April 24, 2017

How to Make the Jump from Lowly PA to Almighty Director [PODCAST]

'Tramps' director Adam Leon makes a case for why everyone needs to do time on set as a production assistant.

Adam Leon made only one short before breaking onto the indie scene with his SXSW winning debut feature Gimme the LootWith a budget around $60,000 the writer/director won the "Someone To Watch" award at the Film Independent Spirits and was able to get his film into almost every notable film festival on the market, including a run in the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes.

How did he pull it off? Hard work and humble beginnings. Leon's work ethic was noticed on set as a PA and as a result of his efforts, he found collaborators and producers that were eager to invest in his future. 

His latest film, Tramps, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last summer and was quickly scooped up by Netflix. It follows a young man and woman as they are unwittingly thrown into the middle of a money drop off gone awry. But for Leon, the real challenge came in crafting a genuine romance without leaning on cliche.

To achieve this goal, he turned to his writing partner and producer Jamund Washington early on in the development process. Leon and Washington join us on this week's episode of The No Film School Podcast to talk filmmaking as a collaborative art form, the right way to take notes on your screenplay, and finding partners that won't compromise your vision but help to build upon it.

You can watch Tramps on Netflix now.

Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here.


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This episode was produced and edited by Jon Fusco.

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