What are you willing to sacrifice to make your filmmaking dream come true? How bad do you want it? These are the questions I’ll be discussing in today’s episode. If you are looking for something to get you revved up look no further. This is my “tough love” episode. I keep running into filmmakers and people in the business who just like to talk or hide behind excuses. I have two things to say about that.
- Life doesn’t care about excuses.
- The film business doesn’t care about your circumstances.
There are 24 hours in a day. I breakdown 24 hours and I promise you will find out that you have, at least, 4-6 hours a day to dedicate to your craft and dream. Yes, even for those who have a 2-hour commute, work 8 hours and have a family. The power to make your dream to become a reality is only in your hands. No one else’s! I really hope this episode lights that fire in your belly to make your dream come true.
Please share this episode with anyone you think needs to hear it. Listen to this often. Enjoy and keep on hustling.
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Alex Ferrari 0:00
Welcome to the bulletproof screenplay podcast episode number 35. If you don't have time to read, you do not have time to write Stephen King, broadcasting from a dark windowless room in Hollywood when we really should be working on that next draft. It's the bulletproof screenplay podcast showing you the craft and business of screenwriting while teaching you how to make your screenplay bulletproof. And here's your host, Alex Ferrari. Welcome. Welcome to another episode of The Bulletproof screenplay podcast. I am your humble host, Alex Ferrari. Now today's show is sponsored by bulletproof script coverage. Now, unlike other script coverage services, bulletproof script coverage actually focuses on the kind of project you are and the goals of the project you are. So we actually break it down by three categories micro budget, indie film market and studio film. There's no reason to get coverage from a reader that used to reading tentpole movies when your movies gonna be done for $100,000 and we wanted to focus on that at bulletproof script coverage. Our readers have worked with Marvel Studios CAA, WM E, NBC, HBO, Disney, Scott free Warner Brothers, the blacklist and many many more. So if you need your screenplay or TV script covered by professional readers, head on over to cover my screenplay.com and today's show is also sponsored by indie film hustle TV, the world's first streaming service dedicated to filmmakers, screenwriters, and content creators. If you want access to filmmaking documentaries feature films about filmmaking, interviews with some of the top screenwriters and filmmakers in Hollywood, as well as educational online courses all in one place. ifH. TV is for you. Just head over to indie film hustle.tv. Today, guys, I have one question and one question only to ask you. How bad do you want it? That is the question we're going to explore in today's episode. This is what I like to call my tough love episode. I've been talking in consulting with a lot of filmmakers lately. And just meeting them on my you know, when I talk and, and workshops and things like that, and I just wanted to address this and wanted to address this and hopefully this episode will light a fire in your button anytime you're feeling a little low or down. This is the episode you're going to turn back on to get you revved up. So the question again is how bad do you want it? What are you willing to sacrifice to make your dreams come true? And I don't want to hear any excuses. I know we all have life. We all have things that we have to do. And we have financial restraints and all this kind of good stuff. I get it. Trust me, I get it. But I have one thing to tell you. Life doesn't care. This business does not care about your problems, your excuses, or your circumstances. Period.
No one is coming to save you. Let me repeat, no one is coming to save you. There isn't going to be a magical God from Mount Hollywood, who's going to come down and bequeath you the new David Fincher, the new Chris Nolan the new Tarantino, and they're going to give you $200 million to go do whatever you want. That doesn't happen. I promise you, that will not happen. Just like Mark Duplass says, the Calvary is not coming. You've got to do it yourself. And I know a lot of you listening right now like well, you know, you know Tarantino got this or, or you know, got this opportunity. Or Chris Nolan got that opportunity. Or David Fincher and I'm just using a few guys, you know, the Coen Brothers, it goes on and on many, many different directors who've made it into into Hollywood and working in bigger sandboxes than we are. And I know you probably say, Oh, this or that they had this happen if I would have that happen to me, I wouldn't be able to do it. I promise you something that nobody in this business has gotten to where they are without busting their butt. Without hustling hard. I promise you. Okay, there's no royalty, that automatically gets you. And I'm sure there's nepotism. But there's no royal you know, if your last name is Spielberg doesn't mean that you're going to direct the next big thing. It doesn't work that way in Hollywood. It only gets you so far. If you do have that luxury. The most of us don't have the last name Spielberg or or Scorsese or any of the other big names. It's about you hustling, busting your butt and killing yourself to get where you want to be and what you're trying to do. Alright, so just take that myth right out of your head. Nobody got anything handed to them. No one. I've been in this business long enough. And I've studied and spoken to enough filmmakers to see that every single one of them started somewhere. They all started wherever they started, whether it be in commercials, whether it be making an indie film, whether it writing a screenplay that got him some notice, they all busted their ass. All you guys see is what happened afterwards. Everyone just saw Tarantino and Reservoir Dogs. That's all they saw. Like, oh, he just blew up overnight. The man was busting his ass in town for close to a decade trying to get his stuff done and get seen and made. Okay, mariachi, another one. I was like to bring up Robert Rodriguez. Everyone says, Oh, he got a $7,000 movie. And it was all this or that. You know what, but no one talks about the 40 or 50 short films that he'd made prior to that, or all the hustle and creativity at the bust to get El Mariachi out. And the list goes on and on. I could talk about filmmakers all day with these stories. They all busted their butt. Now I know a lot of you listening right now are telling me Alex, I work for a living man, I don't have time to dedicate a lot of time to dedicate to my, my art my craft my dream. I've got to pay the bills, I get that. I get it. But I want to let's break that down for a second. You've got 24 hours in a day. Okay, 24 hours in a day. So let's break it down. So let's say you sleep for seven hours, I'm being kind by giving you seven hours. Let's say you sleep seven hours. All right, then I'm going to give you an hour to wake up, take a shower, brush your teeth, have some breakfast, and get ready for the day. That's eight hours gone. Now I'm gonna even give you two hours of commute an hour, they're an hour bet you're you're hustling hard to get to work. Most of us don't have hour, an hour, hour and a half commute to work many of you do. But I'm going to give you those two hours of commute. Okay, whether it's 30 minutes or an hour, I'm going to give you that. So that's two extra hours while you're commuting. By the way, you're generally going to be either riding a bike, walking, driving a car, or on a train somewhere, generally, that's what it's gonna be. So during that time of commute, what can you be doing to get you closer to your dream? What can you be doing? Could you be listening to audiobooks? Could you be listening to podcasts? Could you be educating yourself? That is a perfect time to grow as an artist as a craftsman, as a person who's trying to get to whatever goal you're trying to get. Educate yourself. It has never been easier or cheaper, or even free to get information. So you could be listening to audio books. I mean, you get a free audiobook just by signing up to audible.com.
And you could be listening to podcasts which are free and there's a ton of information, as you know, because you're listening to this podcast. So now we've gone through 10 hours. Okay, now you're at work. We're going to work a standard eight hour day. Alright, standard eight hour day we're working today. While you're at work, what can you be doing? Are you sitting at a desk? Are you crunching something? Are you editing? Are you doing other things? At your job that you're sitting around? Could you listen to audiobooks during your day? Even if an hour or two here or there? Could you listen to podcast? Possibly even if you know if you if you have a certain kind of job? Could you even watch a course? Could you watch an hour of course, you know or listen to that course online course. Again, educating yourself every day moving a step forward every single day. And I'm going to give you a trick with audio books, podcasts, and online courses. I listened to all of my books that 1.75 to two times as fast. I've gotten used to two times as fast depending on how fast the narrator presenters speaking. But even if you go to 1.25, the speed that he's speaking or she's speaking, or 1.5 it just cuts down dramatically the amount of time you're spending and you could absorb more information. I read two to three books a week, a week because of this technique. And it gives me so much information, so much knowledge, so much inspiration to move forward in whatever I'm doing. So now you've come back home you did that hour commute, it's already been included in the total and you want to spend time with your family or your girlfriend or whoever you want to spend time with. And I'm like I like to spend time with my family. I need to eat dinner and you know that great you got two hours and I think two hours is enough. But if you want to even push it to three hours fine, but I'm gonna say two hours. is more than enough to get home. You know, unwind, make your dinner and hang out with the family play with the kids before they go to bed. All right. Now also, I'm gonna ask you another question. While you're cooking dinner, could you be listening to an audiobook? Can you be listening to a podcast? Could you be doing something that moves you forward in your, your quest for your dream, for your goal? Educating yourself is the biggest thing you can do when you're trying to move forward towards a dream or goal. The smarter you are, the more knowledge you have, the more dangerous you are the skills that you're putting in your toolbox, the tools that you put in your toolbox grow more and more and more. And it might not seem like a lot right now. But I promise you, you keep doing that. You read one book a week, listen to one book a week, at the end of the year, you have 52 books under your belt. Do you think you're going to be a little bit better at what you're trying to do? Do you think you're going to be a little have a couple more tools in those toolboxes? I promise you you will. So now, with all the math, if I've done the math correctly, you've got four hours left for the hustle for the side hustle. During those four hours. What can you do to get you to your goal?
Can you practice whatever you're trying to do? Anything if you're trying to direct? Go take an acting class, I promise you it will humble you. Learn how to work with actors, bring over some friends shoot some stuff. If you're trying to be a director, it doesn't matter. Spend that time honing your craft every day. Every day. You want to be a writer you want to be a screenwriter, right? Right for those hours read screenplays, just like Stephen King said at the beginning of this episode, if you ain't got time to read, you ain't got time to write. Okay, so read screenplays and write screenplays, read books listen to books about screenwriting about the craft. You know a lot of people always say oh, the Guru's they haven't done like, you know what a lot of these guys who write books, a lot of these women who write books, on screenwriting, on story on Character Arts, all this kind of stuff. There's always a nugget of, of great information in those books. If not one, there's hundreds. But you never know just read, I promise you you will grow. Don't let your ego get in the way. Read the books, listen to the books, listen to the podcast, those things will will help you I promise you. You can't get better at your craft, unless you practice that craft. Unless you do that craft. If you're going to build a table and you want to be a carpenter, I promise you the first table you make is going to suck. But the fifth table better be good. Same thing goes for what we try to do in the film industry every day, whether that be cinematography, whether that be production design, whether that be directing, writing, acting, whatever, hone your craft and practice every day. What else can you do during that time, take some time out to meditate. Take some time out to center yourself to go within. I promise you that the best best ideas I've gotten are during my meditations, meditate for 30 minutes minimum, give me a five minute 10 Minute Meditation 30 minutes minimum. I would prefer an hour hour and a half personally, but work your way up to that. But I promise I can't keep saying promise because I've been here. I've do I'm doing it right now with you. You will grow so much more. A lot of the ego will start to wear away. When you meditate. A lot of ideas will start flourishing coming up, you'll become more focused, sharper, your mind will think clearer. Okay. What else can you do? Why don't you work out, you can put that at the beginning of the day. If that works out better for you work out for 30 minutes. You don't need a gym. You don't need any of that stuff. There's so much information online, go to YouTube, and watch, do yoga, do jumping jacks, push ups, old school, whatever, get that heart rate running. Because also another thing I'm going to promise you is if you get yourself physically in better shape, your mind will be better and your work will be better. You'll have more energy to keep going and going and going. So many people ask me how I'm able to do all the work that I do is because I work out every day. As many of you know, at five o'clock every day I wake up at 430 every morning to go work out for an hour. And I still work in a meditation for at least an hour if not two a day. So it's doable. It can be done. And finally, what can you do during this time? Just take online courses, watch ifH TV, you know not for a same shame. This plug wherever you want to go Skillshare Udemy masterclass, I don't care, learn, learn, educate, educate yourself and learn. Alright, stop watching Netflix, stop watching Game of Thrones, it's not getting you anywhere, it's not moving you where you need to be. Okay? I used to do the same thing I used to sit down and watch three, four hours a night of TV and, and just chillin or going out with my boys and drinking and I hadn't drank, but you know, going out with my boys and hanging out and watching football or whatever that was, okay. Stop it. Because if you want to do that, that's fine. I have no problem with that. You go out and eat on wine at night, great online, take 30 minutes, take an hour out of those four hours if you want to, to unwind, okay. But if you don't do what I'm telling you in these four hours and do that hustle. I don't want to hear any complaining from you. I don't want to hear that, oh, God, I'm not getting where I want to be. The opportunities are not showing up. I don't want to hear any excuses. Because it's on you.
It's on you. You've got to make it happen for yourself. Stop waiting for permission from other people to make your dream come true. Stop hiding behind other people, oh, they didn't give me the shot, or I didn't get this opportunity. Or I didn't get the money for the film. If you're looking for $10 million for the film, and it's your first film, no, it's not going to work out for you. I promise you make something cheaper, make something that you can go make by yourself. And if you feel scared, I'm sorry, you're gonna have to go through it. Because you know what, if you don't go through it, there's 200 people right behind you who are doing everything I'm telling them to do. And they're hustling harder than you are. And you're going to see them fly by you. Okay, I want you to understand this. So So clearly, at the end of the day, you're competing with yourself. But as you see people fly by you, you start asking yourself, What am I doing wrong? Why am I not going as fast as they are? They're a good barometer. But at the end of the day, it's up to you. And you only have to compete with yourself. So look inside yourself, and ask the question, How bad do I want this? What am I willing to sacrifice to get to where I want to be in life, in my career in my dream? Or is this all just Bs, and you're hiding behind something and talking a lot. I can't stand people who just talk and talk and never do. And we smell you coming from a mile away in this business. And I meet them every day I speak to them every day, whatever the reason why they do it, whether it's ego, whether it's fear, I hate to tell you, this business doesn't care. Life doesn't care, and I don't care. You need to get off your butt and do what you need to do. Hustle every day, the power for your dream is in your hands and no one else's. You have to out hustle outwork everyone else around you. I don't care about talent. I don't care about connections in the business. That doesn't matter. Give me someone who's hungry, who's willing to hustle, who's willing to put in the time the effort to get to where they want to be. I'll take someone like that any day over someone who's more talented, or might have more connections, who's willing to sleep for hours, five hours a night. So they get that extra time in their hustle in their side hustle before it turns into their main hustle? Who's willing to do that? Are you are you willing to put in the effort? Ask yourself the question. What am I willing to do to make this happen? Am I willing to give up? Go into McDonald's every day so I can get into better shape so I can focus more so I can put more energy into my dream? Am I willing to work? Am I willing to put that hustle in? That is the question you really need to ask yourself right now. Because that's what's gonna get you to where you want to be. I've got a family. I'm 44 years old right now. And I hustle harder than most 20 year olds I know. Okay, I don't want to hear excuses. Because no one cares. No one cares about your excuses. Make it happen for yourself, guys. Please, I'm begging you. I want everyone listening to this to make it happen for them. Whatever that dream, that goal is, I want you to have that success in life. Because even with all the work, and all the hustle all the blood and the sweat and the tears and everything, it's worth it. Because it fills your soul, it fills who you are. And there's nothing more powerful on this planet than someone who loves what they're doing. And they get up in the morning to do it every day. They run to work, they don't dread going to work. That's where I want you all to be. That is what my wish and dream is, for everyone in the tribe. For everyone who gets to listen to this, a want that dream for you. Whatever your dream is, work on it every single day, you've got an hour, give it an hour, you got three or four, then use three or four hours. We'll make it happen for yourself.
Please, I'm begging you. I want you to so so bad. Please make it happen for yourself. But I do promise you one thing. There is someone right behind you doing everything I'm telling you to do. And you're gonna get angry and bitter. When you see other people around you. Hustling harder than you. There's no excuse. Hustle is something that you can do and will out work everybody else around you. Hustle is the great equalizer. Hustle doesn't care how much money you hustle doesn't care where you came from. Also doesn't care who you are. If you work, you'll get there. Be smart, educate yourself, and just put 120% into whatever you're doing. If you're making one phone call to get that internship or that job, make 20 instead of 20, make 40 I want you to succeed. Please don't make any excuses. I want you to make it happen for yourself. Because at the end of the day, you are in control. You have all the power to make your dream come true. Right? I can't tell you is going to happen in one day, or one week or one month or one year or one decade. But you put in the work put in the hustle, you will get farther than you where you are right now. You'll get closer than where you are right now. That I promise. Guys, I hope this episode really lit a fire in your butt at something I've been talking to myself about doing for a few weeks. Now I've been kind of mulling it over and seeing how I was going to present this information to you. And I really do hope that it has lit a fire in your button. And I swear to God, I really, really hope it has. I'm going to put a couple books that I recommend for you guys to listen to and read to get this, this new transformation in your life up and going in the show notes at Indie film hustle.com forward slash BPS 035. Now, I also want to let you guys know that the filmmaker indie film hustle contest where I'm going to give you $30,000 To make a web series contest is still going on. It is going to be going on till February 4. And please, I want more submissions. I want more people to get take care take this opportunity. I mean swear the last year's winner got an HBO deal. This is a serious contest, guys. I want this opportunity for everybody in the tribe. So please submit before February 4. And it's been and you guys have been submitting like crazy. So I can't wait to read all your submissions, and take a look at what you got going on. And I'll keep you guys updated on what's going on. And finally, ifH TV is growing every single day. Thank you so much for all of the tribe members who have signed up for indie film hustle.tv And, and enjoying all the new content that we're putting out weekly. If you have not signed up for indie film, hustle TV, please do so because February 1, which is next week, or this week, I'm not sure I think it's this week, it will go up to 1399 the regular price of 1399 a month. Right now it's at 1099 a month. So if you want to jump in, jump in now, because after that, it will go up and stay up at 1399 and then go back down to 1099. Alright, please check it out. Thank you guys for listening. And I really do hope this has done some good in your life today. As always keep on writing, no matter what. I'll talk to you soon. Thanks for listening To the bulletproof screenplay podcast at bulletproof screenplay calm that's b u ll e t e r o f s CR e n PLA y.com
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