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Episode 88 – Microbudget Filmmaking & Distribution with Liz Manashil

Liz is the director of the feature film “Bread and Butter” and is prepping her second feature “Speed of Life.” This week we hear how Liz is making her movies on a microbudget, finding name actors, getting distribution and sustaining her career as a filmmaker.

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


Writer/Director Liz Manashil
Writer/Director Liz Manashil

After earning her B.A. in Film and Media Studies at Washington University, Liz moved to Los Angeles to attend USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

After graduating USC she found work in LA under John Morrison of the California Film Institute, Michael Shamberg of Double Feature Films, Adam Goodman at Paramount Film Group and distribution consultant Peter Broderick.

She now works for the Sundance Institute as an Artist Services Manager where she talks to filmmakers about distribution, marketing, and fundraising.

Her first feature film is “Bread and Butter” which she made for $100,000 using money raised on Kickstarter and from a few small investors.

“Bread and Butter” stars Christine Weatherup, Bobby Moynihan, Micah Hauptman and Lauren Lapkus. We talk to her about getting the movie off the ground, finding the money, getting name actors in her film, and the trials and tribulations of festivals and distribution.

“Bread and Butter” starring Christine Weatherup, Bobby Moynihan, Micah Hauptman and Lauren Lapkus

Liz’s excellent article “Filmmaker to Filmmaker: We Need to Talk About Distribution”

Here are some of the topics we cover in our conversation with Liz:

  • The difference between Speed of Life and Bread and Butter (budget, shoot days, location and actors)
  • how she got a name actors in Bread and Butter:who did she reach out to, what did her letter say?
  • why Liz pays her actors scale
  • why Liz likes microbudget filmmaking
  • The documentary  film “Official Rejection”

Getting in Touch with Liz Manashil

her website:

Bread and Butter:

her IMDB page:

you can email Liz: womanashil (at) gmail (dot) com


And if you liked this interview, consider donating a few dollars to Liz’s second feature film “Speed of Life,” she would certainly appreciate it: Help us make our feature film: SPEED OF LIFE!

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Finally, you can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb and @mmihpodcast!

Published inActorsAgents and ManagersCareerCastingDirectingDistributionFeature FilmsFilm FestivalsFilmmakingFinancingKickstarterLiving in Los AngelesProducersSelf-DistributionTraditional Distribution
  • Well, wow. We seem to know a lot more about distribution and getting actors than we did just ten episodes ago. This is exciting. A huge thanks to Liz for coming on and being transparent with her techniques. If we all share what we know, we will empower each other. Send us your story. Tell us what you did the same or different than Liz on your film.

  • This was a great episode guys. Liz had some great insights. I do not agree that a self THEATRICAL distribution plan should be left to ones with the means too. If you are smart about it and really build a nice awareness for your film, a small theatrical 4-wall could very well be done. Even if it’s a more local focused release. Might not work in NY or LA, but in a lot of places outside the industry, a film by local filmmakers can still get some nice buzz. Then again, if you had a pocket of fans in some cites, no harm in trying to do a show there. I think a key in the 4wall approach is making it an EVENT. Not just a movie. Have a Q+A at the very least, but you could make it more of a show. Anyways, great job again guys. Love the distribution/marketing guests.

    • I’m glad you said this. I agree. I think there are smart ways to do it. I didn’t make money with The Spirit Machine, but I did some successful four walls in LA and SF with it and I have some friends that took their film on tour and four walled it to a great degree of success. I don’t think there’s a lot of money in it, but if you really want to get your film on the big screen, there are ways to do it without having tens of thousands of dollars.