MPI's Crew Call

MPI's Crew Call

Talk show on the film industry, film education and careers. Recorded at the Motion Picture Institute in Troy, Michigan, the state's oldest film school featuring a one-year hands-on program in film production.


March 15, 2021 35 mins

2019 MPI Graduate Keith Arnold joins us just off the set of Netflix's Cobra Kai in the Grip & Electric Dept. He shares:

  • Following the work, moving from Michigan to Atlanta
  • How to network and get your foot in the door--and on the set
  • Experiences at MPI and beyond that have helped him 
  • Lessons for new film students

(25:14) Kathryn McDermott, former Columbia Pictures VP (Spiderman, Charlies Angels) shares her role as Career...

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Byron Rutley shares his story as an entrepreneur in the world of music videos, corporate productions, voice-over work and many more markets in the Detroit area and across the nation

MPI's cinematographers Rob Skates and Patrick Elliott share their professional highlights and appeal of teaching.

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MPI Alum producers featured on Episode 11, including:

  • Producer Allison Martin of "Blood Immortal" (d. Robert Butler)
  • "Boothtalk" podcast producers Brennan Bauer and Ben Murphy
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October 5, 2020 50 mins
  • (0:00) MPI Acting Alum Julie Kline, starring in "Mimesis Nosferatu" and "Blood Immortal"
  • (37:00) Douglas Schulze (director, Mimesis Nosferatu) MPI co-founder and directing instructor
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  • (0:02) Film Lighting Technician and MPI veteran instructor Jeremy Schroeder shares his career including over 10 years in NY working in films and Law & Order and advice for new filmmakers and how to hustle and stay employed.
  • (30:00) DeFacto Film Reviews by Robert Butler and Noah Damron include new-release streaming options: Never Rarely Sometimes Always; Extraction; Beanpole; Spaceship Earth and The Wild Goose Lake
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  • MPI Alum Senior Ad Agency Producer Drew Titran shares his journey from a sketchpad to a guitar to Motion Picture Institute and to his career in directing and acting
  • To help those during dry-spells of binge-watching DeFacto Film Reviews'  Robert Butler and Noah Damron suggest great films from 2000, including:  Traffic; Almost Famous; Requiem for a Dream; Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon; American Psycho and You Can Count on Me.
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  • (:00) MPI's adjustment to temporary online instruction with international recommendations for social-distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis
  • (:06) Filmmaker/Actress Heidi Phillipsen (MPI '07) visits our set from Berlin to share her journey through many film schools and film sets to MPI and her career on both sides of the camera, including her upcoming film "Darcy"
  • (:43) DeFacto Film Reviews with Robert Butler and Noah Da...
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  • (2:30) Editor Lisa Roberts ('12) discusses working gigs in Detroit (cars, of course, and beyond) along with staying employed as a freelancer
  • (17:10) MPI founders Doug Schulze and Kurt Mayry share their film school's 25 year journey and the importance of its latest honor official accreditation from the ACCSC.  
  • (29:25) Five DeFacto Film Reviews' Robert Butler and Noah Damron review new movies including The AssistantBirds of P...
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Crew Call Episode 5 includes:

  • (1:45) Filmmaker Ema Edosio (MPI '12) shares her journey from PA work in Nigeria to MPI's to multi-national festivals; her thoughts on the Oscars
  • (27:30) Fellpeller Studios founders Matt Szakal, Jordan Currie and Nathan Moser and their February 26th showcase screening at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan
  • (46:45) Oscar Recap with Robert Joseph Butler and Sara Mahmood with top-predictor fr...
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Crew Call Episode 4:

  • (1:35) Script supervisor Amber Harley  (Baby Driver, Thor: Ragnarok, Godzilla King of the Monsters), MPI '08 grad who shares her path from Lapeer Michigan to Atlanta as well as the story of her upcoming film Good Grief, her directorial debut.
  • (29:20) DeFacto Film Reviews' Robert Joseph Butler (writer/director, Love Immortal) and Noah Damron return with their Oscar picks
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MPI graduates writer/director Robert Joseph Butler ("Love Immortal") and Noah Damron share their insight from DeFacto Film Reviews  with host Sara Mahmood of the top films of 2019.  The also discuss their own paths, careers in the film industry and what it takes to survive as a filmmaker--especially on the festival circuit.

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  • (1:22) Matt Lytle (MPI '14) of Travel Channel's new paranormal series Ghost Loop shares his journey from Indianapolis to the Michigan film school and alma mater of Ghost Adventures' own Zak Bagans where he learned filmmaking first-hand.  Matt offers a sneak peek at the extensive historical research and flipping of haunted homes to create an atmosphere more likely to create on-camera encounters.
  • (27:00) Pascal Rehm previews MPI...
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November 15, 2019 30 mins

MPI's Crew Call launches its podcast with Episode 1's interviews with:

  • '17 Cole Seger and his festival favorite thriller "The 404 Diner"
  • (19:20) Kathryn McDermott, MPI faculty and former Columbia Pictures Vice-President on careers and job placement
  • (24:20) 2019 MPI Graduates Curtis Clark and Will Dowen
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