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Donnie Bruno is a Hollywood Armorer, Prop Master Turned On Set COVID Compliance Officer

Donnie Bruno is a Hollywood Armorer, Prop Master Turned On Set COVID Compliance Officer | Ep. 85 | Business Podcast

Donnie Bruno is a Hollywood Armorer, Prop Master Turned On Set COVID Compliance Officer | Ep. 85 | Business Podcast

Donnie Bruno is a Hollywood Armorer, Prop Master Turned On Set COVID Compliance Officer | Ep. 85 | Business Podcast

Summary

Donnie Bruno had a 17 year career in Hollywood as an Armorer and Prop Master on some of the biggest block busters movies over the last decade. 

When COIVID hit all filming stopped and he found himself out of a job. He sat down, analyzed his baseline skills of knowing Hollywood sets and safety and is now pioneering a new industry of on-set COVID compliance officers to bring Hollywood back to filming and making money.

We also talk movies, the influence Hollywood has on telling stories of the times, what’s going on in our society, will movie theaters still be relevant with the latest trend of in-home releases like Wonder Woman and Coming to America 2, analysis of the latest Star Wars scripts and more late night recording talk…

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Brandon: 

Hello friends. Welcome to the show. Today we got an exciting episode with Donny Bruno, who’s been in Hollywood as an armorer or a prop master for over 17 years. 

Brandon: 

And when Covid happened last year, Hollywood shut down and Donnie was out of a job. 

Brandon: 

So you imagine doing a job for 17 years and your industry just shuts down and you don’t know when it’s coming back. 

Brandon: 

Well, what Donnie did was thought about what his background was and what Hollywood really needed. 

Brandon: 

And what they needed is they need to get back to filming. 

Brandon: 

And Dani took his background in safety and thought about what was happening in the market and what was missing. 

Brandon: 

And what was missing was a covid officer, an officer on set who could coordinate all the actors, all the support, people everything to make sure that it was safe. 

Brandon: 

And it turns out there’s a booming market for that. 

Brandon: 

Now. Donnie talks about that transition and how you go from doing something for 17 years and then shifting into another part of the market that you are in, but in a different capacity and effectively inventing the market. 

Brandon: 

So it’s a cool story, and we cover a whole bunch of topics in here. What’s the future of movie theaters? Are we going to be releasing movies into the home like the recent Wonder Woman or What’s the Future? 

Brandon: 

And Donnie has some really interesting thoughts because he has a real deep insights because he’s on these sets, working with these famous actors and actresses and producers and directors and everything. And he’s Here’s a lot of the talk of what’s happening, and he has his own thoughts about that. We cover all sorts of different topics. 

Brandon: 

I will warn you. We go off on a few conversations about society and the stories that Hollywood is telling. And how is that affecting the society that we’re living in today? 

Brandon: 

You know, with covid everybody sort of at their red line. And now there’s all these other stories. Donny has some real interesting thoughts on recent scripts of movies that have come out, especially the Star Wars. He and I are big Star Wars fans, and we talk a little bit about that, so you’re gonna love the conversation. 

Brandon: 

It’s fun. It was late night because Donnie had put in a long day and So did I. So it’s one of these late night FM DJ conversations. 

Brandon: 

You’ll love it. 

Brandon: 

Donnie Bruno, Hollywood Armor turned Highwood covered Officer. 

Brandon: 

Welcome to build the business Success Secrets. The only podcast that provides straight talk for entrepreneurs. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, starting with an idea or growing your business, this show is for you. We’ll teach you how to build a strong mindset, powerful body and profitable business so you can achieve success. 

Brandon: 

And here’s your host, Brandon. See White Donny, What’s up? 

Brandon: 

Hey, buddy, what’s up? 

Donnie: 

You’re doing good to see your face. 

Brandon: 

Remember better, man. 

Brandon: 

Wait. 

Brandon: 

Look at you. You’re in your in your gin. 

Brandon: 

I’m in my shop. 

Donnie: 

Is that what it is? I was like, What is that? Is that a laser cutter back? 

Brandon: 

That’s a three D printer and that’s a band saw. 

Donnie: 

All right on So that three D printer looks advanced. 

Brandon: 

It’s the it’s shockingly like that whole market has gotten so easy to get into. 

Donnie: 

That’s a $300 printer right there, like you can get 506 $100 printers that can print in nylon filament and all kinds of crazy stuff. 

Donnie: 

So what can that thing can that can print, like real things. 

Brandon: 

Oh, yeah. So, I mean, it can print anything you know about in this volume. 

Donnie: 

This is, uh this is the bill plate in it, and it goes down like here. I just I have a whole bunch of pegboard that I put up over one whole shop wall, and I just printed this. 

Donnie: 

So this is gonna hold all my Allen wrenches in there. 

Donnie: 

And so it’s, uh there’s this awesome website called thingy verse, and people put up things that they’ve designed and like, you know, you just type for something like I needed a vacuum, reduce er to go from one size vacuum post to another, and I typed it in there, and someone had already done one. 

Donnie: 

And I printed it, you know? So it’s sick. It’s getting It’s getting really out there. 

Donnie: 

I don’t even want to get that. That seems like a black hole. 

Brandon: 

It’s a total black hole. And there’s a learning curve to getting the temperature and everything working. 

Donnie: 

I’m just gonna I’m just gonna send things over to you, send me files. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, Well, you have a mic on there. 

Donnie: 

You were maybe if you sit closer, or how’s that? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it’s way better. 

Brandon: 

I’ll hang out here. 

Donnie: 

So what’s happening in L. 

Brandon: 

A? 

Donnie: 

Uh, you know, it’s, um, Hollywood is starting to ramp up again, which is which is good. 

Brandon: 

Um, my old crew is doing the terminal list books, the Jack car books, and, uh, I waved them off into the sunset and said, you know, have fun storming the castle. 

Donnie: 

I’m doing the covid thing. 

Donnie: 

Yeah. 

Donnie: 

So it’s interesting. 

Brandon: 

Weird for me. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, well, it’s weird for me to text you. And, uh, I was like, Hey, let’s do this podcast on what it’s like to be an armor in Hollywood. 

Brandon: 

And then what do you tell me? 

Brandon: 

You’re not even doing that anymore. Like in all seriousness, Donnie, how does that just happen? 

Brandon: 

Um, strangely, you know, um, so one of the things that I do on set as an armor is due safety, you know, and like, look at a lot of moving pieces and try to figure out what we can and can’t do. 

Donnie: 

And I have experienced at that at the highest level, you know, while Michael Bay is screaming at me, and then I have a degree in molecular biology from way back, one from a whole other part of my life, and I needed a job. 

Donnie: 

So I called the guy who did who did studio safety. 

Donnie: 

Um, and I worked with him on a few shows and I said, Hey, actually, first, my sister got a job on Grey’s Anatomy. 

Donnie: 

She’s a customer and she was came and talked to me. 

Donnie: 

She says, I show up on set and there’s like a person there who is like the covid cock and everyone’s wearing masks. And there’s all of this stuff going on and I said, Really, because she was one of the first people to go back to work. This is like back in August of last year, and I said, And who’s doing all of this? 

Donnie: 

He says, like the studio safety people now are doing this. So I called up my studio safety friends and said, Hey, you know, I know set and I know a little bit about, you know, genetics and molecular biology. 

Donnie: 

Um, do you know anyone who’s doing this? And he said, Funny, you should call. I just founded a company to do exactly that, so I was like I was like, higher number. 

Donnie: 

I think 40. And now we have 80. 

Donnie: 

Um, we’re about to have a whole lot more If if Amazon and Apple want to play ball and it’s like shit, I found myself in a safety company startup. 

Donnie: 

So are you. 

Donnie: 

So so were you not doing any movies at all? 

Brandon: 

Well, I’ve been on I’ve been on a couple of sets as a covid officer doing compliance and all of that stuff because that’s our company’s bread and butter. 

Brandon: 

And that’s how I started. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, but what about the armor stocks? 

Brandon: 

Nope. I turned it all down. I turned down a Michael Bay movie in January. Just turned down this jack car thing. 

Donnie: 

Um, I mean, I would have I could use a little bit of time off. 

Donnie: 

I’m pretty bitter about the way that Hollywood has kind of treated my profession. So I mean, you know, we don’t have to get into that part of it on your podcast, but it’s, uh, we’ll talk about the good times. 

Donnie: 

Well, the So what was the last movie? 

Donnie: 

The last movie you did was fast and furious. 

Brandon: 

No, the last movie I did was a Chris Pratt movie called Tomorrow War and it’s going to come out soon ish, I think, like in the next couple of months. And before that was John Wick three. 

Donnie: 

Before that was God’s ILO rise of the Monsters and before that was fast and furious. 

Donnie: 

So let’s just wind the story back for for listeners just a little bit, Um, because I I don’t even, you know, until I met you, I didn’t really understand the whole Hollywood bit and as anyone would, but that there’s actually a person on set that their entire job is just to manage firearms and weapons, right? 

Brandon: 

Yep, Going back to the very beginning of the industry, I’ve got one of the first Hollywood armories ever worked at. 

Brandon: 

There were pictures of movies from the twenties and thirties, um, with people firing real guns into water to make splashes, you know. 

Brandon: 

And so, yeah, there have been people doing guns in Hollywood since there was a Hollywood, and as time has gone on, it’s gotten more sophisticated, and we’ve been able to do more things more safely. 

Brandon: 

But there have been guns, say, like all of the major studios used to have their own internal armories. 

Brandon: 

I have held guns that had MGM numbers engraved and from when MGM owned them. 

Donnie: 

And like most other studio services, studios used to have flower shops. 

Donnie: 

Studios used to have drapery. 

Donnie: 

Department studios used to do everything internally, and as time went on and you know, NBS came in and told them how wrong they were doing it, the studio’s got rid of one department after another. 

Donnie: 

So most of the most of the armory’s went away in the sixties and seventies and got picked up by private companies, which is where they’re all housed today. 

Donnie: 

So some of the largest armories on earth are in Los Angeles, where you wouldn’t expect them because they service the movie industry. 

Donnie: 

And this it’s armorer, right? 

Donnie: 

Armor. 

Donnie: 

Or sometimes I’ve seen weapons, Master, Um, sometimes it’ll just a prop master. 

Brandon: 

Sometimes a gun will be run on set by a property master. Um, and they never get that monitor. 

Donnie: 

Now, this profession isn’t something that you just I mean, as as as you would imagine, it would be pretty cool thing, right? 

Donnie: 

Like, Hey, I’m gonna go do guns on Hollywood, so it’s not necessarily this thing that you just put in your resume for. 

Brandon: 

So how did you even get started? Because there’s actually only a small group of you. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. So there’s a large every show. Every show will have a property master and usually a property assistance. Guns fall under the property department. 

Donnie: 

So, uh, prop is anything an actor touches, and it’s very broad. 

Donnie: 

Um, when I was doing props literally one day, I went from doing a giant machine gun battle with Dwayne Johnson, the Rock, and the next day we were doing a Thanksgiving dinner, and both of those are props, so it covers a huge amount of ground when it comes to people, you do just guns in Hollywood, you know, there, at any given time, 20 to 40. 

Donnie: 

You know, some people do props and guns. 

Donnie: 

Some people do guns exclusively, but it’s a pretty small group of people who do it professionally full time. And then that’s Los Angeles. New York has its own people, its own laws. I’ve worked with those guys and their amazing you know, in their own right. 

Donnie: 

But I know mostly Hollywood at my side of it. 

Donnie: 

So as an armor over how many years you’ve been doing it. Because it’s at least, uh, you know, on set, um, legit on set 17 years, Um, in terms of my time in the business about 23 24. 

Brandon: 

And and you’re effectively in this job as we’ve known each other. 

Donnie: 

I’ve watched you or not watched you because you disappear into places like Iceland and desserts and things like that. 

Donnie: 

Uh, you’re you’re really a freelance. 

Brandon: 

I mean, your freelancer, right? You gotta hustle or do business development or develop a reputation that that people want you. 

Brandon: 

And then you’ve got to sign up with the movie. 

Brandon: 

So who hires you? The director, The producer of the studio. How’s that work? 

Brandon: 

All of the above. It has all you know, different shows. You know, different people on, you know, Hollywood is you know, you go to the you go to the movie theater back when we went to the movie theater and you’ll see this big Warner Brothers logo when you go. 

Donnie: 

Warner Brothers made this movie, and it’s like, Well, Warner Brothers was involved in it. But no one pays attention to like those 2nd and 3rd title cards, which would be, You know, the production companies and those are the people who actually put together, um, the production team and make the movie under a Warner Brothers band. 

Donnie: 

So I usually get hired by people inside of the production. 

Donnie: 

Um, they will hire my boss, who is the property master, and then he will hire me in the capacity of an armor. 

Donnie: 

So you know, it’s not, You know, there’s a There’s a ton of weird jobs on the set, like, you know, someone who knows how to run all of the trucks and the trailers. You know, the transport department. Um, costume designers. Every single department gets hired by either the producer. 

Donnie: 

Sometimes you’ll be attached to a director, but that’s fairly rare for what I do. 

Donnie: 

Um, sometimes the producer will know and call you directly. Sometimes it will be a production designer who is the person who’s kind of in charge of the whole art department, of which drops his apart so it can vary tremendously depending on the show, which makes it both kind of anti fragile, in the sense that you know a large number of people who can hire you. 

Donnie: 

Um, it can also be It can also be really brittle because very often that whole team of people can go to other countries to make a movie for whatever reason. 

Donnie: 

And then we can go. So we’re in L A crew, a U S crew and some countries we can go to in some countries we can’t. 

Donnie: 

So it varies a lot. 

Donnie: 

And then this job, um, is not a 9 to 5. 

Brandon: 

I mean, so can you explain for everybody listening? 

Brandon: 

Because we can never get ahold of you when you’re on set for these three and four months. 

Brandon: 

Five months? 

Brandon: 

I don’t like these. 

Brandon: 

I don’t even know what they’re like. Deployments, aren’t they? 

Brandon: 

Donnie? You know, So, uh, James Cameron, the director of you know, Terminator many other very good movies has a great quote. He says filmmaking is in dark. It’s war and no disrespect to any servicemen out there. I don’t want to compare what I do to what they do, but it’s about the closest thing you know, what production company is very much like a military unit. 

Donnie: 

It’s organized that way. 

Donnie: 

And because of how expensive actors are, you know, you get yourself an A list actor, and it’s, you know, millions and millions of dollars, plus all of the equipment. 

Donnie: 

The equipment is all phenomenally expensive, so there is this drive to work long hours to shorten the overall length of production. You know, if you had a 9 to 5 job, making a movie could take a year, a year and a half, and you know that would be prohibitively expensive. 

Donnie: 

So they compress the whole thing into this really short time window. 

Donnie: 

And that ups the stress. It upset ups everything, including the money that you can make. So it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but that’s definitely the lifestyle. The lifestyle is very long hours in relatively rough conditions I have filmed in the Sahara Desert during sandstorms I filmed on top of glaciers in Iceland. 

Donnie: 

Um, but I’ve also got to film underneath the space shuttle, you know, like the last shot of the launch. 

Donnie: 

I was standing under it, so it gives and it takes. 

Donnie: 

It has this incredibly stressful, difficult aspect to it, but also this very rewarding aspect to it, and some shows are more rewarding than others. 

Donnie: 

Let’s put it like that, I think as you’re talking. 

Donnie: 

The thing that comes to mind for me is that movie with Robert Downey Jr and, uh oh, yeah. 

Donnie: 

Traffic thunder, Is it? 

Brandon: 

Is it Is it really like that? 

Brandon: 

Like, do they do they sit around the table and feed you good food, and then, you know that, uh, like, Rex Grossman comes in, You know, so funny enough. 

Brandon: 

Lex Grossman character is based on Harvey Weinstein. 

Brandon: 

So it’s like, that was really Well, I I don’t You know, that would have been funny before, but now maybe that scares me. 

Donnie: 

But he was funny. I don’t even realize that was, uh what was that? That was Tom Cruise is, like, way back from when he sat on his head with Oprah or something, right? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it’s about it’s about that era, but yeah, you know, everyone who does my job loves that movie because they really nailed some of the kind of onset. 

Brandon: 

He kind of like the inside baseball pieces of it. 

Donnie: 

They totally nailed. 

Donnie: 

Um, so that’s real. Um, some parts are better. Real. Um, you know, it’s, you know, I’m a big fan of the Anna Karenina principle, you know, which is the first line of the book is happy, Families are all alike, and each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. 

Donnie: 

That applies to every single film set. 

Donnie: 

Uh, every happy film is the same in every unhappy film is unhappy in its own way, and I’ve never been on a happy film. 

Donnie: 

They all are like filmmaking. 

Donnie: 

Is this crazy, uh, balancing of polarities? 

Donnie: 

Because that’s where the magic happens. You have the whole technical budgetary side of it, and then you have the whole artistic side of it. 

Donnie: 

And if a movie has too much money, they create crap. If they don’t have enough money, they create crap. And so you kind of kept to keep those things like a dynamic opposition. 

Donnie: 

And so there’s always these weird stresses and situations that happen. You know, some of them you couldn’t make up a Hollywood writer couldn’t make up some of the situations. 

Donnie: 

And then you have the personalities and the egos. 

Donnie: 

Um, you get to see you get to see that, like, front and center, don’t you? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s been more than once, right? Because I don’t like, you know, hang my head and hide in a corner because two people decided to have it out like on set. That happens. It happens all the time, but it definitely has happened. 

Donnie: 

And then I’ve worked in situations where every single person was so professional, top to bottom, that literally the set being washed away in a flash flood didn’t faze anybody. 

Donnie: 

Because you immediately roll into the next thing. It varies. It varies so much, you know, and the weather gets a vote. 

Donnie: 

You know, um, we were doing, uh, flags of our fathers if they need to do a movie about the storming of Iwo Jima. And we were on a beach in Iceland and it’s like and the tide came up and washed away the set, you know, And what do you what do you do? It’s like, OK, you go just you go film something else, you know, And the more professional and experienced the group you’re with is the more you can roll, the more you can roll with the punches. 

Donnie: 

But like there’s always gonna be punches. 

Donnie: 

It is It’s not a 9 to 5 job. 

Donnie: 

And it is, you know, one of my favorite tigers on your podcast. 

Donnie: 

You can do? 

Donnie: 

Yeah, One of my favorite things Shit that never happens, happens every day. 

Brandon: 

So what are you? 

Donnie: 

Are you even allowed to, like comment? Because you were on how many fast five things were you on? 

Brandon: 

I only did one. I did. 

Donnie: 

And so is there. Really? Is it really fighting between Dwayne and and, uh, whatever. 

Brandon: 

What is it? Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. So I was on that show. I was the second unit armor. So I was in Iceland with just racing cars on a lake. I hardly interacted with the main passed at all. I’ve worked with Dwayne before, and all I can say is that he is just one of the sweetest, most professional guys. 

Donnie: 

I would work with Dwayne again in a second, but I wasn’t on that set for for those interests. 

Donnie: 

When you were in Iceland, you guys, none of the actors were there. It was just one showed up. 

Brandon: 

Tire inscription showed up for, I think, one or two days to say a line into a microphone. But that was almost no. That was all car chases. So that’s one of the things that happens on a movie. Is that if you have a lot of action very often there will be a whole another unit that does nothing but that action and sometimes that units in another country. 

Donnie: 

So on fast and furious I was in Iceland for I did think almost three months. 

Donnie: 

Um meanwhile, they were filming with the the main actors back in Atlanta, you know, and I never saw. 

Donnie: 

So it’s, uh you know, that’s one of the things that people kind of forget is. 

Donnie: 

You see two people who were in a movie together they may never have met, you know, there, see if they’re there, Seems don’t overlap if they don’t actually interact on camera like that happens on TV shows all the time where you will have, like, you know, two different storylines going. 

Donnie: 

And those two storylines may never cross or they crossed once, you know, in the third season, and that was the only time they saw each other. 

Donnie: 

And it’s like you guys are on the same show for eight years. 

Donnie: 

It’s like, yeah, yeah, and we saw each other for, like, five days. That does happen now, when you’re on set and you’re dealing with all these weapons, do you Do you teach these actors and actresses how to use it? 

Donnie: 

Because they don’t know how to use it and they don’t know what’s authentic. 

Brandon: 

Then it’s gonna look fake, right? 

Brandon: 

So? So sometimes, um, some shows will have dedicated, um, dedicated technical advisers. 

Donnie: 

So former military, former FBI, you know, whatever the correct person is, who will be hired specifically to show them some of those things? 

Donnie: 

Um, sometimes it’s me who’s doing it. So I’ll show up on some TV show. 

Donnie: 

And, you know, Hey, this person is a cup and they’ve never, you know, playing a cup. And they have never held a gun before, and I will give them a quick on screen. Here’s how your here’s how you stand. Here is your stance. 

Donnie: 

Here’s how you look like the person that you’re supposed to look like, But that’s not the main part of my job. The main part of my job is kind of the getting of the guns, the management of the guns, the safety of them on set and like, you know, I honestly most of the time could care less whether or not the actor looks good because of the safety pieces so dominant that that’s almost always someone else’s job. 

Donnie: 

Now I’ll work very closely with that person and, you know, making sure that the gear is set up right, and that the that all of those pieces and parts are available for the actor, like on this show that I just did. 

Donnie: 

That was a Chris Pratt movie called Tomorrow War. 

Donnie: 

If it’s coming out Finish, I think in the next couple of months, Um, there was one actress who had to do a very fast, competent looking reloading seen on camera. 

Donnie: 

And so it was me and her and Harry Humphries, who was one of the best technical advisers in Hollywood. 

Donnie: 

I love the man to death, um, founding member of one of the seal jeans like Way, Way Back Guy. 

Donnie: 

And he has a ton of experience. 

Donnie: 

He’s been Michael based technical adviser forever, and we worked with this actress for, you know, probably a solid 10, 15 hours to make it look like she’s a serious shooter Now. 

Donnie: 

It was, you know, two hours here, two hours there over a course of many days and you know it paid off. You know, it looks great and so very often that kind of thing as a team effort. 

Donnie: 

But like, you know, while we were there Hey, there was a costumer there the whole time making sure that her clothes looked the same between every single take and there’s hair and makeup. They’re making sure that, you know, she sweats her face. Shine is the same. Consistently, it’s, um like knowing reality and how things work in the real world is one thing. 

Donnie: 

Learning how to fake reality over and over and over and over again, consistently the exact same way. 

Donnie: 

That’s hard, you know. 

Donnie: 

It’s like everyone puts on clothes every day. Not everyone make sure their clothes looks exactly the same in every single moment of every single day. 

Donnie: 

So you’ve seen movies? 

Donnie: 

Definitely. 

Brandon: 

Oh, yeah. No, no, I can’t. I can’t not. I mean, I can go escapist, and I can ignore the filmmaking aspect of it. And sometimes I’ll get caught wondering how someone did something. But, you know, I come from a Hollywood family. My sister is a costume, or my aunt was a costumer so like continuity. 

Donnie: 

But I notice and I can’t not notice. 

Donnie: 

So, like, I’m constantly paying attention to the level of water or drinks and glasses, and I watch them jump up and down, which they’re not supposed to do. 

Donnie: 

Um, you watch ice melt. 

Donnie: 

It’s not supposed to melt, you know, over the course of a one minute conversation. But that one minute conversation on camera took five hours to film. 

Donnie: 

Um, I can’t. It drives millions, then to watch, um, you know, guns not be reloaded to, you know, watch like it’s locked back. 

Donnie: 

And then they’re immediately, you know, and editing. 

Donnie: 

You know, that’s something I get a lot from Gun people is like, Hey, how come I never reload guns in Hollywood? 

Donnie: 

It’s like, Well, because we could film a reload. 

Donnie: 

We could film a reload realistically and accurately for the whole every single take we do. 

Donnie: 

But how the editor edits it might make it look like could not reload one way. 

Donnie: 

So do you want to see really good, consistent gunplay? 

Donnie: 

You know, you watch something like John Wick three, because I was on it, but in order to make it that good, um, I cared about reloading Cheon, who cared about reloading. 

Donnie: 

The director cared about reloading and he made sure that when he was in the editing bay, he put that in there in the right place. And so, strangely enough, on that movie, um, I did reload choreography, which was the first time I’ve ever had to do that. And so as Chiana was walking through the set figure figuring out where different people get shot, etcetera, I’m fucking back behind him with my fingers up going, It’s like, Okay, you have 10 rounds left and literally going as he shoots people and like and then I call a stop to the action and I go, Okay, you need to reload here and they figure out how the reload works in the scene. 

Donnie: 

And then it’s like, Okay, he’s down a magazine, you know, and I have these charts that I would keep, you know, like quarterback on my wrist, with the whole scene mapped out where be loads need to happen, etcetera. 

Donnie: 

But you have to have everyone involved in caring to make something look right. 

Donnie: 

Which is why you have all of the kind of Hollywood tropes and conventions about Hey, how come you never reload guns? 

Donnie: 

It’s like because editors don’t know you have to be a little guns. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, I gotta tell you, John Wick. 

Donnie: 

Uh, well, one and two had more gunshot. I don’t I just felt like I was watching everything. Shoot. But it does. You know, as you’re talking, I’m like, man, it’s pretty realistic. Like, you know, he he does reload. He it looks legitimate. 

Brandon: 

Probably makes a difference. 

Brandon: 

Uh, that people don’t even realize right, because it’s those, you know, You ever leave a movie and you’re like, Oh, that was a good movie. But I don’t really know why, but and I think those those things now do actors and actresses request you to. So it just sounds like there’s no it just it could be an actor actress that requests you and likes working with you. 

Brandon: 

Or it could be a producer. It could be a director. It could be a studio. And you just sort of sign up. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. Yeah. It’s never been an actor and actress for me, believe it or not. So, like every actor actress has their own, um, many will have their own costumes. Um, most will have their own care makeup. Most do not have their own armor. 

Donnie: 

You know, um, even action stars to do blah, blah, to do a lot of movies where there could be years in between, You know, when they need an armored. 

Donnie: 

So there have been a few guys who have been attacked people over the years, but it’s pretty rare, believe it or not. 

Donnie: 

So you’ve been this You’ve been doing the armor thing for many years. 

Donnie: 

I’m I’m still a little bit shocked that you’re you’re making a move. 

Donnie: 

I’m actually encouraged and excited for you because I think that takes a lot of courage to do. 

Brandon: 

But your I want to ask you this because I haven’t heard an update. And actually, uh, I was in LA last week. 

Brandon: 

I’m going to be in l A next week, so maybe catch up. 

Brandon: 

Um, it seems that l A is completely open from what I experienced riding my bike through Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, down to Palas Verdes. Seems that all is normal. So, uh, you know, I don’t know what to say there, but the you’re writing a screenplay. Er, you still doing that? 

Brandon: 

Uh, that’s a little bit on hold at the moment. 

Brandon: 

You know, 2020 was 2020 most trying in a lot of ways, and I hope to pick it up again someday. 

Donnie: 

But as of right now, it’s kind of in a holding pattern. I can’t start up and the script at the same time. 

Donnie: 

No, I think that’s that’s hard. 

Donnie: 

So you’re you’re you switch over. 

Brandon: 

You’re doing this safety thing, are you? 

Brandon: 

You know, I’m curious as your thoughts, because sound really excited about it. 

Brandon: 

And quite frankly, I think you’re burned out from the armor stuff. I think you like it, but I think it took its tall, uh, you’re really kind. 

Brandon: 

And, uh, let my brother and my nephew, who is a professional shooter and my sister and I mean yeah, sister in law. 

Brandon: 

Come on is set in Georgia. 

Brandon: 

Was that your last gig? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, that was my last gig. 

Brandon: 

What was that? 

Brandon: 

Was that there tomorrow? 

Brandon: 

That was That’s tomorrow. 

Donnie: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, yeah. That was my last gig. The student guns? 

Donnie: 

Yeah. They were really excited. My my nephew, you know, get to see the real thing. 

Brandon: 

So are you. 

Brandon: 

What do you think? 

Brandon: 

Like you’re going to the safety thing. Do you think this is going to have a shelf life because we’re going to get a hold of this covid thing in two years, and then there’s no market or or What are you thinking? 

Brandon: 

Uh, that’s an interesting question. 

Brandon: 

You know, Covid is one aspect of, you know, studio safety. Um, when covid goes away, shift focus as some other aspect of it. 

Donnie: 

I fully suspect to go back to the gun thing at some point. 

Donnie: 

Ah, simply because, um, you know, they’re running Joke that I’ve been the young guy on the crew for the last 20 years. 

Donnie: 

Um, many, many positions in Hollywood because of runaway production in filming in other states. 

Donnie: 

Um, Hollywood hasn’t done a very good job of training new people in a lot of positions. 

Donnie: 

So crews are have never been older. Listen to me. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, that experience. 

Donnie: 

Beings to good crews have never, uh, most of the people who do 19 fifties and sixties. 

Donnie: 

So I think there’ll probably be a time where I do go back simply because demand supply demand fundamentals have changed a lot, Mom, but we’ll see. 

Donnie: 

You know, it’s, um, how Hollywood is a strange business, and it’s in a bit of a state of flux at the moment. 

Donnie: 

No one, quite, you know, no one quite news what to do other than make giant superhero movies. 

Donnie: 

Um, you know, story wise, what’s our narrative? 

Donnie: 

You know, like this long society will issue teams. 

Donnie: 

You know, people aren’t willing to be Dariel. 

Donnie: 

Shame. 

Donnie: 

So it’s interesting, you know, it’s a good time to step away from the production side of things and and kind of get into a different position. 

Donnie: 

I got it, I got it. 

Donnie: 

I gotta tell you, I agree. 

Donnie: 

This, um I understand the I don’t know what to call it, Donnie movements or awareness that people want to have about things. 

Donnie: 

But it seems like you can’t open your mouth without apparently offending someone, and it turns into like, I mean, at some point, you can’t be offended by everything, and I think that the you know the world is everybody. 

Donnie: 

Everybody wants to love one another. 

Donnie: 

I tend to think that I’m interested in your thoughts on this because you and I have talked about all sorts of different stuff. 

Donnie: 

Everything from, uh, Star Wars script that you’re disgusted with because it went off track to, uh, you know, life in general. 

Donnie: 

But the Yeah, you know, where Where does this where does this go? 

Brandon: 

Like when? 

Donnie: 

Comedians. 

Brandon: 

Here, here’s what I don’t I watch all the comedians on, uh, instagram because basically that and I don’t watch the news anymore because most of us fake. 

Brandon: 

In my opinion, uh, and all we’ll do is mainly depress you. 

Brandon: 

So we watch comedians every single night before we go to bed. 

Brandon: 

I mean, I do not know during covid. 

Brandon: 

Donnie, how many times we watched Eliza, uh, we love, um What’s his name? 

Brandon: 

The Italian guy. 

Brandon: 

Probably get in trouble for saying that, right? 

Brandon: 

Like, hey, the Italian guy, uh, Sebastian, um I mean, we watched delirious like, 50 million times. 

Brandon: 

And Richard Pryor and, you know, we were watching Dave Chappelle the other night and, you know, and who else Chris Rock, Who else was? 

Brandon: 

I forget the other guy. 

Brandon: 

But now comedians are having to preface their jokes to basically say, Hey, don’t start picketing outside my house. 

Brandon: 

It’s a joke. 

Brandon: 

Like what? 

Brandon: 

Are we gonna kill comedy with this craziness? 

Brandon: 

Like, what do you think about all this? 

Brandon: 

Well, you know, bringing comics in this time is very interesting because, you know, in a very real way the role of the court gesture is that he’s the only person allowed to speak the truth because he’s allowed to do it in a humorous way. 

Brandon: 

And, you know, B if you live in a place where the king kills the court gesture, you’re living in a tyranny. 

Brandon: 

That’s how you know you’re living in a tyranny is that the court jester is not allowed to speak the truth anymore. 

Brandon: 

So I really think that that is one big aspect of this, which is that it is a it’s. 

Brandon: 

It’s a deep desire to control, and it’s a tyrannical aspect, you know, I think that I think that also like so in addition to that, the other big piece of the equation is is that what you’re looking at is a religious impulse. 

Brandon: 

I forget who it was who said it. 

Brandon: 

But he said that every person has a god shaped full, so you have the neurology for something you’re born with, the neurology for something like religion, and something is going to occupy those neurological structures and caused, you know, and fulfill those archetypal demands in that sense. 

Brandon: 

So when you listen to a lot of the language that’s being used, you’re hearing a lot of religious language you’re hearing a lot of that person’s a blank denier. 

Brandon: 

You know, when you hear the word denial you’re hitting. 

Brandon: 

We’re hearing Protestant Christian Reformation, war language. 

Brandon: 

Um, so I think that what you have is a very large number of people and, you know, and this isn’t anything against atheism whatsoever. 

Brandon: 

Um, but you have a very large number of people who think that they’re atheists who actually have adopted a civil religion. 

Brandon: 

And you’re watching them play out these religious impulses. 

Donnie: 

Um, you know, out of what we’re looking at right now, looks an awful lot like the Spanish Inquisition. 

Donnie: 

That looks an awful lot. 

Donnie: 

Which burnings? 

Donnie: 

Because that’s exactly what it is. 

Donnie: 

It’s people who don’t have. 

Donnie: 

You’re basically watching people invented religion from scratch, which is always a very ugly thing, you know, um, from like an archetypal point of view from the union point of view. 

Donnie: 

I think that’s what you’re seeing. 

Donnie: 

Now there’s a there’s truth to it, You know what I mean? 

Donnie: 

Especially for young people. 

Donnie: 

Young people are in a position where working class wages haven’t budged since 1971. 

Donnie: 

Um, where baby boomers aren’t retiring and freeing up space is in the workplace, where no young person can buy a home in any major city unless you happen to be a tech, you know, massive success. 

Donnie: 

Um, that all has consequences. 

Donnie: 

You know, that’s that’s the reception and it’s got a fire. 

Donnie: 

Unwritten and not fire is simmering. 

Donnie: 

And, you know, from larger perspective, we’re coming to the end of the post World War two era. 

Donnie: 

We’ve had the same narrative for the last 80 years. 

Donnie: 

That narrative hasn’t been working for a large number of people for quite some time. 

Donnie: 

I think that as time goes on, that narrative holds less and less truth for more and more people. 

Donnie: 

Whether you call that narrative the American dream, you call it, you know, work hard and be rewarded. 

Donnie: 

You know, we have this software that’s been running since the end of World War Two, and it keeps coming, returning an air code and all of the younger people, you haven’t made it yet. 

Donnie: 

Keep saying, Hey, we’re getting an air code and all the baby boomers you know, keep going. 

Donnie: 

Hey, the New York vacation house I just bought. 

Donnie: 

And it’s this, you know, intergenerational conflict that is normally solved by, you know, a great crisis. 

Donnie: 

And, you know, I heard it’s very interesting analysis talking about, you know, imagine a person who was born, you know, your average kind of millennial Gen Z, or it’s like you’re a young person and 9 11 happens and then you’re a little bit older and the 2000 and eight financial crisis happens. 

Donnie: 

And then, just when you’re ready to, you know, get into the world, Covid happens, you know? 

Donnie: 

And it’s like, Where’s the law? 

Donnie: 

The accumulation is supposed to come from. 

Donnie: 

Where is the down payment for the family house? 

Donnie: 

Supposed to come from house family formations, supposed to start? 

Donnie: 

You know, all of these things have been denied them by the structures that we have. 

Donnie: 

And so what do they do? 

Donnie: 

Um, they’re going to attack that structure and they have no monetary power. 

Donnie: 

They have voting power. 

Donnie: 

What they do have a social power and so kind of cancel culture, I think, is at least a partly that it is that, you know, it’s what was the book? 

Donnie: 

It’s the, um, tools of the powerless weapons of the powerless. 

Donnie: 

You know, it’s just because a person doesn’t have traditional structural power doesn’t mean that there aren’t things at their disposal, that they can attack the system. 

Donnie: 

And I think that that’s a decent chunk of what you’re looking at. 

Donnie: 

All of that mix together, shaken. 

Donnie: 

It’s something in there. 

Donnie: 

Most of the pieces of the puzzle are in there, and it what’s even more interesting to me is those stories get retold through Hollywood because that’s really how America America consumes it. 

Donnie: 

So I find it, um, you know, I think what you said is is true. 

Donnie: 

There’s a lot of truth right When it comes to discrimination and and that wealth gap and all that, I tend to be more positive. 

Donnie: 

Um, I’m not saying that they’re negative. 

Donnie: 

I’m just saying there are some good stories in America, you know, there are some really good stories in America. 

Donnie: 

And, um, you know, I look at myself and you could say, Well, you’re a tech nerd, Brandon who got the tech thing and got your house and have them in bay. 

Donnie: 

But the truth of the matter is is that 20 years ago thinking that I was going to just actually believe it or not, got my hair cut today because my wife told me that I could never cut my hair again because apparently I can’t do a fade in the mirror. 

Donnie: 

Well, um, yeah. 

Donnie: 

And, uh, last time I went and got my hair cut, the ladies like we got to take this thing all the way down, and it would Then Then my wife said I looked like an anarchist, which was partially true, I guess, because it looked like I could do in Mohawk. 

Donnie: 

But the I think what we’re talking about today is is a lot of what you just described in that in that gap and that that delta between different parts of society. 

Donnie: 

But I also think it’s a mindset. 

Donnie: 

I mean, I got to be more positive. 

Donnie: 

Maybe it’s just in my nature. 

Donnie: 

But 20 years ago, did I want a million dollar house? 

Brandon: 

Did I? 

Brandon: 

Yes. 

Brandon: 

Did I think it was possible? 

Brandon: 

I wanted to think it was possible. 

Brandon: 

Did I really think it was possible? 

Brandon: 

I don’t know. 

Brandon: 

It seems like a ton of money. 

Brandon: 

In fact, it still has a ton of money, right? 

Brandon: 

I mean, but But when you put yourself and you say, Hey, I gotta I just gotta rise to the top. 

Brandon: 

There’s always an excuse why you can’t do something. 

Brandon: 

You know, there’s only one or two why you can. 

Brandon: 

And, you know, I always ask the question, uh, event was we were talking about today something I was like, Well, why not? 

Brandon: 

Like, Why not? 

Brandon: 

Why not? 

Brandon: 

Why, why couldn’t we do that? 

Brandon: 

Or why can’t that person do that? 

Brandon: 

And and, yes, some people have the odds uh uh, stacked against them. 

Brandon: 

But I think it’s interesting that you say it’s a good time to take a break in Hollywood because the stories that are going to come out of there and be told are gonna be different, right? 

Brandon: 

And there they’re definitely going to be interesting. 

Brandon: 

The narrative going on, all I can say is that I think I think what you said is really important when the king kills the court gesture and we can’t laugh at ourselves like I’m thinking, we’re probably in some trouble because when you lose laughter and you lose the ability to laugh at yourself. 

Brandon: 

And like I said, there’s been some serious stuff that shouldn’t happen, right? 

Donnie: 

Um, definitely. 

Brandon: 

And I think covid just made everything worse. 

Brandon: 

I think it turned it up to the red line. 

Brandon: 

Maybe past the red line. 

Brandon: 

I don’t have kids. 

Brandon: 

You don’t have kids. 

Brandon: 

You know, I think it would be unfair for us to ah, know what it would say what it would be like, but it definitely is crazy. 

Brandon: 

Donny. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it’s a crazy time, but, you know, it’s, um you know, you and I have talked about this. 

Brandon: 

I’m a huge fan of the fourth turning book and the idea of beauty, your crisis cycles. 

Brandon: 

And we’re right in the middle of the, you know, it’s, um, depending on when you really kind of chart because the last crisis some people, you know, say it, uh, you know, 39 Hitler invading Europe and pulling Some people say it was a battle of Midway. 

Brandon: 

But, you know, we’re right. 

Brandon: 

We’re right in the window for one of those major crisis points. 

Brandon: 

Um, I think that we would be much more aware of that if the Fed had printed $19 trillion out of thin air and thrown it in the money hole. 

Brandon: 

Um, you know, those are tools that today are available because we’re a global empire and have to reserve currency. 

Brandon: 

If we didn’t have those tools, I think that the nature and scope of the crisis would be much more visible. 

Brandon: 

I think that Mm. 

Brandon: 

I think this time is different, you know, in a very in a very in a series of unique ways, you know, the millennials are supposed to be, um, from an archetypal point of view, the next World war two generation, they’re supposed to face the massive crisis, overcome and, you know, be the source of rebirth. 

Brandon: 

And they have been denied their crisis. 

Brandon: 

You know, the 2000 and eight was going to be a great depression. 

Brandon: 

They papered over it. 

Brandon: 

Um, if covid is going to be the crisis, they’re managing it, nudging it and not letting it really become one. 

Brandon: 

So I think what happened there, Donny? 

Brandon: 

Um but I think the world powers changed right, and they almost I’m not defending it. 

Brandon: 

I I I studying the market. 

Brandon: 

Don’t I understand what’s going on? 

Brandon: 

I’m not understanding how we get? 

Brandon: 

No, I’m not. 

Donnie: 

I understand how we get out of it. 

Donnie: 

Initially, I don’t understand what happens in five or 10 years, but, uh, you know, yet yet to be determined on on that one, I think it’s going to be, um, super interesting. 

Donnie: 

But, you know, one thing is I listen to you, Donny. 

Donnie: 

Every generation thinks, says, has a narrative like this. 

Donnie: 

I mean, the baby boomers had the narrative. 

Donnie: 

What are you and I’m x gen like I mean, everybody’s like, Oh, well, you know, it wasn’t like that when I was there. 

Donnie: 

This is so much different. 

Donnie: 

So let me give you an example. 

Donnie: 

And And also, I am a friend of mine. 

Donnie: 

The other day, I was like, Well, I don’t really know if that’s true. 

Donnie: 

And he’s like, Brandon, you question everything? 

Donnie: 

Well, yeah, I question everything because I actually don’t know that just because you fed me some statistics, it’s not true. 

Donnie: 

So let me give you an example, Everybody and I bet you’ve heard this narrative. 

Donnie: 

Everyone’s leaving California, right, Donny? 

Donnie: 

Yeah. 

Donnie: 

Everybody’s leaving California. 

Brandon: 

They’re all going to Austin. 

Brandon: 

They’re all going to Denver. 

Brandon: 

Well, so I went to the raw data took a look. 

Brandon: 

Uh, dog, it takes a minute. 

Brandon: 

It does take a minute and looked at the postal codes because the postal office, the post office, actually knows where people are moving because of the four already and addresses. 

Brandon: 

Okay, the majority of people aren’t leaving California. 

Brandon: 

Donny, the majority of people are moving within California. 

Brandon: 

Interesting, because now they don’t have to be in. 

Brandon: 

They don’t have to live in San Francisco or downtown l. 

Brandon: 

A. 

Brandon: 

Or they don’t have to live in Studio City, right? 

Brandon: 

I I mean, now, now you can work. 

Brandon: 

A lot of people can work remote or or if you’re not working remote, um, you’re probably you’re probably gonna work, remember like that. 

Brandon: 

That’s the way. 

Brandon: 

So people are moving out out of the cities because they’ve gone absolutely nuts living in 600 square foot apartments. 

Brandon: 

And it’s just interesting. 

Brandon: 

So I’m I’m not using that the debate one way or the other. 

Brandon: 

All I’m saying is is the narrative in the news or the narrative in Hollywood doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. 

Brandon: 

It just means that’s the story that’s being told Now the dangerous part of that is the story being told can be perceived to be true, which means it’s true or it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, exactly so. 

Brandon: 

But here’s what I know when comics have to give disclosures in the middle of a joke and it’s a problem. 

Brandon: 

It’s a really. 

Brandon: 

It’s indicative of a much more serious problem. 

Brandon: 

And look, you know, I was watching delirious or what’s, uh, Eddie Murphy’s other one? 

Brandon: 

Uh, this first one, you know. 

Donnie: 

And there’s some derogative comments he made in there for sure. 

Brandon: 

Um, having said that, he’s not trying to be evil. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, she’s trying to get to a truth that is hard to get to, right? 

Donnie: 

That’s why you laugh, right? 

Donnie: 

That’s the whole point. 

Brandon: 

The whole the whole point. 

Brandon: 

You laugh. 

Brandon: 

So it was a place that you knew existed that you couldn’t quite put your finger on. 

Brandon: 

You know, that’s the That’s the comics job is to find that edge between the known and the unknown and explore it. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, and I just I worry. 

Brandon: 

So I hope we get through it and maybe for you, uh, you’re more on the sideline of this thing through this new venture, but I’m excited for that. 

Brandon: 

For you. 

Donnie: 

What do you What have you So is this What you Because when we actually lost touch with you, I feel like covid just, like, has a time warp. 

Brandon: 

But the movies did shut down because of the insurance, right? 

Donnie: 

Hugely. 

Donnie: 

That’s one of the reasons why I’m jumping ship was, you know, big action movies, which is my bread and butter. 

Brandon: 

Um, they didn’t make one in 2020 and that was interesting. 

Brandon: 

Can you talk about that? 

Brandon: 

Because I actually didn’t realize I was like, Oh, well, it makes sense, covid. 

Brandon: 

But you had pointed out that it’s actually the insurance companies that won’t ensure the big actors, which is really the cause of that. 

Donnie: 

Is that right? 

Donnie: 

Um, you know, that’s definitely a piece of it. 

Brandon: 

You know, movie has so many moving parts, and so many people are irreplaceable. You know, whether it’s your director or your A list actor, etcetera. So how do you ensure a movie? How do you get a completion bond when there’s a chance that your actor could be sick for a week or two or three or not be able to come back? 

Donnie: 

You know, So you know, it took Hollywood some time to figure out what the protocol should be to come back to demonstrate that they could come back safely. 

Donnie: 

Um, and that’s really what I’ve been involved in. 

Donnie: 

Um, since September is kind of on the ground proving that that you can get groups of people together working in a covid environments and do it safely, you know? 

Donnie: 

And what, You know, it costs money. 

Donnie: 

You’ve got to spend a lot of money on testing. You’ve got to spend a lot of money on PPE. 

Donnie: 

Um, but Hollywood, you know, I’m not going to say that Hollywood hasn’t had any onset transmission because there has been, but it is shockingly small compared to the number of people and interactions that exist on themselves. 

Donnie: 

Well, that’s interesting. 

Donnie: 

I want to ask you, uh, we can come back to this, but I’ve forgot three times to ask you this, as we’re talking, is what do you think is going to happen now that these movies are being released at home on Netflix? 

Brandon: 

Like, uh, when that when that first movie wonder Wonder woman came out, I told you that I said, this is the end. 

Brandon: 

Because once you do it once, it’s very, very, very hard to take it away. 

Brandon: 

I’m not saying that you can’t take it away, But once you’re on the drug and you’ve you’ve effectively cut the middle man out if you can, I mean, I don’t know Net net. 

Brandon: 

I haven’t looked at the sort of the financial thing yet. 

Brandon: 

I mean, what do you think about this? 

Brandon: 

I mean, this is a This is really a big deal. 

Brandon: 

It certainly could be. 

Brandon: 

You know, um, you know, studios traditionally kind of controlled their own pipeline, you know, and had specific slots in the theaters to release certain projects. 

Donnie: 

And yeah, what does it mean if all of a sudden people can’t go to the movies? 

Donnie: 

Do we still make $300 million features when you know you can’t get a billion dollars at the box office out of it? 

Donnie: 

Um, you know, I I know that one of the things that was really screwy about this for actor contracts. 

Donnie: 

So, you know, you make some big movie in 2019 and the actor is guaranteed a percentage of the box office. What happens when there’s not a box office. You know what I mean? So there’s all kinds of very interesting legal contractual questions that get brought up when you release things on on streaming. 

Donnie: 

Yes. 

Donnie: 

So what’s going to happen? 

Donnie: 

I mean, I mean, I’ll be honest. 

Brandon: 

The coat. What? What? For us? You know, a lot of people I like to go out to dinner, and I sort of missed that. But I’ve also really, quite candidly enjoyed sitting home with the vet and eating dinner in a environment actually spending, like, real time together. 

Brandon: 

So, uh, I haven’t gone crazy at all. We have in fact, enjoyed it. And the I wouldn’t say we’re not going a little stir crazy vet said the other day. Like, I think we’re just I think everybody’s just tired, right? 

Brandon: 

But we we got studio. I don’t know what you call them, but I hate to say we got a lazy boy because that would I don’t know. Um, but we got studio seats that recline. We’ve got not not this gigantic TV, but a nice TV and, uh, event. 

Brandon: 

And I were just talking about this at dinner last night. 

Brandon: 

I didn’t even, uh that’s what may be made me think about you today when I pinned you, But I was like, Well, I’m actually okay with these releases, because now we save 40 minutes. 

Brandon: 

We don’t. I mean, I love the movies, by the way, just so and and and I think you know this, but, um, if I for anybody out there who’s like bringing in a movie theater here absolutely not true. 

Brandon: 

Um, you know, I used to go to movies almost every weekend together every Sunday or every Saturday when we could get through Half Moon Bay traffic in between. 

Brandon: 

We would go, we went out to dinner and it was sort of like date night every week. So I loved the movies, and I haven’t been able to replicate movie popcorn, but we’ve gotten pretty close during COVID. 

Brandon: 

Um, but, you know, I say 40 minute we say 40 minutes, 30 minutes, going to the movies. 

Brandon: 

We don’t have the park, we have to do any of that and and we watch it here. So there’s a There’s a real convenience to that that you can get used to. 

Brandon: 

And, you know, if you have a bunch of kids, it’s a heck of a lot easier to buy the movie for $25 have everybody over and sit in front of the movie and do that. So you do you think that’s gonna stick based on what you know? 

Brandon: 

Well, it’s interesting, you know, I think that, you know, you and I are both introverts, and so I think that we are not representative of the average population. 

Donnie: 

I think that the extroverted piece of the population, um, we’ll go back. 

Donnie: 

But it will be interesting to see what they go back for. You know, I think that it’s like big movies with some. 

Donnie: 

You know, some movies just play better on the big screen, you know, like, I would not want to watch the new Blade Runner on my TV. 

Donnie: 

I don’t care how good it is. 

Donnie: 

Like some movies you just need to see, like it do never comes out. I want to see dude in the theater. I don’t want to watch doing What do you mean if do never comes out? 

Donnie: 

Well, if they decide to hold on to it or, you know, uh, you may know more about the release schedule than I do. 

Brandon: 

I just know that I don’t know anything about it. 

Donnie: 

I’m just trying to figure out if you know something that you can are they did they start making it and then they stop their done or all of you. 

Donnie: 

So they’re dividing it into a couple, and I don’t know, I don’t know how many they’ve divided it into, but one of them is done, and it’s like, Well, what do we do? 

Brandon: 

You know, like the serious question If you have, like, a big theatrical movie, do you hold on to it for the next two or three years until we’re all back in theaters? 

Donnie: 

Or I see what you’re saying that my question is, Can the can the theater? 

Donnie: 

I mean, if you look at the financials terrible AMC like, how do they have real estate costs? 

Brandon: 

I mean, those are real costs. 

Donnie: 

So my question is, even one. 

Brandon: 

Does Hollywood stick with the release schedule that way and to is, are there any theatres left? 

Brandon: 

It’s an interesting question, you know, it’s, um, if you are going by the 2019 strict rules, they should already be gone. 

Brandon: 

But I think I think a bit of it. 

Donnie: 

Is that old saying? 

Donnie: 

Um, yes. 

Donnie: 

What is it? If you owe the bank $1000 you have a problem. If you owe the bank of billion dollars, the bank has a problem. 

Donnie: 

And so hey, are here all of these theaters? They’re all anchoring these small properties. Do we all just pretend that everything’s going to go back to normal any day now and just kick the can down the road as far as we can? It’s like, Hey, it works for the Fed. Maybe it works for A and C. I don’t know. 

Donnie: 

I don’t know how those discussions are being figured out, but, like, what does the mall do? You know? I mean, the malls aren’t in any position to go shutting down to the, uh, the mall in my town where I grew up in, you know, suburbs of Los Angeles. Uh, is now a post office. 

Donnie: 

What? One whole branch of it is now a United States Postal post office? 

Donnie: 

Well, that’s even That’s like the most secure rent. Well, I don’t know. Maybe the post office is going to go away to It’s hard to tell. 

Brandon: 

Hard to tell. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, that one the future is already here, so it’s not evenly distributed, right? 

Donnie: 

The what? 

Donnie: 

The future is already here. 

Brandon: 

It’s just not evenly distributed. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, you’re probably actually that’s not what that that came from someone smart. 

Brandon: 

Okay, I can tell you work in Hollywood. 

Donnie: 

You got all these quotes, man. 

Brandon: 

You got, like, all the sayings you’ve got all the good one liners. I don’t have any of that. 

Brandon: 

You have to have metrics. You know, you have to have. 

Donnie: 

You have to have the aphorisms, because when you world, you know, when you work in a world that is mostly chaos. 

Donnie: 

Um, you know, there are no standards. 

Donnie: 

It’s kind of a missing Talibs book on the bed of trustees, which is just nothing but aphorisms. 

Donnie: 

Because aphorisms, they’re like zip files. They can contain wisdom that will never show itself on a spreadsheet, which I say now that you know, most of my job now is moving numbers around spreadsheet. 

Donnie: 

I’ve become the person that I always hated, but it’s like, yeah, or somebody knocking on N B. 

Donnie: 

A s all the time. 

Donnie: 

Uh, so are you on set with this? Are you management or what are you doing? 

Brandon: 

Not at the moment. Right now, I’m doing those state business development. 

Donnie: 

Um, as more and more shows come back. 

Donnie: 

Um, you know, there have been people started making shows again last summer, but it was relatively small, and it’s kind of tentative steps to see how big of a show we can we can make. And this year many studios have or going to try to do. 

Donnie: 

I’m not going to say full production schedules because I don’t see the whole production schedule, but much more ambitious than they were last year. 

Donnie: 

So, um, more need of more trained people, more needed more testing, more PPE, more training, You know, all of that kind of stuff, Uh, personal protective equipment. 

Donnie: 

So masks and face shields and disinfecting staff and gloves and kind of all of the things that that must have added a significant cost. 

Donnie: 

I’m sure it has. 

Donnie: 

You know, testing is probably the most expensive piece of the equation. 

Donnie: 

Um, I have a belief, and this is not, you know, my company talking or anything. 

Donnie: 

That’s just just my belief is that I think covid if you want to deal with covid effectively, it adds a 5 to 15% tax on the cost of doing all business. 

Brandon: 

Oh, that just makes sense. 

Donnie: 

I mean, it just it’s just, uh it’s what it costs, you know? 

Donnie: 

Well, I don’t want to get off on that topic. 

Brandon: 

I was talking. 

Brandon: 

I was thinking about Australia the other day. 

Brandon: 

Uh, g m i e a was, I think, telling me that they’re, like, totally back to normal because they But But if you and I opened that can of worms are probably get in trouble because because I don’t I don’t I’m conflicted. 

Brandon: 

I read today that Texas opened up 100% with no mass like they’ve got 6.9% of the population vaccinated. 

Brandon: 

I mean, is it good or bad? Trust me, I got a lot of friends who and I know you do to have small businesses that have been absolutely crushed and and was it right or not? 

Brandon: 

I just It’s a It’s an interesting question to talk about, but I don’t know that anyone will have the answers. 

Brandon: 

So I don’t know how much time will spend, because really, what we should spend our time is fixing these things like these local restaurants. 

Brandon: 

You know it as much as the vet and I have cooked at him. 

Brandon: 

We do try to eat out. I know that sounds crazy. I think I put on five extra pounds because of it, but trying to ride my bike, ride it off. 

Brandon: 

But what do they What do they say? You can’t out exercise a bad diet. 

Brandon: 

Um, it’s not on the plant paradox. 

Brandon: 

Which, uh, I’m interested to see if you’re still on, but the, uh yeah, I mean, you just got to support these businesses. It’s just it’s just it’s crazy that to shut them down just completely. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it’s like it wasn’t even legal question Mark, you know? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, legal anymore is a another interesting discussion to have this, isn’t it? 

Brandon: 

I don’t know. 

Donnie: 

I mean, laws are made by people who had an opinion at the moment with the facts. 

Brandon: 

They had changed frequently. 

Brandon: 

I don’t know, you know, And that assumes that, you know, that assumes good faith. 

Brandon: 

Not that it wasn’t. 

Brandon: 

You know, one of my new favorite words that I heard in 2019 is law fair. 

Donnie: 

You know, the the achievement, the pursue pursue a lot of goals through legal means. You know, using the law as a weapon. 

Donnie: 

It’s like, Hey, boy, when someone came up with the word all of a sudden, you go. Yeah, that’s the thing. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, probably just Just just a word for something that’s existed for a really long time. 

Brandon: 

Right? Okay. Where’s your magic? 

Donnie: 

If you don’t have the right word, you can’t. You can’t do the magic. 

Donnie: 

No, you can’t. Words matter. Yeah, they really they really do. So getting back on the topic, what is your What is your prediction of movies? 

Brandon: 

Do you think we will go back to you? 

Brandon: 

Think they’ll do You think they will release at home and just increase the price like they have to? They have to figure out that box office ticket somehow. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, they do. 

Brandon: 

Um, you know, it’s interesting because it’s all tied into this new media landscape board. 

Donnie: 

For years, it was movies were movies and cable was cable. 

Donnie: 

And, you know, streaming is really changing things, you know, over the top stuff. What does that mean is you know, no one’s gonna want to pay eight bucks a month to 20 different services, so, you know I wonder if someone will come along and be the aggregator of all of those services. 

Donnie: 

Um, but isn’t that just a cycle? Because look here, we’re on a podcast today. 

Brandon: 

I mean, all the podcast is is a radio channel that each of us have that are going to get aggregated into a chance. 

Brandon: 

What radio was right? It was one wave lace One was, wasn’t it? 

Brandon: 

It wasn’t, It wasn’t. 

Brandon: 

I think podcasting is very interesting because look, you and I have been talking for an hour about whatever we want and the audience finds you because they like what you have to say. 

Donnie: 

Whereas, you know, radio, those type of limited mass mediums were forced into conventions they were forced into, You know, it’s like, Hey, you have You know, if you’re a you’re a shock jock. 

Donnie: 

You have to get ears listening to you. 

Donnie: 

You have to say things. 

Donnie: 

You have to keep an audience. 

Donnie: 

You have to you know you have to. 

Donnie: 

You have to apply by the conventions. 

Donnie: 

You know, that’s actually a really interesting thing. 

Donnie: 

Just in script writing and storytelling in general, which is that different genres have a different conventions. 

Donnie: 

If you violate the convention, your story sucks. That’s why the Star Wars than most recent Star Wars trilogies sucked. They told the hero’s Journey story and forgot the hero’s journey. And so the which episodes just for just for all the Star Wars fans that specifically because you and I think I’ve written a book on text on this. 

Donnie: 

But which episodes are you referring to? 

Brandon: 

To, uh, so that would be 78 and nine. The most recent ones. The the Disney ones. They’re awful. They’re awful. Top to bottom, I think. 

Donnie: 

John, don’t you think Jon Favreau like, sort of saved whatever he was given? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. I mean, I I would say that we should put up a statue to that man, except that it would get torn down because he’s a white man. 

Donnie: 

So, like, he absolutely, you know, the Italian or something. 

Donnie: 

So we could say like that. 

Brandon: 

Okay, Yeah. 

Donnie: 

So he could claim he could claim some type of aggrieved status. 

Brandon: 

So, interestingly enough, the mandalorian is a Western, and the mandalorian is absolutely, absolutely one of the best shows that I have seen in a very, very long time done by a guy who actually get it like I mean, this is This is the Ponderosa right bonanza. 

Donnie: 

This is This is weekly bonanza, and I love it, and it’s amazing. 

Brandon: 

It’s amazing that all the generations love it right? 

Brandon: 

A story well told that is architecturally correct has extremely broad appeal. 

Brandon: 

It’s only when you start getting, you know, because when it’s when you start violating those conventions, that it’s wrong and people don’t know why. 

Brandon: 

It’s wrong, you know? 

Brandon: 

I mean, because when when was Luke Skywalker ever start? 

Donnie: 

When he comes out of that cave in that one and he’s like, Sarcastic is the dumbest thing, like whoever. 

Donnie: 

I don’t even know who the hell that was. 

Donnie: 

But they did not understand Luke Skywalker like it looked like Luke Skywalker was on drugs to me. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, it was. 

Donnie: 

I don’t know how you buy a multibillion dollar franchise and not understand what the franchise is, you know, it’s it’s kind of stunning to me. 

Brandon: 

I part of me wants to go. 

Brandon: 

Where are all of the shareholders and the, you know, adults in the room? 

Brandon: 

Who said I I don’t think they care, Dani. 

Donnie: 

I think they bought. 

Donnie: 

I think they bought a cash cow Because here, here’s the truth. 

Donnie: 

I think it sucked. 

Donnie: 

Mhm. 

Brandon: 

I wasn’t gonna miss it. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, but but but it’s like, Okay, so? 

Brandon: 

So they made money. 

Brandon: 

Okay, congratulations. 

Donnie: 

Your spreadsheet looks great. 

Donnie: 

Um, but here’s what they missed. And what they missed is is that Gen Xers had Star Wars millennials. 

Donnie: 

Had Harry Potter and Jen’s ears have nothing. 

Donnie: 

Well, don’t they have marvel? 

Donnie: 

I mean, you could say Marvel, but but but Marvel isn’t taking the place of, like, the defining hero’s journey that Star Wars did and that Harry Potter did well, I have to agree. 

Donnie: 

The marvel stories I I like. 

Donnie: 

I’m not that I do like them, but they don’t follow that hero’s journey archetype close enough. 

Brandon: 

And maybe that’s their edge. 

Brandon: 

Or maybe they purposely do that. 

Donnie: 

But it’s certainly not as smooth, if that’s even the right way to describe it. 

Donnie: 

You know what you mean? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it’s got, you know, look, each individual superhero has a hero’s journey, and we’ve seen all of their origin stories. 

Brandon: 

But then when you start combining them in interesting ways, they become different stories, you know? 

Brandon: 

So, like the Infinity War wasn’t a hero’s journey story. 

Brandon: 

But it was, but you needed to tell a half dozen hero’s journey stories to tell that story. 

Donnie: 

It was confusing that that was confusing to me. 

Donnie: 

It was It was. 

Donnie: 

I mean, I followed it, but it was confusing. 

Donnie: 

You know what I mean? 

Brandon: 

It was jumpy. I mean, it was Yeah, it’s a hard story to tell. 

Brandon: 

Like if you sit down and try to chart that story out and bring in all of these characters like That’s a hard movie to write and to write Welcome to not get lost in. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, you know what was also a one? 

Donnie: 

I think they don’t know what the heck I I like Wonder woman. 

Brandon: 

I think it’s a great, great story. 

Brandon: 

But the last one was I felt like someone Maybe they got Maybe they stopped because of Covid and they restarted and you know, they didn’t They didn’t, like, remember where they left off. 

Donnie: 

I mean, there was a few pieces there that were out of place to me. 

Brandon: 

I I haven’t seen your time. 

Brandon: 

I Wonder Room in 84. Um, yeah. Everyone I talked to said that it wasn’t so great. 

Donnie: 

I mean, here’s why. It was great, because it was the newest thing we’ve seen in 12 freaking months. 

Brandon: 

That wasn’t a rerun that I’ve seen before. 

Brandon: 

I mean, after the mandalorian was over, I don’t remember what the hell I’ve seen. New. I mean, although I will say that Netflix. I don’t know how they got it done, but Netflix had some Some interesting stuff. 

Brandon: 

Are you working at all with Netflix with the safety stuff? 

Brandon: 

I mean, you don’t care at all? 

Brandon: 

No. 

Donnie: 

Are you? 

Brandon: 

Is this new company? 

Brandon: 

Are you able to work more in L. A versus these crazy travel schedule you had? 

Brandon: 

I mean, being, at least on the business development side of it. I’m working from home now. This is a shipping container. My my shop that’s in my backyard. And now now it’s my zoom office. And yeah, I do all my work. For at least the last few months here, I’ve had to run out and kind of fix some brush fires on some shows. 

Donnie: 

But, you know, hopefully hopefully this is my new gig. 

Donnie: 

And what is that? 

Donnie: 

A 20 by eight container. 

Brandon: 

Uh, it’s a 20 by. 

Donnie: 

Yeah. So you converted that thing I was wondering up top there without? Yeah, your ceiling, I I couldn’t get a 2020 by eight. Is 1. 60. Were you able to put that in your backyard without a permit? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I trained it over. I craned it over the wall. 

Donnie: 

What? Mhm. 

Donnie: 

Well, I’m building up an actual studio in my backyard. 

Brandon: 

Uh, it is 15 by 7.5. If it’s under 100 20 square square foot, you don’t have to get interesting. 

Brandon: 

You know, like a shed. It’s like a glorified glorified shed. That’s what he did. That’s what he dropped in his backyard. 

Donnie: 

Did he do that, too? 

Brandon: 

I need to call him. I haven’t talked to him in a while. 

Brandon: 

He probably glad he doesn’t have to go into work work from home. 

Brandon: 

But I think a lot of people are You know, no one likes covid and you know, But I think I think secretly a lot of people weren’t happy with their lives pre covid and Covid’s giving them a chance to re examine it. 

Brandon: 

Uh, one of my friends who works at the Tracker school in New Jersey, they called they called 2020 and forced Division Quest 2020 where it’s like you got to go to your room and think about what you’ve done. 

Donnie: 

I think there’s there’s a little bit of truth to that. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, I have to say that, um, you know, I am. 

Donnie: 

I am an introvert. 

Donnie: 

Um, that’s a whole interesting discussion, isn’t it? 

Donnie: 

Because introverts actually this whole introvert extrovert something blew my mind. 

Brandon: 

I was reading a book by a neuro scientists psychologist that basically has. 

Brandon: 

Now they’ve proven that this right, right brain left brain thing is not even right. 

Brandon: 

No pun intended. 

Brandon: 

So it really blew my mind because of this. 

Brandon: 

You know, that has implications that go Ah, really far in explaining things. 

Brandon: 

When you talk about your the primate brain and all these types of things and how advertising works, I’m gonna try to have her on the podcast because it’s quite interesting. 

Brandon: 

But, you know, just because you’re an introvert, you actually like attention. 

Brandon: 

But my, uh, that went to we have the same dentist and he said Brandon and I hadn’t been to the dentist because I just lost track of time. 

Brandon: 

I I try to be very diligent about going to dentist. 

Brandon: 

Um, but he said Brandon was built for this, you know, he just likes it. 

Brandon: 

And I You know, I think it, um I think I think what it has, I hope I hope that people took advantage of the opportunity to be home and remember who they live with if they live with anyone. 

Brandon: 

And if they don’t, who they really are. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

You’re kidding. 

Brandon: 

You know, like, um I mean, really a blessing in disguise it? 

Brandon: 

Quite quite. 

Brandon: 

Quite frankly, Donnie, it’s an indication for me because I can’t tell you how many people over the last 20 years have told me that you can’t build a company remotely. 

Brandon: 

And it is absolutely amazing to me that even though the place is a total show, it’s still going on. 

Brandon: 

People are still making money. 

Brandon: 

Think things are still happening. 

Brandon: 

Um, and they’re working remotely. 

Brandon: 

Amazingly, you can do things outside the office. 

Brandon: 

What do you What do you think of it? 

Brandon: 

Do you think that do you think the office is dead? 

Brandon: 

I think big chunks of it are. 

Brandon: 

I think that you know, you know that iron triangle of the mortgage, The car payments and the office. 

Brandon: 

I don’t think we can actually afford it anymore. 

Brandon: 

I think it’s a vestige of, like 19 fifties, 19 sixties business, and it’s just carrying on for momentum reasons. 

Brandon: 

You don’t think the business can afford it anymore because they got so lean. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, yeah, I think that it’s it’s going to be an interesting thing to look at. 

Brandon: 

You know how much of downtown you know how much downtown square footage is office space, and it’s like, Well, we haven’t needed it for the last year. 

Brandon: 

So do we need it? 

Donnie: 

Question Mark. 

Donnie: 

It’s like what happened to productivity? 

Donnie: 

Because, I mean, ultimately, like the right. 

Donnie: 

The right answer is always what happens to productivity. 

Brandon: 

And, you know, given that the vast majority of jobs are shuffling paper from, you know, one in box to another inbox productivity probably didn’t suffer Well, the only thing I will say on that hold your thought is is that I will acknowledge this working from home can be incredibly hard. 

Donnie: 

You solved it by putting a Most people are not gonna crane a container or build a studio in their backyard, right? 

Donnie: 

And I will say, I’ve been really lucky in my life to have work from home or been able to have a home office. 

Donnie: 

Let’s say you know, work from home and have a home office is different and and and that little difference that I’ve just suggested is really what has to happen and that you have to create a home office that’s different from your home, where you will go do your laundry. 

Donnie: 

You will, uh, there’s like dishes you gotta do. 

Donnie: 

There’s, uh I don’t know. 

Donnie: 

You can do things in the backyard. 

Donnie: 

You’re like, Oh, well, what I mean Home Depot and whatever the other places, lows or pack. 

Brandon: 

Why? 

Brandon: 

Because everybody’s like, Well, let’s do a construction project. 

Brandon: 

Well, you gotta ask yourself, You know what? 

Brandon: 

How did that work during the work day? 

Brandon: 

But, um, so I just wanna acknowledge that there’s probably a bunch of people listening like, Oh, that Brenda makes it. 

Brandon: 

Brendon Brendon, saying that this is, like, so easy. 

Brandon: 

It is not easy to work from home, but I But I do think productivity didn’t dip or we wouldn’t have a lot of infrastructure and a lot of things that still have existed, including government, including government That’s an interesting thing. 

Brandon: 

You know, you’re always wondering you look at any structure, you know. 

Brandon: 

You look at any institution and it’s like, How did it got there? 

Brandon: 

Got there through momentum, you know, and how much of it, how much of it is just there? 

Brandon: 

Because it’s the way we’ve always done it and how much of it is there because it’s actually the right thing to have in that position at any given time. 

Brandon: 

Um, that’s one of the things that a crisis does is it shows you what’s important and what’s not. 

Brandon: 

You know, like there’s the creative destruction aspect of it is is that, you know, in one sense you need these little. 

Brandon: 

Imagine what the world would be like if there were never any crisis is that caused you to re evaluate what you were doing and how you were doing it? 

Brandon: 

It would be the definition of a tyranny. 

Donnie: 

I think that I think that’s a life of an entrepreneur. 

Donnie: 

Mhm. 

Donnie: 

Truthfully, it’s just like you get some success or you go through a crisis and then another one happened, and those are the learning moments when you actually, like, really, fundamentally understand maybe not only yourself, but business. 

Donnie: 

And and and actually, how the numbers do work, right? 

Donnie: 

Like that’s when the raw numbers just say, Okay, here’s how it really works. 

Donnie: 

And here’s what we really need to focus on. 

Donnie: 

I think that’s the That’s a key. 

Brandon: 

So are you gonna You gonna keep doing this safety thing? 

Brandon: 

And but you did say you thought you might go back. 

Brandon: 

I mean, I just want to say I think it’s super brave of you. 

Brandon: 

Um, thanks. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I just felt like the right thing. 

Brandon: 

You do? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

Go with it. 

Brandon: 

I mean, it’s working out, and who knows, Maybe maybe maybe it all flows into one another, right? 

Brandon: 

Maybe the armor business. 

Brandon: 

What, like you said it, it’s not too far apart. 

Brandon: 

The only thing you’re just protecting people from shooting themselves or doing something stupid stabbing themselves versus catching a disease. 

Brandon: 

I mean, it is it is and can be the same space. 

Brandon: 

I just work. 

Brandon: 

I say, I worry. 

Donnie: 

Um, I wonder how long that can be, and maybe you just evolve into into something that turns into something bigger because you’re already there. 

Brandon: 

You know, it certainly could. 

Brandon: 

I’ll tell you what. 

Brandon: 

The one thing about this job that’s been very interesting is, you know, when you’re working as the Cuban officer on a set, um, you’re making go no go decisions for the entire production. 

Brandon: 

You know, in one sense, it is. 

Brandon: 

It has certain producer like qualities where it’s like, Hey, the director just called. 

Brandon: 

Their kid is sick. 

Brandon: 

What do we do? 

Brandon: 

You know, it’s like, Okay, give me, you know, detail. 

Donnie: 

And all of a sudden you’re in a huddle with, you know, they’re gonna huddle with all the all the power players figuring out how to solve this problem. 

Donnie: 

It is. 

Donnie: 

It’s interesting. 

Donnie: 

You know, Covid is now kind of like the limiting re agents in the reaction. 

Donnie: 

And so a good COVID guy can can save a production. 

Donnie: 

It can keep it from shutting down. 

Donnie: 

It’s it’s strange, and no one and no one knows, You know, I’m not gonna say no one knows what they’re doing. 

Donnie: 

I’m going to say that people are figuring this out as we go. 

Donnie: 

You know, in one sense, it is, um, you know, I suffer a lot from imposter syndrome and I don’t hear in this space because no one knows what the right answer is. 

Donnie: 

Everyone is discovering it’s a brand new thing. 

Donnie: 

No one’s ever had to tackle these questions. No one’s ever had to come up with these answers, and it’s I find it interesting. 

Donnie: 

You know, it’s definitely out there on that edge a proximal development, you know, outside of the comfort zone, but still doable. 

Donnie: 

And it’s it’s an interesting place to be. 

Donnie: 

Well, I think that in many ways you guys and ladies there have a huge responsibility because I actually think America, if not the world, relies on movies and TV shows, and I’m not. 

Donnie: 

I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, Donny, because, you know, apparently people on the Ponderosa survived without video games and movies. 

Brandon: 

Um, but the world really relies on on these things for for happiness and escape and a break and and in many ways, like we were talking about earlier to explain what’s going on. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, absolutely no. 

Brandon: 

And, uh, one of the things our culture dropped along the way was, you know, initiation ceremonies, like, you know, manhood, ceremonies, you know, rights of passage might be different. 

Brandon: 

Way to say it and one of the ways that that where that still models in movies, especially Hero’s journey stories. 

Brandon: 

You know, it’s a lot of people followed along with Harry Potter in his trials and tribulations and his difficulties and that, you know, by cubic areas you know it’s not as good as doing it yourself. 

Brandon: 

But it definitely is a model for behavior, you know, which at some, you know, some deep level is what an architect is supposed to be. 

Brandon: 

And for better or worse, that’s what our civilization has. 

Brandon: 

We’ve outsourced. 

Brandon: 

We’ve outsourced, are archetypes to film it, film and television. 

Brandon: 

It’s true. 

Brandon: 

And I think I think it’s a dependence that, um, you know, I I I will say this. 

Donnie: 

I found it very interesting that when sports shut down, you know, that even shifted more responsibility. 

Donnie: 

If that’s the I don’t know if it’s responsibility. 

Donnie: 

But, um, wait right. 

Donnie: 

I actually found myself a lot less stress. 

Donnie: 

To be candid, I don’t have to watch the Warriors. 

Donnie: 

I have to watch football football. 

Donnie: 

That was little stressful, but it turned out well this year. 

Donnie: 

Um, um, not if you’re a Ravens fan, but we made it to the playoffs, so that was good. 

Donnie: 

But, you know, it really relieved really this, uh I don’t know. 

Donnie: 

Maybe it was an addiction and didn’t really realize it. 

Brandon: 

Right? 

Brandon: 

These are the types of things, but then there was Okay, well, what’s on T v? 

Brandon: 

You know, what are the stories? 

Brandon: 

So it really is amazing how Hollywood has become the storyteller for most of the world. 

Brandon: 

Depends on it. 

Brandon: 

Right? 

Brandon: 

Uh, you know, I mean, certainly up until the current point. 

Brandon: 

You know, other countries are starting to do a lot of their own production now, but yeah, absolutely. 

Brandon: 

Hollywood was. 

Brandon: 

You know, cultural exports were America’s main product in America’s main weapon. 

Brandon: 

I mean, that’s what took down the Soviet Union. 

Brandon: 

Was Coca Cola blue jeans and movies? 

Brandon: 

Um, so, yeah, as as as the dominant culture on the planet. 

Brandon: 

Our stories are the ones that people listen, Jim, and you know, I don’t know if that’s good or bad or not, because it’s, you know, there’s no if it’s good or bad. 

Brandon: 

You know, I often wonder if we’re doing a good enough job and take the responsibility enough. 

Brandon: 

You know, there’s some perverse, perverse incentives on the profit motive side of things where really some very good stories don’t get told and stories that should be very good and do a very important job in society. 

Brandon: 

Get butchered Star Wars. 

Brandon: 

You know the most recent Star Wars ones, for instance, like there’s a hole there. 

Brandon: 

There’s a hole where the the White Star Wars saga should have been. 

Brandon: 

And you have an entire generation of people who are waiting for their Star Wars or their Harry Potter. 

Brandon: 

I mean, I’ve often joked with you that I want to do a startup and, you know, give me $50 million and I will go find the next archetypal story that’s going to be the next Star Wars. 

Donnie: 

You gotta back him up a humongous amount of stuff, and you have to be looking for things very particular. 

Donnie: 

But like okay, it wasn’t hunger games. 

Donnie: 

Well, there’s a lot. 

Donnie: 

There’s a long list of shows that were like stuck their toe in the pool but weren’t the thing. 

Donnie: 

And it’s very interesting. 

Donnie: 

You know, what is Gen. 

Donnie: 

Z’s Star Wars or Harry Potter going to look like? 

Donnie: 

And I think that Disney had a chance with Star Wars to make it Star Wars, and that’s what they messed up. 

Donnie: 

And so it’s not going to show up anywhere on the spreadsheet. 

Donnie: 

Failure to achieve archetypal significance for an entire generation? 

Donnie: 

No, but But you know, as you’re talking also, Hollywood is responsible for educating kids. 

Donnie: 

I mean, uh, what’s Pixar like? 

Donnie: 

I mean, you think about that. 

Donnie: 

I mean, just think of the implications of of that. 

Donnie: 

It’s a It’s a It’s a lot to unpack there, and it’s a it definitely has and enormous impact on on our culture. 

Donnie: 

So in many ways, you know, I don’t know who’s driving the bus down there, but I’d like to have dinner with them and talk to them and figure out what they what they got planned for the next 20 years. 

Donnie: 

Uh, I don’t think there’s anyone driving the bus, you know, like in anything. 

Donnie: 

It’s like in any, you know, everyone’s heard the term military industrial complex. 

Donnie: 

I think you can add to the term industrial complex to the end of most of our systems. 

Donnie: 

You know, we have a health industrial complex. 

Donnie: 

We have a media industrial complex. 

Donnie: 

Yeah, but who did? 

Donnie: 

Uncle Buck and Breakfast club like Who was that? 

Donnie: 

John Hughes. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, like who’s the next? 

Brandon: 

Well, will he be allowed to make those stories or will they say, Oh, no. 

Brandon: 

Sorry. 

Brandon: 

You’ve got to hire the following groups of people. 

Brandon: 

You’ve got to tell your story like this because you know, we have to Oh, enchanting. 

Brandon: 

You know, in certain countries can’t be the bad guys anymore. 

Brandon: 

We won’t get d o d approval. 

Brandon: 

You know, it’s all of those interesting, um, constraints on the artist. 

Brandon: 

And what stories? 

Brandon: 

Like what stories today from your your favorite movies Could to go back to kind of the whole social justice thing. 

Brandon: 

What of your favorite stories? 

Donnie: 

Couldn’t be made today. 

Donnie: 

I’m gonna say a lot of them Lot of your favorite movies could You could not make blazing saddles right now. 

Donnie: 

Guarantee it? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I’ll be honest. 

Donnie: 

Blazing saddles always made me a little uncomfortable, even even even as a as a kid, it was supposed to. 

Brandon: 

Well, yeah, it might have, but did his job. 

Donnie: 

It felt a little over the line to me, but I I can understand for sure as I think back what you’re saying, that there’s just a There’s a ton of shoes. 

Donnie: 

But here’s what I will say. 

Donnie: 

I think it’s dangerous to erase history. 

Donnie: 

And I’m not saying that those things are right. 

Donnie: 

I mean, like, you know, some of that stuff was just blatant and some of the language and some of the way they treat people. 

Donnie: 

Um, but that’s a characterization of where we came from and and to erase it leaves a hole that nobody can learn from. 

Donnie: 

So I’m I’m someone would have to help me explain if you were a person that wanted to erase history, how that works. 

Brandon: 

Um, you know, I think yeah, 1984 was not supposed to be an instruction manual. 

Brandon: 

That’s supposed to be a warning. 

Brandon: 

And you know the idea of things going down the memory hole that they never happened. 

Brandon: 

Um, I don’t know if you’ve ever There’s a wonderful series of photos of Stalin surrounded by his core group of guys. 

Brandon: 

You know, Molotov and all of these different guys and in official Soviet state pictures, you can watch them one by one be removed from the scene as they displeased, fallen or whatever, and they were removed literally from history. 

Brandon: 

It’s a totalitarian impulse. 

Brandon: 

Well, just imagine this, Okay? 

Brandon: 

Donnie, you are who you are today, but we’re going to erase your memory. 

Brandon: 

So all the lessons, all the mistakes, right? 

Brandon: 

That that either I’ll use me because Because, I don’t know, maybe you didn’t make any mistakes, but, um, I don’t want to pick on you, but the, uh, all the mistakes I made, right, like, there’s no way that I was perfect there. 

Brandon: 

There were mistakes that I made that that I apologized for. 

Brandon: 

And I feel, you know, they acknowledge that they weren’t the right decision. 

Brandon: 

But whatever state I was in at that moment, I made that decision for whatever reason. 

Brandon: 

And I’ve got to accept responsibility for it. 

Brandon: 

I think I think that’s why you don’t erase history because you learn from it and you take responsibility for it. 

Brandon: 

And you acknowledge that it’s not right so that whomever you’re interacting with or whoever you influence or whatever your group of people that you’re able to share with can learn from that lesson and understand that it’s not right to do that. 

Brandon: 

Because if you don’t have those lessons, then how do you get the compass to be in the right place. 

Donnie: 

I mean, everybody makes mistakes. 

Donnie: 

Countries make mistakes. 

Donnie: 

Societies make mistakes. 

Donnie: 

It’s it’s let’s self correct and get there. 

Donnie: 

But this whole erasing of history, that’s like, uh, well, I saw a thing going around that says that Dr Seuss isn’t going to publish six books anymore, not because anybody is burning books, but because they believe it doesn’t characterize people. 

Donnie: 

And, um, you know, that’s an interesting thing. 

Donnie: 

Maybe they should just correct the damn book. 

Donnie: 

And, you know, But don’t erase the book I have no problem with. 

Donnie: 

I mean, they’re the artist. 

Donnie: 

If they don’t feel that what’s being portrayed there is the right way to portray things. 

Brandon: 

You know that that’s on them, not me. 

Brandon: 

But, um okay, let’s tie this back to Star Wars and the special editions where you know, the whole Han fired first, or Greedo fired first thing like Can you go back to a piece of culture? 

Brandon: 

Did fire first, by the way, Han always han, no matter what anyone else says. 

Brandon: 

That’s the correct answer on fires first. 

Brandon: 

Well, you gave me the original. 

Brandon: 

What did you do? 

Brandon: 

You got that. 

Brandon: 

Like I started my tradition. 

Brandon: 

What the D specialist edition? 

Brandon: 

Keep that on my computer at all times in case I’m somewhere and I because it’s it’s so crystal clear and it’s like it’s like, uh, it’s like listening to original vinyl album that hasn’t been opened in 40 years on a good stereo with a good speaker like it just doesn’t compare to digital music, right? 

Brandon: 

Like that was the real film, right? 

Brandon: 

That was it was a project that was put together because an original copy of the original release of Star Wars no longer exists. 

Brandon: 

So he assembled one from multiple different sources. 

Brandon: 

And then, like some retired people at I l m got involved and sent him, like, sells original affect cells, that he took new pictures of, like, total work of art, Passion project. 

Brandon: 

And you know what? 

Brandon: 

No one will ever do that for episode 78 or nine. 

Brandon: 

Never. 

Brandon: 

No one will dedicate their whole life to digitally, you know, restoring as an individual those stories because they’re not worth it. 

Brandon: 

I mean, even the sound is, and that was Dolby sound back then. 

Brandon: 

But it wasn’t, you know, at where it is today, but, um, those are incredible. 

Donnie: 

I feel lucky to have got those from you. 

Brandon: 

I feel lucky to have found them and then to have been able to share him. 

Donnie: 

But that was an interesting It’s an interesting thing. 

Donnie: 

You know, that’s that someone went to that effort unpaid because it was so important to me like that. 

Brandon: 

That means something, You know what I mean? 

Brandon: 

Like, that’s the storytelling at its best can have that level of meaning. 

Donnie: 

How meaningful wasn’t so I don’t know. 

Brandon: 

He dedicated a couple 1000 hours unpaid to this thing like that. 

Brandon: 

That’s powerful stuff, you know what I mean? 

Brandon: 

And I wish that Hollywood, as an industry could do that more often, you know? 

Brandon: 

And I wish that there was There was more room for more of those artists and filmmakers to take risks, you know, and to be edgy and to say things because you don’t know. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I think you’re really touched on it when you talked about like, you know, the reason not to erase the past is because of their correction. 

Brandon: 

He who wins is the person who adopts fastest and the better your air correction, the better your decision making over time. 

Donnie: 

The bigger your success rate in anything in entrepreneurial activities, in dating, in your relationship with anybody. 

Donnie: 

It’s like who recognizes that they made a mistake faster. 

Donnie: 

And who can correct that mistake better, Faster iterable iterative lee over time that really, I mean, that’s evolution in a nutshell. 

Donnie: 

There you go, Yeah, take out of you. 

Donnie: 

If you take away the feedback system, then you you literally, quite literally have taken away your mechanism for growth and finding something new because you know why? 

Donnie: 

Why is to hear any bad? 

Donnie: 

Like if there was one right way to be, you’d think we would have found it already. 

Brandon: 

The problem, though, is the world keeps changing and the most successful thing in the world yesterday could literally be the nail in your coffin today. 

Brandon: 

And you have to be able to let old bad things die, and you have to have mechanisms for discovering what the new solutions to the problems are that you don’t even know about yet. 

Brandon: 

And that’s really what’s so dangerous about all this cancel culture stuff. 

Donnie: 

It’s not just the cancelling. 

Donnie: 

It’s not just the erasing, its that its materially affecting our ability to solve wife ending problems that we’re going to be faced with in the future. 

Donnie: 

It’s it’s so bad on so many levels. 

Donnie: 

I think it’s, I think, I think it’s depressing people quite candidly. 

Donnie: 

I don’t want to leave anyone depressed, but you know that I still think, Hey, I think that we’re in this, like negative. 

Donnie: 

We’re focused on the negative and and, you know, really, our enemies are the ones who are winning, because now we’ve got an inward We’ve got an inward narrative that America isn’t great. 

Donnie: 

That’s basically what I hear. 

Donnie: 

I don’t believe it. 

Donnie: 

And I think that for all of our flaws, I don’t know another country that has the potential or the ability Contrary to what? 

Donnie: 

Everybody? 

Donnie: 

Not everybody, but some people want to paint out there that if you if you don’t get the luck of the draw, then you can’t do that. 

Donnie: 

I understand. 

Donnie: 

Disadvantage? 

Donnie: 

Uh, I can’t say, Well, I’ve experienced at some level, but I know of course I can’t. 

Donnie: 

I don’t know. 

Donnie: 

You know, Yvette is is Spanish. 

Donnie: 

I don’t I can’t say that I’ve experienced her world, or I can’t even experience what a woman experiences which some of the stuff I hear I think is absolutely absurd. 

Donnie: 

Um, that that that they go through like I just okay, it’s beyond how at least I was raised, so I’ll leave it that but the you know, America is still a great place. 

Donnie: 

Like you can come. 

Donnie: 

There’s so many stories of and potential, right? 

Donnie: 

Yes, there. 

Donnie: 

You know, group people always are going to be in groups, and you always are going to identify with that group, which, in effect, separates you from the rest. 

Donnie: 

Uh, maybe you and I like three d printing and then everybody calls us a geek. 

Donnie: 

And, you know, you could be like, Oh, well, you know, don’t call us a geek. 

Donnie: 

We’re just different. 

Donnie: 

We’re just introverts. 

Donnie: 

We want to like there’s always going to be that. 

Donnie: 

So I think we need to accept some level of human nature. 

Donnie: 

But don’t don’t put us in a position that America is not great. 

Donnie: 

America is a a great thing. 

Donnie: 

And if we ruin the great thing, then that’s on us. 

Donnie: 

And whoever wants to do that better have a damn good plan, because there may never be a time when, and there may never be a time again in history when that many smart people get together to literally found a country and go through the process like the Federalist Papers and 100 other things that they wrote, met and did to build what we have. 

Donnie: 

I completely agree. 

Brandon: 

And the closer we can get to that model for all of its floss, the better we are, the better we will be. 

Brandon: 

I mean, every entrepreneur success like you can come here and have nothing and get something. 

Brandon: 

So, um, I think we’re going to leave people on a positive note tonight that they can do that and that you can have a what? 

Brandon: 

You were working in industry 23 years. 

Brandon: 

You were 17 years as an armor and switch jobs and basically you, you adapted in a crisis, your whole industry shut down. 

Brandon: 

And then you changed to take skills that you have in something else to build yourself into something new, and I’m excited for you. 

Brandon: 

Thanks, man. 

Brandon: 

You too. 

Brandon: 

So, uh, I think I’ll be in l A next week and I’ll shoot you a text, and maybe we can catch up at an outside dining place uh, good to see you, man. 

Brandon: 

You too. 

Brandon: 

Thanks a lot. 

Brandon: 

Take care. 

Brandon: 

What? 

Brandon: 

Thanks for being generous with your time and joining us for this episode of Build a business success Secrets. 

Brandon: 

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Brandon: 

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