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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!

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  • What do you guys think? Are you going to go after bigger stars for your next film project?