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Now displaying: Page 36
Feb 23, 2016

There's just so much we can learn as writers from Deadpool, and not just because the film manages to do that rarest of feats: to be an intelligent, creatively successful superhero movie, but also because Deadpool manages to both follow the rules of superhero movies and break them in really exciting ways.

The first rule of superhero movies that every single person knows is that your super hero is supposed to be a super good guy.

Superman: yeah, he's a good guy. Spiderman: sweet kid, good guy. Batman: a little dark, good guy. Thor: a very good guy. The Incredible Hulk may have a problem with anger, but deep down he's a really good guy. And Ironman may have a bit of an ego problem, but at the end of the day he's a good guy, too. The world of superheroes is populated by good guys facing down pure evil villains.

And what's wonderful about Deadpool is that its main character gives the big ole' finger to the entire notion of the superhero as the perfect good guy character. And, in doing so, Deadpool hopefully puts the last nail in the coffin of the whole Save the Cat formula: this notion that if the audience is going to love your main character he/she needs to be saving kitty cats out of trees and doing nice things for people.

That's not to say that Deadpool is a bad guy. He's a flawed guy a violent guy, a shallow guy, an annoyingly verbose guy with a hell of a lot of attitude. He's also a guy driven by love, but not driven by the love of the perfect girl next store. He's driven for the love of a prostitute who's just as messed up as he is.

Deadpool starts the movie as a super badass, work-for-hire hitman. He may have a heart of gold but definitely lives on the darker side of things. He comes from a really messed up childhood. He's petty, and selfish, and mostly self-interested, and not too deep. He does have a little bit of a soft spot: he's not an evil guy. His first assignment is protecting a girl who's being stalked.

But he's certainly not the prototypical hero we're used to seeing.

When we watch the origin stories of superheroes, we're generally watching an A to Z story. The story of a character who changes from being the dopey, put-upon, powerless, low-self-esteem dude who changes into the hero with complete power.

Of course that's a compensation fantasy for a lot of people. A lot of us feel like we're weak, or not as strong as we wish we could be. That we can't stand up for ourselves in the way we wish we could. That we can't quite be the heroes that we'd like to imagine ourselves as being.

So this is not the compensation fantasy story we're used to seeing in superhero movies of the weak kid made good. It's not the coming of age story of the guy who finally grows up. It's not the story of the wealthy child whose parents die at a young age and now he must become the Batman.

This is a different kind of story. And that doesn't mean that the character doesn't go through a huge change, because he certainly does. He goes through a change in relation to his own ego and his own vanity.

Ultimately Deadpool's journey is to get over his obsession with his looks, so he can finally be with the girl that he loves.

Deadpool's not fighting to save the world. Deadpool's not fighting to prevent the evil Ajax from filling the universe with superhuman mercenaries. Deadpool doesn't give a shit about all that. Deadpool only cares about getting his face back so he can get his girl back.

This is not exactly the noble selfless enterprise we're used to seeing in superhero movies. And yet when Deadpool does it, we're able to root for him entirely. Why?

There's an idea that the thing that makes us care about characters is how nice they are. But that just ain't true.

The truth of the matter is nice characters finish last. That doesn't mean you can't write a nice character. There are many nice characters that I've really enjoyed spending time with in movies. I love the Jon Favreau character in Chef, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, all the characters of Toy Story. Really good characters lovable characters.

But characters are also people, and the truth of the matter is there are a lot of people in the world who are flawed in wonderful, broken, and beautiful ways. You have a friend who's an asshole. And you love that friend even though they're an asshole. You have a friend who's unreliable. You have a friend who's selfish. You have a friend who's jealous. And you love these people. You love these people because you get these people.

And sometimes it's easier to get these people, who show us not just their good side but also their bad side.

The way that characters show us who they are is through a very, very simple concept. And if you understand this simple concept we will follow pretty much any character. We will follow Deadpool as happily as we will follow Leo's character in The Revenant. We will follow Deadpool just as happily as well follow a totally morally upright character like Captain America or Thor.

We will follow Deadpool because his want is super clear. Because we understand exactly what he wants. We understand exactly how he's trying to get it. We understand exactly why it's so darn hard. This becomes the backbone of Deadpool's story. This is what allows us to connect with him.

Like I said, at the beginning Deadpool doesn't break every rule. There is a saying by the great writer William Goldman that a commercial movie tells us the lie that we want to believe, whereas an independent movie tells us the truth we don't want to believe.

Now back in the day when William Goldman said this, it was probably true. But in today‘s era of movie making, the meaning of this statement has changed. And as a movie like Deadpool shows us, in today's market a commercial movie can tell us the TRUTH we want to believe and an independent movie can tell us the truth that we don't..."

Feb 23, 2016

Another round of pitch fixing from ISA friend, and script guru, Jacob Krueger. Pitching and logline writing is essential to making it in this industry, so listen in and be ready to take some notes. This is a very long recorded podcast that was hosted live on February 18, 2016 - but it's worth every second.

Enjoy and keep writing. 

Feb 18, 2016

Most writers do the obvious thing. They write. And when they are done with a script they wonder what to do next, but they lack relationships and strategy. And so they go back to the thing that they know how to do, writing. And they repeat this process over and over again.

Join Shawn Tolleson to understand the four reasons why you've not yet taken those scripts out of your computer and successfully sold them to the marketplace.

Shawn shares the five keys to creating your next breakthrough toward a successful writing career.

Shawn guides you through the process of identifying your next career breakthrough goal and articulating it in a concise, powerful and motivating way. You get examples of breakthrough goals that others have articulated and accomplished!

Feb 17, 2016

Episode #108

Robert A. Palmer and Michael A. Weiss talk about their new found footage horror film, I Am Alone.

Feb 17, 2016

As we discussed in Part 1 of this podcast, when TV producers ask for a Series Bible with your TV pilot script, they usually request it in a pretty strange form. And a lot of writers get confused about what producers are actually looking for when they ask for a Bible and what's supposed to go in it.

Most Bibles include a series logline, character bios for all the main characters, episode summaries the first season, and often summaries of the future seasons as well. But the truth is, if that's all you deliver, your Bible's not going to take you very far.

Because producers are never really asking for a bunch of boring information about your TV series. What they're really asking is proof that you know what you're doing, and that your series pilot not only has a fabulous premise and collection of castable characters we'd want to spend our time binge watching, but also has the kind of ENGINE required to run for at least 5 years.? 

They don't want you to tell them it's going to run for 5 years. They want you to show them. By putting together your loglines, characters, and episodes into a short sweet document that they can't say no to!

So what should that document contain? And how exactly do you write it?

Feb 17, 2016

The TV writing business is a tough one, but that's why I make sure and tell all of my writers who are interested in writing for television that they need to work on writing specs. A spec script, in case you aren't familiar with the term, is an original script but of an existing TV show - Bones, Criminal Minds, The Walking Dead, you get the idea. In today's interview, I bring back consultant and instructor with NBC's Writers on the Verge program, Jen Grisanti, to go into the details of writing for television, but more so what to expect and how to prepare for applying to the various studio level writing fellowships. Just about studio and network has one - Disney and ABC, NBC, CBS, Nickolodeon has one. They are all quite prestigious if and when you place as a finalist, and can virtually write you a ticket to success in terms of getting staffed on a show.


We also discuss what the important elements are of spec scripts per fellowship, how to write your essay when applying for the programs, and what to expect if and when you reach the finals. Jen consistently reminds us, though, not to get discouraged if you do not place as a finalist. Any number of reasons could keep you from winning, from the number of submissions that year, to the level of immense quality per submission phase. This mindset can also equate to how to prepare yourself emotionally when submitting to screenplay contests. We're all vying for the same position as ‘working writer', and it's why investing in your own writing education (and yourself, really) is so essential. Jen offers some excellent insight, as she always does, and it was a pleasure to bring her back for another interview. Keep working hard everyone, and stay tuned to Curious About Screenwriting through iTunes and social media. You can find us on Twitter @NetworkISA, and you can find me, your humble host @iMaxTimm, or through my Facebook author page under Maximilian Timm. As always, thanks for listening.

Feb 16, 2016

The Coen Brothers salute Old Hollywood with a hearty "Hail, Caesar!"

The Coen Brothers have written, directed and produced some of the best American cinema for the past 32 years. And they always push genre into something uniquely quirky, clever, and well, Coen. "Hail, Caesar!" is no different. It's a comedy set in the early 1950's and it focuses on a day in the life of beleaguered studio executive Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin). He is juggling a number of needy actors and picture problems when the studio's biggest star (George Clooney, sending up macho leading men) is kidnapped. Sounds like a great opportunity for the veteran filmmakers to savage Hollywood, doesn't it? But while it's funny, it never becomes a vicious farce, and the brothers demonstrate more reverence than ridicule for Old Hollywood. They even turn Mannix into a savior character. Who knew the Coen Brothers had that much love in their hearts? Indeed, "Hail, Caesar!" is a Valentine to the old studio system. And you have to see how brilliantly they spoof Esther Williams and Gene Kelly! This enjoyable romp may not be the very best of the brothers, but it's a sweet treat for film fans and a lesson for screenwriters on how to zig while others zag.

Feb 9, 2016

"The Revenant" is epic filmmaking at its very best

There's a reason that "The Revenant" received 12 Oscar nominations this year, and that's because it is filmmaking at its highest form. Alejandro Inarritu has topped "Birdman", his film about the struggles of an aging actor that took the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director last year, with his latest opus about a man in crisis. "The Revenant" stars Leonardo Di Caprio a Hugh Glass, a man left for dead after a grizzly bear attack by his fellow fur trapper Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Glass crawls out of his grave and begins a harrowing journey to recover and exact his revenge.

"The Revenant" is not a simple tale of vengeance, however. The script slyly indicts machismo, pride and corporate greed as it comments on not only the world of men, but their abuse of native Americans, the land, and each other. The film has a lot in common with other genres, like westerns and horror movies, but its scale, technical marvels, and intellectual underpinnings make this tale into so much more. Inarritu and his production crew, most notably cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, have created one of the most involving adventure pictures ever produced. It proves that not only is the western as alive as Glass, but also, that some Hollywood entertainments simply must be seen on the big screen.

Feb 3, 2016

"Carol" says so much with pictures both beautiful and haunting.

"Carol", Todd Haynes' period piece nominated for six Oscars, could stand as a master class in smart screenwriting and visual storytelling. Starting with Phyllis Nagy's sly adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel "The Price of Salt", the movie always shows more than it tells, giving the audience credit for being intelligent enough to read between the lines of what's being said. Cate Blanchett plays the title character who starts a dangerous relationship with Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), a shy shop girl. The filmmakers ensure that their interactions are distinguished by glances, gestures and body language rather than any on-the-nose dialogue. This works perfectly for the time as forbidden forms of love were not talked about then, and those entering into such a world had to keep things secret. Thus, the film brilliantly presents Carol and Therese stepping very carefully into their affair, and Haynes uses all of the tools in his arsenal to complement Nagy's deft writing.

The exquisite cinematography, detailed period décor, memorable costumes, and wistful score not only enhance the love story, but at times help fuel the film's exquisite tension as well. Dark shadows fill scenes with dread, drab rooms hobble Carol and Therese's road trip journey of self discovery, and dangerous men lurk in the corners of many of the film's compositions. Most significantly, Haynes dots his drama with the color red, as it is a metaphor for the two women's passions trying to rise above the rejection of a close-minded society. If love is a game, then "Carol" plays like a chess match with its two main characters carefully negotiating their every move.

Feb 3, 2016

We're going to take a little detour from our regularly scheduled podcast and bring you an interview by Jacob Krueger Studio Director Chris Littler, with filmmaker Adam Bowers.

Adam shot a feature film, New Low, for $2000 and ended up a official selection of the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. He then managed to parlay that success into Paperback, a second feature at a much higher budget, which premiered at the Austin Film Festival this year.

If you are a film student here at Jacob Krueger Studio, you know it's an extraordinarily exciting time to be a filmmaker. We are seeing more and more people like Adam, who are making their own material. These writers have stopped waiting for people to say "yes" to them, and instead started saying "yes" to themselves, developing great screenplays and going out and shooting them.

Chris sat down with Adam and asked him a bunch of questions about his process, about what it means to be an indie filmmaker, and how he managed to shoot a film on $2000. He got some very interesting responses, particularly about some unexpected benefits of shooting micro budget, compared to his experience with a higher budget production.

Enjoy the interview! And then get out there and make some movies!

Feb 3, 2016

Episode #109

Sharknado screenwriter Thunder Levin talks about how he broke into the business and eventually got hired to write Sharknado.

Feb 3, 2016

Episode #107

Interview With Director Screenwriter Lawrence Roeck

Lawrence talks about his latest film, Diable, starring Scott Eastwood.

Feb 1, 2016

Episode #106

Interview With Screenwriter, Craig Zahler

Craig talks about his new film, Bone Tomahawk, and how he broke into the business.

Feb 1, 2016
Episode #105
Interview With Direct / Screenwriter Michael Bafaro
 
Michael talks about how he broke into the business and how he got his new film, Wrecker, produced.
Jan 30, 2016

It's important to utilize consultants and their expertise as often as you're able. There are experts in this field of screenwriting and their knowledge of how a script breaks down and what creates an entertaining piece of media is priceless. It's necessary to test out each consultant in order to see if their individual process works for you, however they each have something quite invaluable to add to the screenwriting process. In today's live podcast, I spoke with Jeff Kitchen. Jeff has been one of the top screenwriting teachers in the film industry for twenty years, and is a sought-after script consultant. He worked as a dramaturg and taught playwriting in the New York theater scene at the outset of his career, and is the author of Writing a Great Movie: Key Tools for Successful Screenwriting. Jeff has taught development executives from all of the major Hollywood studios and they consistently say that he teaches the most advanced development tools in the film industry.


We specifically talk about layering your story so that you understand the CONFLICT that occurs throughout your story. Even though we use the word "plot" quite a bit in this interview, it's necessary to remember that conflict is always character driven. Dramatic action is always character driven. The story stakes are raised due to the dramatic action TAKEN by the character. You can't have plot without character, but Jeff was also careful to note that "plot", in this sense, is not the same as the general industry usage of the term "plot". Plot, by way of Jeff's definition, is much more related to the conflict and drama that occurs due to the characters' motivations, needs, wants, desires, etc. By first exploring the very specific yet broad action that occurs from scene to scene and sequence to sequence (and through his reverse cause and effect technique), you will be able to see how that character evolves through the so-called plot because of the actions that character takes. This is all done without needing to write the actual script pages. It is instead layered throughout the outlining process. It's all connected.


There is an immense amount of material in this live podcast recording, and we hope you have a pen and paper handy. You can find out more about Jeff at his website DevelopmentHeaven.com, and we thank you for taking part in the ISA's Curious About Screenwriting Podcast. We have an exciting new year ahead of us, and we look forward to supplying you with quality content and material. Thanks and enjoy the interview.

Jan 30, 2016

Historical fiction will always be a challenge for writers since your audience walks into your story with expectations sometimes centuries in the making. Most, if not all, of your characters may have died years ago, some of them so famously that your audience already has opinions on how they looked, acted, and spoke. I spoke with Giacomo della Quercia about this very issue, among many other strictly dialogue-related challenges. It's the first live podcast that we've have hosted where we focus primarily on dialogue and how best to deliver the words on the page.

We packed this hour and a half with answers to questions such as, How do you live up to the expectations of writing for historical or famous characters while also being true to yourself as a writer? And what can a writer do to research such historical figures in order to remain accurate?

We tackled these questions, plus many more, with the writer, educator, and historian. Della Quercia is a scholar for the New York Council for the Humanities and a novelist for St. Martin's Press. His novels have been praised by museums, historians, and literary critics for his profound use of history. And his Cracked.com articles are also among the most widely-read on the Internet. He was an impressive guest to have on and his insights on dialogue and research are priceless.

You should check out Giacomo and his newly released book, "License To Quill" - a James Bond-esque spy thriller starring William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlow during history's real-life, Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot. You can find what Kirkus calls, "An erudite tour de force" at all major booksellers and, as always, you can find our Curious About Screenwriting podcast on iTunes or through our website via the Resources section of the homepage. Enjoy the interview, and cheers to a successful 2016.

Jan 26, 2016

Whether you love him or hate him, Quentin Tarantino isn't going anywhere. And, truly, his style and filmic attitude is stronger than ever. In the most recent installment of The ISA's Page 2 Screen podcast, Jeff York brings on ISA Development Program writer, and recent Nicholl Fellowship quarterfinalist, Kent Williams, to break down Tarantino's eighth film, The Hateful 8.

Kent and Jeff discuss how the film could be considered old school in a number of key ways. It was shot on film and is being shown in select theaters throughout the country on 70 millimeter. It plays like a cross between the classic dramatists John Ford and Agatha Christie. And he even persuaded Ennio Morricone, the legendary Italian film composer to do his first original film score in years. Yet, because it's Tarantino, it has that unmistakable dialogue and violence that he's so famous for. Jeff and Kent agree that it does manage to be both honoring the old westerns, as well as playing around with their tropes and conventions.

Tarantino films are always fun to debate and review, because rarely are they loved across the board. So listen in to two of your fellow writers tackle the not-so-lovable Tarantino and his Hateful 8. For more information on the ISA's Development Program, stay tuned throughout the early spring of 2016. We have some very exciting news to share, and look forward to growing the program as we move through the new year.

Jan 23, 2016

The ISA's Page 2 Screen podcast is gaining in popularity! It's the height of the movie-going season with the Oscars in full force, so in today's podcast interview, Jeff York chats with ISA up and comer, Farahday Morgan, about the Eddie Redmayne starrer, The Danish Girl.

Jeff and Farahday break the movie down to its essentials, and say that while it has received four Oscar nominations, the story of Einer Wegener, the 1920's Copenhagen artist who became one of the first sex reassignment patients, struggles to fully illuminate the woman inside the man. But they do comment that Alicia Vikander, who plays Grace, Wegener's wife, truly deserves not only her Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination, but that she is the more fully realized character on screen.

We're loving these reviews, and from the ongoing feedback of our listeners, so are you! So feel free to share these podcasts with your friends, and we're happy to hear what you personally thought of The Danish Girl. Filmmaking is an art form, and every art form is up to personal debate and opinion - we would love to hear yours. So follow the ISA on Twitter. Find Jeff York @JeffYorkWriter as well, and let us know how we're doing! More quality content is on the way, and 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for The International Screenwriters' Association.

Jan 19, 2016

Episode #104

Andrew talks about his new indy art house drama, 45 Years.

Jan 19, 2016

Episode #103

Dan talks about his days working as a development executive and how he transitioned over to being a screenwriter.

Jan 19, 2016

As I was watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it occurred to me that in many ways, this movie is just a rewrite of Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back with a little spattering of Return of the Jedi splashed in there.

And like any effective rewrite, the structure and the approach of Star Wars: The Force Awakens focuses on two vital concepts: Compression and Amplification.

Compression begins with identifying the very best elements of your early draft, and cutting out all the boring, average, or even good stuff in between, so that you're left with only the very best of the best.

And Amplification is about "turning up the volume" on those vital elements, visualizing them even more closely, exploring them even more deeply, and pushing them even further than you knew they could go.

On a creative level, this brings the essence of your script to the surface, allowing you to get right to the heart of what really matters, without distracting yourself, or your audience, with all that stuff in between.

On a commercial level, this makes every page a heck of a lot more compelling to read (and worthy of the thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars it's going to take to shoot each line you write).

But most importantly, on a story level, this means you can tell more of your story faster, allowing you to take your character, your audience, and even yourself further than they (and you) were expecting when you first sat down to write.

In this way (and in true Star Wars fashion), rewriting isn't just a mechanical process of making your script better or following a bunch of suggestions from coverage readers or producers. It's also a spiritual journey towards connecting with yourself and with your voice as a writer.

It's interesting that The Force Awakens came to the theatres just as we were talking about the concept of "The Engine" of so many successful TV series on this podcast. Because every movie also has an engine. And once you've identified that engine, both structurally and thematically, the process of compression, and amplification, and revision, becomes much easier.

Jan 13, 2016
Episode #102
Interview With Screenwriter Jared Frieder
 
Jared talks about his screenplay, Three Months, and the various contests that he won with it and how his Black List Table read came about.
Jan 13, 2016

What the heck is a TV Series Bible anyway? How do you write one? And why do you need one?

The truth is, the idea of a Show Bible, as many people talk about it today, is total fiction. But like many fictional ideas, it's become a reality that we now need to deal with as TV writers.

If you ask Jerry Perzigian, who teaches our TV Comedy Classes, he'll tell you that in his entire thirty-some year career as a showrunner on The Jeffersons, The Golden Girls, Married With Children, and about a dozen other hit shows, he never once made a bible.

Wondering if it's different in TV Drama? Ask former Showtime Executive and Pulitzer Prize nominated writer Steve Molton, who teaches our TV Drama classes, and he'll tell you the same thing.

In fact, on these shows the bible's weren't made by the writers at all. The show bibles were made by the assistants. And only after the show was up and running for a good long time, when the old staff writers were moving on, and the new staff writers started coming in to replace them.

Since new writers joining the writers room likely wouldn't have had a chance to see every episode, and even if they had, they certainly wouldn't know them in the same detail as the original staff who wrote them,the assistants would compile old episodes into a document which could be given to new writers on the staff. It was a quick way to acquaint them with what had already been done, what will never be done, the kinds of things that generally happen in an episode, and the rules of the show that make the show's engine run.They called this document The Show Bible.

What ended up happening was, people who weren't in the industry or had never worked in television (the people who all too often end up teach TV and screenwriting classes) started to hear about this thing called a bible, and realized there was money to be made teaching people how to write bibles. So a whole new field of TV Writing teaching bubbled up about creating your Show Bible.

At the time this started, it was especially ridiculous,because at that time you couldn't even sell a pilot unless you were already showrunner. You could really get someone to read a spec episode for an existing TV show, and hope that it got you staffed on this show. But you could never get anyone to read a pilot from a new writer in those days.

So, this was craziness. But in an interesting example of the tail wagging the dog, what happened next was that festivals started popping up for TV Writing. And hearing about this thing called a bible that everyone was talking about, a lot of them started to require writers to submit a bible along with their show.

To me this is a fascinating example of having festivals who are run by people not in the industry, who are getting their information from teachers who are not in the industry. And somehow that all coming together to change the actual industry!

Because it's gotten to a point where now a big change is happening in the industry. And,this is actually a very exciting change, as far as I'm concerned. Today, producers, agents and managers are asking for pilots. They're excited to sell pilots, because we're having a renaissance in TV Writing right now, and there are a lot of new markets with Amazon, and Netflix, and other internet based networks with a huge demand for content in television.

Suddenly, we're finding ourselves in a market where we're not only seeing great writing is happening in Television, but also a market in which you can sell a pilot, or get staffed on a show based on a pilot, even if you don't have showrunning experience. 

Agents, managers and producers who used to insist on spec episodes for existing shows, are starting to ask for these original pilots instead. And along with them, they're actually asking for Show Bibles.

So, it's an interesting situation in which something that completely fictional turned into something that was real. Where the teachers and the festivals, many of whom didn't even know what they were talking about, actually changed the industry.

When it comes to creating a bible for your original pilot,it's important to remember that bibles are bullshit. That in the real world of Television as it's existed for generations, you would never make up a bible at random, before you'd even written a single episode. That a bible is supposed to develop naturally from producing a show for years, until you get to a point where you've got to bring new writers on, and you need a shorthand for explaining it to them. So, in that context, when a producer asks you for a bible for your brand new show, what are they actually asking for?

Jan 13, 2016

I recently had the pleasure of talking to producer, Blye Faust - it was a great way to kick off the new year with not only an informative and inspiring interview, but to focus on a producer who found a story about writers and felt the need to tell it. Because at the heart of her movie, Spotlight, is a story about investigative journalists following their instincts, believing in the story they were telling, and the "why' such a story needed to be told. The obvious moral implications of "Spotlight" are numerous, but I love that the film is more focused on the now rare art of investigative journalism. Her film could have very easily swung toward the shocking and the extreme (and in case you don't know yet, Spotlight focuses on the devastating news story about the rampant child abuse issues inside the Catholic church), but Spotlight didn't go that route. In this interview we discuss her journey of bringing Spotlight to life, and get her invaluable advice for aspiring producers and filmmakers even beyond her Spotlight journey.

It's a new year, and with the calendar flipping over, the ISA is motivated and determined to bring you the most helpful and supportive content in the industry - not just through our podcast series, but by way of individually supporting writers. There are so many exciting things happening with the ISA, and I myself am thrilled to be a part of it. We're very thankful that Blye was able to take some time out of her busy award season schedule, and we're all cheering her on as 2016 begins. Stay tuned to all things ISA through our website, or via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook - there are plenty of ways to stay in touch, so we urge you to do so. You can find me on the same social media channels as well as I look forward to my novel's release in April - and yes, that is a little plug of self-promotion.


Thanks for listening, everyone, and we're excited to get 2016 started. Enjoy the interview and happy new year.

Dec 31, 2015

In special installment of the ISA's "Page 2 Screen" podcast series, ISA member and optioned screenwriter Derek Assaf returns to talk with host Jeff York about the new "Star Wars" movie - "The Force Awakens." Both of our ISA writers are big fans of the franchise, yet critical of some of its sequels, so that makes for an involving conversation that is both reverent and critical.

You'll hear how they think writer/director JJ Abrams approached the material and scripted something that paid homage, yet found a fresh, new take on the familiar. They'll also touch on the difficulty of writing sequels and why some succeed better than others. Additionally, they'll discuss Abrams' take on rebooting another sci-fi behemoth - "Star Trek" in 2009. And how the sci-fi genre continues to say a lot about the times we live in.

There is no bigger movie at the Cineplex right now, and the International Screenwriters Association is proud to have two of our members dig into this franchise in such a timely fashion. As always, we hope you enjoy this edition of Page 2 Screen, and would love to hear your thoughts on Twitter. Our handle is @NetworkISA and Jeff's is @JeffYorkWriter. May the Force be with you!

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