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TV & Film

Art vs. Commerce

Updated 2 days ago

TV & Film
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The Art vs. Commerce podcast is a conversation with creative industry professionals who have made a career out of their art. Our discussions range from their personal history, breaking down famous scenes they helped create and learning how they manage to maintain their personal aesthetic in an arena that demands compromise. As a cinematographer for commercials, documentary and narrative, podcast host Jared Levy enjoys these conversations and learning from these talented industry professionals.

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The Art vs. Commerce podcast is a conversation with creative industry professionals who have made a career out of their art. Our discussions range from their personal history, breaking down famous scenes they helped create and learning how they manage to maintain their personal aesthetic in an arena that demands compromise. As a cinematographer for commercials, documentary and narrative, podcast host Jared Levy enjoys these conversations and learning from these talented industry professionals.

iTunes Ratings

37 Ratings
Average Ratings
33
2
1
0
1

This has helped me become ambitious!

By ReidPetro - May 30 2017
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Great insightful content. The conversations are amazing and always inspiring!

Director

By Tony Dean Franklin - May 08 2017
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One of my favorite podcasts about filmmaking!

iTunes Ratings

37 Ratings
Average Ratings
33
2
1
0
1

This has helped me become ambitious!

By ReidPetro - May 30 2017
Read more
Great insightful content. The conversations are amazing and always inspiring!

Director

By Tony Dean Franklin - May 08 2017
Read more
One of my favorite podcasts about filmmaking!

The Best Episodes of:

Cover image of Art vs. Commerce

Art vs. Commerce

Updated 2 days ago

Read more

The Art vs. Commerce podcast is a conversation with creative industry professionals who have made a career out of their art. Our discussions range from their personal history, breaking down famous scenes they helped create and learning how they manage to maintain their personal aesthetic in an arena that demands compromise. As a cinematographer for commercials, documentary and narrative, podcast host Jared Levy enjoys these conversations and learning from these talented industry professionals.

Rank #1: Episode 29 - Ricky Staub

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Ricky Staub is a film and commercial director as well as the founder of the production company Neighborhood Film Co. His most recent work, The Cage, was the first in a new series of works from Film Supply called Film Supply Originals. The project served as Ricky’s first narrative film that he wrote, directed and edited. In the episode we discuss this project at length going into the details behind how it came to fruition and the challenges faced from ideation to completion. Neighborhood Film Co. is unique in that it works with the formerly incarcerated through a paid apprenticeship program that teaches the ins and outs of the film business and offers real responsibilities and opportunities to those involved. With three apprentices per year in an eight month program, Ricky’s company helps create a new foundation for the participants.

Mar 24 2017

1hr 3mins

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Rank #2: Episode 49 - Salomon Ligthelm

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Salomon is a self-taught filmmaker whose international background–––a childhood spent in Johannesburg, Dubai, and Sydney–––figures strongly in his distinctive, visual style. His textural and experimental work finds new ways of exploring visual storytelling, always with a human story at its core. His work has garnered recognition across the world, with inclusion in both the Saatchi & Saatchi and 1.4 New Directors Showcases, two Golds and three Silvers at the YDAs, shortlist for online commercial of the year over 2 minutes for Audi at Shots, shortlists for Music Video of the Year at Shots, Best Alternative Video and Best New Director at the UKMVA’s, and a music video shortlist at Ciclope. These honors are all the more extraordinary for a young director, who is just three years into his commercial film career. His body of work includes short films like “Rocket Wars,” which documents the stunning aerial fireworks battle of a Greek village, as well as commercials for Audi, S7, and Valvoline, and music videos for artists like Daughter and Young Fathers. Salomon lives in New York City with his young family.

Jul 16 2019

1hr 10mins

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Rank #3: Episode 19 - Timur Civan

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Timur Civan is a cinematographer working on commercials, documentaries, scripted narrative and experimental. Working his way through the craft and the New York film scene for over ten years, he sets himself apart with his experimental work. A notable example of this style being the music video for Nigel Stanford titled Cymatics. I’ve known Timur for the past 3 to 4 years meeting and hanging out in the same NYC film circles. We both frequent Vincent Laforet’s poker game where Timur acts like he doesn’t know how to play but miraculously ends up winning rather consistently. Somehow I felt this information was relevant and helps paint a picture for you all. In the podcast we discuss Timur’s current transitional state as he finds himself very close to joining the union as a DP. Reflective and thoughtful, this conversation provides insights into the lesser discussed aspects of craft building, the ways in which our talents and opportunities can feel cyclical and how to anticipate these cycles and make them work for you both artistically and financially.

Oct 10 2016

57mins

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Rank #4: Episode 46 - Eliot Rausch

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Eliot Rausch’s work reflects his long-standing pursuit of finding value and transcendence in the mundane. The award-wining filmmaker has created films for organizations and brands including The Red Cross, Tumi, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Duracell, the Veteran Affairs of America, Nike, Under Armour, Apple, and Samsung. His short film “Find Your Understanding,” created for Expedia, was awarded “Most Tear-Jerking Viral Ad of the Year” by Ad Age and one of TED's 10 Best Ads of the Year. Eliot’s short film series honoring those with Multiple Sclerosis, won a Cannes Lion and a Clio Award. “We are Greater than I,” a Samsung film, garnered awards at D&AD, One Show, British Arrows and Cannes Film Festival. He worked alongside Alejandro González Iñárritu, directing the documentary "A World Unseen,” a complimentary piece to “The Revenant.” His short documentary Last Minutes With Oden won the Documentary Award and Grand Prize at the Vimeo Festival + Awards. His recent short film “Birth Pangs,” a haunting portrait of historic injustices that continues his work documenting marginalized communities, premiered on Nowness and was selected for Short of the Week. Currently, Eliot Rausch has been developing a media platform to help those caught in the provisional life, it is due to launch in 2019.

Jun 25 2019

1hr

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Rank #5: Episode 40 - Joe Rudge

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Joe Rudge is an established music supervisor based in Brooklyn, NY best known for his work on the feature films Room, Blue Valentine & Beasts of the Southern Wild. An experienced licensing professional and music fanatic, he works with film, TV, commercial, and multimedia directors to enhance the moving image with sound.

Recent music supervision highlights include the Amazon Studios feature film The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter and the Grateful Dead documentary Long Strange Trip, also released through Amazon Studio. Upcoming projects include the Sundance 2017 breakout hit Patti Cake$ which will be released by Fox Searchlight on August 18th.

Aug 03 2017

57mins

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Rank #6: Episode 38 - Adam Newport-Berra

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Adam Newport-Berra is a director of photography with a reel that includes features, commercials and music videos. In the music realm he has worked with Chance the Rapper, Francis and The Lights, Kanye West and many more. His most recent feature film, Barry, is the story of a young Barack Obama which was acquired for release by Netflix. Adam’s commercial work delves into true storytelling with compelling and unique ads that can feel more like short films.

In the episode we discuss Adam’s approach to collaboration and how he values people’s attitudes over any other attribute. We also dive into some technical aspects of his pieces learning about the challenges of a few specific projects.

Jul 06 2017

49mins

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Rank #7: Episode 36 - Walter Partos

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Walter Partos is the owner of Partos Company which represents cinematographers, costume designers, production designers, producers and editors. Their artists have won virtually every award in the entertainment industry including Oscars, Spirits Awards, Cannes Gold Lions, Emmys, BAFTAs and MTV Music Video Awards.

Walter started his career as a literary agent and his clients included Quentin Tarantino, Mardik Martin (Raging Bull, Mean Streets), Chris DeVore (Elephant Man), Rolf De Heir (Bad Boy Bubby).

After literary representation, the next step in his career was representing visual artists. One of the first visual artists he represented was cinematographer Jordan Croenenweth who taught him the importance of listening. Now the company represents a large number of cinematographers including a former podcast guest Oren Soffer.

This episode is unique in that instead of a more chronological discussion of Walter's career we dive deep into the intricacies of being an agent with the hour long discussion taking on a more Q&A form about the craft with Walter extolling advice about a number of topics including: how to get an agent, what an agent can do for you, common misconceptions about agents, how to be a professional artist…

We recorded this conversation over the course of a few discussions due to technical reasons. With that in mind, the conversation touches upon the same topics in a few different ways but it all felt helpful so the various conversations have been combined into one episode.

Jun 21 2017

1hr 7mins

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Rank #8: Episode 23 - Patrick Lawler

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Patrick Lawler is a director, cinematographer, editor, motion graphics artist… the list is long. It’s honestly best to describe him as an artist who uses film as his medium. Having a background in music videos, the genre’s flexible rules allow him to try out new ideas and interesting tricks without worrying about the confines of more traditional storytelling. Having now started a production company called DECA, Patrick is looking to expand into narrative film work after spending the last decade honing in on his unique visual aesthetic. Patrick was one of the first big users on Vimeo back in the platform’s infancy. No coincidence that social media is how we first met and it’s fascinating to see how being a part of that first internet wave influenced and helped shape our careers. We discuss this interesting time in our lives and the industry in the episode along with Patrick’s approach to internet relevancy and how he likes to engage his captive audience. Patrick has worked with bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Run The Jewels, Big Sean, Riff Raff, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Raekwon and DJ Shadow among others. He's worked on commercials for LRG x Star Wars, Audi, Honda, Cadillac and Intel among others and has been teaching courses and giving lectures for the RED camera company for three years.

Feb 08 2017

49mins

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Rank #9: Episode 37 - Sean Porter

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Sean Porter is a director of photography with a list of feature films that include Rough Night (currently in theaters) starring Scarlett Johansson, 20th Century Women starring Annette Bening and Green Room starring Patrick Stewart. Originally an indie filmmaker from Seattle, Sean’s pursuit of a career as a cinematographer led him to New York City where he immersed himself in the indie film scene. After a few festival darlings Sean’s career has taken off with Rough Night being his first major film studio production.

In the episode we discuss Sean’s journey from indie DP shooting anything and everything to rising up the ranks by making careful decisions about which films to take on in an effort to build proper momentum. It’s an energetic hour filled with a lot of insight on both the craft and the strategy to a long term narrative career.

Jun 30 2017

59mins

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Rank #10: Episode 13 - Christian Schultz

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Christian Schultz is a freelance Film and Commercial Director. He recently left his staff job as a Film Director for The Musicbed, a music licensing company. He was part of the inaugural film team at The Musicbed and helped craft their aesthetic and setup the foundation for a strong collection of films ranging from stylistic marketing materials to short online portraits of musicians to feature documentaries. I first met Christian at the filmmaking conference Masters in Motion. At the time Christian had just started putting out work with The Musicbed and it was clear they were focused on changing the way brands made films about themselves and their collaborators. Gone was the commercial tone and in was the thoughtful moody atmosphere more akin to heartfelt documentaries. Christian is a soft spoken thinker. Never the loudest in the room, he tends to let his work speak for himself. It was great to meet him at this time of transition from being on staff to going full time freelance. It’s a challenging time for anyone and I believe he provides solid insight into his process and how he is evaluating his success.

May 25 2016

1hr 3mins

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Rank #11: Episode 20 - Joe Simon

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Joe Simon is a cinematographer and director based out of Austin, Texas. Originally a sponsored BMX rider, Joe took his need to film himself biking and turned it into a full blown career. From there he dominated the wedding film industry filming celebrity weddings such as Tony Romo’s as well as global destination weddings for high end clients. After reaching the top of the wedding world Joe transitioned into documentary and narrative filmwork. He started a production company called The Delivery Men and freelances as well, most notably for the CNN show The Wonder List with Bill Weir. I’ve known Joe for 6 years now having first met at the original Masters in Motion, hosted in his home of Austin, Texas. He has always been a laid back guy who never took himself too seriously. He’s simply a hard working talented dude who puts in the time to execute at a very high level. A real pleasure to be around, it is easy to see how people gravitate towards him for freelance work. In the episode we discuss his path from BMX to weddings to proper filmmaking. Within that journey we chat about the value of having a collaborative partner, his new passion project “Everything has a Feeling,” and the ins and outs of working on The Wonder List.

Jan 19 2017

52mins

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Rank #12: Episode 12 - Jeremy Leach

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Jeremy Leach is a Director of Photography and Director specializing in documentary films and travel television. He is an Emmy Award winner for his cinematography work on Mind of a Chef, a program created by Zero Point Zero, a production company famous for their work with Anthony Bourdain. Through this relationship, Jeremy continues to serve as a recurring DP on Bourdain’s CNN show Parts Unknown and was a DP on Bourdain's previous show No Reservations. All three of these shows, along with many other projects, have taken him all over the world. Like previous guest Ethan Mills, I met Jeremy on the set of Mind of a Chef. Both Jeremy and Ethan worked on the program since its inception and have been an integral part of the development process as DPs helping craft the look through four seasons. Jeremy’s impact cannot be understated as Zero Point Zero DPs are given a lot of artistic freedom. His leadership in time-pressed situations is something to behold and his creative quickfeet help guide the multitude of decisions made every day on set. Jeremy is a humble and thoughtful guy often downplaying his overall impact. Having worked with him in the field, his clear vision sets him apart as someone who tries to always stay one step ahead and keep his cool even while under immense amounts of documentary pressure. He’s a blast to work with and I believe his personality and demeanor shine through in this episode.

Feb 15 2016

56mins

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Rank #13: Episode 14 - Matt McLaughlin

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Matt McLaughlin is the co-owner of the production company Acres in New York City. He serves as both executive producer and media strategist working with brands, political campaigns and organizations. Their work on the Bill de Blasio mayoral campaign in NYC is notable as it helped transform his poll numbers and gave Acres large scale publicity. Now a young and successful company, they support a small roster of directors out of an office space in TriBeCa. I first met Matt when working with Acres’ director Shal Ngo. Matt’s a warm and welcoming guy with a sharp wit. Always eager to get into deeper conversation about complex issues, it has become clear to me that these interests act as a guide for where he sees Acres going as a company. Always interesting speaking with people who are more on the commerce side of this ongoing discussion. Matt is unique in that he straddles the line, truly making art out of the commerce. Speaking with him I hear the same passion akin to a director or cinematographer, except our conversations are about brand identity, financial distribution models and the importance of relationships.

May 31 2016

1hr 3mins

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Rank #14: Episode 34 - Matty Brown

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Matty Brown is a film director that specializes in his own highly unique style of visual storytelling. Starting from modest beginnings growing up poor, and at times homeless, Matty has become one of the most successful filmmakers on Vimeo garnering 16 staff picks.

Through his incredible success online he has been thrust into the commercial world directing spots for large corporations such as Chevron and Lincoln. He is currently repped by Workhouse Creative.

In addition to his art and commercial pieces, Matty is stepping into the world of narrative with his first short film Thump. Still in post production, the trailer is online and a feature script is currently in development.

May 12 2017

1hr

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Rank #15: Episode 41 - Ryan Booth

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The Art vs. Commerce podcast is back! After a hiatus the show returns to kick things off with friend of the pod Ryan Booth. We felt Ryan would make for a great guest to relaunch as he has been through so much career change since we last spoke in 2015. In this episode we compare and contrast our previous conversation learning about his journey and what insights he has gained since becoming a repped commercial director on the Pulse Film roster.

Booth’s filmmaking career began in 2011 when his first attempt at making short film won a contest hosted by Vimeo and Canon and premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Booth was an audio engineer living in Texas at the time. After Sundance he came home and quit his job and dove headfirst into filmmaking. 

He spent the next few years cutting his teeth as a Director of Photography, working on commercial projects for Fox, MTV, Spotify, Under Armour, Pepsi, and Budweiser, as well as music videos for Atlantic Records, Sony, and Universal Music. He DP'd narrative and documentary features that have screened at Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca Film Festivals, among others. In 2016, Ryan DP'd a feature documentary that was commissioned by Alejandro G. Iñárritu that explores the modern implications of the themes woven into Iñárritu’s film, The Revenant. The film was directed by Eliot Rausch and the experience working with Eliot and Alejandro proved to be the catalyst that began his transition into directing. 

Ryan has always been drawn to telling the stories of real people. He naturally began his directing work in documentaries. He created a doc series pilot called Five Star, about the insane world of college football recruiting. This led to shopping deals with SpringHill Entertainment and Preferred Content. He naturally moved into branded content, directing projects for Spotify and Google. He then caught the eye of Pulse Films, the award winning production company behind American Honey and Lemonade.

In the spring of 2017 he was offered a spot on Pulse's commercial roster and within  a few months of beginning to pitch, was directing national campaigns with Weiden + Kennedy for Fox Sports and Anheuser-Busch. He's currently pitching as much as possible and looks forward to collaborating with some of the best agencies in the world.

Additionally, Ryan co-wrote and directed his first narrative short, The Heights, as a proof of concept for what would be his first narrative feature. Not one to wait around for permission, he is actively developing a handful of film and television projects with writers and producers from around the world.

May 28 2019

1hr 8mins

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Rank #16: Episode 26 - Michael Tringe

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Michael Tringe is a filmmaker, business owner and all around industry thinker who has spent the majority of his career democratizing film. Working in both the creative and business aspects, Mike has seen the power of the internet as a transformative tool for creators. A tool that allows for education, monetization and of course distribution. An interesting career with stints at CAA, Vuguru and Blip among others, he eventually co-founded his own company called CreatorUp! which is a self described digital storytelling academy. In the podcast we discuss Mike’s path from teaching film to students in Morocco to his current role teaching creators globally through his CreatorUp! platform. Along the way we discuss the influence of the internet on Hollywood, the rise of Youtube and the Youtube star, the pitfalls of the early years of internet filmmaking and the steps the industry has taken in trying to create an ecosystem that works for the creator and platforms alike.

Feb 28 2017

43mins

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Rank #17: Episode 39 - Brian Koppelman

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Brian Koppelman is a co-creator, executive producer and showrunner of Showtime's hit drama series Billions. Over the past two decades, Koppelman and his writing/producing/directing partner, David Levien, have created an influential and diverse body of work in both film and television.

Some of their most noteworthy credits include Rounders, Ocean's Thirteen, Solitary Man, The Illusionist, Runaway Jury, Tilt, ESPN's 30 for 30 (This Is What They Want), I Smile Back, The Girlfriend Experience and Joe Berlinger's Tony Robbins documentary, I Am Not Your Guru. Koppelman is the host and creator of the hit Slate podcast The Moment with Brian Koppelman.

In this episode we discuss the block he faced in his 20s and how he overcame it at 30 to write Rounders. From there we dive into a variety of topics including having a collaborator, how to stay focused on the work and what it means to stay curious.

Jul 12 2017

53mins

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Rank #18: Episode 28 - Shal Ngo

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Shal Ngo is a director and writer splitting his time between narrative and commercial work. He is on the directing roster at Acres having been there from its inception as the company’s first director. One of Shal’s notable projects for Acres was his work on the Bill DeBlasio for Mayor campaign. The campaign has been credited for a significant boost in DeBlasio’s polling and was viewed as a beneficial factor in his election win. Narratively Shal has been working on an ongoing short film series called Tangents. This podcast episode takes on a special approach as we recorded it on-location in Vietnam where Shal and I were filming his latest sci-fi short film. Having just wrapped production the day prior, we sat down to discuss the project, our collaboration between director and cinematographer as well as the usual podcast journey of chronology and discussion about moments throughout Shal’s life.

Mar 17 2017

52mins

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Rank #19: Episode 11 - The Diamond Brothers

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Josh and Jason Diamond are filmmakers, entrepreneurs, geeks... you name it and they’ve probably been involved somehow, someway. Having started with an interest in practical special effects, their careers have taken them in every possible direction from MTV to music videos to feature documentaries to post production, software development, commercial directing to everything in between. To understand the scope of the work they’ve done is to understand the eclectic nature of their personalities and interests. I’ve known them for a few years now as we run in the same NYC indie scene and they have a solid presence in a similar social media crowd. From day one they’ve come across as genuine, tell you how it is, stand up dudes. Just a ton of fun to be around. It becomes obvious that this is also their business strength. From a networking standpoint, it feels as if they know everyone from Midtown to Hollywood, and a lot of that comes from their openness, affability and a penchant for having a good time while working your ass off. They are an excellent example of how this industry and lifestyle can be meandering, slightly confusing and yet still successful. Conversations like this reinforce how important it is to stay self aware, embrace the world around you and to trust your gut. It’s something the Diamond brothers have done for over four decades and it’s proving to be a solid plan.

Jan 29 2016

1hr 1min

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Rank #20: Episode 24 - Molly Kaplan

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Molly Kaplan is the Head of Multimedia at ACLU National. The job is unique within the ACLU in that while the majority of its employees are lawyers, Molly is one part artist, one part campaign specialist. Her job is to help captivate the American public bringing to their attention the issues the ACLU is undertaking on their behalf. Her more formal film roles would include executive producer, creative director, director, producer, editor… every project requires a different hat. I’ve known Molly for a few years now having first worked on a project with Joey L. for the ACLU. It was not until our current collaboration, the Know Your Rights Campaign, that our working relationship manifested into something much greater. To cut straight to the point, working with Molly is nothing short of fantastic. A true collaborative partner, the power of her inclusive and open minded nature is evident in the final products she creates working alongside talented filmmakers. In the podcast we discuss the somewhat meandering path Molly took to get to her current role. Having started in the food industry traveling around the world studying olives, her way in life has never been concrete or straight forward. I believe it’s important to note and discuss this fact for everyone out there who thinks success comes from clear and definite goals. We also discuss our working relationship and what makes for optimal client/vendor collaboration. Lastly, given the outcome of the election, we discuss the importance of the ACLU specifically examining the role film pieces play in legal cases that are under the national spotlight.

Feb 15 2017

54mins

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