Fri, 26 February 2021
Supernova is the moving story of Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), who after Tusker’s dementia diagnosis travel across England in an RV to visit family, friends and places from their past.
For Writer-Director Harry Macqueen, an enormous amount of research went into ensuring he did justice to the subject of dementia. “I think the key thing for writing this script really was several years of spending time with people who were living with this kind of dementia… Not only did I learn a huge amount about the medical side of dementia and the biology of it… but also, very, very importantly, the human element of it.”
Harry discusses his writing process, how to develop complex characters while maintaining simplicity of narrative, and how important it is to have a close group of friends you can share your work in progress with. “I really think that filmmaking and scriptwriting is not about ego at all… it's about taking responsibility for the project, [and] for the script.”
Supernova is now available on VOD.
Tue, 23 February 2021
Jesse Chatham talks to guest host Sade' Sellers about how his screenplay about a bereaved woman seeking out a new life off the grid went from placing in the Nicholl Fellowship to becoming a feature directed by and starring Robin Wright (House of Cards). “I placed in the top 50… and one of the readers, Lora Kennedy, was the VP of casting at Warner Bros. She read it, and she fell in love with the script, and she was able to lasso in a producer named Allyn Stewart, who was just on Sully.”
Jesse discusses how his journey to writing Land began in 2013 when he had just turned 40. “I was unhappy with where I was… and I was always writing something, but it was never really screenplays. I kind of had this moment of mortality, and I was like, ‘You know what? I should think about what I want to look back on when I'm 65, 70. Do I want to look back at a life that didn't take any risks?’ I finally decided, I just want to go for it.”
Land is now in theaters where it is safe and will be available on VOD on March 5.
CONTENT WARNING: This podcast contains discussions of gun violence that some listeners may find disturbing. Listener discretion is advised.
Wed, 17 February 2021
G.O. Parsons has written one of the wildest rides of the year with Wally’s Wonderland, a B-movie homage that pits Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage against a horde of demonic animatronics. “I went into writing Willy's Wonderland with the intention, the sole intention, of just shooting it myself in a friend's garage with absolutely no money,” he tells Write On host Phil Galasso. “If you can set your script in one location, and you can keep the budget low, and you have just stellar writing, stellar characters, and a fun story, you can get your movie made.”
G.O. Parsons discusses his roots in playwriting, his daily writing process, and what it takes to keep going when the odds are against you. "No's do not change your life. Somebody tells you no, your life stays exactly the same. But one yes can change your life… and I got a million no's until Nicolas Cage said yes."
Fri, 12 February 2021
Oscar-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen talks to host Phil Galasso about his transition into writing and directing with Falling, a stirring drama he also acts in alongside Lance Henriksen. The film is about a man who along with his male partner and adopted daughter is visited by his aging father who possesses a very different world view and is also facing the onset of dementia.
“Among other things, [Falling] is a story that explores communication - whether there are limits to it, whether there are people that you can't communicate with… (and) are there people who don't deserve to be communicated with?” Viggo discusses his writing process, how he makes progress every day and what he has learned from it: “You have to make mistakes in order to learn. That's just part of the process, and making a movie or writing a screenplay is about solving a series of problems, overcoming a series of obstacles. That's what life is, too.”
Tue, 9 February 2021
Will Berson had been haunted by the story of the murder of Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton by police since his hippy parents told it to him as a child. As Will watched events like the Ferguson riots unfold he realized Fred Hampton's story had to be told. After writing the script as a spec he discovered writer/director Shaka King had been working on the same story, and together they joined forces to make the powerful Judas and the Black Messiah.
On this episode of Write On, Will Berson and guest host Sade' Sellers discuss Berson’s roots in comedy writing and his particular approach to historical drama: “Essential truths are more important to me than historical facts.” He talks about writing strong female characters, what it is like to write with multiple collaborators, and how to manage a career in Hollywood. “My advice would be to play the game a little more. Just realize how ridiculous this town is and embrace it. Act like you're in an improv scene and just go with the flow.”
Judas and the Black Messiah releases in theaters and on HBO Max on February 12.
Direct download: WRITE-ON-WillBerson-JudasAndTheBlackMessiah_mixdown.mp3
Category:screenwriting -- posted at: 9:00am PST