In the “era of scroll” it can be harder and harder to come across meaningful content online, particularly for filmmakers. But, don’t fret. There’s an antidote for that that endless scroll: Film podcasts.
Ok, we all know podcasts are great at this point. Essentially, they’re the rebirth of radio in its optimized form. You have access to the best storytellers and thinkers in the universe, neatly packaged in a format you can knock out on a commute or on the treadmill.
But, podcasts are especially great for filmmakers. We’re constantly bombarded by the visual side of things, and that leaves a perfect gap for audio to fill those in-between moments or long days at the editing bay.
It’s also true that just about everyone is starting a podcast these days, which makes the whole curation part overwhelming. That’s why we decided to put together our list of favorite film podcasts for filmmakers. Some of them are directly film-related, while others are a bit off the wall. All of them, however, will do one of the following three things:
- Make you a better storyteller.
- Give you some insight from other high-level creatives.
- Make that rough cut a tad more bearable.
So, here’s our big list of film podcasts. We know there are a lot (hundreds?) that probably need to be on this list. But, these are just a few that spoke to us. Enjoy.
What it is: Hosted by Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen, Filmspotting is a movie-lover’s podcast. It dives into reviews, trivia, retrospectives, interviews and more.
Why we love it: Film buffs/nerds/enthusiasts rejoice! Filmspotting is the O.G. of film podcasts. We recommend it for anyone who loves cinema or wants to learn more how movie buffs think about those movies. It’s also a great place to get recommendations on movies as well.
What it is: Hosts John August and Craig Mazin discuss the world of screenwriting. They break down everything from tangible writing tips to business and interviews with acclaimed writers.
Why we love it: As we’ve said before, writing is one of the best ways to become a better filmmaker. And this podcast is one of the best ways to become a better writer. It will help you think about storytelling in new ways and glean insights from the best in the business.
What it is: Brought to you by the DGA, this podcast features interviews between directors as the talk about their films, careers, and creative perspective.
Why we love it: If you want to hear how the greats think, this is the place to get it. The interviews feature just about every big name in filmmaking. Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Amy Poehler, Olivia Wilde, Ron Howard—you name it. The episodes are simple, generally short, and packed with gold.
What it is: Film Riot is a behind-the-scenes look into the art and craft of filmmaking. It features conversations with everyone from directors and editors to stunt coordinators and VFX artists.
Why we love it: If you’ve ever seen Film Riot’s YouTube channel, you know their team loves the craft of filmmaking. The podcast is no different. In each episode, they pull back the veil of the process, revealing the genius behind each project.
What it is: Taking a more shotgun-blast approach to film podcasts, The Treatment features interviews with creatives across the entertainment industry.
Why we love it: If you yearn for the casual style only NPR can deliver, you’ve come to the right podcast. Produced by the folks at KCRW, The Treatment is a perfect entry into the creative process behind everything from films to TV and everything in between. It’s in-depth, yet accessible.
What it is: The Business, hosted by Kim Masters, is an entertainment industry podcast featuring interviews with directors, producers, writers, and actors.
Why we love it: We’re doubling down on KCRW podcasts here, because they’re both well worth it. The Business is similar to The Treatment in many ways, but dives a bit more into the news of the industry, offering up short episodes dedicated to the latest and greatest. It’s an easy, fun way to stay up to date on the film industry.
What it is: Eric Kohn and Anne Thomson talk indie films, film festivals, and the industry overall.
Why we love it: Our good friends at Indiewire know a lot about movies and the movie industry. So, it just makes sense that it’s fun to hear them talk about it. Each week they dive into indie film and film festivals, offering a very critical take on both. It’s enlightening and engrossing.
What it is: Indiewire’s team interviews some of the leading minds behind film and TV, breaking down everything from scriptwriting to cinematography.
Why we love it: If we were to compare our own blog interviews to a podcast, it may be this one. Indiewire’s Filmmaker Toolkit is dedicated to the why and how behind a project, diving into filmmakers’ creative processes and perspectives.
What it is: Critical juggernaut A24 features an unhosted take on film podcasts, as different filmmakers discuss their films, influences, and careers.
Why we love it: It’s an A24 podcast, enough said. The studio is making the most of the talented filmmakers they’re connected with, revealing the creativity behind each film. Our favorite part, though, is the focus on the influences behind directors and their films—always a fascinating listen.
What it is: Aaron Mahnke tells some of the strangest (and scariest) stories behind common folklore, myths, and legends.
Why we love it: Beyond having a killer soundtrack (shoutout to Musicbed Artist Chad Lawson), we think Lore is just a plain awesome podcast to get lost in. The stories are engrossing and there may be no better way to get inspired for your next screenplay.
What it is: Comedian and actor Marc Maron interviews the biggest, boldest, and brightest in the industry as only Marc Maron can.
Why we love it: Ok, this isn’t really a film podcast, but we think it’s a must-listen if you haven’t already. Marc Maron is quite the personality. He’s a little rough around the edges, but that makes his interviews all the more compelling—he’s not afraid to have real, sometimes awkward conversations, offering a glimpse into the lives of people we never thought we’d know at that level.
What it is: Host Christian Schultz interviews directors, cinematographers, and more, in down-to-earth, intimate conversations.
Why we love it: Our good buddy (and talented director himself) Christian Schultz is knee-deep in his burgeoning film career and it shows in this podcast. In his conversations with up-and-coming filmmakers, it’s evident he has an intimate knowledge of the creative process, which makes for a great listen.
What it is: Presented by the insanely talented team at Vinegar Hill, School of Doc explores the art and craft of documentary filmmaking.
Why we love it: Finally, documentaries are getting some love in the podcast game! David Altrogge takes the helm of this brand-new podcast, offering some well-earned insight and in-depth interviews with the masters of the craft. It may be about documentaries, but every filmmaker can learn from this one.
What it is: Host Roman Mars investigates the hidden designs and architecture behind everyday objects that shape our world.
Why we love it: Yet another non-film podcast, this one is just as essential because of its storytelling. If you want a master class on how to choose an interesting topic and then explain it in an interesting way, this is the place to get it. Especially for documentarians and short-film aficionados, this podcast is a wealth of inspiration.
What it is: Adobe’s 99u team dives into the minds of leading creatives, thinkers, and entrepreneur’s to dissect their unique perspectives.
Why we love it: Creatives, if anything, are good at taking one insight and translating it into their own process—i.e. the art of stealing. That’s where a podcast like 99u comes in. By sharing info from designers, artists, business owners, and more, you can find a parallel set of skills that may just transform your film career. This podcast has hidden gems everywhere.
What it is: Produced by The Ringer, The Big Picture takes a high-level view of the film industry and makes sense of it.
Why we love it: This is another great option for industry-wide news and opinions. You get the sharp editorial tone of The Ringer, of course, but this time directed at film festivals, new releases, and, well, big-picture perspectives on everything entertainment.
What it is: Dallas Taylor of Defacto Sound investigates the stories behind some of the world’s most interesting sounds.
Why we love it: A sound designer by trade, Dallas is quickly becoming one of the foremost thought leaders in sound as a whole—how we perceive it and how it affects our lives. As one of the most under-appreciated senses, we think every filmmaker needs to pay more attention to sound and this podcast is one of the most fun ways to do it.
What it is: Malcolm Gladwell takes a second-look at some of history’s most formative events, to see if there’s something the history books overlooked.
Why we love it: If you’ve ever read anything by Malcolm Gladwell, you know that he has a knack for making everyday things seem fascinating—and the same goes for history. For a perspective-giving look at history and storytelling, there’s no better way for creatives to get a crash course than this podcast.