Wed, 26 October 2016
On today’s episode, On Story delves deep into the horror genre with the filmmakers behind Blair Witch, I Am Legend, The Walking Dead and The Conjuring.
We begin this special Halloween edition of On Story with the filmmakers behind Blair Witch. This reboot of the found footage horror classic opened in theatres in September of this year and picks up the story twenty years after the events depicted in the original film when a group of college students and their local guides venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of Heather Donahue, the sister of one of the characters. We recently caught up with the film’s director Adam Winguard and screenwriter Simon Barrett who begin by discussing memorable scenes from the original that inspired their reboot.
Film and television writers Carey and Chad Hayes are the duo behind the screenplays for two films in The Conjuring universe. The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 are directed by James Wan and are based on the real-life experiences of paranormal investigators Edward and Lorraine Warren. The first film, The Conjuring grossed 318 million dollars worldwide, making it one of the most profitable in the horror genre. The Conjuring stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor. The Conjuring 2 was released in summer of 2016. The Hayes brothers, Carey and Chad, got their start in screenwriting in the 1990’s writing several made for TV and direct to video movies before teaming up with legendary producer Joel Silver and writing the screenplay for the reboot of the 50’s horror classic, House of Wax.
Mark Protosevich is a screenwriter whose credits include The Cell, Poseidon, I Am Legend, Thor and Old Boy. The Cell starred Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, and Vincent D’Onofrio, and was the feature film debut of director Tarsem Singh. Roger Ebert listed The Cell as one of the ten best films of 2000. I Am Legend starred Will Smith and was based on the novel of the same name by acclaimed author Richard Matheson.
Angela Kang got her start on the FX series Terriers. She’s been on the writing staff for AMC’s The Walking Dead since the show’s second season in 2011. The seventh season of The Walking Dead premiered on October 23rd 2016.
Thu, 20 October 2016
This week, On Story brings you a look inside the 23rd Austin Film Festival and Conference, which happened from October 13th through 20th 2016.
Marta Kauffman is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning television writer, producer and show-runner. She got her big break in the 1990’s with the HBO series Dream On, and the enormously popular smash success, Friends. Her new Netflix series Grace and Frankie features an all-star cast including Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and is currently streaming its second season.
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. At a panel titled Deconstructing Jane Austen, the filmmakers behind Sense and Sensibility, The Jane Austen Book Club, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and What Jane Saw discussed how they adapted these beloved novels for various storytelling mediums, and why they think Austen’s themes and stories remain so powerful today. We begin with University of Texas Academic Jane Barchas discussing “that shirt” worn by Collin Firth in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility and which is now on display in the Folger Shakespeare Library. In this segment, we’ll also hear from Memoirs of a Geisha screenwriter Robin Swicord, Former President and COO of United Artists Pictures Lindsay Doran and our own Barbara Morgan.
Creed co-writer Aaron Covington compare the two films Rocky and Creed, and discuss what it was like to work alongside writer/actor Sylvester Stallone, actor Michael B Jordan and director Ryan Coogler.
Jeff Nichols is the writer-director behind the films Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and the critically acclaimed 2012 film, Mud starring Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon and Michael Shannon. Jeff Nichols’s latest film, Loving, depicts the real-life story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving who married in 1958 and were then sentenced to one year in prison for violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924.
Filmmaker Jason Segel got his start on the beloved series Freaks and Geeks. His other credits include Undeclared, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother and his portrayal of David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour. Next up, AFF Film Competition Director Harrison Glaser speaks with Jason Segel at a special screening of Segel’s beloved 2011 musical comedy, The Muppets.
The Edge of Seventeen is written and directed by Kelly Freemon Craig and produced by film and television legend James L Brooks. The film stars Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick. The Edge of Seventen hits theatres in November of this year. In this final segment, Barbara Morgan speaks with Kelly Freemon Craig and James L Brooks at a special screening of their film.
Tue, 11 October 2016
This episode of On Story, television legend Norman Lear discusses his experiences creating and running some of the greatest sitcoms of all time.
Norman Lear began his television career as a writer in the 1950’s and went on to create some of the most celebrated network television comedies in history, among them, All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, Good Times, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time and Mary Hartman Mary Hartman. We were honored to present Norman Lear with the 2015 Outstanding Television Writer Award at the 22nd Austin Film Festival where we also hosted a live reading of his un-produced pilot Guess Who Died. Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal spoke with Norman Lear at the historic Driskill Hotel in Austin Texas on November 1st of last year.
Wed, 5 October 2016
This week’s On Story features two highly celebrated Irish filmmakers, Terry George and Jim Sheridan. First, Terry George discusses his collaboration with Sheridan and the second film in the pair’s Irish trilogy, In the name of the Father. Later, Jim Sheridan on his life, and work from the theatre stage to the big screen.
Filmmaker Terry George made his screenwriting debut in 1993 with the semi-biographical courtroom drama, In the Name of the Father. The film was the first of three collaborations between Terry George and writer-director Jim Sheridan depicting the ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century, commonly referred to as The Troubles.
In the Name of the Father is based on the true-life story of the Guilford Four, who were falsely convicted of the 1974 IRA bombings, which killed five people and was partly adapted from the autobiography of the film’s main character Gerry Conlon. In the Name of the Father received seven Academy Award® nominations including Best Actor for Daniel Day Lewis, Best Supporting Actor for the late Pete Postlethwaite, Best Supporting Actress for Emma Thompson, Best Director- Jim Sheridan and even Best Picture.
Following a distinguished career in the theatre between the 1960s and the 1980s, Jim Sheridan wrote and directed his first critically acclaimed feature My Left Foot in 1989. He followed in 1990 with The Field, which he also wrote and directed and in the same year he wrote the screenplay Into The West. Jim Sheridan collaborated with today’s other guest, Terry George on three films, In the Name of the Father, Some Mother’s Son and The Boxer. His films have garnered a remarkable sixteen Academy Award nominations and two wins and his latest film, The Secret Scripture is slated for release later this year.
Wed, 28 September 2016
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 starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, slated for release in May of 2016.
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.
Robert Mark Kamen’s screenwriting credits begin with the script for the 1981 film Taps which was adapted from Devery Freeman’s novel Father Sky, and which stars George C Scott, Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn and Tom Cruise in his first major role in a motion picture. He went on to create The Karate Kid, starring Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio, and collaborated with filmmaker Luc Besson on The Fifth Element, as well as the Transporter and Taken franchises.
Wed, 21 September 2016
Writer-producer-director Vince Gilligan got his start as an independent filmmaker before being invited to join the writing team on the X-Files. He went on to co-create the short run X-Files spinoff, The Lone Gunmen and later, created the hugely successful AMC series, Breaking Bad. Vince Gilligan’s current series, the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul recently garnered multiple Emmy nominations including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Bob Odenkirk and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Jonathan Banks. Producer Barry Josephson spoke with Vince Gilligan at the 20th Austin Film Festival, shortly after the release of the final episode of Breaking Bad.
Matthew Weiner is the creator and executive producer of the multiple Emmy Award-winning AMC drama, Mad Men, which concluded in 2015.
Before Mad Men, Matthew Weiner was an executive producer and writer on HBO’s The Sopranos and produced various television series, including The Naked Truth, Becker, and Andy Richter Controls the Universe. New York Times Magazine Editor Robert Draper spoke with Matthew Weiner in 2014 at the 21st Austin Film Festival. We begin with Matthew Weiner reflecting on Mad Men, shortly after the end of production on the series.
Wed, 14 September 2016
In anticipation of the 2016 Emmy Awards, this week’s On Story from Austin Film Festival and Public Radio International features House of Cards Beau Willimon discussing his Netflix political drama which has garnered 13 nominations, followed by John Ridley, creator of ABC’s American Crime, which is nominated for 4 awards.
Beau Willimon is a screenwriter, playwright and show-runner of Netflix’s highly acclaimed political drama, House of Cards. His play Farragut North, became the basis for the motion picture screenplay Ides Of March, which he co-wrote with George Clooney and Grant Heslov. The film earned Willimon the Academy Award® nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. House of Cards is set in present day Washington DC. The show starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as Frank and Claire Underwood is based on a novel by Lord Michael Dobbs and adapted from a BBC mini-series by the same name. House of Cards has racked up a total of 46 Emmy nominations in its four season run, including this year’s nominations for Outstanding Drama Series as well as Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress for Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, respectively. Steve Scheibal spoke with Beau Willimon at the 20th Austin Film Festival in 2013.
Writer-Director John Ridley’s credits include the novels Those Who Walk in Darkness, A Conversation with the Man, and Stray Dogs, the graphic novel The American Way and the screenplays for the films Red Tails, U Turn, Three Kings, and Undercover Brother. His script for 12 Years A Slave won the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Adapted Screenplay and he’s the creator of the ABC series, American Crime. The series has garnered three Emmy nominations this year including one for Outstanding Limited Series, a second for Outstanding Supporting Actress for Regina King and a third for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for Felicity Huffman. This conversation was recorded at the 21st Austin Film Festival in 2014 and was moderated by screenwriter Alvaro Rodriguez.
Thu, 8 September 2016
This episode of On Story, actor Luke Wilson, followed by Castaway screenwriter Bill Broyles, Lonesome Dove screenwriter and producer Bill Wittliff and Saving Mr Banks filmmaker John Lee Hancock.
Actor Luke Wilson is known for his roles in Bottle Rocket, Idiocracy, Old School, The Royal Tenenbaums, Legally Blond, and this summer’s Showtime series Roadies. Screenwriter Fred Strype spoke with Luke Wilson in 2014 at the 21st Austin Film Festival.
Bill Broyles co-created the Emmy-Award-winning television series China Beach, and wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for Apollo 13, Cast Away, Jarhead, Unfaithful, The Polar Express, and Flags of Our Fathers.
John Lee Hancock is the writer/director of The Blind Side and The Alamo, and the director behind The Founder, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Rookie, as well as the screenwriter behind Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, A Perfect World, and Snow White and the Huntsman.
Bill Wittliff’s screenwriting and producing credits include The Perfect Storm, The Black Stallion, and Legends of the Fall, as well as the groundbreaking Lonesome Dove mini-series, for which he won a Writers Guild of America Award.
Wed, 31 August 2016
This episode of On Story, we hear from Oliver Stone on his life from Vietnam veteran to activist filmmaker and later, screenwriting legend John Milius joins Oliver Stone to go deep into the genre of war films.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone has written and directed over 20 feature films, including Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, Natural Born Killers, Nixon, and The Doors. Before attending NYU film school, Stone served in the US Army 25th Infantry Division, having requested combat duty in Vietnam. He won his first Academy Award in 1979 for his adaptation of MidnightExpress, and has since garnered several nominations as well as wins for Best Director for both Platoon and Born on the 4th of July. His other films include Any Given Sunday, Alexander, W., Wall Street, U Turn and Savages. Oliver Stone’s latest film is the biographical political thriller, Snowden. The film depicts the events surrounding its eponymous main character’s leaking of classified information from the National Security Agency to The Guardian newspaper in 2013. The following segment was recorded in 2007 at the 14th Austin Film Festival where Oliver Stone spoke with film programmer Jesse Trussell.
John Milius wrote the legendary screenplay Apocalypse Now, which was released to theaters in 1979. Apocalypse Now was nominated for the 1980 Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. Apocalypse Now was also honored as one of the Writers Guild of America’s 101 Greatest Screenplays. Milius also wrote Jeremiah Johnson, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, The Wind and the Lion, Big Wednesday, Clear and Present Danger, The Hunt for Red October, Flight of the Intruder, and Geronimo. In 1982, Milius co-wrote and directed the cult classic Conan the Barbarian, and his other film credits include Red Dawn and Farewell to the King. Film programmer Jesse Trussell spoke with John Milius and Oliver Stone at a panel titled Writing the War Film in 2007 at the 14thAustin Film Festival.
Wed, 24 August 2016
This episode of On Story, filmmakers Robin Swicord and Peter Craig deconstruct the bank heist classic, Dog Day Afternoon, followed by Andrew Kevin Walker taking his screenplay for the noir thriller Se7en from script to screen.
The 1975 bank heist classic Dog Day Afternoon remains one of the most influential films of all time. Frank Pierson’s screenplay has been studied by generations of screenwriters and the film, directed by Sidney Lumet, stands as one the most talked-about portrayals of gritty 1970’s New York City ever produced.
The screenplay was inspired by a Life Magazine article describing the events of August 22nd 1972 when John Wojtowicz attempted to rob a Brooklyn branch of Chase Manhattan Bank, resulting in a 14-hour hostage stand off with police. Prior to shooting the film, director Sydney Lumet is said to have conducted extensive rehearsals with the cast including Al Pacino and John Cazale. These rehearsals were incorporated into the final drafts of the film by screenwriter Frank Pierson, earning him the Academy Award® for Best original Screenplay.
Memoirs of a Geisha screenwriter Robin Swicord and Hunger Games screenwriter Peter Craig deconstructed Dog Day Afternoon with moderator Scot Meyers in front of a live audience at the 20th Austin Film Festival in 2013. Clips used in this portion of our program, courtesy Warner Brothers Inc. A word to our listeners, the following discussion includes strong themes related to crime, violence and sexual identity.
Andrew Kevin Walker is best known for the screenplay to the 1995 psychological thriller, Se7en. Se7en focuses on a pair of detectives played by Bradd Pitt and Morgan Freeman, tasked with apprehending a serial killer played by Kevin Spacey who uses the seven deadly sins as themes in his murders. The film’s director David Fincher describes Se7en as “Psychologically Violent”. Andrew Kevin Walker conceived the script for Se7en after moving to New York City and working various jobs as an assistant and in retail in the early 1990’s. Screenwriter Christopher Boone spoke with Andrew Kevin Walker about his film at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015. Clips used in this portion of our program, courtesy New Line Cinema. A word to our listeners, the following discussion includes strong themes related to crime and violence.
Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast is made possible by
Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation
City Of Austin Cultural Arts Division
Texas Commission on the Arts
U.S.Institute of Museum and Library Services
Texas Library and Archives Commission
Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television