Show cover of The Film Riot Podcast

The Film Riot Podcast

The Film Riot Podcast is a conversation with talented and innovative filmmakers. From directors, editors, stunt coordinators, DPs, Actors, VFX artists, and so on... We will be diving into the process, art, and lifestyle of filmmaking from every aspect.


A Brand New Way to Get a Film Made
Chris and Zeek are the writer/director team behind PROSPECT, an indie sci-fi film that broke through the ceiling of its budget and has since gone on to find its audience on streaming. Even though Chris and Zeek were happy with their film, they couldn't help but think that there must be a better way to get a budget for their film while retaining creative control and including the wider community around the project. With the birth of NFTs, they think they have found that answer. Today, Ryan chats with the filmmakers about their new venture with The Fringe and how it might change how films are made forever.
51:46 03/02/2022
Independent Filmmaking: Pitching, Budgeting, & Casting
Via Twitter Spaces, Ryan interviews Scott Glassgold, who answers an array of questions in regards to pitching, budgeting, casting your lead, look books, studio vs. independent filmmaking, and funding feature and TV projects. Scott Glassgold is a Manager and Producer with well over a decade of experience. After getting his start at New Line Cinema and Disney, Scott Founded Ground Control, an innovative Management, and Production company. From there, he’s gone on to nurture several short films and initial ideas to final feature films – such as Prospect and The Beyond. Recently Scott has driven several high-profile deals like his recent 7 figure sale of "My Wife and I Bought a Ranch" to Netflix
42:25 11/30/2021
Sound Mixing Amazon’s The Boys
Alexandra Fehrman is the Emmy nominated Sound mixer of Amazon's 'THE BOYS'. Her work spans series and features with projects like Killer Joe and Wu-Tang: An American Saga. But what is a sound mixer, and what do all of the other departments inside the sound team do? Alexandra sheds light on that, plus some of her tricks for landing the sound for some common and not-so-common scenarios.
46:11 09/14/2021
Getting Ambitious with an Indie Budget
How do you make a small budget seem large or few resources seem plentiful? That is what Ryan and Colin Levy discuss in this latest episode. Colin is no stranger to making an indie budget look like a Hollywood blockbuster. His short film, Skywatch stands shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the biggest films you've seen, all done with far fewer resources than you'd think.  
66:39 08/31/2021
Editing HBO's Mare of Easttown
Amy Duddleston is the Emmy nominated editor of HBO's MARE OF EASTTOWN. Amy's work span decades and genres, culminating in a wellspring of wisdom and talent. From the shot-for-shot PSYCHO remake to the Tarantinoesque Amazon series HUNTERS, Amy consistently wields an incredible sense of pacing, story, and character. Today Ryan and Amy dive into Amy's work and how she constructs such engaging and emotional edits.
59:14 08/17/2021
Developing, Pitching, and Selling Feature Films
Scott Glassgold is a Manager and Producer with well over a decade of experience. After getting his start at New Line Cinema and Disney, Scott Founded Ground Control, an innovative Management, and Production company. From there, he’s gone on to nurture several short films and initial ideas to final feature films – such as Prospect and The Beyond. Recently Scott has driven several high-profile deals like his recent 7 figure sale of "My Wife and I Bought a Ranch" to Netflix,
85:51 05/11/2021
The Importance of a 1st AD
The importance of the First Assistant Director can't be understated. They set the tone for the crew, keep the production on schedule, and are one of the closest allies of the director. And this is the role Hristo Dimitrov fills with ease. With films like Rambo: Last Blood, Hunter Killer, Paul, Apostle of Christ, and the recent Netflix original Concrete Cowboy on his resume, it's safe to say that Hristo is no stranger to the ins and outs of the process. Today Ryan chats with Hristo about the responsibilities and challenges a 1st AD faces during the making of a feature film.
53:55 04/27/2021
Directing Extraction with Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the director behind the new Netflix original, Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth. While Extraction is Sam's first feature as a director, it's far from his first experience with action. With credits in Atomic Blonde, Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, and End Game, Sam has been a part of creating some of the most exciting action of the last 10 years. In this episode, Sam talks about his path to the director's chair and how he handles action to create those visceral gut-punch-style action sequences.
49:15 03/30/2021
Writing/Directing 'I Care a Lot'
J Blakeson is the writer/director behind the new Netflix original, I Care a Lot, starring Rosamund Pike. J started his career like many of us did, making films with his friends and just trying to figure it out. By 21, he had his first agent and went about trying to get his scripts made. After some years of frustration, J took matters into his own hands and wrote a film that he knew he could make himself with the resources he had. That film ended up being his breakout feature, The Disappearance of Alice Creed. Since then, J has carved a spot for himself in the feature and television world with his unique voice, leading to his latest and possibly best film.
61:18 03/03/2021
Telling Stories that Matter
The journey toward making the feature film “CLOUDS”—now available on Disney+—was a long one for director Justin Baldoni. In 2013 Justin released a short doc on Zach Sobiech, a remarkable 17-year-old diagnosed with osteosarcoma. The story of Zach’s life, how he lived, and how he brightened the world for everyone around him struck a massive chord with Justin. Since then, bringing that story to the screen has been both a passion and a promise to keep. With the film’s release, Justin has kept his promise to Zach and gave us all the gift of perspective with this touching story.
43:15 10/27/2020
Making a Creature Feature
Brett and Drew Pierce are the writer/director team behind the new horror film THE WRETCHED, an old school creature feature with more going on under the hood than just scares. While having a background in Hollywood productions, the brothers still approach their work with a "do-it-yourself" attitude and a complete willingness to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty to make their film happen. Their infectious passion has led to them releasing their latest feature under IFC Films and will undoubtedly grant them more great features to come.
69:31 10/20/2020
Don't wait for Hollywood to Make Your Film
Make your film! That is what drives the team behind the new comedy FAITH BASED. From shooting with iPhones in their living rooms, to what it ultimately became—a full-blown feature film with an impressive cast (Jason Alexander, Lance Riddick, and David Koechner, just to name a few). Vincent Masciale, Luke Barnett, and Tanner Thomason were going to make this film, come "hell" or high water. Now with an October 9th release date and a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, the guys have show that with a little luck and a whole lot of passion and talent, you can make your dream project happen.
73:18 10/07/2020
Finding Success in Filmmaking
“Proceed as if” is some of the best advice a young filmmaker can hear, it perfectly encompasses so many important ideas. But that isn’t the only gem Quincy Ledbetter drops in this latest episode. From the beginning of his infatuation with film sitting in a theater watching Last Action Hero, to finding his way into writing and directing through music and photography - Quincy has always done just that, “Proceed as if”. Now in post on his first feature film “Alieu the Dreamer”, Quincy looks back on what led him here and all the things he learned along the way.
80:51 09/15/2020
Making and Distributing Your Film Independently
"Just make your film" is a rallying cry for many, but very few back up those words with action. Today's guest, the multifaceted Jim Cummings, is absolutely one of those few.  Through crowdfunding and self-distribution, Jim has found a lot of success for his first feature "Thunder Road". He's following that up with his next two features: the thriller "The Beta Test" and the horror film "The Werewolf" (his first studio film). Ryan and Jim dive into his unique approach to filmmaking and how he's carving out a path that's all his own. Also, be sure to check out Musicbed's new series "YouTube Masters"
63:29 09/01/2020
How a Hollywood Legend Directs Actors
With films like Saturday Night Fever, Short Circuit, WarGames, and Dracula in his filmography, the term “legendary director” flows out of your mouth when talking about John Badham. But film isn’t the only medium where he left his mark. Badham also directed a list of iconic shows like Heroes, The Shield, and Supernatural. His incredible career has led to a wealth of knowledge about the craft. Lucky for us, John is passionate about sharing, and in this episode, Ryan and John dive deep into working with actors. They cover everything from staging a scene to managing big-name talent.
38:56 08/18/2020
Directing a Blockbuster with an Indie Budget
‘GREYHOUND’ is the latest original film to hit Apple+ TV. Oscar winning writer/director Aaron Schneider chats with Ryan about his process for constructing the intricate battle sequences, pulling story out of the technical, and what it’s like to work with the legendary Tom Hanks! From his humble beginnings as a special effects student, to his growth into a cinematographer and eventually Academy Award-winner, Aaron’s story is one you won’t want to miss!
51:31 08/04/2020
Writing & Directing Story Driven Horror
Relic is the directorial debut of Japanese-Australian writer/director filmmaker, Natalie Erika James. It’s a horror film anchored by its deeply emotional and honest themes, and masterfully co-written and directed by James. Released theatrically in drive-ins, and now available across most major streaming platforms, you’d never guess that Relic is Natalie’s first outing as a feature writer/director. In the episode of the Film Riot podcast, fresh off the experience of making the film, Natalie meets with Ryan to discuss her experience as a first-time writer/director, working with actors, and why she leaned into the horror genre to tell this specific and personal story. 
53:18 07/21/2020
Emotionally Impactful Cinematography w/ Jody Lee Lipes
As the cinematographer for such beautiful work as A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Manchester by the Sea, and I Know This Much is True, Jody Lee Lipes brings an emotional honesty to all his work. Of course, every element within the filmmaking process is a part of delivering on that honesty, with arguably two of the most important aspects being the performance and cinematography. Those two elements work together in a creative dance - if one is out of step with the other, the intention won't land and the emotional impact would be lost. Imagine the scene in Contagion where Matt Damon's character learns his wife has died, but with constant dolly moves and lens flares. That emotional honesty is something that Jody pulls off with ease. Today he and Ryan chat about leaning into that meaning and honesty, working with technically difficult scenes (like the twinning in his latest HBO show), and what made him want to be a filmmaker.
58:58 07/07/2020
If you are wondering how to start making the films you love… To steal from Nike’s slogan… JUST DO IT! That thought process seems to be behind everything Phil Hawkins does. Like most of us, he’s a student of Spielberg, Lucas, and the other greats of that day. Since he broke in, Phil has directed several features and worked with the likes of Al Pacino, Robert Englund, and Christopher Walken. Today Ryan and Phil chat about how he shot an award-winning feature in just two days, making one of the biggest fan films ever made, and the importance of working with people you trust.
56:39 06/16/2020
Writing for Film and Television with Dayna Lynne North
What is "your voice"? Should you start with theme, character, a concept? So many questions flood your brain when you sit down to write, especially when first starting out. Today Ryan chats with the incredible Dayna Lynne North (Writer, Showrunner, and Executive Producer for properties like Veronica Mars, and most recently Insecure for HBO). Ryan and Dayna dive into what your voice is, how she gets started on a project, and what guides her through the writing process.
59:46 05/05/2020
Writing & Directing your First Feature
How do you get your first feature made? It’s the question every aspiring filmmaker wants answered. Today Ryan speaks with Ricky Staub — writer, director, and entrepreneur. After coming off the success of his first narrative project, The Cage (developed in collaboration with Film Supply) Ricky connected with the producers that would help make his first feature a reality. He and Ryan cover everything from his years working under the prolific producer Sam Mercer (on films like THE LAST AIRBENDER, DEVIL, and SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMEN), to starting his own commercial company to hone his technical craft. They explore and dive deep into a discussion about the path and experiences of writing and directing his first feature film, starring IDRIS ELBA no less! You don’t want to miss this!
79:55 04/28/2020
Editing for Quibi & What Makes a Story Work
Yesterday marked the launch of Quibi, a 2-billion dollar bet by Hollywood and tech giants Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman to change the face of content consumption on the go. There have been lots of opinions about Quibi’s viability, potential for success, and its mobile-only platform. Well, today we give you an inside peek with a filmmaker who has worked directly with one of its productions. Lucas Harger is an Emmy award-winning editor with several docs under his belt. He was Ryan’s collaborator on both BALLiSTIC and There Comes a Knocking. Today Ryan and Lucas talk about his latest project Prodigy, a doc series for the Quibi brand. Along with discussing the ins and outs of post for this new mobile platform, the guys dive into what makes a story work and the cross over between doc and narrative.
48:59 04/07/2020
Producing for Film and Television with Yolanda T. Cochran, P.G.A.
What the hell does a producer do? When every production can have five different versions of them, it's no wonder this is a recurring question. Well, today we have the definitive answer as Ryan "sits down" with Yolanda T. Cochran, VP Production, Walt Disney Television/Freeform. Yolanda brings nearly a decade and a half of knowledge from her work on such films a "Book of Eli," "The Blind Side," and "Point Break." She and Ryan chat about the various roles of the producer, why writers aren’t usually on set, how a budget is pulled together, and the current state of the industry amidst COVID-19.
59:40 03/31/2020
Directing for an Audience with Alison James
Alison James is an incredibly talented writer/director on the rise and headed toward her first feature film. After winning Best Narrative Short at the Austin Film Festival for her short film, Judas Collar, Alison was able to land reps at WME and has since been developing what will be her first feature film.
54:18 12/31/2019
Advice from a Hollywood Manager with Scott Glassgold
Scott Glassgold is a Manager and Producer with well over a decade of experience. After getting his start at New Line Cinema and Disney, Scott Founded Ground Control, an innovative Management and Production company. From there he's gone on to nurture several short films and initial ideas to final feature films - such as Prospect, The Beyond, and his latest sale to Paramount, The Follower. Recently, Scott has partnered with Screen Gems to produce horror proof of concepts with an eye towards developing them into feature films. The program is called Scream Gems and aims to collaborate with up-and-coming filmmakers to produce horror shorts with the primary goal of developing new, original content into feature films. Follow Ground Control on twitter for updates!
57:08 12/17/2019
Making Your Project Happen with Cassandra Ebner
Cassandra Ebner is a truly wonderful filmmaker and human. She's a writer, producer, actor, and stuntwoman. Her career spans over 6 years in the industry and on some of the biggest productions around - like Game of Thrones, War for the Planet of the Apes, Shazam!, Arrow, and The Flash. Most recently Cassandra has written, produced, and starred in her web series, LifeXP.
54:04 12/03/2019
From YouTube to Hollywood with Director Joe Penna
Joe Penna is a writer/director that got his start on YouTube. You may know him as Mystery Guitar Man, but today he is directing feature films starring massive talents like Mads Mikkelsen, Anna Kendrick, and Toni Collette.  Ryan chats with Joe about directing his first film with a major star attached and his overall path to feature films.
46:24 09/10/2019
A New Type of Storytelling with Matti Haapoja
Matti Haapoja is a filmmaker, vlogger, and content creator.  Today Ryan picks his brain about this new form of storytelling that he is one of the pioneers of. Check out his incredible YouTube channel to see more of his work!
52:46 07/30/2019
Directing Independent Film with Brent Christy
Brent Christy is a director and DP with a deep wealth of knowledge.  He’s worked on everything from big-budget projects to the tiny passion project and makes every one of them stand out. Today we chat about directing, cinematography, set life, and balancing all that with family.
58:36 07/09/2019
Sound for Film and Television with Dallas Taylor
Today on the show, Ryan talks with Dallas Taylor about all things sound! Dallas is the owner and lead over at Defacto Sound. He and his team have worked on some of the biggest ads from Nike, Ford, Puma, and Audi, to documentaries that have gone to Sundance and Tribeca. They have also done amazing work on network promos for HBO, NatGeo, AMC and Netflix, and massive trailers like Game of Thrones, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and tons more   Dallas also Hosts a podcast about sound called Twenty Thousand Hertz that around 100,000 people listen to every other Monday. It's "a lovingly crafted podcast that tells the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds". They take 150-200 hours to make and are crafted with love and care, so definitely check that out and subscribe!
68:46 05/14/2019