On Story Episode 1649: James Franco and Chris Cooper

This episode of On Story, actor and filmmaker James Franco describes his experiences working with Judd Apatow and Danny Boyle and Academy Award® winner Chris Cooper discusses his work in film and on 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. James Franco is currently starring in the Hulu original mini-series 11.22.63 along with today’s other guest, Chris Cooper. The series is adapted from a Stephen King novel of the same name and centers around a time traveler who attempts to prevent the assassination of John F Kennedy.

Chris Cooper is known for his broad range of work in supporting roles from July Johnson in TV’s Lonesome Dove to Robert Hanson in Breach, Colonel Fitts in American Beauty to Al Templeton in this year’s Hulu original miniseries 11.22.63. 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 County, Syriana, Jarhead and Capote.

Direct download: FRANCO_COOPER_REFEED_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:54pm CDT

On Story Episode 1648: The Doctors of Docs

This week’s On Story, we feature three documentary storytellers and their new films. Keith Maitland discusses Tower, about the 1966 mass shooting at the University of Texas. Later, Steve Mims on Starving the Beast, which examines the philosophical shift in public higher education and Andrew Shea talks Wrestling Alligators, his film on James Billie and Seminole Indian life before and after the rise of casino gambling.

The new documentary, Tower, examines the mass shooting at the University of Texas on August 1st 1966 from the perspective of the victims, survivors and first responders. The film combines archival footage with rotoscopic animation, interviews, and scripted performances and is based on a Texas Monthly article by Pamela Colloff titled 96 minutes

Starving the Beast is the new documentary from director Steve Mims and producer Bill Banowsky. The film examines the philosophical shift in public higher education through market-based reform, and whether such measures are a solution to the problem of skyrocketing tuition costs, or the systematic elimination of federally mandated public research universities, which have provided affordable education for decades.

Wrestling Alligators, examines the rise of Native American held casinos through the lens of controversial Seminole Indian leader James Billie, who is often called the father of Indian Gaming. James Billie is a one-time alligator wrestler and Grammy-nominated recording artist who opened a first-of-its-kind high-stakes bingo hall in Hollywood Florida in 1972. The success of the gambling operation has spread the practice beyond the Seminole Tribe, forever changing the lives of Native Americans throughout North America.

Direct download: THE_DOCTORS_OF_DOCS_adjusted.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:20pm CDT

On Story Episode 1647: Loving and Edge of Seventeen

This week’s On Story, we’ll hear from the writer-director behind the new film, Loving, Jeff Nichols followed by Kelly Fremon Craig and James L. Brooks on their new film, The Edge of Seventeen.

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. Their civil rights case, Loving vs. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 determined that all race-based restrictions on marriage were unconstitutional. Loving is written and directed by Jeff Nichols, and stars Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga and Michael Shannon. Jeff Nichols is the writer-director behind the films Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, last year’s Midnight Special and the critically acclaimed 2012 film, Mud starring Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon and Michael Shannon.

The Edge of Seventeen is written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig and produced by veteran TV and film icon James L. Brooks. This coming of age comedy drama stars Hailee Steinfeld as the film’s acerbic yet endearing protagonist and co-stars Haley Lu Richardson, Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick.

The Edge of Seventeen hits theatres November 18th and has already received praise from critics both for the contribution of the film’s writer-director, and for the performances by the cast of relative newcomers and familiar faces.

Kelly Fremon Craig wrote the screenplay for the 2009 film Post Grad. James L Brooks career spans over fifty years and his credits include The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, Lou Grant, Taxi, Terms of Endearment, Say Anything, and of course, The Simpsons.

Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:10pm CDT

On Story Episode 1646: Rectify and Justified

On today’s episode, the character actor turned show-runner behind the Sundance TV legal drama, Rectify, Ray McKinnon followed by the writing team behind FX’s Justified and the actor who portrays the show’s enigmatic antagonist, Walton Goggins.

Ray McKinnon's filmography as a character actor reads like an encyclopedia of great film and TV over the past thirty years from appearances on In the Heat of the Night, Driving Miss Daisy and Designing Women to Apollo 13, NYPD Blue and O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? to Justified, Sons of Anarchy and Mud and of course Deadwood. He won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short for his 2001 film The Accountant, and created the soon-to-be-concluded legal drama, Rectify.

Walton Goggins's acting credits include appearances on The Shield, Lincoln, Django Unchained, Sons of Anarchy and of course Justified. He co-produced the Academy Award-winning short, The Accountant, with today’s other guest, Ray McKinnon and appeared most recently in The Hateful Eight and the HBO series Vice Principals.

Direct download: OS_RECTIFY_AND_JUSTIFIED.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:02pm CDT

On Story Episode 1645: Halloween Episode

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. 

Direct download: HALLOWEEN_EPISODE.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 5:16pm CDT

On Story Episode 1644: Live from AFF 23 and Season 2 Preview

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.

Direct download: Live_from_AFF_23_.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:09am CDT

On Story Episode 1643: Norman Lear

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. 

Direct download: NormanLear_Encore.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 8:21pm CDT

On Story Episode 1642 Terry George and Jim Sheridan

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.

Direct download: TERRY_GEORGE__JIM_SHERIDAN.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:54pm CDT

On Story Episode 1641: Die Hard Versus Lethal Weapon and Robert Kamen

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.  

Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:17pm CDT

On Story Episode 1640: Matthew Weiner and Vince Gilligan

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.

Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:42pm CDT