Hey, reddit! We're Richard, Simon and Matt, We got sick of sitting around waiting to catch a break and decided to make a film: Hello Gangster! (IMDb)

It was all shot locally and we did everything ourselves - writing, acting, editing, sound, score and post-production. A large part of the soundtrack was original music by our co-star Matt (who is a working musician in Dallas), as well as other songs from friends. We're here to answer any questions about our filmmaking experience and process, and about the film itself if you care to watch it...here's the trailer.

If you're interested in learning more about future projects, please follow us on Twitter @Reserve17.

Today only - we're doing a special reddit promo code on Vimeo (HG_Reddit_Free_Rental) so you can rent our movie for 48 hours - free for the first 5,000 people!

Or if you have Amazon Prime, you can watch the movie for free!


For more specific questions, Richard the director /u/Reserve17 and Simon the lead /u/nomisazodrac will be answering, too.


EDIT: Thank you so much everyone for asking us all your questions and for all the positive support of our film!!! We're going to exit stage right and let Mr. Aaron Sorkin take it from here with his AMA. We cannot express our gratitude enough!

Comments: 654 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

cravenj1252 karma

Did you manage to get Eddie Murphy in the movie without him realizing he was being filmed as part of a movie?

nomisazodrac95 karma

I've been told I have an Eddie Murphy laugh. Does that count?

MattBarron80 karma

You have the worst laugh I've ever heard.

weblewit15 karma

Wanna hear my laugh?

Hello_Gangster15 karma

Hell yes!

JulianneLesse122 karma

How were you able to shoot at so many locations with such a low budget? Any tips?

Hello_Gangster249 karma

We wore lav mics so the majority of the time people around us didn't even know we were shooting a movie, they just thought we were shooting still photos. We'd pretend we were like having a birthday party or something. Other times we'd just ask the wait staff if it was OK if we shot for five or ten minutes if we needed to.

We went in with the smallest amount of people needed and had a plan and just shot as fast as possible.

i_am_just_a_number113 karma

What kind of used car? I picked up my Peugeot 307 for €2,500. You will need to rampart your answer to include your movie somehow.

Hello_Gangster140 karma

The production budget was $1,500.

What do you mean by rampart?

i_am_just_a_number123 karma

That is one fucking low budget. Well done! On the assumption the movie is good, of course. Which I have no doubt it is.

Rampart refers to this AMA by Woody Harrelson (or rather Woody Harrelson's PR stooge) in which every answer was related to his recent film Rampart, regardless of the question. The responder even went as far as admonishing people that the questions had to be Rampart-related at one point. A total car crash.

Hello_Gangster269 karma

Actually, our movie is total garbage.

TerrySon86 karma

Do you pee in the shower ?

Hello_Gangster131 karma

Of course we do. We wash our faces with our own urine. Did you know that facial cleansing products contain the same active ingredient that is in your piss?

itsAr1ana49 karma

Did you think about submitting this to any film festivals?

Hello_Gangster212 karma

Yes, we did in fact submit to a lot of them, including all the big ones. It was a pretty disappointing experience. We don't have any big names in the film or official backing, so we felt that our submissions were overlooked. In fact, even here for a local festival in Dallas, after we submitted our movie we got a letter saying basically "thanks but no thanks for submitting your documentary" but our movie isn't even a documentary! So basically no one even watched it. Definitely was a learning experience. But, that's why we're here on reddit - we were pretty sad about it but just thought hey why not try to get our movie out directly to the people?

Anyway, basically a film festival is just a gathering of people watching films, no big deal! Anyone here have a big house and backyard that wants to screen our film? We'll show up! =P

feminists_are_dumb6 karma

I have a friend that was able to get connections simply from screening his movie for free in a real theater. Not only did the theater owner set him up with some people, but local film critics got wind of it and gave him some online press as well. It's worth a shot.

Hello_Gangster5 karma

We did that actually at our local Dallas art house theater and got some local press. We are really grateful for that!

SayruhElizabeth37 karma

What's your favorite color?

Hello_Gangster58 karma

Blue - the official color of Hello Gangster. lol jk

lostpatrol24 karma

You're supposed to relate the answer to the movie.

Hello_Gangster268 karma


SayruhElizabeth24 karma

How long did this take to make from start to finish?

Hello_Gangster60 karma

Little over two years. The principal photography took about five months. It wasn't consecutive shooting, it was an hour here or there that fit everyone's schedules. After that we spent about a year to edit it, color correct it, visual effects. Another six months to mix design and master the sound, which took a while because friends who are local professionals were helping us in their free time.

Figtorious20 karma

How did you get into guerilla filmmaking? Is this something that already existed as an idea or did you guys come up with it? Can you tell us more about it in general, because it seems like a really cool and unique way to get a project done.

Hello_Gangster29 karma

Well, we had no money or resources and we wanted to make a film, so necessity, really! Yeah, we didn't invent the term =) it's just a method of filmmaking with little or no budget or crew. Definitely not unique, especially with affordable prosumer DSLR cameras and stuff it's pretty much possible for anyone to make a film today. Make yours!

chthonicSceptre18 karma

What part of filming made you guys the most anxious?

Hello_Gangster55 karma

The robbery sequence we shot on Halloween. Basically we were running around in costumes trying to find a way to make a robbery look authentic on film, without ACTUALLY looking like we were robbing stores, otherwise we would get shot (Texas). So we just ran around with a big bag of candy, Richard was wearing a Pokemon costume to look as innocent as possible, and we'd walk in and start handing out candy to everyone, staff and customers and all.

EDIT: Some Behind The Scenes photos

MeekAndUninteresting12 karma

About what percentage of the jokes are about millennials being lazy and/or entitled?

Edit: Okay I watched the clip and I have a new question. About what percentage of the jokes have a punchline that doesn't involve swearing?

Hello_Gangster8 karma



Hyraphax11 karma

As a highschooler who will probably move into this field, at least somewhat after I graduate, can you just tell me what camera gear, software, and computer specs you guys run?

Hello_Gangster28 karma

That is really awesome. We all got started in high school, too. We made a LOOOOOOT of really fucking stupid short films. Now we're making fucking stupid features!

1) Camera - Canon 5D Mark III

2) Lenses - Canon L Series II 24-70 - Canon L Series II 70-200 - Sigma 14mm

3) Software - Adobe Creative Cloud - After Effects - Premiere - Photoshop

4) Computer - MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012) - Processor 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 - Memory 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 - Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB

RedditUser2710009 karma

Can we get a spin off short featuring Blill?

mwagner269 karma

Wow. I didn't know gorillas could use cameras. Do you guys like to drink beer of fancy fruity drinks?

Hello_Gangster10 karma

We prefer drinking krift bree.

K_O_T_Z7 karma

Hey! Fellow Dallas filmmakers! I'm looking to direct my own feature I've written myself. Why did you decide for ultra-ultra low budget? Was it a mix of what you had/could get and/or design ideas?

What's the best kept secret you think of filming in the Dallas area?

Hello_Gangster25 karma

Short answer: we are broke.

Long answer: we are fucking broke.

Best kept secret? Nobody films movies here so you can get away with a lot.

Loadboy7 karma

What's the most difficult thing about filmmaking?

Hello_Gangster23 karma

Actually finishing your project. It's easy to come up with an idea but to see it through is the tough part.

poop-sloth6 karma

Did you guys use your own cash or did you raise money online?

Hello_Gangster7 karma

Both. We used our own cash initially for filming and then used Kickstarter as a way to raise funds from friends and family for post-production and film festival submissions.

PurePwnage1214 karma

Nice look! What camera setup did you guys use?

reserve178 karma

We shot the entire film on a Canon 5D Mark III.

PurePwnage1219 karma

Very nice! ML Raw 1080p I'm guessing?

reserve178 karma

Yep! We did some early test and I loved the look. The small camera allowed me to stay inconspicuous while shooting on location.

PurePwnage1216 karma

It's got a great look, and, like you said, perfect for "stealing" locations. Best of luck with the movie guys! I'll check it out on Amazon.

Hello_Gangster7 karma

Thank you very much and please leave a review!

DougVossen4 karma

I too am involved in frustrating DIY creativity. I love this and am going to watch it in its entirety tonight. Would any of you guys be open to a Skype call to talk about this on a weekly podcast that I do with a friend of mine? We're not huge but what you did, how you did it, and what you did it with are extremely interesting to me. PM me if you're interested. Throw my user name into amazon, twitter, itunes, etc if you want to further stalk or judge prior to responding. Either way, you guys did a really awesome thing and I hope it gains traction. Best of luck.

Hello_Gangster4 karma

Thank you very much for the high praise. We'll totally do it, and thanks for the opportunity!

kissmeimgeruvian4 karma

Can I be in your next film!?

Hello_Gangster3 karma

Yes. You are in the next film.

sosnesne3 karma

pretty cool how completely self-made it is including the music, how many people were involved in its making? including the cast and director etc.

Hello_Gangster6 karma

The core of it was five people: Richard, Simon and Matt, Liu Yi (the other main actor in the ensemble) and Nalani, Richard's girlfriend, who handled sound while shooting. We also had a number of people that Richard has worked with professionally volunteering to do a lot of the nitty-gritty post-production stuff.

The soundtrack was Matt, songs from other friend Jonathan's band The Gay Lasers (which IMDb put as The Gay Losers for some reason...which he thinks is now a better name), as well as bands from China that he knew. (He also was Blill Masturbson in the film. )The score was originally composed by Noah Jackson and Quinn Brown.

Van_Houten3 karma

Any distribution tips?

Hello_Gangster18 karma

No. Wish us luck. Do you have any?

iCanArt3 karma

Any tips for someone looking into going into filmmaking?

Hello_Gangster6 karma

Just pick up a camera and start. With today's technology there are really no barriers.

jumpingpeanut3 karma

How many millennials do you get for less than the price of a used car?

Hello_Gangster3 karma


Moonseed_Flintbottom2 karma

Hi guys! First of all, I really enjoyed your film! :) When I was watching, I got a hint of a Coen brothers vibe (and maybe a little Wes Anderson as well). Could you tell me what inspired you to make this film? Favorite movies/directors?

Hello_Gangster2 karma

Thanks! Big Lebowski was a big inspiration to the film, and we even have a homage scene. Fargo is Matt's favorite film. Kenny Powers from Eastbound and Down was a big inspiration for his character as well. Mulholland Dr. was Richard's go-to for the overall feeling of the movie.

We were inspired by Robert Rodriguez, a Texas independent filmmaker who hit the big time, who proved two decades ago that with grit and some creativity you can make your movie. For the story, it was just an exaggerated, cinematic version of our own lives...experiences that we feel are very underrepresented on the silver screen these days, even though they are nearly universal for people our age.

Pequeno_loco1 karma

wtf is a guerrilla filmmaker? A made up term for film makers who want to sound 'non-mainstream' or 'against the norm'?

Hello_Gangster7 karma