Selling Your Screenplay Podcast – #88
(Typewriter Keys Tapping)
Ashley: Welcome to episode 88 of Selling Your Screenplay Podcast, I’m Ashley Scott Myers screenwriter and blogger over at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today I’m interviewing Jamari Helander, who wrote and directed, “Big Game” starring Samuel L. Jackson. We dig into his career and how he eventually got into the position to write and direct this new movie star, starring Samuel L. Jackson. So stay tuned for that.
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A couple of quick notes, any websites or links that I mention in the Podcast can be found on my blog and in the show notes. I also publish a transcript with every episode in case you would rather read the show or look something up later on. You can find all the Podcast show notes at –
www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast. And then just look for episode #88.
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A quick few words about what I’m working on? I’m looking at another spec. script. It’s a limited location sci-fi thriller screenplay. I would say it’s somewhat similar to David Cronenberg’s movie, “The Fly.” I presented it at my writers group last Tuesday. It went over reasonably well, but it was pretty under developed. Which actually seemed to help in terms of the notes I’ve got? Because people were able to give very big broad notes based on them telling how they would approach my story. As long as I have been doing this? I still find that interpreting notes that you get is one of the hardest things to do as a screenwriter. Sometimes you agree with notes and aren’t sure how to implement them? But a lot of the times, you don’t fully agree, but you think there is some validity to them? But you’re just not quite sure whether you should take them or not? And this is really, it’s really one of the most difficult things, if the most difficult thing. As difficult part of the screen writing process. You’re sitting in your room and you’re writing and, you know, basically not full control of everything. But then you set about and you start to get notes from people and you realize these people are smart.
And a lot of the ideas are really good ideas. But, you know, there’s really good ideas that totally change the sort of direction you’re going with the project. And you sort of left just one wondering if just maybe? This is or it isn’t, if there is any good way to get through this? Other than just kinda doing your best? But there’s always a little bit of insecurity. There’s always notes that I’m not taking. And I look at them and I think? This is a pretty good idea. But I just don’t really know how to, or how it’s going to work? So, in the context of what I am trying to write. So, anyways, I got some good notes, I’m kinda at the cross roads. As I’ve said, with this project. It was pretty under developed. That was kind of one of the things that this writers group is present every five weeks. So it was my turn to present, so it wasn’t ready to present. But I was like, I’m just going to pull it, just for that. It had a kind of roots idea for a story. So I put these notes first, about 18-20 pages, basically the first act. I just said, the notes, people seemed to like it. But, just very, very under developed. And the notes were just kind of all over the place. As I said, some good notes. But I’m also not sure how I’m going to take them, or what direction I want to go with it, this project? So, screenwriting wise, that’s what I’m working on.
I’m slowly starting to gear-up for my kick-starter campaign on my limited location mob action thriller. I haven’t done a lot since last week when I started talking about it on the Podcast. I’ve been looking at reels from a bunch of different sets of photographers. Really trying to figure out, you know, I’m not an expert at Cinematography. So sometimes I find it somewhat hard to look at reels and really decipher what which one is better than the other. And living in the Los Angeles area, so there’s a million really talented Cinematographers out there. So sometimes it’s difficult to really figure out which one is better, or which one is better for your project? I’ve been continuing to try and shore up the actors that have shown some interest in this project. I mean, talking to some of the actors. Just trying to make sure that their interest is high, and that they are ready to go and help out with this project. Also starting to root as much as possible how to run a fully successful Kick-Start Campaign. I interviewed the founder of Studio Spark, which is coming out of a kick-starter for a, films, for specifically for films and TV projects. And they have a lot of good resources. So, I started to go through those resources. And just got to figure out how I’m going to gear-up for my Kick-Starter Campaign? Hopefully in the next few weeks, which is really why I’m looking for Cinematographers now? And hopefully that’s going to shoot a little teaser trailer, and then of course I’ll shoot a little Kick Starter video. Just sort of an introduction with me and some of the other actors. Probably that are committed to the project. So hopefully that will be, maybe after my gold, and get that done. Maybe before September, warrants the kick starter. Well, maybe, you know, October or November or something like that?
Anyway, so that’s what I’m working on. I have a special segment today where I’m going to be talking with John Roach from www.screencraft.org they are looking for short films, or short film scripts? And they are giving out production funds, to write, or writer/director or producers, who have an outstanding short film script. So I thought it would be interesting to see? And have him on and talk about short films in general. And also talk about this specific program. So, here is our conversation.
Ashley: Welcome John, to Selling Your Screenplay Podcast, I really appreciate you coming on the show today.
John: Hey, thanks for having me, Ashley, again. It’s great to be back.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, you’re running a short film called, “Contest” and we’re going to be talking about that in a minute. But I thought it would be interesting to start out to sort of talk about short films in general. And maybe to start out, just, short film is something that I really recommend people can do. Is, especially this day and age its cheapest and inexpensive. So it’s a great way to get yourself on the board. So, maybe just start out by talking about, what are some of the benefits of a screenwriter to doing shorts?
John: Well, so I myself am not a film maker. And I’m not well versed in physical production. But, I have seen some fantastic success stories. Of film makers whose short films have gotten them enough attention, to either get them a full length feature film deal. Or have their short film adapted to a feature or a TV Series. So, a, it’s definitely a great way to start. I’m seeing more and more screenwriters that are deciding to get into directing now, their own films. And a short is kind of a natural place to start, because it’s less money, a little less time and resources. And it’s a great way to cut your teeth on in the medium. Also, kind of a parallel, there is increased distribution problems with short term content. And there is also increased, you know, branded entertainment. There is actually better short films financed by, you know? Other than a product placed in a, or a, it’s an interesting distribution partner. And so we’ve, we have an annual short film screenplay contest. And it was so popular, and we discovered so many awesome screenplays. And writers kept asking us? What can we do? What can we do? And so we decided what a lot of these a, writers and film makers need us as a resources to make their short screenplay a reality. And then script a scene, and since we launched our short film production side.
Ashley: And let me cut you off here? We’re gonna, as I said, we’ll dig into that specifically. I want to go back on a couple of things you said? You said, “That you’re seeing some new channels for shorts. And potentially actually make money from a short?” I wonder if you could elaborate on that, and give us some examples of that? Because that is one of the big knocks people hear on shorts. Is, there is not a lot of opportunities to make money. At least if you make a low budget feature film. There are some, you know, a small chance at least that you might recoup. Your money. We need to talk about that for just a second.
John: That’s a great question, I think in general you are right. I think it’s harder to make money from a short film? I mean, I don’t think that should be the primary, like, game plan? The goal of a film maker is think they are going to make a short, and somehow recoup. The budget. From a selling tickets, to it, to a selling downloads, or even sound advertising. Because that very rarely generate much revenue. I think the biggest success going is from short films. Um, this comes from festival accolade, and from, you know, mine attention. They expect like, a calling card. There is no reason than ever to get your short out there and in front of people than ever before. And you can do it, I mean, who needs a productionist, they are so accessible now. With the DSLR Camera, and a laptop, you can create some really high class content. You know, they’re, the limitation are really just in the sacred in the person holding the camera, and the team of actors. You know, and the producers that you surround yourself with. So, you see, it’s pretty exciting I think? I think, you know, I was at an event that at about a year and a half ago, called, “Short Ride.” Here in Los Angeles, it was called, “Short Cut” by “Online Short to Studio Feature.” And we put and followed a panel of 4 film makers.
Whose short films had gone so well that it hadn’t got them out of the studio yet, on their own deal. And so he had video of ours. Which many people know now for his feature film, “The Evil Dead.” And “Night of the Evil Dead.” But, before he did that, you know? Big studio horror film, from, he had a little online short film called, “Attack De La Panicko.” And he was just an aspiring film maker and in Uruguay. And, you know, from certain area, obscure beginnings. Is now kind of a Hollywood directors’. So, he’s a pretty cool guy. Also on the panel, was Spencer Selzer, who had done some short script from, “Blue Tongue Group” out of, “Australia” and then he did a feature film called, “Hasher.” And which permit me from Sundance, and had some movie stars in it. And so, there’s a lot of ways that a short film can get you attention. And also, “Whiplash” ya, know? One of my favorite films from this past year, started as a short film. My friend Shawn Covelli, is a producer and his first feature film was an adaptation of a short film of Napoleon Bonaparte. So there’s a lot of examples of short films which have been able to be basically expressive vision of the film maker in such a compelling way, that it spawns a, the feature.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. I’m curious, if you remember when you were doing this panel with these four film makers. Do you remember any of the specifics of what they actually did with it? The shorts, did they just throw it up on “YouTube?” Did they enter it into contests? Do you remember any of those, the sort of logistics of promoting those shorts?
John: It was really a combination of a combination and it really just? I think it really demonstrated that there is no secret formula. And that there is never one way? Ultimately the short has to be pretty awesome. It just has to be a really well-crafted and worthy short. But, there was both. Albert Alverez, his short just went viral online. And caught the attention of some, you know, Hollywood producers. But with Hesher? Stensor Setzer, his, he did a short film, that did the festival circuit, you know, it got into regional festival, and you know, Sundance showed it. It got a lot of attention at the festivals online. And that led to him getting a future deal come out of it. So, there’s different. Also, here’s an interesting strategy? Is, trying to remember his name? He did a, Dan Trackenburg. If you look up his short online? He did a short called, “Port-o-Miller Escape.” And was essentially a short film, fan film, based on a video game. But he did it so well, that it went viral among the, you know, gamer blogs. And he spent some time cultivating relationships with a lot of these gamer blogs. He started a website called, “One awesome thing a day.” “One Cool Thing A Day?” I forget what it was called? But through that. A couple of years of grooming relationships with top bloggers. When he was ready to release his film. He kind of manufactured the virility of it? It was also very well executed, and it was really fun. But when you make a fan film, and you make this thing intellectual property? You have some cool awareness in there, that can really, you know, leverage awareness. And you can do that under “Fair use Law.” If you are not monetizing it, the short itself, you’re just using it as a fan film. But that can get you a lot of attention. The fun maker or the script. No, I would say, as one interesting strategy. But, there’s just, so many different ways that people do it?
Ashley: yeah, yeah, sure. Okay, so let’s dig into your contest? Can you kinda give us an over view? And people can figure out if it’s a good fit for them?
John: Yeah. So we have an annual Short Screenplay Contest. Which we launched earlier this year. We were just blown away with how many people had a short screenplay made, and good ones at that. And so, we launched, not a contest, but a production fund. And our production fund, I went to some friends of mine here in Los Angeles, or in Beverly Hills. Who have a company named, “Bonded.” Which is a media hedge fund, and they invest in a multitude of projects: Feature films, and some technology. I told them, look, we’ve got these amazing short screenplays. We’d love to find a way to get financing for these films? But if we could come up with a, come up with a creative way where it makes business sense? To give them funding, and also in kind production support. And they loved the idea, they insisted on calling the company, “Buffalo 8 Production.” And so we came up with this idea of the short film production fund. So we’re offering grants up to $10.000.00 to $20,000.00, every three months. To at least one short film. And you can apply on our website at www.contracost.org and we’re really going to fight it, do a minimum of four a year. That we are going to finance and also provide in time production support to. But up to ten a year, depending on the quality of short screenplay that come across our desk.
Ashley: And can you talk about the specifics like you were saying? Arrange a four to ten? Is it just the quality of a certain genre? It almost sounded like this company felt like there was some way they might be able to recoup. Some of this money. So, are there certain genres that they think maybe, more applicable to recouping your money?
John: We’ve talked about that? And so the broad strokes, I don’t want to box us in? We know that at the end of the day. That a great screenplay can come from anywhere. But I think broad strokes strategy is, we are going to be looking for projects. That have really great adaptation potential. And so, one of the aspects of us getting involved. Fully funding one of these short films. Is we are going to be claiming a 30% ownership state in the project and the idea. And you know, writer credit, and record credit, and you know, producer credit, you know. Will all remain with the film making that submits this. Or in the case of a screenwriter who might not have the directing or producing team assembled yet, or around the script. We can help make that happen, you know? We have relationships with amazing up and coming directors. And great in time productions report from equipment rental houses, to casting, great up and coming actors, to crowd funding report. And you know, we have a matching program, as part of our grant raising. Well, you know, we can give them $10,000.00 grant. But on top of that, for that we can match up to $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 of funds that are raised on, you know, kick-starter, or Go-go, or Stephen Spark. So we can,
Ashley: But it sounds like the whole long term strategy is to sort of be an incubator of these projects. And hopefully, you know, some of them will turn into feature films.
John: That’s exactly right. So the dream is that we end up funding and producing something like a, “Whiplash.” Short that goes to the “Sundance” and wins awards and gets adapted into a feature film and then wins an “Oscar.” That’s the dream, obviously. But we realize that, you know, what can that? We’re prepared to spread this adventure over a couple of years. And find, you know, dozens of these short film projects. In the hope that one of them becomes a breakout hit.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. Are there any eligibility restrictions, I mean, it, someone has already made a bunch of shorts, someone has already made.
This script, maybe they made their version of this short and it wasn’t very good. They want a re, make some more production funds, are there any eligibility funds requirements for the service or whatever?
John: Yeah, sure. It’s pretty broad, but all the application icons, and eligibility requirements are right there on our page. www.steamcrop.org. You can, you know, go there and see all the fine print. But, the broad strokes are, anyone, anywhere in the world can enter. They have to own all the rights to the screenplay. So the person submitting has to be the writer who owns it. Or it has to be a producer, who, you know, has purchased the script, and owns it. And it has to be, you know, intellectual property that they own as well. You can’t write a short about, “Superman” and submit it, because you don’t own the rights to Superman. But other than that, yeah, I mean. Submit a project that’s already in production. We’re happy to consider projects that are looking for finishing funds. So it’s really all stages, whether it’s just a screenplay with no director or cast, or other, it’s a short film that’s already partially shot and has a director and a producing team and they’re looking for more support and financial assistance. We’re looking for all those projects.
Ashley: Now in deciding if this is a good project for your fund? Do you look at the whole team? Obviously if a screenwriter just submitted a script and there is no team? Too many scripts that already has a director and a producer, is part of your decision is base on, that you’re going to make? Ah, well, we don’t like the director. Or yes, we really do like the director. Is that influence it at all?
John: It is, absolutely, yeah. But like I said, we still have a very broad criteria there. So we’re going to be interested in reading the screenplay that are just screenplays. And if it’s a great screenplay, and it inspires us? Than we’re going to want to make it happen. We’re going to want to put the money in and connect it to what we feel would be the right thing with the right director. All of this will be on a case by case basis with the writer, you know?
John: And oh by the way, we award the grant through, and later if they decide they don’t want to accept the grant, at our terms, you know? We’re not going to force it on anyone, anybody.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, sure.
John: And gosh, to think we’ve gotten a fantastic response so far. People have been really enthusiastic, we’ve had festivals reaching out to us and ask, if they could reach out and support this as well? And get, you know, our funding opportunities for their finalist. And we think that this is going to be a really great, great, program. And we are excited, you know, to see. Hopefully this time next year I can come back on your Podcast and tell you about the ten short films that we’ve financed. And that, you know, I’m going to be at “Sundance.” Or “Caan” or have gone viral online. I would love to have some really fine success stories in a years’ time.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So if you are eligible it is not too unreal to mention that now? I will definitely link to it in the show notes where people can find it.
John: Yeah, yeah. Its www.screencraft.org/fund and you can look through those screen crafts and production funds as well, and it’ll pop-up.
Ashley: Okay, perfect, it’s pretty simple. So, I just like to end these interviews. If you could just tell us your Twitter handle, and Facebook page and people can find those too. For those who are following along listening?
John: Okay, great. Yeah, a, our Twitter handle is – screencrafting and our Facebook page is just – Screencraft.org and you can find us in now on Google. And sign-up for our Email Newletter too, we’d love to get some new subscribers of our weekly Email newsletter that shares the top content from our blog. About inspirational vocational information about the craft and the business.
Ashley: Perfect, perfect. Well John, this has been great. Excited to see how this goes? This does sound like a great opportunity.
John: Well, really cool, thank you very much for having me Ashley. I listen to your Podcast and all your services as well. So it’s nice to be.
Ashley: Thank you, thank you.
John: Nice to be here on the show.
Ashley: Okay, so that was John Rose from www.screencraft.org. If you have a short screenplay definitely check that out.
So now let’s get into the main segment, today I’m interviewing Jamari Helander, writer/director of the new film, “Big Game” Starring Samuel L. Jackson. Here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Jamari to the Selling Your Screenplay Podcast, I really appreciate you coming on the show.
Jalmari: Thanks, nice to be here.
Ashley: So let’s dig into your biggest film, “Big Game.” Starring Samuel L. Jackson. To start with maybe you could give us a quick pitch or log-line from the film?
Jalmari: Let me tell you a story about what would happen if one would crash land in the middle of nowhere? And president meeting with a 30 year old hunter. Basically, it’s that.
Ashley: Alright. And I will link to the trailer in the show notes so the people can catch the trailer and get up to speed on that. So where did you get the idea for this film come from?
Jalmari: We had a lot of thinking with the patriarch from the dealer of rare exports. What would be the next project? And in one of our conversations, it was almost like a joke. I would say, it should be something like, “Airforce One.” Crashing in Finland or something? And then he was like, actually a really good idea. It pretty much changed everything we had. And the plans we had before, and it started from that. Then we had to figure out what would be the best character to be the President of the United States. You know, in the middle of nowhere. And that’s basically how it went.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. I’m curious, what, I talked with a lot of non-American director and producers. There’s always this sort of desire for them to get to that sort of American angle into this story. And I’m curious, you just mentioned that discussions you were having with your producer. How top of the mind is that? That you need some sort of American angle? I assume it’s to set the story to Americans ultimately. But just take us through sort of that process. Were you, just spit balling ideas that were trying to come up with different angles? And how important is the characters incorporate some sort of American angle into the story.
Jalmari: A, for me of course, sorry, it’s really more than some kind of American angle. Because I live in Finland. Where we have something like 500 people in Finland. So, to be able to make a movie in this game. It’s really important to have it of course in English. And at the same time, really love to have this Finish kind of angle in the story. Because I know Finland, I know kind of things like that. We were basically trying to figure out an idea like that. How to create a situation that would mix these two elements. So it would be natural in the film to start talking English. And which is like one of the things you trust you have to have. If you want it to function, if they are talking to Finland. In Finland we could probably have something like 3 million to so much.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, sure. So, tell me, you said you would be a producer? What kind of spitballing ideas. Take us through that process of coming up with the idea. That kind of changed everything. What were some of the other ideas that you were considering?
Jalmari: I really don’t want to say about that.
Jalmari: We might go and do it one day?
Ashley: Sure, sure.
Jalmari: But we had some, like, same kind of element. Like, what would be this? The basic idea was to have some sort of everyday kind of situation. Or some kind of normal situation. In an interesting act? And then something really big has to happen. And that’s what we were trying to figure out? What would be that really big thing happen at the same time, and work with that? And stop that wrench.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. Okay, so now you? Just take us back in time. And you finish the script you came up with the idea, you’re the producer, finish the screenplay. What did you guys do, to have the screenplay finished?
Jalmari: A, well, we had it like network after that. I don’t know if that’s a word in this case, but? After exports, we knew a lot of people after exports then. They, a lot of people who were really interested in being a part in the next 12 scenes. And we actually read quite a long in producing this film. Without the script already written, just a treatment. And arranged for “Caan, Film Festival.” It’s where we chose the basic film idea for the first time. And everyone we told that Idea, of like it was like one crashing into the other. And another Finland, and our guy would be the one who’s saving the life of the president. And everyone in the United States was like, yes, we want a piece. One perfect. So, I think it’s really important to have that kind of high constant idea. It’s the kind of movie to be really, as you say, put your two cents in movie. Someone they are willing to believe in the home of Finland.
Actually so, the screenplay was ready. Just like how like six months before the movie started to shoot. We went quite along without the actual screenplay.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. And so it sounds like you already prepared. Already had finance in place, just based on this treatment. And basically going out and trying to sell it. You basically, you’re track record of what you earned along with this treatment, is that correct?
Jalmari: Yeah, much like that.
Ashley: Okay. Yeah, in counting I’m sure having saying there on accent in a movie is a big part of being able to presell it. So tell me, what sort of came first? What step along the way did you get Samuel L. Jackson involved in this?
Jalmari: It really truly was a stressful time of the year. I don’t know, it was like, two years ago? Or something like that when we had a screenplay read. It was like two months before, “Caan Film Festival.” And we were planning to start shooting at the end of the summer. So, we had two months to find a star in this movie to actually make it release. Hell to make the film’s director to buy it. So, it was a really tight schedule. And my agent, and our friends in the U.K. did a great job with the job of trying to find the? We had some big name model in mind. And we didn’t even have Samuel L. Jackson, that’s it you know? At least it, just heard one day that actually Samuel L. Jackson is really interested of this film. And it was a really big surprise. And now we were really, really happy. That would be really good. And they started to negotiate, and they finally made the deal ready. And then is a good starting point, so of the film. And we came really close to and normally it takes one hell of a lot longer, two months to get it, and pull that off. I’m really lucky that it went like that.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, but the bottom line is? It sounds like you’d already raised most of your money, not all of it? Of course Samuel L. Jackson was involved in the project, is that correct?
Jalmari: Of course there was a, still a big chunk of money missing. And actually a bunch went higher because of Sam, in this movie. But, of course it still made it. As opposed to finance the rest of it.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah.
John: But we had like, well, it’s probably not my place to talk about it? But, I’m not so opened, familiar how the budget was built? But, we had, of course we ask money before Sam was attached.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. I saw the movie, watched the movie a few days ago. And it was very impressive. The special effects were excellent, the action scenes were excellent. And I’m always curious, where did most of like your effects guy, post production take place? Was that there in Finland, do you have that level of talent in Finland to do this kind of thing? Or was that back in Hollywood, or somewhere else?
Jalmari: Actually it was in Germany. It was really brought into from the very beginning to have special effects. Like, the effects we would like, be as good as in the American films. So, I really wanted to work with Cam-line. They have done films like: “White House Down.” And
“Ironman 3” and stuff like that. I really wanted to have as cool as “Airforce One.” Like they had in “White House Down.” So, and stuff like that, and they were really good to work with. For me it was really brought into for backbone. Like if these don’t work than why are you trying to do something like this?
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, the special effects were top notch.
Jalmari: Yeah. It was fun, I’m really happy with it.
Ashley: So, how can people still see, “Big Game.” Maybe you can kind of give us a quick breakdown of the release schedule? The actual release, but when it’s going to hit video release ON DEMAND?
Jalmari: I think it’s going to be, it’s been very sixth of this month? If I am not mistaken? And it’s going to be happening in theaters and that and On Demand and that at the same time.
Jalmari: In the U.S.
Ashley: Perfect, perfect. And I always like to wrap up these interviews, and you can just tell them if you have a Twitter handle? Facebook? Just something if someone wants to learn more about you? Or follow along with what you’re doing? But you could just tell us on Twitter, tell us a Twitter handle? If you have a blog, Facebook, anything that you could feel comfortable sharing. So people could just kind of learn what you’re doing and what you’re up to?
Jalmari: Well, actually I don’t have anything like that.
Ashley: Fair enough.
Jalmari: Basically. There is no personal stuff and I’m not that kind of like a media person.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. No problem.
Jalmari: Things here by myself here.
Ashley: Sure, sure, no problem at all. So, Jalmari, I really appreciate your time doing this interview. Very interesting, as I said, excellent film. I watched it a couple of days ago. I wish you luck with it.
Jalmari: Yeah. I wish you luck too, and it was a good interview. Thank you for that.
Ashley: Perfect, thank you, talk to you later.
Jalmari: Okay, thanks, bye.
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- Over all Craft
Which includes: Spelling, formatting and grammar.
Every script will get a grade with a pass, consider or recommend. Which should help you roughly understand where your script might lay if you were to submit it to a production company or agency. We provide an analysis of features and television scripts. And we also do proof reading. So if you want, if you don’t want an analysis, but would like someone to proofread your script, we offer that now too. We also look at a treatment or outline and give you the same analysis on it? So if you’re looking to vet some of your projects? This is a great way to do it. We will also write a log-line and synapsis for you. You can add this service to your analysis, or you can simply purchase this service as a stand alone product.
As a bonus, if your script gets a “Recommend” from a reader? You get a free Email or Fax Blast to my list of industry contacts. This is the exact same blast service I use myself to promote my own scripts. It’s the same service I sell on the website. It’s a great way to get your script into the hands of producers who are looking for material. So if you want a professional evaluation of your screenplay at a very reasonable price. Check out – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/consultants.
In the next episode of the Podcast, I’m gonna be interviewing, Tony Allupis, he wrote an Indie drama, thriller called, “Safe Light.” He talks very openly about how he got this movie made. And how he jumped started his careers. So, keep an eye out for that episode next week.
To wrap things up, I just want to touch on a few things from today’s interviews. I would highly encourage you to take a look at Jalmari’s IMDB page. You mentioned in the interview his other feature films called, “Rare Exports.” Which he got in, which helped him get into position to write and direct this film. And then before that, he made a bunch of short films. I think he’s a real good example of someone who just got out there and made things happen. I talk a lot about this to my Podcast, I talk a lot on my Podcast about shorts. And here is another good example of someone who’s started out writing and directing shorts. And slowly worked his way up to eventually shooting a film, and then eventually this feature film, “Big Game.” Which we talked about today. Keep in mind too, that the feature film, that he mentioned? Was not like a huge international box office hit. It was a solid movie, but it helped him move up the food chain a little bit and get him into position. Where he could write and direct this new movie, “Big Game.” And this new movie is a solid film too. I would encourage you to check it out, this movie “Big Game” again, it’s a solid well done film. And I think if you watch it, watch his career. You’ll see, his next project, he’ll probably move up the food chain a little bit more. A lot of times in Hollywood, you hear these sort of very big, overnight success stories. Where someone just gets plucked out of obscurity. One day they’re bartending, the next day they’re directing a feature film. Or they’re writing, they’re selling a multi-million dollar script. And that does happen, but it happens very, very, rarely. For something like that to happen, it takes an enormous amount of luck. And if you look at this guy’s career, what he’s done? Go back, and as I’ve said, look up his IBDM page. It’s not, you’re going to look at his career and say, “Wow, he just got a huge, huge heap of luck.” You know, up, thrust upon him. So it’s not really how it happens. He did short films, slowly worked his way up. He did a low budget independent feature film. It was a solid film, it got him a little bit of recognition. And now he’s doing independent films with Samuel L. Jackson. As I said, I wouldn’t be surprised if his next film is a studio film. Or another film maybe, an independent film? Or even a bigger film production level. So, I think these are the people, the kinds of people that as beginning screenwriters, or beginning writers experience. Intermediate screenwriters, intermediate writers, I think you can learn a lot of from what they get. And how they approach it, their career. As I said, you’re not going to look at this guy’s iron DB credits and say, “Wow, he just got super lucky.” Sometimes those people, they go from security to, you know, Hollywood “A-List.” I just think, how good their script was, was a certain amount of luck that is involved in that equation. And you really can’t, engineer it that way. Luck, you know, you kind of real love. So, looking at this guy’s career, is probably a pretty good thing to look at and perhaps formulate your own strategies for advancing yourself. And then of course this also ties in with the interview at the beginning of the Podcast with John Rose from “ScriptCraft.” You know that’s a great way to start in terms of producing a short film. That’s probably one good part place to look at. In terms of screen craft production.
Grant, because that’s good enough to help you thorough the production side of things. Also for the SYS Podcast where I talk about short films. I talk about getting your first screenwriting credits and the way I recommend you do that is? By doing some short film scripts. Again, in episode 4, I go into great detail. There’s quite a few places where you can submit short film scripts. “Craigslist” is a great place, “Mandy.com” there’s a whole bunch of them. Typically they will have one lead per week, and then a newsletter of short reports. The leads that they are sending out, the screenwriting news that I am sending out through SYS/Select. There’s almost always one or two short film scripts per week. So there is quite a number of places where you can find directors and producers looking for short film scripts. And that’s sort of the first stages of career of starting to build a resume. Get some IDB credits.
Anyway, that’s the show, thank you for listening.