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Episode 48 – Writing, Pitching and Storytelling with Colin Levy

Colin Levy is back again! Timothy is STILL on vacation, so Colin takes his place and talks with Alrik about how he writes, how he outlines his projects, story telling and a smattering of random filmmaking topics.

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


The Daily Struggle

Colin Levy’s use of Note Cards in Writing his next Script

Colin has been writing a feature script with his co-writer Mike Sundy.

  • How have Colin and Mike been using Note Cards?
  • Alrik’s understanding of using note cards.
  • In addition to the cards are there any other documents?

Alrik Talks About his Outlining Approach

  • Outlining the feature version of Strange Thing.
  • When can outlining go bad, the Strange Thing feature is still unfinished.
  • Why outlines are still super important but why they are scary.

Everyone Writes Differently

  • The Q&A podcast with Jeff Goldsmith, you can learn so much from different writers.
  • There are so many different approaches and it’s great to discover what works for you.
  • Colin explains why using note cards really is working for him.


  • What was the purpose of Colin’s two hour pitch to his writing partner?
  • The different types of pitches, why are they important?
  • Alrik just wants to start pitching to everyone in hopes of raising money for his feature.
  • Colin’s attraction to the process of filmmaking but realizing that the business is about selling.

Talking Shooting Schedules

  • Colin talks about the shoot schedule for ‘Shipnet’ and how many pages they shot a day.
  • Alrik talks about the shoot schedule for ‘The Valley’ and how many pages they shot.
  • Spending time to make a film feel cinematic and beautiful.
  • How camera placement and blocking is so important in creating a cinematic mood. Woody Allen is the master of camera placement, watch ‘Manhatten’.

Advice from a Experienced Director of Photography

  • Alrik got some advice from a DP who’s shot over twenty features.
  • What was the thing that allowed the directors he knows to direct a second feature?
  • What could we do as filmmakers to give us the best shot at directing a good movie?

Random Smattering of Thoughts

  • Realizing that the project you are working on is probably not the end all be all.
  • Getting through one project to get to the next one and the next one.
  • Colin on the psychological side of being a filmmaker.
  • Alrik on not giving up.

How Alrik and Colin Organize Ideas and Tell Stories

  • Colin talks about how he writes down and comes up with ideas.
  • Alrik does something very similar and writes them down but what do you do with them?
  • Colin says podcasting is the best way to get stories out, check out ‘The Moth’.
  • Alrik talks about wanting to be a better story teller, live in person with his friends/family.
  • Colin talks about having that same insecurity of being a great auditory story teller as well.
  • Colin talks more about ‘Shipnet’, no trailer but a crowdfunding campagin is coming soon!

Things to Share

Check out local filmmaker Jason Maze’s documentary about the Pacific Coast Baseball League.

If you have a young one in your life, check out Colin’s writing partner Mike Sundy’s children’s book publishing company for some awesome children story goodness.

Contact Us

Thanks for listening

Thanks to listener @CameronACaves for editing this week’s episode!

What Do You Think?

We want to hear from you, find us on Twitter @ColinLevy and @alrikb!

Do you disagree?

Do you have an experience to share?

Send us an email or leave a comment here

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  • This was a completely off the cuff discussion, we had no outline and no plan and it was a really fun conversation! I think it’s so fascinating that as story tellers we are sometimes not the best at telling a story directly to someone face to face. What about you filmmakers out there, are you all amazing on the spot story tellers or do you excel in the medium of film?