Tue, 29 June 2021
False Positive is a horror-thriller about a mysterious and possibly dangerous fertility doctor that tackles some serious themes relating to pregnancy. Director John Lee explains: "'Mommy brain' is a real thing. Postpartum is a real thing, and prepartum is a real thing, and so in the movie, we just wanted to point out how we don't actually talk about it or support it or, like, actually do anything about it. We give it a cute phrase."
John also offers advice on how to complete your first draft: "Get past the first act. Don't keep rewriting the first act. When you go in to rewrite or you go to write the next day, don't start on page one; start on the page you left. So if day one, you write page 1-14, whatever it is, the next day, don't even read it. Just start on page 14 and go forth… You have to get to the end, and then you have to basically destroy and rebuild and support as much as possible after that."
Direct download: Write_On_-_John_Lee_for_False_Positive_mixdown.mp3
Category:screenwriting -- posted at: 9:48am PDT
Thu, 24 June 2021
Award-winning writer, actor and director Josh Ruben burst onto the horror scene with the immensely popular Scare Me. His follow-up, Werewolves Within, is a feature adaptation of a videogame about werewolves attacking a small town.
Josh talks about how he landed the gig and offers advice on how to show passion for your project. "The easiest way to describe how to pitch a film… is take a film that you love and that you know, and write down what happens as if you were talking to your best friend describing what happens in that movie in under 10 minutes, and for a total of 15 minutes, tack on an intro where you talk about why you're the best person to make this movie and why it's personal to you."
Direct download: Write_On_-_Josh_Ruben_for_Werewolves_Within_mixdown.mp3
Category:screenwriting -- posted at: 9:55am PDT
Tue, 22 June 2021
Good on Paper is a romantic comedy that tells the ‘mostly’ true story of finding Mr. Right but discovering he may be too good to be true. Writer and star Iliza Shlesinger talks about how being a stand-up comic informed her writing process. "As a comic, you're so sensitive to cadence and syllables, and those really can make or break someone laughing or not laughing… and then there's also putting it in other people's voices… it's up to the actor to bring it to life."
Iliza talks about how important it is to practice your craft to get it right. "Each time you write, you get better and better, and the more screenplays you read, the more things you audition for, you see what… doesn't translate."
Direct download: Write_On_-_Iliza_Shlesinger_for_Good_On_Paper_mixdown_1.mp3
Category:screenwriting -- posted at: 1:30pm PDT
Mon, 14 June 2021
HBO’s Hacks explores a dark mentorship that forms between a legendary Las Vegas comedian and an entitled, outcast 25-year-old. "The story of this show, in a lot of ways, is about two women who come together and work together,” says Jen. “They make each other better as writers and comedians, and as people.”
Jen talks about the challenges of starting out on her own writing journey and how she overcame them. "[As a writer] you're in a race with no one but yourself. I think early on in my career, I would look at what other people were doing, and it was really hard; someone's success felt like my failure, and that is such a trap that you can easily fall into in this industry. But it's so important to do the work to not fall into that because the truth is… the thing you want to say with your story? Only you can say it in that specific way, so there's no comparison to anyone else."
Thu, 10 June 2021
Showrunner Bruce Miller talks to Write On about what he looks for in a successful staff writer: "Being a staff writer, you have to be able to write, you have to be able to re-write based on notes, and you have to be able to contribute in the room… You want to develop a way to be in the room that's comfortable for you because the most important thing in the room is not talking; it's listening."
He goes on to discuss the complexities of the show’s main character, June (played by Elisabeth Moss): "I don't know if I want people to cheer for [June]; I want them to understand her and kind of understand her point of view… the fact is, she's gone through a trauma that we can barely fathom… the road through trauma and back is very, very long, very difficult, and different for everybody."
Direct download: Write_On_with_Bruce_Miller_for_Handmaids_Tale_mixdown.mp3
Category:screenwriting -- posted at: 2:32pm PDT
Wed, 9 June 2021
Evan talks to Write On about how he used an existing IP, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, to get noticed in Hollywood, and ended up with a hit show. "Cuckoo's Nest was always one of my favorite movies and books. I loved that [Nurse Ratched] was this incredibly complex character but didn't have a backstory to her… so I wanted to do something with IP where I wasn't retelling; I was creating and inventing."
Evan takes us through his obsessive outlining process, how he navigates the business, and what he does when he hits a creative wall. "It's so important to go through those days of writers' block where you are stuck, to keep going and keep trying to work your way out of it, and if something's not working, move onto something else - even a totally different project that you're in a different stage in, and even if you're just getting something small done on that, getting little victories is huge."
Direct download: Write_on_with_Evan_Romansky_for_Ratched_mixdown.mp3
Category:screenwriting -- posted at: 11:49am PDT
Fri, 4 June 2021
Alena Smith talks to Write On about the TV series that offers an inside look at the world of famed American poet Emily Dickinson. "Dickinson, at its core, is really just a family drama as well as the coming of age story of a young artist."
Alena discusses the feminist overtones of Dickinson and how it relates to current day struggles. "This is the whole point Dickinson makes: in the 1860s, women were not allowed to vote; they were not allowed to legally own property; they belonged to their fathers; they belonged to their husbands. The idea of women as independent citizens with agency and college educations and careers is much newer than we realize, and we're still figuring it out."
Direct download: Write_on_with_Alena_Smith_for_Dickinson_mixdown.mp3
Category:screenwriting -- posted at: 12:15pm PDT
Thu, 3 June 2021
Write On talks with Little Marvin about his thought-provoking new show and how Lena Waithe boarded the project. "I wrote the pilot… probably three years back. I did the rounds; I got some agents, I did the rounds for a few months, and I got linked up with Miri Yoon, who's an executive producer at Vertigo with Roy Lee, and she asked me… 'Who would you like to sign on as a collaborator?' And I threw out Lena Waithe as kind of a dare almost, just like, 'Let's see what you can do about it…' and like two days later, I was sitting down with Lena."
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Wed, 2 June 2021
Jac Schaeffer talks to Write On about the challenges of crafting the unique and complex story that is the hit Marvel Studios show WandaVision. "I was so dazzled by the idea but I was also like, 'This is not gonna work. This is crazy!' But the challenge of it was so irresistible that I immediately set about trying to figure out well, okay, if this is the thing, how do you do it effectively? How do you do it in a way where you actually do care about these characters?”
Jac discusses her process and how the show’s famous twists and turns came about. "First, I came at it from a way of, like, 'What's the most interesting watch?' And, for me, that's always when you're ahead of the audience for a while and then sort of blindside them and give them a lot of information and then jerk them in another way, so that was part of my design. And then it was about just remaining true to her authentic journey and tethering everything to the love story."
Direct download: Write_On_with_Jac_Shaeffer_for_WandaVision_mixdown.mp3
Category:screenwriting -- posted at: 12:47pm PDT