Film Disruptors Podcast



Film is changing. Business models, audience behaviour and technology are all rapidly evolving - transforming the way stories are told, sold and consumed. FILM DISRUPTORS is all about deconstructing these changes and championing the new players making it happen. In focused and inspiring interviews, senior film executive of over 17 years, Alex Stolz talks to leaders in the field to bring you essential ideas, techniques and strategies from the cutting edge. Whether you are an emerging storyteller, an established industry professional or simply interested in how film is changing, FILM DISRUPTORS will give you the insights, inspiration and competitive edge to thrive in the new landscape


  • Star Wars and New Possibilities in Storytelling w/ Kiri Hart

    Star Wars and New Possibilities in Storytelling w/ Kiri Hart

    05/11/2020 Duração: 48min

    Kiri Hart is an executive, writer and producer with nearly 3 decades experience in film and television. She is probably best known for her role as Senior Vice President of Development at Lucasfilm between 2012 and 2018. Here she formed the now legendary Lucasfilm Story Group and oversaw the creative development of all Star Wars content across film, animated television, publishing, gaming, immersive media, and theme parks. While at Lucasfilm, Kiri also co-produced the films THE LAST JEDI and ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY and produced all four seasons of the award-winning animated television series Star Wars Rebels. Kiri has more recently formed a producing partnership with Stephen Feder at T-Street, the independent media studio started by filmmaker Rian Johnson. Kiri is currently producing filmmaker Gareth Edwards’ upcoming untitled original film for New Regency and also serves as a Creative Consultant at Pixar Animation Studios and is an Executive Producer on Pixar’s next film SOUL. This episode is fundamen

  • Diversify, Pivot, Innovate: New Strategies for Filmmaking w/ Jess Engel

    Diversify, Pivot, Innovate: New Strategies for Filmmaking w/ Jess Engel

    29/10/2020 Duração: 46min

    Jess Engel is an award-winning, multidisciplinary producer focused on blending storytelling with art and technology. As founder at Crimes of Curiosity, her recent mixed-reality projects include BREATHE, PERSUASION MACHINES and the groundbreaking SPHERES (2018). Produced by Darren Aronofsky, SPHERES not only won the Gran Prix in VR at the Venice Film Festival in 2018 but also achieved the then highest sale price for a VR project to date, at its Sundance premiere. In this episode, I talk with Jess about the VR space (including how this is being impacted by Covid) and explore her strategies as a storyteller which include brand funded work, documentaries, interactive projects and feature films. This episode is going to be particularly relevant if you are a creator, producer or filmmaker as Jess shares so much valuable insight into how to structure your business in the new media landscape. Jess reveals the different approaches and models that are proving effective, as well as her advice for storytellers and thou

  • The Business of Impact Entertainment w/ Shabnam Mogharabi

    The Business of Impact Entertainment w/ Shabnam Mogharabi

    22/10/2020 Duração: 49min

    Shabnam Mogharabi (@shabster on Twitter) is a former award-winning journalist who co-founded SoulPancake in 2008 with the actor Rainn Wilson. SoulPancake is a digital entertainment company with the vision to “make stuff that matters” creating uplifting and socially impactful videos on a daily basis. With this singular and different approach to online entertainment, the company has amassed over 10m fans online and nearly 1B video views. Under Shabnam’s tenure, SoulPancake was also acquired by leading impact film organisation, Participant Media and worked across their releases such as ROMA and DARK WATER, to reach new audiences and create and measure their social impact. Shabnam is an incredibly articulate and engaging speaker and we cover a lot of really valuable material in this conversation Including: - strategies to create impact through filmmaking, - ways to reach new audiences - how brands and filmmakers are working together as well as and how to approach brands if you are a filmmaker - How to strate

  • Immersive Worlds, The Matrix and Future Filmmaking w/ John Gaeta

    Immersive Worlds, The Matrix and Future Filmmaking w/ John Gaeta

    14/10/2020 Duração: 50min

    A relentless innovator in film, John Gaeta is best known for his defining work on The Matrix trilogy, including the invention of bullet time, for which he won the Academy Award for Visual Effects. More recently, John co-founded Industrial Light and Magic’s Virtual Reality division ILMX lab and has held the role of SVP Creative Strategy at Magic Leap. Drawing on all of his deep knowledge and understanding about new storytelling technologies, this conversation takes us from the Matrix to the future of filmmaking via XR and Artificial Intelligence. In what is one of the most fascinating conversations I’ve had on the show, John explains his vision for where media is heading, why he believes that there will also be a space for linear storytelling (or 'sculptural form' as John calls it) in this world and why the future of our civilisation rests on a knife edge between creativity and control. See more at

  • 4.4 The Future of Interactive Filmmaking w/ Sam Barlow

    4.4 The Future of Interactive Filmmaking w/ Sam Barlow

    05/10/2020 Duração: 01h01min

    Visionary storyteller Sam Barlow's work blends traditional filmmaking techniques with gaming mechanics to create new forms of interactive films. He is known largely for the pioneering works HER STORY and more recently the Annapurna-produced TELLING LIES which is a hugely ambitious interactive thriller told from multiple points of view. In this conversation we explore Sam’s creative process and his vision for the future of interactive filmmaking. In particular, how his work differs from the "Choose your Own Adventure" style adopted by Black Mirror's Bandersnatch . We also touch on Sam’s career and get into the business model and distribution strategy for this kind of work - which although it looks like films has a very different release and revenue cycle. Although we talk primarily about interactive filmmaking, Sam is first and foremost a storyteller and we cover a lot of the fundamentals of this. He is also a a deep thinker about his craft and the episode is densely packed with ideas, concepts and strategi

  • 4.3 Virtual Production for Independent Filmmakers

    4.3 Virtual Production for Independent Filmmakers

    24/09/2020 Duração: 49min

    Matt Workman is at the forefront of the realtime filmmaking revolution - pioneering the uptake of the technology for independent filmmakers. Following a successful career as a DP of high profile music promos and commercials, Matt developed the hugely successful Cine Tracer app/game, built for filmmakers to learn, experiment and design in realtime. Now, Matt is driving forward virtual production, combining traditional cinematography techniques with realtime graphics using Unreal Engine - and in the process making these tools and workflows accessible to directors and cinematographers worldwide. In this interview Matt takes us through his creative journey to this nexus of technology and cinematographer and why he is so passionate about democratising virtual production technology. Matt is recognised as a leader in the virtual production community, including by Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri who recently said on this show “Matt Workman is incredible”. To find out more about Matt and his prolific and inspirational

  • 4.2 Unreal Engine and the Revolution in Virtual Filmmaking

    4.2 Unreal Engine and the Revolution in Virtual Filmmaking

    18/09/2020 Duração: 31min

    In this episode we get the inside track on the creative and technological revolution that is Virtual Production, with the CTO of Epic Games, Kim Libreri. Kim has a long and auspicious career in the film industry, digital technology and visual effects that spans over 20 years. He has credits on more than 25 films including ‘The Matrix' trilogy and is a two-time Academy Award winner to boot! Prior to joining Epic, Kim headed up Lucasfilm’s strategy where he was responsible for the company’s Star Wars technology. Now he is driving the adoption of Unreal Engine across the Entertainment industry with the techniques and systems known as Virtual Production and in-camera visual effects - showcased so brilliantly in Disney and Lucasfilm’s 'The Mandalorian'. Kim shares his thoughts on how virtual production and Unreal Engine will redefine the creative process and how the tools can be used for projects across a wide range of budget levels. More at

  • Worldbuilding, Franchises and Authentic Storytelling for Independents

    Worldbuilding, Franchises and Authentic Storytelling for Independents

    07/09/2020 Duração: 49min

    "Franchises are a way for the creator and creative to have long term sustainability in a crowded marketplace" Diana Williams In this episode we are delighted to welcome storyteller extraordinaire Diana Williams to the show. Diana is Executive Vice President of Creative at Maddison Wells Media's 'Universe' division. Twice been named on Fast Company's Top Ten Most Innovative Companies list, MWM have built their reputation in working across multiple formats including interactive, live events, television and, yes, even film! MWM Universe is devoted to developing IP and in her role, Diana is responsible for building creative content strategy, world-building, content production, and data analytics across multiple formats. In this episode we learn about Diana’s unique approach to storytelling, creative collaboration and developing IP with the potential to work on different platforms. This leads us to what Diana refers to as the ‘F word’ - franchises and she explains how this way of thinking can unlock new opport

  • S03 E12 The Future of Film Marketing

    S03 E12 The Future of Film Marketing

    23/07/2020 Duração: 39min

    What is the future of film marketing? This episode provides answers with an expert panel of guest speakers from film, tech and entertainment. Some of the topics we cover in the conversation include: - digital marketing strategies - developing a direct to consumer strategy - how to test your digital marketing's effectiveness and measure attribution - what we film learn from other industries such as games and retail - launching film as a digital product - the impact of Covid on film marketing This episode originates from the usheru Future of Film Marketing Series and includes the following speakers: Catherine Downes: CMO and COO of usheru Ciaran O'Herlihy, a Digital Strategist and Google Product Partnerships manager Wendy Bernfeld, Founder and Managing Director RIghts Stuff Lucy Johnston, Founder of Bread and Butter Marketing Derren Sequeira, Client Partner Entertainment Facebook Ben Johnson: Founder and CEO of Gruvi See for more information.

  • S03 E11 Naysun Alae-Carew: Telling Stories Across Film and Games

    S03 E11 Naysun Alae-Carew: Telling Stories Across Film and Games

    30/04/2020 Duração: 54min

    Naysun Alae-Carew is Founder and Managing Director of Blazing Griffin, the pioneering Glasgow-based entertainment company which uses a format-agnostic approach to tell stories across film, games and TV. Speaking at the 2020 Glasgow Film Festival (just before the whole world changed), Naysun shares his insights on telling stories as both films and games - and the commercial and creative process that Blazing Griffin use to do this. He also shares the powerful personal story behind the making of the zombie-musical-comedy, Anna and the Apocalypse and provides unique insight on building an entertainment company ground up for today’s multi-platform digital age. With many thanks to Glasgow Film Festival for making this episode possible.

  • S03 E10 Nadira Azermai, Maria Tanjala, Catherine Downes

    S03 E10 Nadira Azermai, Maria Tanjala, Catherine Downes

    15/04/2020 Duração: 01h13min

    Can tech save the film industry? That's the question posed to three tech founders in this special episode of Film Disruptors, recorded live at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival. Nadira Azermai of Scriptbook, Maria Tanjala of Film Chain and usheru's Catherine Downes discuss their growing businesses and how they are bringing innovative solutions to film development, finance and distribution. This episode was produced during the 21st edition of the FilmTech Meetup Berlin, in collaboration with Filmtech Office and EFM Horizon, the European Film Market's platform focusing on the future of film business and new developments in the media and entertainment worlds Nadira Azermai Nadira Azermai is Founder of ScriptBook, a high-tech company that provides artificially intelligent screenplay analysis and box office forecasts. ScriptBook was conceived when Nadira wrote her Master’s thesis on using artificial intelligence to quantify story-paramete

  • 3.9 Michel Reilhac: Where Next for Immersive Storytelling?

    3.9 Michel Reilhac: Where Next for Immersive Storytelling?

    02/04/2020 Duração: 55min

    In this episode, I am joined by immersive media expert, Michel Reilhac. In a wide ranging conversation about storytelling and media, Michel provides deep insight into the current state of VR, both artistically and commercially, and shares his optimistic vision for where it is heading. Michel is Head of Studies at the Venice Biennale College and VR competition curator for the Venice Biennale International Film Festival. Between 2002-2012, Michel was Head of Cinema & Film Acquisitions at Arte France and executive director of Arte France Cinema, co-producing around 30 international independent feature films each year. Michel is a regular speaker on XR and immersive storytelling at international events, including the Cannes International Film Festival, SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival, TEDx, CPH:DOX, Power to the Pixel, FEMIS etc.

  • 3.8 Future of Theatrical (New Cinema 2019): Bernfeld, Schmidt, Kashyap, Rehihac

    3.8 Future of Theatrical (New Cinema 2019): Bernfeld, Schmidt, Kashyap, Rehihac

    14/11/2019 Duração: 45min

    This very special episode was recorded live at the New Cinema Conference 2019 at the EYE in Amsterdam. From across film and media I am joined by experts in their field to discuss the future of cinema and its place in the wider culture and industry. My esteemed guests are: - international VOD expert and Rights Stuff Founder Wendy Bernfeld - innovator, teacher and MD of the German Producers Association Erwin Schmidt - Acclaimed storyteller (and producer of one of my favourite films in recent years THE LUNCHBOX) Anurag Kashyap - Internationally recognised pioneer of VR and curator of Venice VR Days, Michel Rehihac In this conversation we look ahead to the next 5 years and explore the challenges and opportunities for cinema over that time. Drawing upon the guest's wide ranging experience and backgrounds, we discuss the innovations that could benefit the industry and how it can prosper in the wider context of the shifts in VOD, Production, Storytelling and Immersive Media. This episode was made possible wit

  • 3.7: Janet Brown: The New Studio Model (Gunpowder and Sky)

    3.7: Janet Brown: The New Studio Model (Gunpowder and Sky)

    30/10/2019 Duração: 49min

    Janet Brown is EVP Distribution at Gunpowder and Sky, the fast growing independent studio that is creating and distributing content across multiple formats and platforms. In this conversation from their New York offices, Janet describes how the young studio is designed ground-up for today’s shifting consumer landscape - and the new routes to market that now exist for storytellers. We also discuss the future (and recent history) of distribution as well as Janet's entrepreneurial journey at Film Buff, the company she co-founded and built that Gunpowder and Sky acquired in 2016.

  • 3.6 Yasmin Elayat: Creating a New Language in Filmmaking

    3.6 Yasmin Elayat: Creating a New Language in Filmmaking

    16/10/2019 Duração: 01h09min

    Yasmin Elayat is an Emmy-award winning storyteller and entrepreneur whose work pushes the boundaries of immersive narrative and participatory experiences. Yasmin began her career in computer science but, as she describes in this interview, pivoted to become a storyteller and then co-founder of the tech-production company Scatter. At Scatter, Yasmin is now pioneering the emerging language of Volumetric Filmmaking, a process that can transform 2D capture of the real world into hologram like imagery which can be viewed from any angle and is being used in immersive storytelling, documentaries and films. In 2017 Yasmin used Scatter's Volumetric filmmaking techniques to make ZERO DAYS VR which won the Emmy for Outstanding New Approach to Documentary.

  • 3.5 Adam Myhill: Realtime Filmmaking and the Future of Cinematography

    3.5 Adam Myhill: Realtime Filmmaking and the Future of Cinematography

    10/10/2019 Duração: 50min

    Adam Myhill is Creative Director for Unity's Media & Entertainment Innovation Group. In this episode, Adam addresses how realtime technology is transforming the filmmaking process and some of huge opportunities - and challenges - that this brings about. A former photographer and DP, Adam explains how he has used this experience to build new virtual cinematography tools that give filmmakers significantly more control and creative options. We also discuss the future of film and media and Adam provides some powerful advice for emerging filmmakers. If you enjoyed this episode, do check out [Future of Film] Summit, London 26/11/19 Adam Myhill has spent two decades in film and video game worlds, working as a Director of Photography and CG supervisor at Electronic Arts and Blackbird Interactive. Using his experience on multiple titles and as a film DP on a number of feature-length movies, Myhill created a ground-breaking Emmy award-winning procedural cinematic and in-game camera syst

  • 3.4 Mike Winton: Neon and the Art of Film Marketing

    3.4 Mike Winton: Neon and the Art of Film Marketing

    03/10/2019 Duração: 52min

    My guest today is Neon's VP of Marketing, MIke WInton. Neon of course is one of the hottest distribution companies around, known for their astute acquisitions and eye catching marketing. And they have caught the eye in recent years not just with their cool campaigns (which Mike masterminds). At a time when the challenges faced by independent distribution have been well documented, Neon have achieved notable box office success with titles like THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS, APOLLO 11. In this episode, Mike discusses Neon’s strategy and how distributors - and storytellers - can cut through in the wake of streaming and the increasingly polarised theatrical market This interview is part of the BAM Disruptors series recorded recently at the Bogotá Audiovisual Market (or BAM) which takes place there in July. BAM is the essential event for anyone serious about engaging with the Latin American market in film or tv and this episode would not have been possible without them. You can find out more about BAM at bogotama

  • [Future of Film] Summit Special

    [Future of Film] Summit Special

    02/10/2019 Duração: 05min

    [Future of Film] Summit Special by Film Disruptors

  • 3.3 Brian Newman: How to Unlock Brand Funding for Features

    3.3 Brian Newman: How to Unlock Brand Funding for Features

    26/09/2019 Duração: 54min

    Brian Newman is founder of Sub-genre, the leading consultancy on connecting brands and filmmakers with audiences. A hugely respected veteran of the US Independent Film industry, Brian was previously CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute and serves on the advisory board of the Camden International Film Festival. In this episode, we discuss brand funding and discover how Brian is working with major brands like Patagonia and Stripe to successfully invest in feature films. We also talk about how filmmakers can succeed in the age of super abundance and how to get noticed in the Attention Economy - and Brian reveals the most common mistake he sees being made by filmmakers. This episode was recorded live at this year's Bogotá Audiovisual Market

  • Season 3.2 Liam Young on the Future of Storytelling

    Season 3.2 Liam Young on the Future of Storytelling

    19/09/2019 Duração: 53min

    Liam Young is a speculative architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is cofounder of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank, exploring the local and global implications of new technologies and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio that travels on expeditions to chronicle these emerging conditions as they occur on the ground. He has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media, including the BBC, NBC, Wired, Guardian, Time Magazine and New Scientist, is a BAFTA nominated producer and his work has been collected by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and MAAS in Sydney. He has published several books including the recent Machine Landscapes: Architectures of the Post Anthropocene and has taught internationally at the Architectural Association, Princeton University and now runs the ground breaking MA in Fiction and Entertainment at Sci Arc in Los Angles. Liam's narrative approach sits between docume

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