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November 18, 2016 @ 5:47 pm

IFNYC#019: Cindy Baer - Director & Producer of Odd Brodsky

Cindy Baer

Director & Producer of 'Odd Brodsky'

On this episode of the podcast I spoke with director and producer Cindy Baer about her new feature film ‘Odd Brodsky’ and her career in filmmaking.


Cindy Baer grew up in Boston and at 22 years old she decided she wanted to be an actress in the film business, so she picked up and moved across the country to L.A.  Realizing that she needed to make money while she was working on breaking in, she started what would become a successful business performing for children’s parties as a clown.


After running that business for a few years, she decided to dive back into filmmaking, but more in the producing and directing arena.  On her first big project she directed a film that was written by a 13 year old girl she was mentoring at the time. Almost by accident ended up producing and distributing the film in a similar way that many micro budget films are shot today.


Through her experience with that feature film and a handful of short films with successful runs on the national film festival circuit, she started to develop a very personal film that would end up becoming ‘Odd Brodsky.’


Odd Brodsky is touching film that reaches well beyond the scope of what the budget for it is and the story is sure to strike a chord with other indie filmmakers.  The film has already had a successful run in film festivals and is about to be released on VOD.


‘Odd Brodsky’ has screened at 29 film festivals and won 20 festival awards, and is available now on itunes here: Be sure to check it out after you listen to the podcast!


Links for this episode:


Check out the trailer here:


The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema


John Fallon’s Indie Film NYC is now a founding partner in the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.  The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is a film festival that will take place from August 4th to 13, 2017.

Submissions are open now;

You can find more information about the festival at

Or search Facebook for Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema to like our Facebook page.

If you have any questions or comments about the festival or this podcast, then feel free to reach out to me at the Indie Film NYC Contact Page or I’m on twitter @IndieFilmNYC




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November 11, 2016 @ 4:31 pm

IFNYC#018: Jenny Frankfurt - Finish Line Script Competition

On this episode of the podcast, I interviewed Jenny Frankfurt, former literary manager & the co-administrator of Finish Line Script Competition, which is going into it’s 2nd year of operation.

A big part of independent filmmaking is entering some of the many festivals and competitions that run each year.  There are the traditional film festivals where you’re able to show your finished work in front of an audience and possibly earn some accolades, there are pitch competitions where you try to “sell” a film or tv idea to the competition committee based solely on how you talk about the idea, and there are screenwriting competitions where the finished script is judged on whether or not your story is written well and if it’s ready to be made into a successful film.

With all these festivals and competitions out there, it can be difficult to know which one will help you professionally, and where to invest your money.  That’s why, when there is a competition that has a unique hook with some potentially career changing perks for the winner, it’s worth exploring what they are doing and why.  One such screenwriting festival is the Finish Line Script Competition.

The most unique aspect of the competition is that its main focus is on improving the quality of your writing.  If you feel that the script is as good as it will ever be, then you can submit the same way you would to any competition, but if you choose to, you can get a mentor that will read your script and give you, I believe, 6 pages of notes.

Once you have the notes, you can rewrite the screenplay and resubmit your work at no extra charge.  In fact, you can go through that process as much as you would like and resubmit at any time before they go into final judging.  You don’t even need to use their script consultants.  You can get notes from whoever you want, even if that is just you re-evaluating and rewriting it on your own, you can still submit a new draft when you feel you need to.

The reason they do this is because it’s Jenny Frankfurt’s desire that the best possible script you can write about the story you are wanting to tell is the one that the judges evaluate.  Jenny said that the competition stems from when she read scripts in the past and said, this good script would be much better with another rewrite or two.

The other aspect that makes this competition unique is that because of the numerous contacts they have developed over the years, they will get the script that wins the grand prize to Anyone of the writer’s choosing.


The Grand Prize winner will have their script sent to any actor, director, producer or studio of their choice. Anyone at all. We guarantee that person will receive your script for consideration but we cannot guarantee they will pursue it further. We want to help you get access and we will back the winner to that degree.


Obviously, they can not influence what that contact will do with the script, if anything, but this kind of direct access is something that you will not find in any other festival or competition.  Even the cream of the crop competitions, like the Nichol don’t make these types of promises.  Sure, the winner of the Nichol will get reads from industry people, but there is no assurance that they will get a chance at a meeting or that anyone will take the time to read their script and talk with them.


If you’re looking for more opportunities to develop your writing, a competition like Finish Line Script Competition offers writers a unique opportunity to develop their script for the contest with help from professionals in the business at a reasonable cost.  The truth is, getting this kind of feedback can be both costly and difficult to attain without good contacts.

Like any competition, the odds will be stacked against you to actually win, but because of the rewriting component to this competition, the promise to help develop the writing on your current script will still allow you to realize value in entering, even if you don’t win.

If you have a question or comment for me, you can contact me at, or follow us on Twitter at the user name @IndieFilmNYC

And if you like this podcast, please consider subscribing to us on iTunes and if you can leave us a rating and review, it will help other filmmakers find us and let us reach more people.  Subscribe on iTunes




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November 4, 2016 @ 4:33 pm

IFNYC#017: Stephen Letnes - Film Composer

Stephen Letnes

How to work with a composer for your indie film

Stephen Letnes Bio from


Stephen Letnes' music journey began at the age of four, learning the violin by the Suzuki Method, hearing the notes and playing them. This method worked especially well for Stephen because he was born legally blind.

Throughout his life, alongside the piano, Stephen has always been fascinated with music for media and has over 60 credits for film and television ranging from short films and documentaries, to feature films like "Santa's Boot Camp" (2015) directed by Ken Feinberg and "Rage In The Cage" (2016), directed by Ray Scanlon.

The Final Mixing Stage

How Important is a Composer?

A composer can take a film that is good and make it great, by enhancing the emotions of the character and reflecting the tone of the film.  A good composer can add drama without making it melodramatic or overpowering your film.

Over the years I have worked on many projects, and while all of them had music and sound in them, I have surprising little experience of working directly with a composer.

The reason for that is because, many of my projects had budgets that supported hiring sound mixers and composers and those decisions were above my pay grade at the time.

Then on my indie projects, with both web series I did, I had producing partners who already had relationships with composers, so I let them navigate through that part of the production.  And on my biggest short film project so far, I had more of a sound design than a score, and I did it all myself, because that’s was just what I chose to do.


So, now that I’ve got both a short film and a feature on the horizon for myself, I thought I’d put a little research into both what a composer can do for your film and how to most effectively work with that type of artist.

In my research, I really started to understand that a lot of my preconceived notions about the role of a composer were misinformed or flat out wrong.  That led me to thinking that a lot of you out there might be a little lost as well when it comes to finding, hiring and working with a composer for your next project.

Through some of the relationships I’ve made through Indie Film NYC, I was able to connect with a musician and composer, Stephen Letnes and he agreed to come on the show and talk about all aspects of working with a composer to score your film.

Submit your film to the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-6-21-22-pmThe Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is a non-profit organization established to support the development and help expand the audiences of independent cinema from around the globe. The Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema was founded by four local independent filmmakers with a passion to get movies made and to have those artistic voices heard. Understanding the struggle in today's film environment in showcasing independent cinema, their aim is establish a presence and awareness of cinematic creativity throughout Kew Gardens Queens and the neighboring communities.

For more information on the festival, visit the website:

To submit your film, visit:


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