How to make a Sky Original Feature with ‘To Olivia’ Director & Writer John Hay and Producer Donall McCusker

Giles Alderson sits down with Director and screenwriter John Hay & producer Donall McCusker to discuss their latest film ‘To Olivia’, now on Sky, which is the story of the tumultuous marriage between actress Patricia Neal and renowned writer Roald Dahl. It stars the fantastic Keeley Hawes and Hugh Bonneville and is a beautiful, heart warming , well made and brilliantly directed film.

Donall McCusker has produced films such as ‘Falling for Figaro’. ‘Division 9’, ‘Kajaki’, 6 Days’ and the ‘Hurtlocker’. John Hay is the director and screenplay writer of ‘To Olivia’ but he’s also directed ‘There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble’, ‘Lost Christmas’, and some amazing TV work including ‘Stig of the Dump’, which was BAFTA awarded. They sit down with us to discuss how they made their latest feature To Olivia and what directing and producing tips could help benefit you.

We also chat about what makes a good line producer and how to close finance. Plus we learnt why you might want to film on widescreen format and what it’s like working with child actors and how you have to treat it in an entirely different way.

We also dive deeper into why they decided to make this story on the legendary ‘Roald Dahl’ and how they got the finance to make the movie. They also talk about losing cast and how they deal with with replacing actors at the last minute, during pre-production.

We also get a little insight of their experience with working with Al Pacino, Katheryn Bigelow and Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz so make sure you listen closely as you really don’t want to miss anything on this weeks podcast.

Follow John on twitter @ThatJohnHay

Watch To Olivia Trailer Click the link

To Olivia on SKY Movies NOW


Support Robbie McKane’s Tohoku Kickstarter here

Join us on ClubHouse on Thursday 25th 6.30 GMT


Join our Patreon for bonus episodes, industry survival guides and feedback on your film projects.

Spread the Word with Our Merch T-Shirts, Hoodies, Mugs, Masks and Water Bottles all now available in some very cool designs.

Subscribe on iTunesSpotify, Podbean, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Help us out and write us a review (a good one!), tell your friends and CHOOSE FILM.

Get in touch? Email us

Follow us on Twitter Facebook and Instagram

Check out our full episode archive at


The Filmmakers Podcast is hosted and written by Giles Alderson @gilesalderson

Produced and edited by Robbie McKane @robbiemckane & Samuel Evans @SamuelHEvans_

Social Media by Kalli Pasqualucci @kallieep

Logo and Banner Art by Lois Creative 

Theme Music by John J. Harvey

Part of the


The Dare UK | Trailer

The Dare Canada and USA

A Serial Killers Guide to Life | Trailer

Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot

Winter Ridge UK

The Isle

Fanged Up

The Marker

Star Wars: Origins


Follow our Regular Hosts @LucindaRhodes @DirDomLenoir @35mmdop @philmblog @IanSharp1 @Cjamesdirect @dan710ths

Follow Make Your Film for Live Events with our Guests @makeyourfilm20 

Follow our Movies @thedaremovie @Food4ThoughtDoc @FangedUpFilm

Raindance events

The Filmmakers Podcast recommends Performance Insurance

Music from

Giles Alderson’s website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2024 The Filmmakers Podcast