What determines the VALUE of STUFF… How Much is Your Movie is Worth?

What determines the VALUE of STUFF… How Much is Your Movie is Worth?

I believe that the value of stuff is given by the service or use it provides to society. It is about how much does society need that particular product.

The price of a shirt

Ok, so if I need a shirt in order to don’t walk naked in the middle of the street, i will need to pay X money to get that shirt. This quantity I’m paying is making up for the costs of the shirt and for the profit of the manufacturer , distributor, etc.

This help everyone in the making-shirts-business to still keep doing shirt business. As simple as that.

But then if that were the case for everything, every product would have an objectively reasonable price… and this is not the case. This almost never the case.

Then question arises…

What determined the worth r value of a product, what determines its price?

In a digital world controlled by algorithms that constantly change their parameters to fit the price that the potential consumer is ready to pay, we could simply say that it’s the algorithm’s fault that I pay 10X the price that I believe is reasonable for an Amazon product.

Because it is only from Massimo Dutti?

But that would be just too simple to be true. The truth is much more complex and diverse. Not a white or black tone, but a middle grey with a lot of shades.

The 10X priced shirt

So, why do we pay for a product that we believe we should pay X dollars, 10X it’s “reasonable price”?

There are a lot of reasons for this, a lot marketing strategies that are applied along the way, but I will only concentrate on this post in one technique that I find really interesting.

Tell a story before you make sell

That technique is the one of telling a story with the product you want to sell.

It is the same technique that has been used to sell to you the iPhone or Mac where you are currently reading this post, it is the same technique that has been used to create multi-billion dollar empire of Ralph Lauren and it is why so many people buy merchandising.

What’s behind telling a story to sell a product?

What is Apple really doing when you watch a TV commercial of the new iPhone or Apple watch?

What they are doing is only show you the product at the end of the commercial, because they know the importance of communicating ideas effectively so the viewer identifies himself with the values and the belief system that the brand is trying to communicate.

What do we see in an iPhone commercial? People having fun and wonderful experiences (may they be worries experiences or leisure experiences) and technology not getting in the way of that and guaranteeing that wonderful experience through a wonderful design.

Because that it’s what’s important: ideas, feelings because they help us understand the world we live in.

Because let’s not lie to ourselves, we don’t have a clue on how this world works in it’s fullest detail, we don’t know our purpose in this chaotic but yet organised arbitrary world.

Because we want to understand who we are, what is our core essence, what we are made of and more importantly, why we are here.

Because we don’t know who we are, because we don’t know why we are here.

Because they help us simplify reality. Because we get the feeling that we belong.

That is what good brands specialize in. That’s why their prices are so high. That’s why you’ll keep on buying them no matter what.

See you next time!


Learn Film in Class vs by Doing

Learn Film in Class vs by Doing

I think that most this so obvious quea that most of the time gets ignored oe forgotten. Not forgotten in an intellectual kind of way but more in the true meaning, practical sense of the word.

So what do I mean with that?

I mean that most people know that in their years as a film student they should be doing stuff. They know they should be filming shorts and trying to get into the film festival circuit because it is, I’ll say, the only best way to get noticed in the industry if you are a first time director or filmmaker. But strangely enough people forget this to the point that they spend their years of college complaining on how the film school system could be better and ok how little projects they end up pulling of after a year of studies and eventually fall in a spiral of a lot of complaining and very little doing.

How can you avoid this? How can you get invested in projects you love and have a better chance to get noticed in the film festival circuit?

Well, the only true answer to that question is…


Most people get caught in that this is the typical kind of motivational answer that it’s been tossed whenever the situation calls for it… but do not just form your opinion before having evaluated all the facts.

I invite you to take a look to the biography of directors like Darren Aronofsky, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and any other director that hasn’t started out in the industry by knowing somebody that already worked inside of it. What you will find is that almost all of your heros worked insanely hard to get their film project finished so they could send it out to the major film festivals of the world in that time. That is the general pattern. It is not a rule, but it is the general pattern…

I always play with probability at my side, I never play against the odds. So although there are many ways to get into the industry and end up directing a Hollywood movie, I think that the best way to do that is by showing to everyone what you’re capable of and what do you focused and are interested in. That’s your style, and that is what will define you and set you appart from everyone else. That’s why you will get the job, not because you know how to pick up a camera.

Coming back to our main debate; learn film in class vs by doing. The thing is that most of the theory for making a film, if you are an intelligent person, you can learn “over a weekend” (Orson Welles). Well, maybe over a week I’ll say. The theory behind all the technical stuff for someone that is interested in the topic, is quite simple and you can learn easily Ina week. But being a master of the doing is a whole new different topic.

So why do film schools take 4 years of your life by teaching you something that can be taught in a week?

I honestly don’t know. I cannot understand it. It is the most absurd thing that happened to me in my life. Honestly.

Great director Werner Herzog has his own private film school where he teaches young aspiring filmmakers on how to become what he considers a good filmmaker. In an interview he explains his teaching process.he says that he doesn’t spend much time in the technical stuff as that you will learn it in the doing. What he focused on is on trying to communicate ideas, how to tell a story, how reach the emotional side of the story it’s being told.

That’s how you create extraordinary filmmakers!

He motivated them, helps them to finish projects that the student is motivated to complete, he only offers guidance, the work is done by the student. That’s how teaching should look like, not like a class where the teacher stands in the front of the room explaining for 2 – 3 hours how 3 point lighting should be made…

So go ahead and do try how to do 3 point lighting yourself and forget about theoretical explanation of the process, reinvent the rule and pull of the new unique film that only you can do that we haven’t seen before!

Keep it up and see you next time!


DO What YOU CAN’T! – Casey Neistat

DO What YOU CAN'T! - Casey Neistat

This post will be very short.

If you are a creator that has been told that you can’t, this is the video for you.

Casey Neistat speaks!

“Keep your head down,

follow the rules,

do as you’re told,

play it safe,

wait your turn,

ask permission,

learn to compromise…

This is terrible advice”

Here I leave you another inspiring video from Casey Neistat that will recharge your batteries to keep on trying.


What YOU Will Use It’s What OTHERS Have

What YOU Will Use Is What Others Have

If you really are someone that itu2019s trying to make it as a director the one most important thing that you need to love is working with people.

Movies take in avarege 2 to even 5 years to finish for big time directors like Darren Aronofsky. So you may be working years with the same crew in order to finish your film. This means that should be someone that knows how to manage people, meaning understand them. It is crutial thing that a lot of people in positions of power do not understand it. People in power should care for the ones that work for them as if they were oneself.

So what do I mean when I say that what you have is what others have?

Your resources are other peopleu2019s resources

What I mean with this is that you may not have all the resources necessary for your project. In this case what you need to do is look for resources somewhere else.

Persuasive vs Unconvincing

Resources are there for you to take them. You just need to know how to ask.

Knowing how to ask is everything!

The attitude is what differentiates the convincing ones from the unconvincing.

It works the same way it does with leadership: you need to know people, care about them and be bold to ask what you desire in a convincing and persuasive way.

How to be persuasive?

This is a big question that cannot be answered in detail in a single post.

But the principle behind being persuasive is knowing what the person in front of that youu2019re trying to convince wants. Being in tune with what your audience wants itu2019s what this is all about. You always need to sell a win-win situation. If you are trying to sell a win-loose situation youu2019re doomed, Iu2019ll tell you that.

For that you need to know what people are after and offer it to them. This is only done with practice.

Where to start?

Start with your beloved ones, start convincing your friends about your project so if they can give you hand with it.

If they have a house you want to shoot in, ask politely and convincingly. Shake off the shyness.

You would be amazed how much you can accomplish with almost anything if you truly believe in your project and transmit your enthusiasm and objectives to people you may not even know.

To back up this point Iu2019m leaving you here one videoclip done with no budget that turned up to be a viral rap videoclip.


Why YOU Should Do A Low Budget Film And Why You Are More Likely To Finish It

Why YOU Should Do A Low Budget Film And Why You’re More Likely To Finish It

Spend all your money to become a filmmaker?!

If you really decide to become an independent filmmaker, the best thing you could do is spend all the money you have in the bank, get in debt with all your credit cards and get new credit cards to get into more debt because you need at least 30.000$ to make the short that will skyrocket your career as a filmmaker.


“No! I will make more money than I spend with my movie!”

What you will definitely do, and here I’m only applying simple logic, is to get in debt. As simple as that. You spend more than you have… you get in debt. You could rationalize the fact of you being in debt by thinking that the money that you will do with that movie will be so much that you will be able to pay all of your debts and still make a profit.

We’ll… that is your Ego talking. And let me tell you, Ego it’s the enemy of business.  If you follow that kind of fantasy while risking your money, or even worse, the money of your beloved ones in exchange of smoke, then you’re a fool.

If you want to do that and you really believe that you need to spend 30$k in a short of 10 min, go ahead, I won’t stop you… but if it is the first film you’re going to do you’re choosing to jump without parachute and hope you don’t die when you get to the bottom of the fall.

So why does an independent production where you don’t get to spend 30.000$ helps you in what way?

If you have a tenth of that budget to spend I can tell you now that you won’t be making the Avengers 3. But this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. On the contrary you’ll be making one of the many films that are yet to be made that are far ahead than the Avengers. Only independent films can risk enough (in what concerns story form, storytelling techniques and art form) to push forward the boundries of filmmaking and storytelling.

A part from this, a really independent production of 3.000$ has a lot to do with favours that people do to you as an indie filmmaker.

Why is this an advantage?

Advantages of doing a 3000$ film

Well, that it takes more time to finish the film. You have less crew, less gear, less money, less everything really… but what you can count on is TIME. And if you truly believe in your project there is nothing that will stop you to finish the film. You will have more time to think about your project, the message you want to pass on, if this is the story you truly want to tell…

This means that those people that actually get to the end of the journey of making the film, truly believe in the project they’ve done. Normally this is translated into better films that truly inspire people and that give meaning for the world and the art form of filmmaking. This films are the ones that change the rules of the game, the ones that create new rules that eventually the mainstream media adopts as his to create in new entertainment.

So dare to be bold! Follow the path of the ideas that motivate you without loosing the north, keeping track of what you spend and fly high without losing your head.

If you come through the other side, I can guarantee you that the disadvantage of being a really independent movie, you will have transformed a disadvantage into an advantage.  Money should not be a problem. Money is not a problem. It is only a barrier that your imagination has to overcome.

Happy journey, see you the next time!


What Is the BUDGET of An IDEA?

What Is The BUDGET of An IDEA?

How much does a movie cost?

Most people that have a notion of how much does a zombie’s film cost will probably tell you that you cannot produce a good zombie film if you don’t have at least 5 million in your pocket. And that might be true if what you are trying to do is what everybody else doing a zombie’s film is trying to do…

Trust your gut and f*** the rest

But if what you’d like is make a different kind of zombie movie, you shouldn’t even care about other people’s opinion on the subject, as your movie has all the qualities of a prototype, you and nobody else know if it is going to work or not. So listen to everybody but only trust your gut.

Imagine that you have this big idea for a movie but you don’t know if you will be able to produce it yourself or if anyone out there is remotely interested in financing it. Just do not give up on the idea if it is a big one!

Real filmmakers

This is where real filmmakers step in and take the lead and others sit and watch the game.
True filmmakers have the gut feeling that there is always a way. There is always a way they can film it without having to spend the money that they don’t have, that there is a way to create an imaginative and amazing world that doesn’t cost millions but can motivate billions, that there is a way to make something great without doing what everybody else consider “great”, that there is a way even if everyone around tell you that there isn’t, that it’s a foolish thing even to try because it is “impossible”…

Great filmmakers

The Great are great, not because they are different from you and me, it’s because they have the courage to think differently. And this inevitably leads to different actions that lead them to unique different and sometimes great results.

The Great come up with ideas that overcome the obstacles that stop them from realizing their vision for the film. The Great have an extraordinary capability for analyzing a situation and coming up with creative solutions that help them overcome those obstacles in the most efficient and productive way possible.

Overcome obstacles, don’t create problems

What happened to me at first is that I envisioned a film that would cost more than I would have in pocket after being a bartender for all my life… if I ever decided to become a bartender…

So what I did was leave that project on the side and follow the lead that that first story created for me and gave it the form of a story that I was sure I could finance and produce. That project’s name is DOPPEL.

In my case I chose to move on to another project and leave that one on the side for later, but it completely depends on you, ultimately, if you decide to produce or search for producers that finance your film. Because the truth is that ideas cost money and it’s up to you if you want to pay the price of the idea or find another one or modify the one you’ve got so it is cheaper.

So coming back to our first question, what is the budget of an idea?, It depends hugely on your own capability of analyzing a problem and coming up with solutions that fit with your circumstances. This means solutions that overcome those problems, those obstacles. And that is the precise word: OVERCOME.

The budget of an idea really depends on your ability of coming up with solutions that OVERCOME the obstacles that eventually show up along the way.


How NOT To Make A STINKY Low Budget Film

How NOT to make a LOW BUDGET Stinky FILM

How not to fuck up a film?

For this, first we need to get clear on a couple of points:

What is a stinky film?

What stinky films have in common?

How can I avoid making a stinky film?

So let’s begin by saying that I’ll be bringing forth arguments to build my thesis, this is just a personal opinion that you don’t have to agree with.

What is a stinky film?

A stinky film is a film that doesn’t have a vision. These films can vary and they cover a huge part of the spectrum of bad movies. From those movies you don’t really enjoy because they don’t say anything new or interesting and those that really stink because the guy who did it only wanted to make money out of it or God knows what but you know his heart is not in it and that he doesn’t even give a damn about his own movie!

This is terrible.

Some people start filming their dream movie and they eventually give in to external pressure and end up doing a stinky film that promised much more. Examples like this are everywhere in the industry but some people may disagree on certain examples because, above all, it is part speculation and part a subjective opinion…

So, we’ll skip the examples and hope that you got the point.

In short, when I talk about a stinky film I mean a film that violates the first principle of why films exist, that is; film are for people to watch them.

This means that if you are making a movie without nothing to say REALLY, you shouldn’t beaking a movie, because movies are for people to watch them.

What stinky films have in common?

Stinky films all have in common similar traits. This traits do not necessarily mean a stinky film but they do show up in most cases of stinky films. Amongst them, we have ridiculous endings, arbitrary elements (characters, situations and story plot points, stupid dialogue, etc)

It is really difficult to make a list of what makes a stinky film because all of the elements I listed above can be used to make a great film.

It is indeed a very subjective and biased opinion when someone calls a film a stinky.

But above all, the elements by themselves don’t really have power. It is the core idea of the film, that one might call the vision (that is a distinctive perspective on a story, its world and the characters in them) that make a story GREAT.

How can I avoid making a stinky film?

The truth is that you will never know if you’ve made a stinky film or not until you try, until you put your film in front of an audience.


What you can have control over is the core idea, your vision. That idea that unites all the elements in your story, that make that story a whole.

For that, money does not matter, that why this post is under idea&budget. Because having a clear vision overcomes every kind of obstacles.

Even money.

If your vision is truthful and powerful enough every wall becomes an obstacle that can be overcomed!

MEMENTO, Guy Pearce, 2000

How To Use What You Have

How To Use What You Have

This is a big question that involves many factors and circumstances.

There are a few principles you can follow to create with what you have. Because that is the true key of using what you have; creating from the starting point of what you have.

I hope that doesn’t sound confusing.

For example, you have a big house at your disposal but the film you would really shine on is an action movie my take on that is that although you make better stories in multiple locations and with lots of action, try to scale that down to a house and one location if that is all you have at your disposal. And for that creativity and imagination always win.

So let’s create a most likely case scenario by looking at which locations do you have at your disposal:


Suppose you have access to the streets, because you are a small crew and no no one would really care about a group of young people filming something on the streets.


Imagine that you convince a member of your family to lend you his house for filming. This way your story can take place in house, or part of it anyways.


Imagine you have a friend who runs a restaurant or a bar, if you ask him nicely it’s likely he will be willing to lend it to you for several hours so you can finish your shoot. A good idea would be to prepare for a very fast shoot that takes you as little time as possible and this way you do not bother the owners, the staff or the costumers.


If you have the chance to have a friend that is willing to lend his house to you, then you are a lucky person and should without a doubt take advantage of this opportunity. Take into account that because it is not your house you might have to plan the shoot more thoroughly as the owners might want in the middle of your production plan change of opinion and rent the house/apartment to other tenants. These things tend to happen more often than you would think of if we are talking about a long shoot that takes a months or even years.

In the end…

It is about getting your film finished and in front an audience that’s all that really matters.

Christopher Nolan made Following with the elements stated above: a house that belonged to an aunt, a friend’s house, a cafeteria, a bar and the streets of London.

So if he could film an award winning film that helped him get in the industry and that helped him make his next movie Memento, filming only during the weekends for almost a year, I do not find any reason why you couldn’t do the same thing.


3 KEY No Budget Filmmaking Principles

3 Key No Budget Filmmaking Principles

Behind the Scenes of “Breathless” by Jean-Luc Godard


Do you need the latest RED EPIC 6k, 8k, 10k camera?


So get yourself into the discipline of getting your ideas on paper, then translate them into a preproduction plan and then shoot your film.  As simple and as hard as that.

BUT first, take into account what do you have and what will you most likely have available when you actually shoot your film. It is as simple as making a LIST and fitting, for example, the locations YOU have available.

When you are done with Locations you should cover this list:

  • LOCATIONS (Use Natural Light INT/EXT + FREE use)
  • GEAR (Cameras + Lighting + Sound) (Owned/ Rented)
  • TIME (The weekends / 1 day a month/ etc. ) (How can I pull it off with the time I have got?)
  • TEAM & SKILLS (Is it a one man job or do you need a team? Can you get a team? Can you do several tasks and minimize the team size to its minimum? Can you learn the job so you do not need someone else? Is it worth it?)


AFTER Knowing WHAT you have at your disposal, let creativity STEP IN!


Meaning, you wouldn’t want to build a story you are not passionate about for the basic reason that you won’t enjoy the process of filming it if you didn’t like the process of writting it. Maybe for that same reason you won’t even never finish the film…


Get deeper in the theme you wish, that you have an interest in and let ideas come to you.

Pick Ideas WITHOUT judging if they are suitable or not for your very very independent film project. Evaluation comes afterwards.


Try to make the most exciting and creative story that you can having in mind that you will be doing an evaluation afterwards where you’ll choose and modify the ideas you found the most excitings to tell.

That brings us to the next point…


Now is the time to toss (but not permanently) all the ideas you find boring or that you simply don’t like as much.

Pick one or two and see where it leads you. Relate to your subject/theme, expand it, bring old ideas back in and maybe from the mix comes a bigger idea that you never expected. But always operate through principles or axioms because if not you will become mad in an endless sea of possibilities.

The axioms or principles or questions are:

  •  How does this relate to my THEME? Is it necessary (dramatically and thematically)?
  • Is this the best WAY/ FORM to express that idea? Is there a better one? How can I improve the one that I have got?

If you can answer the questions from above, you are ready to go and write your story.

In the process you will find better ways to fit those ideas into your story and more importantly you will find better ways to fit those ideas into a script that you can produce and film.

It is a process of trial and error, as any other craftsman’s job.