, you let it all out, and then you talk and then it becomes a credit conversation.
Diego: Like we never get stuck somewhere just because we have differences, you know, we get stuck maybe in a creative way, because we don’t know where to go and takes us a little bit longer to get there. But when it comes to we, we don’t agree on something. I mean, we’re always making work, you know, in a couple of days.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, you mentioned you guys don’t start really writing until you have a pretty detailed outline. How much time do you spend on the outline? versus how much time? Are you actually in final draft? I’m just curious, just like, what is the ratio you spend, you know, a month on the outline, then a month and final draft? Two months on each? What does that sort of look like for you guys?
Diego: I think, it depends. Every project has been different, for sure. But we always spend more time writing than the outline, because like, the outline is just kind of like crack the story. And then, I think the writing part is the one that takes too long, dialogue and all that kind of stuff. Sometimes we change a character, once we have a completed draft, but then that character, making that change, has like a domino effect. So, then you have to go back, and then you know, it just becomes a bigger deal. But you got to do what you got to do.
Julio: I mean, we do have an outline, but we’re big believers that we just got to start writing, you know, because even though we have an outline, and we following at first, I mean, that might change a lot by the end, you know, because the main thing is, it’s never going to be perfect, it’s never going to be oh, this is a perfect outline. Oh, this is a perfect ending. This is a perfect man, you just got to start writing and put something on the page, because little by little once you have those 91st pages. I mean, you change a lot. And sometimes you rewrite from the beginning everything, but it’s just starting the process what I think gets us going.
Diego: Yes, 100% I think getting the first draft is always the hardest part just because, you know, you’re going to have to go back and change a lot of things, but just getting it done the first task, then it becomes real. And then you can start talking about a real project about what seems to change and all that.
Julio: And I can tell you that every first draft is always trash. So, it’s the way it is, you know, just write the first one and then just work from there.
Diego: Yeah, absolutely. I don’t think we’ve ever done a project that’s less than eight drafts into the screenplay. So, you know that the first two, three, you just have to like power through them just because you need to get it done. And give yourself the sandbox of where you playing with.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. Sound Advice. I totally agree with you on all that. So, were there any interesting lessons that you guys learned writing the screenplay? Anything that surprised you just some takeaways from writing this?
Diego: Well, at first, I guess we were very protective of our previous scripts. And even this one, in a sense of like, this needs to be done this way. This needs to be set this way. But we realized that we actually work better when we’re on set and we’re kind of like improvising things. Just because you already did the work when you were writing it that you already know exactly what the motivation of the scene is, you know exactly what the motivation of the character is. So that gives you the freedom to then have more room in when you’re filming it, is to you know, how you can execute it, how you can do this, but I mean, I didn’t feel comfortable doing this until I did the work before in the development in the writing of it, because you need to make sure you know exactly what every scene should be about.
Julio: And I think a lot of it a lesson on this one is we had a script that we really liked and that we wanted. But once we had an amazing cast that made things a lot easier, I mean, working with them and hearing sometimes their point of views and sometimes their improvisation how they felt in certain scenes. I mean, that was something that sometimes we were, you know, not open to it. But in this film, I think with a great cast, you know, it was very easy for us to hear different ideas. And we’re like, oh, yeah, this works. And once you hear these great ideas from the cast, you know, when they tell you a couple of improvisation lines here and there. I mean, that worked very well.
Diego: Yeah, for sure. Like, in your mind, when you were writing it, you have this idea of like, what it should be. But then when you come to the reality of casting, and you bring actors in, a lot of the times we realized like, Okay, this character should be a little bit more this way, just because we got this actor, and this actor is great at doing that. So, let’s just work with the strengths of this actor, and let’s have this character and this actor kind of like, do like a hybrid of the original character that we had, and what this actor can bring to the table. And I feel like that way you can elevate the material, because then you’re using someone else’s skills to enhance your writing to enhance your comedy or to enhance, you know, the tension of a scene.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So, let’s talk about your development process a little bit. You mentioned all these drafts that you guys typically do. What does that look like from draft to draft? Do you have an agent or a manager? Do you have actor friends, other writer friends that you send out to and you get notes back? Or is it just between the two of you guys doing you know, just improving it and bouncing ideas off of it, but just describe what is your development process look like?
Diego: I mean, at the beginning, it’s just us. At the beginning, the first couple of drafts is definitely just us. But then after that, we give it to some people that we know that we trust, you know, to read it that we know their opinion, because obviously you can only ask people to read so many drafts, you know, I mean, it can get annoying for people. So, we make sure that the project is somewhere, then obviously, yeah, we have our managers that help us out, then we have friends that work at agencies, depending on the script, and depending on who it is producers, friends, and we always try to get a little bit of advice or like a take on it. But I think at the end of the day, we know what we want. And we and we think I mean, we feel it, you know, and it’s only an advice, and people can only give you suggestions and stuff like that. Because at the end of the day, it’s hard, you know, and you have to go for what you think works.
Julio: Also, in terms of like changing the screenplay, I guess there’s two phases, right? There’s the phase of when you’re just writing it to see if it can get made, you’re in this world of you kind of like in a vacuum, right? The reality hasn’t kicked in, in terms of like budgets, time schedules, and all that other stuff. So, once you are done with that face, and then you’re writing for the production part of it, then you need to start adapting certain scenes and maybe rewriting them to take place in another place, just because you need that location that they and then okay, this scene can work here. So, it’s always evolving, it’s always moving. And you always you need to be open, you know about it. Just because you know, as an independent filmmaker, you wish you had all the money and time in the world to like to shoot it the way you want it. But that’s just not the reality. So, you need to learn how to play ball and how to roll with the punches.
Ashley: Yeah, for sure. I’m curious, how do you guys approach screenplay structure and just sort of genre requirements, and I just in the context of like, a Syd Field or Blake Snyder, you know, they have a very distinct sort of template for screenwriters to follow, but just with plot points and stuff, but where do you guys fall on that and just in terms of screenplay structure, and sort of using a paradigm that, you know, a tried and true paradigm like that?
Diego: Yeah. Well, I guess that’s a great question in the sense, because that’s where you’ll see a difference between the two of us. Julio is very respectful of the of the classical structure, you know, and I like to go a little bit crazy with bending the genre and going crazy with it. And in that sense, I need his help to ground me in a way because otherwise, I’ll just go too crazy with it. So, he’s always very good at keeping the plot the plot, where like, sometimes I like to be so crazy with it that I lose sight of the purpose of the story. So, we’re very good in that sense that we kind of balance each other’s strengths, because then sometimes I’ll come up with like a creative way to do something that’s unconventional, but then it will be like, that’s not like conventional, but that works and I really like it. So, we really bounce ideas that way.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, okay, so let’s talk about once you guys had a draft of this script that you guys really liked, what were those next steps actually getting it produced? Did you guys know you wanted to direct it and produce it yourself? Did you send it out and try and find a bigger production company to finance it, but just talk through those steps. Once you had your script done that you were happy with, how did you guys ultimately get it to the finish line?
Diego: I mean, we definitely wanted to be able to direct the script. You know, we always I mean, we were writing for the other two directors. And I mean, we tried, we knocked multiple doors, we talked to everyone in town, we you know, and sometimes you just nothing happens, nothing happens until someone reads a script. And I mean, we talked to one of our friends Andres, who he’s a producer, he was born in Spain. And he said; Hey, guys, I think I have a couple of people in Spain that can help us make this happen. We also were lucky enough that someone inside CAA read the script and loved it. And he helped us a lot. And help us get the casting going and get everything going. And then little by little, you start putting the pieces together. And that’s why the movie was actually shot in Spain, because of the access that we had over there to certain crew and financing and certain stuff. So, that’s the way this one works, you know, but it’s just there’s so many ways to skin the cat, you know, like they say, but it’s just a matter of hearing 1000 No’s to get one Yes, you know, so it’s just it’s just getting used to rejection and going knocking on doors.
Julio: Yeah. And I think unlike the other projects we’ve done in the past, this was because of the subject matter because of the story because of the twist and all that we got a different reaction. And so, once we gave it to the right person at the right time, that changed everything, because then you start getting like a little bit of hype behind it. And then that is what helps the project move to the next phase.
Ashley: Gotcha. And I’m curious, you just mentioned a producer who found some funding in Spain, you mentioned a friend that was at CAA. How did you make those connections? Just specifically, just so people have some sort of context if they want to start to get their network? Do you remember how you met these folks?
Diego: Yeah, I mean, you meet them through like I said, the PGA events. I mean, the producer Andres, he was introduced to us from another friend that we met and another event, and then little by little, just start meeting people. And then you know, you have to be careful when to ask for favors pretty much what scripts to send, because you have this friend, and if you send 10 scripts to him, you send a script a month, he’s going to get tired. So, you have to know who to send the right project. But I mean, mostly, I think all these people we’ve met through either, you know, having meetings, you know, our manager sends us to general meetings, talking to people all over town. Like I said, some film festivals everywhere.
Julio: You know, also, I think, one thing that, I guess some people don’t realize how it works is that some of the connections that we had for this project, there were connections that we had from years back, because like, we did a short film, and we kind of went viral and all that stuff. And then we try to make other projects happen, and those that didn’t happen. And then it was just because this one for click, the relationship that we fostered over the years, kind of like paid off, it wasn’t like, we just met someone on Monday, and then on Tuesday, you know, we knew them, just because we’ve been an L.A for like, 11 years now.
Diego: I mean, you need a lot of patience, you know, you need to have as many relationships as possible, because you never know who’s going to help you with what, how the dots are going to connect somehow.
Ashley: And I think you guys bring up a really good point. And I don’t know that people that are outside the industry fully appreciate this. You mentioned that you had a bunch of other projects that you guys were working on that didn’t actually get made. And there’s so much of that, so many of us as filmmakers, we work on these projects that never actually do cross the finish line. And can you give us some sort of context with that? Like, how many projects like American Carnage did you get real close to starting production, but then for whatever reason the money falls through or just something doesn’t quite happen to actually get a win, what is sort of the percentage? How many projects do you guys work on to get one actually completed?
Diego: Oh, man, I mean.
Julio: Yeah, I guess, it’s a tricky question, because there’s the version of like, how many projects we’ve been pushing, and then how many projects were actually in the process of like, maybe happening? I mean, I can think of at least two projects that fell through Alaska, or Puerto Rico. I mean, we have projects that we were ready to go with pretty much casting and then the money pulls through, you know, and, I mean, also in this town, it’s really tough, and there’s so many moving pieces that, but I can tell you that it’s 5% of the projects that get made, you know, I mean, it’s really, really tough. And I think one thing that we always said is like, let’s just make sure that we don’t have a baby in a way, you know, like, we don’t want to treat a project like we’re not going to change this, we’re not going to do this. We’re not going to you know, like for us it’s pretty much like we just want to be filmmakers. And we just want to do stuff, we just want to create our you know, so I mean, we’re open to suggestions, we’re open to changing stuff, we’re open to doing whatever we need to do, as long as it keeps the story and doesn’t compromise the story, of course, but I mean, you have to be open. And I think that it’s important that that you let go sometimes have certain projects, if someone’s willing to help you for a credit or for money or for or something, you know, there’s so many people that I’ve heard that I know that they want to be have so much control of their project, that it’s tough for them to have other people help them that nothing gets made, you know, so just got to be open. And because it’s really, really, really tough to make a project, you know, that’s one thing that a lot of people don’t realize. And it’s really hard for you to get this art out there, you know, and then obviously, everyone’s going to criticize it, because that’s, that’s the world we live in. But, but it’s really, really, really tough to make a project when you put so much sweat, tears and blood into projects, and you work 16 hours, you know, so you really have to love it. But it’s really tough to get it made.
Julio: Yeah, and I guess you got to just always keep in mind that a lot of the times has nothing to do with like the script itself, that if the project doesn’t get made, or there’s a lot of moving pieces, it’s a lot of variables. The two projects we were talking about, the reason why they didn’t happen is because of the tax incentives, rules change. And then all of a sudden, all this money that you were going to get, you’re not getting. And that was the reason why the project happen. So, it has nothing to do with like the actual story or, you know, what you want it to do with it. It’s just more of like, the ecosystem in which how movies got made, sometimes on variable, you know, just makes everything collapsed. But it had nothing to do with the creative part of it.
Diego: And I think people have to remember that. It’s like, sometimes you send a script and they say, oh, this is not good. This doesn’t work or this, you know, this doesn’t work for us. That doesn’t mean anything. You know, that’s just one person’s opinion. So, I mean, that’s what you have to know what you like, and just keep pushing and keep pushing, pushing and perseverance.
Ashley: Yeah, for sure. How can people see American Carnage? You know what the release schedule is going to be like?
Diego: Yeah, I mean, it will be coming out tomorrow, Friday, July 15th, is going to be on all the demand platforms, you know, you can rent it an Apple, you can rent and Roku, Amazon everything. And then from there, we’re hoping let’s see where we land up in a streamer, but for sure, we’re going to go into streamer. We’re talking to a couple of them right now. But right now, Lionsgate and savannah releasing and then let’s see where we go from there.
Ashley: Perfect. And what’s the best way for people to keep up with what you’re doing? Twitter, Facebook, a blog, anything you’re comfortable sharing, I will round up for the show notes.
Diego: Yeah, I mean, we are actually aren’t known to that when it comes to social media, but I think like either Twitter or Instagram, you know, that’s normally where we will post any announcements or anything going on for sure.
Ashley: Perfect, perfect. I’ll round those up those links, so people can click over to. Well, congratulations, getting this film done. Good luck with it. And good luck with all your feature films. I really appreciate you coming on and talking with me.
Diego: Thank you so much for your time, and good luck with everything.
Ashley: Thank you. We’ll talk to you guys later.
SYS’s from concept to completion, screenwriting course is now available, just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/screenwritingcourse, it will take you through every part of writing a screenplay, coming up with a concept, outlining, writing the opening pages, the first act, second act, third act and then rewriting and then there’s even a module at the end on marketing your screenplay once it’s polished and ready to be sent out. We’re offering this course in two different versions. The first version, you get the course, plus, you get three analyses from an SYS reader, you’ll get one analysis on your outline, and then you’ll get two analyses on your first draft of your screenplay. This is just our introductory price, you’re getting three full analyses, which is actually the same price as our three-pack analysis bundle. So, you’re essentially getting the course for free when you buy the three analyses that come with it. And to be clear, you’re getting our full analysis with this package. The other version doesn’t have the analysis. So, you’ll have to find some friends or colleagues who will do the feedback portion of the course with you. I’m letting SYS Select members do this version of the course for free. So, if you’re a member of SYS Select you already have access to it. You also might consider that as an option. If you join SYS Select you will get the course as part of that membership too. A big piece of this course is accountability, once you start the course, you’ll get an email every Sunday with that week’s assignment. And if you don’t complete it, we’ll follow up with another reminder the next week, it’s easy to pause the course if you need to take some time off, but as long as you’re enrolled, you’ll continue to get reminders for each section until it’s completed. The objective of the course is to get you through it in six months so that you have a completed power screenplay ready to be sent out. So, if you have an idea for a screenplay and you’re having a hard time getting it done, this course might be exactly what you need. If this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/screenwritingcourse. It’s all one word, all lowercase. I will of course is the link to the course in the show notes and I will put a link to the course on the homepage up in the right hand sidebar. On the next episode of the podcast, I’m going to be interviewing screenwriter Richard Pierce. You may remember that he was the winner of the SYS Six-Figure Screenplay Contest two years ago with his winning screenplay killer profile, and his movie got produced through the contest, were able to introduce him to an industry judge that took the film to one of his contacts at MarVISTA. And they actually produced the film really very, very quickly. And he stayed very busy from this first initial project that he got set up at MarVista. They ended up hiring him for some other projects. Ted Campbell, who is the director and producer, who was our industry judge and was introduced to Richard ended up working with Richard on a bunch of other projects, they actually have something that they’re real close to getting greenlit. So, we talked about that a little bit. But anyways, next week’s episode is Richard coming back on and sort of talking about his career as a screenwriter, since he made that initial sale. And it’s really interesting, as I said, he’s got a lot of re-write work. And it all stems really from his deep understanding of how these lifetime movies work. And not just a deep understanding, but a real appreciation for these lifetime movies. And now he’s said he’s getting these gigs, rewriting them. He did another one where he pitched a bunch of loglines. And they ended up hiring him to write one of the logline. So, he talks about all this next week and just how he was been able to get these deals, how he’s been able to move from one project to another network, and just grow his screenwriting resume. It’s really a fascinating interview. And he’s very, very candid about all that. So, glad to have Richard back on next week, so keep an eye out for that episode. It’s really interesting. Anyways, that’s our show. Thank you for listening.