Future of Film Podcast with Alex Stolz

Future of Film Podcast with Alex Stolz

Film is changing. Business models, audience behaviour and technology are all rapidly evolving - transforming the way stories are told, sold and consumed. In focused and inspiring interviews, senior film executive, Alex Stolz talks to leaders making these changes happen - to bring you essential ideas, techniques and strategies from the cutting edge. Whether you are a storyteller, an established industry professional or simply interested in how film is changing, FUTURE OF FILM will give you the insights, inspiration and competitive edge to thrive in the new landscape. More on film's future can be found at www.futureoffilm.live read less
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Episódios

77. Ane Crabtree: Designing Future Worlds through Fashion
17-01-2024
77. Ane Crabtree: Designing Future Worlds through Fashion
In this episode we are joined by the acclaimed visual artist and costume designer, Ane Crabtree. Ane’s substantial body of work includes her iconic, unmistakable designs for THE HANDMAID'S TALE (seasons one and two) as well as WESTWORLD (season one), and Apple TV’s THE CHANGELING. As such, Ane has built a formidable reputation as a designer of the future and was described as one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2018, deemed so "for designing the apocalypse". Ane is a long standing collaborator with (previous guest of this show) Liam Young, including their most recent project PLANETARY REDESIGN which premiered at Venice Biennale in 2023. Ane also recently collaborated with Darren Aronofsky for POSTCARDS FROM EARTH which was made for The Sphere in Las Vegas. Her work reflects the rural roots of Kentucky and the rich influence of her Okinawan heritage as the backbone of her visual storytelling. In this inspiring and wide-ranging conversation, we discuss the theme of worldbuilding tand storytelling through costume design, includiing her work for THE HANDMAID'S TALE. We also explore Ane's creative and collaborative process, her journey from rural Kentucky to the peak of screen storytelling, the influence of her Okinawan heritage in her work and how she came to collaborate with Darren Aronofsky - and much more! About Ane Crabtree Ane Crabtree is a visual artist, painter, costume designer, and documentarian whose images conjure the hidden emotions behind the stories of memory, skewed reality, sense of place, and human nature. Her work in movies and television explores the use of deconstruction and dystopia, most notably in her original iconic designs for The Handmaid's Tale, seasons one and two. She is also responsible for The Sopranos pilot, Westworld season one, and Masters of Sex, seasons one and two. Inspired by the landscapes of reality, alchemy, nature, and direct documentation, Crabtree's approach to her designs explores the transcendence of the real, utilizing emotions as a conduit or emotional decoder for the audience. In 2018, Crabtree spoke at the United Nations, in support of the METoo movement, at the commemoration of The International Day to End Violence Against Women/Orange the World. She has been nominated for three Emmy Awards (2017, 2018, 2019)for her work on The Handmaid's Tale and Westworld (2016). She has been nominated for four Costume Guild Awards for PanAm (2012), Masters of Sex (2015), Westworld (2016), and winning for The Handmaid's Tale (2018). Her first solo exhibition was "Designs for Dystopia" at SCAD Museum of Fashion and Film, featuring her sketches, designs, and wall of inspiration from The Handmaid's Tale (2018). Her work for The Handmaid's Tale has been shown at pop up exhibitions for Vogue Magazine/The Public Hotel (2017), The Paley Center for Media (2017), and is a part of the permanent collection at The National Museum of American History at The Smithsonian Museum (2018). This work was also a part of the group exhibition, Designs for Different Futures at The Philadelphia Museum of Art (2019-2020), The Walker Museum of Art (2020-2021), and The Art Institute of Chicago (2021). Crabtree's work will soon be featured in a group exhibition, "Mother!" at The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark (2021). Her most recent collaboration, with filmmaker Liam Young, for the National Gallery of Victoria Museum's Triennial (2020-2021), at MAAT in Lisbon (March 2021), and at the Shanghai Biennale (April 2021) features costumes in the short film "Planet City", directed and produced by Liam Young. Planet City is the first "design for utopia" for Crabtree. She served as costume designer, producer, and costume director for seven international artists, including herself. Her costumes for The Handmaid's Tale are now in the permanent collection of The Smithsonian Museum of American History.
76. Ted Hope, Irina Albita and Anjali Midha on Reimagining the Greenlight
15-12-2023
76. Ted Hope, Irina Albita and Anjali Midha on Reimagining the Greenlight
This special episode features a conversation with three leaders in this space exploring the future of the greenlight process in film: Anjali Midha is the Former Head of Entertainment at Twitter and the Founder and CEO of the entertainment analytics platform Diesel Labs. Irina Albita, co-founder and co-CEO of FilmChain, the blockchain based platform revolutionising the collection of revenues in film and TV. Ted Hope is the producer of over 70 feature films, the former Head of Production at Amazon Studios and author of the book Hope for Film and blog of the same name. In an increasingly competitive and congested distribution marketplace, better and more informed decision making upstream is increasingly essential. Is there a better way? How can we support intuitive creativity with robust data analytics, audience insights and distribution intelligence? What are the tools, resources and information that can underpin more effective commissioning or investment decisions? Where are the information blindspots and how can filmmakers formulate a more robust investment opportunity? How can we create more inclusiveness in the greenlight process? More about our speakers Ted Hope has been a producer on over 70 films, studio executive on over 60, CEO of a start-up streamer, co-head of 3 production companies, executive director of a film society & festival, a Professor Of Practice at 2 universities, and founder of a post-production facility, 2 websites, 2 think tanks, & an app. Ted launched Amazon’s foray into feature film production, leading them to 19 Oscar nominations and 5 wins. As a producer, his films have received 25 Oscar nominations, with 6 wins. Ted’s memoir and newsletter Hope For Film, are both must reads. Ted helped launch the feature film careers of Ang Lee, Nicole Holofcener, Hal Hartley, Michel Gondry and many others. His most recent films include the first narrative from Oscar-winning documentary director, Roger Ross Williams, Cassandro, as well as the documentary Invisible Nation on Taiwan, directed and produced by Vanessa Hope. Anjali Midha, an entrepreneur with a passion for driving innovation in media and marketing analytics. She is the co-founder & CEO of Diesel Labs, a content analytics company that addresses the toughest questions facing media companies today. Before starting Diesel Labs, she was the Global Director of Media Research at Twitter where she developed the ‘playbook’ for television - illuminating the synergies and opportunities across traditional and new media. She joined Twitter via their acquisition of Bluefin Labs (the pioneer of Social TV Analytics), prior to which she was the VP of Strategy & Analytics at Digitas. Anjali holds a BA in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA from MIT Sloan Irina Albita is a technologist with over 12 years experience in the London/NYC tech scene, with a mathematics-economics background. Her passion is exploring how emerging tech radically transforms creative industries, and she is a prominent figure at film & tech events worldwide. She co-founded FilmChain alongside Maria Tanjala. The platform is transforming how producers, financiers, and sales agents get paid. With a digital collection account management (CAM) for indie films and a royalties management solution for content distributors, FilmChain brings transparency to payments and modernises royalties. Former EFM Startups 2018, they have won awards such as ‘Startup of the Year’ London Business Awards 2020, Startup Challenge at San Sebastian Film Festival 2020, Makers and Shakers 2020, and Unchain Fintech Festival 2022, to name a few. This episode is presented in partnership with Screenovators, the online community dedicated to innovation in the screen industries. For more information and to join: www.screenoavtors.com
74. Houston Howard: Crafting Expansive Universes, the 5 Ps of World Building and more!
06-10-2023
74. Houston Howard: Crafting Expansive Universes, the 5 Ps of World Building and more!
In this episode we are delighted to welcome back to the podcast, the Super Story Architect himself, Houston Howard. An expert in franchise development and transmedia incubation, Houston demystifies the practice of world building with his customary passion and pragmatism. In this conversation, recorded as part of Future of Film incubator 2023, we explore the key elements of creating expansive narrative universes, providing practical advice, checklists, and relatable examples for all genres. Houston shares the wisdom of literary legends like Tolkien, Lewis, Lucas, and Rowling, and explains why focusing solely on a single character or story could be limiting your creative potential. He also also shares the 'five Ps' of world building: premise, place, people, practices, and past, discussing how these elements can help bring your vision to life. The discussion extends to the business aspect of world building, examining how to present creative ideas and their revenue potential. Houston sheds light on how AI tools can super charge the world-building process. This episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking to broaden their understanding of world building and its potential in the entertainment industry. Houston Howard is the Executive Vice President, Content Incubation and Transmedia Development at Gramarye Media and Chief Storyteller and Co-Founder of One 3 Creative. Houston has been a recognized thought leader in the entertainment and branding communities because of his unique and proprietary transmedia approach to story. Advising entities such as Mattel, Disney Imagineering, Reliance Media Works, West Coast Customs, Samuel Goldwyn Films and Harper Collins Publishing, as well as designing a number of transmedia-focused projects for Fox, the CW, TNT, Slinky and the writers of Toy Story, Houston has an impressive amount of experience designing projects that are primed for the 21st Century. When he’s not outlining a new slate of transmedia design books, setting up international co-productions for current transmedia projects or leading a wildly diverse creative team, Houston is educating professionals on how to adapt to an ever-changing entertainment landscape. This has included leading workshops for the Producers Guild of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, Act One, Storyworld USA, The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Houston led a series of international transmedia masterclasses across both Brazil and Africa throughout 2016. His latest book, Make Your Story Really Stinkin’ Big: How to Go From Concept to Franchise and Make Your Story Last For Generations, has been a go-to manual for creative professionals on how to leverage a variety of media platforms, maximizes revenue potential and engages audiences in new and innovative ways. Learn more about how Houston builds projects that exist at the intersection of branding and entertainment at http://superstory.works/.
71. Joanna Popper: the Now and Future of the Metaverse
26-06-2023
71. Joanna Popper: the Now and Future of the Metaverse
Joanna Popper is the Chief Metaverse Officer at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Based in Los Angeles, where she leads metaverse initiatives for the agency and its clients. In this special episode of the podcast, Joanna speaks with award-winning television presenter, Elle Osili-Wood about what the metaverse means for creators and the entertainment business. About Joanna Poppper Joanna Popper is the Chief Metaverse Officer at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Based in Los Angeles, Popper leads metaverse initiatives for the agency and its clients. Popper joined CAA in 2022 from HP, where she led its XR initiatives for Go-To-Market, overseeing the launch of award-winning technology, such as the HP Reverb G2 VR headset (winner of Red Dot Design Award, CES Innovation Award, IF Design Award) and HP Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition (winner of VR Hardware of the Year, Entertainment Technology Lumiere Award, Red Dot Best of the Best, CES Innovation Award, IF Design Award). Previously, she was Executive Vice President of Media & Marketing at Singularity University, a NASA-based, Google-backed organization founded by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis to train leaders on the future of technology including blockchain, VR/AR, artificial intelligence, robotics and digital biology. She was also the Vice President of Marketing at NBCUniversal, where she worked across properties, including television, film, digital, and parks, and launched hits in primetime, music award shows, sports, news, daytime, and more for Telemundo. She started her career as an investment banker in New York and Brazil and then a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She was selected as “50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment,” ”25 Pioneers in the Metaverse,” “Top 50 Original Thinkers in VR,” “Top Women in Media: Game Changers,” “Top Women in Media: Industry Leaders,” “Digital It List,” and “101 Women Leading the VR Industry.” She served as Executive Producer on BREONNA’S GARDEN, FINDING PANDORA X, and FIGHT BACK, the award-winning virtual reality content, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and SXSW. Popper graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s degree, and The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA.
70. Dan Erickson on Showrunning, Worldbuilding and the story of SEVERANCE
10-05-2023
70. Dan Erickson on Showrunning, Worldbuilding and the story of SEVERANCE
Dan Erickson is the creator and showrunner of Apple TV's Emmy© Award-winning series, SEVERANCE. After attending NYU's Tisch School, where he received a Masters in Dramatic Writing. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he delivered food and worked in a string of office jobs, all while conceiving and writing the original pilot for Severance. The script became the first TV pilot ever selected for the annual Bloodlist, which ultimately led to a creative partnership with Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Productions, Endeavor Content, and Apple. Atypically, this also led to Dan becoming Showrunner, retaining huge levels of creative control and driving the production - and the show became an instant cult and critical hit largely due to its powerful and original storyworld. In this episode, Dan talks to fellow storyteller and CEO and co-founder of Kinetic Energy Entertainment, Diana Williams about his career and building the show's mind-bending world. Dan and Diana discuss the intricate process of story world design, exploring how Dan's original play - and real life office experience - inspired the show. Dan relates the journey of the show from concept to screen (and as unknown writer to showrunner) including early pitches and his experiences working with Ben Stiller and Chris Black. We also learn what it means to be a showrunner on your first series and the demanding balancing act of creative and organisational priorities it entails. This includes in particular the focus on tone and how establishing the right tone - and maintaining this - is one of the most important and challenging aspects of the role.
69. Niels Juul on Authentic Storytelling, Algorithms and Decentralising Hollywood
01-05-2023
69. Niels Juul on Authentic Storytelling, Algorithms and Decentralising Hollywood
"You're only as good as the creative you surround yourself with." Niels Juul Niels Juul is a producer with expertise in financing and packaging major features, with a track record of working with top directors including Martin Scorsese and Michael Mann. More recently, Niels has become a strong advocate of Web3 and NFTs in the film space, founding NFT Studios as a way to stimulate more original, audience-focused storytelling In this episode, Niels shares how he broke into the industry from fashion and the life changing moment he dropped everything to fly across the country to meet with Martin Scorsese. He also discusses the 'tyranny of the algorithm' and why originality is essential to the future of screen content. And we deep dive into Web3, DAOs and NFTS, as Niels reveals why realising his vision of a decentralised Hollywood has been harder than imagined. Some of the topics covered include: - Niall's career journey and insights from working with Scorsese - The process of bringing Martin Scorsese's film "Silence" to life - NFTs as a financing model and its potential to democratise film financing - The impact of decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) on the film industry - Authentic storytelling and the importance of artists, writers, and directors in content creation - Tips on succeeding in the industry, storytelling and NFTs - The future of film and its impact on culture About Niels Juul Niels Juul is an executive producer with expertise in financing and packaging features and a history of working with the top directors in the industry. Before starting his career in film, Niels co-founded and ran the world-renowned fashion & lifestyle brand Von Dutch and was responsible for bringing it to prominence. After excelling in the fashion world, in 2008, Niels was tapped as the CEO of Italian-American film company Cecchi Gori Pictures, with a mandate to restructure its operations and business. During the span of 5 years, Juul was instrumental in winning an 18 million USD judgment from previous management, securing a lucrative multi-million dollar global distribution deal for its film library, and bringing the company to profitability for the first time in 20 years while financing its first major film production: Martin Scorsese’s “SILENCE”. Since then, he has worked on numerous films of prestige including, “THE IRISHMAN”, “KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON”, and “FERRARI” which is currently filming in Italy. Juul currently runs No Fat Ego (based in Los Angeles), a multi-functioning production company with the aim to produce meaningful content made by exceptional writers, producers, and directors.
66. Diana Williams on Developing Story Based IP
30-09-2022
66. Diana Williams on Developing Story Based IP
"We talk about going Direct to Community" Diana Williams Diana Williams is the CEO & Co-founder of Kinetic Energy Entertainment, a multi-disciplinary company that partners with creators at the intersection of story and technology to develop and produce story-based IP. In this podcast, we discuss Kinetic Energy Entertainment's strategy, projects and the opportunity Diana is addressing in the marketplace. We also dive into the story IP creating process - why it is vital in today's market and the techniques Diana uses for this. From the MCU to Exploding Kittens, Diana also shares numerous examples of projects that have successfully developed franchises and reveals some of the steps they took to achieve this. About Diana Williams Diana Williams is the CEO & Co-founder of Kinetic Energy Entertainment. She has a wide range of experience in the entertainment industry, developing IP and producing creative content for distribution across storytelling media. Throughout her career she has been at the forefront of working with emerging and established talent to ensure a diversity of voices are included in an ever-evolving industry. Kinetic Energy Entertainment is a multi-disciplinary company that partners with creators at the intersection of story and technology to develop and produce story-based IP. Kinetic’s project slate includes a series in development at HBO, the cross-platform storyworld of The Gatecrashers, political sim videogame Political Arena, Founder Hustle podcast based on venture fund 1863 Ventures’ focus on entrepreneurs of color, Crimson an epic fantasy/thriller take on Alice in Wonderland, recipe-memoir Adventures in Starry Kitchen, and a documentary feature film with Apple+. An award-winning producer, she produced the critically acclaimed feature film Our Song, which earned her a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award in the Producer category. Other credits include documentaries Room 237, the Emmy© award-winning Sylvia Drew Ivie, Student Academy Award©-nominated Another First Step, Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible, Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, and Dear Mom Love Cher. In addition to producing, Diana has held various positions in the entertainment industry. She was the Creative Development and Franchise Producer at Lucasfilm within the Story Group, the team responsible for developing and maintaining narrative cohesion and connectivity throughout the Star Wars universe. While at Lucasfilm, Diana developed film and tv (including Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One), mobile and console videogames (including 2015’s Battlefront), publishing (Marvel’s Star Wars comics and novel expansions). Diana helped launch ILMxLAB, an immersive entertainment and mixed reality lab, with projects including Vader Immortal, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Academy Award© winning VR experience Carne y Arena. She was also a production consultant for BET on Let the Church Say Amen, Gun Hill Road, and Untitled Kenya Barris Project. Currently the Chair of the Interactive Board of Jurors for digital and immersive storytelling for the Peabody Award, Diana is also on the Strategic Planning Committee of The National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange; the advisory committee for the Royal Shakespeare Company/Digital development; the advisory board for UK-based organization Future of Film; and the boards of Diverso (a non-profit organization by students for students, dedicated to empowering the under-represented storytellers of the next generation), The Overlook Film Festival (genre festival), and Here/No Proscenium Summit for interactive and immersive events, theater, and creators. Diana began her career in production as an Assistant Director and is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
65. Paul Raschid and Ru Howe: Branching Narrative Filmmaking
30-08-2022
65. Paul Raschid and Ru Howe: Branching Narrative Filmmaking
This episode explores the evolution in interactive filmmaking with filmmaker Paul Raschid and Ru Howe, the Founder of Stornaway.io the development tool for interactive video. Paul is the director of a number of branching narrative feature film/FMV games including 2022's THE GALLERY - comprising of over four and a half hours of video content. In this conversation, Paul and Ru share insights of how they took a 450 scene 'FMV Game' script into the finished feature film utilising Stornaway’s bespoke platform. We also talk distribution and audiences and how releasing the film on gaming platforms has provided Paul with greater control over the releasing of his storytelling. About Paul Rashid Prior to his work in the interactive format, Paul's second feature as a writer-director was 'White Chamber', which was shot in 12.5 days. In 2018, the sci-fi thriller/horror/drama played 10 film festivals around the world including Edinburgh, Sitges, Frightfest, Mumbai, BIFAN and Brussels. Lead actress Shauna Macdonald received the BAFTA Scotland Best Actress award for her tour-de-force performance. Between August 2019 and February 2021, the film was available to stream on Netflix in the UK, USA, Canada, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. Paul entered the interactive arena in 2019 when he directed 'The Complex', a sci-fi interactive feature film/ FMV video game, which released in 2020 on all major gaming platforms. Penned by Lynn Renee Maxcy, it stars Michelle Mylett, Kate Dickie and Al Weaver. It was produced by John Giwa-Amu and Jade Alexander. In 2020, Paul wrote and directed 'Five Dates', a romantic interactive feature film/ FMV video game. It was being made entirely remotely during the UK's national lockdown due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. It stars an ensemble cast including Mandip Gill (Doctor Who), Georgia Hirst (Vikings) and Marisa Abela (Industry). In 2021, Paul wrote and directed 'The Gallery' - an interactive hostage thriller that contains two narratives - before the film begins, the viewer must choose between a female protagonist (whose narrative is set in 1981 London) or a male protagonist (whose narrative is set in 2021 London). The cast is headlined by Anna Popplewell ('Chronicles Of Narnia' & 'Reign') and George Blagden ('Versailles' & 'Vikings'), who interchange roles as both protagonist and antagonist across the two narratives. It is set to release on major gaming platforms in September 2022. Paul is also in post-production for ’Ten Dates’, a sequel to ‘Five Dates’ following its critical and commercial success. About Ru Howe Rupert started trying to code his first “Choose Your Own Ending” video game aged 9 years old. Frustrated with the limits of technology, he began working as a director and producer in TV and film making award-winning 16mm short dramas and documentaries including “The Real Bridget Jones” series for C4. From 2004, he began experimenting with interactive films online and became a pioneer videoblogger and online video artist. He was featured in Trine Bjorkmann Berry’s PhD Thesis “The Film of Tomorrow (pp 19-25) as the world’s first mobile video blogger and created YouTube’s first interactive video story “Indecision” in 2008. From 2010-2018, he worked as a creative workflow consultant, leading digital transformation & workflow projects for the BBC, Disney, News UK, the Financial Times and Melody VR. Stornaway.io is his design. A unique application to enable creative producers to map, script, edit and deliver interactive stories, simply and easily with no coding.
60. Kevin Baillie: From VFX Prodigy to Real-time Filmmaking with Robert Zemeckis
03-02-2022
60. Kevin Baillie: From VFX Prodigy to Real-time Filmmaking with Robert Zemeckis
Kevin Baillie's career at the forefront of visual effects and screen storytelling began in 1999 and is now part of industry folklore. As an 18-year old high school senior, he and his friend created a short film involving a futuristic speeder race through his school, primarily to attract the attention of Star Wars producer Rick McCallum. The short was hugely successful and the tactic worked with Kevin soon finding himself working alongside George Lucas in the visualisation department on STAR WARS: Episode One. Since then, Kevin has continued to blaze a trail in innovating the storytelling process. He formed a long-term creative collaboration with Robert Zemeckis, supervising the visual effects on films such as FLIGHT, THE WALK and THE WITCHES. Recently, this has started to incorporate increasing amounts of real-time and virtual production techniques into the workflows of his projects. In this episode Kevin reflects on the evolution of these creative tools, the benefits they offer to the storytelling process and explains why "virtual production will allow filmmakers to tell stories that would otherwise be untellable". About Kevin Baillie Kevin's VFX career started at age 18 when he when he joined Lucasfilm's JAK Films as a pre-visualization artist on Star Wars: Episode I. In the following 25 years, Kevin has blazed a bright path, helming VFX at The Orphanage on features including Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Night at the Museum, Superman Returns, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Hellboy, and supervising cutting-edge motion capture feature films at ImageMovers Digital. In 2010, he co-founded the groundbreaking VFX studio Atomic Fiction, whose outstanding work on films such as The Walk, Allied, and Flight garnered awards recognition and critical acclaim. In 2018 Atomic Fiction, having grown to over 300 employees in 2 countries, was acquired by Deluxe Entertainment. Kevin's VFX Supervisor credits also include two Star Trek movies, two Transformers features, Welcome to Marwen and The Witches. Most recently, Kevin acted as VFX Supervisor and 2nd Unit Director on Disney’s live-action Pinocchio - another title in his long collaboration with Director Robert Zemeckis. Kevin also founded the venture-funded cloud rendering technology company, Conductor Technologies, is active with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and is an active member of the Directors Guild of America. This episode is presented in partnership with Epic Games and Unreal Engine. More at www.futureoffilm.live