This week Alrik and co-host L. Jeffrey Moore talk to Write/Director Hassan Said and stars Briana Walsh and Jordan Potch about the making of their one take feature, This Is Your Song! We sat down with these three filmmakers the day after they wrapped principal photography so get ready for a lively and exciting discussion of how they made this film happen!
Hassan was born in Egypt, moved to New York at 15 and then came to San Francisco for college (Academy of Art). He interned at Goodby Silverstein & Partners where he met Timothy. After graduating college, crewed on some SF based productions like Milk and Trauma before deciding to move to Los Angeles. He moved to LA 5-years ago to pursue his dream. Armed with 10 short films that have played at more than 50 festivals, Hassan still struggles to find producers to help him get his films made. He pays the bills by freelancing as an editor or production coordinator, he’s also an actor and does some photography work.
Meet Co-Host L. Jeffrey Moore
It’s been awhile since we did an episode with Jeff, here’s his solo episode just in case you want to hear more about his background.
This week Liz Manashil and Alrik welcome Florida filmmaker Kevin O’Brien to the show! Kevin’s first feature film ‘At The End of the Day’ was just released on Amazon Video on Demand and iTunes earlier this year. Kevin talks to us about why he decided to make this film, how he got the money raised and the challenges he faced on telling a story about homosexuality and organized religion.
Kevin O’Brien is a self-taught writer/director/producer and quickly became a leading creator of short films for worship communities. He thought the only thing holding him back from fulfilling desire to tell a bigger story (feature film) was a lack of a “feature quality” story. Little did he know the entire process of writing, producing, directing, editing and releasing a feature film was a life-sized experiment in facing your fear. Kevin is 38 and lives in Lakeland, FL with his wife Teresa and three 11 year-old children.
Meet Liz Manashil
Don’t know Liz Manashil? Check out her first solo episode from earlier this year!
This week Alrik welcomes co-host Jake Richardson to the show! Jake is a freelance crew member, writer and filmmaker based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jake and I talk about what it is like to crew up in a smaller market like Tulsa, what kind of jobs he does and the on-going oddessy of making his first feature film, Locards Principal.
Jake began as a fine artist, then moved into graphic design before making the jump to film/tv/ads. Jake has worked on projects of all budget levels from no budget indie shorts to national network TV, working in a variety of crew positions. Now he is in production on his first feature as writer by necessity, producer out of practicality and director out of his passion and lifelong dream to craft films.
If you are a diehard listener of the podcast you may remember him from one of Timothy Plains final episodes, where he went under the name ‘Alan’, here is the link.
This week co-host Alex Kellerman and I welcome feature film editor Lawrence Jordan to talk to us about his career in feature film editing and his process editing Fifty Shades of Black, Naked and the upcoming comedy Sextuplets! We hear about how Lawrence edits comedy in the modern age, in a world where improv is king and you can end up with 100s of hours a footage that edit down to a 90min comedy! That and much more on this weeks MMIH!
Lawrence Jordan, ACE, is a veteran feature film and television editor who has worked with the world’s largest entertainment companies on over 45 feature films and television shows. He recently completed the Netflix feature, Naked starring Marlon Wayans and Regina Hall. His credits include, Assassins (1995), Fallen (1998), Deuce Bigelow Male Gigalo (1999) and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001) to name a few.
Meet Co-Host Alex Kellerman
If you don’t know co-host Alex Kellerman, check out his first episode as co-host here.
This week Alrik and co-host Andrew Schrader welcome director Foster Wilson to the show! Foster is an LA based filmmaker who went from a career in acting to directing and she has directed about five short films since 2015 and her latest two shorts, Made Public and Platypus have just hit online! We talk to Foster about how she got into directing, how she’s gone about making her films and how she manages to raise a family and pursue her directing career at the same time.
Foster is an award-winning director, filmmaker, and Emergence Award Recipient. She earned her BFA at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied for 3 years with the Atlantic Theater Company under the tutelage of David Mamet, Chris Bauer, Scott Zigler, and Mary McCann, among others.
Her sophomore short film, WAFFLES, held its world premiere at the 2017 Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in Toronto. Since then, the film has screened at more than 25 festivals around the world, including Australia, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, India, and Hong Kong; the film has garnered 8 nominations and 4 wins on the festival circuit, including an Audience Award for Best Short Film.
In 2018, Foster wrapped production on the short film MADE PUBLIC, a Emergence Award Recipient for Female Filmmakers, which stars Jeanine Mason (Roswell, New Mexico) and Josh Zuckerman (90210). The film will premiere in March 2019 at Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival in San Jose, California.
Foster gives us a background on her acting and how she made the switch from focusing on acting to directing. Here is her first short film she directed which almost came about by chance.
Working with your Spouse
Foster talks about what it’s like to work with her Husband on projects, since he writes most of her work. How do they collaborate? Is it tough working so closely with your partner on something so creative?
Directing Made Public
Foster talks about making Made Public, how they managed the fundraising for the short, and why it was really important to Foster to make this film.
Foster talks to us about what she’s hoping to achieve in the future and how she sees her directing career going.
This week Alrik and co-host L. Jeffrey Moore welcome writer/director Benjamin Mullholland to the show! Ben is a resident at the San Francisco’s Film Society Film House, in house director at K-Top Television Studio in Oakland and the writer/director of the upcoming feature, The Lake Merritt Monster, which he is currently raising money for the proof of concept short on Kickstarter. Ben talks to us about his experience at Film House, his filmmaking background, writing the Lake Merritt Monster and all the prep he did for his crowdfunding campaign!
Benjamin MulHolland is an Oakland based Writer/Director/Producer, who for 15 years has been turning small budgets into professional motion pictures, most notably, M.O.A.B. and it’s sequel DAISY CUTTER.
His biting action/satire web series PENNIES FOR THE JUGGERNAUT was distributed online domestically and internationally, garnering fans in Europe, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
His films have screened at Cinequest, the Oakland International Film Festival, I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival, the Portland Film Festival, the San Diego Black Film Festival and the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival. Check out the kickstarter for his upcoming project, The Lake Merritt Monster!
Meet Co-Host L. Jeffrey Moore
If you don’t know co-host L. Jeffrey Moore, check out his solo episode!
This week Alrik and co-host Liz Anderson sit down with writer/director Rob Smat to talk about his new film, The Last Whistle! Rob is a graduate of USC and he talks through the making of his first feature, why he made a football movie and how he made it for $100k!
Born in Texas and resident to Los Angeles, Rob is director of more than fifty shorts, music videos, and commercials. His feature film debut, The Last Whistle, will debut mid-2019, after a successful festival run. He shot the film with college collaborators in his hometown, and the film is targeted to Friday Night Lights fans.
Rob has been awarded as a finalist for the Blacklist’s Collyer grant, a finalist for BET’s Project CRE8, and a semi-finalist for Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel Without a Crew series.
He is a graduate of the directing and screenwriting programs at the University of Southern California.
Meet Co-Host Liz Anderson
If you don’t know co-host Liz Anderson, check out her solo episode at the link below!
This week Alrik and co-host Isaac Pingree sit down with writer director Andrew Stephen Lee to talk about his experience as a graduate of the Columbia Film program and the making/release of his latest short film, Manila is Full of Men Named Boy which played at all the best film festivals including SXSW, Venice and Busan, among others! Stephen talks about his experience at Columbia, why he made Men Named Boy and how life as a graduate of a fancy film program is going.
Stephen is a Filipino-American Director and Writer based in New York City. For three years he worked closely with Magnum photographer Jim Goldberg before becoming an MFA Candidate at Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program. His thesis from Columbia University, Manila is Full of Men Named Boy, premiered in competition at the 75th Venice Film Festival and continued on to the 28th Busan International Film Festival, 41st Festival du Court Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand, and the 32nd SXSW.
Stephen also worked at Studio B films in Berkeley back before Columbia where he met Alrik and Isaac and ended up working with them on some corporate video shoots back in the day as well!
Meet Co-Host Isaac Pingree
If you don’t know co-host Isaac Pingree, check out his solo episode at the link below!
Life Post Columbia Film School
Isaac and Alrik jump in with questions about life after graduating from Columbia’s directing program.
Making Films while at Columbia
Stephen talks about his time at Columbia and all the short films he made while he was there. Here is the trailer for his film TOUCH which played it’s fair share of fancy film festivals back in 2015/2016.
Making Manila is Full of Men Named Boy
Stephen talks to us about where Manila is Full of Men Named Boy came from and what it was like to shoot a film in the Philippines. Were there specific challenges he faced by being out of the US or was it way easier to make a film in a different country?
What is it like to Play at all the Best Festivals?
Stephen talks about his glorious film festival run for Manila is Full of Men Named Boy and what it was like to play some of the most famous film festivals in the world. What came of playing those film festivals, what was that like?
More Filmmaking Career Post Columbia
We come full circle and ask more questions about his life after graduating, has Columbia helped him find work? How important was Columbia in helping him become the filmmaker he is today?
What Does the Future Hold?
Stephen talks about his future plans and where he see’s his career going in the next few years.
Where to Find Stephen’s Work
Stephen doesn’t have any form of social media so if you want to get in contact with him, drop him a line through his email, which is listed on his website!
Special Thanks to Isaac Pingree for Editing this Episode!
I don’t usually call out the co-hosts for editing episodes but maybe I should from now on, right? So thanks Isaac and you should all check out Isaac’s documentary about working musician Fred Eaglesmith on Amazon!
We Have A Patreon Page!
That’s right, Making Movies is HARD is now on Patreon! Check out our page and if you dig the show support us to keep this thing alive!
This week Alrik and co-host Colin Levy sit down with writer director Searit Huluf and Producer Tiajha Nakahara to talk about the making of their upcoming short film, Gamers. Searit works as a production coordinator at Pixar full time and Tiajha works at Masterclass as a coordinator full time so they talk to us about how they pulled off this short while at their full time gigs. We also hear about how they met, started collaborating together and what it was like making a movie about women gamers, by women and why that is more important now than ever.
Searit Huluf was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She studied at UCLA’s Theater, Film and Television school, concentrating in screenwriting and animation. Searit’s stop-motion work includes short film, Retrospect, which won Best Drama at Campus Movie Festival in 2013 and Air Shot, a finalist for Campus Movie Festival in 2014. After graduating, Searit moved to the Bay Area and began working as a Production Intern at Pixar Animation Studios. She was hired full time in 2015 and was the Production Coordinator for the Art and FX department on Incredibles 2. In 2018, she directed a late night show called Talk of the Town and fundraised over $3000 for the Oakland A’s Foundation.
For the 2nd year in the row, Searit has participated in leading the Disney Pride Parade in San Francisco by being “fabulous background dancer #3”.
During her spare time, Searit watches endless hours of anime, is a major a foodie and coffee addict, and enjoys solo traveling. Searit currently lives in Oakland, CA.
Meet Tiajha Nakahara!
Tiajha Nakahara was born and raised in Okinawa, Japan, and studied at UCLA for Design Media Arts and Film. She got a taste of video editing for the Creative Content team at Pixar Animation Studios and now proudly works as post production coordinator at MasterClass – creating online courses taught by the greatest masters in the world. Her previous work includes All Men Are Flowers, official selection most notably at 2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, The Caterpillar Trail, winner of Best Drama Short at 2016 North Hollywood CineFest, and Love Light, winner of Best Cinematography at 2014 Campus Movie Fest, and official selection at 2014 Cannes Short Film Corner.
Her latest favorite pastime includes watching Netflix’s “Terrace House”, drinking boba and coffee, and watching cute animal videos that her husband picks out for her.
Searit and Tiajha talk about making their short film Gamers!
How Searit and Tiajha Started Collaborating
Searit and Tiajha talk about how they met, started working together and how they work together.
Working at Pixar
Searit talks a little bit about her experience working at Pixar and how she juggles her filmmaking life with her work at Pixar.
Working at Masterclass
Tiajha talks about working at Masterclass and how she prefers working a day job to being a freelancer but how she wishes she had more time to make films!
Why they made Gamers
Searit and Tiajha talk about why they decided to make Gamers and why this film is so important to them. Why did this story have to be told and where did it come from?
See Gamers! at Frameline 43!
Gamers! has found a ton of success on the festival circuit and it’s about to play Framline 43 in San Francisco this next week! Go see the film in person this Friday June 21st at 7pm at the Roxie Theater in SF or next Wednesday June 26th at the Shattuck Theater in Berkeley!
This week Alrik and co-host Colin Levy sit down with animator, pre-viz artist and filmmaker, Michael Cawood! Michael has done pre-viz work for some of the biggest Hollywood films and his last short film, Devils, Angels and Dating has over 16 million hits online! Michael breaks down how pre-viz is done on big budget features, gives us a breakdown of his work on a famous scene and talks us through his life as an animated short filmmaker!
Michael Cawood, has been creating animated films since 1994. He’s a multi-award winning British Animation Director based out of Los Angeles with credits in Film, Commercials and Games working with clients at Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Microsoft, Activision, Nintendo, Sega and Konami.
Michael has a broad skillset including screenwriting, storyboarding, previs, layout, pipeline development, rigging, editing, design and filmmaking. He has a unique strength in directing web based teams as showcased in his ‘Orson Welles Award’ winning short film, ‘Devils Angels & Dating’, which has attracted millions of views online. His work in short films has won him numerous ‘Best Short Film’ and ‘Best Animation’ awards.
Michael is currently directing an international team of artists on the short film, ‘The Wrong Rock’.
Starting in Video Games
Michael talks to us about how he got started in animation and his early work with various video game companies.
The World of Feature Film Pre-Viz
Michael gives us an in depth breakdown of how pre-viz works in live action feature films and Colin gives some context based on his experience working as a layout artist at Pixar.
Breaking Down the Tower Jump from FF7!
Michael breaks down the famous action sequence from Fast and the Furious 7 where they jump a car from one sky scraper to another in Dubai and how his work helped to shape the final sequence.
Animated Short Films
Michael talks us through his animated filmmaking background, talking about how he got started animating short films years and years ago and how his work has evolved over the years. We go into detail on his most well known short, Devils Angels and Dating and how he was able to rack up over 16 million hits on one single short film!
The Wrong Rock!
Michael talks us through his latest project, The Wrong Rock, which is currently doing it’s festival run.