Wed, 6 February 2019
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.
Fri, 1 February 2019
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.
Wed, 23 January 2019
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 Marshall, Neighbors, 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.
Wed, 9 January 2019
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.
Wed, 12 December 2018
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.
Wed, 5 December 2018
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.
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.
Wed, 17 October 2018
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