This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 358: With Writer/Director Sean C. Stephens.
Ashley: Welcome to Episode #358 of the Selling Your Screenplay podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter and blogger over at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today, I am interviewing Sean C. Stevens who just did a low budget Sci-Fi thriller called Expulsion. We talk through that film and how he got to the point in his career writing and directing a feature film, so stay tuned for that interview. If you find this episode valuable, please help me out by giving me a review in iTunes or leaving me a comment on YouTube or retweeting the podcast on Twitter or liking or sharing it on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the podcast, so they’re very much appreciated.
Any websites or links that I mention 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 Number #358. If you want my free guide-How To Sell a Screenplay in Five Weeks, you can pick that up by going to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. It’s completely free, you 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 a screenplay in that guide.
I’ll teach you how to write a professional logline and query letter and how to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for material. Really, it’s everything you need to know to sell your screenplay. Just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. Quick few words about what I’m working on. I’m still working on The Rideshare Killer, the mystery thriller feature that we shot last December, we’re still in post-production on that. Now that we’re at locked picture, I’m starting to look at the various different things that these post production people are sending in. This week I got to look at the score for probably the first 10 minutes. Our composer has put that in place and rendered that out.
It’s really fun to see everything come together, a lot of the scenes really don’t work. Especially with a mystery thriller like this, a lot of the scenes really don’t work until you get that music in place. It just really adds that element of excitement and drama. So it’s really cool finally seeing it all come together. As mentioned last week, I’ve got everything now to the color and the sound guy, so we’re really starting to wrap this thing up. I’ve also been putting together an online screenwriting class. I’m basically going to set it up so that people can work at their own pace, but it’ll walk you through the entire process of writing a screenplay. It starts out with the forming of the concept, coming up with a marketable concept, outlining, index carding, writing the first act, second act, third act and then all the way through a polished second draft.
I’m hoping to launch this early in the new-year, so keep an eye out for that. I’ll be making some announcements for that, but that’s one of the things I’ve really been concentrating on, is trying to polish up that. So those are the main things I’ve been working on this week. Now let’s get into the main segment. Today I am interviewing writer, director, Sean C. Stephens. Here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Sean to the selling your screenplay podcast. I really appreciate you coming on the show with me today?
Sean: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Ashley: So to start out, maybe you can tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up and how did you get interested in the entertainment business?
Sean: Yeah, I actually grew up at least through my latter years here schooling out here in Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona. I immediately fell in love with filmmaking probably through Star Wars like so many other filmmakers from my generation. But I actually attended a film theory classes at ASU, Arizona State University, but I did all my hands on work at various community colleges around the valley, so I did some student films, and actually, really our big jump was we did a film way back in the late 90s. It was one of the first digital features known as the Hands of a Madman. It was very low budget, it was probably when all the other filmmakers in our class were doing shorts, we decided to do an actual 90 minutes feature.
We did that first and kind of fell in love with that. My business partner, Paul Tomborello and I have been sort of in the business ever since. I relocated to Michigan for several years to capitalize on the Film Incentive Program and actually I did three larger movies through that. One of them through the Michigan program, one in Indiana and then another one back here in Phoenix. Those were Rumors of Wars with Eric Roberts, Little Savages with Jamie Kennedy and a lot of the Disney kids, Leigh Allyn Baker was also in that one. And then we did Griddle House out here in Phoenix and I helped produce that. So I did a lot of producing there in the early 2010s, and then decided to sort of venture out into doing our own thing again. So Expulsion sort of marks are our first feature there, we have another one called Werewolf World on the way soon after and then where we go from there, we’ll see.
Ashley: Yeah. So a couple of things I just wanna talk about in all of that, unpacking all of what you just said. Number one, I get a lot of emails from people outside of the Los Angeles area. I’m in Los Angeles, and they’re always posing that question, do you have to move to LA to be a screenwriter? Sounds like in your case, more of a filmmaker. But maybe you can talk to that a little bit. What’s your opinion of that and why haven’t you taken that leap to move to Los Angeles? Do you feel like it’s something that you will eventually do? Do you feel like it’s something you need to do?
Sean: Yeah, that’s a really good, great question. Kind of just to back up a little bit with the screenwriting piece, I’ve always been fascinated about writing and I wrote that first movie I talked about, I wrote. I also wrote a movie called Suspended back in 2013, 2012 and we actually, my writing partner and I actually sold that one off. So I definitely have some experience in selling. Then we wrote Expulsion and decided to keep that one in-house. But to answer your question more directly in terms of moving to LA, when I wrote and sold Suspended, that was done in Michigan, back when I lived in Michigan. So I think the way the world sort of works today, so long as you’ve got some resources to travel or if you’re located close to one of the major markets, because there are festivals and things that you should attend to network if nothing else, I don’t think you necessarily have to be in LA.
One of the things that I found, again my partner Paul Tomborella, actually was in LA for several years and still maintains a residence there in addition to his other location. But the money that he’s able to save not living there, he can use to easily travel to a lot more events, if that makes sense, just because of the cost of living and everything. So I would say that it doesn’t hurt to live in New York or LA certainly, because having a quick lunch or something with somebody is much easier obviously. But if you’re not there or you’re not able to live there, I would definitely put together some resources so that you can travel pretty easily if needed, certainly under normal circumstances pre and post COVID obviously.
Ashley: Yeah. So I’m curious too about the incentives you’re talking about in Michigan. My own career has been mostly in Los Angeles. I’ve shot feature films in Los Angeles and so I sort of know what that world looks like. And from someone in Los Angeles, making films, we have this great access to this huge talent pool. There’s tons of actors, tons of crew, so that’s the advantage. The downside here in LA is, when you show up at a restaurant and say, “We wanna film here,” they want $5,000 a day, because they’re used to that sort of production. And everybody’s very jaded, so you’re not going to get… there’s no real cool factor left, you know, if you got this access thing. But what does it look like?
I mean, when I started to do the math on low budget films at least, and I’m talking like less than 250,000, let’s say, sort of the range that I’m looking at. It doesn’t… like Oklahoma is one that we’re hearing about now, they have big incentives to shoot in Oklahoma. But when you do the math on the lower budget, it starts to become iffy, because you have to bring crew, you have to bring stuff. Did you… when you were in Michigan, were you able to find a local crew, local cast? Did you have to fly people in? How do those incentives actually work? What do they actually do for you ultimately?
Sean: Yeah. That’s a great big question. So we were in Michigan actually, we did end up flying in a lot of casts certainly, but there’s a bigger tax write off up to… back in those days, up to 30 percent in Michigan. Their tax incentive program has since gone away, but there’s similar programs in Mississippi, Georgia, pretty much I’d say probably 25 States, especially Puerto Rico, if you ever have a screenplay that fits that market. But they always give you a bigger return on local talent, so you still get a little bit of a return. So to kind of put it in perspective, you can write off 30 percent of your expenses that are spent in the State. Michigan at the time, they had had the film incentive program going for several years, so there were good grip trucks and good crew that were located there.
That being said, we did fly in the DP, the production designer, some of the higher end or… I don’t wanna say higher end because they’re all important. But some of those more talented or more curated type of…
Ashley: …experience. Yeah. You just need a little more experience.
Sean: Exactly. But yeah, so and then the non-localized talent or the non-localized expenses, those could fall on anywhere from three to 12 percent, depending upon what the resource was. And then there’s also always a kicker, if you use a post house located in that, you know, to do all your editing and help with all the visual effects and everything. Which we didn’t do on Rumors, but ultimately, we still got quite a nice chunk back on that, that we were able to dump into marketing. So that did work out well for us.
Ashley: Yeah. So, perfect. Well, good. I think that’s a great explanation. So let’s dig into your latest film Expulsion. Maybe to start out, you can give us a quick logline or pitch. What is this film all about?
Sean: Yeah. So Expulsion is about… I’ve always been interested in the fringe sciences, so the screenplay I mentioned earlier, Suspended is about cryonics. So I actually went and interviewed some of the… out here in Phoenix, there’s a company called Alcor that actually really in real life, freezes people to hopefully bring them back someday in the future. So the types of fringe sciences that are sort of real, but not… we’re not quite there yet, that’s the kind of stuff I love. So with Expulsion, I really became a fan of particle collision, so you’ve probably heard of the LHC in Europe that collides particles. So we said, what if a couple of scientists that were working on something similar for a large corporation, decided to scale that down and build a faster, more powerful accelerator in their garage? What would happen?
So what happens is they actually stumble upon a parallel universe, where the main character, Scott played by the great Colton Tapp, actually finds another version of himself. So Colton was able to actually play both roles. Well, lo and behold, as the story progresses, you basically uncover that the other Scott and we call him the other Scott, because depending on one’s perspective, he may be evil, he may not be. So we certainly not gonna call him evil Scott, but other Scott has other agenda. He has another agenda, he has another thing that he wants to achieve. And you start to sort of figure that out with the original Scott as the story progresses.
Then there on the background, you’ve got the corporation they work for sort of figuring out what they’re doing, and they have their own agenda as well and they’re trying to get ahold of his technology and exploit it for their own benefit. And there’s quite a few twists and turns whenever I write screenplays. One of the biggest things that you can do, I think is create aha moments. I call them, aha moments. That’s where you plant a seed earlier in the screenplay, and then you have that revelation or that, aha moment later on down the road. And the closer that you can get those, aha moments to come together and culminate, it creates a climax that is more and more powerful. So we always try to do that. Then my writing partner, Aaron Jackson, who also wrote the screenplay is really good with dialogue. So I’ll typically punch up a first or second draft, he’ll go back in and polish the dialogue and I think we work really well in tandem that way. We also worked on the Suspended one that we sold earlier in 2014 as well, so.
Ashley: Got you. So where did this story and idea come from? You mentioned that you just have an interest in this stuff. Was there some particular thing…? And I’m kind of curious too, not just the creative, but was there some business or was there some business decisions? One thing that I get from producers when I go into these meetings, “Hey, what’s a great script, what’s a great indie film that you would like to see?” And Primer is always one that’s mentioned as sort of the quintessential super low budget Sci-Fi thriller. It can travel and the other things. And when I watched your trailer, that’s what I thought of, sort of the low tech garage, the way you guys… you had the guys sort of dress, there was definitely some homage to that, whether intended or not.
And I’m curious, was that some of your inflow or whether that’s some of your idea? Leaning into some of the business stuff, did you do any research in this? Did you talk to distributors to know that there would be a market for this?
Sean: Great question. Yeah. So let me sort of unpack a lot of that. So the answer is, I’ll get to the distribution piece in a moment, but in terms of inspiration, you know, I actually had seen Primer, but I’ll be honest with you, it wasn’t really, I didn’t set out to make a movie similar to that. I actually, I’ve heard that a couple of times that we’ve gone through our PR, and its funny because that really isn’t where the inspiration came from. I think I saw it back when it first came out, I’m always going to see experimental films and art film. I love that stuff. But to be honest, it really came from… believe it or not, there was some inspiration from THX 1138. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that. It’s George Lucas’s first experimental film.
Ashley: Yeah, sure.
Sean: And really it’s just the stylistic a piece of that, not so much the story bits. But in terms of my interest in particle collision and particle science, I actually saw a documentary about the LHC, the Large Hadron Collider and that’s really is what… I’m like well, wow, the possibilities of potentially colliding particles and ripping open a hole to another dimension. And its actually real science. The movie starts out with a quote from the late Stephen Hawking, about how he feels that we’re not after a career of saying that we’re just one single universe, how his later findings, his last published paper, he actually says we’re not down to a single unique universe. So it has a lot to do with the dark matter out there, and all the holes that we see in our own universe, could actually be bubbles of other parallel universes bumping up, where different… not to get too technical, but different levels of gravity and things that we can’t control actually change what happens in those other universes.
So the movie explores that and probably I think does a pretty good job of explaining it. But from a business aspect, I will say that we’ve gone through the distribution system many, many times, with larger budget films over a million dollar budget. So when I say larger, I’m not talking about the hundred million dollar blockbusters. For me a large budget’s one to three million.
Ashley: Yeah, sure.
Sean: And we’ve learned that by the time you get the film out there, when you’re going through a sales agent and you’re going through eventually a distribution company, who then is again gonna sell the film to whether it be foreign distributors or to a domestic distributor. You’re ultimately getting into a situation where you’re not gonna get, it’s gonna be very difficult to get a return. Unless you’ve got paranormal activity on your hands or something that’s just gonna completely turn the industry on its head, it’s really… What we decided to do is actually develop a company ourselves, leverage our contacts, partner with a PR firm upfront early, develop relationships with Apple, develop relationships with Vudu and Amazon and get our film on that platform ourselves, and then leverage some marketing assistance.
Ultimately, it remains to be seen how this will work out, but if this doesn’t work out, we’re looking to eventually package that through colossal content for other filmmakers. So for a very low fee, they keep a hundred percent of the revenues, and then we go ahead and help them get on different platforms and even provide marketing, which a lot of the film aggregators, I can’t think of one actually, that’ll aggregate your film and help you market it both. Marketing is so important. It’s all about relationships, it’s all about getting back to people, being diligent. So we’re hoping that we’re creating something a little different here that will help other filmmakers with low budget aspirations in the future and screenwriters for that matter as well, so.
Ashley: Yeah. So you mentioned a little bit, you talked a little bit about your collaboration with Erin Jackson. Maybe you can talk about that a little bit more. So just in terms of… I mean, I have a lot of writers that listen to this, they have different relationships with their collaborators. How does yours work? When you guys are starting out, do you just spit ball ideas, do you do index cards? Are you in the same room, separate rooms? Are there some tools you’re using, Google docs, or… Maybe you can talk just a little bit of sort of about that actual physical process of writing collaboratively.
Sean: Sure. Yeah, we actually… typically what’ll happen is, we’ll start off with sort of a treatment. So we’ll write a one page you know, a really short just basic treatment, and then once we agree on the basic story, then we’ll go back and do a larger treatment and again, we’ll go back and forth giving feedback. Unfortunately for us, we’re so much on the same page, there’s not a ton of compromising. Erin is a little bit more hard-nosed or he likes the little more controversial type stuff, which is great because that’s one of my opportunity areas. So to have him kind of come in and punch that up really works, it works very well. And a lot of times, we’ll just do that through a word document and send it back and forth.
Then when we settle on that, we’ll then jump in and do an outline, then we’ll do a final draft to actually write the first draft of the screenplay. Which I’m sure as you know, and your listeners know, you can then send back and forth and make changes and track those changes and go back and forth. So the dynamic there I think is, you don’t necessarily need to be in the same room. For our first screenplay together, we weren’t, but I will say that now that we’re in the same city, we do make it a point to get together and talk about the… you know, there is something to be said, for reading people’s expressions and their body language and knowing and playing off of that and knowing what questions to ask to dig deeper.
But yeah, I think it’s… we definitely leverage all those tools. We’re probably a little more low-tech in that we do it through a Word document first, and then just leverage the tracking capabilities of final draft, but we usually end up around 10 to 13 drafts before we get one that we feel like we can actually start having people read. Then we’ll take feedback from others and then incorporate that feedback into our next draft. And sometimes even during production things change a little bit based on cast, based on some of the actors’ ideas and things of that nature.
Ashley: Sure. How long do you guys spend in the outlining process? Basically before you open up final draft and start writing scenes and dialogue and action and stuff, how much of your time is spent in the preparation stage?
Sean: I would say probably just a month or two. I mean, as long as we’re working diligently and talking every day, we usually can iron out a very solid story and get a good agreement and come to collaborative, you know, realize the efforts of our collaboration typically within just a month or two.
Ashley: Then how long… and then once you get onto final draft, how long does it take you guys to push through those 10 or 12 drafts that you’re talking about?
Sean: Yeah, we probably… When I say 10 or 12 drafts, let me clarify that sometimes the changes are only 10 percent of what we wrote before, you know what I mean? So I’m not talking about [inaudible 00:20:13] right. But yeah, no, I would say with Expulsion, we probably had that first final draft ready to send for feedback to people after about three, four months. Then we get feedback about six months from beginning to end, to actually get the draft that we were able to start sending out, to have people read for and start putting all the pre-production stuff together.
Ashley: Sure. And so what does that development process look like? Who are these people you send out to get feedback? Do you have some actors, producers, directors, other writers? What does that look like? And then maybe even you can speak to a little bit about taking those notes. When they give you a note that you don’t agree with, how do you handle that? But first question is, who are these people that are giving you feedback and then how do you handle feedback?
Sean: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, so I’m a really big fan of feedback. I learned very early in my career, sort of my day job, that feedback is really the way to become better. There’s a certain, there’s a couple of different types of personalities out there. One of those is feedback is… they’re very defensive and not willing to open up on that, and that’s not gonna get you anywhere. So I would say if your listeners learn one thing off of this, that I can provide any kind of nugget, that’s it, is be open to feedback, especially if you’re giving this to multiple people and hearing sort of the same thing from multiple people that aren’t communicating with each other. So we will send it to everybody from actors that are friends or people that we’ve worked with, all the way up to other screenwriters.
The gentleman that wrote the screenplay for Rumors for example, is one person that I sent this to, to get feedback. Even to producers, to kind of look at, “Hey, what do you think the budget is on this?” And get some of their advice. But it’s all about leveraging those contacts, don’t put too much behind the title or what somebody else has done, because there’s so many talented artists out there that you know them. If you know them well enough, you know if their ideas are fresh, you know if they know what they’re talking about. Listen to those folks and especially to my earlier point.
Take those notes and certainly insist upon them giving you at least four or five bullet points about the script, even if they’re, not specifically drilled down to a certain page. But take those notes and compare them and see, “Hey, this is a common theme, people aren’t understanding what I’m trying to do here, let me see if there’s a way to reword that.” People feel like, another example, that there’s too much exposition maybe in this particular scene. Let me see if I can streamline that a little bit. You know, there’s not enough lighthearted moments, let me see if I can add those. Even broad strokes like that certainly help. Then probably one of the hardest things I think probably everybody deals with is, when you send this off you’ve got to play the role of numbers a little bit.
So you know, people are busy not everybody that you send it to is gonna read it unfortunately. The worst thing that you can do is get someone to get pressured and wanna pretend like they read it and give you feedback, and they’ve only read your treatment or your synopsis. So be patient with them, send it to a lot of people. Certainly copyright it first, it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to do that. But send it to people, get their feedback and send it to a lot of people, because if you send it to 20 people, you may get five that actually reply. Well, five’s a good number to go off of, just to identify trends and really identify things that may not be working, so.
Ashley: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, good advice. Okay. So once you had this script and you felt like you were ready to go into pre-production, what were those next steps? How did you guys go about raising the money for this?
Sean: Right. Great question. All of our other films before this one, we had raised the money, we had investors, we actually created a film fund. But this one specifically we actually having put away some of the funds that we’ve… money that we’ve made off of other projects which it really isn’t very much to be honest. A lot of this really came from my own personal, from my pocket. I’ve been fortunate enough to be very successful in my day job and I was able to really put a lot away to help with this. And that really is… and also creative contracts. You know, a lot of times when you’re doing a low budget movie, you don’t have a lot of money to get the actors.
You know, we had to fly a couple in for this one, you know, the lead Colton Tapp and then, right Friday, the 13th. Screen queen, Lar Park Lincoln is in this. We had to fly them in. But it’s really when they fall in love with the screenplay, when they’re at that higher level of success in terms of acting, it’s much easier to get them to believe in you and believe in your project and do things for backend profit sharing. Because again, it’s not something that’s popular to attract a lot of people typically, but if it’s a good story and they believe in it then they certainly will. And then obviously there’s a little bit of an upfront cost you have to pay them as well.
You know, people have to get… but that you supplement that with sort of the backend points and the reason we were able to get that to work, I think my point is that they really believed in the screenplay and they read the story for what it was. We took some of their feedback and implemented that as well. Nothing major, just some dialogue things, and we were able to really secure enough talent to get this done. Then obviously we had some breaks, we had a really talented sound engineer come in, that was, he was really excited about the project as well and we had him jump in as well and he brought some of his own equipment, which really helped out. So it’s certainly, it’s all about relationships.
It’s all about being honest with people or not trying to seem like you’re doing a bigger production of what you are, but it did take a lot of savings. I’ll be honest with you Ashley, I probably dumped in, probably saved, not knowing what project I was gonna do, I started saving back in 2014, and was able to save up enough money to actually shoot this in 2017, 2018 and then go through the post. The most expensive part was the visual effects. We had to hire a visual effects artists to come in and do probably 70 percent of the visual effects in the film that we couldn’t do ourselves and that was definitely the most expensive piece I would say.
Ashley: Got you. You mentioned your day job. What is your day job and how has that helped you with your film career?
Sean: So my day job is, I actually worked for a financial company in the quality department, so that kind of helped me when I started doing some producing to really learn about regulations, state regulations and guidelines and how important those are. They’re not the same industry, but the fact that there’s guidelines and different government entities, that you have to bring into the loop sometimes for things like tax incentives, that really helped out a lot. But I’m a quality manager for a financial company.
Ashley: Got you. What advice would you have for writers that are seeking to break in? Do you think this is the right strategy, writing and then producing something yourself? Do you think entering contests, doing stuff like the Blacklist? What is sort of your approach, if you get a screenwriter saying, “Hey, what should I do?”
Sean: That’s great. Yeah. So what I would say again, that first piece is, get that first draft ironed out, get feedback, and get feedback from multiple people, put that, you know, try to look at that feedback, keep an open mind, adjust and tweak your screenplay based on that. Then once you have that polished product, once you have that draft that you feel is ironed and clad, that’s when I would say, there is value in entering screenplay contests, there is value in some of the screenplay festivals out there. I would say, what really helped us, if I look back on how we were able to sell Suspended, what really helped us is that before we sold it, we actually had some funding from investors that was coming through, that ultimately did kind of fall apart, which is why we sold it.
But we were able to get some reads from some Hollywood actors and their agents and they were interested in it because of the story. So that really helped us a lot, but I would say if you don’t have access to that, definitely just working on a film set, working with and getting to know people, get to know those producers, because what you want to happen, the first stone you have to sort of turn over, is getting somebody to read your screenplay, somebody that has the power to potentially green-light it. So I would… if you are working on a set as a PA , for no other reason than to getting good with, and build a relationship with the producers, that’s very beneficial. It’s much or more so than even entering the screenplay contest and getting recognition that way, because there’s so many out there as you know, that a lot of folks don’t explore, you know, just those relationships at the producing level, which really, really can help get your stuff read and possibly get it green-lit.
Ashley: Yeah. Sure. What have you seen… I just like to wrap up the interviews by asking the guests, what they’ve seen recently, Hulu, Netflix? Is there anything that stands out over the last couple of months, that you think might be really good for screenwriters to check out?
Sean: In terms of platforms?
Ashley: Yeah… No, I’m talking just in terms of specific projects. Anything you’ve seen on HBO, on Hulu, just over the last few months? Just a personal recommendation.
Sean: Yeah, I would say probably, there’s a Danny Trejo documentary that I watched. I know that’s not really necessarily, but I thought it was good. I think it’s called Inmate Number something that was really good. Then also there’s a movie out, I think in the unlimited theatrical called The Loan. It’s about a girl who travels cross country and there’s a guy that sort of stalks her, sort of like in a duo type way at first and then she’s kidnapped and brought back to his cabin in the woods and has to escape and survive. So it covers all these different sort of, perils that she has to navigate her way through. And it’s gotten great reviews. I think it’s somewhere in the high 80s or low 90s on Rotten Tomatoes.
It’s called The Loan and I think that’s probably one that I really like. I have no personal connection to that, so I just really thought that was a great, the way that they executed that story and added some of those, aha moments that I was referencing earlier, really, really paid off.
Ashley: Okay. Well, perfect. That’s a great recommendation. How can people see Expulsion? Do you know what the release schedule is gonna be like?
Sean: Absolutely. Expulsion will be available on Tuesday, October 20th, and that, it’ll actually be available on Apple TV, it’ll be available on Amazon, it’ll be available on Google Play and it’ll be available on Vudu. So you can actually rent the movie there or purchase it. It is available on Amazon right now, for Blu-ray and DVD pre-orders and those will also be available. Then we’re also doing a watch party through Film Threat on Friday, October 23rd. So a few days after the film comes out, the major cast and myself and a couple other crew folks will be there and we’ll actually be on and watch the film with you and give some commentary, if you’re interested. And that will be recorded, it’s 5:00 PM through Film Threats, YouTube channel it’s at 5:00 PM on a Friday, the 23rd, Pacific Time. However, it will be recorded and people can go there and watch it anytime that they want.
Ashley: Got you. That sounds fantastic. What’s the best way for people to keep up with what you’re doing, Twitter, Facebook, a blog, anything you’re comfortable sharing I’ll round up for the show-notes?
Sean: Absolutely. So you can actually keep up with, if you’re looking specifically about Expulsion, www.expulsionmovie.com is the best place. You can even access our Instagram, our feed there as well, and follow us through Instagram. Personally, what you wanna look for is www.colossalpictures.com, and that’s where my business partner and I have sort of our film distribution company going up and then ultimately there will be a website launching, a much more advanced and pretty slick website for filmmakers to access if they’re interested in potentially getting on and helping get their screenplay produced or helping to get their movie out there if they finished one, or even a short film, and that is gonna be www.colossalcontent.com. So www.colossalpictures.com, and then we’ll have colossal content going up here probably by the end of November, I would say.
Ashley: Got you. Well Sean, I really appreciate you coming on and talking with me. Good luck with this film, good luck with the other films, and I look forward to talking you again when you have another film ready to go out.
Sean: Awesome. Thank you so much, Ashley, I appreciate it. Feel free to follow up with me with any questions through email, I’d be more than happy to get back to you.
Ashley: Perfect. I appreciate it, Sean. You take care.
Sean: You as well. Thank you. Bye-Bye
Ashley: Thank you. Bye.
Ashley: I just want to talk quickly about SYS Select. It’s a service for screenwriters to help them sell their screenplays and get writing assignments. The first part of the service is the SYS Select screenplay database screenwriters upload their screenplays along with a log line, synopsis and other pertinent information like, budget and genre and then producers search for, and hopefully find screenplays they want to produce does as a producers are in the system looking for screenplays right now. There have been a number of success stories come out of the service. You can find out about all the SYS Select successes by going to selling your screenplay.com/success. Also on SYS podcast episode 222, I talked with Steve Dearing, who was the first official success story to come out of the SYS Select database.
When you join SYS Select, you get access to the screenplay database, along with all the other services that we’re providing to SYS Select members. These services include the newsletter, this monthly newsletter goes out to a list of over 400 producers, who are actively seeking writers and screenplays. Each SYS Select member can pitch one screenplay in this monthly newsletter. We also provide screenwriting leads, we have partnered with one of the premier paid Screenwriting Leads Services, so I can syndicate their leads to SYS Select members. There are lots of great paid leads coming in each week from our partner, recently we’ve been getting five to 10 high quality paid leads per week.
These leads run the gamut. There’s producers looking for a specific type of spec script to producers, looking to hire a screenwriter to write up one of their ideas or properties. They’re looking for shorts features, TV and web series pilots, all types of projects. If you sign up for SYS Select, you’ll get these leads emailed directly to you several times per week. Also you get X to the SYS Select forum where we will help you with your online inquiry letter and answer any screenwriting related questions that you might have. We also have a number of screenwriting classes that are recorded and available in the SYS Select forum. These classes… these are all of the classes that I’ve done over the years.
So you’ll have access to those whenever you want once you join, the classes cover every part of writing your screenplay, from concept to outlining to the first act, second act, third act, as well as other topics like writing short films and pitching your projects in person. Once again, if this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, please go to www.sellingyourscreenplay select.com. Again, that is www.sellingyourscreenplayselect.com. On the next episode of the podcast, I’m gonna be interviewing Zeina Durra, who just did an indie romance called Luxor. She talks about that project and how it all came together for her. She’s a really passionate artist and has some great advice for writers on having the careers that they wanna have. So keep an eye out for that episode next week. That’s our show. Thank you for listening.