To put it lightly, it was a pleasure having Liz Hannah on the ISA's Curious About Screenwriting podcast. Her story of success is nothing short of miraculous, but the podcast host, Max Timm, discussed with Liz the importance of setting oneself up for such a miracle and how there is no such thing as an overnight success. While Liz only briefly discusses the (nothing short of) amazing back and forth she had with industry executives and her reps that eventually landed her meetings with some of the business's elite (Spielberg, Hanks, Streep), but her attitude and strength of character throughout all of The Post's journey from development to release is inspiring. One of the industry's rising stars, Liz is working harder than ever to continue her career and moving it forward in spite of coming out of the gates at full speed with her Golden Globe nomination and WGA Selvin Honorary Award.
We look forward to following Liz's career for years to come, especially with the recent announcement of Liz working with MGM and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine on the film adaptation of the Gail Honeyman bestselling novel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
“Mary Poppins Returns” delights in song, dance and nostalgia.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is a film full of childhood wonder, exquisite production values, and charming performances across the board, particularly Emily Blunt picking up where Julie Andrews left off as the title character. One does wonder however, if all of this sophisticated entertainment may well be a little lost on the kiddies. Not only is it a period piece, making lots of hay about the English caste system, but it’s a meticulous homage to the original “Mary Poppins” from 1964. Doubtful those under 10 will understand just how much of one it is with its old-school animation and songs in the style of the Sherman Brothers. Still, few Christmas movies this season are as great a gift as this toe-tapping, heart-warming musical.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is an eye-popping and meta animated adventure
Move over “Incredibles 2” and make way for another superb 2018 animated superhero movie -
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.” This is the 7th Spidey movie since 2002 and it is both reverential to the franchise and able to lampoon it as well. Based on the comic book title that relaunched the web-slinging superhero as a mixed-race teen named Miles Morales, this adaptation is thrilling, moving, and funny as hell. The animation style on display here too is noteworthy, blending 2D and 3D styles for a visual feast that will appeal to ages 6 to 60. It’s already won a ton of critics’ awards and with all this screen story has to offer, it’s easy to see why.
Bringing on the great Michael Hauge on the Curious About Screenwriting podcast is always a treat. Michael Hauge has been a screenwriting and story consultant for nearly 40 years, having worked one-on-one with writers at every level, from novice to A-List (Will Smith swears by him). He's one of the best, and it never fails that any time we have Michael on, something new and seemingly priceless is learned.
In this interview, the ISA's Max Timm and Michael talk about the importance of desire within a character, the differences between plot goals and character goals, and how they all live and breathe together within a very specific structure. Michael is also offering up his 6-Stage Structure Chart through the link below for you all to be able to get a sense of how the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Acts work within a feature film.
So take a listen and soak in all of the knowledge!
Michael's 6-Stage Structure Chart: https://www.storymastery.com/isachart
The Director, Producer and Showrunner of the upcoming Comedy Central show, South Side (as well as past credits including Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), sits with the ISA's Max Timm to discuss all things creative, career, and developing your position within the industry.
SYS Episode 256:
In this episode of the SYS Podcast producer Mark Stolaroff talks about his latest low budget production, DriverX. He also talks about his background in production and how that prepared him for a career as a low budget producer. He also offers tips to screenwriters looking to write for this market.
SYS Episode 255:
In this episode I talk with British filmmaker Jim Hosking about his career writing and directing short films and how he worked his way up to his new feature film, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn starring Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Emile Hirsch, Craig Robinson.
SYS Episode 254:
This week on the SYS Podcast I talk with South African writer Sean Drummond about his writing journey. He and several partners started out by creating a production company and slowly working their way up from commercials and videos, to short films and now feature films.
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” showcases the Coen Brothers’ wit and morality.
Movie anthologies can be hit and miss, but “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” from Joel and Ethan Coen shoots bulls-eyes throughout. The six, western-themed stories in their new film run the, ahem, range from farce to pathos, but the Coen’s tell each of the tales with gusto and artistry. We expect any movie from the brothers to contain clever dialogue, vivid characters, and twisting plots, but the production values on display here are as exquisite as any period piece from the last 20 years. The Coen’s also ensure that each of the stories here is a shrewd, morality play mining themes of sin and hubris. In their old west, those who are earnest may not win, but they die far nobler deaths than scoundrels.
“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” needs to realize its lead character isn’t James Bond.
Lisbeth Salander, AKA “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” is many things: computer hacker, Goth girl, and righteous advocate of abused women. But one thing she isn’t is James Bond. So why does her latest film “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” play like a 007 adventure? Did the filmmakers want to up the ante to compete with Marvel and Bourne? Didn’t they think the incredibly talented Claire Foy would be interesting enough? (She more than is.) Whatever the reason, turning Salander into a super spy who can best legions of villains and defy death is not her character. Nor does it make for a grounded or very satisfying thriller.