AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL'S ON STORY PODCAST

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.

Direct download: CARTER_KASDAN_REFEED.mp3
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.

Direct download: GILLROY_AWARDEES_WESTERNS.mp3
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.

 

Direct download: OnStory_YangDaniels_051717_REFEED.mp3
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.

 

 

 

 

Direct download: LBJ_Lady_Bird_The_Seven_Ups.mp3
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.

 

 

 

Direct download: VETERANS_DAY_EPISODE.mp3
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!

Direct download: BEST_OF_THE_FEST_24.mp3
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.

 

Direct download: OnStory_Scott_Frank_062017_REFEED.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:23pm CST