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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: November, 2017
Nov 29, 2017

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” challenges narrative norms.

Martin McDonagh may be a filmmaker from England, but he certainly understands America. His take on small town life in the USA is insightful and uncanny. In “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” it feels like we’ve been plopped down right in the middle of the town locals and their problems. McDonagh expertly develops character that drives story, but the narrative doesn’t always go where you’d expect it. He twists and turns his plot, as well as the behavior of his players. His darkly comic drama keeps us guessing throughout and makes for one of the more absorbing films of 2017. All that, and he lures award-worthy performances out of Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson to boot.

Nov 27, 2017

Blair Witch Project: Directing an Indie Film Phenomenon w/ Eduardo Sanchez

Who hasn't heard of the now legendary indie film rags to riches tale of The Blair Witch Project? Every film student from Los Angeles to Mumbai heard the story of how two young film students spent $27,000 (mostly from friends, family and credit cards) to make a little indie horror film that ended up grossing $250 million worldwide.

Directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick shot The Blair Witch Project in a new way which would later be called "found footage." Without The Blair Witch Project, there is no Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, and...the list could go on.

Today's guest Eduardo Sanchez goes back to the late 90's and shares his experience on what it was like to be in the center of The Blair Witch Project hurricane. What it was like being on the cover of Time Magazine and how did it feel to be the toast of Hollywood...for a period of time.

We also discuss the aftermath, how his career grew post Blair Witch and crazy stories of Hollyweird.

Enjoy the conversation with Eduardo Sanchez.

Nov 27, 2017

Rewriting is the crux of every writer's existence, but it's a necessity. So join Max and Felicity as they talk about rewriting and why it's so important to have someone helping you through your rewrite. Doing it alone will only take you longer, especially if you're relatively new to the screenwriting process.

This is a podcast recording of the ISA's Facebook Live broadcast of Wine Wednesdays. Please note that some promotions offered during the live broadcast are not offered to the participants listening to the recording. We can, however, assist you if you wish to find out more information regarding ISA events, contests, or consulting offers. Just reach out to info@networkisa.org and we will be happy to help.

Join ISA staffers Max Timm and Felicity Wren for our regular Wine Wednesdays Facebook Live broadcast. We'll talk screenwriting and take your questions about the ISA and the art, craft, and business of writing screenplays, all while enjoying a nice glass (or two) of wine.

Subjects and themes change from week to week, so stay tuned for the live broadcasts that occur on most Wednesday evening at 7:00pm Los Angeles time. For a specific schedule and set of announcements, "Like" the ISA Facebook page and keep up to date.

Nov 27, 2017

"Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You” is a must-read for movie fans

Charles Taylor is an author and film critic who loves B movies and his new book showcases some of the greatest unsung gems from the 1970’s. “Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You” does an expert job of examining the shadow cinema of the era, with chapters on the likes of “Citizens Band”, “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”, and “Eyes of Laura Mars.”

Guest Gary Goldstein of the LA Times guests to discuss the book and the clever, underrated films written about within it. Our discussion dovetails into a discussion of other unheralded 70’s B’s worth remembering, as well as unheralded actors that Oscar has overlooked and this year’s race for Academy gold.

Nov 22, 2017

Episode 189

Sonny Dyon talks about writing and directing his latest short film, The Grove.

Nov 22, 2017

Episode 188

Jared Cohn talks about his latest feature film, the horror film Devil's Domain.

Nov 22, 2017

Episode 190

We have all heard about Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey by this point but what is it really. Chris Vogler, the author of The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers and the man who brought the Hero's Journey into the film industry, breaks down the ordinary and special worlds of the hero's journey. Enjoy.

These videos on screenplay structure are from his best selling online course: Story and Screenwriting Blueprint - The Hero's Two Journeys.

In more than 4½ hours of lecture, discussion and Q&A, Michael Hauge, author of Writing Screenplays That Sell and Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel; and Christopher Vogler, story analyst and author of The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers, unite to reveal the essential principles of plot structure, character arc, myth and transformation.

Nov 22, 2017

This is a podcast recording of the ISA's Facebook Live broadcast of Wine Wednesdays. Please note that some promotions offered during the live broadcast are not offered to the participants listening to the recording. We can, however, assist you if you wish to find out more information regarding ISA events, contests, or consulting offers. Just reach out to info@networkisa.org and we will be happy to help.

Join ISA staffers Max Timm and Felicity Wren for our regular Wine Wednesdays Facebook Live broadcast sponsored by the Nickelodeon Writing Program. We'll talk screenwriting and take your questions about the ISA and the art, craft, and business of writing screenplays, all while enjoying a nice glass (or two) of wine.

Subjects and themes change from week to week, so stay tuned for the live broadcasts that occur on most Wednesday evening at 7:00pm Los Angeles time. For a specific schedule and set of announcements, "Like" the ISA Facebook page and keep up to date.

Nov 22, 2017

Hello everyone, and welcome to PAGE 2 SCREEN. This is the weekly podcast presented by the International Screenwriters Association where two writers examine a movie or a TV show and its journey from page to screen. I’m Jeff York, your host, and today we have another superhero movie to discuss. It’s the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie from Warner Brothers, and here to help us dig into what works and what doesn’t is screenwriter, superhero aficionado and one of the ISA’s Top 25 screenwriters to watch – Derek Asaff.

Welcome, Derek. How are you?

JUSTICE LEAGUE is a 2017 American superhero film based on the DC Comics superheroteam of the same name, consisting of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is the fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film is directed by Zack Snyder with a screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, from a story by Terrio and Snyder. It features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck as Superman, Henry Cavill as Superman (Surprise, surprise, folks, he’s back – one of the movie’s least well-kept secrets) , Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman (Though no one calls her that in this one either), and introduces Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Also returning to the story are Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s trusty righthand, Diane Lane as Mama Kent, Connie Nielsen as Diana Prince’s mom, and J. K. Simmons, underused to a fault as Commissioner Gordon. In JUSTICE LEAGUE, the superhero team forms to honor Superman following his death and to save the planet from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.

So, Derek, we loved THOR. With this one, did we go from the sublime to the ridiculous?

Thank you for being with us today, Derek. Remember to follow the ISA all over social media. And the site networkisa.org always has a ton going on: contests, helpful hints, interviews with movers and shakers, classes, podcasts, all the past PAGE 2 SCREEN podcasts are catalogued there and on iTunes. Completely free. 

You can follow me at JeffYorkWriter on Twitter, and read my movie blog The Establishing Shot So, until next time, this is Jeff York, along with Derek Asaff, saying thank you for listening to this edition of PAGE 2 SCREEN.

Nov 20, 2017

Episode 187

Screenwriter, Michael Lucker talks about how he broke into the business as a screenwriter.

Nov 20, 2017

This week on the show we have filmmaker Chris Sobchak. Chris co-created an Amazon Prime Series with star Nicole Sobchack, Please Tell Me I’m Adopted! follows free-spirited, wide-eyed, disaster magnet Tiffany who is forced to move in with her newly married sister, roping them into crazy, often culturally-current escapades with outrageous and hilarious consequences. What began as a project for a sketch comedy class is now an original short-form comedy series, which premiered exclusively on Amazon on March 6, 2017.

The entire production was crowdfunded by friends, family and even strangers, so it was important for Executive Producer Chris Sobchak to keep costs down as much as possible. This led to him and Nicole doing the entire post process through Davinci Resolve, including CGI, sound design, VFX, color and editing, themselves.

Nov 16, 2017

“Newness” examines sex and intimacy in new ways as well as old.

Debuting on VOD is the movie “Newness”, a drama about the Millennial generation and their search for love and intimacy against the backdrop of Snapchat and modern Los Angeles. Swiping left and right, trying to find a perfect match, are Martin and Gabi (Nicholas Hault and Laia Costa). Their relationship starts with a one-night stand but quickly turns into something more meaningful. Filmed as a frank and provocative “fly on the wall” story, director Drake Doremus and screenwriter Ben York Jones have created a movie that that feels wholly naturalistic, even organic. Still, look closely and you’ll see how disciplined these filmmakers are following proper screenwriting structure and creating vivid character arcs. It all makes for one of the most satisfying indie gems of 2017.

Nov 13, 2017

 


Industry Insider: What You Need To Know About The Town, The Business, and Current Trends.
Sponsored by the Nickelodeon Writing Program

As part of the ISA's regular, monthly Third Thursdays social events, the ISA has a quarterly live panel series where we bring on panelists from various aspects of the industry to educate, inform, and inspire.

In August 2017, the Live Panel consisted of: Assist your writing and filmmaking career chances by getting behind the scenes knowledge of industry trends, what studios are planning or looking for, and where TV is headed next. Panelists include an all-female roster with: Producer Tracey Becker, Writer/Producer Tawnya Bhattacharya, and the ISA's Development Slate Executive, Felicity Wren, hosted by Max Timm and sponsored by the Nickelodeon Writing Program.

Listen in and take advantage of the ISA's recordings of live panel events. If you are in Los Angeles, be sure to stay tuned to the Events page on the ISA webpage for upcoming schedule, however you can always count on a big crowd and a welcoming social atmosphere at our monthly Third Thursdays socials and parties.


 
Nov 13, 2017

Excerpt from the podcast:

“...the pilot episode of any TV series does more than just introduce great characters or tell a great story. It creates an engine powerful enough to launch every character in the series into a huge journey-- and a replicable structure for the series powerful enough to last many seasons.

But Stranger Things 1 has a particularly challenging structure to replicate in Stranger Things 2, because the whole structure of the first season is built around a simple problem that’s completely resolved by the time we get to the second season!

In Stranger Things 1, a little boy named Will is missing, and his merry band of friends friends need to come together in a real-world Dungeons & Dragons quest to find him.

Wrapped around this very simple structure are a bunch of wonderfully horrifying elements-- a creature that can only be seen in the shadows, a magical world called The Upside Down that’s only gradually revealing itself, a bunch of creepy-creepy operatives that are ready to kill to protect a secret that even they don’t understand, a mother communicating with her lost son through Christmas lights, and of course, Eleven, a little girl with magical powers who everyone seems to be hunting.

But by the time we get to Episode 1 of Season 2, Will is back (at least mostly) in the real world, so there’s no missing boy to build a structure around.

By the time we get to Season 2, the terrifying Demogorgon, which once was scary like the shark in Jaws, not for what we could see, but for what we couldn’t-- has not only been flushed from the shadows, but vanquished from them (at least mostly). So we need a new fin in the water to build the terror around.

By the time we get to Season 2, the world of The Upside Down, which we only barely understood, has now been entered and explored. So we need a new mystery in The Upside Down to build the world around.

By the time we get to Season 2, the mother, Joyce, can communicate with Will while driving carpool, so we need a new spiritual component that no one else understands to build the relationship around.

And by the time we get to Season 2, (at least as far as we know), Eleven is gone. So we need a new magical little girl to build the threat around.

In fact, by the time we get to Season 2, the only major structural element we still have going for us from the engine of Season 1 is the creepy operatives. But even they are a whole lot less interesting, now that we have some sense of who they are and what they do…

Which means the first episode of Season 2 has to do a lot more than replicate the engine of Season 1. It actually has to re-launch it…”

Nov 13, 2017

The ISA's Max Timm sat down with comic book expert, writer, editor, and consultant, Jim Higgins for a quick chat about the intricate process of developing, producing, and writing a comic book. On top of the writing process and approach to comic book writing, they also discussed the various steps necessary for adapting a comic for the screen.

While the movie and television industries are still high on superhero stories, not all comic books are about superheroes. The entertainment landscape today is heavily focused on adapting pre-existing material that already has a fan base, and creating your own comic series, whether it's a graphic novel, straight comic strip, or something in between, can help you launch a career. It takes time, determination, and a whole lot of elbow grease to create a fan base from the ground up, but it could be what puts you over the top.

Listen in, and if you would like to get in touch Jim to inquire about working with him, you can email him at jim@newsuit.net. As always, your host, Max Timm, can be reached at max@networkisa.org for all ISA-related inquiries. Or if you're looking to work one-on-one with Max through his Story Farm Development and Coaching service, you can email him here: max@thestoryfarm.org

Enjoy the interview.

Nov 10, 2017

The ISA's Max Timm brings back Karen Kirkland for an inspirational and advice-driven interview that covers the full gamut of the writer, and the writing world. From discussing the importance of utilizing the writing programs and fellowships like the Nickelodeon Writing Program, to what to expect in today's TV marketplace.

Karen Kirkland the VP of the Nickelodeon Writing Program, and a Creative Strategist for writers. She is a champion for all writers, and a true friend to the ISA in that she is always more than willing to offer support, help, and guidance to virtually any writer who comes her way. It's what the ISA does and is proud to continue to do; offer as much support as possible to writers of all levels, and this podcast interview does not disappoint.

This is also an interview designed to promote Karen and her program's involvement in and sponsorship of multiple facets of the ISA from our Third Thursdays social events that occur every month in Los Angeles, Montreal, London, Chicago, and many more cities across the world. Her program also sponsors episodes of the ISA's Wine Wednesdays Facebook Live broadcast where the ISA Development Slate executives, Max Timm and Felicity Wren discuss various aspects of the writing world while sipping on some tasty vino.

Karen will also host one the ISA's quarterly panels at Busby's East on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles in association with the ISA's Third Thursdays social event. She will be moderating a panel of animation writers, staffed TV writers, and producers who will discuss the current scope of the TV industry, and give invaluable advice to the live audience. That event will be presented as a podcast for those of you who are unable to make it, but the ISA hopes that you can get out, network, and form new professional relationships with writers and the ISA as a whole.

Nov 7, 2017

It's important to note that it is rare for ideas and projects to be outright stolen. Far too many of us are far too worried about having their material ripped off, however it is a warranted worry and we understand that your material is your material and, yes, we should be protective of it. We've all heard the horror stories about an idea being taken by some big production company, etc etc. It rarely happens, but it does and really, we hate to break it to you, there isn't all that much we can do about it. BUT...with that being said, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your ideas, so it doesn't hurt to do so. Listen in and enjoy this episode of the ISA's Wine Wednesdays with Felicity Wren and Max Timm.

This is a podcast recording of the ISA's Facebook Live broadcast of Wine Wednesdays. Please note that some promotions offered during the live broadcast are not offered to the participants listening to the recording. We can, however, assist you if you wish to find out more information regarding ISA events, contests, or consulting offers. Just reach out to info@networkisa.org and we will be happy to help.

Join ISA staffers Max Timm and Felicity Wren for our regular Wine Wednesdays Facebook Live broadcast. We'll talk screenwriting and take your questions about the ISA and the art, craft, and business of writing screenplays, all while enjoying a nice glass (or two) of wine.

Subjects and themes change from week to week, so stay tuned for the live broadcasts that occur on most Wednesday evening at 7:00pm Los Angeles time. For a specific schedule and set of announcements, "Like" the ISA Facebook page and keep up to date.

Nov 7, 2017

SYS Episode 186

Joe Taylor talks about writing, directing, and producing his new short film, Last Call.

Nov 7, 2017

“Thor: Ragnarok” is one of Marvel Studios’ finest and funniest.

Three films into the Thor franchise, Marvel Studios continues to amaze yet again with this second sequel that is both a fun adventure and funny romp. Director  Taika Waititi and screenwriters Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost deliver a constantly surprising and energetic movie full of hilarious twists, vivid new characters, and meaningful conflict. Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Jeff Goldblum, and the whole cast have a ball onscreen and that joy transfers to the cineplex audience. Compared to the darker and more troubled DC movie universe, Marvel constantly excels by choosing a sunnier path. And in troubled times like these, who couldn’t use a superhero that not only saves the day but lightens it as well?

Nov 4, 2017

SYS Episode 185

Aaron B Koontz talks about his latest horror / thriller feature film, Camera Obscura.

Nov 4, 2017

Get your pitching skills sharpened with Max Timm and Felicity Wren on this fun Wine Wednesdays Facebook Live broadcast.

This is a podcast recording of the ISA's Facebook Live broadcast of Wine Wednesdays. Please note that some promotions offered during the live broadcast are not offered to the participants listening to the recording. We can, however, assist you if you wish to find out more information regarding ISA events, contests, or consulting offers. Just reach out to info@networkisa.org and we will be happy to help.

Join ISA staffers Max Timm and Felicity Wren for our regular Wine Wednesdays Facebook Live broadcast. We'll talk screenwriting and take your questions about the ISA and the art, craft, and business of writing screenplays, all while enjoying a nice glass (or two) of wine.

Subjects and themes change from week to week, so stay tuned for the live broadcasts that occur on most Wednesday evening at 7:00pm Los Angeles time. For a specific schedule and set of announcements, "Like" the ISA Facebook page and keep up to date.

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