My guest for Episode 50 is an excellent conversationalist about the art of filmmaking. Ben Nissen is a Columbia College graduate with a day job that managed to spend his free time creating a rather unique character study / psychological thriller that explores mental instability and the search for a higher consciousness. These happen to be topics I'm always fascinated by, so I contributed to the IndieGoGo campaign for the now-completed film NOWHERE MIND, which we discuss at length (no spoilers though of course). I learn a lot about indie filmmaking as well as discuss some inspirations, the film school experience, editing in Final Cut Pro, as well as Ben's plans for the future.
It's an absolute honor to talk with actor / co-writer Jerod Haynes, whose collaboration with director Daryl Wein, BLUEPRINT, is one of the best films of the year. I was absolutely taken with the lead performance from Haynes and I had an opportunity to talk with him for a half hour as we learn about his intentions behind such a personal story about the South Side of Chicago. So personal in fact, he included family members and friends in the cast. Our hearts get heavy talking about the horrific violence taking place not just in and around Chicago but on a national level.
Since my guests today are both tremendously talented filmmakers with a lot of insights, stories and new projects to promote, I decided to include this in both feeds for this show and Director's Club. After my introduction to the proceedings, I first speak with writer/director Jonathan Milott who alongside collaborator Cary Murnion have recently made a film called BUSHWICK that couldn't be more timely. We delve into exactly why that is as well as the history between this team who is also responsible for the indie horror/comedy COOTIES. Then around the 40 minute mark, I then speak with someone I've known for quite awhile since she also happens to be the wife of one of my closest friends and former guests, Mr. Dan Solomon. Katherine Craft is an established writer in many forms with a lot of success stories, both as an activist and as a creative artist. Her latest endeavor involves HBO (yes that HBO) so we discuss the experience surrounding that as well as her IndieGoGo campaign for her personal project CHARLOTTE AND CHARLIE, which I hope you'll contribute to.
Attending Elmhurst College was one of the truly great experiences of my lifetime. I became instantly enraptured with psychology and philosophy thanks to some truly inspirational figures, some of which I know I will be interviewing in the future. The first of those inspirational figures is Dr. Katrina Sifferd, who holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of London, King’s College. After finishing her PhD, Katrina held a post-doctoral position as Rockefeller Fellow in Law and Public Policy and Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College. Before becoming a philosopher, Katrina earned a Juris Doctorate and worked as a senior research analyst on criminal justice projects for the U.S. National Institute of Justice. Katrina is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on responsibility, criminal law, reductionism, neuroethics and more.
I first discovered Sam's talent as a filmmaker since he is responsible for one of my favorite music documentaries, I AM TRYING TO BREAK YOUR HEART, which chronicles a difficult but rewarding series of events from one of my favorite bands, Wilco. He went on to create his own television broadcast/video podcast by the name of OFF CAMERA, which is an interview show not unlike Inside the Actor's Studio or WTF except it is one-on-one, in B&W, and divested of all props and distractions. Plus it is documented in both audio and video form! It happens to be one of my favorite shows and a huge inspiration for this podcast.