AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL'S ON STORY PODCAST

On this week’s episode, we’re bringing you conversations with filmmakers and television creators behind new releases in film and television.  Actor Natalie Portman and filmmaker Brady Corbet will discuss  their pop culture focused Vox Lux, later writer/director Peter Hedges discusses his heart wrenching addiction drama Ben is Back, and finally creator Justin Marks will discuss his mind-bending espionage thriller series Counterpart which is currently in it’s 2nd season on the Starz network.

Vox Lux is the new film from actor turned filmmaker Brady Corbet. The film follows the rise and turbulent career of a pop star that is catapulted to stardom after surviving a violent tragedy as a teenager. Austin Film Festival’s Senior Film Program Director Liz Mims spoke with writer/director Brady Cobert and star Natalie Portman after a screening of Vox Lux at the 25th annual Austin Film Festival. Trailer of Vox Lux courtesy of Neon &Bold Films Productions, LLC.

Filmmaker Peter Hedges has written as a novelist, a playwright, and screenwriter. His film credits include What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, About a Boy, and Pieces of April. His newest film, Ben is Back, explores the relationship of a mother and estranged teenage son who is battling addiction. The film stars Julie Roberts and Hedges’ son, Lucas Hedges. I spoke with Peter Hedges after a screening of Ben is Back at the 25th annual Austin Film Festival. Clips of Ben is Back courtesy of: Roadside Attractions & LD Entertainment.

Direct download: New_Releases_Vox_Lux_BenBack_Counterpart.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 6:00pm CST

On this week’s On Story we’ll hear from filmmaker Faraday Okoro, a two-time Austin Film Festival alumni and featured in Moviemaker Magazine’s Screenwriter to Watch List. His first feature film Nigerian Prince was produced for $1 million as part of AT&T’s Untold Stories initiative. And later, we’ll hear from author Christopher Vogler, whose landmark book The Writers Journey has helped countless screenwriters shape their scripts by using the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell.

31-year-old writer/director Faraday Okoro is a rising talent. Okoro’s first two shorts, Full-Windsor and Blitz screened at several major film festivals including Austin Film Festival and internationally. Okoro’s new film Nigerian Prince premiered at the 2018 Tribecca Film Festival. The film is a coming of age, heist thriller that explores the hidden world of Nigerian email scammers. I recently spoke with Okoro about the learning process behind making his first feature and the thematic elements that tie his work together.

Christopher Vogler is a veteran Hollywood story consultant and author who is best known for his landmark book The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers. Vogler’s book looked at the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell and explored the universal narrative structures and character archetypes that all stories follow. As a story consultant for various studios, Vogler worked on The Lion King, Aladdin and Hercules, Fight Club, and The Wrestler. Professor Greg Garrett spoke with Christopher Vogler at the 24th Austin Film Festival in 2017.

 

Direct download: Faraday_Okoro_Chris_Vogler_Podcast.mp3
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This week on On Story we’ll hear Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright on his new book God Save Texas and the Hulu mini-series he adapted from his 2006 book The Looming Tower. And later, we’ll hear from Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost on the cult television series return to air after 25 years.

Multi-talented scribe Lawrence Wright has told stories as an author, screenwriter, playwright and journalist. Last month Wright released his highly anticipated new novel God Save Texas, which explores the history, culture, and politics of ‘the most controversial state in America’.  I interviewed Wright on the day of the books release at an event cosponsored by Austin Film Festival and The Texas Book Festival.

We’re back with author and television creator, Lawrence Wright. In 2006 Wright released the Pultizer Prize-winning novel, The Looming Tower - which explored the events that led to the September 11th terrorist attacks. Earlier this year Wright teamed with his frequent documentarian collaborator Alex Gibney and filmmaker Dan Futterman to adapt the novel into a Hulu miniseries of the same name. The show stars Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard, and Michael Stulhbarg. Clips of The Looming Tower courtesy of Legendary Television & Hulu. 

Mark Frost started his career as a staff writer on the celebrated 80’s police procedural Hill Street Blues. In 1990, Frost partnered with filmmaker David Lynch to co-create the television series, Twin Peaks. The shows mix of melodrama, surrealism, offbeat humor and horror was quickly celebrated for being unlike anything else on network television. In 2017, the series returned to air 25 years after its initial run for an 18 episode limited series on the Showtime network. I spoke with Mark Frost about revisiting old creations at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival in 2017. Clips of Twin Peaks (1990) courtesy of  Lynch/Frost Productions, Inc., American Broadcasting Company (ABC).

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On this week’s episode of On Story, we honor Veteran’s Day with a look at writing for war films with writers David Broyles, Bill Broyles, Randall Wallace and Bruce C. McKenna.

David Broyles grew up in California, New York, and on a dude ranch in Bandera, Texas. He attended the University of Texas and Columbia University, and served as a Pararescueman (PJ) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following his enlistment, he was recognized by the Governor of Texas for exceptional volunteer work and advocacy for disabled veterans. He has sold several screenplays and most recently co-created Six, an upcoming dramatic series for the History Channel. David has been involved with the Austin Film Festival for many years as a writer, director, and volunteer. I spoke with David about Six in September ahead of the second and final season. 

The art of composing a war story for film or television requires meticulous strategy and technique before embarking upon the battlefield of the script.  A writer must go to the trenches when researching the depths of the setting, history, and culture to dramatize these conflict-driven and layered narratives. In this half of the show, I sit down with writers, Bruce C. McKenna, Bill Broyles, and Randall Wallace as they swap their own war stories on how to best execute bringing your vision to lifeThis panel discussion comes from the 21st Austin Film Festival held in 2014. 

Bruce C. McKenna is an award-winning screenwriter and producer.  He wrote on four of the ten episodes of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning mini-series Band of Brothers, for which he garnered a WGA Award, a Christopher Award and was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize for his episode, Bastogne. He created, co-wrote and co-executive produced The Pacific, the Emmy Award-winning Miniseries for HBO, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks on the Pacific Theater of the Second World War.  In addition to winning a producing Emmy, McKenna was nominated for his second writing Emmy, was again a finalist for the Humanitas Prize, and garnered a Producer’s Guild Award, a Critic’s Choice Award, as well as the Marine Corp Heritage Foundation Bill Broyles Image Award.  

Bill Broyles grew up in Baytown, Texas, attended Rice University and Oxford University, worked in the civil rights movement, and finished out the Sixties as a Marine infantry lieutenant in Vietnam. As a journalist he was the founding editor of Texas Monthly and from 1982 to 1984 was editor-in-chief of Newsweek. He was the co-creator of the Emmy-Award -winning television series China Beach. He wrote the original screenplay for the movie Cast Away and the screenplay for Jarhead. He co-authored six other screenplays, including Apollo 13UnfaithfulThe Polar Express and Flags of Our Fathers. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for Apollo 13, which won the Writers Guild award for best screenplay.  He has been involved with the Austin Film Festival from the beginning.

Randall Wallace is the Oscar®-nominated creative force behind the epic storytelling of such critical and box-office hits as BraveheartWe Were SoldiersPearl HarborSecretariat, and Heaven is for Real

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For this year’s 25th anniversary Austin Film Festival and Writers’ Conference showcased the minds behind celebrated classics as well as the next generation of storytellers. This week’s On Story takes you to the heart of 2018’s Festival and Conference with Awardee’s Roger Corman, Tony Gilroy, and Larry Wilmore and later we’ll hear from The Long Dumb Road writer/director Hannah Fidell and actor Jason Mantzoukas.

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This week, in honor of Austin Film Festival’s 25th Anniversary we’re going back into our archives to bring you conversations with writers that created two of 1993’s most remembered films. First we’ll hear from screenwriter Angelo Pizzo who wrote the inspirational football drama Rudy. And later, we’ll hear from Ron Nyswaner who wrote the Jonathan Demme directed drama Philadelphia, which starred Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks.

1993 saw the release of giant blockbuster films like Jurassic Park, classic comedies like Groundhog’s Day, Rom-Com staples like Sleepless in Seattle, and the inspirational true-life story of an undersized, dyslexic student who’s only dream was to play football for the University of Notre Dame. Rudy, written by Angelo Pizzo, has stood the test of time as a film that still resonates with an audience 25 years after its release. In 2005 the film was named one of the 25 Best Sports Movies by ESPN and one of the most-inspiring films of all time by the “AFI 100 Series”. Pizzo, who also wrote the Indiana basketball drama Hoosiers, spoke about Rudy at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Clips of Rudy courtesy of TriStar Pictures, Inc.

We continue our 25-year look back with a conversation with screenwriter Ron Nyswaner. In 1993, Nyswaner wrote Philadelphia, which follows an attorney who is fired from his high-powered law firm after it’s revealed that he is HIV positive. The film was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV and homosexuality. Tom Hanks won an Academy Award® for Best actor for his portrayal of lawyer Andrew Beckett. Nyswaner is also known for adapting the W. Somerset Maugham novel The Painted Veil into the 2006 film of the same name.  Nyswaner spoke about his career and writing process at the 20th annual Austin Film Festival in 2013.

Clips of Philadelphia courtesy of TriStar Pictures, Inc.

Clip of Ray Donovan courtesy of Showtime Networks, Inc.

Clip of The Painted Veil courtesy of Bob Yari Productions & Yari Film Group Releasing

 

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Writer/director Nathan Deming presents one of the most touching and complex films in our lineup this year with his film Speaking in Tongues, that delves into hard questions of faith, love, sexuality, and community in our modern world.

Screening Times: 10/27, 6:30PM: Hideout Theatre & 10/31, 4:00PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

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In Above the Clouds, a headstrong young girl makes a startling discovery that the man married to her mother isn't her real dad. Recruiting a homeless man whose only possession is his driving licence, she embarks on an epic road trip to track down her biological father. We spoke with Director Leon Chambers and writer Simon Lord about their collaboration and the off the cuff characters and story they’ve created.

Screening Times for Above the Clouds: 10/27, 4:45PM at St. David's Bethell Hall & 10/29, 8:30PM: Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: ABOVE_THE_CLOUDS_FINAL.mp3
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One of our most compelling and challenging stories at this years festival comes from a powerful documentary titled A Girl Named C. It tells the story of 11- year who was raped in her New Jersey elementary school by another 11-year-old student. Emily Kassie, the films director spoke to us about her motivations and what drove her to champion this story.

Screening Times: 10/28, 4:00PM: St.David's Bethell Hall & 10/29, 1:00PM at Alamo Drafthouse Village

 

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After years of serving as a soldier in Syria, A Soldier is suddenly called back stateside when his wife and 5 year-old son, Lawrence, are involved in a car accident. Now while faced with burying the love of his life and becoming a single parent, his young son begins to reveal secrets about the town and its residents. Writer/director Jason Noto tell us about making this hard and sincere film come to life.

Screening Times: 10/25, 7:15PM: State Theatre & 10/30, 7:00PM at the Alamo Drafthouse Village

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One of America's greatest visual poets, photographer Burk Uzzle, travels America's back roads in search of hidden treasures of Americana and uses his vast archive as a guide to confront race, inequality, and injustice. Documentarian Jethro Waters spoke to us about his process of capturing and presenting his subject in his film F11 and Be There.

Screening Times: 10/28, 6:45PM: Bethell Hall & 10/30, 1:00PM at the Alamo Drafthouse Village

Direct download: F11_AND_BE_THERE_FINAL.mp3
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Set in the oil fields of Texas,The Iron Orchard is an authentic account of how men lived, loved and attempted to prosper in one of America’s most dangerous industries. Director Ty Roberts and writer Gerry De Leon spoke to us about this vibrant and brutal story.  

 

Screening Times: 10/30, 7:15PM: State Theatre & 10/27, 4:00PM at the the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: IRON_ORCHARD_FINAL.mp3
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Major Arcana is set in the backwoods of Vermont, an itinerant carpenter faces a quixotic struggle to end a legacy of alcoholism and poverty as he attempts to build a log cabin by hand. Producer and former Austinite Sarah Kolb spoke to discuss the unique challenges presented by Major Arcana.

Screening Times: 10/25, 8:00PM: Hideout Theater & 10/30, 3:15PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: MAJOR_ARCANA_FINAL.mp3
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After moving to Spain for her husband, Eva, a Paraguayan woman finds herself bored, unhappy, and sexually frustrated. Korean American Writer Jean Lee spoke to us about her love for spanish telenovelas and the unique set of circumstances that led her to helm this Spanish language comedy. This is a Spanish speaking film that contains subtitles.

Screening Times: 10/25, 9:45PM: St. David’s Bethell Hall & 10/30, 5:30PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: PECADO_ORIGINAL_FINAL.mp3
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Though her Iranian parents long for their daughter to have the perfect Persian wedding, Nousha can’t seem to hold a relationship together long enough to ever see that through. That is, until she meets Alex, an eccentric bisexual artist who might just be the one. Writer/ Director Sarah Zandieh presents us with an amazing culture clash and familial comedy Zandieh’s script is sharp and witty and eloquent in both the language of traditional Persia and secular America.

Screening Times: 10/25, 7:10PM: Alamo Drafthouse Village & 10/30, 8:30PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

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Jonathan is a lonely twenty-something, working night shifts at the local convenience store. When an unexpected encounter with a mysterious woman turns his life upside down. Writing partners and filmmakers Brian Hanson and Richard Handley talked with us about this dark and twisted thriller that launches Frankie Muniz onto a new and sinister stage.

Screening Times: 10/25, 10:00PM: State Theatre & 10/31, 9:15PM at the Alamo Drafthouse Village

 

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We’re very excited to present to you The Lake Vampire, the story of an ambitious writer desperate to find a subject for his next novel, who follows the tracks of a mysterious killer who beheads his victims without leaving a trace. Venezuelan Writer and filmmaker Carl Zitleman spoke with us about his unique vision. This is a Spanish speaking film that contains subtitles.

Screening Times: 10/28, 7:00PM at the Alamo Drafthouse Village & 10/31, 6:15PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: THE_LAKE_VAMPIRE_FINAL.mp3
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The film Undercliffe, written by Lisa Mulcahy, presents us with the original story of a young man still bleeding from a brutal attack that has left him with severe memory loss. He slowly begins to piece together his identity: his name, his home, his family.

Screening Times: 10/26, 7:30PM: Hideout Theatre & 10/29, 3:15PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

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Set in a magical timeless world, and filmed at Willie Nelson’s famous ranch in Texas, Waiting for the Miracle to Come tells the story of a young girl who is sent on a journey of discovery. Writer/Director Lian Lunson tells us what inspired her to create this beautiful tale and the joys of working with the multi-talented Willie Nelson.

Screening Times: 10/27, 3:00PM: State Theatre & 10/29, 7:00PM at the Galaxy Highland 10

Direct download: WAITING_FOR_A_MIRACLE_FINAL.mp3
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We were saddened to learn of the loss of screenwriter Audrey Wells. A former Austin Film Festival panelist, Audrey was incredibly generous with her time and expertise and was an artist our registrants were always eager to learn from. Through her work, Audrey's voice shone through as one of inspiration, passion, and empowerment. The characters she created time and again were full of strength and depth, and he spirit will live on through the films she shared with the world. Our thoughts go out to Audrey's friends and family during this difficult time. Here's a short clip of Wells discussing the challenges of adapting Under the Tuscan Sun with writers Bill Witliff and Aline Brosh McKenna and moderated by Robert Draper, from the 14th Annual Austin Film Festival in 2007.

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On this week’s On Story we’re exploring sequels and reboots. First, we’ll hear from writer/director Shane Black on his latest film, The Predator. And later in the show, we’ll hear from the writers behind the sequels and reboots of hits Dumb & Dumber, X-Men: First Class, Valley Girl, and Predator.  

Shane Black has been responsible for creating a number of box office blockbusters. His films include the first two installments of the Lethal Weapon series, 1991’s The Last Boy Scout, and The Last Boy Scout, whose script sold for a record sum of money in 1990. Black’s directorial debut, the romantic thriller Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang was released in 2005. His latest film, The Predator reboots the Predator series 30 years later with an ensemble cast that includes Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown and more. I spoke with Black following a special screening of the original Predator at the Historic Paramount Theatre during the 24th annual Austin Film Festival and ahead of the release of his latest film.  

Clips of Predator (1987) courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Clips of The Predator (2018) courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

sequels, or ‘threequels.’ Screenwriters Bobby Farrelly, Ashley Miller, Amy Talkington and Shane Black discuss the challenges of life-after-the-originals, as well as the difference between trying your hand at multiple installments within a series or picking up where someone else left off. Dumb and Dumber writer Bobby Farrelly, X-Men: First Class writer Ashley Miller, The Predator (2018) writer/director Shane Black and the upcoming Valley Girl reboot writer, Amy Talkington discuss these challenges at the 2016 Austin Film Festival in a panel moderated by professor Fred Strype. 

Clips of Dumb & Dumber courtesy of: New Line Productions, Inc.

Clips of The Nice Guys courtesy of: Warner Brothers, Inc. & Misty Mountains Productions, LLC.

Clips of X-Men: First Class courtesy of: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation & Dune Entertainment III, LLC.

Clips of Lethal Weapon 2: Warner Brothers, Inc.

Direct download: SB-PREDATOR_PODCAST.mp3
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This week, we’ll hear from television creator Alec Berg. Berg’s television credits include writing and executive producing Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Silicon Valley, which is currently in its fifth season. Later, screenwriters that have successfully adapted books and other works for the big and small screen will discuss the challenges of capturing the spirit of the source material.

Alec Berg has written for some of television’s most acclaimed comedies including Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Silicon Valley. He co-created the new HBO show Barry with former SNL star Bill Hader. The series follows Barry, played by Hadder, who is a depressed, low-level hit man looking for a way out. I recently spoke with Berg over the phone to discuss using research to help develop a story, avoiding clichés, and the evolution television comedies.   

Clips of Barry courtesy of HBO.

Sarah Gubbins co-created the Amazon series I Love Dick which was based on the 1997 novel of the same name, Marc Haimes wrote the 2016 animated film Kubo and the Two Strings and is currently working on adapting the graphic novel Nimona and the best selling novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon, and Eric Heisserer who adapted the novella The Story of Your Life into the 2016 Oscar Nominated film Arrival. Gubbins, Haimes, and Heisserer spoke with me at the 24th Austin Film Festival to discuss translating themes and literary devices, collaborating with authors, and when to take creative liberties.

Clips of Arrival courtesy of Xenolinguistics, LLC. and Clips of I Love Dick courtesy of Amazon Studios and Topple Productions

 

 

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On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from author, screenwriter, and television creator Noah Hawley. Hawley created FX’s award winning series Fargo, which is loosely based on the Coen brothers film, and Legion which is set in the Marvel universe. Later we’ll hear from legendary producer and The Terminator co-writer Gale Anne Hurd.

Noah Hawley is a Peabody Award winning novelist and an Emmy and Golden Globe award winning television creator. In 2014 he created the FX anthology Fargo which was inspired by the 1996 Coen brothers film of the same name. In 2017 he followed up Fargo with Legion, which is set in the Marvel universe and connected to the X-Men film series. Hawley spoke with On Story producer Maya Perez at the 24th Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of Fargo and Legion courtesy of MGM Television, FX Productions, 26 Keys Production & Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Gale Anne Hurd is one of the industry’s most respected film and television producers. In 1984 she produced and co-wrote her first feature film, the seminal genre classic The Terminator. She followed that film by producing Aliens, The Abyss, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Most recently Hurd has served as an Executive Producer on AMC’s The Walking Dead. I spoke with Hurd at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of The Terminator courtesy of Cinema ’84

 

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This week, web series creator-turned cable TV sensation Issa Rae on her journey from YouTube to HBO, her desire for diversity on television and her hit series Insecure. We'll also hear from comedy empresario Larry Wilmore on his work developing Insecure with Issa Rae and his perspective on diverse new voices in comedy.

With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae’s content has garnered over 25 million views and more than 300,000 subscribers on YouTube. In addition to making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list twice and winning awards for her web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae has worked on web content for Pharrell Williams, Tracey Edmonds and numerous others. She developed a TV series with Shonda Rhimes for ABC and developed the HBO hit series, Insecure with legendary comedian Larry Wilmore. The series has garnered Rae a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in Television Series-Musical or Comedy for the second year in a row. The series pilot was written by both Rae and Wilmore and is slated for a third season this year. Screenwriter Pamela Ribbon spoke with Issa Rae at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Larry Wilmore started his career as an actor and stand-up comedian before writing and producing on the early nineties classic television shows In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Jamie Foxx Show . He co-created The PJ’s with Eddie Murphy, The Bernie Mac Show and was consulting producer and guest star on the American version of The Office. Most recently, Wilmore was the host of Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. We caught up with Wilmore by phone to discuss his collaborations with Issa Rae and other new voices in comedy.

 

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On this week’s On Story we’re tracing the history of modern film comedies back to a singular movie celebrating it’s 40th anniversary. Grab your toga and your ‘college’ sweatshirt as comedy writers reflect on Animal House’s lasting influence. We’ll also hear from SNL alum and Adam Sandler collaborator Tim Herlihy, who used the National Lampoon movies as a model to write some of the biggest comedies of the 1990’s.

40 years ago National Lampoon’s Animal House changed American comedies and shaped people’s expectations of the college experience. The frat comedy was an instant success when in was released in 1978 and remains one of the most quotable films. Beverly Hills Cop writer Daniel Petrie, Jr and Role Models writer Tim Dowling explored Animal House’s lasting legacy at the 2015 Austin Film Festival in a conversation moderated by filmmaker Roy Rutngamlug.

One direct influence that came from the National Lampoon’s continued collaboration was Tim Herlihy’s work with Adam Sandler. In the 1990’s, Herlihy co-wrote a string of successful films that launched Sandler into an unlikely leading man. Some of his writing credits include Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Wedding Singer. He conceived of most of those films while writing at Saturday Night Live. I spoke with Tim Herlihy at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival in 2016.

Clips of Animal House courtesy of Universal City Studios, Inc.

Clips of Billy Madison courtesy of: Universal City Studios, Inc.

Clips of Saturday Night Live courtesy of: National Broadcasting Company, Inc.

Clips of The Wedding Singer courtesy of: New Line Productions, Inc.

Clips of The Waterboy courtesy of: Touchstone Pictures, an a.d.o. Disney Enterprises, Inc.

 

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On this week's episode, we’ll hear from legendary jack-of-all-trades Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans. In 1987 the two co-wrote the groundbreaking comedy Hollywood Shuffle based on their experience dealing with racial stereotypes of African Americans in the film and television industry. Robert Rodriguez, writer/director of The El Mariachi trilogy, Sin City, and the Spy Kids franchise introduced Townsend and Wayans at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival.

Multi-talented entertainer, Robert Townsend, is often referred to as one of the ‘Godfathers of the Independent Film World’.  For the past 30 years Townsend has worked in nearly every role in front of and behind the camera earning the writer, director, and actor over 30 NAACP Image Award nominations. Townsend is best known for creating the films Meteor Man, The Five Heartbeats, and Hollywood Shuffle, which he co-wrote with Keenen Ivory Wayans. Comedian Dave Buckman spoke with Townsend at the 24th Austin Film Festival.

Townsend co-wrote Hollywood Shuffle with friend and fellow stand up comedian, Keenen Ivory Wayans who created, launched and hosted the groundbreaking 1990’s sketch comedy series In Living Color. The often-controversial show helped introduce a number of African American comedians to super stardom including the careers of Wayans’ siblings Damon, Kim, Shawn and Marlon, as well as featured cast members Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carrey, and Jamie Foxx.  Comedian John Merriman spoke with Keenen Ivory Wayans at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival.

 

 

 

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This week, we’ll hear from writer Scott Alexander. Best known for his work writing unusual biopics with larger-than-life characters, Alexander ventured into television in 2016 when he co-created FX’s award-winning mini-series The People v. O.J. Simpson. Later, television creator, showrunner, and producer Courtney Kemp. Kemp is the mind behind the critically acclaimed gritty New York drama, Power – whose fifth season is currently on the Starz Network.

Scott Alexander is best known for co-writing unusual biopics with larger-than-life characters. His films have depicted the lives of filmmaker Ed Wood, comedian Andy Kaufman, and provocateur Larry Flynt. In 2016, Alexander co-created The People v. O.J. Simpson which was his first foray into television. The miniseries earned numerous awards including a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series. Journalist R.B. Brenner spoke with Scott Alexander at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival in 2017. 

Clips of The People v. O.J. Simpson courtesy of Bluebush Productions, LLC., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Courtney Kemp created Power in 2014, marking her debut as a television creator and showrunner. The series follows the complex character James “Ghost” St. Patrick as he struggles to balance his professional life while also being a major player in one of New York City’s largest drug networks. Under her leadership the series generated the largest concentration of African American viewership of any scripted premium series in nearly a decade. Kemp spoke with UT Austin professor S. Craig Watkins at the 24th Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of Power courtesy of CBS Television Studios, and Starz!.

 

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On this episode of On Story, Die Hard screenwriter Jeb Stuart and Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black discuss their two action classics, followed by screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen on his long-standing collaboration with filmmaker Luc Besson and their work creating the The Fifth Element, The Transporter and Taken.

The 1987 blockbuster Lethal Weapon is the first writing credit in Shane Black’s filmography. He went on to act in, write or write and direct over 30 films including The Long Kiss Goodnight, Iron Man 3, and The Nice Guys. Black’s latest film, will be a remake of his 1987 sci-fi film, entitled, The Predator is slated for release August of 2018. Shane Black’s popular Lethal Weapon franchise has currently evolved into a TV show on Fox of the same name and stars Damon Wayans. Season 2 of the TV show is slated for early 2018.

Jeb Stuart wrote the screenplay for the action classic, Die Hard. The film was nominated for 4 Academy Awards® and voted the Best Action Film of All Time by Entertainment Weekly in 2007. Jeb Stuart’s other credits include the screenplays for The Fugitive, nominated for 7 Academy Awards® including Best Picture and the action-comedy Another 48 Hrs.

I spoke with Shane Black and Jeb Stuart in 2015 as part of the 22nd Austin Film Festival. Portions of this half of our episode were recorded at the Q&A session following a special screening of Die Hard at the historic Paramount Theatre in Austin Texas in 2015.

Robert Mark Kamen’s screenwriting credits begin with the script for the 1981 film Taps which was adapted from Devery Freeman’s novel Father Sky, and which stars George C Scott, Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn and Tom Cruise in his first major role in a motion picture.

He went on to create The Karate Kid, starring Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio, and collaborated with filmmaker Luc Besson on The Fifth Element, as well as the Transporter and Taken franchises.

I spoke with Robert Mark Kamen on July 12th 2015 at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin Texas.

 

 

Direct download: DIE_HARD_LETHAL_WEAPON_ROBERT_KAMEN_REFEED_2018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:00pm CST

On this week’s On Story we’ll hear from Everybody Loves Raymond Executive Producer and Somebody Feed Phil creator and host Phil Rosenthal on the common thread between travel shows and sitcoms, the unifying power of food and the late great Anthony Bourdain. And later, Rosenthal discusses his comedy documentary, Exporting Raymond

In 1995 Phil Rosenthal created the hit CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond. He served as Showrunner and Executive Producer for all nine years of the series run which earned more than 70 Emmy nominations. Rosenthal’s new Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil follows Rosenthal as he travels the globe taking in the local cuisine and culture. I sat down with Phil to discuss food, family, and the new season of Somebody Feed Phil, which is out July 6th on Netflix.

Clips of Somebody Feed Phil courtesy of Netflix, Inc.

Following the creation of the hit CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond, Rosenthal is asked to adapt the series for Russian TV. He chronicles this journey through the comedy documentary, Exporting Raymond. The film follows Phil as he travels to Moscow to recreate the show for Russian audiences as Everybody Loves Kostya. Throughout the film, Rosenthal faces a series of challenges. Eventually, Rosenthal and the Russian creators come to an understanding despite the obvious culture and language barriers. The documentary premiered at the 17th annual Austin Film Festival in 2010. Rosenthal spoke with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer/director Shane Black at the Historic Paramount Theatre during the 17th annual Austin Film Festival in 2010.

Clips of Exporting Raymond courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Direct download: ROSENTHAL_PODCAST.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 5:21pm CST

This week, Andrew Lanham co-writer of The Glass Castle, discusses adapting the New York Times Best Seller memoir of the same name followed by Life of Pi and Finding Neverland writer David Magee discusses writing for imaginative worlds, and using language to translate stories to the screen.

Andrew Lanham received his MFA in screenwriting from The University of Texas at Austin. In 2010, he won the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, as well as the Drama and Latitude screenwriting awards at the Austin Film Festival, for his script The Jumper of Maine which tackles Lanham’s Tourette’s syndrome. Lanham helped co-write Jeannette Walls memoir and New York Times Best Seller, The Glass Castle. The film stars Academy Award® winning actress Brie Larson as Walls, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

David Magee is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter known for adapting the beloved novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Finding Neverland. His screen adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and earned director Ang Lee an Oscar for Best Director.

Magee is also the screenwriter for the next Chronicles of Narnia film, The Silver Chair and is currently writing the screenplay for the Disney musical Mary Poppins Returns.

David Magee spoke with me during a special year-round event held in the Harry Ransom Center in 2013. Clips from this episode copyright: Dune Entertainment III LLC, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, and Miramax Film Corporation.

 

 

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:37am CST

This week on On Story we’re exploring two of the most popular movie genres: action and comedy. First we’ll hear from the writers behind massive action hits Deadpool, Gone in Sixty Seconds, and Armageddon. And later, we’ll lighten the mood with a conversation with There’s Something About Mary co-writer and director Bobby Farrelly.

Action scenes can be some of the most memorable moments in a film but without a good story to support them they can fall flat. The most intricately choreographed fight sequence or heart pounding car chase is only effective if it furthers the story. Machete writer Alvaro Rodriguez spoke with Gone in 60 Seconds and Armageddon writer Scott Rosenberg, Deadpool and Zombieland writer Rhett Reese, and Hulk writer John Turman about writing effective action scenes at the 18th annual Austin Film Festival in 2011.

Bobby Farrelly has spent over twenty years redefining broad comedy. Alongside his brother Peter, the brothers have written and directed cult favorites like Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal, and Me, Myself & Irene. Actor John Merriman spoke with Farrelly at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival in 2016.

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Category:general -- posted at: 1:03pm CST

This week, writer-director Ric Roman Waugh and producer Jonathan King discuss their film, Shot Caller, followed by Oscar® nominated writer Frank Darabont detailing the process behind adapting Stephen King’s novel turned award-winning iconic film, The Shawshank Redemption.

Ric Roman Waugh has written numerous studio-based feature film screenplays for producers such as: Jerry Bruckheimer, Barry Josephson, Jim Sheridan just to name a few. This includes his latest screenplay, Currency, which Ric will direct next for producer Steve Golin and Participant Media. Ric also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed film, Felon, for Sony. The prison-based drama starred Val Kilmer. He followed that film with the dramatic-thriller, Snitch, which he also co-wrote and directed. He also recently produced and directed the documentary, That Which I Love Destroys Me. His film, Shot Caller, which Waugh produced and directed from his own screenplay for Bold Films and Participant Media.

Three-time Oscar® nominee Frank Darabont has made a name for himself as a screenplay writer, most famously for his adaptations of horror novelist Stephen King’s books The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, and The Mist. Darabont is also credited with creating the wildly popular AMC television series, The Walking Dead. Darabont’s accolades include Oscar® nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay in both, The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption.

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:53pm CST

On this week’s special podcast, Everybody Loves Raymond Executive Producer and Somebody Feed Phil creator and host Phil Rosenthal – will discuss the common thread between travel shows and sitcoms, the unifying power of food and the late great Anthony Bourdain.

In 1995 Phil Rosenthal created the hit CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond. He served as Showrunner and Executive Producer for all nine years of the series run which earned more than 70 Emmy nominations.

Rosenthal’s new Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil follows Phil as he travels the globe taking in the local cuisine and culture. I sat down with Phil to discuss food, family, and the new season of Somebody Feed Phil, which is out July 6th on Netflix.

Clips of Somebody Feed Phil courtesy of Netflix, Inc.

Direct download: PHIL_7_04_PODCAST.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:00am CST

This week, Oscar®-nominated writer Randall Wallace reflects on his  iconic and Academy Award®-winning film, Braveheart followed by screenwriter, Jeb Stuart who dissects the screenplay for his classic thriller The Fugitive, and fills us in on the story's journey from script to screen.

Randall Wallace is the Oscar®-nominated creative force behind many box-office hits such as Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, Secretariat, and The Man in the Iron Mask. After drawing the interest of director and star Mel Gibson Braveheart became Wallace’s first produced screenplay and ended up the film success story of 1995, winning the Academy Awards® for Best Picture and Best Director, Writers Guild Award for Best Screenplay, as well as garnering Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations.

AFF Executive Director, Barbara Morgan spoke with Wallace at a retrospective screening of the film in at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival in 2014. Clips from this episode copyright: B.H. Finance, CV, Icon Productions and Ladd Company.

Jeb Stuart is the writer/producer responsible for the screenplays of several blockbuster films including Die Hard, The Fugitive, Fire Down Below, Another 48 Hours and Switchback which he also produced. Jeb Stuart spoke with No Film School contributor, Christopher Boone at the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival in 2015. Clips from this episode copyright Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, LP.

 

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:00am CST

On this week’s episode, second generation actor Ed Begley Jr. talks about what he looks for when choosing new projects, finding the pain in a character, working with Christopher Guest and other comedy legends.

Ed Begley Jr. has performed in hundreds of movies and television shows, including An Officer and a Gentleman, St. Elsewhere, This Is Spinal Tap, Batman Forever, Pineapple Express, Better Call Saul, and Best in Show. He is most recognized for his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the television series St. Elsewhere for which he received six consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award Nomination. He is a recurring cast member in several of the mockumentaries written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. Barbara Morgan spoke with Ed Begley at the 23rd Annual Austin Film Festival in 2016. 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:53pm CST

This week on On Story, we’ll hear from podcast pioneers on breaking into a new medium and adapting audio stories for television. And later, we’ll hear from rising television talent, Misha Green, on her work co-creating the critically acclaimed, genre-bending drama Underground.

Narrative fiction podcasts have updated the radio drama with a modern, streamable twist. This new medium has attracted storytellers who, until recently, never considered telling strictly audio stories. Writers Lauren Shippen and Jenny Turner Hall discussed their transition into podcasting and the new opportunities that their shows have provided them at the 2017 Austin Film Festival.

Next up we’ll hear from television writer and showrunner Misha Green. Green began her career as a staff writer on FX’s hit drama Sons of Anarchy and NBC’s cult sci fi series, Heroes. Green later went on to co-create Undergound, which chronicled a group of Georgia slaves who escaped bondage to find freedom via the Underground Railroad. The series broke ratings records for the WGN network and was nominated for several awards. Misha Green spoke with filmmaker Ya’ke Smith at the 2017 Austin Film Festival.

Clips of Underground courtesy of: Safehouse Pictures, Get Lifted Film Company Sony Pictures Television, Safehouse Pictures

 

Direct download: MISHA_GREEN_REFEED.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:54pm CST

This week, the indie filmmakers behind Transformer, Don't Talk to Irene and  Mr Fish: Cartooning From the Deep End discuss their journey from initial concept to ultimately producing and screening their award winning films in Austin Film Festival's film competition this past year.

We begin the show with last year's  powerful Documentary Feature Jury Award and Hiscox Insurance Audience Award  winner (tied with Mr. Fish): Transformer. Written and directed by Michael Del Monte, the film follows former U.S Marine and world-record powerlifter, Matt “Kroc” Kroczaleski as he sets out to become a woman. Outed as being transgender and banned from competition Janae, attempts to find her place in society. Transformer world premiered at the Austin Film Festival in 2017. Film Competition Director, Harrison Glaser spoke with  Del Monte and Janae at a special screening of the film hosted at the Alamo Drafthouse Village earlier this year.

Next up, our 2017 Comedy Vanguard Feature Jury and Audience Award winner: Don't Talk to Irene. Written and directed by Pat Mills, Don't Talk to Irene is Mills' second feature. The film's script first won Austin Film Festival's Best Comedy Screenplay Competition in 2013 and follows, Irene - the fattest girl in high school – as she gets suspended, and endures two weeks of community service at a retirement home. Mills, sat down with me to discuss the film at a special screening hosted earlier this year at the Alamo Drafthouse Village. Additionally, the film director, screenwriter and actor was also named one of MovieMaker Magazine's 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2018.

Finally, we wrap the show with the other Documentary Feature Audience Award winner last year: Mr Fish: Cartooning From the Deep End (tied with Transformer). The film follows, adult themed editorial cartoonist, Mr. Fish as he navigates his often controversial profession during a time when the industry is on the way out. Directed by Pablo Bryant, the documentary reveals the struggles Mr. Fish endures to stay true to his creativity in a world where biting satiric humor has an ever-diminishing commercial value. Film Competition Director, Harrison Glaser spoke with Bryant, Mr. Fish and Diana Day at a special year round event screening of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse Village earlier this month.

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:16am CST

This week, we talk with Ed Solomon, the comedic screenwriter behind Hollywood classics Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men in Black, and Now You See Me.  Solomon looks back on his long journey working on Men in Black, and discusses working with industry icons such as Barry Sonnenfeld, Tommy Lee Jones, and Will Smith.

Ed Solomon is the co-writer for the screenplays Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and its sequel, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, and also wrote on It’s Garry Shandling’s Show for its first three seasons.  He then penned the screenplay for Men in Black, and many others, including the first X-Men (uncredited).  Since then he’s worked on all sorts of films, including Levity, which he also directed. He wrote the Lion’s Gate film Now You See Me, Now You See Me 2, Sony Picture’s How to Disappear Completely, and Colossus for Universal Studios.

 

Direct download: OnStory_EdSolomon_06062018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:39am CST

On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from the creators behind the upcoming comedy heist film Ocean’s 8. Screenwriters Olivia Milch and Gary Ross discuss spinning-off a popular franchise and approaching the heist genre from a new perspective. And later, we’ll hear from King of the Hill writer and Bob’s Burgers’ co-developer Jim Dauterive on writing for animation and how characters develop over a series lifetime. 

Ocean’s 8 is an upcoming comedy heist film that remixes Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 11 trilogy. The film brings a unique perspective to the genre by featuring an all-star, all female team. The idea for the film was created by four-time Academy Award® nominated writer/director Gary Ross. Ross co-wrote the comedy classic Big, and went on to write and direct Pleasantville, Seabiscut, The Hunger Games, and 2016’s Free State of Jones. Ross co-wrote the Ocean’s 8 screenplay with filmmaker Olivia Milch, who has made a name for herself by writing stories that authentically represent the female experience. Earlier this year she released her directorial debut, Dude, on Netflix.

Next up, we’ll hear from Jim Dauterive who started his career as one of the original writers for the award-winning animated comedy King of the Hill which ran for 13 seasons on the Fox network. The series won two Emmy Awards and was named one of the 100 greatest television shows of all time in 2007. Dauterive currently serves as the executive producer of the popular animated Fox television series Bob’s Burgers, which he co-developed with Loren Bouchard. I spoke with Dauterive at Texas State University at an event put on by Austin Film Festival and The Wittliff Collections.

 

Direct download: OCEANS_KING_BOBS_BURGERS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59am CST

This week, in honor of Austin Film Festival’s 25th Anniversary we’re going back into our archives to bring you conversations with writers that created two of 1993’s most remembered films. First we’ll hear from screenwriter Angelo Pizzo who wrote the inspirational football drama Rudy. And later, we’ll hear from Ron Nyswaner who wrote the Jonathan Demme directed drama Philadelphia, which starred Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks.

1993 saw the release of giant blockbuster films like Jurassic Park, classic comedies like Groundhog’s Day, Rom-Com staples like Sleepless in Seattle, and the inspirational true-life story of an undersized, dyslexic student who’s only dream was to play football for the University of Notre Dame. Rudy, written by Angelo Pizzo, has stood the test of time as a film that still resonates with an audience 25 years after its release. In 2005 the film was named one of the 25 Best Sports Movies by ESPN and one of the most-inspiring films of all time by the “AFI 100 Series”. Pizzo, who also wrote the Indiana basketball drama Hoosiers, spoke about Rudy at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Clips of Rudy courtesy of TriStar Pictures, Inc.

We continue our 25-year look back with a conversation with screenwriter Ron Nyswaner. In 1993, Nyswaner wrote Philadelphia, which follows an attorney who is fired from his high-powered law firm after it’s revealed that he is HIV positive. The film was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV and homosexuality. Tom Hanks won an Academy Award® for Best actor for his portrayal of lawyer Andrew Beckett. Nyswaner is also known for adapting the W. Somerset Maugham novel The Painted Veil into the 2006 film of the same name. Nyswaner spoke about his career and writing process at the 20th annual Austin Film Festival in 2013.

Clips of Philadelphia courtesy of TriStar Pictures, Inc. Clip of Ray Donovan courtesy of Showtime Networks, Inc. and clip of The Painted Veil courtesy of Bob Yari Productions & Yari Film Group Releasing.

 

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Category:general -- posted at: 11:29am CST

Ahead of Memorial Day this month, we look at writing for war films with screenwriters David Broyles, Bill Broyles, Randall Wallace and Bruce C. McKenna.

David Broyles grew up in California, New York, and on a dude ranch in Bandera, Texas. He attended the University of Texas and Columbia University, and served as a Pararescueman (PJ) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following his enlistment, he was recognized by the Governor of Texas for exceptional volunteer work and advocacy for disabled veterans. He has sold several screenplays and most recently co-created Six, an upcoming dramatic series for the History Channel. David has been involved with the Austin Film Festival for many years as a writer, director, and volunteer. I spoke with David about Six last September.

Bruce C. McKenna is an award-winning screenwriter and producer.  He wrote on four of the ten episodes of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning mini-series Band of Brothers, for which he garnered a WGA Award, a Christopher Award and was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize for his episode, Bastogne. He created, co-wrote and co-executive produced The Pacific, the Emmy Award-winning Miniseries for HBO, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks on the Pacific Theater of the Second World War.  In addition to winning a producing Emmy, McKenna was nominated for his second writing Emmy, was again a finalist for the Humanitas Prize, and garnered a Producer’s Guild Award, a Critic’s Choice Award, as well as the Marine Corp Heritage Foundation Bill Broyles Image Award.  

He is currently developing a miniseries on Peter The Great for Bold Television, is adapting Hampton Side’s epic Blood and Thunder for Ridley Scott, and is adapting All Things Possible, the Kurt Warner story, for Fox Studios. 

Bill Broyles grew up in Baytown, Texas, attended Rice University and Oxford University, worked in the civil rights movement, and finished out the Sixties as a Marine infantry lieutenant in Vietnam. As a journalist he was the founding editor of Texas Monthly and from 1982 to 1984 was editor-in-chief of Newsweek. He was the co-creator of the Emmy-Award -winning television series China Beach. He wrote the original screenplay for the movie Cast Away and the screenplay for Jarhead. He co-authored six other screenplays, including Apollo 13, Unfaithful, The Polar Express and Flags of Our Fathers. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for Apollo 13, which won the Writers Guild award for best screenplay.  He has been involved with the Austin Film Festival from the beginning.

Randall Wallace is the Oscar®-nominated creative force behind the epic storytelling of such critical and box-office hits as Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, Secretariat, and Heaven is for Real.

 

 

 

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Category:general -- posted at: 12:16pm CST

This week, we’ll hear from two of the writers behind The Shape of Water, which was developed simultaneously as a novel and film. First up, New York Times bestselling author, Daniel Kraus who originally approached Guillermo del Toro with the story about a sea creature locked in a laboratory based on an idea he had when he was 15 years old. And later we’ll hear from screenwriter Vanessa Taylor who co-wrote the film version of The Shape of Writer and was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay.

Daniel Kraus is a New York Times bestselling author who started his career as a documentary filmmaker. In 2015 he collaborated with genre director Guillermo del Toro on the novel Trollhunters. Del Toro is best known for his dark fantasy films Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak and the Hellboy series. In March of 2018 the pair reteamed to release a novelized version of The Shape of Water, which was based on an original idea that Kraus had when he was 15 years old. The novel was developed at the same time as the Academy Award winning film. I caught up with Daniel Kraus over the phone earlier this year.

Clips of The Shape of Water courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation & TSG Entertainment Finance LLC.

While Daniel Kraus was working on The Shape of Water novel Guillermo del Toro was writing a screenplay for the film version with Vanessa Taylor. Taylor has an extensive background in television; having written for Alias, Jack & Bobby and Game of Thrones. I spoke with Vanessa Taylor at the premiere party for the 8th season of On Story at the beautiful KLRU Studios in Austin, Texas.

 

Direct download: KRAUSE_TAYLOR.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:43am CST

This week on On Story we’ll hear Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright on his new book God Save Texas and the Hulu mini-series he adapted from his 2006 book The Looming Tower. And later, we’ll hear from Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost on the cult television series return to air after 25 years.

In 2006 Wright released the Pultizer Prize-winning novel, The Looming Tower - which explored the events that led to the September 11th terrorist attacks. Earlier this year Wright teamed with his frequent documentarian collaborator Alex Gibney and filmmaker Dan Futterman to adapt the novel into a Hulu miniseries of the same name. The show stars Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard, and Michael Stulhbarg.

Clips of The Looming Tower courtesy of Legendary Television & Hulu

Mark Frost started his career as a staff writer on the celebrated 80’s police procedural Hill Street Blues. In 1990, Frost partnered with filmmaker David Lynch to co-create the television series, Twin Peaks. The shows mix of melodrama, surrealism, offbeat humor and horror was quickly celebrated for being unlike anything else on network television. In 2017, the series returned to air 25 years after its initial run for an 18 episode limited series on the Showtime network. I spoke with Mark Frost about revisiting old creations at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of Twin Peaks (1990) & (2017) courtesy of  Lynch/Frost Productions, Inc.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:17pm CST

On this week’s podcast, we’ll hear from writer and director Susannah Grant. Grant is best known for writing Erin Brockovich, which earned her an Academy Award® nomination for best original screenplay in 2000. Grant also co-wrote the screenplays for Pocahontas, Ever After, 28 Days, In Her Shoes, and Charlotte’s Web. Grant spoke with Men in Black screenwriter Ed Solomon at the 21st Austin Film Festival in 2014.

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Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm CST

On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from author, screenwriter, and television creator Noah Hawley. Hawley created FX’s award winning series Fargo, which is loosely based on the Coen brothers film, and Legion which is set in the Marvel universe. Later we’ll hear from legendary producer and The Terminator co-writer Gale Anne Hurd.

Noah Hawley is a Peabody Award winning novelist and an Emmy and Golden Globe award winning television creator. In 2014 he created the FX anthology Fargo which was inspired by the 1996 Coen brothers film of the same name. In 2017 he followed up Fargo with Legion, which is set in the Marvel universe and connected to the X-Men film series. Hawley spoke with On Story producer Maya Perez at the 24th Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of Fargo and Legion courtesy of MGM Television, FX Productions, 26 Keys Production & Twentieth Century Fox Television

Gale Anne Hurd is one of the industry’s most respected film and television producers. In 1984 she produced and co-wrote her first feature film, the seminal genre classic The Terminator. She followed that film by producing Aliens, The Abyss, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Most recently Hurd has served as an Executive Producer on AMC’s The Walking Dead. I spoke with Hurd at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of The Terminator courtesy of Cinema ’84

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:16pm CST

In partnership with the Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowships Programs, AFF presented Finding Representation on Saturday, March 17th, 2018 at the Academy’s beautiful Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood. This podcast includes highlights from the first panel discussion called How to Find Representation featuring agents and managers who discussed how to start the process of finding representation, what agencies look for in a new writer, the most common problems they’ve encountered, and what a writer should expect from the relationship. Panelists included Jelani Johnson, Motion Picture Agent at CAA; Kendrick Tan, Manager at Madhouse Entertainment; and Ryan Saul, Vice President of Motion Picture Literary at APA. The panel was moderated by Matt Dy, AFF Director of Script Competitions.

Ready to Break In?

AFF’s Script Competitions are currently accepting submissions for 2018. April 20 is the Regular Deadline and May 15 is the Late Deadline. All entrants receive free reader comments and advancing writers will be afforded exclusive panels, workshops, and networking opportunities at the Writers Conference this October 25th through the 28th. For more information and to submit, click here.

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 8:26am CST

On this week’s episode, the creative team behind the new film Chappaquiddick which tells the true story of Ted Kennedy’s 1969 car accident which resulted in the death of campaign staff member, Mary Jo Kopechne. We'll also hear from New Girl creator Elizabeth Merriwether and Academy award® winning filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan on their process writing between mediums.

The new film Chappaquiddick depicts the events following Ted Kennedy’s 1969 late night single car accident that resulted in the death of one of his campaign staff members. I spoke with writers Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan and director John Curran about the research required to write a true story and the responsibility they felt depicting the victim Mary Jo Kopechne. The following discussion was recorded at the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival after a screening of Chappaquiddick at the Historic Paramount Theater in 2017.

Clips of Chappaquiddick courtesy Apex Entertainment and Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

Next up we’ll hear from New Girl creator Elizabeth Meriwether. The Fox comedy series starring Zooey Deschanel is currently in its seventh and final season. The show has been nominated for five Golden Globes and five Emmy awards. Before working in television, Meriwether started her career as a New York playwright. She spoke with House of Cards creator Beau Willimon at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival in 2016.

Clips of New Girl courtesy 20th Century Fox Television, Elizabeth Meriwether Pictures and Chernin Entertainment.

Now we’ll hear from award-winning playwright and filmmaker, Kenneth Lonergan.  Lonergan’s theatrical work includes This is Our Youth, Lobby Hero, and The Starry Messenger. As a filmmaker he wrote and directed You Can Count on Me, Margaret, and Manchester by the Sea, which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. I spoke with Kenneth Lonergan at the 24th Austin Film Festival where he received the 2017 Distinguished Screenwriter award.

Clips of You Can Count on Me courtesy of Paramount Classics. Clips of Manchester by the Sea courtesy of KFilms Manchester, LLC. and Roadside Attractions

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:09am CST

On this week’s episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI, we bring you a look at independent releases including Rob Reiner’s, LBJ, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird and we bring you a look at how the classic 1970’s action thriller, The Seven-Ups influenced HBO’s hit series, The Deuce.

We start this episode of On Story with a look at how the film, LBJ came to life with actor Woody Harrelson who portrays the president and director and producer, Rob Reiner.

We continue this episode of On Story with actress Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird. Director Greta Gerwig was in attendance for this year’s 24th Annual Austin Film Festival and discusses how the film came to life.

The directrial debut by actress Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, Mistress America), Lady Bird stars Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a young woman who fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job.

Director Greta Gerwig was in attendance for this year’s 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.

Clips in the following segment copyright: Lady Bird, InterActiveCorp Films, LLC and A24.

In this final segment we discuss some of the influences on the HBO series, The Deuce with author, writer, and co-creator of the hit series, George Pelecanos. I spoke with Pelecanos at a special retrospective screening of the detective thriller, The Seven-Ups and how the film influenced some of the parallels of his show, The Deuce.

George Pelecanos is an independent film producer, screenwriter, the recipient of numerous international writing awards, and was a producer and writer on the HBO series The Wire, Treme, The Pacific, and the upcoming The Deuce.  He is the author of twenty novels set in and around Washington, D.C.     

 

Direct download: LBJ_Lady_Bird_The_Seven_Ups_4112018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:01pm CST

This week, we’ll hear from television creator Alec Berg. Berg’s television credits include writing and executive producing Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Silicon Valley, which is currently in its fifth season. Later, we’ll hear from three screenwriters who have tackled the difficult task of adaptation. Sarah Gubbins co-created the Amazon series I Love Dick which was based on the 1997 novel of the same name, Marc Haimes wrote the 2016 animated film Kubo and the Two Strings and is currently working on adapting the graphic novel Nimona and the bestselling novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon, and Eric Heisserer who adapted the novella The Story of Your Life into the 2016 Oscar Nominated film Arrival.

Alec Berg has written for some of television’s most acclaimed comedies including Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Silicon Valley. He co-created the new HBO show Barry with former SNL star Bill Hader. The series follows Barry, played by Hadder, who is a depressed, low-level hit man looking for a way out. I recently spoke with Berg over the phone to discuss using research to help develop a story, avoiding clichés, and the evolution television comedies.   

Clips of Barry courtesy of HBO.

Next we’ll hear from three screenwriters who have tackled the difficult task of adaptation. Sarah Gubbins co-created the Amazon series I Love Dick which was based on the 1997 novel of the same name, Marc Haimes wrote the 2016 animated film Kubo and the Two Strings and is currently working on adapting the graphic novel Nimona and the best selling novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon, and Eric Heisserer who adapted the novella The Story of Your Life into the 2016 Oscar Nominated film Arrival. Gubbins, Haimes, and Heisserer spoke with me at the 24th Austin Film Festival to discuss translating themes and literary devices, collaborating with authors, and when to take creative liberties.

Clips of Arrival courtesy of Xenolinguistics, LLC. and Clips of I Love Dick courtesy of Amazon Studios and Topple Productions

 

Direct download: ALEC_BERG_AND_GREAT_ADAPTATIONS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:29am CST

We are very saddened to hear of the passing of legendary producer Steven Bochco. In his memory we invite you to hear from NYPD Blue co-creator David Milch, discussing writing on Hill Street Blues with Steven. 

Direct download: David_Milch_Hill_Street_Blues.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 4:34pm CST

This week, we’ll hear from writer Scott Alexander. Best known for his work writing unusual biopics with larger-than-life characters, Alexander ventured into television in 2016 when he co-created FX’s award-winning mini-series The People v. O.J. Simpson. Later, television creator, showrunner, and producer Courtney Kemp. Kemp is the mind behind the critically acclaimed gritty New York drama, Power – whose fifth season will premiere this summer on the Starz Network.

Scott Alexander is best known for co-writing unusual biopics with larger-than-life characters. His films have depicted the lives of filmmaker Ed Wood, comedian Andy Kaufman, and provocateur Larry Flynt. In 2016, Alexander co-created The People v. O.J. Simpson which was his first foray into television. The miniseries earned numerous awards including a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series. Journalist R.B. Brenner spoke with Scott Alexander at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of The People v. O.J. Simpson courtesy of Bluebush Productions, LLC., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Courtney Kemp created Power in 2014, marking her debut as a television creator and showrunner. The series follows the complex character James “Ghost” St. Patrick as he struggles to balance his professional life while also being a major player in one of New York City’s largest drug networks. Under her leadership the series generated the largest concentration of African American viewership of any scripted premium series in nearly a decade. Kemp spoke with UT Austin professor S. Craig Watkins at the 24th Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of Power courtesy of CBS Television Studios, and Starz!.

Direct download: THE_PEOPLE_VS_OJ_AND_POWER.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:40am CST

This week, Dale Launer discusses writing and producing the acclaimed film My Cousin Vinny, and actress Parker Posey looks back on her experience working on the Christopher Guest cult-classic, Waiting for Guffman.

Dale Launer is the screenwriter of Ruthless People and the remake of 1965 Bedtime Story, which he optioned, re-wrote and executive-produced as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. After that, he wrote, directed and produced Love Potion #9, and then wrote and produced My Cousin Vinny, both at 20th Century Fox. 

In 2016, Launer was honored to have 2 movies placed in the WGA's 101 Funniest Movies of All Time. 

Dale Launer spoke with me, Barbara Morgan, at an Austin Film Festival year-round event and retrospective screening of My Cousin Vinny in 2017.

Clips in this episode copyright Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Parker Posey is an American actress and musician. Following her role in Richard Linklater's 1993 cult hit Dazed and Confused, she became known during the 1990s after a series of roles in independent films such as Party Girl and The House of Yes that gained her the nickname "Queen of the Indies". She later played improvisational roles in Christopher Guest mockumentaries,  including Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. Her other film appearances include You've Got Mail, Scream 3, Superman Returns, among many others. On television, Posey has guest-starred in series such as Will & Grace, Boston Legal, The Good Wife, Parks and Recreation, and Search Party.

I spoke with Parker Posey at a 2016 Austin Film Festival year-round event and retrospective screening of Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman. Clips in this episode copyright Castle Rock Entertainment.

Direct download: MY_COUSIN_VINNY_AND_PARKER_POSEY_03212018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 4:18pm CST

This week, screenwriters discuss adapting novels and comic books for both film and television. First, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green give an inside look at the process of turning the critically acclaimed Neil Gaiman novel American Gods into a television series. Then, Green joins Ashley Edward Miller and Nicole Perlman for a discussion on the worlds of Marvel and DC, and how they approached adapting beloved comic books for the big screen.

Bryan Fuller got his start writing on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, followed by Showtime’s Dead Like Me. Fuller went on to create the critically acclaimed series Wonderfalls for Fox and the Emmy Award wining Pushing Daisies for ABC. Fuller then developed and executive produced Hannibal on NBC.

Michael Green’s created and executive produced NBC’s Kings and ABC’s The River, as well as having writing and producing credits on Everwood, Smallville, Jack and Bobby, and Sex and the City. Green’s feature work includes writing Logan, the sequel to Blade Runner; Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant; the final installment of The Wolverine series; and co-writing the Warner Bros./DC Comics adaptation of The Green Lantern.

Bryan Fuller and Michael Green spoke with Austin Film Festival’s Executive Director, Barbara Morgan, following the release of American Gods in 2017. Clips in this episode copyright Starz.

Next, screenwriters discuss adapting beloved comic books for the big screen, including Thor co-written by Ashley Edward Miller, the 2014 blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy co-written by Nicole Perlman, and; the Warner Bros./DC Comics adaptation of The Green Lantern co-written by Michael Green.

Michael Green, Ashley Miller, and Nicole Perlman spoke with screenwriter Alvaro Rodriguez at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival in 2014. Clips from this episode copyright

Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers & Thor: MVL FILM FINANCE LLC.

Direct download: OnStory_Adapting_Comics_3142018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:24pm CST

This episode of On Story, actress and producer America Ferrera and theatre film and television actress June Squibb discuss their work in film and on television.

America Ferrera is best known for her work on the ABC comedy-drama, Ugly Betty. The role garnered her a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding lead Actress in a Comedy Series. America Ferrera’s numerous film credits include Real Women Have Curves, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, End of Watch and How to Train Your Dragon. America Ferrera returned to television in 2015 as a regular and co-producer on the NBC comedy, Superstore. Marcie Mayhorn spoke with America Ferrera in 2012 at the 19th Austin Film Festival.

Actress June Squibb got her start in musical theatre in the 1950’s. She made her Broadway debut as Electra in the original 1960 production of Gypsy starring Ethel Merman. June Squibb made her transition to film in the late 1980’s with Woody Allen’s Alice and went on to roles in Scent of a Woman, The Age of Innocence, Meet Joe Black, and Far From Heaven. She’s since worked twice with director Alexander Payne, first on the film About Schmidt, and later, co-starring with Bruce Dern in Nebraska, which earned her the Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her recent credits include the critically acclaimed film I’ll See You In My Dreams with Rhea Pearlman, Mary Kay Place and Sam Elliot as well as television appearances in Getting On, Girls, Glee, The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family. June Squibb spoke with journalist Jane Sumner at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Direct download: FERRERA_SQUIBB_REFEED_3_7_2018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:54am CST

On today's Oscars® Special we’ll year from Academy Award®nominated filmmaker Frank Stiefel. Stiefel’s short documentary Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 is nominated for Best Documentary Short at the 2018 Academy Awards®.

Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 is a portrait of Mindy Alper, a tortured and brilliant artist who lives with a mental disorder, acute anxiety and devastating depression.

I recently spoke with Frank Stiefel to discuss the long journey of his Oscar® nominated film.

Direct download: OSCARS_FRANKSTIEFEL_mixed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46pm CST

Today we’ll year from Academy Award® nominated writer Virgil Williams. Williams’ co-wrote Netflix’s Mudbound, which is nominated for four Oscars® at the 2018 Academy Awards®. The film, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan, tells the story of two World War II veterans who return home to rural Mississippi and are forced to deal with racism as they adjust to life after war. 

Writers Dee Rees and Virgil Williams are both nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay®for their work co-writing the film. Williams has an extensive resume in television, having served as writer and producer on such acclaimed shows as ER and 24. Most recently, Williams wrote and Executive Produced the long running hit CBS show, Criminal Minds. Author Jardine Libaire spoke with Virgil Williams and star Rob Morgan at the Historic Paramount Theater here in Austin, after the regional premiere of the film at the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.

Direct download: OSCARS_MUDBOUND.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:26pm CST

On this week’s On Story, we’ll hear from four filmmakers nominated for the 2018 Academy Awards®. Filmmakers Greta Gerwig, Frank Stiefel, Max Porter, and Ru Kuwahata will share their journey from initial idea to Oscar® nomination.

Frank Stiefel’s Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 is a short documentary that follows an artist living with acute anxiety, mental disorder and devastating depression. The film is nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 2018 Academy Awards®. I recently caught up with Stiefel to discuss the films long journey.

Clips from Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 courtesy of: Frank Stiefel

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird, follows an outspoken seventeen-year-old as she navigates a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-wiled mother. The film has been nominated for five Academy Awards®, including recognition for Gerwig in the Best Director and Best Original Screenplay categories. I spoke with Gerwig before the Opening Night screening of her film at the 24th Austin Film Festival.

Clips from Lady Bird courtesy of InterActiveCorp Films, LLC and A24.

Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata are a filmmaking duo based in Baltimore, Maryland. Their film Negative Space is nominated for Best Animated Short at the 2018 Academy Awards. Negative Space follows a man reflecting on the relationship he shared with his father as he meticulous packs a suitcase in the manner he taught him. I spoke with Porter and Kuwahata over the phone to discuss where their ideas come from and how the subject of their stories determines their films visual styles.  

Clips from Negative Space courtesy of Seve Films, Ikki Films

 

 

Direct download: Oscar_Season_Web.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:50am CST

Today we’ll hear from Academy Award® nominated screenwriter Scott Frank. Frank co-wrote Logan, which is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2018 Academy Awards®.

Frank’s other screenplay credits include The Lookout, Little Man Tate, Dead Again, Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Minority Report, The Interpreter, The Wolverine, and the Netflix Original series Godless.

I spoke with Frank about Logan directly after it’s release in 2017.

Clips of Logan courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Direct download: OSCARS_LOGAN.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:24pm CST

This week on On Story, we’ll hear from podcast pioneers on breaking into a new medium and adapting audio stories for television. And later, we’ll hear from rising television talent, Misha Green, on her work co-creating the critically acclaimed, genre-bending drama Underground.

Narrative fiction podcasts have updated the radio drama with a modern, streamable twist. This new medium has attracted storytellers who, until recently, never considered telling strictly audio stories. Writers Lauren Shippen and Jenny Turner Hall discussed their transition into podcasting and the new opportunities that their shows have provided them at the 2017 Austin Film Festival.

Next up we’ll hear from television writer and showrunner Misha Green. Green began her career as a staff writer on FX’s hit drama Sons of Anarchy and NBC’s cult sci fi series, Heroes. Green later went on to co-create Undergound, which chronicled a group of Georgia slaves who escaped bondage to find freedom via the Underground Railroad. The series broke ratings records for the WGN network and was nominated for several awards. Misha Green spoke with filmmaker Ya’ke Smith at the 2017 Austin Film Festival.

Clips of Underground courtesy of: Safehouse Pictures, Get Lifted Film Company Sony Pictures Television, Safehouse Picture

Direct download: MISHA_GREEN.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:28pm CST

On this week's episode, we’ll hear from legendary jack-of-all-trades Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans. In 1987 the two co-wrote the groundbreaking comedy Hollywood Shuffle based on their experience dealing with racial stereotypes of African Americans in the film and television industry. Robert Rodriguez, writer/director of The El Mariachi trilogy, Sin City, and the Spy Kids franchise introduced Townsend and Wayans at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival.

Multi-talented entertainer, Robert Townsend, is often referred to as one of the ‘Godfathers of the Independent Film World’.  For the past 30 years Townsend has worked in nearly every role in front of and behind the camera earning the writer, director, and actor over 30 NAACP Image Award nominations. Townsend is best known for creating the films Meteor Man, The Five Heartbeats, and Hollywood Shuffle, which he co-wrote with Keenen Ivory Wayans. Comedian Dave Buckman spoke with Townsend at the 24th Austin Film Festival.

We’ve been hearing from independent filmmaker Robert Townsend.  Townsend co-wrote Hollywood Shuffle with friend and fellow stand up comedian, Keenen Ivory Wayans.  Wayans would later go on to create and host the Emmy award-winning, comedy series In Living Color. The irreverent Fox series went on to launch the careers of Wayans’ siblings Damon, Kim, Shawn and Marlon, as well as featured cast members Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carrey, and Jamie Foxx.  Comedian John Merriman spoke with Keenen Ivory Wayans at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival.

Keenen Ivory Wayans created, launched and hosted the groundbreaking 1990’s sketch comedy series In Living Color. The often-controversial show helped introduce a number of African American comedians to super stardom. When we left off, Wayans was discussing the importance of writing what you know.

Clips from Hollywood Shuffle courtesy of the Samuel Goldwyn Company

Clips from Meteor Man courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Clips from I’m Gonna Git You Sucka courtesy of United Artists Pictures, Inc.

Direct download: ROBERT_TOWNSEND_AND_KEENAN_IVORY_WAYANS.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:58am CST

On this week’s special On Story Valentine’s Day episode, the filmmakers behind Sense and Sensibility, The Jane Austen Book Club, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and What Jane Saw discuss how they adapted these beloved novels for various storytelling mediums, and why they think Jane Austen’s themes and stories remain so beloved and powerful today.

With six novels that produced over sixty adaptations for the screen, the talents of Jane Austen have lived on long past her time on earth. On this episode, the filmmakers behind Sense and Sensibility, The Jane Austen Book Club, and YouTube’s web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, as well as the academic behind the interactive website What Jane Saw dot org discuss how Jane Austen’s themes and stories remain so beloved and powerful today.

Producer and studio executive Lindsay Doran has worked in the movie business for more than 30 years as a studio executive and producer. Her numerous credits on film and television include The Firm, Stranger Than Fiction and the Sense and Sensibility which earned Emma Thompson an Academy Award® for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Screenwriter, director and producer Robin Swicord wrote the screenplays for such classics as Little Women, Memoirs of a Geisha and The Jane Austen Book Club which she also directed. 

Janine Barchas is a Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity. She’s also the creator behind the digital heritage project “What Jane Saw” (www dot whatjanesaw dot org) and most recently, she co-curated the exhibition “Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity,” at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. 

Bernie Su is the two-time Emmy Award-winning producer and creator behind YouTube’s web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Emma Approved and Vanity.

Barbara Morgan spoke with this distinguished panel at the 23rd Austin Film Festival in 2016.

Clips in this episode courtesy of: 

Sense and Sensibility: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.,

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Agreeable Entertainment, Pemberley Digital

 

Direct download: DECONSTRUCTING_JANE_AUSTEN.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:50pm CST

This week’s On Story, actor Rob Huebel talks about his new hit show, Do You Want to See a Dead Body? followed by a conversation with the creator and executive producer of the Amazon show, The Tick. Later in our program writer/director, Ben Lewin talks about his latest film, Please Stand By.

Youtube Red’s original scripted series, Do You Want To See A Dead Body?, features alt-comedy veteran Rob Huebel as he entices his celebrity friends on mini-quests to find a dead body. Huebel is best known for co-creating and staring in MTVs sketch comedy series Human Giant with frequent collaborators Aziz Ansari and Paul Scheer; and his roles in Amazon’s Transparent and Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. Journalist Richard Whittaker spoke with star and creator Rob Huebel and producers Owen Burke and Jonathan Stern at the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.

The Tick has taken on multiple iterations over the past 32 years. The super hero parody has appeared in comic books, cartoons, a video game, and two live action television series. Last year Amazon revived the character with a new origin story after a 14 year hiatus. Recently, I spoke with series creator Ben Edlund and executive producer Barry Josephson to discuss the characters long history and the second half of the first season which returns to Amazon on February 23rd.

Next up we bring you a discussion with Australian director Ben Lewin. Lewin’s films include The Sessions, Georgia, and his most recent film Please Stand By which stars Dakota Fanning as a young autistic woman who runs away from home in an attempt to submit her Star Trek manuscript to a Hollywood writing competition. Bart Weiss spoke with Ben Lewin at the Historic Paramount Theatre in Austin after the US premiere of Please Stand By during the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.  

Direct download: OnStory_DeadBody_Tick_PleaseStandBy.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:36pm CST

This week, we hear from the teams behind Orange is the New Black, Casual, and Wet Hot American Summer as they discuss pushing boundaries through comedy and the new frontier of television distribution.

Jenji Kohan is a writer, producer and showrunner, whose writing credits include The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Mad About You, Sex in the City, and Gilmore Girls. She created the popular Showtime series Weeds, which garnered her a Writers Guild Award for ‘Best Episodic Comedy’. Kohan’s Netflix original series Orange is the New Black is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir by the same name, and follows Kerman’s 15-month sentence at a minimum-security federal prison. The following segment with Jenji Kohan was recorded in 2013 at the 20th Austin Film Festival. We also hear from Orange is the New Black staff writers Lauren Morelli and Stephen Falk as they take us deep inside the writer's room of the hugely popular series.

David Wain is the co-creator, executive producer, director and co-writer of the Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. He directed and co-wrote the feature films Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten, Role Models, Wanderlust and They Came Together. Wain is the executive producer, writer, director and occasional guest star in the Emmy award winning Children’s Hospital, as well as the ongoing web series Wainy Days. Journalist Joe Gross spoke with David Wain at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

The Hulu original series Casual was created by Zander Lehmann and developed by writer director Jason Reitman, producer Helen Estabrook and screenwriter Liz Tigelaar. The shows fourth and final season is due for release on July 31, 2018. Producer and manager Linnea Toney spoke with the show's producers at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Direct download: Refeed_OnStory_Radio_01242018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:08pm CST

This week, American playwright and screenwriter Ted Tally discusses his film adaptations including the latest film, 12 Strong which stars Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon. Later in our program, Homeland and 24 TV showrunner, Howard Gordon joins Tally and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer Shane Black for a conversation on writing action and suspense. 

Ted Tally is an American playwright and screenwriter who began his career in Off-Broadway and regional theatre. Among his many screenplays, Tally is best known for adapting, The Juror, All the Pretty Horses, and The Silence of the Lambs for which he won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay®. His latest project is the upcoming American war drama film 12 Strong, which Tally co-wrote with Peter Craig. The film stars Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon as U.S Special Forces sent to Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks and is set for release this Friday. This month, I spoke with Tally on the phone about 12 Strong and how the project came to him. 

Trailer and clips of 12 Strong courtesy of: Warner Brothers Pictures

Howard Gordon is an American television showrunner, writer and producer. He is known for his work on the Fox action franchise series 24 and the Showtime thriller, Homeland, which he co-developed with Alex Gansa and Gideon Raff. Gordon won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for writing the “Pilot” of Homeland. The series seventh season is scheduled to premiere Feb. 11, 2018. Gordon also served as writer and supervising producer on The X-Files. He also helped produce the sci-fi thriller, Awake and co-developed the FX political drama, Tyrant.

The 1987 blockbuster Lethal Weapon is the first writing credit in Shane Black’s filmography. He went on to act in, write or write and direct over 30 films including The Long Kiss Goodnight, Iron Man 3, and The Nice Guys. Black’s latest film, will be a remake of his 1987 sci-fi film, entitled, The Predator is slated for release August of 2018.

Producer Barry Josephson spoke with Tally, Gordon and Shane Black at the 12th Annual Austin Film Festival in 2005.

Direct download: TED_TALLY.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:09pm CST

This week, web series creator-turned cable TV sensation Issa Rae on her journey from YouTube to HBO, her desire for diversity on television and her hit series Insecure. We'll also hear from comedy impresario Larry Wilmore on his work developing Insecure with Issa Rae and his perspective on diverse new voices in comedy.

With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae’s content has garnered over 25 million views and more than 300,000 subscribers on YouTube. In addition to making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list twice and winning awards for her web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae has worked on web content for Pharrell Williams, Tracey Edmonds and numerous others. She developed a TV series with Shonda Rhimes for ABC and developed the HBO hit series, Insecure with legendary comedian Larry Wilmore. The series has garnered Rae a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in Television Series-Musical or Comedy for the second year in a row. The series pilot was written by both Rae and Wilmore and is slated for a third season this year. Screenwriter Pamela Ribbon spoke with Issa Rae at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Clips of the Season 3 trailer courtesy of: 3 Arts Entertainment and Home Box Office (HBO)

Clips of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl courtesy of: Issa Rae Productions, Inc.

Rae developed the pilot for Insecure with veteran writer and comedian Larry Wilmore. He started his career as an actor and stand-up comedian before writing and producing on the early nineties classic television shows In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Jamie Foxx Show . He co-created The PJ’s with Eddie Murphy, The Bernie Mac Show and was consulting producer and guest star on the American version of The Office. Most recently, Wilmore was the host of Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. We caught up with Wilmore by phone to discuss his collaborations with Issa Rae and other new voices in comedy.

 

 

Direct download: ISSA_RAE_LARRY_WILMORE_REFEED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am CST

This week, we talk with The Disaster Artist actor and filmmaker James Franco on the cult sensation Freaks and Geeks and many more of his unforgettable roles in films both large and small followed by Academy Award® winning actor Chris Cooper as he looks back on how he managed to navigate through his roles in iconic films and television.

Actor and filmmaker James Franco first rose to prominence on the cult sensation Freaks and Geeks and has since followed with unforgettable roles in films both large and small. He won a Golden Globe early in his career for his portrayal of film icon, James Dean and was nominated for an Academy Award® in the Best Actor category for his role in 127 Hours. His latest film, The Disaster Artist which he also directed chronicles the making of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 cult film The Room, which is widely considered one of the worst movies ever made. The film stars both James and brother Dave Franco and is written by AFF regulars Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber. Franco’s portrayal of Wiseau has earned him 2 Golden Goble® nominations including Best Actor and Best Picture-Musical or Comedy. Producer Barry Josephson spoke with James Franco at the 19th annual Austin Film Festival in 2012.  

Chris Cooper is known for a board range of work in supporting roles from July Johnson in TV’s Lonesome Dove to Robert Hanssen in Breach, Colonel Fitts in American Beauty to Al Templeton in the Hulu original mini-series 11.23.63. Chris Cooper won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 2003 for his portrayal of John Laroche in the film Adaptation and his other film credits include August: Osage Country, Syriana, Jarhead, and Capote. Writer Michael Noll spoke with Cooper at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Direct download: JAMES_FRANCO_AND_CHRIS_COOPER_2018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:35pm CST

On this episode of On Story, Die Hard screenwriter Jeb Stuart and Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black discuss their two action classics, followed by screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen on his long-standing collaboration with filmmaker Luc Besson and their work creating the The Fifth Element, The Transporter and Taken.

The 1987 blockbuster Lethal Weapon is the first writing credit in Shane Black’s filmography. He went on to act in, write or write and direct over 30 films including The Long Kiss Goodnight, Iron Man 3, and The Nice Guys. Black’s latest film, will be a remake of his 1987 sci-fi film, entitled, The Predator is slated for release August of 2018. Shane Black’s popular Lethal Weapon franchise has currently evolved into a TV show on Fox of the same name and stars Damon Wayans. Season 2 of the TV show is slated for early 2018.

Jeb Stuart wrote the screenplay for the action classic, Die Hard. The film was nominated for 4 Academy Awards® and voted the Best Action Film of All Time by Entertainment Weekly in 2007. Jeb Stuart’s other credits include the screenplays for The Fugitive, nominated for 7 Academy Awards® including Best Picture and the action-comedy Another 48 Hrs.

I spoke with Shane Black and Jeb Stuart in 2015 as part of the 22nd Austin Film Festival. Portions of this half of our episode were recorded at the Q&A session following a special screening of Die Hard at the historic Paramount Theatre in Austin Texas in 2015.

Direct download: DIE_HARD_LETHAL_WEAPON_ROBERT_KAMEN_REFEED_2017.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 9:49am CST

On this week’s special holiday episode of On Story, we bring you The Polar Express & Big Fish, two classic films adapted from popular books which were seemingly unadaptable to film.

We’re looking at two classic films adapted from popular books which were seemingly unadaptable to film on this episode of On Story. We begin with a conversation about the adaptation of a beloved holiday story, The Polar Express. Based on the classic 1985 children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg, the screen adaptation of The Polar Express was co-written, by Bill Broyles and Robert Zemeckis who also produced and directed the film. The Polar Express features Tom Hanks in six distinct roles including that of the Conductor. At the time of its release in 2004, The Polar Express was the first animated film to use performance capture technology. It was also the first feature length film to be released in both 35 mm and IMAX 3D. Sadly, The film was the last acting role for actor Michael Jeter who passed away in 2003. The Polar Express and was nominated for 3 Academy Awards® including Best Original Song “Believe” by Josh Groban.

Bill Broyles created the Emmy-Award-winning television series, China Beach and has written the screenplays for Castaway, Jar Head, Unfaithful, Apollo 13 and Flags of Our Fathers. He’s also co-creator and producer of the television series, Six. I spoke with Bill Broyles during a special holiday screening of The Polar Express in 2013 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Clips copyright: Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc.

Based on the 1998 novel of the same name, Big Fish was adapted from book to screenplay and ultimately to the stage by screenwriter, John August. The Film, directed by Tim Burton, tells the story of Edward Bloom, a former traveling salesman with a gift for storytelling. Young Edward Bloom is played by Ewan McGregor. Academy-award nominated actor Albert Finney plays the Senior Edward Bloom. Big Fish marks the first American feature film for actress Marion Cotillard and features an extensive cast including Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Billy Crudup and more. Big Fish was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Score.

John August’s screenwriting credits include GoBig Fish, Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and both Charlie’s Angels films. He also wrote the book for the Broadway musical version of Big Fish.

Daniel Wallace is an American author, best known for his 1998 novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, the basis for the Tim Burton film Big Fish and the Broadway musical. His other books include Ray in Reverse and The Watermelon King.

Writer and professor Fred Strype sat down with author Daniel Wallace and screenwriter John August during the 20th Anniversary of Austin Film Festival.

Clips copyright: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

 

 

Direct download: Polar_Express_and_Big_Fish.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:47pm CST

On this week's episode of On Story, The Empire Strikes Ba-ck, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens co-writer Lawrence Kasdan describes his career in film and his early work with George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg, and screenwriter Damon Lindelof speaks with The X-Files creator Chris Carter about Carter’s ground-breaking TV series.

Chris Carter is best known for creating The X Files. The show originally ran for nine seasons and spawned two feature films, the spinoff series The Lone Gunmen and even crossed over with one of Carter’s other series, Millennium. Chris Carter’s revival of The X-Files came with a short 10th season which premiered last year. Now, the series is back yet again for an 11th season of 10 episodes which is set to premiere on January 3rd of next year. Star Trek Into Darkness co-writer and The Leftovers co-creator Damon Lindelof spoke with Chris Carter at the 19th Austin Film Festival in 2012.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Body Heat, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Accidental Tourist, Return Of The Jedi…Lawrence Kasdan has written, directed, or produced more than twenty-four motion pictures, among them, some of the most successful films of all time. Lawrence Kasdan was nominated for the Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay with The Big Chill and Grand Canyon as well as Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture for The Accidental Tourist which he wrote and directed. He recently co-wrote Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens as well as other coming films in the Star Wars universe, including the Solo: A Star Wars Story. In the meantime, Rian Johnson’s upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set for release this holiday season. Lawrence Kasdan spoke to an audience of enthusiastic screenwriters at the 18th Austin Film Festival in 2011.

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:44pm CST

On this week’s episode of On Story, writer/Steven Rogers discusses his latest film, I, Tonya. Later in our program, we look at a few Netflix releases including the critically acclaimed new release Mudbound and Boys in the Trees both available now on demand.

We’re taking a look at new releases on this week’s episode. I, Tonya is the biographical sports film directed by Craig Gillespie and written by Steven Rogers. I, Tonya follows the 1994 controversy involving Harding, her teammate Nancy Kerrigan and Harding’s former husband Jeff Gillooly. The film stars Margot Robbie as figure skater Tonya Harding and Sebastian Stan as Gillooly. Fabienne Harford spoke with writer Steven Rogers at the Historic Paramount Theatre in Austin during the regional premiere of the film during the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.

We continue our look at new releases with the Netflix original, Mudbound. The film, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan, is directed by Dee Reese and co-written by Reese and screenwriter Virgil Williams.

Mudbound marks Virgil Williams’ first feature film. Williams has an extensive resume in television, having served as writer and producer on such acclaimed shows as ER, and 24. Most recently, Williams wrote and executive produced six seasons of the long running hit CBS show Criminal Minds. Mudbound co-star Rob Morgan is best known for his portrayal of the Marvel character Turk Barrett in the series Daredevil, Luke Cage and The Punisher. He has recurring roles in Stranger Things and most recently, the critically acclaimed Netflix mini-series, Godless. Author Jardine Libaire spoke with Virgil Williams and Rob Morgan at the Historic Paramount Theatre in Austin during the regional premiere of the film during the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival. The film also went on to win the Austin Film Festival and Hiscox Insurance Audience Award.

We’re back with another new release on Netflix this week, Boys in the Trees from Australian writer/director Nicholas Verso. Boys in the Trees is Austin Film Festival’s 2016 Narrative Feature Jury award winner, set in Austrailia during Halloween 1997. Austin Film Festival Film Competition Director Harrison Glaser spoke with Verso at a special screening of his award-wining film at the Violet Crown Theater in Austin in 2017.

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:33pm CST

On this week's episode, writer/director Dan Gilroy discusses his latest film, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Later in our program, we look back on the 2017 Austin Film Festival with the iconic awardees Keenen Ivory Wayans, Kenneth Lonergan and Walter Hill followed by a conversation with Scott Frank on his latest western limited series, Godless, currently on Netflix.

Dan Gilroy (Director / Writer) made his feature directorial debut with Nightcrawler in 2014. The film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed, garnered an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Gilroy also co-wrote the script, The Bourne Legacy, with his brother, director Tony Gilroy. His latest project, Roman J. Israel, Esq. is currently out in theaters. 

Writer-director Dan Gilroy teams with two-time Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington to create the portrait of a man whose spent his life fighting for others’ civil rights, at the cost of his own personal gain. I spoke with Gilroy at the Historic Paramount Theatre in Austin during the premiere of this film at the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.

Clips copyright: Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment

This year we hosted three distinguished storytellers in the worlds of film and television, each with a unique perspective in their craft. Keenen Ivory Wayans is best known as the creator of the groundbreaking comedy series, In Living Color. Walter Hill is the filmmaker behind such classics as The Warriors, 48 hrs and Streets of Fire. Writer-Director Kenneth Lonergan most recently won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his film Manchester By The Sea. I spoke with them at the 24thAustin Film Festival.

We’re back with Keenen Ivory Wayans, Walter Hill and Kenneth Lonergan at the 24th Austin Film Festival.

Scott Frank is recognized as one of Hollywood’s go-to storytellers with critically celebrated credits like Dead Again, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Minority Report, and the recent blockbuster Logan. Scott Frank’s latest project is the Neflix original western mini-series, Godless, which he wrote and directed. This portion of our program has been excerpted from a panel on the western genre that I moderated with Walter Hill and Scott Frank at the 24th Austin Film Festival. Clips in this segment copyright Netflix, Inc.

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:51am CST

This week, Emmy-award winning writers Greg Daniels and Alan Yang look back on their respective journeys writing some of television’s greatest comedies. Daniels reflects on his writing career ranging from Saturday Night Live, to adapting the American version of The Office and co-creating Parks and RecreationMaster of None co-creator Alan Yang then discusses writing naturalistic comedy culled from personal experience, crafting cultural commentary, and the importance of representation in the media.

Greg Daniels began writing for the National Lampoon at Harvard University with fellow writer Conan O’Brien. His first television engagement was with the hit HBO show Not Necessarily the News, which soon became Saturday Night Live, where he won his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Series.Daniels continued his career by joining The Simpsons as a writer and producer and after a long, successful stint on the show, moved onto co-create King of the Hill with Mike Judge.In 2005, Daniels went on to adapt The Office for American television and served as the show’s executive producer and showrunner. He then co-created and executive produced Parks and Recreation with Michael Schur in 2009. Daniels is the recipient of five Primetime Emmy awards. Greg Daniels spoke with Kelly Williams at the 15th annual Austin Film Festival in 2008.

Alan Yang is the co-creator and executive producer of the Netflix series Master of None, for which he received the 2016 Emmy Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series. The show was nominated for four Emmys, including Best Comedy Series, and was the recipient of a Peabody Award, an AFI Award, and the Critics' Choice Award for Best Comedy. Previously, Yang was a writer and co-executive producer for Parks and Recreation, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 2015. Alan Yang spoke with John Merriman at a 2017 Austin Film Festival Year-Round Event.

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

On this week’s episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI, we bring you a look at new independent releases including Rob Reiner’s latest film, LBJ, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird and we bring you a look at how the classic 1970’s action thriller, The Seven-Ups influenced HBO’s hit series, The Deuce.

We start this episode of On Story with director, Rob Reiner and actor Woody Harrelson on their new film LBJ. Harrelson portrays the iconic president in the midst of the tumult in the wake of the assassination of JFK and the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. I spoke with Harrelson and Reiner ahead of the release of the film last month at a special conversation, held at the University of Texas Radio, Television and Film Dept. Clips in this segment copyright: Electric Entertainment & Castle Rock Entertainment. Here’s the film’s director Rob Reiner.

We continue our look at new independent film releases on this episode of On Story with actor Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird.

Lady Bird stars Sersha Ronan as the title character Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson. The film is an instant classic mother-daughter comedy-drama that takes us through the familial chaos of adolescence with a young woman seeking her independence and realizing her sense of home. Lady Bird was the opening night film at the 24th Austin Film Festival. Austin Film Festival Senior Film Programmer Liz Mims spoke with Greta Gerwig after the screening at the historic Paramount Theater in Austin Texas.

Treme and The Wire co-creator George Pelecanos spoke with me at a special screening of the classic 70’s action film, The Seven-Ups at the historic Paramount Theater about the atmospheric influences of this era of cinema on his latest HBO series, The Deuce.

George Pelecanos is an independent film producer, screenwriter, the recipient of numerous international writing awards, and was a producer and writer on the HBO series The Wire, Treme, The Pacific, and the upcoming The Deuce.  He is the author of twenty novels set in and around Washington, D.C.   

We close this episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI with The Wire, Treme and The Deuce co-creator George Pelecanos at a special screening of the gritty 1970’s car chase classic The Seven-Ups. The film is often considered as part of a “holy trinity’ of car chase films along with 1971’s The French Connection and 1968’s Bullitt. George Pelecanos and David Simon who co-created HBO’s The Deuce which takes place around a very seedy Times Square in the early 1970’s, cite The Seven-Ups as a major influence on the look and style of their show.  We go to George Pelecanos, discussing some of the mythology behind The French Connection and The Seven Ups, and the prominence of 70’s muscle cars in these great films.

 

 

 

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:19pm CST

This week we mark Veteran’s Day with a look at the depiction of war on screen with the writers behind The Pacific, China Beach, We Were Soldiers and Six.

Bruce C. McKenna is an award-winning screenwriter and producer.  He wrote on four of the ten episodes of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning mini-series Band of Brothers, for which he garnered a WGA Award, a Christopher Award and was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize for his episode, Bastogne. He created, co-wrote and co-executive produced The Pacific, the Emmy Award-winning Miniseries for HBO, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks on the Pacific Theater of the Second World War.  In addition to winning a producing Emmy, McKenna was nominated for his second writing Emmy, was again a finalist for the Humanitas Prize, and garnered a Producer’s Guild Award, a Critic’s Choice Award, as well as the Marine Corp Heritage Foundation Bill Broyles Image Award.  

Bill Broyles grew up in Baytown, Texas, attended Rice University and Oxford University, worked in the civil rights movement, and finished out the Sixties as a Marine infantry lieutenant in Vietnam. As a journalist he was the founding editor of Texas Monthly and from 1982 to 1984 was editor-in-chief of Newsweek. He was the co-creator of the Emmy-Award -winning television series China Beach. He wrote the original screenplay for the movie Cast Away and the screenplay for Jarhead. He co-authored six other screenplays, including Apollo 13, Unfaithful, The Polar Express and Flags of Our Fathers. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for Apollo 13, which won the Writers Guild award for best screenplay.  He has been involved with the Austin Film Festival from the beginning.

Randall Wallace is the Oscar®-nominated creative force behind the epic storytelling of such critical and box-office hits as Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, Secretariat, and Heaven is for Real.

David Broyles grew up in California, New York, and on a dude ranch in Bandera, Texas. He attended the University of Texas and Columbia University, and served as a Pararescueman (PJ) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following his enlistment, he was recognized by the Governor of Texas for exceptional volunteer work and advocacy for disabled veterans. He has sold several screenplays and most recently co-created Six, an upcoming dramatic series for the History Channel. David has been involved with the Austin Film Festival for many years as a writer, director, and volunteer.

 

 

 

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Category:general -- posted at: 12:37pm CST

The 24th Annual Austin Film Festival is a wrap! This week’s On Story takes you to the heart of the Austin Film Festival and Conference with Greta Gerwig, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Robert Townsend, the filmmakers behind HBO’s The Deuce, The Predator, The Warriors and more!

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:03am CST

In 2008, Scott Frank’s directorial debut, The Lookout, won the Independent Spirit award for “Best First Feature.” Along with The Lookout, Mr. Frank’s other screenplays include Little Man Tate, Dead Again, Malice, Heaven’s Prisoners, Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Minority Report The Interpreter, Marley & MeThe Wolverine, Logan and A Walk Among the Tombstones, the latter which he also directed. Mr. Frank created and directed the Netflix western series Godless.

Scott Frank spoke with Austin Film Festival Executive Director, Barbara Morgan, at 2015 year-round event in Austin, Texas, as well as directly after the release of the 20th Century Fox release of Logan in 2017.

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:23pm CST

This episode of On Story, actress and producer America Ferrera and theatre film and television actress June Squibb discuss their work in film and on television.

America Ferrera is best known for her work on the ABC comedy-drama, Ugly Betty. The role garnered her a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding lead Actress in a Comedy Series. America Ferrera’s numerous film credits include Real Women Have Curves, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, End of Watch and How to Train Your Dragon. America Ferrera returned to television in 2015 as a regular and co-producer on the NBC comedy, Superstore. Marcie Mayhorn spoke with America Ferrera in 2012 at the 19th Austin Film Festival.

Actress June Squibb got her start in musical theatre in the 1950’s. She made her Broadway debut as Electra in the original 1960 production of Gypsy starring Ethel Merman. June Squibb made her transition to film in the late 1980’s with Woody Allen’s Alice and went on to roles in Scent of a Woman, The Age of Innocence, Meet Joe Black, and Far From Heaven. She’s since worked twice with director Alexander Payne, first on the film About Schmidt, and later, co-starring with Bruce Dern in Nebraska, which earned her the Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her recent credits include the critically acclaimed film I’ll See You in my Dreams with Rhea Pearlman, Mary Kay Place and Sam Elliot as well as television appearances in Getting On, Girls, Glee, The Big bang Theory and Modern Family. June Squibb spoke with journalist Jane Sumner at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:20pm CST

This week, screenwriters discuss adapting novels and comic books for both film and television. First, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green give an inside look at the process of turning the critically acclaimed Neil Gaiman novel American Gods into a television series. Then, Green joins Ashley Edward Miller and Nicole Perlman for a discussion on the worlds of Marvel and DC, and how they approached adapting beloved comic books for the big screen.

Bryan Fuller and Michael Green are executive producers and co-showrunners on Starz’s American Gods adapted from Neil Gaiman’s award winning novel. Green and Fuller also worked together on Heroes, where they served as writers and producers.

Bryan Fuller got his start writing on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, followed by Showtime’s Dead Like Me. Fuller went on to create the critically acclaimed series Wonderfalls for Fox and the Emmy Award wining Pushing Daisies for ABC. Fuller then developed and executive produced Hannibal on NBC.

Along with Heroes, Michael Green’s created and executive produced NBC’s Kings and ABC’s The River, as well as having writing and producing credits on Everwood, Smallville, Jack and Bobby, and Sex and the City. Green’s feature work includes writing Logan, the sequel to Blade Runner; Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant; the final installment of The Wolverine series; and co-writing the Warner Bros./DC Comics adaptation of The Green Lantern.

Bryan Fuller and Michael Green spoke with Austin Film Festival’s Executive Director, Barbara Morgan, following the release of American Gods in 2017.

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:58am CST

On this episode of On Story, we catch up with Bridesmaids, Freaks and Geeks creator and writer director Paul Feig on his reboot of the supernatural comedy classic Ghostbusters and his work in TV and film. Later, screenwriter Alec Berg takes us behind the scenes of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Paul Feig is a four-time Emmy nominated writer/director, best known for creating the beloved series Freaks and Geeks, which Time magazine listed as one of the 100 Greatest Shows of All Time, launching the careers of Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jason Segel. Feig also directed the films Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, and multiple episodes of the television series Arrested Development, The Office, Nurse Jackie, Bored to Death, Weeds, 30 Rock, and Mad Men. In 2008, his work on The Office earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series. Comedian Pat Hazell spoke with Paul Feig at the 19th Austin Film Festival in 2012. 

Alec Berg is best known for his work as a writer on Seinfeld and Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm which returns to HBO in October after nearly six years off the air. Alec Berg is currently an executive producer and writer on HBO’s Silicon Valley, which was created by Mike Judge, and wrapped its fourth season earlier this year. Comedian Pat Hazell spoke with Alec Berg at the 19th Austin Film Festival in 2012.

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:53pm CST

On this episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and Public Radio International, second generation actor Ed Begley Jr. talks about what he looks for when choosing new projects, finding the pain in a character, working with Christopher Guest and other comedy legends.

Ed Begley Jr. has performed in hundreds of movies and television shows, including An Officer and a Gentleman, St. Elsewhere, This Is Spinal Tap, Batman Forever, Pineapple Express, Better Call Saul, and Best in Show. He is most recognized for his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the television series St. Elsewhere for which he received six consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award Nomination. He is a recurring cast member in several of the mockumentaries written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. I spoke with Ed Begley at the 23rd Annual Austin Film Festival in 2016. Clips from this episode copyright: Sony Pictures Television Inc., American Movie Classics, Castle Rock Entertainment, and Embassy Pictures. 

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:44pm CST

On this episode of On Story, Fargo show-runner Noah Hawley describes the creation of his hit FX series based on the Coen brothers beloved film of the same name followed by Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould on bringing Breaking Bad shady lawyer Saul Goodman to life.

Noah Hawley is the show-runner for the FX series Fargo, which is based on the Coen brothers film of the same name and the X-Men spinoff series, Legion. Hawley was a writer and producer on the series Bones, and created the shows, The Unusuals, and My Generation. Since its premiere, Fargo has won numerous awards including a Peabody, five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes, one for best mini-series, and the other for best actor in a miniseries for Billy Bob Thornton. Fargo wrapped its third season mid-June and is nominated for 9 Primetime Emmys. Season 3 starred Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, David Thewlis and Jim Gaffigan. I spoke with Noah Hawley at the 21st Austin Film Festival in 2014. 

Peter Gould is the co-creator of AMC’s Breaking Bad spin off Better Call Saul. Gould was a writer, producer and occasional director on Breaking Bad for the show’s five-season run. Better Call Saul focuses on the character of Jimmy McGill played by actor Bob Odenkirk. The show is set in 2002, six years before the character’s appearance on Breaking Bad as the shady attorney Saul Goodman. The third season of Better Call Saul is nominated for 10 Primetime Emmy’s including Outstanding Drama Series, and Lead Actor for Bob Odenkirk. I spoke with Peter Gould at a special Austin Film Festival year-round event held on May 17th 2015. 

 

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:12pm CST

On this week's On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI we hear from Chase Palmer, co-writer of the brand-new Stephen King adaptation, It which arrives in theaters this week followed by a 1996 discussion from the Austin Film Festival vault with horror legends Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper discussing the influences for their most terrifying films. Get a look inside the creative process with On Story on your local public radio station.

Chase Palmer is the co-writer of the upcoming supernatural horror film It, based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name. Palmer premiered his first short film, Neo-Noir at Austin Film Festival in 2002. He went on to win the screenplay competition in 2003 for this script, Buried Underground and then came back to the festival in 2004 to screen his next short, Shock and Awe. Chase Palmer spoke with me ahead of the much-anticipated release of It.

Film director, screenwriter and producer Tobe Hooper is best known for this work in the horror film genre. His most recognized films include The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist and Salem’s Lot to name a few.  Hooper died of natural causes last month at the age of 74. He attended Austin Film Festival in 1996, 1997 and again in 2002. In 2013, Hooper’s final directorial effort, Djinn was released.

Wes Craven was a film director, writer, producer and actor known for his pioneering work in the genre of horror films, particularly slasher films where his impact on the genre coined him the “Master of Horror.” Craven created the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise featuring the Freddy Krueger character, directing the first installment. Craven also directed all four films in the Scream series and the two films in the Hills Have Eyes series. Some of his other films include: The Last House on the Left, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, and Red Eye.

Hooper and Craven’s panel discussion comes from the Austin Film Festival vault dating back to the 3rd year of the festival in 1996.

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 7:04pm CST

This week, The Glass Castle co-writer Andrew Lanham discusses adapting the New York Times Best Seller memoir of the same name followed by Life of Pi and Finding Neverland writer David Magee discusses writing for imaginative worlds, and using language to translate stories to the screen.

Andrew Lanham received his MFA in screenwriting from The University of Texas at Austin. In 2010, he won the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, as well as the Drama and Latitude screenwriting awards at the Austin Film Festival, for his script The Jumper of Maine. Lanham co-write Jeannette Walls memoir and New York Times Best Seller, The Glass Castle which is currently in theaters. The film stars Brie Larson as Walls, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

I spoke with Lanham on the phone ahead of the film’s release. Clips from this episode copyright: Lionsgate, Netter Productions and GC Productions USA, Inc.

David Magee is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter known for adapting the beloved novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Finding Neverland. His screen adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and earned director Ang Lee an Oscar for Best Director.

Magee is also the screenwriter for the next Chronicles of Narnia film, The Silver Chair and is currently writing the screenplay for the Disney musical Mary Poppins Returns.

David Magee spoke with me during a special year-round event held in the Harry Ransom Center in 2013. Clips from this episode copyright: Dune Entertainment III LLC, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, and Miramax Film Corporation.

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

This week, writer-director Ric Roman Waugh and producer Jonathan King discuss their new film, Shot Caller, followed by Oscar nominated writer Frank Darabont detailing the process behind adapting Stephen King’s novel turned award-winning iconic film, The Shawshank Redemption.

Ric Roman Waugh has written numerous studio-based feature film screenplays for producers such as: Jerry Bruckheimer, Barry Josephson, Jim Sheridan just to name a few. This includes his latest screenplay, Currency, which Ric will direct next for producer Steve Golin and Participant Media. Ric also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed film, Felon, for Sony. The prison-based drama starred Val Kilmer. He followed that film with the dramatic-thriller, Snitch, which he also co-wrote and directed. He also recently produced and directed the documentary, That Which I Love Destroys Me. His upcoming film, Shot Caller, which Waugh produced and directed from his own screenplay for Bold Films and Participant Media, is currently out in theaters.

Three-time Oscar® nominee Frank Darabont has made a name for himself as a screenplay writer, most famously for his adaptations of horror novelist Stephen King’s books The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, and The Mist. Darabont is also credited with creating the wildly popular AMC television series, The Walking Dead. Darabont’s accolades include Oscar® nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay in both, The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption.

Direct download: SHOT_CALLER_AND_SHAWSHANK.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:20pm CST

This week, we talk with actor and filmmaker James Franco on the cult sensation Freaks and Geeks, 127 Hours and many more of his unforgettable roles in films both large and small. We follow with Chris Cooper, the Academy Award® winning Best Supporting Actor, behind his role in the comedy-drama Adaptation and how he managed to navigate through his roles in iconic films and television.

Actor and filmmaker James Franco first rose to prominence on the cult sensation Freaks and Geeks and has since followed with unforgettable roles in films both large and small. He won a Golden Globe early in his career for his portrayal of film icon, James Dean and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category for his role in 127 Hours. James Franco is currently slated to star in the HBO original miniseries The Deuce created by AFF Awardee David Simon and author, George Pelecanos. The series is set in 1970’s New York during the rise of the porn industry and premieres in September. Producer Barry Josephson spoke with James Franco at the 19th annual Austin Film Festival in 2012.  

Chris Cooper is known for a board range of work in supporting roles from July Johnson in TV’s Lonesome Dove to Robert Hanssen in Breach, Colonel Fitts in American Beauty to Al Templeton in this year’s Hulu original mini-series 11.23.63. Chris Cooper won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 2003 for his portrayal of John Laroche in the film Adaptation and his other film credits include August: Osage Country, Syriana, Jarhead, and Capote. Writer Michael Noll spoke with Cooper at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Direct download: FRANCO_COOPER.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 5:49pm CST

This week, Oscar-nominated writer Randall Wallace reflects on his iconic and Academy Award-winning film, Braveheart followed by screenwriter, Jeb Stuart who dissects the screenplay for his classic thriller The Fugitive, and fills us in on the story's journey from script to screen.

Randall Wallace is the Oscar-nominated creative force behind many box-office hits such as Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, Secretariat, and The Man in the Iron Mask. After drawing the interest of director and star Mel Gibson Braveheart became Wallace’s first produced screenplay and ended up the film success story of 1995, winning the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, Writers Guild Award for Best Screenplay, as well as garnering Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.

Barbara Morgan spoke with Wallace at a retrospective screening of the film during the 21st annual Austin Film Festival in 2014. Clips from this episode copyright: B.H. Finance, CV, Icon Productions and Ladd Company.

Jeb Stuart is the writer/producer responsible for the screenplays of several blockbuster films including Die Hard, The Fugitive, Fire Down Below, Another 48 Hours and Switchback which he also produced. Stuart spoke with No Film School contributor, Christopher Boone at the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival in 2015. Clips from this episode copyright Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, LP.

 

Direct download: BRAVEHEART_AND_THE_FUGITIVE.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:17pm CST

This week, Dale Launer discusses writing and producing the acclaimed film My Cousin Vinny, and actress Parker Posey talks about her background as an artist, working on Waiting for Guffman, and what it’s like working with renowned comedic writer/director, Christopher Guest.

Dale Launer is the screenwriter of Ruthless People and the remake of 1965 Bedtime Story, which he optioned, re-wrote and executive-produced as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. After that, he wrote, directed and produced Love Potion #9, and then wrote and produced My Cousin Vinny, both at 20th Century Fox.

In 2016, Launer was honored to have 2 movies placed in the WGA's 101 Funniest Movies of All Time. 

Dale Launer spoke with Barbara Morgan, at an Austin Film Festival year-round event and retrospective screening of My Cousin Vinny in 2017.

 

Parker Posey is an American actress and musician. Following her role in Richard Linklater's 1993 cult hit Dazed and Confused, she became known during the 1990s after a series of roles in independent films such as Party Girl and The House of Yes that gained her the nickname "Queen of the Indies". She later played improvisational roles in Christopher Guest mockumentaries, including Waiting for Guffman, Best in ShowA Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. Her other film appearances include You've Got Mail, Scream 3Superman Returns, and the Woody Allen films Irrational Man and Café Society. On television, Posey has guest-starred in series such as Will & GraceBoston LegalThe Good WifeLouieParks and Recreation, and Search Party.

Barbara Morgan spoke with Parker Posey at a 2016 Austin Film Festival year-round event and retrospective screening of Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman.

Direct download: MY_COUSIN_VINNY_AND_PARKER_POSEY.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:42pm CST

This week, Academy Award winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland looks back on his favorite projects. First, Helgeland discusses adapting LA Confidential and working with late director Curtis Hanson. Then, Helgeland reflects on his experience writing and directing A Knight’s Tale

Among the films Brian Helgeland has written and directed are Legend, 42, A Knight’s Tale and Payback. As a screenwriter, his credits include Man on Fire, The Taking of Pelham, Conspiracy Theory, Green Zone, Blood Work and Mystic River for which he received an Academy Award nomination.

Helgeland won the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award for his work on L.A Confidential. He is also the recipient of the Writers Guild of America Award, the Edgar Alan Poe Award, and the Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment.

Helgeland spoke with Barbara Morgan at the 22nd Annual Austin Film Festival and on the phone this year.

Direct download: BRIAN_HELGELAND.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:24am CST

This episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI, Mozart in the Jungle executive producer Paul Weitz discusses the arc of the show's three season run on Amazon and actor Tony Hale describes his work from Arrested Development to HBO's Veep. Get a look inside the creative process with On Story on your local public radio station.

The Amazon original series Mozart in the Jungle was inspired by Blair Tindall’s 2005 memoir about life in orchestral music scene in New York City. The show stars Gael García Bernal as the eccentric rock star conductor of the New York symphony, and co stars Lola Kirke, Malcolm McDowell, Saffron Burrows and Bernadette Peters. The pilot was developed by Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Alex Timbers and was directed by our first guest, Paul Weitz. Paul Weitz is best known for collaborations with his brother Chris Weitz on the films American Pie and About a Boy. The latter of which saw the co-directing brothers nominated for Academy Award. We caught up with Paul Weitz over the phone to discuss Mozart in the Jungle

Actor and comedian Tony Hale is best known for his role as Buster Bluth on Arrested Development. Tony Hale has had numerous roles in film and on television, most recently as Gary Walsh in a HBO series Veep for which he’s won 2 prime time Emmy's for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. I spoke with Tony Hale at the 23rd Austin Film Festival in 2016. 

Direct download: OSR_PaulWeitz_TonyHale.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 4:05pm CST

This week, we talk with filmmaker David Lowery about his new film, A Ghost Story. Lowery then joins the screenwriter behind 500 Days of Summer and The Spectacular Now Scott Neustadter to discuss writing time and temporal elements such as flashbacks, flashforwards, dreams, and montages in both Neustadter’s 500 Days of Summer and Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

David Lowery is a filmmaker from Texas. His films include Pioneer, St. Nick, Pete's Dragon and A Ghost Story which is currently in theaters and stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Both Affleck and Mara first starred in Lowery’s second feature film, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints which garnered numerous critical awards and nominations. David Lowery spoke with me ahead of the release of his new film, A Ghost Story.

Up next, screenwriter Scott Neustadter and filmmaker David Lowery discuss writing time and temporal elements such as flashbacks, flashforwards, dreams, and montages in both Neustadter’s 500 Days of Summer and Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. David Lowery and Scott Neustadter spoke with writer and contributor of No Film School, Christopher Boone at the 20th annual Austin Film Festival in 2013.

 

Direct download: LOWERY_NEUSTADTER.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 5:01pm CST

This week’s On Story, two modern family adventure films. First we hear from The Jungle Book screenwriter Justin Marks discussing the 2016 Disney film based on the Rudyard Kipling classic and inspired by the 1967 animated film of the same name. The Jungle Book features an all-star cast including Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, and Idris Elba as well as new comer, Neel Sethi and was directed by Jon Favreau. Later, Hook screenwriter Jim Hart and the actor who played one of the film’s beloved Lost Boys, Rufio, Dante Basco.

This episode features two modern family adventure films: the 2016 Disney reboot of The Jungle Book and the 1991 classic, Hook. The Jungle Book is based on the work of Rudyard Kipling and inspired by the 1967 Disney animated feature. The film incorporates live action star, young new comer Neel Sethi and an all-star cast of jungle animals voiced by the likes of Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken and Idris Elba. The Jungle Book is also the final appearance of comedy great Garry Shandling and was released less than one month after his death. In our next segment, screenwriter Justin Marks, describes the combination of CGI and artists renderings that resulted in the films compelling characters.

The 1991 fantasy adventure, Hook depicts an adult Peter Pan who forgot Neverland and grew up. The film stars the late Robin Williams as Peter, Dustin Hoffman as the title character Captain Hook and co-stars Julia Roberts, Maggie Smith, the late Bob Hoskins, and one of our next guests, Dante Basco as Lost Boy, Rufio. AFF film competition director, Harrison Glaser spoke with Dante Basco and Hook screenwriter, James V. Hart at a special screening of Hook in 2014 at the Texas Spirit Theater in Austin.

Direct download: OnStory_JungleBookRefeed.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 4:19pm CST

This week, we talk with Ed Solomon, the comedic screenwriter behind Hollywood classics Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men in Black, and Now You See Me. Solomon looks back on his long journey working on Men in Black, and discusses working with industry icons such as Barry Sonnenfeld, Tommy Lee Jones, and Will Smith.

Ed Solomon is the co-writer for the screenplays Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and its sequel, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, and also wrote on It’s Garry Shandling’s Show for its first three seasons.  He then penned the screenplay for Men in Black, and many others, including the first X-Men (uncredited).  Since then he’s worked on all sorts of films, including Levity, which he also directed. He wrote the Lion’s Gate film Now You See Me, Now You See Me 2, Sony Picture’s How to Disappear Completely, and Colossus for Universal Studios.

Ed Solomon spoke with Barbara Morgan at the 2014 On Story Release Party, held at the KLRU Studios in Austin Texas.

Direct download: OnStory_EdSolomon_062617.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:10pm CST

This week, in honor of our new Fiction Podcast Scipt Competition, we explore the world of Fiction Podcasts, talking with the writers of hit podcasts Limetown and Homecoming, Skip Bronkie, Zach Akers and Micah Bloomberg. 

Direct download: OS_Special_-_Fiction_Podcast_Podcast.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:39pm CST

This week, screenwriter Scott Frank looks back on his career writing some of the most inspired adaptations of our time, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Minority Report. But first, Frank discusses his work on The Wolverine and Logan, and his unique experience writing within the Marvel Universe.

In 2008, Scott Frank’s directorial debut, The Lookout, won the Independent Spirit award for “Best First Feature.” Along with The Lookout, Mr. Frank’s other screenplays include Little Man Tate, Dead Again, Malice, Heaven’s Prisoners, Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Minority Report The Interpreter, Marley & MeThe Wolverine, Logan and A Walk Among the Tombstones, the latter which he also directed. Mr. Frank created and directed the Netflix western series Godless.

Scott Frank spoke with Austin Film Festival Executive Director, Barbara Morgan, at 2015 year-round event in Austin, Texas, as well as directly after the release of the 20th Century Fox release of Logan in 2017.

 

Direct download: OnStory_Scott_Frank_062017.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:16pm CST

This week, Oren Uziel, the screenwriter behind 22 Jump Street and Freaks of Nature looks back on how he got his start in the film industry and his first experience directing his own screenplay, Shimmer Lake. Then, Uziel joins The Hunger Games: Mockingjay screenwriter Peter Craig and Rise of the Planet of the Apes writing duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver for a discussion on sequels and trilogies.

Oren Uziel wrote and directed the feature film Shimmer Lake which previously won an award at the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. His other credits include 22 Jump Street, Freaks of Nature, and The God Particle.

Uziel spoke with Austin Film Festival’s Executive Director Barbara Morgan following the release of Netflix’s Shimmer Lake in 2017.

Oren Uziel joins fellow screenwriters Peter Craig, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver for a discussion on writing sequels and trilogies.

Peter Craig’s writing credits include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts I and II, as well as The Town and Blood Father. Writing partners Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are known for their work on Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, as well as collaborating on Jurassic World, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, Eye for an Eye, and The Relic.

Uziel, Craig, Jaffa and Silver spoke at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival with moderator Allen Odom in 2014.

 

Direct download: OnStory_Sequels_and_Trilogies_061217.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:00am CST

On this special edition of the On Story Podcast, Oren Uziel discusses how he leveraged his success after winning AFF’s Screenplay Competition for his script Shimmer Lake to make a career change from being a lawyer in New York to a screenwriter in LA. He also shares his journey writing, developing, and eventually directing Shimmer Lake which debuts June 9th on Netflix. Uziel’s credits also include 22 Jump Street, Freaks of Nature, and the upcoming Cloverfield film The God Particle.

Direct download: OS_SPECIAL_OREN_UZIEL.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 7:31am CST

This week, screenwriters discuss adapting novels and comic books for both film and television. First, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green give an inside look at the process of turning the critically acclaimed Neil Gaiman novel American Gods into a television series. Then, Green joins Ashley Edward Miller and Nicole Perlman for a discussion on the worlds of Marvel and DC, and how they approached adapting beloved comic books for the big screen.

Bryan Fuller and Michael Green are executive producers and co-showrunners on Starz’s American Gods adapted from Neil Gaiman’s award winning novel. Green and Fuller also worked together on Heroes, where they served as writers and producers.

Bryan Fuller got his start writing on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, followed by Showtime’s Dead Like Me. Fuller went on to create the critically acclaimed series Wonderfalls for Fox and the Emmy Award wining Pushing Daisies for ABC. Fuller then developed and executive produced Hannibal on NBC.

 Along with Heroes, Michael Green’s created and executive produced NBC’s Kings and ABC’s The River, as well as having writing and producing credits on Everwood, Smallville, Jack and Bobby, and Sex and the City. Green’s feature work includes writing Logan, the sequel to Blade Runner; Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant; the final installment of The Wolverine series; and co-writing the Warner Bros./DC Comics adaptation of The Green Lantern.

Bryan Fuller and Michael Green spoke with Austin Film Festival’s Executive Director, Barbara Morgan, following the release of American Gods in 2017. 

Next, screenwriters discuss adapting beloved comic books for the big screen, including Thor co-written by Ashley Edward Miller, the 2014 blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy co-written by Nicole Perlman, and; the Warner Bros./DC Comics adaptation of The Green Lantern co-written by Michael Green.

Michael Green, Ashley Miller, and Nicole Perlman spoke with screenwriter Alvaro Rodriguez at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival in 2014.

 

 

Direct download: OnStory_Adapting_Comics_050517.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 6:15pm CST

This week's On Story, hear from the teams behind Orange is the New Black, Casual, and Wet Hot American Summer as they discuss pushing boundaries through comedy and the new frontier of television distribution.

Jenji Kohan is a writer, producer and showrunner, whose writing credits include The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Mad About You, Sex in the City, and Gilmore Girls. She created the popular Showtime series Weeds, which garnered her a Writers Guild Award for ‘Best Episodic Comedy’. Kohan’s Netflix original series Orange is the New Black is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir by the same name, and follows Kerman’s 15-month sentence at a minimum-security federal prison. The following segment with Jenji Kohan was recorded in 2013 at the 20th Austin Film Festival. 

Orange staff writers Lauren Morelli and Stephen Falk take us deep inside the writer’s room for a look at the process of making this hugely popular series.

The Hulu original series Casual is created by Zander Lehmann and developed by writer director Jason Reitman, producer Helen Estabrook and screenwriter Liz Tigelaar. This conversation was moderated by producer and manager Linnea Toney at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015. Indie film writer and director Jason Reitman talks about his first experience working in television, and the major differences in the creative process.

Direct download: Refeed_OnStory_Radio_052617.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:48pm CST

This week, Robin Swicord discusses adapting and directing the E.L. Doctorow short story, Wakefield, and screenwriter Jenny Lumet looks back on her critically acclaimed film, Rachel Getting Married, and working with legendary director Jonathan Demme.

Robin Swicord is primarily known for her work as a screenwriter for Memoirs Of A Geisha, Little Women, Matilda and Practical Magic. In 2009 Swicord received an Oscar nomination for her contribution to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a project Swicord originated and worked on for more than a decade. Swicord made her feature-directing debut with The Jane Austen Book Club, for which Swicord also wrote the screenplay adaptation. She directed her second film, Wakefield, in 2016, which she adapted from a short story by E.L. Doctorow. Robin Swicord spoke with Austin Film Festival Executive Director Barbara Morgan following the release of Wakefield in 2016. Clips in this episode copyright IFC Films, Mockingbird Pictures, and Dominion Pictures.

 

Jenny Lumet is the screenwriter of Rachel Getting Married for which she received the 2008 New York Film Critics Circle Award, Toronto Film Critics Association Award, Washington D.C Film Critics Association Award, and an NAACP Image Award. She has worked in both film and television, and is an Executive Director of BINDERCON, a conference for Women and Non-gender conforming writers. Jenny Lumet spoke with Christopher Boone at the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival in 2014. Clips in this episode copyright Sony Pictures Classics Inc.

 

 

Direct download: OnStory_Lumet_Swicord.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:19pm CST

This week, Emmy-award winning writers Greg Daniels and Alan Yang look back on their respective journeys writing some of television’s greatest comedies. Daniels reflects on his writing career ranging from Saturday Night Live, to adapting the American version of The Office and co-creating Parks and Recreation. Master of None co-creator Alan Yang then discusses writing naturalistic comedy culled from personal experience, crafting cultural commentary, and the importance of representation in the media.

 
Direct download: OnStory_YangDaniels_051717.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 8:10pm CST