Wed, 21 November 2018
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).
Wed, 14 November 2018
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 life. This 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 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.
Wed, 7 November 2018
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.