FT 070: Cheapskate Filmmaking with PJ Woodside and Steve Hudgins

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Cheapskate Filmmaking with PJ Woodside & Steve Hudgins

I had the pleasure recently of interviewing co-authors of ‘Cheapskate Movie Makers: How We Made 10 Horror Movies in 9 Years With Nearly Zero Budget’, business partners of The Big Biting Pig Production, and indie filmmaking duo, JP Woodside and Steve Hudgins.   

The Cheapskate filmmaking duo is specialized horror and psychological thrillers independent filmmakers with long-standing production, acting, editing, and writing experiences combined. They have collaborated on numerous projects over the years. Some of their shared work include Creepy Doll – 2011 (co-produced and directed by Woodside), Spirit Stalkers – 2012 (directed and written by Hudgins, starring Woodside), Frances Stein – 2015 (directed and written by PJ Woodside and produced by Hudgins), etc.

Frances Stein is a brilliant scientist gone mad for all the right reasons – she’s lost her marriage, her job, and her reputation. Now she has plans for her ex-husband and his new wife that will mess with their minds. Literally.

The Creepy doll is about a man who begins to question his wife’s sanity after her behavior changes for the worse, which he believes has something to do with her spooky and sinister collection of porcelain dolls.

Woodside is the founder of PJ’s Production which focuses on book trailers, music videos, and promos.

They shared the Tabloid Witch Awards for best editing (Frances Stein) 2016, and the honorable mention award in 2011 for The Creepy Doll, as well as the best picture for The Creepy Doll at the 2011 MayDay Film Festival.

Before blending their forces, Hudgins worked on some of the best animations as editor or producer –  he holds 63 production credits on shows like Beetlejuice, Adventures of Tintin, Wild C.A.T.S: Covert Action Teams, Rupert, The Magic School Bus, etc

The Spirit Stalkers reality show, once a big hit, faces cancellation without a rating boost, which leads the investigative team to Gloria Talman, whose house is rampant with unexplained ghostly activity.

It was an absolute honor to chat with them and learn more about their cost-effective strategies in making ten movies in nne years on no budget, their unique distribution model.

Enjoy my epic conversation with PJ Woodside and Steve Hudgins.

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Alex Ferrari 0:08
I like to welcome to the show Steve Hudgins and PJ Woodside How you guys doing?

PJ Woodside 0:14
Doing good. It's good to see you doing.

Alex Ferrari 0:17
Well, thank you so much for being on the show, guys. I am a fan of how of how you have been able to survive in this insane independent filmmaking space for years. And a mutual friend of ours connected us, Linda from Indie Writes, she suggested that I reach out to you guys to be on the show, because you guys were doing some really cool stuff on how you been able to basically sustain yourselves for a better part of a decade if I'm not mistaken. Is that Is that a fair statement?

PJ Woodside 0:50
Yeah, we've been doing this since about 2007. So sustain, I don't know if that's quite the right word. But at least it's amused us for all this time.

Alex Ferrari 1:03
We you've kept going. In other words, you keep doing it says you're doing something right at this point. So how did you guys get started in the business?

PJ Woodside 1:13
Well, so, you know, when we when we started, we were involved in theater. And Steve and I had met doing some plays. We know a lot of theater folks around here he is the one who really got started with the movie making had an idea to make a movie. And you know, it was just starting to be that time when you could do such a thing on your own. You know, you could get an editing program and a pretty, you know, decent camera with not too much outlay of money and film something and cut it together and put it up online. And so he and some friends of his and I'm, I'm I'm gonna let you jump in here and tell that story here, Steve, but, uh, yeah, they kind of did the first pilot movie. And got everything started just by trial and error. Steve,

Steve Hudgins 2:14
yeah, I had always been a Yeah, we had been. I did a play with a couple of guys. And we got to be friends and started kicking around the idea of making a movie. And I have always been a writer like PJ, we're both writers really. And I took one of my one of them had a little bit of filmmaking experience. And by a little I mean, like, they've shot a camera, they use the camera before. So I, I took, I took an old book that I wrote when I was a kid and turn it into a screenplay. And we just decided to do it not really knowing what the hell we were doing. But we just did it. And it took about six months. And we were able to get some pretty cool locations, people just letting us use locations. And we just shot a really, really bad movie. But we did it. We were able to we were able to complete it. It's like it was like over 100 minutes. It really in reality, if we ended that thing today, it would probably be 60 minutes. Well, this is like over 100 minutes. It's got like a good 40 minutes of fat. But you know, we did it we we shot the movie, we edited it. We premiered it. And we learned a ton on just doing it. It was it was the hands on experience, where we really learned and at the end of that those two guys were burned out. They were done. And I was just getting warmed up. That's what I knew. You know, this was something I really had a fire for. I'm like, I'm just warmed up. Now let's go and they're like, No, I think we're done. So I kind of created my own production company, big biting pig productions. And PJ had a little editing experience. So she helped. Well, she really did the majority of the editing on that movie. So we work together a lot in the post production of that movie. The movie is called The Third Floor. We don't talk about that. One of our library, it's not one of the Big Biting Pig movies really. We did that under another production company name. But PJ did the editing the majority of it I did, too. And we we just kind of learned together and then we teamed up when I said I'm going I'm going on my own. I got PJ with me and we've been together ever since. And we did we were able to release 10 movies with absolutely no budget in nine years.

Alex Ferrari 4:46

PJ Woodside 4:48
what he didn't tell you about that first movie, too was a standard definition and no idea what the editing was going to be. So that was kind of like oh, now we've got all this footage now what do we do so You know, I like to kind of point out that we didn't follow another model, we sort of just try things to see what we could do. And then we would do it the simplest and cheapest way we could, and kept making progress on our skills and, you know, production values and getting more people involved in more places, and just, you know, trial, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. You know,

Alex Ferrari 5:34
it's like, like school brick says the Best Film School is actually making a movie. And I think that's what you guys did. And I, as someone who's went to film school, I went to film school, a technical school, and I learned, I basically know how to wrap cable and make a cup of coffee. extent of my education and in many ways, I didn't really start learning until I got into the field and started actually doing stuff. So I think that's one of the best pieces of advice you could give a filmmaker without question. Now. You You talk about zero budgets. Now, I know that a lot of people throw that number around really quick. Oh, it's zero budget. Obviously, it's not zero budget, because you need to had to spend some sort of money. But can you define what zero budget is for you?

Steve Hudgins 6:27
Well, we actually don't know when to China. It's really, yeah, when we when I when I say zero budget, I mean, we don't have money budgeted. Before we make the movie, we don't have like a pile of cash that we've put together and say this is all going towards the movie. So there really is no budget. But yes, of course, we do spend some money on it. But everything we spend is out of pocket as we go. We don't know how much we're going to spend, but we try to keep it as little as possible. And once we got the equipment, once we got the camera, and the microphones and and very, a very minor lighting set. It really has not cost us much to make these movies. I mean, we're talking hundreds of dollars.

PJ Woodside 7:18
fasters no investors, I think nobody outside of us is funding it. That's, that's the main reason we call it zero budget.

Alex Ferrari 7:27
But you also but you did at certain points in your in your journey did do some crowdfunding to kind of build to try to get some bigger names in your in your niche, which is horror films. Is that correct?

PJ Woodside 7:39
That's true. And as we as we got a few more movies under our belt and decided we wanted to try to find, you know, some talent who would who would come on board for one of our smaller roles, like a day of filming, we did do a crowdfunding for those specific purposes. We had built on soon as matter of fact that you said you were looking at moving to Austin and Bill Johnson lives in Austin. He's, he was leatherface and Texas Chainsaw to he was in a couple of our movies really fun to work with. But yeah, that was a great investment, I think. And it got people, you know, excited enough to help to make that happen.

Alex Ferrari 8:22
Yeah, that. And that's something really important to this to this conversation. Because when when I first heard about what you guys were doing, you're you were following the Filmtrepreneur method before I even wrote the book, Rise of the entrepreneur, because you are doing exactly what I've been preaching for a long time, which is find a niche audience that you can serve, which is you've decided to go after the horror audience. And then sometimes you go after big stars in that niche. They're not movie stars, per se. They don't sell you overseas in Germany, but they do have a tremendous amount of value in the niche. Is that a fair statement? Someone like Bill Johnson actually does move copies because he is he is well known within the niche audience that you're trying to target. Is that is that fair?

PJ Woodside 9:11
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, in part of how we got connected with him was going to, to horror conventions. And that, you know, just networking that way is just so valuable when you're trying to build your audience and build you know, value added components to to your filmmaking.

Alex Ferrari 9:35
So when and I actually I did the horror, I did a horror circuit early on with a my first short film, which was more of like a creepy thriller, but the horror community really kind of attached themselves to it's like an action thriller. But I started selling it at horror convention. So I've been through a bunch of horror conventions. And there's so much fun. I mean, so much fun and you see all these amazing actors from big horror movies, you know, you know obviously the the the robber England's and and and said Hey guy I you know I met Sid Haig before he passed and all the all these guys, but they're so accessible there where you could literally walk up to these actors and go, Hey look, who do I talk to if I want to hire you to be in my next movie, and you'd be surprised at how open they are, some are a little bit more skittish, but others will just like, here's my email, send me the script. And, and they and they have, they don't have a lot of value outside of the niche. I mean, obviously, when I say value, I'm talking about marketability, and bottom line numbers. They're valuable and they're acting and what they do as a as artists, but in the inside the horror niche someone like Bill Johnson does move DVDs or moves, rentals or so on. But did you find that as well?

PJ Woodside 10:55
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And we, we love Horror conventions. The most? Yeah, so much fun, we get to meet lots of different people and be you know, be in the same room with, or we have, we have a photo with, with some Walking Dead folks hold on holding one of our creepy dolls that we, you know, took to conventions with us. And just really, it's really easy to connect those venues and big fans to I mean, we we really learned a lot from them gained lots of fans gained connections, the the person who organized some of the conventions in in Kentucky, but we had we did a lot with him in when he was beginning to put this conventions together. And that was a really good resource for us. Because he we were friends with him before we, you know, we were looking for someone to be in one of our movies. And that was he was the person who connected us with Bill Johnson. And we actually we filmed we brought bill in and he was coming to the convention that year we filmed while he was at the convention. So it made it a real easy. You know, sort of a segue.

Alex Ferrari 12:16
Right? You didn't you didn't have to be you have to pay for travel.

PJ Woodside 12:19
Yeah. So yeah, so

Alex Ferrari 12:21
smart. So smart. Now you guys have a really unique distribution model. Can you talk about the origins of that distribution model? Cuz I'm assuming when you started doing your very first films, Warner Brothers wasn't releasing these things. So how did how did you start making money at the very beginning? In the late 2000, early 2000s. When you start 2007 2008? I remember that time very well. DVDs, DVD was still a thing back then. But how did you start making money with your films and do it in a way that you said, Hey, wait a minute, I think we could do this again. And again, and again. And again.

PJ Woodside 13:02
You want to check that one, Steve?

Steve Hudgins 13:04
Yeah, well. I mean, when we, when we first started doing it, DVD was really our only source of income streaming. Streaming was talked about, right? It was, hey, the future is streaming, but there really wasn't streaming yet streaming was, you know, YouTube and, and they're just it just wasn't out there too much yet. So it was really DVDs for our, for our first few movies. That's That's it, we weren't making any money. We were just making movies, because they were so inexpensive to make, you know, we're not having to invest a lot we had, we had already purchased all of the major equipment that that costs the most. So the movies really were more about time, they were more time than they were money. I mean, seriously, we were not spending much to make these movies, it does show in the production values, but hell, you know, at least we're making them so you know, so that was the that was the thing, we didn't need a lot of money. We didn't need to make a lot of money to make our money back which which was minuscule. So it was DVDs for a long time until we and until amazon prime came along, and I hooked up with with indie rights and Linda and Michael and our movies started getting on to Amazon Prime that's when we started to see a little bit of money it's never been a ton I mean, we're not making we're not making a lot of we've never made a ton of money off of our movies but it's so it's something and and something is better than nothing. And that was really the the game changer was once amazon prime came along and we hooked up with indie rights. Then we started actually seeing a little bit of money from it too, which was, which was nice,

PJ Woodside 14:57
One of the things that we did though that first few years Was that we always held like a local premiere. And for the people who were in the movies and their friends and family and you know, crew and, and we always were able to make our initial investment back, anything that we had that we spent to make those DVDs, we were able to get that back just from those on premieres where we charged a little bit of money, sold some, some merchandise, had a, you know, really low cost of venue to show the movie. So I think, you know, I think that kind of gave us the energy to keep going for one thing, it kind of attracted, you know, some attention locally, and we just wit, people want it to be in the movie and be part of it in the movies. And so doing another one was always something We will look forward to.

Alex Ferrari 15:51
Now has the recent Amazon purge affected you guys because I know they're now taking horror, a lot of horror films are being just purged without reason. I know, short films and documentaries, and they're just kind of purging their systems has that affected you? Because I know Linda told me that there was a handful of titles that she represented that were just purged.

PJ Woodside 16:14

Steve Hudgins 16:19
We lost one we so we have 10 movies, we're, we're on amazon prime. And we lost one they they pulled one the other nine are still there. But they're not. They're not making as much money. So there's been a drop in that and but we've only lost one thus far.

Alex Ferrari 16:40
And also the the rates. I mean, when you guys first jumped in with Linda, I mean, they were paying, you guys could make some decent, some decent cash from just the S VOD aspect of it. And but but Amazon has been so ridiculously horrible to its independent creators now. paying them a penny for an hour. If you're lucky.

PJ Woodside 17:05
Yeah, just Yeah, I just makes me angrier until I think about it. It's like, no, wait a minute, we're we made this agreement, and then you're just gonna like, Oh, no, we're not gonna pay you that much. Now we're gonna pay you less. It's like, okay, so

Alex Ferrari 17:18
Yeah. It's actually it's really horrible. And they, but that's Amazon, they've been doing that for forever. And I think it happens with all the major platforms, any major platform will accept anything to get the content that they need to build the platform up. But once they get to a certain level, they'll just start getting rid of the stuff that they don't want to deal with anymore, or change the rules, because it's their sandbox. And it's, it's unfortunate, and it's happened with all tubi used to accept anything, anything just to get it to get content, and now they're being much more specific Netflix. Do you remember Netflix streaming? When it first launched?

PJ Woodside 17:53
Yes, yes. Oh,

Alex Ferrari 17:54
my God, it was horrendous. I remember, I logged in, like in 2010, when it first showed up, just out of curiosity. I was like, Oh, my God, this is horrible. This. And now of course, they're the juggernauts and they won't accept anything anymore. It's very, very difficult. So I mean, to how have you guys kind of adjust to have you guys pivoted at all? Have you guys changed your model a little bit because, you know, from 2007 to now there's a lot of things have changed. There was times when DVD, you could make a lot of money selling DVDs, and you probably still could, especially in the horror genre, on the festival circuit, and the horror circuit and things like that. But nowadays, just everything's changing so rapidly. And let's not even talk about COVID. And I'm sure how that's impacted your your world as well. Are you guys pivoting? Is there anything that you are doing to kind of adjust? Because I'm assuming you're losing? In some places like everybody else's?

PJ Woodside 18:52
Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, um, you know, how much can you really expect to maybe that you put out 10 years ago to still be making money? You know, I mean, that's part of it, I think you have to keep up the marketing. And when we were putting out a movie every year, then our, you know, our old titles would would get some interest. We did the 10 movies and nine years and then took a break. And so we had already kind of pivoted a little bit, we decided we wanted to write this book, which we did. And then of course, COVID hit So Steve and I both really are originally writers and at least with with COVID You know, we've been able to to, to focus on on the writing and not feel like we're just letting everything go completely. But I you know, we're kind of focusing on separate projects right now. Just trying to get more you know, more interested in the book and trying to find other ways to market the movies, but yeah, I'm not sure there's a good solution for that. Those changes.

Alex Ferrari 20:06
Now you you guys also. Oh, go ahead, Steve. I'm sorry.

Steve Hudgins 20:10
I was just gonna kind of echo that a little bit we, after doing, I mean, we were working at a crazy pace, I mean release thing. 10 movies in nine years. So we, we decided to take just a little bit of a breather. And after we had a little bit of a breather, we decided we wanted to it would we realize there's a lot of people out there who would like to know how we did it, because we get that asked that all the time. You know, I don't know how you do it. I mean, folks who have worked on million dollar budget movies before would say to me, I don't know how you do this for with no budget. So we decided to write a book about it and really go into detail and it took it took longer than we thought it would because of I when we were making the movies, we never really thought about all the details as much. We just kind of did it. And then when we were laying out, laying out everything that we did in the book, it was it was exhausting. It's like, My God, how did we do this? And it was just, I mean, it. It took a while to write it. But um, yeah, that's that's the book that we wrote. And it's out there. That's on Amazon, too. That's a cheapskate moviemakers. And it's been getting a really nice response. So far, it actually for for a few days there, it actually hit as a best seller and one of the categories. So we've been having some good success with that. And like PJ said, that the pivot that we've done, one of the pivots that I've done is because we wrote these movies, I've been turning the movies that we did into novel form. And I'm going ahead and been releasing them in as as novels as well. So people that have been fans of the movie. You know, it's just another another little twist that because we have writing, we are the writers, we just another avenue to take. So you know, we kind of do everything we can.

Alex Ferrari 22:09
Yeah, and that's and that is the the core of the film entrepreneur method, which is to create as multiple, as many revenue streams outside of just the films themselves. And control those revenue streams as much as possible, with as little middlemen as possible. So I was I was gonna ask you about the books, because that's unique. I hadn't seen, you know, book versions of, or novel versions of independent, no budget films, that's a unique thing. And I'm assuming that still generates a little bit of money here and there. But the thing that a lot of filmmakers don't understand is like, Oh, well, I only made a couple 100 bucks there, off of that revenue stream a month, I'm like, Yeah, but if you get 20 of those, all of a sudden, that's becoming a really substantial thing. And as you build more and more, those revenue streams up, all of a sudden, it becomes a business and all becomes becomes like, oh, wow, I'm, I'm making 1000 bucks a month, I'm making 2000 bucks a month, and depending on where you live in the country, or in the world, that could be life changing. I mean, in LA, that gets you a trip to Whole Foods. But but everywhere else, you can, you know, it could be a very substantial amount of money in your life. And and that's another thing I always talk about. It's like, it's not about being rich and and you know, living that Hollywood, you know, myth as you will, it's about how much money do you need every month to pay the bills to support your family to support your filmmaking habit. And if you can meet if you can, it's a habit, it's a drug, it's absolutely a drug. It's a, it's an illness, it's a drug. I've said that many times. But, but if you can do that, then if you get to do your art, and be happy about it, and not have to worry about money with regards to making your art, I think you've I think you've kind of won. Is that fair?

PJ Woodside 23:59
Yeah, and you know, the other thing I'll throw out here, one of the things we talked about a lot in the book is, is that your, your costs in a place outside of LA, are so much lower your cost for filming, you know, getting people on board to help to work with you as a volunteer, because they don't have any other way to do that in, you know, in the Midwest, or wherever you are. And so they they're looking to, you know, to pursue their art as well. And so, it's a weird, I feel like it's, we were doing it before lots of other people were doing it, because nobody just knew that you could that it was the thing you could do. And, and we've gotten a lot of fans and people who are, you know, waiting for the next movie because they were part of it. But and I don't know, I don't know if we could have done that. And I know we could have done that in LA but we certainly couldn't do it here.

Alex Ferrari 24:57
Now how do you guys target and connect With your audience

PJ Woodside 25:04
we started with? Well, one of the things we do really well, I think is that we we give our casting crew and anybody who auditions or has any interest, lots of value for their investment of time and money. We treat them well. We reach out to them with our, you know, with with Facebook and anything else that we're that we're doing. Twitter, let them know when we're having premieres. Making sure that the people who work with you are happy and feel valued, I think grows your audience. We Steve started putting audition notices out through several pages, websites in Kentucky. And in very beginning, we didn't have very many people who wanted to be involved. But Gosh, what movie did we start really having, I think it was the creepy doll that we just, we had so many people audition. And you know, if you, if you think about that kind of energy, as being a potential fan base, you can turn that around, and keep those people interested all the way through. But we've done a lot of them. We did a lot of marketing, on, you know, on Facebook and Twitter and just posting things, posting links doing fun, commercial kinds of things. We've posted a couple of our movies for free on YouTube, with promotions in them. What else Steve,

Steve Hudgins 26:46
it was really hit the ground too. I mean, the horror conventions was really quite a big deal for us to reach a wider audience, we just actually just kind of pounding the pavement going out there and, and kind of peddling our movies at conventions and, and slowly gradually growing more and more of a fan base off of that we have a website and a mailing list. So every convention, we get people to sign up for our mailing list, and then they get they get more Yeah, they learn more about what's going on consistently without having to wait around for the next core convention to find out so it's it's just been kind of a grassroots type of a thing and very, very gradual. But you know, slow and steady.

PJ Woodside 27:35
Yeah, we've been in a couple of magazines, we've won a couple of awards. So yeah, that that kind of

Steve Hudgins 27:43
Yeah, we find when you when you keep plugging away little things like that will happen. Like we got a Maxim magazine listed our movie or zombie movie Hell is full as one of the best 66 horror films you've never seen. I think that's awesome. That was the title. Yeah, and, and that that really brought a lot of people to us those little little things like that little, little, little unexpected things like that pop up, and all of a sudden your audience grows a little bit more. So um, you know, it's, it just kind of comes from plugging away. And eventually little things like that happen.

Alex Ferrari 28:22
And how

PJ Woodside 28:24
Ivana cadavers show, or maybe she's played our movies there and gotten some some attention there.

Alex Ferrari 28:32
And how

Steve Hudgins 28:34
mccobb theater? Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 28:36
you know, how important is your email list? Because I preach about that constantly.

PJ Woodside 28:42
That's that's a Steve. Question. Yeah,

Steve Hudgins 28:46
it's a big, I mean, it's a big deal. That's, that's, I mean, that's, that's where that's where your fans are. That's how you keep them. You keep them engaged. Do you keep them up to date? I think it's essential. I mean, if you don't have a, if you don't have an email list, you're you're really grasping at straws. That's, that's, that's really, it's so important in anything you do. I mean, movies, books, whatever. It's, it's really anything any any industry where you're where you're trying to grow any kind of a base, you need that that email list, it really is it really is a big deal.

Alex Ferrari 29:26
And like we were like we were talking earlier, when you're playing in someone else's sandbox, like let's say Facebook, or Twitter, or any social media platform, if they want to change the rules at the last second and not let you connect to your fans, like Facebook did all those years ago. You have to now pay to access those fans who have liked you or followed you. You're screwed. But the email list is you own that relationship with the email and it's so it's, like I've said I've said this and I've heard this said by a lot of other people in the online marketing space. The money is in the email list. I mean, because when you have a new product, you send it out to fans and people who want to hear from you. And you'll start getting sales right away. It's pretty, it's pretty powerful. I've seen it firsthand. It's a very powerful, powerful marketing tool.

PJ Woodside 30:12

Alex Ferrari 30:15
Now, other than what you have your film, you have your film revenues that come in through either indie rights or DVD sales or things like that. You have books, I know you have some merchandise as well, in order kind of what generates the most revenue for you guys, from your catalog?

PJ Woodside 30:39
Oh, which, which, in the moment,

Steve Hudgins 30:41
it's the book,

Alex Ferrari 30:43
the books, so the books, the books are actually the higher revenue stream? So out of all the revenue streams, it's like books, then movies and merch or something along those lines, or am I missing another revenue stream?

Steve Hudgins 30:55
Now that's it. That's unless I'm forgetting something PJ. I think that's the correct order. And then of course, some of our movies do better than others.

Alex Ferrari 31:04
Right. But as a general, like monthly income, that you're getting from your catalogue of products and or ancillary products from your films books, happens to be what's making you the money right now.

Steve Hudgins 31:17
Yeah, books are number one at the moment.

PJ Woodside 31:21
Yeah. Right. If you looked at in the, if you looked at him over time, you know, I have done that better, right. And we get them the year that they come out. And then the year after that a lot of times they'll they'll generate a good big wave. And then that, that kind of falls off after after some time,

Alex Ferrari 31:40
isn't it? No, go ahead. Yeah, exactly. I was gonna say books tend to keep going and going. While movies they have they have spikes, and then they kind of do is a lot of books are consistent, because a horror story is a horror story. And you can read it, and there's no production value needed. There's no stars needed for a book.

PJ Woodside 32:03
Right? It's still so much fun, though, to get an email from our message from somebody who says, Oh, I just saw the Creepy Dolls. The creepy doll that came out in 2011. You know, just Creepy Doll. And I love it so much. And I'm just like, I'm just so I feel so good when you know when that still can happen.

Alex Ferrari 32:23
It is it I get those emails all the time people talk about my film, in 2005 I made and people are like, Oh, I just saw it man, or I bought that DVD years ago. And it oh my god, like it's, it's it's such a thrill to get that. But so and I want people to understand.

Steve Hudgins 32:41
Just Just to add on to that, just to what you were saying movies, and I always would tell this to our cast movies are for ever. They don't they don't leave. So your performance will be seen forever. And another 50 years, these movies will still be out there they they live on and on. They'll live on after we're gone. These movies are forever. It's pretty cool if you think about it. And one of the other really neat aspects of, of this that I never really thought of it just kind of happened is we are actually capturing history in our movies, there have been several buildings, old historic buildings that we've shot in that that no longer exists today, they've been torn down. But those live on forever. In our movies, we've had some of our wonderful actors who have passed away since since the movies have been released. Their performances live on forever in those movies. It's pretty it's pretty neat. We're we're kind of like, a time machine in a way.

Alex Ferrari 33:46
No it's, it's absolutely I've had I've had actors pass away from projects I've done. And I've worked I've shot in in thing in locations that either have been remodeled completely or torn down completely. You're absolutely right. They're they're snapshots of time, it's really, really interesting. But I want to I want the audience to really understand that as, as a business, what you guys have done is if you would have been just focused strictly on selling your movies only. And that would be the only way you make monies with your movies, it would be hard right now, but because you kind of branched out into books as another major revenue stream that has at now you can continue to generate revenue, where the movies might be slow down. So and it's always it's always kind of comes and goes because sometimes, you know, like you said a movie will come out and then boom, it there'll be a big burst. And then books might drop a little bit and vice versa. But the more of these streams you have, the more chances you have to generate revenue.

PJ Woodside 34:50

Steve Hudgins 34:52
Yeah, right. And another other interesting thing about the books is the book world is a different world and as a completely different world than the movie world. So a lot of the people who are reading the movie version of our books have never seen the movie. So boom, a lot of but everybody watches movies, almost everybody in the world watches movies. So, you know, you you get you get new fans that way it's we're kind of dipping into a whole new world, which is interesting. And I, I really wasn't expecting the world to be so different, but they really are the book world and the movie world are really two different worlds,

Alex Ferrari 35:33
And your new book, cheapskate movie makers, you know, you're using that that futurpreneur model there as well. Because I, I imagine that you talk about your movies in that book, and I promise you probably somebody will go onto your website and want to watch your movies after they read your book, as well as have you found that happening yet?

PJ Woodside 35:55
Yeah, also, we, we did set up a Patreon when we started writing the book. And that was a another, you know, revenue for us, as we are working on that project. People who would, who had had been part of our movies wanted to see how more about how we made them and get those chapters in advance. That was, that was one of the things we did but yeah, we've, we've everybody who finds one piece of us is more likely to reach out and, you know, see, see another one of our movies or read another one of our books or find out more about us,

Alex Ferrari 36:35
right there each.

Steve Hudgins 36:36
In that book, we really did. We used a lot of examples in the books of movies like in this movie, we use this this aspect. And this is a special effect we used in this movie. So we did that a lot. So anybody who reads the book, if they want to see the specifics, they actually have to watch the movie. So it is actually a Yeah, we did kind of use that as a hook to get to get them to watch the movies as well. But But you know, it wasn't gimmicky. I mean, it's like, if you really do want to see what we're talking about, you really should watch this. And yeah, so you know, it's it's a yin and yang kind of thing.

Alex Ferrari 37:17
Oh, in my book in the in the rise of the entrepreneur, I'd literally in the book, I'm saying, Hey, guys, I'm using the entrepreneur method on you right now here, watch, go to www dot ego and desire calm. And you can check out my film that I'm talking about. And breaking down in this chapter, you see. actually said, Don't hate the player hate the game. And we just moved on from there. But because I wanted to be very transparent about Mike, look, I'm doing it right now tease everything I'm preaching to you in the book I'm actually doing to you as we're as you're reading this book, and not in a bad way. It's a valuable way because if you're reading a book about cheapskate moviemakers, you want to watch their cheapskate movies. You know, you want to see how they did it and what they're doing and what their website looks like and how they're generating revenue, and so on. But I'm so glad and I imagine you're gonna do very well with the with cheapskate moviemakers as a book, because, yeah, I'm assuming it's self published like mines are. And I do, I just, it's insane. It's It's insane kind of the shelf life that books have much, much, much more, and there's discovery and people, there's so many more people willing to spend 10 or 15 bucks on a book than it is to rent a movie. It's pretty amazing. It's pretty amazing.

PJ Woodside 38:42
And there's so many people out there who want who are hungry for this level of filmmaking? I think not, you know, not telling me how to make a movie with $100 million. Tell me how I can walk out of my door and make a movie.

Alex Ferrari 38:55
Yeah, I always I always said to people, like, you know, when I was making my DVD in 2005, on how to make an independent film. You know, there was nothing on the market like that. Sure. There was Robert Rodriguez talking about how to make a $7 million film. And that's great, Robert, but I don't have a steadycam. So I need something with everyday tools. And I think you're right there are there is a hunger for filmmakers that don't have that kind of which is basically everybody except for a handful of people that don't have those kind of those budgets in those resources to access this kind of information. And I applaud you guys for putting the book together as well. It's a it's very, very cool. Now I'm going to ask you a few questions. I ask all of my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Steve Hudgins 39:43
Just do it. Just do it. Just Just make your movie. Don't don't. There's a million reasons why not to do it. Forget that. Just do it. If you really want to do it, go out there. Make yourself a movie however you can. Once the movies over you'll know whether or not this is fun. You are not

PJ Woodside 40:02
just try things and then try to get better all the tools are there. All the tools, all the tips, all the advice, it's out there, but you just gotta have a little you know, Moxie and just do it.

Alex Ferrari 40:15
Moxie, I haven't heard that in a while. That's nice. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

PJ Woodside 40:27
Oh my goodness. Yeah. Oh, God, that's hard. I want to say that. That haters gonna hate.

Alex Ferrari 40:44
Preach, preach sister preach sister.

PJ Woodside 40:48
And so you know, if you find that if you get really bent out of shape, because somebody is hating on what you're doing, it probably means you're doing something right. And that you should, you know, you should take a look and make sure you're not hurting anybody or anything. But I think that if you've risen to the level where somebody is criticizing you, that means you're rising. So, you know, just keep doing that.

Steve Hudgins 41:16
Yeah, that's a really good one. Because I think I think early on, you know, you've you've, you've made a movie, you've accomplished something. I'm the king of the world. And then you see a review. And it's like, this movie sucks. These people are awful. mad. At first, that can be a little bit of a downer. But you know, you kind of have to, there's, there's a couple aspects to that. Number one is they're not wrong. We're talking about art. So when somebody watches or looks at art, they're going to have an opinion and it's not wrong. That's their opinion. If they didn't like the movie, they didn't like the movie. But there's, I think it's wiser to focus on the people who did. Because that's your audience. Your audience are the people who, who get what you're doing, who enjoy what you're doing. That's, that's your audience, you should focus on your audience, the people who, you know, it doesn't resonate with, that's not your audience and you really don't need to worry about that too much.

Alex Ferrari 42:17
Isn't it amazing that when you get a bad review, you can have 105 star reviews and you get one one star review and that's the only one you focus on is in

PJ Woodside 42:26
Oh, just think you just feel so slapped.

Alex Ferrari 42:31
But it's like, but you've got 99 other great amazing reviews but you're like yeah, but that one dude it's like it's it's so brutal. I my advice to anyone out there listening who gets bad reviews, which is basically everybody, including every major director or artist and ever is I always filmmakers, I always like to just go Oh, just do a search for bad review, godfather. Bad review, Shawshank Redemption, and then just start laughing. Because there's bad reviews written about some of the greatest films of all time. And it makes you feel a little bit better. I always makes me feel better.

Steve Hudgins 43:13
it's true. pick anything in the history of the world that is art related. There's somebody who hates it. And again, it's not that it's not that they're wrong. They truly, really hate. It's not like they're there. You know, it's like, deep down. They're like, Oh, I love this, but I'm not gonna admit it. Now they really hate it. And, you know, that's, that's okay. Not everything. Everything's not for everyone.

PJ Woodside 43:37
Yeah, I tried, I tried to say, you know, well, I can I can respect this, maybe for what this does is just not up my alley, rather than this is terrible.

Alex Ferrari 43:45
on a Wednesday, and then when they get personal, it's the best. I mean, I got when I first started, I used to go, I was like, literally going after every bad reviewer. And I would just literally just start attacking back when I was first starting out when I was younger, all those years ago. And it's just it's such a ridiculous thing, because it's just an opinion. It is absolutely just an opinion from somebody and like you're saying, Steve, they're right. You know, some, like people look at Van Gogh and just go with the blues and the starry, whatever. Oh, God. so cliche. Like there's always somebody is always someone who's going to, you know, I think who was I think it was Roosevelt who said that, you know, the man who critiques the the man who stumbles in the arena, has no place to say anything because they don't have the courage to get into the arena, or something along those lines. You know, it's what it is. I mean, if you have an opinion, you have an opinion, but it is it is brutal. And I know a lot of directors, big directors don't even read reviews. I know Ridley Scott never reads a review ever, ever, ever ever reads a review. He's like no, I don't bother good or bad, good or bad. And now guys, three of your favorite films of all time.

Steve Hudgins 45:04
First PJ

PJ Woodside 45:05
Yeah, you got me.

Steve Hudgins 45:08
Okay. jaws number one. Awesome. Number two. JOHN Carpenter's the thing. Number three Scarface.

Alex Ferrari 45:23

Steve Hudgins 45:25
And I'm gonna give you a bonus. something a little different Deer Hunter.

Alex Ferrari 45:29
Nice. Nice. All all great solid choices, sir. Very good. How about you PJ?

PJ Woodside 45:36
Well, you're probably you're not going to not going to understand why I wrote horror because horror is not not really the genre that I love the most. Even though I do love it, but, so, gosh, that's so hard. I'm gonna say Carry

Alex Ferrari 45:54
on love that the PAMA, great.

PJ Woodside 45:58
I'm sure I'm gonna sit here afterwards. I wish I had listened. And I was gonna need to come up with these. But But um, I'll probably think of like, 10 more afterwards, but I really love the Piano. o

Alex Ferrari 46:11
No. Yeah so great. Yeah, yeah. Jane Campion. She's wonderful. I'm

PJ Woodside 46:15
a big fan of female directors. I'm a more recent one that I really loved was under the skin. Oh, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 46:22
That's the one from Is that the one with Scarlet?

PJ Woodside 46:27
Yes, yes. Yeah. It's, it's amazing. It's a trip.

Alex Ferrari 46:33
It's a trip. Yeah. It is a trip that film. Yes, yes, yes. But guys, thank you so much for being on the show. You are an inspiration to so many filmmakers out there. And hopefully they'll read your book cheapskate movie makers how we made 10 horror movies in nine years with nearly zero budget. And hopefully you continue to inspire many filmstrip runners and filmmakers moving forward. So thank you so much for being on the show, guys.

PJ Woodside 46:59
Thank you

Steve Hudgins 47:01
Thank you for having us.

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