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IFNYC #005: Chris Neal – Expert Advice for Beginning Filmmakers

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IFNYC 005: Chris Neal: Expert Advice for Beginning Filmmakers

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In this episode I spoke with Chris Neal, a filmmaker from Ohio who makes short films that are emotionally engaging.

One thing that’s great about filmmaking podcasts is that through interviews you get access to exceptional guests with some really great experiences. The access we have to filmmaking information today is unparalleled. That information greatly reduces the learning curve for beginning filmmakers.

While the IndieFilmNYC Podcast is proud to be one of the sources which brings that kind of information to you, sometimes I think that it’s hard to visualize what a filmmaker at the beginning of their journey looks like. What kinds of techniques are they using to get their films made and how are they taking those first steps.

So, today I’m talking with a filmmaker who, while not a total beginner, is relatively early on his path of filmmaking. Chris Neal is a filmmaker who is focusing on short film projects, and he is figuring out how to bring out the emotional impact of his work before he makes the foray into larger projects; like feature films.

That said, he’s a filmmaker who’s already had some success. In fact, the first time he put himself out there professionally with his film, “Man’s Best Friend” he received quite a bit of attention. He was featured on Vimeo as a staff pick, as well as being interviewed by various news outlets like The Huffington Post. During our conversation, Chris talks candidly about how sometimes early success isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

“Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.”

In this interview, Chris was very open about his process, particularly when it comes to the idea of validating a story idea. This is a great concept where one develops a logline or short pitch of an idea or two and before developing the project further, the filmmaker pitches to friends, family or colleagues in order to gauge the viability of whether or not an audience would be interested actually sitting down to watch once it’s completed.

I really enjoyed speaking with Chris because one thing that I think is undeniable when you speak with him is that he exudes a passion for what he’s doing. As an artist, he seems to really enjoy exploring the human condition and telling stories which are personal, yet still relatable to a large number of people.

I started this podcast with the intention of helping filmmakers balance the worlds of art and business, and to me, Chris is the type of filmmaker that I believe others can emulate if it’s their desire to make filmmaking a sustainable career. He’s doing his research, taking his time and trusting in the processes that will help his messages reach an audience that is engaged with his work, and it means something to them personally.

I look forward to watching how Chris’ career develops and catching up with him when he has more work to talk about.

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