78 – From Producing Film DVD Extras to Doc Filmmaking with Jeffrey Schwarz

If you’re like me, you are a fan of watching the DVD extras or the making-of videos of some of your favorite films. In fact, Ive been inspired and gained some of my very filmmaking knowledge by watching some of the film extras included on dvds.


We have a special conversation with a man who did so many making-ofs and added value content for Hollywood studios that he became known as the EPK Samurai. His name is Jeffrey Schwarz, and he has over 300 producer credits and over 100 directors to his name. And he has parlayed his early career doing the EPK work into becoming a full-fledged documentary filmmaker.


Topics Discussed

  • how a student film turned into the impetus for lifelong subject matter for future doc films
  • how producing EPK and making-of videos allowed Jeffrey to practice his passion of documentary
  • how following your obsessions can lead to some wonderful places as a doc filmmaker
  • why you should always be budgeting for yourself to make a living in your film budgets


Now as an independent documentary filmmaker, I like to make sure that I include these types of extras on dvd and digital distro packages so that others may benefit in the same way that I did when I was first starting out. And I believe that by including added value like this to your film packages, you can give the consumer another reason to buy your film (instead of somebody else’s!).


5 Best Practices for Making Film Extras

In this episode I also go over 5 Best Practices for Making Film Extras, which are:

  • Get Best Possible Audio
  • Involve the Crew and Subjects
  • Keep a Film Journal
  • Storytelling
  • Offload Footage at End of Day


Related Sources

° Watch the Trailer for Jeffrey Schwarz’s just-released documentary film, The Fabulous Allan Carr



° If you’re interested in watching Jeffrey’s film you can go here!


° You must check out Jeffrey’s thesis film Al Lewis in the Flesh


Journey To Kathmandu

Check out the Journey to Kathmandu package that was mentioned in the episode. This one came chock full o’ dvd extras and making-of videos!

  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Director’s Commentary
  • J2K Film Shorts
  • Documentary Making-of videos
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Original artwork by W. Ryan Hatch
  • CD soundtrack


You can purchase this DVD for your collection here.


° Watch Journey to Kathmandu: Making of an Original Score


Sponsors & Thank Yous

° Episode #74 is brought to you by BlackBox Global, creators of one of the easiest way to turn your filmmaking skills into passive income!

Go to BlackBox, Create a Free Account, and start selling your footage today!


° Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artist’s music by going to Free Music Archive today!



Apple | Spotify | Stitcher |


Rate and Review

If you have found value in this podcast please leave a review so it can become more visible to others. Simply click the link and then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab to make your entry. Thank you for your support!



Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

Leave a Comment