About Us

MICHAEL NEELSEN is an award-winning film director living in Chicago, Illinois. He attended film school in Los Angeles, California, and released his first feature-length documentary, Last Day at Lambeau, in 2012. He is co-founder of StoryFirst Media, a branded storytelling business, and is currently writing a non-fiction sports book while developing documentary and narrative features to direct. You can follow him on Twitter (@MichaelNeelsen).

His top twenty favorite films are as follows (in alphabetical order):

AFTER HOURS (1985) – Martin Scorsese
ANNIE HALL (1977) – Woody Allen
BAMBOOZLED (2000) – Spike Lee
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998) – Joel Coen
CASINO ROYALE (2006) – Martin Campbell
THE CRUISE (1998) – Bennett Miller
DAY OF THE DEAD (1985) – George A. Romero
EDUCATING RITA (1983) – Lewis Gilbert
EYES WIDE SHUT (1999) – Stanley Kubrick
FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965) – Sergio Leone
THE FOUNTAIN (2006) – Darren Aronofsky
THE HIT (1984) – Stephen Frears
JACKIE BROWN (1997) – Quentin Tarantino
THE KING OF COMEDY (1983) – Martin Scorsese
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007) – Joel & Ethan Coen
THE PASSENGER (1975) – Michelangelo Antonioni
THE QUIET EARTH (1985) – Geoff Murphy
SCARECROW (1973) – Jerry Schatzberg
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY… (1989) – Rob Reiner
WILD AT HEART (1990) – David Lynch

JOE PUDAS is a screenwriter from Madison, Wisconsin currently residing in Los Angeles. His rabid love for cinema started when he saw Cliffhanger at the age of seven, and only surged when he delved into the classics as he got older. He majored in journalism and film at UW-Madison, where he critiqued movies for the student newspaper. He is currently writing screenplays and watching way too many movies.You can follow him on Twitter (@ballsdontread).

His top twenty favorite films are as follows (in alphabetical order):

ALMOST FAMOUS (2000) – Cameron Crowe
BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) – Robert Zemeckis
BLUE VELVET (1986) – David Lynch
CITY LIGHTS (1931) – Charles Chaplin
DAYS OF HEAVEN (1978) – Terrence Malick
THE FLY (1986) – David Cronenberg
GOODFELLAS (1990) – Martin Scorsese
HARD BOILED (1992) – John Woo
JACKIE BROWN (1997) – Quentin Tarantino
L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997) – Curtis Hanson
THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1992) – Michael Mann
THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (1971) – Peter Bogdanovich
MILLER’S CROSSING (1990) – Joel and Ethan Coen
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) – Steven Spielberg
RUSHMORE (1998) – Wes Anderson
SCARFACE (1983) – Brian De Palma
THE SHINING (1980) – Stanley Kubrick
TOTAL RECALL (1990) – Paul Verhoeven
WAGES OF FEAR (1953) – Henri-Georges Clouzot
YI YI (2000) – Edward Yang

JARED GORES is a film critic and budding screenwriter from Milwaukee, Wisconsin currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. His love for cinema began at an early age when his dad introduced him to Star Wars. At UW-Madison, he majored in film, while also contributing movie reviews toThe Badger Herald. He currently publishes reviews and other movie content on Gores Eats Film. You can follow him on Twitter (@jgoresy, @GoresEatsFilm).

Ten of his favorite movies are (in alphabetical order):

APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) – Francis Ford Coppola
BLADE RUNNER (1982) – Ridley Scott
CHINATOWN (1974) – Roman Polanski
HIGH AND LOW (1963) – Akira Kurosawa
LA JETÉE (1962) – Chris Marker
NOTORIOUS (1946) – Alfred Hitchcock
PARIS, TEXAS (1984) – Wim Wenders
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) – Steven Spielberg
THREE COLORS: BLUE (1993) – Krzysztof Kieślowski
YI YI (2000) – Edward Yang


  • What’s up guys,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. It seems to me that you guys know movies inside and out. I read on the site that Joe and Jared are budding screenwriters (with solid taste in movies). If you guys are looking for an opportunity to get your scripts to industry professionals who have been involved in the development of movies from Jurassic Park to Schindler’s List to Benjamin Button, check out the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition: http://www.nashvillefilmfestival.org/screenwriting-competition/

    Or email me at michael@nashvillefilmfestival.org with any questions.

    Happy writing (and blogging),