Renny Harlin is one of the great action film directors who has had a huge influence on the genre and continues to have a lot of love and passion for his craft. He’s bringing that enthusiasm and lots of helpful insights to the conversation today. 

In this episode, we talk about…

  • What made Renny Harlin decide he wanted to be a film director and his early influences growing up in Finland, which has a very small movie industry.
  • How much Harlin loves what he does and how grateful he is to do what he does.
  • Harlin’s early days making commercials and then getting noticed and transitioning to TV, and finally to feature films.
  • How Harlin survived and stayed motivated when he first moved to the U.S. and was living in complete poverty, trying to break into the industry.
  • Making the jump from living paycheck to paycheck to being on the cusp of the action movie genre (with films like Die Hard 2) to being able to turn down work.
  • Why you need to make luck happen by working hard and being persistent.
  • Lessons Harlin learned the hard way throughout his career.
  • Why he’s walked away from certain opportunities that have come his way.
  • How technology has changed throughout Harlin’s career and how that impacts his approach.
  • The importance of ground rules and maintaining trust with the audience, no matter how much technology and CGI is available.
  • How he learns to get better on set and how he has learned from audiences with test screenings.

Links to Resources:

Go see Harlin’s new film The Misfits (2021) in theaters now!

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