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FT 016: No Budget Filmmaking with Mark Stolaroff

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No Budget Filmmaking with Mark Stolaroff

I’ve been trying to get today’s guest on the show for months. Mark Stolaroffis a No-Budget Filmmaking maestro. Here’s a bit about our guest.

Mark Stolaroff is an independent producer and a founding partner of Antic Pictures, an LA-based production company producing a slate of low-budget, high-quality digital features. He recently finished principal photography on DriverX, his 5th collaboration with award-winning writer/director Henry Barrial.

DriverX stars Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul), Desmin Borges (You’re The Worst), Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and many other talented actors.

Stolaroff and Barrial’s previous feature, The House That Jack Built, which premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival, played theatrically in December 2015 and is now currently streaming on Netflix and other digital platforms.

Mark produced Barrial’s third feature, the micro-budget sci-fi film Pig, which was an official selection at over 35 film festivals worldwide, winning 10 awards, including 7 Best Feature award.

Pig was distributed by Kino Lorber in 2014. With Ron Judkins, Stolaroff produced Barrial’s second feature, True Love, which was developed in the Sundance Screenwriters Laband was a hit on the festival circuit. Stolaroff also consulted on Meera Menon’s Farah Goes Bang, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, winning the Nora Ephron Award.

Other projects include:

  • The Trouble With Men And Women
  • Paper Chasers
  • Some Body
  • Manic (starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Cheadle, and Zooey Deschanel)
  • Keep The River On Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale

…and others.

He is currently producing the horror feature Devil’s Whisper, directed by Adam Ripp, which will be shooting in June 2016. Stolaroff was formerly a principal of Next Wave Films, a company of The Independent Film Channel that provided finishing funds to exceptional, low budget films; and through its production arm Agenda 2000, financed and executive produced digital features.

Included in Next Wave’s 13 films are:

  • Christopher Nolan’s Following
  • Joe Carnahan’s  Blood, Guts, Bullets, & Octane
  • Amir Bar Lev’s Fighter
  • Sundance Grand Jury Prize-Winning Documentary Southern Comfort.

In all Next Wave took seven films to Sundance and five to Toronto; nine were released theatrically in the U.S. and two premiered on HBO; nine were shot digitally and six of those were transferred to film. Stolaroff has lectured on low/no budget and digital filmmaking throughout the world and at many of the major film festivals.

He has taught film classes at UCLA Extension, the Maine Film Workshop, and The Learning Annex and has written for Scientific American, Filmmaker, Sight & Sound, Film Festival Reporter, and Film Arts Magazine.

He has been on countless filmmaking panels over the last two decades, including serving as the Series Moderator for IFP/LA’s Digital Filmmaking Series in 2001 and 2002.  He has sat on the juries of several film festivals and was on the Advisory Board of HBO’s US Comedy Arts Film Festival. He currently serves on the advisory board of Filmmakers Alliance.

Stolaroff founded No Budget Film School in 2005, and in addition to teaching his classes, has lectured at most of the major film schools.

Mark has extensive production experience on several low-budget features and shorts, including production managing the Academy Award winning short film My Mother Dreams The Satan’s Disciples in New York.

His background also includes two years in Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, and five years as the Managing Director of Curtains Theater, an innovative legitimate theater he founded in Houston.  A native Texan, Stolaroff received his BBA from the prestigious Business Honors Program at the University of Texas and minored in Film Production, directing several 16mm shorts.

Like I said, the man has been around the block. Enjoy my conversation with Mark Stolaroff.

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