While many topics seem off-limits for jokes these days, there is always value to poking fun at all the awful sides of human nature.

Today's podcast guest John Lee created Wonder Showzen to push boundaries and make people uncomfortable in an intelligent and meaningful way. He believes being political is a necessary part of being a creator.

In this episode, we talk about…

  • John’s background and how he got into film as a career.
  • John’s early career in New York City and what the industry was like at that time.
  • How John and his creative partner Vernon got interested in topics like racism and misogyny and the importance of talking about those truths—as well as how kids understand injustice and don’t need things sugarcoated for them.
  • Why all work should be political in some way.
  • John’s new movie False Positive and his inspirations for it, including a discussion of Peter Pan.
  • Issues in our society with our health system, lack of support systems for people going through difficult times, and how it’s taboo to talk about health issues like miscarriages.
  • The importance of approaching any new job or partnership by making sure you’ll see eye-to-eye and get along with who you are working for. That’s what the interview process is for!
  • Why you should have a good understanding of other sides of film production, like sound and lighting.
  • How collaboration is essential in any artistry and the surprising skills you need to be a good director.
  • Why you need to know who you are as a creator and who your work is for, so you’re not wasting your time trying to sell your work to places that will never buy it.
  • The art of pitching, which ideally should be short and mysterious enough to engage the producers and get them to ask you questions.
  • How John pitches, which includes creative little hooks that make the producers want to call him up to find out more. Making the pitch process into an absurd art project keeps the spirit lighthearted.

Links to Resources:

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This episode of The No Film School Podcast was produced by George Edelman and Charles Haine.