Wed, 4 July 2018
This week, Oscar®-nominated writer Randall Wallace reflects on his iconic and Academy Award®-winning film, Braveheart followed by screenwriter, Jeb Stuart who dissects the screenplay for his classic thriller The Fugitive, and fills us in on the story's journey from script to screen.
Randall Wallace is the Oscar®-nominated creative force behind many box-office hits such as Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, Secretariat, and The Man in the Iron Mask. After drawing the interest of director and star Mel Gibson Braveheart became Wallace’s first produced screenplay and ended up the film success story of 1995, winning the Academy Awards® for Best Picture and Best Director, Writers Guild Award for Best Screenplay, as well as garnering Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations.
AFF Executive Director, Barbara Morgan spoke with Wallace at a retrospective screening of the film in at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival in 2014. Clips from this episode copyright: B.H. Finance, CV, Icon Productions and Ladd Company.
Jeb Stuart is the writer/producer responsible for the screenplays of several blockbuster films including Die Hard, The Fugitive, Fire Down Below, Another 48 Hours and Switchback which he also produced. Jeb Stuart spoke with No Film School contributor, Christopher Boone at the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival in 2015. Clips from this episode copyright Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, LP.
Wed, 27 June 2018
On this week’s episode, second generation actor Ed Begley Jr. talks about what he looks for when choosing new projects, finding the pain in a character, working with Christopher Guest and other comedy legends.
Ed Begley Jr. has performed in hundreds of movies and television shows, including An Officer and a Gentleman, St. Elsewhere, This Is Spinal Tap, Batman Forever, Pineapple Express, Better Call Saul, and Best in Show. He is most recognized for his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the television series St. Elsewhere for which he received six consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award Nomination. He is a recurring cast member in several of the mockumentaries written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. Barbara Morgan spoke with Ed Begley at the 23rd Annual Austin Film Festival in 2016.
Wed, 20 June 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 Pictures
Wed, 13 June 2018
This week, the indie filmmakers behind Transformer, Don't Talk to Irene and Mr Fish: Cartooning From the Deep End discuss their journey from initial concept to ultimately producing and screening their award winning films in Austin Film Festival's film competition this past year.
We begin the show with last year's powerful Documentary Feature Jury Award and Hiscox Insurance Audience Award winner (tied with Mr. Fish): Transformer. Written and directed by Michael Del Monte, the film follows former U.S Marine and world-record powerlifter, Matt “Kroc” Kroczaleski as he sets out to become a woman. Outed as being transgender and banned from competition Janae, attempts to find her place in society. Transformer world premiered at the Austin Film Festival in 2017. Film Competition Director, Harrison Glaser spoke with Del Monte and Janae at a special screening of the film hosted at the Alamo Drafthouse Village earlier this year.
Next up, our 2017 Comedy Vanguard Feature Jury and Audience Award winner: Don't Talk to Irene. Written and directed by Pat Mills, Don't Talk to Irene is Mills' second feature. The film's script first won Austin Film Festival's Best Comedy Screenplay Competition in 2013 and follows, Irene - the fattest girl in high school – as she gets suspended, and endures two weeks of community service at a retirement home. Mills, sat down with me to discuss the film at a special screening hosted earlier this year at the Alamo Drafthouse Village. Additionally, the film director, screenwriter and actor was also named one of MovieMaker Magazine's 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2018.
Finally, we wrap the show with the other Documentary Feature Audience Award winner last year: Mr Fish: Cartooning From the Deep End (tied with Transformer). The film follows, adult themed editorial cartoonist, Mr. Fish as he navigates his often controversial profession during a time when the industry is on the way out. Directed by Pablo Bryant, the documentary reveals the struggles Mr. Fish endures to stay true to his creativity in a world where biting satiric humor has an ever-diminishing commercial value. Film Competition Director, Harrison Glaser spoke with Bryant, Mr. Fish and Diana Day at a special year round event screening of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse Village earlier this month.
Wed, 6 June 2018
This week, we talk with Ed Solomon, the comedic screenwriter behind Hollywood classics Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men in Black, and Now You See Me. Solomon looks back on his long journey working on Men in Black, and discusses working with industry icons such as Barry Sonnenfeld, Tommy Lee Jones, and Will Smith.
Ed Solomon is the co-writer for the screenplays Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and its sequel, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, and also wrote on It’s Garry Shandling’s Show for its first three seasons. He then penned the screenplay for Men in Black, and many others, including the first X-Men (uncredited). Since then he’s worked on all sorts of films, including Levity, which he also directed. He wrote the Lion’s Gate film Now You See Me, Now You See Me 2, Sony Picture’s How to Disappear Completely, and Colossus for Universal Studios.
Thu, 10 May 2018
This week, we’ll hear from two of the writers behind The Shape of Water, which was developed simultaneously as a novel and film. First up, New York Times bestselling author, Daniel Kraus who originally approached Guillermo del Toro with the story about a sea creature locked in a laboratory based on an idea he had when he was 15 years old. And later we’ll hear from screenwriter Vanessa Taylor who co-wrote the film version of The Shape of Writer and was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay.
Daniel Kraus is a New York Times bestselling author who started his career as a documentary filmmaker. In 2015 he collaborated with genre director Guillermo del Toro on the novel Trollhunters. Del Toro is best known for his dark fantasy films Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak and the Hellboy series. In March of 2018 the pair reteamed to release a novelized version of The Shape of Water, which was based on an original idea that Kraus had when he was 15 years old. The novel was developed at the same time as the Academy Award winning film. I caught up with Daniel Kraus over the phone earlier this year.
Clips of The Shape of Water courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation & TSG Entertainment Finance LLC.
While Daniel Kraus was working on The Shape of Water novel Guillermo del Toro was writing a screenplay for the film version with Vanessa Taylor. Taylor has an extensive background in television; having written for Alias, Jack & Bobby and Game of Thrones. I spoke with Vanessa Taylor at the premiere party for the 8th season of On Story at the beautiful KLRU Studios in Austin, Texas.
Thu, 26 April 2018
On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from author, screenwriter, and television creator Noah Hawley. Hawley created FX’s award winning series Fargo, which is loosely based on the Coen brothers film, and Legion which is set in the Marvel universe. Later we’ll hear from legendary producer and The Terminator co-writer Gale Anne Hurd.
Noah Hawley is a Peabody Award winning novelist and an Emmy and Golden Globe award winning television creator. In 2014 he created the FX anthology Fargo which was inspired by the 1996 Coen brothers film of the same name. In 2017 he followed up Fargo with Legion, which is set in the Marvel universe and connected to the X-Men film series. Hawley spoke with On Story producer Maya Perez at the 24th Austin Film Festival in 2017.
Clips of Fargo and Legion courtesy of MGM Television, FX Productions, 26 Keys Production & Twentieth Century Fox Television
Gale Anne Hurd is one of the industry’s most respected film and television producers. In 1984 she produced and co-wrote her first feature film, the seminal genre classic The Terminator. She followed that film by producing Aliens, The Abyss, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Most recently Hurd has served as an Executive Producer on AMC’s The Walking Dead. I spoke with Hurd at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival in 2017.
Clips of The Terminator courtesy of Cinema ’84
Fri, 20 April 2018
In partnership with the Academy Education and Nicholl Fellowships Programs, AFF presented Finding Representation on Saturday, March 17th, 2018 at the Academy’s beautiful Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood. This podcast includes highlights from the first panel discussion called How to Find Representation featuring agents and managers who discussed how to start the process of finding representation, what agencies look for in a new writer, the most common problems they’ve encountered, and what a writer should expect from the relationship. Panelists included Jelani Johnson, Motion Picture Agent at CAA; Kendrick Tan, Manager at Madhouse Entertainment; and Ryan Saul, Vice President of Motion Picture Literary at APA. The panel was moderated by Matt Dy, AFF Director of Script Competitions.
Ready to Break In?
AFF’s Script Competitions are currently accepting submissions for 2018. April 20 is the Regular Deadline and May 15 is the Late Deadline. All entrants receive free reader comments and advancing writers will be afforded exclusive panels, workshops, and networking opportunities at the Writers Conference this October 25th through the 28th. For more information and to submit, click here.
Thu, 19 April 2018
On this week’s episode, the creative team behind the new film Chappaquiddick which tells the true story of Ted Kennedy’s 1969 car accident which resulted in the death of campaign staff member, Mary Jo Kopechne. We'll also hear from New Girl creator Elizabeth Merriwether and Academy award® winning filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan on their process writing between mediums.
The new film Chappaquiddick depicts the events following Ted Kennedy’s 1969 late night single car accident that resulted in the death of one of his campaign staff members. I spoke with writers Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan and director John Curran about the research required to write a true story and the responsibility they felt depicting the victim Mary Jo Kopechne. The following discussion was recorded at the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival after a screening of Chappaquiddick at the Historic Paramount Theater in 2017.
Clips of Chappaquiddick courtesy Apex Entertainment and Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
Next up we’ll hear from New Girl creator Elizabeth Meriwether. The Fox comedy series starring Zooey Deschanel is currently in its seventh and final season. The show has been nominated for five Golden Globes and five Emmy awards. Before working in television, Meriwether started her career as a New York playwright. She spoke with House of Cards creator Beau Willimon at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival in 2016.
Clips of New Girl courtesy 20th Century Fox Television, Elizabeth Meriwether Pictures and Chernin Entertainment.
Now we’ll hear from award-winning playwright and filmmaker, Kenneth Lonergan. Lonergan’s theatrical work includes This is Our Youth, Lobby Hero, and The Starry Messenger. As a filmmaker he wrote and directed You Can Count on Me, Margaret, and Manchester by the Sea, which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. I spoke with Kenneth Lonergan at the 24th Austin Film Festival where he received the 2017 Distinguished Screenwriter award.
Clips of You Can Count on Me courtesy of Paramount Classics. Clips of Manchester by the Sea courtesy of KFilms Manchester, LLC. and Roadside Attractions
Wed, 11 April 2018
On this week’s episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI, we bring you a look at independent releases including Rob Reiner’s, LBJ, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird and we bring you a look at how the classic 1970’s action thriller, The Seven-Ups influenced HBO’s hit series, The Deuce.
We start this episode of On Story with a look at how the film, LBJ came to life with actor Woody Harrelson who portrays the president and director and producer, Rob Reiner.
We continue this episode of On Story with actress Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird. Director Greta Gerwig was in attendance for this year’s 24th Annual Austin Film Festival and discusses how the film came to life.
The directrial debut by actress Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, Mistress America), Lady Bird stars Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a young woman who fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job.
Director Greta Gerwig was in attendance for this year’s 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.
Clips in the following segment copyright: Lady Bird, InterActiveCorp Films, LLC and A24.
In this final segment we discuss some of the influences on the HBO series, The Deuce with author, writer, and co-creator of the hit series, George Pelecanos. I spoke with Pelecanos at a special retrospective screening of the detective thriller, The Seven-Ups and how the film influenced some of the parallels of his show, The Deuce.
George Pelecanos is an independent film producer, screenwriter, the recipient of numerous international writing awards, and was a producer and writer on the HBO series The Wire, Treme, The Pacific, and the upcoming The Deuce. He is the author of twenty novels set in and around Washington, D.C.