Episode 211 – Fred Cavender (12 Films in 12 Months)
Fred Cavender (aka Tuperhero) is a British director, screenwriter, and producer currently living in France. In 2017, he launched Tuperhero’s 2017 Extravaganza where he made a short film every month for a year straight.
In this episode we chat how he made 12 short films in 12 months, if he built a fan base doing so, using Youtube in the modern age, CGI, and tons more!
Pre Show Notes
“Until recently, indie filmmakers viewed building a Facebook community as essential to success. That’s a belief they’d like to maintain — but it’s now extremely difficult without an ad buy. And while there are other social media platforms, Facebook has 2.2 billion monthly users and a unique ability to combine visuals, text, links and two-way conversations with followers. For now, that’s an audience reach and level of engagement that can’t be duplicated.”
— Want to help me make a short trailer project?
The weather is finally getting nice in Philly, and I’m finally going to make something again.
I’m aiming for a July 2018 shoot date for a fun, fake trailer project here in the Philly area. I’ll be looking for actors, a location manager, and a few other key crew roles.
If you’re interested in helping shoot me an email, Dave@DaveBullis.com and put Fake Trailer Project in the subject line.
— Quentin Tarantino Writing Masterclass (A collection of advice)
Over 6,000 views, 105 thumbs up, and a ton of great feedback.
This is a video I edited together from various Tarantino writing advice I’ve heard over the years. Please let me know what you think of it.
MORE FREE STUFF:
— Backstage – Use code dbcast at checkout when posting a casting call for a FREE basic listing
— Dave Bullis Podcast Filmmakers Group on Facebook – a FREE filmmaking group I made on Facebook.
— Shopping on Amazon? Please use my Amazon affiliate link and/or Ebay affiliate link(simply click and shop as normal) as it greatly helps out the podcast. Thank you!
[00:13:46] I just I literally was in my bed and woke up and said I’m going to do this. And so it was literally OK I’m going to do this. It’s January. I have to make a film so I better get started. That’s that’s really how it happened.
[00:18:02] Film #1 – The Redemption Act
A young couple’s relationship falls apart, revealing the strange, harsh truth behind what’s been happening to them.
[00:23:04] CGI in films
I mean everyone everybody gives CGI a bad rap because obviously it’s overused in cinema. And you know I for one just touch quickly on superhero movies and things that I grew up as a fan of superheroes and everything but even now now I watch a film and they’re very well-made but there’s always some point where you watch a full CGI fight and it’s just not interesting because it’s full CGI but that’s not because there’s no performance to it you know except obviously the guys who are doing the effects there they’re amazingly talented and everything.
[00:24:55] Did you see the Justice League Justice League movie?
[00:34:23] Film #2 – Day Shift
Following a heist gone slightly wrong, a trio of criminals seek refuge in a pub for the afternoon. As they wait for the getaway driver, they have to deal not only with the police, but with the suspicious, by the books bartender.
[00:47:50] Film #3 – A Man’s World
Women now only represent 5% of the world’s population. One man tries to help the few that are left.
[00:51:54] Film #4 – Get Rich or Try Dying
An 80’s throwback Sci Fi comedy where a scientist steals some experimental pills from work, and uses them to get rich, for better or worse.
[00:56:19] Film #5 – 6:16
In a waiting room, four people wait for a job interview. The situation slowly takes a turn for the worst when a mysterious timer appears, counting down from 6:16
[01:02:23] Film #6 – Something Crunchy
As she writes an article paying respect to a hit and run victim, Robyn finds some bizarre coincidences that lead her to believe there must be more to the case.
[01:05:34] Film #7 – Somewhere in France – Part I
Three English-speaking drug dealers venture into the middle of nowhere in the south of France, for an exchange that goes horribly wrong.
Film # 8 – Somewhere in France – Part II
After being tricked into a drug deal by the French police, three English-speaking fugitives look for a hideout in the middle of a village-wide summer party.
[01:10:14] Film #9 – The Golden Shore
A retired professor receives a visit from the representative of a new military-driven government, enquiring about a poem he’d written in his youth.
[01:14:42] Film #10 – California Hot-dog Champions : a horrockumentary
While filming a documentary about themselves, the members of a band get together to rehearse at their new drummer’s pub.
[01:19:37] Film #11 – Trust Me
Woken in the middle of the night by an anonymous call, Norman is told to get out of the house to escape some mysterious intruders. Follow the story through his eyes in this immersive 1st person, video game like thriller!
[01:23:51] Film #12 – The Damned
A group of people go through their daily lives, in a city surrounded by a massive wall.
12 Films in 12 Months – A Retrospect
Last year, we made a short film every month!
— The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul that keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do.
Support the Podcast
Transcription of Conversation
(This is a new service I’m using. This isn’t 100% perfect so please forgive any typos, misspellings, etc)
Hey Fred. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Hello. Thank you very much for having me. So Fred you know you and I we met on the inner webs you know which is which is usually where I meet most of my guests. But you know I took a look at your site and you you did the grueling task of making 12 films in 12 months. So you’re either very passionate or you’re completely insane. So during this interview we’re going to figure out which one you are. And by the end I let the audience decide. But just to get started and before we talk I’m making the 12 films in 12 months you know what got you started in the interest in the whole film industry in general.
That’s that’s the question because I wouldn’t even say in the film industry yet. But what got me started. Well I guess everyone started making films is like the art form just like some people would like to pick up a camera and make something and some people don’t. And so yeah when I was 12 I was making Star Trek spoofs with my brothers with my dad’s camera and just kept going from there and trying to get better and try new things and yeah we just discovered sort of a passion for it. The the the the kept me kept me going. So yeah that’s sort of. I mean just just because I love it so much. Basically yeah.
And when I mentioned that you know the film industry I guess you’re right I should have maybe said So how do you actually let me let me ask you this how do you view yourself more like a content creation. Do you consider yourself more of a you tuber or maybe a content creators what I should have said. How do you view yourself?
I view myself as a filmmaker. I wouldn’t I wouldn’t take content creator on Youtube just because you know I’d call myself a YouTube if I had a bit of success. You know a bit of a bit of a bit of a crowd watching me but I don’t really have the content creator. I think that’s a new word sort of very in vogue at the moment. This is about people who are making videos and things but it’s difficult to call them filmmakers just because you know in film making this film and a lot of people think film as the movies as narrative like what you see in a cinema.
I consider myself a filmmaker because all I’m interested in is making narrative content. And so yeah not content creators specifically not youtube. I mean I put them on YouTube because it’s a good place to films for people to watch them. No I just consider myself sort of a passionate filmmaker who does this who does this for now. Oh my spare time. Yeah I’d say filmmaker writer director sort of. It’s hard to put myself in one in a few words you know.
Yeah I understand you mean so you know at some point you wanted to start putting all these films YouTube or even just starting a youtube channel. You mentioned it’s a good point for filmmakers in general which I agree with wholeheartedly. Man I think you know YouTube and Vimeo have been fantastic for filmmakers and I also think by the way that Facebook you know once they get away from this whole data hacking thing that just happened to be a great place for videos. Because you know I think everyone’s voice down on Facebook right now. But anyways you know it’s almost to the point where Facebook video and I by the way I heard Amazon is trying to do something similar to YouTube. So there’s going to be a lot of different channels to sort of put all your content and art on. So I wanted to ask you know Fred just before we know we start talking more about actually making all these movies what are some of the hardest things that you’ve come across with YouTube. I mean has it been you know the constant changes in everything in algorithms has it been like the monetization part of it or has it been something completely different.
No I’m I’m honestly.
I’ve read about this. You know the book clips and monetization problems and things like that. I’m I’m very far from that because I’m I’m part of I say I’m part of the group who doesn’t make a living or doesn’t really know if there’s Apocalypso or not it doesn’t really impact me to just because I’m I’m well we’ll get into sort of the whys and things about later but I’m not getting any amount of views on YouTube even affected by ads or whatever and I’ve only started actually monetizing my videos recently just because I thought why not. But you know I know about all these changes going on and I followed it closely because because you know even though I’m not a content creator I do follow a lot of content. Creators and so you hear all the points of view but I’m definitely I’m definitely like just looking in from the outside at YouTube as I sort of the business Finau Yeah I understand where you’re coming from.
So what let’s talk about this as we follow along along your journey for the past year. You know what let’s just kind of start at the beginning you know when you wanted to make this 12 films in 12 months did you actually start with that idea in mind of doing something like this or did he just sort of happened after you made your first.
No I started with the idea. I’ll give you I’ll give you a little bit of context of how this how it started. I was. I worked in web design and graphic design for years. That’s been my job and I’ve been making films on the site as sort of a very expensive and very time consuming hobby. But to a point that I thought OK you know this is getting ridiculous. Maybe I should try and do a bit more seriously so I quit my job about three years ago. I still freelance obviously to pay the bills but I quit my job is to get into making movies have been a bit more seriously and and and for the first year you know I had a very busy year because I’m I’m now a very happy father of a two year old. We we we we bought a new house. I mean so I’m not going to bore you with the details but it got to a point where after about a year and a half or two years I just I woke up on the first of January of last year and said I haven’t made anything you know since I quit my job. I mean I’d make I made music video here and there or a tiny film here and there but nothing you know that I could really be proud of and that I was really wanting to do. So first ingenue I literally woke up without a hangover which was quite surprising for once. And I just thought OK I’m not. I’m not making anything. What can I do that is number one that’s going to make me forced me to make films which is the reason I quit my job in the first place. And two that can be. I mean there’s a bit of ambition in there. You know it’s like there are so many short films on the Internet that it was like What can also be can I make this into a. You talked about content creator a regular content sort of system. And so I thought OK I know this is a bit crazy but what if I made an ambitious short film every month. Because that way I’d have the regular content coming out plus every month if I sort of announce this to people I’ll be held accountable and I have to do it you know. And when you are when you’re working with a bit of pressure and a deadline and people are waiting for something I find that that’s how I work better. You know I work better under pressure. So that’s really how it started. So I decided to begin the tell you were I’m going to get out there and do something I’m going to make 12 films this year and just go into it basically.
So if you don’t mind me asking Friday what was your day job that you ended up quitting.
So I was a web designer for a company here in Bordeaux in France where I live. Yeah I work there for seven years just full time making making websites which sounds boring because it is most of the time. So that was my day job yeah.
So when you said you wanted to quit your job and do that. Did you talk. Did you have a wife at that point who did talk it over with your wife at that point I should say she wasn’t my wife.
That point she’s still my wife. She will be soon. Yeah yeah we talked about it I mean she’s got a job a steady job and we talked about it. It’s not like I was leaving you know people like say it’s a big risk you took and everything. It wasn’t really a risk because I mean it was because you know when youre in France anyway where I am if you’re good at designing and graphic design and sort of things that you can do you can always get work freelance even. I mean even and especially video work. I don’t enjoy doing corporate videos and things but I’m I’m pretty confident that if I needed to I could make some pretty good Koper videos. I make a living so. Yeah we talked it over. She was very supportive Furys says and she said Go for it.
But you know we always I wasn’t like leaving everything and and just going to I was going to live in my confidence two years.
You know I’ve had a few guest on that’s actually happened to them.
I think I missed that part of my life. I don’t have a good about thing but I know it’s up to my car.
I’m going to say it’s a good thing. I want to say it’s a good bullet to dodge. I don’t think anyone ever wants to live out of their car. But you know so as you sort of you know you quit your day job you start doing more freelance work and then you start to realize hey I haven’t shot anything. So what point did you say. All right. This is it. I’m going to shoot something by the end of this month or next month.
You know when did that point happen literally literally on the first of January last year. I mean I had this sort of idea floating around about making a film every month. We sort of interested me because I mean I say I did nothing.
You know I wrote to I wrote a feature film with a friend co-writer of mine. We shot a short film about it. We hadn’t done nothing but yeah I was sort of floating around about what to do next. And every time I talked to someone about saying I’ve got this idea about making it short every month they sort of look at me you know with big wide eyes and be like that you can’t do that. I mean it’s not you can’t do that. I’m not going to say when it gets what people are saying but they’re like You sure you know it sounds difficult. So I never really thought about it seriously until seriously on the first of January.
I just I literally was in my bed and woke up and said I’m going to do this. And so it was literally OK I’m going to do this. It’s January. I have to make a film so I better get started. That’s that’s really how it happened.
So did you start planning on like hey this is going to right. This is how we’re going to put it all locations all that stuff.
Well for the first film the first film I was a bit of a cheat because it was it was a script that I had written four five years ago that I was very happy with it.
I’ve been wanting to for a long time but since since it was the first one and I wanted to make the films in English I mean we may talk about that later but living in France I speak fluent French. I’ve lived here almost my whole life. But I I enjoy making films in English. That’s for me English is the language of cinema and that’s how I prefer to write to direct and so on. And so first things first I had to find actors who were Anglophone and and living in Bordeaux and knew about who would be willing to participate. So that was a big chunk of the first month was meeting. I literally met 50 people had coffee with 50 people just like talk and I’m not talking I’m not talking casting call you know like a professional working actors who would I be in costume talking having coffees with people who wanted to give acting a shot or maybe took an acting class a few times and enjoyed it and when they do it again or some people who’ve done who’ve done acting who are interested. So that was that thank God I had a script because because the two first weeks of the month was literally just meeting people in and sort of figure out how I was going to do this. It makes sense.
That makes perfect sense. You know you have to trust me. I know the urge is to immediately go. All right let’s shoot this thing. You know you kind of you know write write a script or write a treatment or write an outline and then all of a sudden you’re like all right. One two three. Let’s go. You know we’re going through this bad boy. And that’s the next thing. Trust me I’ve it’s happened to me and I still have a tendency sometimes get itchy trigger trigger finger where I’m kind of like wait you get to put on the brakes pump those brakes a little bit because you have to plan. You have to you know realize what’s feasible and what’s not and that’s why when you have that script and you said you kind of cheated a bit that you’ve already had written. I think that’s good because I think the key part of all this Fred of making 12 films in 12 months is you had to start off on to not only on a positive note but it had a conference for all the rest of the projects.
Yeah. Absolutely. And and you know it was I mean I think it was a very strong story and it would have been silly to try and write telehealth where when I had this one ready to go.
Was you know I mean I’m not gonna say easy to shoot but it was suitable with just a few people and places like friends flats and things like you know we didn’t have to like any complicated sets because that’s the most complete that has been the most complicated thing for me. Last year was finding places to shoot because obviously we’re doing this with no money and no Ternium which are two things that usually you can’t really do without at least one of them. So finding locations was definitely the hardest thing the whole time. It was like you know if if if I wrote the script that happened in a flat it was like thank God we can we can find a flat but most of the time I’d write things that happened on top of a building or in a forest or nighttime be nice.
So the forest in nighttime. Did you ever actually. You know I don’t want to spoil. I want to sort of read to be getting so so it’s all films in 12 months so so Fred take us through what was the first film that you ended up making.
So the first film was called the redemption Act which was the script I wrote a few years ago which is the story of a couple bases. It basically is the story of a guy who surprises his girlfriend cheating on him and and gets into a quite violent fight with that with the lover. And then it turns into sort of I mean these aren’t my words. Some people have said it’s sort of like Groundhog Day meets Black Mirror. So it’s basic you know the groundhog day system which is like repeating an event over and over and over again with a touch of black Americans obviously behind it. There’s a reveal that I’m not going to get into but that’s very. I mean black movies almost become a term you know it’s like describe something very very harsh and kind of sci fi and things like that. That’s that was the first film I don’t have I’m selling this very well to that’s what it was about.
Yeah no I think you’re doing a very good job of selling it. Thank you. Yes I do. I trust me. I understand you know it’s hard to talk about your own work sometimes. You know you kind of you want to promote it but you don’t want to spoil it but you want to say you know what I mean you’re trying to. You don’t I mean it’s always a balancing act. But but actually I’ve actually seen the redemption act. The first short that you actually sent me and yeah it’s really really cool. And I actually I like the idea behind it and I understand why my black mirror so you know this was your first one you know. Did you have to I know obviously there’s a you know an apartment that you shot in but was there ever. Did you have to build a set of any kind or anything else anything. No. No.
Well it depends what you say you know because I’m not.
Well I’m not going to build that much but you know there’s sort of this sort of prison cell in there at some point. Yeah that was just a an empty room at my parents house. They did. They live in the countryside they have this big house. And we shot them. Yeah. I sort of like build the sort of set. So the accessories that the the lights and all that we did have all of it with with darkness you know by not lighting a lot of it and shooting it in the dark which helped a lot to sell the thing but no with the time and money we had which is not much more nothing. We didn’t we didn’t really build any sets throughout the whole thing. It’s always about finding the location that can work.
And you know if it doesn’t work exactly how you thought you wanted to when you wrote it in the script then you adapt and you see how you can make it work in any location that’s not exactly what you imagined you to go because the prison cell again without giving away too much fits in with the story you know.
Yeah. So I think it fits very well I mean actually that’s the set I was alluding to just because you know obviously that that looks different. You know what I mean that looks that has that look to it that you needed. And that’s what I was wondering you know if you actually had to build a set or you know sort of how you how you kind of finagle that.
I mean there’s a lot of. I mean you know in this day and age with technology and everything there’s little things you can do that you couldn’t do before. And you know I’m talking cameras and I’m talking about special effects like post-production a lot to the point where often it’s not like you know the infamous sentence will fix it in post. For me it’s not like it will fix it in post. It’s like where does what I can actually shoot to start. And and what I can do and post stuff. So for example the cell there are three people in the cell on three separate beds and this is just a stupid example. So explain the threats we were working on. We only had one bed. And so every shot we see more than more than more than one bed is either post-production like in aftereffects or composition or it’s like you know a funny camera angle to make you think there are multiple beds and things so. So yeah the if if I if I was working with that short sets I’d say most of them were actually it’s a mix between like what we can do in real what we can do digitally know yeah I understand what you’re saying.
It’s yeah you know you got to use what tools you have it you have you know around you you get to use which had a good film but yeah you know I had a couple different people on this podcast who have done different things with After Effects just using it to their advantage. And if you can do it and it looks good I say hell use it you know. Oh yeah definitely.
I mean everyone everybody gives CGI a bad rap because obviously it’s overused in cinema. And you know I for one just touch quickly on superhero movies and things that I grew up as a fan of superheroes and everything but even now now I watch a film and they’re very well-made but there’s always some point where you watch a full CGI fight and it’s just not interesting because it’s full CGI but that’s not because there’s no performance to it you know except obviously the guys who are doing the effects there they’re amazingly talented and everything. I do believe the CGI I should have a bad reputation just because it is a tool and it would be. It allowed me for example a talented filmmaker over in France to make these films and to make some of them with with quite a bit of scope and with things that I would never have had access to or you know extras like a crowd that I never would have access to. I can do that thanks to aftereffects. And you know I I know my way around aftereffect.
I wouldn’t say I’m an amazing VFX Alpha artist but I’m I know my way around. So yeah it’s good too. It’s good to have that tool and to know especially in this sort of context when you write a script and you’re like OK I’ve got this for example big crowd scene what am I going to do. Am I going to get as many friends as possible to come in a day or am I going to get a few. And you know do this one hero shot where you see loads of people that are sold out and after effects and how can I make it look real or not. You know no fake so I can’t remember what the question was just like using after effects from what I can I can ramble so me that it’s all good you know.
Did you see the Justice League movie?
I actually I’ll tell you what. No I didn’t. Because I think that was my breaking point. I think I was just like tell you. I’ve seen the trailers for this I’ve seen. I feel I’m just like I’m not I’m not. I mean because of these 12 films that I’ve been making this year. Last year it was so like I was trying to make a try. I’m not saying I did what I was trying to make sort of smart you know smart cinema with very little money and time. And so when I see I don’t I’m not gonna call it stupid cinema in any way shape or form but when I see a huge budget film a lot. And then you see that it’s sort of it’s all been wasted cause because there’s too many cooks in the kitchen. You know I just I want to go and see anyone I knew I would be a mess. And I wasn’t really interested in it. So sorry no I haven’t seen it.
No I completely agree with you about being at the breaking point with superhero movies. But the reason I brought it up was just because of the mustache with Henry Kato. You know it just was hilarious man it was. I sat there watching it and people that was like there’s no way this could have cost that much money and I found out later didn’t it. There was this report going online that calls like 20 million dollars to get rid of him. Obviously that’s that’s not true. But because people are saying that to me and you guys come on. Millions of dollars to remove a mustache. No way. So yeah but it was just you could tell it was something wasn’t right with his mouth because he was talking like he had a he was was talking like Mr. Ed like what you know is kind of like you know real squished face you know I’ve seen him.
I’ve seen some I’ve seen some did intrigued me that so I did. I did look it up and see through things alone.
But at the end of day you know that that’s everybody making fun of CGI because it looks terrible. But if it looked good people would have you know they wouldn’t have said anything about it.
I think that was a case of you know typical sort of Hollywood reshoots and last minute stuff and people making decisions that ended up giving again the poor VFX artist no time to actually do something properly. Because I mean with the machines and the technology today I mean with enough time I could have made that look like I could have taken his mustache off to make it good I think so would I. I believe they just didn’t have time to do it properly. But no way it goes 20 million. I think that’s pretty good. We all know the VFX artist paid well it’s a site called be exact.
Exactly right. Unless maybe there was like some middle manager or somebody like some project chief who had to get paid like you know oh yeah he probably got paid like 19 million. Yeah yeah 99 and a hundred thousand went to the whole mustache and whole mustache crew. But Fred as you as you put your first short on line you know what was the response. I mean you know it was January of last year 2017. So when you put that online what was the response that you got. Was it what you hoped for?
No no because what I hoped for was a viral video to get you know 20 million views. So no it’s not hurtful. Was I happy with it. Yeah I was very happy with it. It got. I mean today I don’t know exactly how much is close to 10 10000 views in the first week or so is up about a thousand views which you know in the scheme of events that is not much is close to nothing. No I’m more about you know the feedback than the actual views because I wasn’t I wasn’t planning on making a living off this. I was hoping maybe it would happen but you know it’s more about I much prefer getting one comment that says something constructive good or bad about the film than than some you know about troll comments and things like that you know if I got more views but more bad comments I think I would be less interested. So but to put this in context I mean I was putting the films online on the last day of every month on the before last day of every month. I was also showing them in in a pub here in Bordeaux on the big screen. And yeah we had between like 70 and a hundred and ten people every time. And so that was fantastic that that was all I could hope for you know people turning up enthused yesterday to watch the film and so when I put it on the line on the next day you know I wasn’t like stressed or counting on it too much because I already had a fantastic night the day before and people really talking to me about the film Happy to be there and things are that so when I put it online at least the first one I was very happy because it was basically a lot of people who do follow me. I’m not saying there’s a lot of them but most of them do. We’re still waiting for something. And so when I’ve been online sharing it and they were giving me feedback. So yeah it was it was the first film when it came out for good. I just felt like that you know there’s something happening people were happy to see me doing something you know.
Yeah absolutely. And when you were showing it in these pubs by the way you know. Did most people speak English they could understand what was going on?
Yeah yeah I mean because with a sort of nature of the project you know meeting lots of English speaking people and getting them involved with the project. So a lot of the people and you know it was an English pub in here in France it’s also a lot of English speaking people. Yeah most of them did speak English but you know it’s subtitled every film in French just because I don’t believe in. No I don’t believe English is the strongest language. I just think it’s the one I prefer. So I live in France I want. I want French people to be up to the sound so I translate every film and put subtitles on it. And you know when I talk about the film I always always say things in both languages so I’d say you know at the beginning it was about 60 40 though about 60 percent percent English speakers and then by the end it was about half and half you know and that makes sense.
By the way that I mean you know because that’s what was good because I was wondering you know how would you know if there was a language barrier which you know now I know there are ways you know how would you have crossed that so that you may know that that’s actually you know that makes complete sense when you were you know just describing you know saying in both languages. It reminded me of the I have ever seen with an eye. I have yes very recently also movie. One of the best movies ever made. And when when that movie actually premiered they premiered it right at this lathis this local cinema. And no one laughed and no one laughed and and Bruce the the director actually said you know what the hell’s going on here. So when they were coming out he realized that this was a German tour group who for one reason or another had gotten tickets. And it was sold out it was just nothing but German tourists and they didn’t understand a lot of what was being said. And I basically he said they just took it as sort of like a almost like a drama when of course you know it’s the on ice of comedy because if you take it you take the sort of very good dialogue lines them enough to take it out.
It is a very sort of like gloomy and and dreary. I know it’s like yeah depressing story about alcoholics and so yeah I can understand.
But at the end of the day you know I’ve never met a French person who’s talked to me about that film because even when you translate film. I mean. I mean I don’t know about all languages but it’s from English to French. You know when you’re translating you know you can come and get the same Impacto meaning on your jokes just because that’s not how language works you know. Yeah yeah. You know I know firsthand that cracking you know they had this thing I don’t know about it in the U.S. but in France they’re all about English humor and they couldn’t do more wrong. And some people think it’s like just stupid humor something some people think is the smartest humor in the world. For me it’s just humor you know making a joke in English which for me is the language that sort of has a rhythm in things and of no sort of like dead pan and things like that you can use to crack a joke. Just say in French the exact same joke and it’s just not funny. So. So you’re not saying that French people aren’t funny they do their best.
Yeah it’s you know Jerry Lewis is considered a French you know legend right. A French comedic legend. So you know again it’s more of the heart does so well internationally right. So even if you and I see a horror film from Japan they’re speaking Japanese you can still follow along. And you know to some degree you know usually if a monster is chasing you it’s pretty scary all around the world. Yeah yeah definitely. Even though I don’t watch too many horror films. So so so and so as you. You released the first one you know and so February is rolling around. You know you make an announcement of what you’re going do. What do you mean of the 12 films or the next the next film of the next film the one that’s slated to be shot and then released in February.
Well yeah I mean I had no idea what I was going to do. So the second one I mean I don’t know. I don’t know if you’ve seen it or how far you go. The second one is about good dayshift and it is about three criminals who they’ve just done a jewelry store heist has gone wrong and they they hide out in a pub for the whole day waiting for their getaway car and the bomb and the bomb and working there is a bit of a control freak drive into the rules of the pub and so that’s sort of the Basey about how they managed to spend the day in the pub without getting caught basically. And we literally I think we came up with the idea sort of around the last days of January because I was having a pint with a few friends in a pub during the day and the bomb in there was a bit hopeless and and I where I went to his name sort of gave us an idea of the film and so Febrer was good because we went into February with an idea and so then you can just sort of talk about it and make it into a better idea until you finally say okay we have a script that has a beginning a middle and as a bit of an arc a bit of a twist.
And so yes so did we announce it. No we did sort of I sort of announced at the end of June in January that I was going to make 12 and then it was just like you know for a good two weeks every month.
This is why I’m no good on social network you know for two weeks in the first month. I wouldn’t say anything I wouldn’t share anything just because I’d be thinking about or writing about what I’m doing next and there’s not much you can really show online when you’re doing that.
So so no I don’t really announce anything until until we were like knee deep in shooting the second one and then I had like a few photos to Proline say coming soon you know.
Yeah. And I also think I may have been a strength too because if he talks too much about the film he kind of end up wasting all your energy just talking about the film instead of actually trying to make the film.
Oh yeah definitely yeah. I mean it was Edgar Wright you know it to go right some of the Dead Hot Fuzz & Baby Driver. He said he’s never on social network when he’s making a film because he doesn’t understand directors who are on social social media when they’re making a film because he doesn’t know how they have time. And I’m not I’m not saying I’m moderate like that. Definitely when I when I’m when I’m writing or shooting a film definitely feels like the days of going past too quickly to spend too much energy doing that you know.
Yeah yeah definitely yeah it’s just it’s very hard to keep up that especially when you’re actually directing something like on SAT or whatever. That’s particularly hard. And also you don’t give too much away. I think you’ve got to kind of get to know the balance of you know you want to come out and see it but you also want to maintain a mystery but you got caught how much about you enemy and it’s kind of like it’s a lot to sort of juggle. But yeah definitely.
Yeah and you want to stay away from the overdose of information. I mean especially now you have teaser trailers for trailers. You have like behind the scenes footage and featurettes before the film even comes out and it’s just like they’re quite clever about not spoiling most of the big plot plot points but not all of them but yeah sometimes it feels like there’s so much buildup to a film that there’s no Morsal like you know watching the film for the first time you know you watch the film and you think oh I remember that shot Oh I wonder when this shot is going to come up. And I said What’s this. You know I read that they deleted Superman’s mustache. I’m going to look out for the for the for the shots. That’s the thing you know. So yeah I also try to just like the films the films and and then their own thing and you just to just lay off those little promotion of them. Yeah yeah. I mean you were telling me you telling me just before we started. You needed an assistant. I think I need a community manager you know someone to fill in to do the job for me as well.
Yeah I have. I have the benefit of my I have to be in front of the computer most all the time anyway. And I’ve learned to use a lot of social media tools at my disposal to kind of help me facilitate that not all of it but some of it so it just kind of helps out from time to time. So but that’s that’s a whole nother show because I asked that question a lot by the way. Like how do I kind of balance all this and I’m like I’m insane. I don’t sleep.
But yeah it doesn’t help does it. No it does it right.
It does not help. You can’t really do anything in your sleep. So when when the day shift is released you know did you notice that you had a slight falling starting to build at that point.
Yeah for dayshift I did for two reasons One is because I released the first film and now is releasing a second one. So something was happening and the second one second reason was it was a very different film like The first one was a was a sort of Mersch kind of like if I fell. Where’s the second one. It was just like a sort of like calm deadpan comedy in a pub. And so so you know you you touch different people you know. In February a lot of people were coming up to say that was fantastic and they’d seen the first and then didn’t tell me that. So yeah you really realize the people who watch films have have very different tastes and just things they like to watch. So in that sense yeah I definitely felt sort of a continuation from what I did before. Because because it was the beginning of the project I think that was before. I mean we’ll get into it. But that was sort of before. I think some sort of fatigue sort of set in. And and and people weren’t looking forward to that. They were looking forward to the new film. But they weren’t like reacting to it as much as they did the first ones. But yeah phobia was good. You know it was a different film we made two very different films and people responded really well.
Now before we get to the third film I just want to ask you real quick you just mentioned you made two different films. Now looking back do you maybe think maybe it may have been better to stick with one genre or do you think like it benefits you in the long run it’s kind of different genres.
I think it would have it would have benefited me to do just one genre if I was looking to make some sort of web series and you know sell this thing to someone and get accordionists to fanime. But it’s not really what the project was about the project was about me personally making films which is my passion and and learning and trying different things so different genres and different stories and just writing stories that I thought were cool. And also you know there was a big sort of sense of community with this project with all the people I met and who wanted to take part. And this was all in their free time and everything so so like yeah I just wanted to make a different thing and sort of surprise people every month and every every every time we showed the film at the pub the first thing I’d say was OK and this one we tried to do something different. And I realized at the end that I said it every single time there was a bit ridiculous. Now the idea the idea was really to make lots of different things and try things. And that’s exactly what we did. I know this was a very long answer to your question but now I have no regrets. This is exactly the way I wanted to do it.
And I also have to ask before we move on to number three How did you get a pop for the day to shoot in the pub. Yeah.
Well you know when you go to the pub as much as I do you tend to know people. So know it’s what about I mean I don’t know about. I don’t know about. I don’t know how it happens in the US. I mean I suppose it depends on the city but here in Boulder Budo is right in the southwest. It’s a big city but it’s not it’s not a huge city. It’s very popular but not not like Paris you know if you’re nice and do nice to people you know us as nicely. You can you can shoot in places. Plus you know I was good friends with the owner of this one. So it was more about it was it was less about can we shoot the puck for a day and more about when exactly we shoot in the pub and so you can stay open which turned out to be weekends in the morning which is a bit harsh for the for the Volunteers coming out. Yeah that’s how we did it just contacts and friends and friends of friends you know.
Yeah it’s you know. I mean I’ve actually got same I’m sorry I’m not I can’t talk of a son. It is a situation you know I’ve actually been able to shoot in a bar as well. Just because you know I did I actually found them on Facebook and they actually just opened their street. And this is years ago and I actually just said hey you know I’m Dave blah and we met. And you know when I was going to shoot there I had early in the morning early in the morning before they opened and then I had to you know give me a permit you know OK you know you have insurance. Why is everyone sign a waiver and they were more they were happy with that. And then we just kind of shot there and then later on they asked me to come back and do a commercial Nakao which which is a whole nother story I don’t because it’s kind of a funny story but but I don’t want to. I don’t want to take away from your interview right with my my crazy pub commercial story but you can tell me about it later. Yeah I promise I will. It was it was as much fun and as chaotic as it sounds but you know moving on to number three. You know you made a man’s world which is again sci fi short film. So you know get so now that’s the title for March. So you know we’re we’re sort of the impetus for that. And you know I went back to the first the first Shiner which again was Sify.
Yeah yeah. I’m a sci fi guy. You know I it’s what I enjoy the most. So it’s what I want to make the most even though I’m interested in all sorts of all sorts of films and. So it was really about finding the right idea more than it was about. I was never saying OK this month I want to make a comedy this month. I want to make a horror film. It was it was more about the first idea that I thought was good. We do it and this was this was it started as my my my fiance’s idea. She had just this idea of a man’s world. So it’s a world where women are basically more or less extinct. There’s only a few of them left which has been done in a few few stories before and I heard I haven’t seen it Handmaid’s Tale. I was having style. Yeah probably that’s very good in that sort of the same beginning anyway she had this idea of a world without women. And this was this was this was quite far away from you know all the stuff that’s been going on me too and and sexual harassment and all this awful stuff that’s been going on. But my fiance is a little bit of a feminist and and and though she wanted to make a film about about what she’d done to make a film but she had this idea and I thought it was fantastic and I thought it had a lot to say which I was making films the more important I thought it was for the film to have something to say and yeah it just gradually sort of built into a story that we could tell and that was a fun twist and there’s stuff happening so I dunno Yeah there is that idea sort of grew organically into into a story and and.
And then we just had to make it which was this was this was my worst thing is that every time I’d write a film I’d start by writing exterior night and I think this whole film was exterior night and it was March and in France no much can can can be OK but it can also be really cold. And it was so cold when we shot this one. So a man’s world is one of my my favorite I made last year but it was also the toughest shoot just because everybody giving their time their free time to come in and shooting outside in negative degrees with rain. And it was it was it was hard but you know everybody everybody kept going and everybody is super super happy with the result which is thankfully I’m rambling so feel free to stop me.
Well it’s like Roger Corman once said if he ever read a script and ever had like exterior night he would just cross it out or write like exterior day or you would just throw it in a heap and say nope can’t shoot this one. So it’s kind of like you know it because you need to have lights and stuff like that. Other than using the sun. But but I completely understand you’re going with that man. You know we all have a tendency to go to something in our screenplays and Ordnung me and like a tendency. I had a friend of mine who would always open up. OK all his screenplays were open in his bedroom in his house.
It was like I was a god damn it man. I was like why does every single one of these open to your house. But eventually it’s like you had a break that habit but again. So so when you put it online. And just for those keeping track this is number four. Number three. Number three. Yeah. See I can’t keep track. So no neither can I. So this is number three and you noticing more of a fan base now than the previous two.
This was a weird one because I thought I thought I’d hit gold with this one because I got like 10000 views in the first week which was ten times more than what I got on the previous one. So it was like this is really good. It’s the most viewed of all twelve films today. It’s like twenty five thousand or something. I thought it was my 12 month Philippot it was catching on.
You know and people were certainly talk about it in retrospect I think it’s more about sort of the subject matter and the toy you know it’s called a man’s world which is obviously the so and so so maybe people found it accidentally.
I don’t know what but anyway a lot of people watched it and it was it turned out to be sort of the most divisive film I’ve made. Just because you know it is hard. It’s a bit of a feminist film. And I mean it definitely is. And I don’t I don’t understand why. But that is a very divisive topic. So yeah I I was getting quite a lot of views and a lot of comments about you know triggered feminists and things like that and I was just like ooh what’s going on here. So it was good because I was getting views. It was good because I was getting feedback.
But this is where I sort of hit some of the comments that were you know trolling comments you know and or just nasty comments or or or sexist comments and things like that.
So it was it was an experience I was I was happy because I thought at last I made. This is the first film that actually has meaning and it’s actually connecting with people even if it’s generating some bad comments generating comments it makes people think and everything and I was I was even like you know talking with some people in the comments about it and that so. So in retrospect it wasn’t it wasn’t that I wasn’t gaining momentum with this project more than it was this film that sort of hit hit a chord. I mean 25 25000 isn’t really that much in the grand scheme of things but for my little project over here and Budo is quite a lot.
And and and yes.
So yeah I’m rambling again sorry.
Yeah I wanted to ask you what is an actual barometer for something not to just go viral but just a good number for any anyone short film to hit.
I do I honestly don’t know. For me it’s for me. You know it’s whatever would have I mean 5000 you know.
For me I think 5000 views people are watching you know people are finding the film even though it’s not a lot of people. I’m not I’m not I’m not talking about a success. You know I’m not talking about making a living on YouTube or whatever I’m just talking about you know when does it when does it sort of feel worthwhile to have worked this hard in a film. Because one of my films. I mean it hasn’t hit a thousand views yet and it’s been online for months. And that really sort of takes it out of you when you lie. OK well basically no one’s watch this so I’d say 5000 is good because it’s not a success you know going viral you know you can’t see yourself you know you know growing whenever you know at least a good handful of people who watched it. So so I’d say that’s quite interesting.
So now that you’ve done a number of them. If we move on to number four which is get rich or die trying.
Oh sorry. Get rich or try dying. Yeah I the what I just said was a 50 cent album by the way. Yeah that’s what I was it based off. I mean the film is not just the title.
It’s a good slogan to have. I see that’s why I had it imprinted in my brain. But yeah. So again it’s a sci fi film. Some time travel has comedy elements. So again it’s a comedy.
So what is the impetus to go for number four which you know Get Rich or try dying. Where was the impetus for that when he started actually writing this.
I see this again I sort of had an idea. I think doing much I love time travel I think time travel is one of the best jobs that exists because it’s just I just love it.
You can tell so many stories even though they’ve become sort of the same now but they’re just so much fun. I find so I want to make a time travel movie and and then I wanted to make sort of something fun because now coming off a man’s world which is a harsh drama that we shot at night in the cold and you know the music side and the credit the sad and now I mean that’s sad but like like harsh am I definitely wanted to make something a bit more colorful and a bit more fun and and work with some work with some not than what were some other actors other people do wanting to have a go. It’s like yeah let’s do this. This one was all about fun. This was this was honestly this was the most fun I’ve had on a shoot and. And even though even though I promised myself to not write exterior night in this one and I ended up doing it and the first scene I gave it to try dying was just about. No I said I wasn’t trying to do different genres all the time but in this month I definitely decided I was going to do something light and funny and you know not not quite as intense as what I’d done before.
And did you notice that it was well received by the by their built up audience you had for the other first three ever about built up audience though two different ones the ones that would come and actually see the film. You know when we show it on the big screen and it got a fantastic reception you know people like you really the people told me I really stepped up my game as a filmmaker. Technically it wowed a wild animal people because it’s like this drone shot in it. And it was the first time I ever did a show I went to my films so you know it gives the film a bit of a bit of I don’t know bit of shyness that is quite good.
And then on line No it wasn’t it wasn’t you know it was a sort of a retro sort of 80s style film not because I was jumping on the bandwagon of these 80s films because they’re quite popular but just because I felt it was the right way to tell the story that was very I felt was very sort of 80s in its actual script. So yeah I sort of put on line thinking OK this might connect with people online because they seem to like these 80s kind of retro short films didn’t really I mean I don’t know how many of us as today but it’s just sort of like they’re you know innocent.
But it’s it’s I think it’s I think it’s good I think it’s a fun a fun film it’s definitely like the most the deepest film. But it’s fun. I think it I think it holds together quite well. I think technique is very sound. But yeah it’s sort of getting views people are saying cool good work and everything but it’s just it’s not. This is where I sort of started to notice a man’s world was a bit of a one time thing and it wasn’t the core audience building up. It was more just a one time thing so my core audience was still there but it was still the same as two films ago.
So I wasn’t disappointed just because it was such a fun film to make and again when the audience at the pub where we show on the big screen were really really into it. So that always kept me going it makes me want to make the next month. But no Stephy no definite the progression online that I would have hoped for.
So you know I was one in your next film. Problem number at number 5 which is 616. You know you shot this all in one take. We were inspired by Birdman by the way.
No I mean not taking anything away from Birdman. It’s it’s it’s it’s a masterpiece of technique.
But no I’ll tell you what I’ll tell you what will be sort of came from what we wrote six 16 a week before release because we are so struggling for ideas.
I went to visit some family in the beginning the month I was exhausted because Gurwitch will try dying was a fun shoot but it was it was very tiring and I just didn’t have any ideas. And I finally managed to go and have a drink with Lloyd Lewis who is the person I could write much of the films with. And he had an idea he said OK job interview a timer is on the wall and then he had a few ideas of what could happen next. I like oh maybe you could take in this direction. And.
And by that time we had added five or six days left until release. And so we literally got the cast together at the last minute found room to shoot in and plan to shoot the whole thing in a bad day and afternoon and so I had my shortlist I had 40 shots on it and I was like Oh how am I going to get these 40 shots in the afternoon. And I got there and I’m not saying this was a cop out to make the one take film. But it sort of just made sense with the story we were telling. I can’t say why because he’s a mega spoiler. What the film is actually about what the film is actually about made a lot of sense that would be a one take. And so what we did I sort of just made the decision the morning we were there at ten o’clock and I said look we’re going to do this in one take. So let’s just practice moaning until we get it right and then we’ll shoot and. And I’m so happy I did because that film every time it’s not it does it does the film that looks the best just because it’s in a white room and there’s not much going on. But every time I watch it it just hooks me in. Because continues continuous takes a fantastic. I love them because you’re actually telling like real time real time real time story. And it made sense for the script. And it’s also you know it is a challenge. I’ve always wanted every but I think every director wants to make a one take film just because for the challenge. So yeah we sort of had the idea floating around in my head and my brother who was helping out with the sound recording was saying why don’t you do one take. What do you do. One take notes right now. Be Too complicated. Yeah. On the day literally we just said OK let’s do it. And we did it. So it really is really fun. It was such such a good shoot.
And was it was it more difficult shooting in one take. I know that’s kind of a trick question to ask but you know was it more difficult rather than you know being able to sort of say art ready to go for. You know I don’t know maybe half a page or what have you. Well rather than saying hey look we’ve got to do this whole thing in one take.
It was a challenge for sure. But I don’t think it was more complicated just because you know I like to be quite organized about what I want to shoot. I want to know which shows I want to get and everything and I literally the night before the shoot I made my shortlist and it was a complicated one. You know there was lots of long takes of close ups and long takes of medium shots and long takes the wide shots. And so at the end of the day it would have been almost the same sort of effort to shoot these things over and over again and direct that ended up being rehearsing for I think it was to two to three hours rehearsing the scene. Were hurting the camera movement the blocking the sound recording movement and it was I wouldn’t say it was hard because it was so much fun.
It was it was really old. All the cast were really motivated and no one was complaining. We just did that over and over again getting better when you can see it getting better every time you don’t get bored you know. So so yeah it was getting better every time and then we shot we shot ten takes there are about seven minutes at the end of the day. It was it wasn’t any harder than a shoot. You know I’m I’m famous among my friends for always going a few hours overbold but I think every director is this when we finished on time and we had fun doing it.
So yeah and again I know that was kind of a trick question to ask because you know it’s got to you know there’s a lot to take into that question. But but you know and again I wanted to ask you I know I keep asking this question but each one did you notice anything with a built in fan base. And I promise I’m actually building to something by asking this question.
He’s won well.
This is this is sort of like this this or what. Way ahead it wasn’t a down point at all.
It just this is where I sort of realized the I’m five films in and I can’t see that much of a growth in audience except for a man’s world the third film which was for me huge in the context were sort of like flatlining y’know and so again I mean the film was really well received. People who were seeing it were giving me good feedback and enjoying it. But no as far as like viewership and number of views the number of views is like success. No it wasn’t. It was sort of just the same maybe even a bit less than the one for you.
Yeah I see so so moving on to number six something crunchy even more of a thriller for that one detective story corps.
So take us to that one. Yeah I wanted. I’ve always wanted to make a proper detective story with no side fi elements because I always add stuff I into absolutely everything. And I wanted it to just a proper thriller. And I’ve always wanted to make you know a detective story.
But had to say I kind of remember how this one sort of came up. It was quite frustrating to come up with because I had no no idea of where I want to start a way to go and it sort of grew organically or honestly by talking to people about it which is which is the best way of coming out with ideas and writing films. I just talked about it with my fiance talked about it with some of my friends with my co-writer and just into it sort of became a story and then I could take the story and say okay how many clues can I put in and everything and I mean this is something very secondary I think that not a lot of people people pick up on but it’s even sort of a metal film because it’s about it’s about fake news obviously which is a very popular expression especially over where you are.
Robin wideout yeah yeah yeah yeah.
So it was sort of fake news and about you know what you know what you can’t believe everything you read just because it’s in a magazine or online. And and no not to spoil everything but that’s what the film is itself.
It’s leading you to believe something that is not necessarily true. I know a lot of people picked up on that. You know I think that was me being a bit too artsy fartsy director trying to do something smart. But I was really happy with the film because again this was a very last minute shoot littery shot this. We started on Saturday we finished on Monday and I released the film on Friday. So it was a really short turnaround. It was the smallest team I think we’ve made a film with. It was there was hardly any any of us there just to cast me and Emily who’s a friend who is assisting me. Bay this was this was for me from a filmmaking perspective I think I stepped up my game on this one visually and even in the storytelling because it’s sort of like flashbacks and flash floods and things again. I’m going to get to your question before you actually ask me. Didn’t get the sort of light amount of views that I would hope there wasn’t much growth in the amount of views I was getting but as a film itself I was I was super happy with it. I really thought in the time we had we we hit out of the park you know so see you’re reading my mind already Fred you’re so so.
So you move on to then to videos. Short films seven and 8 which is somewhere in France parts one and two. So I noticed because you started to use more of you know where you live obviously you live in France so so is it sort of like more of a you know what I can see it’s a comedy but I’m saying like is it more of was the impetus to sort of say you know what let’s start using this roundings Morrisons hey we are in France right.
There was there was definitely there was definitely a bit of that. I mean it was it was started you know you write the best the best stories you write stories based of what you hear and what you read and what you see.
And this was a this was on the news in France who was like I think it was Greek drug dealers who got caught because they were just completely incompetent and and absolutely rubbish drug dealers. So that’s Lloyd who I could write with who read this and he told me about and he said so I’ve had this idea of incompetent English speaking drug dealers in France to get in a mess with the the police and have to sort of get away and yeah it was all I do is I’d always sort of imagine my film soldier to be a bit more international sort of like Global. Like you don’t exactly know where that taking place but they can sort of connect with everyone. We never write like French city in the script just be city or we were like forest in front to be a forest. But yeah for this one I was like OK why not let’s let’s do something that’s now we’re shooting these films in France. And just because you’re doing them in English doesn’t mean we can’t talk about what we know and use use use fonts and tell a funny story. Yeah that’s sort of where it came from I suppose yeah.
And so you made it into two parts. Obviously Nali because there are supposed to be short films but again it’s something different and I like the way you did that by the way how everything is like something I think. So I do like the way that you split that into two parts just because again I think it’s you know for somebody like this I think it’s really cool to constantly experiment.
Yeah yeah and I mean that was that was for two reasons. One was no. July and August in France is famous for being like just completely inactive everybody who goes on holiday. No no one’s at work. It’s almost ridiculous so when you get stuff done it’s quite difficult. Yeah and you know it was sort of me taking sort of a break. You know I’m not going to a break because I made two films in the two months that were quite difficult to shoot. We had this script and I was looking at it and I was like look this is a long script it’s a long film it’s going to be quite difficult to get all this but we can do it but let’s not do it let’s cut it into two parts because it works as a two parter. It’s something a bit different. You know as I was saying we didn’t have the returning audience who you know we wanted to experiment with what if we leave this on a cliffhanger you know and there was sort of the joke of the summer blockbuster you know every single popular summer blockbuster gets a sequel right away. So it was so like let’s make a sequel to our own summer blockbuster that was sort of a also a bit of a joke. But yeah it was it was definitely you had to try something different.
I mean in retrospect I’m sort of like I’m sort of slightly regret doing the two parts because I feel like it was sort of like E.T. not one slot that we could have made another film in it was definitely fun to do as I said when we put it when we showed it in the pub and it said to be continued at the end it sort of had everybody laughing and kind of smiling while them being like you know. Come on man you can’t do that. I was like I like what you did there. You know so so yeah. Yeah. It allowed me to take my foot off the pedal for a little bit and I made two films I made them with sort of a more mellow kind of approach.
So I am glad that worked out too because sometimes you don’t really work or you leave on a cliffhanger. People go oh come on man. Yeah. So I’m moving on to number nine which is the gold. Sure. Yeah. You know short drama film.
So you know we’re sort of the impetus for that and this was this is what I like to talk about because this was written. This was an idea and it was mostly written I just did a bit of script revision by Lloyd Lewis who as I said we care about most of the films with he had an idea. He told me about it. I said that’s really good. Maybe you could do the sort of yeah like that. And then he said I’ll write it. And I was like yeah go ahead. So this was me sort of like saying OK I’m going to experiment with not having control of the script. I mean obviously you know I get the script and I change a few things and everything and I’m the one shooting it. But it was like OK I’m going to let someone else write it for me. And and he wrote it. And I read it first. When you write something and you read it I mean at least this is for me. I’m kind of I would have done that differently. OK. I didn’t I didn’t expect that because I sort of had my day in my head. Then in the end I sort of started imagining the and the imagery and everything and I thought we could make something really cool.
And it turned out to be to be one of the best ones just because it was. Have you seen the show. I have not. OK. OK. Well I just you know it’s this was Lloyd’s decision. I tried to convince them otherwise. But he insisted it’s a film that takes place in the 1950s and you know when you have no money and no time shooting a period piece it’s not necessarily a good tactic. But he was right to say it really works with this script. It was sort of a dystopia.
You know these dystopias that you see in all the films like The come out always in the future where everything is gone bad. But this was a dystopia. Just just just in the 50s like a few decades ago. And so it felt a bit more real. I felt what was actually going on. And so we shot it back and why. We tried to try to make everything look 1950s. I mean we did our best. And you know we used classical music as the music that was barely any original music in the. And it’s for me it’s got the best acting as well because really this was this this whole film hinged on two performances. One is the old retired professor who used to be a poet and the other one is the secretary of this dystopian you know fascist government who comes to ask him what to tell him that they want to use his poem as the new national anthem for the government. And so that’s sort of the relationship is really important. And I they were fantastic. Paul who plays the professor best who plays the secretary was just so good it was it was. It was so good to make the film with him and so fun. And when we released this one. So I’m telling the whole story went out but when we released this it felt like weeds we keep saying stepped up. I think we do. We do. So step over time really done something on a different level filmmaking wise storytelling wise risk wise because you know during the 50s it was because aces content wise because it’s very relevant. It is about you know political decisions and taking a stand and that. So so yeah that was that was a super super interesting one to shoot yeah.
I’ve had people on here before who have done different like period piece stuff. And you know that’s something we’ve talked about too is how do you do a period piece on a budget because you don’t spend that much money just in outfits and clothes or wardrobe. What have you. No it’s just that’s why you always tend to avoid that unless of course you’re in like a field or something then you know. And as always you don’t see airplanes or are depending on the period years and you’ll see any of that you should be fine.
But lots of painting out colors in the background I think that that is all you know when you know you can do it. It makes it slightly less scary.
Medfly so so just move on to number. I think it’s what. Number nine which is number 10. Number 10 a California hot dog champions.
Yes. So. So even that just makes me love hearing someone else. Well so obviously there’s American theme in there. So because of hotdogs California’s so sort of oh no not really.
The truth is this this whole film is called based off a T-shirt because OK I wanted to make a horror film. Oh I wanted to make a documentary. I know they wanted to make a documentary about a bad until like in the spinal taps vein and we ended up merging it all together making what we called a horrid human story.
So this was sort of a horror film. And as I said I’m not big on horror films. I don’t really enjoy them. And I think you’re going to be a bit twisted to write a really scary horror film. But this was sort of mine. It was like it’s a bit of horror but it’s mostly funny and and and it’s intense but it’s fun. But anyway just about the title we went to buy t shirts because there’s a lot of fake blood involved in this one. So we need to get three or four with the same T-shirt with Louis. My brother who plays the lead in this one and we found this T-shirt that he quite like said California Hot Dog Chapman on it. And that was it. That is the only link with the rest of the film. It’s just the T-shirt that says that. And so we wrote it into the script as a joke. I knew that.
So that’s why it’s called that but it has no connection with hot dogs California or champions so it’s just you know if I saw the title and I figured you know why not.
Well you know I mean so but but again it just you know I just have a shot in the dark there Fred. One of the actresses one of the actresses is from California so I suppose there’s that yeah there’s some connection right.
So she actually already in France I guess it’s kind of you don’t have a shorty in there or what.
OK yeah this is most of the people. I was lucky enough to meet this year expats. So that from from the UK from the US from Canada living in Budo for various reasons. And all of them were not many of them were like I want to get into acting into it full time. A lot of them were like I want to do something fun different and I want to meet meet new people. And Caitlin who is the girl who plays in this film. When I met her she’d literally been in Budo for two weeks. So she was just putting herself out there to try and meet new people and she ended up playing in three or four films of the films I made. So yes it was all about meeting people and getting lucky with people we can with people we meet. So we thought it sounded wrong.
But by having good luck and meeting the right people Yeah yeah get your network is your net worth right. So yeah. So. So you know and then again that’s how you’re able to sort of find these connections and sort of find this stuff is just you know you know usually when you’re making stuff that’s when I find out when people can see it’s real people will join in and say hey listen you know it’s actually going to happen.
It’s not all bullshit it’s not all talk and fight and there’ll be no one to help you out a little more you know what I mean yeah and plus as I said you know this was really giving me a kick in the backside to make the films. This is what I did this project was to make forced myself to make stuff and when you’re meeting people that aren’t your friends or family and you’re telling them Look I’m going to make a film maybe 12 months. Do you want to take part.
And they say yes and they come to the first screening and the second screening and they come and help you out you can’t come get to the fulfillment sailor. This is too hot him stopping so. So meeting these new people was not only really kind of like a rich experience because meeting meeting these great people was great but it was also a way of putting pressure on myself. You know I had to deliver you know. So there was some of that as well which was which was positive in a very positive way.
And yeah and you know at the end of the day you know people when I sort of back a winter so to speak so again like what I was trying to get out was you know when they see you’re actually doing something it’s like it’s almost like a motivation for them to be like hey listen I actually know somebody who might be able to help us. Don’t you mean. Yeah yeah. I mean so. So OK. So you know just moving on to number 11. Trust me first person short film for a thriller.
So. So you know what was sort of the impetus for this one.
This was again you know every month like we had no ideas so great ideas around.
And this was literally again Lloyd talking about one time when he had the cops downstairs in his building and he looked out the window and he was about you know what’s going on you know. And so basically we wrote a story based on that. So that feeling of waking up in the middle of the night and there were people. But I wasn’t I wasn’t I wasn’t really satisfied with the the story itself. Just like that until we sort of mentioned first person and I know it’s a bit of a gimmick. And there were some fantastic first person videos out there. I think this story really helped. And it really made it kind of like I did that bit of tension where were you actually seeing the story through the characters eyes. And so yeah it’s basically about a character who wakes up in the middle of nights with someone on the phone saying get out of the house. There are people coming to get you. And trust me he says. Which is the name of the film. So basically it’s about this character who we we’re this character trying to evade these people who are after him. And it’s all real time. This is not a single take but it’s you know disguised as a single take. So yeah. So the idea behind it and you know to shoot it you know I. I ask myself a lot of questions because obviously the go to camera when you do first person is a GoPro because you can see it on your forehead. You don’t see much stuff you press on. You’re done. But again the film was written exterior night because it always is. And so do I shoot my films on a 7 to just fantastic camera. I kind of made these 12 films without it. And so I was like OK how do I use this camera.
Would I make it pop a first person without like cheating. And so ended up like attaching my camera to a motorcycle helmet with like tutorials I saw online and just doing my own thing and adapting and walking around with and I don’t know how much it is impounds but like six kilos on my head for hours in a row. So I’m rambling on about it but that was sort of the whole trust me is less about the story and more about the sort of first person how we did it kind of experience I think they go pros definitely are the camera by the way to use in that situation.
By the way just as a side effect have you noticed how much in price that like all that stuff is fallen down. I was on eBay and it was a cheap knockoff of a GoPro on there for like 40 bucks. I don’t know how good it would be but I mean for 40 bucks I’m kind of willing to take that risk.
It’s absolutely mind blowing what you can get for nothing. You know I mean I mean I don’t. Everyone talks about you know if you want to make a film you can do it with the phone that’s in your pocket.
It sounds sort of sounds a bit cliche but it’s true. I mean Steven Soderbergh has just released a film that you saw on an iPhone. Yeah yeah. And you can get knockoffs of basically everything now. I mean I don’t have I trusted 40 40 dollar GoPro. Even the GoPro itself. I don’t know how much it is like 200 300 bucks or something but that thing shoots Fouquet in like slowmotion. It’s pretty amazing so. So yeah I mean if I was if I was if this was 30 years ago or even 10 years ago I’m not sure I could have made 12 films in 12 months. But now with the price of these sort of things it’s amazing what you can actually do. You don’t really have any excuses. Technically not to make a film on anything.
Yeah yeah very true. Very very true Fred. And you know so now we’re you know just on a number 12. This is this is December 2017 the damned sci fi short so you’re going to sort of book and you start of the season you’re going to end it with a sci fi show to take us into the damned.
Yeah I will. This was obviously a bit of a weird one because it was the last one. So the end of the road. But yeah I think you said it right it was the bookend.
I absolutely wanted to do one last sci fi story with themes and a message or something to say. So it’s about it’s about the inhabitants of a city surrounded by a massive wall. It’s just a massive wall that’s like superhigh. You can see the sun. And it’s just yeah. What’s their life like down there. I mean obviously it ramps up there’s there’s a bit of a twist and everything but this was this is my this is my best film I made last year. For me without a doubt this is my best one because everything just sort of came together. That story that we came out with the script that we ended up with and everybody seen all the characters you know they were by this time most used to working with a lot of the people who I’d met in January the previous year. So I knew exactly how I wanted to cast how to do it when we could shoot it. And you know I wanted to get the best production values possible and I worked on this one. This is not a joke. I worked on this one for three days and three nights without going into bed to get it ready in time to release it on the on the 30th of. I must have been earlier than the 30th of December I can remember that when we showed it. The music you know I went with this fantastic composer Tony Rainey who he’s up in Paris who I met online who composes all my music for free. He’s a fantastic guy he’s so talented and so you know I mean I’m rambling on about it but damn who’s really I don’t think I could have finished on a higher point than I did with the damned and so.
So at the end of all this and that’s the reason I was asking about the fanbase that was being built filmed by film month by month. So at the end of all this you know what was the reception for the fanbase for making these these 12 films in 12 and 12 months.
Well I’m just sort of starting to see that now because I think the thing about what I did is I made 12 films but each film was its own thing. And so as I was talking to about you and people like different things have different taste the damned came out and it’s a sci fi short film.
And people people who watch Soifer short films online were gravitating towards it. So it is getting quite a lot of views but it’s it for me it is completely disassociated with California Hodo champions for example which is a horror Q-Med which isn’t even a genre. It’s not something people can connect to so it doesn’t have many views for me. I don’t think I’ve built a core audience over the. I mean I’d say 1000 subs and people who do watch the films I’m not saying that people don’t watch them all. I’m just saying that these films are so different from each other and they get different genres and themes. The I completely understand that you’d be interested to with one but not the other. So you’re not going to go in Marathon the 12 films just because you like the first one because the second one you might like it. No no. We’ll be into that sort of genre. But as I said I’m just seeing it now because I just released this video that I should have made months ago. But I didn’t get around to it. But about where I’m explaining that I made these 12 films and you can watch them for free and everything that I sent you. I put on online. So now I’m just starting to see people who are actually realizing when I say people people are like people I don’t know because obviously my people around me.
No I’m just sort of religious oh 12 films that that’s something you know it’s an object because up until the 12th film you can tell anyone I mean I told you about it I tell you I’ve written two blogs and you say oh I’m making 12 films in 12 months I’m at number 9 that’s not interesting. You know what I mean. Yeah I know. Later it’s like OK well you know. Yeah but you still got to go. It’s not finished. It’s not an object has now made these 12 films and they are a thing they’re sort of an art piece in themselves. It’s not just a sci fi film and a comedy and a horror film. It’s 12 films here. This is a thing you know so that’s why I’m sort of trying to go for now I’m trying to talk about I mean I’m looking to what to do next but I want to get these 12 films in 12 months as you said it will be the title of this podcast. It’s the title of my video. It’s sort of a catchy thing but I can say that before I finish the last one.
So what’s next Fred is going to be 24 24 films in 12 months.
Honestly if it was up to me I just do it again because it was exhausting. It was hard but it was the best year of my life creatively I just had so much fun I enjoy it as much.
I think you know for four people close to me especially my my wife and daughter who didn’t really see much to me last year.
I owed them a few months off and you know I also want to go towards somebody else. You know every filmmaker wants to make a feature about each other. I’ve got a feature written. I don’t want to do. I’m working on a short film right now for a Chinese whisper and you say Chinese whispers in the US. No when you say something to someone who says it to the next person and so on.
That’s sort of called like whisper down the lane here.
OK then whisper down the name. It’s an arty whisper down the lane where one artist makes something and another artist sees it and make something and so on. And so I’m currently making a short film based off a set piece that I saw at the end of the month. But you know I’m I’m really in flux right now I’m sort of this experience of the 12 films was so amazing and and so so so fun creatively that I’m like Okay how can I top this. You know how can I do better. And you know the question obviously is how can I make it into a living or at least part of my living because last year I made these 12 films while working my day job while my freelance job. So it was literally juggling these these two things at once and as much as I enjoyed it I can I can’t do that forever. You know colorways you just don’t rest or live anymore. So I don’t know what’s next. I have a film coming out soon and maybe maybe really interesting coming up soon hopefully so so far at work we will find out online. OK so best placed the easiest place to find me is on my website which is superhero that’s like superhero with a T at the beginning to hear a dot com which is my Web site. And obviously Facebook the Facebook page where I’m the most active Twitter Instagram and of course YouTube where all the films are and I will link to all that everyone on this show knows measurement is linked to all 12 films too.
I think in a chronological order it’s going be pretty cool. And again you’re going to get the transcription man you got like the full service here. Right place right time did so. So Fred you know all that in. Sorry Dave Bullis dot com Twitter. It’s at Dave underscore Bullis and the podcast is at DBI podcast.
So Fred Fred Cavnar thank you so much for coming on.
Well thank you so much for having me and having me on for so long. I’m sorry. I talk a lot.
Well you know I before the interview everyone I told Fred are probably about 45 minutes and now that I know it’s been about an hour and a half it’s because of we had to go over 12 films you know and did 12 films. There’s a lot to say about 12 films. It’s a lot of stuff. Yeah. And we it talked about a lot of them about any of a lot more. So so everyone I want to say thank you for listening. And Fred I wish you the best of luck ma’am.
Yeah thanks. And if I can just say thanks a lot for inviting me.
And if there’s anything I like. Anyone who’s listening this to sort of keep it light. Just go watch any one of the films and it’s not about the viewers it’s just about hearing what people think. So if you do go and watch them just leave me a comment and say whether you thought it was good or bad or too delicate to lie or the sound was good I just want to hear what people think about the films.