✍️ The Writer to Director Playbook

Josh Carone pivoted from writing for his school paper at a niche New England college to going all-in on filmmaking at Emerson. Here's how he went from writer to director in less than 4 years.

Josh's experiences are emblematic of the beauty of collaboration that is unique to film school. There are few other college majors where your success is so largely based on the friends you make along the way (embrace the cheesiness, screenwriters).


RT 17m

🟨 Lipslide does have profane language

Josh wrote and directed Lipslide during his senior year at Emerson. The film follows Tommy, a drug dealer grappling with the fact his peers are growing up faster than he is.

As you watch, Josh’s work, his strength with dialogue will become obvious. Conversations flow and characters shine. His strength, however, was also his biggest struggle.

The thing about dialogue is it doesn’t matter how funny or witty it is if you’re not thinking about the story. Nobody cares if your dialogue sounds good if you’re holding the story back.

I’m really focused on growing my ability to tie a smooth story together right now.

Mei Semones - Sukikirai / Ippo

RT 3m

Sukikirai / Ippo is being screened in film classrooms across the United States.

Sukikirai/Ippo is a music video co-directed by Josh and his partner Jenny Thach (who will get her own feature in the newsletter very soon).

That partnership was critical to their success.

I’ve learned so much from watching Jenny direct. She just knows what a good set looks like. Not just how to direct our camera crew, but what the vibes should be live. People are happy on our sets, and it shows in our work.

Josh felt confident with

  • Character

  • Story

  • Pacing

And Jenny shined with

  • Managing a crew

  • Cinematography & editing technical skills

Living in LA

Josh graduated Emerson in the spring and has been directing commercials and personal projects in Los Angeles since then.

Emerson was great, but everyone there made similar projects. It’s exciting seeing the diversity of talent that's in LA. It feels like everybody is here.

👋🏼 Editor's Note

Oh wow! Great seeing you here! I've got an update on that invite program I told you about last week! We're putting together a 20-30 page guide on film schools. Here's the general outline

  • Student's reviews of major film schools

  • Interviews with admissions officers at top schools

  • Differences in artistic and storytelling conventions at schools

  • A list of affordable (less than $10k average annual tuition) film schools and programs

  • Common career pipelines from film school

Invite someone to the newsletter, get access to the guide

I'd imagine this would be useful to the teachers reading this. If you have ideas on what would make a good guide, reply to this email with your thoughts!

We'll see you next week.

-Eric Villa, Co-Founder, Stuudeo

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