Wed, 21 February 2018
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
Thu, 15 February 2018
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.
Wed, 7 February 2018
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
Wed, 31 January 2018
This week’s On Story, actor Rob Huebel talks about his new hit show, Do You Want to See a Dead Body? followed by a conversation with the creator and executive producer of the Amazon show, The Tick. Later in our program writer/director, Ben Lewin talks about his latest film, Please Stand By.
Youtube Red’s original scripted series, Do You Want To See A Dead Body?, features alt-comedy veteran Rob Huebel as he entices his celebrity friends on mini-quests to find a dead body. Huebel is best known for co-creating and staring in MTVs sketch comedy series Human Giant with frequent collaborators Aziz Ansari and Paul Scheer; and his roles in Amazon’s Transparent and Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. Journalist Richard Whittaker spoke with star and creator Rob Huebel and producers Owen Burke and Jonathan Stern at the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.
The Tick has taken on multiple iterations over the past 32 years. The super hero parody has appeared in comic books, cartoons, a video game, and two live action television series. Last year Amazon revived the character with a new origin story after a 14 year hiatus. Recently, I spoke with series creator Ben Edlund and executive producer Barry Josephson to discuss the characters long history and the second half of the first season which returns to Amazon on February 23rd.
Next up we bring you a discussion with Australian director Ben Lewin. Lewin’s films include The Sessions, Georgia, and his most recent film Please Stand By which stars Dakota Fanning as a young autistic woman who runs away from home in an attempt to submit her Star Trek manuscript to a Hollywood writing competition. Bart Weiss spoke with Ben Lewin at the Historic Paramount Theatre in Austin after the US premiere of Please Stand By during the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.
Wed, 24 January 2018
This week, we hear from the teams behind Orange is the New Black, Casual, and Wet Hot American Summer as they discuss pushing boundaries through comedy and the new frontier of television distribution.
Jenji Kohan is a writer, producer and showrunner, whose writing credits include The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Mad About You, Sex in the City, and Gilmore Girls. She created the popular Showtime series Weeds, which garnered her a Writers Guild Award for ‘Best Episodic Comedy’. Kohan’s Netflix original series Orange is the New Black is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir by the same name, and follows Kerman’s 15-month sentence at a minimum-security federal prison. The following segment with Jenji Kohan was recorded in 2013 at the 20th Austin Film Festival. We also hear from Orange is the New Black staff writers Lauren Morelli and Stephen Falk as they take us deep inside the writer's room of the hugely popular series.
David Wain is the co-creator, executive producer, director and co-writer of the Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. He directed and co-wrote the feature films Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten, Role Models, Wanderlust and They Came Together. Wain is the executive producer, writer, director and occasional guest star in the Emmy award winning Children’s Hospital, as well as the ongoing web series Wainy Days. Journalist Joe Gross spoke with David Wain at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.
The Hulu original series Casual was created by Zander Lehmann and developed by writer director Jason Reitman, producer Helen Estabrook and screenwriter Liz Tigelaar. The shows fourth and final season is due for release on July 31, 2018. Producer and manager Linnea Toney spoke with the show's producers at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.
Wed, 17 January 2018
This week, American playwright and screenwriter Ted Tally discusses his film adaptations including the latest film, 12 Strong which stars Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon. Later in our program, Homeland and 24 TV showrunner, Howard Gordon joins Tally and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer Shane Black for a conversation on writing action and suspense.
Ted Tally is an American playwright and screenwriter who began his career in Off-Broadway and regional theatre. Among his many screenplays, Tally is best known for adapting, The Juror, All the Pretty Horses, and The Silence of the Lambs for which he won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay®. His latest project is the upcoming American war drama film 12 Strong, which Tally co-wrote with Peter Craig. The film stars Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon as U.S Special Forces sent to Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks and is set for release this Friday. This month, I spoke with Tally on the phone about 12 Strong and how the project came to him.
Trailer and clips of 12 Strong courtesy of: Warner Brothers Pictures
Howard Gordon is an American television showrunner, writer and producer. He is known for his work on the Fox action franchise series 24 and the Showtime thriller, Homeland, which he co-developed with Alex Gansa and Gideon Raff. Gordon won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for writing the “Pilot” of Homeland. The series seventh season is scheduled to premiere Feb. 11, 2018. Gordon also served as writer and supervising producer on The X-Files. He also helped produce the sci-fi thriller, Awake and co-developed the FX political drama, Tyrant.
The 1987 blockbuster Lethal Weapon is the first writing credit in Shane Black’s filmography. He went on to act in, write or write and direct over 30 films including The Long Kiss Goodnight, Iron Man 3, and The Nice Guys. Black’s latest film, will be a remake of his 1987 sci-fi film, entitled, The Predator is slated for release August of 2018.
Producer Barry Josephson spoke with Tally, Gordon and Shane Black at the 12th Annual Austin Film Festival in 2005.
Wed, 3 January 2018
This week, we talk with The Disaster Artist actor and filmmaker James Franco on the cult sensation Freaks and Geeks and many more of his unforgettable roles in films both large and small followed by Academy Award® winning actor Chris Cooper as he looks back on how he managed to navigate through his roles in iconic films and television.
Actor and filmmaker James Franco first rose to prominence on the cult sensation Freaks and Geeks and has since followed with unforgettable roles in films both large and small. He won a Golden Globe early in his career for his portrayal of film icon, James Dean and was nominated for an Academy Award® in the Best Actor category for his role in 127 Hours. His latest film, The Disaster Artist which he also directed chronicles the making of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 cult film The Room, which is widely considered one of the worst movies ever made. The film stars both James and brother Dave Franco and is written by AFF regulars Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber. Franco’s portrayal of Wiseau has earned him 2 Golden Goble® nominations including Best Actor and Best Picture-Musical or Comedy. Producer Barry Josephson spoke with James Franco at the 19th annual Austin Film Festival in 2012.
Chris Cooper is known for a board range of work in supporting roles from July Johnson in TV’s Lonesome Dove to Robert Hanssen in Breach, Colonel Fitts in American Beauty to Al Templeton in the Hulu original mini-series 11.23.63. Chris Cooper won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 2003 for his portrayal of John Laroche in the film Adaptation and his other film credits include August: Osage Country, Syriana, Jarhead, and Capote. Writer Michael Noll spoke with Cooper at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.
Wed, 27 December 2017
On this episode of On Story, Die Hard screenwriter Jeb Stuart and Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black discuss their two action classics, followed by screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen on his long-standing collaboration with filmmaker Luc Besson and their work creating the The Fifth Element, The Transporter and Taken.
The 1987 blockbuster Lethal Weapon is the first writing credit in Shane Black’s filmography. He went on to act in, write or write and direct over 30 films including The Long Kiss Goodnight, Iron Man 3, and The Nice Guys. Black’s latest film, will be a remake of his 1987 sci-fi film, entitled, The Predator is slated for release August of 2018. Shane Black’s popular Lethal Weapon franchise has currently evolved into a TV show on Fox of the same name and stars Damon Wayans. Season 2 of the TV show is slated for early 2018.
Jeb Stuart wrote the screenplay for the action classic, Die Hard. The film was nominated for 4 Academy Awards® and voted the Best Action Film of All Time by Entertainment Weekly in 2007. Jeb Stuart’s other credits include the screenplays for The Fugitive, nominated for 7 Academy Awards® including Best Picture and the action-comedy Another 48 Hrs.
I spoke with Shane Black and Jeb Stuart in 2015 as part of the 22nd Austin Film Festival. Portions of this half of our episode were recorded at the Q&A session following a special screening of Die Hard at the historic Paramount Theatre in Austin Texas in 2015.
Direct download: DIE_HARD_LETHAL_WEAPON_ROBERT_KAMEN_REFEED_2017.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 9:49am CDT
Thu, 21 December 2017
On this week’s special holiday episode of On Story, we bring you The Polar Express & Big Fish, two classic films adapted from popular books which were seemingly unadaptable to film.
We’re looking at two classic films adapted from popular books which were seemingly unadaptable to film on this episode of On Story. We begin with a conversation about the adaptation of a beloved holiday story, The Polar Express. Based on the classic 1985 children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg, the screen adaptation of The Polar Express was co-written, by Bill Broyles and Robert Zemeckis who also produced and directed the film. The Polar Express features Tom Hanks in six distinct roles including that of the Conductor. At the time of its release in 2004, The Polar Express was the first animated film to use performance capture technology. It was also the first feature length film to be released in both 35 mm and IMAX 3D. Sadly, The film was the last acting role for actor Michael Jeter who passed away in 2003. The Polar Express and was nominated for 3 Academy Awards® including Best Original Song “Believe” by Josh Groban.
Bill Broyles created the Emmy-Award-winning television series, China Beach and has written the screenplays for Castaway, Jar Head, Unfaithful, Apollo 13 and Flags of Our Fathers. He’s also co-creator and producer of the television series, Six. I spoke with Bill Broyles during a special holiday screening of The Polar Express in 2013 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Clips copyright: Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc.
Based on the 1998 novel of the same name, Big Fish was adapted from book to screenplay and ultimately to the stage by screenwriter, John August. The Film, directed by Tim Burton, tells the story of Edward Bloom, a former traveling salesman with a gift for storytelling. Young Edward Bloom is played by Ewan McGregor. Academy-award nominated actor Albert Finney plays the Senior Edward Bloom. Big Fish marks the first American feature film for actress Marion Cotillard and features an extensive cast including Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Billy Crudup and more. Big Fish was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Score.
John August’s screenwriting credits include Go, Big Fish, Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and both Charlie’s Angels films. He also wrote the book for the Broadway musical version of Big Fish.
Daniel Wallace is an American author, best known for his 1998 novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, the basis for the Tim Burton film Big Fish and the Broadway musical. His other books include Ray in Reverse and The Watermelon King.
Writer and professor Fred Strype sat down with author Daniel Wallace and screenwriter John August during the 20th Anniversary of Austin Film Festival.
Clips copyright: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Wed, 13 December 2017
On this week's episode of On Story, The Empire Strikes Ba-ck, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens co-writer Lawrence Kasdan describes his career in film and his early work with George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg, and screenwriter Damon Lindelof speaks with The X-Files creator Chris Carter about Carter’s ground-breaking TV series.
Chris Carter is best known for creating The X Files. The show originally ran for nine seasons and spawned two feature films, the spinoff series The Lone Gunmen and even crossed over with one of Carter’s other series, Millennium. Chris Carter’s revival of The X-Files came with a short 10th season which premiered last year. Now, the series is back yet again for an 11th season of 10 episodes which is set to premiere on January 3rd of next year. Star Trek Into Darkness co-writer and The Leftovers co-creator Damon Lindelof spoke with Chris Carter at the 19th Austin Film Festival in 2012.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Body Heat, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Accidental Tourist, Return Of The Jedi…Lawrence Kasdan has written, directed, or produced more than twenty-four motion pictures, among them, some of the most successful films of all time. Lawrence Kasdan was nominated for the Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay with The Big Chill and Grand Canyon as well as Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture for The Accidental Tourist which he wrote and directed. He recently co-wrote Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens as well as other coming films in the Star Wars universe, including the Solo: A Star Wars Story. In the meantime, Rian Johnson’s upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set for release this holiday season. Lawrence Kasdan spoke to an audience of enthusiastic screenwriters at the 18th Austin Film Festival in 2011.