Ashley Scott Meyers: Welcome to episode 73 of the selling your screenplay podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers screenwriter and blogger over at sellingyourscreenplay.com. This episode’s main segment I’m interviewing director Jarret Tarnol and writer Brent Tarnol who recently did film called See You in Valhalla starring Sarah Hyland. We’ll be talking about how they started in the industry and how they got this film produced. So, stay tuned for that.
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Couple of quick notes any website, or links that I mentioned in 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 #73. Also 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. How to write a professional logline, inquiry letter, 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.
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So, know let’s get into the main segment today I’m interviewing Jarret and Brent Tarnol. Here is the interview:
Ashley Scott Meyers: Welcome Jarret and Brent to the selling your screenplay podcast. I really appreciate you guys coming on the show.
Jarret Tarnol: It’s our pleasure thank you so much for having us.
Brent Tarnol: Thank you for having us.
Ashley Scott Meyers: So, to start out I wonder if you could give us a quick overview of your career in the entertainment industry. In a minute we’re going to talk specifically about See You in Valhalla your latest film so, maybe you can kind of bring us from you know, your childhood up till that moment when you started working on that project.
Brent Tarnol: Well so, it started with me we’ll you know, I’ll start. I was an actor, I was in theatre in high school and an agent came to the play and was like hey, you want to be an actor? And I was like, “Sure, I’ll do it.” And I became an actor this is when I was like seventeen. And you know, I realized the grind was hard so, I became a writer to write myself parts and I realized I wanted to get my own stuff made and I’m not very good at like the business side of things. That’s where he comes in he’s working at Wall Street.
Jarret Tarnol: And then Brent you know after short came acting career. Brent had a lot of success with guest starts and you know, had a lot of network thing. So, you know it wasn’t that Brent wasn’t necessarily having success I think you know, the audition grind and all that you know, Brent wanted to work. So Brent started writing shorts and I was actually in New York working on Wall Street. I was working at a fund that dealt with financing of commercial properties, hotels and things like that and came back here and Brent asked me to kind of help him start to produce some of these shorts. We started doing shorts then I started directing some of the stuff and we did two features Barrio Tales and April Apocalypse both available on iTunes and Barrio Tales actually on Showtime and stuff like that and See You in Valhalla kind of came across our plate with Sarah Hyland from our family. We came to her and say, hey listen let’s try to make low budget film together and See You in Valhalla was kind of born.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Okay, perfect. One of the things I recommend people come to my blog and they’re always asking you know how can sell a screenplay and a lot of them don’t necessarily live in L.A. and this and that. One of the things recommend is you know, go do a bunch of shorts you can meet a lot of people, you can kind of get your sort of chops as far as a just like the technical you know, logistical aspects of filmmaking. How did you guys see doing all of these shorts, did those shorts lead to features? Maybe just give us a little rundown on what you did with your shorts. Did you send them to film festivals? And how do you think that sort of laid the ground work for your current career?
Brent Tarnol: Well I actually think neither of us went to film school and so I think that doing your own thing and getting on set is important. It’s film school in a way and we learned, we’ll still learning actually. We’re always learning and we’ll never stop but I think that being on set is the best way to learn how to make things what work, what doesn’t work and all that stuff.
Jarret Tarnol: Yeah, I mean I think for us especially for me who you know, step foot on my first set I don’t know like five and half years ago. I didn’t even know what a key grip was, or a gap, or so for me I needed to really learn the ropes and you know, it showed us first of all It kind of shown me that I wanted to be a director first and foremost and working on a short film yet with did go to fast for out with some of them we had since success with this one short called I own my life to Corbin Bleu. That did a lot of things for us and got us in a lot of rooms and things like that and yeah I mean, we met so many people on set you know, and that’s the thing and now we say you’re not going to meet people working at Starbucks you need to have other jobs to get that, but at the same time you need to be out there working. You know having a screenplay like that committed to be greatest screenplay of all time but if you have no one to get it to and no one takes you seriously you know, I think it’s really tough. For us we’re big believers in just going out and doing it more so than anything else.
Ashley Scott Meyers: And I myself as well. One of the fallacies I think maybe I think you guys can speak to this a bit. A lot of people when they start to do their short this idea, “Oh, It’s going to go viral.” And then when it doesn’t go viral they somehow feel like that’s a let down and I keep trying to tell people listen it’s probably not going to viral but that doesn’t mean it was a failure, and maybe you could talk to that I mean, it sounds like this Corbin Bleu finally got you some meetings and stuff but there was a whole bunch of shorts before that and do you feel like those were a waster? Do you feel like those added to your overall career.
Brent Tarnol: Those are absolutely not a waste you know, there are scripts that I’ve written that will never take out and they’re shorts that we get that we’ll never show people because it was film school and you know, it’s like I’m not going to show people my high school essay on something but I might show them you know, like a poem that I wrote now. I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Ashley Scott Meyers: [Laughs] No, I know I hear you. Go ahead.
Jarret Tarnol: I was just going to say you know for me I’m a director that’s is very hard on myself and you know I feel like we’ve been very restricted with time and budget and we’re finally getting the opportunities to make some bigger stuff which kind of came from having its success of selling great films and being out there. But for me you’re never going unless you want to keep getting better you’re never going to love every single thing you do but that’s where you get your learning experience say, “Oh I wish I did that.” So, then the next time when you’re in that situation you can sit there and say, “I’ve learned from my last experience.” I think you know our first feature to me is a low budget horror film it’s not something that I’m going to rest my career on, but at the end of the day it’s played on Showtime for over a year and a half and it gave us legitimacy that we could start and finish a film which I think is the most important thing. It’s getting from start to finish because so many people don’t do that, yeah.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Yeah, for sure. Okay, let’s dig in to See You in Valhalla. Brent since you’re the writer maybe you can just give us a quick pitch, or logline of it. I will link to the trailer in the show notes so people can definitely look at the trailer before or after I do this interview, but let’s start with just a logline, or a quick pitch of what’s sort of the story is about.
Brent Tarnol: Yeah. It’s about a 23-year-old girl who dealt with a lot of shitty past you know, can I say those? She deals with a bad past, a bad family and she you know, left her family for a few years and then realizes one of her brothers has died. So, she has to go back to her home and see her surviving brothers and her dad. Mom passed away when she was way younger so now they’re kind of dealing with each other. That’s really what the plot is, dealing with your family.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Okay, and where did this idea come from? Was there some you know family troubles that you mind for this?
Brent Tarnol: Actually no. We have a pretty tight family. We’re the opposite of dysfunctional. We’re very close.
Jarret Tarnol: We’re weird. We’re definitely weird.
Brent Tarnol: But we’re not dysfunctional and you know, I was watching Shameless at that time when I started writing the script. I recently saw The Big Chill and I love movies like you know, Little Miss Sunshine, This is where I leave you. Just these family movies about dysfunction, how the dysfunction actually makes the family tighter at the end, and then I was watching Game of Thrones at that time. So, I was like alright Shameless Game of Thrones Big Chill let’s put it all in one movie.
Jarret Tarnol: And I think from our perspective we’ve really done a lot of horror but I never kind of think of us as horror guys you know, something that we be open in doing in the future but we really like kind of tell them a little bit of the story you know, just really character pieces and I think Brent is a writer writes really natural dialogue and as director that really helps me get really natural organic performances. So, this is an opportunity to just say, “Hey, you know we don’t want to do a horror film we want to do something that we enjoy even though it’s depressing at times, or whatever but at the end of the day it’s a happy ending and that’s the type of story that we like to tell.” Not spoiler alert but you know, that’s important to us that we get to make stuff that we would watch and that we enjoy.
Brent Tarnol: Yeah and Jarret does a good job like he has his way specially in this movie where it looks like whoever’s operating the camera’s kind of spying on this family. It feels really organic where you know, you feel like you’re watching this family right in front of you where you feel like it’s your family.
Jarret Tarnol: And it’s uncomfortable.
Brent Tarnol: That there are parts of the movie that are uncomfortable.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Yeah, yeah. One thing I’m curious as a writer myself it was very contained you know, a lot of it took place at the one house basically, a bar, a coffee shop, the apartment at the beginning so it’s a very contained script. Maybe you can speak to this a little bit Brent was that sort of by you know, you knew going in this it was going to be lower budget so really trying and keep it as contained as possible? Or did the script morphed once you started to get into production?
Brent Tarnol: We were actually fortunate to obtain financing with a pitch and not a screenplay this time. So, I knew the budget sort of going in, or what the max budget was going to be, with the minimal was going to be so, it was contained because of budget. But in a good way I wanted to make it more about the characters and not about everything else.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Okay, okay. So, I want to dig in a little bit to the business side some of the stuff you just said. Let’s talk about that you mentioned getting Sarah Hyland early on in this process obviously getting you know, an actress who is on a hit TV show is a great coup for the production and I’m kind of curious it’s sounds to me like that was the critical piece. Did that help you guys then? And just take us through so you said you just basically got some funding up front based on a pitch. Take us through that process what got you that meeting and then what ultimately got those people to say yes?
Jarret Tarnol: What happened sort of a little bit of background was it kind of goes towards you know, how actually shooting and working introduces you to people that are going to really potentially benefit your future if things go well. We did a small spec pilot of a kid show four years ago and we ended up meeting a lady by name Linda Small who runs George Lopez’s foundation. Linda kind of you know liked what we’re doing thought we had a future and introduced us to George. Started to do some work George made a cameo in one of our movies started developing television with him and then we ended up getting introduced to one of the big, George has his kidney foundation. We ended up getting introduced to one of his big contributors who wanted to go make a movie, was a big fan of modern family you know, thank God spoken very highly of. So, we’re able to obtain a meeting you know, with Sarah and with him and he basically said I want to support you guys. I think you guys have a good future, I want to work with Sarah and so he basically you know, it wasn’t a ton of money in the grand scheme of things but it was enough to make a movie that we felt you know, could get out there in that sense, and then it kind of turned into let’s come up with a story idea and then we pitched that he liked it, and it was pretty seamless.
Brent Tarnol: Linda Small has been someone who’s really helped us in this situation. She introduces us, she kind of set the whole thing up and then you know, she’s like, “I trust you, you guys take it from here.” It’s such a small world because Sarah is the youth ambassador of the George Lopez foundation. So, it kind of just all came full circle and we’re like, “Yeah, let’s all do something together.” Type of situation.
Jarret Tarnol: And the executive producer’s name is Michael G. Wilson who financed the film. So, I want to make sure to mention his name.
Brent Tarnol: Because he really helped us out.
Jarret Tarnol: Yeah and we’ve been able to I think with my financial background especially when we are in the smaller budget range you know, has helped us sort of put together a model that works, that we’ve been able to be profitable in our first two films. It gives us a bit of a track record. So, we can say, “Hey this is what we shot this film for, this around what we made.” That definitely helped in raising the financing on this one to because we’re able to kind of credit the business of it on top of just the creative side and in you know, going to that I think it’s very important for people to understand that whether you’re getting $10,000, or you’re getting 10 million dollars in the grand scheme that’s a lot of money and you need to respect that number and understand that money is really hard. Getting anybody to write a check is tough you know, getting promises is which is you’re a screenwriter people promise you the world but actually getting that check is really important.
Ashley Scott Meyers: True words that never been spoken. So, let’s talk about that relationship with Sarah Hyland for a minute back us up I mean, I know she was in I think April Apocalypse. You said she was part of this George Lopez foundation so, back us up because it seems like that was a critical component to getting this investor on board. So, just back us up you don’t think it was?
Brent Tarnol: I’ve been friends with Sarah for about six almost seven years now through the acting circle we have a lot of mutual friends and we just earned to respect for each other. She’s like, “Oh, you’re a great writer.” I’ve always wanted to work with her and be like you know, we should do something, we’re friends, we both are doing stuff and she’s like, I’d love to produce a film and so, we’re like, “Let’s figure something out and we’ll do it.” So, we’re very close friends.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Okay, okay. One thing I was just curious that you started at the beginning of the interview you said you we’re writing stuff so that you could star in stuff and I’m curious how come you didn’t give yourself a part in this?
Brent Tarnol: Because I wanted to take a step back and you know, see what it was like just to stay behind the camera and earn a respect. It also helps as an actor watching actors, other actors do things. So, I learned a ton from you know, like Michael Weston and Steve Howey, and Bret Harrison and Sarah who I have been a fan of for a very long time. So, to put myself out of it was kind of a great learning experience and I just wanted to play writer on this one and producer.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Okay, okay and take us through I mean, the entire cast obviously Sarah was great but the entire cast is really excellent and so, take us through some of that process. Now, I’m starting to get kind of this picture you know, you’ve been acting for years and have had some successes so you know a lot of actors. Were most of the actors also people that you knew, or did you just cast them, you hired a casting director did auditions?
Jarret Tarnol: No, actually we ended up hiring Barbara McCarthy who is a pretty big casting director. She cast like, The Spectacular Now, a lot of other you know really successful indie films. She does a lot about Adam Sandler stuff so, she’s a very legitimate casting director and you know, having Sarah attached definitely helped but again having work as well was something between the two of them really helped us kind of show people that, “Hey, we know what we’re doing.” We have a legitimate star attached, people dug the script and so, I don’t think we’ve worked with any of those other actors before and that was a first for everybody else in regards to the cast, yeah.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Okay, okay. One other question just going back to the casting of Sarah, I’ve had a lot of friends that are you know actors, producers, directors, whatever they have a relationship with an actor and their friends with the actor and the actress like, “Oh yeah, sure I’m happy to be in your movie.” And then just give my agent a call and they’ll work out the details and then you call the agent and it’s a totally different story. Was there ever any kind of you know, problems like that with your relationship with Sarah was strong enough that didn’t become of issue?
Brent Tarnol: Well, yeah I never wanted to cross that line until I was ready as a filmmaker to actually ask. So, there is a fine line especially when your friends because you know, your friends because your friends you’re not friends for the status of the other person. So, it was…
Jarret Tarnol: We worked with her before too.
Brent Tarnol: We’ve worked with her before.
Jarret Tarnol: So that helped even though it’s in a smaller scale it definitely helped having a working relationship with her you know, we knew her manager pretty well and her agent is a really cool person that is a big supporter as well. You know she was onboard from the very beginning and the one thing one have a lot of respect for Sarah is she makes decisions on her own. She has a great team behind her, she respects what her team says but at the end of the day Sarah is not Hollywood in that way where they make promises and then go back and then pawn it off on someone else. When Sarah says she’s going to do something you know, I have a lot of respect for her in that way.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Yeah, yeah. Okay, let’s move on to, you’ve finished the film and now you’re going out to look for distribution. Maybe you could just take us through to some of that process. What was that like? How did you ultimately find distribution? Did you guys go to some film fest? I mean, this struck me as a very film festival type of film it’s a drama, you know, Sundance all those types of heart wrenching drama yet a great ending as you say. I wouldn’t call it a happy ending but a very uplifting ending you know, so maybe you can just take us through sort of that process of you’ve finished the film and what did you next?
Jarret Tarnol: With the last film we did April Apocalypse we’re introduced to two people Peter Block who for those of you who don’t know who he is Peter is a legendary horror producer. Peter did Saw you know, Devil’s Rejects you know Peter is one of the most respected sort of creative producers in the horror world and an introduction through that came preferred content which is sales agent Kevin Iwashina and Zac Bright. They were able to sell our last film sort of doing the model of a sales screening because when you have a legitimate sales agent they can get those people in the room. April Apocalypse ended up playing a ton of the fantasy festival all over the world I mean, we played Brussels, Studios, all the big ones. With this film the timing was kind of strange because we wrapped I think like six weeks before the Sundance deadline so, we submitted a cut to Sundance but I mean it was you know, it was just a strong together unmixed sort of disaster of a film at that point same with South by Southwest. So, once those two passed we said you know, let’s finish the film try to sell it through a sales screening which we’re able to procure to preferred content and William Morris and you know, we got a couple offers it ended up going with Arch Entertainment who gave us a ten city theatrical release and you know, for a film the size of what we did it was micro, micro, micro budget it was something we couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, it sounds like your past relationships in distribution were really key to getting this one distributed as well. I want a back up because again with a lot of friends in the industry who are making independent films there so many horror stories of people finishing their film, signing with the distributor, and never seeing a dime. Maybe you can back up to some of these early deals with your first feature, or your second feature. How did you get those, how did you find a trustworthy distributor? Did you have to find some untrustworthy ones before you found your good ones?
Jarret Tarnol: You know the thing that you have to realize is I think there’s two things that are very important. I think finding an attorney that is you know, kind of sees your vision of your future and is willing to put in some work and really help make sure that you’re not getting completely you know, for lack of better term screwed up front. We we’re lucky enough on the first deal to again from a working relationship we met a sales agent, a smaller sales agent who did a great job it’s a $25,000 film ended up making a lot of money off of it and you know, I think the things, the toughest things with distributors is after you sell your film because once you sell your film you try to get as much money as you can up front because the one thing with distribution is it’s a sketchy business. It really is and it’s hard to get reporting, it’s hard to get you know, how the films actually doing, you’ll never know what’s true and what’s not. We’ve had Arch Entertainment is been by far the best distributor we’ve dealt with out of the three that we’ve come across but you know, I think it’s just it’s getting the proper attorney, getting the proper sales agent and just knowing that in a sense you are not get treated like a big Hollywood film. I mean that’s just something you kind of have to accept in the beginning because you know, they don’t really have anything to lose. You’re getting distribution it’s so hard to get distribution that it’s like either we’re not going to get the film distributed, or we’re going to understand it, we’re going to take our lumps.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Yeah, yeah and when you said you produced this film for $25,000 you’re talking about Barrio Tales that was the feature film and did you guys get some sort of an advance like when you finally found your distributor they actually paid you some sort of an advance?
Jarret Tarnol: Yeah, they paid us in advance.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Okay, okay and do you think that the distribution world has changed that was a few years ago and are you still hearing about people getting advances on $25,000 film?
Jarret Tarnol: It’s tough to get advances on any films I mean you know, again we’ve been lucky enough to have good sales agents and good attorneys that are able to do the best but the truth is like, especially on the foreign side independent films are just not selling right now.
Brent Tarnol: There’s so many especially in the horror world it’s a saturated market.
Jarret Tarnol: But with a film like this with See You in Valhalla we got lucky because truthfully I mean, most of these films like you mentioned you know, play at festivals and sell and we we’re lucky enough to find a distributor that said, “Hey listen we don’t care that you guys haven’t played at festival at this point.” We want the film, we want to release it quickly, we want to put some money behind the marketing of it and we said you know, why wait another six months to try to go to South buyer, or Sundance when we may not get the total exposure that you get with one of those things but we want to keep moving on, we want to move on to the next, we don’t want to sit with projects for years, and years. We want to get it out there if we could get it out there and I think dwelling on a small film and thinking that that is the end all be all is a mistake if you really want to grow in this business.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Yeah, yeah for sure. I just want touch on one thing you just said. You said getting a good lawyer. Let’s talk about that for a minute. Now, is getting a good lawyer mean finding someone who’s willing to work for back end I mean, on a script and a budget of $25,000 you’re not going to find a $300 an hour you’re going to need a lawyer who’s basically willing to take some back end payment.
Jarret Tarnol: Barrio Tales was a different circumstance that just we didn’t have the attorney we have now. We’re lucky enough for our sales agent who turned out to become a good friend was an attorney as well so, he handled that. We the stuff that we have now we have a lawyer that represents us like an agency would. One of the bigger law firms that we kind of again got introduced to through our work you know, he had seen April Apocalypse in an early cut he really dug and he said hey you know, he’s a younger at a big firm he said, “I believe in you guys I want to represent you.” and you know, I think it tough it’s not easy to necessarily get a lawyer that is going to jump on that early and really do a ton of work for not a lot of money at that point. So, it’s hard it’s like anything else I mean, nothings easy, it’s not easy to find an agent, it’s not easy to find a lawyer, it’s not easy to find a manager but I think and if you can’t find someone’s that’s going to represent you on a percentage basis you got to save some money in your budget, or you’re just going to get no. These contracts when you first get them this distribution contracts are so constricting and just are basically mad if someone’s dumb enough to sign it the distributor rules your life and they’re long negotiations to get into a point where it’s fair. So, I think it’s something that you need to budget for if you can’t, if you don’t have the attorney that represents you.
Ashley Scott Meyer: Okay, okay Solid advice. So, let’s talk about what’s next for you guys. What are you guys working on now and what do you see sort of in the future?
Brent Tarnol: I’m working on a musical comedy that’s untitled right now and I can’t really say much about it at the moment because we’re negotiating some stuff.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Are you a musician as well?
Brent Tarnol: I’m not, I’m not. I like music a lot. We both like music and you know, I wanted to tell a story that is similar to mine but you know, I think the struggling writer thing is been overdone so, I was like you know, why not be a rockstar in this one.
Jarret Tarnol: It’s an option property at this point and we’ve teamed up and the producers that did it are music guys big time music guys so, they are the ones that are kind of going to be writing music and doing a lot of that stuff and this is our first movie where you know, the budget is going to be much higher and we have the financing opportunities are there. It’s something we hope so shoot in the next you know, six to eight months but it kind of again its every single time our budgets have grown a little bit and we’ve proven what we can do and for us everybody has different paths. For us we’re true believers we on just going out and doing something especially nowadays you can rent a 5D, or a 7D, even an iPhone for$30 you know, $30 a day and you can go out and shoot something. The truth is if you’re good enough of telling a story, you’re good enough at being able to get point across you have a chance. It’s a tough business as a screenwriter it’s not a business that you know, if you don’t love it and you don’t want to get, you don’t like being on set, you don’t like getting your hands dirty it’s not for you.
Brent Tarnol: Go do anything else.
Jarret Tarnol: Literally go do anything else because you’ll have an easier time doing that.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Yeah, yeah. It’s definitely not about the money at the end of the day there’s a few people you know, making millions of dollars but most of the people on the trenches are just making a living and working really hard at that. So, let’s talk about See You in Valhalla. How can people see it? When is it coming out? Where will it be available?
Jarret Tarnol: It’s April 24th it will be available in theatres in all the major cities Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago, limited theatricals that means usually about one theatres in all those areas playing for a week.
Brent Tarnol: There somewhere in the middle of America you can go see this.
Jarret Tarnol: Yeah, there’s a few and I think Minnesota and there’ll be a list. They’re all AMC theatres. So, AMC will have list to where everything’s playing and then today the date release so will also be available on iTunes and all the video on demand platforms and then May 26th they’ll be out on DVD.
Brent Tarnol: Hey, I didn’t know that.
Jarret Tarnol: Which DVD’s are a dying, dying breed but you know, it’s a nice thing to have your film on so, it’s available on a lot of platforms.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Okay, perfect, perfect. I wonder to I always like to wrap up the interviews people listening to this they might want to just get to know you more, follow along. Maybe you could just tell us your Twitter handle, maybe the movie’s Twitter handle, your Facebook page if you have a blog mention that and I’ll link to it all in the show notes but tell us sort of where you hang out online.
Brent Tarnol: Personally I’m @TomahawkTarnol on Twitter spelled the real tomahawk and the real Tarnol and we’re @TarnolBros on Instagram.
Jarret Tarnol: And then the film the Facebook is See You in Valhalla obviously.
Brent Tarnol: Twitter I think it’s SeeUInValhalla but the letter U but not the word You.
Jarret Tarnol: Yeah, so SeeUInValhalla.
Brent Tarnol: We’ll double check.
Ashley Scott Meyers: I’ll figure it out and I’ll link to it in the show notes and people can just go to the show notes click straight there.
Jarret Tarnol: And our website is which is being updated right now is Tarnol Group Pictures all spelled out dot com.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Okay, perfect, perfect. As I say I’ll get it all that stuff around it I’ll put it on the show notes. Guys this has been a great interview. I’ve learned a lot so I’m sure the listeners will learn a lot as well. I really appreciate you guys coming on and talking with me today.
Brent/Jarret Tarnol: Thank you so much actually we appreciate it.
Ashley Scott Meyers: Thank you. Good luck with your film guys.
Brent/Jarret Tarnol: Okay, Thank you.
A quick plug for email and fax blast service. I’m running a special right now where you can purchase one third of the blast for a little more than $50 the total list is around list is around 6,000 contacts so, this first one third is about 2,000 contacts. So, still a solid number of producers to send your logline, inquiry letter to. I’ve done this just to lower the bury to entry so that people can check out the blast without having to invest a whole lot of money up front. One thing that hasn’t change I still require that you join SYS select which at the time of this recording is just $24.99 per month. The reason I require this is part of the process is that I’m going to personally look at your logline and inquire letter and help you make them as good as possible.
This is really for everyone’s benefit I want to make sure that the query letter and loglines are well written before I send them out to my list. The people receiving these email queries can unsubscribe to this blast so sending out bunch of half baked query will just burn the list up which hurts everyone who might ever want to use this service in the future which includes myself, since I use it to promote my own script. So, I would just want to make sure that these logline, inquiry letters are well written. And in addition your getting my feedback is going to help the response rate, so you’re going to get more people requesting your script if you actually let this process work and the process is pretty simple. Once you join SYS select you put your logline into the SYS form, I’ll give you notes and then you do the same thing with the query letter we’ll bounce it back and forth.
Almost always I mean, there have been a few exceptions where people come to the form with you know, polished logline, polished query letters and there’s very little to do but in almost every case I feel like I can help people with their logline, inquiry letter and there’s some bouncing back and forth. So, this is just a great thing for you to get more greater response rate from the blast that you do.
So, the one third blast plus one month of SYS select is just $78 and that’s a blast more than 2,000 industry producers. It’s really never going to get any cheaper than this so, if you ever wanted to try out this email and fax blast service that I offer and that I also use myself just go to sellingyourscreenplay.com/blast.
In the next episode of the selling your screenplay podcast I’m going to be interviewing screenwriter and director Kamal Ahmed. He’s one of the original jerky boys and is now a screenwriter and director. He just made a movie called Laugh Killer Laugh. So, we’ll dig it to that film and we’ll figure out how exactly he got that one produced. So keep an eye out for that episode next week.
To wrap things up I just want to touch up on a few things from today’s interview. It’s seem like a lot of people who I interview on the show really started making head way with their careers by going out and making their own low budget film, or even films. I would really urge you to not only go and watch See You in Valhalla but track down their other films April Apocalypse and Barrio Tales. What they’re saying really rings true for me this low budget films don’t have to be runaway successes to help get your career going. They just have to be profitable, or even if they’re not profitable they just have to be half way decent people will see them, there’s distributors out there. Even you don’t make a lot of money with these low budget films there’s distributors out there that will help you get them out there, there’s a lot of self served platforms nowadays whether you’d be getting it on iTunes, getting it on Amazon, and so you can get the film out there.
Again, even if it’s not necessarily profitable you can get the film out there people can see it and you can start to build a following, you can start to network with other people. As an example most likely you have never heard of these other two films April Apocalypse and Barrio Tales the other two films that these filmmakers made and that’s kind of my point. Even though you haven’t heard of them and even though these films they we’re not runaway success, they’re not the Blair Witch project this films still laid the groundwork for getting their current projects produced I mean, you heard sort of the how things went with their career and it sort of you know, very organically led into their current films See You in Valhalla, and in turn this current film See You in Valhalla that’s laying the groundwork for their next film.
Again these are not blockbusters movies, these are not movies that are just you know, tearing up the independent film circuit you know, they’re solid movies, you heard what they were saying just in terms of profitability they kept the budget low and so they were making a profit and then just over time they’ve been able to slowly move up the value chain. So, that’s really I just think that’s a great lesson for all of us to listen to what they’re saying and you know, try and implement that ourselves. Anyway that’s the show thank you for listening.