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MAKE IT

75 EpisodesProduced by Bonsai CreativeWebsite

MAKE IT is a platform for the voice of Independent Creatives in Film. By dissecting the advice, knowledge, and insights of experienced creatives in the film industry, our conversations create a community that allows filmmakers to reach their goals faster.

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What the Girl Scouts Can Teach Us About First Principle Branding and How to Turn an Investor Into a Financier // Indie Talk 42

May 4th, 2021

43:29

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, Chris and Nick talk about the first principles of branding and marketing and what we can learn about it from Girl Scouts. We also discuss what gets angel investors excited and …

Film Investment Series // The Marketing Holy Grail

May 2nd, 2021

1:38

Hello, Indie Investors and Producers! 

In this episode, Chris and Jason talk about having the correct Branding and Marketing spend, finding your …

Impatiently Finding Your Own Way In Film // A Conversation w/ PreVis/VFX Artist/Animator/Writer/Director/Producer/ Magali Barbe

April 27th, 2021

1:03:31

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, we have a conversation with Writer/Director/Producer and PreVis (Pre-Visualization), VFX, and Animation Artist Magali Barbe. We discuss her award-winning films "Strange Beasts" …

Film Investment Series // Producers Should Pursue Distribution in Pre-Production

April 25th, 2021

1:46

Hello, Indie Film Investors & Producers! 

In this episode, Chris and Jason talk about what to look for in pre-production from the filmmakers through an investment lens. Enjoy! 

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Questions …

Monetizing Your Short Film w/ Disney & Hulu and The Future of Sequels and Spin-Offs // Indie Talk #41

April 20th, 2021

43:59

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, we talk about the recent ruling between Google and Oracle and how it could affect digital art, Netflix's …

Film Investment Series // The Risks and Advantages of Being First Money In

April 18th, 2021

1:36

Hello, Indie Investors & Producers! 

In this edition of the Film Investment Series, Chris and Jason talk about the risk/reward balance of being "first money in" on investment and what to do if you're not. Enjoy!

Finding Yourself In A Character - A Conversation w/ Emmy Nominated Actress Danielle Vega

April 13th, 2021

1:08:29

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, we have a conversation with Emmy nominated Actress Danielle Vega. Danielle talks about her life as a child …

Film Investment Series // Film Should Drive Density or Subscribers

April 11th, 2021

1:48

Hello, Indie Investors & Producers, 

In this episode, Chris and Jason talk about the differences between creating a film for a theatrical run and creating a film or series for an SVOD. Enjoy!

Listen+Subscribe+Rate = …

Filmmaking in Tennessee w/ Bob Raines - Executive Director of the Tennessee Entertainment Commission

April 6th, 2021

1:02:09

Hello, Indie Film Creatives!

In this episode, we have a conversation with the Executive Director of TN Entertainment, Bob Raines. We talk about how …

Film Investment Series // Anti-Specialization Is Better For Film Execution

April 4th, 2021

1:31

Hello, Indie Investors & Producers, 

In this edition of the Film Investment Series, Chris and Jason talk about the best way to know if your prospective filmmaking team can execute. Enjoy!

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The Best Plans Are Highly-Specific // Indie Talk #40

March 30th, 2021

54:59

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this edition of Indie Talk, Chris and Nick talk about the lie we all tell about the Academy Award Best Film Nominations and breakdown the details of what a highly-specific prospectus and film …

Film Investment Series // Execute A Plan

March 28th, 2021

2:00

Hello, Indie Investors and Producers!

In this episode, Chris and Jason talk about Chris' fourth essential film investment principle, Execute A Plan. Enjoy!

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Questions or Comments? Reach out …

A Conversation w/ A Week Away Writer & Producer Alan Powell (Bonus)

March 25th, 2021

54:42

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this week's episode, we have a conversation with the actor, director, and writer, Alan Powell. We talk about not being afraid to give up the good to go for the great, writing screenplays for a …

A Conversation w/ Actor & Producer Alan Powell (Best of MAKE IT)

March 25th, 2021

53:38

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this week's episode, we have a conversation with the actor, director, and writer, Alan Powell. We talk about not being afraid to give up the good to go for the great, writing screenplays for a …

Filmmaking is Human - A Conversation w/ Actress/Writer/Producer Jennica Schwartzman

March 23rd, 2021

1:13:23

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, we have a conversation with actress, writer, producer Jennica Schwartzman. In this deep-dive chat, we talk …

Film Investment Series // Ask Good Questions

March 21st, 2021

2:32

Hello Indie Investors and Producers!

In this edition of the Film Investment Series, Chris and Jason talk about the importance of asking good …

Industry Insights // Vital Film Friends

March 18th, 2021

5:27

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this edition of Industry Insights, Nick breakdown the primary tenants of the Tom Rath book Vital Friends, with a little help from the wisdom of Actress/Director and friend of the podcast, …

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Indie Film // Indie Talk #39

March 16th, 2021

45:17

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode of Indie Talk, Chris and Nick talk about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Indie Film, the diversity …

Film Investment Series // Do the Work

March 14th, 2021

1:55

Hello, Indie Investors and Producers!

In this episode, Chris and Jason talk about the second vital principle in foundational thinking in the world of film investment, Do the Work. Enjoy!

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VFX, Animation, and Comedy - A Conversation w/ Sevan Najarian

March 9th, 2021

1:11:01

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this episode, we have a conversation with Director/VFX Artist and Animator Sevan Najarian. We talk about pursuing a …

Film Investment Series // Do The Math

March 7th, 2021

1:49

Hello, Indie Investors and Producers! 

In this edition of the Film Investment Series, Chris and Jason talk about the importance of first-principles thinking and breakdown the first of Chris' four favorite principles, Do …

Industry Insights // An Editor's Hard Drive is Indie Gold

March 4th, 2021

5:01

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this edition of Industry Insights, Nick borrows wisdom from editor and former podcast guest Wes Powers. We discuss the importance of an organized hard drive and how being diligent in this one …

How to Find and Maintain Inspiration as an Indie Film Creative // Indie Talk #38

March 2nd, 2021

44:31

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this edition of Indie Talk, Chris and Nick talk about whether it's best to wait for inspiration to strike or better to find inspiration through your creative discipline. The answer isn't as …

Film Investment Series // Picking the Right Entertainment Lawyer

February 28th, 2021

1:46

Hello, Indie Investors & Producers! 

In this episode, Chris and Jason talk about the necessity of hiring an Entertainment Lawyer and how to avoid detrimental conflicts of interest. Enjoy!

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Making Music and Making Movies - A Conversation w/ Americana Singer-Songwriter, Author & Actor Korby Lenker

February 23rd, 2021

1:29:19

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, we have a conversation with singer-songwriter, author, and actor Korby Lenker. We talk about his …

Film Investment Series // The Unavoidable FOMO

February 21st, 2021

1:31

Hello, Indie Producers and Investors, 

In this episode, Chris and Jason talk about how to avoid FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and the times in which it's impossible to completely stamp FOMO out. Enjoy!

The Story of 'Black Bodies' in Canada // Indie Talk #37

February 16th, 2021

40:02

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this Indie Talk, Chris and Nick talk about Canadian filmmaker Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, her film 'Black Bodies,' and why it took a shout out from Ava DuVerney for Canada to recognize its success …

Ethnicity, Culture, and Filmmaking - A Conversation w/ Oscar-Qualified Director & Writer Emil Gallardo

February 9th, 2021

54:53

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this week's episode, we have a deep-dive conversation with Director & Writer Emil Gallardo. We talk about his award-winning and Oscar-nominated short film '1, 2, 3, All Eyes On Me,' what …

Talented Filmmakers Find A Way - A Conversation w/ Animator & Director Valerie Barnhart

February 2nd, 2021

1:07:44

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this week's episode, we have a conversation with Animator and Director Valerie Barnhart. We talk about her award-winning short film 'Girl In the Hallway', the method she used to teach herself …

Film Investment Series // How to Develop Your "Walk Away" Point

January 31st, 2021

1:32

Hello, Indie Investors and Producers, 

In this installment of FIS, Jason and Chris discuss how to develop contract terms that set the floor (or walk away point) instead of focusing on getting the best terms on every …

Filmmaking as Introspective Art - A Conversation w/ Writer & Director Robert Broadhurst

January 26th, 2021

56:10

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, we have a conversation with Writer/Director Robert Broadhurst. We talk about his award-winning film 'An Occurrence at Arverne,' how his film reveals bias across racial and …

Social Desire, WW84, and the Great Dr. King // Indie Talk #36

January 21st, 2021

1:00:10

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this Indie Talk, Chris and Nick discuss the effect of Mimetic Desire on branding and creative within filmmaking communities, the unfortunate failings of WW84 (potential spoilers), and the rich …

Film Investment Series // Upfront Contracting as a Force-Multiplier

January 17th, 2021

1:34

Hello, Indie Investors, 

In this episode, Jason and Chris talk about the value to an investor to receive the contract terms at the same time you receive the project prospectus.

Enjoy!

Questions or Comments? Reach out to …

Highlighting the Stories of Working Class Humans - A Conversation w/ Writer/Director Nick Lopez

January 12th, 2021

57:40

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this week's episode, we have a conversation with emerging filmmaker Nick Lopez. Nick talks about his experience coming out as a Queer filmmaker, the underserved groups he believes needs their …

Film Investment Series // Negotiating Contract Terms

January 10th, 2021

1:57

Hello, Indie Investors, 

In this week's episode, Jason and Chris talk about Pari Passu payment and Gross versus Net profit returns.

Enjoy!

Questions or Comments? Reach out to us at contact@bonsai.film or on social and …

A Look Back On The Events That Shaped 2020 (And a Look Ahead to 2021) // Indie Talk #35

January 5th, 2021

54:10

Hello, Indie Creatives!

This is an Indie Talk week with Executive and Advisory Producers Christopher Barkley and Nicholas Buggs. Chris and Nick look …

From Stage to Film - A Conversation w/ Actor/Producer Tom Stajmiger

December 29th, 2020

1:01:21

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this year ending episode, we have a conversation with Producer, Actor, and Co-Owner of Pollen Path Entertainment, Tom …

Understanding and Targeting the Market for Your Film - A Conversation w/ Actor/Producer/Entrepreneur Chris DeBlasio

December 22nd, 2020

51:48

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this episode, we have a conversation with the Executive Producer and Owner of Agency 850 and 850 Entertainment, Chris DeBlasio. We talk about how he turned a commercial gig into a reality …

Industry Insights // Persistence

December 16th, 2020

6:53

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this edition of Industry Insights, Nick explores the actions and principles of persistence by tapping into the wisdom of …

A Conversation w/ Sandra Garcia

December 15th, 2020

55:10

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this episode, we have a conversation with Marketing and Brand Elevation Strategist Sandra Garcia. We talk about the best ways to overcome introversion, the future of digital advertising, and …

Film Investment Series // Fall Out of Love

December 13th, 2020

1:27

Hello, Indie Investors and Producers! 

In this week's episode, Jason and Chris continue on the topic of allowing for a cooling-off period, falling …

Why Your Digital Branding and Marketing Didn't Work (And What To Do About It) // Indie Talk #34

December 12th, 2020

1:04:01

Hello, Indie Creatives!

In this week's episode of Indie Talk, Chris and Nick talk about how to set your film's branding and marketing plan up for success, and the lessons we can learn from Warner Brothers Studio …

Film Investment Series // The Cooling-Off Period

December 6th, 2020

1:49

Hello, Indie Investors and Producers! 

In this week's Film Investment Series, Jason and Chris talk about why taking a 48-hour "cooling-off" period is …

Industry Insights // Questions

December 3rd, 2020

4:23

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, Nick taps into the wisdom of writer/ director/producer Dycee Wildman about the importance of letting go of petty pride, admitting when you don't know, and allowing yourself to …

A Conversation w/ Dr. Nicholas Quin Serenati

December 1st, 2020

1:08:34

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, we talk with Interdisciplinary Artist and Filmmaker Dr. Nicholas Quin Serenati. We talk about how art …

Industry Insights // Do the Same Thing

November 26th, 2020

4:44

Happy Thanksgiving! 

In this episode, Nick taps into the wisdom of writer, producer, director Tony Scott to explore the concept of doing the same thing, but differently. 

Enjoy!

Questions or Comments? Reach out to us at

The Queen's Gambit and The Holy Grail // Indie Talk #33

November 24th, 2020

1:07:12

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, Chris and Nick talk about the threat to Indie Filmmakers by well-funded production companies making social content, the why behind the success of The Queen's Gambit, how to …

Film Investment Series // The Importance of References

November 22nd, 2020

2:29

Hello, Indie Investors and Producers! 

In this episode, Jason and Chris talk about the importance of getting good references that you can call, instead of just a list of names or logos. 

Enjoy!

Questions or Comments? …

A Conversation w/ Brandon Rhiness

November 17th, 2020

1:05:17

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, we talk with Writer and Director Brandon Rhiness. We talk about the importance of bootstrapping as an Indie, how he overcame addiction to reach success, and his method of …

Film Investment Series // Coffee Shop Meetings

November 15th, 2020

1:42

Hello, Indie Investors and Producers,

In this episode, Jason and Chris talk about why coffee shop meetings are good for getting cordial but not great for making investment decisions. 

Enjoy! 

Questions or Comments? …

Streaming Oscar Contention // Indie Talk #32

November 10th, 2020

1:00:34

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this episode, Chris and Nick talk about what Awards season will look like this year, how to make sense of all the conflicting streaming data, what content people can't live without, and the …

Film Investment Series // What's In A Plan?

November 8th, 2020

2:23

In this episode, Jason and Chris discuss what a plan to 100X your film investment might look like, and the questions all profitable films answer. 

Enjoy! 

Questions or Comments? Reach out to us at contact@bonsai.film or …

A Conversation w/ Kim Petrosky + Kim "Cookie" McCray

November 3rd, 2020

1:00:51

In this episode, we have a conversation with Casting Director Kim Petrosky and Talent Agent Kim "Cookie" McCray. We talk about how to get your start as a Casting Director, the dangers of Social Casting and Direct Hires, …

Film Investment Series // A Producers Plan to 100X

November 1st, 2020

1:32

In this episode, Chris and Jason talk about whether or not it makes sense to ask a producer what their plan is to 100X your money and what the goal …

Industry Insights // The Five Minute Rule

October 30th, 2020

5:27

"You have to take those opportunities to write, even if it's a small amount. I've found that five minutes turns to thirty." Priscilla Wise

In this episode, Nick explores a piece of advice provided by writer Priscilla …

Guilty Pleasures, Quibi's End, and Virtual Festivals // Indie Talk #31

October 27th, 2020

58:47

In this episode, Executive and Advisory Producers Christopher Barkley and Nicholas Buggs talk about why "Guilty Pleasures" exist and how Indie's can …

Film Investment Series // Where Are All the Gurus?

October 25th, 2020

3:21

In this episode, Jason and Chris talk about why investing in Independent Film is different from other types of investment and why we aren't inundated with film investment gurus. 

Enjoy!

Questions or Comments? Reach out …

Industry Insights // "Success Takes Time and a Plan"

October 24th, 2020

4:27

In this episode of Industry insights, Nick goes deep on the advice given by the Writer/Director and podcast guest, Rasheena Nash.

Enjoy! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Questions or Comments? Reach out to us at contact@bonsai.film or on …

A Conversation w/ Tony Scott

October 20th, 2020

1:12:50

In this episode, we have a conversation with Writer/Director Tony Scott. We talk about his mid-life heart-change from finance to a filmmaker, how the Civil Rights movement inspired his storytelling, and why we have to …

Film Investment Series // Building A Moat

October 18th, 2020

3:02

In this episode, Jason and Chris talk about what a business moat is, how a filmmaker can build one, and how an investor can spot a filmmaker or producer that is leveraging a moat. 

Enjoy! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Questions or …

Industry Insights // "If You Can't See the Script, Don't Take the Part"

October 15th, 2020

8:55

Hello, Indie Creatives! 

In this week's episode, we introduce a new podcast series titled 'Industry Insights.' In this series, co-host Nicholas Buggs …

Film Investment Series // Good Answers to the Why Question

October 11th, 2020

1:38

In this episode, Jason asks Chris to give some examples of bad and good answers to the "Why You, Why Now, and Why This Film" questions.

Enjoy!

Questions or Comments? Reach out to us at contact@bonsai.film or on …

A Conversation w/ Valerie Jane Parker

October 6th, 2020

59:57

A Conversation with Valerie Jane Parker

In this episode, we have a conversation with actress Valerie Jane Parker. We talk about the right reasons to …

Film Investment Series // The Other Three "Why's"

October 4th, 2020

1:36

In this episode, Jason and Chris continue their conversation from last week and get to the heart of the other three "Why's" of film investment.

Enjoy! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Questions or Comments? Reach out to us at

Should I Get An Agent or a Manager? // Indie Talk #30

September 29th, 2020

56:23

In this episode, Advisory and Executive Producers Christopher Barkley and Nicholas Buggs discuss why the industry thinks Tenet is a flop, the …

Film Investment Series: How Do I Know the Filmmakers Can Execute?

September 27th, 2020

2:04

In this episode, Chris and Jason discuss what to look for in Producers and Directors pitching a project, and they provide a short introduction into the "Four Why's" of investing. 

Enjoy! 

Questions or Comments? Reach …

A Conversation w/ Dycee Wildman and Sarah Saturday

September 22nd, 2020

1:19:02

In this episode, we have twice the fun in a conversation with filmmakers and creative multi-hyphenates, Dycee Wildman and Sarah Saturday. We talk …

Film Investment Series: Should I Invest in Crazy or Niche?

September 20th, 2020

1:29

In this episode, Jason and Chris talk about the best kind of film projects to invest in and why you shouldn't be scared off by "crazy" filmmakers …

Tenet vs Mulan: A Battle of Long Term Strategies // Indie Talk #29

September 15th, 2020

50:08

In this episode, Advisory and Executive Producers Christopher Barkley and Nicholas Buggs talk about Christopher Nolen's Tenet and Disney's Mulan's …

Film Investment Series: Understanding Contract Risks

September 13th, 2020

1:31

In this episode, Jason and Chris discuss from an investor and filmmaker perspective what macro terms and red flags to look for when negotiating a buyer or distribution deal. 

Enjoy! 

Questions or Comments? Reach out to …

A Conversation w/ Teri Ritter

September 8th, 2020

50:16

In this episode, we have a conversation with IMDb Top 50 Talent Agent Teri Ritter. We talk about the challenges of representing child talent, the best methods for getting an agent, and how your social media approach can …

Film Investment Series // Avoid Short-Term Players and Over-Leveraged Buyers

September 6th, 2020

1:46

In this edition of the Film Investment Series, Jason and Chris talk about why you should look for long-term players in producing and filmmaking and …

Are Pre-Sales Real and the PGA Releases Back to Set Guidelines: Indie Talk #28

September 1st, 2020

49:55

In this week's episode, Executive and Advisory Producers Christopher Barkley and Nicholas Buggs discuss the role of foreign pre-sales in Indie Film, …

Film Investment Series: Investors in Film Are Clients

August 30th, 2020

2:08

In this edition of the Film Investment Series, Jason and Chris talk about what makes a project intriguing and why the investor needs to be in the client position. 

Enjoy!

Questions or Comments? Reach out to us at 

A Conversation w/ Derek Estlin Purvis

August 25th, 2020

1:18:36

In this week's episode, we have an incredibly valuable conversation with producer, writer, director Derek Estlin Purvis. We talk about why your …

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