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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.
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Now displaying: December, 2016
Dec 29, 2016

We are presenting this podcast as an introduction to our upcoming TV Story Weekend on January 14 and 15 in Los Angeles. If you don't yet know about Story Weekend, you absolutely must check it out - a two-day event with Lee Jessup, Jen Grisanti and Corey Mandel, giving specific insight and an intensive on all aspects of the TV writing process, business, and how to write a pilot that sells. There will also be two panels presented with representatives from the industry such Gersh, a writer on the upcoming Netflix show, Ozark, a TV-specific manager and then some. Join us in Los Angeles in mid-January 2017 and learn from the best! See more here.

Jen Grisanti is a long-standing friend of the ISA, having jumped on the line with our Max Timm multiple times in recent past. We love having Jen on not only for her wealth of knowledge and expertise where TV writing is concerned, but because of her never-ending dedication to inspiring writers and motivating us all to keep pushing forward. While Jen and Max talk a lot about the TV pilot season and what it means for writers, there is a real emphasis on why so many shows right now are working so well.

There isn't a secret to creating a great TV series and the industry isn't witholding such a secret from us, the writer. You have the ability to write great television, but it's absolutely essential (and might we say, mandatory) to enlist the help and support from someone like Jen Grisanti or her consulting and coaching peers. The reason the ISA hosts our podcasts is because you, the writer, need support through every step of the creation process and throughout your career no matter the level of success you achieve.

With a new year upon us, what better time than now to not only attend the ISA's TV Story Weekend event in January, but to also call upon Jen Grisanti to work with you one on one? The time is now, folks, so hop to it. 

Dec 29, 2016

"La La Land" is a musical that soars while staying grounded in reality.

With catchy songs and dance numbers that pop off the screen, it would be easy to characterize Damien Chazelle's "La La Land" as a musical comedy, but that doesn't give this film nearly enough credit. It's also a serious character study of performing artists, as well as a tough-minded take on show business realities. Chazelle's layered script tells the story of struggling actress Mia (Emma Stone) and bullheaded jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) pursuing their dreams in LA and each other. Their dialogue crackles honestly about Tinsel Town demands, and even when these two break into song, their words speak volumes about the "fools who dream." Both sweetly nostalgic and utterly modern, "La La Land" is the must-see film this holiday season.

Dec 21, 2016

We are presenting this podcast as an introduction to our upcoming TV Story Weekend on January 14 and 15 in Los Angeles. If you don't yet know about Story Weekend, you absolutely must check it out - a two-day event with Lee Jessup, Jen Grisanti and Corey Mandel, giving specific insight and an intensive on all aspects of the TV writing process, business, and how to write a pilot that sells. There will also be two panels presented with representatives from the industry such Gersh, a writer on the upcoming Netflix show, Ozark, a TV-specific manager and then some. Join us in Los Angeles in mid-January 2017 and learn from the best! See more here.

In preparation for the year ahead, Max Timm jumped on the line for a quick interview and podcast with Lee Jessup. Lee is a longstanding friend of the ISA and we love that she is referenced as a Screenwriting Guidance Counselor. We all need someone like that in our lives, and Lee is the perfect example of a career coach and creative consultant. What she provides writers is invaluable, and we always love having her on for a podcast interview.

She shares with us specifics about what we can expect from the industry in the coming year, and how writers should approach pilot season (and giving us details on how pilot season has changed in recent years).

 

Dec 20, 2016

"Rogue One" is a Star Wars story that is good, just not a great one.

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is being promoted as the first stand-alone film in the anthology series. Partly true, but this is still essentially a prequel to the chapter "A New Hope." It is self-contained, and fills in the blanks of the storytelling between chapters 3 and 4 in the anthology, but it feels less like a "Star Wars" film in both good ways and bad. It wins points for its diversity, and its adult edge, particularly in its third act battle sequences. Unfortunately, the varied ethnicity of the characters isn't enough to make up for their lack of dimension. And no new character, other than the robot K-2SO, gives Luke, Han or C-3PO a run for their money. Quite simply, this film illustrates that what the franchise truly needs is to tell stories not tethered to the original six. New directions will give every filmgoer out there a new hope.

Dec 13, 2016

"Jackie" is a daring and raw biopic that is one of the year's best films.

Biopics are tricky to write. Tell a cradle-to-grave story, and you've bitten off more than can be chewed in a two-hour film. Fail to fill in the blanks of your famous subject and the audience will see them as merely two-dimensional. Neither is a problem in the vivid new film "Jackie." It's a daring and raw portrait of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy during the weeks following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Written by Noah Oppenheim as a non-linear mood piece, directed with flair by Pablo Larrain, and acted with aching vulnerability by a never-better Natalie Portman, Jackie's grieving process here is presented as both intensely haunting and deeply moving. This character study does more than illuminate its subject, it puts us in her shoes at every moment. Jackie's fight to tell her story couldn't be more timely for our nation during this difficult political transition. And it's a must-see film for anyone interested in the advancement of cinematic storytelling.

Dec 8, 2016

2016 is almost over! Can you believe it? We hear it all the time, "wow how time flies", but it's actually pretty amazing how fast the days, months and years tend to zoom by us. And even though a year in review podcast episode is relatively trite and cliché, I think it's absolutely necessary to take a moment and look back on everything we experienced over the past year. We don't do that enough throughout the year, when we're in the middle of it, experiencing it all and whizzing through life and always looking forward. I personally get so caught up in the planning phases of my life, that I so easily forget everything I've accomplished and, much less, what I'm currently accomplishing and experiencing. Why does it sometimes feel easier to look ahead or gaze longingly at the past? What's wrong with the current moment that keeps us looking elsewhere? And maybe that's a negative way of looking at it. There isn't anything terribly wrong with the current moment, but we do tend to spend more time thinking about the past and future as opposed to just being in the present. We've heard it a thousand times - it's called the present because it is a gift. But, I don't want to start out this episode with too many clichés or platitudes, even though I do tend to love them. So a year in review. First, if you're listening to this in 2017, let us know how things are in the future. Hopefully we have flying cars and the ability to teleport by the time you're listening to this. But yes, I want to take a look back on some of the things I've discussed over the past 12 months. Most of my podcast episodes are so short and quick, that it makes it a bit difficult to really dive in and get to the details of every little piece of information I share and teach. So hopefully this episode helps fit things into place for you regular listeners, and for anyone who is tuning in for the first time, maybe this entices you to go back and listen to previous episodes.

Dec 5, 2016

SYS Episode #151

Funny man, and screenwriter (Saving Silverman and Bride Wars) Greg DePaul.

Dec 5, 2016
SYS Episode #150
 
Television Writer, Craig Van Sickle
Dec 5, 2016

SYS Episode #149

Legendary filmmaker Paul Schrader

Dec 5, 2016

SYS Episode #148

Screenwriter and Hart Chart creator James V. Hart.

Dec 4, 2016

An excerpt from Jacob Krueger's podcast: 

"...This is a series I've been wanting to talk about for a very long time. And we're going to do so from a different perspective than we usually do when we talk about TV series.

Oftentimes on this podcast, when we've spoken about series we've talked about big picture stuff. We've talked about theme and engine and structure. But today, what we're going to do is zoom in really close on one particular episode.

We're going to look at Season 3 Episode 5, and we're going to break it down to its fundamental craft elements: the way that the scenes are actually constructed..."

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