AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL'S ON STORY PODCAST (film and television)

This week, we’ll hear from writer Scott Alexander. Best known for his work writing unusual biopics with larger-than-life characters, Alexander ventured into television in 2016 when he co-created FX’s award-winning mini-series The People v. O.J. Simpson. Later, television creator, showrunner, and producer Courtney Kemp. Kemp is the mind behind the critically acclaimed gritty New York drama, Power – whose fifth season will premiere this summer on the Starz Network.

Scott Alexander is best known for co-writing unusual biopics with larger-than-life characters. His films have depicted the lives of filmmaker Ed Wood, comedian Andy Kaufman, and provocateur Larry Flynt. In 2016, Alexander co-created The People v. O.J. Simpson which was his first foray into television. The miniseries earned numerous awards including a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series. Journalist R.B. Brenner spoke with Scott Alexander at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of The People v. O.J. Simpson courtesy of Bluebush Productions, LLC., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Courtney Kemp created Power in 2014, marking her debut as a television creator and showrunner. The series follows the complex character James “Ghost” St. Patrick as he struggles to balance his professional life while also being a major player in one of New York City’s largest drug networks. Under her leadership the series generated the largest concentration of African American viewership of any scripted premium series in nearly a decade. Kemp spoke with UT Austin professor S. Craig Watkins at the 24th Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of Power courtesy of CBS Television Studios, and Starz!.

Direct download: THE_PEOPLE_VS_OJ_AND_POWER.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:40am CST

This week, Dale Launer discusses writing and producing the acclaimed film My Cousin Vinny, and actress Parker Posey looks back on her experience working on the Christopher Guest cult-classic, Waiting for Guffman.

Dale Launer is the screenwriter of Ruthless People and the remake of 1965 Bedtime Story, which he optioned, re-wrote and executive-produced as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. After that, he wrote, directed and produced Love Potion #9, and then wrote and produced My Cousin Vinny, both at 20th Century Fox. 

In 2016, Launer was honored to have 2 movies placed in the WGA's 101 Funniest Movies of All Time. 

Dale Launer spoke with me, Barbara Morgan, at an Austin Film Festival year-round event and retrospective screening of My Cousin Vinny in 2017.

Clips in this episode copyright Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Parker Posey is an American actress and musician. Following her role in Richard Linklater's 1993 cult hit Dazed and Confused, she became known during the 1990s after a series of roles in independent films such as Party Girl and The House of Yes that gained her the nickname "Queen of the Indies". She later played improvisational roles in Christopher Guest mockumentaries,  including Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. Her other film appearances include You've Got Mail, Scream 3, Superman Returns, among many others. On television, Posey has guest-starred in series such as Will & Grace, Boston Legal, The Good Wife, Parks and Recreation, and Search Party.

I spoke with Parker Posey at a 2016 Austin Film Festival year-round event and retrospective screening of Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman. Clips in this episode copyright Castle Rock Entertainment.

Direct download: MY_COUSIN_VINNY_AND_PARKER_POSEY_03212018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 4:18pm CST

This week, screenwriters discuss adapting novels and comic books for both film and television. First, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green give an inside look at the process of turning the critically acclaimed Neil Gaiman novel American Gods into a television series. Then, Green joins Ashley Edward Miller and Nicole Perlman for a discussion on the worlds of Marvel and DC, and how they approached adapting beloved comic books for the big screen.

Bryan Fuller got his start writing on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, followed by Showtime’s Dead Like Me. Fuller went on to create the critically acclaimed series Wonderfalls for Fox and the Emmy Award wining Pushing Daisies for ABC. Fuller then developed and executive produced Hannibal on NBC.

Michael Green’s created and executive produced NBC’s Kings and ABC’s The River, as well as having writing and producing credits on Everwood, Smallville, Jack and Bobby, and Sex and the City. Green’s feature work includes writing Logan, the sequel to Blade Runner; Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant; the final installment of The Wolverine series; and co-writing the Warner Bros./DC Comics adaptation of The Green Lantern.

Bryan Fuller and Michael Green spoke with Austin Film Festival’s Executive Director, Barbara Morgan, following the release of American Gods in 2017. Clips in this episode copyright Starz.

Next, screenwriters discuss adapting beloved comic books for the big screen, including Thor co-written by Ashley Edward Miller, the 2014 blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy co-written by Nicole Perlman, and; the Warner Bros./DC Comics adaptation of The Green Lantern co-written by Michael Green.

Michael Green, Ashley Miller, and Nicole Perlman spoke with screenwriter Alvaro Rodriguez at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival in 2014. Clips from this episode copyright

Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers & Thor: MVL FILM FINANCE LLC.

Direct download: OnStory_Adapting_Comics_3142018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:24pm CST

This episode of On Story, actress and producer America Ferrera and theatre film and television actress June Squibb discuss their work in film and on television.

America Ferrera is best known for her work on the ABC comedy-drama, Ugly Betty. The role garnered her a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding lead Actress in a Comedy Series. America Ferrera’s numerous film credits include Real Women Have Curves, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, End of Watch and How to Train Your Dragon. America Ferrera returned to television in 2015 as a regular and co-producer on the NBC comedy, Superstore. Marcie Mayhorn spoke with America Ferrera in 2012 at the 19th Austin Film Festival.

Actress June Squibb got her start in musical theatre in the 1950’s. She made her Broadway debut as Electra in the original 1960 production of Gypsy starring Ethel Merman. June Squibb made her transition to film in the late 1980’s with Woody Allen’s Alice and went on to roles in Scent of a Woman, The Age of Innocence, Meet Joe Black, and Far From Heaven. She’s since worked twice with director Alexander Payne, first on the film About Schmidt, and later, co-starring with Bruce Dern in Nebraska, which earned her the Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her recent credits include the critically acclaimed film I’ll See You In My Dreams with Rhea Pearlman, Mary Kay Place and Sam Elliot as well as television appearances in Getting On, Girls, Glee, The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family. June Squibb spoke with journalist Jane Sumner at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Direct download: FERRERA_SQUIBB_REFEED_3_7_2018.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 11:54am CST

Today we’ll year from Academy Award® nominated writer Virgil Williams. Williams’ co-wrote Netflix’s Mudbound, which is nominated for four Oscars® at the 2018 Academy Awards®. The film, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan, tells the story of two World War II veterans who return home to rural Mississippi and are forced to deal with racism as they adjust to life after war. 

Writers Dee Rees and Virgil Williams are both nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay®for their work co-writing the film. Williams has an extensive resume in television, having served as writer and producer on such acclaimed shows as ER and 24. Most recently, Williams wrote and Executive Produced the long running hit CBS show, Criminal Minds. Author Jardine Libaire spoke with Virgil Williams and star Rob Morgan at the Historic Paramount Theater here in Austin, after the regional premiere of the film at the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.

Direct download: OSCARS_MUDBOUND.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:26pm CST

On this week’s On Story, we’ll hear from four filmmakers nominated for the 2018 Academy Awards®. Filmmakers Greta Gerwig, Frank Stiefel, Max Porter, and Ru Kuwahata will share their journey from initial idea to Oscar® nomination.

Frank Stiefel’s Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 is a short documentary that follows an artist living with acute anxiety, mental disorder and devastating depression. The film is nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 2018 Academy Awards®. I recently caught up with Stiefel to discuss the films long journey.

Clips from Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 courtesy of: Frank Stiefel

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird, follows an outspoken seventeen-year-old as she navigates a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-wiled mother. The film has been nominated for five Academy Awards®, including recognition for Gerwig in the Best Director and Best Original Screenplay categories. I spoke with Gerwig before the Opening Night screening of her film at the 24th Austin Film Festival.

Clips from Lady Bird courtesy of InterActiveCorp Films, LLC and A24.

Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata are a filmmaking duo based in Baltimore, Maryland. Their film Negative Space is nominated for Best Animated Short at the 2018 Academy Awards. Negative Space follows a man reflecting on the relationship he shared with his father as he meticulous packs a suitcase in the manner he taught him. I spoke with Porter and Kuwahata over the phone to discuss where their ideas come from and how the subject of their stories determines their films visual styles.  

Clips from Negative Space courtesy of Seve Films, Ikki Films

 

 

Direct download: Oscar_Season_Web.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:50am CST

Today we’ll hear from Academy Award® nominated screenwriter Scott Frank. Frank co-wrote Logan, which is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2018 Academy Awards®.

Frank’s other screenplay credits include The Lookout, Little Man Tate, Dead Again, Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Minority Report, The Interpreter, The Wolverine, and the Netflix Original series Godless.

I spoke with Frank about Logan directly after it’s release in 2017.

Clips of Logan courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Direct download: OSCARS_LOGAN.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:24pm CST

This week on On Story, we’ll hear from podcast pioneers on breaking into a new medium and adapting audio stories for television. And later, we’ll hear from rising television talent, Misha Green, on her work co-creating the critically acclaimed, genre-bending drama Underground.

Narrative fiction podcasts have updated the radio drama with a modern, streamable twist. This new medium has attracted storytellers who, until recently, never considered telling strictly audio stories. Writers Lauren Shippen and Jenny Turner Hall discussed their transition into podcasting and the new opportunities that their shows have provided them at the 2017 Austin Film Festival.

Next up we’ll hear from television writer and showrunner Misha Green. Green began her career as a staff writer on FX’s hit drama Sons of Anarchy and NBC’s cult sci fi series, Heroes. Green later went on to co-create Undergound, which chronicled a group of Georgia slaves who escaped bondage to find freedom via the Underground Railroad. The series broke ratings records for the WGN network and was nominated for several awards. Misha Green spoke with filmmaker Ya’ke Smith at the 2017 Austin Film Festival.

Clips of Underground courtesy of: Safehouse Pictures, Get Lifted Film Company Sony Pictures Television, Safehouse Picture

Direct download: MISHA_GREEN.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:28pm CST

On this week's episode, we’ll hear from legendary jack-of-all-trades Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans. In 1987 the two co-wrote the groundbreaking comedy Hollywood Shuffle based on their experience dealing with racial stereotypes of African Americans in the film and television industry. Robert Rodriguez, writer/director of The El Mariachi trilogy, Sin City, and the Spy Kids franchise introduced Townsend and Wayans at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival.

Multi-talented entertainer, Robert Townsend, is often referred to as one of the ‘Godfathers of the Independent Film World’.  For the past 30 years Townsend has worked in nearly every role in front of and behind the camera earning the writer, director, and actor over 30 NAACP Image Award nominations. Townsend is best known for creating the films Meteor Man, The Five Heartbeats, and Hollywood Shuffle, which he co-wrote with Keenen Ivory Wayans. Comedian Dave Buckman spoke with Townsend at the 24th Austin Film Festival.

We’ve been hearing from independent filmmaker Robert Townsend.  Townsend co-wrote Hollywood Shuffle with friend and fellow stand up comedian, Keenen Ivory Wayans.  Wayans would later go on to create and host the Emmy award-winning, comedy series In Living Color. The irreverent Fox series went on to launch the careers of Wayans’ siblings Damon, Kim, Shawn and Marlon, as well as featured cast members Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carrey, and Jamie Foxx.  Comedian John Merriman spoke with Keenen Ivory Wayans at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival.

Keenen Ivory Wayans created, launched and hosted the groundbreaking 1990’s sketch comedy series In Living Color. The often-controversial show helped introduce a number of African American comedians to super stardom. When we left off, Wayans was discussing the importance of writing what you know.

Clips from Hollywood Shuffle courtesy of the Samuel Goldwyn Company

Clips from Meteor Man courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Clips from I’m Gonna Git You Sucka courtesy of United Artists Pictures, Inc.

Direct download: ROBERT_TOWNSEND_AND_KEENAN_IVORY_WAYANS.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:58am CST

On this week’s special On Story Valentine’s Day episode, the filmmakers behind Sense and Sensibility, The Jane Austen Book Club, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and What Jane Saw discuss how they adapted these beloved novels for various storytelling mediums, and why they think Jane Austen’s themes and stories remain so beloved and powerful today.

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 YouTube’s web series 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 beloved and powerful today.

Producer and studio executive Lindsay Doran has worked in the movie business for more than 30 years as a studio executive and producer. Her numerous credits on film and television include The Firm, Stranger Than Fiction and the Sense and Sensibility which earned Emma Thompson an Academy Award® for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Screenwriter, director and producer Robin Swicord wrote the screenplays for such classics as Little Women, Memoirs of a Geisha and The Jane Austen Book Club which she also directed. 

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 dot whatjanesaw dot org) and most recently, she co-curated the exhibition “Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity,” at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. 

Bernie Su is the two-time Emmy Award-winning producer and creator behind YouTube’s web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Emma Approved and Vanity.

Barbara Morgan spoke with this distinguished panel at the 23rd Austin Film Festival in 2016.

Clips in this episode courtesy of: 

Sense and Sensibility: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.,

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Agreeable Entertainment, Pemberley Digital

 

Direct download: DECONSTRUCTING_JANE_AUSTEN.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:50pm CST