IndieWire's Filmmaker Toolkit

IndieWire's Filmmaker Toolkit
Interviews with leading film and TV creators abou…
“Man Who Killed Don Quixote” Director Terry Gilliam
Apr 9 • 31 min
How did Terry Gilliam finally make the most cursed production in movie history?
“Roma” Alfonso Cuaron
Feb 14 • 26 min
How “Roma” is the extension of the ideas and filmmaking Cuarón explored in “Children of Men” and “Y Tu Mamá También.”
“Minding The Gap” Director Bing Liu
Feb 8 • 47 min
The Oscar nominee talks about how his incredible skateboarding movie became a story of domestic abuse.
“Honey Boy” Director Alma Har’el
Jan 31 • 41 min
Har’el on taking Shia Labeouf’s pain and therapy and turning it into a hit Sundance film.
“Hereditary” Director Ari Aster
Jan 11 • 39 min
Aster talks about how a story of grief, that was too dark and bleak to ever get made as a drama, became a hit horror film.
“Destroyer” Director Karyn Kusama
Jan 3 • 40 min
Kusmana on the using real guns, creating an unusual villain and pulling Nicole Kidman back from going almost too far in her incredible transformation.
“Cold War” Director Pawel Pawlikowski
Dec 27, 2018 • 34 min
The Oscar winning director behind “Ida” talks about his extraordinary new film “Cold War.”
“If Beale Street Could Talk” Director Barry Jenkins
Dec 20, 2018 • 33 min
“Black love is a radical act,” calling on Jenkins to create to take a bold and different approach to creating Beale Street’s visual language.
“You Were Never Really Here” Director Lynne Ramsay
Dec 13, 2018 • 39 min
Ramsay talks about coming back from the trauma of having been fired from a film she had already made in her head, to make one of the best films of the year.
“Sorry To Bother You” Director Boots Riley
Dec 13, 2018 • 39 min
What Boots Riley learned from two decades of creating music that made making his first film such a success.
“Madeline’s Madeline” Director Josephine Decker
Dec 11, 2018 • 50 min
Josephine gets inside her unique multi-year process of creating the dreamy, meta world of “Madeline’s Madeline,” and how it relates to her new film “Shirley.” PHOTO: AP/REX/Shutterstock
“Leave No Trace” Director Debra Granik
Dec 10, 2018 • 58 min
The LA Critics Best Director winner talks about her long process and deep research of making her “social realist” films and the next films she’s making.
“BlacKkKlansman” Director Spike Lee
Dec 7, 2018 • 54 min
Spike on keeping Oscar season in perspective, film school today, and how the success of “BlacKkKlansman” has led people to reconsider his 40 years of filmmaking.
“The Favourite” Director Yorgos Lanthimos
Nov 29, 2018 • 34 min
The “Dogtooth” and “Lobster” director talks about his unusual rehearsal process and what drew him to make a period lesbian triangle drama about Queen Anne with screenwriter Tony McNamara.
“Widows” Director Steve McQueen
Nov 15, 2018 • 34 min
The “12 Years a Slave” director talks about why he never shot lists, the film’s incredible opening sequence, his longtime collaboration with DP Sean Bobbitt, why Chicago is the best city to set a story, and how he identified with the widows in the…
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Director Marielle Heller
Nov 8, 2018 • 34 min
The “Diary of a Teenage Girl” director on why striving for clarity in films can be a bad thing.
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening” Director RaMell Ross
Nov 6, 2018 • 32 min
RaMell Ross refused to accepted the limitations of documentaries and black representational space in cinema, so he created something new.
“Suspiria” Director Luca Guadagnino
Nov 1, 2018 • 37 min
The “Call Me By Your Name” director talks about how Thom Yorke changed his view of film scores, being inspired by the films and youth culture of Berlin 1977, his feminism, and tackling Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks.” PHOTO: Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock
“First Man” Damien Chazelle
Oct 26, 2018 • 37 min
The oscar winning director goes behind the scenes of recreating the moon landing and telling the story of Neil Armstrong.
“Wildlife” Paul Dano & Zoe Kazan
Oct 19, 2018 • 41 min
Kazan and Dano talk about collaborating on Paul’s directorial debut.
“Old Man & The Gun” Director David Lowery
Sep 27, 2018 • 34 min
Lowery on subverting the cops & robbers genre to detour into the looseness of a ‘70s film, finding out “Old Man” would be Redford’s last movie, wanting to make the definitive “Peter Pan,” the small indie he’ll make first and how his wife Augustine…
“Mission Impossible – Fallout” Director Christopher McQuarrie
Jul 27, 2018 • 51 min
Christopher McQuarrie talks about directing action scenes with emotional clarity, the danger of practical stunts and wanting to return to being an indie filmmaker.
“The Chi” Creator Lena Waithe
Jun 22, 2018 • 45 min
Lena talks about creating the interweaving narrative of “The Chi,” a showtime series about her hometown (Southside of Chicago) and the vital role casting (and a good casting director) plays in allowing a writer to do something different. She also shares…
“Halt And Catch Fire” Creators Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers,
Jun 20, 2018 • 49 min
How Two Young Creators Blew Up Their ‘Mad Men of Tech’ Premise to Discover Something Special.
“Barry” Creators Bill Hader & Alec Berg
Jun 19, 2018 • 40 min
Bill Hader moved To L.A. to be a filmmaker, 15 years later and an unexpected comedy detour (SNL) he found his way back in dark comedy that he created with “Silicon Valley,” “Seinfeld,” & “Curb Your Enthusiasm” vet Alec Berg. Photo Credit: Michael…
“Dear White People” Creator Justin Simien
Jun 14, 2018 • 43 min
Simien breaks down the unique “presentation” style of his Netflix series, what Kubrick taught him about music and share new details about his horror-race satire movie (“Bad Hair”)that he’ll be shooting this summer.
“The Good Place” Creator Michael Schur
Jun 11, 2018 • 42 min
Michael Schur (The Office, Parks & Rec), master of the work place comedy, talks about the challenges of tackling the big concept and twisty plot of “The Good Place.” In this conversation Schur outlines the one vital key to success in all serialized tv,…
“The Terror” Creator David Kajganich
Jun 7, 2018 • 45 min
Inside the process of creating a historical horror story of a lost Arctic expedition on a sound stage and how Kajganich pitched the show as anthology, but won’t be coming back for another season.
“Atlanta” & “This Is America” Director Hiro Murai
Jun 4, 2018 • 46 min
Atlanta’s Lakeith Stanfield Didn’t Even Know Donald Glover Was Playing Teddy Perkins.
“First Reformed” Director Paul Schrader
May 22, 2018 • 36 min
The screenwriter behind “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” talks about the intersection of faith and cinema, and how arthouse cinema has radically changed since he first wrote “Transcendental Style in Film” in 1971.
“The Rider” Director Chloe╠ü Zhao
May 18, 2018 • 26 min
The director behind one of the best films of 2018 talks about how a woman born in Beijing and schooled at NYU ended up telling real-life stories of people living on a South Dakota reservation.
Netflix “Strong Island” Director Yance Ford
Feb 15, 2018 • 44 min
Oscar nomination director Yance Ford talks about his 8-year journey to completing a film about his brother’s violent death in 1992.
“The Big Sick” Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon
Jan 9, 2018 • 35 min
There were a ton of bad drafts of “The Big Sick” before it became one of the best comedy scripts in years. Kumail & Emily talk about the 4 year process of adapting their real life story.
“Lady Bird” Director Greta Gerwig
Jan 5, 2018 • 30 min
Gerwig talks about what her artistic dreams were when she, like Lady Bird, was 18 and came to New York.
“mother!” Director Darren Aronofsky
Dec 28, 2017 • 27 min
Aronofsky on why you have to make the audience laugh, cry or scare the shit out of the them.
“Get Out” Director Jordan Peele
Dec 21, 2017 • 30 min
Jordan Peele talks about his biggest fear in making “Get Out.”
“Wonder Woman” Director Patty Jenkins
Dec 15, 2017 • 33 min
What Patty Jenkins learned from walking away from Marvel’s “Thor” that shaped “Wonder Woman.”
“The Shape Of Water” Director Guillermo del Toro
Dec 8, 2017 • 37 min
How Guillermo del Toro was inspired by musicals, Punch Drunk Love and Stan Laurel in making his beautiful fable.
“Call Me By Your Name” Director Luca Guadagnino
Nov 30, 2017 • 30 min
Guadagnino talks about his approach to filmmaking and his upcoming remake of Suspiria.
“Mudbound” Director Dee Rees
Nov 22, 2017 • 31 min
Writer/director Dee Rees talks about how she weaved together her complex narrative about race and what drew her to tackle the ERA, Joan Didion and a “Get Out” like horror film in her upcoming projects.
“The Florida Project” Director Sean Baker
Nov 16, 2017 • 35 min
The indie filmmaker behind “Tangerine” talks honestly about his struggle working with union crews for the first time and his nervousness about bringing a star like Willem Dafoe into his world of first-time performers.
“Patti Cake$” Director Geremy Jasper
Aug 17, 2017 • 45 min
The Sundance breakout talks about creating his ambitious New Jersey hip-hop musical debut featuring Australian actress Danielle MacDonald.
“Good Time” Directors Josh & Benny Safdie
Aug 10, 2017 • 31 min
The Safdie Brothers talk about how the knew Robert Pattinson would be able to give himself over to their unique approach to filmmaking and how they built a story around aspects of the “Twilight” star that haven’t been seen publicly.
‘Columbus’ Director Kogonada
Aug 4, 2017 • 31 min
Noted video essayist Kogonada talks about making the transition from academics to being a breakout at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with his new film “Columbus.”
“War For the Planet Of The Apes” Director Matt Reeves
Jul 14, 2017 • 20 min
Matt Reeves talks about directing actors for motion capture and his plans for the new Batman film.
“A Ghost Story” Director David Lowery
Jul 10, 2017 • 30 min
David Lowery talks about quietly making a small little film in a house with friends that he was willing to bury if it ended up being an embarrassment. The risk paid off, as “A Ghost Story” it the best reviewed indie so far this year.
“Baby Driver” Director Edgar Wright
Jun 29, 2017 • 35 min
“Baby Driver” Director Edgar Wright by Chris O’Falt
Bertrand Tavernier’s “My Journey Through French Cinema”
Jun 27, 2017 • 30 min
The great French director talks about what he learned from his favorite filmmakers.
“The Bad Batch” Director Ana Lily Amirpour
Jun 23, 2017 • 26 min
“A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” director talks about her second feature.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” Director Reed Morano
Jun 16, 2017 • 68 min
Reed Morano talks about how directing the hit Hulu show was different than her new indie feature “I Think We’re Alone.”
“It Comes at Night” Director Trey Edward Shults
Jun 8, 2017 • 24 min
Shults’ follow up to ultra low budget breakout “Krisha” is an extreme dark horror film from A24 about death. The writer/director talks about his own fathers, learning about film working for Terrence Malick and telling the stories with his camera.
“Mr. Robot” Creator Sam Esmail
Jun 1, 2017 • 36 min
Sam Esmail talks Kubrick, Metropolis, Trump and shooting S2 like a movie.
Netflix’s “Black Mirror” Charlie Brooker & Annabel Jones
May 25, 2017 • 38 min
The two Showrunners behind the hit series talk about how they built six new sci-fi worlds for Season 3 and what they’ve got brewing for Season 4.
Steve James
May 12, 2017 • 33 min
Documentary film legend Steve James (“The Interrupters,” “Hoop Dreams,” “Life Itself”) talks about his new film “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” and his process of making intimate character based documentaries.
Netflix’s “Casting JonBenet” Director Kitty Green
May 5, 2017 • 19 min
Kitty Green talks about her exploration of the JonBenet Ramsey murder case through intimate interviews with local actors auditioning for the role of the real life people caught in center of a cable news speculation.
“The Circle” Director James Ponsoldt
Apr 27, 2017 • 30 min
James Ponsoldt talks about adapting Dave Egger’s novel “The Circle” into a new movie starring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks & John Boyega. He also discusses “Rodham ” – a blacklist script about a young Hillary Clinton – that he believes is even more relevant…
Frederick Wiseman
Apr 20, 2017 • 63 min
One of the greatest filmmakers ever reflects on his career and his well refined process of making a masterpiece virtually every year. He explains why 50 years ago, as a lawyer in his 30s, he decided to make a film about a prison for the criminally insane…
“The Lost City of Z” Director James Gray
Apr 13, 2017 • 35 min
Writer/Director James Gray (“The Immigrant,” “We Own the Night”) talks about his sixth and most ambitious feature “The Lost City of Z.”
“The Assignment” Director Walter Hill
Apr 6, 2017 • 39 min
Walter Hill talks about his amazing and underrated career and his controversial new film “The Assignment.” IndieWire’s Jude Dry also joins to discuss the problematic way “The Assignment” talks about gender and transgender issues.
“Rogue One” Director Gareth Edwards
Apr 3, 2017 • 22 min
Gareth Edwards talks about how he started his career as a visual effects artists and how that has influenced him as a director.
“La La Land” Director Damien Chazelle & Editor Tom Cross
Feb 21, 2017 • 27 min
Damien Chazelle and his editor Tom Cross talk about finding the right rhythm for a modern day and how much more difficult it was to edit “La La Land” than “Whiplash.”
“Toni Erdmann” Director Maren Ade
Feb 6, 2017 • 39 min
“Toni Erdmann” has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars and is one of the best reviewed and most loved films of the year. Writer/Director Maren Ade discusses her many year process of creating the celebrated father-daughter…
“Beach Rats” Director Eliza Hittman
Jan 25, 2017 • 28 min
Eliza Hittman returns to Sundance with her follow up “It Felt Like Love.”
“Hooligan Sparrow” Director Nanfu Wang
Jan 13, 2017 • 37 min
Nanfu Wang talks about the dangers of making her Oscar contending doc “Hooligan Sparrow and how the Chinese government has targeted her parents since the film was shortlisted for Best Documentary consideration by the Academy.
“Jackie” & “Neruda” Director Pablo Larraín
Dec 16, 2016 • 34 min
Director Pablo Larraín talks two icons who tried to shape their own image and why he finds that fascinating.
Mia Hansen-Løve & David Ehrlich’s Top 25 Video Countdown
Dec 6, 2016 • 40 min
Mia Hansen-Løve talks about her story process and working with Isabelle Huppert on her new film “Things To Come.” IndieWire’s David Ehrlich also stops by to explain how he makes his fantastic top 25 Video Countdown.
“Always Shine” Director Sophia Takal
Dec 1, 2016 • 31 min
Sophia talks about turning the jealously and competition she felt as an actress into a great new indie horror film.
Arrival Screenwriter Eric Heisserer
Nov 21, 2016 • 33 min
Eric Heisserer talks about adapting Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life” — a short story many thought was un-adoptable for the big screen.
“The Witch” Director Robert Eggers
Nov 11, 2016 • 41 min
Eggers on how he blended genre and history to create the best horror film of the year and why he’s remaking “Nosferatu.”
Paul Verhoeven
Nov 4, 2016 • 29 min
The great director talks about his new film “Elle,” Isabelle Huppert and how his career as Hollywood director (“Showgirls,” Starship Troopers,” “Robocop”) is starting to be reconsidered.
“OJ: Made in America” Director Ezra Edelman
Oct 28, 2016 • 60 min
Ezra Edelman discusses how he used the story of OJ Simpson to explore race in American.
“Moonlight” Director Barry Jenkins
Oct 21, 2016 • 31 min
Writer/Director Barry Jenkins discusses “Moonlight,” his second feature and easily one of the best films of the year. Then IndieWire’s Kate Erbland stops by to talk about “Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk” and how shooting at 120 frames per second alters…
“Fire at Sea” Director Gianfranco Rosi
Oct 14, 2016 • 39 min
Gianfranco’s Rosi is one best filmmakers we aren’t paying enough attention to here in the US, but that’s about to change as his new film “Fire at Sea” is considered a frontrunner for an Oscar nomination. The film, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin…
Kelly Reichardt
Oct 7, 2016 • 27 min
Kelly Reichardt talks about her new film “Certain Women,” starring Kristen Stewart and Michelle Williams.
NYFF: Hamilton & Rivette
Sep 30, 2016 • 38 min
One of the big premieres at this year’s New York Film Festival is “Hamilton’s America,” a behind-the-scenes look at Lin Manuel Miranda’s search for the history behind his hit musical. Director Alex Horwitz stops by to talk about shadowing Miranda from…
Andrea Arnold on “American Honey”
Sep 16, 2016 • 26 min
Director Andrea Arnold (“Fish Tank”) discusses making her new film “American Honey.”
“The Night Of” Location Manager
Sep 8, 2016 • 39 min
The HBO mini-series “The Night Of” is a near perfect use of location shooting. This week we talk to location manager Shane Haden about working with creator Steven Zaillian to create this unique portrait of New York City and the criminal justice system.…
Cameraperson: Kirsten Johnson
Sep 1, 2016 • 36 min
Kirsten Johnson talks about what she’s learned from shooting some of the best nonfiction films of the last 25 years while working with directors like Laura Poitras and Michael Moore. We also discuss her new film “Cameraperson,” which uses previously…
Robert Greene & Cinematic Nonfiction
Aug 24, 2016 • 46 min
The “Kate Plays Christine” director talks about how nonfiction filmmaking can be a cinematic form of self-expression, how his Sundance hit blurs the lines between fiction and reality, and what he’s learned becoming a professor at the University of…
Web Series 101: ‘Eastsiders’ Journey From YouTube to Netflix
Aug 19, 2016 • 34 min
“Eastsiders” star and creator Kit Williamson shares his insight on how to launch a successful web series. IndieWire’s Digital Media Critic Jude Dry stops by to share her insights on some of her favorite series.
Ira Sachs on Writing “Little Men”
Aug 6, 2016 • 26 min
Director Ira Sachs talks about writing his new film “Little Men,” not rehearsing actors and why the Queer/Film/Art community he’s built has been so important to his career.