"Do the Thing, Make the Thing" - Ashley Clements & Brendan Bradley AMA


(Ash Barrios) #62

i hope we can one day see it, because writing a script is hard work, but it’s totally understandable that its not in your control.


(Ashley Clements) #63

The creators had made stuff before, that I could watch on the internet. Which is not to discourage first time filmmakers, but I do think if you want to be taken seriously that you have to treat everyone like a professional. That doesn’t mean taking yourself so seriously that you start your think you’re a big budget production. You can’t be demanding and pretentious when you’re asking people to work for very little money (and ideally, never.) Be kind and courteous and above all RESPECTFUL OF PEOPLE’S TIME. An unfortunate but often true saying is the less they pay you the worse they’ll treat you. Don’t do that. I understand it’s not always in the budget to pay people a lot, but it costs nothing to treat people with kindness and respect.


(Bri Castellini) #64

Alright folks, that’s our hour. @TheAshleyClem and @brendanAbradley, you are absolutely free to stick around and answer some more questions or poke around the rest of the forum, but we know how busy you are so THANK YOU for stopping by today! Everyone, if for some reason you haven’t already, check out their work (links in their top post) and join me in thanking them for their time!


(Meg Carroway) #65

Thank you both (and Stareable) SO MUCH!


(Ashley Clements) #66

The hardest part was letting go of what the writer (me) had intended, and trust the actor (me), to create and express the character. There are quite a few moments where it came out of my mouth differently than I’d envisioned when writing it, and it’s probably some of my best acting, because I knew the material so well and yet was still able to discover more. And I have to credit my wonderful director for that, too. There were other times when I felt like I just wanted a better actress to come make what the writer intended…and again I thank my director for helping the me through those times.


(Sunny Larkson) #67

Thank you thank you thank you!!!


(Ashley Clements) #68

Thank you! If it wasn’t a day of auditions I’d love to stick around, but I’ve got to get back to the hustle. Thank you for having us and for all your great questions!


(Brendan Bradley) #69

It was an absolute honor to participate in the meet the community! If anyone has any lingering questions please find us on Twitter and will do our best :slight_smile:


(Brendan Bradley) #70

No production designer. Just us. We built a wood base and attached flats to that. Then we covered the wood in vinyl and foam. No impact on the apartment outside of about a dozen screws to hang the panels (same as hanging pictures) and we pre-cut all wood to avoid loud machinery.


(Brendan Bradley) #71

The whole future is digital and storytelling has existed since the beginning of human history so I don’t think it’s ever a “waste.” If you’re aiming to get rich and famous, I don’t know that anyone has a formula for that, but if you’re looking to tell sustainable stories and grow an audience, it’s a lot like exercising - do a little hard work each day and improve your overall quality of life over time.


(Brendan Bradley) #72

Oh you didn’t know? I am totally crazy :slight_smile: honestly I think I wear so many hats because I feel bad making other people do massive tasks on my projects with such small budgets. The key for me is pacing and taking a little bit every day for months at a time. I communicate as much as I can, and power my collaborators to have a real ownership over there department, and then stay in my lane and do my job(s).

Directing wise, I take one scene or key moment each night as I go to bed and think about how I want it to cut together. I essentially shot list “in my sleep” :slight_smile:


(Brendan Bradley) #73

TOOOOOO MANY. Literally the margins are filled with my scribblings. She’s brilliant.


(Stareable) #74

Unfathomably, no one asked about cats. Please expand! :cat:


(Brendan Bradley) #75

Honestly, I’m still not very confident. My shot lists are often guestimations of what I think will work. I like to watch movies with NO sound and see how camera movements help tell the story and then try to borrow that vocabulary and see if it works on my set. It’s a lot of trial and error but I think there’s balance between working with the actor on the internal approach and camera on the external approach :slight_smile:


We've got an AMA for that!
(Hailey Harper) #76

Has anything ever NOT worked in an edit? That’s what I always panic about- if it stitches together after all our hard work! How do you fix it at that point?? Resign yourself to a reshoot?


(Brendan Bradley) #77

I think it’s a myth that you can’t have high quality on a low budget. They say there is a filmmaking trifecta: good, fast and cheap. And you get to pick 2. So often that means TIME. the more hours you can put into something or absorb the “assistant” work and “learning curve” the more you can maximize the value other people can bring to the project. For example, I learned how to organize all our audio and went through scenes with ashley to note timecode we wanted for sound effects. So our sound designer gets to spend most of the time doing the “fun part” of that craft - actually building the soundscape, instead of tracking down files and syncing clips.

Tell the best story comfortably inside your limitations and it will feel right. A great example of this is Legend of Neil that knew it couldn’t have the sets and locations they wanted so they made elaborate cardboard sets and made jokes about characters holding fog machines so the audience was “in” on the budget limitations :slight_smile:


(Brendan Bradley) #78

This is a great question for this specific AMA because Ashley is a rockstar at this and I totally suck at it. I’m a perfectionist so I like long incubation periods where I create behind closed doors and then “release” the final work. But this doesn’t keep up with today’s social media algorithm. I’ve never fully adopted any of the platforms, but respect and understand their value. For me, it’s about creating a website and making myself approachable online - I’m not gonna show you my breakfast, but I’ll try to answer and question or snarky comment to engage with the people kind enough to check out my work.

Ashley, as far as I can tell, has done the impossible. She’s built a genuine community on HER terms with integrity. She’s not chasing likes or posting clickbait. Instead she’s invested YEARS in supporting causes and things she likes, while sharing scrappy content she thinks is fun (like her Instagram fashion stories and caturday posts). It’s a lot of work, but it has created a connection with her audience that I personally think rivals A list celebrities.

Over the next decade, I think this type of “micro influencer” with a deep engagement to a niche audience is going to become the perfect environment for traditional advertising dollars to experiment with digital partnerships. We see this now in Travel vlogger sponsored posts but no reasons it can’t replace pre-roll and banner campaigns to create meaningful storytelling content that speaks directly to audiences.


(Brendan Bradley) #79

So…in my view, PR has completely changed in the last couple years and months. There’s just too much saturation and too many bots and fake views that undermine the algorithm for discoverability. For NonTransferable, I spent a TON of money on a publicist and saw practically no return on investment.

It will be different every month, but keep track of projects and creators like you when they get press that you would want. Bookmark it, share it, follow the author/interviewer/publication/publicist. Build relationships with these people so when you have something to share, you can reach out and say, “hey, I think this might be a cool thing to write about and I want to give it to you first.” How can helping you, help them? It’s not a sexy, life hack. But think about how you feel when someone disingenuously posts on your wall or only messages you when they want something.

If you were running a traditional business, you’d meet with your PR department at least every quarter, if not weekly. So establish ONE contact or coffee each week and see how you can help them BEFORE you ever need a favor.


(Brendan Bradley) #80

I’m not sure if I understand your question. At the end of a campaign, Kickstarter allows you to send a survey to collect information. Before a campaign, your just using you previous networking to build a contact list. I actually see dimishing returns from email because people get so much spam. I’d rather have 20 strong connections with people who are going to share everywhere and spread the word rather than spam 2000 people and get nothing. Every email you write is time away from the campaign, so it needs to count.


(Brendan Bradley) #81

Fans have influenced studio and network decisions in the past :wink: if enough people came together, ya never know…