Tom Zambreck and Joshua Wagner were students in MPI’s second graduating class. During their time in the filmmaking program, they found collaborators in each other and set off on a filmmaking journey that has landed them in Hollywood. Their upcoming feature, Turning Point, is in post production and already generating buzz in the news.
The film has an all-star cast, with DJ Qualls (Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, Syfy’s Z Nation), Lydia Hearst (Z Nation, The Haunting of Sharon Tate), Sanchita Malik (Do Better, Happy Anniversary), and Shane Brady (Ballers, Doctor Sleep). We sat down to talk with this dynamic duo to learn more about their career path, how they define success and the method behind their new film, which was shot during the pandemic.
Tom and Josh are dreamers with street smarts and a strong desire to make films. While at Motion Picture Institute, they were able to test their creative limits, learn the basics and got their first taste of life on set. In addition to learning the ropes, the next best part of the experience
was networking. Tom and Josh met each other and have been working on projects since film school.
Having a strong network really helps in this business, and while it’s not easy, you can build one that works for you. Tom and Josh talk about how they have built their careers by proving what they can do, taking what they can get and then building on that experience and reaching for more. They advise anyone starting out to prioritize relationships, even when you’re in film school. You never know where your classmates
will be tomorrow and what doors they could open for you.
Tom and Josh admit that the industry is competitive and you do hear a lot of ‘no’s.’ That shouldn’t discourage you though. The important thing is to have as many leads as possible and to keep going. Eventually, something will work out and it’s up to you to prove yourself. Challenges come up all the time, whether you are on set or planning your next move. Their biggest challenge of late has been the pandemic, but that didn’t
stop Tom and Josh from creating. Afterall, they did film Turning Point during the pandemic, which says a lot about their grit and determination. It’s stories like this that make us proud to have launched the careers of so many talented filmmakers.
Interested in following Tom and Josh’s lead? Come to our next Open House. Limited seats are available for the September start so be sure to register now and save your spot.