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Do you need a college degree to be a film director?

I have some sort of college-age kids. I always have, and I’m working for the past 20 years on these things. This is my first professional film. I didn’t know until the last four years where I was going to go or what I was going to be doing.

What is the biggest challenge of making the documentary?

When you get a big grant for $10,000, it’s hard to find another $5,000, even $10,000 for a crew. So you need everything.

How important is it that you get to take a stand? Are there parts of your life in which you feel like you’ve been attacked by corporate interest and the government?

Ira Mckinley: Ex-felon turned filmmaker –

The biggest challenge that a lot of filmmakers have to deal with is getting funding, because a very few people can get the money for the film. I know how it is with a documentary: you have to start in a place where you don’t have a lot of money for rent and food. Even if you’re in San Francisco, you need to be able to pay for everything, even just the film itself. For me, what I do is do research, do research, do research some more. Then, when I talk to people, ask them if their life has been destroyed by the bank, government or banks. And people say, “No, it hasn’t.” Because that’s what I’m getting on top of.

Did you ever think, You know what? You’re not going to do another documentary. Would anybody like to do one?

Yeah, some have asked me, “Have you started something?” But the answer is not, “No.” You’re not going to make another film, because you have to go in a different direction and take another step, which is a long, long step.

How much did it cost to do all this research before you started the film?

Well, I did research for six months and then I stopped. I don’t have $15,000 anymore. I took out $25,000 for a couple months in the beginning, then it was maybe $25,000, $60,000 maybe. But if you’re doing something, you have to spend some money. But that time, I didn’t have anything.

I spent about $500,000 on rent, food, all that stuff, and then I spent a lot more than that.

I spent about $600,000