Spencer McCall!: Filmmaking in a Post-Truth World
Episode 22 • 81 Minutes
Director Spencer McCall joins us to talk about documentary, narrative fiction, and everything in between. We first met Spencer after he created a film about The Jejune Institute, an alternative reality game in San Francisco. Since then, he continues to work on so many projects that blur the lines between truth and fiction, or use controversy to create meaningful messages; we talk a bit about the responsibility to the filmmaker and the audience when creating this kind of work. Spencer tells awesome stories, so get ready for a great ride and hear some really interesting discussions.
In the spirit of mystery, we’ll leave it to you to learn more about Spencer on the interwebs ;)
ALSO, we want to continue to promote our Indiegogo campaign for our short film Paper Birds, written and directed by Lauren Finerman. Please spread the word and donate as you are able. It’s an ambitious project and a very unique and wonderful story.
Adrain Elliot!: The Filmmaker’s Responsibility
Episode 21 • 62 Minutes
This month we are visited by Adrian Elliot. Adrian is a director and longtime friend who we’ve had the pleasure of working with on many occasions. He shares his story of how he found his way into filmmaking, and we talk a lot about the responsibility of the filmmaker to tell stories that are full of truth—and that doesn’t just apply to documentary work. During the conversation, we use Moonlight as an example of a film that does precisely that. We talk philosophy, process, and intention. It’s a fun episode!
Adrian’s short film “Ditch” is making the festival rounds at the moment. Check out the trailer to that film here: www.vimeo.com/adrianelliot/ditchtrailer
See more of Adrian’s work on his website: www.adrianelliot.com/
Tej Virdi!: The Social Side of Cinema
Episode 20 • 60 Minutes
New year, new episode! Kicking off 2017 is our good friend Tej Virdi, a bay area gaffer. Tej talks with us about how he got his start, how he thinks about lighting, and how important the community and social aspects of filmmaking are to him. Enjoy!
Mackenzie Mathis!: History, Mystery, & a Sea of Noise
Episode 19 • 64 Minutes
It’s been a very difficult year, and unfortunately we are still experiencing tragedy and loss. The events this past weekend around the Ghost Ship artist collective workspace are truly heartbreaking and our hearts go out to everyone affected. We wanted to take a moment to offer a resource for support:
Our guest this month is Mackenzie Mathis, a filmmaker who wears a lot of hats. He stopped by to discuss his latest film, Ten Eleven O Two, and to get philosophically deep with us not just about film, but about the world we live in, and the space around us. We talked about the social aspects as well as the isolating aspects of making movies, as well as what drives and inspires Mackenzie in his work. Get ready to get deep!
You can see Ten Eleven O Two on Vimeo on Demand:
As well as more of Mackenzie’s work:
Will Abramson!: Curating What Matters
Episode 18 • 48 Minutes
Will Abramson of Yours Truly stopped in by way of internet to get some real talk going with us. We discuss how to curate work that is meaningful, how Yours Truly has evolved as a production company and as a group of artists, and a little bit about the difference between the work that pays and the work that is our passion. It’s a really inspiring episode for us because we don’t often get to commiserate with other production companies. We hope you enjoy!
Here’s a piece we made with Yours Truly back in the day featuring Little Dragon: vimeo.com/21719521
Winnie Wong!: Going Back to the Moment
Episode 17 • 53 Minutes
This episode features Winnie Wong, a producer who has worked both in freelance as well as in the corporate arena, currently working at Pandora. We talk briefly about the differences she has seen between the freelance and corporate producing, but quickly this conversation shifts to the love of film, what drives Winnie’s work, and what inspired her to go down the path of filmmaking. Enjoy!
Winnie will be on a panel at the SF Urban Film Fest for a Q&A following the screening of an episode for the PBS project, “The Day One in the American City” (Friday Nov. 18). Check it out at www.sfurbanfilmfest.com
Mark Kohr!: Anatomy of a Music Video
Episode 16 • 56 Minutes
This episode is particularly special for us: Mark Kohr joins us! Mark has directed a huge list of amazing music videos, including many that we grew up with in the 90’s—Green Day videos, Primus videos, etc. He stood alongside Spike Jonze, David Fincher, Mark Romanek, and many others repped at Propaganda Films to set the standard a new standard for what a music video could be. Today he talks to us about his process and his ideas around creativity.
We’re super excited to have him on the show! Enjoy!
We worked with Mark on this Primus video:
Mark Kohr on the interwebz: markkohr.com/
Vincent Cortez!: Taking the Unconventional Route
Episode 15 • 54 Minutes
This episode features Vincent Cortez, a long-time friend, director and jack-of-all-trades. We focus a lot on philosophy in this episode, as Vincent talks to us about his process as a director and a storyteller, what projects interest him, and how he lives his life as a filmmaker with his family.
See Vincent’s work here: mitchellstreetpictures.com
Following that, enjoy a longer epilogue of madness as we ramble about the Candyman, breakfast cocktails, and alternative super villain origins. Enjoy!
Phil Bowen!: Everything You Ever
Episode 14 • 50 Minutes
This episode features Phil Bowen, a long time AC (assistant camera) in the Bay Area. He’s worked on everything from Hunt For Red October to Pirates of the Caribbean and has also taught production. We had the pleasure of talking with him about a very important topic: what an AC actually does. We talk about other stuff too, because Phil is an amazing storyteller with a great deal of experience and an inspiring love of filmmaking. Enjoy!
Joe Mendoza!: Fish Tanks & Photons
Episode 13 • 44 Minutes
This episode features Joe Mendoza, long time gaffer and co-owner of Little Giant Lighting & Grip. We talk to Joe about the Bay Area community of filmmakers and the projects that interest him, as well as Little Giant’s “brand” and how he thinks about the balancing act between being a working gaffer and a CEO. Additionally, this episode sets a mark for a new format, and a little more from the French Press madness. Enjoy!
Phillip Briggs!: Steaks, Cakes, & Cooks
Episode 12 • 56 Minutes
Cinematographer Phillip Briggs discusses story, collaboration, process, and the continuing journey toward mastery of our craft as filmmakers. There’s also a lot of food metaphors in here, so don’t listen hungry!
Check out Phillip’s work here: www.phillipbriggs.com
Lauren Clifford!: Taking the Leap
Episode 11 • 28 Minutes
Lauren is an awesome filmmaker that has worked on many a commercial production as well as art and dance films. We had some fun talking a little East meets West, art meets commerce, and why it’s important to grow and learn as a person in this industry. LISTEN!
Here’s a little piece we worked on together for FEMA and AdCouncil, called “We Prepare Everyday”:
Justin Plummer & Martin Strauss!: Exact Opposites
Episode 10 • 21 Minutes
The guys chat with Justin Plummer and Martin Strauss, a director duo that’s been a team since they met in college as wee laddies. They talk about a whole slew of stuff, like making decisions as a team, changing the plan, and how filmmaking is NOT like Diablo 2.
Clayton Worfolk!: Get the Story
Episode 9 • 24 Minutes
The guys sit down with director and editor Clayton Worfolk to talk a little less about commercials and a little more documentaries. Clayton gives us his perspective on directing and editing, and the challenges that come with focusing on a story where almost anything is possible.
Devin Whetstone!: Riskless Business
Episode 8 • 19 Minutes
French Press converses with cinematographer Devin Whetstone about enjoying the physical side of filmmaking, why tech marketing isn’t more cutting edge and the magical exploits of Dangerous Dave.
Mimi Cave!: As Normal As I’ll Ever Get
Episode 7 • 19 Minutes
Director Mimi Cave dropped by French Press and we had an awesome talk about everything from the effects of large and small budgets, how being emotional isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and the possibility of letting yourself “go too far” as an artist.
Jesse Dana!: Around the Campfire
Episode 6 • 19 Minutes
Cinematographer Jesse Dana boils film down to its storytelling essence, discusses how the process works, its challenges, how a team of collaborators communicate and the multi-faceted role that is being director of photography.
Larry Lauter!: Hello, Larry!
Episode 5 • 15 Minutes
With thirty years of production work under his belt, Larry’s got the chops required to offer sage advice and recount some epic stories. We recently had the pleasure of hearing his take on how creative and logistical roles support each other, what makes a good production person (and what doesn’t) and best of all, a pretty awesome anecdote from when he was starting out in the 80’s. No spoilers here, but we’ll just say two words: Heavy Metal.
Kiva Knight!: In Shining Armor
Episode 4 • 12 Minutes
Kiva Knight, gaffer and owner of Steelhip, is seriously one of our favorite guys out there. AJ and Roman sat down with Kiva about a month ago and he talked to them about his own idiosyncrasies dealing with light in his everyday life, described the roundabout way he got into this business and why he thinks people hire him (it’s the same reason some people don’t!).
Joey Izzo!: Telling It Like It Is ...Oh.
Episode 3 • 15 Minutes
French Press called up director Joey Izzo in L.A. to find out what makes him run. In turn, Joey opens up and lets us know that it’s ok to be fearful—just go make your damn movie! Have a listen!
Rafael Fernandez!: Real + Genuine
Episode 2 • 9 Minutes
Andrew Juncker and Roman Honeycutt of French Press Films interview commercial director Rafael Fernandez. They discuss writer’s block, balancing commercial and personal work, and what it means to be “authentic & genuine” in the commercial world. Enjoy!
Perez Bros.!: It All Starts with Batman
Episode 1 • 11 Minutes
The Perez Bros are a director duo who are (you guessed it!) also actual brothers. They’re dear friends and wonderfully talented and creative guys who continue to build their body of creative and funny work. We talk to them about their upcoming film, their process & perspective, and the influence that Batman has had on their career. Enjoy!
Check out the Perez Bros work here: perezbros.com