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Write On: A Screenwriting Podcast
45 minutes | 2 days ago
Write On with Screenwriting Career Coach Carole Kirschner
Entertainment career coach, author, speaker, CBS Writing and WGA Showrunner Training Program director Carole Kirschner talks to Write On about mentorships, fellowships and training opportunities for writers and showrunners. “You cannot teach somebody how to be a showrunner in six Saturdays, but what you can do is… give an idea of what to expect." Carole breaks down the role of the showrunner and what it takes to be in charge of a TV show. “The job [of a showrunner] is all-consuming, and throughout, people say, 'This is an impossible job, this is a huge job, this is a terrible job, this is a big job,' and so I always have to say, 'Well, why would anybody do it then?' And then you hear the great parts about how wonderful it is to have a group of people create something together, how satisfying it is, how wonderful it is to be the person who gets to say, 'Yeah, we're gonna do it this way.'" Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
48 minutes | 5 days ago
Write On with The Black List’s Kate Hagen
Since 2005, each December The Black List releases its annual list, a survey of the most liked unproduced screenplays of that year. The Black List also works to foster a large community of writers through screenwriting labs, online resources, and in-person events. Write On’s host Phil Galasso talks with The Black List’s Director of Community Kate Hagen about how The Black List supports writers and what she looks for in a script. “I think for me, two of the biggest things comes down to personal voice and tone. If you have a strong personal voice, I literally do not care what a script is about; but if you are giving me personality, if you are giving me a personal story world I have not seen before… I think that goes a really long way.” Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
51 minutes | 9 days ago
Write On with 'Selena' Co-Showrunner Moisés Zamora
Moisés Zamora, creator of Netflix's Selena: The Series about the legendary singer, talks to guest host Lee Jessup about why it was important for this show to have a writers room primarily made up of Mexican American voices. "All of the writers I hired [for Selena] were Latinx because it was important for the storytelling… and within that Latinx monolith, there's a lot of diversity, and so I was really proud to be able to cultivate those sort of relationships with those writers and getting to know them and realizing there's so many more stories to tell, from the Latin American, Indigenous, Afro-Latinx point of view." Moisés takes us through his varied writing career, starting with writing novels in Spanish, working in advertising and marketing, to landing his first TV job on American Crime. "I don't think writing is, in any form, wasted. So if a pilot doesn't give you the results that you wanted, it doesn't matter! It just starts developing a layer of talent on top of another layer of talent, and without that pilot, maybe it doesn't lead to another project, so keep your mind open to always growing."
40 minutes | 2 months ago
Write On with the WGA East’s New York Screenwriters Workshop
The New York Screenwriters Workshop sponsored by Final Draft is a weekly intensive for early-career, New York City-based screenwriters who are under-represented in the film industry. Write On host Phil Galasso talks with one of the workshop’s fellows, Beanie Barnes, along with fellowship mentors Jim Hart and Anne Carey about the program. They are also joined by Brit Fryer from the WGA East. Beanie talks about what the program has done for her writing and career, and how she approaches her own work. “I was talking to someone about screenwriters being anthropologists. I tell my kids that as well; we’re kind of anthropologists and sociologists and psychiatrists, and we are really holding mirrors up, not just for the word but also for ourselves.” For more information on the workshop visit www.wgaeast.org/theworkshop/ Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
41 minutes | 2 months ago
Write On with 'Coming 2 America' Director Craig Brewer
Craig Brewer, Writer-Director of Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan and TV’s Empire, talks to guest host Sade’ Sellers about directing the sequel to Eddie Murphy’s hit comedy Coming to America. “I felt that there was a noble theme inside the sequel… and I was like we gotta stay strong with that because comedy - it’s hard to sustain. But if you have a beating heart for a theme that is relevant… I think the movie became more relevant as it came to being completed.” Craig also discusses TV Writers Rooms, the difficulties of doing comedy well, and the importance of the entertainment industry, especially in times like these. “Entertainment just might be an essential industry… I don’t know if I could have gotten through the pandemic without The Mandalorian, without WandaVision or Borat, or even Gordon Ramsay’s chef show on Amazon.” Coming 2 America is now available on Amazon Prime. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
32 minutes | 2 months ago
Write On with 'Soul' Co-Writer Mike Jones
Mike Jones speaks to Write On host Phil Galasso about the unique process of writing for Pixar, and how he, Pete Doctor and Kemp Powers collaborated on Soul. “It was a great, kind of fantastic partnership because it's hard to force partnerships, and Kemp [Powers] was so open and willing and also so honest and so forthright with what he believed the script should be or what he believed, in particular, the character of Joe needed to be. That was just great to have his… confident voice alongside us.” Mike discusses his journey to becoming a screenwriter and how it wasn’t straightforward. “I did not grow up wanting to be a storyteller. I grew up loving story; I grew up with a dad who loved movies… and I grew up with a love of that kind of visual storytelling. But I grew up in south Texas, and that wasn't an option - being a screenwriter or working in the movies. It wasn't an option; it was like another world to me.” Soul is available to stream on Disney+. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
19 minutes | 2 months ago
Write On with 'Minari' Writer-Director Lee Isaac Chung
Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, Minari is the story of a Korean family who start a farm in Arkansas in the 1980s. For Writer-Director Lee Isaac Chung, the film is deeply personal. “It’s really a family story… a journey that this family takes to understand each other a little better,” Lee tells Write On host Phil Galasso. “The story originated with an exercise that I was doing writing down as many memories as I could, from the age of about 5 years old up to 8 years old.” Lee discusses a writing method he uses that he learned from Steven Soderbergh, how he decided in his last year of college as a science major that he really wanted to be a filmmaker, and how he had no idea what would happen with the script for Minari after he wrote it. “I thought, maybe I’m just going to write this because it means so much to me, and I don’t know if it’ll get made, but at least maybe my daughter will read it one day.” Minari is now available on VOD and in theaters where it is safe. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
19 minutes | 2 months ago
Write On with 'Supernova' Writer-Director Harry Macqueen
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. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Write On with 'Land' Co-Writer Jesse Chatham
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. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
27 minutes | 3 months ago
Write On with 'Willy's Wonderland' Screenwriter G.O. Parsons
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." Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Write On with 'Falling' Writer-Director Viggo Mortensen
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.” Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
27 minutes | 3 months ago
Write On with 'Judas and the Black Messiah' Co-Writer Will Berson
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. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
27 minutes | 3 months ago
Write On with Showrunner and #StartWith8Hollywood Mentor Jeffrey Lieber
Showrunner, writer, and mentor Jeffrey Lieber and our host Phil Galasso discuss what Jeffrey looks for when putting together a writer's room, his transition from acting on the stage to writing for the screen, his work helping new writers gain meaningful access with #StartWith8Hollywood, and more! Jeffrey Lieber is the co-creator of Lost and has worked on shows such as NCIS: New Orleans, The Originals, and most recently, the reboot of Charmed. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
29 minutes | 4 months ago
Write On with 'Promising Young Woman' Writer-Director Emerald Fennell
Promising Young Woman writer-director Emerald Fennell and our host Phil Galasso discuss the tonal tightrope of the film, its use of music, her unconventional writing process, and more. Carey Mulligan stars in this darkly comedic thriller as Cassie, a young woman traumatized by an event in her past, seeking revenge on the "nice guys" that cross her path. CONTENT WARNING: This interview contains discussions of sexual assault that listeners may find upsetting. Listener discretion is advised. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
35 minutes | 4 months ago
Write On with Manager-Producer Peter Katz
Literary Manager and producer Peter Katz discusses his company Story Driven, Being a Judge in Final Draft's Big Break Contest, what writers can do to stay focused in 2021, and more. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
35 minutes | 4 months ago
Write On with 'One Night in Miami' Screenwriter Kemp Powers
One Night in Miami screenwriter Kemp Powers discusses adapting his own play into a film, how his previous work as a journalist informs his screenwriting, the real history behind the film's events, and more. Inspired by real events, the movie is a fictional account chronicling a memorable night when Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cook, and Jim Brown gather in a Miami hotel room discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 1960s. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
40 minutes | 4 months ago
Write On with 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson discusses with guest host Sade' Sellers his relationship with August Wilson, the characters of Levee and Ma, and much more. Starring Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, the film, adapted from the August Wilson play, follows one tension-filled day when trail-blazing blues singer Ma Rainey and her band gather at a recording studio in Chicago in 1927. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
27 minutes | 5 months ago
Write On with 'The Beach House' Writer-Director Jeffrey A. Brown
The Beach House writer-director Jeffrey A. Brown discusses working within the horror genre, his writing process on the film, how his experience as a location scout helped him, and much more. The Beach House follows two troubled college sweethearts on a romantic getaway that turns into a struggle for survival when unexpected guests. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
26 minutes | 5 months ago
Write On with 'Archenemy' Writer-Director Adam Egypt Mortimer
Archenemy co-writer and director Adam Egypt Mortimer discusses his approach to working in different genres, the tricky balance of withholding and disclosing information to the audience, and more. In the movie, a teen meets a mysterious man played by Joe Manganiello who claims he lost his superpowers after arriving from another dimension. Together they take to the streets to wipe out a crime boss and his local drug syndicate. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
38 minutes | 5 months ago
Write On with 'Wander Darkly' Writer-Director Tara Miele
Wander Darkly writer-director Tara Miele and our favorite guest host Sade' Sellers discuss working with actors like Sienna Miller and Diego Luna, how a car crash she and her husband got into actually influenced the film and more. In the film, a traumatic accident leads a couple to a surreal state of being that takes them on a disorienting journey through the duality of their shared moments. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes!
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