You’ve seen the movies, read the books, watched the YouTube videos – but have you listened to the best podcasts for filmmakers? Here are our top ten picks for the top podcasts to teach you about directing, screenwriting, acting, networking, marketing, budgeting and more. Hear personal success stories from all your favorite pros – and get recommendations for equipment, movies and more.
The industry’s most famous screenwriting podcast is Scriptnotes, hosted by professional screenwriters John August (Big Fish) and Craig Mazin (Identity Thief). Each week, John and Craig interview a special guest (often another screenwriter) and dig into the nuts and bolts of both feature and TV writing. They also feature “one cool thing” and answer questions from listeners. Past topics include everything from dialogue and character motivation Writers Guild elections and psychotherapy. Even if you’re not a screenwriter, Scriptnotes will teach you a lot about the entertainment industry.
2. Children of Tendu
More interested in TV than film? Dig into Children of Tendu, hosted by Javier Grillo-Marxuach (writer/producer on Lost and creator of The Middleman) and Jose Molina (writer/producer on Sleepy Hollow, Firefly, Castle and Law & Order: SVU). Learn about pitching, agents, entertainment industry unions, TV staffing season, writers rooms and more. Like Scriptnotes, Children of Tendu has also done a few live episodes. Why listen to amateurs when you can listen to the pros?
3. The Wandering DP
Are you a cinematographer or director of photography? Check out The Wandering DP, a podcast hosted by Patrick O’Sullivan. The Wandering DP’s website also features video tutorials, light diagrams, breakdowns and more. Learn about shooting commercials, lighting a car, storyboards, natural lighting. Like most podcasts for filmmakers, it also features interviews with working professionals who offer specific industry advice.
4. How Did This Get Made?
How Did This Get Made is a hilarious podcast that breaks down a lesser-known film each week. Comedians/actors Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas ask the age-old question of how terrible and nonsensical movies manage to get produced. Sometimes we learn more from the failures than the successes, so you may find that watching Wild Wild West and hearing commentary from Kevin Smith will actually help your craft more than watching The Godfather. Or maybe not. But at least you’ll be laughing?
5. The Canon
Is your favorite movie actually good? Jump into a serious-but-fun film criticism debate with The Canon, hosted by film critic Amy Nicholson. Each week, Amy and a guest debate whether a film should be part of film canon. Debated titles include popular but diverse movies like Caddyshack, Zodiac, Titanic, The Talented Mr. Ripley and The Breakfast Club – making The Canon one of the best podcasts for filmmakers.
6. Indie Film Hustle
You can’t talk about podcasts for filmmakers without mentioning the #1 on iTunes – Indie Film Hustle. Especially if you’re a low-budget filmmaker, Indie Film Hustle is filled with essential information about budgeting, production insurance, making money from a documentary, 1st ADs, screenplay options, union residuals, distributing on Netflix, film marketing, and more. They’ve covered every topic to help you get started making your first feature!
7. WTF with Marc Maron
Warning: Marc Maron doesn’t keep things brief. But if you’re looking for details about how to break into comedy writing or acting, you can’t ask for a more exhaustive resource than his podcast, WTF. Marc has interviewed all the top performers in the stand-up, sketch, half-hour, late night, variety and film world – everyone from Anna Faris and Kristen Bell to Jay Leno and Jim Gaffigan. What’s most helpful is that Marc pushes stars to dig into the childhood and early adult experiences that got them to where they are now; hear about college courses and first job interviews as well as influential shows and sketches.
8. The Cutting Room
Want to lean more about film editing? Check out The Cutting Room, hosted by Gordon Burkell. The podcast hasn’t released new episodes since last year, but its archive is such a treasure trove of information, we had to include it on our list. Hear interviews with all of Hollywood’s top editing and post-production pros. For example, you can learn about how editing is different for Netflix versus broadcast TV or how real-life events can be merged with a fictional story.
Which of the top podcasts for filmmakers is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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