Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Josh Stifter

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.


 

TGG: Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

JS: SURE! I am filmmaker, animator, and podcast host Josh Stifter. I run my own film studios, Flush Studios, from tropical Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some folks might know me as the guy in the burger hat from Robert Rodriguez’s reality show Rebel Without A Crew.

TGG: Could you tell us about your recent film, “Greywood’s Plot”?

JS: Greywood’s Plot is a no-budget, black and white, creature feature made over multiple years by my three friends and myself. Over a few years, we wrote, shot and edited the film, doing everything ourselves through sheer willpower and lots of Jack Daniels. The movie is about two friends who adventure onto an eccentric man’s plot of land in an attempt to capture footage for a documentary about El Chupacabra. But, obviously, things take a dark twist. It’s part friendly adventure and part throwback body horror to the films I grew up loving. Island of Dr. Moreau, Terror is a Man, The Brain that Wouldn’t Die, Frankenstein… I just love the feel of old monster movies and I wanted to try to make one of my own.

Watch the trailer:
 


 

TGG: What was it like to be a part of the “Rebel Without A Crew” tv series?

JS: Rebel Without a Crew was a dream come true. I have used Robert’s book like a Bible, reading it over and over and studying it and interpreting it in a way that I felt would be useful for me. So, when I was asked to come on the show, it was an opportunity for me to finally take everything I learned and try to put it to practice. I went into the show with a script I wrote with my best-friend Daniel Degnan (who was also going to star in the movie) in a city I had never been to with no idea what I was really doing. We treated it like a 2 week student film, experimenting and seeing what works.. honestly, we never thought we’d finish a movie… We assumed, like most people would, that the reality show and drama that goes along with that would get in the way of making anything watchable. But somehow we put together an 85 minute feature that we’re SUPER proud of. The Good Exorcist has played at multiple fests, is streaming now on TromaNow! and will have a physical media release soon!

Watch the trailer now:
 


 
TGG: What was working with Kevin Smith like (doing animation for Tusk and Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie)?

JS: My first animation job I ever got was doing animations based on Kevin Smith’s SModcast podcast episodes. The turnaround time was RIDICULOUS (2 weeks for a 2 minute animation), but I learned a lot about what people like and what works in production. They were sloppy and rushed, but damned it we didn’t have fun making them. Then Steve Stark asked me to help on Super Groovy, and that was great. I did in-betweens for a few scenes and had a blast with those. When Kevin asked me to do Tusk, I was in the middle of writing my own idea that was very similar (which ended up becoming Greywood’s Plot) and when Kevin asked me to make some messed up animations, I obviously jumped on the opportunity. It also paid better than any contract I’d ever been given… so I took that money and started Flush Studios LLC, officially creating my own business. I owe everything I have to Kevin.

View this post on Instagram

– HUGE announcement – I've been asked by Alex Ferrari to join his Indie Film Hustle Network! I will be shifting my old podcast to a new show: Low-Budget Rebels! On this podcast I'll sit down with indie filmmakers who are making movies, going to festivals, writing screenplays, and doing whatever they can with whatever budgets they can find. I already have a slew of extremely talented filmmakers lined up and I can't wait to have some wonderful conversations. I will continue to do The Flush Studios podcast as well – but it'll likely be exclusive to patreon and will be mostly be a fun bonus conversation show. I'm super excited about this new opportunity and hope you all are as well! #podcast #filmmaking #rebelwithoutacrew #indiefilm #movies #moviemaking #indiefilmmaking #indiefilmhustle #behindthescenes #podernfamily

A post shared by Flush Studios (@flushstudios) on

TGG: Can you tell us about your podcast and joining the “Indie Film Hustle” podcast network?

JS: I’ve been podcasting since the first year iTunes allowed people to post RSS feeds. I’ve probably had 10 podcasts over the years, none of which ever really found an audience. But a few years ago, I just decided to start talking to people whose work I liked, I called it the Flush Studios Podcast since I was recording from my studio. Alex Ferrari and I had been talking about filmmaking and had become friends over time. He knew I had a podcast and was curious if I’d be interested in bringing mine over to his network. I decided to revamp the show to be more focused on indie filmmaking, specifically low-budget filmmaking. Low-Budget Rebels was born out of that!

TGG: How can we best support you? (i.e. follow you on social media, listen to your podcast, buy your films)

JS: There’s so many ways to support indie filmmakers. Obviously, the first thing to do is go watch our movies. Search for filmmakers and buy or watch their films. There’s so many talented folks out there. Antonio Pantoja, Rakefet Abergel, John Valley… so many talented people. If you’re looking for stuff to watch, ask an indie filmmaker and they’ll give you a list of 20 of their favorites. Most of us have websites and all of us have some form of social media. I try to make it easy – just head over to joshstifter.com and all of my info should be there.

TGG: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions!

JS: Thank you so much for taking the time and helping support indie filmmakers!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshua.j.stifter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flushstudios/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joshstifter


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