Jeffrey Cranor is a partner in and co-founder of Night Vale Presents. He co-writes the podcasts welcome to night vale and within the wires. He co-wrote with Joseph Fink the novels Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours! An alumnus of the performance art collective the New York neo-futurists, Jeffrey also creates theater and dance with choreographer (and wife) Jillian Sweeney.

Clips of Welcome to Night Vale courtesy of You Tube, Inc.

For every established Hollywood producer there are countless up-and-coming writers desperately trying to get their work read. Despite the odds of ‘making it’ these people continue to write. In our podcast series, “Toiling in Obscurity” we hear from working writers on their day to day obstacles and what keeps them inspired to keep writing.

Michael Soll is an Austin Film Festival Finalist whose screenplay, Catalyst won the Drama Feature Category in 2016 and is currently in pre-production. At 17, Michael wrote his first screenplay, a teenage coming-of-age story. In addition to features, he also enjoys writing books. His novel, Scorched, was an Amazon Bestseller. We spoke with Michael during the Austin Film Festival to discuss what keeps him motivated to write and how AFF helped advance his script further in the industry.

Direct download: Jeffrey_Cranor_Podcast_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm CDT

This week on On Story we’ll hear from comedy veteran Ali LeRoi who’s longtime collaboration with comedian Chris Rock resulted in Everybody Hates Chris and Down to Earth. And later we’ll discuss Young Adult fiction with the screenwriters behind The Fault in our Stars and CW’s The 100.

Ali LeRoi is an Emmy® Award-winning writer/director & producer best known for his collaboration with comedian Chris Rock that resulted in Everybody Hates Chris and the films Head Of State and Down To Earth. Comedian Dave Buckman sat down with LeRoi to discuss his transition from stand-up comedy to screenwriting and the perseverance required to make it as a writer.

Clips of Head of State courtesy of Dream Works LLC.

Clips of Everybody Hates Chris courtesy of CBS Studios, Inc.

Clips of The Chris Rock Show courtesy of Home Box Office, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, LP

Clips of Survivor’s Remorse courtesy of Starz Entertainment, LLC.

Clip of Pootie Tang courtesy of Paramount Pictures Corporation

Young Adult fiction has exploded in popularity over recent years, and while the stories are centered around teenagers and are marketed to that demographic, a recent study found that more than half of YA readers are actually adults. Professor Karol Hoeffner spoke with The Spectacular Now co-writer Michael H. Weber and CW’s The 100 writer/producer Charmaine DeGrate to discuss the draw of YA stories and the process behind adapting novels to the screen.  

Clips of The 100 courtesy of Warner Brothers Television, The CW Network, & CBS Television Studios

Clips of The Fault in Our Stars & Paper Towns courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Clips of The Spectacular Now courtesy of TSN Ventures, LLC.

Direct download: Ali_Le_Roi_Writing_the_Young_Adult_Podcast.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:00pm CDT

On this week’s special On Story, two critically and culturally acclaimed African-American directors: John Singleton and Charles Burnett. First, we look back at the work of the late John Singleton as he 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 Boyz 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, Four Brothers and the 2000’s version of Shaft.  John Singelton also co-created the FX Network crime drama, Snowfall.  Screenwriter Fred Strype spoke with John Singleton at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015 where he was awarded for his contributions to filmmaking.

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. Michael MacCambridge spoke with Charles Burnett at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Direct download: JOHN_SINGLETON_POD.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:42pm CDT

On this week’s On Story we’ll hear from Avengers: Infinity War and End Game writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.  The two will discuss the daunting process and high expectations behind writing the final two Avengers installments and the misconception that all superhero films are written for 13-year-old boys.

The two started their careers by writing 2004’s The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers. Their introduction to the Marvel universe was 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.  They went on to write the two following films in the Captain America series; Winter Soldier and CIVIL WAR before being tasked with writing Avengers: Infinity War and the upcoming Avengers: End Game. 

I spoke with Markus and McFeely about the collaborative nature of the Marvel Universe and the pressures behind writing the most anticipated movie of the decade.

Clips of Captain America: The Winter Soldier courtesy of MVL Film Finance, LLC

Clips of Avengers: Infinity War courtesy of MVL Film Finance, LLC 

Clips of Iron Man courtesy of MVL Film Finance, LLC.



Direct download: OSP_Avengers_Podcast_Mix.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 4:30pm CDT

On this week’s On Story we’ll speak with the writers behind Mad Men, Westworld, and 11.22.63 to explore audiences fascination with film and television set in the past and the challenges writers face when tasked with telling stories set in a different time. We’ll also hear from some of today’s top romantic comedy writers on the lasting influence of filmmaker Nora Ephron.

From Lawrence of Arabia to The Crown, audiences have always been intrigued by stories set in the past. But what considerations do writers have to make when telling a story in a different time and what liberties can they take when they are writing about real events or real people? Screenwriter Alvarao Rodriguez spoke with 11.22.63 creator Bridget Carpenter and Mad Men writer Carly Wray to discuss research, authenticity, and the dangers of nostalgia.

Sleepless in Seattle. When Harry Met Sally. You've Got Mail. Julie & Julia. It’s undeniable that Nora Ephron was one of the greatest romantic comedy writer/directors Hollywood has ever seen. Professor Greg Garrett spoke with Man Up writer Tess Morris and (500) Days of Summer writer Scott Neustadter to discuss how Ephron’s films continue to entertain audiences and how her writing has influenced their own work.

Clips of Westworld courtesy of Home Box Office (HBO), Warner Brothers Television, and Bad Robot

Clips of 11.22.63 courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment

Clips of Mad Men courtesy of Lionsgate Television & American Movie Classics (AMC)

Clips of Silkwood courtesy of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

Clips of Sleepless in Seattle courtesy of TriStar Pictures, Inc

Clips of Julie & Julia courtesy of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc 

Clips of When Harry Met Sally courtesy of Castle Rock Entertainment

Clips of You've Got Mail courtesy of Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, LP

Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:00pm CDT

This week on On Story we’ll hear from documentary storytellers Chapman and Maclain Way on their Emmy award winning Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country. The six part series tells the true story of a controversial Indian guru and his attempt to build a utopian city deep in rural Oregon in the 1980’s.

Wild Wild Country explores the true story of an Indian guru who attempted to build a Utopian community on a ranch in rural Oregon in the 1980’s and the impeding conflict that resulted with the locals. The series was created by documentary filmmakers Chapman and Maclain Way and went on to be nominated for 5 Emmys including a win for Outstanding Documentary Series. Journalist Michael MacCambridge interviewed the Way brothers at the 25th annual Austin Film Festival.

Clips of Wild Wild Country courtesy of Duplass Brothers Productions & Netflix, Inc.



Direct download: Wild_Wild_Country_Podcast.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:30pm CDT

On this week’s On Story we’ll hear from playwright and screenwriter Graham Gordy on his new film Antiquities and the third season of HBO’s True Detective. Later we’ll hear from veteran screenwriter Tony Gilroy whose work on the Matt Damon starring Bourne series revitalized the spy genre and whose movie, Michael Clayton, was nominated for seven Academy Awards®.

Graham Gordy is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced and performed by Naked Angels, The New Group and The Royal Court. As a television writer, Gordy wrote for the Sundance series Rectify and co-created the Cinemax drama Quarry. Most recently, Gordy was a writer and consulting producer for the third season of HBO’s True Detective and the co-writer of the independent comedy Antiquities. Trailer for Season 3 of True Detective courtesy of Home Box Office, Inc.  

Tony Gilroy is a screenwriter and director who has been working for over 25 years. His writing credits include the first three films in the Matt Damon starring Bourne series, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Beirut. As a writer/director Gilroy was behind the fourth installment in the Bourne franchise – The Bourne Legacy and 2007’s Michael Clayton which was nominated for seven Academy Awards® including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. I spoke with Tony Gilroy at the 25th Austin Film Festival where he was accepting 2018’s Distinguished Screenwriter Award. 

Clip of Michael Clayton courtesy of Clayton Productions, LLC. 
Clips of The Bourne Identity courtesy of Kalima Productions, GmbH & Co. KG 
Clips of The Bourne Supremacy courtesy of Motion Picture Theta Productions, GmbH & Co. KG and Universal City Studios, LLLP
Clips of The Bourne Ultimatum & The Bourne Legacy courtesy of Universal City Studios Productions, LLLP
Clip of Proof of Life courtesy of Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company LP & Bel Air Pictures, LLC

Gilroy also wrote the screenplay for Dolores ClaiborneThe Cutting Edge, and Proof of Life. Most recently, Gilroy co-wrote Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and served as a consulting producer on Netflix’s hit series House of Cards during the show’s third and fourth seasons. 

Direct download: 1908_Graham_Gordy_Tony_Gilroy_PODCAST.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:00pm CDT

Marriage is hard. Writing is hard. Writing with your spouse? Easy as pie. On this special Valentine's day episode we'll hear from a panel of writers who tied the knot. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are best known for writing and co-producing the reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise including Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and it's third installment, War for the Planet of the Apes which was released in 2017. Jaffa and Silver are currently in production co-writing Avatar 2 & 3 with director James Cameron.  Cormac and Marianne Wibblerly have been writing together since the early 1990's and are credited writers on films including National Treasure, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Bad Boys 2. Both couples recently sat down at the 25th Austin Film Festival to discuss the ups and downs, creative differences, and the different dynamic between married writing partners with Professor Fred Strype.

For every established Hollywood producer there are countless up-and-coming writers desperately trying to get their work read. Despite the odds of ‘making it’ these people continue to write. In our new podcast series, “Toiling in Obscurity” we hear from working writers on their day to day obstacles and what keeps them inspired to keep writing.

Revati Dhomse and Hector Lowe won the 2018 Austin Film Festival & Josephson Entertainment Screenwriting Fellowship for their feature screenplay, The Death of Colm Canter. Both dated before becoming writing partners. We spoke with the pair at the Austin Film Festival to discuss how they use their individual strengths to keep each other accountable as they continue pursuing their writing dreams.

Direct download: Sleeping_with_Your_Writing_Partner_-_TK_Mix.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 6:30pm CDT

On this week’s On Story, Emmy Award® winning television producer, actor, comedian and writer Larry Wilmore discusses the creation of the influential Bernie Mac Show and his recent collaboration with Issa Rae creating HBO’s Insecure.

Larry Wilmore has been an actor, comedian, producer, and writer for more than 25 years. Wilmore’s credits include writing for In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and The Office. In 2001 Wilmore created The Bernie Mac Show for comedian Bernie Mac. The series ran for five seasons and earned Wilmore an Emmy Award and Peabody. Wilmore was a writer for Fox’s groundbreaking In Living Color and created The Bernie Mac Show. In 2016, Wilmore co-created HBO’s Insecure with writer and actress Issa Rae. The comedy series was recently renewed for a fourth season. Wilmore spoke about his career with actor John Merriman in front of a live audience at the Austin Film Festival’s Writers Conference.

Clip of Bernie Mac courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Clip of The Original Kings of Comedy courtesy of Paramount Pictures Corporation

Clip of The PJ’s courtesy of Touchstone Pictures & Television, a.a.d.o Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Clip of An Evening at the Improv courtesy of A&E Network & TeleAmerica Entertainment, Inc.

Clip of Insecure courtesy of Home Box Office, Inc. & Issa Rae Productions, Inc.

Direct download: PODCAST.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:30pm CDT

On this week’s On Story podcast, a panel of veteran producers discuss what they look for in a screenplay and how they decide which writers to work with. And later, we hear from up and coming writer Wes Brown as part of our new podcast series, “Toiling in Obscurity” where we explore working writers on their day to day obstacles and what keeps them inspired to keep writing.

Nothing in Hollywood can get made without the guiding hand of a producer. They are the driving force behind getting any project off the ground and to be a successful writer you have to have one in your corner. A panel of veteran producer’s recently sat down at the 25th Austin Film Festival to discuss what they look for in a screenplay and how they decide which writers to work with. The panel included Michael Grillo who is the Executive Producer behind some of Marvel’s biggest hits including Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and the upcoming Avengers: End Game. Barry Josephson, President of Josephson Entertainment and the producer behind Enchanted, Dirty Grandpa, The Last Boy Scout and the Executive Producer behind a string of television hits including Amazon’s The Tick and Bones. And Jayme Lemons who is the Co-founder of Jaywalker pictures with actress Laura Dern and the producer behind Enlightened, Antiquities, and the Emmy nominated HBO film The Tale.


Wes Brown has written for AMC’s The Son and Fear the Walking Dead. In 2014 Brown won the Austin Film Festival AMC 1-Hour Drama Pilot award. We spoke with Wes Brown at the Austin Film Festival to discuss the years he spent pursuing his dream.

Direct download: Producers_Perspective_FINAL_Mix.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

This week on On Story we’ll hear from writer, producer, and showrunner Graham Yost. Yost has been behind 90's action hits Speed and Broken Arrow, World War II epics Band of Brothers and The Pacific, and the suspenseful TV dramas Justified and the recent Golden Globe winning FX series The Americans. And later we’ll hear from husband and wife creators Francesca Delbanco and Nicholas Stoller on the second season of their Netflix comedy series Friends from College which stars Fred Savage, Keegan-Michael Key, and Cobie Smulders.

In the 1990’s he wrote the Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock action hit Speed. He followed the success of that film by writing a string of action hits that included Broken Arrow, and The Last Castle. In the 2000’s Yost returned to television writing two installments of the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning World War II series Band of Brothers and the Emmy Award winning follow up The Pacific. Most recently Yost was the showrunner of the Emmy winning FX series Justified, the Executive Producer on the Golden Globe winning series The Americans, and showrunner of the Amazon series Sneaky Pete which was co-created by actor Bryan Cranston. Clips of Justified courtesy of Sony Pictures Television Inc. & Bluebush Productions, LLC. Clips of Justifiedcourtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Corporation. 

Netflix’s original series Friends from College follows six Harvard alums living New York City in their 40s and the complicated relationships they have with each other. The series was created by husband and wife team Francesca Delbanco and Nicholas Stoller. Stoller is known for writing and directing comedy films Forgetting Sarah MarshallNeighbors, and Get Him to the Greek. The pair spoke about creating the comedy series after the Season 2 premiere at the 25 Annual Austin Film Festival. Clips and trailers of Friends from College courtesy of Netflix, Inc.


Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:00pm CDT

This week on On Story we’ll hear from screenwriting duo Scott Beck and Bryan Woods on how the classic silent films of Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati and the board game Monopoly inspired 2018’s biggest horror hit A Quiet Place. Later we’ll hear from Veteran screenwriter Linda Woolverton who is responsible for writing some of Disney’s most beloved films; Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Maleficent.

Filmmakers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods first met as sixth-graders in their hometown of Bettendorf, Iowa. The two quickly began a creative collaboration that continues today.  Most recently the pair wrote the screenplay for A Quiet Place. The film stars Emily Blunt and John Krasinski as a husband and wife who are forced to raise a family in a post apocalyptic world surrounded by monsters who hunt anything that makes a noise.  The horror film was one of 2018’s biggest hits – it received critical acclaim and grossed over $300 million. Filmmaker Christopher Boone spoke with Beck and Woods about writing the genre script at the 25th Annual Austin Film Festival in 2018. Clips of A Quiet Place courtesy of Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Writer Linda Woolverton has built a career on telling family friendly stories. In 1991 she wrote her first animated feature, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The film won a Golden Globe and became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards®. She continued her success with Disney by contributing to the scripts for The Lion King, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and Mulan. More recently, Woolverton wrote the screenplays for Tim Burton’s live-action Alice in Wonderland and 2014’s Maleficent which starred Angelina Jolie. Story Bar Founder Erin Hallagan spoke with Linda Woolverton at the 25th Annual Austin Film Festival in 2018. Clips of Beauty and the Beast (1991) courtesy of the Walt Disney Company. Clips of Alice in Wonderland (2010) & Maleficent courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Direct download: OSR_AQUIETPLACE_PODCAST.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:30pm CDT