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Category: Film Festivals

Episode 136 – Gordy Hoffman – A Screenwriter’s Journey and How Screenwriting Competitions Work

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!”

Listen to this episode now or visit iTunes to download it to your device (or wherever else you find your podcasts).


Who is Gordy Hoffman?

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.

How Screenplay Competitions Work

Gordy runs the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, so we ask him a bunch of questions about how screenplay competitions works.
How are Screenwriting Competitions Judged?
Is that judging fair?
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?

Contact Gordy

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.

This Episode Sponsored by Film Casualty

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A HUGE THANKS to Film Casualty for sponsoring the podcast!

Contact Timothy & Alrik

Episode 135 – Directing Commercials in LA and Casting Known Actors with Paul Schneider!

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.

Listen to this episode now or visit iTunes to download it to your device (or wherever else you find your podcasts).


Who is Paul Schneider?

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.

Commercial Directing

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

Fifty Minutes

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?

 Contacting Paul

Commercial Work:

Vimeo Page:



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!

Make Money with Your Footage!

Dissolve is a sponsor of our podcast and they invite all you filmmakers to apply to become a contributor to their stock footage library. For every clip they license, you get paid. Apply now:
Exceptional stock footage for commercials and films. Hand-picked for style, relevance, and technical excellence from renowned talents and exclusive contributors around the world. Search from over 1 million clips that elevate your concepts – and help you tell better stories.

Contact Us

Thanks for joining us. Have more to say, or a question? Here’s how you can contact us.

Episode 134 – New Year Special with Andrew Schrader, Arielle Zakowski & Evan Kidd

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!

Listen to this episode now or visit iTunes to download it to your device (or wherever else you find your podcasts).


Andrew Schrader

Since we last talked, Andrew has moved to Los Angeles and has also gotten a book published. Find Andrew’s book “What Goes On In the Wall At Night” on Amazon or download it for free on his website!!!

Andrew talks to us about living in Los Angeles, writing and pursuing a career as a full time filmmaker.

Here’s a Link to Andrew’s Book on Amazon:

Andrew’s Website:

Episode 20 – Sustainable Ideas with Andrew Schrader

Arielle Zakowski

Last time we talked to Arielle (way back in Episode 66) she had just started a full time position as an editor.

Episode 66 – Editor Arielle Zakowski

After quickly moving through the ranks of assistant editor into a lead editor role, Arielle was excited to tackle new opportunities. And she did.

  • She tells us about editing for Chef’s Table
  • The ins and outs of balancing commercial work with passion work
  • And the power of saying yes!

If you want to learn more about Arielle, visit these websites

Her Website:

Arielle’s Commercial Reel:


Evan Kidd

Evan Kidd joined us back in Episode 45 to talk to us about producing a very cheap movie. Now he’s back to tell us how he produced an even cheaper TV show that’s now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Episode 45 – How Evan Kidd made a $3,000 Feature Film in North Carolina

Evan’s $3,000 film “Son Of Clowns”:

Evan’s $200 TV Series “Home Remedy”:

And be sure to check out Evan’s Website:

Contact Us

Thanks for joining us. Have more to say, or a question? Here’s how you can contact us.

Episode 129 – Dreams Do Come True with Jason Headley

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!

Listen to this episode now or visit iTunes to download it to your device (or wherever else you find your podcasts).


Jason Headley

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?

  • How much have these filmmaking labs played into your success:
    • IFP Narrative Labs
    • IFP Emerging Storytellers
    • SFFILM FilmHouse

Jason’s Debut Feature “A BAD IDEA GONE WRONG”

  • “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong” debuts this Friday, December 1st. Find the trailer here:
  • Why did Jason decide to write “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong?”
  • Does Jason write all of his own movies?
  • Why was this movie shot in Fort Worth, Texas?
  • How did this movie come into being? Did Jason have the script first or did it come from after he was introduced to someone?
  • What’s the distribution strategy for this film?






Where to find Jason

Consider supporting Jason by pre-ordering his debut feature “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong” on iTunes:

or seeing it this weekend in a theater. For theaters and showtimes, visit the movie website:

To get in contact with Jason, visit his website:

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Episode 128 – Advertising on Facebook

Alrik shares his experience screening The Rage at the Pictoclick film festival. Then we delve into Facebook Advertising using a $30 experiment on two different ads.

Listen to this episode now or visit iTunes to download it to your device (or wherever else you find your podcasts).


Episode 125 – Prepping for AFM

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.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.


Episode 124 – Find Your Audience with Sundance’s Creative Distribution Team

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:

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.


Episode 121 – Indie Feature Talk with Frazer Bradshaw

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!

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.


Episode 120 – Finding an Audience with Smarthouse Creative

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.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.


Episode 104 – Listener Dial Ins

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.

Listen to this episode now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.