Oct 04, 2023

NGPF Podcast: Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, Co-Directors of This Is Not Financial Advice

This week we are joined by Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, the co-directors of "This Is Not Financial Advice," to discuss their journey from accidental filmmakers to financial education advocates. Listen to this episode to learn their approach to spreading financial literacy, the challenges they faced in making the film, and the impact it has had on audiences.


Ren Makino: Hi, this is Ren from Next Gen Personal FInance and you're listening to the NGPF podcast today on the show. Tim is joined by Chris temple and Zach Ingrasci co-founders of a nonprofit organization called Optimist as well as co-directors of a new financial documentary, This is Not Financial Advice. Chris and Zach joins us on the show to talk about their process Creating this documentary that teaches viewers about the psychology of investing in the modern digital era listen to this podcast to hear more about Chris and Zach's journey as filmmakers and financial literacy advocates. Enjoy!

Tim Ranzetta: Welcome Chris and Zach to the NGPF speaker series. 

Chris Temple: Thanks so much for having us. 

Zach Ingrasci: Yeah, we're really excited to be here and with all of you. 

Tim Ranzetta: All right. So I'm just going to give a quick intro again. They survived for two months on a dollar a day in Guatemala. We'll talk a little bit about one of their early documentaries.

Soon after they lived in a tent in a Syrian refugee camp. Most recently, they spent 10 months documenting the journey of an undocumented boy in New York City. Chris and Zach are award winning filmmakers and activists who on stage demystify some of the world's most complex situations. Yes, I would put crypto in that category.

They leave audiences more connected and empowered to make a difference. I think what's really neat about their organization though, is they created a nonprofit and it's called optimist. In that nonprofit, they've already created 15 films. They've raised over 92 million. The numbers are probably higher too, because I know you're continuing to succeed at that.

But that money goes to the film's causes. They've changed almost 400, 000 lives as a result, and their films have been released globally by HBO, Amazon, National Geographic, and the Atlantic. How awesome is that? So let's start things off, Chris and Zach. Maybe if you talk a little bit about your backgrounds and kind of what has led you to at least two documentaries now that I'm aware of, that had these financial themes. 

[00:02:09] Chris's and Zach's Backgrounds. 

Zach Ingrasci: So Chris and I call ourselves accidental filmmakers because we actually met in college, freshman year.

We're living on the same hallway. We were both economics majors, not filmmakers. We've never taken a filmmaking class together. And yet now we've been, you know, making films for 10 years. And we really were fascinated by in college, especially the financial lives Of the extreme poor. That kind of got us into our first film.

We had read this incredible book about how innovative. The extreme poor have to be to survive on such a small amount of money, unpredictable incomes, and the tools they're using to do that. So that led us to Guatemala, where we ended up living for two months on less than a dollar a day ourselves in a rural village managing our money, and that kind of accidentally became our first feature documentary that ended up on Netflix as we graduated from college.

And kind of ended up raising almost 2 million for that community. And took us down this career path of making documentary films. When you realize that. We could both discuss these issues that we really care about and do something creative and inspire people to take action And and that's really where we see kind of our strength with our non profit optimist is creating films that create impact. 

Chris Temple: So we yeah, so after a few years, instead of getting more stable and traditional jobs we decided that we would try to do this full time and we formalized into an organization called optimist as zach said and I think through all of our films and the people we've met, they've helped us believe that progress is possible in the world around a lot of these different social issues.

So we've made more and more films, and then around each film, we partner with great nonprofits like NextGen to figure out what impact we can make, whether that's change minds, change lives, or change policy, or 3 verticals that we look at. And so when we finish the film, it's then looking at and working with teachers or others and just trying to be the best resource that we can for you all.

And so very excited to not only talk about This Is Not Financial Advice, but also, you know, happy to share resources if you go to our website, optimist. co. forward slash films. You can see all of our films across different topic areas. If there are any of those that you're ever interested in using, you know, they're yours and they have 25 page discussion guides around them and different nonprofit partners or activities and ways to engage.

And then Zach and I do a lot of different kind of speaking tours with schools or teachers, whether it be a zoom or in person as well. I just got back from Miami country day just yesterday where. I was speaking and, you know, talking about helping both the middle school and high school kids gain empathy for the world, think about how they want to approach their own passion and make a difference in the world.

So, now fast forward a little bit, we've made a number of different films, and that brings us to the newest one that is still unreleased. And that will be releasing in November when the film releases more broadly.

Basically what this journey has led us to for This Is Not Financial Advice, The film began in late 2020, early 2021. And long and short, what brought us to it was FOMO was the fear of missing out that we were seeing in the economy where it seemed like everywhere we looked, there was some.

Stock was hitting an all time high that there was a glut of money in the markets coming out of the pandemic and the five trillion dollars that were injected into the into the financial markets. Crypto was booming meme stocks were going through the roof and we are seeing this conversation happen online and on social media and so we basically put out a tweet to see if anybody was interested in having making a film about You know, this retail investing movement, how finance was being changed by the internet and started getting some good responses and then headed into the process of actually making a film.

And I will have to admit, or Zach will call me out that I got very sucked into this world of what I will call now crypto gambling, where I was on a lot of group threads with friends. I was seeing, you know, Reddit posts or social media videos telling me that I could become a millionaire.

As you know nonprofit documentary filmmakers, I was very tempted by what this promise of this new economy would be. And so I got really caught in. I just had FOMO. And then the process of making this film and speaking with experts, speaking with a number of individuals over the last two and a half years who did get really caught up in crypto has allowed me to kind of, Come to you know, a much deeper relationship with money and understand that relationship with FOMO and hopefully come to a much more stable spot with it.

So the film ends up following four individuals who each had a different relationship to money. Two of them made very wildly risky decisions along the way and to kind of cover a more. traditional path. And I think the film tries to strike this balance that we see in the current democratization of money, right?

That it's a double edged sword. On one hand, it's amazing that you have new people getting access to financial markets, people from marginalized communities, women getting more opportunities to come into financial markets. But then on the other side of that, with all that, opportunity and access to, on your phone, buy stocks or invest in, in your Roth IRA, you can also make and gamble your life savings in five seconds with the blink of an eye.

And so we've really just seen and want the film to be an exploration of this tension between the two. 

Zach Ingrasci: And now Tim is helping us kind of break the film down into kind of modules that we'll actually be releasing so different kind of, and we know for teachers, a lot of times it's much easier to show 10 minute clips of a film that work with resources and 

a curriculum and we're really excited to be collaborating on how the film can be broken down into themes following different characters through different ideas, so... 

Tim Ranzetta: So awesome. You know, not only giving back through those modules, but also offering to visit classrooms. Cause we know teachers are always looking for guests and there's no better guests and folks who create the magic of film. Yes. Okay. 

Chris Temple: So when I went to, I went and spoke at Bentley university with this film and it's an economics and business school.

And I asked that pulled the whole crowd and I was like, who has learned more about finance from school or. The internet (Youtube and Tiktok). And the majority of people said that they use Youtube and Tiktok as their number one source of financial information. And this was a business school. And I was like, okay, that's what we're up against.

That's the framework. If we really want to reach young people, that's where they're getting their information right now. And we have to be aware of that. 

Tim Ranzetta: Yeah, the surveys I see say seven upwards of 70%. And that's kind of a real great selling point for the need for financial education. So let's go through and just quickly kind of summarize the four main characters of the documentary and the role that you see them playing in helping people understand this FOMO and the power of the FOMO.

And then there's also those who don't seem to catch on to it. Like, are there specific traits they had that maybe made them more susceptible to play into this FOMO, which is by the way, a very, very powerful influence. 

[00:09:37] Summarizing the 4 Main Characters in the Documentary. 

Zach Ingrasci: Yeah. I mean, first of all, there's traits just between Chris and I, right.

So Chris has loved, he's more willing to be risky with his money. And that's just a reality is that we all have the, we fall on the spectrum of kind of risk. And it's not always a bad thing. You know, there's it's just what kind of your comfort level is. And the four of our main kind of subjects are characters of the film really fall on a pretty wide spectrum.

And I think you have basically pro who is, you know, an undocumented Brazilian immigrant. And Raze, who is a gambling addict, but used to be a high school math teacher. And then you have Sunai, who is a community activist in Long Beach here, a black community activist. And Kayla, who is actually a young TikToker who's just out of college and kind of trying to provide more.

Kind of basic financial information to young women, especially. And they're very much along the spectrum, you know, with Sinai, I'm probably the most conservative kind of financially, and maybe I can't decide who Ray's, if Ray's or pro is one of the more risky side and Kayla somewhere in the middle there.

And I, you know... 

Chris Temple: Why don't we tell them a little bit about pro as an example on the far right. So you know, excited for you to see the film, but obviously I'll tell you a bit about his story. So , we first met him when he put out a tweet about how he had maxed out his credit cards.

Taking out cash advances, borrowed money from friends, and put it all into Dogecoin. He put everything he owned on margin into Dogecoin. And we started filming with him and following this journey, and you know, as the month, you know, quickly within about two and a half months, he'd made a million dollars on Dogecoin.

Made. So it hadn't realized it, it was still in Dogecoin. It was started as a joke cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin that It actually doesn't even purport to have any utility.

It's just a joke, but because of that and because it's become a very funny thing on the internet, it's gotten a lot of momentum from Elon Musk and others to move markets. And at one point at its highest, it was worth about 50 billion in a market cap more than Ford or Kraft foods combined. So and again, this is just a joke.

Internet currency. So I'll talk a little bit more about that, but long and short pro takes his life savings, puts it all into Dogecoin. He rides it up to a million dollars. And then he refuses to sell it to cash and you start to see these psychological triggers come up there that, you know, he starts to think he was really smart, right?

Like I made this bet. It's gone to a million dollars. You know, you all told me not to I'm going to keep writing this up. Maybe it could be more. You start to see other psychological triggers like greed come in, right? And so. He then rides it up to two million dollars and we're filming with him and now he thinks he's really a genius.

It's gone up, it's two million dollars and he starts getting a lot of validation from other people on social media. So, a lot of other friends and others that are messaging him, telling him how amazing he is. He gets featured on the New York Times on the front page, and you know, this is a guy who was a very lonely, as Zach said, undocumented Brazilian immigrant living in, you know, 180 square foot apartment in L. A. 

And now he's being propelled into fame and stardom as, as the guy who made all this money and next thing you know, he rides it up to three million and he's still refusing to sell. And the film, you know the film was described by the Guardian as a gripping financial horror film because you'll be screaming at your TV the whole time.

And this is. Some of the moments where you may be screaming is as you really just want him to realize some of the gains of this 3 million that has happened, right? And unfortunately, he does not much the dismay of his own mom and the price of Dogecoin, you know, then continues to fall down going from 3 million down to 2 million down to 1 million and eventually back down to his original investment amount.

And I think, you know, there's a couple interesting. Lessons that were learned along Pro's journey. But I think one of the, the real surprise ones that I want to talk about today with you, Tim, is the fact that along this journey Pro ended up building up an audience of around 250 to 300,000 followers on YouTube and on Instagram and Twitter and elsewhere, and became a financial influencer.

So he started getting paid by different cryptocurrencies or others to give. financial advice online or to tell people about different crypto coins they should buy. And he was actually starting to move markets himself inside of crypto based on when he would post about a certain coin or whatever it was.

And that's when we started to feel like, Oh, this is really dangerous. When you look at the world of what's happening here is moving beyond just an individual and the choices that they're making And actually starting to spread out into an ecosystem that's perpetuating bad financial advice on the internet and then there was a lot of marketing money being put in from crypto companies and others to pay Influencers like pro which was propping up a lot of this over the last few years So became a really fascinating look at the entire ecosystem But pro himself, you know, although he lost the money that he invested into Dogecoin He's made over seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars now in sponsorship deals from different crypto companies to promote these coins online, which I think again, just has a lot of conversation about the role of social media and the internet in this day and age for all of you who are teaching financial education in the classroom, you know, that people you're competing with are people like pro, you know, yelling this information online and, you know for those who are financially registered as advisors.

They cannot legally give, financial advice online. So it's part of why we came up with the play for the film's title, This Is Not Financial Advice is that it's really a look, at that turn in a prose story. 

Tim Ranzetta: How much of him, because you do watch the movie and you say, please, I mean, we saw he didn't have any cash on hand.

I mean, even as he was building this multi million dollar portfolio, not, it wasn't a portfolio, it was a single bet on Dogecoin, he refused to cash out. You spent a lot of time with him. How much of it was, he now has an audience and selling would seem, even if he sold any of it, that somehow he was giving up on this and it was because he had amassed so many followers that that only increased his conviction.

Or was there some other psychological factor at play? Because again, you're talking to somebody who lived with a lot of scarcity now has an. a windfall abundance and yet doesn't see the need to cash in even just a hundred thousand dollars. Like what did you notice? 

[00:16:19] Psychology of Glauber Contessoto (Pro).

Zach Ingrasci: Yeah. I mean, so the crazy thing is pro lived really close to us.

Just kind of down the street. So sometimes he would just like. You know, in the film, you actually see him like waking up and like his day and he would just leave the door open and, you know, before the sunrise, we'd like sneak in and, you know, we just start filming him and it really do follow the whole kind of intimate roller coaster of his life.

And I think one thing you notice, you know, pro lives in what Chris like a 250 square foot room. 

Chris Temple: 180 

Zach Ingrasci: 180 square foot room and he's so frugal right he's lived his whole life being so frugal being like he's such he's an incredibly hard worker he's had to hustle his whole life and I think he saw this moment as his and he says this a little bit in the film like as his moment to like fix all his problems and never have to work again and he wanted every so the idea of cashing out even 100, 000 100, 000 Kind of put him back on his goal of what he didn't want to cash out until he reached 10 million.

And it was this interesting, like Psychology, even without the attention that I think eventually became actually a bigger factor. But in that kind of ride up to 1 million, that kind of a first initial moment that he started getting a lot of traction online you know, a lot of people were even telling him like, sell immediately, sell immediately.

Like, you know, if your money doubles, you should probably sell it. Cause that's a crazy investment, you know, but like he was. You know, 10x ing, 100x ing, all this kind of stuff, and I think even before that following came in, he already was in this kind of interesting mindset, you know, especially as you know, an undocumented immigrant where he had very little, so this first kind of seeming crazy gamble that he made with all of his money, it feels crazy to a lot of us because That might mean a lot, but for a lot of people, kind of gambling that little bit of amount isn't, you know, it feels, Chris, I don't know how to explain this, but like, it feels less.

Chris Temple: I mean, I think like Morgan Housel in the film, Zach probably puts it the best, that it's often those who have the least that are willing to take the biggest financial risks. Right. And I think, you know, you see this with Pro, who, again, he's an undocumented immigrant. He has a scene in the film where he talks about how he's been fired from all these different jobs, how he did well in school, but then couldn't go to college because of this.

Some of these challenges he was running into. So I think a good parallel for it, Tim is the lottery system in America, right? I mean, it's often the people who are buying lottery tickets in a hope of kind of leapfrogging the middle class. If you feel like there isn't social mobility are those who have the least.

And I think crypto has mirrored that in many ways of kind of like the lottery system being a bit of a tax on the poor in this country of like, you know, the people who are buying these tickets and aren't winning are those who have the least. And so I do think we started to see, you know, that come up as his initial motivation for going for this and feeling like he was stuck.

From a mobility standpoint. And I think, you know, he talked a lot about that frustration at the lack of kind of social mobility and the income inequality in the country. 

Tim Ranzetta: Let's talk about Kayla and first of all, talk about her approach. On TikTok, interested to hear how you found her because you probably had a lot of people reaching out saying, you know, raising their hand saying, include me, include me. So interested in hearing about why you selected her, her approach and what she's passionate about.

[00:19:59] Kayla's Approach to Financial Education on TIktok.

Zach Ingrasci: So we found Kayla on social media, basically on TikTok because she was just making these really kind of complex topics understandable at a level that, Anyone could understand, especially young women. She was kind of making that space more comfortable and safe for young women. And I think that was something that we were seeing as really positive, even being economics majors.

And I think this Chris was talking about his FOMO and his own experience at the moment. But I think the one thing that was really positive is everyone was suddenly talking about money for the first time in a really accessible way. And Chris and I both studied economics. Two years out of college, I didn't even realize that I had to invest the money that I was putting in my Roth IRA, right?

And like, that's crazy. I took like corporate finance classes. I did all this stuff. We had a finance part of the major and personal finance is just not something that we don't grow up with. And, you know, Kayla was especially is especially tapped into that. I think she runs a young youth group for young women in her community.

And she was seeing how they basically were taught nothing. I mean, California is one of the states that doesn't require financial literacy classes, right? So she's down here in Orange County. And she was doing it kind of in a fun, accessible way on TikTok, which is where we were seeing the majority of young people really get their financial information and honestly us also start get our start to get our financial kind of information ourselves and and as we did that process of vetting different financial influencers or finfluencers I think she really came out on top of of someone who was trying to do it in a way that made sense that was simple and yet You know, wasn't kind of being bought out by some of these pressures or even sponsorships that people like pro eventually kind of succumb to.

So she just became like a really interesting case and a good example that we could kind of dive into of what's behind the scenes of someone who's literally making a living or trying to make a living off of, financial influencing. 

Chris Temple: And she was just starting at such a basic level that helped us realize just actually, again, how little people know where, when she was coming into learning about finance. She tells this story about how someone was like, well, you know, the key is just understanding the difference between a bullish and a bearish market. And she was like, I have no idea what that means, you know, and didn't even know what these terms were.

And then kind of use some of that to talk about how exclusionary the terms can be that are used in finance. Especially. Culturally how exclusionary finance can feel, especially towards young women who want to come in and learn or have be financially empowered. And I think you know, we were just very inspired by her mission in that way.

Just, be able to provide that safe space to young girls and young women. And she runs a weekly in person group as well that she meets with young people from her community to talk about money and no one else is talking to them about it because often the only conversations that happen around money are happening in rich households, you know, and they're happening amongst men.

And she wanted to counter that.

Tim Ranzetta: Given you really immersed yourself. Into this, fin fluencer, whatever the term you want to use, financial influencer marketplace. What are the tactics you see aside from kind of get rich quick schemes? What are the tactics they're using to kind of draw people in?

[00:23:33] What Tactics Are Used to Draw People Into the Marketplace?

Chris Temple: Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, so a bit of context and obviously we focus the film on these four individuals, but we also, we've spoken with hundreds of different investors, both in retail and meme stock world like GameStop and AMC, but also in crypto and Dogecoin and other spaces. And then a number of amazing experts that are in the film talking about this to, you know, Morgan Households, one of my favorites, wrote the book, The Psychology of Money.

Josh Brown is another really great one to follow for good information on CNBC. So, you know, each person had a little bit something to add to your question here, Tim. And it's a really complicated answer, but I do think there's one, this marketing world that's been created around, around this space of getting rich quick overnight, right?

A lot of companies, whether it's, Robinhood or different crypto companies that are just making, giving out free money as incentives to try to get people engaged or paying marketing money to influencers like Pro. Because there was such an inflated economy, I think in 2021 and 2022, it was just money was sloshing around from a marketing standpoint.

And I think that was a really big thing. Two, I think algorithmically on social media, social media tends to reward stories that are positive that people want to engage with. So, you know, pro story of making 3 million got so much attention, right? And everyone was talking about it and it was all over the place.

And then it, as he slowly started losing it, you know, he's so also slowly started losing the media attention on it. And so you see too that it's actually you hear about the story of someone making it big, like you do again with the lottery, but you don't always know what happens next. 

I'm not sure, Zach, if you had anything else you wanted to add to that. 

Zach Ingrasci: I mean, I think the only other thing is to notice, you know, when we were talking to the big YouTube influencers. Who are very aware of sound financial advice. They just were very open with the fact that that didn't play well in the algorithm, right?

Like boring financial advice doesn't get you views. And if you're living is based on the number of views you get, there's not much you can do if all you're going to do is keep boring financial advice. So just the system is rigged to give pretty bad financial advice. 

Chris Temple: Yeah. Or just try to be as big and dramatic as possible in what you're telling.

Zach Ingrasci: And I think that's even with Kayla. That's something that she ran up against. You know, she doesn't have as many followers as some of these other people. You know, she still has a lot, but it's not the millions that you see from other people. And I think it's because, some of these spinfluencers aren't willing to go as, I don't know.

Chris Temple: I'm just looking right now at pros Twitter, right? And the ones that are getting the most engagement are the ones where he's doing giveaways. He's giving away, you know, doing giveaways of certain things. Or if he is asking people what cryptos they're buying. So trying to create some sort of like an engagement conversation there where people can then promote their own coins into that.

And you can have a dialogue and conversation of, What the next kind of trend or thing that everyone's going to amass together on and and do and I think you know Beyond our film. I mean, I think you'll see you guys will probably hear soon about a film that's coming out called dumb money which was about the game stop rise up moment.

And I haven't seen it yet. I'm seeing it on sunday So I can't speak to it in detail of how it's been portrayed, but I have been reading a lot of the reviews and something I'm really curious about with it is if it's based on the cover image, I'm a bit worried that it's perpetuating this belief that.

You know you have a lot of power as a retail investor to come together and stick it to Wall Street and get rich overnight. And I think you know, there is an information asymmetry that happens in markets that I'm sure all of you are very aware of. and I do think, you know, some of this rallying of.

of momentum online towards, you know, a stock like GameStop or AMC, I think I totally understand the energy behind it, the frustration with Wall Street that we're seeing, I'm equally as frustrated, yet, on the other side, who ends up really winning and losing at the end of the day in some of these situations and I think there was a stat recently, it was like, I can't remember it off the top of my head, but it's somewhere over 80 percent of those who have Lost money from crypto or from black and brown communities, you know, and you really start to see the losses here are amounting for, you know, for the little guy.

Tim Ranzetta: Yeah. So I have a mantra that says if they won't regulate, we better educate. You made a statement earlier, Chris, which is kind of crazy. If you step back for a minute, right. If I am a certified financial advisor, I gotta be really careful what I say. But if I go online and I don't have any degree at all, I can make these wild claims.

Is there any hope at some point? I mean, it seems to me, I believe England is a little bit further ahead than us, but to make these claims, to sell these products, to encourage people to take on these risks at some point. And I'm not a huge fan of overregulation, but it seems to me there's a base level here where people are getting away with saying things and, you know, perhaps not even be telling folks that they're being paid in order to promote these products.

It seems like the wild West out there. Is there any hope? 

[00:29:00] Is There Any Hope For the Online Marketplace and Media?

Chris Temple: Yeah, I think there is. And I think some of the social media platforms are doing more like flagging when it's a sponsored post, I think because the. You know, the broader bubble in the financial markets has come down.

I think some of the interest in the speculation in crypto has followed suit as interest rates have gone up. And we've started to see, again, when there's a big financial bubble, crypto became a big bubble too, right? Like it's all relevant to the kind of reflective of the broader markets that we're seeing.

I do think also there's a lot of frustration and maybe some progress is being made from the standpoint of being able to talk more about financial wellness online if you do know what you're talking about versus financial advice. And I think like you're seeing some great podcasts and some great you know, professors or others who aren't.

 Registered, you know, financial advisors, but they are able to give financial advice online. And I do think that those are the voices we really need to support and to lift up as much as possible. And again, I think some of the ones like I mentioned earlier, you know, like Josh Brown or Morgan household or some of these that are putting out really good financial information are critically important.

I think it's like, you know, for you and I have talked about this, Tim, I We just need to yell louder. You know, the work that next gen is doing is incredible. You're out there advocating and pushing regulation across different States to make sure that kids are learning this in high school.

We're trying to get this film out to 3 million students. Like we just gotta be, you know, hit the ground as hard as pro is. 

Zach Ingrasci: And I think that was the goal with the film is to create something that could be used as a tool by all of you that wasn't patronizing towards young people. I think that's something that immediately people turn off that feels like it's coming from a place of understanding and really kind of of the moment.

And I think that's why the trailer might even feel a little crazy and chaotic for a film. But like, this is what young people are watching. This is what we like, what people are naturally engaging with. And I don't think we've ever seen a financial documentary. That has done that yet. And so by giving you stories of people that are relatable and coming from the same world, hopefully that can just kind of sink in a little bit more, kind of engage young people a little bit more than some of the resources we've seen, because yeah, we need to be.

Giving all angles, or like, hitting from all angles. 

Chris Temple: No, and as Zach said, I can't judge because I've made all these mistakes. I did it all, you know, and I over invested in Dogecoin, and I was sitting awake at 5am watching GameStop. Price go up and down and I thought I was smart

And I've been caught into these markets and it's, you know, and it can happen to anyone. 

Tim Ranzetta: Yeah. Let's dive into, this will be my last question, just go in a little bit more detail about the education modules that you've created and kind of your vision for how teachers might bring this to the classroom.

[00:31:57] Chris's and Zach's Education Modules and How They Can Be Implemented.

Chris Temple: Yeah. So basically what we've done is we've split the film into five different modules around different storylines of the characters that we've talked around today that each kind of has a. Probably about three or four learning objectives or themes to each one. So, you know, things like the psychology of risk, things like systemic inequality and some are about, you know, mostly around like 13 minute little sections that can provide an engaging and entertaining entry point to a conversation with your class.

And then accompanying it or additional resources that we're working on with next gen that can allow activities for you to move further into additional, you know, podcasts or books or other others to expand on some of these themes discussion questions to work on together in class and really advance the conversation together.

And I think, you know, for us, we're not teachers, we're just trying to have the film be as useful as possible. So I think we're looking for feedback from the next gen community. We're looking to collaborate with you as teachers of what is the most helpful thing that we can do, whether again, that's us speaking to your students, whether that's, using the modules, whether that's giving you the full films to do events, whether that's doing parent teacher events together.

I mean, I think the sky is really the limit and we want to just be open and listen as much as we can over the next year. As we roll this out.

Tim Ranzetta: I hope you all heard that offer from Chris, these folks are serious about impact. So we'll make sure we not only let folks in this group. No, Chris and Zach, but also the, the broader community.

Chris Temple: Yeah, absolutely. 

So we're, we're super excited To be able to offer that. 

Tim Ranzetta: And yeah, I did want to clarify one point because the dynamic is changing in California. I don't know if I mentioned to you guys, there's been two decades of efforts to get any financial literacy bill passed in California.

We made an effort earlier this year, which was the first time a bill. was introduced that actually would require personal finance education that got watered down in committee. And so we have started the process actually for a ballot initiative. So the goal of getting on the November 2024 ballot because this is what the people want.

I mean, we pulled California voters, likely California voters, 78 percent are in favor of this. So we've clearly touched a nerve here. So hopefully we'll keep in touch on that issue also, because you all are California based and love to find ways to collaborate there too. 

[00:34:26] Tim Mentions the Financial Literacy Ballot Initiative in California.

Zach Ingrasci: Yeah, I know Sinai and Kayla, two LA natives would love to support in any way, and I'm excited that if any way we can support too, because I think that's the bare minimum that needs to happen in all high schools, so.

Tim Ranzetta: Yeah. And the impact in California is about there's 450, 000 kids who graduate every year. California is about 11 percent to 11 12 percent of the entire country. So great opportunity for a state that is significantly lagged behind in terms of even access. Even access to the course. 

Chris Temple: Maybe before that you know, we should, we can start laying the groundwork, Tim, for a screening in Sacramento and the lead up to the 2024 vote.

Tim Ranzetta: Love that. 

Chris Temple: And, you know, and really kind of. Make sure we can reach as many people as possible through the emotional story of the film. 

Tim Ranzetta: Awesome. Awesome guys. This was great. On the way out the door, I'd love for you to share, you know, you put a ton of heart and effort into your documentaries and there's a point where. You hear from an audience and maybe it was, you were visiting a classroom or maybe it was at Tribeca folks.

They were one of the, the best documentaries at the Tribeca film festival, which is quite an accomplishment. But I wondered if you would share just some of the feedback that almost sends chills down your spine and you're like, Chris turns to Zach, Zach turns to Chris and says, Hey, this was worth it.

Chris Temple: Yeah. I mean, the world premiere was Trebekka was, was truly amazing getting to just, you know, honestly it was the first time that people have really publicly seen the film. And now we've been doing individual events, anybody can book the film to, to come to you. I put the our website here, there's a little screenings tab you know, if you want to host a screening or in your own community, if you You have other friends you think would want to bring the film for a screening for the full film.

We're doing that and one of the most impactful ones to me so far of those is we did a screening as the closing night of the National Conference on Problem Gambling and A number, there was one individual in particular who came up afterwards and was like, this has fundamentally changed my practice as a therapist of how I'm going to work with trading and gambling addicts as we move forward.

And, you know, it was like that just in this moment, you're like, oh, this is a guy who is. Not from my generation, he was probably 65 years old and it was like, I've been trying to find ways and to understand and enter into these conversations with my clients who are coming to me with these real challenges and, and I feel better armed to do it.

And I was like, Oh, great. Look at that, you know, and who knows if what will ever happen, with his clients or the trickle down impacts that these films can make. But that's the hope. And you just try to talk with all of you. And now each of you, you're already out there as amazing advocates for financial education.

If we can help you in your journey in any way, or there's ever anything that you need where we just want to be tools. 

Zach Ingrasci: And I think this is less of a serious one, but like, I, you know, in a Q and a after the Tribeca's first premiere, I did mention that I, you know, out of college, I didn't know they'd invest your Roth IRA.

And someone came up after and was like, I didn't know that until this very moment. And he was like a 30 year old, you know, filmmaker. And I was like, see, this is why you watch this film because you're going to get interested in money and your own financial education.

And I think that's just like a huge win. So I'm excited for that to happen to all the students. 

Chris Temple: Well. Yeah. And seriously, take a look at our site to for at optimist. co support slash films. There's a bunch of just films on there. We have a full time impact producer on our team, Samantha, who's just will be a constant liaison for teachers with different discussion guides and resources that you may want on different topics, whether that's our first film living on 1 that's just available on YouTube.

Or other films kind of covering topics around criminal justice or. Immigration or anything. As you know, all of these issues, there's so much intersectionality, right? So you know, if they're helpful, we hope you enjoy it. 

Zach Ingrasci: And money is always a big part of them. Money is always a part of it. 

Tim Ranzetta: Isn't it always?

Zach and Chris, I want to thank you guys for You know, creating amazing documentaries. We really look forward to collaborating on this project to get this really important documentary out there to show some of the dangers of speculating in cryptocurrency.

So thank you again. 

Chris Temple: No, and thank you. It really wouldn't be possible without next gen. So you guys are the best partners. We're so happy. 

Tim Ranzetta: Thank you. All right, folks. 

You guys mentioned release in November. Do you have a where will they be able to find it? 

Chris Temple: We can't quite say publicly yet, but we're looking at November to will be a national digital release. 

Zach Ingrasci: So we're doing a early kind of educational release to try and get it early in the semester out to teachers, right?

So through these modules, and then also. Kind of finding ways to do community screenings and talk. So hopefully it's soon, you know, like in general especially for educators. 

Chris Temple: Yeah. All right. Well, thank you everyone.

Tim Ranzetta: Thanks Zach. Thanks folks.

Ren Makino: I hope you enjoyed this episode with Tim, Chris and, Zach, I have a few final housekeeping items before we go. The show notes and full transcript can be found on ngpf.org/podcasts. You can also join these sessions live and ask the speaker questions by signing up for the NGPF speaker series sessions that occur on Thursdays at 4:00 PM. Pacific time, you can sign up to attend on ngpf.org/virtual-pd. Please be sure to subscribe to the NGPs podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Better yet, leave us a review. We love hearing from you and it will help us reach a broader audience. On behalf of Tim, Chris and, Zach, thank you so much for tuning into this NGPF podcast.

About the Author

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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