This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 375: With Jamison M. LoCascio and Adam Ambrosio .
Ashley: Welcome to Episode #375 of the Selling Your Screenplay podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter and blogger over at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today, I am interviewing Jamison LoCascio and Adam Ambrosio, who were on the podcast before on Episode #234. I will link to that in the show notes. Definitely check out that episode to learn more about their background. We really talk about how they got their start. These are two guys from New Jersey, so way outside of the Hollywood system, they started a very modest production company a number of years ago, and have slowly built a nice résumé of films. Today they are back on the podcast to talk about their third feature film, a horror film called Know Fear and how they put all that together. So stay tuned for that interview.
SYS’s Six Figure Screenplay contest is open for submissions. Just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/contest. The regular deadline is May 31st. After that, it does go up by $10. So if your script is ready, definitely now before the final deadline. We’re looking for low budget shorts and features. I’m defining low budget as less than six figures, in other words, less than $1 million. We’ve got lots of industry judges reading scripts in the later rounds. We’re giving away thousands in cash and prizes. This year we have a short film category as I mentioned, 30 pages or less. So if you have a low budget short film, by all means, submit that to us as well. I’ve been talking to some of these industry judges.
There’s definitely some of my industry judges that are looking for short scripts. So again, we’re really trying to get these scripts produced. The idea for this contest really was simple. I wanted to find the best low budget scripts and present them to the industry. I feel like there’s a real need for this. I don’t think there’s really any other contest quite doing it like what I’m doing it. I’m defining low budget again has less than $1 million. In other words, six figures or less. For shorts, I would say that’s less than $10,000. Every submission will get read by at least two professional readers who will do a short assessment, which you can actually purchase if you’d like to see what the readers thought of your script.
I’ve lined up as I said about 50 industry judges to read scripts that move into the later rounds, and then of course we’re giving away a nice assortment of awards. Once again, if this sounds like something you might like to learn more about or enter, just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/contest. 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 re-tweeting 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 #375. Quick few words about what I’m working on. I’ve been talking about The Rideshare Killer over the last couple of weeks. We have a final cut that we’re done, and we’re actually submitting to festivals now. So very excited to really get this thing finished and starting to get it out into the world. I’ve started to approach some distributors, really just a very, a handful of distributors that I know personally, kind of just gauge their reactions, see where we go.
I literally made those submissions this week so I’m kinda waiting to hear back on that. And then probably next week or the week after, we’ll start to really broaden this, send it out to some more distributors and start to see what kind of offers we get. So this is really where the rubber meets the road. It’s exciting to get it out into the world. If you were one of the Kickstarter backers, I did send out this cut. As I said, we have a finished cut of the film. It’s got a little watermark that says, “For screening purposes only”, and that’s just so people can’t copy it and then start selling it on the internet or whatever. But if you’re a Kickstarter backer, I did send out a message to everybody with the link to this, so you can get a sort of a preview of this film. You can get a first look.
So if you’re a Kickstarter backer and you didn’t get that, definitely email me and I’ll send you a link to that to the project. It’s up just a password protected link that you can then go and check out the film. Anyways, that’s what I’ve been working on this last couple of weeks. So now let’s get into the main segment. Once again, I’m gonna be interviewing filmmakers, Jamison LoCascio, and Adam Ambrosio. Here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Jamison and Adam to the Selling Your Screenplay podcast. I really appreciate you guys coming back on the show.
Jamison: Thanks for having us.
Adam: Yes, thank you.
Ashley: So I’m gonna refer people back to Episode #234 of the SYS podcast. That was the first episode you guys were on. We talk about your origin story. You guys are from New Jersey, you started a production company, and then you did your first feature Sunset. So that was all covered in the first episode. I definitely think people should check that out to kinda get where, get your sort of backstory. But you guys have a new feature film out. Congratulations on getting that done. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. It’s a film called Know Fear. So let’s dig into that one. Maybe you can just start off with a quick logline or pitch. What is Know Fear all about?
Jamison: Know Fear is essentially about a family who’s in a house. Everything so far sounds typical to a horror film. But the part that makes it special is the fact that basically in order to fight the entity or the thing that is in their house, they have to divide three senses. One person can see the entity or the demon, one person can hear it and another person can speak to it. So that’s kind of, that’s our pitch. That’s our elevator pitch I guess you could say. That’s what makes our movie special or unique.
Ashley: Yeah. Got you. Yeah, that’s a nice hook. So where did this idea come from? What was sort of the genesis or the seed or the kernel that got this idea going?
Adam: Yeah. I think it was years ago, Jamison and I, we went to the movies and we saw this one horror movie that we just didn’t react well with. This was before Jamison was really into horror and after the movie, he turned to me and said, “Adam, look, if this is what horror movies are about, I really don’t wanna be any part of it.” And we’d done like two features before, we did numerous short films. So I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, I started a career with my best friend and he’s telling me in this whole adventure that we have to go on, there’s no horror movies involved.” And I said, this can’t stand, I’m gonna go crazy. So what I did was I talked to Jamison and I said, “Jamison, we need to get into horror,” and I started showing him some of the classic horror movies that you could think of.
A lot of Carpenter films, some ‘70s, horror films, Evil Dead, all the Evil Dead’s really, and just all, In the Mouth of Madness, Event Horizon, all those cool movies and I…
Adam: Everything. I mean, at least probably 300 movies that I grew up on. So eventually, after watching these movies, he really got hooked on, I think the first one was Carpenter. He really liked Halloween, he really liked The Thing, In the Mouth of Madness and Evil Dead. When I introduced him to Raimi, he was just forget it. Now almost every day, he has Evil Dead part II on at some point…
Jamison: Yeah, every single day.
Adam: …as a reference. So yeah, that’s how it started. It started with I would say a violent reaction to a horror movie that he just didn’t like and just introducing him to all these cool films.
Ashley: Did you see some sort of opportunity, because it sounds like you were sort of pushing him to, “Hey, maybe we should do a horror movie of our own.” Did you see some opportunities there, like maybe horror is a little easier to break into? That’s always sort of the common wisdom and I’m curious, people think, oh horror, you can do low budget. There’s kind of this whole audience out there waiting for low budget horror movies. Have you guys found that you’ve been able to break into that and was this a successful gamble?
Adam: Well, yeah, no. I mean, I think when we started Film Valor, we wanted to do films that we enjoyed on a decent budget, but with a high quality to it. I would say in my opinion, horror movies definitely kind of fit that bill or in terms of being a good movie. I think having a drama or at least a sci-fi or action movies, you need the big budget behind it most of the time. Horror, you’re left more to the imagination, which we were able to get away within what we gravitated towards. So yeah, so it just really fit our work style and we were just really involved with it, really into it more than any other genre that we’ve done. We’ve done dramas, we’ve done some thrillers and all.
They’ve all been great and we love doing them, but horror really just seemed to be something that we became fanatics of. Yeah.
Ashley: So you guys, you’re watching all of these movies, you’re thinking we’ve got to do a horror movie. Then what is actually that moment where all of a sudden you started to get your own idea about this film, Know Fear?
Adam: Actually one day a good friend of ours, we would say a mentor, knew that we we’re working on this new concept. We were kinda not stuck in a rut, but we were just trying to find our own way of doing it. And this person was, is very spiritual in a way. So he gave us a book on [inaudible 00:09:09] and we read it and we saw some concepts in that. I think Jamison could go a little bit more in depth about it, but we just found some elements and figures that we could, we really gravitated towards. Plus we always wanted to go towards somewhat of a Lovecraft-ian kind of element. So it kinda fit into the whole spiritual theme. Well, along with it, but yeah, no I think Jamison…
Jamison: Yeah, I mean, in terms of that Middle Eastern religion what was interesting about it was there was one thing we actually opened to, which was lucky. I mean, as screenwriters, it was lucky because we found something interesting, which we opened randomly to a page and just pointed to something no joke and said… and it was a really weird concept about how, when you die in that religion, basically your loved one stays there, or their soul stays there and it’s open to attack from entities for several days. Then after the end of three days, they can then drift off into the next plane. It was like, whoa, okay, well that… even though that sounds like a lot of other horror movies that kinda got us thinking about the basis of Know Fear.
Then we were also talking a lot about trying to work with different perceptions or sensory perceptions, and maybe how like if somebody made contact with somebody, if they can understand something or perceive something, how could we do that perspective of different characters. Through a conversation, I think he brought up, See No Evil, Hear No Evil. And we just said, you know what? That is a great idea. Nobody seems to have done that. Because he had, I don’t know if other people would have realized that, but because he knows so much about horror and then taught me so much about horror, we sat there and said, nobody’s done that let’s go. So we had that reference point and yeah, what was great from a…
Especially because you’re screenplay-focused, what was great from a writing perspective was, we really took something that I think you would consider high concept, and we really built the thing based around how can we make the best version of that movie? What does an audience demand from that concept? I think that’s a great way for any writer to work, but this movie really lent itself to some great things. Perfect example being, it’s not a spoiler to say, the first thing we thought of was, well, obviously we’ve got to separate them if they all have to work together, but that’s just a perfect example, at some point in the movie. So that’s just a perfect example of how those things develop over the course of time. We’re talking about months and months and months, so.
Ashley: Got you. Let’s talk about the actual writing process a little bit. Maybe you can talk about your guys’ collaboration as writers. Are you guys in the same room? Do you guys do stuff remote? Do you guys come up with an outline and then go write scenes individually and then compare them? Do you sit in the same room and pump out script pages? Maybe talk about your process as a team, writing team.
Adam: I mean, Jamison and I, we live together, we work together. So it’s very easy to just go across the hall and just go talk to him about an idea, or if he has like, he’s writing something, he’ll call me in and say, “Hey, what do you think about this?” Then we’ll have like, an hour-long conversation about it. Yeah, no…
Jamison: And outline too.
Adam: Yeah. Definitely do outlines. I mean, if you see his office here, it’s really just full of writing and all that stuff. It’s cool. All sorts of stuff. Yeah.
Jamison: Yeah, we definitely outlined extensively.
Adam: Yeah, outlined extensively. I think also because of the whole COVID thing, we’re not really working jobs or anything, we’re really, staying inside. We had a lot of time to just sit at home and just really write stuff right now. But even before then we were still in, kinda working part-time jobs and really just focusing on this script. So yeah, so it’s like, it’s an everyday thing. It goes 24/7. I mean, we could be playing video games and we’re still talking on our headsets about what the next movie’s gonna do.
Jamison: This one went through 40 drafts, which I know you can appreciate, 40 good drafts. And I would say probably 25 of those were like major rewrites, not just insertions.
Adam: Yeah. It could have been a totally different movie at least 25 times.
Jamison: At least 25 times. Yeah, exactly.
Ashley: And so who are you guys getting notes, who’s in sort of your development circle that you’re doing these page one rewrites, or really revamping the script? Do you have some trusted actors, managers, other producers, other writers that you get notes from, or was it just you guys collaborating together?
Jamison: Well, we work with our, who we’d say is our mentor and good friend, my good friend I should say, at least, and somebody close to him. So what we do is we oftentimes have those discussions and then bounce ideas off of each other still. I think there is a lot of times we do get people to read, people that we really trust. That’s also definitely true. I would say actors and people we’ve worked with over the years, but definitely people that we think are skilled writers. We know a couple of them actually, which we’ve been very blessed with. Then I think they bring to light maybe more broadly things that just need to be worked on, but then even we also try to be pretty relentless ourselves without getting, I guess, too detailed.
What I could say is there was a situation where we thought the Donald character in the movie was not fleshed out enough. So we were thinking about that for a long time because we felt that every other one of the characters had an interesting and unique personality for a horror film, especially this kind of horror film. And there was a gentleman that came up to us at our part-time job that we were both working and gave me basically a speech about Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. It was like the most incredible thing. I didn’t really think about it. It was really nice of him. I don’t know why he did it other than to say, there’s a young kid I should give some nice advice to. It was a great thing.
And he was a teacher, so that actually made it into the movie. That actually became a way to define Donald’s character and it also related to the cosmic element of trying to push towards Lovecraft and In the Mouth of Madness.
Adam: As Jamison said just at the end there, we really looked also in movies for some inspiration. I mean, we’re a big believer of don’t fix what’s not broken, but put your own little lick to it. That’s what we did. I mean, a lot of the communication goes back to like, in that one scene In the Mouth of Madness, when he’s running down the corridor and there’s the cookie lights shining through, that’s what we should do. When we were talking about the entity or the demon or whatever you wanna call him, like do we show him like in full figure or do you just kinda leave it up to the imagination? That’s where we go back to some of the elements that, all the movies that we watched.
Especially like with Carpenter, you don’t really see and some of the things is left to the imagination. You don’t really get to see the full figure, like in Prince of Darkness and all that stuff. So we took from the movies that we were inspired by and we used that as a form of communication, you know?
Jamison: Yeah. So that’s certainly how it was.
Ashley: Got you. Okay. So once you guys had this script, it sounds like you did 25 plus drafts of this thing. What was the next step to raising the money to getting the production together?
Jamison: Well, we had a bit of luck on that, and we’re always happy to say it because it was really a blessing. But what happened was we actually had, this has never happened in film finance before. But basically we had a good friend of ours who saw our IMDb and said, “If you guys happen to be doing a horror movie, I’d like to put a little bit in towards making the movie.” Now, he didn’t know we’d been working 30, 40 drafts on this horror script. We didn’t really talk about it. We just talked about how we liked horror. So we actually had Know Fear basically in draft 30 at that time and we were able to show him that. We had already put together a look book, because we were planning on going out to try to finance this thing.
And he was the first person that threw in, the first investor that threw in, and that really put us on go. That was really a blessing because that led us to pitching other people within, immediately within the next three months. There’s nothing like having that first bit of financing to really push you because you have that obligation then suddenly. Honestly, if it wasn’t for that and the timing, then I don’t know if we would have shot before coronavirus happened.
Adam: No. Yeah. And yeah, as you said, it was people we worked with, friends from high school that we haven’t talked to in a while, we just went all out with it. And even people we’ve worked with before in our other films, they helped us out as well. So we just reached out to anyone and everyone. It was a lot of people really, and the best thing about it was that they were so into it. I think as Jamison said that the first guy who helped us out really got the ball rolling.
Jamison: Yeah. Put us on go.
Adam: Because honestly we’ve been doing, we’ve been… we had to finance our other films and all, but this was a little different. This was more of us going out there and actually kinda selling it like officially selling it, really.
Jamison: We really had to pitch it. Yeah. It was different.
Adam: It was good. It was a good lesson for this, for us in this industry and I’m sure it’s gonna be great for other people in the industry just starting out and whenever. And it is hard.
Ashley: I’m curious, and I wanna be clear, this is not legal advice to our audience, but I’m curious what kind of legal entity you guys set up and how you handled the legalities of taking these investments? Did you set up an LLC? Did you get a lawyer to write stuff? I know when you take investments, there’s all kinds of, like you’re dealing with some things that the SCC might wanna get involved in when you start taking legitimate investments and stuff. How did you guys handle that? Or I guess if it’s friends and family, maybe you don’t have to worry about that.
Jamison: Yeah, no, we did a…
Adam: We had an LLC.
Jamison: Yeah, we’d had an LLC from the beginning. Know Fear LLC, which was the first thing we set up. We really put together the money ourselves to do that LLC. We also had, yes, we had somebody that could counsel us on those things. We also set it up through, what’s it called, LegalZoom. And we had the ability to talk to people about it, a lawyer as well, which we now have that’s helping us through post, which helped. I’m sorry through distribution. But yeah, no, we had an offering and everything. I mean, we didn’t go about it in a way that was not official. It was very official and we even were able to do losses, which is just so everybody knows, not to the movie Lost Money, but it’s, you can do something with the K-1 where basically after somebody initially invests since you’re in the first year, you can actually offer that investor losses.
So let’s say it was 10,000, they can do that as a tax write off, which is a great trick or a great help to them. It’s like a nice way of saying immediately here, you helped us. Here you go. So yeah, we did everything very by the books, I would say unlike our last movie, which was so small it could be Indiegogo. It was very different this time. We actually had people basically all invest…
Adam: I don’t think we really used Indiegogo for this.
Jamison: We didn’t really use Indiegogo. No, I don’t think we used it at all.
Jamison: No, but we did have smaller investors. So we broke that up into pieces and we were able to put that into the pie, so to speak. So everything was done very formally.
Ashley: Got you. So I’m wondering if there’s some specific lessons learned. You talked about this movie, you’re writing these drafts, you’re going into horror genre you guys haven’t done before. What were some of the lessons you learned from Sunset, just in terms of producing, distribution and making money with these films? What are some of those lessons?
Jamison: Well, man, there’s probably like hundreds at this point.
Ashley: Maybe the top two or three.
Jamison: I think the thing we mainly learned was, well actually we’ve been blessed in this way, I’ll say this off the bat. We have a PR team that’s working on this movie now. Actually that was really by the virtue of our distributor who I should really shout out to you because that was not expected certainly, but they believe in this movie a hundred percent, and I think they see that it’s marketable, which is great. So we’ve done really well, even actually just this opening weekend, just to back into this, we already have a hundred thousand views that we know of right now on the various platforms, which is amazing for us. I mean, this is more people than have ever seen our movies. But yeah, they got us a PR firm, which has been great.
They’ve been advertising it all over the place. They have paid advertising on everything. They made us a great trailer and poster. So to back up into that, the one lesson that we did learn is that a lot of those things are not given to you in this environment, especially today. And especially with the bigger distributors. A lot of times being with a big distributor is not great if you’re gonna be the little guy that they don’t care about or just a hundred things to throw against the wall this month, good luck. People don’t have the resources to really push the movie. I think that’s one thing that this distributor has helped us with because they believed in it. There’s a hundred other things I could say that we learned from that one to this one, but I think that would be the main one.
Ashley: I got you. I’m curious. On IMDb, you guys have a listing for Film Valor, and there’s like 98 episodes or something, and the last like six or eight of them are all related to Know Fear. I’m curious, is that like some YouTube channel you’ve set up to try and just market your work? Maybe talk about that a little bit. What is the strategy there? It looked like some sort of marketing play for the film.
Adam: Yeah. No, well, we started Film Valor years ago and it started when we went to, what is it, Sauk County…
Jamison: Sauk County Film Commission.
Adam: …Film Commission. And they wanted us to talk in front of high school students about making films and just giving them some advice or whatnot. We did that and it went very well and Jamison and I were walking out and it came to our minds like why don’t we do a YouTube channel, kinda documenting our journey into filmmaking while giving advice and, you know, what we’re going through in this whole thing and just call it Film Valor. That’s what we did. We started out doing camera videos or short films. We did a couple of Star Wars, like Star Wars for no budget.
Jamison: Yeah. That’s actually the initial concept for Sunset was a short film made just specifically for the audience of Film Valor, and then the 48 hours prior to that became the feature film. But yeah, that’s… Yeah, so that’s been with us for a long time.
Adam: Yeah, so we started with that and we just kept on going with it because it keeps us sharp and it helps us learn our own material as well.
Jamison: Yeah. It’s gotten us out there quite a bit. I mean, we even got an invitation to be on a panel at Sundance Film Festival, which was crazy because of Film Valor. And people look at us as being those guys that do Film Valor, I guess, number one, but we don’t really see ourselves as filmmaking instructors, I guess. We just see it as we’re a company that small we show people how we make movies. What’s actually unique about it, I guess, really at this point is that we’ve made three feature films plus. So it really is the journey of every, how every one of those things was done. Because every time we’re promoting, it’s like another story about it or behind the scenes of it.
So, people can really follow it and say, “Oh, well, how did these guys do it? Oh, well it’s episode 84 of Film Valor,” so great.
Ashley: Got you. I’m curious. You mentioned a couple of times COVID and being basically in quarantine having a lot of time to write. When did you guys write this and when did you guys shoot it? Did you shoot over the last year during COVID or did you shoot before the lockdown started?
Adam: Yeah, no. Well, funny enough, we were shooting in February, so we ended as soon as COVID really started [inaudible 00:24:40]. So we were very lucky with that. Yeah, before that we, as I said before, we were doing some part-time jobs, so we had some time, but not as much time as we have now. So yeah, so we were able to get Know Fear and really work with it, hardcore.
Jamison: Yeah. Post is great.
Adam: Post was easy because also we had nothing to do except editing, writing music…
Jamison: Which is great.
Adam: Which is probably the perfect inspiration for an editor and musician to do is just have all that time. But yeah, no, COVID, we were very lucky. I think we would say we were one of the last films to be shot in Jersey before COVID.
Jamison: Yeah. Or maybe anywhere even too.
Adam: Oh yeah, probably. Yeah.
Jamison: Because we came right back to the part-time job and normal life and then it was like coronavirus like the next day. I was like wow. It was that close. If it was a week later, if our shoot was a week or two later, we would have never finished. That’s how close it was.
Adam: It would have been ridiculous.
Ashley: Yeah. So very fortunate. And this kinda leads to my next question. What is next for you guys? What do you guys have on the docket? What do you guys have queued up for next year, or for this year?
Jamison: Well, so we’ve been working on a horror anthology film, which is very exciting and it’s the kinda thing that we know we can cheat safely right now. Because I think that’s primary concern. But also we have had a number of ideas knocking around, actually one or two of them for years now. And some of them have been more recent coming together. Even had been lessons from Know Fear and things that we wanted to try or do. So we have these four great, basically 20-ish minutes stories. We’ve actually casted the movie, yes, in quarantine right now. We casted the movie through video auditions and things like that. And we have like basically two to three day shoot on each one of those planned out somewhere as we’re hoping…
Adam: Months-spread probably.
Jamison: Yeah. Spread out, we’re gonna probably do testing on everybody. It’s only like a couple person crew and basically not any more than two to three actors on each prop, or maybe four. So we kinda found a way to do it safely. We’ve honestly just been working very on those scripts and on that project in quarantine while we’re waiting for this to come out. But because coming out has been really big, which is a blessing, we’ve had to actually put that aside for the minute because it’s just been so nuts. So we’ve been doing some different interviews and things, but that’s called How Dark they Prey, prey being P-R-E-Y, which is a fun word game. He came up with the title of that, and it also Know Fear, which I love as well.
Adam: We got to play with the titles. Have fun with it.
Jamison: That’s right.
Ashley: No, no, very nice. Are you hearing anything from other filmmakers in Jersey just in terms of COVID? I mean, it seems like now once the vaccine rolls out, a lot of these safety measures, you won’t need them obviously, if everybody’s been vaccinated. Are you getting any word from that or get here? What is gonna change? Once everyone’s vaccinated what’s it gonna look like?
Adam: Yeah, no. We worked with a group of guys about what four months ago, just about, on a little short film that they were doing, which is great. It’s on Prime now. They were pretty cool with it. I think really filmmakers that they wanna do their projects. I think they’re really hungry to go out there and do it again. I think they still can, it’s just not, you gotta take the precautions. I mean, as much as we’re… when we were talking to our actors on How Dark They Prey, we said, “Look, legally, we can’t ask you to get a shot or anything. We can only ask you to possibly get tested and take whatever precautions you feel is right for yourself.”
Jamison: Yeah. And just not put them in any situations that would be uncomfortable for them. You know, having just a very intense conversation from the beginning, like, “Look, this is basically what we’re doing and we wanna make sure what you want from us as well is in line. Because if there, if you feel uncomfortable being around a couple of people, then it’s not gonna work.” So we’ve just been very upfront about that, and obviously putting everybody in a situation they’re comfortable with. One actor said, “You know what? I feel good as long as everybody’s tested.” So you know what? Fine, we’re gonna test everybody. So that was how those conversations happened.
Adam: Also for the filmmakers, I think now you’re getting into a thing with SAG, because I think SAG requires…
Jamison: Oh, SAG is tricky.
Adam: …what is it? 25 percent or 30 percent of the budget has to go to COVID and that’s…
Jamison: This next one is gonna be the first time that we’re not gonna be going SAG, and I think it’s for a number of reasons, but it’s because you really can’t afford as a producer to be putting that much money into just those problems. Then also you… it is a matter of control. I mean, you just don’t, you lose control of the process. If everybody’s okay, I don’t really want somebody running in the middle of the shot saying, “What are you doing? Twenty more feet!” I don’t know if that’s gonna really work out because I just know the way a movie set is. If everybody’s comfortable… and actually half of our actors have told us that they’re vaccinated. So we’re like, “You know what, okay, if this is the realm that we’re moving in…”
And most of these movies, some of these movies are outside and they’re actually gonna be distanced based already the way the script was built. It’s difficult to put more and more pressure on something if you feel like you have it under control, and most importantly, everybody feels that way.
Ashley: Yeah, for sure. So I’m curious, and we’ll get to this in a second. You can tell people how they can see Know Fear. You guys emailed me a couple of links and I was just curious, you had a link to Tubi TV, Amazon, well, I guess it was called What Now and Kings of Horror, or Watch Now and Kings of Horror. And I’m curious, you don’t have to tell me the exact numbers, but what are you seeing in terms of numbers? Is it worth spending the time to get on some of these more off, like the Kings of Horror, or Watch Now? Those are not platforms that I’ve necessarily heard of, Tubi TV and Amazon. Just where do you see sort of the balance? Where are you seeing the revenue or the views?
It sounds like you got a hundred thousand views, this opening weekend or whatever. How are these different platforms comparing?
Jamison: Yeah. What’s interesting about what about what [inaudible 00:30:29] films does and it’s different now. It’s actually specifically different because of COVID. I mean, so that also changes a lot of things. But yeah, basically the logic of a lot of things has been including with Tubi TV, is that AVOD, or advertising based revenue, which we’ve now come full circle back to, right? We had, we have Netflix for getting away from advertisements and everything else. Now we’re back at Tubi and we’re back at Roku and those things that have advertisements again, and people don’t care because they’re getting it for free. They don’t have to pay the $12 a month. So a lot of the logic of it is, is that you have maybe 50,000 people or 60,000 people that might not have watched this thing off the bat, talk to another 25,000 people, and maybe they talk to… and then it balloons and balloons and balloons.
These are people that might not have been customers otherwise, that are giving you ad-based revenue. And basically when they hit it, it becomes an… It basically adds up as ad revenue and everything else for us. That’s across a number of the platforms. Then we also have Prime that way, but then you can purchase it if you don’t have a Prime subscription. So it’s been, yeah, it’s just been basically that. Also a number of our actors have a huge amount of followers. So like just the lead girl in this movie, Mallory Bechtel, who’s wonderful in the film, and I’m not just saying that. She was on Broadway and she did a post at, just over the weekend casually and it got 5,000 in like an hour or two.
It was ridiculous. And every one of those people said, “We’re gonna go watch it on Prime,” “We’re gonna go watch it here.” So, yeah, it’s a different model, but I think the logic is sound, which is that these are people that would not have seen the movie. But more important than that, it’s exposure for us filmmakers, which is wow, great. Because there’s no barrier to entry. You don’t have to pay entry. But also more importantly, it seems like it’s starting wildfires, you can say that. But starting, like a process, it’s getting the ball rolling and it’s getting bigger. It’s snowballing. That’s really what I’m looking to say. And people are talking about it.
Ashley: Where do you… If you were to tell someone, if they came up and said, “Hey, where can I see your movie?” what is your preferred platform? Where do you want people to actually watch the movie if you could choose?
Jamison: We like Prime. Because it’s still this, I think it’s still the standard, at least in this realm right now. Prime is cool. Also you have the ability to review us on there, which is great. Tubi is also great because you can watch it on your TV. It’s one that we’re actually, just sort of starting to get used to. So yeah, what’s nice about the YouTube channels or the ones that are ad-revenue-based, is that that’s an audience that we were never expecting coming flocking towards our movie. I mean, every time we check it, it’s like a thousand more people. So…
Adam: And this is just North America.
Jamison: In just North America, right. I mean, on them. So in 24 hours, we said, “Wow, we had like the equivalent of an opening weekend.” Which is crazy. So yeah, I mean, we love Prime because Prime is a standard, it’s available on there. It’s available with your subscription. So if you have a Prime subscription, you can just watch Know Fear and click on it and also leave us a review is a huge help. So, yeah.
Ashley: Got you. What’s the best way for people to keep up with what you’re doing? Facebook, Twitter, a blog, website, anything you’re comfortable sharing I will put in the show notes.
Jamison: Yeah. Film Valor on YouTube is the best way. If you just type in Film Valor, two words, real simple, we come right up. We got way, way over a hundred videos now, and we have loads and loads of content from years and years of our filmmaking journey if that’s what you’re interested in.
Ashley: So well, perfect guys. I really appreciate you coming on the show again. Good luck with this film and good luck with all your future films as well.
Adam: Thanks, Ashley.
Jamison: Thank you so much. Thanks a lot. It’s great to see you again.
Ashley: Yep. You too. You too. Take it easy guys.
Adam: Take care.
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On the next episode of the podcast, I’m gonna be interviewing G.O Parsons, who just wrote the new Nicholas Cage film Willy’s Wonderland. He’s very candid about how he wrote the script, where the idea came from, and then ultimately how he was able to get it produced. So another great inspirational story coming next week. Keep an eye out for that episode. Thanks for listening. That’s our show.