AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL'S ON STORY PODCAST

On this week's episode, we’ll hear from legendary jack-of-all-trades Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans. In 1987 the two co-wrote the groundbreaking comedy Hollywood Shuffle based on their experience dealing with racial stereotypes of African Americans in the film and television industry. Robert Rodriguez, writer/director of The El Mariachi trilogy, Sin City, and the Spy Kids franchise introduced Townsend and Wayans at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival.

Multi-talented entertainer, Robert Townsend, is often referred to as one of the ‘Godfathers of the Independent Film World’.  For the past 30 years Townsend has worked in nearly every role in front of and behind the camera earning the writer, director, and actor over 30 NAACP Image Award nominations. Townsend is best known for creating the films Meteor Man, The Five Heartbeats, and Hollywood Shuffle, which he co-wrote with Keenen Ivory Wayans. Comedian Dave Buckman spoke with Townsend at the 24th Austin Film Festival.

Townsend co-wrote Hollywood Shuffle with friend and fellow stand up comedian, Keenen Ivory Wayans who created, launched and hosted the groundbreaking 1990’s sketch comedy series In Living Color. The often-controversial show helped introduce a number of African American comedians to super stardom including the careers of Wayans’ siblings Damon, Kim, Shawn and Marlon, as well as featured cast members Jennifer Lopez, Jim Carrey, and Jamie Foxx.  Comedian John Merriman spoke with Keenen Ivory Wayans at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival.

 

 

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

This week, we’ll hear from writer Scott Alexander. Best known for his work writing unusual biopics with larger-than-life characters, Alexander ventured into television in 2016 when he co-created FX’s award-winning mini-series The People v. O.J. Simpson. Later, television creator, showrunner, and producer Courtney Kemp. Kemp is the mind behind the critically acclaimed gritty New York drama, Power – whose fifth season is currently on the Starz Network.

Scott Alexander is best known for co-writing unusual biopics with larger-than-life characters. His films have depicted the lives of filmmaker Ed Wood, comedian Andy Kaufman, and provocateur Larry Flynt. In 2016, Alexander co-created The People v. O.J. Simpson which was his first foray into television. The miniseries earned numerous awards including a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series. Journalist R.B. Brenner spoke with Scott Alexander at the 24th annual Austin Film Festival in 2017. 

Clips of The People v. O.J. Simpson courtesy of Bluebush Productions, LLC., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Courtney Kemp created Power in 2014, marking her debut as a television creator and showrunner. The series follows the complex character James “Ghost” St. Patrick as he struggles to balance his professional life while also being a major player in one of New York City’s largest drug networks. Under her leadership the series generated the largest concentration of African American viewership of any scripted premium series in nearly a decade. Kemp spoke with UT Austin professor S. Craig Watkins at the 24th Austin Film Festival in 2017.

Clips of Power courtesy of CBS Television Studios, and Starz!.

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 1:35pm CDT

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.

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.

I spoke with Robert Mark Kamen on July 12th 2015 at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin Texas.

 

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:00pm CDT

On this week’s On Story we’ll hear from Everybody Loves Raymond Executive Producer and Somebody Feed Phil creator and host Phil Rosenthal on the common thread between travel shows and sitcoms, the unifying power of food and the late great Anthony Bourdain. And later, Rosenthal discusses his comedy documentary, Exporting Raymond

In 1995 Phil Rosenthal created the hit CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond. He served as Showrunner and Executive Producer for all nine years of the series run which earned more than 70 Emmy nominations. Rosenthal’s new Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil follows Rosenthal as he travels the globe taking in the local cuisine and culture. I sat down with Phil to discuss food, family, and the new season of Somebody Feed Phil, which is out July 6th on Netflix.

Clips of Somebody Feed Phil courtesy of Netflix, Inc.

Following the creation of the hit CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond, Rosenthal is asked to adapt the series for Russian TV. He chronicles this journey through the comedy documentary, Exporting Raymond. The film follows Phil as he travels to Moscow to recreate the show for Russian audiences as Everybody Loves Kostya. Throughout the film, Rosenthal faces a series of challenges. Eventually, Rosenthal and the Russian creators come to an understanding despite the obvious culture and language barriers. The documentary premiered at the 17th annual Austin Film Festival in 2010. Rosenthal spoke with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer/director Shane Black at the Historic Paramount Theatre during the 17th annual Austin Film Festival in 2010.

Clips of Exporting Raymond courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Direct download: ROSENTHAL_PODCAST.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 5:21pm CDT

This week, Andrew Lanham co-writer of The Glass Castle, discusses adapting the New York Times Best Seller memoir of the same name followed by Life of Pi and Finding Neverland writer David Magee discusses writing for imaginative worlds, and using language to translate stories to the screen.

Andrew Lanham received his MFA in screenwriting from The University of Texas at Austin. In 2010, he won the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, as well as the Drama and Latitude screenwriting awards at the Austin Film Festival, for his script The Jumper of Maine which tackles Lanham’s Tourette’s syndrome. Lanham helped co-write Jeannette Walls memoir and New York Times Best Seller, The Glass Castle. The film stars Academy Award® winning actress Brie Larson as Walls, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

David Magee is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter known for adapting the beloved novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Finding Neverland. His screen adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and earned director Ang Lee an Oscar for Best Director.

Magee is also the screenwriter for the next Chronicles of Narnia film, The Silver Chair and is currently writing the screenplay for the Disney musical Mary Poppins Returns.

David Magee spoke with me during a special year-round event held in the Harry Ransom Center in 2013. Clips from this episode copyright: Dune Entertainment III LLC, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, and Miramax Film Corporation.

 

 

 

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Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:37am CDT

This week on On Story we’re exploring two of the most popular movie genres: action and comedy. First we’ll hear from the writers behind massive action hits Deadpool, Gone in Sixty Seconds, and Armageddon. And later, we’ll lighten the mood with a conversation with There’s Something About Mary co-writer and director Bobby Farrelly.

Action scenes can be some of the most memorable moments in a film but without a good story to support them they can fall flat. The most intricately choreographed fight sequence or heart pounding car chase is only effective if it furthers the story. Machete writer Alvaro Rodriguez spoke with Gone in 60 Seconds and Armageddon writer Scott Rosenberg, Deadpool and Zombieland writer Rhett Reese, and Hulk writer John Turman about writing effective action scenes at the 18th annual Austin Film Festival in 2011.

Bobby Farrelly has spent over twenty years redefining broad comedy. Alongside his brother Peter, the brothers have written and directed cult favorites like Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal, and Me, Myself & Irene. Actor John Merriman spoke with Farrelly at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival in 2016.

Direct download: OSR_1829_WritingActionFarelly-PODCAST_VERSION.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:03pm CDT

This week, writer-director Ric Roman Waugh and producer Jonathan King discuss their film, Shot Caller, followed by Oscar® nominated writer Frank Darabont detailing the process behind adapting Stephen King’s novel turned award-winning iconic film, The Shawshank Redemption.

Ric Roman Waugh has written numerous studio-based feature film screenplays for producers such as: Jerry Bruckheimer, Barry Josephson, Jim Sheridan just to name a few. This includes his latest screenplay, Currency, which Ric will direct next for producer Steve Golin and Participant Media. Ric also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed film, Felon, for Sony. The prison-based drama starred Val Kilmer. He followed that film with the dramatic-thriller, Snitch, which he also co-wrote and directed. He also recently produced and directed the documentary, That Which I Love Destroys Me. His film, Shot Caller, which Waugh produced and directed from his own screenplay for Bold Films and Participant Media.

Three-time Oscar® nominee Frank Darabont has made a name for himself as a screenplay writer, most famously for his adaptations of horror novelist Stephen King’s books The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, and The Mist. Darabont is also credited with creating the wildly popular AMC television series, The Walking Dead. Darabont’s accolades include Oscar® nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay in both, The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption.

 

Direct download: SHOT_CALLER_AND_SHAWSHANK_REFEED.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:53pm CDT

On this week’s special podcast, Everybody Loves Raymond Executive Producer and Somebody Feed Phil creator and host Phil Rosenthal – will discuss the common thread between travel shows and sitcoms, the unifying power of food and the late great Anthony Bourdain.

In 1995 Phil Rosenthal created the hit CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond. He served as Showrunner and Executive Producer for all nine years of the series run which earned more than 70 Emmy nominations.

Rosenthal’s new Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil follows Phil as he travels the globe taking in the local cuisine and culture. I sat down with Phil to discuss food, family, and the new season of Somebody Feed Phil, which is out July 6th on Netflix.

Clips of Somebody Feed Phil courtesy of Netflix, Inc.

Direct download: PHIL_7_04_PODCAST.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

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.

 

 

Direct download: BRAVEHEART_AND_THE_FUGITIVE_REFEED.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 10:00am CDT

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. 

Direct download: Ed_Begley_Jr_REFEED.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:53pm CDT