Film and Family

Ep. 35 - Write Your Own Role

April 22, 2021
Film and Family
Ep. 35 - Write Your Own Role
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Film and Family
Ep. 35 - Write Your Own Role
Apr 22, 2021

Are you waiting for that perfect opportunity for a big shot producer or agent to see you in action and make you famous? Believe it or not, that hardly ever happens. In this episode we talk about lessons learned from life and La La Land, including how to write your own role and create the opportunity you want for yourself by yourself. 

This podcast is owned and sponsored by Invisible Mansion Pictures. For more resources, visit us at: www.invisiblemansion.com

Show Notes Transcript

Are you waiting for that perfect opportunity for a big shot producer or agent to see you in action and make you famous? Believe it or not, that hardly ever happens. In this episode we talk about lessons learned from life and La La Land, including how to write your own role and create the opportunity you want for yourself by yourself. 

This podcast is owned and sponsored by Invisible Mansion Pictures. For more resources, visit us at: www.invisiblemansion.com

Ep. 35 - Write Your Own Role

[00:00:00] Anna Thalman: [00:00:00] Hi, I'm Anna. 

[00:00:01] Kent Thalman: [00:00:01] And I'm Kent. 

[00:00:02] Anna Thalman: [00:00:02] And this is film and family podcast for filmmakers who want to see real progress in their film, careers without sacrificing their health or relationships hit subscribe to never miss an episode. 

[00:00:14] Kent Thalman: [00:00:15] Let's jump right in. 

[00:00:16] Anna Thalman: [00:00:17] Okay. Today we, 

[00:00:19] Kent Thalman: [00:00:19] It's a little late. Okay. So I'm having a hard time. *sigh* I don't know why I just got in a little bit of a late night high and I'm trying to come back down and be normal. All right. 

[00:00:31] Anna Thalman: [00:00:31] Kent's like a hyper sleepy person and I'm like 

[00:00:35] Kent Thalman: [00:00:35] that's not always true. 

[00:00:35] Anna Thalman: [00:00:35] A grumpy sleepy person. 

[00:00:37] Kent Thalman: [00:00:37] that's Not always 

[00:00:38] Anna Thalman: [00:00:38] well tonight. 

[00:00:39]Kent Thalman: [00:00:39] So there's this company called sweet, sweet Syria in Peachtree city that is at the farmer's market every Saturday. And I had a lot of their cookies tonight.

[00:00:48] Anna Thalman: [00:00:48] Blame it on 

[00:00:49] Kent Thalman: [00:00:49] you, should 

[00:00:50] Anna Thalman: [00:00:50] on them. 

[00:00:51] Kent Thalman: [00:00:51] You should, you should go to the farmer's market and become a patron of their cookies or other things they sell. And they're [00:01:00] awesome actually, Syrian refugees, and they're the nicest couple and their stuff is. Legit authentic. Super, super good. that's why I'm a little bit loopy, so, 

[00:01:14]Anna Thalman: [00:01:14] okay. so today we want to talk about this idea of writing your own role and. We'll start by just talking about how film is a little different than your typical job application process. I think that most of us and our parents grew up with this idea that you go to school. however much school that is whether high school, college master's, you know how far you go down the line of school and then you graduate and then you apply. to jobs. You look for jobs that are in your field. You apply to something that's entry level. You get. A job, hopefully. And then you kind of climb this ladder to the position that you want, 

[00:01:58] Kent Thalman: [00:01:58] or you go back to [00:02:00] school and get better education or certifications or qualifications. I know a lot of people who do that process to get better work. either a career shift or even just. Better positions within the work they do. teachers will often go back to get their masters because that'll bring them a bigger pay raise. 

[00:02:16]Anna Thalman: [00:02:17] but basically you get the job. Your resume has a huge part of whether or not you get the job because it's based on your training and your expertise 

[00:02:27]Kent Thalman: [00:02:27] And I think recommendations can have a big part to play in that if previous employers or people who've worked with you, more obviously not. Experienced people in corporate America, but the people I've talked to who are, family, friends, these are all things they talk about. So does that's our, secondhand, advice to those of you who want to go that route. but most of us in film understand that, it looks pretty different. 

[00:02:54] Anna Thalman: [00:02:54] Yeah. I think that even if you understand this. Even though we understood this to a degree, [00:03:00] it's still sort of a subconscious belief that I need to have a resume of experience or enough training to get a job, or people are going to look at that. 

[00:03:10] Kent Thalman: [00:03:10] I mean, I do look at them when I'm hiring and they're not bad to have, but they all look at a resume and it might be stellar and I'll look at a reel and be like, man, I'm not even going to talk to that person.

[00:03:21] Anna Thalman: [00:03:21] Yeah. you can do that and it works fine as sort of a day job. But I think that if you're wanting to direct feature films or act in feature films, that is a very slow pathway to try to get there. It's not guaranteed

[00:03:38]Kent Thalman: [00:03:38] if ever 

[00:03:38] Anna Thalman: [00:03:38] to get you there ever. we know a guy who won an Emmy and. He decided to take it off his resume, actually, because in the film industry that was hurting him, 

[00:03:51]Kent Thalman: [00:03:51] he went to LA and was applying for jobs that people were afraid to hire him for because he was overqualified for it because he had an Emmy, [00:04:00] a short film that had won an Emmy on his resume. And he actually thought that might be why they were avoiding hiring him at some of these jobs in LA. And he took it off his resume and people started talking to him more. 

[00:04:13]Anna Thalman: [00:04:13] He started getting jobs. So it might even be the opposite of how it works in the corporate world. 

[00:04:20] Kent Thalman: [00:04:20] That story still baffles me, but that's his experience.

[00:04:23] Anna Thalman: [00:04:23] Yeah. Yeah. So why do you think film is different? 

[00:04:28] Kent Thalman: [00:04:28] Why do I think, 

[00:04:29] Anna Thalman: [00:04:29] yeah. Why do you think that even in Hollywood, it's, you're still working for someone else, but It's very different from other industries. 

[00:04:35] Kent Thalman: [00:04:35] I think there's two reasons why, first of all, in film the bread, isn't no, that's not it. The bread is in the pudding is what I was going to say. If it's bread pudding, that's the case, but the idiom goes, the proof is in the pudding. because you know, no one really cares. Like Emmy, no one knows what that means anymore. There are so many [00:05:00] student or regional Emmys that mean various degrees of nothing or something. And you know, like there's all these other things you could put or accolades or film festival laurels or awards on your resume or on your stuff. But in the end, I'm just like, do you have like a, even like a trailer or like, can I see a body of your work? It depends on what you're. Applying for like, could I see some scenes you've acted in like, just the full scene, because reels are kind of weird. Sometimes. Hopefully reels have good chunks of scenes as an actor. So you're trying to get a sense of who is this person? What are they like to work with? so I think that's part of it is that the work has to speak for itself and no one really trusts a piece of paper. Or previous positions. 

[00:05:43] Anna Thalman: [00:05:43] And even if you say you won an Emmy, what does that mean? Like what role did you play? Because the film is a team effort, so 

[00:05:51] Kent Thalman: [00:05:51] well, yeah. And you might've won an Emmy for like actor or whatever, like your specific role. But, the other side of that, is that I feel like. [00:06:00] Film is also hyper subjective. So you're not just trying to find someone who's going to hire you because you're really, really good at what you do and you have great recommendations and your joy to work with. And you've got all the right things. Whereas any other job it's like, well, they can do the job. I need someone who can do the job who has a nice personality to work with. And. Is available and wants to work on film. It's like you might have a great personality. People might love to work with you. And you might have super great skills, but maybe your cinematography just isn't the right style for that project. Or maybe, you're too tall for that role. And that would really throw off the dynamic because it's a science fiction, thriller about a world with only midgets in it. You know, like you, you it's, it's that absurd kind of stuff that just keeps you out of positions and roles, 

[00:06:53] Anna Thalman: [00:06:53] or even like you're supposed to be the mother to another character and you just don't look like. that character's mother. 

[00:06:59] Kent Thalman: [00:06:59] Yeah. Yeah, it doesn't, [00:07:00] it doesn't work. So, so, you know, yeah. They've already cast the daughter or whatever. And so you just, there's a lot of subjectivity as well as personal preference that goes into that process. That exists, I think, in every world, but in film, it's a heavily subjective. Medium. So, uh, without sounding depressing, there's sometimes nothing you can do with job to job, you know? things like that. 

[00:07:27] Anna Thalman: [00:07:27] Yeah. Hmm. That's a good point. so do you feel like there are like gatekeepers and barriers to entry? I hear people talk about this. 

[00:07:36] Kent Thalman: [00:07:36] Yeah. Loads of people talk about beating the gatekeepers or working around the gatekeepers. there are a few different schools of thought that you and I have discovered at least, there's guys like, you know, there's people out there that are talking about their experience getting in through the Hollywood system, or fighting and dying against it. Oh man. Really wonderful actor director who did thunder [00:08:00] road, short film that went to Sundance. I can't remember his name for some reason. He's really awesome. You should look up thunder road on Vimeo. You can watch it really, really charming, short film, sort of a tragic comic. And he made it into a feature. He talks a lot about the struggles he's had in the festival and Hollywood systems. even though he's had a lot of success, he's very Indy. There are others Noam Kroll's , talked about gatekeepers a lot, but I think Noam Kroll comes at it from this perspective of the only way to beat the gatekeepers, I don't want to speak for him. So you should look at his own. educational, coursework that he offers on his website. but we've had him on the show and he's, talked a little bit about kind of getting around that Hollywood system, but then there's guys like David Sandberg who went from like making Vimeo horror films or like YouTube stuff. went viral and then he ended up, with representation and directed. Lights out and then Annabel 2 . And then Shizam so in three movies, he went fast up the Hollywood chain [00:09:00] and is doing great for himself and he's got excellent content online. So do I believe in gatekeepers? yeah, I believe that there are some people who have a scarcity mentality in that business, especially in Hollywood. They're very competitive in LA. do I believe that that gatekeeper is going to keep me out of anywhere? might keep me out of working with them, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to keep me out of my own career, my own film making 

[00:09:24] Anna Thalman: [00:09:24] well, and I do feel like historically it's been very, very hard. It still is very, very hard to make it in this industry. And so 

[00:09:33] Kent Thalman: [00:09:33] whatever that means to you. 

[00:09:33] Anna Thalman: [00:09:33] Yeah. Whatever that means, to be in a position where you are making films for a living, the way that you want to. And I think that some of the people who've worked very hard to earn that status might. Kind of protected or feel like it shouldn't be easier for everyone else than it was for them. so sometimes I feel like I see that attitude of, just like, it was hard for me. So it's going to be hard for you and I'm not going to tell you how I did it. I'm not going to [00:10:00] help you because you have to pass through that fire just like I did, which there's a degree of that anyway, but I also think we can be charitable and there. There is no scarcity of work or of stories to be told. And if I can turn around and save someone the trouble that I've had to go through to end up where I am, I'm happy to do that. I think that is great. If our world can become simpler and easier and less expensive for everyone to tell stories, 

[00:10:29] Kent Thalman: [00:10:29] and it's democratizing significantly and some of my favorite filmmakers or people that described. A very Rocky entry into even mainstream Hollywood filmmaking, Carol Ballard said he didn't know what he was doing for the first several weeks on set of the black stallion. He was only there because he was friends with Francis Ford Coppola from college. and that's one of my favorite movies ever. He was totally able, but he had to have someone believe in him and put him in that position. And he said, he felt like he was just falling apart for several, for a couple of weeks. He said, if he said he's out it, there would have been a producer on set. He would [00:11:00] have. For sure been fired, but no one knew he was making that movie. No one cared. So they just figured it out as they went. And he was an amazing filmmaker. He still is. I hope he keeps making some movies. We've actually met him. the other example is David Sandberg. He just ended up in the middle of the big Hollywood movie and he said he had no idea what anyone's jobs, where he'd made movies by himself in like, Sweden. and yet he's very liberal with his. What he's learned in his perspectives online on his YouTube channel. And it's really cool to see a Hollywood director. Who's making big stuff like DC comic movies and mainstream stuff like that. Who's just talking about how he got the job and he just he's very open about, his work. and then even guys like Spielberg, he. helps a lot of young filmmakers, (?) ? Greta Gerwig. Have all talked about Stevens, helping them and giving them advice. And he's taken a lot of young filmmakers under his wing. He gave Vin diesel the role in saving private Ryan because he thought he had a directorial career ahead of him [00:12:00] ended up being an acting career, who knows what the future will bring. But there are a lot of people I think, who are the opposite of gatekeepers. I think they are. I'm really trying to help people. 

[00:12:09] Anna Thalman: [00:12:09] Definitely. Well, and I just be clear. Definitely don't think that. That this podcast, the intent is not to, speak badly of anyone or anything. I just want to talk about some things you might think, you know, you might think that there are gatekeepers who might think that there are these barriers to entry or that it's all about applying to jobs with a resume, with lots of education on there, or that it's all about who, you know, and. Just kind of present another option that might be a little different than that. of course there are many ways to get to the same destination and you can pick the one that feels perfect for you. but here's just some ideas. So on that note, do you feel like it's about who, you know, 

[00:12:57] Kent Thalman: [00:12:57] I was just going to ask you that I was just gonna ask you that [00:13:00] question. I'd be interested to know if you believe it's about, is it about who, you know, 

[00:13:04] Anna Thalman: [00:13:05] I think to some degree, it helps, helps to know people. You're not going to get jobs repeatedly just because you know, people, but you might get opportunities to prove what you can do because you know, someone who believes in you, it gives you that chance. I think that's a beautiful thing, but of course you can't just know someone and they'll, you know, open it up over and over and over and over. And if you're not also having something to show for it, but 

[00:13:35] Kent Thalman: [00:13:35] I'll add to that on the who, you know, who, you know, doesn't always have to be, you know, Orson Wells who says draft up. Standard rich and famous contract, like at the end of the Muppets reference. Yeah. don't have to know like some big Hollywood executive or someone who's just going to be like, I'm going to green light your future for you. who, you know, might have more to do with what Tom McCarthy mentioned on, [00:14:00]DGA podcast interview when he was on the, nominees panel for the DGA directors award, for spotlight. And they said, what would you tell. A young filmmaker right now trying to become a director. And he said, find your people, find those people that will make films with you in a way that's comfortable and safe. And let me say, those are hard people to find. They're not the people that are gonna, you know, just dump cash on you always. It's great if, they happen to have that cash, but even if they're all broke and you're broke. Finding the people that are like, I am going to be on this group and there's the DP friend and there's the actor friends, and there's the producer friends and there's the director friends. And they all kind of get together and they say, well, we're all going to wear whatever hats we've got to wear. And we're just going to jump into this thing together. So yeah, you got to know those people and if you don't have very many of those people, sometimes it starts with two people. And it's you and your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your. Your platonic friend or, you know, [00:15:00] just together in your crummy looking apartment and you go, what can we do here? What can we do with this little cheap camera? Let's come up with a story and, it's, and it becomes what you know. 

[00:15:11]Anna Thalman: [00:15:12] yeah, 

[00:15:12] Kent Thalman: [00:15:12] but I've heard someone also say it and they flip that statement around. They said, it's not about who, you know, it's about, who knows you, which brings me to my point of. the only way people get to know you is by creating things and putting it out there. And that is what happened with David Sandberg. He created a few shorts, got known in Sweden for them, and then he made lights out the short film and it went super viral. And then people from LA just started talking to him because it went so viral. and it was really strong. It was strong. They said, wow, this is directorial talent. And We could hire this guy to do something. And since the short went viral, make it into a feature. that's a big, huge example, but even if it's not that, You just got to make your stuff and put it into festivals, put it on Vimeo. , put it [00:16:00] on YouTube. Share it with everyone. You possibly can build up a website with a portfolio of stuff and just keep making stuff and share it everywhere. And it's hard. We realized this even just a little bit ago, we were like, wow, have we put our last short film anywhere that we made like two years ago? Have we shared it with anyone? And we went, no, because we didn't want to. So, 

[00:16:22] Anna Thalman: [00:16:23] and if you look at a lot of modern directors and look backwards at their history and where they got to, where they are, a lot of them are doing it this way. You look at Damien Chazelle, Barry Jenkins, Christopher Nolan, they all started with. a feature or a short, 

[00:16:37] Kent Thalman: [00:16:37] usually a no budget feature. 

[00:16:39] Anna Thalman: [00:16:40] Yeah. And they just got their friends together and made it. so I love that point that you brought up Kent that it's not just like some big, hot shot that you meet at the right time. And then they suddenly believe in you and give you this big, huge opportunity. It just doesn't look like that. not that you probably think that it looks like that, but [00:17:00] one of my favorite movies of all time is Lala land and. This film covers this topic really nicely. You see at the beginning, the somewhere in the crowd, a song where 

[00:17:12] Kent Thalman: [00:17:12] network network, network network 

[00:17:13] Anna Thalman: [00:17:13] yeah they come back home from all these auditions and go to a party to go meet people. And maybe they'll meet someone in the crowd who will be the one to, yeah. 

[00:17:24] Kent Thalman: [00:17:24] Need to know, lift you off the ground. 

[00:17:26] Anna Thalman: [00:17:26] Yep. So everyone's looking for that, someone in the crowd, but then that you feel very lonely and you're just surrounded by other people who are looking for someone else in the crowd 

[00:17:36] Kent Thalman: [00:17:36] everyone's selling. No one's buying 

[00:17:37] Anna Thalman: [00:17:37] and those big shots are not there. They're not at this parties. exactly. So, but then later Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling who played Mia and Sebastian meet each other. Right. And become friends and neither of them is a big shot and they kind of make fun of each other for the positions that they're in. and yet they are friends and they are dreamers and they support each other. [00:18:00] And because of that support and encouragement, they are able to get their shot. And also because Mia Mia's character, if you haven't seen this movie, go watch it. writes her own play, right. He encourages her to make her own stuff, stop auditioning for all these other jobs and just write your own play until she writes her own thing where she's a one woman show and she performs, it feels like a big failure. No one shows up. But of the few people who did there actually was someone who saw it and invited her to audition for something else. And that connection did matter, but it wasn't just because she met this person it's because she showed what she could do. And she did what she wanted to be doing and getting paid to do, which is acting in a lead role.

[00:18:49]Kent Thalman: [00:18:49] Yeah. And, she is an actress who wrote a play for herself, 

[00:18:55] Anna Thalman: [00:18:55] the character, 

[00:18:56] Kent Thalman: [00:18:56] an actress, and then became and was [00:19:00] seen by someone who needed an actress, an actress that fit her bill. I've probably mentioned this on, on the show, on the podcast before, but I'll mention it again because it's really relevant to this conversation. Jonathan breagle, who was one of my favorite commercial DPS working right now, he works at variable and now he's doing a lot of more personal stuff, really talented guy. he said fashion work is so important because. You allow people to recognize you as the person who makes the things that you most want to make. And if all you make is the stuff people pay you for, you'll never get paid to do the stuff you actually want to do, unless you make it enough first that they start paying you to do it. And so I heard that and I said, well, I think it'd be really interesting to make a documentary about my son learning to read. And then just a few months later, I was working with this company that was creating ad content for a client that made reading curriculum for like three and four [00:20:00] five-year-olds. And I said, Hey, well, I have this documentary here. So instead of doing this punched up comedic script, would you guys have already kind of tried? Why don't we do this documentary thing instead, and just show a kid using the curriculum and learning to read. And my son's the perfect age. And they looked at this little doc and they're like, wow. That's like, Exactly what we need. And then I got paid really good money to make a documentary about my son learning, to read, which was like this absurd dream never would have expected to become a reality. Like people are actually paying me to do that. And so, most of us here are wanting to make full-time livings out of feature filmmaking in some capacity, whether we're actors. Directors, cinematographers editors. but whatever that is, why don't we do what Mia did and write ourselves a role, whether that's, an acting role or behind the camera.

[00:20:53] Anna Thalman: [00:20:53] Yeah. I actually noticed another example of this when I've sold things on Facebook marketplace and [00:21:00] I noticed that people sell things on there and they will. Take a picture of something that's in their garage and it's dusty and it doesn't look too good. 

[00:21:09] Kent Thalman: [00:21:09] Really obscured by other things like cobwebs and like it's. 

[00:21:13] Anna Thalman: [00:21:13] And if I can see the potential in something, sometimes I'll go buy it anyway. Even though it looks really not good in the picture. And then I'll just dust it off. I'll put some nice pillows on it. I'll put it in a nice room. I'll, maybe not even change the piece at all, but just the context of it. So I'm showing its potential. And someone can see this thing, not just in a small isolated existence, but with some context around it and then they want to buy it. And I sold things for triple and five times what I bought them for, which I don't really do anymore. It's kind of this funny little side hobby to flip things on Facebook, but. it just goes to show what a difference. It makes to see something in context to see its potential. And so if you can pick [00:22:00] exactly the role that you want to do, what would be that ideal job for you and show how you can do that? before anyone pays you to you're showing your potential and then jobs will come around or someone says, Hey, I'm looking for. A director exactly. Like you, who can make something like this and you'll find those people or they'll find you 

[00:22:22] Kent Thalman: [00:22:22] or make this exactly. In the case of David Sandberg, they just said, do you want to make that short film? You just made into a feature because that was so effective. The concept was strong and everyone loved it. It got millions of views. So you've already got an audience. So just make it into a feature and guess what happened? It was just as good as the short. It had a lot more money behind it and it had a big audience and that movie , made, that movie, made tons of money compared to its budget. It was very successful. So the point being sometimes they don't even say, can you make something akin to this thing? You know, in my case, it was that [00:23:00] my kid like learning to read, it was like, it was exactly the same thing. I literally didn't do anything different. I had the same camera and the same apartment with the same subjects, doing the same thing with just a different book.

[00:23:10] Anna Thalman: [00:23:10] So once you've done it before someone comes along, who says, I need a video of a kid learning to read you are the perfect person to do that because you've already shown you can do that. so that's a case for doing passion work, just doing something that you love in exactly the role that you want, as opposed to trying to work up the ladder, doing sort of periphery jobs that are similar to what you want to do, but not actually what you want to do. Which is not a bad way to pay the bills. If that's your day job, you'll probably learn some skills, but 

[00:23:44] Kent Thalman: [00:23:44] kinda rhymed 

[00:23:47] Anna Thalman: [00:23:47] fills and skills, 

[00:23:48]Kent Thalman: [00:23:48] and rhyming skills. 

[00:23:50] Anna Thalman: [00:23:50] But if you, do that and set aside the passion work, or just wait for someone to offer you a job, to do the passion work. It probably won't [00:24:00] come and we've had to learn this lesson every single time. We've created a different kind of video product in our production company. From the very beginning, we started doing little wedding videos and we. Started telling everyone that we were making wedding videos and we'd never made one before and no one was hiring us to make them a wedding video. And it was funny how we felt 

[00:24:21] Kent Thalman: [00:24:21] you had to pull teeth to get someone to pay like a hundred bucks.

[00:24:23] Anna Thalman: [00:24:23] Yeah. We were like, what? It's super affordable and we'll make you a great video. but We just had not shown that we could do it. And it wasn't until we made. A video for free. The people started to pay us a little bit of money, and then we made some more videos for a little bit of money and we started to be able to charge more 

[00:24:42] Kent Thalman: [00:24:42] And we got commercial's right off the bat too. And we just said, we are going to make a video every week of something. And we only did that for a few weeks before people started to hire us. And it wasn't like we weren't going viral. We weren't putting it out all over the place 

[00:24:57] Anna Thalman: [00:24:57] and it wasn't even amazing stuff we were making. 

[00:24:59] Kent Thalman: [00:24:59] some of it [00:25:00] never got finished. Honestly, I don't know how this happened, but like we just started doing stuff and when you're out doing stuff, then people start to notice you as that person doing that thing. Yeah. And I, yesterday, yesterday, Was shooting pickups. This was a really big, big movie set. It was me, my camera lonely me by myself with Anna, with a binder and an adult actress and our little three-year-old girl. That was the whole kit and caboodle. So it didn't look like anything impressive. like, Oh my gosh, they're making a huge movie over there. Everyone be quiet. Some guy comes over, we're on the golf cart path in Peachtree city. And a guy pulls over on a golf cart and goes, Hey, so is that a red Komodo? You've got there. I said, yeah, what are you into? You're clearly familiar with what we're doing here. So, and he goes, Oh, I've directed. Like a gazillion movies. He said, I've [00:26:00] directed 70 movies and I've produced 120. And I said, Oh, wow. Yeah. So it sounds like you're doing this for a living and he handed me his business card and it looks like he makes a lot of movies for lifetime. And he said he was making one movie for lifetime right now. you know, I don't know if that's going to go anywhere if we're going to work with that guy or it doesn't really matter. he was really nice by the way. He just saw us and that potentially, that could have been anybody, you know, that could have been the person you want to know. But what did I say when he said, what are you doing? We're making a feature film. We're doing some pickup shots on a feature film we're making right now. Oh, you make feature films. Bam. That is now your identity to that person. Who's known you for 30 seconds. So, you know, you're out there, you've got this big camera. Sometimes people don't even know what the heck it is and they just go, wow, that, that looks like a real movie camera. 

[00:26:45] Anna Thalman: [00:26:45] Or sometimes they say, Oh, you're taking photos, cute photos,

[00:26:52] Kent Thalman: [00:26:52] irrelevant example. Yeah. I don't know how they get that from

[00:26:59] camera, [00:27:00] the Komodo isn't too monstrous, but compared to a typical muralist, they're not looking at camera. 

[00:27:05] Anna Thalman: [00:27:05] They're not looking at the camera. Those are people just looking at the actresses or whatever, 

[00:27:09] Kent Thalman: [00:27:09] or the cute little girl,

[00:27:10]Anna Thalman: [00:27:10] cute little girl. 

[00:27:11]Kent Thalman: [00:27:12] so you're out there, you're out and about, and you're doing stuff. And then people go, Oh, look at those people out there. Always making YouTube videos or wedding videos or. Or commercials or feature films. and in Peachtree city, we've become known as this sort of little production and people are starting to know who we are. Kind of like everyone in Preston, Idaho knew about Napoleon dynamite when it was being made. I don't think that was where they got their break, you know, 

[00:27:42]Anna Thalman: [00:27:42] And we have had people stop us and say, Oh, Hey, do you do other stuff? Do you do commercials? 

[00:27:47] Kent Thalman: [00:27:47] Yeah. Do you do these kinds of videos 

[00:27:51] Anna Thalman: [00:27:51] just who saw us out on the street filming things. So, it's true that when you are becoming who you want to be. You have to practice like anything you practice [00:28:00] before you become that person and you practice by doing what it is you want to do and what you want to get good at. So if you want to be a piano player, you practice the piano. If you want to be a film director, you practice directing whatever you can practice directing. That's what you do. And the more passionate you are about it, the better. because that means you'll get to make more stuff like it. 

[00:28:21] Kent Thalman: [00:28:22] And, , so that brings me back to how this film that we're making has done. All those things for us to some degrees so far the, who do you know is the people you can make movies with. We started in another state, not in Georgia, and we didn't have a very big network here making this feature film has forced us to start finding actors and casting locally for a lot of all the roles, except for two. we had to start reaching out to people who had locations and we had to reach out to. crew and stuff like that. And we have [00:29:00] gotten to know our people here in Georgia, which has been a huge blessing. We've kind of been slow to do that. And then the who knows you. a lot of that has been happening from this film, as well. And so it brings me to this point that Chris McQuarrie, the director of many things, including the last two. Soon to be three mission, impossible films, five, six, and then seven. he had a really cool Twitter thread that he posted that you can look up and try and find about, a seven-year stall that he experienced in his career after I think an Oscar nomination and he was a writer and he was like, no one is hiring me to write. And at some point he realized he had to just. Make movies, whatever that meant. I just have to make them. So if I want to be a writer, I'm going to write them and then make them, and then I've got a bunch of movies that I've written, but he said, the reason the writers sometimes get a bad rap is because they just write these movies and then they try and hustle them around and say, everyone should make my movies. [00:30:00] And it's like, why don't you make your movies? And then I think everyone else on the flip side sits around and goes, I don't know how to write scripts. I don't have any good. Screenwriting material, but I don't have the money to like option a big script. Or maybe I don't have friends who are really talented at this yet. Or if I do they're too big, you know, answer my texts anymore. so write your own. Do what Mia did in Lala land. the point is, is that we can't sit around waiting for everyone to do all the positions for us. At some point, we've got to say, well, if no, one's going to write it. I'm going to write it. If no, one's going to direct it for me, I'm going to direct it. And if no, one's going to act in it I'll act in it. Or my dog can act in it, or my kids will act in it, you know, like, or I'll make it about a tree and I'll just, you know, whatever, and I'll animate it, you know? And you just use what you have and, you write the role for yourself or you make the movie for yourself. If you're a writer, which you can do. 

[00:30:56]Anna Thalman: [00:30:56] Yeah. And you can do this in any position that you want to [00:31:00] be in. So you can come up with an idea and say, Hey, I'm looking for someone who wants to help me make this idea or write this idea and I'm going to direct it, or I'm going to act in it, or I'm going to sound mix it, whatever it is that you do that you want love to do, 

[00:31:15] Kent Thalman: [00:31:15] if you're from Georgia. And you're trying to. fund your own feature films so that you can be known as a sound mixer. You're actually are probably doing it wrong because all you have to do is say that you're a sound mixer and people. hire you here. 

[00:31:26]Anna Thalman: [00:31:26] there's a great shortage. 

[00:31:27] Kent Thalman: [00:31:27] There's a great shortage of sound mixer. So calling all sound mixers, please come to Georgia. you'll be busy unless a thousand of you come because of this podcast episode, then you might be inundated with competition, but. I would prefer that problem, frankly, for myself, because I'm not a sound mixer. 

[00:31:45] Anna Thalman: [00:31:45] So whoever you are and whatever job you're interested in, you can think of, let's say you're a DP and you think, what would I love to shoot? What would be so cool to see on my camera? You know, what would I love to capture and write [00:32:00] something based on that concept. If you don't want to write, you can find other writers and read. What they've written, there's plenty of writers out there. Who've written stuff that they want to see made, and maybe you find something you connect with. But I also think that if you want this badly enough, I mean, for me personally, I'm like, I want this badly enough that I'm willing to do other roles. I'm willing to sound, mix it myself. I'm willing to write it myself. I'm willing to do other roles besides directing. To get this thing made and that's how badly I want to see this story get told. And eventually I'll be able to hire other people. And I won't have to do so many roles or wear so many hats, but if that's the price that I pay to get, to make something, it's worth it to me. And I assume that the same is true for many of you. 

[00:32:51] Kent Thalman: [00:32:51] Yeah. It's the cost of, high-end certifications, higher education. it's just, a necessary step in the process. And you don't even have to fund the whole thing yourself, it [00:33:00] just means it might still be costly. Even if you're not getting paid very much for a feature, that'll get costly, if not in other ways, at least in time. and you can also make shorts and you can also make YouTube content and you can also make whatever it is you want to be doing. for us. We did some shorts and then we decided it was time to prove ourselves as feature filmmakers and we'll see what the future brings. But, I'm not opposed to doing anything that will prove that I can do what I wanted to be doing. 

[00:33:26]Anna Thalman: [00:33:26] so we encourage you to do the same, essentially, encouraging you to show off what you're able to do.

[00:33:32] Kent Thalman: [00:33:32] share. 

[00:33:33] Anna Thalman: [00:33:33] And share, I like permission to show off as sort of you might think that it seems selfish or it seems like a waste of time, but you get paid for everything that you do. So even if

[00:33:44] Kent Thalman: [00:33:44] and I don't share because it's like a service 

[00:33:47] Anna Thalman: [00:33:47] better place to come from. Um, no, that's okay. I was just quoting your dad. I don't know if he's quoting someone else, but 

[00:33:55] Kent Thalman: [00:33:55] no, he's always said this. I don't know if he was quoting anyone. I don't think. 

[00:33:58] Anna Thalman: [00:33:58] he's always said that you get paid [00:34:00] for everything you do. And we've realized that we always had to do things for free before we got paid to do them, which essentially helped me realize that we do get paid for everything that we do. Some things take longer to pay out, but that pay does come. And so, one last little story to finish off. I had a discussion with a client one time that's coming to mind where she was talking about getting into the film industry and how it seemed to her that so many people had an easy way in as if there was a party going on in a house and everyone was just going through the front door. And for some reason she was not. Able to go through the front door. And the only way for her to get into the house was through the back pass, which was dark and muddy and full of bushes and thorns and all this stuff. And so she was kind of incessantly focused on how do [00:35:00] I get through the front door? That's how everyone else is doing it. That's how I want to do it. I should be able to go through the front door. It should be just as easy for me as it appears to be for other people. And the more. We talked about this. She eventually realized that all of the time that she'd spent trying to find a way through this front door, this easier way she could have just spent going around through the back door. And even if it was a harder road to get there, you know, no matter where you're starting from, you may feel that you're disadvantaged in some way, and you may be in some way, but no matter where you're starting from. If you start moving forward, that's going to get you where you want to go faster, then trying to find an easy way. And so we kind of talked about that and I just thought that was a cool image in my mind of like, yeah, even if I'm starting and I have a disadvantage and I can't go in an easy way, like I don't have family in the industry. I don't have some sort of in, [00:36:00] I wasn't born into lots of money that I could use to make my own films. I don't have that easy in that other people might have, But I do have a way in, and I'm grateful for that and I'm going to take it and I'm going to go. And then once I get there, I'm going to turn around and see someone else in my same position, maybe lots of people and go open that front door for them. If I can and make it a little easier or show them the pathway that I, you know, the trail that I blazed to get there so that they don't have to. hacked through the bushes as much. So 

[00:36:31] Kent Thalman: [00:36:31] she chopped those bushes down. 

[00:36:33] Anna Thalman: [00:36:33] Yeah. Yeah. So, I just wanted to share that story. I think it's kind of relevant that, it's better to just move forward and do the best with what you have than to spend your time wishing it was different.

[00:36:46] Kent Thalman: [00:36:46] And I think frankly, there was no back way for many years into this business and now more and more people are going through the back way. And now they're sideways and parachute [00:37:00] ways. And I don't know other ways that people are getting holes into this parties, this house, whatever. Anyway, you can overextend metaphor sometimes is the lesson that we want to leave with you. but my point is very few people that I know get in the front way. There are some people out there that are still doing it, you know, and their dad is a super famous pop singer or they're. Uncle is super famous film producer director. Anyway, all of my favorite filmmakers got in some sort of back way. Everyone we've mentioned today got in some sort of back way. the back way was film school and then the back way became festivals and it still is to some degree, some sort of just. Getting your work on some sort of platform that people will watch it. Spielberg walked into the studio and made people watch his stuff. At least that's the story I heard. And then, Kubrick and those guys, they went through the, you know, there were those other films, school brats, and Spielberg was one of those too. And then, you know, film schools is where you looked for filmmakers back then. And then, Nolan [00:38:00] Rodriguez. even almost Chezel, these people were the film festival children, right? Chezel's road was a little longer in some ways. and then now in the YouTube Vimeo, social media age, There's tons of platforms. it's getting noisier more crowded, but it doesn't change the fact that you've got to make stuff and you've got to get people to watch it. So that's the only way it hasn't changed really. Since the beginning of time you make stuff and you get people to watch it. So, 

[00:38:28] Anna Thalman: [00:38:29] so think about that. Think about if you could write your own role, what would it be and how would you get started and how could you get started right now with what you have moving towards that? and if you'd like some help. I have a program, my coaching program, which is on www.invisiblemansion.com, where I'm going to help you make your first feature. And I guarantee that result or your money back. So make your movie or your money back. It's going to be the best. Film school you [00:39:00] could ever go through to make this feature. It's a chance to show what you can do to meet your people. There are so many good things that come from that first experience. And the first one's the hardest one. So that's where I like to start. and we're going to do it different than Hollywood. We're going to do it in a way that doesn't require you to sacrifice your values or your health or your relationships, or any of the other things you care about.

[00:39:24] Kent Thalman: [00:39:24] And most of you aren't in a position like when you're in Hollywood. And you're making millions of dollars. You know, some people would just throw that up and everything else up in the air, but like most of us have day jobs or side hustles or families or anything else that we're trying to balance. So that first feature in lots of ways feels like a big problem. So this is about balance and, That coaching, those coaching principles are what kept us alive through super hard. First film. 

[00:39:54] Anna Thalman: [00:39:54] Yeah. I'm not promising. It will be easy. It probably won't. It'll be hard. 

[00:39:57] Kent Thalman: [00:39:57] I can promise you it will not be easy 

[00:39:59] Anna Thalman: [00:39:59] I [00:40:00] can guarantee that, but you can do it and, Yeah, that all starts with a consultation call. So you can go ahead and sign up for that on my website. That first call is free. Very insightful all by itself. You're going to see where you're at, where you want to go. What's stopping you. And if this is a good fit, if it is a good fit, then we'll see if there's an opening for you or put you on a wait list. So I look forward to, hearing from you and good luck writing your role. It'll be exciting to see. What you do. 

[00:40:30] Kent Thalman: [00:40:30] Awesome. Thanks for joining us on this episode. Hope you have a great week. 

[00:40:33]Anna Thalman: [00:40:33] See you next time. 

[00:40:34] Kent Thalman: [00:40:34] Bye.