Rank #1: What It Takes to Get Your Short into Sundance
Feb 13 2017
Rank #2: How to Make a Movie Entirely on Your Own
Mar 27 2017
Rank #3: How to Start a Production Company: From Film School to Raising Money Out of Your Bedroom Office
Mar 06 2017
Rank #4: Why You Need to Stop Making Excuses and Make a Short Film
Feb 26 2018
Rank #5: The Worst Things a Director Can Do on Set
Aug 07 2017
Rank #6: How to Make the Jump from Lowly PA to Almighty Director
How did he pull it off? Hard work and humble beginnings. Leon's work ethic was noticed on set as a PA and as a result of his efforts, he found collaborators and producers that were eager to invest in his future.
His latest film, Tramps, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last summer and was quickly scooped up by Netflix. It follows a young man and woman as they are unwittingly thrown into the middle of a money drop off gone awry. But for Leon, the real challenge came in crafting a genuine romance without leaning on cliche.
To achieve this goal, he turned to his writing partner and producer Jamund Washington early on in the development process. Leon and Washington join us on this week's episode of The No Film School Podcast to talk filmmaking as a collaborative art form, the right way to take notes on your screenplay, and finding partners that won't compromise your vision but help to build upon it.
Apr 24 2017
Rank #7: One Hundred Different Ways to Get Your Film Funded
Oct 15 2018
Rank #8: How to Take Advantage of Your Low Budget (and Get Into Sundance… Twice)
Sep 03 2019
Rank #9: How Do You Become a Filmmaker (And Other Questions)? The First Feature: AMATEUR [Episode 10]
May 30 2018
Rank #10: 'Don't be Afraid if You Didn't Go To Film School': The Method to Success Behind 'Greener Grass'
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.
Mar 11 2019
Rank #11: How to Avoid the Crucial Mistakes Everyone Makes on their First Movie
Jun 05 2017
Rank #12: IFW 9.21.17: Why Your Film Isn't Getting into Festivals & Tips From a Guerrilla Filmmaking Legend
Sep 21 2017
Rank #13: How Do You Pitch Your Film and Find Financing? The First Feature: AMATEUR [Episode 4]
This episode of The First Feature is sponsored by Music Bed. Get 20% off you next on-site license with coupon code "FirstFeature20."
Apr 18 2018
Rank #14: 'The Florida Project': Sean Baker on Why You Need to Invest in Yourself When No One Else Will
Oct 09 2017
Rank #15: How Do You Attach Cast and Prep a Film? The First Feature: AMATEUR [Episode 5]
Apr 25 2018
Rank #16: How Do You Make a Film with Zero Experience? The First Short: THE GUY [Episode 1]
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.
Aug 27 2018
Rank #17: How Do You Know Which Idea to Pursue? The First Feature: AMATEUR [Episode 1]
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
Mar 28 2018
Rank #18: 'Expect That Everything Will Go Wrong': How to Ensure Your First Short Film is the Best it Can Be
Making any film, no matter the length is certain to be an ordeal. In both pre-production and on set, many more things are bound to go wrong than right. Fusco sits down with award-winning short director Hughes William Thompson to discuss some of the more common struggles first-time filmmakers face and the steps that you can take to ensure your production goes as smooth as possible.
Sep 04 2017
Rank #19: How to Shoot a Feature Film for Only $7000
Aug 06 2018
Rank #20: The Ultimate Screenwriting Masterclass with John Fusco and Jon Fusco
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.
Jun 03 2019