14 episodes

MovieMaker Interviews is exactly what it sounds like: interviews with great moviemakers about the art and craft of making movies. We talk about screenwriting, directing, acting, and all of the other creative work that goes into moviemaking.
Like MovieMaker Magazine and moviemaker.com, we're here for everyone who wants to learn more about how movies are made, whether you're working in the industry, a film die-hard or a casual fan. We welcome everyone, and host Tim Molloy keeps the intros and questions short so the moviemakers can do most of the talking.
If you like MovieMaker Interviews, please tell a friend.

MovieMaker Interviews MovieMaker Magazine

    • TV & Film

MovieMaker Interviews is exactly what it sounds like: interviews with great moviemakers about the art and craft of making movies. We talk about screenwriting, directing, acting, and all of the other creative work that goes into moviemaking.
Like MovieMaker Magazine and moviemaker.com, we're here for everyone who wants to learn more about how movies are made, whether you're working in the industry, a film die-hard or a casual fan. We welcome everyone, and host Tim Molloy keeps the intros and questions short so the moviemakers can do most of the talking.
If you like MovieMaker Interviews, please tell a friend.

    Horse Girl Creators Alison Brie and Jeff Baena

    Horse Girl Creators Alison Brie and Jeff Baena

    "Horse Girl," now in theaters and on Netflix, stars Alison Brie as a young woman who loves horses.That's as much as we can tell you without ruining the film, which Brie and director Jeff Baena co-wrote. Spoilers follow.
    The film, which premiered at Sundance last week, isn't what it at first appears to be. Baena doesn't care about genre or classification. What he and Brie do care about is committing completely to the perspective of their main character, Sarah, as she begins to question her perception of reality — and wonders if she's severely mentally ill, or one of the only people on earth who understands a dark truth.
    Here are highlights of the episode, with time stamps:
    2:00: Alison Brie and Jeff Baena interview begins.
    2:45: How the film suffered from skepticism and misunderstandings, and how the Duplass brothers helped make it a reality.
    3:40: How much did Jeff Baena and Alison Brie want the film to be open to interpretation?
    4:20: Alison Brie: "We certainly designed it so that upon multiple viewings people might pick up a little bit more of what we feel like is the through-line to the story."
    5:30: "A major crux of the film is how terrible it can be to not be able to trust your own mind."
    7:10: A tech issue arises and is handled in a humorous fashion.
    10:30: "I feel like genre's kind of like the bumpers at a bowling alley..."
    12:28: What is a horse girl, exactly?
    14:50: Your host is scared of horses.

    • 20 min
    Birds of Prey Writer Christina Hodson

    Birds of Prey Writer Christina Hodson

    Christina Hodson, writer of Birds of Prey and Bumblebee, talks to us about what makes the Clockwork Orange-influenced girl gang movie tick. She also talks about the Lucky Exports Pitch Program (LEPP) in which she and Margot Robbie's Lucky Chap Entertainment helped six female writers break into the action genre.
    She also talks about mapping out fight scenes with some help from YouTube and True Romance, and says absolutely nothing about the possibility of a Wonder Woman-Harley Quinn crossover.
    Here are some highlights, with timestamps:
    2:00: Interview begins with fond memories of carsickness.
    2:34: How Hodson and Robbie set out to tell a different kind of comic-book story.
    3:45: Let's compare Harley Quinn and Heath Ledger's Joker.
    5:45: The benefits of collaboration.
    7:00: How the Lucky Exports Pitch Program works.
    9:50: The charms of Bumblebee.
    12:00: How much does Birds of Prey fit into the DC Universe?
    14:30: "No comment"
    16:10: Why are female directors better represented in comic-book movies — this year — than in movies overall?

    19:00: "I love writing action and I love writing specificity in action. To me, you can tell so much about a character by the way they fight."
    26:00: Callbacks!

    • 28 min
    Carey Mulligan and Emerald Fennell Talk Promising Young Woman

    Carey Mulligan and Emerald Fennell Talk Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman stars Carey Mulligan as a young woman who goes to nightclubs and acts too drunk to stand. When nice guys take her home, they realize she isn't as helpless as she seems — and that they aren't very nice. That's just scratching the surface of the wickedly funny, brilliant Sundance debut for writer-director Emerald Fennell, who tells us she designed the film to feel like a great first date gone terrible awry.
    Fennell is an actress and novelist as well as a screenwriter-director -- she plays Camilla on The Crown -- and you know Mulligan from films like Never Let Me Go, Shame, The Great Gatsby and Suffragette. They talk with us about the confectionary look of the film, how they first met, and why films directed by women overcome a level of quality control that films directed by men sometimes don't.

    • 23 min
    Three Christs Director Jon Avnet Gets You to Maybe

    Three Christs Director Jon Avnet Gets You to Maybe

    Three Christs director Jon Avnet has one of the most impressive IMDb pages in Hollywood: He produced films from Risky Business to Black Swan, and has worked with everyone from Tom Cruise to Joan Didion. He's also faced a lot of rejection — and figured out how to get past it.
    Three Christs, which Avnet co-wrote as well as directed, stars Richard Gere as a psychologist in the 1950s trying to treat three schizophrenic men who all believe themselves to be Jesus Christ. They’re played by Peter Dinklage, Walton Goggins and Bradley Whitford.
    In the new MovieMaker Interviews podcast, Avnet talks about why he wanted to get the mostly true story to the screen, and what he learned in the process. He also gives an amazing crash course on Hollywood perseverance, and gives inside accounts of projects from Risky Business to FX's Justified to Up Close and Personal, the film he directed that starred Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer and was written by John Gregory Dunne and Didion. 
    And he tells us about his gift for getting people who shut him down professionally to change their minds.
    As we spoke Avnet was hard at work on Four Good Days, a film he’s producing that is directed by Rodrigo Garcia. It stars Mila Kunis as a woman dealing with addiction, and Glenn Close as her mother, who is trying to help her. It premieres this Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.
    Here are highlights of the episode, with timestamps:
    2:00: Interview begins, with a discussion of Three Christs.
    5:20: Here's how much Jon Avnet likes research.
    13:30: Working with Joan Didion and John Griffin Dunne on Up Close and Personal.
    23:30: Let's talk about Tom Cruise's Risky Business underwear slide.
    26:55: A few words about perseverance: "Most people who do what I do deal with rejection all the time."
    28:00: "Don't say no — say maybe."
    31:55: Dealing with critics: "You got to make the movie. They didn't."
    36:30: "Jump in the steam of life and maybe you'll go down the river a little bit."

    • 37 min
    Rishi Rajani on Breaking In, Protest Art, and The Hollywood Mailroom

    Rishi Rajani on Breaking In, Protest Art, and The Hollywood Mailroom

    Before the age of 30, Rishi Rajani rose to become president of Lena Waithe's Hillman Grad Productions, the company that brought you Queen & Slim and BET's Boomerang and Twenties, among other projects.
    In this episode, he talks about how Hillman Grad wants to help other people break into Hollywood—especially underrepresented creators who want to make protest art. He also talks about how he worked his way up from the mailroom, and why, in 2020, the mailroom still matters.
    Because Rajani climbed the rungs himself, he knows how hard it is—and he has a bold idea for how to end the problem of rich kids getting all the best Hollywood internships and other opportunities.
    Look for our full profile of Ranjani in the upcoming issue of MovieMaker Magazine, which also profiles LuckyChap Entertainment, the company founded by Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley, Sophia Kerr and Josey McNamara.
    Here are highlights from our interview with Rishi Rajani, with timestamps:
    1:50: Rishi Rajani interview begins. 
    2:00: We talk about The 40-Year-Old Version, Radha Blank's debut film, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.
    3:45: Rishi Rajani talks about his job interview with Lena Waithe.
    4:00: "Bringing other people up... has really been the core mandate of everything we do." 
    5:40: How an unsuccessful collaboration ultimately got Rajani his job.
    9:30: "If you're truly going to be supporting younger voices, you have to get their stuff made."
    11:30: His Malawi-born father's love of American Westerns.
    15:50: Let's talk about overcoming nepotism.
    19:00: The rich-intern problem, and how Hillman Grad wants to fix it.
    21:00: How high you have to score on The Black List to draw Hillman Grad's attention.
    31:30: Let's talk about Queen & Slim. 
    34:00: His advice for people who want to produce movies.
    36:35: Why working your way up from the mailroom is no joke.

    • 43 min
    Just Mercy Director Destin Daniel Cretton

    Just Mercy Director Destin Daniel Cretton

    Director Destin Daniel Cretton had no choice but to make sure Just Mercy, his Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx death row drama, was very accurate: Cretton says Bryan Stevenson, who inspired the film, "was constantly keeping us in check in the best way."
    Stevenson's memoir, Just Mercy, describes his efforts to save Walter McMillian, a man who was wrongly convicted of murder in 1988. Jordan plays Stevenson, and Foxx plays McMillian.
    1:36: Destin Daniel Cretton interview begins.
    2:10: How Bryan Stevenson's memoir, Just Mercy, affected him 
    3:10: How Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx got involved
    3:44: How working with at-risk kids helped lead to a career in Hollywood
    5:40: How he met Ryan Coogler, and Coogler quickly connected him with Michael B. Jordan: "He put me on hold and when he reconnected me, Michael B. Jordan was on the line." 
    7:00: How Jamie Foxx joined Just Mercy.
    8:30: The moment when he knew the movie was working.
    10:30: Why he stuck close to the facts.
    We had to stick close to the facts because Bryan Stevenson was working closely with us every step of the way and making sure that we were telling a story that would resonate not only with an audience but would resonate with lawyers who are doing this type of work, that would resonate with people on death row who are going through this process, and would resonate with the clients and the people who are in this story, some of which are still alive, or their relatives are still alive. Bryan cared deeply about all of that, and was constantly keeping us in check in the best way.
    Accuracy was definitely important so that when they watch this movie, people can understand what it really takes. This isn't a made-up version of what it takes to prove somebody's innocence. This is the long process that is in place right now in our system."
    We talked with Cretton about Just Mercy, how working with at-risk youth shared his whole Hollywood career, and his upcoming Marvel movie, Shang-Chi.
    Here are highlights, with timestamps:
    1:36: Destin Daniel Cretton interview begins.
    2:10: How Bryan Stevenson's memoir, Just Mercy, affected him 
    3:10: How Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx got involved
    3:44: How working with at-risk kids helped lead to a career in Hollywood.
    5:40: How he met Ryan Coogler, and Coogler quickly connected him with Michael B. Jordan: "He put me on hold and when he reconnected me, Michael B. Jordan was on the line." 
    7:00: How Jamie Foxx joined Just Mercy.
    8:30: The moment when he knew the movie was working.
    10:30: Why he stuck close to the facts.
    12:30: What Bryan Stevenson has in common with Mr. Rogers.
    13:40: "I can't deny that we didn't go far and wide searching for that flaw."
    15:30: Let's talk about the death penalty.
    18:00: How often the government gets it wrong. 
    18:20: A quick shoutout to Clemency, and how Cretton captured the atmosphere of a Southern prison in the 1980s.
    21:54: The advice he got from Brie Larson and Michael B. Jordan about joining the Marvel Universe.
    If you like this episode, you would like MovieMaker.com.

    • 24 min

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