Our Story

Trust the beat of your own rebel heart… magic will happen.



In 2010, 16 feature films were selected out of 1,058 submissions to be screened in the US Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.  OBSELIDIA was one of them.  It was made for less than $140,000, it had no movie stars in it, and none of the cast or crew had connections to Sundance.  And yet it was picked out of the slush pile, and selected to premier on this world stage, alongside movies that had cost 100 times as much with big name movie stars and recognized directors.

So, what made this tiny film stand out?  Why did it later get singled out in VARIETY magazine as “the only film [at Sundance] that deserves to be called a rebel”?  And go on to win two awards at Sundance?  Why did it later get nominated for two coveted Independent Spirit Awards?

What follows is our epiphany about why we think it all happened…


We made the film, and we think we have the answers to these questions (and no, it’s not because we are super-extra-talented, though of course we’d love to think that!). And it’s not just because we got lucky, though luck played a part in it.

We’ve thought long and hard about it, and after making another movie, we’ve come to understand the equation, the secret that made Obselidia magic, and that will make your movie-making experience magic too. And since we’ve figured this secret out, we feel absolutely passionate about sharing it.

We want to help others avoid the pitfalls that destroy the chances of so many films before they even start shooting. We want other film-makers to have the incredible, awesome experiences we have had.  And we want to see more kickass, unique, stand out movies, because we love them.  It’s that simple.

And so we started REBEL HEART.




Rebel (noun): a person who resists authority, control, or convention.

Rebel (noun) – A person who resists authority, control, or convention.

The year that Obselidia premiered at Sundance the theme of the festival was REBEL. It was the year Sundance was going back to its roots, and the word was everywhere (REBEL): it’s on the two awards we won there, on the pin they gave us to wear, on the t-shirts of that year.

Then in the VARIETY magazine round-up of the Sundance festival, Obselidia was declared as the “only film that deserved to be called a rebel”. We were bombarded with friends texting us exuberant messages: “Rock on rebels!”

Whether Variety was right or not, we certainly did feel like rebels – after each screening for Q&A’s we had EVERY member of our cast and crew up there on stage, including our PA’s, our gaffers and grips, our featured extras (most have their directors, producers, and stars). I guarantee we were the only crew like that!

We had beat the odds and proven that you don’t need to be in the clique to make it to the best independent film festival in the world.

Heart (noun) – the center or innermost part of something; the center of a person’s thoughts or emotions, especially love or compassion; courage or enthusiasm.

We think good film-making is all about heart (strike that! Good living is all about heart). Without heart, you’re nothing. All great art is born from someone’s heart – and living with a whole heart will almost always lead to creativity, to art.

Too often in our industry, we get overly focused on results, on the business. Don’t get us wrong: we know that to live sustainably, you have to make a good living. And we know a lot about making smart decisions in the daily trenches of film-making. But trying to be clever and make something that we think will sell, that we think the audiences want, in our mind, that’s a shortcut to disaster. Or at least to another average movie that no one wants to see.

If we focus on following our heart’s inner call, we think you can’t go wrong.

Sound crazy? Trust us on this!


In a word: LOVE

Now before you write us off as a bunch of hippies, read this:

You have to love what you do. You have to love every choice that you make. At the end of the day, a film is the sum of choices you make. Should you cast this actor or that? Should you dress him in a blue shirt or a red one? Should you put the camera here or there? Should the music be piano or guitar? Or should it be silent?

We think the thing that will lead to movie magic is when you allow all your choices to be guided by love. You choose that actor because you love the way her face looks when she smiles. You put the camera here because you love the way it looks when you peer through the viewfinder. You go for a burst of piano AND guitar followed by silence…because you LOVE it!

This may all sounds obvious, but too often film-making choices are based on something else.

  • You cast this actor because his starmeter is high on Imdb and he has 200,000 Twitter followers.
  • You put the camera there because that’s what you’ve learnt is the right thing to do.
  • You choose guitar because everyone else tells you it sounds cooler.

Start basing your choices on these things (which we do because we are concerned with attaining certain results) and you will hurt your chances of making an awesome, stand out movie. If not, destroy them.

If you don’t love it, how can you expect anyone else to?

Who We Are

Dreamers, movie lovers, yogis, parents, artists, film-makers, bread makers, meditators, story-tellers, visionaries and entrepreneurs. We love having fun, working hard, and being creative.

In 2010, 16 feature films were selected out of 1,058 submissions to be screened in the US Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.

Our film OBSELIDIA was one of them.
To read more in depth bios for the team go here.

In A Nutshell

Our Philosophy

We believe that a film is ultimately the sum of the choices you make, and that in order to stand out, those have to add up to something magic. From the day you choose to make a movie, you will be faced with a thousand decisions from how you choose to fund it to who you choose to cast in it, from which locations you’ll use to what you’ll feed your crew. Our workshop will help you make the BEST choices you can, empowering you with an understanding of what your options are at every step, and how to select the best one for you and your film EVERY TIME.

Our Experience

Rebel Heart is born from experience. We didn’t go to film school, we’re not academics. We’re film-makers who have been in your shoes. We’ve learnt how to make a successful indie film by doing it – and we want to pass on what we’ve learned from being in the trenches, so you have a better chance of winning.

Our Goal

We can’t guarantee that if you follow our advice your film will go to Sundance or sell for a million dollars. But we can guarantee that if you follow our advice, you will have an awesome experience making your movie, and that you will make the best damn film you are capable of; one you will love and be proud of for the rest of your life.

And we think that those two factors will give your film the best shot of being the stand out movie – the magic film that beats the odds and gets noticed the way Obselidia did.


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