On this episode of Curious About Screenwriting, we switch focus a bit in this interview and bring on Kimberly Chessler Itskowitch. Kim is the VP of Non-Fiction Programming at Lifetime and is responsible for developing and overseeing production of non-fiction projects for the network. To give a brief background of her extensive experience and career Chessler joined Lifetime in 2010 as Senior Director of Reality Programming and has been responsible for overseeing the development and production of the network's hit docusoap Dance Moms, starring Abby Lee Miller. Other projects under her purview include the all-new docuseries The Jacksons: Next Generation, and Atlanta Plastic, which reveals the changing face of plastic surgery by following three of Atlanta's top surgeons and their clients. Prior to Lifetime, Chessler was at Oxygen for ten years, during which she held numerous positions, ranging from Manager of Development to Director of Production.
We as writers and filmmakers are repeatedly reminded that in all of the work that we produce, we need to focus on what's authentic to the story. Kim's insights on how Lifetime has a mantra of "stick to the series promise" rings true in all forms of entertainment, really. While reality TV is an un-scripted process, there is still a creative hook that needs to be adhered to, and without it, your show won't grip your viewers as much as it needs to. Kim and I dive into the behind the scenes of the reality TV world, how a show is created from concept to screen. It's a side of the industry so many of us don't necessarily know or understand, and Kim helps enlighten us on just how a reality series is brought to life.
A very big thank you to Kim for jumping on the line with us in the midst of a holiday week, and of course thank you for being a major factor in the success of this podcast series. Without our listeners, we wouldn't be able to present such fascinating material. Remember to share these interviews with your friends, rate us on iTunes, and to stay tuned to all things ISA by visiting our website, networkISA.org. We're here to help you and your creative pursuits in whatever way possible. Enjoy the interview and thanks for listening.
Our new Page to Screen podcast series continues, and in our second interview, the ISA's Director of Community Outreach and podcast host, Max Timm, joins Jeff York to discuss the critically acclaimed new film from Tom McCarthy, Spotlight. As you may already know, in this series of interviews the ISA will jump on the line with some of our Development Program writers to review newly released films and TV shows with Jeff York. Jeff is a long time development program writer, as well as a film critic. With Page to Screen, we strip away all of the pretentiousness of typical film review sources and formats, and dive into the heart of the show by discussing the writing elements of each project.
Jeff and his guests will of course talk about what they enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about each viewing, but we’re taking a writing-centric approach to the review. In this particular conversation, Max joined Jeff not as a way to self-promote, but to help kick-off this fun review series of podcasts and bring a critical eye to this critical film. Spotlight is a difficult film to watch simply due its content. Not that it wasn’t enjoyable as a film in and of itself – the acting is fantastic, the writing and structure works well – but because of the extreme subtleties and its focus purely on the content and message, the story itself is delivered in a very non-character motivated way and doesn’t grip the viewer on a hero’s journey kind of level. I’m confident that the filmmakers were not trying to approach the story in this way, and because of such a conscious decision, the movie works. All in all, Spotlight is an important movie to watch and should get quite a bit of awards season press and notoriety.
Thanks for listening, everyone! Remember that this is an interactive kind of podcast series, so please feel free to share your own thoughts on each reviewed movie or show and leave your comments on the ISA Facebook page or Twitter account! The ISA loves offering you these free resources, and all we ask in return is to share the podcasts and rate us on iTunes. Now that the holiday season is upon us, we hope that you can get out to a theatre or flip through your home theatre set-up and watch some fine entertainment. As always, thanks for being a valued member of the ISA, and enjoy the discussion.
Our new Page to Screen podcast series is kicked off in James Bond style. In this series of interviews, the ISA will jump on the line with some of our Development Program writers to review newly released films and TV shows with Jeff York. Jeff is a long time development program writer, as well as film critic. With Page to Screen, we strip away all of the pretentiousness of typical film review sources and formats, and dive into the heart of the show by discussing the writing elements of each project.
Jeff and his guests will of course talk about what they enjoyed and didn't enjoy about each viewing, but we're taking a writing-centric approach to the review. In this particular conversation, we bring on Derek Asaff - a rising star within the ISA Development Program having recently optioned a feature comedy project with Original Film, and has a thriller TV series in line with Dark Horse Entertainment. 2016 should be an excellent year for Derek, and we're so excited to track his ongoing success. Here, Derek takes a little time away from working on his projects in order to break down the yes' and no's of the recent Bond film, Spectre. It's a fun conversation, and we will be releasing these every week with a new guest and a new release. Since awards season is right around the corner, be ready to here some great discussions about some excellent (or maybe not so excellent) new releases.
Thanks for listening, everyone! This is an interactive kind of podcast series, so please feel free to share your own thoughts on each movie or show that we review and leave your comments on the ISA Facebook page or Twitter account! The ISA loves offering you these free resources, and all we ask in return is to share the podcasts and rate us on iTunes. The more we can spread the love, the more love we have to receive in return. So listen and enjoy.
When good ideas go bad, it’s usually because either the writer isn’t writing a story that is natural to them, or the writer has veered too far away from the natural blueprint of their concept. In this live podcast with host Max Timm, the ISA welcomes back one of our favorites – script consultant, Danny Manus. In this talk, we get back to the blueprint of your story and hook. A former development exec Danny Manus and his NoBullScript.net consulting brings an Executive’s Perspective to your projects. We discuss keeping your story on track and how to write what you know the right way.
We had a little fun with this interview – Max was broadcasting live on the app, Periscope. If you haven’t checked out Periscope yet, you can follow Max on Twitter @iMaxTimm and find out more. Max will be broadcasting various writing tips as well as live look-ins while he interviews his special guests. If you would like to know and learn more about Danny Manus, please check out his website, NoBullScript.net. He was ranked within Creative Screenwriting magazine’s “Cream of The Crop” where consultants go, and we’re so thankful he joined us on our call today. Thanks for listening guys, and please remember to share these podcasts with whomever you feel will get a lot from them. You can always find Curious About Screenwriting on iTunes if you haven’t already.
Today we welcome writer/producer, Ted Sullivan, to Curious About Screenwriting. Ted has created a successful TV writing and producing career, having worked on Law and Order, Revenge and now the CBS hit show, Supergirl. Are you watching Supergirl? It’s a perfect throwback to the Christopher Reeves Superman, and Ted is excited about how family friendly and hopeful the series is. Ted dives into so much in this interview – from developing three substantial and legendary mentors and discussing what he learned from them, to the specifics about how to pitch your original TV show and what could be included in your series bible.
With every TV producer that we have on our podcast, invariably comes a discussion about working in the TV writing world and how to navigate a writer’s room. TV is where the work is, folks, so if you have any intention to write for TV, these interviews are priceless. This is insider information at its best and coming from the best, so we here at the ISA hope you take advantage of these podcasts as much as possible. We offer these to you for free, and all we ask is that you head over to iTunes and rate us – even better if you give us a review! So thanks for listening, everyone, and if you would like to follow the podcast host on Twitter, you can find him @iMaxTimm, and if you’re not following the ISA there, you should be! We’re @networkISA. Feel free to say hi, and we look forward to hearing about your successes in the future. Thanks again.
In this live recorded podcast, we had consultant Bill Boyle on to talk about his method of using what he calls The Visual Mindscape. His insights into writing within a purely visual medium are empowering and frankly, exciting. It reminds us why we’re doing this screenwriting thing in the first place!
Bill is an award winning screenwriter, a former UCLA Extensions Instructor, and one of the most popular script consultants in the Industry. An interesting and quite impressive tidbit about Bill is that every screenplay he’s written has either been produced or optioned and he believes it’s his Visual and visceral approach to screenwriting that has made that possible. His book “The Visual Mindscape of the Screenplay” has been a best seller and has been used as a text at several Film Schools and Universities and it shows in this incredibly informative interview.
Listen in. Share it with your friends, and as always, please remember to rate us on iTunes. Your ratings help us continue these free podcasts, and offer inspirational and educational interviews with some of the best in the biz. Keep working hard. Keep writing, and as always, thanks for listening.
Producer / Screenwriter Scott Morgan
Producer / Screenwriter Scott Morgan Talks About Writing For The Chinese Film Market
Screenwriter and BlueCat Founder Gordy Hoffman
Gordy Hoffman Talks About Kickstarter And Having A Long Lasting Screenwriting Career
Matt Dy - Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director
Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director, Matt Dy, Talks About The Competition
Episode 93 - Director Michael Polish Of Amnesiac
Director Michael Polish talks about his latest thriller film, Amnesiac, Starring Kate Bosworth and Wes Bentley
Lee Jessup offers practical advice for both professional and emerging screenwriters.
EXCERT FROM THE PODCAST:
As many of you know, this has been one of the most exciting months in the history of the Jacob Krueger Studio. We have recently signed a lease on a new location in New York City with an expected opening date of January 1st. We're going to have three brand new classrooms, eight one-on-one offices for our Protrack mentorship program, and plenty of space for our students to write and to gather.
This is the culmination of a dream that started about ten years ago for me and my staff. And in the process of finding and now building out that space, I've learned a lot of lessons, many of which apply not only to New York City real estate, but also to screenwriting.
So, in this series of podcasts I'm going to be sharing some of the lessons that I've learned and how they relate to screenwriting.
The perfect space & the perfect idea have one thing in common:
Neither Of Them Actually Exist.
Over the past six months I have probably looked at about five hundred spaces all throughout New York City. And I'm not even going to talk here about the spaces that were obviously not a fit for my school, I want to talk about the ones that potentially were.
Because the process of finding a space is a lot like that unenviable hunt for the perfect screenplay idea. Oftentimes during the process of searching, it feels like we're never going to find that right idea or we're never going to find that right space.
In this live Curious About Screenwriting podcast, we offer a teleconference with Jen Gristanti – one of the top writing coaches and consultants in the business right now. Jen is also an instructor with NBC’s Writers on The Verge, and was previously a programs executive under Aaron Spelling. Jen, alongside the Director of Community Outreach with the ISA, Max Timm, offers her insights on the writing process with a focus on how character drives story and the importance of balancing character and plot. Very basically, character drives plot and plot drives character. She uses many examples of current and past shows, but the focus of this interview really is the Q&A portion and answering the callers’ questions. We answer multiple questions that focus on many different topics – from the business of writing in general, to the specific gem at the end about what should and should not be included in a TV series bible.
As always, get your pen and paper handy and take notes. What Jen offers here is invaluable on so many levels, but one of her core missions is to support a writer’s overall growth as a writer – in other words, it’s more than just giving story advice. She gives the kind of emotional and motivational support that all writers need. We hope you get a lot out of this Q&A, and please share these podcasts with anyone who you believe will learn from them. Don’t forget to find the Curious About Screenwriting podcasts on iTunes and to rate us there. We offer these interviews to you for free, and getting your rating on iTunes helps us push forward in our mission to provide top quality content through the International Screenwriters’ Association. Thanks and enjoy.
One of the most well-connected guests we’ve had on yet, Tony Krantz joined us to talk about a number of things – so many of them we could have discussed even further in depth – but after working as an agent with CAA for 15 years, Tony went on to help create Imagine Television. From Imagine he moved on to direct his own films, and now he’s writing and developing major TV projects. A fascinating career, really. From packaging shows at CAA such as Twin Peaks, The West Wing, ER, and then producing the Fox mega-hit, 24, and so many others, Tony’s career is something most industry people dream of. He has been able to work at all levels of the industry and continues to focus on his artistic side through his new TV projects in development.
Probably one of the more enlightening aspects of this interview is Tony’s breakdown of how the TV industry is working right now, and comparing it to the feature and movie world. It’s an extremely exciting time with so many opportunities, and with Tony’s breakdown, we can see why the opportunities are there, especially in television.
Enjoy this interview, everyone, and a huge thank you to Tony for joining us. We wish him all the best on his future projects. And don’t forget, subscribe to Curious About Screenwriting on iTunes! By subscribing, you can be sure that all future episodes will be automatically downloaded for you, and while you’re there, feel free to rate us. Your opinion matters. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy our interview with Tony Krantz.
Danny Rose joined us on another podcast today, and Danny has been producing some of the best episodic television for 20 years. After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he started working on the hit sitcom SPIN CITY. He then went on to produce 182 episodes of the show SCRUBS, which is nothing short of impressive, and then produced another hit over 100 episodes even of the Courtney Cox starring show, Cougar Town.
He’s currently producing the hit CBS drama SCORPION (Mondays at 9pm/8c) and the MTV show TODRICK, which recently premiered at the end of August. Danny is one of the busiest guys in town, as you can see, and the advice he gives to aspiring writers and filmmakers is inspiring to say the very least. From getting bad advice from a psychic, to discussing the future of TV, it was a pleasure to have Danny on and we can’t wait to see what he works on next. In the meantime, we’ll continue to enjoy Scorpion, and heed his advice at every writing corner possible.
Thanks as always for listening, and please subscribe to Curious About Screenwriting on iTunes. By subscribing and rating us, you help in the ongoing production of these fantastic interviews. Keep writing, and happy listening.