This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 114: Director / Screenwriter Afonso Poyart Talks About His Film Two Rabbits.
Ashley: Welcome to episode #114 of the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.” I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, Screenwriter and Blogger over at, www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today I’m interviewing Writer and Director Alfonso Poyart, He did a film called, “Two Rabbits.” It’s a very stylized action thriller film. He started out in the industry doing motion graphics and he really utilized that in this film. He slowly worked his way up in the industry. And eventually got to the point where he wrote and directed this film. We run through his whole career, how he got this film made, and so, stay tuned for that.
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A quick few words about what I am working on this week. Obviously the big project now is? Is starting to get the ball rolling on my feature film, “The Pinch.” I did the Kick Starter Campaign last month. And so I am really starting to get things going. I had a meeting last week with a producer who is going to be working on the project with me. He’s actually someone I met through one of my Email and Fax Blast. I note this I think, It’s important to sort of understand how these relationships come together? He’s somebody I blasted, send the quarry letter to. He liked one of my scripts, he ended up optioning it. It was a free option for a six month, or nine months. The free fax on the script, he actually optioned a couple of other scripts. But we just sort of stayed in touch, and our relationship has grown. I’ve done some writing for him. Just writing up some treatments. He had some projects he was working on. So, the relationship has been built. And it’s all stuff I’ve mentioned on the Podcast. I think the only original option was maybe two years ago, when I met him. And obviously he lives in Los Angeles; Southern Los Angeles. We met a bunch of times, just met up and talked. And talked on the phone. And as I said, we worked on a couple of projects together. So, nothing’s ever taken off on these things. But we’ve gotten along, so just slowly the relationship has built. He has a lot of experience with producing. He’s produced some low-really low, low, budget films.
He’s also produced some big films, like, he’s working on a really big budget movie right now. But he’s been nice enough to come and help me with this. So, he’s in a lot of ways he’s just helping with this just giving me some advice and giving me some general direction. And he’s actually in Europe as I said, working on this film. So, everything we’ve done has been over the phone and Skype. But he’s given me some good advice. And the main thing we’re going to start trying to do now is to fill some of the key rolls, the key crucial crew positions. And that’s been, the first roll we fill after is the Production Designer. And that person needs to break down the script in terms of costumes and props. Mostly props, I don’t think there’s going to be a ton of costumes in the script. But, really we need someone to look at the script from an angle and figure out how we’re going to get these props. Because there is some shooting and some guns in the script. There’s some a couple of things, there’s some mags, and just. There is some metal props, I think there’s a build a bomb at one point from Home Depot. He buys a bunch of supplies and builds a bomb. But we are going to need all those props. And somebody really needs to break down the script and start to get that stuff up and ordered. So that’s the first person we’re going after, Production Designer. And then I had a Skype meeting with a potential V.P. and Cinematographer, who may come on the project and shoot the film. He’s got a lot of equipment. This is actually someone I actually met through the Podcast. He has been listening to my Podcast. And then when I mentioned my Kick Starter Campaign, he actually mentioned and reached out to me. He just generously telling me about his own experiences with the Kick Starter Campaign. And we just got to talking on that. And so, depends on how things are going to go and how we can swing it? Hopefully he can come on and help shoot. But, even if he doesn’t he’s been giving me a lot of good advice. He did a super low budget feature film a couple of months ago, a couple of years ago. So, he’s kinda been telling me his war stories on that. But anyways, those are the first two positions we’re going after, is a Cinematographer and Production Designer. After talking with the producer this past week. We decided July was probably the best thing to do the shooting. So, that’s kind of what we are thinking now, is July. Probably after the July 4th Holiday we will shoot this film. There’s kinda a couple of reasons for that. For one, I said this guy is the producer. And I, he is working on other stuff. So, he’s pretty tied up. He’s got, he’s over in Europe shooting and stuff right now. He’s got another shoot in May. So, I’m thinking July is probably going to be the best date. But there is a couple of things that are also beneficial to shooting, and that is June/July/August time frame. The, you can get a lot of students that are in film school, that are, they just recently graduated that don’t yet have jobs. So, they are looking to build a resume during the summer months. Sometimes they are still in film school. But a lot of these kids are young, they are hungry, they are eager. They have some technical skills that are productions runs. There are some technical skills that are, they have worked on some films in film school. So, what you do during these, if you do your shoot during the summer months. You can potential get some of these people for a micro-budget film. The money I’m going to use for the budget is something else we went over. I’m going to go through some of the specifics of the budget in a minute. But, if you shoot during the summer months you can pick-up some of those kids. Is that they are smart, and they are maybe not the most experienced. Hopefully they are smart and you can put them into different production roles. Different crew roles. And get them to work just by tapping and credit. So that’s one thing. Another thing, and this is sort of, you know, or maybe, but can also get some TV actors. There’s some people you know, who are reasonably famous. Or who are they are regular on a TV show that you heard of. Sometimes you can swing some of those people in the summer months. A lot of those TV shows are off during the summer. They are not actually shooting until the August/September.
They start gearing up again. If we shoot in July we might be able to get in an actor or two that actually are on a TV show or current TV show. Or even someone that’s, you know, auditioning. Or trying to get some of those roles, some of those guest starring roles and stuff. Production for TV is not ramped up as usual, it’s sort of a lul. So, you can get some of these really good actors. A lot of them want to work in features a lot of them. That work in maybe TV. They think maybe doing a cool little Indie feature might be good for their careers. So that’s the other thing that hopefully get some actors in. I’m going to go through that in a minute, as far as the budget that we have for that.
So, one of the things I did, with this producers? We just went through and created a very rough budget. Which I’ll just run through in a minute. It’s really, really rough, just kind of the broad strokes. It gives me some idea about where the money is spent. Hopefully people listen to this are kind of up on what we’re doing, what I’m doing? It’s a $25,000.00 feature film, micro-budget feature film. So, the budget’s basically going to break down like this: $5000.00 is going to go towards food, $3000.00 is going to go to gas money. $2000.00 to locations. $2000.00 for equipment rental. The heart drives, two spools for the dailies and raw footage on. We are probably going to need $2000.00 worth of hard drives. And then the other thing is, we need some Workers Comp. Insurance. This is by law in California. I’m not sure how other states work? But you do need to pay for some Workers Comp. Insurance. And what we can do? Again, this producer has a lot of experience and can, there are production companies out there that just basically that have this basic Workers Comp. Insurance. Like they are paying for it pretty much whether they use it or not? Because they are shooting commercials, they’re shooting, you know, industrials, any kind of just production houses that always carry this insurance. And you can kind of piggy back off of onto them. And you will obviously pay them. But then that production company will come on as a production company and you will give them something, some sort of Producer credit, Executive Producer credit. And then you will also pay them some amount of money. If you just going to get this insurance, the producer was thinking? It might cost us close to $10,000.00 obviously, on a $25,000.00 film we can’t afford that. But if you can get in with one? These production companies that already has it, they’re paying for the insurance so they don’t necessarily mind just basically putting the production under their entity. And then you pipe into their insurance. Obviously the relationship with them, and then you give them credit. And again, some of these you have to pay right now. But, $1000.00 or $2000.00 if that? But a that can really bring down expense in the matter of $10,000.00. So, what I just rattled off was about $15,000.00. So, that’s basically sort of the hard cost of production. If just this $15,000.00 and everything else. And then there’s the $10,000.00, which basically goes to post production, you know, Editor, there’s a couple of very talented technical things that have to be done with the film. The color correction, sound mix, these are things you can’t mess up. When you try and sell your film. They’re going to check these things. And they got to be up to professional standards. So, you probably have to pay. It’s not like there’s a film student you can get to get to do the work necessarily for free for credit on something. Some of these very talented types of technical things as I said. The distributors will check these and they will make you run a report to make sure all of that stuff is sound and right. And they won’t be able to sell your film unless you do this. Once you go into different kinds of films have different standards and they test the films. The sound levels can’t be all over the place. The, as I said, you can’t have drop scenes. Those technical things have got to be cleaned up for a professional film that you got to sell. So you want to make sure those positions are hopefully paid.
So, the bottom line is, hard costs of this film is about $15,000.00. Just the sort of hard costs. Because notice nobody in this budget is getting paid. Everyone has got to basically be passionate about the project. And working for copying credit. And that’s not always easy to get the lists of people. Some of them will be just friends of mine that I rope into this. And you know, maybe I can do them a favor. And vice, verse? So, there will be some friends, of friends of this, producers and you know, those types of people. There will also be some students that are willing to work for you know, copying credit. And then you just got to round up. And get the best people you possibly can. And that’s really the key is, is just getting the best possible people you can when you really don’t have anyone or budget to pay anyone?
So, the last thing, I talked with my producer was, he’s going to go out and try and do one last round of finding and finalizing. Once you have some money, sort of set. Like we have, actually have some money to put together a crew. We are starting to lock down our shooting dates. Some, things, just the fact that it becomes more real. You can then go back to some investors and potentially get them to actually put in some more money. So, ideally what we’re hoping to get, is another $15,000.00. And that will basically give us $40,000.00. Which should give us about $20,000.00 to to make the movie again. It’s the $15,000.00 hardware costs I just rattled off. Probably another $5,000.00 into the post-production. So, that’s around the $20,000.00, and keep in mind those numbers are very rough at this point. There’s going to be some deafness. But then, if we did basically $15,000.00 to produce the movie, $5,000.00 for post-production, and then we’d have about $20,000.00 for cast. And this is very, very, important, is if you can get some people? You’d be amazed who you can get for $1000.00 a day for instance. And I’m done it. There’s a couple of pretty meaty roles in this script. That you might need someone for five days. You can get people that, you’re not going to do – Tom Cruise, or Brad Pitt. But there are people, you know, “C” level actors that, you might have even heard of them. Or you might recognize them. And they might have a little bit of sales. They might have been in a big movie back in the ‘90’s or the ‘80’s. and so they have some value, some sales value. Where people have actually hard of them. And you know, for whatever reason? Their careers are have slowed down. So that’s why you can get these people to come in and work for a few days. And so that’s what we’re hoping to do is? Raise another $15,000.00. Which will give us a total of $40,000.00 and then put that $20,000.00, the entire $20,000.00 towards the cast. So, that’s basically what I’m working on. Just trying to get this thing going. For July shoot date, I’ve got to, a little bit of time. But I’ve got to start doing the stuff sort of on my end. But I want to do another pass of the screenplay. And I’ve got to probably do that probably next part, the guest episode and come on and say, “Hey, I’ve got a rewrite of the script which is a one last polish. Go through it and it shouldn’t take me more than a week or two. I think, maybe I’ll put it up in my writers group. I’m not really sure what the development were? I’ve got to spend some time polishing this script up. Just to get it to the point where it is. But I do want to take one last pass at it. And so that will probably be in the next week or two. Then I start doing a shot list, and start breaking it down the script. Hopefully by then I’ll have my production line on it. And and DP, and I can start working with them on getting sort of some of the physical elements of this script together. So, that’s what I’m working on and it is starting to come together. I’ve got a few months in early March. So, we got a few months before shooting. But, it’s a lot of work, like I said getting it into production. Like I said, it’s a micro-budget film. And I’m not paying a lot of the positions you really need to do a film. Like the leg work, that leg work is just going to fall on me. Since I’m the one basically spear heading this.
So, now, let’s get into the main segment. Today I’m interviewing – Writer, Director Alfonso Poyart, here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Alfonso, to the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast” I appreciate you coming on the show with me today.
Alfonso: Sure, thanks for having me here. So, to start out, maybe you can give us a little background about yourself, how you kinda got into the film industry, and worked your way up to the point where you wrote and Directed, “Two Rabbits.”
Alfonso: I started directing commercials, basically I, before I started directing I did like, motion graphics, like animation. Mostly post-production work. And then I started directing smaller commercials. You know, like in the local market here in Brazil. Like a smaller city around San Paulo. And then I started to, you know, make my way into the advertising business, you know directing more commercials, bigger clients. But, you know, I always you know, it’s funny? Because I was doing the film business. I was shooting films, movies. Because I wanted to do movies, like that play in theaters. Not just commercials and you know, in a way, doing those commercials was kind of successful and I keep doing them. Like, I couldn’t stop doing them. So, I really needed to make like a promise, a very strong, like crosses, I needed to write something. And so, like, make the switch to movies. So, I started writing this script by myself. And it took me, for like us six months, to get the first draft ready. So, and I had this idea that went something like that. And, for a long time, I started to sit down. You know, and focus and just write. Because, just plan writing, like that, that’s it.
Ashley: Yeah. Well, let’s back you up just a little bit and go back to the early days. So, you started out, just the lowest level jobs working as a Production Assistant? And then slowly worked your way up to directing these commercials? Maybe you can take us through that process, just to give a clear understanding of that, and how you actually got to that point where you were directing those commercials?
Alfonso: Well, I you know, I started doing motion design and facts. So I directed those motion design and effects oriented commercials. So, I because you know, I did know a lot of people through animation and post-production. And of course, maybe like early 2000’s. You know, so it wasn’t like so big that so it was very common for motion graphics guys starting to direct. Like small assignments as directors, each of those CG oriented commercials, you know. So, I started doing small commercials. Had me just create a job as a director, you know. And I started directing and getting bigger commercials. And you know.
Ashley: And what exactly is motion graphics? Maybe you can just describe what that actually means?
Alfonso: A, it means, package a TV station graphics. You know, like, so that animation of logos and all that stuff.
Ashley: I see.
Alfonso: Like, that’s motion graphics. Like working with after effects its software basically. There is motion graphics, so I was an after effects guy in and an editor also, you know. So that was the foundation for that after.
Ashley: How did you learn that stuff? Did you go to film school? Or did you just pick it up on your own?
Alfonso: Just on my own. Me and my friends, you know, we started working in and we got the software and started really working on it, you know. That was like, very self-taught process.
Ashley: A-huh. So let’s start talking about “Two Rabbits” for a minute. Maybe just to start out you could give us a quick pitch of the film. Tell us what the log-line is?
Alfonso: Well, the fuse is. Basically it’s about a guy, it’s a, he’s very. He wants to do something about the corruption and the crime. So, that is common here in Brazil. The corruption here in Brazil, criminals. He decides to make it a plan to end up with corruptions, crooked guys, and criminals in a single blow. That’s why it’s “Two Rabbits.” “Two Rabbits” its like “Two Birds” in English, you know. So he wants to kill like that criminal faction in a corrupt politician, in full glory. So, he makes up a very complex plan. But actually the movie starts revolving. Understanding that it’s not his plan actually. He has a much more like personal agenda, and it’s a bigger view of. The movie is a very anti-narrative, so it’s a, you start to understand his actual real plan as the movie progresses. But, the basic concept is, you know, you think he is doing like a justice, with head of justice with his own hands, you know, kind of thing of it, you know, is corrupt politicians and criminals, you know.
Ashley: Okay then. Let me just start, where does it come from? Does the sort of genesis, the seed of the story?
Alfonso: Basically, it’s like it’s an idea I had like, for a long time. Just because we keep and assume, since I was very young a lot of. The news are full of stories about corruption. And full of stories about crime, and I wanted to use something like that, you know. That had like, a normal guy’s standing up against those true strong force, you know. But as I started writing, I understood that, that wasn’t enough I needed to make every person for the guy, you know. That’s why there is this twist. And become something in a more personal and a more traditional in a way for the main character. But, that was the idea.
Ashley: Okay, okay. Take us through your writing process a little bit. Why did it take six months to write this script? How much do you write per day, when you also direct commercials. And while you’re writing the script, so you didn’t work on it full time? But maybe just take us through your writing process a little bit?
Alfonso: Well, my writing process is kinda chaotic? You know, I don’t have like a method. I just feel like, to be able to write something. You needed to, you know, have some organization? Putting some hours into it in a day. Like, should you get some hours, you should exclusively put those hours into writing. Some, days you just don’t like anything, you know? It’s just like, you’re just right there, it’s tough. Some days you just write good stuff. If you just, sometimes it beats you. You do know, don’t you see, then and through life. Three hours of writing every day, you know, that’s what I did. Used my nights basically, because I was always doing my. You know, I had a production company so I always basically do my stuff first. The company at day time, then at nights I you know, just got my screenwriting software and just wrote. You know, wrote, wrote, wrote, some days not so productive. Some other days, they’re productive. That’s was the process.
Ashley: And what type of process do you have once you have sort of a rough draft or a first draft? How did you start to get that out? Do you have friends that take notes on? And you do
re-writing? What was that process like?
Alfonso: Yeah, you know, Because there is such a fragmented linear type of movie. I did some film shots, that was also part of my process. I created like, some rough flow shots that I could with the scenes. So I would like freely try to re-organize, or re-arrange the order of the sequence. I don’t know if that makes sense but? You know because I wanted to do something very linear, and kind of playing a guessing with the audience. So, I did that. Of course I like to have kind of have a like a scripts doctor? Somebody that I can just send the script and somebody outside of the process, hopefully. That can read and just give me some inside steps. I did that, you know, it was cool. My next movie here, that I wrote also was here in Brazil, and I did the same thing. And it was very valuable. Because you sometimes just get lost in the things that are not as important. And having someone from outside just to look at it and say, “We need to sift through those, you know? The core of the story.” You need to stick to those important points you know. Because it’s very easy as a, you know, a creative person. Like when you’re writing, you can just give a lot of importance to some character, or some part of the story that I, you know, is not so important, like you are thinking or whatever? Sometimes it’s good to have somebody from outside to just take a look? You know?
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. One of the things that I did and curious to get your thoughts on this? Because it was sort of a non-linear story, there’s a lot of characters, there’s a lot of subtleties, various storylines, it all kinda comes together at the end. But, I can see this being a very difficult script as an outsider to read this script. And come back with any kind of notes. I mean, I can see reading the script and being very, very confused. The movie was not as confusing because you see the actors and so you can kind of visually follow it. But seeing it on paper with a person’s name it seems like it would be very confusing? Did you ever run into that, where people are giving you notes, and it’s like, “What are you talking about? What’s going on?” But you could see in your head because you know these characters. But, they could see they wouldn’t because? Did that ever happen?
Alfonso: Ya know, I got a lot of positive feedback from people, ya know, regarding the structure. People didn’t feel quite so confused, no. Kind of, of course we use visual elements through this, so it’s much easier to understand. But, I didn’t get a lot of problems with that, you know? I have like, when it was time to finalize the movie. Some people thought it was so violent, you know? That was the major thing. If it was for the Brazilian market was like a very violent street like “Pulp Fiction” violence, you know. Art, like, and that was kind of, and that’s why the violence so well solds there. But not because of the structure, I think.
Ashley: Okay, got it. And let’s talk about that for a minute about getting this film financed. So once you finished the script, what were your next steps in raising money?
Alfonso: Yeah, that’s funny because I went to some people that signed off movies here in Brazil. That are basically with the government, they act like the studio’s here. And people didn’t, you know, I was a first time structure, very harsh to, they think, they thought the movie was too vicious also. Because it had a lot of action scenes and sequences. They said, we can’t do it with this budget, oh, you can’t do it. But, I because of my background as a, you know a producer and a you know, a guy that does effects and stuff. I knew that I could do it. Just putting a lot of hard work. So, I had problems with that. So, what I did, was a crazy thing. I basically finalized the movie myself, you know. (Chuckling)
Alfonzo: At the time, Michael had some, you know, capabilities of financing part of the movie. And that’s what I did. It was kind of a crazy, crazy for getting this movie done, right. So, I didn’t wait for the governmental mechanisms that we have here in Brazil. So, part of the money was financing through my personal purses and pocket. Was government insensitive to like just, you put a script there and then they award you with some money, you know. So, basically, that part of the story.
Ashley: I see, okay. And talk about just quickly you said you went to some of these Brazilian distributors. How did you get those made? So, how did you build those relationships with those people?
Alfonso: Basically I, yeah, it worked right. I was deeply grateful that I knew and did movies before. They gave me names and they hooked me up with some people. I didn’t see a lot of people, no. Just really true to form, they all said “No.” You can’t do this movie with at the time, it was like $1.5 million dollars, like the budgets. You can’t do it with these amounts. And I said, “I can.” “No, you can’t.” So, no body finance the movie, that’s the end of it. And a very, cool, one of mine, they called and said, “No.” I can’t see this movie being made like this. After the movie was there, I came back to them, and showed the movie and then they decided to distribute those, you know. They would, and then it was distributed nationwide here. And possibly open here in Brazil. But, they couldn’t do it with the script, you know. That’s.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. Was there any thought, like one of the things that occurs to me that I never been to Brazil. And I am sort of a typical American, probably don’t know nearly enough about the rest of the world as I should. But was there ever concern, you wrote a script about government corruption. And then on the second hand, you were also saying you were working to get some of these government, some government money? Is that ever, is that ever a concern, that there is a conflict of interest. And maybe some of these government workers maybe won’t be that high on a script that’s, you know, showing government corruption?
Alfonso: Well, actually no. But there is another scripts here that got financing. That talks about that some much, tougher way. I should have, that was kind of a democracy, you know, so the financing companies are very detached from political agendas, you know. That’s typical fee, you know.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah.
Alfonso: You can really find a movie that talks a lot of bad things about the government. That’s crazy, but it can. And, it’s very, you know, that’s why we start. That’s why that was not the problem at all. Since we don’t have like half of them, the money out of those mechanisms, so.
Ashley: Okay, so let’s talk a bit, just about advice for some of the film makers who are coming up. I get a lot of Emails through my website, from people who are outside of the U.S. And a lot of people in other countries outside of the U.S. they feel like they, the film communities in their countries are maybe not that opened to them for what ever reason? And I’m always telling them, okay, listen local opportunities are really your best bet. Maybe you could just give me some advice for people that are trying to break in to the film business. You know, in Brazil specifically, what advice would you have for them?
Alfonso: Well, I want to say first. People who want to get into this business, you know, and be a director. I feel a little to short, something? Go ahead a make your movie. There are so many great, you know, the technical parts are not a big problem anymore. You have like, cameras, you have like, it’s not like no, it’s much more accessible. You know, the technical part. So, you can do a lot of stuff with not a lot of money. That’s what I say. Each one who invests in something is not so expensive so, it’s easier for you to finance. You need a lot of money to do great stuff, no, to be honest. You have a lot of angles like that. Like, you know, many, many great movies. That was finished with not a lot of resources, with a lot of passion. With the right actors, you know, there’s a lot of great actors, that doesn’t cost a lot of money. And an interest in doing great job, and it’s all about showing great work. You know, if you really have a, and if you do like that, have more control. Control is everything, that’s why I think it’s the best bet, to really like yourself. Invest in the local markets, because that way you can have more control over your material. So you’re going to do like a better job, it seems to me. That’s why what I feel, you know. And you give the next step, you need to break in at some point. So there, just do it! Go out and do it, don’t wait two months. That’s what I feel.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, okay. So, let’s talk about what sort of happened? You got “Two Rabbits” done, it’s produced. And now you’re starting to get it distributed. What did that sort of do to your career as a writer, as a director? You just directed the big move, “Solace.” So, I wonder if you could bridge that gap between, “Two Rabbits” and sort what you are currently working on? Because I think that’s kind of the dream is, that you do your independent films and then that kind of gets you to that next level. So maybe you could kind of talk about that experience of getting to that level? Getting out into that world, and help you.
Alfonso: Well, when “Two Rabbits” opened here in Brazil, Brazilian theaters. I guy would, which is my manager now. Grant Traberson, the trailer at Sun Dance. He’d said, he sent it. And then he liked it a lot, the trailer and he came here to Brazil to watch the movie on the theaters here. And then he watched it again. We set-up a meeting. And it was a mutual to present and submit. Agents, you know, you have kind of a stop, I feel that, you know, you can get some jobs there. You can direct movies there. I said, “Okay, let’s do it!” And then I got an agent, which is a great thing. Today, they prepare something, very good agents there. And he started showing my best credits to the studios, and producers around town. And spent like maybe two months, in LA but, meeting people. Like they say, “Do the couch tour.” And so I did, “The Couch Tour.” And I got a lot of scripts. Then started writing, and you know, I finally ended up, you know, with “Solice” like. Getting hired by “Paramount.” He wanted to at the time. It was a new line movie it was an independent. That was it, you know. I got a good agent, and a good manager. But it was all that via those trailers I feel, you know, that was it.
Ashley: And I always like to kind of get a sense of the scope. So, you have this one manager that flew down to Brazil. You said he saw your movie, you met, and you said you signed with him. Were there other managers and agents also interested in “Two Rabbits” and also talking with you about maybe you didn’t go with?
Alfonso: Well, no, the manager that came here, was a guy that already has a lot of eyes towards Brazil. He’s five year more is a manager. The guy who did “Pablo’s Good-bye”, on NetFlix. A he has some kinds here in Brazil. He’s trying to make those guys breaking into the U.S. market. So, he had that eye already. And then he introduce me to the agents. And then I like a lot my agents. And I made that new trailer. I was very happy with them, you know.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, okay, great. Maybe just to end the interview tell us how people can keep up with you, if you can on Facebook, go to Twitter, you can punch in your Twitter handle. Just anything you feel comfortable with sharing, so people can kinda follow along. And find out what you’re working on?
Alfonso: Sure. I’m really on Facebook, which is Alfonso Poyart, that’s where I am. I always post my stuff there, like there are movie clips there. There are pictures of, you know, I’m always sharing my top are there.
Ashley: Okay, perfect. I’ll grab that link and I’ll put it in the show notes. So people can go pick it up. Alfonso, this is a great interview, very original movie out, watched it last night, totally original, interesting, entertaining movie. So, well done on that. When is it going to be released into the United States? Do you have a schedule on that?
Alfonso: I think it’s mid-January?
Alfonso: I think it’s about when it should be released, yeah.
Ashley: And it’s going to be “Video-on-Demand?” Or we’ll get it the optical way?
Alfonso: I think it will be direct to video, that’s what I think? Yeah, that’s what I think?
Ashley: Okay, perfect, perfect, well again, thank you for coming on and talking to me I really appreciate it.
Alfonso: Thank you so much for listening.
Ashley: Thank you talk to ya later. Bye-Bye.
Alfonso: Bye-bye, thanks.
End Interview. [35:09]
Ashley: A quick plug for the SYS Screenwriting Analysis Service. It’s a really economical way to get a high quality professional evaluation on your screenplay. When you buy our three-pack you get evaluations at just $67.00 per script for feature films. Then just $55.00 for tele-plays. All the readers have professional experience reading for: Studios, production companies, contests, and agencies. You can read a short bio on each one of the readers on our website and you can pick the one who you think is the best fit for your script. Turn-around-time is usually just a few days but rarely more than a week.
The readers will evaluate your script on six key factors.
- Over all craft – which includes – Formatting, spelling, and
Every script will get a grade of – Pass, Consider, or Recommend. Which should help you roughly understand where your script might rank if you were to submit it to a production company or agency.
We provide analysis on features and television scripts, we also do proof reading without any analysis. We will also look at a treatment or outline and give you the same analysis on it. So, if you are looking to vet something, or a project of yours? Because this is a great way to do it. And you can just submit a short treatment and our readers will read it and give you an analysis on it. We will also write a log-line and synapsis for you. You can add this as a stand alone service, or you can add it. Or you can purchase this as a stand alone service or you can add it through an analysis. So basically what the reader would do then is, they would read your script, they would write a professional log-line, write a professional synapsis of the script. And as I said, you can also add that to my analysis and get an analysis as well. As a bonus, if you script gets a “Recommend” from a reader, you get a free Email and Fax Blast to my list of industry contacts. This is the exact same Blast Service I use myself to get my own scripts. And 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 to get a professional evaluation of your screenplay at a very reasonable price, check it out at – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/consultants.
I want to mention one thing. And this really piggy-backs on what I’ve just promoted. Which is the Script Analysis Service. And the bonus that I give. The one thing that I notice, I’ve now, this Script Analysis Service is about a year old. I think I launched it at the end of February last year, it’s just a little over a year old. So, in that time, we’ve only given out I think 8 “Recommends.” So, basically, eight people have gotten this free Email and Fax Blast. One of the things I was worried about, the people. The way the system works when you accept the Email and Fax Blast. You join SYS Select and then I actually help with your log-line and your quarry letter. That’s why SYS Select is from. And it’s all like, it’s the process that is set-up. You basically pay for SYS Select you get an automated Email that says, “Okay, join SYS.” And so the point to all that is, when I was giving out the, this as a bonus was for you to get a “Recommend” from a reader, do you get a free Blast. I was a little worried because those people are not necessarily in SYS Select. So, I wasn’t sure how it was going to handle the quarry letter and the log-line? Which goes in the quarry letter. I just wasn’t sure how I was going to handle that? Because I didn’t have that. I couldn’t necessarily let them in form, because all of the SYS Select foods are in the form. So, I just was concerned that I might get a bunch of really half baked quarry letters from people who had, “Recommends.” And then I would have to work with them I guess, through Email. And it would just be a real nascence. So, it’s sometimes difficult to, the form makes it very easy to basically critique stuff and then I give notes and they listen, and give notes. It keeps things very nice and organized. It has become somewhat difficult in Emails, you know, if someone sends me Email and they don’t hear back from me, and they send another one. And then I’ve got two Emails. And I can’t remember which one I responded to. So, the sending Emails is not a great way to necessarily critique someone’s log-line and quarry letter. All that to say, I was a little bit worried about giving out these “Recommends.” But my worry, is that I’m noticing there is nothing to really to worry about? It really hit home with this last week. We did give another “Recommend” that I did a Blast for this one writer. And he sent me this quarry letter, his quarry letter was excellent, his log-line was very good too. And one of the things I’m noticing? And I think people should really think about this. Is, when someone gets a “Recommend” and this is so far with every single case. All eight of these “Recommends” I think there’s been one or two people who, for whatever reason? They didn’t want the Email Fax Blast for that script. Or they didn’t just take me up on it just yet? So, it’s probably only maybe only six or seven weeks. We’ve given eight “Recommends” in a one-year time. And I think six, maybe seven have actually taken me up on it, and Fax Blasted, that they have won. So, in every single case, the quarry letter comes, they send me the quarry letter, in every single case, the quarry letters are written and they’ll, the log-lines are really well written. Now, this doesn’t mean there’s not some you know, some critique, some things that can be improved. Things can always be improved. But, for the most part these quarry letters and log-lines submitting are very good. And I think that’s worth noting is that there’s a real correlation between having a good script. Because people are getting “Recommends” on their scripts. So, and we don’t give out a lot of “Recommends” obviously. We’ve only given eight since we started the service over a year ago. So, I think there’s definitely a real correlation between writing a good script and also being able to write a good log-line and quarry letter. I point this out because I get a lot of people Emailing me saying, “Oh, I’ve written this great script, but I’m not good at log-lines and quarry letters.” And it always cringe a little bit thinking, I bet their script isn’t as good as they think it is…. I generally don’t read their script. So, I don’t ever necessarily know? But, this is not written in concrete, and I’m not implying that if you can’t write a good quarry letter and log-line than you script is garbage. I’m not implying that.
But I bet there’s a strong correlation, and I don’t think that’s something to consider with your own work. If you are struggling with your quarry letter and your struggling with your log-line? It may mean that you just need to continue to write and continue to improve. Because as I said, I’m seeing a definite correlation between a really, really good quarry letter, log-line and people that are getting, “Recommends.” I have not had any of these people like worried that these “Recommends.” None of them have submitted quarry letters and log-lines that were garbage. And I do see that is what SYS Select is for. Definitely people submitting log-lines and quarry letters in the SYS Select form. But need a lot of work. So far, all of them, these “Recommends” they are in the top 5%-10% in terms of quality and getting through it. And a lot of these things are not subjective. You know, it’s like there is a certain twist, certain point, become subjective. But a lot of it is not subjective in any way? It’s just a well written professional written quarry letter. I could come up with they, hey you could do this a little bit better. And that’s only like the last 5-10%. When I see a lot of these quarry letters, and log-lines on SYS Select form. They are just not even professionally written. The writers have not even taken the time to not even understand what an effective quarry letter is? How to write an effective log-line? And they have even barely take that step. A lot of them, the people in the SYS Select form, sort of form, a lot of them do, a lot of them don’t, have excellent quarry letter and excellent log-lines. But, a I’m just throwing that out there, something to consider. I’m definitely seeing a correlation between these people that are getting high scores from my readers. And they also seem to have pretty good log-lines and quarry letters. So, think about that as you start to promote your own script.
So, quickly about what I’m doing next week on the Podcast. I’m going to be interviewing – Writer and Director – Jody Wheeler and his Producer/Partner- Steve Parker. They recently did a film called, “The Dark Place.” We talk about and talk through how the project goes, how it gets off the ground, how they raise money for it? We go back on, I think, mostly on Jody’s case since he’s the Director. We’ll talk a little bit about his early career and how he broke into the business? 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 interview with Alfonso. I talk about this quite often on the Podcast. But, getting a job and working your way up. It really is the number one way to succeed in this business. I talk to people, I mean, they come on the Podcast, and you can listen to all of them. Time and time again, I talk to people and the way they broke into the business, which was getting some sort of a job in the entertainment industry (Production Assistant, working in an office) In Alfonso’s case it was during his motion graphics. And he learned a skill and that’s how he kind of got into the business. Again, I wanted it to really emphasize too, go back and listen to this interview and listen to what he said? He just took the initiative. And he learned the skill, it wasn’t something somebody forced upon him. It wasn’t necessarily learned in school. He just wanted to get into the business he felt this was a cool job. And this is a great way to do it. So, it just takes some initiative, some self-discipline, and some initiative. That’s what it takes, really absolutely key. No body was calling him. Hey, learn motion graphics, hey I’ll pay you to do this. He learned it, and he got good at it. And he got in there as a professional and solidly worked his way up. And now he’s writing and directing these films. The other thing that I would really emphasize about this. This particular film. Go, even if, I would recommend watching this film. I think it’s a really good film. A it’s interesting, it’s cool, it’s very, very, stylized. And one of the things he did really, really well. He used his background in this motion graphics, he used it in the film and it gives the film a really unique stylized original feel.
And you know the script is pretty good, the actors are pretty good, the action is pretty good. But all those things together are, it just makes it really, really stylized. Obviously the film works on other levels too. His using his background in the motion graphics really did this film a unique gray look. I’ve never really quite seen yet? It’s hard esthetic to it, and so I recommend seeing the film. If you don’t have time to see the film, even go and watch the trailer because you can see a lot of his motion graphics in the trailer. And he uses that film to great effect I think. I think it’s really cool little thing. And you know, that’s not necessarily something I can do. It’s not necessarily maybe something you can do? But I think it’s worth noting and that. He’s taking something from his background and then mixing it, and using it. And putting that into the film to give it something original and creative. And for myself, I’ve been working as a screenwriter for year. So, hopefully in my film, the thing that will stand out is the script. Hopefully I have a little bit of an advantage over somebody like him that’s been working in motion graphics. Hopefully I have a little bit of an edge over him, as a screenwriter. But, hopefully there will be something in your films that there is something in your scripts. There’s something about you that’s a little bit unique and original. And hopefully you can get that into your project. Because as I said, it gives it a nice original fresh take on something that is maybe we have not seen before, but not quite like this? It’s the old and same, but different? He gave it a nice little twist and the motion graphics are definitely a cool part of this film. So, As I said, if you check out the film, check out the film if you don’t have time, definitely check out the trailer. It’s only a couple of minutes long. And you can kinda see what I’m talking about in that.
Anyway, that’s the show, thank you for listening.