Anchorman 2 Composer Andrew Feltenstein Plays It Straight.

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Top shelf composers, songwriters, lyricists Andrew Feltenstein & John Nau own Beacon Street Studios in Venice, California. They’re the go-to guys for any musical genre, but certainly have made a name scoring for “Funny Or Die” titans Adam McKay and Will Ferrel. Credits include “Anchorman 2″, “The Spoils of Babylon” and more.

Andrew and I chat about the process of scoring commercials, inspiration, late hours and how playing the music straight buoys the comedy.

Watch the trailer for “Casa de mi Padre”, a favorite Will Ferrell film. Buy the soundtrack today!

This episode is just over 20 minutes. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

“Nathan For You” Co-Creator Michael Koman On Running The Show.

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The “Dumb Starbucks” episode of Comedy Central’s “Nathan For You” is an instant classic. Michael Koman is what we call the “showrunner” for the series. Along with co-creator and star Nathan Fielder, Michael leads the writers to invent bits, executes them and then deals with the network. It’s a laborious task steeped in creativity. Mr. Koman’s comedy pedigree includes “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, “Eagleheart” and “Important Things with Demetri Martin.”

My dear pal, director/showrunner Michael Addis conducts the interview, the first in a series of “Showrunner” chats. Mr. Addis was my esteemed guest back in January 2013 on this very podcast. Here’s the episode link: Hidden Camera with Michael Addis

Watch this if you’ve not seen the show. Genius.

This episode is just over an hour. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Theodore Melfi Directs Bill Murray In “St. Vincent”.

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Writer/Director Theodore Melfi has been making commercials and indie films for a decade. So when he nabbed Bill Murray for the starring role of his script, he was more than ready to deliver. Listen to this great casting tale, his hanging with Jack Nicholson, and how his real life inspired his script that he hand-wrote in four weeks. I’ve known Theodore since he started directing, and he’s as genuine a man as he is talented.

“St. Vincent” opens in LA & NYC on October 10th, then goes wide October 24th. Watch the trailer and go opening night in your city! Take the family!

He’s launched his own production company, Brother. Check it out. Here’s one of many spot I love from Ted:

Slimfast “Lights On” from brother on Vimeo.

This episode is just over an hour. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Live From The Ad Age Small Agency Conference.

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As a director, I’m hired by advertising agencies of all sizes. Some are huge, part of a global conglomerate, while others are nimble shoppes, but equally as creative. The big agencies are always in the trades, pitching and winning even bigger clients. But I wondered how these smaller agencies got their work. So I traveled to Austin, Texas to the Ad Age Small Agency Conference and chatted with a few attendees. Massive thank you to AdAge.com for having me.

Sitting in on the opening presentation was fascinating. “Hypertelling” was Google Head of Brand Strategy & Insights Eric Solomon’s take on how brands need to be responsive and interactive storytellers. Cool case studies. Eric urges agencies to push the boundaries of what is possible with storytelling in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape.

Then I chatted with Brian Pettigrew from TVGla, Doug Gelfand & Kelly Parriott from the Rally Group in Denver, Darrell Allen from Total Online Marketing, and finally Brett Tesmer from LRXD. All great people. Thanks!

This episode is very short. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Green Screen Animals’ Mark Shockley Has Already Filmed Your Beast.

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This is a live lion.

Hear why David Fincher, J.J. Abrahms and myself use Green Screen Animals. Simple: Mark Shockley and his animal-loving crew shoot all kinds of creatures on green screen, and then license the footage to you. Best of all, they treat the beasts like the divas that they are. Mark only works with trainers and handlers that share his compassion for all living things.

Having worked with animals on set, I can attest that the time and money his footage saves production is well-worth it. You’ll also discover the key to working with animals: clear communication. Enjoy spots with GSA’s stars below.

Reggie Watts for “Click Clean”:

A behind the scenes, we always love those:

GreenScreen Animals – Behind the Scenes from GreenScreen Animals on Vimeo.

This episode is just over an hour. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Live On Tour, It’s SNL’s Digital Shorts Editor Adam Epstein.

Filmmaker Adam Esptein is editor of the SNL film unit.
Filmmaker Adam Esptein is editor of the SNL film unit.
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For decades, the inspired and hilarious short films of Saturday Night Live have been the highlight of show. So what a treat to talk with Adam Epstein, the SNL film unit editor that pulls it all together, literally overnight. We chat about workflow, turnaround, teamwork and the amazing talent both in front of and behind the camera of your favorite digital shorts. Check the links or click on his name above if you want to laugh along with top-quality films that spoof pop culture, all executed with deft aplomb and in brilliant detail.

Adam is currently on tour with the Cutting Edge Post Production Tour. Well worth attending to learn from the master.

SNL’s “Wes Anderson Horror Movie”

SNL’s “The Real Housewives of Disney”

SNL’s “The Begency”

This episode is under an hour. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Tom Lowe Is A Producer By Day, And An Award-Winning Photographer By Night In The Mohave Desert.

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Tom Lowe is an experienced line producer who produced a few of my epic Dodge spots for the Doner Agency this summer. Naturally, we chat about the creative problem solving the line producer brings to the shoot. His advice to new directors is invaluable. The first half of this engaging, tech-filled interview, we focus on Tom’s stunning photography exhibit running now through September 14th, 2014 at the G2 Gallery on Abbot Kinney in Venice, California. Hurry in! Click the G2 link to RSVP to the reception Friday, September 5th from 6:30pm to 9pm.

Scroll down and marvel at a few Tom’s shots and the spots we talk about. Oh, I reveal my approach to a conference call, rant against two cameras and praise my fellow filmmakers.

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Tom’s Honda spot he produced for Fred Savage:

This episode is over an hour. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Big Laughs With Comedian Turned Fox Executive Producer Steve Hofstetter.

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Comedian Steve Hofstetter produces a stand-up comedy show for FOX. The show is called “Laughs” and it airs Saturday nights. Steve is busy fulfilling his order for the series. Bravo, I say. I met Steve through director/producer Dane Hanson and marveled at how they’re pulling the show together.

Here’s the extended promo for the show that Steve directed:

Dane’s short that introduced me to his nutty genius.

This episode is just over an hour. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Hair & Make Up Artiste Judd Minter.

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Judd Minter is one of my buddies off set. On set, he’s an attentive, detailed-oriented hair & make up artist at the top of his game. He has an acute awareness of not just the “looks” of the characters he creates, but also of the days’ schedule and comedic tone of the commercial we are shooting. Thusly, I consider Judd a valuable member of the filmmaking team.

This episode also debuts my son Jake Brady’s “Movie Moment”. Who has time for an entire review? Jake boils down a film to one instance. Kudos Jake.

Heres’ the Quik Trip spot I did, for which Judd shaved a 10 year old boy’s head.

This episode is just over an hour. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Directing “A to Z” with Michael Patrick Jann.

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Director Michael Patrick Jann brilliantly draws an analogy between directing and the art of ancient Chinese calligraphy. This is a must-listen episode.

Michael knows comedy. Straight from film school to directing MTV’s “The State”, then onto “Reno 911″ and countless commercials, he’s been directing the funny non-stop for 15 years. Today, Michael is an accomplished director of single camera tv comedies, and a go-to guy to shape many a network’s pilot episode. His new series “A to Z” debuts this October on NBC.

We talk about shooting pilots, the joy of winning commercials and the fickle nature of making movies. I wish I’d had this chat 15 years ago, I’d be a way better director. Enjoy.

Click Community Films to see his spots and a “Flight of the Conchords” video I love.

This episode is just over an hour. Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Comedian Kris Tinkle Made Another Comedy Album.

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We stray from spot-making, but you’ll love my chat with Kris Tinkle. He’s hilarious and was determined to put out another comedy CD of all-new material. And I got to help, respecting the process of great recording and well-honed material.

Click to get the album on iTunes: “Kris Tinkle: Maybe I Don’t Feel Like Smiling.” We met in NYC, become pals and he’s in “I Am Road Comic”.

Kris’ story is that of yet another artist taking charge and making things happen. Oh, and shout out to Pro Wrestler Colt Cabana and his “The Wrestling Road Diaries Too”. This is a great documentary Kris turned me onto, like “I Am Road Comic” with tights and body slams.

This episode is about 36 minutes.

Oh, do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

The Perlorian Brothers Brilliantly Blend Absurdity With Humanity.

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The Perlorian Brothers make comedy spots that I wish I’d made. Admittedly, I was giddy interviewing the dynamic directing duo from the Great White North, because I’ve held them in such high regard since I began, and because Canadians are genetically funnier than most. Ian Letts and Michael Gelfand sat down with me at the noisy airport cafe to discuss how they make the magic.

Ian and Michael started as agency creatives, and offer up great advice for creatives choosing a director. We chat about finding the humanity amidst the absurdity, casting, and sometimes subverting the process if it’s getting in the way of greatness.

Here’s a sampling of their work we talk about:

Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Good Enough Sucks, Says Bill Wright, Global Co-Exec Creative Director at McCann Erickson.

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This episode dropped in February, and as i am traveling to Austin this week, I picked it as my debut repeat. Why? Cuz it’s worth the listen!

Since the interview, ad-innovators Bill Wright and James Dawson-Hollis have moved to McCann Erickson. (Read this Ad Week article, I’m not making it up.) Oh, and James & his lovely wife Vivienne Wan had a darling baby! Mazel tov!

Bill & James have won boatloads of awards at Cannes, The One Show and every other major advertising show. This dynamic duo have more Gold Lions than anyone I’ve ever met.

I chatted with Bill in the editing room. He inspires us with his writing techniques, explains his work ethic, and shares wisdom learned while working alongside ad wizard Alex Bogusky from the his tenure at CP+B, and more. Back when I showed my boys the powerful “Truth” anti-smoking spots, I never knew I’d one day work with the man who named the campaign. Truly flattered to have Bill on the show.

Here’s the first spot I directed for them:

A look back: Adweek listed them “Top Creative Minds in Digital”.

Do rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

The Fine Art of Directing Comedians With Director Steven Feinartz.

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Director Steven Feinartz and I met as he was putting the finishing touches on his documentary about comedian Eddie Pepitone called “The Bitter Buddha”. It’s a great character study of a funny man on his own journey. Steven recently shot Eddie’s stand-up special for Netflix, so I wanted to hear how that was different from his other shoots. It’s a short chat on the sidewalk, but inspiring nonetheless. Keep an eye out for the special “Eddie Pepitone: In Ruins” starting August 7th, and keep the other eye on Steven, he’s that good.

Watch the trailer to The Bitter Buddha” and buy it:

This episode lasts a jaunty 13 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Avoiding Creative Atrophy With Director Graeme Joyce.

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Visual storytelling requires a discerning eye and a strong point of view. My guest has that and more. I sat down with Director Graeme Joyce, whose work I’ve admired for a while now. Naturally, we talk about treatments and the state of the spot business. Graeme also gives us his two cents on why directors change production companies, the “Canon Revolution” and how to get noticed in the internet age. He also coins the phrase “creative atrophy” and avoids it at all costs. A great chat.

Enjoy Graeme’s spot we discuss for Men’s File Magazine.

My Independence As A Filmmaker With Self-Distribution.

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Creative freedom feels so good. By self-distributing my new comedy documentary “I Am Road Comic” directly to fans for $5, I’m showing the world an unfettered work. This episode is just me rambling about my grass roots strategy, and being very transparent with how the money flows. The last ten days I’ve been connecting – learning, reacting and interacting with my film’s audience. Oh, don’t fret. I’m simultaneously pursuing other outlets to bring it to the masses. Thanks in advance for your support.

I’m using two (2) turn-key sites: Gumroad and VHX. Each link is on my site, and each can host your film on a dedicated site. It gets a little nutty, and each has it’s strengths: Gumroad has a WordPress button you that makes it easy, but VHX offers PayPal. Listen and let me know what you think of the episode and the film.

Many thanks to all the comedians in the film, and the podcasters helping me spread the word. Here’s the trailer:

This episode lasts a mere 20 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Busy Commercial Director Chris Smith Talks Repeat Business.

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Sugar.tv’s Director Chris Smith is a happy commercial director. Like myself, he loves the medium, the process and has built lasting relationships that trust him beyond compare.

We chat about conference calls, spec spots, post vfx (warning: gets very geeky and I love it!). Chris believes knowing the tools make you a better director, but warns don’t get lost in the tech. Oh yes, he loves the Artemis app.

Enjoy his funny Tropicana spot: “Nothing”

This episode lasts 64 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

What is Sound Design and Who Chose That Music? Matt Miller Explains.

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Matt Miller is a master at weaving the aural layers in our commercials and often composes original music for them too. Sound design, mixing and finding the right music are the most subjective arenas in all of advertising and Matt is one of the best. He also crafted the stellar mix for my new documentary “I AM ROAD COMIC”, which buoys my camcorder-quality filming. He explains how he put each comic on his/her own track. Insane.

We chat about truncated schedules that plague the process, how he manages a room of clients and agency folks while working, and offers advise to people that want to get into the enchanting world of audio post production. Warning: great tech talk.

Watch Matt’s favorite spot he’s worked on – already a classic. C’mon, it’s the Imperial March for crying out loud.

This episode lasts 63 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

What Does The Agency Producer Do? Mike Leary Explains.

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Mike Leary is one of the most buttoned-up agency producers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. But just what the heck does an agency producer do? For starters, the agency producer guides the matchmaking process, helping the agency creative team find the right director for their project, thus making this a must-listen episode for anyone interested in directing spots.

Mike calls making commercials the “ultimate team sport” and I agree. Our talk is too thorough of a conversation to recap. He is a filmmaker that not only respects the process, but knows it inside and out.

This episode lasts 75 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Your Mother is A Liar Says Job Propulsion Lab’s Bart Cleveland.

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If you’re thinking about ad agency life, you need to hear this chat. Top creative Bart Cleveland cherishes seeing people succeed. Bart has always mentored his creative teams, and now he’s founded Job Propulsion Laboratory to help people entering advertising plan and manage a successful career. Oh, we also discuss that the perfect commercial is 42 seconds.

Here’s one of the kooky anti-smoking spot we did together:

This video explains the Job Propulsion Lab experience:

Bart launched “Small Agency Diary” at AdAge.com, always an interesting read.

This episode lasts 60 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.