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Josh Gallegos

A “who you know” industry

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10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Honestly, you can't compare the 60's to 2020, there is literally no comparison film industry wise. 

Right, but you can't make a great film if you won't listen to people who have made great films.

There is a formula to being successful, but beginners never follow it because it's too much work. They look at the 3 - 5 year journey and say "na I can do better" and guess what, they never do. When I say never, I really mean never. Again, I can come up with 3 examples of no-budget productions that made money in the last 30 years. Mind you, none of those filmmakers really became successful however. So in the long run, their little Indies made them some money, but did it really forward their careers? Not as much as you'd think. 

The other road is to work your way up as a crew person first, get to be known in the industry. Make a few shorts. Do the festival thing. Post gobs of content online and work up your image. Again, it's a long-term process, it could take a decade or two, but once you're known, the pieces will fall together and the next thing ya know, you'll be making something bigger. 

Honestly, you probably have better luck getting eyes on your content through YouTube than you do through the no-budget indy scene. If you had a full time job and you put every penny into making a short-film series, you could get some serious viewership. Again, in the long run it does come down to how many eyes you get on your content. 
 

Los Angeles a bad place to be? WOW how you got that from the writings above, I have no idea. Out of the people who responded to this post, I can only count 3 people who currently live here full time, outside of myself. There wouldn't be 4 million people in Los Angeles county if it were a "bad place to be". Los Angeles is just a stop for many people. They come here and are either successful or they're not and they move on. Successful people generally don't live here full time because it can be overwhelming for them. Simply walking down the street can be met with paparazzi and stares. No thanks, it's much easier to put your family in a small town somewhere not to far away from an airport and fly in when you need to be here. With todays tech, you can do pretty much everything but production remotely. I've even been on set where producers logged in via zoom. This is becoming the new norm, so the point of living here full time for already successful people, is dwindling. 

Yes Los Angeles is expensive, yes it can be dirty and gritty at times, but there is no place in the US that has such perfect weather, that has so many attractions; excellent food, some of the best theaters in the world, mountains to climb, beaches to walk, oceans to surf/swim, canyon roads to drive/ride on, skate parks to tear up, endless trails to ride bikes on, ski resorts an hour from downtown, dozens of national parks including Yosemite just a few short hours away, the list goes on and on. Just think about the resources for filmmakers from multiple film labs, to low-cost rentals, to post houses, to industry standard screening rooms, to amazing places like the New Bev and American Cinematheque. You just don't get these anywhere else in the US, you may get one or two, but not all. 

Honestly, Los Angeles is a great place, but ya gotta pay to play. If you have a steady full-time job, then it's easy to make it work. Shoot your films on the weekends and spend the weeknights prepping/writing. 

On a side note, I do plan on moving back to the east coast, but mostly due to helping my parents, not because LA is a bad place. 

Have you done shorts? Maybe the first thing to do is get some content out there. 

Crowd funding features is hard these days, but if you don't need much, it maybe possible. 

 

I've only made two short films back in 2014/2015. But I've written 7 spec scripts, so my true experience is in screenwriting. I am only a "filmmaker", because I wanted to see my work get made. I've placed in several contests and have had scripts on the top list on the Black List website, and a Zero Gravity Management producer read my script and passed, so I blew my chances of getting represented by them. Usually screenwriters become professional around their mid to late thirties, sometimes in their forties. Even great talented screenwriters like Charlie Kaufman didn't get any of their scripts produced until he was 40 years old, so you can imagine, if someone of his immense talent had to wait such a long time....and, I'm not comparing myself to him at all, he's a master of the craft. It can be unfair, because if some college douche writes a comedy that a young reader likes, he/she will get representation. Plus, if you want to market a script, you have to know what's being made. And there's really only about 500-600 working screenwriters in Hollywood out of thousands of aspiring writers, a small percentage like David Koepp, Eric Roth who make millions. So, I thought I had a better chance to try and make something on my own.

The struggle has been to become good in the technical side of cinematography, editing,  all of which take a lifetime to master. But I'm just going to keep making small independent short films that I write and try to get my first feature made. So that's really where I'm coming from, my only interest is narrative work and not creating "youtube content" to make money. 

And it's actually really difficult to write a short film, you just don't have the breathing room, you're deeply limited by budget, connections.  I think the best short film I've ever seen until this day is 'Bottle Rocket' by Wes Anderson, it's straight-forward, it's really funny, I can still remember most of the short film by memory. I don't think anyone will be able to top that. 

 

 

Edited by Josh Gallegos

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4 hours ago, Josh Gallegos said:

There are all sorts of small horror festivals all over the country, I’ve seen them on film freeway, it can be seen, even if it’s just a small room with 15 people

Most of those festivals charge between $20 - $100 just to enter your film and thousands of entries at each festival are competing with yours. The chances of getting your film on screen are minute. You need a separate budget just for festival admissions. And unless you get your film into one of the big festivals like Sundance where you are competing against 15000 submissions (4000 of those feature films), festivals are really not worth the effort. If you want your film seen, I would put it up on Youtube for free and use social media to promote it. You won't earn a penny but you'll get more eyes on it that way.

 

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5 hours ago, Josh Gallegos said:

How is it ripping someone off? I’m not using the money to buy a car, he wants a film made, I said I could make one and provided an example of what could happen. I think if I had a more experienced cinematographer on my side, decent sound, an actual crew, I could make something good. There are all sorts of small horror festivals all over the country, I’ve seen them on film freeway, it can be seen, even if it’s just a small room with 15 people. I’m not interested in marketing or whatever it is you’re talking about, maybe someone else should be in charge of that? A producer maybe? I don’t see how that relates to filmmaking. 
 

note. I know the edit I posted is bad, I usually just add music on rough edits and remove it all on the second edit. I probably won’t have any music on the final edit. But it’s been a while since I’ve used Adobe Premiere Pro, so I won’t be lost when I make my third short this Sunday. 

Producer's work is actually what enables making the film in the first place. I would say it is about 80% of the whole filmmaking process. He/she actually gets the film made and distributed and uses his/her connections to arrange everything you need. It takes about 15 to 20 years to build the connections needed to get a reasonable budget feature film made (budget range from 500k to 8 million) and the low budget stuff needs lots of work too. That is the reason why it is so hard for indie filmmakers to get decent budget: their producer is not experienced enough. The work of the producer also enables making distribution contracts before the film is even made which is vital if you need to get any money back from it (everything done commercially is produced this way). The shoestring indie approach where you think that you will first complete the movie and THEN distribute it does not work at all if you need to get money back from it. Meaning that you will need to pay the distribution costs from your own pocket too. That generally means that the film gets very limited screening and very few people get to see it at all. So like Uli said, if you don't want to work with a experienced producer and get your film properly produced and sold beforehand, then the best approach is just to give it away for free and try to get some profit from the next one if your first film gets enough attention that experienced people get interested.

From the samples you posted before, you would want to hire a good editor too. I think the weak parts of those two shorts on your Vimeo account were specifically cinematography (lighting and camera work) and editing. I don't want to be discouraging but you really need much more editing experience than you currently have to put together a feature film which is watchable. Just get a good editor for your project and you will understand better then 🙂

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9 hours ago, Josh Gallegos said:

 I have had scripts on the top list on the Black List website, 

 

 

That’s most impressive. I would work on finding investors for one of those.

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5 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

Producer's work is actually what enables making the film in the first place. I would say it is about 80% of the whole filmmaking process. He/she actually gets the film made and distributed and uses his/her connections to arrange everything you need. It takes about 15 to 20 years to build the connections needed to get a reasonable budget feature film made (budget range from 500k to 8 million) and the low budget stuff needs lots of work too. That is the reason why it is so hard for indie filmmakers to get decent budget: their producer is not experienced enough. The work of the producer also enables making distribution contracts before the film is even made which is vital if you need to get any money back from it (everything done commercially is produced this way). The shoestring indie approach where you think that you will first complete the movie and THEN distribute it does not work at all if you need to get money back from it. Meaning that you will need to pay the distribution costs from your own pocket too. That generally means that the film gets very limited screening and very few people get to see it at all. So like Uli said, if you don't want to work with a experienced producer and get your film properly produced and sold beforehand, then the best approach is just to give it away for free and try to get some profit from the next one if your first film gets enough attention that experienced people get interested.

From the samples you posted before, you would want to hire a good editor too. I think the weak parts of those two shorts on your Vimeo account were specifically cinematography (lighting and camera work) and editing. I don't want to be discouraging but you really need much more editing experience than you currently have to put together a feature film which is watchable. Just get a good editor for your project and you will understand better then 🙂

I’m not going to worry about the odds, I’m not going to worry if turns out bad. I’m just going to do it and do an amazing job. I wasn’t asking for permission to make a feature, I’m making it and that’s the end of it. 
 

People may not be for me, but God is for me and that’s all that matters. I was living hopeless and defeated and suddenly this opportunity comes along. I’m going to take it and hit a grand slam. No one can ever discourage me. You guys can live a defeated life and think everything is impossible, but I won’t. 
 

there’s really nothing more to add, my mind is made up, nothing can change that. 

Edited by Josh Gallegos

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Brother, you’ve got to stand down a bit. Members here want to help. No one here would ever want you to fail. We are a global, close knit group of people who share the same passions for cinema. 
 

G

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5 minutes ago, Josh Gallegos said:

I’m not going to worry about the odds, I’m not going to worry if turns out bad. I’m just going to do it and do an amazing job. I wasn’t asking for permission to make a feature, I’m making it and that’s the end of it. 
 

People may not be for me, but God is for me and that’s all that matters. I was living hopeless and defeated and suddenly this opportunity comes along. I’m going to take it and hit a grand slam. No one can ever discourage me. You guys can live a defeated life and think everything is impossible, but I won’t. 
 

there’s really nothing more to add, my mind is made up, nothing can change that. 

Everything Aapo and others mentioned about experienced producers, presales and distribution advances is 100% spot on.  If you really want to learn filmmaking. Read The Biz   It is a business first.   Plan for a profit and you will likely ensure that people see your film.  What's out of your control is when someone like Weinstein buys your film and buries it on purpose so that it doesn't compete with other films they are releasing at the same time.   Those are business tactics that do happen as are theater chains closing, studios shelving etc.  But, honestly, those are good problems to have.  You will  likely make another film if you have problems like that.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Josh Gallegos said:

I’m not going to worry about the odds, I’m not going to worry if turns out bad. I’m just going to do it and do an amazing job.

I like that way of looking at it. Just enjoy the process and learn something while doing it. As long as everybody involved understands that, you might as well. Not sure about the God thing but that's another topic we better not get into 😉

One thing though, if you post examples of your work, don't be upset if people give you honest advice. Nobody here wants to discourage you.

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6 minutes ago, Uli Meyer said:

I like that way of looking at it. Just enjoy the process and learn something while doing it. As long as everybody involved understands that, you might as well. Not sure about the God thing but that's another topic we better not get into 😉

One thing though, if you post examples of your work, don't be upset if people give you honest advice. Nobody here wants to discourage you.

I’m not upset, there’s always room for improvement, and I entered into those two shorts with zero technical experience, but I was committed and finished. At this point I think I’m better off concentrating on my work and leaving the boards for a while. There will always be critics and opposers but at this point in my life I’m going choose faith and positivity. So I’m just going to log off from the board for a while or indefinitely, and network with local professionals on facebook to see what can be done so I don’t have to do everything myself. But take care everyone and I wish you all the success in the world. 
 

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