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September 6, 2019
This week NFS Founder and CEO Ryan Koo stops by to discuss his time using the BMPCC6K, plus more news from Charles and George.
September 3, 2019
In this episode of the No Film School Podcast, we sit down with writer-director-actor Justin Chon, whose latest film Ms. Purple hits theaters this week.
August 30, 2019
This week Charles and George discuss the big news from KitSplit and Sharegrid, the Panasonic S1H, if we'll finally REALLY be able to see movies the way Nolan intended, plus tech news, and an "Ask No Film School."
August 22, 2019
Titans clash on the pod this week as George and Charles discuss Spider-Man's corporate fate, why Apple and Red are fighting, and some major changes that fixed some of everyone's favorite TV shows.
August 16, 2019
This week The No Film School Podcast covers the BMPCC 6K, plus a look back at Michael Mann's Collateral, why Olivia Wilde's deal is as exciting as it is important, and some more tech news.
August 9, 2019
Tarantino's 'Boogie Nights' complaint gets dissected by George and Charles, who also dig deep on film stock and early landmarks in filmmaking technology. From the silent era to porn in the 70's we touch on the whole lot this week.
August 2, 2019
8.1.2019: Once Upon A Time in (No) Film School by No Film School
July 26, 2019
This week on The No Film School Podcast, Editor-in-Chief George Edelman and Charles Haine try to work through their nightmares over the Cats trailer, talk about Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and how Roman Polanksi feels about it (and if we should care), plus how we should feel about what Sony and Aputure are up to.
July 17, 2019
Joel Potrykus, DP Adam J. Minnick, and actors Joshua Burge and Andre Hyland sit down with us to explain how they became collaborators, how they made Relaxer, and why making films for yourself is the only way to go.
July 12, 2019
This week on The No Film School Podcast, Editor-in-Chief George Edelman joins host Charles Haine talk about news from Apple about their laptops, a Panasonic firmware update, editing John Wick 3, plus tech news and "ask No Film School"
July 6, 2019
This week on The No Film School Podcast, Editor-in-Chief George Edelman joins host Charles Haine talk about tech news, a feel-good distribution story for an indie filmmaker, reimbursements on set, and most importantly, Superman's facial hair.
June 24, 2019
Shane Hurlbut and our host Charles Haine talk about the Hurlbut Academy, how Shane got started, and what he's been busy with lately.
June 17, 2019
It's safe to say that legendary auteur Jim Jarmusch has a talented roster of actors at his disposal. Bill Murray, Adam Driver, and Tilda Swinton are just a few of the names that would rush to the director's beck and call if summoned. But this fact is not solely due to the director's uniquely wry vision and radiant cool, it's because Jarmusch has never taken the actor for granted. The relationship between the actor and the director is a collaboration as important, if not more important, than any other on set and some director's seem to forget just how hard the actor's job is. Not Jarmusch. He takes the time to sit down with the actor, recognize their needs, and identify how he can best serve them to get the type of performance they both crave.  It's true that over time he's built a shorthand with the actors he's worked with through multiple films (to the point he's even written dialogue with them specifically in mind) but at its root, the basis of their relationship remains the same. Respect. Respect seems to be the through line in our conversation today. Jim's latest film "The Dead Don't Die", is yes a zombie movie, but also a plea for humanity to begin respecting one another and the earth on which they call home. In it, the peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves: a result of reckless fracking which has thrown the planet off its axis. Even more so, it's evident how much Jarmusch, a true cinematic chameleon in his own right, respects the medium of film and would like emerging filmmakers to do the same. We talk the director's earliest influences, how music and sound effect every aspect of his production and how keeping empathy and an open mind are the two most important qualities a director can possess.
June 14, 2019
This week on The No Film School Podcast, our resident tech-expert Charles Haine and Editor-in-Chief George Edelman chat about a new HBO show everyone loves and what makes it such a must-watch, a teenager who won Tribeca with a movie he shot in three weeks, that Apple monitor that is driving people a little nuts, plus Charles' unique way of using his computer.
June 7, 2019
This week on the No Film School Podcast, Host Charles Haine and NFS Editor-in-Chief George Edelman talk tech. They discuss Apple's new Mac Pro, unveiled on Monday, which features a completely overhauled design, a massive 32-inch Retina 6K display, and internal specs that will certainly pique the interest of pros.
June 3, 2019
Today is a very special episode of The No Film School Podcast and perhaps a momentous occasion in the history of the universe itself. The very balance of the cosmos hangs at a thread as Academy Award Nominated screenwriter John Fusco and former No Film School Producer Jon Fusco finally meet to discuss their craft. John Fusco is, of course, the legendary screenwriter who dropped out of high school at age 16 to travel the south as a blues musician before returning to the Northeast and attending Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He later went on to write such hit films as Young Guns, Hidalgo, and most recently Netflilx's The Highway Men, which made its debut at 2019's edition of the SXSW film festival. The man has been writing films for over thirty years and has a wealth of knowledge to share with us all including practices on how to become disciplined (and stay that way), getting yourself into the screenwriting zone, and ways to retain control of your script once it hits the production stage.
May 27, 2019
Adam Egypt Mortimer's latest feature, like many others currently on the festival circuit, is the result of an enormous amount of careful planning and obsessing over details. About thirty-two pages or so's worth to be precise. In pre-production for Daniel Isn't Real Mortimer created what he calls a "style guide", which is essentially a heavily detailed look book that breaks down every single aspect of production for the key members of his crew. This includes not only notes on how the film should look aesthetically, but also the reasoning behind the choice of gear for each shot and how each scene relates thematically to the broader arc of the story. The guide played an essential role in both keeping the crew on the same page and allowing key production members to keep Mortimer on track if they saw him straying from the mission. The mission, in this case, was to convey the harrowing story of a troubled college freshman named Luke who, after undergoing a violent family trauma, resurrects his childhood imaginary friend Daniel to help him cope. The film features a few young members of Hollywood royalty in it's cast with both Patrick Schwarzenneger and Miles Robbins playing the schizophrenic duo. NFS sat down with Mortimer for a case study of sorts back at SXSW. We discuss the process and components involved in creating the perfect look book, using his own work as a guide.
May 23, 2019
The No Film School Podcast is a weekly show devoted to catching you up on all the notable things you may have missed while you were making films. Host Charles Haine and NFS Editor-in-Chief George Edelman discuss the myriad flaws and wonders of the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale (is Drogon smarter than we think?) and how Verve made a crucial move in the WGA vs. ATA battle. They also go over some exciting gear news: the MicroFogger blasting onto the scene, DJI taking on GoPro, and why normal-speed scenes in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ might be shot at 48 fps.
May 20, 2019
If there's one universal truth about filmmaking, it's that it's hard as hell to get your picture made. So if you're going to go through all the trouble of making a movie, you better damn well make sure you're not scared to tell the story that you want to tell. Luckily, there's no better time to do this than at the very beginning. Rick Alverson is one of the most daring filmmakers on the planet. His latest film, The Mountain, is a surreal odyssey concerning the very heart of creativity itself: the mind. Or rather the antiquated science behind destroying it. In the film, Tye Sheridan plays a young man who after losing his mother, goes to work with a doctor, portrayed by the unhumanly charismatic Jeff Goldblum, who specializes in lobotomies. The timing of this film's release is no coincidence. While there may not be a literal blade held to our skull, every day we are subject to creative suppression from an overabundance of media, screens and pop culture. And while mainline cinema may do its best to further this narrative, Alverson argues that it's our duty as independent filmmakers to buck the trend and create art that leads to critical thinking. It's a truth that he learned some time along the middle of his career, that filmmaking should be about having a conversation with the medium and not a promotional exercise. Filmmakers should meditate on how they can contribute to the art form itself and not look for personal advancement. There is no better time to start this practice, than at the very beginning. NFS sat down with Alverson and Sheridan to discuss how filmmakers can look to achieve this very notion at SXSW.
May 16, 2019
The No Film School Podcast is a weekly show devoted to catching you up on all the notable things you may have missed while you were making films. Host Charles Haine and NFS Editor George Edelman dive into the latest Game of Thrones controversy (this week style and content are at war), Roger Deakins’ old-school, single-LUT methods and why ARRI is invading Charleston, North Carolina.
May 13, 2019
Big Time Adolescence is a feature close to director Jason Orley's heart, and why shouldn't it be? In addition to making its world premiere at Sundance back in January, the film has the unique distinction of being the first screenplay he ever wrote. It's not often that the first thing you write ends up being your first feature. But the fact that this is Orley's first feature is not from lack of trying. In the process of achieving this seemingly unachievable feat, Orley penned multiple scripts with the goal of "proving he could write." A few of them, including Big Time Adolescence ended up on The Black List. And if you don't know what The Black List is, it's time to get familiar, because it's an accolade that could end up changing your screenwriting career forever. That's what ended up happening for Orley in any case. Adolescence tells the story suburban teenager comes of age under the destructive guidance of his best friend, an aimless college dropout. That dropout is played by none other than Saturday Night Live standout Pete Davidson, who in addition to joining the film as an executive producer, turns in a star-confirming performance. NFS sat down with Orley at Sundance to discuss the basics of writing to prove you can write, what The Black List can do for your career, using the star of your film as your greatest collaborator and more.
May 6, 2019
For his new film Olympic Dreams, filmmaker Jeremy Teicher was granted unprecedented access to one of the most exclusive residences in the world. This is a location so rare that it's only available once every four years. A place where pheromones course through the veins of some of the most beautiful and physically talented people alive: The Olympic Village. Teicher and his partner Alexi Pappas were provided a grant and, perhaps equally valuable, permission to shoot anywhere they wished at 2018's Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Pappas, an Olympic track star in her own right, stars in the film with the always hilarious Nick Kroll. The two are the only actual actors in the film, playing a young cross-country skier and a volunteer doctor that fall in love over the course of the winter games. Everyone else who appears in the film is either a competing Olympian or unknowing passerby. For this reason, it was crucial the production had the smallest footprint it could possibly get away with. The opportunity wouldn't be without its challenges, however. Namely, Teicher would be shooting an entire narrative film in a chaotic foreign location, entirely by himself. NFS sat down with Teicher and Pappas to discuss the most important parts of one man crewing, what gear to bring along, how to make things easier for yourself in pre-production and, at the end of the day, why it may be a better idea to bring at least one other person along to help.
May 2, 2019
Introducing the No Film School Podcast a weekly show devoted to catching you up on all the notable things you may have missed while you were making films. Host Charles Haine dives into the current state of the WGA - ATA conflict, discusses the perceived darkness of the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, and gives us some insight into a new LED cube light.
April 29, 2019
Mariam Webster defines "democratization" as to make (something) available to all people: to make it possible for all people to understand (something). So when we talk the democratization of filmmaking, in a way we're talking about the evolution of filmmaking itself.  Over the past decade or so we have seen some radical changes in both the type of video content that is being created and the industry at large. Not only are filmmaking tools growing more sophisticated, they are becoming cheaper to access as well.  What's more, the language of film itself has seemingly been instilled in the minds of new generations of creators who have grown up with the social media platforms like Instagram, Vine and TikTok. These creators are learning to edit and tell stories, whether that's their intention or not. At SXSW, NFS led a panel featuring Instagram Co-Founder Mike Krieger, KitSplit Co-Founder Lisbeth Kaufman, and Frame.io Founder Emery Wells. We discussed how each of their platforms has contributed to the democratization of filmmaking, what the revolution means to them and how emerging filmmakers should be taking advantage.
April 22, 2019
Barry Jenkins once said, "Art is inherently political. Even trying to make a film that has nothing to do with politics is, in and of itself, a political act." Unfortunately for filmmakers, not everyone these days will jump at the chance to see a movie that advertises its own inherently political nature. So how do you subvert an audience's expectations with a film like The Wall of Mexico? The title itself implies one of the most controversial issues facing the United States of America today. Directors Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak would say that the first step lies in staying ahead of the audience. How do you stay ahead of an audience expecting a social issues movie? Don't write a movie explicitly about social issues. That's exactly what the directing partners did with their SXSW standout. The film is heavy on magical realism and doesn't beat the audience over the head with any one single message. As Colter and Zyzak put it, ambiguity is a part of their artistic creed. And it's one that benefits the social issues genre greatly. In what is a subversive plot in and of itself, The Wall of Mexico tells the story of a wealthy Mexican family who decides to build a wall around their ranch to stop American townspeople from stealing their well water. I sat down with the cast and directors to discuss the art and importance of subtlety and messing with audience expectations.
April 15, 2019
Will Forte never met Mike Ahern or Enda Loughman before jumping on board the pair of Irish director's debut feature. He didn't need to. The script for Extra Ordinary was just that good. All he needed to know was that they'd be directing. Why? Because according to Forte, in comedy, writing and directing go hand in hand. In that respect, writing and acting may go hand in hand as well. While Forte and scene partner Claudia O'Doherty may bring some star power to the project, it's the relatively unknown comedian Maeve Higgins who truly carries the brunt of the project on her shoulders. And as we learned in this interview, she had a hand in writing the film as well. Higgins plays Rose, a sweet, lonely driving instructor in rural Ireland, who is gifted with supernatural abilities. Rose has a love/hate relationship with her 'talents' & tries to ignore the constant spirit requests from locals - to exorcize possessed rubbish bins or haunted gravel. Forte plays a washed-up pop star/satanist in his usual outlandish manner, O'Doherty his indifferent wife. Also joining us on the show is actor Barry Ward, Roses' love interest in the film. We sat down after the film's premiere at SXSW to discuss trusting actors to write, the advantages of comedy jamming with directors and "funnying" your way out of any problematic situations.
April 8, 2019
Making a coming of age film can be a tricky thing. There's a delicate line between teenagers keepin' it real and overly nostalgic reminiscing. Even though it's his first feature, it's clear that Ninian Doff will never have a problem toeing that line and is truly a master of keepin' it real. SXSW Midnight standout Boyz in the Wood follows a group of kids as they set off deep in the Scottish Highlands, as part of a camping program for troubled youth. As they push through the wilderness they encounter everything from rap-loving farmers to hallucinogenic rabbit shits. What really sets the film apart from the traditional coming of age story, however, is its strong influence from hip hop culture. This might be obvious from a film whose title so closely resembles John Singleton's 1991 classic, but Ninian Doff's film is about as contemporary in tone as you can possibly get. While it's his debut film, the director made a name for himself in his music video collaborations with acts like Run the Jewels, and his past work is clearly seen in the frenetic graphics, a pulsating soundtrack and blitzkrieg action that pervade through the feature. We sat down with Doff and his cast of boyz soon after their opening night premiere at SXSW to talk about shooting a film that's 95 percent exteriors, building trust with young actors and how to make a coming of age film that doesn't suck.
April 1, 2019
This week on the No Film School Podcast, we’re going to talk about one of the most largely undiscussed nuances of filmmaking: the portrayal of masturbation on film. Specifically, of the female kind. 'Yes, God, Yes' is a film unlike any you’ve seen before. In it, a Catholic teenager in the early aughts discovers masturbating and struggles to suppress her new urges on a religious retreat. But this ain’t no American Pie satire. Writer/Director Karen Maine (who you may know as half of the writing team from 2014’s indie hit 'Obvious Child') truly brings us inside the mind of female adolescence. Much of this ability is due to the fact that she lived through this experience as a teen herself. As I learned when I sat down with Maine and her cast at SXSW earlier this month, however, it was the director’s openness to collaborate with her talented young leads that truly sealed the deal. The cast is led by a standout performance from Natalia Dyer, who shows she clearly deserves more complex roles than the likes of 'Stranger Things'’ archetypal Nancy Wheeler provides her. Dyer joins us on the show today, along with Timothy Simons (perhaps best known for his role as Jonah Ryan from 'Veep'), and talented new comers Francesca Reale, Alisha Boe and Wolfgang Novogratz. We talk about building an atmosphere on set comfortable enough to to avoid the pitfalls of the typical coming of age story and masturbation, lots of masturbation.
March 11, 2019
Greener Grass is a project that has been on a whirlwind path to success since the very beginning. Directors Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe's first iteration of the surreal comedy turned heads as a short film back in 2016, when it won awards at major festivals like SXSW and the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France. Upon its release online, it also achieved viral status and earned distinctions from Short of the Week and Vimeo. It's rare that a short finds success like that both on the festival circuit and online, but hey, when you watch Greener Grass, it's easy to see why. Though they claim to have had no intention of doing so initially, the duo expanded the short into a feature film which hit Sundance in a big way back in January. The film's meticulously crafted aesthetic places it on a level somewhere between Adult Swim and David Lynch. With the aid of talented production designers, costume designers, and a brilliantly specific script, DeBoer and Luebbe's film brings us into a candy-coated utopia that we've never seen the likes of in film before. Of course, things descend into dystopia by the time the film's through. Suburban tensions reach their boiling point after one mom willingly gives up her daughter to a friend, who I might add later goes on to give birth to a bouncing baby soccer ball. Things get weird. But not odd enough to sway IFC Midnight from purchasing the film earlier this week, or SXSW programming it into their festival to be seen in Austin later this week. Jon Fusco sat down with the directors and producer Natalie Metzger at Sundance this year to talk about using characters to build a world, hiring geniuses as collaborators and more.
March 4, 2019
For Lee Cronin, getting to the point where he could make his debut feature "The Hole in The Ground" was like climbing a greasy pole. For every step he took upwards it always seemed like he’d have to slip down a bit as well. His three horror shorts helped to boost his leverage, especially the 2014 award winner "Ghost Train", but none seemed to elevate him to a point where he could leave commercial work behind and commit to a career as a feature filmmaker. As the director so aptly puts it in our interview today, “there’s no business like slow business.” Something in the air has seemingly changed this year, however, as that process has transformed into something like a “slow rocket.” After years of struggling, The Hole in the Ground is set for a March 1st release, by none other than family horror distributor extraordinaire, A24. The film, which made its premiere at Sundance in January, follows a woman who moves to a new town with her young son in order to escape a life of domestic abuse, only to encounter an ominous sinkhole that appears to have supernatural powers which threaten the life of her child. We sat down in Park City to discuss how horror filmmakers can follow a similar path to success by staying steady on their own course without giving up. And perhaps more importantly, Cronin gives tips on how to stay positive during the grueling journey ahead.
February 25, 2019
Some filmmakers get their starts late, and some filmmakers get their starts early. Our guests on today’s roundtable fall under the latter. Since 2015, Sundance and Adobe have held the Sundance Ignite Fellowship a year long program for 18-to-25-year-old emerging filmmakers from around the world. Their fellowship kicks off with a free trip to the Sundance Film Festival, where they are paired with a Sundance mentor and attend special Sundance Ignite events that advance their films and careers. For the rest of the year, the fellows will work with their mentors, attend select Sundance Institute programs, enjoy eligibility for internships, and receive additional creative and professional development opportunities as they develop their craft. The fellows also receive a complimentary subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud,and lets not also forget that they have a pretty sweet shot at getting their films into Sundance at some point in their burgeoning careers. Joining us today are four short filmmakers who did just that: Matthew Puccini and Tyler Rabinowitz with Lavender; Crystal Kayiza with Edgecombe; and Vasilis Kekatos with The silence of dying fish. Together with mentor Lacey Schwartz we talk about the benefits of fellowships like the Ignite Program for young filmmakers and how you can be accepted to opportunities like this yourself.
February 18, 2019
Johannes Nyholm, director of Sundance standout Koko-Di Koko-Da takes the whole wearing many hats thing to a whole other dimension. If you're looking for a filmmaker who has complete command over his material, then look no further than this Swedish auteur. It would take too long to list all of his credits on this film, but how about Writer, Director, Producer, Editor, Colorist, VFX Artist, and Shadow Puppet Designer/Performer for a start? Nyholm is a great believer in the "Do It Yourself" ideology and through years of hard work, he has truly taught himself the tools necessary to put it into practice. What he may have an even better knack for, however, is when to step away and let his collaborators take the wheel. It's both of these abilities combined that have garnered him a successful career in the film industry. His latest film Koko-Di Koko-Da follows a couple that goes on a camping trip to find their way back to each other, only to be haunted by a sideshow artist and his shady entourage who emerge from the woods and terrorize them, luring them deeper into a maelstrom of psychological terror and humiliating slapstick. Nyholm joins us on The No Film School Podcast today to discuss why working with a smaller team can be smarter than working with a large one, growing your cinematic tool kit and more.
February 11, 2019
“In the rugged wilderness of Appalachia, the members of an isolated community of Pentecostal snake handlers led by Pastor Lemuel risk their lives to attest themselves before God.” This is a much different type of log-line than the others entries you’d find scrolling down the list of Dramatic Competition entries in Sundance’s program. It is the plot of Them That Follow, the feature film debut for writer/directors Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage and boy, is it a doozy. Though they didn’t have any directing credits prior to the film’s premiere, the duo had more than enough experience between them to pull off the gripping narrative. Through years of working for other studios and other directors they found themselves with the opportunity to "get in the room.” What is the room? Well and not to use a cliche lightly here, but, “the answer may surprise you.” We also talk through writing a story about a secretive community with limited access, filling in the blanks with your own personal experiences and working with an incredible cast that included Olivia Coleman, Walton Goggins, Jim Gaffigan and more.
February 4, 2019
The documentary cinematographer is a special kind of cinematographer. Whereas in narrative, the role is more defined, DP’s of the more truthful persuasion may find themselves piling on more hats than their fiction bound counterparts. Take it from David Paul Jacobson of Ask Dr. Ruth and Kristy Tully of Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins, two Sundance caliber cinematographers who join us on today’s show. Both of their projects revolve around strong women. Ask Dr. Ruth chronicles the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Wertheimer, a Holocaust survivor, former soldier, immigrant and two-time divorcee who became the world’s most influential sex therapist. Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins memorializes the former journalist who made a name for herself as rough talkin’ six foot Texan who was quick to expose corruption wherever she found it. Together in this roundtable we talk about how to grab the most effective b-roll, the perfect kits for the job, and not overstepping boundaries with directors and editors as you must also direct and edit yourself.
January 31, 2019
Emily Buder, Erik Luers, George Edelman, Ryan Koo and Jon Fusco are all together again in Park City to give you a rundown of everything that happened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019. It's been a crazy week full of screenings, interviews, and generally just trying to stay alive, so you best believe they've got more than a few hot takes to throw your way. In addition to sharing their favorite films and what they're sad they missed, the team identifies a few trends that could end up re-shaping the future of the industry. This is Part 2 of No Film School's live audio coverage from Sundance 2019.
January 28, 2019
Taking its rightful place at the very beginning of the 2019 festival circuit, the Sundance Film Festival is often an unpredictable beast. But Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and George Edelman are live from Park City, Utah to try and make some sense of it all for you. In this special episode of The No Film School Podcast, they take an early stab at predicting what features end up as festival favorites, run down some of their most anticipated films and share some insights on how to survive the 2-week orgy of independent film.
January 21, 2019
It's not all about big names and big projects here on the No Film School Podcast. Some of our best conversations take place with artists who are just starting to find their way in the world. Really, all of should be able to relate to these guests on a deeper level since we hear problems that many of us are still struggling with as we make our own way through the industry. On today's, final installment of the best of the No Film School Podcast we'll take a look back at some of these conversations and trace through what it can cost to make a film. Whether it be a short or a feature, documentary or narrative, you're bound to walk away with some advice that will be of aid on your future projects.
January 14, 2019
We had some of the biggest directors of the year on the show in 2018 and this batch of best ofs proves it. Yorogs Lanthimos, Debra Granik, Jeremy Saulnier, and the legendary Mike Leigh all make an appearance as does Denis Villeneuve and Steve McQueen's go-to-editor, Joe Walker.
January 10, 2019
Liz Nord, Erik Luers, Charles Haine and (kind of) Jon Fusco are all together for the last time on this special, final episode of our long-running independent film news series Indie Film Weekly. There are three years worth of huge industry and gear stories to remember, but on this show, we identify a few that stand out that will forever change the future of filmmaking. We look back at some of our favorite films and directors from the show's lifetime, as well as a few movies that we're most excited to see in 2019. Finally, we share the best advice we could possibly think of and try to finally answer that perennial question once and for all: is going to film school really worth it?
January 7, 2019
Depending on what stage of your career you’re at, you can learn as much from someone who's gotten a couple shorts into some major festivals as you can from a director like Yorgos Lanthimos. It’s in this realization where The No Film School Podcast really shines. For that reason, we treat our guests with the same level of respect across all boards, no matter who they are or how prestigious their film may be. Let’s face it, we are all filmmakers who have made, or are trying to make movies under difficult circumstances. And one of the best ways to learn how to do that is by listening to the stories of those who have struggled through both success and failure. For a true artist both experiences hold immense value. Our countdown this year features just as many big names as it does incredible advice. Over the next three weeks, you’ll hear from the likes of Lanthimos, Jeremy Saulnier, Mike Leigh, Steve Yeun, Debra Granik and more. I’ll be leading you through some of our best clips of 2018, so if you haven’t heard all of our interview podcasts, these episodes will be a great overview of those pearls of advice that may end up helping you down the road. This week's features guests Claudette Godfrey (SXSW Programmer), Jim Cummings (Thunder Road), Kirsten Lepore (Hi Stranger), Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert (DANIELS) and Sam Morill (Vimeo).
December 20, 2018
It is with a heavy heart that today we are announcing that Indie Film Weekly will be entering an indefinite hiatus in 2019. We will have one final show airing Thursday, January 9th with the whole gang back together for the last time. There is a distinct possibility that the show will return in some form later on, but for now, it’s time to say goodbye.
December 13, 2018
Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and Liz Nord are back together for the final show of 2018. It was an amazing year for film, but a recent study found that there was one key ingredient for the biggest box office successes. And yes, that ingredient may surprise you. Plus how MoviePass may be making a come back and the Oscars are off to a horrible start. Charles Haine joins us for gear news where he breaks down what's been a busy month in codec. On Ask No Film School - how do you build your filmmaking network online? As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
December 10, 2018
Filmmaker Alyssa Bolsey didn’t discover until she was in film school herself that her great-grandfather had invented the iconic Bolex 16mm camera. She spent the next decade-plus researching her enigmatic ancestor and interviewing several influential filmmakers who used his cameras, including Barbara Hammer, Wim Wenders, and Jonas Mekas, for a film called BEYOND THE BOLEX. Bolsey and the film’s producer and DP, Camilo Lara Jr., join No Film School’s Liz Nord to discuss why the Bolex is such an enduring and beloved camera that is still used today.
December 6, 2018
Sundance's own Liz Nord joins the show to give Jon Fusco and Erik Luers the down and dirty on all Sundance's Feature and Shorts selections for 2019 and what they could mean for future filmmakers. Plus what Lars Von Trier has done to upset the entire MPAA. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, where he gives us his full thoughts on Blackmagic's new Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. In what was a busy week for cameras, he also previews a new RED camera that will be hitting rental houses and stores shortly. On Ask No Film School - do you really need a follow focus anymore? As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
December 3, 2018
While Cristina Gallego was busy working as a producer on her partner Ciro Guerra's magnificent film "Embrace of the Serpent", she caught wind of a story from one of the many indigenous non-actors onset. That story was one that perhaps many of us have heard before, a Colombian man finds partners in America that he can sell drugs to, becomes fantastically wealthy and ends up abandoning his morals as a result. Except "Birds of Passage" is so much more. With Gallego and Guerra at the helm, we get a glimpse at a side of this much-glamorized Narcos-era that we've never seen before. The film presents the narrative from an indigenous Colombian perspective, full of magical realism steering from traditions that go back hundreds of years and is perhaps the most authentic story concerning its subject matter of all time. Think of it as a thrilling mixture of The Godfather and One Hundred Years of Solitude, where we watch the entire history of two families whose native ways are slowly brought to a halt as they engage in the burgeoning drug trafficking business. Eventually, it brings a war to control the business that ends up destroying both their lives and their culture. There is no other pair of directors in the world that could've told this story, and for her part, Gallego switched from a lifetime of producing to the role of co-director in order to more clearly communicate her vision. I sat down with her at TIFF to talk about what that transition was like, working with Ciro Guerra, and finding the stories that stem from your own history.
November 29, 2018
Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and Liz Nord are here to catch you up on all the stuff you missed while in a tryptophan coma last week. Believe it or not, awards season has officially begun and we have a full report on what could be the year's top contenders. Plus the perennial riddle of how to best shoot sex on film may be closer to being solved. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, where he discusses some rumors surrounding new cameras from Canon and Sony. On Ask No Film School - what program should you use for editing on an older computer? As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
November 26, 2018
If you've seen any of Yorgos Lanthimos' films, then you know the Greek director isn't afraid to put anything on the screen. Like many famous surrealists, Lanthimos isn't interested in exploring stories where things go right, he wants his audience to see what's wrong in the world. To him, nothing is off limits and any dark side of the human psyche is worth exploring. In surrealist film, any image can be too much or too little. It's a delicate balance, but one that Lanthimos has truly mastered with his latest film The Favourite. A period piece set in early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne Olivia Colman, occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, however, her charm endears her to Sarah and a competition to be the queens favorite emerges. In this interview, Lanthimos is joined by screenwriter Tony McNamara to discuss how commercial work early in his career ended up steering him in the complete opposite direction, not conforming to filmic norms, and breaking every possible rule you can.
November 22, 2018
Jon Fusco and Erik Luers are stranded together in Brooklyn for yet another turkey day, but a major announcement from The Criterion Collection has given them plenty to be thankful for. On the other side of the coin, we take a moment to remember one of the greatest American screenwriters of all time. Charles Haine joins us for gear news where big changes may soon be coming for Final Cut users and on Ask No Film School - how do you avoid casting shadows when setting up your lights? As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
November 19, 2018
How we approach history and how we approach film are very similar. As László Nemes puts it, history doesn’t work the way we think it works, we think we know more about these events in our past, but there’s no way of ever knowing firsthand what the atmosphere at the time actually was. In much the same way, we can lean on popular conceptions of the way films should be made or we can question the existing language of cinema and follow our own inspiration. The truth is, you don’t have to start from ground zero. As a filmmaker, you are already taking in an enormous amount of influences, every single day. Cinema is about your adventure. It’s not about what someone tells you will work. Nemes has followed his own guiding light, despite going to film school, on every project he’s ever made. History is his muse, but his style comes from a curriculum which he’s curated himself. This is something you can do too. Nemes’ debut feature Son of Saul earned him an Academy Award, a BAFTA, several grand jury prizes at Cannes, and dozens more. His latest film, Sunset, features a stunning performance from Juli Jakab as a young milliner in Budapest before World War I, whose bent on finding out how her family lost control of their prized hat store. I sat down with both Names and Jakab at TIFF where we discussed making period films thrilling, ignoring your film school teachings and much more.
November 15, 2018
Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and Liz Nord are here to recap what was a truly insane week in the world, even in the film industry. They discuss an unexpected loss in the epicenter of cinema as fires continue to rage through Southern California and say goodbye to one of the world's greatest storytellers - Stan Lee. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, where he reveals a major acquisition from Teradek, new features from Nikon and why RED's much-hyped Hydrogen may end up a major disappointment. On Ask No Film School, we give recommendations on a few books to check out on cinematic technique. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
November 12, 2018
Working with Mike Leigh is what you would call an actor’s dream true. Since his debut in 1972, the seventy-five-year-old legendary British director has made twenty films and consistently refined his craft to fit a process where the collaboration with actors is paramount. This is due in part to his own experiences at acting school in the 60’s, where he felt confined by rigid Shakespearian premeditation and hostile attitudes towards experimentation. Perhaps his only rule now is that he must discover what his film is through the making of it. This starts with the actors and in effect, it begins as early as the audition process. Here he negates modern methods, instead opting for one on one improvisations with those going out for the part. Later these improvisations will become the basis for building scenes throughout the production and as a result, they are stacked one upon the other to build a narrative. We sat down with Leigh at TIFF this year, where his latest film Peterloo made its North American premiere. We nail down his process with actors, from audition to production and confronting your own status quo by challenging yourself as a filmmaker with every new film make. The advice he gives is invaluable.
November 8, 2018
Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and Liz Nord are here this week to reveal a few of their favorites from what BBC has labeled their one hundred greatest foreign films of all time. Is your favorite on the list? Plus should "A Star is Born" really come with a trigger warning? Charles Haine joins us for gear news, where we talk Aputure's new venture into sound with Deity microphones and a new cage that actually may be worth checking out. On Ask No Film School - how much should you ask to be paid up front for a new gig? As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
November 5, 2018
For co-directors Daniel Schmidt and Gabriel Abrantes, the making of Diamantino was just as, if not more complex, than the award-winning film's insane plot. It tells the story of Diamantino, the world's premier soccer star, who loses his special touch and ends his career in disgrace. Searching for a new purpose, the international icon sets on a delirious odyssey where he confronts neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and the hunt for the source of genius. That's a whole lot of ground to cover within the confines of an hour and a half, and after seeing the first assembly of their cut, the duo was dismayed and ready to throw in the towel. Even during production, Schmidt felt as if they had bit off a little more than they could chew. Unhappy, they walked away from the project and decided to regroup at a later date. Ultimately, they came to realize that they still had a fair amount of interesting material they felt they could work with and that their failures could, through the magic of post-production, be turned into an avante-garde tour de force. Using stock imagery, frenetic archival footage and green screen wizardry they spliced together a cut worthy of Cannes, New York Film Festival, The Toronto International Film Festival and more. We sat down with Schmidt prior to Diamantino's screening at TIFF and talked about adapting to difficult circumstances, learning from mistakes, and never giving up hope on your vision.
November 1, 2018
Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and Liz Nord are back together again, this time to mourn the loss of yet another brilliant streaming service. But while our home options dwindle, box offices around the country continue to put up big numbers. So much so that Alamo Drafthouse has given its employees half a day off...for a much-needed reason. Charles Haine joins us for gear news fresh off Apple's big event in Brooklyn where they announced a new MacBook Air and more products designed with the intention of enticing filmmakers. Are they worth the plunge? In Ask No Film School - surefire methods to achieve hard and soft qualities of light. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
October 29, 2018
It's hard to coin Steven Yeun's year as "breakthrough" since the South Korean actor has been a figure in the public's eye since his first appearance as Glenn from AMC's The Walking Dead in 2010. But with starring roles in both Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You and Chang Dong Lee's Burning in 2018, he has all but cemented himself as a leading man on the independent film scene. It's been a long road to get to this point. In the years between the role that made him famous and now, Yeun found himself on set feeling more like a placeholder than an actual human being. In the end, he found that growth stems from self-motivation. For him, this meant taking on meatier projects and ignoring those that were nothing more than a nice paycheck.
October 25, 2018
Jon Fusco is back this week with Liz Nord to lead you through the fallout of Withoutabox's shut down and what it could mean for your project. Plus, in what was a busy week on the internet, they discuss new financial opportunities for educational YouTubers and the demise of one of our favorite video platforms. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, where he reveals his long-awaited opinion on the 2018 MacBook and if its an improved product for the aspiring filmmaker. On Ask No Film School - how do you calculate the amount of data storage you'll need for your film? As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
October 22, 2018
Irene Lusztig (‘Yours in Sisterhood’) and Dominic Gagnon (‘Going South’)—two filmmakers who edit their own films—join No Film School’s Liz Nord to make the case for editing your own work by sharing their processes and how they make the many decisions that go into an edit.
October 18, 2018
Erik Luers and Liz Nord are together again to discuss the state of the movie industry as we near the end of 2018 and how it could lead to a downward trend we'd all be happy to see take place. Plus there may be a new place on the map to move if you want to make movies, and it's not New York or LA. Charles Haine joins us for gear news and dishes on not one, not two, but twelve new lenses you may want to keep an eye on. In Ask No Film School - how the hell do you get a documentary funded anyway? As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
October 15, 2018
Hayley Pappas (Head of RYOT Films), Caroline von Kuhn (Director of Artist Development at SFFILM), and Leah Giblin (Head of Grants at Cinereach) are responsible for getting millions of dollars to independent filmmakers each year through grants and financing. They join No Film School’s Liz Nord to discuss the many ways independent films are being funded today, and how you can access these various funding sources for your films.
October 11, 2018
Erik Luers, and Liz Nord get together this week to discuss two of their favorite things: movies and words. They also address some pretty spooky rumors that George Romero may soon be rising from the dead. Charles Haine joins them to discuss a new camera from his favorite camera company as well as new software from Mocha, Pomfort and Baselight that may end up greatly enhancing your workflow. And in Ask No Film School - what kind of background audio can you use in your short? As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
October 8, 2018
Not many people with an interest in film have the direction to start pursuing sound at an early point in their career. It seems, rather, that through working on various projects they come to realize how powerful a tool sound really is and fall head over heels in love. If it's early enough in their career, there's plenty of work to be found and no turning back. For Milly Iatrou Morgan and Ai-Ling Lee, this was certainly the case. All it took was a simple choice followed by years of dedication to find their way as two of the biggest sound designers in the industry today. Their latest collaboration is Damien Chazelle's 'First Man', one of the biggest movies of the year in both popularity and scale. The film, which tells the story of Neil Armstrong's ascent to the moon, is densely layered with filmic tricks that when combined together create a wholly immersive experience for the audience. And while much fuss has been made over the project's expansive visuals, it would truly be nothing without the genius sound work of these two individuals. No Film School's Jon Fusco sat down with the pair at TIFF to discuss how they first decided to enter the business, gathering libraries of sound over the years and their collaboration in post with director and composer on what will surely go down in history as one of cinema's greatest space stories.
October 4, 2018
Jon Fusco and Erik Luers buckle down and get serious this week to discuss one of the single biggest hacking controversies of our generation and what it could mean for Marvel's box office returns. There will only be one group of people to blame if Venom flops this weekend, and it's Lady Gaga fans. Also in the news, do people who play video games for ten hours or more a week somehow end up having more disposable income? Charles Haine joins us for gear news, where he details RED's massive new monochrome sensor and a new monitor that'll have you drooling. In Ask No Film School, he ponders whether living life as a freelancer is absolutely essential for directors looking to breakthrough. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
October 1, 2018
Jeremy Saulnier has carved out his own little place in film history. His second feature film Blue Ruin was the first of its kind in many ways, an artful genre thriller that is a spectacle to behold and shot on a shoestring budget. His next film, Green Room, cemented his place as one of today's most talented thriller auteurs. And it all stems back from blowing shit up as an eight-year-old in his backyard. There wasn't really a time when Saulnier's life didn't revolve around the camera. From making zombie flicks as a teen to starting a film collective in high school to making his way up the film ladder as a cinematographer, his experiences have been a constant education on the ways of film. And while he swears his days as a DP were "more fun", his artful visual touch is still very much present as a director. The latest film on his resume, the Netflix produced Hold The Dark, is further evidence of his unique ability to tell suspenseful stories from behind the lens of a camera. In it, Jeffery Wright plays a writer named Russel Core who, after the deaths of three children suspected to be killed by wolves, is hired by the mother of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness. I sat down with Saulnier to discuss getting your hands dirty on production, keeping that enthusiasm going, and not being afraid to ask for what your narrative demands.
September 27, 2018
It seems like the Toronto International Film Festival just wrapped up but Jon Fusco, Erik Luers and Liz Nord are all back together this week to preview the Fall's next big one, The 56th Annual New York Film Festival. The team drops some clues on what to look out for in addition to highlighting their most anticipated films at the fest. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, where Panasonic shocked the camera world with yet another full-frame mirrorless camera that may end up competing with their very own GH5. And on Ask No Film School, the crucial matter of handling animals on film is addressed. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
September 24, 2018
When Fabrice Aragno went to film school, he was written off as a creator of meaningless images. What was the point of his thesis picture? Where was the emotion? These questions, however, didn't matter much to him, so he ignored them. What mattered was assembling work that he felt was sincere. In Aragno's opinion, cinema doesn't need an explanation. There is no objective. Don't explain it, just embrace it. Fortunately, that philosophy ended up aligning closely with another filmmaker some of you may have heard of - a man named Jean Luc Godard. Admittedly, Aragno wasn't terribly influenced by the French New Wave master's work. As a student, he was more interested in Felinni and others associated with Italian Neo-Realism. So when he got a phone call asking if he'd like to work with Godard on "Goodbye to Language", he was nervous to meet with the director who had a reputation of being obstinately difficult to work with. Yet when they met, he found the mythic figure to be just a man, a man who would soon become a collaborator. Their most recent film "The Image Book" picks up where "Goodbye to Language" left off. It is a collage of sound and picture that may be better described as a cinematic experience than a movie. NFS Producer Jon Fusco down with Aragno, who edited and shot the film (which conversely features mostly found footage) at the Toronto International Film festival. Listening to this interview is a bit like watching the film itself. Aragno weaves in and out of the French language, jumps around topics, and drops many obscure references as we talk about the genesis of their collaboration and gain fascinating insights into Jean Luc Godard's creative process.
September 20, 2018
In this episode, Jon Fusco and Erik Luers talk TIFF takeaways, a successor to MoviePass that could actually work out and the Emmys' failures to get with the times. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, talking two of the biggest mirrorless cameras to come out this year and an exciting new pair of Cooke lenses. On Ask No Film School - some thoughts on how advertising could end up hurting your short film. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
September 17, 2018
Steve McQueen has made some great movies. So has Denis Villeneuve. So what do Hunger, Sicario, Shame, Blade Runner 2049, 12 Years a Slave and Arrival have in common? They were all edited by Joe Walker. McQueen and Walker's latest collaboration, Widows, made its world premiere to a sold-out crowd at the Toronto International Film Festival last week. It's the Academy Award winner's most accessible feature, a blockbuster heist movie with a stellar cast including Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluya and Elizabeth Dobecki. It's almost a certainty that McQueen and Walker will have another hit on their hands upon the film's wide release this Fall. In an interview with No Film School Producer Jon Fusco, Joe Walker breaks down the keys to his successes, common mistakes he sees among young editors, and his workflow with two of the best directors in the industry. It's an especially useful conversation for those of you currently bogged down in the throes of post-production.
September 13, 2018
In this episode, Erik Luers and Liz Nord reveal a couple of changes to awards season that everyone can agree on, Nicoloas Cage is in a really good movie, and the best new wireless kit to own. On Ask No Film School - a reminder to take it easy. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
September 10, 2018
It seems that many short films even after they wrap a successful shoot never end up seeing the light of day. And why is that? Because they dry up in the post-production process. Whether it's for lack of money, lack of inspiration, lack of enthusiasm, or just plain destitution at what your footage has revealed, the sad truth is that may directors decide to leave their precious projects on the cutting room floor. All their time and effort, wasted, for not. On the final episode of The First Short, No Film School Producer Jon Fusco is joined by his editor Tam Le to discuss their own trying experiences over nine-months of post-production in an attempt to make sure that this will never happen to you. They cover the ideal relationship between editor and director, why a director should attempt to edit their film, how to identify what needs to be cut, how to establish tone and pacing and more.
September 6, 2018
Festival season is upon us once more and with it, a whole new class of award contenders have suddenly made themselves known. In this episode, Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and Liz Nord reveal the films their most excited about, as well as countless others you should keep an eye on as Fall begins to heat up. In gear news, we highlight a couple of new wide angle lenses that caught our eyes and on Ask No Film School we explain why it's never ok to use an artist's music without permission. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
September 3, 2018
A short film is a tricky thing, you don’t know how much time or money to invest in such a personal thing that nobody may even end up seeing, so a lot of people don’t even try. The point of this podcast is to get you to stop worrying and just try. In this episode, No Film School Producer Jon Fusco breaks down the keys to running a successful Kickstarter, how to allocate your micro-budget, and keeping cool on set in the inevitable moments of failure.
August 30, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, and Erik Luers discuss how Netflix is getting revenge on Cannes during this fall festival season, some big changes to the infamous film critics’ Tomatometer, and Disney finally announcing more solid details about its forthcoming streaming service. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, including two new, indie-friendly drones. Liz also shares the top five pieces of filmmaking advice she’s collected over hundreds of filmmaker interviews at NFS. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
August 27, 2018
A short film is a tricky thing, you don’t know how much time or money to invest in such a personal thing that nobody may even end up seeing, so a lot of people don’t even try. The point of this podcast is to get you to stop worrying and just try. In this episode, No Film School Producer Jon Fusco identifies the key crew you'll need to get started and how to them on your project, how to create a proper lookbook, what to plan for on a location scout, strategies in collaborating with your DP in pre-production and how to obtain the best gear for your project.
August 23, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, Charles and Erik Luers discuss whether a new potential move by Amazon will change theatrical moviegoing as much as it changed shopping, a new Netflix feature that is sure to piss off some viewers, and a surprising turn in the #MeToo movement. In tech and gear news, a new upgrade to the ‘5D Mark II of 360 video’ means that immersive filmmaking might finally be hitting the masses. Liz and Charles also answer an Ask No Film School question about the viability of breaking into the film industry at any age. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com
August 20, 2018
Oakley Anderson Moore sits down with co directors Morgan Capps and Jilann Spitzmiller to talk about making a documentary that captures the creative spirit of it’s subjects: “Meow Wolf: Origin Story.” With new found income at their disposal to hire more artists, the collective find themselves in a position to expand to more cities, and develop an entertainment wing that could be an amazing new opportunity for filmmakers. If you’re a filmmaker looking for a radical inclusive world to build, this could be a place you might fit right in.
August 16, 2018
With Liz Nord absent and on the hunt for Alfonso Cuaron's famed VR piece in Mexico City, Jon Fusco and Erik Luers fill in to tell you about the scariest movie trailer ever made, Hulu's imminent disaster, and Disney's double standards. In gear news, Charles Haine is back to break down the brand spanking new, all in one suite that is Da Vinci Resolve and reveal a cool new lens. This week on Ask No Film School we give some tips on how to stay on track and motivated while working on a feature screenplay or a master's thesis. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.
August 13, 2018
What is the least amount of money you think you could spend on the production of a short film from pre to post production and still get into a major festival? Well if you guessed four dollars and fifty cents, then you probably read the title of this podcast, because its a figure that’s almost unimaginable in today's crowded short landscape. Nevertheless, performance artist/writer/actor Tony Grayson did just that back in 2017. Armed simply with his friend's old digital camcorder, he set off for his dad’s research lab in Chicago to try and shoot something. What he ended up with was "foundfootagexx100n.s.1" and its ensuing acceptance to the SXSW Film Festival. No Film School Producer Jon Fusco sat down with Grayson and talked about how he pulled off the shoot for such a minuscule budget, the value of casting aside preciousness in your work, and how a SXSW premiere led him to his next project, Allen Anders Live at the Comedy Castle (Circa 1987).
August 9, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, and Erik Luers discuss how theatrical documentaries are taking over the summer box office, give a fall festival preview, and mull over a newly announced Oscar category. In gear news, we reveal two new mobile audio solutions and an affordable ultra-wide zoom. Jon answers an Ask No Film School question about how to make sure your film script is properly formatted—and the right length. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
August 6, 2018
With only $7K, fourteen days, and no crew, Alejandro Montoya Marín made a chockablock action-comedy feature. If you're wondering why these parameters, here's the reason: it took $7000 bucks for Robert Rodriguez to shoot his breakout film El Mariachi. And since it’s the 25th anniversary of that film, Rodriguez decided to host a show with El Rey called Rebel Without a Crew where he picks five filmmakers to each make a feature using the same arsenal. Marín was one of those filmmakers! The contingency of being on the show was that you would make a feature film with $7K and only fourteen shooting days -- with only a plus-one as your crew. In this conversation, NFS contributors Oakley Anderson Moore and Chris Boone talk to Marín about how he was able to pull all this off, and how ultimately, this experience was the perfect way to get past the hurdle where he can now himself a filmmaker.
August 2, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, and Erik Luers discuss the union negotiations that might have the Hollywood film industry gearing up for a strike, and ponder what the heck is going on with Moviepass. Jon also shares wisdom from Short of the Week about how to develop a distribution strategy for your short film. In gear news, Liz reviews the Freefly Movi smartphone stabilizer. Aerial cinematographer Randall Esulto joins us to answer an Ask No Film School question about how to get started with drones. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
July 30, 2018
Emmy-nominated TV editors A.M. Peters ('Queer Eye') and Tenille Uithoff ('Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’) join Liz Nord to discuss how to break into post-production for TV, what you can expect once you do, and how to make it in the television editing business.
July 26, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, and Erik Luers discuss what we should make of James Gunn being fired from the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise over controversial tweets. We also reveal an industry trend worth watching from this year’s massive Comic-Con. Charles Haine joins us for gear news including confirmed rumors of Nikon's new mirrorless camera. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School question about building a portfolio website for your film work. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
July 23, 2018
Jim Cummings career is a case study in DIY Filmmaking. His short film Thunder Road redefined the path of a festival award winner. After earning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, the short took the internet by storm, bringing Jim and his crew ample exposure and a shot to turn their project into a feature. One would think that having a viral, Grand Jury Prize winning short would be enough to attract the attention of major studios, but despite the fact that they had a whole fifteen minutes of the film they could show off right away, Jim and his producing partner Ben Weissner could not get any big bites from investors. So they took matters into their own hands. The self-produced and largely crowd-funded feature version of Thunder Road premiered at SXSW earlier this year where it, guess what, won the Grand Jury Award for best feature. Now Jim and Ben want to share the knowledge they’ve learned over the course of their experience with young filmmakers across the world and to do so they’ve launched a Short to Feature lab in Malibu. We asked them to give us a rundown of what applicants can expect as well as the skills that they think every filmmaker interested in controlling the entire life of their film should know.
July 19, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and Charles Haine discuss why you might be able to skip having your film on Netflix in favor of launching your own streaming service. We also discuss a new study on film critics and what it means for production funding, and say a sad goodbye to Blockbuster Video. In gear news, the MacBook Pro sort of wins us back. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School question about why you should buy a stills camera to shoot video. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
July 16, 2018
It’s very hard to make a film about music that’s better than actually just listening to music. That’s the challenge co-directors T.G. Herrington and Danny Clinch took on in A Tuba to Cuba, a documentary the revered New Orleans Jazz band as they travel to post-embargo Cuba. NFS writer Oakley Anderson Moore sat down with Herrington and producer Nicelle Herrington, as well as band leader and doc subject Ben Jaffe at the film's SXSW premiere. They talk The importance of knowing your story, whether or not you know where it will take you, how to capture musicality through visuals and recording sound on a music documentary that contains and live concerts.
July 12, 2018
Jon Fusco, Erik Luers and Charles Haine are here this week to help you identify a few dozen film festivals that need to be on your radar, go bananas over just how many billions of dollars Netflix is spending in 2018 and Nicolas Winding Refn's shocking accusation about the film industry. In gear news, we get serious about some security measures you could take to ensure the protection of your projects. This week on Ask No Film School we answer whether you should be using a blue, green, or even a red screen to accomplish digital effects in your film.
July 9, 2018
Emmy-winning director Madeline Sackler, Cinematographer Wolfgang Held (BRÜNO, PARTICLE FEVER) , and actor/producer Boyd Holbrook (LOGAN, NARCOS) join No Film School’s Liz Nord to share how they pulled off one of the most amazing behind-the-scenes production stories we've ever heard. Their narrative feature O.G. and documentary IT’S A HARD TRUTH AIN’T IT were both shot simultaneously in an active maximum-security prison. The documentary is co-directed by 13 incarcerated men and the feature was cast with more than 90% real inmates as extras and even as one of the leads. This conversation and the huge steps these filmmakers had to take to get their projects made—including spending an hour each way going in and out of prison security with all their gear every single day of production—will be an inspiration to anyone who has lofty goals but big constraints for their independent films.
July 5, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and Charles Haine discuss how the extension of California’s Production Tax Credits is affecting the film and TV business, and the fate of ‘Supersize Me 2’ in the wake of director Morgan Spurlock’s sexual assault accusations. We also say a sad goodbye to the journalists killed last week at the Capital Gazette newspaper. In gear news, we geek out about 10Gb ethernet. Charles answers an Ask No Film School question about how to find your perfect camera and the best way to invest your gear budget. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
July 2, 2018
Debra Granik is perhaps best known for her casting and direction of Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout role in WINTER’S BONE, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture in 2011. In her latest, LEAVE NO TRACE, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year and is now hitting theaters, her casting is spot-on once again with a new young actress Thomasin McKenzie and actor Ben Foster of HELL OR HIGH WATER fame. In this episode, Liz Nord learned some of the secrets behind the organic feeling of her films, including fostering an environment throughout casting and production where every cast and crew member has a willingness of to be flexible and adaptive to changes in circumstance. Nord and Granik are joined by LEAVE NO TRACE producers Anne Rossellini and Anne Harrison to discuss how they cultivate this quality among their collaborators, the steps they had to take to shoot in an unpredictable outdoor environment, and lots more.
June 28, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, and Erik Luers discuss how Instagram’s new IGTV service prompted YouTube to give more benefits to video creators, and other news from the massive VidCon event. We also cover the largest addition to the Academy of Motion Pictures ever, and yet another new addition to the movie theater subscription service arena. In gear news, Charles shares some exciting news in the post-production space. We also answers an Ask No Film School question about fair use, and when you can (or can’t) use news clips in your movie. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
June 25, 2018
When you start out as a filmmaker, you think that all you have to do is make a great film. Unfortunately, it’s damn hard to get people to even hear about your film let alone watch it. Even if you play a prestigious festival like Sundance, for most filmmakers, the success of your film depends in large part on a well thought out and executed distribution strategy. Liz Manashil, manager of the Creative Distribution Initiative at the Sundance Institute sat down with NFS' Erik Luers and Oakley Anderson Moore to discuss some possibilities of such a strategy. From the state of distribution for indie films at this past Sundance Film Festival, to how you can get noticed by distributors at a film festival, there’s a wide parameter of useful information to prepare experienced and beginning filmmakers to maximize the life of your film after you finish it.
June 21, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, and Erik Luers discuss why a recent marketing stunt by MoviePass smells rotten, and what a major theater chain is doing to compete with the ticket subscription service. We also examine where development execs are looking (or listening) for projects today. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, including the results of our ProRes RAW testing. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School question about how to mark clips while recording without stopping your scene or interview. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
June 18, 2018
Making a movie is like making a good stew. Sure, that may not be the first analogy you’d jump to while racking your filmmaking ethos, but for Robert Schwartzman director of The Unicorn, one of 2018’s best comedies, it just makes sense. Every good stew requires fresh ingredients. Your cast and crew are the meat and potatoes. But that stew can't just be about the ingredients. Without the proper mixture, it would just be a bunch of vegetables. You've got balance them out in a way so the flavors come together as a harmonious whole. And that’s the real job of the director. They’re the head chef. The captain. If you walked onto the set of a truly great chef, you'd find yourself in a sacred place that exudes the right collaborative energy. Perhaps the simplest way to achieve this is by treating everyone with the same level of respect, making sure every actor on set knows every crew member, how they contribute to the cooking process, and vice versa. Schwartzman erases the divide between the cast and crew, and focuses on the fact that everyone is just a person, working together to create something great. When you hear how Lauren Lapkus, Nick Rutherford, Maya Kazan and Darrell Britt-Gibson speak about their director in this podcast, you'll gain a better appreciation for just how important maintaining this type of atmosphere is. No Film School producer Jon Fusco sat down with them at SXSW 2018, for a conversation that is often hilarious and consistently insightful.
June 14, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord and Jon Fusco discuss the absurd reality that pits a film star against a TV star on the geopolitical stage, and why we will miss Anthony Bourdain. Charles Haine joins us for tech and gear news, including a move from ShareGrid that could change the gear rental market for the much, much better. Charles and Liz also answer an Ask No Film School question about what to do if you’re feeling stuck and having trouble moving forward on your films. As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
June 11, 2018
Stephen R. Morse (AMANDA KNOX, EUROTRUMP) joins Liz Nord to discuss how his education at Oxford Business School changed the way he makes movies, and he breaks down some business school lessons that we can all apply to make our films in the most efficient and cost-effective ways possible.
June 7, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, and Erik Luers discuss the unexpected indie hit en route to becoming Magnolia’s highest-grossing film, how cinemas may actually be doing a disservice to great cinematography, and a new platform helping filmmakers make money. Charles Haine joins us fresh off the plane from Cinegear to report on all the latest in video tech from the expo, including some big announcements from Panavision. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School question about which audio editing software to choose for a documentary.As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, weekly words of industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com.
June 4, 2018
For "Hearts Beat Loud", Director Brett Haley wanted to tell a story about people who make music, so he asked his stars, Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons to play all the music...completely live. When it comes to actors playing musicians on screen, he made sure not to follow the conventional standard of well, having no standards. No lip synching, no dubs, no inserts of a hairy-knuckled hand double who knows how to play the guitar. Oakley Anderson Moore sat down with Haley and Offerman at Sundance to talk about the orchestration between film crew and musician that would create a set which allows his two professional actors (but amateur musicians) to do justice to both their roles and the music. For this film, the two aspects are intrinsically connected.
May 30, 2018
In this episode of our step-by-step podcast on how to get your first feature made, using No Film School founder Ryan Koo's Netflix Film Amateur as a case study, we answer questions from listeners. This is the final episode! Watch Amateur on Netflix, available now worldwide at netflix.com/amateur. You can find all other episodes of The First Feature at nofilmschool.com/firstfeature. This episode of The First Feature is sponsored by Music Bed. Get 20% off you next on-site license at musicbed.com/new with coupon code "FirstFeature20."
May 28, 2018
Four-time Sundance filmmaker Tiffany Shlain and her Let It Ripple Studio have made and distributed films that have engaged over 50 Million people in dialogue with a new model that they developed to start global conversations with screenings and discussions across all continents on the same day, with a combination of live and virtual events. Shlain joins Liz Nord to discuss the mechanics behind these events, and how other filmmakers can turn their movies into far-reaching movements.
May 24, 2018
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, Erik Luers and Charles Haine discuss the quiet indie making a loud noise at the international box office and why now is the time to pitch your high-concept horror film, as well as Netflix’s newest independent filmmakers: Barack and Michelle Obama. We also say a sad goodbye to master movie poster designer Bill Gold and literary titan Philip Roth, who both passed away this week. In gear news, RED’s hot streak with three big announcements this week. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School question about the difference between LUTs, color grading plugins, and dedicated color grading software. Plus, Wim Wenders on narrowing down his 8-hour rough cut of ‘Pope Francis - A Man of His Word.’ As always, we also bring you the latest gear news, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, new indie film releases, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films. You can see all the links from this show in this week’s podcast post at nofilmschool.com
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