#13 How To Raise Money For Your First Feature Film [Podcast] – Interview w/Award Winning Filmmaker Logan Stone


Hello and welcome back to the Chris Brodhead show (http://chrisbrodhead.net/). Where I interview fascinating entrepreneurs, filmmakers, artists, and anyone else with valuable knowledge to share.

And this episode’s guest, Logan Stone (Instagram @IAmLoganStone http://www.cinestone.com/), delivers beyond expectation.  I am so excited for you to hear our conversation.

Me and Logan met at a film meetup in Pilsen a while back and have kept in relatively close contact ever since. Logan is an incredibly talented, not to mention award winning filmmaker and cinematographer. His cinematography actually looks the way we always wish our footage would look. I have been wanting to chat with him on the record for some time now and after hearing he had finished principal photography on his first feature “Noise and Color” I knew now would be a great time.

The feature length film is about a disillusioned man struggling in a dystopian Middle America who finds a mysterious videotape that proves the existence of a mythic paradise in the desert. They filmed over 20 days with a crew of 18 people in New Mexico and St. Louis. The stories and insights he shares any filmmaker or person interested in film will find super valuable. You can find out more about the feature and Logan Stone at http://www.Cinestone.com/.

If you’d like to read the show notes, see a list of awesome quotes, and engage in an insightful and fun discussion about the episode please go to http://www.ChrisBrodhead.net/LoganStone.

I plan on releasing regular podcast episodes with other fascinating folks as well as video essays on my favorite subjects… which will most likely be Batman and filmmaking. Thanks again for listening and keep having an awesome day!

Enjoy!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/discover-your-worth-in-chicago/id1253168291?mt=2Copy of Discover Your WorthIn Chicago

 

 

 

Listen to it on iTunes

Show Notes:

1:30 How the production went for “Noise and Color”

3:30 How Logan came up with the idea for “Noise and Color”

8:30 Logan’s editing tips and style

14:45 How Kubrick edited his films

19:40 What changed from Logan’s initial thoughts for the film to the finished production

28:45 How did you assemble your ideal crew?

30:30 The biggest issue encountered during production

34:00 Why Logan chose to make this a SAG approved production

35:30 How many people did Logan audition for the main roles?

39:30 Why Logan chose intentionally did NOT do any rehearsals

43:00 Did your directing philosophy or style evolve over the course of production?

46:45 Any happy accidents during production?

52:00 How do you know when you’ve got THE take?

1:02:45 How do you speak an actor’s language?

1:07:00 What will you do different for your next feature?

1:10:45 How are you planning to market and release the film?

Links:

https://cameraambassador.com

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Caine-Applause-Revised-Expanded/dp/1557832773/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501265114&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+caine+acting+in+film

Quotes:

  • “Any work done with feeling is more a reflection of the artist than the work”
  • “Trying to make my way toward becoming an efficient proficient filmmaker, which I don’t think I am yet, on this journey, it’s kind of like crabs in a bucket in a way, if a crab sees another crab about to climb out of the bucket it will pull it back down, your success is my failure.”
  • “There’s a lot of sacrifice, a lot of trusting your gut, and your intuition, that’s necessary when you’re trying to pursue something so big and audacious and fucking and scary as trying to go make your dreams happen.”
  • “My favorite thing about the story is the dude, like the protagonist is not a good guy.”
  • “Sometimes cutting shitty people out of your life is the price you have to pay to make it to paradise”
  • “You go into a shoot with a script and ideas and a vision in your head and rarely if ever are you going to film exactly what’s in your head… it’s like suggested improv.”
  • “Editing the footage is the final rewrite of the script”
  • “I was doing it alone for a while but you got to get your team.”
  • “You have to strong-arm (your film) into existing”
  • “Putting a healthy chunk of my own money into the production was a trust building exercise with the investors”
  • “Looking at the timeline (of the edit) and I feel like I’m at basecamp of Everest”
  • “Kubrick is notorious for stopping a take and spinning a can of beans in the background a quarter of an inch.”
  • “Consciously or unconsciously a director is making a thousand decisions for any given scene.”
  • “You kind of have to let those expectations go and be adaptable, keep going and trust yourself in the editing room.
  • “There’s almost a victory in having just done the thing (finishing principal photography on his first feature). If it’s good that’s just the cherry on top.”
  • “Film school wasn’t necessary. (Making this film) taught me way more.”
  • “The biggest issues during production were always needing to put out (metaphorical) fires that were miles away from set”
  • “Filmmaking is creative problem solving”
  • “The level of talent that a SAG performer affords you just worked for the film”
  • “When the characters are so neutral it allows the audience to project themselves onto them. All the actors have to do is be a blank slate. A millimeter toward the desired emotion and a job well done.”
  • “If you google ‘How to direct actors’ 90% of the answers will be ‘cast well’”
  • “intentionally wanted to stay away from rehearsal bc I didn’t want them to already make decisions on how they were going to play the scene and have it baked in.”
  • “i did get on the phone with each actor once a week to break down scenes and what is the subtext of this line. We all had done the homework.”
  • “We would always go big (with the performances) at first and then reign it back”
  • “(when editing) I can just go to take 3 or 4 bc I know they are going to better than 1 or 2”
  • “The role of director is to calibrate the mood on set. Filter the decisions through a singular lens.”
  • “What you make of your time together is ultimately what the film becomes.”
  • “(A big storm rolled in during shooting) If we’re not in danger we are absolutely going to use this.”
  • “(you have the take when) the two actors are so tuned into each other neither are in their head”
  • “After the actors finish their lines, just let the camera roll for like 10 seconds and watch what they do”
  • “You call cut on the rhythm. And that same rhythm still applies in the edit… If I watched it on mute I bet I would still call cut at the same point.”
  • “I use a stand desk bc editing is very much like a dance. You stand up to allow your body to feel the tempo of the scene.”
  • “Is it internal or external. Internal meaning let me feel the emotion that will color the lines which is in my opinion more effective.”
  • “It’s a battle, you’ve got 20 people in New Mexico, in the hot sun, you’re out of your groove as far as your routine goes, giant temptation to yell ‘yeah we’re good on this take’, it’s reminding yourself of why you started this. The discomfort you feel in this moment is temporary so push through and make sure you’re getting what you need.”
  • “Take your time to really visualize the film from start to finish… The more work you do in the beginning to make those creative choices and at the same time be ready to fucking throw the plan away.”

 

Mock Presidential Campaign Commercials For Both Sides!

To celebrate ‪#‎PolitcalPartyTime‬ we have released TWO MOCK PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COMMERCIALS!

One for each side of the political spectrum.

Please like, share, or comment on the “commercial” you think the best.

The “Campaign Commercial” with the most likes, shares, or comments will be inaugurated as the next “Presidential Campaign Commercial”.

Enjoy!

“Minimum Wage”
Written and Directed by Chris Brodhead
Starring Glo Chitwood Michael Paul Dennis and David Weiner
Cinematography, Lighting, and Sound by Collin McCord
Edited by Ian Downing-Beaver

“Breaks My Heart”
Written and Directed by Chris Brodhead
Starring John T. O’BrienCorey Wagner and Jenni Lynn
Shot and edited by Demetri Kouvalis
Sound by Michael Paul Dennis

Number 29: “Road Trip”/”Old School” #ChrisTop30Films

Ok I know, I know this is technically two movies but hear me out.  These movies have the same director, some of the same actors (Sean William Scott, Todd Phillips, and Matt Walsh!), the same writer, and they are both deeply embedded in the pantheon of great college movies.

Oh and I have been deeply influenced both comedically and life directionally by these two fantastically hilarious films.

Without these two unbelievably hilarious films I might never have gone to a state school, drank as much, or developed such an “open minded” sense of humor.  So yeah these we’re kind of important movies to me.

I saw “Road Trip” when I was a freshmen in high school and “Old School” when I was a junior and man oh man did they get me excited for college.  I had one thought in my mind and it was “dude don’t fuck this school thing up because no matter how much high school sucks you’ll still have four plus years of totally awesome college.  And if it’s one tenth as fun as Road Trip and Old School than OH SHIT are you going to have an amazing time!”

And as luck would have it I did not fuck that school thing up. Even though I was not the biggest fan of high school I still did what I had to do to get really good grades and a sweet scholarship to the school that most resembled the college experience in these two movies.

“Road Trip” and “Old School” showed me a world of endless possibilities, great friends, and the prettiest/friendliest ladies I had ever seen on the silver screen.  I wanted this experience more than anything I had ever wanted (and I got an N64 for Christmas as an eleven year old!).

This was a difficult concept to take in while still of high school age.  You see I was not the greatest with the opposite sex from ages let’s say 0 to 18.  I was pretty funny and could get some solid laughs but once the laughs stopped I was like “uhhh so… Do you like stuff? No? Ok… Gotta go! Bye!”  So that didn’t help to satisfy the urges.

But these two movies showed me relatively normal dudes who, like me, came out of their shells in college, learned a thing or two, and had the time of their lives.

From “Road Trip” I learned to always be up for adventure, be yourself, and the best times you can have are with your best friends doing something relatively stupid.  Also that you shouldn’t have a long distance relationship while in college.  Since I had no prospects coming out of high school this would not be an issue.

From “Old School” I learned that college is apparently the best time of your life and you should enjoy every moment to the absolute fullest.  Which I did my absolute best at.  If there was an attractive woman in the cafeteria, class, hall, sidewalk, video store, restaurant, Best Buy, football game, bar, neighbor, pool, driving, school clinic, friend’s house, etc I never hesitated for even a second to go up and commence conversation.  Even though I was still wicked anxious I figured, like these movies clearly displayed, there we’re plenty more where those came from.  I got rejected A LOT.  But I also figured out that I was a pretty good conversationalist and I was FUCKING FEARLESS!  None of my buddies would DARE go up to some unsuspecting girl and commence conversation.  So for a brief moment I was kind of the man.

Sure most of them didn’t pan out and I eventually succumbed to a girl friend during the second semester of college (big mistake!), this first semester of college was so heavily influenced by these amazing movies I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough time for Bed Bath and Beyond in the morning!

Ok back to the review. Since this is technically a review I’ll give you my top ten favorite scenes from these two movies:

10. “It’s so good when it hits your lips!” Frank – “Old School”

9.“Barry’s last name is Manilow… Barry’s name is Barry Manilow” – “Road Trip”

8.  “Please STOP!… OK keep going!” E.L. – “Road Trip”

Best college movie ever
Best college movie ever

7. “We’re streaking! Everybody’s doing it!” Frank – “Old School”

6.  “I was just calling to see if you’d be up for an entire meal of food.” Frank – “Old School”

5. “You know because it’s your dog!” – Kyle “Road Trip”

4. “But we will give nothing back to the community, and that is a promise.” Beanie – “Old School”

3. “Yeah I play golf on the weekends… but I hate golf!” Walsh – “Old School”

2.“Dear Mitch, if you’re holding this letter you already know. The house has been boarded up. The doors. The windows. Everything. We’re at the Comfort Inn. Room 112. I love you. Frank.”

1. (While performing the iron cross and smoking a cigarette) “Still holding! Still Holding!” – Beanie “Old School”

The influences from this movie weren’t all great.  One could make a pretty convincing case that these films with their slick portrayal of the college party life could have stunted my growth as an artist.  For years all I focused on was the bare minimum in class and the bold maximum in partying.

But alas perhaps that was instrumental in my deciding what I was going to do with the rest of my life.  Even with a pursuit as fun as “Drink the beer” and exciting as “Talk to as many women as you can” these inevitably come up hollow and you must search for something of more substance.  Which I eventually did ie My amazing girlfriend Sarah, digital marketing business, and pursuits as a filmmaker.

Anyway, SEE THESE MOVIES!  They have had a profound impact on my life, my story telling ability (plus the stories I experienced while being under the influence of these films), and my comedic timing. As well as keeping my mind fresh by quoting the shit out them whenever I have the chance.

“We’re at the Comfort Inn. Room 112. I love you.”

Chris

And don’t forget how good the PUBLIC SCREENPLAY READING of “Mum Knows Best” will be when it hits your lips at The Annoyance Theater 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL on Sunday Aug 9, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM.  Join us!