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
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 5:00pm 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.

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).

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

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

Direct download: VETERANS_DAY_EPISODE_11142018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

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.

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

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


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

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

Direct download: NATHAN_DEMMING_2.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:30pm CST

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

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

Direct download: BEYOND_THE_NIGHT_FINAL.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

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