A little about myself.  My name is Michael Sallustio and I’ve been involved in independent film for about nine years, focusing mainly on screenwriting. I’m a graduate of New York Film Academy located in Tammany Hall where I’m told, during the 1800’s, many people were brutally killed (or so Gangs of New York would have me believe).  My student film was a 5 minute black and white piece where I did my best to force my audience into a severe state of depression.  I took it very seriously.  I did a director commentary.  It was a dark, dark time.

Friendly Neighborhood Filmmaking is my attempt to give back to the local and independent film community in a positive way.  I will not be reviewing films on this site.  I’m not a critic nor do I wish to be.  What I hope to impart to you, dear readers, is a focus on the method of filmmaking in an entertaining way.  Some posts will impart some of the things I have learned over the years.  Other posts will spotlight particular indie films I believe filmmakers can learn from.  The rest?  Well, that will most likely consist of me force feeding you information presented in what I believe is (aka probably isn’t) comedy.  It’s recommended you take any or all of this with a grain of salt.  What I hope you do take seriously is my plan to chronicle the struggles and successes of beginning and independent filmmakers.  Once a month I plan to sit down with a beginning or independent filmmaker, actor or crew member and pick their brain about their craft.

Why beginning and independent?

It’s my belief that although hearing the stories and advice from well known directors and auteurs can be informative and motivating, it can also be, at times, non-applicable to your average independent filmmaker.  Let’s be honest, the vast majority of us will never get Michael Bay money to produce our films (and judging from Transformers 3 I’m sure a lot of you would agree that’s probably a good thing).  Although film isn’t the cheapest form of art to express oneself, some of the best and most original films were made relatively cheap and in the most mundane of locations.  It is my hope to give a platform to those people that have a passion for film but may not have the recognition to spotlight their works and experiences.

Here in Arizona we have a surprisingly vast and talented group of filmmakers and performers.  It’s not just cacti and scorpions, people.  I mean, we have those too, but they’re not nearly as interesting and often times rather dangerous.  The Arizona film community has proven to be a close knit and supportive group of people, many of which I am glad to call my friends.

So if you’re an independent filmmaker, actor, writer, editor, lighting guy, sound dude, gaffer, whatever the hell a Key Grip is, or just a film lover in general, take some time to read about the masochistic lifestyles of the passionate and penniless.  Take some time to check out their films.  Maybe with your help and a little word of mouth we can make their dreams a little easier to fulfill.


    1. That’s a tough one. It was a lot of the 90’s indie films (Clerks, El Mariachi, Slacker) that got me into independent filmmaking, but I suppose it would have to be the really unique and off the wall films that keep me in awe. Films like Coffee and Cigarettes or Eraserhead and pretty much anything by Lars von Trier or Darren Aronofsky.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seriously off the wall. I’ve never really given von Trier the time of day and ‘Pi’ always put me off Aranofsky. I do however share your appreciation for ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’

        Liked by 1 person

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