Info

Curious About Screenwriting Network

Welcome to the Curious About Screenwriting Network where you'll enjoy listening to fascinating film and writing industry guests who share insights from their careers and how you can take your screenwriting skills to the next level.
RSS Feed
Curious About Screenwriting Network
2021
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: September, 2015
Sep 30, 2015

Discovering Your Own Personal Shadows to Create Great Characters! Meditative Writing master, Jessica Hinds, returns to the Curious About Screenwriting podcast to discuss how discovering your own history of (and current) moral paradigms/hierarchies and shadows can help you discover your characters.

A thorough dive into character creation, this podcast focuses on how to discover and interact with of these personal elements, and how the change in them can provide structure to a film and story.

Sep 26, 2015

Before we even get into the structure of Amy Shumer’s Trainwreck, I want to start by talking about the inception of the movie, and how it came to the screen.

Oftentimes if you’re an emerging screenwriter, it’s easy to imagine that the professionals must totally know what they’re doing, write one draft and it magically comes to fruition.

But the truth of the matter is that Amy Shumer’s process on this screenplay was very similar to the process that a lot of you go through.

Writing a great screenplay does not happen overnight. This screenplay took Amy years and many drafts to write. And interestingly it started off as a completely different movie.

Judd Apatow tells a story about working for about nine months with Amy on a completely different version of the film. And then one day the two of them realized that this wasn’t the story they really wanted to tell.

And Judd Apatow told Amy Schumer, despite all the work they’d put into the draft, that he was really more interested in those personal stories that she was telling when he first heard her jokes. When she was talking about her father and his real experience with M.S. and what that real relationship looked like.

And so, eight or nine months into the process, Amy Schumer completely reconceived the movie, refocused what it was really about, and made it personal.

Sep 26, 2015

Jacob Krueger of the Jacob Krueger Studio and WriteYourScreenplay.com dives back into another live session where he calms us all down with regard to the pitching process. Jacob does a great job simplifying the process, and making it easier to handle emotionally. Pitching can be a nerve-wrecking process, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes. Listen in as he critiques other writers' projects. Enjoy, listen, learn - Jacob is one of the best.

Sep 24, 2015

WriteYourScreenplay.com founder and the creator of the Jacob Krueger Studio in New York (and online) talks with host, Laurie Lamson, during one of the ISA's recent free teleconferences about getting and breaking through that dreaded cycle of writer's block.

Some believe writer's block is an outside force that affects each writer, when really it's something deep down inside of us that we all can control - it is not something that just happens to us. It is something we can harness and take advantage of.

Listen and enjoy, and just keep writing.

Sep 21, 2015

Wendy Calhoun is a Co-Executive Producer/Writer for Fox’s new hit series Empire. Her prime time drama writing and producing credits include FXJustified, ABCRevenge, and Nashville. She is also the Narrative Consultant for Electronic Arts’ BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE video game. Calhoun has written, produced, and/or directed over 40 hours of non-fiction programs for PBS, Animal Planet, VH1, TLC, The Travel Channel, The Discovery Channel, and FBC including Co-Producing the second season of Hells Kitchen. Calhoun received a 2010 Peabody Award and WGA Best New Series Nomination for Justified, which was named as one of the WGAs Best 100 Written Series of all time. She received her second WGA Best New Series Nomination in 2012 for Nashville. Most recently, EMPIRE was awarded 2015's Program of the Year by the Television Critics Association.

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

·      Moving from one show to another

·      Benefits of writing for cable

·      Politics in the room

Sep 21, 2015

Vanessa Taylor served as co-executive producer for HBO's GAME OF THRONES in seasons two and three and is the writer of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, DIVERGENT, starring Shailene Woodley and directed by Neil Burger and GREAT HOPE SPRINGS, starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.


Vanessa’s other credits include: writer on GIDEON'S CROSSING, writer/co-producer on ALIAS and the creator/co-executive producer/writer of JACK & BOBBY.

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

·      Working in the writers’ room

·      Adapting a book into a feature

·      A writer’s job

Sep 21, 2015

Honored by Entertainment Weekly in 2011 as one of the Top 20 People Behind the Scenes, Nikki Toscano is currently a Consulting Producer on NBC’s SHADE OF BLUE. Her first break came when she won a number of contests, Slamdance and Scriptapalooza among them. Using the heat off the contests, she managed to sell an pilot idea to CBS/Paramount based on her life (she adopted a twelve-year-old boy from a children’s home when she was 26), which segued into a staff writer gig on CLOSE TO HOME. From there, she staffed on LAS VEGAS until the Writer’s Strike cut that gig short. Coming off the strike and a maternity leave, she couldn’t get staffed to save her life. But it was a blessing in disguise as she was able to cultivate her real love: development.

Nikki sold a pilot to FOX 21 that Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) attached to and then sold two other pilots that same year to CBS and ABC. On the heels of that development cycle, she was offered another blind script at ABC, but rolled it to staff on the critically acclaimed DETROIT 187. Unfortunately, Detroit never found its audience and got cancelled. She then staffed on REVENGE. Nikki is also developing a pilot for ABC this year. After REVENGE, she staffed on STATE OF AFFAIRS.

Nikki’s foray into the creative process began when she would write poems to her parents in order to get out of being grounded. This catapulted her desire to explore writing in other mediums. Before she was a screenwriter, she was a journalist writing for magazines like Nylon and Black Book. Realizing that her heart wasn’t in it, she went back to school and attended USC, getting her Masters in screenwriting and fiction.

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

·      Inspiration for story ideas

·      How to have a successful pitch

·      Creating longevity as a writer

Sep 19, 2015

A graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Ted Humphrey spent two years as a litigator in a Washington D.C. law firm before migrating to the entertainment industry, where he has worked extensively as a writer and producer in both film and television.

Among his film scripts are sci-fi thriller “DUST” for Warner Brothers and director Jan De Bont; “THE ROOK,” a crime thriller for Alcon Entertainment; “TOP OF THE WORLD,” a drama for Hyde Park Entertainment and Mandeville Pictures; horror

thriller “VIRAL” for MGM; “AZTEC,” an action adventure epic for Montecito Pictures and Dreamworks, and “215,” for HBO Original Films. His script “THE CODE” was made into a 2008 feature film starring Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas.

He began his television career with the critically acclaimed CBS drama “NOW AND AGAIN,” and continued as a writer and producer on shows such as the ABC drama “THE NINE” and CBS dramas “SHARK” and “THE UNIT.” He has also written numerous television pilots, including the ABC drama “PARADISE” and the

FX drama “CROOKED RIVER,” and recently developed a British version of “CROOKED RIVER” for the BBC in conjunction with Scott Free Entertainment.

Ted is currently a Executive Producer and writer of the CBS drama “THE GOOD WIFE,” starring Juliana Margulies, and is developing a new pilot with Paramount/CBS.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

          Staffing

          Lessons along the way

          Pilot writing

Sep 19, 2015

Craig Sweeny graduated from Colgate University in 1996. Craig got his start when he wrote freelance scripts for MDs and PLAYMAKERS. He then went on to write for THE 4400 and MEDIUM. He worked on both shows at the same time. This led to his massive rise through the ranks. He had an overall deal with CBS/Paramount. Next, he worked on ELEMENTARY. Currently, he is the EP and Showrunner for LIMITLESS on CBS.

 

 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

•          Overall deals with studio/network

•          Process of breaking story

•          Learning how to run the room

Sep 19, 2015

Blair Singer was a Producer on “The Mysteries of Laura” at NBC. Other television work includes “Rizzoli & Isles”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Fairly Legal”,“Weeds”, “Monk” and the “Book of Daniel.” As a playwright, Blair’s play “Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas” was at The Geffen Theater. In November 2008, his play “The Most Damaging Wound” had a sold out run at Manhattan Theatre Source and was praised as an artful comic drama. He was also a writer for the web series “lonelygirl15.” Blair is a graduate of Juilliard School of Drama and is a member of the MCC Playwrights Coalition.

 

 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

•          Challenge of writing for TV

•          Being in the writers’ room

•          Mentors

Sep 19, 2015

Rick sold a pilot, Paradise Pictures, to USA. He is the Executive Producer on it. Rick is the Co-Executive Producer on Suits on USA. Before this, Rick was staffed on The Good GuysPast Life and Men of a Certain Age.  Rick was a finalist in Writers on the Verge and he was an assistant and script coordinator in shows including “Firefly,” “Lyon’s Den,” “Summerland,” “Charmed” and “Life.”  Rick started his career as a news editor and a feature reporter.  He graduated from Virginia Tech.

 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

·      Learning from Writers On The Verge

·      Generating ideas for stories

·      Advice to writers

Sep 17, 2015
SYS Episode 087: Bob Schultz Co-Founder Of Script Fest And The Great American Pitch Fest
 
Bob Schultz talks about Script Fest and The Great American Pitch Fest and how to get the most out of these events.
Sep 17, 2015
SYS Episode 086: Claudio Fah Director Of Northmen – A Viking Saga
 
Director Claudio Fah talks about his latest directorial effort, Northmen – A Viking Saga.
Sep 17, 2015
SYS Episode 088: Jalmari Helander Writer/Director Of Big Game (Starring Samuel L. Jackson)
 
Screenwriter and Director Jalmari Helander of the new film Big Game, starring Samuel L. Jackson, talks about how this film came together.
Sep 17, 2015
SYS Episode 085: Keith Miller Writer / Director Of Five Star
 
Screenwriter and director Keith Miller talks about his latest indy film, Five Star.
Sep 17, 2015
SYS Episode 089: Tony Aloupis Writer / Director Of Safelight
 
Screenwriter and director Tony Aloupis talks about his new film Safelight.
Sep 15, 2015

A relative newcomer, director Wes Ball is a perfect example of a filmmaker who stuck to his guns – the love of telling a great story. He knew at an early age that he had an intention to make movies, but like most of us, wasn’t certain as to how he should follow that intention and make it a career. The advice we continue to hear in our Curious About Screenwriting series of interviews is that there isn’t one way to “make it”. There is no direct route. There is no simple stepladder. Wes pushed and pushed but not because he wanted to make money doing what he loved, but because he simply loved filmmaking and storytelling.

After creating an eye-popping 7-minute short called “Ruin” (which you can find online if you simply Google “Ruin” and Wes Ball – it’s worth watching for sure), the short film went viral and caught the eyes of multiple Hollywood execs. How he went from a relative no-name to suddenly having two movies at Fox is a stunner of a story, and proves that if you simply devote your time to doing what you love, you never know what can happen. His first movie – his directorial debut – was The Maze Runner. The Maze Runner went on to a huge box office return, and he was swiftly picked up to direct its sequel, The Scorch Trials. I personally loved The Maze Runner and am really looking forward to checking out the sequel. It hits theatres on September 18. Let’s get folks back into the theatres and enjoy the final days of summer by watching Wes’ latest. We look forward to tracking his future success and of course are thankful that he spent time with us on Curious About.

Sep 3, 2015

George Mastras has been a writer and producer for the Emmy-award winning drama "Breaking Bad" on AMC. He wrote standout episodes "Crazy Handful of Nothin,'" which won the 2009 PEN USA Award for Best Teleplay, and “Grilled,” which was nominated for the 2010 Edgar Allen Poe Award.

 

He has also written for such diverse series as the Sci Fi Channel's supernatural detective series “The Dresden Files," and John Wells/Warner Bros. produced crime drama “The Evidence." George was awarded the ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship in 2005, was nominated for WGA Awards in both 2008 and 2009 for Best Drama in connection with his work on "Breaking Bad," and was selected for the WGA Showrunner Training Program in 2010.

 

George is also a novelist. His debut novel "Fidali's Way" was published by Scribner on January 6, 2009 and has since been released in translation internationally. Inspired by George's travels in the remote Tribal Areas of Pakistan and war-torn Kashmir before and after 9/11, Fidali's Way has been critically acclaimed as a "brilliantly told” and "stirring first novel" with an "odyssey-like story [that] grips" (Publisher's Weekly, and Toronto Sun).

 

Before writing, George worked as a criminal investigator for the public defender’s office, a counselor at a juvenile correctional facility, and a trial lawyer in New York and Los Angeles. After ten years of practicing law, he quit his job, sold his belongings, and spent several years backpacking around the globe, before he returned to the United States to pursue writing professionally. Born in Boston, George is a graduate of Yale, UCLA Law School, and Outward Bound.

 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

•          Experimental shows

•          Realizing his voice in the room

•          Running shows

Sep 3, 2015

Emmy-award winner Jeff Melvoin has worked on a dozen one-hour television series. His most recent job was as Executive Producer of the Lifetime series Army Wives.   Prior writer-producer credits include Alias, Picket Fences, Northern Exposure, Hill Street Blues, and Remington Steele.  Awards include an Emmy, two Golden Globes, a Television Critics Association award, a Peoples’ Choice award, and a Mystery Writers of America award.

 

A graduate of Harvard University, Jeff worked as a Time magazine correspondent before entering the television industry.  A past board member of the Writers Guild of America, in 2004 Jeff co-authored a WGA booklet, Writing for Episodic TV.  In 2005, he proposed the creation of the WGA Show Runner Training Program and has moderated the program since its inception in 2006.  He has taught screenwriting at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and UCLA Extension and was a Visiting Lecturer in Dramatic Arts at Harvard in 2008.  He and his wife, Martha Hartnett Melvoin, live in Los Angeles and have two sons, Nick and Charlie.

 

 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

•          Launching a writing career

•          Writing and the learning curve

•          Writing outlines

Sep 3, 2015

Nancy is an Executive Producer on Shameless on Showtime. Nancy received her first of two Emmy Award nominations for her writing work on the iconic TV show South Park where she penned upwards of twenty scripts during her four seasons there.  She was nominated on her second Emmy as the spunky, dry wooded co-host on Comedy Central’s Win Ben Stein’s Money. Preparing for career and entertainment, Pimental, a Massachusetts native, naturally received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Wooster Polytechnic Institute.

 

Upon graduation, Nancy took the traditional steps towards furthering her engineering career by moving to Los Angeles and performing standup, sketch and improv comedy. Her writing career began when she wrote a spec of South Park and it landed in the hands on one of the show’s creators.  Around the same time, Pimental sold her first screenplay, The Sweetest Thing, starring Cameron Diaz, to Columbia Studios and wrote and produced her first TV pilot for Fox Television starring Jenny McCarthy. Nancy continues to work in film and TV for Sony, Disney, NBC, Fox, and Showtime.  Having been on all sides of the camera, Nancy is now taking her experiences and skills from the past eleven years as a writer, performer and producer and is applying them to directing.  Nancy can work with any actor to get the performance she needs just as easily she can talk to her crew and enlist their technical support to execute her vision. Nancy is a firm believer in collaboration and thinks that every person on set is a valuable asset to the film making process.

 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

•          Success

•          The journey up

•          Dealing with male colleagues

Sep 3, 2015

A native Los Angelean, Prentice grew up spending a lot of time in front of the television. Even though he was a huge UCLA Bruin fan, Prentice attended USC’s School of Cinema/Television. He majored in Filmic Writing and upon graduation he was not given a three picture deal.

Met with the sober reality that he had to now become a “professional writer”, Prentice wrote/directed an independent feature film, “You Say Tomato.” While he continued to write numerous spec TV scripts at night, Prentice worked several day jobs. He worked asa substitute teacher and tutor at a foster home for two years. In 2004, Prentice got his first break as a Writer’s Guild Trainee on the UPN show “Girlfriends.” He continued to work his way up to Executive Story Editor over the show’s final four seasons.

In 2008, Prentice was hired on Fox’s “Do Not Disturb” starring Jerry O’Connell, and in 2009 was a producer on the hit ABC show “Scrubs.” In 2010, Prentice started working on the critically acclaimed sit-com “Happy Endings”.

Prentice has been nominated for two NAACP Image Awards for “Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series” for ABC sitcom “Happy Endings.”

Prentice has not only staffed consistently since 2004, but he’s also been developing. In 2011 Prentice sold his pilot, “How To Con Your Kid” to ABC and Fox - eventually

settling on ABC. 

In between a stint on his three seasons of “Happy Endings”, Prentice was a producer on Fox’s 2011 TV show, “Breaking In” starring Christian Slater. During the summer of 2012, Prentice Created and was an Executive Producer on his first series, the NAACP award winning series, “The Hustle”. Billed as the first scripted hip-hop dramedy, “The Hustle” is the Fuse network’s landmark show featuring such guest stars as Jadakiss, Freddie Gibbs, and DJ Skee. 

Prentice is currently a Consulting Producer on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and recently won a Golden Globe for best comedy in 2014.

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

·      Comedy writing/Branding of humor

·      Diversity

·      Staffing

 

Sep 2, 2015

Peter Lenkov is a native of Montreal, Canada. He has been a writing producer of movies and television shows for nearly 20 years.

He is currently rebooting the HAWAII FIVE-O franchise with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. The pilot episode has received numerous positive reviews and will debut in the fall of 2010 on CBS.

Prior to HAWAII FIVE-O Peter had been an executive producer on “CSI: NY.” There he won a Media Access Award and the acclaimed actor, Ed Asner, was nominated for an Emmy for his performance in an episode Peter had written.

He has also worked on other top television shows such as “24,” “The District,” and “Le Femme Nikita.” Recently he has done a mini-series starring Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer called “XIII,” which is based off of the popular graphic novel and video game of the same name.

Some notable films that Peter has written and produced are “Demolition Man” starring Sylvester Stallion and Sandra Bullock, along with a number of films starring Pauly Shore that include “Son in Law” and “Jury Duty.” 

He has also written several comic books for Dark Horse publishing. “R.I.P.D.” which is in development to become a feature film, and Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained. Fort was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in 2002.  

Peter lives outside of Los Angeles on a ranch with his wife, four children, and pets. 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

          Balancing work and personal life

          Getting a break when you’re young

          Pitching

 

Sep 2, 2015

Glen Mazzara, Executive Producer and writer of the new series, Damien, and former Showrunner for AMC’s The Walking Dead, knew he wanted to be a writer when he was six years old.  Mazzara’s body of work includes Golden Globe®-winning The Shield, FX's groundbreaking police drama; Crash, the first scripted drama on the pay-cable network STARZ; TNT’s medical drama Hawthorne; as well as NBC’s Life and CBS’ Nash Bridges.

 

While earning a B.A. and M.A. in American & British literature at New York University, Mazzara worked at NYU Medical Center as Logistics Manager for the Emergency Department, responsible for managing staff and juggling a $1 million renovation project that he completed for only $450,000. The job proved to be the perfect training ground for a career in television production.

 

In 1998, Manager Ted Schachter encouraged Mazzara to move to Hollywood and helped him land his first writing job as a staff writer for the Emmy-nominated Nash Bridges.

 

In 2010, Mazzara was brought on as a freelance writer for AMC’s The Walking Dead, a zombie drama based on the comic books of Robert Kirkman. Series Creator Frank Darabont soon recognized his writing skills and ability to manage staff—a rare combination of talents—and brought Mazzara on-board as his #2. He was nominated for a Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for his work on season one of The Walking Dead. 

 

Upon Darabont’s departure, Mazzara was elevated to Showrunner for season two. Under Mazzara’s direction, and alongside an amazing cast and crew including Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd (Terminator), the series drew critical and popular acclaim, with The Walking Dead’s season two finale attracting more than 10.9 million viewers to become biggest basic cable telecast ever amongst total viewers.

 

Born in Queens, New York, Mazzara currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three sons.

 

 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

•          Preparing to write

•          Being fired

•          Advice to writers

 

 

Sep 2, 2015

Janet Tamaro was a television correspondent, for among others, ABC News, and a best-selling author of such books as So That’s What They’re For! before becoming a screenwriter in 2000.  Her first script was episode thirteen on the first season of Law & Order: SVU. 

 

Janet was an Executive Producer, Creator and Showrunner on Rizzoli & Isles. She was nominated for an Emmy for Sleeper Cell, shares a Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Series for Lost and wrote for two seasons on the hit series Bones. She also produced and wrote for The Black Sash, The Court, Line of Fire and was a consulting producer on Tell Me You Love Me.

 

Previously, Tamaro covered national news for ABC NewsOne, among other news outlets and was based in New York and Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.  She reported and produced investigative stories for long-form newsmagazine shows, including Inside Edition and America’s Most Wanted.  She won several journalism awards for her work.

 

Tamaro has a bachelor’s degree from Berkeley and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She is married to motojournalist and Cycle World Radio host Steve Natt.  They have two daughters.

 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

•          Breaking stories

•          Being a female writer and rising through the ranks

•          Learning on the job

 

 

Sep 2, 2015

David Hudgins is originally from Dallas, Texas.  A graduate of Duke University, he began his career in the United States Senate, as a Staff Assistant to Sen. Albert Gore, Jr.  He then obtained his law degree from S.M.U., and spent eight years working as a trial and appellate lawyer in Texas with a large downtown Dallas law firm.

In 2001, Mr. Hudgins quit the practice of law to pursue screenwriting full time, after the sale of his feature screenplay Scottsboro to LeVar Burton’s Eagle Nation Films.

In 2003, Mr. Hudgins took a job as a Staff Writer on the WB television show Everwood.  He spent three seasons writing for the production, rising to the rank of Co-Producer.  He then moved to the NBC drama Friday Night Lights, where he served for three seasons as a writer and Co-Executive Producer.

 

In 2009, Mr. Hudgins created and ran Past Life for Warner Brothers Televisiona one-hour drama that aired on the Fox Broadcasting Network.  Mr. Hudgins also returned to Friday Night Lights, where he served as Executive Producer on the show’s fifth and final season.  Currently, he is under an overall deal at NBC Studios, where he serves as a writer and Co-Executive Producer on the hour drama Parenthood, and he is also developing multiple projects for both film and television.

 

In its freshman season, Friday Night Lights was the recipient of a Peabody Award for Excellence in Television Broadcasting.  For his work on the show, Mr. Hudgins has received four nominations for a Writers’ Guild Award. Mr. Hudgins is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events, and he is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Humanitas Foundation.

 

Mr. Hudgins is currently the Creator and Executive Producer for Game of Silence on NBC.

 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

•          Fear

•          Writing skills

 

•          Collaboration

1 2 Next »