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The Indy Mogul Podcast

The Indy Mogul Podcast brings you honest, thoughtful discussions with expert filmmakers every week. Hosted by indie filmmaker and Aputure's Ted Sim.
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The Indy Mogul Podcast
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Sep 22, 2020

Have you ever wondered what work goes inside your favorite movies and YouTube videos? Then today's your lucky day! Joining us is Harold Skinner, the gaffer for Fight Club, Interstellar, and so many other classics! This episode is a little different because this is the entire YouTube breakdown, uncut for your Behind-The-Scenes curiosity. But stick around to the end to hear Harolds Hollywood gaffing tips for the Hollywood industry and what he would have told himself when he was younger.
We broke down these scenes:
1. The Social Network, the beginning breakup scene.
2. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, "I want you to catch a killer of women."
3. Interstellar, Miller's planet
These scenes can be found on youtube. But for an abridged video version with graphics and animations, head over to our YouTube channel: Indy Mogul.

In this episode, Harold Skinner and Ted break down classic Hollywood movies in full detail as well as going into Harolds tips for becoming a gaffer in the industry.

Sep 8, 2020

Since 2005, RED has become the dark horse of the film industry, promising insanely high resolutions and frame rates that will hold up to any camera system from ARRI to Canon to Sony. Their new RED Komodo shows the promise of a high quality 6K sensor for under $10,000, unheard of by any cinema camera brand. But how did they get this way? What were some of the steps that took them from Silicon Valley startup to near-cultish camera empire?

Dave and Ted walk through the details of the RED Komodo and the timeline of RED's history that got them to this point. 

Aug 28, 2020

Finding yourself in the world of filmmaking is often an exciting adventure, then met with questions and trials. But those who stand the test of time will know it's meant for them. Today, Andy Lowe, the chief electrician for works such as Paddington and The Crown, talks with us about his experience on the sci-fi set of Annihilation. He also talks about his journey into becoming a gaffer and how he never felt the call to cinematography; in fact, he felt a greater call to lighting and gaffing. 

 

In this episode, we talk with Andy Lowe about how he became a gaffer and how he got there, as well as how he knew gaffing was the right film position for him.

Jul 13, 2020

Back again with another episode about Production Design, because it really is just as important as the actors and lights you place in your scene! Joining us this time is Ian Phillips, the designer behind TV shows such as Parks and Recreation, Love, and The Good Place. For all of you hobbiest doodlers out there, you might want to listen to this one. Ian started his career pursuing medicine while drawing for fun. Then one thing lead to another and he found himself designing TV show rooms and sets. We also go into what a Production Designer does, how to break down a script as a PD, and we reveal little secrets to great set designing.

In this episode, we talk with Ian Phillips about how he became a production designer through his hobby of drawing. We also talk about his process to production design, from the script to building.

Jun 30, 2020

You think sound goes unnoticed in film? Production Design will take that up to 11! Join us with Sam Licenso, PD for movies such as Eighth Grade, Uncut Gems and Frances Ha, as we discuss how to modify and build sets to fit all types stories, from independent to professional Hollywood. Sam relives his experience in New York pursuing film school, making indie movies and living in a chaotic community of other artists and how this became the foundation for his career. We also dive into his mindset when designing a set, and how pretty shots may not be correct.

In this episode, we cover Sam Lisenco unconventional journey to becoming a production designer and his through process behind his creativity. You won't want to miss this one.

Jun 18, 2020

We've all been there. Heck, some of us are still there. It's that moment when you're working as a receptionist in an office wondering, "When will I have my big shot at making movies?" Cinematographer Alex Disenhof may have a few tips and tricks to get you started. From making snow boarding videos, to shorts being seen at SXSW, to landing an agent and joining the union only at the age of 25, Alex has one of the fastest journey's into Hollywood. His determination to work on projects he wanted to work on along with his attention to detail to visuals helped Alex get to where he is today. And this was all from a relationship breakup? 

In this episode, we follow Alex' story to being a full time cinematographer from receptionist and how life events and choices impacted his career. 

Jun 11, 2020

We've all heard stories about directors like Steven Spielberg getting his start by walking on a Universal Studios set. For a cinematographer, it's quite different. Colin Watkinson, the visionary behind the Emmy-winning show The Handmaid's Tale, tells us how he started off as a runner for a film special effects company. His passion for cameras and celluloid eventually led him to where he is now.

In this episode, we cover Colin's journey from being a camera loader to learning about motion control. We also talk about film vs. digital.

Jun 1, 2020
 

How to you get into the film industry? Do you have to cut your teeth on set and work all the time? How do you find what part of the industry you should pursue? Lachlan Milne, ASC, gives us his thoughts on this ever-changing question. He started in photography and loved using a camera. He then transitioned over to narrative cinematography by accepting and just pushing for particular projects, landing him work for Stranger Things and with Taika Waititi.

In this episode, we cover Lachlan Milne's way into the film industry and finding what part of the industry he wants to pursue.

 
 
May 20, 2020

Let's compare a filmmaker today to the filmmaker of yesterday. Movies were created with an actual strips of film in motion, lit by bright and hot tungsten lights in studios. Today, the modern filmmaker has so many options to shoot their projects from RED digital cameras to industry standard Arri Alexas to even your own cell phone. And there's no better person to talk about how technology has affected his career path better than Rich Lee. From sculpting to working at Disney out of high school, to quitting Disney to learn CGI on his own and eventually directing music videos, Rich Lee is a visual master artist. But how do you get to his level of expertise? What kind of technology should one invest in most? It's big-brain time.

In this episode, we reflect on Rich Lee's history in the entertainment industry and how technology has influenced his filmmaking career path and modern filmmaker. 

May 1, 2020

Visual Engineer? Most people wouldn't be familiar with that job title. It takes a very unique person to bridge the gap between machinery and art, and that's what Steve Giralt represents. He is the founder of The Garage, a production company that specializes in product-based work. While we wouldn't think of it when watching commercials and online ads, Steve says that behind every good product shot is a story. How do you find the story of a product, and how do you use programming and robotics to get you there? 

In this episode, we cover everything from Steve's journey out of the still photography world to dealing with brand names and big companies.

Apr 27, 2020

For you up and coming camera operators and DP's out there, this one's for you. Jeremy Benning, CSC, hangs out with us to talk about his journey as a cinematographer. Based in Toronto, Canada, Jeremy started out as a steadi-cam operator for music video's and commercials and transitioned into narrative short film work later in his career. He talks about his transition and how that actually helped him land his giant gig as the cinematographer for the Amazon show "The Expanse," "The Boys" and many others. How did he do it? How did he make the big leap from small time commercials and music videos to giant high budget shows?

In this episode, we cover how Jeremy Benning, CSC, started as a cinematographer and made a name for himself in the industry. 

Apr 17, 2020
 

It may be hard to believe, but there was a time that the same filmmakers who produced the movies we watch in the theaters were also working for free on films that nobody knows the names of. For some, a little luck is required. For Stefan Duscio, the cinematographer of The Invisible Man, it was a lot of hard work and an undying passion for imagery. How does that love for cinematography translate into a career?

In this episode, we cover Stefan's cinematography career, his love for photography, and working on indie film sets.

 
 
Mar 31, 2020
 

For those of you who consider yourself as a filmmaker, there's a good chance that you didn't start off that way. For our guest Casey, he started out in the army before finding his calling as a cinematographer. To start off on the bottom floor can be daunting, but you make sure that the experiences that you gather along the way, whether it's investing in film gear or working with others on set, are all contributing to the next big thing. But how do you gather the most out of every job? How do you know what is going to be worth it, and what are the red flags?

In this episode, we cover Casey's start as a cinematographer and how to make the most out of every opportunity.

 
Mar 27, 2020

Filmmaking can be such a bizarre career to pursue; schedules are crazy, your income fluctuates constantly, friends can change, and sometimes you fall on your head and make a feature. That's Mike Pecci's story, a feature filmmaker in the indie world. From Boston to New York, then back to Boston and now LA, Mike Pecci talks us through his journey as a filmmaker and gives his advice to young artists today. The film industry always changes, so the best way to find success is to stay up to date with what's happening, so you can become the best artist you strive to be. Whether you're in LA, Boston, or some random town, you can make your story happen.

 

In this episode, we talk about the best tips young filmmakers can do around the world to get their careers going, and we go through Mike's journey into the bizz.

Mar 14, 2020
 

Here's a story you haven't heard before. You're playing NCAA basketball, only to have your leg injured which will cost you your livelihood and force you down a different path. You sell water coolers for a couple of years after school because all your money went into starting a rap blog you thought was going to blow up. But after some long, tumultuous years, you find yourself in LA writing music video treatments and directing low budget videos until a big act gives you your first Hollywood gig. That is the story of DAPS, acclaimed music video director who has worked with the Migos, Iggy Azalea, and Kendrick Lamar. 

In this episode, we cover DAPS' career and how he was able to make a name for himself in LA.

 
Feb 21, 2020
 

Cinematographers will often say that the key to their success is their collaboration with production designers. After all, it's hard to make a good-looking image without good-looking set pieces of fill the frame. As filmmakers, it's can be hard to communicate the visual world of your story in terms of design. Guy Hendrix Dyas, the acclaimed production designer for Inception, Steve Jobs, and X2, breaks down the very fundamentals of production design while uncovering the journey he took to get to Hollywood. 

In this episode, we talk about production design, film school, Guy's career, and what it was like to work under Hollywood's top directors. 

 
Feb 11, 2020
 

The American Society of Cinematographers. To many, it's just a fancy title at the end of many prominent names. To some, it's a brotherhood. Richard Crudo, ASC, cinematographer of many well-known films and commercials, remembers the clubhouse fondly as he recounts his interactions with some master cinematographers of his time and how he eventually became president of the prestigious organization.

In this episode, we talk about the American Society of Cinematographers, Richard's career, and the duties as president.

 
Jan 22, 2020

One of the first questions that you may get asked about your movie is, "What camera did you shoot on?" Is that meant to take away from your artistry and everything else that you did on a movie? To some, maybe. To others, it can be a sign of respect. Learning about the technology and applying it to storytelling is the very basis of filmmaking. With new gear having so much of an impact today on the medium, how can you tell if you're focusing on the right thing?

In this episode, Illya Friedman, founder of Hot Rod Cameras, sits down with us to talk about cameras and when it is and isn't important to a film.  

Jan 10, 2020
 

Sometimes, we mischaracterize horror as a genre with its entirely own set of rules to follow. The truth is, horror can come from anywhere, in any form. Michael Fimognari, the cinematographer to many successful horror films such as Doctor Sleep and Oculus, tells us that the horror in his latest project The Haunting of Hill House comes from our innate wishes and desires, and that he dives deep into the human psyche before adding the spirits and visions. 

In this episode, we talk about Michael's journey as as filmmaker, how to collaborate effectively, and the behind-the-scenes stories of his most recent films.

 
Jan 2, 2020
 

Joseph Kahn, legendary music video director for artists such as Britney Spears and Taylor Swift, has led an incredible life. From dropping out of film school to working on gangster rap videos, he scrapped together everything he could to be where he is now, and the journey has been nothing if not unforgettable. CAUTION: Wild stories ahead.

 

In this episode, we talk about Joseph's filmmaking process and his views on the music video scene. 

 
Dec 16, 2019
 

A cinematographer, like a painter or musician, is an artist, and every artist has their own personal tastes. It's easy to fall into the artistic trends of the decade, but what's more important is what the artist brings from within, according to Natasha Braier, ASC. For the acclaimed cinematographer of indie classics such as Neon Demon and Gloria Bell, it's all about being able to experiment with fantastical colors and techniques on a film to leave an imprint, encouraging others to be more free within the medium.

In this episode, we talk about the difference between indie and Hollywood films, colored lighting, and what it means to be a cinematographer.

 
 
Dec 3, 2019
 

If you thought moving your entire life to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking as a career was scary, you're absolutely right. It can be grueling to make it as a director or cinematographer on your own, which is why it's important to connect with the filmmakers around you. Jakob Owens, a director/cinematographer who founded the YouTube channel TheBuffNerds, was in this exact position too, and he tells us all about how he was able to make films and find collaborators, both successfully and unsuccessfully at times.

In this episode, we talk about Jakob's journey to Los Angeles, creating a social media following as as filmmaker, and establishing his company PrismLensFX.

 
Nov 28, 2019

Shooting a TV show is vastly different from shooting a movie. Period. Instead of a director, you are met with the visions of show runners and producers. Instead of one cinematographer, there could be multiple working on the show at once. As the director of photography for the pilot and/or first season of a show, establishing the look is everything, but how does it happen? 

Cinematographer David Mullen, ASC, who has show episodes of Mad Men and Westworld, educates us on the pre-production process of a television show, specifically for his latest work Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

On this episode, we go over David's upbringing, his studies in camera and lighting, and the difference between film and digital.

Nov 22, 2019
 

The popular, Emmy-winning series Chernobyl is hailed for its commitment to realism and historical accuracy, and the cinematography makes sure to uphold such values. 

On this episode, Jakob Ihre, the show's DP, talks about his career leading up to the production of Chernobyl.

 
Nov 18, 2019
 

Everyone ha a different story.  The struggles, the victories, the golden days, and the failures. Shawn talks about his path to become a creative photographer and cinematographer.  This story can give inspiration & hope for others on similar roads.

 
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