FROM Mike Birbiglia
'Don't Think Twice' director Mike Birbiglia Improv theaters like the Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City have long served as proving grounds for future Saturday Night Live stars. But of course, only a few standout performers ever actually get there. In his new movie Don't Think Twice , comedian Mike Birbiglia explores the anxiety of trying to land a life-changing TV job -- and if that's not happening, deciding when it's time to just give up on a career in comedy. Birbiglia co-produced Don't Think Twice with This American Life host Ira Glass, who was also co-producer of Birbiglia's first film, Sleepwalk with Me . Many public radio listeners may have first heard Birbiglia's name after he started contributing to Glass's show eight years ago. Together Birbiglia and Glass have attended dozens of screenings and done Q&A's to drum up interest in Don't Think Twice -- which has an almost perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. Birbiglia wrote, directed and acts in the bittersweet indie about a close-knit improv troupe called The Commune that's faced with shifting dynamics after some of its players get noticed by scouts from a comedy show called Weekend Live. The Commune also has another problem -- they're losing their Manhattan theater space to make room for another Trump building. Birbiglia tells KCRW's Matt Holzman about his process for creating a movie that is mostly scripted, but feels off the cuff, and how he's had to devise his own marketing and distribution plan to get the film into theaters across the country.
Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia Make a Movie Ira Glass of This American Life talks with Kim Masters about the various dealings he's had in the movie business over the last a decade -- most notably as producer of the 2006 film Unaccompanied Minors, which was based on a segment on This American Life. Now he's taken a more hands-on role as producer and co-writer of the indie feature film, Sleepwalk with Me . Based on comedian Mike Birbiglia's one-man show, which was also a book and a segment on This American Life, the movie stars Birbiglia who also co-directed and co-wrote the film. The two talk with Kim about the untraditional way they financed the movie and the active role they've take in the distribution of it. To find out where the film is screening around the country go to thisamericanlife.org .
Industry insights and lessons learned from memorable guests We have interesting guests on The Business, and sometimes our conversations are too long to fit into one show. This week we give you stories that were too good to leave on the cutting room floor, including some sharp insights on making it in the industry from David Mandel, David Simon, Shawn Levy and Matt Reeves.