78 – From Producing Film DVD Extras to Doc Filmmaking with Jeffrey Schwarz

From Producing Hollywood Film DVD Extras to Doc Filmmaking with Jeffrey Schwarz

If you’re like me, you are a fan of watching the dvd extras or the making-of videos of some of your favourite films.  In fact, Ive been inspired and gained some of my very filmmaking knowledge by watching some of the film extras included on dvds.

Now as an independent documentary filmmaker, I like to make sure that I include these types of extras on dvd and digital distro packages so that others may benefit in the same way that I did when I was first starting out.  And I believe that by including added value like this to your film packages, you can give the consumer another reason to buy your film (instead of somebody else’s!).

And so for today’s opening segment I’ll be giving you 5 Best Practices for Making Film Extras.

  • Get Best Possible Audio
  • Involve the Crew and Subjects
  • Keep a Film Journal
  • Storytelling
  • Offload Footage at End of Day


And then following on from this I’ll have a special conversation with a man who did so many making-ofs and added value content for Hollywood studios that he became known as the EPK Samurai.  His name is Jeffrey Schwarz, and he has over 300 producer credits and over 100 directors to his name.  And he has parlayed his early career doing the EPK work into becoming a full-fledged documentary filmmaker.

Among topics discussed:

  • how a student film turned into the impetus for lifelong subject matter for future doc films
  • how producing EPK and making-of videos allowed Jeffrey to practice his passion of documentary
  • how following your obsessions can lead to some wonderful places as a doc filmmaker
  • why you should always be budgeting for yourself to make a living in your film budgets


Related Sources

Trailer for Jeffrey Schwarz’s just-released documentary film, The Fabulous Allan Carr .





And if you’re interested in watching Jeffrey’s film you can go here

You must check out Jeffrey’s thesis film Al Lewis in the Flesh:


Workshops and Meetups in North Carolina and Philly!


Saturday, June 16 WORKSHOP in Charlotte, NC.  More details can be found on the Charlotte Film School Meetup page.

Who Join a group of 10-15 adults for a day learning from documentary filmmaker Chris G. Parkhurst.

Where Location Address given upon registration. It is on Old Pineville Road in Charlotte, NC

When  Saturday, June 16th.  11a – 4p.  Enjoy an early lunch with us from 11-12!

Why Whether you are at the beginning, middle or end of your documentary filmmaking life, there’s plenty to learn from pros like Chris G. Parkhurst. We’ll have a great time!

How To register, send an email to julie@franciscanpassages.org Payment is $99 via PayPal.


Sunday, June 17 MEETUP in Charlotte, NC from 4-7p

What A meet and greet with documentary filmmakers and founders of The Documentary Life, Chris G. Parkhurst and Stephanie Vincenti. Meet other fans of the podcast and talk shop over a pint (or juice, beer or coffee).

Who This event is for anybody who loves documentary film, for fans of The Documentary Life

Where The Pizza and Peel, 4422 Colwick Rd Charlotte, NC 28211

When Join us 4pm-7pm on Sunday, June 17th

Why. Enjoy great conversation, lots of laughs and getting to know fellow DocLifers.

How Come on out and join us



To check out #DocLifer, Nic Justice’s Meetup group down in Philly, follow this link to Rough Cuts Philly!  Steph and I will be giving a workshop on Wednesday eve, July 25th from 6-9p . Tickets are only $20 and can be purchased here.



Check out the Journey to Kathmandu package that was mentioned in the episode.  This one came chock full o’ dvd extras and making-of videos!

  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Director’s Commentary
  • J2K Film Shorts
  • Documentary Making-of videos
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Original artwork by W. Ryan Hatch
  • CD soundtrack

You can purchase this DVD for your collection here .

Journey to Kathmandu: Making of an Original Score



Sponsors & Thank Yous


Episode #74 is proudly brought to you by BlackBox Global, creators of the easiest way to turn your filmmaking skills into passive income!



If you have old hard drives with footage, a camera to shoot new footage, and a computer to edit the footage, you can use BlackBox to start generating passive income today!  It’s freedom, plain and simple.


Go to BlackBox, Create a Free Account, and start selling your footage today!


Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artist’s music by going to Free Music Archive today!


Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

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