Writing Memorable Dialogue

John and Craig have a dialogue about dialogue. They discuss how thinking about memorizing lines can help write them, and how to service quieter characters in a scene. We also answer listener questions about adapting plays for the screen, creating a different experience for your reader than your viewer, and whether to trust sketchily worded […]

What Is a Movie, Anyway?

John and Craig welcome Franklin Leonard to weigh in on the current definition of “movie.” In the age of streaming, this distinction is not only important for audiences and awards, but has a meaningful effect on how writers are paid. We also take umbrage with Awards Season as a Hollywood fixture, and follow up on […]

Netflix Killed the Video Store

John welcomes Kate Hagen to talk about missing movies and the role that video stores play in archiving film history, preserving access to all movies and creating a sense of community. They discuss some of the barriers to films getting digital distribution, from limited music licenses to struggles with chain-of-title when companies fail. We also […]


Craig welcomes Leigh Whannell, writer of the Saw and Insidious franchises, to discuss low-budget filmmaking, sequels on sequels, the horror landscape and his new movie, Upgrade. We also answer listener questions about sharing an agent with your writing partner and the ethics of hiring someone to punch up your own script. Links: Thanks for joining […]

The One with the Indie Producer

John welcomes independent producer Keith Calder to discuss what a producer actually does, how financing and distribution strategies have changed with streaming, and how to approach film festivals as a filmmaker. We also answer a listener question about which career path to take after being laid-off: climb the Hollywood ladder or bootstrap and just make […]

Call Me by Your Name

John and Aline welcome Peter Spears, producer of Call Me by Your Name, to discuss how the film came to be, from optioning the novel through its long development and multiple roadblocks. Through the lens of Call Me by Your Name, we discuss the difficulties of preproduction for an indie film, the process of securing […]

Don’t Think Twice

Craig and guest host Mike Birbiglia discuss Mike’s new film, Don’t Think Twice, a comedy about life as an improv performer. The two explore the current state of independent film and the challenges facing aspiring filmmakers.

From Debussy to VOD

John and Craig talk about what screenwriters can learn from the structure of classical music, then invite journalist Scott Tobias on to discuss how day-and-date video-on-demand releases make it hard to know how indie films are doing, individually and as a group.

Let me give you some advice

Craig and John go back to basics with an all advice episode, looking at the Dear J.J. recommendations for Star Wars, Tony Gilroy’s advice to screenwriters and whatever’s up with Max Landis.

Use whatever camera works

There’s no one “right” camera. The best camera for making a movie is the one that works for your style, story and budget.

The two kinds of endings

Most stories end one of two ways: resolution or logical exhaustion.

Staying indie after getting big

Following up on an email exchange, I sat down for a conversation with writer/director Jay Duplass to talk about his Kickstarter-backed indie documentary, and the larger questions of balance indie projects with studio features.

Raising movie funds on Kickstarter

Matt reports from a special Sundance session in which Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler talks about how indie filmmakers can best use the site.

Notes on the DV Expo

At least a third of the booths were demoing HD-DLSRs or rigs designed to make them more usable, such as shoulder mounts, audio recorders and follow-focus units.

Story is free

If you’re making a movie on a limited budget, it may put real constraints on your locations, schedule and cast size. But that frugality doesn’t need to limit your story. Story is free.

Making and releasing the micro-budget indie

Thanks to the OTMM crew, there is now video from the Q&A I hosted after Tuesday night’s screening.

One Too Many Mornings screening

‘ll be leading a Q&A with the filmmakers, talking not just about the film but the challenges and opportunities in making and releasing a microbudget movie

Prepping for the Directors Close-Up panels

Tonight and next Wednesday, I’ll be hosting the Director’s Close Up panels for Film Independent. Tonight’s director is Jason Reitman, joined by cinematographer Eric Steelberg, editor Dana E. Glauberman and composer Rolfe Kent. We’ll be talking about Up In The Air, Juno and Thank You For Smoking.

Watching OTMM

One Too Many Mornings is lo-fi funny, a mumblecore Swingers, with a refreshingly clear sense of what it is.

One Too Many Mornings

An indie at this year’s Sundance Film Festival will let you download the movie the day after it premieres.

Sundance Roadshow

For this coming year’s festival, Sundance will be taking eight features and their filmmakers out to eight cities across the country on January 28th — before the awards are even given out.

Making Christian movies

Is it a good idea to focus on making a movie for Christian audiences?

Taking indie films on the road

Todd Sklar is back with Range Life, taking eight indies on tour around the country.

Principles of Hybrid Distribution

A new article by Peter Broderick articulates a lot of the points I try to make to filmmakers with truly indie films.

A hard time to be an indie

As a counterpoint to the utopian bliss of the Sundance Filmmakers Lab, I’ll direct your attention a speech given by James D. Stern] last week on the present and future of indie film.