Mike Stryker Episode Summary
This week we’re hanging out with Emmy Award winning Director and Cinematographer Mike Stryker, talking about his amazing journey into filmmaking, filming The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, hanging pianos off the side of a bluff, and so much more!
Mike Stryker Episode Notes
This week we’re hanging out with Emmy Award winning Director and Cinematographer Mike Stryker, talking about his amazing journey into filmmaking, filming The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, hanging pianos off the side of a bluff, and so much more!
Mike Stryker Lightning Round Answers:
- Favorite Movie – Shawshank Redemption
- Last Movie You Watched – The Twilight Zone
- Favorite Director – Ridley Scott or Steven Spielberg
- Most Underrated / Slept On Cinematographer – Corey Allen
- Coffee or Tea – Coffee
- Pineapple on Pizza – Yes
- Favorite Camera – ARRI ALEXA
- Three Films to Watch Before You Die – Shawshank Redemption / Star Wars / Back to the Future
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Mike Stryker Transcript
Bill Cornelius 00:00
Ready, Mic check.
Corey Allen 00:03
Oh, just in time,
Mike Stryker 00:04
how amazing is it? So there was a lawnmower going on, like incredibly loud just now and then right when we press record went live, it stopped. How often does that happen and audio in the audio world?
Corey Allen 00:18
Never Never. This is a we’re living in another universe at this moment.
Bill Cornelius 00:23
Yes. This is unprecedent. This
Corey Allen 00:25
is our simulation. Yes. Here we go. Hi, I’m Corey.
Bill Cornelius 00:35
Corey Allen 00:36
Bill Cornelius 00:37
We are the infocus podcast.
Corey Allen 00:40
Today we’re joined by Emmy Award winning filmmaker and founder of casting light films. Mike Stryker, Mike, how’s it going? Welcome to the show. Good to be here.
Bill Cornelius 00:49
Welcome, Mike. Or Stryker? Which do you prefer? I’ve heard you introduce yourself on set a striker. Well, not even the mic
Mike Stryker 00:57
striker keeps it easy when you have a lot of mics on set. And if you can think of microphone and then all the other mics. It’s pretty much a common name in the world on the United States at least.
Bill Cornelius 01:08
So thanks for joining us, you and I, we’ve known each other for 10 or more years now. 11 years. 11 years. Yeah, we’ve worked together on a number of projects. So appreciate you coming in. You’re one of the In my opinion, one of the greatest talents we’ve got in this city. You’re doing a lot of good stuff. You’re always active getting after it. So thank you for coming. Thanks for having me today. Yeah, for sure. So let’s let’s start with the origin story. Like when did you get into film? Like what was the thing that that originally back in West Virginia got you like excited and ready to get into it?
Mike Stryker 01:50
I think for like a majority of the people that get into film is that you start early with playing around with VHS cameras, especially me back in the day in the 1990s. Yeah, I was experimenting and like going outside and film and then you know, copying what we saw on TV. Yeah. And then they’re like, Oh, I kind of like this. This is cool.
But what was also extraordinary about it is that my my grandmother and I used to play, she used to play music for me. And she used to have me play the music along with her on the piano and she would describe to me stories. And so the stories that she described are very visual and vivid and in sometimes she would point out, Hey, watch the trees flowing out of you know, flowing beyond the window. then what’s the feeling you can be described within the music.
And so I love this whole thing about like, bringing music within film, and then being able to present this really cool end cap and then put that music within the film from the VHS or whatever, I would go and film I would put record music and put it with it. So really, it’s it’s the it’s both worlds. It’s the convergence of both worlds. That really brought me to get into it. But VHS being kind of the start.
Bill Cornelius 03:00
Yeah. And we talked about we’ve talked about that on the show before about like how film is so all encompassing. So when you bring up like the music and storytelling aspect of it, it’s it’s not just like photography, or it’s a still image. It’s it’s music. It’s talent and performance. It’s sound design. It’s, you know, creative visual design. There’s so many things that go into film, which makes it rich creatively. such depth. Yeah, so I think that’s super cool. And then how, how did you then go from the VHS stuff into like, real work like actually working?
Mike Stryker 03:40
I was in my third year of high school, I went to Florida, I spent some time out there with my mother. And my uncle had called me when I was out at the beach. And he said, hey, there’s this. I know you like film production. Do you want to come out? I have some friends that are working in the industry, if you want to come out and work on this film, and I said, Okay, yeah, I just want to see what the experience is like working on a film. Yeah. So it was a movie called The insatiable shot in Austin, Texas, when there was a really huge boom in the industry in Austin.
And it was the movie starring Sean Patrick Flannery and had Michael been in it. Oh, and so it was a really unique experience. Because for me, it was I was a floater, basically more of a PA but I was just doing whatever. Yes, holding booms at points. I was picking up lights or whatever. But it was so it was tough for me because I didn’t realize how much how intense it would be. Yeah, I figured it was it was all glamour, and, you know, and fun and the misperceptions that a lot of people have
Corey Allen 04:35
and this is why you’re in high school.
Mike Stryker 04:37
So this is while I was in high school. Okay. So I worked. I worked on it for about two weeks roughly. And one day I went home, basically went to my uncle’s house and I said, I just want to go back to the beach. Because it was just grueling and Oh, yeah. And at that age, you’re assuming lifestyle. Easy peasy. Because it If you’re the, you know, person like me, my parents really took my dad and my grandmother.
they really took great care of me and like, in a lot to where I was like, I just never had worked so hard before on my own where I was expected to have all these expectations of me. Yeah. So it was the first time I got to see that, hey, sometimes we got to put in actual hard work in life. And I’m glad I had that experience. But I kind of wish I would have stuck it through. But I’m, I’m okay now, because I’ve had a lot of tough and hard work since that day.
Bill Cornelius 05:34
Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, that’s what’s sad is, you know, like, that’s why a lot of people don’t continue with it, because it is a grind. A lot of times it is. Yeah. And so when when did you then from that point, you know, you said, I just want to go back to the beach. It’s hard work. When did you decide then to, like, make a career out of this? And it was meant to?
Mike Stryker 05:57
Yeah, it was a year after that. There was a film, there was a film Actually, I was in college, and I was doing a lot of film production. Within my communication class. I was helping all my class. It was more about TV, news, news and media sort of thing. So but I was like, I wanted to do creative stuff. So I started building this reel, and in basically doing creative shots, little commercial stuff with with some of the best students in the program. And eventually, there was an agency that caught on to some of the work that I was doing, they ended up hiring me.
they’re called the barn’s agency when I was in my first year of college. So they get to see some work. I was I was already executing just earlier on and they liked it. So they hired me to do some other commercial work. Well, with that, I basically mixed up the entire reel of from work I had done with the college and work I’d done with an agency in somehow through the program, there was a we we got a call to request for a camera guy for this film coming up in West Virginia called the wild and wonderful whites of West Virginia. Yeah.
And so that was actually in my third that would have been my third year of college at that point, though, that was later that was after the first two years of building that real and everything with the barns agency for 30 years when I got the call for the wild whites. So I went out there the very first day, and I went to a hospital to go and just film be this video guy that they needed in West Virginia for a few days. That was what else supposed to be just some video guy. Yeah, I went out there and shot some work for them. And they saw it. Johnny Knoxville saw it.
And I got a call back, saying we we want you to be our west virginia unit, cinematographer. And I was like, so you’re saying West Virginia unit cinematographer? Does that mean your primary cinematographer? West Virginia, and this is where it’s all taking place. Yeah. And so that’s what it became. And I my first film i’d documentary I’d worked on was actually completed as a cinematographer was the wild and wonderful whites of West Virginia. And that was in 2006. I believe it’s Yeah, 2006 or 2007. Somewhere in between there. In 2008, wild whites was released.
Bill Cornelius 08:13
And that was a wild experience for you. Oh, yeah.
Mike Stryker 08:17
One year, one year of, of going down, going down a rabbit hole of backwoods Appalachia. Yeah. of a place even I didn’t visit even living there and growing up in West Virginia. Because I knew better but yeah, but the film film allowed me to enter a world I would have never seen before. And yeah, that’s where I was like, You know what, this is really amazing that you can you can start to document and capture this these unique stories that you would never see unless you were open, more open minded about, like, there’s another life. There’s other people’s lives out there. It’s not just you. Yeah, see in for me, it was an eye opener that I wanted to definitely, definitely pursue the industry and on my own and start doing my own thing and building my own company.
Bill Cornelius 09:09
From there, and was that around the same time you you worked on? We
Mike Stryker 09:13
are martial? We are marshals in 2008 I believe. I just went out there and assisted with camera. And it was that was it wasn’t like over. It wasn’t a lot of stuff I did with with Dr. Marshall. I spent some time with the gaffer and got to learn some bigger things about major, really major motion picture work versus the first time I worked on was an independent film. So there was there’s actually a huge difference when you see a studio film versus a an indie film.
Yeah, you still have the bigger actors, but the whole production side of thing is very unique. And you have to meet those experienced wise people that are just calm and collected and like no, it’s like you don’t want to do that. But here’s what you probably want to try. This is what For my 20 times of screwing it up, and then you they’re gonna say, Oh, I know what I’m talking about, or Thank you for letting me know I will be practicing that. So I don’t make those mistakes. Yeah. So I spent, I spent it was about it was a couple weeks, nice is maybe a little less just working on that production. It wasn’t the entire time.
Bill Cornelius 10:21
So essentially, your film school was like, being out on these shoots and learning from these, these seasoned people and just getting immersed in it. It sounds like
Mike Stryker 10:32
exactly my favorite thing, again, was it was working with people that have been in the industry for a long period of time. Yeah. And I was so open, I love getting to hear from people that have been through all those experiences, and all that chaos and dealing with all the problems and the solutions behind those and getting to hear these people. And because at this point, they’ve they’ve seen it, and they’ve been through it so much. And they understand it so well. Why not take that time to learn and listen to become a better filmmaker? Yeah. And so those were, I can say like that that honestly was the biggest thing for me to help me advance as a filmmaker in the technical field, but also on the partially the business field as well.
Bill Cornelius 11:17
That’s awesome. And so you mentioned barns agency, you still do work with them, right? Yep. So that’s that’s been a long. That’s been a long relationship at this point. Yes. And so wonderful relationship. Yeah. And so they I know you you do live in Nashville now. I’m they operate out of West Virginia. That’s correct.
Mike Stryker 11:39
But they’re also they just started a place here for health care industry. So the barns agency health care. Oh, nice. Just in the past year, I believe or year and a half,
Bill Cornelius 11:49
I believe. Awesome. So what what then brought you to Nashville?
Mike Stryker 11:53
Nashville. It started. I had I was doing an audition or not me personally. I was we were doing a What do you call it? Geez, I can’t be a casting casting. Geez. Yeah, thank you. The most simple thing to remember. Yes, we were doing a casting and a woman had walked in to as we were doing this casting in the coffee shop, because we were just meeting people and getting to know them more or less as if the casting thing cuz it was just about pictures. Like we were taking pictures instead of video for this particular thing. Yeah. So she had walked in.
And I was like, I would like to take that girl on a date. So I met her. And we went on a date. We saw this, we saw a movie. And then she was like, I want to go to Nashville one day. And I was like, I’m ready to get out of this place. In the most simple format. She was like, I’m ready to get out of West Virginia. Yeah. And I want to go. She said that. And then I was like, ready go west virginia to she wanted to pursue a career in music. Yeah. So I was like, let’s go. ended up in Nashville. And in 2010, October 2010. Yeah. And next door to me when I first moved in happened to be a guy named Zack Adams. Yes.
Bill Cornelius 13:04
As we all know, yes.
Mike Stryker 13:07
So by coincidence, or synchronicity, or whatever we might call that it was it was a real blessing that had happened immediately. And from from after meeting, just before then I’ll backtrack it. I met Gabriel reading on a music video shoot in West Virginia. He was doing an album untethered. And so I did a music video for him and he had happened to be here in Nashville as well. So and he was such a great guy to work with and an amazing man, amazing guy. Like
Bill Cornelius 13:39
he’s, I mean, he’s like a true renaissance man. Yeah, he knows he can do anything you position. landscape. Like, he does everything. Incredible design, incredibly dynamic.
Mike Stryker 13:52
Yeah. And, and so I came here and I felt I felt so much comfort. When I first got here because Gabriel’s already here. All of a sudden I move in and there’s a producer next door, named Zack. Zack introduced me to a guy named Bill Cornelius.
Bill Cornelius 14:11
Yeah, we were we were working on Nashville rises when? When you guys met? That’s right. Which was the flood documentary we did about the Nashville flood in 2010. Zach directed it. I was dp. And I remember Yeah, you had come on just to kind of help out right and do some things and and I remember Zack tells the story about how you both like went out on your porch one day and started talking. That’s like I worked in film too. was so funny. It
Mike Stryker 14:46
worked out that way. Well, what was intriguing is that I walked across over to his house, and I was in front of his house and I was looking at the door and I was like, are those Emmys in there? Or what? What are those Telly Telly Um, so I guess I immediately was like, okay, so he’s in the film industry. That’s how Yeah. And then we just kind of started talking a little bit. And then of course, we got into that subject about winning awards and so forth. And, and then we, he said, Hey, you want to come out? work on that? This project?
Yeah. And, of course, it was like, a really big deal for me to get involved with whoever I could First of all, but it was even better knowing that I had a neighbor that was actually a genuine really great genuine guy. Yeah, super, you know, super, super talented in producing and like just putting just putting the bigger picture together. And then we could really work as a team to start doing that. And then you Bill coming along. And we it’s all the sudden, I was like, part of this like, brilliant team within like, you know, a week of the year.
Bill Cornelius 15:50
That was the beginning of the Power Team. Yeah,
Corey Allen 15:52
I was gonna say is that is that the Power Team? Yes. It’s where where it all started?
Bill Cornelius 15:57
Yes, we have a thing. Hashtag Power Team. Call our collective group of people here in Nashville, as our powers combined as our powers combined. We are powered by Captain Planet with the Power Team,
Mike Stryker 16:18
although Captain Planet was a great, interesting,
Bill Cornelius 16:21
yes. Good environmental message in that. Yeah, the cartoon. And so casting life, when did casting light films come about? Was that before before you moved to Nashville, or was that right around the that
Mike Stryker 16:33
was pretty much right on the brink of it. Okay, because in 2000, it was in 2008. When I started to, when I started my company, oh, officially, like, I already knew that. In my head. I was a company but it wasn’t official. Right. So which is true for 2005? You know, I felt or 2006 I was like, Okay, I want I have a company now, but I have to get it. Yeah. Secretary of State and all that stuff. And so how did I establish that in West Virginia?
And in called a casting live films and and then I decided to go on my journey with the company. What What would that mean? Well, you know, for me, like it would mean that I would search for whatever comes next that I would have things I would love to do and pursue in the film world. Yeah. Biggest thing, in my mind, of course, is making films making movies. And that’s not exactly what came up first, other than the documentary that I worked on, some of the films that I worked on, but as a company, I wanted to make films as a lot of companies do out there.
Yeah. But you know, you get wrapped up in other things such as being in Music City, there’s going to be music video. Right, right. So music videos became was that you know, Zack in particular, was really the introduction to working on music videos. And you had already Europe, and I saw your work immediately. The first, basically when I first met Zack, and he was show me work, it was you it was some of your work. And so we all started working together and like, that’s when the I believe it was just a little later. Julie,
Bill Cornelius 18:05
the jewelry, Robert? Yeah. Whiskey in you?
Mike Stryker 18:08
Yep. Hmm. Yeah, that came about. And you were you’re the cinematographer on that. And we got a chance to work on music videos together. Yeah, for the first time, which is really was a fun time.
Bill Cornelius 18:19
That was the first time I’d seen something that we all worked on on CMT. That’s right. It was like number two on there like top 10 countdown. Oh, yeah.
Mike Stryker 18:27
Actually, what ended up it ended up making it to number one. Oh, really? Yeah, I didn’t know that. It wasn’t like for the all the time, but it stayed at one for a little while. That’s awesome. So that’s our first real I mean, music video now, documentary national rise is one National Film Festival. That’s true. Yeah. Yeah. And which was just beautiful. And, I mean, there’s a lot of cool stuff that happened back to back like in, you know, in a wonderful way. Like, it was just nice, because it is a collaborative, we all wanted something. We all wanted to do something that was beautiful and meaningful. And I know a lot of people resonate, you resonate with and, and themes that matter, you know, and like for, for life in general. And so it was a good time.
Bill Cornelius 19:09
Yeah. And you even, you know, gave me a lot of help on hear me now then when I did that. I was a six year long process. Well, but you know, I don’t I don’t know. You were involved a little bit, I think during production, but that was really a skeleton crew that was like me and Zach Mosley and Steven Knapp. And then I think post production was a nightmare on that. And it took over a year and I had swapped editors a few times because of scheduling conflicts and different things. And I remember you called me and you were like, I would like to help you finish post production. Yes. Thanks, Mike. I’ll take any help. I can get
Mike Stryker 19:52
well it was a special It’s a special film, and it had a lot of purpose to it. And there was no reason for it to be shelved by anybody. Or just not continued to be worked on and executed to be presented to people who needed this in their lives. And we crossed the finish line. So I owe a lot to you for that. Thank you, thank you a lot to you as well for just letting me be part of that.
Because, you know, for me, that’s kind of that’s actually a really big deal for me, you know, it’s like, how can we actually help people? Yeah, and get to be I guess progress internally and in in to help help find themselves I guess love within and, and know that they’re special. And they have, everyone has a gift? And yeah, there’s no reason to get lost when we can actually have something really special to I guess to move forward with in our future. Yeah. Which is ourselves ultimately. Yeah, exactly.
Bill Cornelius 20:43
And you you that it was that working on post for that is how I I linked up for the first time with Yon bazooka young British guy. Yeah. And you you work with him a while? Yeah.
Mike Stryker 20:55
So, Xian, he was the one of the first. So in my college, I went to the west. It’s called West Virginia State University media program. He was an exchange student from Czech, Czech Republic. And we became immediately became best friends. I knew he he had the, I guess, the courage, the charisma, the passion, the drive to really do it. And now he’s out in Los Angeles, just to kind of fast forward. He’s in Los Angeles. Now. He did the movie midway, which is the director of Independence Day. Oh, yeah.
Bill Cornelius 21:32
Roland Emmerich? Yep.
Mike Stryker 21:32
into the sound, sound design and so forth. So
Bill Cornelius 21:35
he’s killing it. Right. Yeah.
Mike Stryker 21:36
And with that passion and desire, like, those are the types of people not know, you don’t always come around people with the same desires as us in the film industry. But it’s good to be around those people that really, really want to do something, but also want to be a collaborative at the same time. And Yon was that person, we helped influence each other and build and grow together.
Like in this in at this college, that was just really it was about teach more about TV like news. Yeah, but we were like we need to, we’re here in the state of West Virginia. I mean, it’s a community college, but also it was a university when we got there, but it was really a community college, how small it was. Yeah, we’re like, we want to do something greater. It was that big goal, you know, like, underdog? Here? Let’s do it. Let’s do it.
Corey Allen 22:23
Yeah. Now, Mike, I come to understand you also have some other international connections. Yes.
Mike Stryker 22:33
So I did a I did a short film in Thailand. As a starting point here, I did a short film in Thailand. For the royalty they wanted people, different filmmakers from all over the world to come and make a short film, or it rather be a documentary or a narrative film, about a specific area of Thailand. And the place that I had made, the film we ended up writing a short film about was based in San pan Bach, which I don’t even know if that’s how you say it. It could be an entirely different name. And so we ended up, we ended up with making this film and they had a competition, of course, he would be the winner.
And so they would promote it in the film. And ultimately, we did, I think we did a pretty good job like we did, we worked very hard and told a really, really pure story about the heart of Thailand. and Japan ended up beating us in the, in the competition, which they had a wonderful film too, and everything and but I think, at the end of the day, you know, despite the fact that we didn’t when it was about being able to, I guess I’ll backtrack for just a second. But a really good friend of mine, his name is Justin Litton. He’s a cinematographer.
And, and he lives in West Virginia. And we’ve worked together a lot. And he’s the one that actually approached me and said, Hey, you have a company, they want a company and a filmmaker, not being a company to come and join together to go out there. And that’s how we, I actually ended up out there in the first place. So I have that to thank for Justin Linton. It was, it was probably one of the most magical experiences I think I’ve ever had.
Corey Allen 24:15
And that’s great.
Bill Cornelius 24:16
I remember seeing the pictures of you like out in the fields and everything. Oh, it was like, Wow,
Mike Stryker 24:21
it was so so magical. And it was just beautiful. All around. Except this one night, I decided to go out. After this. After two weeks or week and a half of filming. I was like, I’m gonna go get a massage in the mall in the middle of the mall. And what everybody’s watching. I just make that very clear. And, and afterwards, I couldn’t remember how to get back to my hotel. Oh, no. So I walked outside. And I’m saying hey, my hotels called the sukkah so hotel and they’re like we don’t they’re shaking their heads like we don’t know what you’re talking about.
Yeah. Of course not saying that’s correct. I think I think it’s more said Supercell and Supercell. So that one little teeny difference. Change no idea what you were. So I was spending three to four hours trying to find my way home. There were people. I had somebody pick me up on a moped driving around town. And I thought they were gonna bring me a back alley and kidnapped me. Like, I was scared. I was scared. Like, I was like, this is it. This is it for me. But come to realize they were all even. I was in Bangkok this time.
Yeah, at this time. And I was eventually they got me back. Eventually. They got me back. Well, not to the hotel. They got me to a train where I happen to meet a woman that just got back from America. That spoke perfect English. Oh, excellent. And this was like a one o’clock in the morning. Like, this is like, crazy. What an adventure like, yeah. And she helped me out. She was like, oh, suka salt. Oh, you mean suka Sol? Yes. And I ended up getting this train back to the hotel. But it was definitely a crazy night. It was all this fear. But what I came to realize is it’s not.
I know we have sometimes we have fear of being in new places, new environments, new people. But it’s not always like that. And that’s something I took from that is that I don’t have to always be on my guard, which is not always what you think it is. Yeah. And to to be more in the bring more clarity to yourself in those moments, instead of like losing. I was like literally like, oh, gosh, I can’t see anybody ever again.
Bill Cornelius 26:39
And so then, was it was that shoot at all that she wasn’t connected to the when you went to China? That was something different? So
Mike Stryker 26:48
China became a different story. It was like four years later, okay. Yeah, the, the National Film Festival, I got a call from a friend that said, hey, there’s this lady, her name is Lee Weaver. She’s going to be at the National Film Festival, you should meet her because she’s talking about working with working with China to do some major motion pictures. And I was like, okay, so I went over there, I met her absolutely wonderful lady. And we became really good friends and started to get to know each other a lot.
And I ended up meeting a lot of her collaborative partners from China, here in Tennessee. And she said, Hey, we’re gonna go to China, we’d like to meet up with the with some partners in China. We get there we go to Beijing meet China Film partners, which they’re massive. I mean, they’re pretty much one of the top film companies in China. Yeah. And as we know, I mean, maybe, to a degree is that China is is potentially greater than our entire industry now. I mean, it’s massive. Yeah. Unbelievably massive.
Bill Cornelius 27:50
Well, that’s, that’s kind of like there’s there’s so much business dealings with China within Hollywood now. Yeah, just because for one thing that audiences so large, you know, those are the ticket sales that Hollywood looks for Absolutely. Chinese market. And so we see a lot of that kind of the industry here in America, kind of trying to appeal more to that Chinese market. So I know there’s a lot of like, either we’re trying to play catch up, or just trying to get the ticket sales, yes, you know, or both.
Mike Stryker 28:28
So, so, come to find out, it feels it felt like more more so at the, at the time, that China really wanted to start bringing in their content to America. So people could start to understand that culture in that way and implement, you know, implementing a new way of film production here in America. And it but we were there. So it was interesting as we were there to talk to them more about us working with them on their films. But I think I think I believe my end I kind of was like summing it all up.
It looked like they were wanting to but there. So it was more of a I think we understood that by the end. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so naturally, there wasn’t really anything that came from this. But I will say they were some of the most amazing dinners I’ve ever had in my life. It’s this massive table with tons of gambang. So gambang Cheers. A lot of cheering and toasting. Yeah. And, and sometimes, slowly, you’re slowly forgetting or not knowing what you’re saying anymore by the end. an hour but but incredible time, like, at the end of the day, that everyone was very friendly. Everybody was very kind, peaceful. We spoke. It was very business. You know, at the end of the day, it’s very business. It’s straight, more straight to the point.
Bill Cornelius 29:51
Well, I remember when you came back, I was like, you’re the film ambassador to China.
Corey Allen 29:57
Mike Stryker 29:58
for For for a moment, for a moment there, we were having us. We were going to start we were going to start something and working in that direction. But it just naturally, I guess sort of faded back to just me doing my thing here in Nashville and then ran the United States, mostly, I didn’t want to enter a realm. I’m a filmmaker. So it hard so naturally for me to be a consultant. And I guess a pathway or like to work in that industry of trying to connect people together like that more
Bill Cornelius 30:32
business more business overseas.
Mike Stryker 30:33
That wasn’t my thing. Particularly. Yeah, although I’m more more than happy and you know, open to do that. If I guess if this story is right, and everything connects liking for sure. Yeah. But we were going to pursue that. And I just made a decision that it was just best for me to keep to what I really, really love and what I really know. Yeah. Which is just making films with people, you know, work with naturally currently, and, and then as things unfold, where we partner up with China to make films, very accepting and open to that happening one day.
Bill Cornelius 31:06
Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. Yeah. And we, you know, back to back to us as the power team working together on a lot of stuff. Like we I mean, I was joking the other day, that anytime I go to your website, or Zach’s website, I see the same stuff that’s on my website. We’ve all worked on Yeah. Yep. And I remember, we had a mixer when you guys had that office on Second Avenue. in Nashville. Remember the big? Y’all through like a mixer down there? Oh, yeah. A few years ago,
Mike Stryker 31:46
Andrew, Andrew Rosario and I and Zack,
Bill Cornelius 31:50
yeah, had that office space.
Mike Stryker 31:51
Yeah. Just decided we would invite every filmmaker from around town and anybody in the production field.
Bill Cornelius 31:58
Yeah. And it was great. And we all we were all down there. And I remember you had like, the demo reel. It was like a super reel of sky films was Zach, and you’re casting live stuff. And I was just like, standing there. Like, I’ve worked on 70% of the things that are on this monitor. It’s just like I love and I, I think it’s, it’s truly a wonderful thing, when you can find a community and a group of filmmakers that are like, have the same mindset that you can come together and work with and collaborate on projects with us.
And, you know, we pump each other up, we support each other’s projects, like, that’s when I tell people about Nashville in the film community. That’s what I think of I think of the stuff that that you and I and Zach, and like all this stuff we’ve done and collaborated on? And just like that whole family feel? Yeah, absolutely. And I think Nashville is growing a lot. There’s a lot of new people coming here all the time. There’s a lot of people I don’t know, anymore, right. But I still think at its core, that family feeling is still here as opposed to like LA or? Yes, you know,
Mike Stryker 33:14
yeah, I think that there’s a humble element here. That’s that that’s sticking around and, and yet find people from other states moving here, because I believe at heart, they’re actually trying to find that camaraderie. Yeah. in that in that family themselves. Because it is hard and other places that are like super driven and doggy dog mentality. The doggy dog mentality works for so long, until you start scaring away people that you actually should have in your life.
Bill Cornelius 33:46
Mike Stryker 33:47
it’s like, it kind of makes us because not everybody wants to play the fight the fight for food game, you know, which is like the fight for the jobs. And you know, I’m better at this. He shouldn’t get this. It’s more like, hey, let’s try to figure out to make this all work for everybody. And we can Yeah, I feel that we can. Yeah.
Economically, and like, you know, with this whole in the whole film industry, it’s just a matter of how, how hard you’re willing to work and how, how respectful of a person are you open to being with your friends and your family? And also the clients? Yeah, you know, and being humble to a degree like being, I guess, not. Not not feeling like your ego, I guess it gets in the way, versus like listening and paying attention to what can work for the betterment.
Bill Cornelius 34:42
Yeah, but the people around you, and we talked about on we’ve talked about it on the show a few times. And Corey, I know, like, we’ve all actively engaged in this, like something we do in this community, is if we can’t take it if a gig comes to us, and we can’t take it. We’re more than willing To, to pass it off to somebody else in the community that we know will do a good job, you know, because we’re all trying to help each other out. Yeah. And and I think that’s awesome. I’ve had gigs come to me that someone else had to pass on. Yeah, you know, like, it’s just that that whole, we’re all helping each other out. I love that. That’s what’s great about Nashville.
Mike Stryker 35:21
Yeah. When you you get, you get work and you’ll get this job. And I’m like, oh, but I have this so many overlapping other other jobs happening here. It feels, it should feel like nice to know that you’re gonna be helping somebody else out and not with a degree of like, hey, I need something back from you when you get a job. And we’re like, I’m, I’m giving back to something because I want
Bill Cornelius 35:43
to see you succeed.
Mike Stryker 35:44
I think other people have done this in our lives to help us get here. So it’s important to do the same for the people around us to help them get where they’re wanting. Yeah, really, truly wanting in their heart and other goals and career, you know, in their path.
Bill Cornelius 35:58
And you know, I love seeing my peers succeed. I love seeing you succeed. And like, like, anytime I see people that I know getting on a cool gig. I’m just like, that’s awesome. Oh, yeah. I’m glad you’re there. Super cool. Yeah. So it’s really cool. Now you’re killing it. I’m
Corey Allen 36:15
just gonna let you keep going. I didn’t know if I if I mic, I would love to talk about some of your more. extravagant might be the word maybe crazy. I’m not sure I know. You’ve worked on a lot of different projects. But as I was doing my homework yesterday, one of the examples bill shared with me Was he showed me a screenshot of a piano hanging off the side of a cliff. For a music video, I
Bill Cornelius 36:44
need to know more, we’re under a legal obligation not to speak of it. That was one of the few I did not work on. Seeing the pictures.
Mike Stryker 36:53
Yes. So that was with Gabriel reading. He, he is an adventurer.
Corey Allen 36:58
He’s adventurous, obviously.
Mike Stryker 37:01
Oh, yeah. He so somebody wanted to do this, this video and he said, I would love to hang all my instruments from the side of the mountain. And my first thought was, let’s do it. Because why not? When it comes down to it and visually you want to have that and you want to have those unique experience. So life you know life is a lot about experiences, if not all will determine that in the philosophical nature another conversation but but to have the have all those instruments hanging on the side, and then the the performers hanging off the side and playing those instruments was definitely, definitely a crazy experience.
Because Gabriel’s like, strapped in with all these cables, like trying to play the piano, you know, and everybody’s like, playing all their. I believe he’s playing the piano. I haven’t seen the video in a little while. But yeah, but all those just players hanging on the edge. I’m like, we’re not even thinking. We’re not thinking clearly this time, because it’s kind of like what were to happen if there was not one question that it was more of, like, someone could get hurt.
But we weren’t like what would happen if you know, and I guess it just comes with that younger? I mean, not that that was that long ago. But we got caught up. So in that moment of how cool it was. You kind of forget about the other side of things, which is like, hey, maybe, yeah, maybe maybe we should think about maybe doing things even a little safer.
Bill Cornelius 38:22
And to be clear, it wasn’t just the cliff side, it was a cliff side over water. That’s right.
Mike Stryker 38:28
That was the positive note to serve. Everybody fell and hopefully they just landed water.
Corey Allen 38:33
To be clear, I feel like the picture I saw there was a lot of rigging there was looked
Mike Stryker 38:39
thank you for Yeah, there was there was actually a there was definitely safely enough rigging to ensure as much as humanly possible.
Corey Allen 38:47
Yeah. So for all you young youngsters, don’t go strap in a piano
Mike Stryker 38:51
don’t even think Don’t think about that. Unless you know you hire professional and someone that’s certified to do that. Yeah, definitely. Just to cut Yeah, thank you.
Bill Cornelius 39:03
But it looks amazing. Yes, the end product of course is is yet
Mike Stryker 39:07
to expand. We took I was with Deron Williams filming that Darren’s really good friend of mine. Now, we worked together for about eight years at this point now and and we were riding a boat, we were on the water driving the boat towards the cliff. I was filming. He was driving the boat. Darren hasn’t drove many boats before. And I said go as fast as you can towards that clip or the clip. And when I tell you as we’re the performers were up on the cliff side.
I asked him to go directly towards the performers on the cliff side to get this cool shot. And then turning and panning to the left. So I said as soon as they tell you to turn left with that about he was like we were like 40 feet. He was like Should I turn now? No, keep going. 30 feet now. 20 feet. I need to turn 15 feet. No 10 feet turn. And I get this amazing shot just swiping across. Yeah. And ultimately, you could do the same thing, of course with the drone.
Bill Cornelius 40:08
But this was like before those were what they are.
Mike Stryker 40:10
Yeah, exactly. And it was kind of like, this is such a cool moment to have. But it’s a dangerous moment. You know, it’s like, at the end of the day, it’s like, these are still dangerous moments. And now, and again, I don’t recommend doing any of these things. Like just to kind of bring out the truth in it. You shouldn’t do these, like, really, on the borderline dangerous things like this without somebody seeking professional guidance.
And always, always make sure you seek professional guidance before doing even though it seems like the coolest thing and the most fun thing. We just don’t want to put anybody in a compromised situation where anybody can be harmed in any way. And I believe this shoot we did, we did. Mostly the best job we could. And, and, and no, the only person that really could have got hurt is probably me by telling Darren to run into the clothes. You know, and that would have been disastrous, but they have a piano fall. And then yeah, and then everyday, you know, the domino effect. Yeah. But it was fun. It was a great time, and I wouldn’t take it back for the
Bill Cornelius 41:12
end. The thing is, you bring up the point about like, yes, safety is very important. And you know, we can’t emphasize that enough as filmmakers, like that’s very important. Because Yeah, a lot of times people get, I’ve been there too. You get like obsessed with the shot idea. And you’re like, Look, I can do this. And my big thing I’ve mentioned is that I wrote on the front of a speedboat with one hand on the boat and one hand on the can
Oh, my gosh, that sounds sounds similar to yours sounds worse, though. I got really great shot. And and it taught me that I have like, a steady shoulder of steel when it comes to holding the camera. But yeah, I don’t I don’t recommend that. I feel like everyone who’s like really into shooting is gonna do something like that at some point. But exercise caution. Yes. What is the high road was?
Mike Stryker 42:11
What’s the word? Is it? Is it cocky? Or is it when you when you’re like, hey, I’ve done this, I can do this. Yeah, it’s like there’s there’s a limit to that I’m, I’m, I’m pretty sure there’s a limit to that in life of how many times you can get away with it. And then with that weird, I guess you can even you can almost say arrogant kind of attitude or whatever.
To say like, I’m really great at this. I can definitely do that again. Yeah. And you’ve already tested it once and was already dangerous. And now you’re trying to show off, which is what’s naturally happens. Like, I can’t do this I’m writing. Those types of things are not those, I would say probably 95% at least in my life, if not more, have not come out good on the other end by doing that. I’m just saying as me though,
Bill Cornelius 42:53
I don’t know experience. Yeah. I believe that.
Corey Allen 42:58
Yeah. So the piano hanging off the side of the cliff probably sets the bar pretty high. Yes. But have you done anything even remotely extravagant for other projects?
Mike Stryker 43:11
I think just naturally hanging off Cliff sides is kind of the biggest thing. Even like taking cameras and hanging them off. You know, like, I don’t I don’t think there’s anything extravagant. Other than my first. It was the second day, I believe on the wild and wonderful whites. The director had come in. He came in from Los Angeles. And the very first day he brought us out.
We were we walked into this apartment complex. And there is a guy holding the gun across the hallway to a person yelling at that person with a gun. And I’m walking in with the camera for the first time with a director this My first impression with the director as well. face to face and all these things I walk in and he said get up there and film now like in a very posh a nicer much nicer he
Corey Allen 44:05
was more like you gotta get that. Yeah,
Mike Stryker 44:07
of course we start filming. Yeah, it’s like start filming get in there. And I was like, they have a gun. There’s a person yelling. And this is like genuinely more of a genuine Lee’s first real experience like in this documentary world. So if you can imagine, you think something like this would have some serious triggers for me later on. Yeah, but haven’t thank God I haven’t had those experiences before.
But I got up there and filmed and a cop came flying through the doorway, past me up the stairs. And he escalated the situation but I caught it all in camera. So as far as like, these types of situations where they’re just a little bit more intense and could be very dangerous, that I would describe that as probably being my it’s up there along with more so than the cliff side for sure. Because it was it’s the unknown. Yeah, there’s
Corey Allen 44:58
there’s no, there’s no rigging for that. So situation,
Mike Stryker 45:01
to tie some rubs around those people and be like, hey, let me tie a rope around that guy and put it up there and hide it away. You can’t do that now. But, uh, but yeah, that would be, that would probably be the most crazy experience, I believe have had
Corey Allen 45:15
that that would. Yeah, I think that’d be up there for me.
Mike Stryker 45:19
And then then one year later, I’m not production. Oh, yeah. All the different experiences from that point on. There were some wild ones. But that was probably second day was definitely the craziest.
Corey Allen 45:30
I can’t even imagine.
Bill Cornelius 45:31
Yeah, that’s a lot.
Corey Allen 45:33
Do you have a preference? Like I know, you’ve done quite a bit of documentary work, music videos, commercial work? Is there? Is there a particular genre of production that that you’d like to gravitate towards?
Mike Stryker 45:46
Yes, narrative narrative production is definitely what I would, again, ultimately leave. A lot of filmmakers, including myself, would love to be more into narrative. Now, the concern, of course, is always like, hey, do we have that script? Do we have a great story? Do we have something we really believe in? And do we have the funding? Yeah. And the first part is, I believe, is for me, personally, it feels like the hardest part is finding that story. That works.
That’s just right. Like, sometimes I’m not a perfectionist, but sometimes I get so wrapped up like, I just don’t think it’s truly that one, I would want to really dive my whole life into you know, at this moment. And that’s one of the hardest things I think, for me, is stiff, define the story that completes me. My inner self, my soul resonates with my whole entire existence, yeah, sort of thing. And it’s tough, it’s really tough. Because I believe if you do find that, the funding and all that stuff, that’s just a feel.
And that’s, that’s a material thing that will come. And in nowadays, like, I would like I would even make a film naturally, it’s something I believed in so much. I won’t even be concerned too much without the the money that’s returned. Unless there’s investors, of course, on the back end, where we have that agreement, and they’re just that’s the way we’re rolling it. But if something so deep and so personal, in its in its own art form, sometimes you just want to make that painting and put it on your wall.
And like habit is something that you did in your life. Right? Yeah. And I’m, and I think, I don’t know if a lot of filmmakers are open to that, or what are okay with that. But I know from a business perspective, yeah, you can be funded. And you can have those agreements up front. Or you can have the people come along and say, Hey, I love your idea. And I believe in you so much. I’m mind to just find your art and do it for you. I think that’s actually still possible.
Bill Cornelius 47:47
I think so
Mike Stryker 47:48
it’s a harder one. Yeah. But I think it’s still possible just to do some that one thing you did in your life that you really loved that story you wanted to tell, yeah, that transcends through time, at least for you. And more than likely, it’s gonna transcend for others if it transcends for you. Yeah.
Corey Allen 48:02
Yeah. I mean, people have varying degrees of disposable income. And to your point, like they, whether it’s through crowdfunding, or much larger investors, like there’s always someone else in the world that shares a similar perspective on life as you do. Like if you have that story to tell, and they feel as passionate or nearly as passionate about it. Like, let’s make something beautiful together, right? Absolutely.
Bill Cornelius 48:28
Yeah. And I think the big hurdle for a lot of people, and I’ve thought about this myself and had to come to terms with it is fear. Yeah, a lot of creators fear sharing their idea, or they fear getting rejected, or that nobody’s nobody in the world would ever want to invest in my idea. Yeah, no, they get Yeah, they get the fear. And that slows them down. That’s a roadblock for a lot of people. And I think that’s probably the roadblock for a lot of creators is fear. So it’s just kind of putting yourself out there.
In a lot of ways. When you do have that story that speaks to you. Don’t be afraid. You know, just talk about it. Yes. pitch it. You know, there’s the whole joke about like, no. Would you like to read my screenplay? And everybody’s like, no. Yeah, it’s like, it doesn’t have to be like that. But you know, like, just a two minute pitch. What do you think about this? I’m thinking I’m thinking about this story idea. What do you think with your friends or whoever? You never know? Just don’t be afraid.
Corey Allen 49:35
Yeah, I would say like, if you’re really passionate about it, like, put it out in the world. Yeah. knock it out. Be its biggest fan.
Bill Cornelius 49:42
Mike Stryker 49:44
The way I the way I kind of see that as well is like, you have to find you have to find that what that means to you the story in the script. And that healing inside you that renews your soul within that story that you can bring back out to the world because there’s no confidence, there’s only fear if you don’t have the love for the story. But the first thing is kind of defining who you are. And knowing knowing that you have a gift. And it’s just innate, it’s going to be transcended through that story. And so then you can go in with that confidence, and present it to everyone else, without any having any fear whatsoever.
But I think you have to kind of backtrack and say, like, is this what I really want in my life? Do I really want to make a make a screenplay and then make a movie? is this? Is this what I am? Is this who I am? Sometimes, I’m not saying that everybody says I’m going to be a filmmakers is going to be a filmmaker or not. But sometimes there’s sometimes people just at the heart of it are not filmmakers. They may not be filmmakers. They may be something.
Maybe some other calling out for them later on. Yeah. But and then there are the ones that are calling is 100%. They’re not going anywhere. They’re sticking with it. Yeah, you know, so. But I think it’s about finding out who you are. Yeah, before we can get to that first step of defining the script. And the story you want to tell, which brings in return will bring the confidence, the true confidence. And I’m not saying like, as a filmmaker, you can’t go as a filmmaker, doesn’t matter filmmaker or not? I think it starts with that
Bill Cornelius 51:24
starts with you. Starts Yeah, there’s a really great, I don’t know the exact quote, but there’s a quote from Christopher Nolan, where he says that, you know, when, when some when the, when the writer or the director, or whoever it might be on a film, truly loves and is invested in the work that they’re creating. It comes through the screen apps, like you can see it and I wish I could find that quote, but Christopher Nolan mentioned that he was like, that’s the kind of movies I want to see.
I want to see movies where you can tell the filmmaker was on fire for that idea. Yes. Because Because you do see it, I’ve seen it, you know, were you just like, it may not even be the best film, but it’s got a vibe about it, where it’s just like this was made from somebody who really believed in the idea. Yes, you know, like, there was some commitment. And there’s just something about it, it’s got like a different feel. It’s not commodified as much I guess.
Mike Stryker 52:26
Absolutely. men become Yeah, just understanding the truth, the truth of who, or what your gift is, in knowing if it’s in film, and you really you have that fulfillment, and you can express that with love to others, like, Hey, I have this idea. And I want you to know about this, it’s something I’ve been like, it’s so it’s, I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s like, I just, you can feel the essence that coming through the person versus like, Oh, I have this idea. And then either they’ll ramble because they don’t really quite know when they’re trying to figure it out. Or they just have or they don’t really want to talk about it. Yeah, because they’re not sure 100% that they have something ready to go you know,
Bill Cornelius 53:11
well, in big word of advice to people that are, you know, young and coming up is just like, the, in my experience as a writer, the best ideas are the ones you cannot stop thinking about the ones you keep you up at night, literally the ones that every day, you’re just like, oh, man, this idea. I just keep thinking about it. like seeing seeing it, you know? Yes, every day you’re thinking about it. Those are the ones those are the ones that that whatever the universe has sent you the lightning bolt, yeah, you know, that’s zapped Take it, take it.
Don’t do like, like I did. I mean, there’s something to be said about going out there and creating, which I think everybody should do. We talk about that a lot. Like go out, create, don’t sit, twiddle your thumbs. exercise that muscle. But when I was in my 20s, and I’ve talked about this at length is just I would just make things because I felt like I needed to I had to, and a lot of times the stories I was committing to weren’t the ones that were keeping me up at night that I was obsessing over that I was feeling in my soul.
And it shows it does I yes, I flex that creative muscle. I went out I did the thing. I created it another notch in my belt or whatever. But it was an act. It was ultimately an exercise for me rather than a something great that I was putting out into the world. Yes. And that’s something that I’ve had to learn over the years. Some people they pick that up right away and some people never do. That’s true. But it is like I have learned as I’ve gotten older and I don’t have as much time As I used to, and you know, my ideas are a lot bigger and I need more money.
Mike Stryker 55:06
It’s like the ones you want to focus on, are those ones that keep you up at night that you’re on fire about, like truly on fire about. And he brought up something I was thinking about how different age groups. So sometimes earlier on in life, people I don’t know, I’m saying the word gifted, but sometimes they just know how to do things way before even we do that takes us 30 to 40 years to learn later on. Yeah.
And just so jealousy doesn’t arise in this industry and like weird ego things about other people learning things ahead of you getting ahead and doing like bigger, massive productions. Like how did they get this huge $300 million blockbuster? And they’re 2323. Yeah, you know, that they something was aligned with their life. And they were ready.
And I think for me, it’s to know that people, when, when they, when they, when we have these opportunities, we’re ready for them. And I just kind of leave it at that, just to kind of ease some of that essence of not having to think about the future, or the past of other people’s lives and getting wrapped up in other people’s lives. It’s kind of like, That’s amazing. That that’s it. It’s like they did that that happened for them. And actually, I should be very happy because they’ve got to do something that apparently that they are aligned within their lives and more than likely wanted to some deeper something deeper down wanted to actually do in their lives.
Bill Cornelius 56:31
That’s great. And, and I’ve definitely been the the jealous one who’s just like, why were my 20 such a mess? Why couldn’t I have the Star Wars movie when I was 25? You know? But you know, you do you get older you get wiser and you’re like, you know, that wasn’t my time. My time is when it’s my time. Yeah. Kevin caught up for me. Kevin Costner Field of Dreams? Yeah, yeah, the cornfield? Yes. It’ll call to me. Yeah, yeah.
Mike Stryker 57:02
He didn’t get to go. But he learned a lot of valuable lessons. Yes. You know, it wasn’t his time. Right. Right. He but he did other things along the way. If you remember, you know, James Earl Jones character. It’s like if it wasn’t for him bringing all these things. And all this things wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for him creating all these things with other characters and helping other characters along the way. Yeah. And so there’s something to be said about that. Even what sometimes we don’t get everything we’ve always wanted. But if we’ve done something around us, that’s helped other people, such as our friends, our family, just people around us in particular, we’ve done something very special.
Bill Cornelius 57:37
Well, it’s funny, you bring that up, there’s, there’s a guy. So I IDP the short film back in 2010. And one of the pieces on that was a walk in student who was he was a student, he was just helping out he was observing. And he was kind of looking at a lot of the stuff I was doing. And, and kind of seeing me as a mentor almost on set. And he was asking me so many questions about my work.
He was like, so you do music videos, right? And I was like, Yeah, I’ve done a few music videos. And so all throughout the set, when we’d be in the middle of setups, he would be asking me questions about what it’s like to work on a music video and what it takes and what are the challenges and it was he was interviewing me basically. And I was I was more than happy to give him all this, this feedback.
And so the film wraps I never see or hear from him again a few years ago by I was introduced to a band just like on Spotify, or Pandora or whatever. And I was like, this is really great song. And, and I just went to YouTube and looked up the music video. And I was like, Oh, it’s a cool music video. He directed it this guy. This kid that was on set with me like asking me all these questions. That’s amazing. And I had this like, like, proud dad. It was just like, I imparted some knowledge on him just randomly doing it and he’s doing a label video like,
Mike Stryker 59:09
and that is, that’s great. That’s incredibly special. I’m happy for you to give gratitude and thanks yeah for being you know, you were there at a time when this this he needed it. Yeah, and you know what I mean? So that there’s something special I guess all around when we’re doing this love thy neighbor sort of element
Bill Cornelius 59:26
Yeah, yeah. Pass it pass the wealth of knowledge that you have
Corey Allen 59:30
like that. The wealth of knowledge. Mikey, you’ve dropped so many knowledge bombs. I feel I can just like little nuggets of advice as we’ve been chatting. But if you could give one piece of advice to a young filmmaker or creative that wants to get into the business, what would that be? Always be thankful for
Mike Stryker 59:52
the people that were there for you in her life. I think that would be the biggest and this goes along Of course for outside of our industry. Be thankful for. For the P. Remember, remember those ones who are there for you. Because ultimately, if you do that, it’s it’s going to open you up to being there for others along the way. And in return, I believe there are blessings that come along with that for you, and help you become a better person. And being a better person will ultimately make you more open up your creativity and help you work with others and influence others and also your collaborative to become stronger throughout time. Yeah, yeah.
Bill Cornelius 1:00:34
And people will want to work with you. Yes, that’s a thing. It’s a massive, there’s a number of people we’ve mentioned on this podcast that we’re more than happy to drop their names, numbers of times, because there’s such great people to work with. Yeah, we want to call them out. You know, it’s it goes to what you’re saying. Just be good to people be grateful for the help you get.
Corey Allen 1:00:55
Yeah, yeah. Do you have any, any big projects or anything currently working on we need to be on the lookout for
Mike Stryker 1:01:01
so there’s this amazing Martini, or there’s a show. It’s called Rob. It’s Rob Floyd entertainment. And he makes his martinis. And it’s one of the most fun shows I work on. We have this whole studio built in Franklin, Tennessee. Nice, which is super cool. He’s an amazing guy. Super fun. And the show is very fun. And afterwards, he makes us all these amazing drinks. And we all get to have a little taste.
Bill Cornelius 1:01:29
Nice. So you actually do have the martini shot? Yes. Literally.
Mike Stryker 1:01:35
And so. So this show started right at the beginning of the corona deal. I he had called me about coming to talk to him about potentially doing this little zoom call thing. And I was like, Okay, yeah, you know, he’s right down the road, basically, from where I live. And, of course, I’ll go and check it out. All the sudden, we’re talking about this company from New York. And we ended up starting this really cool show. And throughout the year in pretty much a year now. About we’ve been doing the show.
It’s grown exponentially. And so now we’ve been able to go from his house. We started out in this house to own and he has, I’m sorry, rents a huge studio in. In Franklin, Tennessee. That’s awesome. So that’s, that’s the most fun thing. And then we’ve just wrapped up with the tres ash Atkins music video. The heartbreak song. You’ve worked with him a lot recently, right? Yeah, I believe we have seven, seven videos. Really? Yeah.
Corey Allen 1:02:35
No, no big deal.
Mike Stryker 1:02:36
No big deal, Greg, Greg, Greg Baker is his manager. And he is such a wonderful man and really hard worker. And we met him a long time ago. And we just we just hit it off. And just knew I could tell he, he had really good classical work ethic, like really strong work ethic, and really cared about making things quality. Yeah. And so I was like, okay, we’ve this Yeah, we’re definitely going to be working together. Yeah. So So, Greg, is manager introduced me and we just began working with trace and producing quality music video production.
Bill Cornelius 1:03:13
That’s awesome. That’s great. That’s awesome.
Corey Allen 1:03:15
Bill. You know what time it is.
Bill Cornelius 1:03:17
I believe it’s time for the lightning round. Yes, yes. We’re trying to come up with an intro for it. That’s got funny on sound effects.
Corey Allen 1:03:29
We’re like, we’re like eight or nine episodes in now. And we still we got nothing.
Bill Cornelius 1:03:32
Yeah, we keep talking about john Bailey. You know about john Bailey, the voiceover voiceover guy that Zack Zack and I worked with and now he’s like out in Hollywood. Honest Trailers guys and stuff. Oh, what? No, this Yeah, yeah, this guy’s legit. We’ve been thinking of how to do the lightning.
Corey Allen 1:03:51
We name if we named drop him enough. Maybe it’ll just have a will it into into existence? Yeah. All right. Here we go. all time favorite movie. Shawshank Redemption. Excellent choice. Excellent, quick answer to the last movie that you watched. Twilight Zone, the old one or is the anthology. The movie in 19? was a 1980. Oh, the old Steven Spielberg and
Bill Cornelius 1:04:19
yeah, was it john Landis? JOHN Landis? Yeah.
Corey Allen 1:04:22
Nice. Favorite director.
Mike Stryker 1:04:24
That’s the biggest, hardest question for me, to be honest with you. I wish I wish I could answer that for you. But you
Bill Cornelius 1:04:30
can name a couple if you want. Oh, thank you. I’m gonna give you a bailout. You can?
Mike Stryker 1:04:36
That’s still a hard question. Because even thinking so Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg. Excellent. Very sad to say that a couple
Corey Allen 1:04:46
of them it’s good. most underrated or slept on cinematographer.
Mike Stryker 1:04:53
That’s a hard one. I don’t even know. You might want to cut this out. But I don’t really know a lot of dp names. So
Bill Cornelius 1:05:02
that’s that’s what we talk about. That’s why we have this question. Yeah, because not enough DPS get the same attention the director does a lot. I mean it’s a good it’s a good question. It’s really hard because we don’t we don’t really don’t think about him. You just
Mike Stryker 1:05:15
know that Do you know popular? You know, the popular? Roger Deakins? Like that’s the first name you always hear now cuz it’s all over. Yeah. And all filmmakers, pages and stuff.
Corey Allen 1:05:25
Corey Allen. I mean, I like it. Corey Allen. My striker Mike striker Bill, Cornelius. Alright. Coffee or tea. Coffee. Yes. Coffee. That’s a win. Always a nice brewed coffee in the morning.
Bill Cornelius 1:05:42
Corey Allen 1:05:44
Yeah, like like a really strong coffee. Medium roast. like a like a mellow. Okay.
Mike Stryker 1:05:51
If I’m on the road, I don’t mind going in there and getting some gas station coffee which basically feel body motor oil motor oil. Coffee.
Corey Allen 1:06:00
Nice. Alright. Pineapple on your pizza.
Mike Stryker 1:06:03
Yes. Pineapple on my pizza.
Corey Allen 1:06:06
You can leave. You’re free to leave. Okay. That’s been great. No.
Bill Cornelius 1:06:09
Corey is does not like pineapple on the pizza.
Corey Allen 1:06:12
I’m surprised. Really? Surprised. Like so many people that we have talked to you are like sure. Yeah. Okay.
Mike Stryker 1:06:20
Yeah. I like the pineapple and pie. Or what is it? pineapple and ham?
Corey Allen 1:06:25
Yeah, like, Oh, yeah. Hawaiian pizza. Yep. You know what? I don’t think I’m ready to do the pineapple. I don’t think I don’t think so.
Bill Cornelius 1:06:32
I think it’s the first to answer. Yes.
Corey Allen 1:06:34
Yeah. Like a definitive Yes. For sure. definitive.
Mike Stryker 1:06:37
Yeah. Because that’s, that’s actually what I normally orders. Really, right. It’s not like it’s just a special thing here and there. It’s like, I want that pineapple in there. Give me that pineapple or I’m going home.
Corey Allen 1:06:48
I don’t know. I think in my mind, I think it’s just like a texture thing. But I mean, I assume it’s cooked. So it’s not as like watery and mushy is typical pineapple. Do you like the acidic substance from the pineapple? I mean, I love pineapple. And I love pizza. I just I don’t know if I’m ready for the marriage.
Bill Cornelius 1:07:07
So you so you are we to understand that you haven’t eaten pineapple on your pizza. No.
Mike Stryker 1:07:13
I know of a great thing. So you don’t even get this. I’m feeling attacked. We’re moving on. We came at you hard on that. Favorite camera? Ah, I don’t like I don’t like answering this. But I do at the same time. It’s It’s It’s It’s Alexa. For sure. But the red So, so far up there. Like I can’t put that into number one because I love the look of the Alexa. Yeah. But the red just underneath the Alexa. I mean, as a fellow red owner act like I can respect that. Like it’s Yeah, that’s okay. And I even own reds too. So it’s just it’s a it’s a toughy image you get from Alexa. It’s just that silky? buttery. Is I call it
Bill Cornelius 1:08:03
Corey Allen 1:08:04
That is a great way to describe it because it’s true. Yeah. All right. three films everyone should see before they die.
Mike Stryker 1:08:12
Well, Shawshank Of course will be naturally one of them. Yeah. I think it’s Star Wars. The 19 the first verse 77. Yeah, there’s so many of them. Yeah. And back to the future.
Corey Allen 1:08:25
Yes. 123. The all?
Bill Cornelius 1:08:27
Yeah, one, one. good choices.
Mike Stryker 1:08:30
Yeah. And I should have put Robert Zemeckis on out of those two directors earlier on, I couldn’t think of his name. So I just went with Spielberg and Ridley Scott. See,
Bill Cornelius 1:08:37
this is why you and I work together. Because we respect and love the same filmmakers, like that whole era of
Mike Stryker 1:08:47
there was an approach. There was an approach with the studios back then that they had to be incredibly detailed and very determined to tell a very strong story. Yeah. And if it wasn’t going to be that way, then it wasn’t going to be made. Yeah. Now there were those films that people smaller studios started that were cheesy, but will still some bigger actors in it back in the day, like anything, you know, nowadays, but they really, really cared a lot in the directors were intentional about making sure the stories would be fantastic. Yeah, before they even pitch to the studios, which more than likely, they had some really good screenwriters within that probably we won’t even know because some of them were probably ghost writers.
Bill Cornelius 1:09:25
Corey Allen 1:09:26
yeah. Well, striker, thanks so much for joining us today. It’s been a pleasure getting to hear a little more about your story and hanging out for a little while.
Mike Stryker 1:09:34
It’s been a really good time with you guys. And hopefully we can do this again in the future.
Bill Cornelius 1:09:37
Yeah, I want to bring on the entire Power Team for a podcast. Hello, Power Team. today. That’s it’s gonna be a two day session, right? stories. Oh, yeah.
Corey Allen 1:09:49
We’ll make it happen. We’ll make it. Mike. Well, we’ll leave links to all of your things in the show notes, website. Social media is anything you want to make sure we share with the world. We’ll make sure we get that out there for you. Fall testing life films. Yeah. Awesome. And for our listeners, we don’t have a lot of podcast options. We appreciate you choosing us. Check us out on Instagram at infocuspod or online at infocuspodcast.com. And if you like what you heard today, go ahead and subscribe. Give us a like a rating all those things if you’re on Apple podcast, it would help us out a ton. And until next time,
Bill Cornelius 1:10:25
your crew and feed them pineapple on their pizza. But just make sure it’s the last meal because you don’t get pizza on lunch and
Mike Stryker 1:10:33
I’ll hook you up with that therapist.
Corey Allen 1:10:37