Big Laughs With Comedian Turned Fox Executive Producer Steve Hofstetter.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

516hJjWQ1oL._SL500_AA280_

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Play

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.

Writer/Director Bobcat Goldthwait Follows His Bliss.

Play

I’m a huge Bobcat Goldthwait fan for decades. First as a comedian, then as a writer/director. His diverse directorial gigs defy classification. Besides his own films, he directs “Maron”, numerous stand-up specials, helmed many a “Chappelle’s Show” sketch and hundreds of nights of “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, a multi-camera show.

This is a great episode to inspire you to toss off the shackles in your mind and chart your own course. Bobcat’s first film, “Shakes the Clown” influenced me to make a film filled with my comic friends. Imagine how delighted I was when he brought up “The Writer’s Journey” by Christopher Vogler. It’s the one book I always recommend to young storytellers. Enjoy.

Watch the trailer for “Willow Creek”, in theaters and VOD June 6th…

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

Cinematography Tips with DP Afshin Shahidi.

Play

DP Afshin Shahidi toured Europe with Prince. In fact, one of Afshin’s first gigs in film was a music video for his Purple Badness. Turns out, we have several mutual friends (not just Prince) that he’s shot with, so it was fun to meet via the podcast. His work speaks for itself, but we sat down for a chat nonetheless.

This episode is chalk full of tech talk and praise for collaboration. Check out this Bridgestone spot Afshin shot with Sugar director Chris Smith. It was a bonus spot. The Advil spot was shot on a stage.

From Film Fests to Spot Directing with Superlounge’s Brett Wagner.

Play

Brett Wagner’s short drama “Care” is a film festival fav, recently winning “Best Drama” at LA Shorts Fest. I first met Brett five years ago when it was called the LA International Short Film Festival, and his magnificent film “Chief” won Best Dramatic Short as well. He’s been steadily gobbling up awards ever since.

Brett directs commercials via Superlounge, so we naturally talk about spot making. How did he get started. Why is there no mentor program for commercials? Do short films pay off?

The trailer for “Care” is gripping; it stars “House of Cards” Rachel Brosnahan.

On the commercial front, here’s two spots that display Brett’s comedic flare:

This episode lasts 55 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Set Yourself Free With Aaron McCann.

Play

Australia’s Aaron McCann is a filmmaker I discovered at a recent industry showcase held by the nice folks at SourceEcreative. He (along with his sometimes partner Henry Inglis) writes, directs and often stars in some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever seen. I wanted to know what it’s like directing down under, so Aaron granted me a chat. We learn his yearning for horror, his penchant for drama, and confirm that in Australia, everyone does indeed own a pet kangaroo.

Here’s the spot that introduced me to Henry & Aaron:

If my stepdaughter Gigi Feingold had not gone with me to the showcase, I’d never of met Aaron. Gigi rocks her own Youtube channel, so check her out, subscribe and show your young’ins.

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

We’re All Normal, Right?

Play

Helen is sick, and I am traveling to the World Premiere of my new documentary film “I AM ROAD COMIC”, so here’s a happy track by my son Benz and Jamir “Croosh” Malik. It’s called “We’re Normal” off their “Mooky Island” mixtape. You can download it for free here.

Jamir scored original music for my film, so watch out for great things. Benz spits mad flow. I’m just so proud that these high school guys made their own product! As you know, that is what it’s all about. I’ll be back next week with more commercial filmmaking chat and great guests.

This episode lasts 3 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

What The Hell Is Video Village? I Ask VTR Matt Wallace.

Play

Video Village is where the ad agency and client watch the monitor while enjoying fresh ginseng smoothies. It’s also one of the nerve centers of creativity on set. I had a quick chat with VTR Operator Matt Wallace about the dynamics of the video village. Matt was great to work with and always had his head in the game.

This episode lasts 16 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.

Top 5 Trade Secrets From Comedy Director Jeffrey Fleisig.

Play

This episode is like a Master Class for any director that aspires to shoot commercials for a living. Jeffrey Fleisig and I met while we were both on the roster at Über Content, and we instantly hit it off as friends. Professionally, I admire the subtle performances he delivers and his keen talent for crafting a great ad.

No doubt you’ve seen one of his 80-plus Progressive Insurance spots – he cast “Flo” – or his new Wendy’s commercials. We chat about the secret to longevity with a client, how to prepare for a conference call, talk a little tech talk, and yes, we moan about those pesky treatments.

These performances are so sly.

Here’s the well-crafted Axe spot we chat about:

And men getting hit in the balls for Coke Zero:

This episode lasts 55 minutes. Please rate us on iTunes and “like” us on Facebook pretty please.