Hosted by Sarah Mason

The Conversations Podcast, an interview series with today's top storytellers across every medium-- film, TV, streaming, podcasts, radio, VR, AR, gaming, arts administrators & technologists. 

Age of Distraction, a podcast series with screenwriters Warren Lewis and Stephen Godchaux  discussing the Content Explosion and its impact on Hollywood and the creative process.


Sarah Mason sits down with legendary Composer, Alan Silvestri to discuss his work on Avengers: Endgame

Episode 6 of the Age of Distraction Podcast, Choose Your Player: How Fortnite is Transforming Hollywood.


Composer Alan Silvestri

Scoring Endgame

With over 100 film credits, two Oscar nominations, two Golden Globe nods, three Grammy Awards, two Emmy awards and countless other film and music awards, Alan Silvestri has created some of the most iconic film scores in movie history. 


Silvestri describes his 35-year collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis like a marriage, "You go through a lot, ups and downs. You develop a shorthand and a trust and then 24 films later. It's amazing." Those 24 films include Forrest Gump, Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Polar Express, Castaway and the upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Witches.


Silvestri's compositions span multiple film genres: From Predator to Overboard, Practical Magic to The Abyss, Tales from the Crypt to The Parent Trap, this genius can never be pigeonholed. Just look at his IMDb credits for proof. No doubt he composed one of your favorite movie scores.


Silvestri's relationship with the MCU began with 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and continued with his score for 2012's The Avengers, arguably the most memorable theme in the MCU. That theme has woven its way through every film in the universe since. In addition to the two just mentioned and, Avengers: Endgame, Silverstri also scored Avengers: Infinity War.


In one of my all time greatest fangirl moments, I sat down with Alan Silvestri to discuss his work on Avengers: Endgame and managed to get a few other questions in about his impressive decades-long career.

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Sony FX-9 Review & Workflows

HMC Producer, Sarah Mason, Workflow Engineer, Cutter Stevens and Filmmaker Sergio Pinheiro review the new Sony FX-9 Camcorder, discuss the potential workflow challenges and the direction cameras are heading.


Age of Distraction Series

Age of Distraction is a podcast series on The HMC Network hosted by Sarah Mason with screenwriters, Warren Lewis and Stephen Godchaux discussing the Content Explosion and its impact on Hollywood and the creative process.

Warren Lewis & Stephen Godchaux Bios

Episode 6 of the Age of Distraction podcast, "Choose Your Player: How Fortnite is Transforming Hollywood."

Host Sarah Mason along with screenwriters Warren Lewis (Black Rain) and Stephen Godchaux (Dead Like Me), discuss video games and the impact on Hollywood. The box office has been on the decline with competition from Amazon, Netflix and Hulu but the popular game, Fortnite is more of a threat then any of them. Fortnite creator, Epic Games, claim that the game has over 250 million registered users. Most recently a 16 year old player won $3m dollars in a Fortnite tournament.

With those kind of numbers and incentives, how can movies compete? We discuss!


Scroll through the playlists to listen to Episodes 1-6

Warren Lewis &

Stephen Godchaux

Warren Lewis’s credits as screenwriter include Black Rain (Paramount) and The Thirteenth Warrior (Touchstone).  He has worked on assignments for most of the major film and television studios including Sony, Warner Brothers and Fox. Warren’s recent scripts include,  A World Away – a modern retelling of The Dybbuk, Ansky’s classic play; The Brownsville Boys: A Tale of Murder Incorporated; Trade Craft, an espionage thriller; The Tale of the Bloodstone Riders, a western set in post-civil war Texas, and The Point, a one hour drama. Lewis holds an MFA from The California State University at Fullerton. He teaches screenwriting at La Jolla Writers Conference, the UCLA  and UCSD Writers Programs Extension and The California State University at Fullerton.

Stephen Godchaux is a native of New Orleans. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Yale School of Drama where he received an MFA in Playwriting. He is a graduate of the Tulane University School of Law. He practiced law for several years for one of the largest law firms in San Francisco before going to Yale and becoming a writer. He has written for a dozen television shows, including “Roseanne” and “Spin City.” He was the Executive Producer and head writer of the critically acclaimed “Dead Like Me” on Showtime. He has written television pilots for CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, FX, TNT and USA. He was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Best Original Television Movie for his film “Charlotte” as part of the film anthology Five on Lifetime. He is adapting Walker Percy’s celebrated novel “The Moviegoer,” winner of the 1962 National Book Award for Fiction, as a screenplay for the film producer Cary Brokaw.



with VES Award Winning FX Artist Pav Grochola

Sarah Mason sits down for Part 2 of her interview with Pav Grochola, VFX Artist and FX Supervisor for the Oscar winning Best Animated Feature, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. Pav recently won a VES award for his groundbreaking VFX work on the film. He talks about his process, the amazing VFX and animation teams he worked with and the innovative new tool he invented that may change the future of animation.



Pav Grochola is an award winning VFX artist and FX Supervisor for Sony Pictures Imageworks. After receiving his degree in Fine Arts in his native Australia, Pav started his career at a post house in Melbourne then moved over to animation when the owner of an animation company saw the value of having a fine artist work on 3D projects. Pav got his big break working for famed British illustrator Dave McKean (The Sandman) on his film Mirror Mask. He then went on to work for Double Negative, one of the leading VFX companies in the world where he worked on several of the Harry Potter films. Pav's credits include Guardians of the Galaxy, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Edge of Tomorrow for which he won an Annie Award from the Visual Effects Society for Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal/Live Action Feature Motion Picture.

Pav lives in Santa Monica, California with his wife Scarlett and son Aidan. 

Jean Picker Firstenberg

President Emerita and Lifetime Trustee, The American Film Institute

Jean Picker Firstenberg served as President and CEO of the American Film Institute from 1980 to 2007, overseeing the development of AFI as one of America’s greatest national, cultural, and educational resources. She received an AFI Life Achievement Award for Service to the Institute and was named president emerita and a lifetime trustee. In 2016, Firstenberg was named to the California State University Board of Trustees by Governor Jerry Brown, overseeing the largest four-year public university system in the United States, with twenty-three campuses educating the most diverse student body in the nation. Prior to serving at AFI, Firstenberg spent four years as a program officer at the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation. She also served as director of Princeton University’s Publications Office. Firstenberg is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston University’s College of Communications. She has served on several boards, including that of Boston University (1984–1996), the George Foster Peabody Awards at Georgia University (1985–1997; board chair 1991–1997); and the United States Postal Service Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (2002–2014; committee chair 2008–2014). She has won numerous awards and honorary degrees.

“This book puts you directly behind the scenes for a story that began with a dream, overcame constant challenges, and evolved into the institution it is today.” ―Steven Spielberg 

“The AFI started out as an experiment verging on a mystery. But somehow it became an incubator for some of the great film talent of the late part of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. This is a tribute to the dedication and insight of its leaders and its faculty and its Fellows.” ―Caleb Deschanel, filmmaker (AFI class of 1969) 

“Documented here by the people who lived it, this is a remarkable tale of how a major institution, created out of whole cloth, wove itself into the American fabric.” ―Cokie Roberts, author and political commentator for ABC and NPR

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