IndieWire's Filmmaker Toolkit

By Chris O'Falt

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Category: TV & Film

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Interviews with leading film and TV creators about their process and craft. From screenwriting to film language to cinematography, we'll be examining the innovative ways today's best filmmakers are getting their visions out into the world.

Episode Date
"Mission Impossible – Fallout" Director Christopher McQuarrie
Christopher McQuarrie talks about directing action scenes with emotional clarity, the danger of practical stunts and wanting to return to being an indie filmmaker.
Jul 27, 2018
"The Chi" Creator Lena Waithe
Lena talks about creating the interweaving narrative of “The Chi,” a showtime series about her hometown (Southside of Chicago) and the vital role casting (and a good casting director) plays in allowing a writer to do something different. She also shares her advice to actors and a funny story about her “Masters of None” audition.
Jun 22, 2018
"Halt And Catch Fire" Creators Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers,
How Two Young Creators Blew Up Their ‘Mad Men of Tech’ Premise to Discover Something Special.
Jun 20, 2018
"Barry" Creators Bill Hader & Alec Berg
Bill Hader moved To L.A. to be a filmmaker, 15 years later and an unexpected comedy detour (SNL) he found his way back in dark comedy that he created with “Silicon Valley,” “Seinfeld,” & “Curb Your Enthusiasm” vet Alec Berg. Photo Credit: Michael Buckner/Deadline/REX/Shutterstock
Jun 19, 2018
"Dear White People" Creator Justin Simien
Simien breaks down the unique "presentation" style of his Netflix series, what Kubrick taught him about music and share new details about his horror-race satire movie ("Bad Hair")that he'll be shooting this summer.
Jun 15, 2018
"The Good Place" Creator Michael Schur
Michael Schur (The Office, Parks & Rec), master of the work place comedy, talks about the challenges of tackling the big concept and twisty plot of “The Good Place.” In this conversation Schur outlines the one vital key to success in all serialized tv, working with philosophy professors as consultants, modeling heaven after The Grove and avoiding the M. Night Shyamalan trap of training an audience to anticipate twists.
Jun 11, 2018
"The Terror" Creator David Kajganich
Inside the process of creating a historical horror story of a lost Arctic expedition on a sound stage and how Kajganich pitched the show as anthology, but won't be coming back for another season.
Jun 08, 2018
"Atlanta" & "This Is America" Director Hiro Murai
Atlanta's Lakeith Stanfield Didn’t Even Know Donald Glover Was Playing Teddy Perkins.
Jun 04, 2018
"First Reformed" Director Paul Schrader
The screenwriter behind "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" talks about the intersection of faith and cinema, and how arthouse cinema has radically changed since he first wrote "Transcendental Style in Film" in 1971.
May 23, 2018
"The Rider" Director Chloé Zhao
The director behind one of the best films of 2018 talks about how a woman born in Beijing and schooled at NYU ended up telling real-life stories of people living on a South Dakota reservation.
May 18, 2018
Netflix "Strong Island" Director Yance Ford
Oscar nomination director Yance Ford talks about his 8-year journey to completing a film about his brother's violent death in 1992.
Feb 15, 2018
"The Big Sick" Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon
There were a ton of bad drafts of "The Big Sick" before it became one of the best comedy scripts in years. Kumail & Emily talk about the 4 year process of adapting their real life story.
Jan 09, 2018
"Lady Bird" Director Greta Gerwig
Gerwig talks about what her artistic dreams were when she, like Lady Bird, was 18 and came to New York.
Jan 05, 2018
"mother!" Director Darren Aronofsky
Aronofsky on why you have to make the audience laugh, cry or scare the shit out of the them.
Dec 28, 2017
"Get Out" Director Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele talks about his biggest fear in making "Get Out."
Dec 22, 2017
"Wonder Woman" Director Patty Jenkins
What Patty Jenkins learned from walking away from Marvel's "Thor" that shaped "Wonder Woman."
Dec 15, 2017
"The Shape Of Water" Director Guillermo del Toro
How Guillermo del Toro was inspired by musicals, Punch Drunk Love and Stan Laurel in making his beautiful fable.
Dec 08, 2017
"Call Me By Your Name" Director Luca Guadagnino
Guadagnino talks about his approach to filmmaking and his upcoming remake of Suspiria.
Nov 30, 2017
"Mudbound" Director Dee Rees
Writer/director Dee Rees talks about how she weaved together her complex narrative about race and what drew her to tackle the ERA, Joan Didion and a "Get Out" like horror film in her upcoming projects.
Nov 22, 2017
"The Florida Project" Director Sean Baker
The indie filmmaker behind "Tangerine" talks honestly about his struggle working with union crews for the first time and his nervousness about bringing a star like Willem Dafoe into his world of first-time performers.
Nov 16, 2017
"Patti Cake$" Director Geremy Jasper
The Sundance breakout talks about creating his ambitious New Jersey hip-hop musical debut featuring Australian actress Danielle MacDonald.
Aug 17, 2017
"Good Time" Directors Josh & Benny Safdie
The Safdie Brothers talk about how the knew Robert Pattinson would be able to give himself over to their unique approach to filmmaking and how they built a story around aspects of the "Twilight" star that haven't been seen publicly.
Aug 10, 2017
'Columbus' Director Kogonada
Noted video essayist Kogonada talks about making the transition from academics to being a breakout at this year's Sundance Film Festival with his new film "Columbus."
Aug 04, 2017
"War For the Planet Of The Apes" Director Matt Reeves
Matt Reeves talks about directing actors for motion capture and his plans for the new Batman film.
Jul 15, 2017
"A Ghost Story" Director David Lowery
David Lowery talks about quietly making a small little film in a house with friends that he was willing to bury if it ended up being an embarrassment. The risk paid off, as "A Ghost Story" it the best reviewed indie so far this year.
Jul 10, 2017
"Baby Driver" Director Edgar Wright
"Baby Driver" Director Edgar Wright by Chris O'Falt
Jun 29, 2017
Bertrand Tavernier's “My Journey Through French Cinema”
The great French director talks about what he learned from his favorite filmmakers.
Jun 27, 2017
"The Bad Batch" Director Ana Lily Amirpour
"A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night" director talks about her second feature.
Jun 24, 2017
"The Handmaid's Tale" Director Reed Morano
Reed Morano talks about how directing the hit Hulu show was different than her new indie feature "I Think We're Alone."
Jun 16, 2017
"It Comes at Night" Director Trey Edward Shults
Shults' follow up to ultra low budget breakout "Krisha" is an extreme dark horror film from A24 about death. The writer/director talks about his own fathers, learning about film working for Terrence Malick and telling the stories with his camera.
Jun 08, 2017
"Mr. Robot" Creator Sam Esmail
Sam Esmail talks Kubrick, Metropolis, Trump and shooting S2 like a movie.
Jun 01, 2017
Netflix's "Black Mirror" Charlie Brooker & Annabel Jones
The two Showrunners behind the hit series talk about how they built six new sci-fi worlds for Season 3 and what they've got brewing for Season 4.
May 25, 2017
Steve James
Documentary film legend Steve James ("The Interrupters," "Hoop Dreams," "Life Itself") talks about his new film "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail" and his process of making intimate character based documentaries.
May 12, 2017
Netflix's "Casting JonBenet" Director Kitty Green
Kitty Green talks about her exploration of the JonBenet Ramsey murder case through intimate interviews with local actors auditioning for the role of the real life people caught in center of a cable news speculation.
May 05, 2017
"The Circle" Director James Ponsoldt
James Ponsoldt talks about adapting Dave Egger's novel "The Circle" into a new movie starring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks & John Boyega. He also discusses "Rodham " – a blacklist script about a young Hillary Clinton – that he believes is even more relevant after the election.
Apr 27, 2017
Frederick Wiseman
One of the greatest filmmakers ever reflects on his career and his well refined process of making a masterpiece virtually every year. He explains why 50 years ago, as a lawyer in his 30s, he decided to make a film about a prison for the criminally insane ("Titicut Follies") and how he grew as an artist.
Apr 20, 2017
"The Lost City of Z" Director James Gray
Writer/Director James Gray ("The Immigrant," "We Own the Night") talks about his sixth and most ambitious feature "The Lost City of Z."
Apr 13, 2017
"The Assignment" Director Walter Hill
Walter Hill talks about his amazing and underrated career and his controversial new film "The Assignment." IndieWire's Jude Dry also joins to discuss the problematic way "The Assignment" talks about gender and transgender issues.
Apr 07, 2017
"Rogue One" Director Gareth Edwards
Gareth Edwards talks about how he started his career as a visual effects artists and how that has influenced him as a director.
Apr 03, 2017
"La La Land" Director Damien Chazelle & Editor Tom Cross
Damien Chazelle and his editor Tom Cross talk about finding the right rhythm for a modern day and how much more difficult it was to edit "La La Land" than "Whiplash."
Feb 21, 2017
"Toni Erdmann" Director Maren Ade
"Toni Erdmann" has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Oscars and is one of the best reviewed and most loved films of the year. Writer/Director Maren Ade discusses her many year process of creating the celebrated father-daughter story [that's being re-made with Jack Nickolson]. Also, IndieWire's Zack Sharf swings by to tell us why the film was his favorite from 2016 and an American remake would be a very bad idea.
Feb 06, 2017
"Beach Rats" Director Eliza Hittman
Eliza Hittman returns to Sundance with her follow up "It Felt Like Love."
Jan 25, 2017
"Hooligan Sparrow" Director Nanfu Wang
Nanfu Wang talks about the dangers of making her Oscar contending doc "Hooligan Sparrow and how the Chinese government has targeted her parents since the film was shortlisted for Best Documentary consideration by the Academy.
Jan 13, 2017
"Jackie" & "Neruda" Director Pablo Larraín
Director Pablo Larraín talks two icons who tried to shape their own image and why he finds that fascinating.
Dec 16, 2016
Mia Hansen-Løve & David Ehrlich's Top 25 Video Countdown
Mia Hansen-Løve talks about her story process and working with Isabelle Huppert on her new film "Things To Come." IndieWire's David Ehrlich also stops by to explain how he makes his fantastic top 25 Video Countdown.
Dec 06, 2016
"Always Shine" Director Sophia Takal
Sophia talks about turning the jealously and competition she felt as an actress into a great new indie horror film.
Dec 02, 2016
Arrival Screenwriter Eric Heisserer
Eric Heisserer talks about adapting Ted Chiang's "Story of Your Life" -- a short story many thought was un-adoptable for the big screen.
Nov 21, 2016
"The Witch" Director Robert Eggers
Eggers on how he blended genre and history to create the best horror film of the year and why he's remaking “Nosferatu.”
Nov 11, 2016
Paul Verhoeven
The great director talks about his new film "Elle," Isabelle Huppert and how his career as Hollywood director ("Showgirls," Starship Troopers," "Robocop") is starting to be reconsidered.
Nov 04, 2016
"OJ: Made in America" Director Ezra Edelman
Ezra Edelman discusses how he used the story of OJ Simpson to explore race in American.
Oct 28, 2016
"Moonlight" Director Barry Jenkins
Writer/Director Barry Jenkins discusses "Moonlight," his second feature and easily one of the best films of the year. Then IndieWire's Kate Erbland stops by to talk about "Billy Lynn's Long Half Time Walk" and how shooting at 120 frames per second alters movie watching and movie making.
Oct 21, 2016
"Fire at Sea" Director Gianfranco Rosi
Gianfranco's Rosi is one best filmmakers we aren't paying enough attention to here in the US, but that's about to change as his new film "Fire at Sea" is considered a frontrunner for an Oscar nomination. The film, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, is a look at a small Italian island caught in the middle of Europe's refugee crisis.
Oct 14, 2016
Kelly Reichardt
Kelly Reichardt talks about her new film "Certain Women," starring Kristen Stewart and Michelle Williams.
Oct 07, 2016
NYFF: Hamilton & Rivette
One of the big premieres at this year's New York Film Festival is "Hamilton's America," a behind-the-scenes look at Lin Manuel Miranda's search for the history behind his hit musical. Director Alex Horwitz stops by to talk about shadowing Miranda from mixtape to superstar. Afterwards we visit with NYFF's Dennis Lim to discuss Jacques Rivette and the discovery of three of his first shorts, which are playing at the fest. Finally, a recommendation for a new movie every filmmaker should see.
Sep 30, 2016
Andrea Arnold on "American Honey"
Director Andrea Arnold ("Fish Tank") discusses making her new film "American Honey."
Sep 16, 2016
"The Night Of" Location Manager
The HBO mini-series "The Night Of" is a near perfect use of location shooting. This week we talk to location manager Shane Haden about working with creator Steven Zaillian to create this unique portrait of New York City and the criminal justice system. Shane also brings us behind the scenes of what's involved with being a location manager, the challenges of shooting in NYC and how he got his start.
Sep 08, 2016
Cameraperson: Kirsten Johnson
Kirsten Johnson talks about what she's learned from shooting some of the best nonfiction films of the last 25 years while working with directors like Laura Poitras and Michael Moore. We also discuss her new film "Cameraperson," which uses previously unseen footage from those films to create what IndieWire's Eric Kohn called, "A transcendent documentary experience. Truly original. There's never been a memoir quite like this one."
Sep 01, 2016
Robert Greene & Cinematic Nonfiction
The "Kate Plays Christine" director talks about how nonfiction filmmaking can be a cinematic form of self-expression, how his Sundance hit blurs the lines between fiction and reality, and what he's learned becoming a professor at the University of Missouri.
Aug 24, 2016
Web Series 101: 'Eastsiders' Journey From YouTube to Netflix
"Eastsiders" star and creator Kit Williamson shares his insight on how to launch a successful web series. IndieWire's Digital Media Critic Jude Dry stops by to share her insights on some of her favorite series.
Aug 19, 2016
Ira Sachs on Writing "Little Men"
Director Ira Sachs talks about writing his new film "Little Men," not rehearsing actors and why the Queer/Film/Art community he's built has been so important to his career.
Aug 06, 2016