Podcast #5 with Chris Parker

We have Chris Parker on the show – an average (well, not so average) guy with a job, wife and kids who followed his dream of making a movie. Specifically that movie is The Right Juice, which Chris co-produced. It’s a feature film set in the Algarve in Portugal about an English banker who loses it all and decides to move to Portugal to start an orange orchard. Chris will talk to us about how he took baby steps to get there and what happens now that the movie is out!

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrTydUwbcXI

 

TRANSCRIPT

John: Hey, this is John Khoury, I am your host for the John and Jani Show welcome back, this is episode # 5, this is the beautiful Jani Moon from New York City.

Jani: Hi; hi glad to be back here, again John

John: Thanks for being with me again Jani, so I am author of a new book Quanology, coming out soon, Evolution in you; Jani is a Media coach in New York City and on this show we love to take a look at really interesting people, seeing how they do cool things and share their path and progress and journey with you, our viewers to see what we can learn from it, because we all like cool things in life, and we are excited about our guest today, our guest is Chris Parker. Chris made a movie, in Portugal of all places, but it is awesome; I have seen the movie. It is a feature film, and so for me it is pretty exciting; Jani is in the media world, aren’t you girl?

Jani: I am; I am and I am excited to have Chris here to pick his brain about how he was able to do it all, because he is like.

John: Have you ever been on set, you work mostly in television?

Jani: Mostly television but I have been on movie sets as well, and it is so demanding, if such; I mean, it’s like having a baby you are like literally bursting, this huge creative, you know project, with the lights, the sets, the actors ; all of it, to create the story of inspiration as well as entertainment.

John: It sounds pretty challenging, pretty demanding; I think

Jani: Yes, definitely

John: For me it is interesting because the point is, with Chris. He is; he got a day job. Couple of things from me he’s got a day job, he is in the IT consultant and he is also a family man, that’s two things, he’s got three things going. The third thing is, he is a family man but he is also an American, and he lives in Holland, just like me and so

Jani: It’s your twizzy John; it’s your twizzy

John: We ordered the same bagel at Bagel and Beans

Jani: Is that how you met him, you met him at the Bagel place?

John: No, we just had lunch there, no we met via-via, but of course that that’s an interesting person right, somebody who is just like you and all of these levels, three levels at least two. He got short hair too; he doesn’t have a bald spot like me. But the point is he’s got a day job, there is so much; there is always been a trend, it’s like the kind of common things people are saying now; is to follow your passion, and a lot of young people are doing this; and from what I understand they are also getting very much disillusioned.

It is not working out the way they expect, it is not like they just drop everything, become a ballet dancer out what ever, and all of a sudden, life is great; it actually doesn’t work out, as well as they want it to. And so it is interesting to see alternative ways to kind of like, get the bills paid, to really work and have a career; but also to do things that you find are interesting, and so

Jani: That’s a field that are artistic needs

John: Exactly, they are expressive views, isn’t always, you know can a day job and enjoy it, but don’t feel completely expressed, and so that’s what Chris has done, he is a Consultant; it is really cool you know, it runs his own kind of consulting business. So in that sense he is more in control of his life, already than most people I think; but the cool part is, he has been able to just kind of do the side project, and so we want to take a look at it Jani you.

Jani: I do, I have

John: It’s called The Right Juice

Jani: And you can see it at www.therightjuice.net; there is the trailer

3:41 – 6:00 Scenes from the movie

Jani: Hey, cute

John: That was nice, all right let’s get him on air, Chris Parker, lets unhide you; it always takes like a second, here we go

Jani: Hey Chris

John: Chris can you hear us, it is muted, why is it muted? There he is, hey Chris how are you doing?

Jani: Hi

Chris: Hello

John: Hey, thanks for being on the show, Chris, tell us when this movie coming out?

Chris: Well, in Portugal, it’s already out; it’s already been in cinemas for about a month, and it’s actually starting to taper off. So the next question is, when will it be here in the Netherlands for us, John and we are still working on that, that’s part of the story; I guess of getting the film distributed and we are working on UK and New York as well.

John: So it is not just a big bang, it doesn’t just drop; and then it’s all over the world and start at one place and it still keeps you busy, in that sense, right?

Chris: It definitely; definitely keeps us busy, I think that was part of the maybe, moral naivety when we first started, it was oh it was making really good movie, and then some distributor will come and magically take it away from you, and everyone in the universe will see it. No, well it doesn’t always work that way, so what we are doing. I want to say, the old fashion way, was just work on the home country of Portugal and then we have made a bit of a splash there, which we can talk about. And we are really just motivated because people enjoy the film, and that’s the thing that keeps us going.

John: I enjoyed the film too, was there an explosion. I am trying to remember if there was an explosion or not

Chris:  Do you love explosion movies?

John: No, it was kind of, I hate explosion movies, but most people like explosion movies. It was a quiet movie but it did keep me entertained.

Jani: But it was schemed, it had great characters  and it was funny and charming and {7:50 unclear} potential. I would think real issues as well but my question is, how did you even get the motivation to even do this, where did this even come about?

John: Yes

Chris: Well, it certainly wasn’t my own motivation, but it has been, I guess you can call it a bucket listing; but a life goal thing to make a movie and in my case, it meant to be meaningful involved in a feature film; and I have been; and I’ve been carrying that, call it a dream for as long as I can remember; and in preparation for that I went over to London for a film production master class. Friends of mine that have been in the film business, when they were, a friend of mine Trevor who was over, this goes back probably in 2006 or so, sort of calls me out as well and said, do you want to make a movie, you want to be a filmmaker? I’ve got my gears. Let’s make a movie.

So I made a short film, hopefully every weekend and he said, felt like a 48 hour film project, which is a community contest that didn’t exist in the Netherlands. So another friend of mine and I, Richard bought the 48 hours to Netherlands.

John: What is the 48 hours?

Chris: The 48 hour film project, it’s an amazing concept of for armatures and the semi-professional and even professional filmmakers, you get a team together on a Friday night; you get a character, prop and a line of dialogue imposed on you. You pull a genre from a hat; and you have 48 hours to make to make a 7 minutes max film. Awesome it’s just a great thing and we

John: And now, you kind of just implemented it?

Chris: Right we licensed it from the team in DC and in that first year we hooked up with Netherlands Film Festival, so amateur filmmakers could get their film screened in the Netherlands Festival, and it was during that, that I met.

Jani: Competition, you said competition of some sort or?

Chris: And it is like in 90, 100 cities around the world

Jani: That so many

Chris: Yes, it is really

John: It started in Washington DC?

Chris: 9:55 Yes, that’s where the founders are, and it is not a big commercial thing, it’s really a community thing. And the guy who won in Amsterdam, Christian, the first two years he is actually the director of The Right Juice and so it’s through, I guess taking baby steps over about 10 years towards the goal of making a film, then you start to meet the people, and Christian and I became friends, and he did some work for me at my old company and it was actually when I was leaving, my executive world; and starting my consultant practice, and he was one of the first people at the lunch table and said, well, you said you wanted to make a movie, we have a script in development, you know and we need some business help, so can you help us out?

Jani: What is your super power, being in this whole creative project?

Chris: My super power is, there is amazingly creative people in the team; but there wasn’t a whole lot of structure, shall we say maybe business structure, the producer VJ, she has been an Art Director for films all over the career, incredible talented. Christian is also incredible talented Director, so the creative process they had totally under control; but all the stuff around it, the budgeting, the getting sponsorship, crowd funding  ,there was a lot of learning curve there ,also did all the legal work;  of all things.

So in this one I did a lot of the dry work, but I was also, is really fun to be able to get involved. So I think I got involved in July 2011 and they wanted to shoot later that year, and they had I.5 million Euro budget in mind, and they had no money raised, they had no talent attached, they had nothing.

John: So did they come to you and say “Chris get us some money?”

Chris: Yes, and we have it sorted out, and we have a couple of  coming into Jesus moment, and then we ended up shooting for, we worked the script; got rid of some expensive stuff that was written in , got the sponsorship , did the crowd funding, we shot in April and May of 2012.

Jani: How did you get the actors because you have quite a few well-known actors in the film?

Chris: Well I think in one way, we got lucky, in a lot of ways like Lucia Moniz who is a Portuguese dolphin trainer.

John: I didn’t recognize her; Jane did from Love Actually, it is?

Chris: Yes exactly, she was in Love Actually, and I was just getting in touch with her, her agent, who is in the US and

John: How do you get in touch with somebody’s agent?

Chris: Just start calling around, yes just started searching, they are a lot of other websites on, if you know where people agents are, if you look at it from that perspective, it’s not that hard to find, and just explained to her the spirit of the story, and she bought into it; and she bought into the limited budget we had and she is marvelous. In Portugal she is actually a singer, so she was in Euro Vision Song Contest for Portugal.

John: That’s too bad

Chris: and, she is like a household name in Portugal for being a singer, and everywhere else she is known as being an actress

John: It’s Gloria

Chris: Really fortunate, Mark Killeen, he is the lead, he is a beautiful person, beautiful man

Jani: Yes, he is beautiful

 

Chris: You like that and as such, there are equally beautiful other person as well; and he has been in the Game of Thrones, the latest 300 movies ; a definitely up and coming talent, and that was really through his agent , we got in touch with his casting agents. Wendy and Yondon and Christian went over to interview a couple, and it didn’t work out, so Wendy said , well we were looking for a banker, sort of a little wiz  guy , with a pencil behind his ears

John: He is like jacked.

Chris: He is like Herculean, he is a super hero

Jani: Good call; good call

Chris: yes and Christian came back and said, well the bankers that we had in mind, that me and Richard selected didn’t work out, didn’t click or whatever, but he got this, you know super hero, and what we ended up doing, was liking it; because A he brought into the spirit of the film and the story. Which I think most people, we were looking for people who could connect, and he was connecting, and he also like, sort of poetry {14:18 unclear} this perfect person totally failed, you know and is continuing to fail. So his physicality ,you know otherwise perfect person, is just struggling with the life issues of relationship, and finance and having gone bankrupt, and having let people down and becoming himself in the story, and he liked it and it worked

John: Take me back now again, because you said, this thing whole baby step thing, so let’s start a baby step 1, you knew this guy named Trevor, right?

Chris: Yes

John: Where do you know him from or in the movie you was just buddies or what?

Chris: He works back in the day as a Software Consultant, and he lives in LA, where I am originally from, so he was over

John: Are you familiar?

Chris: Many times in Stanford, Amsterdam, but he always carried his gear around; he is more in short films and commercial and stuff. Yes I guess it was really nice to have a friend who was holding you accountable for what you put out in the universe, and says you want to make a movie; and someone hold that mirror up and says, well let’s do it and help you take the first step. And I was, you know the boom mike operator on that, and gotten other friends in to do different parts and it was a lot of fun. So that was my first making movie experience, which was of course over a week-end, and then

John: Right, you took that concept and bring it to the Dutch Film

Chris: 48 hours

John: Because you mentioned something else, you said, you pitched the company, so you are like a pitcher; you like to pitch?

Chris: Yes, I guess

John:  You are good at it?

Chris: If I bought into something, and I guess that is what I also was putting together with the right juices ,putting together the business package, so What is the budget ?, What can you afford , how are you going to get around different things, just really amazing support from the Algarve community. And the Algarve is the region of southern Portugal’s work film; they are often time in films but you don’t know it because they can make themselves look like Asian; the can make themselves look like Africans, and so you know a European in film team can go there and do a lot of creative stuff but it was never really about Portugal. So in this case it was a movie about the Algarve and there was a lot of English expatriates and it was really part of the cultural fabric.

 

John: So if I met this group, I am just trying like. I think there is a very obviously important skills that you have; being able to pitch to people and you have pitched to company to your consulting firm and you also you know pitched to this Dutch film group or whatever community , this 48 hours thing .And you have also pitched to investors ,and people to do this movie ,Right?

Chris: Yes

John: And that’s kind of lead role in that, that’s a huge I think skill for people, and so where does that, it sound like if I am going to to summarize your little process here is that you found sort of your key elements to page 1 ,is that, you are  going to take this Portugal and explain to people, that’s it’s a movie about Portugal, We want to film it here and it’s great for your country ,is that summon up a little bit, take this kind of angle in there?

Chris: Yes, I think what we need to elevate our pitch; you have to come up with your story, your hook and your angle, and in this one, yes I guess was the dream of a lot of people to make and it was also dream of the region to have it made. We put the financial story together, you know once you got a couple of actors in and you get them sort of tied to it ,that makes it easier to talk to other people , so you know , if you have Lucia involved then maybe it more interesting to mark. And then you have to get the whole, you know like Jani you said, all the casting and all the crew involved as well and a lot of those people , we also had to sign up to the spirit of it because we had very limited budget, so some people like ,you know have never been paid for a minute of this thing.

Some people we paid them a survival wage because they just really wanted to be involved and that’s all we could afford, and yes you have to pitch it to them like that and say, this is the game but we are going to make something beautiful and it could help your career, if it takes off, there is no guarantees. And even with the sponsors, there is a funny story here, is the local media in Portugal also very helpful, and one of the magazines owners and editors, she got us interviewed with Inter Marché and Inter Marché is a French grocery store chain and, yes awkward, weirdest conversation I ever ;because there is a Portuguese lady sitting there there , the magazine sales person and the English owner and an American, this guys French , and he doesn’t speak a word of English . Okay but after a while he figured what we were on , and said you want to make a movie Okay, how many people, how long, and then he did literally on the paper, the table cloth of the restaurant. He did some math and said: Ok, take this to my manager and he’ll get you all the food. Okay and later, just happened there, so he didn’t understand how he actually got from the explanation in our pitch, to yes, so fast. And apparently he grew up in France and his parents on the cinema. And once he figured out what we were doing, he’s like: yeah, I’m in. And we couldn’t have plan that. Yeah, that was great.

 

John: And what did you have setup with that moment if I might ask, because of course you have to work his pitches were something there, already there, right. It’s not like oh, he have an idea, yes at least tell them. We’ve got somebody who wants to be in it, because you went to this actress. And what did you have going for you, at that moment? Because of course, why would she listen to you?

 

Chris: Yeah, why did it needs pitch start, now we had the story, we had the script which is been revised. We are looking in and developing the different characters, and of course then once he got the talent attached to, you might adopt a character. Because we originally thought, you know, Mark that all over the lead would be a banker guy, so you sort of have to adapt in his introductory mark. We also know we had a deadline because Easter in this south of Portugal is basically when their high season starts, and so you are not able to get it done by that time. All of the free hotel rooms, you know whether it be at the five star resort, has been a great help, put up some of the lead actors and stuff. All of that would be gone. You know, because they are in a high season, you know the summer must make them all that money. And so basically we can say that all, you know, this is our target, so we knew when we want it to shoot. So dear Lucy I can you block that in there. Then we talked about what sort of money you need, what sort of points you need on the back, whatever, whatever the video is. And then you just keep and start and keep in touch with them and you start put in the different pieces together and in the end, you start praying. So it’s a, yeah!

 

Jani: It just seems like a leap of faith. So, what act was the most challenging thing, it’s just a tress scene or the whole process, what was the most challenging, in to the whole process for you?

 

Chris: Well there have been a lot of beautiful challenges and beautiful lessons and experiences. The most difficult part when is right now actually.

 

Jani: Really?

 

Chris: Yeah, but that is for me, because I think first time when the people worked on the shooting, you know that was all we can see challenge, a greater challenge. And I was there a number of times you noted not to be involved, but I was, you know, just be on the business side of the project as more, just trends stay out of the way, but still want to be there. And I read that it’s harder to distribute an indie film than it’s to make an film. And you can read that but I never really understood it, until we’re here. And there are lots of lessons, so we were actually in the difficult part. We met the can we met the Berlin owl we talked to the sales agent and we talked to distributors, why spin on major network until US executives desk. Then we keep getting the same story back which is beautiful little film, a human story, well shot, high production quality, can’t sell it.

Jani: Why?

Chris: Well there is no audience baked into it. That is you know, for the biggest, until time will tell this is a fail, flaw or our strongest aspect of it. There is a reason why a lot of indie films are very genre-specific or horror films or you know, something like that, because the agent markets will buy horror, dot! So you make it, it’s very cheap to make, couple of teenagers you bring in to a cabin, you cut them up and you put a soundtrack all written.

John: That is what I missed from this film, just remembered.

Chris: Exactly.

John: Explosions and …

Chris: And that is for sell or you have a big name actress, you know you got, Brat and Angelina involved, and then its shooting and then you can’t afford that, or the big studio groups they just make  and then they put you know, 100 million behind it to market it, and they make Mars and they made 200 million and they’re happy and they crossed to the next one. This one is a film for very broad audience, and when you go to the strategy sessions that are been taught now, I think it’s also changed over the last five years; it’s in you have to develop your audience up for. And we don’t have that necessary, we have discovered that people walked out of the film, out of the cinema smiling and talking and energized and sort of doing all the right things, also acting like a bit “manopause” which is a word which is kicked around.

John: I don’t think it about that.

Jani: What is a manopause?

Chris: You know the men, what you call it, you know because all over the lead is having to discover himself and see, John and I, we can act to that, we know it’s going long.

Jani: Yeah very cool.

John: But then I do kind of a like to a side gig because the point is, what’s interesting about is, I mean for me, like you are in a hard part now, you’ve done all that stuff, its not like you made millions as they said you can’t sell it, it’s not a big box office hit or whatever, but it’s a great little movie like you said. You enjoyed that, you got some great stuff out of that, the people have enjoyed it, Portugal as a country is enjoying it. And so this is your passion, this is very nice and you trying maybe could afford to the next movie. But it’s such a great example.

Jani: No, if I have even added it this one yet.

John: Yeah but it’s such a great example somebody who is still able to do something creative and expressive and still keep kind of a day job, because I mean impress your wife like you do all that stuff and that you still paying the bills and everything.

Chris: I think if I had been known how much work it have been and more important if my wife could have known how much the work it had been, I’m not sure to shoot and have signed that so easily.

John: Why it’s your wife not known to those things, probably would have?

Chris: Oh yeah no no no! I like things to be done well, you know so it’s cut corners here and there whatever, but men have also taken advantage because to go to can, you know for 4 to 5 days is not an expensive to do, but it’s an amazing experience so we learn so much about market there, what works at what doesn’t work, but I think that also the, for me one of the biggest lessons was, when I first can’t involve I wasn’t necessarily star struck but I thought this would be a Hollywood film making was something different and pretty quickly I realize this is just business, and that’s what I know now. So I know how to package proper projects, I know how to get people on board and I know how to manage Talent, you know we had most of the people from the project and had to negotiate them off. We have personality conflicts, we had people who didn’t show up to the party, and there’s also things that to be happened in any business. Once I figured out the lessons I’ve learned in the IT world, in the business world at the startups, they all apply. You have to put those lenses on and that would be easy for me to manage with everything else.

John: What kind of an idea I’m thinking people think that, you know you follow your passion, you could reach this great world, you live without a crappy world behind, but still in the physical world all the natural laws apply.

Jani: What is your biggest piece of advice for those people who actually want to go, what’s your biggest piece of advice for those upcoming young people who want or old people like John and I who wanna make movies?

Chris: I guess a couple of piece of advice on pick a roll you want because I’ll tell you when I got involved, I didn’t want to be the creative as lead, I didn’t want to be the director, and I was looking for other ways to contribute, you know I have my skills set, in the business world. I find myself pretty creative but in this world, I was probably the least creative of everything. Just keep your eye on the ball because what I did was in the 10 years, whenever I had a moment to do something, you know I’ve read about this week long after a master’s class in London, I find it and I went. Then you start telling people about your dream, this is where I’m going, even people roll their eyes. Tell the world about it, because in the world it going to hold you accountable and find ways to support you like David did, and Richard did. Then you find other things to do like the 48 hour film project, sound like a co-idea, you pick up the phone, you talk, you bring it to Europe, and then you meet people. Just constant, keep pushing ahead, realizing that it was going to happen, and then I know I did.

John: I’ll see your next movie Chris, when you gonna be set to that?

Chris: Well, that pressure also comes up as well and we’re not done with this one as yet, so I guess very religious with myself, I want to see this to the end, because for me and my role wherein that hardest part, I don’t want to talk that about now until we’ve actually succeeded on this one.

Jani: How can people support you in this film? Is there anything we can do?

Chris: Actually you’ll go to, you already gave the URL, so write jews.net, sign up for the newsletter, go to the Facebook and all that stuff but what we’re looking for is that, and I dare to say that, the lightning strike of luck, that for someone if they know someone in the industry, who is soft for and nice human film sort of a romantic, because it has a drama around it, our house to an international thing, if anyone knows anyone in the industry that can pick that up and exploit it somehow, we would just love to get in touch, so if you anyone.

Jani: Ok.

Chris: So, point them or direct them, yeah.

Jani: Would you like to praying, everybody now please pray.

John: Chris thanks much for being with us on this show. This was a fascinating story which I would actually want to hear more but, thanks for your time and we wish you lot of luck with it and everything.

Chris: Thank you so much for having me up. Thank you for having the right Jews.

Jani: Thank you.

John & Jani: Bye.

John: So there we go Jane that was fun.

Jani: That was so fascinating. Oh my Gosh!

John: You agree with him, right?

Jani: I had no idea. It’s crazy because it’s like you put on all this work, you wrote it, you direct it, you got the actors, you got funding, you do it, you are happy with that the thing you can do it. But then disturbing each other, I had no idea.

John: When does the project end, that’s a tough one side, right?

Jani: You know I just feel right, the movies and TV, these are how that, we need a revolutionized what we’re watching. And what I’ve read about Jews is that it is such a beautiful, simple, heartwarming film, without an excessive violence, sex, oh that it’s just a good movie.

John: Movies are not been such these days. I’ve realized how few but, I just love to watch movies and I realized how few movies I’ve watched these days. These are all like that explosions.

Jani: I know but we just all need to change the way we are viewing movies. This is actually a good movie that deserves and we deserve to watch it, we deserve to feel great after watching that. So, I really wish Chris and his team very best because it deserves to be good for all of us to watch.

John: A great story how you did it. So for me the cool part is somebody who just finds a way to make this happen in their spare time, and how he’d been create this spare time. Listening to 10 years you said it took, and that was 2011 when they kind of got the ball rolling, and now it’s 2014, right. So it’s been a couple of years’ time just to want sort of make an attraction on everything, and he’s been thinking a movie from a long time now, putting the pieces gather bit by bit, which seems like getting a snowball into this, right.

Jani: I mean just a true testament of hard work in dance and taking these baby steps towards your dream, it really does take time.

John: Cool thing is that brings you back down to reality is, he wasn’t doing this for full time for 10 years, imagine he had no job, just trying from 10 years how crappy would life had been. He’s been with executives in these companies, he’s been doing great cool things in his career, otherwise he had been, I can say waiting tables, and do you know what I mean?

Jani: I think that still his wife is not happy because they’re not living in a property.

John: He’s got the best abilities.

Jani: Yeah, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful guest and we wish Chris and the right Juice the best of what I’ve definitely be saying the prayer.

John: Nice, another great show. Jani thanks very much, who we would really have next week.

Jani: We have a great author coming on board, he’s written about five books; so we won’t wanna miss that, spiritual intellect.

John: Spiritual intellect, all right.

Jani: We have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day, everybody thank you for joining us.

John: Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next week hopefully.

Jani: Bye John.

 

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