Bulletproof Screenplay® Podcast takes your screenwriting to the next level by showing you how to make your screenplays bulletproof by interviewing the top screenwriters, story consultants & authors in the film industry. They discuss the craft and business of screenwriting. This is the screenwriting…
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Well, I put out an episode back in 2019 putting my dream list of guests out into the universe, and in the past four months, I've been humbled to have some amazing filmmakers and screenwriters on the show. Incredibly one of those dream guests has made his way on the show today.We are joined by indie film icon and Oscar® nominated writer/director Richard Linklater. Richard was one of the filmmakers who helped to launch the independent film movement that we know today with his classic 1991 indie film Slacker. As a bonus, we will not only dive into the extraordinary career of Richard Linklater but also that of collaborator and longtime friend writer/director Katie Cokinos, the filmmaker behind the film I Dream Too Much. If this is your introduction to Linklater and his work, here are a few highlights you must know; Linklater helped launch the 90s indie film renaissance with his film Slacker.The producer, director has juggled the TV, film, short-film, and documentary genres seamlessly over his career - typically focusing in fine detail on generational rites and mores with rare compassion and understanding while definitively capturing the 20-something culture of his era through a series of nuanced, illuminating ensemble pieces which introduced any number of talented young actors into the Hollywood ecosystem.One of the talents to emerge from this era is the Texas native, Matthew McConaughey in Linklater's third movie and VHS smash hit, Dazed and Confused. Based on Linklater's years at Huntsville High School and the people he encountered there, the film shadows the adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.Throughout his career, Richard has chosen to tell stories about the human condition, while many times making us laugh and cry at the same time. I found an immense philosophical undercurrent to most of his life's work. From The Before Trilogy to Boyhood, his films tackle topics in an honest, raw, and deeper way that is not normally seen in filmmaking.Many of the actors who work with Richard call him the "Zen Director" on set. His philosophy can be felt throughout his work. He often tells a long and transformative coming-of-age story over years, if not decades, something that is unique to him.His Oscar® nominated film Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before.Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between becoming transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's Yellow to Arcade Fire's Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It's impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey.Now the other remarkable filmmaker in this conversation is Katie Cokinos. She has made over ten short films and in 2000 wrote, directed, and acted in the feature film, Portrait of a Girl as a Young Cat which premiered at SXSW. Katie produced Eagle Pennell's film, Heart Full of Soul (1990); was a publicist for Richard Linklater's Slacker, (1990). She was the Managing Director of the Austin Film Society, 1990-95.Her latest film is the coming of age story I Dream Too Much, co-produced by Richard. Here's a bit about the film: Presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something set, using a series of linear vignettes. These characters, who in some manner just don't fit into the establishment norms, move seamlessly from one scene to the next, randomly coming and going into one another's lives. Highlights include a UFO buff who adamantly insists that the U.S. has been on the moon since the 1950s, a woman who produces a glass slide purportedly of Madonna's pap smear, and an old anarchist who sympathetically shares his philosophy of life with a robber.So much was covered in this EPIC two hours conversation. I need to stop here and let you dive in.Enjoy my conversation with Richard Linklater and Katie Cokinos.
The legacy of the crime drama television series, The Sopranos remains a defining art of storytelling for mob TV shows. We have the genius behind this hit TV series, David Chase as our guest today. As expected, Chase is a twenty-five-time Emmy Awards-winner, seven times Golden Globes winner, and highly acclaimed producer, writer, and director. His forty-year career in Hollywood has contributed immensely to the experience of quality TV. Before getting into the nitty-gritty of Chase, let's do a brief of the HBO 1999 hit show, The Sopranos: Produced by HBO, Chase Films, and Brad Grey Television, the story ran for six seasons, revolving around Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, a New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his family life with his role as the leader of a criminal organization.The series has been the subject of critical analysis, controversy, and parody, and has spawned books, a video game, soundtrack albums, podcasts, and assorted merchandise. During its run, the film earned multiple awards, including the Peabody, Primetime Emmy, and the Golden Globe Awards. Even though David has continued to dominate his craft, with other works like The Rockford Files, I'll Fly Away, Not Fade Away, Northern Exposure, Almost Grown, Switch, etc, he is still most known for his television directorial debut, The Sopranos.The genius is back with the Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, which stars Alessandro Nivola and James Gandolfini's son Michael Gandolfini as a young Tony Soprano. It has been in theaters and on HBO Max since October 1, 2021.The plot explores the life of Young Anthony Soprano. Before Tony Soprano, there was Dickie Moltisanti, Tony's uncle. Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark's history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family's hold over the increasingly race-torn city.Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities-and whose influence over his nephew will help make the impressionable teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we'll later come to know: Tony Soprano.We also talk a bit about David's five-year, first-look deal to create shows for HBO parent WarnerMedia. More culture moments, please!Let's get into the chat, shall we?Enjoy my entertaining conversation with David Chase.
John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood's most successful films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and Shrek. The Anatomy of Story is his long-awaited first book, and it shares all his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby's own unique approach to building an effective, multifaceted narrative.His new book Anatomy of Genres is NOW Available!A guide to understanding the major genres of the story world by the legendary writing teacher and author of The Anatomy of Story, John Truby.Most people think genres are simply categories on Netflix or Amazon that provide a helpful guide to making entertainment choices. Most people are wrong. Genre stories aren't just a small subset of the films, video games, TV shows, and books that people consume. They are the all-stars of the entertainment world, comprising the vast majority of popular stories worldwide. That's why businesses―movie studios, production companies, video game studios, and publishing houses―buy and sell them. Writers who want to succeed professionally must write the stories these businesses want to buy. Simply put, the storytelling game is won by mastering the structure of genres.The Anatomy of Genres: How Story Forms Explain the Way the World Works is the legendary writing teacher John Truby's step-by-step guide to understanding and using the basic building blocks of the story world. He details the three ironclad rules of successful genre writing, and analyzes more than a dozen major genres and the essential plot events, or “beats,” that define each of them. As he shows, the ability to combine these beats in the right way is what separates stories that sell from those that don't. Truby also reveals how a single story can combine elements of different genres, and how the best writers use this technique to craft unforgettable stories that stand out from the crowd.Just as Truby's first book, The Anatomy of Story, changed the way writers develop stories, The Anatomy of Genres will enhance their quality and expand the impact they have on the world.Enjoy my conversation with John Truby.
Today on the show we have writer, producer, director, actor, and Filmtrepreneur Steven Luke. Steven and I discuss how he attaches bankable movie stars like Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Chuck Liddell, James Cromwell, Thomas Jane, Sam Worthington, Tom Berenger, Ron Perlman, and Billy Zane to his independent films. We also discuss his misadventures in film distribution, how he presells his films and if he actually makes any money with film distributors.Steven also has a Filmtrepreneur mind when it comes to his film productions. He has found his niche, war films. Understanding his niche market he uses the films he produces to advertise his company Man the Line. It is the internet's number one source of recreating war!Man the Line is a small South Dakota business offering original militaria and quality reproduction uniforms and headgear for collectors, reenactors, and film productions. By doing this Steven has created additional revenue streams for himself by using his films. This is the Filmtrepreneur way.His most recent works include "Souvenirs" starring Academy Award nominee James Cromwell and "The Deep End," for which he earned a Best Actor recognition at the 2011 Fischgaard Short Film Competition.Steven's work in the short film 'Paper People,' has also earned him the Best Actor in a Short film, for the 2012 Best Actors in a Film Festival. When not in front of the camera, Steven utilizes his skills as a historic military technical adviser and supplier for the motion picture and television industries.Enjoy my conversation with Steven Luke.
On today's show, I'm going to discuss screenwriting scams that ALL screenwriters should be aware of and avoid at all costs. It never surprises me how predatory people can be with screenwriters and filmmakers in this business.I did an episode exposing ways screenwriters can get screwed on writing assignments. I do a deep dive into each of the following scams in the show.The Free Option - Optioning your screenplay for freeAgent Reading FeesScript Consults That Ask for a Backend CutScreenwriting Marketing ServicesScreenwriting Contests - PromisesScreenwriting Contests - Milking TechniqueGhost Writing ScreenplaysAny Deal That Gives Your Rights AwayRepresentation Retainer FeeScreenwriting Contests Warning SignsStay safe out there guys. Sharks are everywhere. Enjoy!
Today on the show we have producer Bradley Gallo. His production company, Amasia Entertainment, is behind the upcoming Wild Mountain Thyme, starring Emily Blunt, Christopher Walken, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Dornan.His 2019's Official Sundance Selection Them That Follow, starring Olivia Coleman, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, Kaitlyn Dever, Lewis Pullman, Alice Englert, and Thomas Mann is now on Showtime.Amasia has also recently acquired the rights to the Green Hornet franchise. Bradley's other credits include Mr. Rightwith Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell (available on Netflix); The Call with Halle Berry; and Careful What You Wish Forwith Nick Jonas and Dermot Mulroney.Bradley and I discuss the ever-changing film marketplace, how he is positioning his new project to adapt to the new rules of the game, and much more.Enjoy my conversation with Bradley Gallo.
Our guests this week are stars from the early 2000s teen drama television hit show, One Tree Hill, James Lafferty, and Stephen Colletti. The buzz the show had was undeniable, and if you were a fan of the show, then you would be glad to know that your favorite characters, Nathan Scott and Chase Adams have a new project together and they talk all about it this week's episode. But first, a summary of our guests' track records in the industry. Both James and Steven landed their first acting gigs in their late teens and have since expanded their skills to writing, producing, and directing. James, started out as a series regular on One Tree Hill in 2003, having appraised one of the lead roles of the show for which he was nominated four times by the Teen Choice Awards. Actor and television personality. Stephen joined as a regular after recurring his role as Chase Adams since the show's premiere.Half-brothers Lucas and Nathan Scott trade between kinship and rivalry both on the basketball court and in the hearts of their friends in the small, but not so quiet town of Tree Hill, North Carolina. Here's a first look at the characters in its pilot episode:Steven has consistently worked in film and television hosting MTV specials Beach House, Spring break and the VMAs backstage live among others. He's made appearances on TV shows MTV reality television series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, VH1 2013 romance drama, Hit The Floor, and Taylor Swift's White Horse music video.Between 2009 to 2012, James began testing out the directing pond. He directed four episodes of the nine-season run of One Tree Hill and five episodes of The Royals, which he played another lead role on. In 2016, he briefly graced our screens in six episodes of Underground, the series, as Kyle Risdin.With the country on the brink of the Civil War, the struggle for freedom is more dangerous than ever. Underground follows the story of American heroes and their moving journey to freedom.The guys creatively reunited to create an original comedy television series, Everyone Is Doing Great that's streaming on Hulu. They co-directed, produced, and wrote the show. What was remarkable was that they sold an independently produced show to a major streamer, which never happens. We dive in on how they were able to do that. The seven episodes show follows Seth and Jeremy, two guys who enjoyed relative success from 'Eternal', a hit television vampire drama. Five years after their show has ended, they lean on each other as they struggle to reclaim their previous level of success and relevance, awkwardly navigating the perils of life and love amidst a humorously painful coming of age. I had lots of laughs with these two and can't wait for you to listen.Enjoy my conversation with James Lafferty & Stephen Colletti.
Today on the show we have award-winning producer, film executive, educator, and industry story analyst Christopher Lockhart. Christopher is renowned for his script editing acumen. He has read over 60,000 screenplays. He is also an award-winning filmmaker and member of the WGA, PGA, and the Television Academy.Chris got his start at International Creative Management (ICM), where he worked as script consultant to legendary talent agent Ed Limato, who represented industry giants such as Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Michelle Pfeiffer, Liam Neeson, and Robert Downey, Jr.He later moved to the venerable William Morris Agency, which merged with Endeavor to form WME. At WME Chris has worked on award-winning projects for A-list clients like Denzel Washington, Russel Crowe, and Rachel McAdams among others.Chris branched off into film producing with the cult horror hit The Collector and its sequel The Collection, which opened in the top ten American box-office. He wrote and produced the award winning documentary Most Valuable Players, which was acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her network. Chris has set up several other projects, including A Rhinestone Alibi at Paramount, and Crooked Creek, a modern noir thriller.As an educator, Lockhart shares his talent and 30+ years of industry experience as an adjunct professor at Screenwriting program and at UCLA. His writing workshop The Inside Pitch was filmed for Los Angeles television and earned him an Emmy Award nomination.Chris and I also teamed up for a new webinar from IFH Academy called How to Become a Hollywood Script Reader from Industry InsidersHOW TO BE A HOLLYWOOD READER is a webinar focusing on the secrets of one of Hollywood's most vital and mysterious jobs. A reader evaluates screenplays and stories, practicing quality control through “coverage” – a written report that judges creative success. The reader wields huge influence that empowers Hollywood chiefs to greenlight film, television, and new media.This webinar examines the core components of coverage, how to write it, and provides tools and pro tips to navigate the reading profession – led by two preeminent Hollywood readers. By pulling back the curtain on this creative process, the webinar also gives writers, directors, actors, and producers a rare look inside the mind of those who decide the fate of their material. Chris prioritizes emotionality and his client's character role and development ahead of the overall story solidity. He shared some tips for new writers, some lessons learned from bad scripts, what goes on behind the agency curtain and the blessing of untapping a story's best version from re-writes.Enjoy my conversation with Christopher Lockhart.
Today on the show we welcome back returning champion the legendary director John Badham. If you didn't already know John has directed some of the most iconic films in history. From the decade-defining Saturday Night Fever to 80's hits like War Games, Short Circuit, & Stakeout to 90's action classics like Bird on a Wire, Point of No Return, Nick of Time, and Drop Zone.John's second edition of his second book continues with more stories from filmmakers and actors working in TV, movies, and streaming content.John Badham on Directing also includes sections detailing methods for working with action and suspense, hallmarks of Badham's Filmography, as well as a 12 step "Director's Checklist" for comprehensively analyzing any scene and how best to approach it with your actors.Sit down and get ready to take a TON of notes on this epic conversation with John Badham.
I have been a fan of today's guest since I first saw his mind-blowing film, Night Watch years ago. Timur Bekmambetov is an established director, producer, and writer who has built a name for himself both in his home country, Russia, and here in the U.S., making films, music videos, and commercials. At first glance at his film, I became obsessed with Timur's work and his filmmaking style.He is the producer and director of Day Watch (2006), Wanted (2008), Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (2012), Profile ( 2021), and many many more.Timur is a jack of all trades. His journey in the industry started with theater production design and soon he got the directing bug. While honing his directing skills, he took up producing which then led to movie production. One of my favorite of his films is the genre-bending Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie, James McCovey, and Morgan Freeman.Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is an office worker whose life is going nowhere. After his estranged father is murdered, he meets Fox (Angelina Jolie), who recruits him into the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins that takes its orders from Fate itself. Fox and Sloan (Morgan Freeman), the Fraternity's leader, teach Wesley to tap into dormant powers. Though he enjoys his newfound abilities, he begins to suspect that there is more to the Fraternity than meets the eye.Abraham Lincoln is reinvented as a vampire-killing president in this Timur Bekmambetov-directed action picture starring Benjamin Walker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, and Dominic Cooper. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author Seth Grahame-Smith adapts his own book for 20th Century Fox. Tim Burton produces alongside Bekmambetov and Jim Lemley.Timur's latest project is Profile. The film was initially released in Russia in 2018 and is set to be released in the US on May 14, 2021.Based on Anna Erelle's non-fiction book, In The Skin of a Jihadist, the film contextualizes our digital life and fears. It explores the role of digital spaces in the recruitment of young European Women by ISIS. British journalist, Amy Whittaker sets on this investigation by creating a Facebook profile under the alias of Melody Nelson along with a persona online of a woman who has recently converted to Islam. The results are thrilling and eye-opening.Profile was shot in a new film language called Screenlife.What is Screenlife?Screenlife is a new format of visual content that has grown from independent projects to full-length, world-renowned films, documentaries, and TV shows. Its main idea is that everything that the viewer sees happens on the computer, tablet, or smartphone screen. All the events unfold directly on the screen of your device. Instead of a film set — there's a desktop, instead of the protagonist's actions — a cursor.If you are involved in video production, cinema, or even video games, Screenlife is a new expressive environment for you, the potential of which is yet to be discovered. Before your eyes, there will be new tools to work with, such as the screen life recorder.Bekmambetov produced the Screenlife film Unfriended, in which the action takes place on the screens of protagonists' computers. With a budget of only $1 million, the movie raised $64 million at the box office worldwide. This new film language is extremely exciting. Timur and I discuss Screenlife, his visual style, his directing process, Hollywood politics, and much more.Enjoy my conversation with Timur Bekmambetov.
Today on the show we have legendary independent filmmaker and Oscar® nominated screenwriter John Sayles.John Sayles is one of America's best known independent filmmakers, receiving critical acclaim for films including Eight Men Out (1988), Lone Star (1996) and Men with Guns (1997). He's also written screenplays for mainstream films such as Passion Fish (1992), Limbo (1999), The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) and did a draft of Jurassic Park (1993) for Steven Spielberg.John has been named by American critic Roger Ebert as"one of the few genuinely independent American filmmakers",which John modestly denies!John has directed over 20 films and written well over 100 screenplays throughout his career. Two of his early films, The Return of the Seacaucus Seven (1978) and Baby Its You (1982), were selected by the United States National Film Registry for preservation in 2012. John was born outside Scranton, Pennsylvania and graduated from Williams College.John is a talented screenwriter as well as director; he made his first professional short film TSR: Thirty Seconds Over Reims (1971) after winning a talent competition with a script for the film. John's work often touches on social issues – including unemployment, inner-city violence and war – which John believes make excellent material for stories due to complex personal relationships involved with these topics.John also discusses his career path, including his decision to become a screenwriter, the difficulties he faced working as a screenwriter in Hollywood and his experience of writing for other directors such as Steven Spielberg.John and I had an amazing conversation that was full of knowledge bombs. It was truly like being in a filmmaking and screenwriting masterclass, hence the title of the episode.Sit back, relax and get ready to take some notes. Enjoy my epic conversation with John Sayles.
Today on the show we have Sundance-winning producer Jonathan Baker. His new film Sylvie's Love is the talk of Sundance 2020. Sylvie's Love is an upcoming American drama film, written and directed by Eugene Ashe. It stars Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Regé-Jean Page, Aja Naomi King, and Eva Longoria. It will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2020.Jonathan is a wealth of information. In the episode, I pick his brain on what it was like winning the audience award at Sundance, how the indie film market place is changing, and much more. His last Sundance-winning film was Crown Heights which was later sold to Amazon Studios.In 1980, police in Brooklyn, N.Y., wrongfully charge Trinidadian immigrant Colin Warner with murder. Convicted for a crime he didn't commit, Colin spends 20 years in prison while his friend Carl King fights for the young man's freedom.He made his directorial debut with the stoner comedy Manifest Destiny Down: Spacetime. Check out the trailer below.In this absurdist satire, an awkward OCD physics genius and a hot ex-Catholic sorority girl wake up after blacking out Halloween night to discover they missed the evacuation of Earth. A mysterious agent pursues the feuding couple as they figure out how to work together to solve the recently entangled multi-verse and ultimately try to save humanity from AI.Here's a bit more info on today's guest.Jonathan Baker (JB) is an independent filmmaker, adjunct professor, and artistic coach. His company JB Productions, Inc. has many partnerships with artists JB develops and produces. He is a member of the Producer's Guild of America.JB worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment, first in television research, then at Screen Gems and TriStar Pictures as Marketing Manager. He marketed over forty major theatrical releases, of which ten films achieved #1 at the box-office status. He Co-Producer the documentaries Fang vs. Fiction (airing on AMC), The Real Exorcist (A & E), and Real Premonitions (A & E). Films of note include Closer (dir. Mike Nichols), Adaptation (dir. Spike Jonze), Big Fish (dir. Tim Burton), Boogeyman (#1 at the box office), Underworld (#1 at the box office), In The Cut (dir. Jane Campion), You Got Served (#1 at the box office), the Resident Evil franchise, and Exorcism of Emily Rose. While at TriStar, Lords of Dogtown (dir. Catherine Hardwicke), Oliver Twist (dir. Roman Polanski), Running with Scissors (dir. Ryan Murphy) and Silent Hill.Johnathan's new film The Banker starring Sam Jackson and Anthony Mackie comes out March 2020 on Apple TV+.Two African American entrepreneurs in the 1950s hire a white man to pose as the head of their company while they posed as a janitor and a chauffeur and ran the business.Enjoy my conversation with Jonathan Baker.
Today on the show we have writer/director Martin Villeneuve. Martin is the filmmaker behind the impossibly epic Canadian sci-fi film Mars et Avril. Martin didn't have the $100 million+ budget needed to produce a film of this epic size. He used his skills, hustle, and passion to bring the film to life.Mars & Avril is probably the first Québécois film to be adapted from two graphic novels. It is set in a futuristic Montreal where humanity is preparing to set foot on the planet Mars. The charismatic musician Jacob plays on musical instruments inspired by the female form and designed by his best friend Arthur. Both men fall in love with Avril, a young photographer who has problems with her breathing.This original cosmic fairy tale brings together the themes of art, spirituality, the world of inventions, and love; and it's here that distinguished Canadian filmmaker Robert Lepage returns to the silver screen – as a hologram.The film received 10 nominations including one for “Best Adapted Screenplay” at the Canadian Screen Awards, and toured in 20 festivals worldwide, starting with a World Premiere in Karlovy Vary. “Mars & Avril” has been described by io9 as“one of the most beautiful, and immersive, sci-fi worlds ever put on film.”His TEDTalk is an absolute must for any filmmaker who wants to get the filmmaking juices flowing. In this inspiring talk, he explains the various ways he overcame financial and logistical constraints to produce his unique and inventive vision of the future in Mars et Avril.And I know you are all wondering, yes Martin is the younger brother of famed director Denis Villeneuve. It was a pleasure chatting with Martin. He is truly an inspiration.Enjoy my conversation with Martin Villeneuve.
In the house, today is the iconic screenwriter and director, of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Shaun of the Deadand Blockbuster hit,Baby Driver, Edgar Wright. Edgar has been on the scene making and writing satirical genre films, while also acting for almost thirty years.He's here today to talk about his most recent and upcoming film, Last Night In Soho. It is set for release on October 29, 2021, and stars the Queen's Gambit star, Anya Taylor-Joy. The “Last Night in Soho” title is taken from a song by those Tarantino soundtrack favorites Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.The film's plot: Eloise, a young woman with a passion for fashion design and a strange sixth sense, finds herself transported back in time to 1966 London in the body of an iconic nightclub singer of the era named Sandie. While in Sandie's body, Eloise begins a romantic relationship; but she begins to realize that Sandie's life in the Swinging Sixties is not as glamorous as it appears to be and both past and present begin to fall apart with horrifying consequences. Edgar is the ultimate creator. He's worked across several genres of entertainment besides films. Some of the said expansion includes television, and music videos production, as well as video games.Like most up-and-coming creators and filmmakers, we start off on a budget. Edgar began making independent short films around 1993 before making his first feature film A Fistful of Fingers in 1995.Some other projects he created and directed are the 1996 comedy series, Asylum, the 1999 sitcom, Spaced, and about twenty-plus others since then.In 2017, he made waves at the Box office with Baby Driver, grossing $226 million globally. The commercial success of the film was due to the positive word-of-mouth support and flagging interest in blockbuster franchises.Baby Driver starred Ansel Elgort, who played the role of a getaway driver seeking freedom from a life of crime with his girlfriend, played by Lily James.Other A-list actors joined the supporting cast of the film-- the likes of Jon Hamm, Eiza González, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Bernthal. The Sony Pictures distributed film earned numerous nominations; including three Academy Awards, two BAFTA Film Awards, and two Critics' Choice Awards.It was exciting chatting up with Edgar about his signature editing style, writing, and the success of his career.Please enjoy my conversation with Edgar Wright.
Today on the show we have award-winning filmmaker, actress, author, speaker, women in film activist and force of nature Naomi McDougall Jones. Many of the IFH Tribe might remember Naomi from her first appearance on the show talking about her distribution adventures with her film Bite Me. You can listen to that episode here: Making Money Self Distributing Your Indie Film with Naomi McDougall JonesBite Me, is a subversive romantic comedy about a real-life vampire and the IRS agent who audits her. The film premiered at Cinequest, won Best Feature Film at VTXIFF, and then went on to the innovative, paradigm-shifting Joyful Vampire Tour of America in summer 2019, a 51-screening, 40-city, three-month, RV-fueled eventized tour that involved Joyful Vampire Balls, capes, a docu-series and a whole lot of joy. Naomi's first book, The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood, is now available wherever books are sold in hardcover, audiobook, and e-book. It debuted as the #1 New Release on Amazon. It is a brutally honest look at the systemic exclusion of women in film—an industry with massive cultural influence—and how, in response, women are making space in cinema for their voices to be heard.Naomi has been a vocal advocate for bringing gender parity to film, both on and off-screen. She has spoken at film festivals and conferences around the world and written extensively on this subject. Naomi's TEDTalk on these issues and what to do about them, “What it's Like to Be a Woman in Hollywood, has been viewed over a million times. Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Naomi McDougall Jones.
Ever wanted to know how to build a large following on social media? Today's guest Brendan Kane was able to get over 1 million followers in 30 days. His new book, One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days breaks down how he was able to achieve such a feat. Brendan Kane is a growth hacker for Fortune 500 corporations, brands and celebrities. He thrives on helping brands systematically find and engage new audiences who reward relevant content, products and services with their attention and spend.Over 60 billion online messages are sent on digital platforms every day, and only a select few succeed in the mad scramble for customer attention.This means that the question for anyone who wants to gain mass exposure for their transformative content, business, or brand or connect with audiences around the globe is no longer if they should use social media but how to best take advantage of the numerous different platforms.How can you make a significant impact in the digital world and stand out among all the noise?Digital strategist and “growth hacker” Brendan Kane has the answer and will show you how—in 30 days or less. A wizard of the social media sphere, Kane has built online platforms for A-listers including Taylor Swift and Rihanna. He's advised brands such as MTV, Skechers, Vice and IKEA on how to establish and grow their digital audience and engagement. Kane has spent his career discovering the best tools to turn any no-name into a top influencer simply by speaking into a camera or publishing a popular blog—and now he'll share his secrets with you.In One Million Followers, Kane will teach you how to gain an authentic, dedicated, and diverse online following from scratch; create personal, unique, and valuable content that will engage your core audience; and build a multi-media brand through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.Enjoy my conversation with Brendan Kane.
Today on the show we have screenwriter and director Jeffrey Reddick, who is best known for creating the highly successful Final Destination horror film franchise. The franchise has grossed over $650 Million world-wide. Not bad for an idea that was first conceived for an X-Files episode.Jeffrey also co-wrote the story for, and executive produced, Final Destination 2 (2003). Jeffrey made his first connection to the film industry at age 14 when he wrote a prequel to Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) and mailed it to Bob Shaye, the President of New Line Cinema. Bob returned the material for being unsolicited. But the young man wrote Bob an aggressive reply, which won him over.Bob read the treatment and got back to Jeffrey. Bob, and his assistant, Joy Mann, stayed in contact with Jeffrey for over five years. When he went to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York at age 19, Bob offered him an internship at New Line Cinema. This internship turned into an 11-year stint at the studio.Aside from Final Destination (2000), which spawned four successful sequels, Jeffrey's other credits include Lions Gate's thriller, Tamara (2005), and the remake of George Romero's classic, Day of the Dead (2008). Jeffrey's directorial debut is Don't Look Back.When a young woman overcoming her traumatic past is among several witnesses who see a man fatally assaulted and don't intervene, they find themselves targeted by someone, or something, out for revenge.Jeffrey has had an amazing career so far and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.Enjoy my spooky conversation with Jeffrey Reddick.
This successful American screenwriter of comedies, many of which are remakes or adaptations of novels (i.e., "Brewster's Millions" 1985, "Pure Luck" 1991), had worked in collaboration with Timothy Harris. The Wisconsin-born Herschel A. Weingrod and his British-born partner have generally met with commercial approval for their efforts like "Twins" (1988) and "Kindergarten Cop" (1990), both of which benefited from headliner Arnold Schwarzenegger."Falling Down" (1993), which they co-produced, also became a box-office success, but their only real critical success to date has been "Trading Places" (1983), which paired Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy.He has written and co-written a number of Hollywood blockbusters including Space Jam with fellow writer Timothy Harris.Enjoy my conversation with Herschel Weingrod.
Today's guest Eduardo Sanchez goes back to the late 90's and shares his experience on what it was like to be in the center of The Blair Witch Project hurricane. What it was like being on the cover of Time Magazine and how did it feel to be the toast of Hollywood…for a period of time.We also discuss the aftermath, how his career grew post Blair Witch and crazy stories of Hollyweird.Who hasn't heard of the now legendary indie film rags to riches tale of The Blair Witch Project? Every film student from Los Angeles to Mumbai heard the story of how two young film students spent $27,000 (mostly from friends, family and credit cards) to make a little indie horror film that ended up grossing $250 million worldwide.Directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick shot The Blair Witch Project in a new way which would later be called “found footage.” Without The Blair Witch Project, there is no Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, The Last Exorcism.The marketing of The Blair Witch Project was equally as important as the film itself. Below you can watch the FAKE documentary that helped fuel the belief that the Blair Witch Curse was real and that the kids in the movie were dead.Just BRILLIANT marketing!Enjoy my conversation with Eduardo Sanchez.
I was glad to take a deep dive into the deep end of horror screenwriting with writer and producer, Devin Watson, notably known for writing and producing The Cursed (2010) which was the first draft he wrote in only two days. He's also written several books, the latest of which is Horror Screenwriting: The Nature of Fear. Horror has, among all of the genres in film and written works, one of the longest, most distinguished, and often misunderstood bloodlines in history. It is often overlooked by critics who don't see anything more than blood and guts on the screen or a collection of cheap scares.But what is missed is the hard-hitting commentary on society and life contained in those works.Devin got his start working with the website, 'moviepartners.com' in the late 90s which was one of the first websites out there that really had any kind of information on independent filmmaking.Eventually, he decided to try out writing some scripts. But reading what every he could find to prepare him for scriptwriting. He was influenced in a big way by Lew Hunter's book, Screenwriting 434. Here, Lew Hunter shares the secrets of his course on the screenwriting process by actually writing an original script, step by step in Screenwriting 434.When he felt ready, Devin wrote his first five scripts, all of which turned out not very good. Not until November 2006 that he wrote a script in 2 days for his friend, Phil Melfi. That was when he felt confident in his work. That script became his debut production and writing, The Cursed, which is still a sci-fi channel Halloween rotation regular.Devin's book Horror Screenwriting really dives into the craft of horror and screenwriting pretty deeply.Enjoy my conversation with Devin Watson.
Today on the show we have returning champion Stephen Follows. In this Halloween themed episode, we dive into Stephen's opus, The Horror Report. The report was created by using data on every horror film ever made, a data-driven dive into everything from development, production, and distribution to recoupment and profitability.Stephen Follows is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club, and Indiewire.He acted as an industry consultant and guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Business of Film, which was topped the iTunes podcast chart, and has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including the Smithsonian in Washington. He has been commissioned to write reports for key film industry bodies and his most recent study, looking at gender inequity in the UK film industry and was launched on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today' program.Stephen has taught at major film schools, normal business schools, and minor primary schools. His lessons range established topics from Producing at MA and BA level, online video and the business of film producing to more adventurous topics such as measuring the unmeasurable, advanced creative thinking and the psychology of film producing. He has taught at the National Film and Television School (NFTS), Met Film School, NYU, Filmbase, and on behalf of the BFI, the BBC, and the British Council.Stephen has produced over 100 short films and two features. Past clients range from computer game giants, technology giants, and sporting giants but sadly no actual giants. He's shot people in love, in the air, on the beach, and on fire (although not at the same time) across over a dozen different countries in locations ranging from the Circle Line to the Arctic Circle.Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Stephen Follows.
Guy Edward Pearce was born 5 October, 1967 in Cambridgeshire, England, UK to Margaret Anne and Stuart Graham Pearce. His father was born in Auckland, New Zealand, to English and Scottish parents, while Guy's mother is English. Pearce and his family initially traveled to Australia for two years, after his father was offered the position of Chief test pilot for the Australian Government. Guy was just 3-years-old. After deciding to stay in Australia and settling in the Victorian city of Geelong, Guy's father was killed 5 years later in an aircraft test flight, leaving Guy's mother, a schoolteacher, to care for him and his older sister, Tracy.Having little interest in subjects at school like math or science, Guy favored art, drama and music. He joined local theatre groups at a young age and appeared in such productions as "The King and I", "Fiddler on the Roof" and "The Wizard of Oz". In 1985, just two days after his final high school exam, Guy started a four-year stint as "Mike Young" on the popular Aussie soap Neighbours (1985). At age 20, Guy appeared in his first film, Heaven Tonight (1990), then, after a string of appearances in film, television and on the stage, he won the role of an outrageous drag queen in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994).Most recently, he has amazed film critics and audiences, alike, with his magnificent performances in L.A. Confidential (1997), Memento (2000), The Proposition (2005), Factory Girl (2006), The Hurt Locker (2008), The King's Speech (2010) and the HBO mini-series, Mildred Pierce (2011). Next to acting, Guy has had a life-long passion for music and songwriting.Guy likes to keep his private life very private. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, which is also where he married his childhood sweetheart, Kate Mestitz in March 1997.His latest film The Infernal Machine is a psychological thriller feature film, written and directed by Andrew Hunt. The film released on September 23, 2022.Bruce Cogburn, a reclusive and controversial author of the famed book "The Infernal Machine," is drawn out of hiding when he begins to receive endless letters from an obsessive fan. What ensues is a dangerous labyrinth as Bruce searches for the person behind the cryptic messages, forcing him to confront his past and ultimately reveal the truth behind the book.Please enjoy my amazing conversation with Guy Pearce.
Let's pivot a bit, shall we? I have with me today, entertainment triple threat, Iliza Shlesinger. The award-winning standup comedian, actor, writer, producer, and author, is one of the most natural entertainers there is, out here. Her new film Good on Paper premieres on Netflix on June 23.After years of putting her career ahead of love, stand-up comic Andrea Singer has stumbled upon the perfect guy. On paper, he checks all the boxes but is he everything he appears to be?The Girl Logic author has not allowed the pandemic to slow her down. She's appeared in eight films between 2020 until now and executive produced her six-part series, The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show. A secret world filled with absurd characters, insight into the female experience, and irreverent yet poignant social commentary. Shlesinger's comedic genius has catalysized her very successful career – currently streaming five specials on Netflix, including her 2018 masterpiece, Elder Millennial which remains a top contender on Netflix's 2021 best standup comedy specials list.Besides being known as a phenomenal comedian, Shlesinger shared more strength and fearlessness in her 2018 book Gil Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity to empower other women and girls. Girl Logic is a characteristically female way of thinking that appears contradictory and circuitous but is actually a complicated and highly evolved way of looking at the world. The fact is, whether you're obsessing over his last text or the most important meeting of your career, your Girl Logic serves a purpose: It helps push you, question what you want, and clarify what will make you a happier, better person. Girl Logic can be every confident woman's secret weapon, and this book shows you how to wield it.Enjoy my entertaining conversation with Iliza Shlesinger.
This is one of the most insane stories I've ever had on the show, and I have a small part in making it happen. In 2008, Sacha Gervasi made his documentary directorial debut and executive produced Anvil! The Story of Anvil. Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a 2008 Canadian rockumentary film about the Canadian heavy metal band Anvil. The film is directed by screenwriter Sacha Gervasi, in his directorial debut, and features interviews with other musicians who have been influenced by the band, including Slash, Tom Araya, Lemmy, Scott Ian, and Lars Ulrich.The amazing documentary premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival about a heavy metal band that never gave up on their dreams of being a successful band. Anvil was established in 1978 and became one of the most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts with thirteen albums. The documentary ranks at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.I was invite to a screening at Sacha's house to watch Anvil in 35mm. After the film I told Sacha you should rerelease it to the world because the planet needs this film right now. Well he did just that and man did he ever.Enjoy my entertaining conversation with Sacha Gervasi.
Kaye Singleton is an award-winning writer, producer, and actress that is well on her way to making her own footprint in this industry, or as the much-respected Tyler Perry would say, created her own seat at the table. As a multi-faceted creative talent, she is committed to telling culturally authentic stories for, about, and that explore, the beautifully diverse experiences of Black Women.To date, as an actress she has taken on a variety of roles on hit shows and films. She's best known for her series regular role beginning in Season 3 of Tyler Perry's The Oval on BET as Simone, the beautiful, smart, and cunning wife of the Vice President of the United States, and her Six Season recurring role as the long-suffering, loyal - but problematic - "Josie" on Saints & Sinners, BounceTV's #1 Show. She's also had memorable roles on Sistas (BET), Claws (TNT), Don't Waste Your Pretty (TV One), Tales (BET), American Soul (BET), and Dumplin (Netflix).In 2020, Kaye secured her first production deal as a first-time Showrunner and Creator for the highly-rated anthology series - Covenant'' which premiered on October 14th, 2021 on AMC's allblk. Covenant's unique take on bible stories is a stand out for the network as it's quoted to "create a world of thrilling, suspenseful drama where characters and stories of the bible are thrust into a vicious dystopia of present-day, real-life situations. Each episode will reimagine a classic story as it would take place in the modern world - challenging viewers to examine how sacred lessons of faith and love fit into today's society.Enjoy my epic conversation with Kaye Singleton.
Our guest today is 80s star, multiple-awards film, and theater actor, and activist, Edward James Olmos.Olmos's roles in films or TV shows like Stand and Deliver, Battlestar Galactica, broadway musical and film Zoot Suit, Blade Runner as detective Gaff, and many others are some of the most memorable of all time and he's still dominating our screens.While I could not resist talking about his iconic roles over several decades, we mainly discussed Olmos' new must-see film, Chasing Wonders.The picturesque Australian/British drama was the official selection at the Adelaide film festival in 2020. The beautiful cinematography of the film was shot over a five years period to authentically capture the coming of age story by screenwriter, Judy Morris. Chasing Wonders is a story of hope, possibility adventure, and overcoming your past – a heart-warming story of a young boy, who, encouraged by his grandfather (Olmos) to live a life of hope and possibility, takes off on the adventure of a lifetime to find the magical Emu Plains. His journey through the lush landscapes of Australia and Spain leads him to the heart of the human condition – learning to acknowledge the complexity of what comes before us but struggling not to be defined by the past.The Hollywood Walk of Famer earned an Academy nomination for Best Actor in the 1988 drama, Stand and Deliver. He gave a stellar lead performance as Bolivian- American educator Jaime Alfonso Escalante Gutiérrez.Olmos filmography is quite extensive. Literally, the man has stayed booked and busy since 1974. He's appeared in over 130 films, TV shows, and plays.One of his outstanding roles is perhaps, Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the Miami Vice (1984) as a series regular. A fan-favorite for sure.But if we do talk about Lieutenant Castillo we must mention Olmos' role as Detective Gaff in Blade Runner (1982) and a brief reprise in the sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017). Gaff is the Los Angeles police officer who detains and escorts Deckard (Harrison Ford) throughout his mission as a ‘Blade Runner' to track down bioengineered humanoids known as replicants and terminally “retire” them.Olmos showed the world his versatility in both the Broadway play and film adaptation of the musical comedy, Zoot Suit. The story weaves the real-life events of the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial – resulting in the racially fueled Zoot Suit Riots throughout Los Angeles. Olmos portrays El Pachuco, an idealized Zoot Suiter, who functions as narrator throughout the story and serves as Henry's conscience in both adaptations.Honestly, I could go on and on down Olmos' filmography, but we can't spotlight all of his other spectacular films right now. So, let's get into this interview, shall we?Don't forget to click the links in the show notes to watch Chasing Wonders.Enjoy my epic conversation with Edward James Olmos.
Naomi Beaty is a screenwriting teacher, screenplay consultant, and former development exec with 10+ years in the entertainment industry.Naomi is based in Los Angeles, CA. She has worked on American productions and on projects in Taiwan and Australia, including the feature film "Ghost Boy", based on the novel by award winning Australian author Felicity Pulman, produced by Morning Starr Productions.Earlier, Naomi worked on the other side of the desk at Madonna and Guy Oseary's Maverick Films, where she helped develop projects including "Twilight" and "Percy Jackson".She just released her new book "The Screenplay Outline Workbook".The Screenplay Outline Workbook is designed to give you a clear and manageable set of tools, steps, and exercises so you can turn your ideas and inspiration into an outline and write your best screenplay – whether it's your first or your tenth.With this workbook as your guide, you can start with just an inkling of an idea – or nothing at all, even! – and end up with a solid story premise, compelling characters, and an outline that provides a blueprint for writing an emotionally satisfying screenplay.Inside you'll find enough instruction and theory so that you know what you need to know, but not so much that it overwhelms you before you even get started. Room to work through your story ideas and collect your notes and flashes of brilliance. A place to organize what you discover about your story as you develop it so that you can easily reference it when needed.Use the workbook to design a new story from scratch, or jump straight to the topic you need to get your work-in-progress unstuck. With 30+ tools, exercises, and prompts honed through years of teaching workshops and working one-on-one with writers, this workbook will help you:Generate new story ideasChoose a strong idea as the first step in writing a great screenplayBuild a sturdy foundation for your screenplay by finding the essential elements of the storyDiscover the organic three act structure and major plot points that create the framework for the story and screenplayDesign compelling characters that help push the protagonist along a meaningful character arcTry one or more suggested outlining methods for mapping out your story…and so much more!The workbook lays out a process that's flexible enough that you can use it for every screenplay you write, yet designed to specifically address the issues readers commonly find in aspiring screenwriters' screenplays.With each exercise, you'll explore ideas and make choices to build your story, piece by piece. You'll craft an outline that does all the heavy lifting, and be confident in the story you're telling – which frees you to get creative with characters and dialogue, and discovering the kind of magical, cinematic moments that made us all fall in love with movies in the first place.If you've tried to write a screenplay before but found yourself stuck somewhere in Act 2, having an outline that serves as a map of your screenplay can make all the difference. Consider this workbook the wise but gentle guide that will meet you where you are and lead you to your destination so you can finally make real progress turning the movie in your head into a fully developed story that you're ready to set down onto the screenplay page.When you're done you'll have more than an outline — you'll have a rock-solid foundation for your screenplay.Please enjoy my conversation with Naomi Beaty.
I had the pleasure of watching acclaimed director, Edson Oda's knockout feature directorial debut, Nine Days. And I absolutely loved it. With the COVID shock, the world has experienced and still going through, this film centers the conversation of existentialism and depicts it quite distinctly. Oda's supernatural drama film, Nine Days was shot at the peak of the Pandemic in isolated Utah, starred Black Panther's star, Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale, Bill Skarsgård, David Rysdahl, and Arianna Ortiz.The film is about an interviewer named Will, who spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live POV on TVs of people going about their lives. He interviews five unborn souls to determine which one can be given life on Earth, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates - unborn souls - arrive at Will's to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma, a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life.Oda who is a Sundance Screenwriters Lab Alumni took the film home (to Sundance) and premiered Nine Days there in January 2020. It went on to win the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award in February of 2020 and earned two Independent Spirits Awards nominations.The Japanese-Brazilian director and writer made his start in São Paulo advertising scene and later completed his master's at USC in Film and Production. Oda has produced and directed several films, commercials, and music videos. In 2013, he directed and wrote a short film, Malaria which is about a young mercenary who is hired to kill Death. Malaria combines Origami, Kirigami, Timelapse, nankin illustration, Comic Books and Western Cinema.Besides top-notch commercials for companies like Philips, Movistar, InBev, Whirlpool, Johnson & Johnson, Honda, Nokia, he's also a Latin Grammy-nominated director for best music video Tempos de Maracujá.Nine Days was released in the US on July 30th, 2021 and I am excited to see how well-received it is about to become. I am predicting it may even win an Academy Award. Yes. It is that fantastic!Please enjoy my conversation with Edson Oda.
Kim Hudson grew up in the Yukon, a Hero's daughter with a Cinderella Complex. Basically life taught her many of the things ahe needed to know to write this book. Kim spent the first half of her career exploring her masculine side, first as a field geologist and later as a federal land claims negotiator. Exploring her feminine side became important to her as she raised her two daughters. This lead me to study Writing for Film and Television at Vancouver Film School, and take courses on mythology, feminism and psychology including a Jungian Odyssey in Switzerland. This theory was developed by closely observing the archetypal expressions that are all around us in movies, music, television, advertisements and stories of personal growth, including her own. The Virgin's Promise is her first book.The Virgin's Promise demystifies the complexities of archetypes and clearly outlines the steps of a Virgin's Journey to realize her dream. Audiences need to see more than brave, self-sacrificing Heroes. They need to see Virgins who bring their talents and self-fulfilling joys to life. The Virgin's Promise describes this journey with beats that feel incredibly familiar but have not been illustrated in any other screenwriting book. It explores the yin and yang of the Virgin and Hero journeys to take up their power as individuals, and includes a practical guide to putting this new theory into action. Please enjoy my conversation with Kim Hudson.
Aitch Alberto is a writer/director born and raised in Miami, Florida. She is a Sundance Episodic Lab fellow, recipient of a Skowhegan Artist Residency, a Yaddo fellowship, a Latino Screenwriting Project Fellowship, and an alumnus of the Outfest Screenwriting Lab. Aitch has written on DUSTER, a 1970s-set crime drama series from J.J. Abrams and LaToya Morgan for HBO Max and WBTV.She also served as a writer on AppleTV+'s BAFTA and Film Independent Nominated anthology series LITTLE AMERICA from Alan Yang, Kumail Nanjiani, and Emily V. Gordon. Most recently, Aitch has adapted and directed the award-winning young adult novel ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Eugenio Debrez producing, from Limelight.Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a 2022 coming-of-age romantic film that is an adaptation of the 2012 novel of the same name by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Aristotle and Dante had it premiere at the 47th Toronto Film Festival on September 9, 2022.She has been included on The Black List's inaugural Latinx List, as well as the Tracking Board's Hit List and Young & Hungry List, and NALIP's list of "Latinx Directors You Should Know". Aitch has most recently been featured on Variety's 10 Directors To Watch for 2022 and Indiewire's 22 Rising Female Filmmakers to watch in 2022.Enjoy my conversation with Aitch Alberto.
Robert McKee, A Fulbright Scholar, is the most sought after screenwriting lecturer around the globe. He has dedicated the last 30 years to educating and mentoring screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, poets, documentary makers, producers, and directors internationally. Those who have learned from McKee have called him "the Aristotle of our time" because of his insight into the substance, structure, style, and principles of the grand art of story.Peter Jackson (writer/director of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit) has lauded him as "The Guru of Gurus." For the writers of Pixar (creators of Toy Story 1, 2, & 3, Finding Nemo), McKee's Story Seminar is a rite of passage. Emmy Award-Winner Brian Cox also portrayed McKee in the Oscar-nominated film Adaptation.McKee's former students include over 60 Academy Award Winners, 200 Academy Award Nominees, 200 Emmy Award Winners, 1000 Emmy Award Nominees, 100 WGA (Writers Guild of America) Award Winners, 250 WGA Award Nominees, and 50 DGA (Directors Guild of America) Award Winners, 100 DGA Award Nominees.A winner and nominee of BAFTA for his popular Channel Four series Reel Secrets, McKee also wrote and hosted 12 episodes of BBC's Filmworks series. He was profiled by Bob Simon of 60 Minutes for CBS news.McKee's articles on Story have also appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines around the world including Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker Magazine, Swiss Business Magazine, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, CBS Morning News, BBC, Channel 4 in UK, RAI (Italy), CBN Weekly News & Morning Glory (China), MBC TV, KBS & Arirang TV, Korea Times (South Korea), Kiev Weekly, Kultura Moscow, all major TV, Radio and/or newspapers of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, France, India, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland and given seminars in all of the above countries.Since 1984, more than 100,000 students have taken McKee's courses at various cities around the world: Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Sydney, Toronto, Boston, San Francisco, Helsinki, Oslo, Munich, Tel Aviv, Auckland, Singapore, Madrid, Beijing, Shanghai, Barcelona, Lisbon, Malaga, Hamburg, Berlin, Johannesburg, Rome, Stockholm, São Paulo, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Beijing, Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Seoul, Istanbul, Hyderabad, Mexico City and many cities regularly.McKee continues to be a project consultant to major film and television production companies such as 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, & MTV. In addition, Pixar, ABC, BBC, Disney, Miramax, PBS, Nickelodeon, Paramount, GLOBOSAT, MNET and other international TV and Film companies regularly send their entire creative and writing staffs to his lectures.His new book is Action: The Art of Excitement for Screen, Page, and Game.ACTION explores the ways that a modern-day writer can successfully tell an action story that not only stands apart, but wins the war on clichés. Teaming up with the former co-host of The Story Toolkit, Bassim El-Wakil, legendary story lecturer Robert McKee guides writers to award-winning originality by deconstructing the action genre, illuminating the challenges, and, more importantly, demonstrating how to master the demands of plot with surprising beats of innovation and ingenuity.Topics include:Understanding the Four Core Elements of ActionCreating the Action CastHook, Hold, Pay Off: Design in ActionThe Action MacguffinAction Set PiecesThe Sixteen Action SubgenresA must-add to the McKee storytelling library, ACTION illustrates the principles of narrative drive with precision and clarity by referencing the most popular action movies of our time including: Die Hard, The Star Wars Saga, Dark Knight, The Matrix, and Avengers: Endgame.Also join Robert McKee's Legendary STORY Seminar LIVE in Los Angeles, New York & LondonIn an intense 3 days, Robert McKee teaches the substance, structure, style and principles of Story. Learn how to apply classical story design – the kind that has resulted in masterpieces of all kinds – to your own cinematic, theatrical or literary premise.
Jessica Thompson is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker who made her feature writer-directorial debut with "The Light of the Moon". The film won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film at the SXSW Film Festival. "The Light of the Moon", starring Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, In The Heights, Encanto), enjoyed a limited theatrical release to sold-out screens in both New York and Los Angeles and heralds a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score. Critics called the film "harrowingly effective" (Variety), "honest and complex" (The Hollywood Reporter), and Film Inquiry stated, "for any filmmaker this would be an unmitigated triumph, but for a first time filmmaker this is revelatory."Jess was the lead director on Showtime's original series, "The End", produced by the Academy Award-winning See-Saw Films (The Power of the Dog, The King's Speech). "The End" is a dramedy, told through three generations of a dysfunctional family who are trying to die with dignity, live with none, and make it count. The series received five-star reviews from The Guardian and The Times.In 2021, Jess directed her second feature, "The Invitation", a Sony Picture's thriller-horror, written by herself and Blair Butler. It will have a worldwide cinematic release on August 26th, 2022.After the death of her mother and having no other known relatives, Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) takes a DNA test…and discovers a long-lost cousin she never knew she had. Invited by her newfound family to a lavish wedding in the English countryside, she's at first seduced by the sexy aristocrat host but is soon thrust into a nightmare of survival as she uncovers twisted secrets in her family's history and the unsettling intentions behind their sinful generosity.In 2010, Jess founded Stedfast Productions, a collective of visual storytellers who use film to explore the complexity of the human story.Jess is an Australian filmmaker who resides in Los Angeles. She is repped by CAA, Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment, and Independent Talent Group (UK).Enjoy my conversation with Jessica M. Thompson.
Niceole grew up under the bright stars of the Mojave Desert before swapping them for bright lights of Los Angeles. Studying acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts yielded the epiphany that she preferred writing. She worked as a police dispatcher to pay her way through undergraduate USC, and then completed the Master of Professional Writing program, also at USC. An alum of the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, NBC's Writers on the Verge, and the WGAw Showrunner Training Program, Niceole has written on Ironside, Allegiance, The Mysteries of Laura, Shades of Blue, Cloak & Dagger, Fate: the Winx Saga, and S.W.A.T.She also co-wrote a feature, The Banker, with former Allegiance showrunner and director George Nolfi, available on AppleTV+. Niceole is currently a co-executive producer on Graymail, which will air on Netflix, and has several TV and feature projects in development. The Writers' Room Survival Guide is her first book.Writers' rooms can be a heaven or hell, depending on a few things. The best rooms foster inclusive and productive creative flow. The worst create a toxic stew of bad feelings and doubt. Both kinds and everything in between require basic knowledge of how the room works. These fundamentals are best learned before you go in. The mystery box of the writers' room need not stay sealed shut forever. Consider this book your crowbar.
Today on the show we have director, writer, comedian, and actor Jay Chandrasekhar has contributed to and appeared in a wide variety of critically acclaimed television programs and films throughout his career.Chandrasekhar assembled the sketch comedy troupe Broken Lizard, which includes Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske. Together they performed comedy across the nation until they set their sights on producing television and feature films.Under his Broken Lizard banner, Jay directed and co-wrote Fox Searchlight Picture's comedy cult classics Super Troopers, Super Troopers 2, Club Dread, and Warner Bros' Beerfest. He also directed the Broken Lizard comedy special, Broken Lizard Stands Up.Super Troopers hit theaters in February 2002 and went on to gross $23 million with glowing audience reviews (and $80 million on home video.)Jay continued on to direct The Dukes of Hazard, direct and star in Millennium Entertainment's The Babymakers, and appear in DreamWorks' comedy hit, I Love You, Man. Recently, Chandrasekhar published his book, Mustache Shenanigans: Making Super Troopers and Other Adventures in Comedy that gives a behind the scenes look at the making of Super Troopers.In addition to his feature film work, Chandrasekhar has directed various TV shows, including several episodes of the Emmy Award winning series Arrested Development, Community, Chuck, The Grinder, Up All Night, Happy Endings, New Girl, and Psych. More recently, Jay has also directed episodes of Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, Speechless, and Schooled.His new film is Easter Sunday.Stand-up comedy sensation Jo Koy (Jo Koy: In His Elements, Jo Koy: Comin' in Hot) stars as a man returning home for an Easter celebration with his riotous, bickering, eating, drinking, laughing, loving family, in this love letter to his Filipino-American community. Easter Sunday features an all-star comedic cast that includes Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley series), Tia Carrere (True Lies, Wayne's World films), Brandon Wardell (Curb Your Enthusiasm series), Tony nominee Eva Noblezada (Broadway's Hadestown), Lydia Gaston (Broadway's The King and I), Asif Ali (WandaVision), Rodney To (Parks and Recreation series), Eugene Cordero (The Good Place series), Jay Chandrasekhar (I Love You, Man), Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) and Lou Diamond Phillips (Courage Under Fire). Easter Sunday, from DreamWorks Pictures, is directed by Jay Chandrasekhar (Super Troopers, The Dukes of Hazzard), from a script by Ken Cheng (series Wilfred, Betas). The film is produced by Rideback's Dan Lin (The Lego Movie franchise, It franchise) and Jonathan Eirich (Aladdin, The Two Popes), and is executive produced by Jo Koy, Jessica Gao, Jimmy O. Yang, Ken Cheng, Joe Meloche, Nick Reynolds and Seth William Meier. The film will be distributed by Universal Pictures domestically. Amblin Partners and Universal will share international distribution rights.Jay also just launched a new app designed to give the power of reviews back to the people. It's call Vouch Vault."When my film, Super Troopers, showed at Sundance, it played to big laughing crowds. But when it was released to the public, the reviews were only so-so. On Rotten Tomatoes, Super Troopers, got a 38%-fresh aggregate score from less than a hundred reviewers. With the public, though, the film garnered a 90% fresh rating from more than 250,000 non-reviewers. This 38% reviewer-number stuck in my craw. I remember thinking, “Who are these reviewers, these strangers with outsized power, and why are we listening to them? Seriously. When's the last time you walked up to a stranger and said, “Hey, what movie should I see?”Our goal with Vouch Vault is to take recommendation power from anonymous strangers and give it to the people whose tastes you know and trust."Enjoy my conversation with Jay Chandrasekhar.
Born in Indonesia and raised in Singapore, Margaret Kerrison received my Master of Fine Arts degree in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Her career spans television, film, digital media, games, brand storytelling, location-based entertainment, and immersive experiences.Margaret worked as a Story Lead, Story Consultant, and Writer for multiple projects around the world, including Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars: Launch Bay, Hyperspace Mountain, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, Avengers Campus, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, National Geographic HQ, NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted, Heineken Experience, StoryGarden by AMOREPACIFIC, and the Information and Communications Pavilion (Expo 2010 Shanghai).Margaret was the writer for five projects that received Themed Entertainment Association (THEA) Awards. She appeared in the Disney+ series Behind the Attraction, the Freeform television special Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge – Adventure Awaits, and the online educational program Imagineering in a Box. Margaret has been invited to speak at prestigious conferences and universities including SXSW, Star Wars Celebration, D23, IAAPA Expo, FMX Conference, University of Southern California, and Johns Hopkins University. Her projects have been featured around the world in The New York Times, Good Morning America, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Wired magazine, and the official site for Star Wars. Margaret Kerrison was a Disney Imagineer from 2014-2021 and was recently featured in a blooloop article.Margaret is currently a Senior Experiential Creative Lead in Airbnb's Experiential Creative Product team.Enjoy my conversation with Margaret Kerrison.
Today on the show we have returning champion Adrian Martinez.Adrian Martinez has over 100 television and film credits including several standout sidekick roles -“Focus,” opposite Will Smith and Margot Robbie, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” opposite Ben Stiller, “Casa de mi Padre,” opposite ‘Mexican' Will Ferrell, “I feel Pretty,” as Amy Schumer‘s office buddy, ‘Mason,' and as ‘Elliot' the dog catcher in the CGI and live-action re-imagining of Disney's Lady and the Tramp.Adrian also co-stared with Will Smith and Margot Robbie in the film Focus.Will Smith stars as Nicky, a seasoned master of misdirection who becomes romantically involved with novice con artist Jess (Margot Robbie). As he's teaching her the tricks of the trade, she gets too close for comfort and he abruptly breaks it off. Three years later, the former flame—now an accomplished femme fatale—shows up in Buenos Aires in the middle of the high stakes racecar circuit. In the midst of Nicky's latest, very dangerous scheme, she throws his plans for a loop…and the consummate con man off his game.On the television front, Adrian recently starred in ABC's crime drama series “Stumptown” alongside Cobie Smulders, Jake Johnson, and Michael Ealy, and in the CBS all access comedy, “No Activity,” produced by Will Ferrell and Funny or Die. Adrian was also a series regular playing computer hacker, ‘Dumont' in “The Blacklist: Redemption,” on NBC, opposite Famke Janssen and Ryan Eggold.Adrian's directorial debut, “iGilbert,” a drama he wrote starring himself, Dascha Polanco (“Orange is the New Black”) and Raul Castillo (”Looking”) was recently released by Gravitas Features and currently available on demand and in select theaters.iGilbert is a future fairytale about being seen and feeling unseen. Gilbert feels isolated from the world, life, and people, and is starving for human connection, as he reaches for his cellphone to connect with the world, with dangerous consequences.“There is beauty among the broken in writer/ director Adrian Martinez's iGilbert, a dreamlike ode to human connection at a time in which our phones keep us safely cradled in our own bubble of safety….” — Filmthreat.com Enjoy my conversation with Adrian Martinez.