Thought leaders in
Bonsai Creative was founded in 2014 in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee by founders Christopher Barkley and Nicholas Buggs. As longtime creatives and storytellers, we recognize that the future of narrative film lives in the creative minds of independent filmmakers.
At Bonsai Creative, we live by three main principles:
Be Better. Be Creative. Be Engaged.
As the big studios merge and double-down on tentpole movies while Hollywood stars monopolize the popular "independent" scene, there appear to be fewer opportunities for the true, low-budget independent. The result is a homogenized industry that seems to favor the privileged few.
However, the world of media distribution continues to become more open and inclusive which provides a wealth of opportunities for the informed filmmaker. The problem is that most filmmakers tie themselves to an antiquated studio model that limits or prohibits these opportunities. That's where we come in.
Since the founding of our company in 2014, we have invested in and provided film consulting in three award-winning feature films (All Light Will End, Adult Interference, Another Version of You) and an award-winning short film (Mr. Johnson's Julius Caesar). We have also provided coverage on numerous screenplays and consulting on a variety of film projects. Through the power of podcasting, we have provided thought leadership on independent filmmaking and have hosted a variety of guests from across the industry.
Our consultation, podcast topics, and Industry Insights blog posts have covered topics including story, casting, shooting locations, film coverage, branding, marketing, merchandising, social and community engagement, and sales strategies. We'd love to have the opportunity to share these insights with you as a member of your team or in a conversation on the MAKE IT podcast.
Nicholas Buggs is an Executive and Advisory Producer specializing in independent films. As Co-Founder of Bonsai Creative Enterprises (Bonsai Creative), Nicholas has successfully leveraged a background in Management Consulting, Product Development, Project Management, and Strategic Planning to develop and implement strategic approaches to maximizing the potential in independent film projects.
Considering himself a "catalyst for creatives", Nicholas works alongside business partner and best friend Christopher Barkley to help filmmakers eliminate the obstacles to bringing great stories to life. Since 2014, Nick and Chris have earned film credits on three award-winning films that have all made their way to distribution. As Bonsai Creative, Chris and Nick now set their sights on changing the game for filmmakers by providing actionable insights that lead them on the path to success.
Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering where he also studied Communications, Management of Technology, and Mathematics.
Chris Barkley was born in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee, and fell in love with storytelling after seeing The Princess Bride (which he's enjoyed over fifty times) as a child. Taking a unique path to storytelling, Chris began as a songwriter, having penned over 200 songs. The need to emote through the power of story drove Chris to co-found Bonsai Creative with his best friend, Nicholas Buggs. Their goal is to help independent film creatives tell stories in a meaningful (and profitable) way. Since then, Chris has worked as Executive Producer, Advisory Producer, Film Consultant, Story Consultant, and Brand Strategist on several feature films.
Chris holds a degree in Communications (Journalism and Marketing) from Middle Tennessee State University.
"It was of the utmost importance to have a home team here for me, and (together) we made an award-winning film that got distribution. That's a win! I would recommend Bonsai Creative to anyone. My experience has been wonderful. Thank you guys for everything!"
TED WELCH / Actor
"I liked how hands off yet present Bonsai Creative was. They let me steer the ship and be a Creative, but they were there to support and collaborate if things needed to be worked out. I respect them as creatives as well, and I felt the respect was mutual. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone!"
LESLEY POWERS / Producer, Writer, Director
"I was looking for someone to listen to my creative ideas and interact with them as if they were theirs. Bonsai Creative did that for me. Stories are important to Chris and Nick, even if the project isn't a good match. I can count on them to care. Bonsai invested in me and now my projects are award-nominated and winning films."
KRIS WENTE/ Actor
“Bonsai Creative has provided so much passion and support for our film through every phase. They have been springboards for ideas and they have offered their support through every step of the journey. As we moved through production and post-production, they had a light, but passionate touch on many of the moves we made. They provided feedback when asked, and they were very collaborative in their approach without being invasive. This is the kind of relationship every creative longs to have.”
MOTKE DAPP / Writer, Director