This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 299: Writer/Director Anderson Cowan On Making His Low Budget Dramedy, Groupers.

Ashley: Welcome to Episode #299 of the Selling Your Screenplay podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter and blogger over at Today I’m interviewing Anderson Cowan who just did an indie dramedy. He’s a true independent filmmaker and he shares his story with us today, so stay tuned for that interview. Just a quick update as well, last week I mentioned that I would be interviewing Nathan Ives, talk about his new film. Well, that’s been pushed back by a week, so I will have Nathan on next week. 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.

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So now let’s get into the main segment. Today I am interviewing director Anderson Cowen. Here is the interview.

Ashley: Welcome Anderson to the Selling Your Screenplay podcast. I really appreciate you coming on the show with me today.

Anderson: Thanks for having me Ashley. This is fun.

Ashley: 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?

Anderson: Sure, yeah. Born and raised in Los Angeles, I’m sure that’s kind of a rarity for you. I would imagine most people you talk to are from other parts of the country, but I was born into it, which was I guess convenient. I think we all one time or another loved movies, right? For the most part. I’m not gonna tell you like, “Oh, I’ve loved movies since I was a kid and I knew I wanted to make movies ever since I was a kid.” What happened with me was kind of interesting. My dad, he was a therapist, a psychologist and he didn’t practice what he preached at all and he did things that were very inappropriate looking back on it. He took me to many R-rated movies at a very young age. I’m talking like six, seven years old, he was taking me to like hard R-movies.

It was traumatizing and I spent a lot of time in theaters with my dad as a child with my face literally buried in the back of the seat in the theater just wanting the movie to end. I’ll never forget when he took me to see The Thing, I think I was like eight years old or something and John Carpenter’s The Thing scarred me.

Ashley: Really?

Anderson: And then his phycology instincts kicked in once the movie was over, like I just wanted to get the hell out of there. Once the movie was over he made me stay and watch the credits and he was saying, “Look, all these people made the movie, made that fake movie.” And I’m like, “I’m well aware that its fake dad, it doesn’t mean that it’s not horrifying to me.” But things that traumatize you as a child, when you get older I think a lot of us try and master those things and make them our own. And I definitely think that has a lot to do with what happened with me.

Ashley: You’re scaring me a little bit. I have a nine and a six year old and I do let them sometimes watch R-rated horror movies [laughs]. So maybe I should reconsider that.

Anderson: No, I think its challenge by choice as they used to say at the camp that I was a counsellor at for many years. Challenge by choice. I wasn’t like forced. He didn’t force me to go see these… I remember going to drive inns with him and just spending most of the movie on the floor board because I didn’t wanna see what was happening on the screen. But I did in a sense feel like I was trapped in the theater. I think if you’re doing it at the comfort of your own home and they can look away when they want or stop it, that’s a different story.

Ashley: Yeah. I showed my kids The Shiny, I thought they would get bored with it after a few minutes and they were absolutely riveted by it.

Anderson: Really?

Ashley: Yeah [laughs]. So it’s a good litmus test for really great films if your six year old can stay entertained by it.

Anderson: Yeah.

Ashley: Anyway, so let’s dig into your latest film Groupers. To start out, maybe you can give us a quick logline or a pitch. What is that film all about?

Anderson: It’s really about hypocrisy in group thinking, in group mentality and homophobia is gay is the ultimate message I guess. It’s about Meg who is a young girl in her twenties and she’s got a little brother who’s in high school who’s been getting bullied for a number of years. She comes up with a plan to go and kidnap her little brother’s two abusers, these two high school jerks. She pick them up at a bar, they think that they’re going home with her to have fun but she’s got other plans. She takes them back to an abandoned house with an empty pool in the backyard and she strings them up after subduing them. She strings them up and they wake up in the morning face to face all tied together.

Ultimately what she tells them is that they have to become gay for each other for her to let them go because they’ve been saying that homosexuality is a choice.

Ashley: I got you. That’s interesting, and I wanna point out to the listeners here too. I love your pitch there. You started with sort of the macro pitch which is sort of the theme and stuff, and then got down to the very specifics of the story. I think that’s an excellent pitch, it sounds like a riveting story. Where did this idea come from, what was the genesis of it?

Anderson: It all began with a conversation I was having with a friend about Chinese finger traps and I was asking where they’ve gone, I used to see them all the time in like party favors when I was a kid at birthday parties and stuff, and I’m like, “It’s funny when you become an adult, certain things just disappear.” And my friend who’s a bit sophomoric, he immediately suggested putting… I’ll keep it PG here, but he said, “Hey, I just thought of a great torture device. If you used a Chinese finger trap and you put men’s genitalia in either end.” I thought it was absurd and ridiculous but then I immediately thought but what if those two guys were homophobic and the only way to get out of it is to get… we all know how to get out of a Chinese finger trap.

They have to become interested in one another in order to get out of that dilemma. It was ridiculous, it was small, but then it got me thinking and I went home that night and started writing some of these ideas that I had down about hypocrisy, and the fact that a lot of homophobes end up being gay once the cat’s out of the bag years down the road like a lot of politicians that have been. So I was going in with that guise.

Ashley: Why do you think this was interesting to you? Like why do you think that appealed to you as this idea of group thinking and how it may be damaging to society as obviously the sort of the right wing backlash against homosexuality? Why was that something that interested you?

Anderson: Yeah, that kind of thing has always interest me Ashley. I’ve always been a bit of an outlier and kind of I felt comfortable being on the outside looking in and pushing people’s buttons and not going along. I’ve never really felt comfortable with going along and I don’t know where it all started. It kinda started with learning about World War 2 and the Holocaust and just having such a disdain for humanity. Not to get too deep in all my stump here but when I see the entire society just go along with one man’s horrible thought process, it’s like… I hate that in humanity, when we’re just like, “That’s the norm, that’s what we’re to do, okay, that’s what we do.” So being that kind of a… having that kind of a mentality in school, I wore make up, I was a punk raw kid, I got beat up a lot for being gay.

I’m not gay but a lot of people thought I was and a lot of… I shouldn’t say a lot, but I know that a few of my attackers turned out to be gay later in life. I learnt that they were gay and it was interesting. So I wanted to kinda point that out. This is a [inaudible 00:08:15] movie where I hopefully have painted some individuals who the audience really does not like and then we get to see them humiliated and shamed and it’s satisfying.

Ashley: Yeah. So you’ve done a number of other films and I’m curious, what was your thinking process just in terms of like the financing and the business decisions. Did that play into any of these or thin is just something you thought was interesting and as an artist you wanted to bring it into the world? But was there some conversations with the distributors saying, “Hey, do you think you could actually sell this movie?” Did you make some decisions about how much money to spend on this movie based on those business decisions? Maybe talk through a little bit of that. Or was it just purely something that interested you?

Anderson: Well, I’ve been writing for decades now literally. I worked in radio for too long. In fact it was a cush job and it breeds complacency. I was just making good money and not really doing anything with my film career other than writing, and I was constantly creating with pen and paper because it’s cheap. It’s super cheap and I was keeping my mind going in that direction. The dream was always to make a feature film… make feature films I should say. But I don’t like the idea of sitting down at a table with a pen and paper and thinking, “I’m gonna write something cheap enough that I can make it on my own.” I never let myself do that, but Groupers, when I came up with the idea for Groupers that was the first thing that I actually had passion about that was actually cheap.

I knew I could make it for $100,000 or less if I found one location, worked with non-union actors and that’s why I decided to do Groupers first and the hope is that this spring boards into the next one that will cost a little more. The next one cost a million and then the one after that is probably more like a $ 15 million movie. But I gotta come up and [inaudible 00:10:05] that I have all written out and I’m ready to go with it but obviously you start with the cheapest one first. And the other movies… I went to film school back like at the turn of the century… God, it makes me sound old. But I graduated film school back then and you learn a lot. It’s mainly you make connections in film school.

But unfortunately when you get out of film school you’re all each other’s competition immediately as soon as you graduate. So I did not have a whole lot of connections coming out of film school and a few years went past and I decided to find volunteers to help me make shorts. I made five shorts in 12 months. I made five shorts and that was kind of like film school part two and that really I think honed my wherewithal for being on set and running an actual feature set.

Ashley: I got you.

Anderson: To answer your question I did not talk to any distributors. I learned so much from doing this one and you absolutely should have a business plan before you sit down and raise dollar one. I did not do that.

Ashley: Yeah, I got you. So let’s talk about your writing process a little bit. Just a couple of quick questions, where do you typically write, coffee shop, home office? And when do you typically write, do you write in the morning, afternoon, or are you one of the guys that writes in the middle of the night?

Anderson: Yeah, I’m a middle of the night guy. I’ve written a ton of stuff in bars, a lot of pages in bars. I’d be the guy at the end of the bar, not so much these days because I’m a stay at home dad so I don’t get that kind of luxury, but the majority of things that I’ve written have been in bars or coffee shops or in my car. The first draft is always pen to paper. It’s always my first draft. And then the second draft is I transfer it into final draft, which I’m sure that all of your listeners are familiar with. Final draft and then it’s just one pass after another after another and I’m sure you’ve heard writing is rewriting and I totally agree with that. Usually I do at least eight to 15 passes before I let anyone look at it.

Ashley: And what does that look like in terms of an outline, how much time do you spend before you actually open up final draft?

Anderson: It depends on… Groupers was different. It took me longer to write Groupers and it’s funny because I got in my head about it. Because I realized on page 30 probably that like I said it was cheap enough that I’m like, “I’m probably gonna make this, it’s not just fantasy. I’m not just writing for the fun of writing, I never really let myself fantasize about the other ones that one day these are gonna be made into films. Groupers, it kinda got me intimidated of the process because I’m like everything I’m writing is probably gonna be on the screen at some point. This is real. And then everything became precious and everything had to be perfect and it took me a lot longer. So that one probably took a good two months for the first draft to even get written on the paper.

I did some work on myself, I read a book that I highly recommend called The Art or War… no The War of Art, I donno if you’re familiar with that? That was a great motivator. And then I saw… its funny, I saw this movie called Buzzard, which anyone can see. It’s on Amazon Prime and its streaming with your membership. And I loved it and it’s not a perfect movie by any means, but I love that movie and it had such an effect on me and it freed me up. I’m like, there’s so many promise with that movie and it’s so low budget but I absolutely [inaudible 00:13:27] and that somehow freed me up to kind of just go for it with Groupers and not have to make everything perfect.

Ashley: I got you. So let’s talk a little bit about… you mentioned that you’ll do this eight or 15 passes before you let anybody see it. Let’s talk a little bit about your development process. Once you’ve done those eight, 10, 12, 15 passes, you feel confident with the script, what does your development process look like? Do you have a number of friends that are writers or in the industry? How do you disseminate and how do you get notes back and what do you do with those notes?

Anderson: Yeah, I try and find people from all over, different walks of life. People that are in the business that also write, make movies. I have some friends that do that and that I have read it for me. I have my wife who doesn’t really care for movies read it for me. I have my mom actually do a proof of it for spelling errors because I don’t want to be embarrassed because I’m an atrocious speller. But I try and get people from all walks of life to give me their initial reactions, and what I’m looking for with their notes is alignment. I’m looking for people to, you know, two or three of like let’s say five to 10 people that I have read it if I’m lucky enough to have that many. Let me just say this too to your audience, there’s going to be people who won’t bother to read your script and that’s okay.

I always go, if somebody doesn’t read it once I give it to them and they go like, “Hey, let me read your script.” I’ll be like, “Okay, here it is, and then I won’t hear from them for like six months. I’ve lost friends because they don’t wanna read it and they don’t want to talk to me about not reading it. But I immediately go to they’ve read it, they hate it and they don’t know how to look me in the eye anymore because it’s so bad. And that’s not the case. A lot of times people are just busy, it feels like home work, so don’t do what I do, which is always go to the worst possible scenario, because I don’t think that is the case.

But what I’m looking for is like two or three other people to all have a problem with a motivation or a character or tell me that something’s very unbelievable or something just doesn’t feel right and if there’s two or three people that are all agreeing on something, usually there’s something to that.

Ashley: How do you approach screenplay structure? There’s the sort of very template Blake Snyder and Syd Field and I know a lot of writers are maybe a little more free form. How do you approach screenplay structure?

Anderson: I’m very free form because I watch too many movies probably, that could be part of the problem, and it kills me when I’m an hour into a movie and I realize that I just watched the end of act two because the protagonist is further away from the goal than ever before and it looks like all hope is lost and then at that moment in the theater I’m like, “Okay, that means I got about another 30 minutes of this movie to watch the protagonist or hero get back in the horror scene and kill the bad guy.” I don’t like seeing movies that way, they’re so cookie cutter. So I don’t really follow that. I try and visualize it and imagine myself sitting in the theater watching as I’m writing it and if I’m going to continue being interested as that viewer, as almost like an out of body experience, then I know I’m going in the right direction.

But no, I’ve read the Syd Fields, I’ve done the work and I’ve even written a couple of screenplays that do follow that form, but I don’t have any interest in making them.

Ashley: I got you. Okay, so now you’re done with the screenplay, you have a draft, you’ve gotten notes, what are those next steps to going out and actually getting this produced? Did you have the financing in place, you self-financed? Did you have a producer? Maybe just talk a little bit about that. What does that look like actually going from script to production?

Anderson: Yeah, so once I had this one done and I realized that there is no giant set pieces, no explosions, no massive special effects I went out and I had a couple of people that I’ve met over the years that you hear things here and there that they produce or this and that. So one guy in particular I just called a meeting and we went and we had lunch and I told him I had a script and I wanted to make it and I wanted to see if he’d be interested in producing it and he said, “Let me read it,” and then he got back to me later that night and he’s like, “Yes, let’s do this.” That was my very first thing and I think that’s really an important step as a writer-director, is to get a strong producer to team up with, like very soon before you even start raising money.

Because Max Lane was my producer who I just happened to know. He was a friend of a friend. It was one of those things and he had produced shorts before and one feature film before, so he… not a ton of experience, but enough that he’s identified a few of the pitfalls and he had some really great advice and he set me up with a social media crowd funding coach named Justin Giddins and that was step two, and then I worked with him for six weeks and that guy, he took I think it was some money upfront and then he takes a percentage of whatever you raise. I chose Seed & Spark which is a little bit of an off the map crowd funding site. But I’m really fortunate in the sense that I’ve been talking about movies to an audience for the past over 10 years now every week on The Film [inaudible 00:18:26] and then I have another film show called CinemAddicts.

So I leaned on that audience heavily and thank God they responded and we set out and raised $75,000 and we raised just shy of $85,000. And then once they gave it to you and everyone gets their cuts and you start painting off the perks it’s more like $60,000. But then I did a lot of other pocket stuff that my wife still doesn’t know about.

Ashley: [laughs] I got you. Maybe you can just give us a couple of quick tips, you had this coach who was helping you, what are some tips for people who are thinking, “Okay, I’m gonna go out and do a Kickstarter Seed and Spark crowdfunding campaign?” Maybe just a couple of quick tips for those people.

Anderson: Yeah, for sure. So aid number one is engagement with the audience, and the more you’re engaging with the audience the more likely they are to want to see you succeed and help you out and be a part of this exciting thing that you’re doing, which is making a movie. So you gotta start there even if it’s just friends and family. You gotta make sure you got the engagement going and once you do start the campaign it’s every single day you have different contexts and different themes, like Monday… I can’t remember, it’s been like two and a half, three years now, but every Monday we do the same theme and then every Tuesday we do the same theme. Like throwback Thursday is like a type of theme that people are familiar with.

But perhaps the most important thing if you’re going to be looking to raise money because it’s so saturated, I’m sure you talk about it on your show all the time, it’s such a different playing field than it was just a few years ago as far as raising money. Everybody is raising money for something now. Everyone’s looking for… I don’t wanna call it a handout, but I mean, it’s kind of what it is. And in order to break through I think you really need to have a hook and you really need to have a niche audience that you’re able to identify and target. With my movie The Hook, which I kind of danced around a little bit but it’s a pretty absurd hook, which is homophobes ensnarled in a Chinese finger trap as a torture device for their manhood and we had a lot of fun around that and people wanted to… they were exited.

They were like, “How in the world could someone make a movie about that?” You know what I mean? And so the gay community was a targeted niche audience that was something that we thought about and kinda planned around and continue to do so with promotion and what not. You wanna have a niche. I’ve had the term ‘The riches are in the niches’ and I think that that’s true. I’ve heard stories of like a woman raising money for a hiking documentary and she had a very small footprint on social media, but she tapped into this hiking world and there’re so many people that have such a passion for hiking that they really wanted to see a documentary about this thing that they love so much and raised a ton of money.

So you really gotta have a hook and a niche and a target. Making a romcom that kind of seems like something Meg Ryan would have been in in the ‘90s is probably not the smartest way to go for your first one.

Ashley: Yeah, for sure. You mentioned to your audience film Volt, and you said another one. Are these podcasts or are these blogs, what are those? Maybe give a little background on that. Number one, we can pitch and people can go check them out, but also I’d just be curious to hear how that actually related to raising the money at Kickstarter.

Anderson: Film Volt was… because I worked on Loveline for years and years and years in radio and that’s where I kinda started… the guy that was a phone screener for Loveline way back in the day kept asking me to stay after the show… the show ended at midnight and he kept trying to get me in the studio to do this like fake show that he had an idea for a movie related, where we do a top five explosions, top five cold scenes. And through inertia, attrition, I just finally said, “Okay, let’s just do this. I’ll sit down with you,” because I knew how the equipment worked. And I turned on the mics and actually quite enjoyed talking about movies to nobody. It was just he and I. I know we were recording it but…

And then that, we did like five or six of those and then he shopped it around a little bit and then we ended up doing it on HD radio for a couple of years and then we launched on the eighth network Adam Corolla’s podcast network and immediately we had built an audience through Corolla, which was great and we’ve been doing it ever since. And every single week we open the show where we talk about the two or three most recent movies we saw, usually one in theaters and then one from a while ago and then we do our top five list. That has been great. It’s kept me sharp, it’s kept me watching movies, which is my favorite thing to do other than to make them.

And then I started a more serious one where I keep it clean, I don’t curse and I do that with an actual broadcast film critic association member Greg Srisavasdi that’s called CinemAddicts and we do more deep dives on smaller independent movies that don’t get any coverage.

Ashley: I got you. Okay, perfect. That’s fascinating. To me that seems like the biggest component. A lot of people when they’re asking me about Kickstarter, I mean, obviously your example of the hiker is a great example where someone niches down and they tap into someone with an audience. But I’m always skeptical if someone tries to run a Kickstarter and they don’t have an audience already in place. It can be a real uphill battle.

Anderson: I don’t know what I would have done honestly without it. And I don’t wanna say I did these shows to get to a place where I could lean on them. In fact when I first decided to start making the shorts again, I went to the audience, but I went to them to help me on set. Actually I went on the shows and said, “Hey, I’m making a number of shorts this year. Anybody who wants to PA or if you have any experience in the business and you wanna help out.” I didn’t ask for a dime, I just wanted to make friendships, connections and then with the second round, that’s when I raised… that’s when I went after the money. Back to the engagement, I spent probably an hour or so a day answering emails and I really enjoy it.

I wouldn’t suggest to do this if you don’t enjoy it, but I do private emails with my listeners every single day, and I think most of those are the people that they had enough interest in what you do to email you personally and privately, not like in something on Twitter or Facebook but something intimate and then when you respond… and I get a lot of great movie recommendations and ideas and it’s really fun engaging with the audience in that way.

Ashley: Yeah. I just wanna hear your thoughts on… so now you’ve raised the money and you’re going into production, at some point you found your location. Maybe talk a little bit about the rewrites or if you even had to do any rewrites, once you actually had your location, your actors and stuff and it becomes really apparent what assets you have in place, did you have to go back and then do another pass on the script to kind of tweak it and make it work more for the location?

Anderson: No, I was really, really lucky because I had this idea that… sorry there’s a leaf blower coming on, I don’t know if it’s gonna pick up but my neighbor’s got the gardeners going. But I had a scenario, I had this dream scenario that we were gonna have a ton of different houses to choose from, I just needed an empty house with an empty pool in the backyard, or a pool that we could drain, and we found exactly one location that actually worked that we were allowed to use. And I just got really lucky because the pool’s in the same place that I wrote it in the script and the windows and the house were in the same place in comparison to the pool so I just got really lucky there. What I did do though is you do a table read which is always a lot of fun.

You get all the cast together and you video tape that and you have them read it out all the way out and ensure everyone’s familiar with the table read. And then I had a number of gay people working on the movie as well as cast. I shouldn’t say a number of the cast but a few of the cast members were gay as well.  And I really leaned on them to make sure that I wasn’t miss-stepping and saying anything wrong or offensive because I’m not heavily involved in… I have a lot of gay friends but it’s not like I’m well versed in the culture with… It’s pretty easy to miss step when you’re talking about these kinds of things. So I did get some really good notes on a couple of things and we ended up changing just minor dialogue things so that it wasn’t misconstrued.

Ashley: Yeah, for sure. I just wanna touch on something you said earlier about you had this job in radio, you were making good money but you became complacent. Maybe talk, because I get a lot of emails from people that are in exactly that situation where they have these dreams of being a screenwriter or a director or whatever and they’re sort of stuck in this job. Maybe you can talk through just the practical aspects of how much money you saved, what did you actually do and what did that actually look like the day you walked out of that job? What was that first day without a job? Did you just start writing, did you start producing these shorts. And then, even just some of the more philosophical questions, you even kinda made a joke about spending money on the short or on the feature film, you know, and your wife doesn’t know about it.

Certainly there must have been, I mean, there’s some family obligations, you’re leaving this job, no income in sight. Maybe just talk through some of that because there’s people that are wrestling with this right now and they could probably use a little of your…

Anderson: It’ll pick me up?

Ashley: Yeah.

Anderson: Well, I can tell you this, I mean, it’s not easy in relationships at all and I’m a living proof of that. We have a two-year-old and the wife is a social worker and there’s a lot of people that I’ve met that are in the business, the entertainment business who have their partner is in the polar opposite field and that is the case with me for sure. My wife is a social worker, a very stable job and she’s got a pension and she’s got  401K, I have none of that and she’s looking at me and looking at her watch going when is this gonna happen? You’ve been toiling with this for quite some time. Loveline went forever, like it was one of longest radio shows on ever and it ended in March of 2016. My wife was three months pregnant with our first child and the timing was pretty bad.

I guess what a normal person probably would’ve done Ashley is went out and found a nine to five immediately with benefits and all that and instead I just, I had already written Groupers thankfully. Thankfully I had been writing that entire time so I did have quite a collection of screenplays and treatments and whatnot ready to go or at least in the process and I immediately… that’s right around the same time that I went out and got my producer and said, “You know what, if this is ever going to happen it has to happen now.” So I had saved some money and I was able to live off of that and I was getting paid with a couple of podcasts a little bit and that’s when I put it all together and actually took a swing because I actually realized that if it wasn’t going to happen right then, it never was going to happen.

I wish that I had done it five, 10 years earlier but honestly I don’t think I had the audience then and I don’t think I would have been able to raise the money needed. And I didn’t have the idea then either. It all kind of just came to a head and I was really fortunate to have the screenplay written that was as cheap as it was.

Ashley: Yeah. No, that’s great advice. So how can people see Groupers, do you know what the release schedule’s gonna be like?

Anderson: Yeah. It’s gonna be a theatrical release out here in LA starting September 27th. It’s playing for at least a week at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills which is pretty cool because I’ve been seeing movies there since I was a kid. I’d love to be able to say that my dad took me to an R-rated movie there when I was really young but I don’t have a memory of that place with him but… and then October 1st it’s doing one of these one night engagement in five separate cities, October 1st at 7:30. New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco and we have to hit the, we have a threshold for the screens to actually happen and you can just go to

I also have the cold opener on there, you can see the abduction scene, the opening of the movie where she abducts the two jocks. That’s on as well as or you can buy tickets for those screens.

Ashley: I got you. Perfect. And that’s my last question. What’s the best way for people to keep up with you? Twitter, Facebook, a blog. I will get, I’ll put that in the show notes. But anything, if you’re on Twitter, Facebook or a blog we can get that in the show notes as well.

Anderson: Yeah, is another place where you can find me and @andersoncowen is my email. I also started a new feed, I have it in the same RSS feed as my CinemAddicts show which is a review show but the new feed that I’m doing weekly is called I’ve Got A Movie To Make and I’m talking about the entire process. Everything that I’m doing leading up to making the movie kinda some of the things that we talked about today as well as the marketing that’s happening now. I’m talking about real-time stuff. I started that 14 weeks ago and it has dead date of 116 weeks. If I don’t make the next movie within 116 weeks, the wife and I are moving out of state. We’re done with LA. So it’s got like an expiration date on that feed. 116 weeks and we’re 14 weeks in.

Ashley: I got you. I have confidence you’ll make another movie in the next two years.

Anderson: Thank you Ashley.

Ashley: Well, perfect. I really appreciate Anderson, coming on and talking with me. This is a fascinating interview. I wish you the best of luck with this film and of course you’re always welcome once you finish your next film.

Anderson: Thanks so much Ashley. I love what you do and I think it’s really important. It’s great that people have a resource. And if I didn’t have the kid and was a little bit younger I would absolutely be down there in Sherman Oaks doing some of your writing workshops.

Ashley: Perfect. Well, I appreciate it Anderson. We’ll talk to you later.

Anderson: Alright buddy. Bye.

Ashley: Thank you. Bye.

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 per script for feature films and just $55 for teleplays. All the readers have professional experience reading for studios, production companies, contests and agencies. You can read a short bio on each reader on our website and you can pick the reader who you think is the best fit for your script. Turnaround time is usually just a few days but rarely more than a week. The readers will evaluate your script on six key factors-concept, character, structure and marketability, tone and overall craft which includes formatting, spelling and grammar.

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 can provide an analysis on features or television scripts. We also do proofreading without any analysis. We will 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 project ideas this is a great way to do it. We will also write your logline and synopsis for you, you can add this logline and synopsis writing service to an analysis or you can simply purchase this service as a standalone product. As a bonus, if your screenplay gets a recommend or a consider from one of our readers you get to list the screenplay in the SYS Select database, which is a database for producers to find screenplays and a big part of our SYS Select program.

Producers are in the database searching for material on a daily basis, so it’s another great way to get your material in front of them. As a further bonus, if your script gets a recommend from one of our readers your screenplay will get included in our monthly Best Of newsletter. Each month we send out a newsletter that highlights the best screenplays that have come through our script analysis service. This is monthly newsletter that goes out to our list of over 400 producers who are actively looking for material so again, this is another great way to get your material out there. So if you want a professional evaluation of your screenplay at a very reasonable price check out

On the next episode of the podcast I’m gonna be interviewing my good friend and often writing partner Nathan Ives. I mentioned all of this last week as well. He was on Episode Number #18 of The Selling Your Screenplay podcast. If you haven’t listened to that it might be worth checking that out. We talk more about his background. I will link to that in the show notes. Again, as mentioned form last week, he just did a really cool documentary about artists who aren’t super famous but are making a living form their art. Hopefully this is something that is of interest to you. I know as an artist myself it was fascinating to watch and fascinating to hear his process on making this film. So keep an eye out for that episode next week. Anyway, that’s the show. Thank you for listening.