From General Business

Interview with Former ICM Agent Jim Jermanok.


Ben: How did you Transition from ICM Agent to Filmmaker?

Jim: I think a lot of entertainment business executives are very creative. Many of them are shadow artists and, for some reason or another, did not follow their first occupational choice. I was an actor and stand-up comic before becoming an ICM Agent.  After 9 years there, I yearned to be creative again.  Indeed, I started becoming jealous of my clients and knew it was only a matter of time.  After quitting, I started as a writer and producer and then began to direct after a few more years. I had to start at square one and meet an almost entirely new contact network as my agent contacts were much too big for me!

Ben: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

Jim: If you find yourself walking into a brick wall, try to avoid hitting your head against it over and over again—and find a way around it.

Ben: You travel across the country to lecture.  Do you think the film scenes vary by region?

Jim: Absolutely.  The biggest distinctions are those locations where the wealthy are encouraged to invest in film and theater. And if there is a decent film or arts tax incentive/rebate. It can make a huge difference in creating and encouraging a professional creative community.  It can also have a very positive impact on attracting tourism to their region.

Ben: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about the industry?

Jim: To have thick skin and not to take rejection personally.  Usually, it has nothing to do with you.  To avoid toxic people or assholes whatever the sacrifice—it’s not worth it!

Ben: You’ve worked with a lot of notable names, which one had the biggest impact on your professional life?

Jim: I’m currently directing a documentary about the life and art of Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau.  I’m learning a lot about entertainment, life and art from him. I also learned a lot from Alan Arkin, Arthur Miller and John Chancellor.

Ben: Where do you think the industry is headed in the next 5 years?

Jim: I think it is on a collision course with Silicon Valley/tech—which will divide, conquer and acquire Hollywood.  I also believe that the obligation will be on us creatives to become more and more entrepreneurial and create our own audiences and followers.  Hence, the impetus for my Creative Entrepreneurship workshop on May 20th .

Ben: Get your Tickets for that workshop below!


Podcast – Content Marketing with Jeremiah Boehner – Film Insight S03E01

Welcome Back to the Film Insight Podcast!  We’re happy to have Jeremiah Boehner on to talk about content marketing and a way for filmmakers to finance their ongoing operations by working with brands to create content to market their products.

As you’ll hear in the interview, creating content for brands isn’t as droll as it used to be.  Brands are increasingly open to entertaining related content that isn’t a direct advertisement.

For more on Jeremiah, follow him on twitter.

Hosted by Ben Yennie and Evan Plegar

Produced and edited by Alex Nigro

Find out more about connecting with brands at

Learn more about ProductionNext and apply for the closed beta at

If you’d like to sponsor Film Insight, please email

Check out The Guerrilla Rep, American Film Market Distribution Success on No Budget at Barnes and Nobles and Amazon, and more content on

Would you like to be on Film Insight?  Apply here!

Like the Producer Foundry page and join the group on Facebook

Follow Producer Foundry on Twitter


Film Insight Season 2 – Episode 10 – Barry Freeman

Ratings are a tricky and often overlooked subject for filmmakers.  It’s an area that is far too often shrouded in mystery.  This week, Randy and Ben talk to Barry Freeman, who spent 10 years on the ratings board at the MPAA, appeared in This Film is Not Yet Rated, and currently makes his living as a ratings consultant for independent filmmakers.

As we all know, geting an NC-17 rating can be the kiss of death for a movie, and even an R Rating when your target audience is younger can greatly impact your film’s profitability.  Knowing how the ratings system works, and how to go about getting the rating you want is an important part of making a commercial film, if you’re seeking traditional theatrical distribution.

If you would like to contact Barry about his work as a ratings consultant, you can do so through any of the following mediums.

Follow Barry on Twitter

Connect with Barry on LinkedIn

If you listened to Ben in our commercial breaks, and would like to check out his book,


Also, Check out Ben’s Workshop on The American Film Market here.

Save 10 dollars with code FilmInsight!

Film Insight is Hosted and Produced by Ben Yennie (@TheGuerrillaRep) and Randy Hall (@RandyHall)

Edited by Alex Nigro

Film Insight Episode 3: Marc Smolowitz on Producing

Marc SmolowitzRandy and Ben have a jam-packed discussion with Marc Smolowitz, award winning Bay Area producer/director. He rouses us with inspirational messages to young producers! He wows us with his tech background and the inevitable return to his passion! Don’t miss even the tiniest bit of it!

Film Insight Episode 1: Daniel Riviera, Entertainment Attorney

Daniel RivieraRandy and Ben introduce Film Insight, and then have a conversation with Daniel Riviera, an “entertainment transactional attorney” based in San Francisco, about the gotchas that indie producers run into when seeking distribution for their film.

Then they briefly talk about the upcoming Producer Foundry meetup on March 25 in San Francisco, before signing off from their very first film industry podcast! Exciting!