The Indie Film Hustle Podcast is your #1 source for how to hack the film business and indie film world! The show is here to help as many indie filmmakers as I could. We wanted to bring the best guests, industry leaders, creative legends, and film business friends to you, the IFH Tribe.
Some of the past guests include 3X Oscar® Winning Writer/Director Oliver Stone, Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black), Alex Proyas (The Crow, I, Robot), James V. Hart (writer Dracula, Hook), John August (Big Fish, Aladdin), Jim Uhls (writer of Fight Club), Oscar® Winner Russell Carpenter (DP of Avatar, Titanic) Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces, The Grey), and David F. Sandberg (Shazam!) to name a few.
We hope this podcast can help you along your journey as an artist, filmtrepreneur, filmmaker, screenwriter, and as a human being.
IFH 526: Inside Game of Thrones & HBOMax Post Workflow with Stephen Beres
Stephen Beres is an Emmy award-winning producer and technologist who currently serves Senior Vice President of Production Operations at HBO & HBO Max, where he leads a bi-coastal team of production and post professionals that help create record-setting television shows like Westworld and Game of Thrones. He also spearheaded the network’s shift from film to digital filmmaking, starting with Game of Thrones.
Before leading the Studio and Production Service groups, Steve served as HBO's Production Technology Architect and was responsible for smoothly transitioning HBO from film capture into the file-based world. Steve graduated with a Film Degree from Full Sail University (FYI, I graduated from Full Sail as well).
We have an entertaining and eye-opening conversation on how one of the biggest networks in the world handle workflow from the camera to the final stream on HBOMax. Enjoy my conversation with Stephen Beres.
IFH 525: The Art of Creativity and Wonder with Jeffery Davis
As we get older it seems that we lose tough with our inner child. We lose touch with that remarkable creative engine. Filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro have figured out a way to not only stay in contact with his inner child but also not lose his sense of wonder.
Today's guest will be helping us tap into out own sense of wonder that can help you on your creative path. We have on the show author, entrepreneur and human potential expert Jeffery Davis.
Jeff approach's life and work as a quest. Everything he does – from building a thriving business to writing books to serving as a branding strategist to designing live Brand Artistry Labs to delivering keynotes to guiding his two girls’ through childhood – are part and parcel of the same quest for integrity, meaning, and making.
But like most quests, mine has been neither easy nor straightforward.
He has deliberately sought a life of meaning and making since he was 19 and declared in his private notebook that he would become a writer and preserve my imagination.
In his 20s, he co-founded The Walden Institute, devoted to studying human potential through the intersections of neuroscience, existential psychology, and the literary arts. By age 31, though, he was all intellect and drive with a shrinking heart and vanishing imagination.
I get to work with top-notch change-makers, and that includes our team of creative renegades at Tracking Wonder consultancy – our boutique consultancy focused on brand story identity, strategy, and asset development.
Tracking wonder is not kid’s stuff. It’s radical grown-up stuff.
Jeff lives with these burning questions that shape his days:
How does Story change us?
How is creating a signature brand with integrity a meaningful, creative endeavor?
How is wonder the source of every human being’s original creative genius?
How are building a family and building a business part and parcel of living a life of making meaning, projects, a livelihood, and a difference?
The result has culminated in this quest for tracking wonder.
His new book is called Tracking Wonder: Reclaiming a Life of Meaning and Possibility in a World Obsessed with Productivity.
Discover how the lost art of wonder can help you cultivate greater creativity, resilience, meaning, and joy as you bring your greatest contributions to life.
Beyond grit, focus, and 10,000 hours lies a surprising advantage that all creatives have—wonder. Far from child’s play, wonder is the one radical quality that has led exemplary people from all walks of life to move toward the fruition of their deepest dreams and wildest endeavors—and it can do so for you, too.
“Wonder is a quiet disruptor of unseen biases,” writes Jeffrey Davis. “It dissolves our habitual ways of seeing and thinking so that we may glimpse anew the beauty of what is real, true, and possible.” Rich with wisdom, inspiring stories, and practical tools, Tracking Wonder invites us to explore how the lost art of wonder can inspire a life of greater joy, possibility, and purpose. You’ll discover:
The six facets of wonder—key qualities to help you cultivate the art of wonder in your work, relationships, and life
How wonder can help us fertilize creativity, sustain the motivation to pursue big ideas, navigate uncertainty and crises, deepen our relationships, and more.
The biases against wonder—moving beyond societal and internalized resistance to our inherent gifts
Why experiencing wonder isn’t really about achieving goals—though that happens—but about how we live each day
Inspiring stories of people whose experiences of wonder helped them move through the unthinkable to create extraordinary lives
Practical exercises, tools, and reflections to help you begin your own practice of tracking wonder
IFH 524: Self-Taught Filmmaker to HBO & Amazon with Robert Alexander
Today on the show is producer and director Robert Alexander.
ROBERT ALEXANDER is a self-taught filmmaker and photographer, Emmy Award®-winning director and executive producer whose creative work spans film, television and advertising.
After making his directorial debut with HBO’s The Shop, featuring LeBron James, Barak Obama, and Maverick Carter, Alexander has emerged as a creative to watch with his highly inventive, visceral and raw approach to storytelling. Outside of his feature work, he is a talented commercial helmer with work on campaigns for top brands such as Nike, Alaska Airlines and Kia.
Alexander is originally from Michigan but came of age in Brooklyn, New York, and currently resides in Los Angeles, where he is the CEO of Hardware Agency, a premium creative agency specializing in film, television and advertising work.
In 2009, Scott Mescudi aka Kid Cudi released his debut LP, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. A genrebending album that broke barriers by featuring songs dealing with depression, anxiety and loneliness, it resonated deeply with young listeners and launched Cudi as a musical star and cultural hero. Director Robert Alexander’s A Man Named Scott explores Cudi’s journey over a decade of creative choices, struggles and breakthroughs, making music that continues to move and empower his millions of fans around the world.
Enjoy my conversation with Robert Alexander.
IFH 523: Making A24's The Humans with Stephen Karam
Today on the show we have writer and director Stephen Karam. He is the Tony Award-winning author of The Humans, Sons of the Prophet and Speech & Debate. For his work he’s received two Drama Critics Circle Awards, an OBIE Award and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.
Stephen recently directed his first feature film, a rethought version of The Humans for A24 films, to be released in 2021. He wrote a film adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull starring Annette Bening, which was released by Sony Picture Classics.
His adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard premiered on Broadway as part of Roundabout’s 2016 season. Recent honors include the inaugural Horton Foote Playwriting Award, the inaugural Sam Norkin Drama Desk Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award, Drama League Award, and Hull-Warriner Award.
Stephen and I have a great conversation on how he went from Broadway to Hollywood, adapting his award-winning play to the big screen, his creative process and much more.
Erik Blake gathers three generations of his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter's apartment in lower Manhattan. As darkness falls and eerie things go bump in the night, the group's deepest fears are laid bare.
Enjoy my conversation with Stephen Karam.
IFH 522: Inside the Making of Ghostbusters: Afterlife with Gil Kenan
Who are you going to call? Yup that is right, we have on the show today to co-writer of the new installment in the Ghostbusters universe, Gil Kenan.
From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Jason Reitman & Gil Kenan.
Now Gil isn't just an accomplished writer but also an Oscar nominated filmmaker (Best Animated Film) for the animation classic Monster House (2006). He also wrote and directed, Poltergeist (2015) and City of Ember (2008) and the new Netflix film A Boy Called Christmas.
In ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an extraordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Taking with him a headstrong reindeer called Blitzen and a loyal pet mouse, Nikolas soon meets his destiny in this magical, comic and endearing story that proves nothing is impossible. A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS, on Netflix Nov. 24 in select territories.
Gil and I had a great conversation about working with Jason and his dad Ivan Reitman on bring Ghostbusters back to life, the pressure of playing in the Ghostbuster universe and lessons learned from his journey in Hollywood.
BTW, I had the pleasure of watching Ghostbusters: Afterlife and all I can say is if you like the originals you're going to love it. Enjoy my conversation with Gil Kenan.
IFH 521: How to Create a Compelling Documentary with Julie Cohen & Betsy West
Today on the show we have Oscar® nominated documentarians Betsy West & Julie Cohen.
Betsy West (Director/Producer) is an Academy Award®-nominated Emmy winning director/producer of RBG (Magnolia, Participant, CNN Films, 2018), along with Julie Cohen. Most recently, she and Cohen directed My Name is Pauli Murray (Participant/Amazon Studios), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021.
Betsy was executive producer of the MAKERS PBS/AOL documentary and digital series about the modern women’s movement, and the feature documentary The Lavender Scare (PBS, 2019). As an ABC News producer and executive producer of the documentary series Turning Point, she won 21 Emmy awards. Betsy is the Fred W. Friendly Professor Emerita at Columbia Journalism School.
Julie Cohen (Director/Producer) is the Academy Award® nominated, Emmy winning director and producer of RBG (Magnolia, Participant, CNN Films, 2018) along with Betsy West. Her film My Name is Pauli Murray, also directed with West, premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
Previous films she’s directed include The Sturgeon Queens (7th Art Releasing; Berlinale, 2015; Best of the Fest, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival), and Ndiphilela Ukucula: I Live to Sing (2014 New York Emmy Award for Best Arts Program).
Before she started making documentaries, Julie was a longtime staff producer for NBC News. She's been an enthusiastic amateur cook and baker ever since her parents bought her a Cuisinart for her bat mitzvah in the 1970s.
Their current film is called JULIA. The film tells the remarkable story of the groundbreaking cookbook author and television superstar who forever changed the way Americans think about food, about television, and even about women.
Using a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival video, personal still photos, first-person narratives, and cutting-edge, mouth-watering food cinematography, the documentary will trace Julia Child’s surprising path, from her struggles to create and publish the revolutionary ‘instant’ classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group), to her empowering personal story of a woman in her 50s, finding her calling as an unlikely television sensation.
This is the first feature-length documentary solely devoted to Julia Child, and will illuminate her casual upheaval of the male-dominated culinary and television worlds.
Almost single-handedly, Julia Child upended the mythology that women could not hold their own at the highest levels of creative gastronomy, and that the only women Americans wanted to see on TV were young, submissive, and conventionally beautiful.
JULIA is produced with the full cooperation of Julia Child’s friends, family, and the Julia Child Foundation. It follows the highly-acclaimed documentary, RBG, executive produced by CNN Films, directed and produced by West and Cohen through their company Storyville Films, and edited by Carla Gutierrez, who will also edit JULIA.
The film comes out Nov 12 in-theatres NY/LA followed by nationwide expansion.
In this episode we not only discuss the making of Julia and RBG but also cover how they approach documentary, the craft of tell stories and much more. Enjoy my conversation with Betsy West & Julie Cohen.
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