This week, Oren Uziel, the screenwriter behind 22 Jump Street and Freaks of Nature looks back on how he got his start in the film industry and his first experience directing his own screenplay, Shimmer Lake. Then, Uziel joins The Hunger Games: Mockingjay screenwriter Peter Craig and Rise of the Planet of the Apes writing duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver for a discussion on sequels and trilogies.

Oren Uziel wrote and directed the feature film Shimmer Lake which previously won an award at the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. His other credits include 22 Jump Street, Freaks of Nature, and The God Particle.

Uziel spoke with Austin Film Festival’s Executive Director Barbara Morgan following the release of Netflix’s Shimmer Lake in 2017.

Oren Uziel joins fellow screenwriters Peter Craig, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver for a discussion on writing sequels and trilogies.

Peter Craig’s writing credits include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts I and II, as well as The Town and Blood Father. Writing partners Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are known for their work on Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, as well as collaborating on Jurassic World, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, Eye for an Eye, and The Relic.

Uziel, Craig, Jaffa and Silver spoke at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival with moderator Allen Odom in 2014.


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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:00am CST

On this special edition of the On Story Podcast, Oren Uziel discusses how he leveraged his success after winning AFF’s Screenplay Competition for his script Shimmer Lake to make a career change from being a lawyer in New York to a screenwriter in LA. He also shares his journey writing, developing, and eventually directing Shimmer Lake which debuts June 9th on Netflix. Uziel’s credits also include 22 Jump Street, Freaks of Nature, and the upcoming Cloverfield film The God Particle.

Direct download: OS_SPECIAL_OREN_UZIEL.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 7:31am 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 and Michael Green are executive producers and co-showrunners on Starz’s American Gods adapted from Neil Gaiman’s award winning novel. Green and Fuller also worked together on Heroes, where they served as writers and producers.

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.

 Along with Heroes, 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. 

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.



Direct download: OnStory_Adapting_Comics_050517.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 6:15pm CST

This week's On Story, 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. 

Orange staff writers Lauren Morelli and Stephen Falk take us deep inside the writer’s room for a look at the process of making this hugely popular series.

The Hulu original series Casual is created by Zander Lehmann and developed by writer director Jason Reitman, producer Helen Estabrook and screenwriter Liz Tigelaar. This conversation was moderated by producer and manager Linnea Toney at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015. Indie film writer and director Jason Reitman talks about his first experience working in television, and the major differences in the creative process.

Direct download: Refeed_OnStory_Radio_052617.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:48pm CST

This week, Robin Swicord discusses adapting and directing the E.L. Doctorow short story, Wakefield, and screenwriter Jenny Lumet looks back on her critically acclaimed film, Rachel Getting Married, and working with legendary director Jonathan Demme.

Robin Swicord is primarily known for her work as a screenwriter for Memoirs Of A Geisha, Little Women, Matilda and Practical Magic. In 2009 Swicord received an Oscar nomination for her contribution to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a project Swicord originated and worked on for more than a decade. Swicord made her feature-directing debut with The Jane Austen Book Club, for which Swicord also wrote the screenplay adaptation. She directed her second film, Wakefield, in 2016, which she adapted from a short story by E.L. Doctorow. Robin Swicord spoke with Austin Film Festival Executive Director Barbara Morgan following the release of Wakefield in 2016. Clips in this episode copyright IFC Films, Mockingbird Pictures, and Dominion Pictures.


Jenny Lumet is the screenwriter of Rachel Getting Married for which she received the 2008 New York Film Critics Circle Award, Toronto Film Critics Association Award, Washington D.C Film Critics Association Award, and an NAACP Image Award. She has worked in both film and television, and is an Executive Director of BINDERCON, a conference for Women and Non-gender conforming writers. Jenny Lumet spoke with Christopher Boone at the 22nd annual Austin Film Festival in 2014. Clips in this episode copyright Sony Pictures Classics Inc.



Direct download: OnStory_Lumet_Swicord.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:19pm CST

This week, Emmy-award winning writers Greg Daniels and Alan Yang look back on their respective journeys writing some of television’s greatest comedies. Daniels reflects on his writing career ranging from Saturday Night Live, to adapting the American version of The Office and co-creating Parks and Recreation. Master of None co-creator Alan Yang then discusses writing naturalistic comedy culled from personal experience, crafting cultural commentary, and the importance of representation in the media.

Direct download: OnStory_YangDaniels_051717.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 8:10pm CST

On this week’s On Story, author Philipp Meyer discusses adapting his novel for AMC’s new show The Son, followed by screenwriter Mark L. Smith dissecting the Oscar® winning and box office hit film, The Revenant.  

Philipp Meyer is the author of the critically lauded novel American Rust, winner of the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second novel, The Son, was an international bestseller, translated into over twenty languages and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The Son has now been developed for AMC by Meyer, along with Hemlock Grove show-runners Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman. The 10-episode first series premiered on April 8th 2017.

Barbara Morgan spoke with Philipp Meyer at the 2017 On Story TV Premiere Party at KLRU studios in Austin Texas. Clips in this half of our show copyright American Movie Classics and Mad Hatter Entertainment.

We go now to Mark L Smith, the screenwriter behind last year’s hit, The Revenant. Directed and produced by Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant is a semi-biographical western based in part on Michael Punke’s novel of the same name, describing frontiersman Hough Glass’s experiences in 1823. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Glass and co-stars Domhnall Gleeson, Tom Hardy and Will Poulter. Our guest, Mark L. Smith wrote and directed the film Séance, and his screenwriting credits include the films Vacancy and Joe Dante’s The Hole. Screenwriter Christopher Boone spoke with Mark Smith at the 23rd Austin Film Festival in 2016. Clips in this episode copyright Regency Entertainment (USA), Inc. 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:25pm CST

AFF’s Playwriting Competition is currently accepting submissions for 2017. Today, May 10 is the Final Deadline. All entrants receive free reader comments and advancing writers will be afforded exclusive panels, workshops, and networking opportunities at AFF’s Annual Screenwriters Conference this October 26th through the 29th. For more information and to submit, please visit

It is a truth widely acknowledged that no one goes into theatre to strike it rich as a playwright. As the creative landscape continues to grow within film, television, and new media, there are now more avenues for playwrights to truly make the world their stage. On April 5, 2017 in New York City, Austin Film Festival partnered with the Writers Guild of America, East; the Dramatists Guild of America, and The New School for a conversation that featured playwrights who have turned their passion for the stage into a valuable currency in other mediums. Panelists include Hannah Bos (Mozart in the Jungle), Peter Hedges (About a Boy, Pieces of April), Theresa Rebeck (Smash, Harriet the Spy), and Diana Son (Thirteen Reasons Why, American Crime). The panel was moderated by Pippin Parker, Dean for The New School for Drama. We began with a discussion on breaking in.

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 9:49am CST

This week’s On Story, Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman, and The Walking Dead screenwriter Angela Kang followed by Thor screenwriter Ashley Miller, The Avengers screenwriter Zak Penn, Hulk screenwriter John Turman and Smallville screenwriter Michael Green.

Direct download: 1617_COMIC_BOOKS_ON_SCREEN.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:17pm CST

This week's On Story episode remembers legendary director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Rachel Getting Married, Philadelphia) who was honored for his Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking at the 20th anniversary Austin Film Festival in 2013. Demme sat with Paul Thomas Anderson to discuss his career and more. This episode also features a conversation with iconic director Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, In the Heart of the Sea) who offers up an epic master class of story, redemption and entertainment.

Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:28pm CST