The RAW and Scandalous Truth Behind the Writing of Boondock Saints with Troy Duffy
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the cult indie film classic The Boondock Saints. But many of you might not know the crazy story of its writer and director Troy Duffy.
Well, prepare to get your mind BLOWN. I had an EXCLUSIVE discussion with Troy this week, and let’s say, he did not hold back. Nothing was off-limits – from his instant rise to fame to the brutal fate he met – getting blacklisted, all of it. He wanted to set the record straight because there is always another side to the story, and what better side to hear than that of the man who lived this brutal Hollywood adventure?
Troy Duffy moved to Hollywood in his twenties to chase the dream of a music career with his band, The Brood. While seeking music gigs, he tended bar at a local Los Angeles dive, where he wrote the screenplay for The Boondock Saints during his break periods.
The muse for the script happened one day when he came home from his job to find a dead hooker being wheeled out of a drug dealer’s apartment across the hall. Duffy went and rented a computer (as he couldn’t afford to buy one) and wrote the screenplay for The Boondock Saints based on his feelings of disgust at what he had just seen. As he puts it:
I decided right there that out of sheer frustration and not being able to afford a psychologist, I was going to write this, think about it. People watching the news sometimes get so disgusted by what they see. Susan Smith drowning her kids… guys going into McDonald’s, lighting up the whole place. You hear things that disgust you so much that even if you’re Mother Teresa, there comes a breaking point. One day you’re gonna watch the news and you’re gonna say,
‘Whoever did that despicable thing should pay with their life. You think — for maybe just a minute — that whoever did that should die, without any fuckin’ jury. I was going to give everybody that sick fantasy. And tell it as truthfully as I could. I wrote Boondock Saints in three sections. I wrote the very beginning and then I started thinking of cool shit for the middle. Then somehow between the beginning and the middle, the ending dictated itself.
The screenplay featured two brothers in Boston dedicated to killing Mafia thugs. He successfully got the script into the hands of Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films, who bought the screenplay for $300,000 intending to film the movie on a $15,000,000 budget.
Now what happened over the next three years is a remarkable cautionary tale. I saw this documentary called Overnight, the 2003 documentary that chronicled Duffy’s rise and fall. Troy was portrayed in the film as an egomaniacal maniac, obsessed with the heights of his talent and abusive to his friends. He goes on to lose his mega-deal, with the now conflict sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, his friends, and his Hollywood connections.
Of course, there are two sides to every story. Troy took full responsibility for what he did and said in the documentary but as I told him editing can be a bitch. The filmmakers amplified the negative, manufactured storylines and really damaged Troy’s film career. I mean the film made Troy look insane. You can watch the film by CLICKING HERE and make up your own mind.
Now, this should have been the end of the tale but we all love a great comeback story. After being dropped by Harvey and Miramax, still believing that the film was a hot commodity, Troy Duffy convinced agents at the William Morris Agency to help him market it to other studios.
The independent production company Franchise Pictures agreed to finance the project, for $7 million, less than half of Miramax’s original budget. The Boondock Saints grossed over $50 million in domestic video sales, of which Troy Duffy received nothing due to the bad deal he signed with the distribution company but after the debacle of the Miramax deal, he didn’t have many options.
According to Troy Duffy, no one on the film got paid; not him, his producers, or the cast. He sued Franchise Pictures for royalties of the first film, merchandise, and sequel rights. After a lengthy lawsuit, Troy, his producers, and the principal cast received an undisclosed amount of The Boondock Saints royalties as well as the sequel rights.
Years later, Troy Duffy finally returned for the sequel to The Boondock Saints, titled The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day which was released on October 30, 2009.
The film grossed $11 million at the box office (the film was released limited, never playing on more than 524 screens) and has grossed over $50 million in DVD sales (as of June 2012). The film had an $8 million budget.
Currently, Duffy has several projects in development, including “Boondock Saints III.”
Troy Duffy receives the golden ticket and then struggled to deal with it but it seemed that was the journey he needed to take as a filmmaker, a person, and a human being. If put on the same path in my early twenties I don’t know how I would have reacted. I would have probably wouldn’t have fared well at all.
Troy and I dive into the deep end of the pool in this conversation. He revealed things he never had before. We discuss the making of Overnight, his interactions with the now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein, and where he sees himself going from here.
Enjoy my exclusive and entertaining as hell conversation with Troy Duffy.
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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Troy Duffy – IMDb
- Troy Duffy – Website
- Boondock Saints – Facebook
- Boondock Saints
- The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
- Bulletproof Screenplay Script Coverage Service – Get Your Screenplay Covered by Industry Pros
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Alex Ferrari 0:00
I'd like to welcome to the show. Troy Duffy, man, how are you doing brother?
Troy Duffy 0:05
Doing good. I'm doing good. That felt good. We like we have been talking for half an hour.
Alex Ferrari 0:10
Yeah, exactly, exactly. It's fresh baby. It's fresh. It's free. I'm a professional, sir. Now. Listen, man I am I'm so gratefully you wanted to come on the show. And and I've been a huge fan of yours, man. Because you are one of those stories, man you are. You are one of those stories that you tell filmmakers to scare them at the middle of the night. And I you know, and I heard this story when I was coming because you and I are of similar vintage. So we were coming up around the same time. So anytime and and I've said this 1000 times on the show man, the 90s was a crazy time to be an independent filmmaker. And it was these all these kind of crazy stories were coming up. And it was the rise of Miramax and the man who shall not be named, which we'll discuss later, and all of that, and all of all of that kind of stuff. And your story came out and it was just like, okay, that's another. That's another Ed Burns. It's another El Mariachi. It's another clerk. I mean, there was just so many current Carnahan, all those guys,
Troy Duffy 1:12
Joe Carnahan, just over a year, a year and a half ago turned out we were like secret fans of each other. It was this embrace between two owners that have been through it and independent film bad, you know, oh, my God just been there. It would have been great. It would have been perfect, perfect circle jerk.
Alex Ferrari 1:28
Due I swear to God, so I just had Joe on the show. And Joe and I become buddies. Matt. Joe, is I absolutely I understand that you too, just by the small amount of time I've spent with you. This the second I started talking to him like oh, yeah, you and Joe would get along famous. Joe would love you. It's just like kindred spirits.
Troy Duffy 1:45
I couldn't believe I'm not I met him. We went to his screening of the new movie he was doing about a year and a half ago with his best friend who is starring it ended up being a really great one. But I hadn't met Joe yet. I just meant like when I saw blood guts, bullets in octane.
Alex Ferrari 1:57
Yeah, man. It's like,
Troy Duffy 1:58
Who's this guy? And then, you know, every time we got interviewed, he seemed like the the john wayne of film, and I'm just tough as nails. And yeah, like, he sees me, it gets, you know, inundated by fans and stuff afterwards. And he sees me and he just he does one of these and he goes Duffy like, boom, and I'm getting close, like, this guy is he's really freakin strong.
Alex Ferrari 2:25
he's a big dude.
Troy Duffy 2:27
Exchange, even though I'm terrible social media. We did a little exchanging, you know, some grant money last night, and
Alex Ferrari 2:33
it shows you guys was oh my god, it would be amazing. If you guys
Troy Duffy 2:38
do a movie together, like maybe I produce some stuff that he directs and writes and vice versa.
Alex Ferrari 2:43
Would that be amazing?
Troy Duffy 2:44
Film guys helping each other? COVID crap.
Alex Ferrari 2:47
Jesus Christ, man. So um, so yeah. So I wanted to bring you on the show, man. Because there's been a lot of myths around your story. There's been a lot of, you know, things happening. There was obviously that documentary, which we'll talk about and things that happened in happens, I wanted to kind of really take it straight from the horse's mouth, from the from the guy who is in the center of the storm. What the hell happened? So take us back up this take us back to the bar, man, when you were when you're when you're bouncing, and you wrote a script? How take us from there. And take us down the journey, sir.
Troy Duffy 3:22
Well, you know, in long in the short of it is yeah, I've had quite the wild ride. But most of it has been extremely lucky to have been able to do what I do. And I'm very grateful that boondock turned out the way it did. You know, having faith in something like that, and then having it be confirmed by the public is about I have the greatest fans in the world. And believe me, they're long suffering because I'm not so good at the social media thing. It's like it's grown up around me. And I'm like, I started out with a guy like, you know, taking a picture of his croissant in the morning. It's Oh my god. 1000 people, like your croissant. I didn't get it. Right. But yeah, you know, I came to Hollywood. I can't once upon a time I came to Hollywood was a dream. And it was music at the time. When I first came out here. I wanted to be a rock musician, and my brother and I found some in one was our friend from Colorado, we formed a band and tried to make it happen. And then this all came up in the middle of it because what happened was I I got so sick of saying shitty movies that I said, I'm going to write one of these and I you know, I've had a bit of a history with writing. My father was a Harvard English Lit grad that made all of his kids read a novel a month, extra correctly, and we had to be ready to talk about it. That dinner on this particular you know, whatever Sunday we were done with the book and we better have known our stuff. My dad was also a wing English teacher. And so he made made it so I knew what good writing was great writing was was shitty writing was okay writing was and why the wise the W's of all that. So I had a lot of experience and I always had my head in a book, you know, always, always do today actually. So it wasn't the biggest leap in the world, you know, when it came out like, it's this guy's first script, you know, believe
Alex Ferrari 5:20
a bouncer a bound a bouncer from a bar in LA wrote a first screenplay and got picked up. That's the story that that was the narrative.
Troy Duffy 5:28
It was the first script and that really pissed every long suffering writer in this town off. I remember this one time, dude, when the script was really gaining speed, and everybody's hearing about it, and I maybe I made the deal at this point. I'm not exactly sure. But I went to the local Starbucks. And as I'm gonna line it to the back of this evidently writers frustrated writers quorum and they're all reading my script. I had no idea how they got it. But I didn't say anything. So I got this momentary glimpse into what other writers thought, and they just tore it apart, thought it was shit. And they were really upset about that. It was my first script and half of them didn't believe it. Like No, no no way
Alex Ferrari 6:08
Someone can Ghost ghost, Ghost writting.
Troy Duffy 6:12
So I you know, the instant ire of every long suffering writer in Hollywood was what happened like right away, but yeah, I just I got the thing done. I had a friend and contacted new line, cinema. CP was a buddy of mine from before, he was now an assistant on a producer's desk over there. He read the thing said, Would you mind if I handle this? And I was like, go ahead. I never thought it would even get read. I was just kind of doing it as a kind of side thing.
Alex Ferrari 6:43
But you by the way, when you were writing the screenplay, from what I understand you'd like didn't even know what format was like, What did you do? Like, did you longhand it and then transfer it? How would that go?
Troy Duffy 6:51
I had a friend you know, that worked in the in the movie business, you know, a huge surprise being here
Alex Ferrari 6:59
Troy Duffy 7:00
I was like, Can you get me a script that's actually been made into a movie. And she got me the script of was a it was a Robin williams movie called jack. Yeah. Yes. Copeland, right. Yes, read the format. and copy it. I was scrolling things in notebooks while I was on the door at sloans. And then I would rent a computer, mid to late 90s. You know, 95, I think is when this is happening. Mid 90s. I would rent a computer every weekend, just transfer it over and copy the format from the from the draft script. So I cobbled together this thing that kind of looks like a script.
Alex Ferrari 7:39
So it makes it makes screenwriters hate you even that much more.
Troy Duffy 7:43
I don't even understand the time they were writing programs. I don't even know if there was but
Alex Ferrari 7:47
there was their final draft was around a final draft.
Troy Duffy 7:52
So yeah, and then it just took off from there. Evidently, you know, what I expected was for it to go into the you know, big gray ocean of crap that that that Hollywood was famous for churning out and what happened was the opposite. They read something that instantly had an effect on every reader and so began this, you know, court ship by all the agencies trying to get me you know, all the CIA's and William Morris is the one with William Morris. And, you know, the, the journey started right there. And that was like, it's funny, because there's a dichotomy here. There's the journey started with you know, Harvey Weinstein buys a guy a bar for his first first time fledgling director. So, you know, pull on a Troy Duffy in Hollywood became that type of thing, a success story. And then just a few years later, Paul and Troy Duffy was just going down in flames.
Alex Ferrari 8:48
Yeah, and, and that's what makes your story such a an amazing, kind of, you know, mythical stories because you dude, you flew to the top like you had a zoom
Troy Duffy 8:59
meeting with a producer the other day that was like I've been looking forward to this for like a week just to check you know, see you and how you are like all that shit that happened and what you did to Harvey Weinstein right well but there's like a circus freak thing with me now it's like like that is what
Alex Ferrari 9:22
what? No Yeah, I'm sure people are gonna ask me like Did he eat his children when he was off the off and like no
Troy Duffy 9:28
now you living under a bridge now?
Alex Ferrari 9:31
Yeah, this is this is a fake background that you've got going on? And that honestly man that's one of the reasons why I wanted you on the show today because I wanted you to set the kind of record straight because there is so much bs out there about it and so many rumors and stories and and you know, and obviously the doc which we'll get to in a minute and all of that kind of shit that just kind of built into this and then the whole mythology of boondock by itself, like the movie itself and, and all that. So it so you were at the top of the top You I mean, I don't think there was anyone faster to the top. And I don't think there was anyone faster that flew back down so quickly.
Troy Duffy 10:11
And I thought I was looking forward to getting into some of this because after, you know, 25 years I think I've finally figured out what happened.
Alex Ferrari 10:19
Exactly. Alright. So you get to William Morris has a script now they're wrapping it out there. And there's from I understand there's a bidding war right there became a bidding war.
Troy Duffy 10:28
Yeah, between the two biggest indie houses out there it was Mike DeLuca. At job, new line and Harvey Weinstein of Miramax. And it was that year that Miramax swept the Oscars. I think they took 11 Oscars, so it was a lot and all that. Yeah,
Alex Ferrari 10:42
yeah, it was like, it was like at the height of
Troy Duffy 10:45
Harvey had found out that new line wanted it. And every had it faxed to him on the private jet that he was on his way to the Oscars. By the time he landed and read every fact page, he was like, get this kid, you know, in my hotel room.
Alex Ferrari 11:03
So just that which is not as good. Which is not a good thing. Normally,
Troy Duffy 11:09
Yes it's not necessarily a good thing these days. But yeah, I mean, then that that bidding war started between the two bigger biggest guys out there in the indie world DeLuca and Weinstein
Alex Ferrari 11:22
and then and then you told me story. Last time we spoke about Harvey when he when you walked into the room when you first met Harvey, within the first five minutes, I found this so fascinating.
Troy Duffy 11:34
Yeah, the first one Okay, well, let's let's rehash Yeah. Harvey is every bit the the gangster that everyone thinks he is. I walked into the room. And you know, dairy is there's this nosh like a buffet set up in this place of the Peninsula hotel. And I'm his brother, Bob. And I remember Harvey was just like getting fitted for a tux. And he sits down in his chair and he's got he's got his knee up like this, this big belly sticking out. His brother's over his shoulder, almost like, like a bird on his shoulder that Bob has seemed to be the sort of brains of the outfit. And Harvey was the brawn, the muscle is like Harvey says, you know who? What actors are you seeing in this for the roles and he knew everything about the script. Right? So I was like, Well, you know, first guy I picked out was Jim Carrey. This is when Jim was in the process of doing The Truman Show his first dramatic picture. But I was friends with his man, I'd become good friends and his manager Jimmy Miller, at that point, who is Incidentally, Dennis Miller's brother, and they both have exactly the same advice. Just It was totally uncanny. But Jamie, hanging out the bar and stuff. And I love Jimmy and I was like, Can we get it was a moment where he was trying to get it. But I was like, So Jim Carrey for this woman I listed as actors for the other roles. And he goes, let me tell you something. You don't go with Miramax with Boondock out you don't get Boondock Saints to Miramax make a deal with me. I'm going to get every actor you just listed in my movies and you won't get a single one.
Alex Ferrari 13:10
Troy Duffy 13:12
I was just like, dang, no, there was like, there's two things that happen when you get gangster that well that quickly.
Alex Ferrari 13:18
Troy Duffy 13:18
Number one, you're pissed. You're like, I totally just walked into that. Number two, you're like, I kind of want this guy on my side. If I go make a movie. Now. These days, probably not
Alex Ferrari 13:31
not. Not so much at the moment. And everyone listening. I mean, he was the he was the 800 pound gorilla literally and figuratively, in in Hollywood at that time. So I was telling you the other day, it was just like, it's kind of like you want a really cutthroat shark of a lawyer on your team and not against you. And that's kind of the same reaction you had.
Troy Duffy 13:53
Yeah, it was like, you know, is and I think I said the other day when we're talking Yeah, you want a real shark lawyer. You just don't want to have to go out to dinner with them. You know, which is not exactly I got a kick out of Harvey back in those days. And a lot of ways, but you know, that idea of reaching down into the gutter and pulling up this kid it was it was like pretty, pretty effective, man. All the stuff that was going on all the ink that came from it, because I think it was during a conversation that happened slightly after that, because I didn't make the decision in the room. We're going Miramax producers right behind me going don't do that. I'll shut you know tell them you've given us a gift. You'll think about it. He came down to the bar a couple days later, his big limo pulls up Harvey and his whole entourage come out. And we all sit around having beers and he was just like, Hey, what are you gonna do with the money because he knew that I hadn't had any real money in my life. I said, I'll probably buy this place. I love this bar. And he's like, I'll buy it with you. We'll split it 50 50 I said deal. You got the fucking script. Let's go and I got all that. So much. So That was like kind of the start of it. You know, I woke up, like a couple mornings later there I am on the cover of USA Today. odd feeling, you know, get a call from your dad, like, What the hell are you doing out there?
Alex Ferrari 15:13
Have you been telling your parents about this at this point, like, you're like telling what's going on,
Troy Duffy 15:17
I'm keeping them informed, but I didn't really, you know, know myself, it was such a whirlwind. I'm sure I forgot a bunch of stuff in the towel, you know, but it was, you know, my advice for anybody that this half for the three people this is going to happen to over the next 20 years. best efforts to negotiate the purchase of in a contract means no efforts, that actually did not happen. We didn't buy the bar together, and I didn't even buy it. So but they got a lot of ink, you know, and that was the beginning of all you want the Duffy deal type thing.
Alex Ferrari 15:52
Jesus Christ. All right. So you're, you're you've got to deal with, you go with Harvey. And now you start going through casting and now you're meeting everybody in town, you mean you're the you're the belle of the ball to like everybody wants to know, everyone wants to be in this is such an LA thing wants to be in Detroit Duffy business
Troy Duffy 16:17
was, that was what was happening at the time. And I think that I disappointed my handlers because all the people I wanted to meet were were my heroes of film, and not necessarily gigantic movie stars, which I didn't turn down. But I was like, you know, I want to meet Patrick Swayze, bro. And I mean, Jeff Goldblum I want to meet you know, and then I, you know, a bunch of others that have done the the movies that I loved and cherished, you know, and I was thinking about, I also didn't think that this was during the time where I don't know if you remember this, you have to remember that you were right there with me on this one. There was that time where big movie stars were coming down and doing small independent films to sort of reclaim their street cred. Tech, this movie from that I just thought like, no matter who the movie star is, they bring in that baggage. And I think I have a story here that's obviously effective. And I want to tell it the right way. So I thought it needed either no names or up and comers or slightly recognizable people a that guy saw what we can take them to the next level. And you know, not the best way I can terms of the business and producers. You know, if you're getting the movie star attention, but you want to go this way, that's not such a great thing. And then the next thing is he's difficult to work with.
Alex Ferrari 17:35
Right? And if your first one to this was your first or if you already had a huge hit. If you had Reservoir Dogs, and you want to do Pulp Fiction, or you want to do Jackie Brown and you want to you want to catch Robert Forster as a lead. You can you had that secret, but you were doing it right up front. And that's where that was one mistake.
Unknown Speaker 17:51
Yeah, and possibly, you know, my my adjustment on that because the Quentin used notable guys, though, that may not have been movie stars at the time. But you know, all those guys in Reservoir Dogs, one of my favorite film, they were all, you know, established actors. Yeah, period, I was actually looking for some pretty fresh faces. There was one point at which I found this new young actor who loved this script and camped out on my doorstep, Heath Ledger, and he
Alex Ferrari 18:20
Unknown Speaker 18:21
He loved it so much. And he was kind of coming off this kind of Teenybopper
Alex Ferrari 18:25
forgiving 10 10 10 Things I Hate About You. Is that, yeah, that's the one.
Troy Duffy 18:31
But I loved him. He was Australian. And he was like, way tougher in his image than he was. But he's a deep, deep artist. And so you know, I remember actually meeting with his agency and saying, Do you have anybody that looks like this? But they were you know, dangling movie stars in a very in silly would kind of surprise you know, this young upstart kid over here is who you want when we're giving you this? So that started the sort of he's he's difficult to work with,
Alex Ferrari 18:59
And and how old were you when this whole thing
Troy Duffy 19:02
It's happening? Maybe 24
Alex Ferrari 19:04
Jesus Christ, dude. And if I was telling you the other day that I had a similar, not nearly as publicized experience around 26 when I almost made that movie for the Mob, and I wrote the whole book about it and all that kind of stuff. And I did this I did. I almost did the same thing. I didn't have the President have the ink, but I was talking to the big producers. I was meeting some of those actors. You were talking to him going to people's houses. I'm like flying out to LA. And I'm going through all of this process. But the big difference was you had a gangster who actually can get things done on your corner. I had a gangster who was just threatening me on a daily basis.
Troy Duffy 19:41
Your fans out there Alex told his story yesterday and I was I was just got laughing. It was like you said something like, I was like going to set every day with Joe passion is like a kid. We're like what we're saying is incredibly terrific. Then you'd have like a death threat before.
Alex Ferrari 19:58
How am I clear to you? Am I funny? Why am I funny, they then you get that moment. So it's just absolutely brutal. So you're 27 of the budget, you know,
Troy Duffy 20:08
this is foods and beverages here, this is a serious thing and you get a ticket.
Alex Ferrari 20:13
So you're 24 years old, which meant, I don't know, any 24 year old who can handle the kind of that kind of pressure in general, like that kind of success so quickly, it's a difficult thing to handle. When you're our age. Like, it's, it's let's handle that kind of attention that success, man, what did you think?
Troy Duffy 20:30
I do, but well, you know, you're so reluctant to even admit that because, you know, there's so many, there's so many people out there that want to get into writing and directing and stuff like that. And, you know, oh, I don't know how I handle the success.
Alex Ferrari 20:43
No, but it's but I get that, but it's a real thing. It is
Troy Duffy 20:47
It's like because it's like anybody would want that. I totally wish I had the tools built into me to do the right things, you know, right. I could give advice like what I do now, I would make that black book, keep in contact with every big producer agent, I keep the numbers, make sure they knew what I was doing. Just call them up to chat every now and then. Because it is an incredibly social business. It is who you know, I did not know that at the time, I would also recommend that you've got to set up your second project immediately. You can't just roll all the dice and put all your focus on that you have to have a place to land no matter what happens here. Those types of things I wish I would have known. I was just kind of free fallen through it, you know,
Alex Ferrari 21:31
Troy Duffy 21:33
had the you know, I wish I'd had the wisdom. Maybe I if I had talked to you at the time. I
Alex Ferrari 21:39
was I all I could tell you is this when I was going through my version of Boondock Saints at a much smaller level of success. Or attentive for that matter. I was the only reason my head and my head was still so effing big man. It was I was I was like I'm being flown out. I'm meeting these legends and icons and big producers and, and all this kind of stuff. My ego was pretty big. The only thing that kept me in check was just a giant monster sitting behind me threatening my life. That's the only reason I was not completely out of control. Because my ego was so ridiculously out of control. At that age. I didn't know any better. So it's it's not surprising. So that's what you know, I was introduced to you, obviously through the ink that happened when the whole thing went down. But then years later, this documentary shows up called overnight, and it doesn't, I'm gonna I'm gonna I'm gonna I'm gonna say something though. It doesn't pay it doesn't paint the best picture. I'm just throwing it out there. There's it's a slight it's a slight slightly it's slightly off. So you know, you watch you watch that. And when you when I first watched it, I you know, I'll be honest with you, like anybody who watches like, Oh, this guy's a fucking maniac. This guy's crazy. He threw his whole life away all this stuff. But in when I got older man, I look back and I go, you know what, man First of all, editing. Secondly, firstly, editing, editing can be a bitch. And I can I can cut anybody to look like anything. I mean, even if you give them the meat, you can make it look much worse than it really was. That's one, too. I put myself in your place. And I go, you know what, man? If I was 24 25 and I had that go through me, I'm not sure I would be much better. To be honest. So I had compassion and empathy for what you were going through. So overnight shows up, you know, tell me what, what your experience was with that when it showed up? How it happened, all that kind of stuff.
Troy Duffy 23:32
How it happened is probably the place to start there. How it had first, like sort of blanket statement, this was totally my fault. 100% I'm like crow eat? Yes. I should never have even let it happen. Never mind. You know, with my friends and stuff all I had a I had an entourage around me that had had that was the guys in the band and a couple of really close friend we were all at the bar was like a social family. When I met Mark Wahlberg it was it was really funny because he had an entourage too, you know in our entourage like mirror images of each other is like the two Western guys coming across. But we really liked each other and I should have learned more from him. He was really good at dealing with his with his with his guys and I just kind of wasn't you know, those guys that did the actual documentary where a guy named more Brian Smith another guy named Tony Montana, aka Tony the pants, which was the monitor we gave him they were friends they were bros hanging out they were part of the gang and now you know one of them came up with this idea pitched it to me like you're going through all this stuff. Now we started documentary now you knew that idea was music and film go through another album The making of the film and it can become like an education. documentary for kids at Film School, which it did, it was great. Collections guys really pulled that one off. And the so they got they got together on it. And Mark had just graduated New York Film School and Tony wanted to be a producer. So they kind of seemed like a perfect match. And they were joking they started doing it. But I mean, if I if I really had the analogy that to describe what actually happened, it's when you invite like six of your buddies over your house to help you build a front porch within 10 minutes everybody's arguing about what kind of what kind of screws to use if the foundations Okay, now we got to demo the old one out all the way we got a day everybody Are you get it done at the end of the day with there's strife I think, and you feel like maybe I should have hired a subcontractor. Got my hands dirty on this one. But basically, you know, it sort of started out Well, these guys are like really highly motivated. And they were bros, you know, so we had when I would come out of the wherever I was, and Mark would come out of the bushes literally with the camera. I'm like, wow, that's dedication. Right. But I didn't I took my eye off the ball I but what happened was that, you know, antagonism between all of us. And the documentarians started feeling slighted, and a lot of ways and can't say they didn't have a point a bunch of times, but I was that naive kid that was like, it'll all work out in the wash. We're all bros, everything will be fine. Just do your documentary. And it was supposed to be you know, not not what it ended up being supposed to be like this story. And you know, the I think the the number one thing I those guys would say, I was like, Hey, don't worry, we're your friends, we'd never Fuck it. Because they were getting like, you know, some pretty saucy footage on all, I can't tell you how many times you know, after a drunken night, one of the guys called me up. All right, you know, bandmate and get those guys over here. And
Alex Ferrari 26:56
erase the tapes, or erase the tapes,
Troy Duffy 26:58
the tapes, call crack, call click. So, you know, it's it started that way with just these little seeds of discontent. And you know, by the time we were done, going through the whole rigmarole of the movie and the album and all have it was like the most It was the most the hardest year two years of my life, getting all that done, and all the ups and downs in it. And then they get their footage and they just like disappear. And, you know, the first thing we all felt was relief. We were like, Alright, we don't have to have these arguments anymore. Do what we thought they were just taking a break and when Kent would come back but you know, a year later this thing comes up. And when we did they did enact tell you
Alex Ferrari 27:45
anything that was going on, they just started cutting this thing. And they just said, because you signed it, you signed a release obviously. So they just cut it and released it without letting you know at all anything.
Troy Duffy 27:57
Alex Ferrari 27:58
Oh, sun Jesus Christ. That's bad. Not only is it bad form, but I mean, at least I would if you're going to and I don't even hold with a man I'm carrying me they were kids to
Troy Duffy 28:12
the real tragedy there is that they they had it they had the film, they told me they were going to make that they had 400 hours I think of real depth. You know straight immediately when things happen. Behind the scenes, they had a deeper behind the scenes than I could ever imagine. I mean, the guys gave them all the access in the world even when we were doing movies and albums. We told everybody around but we'd hold them up these guys are doing it please help them. So the they have the day to day true story of what really happened there. And and the In my opinion, triumphant story that it is Boondocks ended up doing something and being something to people meaning a lot of to a lot of people and it came out of all that turmoil. And that documentary. I mean, can you imagine? What if the fans could get a hold of something like that? That, you know was wasn't a smeary thing, but like this is what happened. This is how we we we actually got there. I can't tell you how many people have done two things that really kind of jive. I find it jarring. Like a guy will go Hey, I saw your documentary last night. And I'm like, Whoa, that is not my doc.
Alex Ferrari 29:29
Why would I direct or release this?
Troy Duffy 29:33
Like who the hell would do that to themselves? And the other the other the other one I find jarring is that people kind of there's there's there's two there's two things about it like what you just said was kind of prophetic when you're young and in film school and you watch it you're just like tale of tragedy. This guy's a maniac dismissal I learned something from this. Don't be a dick.
Alex Ferrari 30:00
Exactly, it's exactly what I said,
Troy Duffy 30:02
watch it when you're your age and you go editing. There's a lot. So there's there is a Even though 100% my fault, so never let it happen, right? If I want I should have deign to control it better. But that yes, there is that aspect to it, there is an aspect to it, whether there was some very loosely edited scenes to make points that didn't really happen that way.
Alex Ferrari 30:33
Right. And the thing that's sad about it is I think you're right if they have 400 hours of footage of this entire experience of from from the beginning up to the beginning and the end. You know, what part of that journey is probably a little messy, probably a little egocentric. We lost our heads a little bit Hey, man, any of us would, but it would have been actually really more in just a better documentary if you would have gone back at the redemption phase where like, you know what, I've learned something. And I'm going to fight and I'm going to keep going I'm going to get Boondocks done. And again,
Troy Duffy 31:00
that's one of the things that you know, was kind of a necessity to make me We never had me and the guys that all signed off on this to the filmmakers who were just frankly our friends you know, we the whole thing was you know, we didn't hold back we gave them your part of the rub was we were giving them some pretty saucy footage we were hanging open their cameras up wide on some things that most people wouldn't you know, put risk making me or all of us look bad. And we started getting concerned in that way. And the the shame of it is that they have they had they had they had people that were willing to do that. Give them the real story all you got to do this a little bit and tell the real story. Don't embarrass people on unnecessarily don't attack them don't just tell the damn story in the people people are but by the way they're interested in the in the sensational for about two seconds.
Alex Ferrari 32:05
Troy Duffy 32:06
What depth What is this saying? What is this teaching me? And that story, I think is probably still out there somewhere in 400 hours of footage in a dark you know film film storage place and it's a shame.
Alex Ferrari 32:21
Have you guys and have you ever have you ever talked to them again after that or no? day they
Troy Duffy 32:25
walked out of my life? In this thing I have heard no hide nor hair. I have seen them talk to them nothing.
Alex Ferrari 32:33
Wow, for like that's took 20 years now something like that. It's only been since since then that happened. Jesus Christ man. And that's I because I went again, when I saw this. I was like one day I would love to talk to Troy and find out what the hell happened behind the scenes because nobody in their God in their, in their sane mind would allow this to happen. Like you just said, like you just
Troy Duffy 32:52
yeah, I wasn't as hard as it is to believe after watching that. I was saying that happened in a very, you know, the normal way rubs between antagonism between between people that are all trying to go towards the same goal. It just happens. You know, you get kind of sometimes I'm ashamed of it. Sometimes I'm sorry about it. Sometimes I can feel a guy in a room, you know, is looking at some producer over here is looking at me because they always come up afterwards. And I like well, what happened? You know, so it's something that haunts me and hangs over me. But, you know, I know what happened there. It's funny, too, because I didn't watch it for a couple of years or right when it came out. I didn't watch it. Right. And I was at on advice from Billy Connolly. He was like, you know, don't watch it. Boy, it might be a boy. And we could just say I haven't seen it fuck him. Right? then it came about, you know, it kind of screwed me in a business deal over here in the in the on a project. So I watched it. And there is nothing more boring than watching yourself for an hour. Yeah. It's just like, but then I saw kind of what they did. I was there. I know what really happened. And I kind of saw how it was, you know, I'm sure creatively edited together to surface you know, some some things that weren't. It gave false impressions here and there. But yes, I did all that stuff. I yelled all that all those people, I mistreated people. But you know, the question you have to ask yourself is Can somebody actually do that? And actually, why is everybody throwing money in deals with this kid if he's acting like this 24. So those were the exceptions, those moments where the exceptions, smooth things out, deepened my relationships. And I was able to get this done on my terms. My very first one, you know, and that's the story really. And yeah, they're never going to see that I guess.
Alex Ferrari 34:51
So. I mean, that would be amazing. If one day you know these guys, maybe they'll watch this and they'll go Look, man, let's try to do a real version of this. I don't I don't That'll ever happen. That's a magical world thinking but no, but like, you know, wouldn't that be amazing? If you're like, Look, I'll give you the 400 hours try you do whatever you want with it and cut your own documentary that way.
Troy Duffy 35:13
Then Then you go, you go to the other side, we're back to editing. I can't edit together truthfully, my own story.
Alex Ferrari 35:19
No, you have to hire somebody.
Troy Duffy 35:21
That makes me look bad. I just like hire you. I'd be like, Alex, you gotta fucking do this for me. You'd be like, 400 hours of footage. I got my own shit going, bro. I'm not doing this. And I'll be like, I need somebody that's not me that I trusted.
Alex Ferrari 35:34
Let's go. Let's You, me and Joe. We'll get together. Well, you so hard, dude. We'll all sit together, we'll get an editor to come together, we'll put all the footage together put out the true story of the making of Boondock saints. Finally, finally, after 25 years. All right. So good. I'm glad that would that's out of the way. And we kind of talked about Overnight, because I'm sure that's one of your favorite topics that always talk about.
Troy Duffy 36:00
It's great. It's wonderful. What was really bad was like, during the the sequel when we came up with a sequel, when we tell boondock to it, that had already been an old story for like, seven, eight years, from 2000 to 2003. We were coming out in 2009 ish. And almost every reporter It was like they just googled, okay, what's Who's this aihole? Oh, and they asked me questions about it, Norman, Shawn, would have to they were put in a position of having to defend their friend and director. And I, I was super pissed off about Now, of course, will embarrass but, you know, it also shows you when you got friends when you have friends in this business? Because even now today, you know, there are the pockets of producers at big companies and and people in the business that are pretty big fans of mine, regardless of all that, yes, there are those that have bought in like, oh, that guy, no, no way. I have my fans, you know, all in it's been a really positive thing. And I'm sort of glad I mean, you learn from your mistakes more. I mean, it preach such so many lessons about all that, especially in having to think about it and being confronted with it and having it haunt me over the years in this business and cost me you know, I got to sit back and go, what was the mistake I made? In the pinch of that moment? What should I have done? I was feeling this way why I need to be feeling this way and move forward. You know, so I learned a hell of a lot, I really wouldn't change a thing. You know, at the end of the day, I have had the wildest ride and yeah, maybe I have that reputation of, you know, the, the shining new talent that was in bam, you know, he's a maniac. But I think I've gotten a hell of an education in this business. Because of all that
Alex Ferrari 37:53
and then some and then some, so, so the Look, man, again, any of us put in that situation at that age? Look, look, and this is this is pre social media, bro, can you imagine if there was Facebook and Twitter, during that time, you would have been it would have been devante. I don't want anything that I was doing at that age out. I was I was probably I was probably a dick. You know, I know, there was relationships that were you know, destroyed because of of working on projects together and egos got involved and never spoke to them. Again, this happens. This is the business we're in. It is an ego driven, a lot of times ego driven, especially when you're young, especially when you're coming up, the ego is so powerful and so big. And I've talked to some really big guys in the business. And I realize the bigger they are, the egos seem to be more controlled more, they're more comfortable in their own skin. It's the new guys or the people who don't have experience in the in the battlefield that has that because like just talking to you here, man, you're much calmer than you were when you were 25
Troy Duffy 38:58
I'll tell you a fun little secret. Almost all of my friends got SOPA the people that were there with me and the people that love me, my real friends, both in the business and just you know, regular life. Sure. There have been times with all of them, this moment has occurred, you know, we got to speak out against this goddamn document. You know, it's like if people really got to know you and who you were, they wouldn't be they'd be seen as a big pile of shit.
Alex Ferrari 39:24
Troy Duffy 39:24
You know, and that's happened so many times and I've had to kind of talk them back from the ledge, you know, like this is I did this this is my fault is as bad as what you may think of what happened and it's unfair as it is. I did this, you know, it was the first real punch of ego control came when I understood that, that we're in control of our own things that were the ones that are responsible. Those two guys completely forgiven and understood. It was made it was made they they lashed out and did something to to hurt me because I had heard them and that's pretty much all there is to it and you know the and I don't think that one of the worst tragedies about it is they didn't get anything from it
Alex Ferrari 40:12
Troy Duffy 40:13
No. But right now I mean I don't know any projects that these guys are on solid ground I got called Rocco called me up the other day and said one of them had just kind of totally left the business and retired from it years ago to so they didn't really get the made out with money but I know that it didn't make much money
Alex Ferrari 40:35
well no it's like a niche of like it's a niche of a niche of a niche of a documentary basically focused on filmmakers and that's not going to be you know $100 million doc
Troy Duffy 40:46
so they didn't I don't think that they benefited or had much success in terms of their their lives and careers from it and I certainly didn't benefit from it except in a sort of an inner way
Alex Ferrari 41:00
you I would argue I argue you got the most out of it sir because inner your inner peace sir. Important thing you're right i mean the growth that that has taught as he swings back a bottle No no, no the inner did look the look in no bullshit aside dude. Seriously, you have gotten to to evaluate what you did wrong. I look I wish I would have had not publicly but a documentary that would go back and show me all the idiot things I did like that whole thing with the gangster dude, my dp was telling me you should be filming this because this is more entertaining and more educational than any movie we will ever make. He told me this while we were there. Why did we film none of it? I wish we would have seen like what was going on? I wish we would have filmed that would have been the most amazing documentary ever about how to make them how not to make a movie it's the story right? That was the story but look man, but you have you had self realization and that is huge
Troy Duffy 42:00
worth its weight in gold. That's the important thing now you know, I I don't think that there's many situations that could arise in terms of me moving forward in my career and doing other films that are really that I can't ID and see coming from about 1000 miles away. And I it's not like I'm you know, Mr. super careful hide under a rock. No, no, I'm still paying myself. But I have I have definitely learned and I give it its due course and consideration right now, you know, at being a director is a very rare position to be in and it's it's a you're very blessed. If you get to direct a film I've been able to direct to I'm very blessed. And you know, knowing more and more about the business and moving forward. I'm going to you get stronger and stronger with this stuff. And it is the mistakes is the times you get kicked in the nuts if you're paying attention. That is the reason that you do is the reason that you get better with this. It is the reason you learn lessons and are able to move forward.
Alex Ferrari 43:06
And and look man, you've got shrapnel lots of it. I've got shrapnel lots of it. And that's
Troy Duffy 43:11
why report I got it off airport
Alex Ferrari 43:15
all the time. Because it but that's what makes us who we are. And I'm glad Look, I don't know if you've ever had this opportunity before. I'm sure you've been interviewed about this a million times. But I hope this is gonna get out there in a big way that really kind of set the record straight because I wanted to give you a platform to just go. This is what really effing happened, man.
Troy Duffy 43:35
Yeah, well, I guess you got the exclusive. I've never talked in depth like this about?
Alex Ferrari 43:42
Well, that's I'm humbled about that. And I hope this I hope this is a teaching tool, not only for you and me, sir, because I'm learning a lot from this as well. But for everyone listening because look, I started indie film hustle purely because of my experience in the business. And all this crap that I did my origin story, I was told when I wrote the book, I'm like, you guys want to know why I have this grizzled, like hard voice behind this mic all the time telling you guys that you're gonna get punched in the face in this business. I don't care who you are. It was because of that experience. And I'm trying every day to help filmmakers avoid those things. And I hope this interview in this conversation goes a long way by doing that. So I do appreciate you doing that brother,
Troy Duffy 44:24
though I appreciate the the platform to air it out a little bit. You know, I have not been I must have the most faithful fans in the world because I have not been good with social media or talking about any of this stuff. So it's good to kind of get it out there and I'm gonna be going on my own stuff and not right now. I'm about to make the biggest mistake of my career. Are you ready? Yes. I want to bear myself a new now. It's not just Yeah, he's the ideal deal and boom, he goes. It's now the new one. I am going to start getting into social media and
Alex Ferrari 45:00
gotta help us God help us all sir God help us all.
Troy Duffy 45:04
My fans are like, Listen, if you don't want to know what's going on Ask Troy. And this the whole thing is kind of that social media thing has kind of happened and I've been checked out on it, so I'm gonna start doing that. And half the reason is because you know, COVID This sucks. I got nothing to do, man. We're talking about that the other day too. Yeah, I've known for like dreaded it for years. I've known I had to do this and all those fans you know, they did they deserve a world of credit for kind of sticking with me and loving Boondock the way they do I don't know that there's many great films with that kind of shelf life, man. In fact, no
Alex Ferrari 45:40
I will tell you off air you and I could sit down and talk I could guide you a little bit on social media. I've been doing it for a little while as well so I can help you along those fine. Hey, I will I will help you sir. I will I will help you a little bit now. So now that that all's out of the way now let's talk about the redemption the the coming back up so you you get Boondocks back from from the band who shall not be named Voldemort. Let's call him Voldemort. If that's the Valdas theme, so you get your your script back eventually. And then you you get it released to tell the story of how it actually gets made.
Troy Duffy 46:15
Oh, man, yeah. Yeah, now you're hitting on some secrets that I've kept for 25 years. Good.
Alex Ferrari 46:21
Troy Duffy 46:22
Exclusive shit. I shouldn't say number two. Weird.
Alex Ferrari 46:30
Troy Duffy 46:32
The the. Alright, I'm not gonna give you all of it. But I'll give you a couple of
Alex Ferrari 46:37
as much as do as much or as little as you want.
Troy Duffy 46:40
When we came to blows, man, Harvey just disagreed on things and he's like, Alright, that's it. You're in turnaround. Now you know what it is? But for the for the viewers out there that don't that means Doug Harvey has say bought your script $350,000. JOHN, I paid a couple of your producers. JOHN, maybe one location, Scott, say he's in it a million bucks. What turnaround is, is that you put it like a yard sale, you put it back out for sale, you know the script that was highly desirable by the industry. And you try to recoup some of your money. But the most anyone gets in a turnaround situation is 50% after investment. So Harvey puts it in turnaround. Lo and behold, his other company wants to do it. A new a new company, new guy. And he charges 100% in a turnaround situation. I was friends at the time mall with a guy named Mario Rifkin, who was the president of William Morris and a friend. I had to tell you about going up to this house one day was unbelievable.
Alex Ferrari 47:50
I'm sure was
Troy Duffy 47:51
about a young man's ego sore. And I was like, This guy had guard dogs that responded to German. It was amazing.
Alex Ferrari 47:58
It was like two lines. It was like the opening of two lines. Got it? Alright,
Troy Duffy 48:01
so he was like, you know, I really looked up to Arnold and he gets super pissed. You know, like Harvey Weinstein will not be treating our clients like this. So he puts retel this whole company on Red Alert Boondock Saints gets made right now find somebody to pay the 100% or we chop Harvey down some way but this movie gets made and this young writer director gets out there. Wow. Because when you're putting turn around by the way, that's death. You're you're somebody you're nigh on now the black sheep of Miramax, no one wants to touch me. You know certain things are already known about me in the industry this sort of yay Troy thing is going downhill at this point and this couldn't have happened at worst times and first real tragedy that I absorbed in the business right so on comes a one of my favorite human beings in the world, Cassie and Ellis who was the president of film financing over there. He's actually carrying with his brother Men in Tights.
Alex Ferrari 49:02
Well, Princess, I mean Princess Bride saw but but you chose Men in Tights. That's fine. I mean, carry carries me hear me. He's done a couple things. I'm just saying.
Troy Duffy 49:16
So Kassian was a piece about the greatest guy in the world. So so he finds you know this, the company will come in, they're gonna pay the 100% turnaround situation. And it's the first time Rifkin said you know I'm all my years in this business. I've never seen this happen and clearly, Harvey does not want this movie being made for obvious reasons, not because I want to becoming successful and you know, he's looking right and writing you off as a mistake and trying to make everyone forget that this even happened. CUT TO GET THE THING made. I get a bottle of champagne note from Harvey on the first day of principle, which I completely mistake as genuine. But it was just a gangster chapter
Alex Ferrari 50:00
was to screw you up to screw you up on your day one. Yeah, that's all it was.
Troy Duffy 50:04
Yeah, I was like the gangster walking you too. So he does a good job. We're like him on the sand. Well,
Alex Ferrari 50:09
here's the fish.
Troy Duffy 50:11
But don't read into it don't get to, you know, get the movie made. And yeah, you know, we're gonna spare you some of the other stories, but there was there was there was some quite obvious things that happened once I tried to get my little movie out there where roadblocks were, you know, inexplicably being thrown up in front of this film. And I had people from this industry calling me telling me that they had been straight up intimidated either by him personally, or people representatives for from his company, you know, and so there was this campaign to then when the movie got made it to end to end and have no one see it. Strangely enough, though, and here's the fucked up part of this. Hidden how he wasn't able to study when you make a movie like that, that the kids are gonna find it's it's gonna happen no matter what. The thing that really screwed us at the time was a whole nother deal. It was caught off two weeks before we were we were having our screenings for the industry. And that's where you take your little movie, you go to the big lot, Sony, Paramount Fox, we went to all of them. And you have screenings for all them and their buyers and all buyers from all over the place. And so there's a you got Pat, I was we were having pack screenings, three 400 people, almost no one was leaving, which always happens on screen. But you're basically asking somebody don't buy my film, and distribute it through your, your engine, your network. And Columbine happened. And I don't know if you remember right. There, they're like it was on cue. We're having screenings that are off the charts, and people are loving it. And then coming forward, we were reading the kind of writing in the sand find this one. This one buyer comes up to us and says, you know, congratulations, highly competent. Congratulations, you made a great movie. And he very, very nice about it. So you've been you've been blacklisted from us screens. Nobody is going to theatrically released this movie, so you got to put it out. Yeah. And that was just like don't do it. You know, we were all talking about dizzy of trying to find your answer on the bottom of a beer glass. We just everybody I will hard how hard we work and this thing that had nothing to do with us. But all the all the touchstones in it. But people in trench coats did this, I decided it wasn't just two young men that did the violence. I had two young men. And it was just all the parallels were ridiculous. And it was exactly what they were stopping production on and pulling out of theaters right there at Clinton landed here and had a whole talk with the industry. And they they reacted that way. They just stopped production on anything with violence in it right now, especially in the US look youthful violence pull anything with violence out of theaters. They even started with video games, and I was right there. With my little film gone. Please help me. You know, and we just got screwed. But fun story. boondock was about to touch the public for the first time, right? And I was in the darkest depression ever because I'm like, it doesn't matter. Now. There's no theatrical release, there's no way this film is going to be successful. So I met this guy, Dean Wilson, who remained one of my dearest friends and contacts in this business until his death a couple years ago. Dean was the CFO of blockbuster. And they had 7500 store though that was the during the biggest they were huge. They were home video for every studio. And they got a lot of power. So I take him down it was like actually is me and Flannery. And a couple I think maybe even norm was there. We take him down to photochem and arrange a screening for him to see the film. I remember I'd already seen it a million times. I fell asleep in the only thing that I had bought with my newfound riches, which was a 68 Chevelle fire engine red with tinted windows bad ass car. I get knock on the window. And here's this excited guy, Dean Wilson, right. And he's like, Oh my God, that's great. It goes we're gonna we're gonna release this and make a deal for you to have a big blockbuster exclusive. I didn't know what that was at the time. But what they were doing. What they were doing was taking smaller films that they felt should have been theatrical released or that they saw some thought would really touch their their Republic and release them in blockbuster stores like they were big films. Instead of two copies per store. There was 60 or 120 shutting the store so boondock was released on video as if it was some big theatrical success. And I remember walking through the local my local blockbusters talking to just seeing shelves and shelves of boondock Saints you know at that time videotapes it was VHS at first and this was right during the crossover a DVD was beginning so I was like alright, makes it suitable they made the deal right. And come to find out later on that it was blockbusters highest grossing straight to video hit in their history now something I always kidded Dean about was he had the blockbuster had the he had the opportunity to buy the home video rights for 150 grand slightly after he saw how well it was doing and made some ridiculous amount in six months like like a million bucks
Alex Ferrari 55:57
you mean as a as a part as part of the deal and it's like it was a it was a
Troy Duffy 56:01
we're gonna take a variable the deal was we're gonna do an exclusive Blockbuster Video window we'll pay you this much and share this much of the profits with you and they were like all right, you want the video all the video rights to so you can sell all VHS not just rental deal but like you can sell all the VHS and DVDs that are going to come out because of this for 150 grand if he had taken that deal I remember just lightened into him once we're at dinner, he took me to dinner make surely icon. It was the best, the best. And I was like you got you guys had the opportunity to buy that for 150 grand in front Charlie icon. I went, you would have made $150 million. If you had done that that. And the By the way, by that time the numbers were in. So that wasn't a joke. And Dean was like thanks, Charlie icon Gilgo most embarrassing goddamn thing.
Alex Ferrari 56:58
It's kind of like, it's like when it's my
Troy Duffy 57:00
What do you want to see it if it wasn't for this guy? So I like modem everything.
Alex Ferrari 57:04
Right? It's kind of like when Fox gives Lucas the sequel rights and the merchandising rights for Star Wars. Yes. Similar times people
Troy Duffy 57:11
have compared me to George Lucas there. But let me show you how not. George Lucas was smart. Right? Just angry. At one point, I want the merchandising rights and they're like, you're making a $6 million film, who do you think's gonna buy a T shirt? It was the easiest thing in the world to shut me up and give me the merchandising rights. And that ended up being shaving my bacon and a lot of ways.
Alex Ferrari 57:35
Yeah, so the movie comes out. It's a huge success. Everybody sees it. Because it's, and for people who don't understand blockbuster in 2001 2000 to 2003 in that world, they were at the height of their of their
Troy Duffy 57:49
It was 2000 it was released to blockbuster. And you're right, it became a huge hit. Huge, apparent. Apparently, no one noticed, except the people the blockbuster and the fans. When a movie does that kind of business, you know, just think about a company owing on 10 other movies that maybe did not do. Didn't even recruit. There's all kinds of problems that can happen. And we got into this area where, you know, from from the industry, what we were being told was, it's not a success. You know, nothing, you got nothing we got a guy got a contract says I'm owed money here is No, it didn't do well. And I remember going to a gas station one day and seeing my first kid with fucking tattoos for my movie. And I just, you know, I'm looking and say anything to them, and they start noticing in public, you know, I'm at bars, and suddenly people will pop off lines from my movies while they're screwing around with each other at a pool table. So it was hard for me to believe that it wasn't doing well when I was seeing it in my own life just randomly, you know, so we ended up cut two years later had a big lawsuit settled that all out got rights and went forward with that which we may have to we may have to piece this into two interviews took my job to me But yeah, it became extremely successful.
Alex Ferrari 59:17
But so in in other words Hollywood accounting took over is what you're saying.
Troy Duffy 59:21
In a lot of ways there's a lot I can't say because it's fair enough.
Alex Ferrari 59:24
Troy Duffy 59:25
But yeah, you know the the old adage of You must have heard to you know if you get fucked on your first one.
Yeah, yeah, you're never gonna make money in your first one. That's just just it's Yeah, it's the sequel that's where
the bias yeah and that yeah yeah, I happen to
Alex Ferrari 59:43
and to and to be fair George as well on the first one financially didn't do well on the movie that that merchandise he did okay. But the the movie didn't do well but Empire he that's where he started really making his money. So same thing. So you're so you go through this process, the movie gets out. You get the rights back. Now you own and control the sequel rights to boondock. Right? At this point we had the right back.
Troy Duffy 1:00:07
Yeah, we got the right because, you know, the the the sequel rights were wrapped into this company and this lawsuit around so once that was settled, we got our sequel rights and we were able to do too and within 48 hours of the conclusion of that of those legal troubles, we had a deal for two on the table with some
Alex Ferrari 1:00:29
and and then and then that when I remember reading, because I kept I couldn't follow you over the years I was like what happened to what happened to Troy What happened? So I'd always like read whatever was out and some some things on the sequel came out. I was reading like, how'd he do? What's going on? And from what I understood, and please correct me if I'm wrong to the merchandising rights. That's it's like George says, The money's in the lunchboxes, idiots.
Troy Duffy 1:00:56
Yeah, yeah. did well, and they still is, you know, but the it's that, you know, with with, with the sequel, yeah, that's made a metric ton of money and done very, very well and continues to, you know, call a cult cult classic is about the coolest, two words in film. And, you know, I wasn't the first to say that there was a whole bunch of other people that did. And that's what I'm, that's what I've done. And I'm extremely grateful to all those long suffering fans, because I mean, if you think about it, they're going to be waiting 10 years between one and two and another 10 between two and three.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:37
Yeah. Sucks. But if you're like the Kubrick of indie, of indie films, like he does one movie every 10 years. It's fantastic.
Troy Duffy 1:01:45
Yeah Yeah. I'm Mike Lucas and Cobra, just not half as talented
Alex Ferrari 1:01:51
or well, exactly. It's just like them, but completely different. So I have to ask you, though, the secret comes out, you didn't do very well, with that you're doing well with merchandising? What is the biggest lesson you learn man in this entire boondock? journey? Like, what was that thing that you just like? Fuck.
Troy Duffy 1:02:16
You know, I think it's what I said before, that this business is all about relationships, I may have been able to sustain some of the more controversial things that happened if I hadn't maintained my relationships properly, you know, with agents, with producers, and with actors. And also, people if you're learning from your mistakes, and right there, right after you make them don't take 20 years to figure something out, like I did learn, right? You have to walk out of the room say screwed up. How did I do it? What did I do, why don't do it again, here's the right thing to do. So learning from your mistakes, and keeping that black book going, would be the two essential pieces of advice. But really, if you boil that down, it's just growing up and maturing a level of maturity, and what a director just needs to be. And this is the part that I didn't need to learn and didn't make many mistakes, as a director needs to be somebody that people trust on set. This guy knows what he's doing and that they'll they will follow you to the ends of the earth, they will go into meal penalties, they won't call their unions and bitch about things, you know, they'll they will follow you and really, really give you 110% and when you're doing a movie that you truly believe in. That is the most important thing having that cast and crew go now this surrounds you and protect you and do you know execute perfectly. And with big, fat, beautiful hearts and put them they're all into it? That is the part that I had down. Yeah, that's why I think in a lot of ways boondock went so well. You know Boondock was the turned out the way it was this this film with a shelf life of fucking uranium.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:19
That's a great line. You should be right. You should be a writer, sir.
Troy Duffy 1:04:23
Today, even today, like when I'm almost forced, is he like people? What do you do? filmmaker? Well, I fell. I just did boondock Saints right? You get this? I've seen this so many times with my friends. They'll say like a movie. They did something. Oh yeah, that's great. I saw it was wonderful. This is what you get. Sometimes when you say you did Boondock Saints all of a sudden. They don't believe you. They did put you through a test to say the prayer, you know the fucking and they repeat it right to you. And they're like, oh my god. Oh my god. bleep. Joey. Joey. Never gonna fucking believe that. It's just like it's a whole different It's a whole different thing with boondock people have taken this one. So personally, it makes my heart sore every time you know, it's get the best goddamn fans ever. There was just one article that a critic wrote. And it was, I think it was entitled something like don't ever criticize boondock saints in a bar. A bunch of fans surrounded him and started reciting the prayer.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:24
Like a cult, like a cult.
Troy Duffy 1:05:26
It was a Randy fucking white man. And when I remember being with Rocco, when we we heard he's the one that found the article sent it to me, and he was just laughing his ass off. He's like, there's gonna be a way to, you know, send them off. Did you? Do we have like an assassination squad? Anyway, that fucks with us? Can we just send them there to deal with it? Oh, wow
Alex Ferrari 1:05:51
it's you know, and it's so fascinating, man, because boondock has this kind of lore about it. And you're absolutely right, out of all the films that came out in the 90s and early 2000s. Let's say that because you're part of that that group of, of crop of filmmakers from 1989 to 90 to 2001 2002. That kind of crew. There aren't in my understanding any films in that time period that have the level of fandom that you know, because look, we all know El Mariachi, well, clerks, I would argue clerks, but no one's beating anybody up over clerks. You know, they're not fighting over. You know, they're not. They're not like, what did you say? What did you say about to start that that star what like, it doesn't happen? But there's a different level of passion I feel with boondock and I've seen it dude, I've seen I've seen the tats. I've seen all all of that dude, it's like the it is it is going because deep and wet. What do you think that is? Do I mean, I know the story is really, you know, there's a religious, almost a religion aspect to it almost.
Troy Duffy 1:06:54
I would boil it down to two things, but it's almost to the you can do it to each individual, you know, and ask him that question, you might get a different answer, but I think it comes down to two things. brotherhood, people love movies about brothers and people have brothers and sisters blood. See Connor and Murphy shoot through a brick wall to save each other or back each other or kill somebody or survive together as blood and family that plays into it. Also, you know, the best friend aspect of it. We've all the Rocco's almost like that. That stereotypical friend everybody had in high school was like a puppy dog down for anything loyal as hell, even though he couldn't fight if you got in a fight. He was gonna jump in and get us ask him. Alright, so everybody had that the other part of it, I think, is just the slight adjustment on a theme. We all had seen vigilante movies in the superhero themed movies forever. But in terms of the vigilante movies, we know it's almost like you need to have personally offended me that I'm going to come after you or a group of people. I'm going to mow them down one by one because you killed my family. Batman, right? Our little our little, you know, like, yeah, like, like, it's Charlie Bronson stuff.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:09
Yeah, Punisher, Charlie Bronson, Batman and all those guys. Yeah,
Troy Duffy 1:08:13
the adjustment that I made was you don't need to have personally offended Conner and Murphy. They're killing you. Because you're a bad person. And that's it. But they're doing it in this way where there's belief and faith wrapped into it. Right. So I believe that young people that were watching that at a time who may have you know, I think that young people watching at that time saw that aspect of it. These are two boys following their moral code, you can believe they're just badass vigilantes. Irish guy is fucking killing it, or you can believe they were sent by God, it doesn't really matter. What they're doing essentially is protecting us protecting society. And I think that was that one little adjustment that we hadn't seen before that really got into people because if you think about it, you know, if you and your friend or you and your brother we're going to do a similar thing you would do exactly what if you know what we're going to kill the bad people the true threats to our community, we're going to kill them what you would do is you go get guns trying to shoot him in the head and get away with it not get caught. That's what we do. So it seemed also there was just a kind of reasonableness and logic to it that of course, you know, this would this would happen if it so I think that those are like, in a very general wide broad sense. Those were one of the reasons the was a probably a good part of the reason why boondock struck a chord so deeply with people but I think if you ask those people, you'll get a different you'll get a different fucking thing from each
Alex Ferrari 1:09:42
shirt. It's movies are always something to everybody else. But I was just curious what you thought because there is there's something visceral in it. There's there's no question. There's something very visceral in the reaction that people have to that film. Either you love it or you hate it. There is generally not a gray with with boondock it's, it's generally like a It's okay. No, no You'd love it or you hate it. It's funny.
Troy Duffy 1:10:01
I know it's really fun too because that frustrated the critic. We were critically just smashed to pieces. Fans just loved it. So, critics who would you know, do I even think I saw Kurt Loder say something about this on an MTV
Alex Ferrari 1:10:17
going back going back
Troy Duffy 1:10:19
set and they just couldn't be like, why do you all love this movie so much? I'm a critic. And I know what good moviemaking is. And that sucks. Why does that look like it? Oh, well, you know, and it was like, okay, that happens so many times, you know? Like, it became a joke for all of us afterwards. It's like, hey, so the guy love hated us. And right.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:42
Now, when you were doing when you were going back on that, I'm gonna want to go back real quick to the first day on set for for boondock. The first one, you're you first time you directing? Right first time you're on set. You've gone through hell. And back to get I mean, more than most filmmakers, because making any movie is held at almost any level, but you really have a documented journey of hell and back. So you're there on your first day, dude, and you're working with you know, amazing actors. How do you feel man? How do you like take it on? Are you just like, relieved to get going? Are you nervous? Like, what is it
Troy Duffy 1:11:17
anxious to get going anxious to get going? I by that point, I had grown up with a sort of East Coast mentality in terms of you can go out there you put in your day's work hard. You earn your money, you know, right, right. Oh, I was gonna I was gonna earn this, I realized how much time and money we had, I was keeping my eye on the ball. And what I did was just get through that day as hard as possible. And that first day is where I started to earn the faith of my cast and crew. You know, I remember this one time going up, and I was going on set, I was stopped by a PA and told that I couldn't come out. He had no idea who I was, you know, I would have overalls on I didn't blame the kid. I didn't you he wouldn't have known. But once we got you know, once we had a nice funny, ha ha, got our coffees in ice, it was like, Get to work. Right? Right, I realized, you know, just from you just feeling maybe from like, his sports and plan and things like hockey and stuff and how you can deal with actors. It's almost like a coach deals with players in a lot of ways. But just know you're each individual player, guy like Defoe, he likes to get inside of a room and feel the spatial pneus of a walk around mumbles lines now, but always kind of clear everybody out, give him some time. And then we were able to riff and this is a guy you approach you know, you're about to get something out of him, that's going to make what you had on the page way better. You know, what, you know, maybe when I'm dealing with the brothers, sometimes it's just like a coach psyching you up for the big game. That's what they need in the moment. So you know, I guess I'll probably go into that on my upcoming disastrous social media, videos and telling those stories, but it's you when an actor walks off feeling like they just got something good, they just do a great job. They're walking on air, they just simply begin to trust you and everything goes goes smooth from there. And when, you know, guys that have been like, you're you say your key grip, and this business has been in the business forever. And the guy is a legend ours was and he knows great directors and you know, at the bar that night after day one, if he's going, Hey, I just signed off on you with everyone. You know that you're you're getting there, you know. And then it just started to ramp up. By the time we were done shooting, nobody wanted to go home. Everybody wanted this film to continually shoot
Alex Ferrari 1:13:49
like a series.
Troy Duffy 1:13:52
TV DVD series, screw the movie, right? All here in shooting because we're all having such a fun time. And all the way from an actor to wardrobe people to hair people to food people. They all saw almost instant gratification for their work right there on set because they were invested in the characters and they were inventing this new guy, David della Rocco. They didn't know who he was. And the wardrobe ladies cried off, just off set when they watched his death scene. And I remember coming by I'm like, Whoa, what's going on? I didn't realize what was going on. They're like, no, it's fine. That's fine. And they were actually hurt that he was fake dying on screen. You know? That was one of those moments where you're like, whew, what, what the fuck is happening here? What do I have here? Cuz that doesn't happen, you know?
Alex Ferrari 1:14:45
No, it doesn't.
Troy Duffy 1:14:46
And a lot of other things like that. There's so many stories that I have to share with the fans who have been waiting along.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:52
So I got to ask you though, man, I think you kind of touched upon this earlier man that you know, you obviously are an accomplished filmmaker. You're obviously a good storyteller and a good director you've made to, you know, like almost legendary mythical movies that people just adore who've done big business. Why haven't there been other opportunities? Why haven't there been other projects? Are you Where are you still leaning? Is it still a spillover from the Harvey blacklist bullshit? Or is it just is it the doc I'm just kidding
Troy Duffy 1:15:24
everybody's all upset about what I did to Harvey No.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:29
Troy Duffy 1:15:30
not porn porn like no, it's it's it's it's definitely spelt documentary still haunts and I think that was kind of looked at as I let I let I made the cardinal sin of letting them backstage and airing Hollywood laundry, when it wasn't really me. I think that's also a lot of misunderstanding. You know, oh, my God, that maniac. What's happened is he all right is even doing anything. And but like I said, there are my pockets of fan. So yeah, this whole thing has affected me, it has not necessarily put me in the best light at, say, I am not popular with the Chicago Police Department. or places where I'm not popular, you know, they don't want me around them or the you know, their projects are there. And then there are other places where there are guys that were turned fan, you know, right out of college that are now running some big shit. And they're like, Duffy, get over here. And, you know, so it's, it's gone up and down, I'm going to try and you know, turn myself into a movie making machine. Over the next bunch of years, I feel I've accumulated enough knowledge and experience in this business, to really be a value we're going to start out, you know, hopefully with a part three, which we can talk about in a minute. But in terms of other projects, yeah, I have been writing my ass off with a whole bunch of stuff, too. I'd like to mention in particular, one we're trying to put together during this COVID this COVID time because there's a there's an opportunity, potentially in Australia, one of my dear friends and producers something we we did somebody we already pulled one off during COVID. I didn't even tell you about a guest house. Boom. Pauly Shore boy, Pauly Shore. I wrote it with my my friend, Sean Bishop and Sam macaroni who directed it. And we were the one comedy in America on item number seven on iTunes. It's again, it's like this thing that happens quiet. You know, if all this hadn't been happening, you know.
Alex Ferrari 1:17:31
I was like, I can't I can't walk the streets in Bulgaria. I can't.
Troy Duffy 1:17:35
I mean, I'm begging Japan.
Alex Ferrari 1:17:38
Huge, huge Japan. I can't walk the streets of Japan.
Troy Duffy 1:17:42
So it was the Sony movie. We did that. And it was really good polished Paul, I'm really proud of Paulie. He really killed it. It's sort of a comeback performance. We've seen Paulie in a while. And he's just amazing. Well, you told me about like, essentially, it's about a guy living in a guesthouse and his couple buys the house tries to get him out and he won't leave. So it's a War of the Roses. But we did it. Sam was a great director. It was wonderful producing experience for me. But my my guy, Scott Clayton helped finance that and he's out to Australia. And the reason we even knew each other was because of this other script I've written called the blood spoon Council. Now what that script is essentially about a group of serial killers of hunters of serial killers. Led by a mastermind profiler. One they call a one percenter profiler that goes out into the world identifies snatches, execute serial killers and delivers them to the doorstep of the FBI. And so the FBI is covertly looking for them and can't let the fact that they are out there murdering US citizens that don't get out because it would be way too bad. Because once people found out that they were serial killers, they might be like, just like boondock are they doing your job for you?
Alex Ferrari 1:19:02
And then and now you have the FBI pissed off
Troy Duffy 1:19:03
at you as well, me strangely dark thing. And I've put in about two years of research and I put pen to paper on it with my buddy Chris Lasseter, who helped me on the in the writing duties with it. But as soon as it hit this wonderful company called the grindstone over Lionsgate, you know, they were like, get in here. Turns out again, these were fans of mine. These guys had gone through other companies. And while boondock was happening, they were keeping an eye on it. They were saying things like we got to get a movie with this guy back in the day. So and when I got in there, I realized that he told you the they give you these stories. This is your this is how your film affected me when I was a young guy who got in college. One of them was already in the business over at some huge company that I've escapes me now but the other one was this, you know, they all have their their their their Duffy story and they all throw them on me. I was like, This is great. And then they were like, we read the script. And oh my god, and they put me right on the conference call with Clayton. Here's the guy money guy, we want to get moving on this right away. Now this was, this is how, you know, hard these things are to put together, you think you'd have a well heeled company like that willing to pick up the domestic REITs for however many million under finance, you're coming in from all the rest of it that they've worked with on a bunch of other movies, you think this is gonna get done quickly, it doesn't, you know, until all the lines that are dotted are signed, you got nothing. But here we all made the college try. And now we're trying again during COVID because there's a potential opportunity in Australia. But we're trying to get that one off the ground. That's one of those, you know, you must have it to like that project your your little
Alex Ferrari 1:20:44
Oh, I've got a couple.
Troy Duffy 1:20:46
Yeah, I just play spit, shine it every now and then pull it out, update it when it needs to be. And and now we've got some opportunity to potentially pull one off. Because really, the story is a cat and mouse game between the mind profiler for the council. And this kid that the FBI brings in was also a one percenter who doesn't really like the idea of what these guys are doing, but are so curious about this guy, you know, who's not going to be like, you know, he's like, you know, these guys pulled down seven serial killers in the last five years. You guys get like, what,
Alex Ferrari 1:21:22
Troy Duffy 1:21:25
and he has to virtually walk through the front door, you know, you want you really want to catch these guys kind of thing, you know, so it's really, really awesome. To me, you know, one of the one of the more well researched and exciting projects as long as we can find people that can deal with the darkness because, you know, you don't do you don't do Silence of the Lambs. You know, without Hannibal Lecter. And you don't, you don't give clerys a dog to make her more sympathetic. You got it, you got to go there with with stuff like that. And these days, you know, there's kind of a real the real violence and the real darkness they're made with. They're kind of pulling back on that now. And I think it's affecting storytelling in the industry. And I fucking hate it.
Alex Ferrari 1:22:09
Yeah, it's, it's, well, the whole thing with COVID. Man, that's the other thing I want to tell it. Well, first of all, by the way, I can't wait to see that movie. dynasty that that sounds absolutely remarkable. And I'm so I'm so glad that there are these fans of people that have gone through the system and grew up with you. It's like, it sounds like we're old farts you know, it's like, it's like, like I you know, when I was a kid, you're moving really did. I look at a much, much, much smaller level, I get it with a film I did in 2005 that people constantly come back to me. I'm like, Oh, I bought that movie. It was a short film. It was a short film. So short film called a short film called broken. But what I did in that movie in that little DVD, I threw three and a half hours of how to make a movie with a dv x 100 a final cup when nobody had any information about making movies. If you remember 2005 I don't know YouTube, there was no information. Yeah, yeah. And that that little movie people. I constantly get emails about that. And it's still when I meet people at our events or something like Dude, and they'll bring out the original DVD. I'm like, oh, wow, we got so I got a much, much, much smaller level than you do. I still get that kind of stuff, too. And it's just like, go ahead
Troy Duffy 1:23:20
it's cool that you had that trying to help out vibe. I mean, you probably were like, Hey, this is how to do it, guys. You know?
Alex Ferrari 1:23:26
Troy Duffy 1:23:26
I'm having that that instinct now. That's exactly what I'm gonna be going and doing. I did it guys. This is how you can do it. And that's like a that's like during this COVID time, man, I I look at it like that. Depression is probably the big culprit here. You know, you're seeing murders go up. Or you're seeing the suicides through the roof. Right depression is the culprit. And I've noticed, you know, even if you don't think you're having it, I've noticed like I have like different reactions to things and I wouldn't have normally you know, or I'm like experimenting, I'll be like, you know, what would happen if I ate nothing but carrots for three days? Would that fucking do it? You know? And I did. Essentially you want meat so bad. human being
Alex Ferrari 1:24:16
you know those you know what? Scorsese Scorsese made an iPhone short film quarantine short film. During like the height of the quarantine like after was like a month or two like when the world was shut like literally shut down. Like when nothing was moving. He shot whatever and it was like this weird. Like, you know, he's projecting stuff on his face. And it's like this whole weird like, it's basically if Scorsese made a quarantine film on his iPhone, whatever is in your head. That's what he shot.
Troy Duffy 1:24:44
Artists should not be left alone to their own devices. We are complete idiots who can't take
Alex Ferrari 1:24:52
Troy Duffy 1:24:54
Even today, I I clicked on YouTube and typed in uplifting videos.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:03
Because it's a look, there's been some Look, there's been so much this last year has been horrible for the world. It's been devastating for the world, the psychological and I've been telling this to people for for a while now and I've said it on the show a bunch of times, there is going to be a hangover, a COVID hangover, that that society is going to have, not only in the world, but like for films like I don't know when I'm going to be able to go back to a movie theater and truly feel comfortable in a group environment or go to a film festival and just like, be like Sundance, like be in Sunday. Like I can't even I can't even think about handshakes. Hey, Chase me from the shit. Like handshakes. Like he. I don't even know if I'll ever handshake somebody again. I think the elbow thing is the closest I'm gonna do for a while. It's crazy. But there is it's it's really a serious thing that's happening to humans and us as artists. We're bouncing off the damn walls in here.
Troy Duffy 1:26:00
I know dude, I had the funniest interaction. If you had been with me it would have you to just laugh your ass off. We're gonna staples. I'm gonna save the story all of it but I had a reaction you know those guys that you know, staples are just huge. They're gigantic warehouse. I go in there. And maybe two employees. There's there's two other there's two other customers walking around a stupid mascot, right? I hate I hate this goddamn thing. And I have to buy is is a Velcro and rubber bands. The only reason I'm there? Sure you see one of these guys in like a supermarket. They're like, hey, yeah, what did he say? There was a dude being so it was bouncing off the walls. Oh my god, I did something that I'm going to preserve. But Fair enough, not I would have reacted in any normal situation. You know, I realized walking out of there that something's something's kind of wrong here. You know, I'm not reacting the way I normally would. And as a director, you have to have been in that position where he's going wrong, the whole world is coming down and you have to become you can't look for who made the mistake and try and get them you can't take you have to take all the blame yourself and just keep pushing it forward. Always been good at that. But this you know, the there's a part of maybe my personal depression that offends that very core area of mine. And I am rare. I find myself not reacting in similar ways that i i i don't know myself anymore, just a little bit here and there and send you those cues. Like just like little lightning bolts.
Alex Ferrari 1:27:48
Troy Duffy 1:27:49
Well, you don't do that you don't do it may have been funny. You know, I may have been fun to do. But you don't do that you don't act like that. You are the You are the sort of rock of calm in the middle of that stuff. And now it just doesn't take too much doesn't take too much to rile you, or me anyway, just speaking for myself. But I really wish you know that. Maybe that's what we can do with indie hustle Academy. Yeah, I should get a bunch of artists together to talk about their depression during this and why and how, man with a mom even combat it, you know, I have my little techniques and they work most of the time. But it's nobody's talking about it, bro.
Alex Ferrari 1:28:31
I've been I've been lucky enough because I I'm constantly talking to people interviewing people talking all the time to people like yourself and constantly. During this entire time. I've had human interaction and I'm home with my family and stuff. But I've had human interaction and I can talk things out. But I can't imagine just being locked up. Like I can't just watch the days of me sitting down and watching 10 hours of movies. I can't I can't do that anymore.
Troy Duffy 1:28:54
I know. And even when even when you go out like I'm coming to you from a man cave and in Old Town, Pasadena, right? One of my favorite spots on earth. And when you walk around here, and there's just nobody it's a ghost town. You know, you it's a ghost town and all the businesses are shut down. There's they're starting to open up now. But like I had a couple of months ago, I had the experience of jogging right down the main strip. I may have seen four people the whole time. I get busted by a cop for jaywalking,
Alex Ferrari 1:29:28
because he's got nothing else better to do with his life.
Troy Duffy 1:29:31
Zero. You could hear the tumbleweeds in the background. This guy was writing me the ticket. I was almost like really, really? This This seems like a good idea to you. There is no one around here. There's no there was no cars to because it was really early in the morning. You know? And I was just super like, you know what, what,
Alex Ferrari 1:29:54
what do you doing?
Troy Duffy 1:29:55
How is this affecting cops. Like I can't give tickets anymore. Cuz there's nobody to give tickets to. Yeah, there's a guy right there. What is it? I'm gonna get back to being an officer. Excuse me, sir.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:08
I was a good Jim Carrey. That was a very good Jim Carrey, excuse me,
Troy Duffy 1:30:11
the planet is blue.
Alex Ferrari 1:30:15
I would like to ask you a few questions. So, first of all, I want to thank you so much for being so brutally honest, raw, setting this record straight on everything that's happened to you and your career and where you're going, which is a question. I know a lot of people who are your fans want to know, like, when's Boondock Boondock Saints three, once that happened?
Troy Duffy 1:30:41
I want to say about one thing first, okay. Like if you include this quick project, there's always kind of writing writing projects on the, you know, on the horizon, one of the nice things to kind of keep you going, and we're trying to do this really cool one right now I remember that I this of there's a producer named Daniel McNichol and Scott Raleigh, they're out of this place called glacia. films and in hotlanta, they, again, producers that were fans, you know, can you take a look at this script, and it was a script called Glastonbury about Christ. There's a legend basically a legend that said, Joseph, his uncle Joseph era mithya, took him to Great Britain to this place called Glastonbury when he was in his teens, because of Christ was there, all this kind of evidence in the local area for it. And the story is based on this legend, so it was extremely well researched, I read it, I liked it. And then they basically say, you know, we are in a bit of a pickle here, because we need to bust this into a trilogy, we want to do more of a sort of Lord of the Rings trilogy. And funny thing, I had always had this kind of thing that question you have in your mind what happened after Christ died? rose from the dead. What happened then? Because all those biblical all stars, were still alive. All the apostles, but of course, Joseph farmer Thea has, has an uncle, Mary Magdalene, everybody was still there. What did they do?
Alex Ferrari 1:32:25
Did they Netflix and chill?
Troy Duffy 1:32:30
had this idea about, you know, a sort of historical fantasy story about Christ's All Stars going out into the world after he was gone. And they got this cup, which ends up being the most supernatural thing on earth, that can change the tides of war and men in nations. So I just kind of put it right over this idea and said, Look, here's how we go big, you know, without going to fucking you know, wizards and dragons. It's something that people are tangible that we'll have, you know, that if we move out into the world with Christ, all stars, and they've got the Holy Grail. And it starts showing itself and they realize that they're seeing these very powerful things happening. And this thing is it can be everything from something that that saves you to a weapon, you know, very dangerous. How dare God put this power in our hands, the hands of men, you know, so I thought, great, I so we made the pitch during COVID. It was like right here, you know, zoom, zoom call patch, and they love it. So we're trying to make that deal right now. So that is a potentially upcoming project for Troy. Now you want to get to three
Alex Ferrari 1:33:48
dots. Yeah, Boondock three, see what happened. What's going what's going on with Boondocks, I'm sure there's a few people who want to know.
Troy Duffy 1:33:56
Oh, man, yeah. So all right. You know how it is in the business? I can't tell you what will happen tomorrow on that. No one, nothing's happening until all the dotted lines are signed. And this is where I wanted to maybe segue into what's happening with independent film, especially budget levels that and the types of independent film that boondock is, yeah, we can talk about that in a second. Let's pare that one off. But what's happening with boondock is that script, there was a long and winding road to crack the code on that script. And I knew that I had to kind of get it right. And so I brought in a couple of writers who have been friends of mine for 25 years. I know the brand very well. Once I got to a certain point, we all started bouncing it. And over the last year and a half, I'd say we got it and it is done and I'm talking so hot off the presses. It's days. We have to put it through one or two more stages creatively. I hear it all loud, I need to hear that read out loud. With all the accents and everything, I need to then kind of pop it through this whole final phase that I can tell my fans about later on. But it is at that phase. The the problem, the problem with getting it done lies in in the scheduling, and availability. And the fact that there's the COVID has virtually ended the production of all films almost on this level at any time at this time. Two years ago, there would have probably been hundreds in the industry, if not 1000s, privately, of independent films of that budget level being shot.
Alex Ferrari 1:35:41
And we say budget, you're talking in the five to 10 million.
Troy Duffy 1:35:44
Yeah i will say five to 15 times that they've done it. And so I I needed to get a solid foundation on that script, I needed to have it feel more towards a sort of deeper, darker boondock. One, we finally did, there's also this kind of odd timely thing that that happened, whether it's kind of has some things to do with what's happening now in our society. So it's even more tangible. I love what we got, I love this script, sausage, we're going to try to move out with that. Here's one of the major problems. Yeah, COVID has really, really hurt independent film. What what's happening now is that the one of the reason is very few things, even big budget are being shot and done, that the production has virtually stopped. And only these really big streamers can handle it is because of an insurance issue. I've been involved in these talks for a long time, and they cannot find anybody is going to write COVID insurance. Yeah, the people that are shooting right now usually are self insuring because they're wealthy enough and well heeled enough companies to financially self insure, which is your Amazon's your Netflix, your hulu's the ones who can afford to self insure. But here's what it means what it would mean for an independent filmmaker. If I've got say a million dollars to go make miles let's make it even numbers. $5 million to make my film. No, let's make it 10 Yeah, I'm not I'm so great with math. Give me my phone. Now. 25% of it goes away. Right? Right, right to COVID protection on set. They're doing these crazy things with pods, where whole all your say your wardrobe people will actually never be in a room with your grips and electric people who will never have any physical contact with the top level producers and director of video village over here. They are literally one person comes down with COVID in the pod they remove everybody put a whole new pot of people in there. It's extremely expensive. It is financially debilitating. Yeah. Especially to independent films that ends us right there for now. It'll be fixed, we'll come back. But there is no way you're already on a tight budget. And historically and you know, this is just as well as I do. You've been through this many time that every single cent plus hopefully a rebate if you caught we know how to make these things with the money that we're given. We know what's possible and not possible. I know I have to give up that great location for this good one because it saves me this money that I need for this. That's how we do independent films to have something that comes in from which you get zero benefit. That sucks up 25% of your budget just gone burned up in flames in this you and they're usually kind of privately financed or financed by companies that really like to get their money back.
Alex Ferrari 1:38:57
Troy Duffy 1:38:58
Those people are going to be those people right now are going to have 25 I got to pay 25% right out the door for this crap.
Alex Ferrari 1:39:05
And it doesn't put 25% more on the screen. You're at all
Troy Duffy 1:39:09
and you don't get it back. You don't get it back at all in any way. Unless the movie makes so much money I everybody's happy. Right You know, but they're not they're just not doing it. So that that really does plan you know, I another thing that can make you depressed and like the state of my business, this is what I do, man. The state of my business is is going down in flames right now. It really it's really hurting. It's really on its knees. And yeah, it scares it scares me. I'm sorry. I want to see it come back and bounce back with full vigor and I know it's gonna,
Alex Ferrari 1:39:45
well, it will it will you can't you can't keep something like independent film or creatives down or it just the business model has to change has to adjust that you know, you know as well as I do. Those budgets have been coming down, down, down, down, down, down down. studios are only doing 80 to $250 million movies. They're not even touching. And in the end, the five to 15 is almost no man's land. It's a rough, it's a rough number,
Troy Duffy 1:40:11
you know, rarely happening. I've heard of one film,
Alex Ferrari 1:40:15
right. But it's I mean, you're talking about a sequel to two very successful, almost legendary films. So it would make sense in that budget range to kind of make that next movie, but Dude, I agree with you. I think it will come back. It is it is brutal. I talked to filmmakers every day. I talked to the big guys, I talked to the little guys. I talked to everything in between. and everyone's having problems. Everyone, people that you you would you know, who've been on my show who've won Oscars. And they're like, yeah, I yeah, I can't, I can't get that. And then I you know, privately, I'd be like, so get a movie. You can't get a movie made. What is what is the chance of me or Troy getting our stuff off the ground? You know, like it's, it's, it's, it's but that's the reality of our business and everyone's having a problem. So now it's really honestly man, this is when you know, all that shrapnel is going to come in handy because guys like you and me have been able to survive at this at this world where the larger guys who've been more comfortable. You know, they're like, how much did you make you made the movie for 5 million? I don't even know how do you make a movie for a million? And then like my last movie I made for 3000 bones and and got released and got released and all this stuff. And people were like, their minds just frickin explode with that. It also it's just like it the hustle the hustle.
Troy Duffy 1:41:39
The hustle. Oh,
Alex Ferrari 1:41:41
the hustle if I may, if I may plug word.
Troy Duffy 1:41:45
Ferrari Ladies and gentlemen, you lucked out with your last name for what? Hi, yeah, it's Troy Porsche coming at you with his buddy Alex
Alex Ferrari 1:41:52
Duffy's. Duffy's Not bad. Not bad. No bad but
Troy Duffy 1:41:56
I get you because I mean, I know that we're going to come in sometimes you have to have this odd kind of fate. I know is as depressed as you can be right now as prices I have been in as an under the threat that our business is in I know that we guys like man you and all those filmmakers you other film it that we're gonna come back 10 times stronger.
Alex Ferrari 1:42:19
Troy Duffy 1:42:19
We all left. We're not even done learning lessons from this, but the ones we will are going to carry us forward and make us do probably better work. I mean, there's nothing that makes you want it and appreciate it more like having it snatched away from you. And you can't do it anymore. Yeah. As felt like, you know, I've always been shooting something I've always been doing something and then this
Alex Ferrari 1:42:42
And but i think is honestly do sometimes you need I think it's you can see this throughout history. You've got to go into the dark phase. I mean, the Dark Ages, what came out of the dark ages, the Renaissance. Yes, yeah. And that's and that's, like, artistic move up period in history and human history. So I'm feeling that hopefully something like that will happen for independent film. I mean, the 90s was an explosion of creativity and think I think the landscape is different. And there's so many things, different things than it was in the 90s. And when we were coming up, but there's something new that we can't even see yet. That's going to be big. And I think that there will be hope there will be light at the end of this tunnel. But it's all about now just look and I say this all the time. Dude, I say this all the time, and I think you will agree with me 100%. No matter who you are in this business, I don't care if you're Steven Spielberg, Troy Duffy, Alex, Ferrari, anybody, you're going to get just jacked in the face by this business all the time. It happens at every level at every stage of your career, more at the beginning, but you could also get it at the end. The difference is what I try to do with indie film, hustle. And with everything that I do is I warn you that the punches coming because a lot of people are just walking around like, Hey, man, boom, done out, you're and you're gone, they're gone. They're gone from the business because they're knocked out because they didn't even know was coming in. They're like, wait a minute, I didn't sign up for this yet. And they're out. I'm warning you that it's coming. And you're gonna get hit. And it's about getting hit as like rocky says is about getting hit and keep moving forward. And then occasionally, as these gray hairs start popping out, like you and I have these little ways, these little gray start popping out, you start to learn how to duck a bit. You learn how to, you still might get hit, but you learn how to take that hit a little differently. You learn how to move, and occasionally you get so good that you just see them comment, and you just start bobbing and weaving and you don't get nearly hit. But those punches will always keep people coming
Troy Duffy 1:44:40
people throwing the punches give up and stop trying to punch you. They're like that guy's just too good.
Alex Ferrari 1:44:47
It's like it's like it's like Muhammad Ali Elliot is at his at his top like you couldn't
Troy Duffy 1:44:53
find the mat anymore. We did at the beginning. You know, you know the glory days when they first yelled action. He was like, Oh, it's such a special day, everybody.
Alex Ferrari 1:45:03
And you're out. He's he's learned how. Exactly. But I think we'll all come out of this man. It's a tough time. We've been in tough times before. This is unprecedented tough times. This is one of the such as once in a generation situation. But I do believe that something good will come out of it, man, it has to, I have to believe that to keep moving forward.
Troy Duffy 1:45:26
I have to to but just think about all the other times that we've been hit in this business with whatever you know, during the columbidae. That's when they first started discussing real censorship, and actually self censoring. And it all came back. You know, we've gone through dark parts of this business, you know, that there's been like, lately, everybody. What happened to Kevin Spacey being exposed in
Alex Ferrari 1:45:54
the Harvey Yeah, of course, Harvey.
Troy Duffy 1:45:56
I can't believe I used Kevin Spacey. When I had that one right in front of me.
Alex Ferrari 1:46:00
I mean, it's, it's called Getting Weinstein. I mean, it's literally he is now. He's Wow, he's an adjective.
Troy Duffy 1:46:07
Really funny. I put that in a script. yesterday. I'm filming horror film. This guy's explained to this girl. She's a wonderful actress. And she probably won't even have to get Weinstein during production. Last night, it's weird, but yeah,
Alex Ferrari 1:46:19
But exactly. But it's a word, business and
Troy Duffy 1:46:22
the people in it, you know, we have taken a lot of punches and a lot of different ways Yemen, and then rolled through it and came out the other side smart, and that we have to have faith in that. I do. It's just that, you know, I also understand we're still having we're still learning things right now. It's almost like we should well, like after all the vaccines to get everybody vaccinated, we start to return to normal, we should come back here, you know, maybe parse this one off for the academy or something. Come back here and say, okay, we talked about it on March 12 2001. All the things we're learning now. It's March 12 2022. We're through it. What did we learn? Where are we at?
Alex Ferrari 1:47:09
Yeah, amen. Amen. Now, I'm gonna ask you, bro, because we could keep going for at least another three hours. And I know we can. And we might, we might another day. But I'm just gonna ask you a few questions. I ask all my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?
Troy Duffy 1:47:27
To me, one of the the key skills a filmmaker needs, if you because you can go and take the classes, you know, you can go to film school and learn how to run cameras and become very proficient at that. But actually, successful filmmaking takes a another kind of thing, it takes another kind of talent. To me, it comes in two ways. One can almost be dressed as you have to know, let me be surprised how many people in Hollywood can put down a script? And just be like, what did you think? You have to know what great writing it you're What have you just read something,
Alex Ferrari 1:48:09
Troy Duffy 1:48:10
Do you have to know and go, whether that kid is a dishwasher, or the best
Alex Ferrari 1:48:16
for a bouncer, a bouncer at a bar in LA, sir,
Troy Duffy 1:48:21
you got to go get them, you've got to secure that property. Because the stories that mean something, you know, I could have filled my first independent film, with movie stars, it wouldn't have been so independent, it probably wouldn't have had the impact that it had. Now, one of the things that told me that I was a good and real filmmaker was I took the chance and risk to do it. I put my faith in the story. And then you all told me
Alex Ferrari 1:48:49
Troy Duffy 1:48:50
it had that effect on you. And I went okay, all right. So that skill, almost like always have your head in a book, know what good writing is, know what good stories are. When you find the one raise heaven, and hell to get it and do it and do not stop until you're done. That was probably the number one piece of advice into being a filmmaker, which is a very specific thing or being a successful or good one, which is a very specific thing. The other one is we all have those friends say in high school and college, the charismatic people that can walk into a room and you know, light the world on fire. You don't necessarily to be one of those. But in dealing with actors, I mean, you will sometimes find a director that's a very great technical director that can pull off amazing shots. But then sometimes you'll see that his actor, the actors are sort of wooden in the scene. That's because that filmmaker hasn't put enough focus in that area, getting into actor's hands, or maybe joining kind of souls with them as candy asses that sounded coming out of my mouth. But knowing who they are really being able to talk with them and see how they feel, and really listen, and really respond, because sometimes it doesn't go immediately sets up a red flag, you know, like, there was this time where I'm talking to foe and he goes, he goes, I feel like I should dance in this scene. And right away, I'm gone. You know, there's that alarm in a you know, in a bad filmmaker reacts like that would be, you know, that you can't do that, because you're a cop and, and take it off the table, try to redirect him. So instead, I went, you know, that would be totally
Alex Ferrari 1:50:38
Troy Duffy 1:50:38
Alex Ferrari 1:50:42
let's just shoot it.
Troy Duffy 1:50:43
Or here's an inappropriate. So in, you know, suppose like, Yeah, I know, now you're in the sandbox with an actor. Now you just open up that door,
Alex Ferrari 1:50:50
Troy Duffy 1:50:50
You're playing in a sandbox, this is that type of figure out ways to truly connect with the actor that get them in it deeper. Because you will always get something, always get something better than it is on the page, always 100% of the time. And that does require you putting your own sensitivities and ego aside, you know, there's that I hated this. But there was this there was this. There was a sort of attitude about me flowing forth from people or not actors from other people. sad that I was like this, you know, john Houston type of a overly confident Let's go. mount up, fellas. Go kill it forever. And you can, you could be like that sometimes that's more cast and crew general leaving his minions, his soldiers in ways. But that wasn't that I knew it was a lie. You know, you let it be said and you don't really, if you comment, but I was a lie. What the real with the real nitty gritty of filmmaking, as is when actors got blood all over them. And they're in the middle of a scene, and you help yell hold, and you are still filming. And you go down and whisper something right in their ear, and make them understand, and you feel their body shaking. And you just go and boom, you get something that you never thought possible because that person explodes in front of you. These are the things to me that make wise and good filmmakers. So
Alex Ferrari 1:52:25
that was arguably one of the best answers to that question ever, sir. Now I have to ask this question is, as I asked this question to everybody is not just user. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life, I swear, it's almost on every episode on my show, everyone's talking. This whole interviews been about that. I know, I know. But I just wanted to just I had because my fans with my audience, we just go he didn't ask them the question. I'm like, I
Troy Duffy 1:53:00
okay, that's a simple you know, you are, I am grateful, be grateful for your mistakes. Your mistakes, is what makes you a better person and a better filmmaker. And I have made some doozies. So now I am like, the best person the best moment, because I've made so many huge mistakes. What know when you know, another another one would be know when to fight for something. It's a series of compromises when you start to say make a film. You got producers over here, y'all and you're here about the money. Yeah, you got actors yelling about the story, they want this, that and the other you have need to know what to do. You need to know where to compromise but then you need to know where to plant your flag. If you've done a bunch of compromising before you plant your flag and defend something everybody knows, and then you get what you want. In those moments. choose your battles wisely, and make tons of compromise beforehand be a person that they tell on the phone to all the people they report to. Yeah, he's good to work with he gets it we got a good director here. And then when you stick your heels in, you dig your heels in they'll listen and passionate about it and you don't do it like I did where you yell at everybody god dammit.
Alex Ferrari 1:54:28
I told you no, look I you we are our mistakes. So again, if a mobster shows up and wants to make a movie with me, I'll say no.
Troy Duffy 1:54:38
And the next time two friends of mine say you want to do a documentary on you I'm gonna go No thank you.
Alex Ferrari 1:54:48
Troy Duffy 1:54:49
Oscars thing you know next time someone asks you if you're in God, you say
Alex Ferrari 1:54:57
and and scene. And last question, man, three of your favorite films of all time.
Troy Duffy 1:55:06
Okay, you'd have to go with Apocalypse Now for sure. Probably the shining but my buddy I would actually break that up into two categories. Sure. Your favorite indies of all time? No big big one big. You got your Apocalypse Now you have godfather I consider one into one of the greatest NO SEQUEL type things. entities I remember when I was a kid the first one that hit me was um what is escaping right now? Chris Lambert Highlander. Birth I loved it.
Alex Ferrari 1:55:48
When the Queen soundtrack dude Oh, one. Yeah, so good. It's great. And then
Troy Duffy 1:55:56
strangely enough, dude. Yeah. Number one independent of all time is a film called nil by mouth. Have you ever seen Nil by mouth?
Alex Ferrari 1:56:06
Troy Duffy 1:56:08
Okay, you're about to have the same experience I did. I'm not going to ruin it for you. Okay, don't look it up to see anything.
Alex Ferrari 1:56:17
Just you know.
Troy Duffy 1:56:18
Put it in. Don't don't know directors writers who did it What? How much?
Alex Ferrari 1:56:23
What's the name? What's the name of it hit?
Troy Duffy 1:56:25
Nil by muoth. Okay, no English term. Are they used to hang over beds in triage units in World War One and to say that they couldn't receive medication orally.
Alex Ferrari 1:56:38
Okay. All right. I'll look it up.
Troy Duffy 1:56:41
And we should we should actually reconvene after you see that do a little mini
Alex Ferrari 1:56:45
Did you ever see the movie? This is an indie that i i always champion and it doesn't get talked about a lot. Man bites dog.
Troy Duffy 1:56:54
Love it. We see again called classics. There's difference between an Indian a cult classic. Yeah, I mean, that's, that's manbites dog and copies. olympischem I love that.
Alex Ferrari 1:57:03
Oh my god so god
Troy Duffy 1:57:04
It's so great then, you know like but take the Colt classics. Because if you're gonna actually do that, the I've seen I've seen awesome list of like the most hard the hardest indies of all time. You know, the hard cores and it's always Boondock, Man bites dog
Alex Ferrari 1:57:21
Troy Duffy 1:57:23
Romper stomper. Yeah. Other big one. You know, right but the both classics are a different story. They can be all over the place. Yeah, well, how similar is Boondock to say Rocky Horror Picture Show?
Alex Ferrari 1:57:34
Troy Duffy 1:57:34
nothing. Well, I mean, similar as Rocky Horror to man bites dog.
Alex Ferrari 1:57:40
Well, and also if you want to go down into cult classics, the worst movie ever made the room? I mean, it. I mean, it is one of it is a joy to watch. But I only want to watch that with other people and preferably filmmakers because it's much much more enjoyable to watch it then. And and people have been asking me a lot to get Tommy on the show. And I'm about it is it is a cool guy?
Troy Duffy 1:58:05
He's odd. It's odd
Alex Ferrari 1:58:07
Yeah, that's that's what I'm scared. I'm a little like, how do you talk for an hour with like, I like
Troy Duffy 1:58:13
the guy who introduced me to him was a friend of his and he's just like, it just kind of depends on how you catch him. You know, it's your stick. I had heard that he would he wanted to meet me and he was all excited and a boondoggle when I met him, he was like, Hey, Mike, well, hey. It was like nothing You know, I was weird.
Alex Ferrari 1:58:35
I'm kind of
Troy Duffy 1:58:36
here to have some fun. I just do weird shit to school or pack your lunch. It was fucking things that are gonna make them go away
Alex Ferrari 1:58:46
I'll take that into consideration sir. Dude brother man, thank you so much for being on the show man. It has been an absolute joy talking to you. And I'm so glad I've been able to give you this place to kind of set the record straight on everything and and and hopefully this will be the beginning of you being out on social media now talking a little bit more sharing with the fans and all that stuff so brother thank you for doing what you do man and keep doing it. We need films like boondock out there we need voices like yours out in the marketplace and out into cinema man so Thank you brother.
Troy Duffy 1:59:20
All right, next one is working hard on three exams are going to get what they want.
Alex Ferrari 1:59:25
Thank you my friend.
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