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.
Thu, 16 November 2017
On this week’s episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI, we bring you a look at new independent releases including Rob Reiner’s latest film, LBJ, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird and we bring you a look at how the classic 1970’s action thriller, The Seven-Ups influenced HBO’s hit series, The Deuce.
We start this episode of On Story with director, Rob Reiner and actor Woody Harrelson on their new film LBJ. Harrelson portrays the iconic president in the midst of the tumult in the wake of the assassination of JFK and the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. I spoke with Harrelson and Reiner ahead of the release of the film last month at a special conversation, held at the University of Texas Radio, Television and Film Dept. Clips in this segment copyright: Electric Entertainment & Castle Rock Entertainment. Here’s the film’s director Rob Reiner.
We continue our look at new independent film releases on this episode of On Story with actor Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird.
Lady Bird stars Sersha Ronan as the title character Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson. The film is an instant classic mother-daughter comedy-drama that takes us through the familial chaos of adolescence with a young woman seeking her independence and realizing her sense of home. Lady Bird was the opening night film at the 24th Austin Film Festival. Austin Film Festival Senior Film Programmer Liz Mims spoke with Greta Gerwig after the screening at the historic Paramount Theater in Austin Texas.
Treme and The Wire co-creator George Pelecanos spoke with me at a special screening of the classic 70’s action film, The Seven-Ups at the historic Paramount Theater about the atmospheric influences of this era of cinema on his latest HBO series, The Deuce.
George Pelecanos is an independent film producer, screenwriter, the recipient of numerous international writing awards, and was a producer and writer on the HBO series The Wire, Treme, The Pacific, and the upcoming The Deuce. He is the author of twenty novels set in and around Washington, D.C.
We close this episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and PRI with The Wire, Treme and The Deuce co-creator George Pelecanos at a special screening of the gritty 1970’s car chase classic The Seven-Ups. The film is often considered as part of a “holy trinity’ of car chase films along with 1971’s The French Connection and 1968’s Bullitt. George Pelecanos and David Simon who co-created HBO’s The Deuce which takes place around a very seedy Times Square in the early 1970’s, cite The Seven-Ups as a major influence on the look and style of their show. We go to George Pelecanos, discussing some of the mythology behind The French Connection and The Seven Ups, and the prominence of 70’s muscle cars in these great films.
Thu, 9 November 2017
This week we mark Veteran’s Day with a look at the depiction of war on screen with the writers behind The Pacific, China Beach, We Were Soldiers and Six.
Bruce C. McKenna is an award-winning screenwriter and producer. He wrote on four of the ten episodes of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning mini-series Band of Brothers, for which he garnered a WGA Award, a Christopher Award and was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize for his episode, Bastogne. He created, co-wrote and co-executive produced The Pacific, the Emmy Award-winning Miniseries for HBO, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks on the Pacific Theater of the Second World War. In addition to winning a producing Emmy, McKenna was nominated for his second writing Emmy, was again a finalist for the Humanitas Prize, and garnered a Producer’s Guild Award, a Critic’s Choice Award, as well as the Marine Corp Heritage Foundation Bill Broyles Image Award.
Bill Broyles grew up in Baytown, Texas, attended Rice University and Oxford University, worked in the civil rights movement, and finished out the Sixties as a Marine infantry lieutenant in Vietnam. As a journalist he was the founding editor of Texas Monthly and from 1982 to 1984 was editor-in-chief of Newsweek. He was the co-creator of the Emmy-Award -winning television series China Beach. He wrote the original screenplay for the movie Cast Away and the screenplay for Jarhead. He co-authored six other screenplays, including Apollo 13, Unfaithful, The Polar Express and Flags of Our Fathers. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for Apollo 13, which won the Writers Guild award for best screenplay. He has been involved with the Austin Film Festival from the beginning.
Randall Wallace is the Oscar®-nominated creative force behind the epic storytelling of such critical and box-office hits as Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, Secretariat, and Heaven is for Real.
David Broyles grew up in California, New York, and on a dude ranch in Bandera, Texas. He attended the University of Texas and Columbia University, and served as a Pararescueman (PJ) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following his enlistment, he was recognized by the Governor of Texas for exceptional volunteer work and advocacy for disabled veterans. He has sold several screenplays and most recently co-created Six, an upcoming dramatic series for the History Channel. David has been involved with the Austin Film Festival for many years as a writer, director, and volunteer.
Thu, 2 November 2017
The 24th Annual Austin Film Festival is a wrap! This week’s On Story takes you to the heart of the Austin Film Festival and Conference with Greta Gerwig, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Robert Townsend, the filmmakers behind HBO’s The Deuce, The Predator, The Warriors and more!
Wed, 18 October 2017
In 2008, Scott Frank’s directorial debut, The Lookout, won the Independent Spirit award for “Best First Feature.” Along with The Lookout, Mr. Frank’s other screenplays include Little Man Tate, Dead Again, Malice, Heaven’s Prisoners, Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Minority Report The Interpreter, Marley & Me, The Wolverine, Logan and A Walk Among the Tombstones, the latter which he also directed. Mr. Frank created and directed the Netflix western series Godless.
Scott Frank spoke with Austin Film Festival Executive Director, Barbara Morgan, at 2015 year-round event in Austin, Texas, as well as directly after the release of the 20th Century Fox release of Logan in 2017.
Wed, 11 October 2017
This episode of On Story, actress and producer America Ferrera and theatre film and television actress June Squibb discuss their work in film and on television.
America Ferrera is best known for her work on the ABC comedy-drama, Ugly Betty. The role garnered her a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding lead Actress in a Comedy Series. America Ferrera’s numerous film credits include Real Women Have Curves, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, End of Watch and How to Train Your Dragon. America Ferrera returned to television in 2015 as a regular and co-producer on the NBC comedy, Superstore. Marcie Mayhorn spoke with America Ferrera in 2012 at the 19th Austin Film Festival.
Actress June Squibb got her start in musical theatre in the 1950’s. She made her Broadway debut as Electra in the original 1960 production of Gypsy starring Ethel Merman. June Squibb made her transition to film in the late 1980’s with Woody Allen’s Alice and went on to roles in Scent of a Woman, The Age of Innocence, Meet Joe Black, and Far From Heaven. She’s since worked twice with director Alexander Payne, first on the film About Schmidt, and later, co-starring with Bruce Dern in Nebraska, which earned her the Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her recent credits include the critically acclaimed film I’ll See You in my Dreams with Rhea Pearlman, Mary Kay Place and Sam Elliot as well as television appearances in Getting On, Girls, Glee, The Big bang Theory and Modern Family. June Squibb spoke with journalist Jane Sumner at the 22nd Austin Film Festival in 2015.
Wed, 4 October 2017
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.
Wed, 27 September 2017
On this episode of On Story, we catch up with Bridesmaids, Freaks and Geeks creator and writer director Paul Feig on his reboot of the supernatural comedy classic Ghostbusters and his work in TV and film. Later, screenwriter Alec Berg takes us behind the scenes of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Paul Feig is a four-time Emmy nominated writer/director, best known for creating the beloved series Freaks and Geeks, which Time magazine listed as one of the 100 Greatest Shows of All Time, launching the careers of Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jason Segel. Feig also directed the films Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, and multiple episodes of the television series Arrested Development, The Office, Nurse Jackie, Bored to Death, Weeds, 30 Rock, and Mad Men. In 2008, his work on The Office earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series. Comedian Pat Hazell spoke with Paul Feig at the 19th Austin Film Festival in 2012.
Alec Berg is best known for his work as a writer on Seinfeld and Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm which returns to HBO in October after nearly six years off the air. Alec Berg is currently an executive producer and writer on HBO’s Silicon Valley, which was created by Mike Judge, and wrapped its fourth season earlier this year. Comedian Pat Hazell spoke with Alec Berg at the 19th Austin Film Festival in 2012.
Wed, 20 September 2017
On this episode of On Story from Austin Film Festival and Public Radio International, 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. I spoke with Ed Begley at the 23rd Annual Austin Film Festival in 2016. Clips from this episode copyright: Sony Pictures Television Inc., American Movie Classics, Castle Rock Entertainment, and Embassy Pictures.
Wed, 13 September 2017
On this episode of On Story, Fargo show-runner Noah Hawley describes the creation of his hit FX series based on the Coen brothers beloved film of the same name followed by Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould on bringing Breaking Bad shady lawyer Saul Goodman to life.
Noah Hawley is the show-runner for the FX series Fargo, which is based on the Coen brothers film of the same name and the X-Men spinoff series, Legion. Hawley was a writer and producer on the series Bones, and created the shows, The Unusuals, and My Generation. Since its premiere, Fargo has won numerous awards including a Peabody, five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes, one for best mini-series, and the other for best actor in a miniseries for Billy Bob Thornton. Fargo wrapped its third season mid-June and is nominated for 9 Primetime Emmys. Season 3 starred Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, David Thewlis and Jim Gaffigan. I spoke with Noah Hawley at the 21st Austin Film Festival in 2014.
Peter Gould is the co-creator of AMC’s Breaking Bad spin off Better Call Saul. Gould was a writer, producer and occasional director on Breaking Bad for the show’s five-season run. Better Call Saul focuses on the character of Jimmy McGill played by actor Bob Odenkirk. The show is set in 2002, six years before the character’s appearance on Breaking Bad as the shady attorney Saul Goodman. The third season of Better Call Saul is nominated for 10 Primetime Emmy’s including Outstanding Drama Series, and Lead Actor for Bob Odenkirk. I spoke with Peter Gould at a special Austin Film Festival year-round event held on May 17th 2015.