Part two of our interview with Noam Kroll: Feature filmmaker, business owner, and father. We discuss pursuing your dream of becoming a filmmaker, taking the next step in each film, appreciating the good and bad in your films, learning how to plan, dealing with curve balls, and more.
Subscribe to Noam Kroll's email list at: http://noamkroll.com
For more information about Film and Family, check out: www.invisiblemansion.com
Part two of our interview with Noam Kroll: Feature filmmaker, business owner, and father. We discuss pursuing your dream of becoming a filmmaker, taking the next step in each film, appreciating the good and bad in your films, learning how to plan, dealing with curve balls, and more.
Subscribe to Noam Kroll's email list at: http://noamkroll.com
For more information about Film and Family, check out: www.invisiblemansion.com
Ep.21-First Features with Noam Kroll: Part 2
Kent Thalman: [00:00:00] [00:00:00]Hi, I'm Kent
Anna Thalman: [00:00:09] and I'm Anna.
Kent Thalman: [00:00:10] And this is film and family. If you're ready to take your film career to the next level, without sacrificing a healthy and satisfying personal life. You're in the right place. Hit subscribe to never miss an episode.
Anna Thalman: [00:00:21] Let's jump right in.
Kent Thalman: [00:00:31] so I wanna
Anna Thalman: [00:00:33] switch gears a little,
Kent Thalman: [00:00:34] switch gears a little bit more to the filmmaking as well. so I want to dig into. How many feature films have you made?
Noam Kroll: [00:00:42] So I've made technically three, I've released two, but like I said, that first feature was called footsteps. I never released it so that, kind of doesn't count. But if you qualify that three in total,
Kent Thalman: [00:00:55] I'll count it
Anna Thalman: [00:00:55] Wait, and you called that when you're film school, did you go to film school just as a side?
Noam Kroll: [00:00:59] No, I [00:01:00] didn't. I actually studied psychology. I got my undergrad in psychology,
Anna Thalman: [00:01:04] oh that's so cool
Noam Kroll: [00:01:04] but I was making films that whole time. I was. I probably should have gone to film school. I was just shooting movies, that whole period. but I was sort of advised by a director a couple of years prior, to consider maybe going to study something else just to broaden my perspective. And I was super interested in psychology too. So
Oh I love that.
Kent Thalman: [00:01:26] I just want to make that point again. I mean, we've mentioned this maybe on the podcast before, but I've been saying this to a lot of young filmmakers that have been reaching out to me just this last week or two. I think we're young filmmakers too, but like 19 year old kids and they keep saying like things about, they're not sure if they're going to make certain decisions that are going to take time away from, in their minds, their progress, their progress towards graduation, their progress toward certain career milestones and all the stuff you said about family, as well as the stuff you're saying now about a psychology degree, as opposed to a film degree, I keep telling him, I say, [00:02:00] don't put your life off. For film, because then you're only going to know film, and then you're only gonna make movies about movies and you're gonna make movies that reflect the medium and reflect the genre. And they reflect all the things that our movie, but they don't reflect life, which is kind of the purpose of art is to actually make some sort of a reflection or interpretation of life. And. If you don't have one, then, there's the shallowness. And I keep watching these movies that are so aware of themselves as this is an action movie. and that's all it is. And it's almost like you're my own existence is only to get to the next set piece or the next action NIS. And I'm like, yeah, but what does this have to do with anything? You know? And so, the best movies are like, wow, this is. About life carefully camouflaged as maybe a genre piece or maybe not. But yeah, I just wanted to. Note that I think that all those things are serving you and you're allowing them to serve [00:03:00] you in your filmmaking career in such a powerful way. So I find that really inspiring.
Anna Thalman: [00:03:03] Oh I think that was a really smart move. I actually did a similar thing after graduating from film school. I've always been interested in the mind and psychology and I took some psychology classes in film school, but, school, but while I was at university, and then. Afterwards, went back to school to become certified as a life coach and at a program that really studies in depth how your mind works and how your brain works and how human behavior is motivated. And that changed the way I approached filmmaking so much, in really good ways. And so I think that is very cool that you have that background.
Noam Kroll: [00:03:40] Yeah, that's incredible. And, I think, yeah, something like psychology and just getting into the human mind is. It's so helpful in every aspect of life. And now I kind of wish I had. I paid more attention in those years than I did. And, you know, I, I retained some of the knowledge, but if I could have gone back now at this [00:04:00] age, it probably would have been a lot more valuable. but yeah, I just think, you know, everybody kind of has to decide for themselves if film school is right for them. I think there's an argument on both sides. obviously some people have a great network for their whole careers. Friends that they meet at film school, but then there's other people, you know, like myself who I was. you know, I, I always did fairly well in school, but I didn't love being in school. I always wanted to be out, with my friends and shooting movies and skateboarding and playing music. Like I was just not, an academic type. So my fear was that if I would enroll in film school, it would become a chore and it wouldn't be fun anymore. And then I wouldn't want to do it, you know, professionally or wouldn't want to pursue it. It would kind of take the fun out of it. And I don't know if that actually would have happened or not, but that was sort of part of my decision, for, for not pursuing it. but to sort of echo something that I think you both said in one way or [00:05:00] another. but I'll, I'll phrase it a little differently is I think the, becoming a great filmmaker or becoming great at anything in life, whatever it is that you're trying to do, I think is always comes down to just being the best version of yourself, the most authentic version of yourself. You know, if you're, watching a film from a filmmaker, And it's a film only they could have made because either it's a personal story where it deals with knowledge or subject matter background that only they have, and nobody else could have made that same movie. Those are usually the best movies. and it's not because that person went to film school or didn't, or knew how to use a camera or didn't it's because they had some sort of real perspective from real life that they could share. So I think for somebody who's. You know, let's say interested in some other field entirely, but also loves film. You know, that's, that's great. I had filmmakers on my podcast who, they've made these incredible [00:06:00] science-based documentaries and they're super into science, you know? And that's what. Leads they're filmmaking. And they've had a tremendous amount of success with their films as a result. So I think, you know, you, if your truest version of yourself, even if it's not what you think kind of the traditional filmmakers path is supposed to look like, there is no such a thing, and I feel like you kind of can't go wrong when you lean into your own sensibilities.
Kent Thalman: [00:06:22] Yeah.
Anna Thalman: [00:06:23] Yeah, I think that's so true. That reminds me actually of, one of the biggest takeaways I got from a film festival that I attended and I won't mention which one it was, but it was kind of cheesy. There's a lot of cheesy stuff getting made and, the stuff that did really stand out there was one, director in particular who gave this advice and said, what would you make if it was the last film you ever made? Which I liked that thought, but then I even took it further and said, what would I make if I was the only one who was going to watch this film,
Noam Kroll: [00:06:53] Oh, interesting.
Anna Thalman: [00:06:54] If I'm going to make this film, not for anyone else. Cause I'm not trying to please anyone else or make something. I think they would [00:07:00] like, I'm going to make something that I want to watch and I'm going to make it something that I like. And most likely someone else will also like it too. And that has really helped me find a lot of clarity about what is authentic to me. And if it works for me, I don't really care if it, is maybe a little non-traditional or if I am worried about what other people might think that usually is a good sign actually, because it means I'm getting really personal.
Kent Thalman: [00:07:26] Yeah.
Noam Kroll: [00:07:26] Yeah. And from a practicality standpoint it's yeah. better to have that sort of film, to find an audience with and to market the film with, because it's something truly original, you know, the broader that you go with, your concept or idea, and the more sort of generic, the movie becomes, the bigger the budget has to be in order to get people's attention, because if it's not. Totally unique, you know, and we can talk about a lot of the tentpole films that come out of Hollywood these days that are kind of [00:08:00] all, derivatives of each other. And we seen them a million times before. but those work because they have hundreds of millions of dollars backing them, so they could do crazy special effects and hire A-list actors and all the things that. You need to do, if you're not relying on something that's incredibly specific and unique, but if you're on the other side of the spectrum, you don't have a lot of money, but you have a really unique idea or approach or concept or character or something that. Nobody's really seen before, and maybe it wouldn't appeal to everyone. Who's going to go stand in line for the next star Wars, but it would appeal to, you know, a couple of thousand people that are going to be diehard lovers of that movie. Cause they'd never seen anything like that. that helps you. I think early in your career, just get, you know, help your films, reach people and inspire people and start building an audience for yourself that hopefully over time it just continues to grow.
Kent Thalman: [00:08:57] Yeah. You know, I don't think this really applies to many of the listeners [00:09:00] or of this podcast or even you, but one of the thing that blows my mind is how many lay people have not seen LA LA land. it's like this movie that's super personal. It's super specific. It's very, you like it, or you don't, but I'm always blown away. I'm like, I don't think that many Americans actually saw this movie except film buffs and musical buffs. And otherwise it was it was overseas. I think that that movie probably blew up and, and film buffs in the musical buffs definitely saw it in the United States. and so you were saying, it's like, there's an audience for it. It's 30 million. It's not really a tent pole, but it's a big movie and it went big, like in the award circuit and you know, and it's also history I'm sure. It's it's an interesting point. and, and you just have to scale that properly, but,
Noam Kroll: [00:09:45] and if you take that back a notch too, it's like Lala land was built on the back of whiplash, which is, you know, as about as specific and personal as it could get, you know, from what I know. that's Basically, derived from Damien Chazelle's [00:10:00] experience as a drummer himself. And obviously it's, a fictional story, but you know, it came from this personal place and, and, that I think people really latched onto, and then, a movie like Lala land, which is maybe a bit broader, but still had that personal touch to it. then, you know, he could kind of scale things up to that level, but yet all starts with just, being authentic, being yourself like nobody's. First movie is just unless you're Quentin Tarantino. He's like the only exception to that rule where like he could just watch movies and his movies could be, you know, an amalgamation of every movie he's ever seen. And that's kind of his. Thing, but unless you're Tarantino and that's your thing, which, at this point it's again, then you're just being derivative of someone like him. then yeah you're always better off leaning into your own, personal experience in my opinion.
Kent Thalman: [00:10:51] Yeah, yeah.
Anna Thalman: [00:10:52] Yeah. And Damien Chazelle, was afraid to show people that script.
Kent Thalman: [00:10:56] He wouldn't even let his agent Read the script for whiplash until she found it and read [00:11:00] it. And she was like, this is really good. And he was like, Oh, I kinda just wrote this in like a fit of anger. and then he said, he was like, and then you have to pitch this thing, which is like, Oh, it's a, Thriller about a jazz drummer. and everyone's like, Hmm. He's like, you couldn't even get them past that, that pitch. I don't understand, that's what they had to do the short, because no one really knew what the heck he was doing. if they had to do the short film to kind of show like, this is what we're doing and they go, Oh, wow. That really works. It was
Noam Kroll: [00:11:25] That was One of the dangers of having a very pitchable idea is that people might just assume, or you might assume as a filmmaker, that your idea is great because everybody likes it when you pitch it to them. And there's all this advice that. You know, you have to have your elevator pitch and know how to describe what the story is in two sentences. So you can get people excited and there's nothing wrong with that advice at all. It certainly helps you from a business standpoint. but that is no indication ever of whether people are actually going to like your movie. You could have the, [00:12:00] best movie in your head, but. you know, it doesn't fit into that kind of paradigm where you could just describe it in two sentences,
Kent Thalman: [00:12:07] yeah
Noam Kroll: [00:12:07] you know, like how do you describe, you could describe something like dazed and confused, I don't know. I just think of a Linklater film off the top of my head, but like any of his films, you know, before trilogy any of those movies, you could kind of describe them in a sentence or two, but if you're just a pitch that to the average person, they'd probably say okay, two people walking around the street or a bunch of high school kids, it's like, I don't get it. You know, the things that are easy to pitch, the things that are kind of quote high concept, those, uh, don't always actually translate to be the best movies. Sometimes they're just the best pitches or they're the easiest things to get funded.
Kent Thalman: [00:12:43] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It reminds me of like, I wonder what Malik was doing when he was walking around pitching tree of life.
Anna Thalman: [00:12:49] Oh, that one took him forever to get funded.
Kent Thalman: [00:12:51] Yeah. It was decades. He finally was like, I'll do this thing because you know, Brad Pitt decided to executive produce it. Yeah.
Anna Thalman: [00:12:56] Well and going to this business side of [00:13:00] things, I'm just curious,
Kent Thalman: [00:13:01] we can get into that for a minute.
Anna Thalman: [00:13:02] I think that there, cause you've been there a few times, right. And done this. And there's a few perceptions that I think are common. And I'm curious what your thoughts are on them, if you believe them or not. one is that the first few films are the hardest or the first one is the hardest to get going. And then the other is just that. People don't want to buy something that you haven't made yet. that, you have to make something first or pay for it yourself first and then they'll buy it. which I think is one reason why people get stuck, trying to make, get the financing for that first film, when they don't have anything to show for themselves that they've done before. I'm just curious about your thoughts on all of that.
Noam Kroll: [00:13:39] Let's start with the remind me of your first point, the first bullet there.
Anna Thalman: [00:13:44] It was the perception that the first few films are the hardest.
Noam Kroll: [00:13:47] Yeah. First three. Okay. So on that one, I can. Only speak from personal experience, but I would say, yes, it's true with the caveat that not [00:14:00] necessarily from a practicality standpoint, because even if you get more money and more budget, more crew than your problems scale up as well. So just because you have more money or more experience, doesn't always make it easier sometimes. Then you're working on more complex projects and it actually can become harder with time. But I think where that statement is accurate is in the sort of just reality check that you get when you make your first couple movies, that gut check, like everybody thinks. That they're going to make the short film that gets into Sundance and turns into saw or whatever. And you know, every filmmaker in high school thinks that that's their path. And the reality is that even if you're brilliant filmmaker and you make a great film, It's very unlikely. That will happen. Not because of your talent, but just because there's so much quantity out there. There's so much politics and how films get programmed in this and that. So I think, you know, when you first make your first couple of films having [00:15:00] to come to that realization that, Oh, this is an uphill battle. Like this isn't as easy as just getting together with friends and making a movie once and setting it to a film festival. This is going to. Be something that there are no guarantees of, I could spend 50 years doing this and maybe I won't be that much further ahead, but if I'm going to commit to doing it, I'm doing it because I love it. I think that's sort of the thing that happens in your early shorts or features that can be a difficult crossroads for people to hit. And then your second point, which was again, remind me, cause we had a few ones.
Anna Thalman: [00:15:36] Yeah, it was just this. What was it? I was asking about how you got yours financed. Oh, this idea that, that it's hard to sell something when you haven't done it before.
Noam Kroll: [00:15:48] Yeah, that's right. So hard to sell something when you, I think that that is a hundred percent accurate. I have friends, you know, on all different levels of the [00:16:00] industry, some of which have grown up with relatives in show business, and have parents who are very wealthy and other people who are on the exact opposite and don't know anybody in the industry, you know, don't come from any money. There's. Really no difference in terms of their ability to actually get something made in the early days. Other than, you know, somebody has access to money, then obviously they can throw that at their own production. But. Does that mean anybody's actually gonna want to see that movie will that reach audiences you can't pay for good reviews. You can't pay an executive of a studio to like your movie and, you know, give you a three picture deal. You have to do the work. You have to make a great film. And I personally believe that. That's the only path. If there are those random cases that you hear about where some filmmaker right place at the [00:17:00] right time, they pitched an idea in a bar and it turned out the guy was this Hollywood financier and took a chance on him. And they made this $10 million movie. I mean, if lightning strikes and sure take advantage of that, but don't bank on winning the lottery, you know? Bank on doing the work because you can get there. If you just put one foot in front of the other, do the work and make a movie and you'll learn along the way. And if you love making movies enough, then you'll just keep doing it. And you'll like we talked about at the beginning of the episode, you'll be content with the process. You'll be happy to be working on those films. Even if they don't have a lot of money and you know, the way I like to think about it is everybody wants someone else to back them. First. They want the validation of some financier to give them money or whatever it is to make their movie. But if you're not willing to bank on yourself first, if you're not willing to go out on a limb and fund your own movie [00:18:00] or make your own thing and step out on a ledge and see what happens, then why should anybody else. Be willing to do that when there are a million filmmakers ahead of you who have taken that risk and created something. So, I mean, that's how I personally look at it and not that that's, you know, right or wrong, but I do personally think that making your own content is, is the surest way to just get ahead in this business. And hopefully that kind of answers that question.
Kent Thalman: [00:18:31] Supremely answers are. Yeah. I'm like fist pumping over here. It's I can't, you know, I think one of the most enjoyable parts of this interview so far has just been how like identifying it has been for me, like, Oh man. I, you know, I think that a lot of us are in that place where it's just nice to hear. Okay. Yeah, I'm going to have to just, this is what I'm going to have to do, and that's okay. Like it's not so bad to have to make a movie to get, to make movies. Cause [00:19:00] that means you're making movies. So by the way, it's scary.
Noam Kroll: [00:19:05] The amount of people that I've met, especially since doing my podcast, a couple of the guests in particular that I've met, who have worked on really high budget projects. Really incredible feature films that they've written or directed, you know, things like I'd seen as when I was younger or whatever. And now they, all they want to do is make a $20,000 micro budget feature because that affords them a creative freedom, that ability. That money could not buy them. And, you know, I think the grass is always greener on the other side, but yeah, I just, I wrote this whole article on my blog recently about this, that yeah. You know, the benefit of making micro-budget films is that you could do things that bigger budget productions can't do because they just have too much money, too many cooks in the kitchen and producers and lawyers and all these people who are too careful about everything. Like take advantage of [00:20:00] the fact that. You're at an early stage in your career and you can take risks and just make content because that's, that's something that a lot of people who are, you know, technically, maybe ahead of you in terms of their career trajectory, like they don't have that benefit anymore. So if you don't do it now, when's that going to happen.
Anna Thalman: [00:20:19] Yeah. I think that it's really a mental barrier that a lot of people have that they have to have this money come in first. And it's really not true. And I love that. You're kind of agreeing with that and we've seen pretty abysmal films made with bigger budgets. And we've seen, I love this. Someone asked this question, a coach named Brooke Castillo asked this question. She said, would you rather win the lottery? Or would you rather earn as much as you could make winning the lottery? And a lot of people would say win the lottery because it's easy. But she says no I'd way rather earn it because if you win at once, Then great, but you can't replicate that. You don't actually know how to make that [00:21:00] money again. So it's just a one-time thing. But if you actually do the whole process of learning to make it, then that's something you can repeat and continue doing it.
Kent Thalman: [00:21:09] Chris McCorey made the same point on his Twitter where he said, look, We all think that this winning the lottery thing is what gets us into the industry. And so we keep trying to like throw our scripts and our ideas and our fates into the hands of the lottery gods, whether they're at these festivals or whatever, you've mentioned them, you talked about them as gatekeepers numb. And he basically said, You might, you might actually win it, but then what, then you have to go try and win it again. And he said, yeah, my career, he said took a seven year stall after I got my first big break quote unquote, because I thought that I was done working. And I just couldn't figure out why nothing was going anywhere after that. And he's like, I just realized, guess what? Every time I make one of these big movies, I have to go [00:22:00] out and I have to work, I have to write, I have to finance. I have to work my butt off and make another movie. And that's the only way you're going to work in this business is if you're going to work and make movies since then. And so, yeah, I really appreciate that perspective.
Noam Kroll: [00:22:13] Well, yeah, I, I think it's so true. I love that quote. I love that sort of analogy to use. And I think, you know, you learn so much more from your failures and your successes. Like I said before, I think you, when something goes really well and you're making a film a lot of times, It's luck like you do put in the work and you do do all the right things, but there is that serendipitous element to it that you can't plan for. And if that happens early on and your first feature just happens to blow off and you know, everybody loves it and this and that. That's great. That's awesome. Awesome. And that's going to open a lot of doors for you, but that doesn't guarantee that your next film is going to be good. And you know, you may now hit challenges on films, two, three, and four that you didn't see before, or that you lucked out on [00:23:00] that you didn't have to deal with those things.
And now you don't know how you could replicate that success and to get really literal with that analogy in terms of winning the lottery, like. And look at what happens to people that actually win the lottery for the vast majority of them wind up bankrupt or broke because they haven't learned how to manage money. I remember growing up, my neighbors literally won the lottery. And we started saying, Oh, they bought a new Jaguar and they bought all these fancy toys and this and that. And then they had to sell their house not long after, because they went through all the money. Whereas somebody who earned that money understands investing.
You know, if they understand wealth management, they understand that they can use their money to make more money. They can make investments. And instead of buying a Jaguar, they could put their money into an account that will compound interest for them and pay them dividends every [00:24:00] year. So they never have to work again in their life, but they're only going to have that sort of financial IQ if they've actually done the legwork themselves, if they've made the mistakes on a smaller level and kind of worked their way to the point of making a million dollars instead of just being given a million dollars. So I, I think that, you know, the analogy rings true on a very literal level, but certainly, you know, on the filmmaking aspect as well.
Kent Thalman: [00:24:29] Yeah, no, this is great. I'm afraid. We're probably going to have to have you on the podcast. Again,
Anna Thalman: [00:24:34] we are running short on time, but
Noam Kroll: [00:24:36] was a little short on time. So we should, we, should you want to do some of these wrap-up questions?
Anna Thalman: [00:24:40] Maybe we'll each pick one last question for you. Is that all right?
Noam Kroll: [00:24:42] Yeah. Yeah, no, no rush take a couple or however long you need, so,
Kent Thalman: [00:24:47] okay So let me think a good. One. Hmm. Should I go with the purpose of life? Ones that are really ethereal
Anna Thalman: [00:24:54] What do you really want to know about Noam
Kent Thalman: [00:24:56] something really practical Something really practical. [00:25:00] So what are you thinking? Are you going to do one of those big ones? Oh, okay. I'll ask a practical one so you can I'll I'll let you pick the really cool one. I want to, could you just go into some detail about so far? What has been your approach to financing micro-budget films and what has been your experience? Distributing and or selling them.
Anna Thalman: [00:25:20] And can I just add what would be your advice to someone trying to do the same thing or to yourself in the past,
Noam Kroll: [00:25:27] in that regard? Yup. Great question. To answer sort of the financing part first, cause that's sort of the easy answer. Most of what I've done has either been self-financed or I've in one case for my last feature psychosynthesis I did a crowd funding that, that along with. Maybe $10,000 in my own money is what funded the feature. So I tend to do that because the movies at this scale and at this stage in my career that I want to make our micro budget features for all the [00:26:00] reasons that we've already outlined. And when you're trying to raise, you know, $20,000, sometimes it's actually easier just to bank that money yourself than to knock on a door because. Most investors who are serious, they don't want to invest $20,000. They want to invest 200,000 or 2 million, so they can actually make some real money on it. So yeah, at this stage I've really been financing my own films. I've been doing that with, you know, money that I make through all sorts of different means through my business, creative rebellion, creating commercials. For production companies also for on my online businesses, I have a couple of e-commerce stores that are piggybacked off of my blog, and those have really quickly become a very primary source of income. So I'm thankful that I'm able to finance my own films through these other business endeavors that I have. But I think what you're getting at in terms of the distribution angle, as it pertains to monetization [00:27:00] is really important to, to touch on for a second, because most filmmakers, again, they just like how people assume the metrics of success when they're making a film. Is it. Somebody else is willing to financially back them. They think that how much money they're moving makes is a metric of how successful they are as a filmmaker. But I don't think that Don is the case. And I also don't think that that's a healthy way of looking at things, especially on a micro budget level where most micro budget films. And, you know, maybe they make their money back, but if you're making a $20,000 movie and you make your money back, even if you double your money and you make $40,000, it's not like you're going to retire off of that money.
Kent Thalman: [00:27:42] Right.
Noam Kroll: [00:27:42] It's not like that's a sustainable business model. So the goal in making a film on this scale, right. Is not about return on investment. It's about return on investment only from the perspective of your career as a whole. Is it going to allow [00:28:00] you to build your audience slots If they get into a bigger film festival, get an agent, have a great calling card develop as an artist that is the value of the money that you put in and the distribution of it. You know, you could reach as many people as you want. Now, just put your movie on Amazon and you can run ads. You can go on blogs, casts like yours and promote your film and people will find your movie. And you'll start to build up a bit of a name for yourself, but as far as just trying to make money from the movie, I think that's the wrong approach that's trying to do what Hollywood does, but on a micro budgets. Scale, and it doesn't scale down there. It just doesn't work that way. You can make money as a result of your filmmaking efforts, but it's usually derivatives. It's usually either derivative products that you create where services, you know, for example, I sell courses on filmmaking or I sell color correction products on my website, send a [00:29:00] color. And the films that I make. Ultimately our kind of advertisements for all these other products that I have. So, you know, I did a whole breakdown on this recently, how let's say I sell a course for $250. If I were to rent my film on iTunes for two 99, you know, and I really get two 50, let's say from that, I have to sell a hundred of those. To make $250, right? So at the same time, I could just sell one filmmaking course and make the same amount of money. You have to look for ways to monetize your work in different capacities. For some people that's public. Speaking or teaching or creating products, services, whatever it is, but it does not have to be inextricably linked. So I know that was a kind of a long answer, but I think that that's, I don't know if that's the best I could probably share on, on that topic.
Kent Thalman: [00:29:55] Yeah. That's really helpful. And I'm really glad you went into that much detail. [00:30:00] I just want to encourage our listeners to just familiarize yourself with everything that Noah was doing, just so you can get an idea of his model and you can purchase. The educational material, which we'll go into even more depth on how he set this all up. And then I would also recommend subscribe to his free email list because there's great education there. We love it and stay up to date with what he's doing. I know might have better confidence that. Your career is going to be one worth watching, and we're going to enjoy watching your films as, as you continue to make them. So, yeah,
Anna Thalman: [00:30:32] I agree with that. And we'll definitely give you a minute, right. At the end to tell people where they can connect with you and learn more. I. Am kind of lumping three questions into one last one.
Kent Thalman: [00:30:43] I kind of cheated and did two in one
Noam Kroll: [00:30:45] No worries. I've got a text that I've got a few more minutes. 10 more minutes than I thought. So if we run on it, totally fine. But yeah, fire away when you're ready.
Anna Thalman: [00:30:57] I guess what I'm thinking about is I'm [00:31:00] curious about. Your why you decided to become a filmmaker. And just in general, I feel like we talked about how making a film is, is a miracle whenever you can. And it is a gift and it's something that people want so badly that many people think that they need to sacrifice everything, to be able to make a film. And as we've also talked about that, That's not really necessary, but I do think it's something people are very passionate about. And I'm sure you're also very passionate about, I want to ask you why. Do you think that is what is the power that films have? I'll just leave it at that. I won't try it. Yeah,
Noam Kroll: [00:31:39] well, no, it's a great question. I think that for me, it's something that a, again, this is such a cliche. Every filmmaker's probably said this. It kind of feels like it shows you like most of the time actually making films as much as I talk about wanting to enjoy the process, like most of it's not actually enjoyable, like, you know, [00:32:00] trying to raise funds, like we talked about or taking jobs that I don't necessarily love to put that money away to go and make it. Film or solving problems on set, getting into the edit room and seeing all the ideas that you had, that didn't quite land exactly how you wanted them to that stuff is, is very difficult. And it's not really for the faint of heart. And I think that you don't do it necessarily because it's this. You know, this easy thing or this thing, that's always just fun, even though it kind of looks like that before you get started. I think you just do it because you have to, I think it's a creative outlet, it's a release. It's almost, you know, some sort of form of therapy or something, you know, but it's, it's just a meditative experience. If I pick up my guitar and I play music for an hour, I feel so much better, you know, after that hour than I did before, it just. Clears my mind and some sort of self-expression same thing. If I [00:33:00] write a few good pages on a script, I have a really good writing day, and I'm not blocked that feeling of taking something that's in your mind and sharing it, hopefully in a way that's going to resonate with other people and be meaningful somehow and, you know, connect your mind and your thoughts. To other people and teach them something or express something to them. That's helpful. You know, I think that's where it all stems from. And if it was just about trying to get notoriety with your films or make money with your films, none of us would be doing this because there are no guarantees of that. It really has to come from that kind of burning desire to just, you know, self-express.
Anna Thalman: [00:33:42] Hmm. Interesting. Yeah. So what, on that note, what has been maybe. The best or the most beautiful filmmaking experience that you've ever had.
Noam Kroll: [00:33:54] That's a tough one. It's always easier to answer. What's the, the worst [00:34:00] add to that. Um, but honestly, I think it's funny to say this. But I think some of the best filmmaking experiences were like the very earliest ones, the first short films that I ever made that. Now, if I look it down, you know, 15 years later, I'll just cringe. They're awful and shot on little mini DV tapes and stupid. And the writing is horrible. Like everything you wrote them. I didn't write any of mine. Yeah, but it's just, yeah, there's something when you first just do it and you see everything come to life and you it's just like, as stressful as it can be, even in those early days. There's that moment where. I remember just sitting down, my friends had composed some music for this little short film I made and watching it back with them and just feeling it come to life.
Those memories of just seeing everyone's hard work and like the idea that I had [00:35:00] somehow get manifested that that's the reward. It's not been. You know, like I've never played at Sundance or anything like that, but I've played at some great film festivals and I've had cool in-person screenings and all sorts of stuff that had been sort of highlights from an external validation perspective. But those aren't the things I ever think of is, you know, the pivotal moments, it's always just sitting with a friend coming up with a great idea or looking back at something. Oh, wow. It looks so ugly in that location, but. Somehow it looks beautiful on, on the image we captured. That is kind of what I'm always chasing and hoping to sort of get that feeling on everything that I do.
Anna Thalman: [00:35:43] That's kind of sounds like a, either the dating or honeymoon phase of falling in love with film and then trying to
Kent Thalman: [00:35:50] capture that again. Yeah.
Noam Kroll: [00:35:55] It's easier to get early on. Cause you're so naive that everything you, even if [00:36:00] it's terrible, you kinda like it. And you're like, Oh, well, even though this is maybe garbage it's. So it's like, I know that I made it not knowing anything. And just with friends in this crappy little camera's. So like you still know that it has some sort of intrinsic value to it.
But yeah, I think now, yeah, with each subsequent film, that's something that, going back to that other question that does get harder to like, find that joy in the film that you're working on because you know, everything you work on. Okay, well, eventually a critic is going to see this, or I'm going to get this, someone's going to criticize how we tackled this part of the subject matter. You have so many things you're not as naive, so it doesn't allow you to have as many of those sort of moments of okay. Of just pure enjoyment of the process, but if you can get there, I think it's just so rewarding.
Anna Thalman: [00:36:51] Well, and it's also sort of the first time that you're harnessing this God-like power of being able to create something that didn't exist before and have [00:37:00] something that was just an idea in your head. Be this real thing you can share with other people that now exists. And it's almost like that idea that there's no ugly babies. Like there's no such thing as a baby. You don't love. You're just like, Oh my gosh, you're perfect. You know,
Kent Thalman: [00:37:14] yeah but we all know we fail on the first baby
Noam Kroll: [00:37:19] Other movies. I think that much more because everyone, like, I'm sure it's filmmakers, you know, we all have had the experience. Your chance of having other filmmakers, other people who are not filmmakers, who are friends or family members or whatever, kind of diminish what we do or, or not even personally or not that they're meaning to, but you know, just not getting how hard it is to write a script. Like how many times have we had a friend say, Oh, I, I could have written that movie better, or, you know, pick apart your, your, whatever it is. But you just don't know until you've, you've done it, you know how difficult it actually can be. And it's impossible to sort of appreciate [00:38:00] it. But yeah, I would be curious to at some point, have you guys on my podcast too? Cause I did. Now this is opening up a whole other set of questions that I want to ask you, but we'll, we'll have to do a cross over.
Anna Thalman: [00:38:12] Right. I know it's been, it's been really enjoyable at night. I'm sure it will be for our listeners as well. So, thank you so much for your time. How can people connect with you or learn more about your work?
Noam Kroll: [00:38:23] Sure. Well, the best way is to sign up for my newsletter. So if you go to noamkroll.com it's spelled N O A M K R O L l.com/newsletter. I have an archive of almost 150 newsletter articles that I've written all about. Filmmaking. And I really like the philosophy behind filmmaking and just being a creative person, a creative entrepreneur, et cetera. So that is where I always direct people. If they're just going to do one thing, I'd say sign up for that. And then through my same website, noamkroll.com you can find. All my social media, I'm on [00:39:00] Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. And you can also find my regular blog, which is hosted there with camera tips and reviews and stuff like that. And then my podcast show don't tell, which is 120 something episodes in right now. And a lot of fun. So lots of great content on there. So I'm sort of a lot of places right now, but yeah, the had is is that main website noamkroll.com So hopefully I'll see some of you guys over there.
Anna Thalman: [00:39:27] Yeah. We'll link to it in our show notes and definitely recommend that you guys check that out.
Kent Thalman: [00:39:31] Absolutely. Yeah. The movie you're working on now, I know you said you're working on a somewhat larger feature film right now. You're developing it. Is there any information out on your website or anywhere where we could learn about that as well?
Noam Kroll: [00:39:43] Not yet. I'm thinking about sort of going a little more public just to give myself incentive, to hold myself accountable. That's what I love about putting out content. If you say you're going to do something, then you, you kind of have to follow through with it. So, no, I haven't written about it yet. [00:40:00] I'm actually developing two projects. One is, is a larger project that I plan to raise some. Money for, because like I said, on this newsletter, you know, we're in quarantine and, or maybe not quarantine, but we're sort of like, it's a weird state right now, whatever you want to call it and why not, you know, spend some time knocking on doors and trying to get some money and writing something more ambitious. But I'm also writing a very small contained micro budget film that I. Maybe want to try to shoot in the next few months, even so, you know, hopefully there'll be some more details about both of those films approaching
Kent Thalman: [00:40:35] I apologize for laughing. It's it's like I'm talking to myself,
Anna Thalman: [00:40:38] You just described our situation. to us
Kent Thalman: [00:40:40] Exactly. We have two pitch decks. One is a micro budget and one is three quarters of a million.
Anna Thalman: [00:40:45] We really have been like nodding our heads. They're like, Oh yeah, that's everything you've been saying. So this is really fun.
Noam Kroll: [00:40:51] Yeah. Since you want it. And that's like for another podcast or something, but it's a great topic is, is having multiple projects on the go.
It's [00:41:00] one of the best ways to stay creative and not get too bogged down in one project. And, you know, especially when they're on different budget levels. So yeah, we're definitely on the same wavelength. And like I said, this was a lot of fun. I appreciate you guys having me on and hopefully we'll do it again sometime.
Anna Thalman: [00:41:16] Yeah. Thank you so much for
Kent Thalman: [00:41:18] Thanks so much, Noam. You have a great night.
Anna Thalman: [00:41:20] Thank you for joining us today. If you like what you're learning on the podcast, the best compliment you can give us as you know, is always a referral or a five star review. And when you're ready and you want to take these tools deeper to the next level, we encourage you to check out the film and family program.
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Bye. Bye .