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FOR DUMMIES: The Podcast

Feb 3, 2020

Filmmaking once seemed a completely unattainable goal for anyone without about $50 million bucks sitting around collecting dust. But with the amazing equipment available today, and all the distribution channels, almost anyone can become a filmmaker. In fact, we hope that today’s episode gives you the nudge to try it yourself.  This week host, Eric Martsolf dives into “Filmmaking For Dummies” by Bryan Michael Stoller. Bryan has an accomplished career not only as an author and teacher, but most importantly for this episode, he has produced more than 100 productions ranging from comedy shorts to feature films.

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With over 3500 episodes of television under his belt, Mr. Martsolf has been providing "love in the afternoon" for NBC Daytime for the last 17 years. His portrayals of Ethan Winthrop on "Passions" and currently Brady Black on "Days of our Lives" have resulted in numerous industry accolades. He made daytime history in 2014 by being the first actor ever to win an Emmy in the Best Supporting Actor category for "Days of our Lives." His television credits expand into primetime (Extant, NCIS, Rizzoli & Isles), and his musical theatre repertoire consists of over 40 productions, including his critically acclaimed role as the Pharaoh in the Osmond Broadway Tour of "Joseph." Fans of the DC Universe will most notably recognize him as Justice League member and futuristic hero Booster Goldfrom the series Smallville.

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At the age of six, growing up in Canada, Bryan began experimenting with movies and animation. His first job in the film and television industry, when he was 11 years old, was as the host of a TV show on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) called "Film Fun" in which he showed kids how to make their own Super-8 movies. He later transformed that talent into producing commercials for various Ottawa businesses that aired on TV in the 1970s.

At nineteen, Bryan moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute as a Director Fellow.

After AFI, Bryan's Hollywood career began when he became assistant to Johnny Carson on the pilot for "TV Bloopers & Practical Jokes." A few years later,  Bryan's comedy shorts, "Undershorts" became a regular feature on the show.  Bryan's "Undershorts" started a following and soon were featured on HBO, "Foul-Ups, Bleeps & Blunders," "The American Comedy Awards" and on various comedy variety shows.

Bryan went on to direct an episode of the classic George A. Romero TV series, "Tales from the Darkside," entitled "The Bitterest Pill", starring Mark Blankfield.  The episode became the season's highest rated episode. 

Bryan also wrote for The Ice Queen animated feature, starring the voices of Lauren Bacall and Bryan Adams. Stoller's other animation writing credits include story editor on the Cinar animation series, Animal Crackers.

Bryan directed the landmark music video Hands Across America, produced by Ken Kragen which featured appearances by Barbra Streisand, Drew Barrymore and Robin Williams.

Bryan and his films have been featured on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Dateline NBC and in many newspapers and periodicals including The Los Angeles Times, Premiere Magazine and People Magazine.