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, 10 January 2018
This week, web series creator-turned cable TV sensation Issa Rae on her journey from YouTube to HBO, her desire for diversity on television and her hit series Insecure. We'll also hear from comedy impresario Larry Wilmore on his work developing Insecure with Issa Rae and his perspective on diverse new voices in comedy.
With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae’s content has garnered over 25 million views and more than 300,000 subscribers on YouTube. In addition to making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list twice and winning awards for her web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae has worked on web content for Pharrell Williams, Tracey Edmonds and numerous others. She developed a TV series with Shonda Rhimes for ABC and developed the HBO hit series, Insecure with legendary comedian Larry Wilmore. The series has garnered Rae a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in Television Series-Musical or Comedy for the second year in a row. The series pilot was written by both Rae and Wilmore and is slated for a third season this year. Screenwriter Pamela Ribbon spoke with Issa Rae at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.
Clips of the Season 3 trailer courtesy of: 3 Arts Entertainment and Home Box Office (HBO)
Clips of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl courtesy of: Issa Rae Productions, Inc.
Rae developed the pilot for Insecure with veteran writer and comedian Larry Wilmore. He started his career as an actor and stand-up comedian before writing and producing on the early nineties classic television shows In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Jamie Foxx Show . He co-created The PJ’s with Eddie Murphy, The Bernie Mac Show and was consulting producer and guest star on the American version of The Office. Most recently, Wilmore was the host of Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. We caught up with Wilmore by phone to discuss his collaborations with Issa Rae and other new voices in comedy.
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.
Wed, 6 December 2017
On this week’s episode of On Story, writer/Steven Rogers discusses his latest film, I, Tonya. Later in our program, we look at a few Netflix releases including the critically acclaimed new release Mudbound and Boys in the Trees both available now on demand.
We’re taking a look at new releases on this week’s episode. I, Tonya is the biographical sports film directed by Craig Gillespie and written by Steven Rogers. I, Tonya follows the 1994 controversy involving Harding, her teammate Nancy Kerrigan and Harding’s former husband Jeff Gillooly. The film stars Margot Robbie as figure skater Tonya Harding and Sebastian Stan as Gillooly. Fabienne Harford spoke with writer Steven Rogers at the Historic Paramount Theatre in Austin during the regional premiere of the film during the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.
We continue our look at new releases with the Netflix original, Mudbound. The film, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan, is directed by Dee Reese and co-written by Reese and screenwriter Virgil Williams.
Mudbound marks Virgil Williams’ first feature film. Williams has an extensive resume in television, having served as writer and producer on such acclaimed shows as ER, and 24. Most recently, Williams wrote and executive produced six seasons of the long running hit CBS show Criminal Minds. Mudbound co-star Rob Morgan is best known for his portrayal of the Marvel character Turk Barrett in the series Daredevil, Luke Cage and The Punisher. He has recurring roles in Stranger Things and most recently, the critically acclaimed Netflix mini-series, Godless. Author Jardine Libaire spoke with Virgil Williams and Rob Morgan at the Historic Paramount Theatre in Austin during the regional premiere of the film during the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival. The film also went on to win the Austin Film Festival and Hiscox Insurance Audience Award.
We’re back with another new release on Netflix this week, Boys in the Trees from Australian writer/director Nicholas Verso. Boys in the Trees is Austin Film Festival’s 2016 Narrative Feature Jury award winner, set in Austrailia during Halloween 1997. Austin Film Festival Film Competition Director Harrison Glaser spoke with Verso at a special screening of his award-wining film at the Violet Crown Theater in Austin in 2017.
Thu, 30 November 2017
On this week's episode, writer/director Dan Gilroy discusses his latest film, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Later in our program, we look back on the 2017 Austin Film Festival with the iconic awardees Keenen Ivory Wayans, Kenneth Lonergan and Walter Hill followed by a conversation with Scott Frank on his latest western limited series, Godless, currently on Netflix.
Dan Gilroy (Director / Writer) made his feature directorial debut with Nightcrawler in 2014. The film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed, garnered an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Gilroy also co-wrote the script, The Bourne Legacy, with his brother, director Tony Gilroy. His latest project, Roman J. Israel, Esq. is currently out in theaters.
Writer-director Dan Gilroy teams with two-time Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington to create the portrait of a man whose spent his life fighting for others’ civil rights, at the cost of his own personal gain. I spoke with Gilroy at the Historic Paramount Theatre in Austin during the premiere of this film at the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.
Clips copyright: Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment
This year we hosted three distinguished storytellers in the worlds of film and television, each with a unique perspective in their craft. Keenen Ivory Wayans is best known as the creator of the groundbreaking comedy series, In Living Color. Walter Hill is the filmmaker behind such classics as The Warriors, 48 hrs and Streets of Fire. Writer-Director Kenneth Lonergan most recently won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his film Manchester By The Sea. I spoke with them at the 24thAustin Film Festival.
We’re back with Keenen Ivory Wayans, Walter Hill and Kenneth Lonergan at the 24th Austin Film Festival.
Scott Frank is recognized as one of Hollywood’s go-to storytellers with critically celebrated credits like Dead Again, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Minority Report, and the recent blockbuster Logan. Scott Frank’s latest project is the Neflix original western mini-series, Godless, which he wrote and directed. This portion of our program has been excerpted from a panel on the western genre that I moderated with Walter Hill and Scott Frank at the 24th Austin Film Festival. Clips in this segment copyright Netflix, Inc.
Tue, 21 November 2017
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.
Greg Daniels began writing for the National Lampoon at Harvard University with fellow writer Conan O’Brien. His first television engagement was with the hit HBO show Not Necessarily the News, which soon became Saturday Night Live, where he won his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Series.Daniels continued his career by joining The Simpsons as a writer and producer and after a long, successful stint on the show, moved onto co-create King of the Hill with Mike Judge.In 2005, Daniels went on to adapt The Office for American television and served as the show’s executive producer and showrunner. He then co-created and executive produced Parks and Recreation with Michael Schur in 2009. Daniels is the recipient of five Primetime Emmy awards. Greg Daniels spoke with Kelly Williams at the 15th annual Austin Film Festival in 2008.
Alan Yang is the co-creator and executive producer of the Netflix series Master of None, for which he received the 2016 Emmy Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series. The show was nominated for four Emmys, including Best Comedy Series, and was the recipient of a Peabody Award, an AFI Award, and the Critics' Choice Award for Best Comedy. Previously, Yang was a writer and co-executive producer for Parks and Recreation, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 2015. Alan Yang spoke with John Merriman at a 2017 Austin Film Festival Year-Round Event.