Wed, 28 March 2018
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 will premiere this summer 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!.
Wed, 21 March 2018
This week, Dale Launer discusses writing and producing the acclaimed film My Cousin Vinny, and actress Parker Posey looks back on her experience working on the Christopher Guest cult-classic, Waiting for Guffman.
Dale Launer is the screenwriter of Ruthless People and the remake of 1965 Bedtime Story, which he optioned, re-wrote and executive-produced as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. After that, he wrote, directed and produced Love Potion #9, and then wrote and produced My Cousin Vinny, both at 20th Century Fox.
In 2016, Launer was honored to have 2 movies placed in the WGA's 101 Funniest Movies of All Time.
Dale Launer spoke with me, Barbara Morgan, at an Austin Film Festival year-round event and retrospective screening of My Cousin Vinny in 2017.
Clips in this episode copyright Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
Parker Posey is an American actress and musician. Following her role in Richard Linklater's 1993 cult hit Dazed and Confused, she became known during the 1990s after a series of roles in independent films such as Party Girl and The House of Yes that gained her the nickname "Queen of the Indies". She later played improvisational roles in Christopher Guest mockumentaries, including Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. Her other film appearances include You've Got Mail, Scream 3, Superman Returns, among many others. On television, Posey has guest-starred in series such as Will & Grace, Boston Legal, The Good Wife, Parks and Recreation, and Search Party.
I spoke with Parker Posey at a 2016 Austin Film Festival year-round event and retrospective screening of Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman. Clips in this episode copyright Castle Rock Entertainment.
Wed, 14 March 2018
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 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.
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. Clips in this episode copyright Starz.
Next, screenwriters discuss adapting beloved comic books for the big screen, including Thor co-written by Ashley Edward Miller, the 2014 blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy co-written by Nicole Perlman, and; the Warner Bros./DC Comics adaptation of The Green Lantern co-written by Michael Green.
Michael Green, Ashley Miller, and Nicole Perlman spoke with screenwriter Alvaro Rodriguez at the 21st annual Austin Film Festival in 2014. Clips from this episode copyright
Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers & Thor: MVL FILM FINANCE LLC.
Wed, 7 March 2018
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.
Sun, 4 March 2018
On today's Oscars® Special we’ll year from Academy Award®nominated filmmaker Frank Stiefel. Stiefel’s short documentary Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 is nominated for Best Documentary Short at the 2018 Academy Awards®.
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 is a portrait of Mindy Alper, a tortured and brilliant artist who lives with a mental disorder, acute anxiety and devastating depression.
I recently spoke with Frank Stiefel to discuss the long journey of his Oscar® nominated film.
Thu, 1 March 2018
Today we’ll year from Academy Award® nominated writer Virgil Williams. Williams’ co-wrote Netflix’s Mudbound, which is nominated for four Oscars® at the 2018 Academy Awards®. The film, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan, tells the story of two World War II veterans who return home to rural Mississippi and are forced to deal with racism as they adjust to life after war.
Writers Dee Rees and Virgil Williams are both nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay®for their work co-writing the 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 the long running hit CBS show, Criminal Minds. Author Jardine Libaire spoke with Virgil Williams and star Rob Morgan at the Historic Paramount Theater here in Austin, after the regional premiere of the film at the 24th Annual Austin Film Festival.
Thu, 1 March 2018
On this week’s On Story, we’ll hear from four filmmakers nominated for the 2018 Academy Awards®. Filmmakers Greta Gerwig, Frank Stiefel, Max Porter, and Ru Kuwahata will share their journey from initial idea to Oscar® nomination.
Frank Stiefel’s Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 is a short documentary that follows an artist living with acute anxiety, mental disorder and devastating depression. The film is nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 2018 Academy Awards®. I recently caught up with Stiefel to discuss the films long journey.
Clips from Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 courtesy of: Frank Stiefel
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird, follows an outspoken seventeen-year-old as she navigates a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-wiled mother. The film has been nominated for five Academy Awards®, including recognition for Gerwig in the Best Director and Best Original Screenplay categories. I spoke with Gerwig before the Opening Night screening of her film at the 24th Austin Film Festival.
Clips from Lady Bird courtesy of InterActiveCorp Films, LLC and A24.
Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata are a filmmaking duo based in Baltimore, Maryland. Their film Negative Space is nominated for Best Animated Short at the 2018 Academy Awards. Negative Space follows a man reflecting on the relationship he shared with his father as he meticulous packs a suitcase in the manner he taught him. I spoke with Porter and Kuwahata over the phone to discuss where their ideas come from and how the subject of their stories determines their films visual styles.
Clips from Negative Space courtesy of Seve Films, Ikki Films