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IFH 281: Shooting from the Heart at Sundance with Diane Bell

November 27, 2018

Today's guest is returning champion writer/director Diane Bell. Diane and I go way back. I had the pleasure of working on her first feature film OBSELIDIA, which won two awards at Sundance. The film makes it's IFHTV Premiere this week.

Here's a bit about Diane.

Diane Bell is a screenwriter and director. Made for less than $150k, her first feature film, OBSELIDIA, premiered in Dramatic Competition at Sundance and won two awards. The film went on to win further awards at festivals around the world, and to be nominated for two prestigious Independent Spirit Awards. Her second film, BLEEDING HEART, a drama starring Jessica Biel and Zosia Mamet, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and is widely available. She is currently in post on her third feature, OF DUST AND BONES.

She has written numerous commissioned and optioned scripts, including two with renowned director John McTiernan (the director of Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October). In addition to writing and directing films, Diane with her producing partner Chris Byrne is a founder of the Rebel Heart Film Workshop program, in which she teaches step by step how to make a standout indie film. She also teaches at Denver's Lighthouse Writer's Workshop. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and honest experiences of filmmaking so that up and coming filmmakers can make better movies and create sustainable careers.

“The biggest advice I can give you for your shoot, if you want to make a standout film, is to be fully present in the moment when you are filming.” – Diane Bell

In her quest to help filmmakers follow their dreams she has written a new book called Shooting From the Heart: Successful Filmmaking from a Sundance Rebel.

If you dream of making a movie but don't know where to start or you're afraid that your film will end up being yet another unseen indie, this is the book for you. Based on the real-life experiences of Sundance award-winning screenwriter/director Diane Bell, SHOOT FROM THE HEART will guide you through the process of making an indie film successfully ― from writing a stand-out script to raising finance, from getting the most out of your shoot to planning a profitable release.

Broken down into sixteen essential steps, this book provides you with a clear, actionable, real-world plan for turning your filmmaking dream into your reality. The method in this book is available to anyone, anywhere. You don't need a ton of money or industry connections, you just need to be willing to do the work of each step.

In this book, you'll find ass-kicking inspiration and motivational tips for the long journey filmmaking is, as well as the practical knowledge and insider's information you need to make it happen. SHOOT FROM THE HEART will empower you to trust your creative instincts and leave you with no excuses for not making the best film you can. This guide is the only one you need if you seriously want to stop talking about making movies and actually make a great one. At the end of each chapter, Diane provides a thoughtful reminder to her readers:

“Be grateful for the journey you are on.”

We discuss her Sundance experience, her horrible Hollywood experience after Sundance and so much more. Enjoy my inspirational conversation with Diane Bell.