A Conversation with Craig Layton

From writer and producer on several small indie projects to acting in award-winning TV series alongside Olympia Dukakis and Sarah Paulson, Craig Layton is no stranger to working on either side of the camera.

Craig shares a lot of interesting tips that cover everything from auditioning and filmmaking, to whether or not being in the actor’s union has helped or hurt his career.

Some of the films we talk about include:

While still finding work as an actor in projects like Lizzie Borden Took an Ax, Forgive Me and Haven, Craig switched gears to producing his own web show and creating viral videos, one of which was featured by Anderson Cooper on CNN. Craig has won Faces Magazine‘s Entertainer of the Year and The Coast Magazine‘s Best of Web Series for his web series CRAIGNESS! But through it all Craig has never forgotten his guerrilla filmmaking roots and he jumped at the opportunity to work with and help student filmmakers shoot their short film, Faults of My Own.

During today’s episode you’ll discover why I have a love/hate relationship with Faults of My Own, and Craig explains why if someone asks him to send them something he has appeared in, he would send them that film.

Check out Craig’s YouTube channel here.

If you enjoyed today’s episode, please take a quick minute to subscribe to the show and rate & review it on iTunes. Thank you.

Click the image to join our free mailing list and be the first notified about upcoming roles, and watch a free preview of upcoming films before they are publicly released.


A Conversation with Brett Holmes

On my very first short film I was fortunate enough to have a lot of help both in front of and behind the camera, including today’s guest, independent filmmaker, Brett Holmes.

From TV work and a web series to shooting short films and music videos, Brett shares a ton of great tips for indie filmmakers as we talk about his work and some of the challenges he’s faced, as well as lenses, how using the right lens can help you shoot better scenes, and his take on the Canon vs. Nikon debate, which DSLR camera he prefers to shoot with… and why.

on the set of Turned, a film by Brett Holmes
on the set of TURNED, a film by Brett Holmes

Brett’s original films include:

  • Man of Tar (post production)
  • Turned (2017)
  • David’s Girlfriend (2015)
  • Recollection (2014)
Mick MacDonald in MAN OF TAR, a film by Brett Holmes
Mick MacDonald in MAN OF TAR, a film by Brett Holmes

You can watch Brett’s films on his YouTube Channel

One of the areas we didn’t get to cover during the episode was his visual effects skills that Mick MacDonald and I talked about on Episode 2, but Brett and I did talk about Jessica ‘Cyanide’ Chapman and the amazing practical FX makeup she created for Turned and Man of Tar.

Canon or Nikon? It’s still an ongoing debate and there is no right or wrong answer as to which is better, but Brett explains some of the differences he’s found between the two, which DSLR camera he prefers and why.

Looking for a DSLR camera to shoot your movie? On the show we talk about the Canon 5D and the Nikon D7000 – both are excellent cameras and when paired with the right glass (aka Lens) you can capture some amazing footage.

Brett has worked on a variety of projects with some talented people including Hank White, Pasha Ebrahimi, Michael G. MacDonald, Stephanie Steele, Nate O’Brian, Dean Thompson, and many more. Plus, Brett shares some exciting news about his film, Turned. Hint: It involves BodyBag Films.

Click the image to join our free mailing list and be the first notified about upcoming roles, and watch a free preview of upcoming films before they are publicly released.


A Conversation with Darren Andrea

From the Savoy Theatre to Second City and Yuk Yuks, to acting in commercials, TV shows and movies, Darren Andrea has worked in front of and behind the camera honing his craft and learning what it takes to make movies… and how to make it in the movies.

Actor Darren Andrea

Darren stopped by the I Should Be Filming studio to have a conversation about his decades-long career. We had a lot of fun and he offered a plethora of tips and tricks for actors and for independent filmmakers alike. Darren shared his experiences – the ups, the downs, what to expect when you step on a film set, or when you walk into the casting room to audition.

Darren has worked with many directors over the years including Donald Petrie, John Woo, Bob GiraldiJohn BradshawRoman Buchok and many others. 

The list of movies he’s been involved in include:

It was a pleasure chatting with Darren and I look forward to having him back on the show. Darren has worked with me as an actor on a few short films of mine, and he will be taking the reins as the director on one of my screenplays. Click here to join our FREE mailing list to be notified when Darren will be announcing auditions for actors and extras.

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Music for the show is provided courtesy of Doug Millaway


A Conversation with Mick MacDonald

Professor Michael G. MacDonaldOn today’s episode I sit down with Professor Michael “Mick” MacDonald to talk about filmmaking, acting, and the projects he has been involved in as an actor or producer.

Known for his role as the title character in The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger (2011), over the years Mick has been involved in a number of films including Lord of Chaos (2014)Turned (2016), and other films. He is a professor of communications at Cape Breton University (CBU) and teaches introduction to filmmaking and videography courses.

There's Something About George movie poster

Mick has been in front of or behind the camera on some of my short films such as: There’s Something About George (actor), Unscheduled Visit (actor) and The Final Goodbye (camera operator)

We talk about his love of LARPing, the films he has been involved in, and some of the actors, directors and crew such as Brad MillsPasha EbrahimiMichael MelskiGlen Gould, Brett Holmes, Madeline Yakimchuk, Matthew Ingraham , Keith Morrison and Jessica Chapman to name just a few of the people he mentions on the show.

It was a pleasure chatting with Mick and I look forward to having him back on the show and working with him again on future productions.

Some of the films mentioned in this episode:

They Cast from the Coast podcast logoiCreate logo at Cape Breton University (CBU)On the next episode of I Should Be Filming

I sit down with Darren Andrea, an actor who has worked on How to Lose a Guy in 10 DaysThe Undertaker’s Wedding and La Femme Nikita.

UPDATE: Click here to listen to the episode with Darren Andrea.

Music for the show is provided courtesy of Doug Millaway

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Stop Wanting to be a Filmmaker

“Stop wanting to be a filmmaker and start calling yourself one, then go out and make your film.” -Robert Rodriquez.

Welcome to episode 1 of I Should Be Filming. My name is Kenn Crawford, I am an author and independent filmmaker from Nova Scotia, Canada. I created this podcast to help you get your filmmaking ideas out of your head and up on the screen where they belong.

In this short introductory episode I talk about what may be keeping you from chasing your filmmaking dreams, with some great advice I learned from filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez and Mark Duplass, as well as discussing the cameras that filmmaker Sean Baker and Directory of Photography Shane Hurlbut, ASC used to shoot Tangerine and Act of Valor.

I studied filmmaking for years but didn’t do anything with it because I was really good at making excuses – I didn’t have a good enough camera, I didn’t have enough money, I didn’t know any actors – excuses, excuses, excuses! When I finally decided to stop making excuses and start making movies, a whole new world opened up to me. In my first year as a filmmaker I shot half a dozen short films, some commercials for local businesses, music videos, and I was hired by the Cape Breton University to shoot footage for the Ethnomusicology workshops they were holding in schools around the island, including an 8-hour live-feed of a performance workshop at the Boardmore Playhouse.

More importantly, I met a lot of talented people interested in filmmaking – everyone from actors, writers and directors to people interested in working behind the scenes as crew members or appearing on camera as an extra. People I would never had met if I continued to let shyness and fear make excuses as to why I wasn’t making movies.

If you want to be a filmmaker – start making films!

cover art - the final goodbyeMy very first short film, The Final Goodbye, was shot over the course of a few weeks using whatever camera I could borrow on the days we were shooting, such as the Nikon D5200, a Nikon D7000 and a Canon T2i.

The built-in camera apps on iPhones and Androids were not designed for filmmaking. Here’s a few apps to put the controls you need back in your hands without breaking the bank:

FiLMiC Pro

FiLMiC Pro v6 is the most advanced video camera for mobile. Ever. FiLMiC Pro has been enhanced with cutting-edge capabilities and the most responsive manual camera interface available on an iPhone, iPod or iPad. Now available on Android – FiLMiC Pro is the gold standard of mobile video and was recently used to film the Sundance hit “TANGERINE”. 

For your iPhone, iPod or iPad (14.99price has increased to $20.99)

$12.99 for Androids

Other Good Filmmaking Apps I have used:

MoviePro ($8.49 for iPhones)

Developer’s Description: The most powerful video recording & film making app with innumerable options as seen on TIME, AppAdvice, TUAW, Mashable, Bloomberg Radio, Indiewire, Slashgear, Dailynews, Boingboing, iMore, 148apps, iClarified. Used by over 1 million people world wide ! Fully compatible and optimized for iPhone 7/7s plus and now comes with a companion MoviePro Remote app to perform all functions from another iOS device.

Cinema FV-5 ($2.99 for Androids)

Developer’s Description: A professional video camera application for mobile devices, that puts professional manual controls in your fingertips. Tailored to enthusiast and professional videographers and filmmakers, with this video camera application you can capture the best footage with top-of-the-line controls for perfect post-production purposes.

On the next episode of “I Should Be Filming”:

An interview with Actor and Producer, Professor Michael G. MacDonald, known for The Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger (2011), Bigsby (2017) and Turned (2016).

UPDATE: Click here to listen to the episode with Michael MacDonald

Music for the show is provided courtesy of Doug Millaway