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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: January, 2017
Jan 31, 2017

SYS episode 160

Screenwriter And Director Alexander Babaev Talks About His New Horror Thriller, Bornless Ones.

Jan 31, 2017

SYS episode 159

Director Michael Lennox Talks About His New Thriller, A Patch of Fog

Jan 25, 2017

SYS episode 158

Claire In Motion Writers / Directors Lisa Robinson And Annie J. Howell.

Jan 25, 2017

The fourth season of "Sherlock" strays too far from its source material.

Since its 2010 debut, Mark Gattis and Steven Moffat's modern interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective stories about Sherlock Holmes have become a worldwide phenomenon. "Sherlock" has also made superstars of stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Holmes) and Martin Freeman (Dr. John Watson). But in its fourth season, the show is starting to feel less about the detective's casebook and more about their family trees.

If character is story, then Holmes should be illuminated by his deductive work helping solve crimes. The stories in Conan Doyle's canon are procedurals, after all. But over the last two seasons, "Sherlock" has strayed from whodunit's and become far more obsessed with backstory. Holmes family history and Watson's marriage are interesting, but they shouldn't be the main mysteries. It seems almost elementary, but as the show continues it shouldn't stray so far from its classic source material.

Jan 24, 2017

SYS Episode 157

Screenwriters Barry Wernick & James R. Hallam Talk About Their New Teen Thriller Comedy Bad Kids Of Crestview Academy.

Jan 24, 2017

SYS Episode 156

Paul Tanter Talks About His New Contained Action Flick, Kill Ratio.

Jan 24, 2017

"Passengers" makes the trip with two big stars but too little sci-fi.

The science fiction/romance "Passengers" booked a lot of talent for its journey. This tale about the 120-year trek to a new planet has megastars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt along for the ride, not to mention Oscar-nominated director Morten Tyldum at the helm. Unfortunately, screenwriter Jon Spaights should've packed more complexities into his script. The film has its charms of course - breezy chemistry between its stars, A+ production values, and a redemptive ending that will leave audiences smiling. But the voyage needed more depth in its exploration of space travel and mankind's frailties. One wishes the script had more Serling, Bradbury or Roddenberry in it, instead of all the clich├ęd romantic comedy tropes. "Passengers" sets out for a pie in the sky adventure, but it's more like a cute date movie. It takes flight, but it never quite soars.

Jan 23, 2017

SYS Ep 155

John Fallon talks about his latest film, The Shelter.

Jan 20, 2017

"The Bye Bye Man" misses its opportunity to create a truly frightening monster.

What makes a great movie monster? "The Bye Bye Man" thinks it's a villain that combines the ghoulish look of Lord Voldemort, the haunting presence of "Candy Man", and the ability to create psychological terror a la Freddy Krueger. Unfortunately, those pieces don't make for much of a whole here. Thus, this first-out-of-the gate horror movie for 2017 is mostly derivative and a great disappointment.

Sure, this haunted house story conjures a few good scares, jolting its three innocent college student tenants, but then the script takes too many turns for the worse. Smart characters suddenly act stupid, internal logic flies out the window, and worst of all, the "Bye Bye Man" isn't given a backstory. We don't know who he is or why he's there doing what he's doing. He may be a demon, but he's a ghost of an idea really, one not nearly developed enough to cause chills or thrills.

Jan 17, 2017

"When your judgement of your writing is based on fear, it has very little connection to reality. You may dismiss really brilliant writing as terrible, simple because you're afraid that other people aren't going to like it. Or you may fall in love with scenes that are not working simply because they feel safe to you..."

Jan 17, 2017

Whenever you're talking about your writing or anything you want to be doing more of - eating healthy or working out at the gym - watch for when you're about yo say, "I have to...", or "I need to...", and reframe the question for yourself to be actually more truthful to reality, which is to say, "I choose to..."

Don't wake up and say, "I have to write." Wake up and say, "I choose to write."

Jan 10, 2017

SYS Episode 154

Saw II Writer & Director Darren Lynn Bousman talks about his new film Abattoir.

Jan 8, 2017

Page 2 Screen host Jeff York reviews the best scripts of 2016.

Examining the year's standout scripts, Jeff flies solo for a truncated talk about those that impressed him the most in their translation from page to screen. The screenwriters responsible took big risks here, shaking up conventional storytelling tropes, as well as the genres they wrote in. Our Page 2 Screen host gets in the weeds with very specific details about what made each of his choices so exceptional. Included on the list are MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, LA LA LAND, INDIGNATION and even DEADPOOL. So, if you're a screenwriter, or merely a movie fan, you'll want to listen to Jeff's take on how these acclaimed writers advanced their art.

Jan 7, 2017

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 as Gersh, a writer on the upcoming Netflix show, Ozark, manager Jamie Wager and then some. Join us in Los Angeles in mid-January 2017 and learn from the best! See more here.

An award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Corey Mandell has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, John Travolta, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures. Through his vast experience working as a writer in the business, Corey has amassed an exceptionally successful consulting service and business over the past ten years. In this interview with Corey, we discuss how the TV industry is changing, but more so on a creative and expectation level where writing is concerned. It's illuminating in that Corey stresses that the industry isn't wanting to same old same old anymore. They're tired of the basic structure and beats, and audiences want new, they want different, they want unique.

We dive in to how to approach creating the most unique story, but we really just scratch the surface. In order to get more from Corey (and Max Timm with the ISA), you can check out Corey's website at coreymandell.net, or attend the ISA's TV Story Weekend event on Jan 14 and 15. Corey will be leading a seminar and discussion on pitching to the TV industry and getting the most out of your TV projects. It's a can't-miss event. 

Jan 7, 2017

SYS Episode 153

Dito Montiel Talks About His Early Career And His Recent Film, Man Down with Starring Shia LaBeouf.

Jan 7, 2017

SYS Episode 152:

David Bruckner Talks About Launching His Career With Short Films And His Latest Film SiREN.

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