Last year may have started it all, but this was truly the year in which the No Film School Podcast hit its stride. We released 97 new episodes (compared to last year's 70), delivering new filmmaking info straight to your ear holes regularly twice a week. This thing has turned into an educational powerhouse and we couldn't be more proud.

We noticed that you guys were all digging the interview podcasts so we doubled down on our efforts to get you great discussions with some of the year's most exciting filmmakers every single week. For those keeping score, that's everyone from Sean Baker to Flying Lotus, from The Square's Ruben Ostlund to The Toxic Avenger's Lloyd Kaufman and everything in between.

Thanks to you, we've garnered over a million plays this year compared to last year's 400,000. Of course, Liz and I have to give a special shout-out to our weekly listeners, who have subscribed to the Soundcloud feed and many more who have opted to get our episodes straight from the Apple Store or Google Play every week. 

We want to make this podcast the best as it can possibly be. Feel free to give us feedback, and be sure and tune in next year as we continue to increase our coverage (and perhaps even start up a few new shows).

Here are our best-performing episodes of the year:

15. 'The Florida Project': Sean Baker on Why You Need to Invest in Yourself When No One Else Will

Guest: Sean Baker (The Florida Project)
"Baker has been a champion of low-budget filmmaking for his entire career. More so than that, he has been a trailblazer in the democratization of film. Inspired by the Dogme 95 movement pioneered by Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, he makes the absolute best use of the resources that are available to him." - Jon Fusco 

14. Flying Lotus on How Rejecting Film School Made Him a Greater Director

Guest: Flying Lotus aka Steven Ellison (Kuso)
"Flying Lotus's debut feature Kuso truly goes against every single rule his teachers may have taught him back in his days as a film school student. In fact, FlyLo says he had to consciously take some time off to unlearn film school, where he believes things were taught to be done in a certain, almost factory-like way. He is a staunch believer that if you limit yourself to what you learn there, you may miss out on crucial organic discoveries." - Jon Fusco

13. The First Family of DIY on How to ‘Make Your Own Damn Movie'

Guests:  Lloyd Kaufman (Toxic Avenger, Troma Entertainment), Pat Swinney Kaufman (fmr. NY State deputy film commissioner), Lisbeth Kaufman (KitSplit co-founder)
"The reigning families of modern American movies are household names: the Coppolas, the Gyllenhaals, the Afflecks. But what about the Kaufmans? If you are a filmmaker, they have very likely affected your life." - Liz Nord 

12. DP Roundtable: The Shots That Almost Killed Us

Guests: Autumn Eakin (The Light of the Moon),  James Axel West (Easy Living), Shane King (The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin)
"Three cinematographers with three very different films at SXSW 2017 discuss their favorite gear, what DPs can do to stand out off set, how they make room for their actors or subjects in vulnerable situations, and of course, the shoots that almost killed them." - Liz Nord

11. Spielberg: Behind the Scenes with the World’s Most Famous Filmmaker

Guests: Director Susan Lacy, Editor Deborah Peretz (Spielberg)
"As executive producer of the PBS series American Masters, Susan Lacy has produced 250 films exploring the lives of America’s most influential cultural icons. For the new HBO documentary Spielberg, she turned her hand to directing. Lacy interviewed Steven Spielberg for over 30 hours collectively, skillfully pulling out threads from his own life to weave together the film’s thesis: though he’s not known as a “personal filmmaker", there’s a part of Spielberg in every film he makes." - Liz Nord

10. 'Expect That Everything Will Go Wrong': How to Ensure Your First Short Film is the Best it Can Be

Guest: Hughes William Thompson (Horn)
"Making any film, no matter the length is certain to be an ordeal. In both pre-production and on set, many more things are bound to go wrong than right. I sat down with award-winning short director Hughes William Thompson to discuss some of the more common struggles first-time filmmakers face and the steps that you can take in pre-production to ensure your production goes as smooth as possible." - Jon Fusco

9. John Carroll Lynch on How to Be the Director Your Actors Have Always Wanted

Guest: John Carroll Lynch (Lucky)
"Chances are, you know John Carroll Lynch’s face even if you don’t know his name. The actor, who is perhaps best known for his role as the Zodiac killer in David Fincher’s Zodiac, has a staggering 110 acting credits to his name. At this year’s SXSW, Lynch finally added another role to his resume: Director. We talk the techniques he brought with him from his favorites of the bunch." - Jon Fusco

8. What It Takes to Get Your Short into Sundance

Guests:  Rob Savage, Jed Shepherd and Douglas Cox (Dawn of the Deaf), Lyle Corbine Jr. (Shinaab), Jessica Beshir and Charlie Hoxie (Hairat)
"For all intents and purposes, the Sundance Film Festival is the Holy Grail for many short filmmakers around the world. Need proof? Just take a look at the number of entries to this year's competition: 9,000. This is a fascinating dissection of the steps several filmmakers took to find their place at Sundance and you'll find more than a few nuggets of advice in there to aid in your own shorts." - Jon Fusco

7. Pitching Do's and Don’ts: How to Get Your Film Funded

Guests: Molly O’Brien (Fork Films), Daniel Chalfen (Naked Edge Films), Jose Rodriguez (Tribeca Film Institute)
"This episode’s guests have heard over 10,000 pitches between them and, in this episode, they reveal what works and what doesn't when you're trying to raise money for your films." - Liz Nord

6. Why Making a Film is the Only Thing That Can Ever Really Prepare You for Making Your First Film

Guest: Matt Spicer (Ingrid Goes West)
"Matt Spicer's Ingrid Goes West was the culmination of a ten-year journey from screenwriter to director. The jump wasn't easy." - Jon Fusco

5. How Starting a Production Company Can Help You Make Your First Film

Guests: Director Ashley McKenzie, Actors Andrew Gillis and Breagh MacNeil (Werewolf)
"Ashley McKenzie is the type of director that does it all. The Canadian multi-hyphenate runs her own production company, writes her own scripts, and directs all of the company's films. When she’s on set, however, she gives up almost all notions of planning and control to make her shots as organic and in the moment as possible." - Jon Fusco

4. How to Avoid the Crucial Mistakes Everyone Makes on their First Movie

Guests: Director Sophie Brooks, Producer David Brooks (The Boy Downstairs)
"From test screenings to re-writes, first-time director Sophie Brooks and her producer, David Brooks, share some great tips that you can borrow on the lead up to your own future releases." - Emily Buder

3. How to Make a Movie Entirely on Your Own

Guest: Parker Smith (Ramblin' Freak)
"Now, the task of making your first feature is a daunting one. Some would think that filming it entirely alone should make things a hundred times more difficult. For director Parker Smith of Ramblin' Freak, however, being the only member of his film crew provided him with exactly the freedom necessary to experiment, learn and shoot his movie right." - Jon Fusco

2. How to Start a Production Company: From Film School to Raising Money Out of Your Bedroom Office

Guests: Producer David Ethan Shapiro, Editor Jacob Schulsinger (Come Swim)
"Fresh off Kristen Stewart's debut short Come Swim, the young producer David Ethan Shapiro and I talk the merits of film school and why it's important to recreate that creative atmosphere in your career, the secret to raising money as a producer, why editors should help directors write movies, and more." - Emily Buder

1. The Worst Things a Director Can Do on Set

Guests: Director Rachel Lambert, Co-writer Nathan Gregorski, Actors Michael Abbott Jr., Madisen Beaty, Celia Weston (In The Radiant City)
"On this lively episode, an entire group of actors and the director of In The Radiant City discuss what you should not do on set as much as they give constructive tips for directing actors." - Liz Nord

See all of our 2017 Year-in-Review coverage.