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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: March, 2017
Mar 27, 2017

SYS Episode #165 

Writer/Director Chris von Hoffman. Chris talks about his new post-apocalyptic thriller, Drifter.

Mar 27, 2017

SYS Episode # 164 

Writer/Director/Producer/Comedian/Actor Joey Medina Joey talks about his first feature film and his new TV pilot.

Mar 16, 2017

Gary Goldstein is an award winning writer for film, TV and the stage. He has written numerous films for Hallmark Channel and its sister network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, including the comedies "The Wish List," "Hitched for the Holidays," "This Magic Moment" and "My Boyfriends' Dogs," and the first two films in the "Flower Shop Mystery" series: "Mum's the Word" and "Snipped in the Bud," starring Brooke Shields.

Gary's feature film "Politics of Love," a romantic comedy set during the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, was released in theaters August 2011. He also wrote the feature romantic comedy, "If You Only Knew," which starred Johnathon Schaech, Alison Eastwood and James LeGros.

In addition, Gary has sold or optioned a number of original screenplays, has a string of episodic TV credits and has sold half-hour comedy pilots to both NBC and Warner Bros Television.

On the L.A. stage, Gary has been represented with the comedies "Just Men," "Parental Discretion" and "Three Grooms and a Bride." His family drama "Curtain Call" premiered in late 2008 at Carmel, CA's Pacific Repertory Theatre. His newest play, the three-sisters dramedy "April, May & June," will have its World Premiere in March 2017 at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills, as part of its 2016-17 subscription season.

Gary is also a freelance film reviewer and feature writer for the Los Angeles Times. 

Mar 12, 2017

"Table 19" is an uneasy mix of indie comedy and maudlin narrative.

The new comedy "Table 19" comes with a sterling cast of comedic actors (Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson and Lisa Kudrow among them), an indie pedigree (the story is from the Duplass brothers), and an institution like weddings ripe for the takedown. So why isn't writer/director Jeff Blitz's film funnier? For starters, it wants to eat its wedding cake and have it too. The movie tries hard to make the audience laugh, but it also wants us to shed a lot of maudlin tears for their characters' backstories. In fact, the story barely seems interested in the wedding they've all RSVP'd for, and spends way too much time, literally and figuratively, wandering in the nearby woods. The potential was there with all this talent, but this party stops being fun well before its final dance.

Mar 10, 2017

"Logan" cuts to the bone as Hugh Jackman ends his iconic role.

Hugh Jackman has appeared as Wolverine onscreen nine times, but never to such a dramatic effect as in this one, his swan song. "Logan" is a much darker, sadder and meaner X-Men movie than any done before. In fact, the story here is more reminiscent of moody westerns like "Shane" and "Unforgiven."

It's hard to watch Logan in decline, and watching Professor Charles Xavier (a very moving Patrick Stewart) battle dementia is no picnic either. But watching the denouement of these two iconic characters pushes superhero movies into bold, new ground, even if the corresponding story is filled with too many narrative retreads such as mutant children in peril and nefarious corporations for Wolverine to battle. Still, all in all "Logan" is a fitting finale that cuts deep with its affecting emotion and vivid characterizations.

Mar 8, 2017

John Zaozirny, principal at Bellevue Productions, takes time out of his busy schedule to talk with us about selling scripts, scripts that top the Black List and what it means when a script is "set up".

Mar 8, 2017

In our first ever double episode, we talk with Allison Schroeder and Ted Melfi about Hidden Figures and how subverting expectations can lead to complicated, layered characters and compelling storytelling.

Mar 8, 2017

Former Big Break Contest finalist and currently on the 2016 Black List, Joe Greenberg tells us how he gets to the bare bones of his stories.

Mar 8, 2017

To write "Gold", duo Patrick Massett & John Zinman drew from their background in acting to develop practical scenes. They also looked to "Amadeus" for inspiration on "peeling back layers" and "turning over the final card".

Mar 8, 2017

Writer, actor, director Taika Waititi tells us about creating a new comedy scene in New Zealand and how to keep people feeling like they're a part of your story. He also let slip the inspirations for his "What We Do in the Shadows" character Viago: His mother combined with C-3PO.

Mar 6, 2017

SYS Episode 163 

Writer/Producer/Actor Christina Moore

Christina Talks About Her New Film, Running Wild Starring Sharon Stone

Mar 6, 2017

SYS Episode 162

Writer/Director/Producer Erin R. Dooley

Erin Talks About Producing Short Films and Her Recent Documentary

Mar 6, 2017

SYS Episode 161

Screenwriter Jack Sekowski

Jack Talks About His Recent Writing Assignment For The Hallmark Channel

Mar 4, 2017

"Get Out" is a horror movie that couldn't be more timely or terrific.

Sometimes movies are so of the moment, they seem prescient. Such is the case with "Get Out", a new horror film from writer/director Jordan Peele of "Key & Peele" fame. It's a story about racism, rights, and caste systems in theaters at a time when such issues are at the top of our politic discourse. But as timely as Peele's themes are, it's his film's clever choices that counter the worst clichés of the genre that make this so right, right now.

Peele turns one egregious horror cliché after another on its ear. He doesn't rush his scares, his characters are three-dimensional, and the sense of slow-building dread is more palpable than any big set pieces you'd find in most modern frighteners. It's shrewd entertainment, imbued with empathy, intelligence and plenty of dark comedy. It's only March, but 2017 already has one of the year's best films in "Get Out."

Mar 3, 2017

In this podcast interview, Max Timm jumps on the line with Noah Griffith and Daniel Stewart to discuss organizing your approach to the writing process, the Inside the Writers Room Workshop, which everyone needs to check out (one of the more creative and progressive TV writing workshops in town - www.insidetheroomworkshops.com) and in general, all things inspirational for up and coming writers.

Here's a little more about the guests:

Both natives of Minnesota, Noah, a former composer, and Daniel, a former mathematician, met at film school at Columbia College Chicago. Once in Los Angeles, they partnered up to write a feature project and have been writing together ever since.

In 2016, they wrote for Stephen King's "The Mist" for the Weinstein Company and Spike. Additionally, their fantasy epic "Rise Atlantis" was selected to Tracking Board's The Hit List. They have developed projects with Scott Free, Automatik, Skybound, and Atomic Monster. Most recently, they have completed "A Dark Matter", an hour-long pilot which David Goyer is attached to executive produce through his Phantom Four shingle.

Mar 2, 2017

Max Timm of the ISA had the fun opportunity to interview author, screenwriter, and director, Betsy Franco. It's rare to bring on a novelist to the Curious About Screenwriting podcast, but because of Betsy's connection to the industry as a screenwriter and director, it was a perfect fit. And yes, her last name does ring a bell due to her talented sons James, Dave, and Tom. Below is a breakdown of just how talented and prolific Betsy is, but take a listen to her podcast. It was a blast diving in to process and the overall creative approach to bringing a project to life.

Betsy Franco has over eighty published titles to her credit, including her YA novel, Metamorphosis, Junior Year (Candlewick) which was the basis for a sold-out play. Betsy is also the author of Parenting Magazine Book Pick Birdsongs; the Children's Book of the Month Club selection Mathematickles!; and You Hear Me? poems and writings by teenage boys, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal. Her latest novel Naked, a YA crossover, has been optioned by Todd Traina Productions/Red Rover Films.

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