This afternoon on my show I talked with two filmmakers who are being featured tonight at the St. Louis International Film Festival, both of whom grew up here.

One is James Gunn, who directed “Slither,” wrote both “Scooby Doo” movies, and worked on “Dawn of the Dead.” The other is Ryan Eslinger, whose first movie “Madness and Genius” caught the eye of Sharon Stone, who agreed to co-produce and star in his second movie, “When A Man Falls In The Forest.”

I talked with Gunn about his years at Troma Films, where such classics as “Tromeo and Juliet” were made. He also gave an impassioned speech in support of the writers strike, even though it will impact him financially, as he has had to pull out of writing Ben Stiller’s new project. BTW, I did not ask Gunn any questions about his wife, Jenna Fischer, as they’re in the process of getting divorced.

Eslinger explained what happened when he visited Stone’s home to talk to her about working together, how he financed his first film with part-time jobs at Best Buy and Wild Oats while in high school, and how far he’s come since he was a ticket-taker at the AMC West Olive 16.

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