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Howcast Hits SXSW 2010: Chatting with Filmmakers About Their Craft

As filmmakers flocked to 2010's SXSW festival, Howcast was there in the thick of it all. Heather Menicucci, managing producer of the Emerging Filmmakers Program, chatted with attendees to learn about their creative processes, what they love (and hate) about their craft, and advice for fellow amateur auteurs. Check out the EFP at


Heather: Hey, I'm Heather, and I run the Emerging Filmmakers Program at We're here at South by Southwest, talking to filmmakers about their projects, what they love about filmmaking, what they hate about filmmaking, and any tips and tricks they have for other filmmakers out there.

Craig: I'm Craig Matthew Staggs, and I'm an animator, and filmmaker, and writer, and general smart ass around town.

Bobby: I am writing a feature, another one. It's my fourth one.

Hannah: Yeah, I'm working on a short documentary right now.

Jessica: I love to make horror films. I would love to just make horror films. That would be great.

Hayley: I wasn't one of those kids that knew that I wanted to make movies. I started out as an opera major.

Bobby: In fifth grade, I begged my parents for a camera, and then I made a series of Barbie doll movies.

Hayley: Took a first film class, fell in love with it, and have been running with it ever since then.

Katie: God. What do I love about being a filmmaker? That's tough. Everything.

Jessica: I love shooting because it's fast and it's fun and then it's over.

Katie: It's the most creative process I've ever been a part of.

Craig: I can work at home in my pajamas, which is cool.

Katie: It's just a dream come true to work on a movie.

Larissa: I love that it just keeps you busy. You get to do a little bit of everything and you put in so much work, and in the end, you have a little baby.

Cianna: What I hate is the fact that I have to work a job that is not related to film, and then struggle.

Hayley: Your first day of film class, every teacher is like, "You know what, you've gotta be in this for the love, because chances are, you're not gonna be making money for quite a while." So we're all here knowing that. Nobody's fooled.

Greg: Hope, pray, get a lot of friends, a lot of family, a lot of free locations. Shoot a relatively expensive camera. Try to borrow it if you can.

Hannah: These are some flood lights which are really cheap and really awesome for aspiring filmmakers, short filmmakers as well. You can just plug it in to an extension cord, and you can clip it on to something.

Bobby: I would say the biggest advice would be to keep your voice intact.

Jessica: I don't know. I think so much of being a good filmmaker is finding the right people to work with.

Naftali: Take the biggest risk you can possibly take.

Cianna: Don't be afraid of legal. You have to get all of those contracts. You don't wanna get stuck.

Naftali: Have more quiet moments. 'Cuz I know I, and almost all of us, don't have enough quiet moments.

Cianna: Be prepared to talk about your film at any time.

Bobby: If you're not doing all this social media stuff, as much as it kinda takes a little part of my soul away every time I tweet, if you're not doing that, then who cares? No one's gonna even know about what you're doing.

Craig: I tweet, and I have a blog, and I have another blog.

Cianna: So you have to be ready for that, without feeling like, "Oh, I'm such a marketer." Well, we are in marketing.

Hayley: Joss Whedon. My name is Hayley. I live in Austin, Texas, and if you are ever interested in a hard-working, witty gal, she's right here in the Lone Star State.

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