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The No Film School Podcast

A podcast about how to build a career in filmmaking. No Film School shares the latest opportunities and trends for anyone working in film and TV. We break news on cameras, lighting, and apps. We interview leaders in screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, and producing. And we answer your questions! We are dedicated to sharing knowledge with filmmakers around the globe, “no film school” required.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Does Making Midnight Movies Sharpen Your Style?

What makes something a 'midnight' film anyway? Is there a relationship between pushing boundaries in subject matter and innovation in visual style? Also, how do you set a room on fire, light for the most awkward romance ever, and get permission from the Trinity Broadcasting Network to use their audio recordings of Hell? These are a few of the great questions that are answered in this highly entertaining conversation with six filmmakers whose short films played in the Midnight program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Listen to this roundtable conversation to learn about the 'making-of' these incredibly different and delightful midnight movies, and get encouragement on taking your own filmmaking risks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 7mins

6 Apr 2020

Rank #1

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How Do You Know Which Idea to Pursue? The First Feature: AMATEUR [Episode 1]

Here's Episode One of our new podcast series The First Feature. This is a step-by-step guide on how to get your first feature made, using Ryan Koo's new Netflix Original Film AMATEUR as a case study.In this episode, we get into: The three questions you can ask yourself to help decide which movie to make; when you need an agent; how Koo lied his way into MTV (and New York); Koo's DIY web series with Zack Lieberman, The West Side; how new platforms represent an opportunity because of decreased competition; how failure can be more instructive than success.AMATEUR will premiere on Netflix on April 6, 2018.You can find all episodes of The First Feature at nofilmschool.com/firstfeature Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

48mins

28 Mar 2018

Rank #2

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How Do You Pitch Your Film and Find Financing? The First Feature: AMATEUR [Episode 4]

In this episode of our step-by-step podcast on how to get your first feature made, we dive into the pitching and financing processes on Ryan Koo's Netflix Film AMATEUR. This episode covers his experiences pitching Amateur eighty (!) times and eventually getting it to Netflix, including the following points: Making a pitch into a back-and-forth conversation as early as possible; What goes into a pitch packet other than the script, including a rip-o-matic/multimedia lookbook; Using CRM software to track producers and financiers (Ryan used Streak); How rejection can be a development process unto itself; Why "producer" is an amorphous term and how to identify producers with complementary skill sets; Who his producers were (Jason Michael Berman, Chip Hourihan, and Mark Moran) and what their roles were; and finally, How he got the film to Netflix. 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 with coupon code "FirstFeature20." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 7mins

18 Apr 2018

Rank #3

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'Don't be Afraid if You Didn't Go To Film School': The Method to Success Behind 'Greener Grass'

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

29mins

11 Mar 2019

Rank #4

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Alice Rohrwacher on Why You Have to Go into the Void to Make Good Movies

Cannes-Winning director Alice Rohrwacher was selected to be this year's prestigious Film Society of Lincoln Center Filmmaker in Residence. Rohrwacher grew up in the Tuscan countryside and never saw a moving image until she was an adult. No Film School's Emily Buder discusses faking her way into her first directing gig, boredom's role in producing creativity, and why we need to go into the void to be great filmmakers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

44mins

5 Dec 2016

Rank #5

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5.26.20: Will 'Tenet' bring movie goers back to theaters?

This week brings a lot of questions. Will Christopher Nolan’s 'Tenet' be movie theater's savior? Will we adopt 8K into our workflows? How does Red Komodo’s PDAF change the game? And, what can we learn from the extremely talented team that wrote 'The Sopranos'? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

47mins

29 May 2020

Rank #6

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How to Make a Movie Entirely on Your Own

Before "Ramblin Freak'," Tacodeli employee Parker Smith had made only one movie featuring sound. The three three-time film school dropout was stuck between a rock and a hard place after realizing his internship at The Austin Film Society was little more than the theater job he had left in Boulder, Colorado to make a name for himself in Texas. Now, the task of making your first feature is a daunting one. Some would think that filming it entirely alone should make things a hundred times more difficult. For Parker, however, being the only member of his film crew provided him with exactly the freedom necessary to experiment, learn and shoot his movie right.   No Film School's Jon Fusco sat down with Smith at SXSW to learn how he pulled off making a movie about a guy who doesn't know how to make a movie. From watching five documentaries a night to finding a producer through Instagram, he provides us with tremendous insight into the art of learning as you go. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33mins

27 Mar 2017

Rank #7

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Indie Film Weekly 10.20.16: Filmmakers Tackle the US Political Circus

With less than three weeks left until Americans vote for their next president, Indie Film Weekly discusses the film world’s take on the craziest election cycle on record. No Film School co-hosts Emily Buder, Charles Haine and Liz Nord investigate how the far left, the far right, and several creators in between are using film to respond to both the candidates and the issues. We also cover the recent arrest of filmmakers and journalists attempting to film oil pipeline protests in North Dakota, the passing of Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, and how Razer's purchase of THX gets us one step closer to standardized calibration. Our Ask No Film School question is twofold: we talk about the difference in ISO for still photography and video, and about making creative choices in your documentary. As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s 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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

31mins

20 Oct 2016

Rank #8

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How Do You Attach Cast and Prep a Film? The First Feature: AMATEUR [Episode 5]

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 dive into how to cast your movie—and what to expect when you go into prep. This episode covers Ryan's experiences attaching cast to Amateur, including Michael Rainey Jr. (POWER, LUV), Josh Charles (THE GOOD WIFE, SPORTS NIGHT), Sharon Leal (ADDICTED, DREAMGIRLS), and Brian White (RAY DONOVAN, SCANDAL). We then move into the prep process on the film, and touch on: How a short film can help with attaching cast; The two-part process of auditioning Michael Rainey Jr. (who came us to via Jason Berman, who had produced a film with Michael in it, LUV); The value of a casting director (in Amateur's case, Jessica Kelly and Kate Geller; What an "offer" is and why you can only offer the part to one actor at a time; Doing street casting to find "real people," in this case, several basketball players who had never acted before; Location scouting and tax credits; Scheduling and what a "company move" is (and why we needed to avoid them); The challenges of working with a child actor and the resulting limitations on shooting hours; Rehearsing and read-throughs; Tech scouts... and more. Thank you to the Panavision New Filmmaker Program, Sony, G-technology, and Vision Research for their help in providing equipment on the film (which we'll cover more of in our forthcoming production episodes). 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." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 15mins

25 Apr 2018

Rank #9

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10.17.19: What Would the Perfect Film School Curriculum Look Like?

This week we also discuss the Sigma fp, Deakins using all ARRI on '1917', and writing lessons from Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

57mins

16 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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12.13.19: Can You Distribute Your Short Film and is The Mandalorian Lying to Us?!

There is talk that Disney's The Mandalorian is not truly HDR, which we're not even sure should matter, but we get into that and all things baby Yoda anyway. If you've made a short film, and many of us have, you may have some questions or even answers about what it's future could be in terms of platforms. We talk about how that market has evolved, where it may be headed, and about Frame IO's new iPad app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53mins

13 Dec 2019

Rank #11

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How to Start a Production Company: From Film School to Raising Money Out of Your Bedroom Office

In this episode of the No Film School podcast, Emily Buder sits down with David Ethan Shapiro, CEO of Starlight Studios, and Jacob Schulsinger, editor ("Force Majeure," "Antichrist"), to discuss their Sundance premiere, "Come Swim," Kristen Stewart's experimental short film. We talk the merits of film school and why it's important to recreate that creative atmosphere in your career, the secret to raising money as a producer, why editors should help directors write movies, and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

43mins

6 Mar 2017

Rank #12

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The Ultimate Screenwriting Masterclass with John Fusco and Jon Fusco

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

34mins

3 Jun 2019

Rank #13

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How to Become a Sundance Worthy Documentary Cinematographer

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

36mins

4 Feb 2019

Rank #14

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Indie Film Weekly 11.11.16: What a Trump Presidency Means for Filmmakers

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, we break down the potential impact of America’s new government on artists and the press. No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco and Emily Buder also cover an ambitious Election Day documentary-in-the-making and the Cinema Eye Honors and IDA Awards nominees, say goodbye to French cinematographer Raoul Coutard, discuss how YouTube is branching into HDR, and talk about GoPro’s unfortunate recall of its new Karma drone. In the Ask No Film School segment, we advise on the best website builder for filmmakers. Tech writer Charles Haine joins us to bring the latest gear news, and we hear an excerpt from Liz’s interview with ‘Arrival’ DP Bradford Young. As always, we update you on upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s 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 www.nofilmschool.com. http://nofilmschool.com/2017/07/indie-film-weekly-111116-podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

32mins

11 Nov 2016

Rank #15

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IFW 2.15.18: The Worst Job On Set Gets Better & What Camera Should You Shoot Your Short On?

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, and Erik Luers discuss ‘Black Panther’ mania ahead of the groundbreaking film’s opening weekend. We also get into the Parking Production Assistants of New York decision to unionize, the results of the WGA Awards, and say a sad goodbye to Oscar-nominated film composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Charles Haine joins us for gear news including some speculation about a potentially game-changing partnership between RED and Foxconn. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School question on whether you should shoot with RED or ARRI cameras for your short film. 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. https://nofilmschool.com/2018/02/indie-film-weekly-021518 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

48mins

15 Feb 2018

Rank #16

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IFW 2.8.18: ARRI Finally Goes 4K & Tarantino's Big On-Set Boner

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, No Film School co-hosts Liz Nord, Jon Fusco, and Erik Luers discuss why the ‘Kill Bill’ car crash story matters for every filmmaker, how to create a winning Super Bowl ad, and the results of the recent DGA Awards. Liz also answers an Ask No Film School question about what to do if you don’t think you fit in at film school. Charles Haine joins us for a huge week in gear announcements, including ARRI’s new 4K Alexa LF. As always, we also bring you 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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

54mins

8 Feb 2018

Rank #17

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How Starting a Production Company Can Help You Make Your First Film

Ashley McKenzie is the type of director that does it all. The Canadian multi-hyphenate runs her own production company, writes her own scripts, and directs all of the company's films. When she’s on set, however, she gives up almost all notions of planning and control to make her shots as organic and in the moment as possible.For her debut feature, Werewolf, which has won awards at almost every regional Canadian festival she’s brought it to, this included throwing the actors into real-life situations, adding events into scenes without telling them, keeping the camera rolling after the scene had cut, and even casting non-actors as key characters at locations on the fly.The film itself follows a pair of outcast methadone users who push a rusty lawnmower door-to-door to cut grass for money to feed their addiction. No Film School’s Jon Fusco sat down with McKenzie and her two lead actors Andrew Gillis and Breagh MacNeil to discuss their intensely real collaboration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

25mins

26 Jun 2017

Rank #18

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How to Take Advantage of Your Low Budget (and Get Into Sundance… Twice)

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 14mins

3 Sep 2019

Rank #19

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Write Characters With Room For Actors: Wayne Roberts and Christopher Abbott on 'Katie Says Goodbye'

Katie Says Goodbye is screenwriter/director Wayne Roberts' first feature. Unlike most first features, however, it had its world premiere earlier this year in front of a packed house in the middle of one of the world's biggest film events: Toronto International Film Festival. In the film, Olivia Cooke throws her name into the best actress ring starring as the titular Katie, an ever optimistic diner waitress who doesn't let the harsh realities of her Arizona homestead break her down. Instead, she focuses on earning enough money to finally break out of her trailer park and make a move to San Francisco. Her preferred method in fundraising? Prostitution. Needless to say, this leads to some challenges in her life, especially when she starts dating Bruno, stoically portrayed by Christopher Abbott, a mechanic with a history of grand theft auto. No Film School’s Jon Fusco sat down with Abbott and Roberts to discuss how a writer's work is best achieved by getting rid of any hesitations and letting their characters speak through them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

17mins

21 Nov 2016

Rank #20