Host Leslie LaPage, Director of LaFemme International Film Festival uncovers the Secrets of Filmmaking with her lineup of industry professional guests. In every episode you will learn things like how to make the most out of the film festival circuit, how to find a great distribution partner, how to attract A list talent, finding the perfect representation, the dirty little secrets of Hollywood and much more.
Join Leslie for this very special episode directly from LaFemme International Film Festival. Moderated by Debeorah Gilels from LA Media Consultants this is part 2 of a panel titled Independent Financing: From Bridge to Gap to Raising Capital.
Join Leslie for this very special episode directly from LaFemme International Film Festival. Moderated by Debeorah Gilels from LA Media Consultants this is part 1 of a panel titled Independent Financing: From Bridge to Gap to Raising Capital.
Sadie is an actress, writer, producer and documentarian with an award named in her honor (AMDOC'S Sadie Katz Award for Hustle.) She spent the last two decades balancing being a single mom and a scream queen genre actress and recently opened her own production company "See You Next Tuesday Films" with the goal of telling female focused stories that don't involve sexed-up super villains or girls running through the woods.
Bob Nickman is a comedian, actor, writer and producer who has worked on some of the most iconic sit-coms like Mad About You and Rosanne. In this episode Leslie talks with Bob about what it's like to work on these shows and how to transition from one to the other. Bob Nickman is an American comedian, actor, television producer, and television writer.As a television producer/writer, his credits include Mad About You, Freaks and Geeks, Danny, According to Jim, Big Day, Rita Rocks and Roseanne.As an actor, he appeared in four episodes of Roseanne from 1994 to 1995, as well as guest starring in an episode of Designing Women in 1990, his acting debut. He also appeared in the films Shakes the Clown (1991) and Crossing the Bridge (1992).He is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and performed stand-up comedy for much of the 1980s.
Human trafficking is one of the most frightening and misunderstood realities of the world... and this blight is right here in the US. In this episode, Leslie speaks with actor and filmmaker Christina Zorich. about her new Docummentary the New Abolitionists.
Have you ever wished you could get free advice from a Public Relations and Marketing guru to promote your independent film? Leslie sits down with AJ Adelman the Chief Innovation Officer at Infinity Films who drops golden nuggets on how to get your film out into the world.AJ AdelmanA.J. Adelman brings more than 30 years of corporate accountmanagement, sales/sponsorships, producer/developmentexecutive, consultancy, training/teaching and market researchexperience to the team.His award-winning experience includes film, video, commercials,print, social media, sponsorships, product placement, exhibitsand events. His experience also includes the development andproduction of a variety of projects including national andregional meetings, tradeshow and consumer videos, printmaterials, product training seminars, direct mail campaigns andweb sites.Currently AJ heads up an Integrated Marketing Research +Communications Agency and is Faculty at Santa MonicaCollege.
Should you start a production company if you're a filmmaker. Almost definitely. In this episode, Leslie talks about why you should think about setting up a corporation and how you should set up your corporation. You'll learn everything from finding the right legal fictitious name to tax benefits and corporate protections. Don't miss this episode.
What are the laws of attraction in the universe and can you learn how to use them to attract everything you've ever wanted? Well, sure! In this episode Leslie talks with J Cynthia Brooks who teaches her techniques to attract what you want in your life. These techniques are fantastic for actors and any other industry professionals who have to pitch their projects.
Do you need to raise money for your film? Maybe you 're looking to attract a production company to your pilot or film script? In this episode Leslie speaks with Literary Agent and Producer John Beach about how to develop projects and what stands out when he's looking for a scriptJohn has worked in the entertainment industry for over 20 years – starting as a literary agent at Paradigm and later with ACME Talent & Literary, where he was instrumental in the sale of Oliver Stone's WORLD TRADE CENTER w/ Nicolas Cage and YOUTH IN REVOLT w/ Michael Cera. After ACME, John and 2 producers created Fortress Features, where he aided in the raise of Fortress' development fund. As the Director of Development, John sought out property for Fortress to acquire and develop into rich film/television projects. In 2011, John opened the Angeles office of INDYCAR where he invited and managed celebrities (Dan Aykroyd, Howie Mandel and Gladys Knight to name a few) at INDYCAR events and races. Mostly, John produced Branded Integrations for TV shows like MYTHBUSTERS, LET'S MAKE A DEAL, HOW IT'S MADE and many others.In 2015, after surviving cancer, John started Gravity Squared Entertainment, a Los Angeles based management/production company. Gravity Squared has over 170 books/treatment/scripts under management, many being Pulitzer Prize winners and New York Times bestsellers. They currently have over 25 projects in various stages of development/production - including: sold and developed a Primetime TV Sitcom to ABC based on a Chicago comedienne's life; developing and producing a project with Mosaic & Legendary Pictures with Will Ferrell starring and Adam McKay producing; optioned a book to DreamWorks Animation TV about a unicorn being raised by narwhal, which is in production at Netflix; and they just optioned Judith Heumann's memoir, BEING HEUMANN to AppleTV+, which they will produce with David Permut and the Academy Award winning writer/director of CODA, Sian Heder, at the helm.
Frank Kelly went from working in Corporate America to becoming a self-taught filmmaker and Leslie learns the story and the nuggets of lessons he's learned on the way.Frank Kelly is the founder and creative director of Reel City Films, a film & video production company dedicated to creating content for brands and agencies. Through his company, Frank writes and directs the majority of the work he and his team produce. Current and past clients include Bacardi, Princess Cruise Lines, the Biltmore Hotel, Mercedes Benz, SLS Hotels, Dream Hotels, the Greater Miami Visitor's Bureau and Baptist Health to name a few. Frank was the executive producer and creator of the Reel Miami Project, a short film series released in 2013 designed to showcase Miami through a series of films. The project garnered national awareness and media buzz for the films, the attached spsonsors and the selected directors that each told a story specific to a certain Miami neighborhood. Frank is a triple threat as he writes, directs and produces the majority of his work. He has an immense appreciation and love for the art of cinematography and is always chasing that cinematic look in every story he tells. After hours, Frank works on his passion and writes scripts and ideas for films and TV series. "The Critic" is a result of his late night writing and it's his official directorial debut. He enjoys writing within the romantic thriller genre and loves a great twist ending. His goal is to continue to create shorts, films and content that entertain and bring smiles to audiences' faces.
In today's episode Leslie talks with Director Drew Ann Rosenberg about her time on Broadway and her move toward directing films.Drew grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, later graduating from Brown University. She found her love of the arts through her years of study as a classically trained singer, performing in Boston and NYC. After graduation, Drew began working behind the scenes in New York's off-Broadway Theatres- Playwright's Horizons and American Place, before transitioning to film. She began her film career working with directors Sidney Lumet, Arthur Penn, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Barbet Schroeder and Abel Ferrara.
How do you break in, produce and have a career in Hollywood? Today Leslie talks with Tony Boldi with over 25 years of practical experience in the film industry about the brutality and fun of working in Hollywood.More About TonyTony is the Founder and CEO of Lifeforce Foundations which is a For-Cause Organization focused upon Global and Local Social Concerns.Tony has received numerous honors and awards such as the Official People's Mayor of Hollywood and a honorary PhD from his former learning institution.Tony continues to grow his relationships with his newest position as the West Coast Director of Acquisitions for Blairwood Entertainment and is the Director of Celebrity Memberships with a top PR/events firm called F.A.M.E. located in Hollywood, California.Tony also owns his own branding company where he continues to take his clients from obscurity to celebrity status.Tony Boldi and Associates is an acclaimed acting studio (with enrollment of more than 200).Tony is the Co-Host of the LA Music Awards and new Co-Producer of the World Dance Awards and Choreographer's Carnival as of 2011.
Today Leslie sits down with Irina Maleeva to discuss her fascinating career in TV and Film, what it was like to be discovered by Fellini and much more.More about Irina:Star of stage, screen, television, cabaret and the world of music, Irina Maleeva is a true multifaceted international sensation. The daughter of a famed Bulgarian stage actress and an aristocratic Italian statesman, Maleeva first established herself as a child performer in her native Bulgaria -- and from there her career and talents would bring her to the glittering global stage.The world of Irina Maleeva jettisoned into the cinematic spotlight when she was discovered by the legendary Federico Fellini at age 15 and would go on to perform in three of his highly-acclaimed movies: Satyricon; Spirits of the Dead; and Roma. Later Maleeva was chosen for the lead part of Jessica in the film, "The Merchant of Venice" playing opposite Orson Welles's Schylock. The film was also directed by Orson Welles.Included in her motion picture accomplishments: studying and working with iconic Italian directors Luchino Visconti and Roberto Rossellini and starring in more than 30 leading roles in European and American films opposite such luminaries as James Mason, Valentina Cortese and Terence Stamp, plus notable actors Susan Sarandon, Charles Grodin, David Duchovny, Anthony Franciosa and Klaus Kinski, to name a few.For her portrayal as a demented countess in the cult crime mystery film Union City, Maleeva appeared opposite rockers Debbie Harry and Pat Benatar and for her memorable role in this film she was awarded at the Toronto Film Festival. Later she would play the part of Mrs. Hasadan in the screwball comedy of errors Wasabi Tuna.Among her other acting achievements are the lead in the Italian-French television series Poly in Venice and The Girl without Identity. American television roles include appearing as a guest star on Days of our Lives, The Gilmore Girls, Pensacola, Just Shoot Me, Six Feet Under, Angel and Threshold. Maleeva was a principal recurring actress on the television series Cracking Up and the award-winning soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. She has also guest starred on American Body Shop and the critically acclaimed science fiction drama series Heroes, not to mention appearing in the role of Ruba in the HBO-produced show Twelve Miles of Bad Road. Maleeva has co-starred opposite Susan Sarandon in the comedy-drama film The Meddler and guest-starred in the television crime drama series Aquarius with David Duchovny.
Do you want to know what networks are looking for directly from an executive who is also a show runner? Enter Cindy Villarreal who sits down with Leslie and breaks down everything form story to script to analytics. Do not miss this one!More about Cindy:Cindy Villarreal is a versatile, network executive producer and show-runner with 30 years of entertainment experience in new media, episodic TV, and feature films overseeing projects for many broadcasting networks including the CW, Viacom, Verizon Go90, CBS, Alloy Media, NFL and Awesomeness TV among others for distribution. Villarreal is listed as one of 100 Most Influential Hispanics, by Hispanic Business Magazine and credited as one of the Top 10 Most Powerful Women by Austin Business Journal. In 2019, Villarreal spearheaded diversity content within Viacom producing hit shows including My Dream Quinceañera and Taking the Stands. She is a Streaming TV pioneer in the OTT market having founded the Cheer Channel Television Network in 2009, a gamified, immersive streaming platform. She is an A-Z producer distributing original content to both major TV and new media networks. A passionate storyteller, Villarreal is a screenwriter and consults with over 100 writers for both TV and feature film.
Rivkah Reyes (they/she, but mostly they) is a queer Filipinx-Jewish actor, musician, comedian, producer and writer from Chicago. They have been performing since the age of 4 when they picked up a guitar for the first time. In the 4th grade, Rivkah performed on the NPR show From the Top, which eventually led to them being discovered and cast in the 2003 film School of Rock. Since their movie debut, Riv has been a prominent force in the comedy and theater scenes of Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.They have worked with The Second City in Chicago on several sketch revues and performed improv, sketch, and stand-up at iO, The Hollywood Improv, The Laugh Factory, Club Cumming and Las Culturistas' I Don't Think So Honey! Live. They are an alum of the School at Steppenwolf, The Second City and iO's training centers, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2020, Rivkah released an article called “Confessions of an Obsolete Child Actor” about their journey from childhood stardom to adulthood lessons. Currently, Riv resides in Los Angeles and spends their days drinking tea, listening to lo-fi beats, and being a spooky witch.
Praised by American Record Guide as, "Energetic and exciting...", American composer Maria Newman has been commended and recognized by the U.S. Congress for her work in the field of original music composition, live performance, and recording. Newman's compositions have been performed and screened in such elite venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the U.S. Capitol Building on Capitol Hill, the National Archives in Washington D.C., Hearst Castle Private Theater, the President's Own Marine Band Barracks, Nokia's NOVO Theatre, Heidelberg Castle, Brevard Center for the Arts, the Music Scoring Stages of 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros., among many others. Maria Newman has been featured in such spotlight one-on-one interviews paired with live concert performances as CBS Sunday Morning, National Public Radio's From the Top with Christopher O'Riley, andNPR's Performance Today. Additionally, her silent film scores are featured regularly on Turner Classics. Named a George Wellington Miles Scholar of Yale University, Newman is an elected member of the American Academic Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda.Maria Newman's original library of compositions have earned her accolades as an Annenberg Foundation Composition Fellow, a Mary Pickford Library Composition Fellow, a Sidney Stern Trust Composition Fellow, and as a Variety Music Legend. Her music is featured frequently on radio and television around the globe, and live-in-concert at numerous music festivals, chamber music series, and film festivals. Maria Newman is Composer-in-Residence with the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra, SPaCE Salon Concerts Los Angeles, and the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra. Fanfare Magazine has lauded Newman's compositions, hailing, “This is real genius.” She has been celebrated by NPR's on-air icon of musical opinion, Jim Svejda, (Author and Host of The Record Shelf Guide to the Classical Repertoire) as, “Hugely musical, bewitching, witty, profound and playful, with an instantly recognizable and unusually appealing musical personality, Maria Newman is one of the most charming and distinctive composers of her generation.” In the international spotlight, Maria Newman is the acclaimed viola soloist in Miklos Rozsa's Viola Concerto with the Nuremburg Symphony (Germany) on the GRAMMY Award-winning Symphonic Hollywood CD (Varese Sarabande label). She also appeared as the physical animation inspiration and violin soloist for the character of “The Grasshopper” in the 1996 Walt Disney release of Tim Burton's, James and the Giant Peach.Maria Newman is the youngest of 9-time Academy Award-winning composer Alfred Newman's seven children. She is the sister of film composers/conductors Thomas Newman and David Newman, and the cousin of Randy Newman. Maria Newman's recording studio is based in Malibu, California, designed by architect, Eric Lloyd Wright. Newman is married to American conductor and violist, Scott Hosfeld.
How do you navigate a career in Hollywood from actor to writer to producer and even director? Leslie sits down with James Michael Cummings and talks about setting up a great team, finding funding, location scouting, casting, expanding your role, finding the right projects and much more. From City on a Hill to casting Jamie Fox, this is an amazing episode with valuable stories and advice.
Ko Mori produces anime and live action by telling stories that show his Japanese culture and nobody does it better. In this episode, Leslie and Ko discuss new projects and creative partners, hybrid festivals, distribution and much more...
At a time when women were rarely in positions of power on a set, Mary Elcan was an Assistant Director on iconic shows like Hill Street Blues, Six Feet Under, Picket Fences and many, many more. In this episode, Leslie and Mary break down her career and the job of an assistant director on set.
Bring your notebooks, today Leslie gives a class on all the different ways to get financing for your independent film and also how to avoid getting screwed in the process. She discusses things like Gap financing, bridge financing, equity investing with private money, different loans, how and why to choose a sales agent, how to get distribution, resale agreements and much more. This is a MUST LISTEN!
In this episode Leslie talks with film producer Lisa Freberg about her move from studio films to Independent Producer and they get really specific about mentorship and how to put together funding for your Indie film. This is a great one!About LisaCEO / Founder / ProducerLisa J Freberg is the co-founder of One Good Man Productions, based in Los Angeles, CA. She is a former Dreamworks executive, having overseen development and production of branded content for franchises including How To Train Your Dragon, Guardians, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek Franchise, and Trolls. She also produced Penguins of Madagascar Got Your 6 - a short featuring FLOTUS Michelle Obama
The TV & Film Industry is changing. Streamers filled a need during the pandemic, but theatrical releases are still an important aspect of the industry. On thing is for sure, the industry is adapting and it's changing the way filmmakers find funding and create their art. In this episode, Leslie talks with Valerie McCaffrey who has had a long and successful career as a Casting Director and now is finding success as a producer/writer/director.
Independent film is evolving and today Leslie speaks with two cutting edge filmmakers Tyler Rugh and Fernando Andres the writer/directors of "Three Headed Beast" to discuss the process of creating new art and how to effectively get it into the film festivals.
Sam Fox is a unique Director that is making her mark in Hollywood. Leslie sat down with Sam to discuss the techniques, inspiration and secrets behind her highly stylized films.More About SamBorn on a secluded animal farm at the top of Malibu's infamous Mulholland Highway and now based in Venice Beach, Sam blends highly stylized imagery, music, and psychedelia with horror and genre cinema via her production company Foxy Films (WOWZERS, UNAGI). Inspired by a clothing collection from indie fashion label Animal Crackers Clothing, for whom she often collaborates, Sam wrote and directed BAD ACID in 2021 featuring Bonavega, Number One Pop Star and DJ Harvey.Sam also produces with the Greatgrandma Film Collective, namely as executive producer along with Desiree Staples on Heidi Weitzer's female ensemble comedy feature MY DIVORCE PARTY coming 2022 (ft. Rumer Willis), and as producer on Britt Lower's CIRCUS PERSON, which screened at Tribeca Film Festival, won Best of Festival at Catalyst 2021, the Audience Award at Nashville Film Festival and which FX Productions' Diversity Hire, Ltd. is currently developing into a half hour TV series. Sam is also developing her mother's journey through addiction memoir BLOOD IS THICKER THAN VODKA into a mini series about alcoholism and family dysfunction, as well as Alex Knell'shorror fantasy project, MALOCCHIO, about body dysmorphia. Sam freelances as a commercial producer for J. Crew and spends her free time surfing, sailing and disco dancing.
Today Leslie has a fascinating conversation with Documentary Filmmaker Cevin Soling about what it's like to investigate ancient tribes that still exist. How do you put together a compelling film when you have no idea what you will find? Do you go in with a planned story or agenda? Cevin addresses this and much more in this informative episode of Best in Fest.More About CevinCevin Soling, president of Spectacle Films and Xemu Records, works aswriter, director, producer, artist, and academic. Soling directed and produced, THE WAR ON KIDS, winner of the best educational documentary award at the New York Independent Film and VideoFestival. The film demonstrates how American public schools have becomemodeled after prisons in response to fear and a burgeoning intolerance of youth.The film ran at the Quad Cinema in New York City and screened at HarvardUniversity as well as other major universities. It has received accolades fromThe New York Times, Variety, and The Huffington Post. Soling was a gueston numerous radio shows including The Lionel Show on Air America, TheJoey Reynolds Show on WOR, and The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. Inaddition, the film was featured on national television along with an interview onThe Dr. Nancy Show on MSNBC, as well as on RT Television, and Soling wasthe featured guest on The Colbert Report. The film has been broadcastinternationally on The Sundance Channel and aired domestically on TheDocumentary Channel.Soling also produced and directed IKLAND, a film about a tribe in NorthernUganda that had been described as the most despicable people on the planet bythe anthropologist who studied them over forty years ago. IKLAND won theaward for Best Documentary content at the Boston International Film Festivaland was released theatrically in June of 2012 where it received enthusiasticreviews from The New York Times, Discovery Magazine, and from severalsyndicated critics.Soling wrote, directed, and produced the feature film, THE WAR ON THE WARON DRUGS, winner of the best experimental feature film award at the New YorkIndependent Film and Video Festival, the Stoney Award for best documentaryfrom High Times, as well as the “Clear Creek” Honorable Mention Award at theWinslow International Film Festival.The New York Times proclaimed in a rave review that THE WAR ON THE WARON DRUGS "...a lively and well-executed satire that sweetens its occasionaltruths with rebellious humor..." The film was acquired for DVD distributionworldwide through Time Warner by The Disinformation Company.
Want to understand what it takes to understand the film industry? Listen to this episode! A distributor and a lawyer get together to create an independent film production company. Leslie talks with Jonathan Hlibka and Ryan Keller about the transition into production and the high-wire act it takes to get a film made.Jonathan Hibka & Ryan KellerSeeing the world change so quickly on 911, I took a step back and focused ondeveloping music and writing for film. Around that time is actually when I met Ryan Keller. Ihad seen how hard it was to get projects made so I quite literally jumped into producing musicvideos, short films and selling clients commercials - while working full time. Quite literallygrinding every day. When we originally conceived of what is now Other Animal, Ryan and Ihad been reading reams scripts. We were both looking for a raw story that we could get madeon a slim budget, in the hope that it could attract exceptional talent to support our vision.Somewhere in the first 6 months, after countless scripts read and forgotten, I was on aMegabus to Montreal going to get a smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's. Laptop open andphone in hand, Ryan calls me and says “you need to read this script.” It was a draft of whatwould become our first feature, Poor Agnes. The lead character Agnes, that Lora Burke wenton to play, tore her way through the pages with no mercy or remorse. I think I called him back in like 20 min of reading it and saying, ‘Fuck, I'll put the money up, let's get this made.”I pulled the financing for the film from the commissions I'd retained in my indiedistribution company. I was selling indies to TV, VOD, and Theatrical, which in Canada meansbegging 3 broadcasters to ‘just watch it' and traveling from cinema to cinema convincing thereluctant owners to book amazing films. When we premiered Poor Agnes, I remember distinctly the silences and gasps of the audience. Then the eruption of applause, the audience was completely taken. Going into Happy FKIN Sunshine, we weren't looking to re-create Agnes, our goal was building on our vision. We were seeking out truly raw and authentic talent who could pour them selves into the story.
In a way, this episode is like a do-it-yourself guide to how to launch your career as a filmmaker. Leslie speaks with Brenton Tyner Bryan about putting together funding for independent projects, establishing yourself as a filmmaker, finding the right crew, guerilla-style filming, finding a mentor, asking the right questions and much more. The lesson? Get out there and start, complete, learn the lessons and then do it again. This is a great episode.Brenton Tyner Bryan HOLLYWOOD - MAY 18, 2022 -- Multi-award winning director/actor/writer/choreographerBreton Tyner-Bryan will present the Los Angeles premiere of her short film “Delusione” at the25th Annual Dances With Films Festival, June 9-19, 2022.Starring Breton Tyner-Bryan (Winner World London IFF, Madrid IFF, Barcelona IFF) and EmilyUlrich (Other World), “Delusione” has been on the festival circuit at Paris International ShortFestival, New York International Women Festival, Bucharest Film Awards, Big Apple AGENTSAND MANAGERS Lab, ASVOFF14 Paris, and La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival.Described as “an examination of dissociation, as a means for survival and manipulation,” thepassionate and nuanced film follows the dancers as they explore an empty vintage hotel filledwith memories that probe the depths of their shared past, creating a mirage of illusion. The filmis an ethereal exploration of two characters entering and exiting one another's lives.“Delusione” has screened on the festival circuit including the French Riviera Film Festival May2022, Stockholm Short Film Festival February 2022, Paris Short Film Festival December 2021,Bucharest Film Awards December 2021, New York International Women's Film FestivalDecember 2021, ASVO Film Festival Paris November 2021, Big Apple Film Festival Agentsand Managers Lab November 2021.Additionally, Tyner-Bryan has two other films on the festival circuit this year: INVICTApremiering at La Jolla IFF (nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Fashion Dance, BestScore, Best Cast Ensemble) that will compete at Tokyo Shorts this month, and TIMELESSLOVE that won 22 awards at Vegas Movie Awards including Best Director and Best Editor.
Are you looking for a class in how to write for stage and screen? This is the episode for you. Leslie speaks with writer and educator William Nedved on his life and process for writing and teaching writing.About William:I am a playwright, lyricist and screenwriter engaged with exploring the journeys that define us. I'm the co-founder of The Gift Theatre Company of Chicago, where I have premiered my plays Body + Blood (Jeff Recommended), Northwest Highway (2011 Steinberg American Theater Critics Association nomination), A Young Man in Pieces, and County Fair. I wrote the book and lyrics for Medusa: The Musical, with a score by composer and Project Runway winner Kentaro Kameyama, developed by the Tony Award-winning Deaf West Theatre at The Getty Villa in 2019. Our The Passion of McQueen, an opera based on life, death, and art of fashion visionary Alexander McQueen, played a sold-out concert at Pasadena's Boston Court Theatre in 2019.My play Closet Drama, or The Dick Pic of a Twink was featured in the 2018 LAMBDA Literary Fest in Los Angeles. I wrote and performed in the critically-acclaimed Fact & Fiction for the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival. My short play Kid was awarded “Best Production” at Collaboraction's Sketchbook 2009. All Tomorrow's Parties premiered at the 2002 Los Angeles Short Film Festival. Against the Grain was part of the 1997 Young Playwrights, Inc. Summer Festival. Fate, an original musical, was awarded the inaugural 1997 Leonard Bernstein ‘Learning through the Arts' Interdisciplinary Scholarship through Scholastic, Inc. The journey that defined me was the year I lived in Brazil as a Rotary International high school exchange student.
Caroline Friend is fresh out of film school and already making waves in the industry. In this episode, Leslie and Caroline discuss all things film and festivals. You're gonna love it.About Caroline:Caroline Friend is an award-winning director and writer. Caroline earned her degree in Film Production and History from the University of Southern California. Her latest film, Under Darkness, was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards®, premiered at Telluride Film Festival, and won the Horizon Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Her work has been recognized by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Television Academy, as well as supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Adrienne Shelly Foundation, Panavision, and Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation. She continues to seek meaningful true stories to bring to audiences. TOP FESTIVALS & AWARDS:Student Academy Awards® - Finalist, 2019Telluride Film Festival - Official Selection, 2019Sundance Film Festival - Horizon Award Winner for Directing, 2019Director's Guild of America - Jury Award Winner for Student Film, 2019Television Academy (Emmys) - College Awards - Best Drama Nominee, 2019Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival American Pavilion - Best Student Film, 2020Film Pittsburgh Presents: The Robinson International Short Film Competition - Award Winner 2020
Today, Leslie's guest is acclaimed actor, producer and writer Chris Mulkey! Leslie and Chris cover everything from his original music to Twin Peaks, , Captain Phillips, his most recent project "The World Without You", and how he's managed to have a career of such longevity and prestige. Do NOT miss this one.About Chris MulkeyAward-winning American actor, writer and director, Chris Mulkey has a long and diverse career in film, television and stage. Chris is best known for On the Basis of Sex (2018), Whiplash (2014), Captain Phillips (2013), Twin Peaks (1990), Castle Rock (2018), Broken Trail (2006), Any Day Now (1998) and Boardwalk Empire (2010).Chris grew up in the Midwest, majored in acting at the University of Minnesota and spent four years as a company member of the Children's Theatre of Minneapolis. While in Minnesota, Chris starred in Loose Ends (1975), the Grand Prize winner at the USA film Festival. Chris moved to Hollywood 1975, married actress/artist Karen Landry and they moved to Venice Beach. The couple wrote and starred in Patti Rocks (1988), an independent film that won the Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival. Chris and Karen often worked together in film and on stage in LA, New York, and the Twin Cities.Chris is also a songwriter with original songs featured in films and television and can be seen playing around the country with his band Chris Mulkey and Deluxe.
Co-writing and film-making is a tricky business in Hollywood today which is why Leslie spoke with the team of writer/filmmaker Jacob Withers and writer/director/editor/composer Justin Norman. Jacob has over a decade of writing experience and four years of filmmaking experience. During those four years Jacob has worked on several short films, including seven award-winning shorts: Admission, winner of Best Film at the 48 Hour Film Project Des Moines (2018); Subtext, Runner Up Best Film at the 48 Hour Film Project Des Moines (2019); Cope, Runner Up Best film at the 48 Hour Film Project Kansas City (2019); A Negotiation, winner of Best Director and Best Score at the 48 Hour Film Project Kansas City (2020); Be Happy, winner of Best Film and Best Writing at the 48 Hour Film Project Minneapolis (2021); Flour & Eggs, winner of Best Writing at the 48 Hour Film Project Milwaukee (2021); and Enjoy Your Evening, winner of Best Director at the Great Canadian Comedy Film Festival. He has also co-written five feature screenplays, including Roy of Sealand, which scored in the top 4.8% of entries on The Black List, and TubeLords, which was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Iowa Arts Council. He worked as a director of photography for the Elison music video “Hopes + Horoscopes” and the interactive film-based video game, In Lukewarm Blood. He also has experience as an editor, sound editor (Welcome to a Better You and TubeLords), and sound recordist.Justin is a Des Moines-based award-winning writer, director, videographer, editor, producer, animator, actor, visual effects artist, and music composer with a decade of film experience creating advertisements, narrative short films, television pilots, and documentaries. As an editor, he has won seven Best Editing awards in competitions across four states in three different genres: comedy, drama, and documentary. As a director and producer, he has helmed over 60 short films, a feature documentary, and a comedy TV pilot. In 2020, he won a Greenlight Grant from the Iowa Arts Council, won the 2021 Best Director award from the Great Canadian Comedy Film Festival, and won the 2018 Best Director award from the 48 Hour Film Project.As a videographer, he has shot footage for more than 70 productions, including advertisements, documentaries, narratives, and television series, including the 2020 PBS series American Portrait, the award-winning 2019 documentary The Happiness Machine, and the 2021 Frontmen series which aired in the UK.He has written more than 60 produced short films and co-written five feature screenplays and two television pilots. His 2020 dramedy, Roy of Sealand, was ranked in the top 4.8% of all scripts on The Black List, and was featured as one of the top 10 scripts of the week.
Leslie talks with her guest Ana Tuazon Parsons about moving with her single mom from the Philippines all the way to Hollywood. Ana has appeared in projects such as Adam Ruins Everything, Dexter, Sherlock Holmes, the Asian That Didn't etc..., but may be best known as a theatre actor and stage comedian. Ana also discusses her writing background and storytelling style which has taken her on many incredible journeys and opened up all sorts of opportunities.
Today Leslie speaks with Actress and Acting Coach Kadina De Elejalde about how to transform and live inside a character. Next they discuss auditioning for major roles vs. supporting roles, auditioning with self tapes, the intimacy of film, casting during Covid, Kadina's specific coaching process. If you're an actor then this is your episode.
Joanna Mae Park is a much sought-after costume designer. Her love of storytelling, character and genuine passion for clothing as a form of expression led her to a career as a costume designer. Joanna's designs are about the human condition, self-expression and the worlds in which a character lives. A keen observer with a very detailed eye for colour and tone, clothing has become her language in which she tells these stories.Most recently Joanna designed PIECES OF HER, the upcoming television adaptation of Katherine Slaughter's novel of the same name, directed by Minkie Spiro for Made Up Stories and Netflix, and starring Toni Collette and Jessica Barden. Joanna also designed Glendyn Ivin's feature film PENGUIN BLOOM for Made Up Stories, starring Naomi Watts, Jackie Weaver and Andrew Lincoln, the film premiered at the 2020 Toronto Film Festival. For her next project Joanna will collaborate again with Ivin and Made Up Stories on the television adaption of Holly Ringland's novel THE LOST FLOWERS OF ALICE HART for Amazon, starring Sigourney Weaver.Joanna's other film credits include PALM BEACH for director Rachel Ward, which opened the 2019 Sydney Film Festival; the critically acclaimed film FELONY for Goalpost Pictures, directed by Matthew Saville, which screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival; ADORATION, directed by Anne Fontaine and produced by Hopscotch Features, starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, which screened at Sundance in 2013; WISH YOU WERE HERE, directed by. Kieran Darcy Smith for Aquarius Films, starring Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer, which opened the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Film; and AFI nominated THE TREE, directed by Julie Bertuccelli for L'Arbre Films, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, which premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.Joanna's other television credits include the children's series THE UNLISTED, for Aquarius Films and Netflix; and the 2013 NBC/Universal series CAMP produced by Matchbox Pictures.
Are you looking to build a career as a film editor? Maybe you just want to learn a few new tricks of the trade. Well, today Leslie sits down with film editor Matthew C. Hall to talk about everything from how to be a true partner with your director to how to break into the business. Don't miss this jam packed episode.More About Matthew:Matthew Hart is a British/American feature film editor living in New York.He has worked across genres on intense character studies, comedies, revenge thrillers, non-binary sexual awakenings and cerebral horror,and his films have screened at festivals including Sundance, Cannes, Toronto and Berlin.He also edits documentaries, most recently working with director Andrew Dominik and cinematographer Robbie Ryan on the Nick Cave/Warren Ellis performance film, “This Much I Know to be True"
So, how do you get your short film nominated for an Oscar? Well, you're in the right place. In this episode Leslie talks with Polish filmmakers Monika Ossowska and Tadeusz Lysiak about their Oscar nominated short film "The Dress", the requirements to get nominated, the event and much more. Tadeusz Łysiak – born in 1993, graduate of Cultural Studies at the University of Warsaw, student of Directing at the Warsaw Film School. Creator of two award-winning short films in Poland and abroad: "Techno" (starring Leszek Abrahamowicz, Danuta Stenka, Michalina Olszańska) and "The Dress" (Anna Dzieduszycka, Dorota Pomykała, Szymon Piotr Warszawski). For the latter he's been nominated for an Oscar in Live Action Short category. Participant of the prestigious program FUTURE FRAMES – Generation NEXT of European Cinema within Eastern Promises at the Karlovy Vary Festival. Winner of the "Discovering Eye" award for young talented filmmaker at the Polish Film Festival in Chicago.Monika Ossowska - born in 1997, a graduate of the Film Art Organization at the Łódź Film School. Executive producer and production manager of the short film "The Dress" awarded at the Atlanta Film Festival, In the Palace, Rhode Island and Oscar nominated for Best Live Action Short. Recently, she worked on Agnieszka Smoczyńska's English-language debut, "Silent Twins" in a Polish-British co-production, distributed by Focus Features. At the moment she focused on the international series production for the streaming platform.
It's impossible to overstate how important a role audio plays in the film viewing experience. While it's perfectly natural to be drawn to the visual side of filmmaking, those striking visuals don't hold the same weight without strong cinematic sound design to back them up. Whereas a painting is purely visual and a song can be purely aural, cinema combines sight and sound for a unified experience where one bolsters and elevates the other. In this episode Leslie talks to Craig Nimens, the Vice President of Sound Dogs.com, Inc. a commercial online library of sound effects based in Marina Del Rey, California, with offices in Canada, Argentina, and Uruguay. It is the first and largest online sound effects and production music library on the Internet launched in May 1997.
How do you get a film on Netflix and what the hell do you do when you get there? In this episode Leslie dives into industry secrets with young filmmaker, Dan Abramovici, who has worked his way in and realized there's way more to it than just that.Dan Abramovici is an actor, writer, and director. He was one of only 8 actors selected for Canada's prestigious CFC Actors Conservatory program in 2016 and is known for his TV work on shows like The Detail, Man Seeking Woman, and Murdoch Mysteries. After writing, producing, and starring in a series of short films, he graduated to writing/producing features with Ben's At Home for Netflix. The movie picked up numerous awards, including Best Feature at the Canadian Film Festival, a Canadian Comedy Award, Audience Choice at the Gasparilla international Film Festival, and Abramovici picked up Best Actor at the IndieFest Film Awards and Rincon International Film Festival. Ben's At Home is now available on Netflix. His shorts include "Liminal" and "Play it Again" and the upcoming "Spaceman."
Dave Asling is Creative Director and Owner at Creation Consultants Inc, a visual effects company specializing in the creation of miniature effects and specialty props for film, episodic television and commercial advertising. Backed by over 30 years experience in the industry, Dave continues to explore film and television projects that will challenge and entertain both himself and the audience.Specialties: Miniature effects and props design, engineering and fabrication, on-set vfx supervision, miniature effects unit film production.
In this episode, Leslie speaks with Author/Director/Educator John Swanbeck about his profound acting techniques laid out in his book " How To Steal The Scene & End Up Playing The Lead". This is truly the last book you will ever need on acting. John also gives some helpful tips on how to work with actors as a director. Do NOT miss this episode. More About John:John Swanbeck is an author, columnist, speaker, creator and publisher of CleverActorTips, Chief Creative Officer of BlueSwanFilms, and Producing Director of The Character Factory. He is a renowned director and teacher of actors, directed the existential comedy The Big Kahuna, and is currently writing a series of books for actors and directors on unique and innovative ways to creating cinematic film performances. The first in the series “How To Steal The Scene & End Up Playing The Lead” is available on Amazon & iTunes. The second in the series “How To Direct Actors Like A Pro & Look Like A Genius Doing It” will be released in the fall of 2019. John's YouTube channel is “Get Cinematic with John Swanbeck”, and he is preparing for the first annual multi-city “Get Cinematic with John Swanbeck Tour” launching summer 2019.
In this episode, Leslie talks with hybrid filmmaker (writer, director, producer, securing distribution, etc.) Sean Michael Beyer about Sean's personal evolution within the film industry. how he approaches writing a new film, what inspired him to film “Randy's Canvas,” a positive story about a kid with autism, his comedy podcast, “National Day Riff,” and how it was created.Sean also shares a few pieces of advice and a ‘dirty little secret' for new filmmakers just starting out. Sean Michael Beyer social media:Facebook & Instagram: @ SeanMichaelBeyerPodcast: @ NationalDayRiffMore About Sean:A JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES, MASTER OF MOST, Beyer has worn many hats throughout his career: filmmaker, producer, writer, editor, graphic artist and even actor & musician. His unique blend of talents are an integral part to any production. Currently in the final stages of post production Beyer co-wrote and directed the action-adventure self-ware romantic-comedy, Poor Paul; inspired by the 2008-09 web series of the same name that he co-created and produced. Rhode Island served as the worldly locations for this fun romp. It follows Paul (Adam Carbone), an eccentric college student who lives vicariously through his hero fantasies, as he inherits a great deal of money (and frequent flyer miles) and takes his best friends/roommates Jason (Abhi Sinha) and Clyde (Nick Pasqual) on a trip around the world, only to be held hostage by a delusional Italian man, hell bent on Paul marrying his daughter – or else! Supporting cast includes veteran character actor, Richard Riehle (Office Space, Casino) reprising his role as the lovable curmudgeon Grandpa Paul. Also shot in Rhode Island, Beyer co-wrote and directed the award-winning Randy's Canvas, a touching romantic drama about an aspiring artist with autism who falls in love for the first time. Starring Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween, The Runaways), Kevin G. Schmidt (Cheaper by the Dozen, Butterfly Effect) and Richard Riehle as Randy's art professor, Randy's Canvas was honored with Best Director at the 2018 Glendale International Film festival and Best Actor & Best Picture awards at the 2018 AutFest International Film Festival, presented by the late Ed Asner. In the summer of 2017, he made his way to South Carolina to direct and co-write the dance-centric Another Tango starring Brant Daugherty (Fifty Shades Freed, Days of Our Lives) for Hallmark and MarVista entertainment, currently in release. 2005 marked his feature film writing & directorial debut, with the intense drama, Down the P.C.H. starring Lin Shaye (Insidious, There's Something About Mary, Detroit Rock City), Guillermo Diaz (Scandal, Weeds, Half Baked) and Elaine Hendrix (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, The Parent Trap, Joan of Arcadia) who won Best Actress at the 2007 Baja California International Film Festival and picked up worldwide distribution, all while being made for a mere $40,000! His second film, Resurrection Mary starring Golden Globe-Winner Sally Kirkland, is based upon the famous Chicago Urban Legend, and is also available worldwide.Beyer most recently created and hosts the sketch-comedy podcast, National Day Riff which is available Apple Podcasts and numerous other podcast platforms.IN DEVELOPMENT: Rocky & JamesInspire by Romeo & Juliet, Rocky & James is a contemporary-language, action-packed, romantic drama that follows two teen boys who fall in love under extraordinary circumstances.
Kevin James Barry is a Los Angeles based screenwriter and director. Originally interested in painting, he attended art school during both his high school and college years and continues to bring his highly focused artistic eye to filmmaking. His feature films “Serena and the RATTS”, “Among Them”and "Gridlocked" were all acquired for DVD/VOD distribution in North America and several foreign territories.In this episode, Leslie talks with Kevin about film festivals and How he got his Independent feature distributed. Don't miss it!
Leslie and her guest Gloria Gifford discuss her dynamic career as a woman of color including all of the hard earned lessons she learned working on Broadway and in Hollywood.Gloria Gifford taught at the American Film Institute for six years in the Masters' Program. She taught Directors, Writers and Producers and among her successful AFI students: Patty Jenkins (Monster (2003), Brian Dannelly (Saved! (2004), Weeds (2005).In 2007, Gloria opened the prestigious Actors Academy Milano in Milan, Italy, where she taught Italian actors and actresses and International Models - male and female in intensive acting programs. The Academy's president is Edoardo Costa, her former student at the BHP and now starring with Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard (2007).She is the Founder of the Rebel Planet Short Film Festival of Hollywood, rebelplanet.com, which just had the its very successful second year festival in North Hollywood, California in April 2007.She starred in a production of the play, "My Cup Ranneth Over" (written by award-winning playwright, Robert Patrick) in London, England to brilliant reviews in 1978. It was a lunchtime production in the West End for Producer Ed Berman and then she recreated her role for PBS in Minneapolis, filmed at the Guthrie. After singing at clubs, on national television, directed by Ralph Waite on "The Mississippi" (1983), and for the Kennedys and, after many years of film and television roles, she got a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1996. Sr. VP of Warner Bros. Records, Carl Scott, discovered Gloria's singing when he heard her doing a song in her acting class. She is a bluesy torch singer and continues to sing at clubs in Los Angeles and in New York.
Jacob Rachinski is a 1st AD, line Producer and now a Covid-19 Compliance officer with a ton of on set experience. If you are a new filmmaker and you want to cut out about a billion potential mistakes you will probably make early on in your career, then you want to listen to this episode. http://www.lafemme.org
In this information packed episode Leslie speaks with Sales Agent Jenny Hayden about the best ways to get the industry interested in your independent film. This is straight from an industry professional who has been in this world her entire career. You don't want to miss her advice. More about Jenny:Jenny Hayden has over twenty years of experience in the acquisition and distribution of award-winning television programs, films, and home video / DVD releases across all platforms in the US and globally. She's built a library from a catalog of 25 hours to a catalog of 2000 hours with sales in over 180 countries selling to name-brand networks including the BBC, Ch4 UK, ITV UK, S4C (Wales), TV2 Denmark, Viasat, Discovery US, Discovery International, France 5, Halogen TV, Outside Television, Scripps Networks, Globosat Brazil, Prisa TV Spain, RAISAT Italy, TVB Hong Kong, Living Channel New Zealand, Fox Australia's Lifestyle Network, Voice of America and more. Today she is focusing her efforts in working as a consultant and marketing/ sales agent representing filmmakers and television producers, while also developing her own original concepts. You will see Jenny's most recent consulting work on the big screen beginning on February 15th where she was a producer on the theatrical release of the Oscar-Nominated Short Documentaries.
How do you write a great script that integrates well and allows the audience to accept the unacceptable? In this episode, Leslie has on Screenwriter James Napoli to break down his writing process Step by Step. If you're a writer or wanna be writer than you can't miss this episode of Best in Fest!More About James NapoliJames has a master's in film from the London Film School. He began his career on a one-year temp assignment re-cataloguing the coverage library of the Walt Disney Studios, and there learned how to do coverage from some of the most accomplished union script readers in Hollywood. For over twenty years, he has been providing coverage to agencies, production companies and private clients in Los Angeles.In the early 2000s, James followed around his two award-winning short films as writer-director on the festival circuit. He went on to be the Head Writer for the XM/Sirius program “New Frequency,” a live radio theater show which culminated its four-year run at the Roxy Theater on the Sunset Strip. James wrote nearly one hundred original short radio plays for the project. At the same time, he created original drive-time content, including a long-running rock and roll parody series, for the nation's largest syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks. He is the author of the humor best-seller “The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm,” and recently devised and co-hosted a comedy podcast called “Movies Not Movies.” His new serialized detective story “Plea from a Dead Silhouette” is set in 1988 Boston and features private eye Maggie Dunne. James has optioned several screenplays and is currently shopping an original dramatic pilot with his producing partner. He has completed two new screenplays, an environmental crime thriller and an independent oddball romance.
Producer/Actor Suzanne Johnson talks about her film "The World Without You" with Leslie in this episode of Best in Fest. The conversation quickly goes to how an Independent can further his or her career and Suzanne gave nuggets of gold. Build the right team and spend what you must to get them was the advice, because your film and career will depend on it. Suzanne gives anecdotes about her casting director Valerie McCaffrey and publicist Deborah Gilels and much more.
In this episode Leslie speaks with multi award winning screenwriter Ben Sztajnkrycer. Listen in as they unravel the mystery of a great script and how to write one. Don't miss it.BEN SZTAJNKRYCER is an award winning screenwriter who works in both the U.S. and Canadian film industries. His supernatural thriller "Refuge" was shot in 2021, with Renny Harlin (“Cliffhanger”) directing and Yariv Lerner ("Angel Has Fallen"), Gary Lucchesi (“Million Dollar Baby”), Rob Van Norden ("The Protege") and Michael McKay ("Brahms: The Boy II") producing. He recently penned a horror adaptation for producer Jeremy Bolt (“Resident Evil”) and director Sylvain White (“Slender Man”), and is adapting a major videogame for producer J.J. Baronnet (“Assassin's Creed”). Ben is a graduate of UCLA's Screenwriting MFA Program where he won The Screenwriters Showcase Award, the department's highest honor. In addition, he has worked as a creative executive at Walt Disney Feature Animation, and has taught screenwriting since 2009.