Beernuts Productions is a completely independent film production company that writes, produces and then distributes its own work, all online without any interference from any third party. This means we have complete control over our content and what we produce. This is very unique in our industry and we have had great success doing it. Audiences have responded well to the fact our projects are not the usual type fair they may see at the cinema. This of course means all of our projects are totally and uniquely us. Which is great and something I’m really proud of.
Beernuts Productions takes the profits of its previous work and funnels them straight back into making the next project. We purposefully don’t go out asking for funding or applying for grants. We don’t want any restrictions on our work and we want the freedom to do and say what we want to do and say. So our business philosophy is a fairly straightforward one. We make a film, put it up on the website and the more downloads it receives, the more money we make and then the more money can be put into the next project. Obviously it has its pluses and minuses. The up and down nature of the income is a minus and the unreliable nature of the downloads. But it also means we have to put everything into each project, to make sure it’s the best it can be so we can get as many downloads as possible. Our survival depends on it.
Sadly, in Australia (Gold Coast) where I live and work, gaining funding for your projects from any kind of funding or government body is very hard. Unless you’re part of the “clique”, you’re pretty much out in the cold. This is the main reason why Beernuts Productions no longer goes out searching for funding, whether it be from private enterprise or government grants. The small and independent filmmakers have been squeezed out. So my solution to this tragic problem was to fund and produce my own work myself; but it is a shame. There are some wonderful scripts and ideas from other filmmakers going to waste because of the ignorant narrow mindedness of the few people in charge of the funding bodies here in Oz. Australia has a strange set-up when it comes to funding films. Most of it is government funding, there are very few studios around and very few of those studios are willing to put their hand in their pocket, to assist young and exciting filmmakers. A lot of writers, directors and even actors I know, have become very disillusioned and gone into other professions, which again I find very sad, as the world misses out on some wonderful talent.
So any money we make from our work (online downloads) goes straight into the next project. So the profits only stay in the production account for a very short time before it’s quickly used up for the next blockbuster. Which again is why I implore people to hit up the Beernuts Productions website and support our projects and what we do.
Beernuts Productions first project was a feature film about disability and mental health, two issues that are very close to my heart, being as I am legally blind. I really wanted to shine a light (pardon the pun) on these issues. We interviewed over 20 experts in a range of fields, such as school teachers, psychologists, a Neurosurgeon, even comedians to put a bit of light and humour into the project. Since then we have gone on to make 15 other short film projects. Seven of which are an ongoing chat show type series, where a fake public figure is interviewed in-depth.
I write and direct the projects and have a dedicated crew behind me making it all come to life. Of course being blind means I have to rely heavily on my cinematographer to shoot what I want him to shoot. Our cast is always our strength though. We always go through a rigorous casting process to get the absolute best actors available. And there is no doubt Beernuts Productions has worked with some of Australia’s best when it comes to our actors.
Our budgets are never huge and so we are careful as to where we spend our money. The cast is always my highest priority. I feel an audience can forgive a project for a lot of things, but the quality of acting is not one of them. Nor is the script and direction. So we make sure we utilize what little funds we have in the right areas, making sure our script is solid and the actors are the absolute best we can find. Casting agents get very frustrated with us, because we are always saying “no, send someone else.” But we always manage to find the right person for the role.
Promotion is tough, no doubt about that. It’s the part of the job I hate the most. But thanks to blogs like Raindance, giving us a voice and a platform to promote our work it does make life a lot less stressful for us. And of course there are the usual ways, radio and TV interviews, (when we can get them.) Plus of course social media sites, Beernuts Productions has a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/YouTube page, which also plays a big part in promoting our work to the masses.
I love comedy. Making people laugh and forget about their problems (if only for a brief second) is a wonderful feeling. I got that when I did stand-up comedy and I can do that with film too. Watching someone laugh and knowing that you’re responsible for that is a great thing. It probably gives me more joy than the person laughing. I think all creative people can relate to that feeling of the joy you get when you entertain someone. And comedy and making people laugh is definitely where my heart lies.
Beernuts Productions plans on making as many films as humanly possible. We have a wonderfully dedicated staff and we all just want to create and work and produce and all that fun stuff. So I don’t see us stopping for any reason, any time soon. So hopefully people can support us by downloading some of our work at our website. And we’ll keep making films until we run out of ideas and things to say, which will be never!