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January 27, 2017 @ 3:51 pm

IFNYC#25: Brooklyn Filmmaker Mike Castro

Mike Castro - Indie Filmmaker from Brooklyn, NY

Mike is a filmmaker and writer with an extensive background behind the camera.  He focuses his time making narrative films and working with corporate clients.

A New Breed of Indie Filmmakers

Mike is one of the new breed of indie filmmakers.  In the past, if one wanted to be a filmmaker, they would likely graduate from film school, get on a big production set as a PA and start learning the ropes so they could grow their network and make connections.

Today, there are many jobs that are tied to media production that don't involve being on an active set.  Corporate video jobs often involve straight forward one or two camera shoots of presentations and interviews that typically are completed just to be posted to a company website.  These opportunities, while not always very creative or challenging, give one access to equipment which allows for hands experience with the technical aspect of production he or she will not get sitting at a desk.  Having a steady income and schedule frees up a filmmaker to create content and learn through making content in their off hours.

filmmaker mike castro on set
Mike on set, directing a scene

Dinner Party Murder Party

 https://vimeo.com/149109714

Dinner Party Murder Party from mike castro on Vimeo.

During the podcast interview Mike talks about the production process of his first major short film, Dinner Party Murder Party.

 

Filmmakers Working Day Jobs

Many of today’s indie filmmakers have 9 to 5 jobs.  Some of those people are working in call centers, retail or other areas outside media production, while others work in administrative capacities for networks and other behind the scenes.  Not every filmmaker is gaining valuable on set experience with big union crews one finds on typical studio films, television shows and broadcast commercials.

What is interesting about Mike Castro’s story is that he had one of those corporate gigs that really didn’t have much to do with media, but through pushing the boundaries and actually producing content to show to people, he transformed his position from another cog in the machine to someone who was doing something he loves to do.

 

7 Rules

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My4qfhBkcyo

As a filmmaker it can be frustrating when a project drags on for too long and all you want is to see a finished product.  In reaction to that frustration, Mike challenged himself to write, shoot and edit an entire project in less than two weeks.  The result of that challenge is this fun short film called '7 Rules.'

 

The Misunderstanding

https://vimeo.com/183940884

The Misunderstanding (Official Trailer) from mike castro on Vimeo.

The Misunderstanding is Mike's most successful short in terms of the number of views it garnered.  The short was also selected by Funny or Die to be featured on their homepage for a time.

 

 

Links:

Journeys End Productions Website:  journeysendproductions.com
Mike Castro's Films on Tumblr:  mikecastrofilms.tumblr.com
Twitter:  @MikeCastroMusic

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January 13, 2017 @ 2:19 pm

IFNYC#24: Brains - A Web Series by Bri Castellini

Bri Castellini - NYC Filmmaker

For this episode, Bri Castellni spoke with me about her web series 'Brains'.  The series is about love, friendship, neuropsychology, and zombies.

Indie Film NYC's Guide to Producing Your Film

One of the missions of this podcast is to help filmmakers more easily produce and distribute their content so they can learn to develop their skills as a filmmaker, find their voice and build an audience around their brand.  To that end, I wrote a film production guide that covers all aspects of filmmaking, from Concept to Distribution.

The book is available on Amazon as a kindle download for $2.99, but for fans of the podcast I’m giving away complimentary copies for anyone who subscribes to my mailing list.  The mailing list is sent out two or three times a month and will keep you updated on key episodes of the podcast and information about independent filmmaking.

Visit IndieFilmNYC.com/subscribe

Brains - The Series

brains extra2

Set three years after the zombie apocalypse, "Brains" follows college student Alison Sumner.  The unique angle of this series is that a zombie can act and appear like a normal human being as long as they are able to eat enough brains.

Alison is a neuropsychology student who is video blogging now that the epidemic is dying down.  Her dream is to settle down, get married, have children and get a dog.  Her biggest problem comes when she finds out that the man of her dreams is indeed one of the undead.

The series was created and written by Bri Castellini.

Brains - Festival Winner
Brains - Festival Winner

Filmmaking is a Long Journey

Bri Castellini with the Brains Poster
Bri Castellini with the Brains Poster

Bri has been creating content for years.  She writes, blogs, YouTube's and then picked up a camera to film this series.  She understands that in order to develop your voice as a filmmaker there is no other way than to roll up your sleeves and get involved.
Bri has the kind of drive and passion that is infectious and I hope you find a lot of value in your approach to your own work as you listen to her share her story during our interview.

bri 4

Links:

Brains Website:  brainswebseries.com
Personal Website:  bricastellini.com
Twitter:  twitter.com/brisownworld
Instagram:  instagram.com/brisownworld
Relativity Web Series:  relativitywebseries.wordpress.com

Bri Castellini's Next Project

Ace and Anxious follows Emma, an asexual graphic designer with generalized anxiety disorder. She learns about the anxiety-relieving properties of sex and decides to give it the old college try in order to potentially "cure" her anxiety and panic attacks. So she does what any enterprising 21st century woman would do: places an ad on Craigslist.

Check out the Teaser:

https://youtu.be/vEj0egBa0MY

 

 

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January 6, 2017 @ 4:48 pm

IFNYC#23: Cady McClain Spotlights Female Filmmakers

Cady McClain & "Seeing is Believing: Women Direct"

For the first episode of 2017, I spoke with Cady McClain about her documentary which tackles the subject of female directors in the film business.

 

The Gender Diversity Issue in the Film Business

seeing_is_believing
Seeing is Believing: Women Direct

Over the last few years there has been a growing awareness that even though it is easier than ever for anyone to pick up a camera and make a film, women are greatly under represented in the film industry.  Statistics coming out continually support this fact, but it seems that few people are proposing solutions on how to address the issue.

Cady McClain's documentary series Seeing is Believing goes to the source and talks directly with women filmmakers about the challenges they faced and how they dealt with those challenges as they established their careers.  In the series you will hear from a variety of women from those who have won major awards in television and feature films to frustrated filmmakers still working to break in.

Cady McClain with Deborah Riley Draper

 

Check out the trailer for the project:

Trailer: "Seeing is Believing: Women Direct" from Cady McClain on Vimeo.

 

How this series can be a positive influence

When I spoke with Cady, we talked about what the industry can do to change the current dynamic.  She told me that beyond just raising awareness about the issue, this series is meant to serve as a way to give guidance to emerging female filmmakers going forward so that they can find their own success.  Through hearing real world experiences from those that have come before them, women can see positive role models to emulate as they pursue their dreams of being filmmakers.

Cady McClain with Katharine Emmer

Links:

Official Website:  seeingisbelievingwomendirect.com
Cady McClain IMDb Page: imdb.com/CadyMcClain
Seeing is Believing Crowdfunding Campaign: indiegogo.com/projects/seeing-is-believing-women-direct-by-cady-mcclain
Twitter:  @CadyMcClain

 

Get my film production book for free

Sign up for John Fallon's Indie Film NYC Podcast Mailing list to stay informed with what's going on with the podcast and I'll send you a copy of "Indie Film NYC's Guide to Producing Your Film"

Sign up for the mailing list here!

 

What's next for Cady McClain

Cady has been brought on board to produce and direct a short film about bullying, called "Butterflies," all the while, she is continuing to work on her documentary series Seeing is Believing: Women Direct.  Here is the teaser trailer for "Butterflies" if you'd like to take a look it:

Butterflies Teaser 2017 from Carlotta Summers on Vimeo.

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