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How I Would Have Written It – EP 01 – Suicide Squad

How I Would Have Written It

EP 01 – Suicide Squad

Better late than never. I had an entire other idea sketched out then decided I just hated it and wanted to start over from scratch.
I know I promised this like 1-2 or 20 so weeks ago (whose counting?) but this is something I had an idea to do and what better way then to pitch this as a podcast. So in a way this is like a pitch meeting just very public and anyone who wants it can download it.
The two recent DC Movies both have bombed with critics and audience alike but they still made nine figures apiece at the Box Office. Why? Well what else can we say other than the fact that Super hero movies are whats hot.
I know what DC is trying to do they’re trying to set up tent pole movies to set up more tent pole movies.
The problems with Suicide Squad were many, and there are other channels like Red Letter Media and What Culture who’ve gone into them as well so I won’t repeat them here. I’ll just tell you my two big problems with Suicide Squad were:
1. It wasn’t entertaining. The cardinal syn of any movie.
The movie needs to be fun and it needs to be entertaining. What if I told you I had an idea to not only could have made a better Suicide Squad but set up all the rest of the DC Movies?
2. There was no clear goal or motivation for anyone.
Regardless of whatever big tent pole movie comes out, the movie has to have a story. I know what you’re thinking, Dave haven’t you seen the latest Fast and the Furious movie? Well yes I have but I’m telling you that those movies do well for a reason. They’re not just mindless fun but they’ve created a cast of characters that pop culture has latched on to. So there’s no reason we can’t do that here.
3. How do we handle a comic book movie?
Do we stay true to the comics or do we make up our own worlds? Well I say why not do both?
One quick note. I was incredibly tired when I recorded this so my apologizes for mumbling and talking too fast (yes, more than usual), and if I sometimes skip over important details of my story pitch. 
So without further delay, this is the end of our prologue, and lets get right into it.
My Pitch
At the end of the day, the Suicide Squad are villains. They’re not going to change to fit into any rigid idea or story conventions. They’re villains because of their actions. How they can change is what finding this item will do for them and what it will mean to them.
Everyone Loves a Clown… 
We open in complete darkness. Florescence light bulbs turn on temporary blinding us, the audience.
Into the room comes two guard both in bomb proof suits (think Hurt Locker or if you play a lot of video games, the Juggernaut suit from Call of Duty). They take all of the packages placed on the floor.
Not a word is said they’ve done this a million times before. They turn on a machine. Large, grinding gears come to life as the machine well past it’s prime sparks to life.
The machine’s conveyor belts pulls as the men place the packages on there one by one.
The X ray screener reveals various items such as love letters, weapons trying to be smuggled in, and the occasional person.
A select group of packages are chosen to be shipped. They’re placed in a small bin and carried down to a waiting truck. Since everything has been checked, security and handling becomes normal again.
The truck travels through the streets of Gotham and finally arrives at, Arkum Asylum. As the mail truck gets to the gate,
A candle lit vigil is held outside. As the camera moves in closer, WE SEE that every mourner is dressed in various designs of Joker makeup.
This isn’t a vigil, it’s a tribute to their imprisoned God.
Inside of Arkum, Dr. Harley Quinzel sorts a large pile of mail all addressed to one person, ‘The Joker’.

Dr. Quinzel is looking for an answer. Why do these people worship him as a God?

It’d be easy to label a few as crazy or losers but it seems the fan mail grows and grows and this is just the stuff that gets in. Inside of Arkum, Joker sits in his cell. The cell isn’t too crazy and he’s not allowed to have anything foreign like newspaper clippings, etc or a special cell like in the other Suicide Squad movie but I digress.

A KNOCK on the door. Dr. Quinzel looks over. A guard enters and tells her that it’s time.
Under the careful watch of two security guards the Joker lays on the couch. Dr. Quinzel takes various notes as the Joker talks. Not of a grand scheme but of a longing… he’s seen an actual God come to this planet and he absolutely DESTROYED Batman and he wants that same power because after all, he asks to Harley and us the audience, who wouldn’t want to be a God?
Harley goes home that night. Her apartment is cramped and oddly enough, it looks a lot like her office. She has photos up of the Joker everywhere. Out of the darkness comes, Mercy Graves. Dr. Q is scared but Mercy tells her she means her no harm.She has an offer for her. Her boss is imprisoned but wants to see someone crazy enough to cause chaos without Superman now dead. It’s a gift. Help the Joker escape, and the Joker can access the weaponry of Luthor corp.
Dr. Q ponders over her dilemma. Help the Joker escape confess her love and escape to become a criminal or stay with the life she has but at least she’s not running from the law and him… (Batman)… Dr. Q thinks about what Joker said about finding the answer in her heart. She turns back to Mercy and accepts.
The 1st Suicide Squad
A dark room illuminated only by the large bank of monitors in front of her, Amanda Waller.
On the monitors, Waller watches as Suicide Squad beta has failed and all members are killed one by one by the terrorist organization (which sets the stage for the Suicide Squad sequel) they are battling. Everyone is now dead on both sides. While the mission is a success because the opposition is dead, it’s now back to the drawing board.
A Beautiful Dream
The next day at Arkum Asylum. Harley launches her plan.
She asks that the Joker be brought in again for a therapy session. Once the Joker is wheeled in, she tells him everything. He grins, and the two embrace in the weirdest kiss in cinema history.
Various criminals sit in their cells… nothing out of the ordinary until all of the doors open one by one. The guards look at each other then all hell breaks loose.
A complete riot overtakes Arkum and soon the entirety of Arkum Asylum is in flames.
Dr. Quinzel and Joker break out in the confusion and they speed off (secretly) in a stolen car.
From the Ashes of Arkum Asylum
A police investigation into what caused this fire. There are casualties of inmates and guards among the burnt out building.
Gordon in the shadows chats with Batman…
Gordon removes a sheet revealing the two bodies believed to be Joker and Dr. Quinzel. Batman examines the charred remains, the large skeleton (Joker) is stabbing the small skeleton (Dr. Quinzel) in the heart.  Batman knows that something isn’t right and he’s going to figure out whats going on here.
From Ace Chemical plant with Love
Joker speaks with Dr. Quinzel about their life together. Harley makes the decision to jump into the chemicals to change for the Joker.
Harley falls out of the vat. On all fours she’s puking up the chemicals in her lungs as she gasps for air. Joker slowly rides down the elevator down to meet her. “Have a nice trip?”, The Joker quips.
She looks up at him, as she’s now Harley Quinn.
Harley’s Apartment
Joker and Harley enter. Joker is annoyed they had to make a stop here before going to Thunder Corp.

Joker goes into the kitchen to grab a drink/food while Harley digs up her secret box. She pulls it out from underneath the rug, to find a wilted rose. This is the rose Joker gave her when they first met (shown in quick flashback). She looks up to be greeted by Batman.

Joker here’s whats happening in the next room and has to decide. Harley or himself. He choices himself.

Batman KICKS open the kitchen door to find the gas from the stove on HIGH and an aerosol can in the microwave. Batman grabs Harley, runs the length of the apartment, and dives out the window just as it explodes. The blast rocks the entire apartment.

A Beautiful Dream
Harley Quinn is now marched into Belle Reve prison.
We, the audience, are now introduced to the other (soon to be members) of Suicide Squad.
El Diablo –
Deadshot –
Captain Boomerang –
Slipknot –
Killer Croc –
No Enchantress. Why? I think the character was boring and she really doesn’t fit into the current iterations of Suicide Squad as shes overpowered and there’s really no clear opposition for her. In the real Suicide Squad movie, she could have teleported to Wallers office and gotten her heart back with little to no effort. In fact the first version of this story involved the Joker going to Blood Castle to resurrect the Enchantress in order to grant him powers. But I think this version works better. Anyways…
Col Rick Flag – (yes I know I messed up and called him Rick Blade at first during the podcast)
Katana –
Thunder Corp
Apple meets Google HQ in the DC Universe. A bustling campus with the absolute cutting edge technology.
A tour guide takes a small group into the lobby. Rather than a typical break in lets do something different. Something fun. Something Joker like.
Outside. A crazy man stares in the large glass window into the lobby.
The guards inside panic and realize they have to take out this loon before anyone sees him. The one guy calls for backup and together they proceed outside to take out his hopped up loon, who is still just staring into the window not moving an inch. The guards approach him just a huge truck SLAMS through the from of the building. People start to panic and flee to the exits.
Phase 2 starts. The guards are taken out.
The Joker and his Freak Show (name for his new group) descend further into the building as the leave the lobby a mess of broken glass and bodies.
The Joker is back and everybody knows it.
Suicide Squad – Take 2
Amanda Waller marches down a long hallway. A hint smile of victory as she knows shes right and has the perfect pitch to fix this situation.
Waller sits in front a board of various heads of State. Waller pitches the idea to form a new Squad of villains. If they succeed, great. If they fail, it’s just a bunch of villains no one will miss. No real harm happens if they die. Why risk good people when we can sacrifice bad people? Its a win win Waller assures the room, if they succeed the threat is stopped. If they fail, well it’s only a bunch of criminals anyway.
Waller knows at the end… the council has no choice. The other alternative would be to send in the police or other super heroes.
The Pitch
The plan, Waller explains, is to find the Joker and bring him back dead or alive.
Dead, got it, says Dead Shot.
Harley says, “You’re not kidding.”
So now we know why each certain character is being brought in. It’s not a random assortment of characters. There’s a reason for it as the Suicide Squad changes on each mission.
This mission requires stealth which every member has. While sending Harley into do battle against Joker maybe a mistake as she could get took angry, she does know him better than anyone on the planet.
We (the audience) know that the SS are going to go on this mission. We’ve seen the trailer, hell that’s the whole reason we came to see the movie, right? So we don’t need any sort of conflict from the characters deciding if they’re going or not.
MONTAGE – Team getting ready to lock and load putting together all of their weapons, picking out their outfits from a collection of. They also insert the bombs into each member.
Setup: Think they’ll be allowed to pick out weapons and outfits but instead they’re given what they’ll need.
Deadshot: “Why can’t we pick out what we need?”
Waller: ” If I leave it to, you’ll pick out the biggest explosives.”
Harley’s about to speak. Stops. Thinks. And sheepishly says, “Yea you’re right.”
They get to the make shift run way. The state of the art stealth plane awaits…
In a homage or nod to Escape from New York. Deadshot releases the safety off of his gun and fires at Waller and his guards. Nothing happens. Blanks. Deadshot laughs it off as he was, ‘just playing’. The guards stare daggers into him as he disappears in the armored plane.
Waller and the Guards watch as the plane takes off into the night.
Waller to the guard, “Do you think they’ll make it?”
The guard pauses: No.
Waller laughs.
Waller sits in front of the same bank of monitors as before. The next show is about to begin.
On the plane.
It’s a windy night but quiet in Metropolis. Too quiet really. No rain to mask their arrival. Nothing.
The SS yet again have the deck stacked against them.
Killer Croc leaps from the plane and hits the water. He swims deeper and deeper under the water until he gets to a security grate. He breaks it off and continues into Thunder Corp. He stops. There is a huge turbine in front of him. Croc has to think of another way in…
“Okay it’s time to jump.”
The SS parachute leap from the plane and glide down to the rooftop of the building.
Down at the ground the police have surrounded the building BUT Joker’s followers made up of ordinary citizens have started to surround the police. Everything is starting to become harder to control.
Joker associate comes to the main doors of the building. A gaze that pieces your soul.
The police veteran doesn’t want to show any sign of weakness stares back at him.
He looks like a Ghoul come to life. He tells the police to back off or they will start executing the hostages inside. The Ghouls produces an eyeball as proof.
No Laughing Matter
The Squad get into the building via the rooftop with the plan being to working their way to the penthouse suit of Thundercorp’s CEO, Lucius D. Tommytown.
The get into the penthouse no noticed taking out a few thugs along the way.
In the main office, they carefully enter with weapons drawn. Someone is sitting in the big chair.
“Hey we’re the good, er, guys here to save you” says Deadshot. No response.
They spin the chair around, and the person is dead painted like the Joker with a tape recorder around his neck that says, ‘Play Me’.
“Should we press it?”
As they guys argue, Harley presses the button. The Joker’s voice comes on welcoming the Squad. How’d he know they were coming?
Goodbye stealth mission.
He offers them a deal. He’ll help them if they’ll help him and to show he’s a good sport. BAM! A special EMP blast. All of the bombs in their neck are off.
Captain and Katana look nervous because they’re at a disadvantage.
SS are conflicted. What will each of them do?
Run and continue being a criminal OR will they stay and fight to receive their reward at the end? Deadshot tells Flag, they’ll stay and Harley wanted to stay regardless to get revenge against the Joker.
Col Flag tells to everyone (including Waller that the new plan is to flush the Joker down and right out the front door if they don’t find him sweeping through the rest of the building. Croc enters and says, there’s no sign of Joker anywhere below as he just came up that way and there’s no activity whats so ever.
Harley then goes over the backcase to reveal a secret elevator. She explains on the way down how she knew (Mercy told her) BUT what she doesn’t know is where this elevator leads.
The Abyss
The elevator goes down forever. The door chimes, and the doors open.
A virtual concrete (and lead) labyrinth. The reason Superman could never see it was because of the lead over the walls that mimiced nothing out of the ordinary.
The Squad goes further and discovers what this underground bunker really is. A collection of super powers from various villains and superheros. A collection of the DC Universe’s best weaponry and equipment.
As they progress they battle Jokers henchmen made up from villians thought to have died in the fire at Arkum like Bad Cop, a new version of Bain (made from the Toxin formula stolen from the real Bain), a healer using a makeshift Lazarus pit, Superman’s blood, and the tech of various villians and heroes.

Twlight of the Gods

A diminished Squad consisting of Harley, Deadshot, Flag, and Katana enter the end of the bunker. This also houses the weapon Joker is really after.
Joker gets into Mech Suit… the top secret invention of Thunder Corporation.
Hes now never been closer ot being a God. The suit has a downside thog… it turns it’s operator insane (which explains why Luthor acted the way he did in Batman vs Superman) and its going to turn the Joker whose already crazy & mentally unbalanced to a literal time bomb. The longer the fight goes the stronger but weaker Joker gets.
Joker breaks out of the bunker, and now his followers see he has become a God, and they start to attack everyone and everything like a hoarde of zombies.
Joker flies into the air, firing bombs from the suit in a similar fashion to Iron Man.
The Government gives the okay… launch a missle and destroy the city.
Just as the Joker looks invincible, and the Squad seems helpless.
It’s the return of… Superman.
Joker and Superman fight throughout the city and even into outer space.
Finally Superman slices through the suit, and Joker plummets back down to Earth.
Joker lay dying, and Harley stands over him. He begs for her forgiveness and tells her he’s always loved her. He tried to get them to join him but they’re too stupid to realize what hes fighting for.
Joker dies.
A dead man switch activates causing a bomb to explode, leveling the whole building.
The Suicide Squad, this version of the Suicide Squad, for all intents and purposes is dead. The troops were not killed in this bomb blast but rather will be labeled decease one by one later on in various made up incidents to cover up their involvement.
The only surviving members, Deadshot and Harley are taken back into custody.
Col Flag and Katana are listed as leading a team of spec forces into the building and successfully killed the Joker. The blast was explained as damage from a bomb triggered as a last ditch effort by the Joker. Everything is now contained… until that is the screen goes black. Steppenwolf has arrived. A new battle is beginning… the cycle starts all over again.
In a small non descript cell, Harley lays down in her bed. Facing the door. As Harley opens the package, she finds a new rose, and she swears her revenge on Batman. She’s locked up and her love is dead. A tear rolls down her cheeck… She looks into the sky as if for a sign to find there’s nothing there.
So what have we done?
Well we’ve set up the Justice League movie better. SteppenWolf would come to Earth to battle a very weakened Justice League.
We would also set up a stand alone Harley movie, and a stand alone Deadset movie.
The Harley movie would focus on her revenge against Batman, think Oldboy meets Kill Bill or Sympanthy for Lady Vengeance, while the Deadshot movie would revolve around a new host of enemies/missions.
Did you like my version? Did you hate my version please let me know in the comments below. If you did like my version for the love of GOD please share this to anyone you’d think would get some entertainment out of this.
Next month I’ll be back doing another episode of How I Would Have Written!


Brian Cloar

Dave Bullis

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Episode 164 – James Moorer (Moving the Needle of Your Career)

James Moorer is a screenwriter and actor. He studied Journalism at THE Ohio State University.  James has studied under prominent screenwriting gurus, Robert McKee and Hal Croasmun.

In 2014 James was named one of Screenwriting U’s Most Recommended Screenwriter’s. Two of his pilots, MICHAEL SERMON and SIZE SEVEN RED were both optioned by a Toronto based production company. In 2017, James was signed to Purple Skull Management.

Pre Show Notes

Sir Roger George Moore (14 October 1927 – 23 May 2017) was an English actor. He is best known for playing secret agent James Bond in seven feature films between 1973 and 1985.

— Roger darling, no one did it better than you: BRITT EKLAND and seven other Bond girls share their intimate and mischievous memories of the spy who loved them

James Bond collection – All 24 Bond films on Blu Ray

— Need help with your podcast?! Hire me on Fiverr for only $5. We can chat podcast concepts, episode ideas, gear, marketing, and anything else you’d like to chat about.


Dave Bullis Podcast Filmmakers Group on Facebook – a FREE filmmaking group I made on Facebook.

Show Notes

War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Story by Robert McKee

Screenwriting U

Purple Skull Management


James Moorer

Official Site – (coming in June 2017)
Stage 32

Dave Bullis

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Episode 141- James Altucher (How to Choose Yourself)




James Altucher is a multi #1 Amazon best seller, former host of III:AM on HBO, and host of one of the top podcasts in the world, The James Altucher Show. His latest book, ‘Reinvent Yourself‘ comes out January 5th, 2017. PRE Order it here.

Pre Show Notes 

National Screenwriter’s Day – January 5th, 2017

Get three months of unlimited classes on Skillshare for only $0.99 including my class, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Monetizing Your Social Media Channels

– If you’re interested in being apart of my NEW private Facebook group for filmmakers message me on FB and I’ll add you.

Show Notes

Don’t Send Your Kids to College by James Altucher – This is how I was introduced to James

III:AM – James’ show on HBO

– Brian Koppleman – Screenwriter of Rounders, and the Showtime series, Billions.

Rounders – Feature film written by Brian Koppleman

Choose Yourself – James’ seminal work about life, art, writing, and how to becoming a better you.

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin – A book about making yourself a better learner by breaking things down

Mark Duplass – Actor, Writer, Director, and Producer

How to Make a Feature Film with Mark Duplass via Indie Film Hustle

Mark Duplass: ‘There’s no excuse not to make films on weekends with friends’

Creep – A videographer drives to a remote mountain town after answering a cryptic Craigslist ad for a one-day gig. As the day progresses, the man who hired him becomes increasingly more unhinged and the road to easy money takes a turn for the unexpected.

The One I Love – A married couple (Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss) find their relationship and very existence put to the test in this wickedly inventive romantic comedy.

Netflix plans to spend $6 billion on new shows, blowing away all but one of its rivals

– My Seinfeld Year – Writer Fred Stoller’s one year writing for the TV show, Seinfeld

Seinfeld Box Set

Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything

Lost: The Complete Collection – on Blu Ray

– Lost Encyclopedia – Official book on Lost with a foreword by Damon Lindelof

Damon Lindelof – Screenwriter, and Producer

Steven Pressfield – Author and Screenwriter

War of Art – Steve’s seminal work of art and creativity battles

Turning Pro – The 2nd follow up to War of Art

The Knowledge – Steve’s latest book about his experiences as a coming of age writer.

Shawn Coyne – Shawn is Steven, and Robert McKee’s editor and the author of the Story Grid

Robert McKee – Often called, ‘The God of Story’ and host of his own legendary Story seminar

Dialogue by Robert Mckee

Story by Robert Mckee

Screenplay by Syd Field

Save the Cat by Blake Synder

The 90 Day Screenplay by Al Watt – My pick for the best book on Screenwriting



James Altucher

Dave Bullis

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Episode 133 – Evan Kidd


Evan Kidd is a filmmaker, writer, drummer, and founder of RockSet Productions. His latest film, Son of Clowns, will be released Nov 15th, 2016 on VOD. 

SON OF CLOWNS – Teaser Trailer (Feature Film by Evan Kidd) from Evan Kidd on Vimeo.


Pre Show

— David Pumkpins – SNL Skit with Tom Hanks
— Thank you to all of you who voted for us in the PodernFamily Show of the Week competition. We won FIRST PLACE! 
— FilmmakingStuff – Jason Brubaker’s site 


Show Notes

— MumbleCore – a subgenre of independent film[1][2] characterized by naturalistic acting and dialogue (often improvised), low-budget film production, an emphasis on dialogue over plot, and a focus on the personal relationships of people in their 20s and 30s.
— Rebel Without A Crew – Robert Rodriguez’s book on Independent filmmaking



Evan Kidd

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Dave Bullis

The Dave Bullis Podcast Contest Giveaway!

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Prize #1 – A FREE ticket to, No Budget Film School’s, “The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking”

Where and When:

Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 6:00 PM (PDT)

Raleigh Studios’ Chaplin Theater 5300 Melrose Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90038

– For More info on No Budget Film School check them out here

– Check out No Budget Film School’s, Mark Stolaroff on the Dave Bullis Podcast podcast below.


Prize #2 – A Delco Film  Festival T-Shirt

Check out the Delco Film Festival on Facebook

Prize #3 – 30 Minute Consultation with Dave


Dave bullis podcast

  • Interested in starting a podcast?

  • Interested in making your own movie?

  • Planning to crowdfund?

  • Chat with Dave about anything you want with this prize


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So You Want to Start A Podcast III: Finding Guests for Your Podcast


You build your network one person at a time…

Okay, we’ve come this far. Right now you should have an idea of what kind of podcast you’re going to be doing, your format, you know how you’re going to interview guests (in studio, distant or both), you know what gear you need, and now it’s time to talk about how exactly you find guests for your podcast. (If your podcast is just you, you can skip this article.)

What networking is and What networking isn’t

Networking is not going to a networking and approaching everyone with an attitude of what they can do for you. This type of approach will quickly get you no where. If you’re at an event and someone contacts with you and IMMEDIATELY starts asking for a favor, RUN FOR THE HILLS. Seriously never do business with people like this. Additionally I’ve been to a lot of networking events where it’s quickly turned into a sales event, where small companies are trying to hook into big companies for contracts, and people hand out their business cards out like candy at Halloween. Much like that lone apple some person gives out each year it’s going to get lost in the shuffle then thrown away. And finally I’ve also seen some people who try to network but friend request everyone they can on Facebook. This is not networking, it’s what I call ‘headhunting’. Friend requesting people to add them to your list is utterly meaningless and doesn’t do anything for anyone.

Networking is about bringing value to people and figuring what you can do for them. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook aka Give, Give, Give, Ask.

Building Your Network


  • Diversify your network. When networking people try to keep the same type of person, meaning if they’re a cinematographer they have a lot of friends who are cinematographers. Writers tend to have other writers in their network.
  • Have people who are positive. Negative and needy people will lump all of their problems onto you.
  • Don’t discriminate with your potential network. Whether it’s a multi millionaire or high school student, don’t say no… unless of course they’re crazy.

Inside Your Network

Obviously these are the people you already know. BUT just because you’re both familiar with each other doesn’t mean you can approach them for a favor.

  1. I break people in my network into two groups, hot and cold. Cold are the people you haven’t talked to in awhile. Hot is the people who you talk to at least once every 3 months.
    1. Don’t worry if you have too many contacts that are ‘cold’, this isn’t crowdfunding and most people actually like the concept of being a guest on a podcast.
  2. Also just because you have a ton of Linked In connections doesn’t mean you have a deep network. Social media numbers are always quality over quantity.

Outside Your Network

  1. Radio Guest List
  2. Meet-Up 
    1. Find a local group you can join.
  3. Social Media
    1. Twitter
    2. Linked In
    3. Facebook Groups
      1. Talk to the admin of a FB group and talk to them (privately)
  4. People promoting their project
    1. Crowdfunding
    2. New Book/Album/Movie/,etc
  5. Other online boards
    1. Just be careful or else you will end up in a bath tub of ice with a missing kidney (I’m looking at your Craig’s List).


How to Approach People to be on Your Podcast

  • Approach people directly and privately. It needs to feel special.
    • Tell them WHY you want to interview them
    • Tell them how long the podcast will be
    • How you record (in person or via Skype)
  • There’s a lot of value for approaching someone to be your first guest. Maybe make this your mentor or someone you admire.
  • No Tom Cruise isn’t going to do your podcast. Don’t aim for celebrities right out of the gate.

Other resources:


Where To Now?

So you’ve gotten someone to agree to be on your podcast. CONGRATS! Next week I’ll be back to chat how to interview your guest to make the most of both of your time.

So You Want to Start a Podcast – Part II: Location & Gear


Mazel Tov!  You’re reading another article by me?! Wow, you’re a glutton for punishment. This time we’re talking about microphones…

A Quick Word About Room Tone

Sit comfortably in the room, you’ll be doing your podcast in. Now close your eyes and just listen. Pay attention to every little detail. Now open your eyes. What did you hear? My guess is, more than you thought you would.

Polar Patterns

I was not going to include this but felt I’d better. There are various mic types to choose from but for our purposes lets focus on Dynamic & Condenser mics. These two mics have different polar patterns, which denotes the mics ability to accept or reject sounds, coming from different directions.

Now unless you’re recording in a whisper room (which I’ll get into at another time) you’re going to have to deal with two sources of noise. Noise inside the room, and noise outside the room.

The noise inside the room can be anything from your laptop fan to your cell phone going off, etc. Outside you have much more to contend with. You’re sitting at your desk. You turn on your mic, put on your headphones, and you hear it… the roar of the traffic on the street. Cutting through that….the screams of your kids. They’ve gotten into the sugar, and now your room sounds like Mad Max Fury Road.

So to set your room, turn off your cell phone (GASP!), position your mic away from any fans,  put a sign on your door that tells everyone to go away, and if you want to go the extra mile, you can put up sound proofing on your wall (this is not the same as a sound proof room).


This is the #1 question I get about starting a podcast. If you go onto Amazon or B & H Video, you’ll be overwhelmed by the amount of options.  There are rules in life that seem to follow us everywhere.   The rule I’m talking about today is, the more specialized you want – the more expensive it will be.



Beginners ($0 – 50)

  • Mic on your laptop/Tablet/Phone. If you’re going to use your laptop to record your podcast than you have a high chance that it comes with a built in mic. This mic won’t be that high quality but since it’s a sunk cost it would be handy to do for a test show.
  • Headset Mics. I used the, Logitech ClearChat Comfort/USB Headset H390 (Black) mic, for a few shows.  Besides the mic, it also serves as a pair of headphones.

Intermediate ($50-150)

These mics are the intermediate (medium range) mics in both price and quality. I’ve used both mics and the aforementioned problems with room tone came to late using them. They’re not bad mics but you if you purchase one you should definitely look into buying a Pop Filter.

Advanced ($150-1000)

This is what professionals use. Every pro podcast, including my show, has a set up similar to this.

Which is Right For Me?

If you have to ask, pick the cheapest. Don’t be that guy that jumps into podcasting full force, buys all that expensive gear, and then decides he hates it, and all that gear sits in a closet for years. Also I want you to pay attention to the the project management triangle. There are three sides to the triangle…


If you want something to be Fast & Cheap, it won’t be Good. If you want it Fast & Good, it won’t be Cheap. If you want it Cheap and Good, it won’t be Fast. Just keep this mind as you’re putting not only your podcast but future projects as well.

Key Take Aways

  • Pay close attention to how loud your room is. You’ll be amazed at the small noises that can pop up.
  • Last post we figured out your concept so keep that in mind for buying mics. If you’re having a round table style podcast with guests in the room with you, you’ll need that many dynamic mics.
  • There is no shame in buying the cheapest mics & headphones to start as everyone has to start somewhere


Where to next?

So far you have your concept, and now you have an idea for what equipment to buy. And we know what to look for to minimize background noise and interference. So now what?
Before you start asking people to come onto your cool new podcast, I want to talk about you. That’s right YOU! In the next article we’ll be talking about finding your interview style, and I’ll also tell you the tricks of hosts like Howard Stern, John Lee Dumas, and more.

Are you excited yet?!  You should be!



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Part I: So You Want to Start a Podcast – The Concept


This is Part I of My How To Podcast series. In case you clicked this link and have no idea who I am my bio can be found here.

Why I Created My Podcast

I’ve been there.  Two years ago I was burned out on all fronts and I wanted to create something but I didn’t know what. The thought dawned on me about starting my own podcast. I knew going in, much like the women who’ve gone a date with me…. things can end in disappointment.

Your Podcasting Goals

Before we talk about the concept, the very first thing we should do is figure out what are our goals for this podcast.

The Why

‘Why do you want to start your own podcast?’ The why is a specific answer. This is your broad goal. For example it could be something like,’Because I want to promote my new book’ or even if you just want to do it because it’s fun.

 The What
What are you hoping to get out of your podcast?  The what is a specific answer that is measurable. This is your specifc goal. For example maybe your goal is, ‘I want to sell X amount of books each episode’ or ‘I want to meet a new person with every episode I do.’

Your Podcast: The Concept

Your Idea

So now that we know why we’re creating this podcast we need now ideas for our show.

If you already have an idea, that’s great (if you don’t see below). So then you’re next step would be to evolve that concept. Don’t just use the first idea that pops into your head and then run with it. Take some time to do some research. Check to see if that name is available by typing the term/phrase into Google and see what comes back. Additionally check out the topic in iTunes.

What to do if you don’t have an idea for a show?

My recommendation is to create an idea list. An idea list is something I learned from James Altucher. It’s very simple but very powerful. What you do is sit down with a legal pad (James recommends a waiters pad) and force yourself to brainstorm ten ideas. Don’t worry about good ideas vs bad ideas while you’re brainstorming. Instead let if flow. Write down all ideas as they come. When you’ve completed your list then you can go back and pick which ideas you like (what will work) and ideas you don’t like (what won’t work).

The Topic of Your Podcast

So what topic does your podcast fall under? Now I hope to God that you already know that. But now is your chance to be even more specific. Are you business orientated? If so what kind of business.

Maybe you’re setting up a new Social Media podcast but there’s a lot of them around. What could you do to be even more specific?

Just remember niches create riches… 

The Name of Your Podcast

Naming your podcast is key. It needs to sum up your podcast so potential listeners know what you’re show is. Think of your favorite podcast and it’s name.

Some example of podcasts named from the topic of business/entrepeurnship:
Entrepreneur on Fire
Tropical MBA
– The $100 MBA show

Examples of podcasts named from the topic of film production/marketing:
Indie Film Hustle
Indie Film Academy
Film Trooper
Filmmaking Stuff

Examples of podcasts named after a book:
Examples of podcasts named after successful websites:
Examples of podcasts named after their hosts (which isn’t a bad idea… I mean after all that’s what I did.)
The Joe Rogan Experience
The Adam Carolla Show
WTF Podcast – Marc Maron
Tim Ferriss experiment

Who is Your Target Audience?

Who is your audience? What are they pain points?

Your audience is apart of a certain industry. Some may have been in the field for 30 years, others may just be entering. There is a reason they will listen to you.

A pain point is a problem whether real or perceived. Your new book,seminar,webinar,class, etc is a solution to that pain point because its going to show them how to overcome this problem or problems.

Maybe you’re going to start a podcast about starting your own business. Focus on what kind of business it will be.

What will your show format be?

The who we know, it’s you. Is it just you or are you going to have multiple hosts?

When, weekly? Twice a week? Monthly?

Where will you be podcasting at? A static position or are you going to go place to place?

Is it going to be an interview style show? Roundtable discussion? Or maybe its just you discussing a topic?

How long is each episode going to be?

Like most successful shows you need to have that same format each episode so your audience will know what to expect.

In Conclusion

There are no wrong answers. Just one more tip for this week, the more moving parts, the harder it will be to produce. Just keep that in mind when designing your podcast.

So now we have your podcast goals, formed some show idea(s), we’ve found your target audience and we know the format of your show. So now where do we go?

Next week we’ll get into something I get asked a lot about. Gear.

 In parting….

Remember this…

The digital age has allowed everyone to take a shot but no one is guaranteed any success.

Starting a podcast? Feel free to pick me brain about anything.
Email me
Tweet me

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Episode 102 – William Dickerson



William Dickerson is the writer/director of DETOUR, THE MIRROR, DON’T LOOK BACK, & author of the book, DETOUR: Hollywood. He’s currently crowdfunding for the project, No Alternative: A feature Film on IndieGoGo. 

Show Notes

— DETOUR: Hollywood: How To Direct a Microbudget Film (or any film, for that matter) book
— Detour – Featured in the New York Times 


William Dickerson

— Twitter

What I learned from 100 episodes of Podcasting


A little background

Why did I start my podcast? For a few reasons.
– I was passed over for a promotion that was rightfully mine at my day job at the time.
– I needed to do something creative
– I wanted to make a resource that I felt the market place was lacking


Greenlight Yourself

On Ep 99 on the podcast, Morgan J Freeman uses this term to define when you don’t wait for anyone to choose you. You go out and find funding, write your script, and shoot your project.

James Altucher has a great book called, ‘Choose Yourself’ (check it out here, it’s only $0.99 for the Kindle version) which has a similar concept.

You have to pay your dues

On Ep 100, Don tells us he had to sleep in his car for months at a time. Whether you want to write a screenplay, make a movie, etc there’s going to be obstacles in your way. Speaking of which another great book to read is Steven Pressfield’s, ‘The War of Art’.

Your networth is your network

Much like the definition of a great producer, your ability to reach out for help whether its for a Kickstarter campaign or to spread the word about your 100th podcast episode, is dependent upon your network.

Networking is a skill upon to itself. Rarely have I found any use in going to networking parties. What I’ve found useful instead is Twitter (for those who listen to the show you know that already), and email. Offer value to that person first. What can you offer to them?

  • Bonus tip – Most rich people won’t care for an offer of coffee or lunch. Why? Because that’s literally the change they find in their sofa. If they want coffee or lunch, they can buy it themselves. Instead offer them value. Give them ideas for their next project or current business.  Approaching them you know what business they’re in, now how can you build upon that? Do they have a blog? Write up a blog article along with ideas for future posts and send it to them via email. Now most times it will go to their assistant.

Don’t accept a no from a person who can’t give you a yes

Gatekeepers love to say, “no”. Its how they keep their jobs. But they want to say, “Yes”. Because they want to be apart of the next big thing and get that corner office.

If you get told, “No” from somebody just keep moving on to the next person. And don’t hold any grudges from people who told you NO, they were simply not in a position to say anything else at that time.

Don’t compare yourself with other artists

You’ll drive yourself crazy on this one. Trust me.

Always strive to get better. Be honest with yourself. What worked what didn’t.

During every one of the films I’ve worked on I’ve kept a journal. What worked, what didn’t. What the obstacles were and how I overcame them.

  • Bonus Tip:  Hiring friends and families only works for your student project(s).

Screenplay trumps all (okay I knew this before starting but still)

I see so many crowdfunding campaigns on a weekly basis. A big flaw I see with a lot of them? They don’t talk about the script. They talk about the concept and logline but never going into the script itself or the people behind the script. Sometimes I see campaigns that have launched without even having a completed script and I’m not sure how that’s possible because how would you know how much money you need for locations, props, etc?

The difference between a quality producer and an amateur producer is judged by their ability to acquire resources in a pinch

Always feed your crew! ALWAYS!

Try to avoid pizza. Approach a caterer or local restaurant before production starts (I mean months in advance) and see if they can offer you a discount.

Learn how to sell. Everything is sales and all sales are problem solving

Get a lawyer.

There are some that offer free services to filmmakers. There’s also a great book about it here. I’ve seen friendships end over movie productions. Get contracts before you start.

Get your own Website. Keep it. Build it. Put your stake into the ground.

I can’t stress this enough. If you can’t build your own site find someone off Upwork.

Don’t hire a DP just because they have a RED camera.

Check out Alex Ferrari’s podcast about that here.


Where do we go from here? 

I’m continuing the podcast and continuing to interview more and more filmmakers, in addition to start making my own projects again… which leads me to ask…

What are you working on? Tell me below!