One of the most prolific indie filmmakers in recent years is undoubtedly Joe Swanberg. He’s best known for his feature film Drinking Buddies, but has made dozens of other features - including a string of 7 that he produced and directed in just one year.

Back in 2016 Joe delivered an amazing Keynote at SXSW that focuses on the business of making and selling truly independent feature films. In this week’s episode, I distilled my 8 biggest takeaways from his keynote and shared some of my own thoughts on each point. Topics covered include: Why working with no money can be better than some money, when to invest in your own films, how shooting 25 pages can yield great results, why you should spend as little as possible on production, and much more.

You can watch Joe’s full SXSW keynote here:

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More feature films are being made than ever before, and as a result the market is completely saturated with content. This has made it harder than ever for indie filmmakers to make a living with their work, or to turn any sort of profit... But with the right approach to the process - specifically during pre-production - you can lay the groundwork for a more sellable and marketable film, which will ultimately translate to financial success.

In this episode, I address this challenge at length, sharing 5 of the most crucial pre-production considerations that all filmmakers should take into account. These lessons are extracted from my Feature Filmmaking Masterclass and are a must-listen for any filmmaker looking to create a viable final product that can help launch their career.

Learn more about the Feature Filmmaking Masterclass here:

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This week, writer/director Joshua Caldwell returns with a follow up to his interview back on Episode 71. In 2014 Josh achieved breakout success with his $6000 micro-budget film Layover, which paved the way for a directing gig for Hulu, and several feature films - including his most recent film (Southland) with Bella Thorne.

Over the course of our discussion, Josh picks up where we left off on part 1, outlining his career path after achieving success with his debut feature. We talk about his experience directing a fully budgeted series for Hulu, and how that project helped him form a new approach too filmmaking as a whole. We also discuss the importance of prioritizing extra shooting days over a bigger crew, how agency reps can make or break your career, whether or not you need to live in LA as a filmmaker, and so much more.

Links from the show -

Layover On iTunes - http://

Layover On Amazon -

Joshua’s Website -

Joshua On Twitter -

Joshua On Instagram -

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Today I address one of the most common questions asked by filmmakers - How do you make a living in the film business in 2019?

While it may not be easy, building a long-term sustainable career as a filmmaker is absolutely possible. Over the course of this episode, I outline some of the most crucial variables that play into the success of any filmmaker, and can serve as a foundation for any aspiring artist.

Topics covered include: diversifying your efforts, the importance of specialization, creating multiple revenue streams, and developing your artistry. 

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There’s no denying that building an audience is an essential part of success for working filmmakers today. Gaining a following through a blog, YouTube channel or social platform is arguably the most effective step filmmakers can take to make a living through their artwork.

Speaking on the subject of audience building this week is none other than David Cogen. While he isn't a filmmaker in the traditional sense, David has been creating content for years under the company name The Unlockr. With a focus on mobile devices and other consumer tech, David has amassed well over 500,000 subscribers on YouTube while simultaneously gaining countless followers on his blog and social platforms. Over the course of this episode, he outlines his methodology for building a large audience of fans who are likely to become paying subscribers down the road. This should be especially relevant for any filmmaker looking to sell their own content, courses, or feature films via DIY distribution.

Links from the show:

David's course -

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After a brief hiatus, Show Don’t Tell returns this week with our amazing guest Lawrence Jordan. If you’re a fan of movies, chances are you’ve seen some of Lawrence’s work. His career began as an assistant on iconic feature films like Back To The Future and Terms of Endearment, before editing countless features like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo, Riding In Cards With Boys and 50 Shades of Black, just to name a few.

Throughout this interview Lawrence shares key lessons he’s learned over the past few decades, working as an editor on Hollywood-level feature films and world renowned television series. A must listen for any filmmaker looking for a blueprint for breaking into the business and staying there.

Sponsors: -Email to download the app for free!

Music Bed - Enter promo code SHOWDONTTELL at checkout for your first month of subscription free, or 20% off your first purchase.

Links from the show:

Larry On IMDB -

Master The Workflow - 

Psychosynthesis -

This week, I’m joined by Adriaan Kirchner - an incredibly accomplished LA-based cinematographer with a truly stunning body of work. Adriaan has shot projects for celebrities like Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, amazing narrative films like “The Lima” (which premiered at Tribeca film festival), and has worked with countless high profile brands on commercial and branded content.

During our discussion, Adriaan shares his wealth of knowledge on the craft and business of working as a full time DP. We trace his entire career trajectory and explore key lessons learned along the way, including the importance of surrounding yourself with the right collaborators. Other topics covered include: Investing in gear, shooting spec material, lighting based on camera choice, and loads more.

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There is perhaps no greater asset for any filmmaker to possess than a mastery of the craft of screenwriting. And joining me today to discuss all things screenwriting, is none other than Bryan Hill - An incredibly accomplished & superbly talented writer who has worked not only in Film & Television, but in the world of comic books as well.

Some highlights of Bryan's TV & Film career include: ASH vs. THE EVIL DEAD and TITANS, as well as comics like BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS, MICHAEL CRAY and AMERICAN CARNAGE. Currently, Bryan is developing a micro-budget feature of his own, which naturally made him a perfect guest for the show. Over the course of our discussion, Bryan details his early days in the business, how he honed his skills as a writer, what his process looks like now, why he chose to make the leap into independent content creation, and so much more. This is a must listen for any filmmaker out there looking to sharpen their writing abilities and tell better stories.

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No camera manufacturer has been more innovative or disruptive in recent years as Blackmagic Design. Since 2013 they have been challenging the status quo, putting out cameras like their original 2.5K Cinema Camera, the Pocket Camera, and most recently their URSA Mini Pro G2 - Each of which have given low-budget filmmakers the ability to achieve high production value like never before.

Here with me this week to discuss all things Blackmagic is Dan May, President of Blackmagic Design. While I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Dan a couple times in the past about specific product releases, this time I wanted to turn the conversation to Blackmagic’s philosophy. Over the course of our conversation, Dan generously shares some Blackmagic history with us, touching on everything from the evolution of their camera lineup to the acquisition of DaVinci Resolve, what drives their innovation and so much more.

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This week, for the first time I am doing a crossover episode! And it’s with none other than the Just Shoot It Podcast… I was really excited to sit down with hosts Oren Kaplan and Matt Enlow, as they’ve not only built an amazing podcast, but are also incredibly talented filmmakers in their own right.

Both Matt and Oren work professionally as directors on commercials, branded content, and narrative films right here in Los Angeles. Throughout our discussion, we talk about what it takes to become a “professional” filmmaker, the importance of mastering creative AND technical skills, navigating the industry in 2019, and much more. This was one of the best conversations on film I’ve had in a while - big thanks to Just Shoot It for making this happen.

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