Writing Your Own Rules as an Entrepreneurial Filmmaker

Writing Your Own Rules as an Entrepreneurial Filmmaker

Today on Filmmaker Freedom, an in-depth conversation with Alex Ferrari.

If you’re not somehow already familiar with him, Alex is a filmmaker, podcaster, entrepreneur, author, and probably more stuff, because as you'll soon find out, the dude has lived one crazy eventful life.

There are a lot of great takeaways in this interview, but we spend a ton of time talking about the psychology of filmmaking, how to make feature films quickly and cheaply, and exactly what to look for when you get offered a distribution deal.

Alex also shares one of the most useful contract negotiation tips I've ever heard, so you'll definitely want to stay tuned. Let's get to it..


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What you’ll learn in this conversation with Alex

So if you've been in the indie filmmaking space online, you almost certainly know Alex already. He's the founder of Indie Film Hustle, one of the most popular indie film podcasts and blogs around for 4 years running.

He's also got a streaming platform called Indie Film Hustle TV that's full of cool educational stuff for filmmakers, and he's got a book called Shooting for the Mob about his batshit insane early experiences in film.

Basically, Alex is a one man media machine.

But he's also a talented entrepreneurial filmmaker in his own right.

Early on, Alex made nearly a hundred grand selling a short film back in the day. No joke.

And over the last three years, he’s made a pair of micro-budget features using improvisational techniques to keep his costs down and production time super short. Not only that, but both of those features are well into profit territory as well.

What I'm getting at is that Alex is a textbook filmpreneur. The dude has creativity and hustle and entrepreneurial spirit in spades, and there's a lot we can learn from him.

So here's a rundown of the fun stuff we cover in this wide-ranging conversation.

  • Alex's "stranger than fiction" true story of almost making a feature film for a mobster.

  • How many filmmakers hold themselves back through limiting beliefs and stories, and how to get out of your own way.

  • The various ways that filmmakers shoot themselves in

  • How Alex made $90,000 selling a short film (yes, really).

  • The improvisational techniques Alex used to make his first two feature films quickly and cheaply.

  • What to look out for when you get offered a distribution deal so that you don't get taken advantage of.

  • The one item to include in every distribution contract you sign.

  • What Alex has learned from the entrepreneurial filmmaking guests on his podcast.

  • And plenty more good stuff.

The best place to find more of Alex is on his website, indiefilmhustle.com.

From there, you can find his podcast, blog, and streaming platform Indie Film Hustle TV, which is populated with filmmaking courses, low-budget films, and all sorts of cool video content just for filmmakers.

Also, if you're interested in the crazy true story of Alex nearly making a film for a mobster, check out his book Shooting For The Mob. I haven't read it yet, but right after our conversation, I ordered myself a copy.

If you’re truly invested in putting these ideas to use, I’d recommend joining Freedom Fighters, my private community for entrepreneurial indie filmmakers.

It’s not another spammy facebook group or noisy forum. It’s an online oasis just for people like us. A place of sanity and respect, where we try our best to support one another in our respective journeys.

So if you’re interested in becoming a member, here’s where you can get the full scoop and apply (don’t worry, it’s totally free).

Hoping to see you inside.

-Rob Hardy

Lastly, if you enjoy thoughtful content like this, you'll love my Sunday newsletter, Filmmaker Freedom Weekly. 

Each week, I share my latest writing and podcasts, as well as a few hand-picked stories from around the web, a short film I love, and a healthy dose of filmmaking inspiration.

If you’re an ambitious indie filmmaker, it’s an email you’ll actually look forward to each week. Pinky promise :)