34 – How to Make a Living Shooting EPK/BTS + Conversation with Digital Film Pioneer, Feature Film, and Documentary Director, Stefan Avalos

Shooting Behind-the-Scenes

Shooting BTS (behind-the-scenes), or EPK (electronic press kit) as it’s known in the film industry, can be a great and a rather appropriate way for a documentary filmmaker to make some additional income. I mean, who else to better create short promotional-type videos or vignettes than a filmmaker who owns their own gear, can conduct and shoot an interview, shoot some broll, then edit into a small concise package for quick delivery? In our opening segment of episode 34, we examine the position that is tailor-made for the documentary filmmaker, how to get into it, and how what you are already doing in your doc life makes you the perfect candidate for this industry position.


Podcast Conversation

For our shared conversation with a doc industry guest segment, I am honoured to have on feature and documentary film director, Stefan Avalos. You may remember Avalos from the very early days of digital film. And with a good reason, since he and fellow filmmaker Lance Weiler were true pioneers in the digital film field, with their ground-breaking feature, The Last Broadcast. And now, with his new film, Strad Style, winner of Grand Jury and Audience Awards, Avalos enters the hallowed halls of documentary.

To say that this was one of my favourite conversations with a doc industry guest in recent times, would be putting it lightly. Topics like his hand in digital cinema history, the influence of a doc like American Movie on his work, and the various headscarfs that his lead subject in Strad Style was prone to wearing. It’s enlightening, hilarious, and inspiring all at once. So yeah, not an episode to be missed!


Related Resources

In the first segment of the episode, I mentioned the work of documentary filmmaker, Les Blank, in particular his documentary film, Burden of Dreams, which was basically the making-of  Werner Herzog‘s Fitzcarraldo.  Enjoy the trailer for the film:



Doc industry guest, Stefan Avalos’ digital feature film, The Last Broadcast, was not only a massive influence on my filmmaking career, but really digital cinema, as a whole.  Here’s a trailer for the film:



And now, we can all be thankful, that Avalos has decided to make his first feature documentary, the brilliant, Strad Style!



Top Resources



Learn how to plan, fund and share your documentary film




#DocLand The Documentary Life‘s very own flagship filmmaking community which offers you step-by-step tutorials, industry expert webinars, private Facebook group, industry-standard templates and extensive resources, to assist you in the planning, funding and sharing of your documentary film.

Visit #Docland to learn more.


Rate & Review

Please take a moment to help TDL move up the iTunes podcast charts, so it can become more visible to others.  Simply click the link and then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab to make your entry.  Thank you for your support!




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.


  1. Janice Ortmeier on 08/09/2017 at 12:57 PM


    • thedocu5 on 08/25/2017 at 7:08 AM

      Hi Janice, I’m glad that you liked the episode. How did you come by The Documentary Life podcast?

Leave a Comment