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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – October 27, 2016

Larry Jordan

Gus Krieger, Writer/Director/Producer, The Binding Film
Jeff Farley, President, Obscure Artifacts
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter,
Lisa Younger, Actress/Writer,
Jeff G. Rack, Producing Artistic Director, Unbound Productions
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS


Larry Jordan: It’s almost Halloween, so tonight on the Buzz, we are looking at horror movies; well, that and all the Apple announcements this morning. We start with Apple, who announce several new laptops today, along with a major new upgrade; to Final Cut Pro X. James DeRuvo and I will both have comments on this, followed by analysis from Jonathan Handel, on the SAG-AFTRA strike of video game developers.

Larry Jordan: Then, from new technology to the dark of night, Halloween approaches. Gus Krieger is a Writer, Director and Producer, who earns his living scaring the socks off people. Tonight, Gus explains what it takes to create a scary film.

Larry Jordan: Next, Lisa Younger is an actress who has made a career out of acting in horror films. Tonight, she explains how she got started and what makes acting terrified so much fun. Next, Jeff G. Rack is an Art Director who specializes in sets that inspire fear. Tonight, he talks about how to design for maximum terror.

Larry Jordan: Next, nothing says fear like blood dripping off someone’s face. Tonight, Emmy nominated Makeup Artist, Jeff Farley, joins us to talk about creating truly frightening looks. Brace yourself, the Buzz starts now.

Male Voiceover: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking: Authoritative; one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals. Current; uniting industry experts. Production; filmmakers. Post-production, and content creators around the planet. Distribution; from the media capital of the world, in Los Angeles, California, the Digital Production Buzz goes live now.

Larry Jordan: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry; covering media production, post-production and marketing around the world. This year celebrates our 17th year of podcasting. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan.

Larry Jordan: Apple made big news this morning, announcing both new hardware and a major upgrade to Final Cut Pro X. James DeRuvo will be along in a couple of minutes, to talk about the hardware, but I want to spend a minute talking about Final Cut Pro X. The big news is an all new interface; I’ve spent the last couple of weeks using it, in order to create all new training. Apple’s goals were to remove distractions from the center of the frame; improve the visibility of the video clips; and cluster buttons and features in groups that made more sense for editing. Along the way, Apple also revised the magnetic timeline, added a whole host of smaller, but still important feature and function improvements and significantly, added support for wide color gamete media.

Larry Jordan: I want to spend a moment talking about wide color gamete media. Since the introduction of video in the late 1940s, what we see on the screen is only a fraction of what our eyes can see. Each major change in video, from black and white to color, to high definition to 4K, has been an attempt for our media to more closely resemble what our eyes can see. The latest version of this effort is video defined by Rec. 2020. Now Rec. 2020 is similar in concept to Rec 709 for HD, it’s a spec that defines things; like color space, saturation, resolution and so on. Apple’s support for wide color gamete media is the color space portion of the Rec. 2020 spec. The problem is that, while Final Cut and Pro Res now can Handel 16 bit color, our computer monitors can’t; though, a video monitor can. This means that we can shoot really high quality images; we can edit these images, but we can’t yet see these images properly on our computer screens.

Larry Jordan: One of the big benefits to the announcements this morning is that, Apple is taking steps to move both software and computer displays out of the limitations of Rec 709 and expanding into Rec. 2020. But they can’t get there all at once, they need an interim step and that interim step is called P3; part of the way between 709 and 2020 and you’ll be hearing more about this in the coming months.

Larry Jordan: I have an article on my website, at, detailing more about the features in the latest version of Final Cut Pro X and my article includes a link to a new whitepaper on Apple’s website, that talks about this new color space, in illustrated detail; and I encourage you to read both. By the way, I want to invite you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter, at Every issue, every week, gives you an inside look at the Buzz, quick links to the different segments on the show and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers; and best of all, every issue is free and comes out on Friday.

Larry Jordan: Now, thinking of Apple, it’s time for a DoddleNews update, with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hello Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: Well, I tell you, my pen almost ran out of ink. What’s going on with Apple, what’s the news?

James DeRuvo: Well, it’s all about the touch bar; but, you know, today is the 25th Anniversary of Apple’s very first laptop computer. I think it’s the PowerBook 190. Apple announced the new Macbook Pro today, which they said, get this, is 6.8 million times faster than that original PowerBook.

Larry Jordan: 6.8 million. Okay, so what does this new speed demon do?

James DeRuvo: It comes in two different models, three different configurations; so, could they have made it any more confusing? I don’t think so. But there’s going to be a 13 inch Macbook Pro and a 15 inch Macbook Pro. The 13 inch is divided up into two different models; they both come with dual core i5 processors; the new Skylake processor; with the Intel iris graphics and a 256 gigabit SSD drive. Also has two thunderbolt three ports. Prices will start at 1499. The difference between the two 13 inches is one has the touch bar and the other doesn’t; and we’ll get to the touch bar in just a second.

James DeRuvo: Then there’s the 15 inch Macbook Pro, which comes with a touch bar. It comes with the i7 quad core processor and these Radeon Polaris graphic cards and four thunderbolt three ports. Starting price on that one is 2399. The reason why I say it’s all about the touch bar is, because the majority of their time, talking about the Mac Pro, was all about this new thing called the touch bar; which replaces that row of 45 year old function keys that nobody uses on the keyboard.

Larry Jordan: Just a minute, I use the function keys; so almost nobody uses. Go ahead.

James DeRuvo: Mine has a nice layer of dust on them. This is really cool, is, it’s a Retina touch bar, that has the Force Touch built into it; and depending upon what App you use, the touch bar changes its configuration according to what it is. If you’re editing music in a garage band, all the buttons will change. If you’re editing in iMovie or Final Cut Pro, all the buttons will change. You can customize these buttons, you can assign these different buttons to do different things; and because it has Force Touch, it does what they announced in Final Cut Pro today, is that they’ve taken the timeline and put it onto the touch bar; so you can actually use your fingers to do little edits. Ripple edits and insert editing and all types of stuff, right onto this little tiny touch bar. It’s the craziest thing.

James DeRuvo: You can drag buttons from the screen onto your touch bar, because it’s essentially just this, I don’t know, half inch long, half inch tall, then 12 inch long retina screen is really what it is; and you can drag and drop right onto the bar. If you want to grab a clip and drag it into the timeline, you just grab the clip from your … and drag it onto the touch bar. Craziest thing I’ve ever seen and it’s really cool.

Larry Jordan: I am very interested in seeing one in person; I’m sort of dubious but I’m willing to be persuaded it can be a good idea. James, where can people go on the web to learn more about what’s happening at Apple and around the industry?

James DeRuvo: All these stories and more can be found at

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the Senior Writer for DoddleNews and returns next week with a weekly DoddleNews update. James, thank you so very much.

James DeRuvo: Okay Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan Handel is an Entertainment and Technology Attorney of Council at TroyGould in Los Angeles. He’s also the Contributing Editor on Entertainment Labor issues for the Hollywood Reporter; and best of all, he’s a regular here on the Buzz. Hello Jonathan, welcome back.

Jonathan Handel: Larry, it’s a pleasure to be back.

Larry Jordan: So SAG-AFTRA is on strike against the video game developers? What’s the story?

Jonathan Handel: They are. They’ve been negotiating, on and off, mostly off, for the last almost two years, starting February of last year, when the existing contract expired. A year ago, the members authorized the board to call a strike in its discretion and the board did do that, about a week ago, I’d say actually.

Larry Jordan: Well the union has characterized the game industry as having a freeloader model of compensation. What are they talking about?

Jonathan Handel: The issue and what they’re referencing is the lack of residuals in the video game industry; so, the union says, you know, residuals are what allow actors to live from gig to gig and the television and theatrical business, of course, residuals are a key part of actors’ compensation. Average residuals make up something like 40 or even 50% of an actor’s total compensation income in a year. But the video game industry does not pay residuals and, by calling this a freeloader model, the union are saying, look, the only reason these actors are available to work for you guys and the video industry, is that other industries are paying them residuals; so you are freeloading off of that.

Larry Jordan: Who is the creative artist here? Because, you’ve got the actors who are providing the voice talent, but you also have animation and graphic artists that bring the games visually to life. Why should the actors get residuals and the developers not?

Jonathan Handel: That’s right. Many of those other folks are on staff and work for many months on a game, whereas the actors may work for a few days, each given actor. The answer that is two-fold; one is that, we are seeing an overlap or clash of cultures here. Actors come from a culture where they do get residuals and it’s part of what’s customary and part of what’s often essential for them to survive economically. The other point is that, many of those other works work for companies where they get a form of secondary compensation or [backend] as well and they might stock options. So, those folks are working, you know, for some given period and they’re going to get something that is going to be very valuable if the company is successful; namely stock options.

Larry Jordan: Is this an issue of philosophy, of contract wording, or is it actual economics?

Jonathan Handel: Well, it’s an issue of philosophy in many ways, at this point, more than wording and more than economics. The reason for that is that the union has also agreed that they would accept a system where there would be residuals, but in the discretion of the company, the company could buy out the residuals in advance. The companies have tried to say, this is terminology, why is the union on strike over terminology? Of course, that answer can be flipped on its head. If it’s just terminology, why don’t the companies simply compromise and say, okay, it’s just terminology, we’ll agree to your terminology?

Jonathan Handel: Frankly, it’s a bogus point to call it terminology. It is philosophy. The fear on the part of the companies is that, by paying residuals, they sort of symbolize the growth of the union within the industry. They may prompt other people to ask for residentials; it may prompt other people to want to unionize; it may prompt the beginning of a system that becomes more and more complex and ultimately costly, as residuals. You know, in TV and theatrical, it’s a very complicated system.

Jonathan Handel: All of that is the substantive difference in cultures here. Neither side has taken an approach that I think might make some sense, which is, okay, if the companies are not comfortable with residuals, why not offer stock options to actors? Traditionally stock options are triggered based on how long you’ve been at the company; but, in fact, it’s not required that options work that way. Options could work based on the system essentially of box office bonuses; how well does the game do; how many units are sold, which is exactly the set of triggers that the union was looking for in its residuals provision.

Jonathan Handel: So there is a way, it seems to me, of bridging this gap, but unfortunately right now, both sides are at the point where they feel insulted by the other, they feel that any movement towards the other would be a concession of weakness and, so, there’s no meeting scheduled and they’ve dug in their heels.

Larry Jordan: What do you see as the practical effect of the strike? How is this going to play out?

Jonathan Handel: The companies like the SAG-AFTRA actors, because they often are, you know, the people who are at the top of their game, no pun intended I guess, and have the skill set. There’s a professionalism there and, so, that becomes an issue. There are SAG-AFTRA actors who work very reliably, very heavily in games and are hired over and over again; you know, not because they’re famous or even recognizable, per se, but because they deliver the goods when they’re hired.

Larry Jordan: Jonathan, where can we go on the web to learn more about all these issues?

Jonathan Handel: Well, two places; is a redirect to our labor coverage; and to follow me a little bit more directly,

Larry Jordan: That’s and Jonathan Handel is the Contributing Editor on Entertainment Labor issues for the Hollywood Reporter. Jonathan, thanks for joining us today.

Jonathan Handel: Thanks very much Larry.

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Larry Jordan: Writer, Director, Producer, Gus Krieger, earns his living scaring the socks off other people. His work includes The Killing Room, Would You Rather Fender Bender? And The Binding. Gus, I think I’m delighted to welcome you to the program.

Gus Krieger: That ambiguity is a good thing, I think.

Larry Jordan: Gus, you write scripts for both horror and documentaries; which do you prefer?

Gus Krieger: You know, I’ve got a special fondness for both; you know, true stuff and the fictionalized scary stuff. But I think my heart lies with horror.

Larry Jordan: Oh good, because we’re talking horror tonight. How is writing for horror different from writing other scripts?

Gus Krieger: You know, you’ve also just got to be keeping the audience in mind with a horror or a thriller screenplay. You know, you’ve got to have that kind of opening night scenario in mind or people at home with their popcorn and their DVD, because, if the movie is not kind of actively working on the viewer in some way, in any given moment, then you messed up.

Larry Jordan: Well, how do you start planning a script? Are you reading the newspaper searching for disasters?

Gus Krieger: You know, I’m probably guilty of some real-life kind of pillaging at one point or another; but for me it’s always kind of more of the kernel of an idea and if something is compelling to me in that way. Usually, if I find that it doesn’t kind of leave my brain for a couple of weeks or months, then I know that there’s something there and have to go and explore it further.

Larry Jordan: Is the writing process different if it’s your idea versus an idea that’s been given to you from another Producer?

Gus Krieger: Yes. I mean, the difference is, you know, obviously you’re just kind of servicing your own whims versus somebody else’s. When you’ve been kind of literally hired by someone else to execute their vision, you’re sort of at their mercy and if they have an idea you don’t agree with, necessarily, you still have to go along with it and find the best way to make it work and make sense for yourself; whereas, if it’s an original thing that you came up with, you’re kind of unrestricted by any of that and it’s a little more free and fun that way.

Larry Jordan: There’s lots of different ways to write scripts and we’re not going to necessarily talk about all of them. But, in a few minutes, we’re going to hear from an actress who specializes in acting in horror films and she tells us that, most horror scripts are pretty light; leaving room for lots of improvisation on set and much visualization, but not a lot of conversation. Is that true for horror scripts in general, or is that just a statement that is applicable to a single writer?

Gus Krieger: You know, I think that that’s a fair statement, kind of as far as the broad genre conventions go. You know, traditionally kind of act three of at least the flasher sub-genre is, you know, the lead kind of running around being chased and there’s not a lot of dialog, usually, by the time it gets that [mono or emono] showdown or women emonster as it were. So, you know, it makes sense that an actor would rely more on kind of physicality or what happens to them in the moment. The spontaneity in all that might be a little freer when it comes to acting scared than when there’s a very kind of tightly structured more dialog heavy script.

Larry Jordan: It may be just my old fogginess, but when I think of writing I think of writing dialog and I realize, in a horror film, an actor’s either running, fighting, or hiding; there’s not a lot of words there. What are you actually writing?

Gus Krieger: Well, you know, depending on the filmmaker and if you’re a Writer/Director or if you’re writing for somebody else, people like to kind of have varying degrees of specificity, all that. You know, I’ve seen screenplays where it’s just, you know, he chases her around the house and then that translates into, you know, 15 minutes of screen time, in cases where it’s very specific and granular in terms of, you know, she scoots three inches to her left, she holds her breath, the shadow passes by her face; you know, that kind of thing. It kind of depends on the style of the person doing the scripting.

Larry Jordan: It doesn’t start with the line, let’s split up and then she says improv after that?

Gus Krieger: You know, that would be a good kind of mold, a good framework. A good jumping off point.

Larry Jordan: In the past, when I look at films like Wait Until Dark or Rosemary’s Baby, these were heavily story and character based films; horror films today tend to focus more on violence and blood. How important is story in today’s films?

Gus Krieger: You know, it’s a good question because I think that, there are a lot of people that kind of have that notion. I think that, if you look hard enough, you can find movies that still kind of strike a good balance of each. There was a movie out this year called The Witch, that was directed by a gentleman named Robert Eggers, I believe. That was a movie that had some very extreme, very kind of specific moments of gore and violence; but outside of those would probably total, you know, maybe three minutes of screen time in 100 minute movie. You know, it’s a period piece about a religious family living on the outskirts of a wood in the 1800s; so, that movie kind of played more like The Crucible or a work of literature than a straight horror movie; even though, ultimately, that’s very much what it was. I think, if you know where to look, you can still find films that kind of strike that 1970s balance of story and thrills.

Larry Jordan: From a writing point of view, when you’re thinking of your actors, are you using a horror film more as an ensemble, or are you looking at something which is more star driven?

Gus Krieger: You know, it’s a good question; because you find great examples of both. You know, Rosemary’s Baby, which you mentioned, is a very good example of something that’s, you know, a vehicle for that lead actress. You’re with her, you know, 85% of that film, even when there’s other folks around. Then, I think, maybe from some of the more ensemble, slasher pieces are always more of a group by their nature and kind of benefit from that; because, if there’s not a star there, then you don’t necessarily know who’s going to be the one to make it out alive; which kind of adds to the kind of tension aspect of it. If you have kind of eight characters that are all given equal weight, you’re not sure who’s going to go next and that can be a lot of fun.

Larry Jordan: Fun is such a relative term.

Gus Krieger: Movie fun.

Larry Jordan: What’s the process of writing the script and what I’m looking at here is, it’s like comedy, once you understand the punch line, the joke isn’t funny anymore. How do you keep that audience tension that we all look for in a horror movie, when you know in your head how it’s going to end?

Gus Krieger: Sure. Yes, I mean, the kind of big question that hangs over every horror movie, you know, it’s going to be one of the ones where the main person makes it out alive or one of the ones where all the good guys die and the triumphant person. There’s always ways to kind of keep things fresh within that; some of the tactics are a little cheaper, you know, you blast a lot of noise when a cat leaps out of the closet and some of them can be a little more kind of creeping and subtle and it’s something that you don’t think got you too bad in the movie theatre; but then, once you get home, you’re checking the closet before you go to sleep. So, there’s all kinds of ways in.

Larry Jordan: Is there still a challenge in writing a horror film? Is there still something new to discover; or do we just go for more graphic examples of violence?

Gus Krieger: You know, the neat thing about the genre is that, every time we kind of collectively think that we’ve hit a wall, somebody comes along and turns everything on its ear. You know, for a while we thought that the slasher genre was completely stale, coming out of the 80s, and then Wes Craven did Scream and that pumped a bunch of new life into that; we got another ten years of, you know, teen, whodunit flashers. Then, once that started to get a little more tired, The Ring came along and then everything was Japanese remakes for a couple of years. Then people got bored with that and Hostel came along and everything turned very extreme for a while. After that was Blumhouse and they were back to the more kind of PG-13 ghosty elements. Every eight or ten years or so, the popular version of these movies kind of take another left turn, which is part of the reason that I think it’s endured for as long as it has.

Larry Jordan: You wear multiple hats; you’re a Writer, you’re a Director, you’re a Producer; we’ve been talking about writing, because it all starts with the script, but of the three, which do you enjoy the most?

Gus Krieger: Enjoy can be a little bit of a relative term; you know, enjoyment versus fulfillment and all the rest of it. When things are really kind of firing on all cylinders, the Director side of things can be extremely exciting; because you kind of have an army of artists and craftsmen at your disposal, to help execute everything that you’re currently attempting. It’s kind of unlike any other job, in that regard. You know, I imagine maybe an architect feels that way, how you design something that’s kind of theoretical and then you get, you know, all the best people that you can or that you can afford to come and help you actually create the thing.

Gus Krieger: That aspect is pretty great but, you know, by definition, Directors kind of have less opportunity to ply their trade because of how much kind of goes into kind of getting it up and running. You know, sometimes it can be a nightmare if the mechanism is not functioning properly; but, if everybody’s kind of doing their jobs as hard as you are, that can be, you know, a really one of a kind experience.

Larry Jordan: I know that feeling; it’s like, wow, I’m in charge and all of a sudden, oh Lord, I’m in charge.

Gus Krieger: Yes, exactly, it turns on a dime.

Larry Jordan: That changes generally twice or three times in the same day, if I remember correctly. From the business point of view, can anybody make money at horror? I mean, is it still a financially successful proposition?

Gus Krieger: Yes. I mean, you know, it’s tough. Unfortunately, you’re seeing in the movie industry, all over the country, the shrinking and disappearance of the middle class. You know, it used to be a $3 million horror movie was low budget and now that’s in the higher end of what most of these are costing these days and everybody goes into it kind of hoping for that lightning strike. I mean, something like Paranormal Activity truly was the lottery; they made it for something like, I think, 30 grand and then it grossed, you know, close to 100 million worldwide, or 60 million; you know, some insane profit margin on that and that’s what everybody kind of going into it hoping.

Gus Krieger: That’s an unusual example but it’s getting harder and harder to be super profitable, but, as long as you kind of have a unique and interesting and different story to tell, there’s always a market for that.

Larry Jordan: Can you find it in distribution, or is it done just through indie?

Gus Krieger: You know, it can kind of swing both ways. I’ve known people and I’ve done it myself where, you know, you just kind of hope for the best; you hope to play the festival. They get, you know, a pick up without festivals or I’ve known plenty of people that, these days, just make a movie and release it themselves on iTunes; so, you know, it’s super independent. It’s the film equivalent of self-publishing an eBook or something like that. The nice thing about social media and that whole side of the business now is that, if something again is brilliant or truly unique, it will find its audience, even if it doesn’t get a theatrical release or a traditional kind of platform studio release. That’s comforting, the fact that you can still find quality stuff out there just based on recommendations and all that kind of stuff.

Larry Jordan: Gus, for people that want to keep track of the stuff you’re working on, where can they go on the web?

Gus Krieger: You can find me on Twitter @mrgusk and I think that’s probably the best point of contact. My page there has references to other websites and all that kind of stuff. My most recent movie, The Binding film, is on Twitter on that hat @thebindingfilm.

Larry Jordan: Gus Krieger is a Writer, Producer, Director, with his most recent film being The Binding and, Gus, thanks for joining us today.

Gus Krieger: Yes, thank you.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye-bye.

Gus Krieger: Bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: Lisa Younger is an Actress and Writer, trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts; currently living in New York. She’s appeared in numerous award-winning web series, stage productions and films that routinely make the festival circuit. Hello Lisa, welcome.

Lisa Younger: Hello, thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: What got you interested in the horror genre in the first place?

Lisa Younger: It was just by happenstance that I was cast in my first horror film. After that it became very commonplace; I found myself very easily being case in those roles and I started to divert to a horror sub-genre of horror comedy and I think that’s where I’m really at home.

Larry Jordan: Horror comedy. Is that possible?

Lisa Younger: I know, it’s relatively new and, if you Google it, there are articles about it. It’s so much fun to do and it melds everything that I love about horror, which is the physicality of it and the challenge and the lightheartedness and being able to just go as far as you can into the absurd.

Larry Jordan: What’s the challenge of doing horror? I mean, don’t you just sort of stand in the corner in a dark room and scream?

Lisa Younger: Yes, that’s part of it. Horror is interesting because it can be very tense on the set. I do think the tone of the film tends to introduce that, in terms of how people work; and I also think it’s tough because, you’re always in a state of tension as the character. If you look at horror films, everyone is either running away, fighting, or hiding; and they usually have some type of physical limitation. You know, I played a character who had a broken leg, so she was limping and, characters after they get into a fight with the villain, then they have these wounds and they’re usually always lost as well. It’s like they walk into a building that they’ve never been into before, they’re just in these new situations. They’re lost, they’re scared, they’re running, they’re confronting the villain, they’re fighting the villain, they’re hiding from the villain; it’s a lot.

Larry Jordan: How do you prepare your body for horror scenes and your voice; especially for screaming?

Lisa Younger: The voice, I find, as long as you scream from your diaphragm, you really can do it again and again and again; and it’s not going to hurt you. In terms of in my body, you have to start from a place of extreme relaxation; so, I think meditation and yoga and just you doing a body scan before scenes at the beginning of the day can really help; and then, when you’re in that place, you can build tension where you want the tension to be. You have to show fear to the audience, so, you do have to create tension; but you want to do that consciously.

Larry Jordan: It’s been said that horror films are the most reliable way for independent filmmakers to make money; is that true for the actors as well?

Lisa Younger: I do think there’s more horror work, there’s just so much quantity and it’s very easy for horror films to get distribution. They’re so popular overseas; so when you jump onboard in a horror film, you kind of already know that this is going to get sold. You’re not working in the dark in that sense, where you’re sort of creating a film almost on spec and thinking, maybe nobody will see this; in terms of independent filmmaking. There’s a lot of times indie films just don’t find an audience and horror really has a built-in audience; so, that’s good for everybody involved.

Larry Jordan: Do you need a good script, as an actor, to make a believable horror performance?

Lisa Younger: I think a good script is necessary. I do think, however, with horror, you have a lot of room to play with the script. Horror scripts tend to be quite short, actually; I think they leave a lot of room for just very elongated, almost silence scenes. If you watch horror, there’s not as much dialog as in other films; they spend a lot of time really building up and holding the tension. You get the script and it’s almost underwritten. But I think that comes with the understanding that, on the day, you’re going to fill that blueprint in.

Lisa Younger: I think horror these days is so different from, you know, the Rosemary’s Baby day of horror, because, those films are all about the script and they’re all about the cinematography, compared to what people are doing now. People now are much more into just the violence and the ghosts and the moment of scares.

Larry Jordan: You’ve managed to make a fairly substantial career out of horror movies. What is it that you like about acting in them?

Lisa Younger: I love the challenge, I love that they’re usually ensemble pieces; I really enjoy working with other actors and other artists and the ensemble is, I think, very important. I also just love the technicality aspect; it appeals to my meticulous detail oriented nature. You get to work with people that are really doing what they love; I don’t think anybody gets into horror because they’re not interested or they think, like, oh, it’s just a job.

Larry Jordan: Lisa, where can people go on the web to learn more about you and the work you’re doing?

Lisa Younger: I have a website. You can look me up at HYPERLINK “” and learn all about me.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word; Actress and Writer. Lisa, thanks for joining us today.

Lisa Younger: Thank you so much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Jeff Rack is an Art Director for films and commercials and as an e effects artist, his work can be seen at Armageddon, Con Air, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes and many more. He was also involved in the construction and design of theme park rides. He’s designed more than 150 productions across the world. Hello Jeff, welcome.

Jeff G. Rack: Hi Larry, how you doing?

Larry Jordan: I am doing great, because I never understand the whole concept of art director and set design and I know, in the time we’ve got, you’re going to tell me everything I need to do. First, what are you working on now?

Jeff G. Rack: Well, of course, Wicked Lit is up at the moment, but I’m currently working on a theatrical show with Theater 40. It’s a piece on Chaplin and Mary Pickford; so that’s an interesting set design; because it’s the 1930s.

Larry Jordan: Well, let’s switch over to Wicked Lit and scary stuff. How do you make a set look scary?

Jeff G. Rack: You know, it’s about atmosphere; so, you want to just create an atmosphere and, actually, working at Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery, I’m starting off with a pretty good atmosphere to begin with. I just go in and augment something that’s already great to begin with, that works for each of the specific storylines.

Larry Jordan: Well, is the idea to show or to leave stuff to the imagination?

Jeff G. Rack: You know, I’m a big believer in leaving stuff to the imagination. You know, you put out there the things that will kind of trigger that imagination; especially with a Halloween or horror based show. We kind of work out of darkness and, you know, kind of carve out a darkness; so, what isn’t seen is often, you know, more effective than what is. Yes, definitely it’s the combination of the darkness with the design.

Larry Jordan: What’s the relationship between the Art Director and the Set Designer and the Lighting Designer?

Jeff G. Rack: You know, we all work in tandem. I mean, obviously, how the light hits the set and how it’s used to augment the set is important. A lot of times I’ll build in windows and make sure that there’s lighting fixtures, sconces, chandeliers, source lights that the designer can use to help create the mood.

Larry Jordan: Wicked Lit is a theater and you’ve done both theater and film; what’s the difference between art directing on film and art directing in the theater?

Jeff G. Rack: You have more money, for one. You know, when you art direct for theater, you’re usually creating one space. It might change throughout the show but it’s pretty specific what you’re looking at and it doesn’t alter. In production design, a lot of times you have to overbuild things; you build things so that a Director can come in and shoot in any direction, on the spot; you know, so it’s not as planned out usually. A little bit more work is involved, because you have to kind of sometimes work an idea 360; you know, being able to shoot in any direction. There’s a lot more involved. There’s more planning involved in something like that. But, yes, it’s a combination of that and you use more money to realize things.

Jeff G. Rack: With theater, you’ve got to be a little more creative, which I actually like; I like having to design with a limit, because it forces you to make some interesting design decisions.

Larry Jordan: For people that are interesting in seeing your interesting design decisions, where can they go on the web to learn more?

Jeff G. Rack: You know, go to, to visit our website for Wicked Lit and our company Unbound Productions; and, it can give you the information on the show.

Larry Jordan: Jeff G. Rack is an Art Director for a variety of films, commercials and stage plays and Wicked Lit is one of them. That’s Jeff, thanks for joining us today.

Jeff G. Rack: Thank you Larry, appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: Bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: There’s another website I want to introduce you to, DoddleNews gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource, presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNews also offers a resource guide and crew management platform, specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their App, directory and premium listings, provide in-depth organizational tools for busy production professionals.

Larry Jordan: DoddleNews is a part of the Thalo Arts community, a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with the resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals, or require state of the art online tools, to manage your next project, there’s only one place to go;

Larry Jordan: Jeff Farley is an Emmy nominated Special Effects and Makeup and Creature Designer with nearly 40 years’ experience. In fact, he can make anybody look like just about anything. Hello Jeff, welcome.

Jeff Farley: Hi Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: I’ve been talking Halloween and horror, I’m so terrified right now I can barely sit here in a dark studio; so, other than that I’m doing great. What is it that makes horror makeup so interesting?

Jeff Farley: I think it’s just the sheer fun of it. A lot of us grew up watching horror films and it sort of stuff with us and we’re just like big kids.

Larry Jordan: Well let’s pretend that a Producer wants this giant gothic looking dragon head, how do you go about figuring out how to create it?

Jeff Farley: Well, the first thing I do is get how much it costs. Really, you’ve got to talk to the filmmakers first and get their ideas of what they’re looking for and, from there, it’s a process of sort of whittling things down to materials and time and labor and, you know, just the nuts and bolts things about actually getting the job done. From there, that’s where the fun begins; it’s where the creative stuff starts going.

Larry Jordan: Thinking of the dragon, do you start with an image in your head, or does it evolve as your hands play with the different materials you work with?

Jeff Farley: Oh again, sometimes the filmmakers will come to you and they’ll have their ideas; they will already have put together a [log] book and say, you know, we want a bit of this and a bit of that and from there you try to follow what they’re going for. At the same time, you know, put a little bit of your own influence into it also; just to, again, make it creatively satisfying for yourself. That’s not always possible, but, even then you just try to do the best job you can. It’s a little give and a little take.

Larry Jordan: Do you work in other people’s studios, or do you have your own space?

Jeff Farley: Well, these days I rent space; I actually put all my stuff in storage a couple of years ago, just to fight inflation and things like that, but, when I get a job I’ll rent space over other studios. I sometimes work at one or two of these other places also; you know, to just pay the bills and just fill the time in between the jobs of my own that come in.

Larry Jordan: You’ve got a wonderful video on how you put together, I don’t know what the word is, whether it’s a costume or makeup; but you turn a guy into a monster; and these are normal looking, kind of happy to meet them on the street and, by the time you’re done, I don’t want to be within two city blocks of him. How do you make makeup scary? What do you create that makes us afraid?

Jeff Farley: Well, you’re probably talking about my nosferatu slash Batboy vampire makeup. But, in that case, there’s always some sort of deep rooted psychological fear of just creepiness and the nosferatu makeup from the 20s, I think everybody’s seen it and it really strikes a chord with people because it’s just such an effective makeup. In that case, it was a lot of just, let’s put this together and see how it works and a lot of it comes from the lighting; the camera also; just even down to the editing and the actor adding his own sort of inflections into it. The Director, of course, he’s got his take on it. It’s kind of a collaborative effort but, in the end, we just try our best and we just hope that we scare a few people.

Larry Jordan: Well, you made a point I want to follow up on. How much of your creative work is dependent upon the Actor wearing it? I mean, if you’ve got tons of prosthetics on, you could have just about any warm body under there.

Jeff Farley: It also depends on how effective the person is who’s wearing it, because, they’re literally half of the job; maybe even more, maybe three quarters of it. Look at Jeff Goldblum of the remake of The Fly or Doug Jones playing Abe Sapien in the Hellboy movies and the Crimson Peak ghosts. You know, what they bring to the table is real experience and they’re able to translate through all of that wall of makeup. Somehow it enhances the entire look. It’s very difficult to describe, but it’s sort of ethereal in that way.

Larry Jordan: For me, much of what is scary is what we don’t see, where our imagination takes over. I mean, there’s nothing worse than an effect or makeup that just doesn’t work. How do you, as the Designer, balance engaging the mind versus capturing the eye?

Jeff Farley: Well, I try to go into design things based on what’s in the script. Again, it’s taking the brains of others that give you the ideas, I think of where you need to go with these things. I mean, unless they give you carte blanche and say, we love what you did on this thing. I did a feature once where I was hired to do a creature and they loved what I did in a short film and they gave me a lot of freedom. It’s a case of just, you take it as far as you can.

Larry Jordan: Is that which is creepy, that which is scary, something that we see, in other words something that you create, or something that isn’t there; or is it, really you just provide a palette and the lighting and the camera goes from there? I’m looking at the balance of where you fit into the whole puzzle.

Jeff Farley: Well, you know, sometimes we have to be there; because, it’s a visual element. Film is a visual element and by that nature, Producers and Directors like to show you images that might shock you. But that’s not always to say that, just a slight move of the camera or a sound effect, or a lighting effect couldn’t be just as creepy. I think a lot of that comes from the audience’s viewpoint.

Larry Jordan: What first attracted you to the genre all those years ago?

Jeff Farley: Well, a lot of it just came from horror movies on TV; you know, Frankenstein, King Kong; you know, just films like that fascinated me. It turned out that I was growing up over in Glendale and I could just look in the phone book and there were people that worked on the industry that I could call and I’d get information. There was a man named Forrest Ackerman who edited a magazine called Famous Monsters of Filmland and I spent about three years of my life over at his place, where he had a museum. I would help show people around the museum and just absorb all of this information and just meet people and it just sort of snowballed from there. I was about 14 when I got my first actual professional job; so it’s a pretty long haul from there.

Larry Jordan: For Producers who are planning their first horror film, where should they invest their money when it comes to makeup? What is it that creates the expense and where do they get the best return for a limited budget?

Jeff Farley: Well, I think it boils down to, you know, if they really want to show a lot, then of course there’s a lot to build and that takes a lot of money. If they can pare things down to a more reasonable nature, show some things, imply other things, try to strike a balance, you know, it makes the costs more reasonable. But really, when you get into things like very heavy mechanical types of items, you know, a good deal of cost could be incurred with those techniques. A lot of shows will hire me specifically for small [gags] because I seem to excel at that; so it will kind of go from one show to the next.

Larry Jordan: Jeff, for people that want to learn more about your work or hire you for their next project, where can they go on the web?

Jeff Farley: HYPERLINK “”

Larry Jordan: I love the name of the company, and Jeff Farley is the President and Head Creative Director for Obscure Artifacts. Jeff, this has been a fun visit, thank you so much for your time.

Jeff Farley: I really appreciate it Larry, thank you very much.

Larry Jordan: My pleasure, take care, bye-bye.

Jeff Farley: Have a nice evening, goodbye.

Larry Jordan: It’s interesting, talking about horror films and talking about making people scared; the amount of different crafts that are involved. Whether you’re the Writer or the Director, the Art Designer, the Actor, the Makeup Artist and all the other teams that put it together, it’s just been fun talking about this specific genre and all the different people that are involved in putting this together. It makes me think of how collaborative the whole filmmaking process is and how everybody’s creativity spins off everybody else’s; starting with a story and going from there.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests for tonight’s show; Gus Krieger, Lisa Younger, Jeff Rack, Jeff Farley, Jonathan Handel, James DeRuvo; for all of their time and their expertise. There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website, at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews, all online and all available to you today. Remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Friday. You can talk with us about it on Twitter, @dpbuzz and Facebook at Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner, with additional music provided by Text transcripts provided by Take1 Transcription. Visit to learn how they can help you. Our Producer is Debbie Price; my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for joining us for the Digital Production Buzz.

Digital Production Buzz – October 27, 2016

Today Apple announced new laptops and software, plus Halloween is only four days away – a perfect time to talk about horror films.

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Gus Krieger, Jeff Farley, Jonathan Handel, Lisa Younger, Jeff G Rack, and James DeRuvo.

  • Apple Releases New Version of Final Cut Pro X – An Analysis
  • Apple’s Hardware Announcements
  • The Thinking Behind SAG/AFTRA’s Strike of Video Game Developers
  • Writing and Directing a Horror Film
  • Acting in a Horror Movie – and Surviving!
  • Art Direction and Set Design for Horror Films and Plays
  • Make-up for Horror Films

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Listen to the Full Episode

(To download the show, right-click Download and click “Save Link As…”)

Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week

Featured Interview #1: Writing and Directing a Horror Film

Gus Krieger
Gus Krieger, Writer/Director/Producer, The Binding Film

Writer, director, and producer Gus Krieger earns his living scaring the sox off other people. His work includes: “The Killing Room,” “Would You Rather,” “Fender Bender,” and “The Binding.” A great horror film starts with a solid script and a good director. Tonight, Gus explains what it takes to put a show together.

Featured Interview #2: Make-up for Horror Films

Jeff Farley
Jeff Farley, President, Obscure Artifacts

When it comes to horror films, nothing says “scary” like blood dripping off someone’s face. Tonight Emmy-nominated make-up artist, Jeff Farley, joins us to talk about the process of putting together truly frightening looks.

The Thinking Behind SAG/AFTRA’s Strike

Jonathan Handel
Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney & Labor Reporter, TroyGould and The Hollywood Reporter,

Last week, just before we went on the air, SAG/AFTRA announced a strike of video game developers. Tonight, Jonathan Handel, entertainment/technology attorney, explains why they did it and what it means.

Acting in a Horror Movie – and Surviving!

Lisa Younger
Lisa Younger, Actress/Writer,

We have all watched that horror movie behind our sofas or with our eyes partly shut but what’s it like to actually ACT in a horror movie? Tonight Lisa Younger, actress and writer, gives us her perspective on what it’s like being in a horror movie – and surviving!

Designing a Set for Maximum Shock

Jeff G. Rack
Jeff G. Rack, Producing Artistic Director, Unbound Productions

Horror needs an environment in which to scare the audience. Jeff G. Rack, an award-winning set designer, producer and director, tells us the intricacies of designing a set that enables the director’s vision, provides a safe environment for he actors, yet still terrifies the audience.

DoddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS, presents the latest industry news.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – October 20, 2016

Larry Jordan

Laura Blum, Blogger,
Hoyt Richards , Actor/Writer/Filmmaker/Public Speaker, Tortoise Entertainment
Cirina Catania, Founder and Lead Creative, The Catania Group
Tara-Nicole Azarian, Actress/Filmmaker, Tara Cosplay
Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS


Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we’re looking at film festivals. We start with Cirina Catania, one of the co-founders of the Sundance Film Festival, and a filmmaker in her own right, talking about how and why Sundance got started, along with her thoughts on why film festivals continue to grow today.

Larry Jordan: Laura Blum, blogger for and looks at film festivals and explains what it takes to create a successful event.

Larry Jordan: Actress and filmmaker Tara-Nicole Azarian has written a script, but more importantly than that, she’s turned it into a film, taken it to a festival and won awards. Tonight she shares her thoughts on creating an award winning film.

Larry Jordan: Technologist Philip Hodgetts sees a potential future where software can edit films that tell stores. Tonight he peers into a world of smart API’s and artificial intelligence that can take us there.

Larry Jordan: Hoyt Richards is an actor, a writer, and a filmmaker who has won nearly 200 awards at various film festivals with his two films, ‘Intersection’ and ‘Dumbbells.’ Tonight, he explains what it takes to create an award winning film and what winning awards means for commercial success.

Larry Jordan: All this plus James DeRuvo with our weekly DoddleNEWS update. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking – authoritative – one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals – current – uniting industry experts: production, filmmakers, post production and content creators around the planet – distribution. From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, the Digital Production Buzz goes live now.

Larry Jordan: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. This year celebrates our 17th year of podcasting. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan, and tonight we’re looking at film festivals. Over the next hour, we’ll discover how film festivals were created, how they’ve grown and what’s made them successful. Then, we’ll talk with two actor filmmakers about how they use film festivals in their marketing and promotion. And we’ll explore the relationship between winning awards and winning at the box office.

Larry Jordan: Finally Philip Hodgetts takes us into the future where films are edited by software. Tonight, it’s going to be a great show. I also want to remind you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at Every issue, every week gives you an inside look at The Buzz, quick links to all the different segments on the show, and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers. And best of all, every issue is free.

Larry Jordan: By the way, big news. SAG-AFTRA today announced that they were considering a strike against video game companies on behalf of voiceover actors. This is potentially a huge deal as games are much bigger than Hollywood. Jonathan Handel will join us next week with analysis on what this means, so be sure to tune in then.

Larry Jordan: And thinking of news brings us to our DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hi Larry.

Larry Jordan: So what’s the news?

James DeRuvo: Well, got a lot of Apple news this week.

Larry Jordan: OK.

James DeRuvo: The first thing is the invitation came out this week for the Apple October Event, and that’s going to take place on the 27th. We’re expecting refreshes for the MacBook Pro which is rumored to have the new Intel Skylake Processors, Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C connections, and even a customizable OLED function toolbar called ‘The Magic Toolbar.’ You’ll actually be able to customize each function key, which really could help editors I think.

James DeRuvo: The next thing we’re expecting is 5K displays are going to get their incremental upgrade with onboard GPU’s made by Nvidia and I’m guessing a Thunderbolt 3 connection. The 5K iMac will also get an incremental GPA upgrade. But there’s no talk of a new Mac Pro. We have heard that Final Cut Pro X may give some familiar updates in the timeline editor. I don’t know if you’ve heard anything about that though?

Larry Jordan: There’s always rumors James.

James DeRuvo: Always rumors. But lately they’ve been eerily accurate, which is what I find interesting.

Larry Jordan: The other thing I find interesting is that there’s a lot of rumors about laptops, but nothing about desktops. Not just the new Mac Pro, but also the iMac is suspiciously silent at this point.

James DeRuvo: I’m hearing that it’s going to get an upgrade in the GPU, that’s about it.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got tons of Apple news that we’ll hear more about on October 27th if my memory serves.

James DeRuvo: Correct.

Larry Jordan: What else we got cooking?

James DeRuvo: Speaking of Apple, an interesting YouTuber by the name of Lewis Hilsenteger did a benchmark test comparing the iPhone 7 256GB model versus the 32GB model. And interestingly, he found that the 256GB iPhone 7 is roughly eight times faster at writing files than the 32GB model. He used an app called ‘Performance Test’ to do the test, but he also did some synching through iTunes to see if there was a difference, and there indeed was an eight times difference in how quickly the 256GB model of the iPhone 7 writes. Now if you’re into mobile filmmaking, that’s going to make a huge difference, especially when you’re filming in 4K. But it suggests to me that Apple may be using cheaper SSD’s in their less expensive models.

Larry Jordan: There’s also a separate issue which is the smaller the SSD, the harder the SSD controller has to work to be able to write data to it. So part of it is endemic in just the smaller size of the SSD and we should mention that read speeds are the same, so the playback speed is identical, it’s only the write speed that changes.

James DeRuvo: The playback is the same, but if you’re writing 4K video files, you’re definitely going to want to pick up the 256GB version, and not try to save money by getting one of the smaller ones.

Larry Jordan: Well not just the speed, but also 32 gigs is not a lot of storage for those size files.

James DeRuvo: No, and you have to remember that probably 25 to 30 percent of that is the OS. So a 32GB model is really 22? It’s not that much.

Larry Jordan: That’s right, if you’re going to do 4K get larger sizes, that’s true. Have we got anything else?

James DeRuvo: Yes, go all the way.

Larry Jordan: We’ve got two Apple stories, what’s our third?

James DeRuvo: The third one is this week Indiegogo released a crowdfunding handbook for filmmakers. It includes lessons learned from over ten years of doing crowdfunding for film projects, and tips about building a good crowdfunding team, because let’s face it, no man is an island. You need to have a really good team in order to build a successful crowdfunding campaign, and it offers tested advice for setting goals, keeping up your momentum, not only during the campaign but after it, and offering realistic perks that are easy to fulfill. You can download it in a PDF format, just go to

Larry Jordan: There’s no shortage of stuff that’s going on. Where can people go for all the latest news?

James DeRuvo: You can read about these and stores at

Larry Jordan: Senior writer for DoddleNEWS is James DeRuvo, and James, as always, thanks for joining us and we’ll talk with you next week.

James DeRuvo: Alright Larry, take care.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: I want to introduce you to a new website, is an artist community and networking site for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. features content from around the world with a global perspective on all things creative. Thalo is the place for creative folks to learn, collaborate, market and sell their works. Thalo is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers, and storytellers from photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between. Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Visit and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s

Larry Jordan: Cirina Catania is a successful writer, director, journalist and tech evangelist. She’s a former senior marketing executive at MGM UA, and United Artists, and, and this is so cool, one of the original co-founders of the Sundance Film Festival. Hello Cirina, welcome back.

Cirina Catania: Hi Larry.

Larry Jordan: Tonight we’re talking about film festivals so put your film festival hat on. Think back a few years, why did you join the team to create Sundance?

Cirina Catania: Back in 1978, John Earle and I were working on the Utah Film Commission and Sterling Van Wagenen was working for Robert Redford as President of Wildwood Pictures which was his production company, and we all loved films and the Governor wanted us to try to figure out a way to get more business into Utah, so we decided to do a festival.

Larry Jordan: It’s like Mickey Rooney, “We’re going to throw a party.”

Cirina Catania: There you go, sitting around at dinner going, “What can we do? Let’s do a festival.”

Larry Jordan: So what were the first two years of Sundance like?

Cirina Catania: Compared to today, it was really difficult to find… first of all we wanted it to be about independent American film, and at the time there was a big chasm between the movies being made out of Hollywood, and young people all over the country trying to get their films made using their parents credit cards and there was a lot of animosity between the two groups. The independent filmmakers, we called them regional filmmakers at the time, looked at Hollywood, and said, “I’ll never be able to get in there.” And the Hollywoods thought that we were unprofessional and not as good. So really the beginnings of Sundance were a way to bring the two groups together, and you would see some of the top people in Hollywood having coffee with young filmmakers who were doing black and white film.

Larry Jordan: When you think back, it was sort of branching out into unknown territory. Who would come to see films? And now, film festivals are everywhere. What makes them so popular?

Cirina Catania: I think people love the art of film, but also there’s a need to learn more about the business of films. So in many of the festivals, you also have a market combined with it, and I think that’s why festivals like Cannes and Berlin are very popular. We had 11,000 tickets sold the first year of Sundance. That tells you something. People want to see movies. Back in those days, you were unable to move video cassettes around or even look at it on Vimeo the way you can now, so people just love movies. No matter what’s happening in the world, they want to be entertained, they want to see good stories. So if there was a way for us to help promote American filmmaking to the world, we saw Sundance as a way of doing that.

Larry Jordan: Not only Sundance, but you’ve mentioned Cannes, and also a film festival that you go to a lot which is Berlinale, the Berlin film festival. Why has that become so important, and why do you keep going back year after year?

Cirina Catania: That is my one big guilty pleasure every year, no matter what I’m doing. I go to Berlin because I see all the films in the main competition every year, between 25 and 30 films in ten days and I try to see other films as well. But I think Berlin has a huge market attached to it. They have over 500,000 visitors to that festival every year and they sell almost 350,000 tickets so there’s over 400 films screened. It’s a huge festival and you can find anything that you want there. It’s pure love of film, any kind of film. There’s no restrictions the way you have in other countries about what they can screen or what they can’t screen, so it’s really just a celebration of the art form which I love.

Larry Jordan: That is so cool, and I know that you’re also involved in the All American High School Festival, and we’ll talk about that another time. For people that want to keep track of what you’re up to, where can they go on the web?

Cirina Catania: Go to, and that’s spelled, and you’ll see some of the films we’re working on and that’ll take you to other links with some of our other work as well.

Larry Jordan: Very cool. Cirina Catania’s the founder and lead creative of The Catania Group, and former producer for The Buzz. Cirina, always fun talking to you, thanks for joining us. Take care.

Cirina Catania: Thank you Larry. Take care.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Laura Blum is a film and events curator as well as a contributing writer, blogger, and former film and television development executive with Sony BMG. Hello Laura, welcome back.

Laura Blum: Thank you, good to be back.

Larry Jordan: This week we’re looking at film festivals which I know is a love of yours, so I want to start at the beginning. How would you define a film festival?

Laura Blum: A film festival is a marquee event, a showcase of product, but also a coming together of community and talent and sponsors. You know, there’s a side of it that is really about art, and there’s a side of it more and more that’s really about commerce.

Larry Jordan: With the rise of online video delivery, how important are film festivals today?

Laura Blum: Great question. Some would say not and some would say all the more so, because we’re so atomized in our little miniature screens or big screens, and often in our own four walls. And film festivals give a chance for people to bust out of that and to come together and to have great conversations, and meet the talent again, meet the directors, filmmakers. So there’s a beehive aspect to it, a real buzz aspect to it.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like one of the big benefits of film festivals is the networking? A chance to meet other people?

Laura Blum: A chance to meet other people. Of course now in the middle of the screening, they’re Tweeting or they’re activating all the social media networks, so it’s also a hub from which to report to the world.

Larry Jordan: Are film festivals defined by their films? Or are films developed to meet the needs of a festival?

Laura Blum: That’s such a great question. Well certainly these days there’s a festival on almost every city block. I myself program a few, and when I program them, I am absolutely myopic. I only look at the films that fit that topic, so there’s that and then also more and more there are festivals that are not about film per se, but about content and the Tribeca film festivals are a really interesting leader in this space. I spoke to somebody about a half year ago who consults for Tribeca, and they said that they are actually wondering how prominent a role film will have in Tribecas to come, and that it’s really going to be more about the virtual reality and an augmented reality arcades.

Larry Jordan: What makes a film successful at a festival?

Laura Blum: A festival film that is a real success can be anything from a huge, these days, Hollywood tent pole where you’ve just got celebrities cavorting around and red carpet and excitement, and depending on the festival, it’s a chance to screen product that otherwise wouldn’t get any love and wouldn’t get any publicity. So a festival really allows films that wouldn’t get a standard distribution, although certainly the face of distribution is changing. But festivals really offer an alternative showcase, an alternative exhibition platform.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like a film can be successful just by generating buzz, which may not necessarily translate into commercial success, is that true?

Laura Blum: So true, and there are great jokes about Sundance that the more popular they are at Sundance, the less commercially successful they’ll be in the theaters. Of course that’s a little bit exaggerated, but yes, it’s certainly not a guarantee. And a festival audience can be so misleading. You can get people absolutely apoplectic in their excitement about a film, and then take that same film back to the multiplex, or even an art house theater, and it can sometimes die a sad death.

Larry Jordan: That brings up an interesting thought. Film festivals range from the very small, let’s get five or ten people together and screen five or ten films, to the gigantic. I think of Cannes and Sundance just off the top of my head. What trends are you seeing in films that are being presented at festivals? Are festivals always looking for the cutting edge, or are they following trends like the rest of us?

Laura Blum: There again, it really depends. Festivals can be thought of now as an international family, and you’ve got different family members, much like in a family, that have different roles. Let’s take for example, you mentioned Cannes, you know, it’s really a red carpet affair. Let’s take Sundance, it’s all about discovering new filmmakers and launching them and their careers. Toronto which is another biggy on the circuit, and getting almost too big for its britches some would say, is about world premiers and the films that kick off the fall stretch. And let’s just take a festival like Palm Springs, which is also all about particularly foreign Oscar submissions.

Larry Jordan: I can understand the importance of these big film festivals whether it’s Tribeca or Toronto or Cannes or Sundance, but there’s a local festival in New York. Tell me about that one.

Laura Blum: The New York Film Festival sometimes is called the Grande Dame of film festivals. It wrapped up its 54th season yesterday. It is presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, a very august body, so it comes in with gravitas. Of course as you mentioned, the home town is New York so that it has that going for it, and its timing is very auspicious. It’s September, so for all those reasons the New York Film Festival gets to present all of this fresh fare after it has been delighted in elsewhere, but before it has gotten stale.

Larry Jordan: What films did you see there?

Laura Blum: Wow, I saw at least 20, or at least 25. Let’s start out like the festival did, with the very first one and this was the first time ever that the New York Film Festival opened with a documentary, and it’s Ava DuVernay’s ‘13th,’ an astonishing documentary, and the title refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, but contained a particular loophole. That loophole is a quote unquote except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. And that’s really crucial, so the film looks at the criminal justice system of today and yesterday’s slavery and Jim Crow, and it sort of connects the dots. After the Civil War, the south needed to replace the four million slaves that were really holding up the economy, and came to a solution of mass arrests that, along with the system of leasing out prisoners to private employers, led us to where we are today.

Larry Jordan: Take a step back. Rather than the individual films, take a look at the festival in general. Are there any overriding themes that you saw?

Laura Blum: A.O. Scott writing in the New York Times, talked about an overriding theme as being the defense of human dignity. While I certainly agree with A.O. Scott, I also discerned a theme, and I don’t think it was all intended, but I thought that much like the opening film, ‘13th’ about imprisonment, I found an ongoing theme of characters being stuck, characters being imprisoned, either literally in a space, or figuratively, meaning emotionally. Film after film, I think I came up with some 15, really were riffs on various aspects of imprisonment.

Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting Laura, you mentioned at the very beginning of this interview that one of the key film festivals is thinking that the future is not film, but it’s virtual reality and it’s augmented reality. Yet, the examples that you just cited are all typical narrative flows. How do I reconcile these two?

Laura Blum: What the New York Film Festival decided to do, and this is already in its fifth year, is put over a programming strand called ‘Convergence,’ with virtual reality, with augmented reality, very much stressing interactive storytelling and video installations and it’s a big question how all this wizardry affects storytelling. It’s kind of interesting that you ask about that, because we were just talking about themes of imprisonment in the more standard films, whereas I found in ‘Convergence,’ that ironically or maybe not ironically, but all of this participation invites the viewer to intervene to release the characters from whatever ordeal they’re facing. So we, the viewers, are allowed to you know, get in there and get them out of their imprisonment. Let’s take for example, ‘Cardboard City.’ I was speaking with the ‘Convergence’ programmer, Matt Bolish who said, quote unquote, “Cardboard doesn’t last forever. It can be moved and modulated and broken down.” So ‘Cardboard City’ is stories of 300 artists who are forced out of their Gowanus studios, due to a gentrification, but viewers can add buildings and storeys. It’s with stop motion animation using cardboard.

Larry Jordan: Laura, it seems like there’s a never ending stream of examples for what film festivals are talking about. What do you see the implications for the future of film with the intersection of VR and AR and narrative storytelling, whether in fiction or documentary? What’s happening?

Laura Blum: That’s a great question Larry. Certainly you’ve got new players in the film space like Amazon and Netflix and they certainly were in full show at the New York Film Festival. Then, as we were saying, with the ‘Convergence’ folks, you’ve got all sorts of talent. Now at this moment, storytellers who are working in virtual reality and augmented reality still often are working with more traditional modes of storytelling and vice versa, so there really is a crossover. But in the future it’ll be very interesting to see if a career can be forged just exclusively let’s say, on virtual reality or on augmented reality.

Larry Jordan: It’s a fascinating time, and lots of things to look forward to. Laura, where can people go on the web to keep track of what you’re writing?

Laura Blum:

Larry Jordan: Laura Blum is a film and events curator, as well as a contributing writer, and best of all, a regular on The Buzz. Laura, thanks for joining us today.

Laura Blum: Thank you so much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Tara-Nicole Azarian is a cosplayer, an actress, and a filmmaker. She’s written and directed six short films and two webisodes, and won five Telly awards and played at more than 150 film festivals. Hello Tara-Nicole, welcome.

Tara-Nicole Azarian: Hi, thank you so much for having me.

Larry Jordan: I was reflecting, just in your bio you do so much. Cosplay and acting, and filmmaking, but tonight, just so we can get done before dawn, I want to focus just on your films and film festivals. You recently spoke at Comic Con about what you do after you’ve written a script. What did you talk about?

Tara-Nicole Azarian: I was at a CD Comic Con and I did a film marketing 101 panel and it went over very well. I was talking about how to market your film once you’ve made one, because so many people are so creative and make such wonderful films, but then after the creative, fun part is over, then they don’t know how to market. So my panel was about how to help market your film.

Larry Jordan: I think a lot of people are confused about marketing because it’s changing so quickly these days. How do you market your film?

Tara-Nicole Azarian: First of all, the most important thing is you have to believe in your film, because if you don’t believe in your film, no-one else will. You have to submit to dozens of film festivals, because the average percent of acceptance for film festivals is eight percent, so if you want to get into eight film festivals, you need to submit to 100 and you’ll get into eight. You might get into 80 of them, but you will for sure get into eight. And only advertise your success. Don’t focus on the ten festivals you didn’t get into, focus on the two that you did get into. It’s all about how you market yourself, and how you promote the two festivals you got into versus saying you entered ten and only got into two.

Larry Jordan: If it’s a numbers game, if only eight percent of the film festivals select you, do you even consider which film festival to join, or do you just talk to everybody and blanket it, and hope that somebody says “Yes?”

Tara-Nicole Azarian: There are two amazing websites to add your film festivals on. They’re called Withoutabox and FilmFreeway. You can go on there, and there are tons of different categories, and different price ranges too that you can click on. So some film festivals are free, some are $15 and under, some are really expensive, some are really cheap. It just really depends. I tend to enter film festivals until I hit my max budget, and speaking of entering film festivals and hitting your max budget, a lot of first time filmmakers don’t have a very big budget to enter festivals with so it’s always best to start with the smaller film festivals. That way you have the experience of film festivals under your belt because everyone wants to show at Cannes and Sundance and Tribeca, and they’re amazing, they’re like the top dogs of film festivals. They are the festivals that everyone wants to show at. Everyone wants that amazing experience, but as a first time filmmaker, sometimes you don’t have the budget to enter or sometimes you don’t have the experience, so it’s always good to submit to smaller film festivals and get your confidence up and get experience, and then submit to the big guys. That way you have that experience and your film will be more prepared.

Larry Jordan: You talk about, excuse me for interrupting, you talk about needing experience. I thought it was just a blind sending out of proposals? What do you need to be experienced in to be successful at a film festival?

Tara-Nicole Azarian: Each film festival is different. When it comes to experience, especially for the biggest film festivals, it’s always nice if you’ve been to a film festival and you know how they run and you’ve met other filmmakers and the whole nine yards. Something that I always find amazing is when I go to a film festival and I go support other filmmakers, and then after the screening I shake their hand and hand them my business card, and I’m like, “Hi, your film was amazing and by the way mine screens in an hour at whatever location. You should come see, I’ll save you a seat.” Then that’s another person that’s come and saw my film and it gives you the experience of meeting other filmmakers and being able to have that festival experience and it’s its own experience, it’s different from any other aspect of filmmaking.

Larry Jordan: It’s a fascinating subject, the whole concept of how to get people to show up to watch your film once you’ve got it done. Tara-Nicole, where can people go on the web to keep track of what you’re doing and thinking about?

Tara-Nicole Azarian: Well they can check out one of my websites, is my website for my filmmaking. is the website for all my personal stuff and my acting and is the website to catch up with my web show ‘Nerdtabulous’ a nerd and geeky centric show.

Larry Jordan: Hold it, I’ve run out of paper to write on. Tara-Nicole Azarian’s an actress, cosplayer, and filmmaker. Thanks for joining us today.

Tara-Nicole Azarian: Thank you very much.

Larry Jordan: Philip Hodgetts is the CEO of Intelligent Assistance and Lumberjack System. He’s also involved with technology in virtually every area of digital production and post, and even better he is a regular contributor to The Buzz. Hello Philip, welcome back.

Philip Hodgetts: Hi Larry.

Larry Jordan: I’m intrigued with this idea of automated editing. I’m not sure whether the right word is intrigued or terrified. What’s happening?

Philip Hodgetts: Automated editing is something that relies largely on metadata, and you knew that metadata would be in there somewhere.

Larry Jordan: I was afraid you were going to say that.

Philip Hodgetts: Nobody really likes to get metadata, so the first step towards teaching computers how to edit and I do think that’s a long way in the future, but the first step is to get metadata automatically. Nobody likes entering wild notes, sifting through the material, so if you could have a computer program that’s what I’m calling a smart API, but an API being an application programming interface. It’s kind of a black box that sits either in the operating system on the computer where we call it a framework, or out on a computer on the internet where we call it an API, an application programming interface.

Larry Jordan: I thought an API allowed two pieces of software to talk to each other, and you’re using it almost as a destination? Is my vision wrong?

Philip Hodgetts: No, it is two pieces of software talking to each other, so you’re completely right. We’re using the API as a way of talking from our software to the software that does the transcript for example, and get a result back from that to our software. So it is communicating between two pieces of software. For example, IBM Watson you can send an audio file and it will transcribe that audio file in faster than real time back into the browser for you. Similarly, the ability to extract key words from the text that you’ve just generated from the speech is also just one of these black box APIs. You send it the text, and you get back however many key words you want and you can weight that, you can decide if you want five or 50, and in the case of Lumberjack where we do have these key word extractions already, you can just slide it and say “I want more or less key words.” So it will provide a lot of control in that way. That’s automatic extraction of metadata and that’s a great starting point. There are other of these programming interfaces that can recognize the content of images, it can recognize emotion, there are a lot of things that are already there that aren’t applied to our industry yet. But imagine just a little while down the road, where you simply send off to some magic black box your original source material and overnight it’s transcribed, its key words are extracted, the ranges that they applied to are identified as some clips or key word ranges, the content of all your B roll is identified for you, and this is all organized into your project ready for you to start doing the magic that is the editing.

Larry Jordan: Does this mean that this automated system can tell a story?

Philip Hodgetts: Not really. I’m a little iffy about this because we had a project, the first one that we ever did, called ‘First Cuts’ that once it was given the right metadata, did an amazingly good job of building a story arc and so I’m not seeing that there’s anything that’s approaching that yet, but we would use neural networks in the future. A neural network is another of these black boxes, but these are combinations of software that can learn by example. Same way that most people learn. If you send 10,000 different examples of good B roll use, or bad B roll use, and tell it which ones are good and which ones are bad, eventually it will know how to make a cut and put in B roll that works the same way as an editor would. It would learn that basic rule of thumb and apply it. That’s what we had to do manually. I had to try and analyze what I was doing for the original ‘First Cuts’ product, as what do I do when I make an edit? But I think neural networks would allow us to teach the software how to do it by itself. But it’s still quite a way out from the day to day life of an editor.

Larry Jordan: To be able to use automated tools to help us do transcripts and key words and help us figure out where to go for a select could be a huge time saver.

Philip Hodgetts: Absolutely. It’s going to make people really want to use metadata because they will have the metadata without having to put the effort into it, and I think that’s a big step forward.

Larry Jordan: Anything that makes people say good things about metadata is a big step forward for you.

Philip Hodgetts: Absolutely.

Larry Jordan: Philip, where can people go on the web to learn more?

Philip Hodgetts: I’m writing quite a bit about this subject on, so that’s a good place to go at the moment.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, and the Philip Hodgetts is who we’ve been talking to, and Philip as always, thank you very much.

Philip Hodgetts: My pleasure.

Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to. DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource, presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platforms specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in depth organizational tools for busy production professionals. DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project, there’s only one place to go.

Larry Jordan: Hoyt Richards is an award winning actor, writer and filmmaker whose last two indie features Dumbbells and Intersection have won over 175 awards on the film festival circuit. Hoyt also coaches actors and writers in between projects and I want to learn more. Hello Hoyt, welcome.

Hoyt Richards: Thanks Larry. Good to be here.

Larry Jordan: My goal is to have you say that at the end of the interview as well. When you made the shift from acting to filmmaking, what was your goal in becoming a filmmaker?

Hoyt Richards: I wish more actors would crack the code, as I like to put it, because I think as an actor you are in a very replaceable position in the food chain of filmmaking, because unless you’re in a very rarified air of being a so called movie star, you’re always in a position where someone could possibly come and take your place, and there’s not much you can do about it. But if you recognize that the business is all about content, and you can become a content creator, then you can also start to drive your career by moving to that side and say, “Well listen, if I really want to do this type of movie, what’s the chances of someone writing that and finding me, versus me creating that and driving that project to fruition?”

Larry Jordan: You made the shift from acting, essentially into producing. Why did you start taking your films to film festivals?

Hoyt Richards: You know, film festivals are an opportunity for you to see your movie as you imagined it to be, meaning on the big screen. You get it in front of a live audience, you start to determine through multiple screenings who’s responding to your movie, and hopefully get a better idea of who your target audience is. Whether it’s one you were shooting for or one that emerges that you didn’t really expect. But it’s firsthand experience to see who likes your movie, who is touched by it, and who should you be targeting once it comes to marketing the whole thing.

Larry Jordan: When we were talking in an earlier segment with Tara-Nicole Azarian, she was saying that there’s about an eight percent acceptance rate between the film festivals you apply to and the ones you get accepted for. Did you choose to target specific film festivals, or did you blanket and talk to everybody?

Hoyt Richards: That’s a great question because I was working on creating a distribution business over the last year or so. I over submitted with the idea of trying to determine which films are the most appealing, or I’ll put it this way, what are the most legitimate festivals compared to other ones in the sense of trying to find out where your film should be swimming in what pool? So, I over submitted to try to determine that, and I discovered that our movie, because it had no stars, and because it had no named director, it could only basically get into a certain kind of festival. So once I realized that the festivals that had been around for maybe ten years, had gotten an attendance of maybe 15 to 20 to 30,000 people, those crowds are only driven by stars, and we just weren’t going to get into that kind of festival. So then you start to target the film festivals that really fit within the realm that your film really fits.

Larry Jordan: If I remember correctly, ‘Dumbbells’ was your first film. How did you go about marketing it?

Hoyt Richards: ‘Dumbbells’ is an interesting story because we actually got that film a distribution deal, but then the distributor really let us down as far as the film penetrating the market place because we kind of made it for…

Larry Jordan: I’ve never heard that story before.

Hoyt Richards: Yes, exactly. So we targeted it for college kids, but we never hit that audience, and so we ended up having to sue them and just recently we got the rights back, but in the interim I decided to take it to film festivals to see if I could drum up some enthusiasm around it so I could market it more as an indie project rather than we had tried to skew it from the point of view of a little Hollywood studio movie that you never heard of but fit that kind of perception. I quickly realized that let’s just call it an indie comedy that has a few movie stars in it and that’s gone onto 130 best pictures, and it’s been very healing because you start to question whether you made a good movie or not, and having to get in front of audiences and people responding, you were like, “OK, so it’s not a matter of the quality of the movie, we just never got any eyeballs on it.”

Larry Jordan: The definition of quality is very squishy and we’re going to dance right around that, because I was just thinking, after you’ve watched an audience watch your film, do you ever make changes to it? And if so, what kind of changes do you make?

Hoyt Richards: I did that with ‘Dumbbells’ because I put ‘Dumbbells’ through a very aggressive test screening process because with a comedy, it’s very cutthroat. Clapping is an involuntary response. People are either going to laugh, or not. So you put it in front of a live audience, you can find out whether it’s funny or not. So I basically continued to edit and re-edit the film until I was getting the kind of laughs that I thought where they should be, rather than the original versions where it was playing almost like a drama, so it was a real evolution. We did about a dozen test screenings to finally get to the final edit.

Larry Jordan: Do you act in your films by intent, because it’s a vehicle for you? Or are there other motivations?

Hoyt Richards: It’s interesting because I always love performing, and I think it’s the athlete part of me, it’s like ‘getting in the game’ so to speak, and being in the arena. But I’ve discovered through the challenge of actually getting casting, that the writing process is as fulfilling if not more, because writing you can do every day. You can constantly be creating content, you can constantly be working on that type of thing, whereas acting is something that if you did it every day in a room, they’d probably put you in a partitioned wall place, and so it’s one of those things where I realized that being able to create the framework to go… casting is normally so painful because you’re trying to, you know, “Pick me, pick me man,” and to be on the side of the producer, where I am now, my role is secure and then I’m just trying to find the people to come on the adventure with me. Finally, casting was fun.

Hoyt Richards: That’s why I always encourage actors to not expect people to find you, create your opportunity. And that’s why I encourage actors to write in the same way I encourage writers to produce and you know, it’s never either or. I believe it’s both, and there’s no reason, if you enjoy filmmaking, that you shouldn’t know more aspects about filmmaking than maybe you were hired for. With Intersection, I was hired as the lead actor, I wasn’t hired as the producer, but I got involved and during the pre-production stage we were doing read throughs, and I realized that they were really shorthanded on the production side, but I had a background in production so I said, “You guys need some help here?” and that’s how I came on as a producer.

Larry Jordan: If you don’t have huge budgets to hire stars, how does that change your marketing? When you don’t have named actors, or don’t have named directors.

Hoyt Richards: That’s a great question and the problem is, from the distribution angle because I’ve learned this over the last year and a half, if you don’t have stars and you don’t have a named director, there’s very few distributors will see any value in your movie, no matter how many awards it’s won, or how well it’s done in the festivals, or not. So it’s really a matter of finding some sort of hook, that you’re thinking outside of the box, that you can just get people to recognize that there’s an audience for your movie. At least nowadays there are these self distribution platforms so you’re given alternatives where if you’re only going to get a distribution deal that’s going to basically rape you, you’re better off just taking the movie out yourself and using your social media or whatever contacts you can, to get some eyeballs on it, because at least you’ll see some return off of what your movie actually makes. Whereas if you sign one of these really ravenous distribution deals, the only one who gets paid is the distributor, and I can tell you from going through it, that’s a really painful process. It doesn’t sit with anybody very well.

Larry Jordan: If you’re looking at the range of marketing opportunities out there, where would you put a film festival? Should you always go to film festivals, only go to a film festival when forced? In other words, what’s the range, and where do you put your effort and priority because you have limited time and you have limited budget?

Hoyt Richards: That’s true. There’s the perception that your film is getting stale. It’s like milk, it can go sour if it’s out there for too long. So you really have about a year. The hard part is trying to determine which festivals you should really go after and which ones could potentially not only have a good experience for you as a filmmaker, but possibly get some attention on your movie. That’s very hard to do without going through it. I’ve heard a lot of people saying they’ll consult you and they know about the film festivals but I actually only discovered what I learned about the film festivals by doing it myself. I was lucky to have the funds to be able to do that, because it’s not cheap. I mean for Intersection we applied to over 300 festivals, and that works out to be over $10,000. A lot of people don’t have access to that. We got into 120 of them, but that’s much more than that eight percent number you named earlier. We were being very successful, we were close to about a third of the movies that we submitted to we were getting into, so that was a very fortunate situation. But I can say that a lot of the ones that I got into, I wouldn’t submit to again. And then other ones, I had such a great experience, and you develop a relationship with the programmer, I would go back to them in a second. So they’re very varied, they’re very different sizes.

Hoyt Richards: One of the festivals I really enjoyed was the Beaufort film festival where they only had one venue, but you put 500 people in this theater, and although it’s not a very big city, the community gets so behind the whole festival that literally people get there at nine am and they stay till ten o’clock at night and they watch every short, every feature, every film that comes out and they’re totally engaged. And I thought this was incredible because sometimes you’re lucky to have 30 or 40 people, if that, in the theater, and most of them are the other filmmakers that are at the festival with you.

Larry Jordan: Hoyt, for people that want more information about the projects you’re working on, where can they go on the web?

Hoyt Richards: I’ve got a website called HYPERLINK “” I talk about the different things I do with helping out actors or writers and just any kind of information about the filmmaking process where I can assist.

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, and Hoyt Richards himself is our guest. Hoyt, thanks for taking the time to join us, this has been fun.

Hoyt Richards: Thanks Larry, I appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: Take care bye bye. It’s been an interesting time talking about film festivals, both in terms of how they got started and what they are as well as how we can take advantage of them as filmmakers, because film festivals give us an opportunity to get our film in front of an audience, and that’s exactly why we created it in the first place.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests this week, Cirina Catania, filmmaker; Laura Blum, blogger for; Tara-Nicole Azarian, actor and filmmaker; Philip Hodgetts, technologist; Hoyt Richards, actor and filmmaker, and James DeRuvo of DoddleNEWS.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online, and all available to you today. And remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Friday. Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at

Larry Jordan: Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner with additional music provided by Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. Visit to learn how they can help you.
Larry Jordan: Our producer is Debbie Price. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for joining us for the Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan: The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2016 by Thalo LLC.

Digital Production Buzz – October 20, 2016

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Laura Blum, Hoyt Richards, Cirina Catania, Tara-Nicole Azarian, Philip Hodgetts, and James DeRuvo.

  • The Power of Film Festivals
  • Creating an Award-Winning Film
  • The Founding of Sundance
  • Prep Your Film For a Film Festival
  • Automatic Editing? Say It Isn’t So!
  • This Week’s DoddleNEWS Update

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Listen to the Full Episode

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Guests this Week

Featured Interview #1: The Power of Film Festivals

Laura Blum

Laura Blum, Blogger,

Laura Blum is a writer for and She also programs film festivals. Tonight we talk with her about films, film festivals and what makes that combination so helpful to filmmakers.

Featured Interview #2: Creating an Award-Winning Film

Hoyt Richards

Hoyt Richards, Actor/Writer/Filmmaker/Public Speaker, Tortoise Entertainment

Hoyt Richards is an actor, writer and filmmaker who has won nearly 200 awards at various film festivals with his two films: “Intersection” and “Dumbbells.” Tonight, he explains what it takes to create an award-winning film and what winning awards means for the commercial success of a film.

The Founding of Sundance

Cirina Catania

Cirina Catania, Founder and Lead Creative, The Catania Group

Cirina Catania is one of the original co-founders of the Sundance Film Festival and has been attending film festivals for as long as she can remember. She is also a filmmaker and the founder and lead creative of The Catania Group.

Prep Your Film For a Film Festival

Tara-Nicole Azarian
Tara-Nicole Azarian, Actress/Filmmaker, Tara Cosplay
Tara-Nicole Azarian is an award-winning actress and filmmaker who recently took her film to a film festival. Tonight, she tells us what she did, what worked and what didn’t.

Automatic Editing? Say It Isn’t So!

Philip Hodgetts

Philip Hodgetts, President, Lumberjack System

Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Lumberjack System, is studying the combination of artificial intelligence with the new “smart” interfaces provided by today’s software. Tonight, he explains why we are on the edge of automated editing.

DoddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo

James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS, presents the latest industry news.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – October 13, 2016

Larry Jordan

Achim Gleissner, Commercial Manager
Broadcast and Media, Sennheiser Electronic
Bob Alumbaugh , Owner, President, Single Bullet Productions, LLC
Chris Eschweiler, Audio Visual Supervisor, Freelance
Ed Golya, Owner, MixxTreme
Robert Krueger, Managing Partner, Lesspain Software
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS


Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we have a show dedicated to audio. We start with Sennheiser who just announced their new Action Mic for GoPro cameras. This innovative system goes wherever a GoPro goes, even underwater. Achim Gleissner, commercial manager for Sennheiser, joins us to explain their new mic, and how to pick the right mic for your project.

Larry Jordan: Chris Eschweiler mixes audio for live events. Probably his most well known gig is the behind the scenes production for all the Supermeets. Tonight he tells us about the challenges of creating a live mix.

Larry Jordan: Ed Golya is a multi Emmy award winning audio post production mixer. Tonight he shares his thoughts on the audio post process, and describes what audio mixers need to know to be successful.

Larry Jordan: Robert Krueger is the managing director for Lesspain Software, the developers of a brand new media management software for Final Cut and Premiere called Kyno. Tonight he explains what it does and why they took six years to create it.

Larry Jordan: Next, Bob Alumbaugh owns Silver Bullet Productions. He specializes in high end stadium sound for major music groups such as Steely Dan, The Black Crows, Megadeth, Aerosmith, Blues Traveler and many others. Tonight he shares the secrets to making music rock.

Larry Jordan: All this, plus James DeRuvo with a DoddleNEWS update. The Buzz starts now.

Announcer: Since the dawn of digital filmmaking – authoritative – one show serves a worldwide network of media professionals – current – uniting industry experts: production, filmmakers, post production and content creators around the planet – distribution. From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, The Digital Production Buzz goes live now.

Larry Jordan: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry, covering media production, post production and marketing around the world. This year we are celebrating our 17th year of podcasting. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan and tonight we’re devoting our show to audio which, I guess, is not surprising because we’re an audio podcast. Now whether you’re interested in new gear, mixing for live events, mixing for concerts, or post production, we’ve got you covered. Plus, we’ve even added a segment on tracking your media once you’ve captured it. By the way, I want to invite you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter, at website. Every issue, every week gives you an inside look at The Buzz, quick links to the different segments on the show, and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers. Best of all, every issue is free.

Larry Jordan: Now it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hello Larry.

Larry Jordan: It’s good to have you with us, what is the news today?

James DeRuvo: Well, we were kind of surprised this week as drone maker 3D Robotics closed their doors this week and laid off almost all of their staff.

Larry Jordan: Oh no, what happened?

James DeRuvo: They had the sole goal of burying DJI which was a real lofty goal admittedly, and they created this fabulous drone called the Solo. It was dubbed ‘the smartest drone in the industry.’ It had some really great features like cable cam, follow me mode, circle me … all these advanced mode features, and 3D Robotics was trying to make it future proof, so that all you’d have to do is update the firmware every couple of months, and you’d have even more capability.

James DeRuvo: Problem was that there were delays in development of the camera gimbal, and so they ended up releasing it without a camera gimbal, which, if your major clientele is the filmmaker, having a camera gimbal is kind of important. Then on top of that, DJI cut the price of their Phantom 3 at the time, and by the time they recovered and got the models out with the gimbal, the market had passed them by and they were selling them at a loss. They were hemorrhaging cash. They burned through $35 million in seed capital in just a few months and on top of that, they over estimated their sales projections and next thing you know, they were out of business.

Larry Jordan: That’s too bad. But do we have some good news this week?

James DeRuvo: Yes as a matter of fact. RED shipped two new cameras this week, based upon the new Super 35 8K HELIUM sensor. The new DSMC cube cameras are the RED EPIC WEAPON and the HELIUM WEAPON. Both have the Super 35 HELIUM 8K sensor, capable of 16.5 stops of dynamic range, file transfer speeds of up to 300 megabits per second, and they can shoot at up to 120 frames per second at 2K, or 8K at 30 frames per second. But the really incredible news is that they also announced upgrade pass for their 4.5K RED RAVEN, their SCARLET WEAPON and even the Mysterium-X platform which is one of their oldest ones. You can actually upgrade starting at 9,500 bucks, which is incredible to get into 8K.

James DeRuvo: It’s pretty clear to me that RED is doing everything they can to get their clientele into the latest hardware to prepare them for what lies ahead, so if you’re a RED shooter, now’s a good time to buy.

Larry Jordan: Alright, so we’ve got a drone that’s got a problem. We’ve got RED that’s got new cameras. What else?

James DeRuvo: Well, you’re talking about audio tonight so I thought I’d talk to you about the iZotope Neutron app which is the first step in automatic audio mixing. Audio mixing and mastering has become pretty democratized lately. You don’t need the million dollar studios any more, you just need software, a laptop and your bedroom closet. I happen to know that Roger McGuinn of The Byrds does all of his recording in his living room and so the iZotope Neutron app would be ideal for that type of audio recording. It uses machine learning and algorithms to analyze the multiple tracks. It can detect instruments and recommends EQ settings, and identifies when there is a frequency flash between instruments and tracks, so you can fix it. It also uses spectral sharpening to provide a more subtle clarity between each instrument so each instrument doesn’t get lost in the cacophony of the background. It also offers surround sound support, and for 199 bucks, it’s ridiculously cheap.

Larry Jordan: That is very cool, and yet this is only the tip of the iceberg of what happened in news this week. For people that want more information, where can they go on the web?

James DeRuvo: All these and other stories can be found at including a series going on right now reviewing RODE’s line in microphones, including the RODE’s filmmaker kit, the RODE Videomic Pro. There’s a ton of really good reviews there…

Larry Jordan: Thank you James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS.

Larry Jordan: I want to introduce you to a new website, is an artist community and networking site for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. features content from around the world with a global perspective on all things creative. Thalo is the place for creative folks to learn, collaborate, market and sell their works. Thalo is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers, and story tellers from photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between. Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Visit and discover how their community can help you connect, learn and succeed. That’s

Larry Jordan: Achim Gleissner is the commercial manager for the broadcast and media group at Sennheiser. Normally when we talk about Sennheiser, we’re talking about high end microphones but recently, Sennheiser released a series of new mics that are totally different. So we invited Achim to explain the new arrivals. Hello, welcome.

Achim Gleissner: Thanks for being your guest again, always a pleasure to talk to you Larry.

Larry Jordan: I just realized the last time that you and I spoke was at NAB when you made the trip across the pond to be in Las Vegas. Now we’re talking to you from Germany, and Sennheiser is famous for the quality of their microphones and has been making them for a long time, so what’s the new news from Sennheiser now?

Achim Gleissner: For the very first time, we are expanding what you could expect from Sennheiser in terms of high quality audio to more and more cameras. Sennheiser’s probably the only manufacturer in the world that can provide an audio solution or microphone solution to any camera on the market, and this is the driving force behind it with the consumerization trend. Broadcasters are using smartphones and are applying action cameras and therefore we are requested to provide an appropriate Sennheiser audio solution for smartphones and action cameras primarily. We’re looking at the GoPro here.

Larry Jordan: Tell me specifically what you’ve done for GoPro.

Achim Gleissner: GoPro is very well known for their action cameras but there are accessories and add ons that you would need to come up with a proper solution and a proper production quality. One part of these issues is the audio part, so whenever you experience working with a GoPro within the protective cover, the housing that is shipped with a GoPro 4 and we’ll specifically talk now GoPro 4’s, both the black and the silver, the GoPro has a built in microphone, but if you put a microphone in a can and close the can, the audio is more or less gone. So every GoPro user had this issue with the built in microphone, recording audio when filming that you literally did not have any sound. A bit of rumbling noise was all you’d get because the microphone was in a sealed cabinet. GoPro approached us earlier last year saying, “Can you solve this issue?” We were of course delighted to work with a premium brand like GoPro, and came up with a solution that was presented for the very first time as a preview at NAB.

Achim Gleissner: It is based on microphone technology we are using for theaters, like the clip on microphones or mounted to the forehead of the actor in theaters. These guys have to be sweat proof. By being sweat proof these mics are also to a certain extent, waterproof, and we went from there and created a product which is a back door for the Hero 4. Take off the original back door, take on this as the back door, and this has an external microphone within a complete new windshield which is more fiber rather than this typical furry. The result is that the user can now record proper audio in a quality that you would expect from a company like Sennheiser, in any environment where you typically use the GoPro as such in the protective cover. It is resistant against mud, snow, water, wind, every environment that you record when you do sports or action recordings. It’s not necessarily better audio in this case than we typically do. It is audio on a GoPro recording, on a Hero 4 recording.

Larry Jordan: I love how you not just simply have a microphone, but you’ve replaced the door with something much more audio friendly and yet been able to keep the water resistant character of the GoPro. That is very clever.

Achim Gleissner: You will find some external microphones on the market to work with a Hero 4, but none of them is working when the GoPro is encaptured in the protective cover. The Action Mic, as we call it, is the very first one that gives the full protection to the camera while recording in these extreme environments. It looks a little bit like a snowball next to the housing, the size of a table tennis ball with fiber protection against wind, and the reason why we had to create a new back door is of course the entire thing, the microphone is outside and the connection to the GoPro inside had to be absolutely sealed against primarily water. So therefore we had to create more than just the mic. As soon as you put a plug on the mic you give up the waterproof protection of the protective cover and therefore we came up with the entire back door which for the end user is very easy, very quick. Within a couple of seconds you take off the original back door, connect the mic, put on the new back door and it even gives enough space for the spare battery because we also learned that most of the users working with GoPros are using them with the additional auxiliary battery to get more battery life to the GoPro.

Achim Gleissner: It even works to a certain extent underwater, and you hear the bubbling noise of the water, you hear the voice of somebody on a surfboard when going into the waves. That was unheard of so far. The GoPro guys themselves love it. We’re very much looking forward to bringing it to the market early next year. We also have now a proper solution, not just for end users having a GoPro for their private use, but also for our established customers when it comes to broadcasters and professional products.

Larry Jordan: I want to talk more about mics in a second, but before I leave the Action Mic for the GoPro, have you announced a price for it?

Achim Gleissner: The price is not yet announced, but it will be in the same area we typically have in terms of camera mics for DSLRs or smartphones, so it will be reasonable, but the final price has not been announced yet.

Larry Jordan: This gets me to a bigger question. I want to shift gears out of this particular microphone into microphones in general, because Sennheiser has a whole range of microphones. What’s the tradeoff between price and quality? What does a Neumann have that a lower end, lower cost mic does not? What are we spending the money to get and how do we make a decision on which microphone to pick for our project?

Achim Gleissner: It really depends on what you are trying to record. Of course, when talking about Neumann, what professional studio artists and singers appreciate with that is the sound character. The warmth of sound with a Neumann microphone is appreciated for decades.

Larry Jordan: I accept that, but in addition to the color of the sound, and I accept that Neumann and other high end mics do that, what is the relationship between price and audio quality? Do I always have to buy the most expensive mic to get the best quality or what’s being lost as we bring out less expensive mics?

Achim Gleissner: Let me say it this way. It always depends on the situation and what you try to record. And if you know your mic, you know how to use your mic, and I’m not talking really cheap stuff, but if you have a reasonable microphone from Sennheiser or any other known brand that you know how to handle, you will get much better audio quality that what an inexperienced user would get with an expensive microphone. So using the right microphone, and also the right accessories. To give you one example, if you have a very expensive mic and you do a recording like a report outside in wind, you will get wind noise. If the guy next to you who paid a fraction of what you paid for your expensive mic, but he knows how to handle a mic in wind, with proper wind protection, you will get much better audio quality at a fraction of the price. Get used to your tool, used to the mic, know your enemies, structure borne noise, wind, cell phones, things like that. Do a test recording, find the right gain setting on your recording device, that is the key element rather than going into a shop and buying the most expensive mic. If you don’t know how to handle a camera, then it doesn’t help if you buy an expensive camera.

Larry Jordan: Advances in technology have been swift. Is the technology driving microphone technology or the interface technology, say a mic with a Lightning connector, a mic with a USB connector or is microphone technology itself changing?

Achim Gleissner: The microphone technology is not changing as much as the interfacing technology. It is the sensor that converts vibrating air into an electric signal, and that’s pretty much the same when it comes to dynamic mics or condenser mics for decades. But technology in the reporting devices, and you just mentioned smartphones with digital interfaces like Lightning on IOS devices, of course that changed the interfacing technologies, the converters, a lot. That is also the reason why we teamed up with Apogee when it comes to IOS devices. So getting the electric signal amplified and then getting it into your recording device has been the swift changes in the industry, not necessarily the microphone technology as such, because vibrating air remains analog, as human beings remain analog when it comes to sound reproduction.

Larry Jordan: Then what criteria should we use to determine what mic to use for our project? What are the most important specs that we need to look at?

Achim Gleissner: First of all, you have to look at what is your recording device? So are you recording on a smartphone, a portable recorder, in a studio? Let me take the example of smartphones. If you record on a smartphone it’s always better to use the digital boards rather than the analog board. The most important thing on microphones which differ is noise floor. You have to invest a certain amount of money to get to a low noise floor. Then get close to the sound source and use the proper mic and the proper distance. And there is no one size fits all, so for example when you record on cameras like DSLRs, it is better to have a reasonable priced handheld microphone, a clip on microphone close to the speaker, close to you when you do your report, rather than having a little shotgun microphone on the camera which is probably ten feet away. So it’s always good to get close to the sound source and always do a test recording. Never trust your meter. Listen to the test recording, and find the right gain because this is like working with cameras. You have to find the right exposure. If you have too much sound pressure level, you get distortion. If you have too little sound pressure level, you get noise floor. So you have to find your ideal gain setting to be in the optimum range of the dynamic range of your recordings.

Larry Jordan: Achim, where can we go on the web to learn more about the microphones that Sennheiser offers?

Achim Gleissner: When we talk about the US, you will find all information on HYPERLINK “”

Larry Jordan: Achim, thank you very much. Achim Gleissner is the commercial manager for broadcast and media at Sennheiser microphones, and it is always fun to chat. Thank you so much for your time.

Achim Gleissner: You’re more than welcome, and hope to chat with you again.

Larry Jordan: Chris Eschweiler combines a love of media with a passion for computers. He’s overseen all the technical aspects of every Supermeet around the world since 2006. In between meets he freelances for a worldwide collection of audio visual companies handling graphics, projection, video, sound and even a bit of lighting. Hello Chris, welcome.

Chris Eschweiler: Hi Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: I’m doing great talking to you. So my first question is, let’s shift right into the Supermeet. How do you go about staging a Supermeet? How much time, ahead of time, and what’s part of the plan?

Chris Eschweiler: It starts with the selection of the venue. Before I can really look at technical aspects, we have to figure out what space we’re going to be at. Of course the most common one that we’re familiar with is the NAB one that’s held in Las Vegas during the National Association of Broadcasters Conference. We don’t have one particular venue, so every year it’s a bit of a discovery to find out what we’re going to need, and how big of a room we’re going to fill, and start working our way forward from there. It takes about three months of planning.

Larry Jordan: What makes a Supermeet different from a typical music event?

Chris Eschweiler: Most of what we’re doing is, from the stage anyway, just spoken word. We don’t deal with bands, we don’t have to worry about amplifiers or anything like that. It’s mostly people who are onstage doing demos of software or hardware. We do have playback of various clips depending on who’s presenting at these events but for the most part, it’s spoken word. But we do try and provide a full range experience for the attendees.

Larry Jordan: Where does audio fit in your planning process? Do you have standard kit you go to, or do you need to customize it for every show?

Chris Eschweiler: There are a few standards. One of the things that’s helped us out is the advent of line array speakers. Instead of having stacks of very large speakers and brute forcing the audio, line array speakers have allowed us to use smaller cabinets that have a very predictable and narrow pattern, and can be set up to accommodate the room and accommodate the audience size. That’s helped us focus the audio and not have to worry about overpowering the vendor room next door for example.

Larry Jordan: True enough.

Chris Eschweiler: The other thing we’ve gone to is using over the ear microphones. We’ve used a variety over the years, but we’ve kind of settled on as our baseline the Countryman E6i microphones just on standard wireless belt packs. That allows freedom of movement on stage, nobody is wired to anything or limited to a podium. The presenters like it because they can work at a computer then step to center stage to talk to the audience.

Larry Jordan: So how big a team do you have, and who does what?

Chris Eschweiler: It depends on the Supermeet. Some of the smaller ones we’ve done, it’s been myself and one other person. The bigger ones will have up to a dozen people on the show. That includes lighting, audio, projection, playback, graphic switching, that sort of thing.

Larry Jordan: What’s some of your most memorable Supermeet experiences?

Chris Eschweiler: They’re all memorable for one reason or another. They all have a place in my heart. Some are more favorite than others. The ones in Amsterdam tend to be a lot of fun just because of the international audience that’s there. It’s a rather intimate venue. I think it’s about 450 chairs that we start squeezing in there and go up from there. It’s hard to pick a favorite.

Larry Jordan: It’s hard to pick a favorite but there’s ones that stick in your memory forever, I truly understand. Chris I understand you do freelance work around the world, and I want to thank you so much for taking some time to chat with us today, and wish you all success and I’ll see you at the next Supermeet.

Chris Eschweiler: Thanks Larry, looking forward to it.

Larry Jordan: You take care, bye bye.

Chris Eschweiler: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Ed Golya is a multi Emmy award winning sound re-recording mixer and ADR specialist with more than 40 films and television shows to his credit. He got his start doing ADR for ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ and he’s worked for both Universal Recording Corporation in Chicago, and Fox Studios in LA, among many others including his own company called MixxTreme. Hello Ed, welcome back.

Ed Golya: Hello Larry, glad to be here.

Larry Jordan: We’ve just been listening to what it’s like to do a live event audio mix. How would you describe the difference between mixing for live events, versus post production?

Ed Golya: Live events scare the heck out of me because if you make a mistake, everyone can hear it.

Larry Jordan: So what are the challenges of doing post audio? I mean, one it takes the stress away, and you’ve got longer deadlines, but it’s got to be stressful in its own way?

Ed Golya: The stresses there are usually your time constraints to finish the project, not knowing the project completely going into it, and now keeping it correct for broadcast.

Larry Jordan: By that you mean the new loudness standards where you’ve got to keep it to certain specs for average level, not just peak level?

Ed Golya: Yes. And in some cases the quality of the mix suffers because of that.

Larry Jordan: How do you balance what the client thinks they want with your knowledge of what’s actually needed?

Ed Golya: That’s more of a professional agreement and understanding between you and your client. So you have to sort of take that with a grain of salt, learn how to turn around and smile and say, “Yes, I know what you mean.” Look like you’re doing what he wants you to do, and continue making the best that you can out of it.

Larry Jordan: Just reflecting back, years ago you were responsible for rebuilding one of the largest and best known recording studios outside of Hollywood, which is Universal Recording in Chicago. What are the key elements to keep in mind when you’re creating an audio studio?

Ed Golya: Number one, the acoustics. When Universal had to move from the great Bill Putnam studios that they were, we moved into a new building that originally was a handball court, and we split the handball court in half to build two theaters. The first thing I said was “Please do not make the walls parallel.” So we focused the walls with a slight angle and kept breaking up the angle, going toward the screen. It was almost the size of two floors high, and then we did the acoustic padding around the sides. We literally put up a small tray and slid in fiberglass panels wrapped in burlap, but it did work. We had enough in there that we actually, when I would do ADR, we did not put them in the booth. We would set them right outside in the middle of the theater and we would do everything on headphones but we could use the room itself as an acoustically good studio.

Larry Jordan: You mentioned that you’ve done a lot of ADR work, that’s where you replace audio that’s recorded on set with audio recorded later in the studio. What first got you interested in ADR?

Ed Golya: My career has always been that I was at the right place at the right time. The first studio I ever worked in was in a little studio in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a small studio, it was literally one music room, one sound for picture, and a girl at the front desk. The gentleman’s name was Tom Peterson, and he had the company called Motion Picture Sound. I did not know about sound for picture at that time, and this is before video tape and digital and all that, but he had a Magnatech ADR system which had won an award, I don’t know if it was an Oscar, but it had a major award on it for being a relay based computer. You dialed in the footage and frames, and it did the record in, record out, the beeps, everything for you. When I moved to Chicago I worked at a company called Sonart/Db. The sound for picture rooms were all Magnatech and because of that, and because I knew how to use it, and also I think because of artistic aspects of my musical ability which helped quite a bit, I eventually became the person that they would call. If Hollywood had anyone in the mid west shooting a picture, but they needed to fix something that was done prior to, as something they were working on was in post in Hollywood, they would call us up and send them over. I just took it on as a very natural aspect of the industry, and tried to make it sound as equatable to the production sound, so that the mixer didn’t have too much problem with it.

Larry Jordan: Well the industry’s changed a lot since you got into it. What attributes does someone who’s getting into audio now need to be successful?

Ed Golya: Number one, they need to have a very open mind. Whatever they learn is going to change within five years. But they also need to know the basis of what they know, and why they know it and why the changes come about. The more they understand the whys of that happening, the more they can analyze how to do something and to make it work better. Take audio, even though it is a technical aspect of the industry, accept it as an art form. Make sure you understand that you’re painting with sound. As I’ve always said, if you didn’t hear what I did, then I must have done it right.

Larry Jordan: Ed Golya is a multi Emmy award winning sound re-recording mixer and ADR specialist. He has his own company at MixxTreme. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ed for a couple of years, and always a delight. Ed, thanks for joining us today.

Ed Golya: Thank you very much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Robert Krueger has worked in the media industry as a software professional for 20 years. Currently, he’s the managing director for Software which developed Kyno, a brand new media management tool for Final Cut and Premiere. Hello Robert, welcome.

Robert Krueger: Hi Larry, thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: Well thank you for joining us. We’re talking to you live from Germany and I won’t even begin to ask what time it is right now, so instead, how would you describe Kyno?

Robert Krueger: Well Kyno as you said is a media management and workflow app. It helps you find, browse, screen, log, organize and transcode your media files and it’s integrated well with Final Cut and Premiere. The basic concept of it was to integrate the most important software tools for typical organization tasks in one app that’s easy to use because switching apps in workflow slows you down all the time.

Larry Jordan: Why did you decide to develop it? There’s lots of media management tools that are out there. What was the driving force?

Robert Krueger: It was really by experiencing the problems ourselves in film projects and thinking, “Well this can’t really be it.” I mean, things were so complicated and inefficient and we didn’t really see anything on the market available to do a decent job doing those very basic things that take up so much time when you make a film. So we thought what kind of tool would you want to really be efficient in those tasks?

Larry Jordan: How long did it take to develop the software?

Robert Krueger: It took six and a half years.

Larry Jordan: Wow. Give me an example of some of the key features. What would I specifically use Kyno for?

Robert Krueger: I think the key feature of Kyno is really it’s combination of features. You have all the tools like fast file browser that lets you find your things without having to ingest or catalog first, industry standard media player that supports basically every broadcast format out there. A powerful transcoder and the integrated audio and image support. It is essentially a video tool, but we also have decent audio and image support which you need in the video world, and this combination makes data wrangling post shoot organization or even quality checks during a shoot, so fast that you don’t want to go into a shoot or post production without Kyno once you’ve tried it.

Larry Jordan: One of the things that I like is you’ve got two different views. You’ve got a grid view which allows you to see thumbnails, and not just thumbnails in a single folder, but thumbnails across all folders. Second is a list view which gives you all kinds of sorting capability. What was the idea behind providing so many different ways of viewing the media?

Robert Krueger: It depends on the task. Sometimes you select your things visually, that’s what the grid view is for, and so having as many of your media files in view directly and the ability to scroll them quickly and to select the right things because you can see what scene it is, that was the most important application of the grid view. Then there are other applications where you need to quickly scan files by technical metadata, like frame rates for example. I have this 25p or the 60p shot and then list view is the fastest way of organizing and finding your media based on those technical metadata.

Larry Jordan: What’s the price?

Robert Krueger: The price is 159.

Larry Jordan: Where can we go… go ahead.

Robert Krueger: I’m sorry, that’s 159 for a single license, but you can install it on your laptop and on your editing machine, iMac, whatever with one license.

Larry Jordan: Where can we go on the web to learn more about the product?

Robert Krueger: That’s

Larry Jordan: And Robert Krueger is the managing director for Lesspain Software which developed Kyno, and Robert thanks for joining us today. I enjoyed your visit.

Robert Krueger: Thank you so much Larry.

Larry Jordan: Bye bye.

Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to. DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource, presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platforms specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in depth organizational tools for busy production professionals. DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts Community, a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and story tellers. From photography to filmmaking, performing arts to fine arts, and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project, there’s only one place to go.

Larry Jordan: Bob Alumbaugh is the owner of Single Bullet Productions. This is a full service audio engineering and consulting firm for touring acts and AV installs and all kinds of really cool audio stuff. Hello Bob, welcome.

Bob Alumbaugh: How are you Larry? Thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: I was reading a little bit about you and I’m having trouble figuring out whether you consider yourself more of a designer and installer, or an operator?

Bob Alumbaugh: I consider myself an operator first and foremost. Design is something that is offered as a secondary concern which is generally when people have come in with large productions or large events, and they really don’t have a direction that they want to take.

Larry Jordan: You have worked with some of the largest musical acts that are out there. When do you get involved with a major concert tour? How much advance warning do you need?

Bob Alumbaugh: Normally it’s like 24 hours. 48 hours, sometimes maybe three days. Other times you’ll get a month. It just depends on how that all shakes out.

Larry Jordan: Do they have an audio kit that they’ve already designed? I mean, if they’re giving you 24 hours notice, how are you going to put all the gear together?

Bob Alumbaugh: Generally what happens is you’re going to have a company like Schubert or Production Resource, one of these large regional or international companies that has been contacted by the artist or the management company, and says, “Hey this is what we want to do, this is where we’re going. We’d like you to put in a bid for gear,” and then the gear would either be front of house, control, monitors, onstage molds, RF wireless and TA, if you’re carrying PA racks and stacks. So at that point then this company in particular for the tour for Brian Wilson, Schubert Systems out of Hollywood, they would open up the Rolodex, it’s normally a very short list, and he makes a phone call and says, “Hey Bob are you available, this is what I’ve got.” And I say yes, or no at that point.

Larry Jordan: Basically you walk in, and they dump all this equipment on you and they say “Get it working.”

Bob Alumbaugh: There you go. Pretty much. No, I will say this much for Schuberts. They are a boutique shop, they handle Bonnie Rait and other acts, but they’re really boutique in that their gear is smaller format, it’s not as large and generic as most other companies. So they don’t just throw me to the wolves, I generally get an opportunity to fly into Burbank and lay hands on the gear and make sure everything is where I need it to be prior to putting it on the truck and sending it out for the first show.

Larry Jordan: Are you worrying about such things as who’s wearing which mic, and what mics they’re using? What level of granular control do you have, or is all of that stuff decided before you even get involved?

Bob Alumbaugh: As a front of house engineer, you have very much a say so on what’s happening on stage. The way it generically goes is your front of house engineer will pick all of your mics, for everything from percussion all the way up to vocals. And the monitor engineer on stage will just kind of wrangle artists and prepare the mixes for them. But the front of house engineer is the one that normally comes up with the mic list, after talking with the artist, trial and error, things that you already know work really well. Maybe the performance of the singer’s voice and what have you, so that’s a decision made by the engineer himself.

Larry Jordan: The front of house engineer then determines the mix the audience hears? And the monitor engineer determines the mix that the artists hear and those two are not the same, correct?

Bob Alumbaugh: No they are not, they are worlds apart. The front of house mix is that mix you hear as a consumer, going into sit in a balcony or an orchestra or what have you, that’s your temporal experience. The monitor engineer is someone who’s on deck and he’s dealing with anywhere from two to six to 12, sometimes more, in-ear stereo mixes, sometimes monitor mixes, individual artists with molds. And then on top of that, you’ll have confidence monitors, wedges on the stage that for some reason some artists like to have those and in-ears. We call it a confidence wedge, so if something happens, he can always pull out his mold and listen to the wedge. But the monitor engineer handles all of that, all the head amp space there, and each individual mix for the artist on stage as it were.

Larry Jordan: Let’s put your front of house headsets on for just a second. How would you define the difference between a good mix and a great mix?

Bob Alumbaugh: A good mix is a mix that you can listen to at a very low level, and I’m going to throw out a number here, like 93db. Anytime you start getting above that level, sonically, the human ear gets compressed too quickly and you don’t hear all the detail. For me, a good mix is something that is dynamic, expressive and something that you can listen to at low level and hear all of the content.

Larry Jordan: But I don’t think there’s a touring band on the planet that believes in low levels. It’s like, if they can’t pin your ears to the back wall, they’re not loud enough. Why are the concerts so loud?

Bob Alumbaugh: Agreed. For the most part you are correct, unfortunately in the industry. It tends to be louder is louder. However, the artist that I’m currently supporting, Brian Wilson, and that whole Beach Boy discography, that is music that you do not blow out patrons. You do not give that to them at 100db. You give that to them at a very palatable 90, 93, 92 and it’s an excellent experience. As a matter of fact, on this tour, I had more instances of patrons coming up after the show and thanking us for not only a good mix but just saying, “You didn’t blow us out, and I can’t believe you didn’t do that.” So once again, it’s what are you presenting? Is it classical music, temporal rock, heavy metal? Well that’s going to dictate what your sound level is going to be.

Larry Jordan: I’m not going to ask you what your favorite mic is because the first answer is for what? But for vocals, for singing, do you have a preferred mic?

Bob Alumbaugh: I do love the Sennheiser line with a 52… I love the Telefunkens also. I’m a big Neumann fan. It just depends on the type of voice that I’m really going for. If it’s an opera, I’m going to go with Neumann. If it’s pop, I’m probably going to stick with just a generic BETA, like a Shure BETA, 58 or something like that. So once again it’s artist dependent. What do I want to hear in my inner ear? What does the album sound like, because most of the time I’m going to try and recreate as close as I can to the album.

Larry Jordan: By the way before we leave the loudness thing completely, I have listened to many concerts two blocks away inside a concrete building. So I am very glad that I can actually come and attend one of yours, that’s a good thing.

Bob Alumbaugh: I tell you, this is a great show. It’s bucket list stuff. Everybody comes here, has a moment with Brian Wilson, and I’m just so happy and fortunate to be a part of it. He’s 74 and he’s still just kicking it out every day.

Larry Jordan: Cool. How do you find a happy medium between your sense of what the music mix should be, and what the performers want?

Bob Alumbaugh: That’s an excellent question. The happy medium always defaults to the artist. More than likely what happens is they’ll have someone from their envoy, a wife, a friend, a trusted source, will come out and they will ride shotgun and listen to the mix and see, and then they’ll report back. Generally if you can get into their head and you know what they’re looking for, what kind of a vibe they want, you can generally give them that, or pretty close to it, and keep everybody happy and still stay true to your mantra of keeping it dynamically expressive and not overpowering any one particular element.

Larry Jordan: A performer that stands on stage crooning is a fairly easy miking experience. But if you’ve got a performer that’s got a lot of movement, or a lot of dance, how do you mic and still get quality?

Bob Alumbaugh: Normally those individuals that have a lot of movement, you know, you’ve got a couple of choices. You’re either going to go with a headset like a Countryman, or a GTA but most of the time those people who do that, they’re fairly well versed, so in other words when they’re up there dancing or ball and chain or they have a group of dancers or what have you, those really wildly gyrating moments are in between phrases that they’re singing. So they know that they have to stop and the body hit the mechanism, it’s only going to work so many ways so they try to plan it out. But for the most part, that’s up to the artist now. Even in a situation like this, we have times where he’s sitting down at a piano or someone’s sitting at a piano and they’re just not on access on the mic. There’s not a whole lot you can do with that, you just have to kind of muddle through it and do the best you can with the performer.

Larry Jordan: In other words, you’re tweaking EQ during a performance?

Bob Alumbaugh: Constantly, yes. It depends on the room, now you’re getting into room dynamics, systems, EQing, that’s a whole other kettle of fish for live sound. Most of the time I’m going to come in and tune the room with the PA, and then once the band gets on stage, I will tune it again to how the room sounds with them, and when that’s an empty hall it’s very bright, very… Until we get bodies in the hall, we don’t get anywhere near what the show sounds like. So you’re constantly adjusting that, and as you get more experienced, you can get it close, and know what it’s going to sound like when people get in there. And once again, when the first downbeat comes and the performance starts, I’m again reassessing, tweaking, adjusting this, adjusting that, giving suggestions to people and what have you. It’s dynamic, it’s never static.

Larry Jordan: We’ve mentioned the fact that you’re a fan of Sennheiser and Neumann and the world famous Shures, which I think not only pound nails, but are on more stages than anywhere else.

Bob Alumbaugh: Yes sir.

Larry Jordan: Do you have a preferred mixing console?

Bob Alumbaugh: That is an excellent question. I am personally a fan of DiGiCo. I am … Digidesign but that is because that was on the rider. So in my position one must know all of them. To answer your question, DiGiCo is a favorite of mine. I also love the Midas consoles, they just sound great.

Larry Jordan: I think I could spend the next three hours talking with you. This is just so cool, I love this insight, but before I let you go, do you have a website that people can go to learn more and insist on hiring you for their next gig?

Bob Alumbaugh: I do, and you can find me on

Larry Jordan: Bob, this has been fun, thank you so much for sharing your time and enjoy your mix tonight, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Bob Alumbaugh: Thank you sir, thank you for having me.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye. Alright, I confess, I love audio, I love talking to people that do audio and this has been a fun show where we’ve had a chance to take a look at different elements of audio from how we create the microphones for it, to doing a live mix for such an event as a Supermeet to doing live mixes for music and post production and tracking. This has been fun. I could spend probably another three hours here, but I think we better wrap it up while we’re all feeling cheerful.

Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests tonight, Achim Gleissner from Sennheiser, Chris Eschweiler, freelance technical director, Ed Golya, award winning post production mixer, Robert Krueger, the Lesspain Software managing director, and Bob Alumbaugh from Single Bullet Productions, and of course James DeRuvo from DoddleNEWS.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online, and all available to you today. And remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Friday. Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at

Larry Jordan: Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner with additional music provided by Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription. Visit to learn how they can help you.
Larry Jordan: Our producer is Debbie Price. My name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to the Digital Production Buzz.

Larry Jordan: The Digital Production Buzz is copyright 2016 by Thalo LLC.

Digital Production Buzz – October 13, 2016

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Achim Gleissner, Chris Eschweiler, Ed Golya, Robert Krueger, Bob Alumbaugh, and James DeRuvo.

  • New Microphones From Sennheiser
  • Mixing Live Audio for SuperMeets
  • From Audio Post to Perfection
  • Creating Kyno, a Better Way To Manage Media
  • Mixing Live Audio Makes the Music Become Magic
  • This Week’s DoddleNEWS Update

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Listen to the Full Episode

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Buzz on iTunes

Guests this Week

Featured Interview #1: New Microphones From Sennheiser

Achim Gleissner
Achim Gleissner, Commercial Manager, Broadcast and Media, Sennheiser Electronic

Good audio starts with a good microphone. Sennheiser is a world-class microphone manufacturer. This week we talk to Achim Gleissner, Commercial Manager for Sennheiser about their latest microphones and how to pick the best mics for your project.

Featured Interview #2: Mixing Live Audio Makes the Music Become Magic

Bob Alumbaugh
Bob Alumbaugh, Owner, President, Single Bullet Productions, LLC

A live concert or rock show is nothing without good audio. Tonight we talk with Bob Alumbaugh, Owner and President of Single Bullet Productions, whose company helps live shows sound their very best. Discover the secrets that make the magic happen.

Make Yourself the Best You Can Be

Chris Eschweiler
Chris Eschweiler, Audio Visual Supervisor, Thousand Oaks Freelance

Live means there’s no second take. What do you do when you have a live event and the audio absolutely, positively HAS to be right? You call in Chris Eschweiler. Tonight we will talk to him mixing audio for the legendary Supermeets and the challenge of making live audio perfect.

From Audio Post to Perfection

Ed Golya
Ed Golya, Owner, MixxTreme

Audio post-production redefines perfection. Tonight, we talk with Ed Golya, five-time Emmy Award-winning audio post-production mixer, about the differences between live and post and the challenges of getting production audio to sound great.

Creating Kyno, A Better Way to Manage Media

Robert Krueger
Robert Krueger, Managing Partner, Lesspain Software

Robert Krueger is the managing partner for LessPain Software, the developers of Kyno. This software, six years in development, is a brand-new way to manage media for Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, and Final Cut Pro 7. Tonight we talk with Robert about why they created it, what it does, and their plans for the future.

DoddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

James DeRuvo, senior writer for DoddleNEWS, presents the latest industry news.

Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – October 6, 2016

Larry Jordan

Rachel Addington, Actor,
Andrew David James, Actor/Fight Choreographer,
Allan Hunt, Artistic Director/Actor/Teacher, Thousand Oaks Repertory Company
Debbie Zipp, Actress/Writer/Producer,
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Network
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS


Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Buzz, we are talking about actors; not the craft of acting but what it takes to find and get work. We start with Rachel Addington; she’s a working LA actress, with credits in film, theatre and the web. Tonight we talk with her about how she markets herself to get work.

Larry Jordan: Next, actor and theatrical director, Allan Hunt, shares his thoughts on what it takes to be successful as an actor. Innate skill is a part of it, but there’s a whole lot more you can do to improve your chances of success.

Larry Jordan: Next, Debbie Zipp spent 35 years as a professional actress; then she wrote the book, ‘The Aspiring Actor’s Handbook; What Seasoned Actors Wished They Had Known.’ Tonight, she shares the secrets of the pros.

Larry Jordan: Next, Scott Page built his career as a musician; which means a life spent searching for short term gigs. Tonight, he explains how we can improve our marketing by building relationships using our phone.

Larry Jordan: Next, Andrew David James is an actor, a writer and a fight choreographer. It’s one thing to find work in a big media city like Los Angeles or New York, but what happens when you hit the road? How do you travel for work, yet still keep your business intact?

Larry Jordan: All this plus James DeRuvo with our weekly DoddleNEWS update. The Buzz starts now.

Voiceover: Since the dawn of digital film-making. Authoritative: One show serves a worldwide network of media professionals. Current: Uniting industry experts. Production: Filmmakers. Post-production: And content creators around the planet. Distribution: From the media capital of the world, in Los Angeles, California, the Digital Production Buzz goes live now.

Larry Jordan: And welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry; covering media production, post-production and marketing around the world. We are celebrating our 17th year of podcasting. Hi, my name is Larry Jordan and tonight we’re looking at the business behind acting; not unions, agents, or casting, but the process of finding and getting work. All too often, as creative professionals, we spend all our time scrambling to get a gig that only lasts for a few days. But it is worse for actors, there’s a lot of competition for not a lot of jobs.

Larry Jordan: Tonight we’re going to talk to a number of different actors, directors and musicians, about how they find and get work and, along the way, we’ll learn about what skills and mind sets are necessary to cope with the constant stress. It should be a fun show, I’m looking forward to our conversations. By the way, I want to invite you to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at Every issue, every week, gives you an inside look at the Buzz; quick links to the different segments on the show, and curated articles of special interest to filmmakers. Best of all, every issue is free and comes out on Friday.

Larry Jordan: Now it’s time for a DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.

James DeRuvo: Hello Larry, how are you?

Larry Jordan: I am talking to you; this is a great way to start my week. What’s the news?

James DeRuvo: Well there’s a really super cool app out for the iPhone and on Google Play that offers drone liability insurance for as low as $10 an hour. The app is called ‘Verifly’ and it offers location based premium rates charged per hour. You get instant approval and they will email you a proof of insurance certificate, so that you can provide it to anyone who needs it. The only downside is, is that, it’s only for drones under 15 pounds; which means, you can use it for the DJI Phantom 4, the new Mavic Pro and the GoPro Karma; those drones. Any drone whose drone and camera package is under 15 pounds.

James DeRuvo: Right now it’s also limited to $1 million policy, but they’re planning on offering a $2.5 million policy soon, with day long rates of up to eight hours. It’s a very cool app. If you want to download it, it’s available in the iTunes app store or in Google Play.

Larry Jordan: Very cool and the nice thing, it’s insurance by the hour, which is very affordable.

James DeRuvo: Well it’s really kind of cool too, because the app also gives you a countdown; so you know exactly when your insurance is about to expire and it’s only for liability insurance though, so if you crash your drone, you’re on your own. But if you crash your drone into somebody, then you’re covered.

Larry Jordan: Well, we’ll talk more about this later. What’s the next story?

James DeRuvo: The next story is that, a filmmaker has taken the REDs 8K Helium camera for a test. He actually pushed it to its absolute limits; recorded it in absolute darkness, extreme bright sunlight. Basically his goal was to try and find the breaking point and, quite honestly, he’s not sure he did. He says it’s got a better Super 35mm image than the 6K full frame Dragon sensor and what he likes about the 8K format is that it shows all the little imperfections. He says, that’s the real charm of super high vision, which is what they’re calling it these days; is that, all these little imperfections that you see, is like looking at something in real life and he really likes it.

James DeRuvo: The other thing that I saw this week is that, another filmmaker has created a little remote control for the URSA Mini. It’s called the one little remote control and it’s a bank of four buttons, that you can program for your favorite menu options. The best part is, it’s under $60.

Larry Jordan: How about something on the software front? Anything going on?

James DeRuvo: On the software side, FxFactory has teamed up with Lemke Software to create the epic auto color correction app. It’s a plug-in for FxFactory and it uses an algorithm that simulates what your eyes see. Simulates the human brain’s visual system; so what it sees is what you see with your human eye. It also has Log and Rec 709 pre-sets and basically it’s a drag and drop primary color correction system. You just take the plug-in, drag it onto your footage and it automatically color corrects.

Larry Jordan: That’s pretty amazing. FxFactory has a number of color correction software inside it, but, I like the fact that it does auto color correction.

James DeRuvo: Yes, it’s really ideal for documentaries and, if you’re on a tight deadline and you need to show your client a really fast epic auto color correction for FxFactory, that’s the plug-in for you.

Larry Jordan: For people that want to keep track of all the latest news in our industry, where can they go on the web?

James DeRuvo: All these and other stories can be found at

Larry Jordan: James DeRuvo is the Senior Writer for DoddleNEWS and James, as always, thanks for joining us.

James DeRuvo: Have a great weekend Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: I want to introduce you to a new website, is an artist, community and networking site; for creative people to connect, be inspired and showcase their creativity. features content from around the world, with a global perspective on all things creative. Thalo is the place for creative folks to learn; collaborate; market and sell their works. Thalo is a part of the Thalo Arts community, a worldwide community of artists; filmmakers and storytellers. From photography to filmmaking; performing arts to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with resources you need to succeed. Visit and discover how their community can help you connect; learn and succeed. That’s

Larry Jordan: Rachel Addington is a working Los Angeles based actress with credits in film, theatre and the web. Tonight we want to talk with her about what she does to market herself as an actor. Hello Rachel, welcome.

Rachel Addington: Hey, how’s it going? Thanks for having me.

Larry Jordan: We are delighted to have you on, because, I’ve been looking at your website and reading some of your résumé stuff and you’ve been busy. But, before we talk about that, what first got you interested in acting?

Rachel Addington: Well, what first got me interested in acting, I was actually three years old when I decided that this is what I wanted to do and it was the movie, ‘Sound of Music,’ actually. I watched it with my Mom and I saw how much it affected her, just the performances, and I realized that that’s what I wanted to do. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to pursue this. I don’t really know any other lifestyle.

Larry Jordan: Well, aside from the fact that you got hooked on the industry at the age of three, what kind of gigs are you getting now?

Rachel Addington: Well since I moved down to LA, I’ve been doing a lot of live theatre; I’m lucky enough to do a lot of live theatre back to back. I’ve been doing a lot of commercial work and a lot of web series work; a lot of student films; background work. I’ve kind of touched on all different aspects of it, which has been great and an amazing opportunity; so I’ve been incredibly lucky.

Larry Jordan: Well tonight we want to focus on what actors need to know, in terms of finding and getting work. Talk to me about how you’re marketing yourself.

Rachel Addington: Now I’m lucky enough to have a manager that submits me for projects that aren’t always on the website breakdowns. But, before that, when it was just me, I was constantly on LA Casting; Actors’ Access; Casting Frontier; Backstage, all those different areas where I would just submit myself. I would dedicate the first two hours every day to submitting myself on all these projects; trying to make contacts with people in the student film area and try to maintain those; so for future projects they would think of me. Creating a website to promote myself and promoting it on social media; because that has become a huge benefit for actors in general. If you have a large social media following, that’s what everyone wants nowadays. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all that.

Rachel Addington: But most of it has just been constantly applying online and getting lucky enough to be called in for a first audition; then hopefully call back and then, if you’re lucky, you’re cast.

Larry Jordan: There’s two different areas I want to talk about; social media, which is second. But you said something I found interesting, you’ve got an agent. Can you rely exclusively on the agent for marketing yourself, or do you have to do something as well?

Rachel Addington: No, I never rely solely on one person. I know that my manager or my agent would do their best to push for me, but it’s definitely not something that I am solely counting on to get me in the door. I mean, a lot of people say that, everything in this industry is about. While part of it is true, a lot of it is also what you know that keeps you there. I am constantly putting myself out there and reaching out to people individually; so they get a little glimpse of me as an actor and as a person, rather than through just a third party.

Rachel Addington: While it’s extremely beneficial to have someone going to bat for you, it’s also really incredible to just be doing that yourself too; because, they get a firmer grasp on who you are as a person and you can build the relationship from there.

Larry Jordan: We’re going to have an interview, immediately following your segment, with a director named Allan Hunt; who got his start in television in 1965. One of the things that Allan makes clear is, luck plays a part, but you have to be prepared to take advantage of the luck when it lands on your feet.

Rachel Addington: Exactly, yes. If people ask me what else I need to be doing, it’s constantly either in classes, or in workshops, or taking voiceover; anything to further your own experience and your education. Because, yes, when that opportunity strikes, when that luck hits, that’s brilliant; but, ultimately, it’s what you know that’s going to keep you there. It’s going to keep propelling you forward. Luck runs out immensely quickly in this industry, so, as long as they’re constantly working on furthering their craft, I think, once that strikes, they’ll be good to go.

Larry Jordan: Well, which is more important, marketing or training?

Rachel Addington: You know, I would like to say training. Me as a person, I believe that a person’s craft is more important. But, in this industry, especially with social media now, it’s become such a big plus if you do have a big social media following. The way that times are going, I would say that, promoting yourself in that sense is equally as important, if maybe not a little bit more, to get yourself out there.

Larry Jordan: How are using social media and how are you avoiding it take over your life; so that all you do is social media?

Rachel Addington: For me, Facebook is a big one, and I have two different Facebook pages. One’s specific for my acting endeavors and to promote either what I’ve got casting or what projects I have coming up; and then I have one that’s for my personal use, that I can just be myself on. It’s kind of nice to have that separation. Again, Instagram is a big one, using all the hashtags, because people can search those; like actors, Los Angeles, working actor; all that stuff that big casting directors can search and find you on. That’s incredibly beneficial as well.

Rachel Addington: As for not allowing it to take over my life, I grew up just before the technology boom, so I grew up with a dial up internet and everything; so I remember what it’s like to not have my phone glued to my ear; so that’s been beneficial. It’s a fine balance trying to figure out just how to promote yourself and not get too over the top with it; because, eventually people get sick of looking at it and then you get nowhere.

Larry Jordan: Do you judge social media to be a success based upon the number of conversations you start, or the number of followers that you have, or the number of jobs you book?

Rachel Addington: The success on social media, I like to think of as most followers and most conversations started through there. Because, you can reach a great amount of people through just social media and you can start those conversations and build those relationships. The following is mostly for people who are casting bigger projects and they just want to know how many people are following you, so that they can use you to self-promote the project, in addition to all the promotions they’re doing on their apps. That’s more beneficial when bigger casting directors are looking at you.

Rachel Addington: The conversations and building the relationships are more beneficial for the smaller projects, because they’re looking more in-depth; I find. Because they’re looking to build a more personable relationship.

Larry Jordan: You are competing in probably the biggest media market in the world, with about billion other young women who are trying to do the exact same role you are. What are you doing to make yourself stand out from the crowd?

Rachel Addington: What I’ve been doing is I’ve been taking improv classes; because it’s something I never did in school. I found that that has been incredibly beneficial. The good thing with improv is, it forces you to make a decision with whatever is handed to you in that moment. As opposed to method acting, which is also incredibly beneficial, but it deals a lot more with in-depth character work.

Rachel Addington: When you’re going into say just a cattle call audition and you maybe don’t get the script beforehand and it’s just a cold read, the improv skills really allow you to just make one bold decision and run with it. That has been incredibly beneficial for me. I’ve only taken a couple of improv classes but I’ve booked some more jobs with having that knowledge than I did before.

Larry Jordan: Is it more important to have a specific look, to try to brand yourself and be typecast in a particular category, or to have a range?

Rachel Addington: I would say it’s nice to have a range; but I think it’s incredibly beneficial for the actor to know their type. Me, for example, when I first moved down here I was 23 and I was already getting cast in the young mom type; which was extremely different for me, because I was getting cast as … or other places. So, really knowing how people see you and perceive you just by looking at you is incredibly beneficial to the actors.

Rachel Addington: Again, if you can stretch that range and if you can get other people to see you in that light, that’s incredible and just keep building on top of that. But, I think it’s most important to know the type that you come across as initially; like when people first see you when you walk in the room. Because, otherwise, you’re kind of just drawing straws and if you go in there with a clear idea, you’ll have more success.

Larry Jordan: You have managed to pick an industry where many more people say no than say yes. How do you keep your spirits up when you keep getting rejected?

Rachel Addington: I have had a great many years to prepare a thick skin but, I mean, yes, when you do hear no a lot it does take a toll on you. I think it was Susan Sarandon that said this, I read it in an interview or something. She said that, whenever she heard no from an audition or a no thank you, she would go out to dinner or do something just for herself; to celebrate a new possibility. She didn’t see it as a closed door, she saw it as like a new door in a different direction was opening; new possibilities.

Rachel Addington: That has always stuck in the back of my mind to just try to see everything as, just no to this one but maybe yes further down the road. I know that that’s easier said than done in a lot of cases, but that greatly helps me, in the long run.

Larry Jordan: Yes, to take a longer view rather than a shorter view and realize they’re rejecting a particular moment, not you as a person.

Rachel Addington: Exactly and that’s really hard for a lot of people to wrap their head around; that it’s not you, it just not their idea. They’re searching just as hard and hoping that you are what they’re looking for. But the casting directors, when you walk in the door, are hoping that their day ends with you; they want you to succeed. That’s also beneficial, is, they aren’t out to get you, they want you to do well; so remembering that when you go in the door is really beneficial also.

Larry Jordan: For somebody who does want to succeed and hire a talented actress Rachel, where should they go on the web to learn more about you?

Rachel Addington: You can check out my website, it’s

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word. Rachel Addington herself is the voice and Rachel, thanks for joining us today. This has been fun.

Rachel Addington: Thank you Larry.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye-bye.

Rachel Addington: Bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: Allan Hunt has directed more than 30 shows for the stage. He was also the co-star of ABC’s ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’ a year or two ago. He’s an award-winning director; the director of the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival and currently the head of the performing arts program at Oak Park High School, in Oak Park, California. Hello Allan, welcome.

Allan Hunt: Hello Larry, nice hearing from you.

Larry Jordan: It’s good to hear your voice again. This week we’re talking about creating a successful career as an actor. You’re an actor, a director and a teacher. Is it possible to learn acting, or is acting innate in a person?

Allan Hunt: I would say yes to both of those; it is innate, it’s a gift. Talent may be the result of a lot of training, but it always begins with a bit of a gift. I would put it this way. If someone has a flair that seems to do well at dialog or improvisation, where they put themselves into another person’s being and can create a character like that, that’s remarkable and wonderful. Not all of us can do it. But along with that must go training and disciplines; so it is a marriage of the two things.

Larry Jordan: You’ve taught both adults and children and, assuming that they have some innate talent, it’s possible to enhance that talent with training. But how does your training vary, depending upon the age of the student you’re teaching?

Allan Hunt: That’s a good question Larry, because adults, obviously, are much more in tune with what is needed. But curiously, children have fantastic imaginations and they already play act; and so that already is in play with children. It’s kind of funny, because, most adult actors that I know and work with have always done this; ever since childhood they were always pretending and that’s really what it is. It’s really good pretending.

Allan Hunt: The answer to your question Larry is that, with children it’s actually quite easy, because the kids are already in tune with pretending and being another person. Adults, of course, understand intellectually more what this is, but it’s funny, adults are also a little shyer; they become self-conscious. In my job it’s a matter of getting in tune with that and meeting them on that plain and then encouraging them to go further with it.

Larry Jordan: Young actors face so many challenges today. What should a young actor do to equip themselves to stand out from the crowd? Because there are so many other actors that are going after that same gig.

Allan Hunt: Boy Larry, you’re right, and boy, if I knew that answer. The best advice that I could give, just from my own observations and having been in this business, is being prepared. It’s that old Boy Scout motto. If you get a chance to meet a producer or a hotshot director and he or she is interested in what you might do with this certain part, if you have training and are honed to what you’re doing as an actor, you jump right in on that script and you can be head and shoulders above other people. That’s the best thing you could hope for. But in my business, it does seem to smile on some and pass by others and I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason to it.

Allan Hunt: If you look at the success stories of some really great actors, no two stories are the same. It’s a little tricky. In my experience, there isn’t one particular way to do this other than being aware of yourself; having the training that has taught you to think quickly and be a solid performer on stage; and do as Laurence Olivier said, speak your lines loudly and clearly and get off.

Larry Jordan: It sounds to me like what you’re saying is, there’s a huge amount of serendipity; just pure blind luck. But behind the blind luck, you’ve got to back it up with training.

Allan Hunt: Yes and be ready for it when that chance happens. Another cliché, if I may Larry, is, know thyself. There’s nothing more important for an actor than knowing how you look, how you come across to people. What is your type? How do you strike people? Knowing that is probably as important in the beginning as anything.

Larry Jordan: You got your big break when you were the co-star in ABC’s ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’ and I’m not going to say what years those were.

Allan Hunt: It’s okay.

Larry Jordan: It was 65 to 66?

Allan Hunt: Yes. The show actually was on in 1964 in black and white and then the second season, 65, I was added to the cast, along with Terry Becker and, you know, Larry, my getting that part was so ironic and so by chance; because I was originally turned down for the part. I met one of the casting directors and they said thank you very much and I forgot all about it. Then, maybe two months later, I got a call to go in and meet on Voyage again and I went down to 20th. I thought there would be a roomful of other guys on some kind of call back but the office was empty. Joe came out and said, “Oh Allan, good, come on, we’re going to walk across the lot and go to see Irwin Allen,” who was the producer. As we’re walking he said, “You know what’s happened?” I said, “No, I don’t.”

Allan Hunt: What he told me was that, they had an actor that I knew, as a matter of fact, for the part and they wanted to show some footage of this actor to the ABC brass, because they would have a final say so. This actor recommended an episode of ‘Mr Novak,’ he was the guest star in that episode. They brought that in to show to the executive. Well, I happened to be in that episode with Bobby and all our scenes were together. When the two of us came on the screen, the ABC people thought they were supposed to be looking at me and said, “Oh, that’s the guy, yes, good, great, thumbs up; let’s book him.” Irwin Allen was surprised because that wasn’t the guy.

Larry Jordan: Oh my goodness.

Allan Hunt: I didn’t know this was happening. When I met Irwin Allen, it was just to shake hands really, because ABC had already said that’s the guy; that’s the guy we want. I’d love to say that I was the best actor, that I read for the part and got it; but no, it was a fluke like that.

Larry Jordan: Which simply goes to prove that serendipity has played a role through the ages.

Allan Hunt: Yes; it certainly did in that case. Everybody is looking for some key, some in road and there really isn’t one except mixing talent with whatever gifts you may have been given, with being prepared; being ready for something.

Larry Jordan: Allan, I could talk with you for probably another couple of hours; but, we’re going to let you go. Do you have a website that people can visit?

Allan Hunt:

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word and Allan Hunt is an actor, a director and the head of the performing arts program at the Oak Park High School in California. Allan, thanks for joining us today.

Allan Hunt: Thank you Larry, it was my pleasure.

Larry Jordan: Debbie Zipp is a writer and editor and producer of the Three Tomatoes website; plus a weekly LA newsletter. She’s also the co-author of the ‘Aspiring Actor’s Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known.’ Before that, she spent 35 years as a steadily working professional actress. Hello Debbie, welcome.

Debbie Zipp: Hi Larry, good to be here.

Larry Jordan: It’s wonderful to actually hear your voice again; it has been a while since last we spoke.

Debbie Zipp: Yes; it’s good to hear you too.

Larry Jordan: Thank you. Debbie, there are so many things we could talk about; acting, your website, your newsletter. But I want to focus on your book and your advice. Why did you decide to write the ‘Aspiring Actor’s Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known?’

Debbie Zipp: Well I had been asked to write another book about advice for actors. I didn’t necessarily like the concept they came up with, so I kind of said no to that; but decided to go ahead and then I could write it myself. I took on a partner, a co-author; another worker bee actress by the name of Molly Cheek. We sat down and we worked for four years on this; in between different things.

Debbie Zipp: Finally, after four years, we got it published and we wanted to just do something different and tell actors about the life they were looking at, if they chose this profession; things that we wish someone had told us when we were starting out. That was the basic concept.

Larry Jordan: What’s the biggest misunderstanding that young actors have about the profession?

Debbie Zipp: I think they think that the only way to be successful is to be a star and what we wanted to point out was that, there was a vast middle ground between starving artist and a star or a celebrity. That there is a total section where you are a worker bee; you are a middle class actor making a living, not having to do any other job but act and are able to pay your bills, raise a family, send your kids to college or whatever, from your earnings as an actor. Granted, it’s only one to two percent of the Screen Actor’s Guild that are able to do that. But we wanted them to know that that is successful too, not just being a celebrity.

Larry Jordan: I like the idea of defining the middle ground; that’s something that is easily overlooked, especially in our celebrity obsessed culture. What are some of the other key takeaways from your book?

Debbie Zipp: Well, one of my pet peeves is, if I had spoken to myself I would have said, “Don’t just be an actor.” However, back in the day, that was really all you had, you know. Goldie Hawn was one of the first women to have her own production company.

Debbie Zipp: When I say to actors now, when they ask, what’s my number one piece of advice; is not to just be talented and hone your craft and be dedicated and all that stuff, it is also to say be more. Be more than just an actor. Because, with everything today, with your ability to edit a movie at home; with your writing skills; with producing, the things you can do without the green light of the studio, that’s what you need to do. You need to investigate all your creative skills, while you’re pursuing actor. Because, in the end, you will feel much more empowered; so that, when you go on an audition, you’re thinking, okay, if I don’t get this, I’m not going to be devastated, I’ll just work on my script, or I’ll work on that short film I’m producing, or I’ll edit this piece that I just shot. Things like that, that I think are very important.

Debbie Zipp: It also gives you other aspects when you work, as to what the other people’s jobs are and what they’re looking for, what their perspective is; which can only help you when you’re on stage or when you’re shooting something.

Larry Jordan: We’ll bring you back, there’s so much more that we can talk about; to help young actors understand, sort of, where they fit in the whole picture. By the way, I need to give you the credit, that you’re probably best known for your role as Donna in the CBS series, ‘Murder She Wrote’ which is a show, by the way, that I was addicted to. Thank you so much. What website can people go to, to learn more about your work?

Debbie Zipp: HYPERLINK “”

Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, Debbie Zipp is the co-author of the book and Debbie, thanks for joining us today, this has been fun.

Debbie Zipp: Very welcome.

Larry Jordan: Take care, bye-bye.

Larry Jordan: Here’s another website I want to introduce you to; DoddleNEWS gives you a portal into the broadcast, video and film industries. It’s a leading online resource, presenting news, reviews and products for the film and video industry. DoddleNEWS also offers a resource guide and crew management platform specifically designed for production. These digital call sheets, along with their app, directory and premium listings, provide in-depth organizational tools for busy production professionals.

Larry Jordan: DoddleNEWS is a part of the Thalo Arts community; a worldwide community of artists, filmmakers and storytellers. From photography to filmmaking; performing arts, to fine arts and everything in between, Thalo is filled with the resources you need to succeed. Whether you want the latest industry news, need to network with other creative professionals, or require state of the art online tools to manage your next project; there’s only one place to go,

Larry Jordan: Scott Page is a musician, a technologist and a serial entrepreneur. He currently serves as the CEO of Ignited Network, which is a start-up music accelerator focused on teaching artists how to think like a start-up and he has widely toured as a professional musician. Hello Scott, welcome back.

Scott Page: Hello Larry, how are you? Good to be on the show again; I love doing this show.

Larry Jordan: Well, we want you back more often; so, it’s good to have you back again.

Scott Page: Thanks very much.

Larry Jordan: Scott, this week we’re talking about actors and other creative types and how to find and land a job. Something you talked about a few weeks ago, when we were talking about your space program was, the idea of building a brand. Why is a brand so important?

Scott Page: Well, I mean, today, everything is about the brand; it’s part of what makes who you are and makes you visible and makes you kind of help rise above the noise; what your brand stands for and what the purpose is. All of those things. Because today, we have such a noise level of content out there, the key to being seen, or content, or being seen at all, is you have to be able to rise above the noise. Really understanding how to build your brand is really critical to helping you rise in this business and be seen.

Larry Jordan: Well how do you build a brand if you’re just starting out?

Scott Page: Well, you know, what’s great is, we have all these tools today; I mean, that’s the wonder and the beauty of social media right now and what’s going on with mobility and the ability to basically have this mobile device in your hand; being able to connect with virtually anybody 24/7. I think we talked about, you know, Twitter being the 24 hour cocktail party.

Scott Page: What I try to tell everybody is, really this device in your hand is a relationship device; you can actually start building relationships. We all know, in business in general and even in the content business, so much of it is based on relationships; so, using these tool sets that we have to be able to communicate with people, connect, is really where the Holy Grail is for kind of building your business today. How do you find work? You’ve just got to get started out there and start finding, you know, the niches.

Larry Jordan: Well we were talking with Rachel, in the first segment, about the fact that social media can just take over your life; to the extent that you’re not doing anything else and yet, as creative people, we still need to network and market. How do you balance the 24/7 demands of social media with actually getting work?

Scott Page: Yes. Here’s where my model is to go small. It’s not about having millions of followers, it’s really finding those people that you can really connect and build relationships with. I read a whole article and I can’t remember where it was, but it was talking about that, people can really only really handle about 100 people as far as a relationship is concerned and that’s even stretching it.

Scott Page: What I tell you is, like for me, with Twitter, instead of thinking about Twitter, about growing this audience and talking to everybody, I did the research, I found people that were going to be important to the things that I cared about, in the business that I was doing. With launching my new start-up, I found people with synergies, where we could work together and I focused on them; so I had ten people that I focused on Twitter for the whole year. I wasn’t trying to talk to everybody else, I was using it to build those relationships.

Scott Page: I would tell actors and artists and those people, who are the people that matter? If you’re in the film business or the music business, you might get your placements, then you’re looking for music supervisors and people in that space; so, who are those folks? You can find them now. The same with actors, who are the talent scouts; who are the people and what are the things. Build the relationships with the people that are out there. Because we never had that ability to do it from the palm of our hands, from anywhere in the world.

Scott Page: It’s an incredible device, this device; it’s is a relationship tool and if you use it that way and forget about social media, as far as consuming my life, let’s just focus. It could be two or three people, it could be whatever, that small group of people; but make it concentrated. That’s my advice. Going small really wins these days.

Larry Jordan: Reach out but focus on who you’re reaching out too; so don’t go for the mass, go for the quality.

Scott Page: Absolutely. Because, I’ve seen so many times, influencing influence is one of the most important things you can do and it only takes one. You get one of the right influencers and things can really start to happen for you. Always focus on understanding what I’m looking for, who I need to speak to and then, understanding what they care about and making sure that there’s a nice fit between what we’re trying to do. Then I reach out and then we build a conversation and start building the relationship.

Scott Page: The whole idea is building trust. Once you start building trust with those people, then they will start to use you; and it is business, it’s about these relationships.

Larry Jordan: Very cool Scott. For people that want more information, where can they go on the web?

Scott Page: You can go to and that’s where we talk about the accelerator. We’re very excited; we’re going to be launching our Ignited Live mobile network here for content creatives to monetize their audience.

Larry Jordan: Take a breath. We will talk with you more soon. Scott Page is the CEO of Ignited Network; Scott, talk to you shortly.

Scott Page: Alright, thanks very much Larry.

Larry Jordan: It’s been a full show and we still have one more guest to go, that I’m really looking forward to talking with. He’s an actor and entertainer and fight choreographer. His name is Andrew David James. He’s toured throughout America and Europe, working in theatre and film. For the past year he’s hosted the weekly radio show, State of the Arts, with Michael Sterling and Andrew David James, which is on LA Talk Radio. Hello Andrew, welcome back.

Andrew David James: Hello, thank you.

Larry Jordan: The first time we met, I realized, was about six years ago, when you and I worked together on a web series called ‘Two Reel Guys.’ But much water has passed under the bridge. What are you doing now?

Andrew David James: Well, more of that, taking jobs where I can find them and trying to do good work.

Larry Jordan: How many of your gigs are outside the local area?

Andrew David James: That’s a good question. It varies from month to month, depending on what I can take into my schedule. Usually it comes out to about 50/50; about 50% of the jobs that I do in California are out of town; so it’s usually a pretty good division right down the middle.

Larry Jordan: Now, do you find the work in LA and they send you on location; or are you doing job hunting outside of LA itself?

Andrew David James: Yes, I put feelers out all over, depending on the job quality. A lot of what I get is from directors that I’ve worked with before, who are then shooting out of town or are kind enough to call me to come in on projects that they need me for. But certainly I have an agent that’s in New York as well, that gets me work on the East Coast.

Larry Jordan: Well, I’ve had a chance to chat with you on many occasions off the record, as it were, and you’ve got to be one of the hardest working actors that I know. How do you cope with living out of a suitcase, yet still being fresh for the day’s work?

Andrew David James: Well, you’ve got to learn to do that when you don’t have much talent; you’ve got to cover up what you don’t have in talent with hard work. I’ve learned that there’s no replacement for good hard work. I think the thing is that, you have to treat it like a business; you have to set yourself a schedule. You’ve got to make yourself get up and work out, even if you’ve had a long flight; you’ve got to kind of treat your suitcase like a briefcase; and you’ve got to be willing to, you know, set a regiment for yourself that doesn’t make you feel like you’re doing something unusual, it’s just another day at the office.

Larry Jordan: Well that’s exactly the point. How do you manage to keep your business running smoothly when you‘re away from your business, away from your home?

Andrew David James: I have a routine that I go through, where I do my promotions during a certain time. If I’m on a plane I’m usually working on a script. The problem comes in when you’re driving. A lot of the driving time is just downtime where all you can do is focus on the road. I like to find a way to give myself ten or 15 minutes to kind of pull over and stop and focus on what job I’m going to be doing.

Andrew David James: I tend to do a lot of social media kind of stuff, during my time, where I would otherwise be useless; so, if I’m sitting in a hotel room or if I’m waiting for a plane in the airport, I tend to do a lot of social media posting. Letting people know what I’m doing and kind of getting the word out there to help promote the projects that I’m doing; so, in the end, they can be, you know, successful for the people who are making the big money off of them. Generally speaking, if you keep yourself active and then give yourself a cut-off point and come back to your real life and spend your real life with your family and get yourself the relaxation, then going back to work the next day doesn’t seem that hard. But I find the greatest success is just in a really strict division of time allotment.

Larry Jordan: I want to come back to that point. We talked to Rachel at the first section and Scott in the segment just before you. In both cases I asked them, how do you manage to have social media not take over your life? Because social media is 24/7 and wants all of you all of the time.

Andrew David James: It’s interesting when you look at how much good social media actually does. It’s really very limited as far as the time you need to make it successful. I think people think, oh well, I have to be posting all the time. I tend to lean towards targeted posts. I very judiciously pick what projects need to be promoted and how far out you promote them and I try to do a post every day or every couple of days and if there’s a project that’s coming up, that’s needing to sell tickets or needing new funding or that’s needing a little more promotion, you go ahead and schedule those posts all at once. Then they go up without you ever having to look at it again.

Larry Jordan: As you’re traveling about and working both in LA and in New York and everywhere in between, is there a different in work environment; or is production production?

Andrew David James: You know, once you’re in the studio or on location, production’s production; I’m sure you know that from everything’s you’ve done. But there is something different when you’re going through different places. I remember one time I was in an airport in Atlanta and a girl asked me if I wanted sweet tea and I hadn’t had sweet tea forever and I said yes and I got myself thinking about sweet tea and I got myself nostalgic. I started kind of looking around the airport and I realized, I was supposed to be working, I was supposed to be on my laptop and working on script stuff; I was choreographing a fight at the time.

Andrew David James: I think you’ve got to keep yourself focused outside of the actual location or outside of the actual studio; more so than inside.

Larry Jordan: Would you describe focus as the biggest challenge you face when you’re acting on the road; or is something else even more challenging?

Andrew David James: No, I think that’s definitely the biggest. The only one that would be close, I think, is health. It’s extremely hard to keep yourself healthy when you’re traveling a lot. You find yourself getting more down, you find yourself taking liberties with your eating habits and that sort of thing. It’s easy to very quickly get yourself where you’re not at your best. But I think those two are definitely the big ones that you’ve got to kind of avoid as much as possible.

Larry Jordan: Well the craft table can be a huge temptation.

Andrew David James: That’s true. I’ve become a big fan of packing my own craft services before I go on set for a difficult fight job though.

Larry Jordan: What do you like most about doing out of town work? I know your family’s LA based, but, what makes going out of town exciting?

Andrew David James: You know, the temptation, when you’ve got two little ones at home, that you miss a whole lot, is to say nothing; you much rather work in LA. But there is something that makes you feel like you’re doing what you’ve always wanted to do by traveling. I know that there are times where I get to see parts of the country and I’ve been working hard and I’ve had my head down and I stop and I look up at a mountain in Utah or I look up at New York City and I see, oh my goodness, I’m so lucky to be here. So I think you do learn an appreciation for the love of travel and what you get to do in this industry that maybe somebody else in another job doesn’t get.

Larry Jordan: Do you have a favorite out of town experience? It’s similar to out of body but out of mind, but we’ll talk out of town. Anything special come to mind?

Andrew David James: Some of them do feel that way. Yes, I remember one time I was shooting near my home state, I was in Southern Indiana and I grew up in Kentucky. I was just over the border, so I was going to meet up with some friends that night. The shoot that we were doing was outside and we ended up getting caught in the mud, during the fight scene, and what was supposed to be a quick two hour shoot ended up taking 12 hours; so I never got to see my friends that night. I found out later that they’d been waiting for me the whole time at the place we’d said we were going to meet. They never got any of my messages or anything.

Andrew David James: I ran out there to meet them at the very last bit, right before they left, and I was covered in mud; just absolutely draped in mud and I walked in there and you could just see the look on their faces. Most of these guys have office jobs and that sort of thing. When I walked in, they definitely knew that there was something a little bit different about my job.

Larry Jordan: How much of the marketing that you do, do you leave to yourself, and how much of it do you pass onto your manager or agent? In other words, how responsible are you for finding work?

Andrew David James: If you have a good team and I very fortunately do, you have people who are consistently working for you, because they’re trying to feed their families too. But those relationships are extremely hard to find and difficult to cultivate; so I tend to do a lot of it myself and usually on things that I can’t handle or things that don’t benefit me quite as much directly, I let them do. You know, I also find that, you know, a good publicity person for a film is willing to do some great stuff and help you out quite a bit too, for an individual project

Larry Jordan: Do you view your role more as a prospecting role and then, once something starts to become more final, it gets turned over the agent or manager?

Andrew David James: I think, in a way, you have to. It gets really tedious reading contracts as carefully as you have to. I tend not to invest in a job fully until all that’s been signed; because, if you’re always looking for the next job, which we all are, you find that you get very worn out with all of the failures, all the ones that don’t turn out, because you ended up being an inch too short or because you ended up, you know, having a conflict on that date or somebody else said yes when they’d originally said no. I tend to just kind of let all that set until I’m actually signed on the dotted line and then dig into it, kind of, with all your heart and soul.

Larry Jordan: Yes, but that doesn’t tell me how you’re divvying up responsibility. What do you have your manager working on and what do you have your agent working on and what do you feel that you’re most responsible for?

Andrew David James: The delineation tends to be that they get me the jobs and I show up at the job and do my job, you know, without incident hopefully. If there’s a problem or if there’s a conflict, I call usually my manager in first. That’s very rare, if there’s a conflict on a date or if there’s, you know, a shoot that’s been delayed or something like that. But occasionally that does happen. For the most part, I see my job, like you said, as a prospector; somebody who goes out there, hands out the business cards, tries to keep my reputation as somebody who’s going to be hardworking and never stop doing what they need to have done.

Andrew David James: But more than anything, I rely on my representation, to get the initial contact; to put me in the right room, with the right people, who are doing legitimate work.

Larry Jordan: It sounds like it’s a never-ending job of balancing getting the work done with finding the next gig and hopefully trying to stay balanced at the same time.

Andrew David James: Yes, it’s certainly not everything they told you about in college, that you just focus on craft; but that’s not always the way it is.

Larry Jordan: Nor spent all of your time in classes learning something new.

Andrew David James: That’s right; very true.

Larry Jordan: Andrew, for people that want to keep track of you and obviously the thousands of people that want to offer you a contract, where can they go on the web?

Andrew David James: You can always find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and, of course, my website is HYPERLINK “” and you can look at me on State of the Arts on LA Talk Radio.

Larry Jordan: That website is all one word; and Andrew, thanks for joining us, it is always fun visiting with you.

Andrew David James: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: Take care; bye-bye.

Andrew David James: Bye.

Larry Jordan: It’s been interesting chatting with the range of folks that we’ve got; whether they’re long time actors like Debbie and Andrew, or starting out actors like Rachel or actors and directors like Allan and everybody else we’ve talked to. The emphasis both on taking advantage of the luck that you’re handed; being prepared; constant marketing; but most important, of all the things that I’ve heard, the thing that struck me the most, is keeping everything in balance.

Larry Jordan: Tonight, we’ve looked at the business of acting and I want to thank our guests, Rachel Addington; Allan Hunt; Debbie Zipp; Scott Page; Andrew David James; and, of course, James DeRuvo.

Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website at Here you’ll find thousands of interviews, all of them online and all of them available to you, today, for free. Also thinking of free, remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter, that comes out every Friday. We have highlights from tonight’s show; we have curated articles that would be of interested to you, we hope; and the ability to keep track of everything that’s going on behind the scenes with the Buzz.

Larry Jordan: You can talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at Our theme music is composed by Nathan Dugi-Turner, with additional music provided by Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription; visit to learn how they can help you and reading a transcript can really help you make sense of everything we talked about today. Our Producer is Debbie Price; my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for joining us for the Digital Production Buzz.

Digital Production Buzz – October 6, 2016

Join host Larry Jordan as he talks with Rachel Addington, Andrew David James, Allan Hunt, Debbie Zipp, Scott Page, and James DeRuvo.

  • Marketing Yourself to Get Work as an Actor
  • Keep Your Business Running Smoothly While Away From Home
  • Make Yourself the Best You Can Be
  • Self-Help Guide To Marketing You
  • Build Relationships – Use the Phone
  • Weekly DoddleNEWS Update

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Guests this Week

Featured Interview #1: Marketing Yourself to Get Work As An Actor

Rachel Addington
Rachel Addington, Actor,

When your job requires you to constantly market yourself just to get short-term work, this requires a certain mindset and skills. Tonight, we welcome Rachel Addington who tells us what’s it like getting jobs as an actor in Los Angeles.

Featured Interview #2: Keep Your Business Running Smoothly While Away From Home

Andrew David James
Andrew David James, Actor/Fight Choreographer,

Most of us have a commute to work but what if that commute is across the country? Tonight Andrew David James, actor, writer and fight choreographer, tells us about working outside of our home area while still keeping your business intact.

Make Yourself the Best You Can Be

Allan Hunt
Allan Hunt, Artistic Director/Actor/Teacher, Thousand Oaks Repertory Company

It’s a crazy world out there and as an actor you need to equip yourself with tools that make you stand out from the crowd. Allan Hunt, director, actor and teacher talks to us about what an actor can do to make themselves the best they can be.

Self-Help Guide To Marketing You

Debbie Zipp
Debbie Zipp, Actress/Writer/Producer,

We all need a little help from our friends and Debbie Zipp, actress, writer, editor and producer of website is here tonight to talk to us about the book she co-wrote “The Aspiring Actor’s Handbook, What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known.”

Build Relationships – Use The Phone

Scott Page
Scott Page, CEO, Ignited Network

This week we welcome back Scott Page, musician, technologist and serial entrepreneur, who will shows us how the phone in our hand is a relationship tool.

DoddleNEWS Update

James DeRuvo
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS

Check out the latest news from our industry this week from James DeRuvo, senior writer at DoddleNEWS.