Join us for this inspiring conversation with Gordy Hoffman about how screenplay competitions work and why you should never give up. If you want to make films, Gordy says don’t wait, “do your dream today!”
Gordy started the BlueCat Screenplay Competition 20 years ago, but that’s not the whole story. Gordy himself is a screenwriter and his career started in 2002 with a film called “Love Liza” that starred his younger brother Philip Seymour Hoffman. Love Liza played Sundance in 2002 and won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.
Since then, Gordy has ventured into directing, most recently with a short film Dog Bowl (Available to watch on Amazon Prime) which played at 2015 Sundance and that led to a gig at Annapurna. Gordy also teaches screenwriting at USC.
Does Gordy worry that a good script might slip through the cracks?
What are some reasons you should enter screenwriting competitions?
They give writers deadlines, which is always a good thing
They give writers validation that they are on the right track
They can further your career
But mostly they can give you inspiration and a reason to keep going
How Gordy Became a Screenwriter and Director
Gordy recaps his career from Love Liza to his current short. In looking at Gordy’s career, he’s found a way to keep going, but at 53, does he ever think about quitting? When is it too late to pursue your dreams?
We dive deep into the despair every writer feels and why it’s important to push through it. Screenwriting is a solo venture and there are some traps we can all fall into, Gordy has some advice on how to avoid them.
Some Questions We Ask Gordy
How did you get started as a writer?
After “Love Liza” came out, to it make it easier to get work as a writer?
There’s a big gap on your IMDB page, what were you doing between your films?
For your second film, Dog Bowl, how did you make the leap from writing to writing and directing?
What challenges have you been facing as a writer/director?
February 20th is the final deadline to enter your screenplay and short films to the BlueCat Screenplay Competition The BlueCat Website is also a place to contact Gordy if you want to reach out to him.
Also, check out his films. Here are links to Love Liza and Dog Bowl.
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This week we have commercial director Paul Schneider on the show to talk about making a living as a director, making the transition from commercials to narrative and how he casted two known actors in his short film, Fifty Minutes.
Paul is the director of film and television and can usually be found working in LA… and sometimes the world.
He got his start working in Chicago and now lives in Los Angeles, directing commercials all over the country.
Having directed commercials for over 12 years, Paul is now moving into narrative film and television directing and his short film Fifty Minutes, starring Stephen Tobolowsky and DJ Qualls is his first entry into that world.
Paul talks to us about his commercial career, how he got started and what kind of work he does.
How Paul was able to evolve as a director.
Spec commercials, what’s your approach?
Making the transition from commercials to narrative work.
Paul’s Spec, Breath
Paul talks about how Fifty Minutes came about, his approach and how he got these two big actors to be in a no budget short film.
Finding the story of Fifty Minutes.
How Paul got Stephen Tobolowsky to sign onto the film.
How Paul then was able to get DJ Qualls attached.
What has happened since the short has been made and released?
If you want all the nitty gritty on the making of Fifty Minutes, directors notes did a really nice write up on the movie, check it out at this link!
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We talk to more past guests this week about what they’ve been up to since we last talked. This week we chat with Andrew Schrader, Arielle Zakowski and Evan Kidd. This is an extra long one to keep you company during your travels. Happy New Year everyone!
If you stopped believing in the indie filmmaking dream, listen to this episode because it still does happen. Jason Headley is an indie filmmaking success! Not only did his short receive over 15 million views, he also has a career directing commercials and writing for Pixar. And now Jason’s debut feature film “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong” is being released on VOD and in theaters on December 1st. Go watch it now!
Jason Headley’s feature film, “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong,” won a Special Jury Prize at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award at the deadCenter Film Festival. Called “a talent to watch” by the Hollywood Reporter, Jason is currently writing an upcoming feature film for Pixar Animation Studios. His short films—including the viral videos “It’s Not About the Nail” and “F*ck That: An Honest Meditation”—have been featured at Banksy’s Dismaland, NBC’s TODAY Show, SundanceTV, the TED Conference, Vimeo Staff Picks, and film festivals far and wide. Jason has been a part of the IFP Narrative Labs, IFP Emerging Storytellers, and SFFILM FilmHouse. He’s also been commissioned by Heineken, Sony, and Chrysler to write, direct, and produce original short films. Fun fact: Jason is more handsome in real life than he is on camera, but he’s still not actually handsome.
By all definitions, Jason Headly is an indie film success. Follow along as we learn how he went from a copywriter to a feature filmmaker.
Questions for Jason:
Where do you live now Jason?
How do you make financially support yourself?
It looks like you started making shorts in 2008. Tell us about making shorts. Why did you make them?
How did your shoots get so many views? Did you know that was going to happen?
This week we have an episode without a guest and catch up on what we’ve been up to and I give Timothy a breakdown of my preparation for my first year at AFM. We also read some iTunes reviews and hint at what we’ve got planned for next week.
Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution team works with filmmakers to get their film seen in new and interesting ways. This episode is full of tips and advice from Liz Manashil and Jess Fuselier on finding your audience. If you have a feature film, apply for FREE to the Sundance Creative Distribution Fellowship for your chance at a $25,000 grant and a streaming deal from Amazon, Hulu or Netflix. Learn more at Sundance: http://www.sundance.org/programs/creative-distribution-initiative
Join us as we talk with Independent Filmmaker and Director of Photography Frazer Bradshaw about getting into Sundance with his first feature and what steps he had to take to get his second feature made, The Deep Sky!
No two films are alike, how will your film find it’s audience? We’re joined by Ryan Davis and Brad Wilke of Smarthouse Creative to talk about how they work with filmmakers to release their film in the world and assist in branding, promotion and publicity.
We celebrate our two-year anniversary by inviting listeners of the show to dial in and talk about what’s on their mind. This week we talk to Lindsay Serrano, Jeff Palmer and John Muth for conversations about low-budget filmmaking, film school and giving/receiving feedback.