Thu, 23 February 2017
This week’s On Story, two critically and culturally acclaimed African-American directors: John Singleton and Charles Burnett. First, Singleton discusses his career and the creation of his first film, Boyz n the Hood (1991), which earned him the Best Director nomination at the Academy Awards®, making him the first African American nominee in that category that same year. Later, Charles Burnett highlights details of his career development in narrative and documentary filmmaking, with his seminal film Killer of Sheep (1978), a definitive representation of the African American cultural experience.
John Singleton made his filmmaking debut in 1991 as the writer-director of the groundbreaking urban drama Boys N The Hood, which he wrote and directed. The film earned him Academy Award® Nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, the latter of which made him the youngest person as well as the first African-American to enjoy that distinction. Singleton’s other films include Poetic Justice starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson and Andre Benjamin and Rosewood starring John Voight, Ving Rhames and Don Cheadle.
Charles Burnett’s most notable works include the films Killer of Sheep, My Brother’s Wedding and To Sleep With Anger. Killer of Sheep was Charles Burnett’s master’s thesis at UCLA and was included among the first 50 films entered in the National Film Registry for its historical importance by the Library of Congress in 1990. Charles Burnett has received numerous awards for his contribution to American cinema including a Guggenheim Fellowship and Howard University’s Paul Robeson Award.
Thu, 16 February 2017
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 Ray 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 close to 200,000 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 most recently she developed the hit series, “Insecure” for HBO. Rae is also the New York Times Best Selling author of, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”.
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 him by phone to discuss his work with Issa Rae and other new voices in comedy.
Wed, 8 February 2017
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 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 powerful today.
Studio executive Lindsay Doran has numerous credits on film and television including The Firm, Fallen Angels and of course Sense and Sensibility.
Screenwriter and Producer Robin Swicord wrote the screenplays for Little Women, Matilda, Memoirs of a Geisha and The Jane Austen Book Club.
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.whatjanesaw.org) and most recently, she has co-curated the exhibition “Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity,” at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC last year.
Bernie Su is the two-time Emmy Award-winning producer and creator behind The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Emma Approved and Vanity.
Wed, 1 February 2017
This week, On Story takes a look at great sports films with the filmmakers behind Hoosiers, King Pin, The Rookie, 42 and more! John Lee Hancock, Angelo Pizzo, Aaron Covington, Bobby Farrely discuss winners, losers, underdogs and champions. Later, Brian Helgeland talks about writing and directing the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42.
Angelo Pizzo wrote and co-produced the classic basketball story Hoosiers as well as the football bio, Rudy. Hoosiers stars Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper and is loosely based on the Milan High School basketball team that won the Indiana state championship in 1954.
John Lee Hancock is the filmmaker behind The Rookie and The Blind side, as well as the recent film, The Founder. The Rookie stars Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths and Brian Cox and tells the real-life story if Jim Morris- the high school science teacher turned major league pitcher. The Blind Side is based on the book by Michael Lewis and depicts the late adolescence of Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Michael Oher and his path from the foster care system to the gridiron.
Aaron Covington co-wrote the screenplay for the 2015 film Creed. The film depicts the journey of Adonis Johnson into the boxing world. Johnson is the son of former heavyweight champion and Rocky Balboa opponent-turned-trainer Apollo Creed. In the film, the younger Creed, whose father died in the ring, seeks the help and guidance of aging former champion Rocky Balboa.
Bobby Farrelly and his brother Peter Farrelly are the filmmakers behind the sports comedies Kingpin and Fever Pitch. Kingpin stars Woody Harrelson as a down on his luck former professional bowler who takes on an Amish protégé played by Randy Quaid. Fever Pitch stars Jimmy Fallon as a Boston Red Sox fanatic who becomes romantically involved with a workaholic executive played by Drew Barrymore.
Academy Award winning screenwriter, film producer and director Brian Helgeland is best known for the films L.A. Confidential, Mystic River, A Knight’s Tale, Legend and of course, the Jackie Robinson biopic 42. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and takes place in 1946 and 47, when Robinson went from the triple A Royals to The Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball.