On The Rise with…
Meet Joshua Caldwell, an accomplished director, writer, producer, and MTV Movie Award winner. He has worked with a number of high profile producers, including CSI: creator Anthony E. Zuiker, for whom he produced CYBERGEDDON, the online global motion picture event for Yahoo! and directed all of the film’s ancillary content for the immersive website. His award-winning short film DIG, starring Mark Margolis of BREAKING BAD, was featured in numerous film festivals, and his latest short, RESIGNATION, screened at Comic-Con. His debut feature film LAYOVER had its World Premiere at the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival, where it was nominated for the New American Cinema Award and is now available at LayoverFilm.com.
MM: What made you decide to get into filmmaking? Was it something you always wanted to do, or did you find a love for it later in life?
Joshua Caldwell: It wasn’t necessarily a moment where I was like, “Oh I want to be a filmmaker”. I grew up in Washington in the 80s…“the VHS Generation”, so to speak…and I was mesmerized by movies like “Batman” and “Indiana Jones”. I’d basically take the experience of watching those movies and then go out into the neighborhood with the other kids and pretend to be those characters. I also had a huge interest in stuff like Legos and Playmobil, so it was also like having these different worlds and being able to create stories within them. At the time, there was much less awareness about the mechanics of filmmaking that was within reach, and it wasn’t until 5th grade that I started to become somewhat aware of what went into making movies. One of the big things behind that was the Discovery Channel series, “Movie Magic”, which aired for a number of years. It was great. They’d do episodes on movies like “Under Siege 2”, where they showed how they built models for the train sequence…and one with Stan Winston on how he created the dinosaurs for Jurassic Park…and it got me interested from a special effects standpoint, because I didn’t really know what a director did. It was also then that I started to explore storytelling, in a way. So in 8th grade, I made a really terrible film on VHS, and edited it VHS to VHS. It was one of those things where I was like “Yeah, this is really cool!”, especially after seeing the response to it. In high school, we had this inner district program for media that involved learning to write and direct and produce anything from music videos to news stories. It was a two period class where we had to drill cameras and Avid editing systems and other equipment, and allowed us to make parody films to show in front of the whole school. I had a buddy who got to do it, and I was just like, “Oh my God…I want to do that.” And it wasn’t even “I want to make movies.” It was “I want to make movies right NOW. I want to make a movie that’s going to be shown in front of 1300 kids!” So I got myself involved in that, and it basically took off from there.
MM: You spoke a little about your first film being created when you were in 8th grade. Tell me about it.
JC: The first thing I ever directed was this little comedy called “Cheese Is Good”. It was in the spirit of the “Airplane” and “Naked Gun” kind of comedies, and based on a short story I wrote in 7th grade about a block of cheese that was a detective. I was literally attempting to be as dumb as possible. And at the end of my media class in 8th grade, our big project was to make a movie. My buddy said “Why don’t we do ‘Cheese Is Good’?”…so I played the detective, and wore a Packers cheese head and a trenchcoat…and told this murder story that was really over the top. It’s so bad. We were recording the music in the scene and trying to figure out when to cut so it doesn’t look like the music is skipping. You don’t learn until later that the music is added in over the edit.
MM: When did you decide to move to L.A. to pursue film full-time? How did you go about “breaking in”?
JC: So, originally, out of college, my plan was to move back home to Seattle and develop a production company that could be doing industrial stuff, while living at home and figuring out a way to make a feature. My feeling was: maybe I could become a big fish in a little pond, and get some traction out there, instead of moving out to L.A. without anything under my belt. That all changed when I was nominated for an MTV movie award right after graduating. So I came to L.A., won the award, and I was meeting with producers and managers and figured, “Well, if I was ever going to move to L.A., this would be a good reason to do it.” I started doing music videos and that kind of stuff…and then I got married, so I needed a full-time job…preferably in the industry, so I could get my foot in the door. After biting the bullet and interning for a long time, I got connected with Anthony Zuiker, the creator of “CSI”. I was brought in to help with things on the digital side, at an assistant level, and basically worked my way into a full time job. So it was over the course of those three years that I moved up and became an executive. I can’t say necessarily that I “broke in”, but I established myself within a company that was producing, and I was able to meet a lot of people because of it. And I’d say there was a point in which I felt comfortable at Zuiker’s…but it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. So that spawned the desire to do a feature…to do “Layover”.
MM: Let’s talk about your films. Tell me about your first professional short, “12:01”. Where did the idea come from?
JC: I was interested in the way in which presentation of story could affect how an audience perceives that story…the idea of how the filmmaker controls the information and can manipulate an audience’s preconceived ideas about things and beliefs in a way that they are completely unaware of. So with “12:01”, I wanted to take the story of an ex-con who gets out of jail and essentially craft a story around an incident that, when seen from one perspective, looks different from another. And with a short, it’s all about, “How can you be experimental with the story you’re telling?” So I initially presented the short non-linearly, but I had some people say that it would have a bigger emotional impact if I did it linearly. And I made the mistake of listening to them, believing that the emotional impact was more important in that film’s case than the way I wanted to present it. I wasn’t exploring an emotional story about a man who comes home from jail and has to start over, although it was certainly a component of it. What I was exploring was that story…but all mixed up…so the audience would understand it differently in the beginning than in the end. Making it linear actually removed a lot of the emotional power of what I wanted to do. So I think it works linearly, but it has less of an impact. But it was the first film where I was like, “Okay, I’m going to actually spend money on this. I’m going to shoot with a good camera, get some good lenses, and get a DP.” Before I made “12:01”, I tried to make a couple of short films that for one reason or another, never got done. So “12:01” was the first one where I said, “I’m going to get this done”, and to the best of my ability.
MM: Your next short film, “The Beautiful Lie”, won you some big accolades, and brought you to the attention of MTV. Where’d the idea for this story come from? How did it wind up winning an MTV movie award?
JC: “The Beautiful Lie” started as a story my roommate told me, about how he was out at a bar, and he saw this kid who was going on and on about how his girlfriend was coming out the next day and was so excited and couldn’t wait to see her. Flash forward a half hour, and that kid is making out with some girl in the back corner. There was something about the psychology of that that was really interesting to me: at what point does the guard drop, and why? At the time, I was very interested in doing something in the vein of a character study than plot-based, so I changed it to a girl having that experience, instead of a guy, largely because I wanted to find a way to work with Michaela McManus, who ended up starring in the film. She and I both went to Fordham, and I had seen her in some plays, and I thought she’d be great in the movie. So I pitched her the idea, she liked it, and we shot it. As I was completing it, I was very aware of mtvU, which is a closed network TV station that plays at colleges. One day I happened to be checking their site and saw a contest to win an MTV Movie Award, so I said, “All right, I’ll go for it.” I submitted “The Beautiful Lie” right as I finished it and then kind of forgot about it. A couple of weeks later I got a call from mtvU and they said they wanted to make my film one of the five nominees! The way it worked, much like all of the MTV Movie Awards, was through viewer voting, and I had a month to get people to vote for it. I started this massive online campaign through Myspace and Facebook to get people to vote for me, and was putting up fliers around school. Right after I graduated and went home to Seattle, I got a phone call saying I was one of the two finalists, and that they would be flying me down to L.A., and the winner would be announced at the ceremony. And I ended up winning. I got to give a speech, I got a Golden Popcorn, and all the nominees were listed in the trades. It was great.
MM: Your next couple of web-based projects, a cyber-series that tied in with the “Level 26” book series, led you to work with the creator of CSI again. How did that partnership come about?
JC: Well, it basically came about because I knew the digital side of things and because I was cheap…free. And he knew I wanted to direct. I wasn’t there for the first cyber series, but they spent a pretty good amount of money on it and they hadn’t quite seen the return they wanted. There was some frustration about the quality of the videos. So I said, “What if I told you we could do a better job, at half the cost?” That’s how I ended up working on the second two, “Dark Prophecy” (as a producer) and “Dark Revelations” (as a writer/director/producer). I advocated that we shoot with Canon 5d’s, I brought in DP Will Eubank, helped crew it up, and eventually I was a co-producer on it. He gave me a lot of creative input, and even in post, I was the one largely overseeing the sound mix and the completion of the music because he had to deal with his TV show. The cyber-series we shot stemmed mainly from Anthony, where the story we created was in a way that, if you didn’t watch it, it didn’t detract from your ability to understand the narrative in the book, but if you DID watch it, it would give you a different, deeper understanding to who these particular characters were. So I had the idea of making the villain in “Dark Revelations” the main character in the cyber-series, to flip the switch on the audience, so they could see where he’s coming from and why he’s doing the things he’s doing. I wanted to make it so you’ve almost turned the villain into the hero. That was what made it interesting to me. And while I was shooting this, it gave me the itch to direct again. It had been a long time since I had directed “The Beautiful Lie”, and there had been so many advancements in cameras, that it led me to directing “Dig”, to have something more substantial on my reel as a director.
MM: Your next two shorts, “Dig” and “Resignation”, are much bigger in scope, production value, and officially starts the use of more recognizable actors in lead roles. Tell me about them.
JC: I think at the end of the day, it was about resources. When I shot “The Beautiful Lie” and the films in college, it was more about shooting on cameras that were available, and just getting it done and trying for a sense of style and no production design. So “Dig” was a very conscious decision to spend the money and spend it correctly and not try to go cheap. Shooting on a Red was a conscious decision to shoot on the best camera at the time…to get the best picture. And “Dig” was a period piece, so there was getting the cars, the clothes, the locations, and the set design…all of that helps elevate the film. That all came about almost entirely through the relationships I built through Zuiker and working on the “Level 26” series. Bill Brown, my composer, was on “CSI: NY” and did the “Dark Prophecy” series, so we became great friends; the sound mixers were all people I worked with on “Dark Prophecy”; John Goodwin, who’s an Emmy-winning make-up artist, was on “Dark Prophecy” and I got him to come out on “Dig”…so all these crew guys I was able to get by asking a favor. I mean, we paid them a bit, but it wasn’t a lot. We also made the decision to go after actors who had name value and recognition, so as not skirt on it, and were able to get Aaron Himelstein and Mark Margolis on board.
With “Resignation”, the goal was to sort of film with as little money as possible and accomplish what we could accomplish and show that you don’t need a whole lot of money to make something look good. There’s just a point in your career, as a director, where you cross a threshold and your films stop feeling like student films, even if it’s not a conscious thing. It comes down to having access to better cameras, a better crew, better talent…it’s an evolving thing as you go. And with getting Victor Browne for “Resignation”, we asked our casting director, Joanna Colbert, to find us someone who basically looks and feels like a 40-year-old Superman. We didn’t care if it was a name or not, we just needed the right person. Because it’s such a specific character, we couldn’t get just anybody, and we happened to get someone with name value. But “Dig” was basically the start of that, of being aware of the importance of creating something with a much bigger canvas.
MM: Tell us how the idea for “Dig” came about.
JC: So “Dig” came about originally as a two line email I got from a writer when I put a call out in college on Craigslist for stories , and it was “Two men are in a desert. One man forces the other to dig his own grave.” I said “Yes. Send me this”. So this writer, named John D. Smith, sends me this ten page play he’d written, and set in the world of the mafia. A hitman with his orders to take a guy out tells the guy to dig his own grave because he didn’t want to get his shoes dirty. My writing and producing partner, Travis Oberlander, and I attempted to develop it out as both a short and a feature for years, but always within the gangster genre. But what we found as a difficulty in that particular genre is that you have to make the audience understand why it matters…what the stakes are. And at the end of the day, these guys are gangsters and you have to wonder if anyone will care. So we sat on it for about five or six years before we started reworking it. At first I came up with the idea of a U.S. soldier kidnapping an Iraqi soldier. When I pitched it to Travis, he thought it was good, but he came back with, “What if you do a story about a Holocaust survivor and a Nazi?” A lot of people were making war movies at the time…which is how I probably got the idea…but after Travis’ idea, I thought, “I like this”. I wanted to explore the concept of revenge. I mean, this was one of the greatest atrocities perpetrated against a race of people…I can’t imagine that coupled with fantasies of forgiveness or decisions of forgiveness. I find it very interesting to come at the story in the sense that I’m not Jewish, and maybe most of my audience may not be Jewish, or people of faith, but to be able to say, “If I had the ability to act out a crime of revenge, I would”. So there’s definitely an argument for it, but you can also say, “Well, hold on, let’s explore it a different way”. So we thought, “How do we develop this story about revenge and turn it into the story about a Holocaust survivor who, 20 years later, manages to come to America and sees the man who killed his family? A man he kidnaps, takes out to the desert, and forces him to dig his own grave? It sort of becomes this morality tale…an exploration of law and intent and moral law versus government and state law and how it affects situations. That’s the way you can really stumble down the rabbit hole with arguments in that regard, and that’s what we wanted to sort of play with and explore, and also just the impact of violence and the impact of revenge and hate and what that really means. So we made it in the Fall of 2010.
MM: And “Resignation?”
JC: “Resignation”, which we shot in February of this year, came about because I partnered with a producer named Alex LeMay on a few different projects. When we were talking about shorts, he said “You know what? We should just do a 3 minute VFX short”, and I said, “That’s interesting…” I had always wanted to do that. That’s the one thing I don’t have on my reel and people were getting attention for two to five minute VFX-driven shorts. But true to my nature, I thought it might be complicated; if we do something original, we have to spend the time explaining to the audience what it is they’re watching and why and what the character is. If you’re going to do an origin story, you have to explain the origin, otherwise it’s just a guy doing cool stuff. But then we thought: let’s make something that’s meaningful…let’s make something that is going to go viral like these other shorts, but actually have a story and is character-based. At the time, fan films were really popular and those behind them had been getting a lot of attention for them, so I thought, why not take an existing character and do a different version of that character? We picked Superman, and the idea that he’s an older Clark Kent who is a photojournalist and wanders the earth. Alex and I were both fans of the HBO show “Witness”, which is all about war journalists, and one of the interesting ideas we came up with was wanting the ending of the film to be a twist…the reveal that the main character we’ve been watching is Superman. We could couch everything he’s talking about as if he’s a photojournalist, where one of the rules of in that field is, “You’re not allowed to involve yourself in the story”. So that’s where he is as Clark Kent: he’s not going to involve himself in the “story” anymore. He’s more human…someone who can’t save the world. And that’s his struggle in the film. So we developed the script and were literally shooting six weeks later, and those who have seen it really like it. It’s something I’m very proud of.
MM: And now we finally come to your biggest project to date: “Layover”, your first feature film. Tell us what it’s about, how you came up with the idea for it, and why you decided to make it a foreign film.
JC: So, “Layover” came about because I wanted to make a feature before I turned 30. I started thinking “I want to make a movie for $2 millon”, but no one was going to give me $2 million. “All right, I want to write a movie we can make for $500,000”, but no one was going to give me $500,000. So finally I thought, “What kind of movie can I make for $0?” I did some research, and heard about Ed Burns making $10,000 features …and saw a movie called “For Lovers Only” by the Polish Brothers that was made in Paris, shot on the 5-D, and in black and white with no money. It’s made $300,000 online on iTunes! So I thought: I have all of that equipment…I’ve got that ability…why am I not just making a film? I was brainstorming some production approaches, and the simplest story was about a girl stuck in L.A. for 12 hours. And, I don’t know what sparked it, but at some point I kind of got interested in making a foreign film set in Los Angeles, because you see so many American films set in European cities…and I’ve never seen (not that there aren’t any) a foreign film set in L.A. And I knew actors who spoke French. I wanted to elevate it and make it something to rise above the crowd of films that are out there that are similar to it. Although for me, it was probably just trying to not make this experience easy on myself…to just explore different things and have the film be a challenge and unique. And with the French element, there was a narrative aspect which was to tell the story of a girl being in a different country where she doesn’t speak the language, so there’s more obstacles there…which creates an automatic POV of whatever you’re seeing, versus a girl who’s traveling from New York who’s traveling through.
MM: And the film has distribution. How did distribution come about, and where can we find it?
JC: Well, it’s a direct self-distribution model. So we’re releasing “Layover” on our own. We found that that was the best deal for us, and with it being the type of film it was and the level of distribution that was being offered, we wouldn’t have any more marketing than we had on our own, and we’d probably end up not seeing any money. Because we did “Layover” so inexpensively, for $6,000, it was a huge experiment. As a result of that, we don’t have a half-a-million dollar bill to pay back…and the investors weren’t so much worried about getting their money back right away, as they were about getting it done and being put out there. So that left us with a lot of leeway to figure out the best course of action on how to distribute the film. And it’s better to experiment with this $6,000 movie instead of a $100,000 movie. It also lets us see if it’s a viable option for us as creators. So the movie will be released for both streaming and download on layoverfilm.com , as well as video on demand. You can either stream or buy the film. There’s going to be a do-it-yourself bundle with commentary, the breakdown of scenes, an interview with me, and things of that nature. There’s also going to be a limited edition of five or ten “filmmaker bundles”, where it will not only include all the stuff I just mentioned, but either free or discounted apps on filmmaking software from companies we’ve partnered with who’ve either given us some massive discounts or completely free versions of that technology that can help filmmakers.
MM: You also have the honor of saying you made a feature film for only $6,000…which is unheard of in this industry these days. Inquiring minds would love to know how you pulled that off.
JC: You basically steal everything you can. We basically spent the money on things we couldn’t not spend the money on: paying our actors, food, gas, plane tickets, and some location rentals…but they weren’t actually “rentals”. For instance, one of the hardest locations to get was Juliet’s house. I thought I could just use a friend’s house, but the problem stemmed from shooting at night. We would need the house for three days, and it became difficult to find someone you could just kick out of their house for three nights. So we ended up renting a house, but we never said we were filming. You say you’re filming and the price automatically goes up. But I knew we could get away with it, because no one would ever really know we were filming there. We weren’t showing up with tons of trucks and a lot of people. It wasn’t obvious that anything of note was really going on beyond just a group of people hanging out at a house. Everything else was just stolen. We literally got into the club for free. We didn’t own the club or could control anything inside, but I had enough connections where I could get into the club with a camera easily. As long as you tell them you’re coming in with a camera, they won’t come to you later and be like, “What are you doing?” Because I wasn’t going to shoot a whole bunch of people or show their faces…it was just our actors. I was also fully prepared to take some of the budget and buy a table and bottle service and shoot on my iPhone… or hell, shoot it on the 5-D like I’m taking photos. They wouldn’t care if you’re dropping $500 on a table. But that was the plan…that was the attitude. But it basically comes down to being smart about things. I wrote the script by knowing the ways in which I could execute the scenes with the resources I had and the money available. That’s part of the trick. If you watch the film, you’ll notice big scenes, like at the airport and stuff in the hotel and the club…those kind of big set pieces…there’s no dialogue. And the trick there is knowing I’d probably have one shot at getting what the scene needed, so I had to write something knowing I could get it in one take, and make the film still work. So that meant no dialogue. I mean, there’s one line at the club where, at worst, we could just ADR it if it didn’t work out. But at the airport, I knew I was going to be shooting documentary-style, so I didn’t have to worry about continuity, because it was just going to be a series of progressive shots getting her from the plane all the way to leaving the airport. So it was just going to be a series of cuts, and I knew if I just rolled the whole thing, that I’d have enough material to cut it down to the 3 minutes that I needed. It’s all about the writing, and writing for low budget isn’t easy. You have to rethink your approach to everything. You can’t be specific in description. Your story has to be able to exist anywhere at any time. And when you know what you can use, you can adapt the script to that particular location.
MM: And this is the first film in what you’re calling the LAX Trilogy. Can you tell us anything about the other two films you’re planning to direct? Is it going to be in the vein of the “Three Colors” trilogy by Krzystof Kieslowski, where something that happened in the background of the previous film will tie into the next, or more that it’s just three separate stories that happen to have LAX as their sole coincidence?
JC: The idea was to try to make three completely different types of movies but not so completely unrelated to the other, and I love this kind of idea of LAX and what coming into LAX means…how it’s sort of this gateway into L.A. with so many people coming through there. I wanted to find a way to make the trilogy unique and different beyond just making three movies. So the idea of LAX became interesting in that we decided to make it a sort of “hub trilogy”, where every film starts with our character arriving at LAX and branching out from there. I didn’t want to have the films related to each other in any way outside of theme, because I wanted to explore the idea of using the actors as a repertory company. Basically taking people who had a bit part in “Layover”, and maybe make them a lead in “Assassin” (the next film), and then have a minor part in “X” (Ten…the final film). I like the idea of giving actors different ways to show off their abilities.
The second film is “Assassin”, and was born out of my desire to do something completely different from “Layover”…and also to kind of work in the French New Wave style of filmmaking, where it’s like Jean Luc Godard’s quote “All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun”. I wanted to do that, because I’m really interested in female protagonists and strong female characters. Then I started thinking, “What’s going to be the unique part of this film?” I decided the B-story of the film is a love story between two women. So it’ll be an LGBT film. What sparked that idea was the fact that I had been seeing a lot of these movies, with gay and lesbian characters, that have been largely about being gay, or what it’s like to be gay…about coming out, or sexual discovery and sexual identity. While I don’t have a problem with any of those kinds of films, it’s almost like that’s all there is to it. But at what point are we going to see a movie where the character is gay and it’s completely irrelevant to the storyline? In the straight version, a man and woman would fall in love and have a relationship throughout the course of the film, but they’re never going to ponder the idea of being straight. So I wanted to do this cool thriller…this heightened genre film in which the main characters happen to be lesbians, and that’s all you need to know. Do it as almost a post-sexual identity film…the kind that might happen in ten years, but now. And that way we can maybe excite the audience who may be looking for something different…appealing to those audiences who like “Orange Is The New Black” and “Transparent” and seeing people that reflect their identity and who they are and how they live their lives. I think at one point, we should be able to get to the point where it’s not “Oh it’s an LGBT movie”, but let it become “Oh, it’s a great movie that happens to have LGBT characters”. I’m very aware that I’m a straight, white male, but I’m not interested in exploitation. I’m not interested in just showing “two chicks making out” or having sex. I’m not interested in that as a storyteller because there’s nothing inherently interesting to me about that. It’s about honoring that audience and telling a story that that audience might want to see. It’s all about telling a story that ANY audience wants to see. And we’re really just telling the story about a kick ass woman who can kill someone with the flick of her thumb, and the situation she finds herself in just happens to be a really unique one.
As for “Ten” or “X”, (get it…”L…A…X”)…right around the time we were figuring out this idea, I was conceiving a film in which you see these snapshots of relationships that a man has had over the course of his life. And I thought: what if we did this mosaic story of a man who’s had ten relationships with ten different women over the course of ten years…and tell the story ten “beats”? He’s kind of like that friend who’s the serial dater…not the one who’s with a different girl every night of the week, but the one who’s never without a girlfriend. So for ten years, he’s met all of these women that he’s invested time into, and then they disappeared and he ends up with somebody else. The challenge here is, can you tell that kind of story? Can you do a series of shorts and add it up to be something meaningful? So “Assassin”, we’re going to be shooting in December and “X”, because of the nature of shooting isolated shorts that will be strung together, will probably start shooting in November, and then one or two shorts a month thereafter.
MM: What advice would you give up-and-coming filmmakers who are still trying to take those tentative steps towards making their first film?
JC: I think the act of just getting out there and just doing it is super important. I mean, I was only able to do “Layover”, and do it successfully, because I had been honing my craft for 14 years. I’ve been doing the “do-it-yourself” films, and figuring out how to accomplish things without any money for a long, long time. So when I stepped onto the set of “Layover”, and was handed the 5-D, there was very little shot-planning and stuff like that because I was working at a level where I was comfortable in being a director. You learn from experience. I think film school can be valuable, but less valuable if you’re a director versus a cinematographer or an editor, because I think you can’t learn directing by reading a book. It’s about going out there and doing it. You’re better off going out and living and finding experiences and stories to tell…because that’s how you direct…you direct through experience.
MM: What’s a movie that you watch and say “Damn, I wish I had written and directed that one!”?
JC: “Traffic”. It was the kind of movie that really changed my impression about directing. I went back and saw that five or six times in the theater.
MM: Who are some of your influences?
JC: I’m most influenced by the guys who made the movies they wanted to make, in the style they wanted to do them in, all while being within the studio system. The guys who wanted to make art, but was also able to do it so that there’s a commerciality to it as well. Like Michael Mann, in the way he uses aesthetic to present a very unique point of view in his films, which make them distinctly his. I like Soderbergh’s economy…how he’s able to do so much with so little. I also like his approach to his filmmaking: writing and directing and DPing…and, even if he does do a film for the studios, like “Ocean’s Eleven”, it’s still distinctly a Soderbergh film. Certainly David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, Catherine Bigelow…the directors who are, in a way, mavericks. My biggest fear is that that element of filmmaking is going away…and may not even be possible anymore.
Film: The Insider
TV Show: Breaking Bad/Seinfeld
Director: Michael Mann
Website you can’t get enough of: Seattle Times Foxtrot Comics Page
Filmmaking Blog: No Film School
Filmmaking Book: The Film Director’s Intuition
Book: A Winter’s Tale
And if you want to follow Joshua’s career and glean excellent filmmaking insight, follow him on Twitter