Todd Berger On Starting A Production Company

Todd Berger On Starting A Production Company

Film Courage: We’re going to start with
some questions that we got from Youtube. This one is from Kay.Puta and Kay writes “How
were you able to juggle a production company through high school and University and still
be a comedy legend?” Todd Berger, Co-Writer of THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS:
Wow? That’s all news to me. Film Courage: Thank you Kay. Todd: Comedy legend? When I was a kid I started my first production
company when I was nine or ten Boy of Destiny Productions. It was making movies, making little videos
with my friends, it was my hobby. Like when other kids were playing soccer or
kissing girls, like I was making little movies with friends. And as I got older and got out of high school
I found fellow friends who wanted to make movies and we formed a production company,
even just…we made a feature in high school, I made three features by the time we went
to college over the summers. And from a young age I knew that I wanted
to work in creative entertainment fields and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. So starting as a company that started as a
goof and then actually Johnny Voodoo productions which I started as a goof in high school and
it now my actual LLC production company that I used to make stuff (I’ve just maintained
it ever since) and yeah I guess I’ve just always kept that going because I have jobs
to make money but also for fun or for a creative artistic outlet there is this stuff I do over
hear and luckily we live in an industry, we work in an industry where you can sometimes
make those things overlap. I don’t know if that answered your question
at all? Film Courage: I think I does…it was actually
Kay’s question but I think that does. You’ve talked about how you grew up in…sorry
Nawlins’? Todd: It’s New Orleans. We don’t like ‘Nawlins. When you spell it Nawlins…no. Film Courage: Sorry…just trying to be cool. See it backfired. So you were born and raised in New Orleans. Todd: Born and raised in New Orleans on the
Bayou…not really. But I grew up on the other side of the Mississippi
River like from the French Quarter and like growing up in New Orleans was…I didn’t
realize how unique it was while I was growing up because I just thought every city was like
this. It’s like “Every city has got…is super
old and you have Mardi Gras, right?” I didn’t realize, I just didn’t understand
it’s uniqueness until I left and I was like “Oh, that’s a pretty cool place.” And the whole city has a vibe of creative
energy and really supporting creativity and I love it. Film Courage: And there’s like a supernatural,
mediumship undercurrent. Todd: Oh yeah, there’s a lot of voodoo. There’s a lot of ghosts. Everything is haunted. Everywhere you go there is some spirit doing
something. Film Courage: Nice. Hopefully behaving? Todd: Usually pretty good. Well like the cool thing about New Orleans
is every where you go it’s like “See that house over there, it’s like a 180 years
old and a bunch of people died in that house.” And you’re like “Oh, okay cool.” But now it’s a dentist’s office. Film Courage: Yeah, sure. Now he does root canals. Okay so now we have another question from
Nate’s Film Tutorials “How did you go about starting your own production company
and what advice would you give to those who are starting out? (I’m 19 and decided not to go to film school,
but to learn myself). So we kind of talked about that? Todd: Yes, all you have to do is start a production
company is register it with the city and then you have a company and then it’s like you
actually have to go do stuff, you have to make stuff. I live in Los Angeles and no matter where
you live you find the creative people in your city and you kind of like hang out with them
and get to know them and become friends with them and it’s amazing even going to a barbecue,
like it’s a friend’s birthday barbecue and you go and you start talking to people
and you’re like “So what do you do?” “I’m a composer.” “Oh, cool? I actually have been looking for a composer.” And then you get their card and you get their
information and the next time you need a composer, you met that person at a barbecue. And they often say in the movie business it’s
Who You Know but that doesn’t mean your family connections. It’s just like who you know socially in
life because you went to a barbecue and met a composer and then part of having a production
company or making stuff is knowing people in all fields. It’s not just…as a writer I sit at home
working on my laptop by myself. But if you want to actually produce stuff
and have a production company, you need to know people in all fields. You need to know sound people, you need to
know composers, you need to know craft services people, you have to just get out and be introduced
to people in the fields so that when it comes time to make something if you have a production
company, you need to be able to call anyone in any position and if someone is like “Hey
do you have a transpo guy? Someone who drives trucks?” You’re like “Yeah, I know three. I know three people I can call right now.” And that is really helpful. Film Courage: Do you have to force yourself
to get out sometimes? Todd: Oh yeah. I can be an isolationist often. But also just trying to get on set in any
capacity. When I was younger I was just a PA on set
and you just meet everybody. You meet the craft services person, you meet
the transpo guys, you meet the hair and make-up people and you become friendly with them and
you become friendly with them. So much of production is just referrals of
the DP is working on a new project and that project needs a craft services and he’s
like “Oh, well I know a person I met on my last thing. Here…why don’t you call them?” I love being on set. I love directing and being on set. That’s so much fun that to me that’s almost
like networking right? Is just being on a set meeting everybody. Some directors will go on set and not talk
to anybody but their AD or the actors. But I’m someone like on the first day I
try to introduce myself to everybody. I want to know who the transpo guys are, I
want to know every art department person. What’s there name and get to know them all
and become Facebook friends with them because maybe we’ll work together. Maybe I’ll need you or you’ll need me? Who knows?


23 thoughts on “Todd Berger On Starting A Production Company”

  • For some reason, I thought of the same thing around my early 20s
    It was going to be called Twilight Cinema Productions was the idea.

  • It sounds like a very cool idea !! I would combain my passion and my career, what I like and what I'm good at: filming and business

  • Running your own production company is not a joke… Contracts, taxes, dealing with clients, dealing with law suits and more, like marketing… It's not "let's hold a camera and film". If you want to do that full time then go work for a production company. Opening one is almost 100% biz and little art. I learned this the hard way. 🙂

  • I started a small production company called Mirror 2 Mirror Production with my girlfriend two years ago.
    It was funny because I had been cast as a dancer on a commercial and it reminded me how much I wanted to make movies when I was younger and so did my girlfriend so in staid starting out working only on set we and since we were both dancers we started making film like dance videos that had an underlying story and soon a bunch of other people wanted some dance videos and we made a couple to learn some more and then moved on to music videos.
    Our team has grown a little and right now we're working on two music videos, a couple presentation videos, a commercial and are in pre-production of a short film about doing what you love to do in life so that it gives you fulfillment vs doing something you don't like or just make money off.
    And we are also in really, really early pre-production of a psychological thriller feature film that is intended to shake the belief of our own existence and reality and the main protagonists fight with his own sanity.
    For the future I'm hoping that we get to produce many more feature films because film production and story telling trough film has always been a desire of mine.
    Also thanks for giving us courage and inspiration and good luck to everybody with their dreams and aspirations.

  • Marcus Bodington says:

    The most important thing, and this from experience, just do it, don't wait for all your ducks to follow in a line ..The biggest problem is procrastination. It is a very big problem and the reason why most of us fail, because we never start. Remember, the road to success is different for each and everyone of us and no two paths are the same…So make your own story and start now.

  • Marcus Bodington says:

    Look folks, we are living in the best time to start a business, especially one that is made for social media. This industry, is changing drastically, thanks to the internet, and this is your chance to make your Mark. Great book, to Read – Crush It by Gary Vee.


    Parking Garage Pictures
    We choose this cumbersome name because my partner and I shoot our first short films in a parking garage.
    Thanks for continuing to create meaningful film-related content Film Courage.

  • This actually helped me boost my confidence in managing my video production that I'm starting now. I've been having problems with looking for clients especially if you have so many competitors in the market. I even made my own video showreel in my own channel 🙂

  • is nobody going to point out kay puta, lol seems like no latinos or spanish speakers, thats a solid bart there. LOL

  • Absurdology Media says:

    I have a small production company called Absurdology Media but I want to know how to set it up business wise in the future

  • Streat clips Sports says:

    Streat clips productions. Relatively new specializing in basketball right videos right now but wanting to move into all sports

  • Rashedmkt nbyit says:

    Your video is very effective .NBY It Solution is a top ranking video production company in Bangladesh .If you work any video production in Bangladesh full free to contact with us.

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