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This week, I wanted to pick the brain of a brilliant filmmaker and Filmtrepreneur, Mike Dion. Mike is an award-winning filmmaker, marketing strategist, and multimedia storyteller who has made a living over the last 20+ years applying all the tools needed by a Filmtrepreneur. He’s found his niche creating documentaries of adventurous brevets and transcontinental cycling races across the US, Mexico, and Canada. 

By using the core concepts of the Filmtrepreneur Method, he has been able to continually make money with his films for over a decade.
These core principles are:

Find a Niche Audience
Be of Service to that audience
Create a Film and Products they need or want
Create ancillary products that service that community
Build multiple revenue streams

Mike has produced globally distributed feature-length projects like Hair I Go Again, Inspired to Ride, Reveal The Path, Where The Yellowstone Goes, and Ride the Divide that can be streamed across major platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes. 

On June 7, 2014, forty-five cyclists from around the world set out on the inaugural Trans Am Bike Race, following the famed TransAmerica Trail. Their mission is to cover 4,233 miles in one enormous stage race, traversing through ten states in a transcontinental adventure of epic proportions. Inspired to Ride follows a handful of cyclists from around the world as they race unsupported in the inaugural year, with four cinematographers, cameras flying in the sky, and GoPro’s galore. 

Here’s a peak of Mike’s latest documentary, Hair We Go Again: Facing a midlife crossroads, two longtime friends risk everything as they set out to fulfill their dreams of achieving rock & roll stardom. The first and last chances happen only once as their improbable journey is chronicled in the feature-length documentary, Hair I Go Again.

One of the reasons I invited Mike on the show was to have him share what he’s doing, how he’s selling content, what’s making money, and what’s not making money. In 2008, he created Mike Dion Productions which original content like films, strategy, and branded content for social media, marketing, etc.

In 2012,  he paired with his producing partner, Hunter Weeks for his directorial debut documentary film, Reveal the Path—A genre-defying adventure film that contemplates what it means to live an inspired life using the bicycle as a mechanism to explore, dream and discover.

In true Mike Dion niche-storytelling fashion, one of his first producer/editor gigs was the award-winning feature film about the Tour Divide Race in 2010 titled, Ride the Divide. The film weaves the story of three characters’ experiences with immense mountain beauty and small-town culture as they attempt to pedal from Banff, Canada to a small, dusty crossing on the Mexican border.

The Tour Divide Race is basically a mountain bike race that traverses over 2700 miles along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

The COVID pandemic has required everyone to profoundly change how we budget, prep, and produce a feature film or television show project in order to work safely and effectively. So this is a very educational episode if you are looking to learn how to safely shoot a feature film during COVID and how to make money from it.

Enjoy my informative conversation with Mike Dion.

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Need more filmmaking inspiration? Check out my book “”Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story)

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