Austin Film Festival's On Story

This week on On Story we’ll hear from filmmaker Lulu Wang on her new project, The Farewell. And later, we’ll hear from writer and producer Felicia D. Henderson on her 25-year television career which includes work on some of the 90’s most memorable series including Moesha, Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as well as current hits The Punisher and Empire.

Lulu Wang is a classical pianist turned filmmaker. Born in Beijing, raised in Miami and educated in Boston, Lulu is a recipient of the Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellowship, which was awarded at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Her first feature film, Posthumous, starting Jack Huston and Brit Marling was released that same year. Her latest project, The Farewell is based on Wang’s life and a lie her family told to keep her grandmother from knowing that she was dying.

Clips of The Farewell courtesy of A24

Next up, award-winning creator of the Emmy-nominated hit show Soul Food Felicia D. Henderson. Most recently, Henderson was a co-executive producer on the Netflix adaptation of Marvel’s The Punisher and a consulting producer on Fox’s Empire. Henderson also co-created The Quad, which was named one of the “Top 15 Shows to Watch” by The New York Times in 2017. Additionally, Henderson also wrote and produced on the television shows Gossip GirlFringe, and Everybody Hates Chris. Felicia received three NAACP Best Drama Awards for Soul Food. She also garnered a Writers Guild of America nomination for Fringe and a Gracie Award for The Quad. Writer Maya Perez spoke with Felicia during a year round event this year held at the Harry Ransom Center.

Clips of Soul Food courtesy of Paramount Pictures Corporation

Clips of The Punisher courtesy of Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.

Clips of The Quad courtesy of Black Entertainment Television (BET)

Direct download: Lulu_Wang_Felicia_Henderson_Podcast.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 2:00pm CDT

This week on On Story, we’ll hear from actor, writer and director Chris Lowell on his latest project, the Netflix television series, Glow. And later, we’ll hear from The Disaster Artist co-writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.

Actor, writer and director Chris Lowell is best known for his recurring role in the popular television series, Veronica Mars. In 2013, Lowell made his directorial debut with the AFF Audience & Jury Award winning film, Beside Still Waters. Most recently, Lowell stars in the Netflix series, Glow. Co-created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, the series revolves around a fictionalized set of women professional wrestlers best known as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (or GLOW). Set in the 1980s, the series co-stars Alison Brie and Marc Maron. Earlier this year, I sat down with Lowell to discuss the series ahead of its new season premiere.

Clips of Glow courtesy of Netflix, Inc.

Next up, co-writers and independence producers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. Together their credits include (500) Days of Summer, The Fault In Our Stars, The Spectacular Now and The Disaster Artist, which was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards®. The film is an adaptation of the 2013 non-fiction book of the same name and chronicles Tommy Wiseau and the production of his 2003 film The Room. The film stars brothers James and Dave Franco alongside a supporting cast that features: Seth Rogan, Alison Brie and Josh Hutcherson. During a panel held at the 25th anniversary Austin Film Festival, Neustadter and Weber discussed The Disaster Artist and its adaptation from true events to film adaptation with writer and filmmaker, Christopher Boone. Clips of The Disaster Artist courtesy of Good Universe Development, LLC.

More about Chris Lowell:

Chris Lowell is a filmmaker, actor and photographer. He made his directorial debut with Beside Still Waters, which won both the Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival, before getting its theatrical and digital release via Tribeca Film in 2014. As an actor, Chris has performed in a number of award-winning films, including Up In The Air and The Help (for which he received a SAG Award and a National Board of Review Award for his work). Upcoming film work includes Promising Young Woman, opposite Carey Mulligan, and Breaking News in Yuba County, alongside Allison Janney and Mila Kunis. Currently, Chris stars as Bash Howard on the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series, Glow. Chris has also built a successful career as a fine art photographer. His work is included in the Elton John Collection and the Sovereign Collection. His most recent exhibit, “Thirty-One Days” opened alongside Vivian Maier at the Jackson Fine Art gallery.Chris is currently in development on his next feature, Lovers, co-written with Narang, and produced by Automatik Entertainment and Anonymous Content. He was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, studied film production at the University of Southern California before continuing his studies at the New School. He lives in New York.

Direct download: Chris_Lowell_Disaster_Artist_Podcast.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 4:00pm CDT

On this week’s episode of On Story we’ll hear from two stand-up comedians with strong backgrounds in television writing. Sketch Comedy master and Kids In The Hall co-founder Kevin McDonald & The Simpsons staff writer and Stan Against Evil creator Dana Gould will discuss the ins-and-outs of writing different forms of comedy across different mediums.

Kevin McDonald is a comedian, actor, writer and director who founded legendary Canadian sketch troupe The Kids In The Hall with his friend Dave Foley. The Kids In The Hall eponymous television series ran for 5 seasons from 1989 to 1995 and was produced by Saturday Night Live founder Lorne Michaels. I spoke with McDonald about the history of the group and the process of writing sketch comedy live at the 2019 Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin, TX.

Clips of Kids in the Hall & Kids in the Hall: Brian Candy courtesy Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

Next up another conversation recorded live at the Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas. Dana Gould is a standup comedian who began his professional comedy career at 17. Gould has appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan and Real Time With Bill Maher. In addition to writing and performing stand-up, Gould was a staff writer on The Simpsons and created the IFC horror-comedy Stan Against Evil. I spoke with Gould about the differences between comedy writing for stand-up and television.

Clips of The Simpsons courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Corporation

All segments were recorded live at the Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas. Special thanks to Chief Executive Officer Jim Ritts, Festival Director Lietza Brass, Talent Producer Colleen McGarr, Festival Manager Maggie Hoffman and Programming Associate Kaetie Turner. 


Direct download: Kevin_McDonald_Dana_Gould_Podcast.mp3
Category:Film and Television -- posted at: 3:24pm CDT