Power Of The Word ‘Feature’ In The Film Business – Andrew Guerrero

Power Of The Word ‘Feature’ In The Film Business – Andrew Guerrero

Film Courage How did you set the budget for the film [COME INTO YOUR OWN]?
Andrew Guerrero, Writer/Filmmaker/Actor: Great…a little little nervous to talk about this because…I will…but it’s
because I want people to take it seriously and I don’t want them to look
at it look at the money because we didn’t have a lot and I want them to say
you know what who cares that it was shot for this it’s a good story we had four
thousand dollars production budget period okay that’s all we have is four
thousand dollars and cleeshay I called all my aunts and my uncle’s my dad my
family friends of the family and said hey I can shoot this for $1,000 I need
200 bucks from each of you and they all chipped in they were all really excited
because they know and I ended up with $4,000 and I told everyone this is what
we have to make this film so let’s do it and I will say very upfront it was so
much easier to do than people think yeah why do you think that you were able
to get it under the wire like that like under the $4,000 mark it’s a feature
feature everyone first and foremost everyone did it because for the credit
they everyone I hired I’m on to said listen this is what I got
we can make it look really good we can get locations we can get a feed you guys
everyday but unfortunately right now we’re gonna have to the eyeballs that
people put on this film the the credit of having a feature under your belt
that’s our payment that’s everyone’s payment right now that’s my payment I’m
not ashamed to say that as a new young indie filmmaker I’m not ashamed to say
that because we all start they would all have you know I had what I had and
that’s what we could do with and and so they were all just so gung-ho about it
they were all said you know what the story is worth it
it’s a great enough story to make it happen so yeah they were willing to put
all our effort their time their life they gave me 23 days of their life
straight yeah 23 days straight no breaks and we shot the whole thing in that time
for that amount of money and it’s so doable but again going back to having a
great solid team yeah it worked there was one occasion where I had to kind of
as the director say I had to pull someone aside and say listen
this behavior is it didn’t work it’s not working let’s correct it and they
graciously took it said you’re right I’m sorry I was stressed because of the time
limit and the time crunch and it’s never like oh there’s always gonna be time
limits there’s always going to be stresses there’s always going to be
money issues there’s always going to be that get used to that now in a place you
can and take that with you and this person graciously accepted the advice
and we just progressed on but but yeah I literally asking every family member I
had if they could help fund it and they did and we made it work that’s awesome
they believe in you and they won’t see you happy and do well always have fun
that’s very cool yeah and I don’t think I want to say that I don’t think that
that should be out of the norm you know I want I want great experiences like
this to be the norm I I feel like there’s this general feeling about
bleeding for the art and you know van Gogh cutting off your ear to make great
art it’s like I never I want to make movies it’s so much fun right I want to
make them with great people and and I understand that there’s lots of stresses
and I think you know I think that’s what kind of leads to a lot of the problems
is it person people not being able to handle their own stresses but if you can
set your ego aside and just have a great time making movies with people then that
holds that’s the reason we’re able to do it with $4,000 cuz everyone involved was
just excited and happy to do it now that doesn’t take into account post
right no no so that was so production post-production we had zero zero dollars
because I had four thousand . so again I reached out to a lot of young people who
are trying to develop credits for themselves
sound engineers sound mixers composers and I said hey you want to be credited
on a feature this is what I can offer later this is what we’re doing that all
of them again number one will ask first right and I just asked hey would you
want to be a part of this every one of them said yes every one of them I would
get responses like crazy I was never trying to take advantage of anybody but
I knew I had a feature and that that magical word is amazing right and you
know in the post I would let people like our editor
example I said hey my editor was doing a lot of industrials and he was really
looking to get into narrative work and I said I have a feature and he said okay
let’s do it and he gave some of it just six months of his time to edit all thing
oh why I mean and turnaround was amazing taking notes so graciously I would
always ask what do you think you know being collaborative and it was just an
amazing experience my editors Matt Rahn amazing guy amazing guy and then yeah
with like the composer’s I had one composer who felt really overburdened by
all the music we had it’s all Latin themed music very very high energetic
and I said hey would you mind if I got a bunch of other guys to work and they
said yeah so I would reached out to a bunch of composers and said hey can you
do a cut two songs all yes totally 100% yes I said this is the deal we don’t
have this or that and I said totally fine I can I can manage two songs and
they all they all just jumped on board it was just amazing amazing you know
some some of the songs I had cut some of the songs I used whatever but it was
really an exciting and experience to just bring a bunch of people in because
they wanted to be a part of a feature you know do you think if it had been a
short it would have been different just because with the yeah okay yeah I
think so feech features is it’s just a calling
card it’s a huge calling card when you are credited to a feature I keep saying
that word but I can’t stress it enough it’s a it’s a big word in this industry
it is when you have a feature to do or being done or working working on people
want to be a part of that especially if it’s the first time for them and and
they’ve been in the industry for some time and they just haven’t had their
break yet and and they’ve been doing industrials or they’ve been doing music
videos or commercials for a long time like they’re ready to take tackle
something bigger they are just asked you never know who you’re gonna meet you
never know if you’re gonna be a part of and 90% of the time they’ll reach out
and say yeah I’m totally willing to help you know and I am so grateful for them
they they they know it I’ve told them 100 200 times how grateful I am for them
because they made the film they made it you know I had the idea I orchestrated
it but without them wouldn’t be filmed and did you screen it for all of them
oh yeah how was that it was exciting – for
performance is exciting to have crew a cast see it because it was their sweat
and blood that went into it but then having random people they’re also
friends families you know who could then validate their work validate what we had
done and say yeah it was great or it was good or I loved it was watchable which
is what I wanted more than anything just have a watchable film someone something
people could watch on a Friday night you know and to see their reactions like oh
my gosh like it happened it like I think a lot of people in LA they talk a lot
more than they act and I have met a lot of them know we’re gonna get a feature
done this and that and the fact that it got done and they saw that it got done
they were like whoa this is like happened and then to have people watch
it was crazy for them I think it’s amazing that’s for Michael yeah how do
you find these young eager creatives that will work on a feature film okay so
I went to a site called Mandy calm I went to Craigslist and I posted an ad
with very transparent instructions this is what we’re doing this is what I have
this is what I can offer you very transparent as honest as possible the
people who are ok with that emailed and if they weren’t okay with that then they
did an email right I got a ton of emails so many the hours after I posted I’d
love to be a part of it I’d love to read the future I’d love to help with the
music they’ll have to do this or that and Mandy calm was a great resource a
craigslist was a great resource of course I’ve added a lot of them for sure
but I found that when I and again when I said students of film then everyone came
in I had wanted people because I mean by DP was two or three years out of USC you
know and really was ready for something big so they all just were willing to to
work and it was using those resources reaching out on that site and being as
transparent as possible right that’s the key because they all knew what they were
getting into there was no secrets there was no like
oh we’re out of money or we have more money than they know they knew that they
they knew there was 4,000 bucks they knew what they were getting into
and that was that and they will if you build it they will come right they they
will reach out to you if they’re interested and if they’re not they won’t
don’t worry about them describe to me transparent like how is
because I’ve seen some stuff on Craigslist it’s like blunt all caps
seven explanation points like whoa right okay maybe to letting people know what
they’re getting in force so I have a feature film we are shooting it for 20
days straight no breaks we have four thousand dollars that four thousand
dollars is going to locations it’s going to equipment and it’s going to feeding
you we’re shooting all over LA and this is how we’re this is how we’re going to
shoot it it’s an indie drama and this is what you can expect right this is Who I
am as a person and when you’re that transparent with the facts you know
you’re not saying well we have some investors looking you know we have
potentially $20,000 coming no don’t be ashamed that you have no money don’t be
ashamed of that all right just let them know straight up this is how it is you
don’t have to break down their door with it there’s gonna be all caps don’t
oversell it don’t be super excited where you oh my god doing it just be be calm
be relying I have fun we’re making a feature film let’s have some fun and and
it’s gonna be a lot of hard work but if you’re in for that then then you’re
welcome and I got so many likes I got so many interviews and I just picked the
ones I wanted so it sounds like you were open and fair and honest yeah it was
like trying to pull the wool over solonai decimals eyes or like being so
like blunt and mean about it that people like scares people away I was never
trying to be more than I was I think a lot of people I I’ve met are like oh
I’ve got this in the pipeline I’ve got that in the pipeline Morgan I looked
them up two seconds later and they’re there no well you know I was a child
actor and I’m working on this now and then it’s like we have like maybe half
of credit whenever I was I was very blunt I’m but this is the first time
feature from a person who has never directed a film before if you’re
interested welcome yeah so that’s great be open like that I like that you

Comments (18)

  1. How hard is it to make a feature film?

  2. Love the enthusiasm and the advice. What is the name of the feature?

  3. Is it possible to get a link to that original post on Would love to see it.

  4. Looking forward to the full interview. Biggest question I would have is: "At what point in the writing process did he start to look for help?" i.e. did he wait until it was complete, or did he try to get people on board while still developing the script?

  5. His Enthusiasm and Excitement makes you want to go make yours too, itโ€™s very encouraging. Experiences may differ, but it still gives hope. Kudos ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ

  6. Really like this guy. He seems real but nice and unpretentious.

  7. Guys like this inspire me the most.

  8. What a beautiful story! Bravo to him and to everyone onboard!

  9. lmao this dawg looks familiar <3

  10. Fully inspired, thanks. Keep up the good work. Good luck to everybody reading this. Make.

  11. Loved his energy, great.

  12. Wow what an amazing story such a positive authentic person. Refreshing!

  13. $4000. That's all I needed to hear! I knew it could be done. This has helped me more than you know!

  14. This interview came out right on time for me! Very very encouraging and helpful for a first time director such as myself!!! Thank You!

  15. Excellent interview and some great advice. Just checked out the trailer. LOVE the Premise! It's on my watch list!

  16. HEY I was in a film courage video with that guy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. I'm hoping to shoot my micro budget feature early next year. Probably for close to this budget. This is exactly the way I'm going to do it. Thanks, and good luck with everything Andrew.

  18. This is GREAT advice!!!! My budget for my first feature is going to be about $13,000. Hopefully one day I can make it so that the world can see it!!!!

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