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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: May, 2018
May 30, 2018

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is well told, but is this trip really necessary?

Ron Howard does a bang-up job helming “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, directing the stand-alone space opera with precision, energy, and engaging performances. Still, as entertaining as it all it, it begs the question whether this trip is truly necessary. After all, audiences already know how Han Solo’s story ends in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, so how vital can his backstory be? This one struggles to be pertinent, as does star Alden Ehrenreich to live up to his predecessor, the legendary Harrison Ford. Despite a sharp script by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jonathan, this trip to a galaxy far, far away lacks oomph. Sadly, the Force isn’t so strong with this one.

May 29, 2018

Creativity is both simple and confusing. It comes and goes, and usually when we least expect. As writers and creators, we rely on that inspiration to help churn those brain gears, and to keep us motivated. In this episode of Wine Wednesdays, Felicity Wren and Max Timm go into how they keep up their inspiration so that it's churning on all cylinders as often as possible. Join in on the fun, and we hope this episode inspires you to keep going.

Remember, Felicity and Max always have open Q&A during every Facebook Live broadcast, so you should tune in when they broadcast their next live chat. Even though most broadcasts focus on a particular subject, every writer is welcome to ask anything they like at any time. Felicity and Max will do their best to give you a straight and honest answer.

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 no longer available. 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.

You can reach out to Max regarding any type of query: max@networkisa.org If you have particular interest in working with him on a one-on-one coaching and development basis, email him at max@thestoryfarm.org. His Story Farm development and coaching service is quickly becoming the best in the business! Felicity can also be reached at Felicity@networkisa.org. She, too, can work with you one-on-one, so don't hesitate to inquire. We can't wait to support you.

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

May 24, 2018

“Deadpool 2” pushes the sentimentality but not the humor far enough.

Who’d have thought that the sequel to the raunchy and satirical “Deadpool” movie would end up being so sentimental? You’d think given the 2016 box office records and critical hosannas, the filmmakers would’ve simply dialed up the profanity and over-the-top visual gags even more in this 2018 follow-up. Sure, there’s a lot of outrageousness on display, and great laughs too, but not nearly enough. Instead, Ryan Reynolds et al. spend a lot of time mourning a departed character and acting maudlin about parenting. That seems out of character, as well as a tonal shift from the snarky intellectual property that was anything by sentimental.

May 21, 2018

HBO’s “Barry” takes aim at role-playing and the desire for fame.

Can a hit man go straight and find happiness in Hollywood? That’s the question that the wickedly witty new HBO dramedy “Barry” asks. Created by Alec Berg and star Bill Hader, the dark comedy follows contract assassin Barry as he flies to Los Angeles to off an actor and ends up getting bitten by the acting bug. The show is all about role-playing with everyone wanting to be something they’re not. It lampoons both the underworld and the world of actors, with especially pointed jabs at the shallow pursuits of fame. (Henry Winkler is a supporting standout as Barry’s egotistical acting coach.) It’s a killer comedy, in both the literal and figurative sense.

May 14, 2018

“Homeland” ends its seventh season as relevant and edgy as ever.

Seven seasons in, Showtime’s “Homeland” series is still smart, unpredictable, and edge-of-your-seat television. How do they do it? They start with characters, like lead Carrie Mathison (the invaluable Claire Danes), that create audience empathy because they are flawed and relatable human beings. Next, the story’s stakes are the safety and security of the nation, and often, the world. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s difficult to anticipate just where the show is going, from season to season, let alone episode to episode. In fact, this year saw the troubled President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) battling Congress, Russia, and fake news in ways so startling, it seemed like art was imitating life. Or vice versa. Either way, it made for a high-water mark season.

May 11, 2018

Episode 205 with Michael Hauge:

You walk onto an elevator and just before the door closes Steven Spielberg gets on. You have 60 secs to pitch him your latest screenplay. What do you do? Your goal is to have your audience say “yes, I understand, and I care” after reading or watching your brand story.

If your audience just says “now I know” then you have successfully informed them but not enough to make them care, to make them stay to whatever you have to say next. Your career can be made in 60 seconds – if you make the right pitch!

Today’s guest is returning champion Michael Hauge. He is the best-selling author of Writing Screenplays That Sell (now in its 20th Anniversary Edition) and Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read. 

According to Will Smith,

“No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.” – Will Smith

We discuss pitching techniques, the pitch story arch, and much more. After partnering with Michael on the best-selling Udemy Screenwriting course Screenplay and Story Blueprint: The Hero’s Two Journeys I wanted to work with him again. We came up with the NEW online course Pitching Your Screenplay or Novel in 60 Secs (Click here for an EXCLUSIVE Discount). 

Enjoy my conversation with Michael Hauge.

May 10, 2018

A huge thank you to our Wine Wednesday sponsors, Steele Wines, Final Draft, and Tracking-Board.com. Do yourself a favor and check them out!

In this installment of the ISA's Wine Wednesday Facebook Live broadcast, Max and Felicity talk about how delicate the Sci-Fi market is in film and television. And by delicate, they mean the difference between epic sci-fi and grounded science fiction. Epic sci-fi projects like Star Wars or Star Trek, even Battlestar Galactica, only come along once in a generation. It's extremely difficult for original material like these projects to ever get made simply because of how expensive the projects become. A grounded science fiction project allows for original material to focus more on the unique approach to sci-fi - films such as "Ex Machina" or "Her" have much more human elements and do not rely on other words, planets, giant star ships or alien cultures and languages to drive the story. There is a much more intimate approach to the storytelling and, yes, it's a heck of a lot less expensive to make such films. Same goes with television. If a science fiction story doesn't have a giant built-in fan base or following, it's extremely difficult to get a pure/original sci-fi project on the air. It's just the truth, but Felicity and Max discuss in this episode ways to approach your sci-fi projects to give them more of a chance of finding a home.

Remember, Felicity and Max always have open Q&A during every Facebook Live broadcast, so you should tune in when they broadcast their next live chat. Even though most broadcasts focus on a particular subject, every writer is welcome to ask anything they like at any time. Felicity and Max will do their best to give you a straight and honest answer.

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 no longer available. 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.

You can reach out to Max regarding any type of query: max@networkisa.org If you have particular interest in working with him on a one-on-one coaching and development basis, email him at max@thestoryfarm.org. His Story Farm development and coaching service is quickly becoming the best in the business! Felicity can also be reached at Felicity@networkisa.org. She, too, can work with you one-on-one, so don't hesitate to inquire. We can't wait to support you.

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

May 4, 2018

Max Timm and the Curious About Screenwriting Network has interviewed many professional writers over the years, but none of Max's prior interviews have delved into the details of one of the writers' projects as thoroughly as this one. Because A Quiet Place is so unique on so many levels, Max wanted to talk with its writers, Scott and Bryan, about how they approached the literal writing on the page, the decisions behind certain conceptual elements as well as individual scenes.

Without seeing the film, Max only read the script before the interview, and he is now that much more excited to head out and watch A Quiet Place. Whether you've seen the film or haven't yet (there are spoilers), this is an interview worth checking out. It's a lesson in screenwriting mixed with laughs, industry insights, and some of the best pieces of advice for writers we have yet to present on our podcast network.

Listen in. Enjoy. Just try and keep quiet.

May 2, 2018

“Avengers: Infinity War” epically battles an intergalactic villain and controversial ending.

The 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is its most ambitious and remarkably, it manages to live up to the hype. The 149-minute film tells a ginormous story covering multiple plots, planets, and characters. It takes all of its well-known superheroes, from Tony Stark’s Iron Man to T’Challa’s Black Panther, and gives them great comedy and drama to play. It also has a superb villain in the motion-captured Josh Brolin, and a best-yet performance from Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Its ending, however, is a bit of a cheat. As devastating as it plays, little of it will last as there is simply too much at stake for the MCU’s future to be left that bereft.

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