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Talking Images

Episode 59 · 2 weeks ago

Talking Zero Budget Filmmaking with Art School Dropouts

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we sit down with Stephanie Pham, star, producer and co-owner of Art School Dropouts to talk about their style of low to zero budget filmmaking, as well as their secret upcoming VR feature.

You are listening to talking images, the official podcast of I C M Forum Dot Com. Welcome back everyone. I'm Chris, and today Saul and I are sitting down with Stephanie Fam Start Producer and Co owner of art school dropouts. I have just come from watching her stab a large group of human traffickers to debt, but I will not let that intimulate me too much, as I'm really excited. They're all about their style of close to zero budget filmmaking. Over the last several years they have created everything from Meta comedies that just seem to love their limitations to hard boil, gritty martial arts shorts. The budget limitations have certainly not stopped them from getting creative and showing off their craft, even producing a feature length film in the process and grabbing an HBO award. We'll hear all about how they get started, the fighting choreography, their martial arts inspirations and far more practical questions of actual costs and if there's anything they just have not been able to do yet. We'll also hear about their upcoming projects, including their brand new hush hush production done almost entirely in Vr. So there's a lot of exciting stuff to talk about today, and I'm also really happy to be joined by my co host soul, because my knowledge of martial arts films is possible at best. He may blush from this, but I don't think I'm exaggerating too much if I call him our resident talking images martial arts film expersion. Just really happy to have you here, soul. Thanks, Chris. I don't think I'm really an expert on martial arts, although I've watched over a hundred UN cong action movies and I've watched over half the films on the way Juralzy a list of classic martial arts films. So I've seen quite a lot of martial arts films, but mainly more comedies. I've gone through most of the Steven Charles and Jackie Chan's available films, so I've seen quite a few, but I don't know I've really called myself an expert on necessarily more of an expert than me anyways. So if there's any references I'm not getting, you can step right up. And I think the Jackie Chan the reference is also on point because I've seen that Jackie Chan was one of article dropouts, big inspiration Stephanie, but anyways, so good to actually have you here. Before we get into anything else, there's one question I have been dying to ask, and that that is if all of your actually our school dropouts. Hey, guys, thanks for having me. I wish Joey was available to be on this podcast, but he's, you know, a little bit busy right now. But yeah, actually, so, our school dropout is composed of myself and joey man. He is our director, creative head, editor, fight choreographer, just everything, Um, creative that you could think of. He handles all of it. He writes all of our scripts. But the funny thing is none of us actually went to art school. Joey actually, he went to m I T. I went to a science school, graduated with a pharmaceutical and healthcare business degree. So, yeah, none of us went to art school, and none of you sound like you're a dropout either. Yeah, no, no, I mean stay in school kids, but I guess you may make all off as art school dropouts, but simply not attending. If you, if your credentials every, get started that it's supposed to could start from online course and just drop out immediately. Yeah, yeah, I guess that's one way, but...

...with that. That cleared up them, because I kind of got to that maybe you guys met each other at art school friends stance. Then he just all got the got together and wanted to do this instead. But since that's not the case, how did art school dropouts actually get started? Um, so it's funny. So, like I actually joined in way later from the original birth of art school dropouts. Joey started it years, years, years ago, and originally it was a blog. Um, he came up with a name because at the time film school rejects was very like popular. It's still popular today, and I guess he wanted to be very hipster, so he came up with art school dropouts. And then, Um, the blog became more of like a youtube channel because he wanted to do more filmmaking. And then I was actually going to school with a friend of his and I'm a martial artist. They were looking for a martial artist and it was something that I was interested in since I was already done school and I was already getting into acting. I actually met up with Joey and the rest of the gang and got to meet all of them and then, uh, yeah, so how it got started? Joey and we actually didn't. Well, Joey didn't really like me at first because he was going through like a moment where he was just kind of like hate women. He was going through a hard time with like a relationship. So we actually became best friends because the first day we met he like just didn't want to talk to me, but then we almost got into a fight with, I guess, these like people at this bubble tea place. Like I already pissed Joey off, but then these people, they were just so rude and Joey thinking like Oh, his boys are gonna step up and like fight if need be. But no, he turned around and he just saw me and I was like getting ready to throw down if like you know, if it was gonna happen. He was like okay, best friend, and then it's just kind of uh, started from there. I start getting more involved in terms of like the producing and like planning and like the business side of things for our school dropouts. That's quite the stock of a friendship and the MARTSHIP. Yeah, we're like best friends. of We got each other's back for sure. So I guess the channel was always aiming to do more martial arts type of filmmaking them, since you got them all. Specifically, because you're a martial artist, what school of Martial Arts are you from? Um, so I do taekwondo. Joey is actually originally, like he does a couple other martial arts as well, but he does shall Leon and Kung Fu, like originally from the temple. Yeah, he grew up in a temple and everything he says it sucks. Wow, that's that's quite the Max Story. Yeah, it would be so cool to have him on the podcast because, like Joey is like so interesting, like people just don't under stand like all the stories that he has. But originally our school dropouts. It's more of like a focus on filmmaking for like I don't know, I think two years, I want to say, and it was probably like we started dabbling in terms of like making other types of content, like buzzbeed type of thing, where we go out check out restaurants and like different attractions and review them and comment on them. We also did like little martial arts highlight videos. We used to do like some gaming stuff. I used to do vlogs on the channel. A lot of the things that we do it's like practice. So that way we can prepare to make like bigger films. So a lot of our shorts are sketches. Um, it just kind of all ties in together to you know, make bigger things. Something we've been wondering and you might have already sort of alluded to the surety because you said that you are Marshal Arts Yourself. But just wondering if you actually it's that of martial arts cinema growing up, personally speaking, at...

...something which already go into light and life. Actually, when I was growing up before I haded action films because I wasn't into big explosions and I wasn't into you know, gunplaying whatever, but I just love how kinetic marshals arts cinema is. So just wondering if you were a fan of martial arts cinema when you were growing up. So I'm terrible with movie titles, so I am like I can't recall many of them, but growing up my dad used to go to like the flea market and, Um, he'll just buy a bundle of martial arts films. Then we would just go home and, because I was trading at the time with like my brother, my dad whole like play these movies he's like see, see, like you're supposed to do and like move like that, and I'm just like with the Dad, that's K Fu. I do taekwondo. That's totally different. And they're on wires, like they're flying around. I can't do that, but yeah, I I grew up on it. My favorite like gently. He's my go to. You probably adds in maybe our next question a little bit already, but other than gently, what martial arts films and stars have served as your biggest inspiration? So, being a female martial artist trying to get into like the acting and action world, I don't want to say Moonley and Cynthia Broth Rock, like they're strong women and I think it was great that like back in the day, women were portrayed just like very strong. I know, like now there's like so many movies where it's just like women are leads and they're doing action, but people forget that in like Hong Kong films we had Cynthia Roth Rock, Moonley, all these amazing women just like kicking but and I would say like it would be those. Yeah, that's very interesting to hear because, yeah, the history all female social artists isn't quite you know, I guess as extensive as male ones. There was Shan Paipai, who did come drink with me, and some of the other films and the like nine sixties. But yeah, definitely the biggest stars that I've emerged from it do seem to be the male stars. Yeah, for sure. We're moving on tonics. Question. What can our listeners expect from you guys over at art school dropout and what videos should they be seeking out first? It's really hard. Um. So I feel like our channel is kind of like, Um, it's like a hot pie, like you get a little bit of this, you get a little bit of that. It's just like different things. But for the most part we are martial arts filmmakers on Youtube. All of the content, all of the films that we make, we wanted to be accessible and viewable for everyone for free. So what you can expect is arranged from comedic sketches where it's not martial arts related to Vlaw, to short films where it's like either a comedic martial arts action or even a gritty martial arts action. We have web series. Typically our web series are very much like comedic action, and I mean randomly. We would just do like a music video like it's. It's very much just a mixture of things. So it depends on what you're looking for, but I would say overall, expect martial arts, action comedy from our channel. I think a really good one to kind of like get started with is our little mini series that we did earlier this year. It's called the legend of no budget Zoro. This was this a little concept that Joey had come up with that expanded more than he had thought. We wanted to try shooting with an iphone. In the filmmaking industry or community, a lot of times people say like, if you're a filmmaker, you need a real camera, but with the technology that is available today,...

I don't think that that is really something that people need to focus on. If you have a phone and if you don't have the finances to get a quote unquote real camera, using your phone is perfectly fine. It also helps you practice your craft. So that's one of the reasons why we decided to shoot this little mini series with an iphone. There was no lighting, there's no like lenses or anything like that. We just used the phone as is and it was a no budget project. I absolutely love hearing that because I think there's great potential films that are shot on iphones and ipads. I mean absolutely loved unsane, which Steven Soderberg did about four years ago, and you mentioned that. Yeah, well, it's amazing. But also, of course, Tangerine, which I think still stands up as Seawan Baker's best film. That was a beautiful looking film shot on an iphone and you know, actually teach kids for a living to make films using an IPAD. So I think the technology is out there. And Yeah, look, I agree. You don't need a fancy camera to be able to make a really good film. Yeah, you don't need to. And that's a really good tire into getting into the more nitty gritty of the production as well, because, like you said, you can make a film for almost any production values. And I haven't seen an election of number to the story yet, but I definitely need to give that a look. But I have given them some of your all the recent action short of looking and I have to say that to change in production values from your early stuff, I mean it's insane. I mean what kind of virtrait are you actually bringing in there? Because in terms of cinematography and choreography. The quality seems really high. Oh well, thank you. Um. So we actually currently shoot with a Sony a seven three our budget. So we have also have a patreon. Basically everything like financially that we make through our youtube channel just goes right back out to our audience. So our patreon are fractured atlas, which is our tax deductible donation site. We also do a tutorial series for those that are learning, that want to learn how to shoot and produce a fight scene on a budget and also like safety wise, like you know, just being really safe on set, because you know people can get hurt. So all of that money that we make from even like merchandise, we put it right back into our our projects. Some of the projects, depending on the project it has a slightly bigger budget. We work very efficiently. We turn around our projects as fast as possible. Everything goes into pre production. The more time you put into pre production, the easier it is on production day and planning wise, it like goes so much smoother and it cuts back on budget. We even have a series on our channel called crafty's for cheap, because one of the aspects of filmmaking is that people forget that like food and feeding your crew is like extremely, extremely important. And Yeah, it's great if you can buy pizza and like all of these things, but that adds up. If you can actually take the time and like basically meal prep for your cast and crew, it saves actually a lot of money. So that's like one of our other series just to kind of like show people that they can work on a budget. There's a lot of different ways. I mean multiman fights, for example, you can have a bunch of extras, like even friends to volunteer to look like there's a lot more bodies within the scene, but realistically you could probably just do with like three to four stuntmen rather than hiring twenty stuntmen to do a fight scene. It just depends on how you shoot it. Our whole thing is like trying to create films as much as possible. We have so many stories...

...to tell. Yeah, I mean, filmmaking is expensive, but we've got to figure out a way to do it. And plus, with the pandemic right now, it makes it a lot more challenging. Paying for covid tests, figuring out ways to make sure that everybody on set is safe. What do they say? Are the biggest challenges when you're making zero to low budget short films of series like this, there's so many different challenges depending on the production. Um, I think the hard parts of a production is if people cancel, like that's really hard, rescheduling, doing reshoots or anything like that. Fortunately, we don't do that very often, if any. We work pretty well in terms of like problem solving on set. I like the challenge of problem solving. Um. Yeah, I guess like that would probably like fall more so on Joey. He has the hard part coming up with like the scripts, coming up with the shots, the choreography, planning for it. Like that guy. He he has like two to four hours to sleep at night, but it's part of it. And I'm seeing you apparently that in the series too, like in a season two of nerve when I think he's snoring through most of the first episode. Yeah, we so the series of our nerve assassin, it's it's very much us. If anything, I'm the one that's like consistently trying to find ways to like fund our projects because you know, for certain projects it costs a lot of money. So I'm always looking for it and you're always like all right, fine, I'll kind of like follow through with it and go along, but for the series it's like complete opposite. It's funny how joy has like written it. What we say are the biggest differences in production from a new first stock until now. Are A lot of treats. You will learn to make things go more smoothly or have things mainly stay the same. Uh, it has changed from like the start. When I first joined, I didn't really know too much about film production. So part of the learning process was because I am an actress, I ended up being on like a lot of other people's productions, trying to see like how they run, taking what I like and just incorporating it into our productions. For example, our releases all digital, our shot lists all digital. I don't like having paper on set. It just gets confusing. It's just it's just a waste Um. So everything is done, if possible, digitally. So that's one thing that we have done. Another thing as well Joey, prior to me, would actually create choreography on the spot, but he has a tendency to over choreograph and the flow of the choreography. It still has a story at the end of the day. So it's a lot easier to do all of that and pre product and rather than on the day, because you have a better feel of what the final fight scene is going to look and feel like. So I would say like that's another difference that we have done and that's something that we also kind of go over for our tutorial series, because all of our projects, all of our fight scenes, they all have a previous Um. We do not go into productions anymore just making choreography on the spot. It's too time consuming and a lot of times the fight scenes they don't flow and feel as good as if you were to actually plan it properly. Yeah, I can imagine that it could possibly even be safety conserch no, if it's not properly planned out, the hand of time. Oh yeah, there's a safety issue. And plus, like if you want to have like certain resources, like, Oh hey, if we're doing a bar fight scene, I mean there's all these bottles around, why wouldn't the character take a bottle and spash it on the person's head? We can't do that with a real bottle. Like do you guys ever...

...do genuinely dangerous stunt stoe or is it very safe and well planned out we typically have everything like as safe and as well planned out as possible because it is a no budget production and it's for like films on Youtube. Like if we had a Hollywood budget, then I would be like yeah, we could kind of push the limit a little bit more, but realistically we don't ever want to put any of our stuntmen in like that scenario because stunt mean that's that's their business, like their body is how they get jobs. We can't put that at risk. Yeah, exactly. So no one has ever been harmed on set them. Uh, I can't say that there has been accidents. Um One that is like just really funny and Oh my gosh, in the moment it was this very scary for our feature film, my Asian t season two, yes, Auntie, there's a scene where it's in the gym and our friend G G gets basically drop kicks. I run an Auntie, who was played by Joey, catches me and I dropped kick g in the chess which is what's supposed to happen. For some reason, g decided to do a little hot so I kicked him right in the nuts and I'm in the air. I can't control like where I am falling towards. So, yeah, after that we're like all right, that's one and done, that's the cut, like we're not doing that again. Like we're like gee, why would you hop and he's like I don't know. Oh Yeah. One of the questions which came to mind when I was watching some of your videos is it looks like most of them are shot with one camera at a time. So I was wondering how many cameras usually have on set and do you usually film from just one camera or do you sometimes have tube wedding in different directions? Well, we typically only shoot with one camera. We have, like I said, our Sony Eight, seven, three, we have it on a Gimbal, we have it on like the road in. I think it's the s one because we do everything in pre production. We don't shoot like Hollywood, whereas Hollywood style it's very much like, okay, you have like the whole entire fight choreography, all of the talents they would do all the fight choreography. You have different camera angles. They would say like okay, let's do that whole fight scene again. We're just gonna change the angle and then shoot the whole thing. We're gonna okay, do it again, change it to a different angle. But for us, we already have all of the fight scenes like planned out in a way where it's like all right, these first four moves, we already know what angle we want to choose, so we don't waste unnecessary time trying to get like a wide a close up, a media like over the shoulder. We don't waste time on doing that because, like, if we already know what the final fight scene is going to look like because of our pre production, then why do we need to shoot unnecessary stuff? And plus, it makes it easier on our stunt guys because that way they're not burning out. The way that Joey like choreographs and the way he directs the fight scenes, he wants the fight scenes to be done as fast as possible, like the moves, because we feel like it gives the more realistic reactions of someone in a fight. It's not like the big wind us, like we want basically masters in their craft to kind of like go at it. Okay, yeah, that's very interesting to hear because I guess when I'm watching your films, while I'm thinking about is that it's a big shot from on camera have you had issues with maintaining continuity when you're filming from one angle and then you're telling you coming you're filming from a different angle? Um, no, not necessarily, because, I mean, especially in terms of fight scenes, Joey has kind of created his whole method.

So let's just say we have the first cut, it is four moves, the next cut it is a continuation of the last move and then the next three or four moves. So that way it's a lot easier for him to kind of cut the fight scenes together so it flows rather than just like hey, there's like four moves that you're going to do. The next four moves it's four moves, are going to do the last move, which is going to be the start of the next choreography, and then it's the next couple of moves. So that way it's a lot easier to kind of like cut in between movements to have it flow. Yeah, that sounds very logical and must make it much easier to edit when you don't have access footage in there. Yeah. So something else is also wondering about. Not In the clips that I've watched, all the most of the clips that I've watched don't have a lot of dialogue in there. But when you are recording sound, do you tend to use a boom like or do you tend to have mics and your actors? So sound is something that we have been like really focusing on lately because we know like in the past, our sound is terrible. Um, so we have laugh mikes and a boom mic now and because there's really just myself and Joey and we also have our friend Angela on set, oftentimes she would help and like I guess B R P A or she's one of the talents. Our MIC is on a C stand. So his name is Mike. So that is our sound guy. Okay, yeah, you've you've probably answered my next question sort of, but I was just running also about sound effects and you know how many of them added on post production, because you know classic Hong Kong Action Films, you have all those switch sound effects which are constantly added on after every movement posts. I was wondering how much of its post production, how much of it's actually recorded during the fight session? Most, if not all, is in post production. And Joey, I mean since he's been doing this for years, he has a huge library of different sound effects and, depending on the fight scene, how actually like a D R or something like how this kind of stand there and hit a stick against like another stick for like an hour just to make some sounds? Yeah, that's absolutely awesome. I mean there's some of the best sound effects you just made by doing it just around them, things like stabbing a watermelon or whatever. Just, uh, something I want to ask about, and briefly touched on it earlier. A lot of the big like fantasy martial arts films that came out from China and Hong Kong in the sixties and seventies did have a lot of why work in there, like called why Fou. We're basically got the actors like jumping between each other and kicking and fighting each other. So I was wondering if you guys have used why work or whether it's something which you aspire to do. We have not you wires yet. I would love to. It is something that is definitely kind of like on our bucket list. I want to fly around. I think that that's cool. You know, you can imagine you'll finally be doing the moves your father ask you to do exactly, and it's like, you know, just having like a flowy outfit. It's just kind of like flowing in the air with a sword. I think that that's really cool. We don't have the budget or the resources for that yet, but we would like to like one day do that. Okay, well, that sounds like it would be really fun and they last question I had a production which is, I guess, sort of reduction, sort of not in terms of, I guess, why I work and other things where it's not quite happening in there sot on the special effects side. I was wondering what your opinion is on the Kung Fu films of somebody like Stephen Show. If you think about Kung ful hustle or shell and soccer, which are more about special effects, the nitty gritty of the action choreography, just wondering what a tyke about it. It's Geo prefer action...

...where it's all realistic. Do you like special effects being included as part of it? Do you think it's a good thing to mix them together or we'll keep them separate? Personally, I love Stephen Chan movies. I think that they're so fun and I think it really depends on the story. You can't have like a comedic like Jackie chant fight scene. For something that's like super, super serious that involves like human trafficking, for example, I think it has to be really dependent on the story. But I really enjoy the fun martial arts action films that kind of make you want to go and learn martial arts. I think that that is kind of missing today. A lot of the films you see now is this. It's a gritty like people are just beating the crap out of each other. I don't know, I just like miss the old days where it's kind of like well, that seems a little bit unrealistic, but it seems fun, like of course, if you were to punch someone in the face, they're not going to like rub their face and just kind of look at you and just be like hey, but those start bleeding. But I think that that's like really fun and that's something that I kind of miss seeing today because, you know, that's what kind of like made me really want to keep training, because it's like it's the art of martial arts, not just the violence of it. It's that's something you're incorporating with your community as well, because you mentioned that you have these videos where you're teaching people how to craft things out, to make it their own videos, et CETERA. But you also have like some kind of the toial on martial arts to get your audience invested and interested in taking up a martial art. Support. I don't but Angela, Angela Jordan's check her out. Her Youtube Channel is a j kick one oh one. She is a martial artist and she teaches martial arts. I really want to have size that our channel, like our production, our school dropouts. We teach the filmmaking side of like how we create our films. We don't do the stunts. We don't teach stunts. There's plenty of stunt schools that are like very well known that people can learn and train at. I think that is like way better to learn from stunt people. But if people are interested in learning like the filmmaking side of how we do our fight scenes, then like definitely check us out and like check out our tutorials. But if you want to learn martial arts the best way is to just go to a school, check them out or check out a j kick one oh one. She has like, I think, a tutorial series coming soon actually, but her patreon, for example, like they do classes she does like classes on instagram. So that's a great way for people that like kind of get started. Yeah, that's a good shout out. The probably best for people to yet take it. Yea, a sure stunt. Doubles and actual kind of experienced distinct taste. Oh Yeah, for sure. But obviously you're you're producing your videos for Youtube, madicine. You have a lot of content. They're including your vlogs or even some reviews of restaurants, etcetera. So how how are you liking producing short films and the series for Youtube and, Oh, would you say, relationship with your audience? I love producing, I love the challenge, I love the problem solving. Um, right now, like I'm on this whole thing where I really want us to kind of keep producing features. I think that is a lot better in terms of like storytelling. So it's not just fight scene centric, but it's awesome narrative. I do miss our like little comedic sketches, so I really want to get back to that. But yeah, I want to say, like I really want to focus on that sign of...

...producing. In terms of our relationship with our audience, I want to say it's it's amazing. So we have a discord server as it's great we get to talk to our audience and like there's a patreon only section as well where people can actually watch joey as he's story boarding or ask questions. We do a monthly hang out. We all like kind of like get together, hang out talk about things they're doing. They have this inside joke right now where it's like Hashtag stab gang because of the shirt that was available for a limited time and I took it down and it was like a little cheap version of me with a knife and it's just a stab. It's just like our our community is amazing and I love the that we have an opportunity to interact with our audience and like our patreon like I try to do so much for our patreons on there to kind of give them that producer feel. A lot of times people who are just audience people, are fans or just, you know, movie watchers, movie lovers. They never get to actually feel like their producers. So during the pandemic, one of the ideas that we had come up with was the three hundred and sixty degree behind the scene in live streams. So these are like twenty to forty minute long live streams where we have our three sixty camp up and people are able to watch on set as if they were there with us, and like that's just something that's really cool. It's something that we're able to do. Like during the pandemic, everyone's safe and literally our audience they can see everything. One of the productions, Joey, ended up actually like breaking one of his toes by accident because of Angela. Yeah, and he left the room, he wrapped it, he came back and our audience is just like hey, did joey does break his toe? What's on his foot? It's like wrapped up. I think he broke his toe. I'm like Dank, you guys see that really. So it's it's really cool and I think like having that capability of really like trying to bring our audience on set with us is something that's very unique to our production. I mean I'm slightly more concerned that Joey just went wrapped up a broken toe instead of immediately going to the yard, but aside from that, it's it's the Shalon training they had to break on his toes anyway. So he was like this is like nothing and I'm like Jeez, like Joey is like low key and Badass. If people don't understand that, that's really passic. Didn't go back to the five scene as well, or well, fortunately for us, we were just on the production side. Um, so he was directing and he was just moving lights and I was on camera. So it was this shooting. So yeah, it wasn't anything too crazy, but he still had to like show the choreography. Thankfully it wasn't too too many kicks. But yeah, yeah, that's amazing too. That possibly the biggest in real set. That didn't actually come from all of the stuntmen. That came from the director. Yep, pretty much. It's really exciting to hear that you're thinking about making more feature films. Would they be more of the comedic style of my Asian antior? Would it be more in line with the more dark and Grick the short you've been putting out lately? It kind of is like a mixed bag. So we have a couple scripts already in terms of like features, but we're just kind of waiting on like budget, getting things together before we can produce it. So right now, because I mean I don't mind sharing these, listen news because yes, it is a hush hush project, but our current feature, it's a it's mostly shot in Vr. It is narrative and it's slightly comedic, but it's not like a true comedy,...

...but it is also action. It is this definitely different. We're always trying to do something different. So who knows, we could do something super like gritty, or something super comedic, but I think with right now how everything is going on with the world, we kind of lean towards more of the comedy because it's a nice break for everyone when they're watching. Yeah, that makes sense and I didn't actually realize that the VR project was going to be a feature, so that's amazing. How much can you share with us about that project? Um, so it's about I want to say I think we have like a third of the project done. It's taking a lot longer than we had hoped, but this is our first, I guess, true feature since my Asian Auntie. The feature is called Player Agency and the Short Synopsis Is this character, after losing his job of ten years, Ken Falls into a depression. His college friend, Joey, however, wants to help him in the only way he knows how, which is to guide him through a role playing adventure game in virtual reality to get his confidence back. Um, so they quest through like the realm ruled by a litch key and Ken has to like battle his demons internally and virtually to like kind of take take back his life. So that's kind of like the Short Synopsis. We have been like releasing some like little clips here and there for our patrons on Patreon. But it is actually shot through reck room, which is similar to VR chat, but rec room got kind of like a lego aesthetic. There has been a lot of challenges with that, like production process, just because we're using something that's totally new to us and you're using out camera that literally only has like one focal length, which is just super wide. Uh. So try to be creative, as it's a lot of like building rigs in the game. But what's really cool is that it gives us like an idea. It's kind of like if one day we were given like a crazy, like Hollywood budget. We are capable of working with it because we are thinking way outside the box with this project, like certain shots that you would never be able to do. We don't have access to a helicopter or a castle, but we can do that in game and it's awesome. I don't know how to rent a helicopter, but we can do it in the game, so it's like it's really cool. But yeah, like it's definitely like gotten our creative juices out and really challenges us in terms of like trying to make this whole feature. And that's really interesting too, that you cousin creating this feature film from a game. So you're coming in there with a relatively low budget. You're still able to get VIR graphics into your film and Build a film all around this. That that's really outside the box. I'd say it's it's yeah, it's uh, it's definitely a joey idea. Originally we were working on a different script and then Joey, he spent like, I guess behind the scenes, like a month writing the scripts, and he's like hey, stuff, I have this idea. Don't hate me, but like I want to shoot a film and VR. I'm like what the what? UH, okay, he's like it would be really cool. We we'll still do fight scenes. It's like very narrative, but it's a whole feature. I haven't I haven't planned. I'll make the sets, I'll make the props, I'll make the weapons, I'll make everything, and I'm like, Holy Crap, okay, so joey hos spend like so much time just building sets. It's just really, really cool what he's able to do in this game. And like even though the graphics it looks very childish, it's still like working with like essentially no budget and like, for example, we need people to just like be bad guys. That's all Joey, like we don't need to hire...

...people. Um, the only budget is within the game because each set has a specific inc amount. So like we have to work within that ink amount. But that's like the only budget. That's like really on there and it's really cool and I hope it's something that people would really enjoy and just kind of get past the first initial stage of like wow, this looks very childish, but the story is very wholesome for the kind of film this would be. That makes complete sense to because you're stepping into virtually healthy no one said that that virtually reality had to look spectacular, especially because it's an adventure game of sorts. So I mean you can, yeah, it's very fitting. Yeah, so I think we learned a lot about the article dropouts and like just your passion for you're a perture filmmaking at this point, and just the capacity of Yo, it is simply get no sleep whatsoever, which is just unbelievable, possibly unhealthy. So checking on him with that? Maybe this? Uh Oh yeah, for sure. Our our audience, they're constantly like hey, did you guys get enough sleep? We used to be like Hashtag team no sleep, and I was like, Yo, we can't do that anymore, like we can't, we're getting old. Like that just doesn't work with our bodies. Yes, stay safe, hopefully, uh Joe, we will take every to rest up properly. Oh yeah, I think by only. My final question, then, would this be, is is there anything else you can tell us about art school dropout future or any other upcoming projects? or It's just all of your attention right now on this? We are a film. That sounds like your biggest project today. Oh my gosh, we have so much in the future. UH, it's everybody's probably like this is so much information. What is even happening with our school dropouts? But so, besides the VR film, we're also in the process, like we get hired out to work on other people's productions. So we're kind of like also doing that. We have a another web series that we want to produce, hopefully starting this fall or maybe next year, just because of the weather, and then we want to write another feature that we did start writing but then enjoy got distracted with the whole VR concept, so then we had to take a back burner on that and then hopefully these two other features that we have in terms of like script wise they're ready to go. I just need to find out when we can start producing it, because we have so many ideas. We're constantly making stuff. So if you guys want to see like what we're up to, check us out at like our school dropouts. We're constantly creating and we just love it. Yeah, that's the feeling I get from speaking to you. That's all. I can really feel that that passion. Add I'm definitely going to be checking out your feature film because, yeah, that's the that's a new one for sure. Yeah, it's it's different and I think the rise with like VR films right now is like kind of getting up there. I think I saw an HBO Max the Vr Chat Documentary is like on there. There's a growing market for it, but I think the things you can do in VR is actually really cool. Yeah, all the listeners should definitely be looking forward to it. Do you do you want to shout out any social media channels or anything else before we finish this up? Uh, so, if you guys are interested in learning more about us, I know it's kind of like a mixed bag in terms of like what we're doing. It's a lot of stuff, but you could check out our our website, our school dropouts dot com could check out our youtube channel, our Patreon, we have a discourserver. Basically everything you can find is on our website. So let's just leave it at that. That would be a lot easier. Everyone then like, wait, what did she say? Oh,...

...this and that and this. We're basically everywhere, but TIKTOK. All right, not on TIKTOK. Yeah, I don't know. We'll probably get there one day, but right now it's just like it's it's so hard for just joy and myself to manage everything. Yeah, I can imagine that man does not need Leslie and they're probably not you either. Yeah, alright, thank you so much for coming on, Stephanie, and to all for listeners, remember that if there is one piece of art school dropout work you should check out. It is the what's it called again? The legend of the no budget Zoro? Yeah, and I'll be checking that out as well. So thank you so much again, Stephanie. Oh, thank you, guys so much for having me. Hopefully next time I could have joey on here with you, guys. Definitely great, but there's been a pleasure speaking to you as well, and I hope our listeners have also enjoyed their listening in and field tempted to check out school dropouts work. So thank you so much for listening and once again soon. You have been listening to the talking images, the official podcast of I C M Forum Dot Com.

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