The indie scene has created a wealth of talent that may otherwise never have put pen to paper. Their appetite for creating scripts without the middleman has shortened the production process. Fresh talent move between the ranks of recognised writers, producers and directors. This change has opened new doors of opportunity and has impacted the movie production landscape.
The term multiple income streams are now more prevalent than ever before. As a result, the traditional waiting tables scenario between scriptwriting may now entail podcasting or working from home.
Don’t let the independent film sector fool you; huge names like Quentin Tarantino have attracted names like Bruce Willis and John Travolta.
My interest in comedy dates back to the early Carry On films, which succeeded in their attempt to push the boundaries of what was acceptable for that time.
The lower budgets and less bureaucracy paved the way for new up and coming screenwriters, and my next guest falls into that category.
Tyler’s podcast series is growing in popularity. His brand, basement, is available on all recognised platforms.
We caught up with Tyler in his home in Orlando, Florida, albeit virtually.
When did you realise that you wanted to get involved with movies?
I was five years old. My father worked for an ad agency and wrote commercials as well. It was a small market, but in hindsight, I knew he loved it. We always had props from cheap commercials around the house. I have this dream-like memory of him and me at the kitchen table one night, outlining our production for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He had all the knowledge of making films and videos. I always felt like that was the start. I also have to credit my mother and her love for cinema and going to the movies. There are a lot of memories of going to the theatres where we would catch a movie together.
How did you feel when your first movie was released?
I was petrified. We played this little movie to a packed eight hundred seat theatre in my hometown. There really was no going back once the lights went down and the opening credits hit the screen. If they liked it, great if not, oh well, back to the drawing board I go. But once all was said and done, I was hooked on the feeling of holding an audience in the palm of your hand. It’s a sensation I have been chasing since that night.
Did you choose your genre, or did it find you?
These days, it has chosen me. But early on, I just liked films about people and our behaviours and how we react to a situation. So I always go back to classic films of the sixties and seventies that had a plot, but you were more invested in the characters and how they managed what they were dealing with. But I also have always been a fan of films with a lot of imagination. So I aspire to blend those two.
How do you find your inspiration to create?
I try to stay in tune with the world around me. There’s a whole world of knowledge at our fingertips, but I feel we abuse that tool a lot. I watch films and television and read a lot of books and comics and listen to any form of music that strikes a chord with me. And from all of that, I end up just doing research on things, which leads me to create some kind of story in my head. I also never try to force it. Anything I’ve even pushed hard on has never come to fruition. I try to craft stories organically.
Do you think you will conform to tradition and step away from the indie arena in favour of tradition one day? Why?
I want opportunities for big projects at some point. However, I still like the hustle of doing things on an indie level. I know it doesn’t always pay the bills, but that’s where I get to be me. It’s tough, you can’t have both, or maybe you can. If tomorrow I got a call to make the next Marvel film, which is highly unlikely, I would still do it because I like making movies, and it would be a hell of a trip and maybe launch my career. But I can see myself in my eighties when all is set and done, still farting around with a camera making little films in my house and driving my wife crazy.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps? Why?
Don’t follow in my footsteps. I mean, I don’t know where the hell I’m even going right now. Go your own way; people will respect you more, I feel. Take what you’ve learned from those you admire and put your own spin on it.
Your podcast series is gaining popularity; what’s it about, and who is your audience?
I mean, I am still working out the kinks a year into it. But it’s a film centered podcast about the creative process. And it’s done in a very “hangout” kind of way; I like to say. It’s called Tyler Geis’ Basement. Anyone I grew up with gets the reference because when I was a kid, my parent’s basement was kind of a hangout spot where the television would be on, and something cool would be playing. So I try to bring that vibe to the show. It’s still a show I have to run, so there is a flow to it, so nothing goes off the rails, but I try to have guests come on and relax and talk about the cool stuff they’re into and working on.
What was your most outstanding professional achievement to date? Why?
The fact that I walked away from continuing to work for a major national television sports network to pursue my “pipe dream” of getting films made, and I am now pitching to producers, helps me sleep a little better. Of course, I’ll get a whole night’s rest when someone says yes to a script I wrote. But I had to roll the dice on some things the past three years. The race has been long, but I’m still in it, and I don’t want to stop yet.
What’s on the horizon for your brand?
I have a production company called The Ryan Road Company. We’re producing a few more podcasts, and we have a feature film in post-production right now called….*takes a breath*…Horny Teenagers Must Die! It’s a nice homage to the grind-house slasher films of the seventies and eighties. It’s going out to the festival circuit quite soon. And of course, I am shopping projects around to companies.
On a personal note, I wanted to thank Tyler for this interview. A stark reminder that perseverance, determination and drive still make a recipe for success. Hopefully, I will catch up with him again at some point in the future.
GET IN TOUCH