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Red Carpet Rookies

Author: Mike Battle

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Every great film and TV maker began as a Red Carpet Rookie. In this podcast each episode you’ll learn from the life and career story of someone who’s grown to the top of the entertainment business, hearing how they mastered their craft with lessons you can apply to harness your own creative talent in your own career and everyday life.

From lessons given by Spielberg to Oscar-winners tips on imposter syndrome, and some pretty crazy on-set anecdotes thrown in for good measure…

My name is Mike Battle a film crew member turned screenwriter and I’ll be your host…and this is Red Carpet Rookies.

47 Episodes
Today’s guest began his career working as a runner on James Cameron’s legendary action movie Aliens but found his home in the art department where he honed the skill of concept art becoming one of the foremost illustrators in the business.With a resume that includes movies such as Star Wars Rogue Rogue, The Martian, Gravity, Casino Royale, Tim Burton’s Batman, Game of Thrones and even a few Harry Potters thrown in for good measure, I’m looking forward to delving into his creative process.My guest is Julian Caldow.
Today’s guest has one of the most varied resumes of anyone in the film and TV business. Having produced everything from megahit Top Boy to winning a BAFTA for The Last King of Scotland, making documentaries and more, I can’t wait to hear his story and learn from his journey to success in the industry.He also has one of the coolest names of any guest I’ve ever had!My guest is Charles Steel.
Hello and welcome to Red Carpet Rookies.Today’s guest is a first for a the show. Someone who began his career in the world of comedy editing. With eight years at the legendary Saturday Night Live to his name, he’s been in the cutting room for skits featuring Margot Robbie as a murderous librarian, Ed Norton in a Wes Anderson themed horror movie parody, Andrew Garfield as a Beyonce Fan on the run and so many more.Whilst there he picked up two primetime emmy nominations before moving onto more recent shows including Tina Fey’s Mr Mayor and breakout culinary hit, The Bear. My guest is Adam Epstein.
Today’s guest is one of the most notable casting directors in the history of movie making.Beginning her career under the tutelage of legendary casting director Marion Doughtery, our guest then transitioned to making a name for herself and by god did she.Now retired, during her epic career she was responsible for the casting of films including but not limited to, DEEP BREATH NOW - Taxi Driver, Schindler’s List, The Exorcist, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Network, Terms of Endearment, Big, The Killing Fields, Dangerous Liaisons, The Mission and Sleepless in Seattle. Not to mention her longstanding collaboration of over 40 movies with Woody Allen including Annie Hall and Manhattan AND finally she was also the woman to cast Meryl Street in her first motion picture.My guest is Juliet Taylor.
Today’s guest began his filmmaking career under the tutelage of legendary Producer Charles Roven where he was a producer’s assistant on Hollywood blockbusters such as Get Smart, The International and of course, Christopher Nolan’s, The Dark Knight.Following his apprenticeship, he was swiftly promoted through the ranks of Atlas Entertainment, soon becoming a leading producer for the company working on projects such as American Hustle, Triple Frontier and Suicide Squad.Now heading up his own exciting new venture, Big Swell Entertainment it’s a pleasure to have him here.My guest is Andy Horwitz. 
Today’s guest earned his early entertainment industry stripes working as a journalist for publications including Digital Spy and Empire before gaining what must be one of the world’s most fun jobs as Radio 1’s very own film critic, a position he has held since 2016.Since then, his career has only risen with recent projects such as hosting the red carpet of a little-known awards show called the BAFTAS and the BBC’s new series ‘The Film Fans Guide’.My guest is Ali Plumb.
Today’s guest is the king of British detective drama writing. Having discovered his talent for the written word whilst in a comedy troupe with a pre-movie star Hugh Grant, my guest later transitioned to drama where he has produced over 100 hours of primetime television including a multitude of hits including Innocent, which pulled in EIGHT MILLION viewers on ITV, The Thief His Wife and the Canoe which was watched by TEN million in 2022 and picked up our guest a BAFTA nomination as well as a pick of the year slot in The New York Times and of course his soon to be 6th series of record-breaking detective drama Unforgotten.Along the way, according to his IMDB at least, he also appears to have had a stint as a voice actor in the Harry Potter video game series. What can’t he do?! My guest is Mr Chris Lang
Today’s guest began her career as one of the youngest ever executives at Sony where she was part of the team that brought the now iconic ‘fully onscreen’ movie Searching to our screens, as well as many other projects such as Broken Hearts Gallery, executive produced by none other than Selena Gomez. Since then, like a young Reed Hastings she’s made the move into the world of media and technology with her film and tv networking company, Callo. My guest is Fassa Sar.
Today’s guest is something new for the show, our first film critic! Beginning her career in the world of music magazine editing, she soon transitioned to freelance writing on her favourite topic: movies. In the years since she’s graced every publication and TV channel you can imagine from the likes of Deadline Hollywood, Sight & Sound, the BBC, Sky News and many more. In addition to her day job, she is also co-founder and host of the chart-topping interview podcast ‘Girls on Film’ and former president of the UK Critics Circle. My guest is Anna Smith. 
Today’s guest is one of Ireland’s most notable film producers.Beginning his life in the Irish capital, he pursued his passion into movie production during his time at Trinity College Dublin where he set up a film society with a certain Lenny Abrahamson.Today, he and his company Element Pictures have come a long way from those days though, having produced the likes of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite, and Lenny’s very own movie Room, both of which our guest picked up Oscar nominations for (and a BAFTA win for The Favourite).He’s also the man behind the international phenomenon of Normal People that exploded recent best actor nominee Paul Mescal onto our screens.I reached out to him after watching the amazing Calm with Horses that he produced with our mutual friend Kate and I’m very happy to have him here today. My guest is Mr Ed Guiney
Today's podcast is something a little different.This weekend I was honoured to attend this year's British Film Designers Guild awards to speak to some of the very decorated production designers nominated. I managed to get a little time with the likes of six-time Oscar nominee Sarah Greenwood, who attended the awards with her recent film Cyrano. James Chinland who was there for The Batman, Luke Hull with Star Wars' Andor, Jim Clay with House of the Dragon and our second Lamont to grace the show, Neil Lamont who was nominated for Fantastic Beasts Secrets of Dumbledore.Yes, it's a pretty crazy list, I know. Naturally, I wasn't sitting down in 30-minute stints with these guys to go through their full careers at an awards event, but I did manage to get a few quick-fire questions in largely centring around how to make it in the art department.I'm sure they'll be on the show in the future to dig into their full stories, but for now, that's enough from me. 
Today’s guest is one of the most accomplished production designers in the world today. Starting his career under the tutelage of Star Wars designer John Barry, he worked his way through the art department on 1970s classics such as the original Christopher Reeve Superman and Richard Attenborough’s A Bridge too Far.Here he began a multi-decade collaboration with Attenborough which produced the likes of Gandhi, for which he picked up his first Oscar. As his career moved into the late 80s and 90s he added many other legendary works to his CV including Steven Frears Dangerous Liaisons and Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient, both of which he picked up Oscars for.It was in the 2000s though that he was introduced to his most famous project, designing Hogwarts. A job that he has done since 2001 on all 8 Harry Potter and 3 fantastic beast films.If you can believe it in amongst all of that he also found time to design David Lynch’s seminal film, The Elephant Man and much loved classic Notting Hill. My guest is Stuart Craig.
Today’s guest is one of the most accomplished costume designers in the world today.Starting out on features including Michael Mann’s Manhunter she has since travelled the world designing tens of the our most beloved films including The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and the Fantastic Beasts Series.Most notable about her career though, is her longstanding relationships with Directors Tim Burton and Rob Marshall which produced the likes of Edward Scissorhands, Chicago, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Memoirs of a Geisha and next year, Disney’s Live action Little Mermaid.On that journey, she picked up 4 Oscars and 3 BAFTA wins making her one of the most decorated people we’ve ever had on the show, my guest is Colleen Atwood. 
Go and grab your shine box people because today is a big one! Today's guest is one of the key creative decision-makers behind a number of the world's most well-loved movies. Beginning her career casting under the legendary Juliet Taylor, she later went out alone, casting beloved titles including Forrest Gump, The Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia and Scent of A Woman. It has been her collaborations though that have made up a bulk of her incredible career, notably her three films with Steven Spielberg, and a collaboration with Martin Scorsese, that runs all the way back to the 80s including Goodfellas, Casino, The Departed and many, many more. My guest is Ellen Lewis. 
Today's guest is a first for the show - someone at the top of the game in the field of VFX production. Starting her career producing commercials she transitioned to James Cameron's famous VFX house digital domain, where she worked on titles including 47 Ronin, Her and a multitude of David Fincher projects including zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Since leaving DD, she has progressed to be a VFX producer of hits such as Black Panther Terminator, dark fate, and Sonic the Hedgehog to our guests is Lisa Beroud.
Today’s guest is A SAG Award winning / emmy nominated actor and musician.With an extensive career featuring parts in iconic films such as Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, you will likely know him best from turns in Downtown Abbey, Mary Poppins Returns and most recently as the loveable Higgins in Apple TV’s smash hit - Ted Lasso.If that wasn’t enough, he also finds the time to make music with previous album Everything’s A Joke and more on the way soon. My guest is Jeremy Swift. 
Today’s guest is a multi-hyphenate animator, director, writer, and storyboard wizard. Gaining an early directing credit working on Disneyland's Cranium Command he was soon thrust into feature direction on historic classics such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and of course, Beauty and the Beast, the first animated movie to ever be nominated for best picture. My guest is Mr Kirk Wise. 
Today’s guest is another first for the show and it’s an exciting one. The fabled role of Casting Director.Beginning her career in production working on films such as Tim Roth’s The War Zone, she made the move to Casting where she has flourished to one of the world’s most successful casting directors working on projects including Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, Venom Let There Be Carnage and recently the much lauded Matt Reeves Batman.Along the way she has developed a longstanding relationship with Sir Kenneth Branagh having worked on 9 projects together as well as cultivating a key role as casting director for Disney on movies including, Maleficent, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Cruella...Our guest is Lucy Bevan. 
Today’s guest is quite the jack of all trades - a director, producer, writer, actor, and even studio owner, he is one of the rare people to have straddled both a career in his native language, all the while succeeding in Hollywood.Beginning with Icelandic home grown faire, he has since directed the likes of 2 Guns with Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, Everest with Jake Gyllenhaal and most recently, Idris Elba vs a fully grown lion in Beast.Our guest is Baltasar Kormákur.
Today’s guest is an exciting first for the show, a preeminent name in the world of film and television education.With a frankly incredible amount of qualifications and facets to his CV including a Doctorate from the University of Bristol, our guest now sits as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the National Association of Television Production Executives, as a member of Bafta AND an advisor on education to the Royal Television Society.But believe it or not, that’s not even his day job. That is of course as the current director of the world-renowned National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield England, alumni of which include none other than Sir Roger Deakins, Nick Park and Harry Potter Director, David Yates as well as hundreds more. Today we discuss:(01:56) Jon's early days  (04:19) Working on Father Ted (06:13) His film school experience at Bournemouth (09:42) Working as crew (13:15) Moving to education(17:05) The film school application process(20.17) Should you go to film school? Both sides of the argument (26:00) Jon's Best Advice and RCR QuickfireTo make sure you don't miss any future episodes sign up for our mailing list here!If you liked the podcast, I would be very thankful if you could leave a short review on Apple podcasts! It only takes 30 seconds and really helps us grow and speak to more interesting filmmakers.Follow Red Carpet Rookies on Instagram, Twitter or Youtube
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