The Filmback Podcast

The Filmback Podcast is dedicated to striving and thriving filmmakers. You host, Claire Tanner chats with individuals working in the film industry to learn from their journey and to help you further your own success by avoiding mistakes her guests have made. Consider Claire your friend, partner, cheerleader and her guests your mentors. Filmback is short for filmmaker feedback, and that's what Claire's all about. Just think of these episodes like mini master classes. What are you waiting for? Class is in session and there's a lot to learn.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
The Filmback Podcast


All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 1
Jun 7, 2016

Bill Zahn introduced himself to Claire as in indie filmmaker, she later discovered he'd worked on Men in Black, Pirates of the Caribbean,  Star Wars, Wall-E, Ratatouille, Cars, Toy Story 3 and so much more. Claire was intrigued by the humility of this artist who started out as a teenager making monsters and now works at Pixar. She invited her friend to get behind the mic to share his journey into filmmaking with you. 


What Claire is excited about in the world of film:


What Claire's watching: 

Hello My Name Is Dorris - now available on VOD.


Coming soon:

Dream Dangerously - Neil Gainan documentary avaiable on vimeo July 8th. 

Twitter: @GaimanMovie


On The Web:

June 2nd Google Doodle Lotte Reiniger's 117th birthday -


Behind the scenes of the Google Doodle with Nat and Lo

Nat and Lo on Twitter: @natandlo


The Interview With Bill Zahn:


8:32 Bill shares that Loony Toons shaped his sense of humor and inspired him to play and create characters. 


10:56 Bill tells us about how me managed to teach himself the craft and what it took to break into the business.


13:30 Claire asks if Bill wishes he'd gone to film school.


15:48 Bill talks about moving to Hollywood after getting a next-day interview with $60 to his name.


18:35 Claire asks about how Bill's work differs on big and small projects.


22:25 Claire talks about being moved to tears by the set design at a high school play.


23:20 Bill tells a story about seeing The Incredibles with his friend Paul and how the movie moved them.


25:45 Claire doesn't understand what special effects always means but she's glad that it's there to add to the movie magic. 


26:56 Bill talks about how he got to work at Pixar.


30:03 Claire asks what working at Pixar, a playground is really like.


31:51 Bill talks about the people who are working at Pixar being the "Pixar magic." 


34:20 Bill observes that it's the people who are working while others are distracted or goofing off who do well and move forward. 


34:50 Claire asks Bill about imposter syndrome. 


36:28 "Half of it is your work, and half of it is how good you are at working." 


37:07 Claire asks about what Bill does in the character department at Pixar. 


40:00 Claire asks about how artists are picked for films at Pixar.


41:10 The average Pixar film takes about 5 years to finish. 


42:10 Listener question - Lynn asks about how it feels when what you've worked on doesn't even make it into the movie.


43:48 Claire asks about humility with great success. 


46:40 Claire talks about hard work increasing luck.


49:06 Claire asks Bill if he thinks he's "made it."


50:40 Bill and Claire discuss measuring success as getting to keep working. 


54: 13 Claire talks to bill about the "Stone Soup" approach in indie filmmaking.     


56:23 Bill says "Get to work!" when asked for a piece of advice for aspiring filmmakers. 


57:50 Bill talks about his new book.


58:50 "You're gonna mess up!" Bill shares a lesson. 


60:00 Bill recommends a few resources for filmmakers


Bill suggests these films:

Star Wars 


The Shining 

The Man Who Would Be King

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Groundhog Day  


Connect with Bill at


Connect with the show:

Twitter: @filmbackpodcast

Instagram: @filmbackpodcast




**To stay unto date with the latest episodes be sure to subscribe to the show. And if you like what you've been hearing, we'd love it if you'd take a moment to rate and review us. Thanks so much for listening...until next time!**