July 24, 2017
in theaters

'Landline': How to Avoid the Sophomore Slump and Make Your Second Feature [PODCAST]

Landline
Most filmmakers never even get a second feature made, but Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm's is in theaters now.

The British Film Institute did a study a few years ago that determined that under 3% of directors who have directed one feature film have gone on to direct two or more. Completing your second feature is a bear for so many reasons, but my guests on this week's podcast have successfully made that leap.

Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm collaborated on Obvious Child, which premiered at Sundance 2014, where Holm won the Red Crown Producer’s Award, and went on to critical and audience acclaim and theatrical release. They joined efforts again for Landline, which premiered at Sundance 2017, where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize and opened in theaters last Friday. The pair co-wrote Landline; Robespierre directed and Holm produced.

“With every movie, I know nothing. Don’t take for granted the fact that you’re still growing and learning.” 
—Elisabeth Holm

Both films star comedian Jenny Slate. In Obvious Child, she’s dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and schedules a Valentine’s Day abortion, and in Landline, she and her younger sister, played by Abby Quinn, are attempting to uncover the truth behind their father’s affair. Landline also features Jay Duplass as Slate’s boyfriend, veteran actor John Turturro as her philandering dad, and a magnificent Edie Falco as her jilted mom.

I think you’ll enjoy my conversation with Robespierre and Holm about how they overcame the hurdles of making a second feature, writing authentic dialogue and getting equally authentic performances out of your actors, how filmmaking is like polyamory, and the all-important question of whether there is anything more human than peeing in the shower.

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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