What is the current project you are working on?
Fans Of Film is always my top priority project and always ongoing, but I do try and balance myself as a producer, filmmaker, actor, camera, sound anything I can do to help the indie film community here in New Mexico.
My current project outside of Fans Of Film is my 1st short film for me to direct with a producer (Tinkstone Productions in association to Fans Of Film Studios) and also under a new media Sag contract for web distribution. Crista Bergmann is an LA sag actor now a New Mexico resident, and the very talented and soon to be sag eligible Ron Weisberg will be the only actors for this romantic dramatic comedy “written by Ron Weisberg” title in works.
Did you always want to work in the film industry?
Wanting to work and choosing to work in the film industry was not something I wanted do or intended to do, it just happened, like being and artiest or being born “destiny”
I did have an interesting experience when I was 19 and hitched my way out to CA to see a Dead concert in Long Beach. Ended up staying for while living on the streets, sleeping on park benches, that’s when I got pulled off a park bench by a casting director that was running around trying get more background ppl for an armed robbery that was being shot up the street from my comfortable park bench, long story short I ended up working for another three weeks for 20th Century Fox. It was great experience, got feed well, got a big fat check and caught the next bus home to New Mexico, didn’t think about film for 20 years, then Hollywood came to New Mexico and re-sparked my interest and that’s another story.
What inspired you to create the Fans Of Film?
I saw a need and had the time to do something about it, really out of habit of working that way, I see something that needs be done, I do it. That’s one of the things I love about indie film making is the freedom to step up and help a grip a gaffer or even an actor, not so much on the bigger budget projects where you stay in your own department and just talk to your key person.
I saw the movement online in 2008 after working with a filmmaker that discovered a video platform that you could load any size video and then charge ppl to watch, at the time I was very interested as somebody that was already publishing to youtube. Then I discovered Twitter and the need to help others share their video’s and project, a new passion was born and I became obsessed in sharing on Twitter.
Who is is your favorite filmmaker?
I don’t have a favorite filmmaker but I do have a favorite director which has been for many years Steven Spielberg, but as I have discovered a deep love for independent film, so have I gained lots of favorite independent filmmakers online self publishing and being successful, such “John Paul Rice” for sure one of my favorites filmmakers online, it’s been an honor to follow his carrier and be his Twitter friend over the last two years.
What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in the movie business?
Don’t give up your day job and find a boss the will work with you(-: No really just do it! you’ll know if it’s for you, the addiction comes fast, and if your talented, always on time, no ego, hardworking you will go far in what ever part of film you get into.
Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become create and/or become involved with Fans Of Film?
I’m going to answer this question candidly because it is a bit of a personal question and one that is complicated. In 1995 I was diagnosed with spinal ailment that was causing so much sciatica pain that I couldn’t work. After two years of not working and doctors, I felt my life was over, not to mention a divorce, rock bottom bro.
Three miracles happen in my life at that time, one I found my teacher, two I found a hobby and three the government started giving me check for my disability. The hobby was blowing glass and it became healing part of my life, as did my teacher, who just so happen to be a martial art teacher for over 20 years at the time, and was willing to work with me in trade for two water color portraits paintings that he put more value on than I did at the time. So I trained with him for over 5 years without ever paying “A True Saint, Thank You Sir”
How would you describe your film education?
No formal training just a lifetime of experience is the best explanations, pain, suffering, drama, trauma and the rest has been just a willingness to get involved, work a lot for free.
It really all started when I started making video’s of my glass blowing, and posting them on a Youtube channel, I don’t really visit the channel much anymore at http://www.youtube.com/beadmanglass but I know some of the video’s have over 12,000 views.
That spiraled into getting involved in the growing film scene here in Albuquerque in 2007, where my 1st experience was with a Duke City Shoot Out, a local film event that involves making a film in 4 days. Wow what a way to break in, had no idea it could get so bad, upon the 3rd day of eating sugar from the limited craft services that was provided and taking way to much shit for working free, I lost my shit and walked off. The next year I knew what I was in for and ended up on the winning team with a credit for boom, the film was called “Food For Thought” written and directed by Will Hartman, since then I’ve been working as a camera opp and now directing my 3rd short film.
How would you describe the film “scene” where you live?
Hollywood came into New Mexico in a big way when the tax incentives where good, as many as 30 films being shot in and around New Mexico at any given time, now maybe 3. New Mexicans were making money in many different ways, and ppl that had never been on a set in their life were finding themselves on Hollywood sets being forced to learn, it was like a gold rush.
I think we know the way that story goes, if you don’t it goes like this, gold goes away and the native ppl lose their jobs and lose their homes. There is a good side to this story and that’s for the workers that got left behind, more independence was born and ppl where inspired to make their own films, giving birth to new filmmakers and local independent producers .
There is an independent film movement here that has come from both filmmakers that where here before Hollywood and here after, and for those it’s great time to be a filmmaker in New Mexico. As long as you know who the scavengers/sharks are, you can still find great opportunity’s to break into the film industry here in New Mexico without getting burned.
How has social media changed the independent film industry?
Well it sure as a lot of filmmakers looking and going to the web, in my opinion it’s been a tough pill to swallow for most filmmakers, just to much work, I wanna just make films, what is a PMD, my film is to good for the web, holding for a deal that does not come for most.
For those that have been brave and did the work, are finding their audiences through social media, and the filmmakers that are managing their film rights, multi platforming their films, with as many websites that a filmmaker or PMD can manage, are finding success for their films.
The end result for these hardworking brave filmmakers taking their films to web is forcing new models and ways that will for ever change the history of film making and the way it’s distributed and consumed.
How does independent film differ from the mainstream?
Almost like night and day with a a lot of grey areas(-:
You could go back in time and see any classic film being made. Which film would it be?
“The Cameraman” Buster Keaton 1928
Thanks for doing the interview Michael. I appreciate your candor. I’m also a big fan of the guys at No Restrictions Entertainment. I’ll be sure to tell any filmmakers I interview about Fans Of Film. Reader’s can learn more about Michael by visiting his website here.