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Bulletproof Screenplay shows you how to make your screenplays bulletproof by interviewing the top screenwriters, story consultants and authors in the film industry. They discuss the craft and business of screenwriting.

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Podcast Episode's:
BPS 153: How to Build a Career as a Screenwriter with J.Mills Goodloe
Today on the show we have director and screenwriter J. Mills Goodloe.<br /><br />J. Mills Goodloe grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He began his career at Warner Brothers working for director Richard Donner. Goodloe worked from 1992 to 1995 as Donner's assistant on Lethal Weapon 3 and Maverick, both starring Mel Gibson, then segued into producing where he developed and produced Assassins starring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Julianne Moore.<br /><br />In 1996, Goodloe produced Conspiracy Theory, once again starring Mel Gibson, along with Julia Roberts, and Lethal Weapon 4, the fourth installment of the billion dollar grossing Lethal Weapon series.<br /><br />In 2001, Goodloe wrote and directed A Gentleman's Game starring Gary Sinise, Dylan Baker and Philip Baker Hall. In 2005, Goodloe wrote the adaptation for the John Grisham novel Bleachers for Revolution Studios. Goodloe also co-wrote the screenplay for the inspirational sports film Pride, released theatrically by Lionsgate and starring Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac.<br /><br />In 2014, Goodloe's adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel Best of Me went into production, starring Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden and directed by Michael Hoffman.<br /><br />Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they've never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.<br /><br />In 2013, Academy Award nominated director Hany Abu-Assad was hired to direct Goodloe's screenplay Mountain Between Us, a Twentieth Century Fox project based upon the novel by Charles Martin.<br /><br />In the Spring of 2014, Goodloe's original screenplay Age of Adaline began principal photography, starring Harrison Ford, Blake Lively and directed by Lee Toland Krieger. The film will be released by Lionsgate in the Spring of 2015.<br /><br />After miraculously remaining 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.<br /><br />In 2014, Sony Studios hired Goodloe to write the screenplay Christian the Lion with Neil Moritz' Original Film producing. His other projects include a scripted drama for Bravo Television called All the Pretty Faces which he and Jennifer Garner are producing.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with J. Mills Goodloe.
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BPS 152 : Inside the Hollywood Writer's Room with VJ Boyd
Today on the show we have television writer and show runner VJ Boyd. VJ is a producer and writer, best known for his work on the critically acclaimed  Justified (2010), the CBS smash hit S.W.A.T. (2017) and creator of Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector (2020).<br /><br />Deputy Raylan Givens has his own, Wild West-style methods of upholding justice, putting him at odds with the criminals he hunts and with his bosses in the U.S. Marshals Service. And an incident prompts his reassignment to the Kentucky district where he grew up. The character is based on one created by author Elmore Leonard in several books and short stories.<br /><br />If you ever wanted to know what it takes to get into a writer's room this is the episode for you. Enjoy my conversation with VJ Boyd. 
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BPS 151: Inside Writing Ghostbusters: Afterlife with Gil Kenan
Who are you going to call? Yup that is right, we have on the show today to co-writer of the new installment in the Ghostbusters universe, Gil Kenan.<br /><br />Gil co-wrote Ghostbusters: Afterlife with his friend writer/director Jason Reitman.<br /><br />From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Jason Reitman & Gil Kenan.<br /><br />Now Gil isn't just an accomplished writer but also an Oscar nominated filmmaker (Best Animated Film) for the animation classic Monster House (2006). He also wrote and directed, Poltergeist (2015) and City of Ember (2008) and the new Netflix film A Boy Called Christmas.<br /><br />In ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an extraordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Taking with him a headstrong reindeer called Blitzen and a loyal pet mouse, Nikolas soon meets his destiny in this magical, comic and endearing story that proves nothing is impossible. A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS, on Netflix Nov. 24 in select territories.<br /><br />Gil and I had a great conversation about working with Jason and his dad Ivan Reitman on bring Ghostbusters back to life, the pressure of playing in the Ghostbuster universe and lessons learned from his journey in Hollywood.<br /><br />BTW, I had the pleasure of watching Ghostbusters: Afterlife and all I can say is if you like the originals you're going to love it. Enjoy my conversation with Gil Kenan.
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BPS 150: Screenwriting Masterclass with Oscar® Nominee John Sayles
Today on the show we have legendary independent filmmaker and Oscar® nominated screenwriter John Sayles.<br /><br />John Sayles is one of America's best known independent filmmakers, receiving critical acclaim for films including Eight Men Out (1988), Lone Star (1996) and Men with Guns (1997). He's also written screenplays for mainstream films such as Passion Fish (1992), Limbo (1999), The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) and did a draft of Jurassic Park (1993) for Steven Spielberg.<br /><br />John has been named by American critic Roger Ebert as<br /><br />"one of the few genuinely independent American filmmakers",<br /><br />which John modestly denies!<br /><br />John has directed over 20 films and written well over 100 screenplays throughout his career. Two of his early films, The Return of the Seacaucus Seven (1978) and Baby Its You (1982), were selected by the United States National Film Registry for preservation in 2012. John was born outside Scranton, Pennsylvania and graduated from Williams College.<br /><br />John is a talented screenwriter as well as director; he made his first professional short film TSR: Thirty Seconds Over Reims (1971) after winning a talent competition with a script for the film. John's work often touches on social issues – including unemployment, inner-city violence and war – which John believes make excellent material for stories due to complex personal relationships involved with these topics.<br /><br />John also discusses his career path, including his decision to become a screenwriter, the difficulties he faced working as a screenwriter in Hollywood and his experience of writing for other directors such as Steven Spielberg.<br /><br />John and I had an amazing conversation that was full of knowledge bombs. It was truly like being in a filmmaking and screenwriting masterclass, hence the title of the episode.<br /><br />Sit back, relax and get ready to take some notes. Enjoy my epic conversation with John Sayles.
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BPS 149: The Art of Creativity and Wonder with Jeffery Davis
As we get older it seems that we lose tough with our inner child. We lose touch with that remarkable creative engine. Filmmakers like Steven Spielberg have figured out a way to not only stay in contact with his inner child but also not lose his sense of wonder.<br /><br />Today's guest will be helping us tap into out own sense of wonder that can help you on your creative path. We have on the show author, entrepreneur and human potential expert Jeffery Davis.<br /><br />Jeff approach's life and work as a quest. Everything he does – from building a thriving business to writing books to serving as a branding strategist to designing live Brand Artistry Labs to delivering keynotes to guiding his two girls’ through childhood – are part and parcel of the same quest for integrity, meaning, and making.<br /><br />But like most quests, mine has been neither easy nor straightforward.<br /><br />He has deliberately sought a life of meaning and making since he was 19 and declared in his private notebook that he would become a writer and preserve my imagination. In his 20s, he co-founded The Walden Institute, devoted to studying  human potential through the intersections of neuroscience, existential psychology, and the literary arts. By age 31, though, he was all intellect and drive with a shrinking heart and vanishing imagination.<br /><br />I get to work with top-notch change-makers, and that includes our team of creative renegades at Tracking Wonder consultancy – our boutique consultancy focused on brand story identity, strategy, and asset development.<br /><br />Tracking wonder is not kid’s stuff. It’s radical grown-up stuff.<br /><br />Jeff lives with these burning questions that shape his days:<br /><br />How does Story change us?<br />How is creating a signature brand with integrity a meaningful, creative endeavor?<br />How is wonder the source of every human being’s original creative genius?<br />How are building a family and building a business part and parcel of living a life of making meaning, projects, a livelihood, and a difference?<br /><br />The result has culminated in this quest for tracking wonder.<br /><br />His new book is called Tracking Wonder: Reclaiming a Life of Meaning and Possibility in a World Obsessed with Productivity.<br /><br />Discover how the lost art of wonder can help you cultivate greater creativity, resilience, meaning, and joy as you bring your greatest contributions to life.<br /><br />Beyond grit, focus, and 10,000 hours lies a surprising advantage that all creatives have—wonder. Far from child’s play, wonder is the one radical quality that has led exemplary people from all walks of life to move toward the fruition of their deepest dreams and wildest endeavors—and it can do so for you, too.<br /><br />“Wonder is a quiet disruptor of unseen biases,” writes Jeffrey Davis. “It dissolves our habitual ways of seeing and thinking so that we may glimpse anew the beauty of what is real, true, and possible.” Rich with wisdom, inspiring stories, and practical tools, Tracking Wonder invites us to explore how the lost art of wonder can inspire a life of greater joy, possibility, and purpose. You’ll discover:<br /><br />The six facets of wonder—key qualities to help you cultivate the art of wonder in your work, relationships, and life<br />How wonder can help us fertilize creativity, sustain the motivation to pursue big ideas, navigate uncertainty and crises, deepen our relationships, and more<br />The biases against wonder—moving beyond societal and internalized resistance to our inherent gifts<br />Why experiencing wonder isn’t really about achieving goals—though that happens—but about how we live each day<br />Inspiring stories of people whose experiences of wonder helped them move through the unthinkable to create extraordinary lives<br />Practical exercises, tools, and reflections to help you begin your own practice of tracking wonder<br /><br />A refreshing counter-voice to the exhausting narrative hyper-productivity, Tracking Wonder is a welcome guide for experiencing more meaning and joy in the present moment as you bring your greatest contributions to life.<br /><br />If you are stuck or just need a jump start to your creative process then get ready to take some notes.<br /><br />Enjoy my "wonder" filled conversation with Jeffery Davis.
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BPS 148: Writing Pikachu, Addams Family & The Craft of TV with Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit
Today on the show we have the showrunning writing duo of Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit. They are responsible for bring iconic character Pikachu to the big screen. The film starred Ryan Reynolds.<br /><br />Ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son, Tim, to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry's former Pokémon partner, wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth Detective Pikachu. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to work together, as Tim is the only human who can talk with Pikachu, they join forces to unravel the tangled mystery.<br /><br />Easily one of my favorite projects they worked on is the Netflix show One Day at a Time. On that project they got to work with the television living legend Norman Lear.<br /><br />This comedy-drama is inspired by Norman Lear's 1975 series of the same name. This time around, the series follows the life of Penelope, a newly single Army veteran, and her Cuban-American family, as they navigate the ups and downs of life. Now a nurse, Penelope is raising two strong-willed children.<br /><br />When faced with challenges, Penelope turns to her "old-school" mother, and her building manager, who has become an invaluable confidant. The series offers a contemporary take on what life looks like in both good and bad times, and how loved ones can help make it all worthwhile.<br /><br />On television, Hernandez and Samit have written for, The Tick, Super Fun Night and 1600 Penn. They were named in Paste Magazine's list of the top 28 comedy writers of 2018. In 2019, Samit and Hernandez signed a long-term deal with 20th Century Fox Television to develop, write and produce animated and live-action series<br /><br />We discussed how they got their big break, how they approach the craft, the world of the writer's room and much more. Enjoy my conversation with Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit.
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BPS 147: Neill Blomkamp - Big Budget Indies and Creative Freedom
Ever since I saw District 9 and learned of all the mythical stories behind the short film becoming a feature, I have been a massive fan of today’s guest, Neill Blomkamp. Though Neill is here today to talk about his new sci-fi horror fiction film, Demonic, we also chatted up about his other films that have been successful over the years.<br /><br />Released in August 2021, Demonic follows a young woman who unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades-old rift between mother and daughter are ruthlessly revealed.<br /><br />Neill is a South African Canadian film director, producer, screenwriter, and animator, best known for writing and directing multiple-award-winning films such as Chappie, Elysium, and the iconic District 9, along with a plethora of short films, commercials, and special effect credits.<br /><br />If you have seen a few of Neill’s works already, you would already know and admire his dystopian, action, and sci-fi style of writing and filmmaking. He depicts the short film in documentary style, with xenophobic social segregation themes.<br /><br />In 2009 Neill and his wife, Canadian screenwriter Terri Tatchell, co-wrote a short film titled, Alive in Joburg, which later became his feature film debut, District 9. Neill received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture for this $210.8 million-grossing film from a $30 millionbudget.<br /><br />District 9 was a critically acclaimed splash, earning multiple awards, including the Bafta, the Academy, Golden Globes, etc., for its visual effects, editing, screenplay, and picture. And a 90% on rotten tomato. But the success of this film is truly in the story it tells and the inspiration that drove it.<br /><br />In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed "The Prawns," appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor.<br /><br />In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, was contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new 'Prawn' friends.<br /><br />As you will hear in our conversation, this project was inspired by parts of Johannesburg in South Africa's history Neill was learning. His journey involved gaining awareness of xenophobia from relatively poor South Africans against immigrants from Mozambique, Nigeria, and Malawi --- a sentiment is still prevalent with some South Africans to this day.<br /><br />The initial short film, Alive In Joburg that preceded District 9, had a socio-political theme shot in realism-based style paired with sci-fi but of performers sharing real-life experiences of illegal aliens/immigrants in South Africa.<br /><br />By the time he had to adapt the script for the feature, District 9, Neill had moved into an interest of South Africa’s history, including apartheid, and precisely its border war period in the 1980s.<br /><br />As mentioned earlier, Neill started his career in this industry through visual effects and animation in commercials. When he moved to Canada at 18 years old, the pathway opened up for him to finally pursue his childhood dream of working in the film industry.<br /><br />He did Ads animation for some years while closely following the works of film directors who had gone the commercials to film directing route. One of his most prominent commercials to date, which was shelved by the clients based on creative differences, was a short film Superbowl ad for Nike.<br /><br />Even though he spent a short time doing commercials, Neill has held on to all the transferable lessons and tips to his filmmaking and screenwriting.<br /><br />IN 2015, Neill released his third feature film, dystopian sci-fi action fiction, Chappie, co-written with his wife, Tatchell --- starring Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, and Hugh Jackman. Chappie became a massive success at the box office with a gross of from a $49 million budget.<br /><br />Chappie, an artificial general intelligence law enforcement robot, is captured during a patrol and reprogrammed by gangsters after being stolen. He becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.<br /><br />Wanting to experiment and have more creative freedom Neill created Oats Studios. Oats Studios makes experimental short films, a testing ground for ideas and creativity leading to full scale feature films based on ideas created here. One of the studios most popular shorts is Rakka.<br /><br />Not to give too much away, let's dig into my interview with our incredible and inspiring guest, Neill Blomkamp.
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BPS 146: How to Succeed as a Screenwriter with Thomas Dever
Today on the show we have head of writer success at Coverfly, Thomas Dever. Thomas has been helping screenwriters for years. I wanted to have him on the show to discuss what he's seeing in the film business, from a street level. <br /><br />Thomas works with all the major agencies, top end producers and managers. If anyone knows what Hollywood is looking or he'd be the one. <br /><br />We also discuss how screenwriters can better position themselves in the marketplace, debunk a few myths many screenwriters believe and much more. <br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Thomas Dever. 
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BPS 145: How I Write and Direct My Films with Edgar Wright
In the house, today is the iconic screenwriter and director, of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Shaun of the Deadand Blockbuster hit,Baby Driver, Edgar Wright. Edgar has been on the scene making and writing satirical genre films, while also acting for almost thirty years.<br /><br />He’s here today to talk about his most recent and upcoming film, Last Night In Soho. It is set for release on October 29, 2021, and stars the Queen’s Gambit star, Anya Taylor-Joy. The “Last Night in Soho” title is taken from a song by those Tarantino soundtrack favorites Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.<br /><br /><br /><br />The film’s plot: Eloise, a young woman with a passion for fashion design and a strange sixth sense, finds herself transported back in time to 1966 London in the body of an iconic nightclub singer of the era named Sandie. While in Sandie's body, Eloise begins a romantic relationship; but she begins to realize that Sandie's life in the Swinging Sixties is not as glamorous as it appears to be and both past and present begin to fall apart with horrifying consequences. <br /><br />Edgar is the ultimate creator. He’s worked across several genres of entertainment besides films. Some of the said expansion includes television, and music videos production, as well as video games.<br /><br />Like most up-and-coming creators and filmmakers, we start off on a budget. Edgar began making independent short films around 1993 before making his first feature film A Fistful of Fingers in 1995.<br /><br />Some other projects he created and directed are the 1996 comedy series, Asylum, the 1999 sitcom, Spaced, and about twenty-plus others since then.<br /><br />In 2017, he made waves at the Box office with Baby Driver, grossing $226 million globally. The commercial success of the film was due to the positive word-of-mouth support and flagging interest in blockbuster franchises.<br /><br />Baby Driver starred Ansel Elgort, who played the role of a getaway driver seeking freedom from a life of crime with his girlfriend, played by Lily James.<br /><br />Other A-list actors joined the supporting cast of the film-- the likes of  Jon Hamm, Eiza González, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Bernthal. The Sony Pictures distributed film earned numerous nominations; including three Academy Awards, two BAFTA Film Awards, and two Critics' Choice Awards.<br /><br />It was exciting chatting up with Edgar about his signature editing style, writing, and the success of his career.<br /><br />Please enjoy my conversation with Edgar Wright.
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HALLOWEEN BONUS: How to Write a Profitable Horror Film with Stephen Follows
HALLOWEEN BONUS episode from my other show The Indie Film Hustle Podcast.<br /><br />Today on the show we have returning champion Stephen Follows. In this Halloween themed episode, we dive into Stephen's opus, The Horror Report. The report was created by using data on every horror film ever made, a data-driven dive into everything from development, production, and distribution to recoupment and profitability.<br /><br />Stephen Follows is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club, and Indiewire.<br /><br />He acted as an industry consultant and guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Business of Film, which was topped the iTunes podcast chart, and has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including the Smithsonian in Washington. He has been commissioned to write reports for key film industry bodies and his most recent study, looking at gender inequity in the UK film industry and was launched on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ program.<br /><br />Stephen has taught at major film schools, normal business schools, and minor primary schools. His lessons range established topics from Producing at MA and BA level, online video and the business of film producing to more adventurous topics such as measuring the unmeasurable, advanced creative thinking and the psychology of film producing. He has taught at the National Film and Television School (NFTS), Met Film School, NYU, Filmbase, and on behalf of the BFI, the BBC, and the British Council.<br /><br />Stephen has produced over 100 short films and two features. Past clients range from computer game giants, technology giants, and sporting giants but sadly no actual giants. He’s shot people in love, in the air, on the beach, and on fire (although not at the same time) across over a dozen different countries in locations ranging from the Circle Line to the Arctic Circle.<br /><br />Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Stephen Follows.
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HALLOWEEN BONUS: How to Make a Killer Horror Film in One Location with Michael Williams
HALLOWEEN BONUS episode from my other show The Indie Film Hustle Podcast.<br /><br />If you have a micro or no budget feature film shooting in one location will make life a lot easier. Now, how do you make that one location look great and not boring through your film? Indie Filmmaker Michael Williams did just that with his new horror film The Atoning. Check out the trailer below.<br /> <br />Michael Williams began creating short films in 2004 and since has consistently produced short films and screened them for audiences at annual film festivals and screenings across the U.S.<br />Williams earned his bachelor of arts in film in 2009 from the University of Southern Mississippi and was awarded the Top Film Student of 2009 Award. In 2007 Williams began his professional film career, accumulating a multitude of credits ranging from assistant camera to director of photography for many independent short and feature-length films.<br />After writing, directing and producing more than 20 short films, Williams broke into the feature-length film territory with the award-winning film OzLand". While his desire to tell complex stories visually drew him to a career in cinematography, as an artist and storyteller, Williams writes and directs films like "OzLand" in order to share his stories with those interested in experiencing them while eagerly pursuing the opportunity to bring other people's stories to life as a director of photography.<br />For his 2nd feature film, Williams turned to the horror/supernatural thriller genre for "The Atoning", an award-winning family drama explored through a fresh take on the thriller/horror genre.<br />Today, the filmmaker owns and operates Shendopen films in West Point, Mississippi and continues to write and direct his own independent films, produce films by other regional filmmakers and works regionally in the industry as a director of photography. Enjoy my conversation with Michael Williams.
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BPS 144: How to Pitch a Television Project to a Network with Kelly Edwards
This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with writer, producer, former studio executive and diversity thought leader Kelly Edwards. Many of us want to be able to pitch our shows to a network or studio but just don't know how the game is played. Kelly not only knows how the game is played she wrote a book on how to do it.<br /><br />Her new book is The Executive Chair: A Writer’s Guide to TV Series Development. <br /><br />To make compelling television, our industry depends on enthusiastic new voices with fresh ideas. While there are plenty of books about the mechanics of writing, this is the first time an insider has detailed the invaluable TV executive perspective. As key pieces of the entertainment puzzle, executives hold institutional wisdom that seldom gets disseminated outside network walls.<br /><br />The Executive Chair breaks down the business from the gatekeeper’s point of view, illuminating the creative process used by those who ultimately make the decisions. Whether developing a project for the entertainment marketplace or merely probing the executive mindset, The Executive Chair dispels myths about the creative process and takes the reader through the development of a pilot script.<br /><br />"There are a million ways to break into Hollywood. Your journey will be unique to you. Meet all the people. Work all the angles. But most of all, enjoy the ride." - Kelly Edwards<br /><br />Kelly Edwards recently transitioned from inside the network ranks into a writing and producing deal with HBO under her Edwardian Pictures banner.<br /><br />In her former executive role, she oversaw all of the emerging artists programs for HBO, HBOMax, and Turner. The pilots she produced through the HBOAccess Writing and Directing fellowships have screened at major film festivals including Tribeca and SXSW, and garnered multiple awards.<br /><br />Prior to HBO, Edwards was a key corporate diversity executive at Comcast/NBCUniversal for over five years where she oversaw over 20 divisions, launched employee resource groups, and introduced diverse creative talent to NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and Telemundo.<br /><br />Edwards’ career spans both television and film. Early in her career, she worked as a creative executive in features at both Disney and Sony under such talents as Garry Marshall and Laura Ziskin. After moving to television, she served as a senior executive at FOX where she developed LIVING SINGLE, CLUELESS, and THE WILD THORNBERRYS. While heading up UPN’s Comedy division as the SVP of Comedy Development she developed GIRLFRIENDS, THE PARKERS, and MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE.<br /><br />In 2000, Edwards co-founded the non-profit organization Colour Entertainment, a networking group for diverse creative executives in TV, Film, Digital, as well as assistants, all designed to connect current and future industry executives with one another.<br /><br />Kelly and I had an amazing conversation about the business, how to pitch a television project to a studio, and much more. Enjoy!
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BPS 143: How To Become a Professional Screenwriter with Brooke Elms
Brooks Elms has written more than 25 scripts over the term of his career for companies like Gold Circle Films, Base FX, and Broken Road. <br /><br />We connected through a mutual friend and I couldn’t wait to have him on the Bulletproof Screenwriting podcast. <br />Elms is a member of the Writers Guild Of America and a part-time screenwriting instructor at UCLA Extension where he's shared his filmmaking and plot structuring skills with his students since 2016 through two classes he currently teaches; Story Analysis for Film & TV, and Story Development.<br /><br />You may have seen films and television series he's directed such as The Ultimate Fighter, Snapshots from a .500 Season, Montauk Highway, Drew, Trip and Zoey and So Happy Together.<br /><br />Elms have consulted with all levels of creatives across Hollywood, including studio directors, rewrites for the oscar-winning writer while also writing and directing his own indie feature films. <br /><br />In his free time, Elms loves to coach other writers who have a burning ambition to deeply serve their audiences. We both should be working on a project of mine in the near future, so stay tuned.<br /><br />I’m always down for a good screenwriting 101 conversation and my interview with Brooks will not disappoint<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation on how to become a professional screenwriter with Brooke Elms.
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BPS 142: Changing Television Forever with David Chase
The legacy of the crime drama television series, The Sopranos remains a defining art of storytelling for mob TV shows. We have the genius behind this hit TV series, David Chase as our guest today. <br /><br />As expected, Chase is a twenty-five-time Emmy Awards-winner, seven times Golden Globes winner, and highly acclaimed producer, writer, and director. His forty-year career in Hollywood has contributed immensely to the experience of quality TV. <br /><br />Before getting into the nitty-gritty of Chase, let’s do a brief of the HBO 1999 hit show, The Sopranos: Produced by HBO, Chase Films, and Brad Grey Television, the story ran for six seasons, revolving around Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, a New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his family life with his role as the leader of a criminal organization.<br /><br />The series has been the subject of critical analysis, controversy, and parody, and has spawned books, a video game, soundtrack albums, podcasts, and assorted merchandise. During its run, the film earned multiple awards, including the Peabody, Primetime Emmy, and the Golden Globe Awards. <br /><br />Even though David has continued to dominate his craft, with other works like The Rockford Files, I'll Fly Away, Not Fade Away, Northern Exposure, Almost Grown, Switch, etc, he is still most known for his television directorial debut, The Sopranos.<br /><br />The genius is back with the Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, which stars Alessandro Nivola and James Gandolfini’s son Michael Gandolfini as a young Tony Soprano. It has been in theaters and on HBO Max since October 1, 2021.<br /><br />The plot explores the life of Young Anthony Soprano. Before Tony Soprano, there was Dickie Moltisanti, Tony’s uncle. Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark's history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family's hold over the increasingly race-torn city.<br />Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities-and whose influence over his nephew will help make the impressionable teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we'll later come to know: Tony Soprano.<br /><br />We also talk a bit about David’s five-year, first-look deal to create shows for HBO parent WarnerMedia. More culture moments, please!<br /><br />Let’s get into the chat, shall we?<br /><br />Enjoy my entertaining conversation with David Chase.
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BPS 141: Selling Palm Springs for $17.5 Million at Sundance with Max Barbakow
I believe that most indie filmmakers have a dream of making a feature film, getting accepted to the Sundance Film Festival, and that film would be fought over in a massive bidding war that generates millions of dollars for the filmmakers. I’ve called this dream the lottery ticket mentally. I always say that someone wins the lottery every week somewhere.<br /><br />Well, today’s guest is that lottery ticket winner. Today on the show we have director Max Barbakow, the filmmaker behind the largest sale at Sundance in history. His film Palm Springs sold for a record-breaking $17.5 million and .69¢. Those last cents are what broke the record.<br /><br />The film stars Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, and J.K. Simmons and was acquired by NEON and Hulu at the festival.<br /><br />When carefree Nyles and reluctant maid of honor Sarah have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding, things get complicated when they find themselves unable to escape the venue, themselves, or each other.<br /><br />I’ve always wanted to know what it was like to be a fly on the wall during a bidding war at Sundance. In today’s episode, I take you through the improbable journey of this first-time feature filmmaker and his adventures of getting his film Palms Springs from the page to the Sundance record books.<br /><br />You can watch Palm Springs on Hulu.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Max Barbakow.
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BPS 140: The NO Bullsh*t Guide to Making Your Indie Film with Jeff Leisawitz
The NO Bullsh*t Guide to Making Your Indie Film with Jeff Leisawitz<br /><br />Have you ever been in a place where nothing is going right creatively? Do you ever feel like you are standing in your own way? Me too. Today's guest is author Jeff Leisawitz who wrote Not F*ing Around— the No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground.  This little pack is quite a punch.<br /><br />I wanted to have Jeff on the show to drop some knowledge bombs to wake up the tribe a bit. To help you get out of your own way; to get you out of any creative rut.<br /><br />This guidebook is a manual for creatives who can't quite get their creative juices flowing? The day job sucking your soul? Fizzled out before you put the finishing touches on your amazing creation? With relentless positivity, full-on authenticity, and a punk rock thunder spirit, author Jeff Leisawitz pulls back the curtain on the creative process and reminds us that we are all creative SuperStars.<br /><br />It's time to get off the couch and get on the path. It's time to tap into the cosmic heartbeat that thumps in your chest and shines from your soul. It's time to get NFA!<br /><br />About Jeff Leisawitz: Jeff is an award-winning musician/ producer, a critically acclaimed author, and an internationally distributed filmmaker who has devoted his life to creativity.<br /><br />As the guy behind Electron Love Theory, Jeff fused interviews with Seattle’s WTO demonstrators into electronic music, garnering more than a quarter-million downloads worldwide. Jeff has released five studio albums and has landed thousands of music placements in film, TV, and multimedia for clients like HBO, MTV, Discovery, Microsoft, NBC, and many others.<br /><br />As the founding writer for Seattle’s taste-making alternative rock station 107.7 The End, he chronicled the alternative grunge scene in the 90s.<br /><br />After training as a Life Coach and practicing NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Re-Patterning) Jeff landed a gig as an adjunct faculty member at Pacific Lutheran University— teaching college students to rock. (Seriously)<br /><br />When creative businesses, schools, and organizations like Brown Paper Tickets, Tacoma School of the Arts, Gage Academy of Art, Northwest Film Forum, and others need to amp up the creativity, Jeff leads workshops and events to fire up the creative spirit and empower people to tap into their true potential.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Jeff Leisawitz.
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BPS 139: No Film School Needed - Direct & Sell Six Features in Two Years with Elizabeth Blake-Thomas
I have an inspirational treat for you today. On the show, we have writer/producer/director Elizabeth Blake-Thomas. She has recently financed, written, directed, and sold six feature films in the past two years, with no professional film school training. Elizabeth has been involved in the creative industries for over 30 years. Studying drama from a young age led her to run theatre schools, train other students and companies and work in various creative industries, culminating in where she is now, a director and writer.<br /><br />When I heard her story I had to hunt her down and find out how she did it. BTW, she's not stopping, Elizabeth is currently in prep for three more feature films. Talk about hustle. She is the definition of the phrase "INDIE FILM HUSTLE."<br /><br />She is proof that no film school is needed. Enjoy my conversation with Elizabeth Blake-Thomas.
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BPS 138: From Sundance Sleeper Hit To Blockbuster Career with Chris Sparling
It’s always way fun to have a guest who is also a fan of the show. This week’s guest is definitely a member of the tribe. We chatted up pre-interview about some of his favorite IFH podcast episodes like Ed Burns and Joe Carnahan and I knew front hen on we were on for a treat. My guest today is award-winning writer, director, and producer, Chris Sparling.<br /><br />Chris has written some of Hollywood's most original and fascinating screenplays like Buried, Greenland, Mercy, Down A Dark Hall, Reincarnate (featuring Leonardo DiCaprio), The Sea of Trees with Matthew McConaughey, etc.<br /><br />One of his latest films, Greenland, which premiered in 2020 started streaming on Amazon prime this February.<br /><br />The disaster thriller film starring Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin follows a family who must fight for survival as planet-destroying comet races to Earth. Butler’s family struggles for survival in the face of a cataclysmic natural disaster as the planet-killing comet races to Earth. John Garrity (Gerard Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin), and young son Nathan make a perilous journey to their only hope for sanctuary.<br /><br />Amid terrifying news accounts of cities around the world being leveled by the comet's fragments, the Garrity's experience the best and worst in humanity while they battle the increasing panic and lawlessness surrounding them. As the countdown to global apocalypse approaches zero, their incredible trek culminates in a desperate and last-minute flight to a possible safe haven.<br /><br />With its reception and regardless of the COVID 19 Pandemic, the film grossed $52.3 million at the Box Office and was announced that the sequel, Greenland: Migration is already in the works. The continuation of the story will center around the Garritys' journey across a frozen European wasteland to find a new home. STX has already acquired the worldwide distribution rights for the film at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival for the sequel with a $65 million budget.<br /><br />Chris’s path to becoming a renowned Hollywood blockbuster writer begun on the actor’s path. He was inspired to take up writing after the 1997 hit psychological drama film, Goodwill Hunting which was directed by Gus Van Sant and starred Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and others.<br /><br />He left Los Angeles on a home (Rhodes Island) bound to recalibrate and focus on completing college and writing because it was a challenge juggling that and acting auditions. After completing college, Sparling returned to Los Angeles. With no connections or leads, he returned to Rhodes Island with the plan to make a movie of one of the many scripts he had written by then. Though he had no formal film production experience at this point, Sparling wrote, directed, and produced An Uzi at the Alamo which is about a young writer in search of his identity, pledges to his dysfunctional family that he will commit suicide on his 25th birthday. As the fateful day approaches, he stumbles upon love and a new sense of self. Fearing family humiliation if he backs out of his pledge, he prepares for his last birthday with the feigned support of his family.<br /><br />Of course, the film did not do well, but this is when things became interesting for Chris’s writing career. He dusted up and sent out about one hundred specs to studios, managers, producers, literally anyone he could contact. He received back, only three responses and one of which was from a manager who became his manager and still is till this day. That was his first open door.<br /><br />When I saw the trailer for Chris’s 2010 film, Buried, and the success of it, as an independent filmmaker, I was in awe and slightly jealous of how easy (cost, and production-wise), revolutionary the film is. Buried is a brilliantly twisted suspense and original screenplay that is a nightmare for claustrophobes. <br /><br />Sparling found mainstream success when his feature-length screenplay Buried was purchased by producer Peter Safran starring Ryan Reynolds.<br /><br />Ryan plays Paul, an Iraq-based American civilian truck drive. After an attack by a group of Iraqis, he Wakes up groggy in pitch darkness, to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter, flask, flashlight, knife, glowsticks, pen, pencil, and a mobile phone.<br /><br />It's a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap. He is left to rely on his cell phone to contact the outside world. But the outside world proves not to be very helpful at finding a man buried in a box in the middle of the Iraqi desert. Paul must rely on his best resource--himself.<br /><br />The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was sold to Lionsgate Films. Buried was shown at several major European and North American film festivals. It was nominated for and won a plethora of European films awards because it was produced in Barcelona by Barcelona-based Versus Entertainment, in association with The Safran Company and Dark Trick Films.<br /><br />Some of the awards included the Goya Award, for Best Original Screenplay, a Gaudi Award in the same category, and the best European feature film of the year award at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival in September 2010. This $2 million budget indie film made a gross splash of $21.3 million worldwide. <br /><br />Sparling had an immediate success from Buried; between the script going out in March of 2009 and the movie premiering at Sundance in 2010, and he suddenly needed an agent, an attorney, and everything legit in between. <br /><br />Intrusion, Sparling’s latest film will be streaming on Netflix in just one week (September 22, 2021), starring Freida Pinto and Logan Marshall-Green. <br /><br />It is about a husband and wife who move to a small town. A deadly home invasion leaves the wife traumatized and suspicious that those around her might not be who they seem. Even though it was self-defense, it was still a homicide. However, it turns out that the home invasion was not a one-off, and there are many other missing person cases in which the invaders may be involved. Meera falls into a rabbit hole as she takes it upon herself to find out the truth.<br /><br />Enjoy my entertaining conversation with Chris Sparling.
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BPS 137: The Art & Craft of the Romantic Comedy with Charles Shyer
We have on today, one of the best rom-com and comedy writers and filmmakers of all time a master at visual storytelling. I've been a fan of many of his films growing up, specifically, Father of The Bride. Now that I have two daughters of my own, it is fondly scary to rewatch it.<br /><br />Charles Shyer is an award-winning director, screenwriter, and producer whose work includes some of the best fuzzy-feel good films of all time. Shyer grew up in the film industry where his father worked with D.W. Griffith and was one of the founders of the Directors Guild of America. <br /><br />He is the director and writer of the 1991 comedy film, Father of the Bride starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams (in her film debut) in this remake of the Spencer Tracy classic, George (played by Steve Martin) and Nina Banks (played by Diane Keaton) are the parents of young soon-to-be-wed Annie (played by Kimberly Williams-Paisley). George is a nervous father unready to face the fact that his little girl is now a woman. The preparations for the extravagant wedding provide additional comic moments. Martin, a businessman, and owner of an athletic shoe company finds out his daughter is getting married, he finds himself reluctant to let go and goes on a spiral. It is one of those movies with a lot of smiles and laughter in it, and a good feeling all the way through. The film grossed $129 million and has had two sequels of it made in 1995 and 2020.<br /><br />He wrote and co-produced one of the most pivotal films in Lindsey Lohan’s career, The Parent Trap (1998). It captured the story of identical twins Annie and Hallie (played by Lohan), separated at birth and each raised by one of their biological parents, later discover each other for the first time at summer camp and make a plan to bring their wayward parents back together.<br /><br />People fell in love with the movie and Lohan’s exceptional performance, leading to an instant box-office success with a $92.1 million gross. <br /><br />There are but few writers who are able to master the craft of romantic comedy, and Charles Shyer is one. His films include Private Benjamin (1980), Irreconcilable Differences (1984), Baby Boom (1987), the Father of the Bride sequels, The Affair of the Necklace (2001), etc.<br /><br />Shyer directed Baby Boom and co-wrote it with his long-time writing partner, Nancy Meyers in 1987. It stars Diane Keaton (a super-yuppie J.C) who discovers that a long-lost cousin has died, leaving her a fourteen-month-old baby girl as an inheritance. Like most of his films, this too was a box office success. Her life is thrown into turmoil.<br /><br />J.C. Wiatt is a successful New York businesswoman known around town as the "tiger lady." She gets news of an inheritance from a relative from another country and off the bat she suspects it's money. Well, it's not money, it's a baby girl. At first, she doesn't accept until the lady that gives the baby to her has to catch her flight. J.C. is now stuck with an annoying baby girl. Her boyfriend doesn't like the idea of a baby living with them and he leaves her. J.C. has enough of it and takes her to meet a family ready to adopt her. She leaves but hears the baby cry while walking away and has to go back. The baby is too attached to her now and won't let her go. Later, her baby gets into mischief which causes her to get fired. Now, she sets her eyes on an old two-story cottage in Vermont to get out of New York life. When she arrives, the house needs more help than originally thought. She gets bored one snowy day and decides to make apple sauce. Her baby loves it and she decides to sell it. Pretty soon everyone wants some of the baby apple sauce. J.C. hits it big and falls in love with a local veterinarian.<br /><br />All this happened after he made the switch at the start of his career in the industry, from pursuing directing to writing and landing a gig on the 1970 TV series, The Odd Couple. Where Shyer eventually worked his way up to head writer and associate producer, writing about twenty-four episodes of the show. <br /><br />The sitcom, The Odd Couple was formally titled onscreen as Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. It was broadcasted on ABC from September 24, 1970, to March 7, 1975, starring Tony Randall as Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison.<br /><br />In our conversation, Shyer tackled the making of some of his well-known films and the changing writing culture in Hollywood. It’s always a good fun day at the office when I can chat up with folks like Charles. <br /><br />Enjoy my chat with Charles Shyer.
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BPS 136: Horror Screenwriting - The Nature of Fear with Devin Watson
I was glad to take a deep dive into the deep end of horror screenwriting with writer and producer, Devin Watson, notably known for writing and producing The Cursed (2010) which was the first draft he wrote in only two days. <br /><br />He’s also written several books, the latest of which is Horror Screenwriting: The Nature of Fear. <br /><br />Horror has, among all of the genres in film and written works, one of the longest, most distinguished, and often misunderstood bloodlines in history. It is often overlooked by critics who don't see anything more than blood and guts on the screen or a collection of cheap scares.<br /><br />But what is missed is the hard-hitting commentary on society and life contained in those works.<br /><br />Devin got his start working with the website, 'moviepartners.com' in the late 90s which was one of the first websites out there that really had any kind of information on independent filmmaking.<br /><br />Eventually, he decided to try out writing some scripts. But reading what every he could find to prepare him for scriptwriting. He was influenced in a big way by Lew Hunter's book, Screenwriting 434. <br /><br />Here, Lew Hunter shares the secrets of his course on the screenwriting process by actually writing an original script, step by step in Screenwriting 434.<br /><br />When he felt ready, Devin wrote his first five scripts, all of which turned out not very good. Not until November 2006 that he wrote a script in 2 days for his friend, Phil Melfi. That was when he felt confident in his work. That script became his debut production and writing, The Cursed, which is still a sci-fi channel Halloween rotation regular.<br /><br />Devin’s book Horror Screenwriting really dives into the craft of horror and screenwriting pretty deeply.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Devin Watson.
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BPS 135: The Way of Story with Catherine Ann Jones
We have award-winning author, playwright, actor, teacher, and writing consultant, Catherine Ann Jones on the show today. She’s authored a number of consciousness-raising books, plays, film, and television scripts, including, The Christmas Wife (film), Unlikely Angel with Dolly Parton, The Way of Story: the craft & soul of writing (book), Freud’s Oracle (Play), and several others.<br /><br />Unlikely Angel stars Dolly Parton who plays a self-absorbed singer who meets an untimely death and gets an opportunity to earn her wings if she helps a family lost in the tragic death of their Mother find each other again. This should be a Holiday movie tradition.<br /><br />In our interview, we talk about her book, The Way Of Story which offers an integrative approach to writing all forms of narrative.<br /><br />This illustrated book contains evocative insights from the author's own professional journey. The emphasis on the integration of both a solid craft and an experiential inner discovery makes this writing book unique.<br /><br />She helps others on their writing journeys through workshops, consulting, and writing<br /><br />Following her passions for truth-seeking and dramatic self-expression Catherine’s written six books. Her most recent book is a 2013 publication, Heal Your Self With Writing.<br /><br />Catherine was a writer on the popular 90s TV show, Touch by an Angel.<br /><br />The series generally revolved around the "cases" of Monica (played by Roma Downey), an angel recently promoted from the "search and rescue" division, who works under the guidance of Tess (played by Della Reese), a sarcastic boss who is sometimes hard on her young colleague but is more of a surrogate mother than a mentor. The trio of angels is sent to Earth to tell depressed and troubled people that God loves them and hasn't forgotten them.<br /><br />Let's delve into Catherine's writing process and how she helps others achieve excellent stories, shall we?<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Catherine Ann Jones.
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BPS 134: Psychology for Screenwriters with William Indick
I’m taking a journey down the rabbit hole of screenwriting psychoanalysis with Professor William Indick, who is a psychology professor at William Paterson University in New Jersey, professor of psychology executive chair of faculty at Dowling College, and author of Psychology for Screenwriters.<br /><br />We take a nerdy dig into the world of psychology and how it affects writers, screenwriters, and characters. With some expert contextualization, William psychoanalyzes some of our favorite films and characters while also breaking down character archetypes and themes he has studied.  <br /><br />How did it all start, you ask?<br /><br />Well, in 2003 he made the decision to incorporate more culturally relevant theories of personality instead of antiquated theories in his psychology classes by sorting references from famous films. Based on his students growing interested and fascination, William researched to find psychology textbooks about films, but none existed. So he wrote one instead. <br /><br />The book was published by Michael Wiese productions in 2004.  Psychology For Screenwriters supports that screenwriters must understand human behavior to make their stories come alive. This book clearly describes theories of personality and psychoanalysis with simple guidelines, thought-provoking exercises, vivid film images, and hundreds of examples from classic movies.<br /><br />Basically, the book takes general psychology theories and applications and adapts them into helpful tools for screenwriters.<br /><br />He delves into various genre archetypal characters and themes that are repetitive in screenplays in the second edition of the book which will be out soon.<br /><br />Just this summer, William published his sixth book, Media Environments and Mental Disorder: The Psychology of Information Immersion. It deals a lot with narcissism, and the notion that all media is a mirror, and how we understand ourselves at a time when we're constantly being reflected in a million ways. The information environments that modern society requires us to master and engage in are based on literacy and digital communication. Mediated information not only passes through our brains, it alters and rewires them. Since our environment, to a large extent, is shaped by the way we perceive, understand, and communicate information, we can even think of mental disorders as symptoms of maladaptation to our media environments.<br /><br />This book uses this "media ecology" model to explore the effects of media on mental disorders. It traces the development of media from the most basic forms--the sights and sounds expressed by the human body--to the most technologically complex media created to date, showing how each medium of communication relates to specific mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and autism. As the digital age proceeds to envelop us in an environment of infinite and instantly accessible information, it's crucial to our own mental health to understand how the various forms of media influence and shape our minds and behaviors.<br /><br />My conversation with William was one of those discussions that you come out of, more informed than you went in.<br /><br />We had a blast. Enjoy my very informative conversation with William Indick.
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BSP 133: The RAW and Scandalous Truth Behind the Writing of Boondock Saints with Troy Duffy
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the cult indie film classic The Boondock Saints. But many of you might not know the crazy story of its writer and director Troy Duffy.<br /><br />Well, prepare to get your mind BLOWN. I had an EXCLUSIVE discussion with Troy this week, and let's say, he did not hold back. Nothing was off-limits - from his instant rise to fame to the brutal fate he met - getting blacklisted, all of it. He wanted to set the record straight because there is always another side to the story, and what better side to hear than that of the man who lived this brutal Hollywood adventure?<br /><br />Troy Duffy moved to Hollywood in his twenties to chase the dream of a music career with his band, The Brood. While seeking music gigs, he tended bar at a local Los Angeles dive, where he wrote the screenplay for The Boondock Saints during his break periods.<br /><br />The muse for the script happened one day when he came home from his job to find a dead hooker being wheeled out of a drug dealer’s apartment across the hall. Duffy went and rented a computer (as he couldn’t afford to buy one) and wrote the screenplay for The Boondock Saints based on his feelings of disgust at what he had just seen. As he puts it:<br /><br />I decided right there that out of sheer frustration and not being able to afford a psychologist, I was going to write this, think about it. People watching the news sometimes get so disgusted by what they see. Susan Smith drowning her kids... guys going into McDonald's, lighting up the whole place. You hear things that disgust you so much that even if you're Mother Teresa, there comes a breaking point. One day you're gonna watch the news and you're gonna say,<br /><br />'Whoever did that despicable thing should pay with their life. You think — for maybe just a minute — that whoever did that should die, without any fuckin' jury. I was going to give everybody that sick fantasy. And tell it as truthfully as I could. I wrote Boondock Saints in three sections. I wrote the very beginning and then I started thinking of cool shit for the middle. Then somehow between the beginning and the middle, the ending dictated itself.<br /><br />The screenplay featured two brothers in Boston dedicated to killing Mafia thugs. He successfully got the script into the hands of Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films, who bought the screenplay for $300,000 intending to film the movie on a $15,000,000 budget.<br /><br />Now what happened over the next three years is a remarkable cautionary tale. I saw this documentary called Overnight, the 2003 documentary that chronicled Duffy’s rise and fall. Troy was portrayed in the film as an egomaniacal maniac, obsessed with the heights of his talent and abusive to his friends. He goes on to lose his mega-deal, with the now conflict sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, his friends, and his Hollywood connections.<br /><br />Of course, there are two sides to every story. Troy took full responsibility for what he did and said in the documentary but as I told him editing can be a bitch. The filmmakers amplified the negative, manufactured storylines and really damaged Troy's film career. I mean the film made Troy look insane. You can watch the film by CLICKING HERE and make up your own mind.<br /><br />Now, this should have been the end of the tale but we all love a great comeback story. After being dropped by Harvey and Miramax, still believing that the film was a hot commodity, Troy Duffy convinced agents at the William Morris Agency to help him market it to other studios.<br /><br />The independent production company Franchise Pictures agreed to finance the project, for $7 million, less than half of Miramax’s original budget. The Boondock Saints grossed over $50 million in domestic video sales, of which Troy Duffy received nothing due to the bad deal he signed with the distribution company but after the debacle of the Miramax deal, he didn’t have many options.<br /><br />According to Troy Duffy, no one on the film got paid; not him, his producers, or the cast. He sued Franchise Pictures for royalties of the first film, merchandise, and sequel rights. After a lengthy lawsuit, Troy, his producers, and the principal cast received an undisclosed amount of The Boondock Saints royalties as well as the sequel rights.<br /><br />Years later, Troy Duffy finally returned for the sequel to The Boondock Saints, titled The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day which was released on October 30, 2009.<br /><br />The film grossed $11 million at the box office (the film was released limited, never playing on more than 524 screens) and has grossed over $50 million in DVD sales (as of June 2012). The film had an $8 million budget.<br /><br />Currently, Duffy has several projects in development, including “Boondock Saints III.”<br /><br />Troy Duffy receives the golden ticket and then struggled to deal with it but it seemed that was the journey he needed to take as a filmmaker, a person, and a human being. If put on the same path in my early twenties I don’t know how I would have reacted. I would have probably wouldn’t have fared well at all.<br /><br />Troy and I dive into the deep end of the pool in this conversation. He revealed things he never had before. We discuss the making of Overnight, his interactions with the now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein, and where he sees himself going from here.<br /><br />Enjoy my exclusive and entertaining as hell conversation with Troy Duffy.
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BSP 132: The Screenwriter's Workout with Will Hicks
I had a fun chat with our guest today. We hit it off pre-interviewing, geeking out about James Cameron and his latest masterclass, and so much more. On the show this today is Will Hicks who is head of Screenwriting and production at Colorado Film School and an associate professor at the Community College of Aurora.<br /><br />Will had a start in producing and screenwriting earlier in his career until making the shift to teaching few years in --- appreciating more, the elements of studying the craft of form and purity in teaching that he feels are more rewarding.<br /><br />His commitment to academia led to publishing his book, The Screenwriter’s Workout, which we discuss lengthy in this interview. The Screenwriter’s Workout is a training program consisting of over 75 exercises and activities designed for screenwriters. It aims to help screenwriters explore their creativity and strengthen their storytelling skills.<br /><br />The book includes exercises on designing dynamic characters, exploring structure, creating stories, redefining conflict, analyzing the work, craft compelling loglines ad discovering interactive screenwriting.<br /><br />The 2021 Variety Entertainment Impact Report featured Hicks on its Top 50 Film Schools and Instructors from around the world list---revering his 100 plus professional credits nurturing some of the best talents in the country.<br /><br />Besides talking about Hick's career teaching screenwriting, we also do some surface character building and storytelling analysis of some famous films and writers. But also, the complexity of writing the end of a sustaining story for TV.<br /><br />Enjoy this conversation with Will Hicks.
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BSP 131: Directing Last Starfighter & Writing Escape from New York with Nick Castle
We have today, 80s horror icon Michael Myers, also known as, Nick Castle. Director, writer, and actor - notable for directing The Last Starfighter (1984), Major Payne (1995), and Escape from New York (1981) among others.<br /><br />Nick’s fictional character, Micheal Myers, in the Box Office $255 million-grossing Halloween film is possibly one of his most well-known roles that have been strongly supported by fans for years. He appears in the 1978 Halloween film as a young boy who murders his elder sister, Judith Myers. The same role is reprised fifteen years later in the sequel where he returns home to Haddonfield to murder more teenagers. <br /><br />In 1986 he wrote and directed the heartwarming fantasy drama film, The Boy Who Could Fly which tells the story of an autistic boy who dreams of flying and touching everyone he meets, including a new family who has moved in after their father dies.<br /><br />Filmmaking came naturally to Nick for a host of reasons. For one he grew up in a showbiz family. His father choreographed musical comedy films, while an uncle of his worked as a lighting designer on movie sets. At a tender age, his dad introduced him to entertainment through smaller roles in front of the camera and summer internships behind the scenes. <br /><br />There he grew a fondness for directing which inspired him to pursue film school at USC.<br /><br />Notoriety came quickly for Nick. Along with collegemates, Carpenter, Rokos, Longenecker, and Johnston, Nick worked cinematography and co-wrote The Resurrection of Broncho Billy - a short film they created while still in college that blew up and entered the academy consideration and won the academy award for live-action short film in 1970. <br /><br />Nick and Carpenter reunited and worked together again on Carpenter’s 1974 sci-fi comedy, Darkstar, which follows the crew of the deteriorating starship Dark Star, twenty years into their mission to destroy unstable planets that might threaten future colonization of other planets.<br /><br />In 1984, Nick made his second directorial film which was quite groundbreaking. The Last Starfighter, became one of the earliest films to incorporate extensive CGI. The plot centers around video game expert Alex Rogan who, after achieving a high score on Starfighter, meets the game's designer and is recruited to fight a war in space. He’s transported to another planet only to find out it was just a test. He was recruited to join the team of best starfighters to defend their world from the attack. Its popularity resulted in several non-film adaptations of the story in musicals, books, comics, games, etc<br /><br />Nick was making innovative films long before most of the more popular guys came along. It is appropriate to consider his 80s sci-fi films as pioneering.<br /><br />Please enjoy my fun conversation with Nick Castle.
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BSP 130: How to Avoid Career Pitfalls for Screenwriters with Felicity Wren (ISA)
I wanted to take a deep dive into the marketing side of screenwriting today because it is in fact, a necessity in the industry today. Unfortunately, not many writers bother themselves as much about marketing their work. While I have some course resources on the IFH Academy website to help writers pitch stories or to get past the gatekeepers and so on, I thought it would be favorable to have marketing and development exec, Felicity Wren on the show to delve into the subject. <br /><br />Felicity started off in this business as an actor and now is a producer and VP of Development at the International Screenwriters Association (ISA). ISA (Est 2008), is a screenwriters community and resource platform that allows branding, marketing screenplays to producers and provide learning resources for seasoned and new writers. <br /><br />To date, ISA subscribers include 5,104 Industry Pros, approximately 70000Screenwriters, and 8,039 resources for screenwriters. Definitely, a goldmine!<br /><br />Felicity trained academically across the performing arts sphere (writing, directing, acting technique, and script analysis). She pursued acting and appeared in films like Star Trek Into Darkness, The Battle of Hogwarts, Tales of Uplift and Moral Improvement, and more, but lost interest in the competitive reality and stress of waiting for the callback.<br /><br />So, she pivots. Alongside her partner, she launched a theater company, Unrestricted View (1999) in London that worked primarily with new professional creatives. A decade later, Felicity moved to Hollywood to seek the bigger dream.<br /><br />Some of Wren’s work includes short films like The Trap, Homeless Realtor, Who’s Who, The Force, and several others. At the ISA, she get’s to work directly with the Program Writers, and ISA Contest Winners, ensuring their projects get in front of eminent producers, managers, and agents in Hollywood.<br /><br />For screenwriters trying to sell a script, you have to know your voice and feel comfortable using it beyond your incredible writing. Understanding what you bring to the table is key in every profession. Of course. Coupling that with some marketing tools can propel you for higher success. That’s why this conversation is important.<br /><br />Enjoy my very informative conversation with Felicity Wren.
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BPS 129: Inside Creating Top Gun & Writing in Hollywood with Jack Epps Jr.
It is an absolute thrill to have Jack Epps Jr. on the show today. The award-winning writer, USC Cinematic Arts professor and filmmaker is a member of the Writer's Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He’s best known for writing Top Gun (1986), Pigs vs. Freaks, The Secret of My Success, Turner & Hooch, and Anaconda 1997 screenplay. <br /><br />Jack first became involved in making films while doing his undergraduate at Michigan State University. Inspired by a student film festival, Epps made his first film the following semester which became Pig vs. Freaks that was later titled Off Sides.<br /><br />Top Gun was Epps’ big break. He partnered with Jim Cash who was his screenwriting professor at Michigan State University, to write several projects and Top Gun was one of those screenplays. Top Gun’s success was seismic. It became a box office number one grossing $ 357.1 million on a $ 15 million budget while also stacking several accolades including an Academy Award, Golden Globes, and a number of other international film awards. <br /><br />Epps is credited for the original screenplay in the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick which will be released this November.<br /><br />Epps shares co-writing credits with Jim Cash and Hans Bauer for the screenplay of the Anaconda adventure horror film series of 1997 and 2004. The first story follows a "National Geographic" film crew in the Amazon Rainforest that is taken hostage by an insane hunter, who forces them along on his quest to capture the world's largest - and deadliest - snake.<br /><br />While the first film did not receive critical acclamation, it grossed $136.8 million worldwide against a budget of $45 million.<br /><br />In the second film, Anaconda: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, the premise is quite similar. A scientific expedition team of researchers set for an expedition into the Southeast Asian tropical island of Borneo, to search for a sacred flower for which they believe will bring humans to a longer and healthier life, but soon become stalked and hunted by the deadly giant anacondas inhabiting the island.<br /><br />These are some classics and I couldn’t wait to chat with Jack about his creative journey---from his work as a cinematographer and an assistant cameraman on various local productions, to his love for writing or reviewing romantic comedies films like Viva Rock Vegas, and Sister Act.<br /><br />Let's dig in, shall we? Enjoy this conversation with Jack Epps.
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BSP 128: Blood, Bullets, Screenwriting and Octane with Joe Carnahan
It's been a hell of a year so far. I've been blessed to have had the honor of speaking to some amazing screenwriters and man today's guest is high on that list. On the show, we have writer/director Joe Carnahan. Joe directed his first-feature-length film Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane. which was screened at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and won some acclaim.<br /><br />In 2002, Joe directed the neo-noir crime film Narc starring Ray Liotta and Jason Patric. The film caught the eye of the biggest movie star in the world Tom Cruise, who jumped on as an executive producer. His involvement helped propel the film and Joe's career. Narc went on to earn about 13 million dollars in the worldwide box office, and launch Joe's career.<br /><br />Narc: When the trial goes cold on a murder investigation of a policeman an undercover narcotics officer is lured back to the force to help solve the case.<br /><br />Tom Cruise asked Joe to write and direct Mission Impossible III. The dream slowly became a nightmare as Joe was run through the Hollywood machine at the highest level. He left the project soon after.<br /><br />As a response to his Hollywood experience, he wrote and directed the high octane, the insane masterpiece that is Smokin' Aces, starring Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia, Chris Pine, Common, Jason Bateman, Wayne Newton. The film is about a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel who decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.<br /><br />In 2010, Carnahan directed the action thriller The A-Team, a film adaptation of the hit television series from the 8os. It was a worldwide box office hit, becoming Joe's highest-grossing film.<br /><br />THE A-TEAM follows the exciting and daring exploits of Hannibal Smith and his colorful team of former Special Forces soldiers who were set up for a crime they did not commit. Going rogue, they utilize their unique talents and eccentricities to try and clear their names and find the true culprit.<br /><br />Liam Neeson (Taken), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), mixed martial arts champ Quinton Rampage Jackson, and District 9 sensation Sharlto Copley, is The A-Team. (read less) THE A-TEAM follows the exciting and daring exploits of Hannibal Smith and his colorful team of former Special Forces soldiers who were set up for a crime they did not commit.<br /><br />Going rogue, they utilize their unique talents and eccentricities to try and clear their names and find the true culprit. Liam Neeson (Taken), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), mixed martial arts champ Quinton Rampage Jackson, and District 9 sensation Sharlto Copley, is The A-Team.<br /><br />Joe follows that up with the adrenaline-fueled, action-packed film, The Grey. Arguably one of my favorites in Joe's filmography. It has some of the most intense and brutally realistic attack scenes ever filmed.<br /><br />Liam Neeson (Schindler's List, Taken) stars as the unlikely hero Ottway in this undeniably suspenseful and powerful survival adventure. After their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness, a roughneck group of oil drillers is forced to find a way back to civilization. As Ottway leads the injured survivors through the brutal snow and ice, they are relentlessly tracked by a vicious pack of rogue wolves that will do anything to defend their territory. <br /><br />Joe's latest adrenaline-fueled film is called Boss Level. starring Frank Grillo, Naomi Watts, Michell Yeoh, and Mel Gibson. Think Groundhog's Day or Edge of Tomorrow meets Smokin' Aces. It's time loop chaos!<br /><br />Trapped in a time loop that constantly repeats the day of his murder, former special forces agent Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) uncovers clues about a secret government project that could unlock the mystery behind his untimely death. In a race against the clock, Pulver must hunt down Colonel Ventor (Mel Gibson), the powerful head of the government program, while outrunning skilled ruthless assassins determined to keep him from the truth in order to break out of the loop, save his ex-wife (Naomi Watts) and live once again for tomorrow.<br /><br />Joe and I had a ball discussing his early career, working in and outside the studio machine, superhero films, meeting Hollyweird dirtbags, writing for other directors, the Colombian government, and much, much more.<br /><br />Getting ready to take an adrenaline-fueled ride with Joe Carnahan.
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BSP 127: My Life in Horror and Nightmare Cinema with Mick Garris
I am extremely excited to have on the show today a fellow podcaster, established producer, director, and writer, Mick Garris. Mick’s podcast, Post Mortem with Mick Garris, dives deep into the devious minds of the greatest filmmakers and creators of your worst nightmares to bring their distinctive visions to life in fascinating one-on-one conversations. <br /><br />He’s renowned for his screen adaptations of Stephen King’s books like Sleepwalkers (1992) , and creator of 2005, Masters of Horror series.<br /><br />The California native began his passion for storytelling as early as 12 years old - writing short stories. He launched his passion onto the journalism path at just 16 years old. Driven by curiosity, he freelanced as a film and music critic and landed interviews with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Rod Serling, and Ray Bradbury in the 70s. <br /><br />It’s remarkable what Mick accomplished in a time where everyone needed to know someone to get a foot in the door, let alone that early in life and without the help of social media. I guess folks were intrigued by his talent and drive.<br /><br />While doing film criticism, Mick wrote specs, publications for magazines, and did some filming on 8mm. The guy lived the dream. The hard work began to pay off. His agent, Rick Jaffa read some of his specs, believed in him, and introduced Mick to Steven Spielberg. Mick ended up writing the first episode of the Spielberg sci-fi series, Amazing Stories, and seven other episodes.<br /><br />He's credited for writing screenplays like Psycho IV: The Beginning, Fly II, and the She-Wolf of London series. He was also was an editor on Spielberg’s other project, *Batteries Not Included, in which aliens help a feisty old New York couple in their battle against the ruthless land developer who's out to evict them.<br /><br />Garris has written and directed a lot of other horror classics such as Halloween comedy favorite, Hocus Pocus. The film follows a villainous comedic trio of witches who are inadvertently resurrected by a teenage boy in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween night.<br /><br />Garris and I talked about his incredibly difficult yet fun experience shooting his small budget directorial debut, feature sequel Critters 2. In the film, Eggs of the small but voracious alien creatures called Crites are left behind on earth and, after hatching, set their appetites on the small farm town of Grover's Bend.<br /><br />The man's contribution to the horror genre has amazing. Can't wait for you to catch up on my conversation with Mick Garris.
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BPS 126: The Art of Writing the $9000 Micro-Budget Indie Film with Edward Burns
Today’s guest is a writer, director, producer, actor and indie filmmaking legend Edward Burns. Many of you might have heard of the Sundance Film Festival winning film called The Brothers McMullen, his iconic first film that tells the story of three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island who struggle to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity. His cinderella story of making the film, getting into Sundance and launching his career is the stuff of legend.<br /><br />The Brothers McMullen was sold to Fox Searchlight and went on to make over $10 million at the box office on a $27,000 budget, making it one of the most successful indie films of the decade.<br /><br />Ed went off to star in huge films like Saving Private Ryan for Steven Spielberg and direct studio films like the box office hit She’s The One. The films about the love lives of two brothers, Mickey and Francis, interconnect as Francis cheats on his wife with Mickey’s ex-girlfriend, while Mickey impulsively marries a stranger.<br /><br />Even after his mainstream success as an actor, writer and director he still never forgot his indie roots. He continued to quietly produce completely independent feature films on really low budgets. How low, how about $9000. As with any smart filmmaker, Ed has continued to not only produce films but to consider new methods of getting his projects to the world.<br /><br />In 2007, he teamed up with Apple iTunes to release an exclusive film Purple Violets. It was a sign of the times that the director was branching out to new methods of release for his projects.<br /><br />In addition, he also continued to release works with his signature tried-and-true method of filmmaking. Using a very small $25,000 budget and a lot of resourcefulness, Burns created Nice Guy Johnny in 2010.<br /><br />In his book, Independent Ed: Inside a Career of Big Dreams, Little Movies, and the Twelve Best Days of My Life (which I recommend ALL filmmakers read), Ed mentions some rules he dubbed “McMullen 2.0” which were basically a set of rules for independent filmmakers to shoot by.<br /><br />Actors would have to work for virtually nothing.<br />The film should take no longer than 12 days to film and get into the can<br />Don’t shoot with any more than a three-man crew<br />Actor’s use their own clothes<br />Actors do their own hair and make-up<br />Ask and beg for any locations<br />Use the resources you have at your disposal<br /><br />I used similar rules when I shot my feature films This is Meg, which I shot that in 8 days and On the Corner of Ego and Desire which I shot in 4 days. To be honest Ed was one of my main inspirations when I decided to make my first micro-budget feature film, along with Mark and Jay Duplass, Joe Swanberg and Michael and Mark Polish. <br /><br />Ed has continued to have an amazing career directing films like The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, The Groomsmen, Looking for Kitty, Ash Wednesday, Sidewalks of New York, No Looking Back and many more.<br /><br />Ed has continued to give back to the indie film community with his amazing book, lectures and his knowledge bomb packed director commentaries. Trust me go out and buy the DVD versions of all his films. His commentaries are worth the price of admission.<br /><br />When I first spoke to Ed he told that he had been a fan of the podcast for a while. As you can imagine I was floored and humbled at the same time. Getting to sit-down and speak to a filmmaker that had such an impact my own directing career was a dream come true. Ed is an inspiration to so many indie filmmakers around the world and I’m honored to bring this epic conversation to the tribe.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Edward Burns.
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Introducing My New Weekly Podcast with Guest Musical Icon Moby
I've been working on a new podcast for sometime now. Introduction Next Level Soul. The podcast that asks the big questions about living, evolving and thriving in the world today. The show attempts to answer those questions by having candid and inspiring conversations with thought leaders from every walk of life.<br /><br />Global icon, musician, and animal rights activist, Moby(né, Richard Melville Hall) has lived many lives right before the gazes and judgment of the world. Self-discovery is a continual process that each time, when done right, unravels a new purpose and even newer challenges. This conversation is about the rise and fall of ego, fame, fortune, self-destruction, and eventually self-rediscovery and redemption.<br /><br />Moby came onto the entertainment scene with his 1991 single, ‘Go’ --- the start of a remarkable critical and commercial success. He went on to sell over 20 million records globally; especially with his 1999 album ‘Play’. In the interview, Moby describes the success of the PLAY album as unanticipated. Each track on the record was licensed to films, television shows, and commercials making it one of the most licensed albums in history.<br /><br />The accomplishments brought in a wave, and he rode it. Alcohol and drugs became part of that wave, even missing his mother’s funeral because he was passed out drunk in bed.<br /><br />Moby’s journey to healing, self-peace, and sobriety has not been all unicorns and rainbows. In spite of living the dream life and having the world at his feet, the peak of his career was a period when he suffered deep depression. He sought to turn the course of his fears into a vision of purpose. By, regaining control of his life - sobering up since 2008, finding spirituality that works for him, and crystalizing his imperfect, yet extraordinary life and career in his new documentary, Moby Doc.<br /><br />Moby doc is the creative, offbeat, wry, music-filled chronicle of an eventful life examined. filled with existential discussions, extraordinary concert footage, deep cuts from 30 years of moby’s music, unconventional narrative, quirky animation, rare clips, and thoughts from moby’s friend David Lynch, it’s a vibrant, eclectic conversation between a man and his past. as music and a commitment to veganism and animal rights guide him, moby delves into himself to share honestly what he’s gone through, what it might mean to others, how he turned confusion about life into the beauty of art…and why the answers to some of the deepest questions we can ask as human beings may not be found in the way we’re actually living.<br /><br />It was an honor to have this conversation with this remarkable artist and human being. Please, enjoy my sit-down with the iconic, Moby.
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BPS 125: The Art of Story, Dialog and Character with Robert McKee
Our guest today is the well-regarded screenwriting lecturer, story consultant, and eminent author, Robert McKee. Reputable for his globally-renowned ‘Story Seminars’ that cover the principles and styles of storytelling.<br /><br />McKee’s work has shaped the way Hollywood movies have been written for years. Particularly, Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, written in 1997. A very resourceful guide for screenwriters. In Story, he expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars (considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. More than 100 big-name screenwriters have benefitted from his seminars at one point or another. <br /><br />Many of you might have been introduced to McKee's work in the film Adaptation, where the great Brian Cox portrayed him. This is how I began my journey into McKee's game-changing book Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting.<br /><br />Nicolas Cage is Charlie Kaufman, a confused L.A. screenwriter overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, sexual frustration, self-loathing, and by the screenwriting ambitions of his freeloading twin brother Donald (Nicolas Cage). While struggling to adapt "The Orchid Thief," by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep), Kaufman's life spins from pathetic to bizarre. The lives of Kaufman, Orlean's book, become strangely intertwined as each one's search for passion collides with the others'.<br /><br />My interview covered discussion on McKee’s latest book which is linked below, Character: The Art of Role and Cast Design for Page, Stage, and Screen. And a combination of his other books Dialogue: the Art of Verbal Action for Stage, Page, and Screen, and Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World, which are both linked in the show notes. <br /><br />This interview felt like a free pass to one of McKee's sold out seminars --- packed with knowledge bombs.<br /><br />Enjoy this conversation with Robert McKee.
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BSP 124: Screenwriting Rules You Need to Learn Then Break with Julian Hoxter

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Filmmaker Process - Need Help Getting Your Screenplay Funded, Finished and Produced?
After working in the IFH labs for the first part of 2021 I can finally announce what it is. May I introduce Indie Film Hustle's FILMMAKER PROCESS?<br /><br />Filmmaker Process offers comprehensive professional services for hire to help filmmakers and screenwriters, working at any budget level, get their film project to the finish line. I wanted to put the much-needed services filmmakers need but rarely have access to all under one roof.<br /><br />Filmmakers and screenwriters usually could only get access to these services if they "knew someone." Here are the services and products Filmmaker Process gives you access to:<br /><br />- Pitch Decks<br />- Budget and Scheduling<br />- Domestic and International Sales Estimates<br />- Legal Contracts and Form Templates<br />- Indie Film Investor Package<br />- Consulting and Coaching<br />- Script Coverage<br />- Post Production Services<br />- Trailer Editing<br />- Poster, VOD, and DVD/Blu-Ray Artwork<br />- Film Deliverables (Both Physical and Legal)<br />- Production Payroll<br /><br />In this episode, I go over what each service is and how you can use it to get your film project to the finish line.<br /><br />For more info go to: <a href="http://www.filmmakerprocess.com" rel="noopener">www.filmmakerprocess.com</a>
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BPS 123: Billy Crystal - The Art of Comedy Screenwriting
There are performers that impact your life without you even knowing it and today's guest fits that bill. On the show we have comedic genius, multi-award-winning actor, writer, producer, director, and television host, Billy Crystal. We’ve seen Billy’s versatile work across all areas in the entertainment world, stand-up, improv, Broadway, behind and in front of the camera, feature films, television, live stages like SNL, and animated movies. <br /><br />It's fascinating how much the man has done over the span of his career---and his lengthy IMDB page is only the tip of the iceberg.<br /><br />Billy’s career took off for his role in the 70's sitcom SOAP, where he played a gay character, Jodie Dallas. This launched him into box office hits such as When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, Analyze This and the kids favorite, Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc. just to name a few. <br /><br />Aside from hosting the Oscars® a record nine times and being only one step away from an EGOT, he’s a philanthropist. Billy, along with Whoopi Goldberg and the late Robin Williams created the annual fundraiser stand-up comedy show, Comic Relief, in 1986 that has over the years, raised over $60 million to support the homeless. <br /><br />The late 80s and early 90s were a really magical time for Billy's career. He had the box office hits Running Scared and Throw Momma from the Train. He had scene stealing parts in the classics This is Spinal Tap and The Princess Bride. <br /><br />There’s the 1989 box office smash hit When Harry Met Sally, starring Billy alongside Meg Ryan and Carrie Fisher. The story follows Harry and Sally who had known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.<br /><br />You can’t talk about Billy Crystal classics without mentioning City Slickers for which he won a Golden Globes award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical/Comedy. On the verge of turning 40, an unhappy Manhattan yuppie is roped into joining his two friends on a cattle drive in the southwest.<br /><br />Billy's interest in entertainment started way before college. But his decision to go to NYU put some goals into place for him. He was a member of an improv/comedy group at college and soon he started to host solo standup shows. By 1978, he landed his first starring feature film role in Rabbit Test in which he starred with Joan Rivers. <br /><br />Towards the end of the 90s, Billy joined iconic Robert De Niro and Lisa Kudrow in the box blockbuster hit Analyze This and its sequel to the Analyze That.<br /><br />Billy’s work transcend generations and Gen Z is his newest fandom; distinctively for his role in Monster Inc. and Monsters University, Mike Wazowski. Monsters University revisits the relationship between Mike Wazowski and James P. "Sully" Sullivan during their days at Monsters University, when they weren't necessarily the best of friends.<br /><br />Billy will reprise his role as Mike Wazowski in the Monsters at Work Disney+ series that is set for release later this year.<br /><br />One defining element of Billy’s work, be it writing, acting or directing is that the pulls from real-life experiences and balances funny and hard conversations effortlessly. Having started out in the business since he was 20 years old, it is absolutely thrilling to watch how he’s knitted together diverse platforms and filed into a accomplished career. <br /><br />This Friday, May 7th, Billy’s newest film, in which he wrote and directed, Here Today, stars himself and the incredibly funny, Tiffany Haddish, will be released only in theaters. These two make a seamless pairing and their chemistry is oh so charming. The intergenerational teaming of Billy and Tiffany tells a love story that is of friendship, support, and empathy. I absolutely LOVED the film. Do yourself a favor and go out and catch this gem of a film. <br /><br />When veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz meets New York street singer Emma Payge, they form an unlikely yet hilarious and touching friendship that kicks the generation gap aside and redefines the meaning of love and trust.<br /><br />Billy has always been there to make me laugh, in good times and bad. I can not tell you what and honor and thrill it was getting to sit-down and speak to a filmmaker, writer and actor that has meant so much to me in my life.<br /><br />Enjoy my entertaining conversation with Billy Crystal.
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BPS 122: Oscar® Winner Eric Roth: From Forrest Gump to Dune - Adventures in Hollywood Screenwriting
This week, I sat down with one of the most legendary and successful screenwriters/producers in Hollywood, Oscar® Winner Eric Roth. Over a 50+ years career, he's well-known for writing or producing films like Forrest Gump, A Star is Born, Mank, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Munich, Ali, and the list goes on. <br /><br />The critically and commercially acclaimed American drama, Forrest Gump is an adaptation of Winston Groom's 1986 novel of the same title, adapted by Eric Roth in 1994. <br /><br />The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump, played by the incomparable, Tom Hanks, a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and unwittingly influences several defining historical events in the 20th century the United States. <br /><br />The $55 million budget film grossed $683.1 million at the Box Office and won the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and three Golden Globes awards. <br /><br />With a dream to pursue writing, he got his start working crew on a bunch of independent movies being made by some experimental filmmakers at a local studio (the Millennium will film workshop) while studying at Columbia University and later transferred to UCLA Film School. <br /><br />While on the climb up, Roth got the opportunity through his good friend Stuart Rosenberg, to rewrite the script for the Paul Newman movie, The Drowning Pool, at the tender age of 20 years old.<br /><br />Last year, Roth co-produced the multi-award nomination biographical drama, Mank. mank earned ten Oscar® nominations and six Golden Globe Awards nominations.<br /><br />1940. Film studio RKO hires 24-year-old wunderkind Orson Welles under a contract that gives him full creative control of his movies. For his first film, he calls in washed-up alcoholic Herman J Mankiewicz to write the screenplay. That film is "Citizen Kane," and this is the story of how it was written.<br /><br />A Star is Born, co-written by Roth became a 2018 phenomenon. Director, co-writer and lead actor, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga brought steaming chemistry to our screens in a way that had been lacking. The film grossed twelve times its $36 million budget which is more than any of the other three versions of the musical romantic drama film.<br /><br />Seasoned musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) discovers, and falls in love with struggling artist Ally (Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer - until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally's career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.<br /><br />A must mention amongst Roth’s screenplays is the 2008 screenplay adaptation of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Academy winner Mahershala Ali and Taraji P. Henson. <br /><br />The film tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backward with consequences. <br /><br />I could go on and on, through the extensive list of incredible writing Eric Roth has given the world, but you can listen to our conversation to hear all about them. Even his Television writing and producing on shows like House of Cards, The Alienist, and the upcoming remake of the science fiction classic Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve.<br /><br />I've been a fan of Eric's work since my days working at a video store. It was truly an honor to sit down and talk shop with a master of the craft. Enjoy my conversation with Eric Roth.
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BPS 121: Save the Cat! Writing for Netflix & Television with Jamie Nash
This week, I invited author, writer, and director, Jamie Nash on the show to discuss his ‘Save The Cats Writes for TV’ formula in his new book, Save the Cat!® Writes for TV: The Last Book on Creating Binge-Worthy Content You'll Ever Need.<br /><br />Jamie is a horror and children’s film screenwriter with fifteen years of experience writing projects for  Nickelodeon, Liongate, Discovery, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc, and also teaches screenwriting to college students.<br /><br />Some of his most notable horror credits include V/H/S/2, Lovely Molly, and Seventh Moon, A Comedy of Horrors, and Two Front Teeth. And others like Adventures of a Teenage Dragon Slayer, Tiny Christmas, etc.<br /><br />Screenwriting, for Jamie, was a side project he pursued at leisure when he wasn’t working his Computer gaming/programming job. It wasn’t until early 2004 that he sold his first script, a horror feature titled, Altered, to Haxan Films that was later directed in 2006 by one of the Blair Witch Project directors, Eduardo Sánchez. The story premised on a group of men whose lives were forever changed by a strange occurrence who, fifteen years later Now, will spend a night together ... in terror.<br /><br />With some financial success and notoriety from Altered, Jamie quit his computer consultant job with Citigroup and went full-time on screenwriting in 2008.<br /><br />Jamie is one of those writers who stay busy. He writes about five to six scripts a year for pilots, TV shows, podcasts, novels, etc. This justifies why he has a Writers Guild. <br /><br />It takes a lot of brainpower to create multiple plots that are so different in many ways within a short period of time. An example is his 2017 screenplays, The Night Watchman and Tiny Christmas. Two very distinct writing and audiences. <br /><br />He co-wrote The Night Watchman with Ken Arnold and Dan DeLuca. It is basically a story of three inept night watchmen, aided by a young rookie and a fearless tabloid journalist, fight an epic battle for their lives against a horde of hungry vampires.<br /><br />Tiny Christmas on the other hand is about a girl and her quirky cousin who are accidentally zapped by a shrinking ray at the hands of one of Santa’s inept elves on Christmas Eve and they must learn to trust and appreciate each other and work as a team to get back home before Christmas, or risk staying tiny forever.<br /><br /><br />On March 30th, 2021, he released his third book, Save the Cat!® Writes for TV in which he shares the essence of writing pilots as pitches for screenwriters considering television because more than 80% of jobs in the Writers Guild of America are skewed towards the television.<br /><br />Nash takes up Snyder's torch to lay out a step-by-step approach using Blake's principles for both new and experienced writers, including:<br /><br />-How to write and structure a compelling TV pilot that can launch both your series and your TV writing career<br />-All the nuances, tricks, and techniques of pilot-writing: the Opening Pitch, the Guided Tour, the Whiff of Change, and more<br />-The 8 Save the Cat! TV Franchise Types that will improve your story and your pitch<br /><br />-The not-so-secret TV Pitch Template that turns your TV series into the necessary read-over-lunch industry document<br />-a how-to in creating layered characters who are driven by complex internal struggles<br />-Beat sheets of the pilots of Barry, Ozark, Grey's Anatomy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, What We Do in the Shadows, Black-ish, The Mandalorian, This Is Us, Law, and Order: SVU, and more to help you crack your story<br /><br />Create your binge-worthy TV series with Save the Cat! Writes for TV <br /><br />We talked some more about his own indie film hustle journey--working overtime to get a headstart in the industry, we also talked about his networking technique that keeps him booked and busy. <br /><br />I could talk another hour more with Jamie. He is so candid about his process and the drive behind it.<br /><br />Enjoy this conversation with Jamie Nash.
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BPS 120: The Essentials of Screenwriting with Richard Walter

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BPS 119: Screenwriting Inside the Studio System with Joe Cornish
You guys better get ready for a hell of a ride because our guest today brought a great conversation. We have accomplished screenwriter and director Joe Cornish on the show today. The English comedian and filmmaker burst onto the scene in 2011 with his very successful film directorial debut, Attack The Block, starring John Boyega, who played Moses, a low-level crook, teenage gang leader, an orphan looking for respect around the block. The British sci-fi comedy horror film centers on a teenage street gang who have to defend themselves and their block from predatory alien invaders on Guy Fawkes Night. <br /><br />Commercially, the film did not perform as it was acclaimed critically. It is rated at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, won the Audience Award for Best Film (Midnights) at SXSW 2011, and many other awards from all major film festivals that year.<br /><br />Cornish and his comedy partner, Adam Buxton form the successful duo, Adam & Joe an ironic pop culture sketch show which gained a lot of success in the UK alongside Cornish’s long-term work in the UK TV entertainment industry. <br /><br />In 2011 he joined iconic directors, Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg as a writer for the screenplay and story for the 3D animated action-adventure film, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn --- co-written alongside Edgar Wright and Steven Moffat.<br />Intrepid reporter Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock's ancestor.<br /><br />This $135 million budget film grossed $374 million at the box office and received a plethora of nominations including Oscars for Best Original Score, a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film, two BAFTA nominations for Best Animated Film and Best Special Visual Effects.<br /><br />Cornish co-wrote the screenplay for the Marvel Comic character, Ant-Man, along with Wright, Adam McKay, and Paul Rudd in 2015. <br /><br /><br />Rudd, starring as Ant-Man is armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.  Similar to most Marvel Studio movies, the film carried a big budget of $169.3 million and grossed $519.3 million.<br /><br />His latest film, The Kid Who Would Be King (2019), which I highly recommend everybody to watch, joins a band of kids who embarks on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace.<br /><br /><br /><br />Joe honestly, was extremely forthcoming and transparent about a lot of things; like what happened behind the scenes of Ant-Man and what it's like to write inside the Marvel machine. And we also discuss his craft, how he is as a director, how he likes to approach his writing and many more.<br /><br />Enjoy this conversation with Joe Cornish.
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BPS 118: From Short Film Script to Spielberg with Sacha Gervasi

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BPS 117: How to Be a Screenwriter in Hollywood with Marshall Herskovitz
Our guest today is the former president of the producers Guild of America, established producer, writer, and director, Marshall Herskovitz. Much of his production projects have been in partnership with his long-time filmmaking friend, Edward Zwick whose films, he’s produced and written half of. Their decades-long filmmaking partnership was launched as co-creators of the 1987 TV show, ThirtySomething. <br /><br />Now, Marshall had already written for the TV show, Family, in 1976. So his understanding of TV was pivotal in the success of 30 Something. <br /><br />Other projects he’s credited for executive producing or creating include Traffic (2000), The Last Samurai (2003), Nashville (TV show 2016), Blood Diamond, and Women Walks Ahead(2017), starring the incomparable, Jessica Chastain.<br /><br /><br />Marshall show, ThirtySomething, which only ran for four-season was quite successful. Co-created with Zwick, the follows the stories and journeys of seven thirtysomethings living in Philadelphia who struggle with everyday adult angst.<br /><br />The show's success earned over a dozen Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe awards, and personal honors for Marshall from the Writers Guild and a Directors Guild.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Herskovitz's filmography is pretty adventurous. We discussed as many as we could in this interview and he was totally down for the ride. But if we are to highlight some must-mentions, Traffic will get the spot. Herskovitz co-produced Traffic in 2000 alongside esteem producer, Laura Bickford and directed by Zwick. <br /><br />The film holds a constant 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won numerous Oscars BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globes awards in 2001. It followed through grossing a total of $207.5 million on its $46 million budget<br /><br />The President appoints a conservative judge to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.<br /><br /><br />Another classic of his is the 1999 TV show, Once and Again. A divorced father and a soon-to-be-divorced mother meet and begin a romantic courtship which is always complicated by their respective children and their own life problems.<br /><br />Marshall was the absolute best and an excellent guest. You have to listen to the episode to hear all those extra deets he shared with us about the attempts at rebooting ThirtySomething and many more.<br /><br />Enjoy this conversation with Marshall Herskovitz.
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BONUS EPISODE: Richard Linklater - Slacker, Indie Cinema & How to Become a Writer
Well I put out an episode back in 2019 putting my dream list of guests out into the universe and in the past four months I've been humbled to have some amazing filmmakers and screenwriters on the show. Incredibly one of those dream guests has made his way on the show today. <br /><br />We are joined by indie film icon and Oscar® nominated writer/director Richard Linklater. Richard was one of the filmmakers who helped to launch the independent film movement that we know today with his classic 1991 indie film Slacker. So today, we will not only dive into the extraordinary career of Richard Linklater but also that of collaborator and longtime friend writer/director Katie Cokinos.<br /><br />If this is your introduction to Linklater and his work, here are a few highlights you must know; Linklater helped launch the 90s indie film renaissance with his film Slacker.<br /><br />The producer, director has juggled the TV, film, short-film, and documentary genres seamlessly over his career - typically focusing in fine detail on generational rites and mores with rare compassion and understanding while definitively capturing the 20-something culture of his era through a series of nuanced, illuminating ensemble pieces which introduced any number of talented young actors into the Hollywood eco-system.<br /><br />One of the talents to emerge from this era is the Texas native, Matthew McConaughey in Linklater’s third movie and VHS smash hit, Dazed and Confused. Based on Linklater’s years at Huntsville High School and the people he encountered there, the film shadows the adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.<br /><br />Throughout his career Richard has chosen to tell stories about the human condition, while many times making us laugh and cry at the same time. I found an immense philosophical under current to most of his life's work. From The Before Trilogy to Boyhood, his films tackle topics in an honest, raw and deeper way that is not normally seen in filmmaking.<br /><br />Many of the actors who work with Richard call him the "Zen Director" on set. His philosophy can be felt throughout his work. He often tells long and transformative coming of age stories over years, if not decades, something that is unique to him.<br /><br />His Oscar® nominated film Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before.<br /><br />Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's Yellow to Arcade Fire's Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It's impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey.<br /><br />Now the other remarkable filmmaker in this conversation is Katie Cokinos. She has made over ten short films and in 2000 wrote, directed, and acted in the feature film, Portrait of a Girl as a Young Catwhich premiered at SXSW.  Katie produced Eagle Pennell’s film, Heart Full of Soul (1990); was a publicist for Richard Linklater’s Slacker, (1990).  She was the Managing Director of the Austin Film Society, 1990-95.<br /><br />Her latest film is the coming of age story I Dream Too Much, co-produced by Richard. Here's a bit about the film:<br /><br />Presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something set, using a series of linear vignettes. These characters, who in some manner just don't fit into the establishment norms, move seamlessly from one scene to the next, randomly coming and going into one another's lives. Highlights include a UFO buff who adamantly insists that the U.S. has been on the moon since the 1950s, a woman who produces a glass slide purportedly of Madonna's pap smear, and an old anarchist who sympathetically shares his philosophy of life with a robber.<br /><br />So much was covered in this EPIC 2 hours conversation. I need to stop here and let you dive in.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Richard Linklater and Katie Cokinos.
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BPS 116: From Horror Indies to The Revenant with Mark L. Smith
I've spoken to many people in the film business over the years but today's guest is one of the hardest working craftman I've had the pleasure of sitting down with. Today on the show we have screenwriter, producer and director, Mark L. Smith. If you look at his IMDB you'll see a list of 15 projects at various stages of development. He's come a long way from entering the Hollywood scene some 15 years ago with his fear-striking horror screenwriting and directorial debut, Séance in 2006.<br /><br />Mark stumbled onto writing as a hobby during off-seasons at his family’s ranch where he worked after college. Self-taught, some workshops and an inventory of specs later, his path crossed Mel Gibson’s - who bought Smith’s first-ever script written in 2001.<br /><br />From then onwards, he’s been credited for successful writing and producing for hits like The Revenant (2015) and Overlord (2018) and The Midnight Sky which was just released in 2020, starring the incomparable, George Clooney.<br /><br />In Overload, a small group of American soldiers finds horror behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day.<br /><br />While producing his directorial debut horror, film Séance, with friend of the show and veteran producer Suzanne Lyons, Smith was also a writer on Vacancy in 2006. You will hear more in the interview of his experience navigating the world of filmmaking on both sets, as a rookie, and the village of support he received.<br /><br />Vacancy follows the unfortunate adventure of a married couple who becomes stranded at an isolated motel and finds hidden video cameras in their room. They soon realize that unless they escape, they'll be the next victims of a snuff film.<br /><br />After Vacancy, many horror projects started to open up for Smith. He worked those for a while until it felt old and he had the urge to do something different. That's when he co-wrote the revisionist western script for The Revenant with legendary director, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu.  The film was based in part on Michael Punke’s 2002 novel by the same title.<br /><br />Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and Domhnall Gleeson, the story sets in the 1820s, where a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.<br /><br />The twist and turns that caused delayed production of the film and its eventual success will pique your interest. The Revenant became was an instant commercial and artistic success. It grossed $533 million worldwide, earned 11 Oscar nominations, 3 Golden Globe awards, and 5 BAFTA awards<br /><br />Mark recently wrote The Midnight Sky that released last year, starring George Clooney. It is a screen adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s novel, ‘Goodmorning, Midnight’ which is a post-apocalyptic tale that follows a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.<br /><br />I had an absolute ball  speak ing to Mark. He's one of the hardest working screenwriters in Hollywood. We discuss everything from The Revenant, genius-level tips on how to adapt a book to the screen to what it was like work with Quentin Tarantino on the Star Trek script that has yet to be made. If you pray, please pray to the Hollywood Gods that Mark and Quentin's Star Trek gangster film sees the light of day.<br /><br />Enjoy this conversation with Mark L. Smith.
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BPS 115: Writing the Netflix/TV Drama Series with Pamela Douglas
Our guest today is the award-winning screen and television writer, professor, visual artist, and author, Pamela Douglas. <br /><br />Pamela is a member of the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America and a USC School of Cinematics Arts tenure professor for screenwriting.  She is credited for her writing on shows/series such as Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), The Ghostwriter (1992), CBS Schoolbreak Special (1984), Frank's Place (1987), and A Year in the Life (1987).<br /><br />Aside from her awesome career as a screenwriter, she’s an international writer with multi-lingual adaptations of her books (German, Mandarin, Italian, French, Korean, and Spanish). Pamela packed her expertise in her 2018 revised fourth edition of her 2008 book 'Writing the TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV', (revised) 'Writing the TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV'.<br /><br />The book is a complete resource for anyone who wants to write and produce for television drama series or create an original series, as well as for teachers in screenwriting classes and workshops. It leads the reader step-by-step through every stage of the development and writing process, offering practical industry information and artistic inspiration. The Fourth Edition leads readers into the future and engages provocative issues about the interface between traditional TV and emerging technologies. It’s also the single most comprehensive source on what is happening in original television drama around the world, with surveys of 15 countries.<br /><br />As you will learn in this episode, Pamela’s passion for writing goes back to her childhood. Even though she’s dabbed in screenwriting for movies, she’s discovered throughout her career that television carries a bigger pull in terms of communicating ideas, stories, characters, life, and experience. Its essence allows for vertical story-telling, expansion, and continuity to reveal newer plots and characters.<br /><br />Star Trek: the next generation is a classic sci-fi series set almost 100 years after Captain Kirk's five-year mission, a new generation of Starfleet officers set off in the U.S.S. Enterprise-D on its own mission to go where no one has gone before - the exploration of the Milky Way galaxy. <br /><br />The Ghostwriter is an American children's mystery television series that revolves around a circle of friends from Brooklyn who solve neighborhood crimes and mysteries as a team of young detectives with the help of a ghost named Ghostwriter who can only communicate through writing and words.<br /><br />Chatting with a seasoned screenwriter like Pamela, there is so much wealth of knowledge packed in every word. We talked about presentation reelers, the forex structure and her approach to it, and why she thinks the Wire is the best show of all time in terms of character, layering, and sterilized storytelling.<br /><br />Enjoy this conversation with Pamela Douglas.
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BPS 114: The Craft of Screenwriting Tentpole Films with Boaz Yakin
We have for you on the show today screenwriter and director, Boaz Yakin, The writer behind The Punisher, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, The Rookie, & Safe and directing, The Fresh, Remember the Titans and the comedy-drama, Uptown Girl among others.<br /><br />Growing up in a talented theatrical family, it was only natural for Yakin to pursue a life in film or some sort of performing arts. His dad, who was a teacher at Juilliard and a theater director enrolled Boaz into the famous Stell Adler script analysis class when he was only 17 years old. Thereafter, he tried out film school at US City college, later transferred to NYU, before quitting school after his first script was auctioned and got him in the door at 19 years old.<br /><br />At age 22, Yakin wrote his first produced film, Marvel's The Punisher. When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as The Punisher.<br /><br />In 1990, Yakin co-wrote one of the action films of the times, The Rookie, starring star boy Charlie Sheen, and Clint Eastwood who also directed the film.<br /><br />But his big hit came right after, FRESH, Yakin’s directorial debut is an emotional coming of age story, that offers a realistic glimpse of the dangerous life in New York City's projects during the crack epidemic.<br /><br />Michael, nicknamed Fresh, a 12-year-old kid running drugs for gangsters, notably Esteban, inspired by the chess lessons of his father, an alcoholic speed-chess master played by Samuel L. Jackson. Fresh devises and executes a brilliant plan to extricate himself and his drug-addicted sister from their hopeless lives.<br /><br />Next up for Boaz was directing the box-office smash REMEMBER THE TITANS.<br /><br />Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington shines in REMEMBER THE TITANS. Based on real events, this remarkable story celebrates how a town torn apart by friction and mistrust comes together in triumphant harmony. After leading his team to fifteen winning seasons, beloved football coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton) is demoted and replaced by tough, opinionated Herman Boone (Washington).<br /><br />How these two men overcome their differences and turn a group of hostile young men into champions is a remarkable portrait of courage and perseverance. You and your family will never forget the Titans!<br /><br />His blockbuster smash, Now You See Me featured big industry names like Morgan Freeman, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, etc. The $75 million budget film grossed $351.7 dollars.<br /><br />The plot follows an FBI agent and an Interpol detective who track and attempt to bring to justice a team of magicians who pull off bank heists and robberies during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.<br /><br />Boaz continued his blockbuster ways by working on the $200 million tentpole film Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.<br /><br />A young fugitive Prince and Princess must stop a villain who unknowingly threatens to destroy the world with a special dagger that enables the magic sand inside to reverse time.<br /><br />Boaz and I chatted about his creative process, the business side and political side of screenwriting and directing in Hollywood during this conversation. He was extremely raw and honest about what it really is like working inside the Hollywood machine.<br /><br />Enjoy this conversation with Boaz Yakin.
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BPS 113: How to Rewrite Your Screenplay Like a Hollywood Pro with Paul Chitlik
On the show today veteran screenwriter, director, producer, educator, author, Paul Chitlik. Paul has worked on 80's show classics like the Twilight Zone, Small Wonder, Who's the Boss, and Perfect Strangers, among others. He spends his free time as a clinical assistant professor teaching Screenwriting at the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angelos.<br /><br />Small Wonder follows the zany adventures of a suburban family, their next-door neighbors, and an innovative robot designed to look like a human child.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Chitlik’s best-selling book, Rewrite 2nd Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in your Screenplay, is a gold mine of expert guidance for every aspiring screenwriter.<br /><br />Veteran screenwriting instructor and award-winning writer Paul Chitlik presents an easy-to-read, step-by-step process to take your script from first draft to submission draft. He reveals the hidden structure of screenplays, sequences, and scenes, as he guides you through the process of examining your draft, restructuring it, and populating it with believable, complex, and compelling characters.<br /><br />Along the way he outlines how to make your action leap off the page and your dialogue crackle. While the first edition was widely used in film school rewriting classes, it was also recommended as an introduction to screenwriting craft by a number of professors and professionals. Paul Chitlik has included, for the second edition, more examples, exercises, and applications for television, the web, and other media, using a wide range of citations in film, television, and the Internet to underline his approach.  <br /><br />Paul shared so much of his creative thought process during our conversation and how he approaches cutting his scene. You don’t want to miss it.<br /><br />Enjoy this conversation with Paul Chitlik.
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BPS 112: The Craft of Epic Story Screenwriting with Edward Zwick
We have been on a major roll lately on the podcast and this episode keeps that going in a big way. Our guest on the show today is writer, producer, and director Edward Zwick. Edward made his big shift from his childhood passion for theater to filmmaking after working as a PA for Woody Allen in France on the set of Love and Death. He then moved to California in the summer of 1976 and has since forged a respected name for himself in Hollywood.<br /><br />You can read Edward Wick's Screenplay collection here. <br /><br />Edward Zwick is a multiple Academy Award, Golden Globes, and BAFTA award-winning director, writer, and producer.<br /><br />Faced with the fear of going to law school during his first five years in the industry if filmmaking didn't work, Zwick cards turned and launched him into projects that are now some of the most critically and commercially acclaimed in the business. His work spectrums the comedy-drama and epic historical genres.<br /><br />Edward has had a remarkable career so far and still has much more to give. Speaking to Edward was like sitting in my persona filmmaking masterclass. We discuss how he made the jump from a low-budget comedy to epic historical dramas, his creative process, navigating Hollywood, directing some of the biggest movie stars in the world, and much more.<br /><br />Prepare to take notes on this one tribe. Enjoy my conversation with Edward Zwick
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BPS 111: The Art of Creative Showrunning with Steve DeKnight
Showrunning is a mysterious art form to many so I wanted to bringing he someone who can shine a light on what it takes to be one. Today on the show we have powerhouse show runner, writer, director, producer, and all-around good guy Steven Deknight. Best known for his work across the action, drama, and sci-fi genres on TV shows like Smallville, Spartacus, Daredevil, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Jupiter's Legacy.<br /><br />Realizing his strengths early on in his career, Steven is a jack-of-all-trades who studied acting at the onset of film school transitioned through to writing, playwright, and screenwriting. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was his big break - starting off as writer and story editor on the show, Deknight went on to produce 42 episodes of the Spin-off show, Angel.<br /><br />The vampire Angel, cursed with a soul, moves to Los Angeles and aids people with supernatural-related problems while questing for his own redemption.<br /><br />Steven went on to direct and co-executive produce 66 episodes of the 2001 comics show, Smallville which set a viewers rating record of 4.34 million viewers per episode and had a great 10 seasons run.<br /><br />The series goes along with Clark Kent through his struggles to find his place in the world as he learns to harness his alien powers for good and deals with the typical troubles of teenage life in Smallville, Kansas.<br /><br />In 2009, He briefly wrote, directed, and consulted on the short-lived Dollhouse series. Almost immediately after, Deknight got an offered to executive produce and write the hit sensation and everyone's guilty-pleasure, Spartacus. In this interview, he shares that as the creator of a hit show, it was a major career booster for him.<br /><br />A fictional historical drama series inspired by, Spartacus, the show focused on Spartacus's obscure early life leading up to the beginning of historical records.<br /><br />We do a deep dive on how Steve brought the Marvel universe's darker and grittier character Daredevil to Netflix that help launch The Defenders superhero on the streaming giant.<br /><br />Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a Lawyer and as a street-level superhero by night, in Hell's Kitchen, New York City.<br /><br />Deknight finally ventured off into film in 2018 for the big budget. His feature-film directorial and writing debut Pacific Rim: Uprising. We go into the weeds on his experience bring a studio tentpole to the big screen while under extreme pressure and restraints.<br /><br />Steve was a blast to chat. Enjoy this conversation with Steve Deknight.
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BPS 110: What Talent Agencies Look for in a Screenplay with Christopher Lockhart
Today on the show we have award-winning producer, film executive, educator, and industry story analyst Christopher Lockhart. Christopher is renowned for his script editing acumen. He has read over 60,000 screenplays.  He is also an award-winning filmmaker and member of the WGA, PGA, and the Television Academy.<br /><br />Chris got his start at International Creative Management (ICM), where he worked as script consultant to legendary talent agent Ed Limato, who represented industry giants such as Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Michelle Pfeiffer, Liam Neeson, and Robert Downey, Jr.<br /><br />He later moved to the venerable William Morris Agency, which merged with Endeavor to form WME.  At WME Chris has worked on award-winning projects for A-list clients like Denzel Washington, Russel Crowe, and Rachel McAdams among others.<br /><br />Chris branched off into film producing with the cult horror hit The Collector and its sequel The Collection, which opened in the top ten American box-office.   He wrote and produced the award winning documentary Most Valuable Players, which was acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her network.  Chris has set up several other projects, including A Rhinestone Alibi at Paramount, and Crooked Creek, a modern noir thriller.<br /><br />As an educator, Lockhart shares his talent and 30+ years of industry experience as an adjunct professor at Screenwriting program and at UCLA. His writing workshop The Inside Pitch was filmed for Los Angeles television and earned him an Emmy Award nomination.<br /><br />Chris and I also teamed up for a new webinar from IFH Academy called How to Become a Hollywood Script Reader from Industry Insiders<br /><br />HOW TO BE A HOLLYWOOD READER is a webinar focusing on the secrets of one of Hollywood’s most vital and mysterious jobs. A reader evaluates screenplays and stories, practicing quality control through “coverage” – a written report that judges creative success. The reader wields huge influence that empowers Hollywood chiefs to greenlight film, television, and new media.<br /><br />This webinar examines the core components of coverage, how to write it, and provides tools and pro tips to navigate the reading profession – led by two preeminent Hollywood readers. By pulling back the curtain on this creative process, the webinar also gives writers, directors, actors, and producers a rare look inside the mind of those who decide the fate of their material. <br /><br />Chris prioritizes emotionality and his client's character role and development ahead of the overall story solidity. He shared some tips for new writers, some lessons learned from bad scripts, what goes on behind the agency curtain and the blessing of untapping a story's best version from re-writes.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Christopher Lockhart.
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BPS 109: RAW and HONEST Screenwriting with Bo Burnham & James V. Hart
This is Part 3 in a 3-Part Limited Series of conversations I'll be releasing between the legendary screenwriter James V. Hart, the writer of Hook, Contact, Bram Stroker's Dracula, and Tomb Raider and some of the top screenwriters in the game.<br /><br />Today on the show we have Bo Burnham, the director and screenwriter of Eighth Grade. It is a RAW and HONEST look at growing up as a young person today. The film was a run away hit and distributed by A24.<br /><br />Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school—the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year—before she begins high school.<br /><br />James and Bo discuss how he wrote and structured Eighth Grade, his life as a YouTuber/Stand Up comedian and much more. Enjoy this conversation between James V. Hart and Bo Burnham.
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BPS 108: The Power of the Dark Side: Creating Great Villains with Pamela Jaye Smith
Today on the show we have author Pamela Jaye Smith. She is is a mythologist, international consultant-speaker, and award-winning writer-producer-director with 30+ years in features, TV, music videos, commercials, documentaries, web series, corporate and military films. She has worked at major studios and with wildly independent companies in Hollywood and around the world, always enjoying the process of bringing creative ideas to worldwide screens.<br /><br />Credits include Fox, Disney, Paramount, Microsoft, Universal, RAI-TV Rome, UCLA, USC Film School, American Film Institute, Women in Film, Natl. Film Institute of Denmark, LA and Marseille and Roma WebFests, Romance Writers of America, Children’s Book Writers LA, and many media festivals and<br /><br />Pamela founded MYTHWORKS a consulting and information resource offering Applied Mythology for individuals, organizations, and the media arts. She teaches and consults on fiction and non-fiction, writes for others, coaches writers and actors, and helps individuals discover and use their personal archetypes.<br /><br />Smith authored "SHOW ME THE LOVE: All Kinds of Love for All Kinds of Stories", "INNER DRIVES: How to Write and Create Characters Using the [chakras] 8 Classic Centers of Motivation", "SYMBOLS.IMAGES.CODES: The Secret Language of Meaning in Media", and "BEYOND THE HERO'S JOURNEY: Other Powerful Mythic Themes".<br /><br />She was the mythologist interviewed on Fox's ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT Special Features and has appeared on national TV and radio programs as a mythology expert, including the "Forbidden Secrets" TV series. She was on-camera spokesperson for Microsoft's "Age of Mythology" on-line computer game and designed their "Which God Are You?" quiz.<br /><br />Her book The Power of the Dark Side: Creating Great Villains, Dangerous Situations, & Dramatic Conflict is why I wanted her on the show. I wanted to go deep into what makes a good multidimensional villain. Conflict is the very heart and soul of drama, and Pamela's latest work explores character conflict and the various ways to portray it both in scripts and on the stage.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Pamela Jaye Smith.
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BPS 107: Screenwriting the Oscar-Winning La La Land with Damien Chazelle & James V. Hart
This is Part 2 in a 3-Part Limited Series of conversations I'll be releasing between the legendary screenwriter James V. Hart, the writer of Hook, Contact, Bram Stroker's Dracula, and Tomb Raider just to name a few, and some of the top screenwriters in the game.<br /><br />Today on the show we have Damien Chazelle, the Oscar® Winning director and screenwriter of La La Land. He bursted on the scene with his debut film Whiplash. The film is about a young musician (Teller) struggles to become a top jazz drummer under the tutelage of a ruthless band conductor (Simmons).<br /><br />La La Land tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.<br /><br />James and Damien discuss how he wrote and structured La La Land and much more. Enjoy this rare conversation between James V. Hart and Damien Chazelle.
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BPS 106: The RAW Truth About Screenwriting in Hollywood with Rick Najera
Today on the show we have award-winning screenwriter, actor, director, producer, sketch comedian Rick Najera. Rick is also an author, playwright, coach and national speaker with an expansive portfolio of credits in all forms of entertainment.<br /><br />From starring in films with Sidney Poitier, George Clooney and most recently Mario Lopez, to writing sketch comedy for Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx, Najera is best known for starring on Broadway in his award-winning, self-penned stageplay, Latinologues, directed by comedy legend Cheech Marin. Najera is only one of three Latinos to ever write and star in their own play on Broadway.<br /><br />As a screenwriter, Najera has written dozens of scripts for TV, film and the stage, starting out in the industry as a staff writer on the groundbreaking urban comedy series, In Living Color, for which he wrote more than 30 episodes. Najera went on to write for Townsend TV (10 episodes), MAD TV (47 episodes), East Los High – a Hulu original (21 episodes) and more.<br /><br />He penned the feature film Nothing Like the Holidays starring Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, John Leguizamo and Luis Guzman, which won him an ALMA Award. Najera learned from great writers like Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino and Scorsese to “write what you know’ and has been a pioneer in Hollywood telling his American experience, from a Latino perspective.<br /><br />Rick and I discuss the raw truth about working in Hollywood, writing comedy, working with greats like Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx and much more. This is a entertaining and informative episode. Get ready to take notes.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Rick Najera.
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BPS 105: Inside Screenwriting Get Out with Jordan Peele & James V. Hart
Get ready to have your mind blown! I'll be releasing a 3-Part Limited Series of conversations between the legendary screenwriter James V. Hart, the writer of Hook, Contact, Bram Stroker's Dracula, and Tomb Raider just to name a few, and some of the top screenwriters in the game.<br /><br />First up is the screenwriter that took the world by storm with his Oscar-Winning screenplay Get Out, Jordan Peele. If you have been living under a rock for the past few years here is what the film is about.<br /><br />In Universal Pictures’ Get Out, a speculative thriller from Blumhouse (producers of The Visit, Insidious series, and The Gift) and the mind of Jordan Peele, when a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, he becomes ensnared in a more sinister real reason for the invitation.<br /><br />Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, Girls), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy (Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods).<br /><br />At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.<br /><br />This was recorded before Jordan's next hit film Us was released. Listening to these two masters discuss character, plot, theme, and more is a rare treat. It's like being a fly on the wall.<br /><br />Enjoy this rare conversation between James V. Hart and Jordan Peele.
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BPS 104: How to Create Story & Character Conflict with Eileen Cook
Today on the show we have best-selling author and screenwriter Eileen Cook. She is a multi-published, award-winning author with her novels appearing in nine languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV.<br /><br />She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. She’s an instructor/mentor with The Creative Academy and Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program where she loves helping other writers find their unique story to tell.<br /><br />Her best-selling book Create Story Conflict: How to increase tension in your writing & keep readers turning pages is a must-read for screenwriters. Here's a bit about the book:<br /><br />Conflict is essential to story—regardless of genre. The friction between what a character wants and the lengths they will go to reach that goal is what pulls readers through your book. Great conflict is what leaves readers cheering (or crying) at the end of a story.<br /><br />Using humor and her deep knowledge of human behavior, counselor and award-winning author Eileen Cook will guide you through the causes of conflict, the differences between internal and external conflict, and show you how conflict resolution techniques can be turned upside down to ramp up the tension in your book.<br /><br />Filled with practical tips, examples, and prompts, this is a craft book you’ll keep on your shelf to use again and again.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Eileen Cook.
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BPS 103: How to Approach a Lit Manager in Hollywood with John Zaozirny
Today on the show we have literary manager and producer John Zaozirny. He oversees the feature film production slate for Bellevue and the Literary Management Team.<br /><br />John and I discuss the raw truth of the film business, what he is looking for in a client, how screenwriters should approach a manager and he does some Hollywood myth-busting as well. If you are looking for representation in the film industry this is a must listen to episode.<br /><br />His clients’ writing and directing credits include INFINITE, PARALLEL, ELI, BAD MATCH, BETTER WATCH OUT, HEAVY TRIP, OFFICE UPRISING, SPLINTER, A CROOKED SOMEBODY, amongst others. His clients have written feature scripts that are set up at Warner Bros, Paramount, Netflix, Fox, Lionsgate, New Line, Focus Features, Fox 2000, Sony, Universal, amongst others. As well, his clients have had 20 scripts on the last 6 Black Lists, the annual list of the best-unproduced feature scripts. His client Elyse Hollander wrote BLONDE AMBITION, the number one script on the 2016 Black List, and his client Sophie Dawson wrote HEADHUNTER, the number one script on the 2020 Black List.<br /><br />His clients have also written on TV shows such as MR ROBOT, CLOAK AND DAGGER, TRAINING DAY, TINY PRETTY THINGS, LIGHT AS FEATHER, HAWAII FIVE-O, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, and HAND OF GOD, amongst others.  He also reps the writer of the Eisner nominated comic book LITTLE BIRD.<br /><br />As a producer, John’s feature film projects include CRISTO (set up at Warner Bros, Black List 2010), WARDEN (set up at New Line) CAPSULE (set up at Fox, Black List 2013), BLONDE AMBITION (set up at Universal, Black List 2016), and LION HUNTERS (set up at Warner Bros, Black List 2017.) He was an executive producer on the feature films ALWAYS WATCHING, PARALLEL and produced ELI,  which was recently released by Netflix. He is producing INFINITE, which has Antoine Fuqua directing, Mark Wahlberg starring and is set to be released by Paramount on May 28, 2021.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with John Zaozirny.
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BPS 102: Save the Cat! How to Write an Indie Screenplay with Salva Rubio
The impact that Blake Snyder's Save the Cat® book series has had on Hollywood screenwriting is incalculable. Rarely does a book change the way screenwriters approach story and structure. In his best-selling book, Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told, Blake Snyder provided 50 “beat sheets” to 50 films, mostly studio-made.<br /><br />Now his student, screenwriter and novelist Salva Rubio applies Blake’s principles to 50 independent, auteur, European, and cult films (again with 5 beat sheets for each of Blake’s 10 genres in the book Save the Cat!® Goes to the Indies: The Screenwriters Guide to 50 Films from the Masters.<br /><br />If you're a moviegoer, you'll discover a language to analyze film and understand how filmmakers can effectively reach audiences.<br /><br />If you're a writer, this book reveals how those who came before you tackled the same challenges you are facing with the films you want to write. Writing a “rom-com”? Check out the “Buddy Love” chapter for a “beat for beat” dissection of Before Sunrise, The Reader, Blue Is the Warmest Color, and more to see how Linklater and Krizan, David Hare, and Kechiche and Lacroix structured their films.<br /><br />Scripting a horror film? Read the “Monster in the House” section and discover how 28 Days Later and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are the same movie – and what you need to do to write a scary story that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.<br /><br />Want to execute a great mystery? Go to the “Whydunit” chapter and learn about the “dark turn” that’s essential to the heroes of The Big Lebowski, The French Connection, and Michael Clayton.<br /><br />Want your protagonist to go up against an evil “institution”? Consider how Mamet handled Glengarry Glen Ross and Tarantino's famed Pulp Fiction.<br /><br />Writing a “Superhero” story? See how Susannah Grant structured Erin Brockovich, Anderson & Baumbach worked out Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Gilliam & Stoppard & McKeown laid the foundation for Brazil.<br /><br />With these 50 beat sheets, you’ll see how “hitting the beats” creates stories that resonate the world over for these outstanding writers—and how you can follow in their footsteps.<br /><br />Salva Rubio is a novelist, screenwriter, and author. He has been nominated at the Spanish Goya Awards for Best Animation Feature. As a graphic novel writer, some of his works have been published in America, including Monet, Itinerant of Light (nominated for an Eisner Award), and The Photographer of Mauthausen. Salva is an associate member of the WGAW (Writers Guild of America, West) and a member of the Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Salva Rubio.
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BPS 101: How to Make 2021 Your Year – Happy New Year!
Well, 2020 has been one hell of a year. Our industry has been turned upside down and inside out. The way business is done in Hollywood has been changed forever. There has been so much pain and suffering this year. People lost their jobs.<br /><br />Legendary companies that were thought to be unbreakable filed for bankruptcy. The mear act of being on set became a highly dangerous occupation. So many beloved filmmakers and actors passed away. Film festivals closed their doors. Movie theaters giants shut their doors, some for good. COVID-19 devasted not only our business but the world.<br /><br />2020 just f**king sucked!<br /><br />With all that said I see a light of hope on the horizon. Like every New Years before Jan 1 brings with it a new hope, an opportunity to improve things, and for your life to be better than before. 2021 has a lot of pressure on it for sure. I know so many tribe members have had a rough go of it but the only thing we can do is to take charge of what you can control.<br /><br />You might not be able to control the world, the virus, your employer, or the economy. But you can control what you do on a daily basis, how you act, how you think. You can think everything sucks and there's no hope for you or your dreams or you can think that you have the power to change where you are in life right now.<br /><br />Every dream, every success story started with one thought, I CAN DO THIS. As Henery Ford once said<br /><br />"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."<br /><br />The power of your own thoughts is so much more mighty than you think. Trust me I speak from experience. Looking back on my life I realized that in the roughest moments my thoughts were destructive and when I was experiencing great successes my thoughts were constructive. Whatever you focus on grows so if I were you I'd focus on the positive and not the negative.<br /><br />This year I came to a profound truth that the key to success is to help others. The moment I launched Indie Film Hustle my life began to change. The more I helped others the better my life became. The opportunities I had been chasing for decades just started showing up at my door. Don't get me wrong, as you know I hustled like crazy but not on getting things for myself as much as providing value to other people. As Les Brown said<br /><br />“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.”<br /><br />In 2021 make it a goal to help others with their dreams and I promise you that things in your life will change, it did for me. In 2020 I released my second feature film On the Corner of Ego and Desire, created BulletproofScreenwriting.tv, my premium online education platform IFH Academy, launched the IFH Podcast Network and multiple podcasts including The Filmmaking Motivation Podcast, The Directors Series Podcast, Inside the Screenwriter's Mind Podcast, and spoke to legendary filmmakers and screenwriters on my shows like Oliver Stone, Barry Sonnenfeld, Alex Proyas, James V. Hart, and John Badham just to name a few.<br /><br />And most importantly I was inspired by you the Indie Film Hustle and Bulletproof Screenwriting Tribes. Your stories of overcoming obstacles, massive successes, and following your dreams moved me. Getting emails and messages from around the world gave me hope that yes we are in tough times but even with all that you, the tribe, continues to move forward like an unstoppable creative force.<br /><br />In 2021 we will try, fail, and try again because remember...<br /><br />"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." - Henry Ford<br /><br />The more you might fail the closer you are to succeeding. I'll be trying a ton of new things in the new year and hope they will be a success but am ready if they don't live up to my expectations.<br /><br />In 2021 I'll be launching a couple of new companies, partnering with amazing new instructors for IFH Academy, releasing my new book, adding amazing new content to Indie Film Hustle TV, publishing new audiobooks through IFH Books, producing a few new podcasts for the IFH Podcast Network, and developing new websites to further help filmmakers and screenwriters follow their dreams.<br /><br />I want you to write down what you want to accomplish in 2021 and what steps you will be taking every day to get those goals. Do you want to set a goal of one or two screenplays a year as Oliver Stone does? Do you want to direct your first feature film? What needed tools do you want to put in your toolbox? What need skills do you want to learn to make you a more dangerous and knowledgeable filmmaker or screenwriter?<br /><br /><br /><br />After speaking to hundreds of the industry's most successful artists and business people I found they all had one thing in common, they never gave up! They all just kept going no matter what. Oliver Stone had the script for Platoon in his pocket for years before someone produced it. James V. Hart was in his forties when he had his breakout with Hook and Dracula. Barry Sonnenfeld went from shooting adult films to having his movies gross almost $2.5 billion worldwide.<br /><br />Every successful person you look up to failed and failed often on their way to success. They never gave up and you shouldn't either. Every no is one step closer to a yes. I wish all of you an amazing 2021 and don't forget to keep that hustle going and keep that dream alive!<br /><br />Be well, stay safe, and Happy New Year.
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BPS 100: Oliver Stone | Screenwriting, Winning Oscars® and Surviving the Vicious Hollywood Game
Today on the show I bring you one of the most influential and iconic filmmakers in the history of cinema, three-time Oscar® winner Oliver Stone. Throughout his legendary career, Oliver Stone has served as director, writer, and producer on a variety of films, documentaries, and television movies. His films have been nominated for forthy two Oscars® and have won twelve.<br /><br />I hope this conversation inspires filmmakers and screenwriters to never give up. Oliver struggled for years taking jobs as a production assistant, cab driver, office assistant, and any other gig he could find to help him survive while he was chasing his dream. He wrote and wrote, meeting his goal of one to two screenplays a year, no matter what. Never give up, never surrender. <br /><br />Enjoy my epic conversation with Oliver Stone.
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BPS 099: Screenwriter's Guide to Plotting Stories & Theme with K.M. Weiland
Today on the show we have returning champion author K.M. Weiland. I wanted to bring her back on the show to discuss her new book Writing Your Story's Theme: The Writer's Guide to Plotting Stories That Matter.<br /><br />"Theme Is What Your Story Is Really About."<br /><br />Theme—the mysterious cousin of plot and character. Too often viewed as abstract rather than actionable, theme is frequently misunderstood and left to chance. Some writers even insist theme should not be purposefully implemented. This is unfortunate because in many ways theme is story. Theme is the heart, the meaning, the point. Nothing that important should be overlooked.<br /><br />Powerful themes are never incidental. They emerge from the conjunction of strong plots and resonant character arcs. This means you can learn to plan and implement theme. In doing so, you will deepen your ability to write not only stories that entertain, but also stories that stay with readers long after the end.<br /><br />Writing Your Story’s Theme will teach you:<br /><br />How to create theme from plot and character.<br />Why every supporting character and subplot should enhance the theme.<br />How to prevent theme from seeming preachy or “on the nose.”<br />What to consider in identifying the best theme for any given story.<br />And much more!<br />Conscious mastery of theme will elevate every story you write and allow you to craft fiction of depth and meaning.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with K.M. Weiland.
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BPS 098: Screenwriting a Road Trip Comedy with Jason Shuman
I have a treat for the tribe today. Last week we had screenwriter Eduardo Cisneros on the show discussing his new film Half Brothers. Today we have his co-writer and producer of the film Jason Shuman. Jason is a writer and producer who has made over 20 motion pictures grossing more than $500 million worldwide as well as produced over 100 episodes of television.<br /><br />Shuman has produced four films that reached number one at the box office with Darkness Falls, The Messengers, Bangkok Dangerous, and the critically acclaimed Lone Survivor. Other well-known films include the 2017 docudrama Rebel In The Rye, Little Black Book, Daddy Day Camp, Middle Men and the beloved comedy Role Models.<br /><br />On the television side, Shuman has also produced shows including TBS comedy Are We There Yet? with Ice Cube, and served as Executive Producer on the FX show Anger Management and the Emmy® nominated TV movie, Dawn Anna. His new film is Half Brothers.<br /><br />Renato, a successful Mexican aviation executive, is shocked to discover he has an American half-brother he never knew about, the free-spirited Asher. The two very different half-brothers are forced on a road journey together masterminded by their ailing father, tracing the path their father took as an immigrant from Mexico to the US.<br /><br />I first met Jason years ago at the Sundance Film Festival where I spoke to him on the Indie Film Hustle Podcast about the film he had in the fest called Rebel in the Rye. In this episode, we discuss his career as a producer, how he went "all in" to become a serious screenwriter, how Danny Strong (Gilmore Girls, Empire, Billions) helped him become a better storyteller, and his epically funny new film Half Brothers.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Jason Shuman.
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BPS 097: How to Make People Laugh & Cry with Your Screenwriting with Eduardo Cisneros
Today on the show we have screenwriter, Eduardo Cisneros. He began his screenwriting career in his home country of Mexico. Working on countless television series including Saturday Night Live: Mexico. His career took an upward trajectory when he began working with one of the biggest comedy actor/writer/producer and director in the Latinx world,  Eugenio Derbez. Eduardo help develop the massively successful crossover smash Instructions Not Included.<br /><br />Eduardo Cisneros's latest project hits close to home. Half Brothers, who he co-wrote and produced with Jason Shuman, is based on his experiences as an immigrant from Mexico in America. His father was the basis of the main character's father in the story.<br /><br />Renato, a successful Mexican aviation executive, is shocked to discover he has an American half-brother he never knew about, the free-spirited Asher. The two very different half-brothers are forced on a road journey together masterminded by their ailing father, tracing the path their father took as an immigrant from Mexico to the US.<br /><br />“Half brothers is about bonding. It’s about empathy. It’s about the challenge of developing the ability to put yourself into somebody else’s shoes and realizing that you have more in common than things that separate you.” - Eduardo Cisneros<br /><br />It was an absolute pleasure speaking to Eduardo and discuss how he approaches each story, what it was like work on SNL Mexico, how it's like writing with a partner, and how he hopes his films change the conversation on how Latinx people are perceived in our culture. He wants to bring his Spanish-speaking audience a greater representation in Hollywood.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Eduardo Cisneros.
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BPS 096: Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles with Scott W. Smith
Today on the show we have screenwriter and Emmy-winner Scott W. Smith. Scott is an OG in the screenwriting blogging space. His blog Screenwriting from Iowa has been around since 2008 and has been nationally recognized. His new book Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles is a bare-knuckle approach to the screenwriting process. Here's some info on his book.<br /><br />Every screenwriter faces fear and failure. The legendary screenwriter William Goldman once said he was “programmed to fail.” Yet he went on to have a long career that included winning two Oscar Awards. Susannah Grant put a positive spin on constant failure saying “that free-falling feeling you get right on the knife-edge of total disaster may, in fact, be an essential ingredient to doing anything worthwhile.” Arguably the worst failure for the new screenwriting is either not finishing a script —or not even starting the writing process.<br /><br />You’ll find throughout this book that talent and hard work are essential to succeed at any level. You can’t teach that. But distilled from over 3,000 posts from Emmy-winner Scott W. Smith’s nationally recognized blog Screenwriting from Iowa . . .. and Other Unlikely Places, these 10 chapters will hopefully guide and inspire you to improve your writing and output. Sprinkled throughout these pages are quotes curated from an eclectic and diverse mix of many top screenwriters and filmmakers throughout the history of film and television.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Scott W. Smith.
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BPS 095: The Hollywood Screenplay Formatting Standard with Chris Riley
Have you ever wondered how to format your screenplay so Hollywood would take you seriously as a screenwriter before they even read your script? Today's guest Christopher Riley can definitely help you with this.<br /><br />Christopher Riley is an American screenwriter whose first film, After The Truth, a multiple-award-winning courtroom thriller, sparked international controversy when it was released in Germany in 1999. Other credits include 25 To Life, a dramatic thriller written for Touchstone Pictures, The Other White House, a political thriller written for Sean Connery’s Fountainbridge Films, Aces, an action-adventure written for Paramount Pictures and Emmy-winning producer Robert Cort, and a screen adaptation of the book Actual Innocence for Mandalay Television Pictures and the Fox television network.<br /><br />A veteran of the Warner Bros. script department, Riley is the author of the screenwriting reference The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style, now in its second edition with a foreword by Antwone Fisher.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Christopher Riley.
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BPS 094: Deconstructing the Emotional Pulse of Your Screenplay with James V. Hart
I'm so excited to bring this episode to the BPS Tribe. Today we have legendary screenwriter James V. Hart. James is the screenwriter behind some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters like HOOK, directed by Steven Spielberg based on an idea by Hart’s then 6-year-old son, Jake, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND, directed by Brian Henson, and CONTACT, directed by Robert Zemeckis. MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN, TUCK EVERLASTING,  SAHARA, LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE, AUGUST RUSH and many more.<br /><br />“No one has a job in our business until you type ‘the end’.” — James V. Hart<br /><br />Dracula has a special place in my heart as it is one of the major influences that made me become a filmmaker.<br /><br />James has served on the faculty of the Columbia University Graduate Film program. Served as mentor and advisor at the Austin Writer’s Ranch, Sundance Film Labs, and the Equinoxe-Europe Writing Workshops for over 20 years in 11 countries. Hart has also conducted the Puglia Experience for writers and producers held in the Puglia region in Italy.<br /><br />During the making of Dracula Francis Ford Coppola called James up and told him he hated everything about the story and the movie they had shot. James sat down with Francis and beat up the film and story. Frustrated that this happened, James set out to develop a tool that could help him map out the screenplay's emotion before they ever start shooting.  The HART CHART was born.<br /><br />Originally launched online at the 2015 Austin Film Festival, James has developed a proven story mapping tool for serious writers working in television, film, novels, plays, and other literary forms, with a guarantee you will never face a blank page again.<br /><br />James and I discuss THE HARTCHART, his journeys in Hollywood, how he became a 20-year overnight success, what it was like working with master filmmakers like Coppola, Speilberg, and Zemeckis, and how he breakdowns a blockbuster story idea.<br /><br />This is one episode for the record books. Enjoy my conversation with James V. Hart.
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BPS 093: The Art of Creating Memorable Characters with John Winston Rainey
Today on the show we have screenwriter and script doctor, John Winston Rainey. John is the co-author, along with legendary script consultant Linda Seger, of the book You Talkin’ to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue. John has written 25 screenplays of which 3 have been produced and 10 have been optioned. He has been a script consultant since 1989 and is the author of Screenwriting Style That Sizzles: A Primer For Polishing.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with John Winston Rainey.
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BPS 092: Creating the Ultra-Violent World of John Wick with Derek Kolstad (CROSSOVER)
Today we have a special CROSSOVER episode of the BPS Podcast. Our guest is Derek Kolstad, the genius behind the extremely successful John Wick franchise. <br /><br />An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New York City as his bullet-riddled playground, JOHN WICK (Keanu Reeves) is a fresh and stylized take on the "assassin genre”.<br /><br />He is also the screenwriter of One in the Chamber, The Package (starring Steve Austin & Dolph Lundgren). This episode is from the archives of The Make Your Movie Podcast with Dave Bullis available from the IFH Podcast Network. Dave chats with Derek about bad movies, screenwriting, the film business, and working with Keanu Reeves.<br /><br />I wanted to bring this amazing episode to the BPS Tribe. Get ready to dive into the ultra-violent world of Derek Kolstad.
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BPS 091: How to Use the Monomyth in Your Screenplays with Chris Vogler
Today on the show we bring the legendary story analyst and best-selling author Chris Vogler. Chris wrote the game-changing book  The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. I read this book over 25 years ago and it changed the way I look at "story." Chris studied the work and principles of the late master Joseph Campbell. His book The Hero with a Thousand Faces was the basis for Star Wars as well as almost every other Hollywood feature film in the past 60 years using what Campbell called the monomyth.<br /><br />Many filmmakers and screenwriters believe that the hero's journey or monomyth is out of date and doesn't work on today's savvy audience. Nothing could be farther than the truth. The hero's journey is the meat and potatoes that all storytellers need to understand. Elements from the monomyth is in every story ever written. As screenwriters, you need to study and understand the monomyth then use it as you wish in your story. Take a look below at some of the monomyth's character archetypes.<br /><br />Chris's ground-breaking book is celebrating its 25-year anniversary so someone is reading it. Enjoy my conversation with Chris Vogler.
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CROSSOVER: Inside the Mind of Screenwriter Rob Edwards (Disney's The Princess and The Frog)
CROSSOVER EVENT: Today we go inside the mind of screenwriter Rob Edwards (Disney's The Princess and The Frog). Rob Edwards has written two classic animated films for Walt Disney Feature Animation, the Academy Award-nominated Treasure Planet, and the Academy Award® and Golden Globe-nominated The Princess and the Frog. He also consulted on Tangled, Wreck-it Ralph, and Frozen.
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BPS 090: How to Write a Successful Horror Franchise with Final Destination's Jeffrey Reddick
Today on the show we have screenwriter and director Jeffrey Reddick, who is best known for creating the highly successful Final Destination horror film franchise. The franchise has grossed over $650 Million world-wide. Not bad for an idea that was first conceived for an X-Files episode.<br /><br />Jeffrey also co-wrote the story for, and executive produced, Final Destination 2 (2003). Jeffrey made his first connection to the film industry at age 14 when he wrote a prequel to Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) and mailed it to Bob Shaye, the President of New Line Cinema. Bob returned the material for being unsolicited. But the young man wrote Bob an aggressive reply, which won him over.<br /><br />Bob read the treatment and got back to Jeffrey. Bob, and his assistant, Joy Mann, stayed in contact with Jeffrey for over five years. When he went to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York at age 19, Bob offered him an internship at New Line Cinema. This internship turned into an 11-year stint at the studio.<br /><br />Aside from Final Destination (2000), which spawned four successful sequels, Jeffrey's other credits include Lions Gate's thriller, Tamara (2005), and the remake of George Romero's classic, Day of the Dead (2008). Jeffrey's directorial debut is Don't Look Back.<br /><br />When a young woman overcoming her traumatic past is among several witnesses who see a man fatally assaulted and don't intervene, they find themselves targeted by someone, or something, out for revenge.<br /><br />Jeffrey has had an amazing career so far and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.<br /><br />Enjoy my spooky conversation with Jeffrey Reddick.
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BPS 089: How to Use PIXAR Storytelling in Your Screenplay with Dean Movshovitz
Ever wonder how Pixar continuously puts out hit after hit? What is the story secret sauce that has created one of Hollywood's most amazing track records? Today's guest might be able to shed some light on the answer. On the show, we have screenwriter and author Dean Movshovitz. Dean wrote the best-selling book Pixar Storytelling: Rules for Effective Storytelling Based on Pixar's Greatest Films.<br /><br />PIXAR STORYTELLING is the first book to offer an in-depth analysis of the screenwriting techniques and patterns that make Pixar’s immensely popular classic films so successful and moving. Each chapter of the book explores an aspect of storytelling that Pixar excels at. Learn what Pixar’s core story ideas all have in common, how they create compelling, moving conflict, and what makes their films’ resolutions so emotionally satisfying.<br /><br />First released in October 2015, the book has sold over 15,000 copies without any marketing or PR. PIXAR STORYTELLING is taught on campuses worldwide, from Norway to Argentina, to Northwestern’s Qatar extension, and is cited in works and books from Finland to the US to Russia. It has been translated into Vietnamese and is being translated into Russian.<br /><br />PIXAR STORYTELLING has proven to be an inspiring, insightful, approachable, and popular book, which can be used as a gift, a manual, and a textbook<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Dean Movshovitz.
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BPS 088: The Entrepreneurial Screenwriter with Jeff Willis
Today on the show we have screenwriter, consultant, and studio executive, Jeff Willis. Jeff has been in the film business for over 15 years as a writer and executive working on films like Avengers: End Game, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther to name a few.<br /><br />Around 30 minutes into the show we begin to discuss the business of screenwriting and more importantly what screenwriters can do to make money and get their stories out there. There are so many options out there for the entrepreneurial screenwriter. Jeff and I talk about the many options a screenwriter has to make money with his or her stories and unproduced screenplays.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Jeff Willis.
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BPS 087: The Essentials of Great Screenwriting with John Truby
Today on the show we have one of the most popular guests to ever be on the Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast, the legendary John Truby. John is the author of The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller.<br /><br />John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood's most successful films. The Anatomy of Story shares all his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby's own unique approach to building an effective, multifaceted narrative.<br /><br />His is former students’ work has earned more than $15 billion at the box office, and include the writers, directors, and producers of such film blockbusters as Ratatouille, In Treatment, Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men I/II/III, Shrek, Mother Mary of Chris, Breaking Bad, House, Lost, Planet of the Apes, Scream, The Fantastic Four, The Negotiator, Star Wars, Sleepless in Seattle, Outbreak, African Cats (which Truby co-wrote for Disney) and more.<br /><br />Over the last 25 years, more than 50,000 people have attended his sold-out seminars around the world, with the American Film Institute declaring that his “course allows a writer to succeed in the fiercely competitive climate of Hollywood.”<br /><br />Get ready to take some notes. Enjoy my EPIC conversation with John Truby.
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BPS 086: How to Create a Story Map Beat Sheet for TV/Streaming with Daniel Calvisi
Today on the show we bring back author and Story Maps guru Daniel Calvisi. His last episode was one of the most popular in the history of the podcast. The concept of story mapping has been a huge help to so many screenwriters. This is why I wanted to bring him back to discuss how to use his story mapping technique on the television/streaming script. This is based on his best selling book STORY MAPS: TV Drama: The Structure of the One-Hour Television Pilot.<br /><br />Daniel Calvisi brings his Story Maps screenwriting method to television as he breaks down the structure of the TV drama pilot, citing case studies from the most popular, ground-breaking series of recent years, including THE WALKING DEAD, GAME OF THRONES, HOUSE OF CARDS, TRUE DETECTIVE, BREAKING BAD, MR. ROBOT, SCANDAL, and MAD MEN.<br /><br />Story Maps: TV Drama offers the first beat sheet for television screenwriters ("Save the Cat" for TV). This is the structural template that aspiring and professional TV writers have been looking for. A clear, practical, step-by-step method for writing a pilot that adheres to Hollywood standards.<br /><br />How to write a TV pilot has never been easier. Writing a pilot begins here.<br /><br />This book first introduces you to the key formats, genres, and terminology of modern TV shows then details the major signpost beats of a teleplay and the crucial characteristics that must be present in each act, using specific examples from our new "Golden Age of Television."<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Daniel Calvisi.
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BPS 085: From Legendary Flop to a Moneymaking Machine with Waterworld's Peter Rader
Today on the show we have the writer and creator of the legendary film Waterworld Peter Rader. I wanted to bring Peter on the show to discuss what it was like to be a part of one of the biggest budget films in Hollywood history at the time.<br /><br />For those of you who may not know Waterworld was considered one of the biggest box-office flops in history. The production was plagued with production issues, the script was re-written too many times to count and the budget soars from $100 million to $172 million. The film was a punching bag for the press. Waterworld ended up making $265 million at the box office. That with the revenue generated over the years from television rights, VHS, DVD, special editions Blu-rays the film turned out to be one of the most valuable films in the Universal library.<br /><br />Where the money machine really gets turned on is from the Waterworld: A Live Sea Stunt Spectacular attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. The show has been a mainstay at the park for over 20 years, replacing the Miami Vice Stunt Show. The attraction has also been duplicated four other times around the world including Universal Studios Japan and Singapore and has generated Universal hundreds of millions of dollars over the years.<br /><br />Peter Rader has worked as a film and television writer for 20 years. He has developed numerous projects for other studios, and industry leaders such as Steven Spielberg, Dino De Laurentiis, and John Davis.<br /><br />He has worked as a cinematographer, editor, and producer on a number of award-winning documentary projects, including AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda, which THE GUARDIAN dubbed the Indie sleeper hit of 2014, following its extensive worldwide theatrical run.<br /><br />Peter was raw and candid with me about his amazing journey with Waterworld, which is celebrating its 25-year anniversary this year, and his other Hollywood adventures. Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Peter Rader.
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CROSSOVER: Inside the Mind of Screenwriter Alex Dinelaris (Birdman)
Today we go inside the mind of Oscar® Winning co-screenwriter Alex Dinelaris (Birdman). Jason Buff from the Indie Film Academy Podcast and Alex discussed his screenwriting and what it was like working with Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, and Armando Bo. They discuss Alex's process for putting together a story and do a deep analysis of various scenes of Birdman. <br /><br />Alex was in a rare position to be on-set during the filming of Birdman, so of course, Jason took the opportunity to ask about what it was like to watch Alejandro and Chivo on set with Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, and Zach Galifianakis.<br /><br />Enjoy your journey into the mind of Alex Dinelaris.<br /><br />Proud Member of the IFH Podcast Network (<a href="http://www.ifhpodcastnetwork.com" rel="noopener">www.ifhpodcastnetwork.com</a>)
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BPS 084: The Movie Script Selling Game with Kathie Fong Yoneda
Today on the show we have studio veteran, story consultant, and best-selling author of The Script Selling Game- 2nd edition: A Hollywood Insider's Look at Getting Your Script Sold and Produced  Kathie Fong Yoneda.<br /><br />The Script-Selling Game is like having a mentor in the business who answers your questions and provides you with not only valuable information but real-life examples on how to maneuver your way through the Hollywood labyrinth. While the first edition focused mostly on film and television movies, the second edition includes a new chapter on animation and another on utilizing the Internet to market yourself and find new opportunities, plus an expansive section on submitting for television and cable.<br /><br />Kathie has worked in film and television for more than 30 years. She has held executive positions at Disney, Touchstone, Disney TV Animation, Paramount Pictures Television, and Island Pictures, specializing in development and story analysis of both live-action and animation projects.<br /><br />Kathie is an internationally known seminar leader on screenwriting and development and has conducted workshops in France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and throughout the U.S. and Canada.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Kathie Fong Yoneda.
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BPS 083: The Science of Storytelling for Screenwriters with Will Storr
I super excited to bring you today's show. Today on the podcast we have best-selling author Will Storr. Will's latest book The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Tell Them Better is a deep dive into how story affects the brain. Here's a bit about the book:<br /><br />Who would we be without stories?<br /><br />Stories mold who we are, from our character to our cultural identity. They drive us to act out our dreams and ambitions and shape our politics and beliefs. We use them to construct our relationships, to keep order in our law courts, to interpret events in our newspapers and social media. Storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human.<br /><br />There have been many attempts to understand what makes a good story – from Joseph Campbell’s well-worn theories about myth and archetype to recent attempts to crack the ‘Bestseller Code’. But few have used a scientific approach. This is curious, for if we are to truly understand storytelling in its grandest sense, we must first come to understand the ultimate storyteller – the human brain.<br /><br />In this scalpel-sharp, thought-provoking book, Will Storr demonstrates how master storytellers manipulate and compel us, leading us on a journey from the Hebrew scriptures to Mr. Men, from Booker Prize-winning literature to box set TV. Applying dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to the foundations of our myths and archetypes, he shows how we can use these tools to tell better stories – and make sense of our chaotic modern world.<br /><br />His TED Talk is a must-watch for all filmmakers and screenwriters. After interview hundreds of the world's thought-leaders on story it's rare for me to find a completely new way of looking at story.  I can't tell you how fascinating this conversation is. If this episode doesn't spark an idea or two in your screenwriting I don't know what will.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Will Storr.<br /><br />Proud Member of the IFH Podcast Network (ifhpodcastnetwork.com)
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BPS 082: The Indie Film Screenwriting Process with Joshua Caldwell
Today on the show we have writer/director Joshua Caldwell. Joshua has been on the Indie Film Hustle Podcast three times before and all his episodes went viral.<br /><br />Joshua and I discuss what it takes to write an indie film, how you need to change your mindset, and how to best position it to actually get produced. His latest film is INFAMOUS starring Bella Thorne, Jake Manley, Amber Riley.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Joshua Caldwell.
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BPS 081: Writing a Blockbuster Action Franchise with Escape Plan's Miles Chapman
Today on the show we have Miles Chapman, the screenwriter behind the successful action franchise Escape Plan starring the legendary Sylvester Stallone. The premise was simple but great.<br /><br />When a structural-security authority finds himself set up and incarcerated in the world's most secret and secure prison, he has to use his skills to escape with help from the inside.<br /><br />Then add Sly and another legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger to the mix and you have action nirvana. Miles and I discuss how the project came to be, some extremely entertaining stories from the set and what it was like working with legends.<br /><br />The first Escape Plan was such a big international hit that the producers spawn off to more sequels, which Miles wrote as well.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Miles Chapman.
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PREVIEW: Inside the Screenwriter's Mind Podcast with Alex Ferrari - Brendan McCarthy (Mad Max- Fury Road)
Welcome to the newest member of the IFH Podcast Network. May I introduce you to Inside the Screenwriter's MInd: A Screenwriting Archive with Alex Ferrari.<br /><br />Have you ever wondered what it’s like inside a screenwriter’s mind? In this podcast, we explore how successful screenwriters tackle structure, plot, character, dialog, and the film business. Get ready to go down the rabbit hole of story. Let’s travel inside the screenwriter’s mind with your guide Alex Ferrari.<br /><br />I wanted to create a podcast that could not only highlight the in-depth conversations I have done with some of the world's greatest screenwriters in Hollywood but I also wanted to shine a light on other amazing interviews from the IFH Podcast Network.<br /><br />In this podcast, I will be your guide down the rabbit-hole of story as I bring you interviews from the following podcasts:<br /><br />Indie Film Academy Podcast<br />Dave Bullis Podcast<br />Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast<br />Film Trooper Podcast<br />and others from the IFH Podcast Network<br /><br />As the network continues to grow I will hunt for the best screenwriter interviews and bring them to you on the Inside the Screenwriter's MInd: A Screenwriting Podcast. If you like the podcast please share with your friends, subscribe, and leave a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. This really helps the show out a lot since we are a new show and I want these amazing interviews to reach as many screenwriters and filmmakers as possible.<br /><br />Thank you for listening and I hope this podcast truly helps you on your screenwriting path. Write. Rewrite. Sell. Repeat. <br /><br />PREVIEW EPISODE<br /><br />Today we go inside the mind of screenwriter Brendan McCarthy (Mad Max: Fury Road). This is a re-broadcast from the Indie Film Academy Podcast. Brendan is a legend in the world of comics and now the world of Mad Max. <br /><br />His series Freakwave was inspired by Mad Max 2, The Road Warrior. In this episode, we talk with McCarthy about his relationship with Mad Max and how he went from being a fan of The Road Warrior to actually co-writing Mad Max: Fury Road with writer/director George Miller.<br /><br />Enjoy your journey into the mind of Brendan McCarthy.<br /><br />Proud Member of the IFH Podcast Network (<a href="http://www.ifhpodcastnetwork.com" rel="noopener">www.ifhpodcastnetwork.com</a>)
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BPS 080: Writing for TV/Streaming Platforms in Today's World with Michael Jamin
Today on the show we have writer and showrunner Michael Jamin. Michael has been writing for television since 1996.  His many credits include Just Shoot Me, King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Out of Practice, Rules of Engagement, Lopez and Tacoma FD.<br /><br />He’s also served as Executive Producer/Showrunner on Glenn Martin DDS, Maron, and Rhett & Link’s Buddy System. Michael currently lives in Los Angeles where he's working on a collection of personal essays to be released in 2020.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Michael Jamin.
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BPS 079: How to Write Dialog that Pops Off the Page with Linda Seger
Today on the show we have returning champion the legendary Linda Seger. Linda and I discuss her new book You Talkin' to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue. We do a deep dive into how to write great dialog. Here's a bit about the book.<br /><br />Unlike the chitchat of everyday life, dialogue in stories must express character, advance the story, suggest a theme, and include a few memorable lines that audiences will be quoting for decades to come. The best stories have dialogue that sparkles, but it’s easy for inexperienced writers to fall into common pitfalls like creating dialogue that’s wooden or too on the nose.<br /><br />Other writers end up with exposition awkwardly inserted into conversations, actors tripping over unnatural phrases or characters who all speak exactly the same way. In You Talkin’ to Me? Linda Seger and John Winston Rainey are here to help with all your dialogue problems. In each chapter, they explore dialogue from a different angle and discuss examples of great dialogue from films and novels. To cap it all off, each chapter ends with examples of poor dialogue, which are annotated by Linda and then rewritten by John, so readers don’t just learn how to recognize when it’s done well―they also learn how to make the dialogue better. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, for the screen or for the page, this book will get your characters talking.<br /><br />Ron Howard says he never starts a film without her book. Having authored nine books on scriptwriting, including the best selling Making A Good Script Great, Linda is one of the most prolific writers in her field. <br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Linda Seger.
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BPS 078: Screenwriting & Hollywood in the Times of COVID with Greg Gertmenian
Today on the show we have Greg Gertmenian, who is the Head of Script Analytics and Film Development at Slated. He is also the co-inventor of the Script Score, the only screenplay evaluation tool proven to accurately predict good films. Helped arrange financing of films like SUPER TROOPERS 2, DEEP MURDER, CRUISE, AT FIRST LIGHT, GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD, BECOMING and WHAT BREAKS THE ICE.<br /><br />Prior to his time at Slated, produced short format content including the fan-beloved short film, BALROG: BEHIND THE GLORY and the award-winning, AFI Fest film THE HAIRCUT.<br /><br />I wanted to bring Greg on the show to discuss Hollywood, screenwriters and the COVID pandemic, and what we all can do to survive and thrive during these crazy and uncertain times. Enjoy my conversation with Greg Gertmenian.
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Annoucing the IFH Podcast Network for Screenwriters
The IFH Podcast Network makes it easy for you to discover, connect, and engage with industry-leading filmmaking and screenwriting podcasts, all in one place. We curate the best podcasts that will help you on your filmmaking and screenwriting journey. You can listen to any of our shows on your favorite podcast platform. #IndieFilmUnite<br /><br /><a href="http://www.ifhpodcastnetwork.com" rel="noopener">www.ifhpodcastnetwork.com</a>
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BPS 077: Wired for Story - How to Become a Story Genius with Lisa Cron
Do you feel like you have a screenplay inside of you but don’t know how to bring it to life? Today's guest Lisa Cron might be able to help.<br /><br />Lisa is story coach and the best-selling author of Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence and Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere).<br /><br />Lisa has worked in publishing at W.W. Norton, as an agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency, as a producer on shows for Showtime and CourtTV, and as a story consultant for Warner Brothers and the William Morris Agency.<br /><br />Since 2006, she's been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and she's on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts MFA program in visual narrative in New York City.<br /><br />Some of the things we cover in this conversation are:<br /><br />What your audience’s brain is hardwired to crave in every story they read – and it’s not what you think.<br /><br />Why writing a successful screenplay is not about having the innate “talent” that only a lucky few are born with, but something you can learn!<br /><br />How to become a more confident screenwriter, and make whatever you’re writing now deeper, richer, more compelling, and able to do what all stories are meant to do: change how the audience sees the world, themselves, and what they do in the world.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Lisa Cron.
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BPS 076: Screenwriting a Multi-Million Dollar Movie Franchise with Aaron Mendelsohn
Today's guest is a screenwriter, director, professor, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Writers Guild of America West Aaron Mendelsohn.  He is best known for co-creating and co-writing the successful AIR BUD family film franchise, which sired eleven sequels and generated millions of dollars over the years. If you have kids then you probably already have seen an Air Bud spin-off film.
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BPS 075: Top 10 Screenwriting Scams to Avoid
On today's show, I'm going to discuss screenwriting scams that ALL screenwriters should be aware of and avoid at all costs. It never surprises me how predatory people can be with screenwriters and filmmakers in this business.<br /><br />I did an episode exposing ways screenwriters can get screwed on writing assignments. I do a deep dive into each of the following scams in the show.<br /><br />The Free Option - Optioning your screenplay for free<br />Agent Reading Fees<br />Script Consults That Ask for a Backend Cut<br />Screenwriting Marketing Services<br />Screenwriting Contests - Promises<br />Screenwriting Contests - Milking Technique<br />Ghost Writing Screenplays<br />Any Deal That Gives Your Rights Away<br />Representation Retainer Fee<br />Screenwriting Contests Warning Signs<br /><br />Stay safe out there guys. Sharks are everywhere. Enjoy!
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BPS 074: The Screenwriter's COVID-19 Survival Guide with Jason Mirch
With all the unknowns facing screenwriters due to world events I thought I'd bring on someone who had his ear to the grindstone of Hollywood to see what the town is thinking and doing during this crazy time. I reached out to Stage 32's Jason Mirch, to talk about Hollywood and how to survive and thrive as a screenwriter during and post-COVID.<br /><br />Jason Mirch is a feature film and television producer and executive with over 15 years of experience. Jason also serves as the Director of Script Services at Stage 32 where he works directly with screenwriters, filmmakers, and leading industry executives.<br /><br />In addition to his work with Stage 32, Jason runs production and development for a company which produced low-budget genre pictures for an international audience, as well as serves as a business advisor to a successful post-production VFX company which contributed to The Peanut Butter Falcon, Crawl, Martin Scorsese's Silence, Arctic, and Let them Talk for Steven Soderbergh and HBO.<br /><br />Most recently, he produced a 3D animated feature film starring Jacob Tremblay, Emmy-winner Christopher Lloyd, Oscar-winner Mel Brooks, Emmy-winner Kenan Thompson, and Emmy-winner Carol Kane.<br /><br />Mirch was the Head of Feature and Television Development at Image Nation, a finance and production company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. There, he supervised the Image Nation contributions in the development of Flight, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion, Careful What You Wish For, Ghost Rider 2, and 100 Foot Journey.​<br /><br />Prior to his work at Image Nation, Mirch was Co-Head of Development at Storyline Entertainment (Oscar-winning Chicago, Footloose, The Bucket List) where he developed a slate of feature film projects for New Line, Paramount, Summit Ent., and CBS/Paramount. He also developed and sold television projects and mini-series to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and Lifetime.<br /><br />If you want to know what is currently going on in Hollyweird and how to better position yourself as a screenwriter now and in a post-COVID-19 world then listen up.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Jason Mirch.
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BPS 073: The Screenwriter's Guide to Video Game Writing with Robert Denton Bryant
I always wondered how someone would get into the video game writing business. Today's guest is screenwriter/game development guru Robert Denton Bryant and he answers that question and so much more.<br /><br />Robert Denton Bryant has worked in Hollywood in marketing and production, and in video games as a publisher and a developer. He has been Executive Producer on dozens of games on platforms ranging from CD-ROMs to the iPad, including the bestselling World Championship Poker and Pinball Hall of Fame console franchises.<br /><br />He is the co-author (with Charles P. Schultz) of Game Testing: All in One and (with Keith Giglio) Slay the Dragon: Writing Great Video Games.<br /><br />Writing for the multibillion-dollar video-game industry is unlike writing for any other medium. Slay the Dragon will help you understand the challenges and offer creative solutions to writing for a medium where the audience not only demands a great story but to be a driving force within it. Aimed at traditional writers who want to learn interactive narrative as well as game creators who want to tell better, more emotionally involving stories, the book is written by two creative veterans of both Hollywood and "Nerdyhood." Through lively discussions and self-paced-exercises, Bryant and Giglio step you such topics as the:<br /><br />"No-act" structure of video games<br />Writing great game characters<br />Making gameplay emotionally meaningful<br />Bringing your game world alive<br /><br />I can't tell you what an amazing episode this is. Robert takes me down the rabbit hole of writing for video games, the business, how to break in as a writer, and a ton more. Who says you can't write for both video games and the big screen.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Robert Denton Bryant.
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BPS 072: How to Write a Bad Ass Query Letter for Your Screenplay with Geoffery Calhoun
After many requests, I decided to finally tackle the dreaded query letter. I bring back to the show screenwriter, author, and IFH Academy instructor Geoffery Calhoun.
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BPS 071: Crafting Complex and Memorable Characters with Karl Iglesias
On today's show, I wanted to give you a sneak peek of Bulletproof Screenwriting's first official audiobook Writing for Emotional Impact: Advanced Dramatic Techniques to Attract, Engage, and Fascinate the Reader from Beginning to End, published by IFH Books. You'll get to listen to a free chapter covering how to craft complex and memorable characters, which is over one hour, from this amazing audiobook.<br /><br /><br />You can’t have a great plot without having amazing characters. Strong character development will evoke emotions in your audience whether you’re writing a comedy, drama, or any other genre. To create great characters, you need your audience to connect in some way. Even if you love your characters, there is no guarantee your reader will connect with them.<br /><br />If you want to elevate your scripts and stories – AND your screenwriting or filmmaking career-- to the highest possible level, this class is a must. Creating characters that people connect with is no easy feat, but it is the key to writing amazing work.<br /><br />If you don't know who the author is here's a bit about him. Karl Iglesias has been a writer for over 20 years now with varying degrees of success — an option here, a couple of contest finalists and winners there, an indie development deal, many writing and script-doctoring assignments, a TV spot for a Coca-Cola campaign — and of course, his first published book, The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, which ignited my unplanned teaching and consulting career, and his second book, Writing for Emotional Impact. Since then, he has contributed to two other books on the craft, Now Write! Screenwriting and Cut to the Chase.<br /><br />In between teaching and consulting, Karl keeps busy script doctoring for other writers, directors, and producers when the work comes his way, while developing his own scripts, having about ten projects in various stages of development.<br /><br />Enjoy your sneak peek of BPS newest audiobook in our on-going screenwriting series. If you want to get a FREE copy, I'll be telling you how to do that at the end of the show.<br /><br />I know you'll love Karl. I hope this helps you on your screenwriting journey.
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BPS 070: The Secrets of Story with Matt Bird
You’ve just boarded a plane. You’ve loaded your phone with your favorite podcasts, but before you can pop in your earbuds, disaster strikes: The guy in the next seat starts telling you all about something crazy that happened to him–in great detail. This is the unwelcome storyteller, trying to convince a reluctant audience to care about his story.<br /><br />We all hate that guy, right? But when you tell a story (any kind of story: a novel, a memoir, a screenplay, a stage play, a comic, or even a cover letter), you become the unwelcome storyteller.<br /><br />So how can you write a story that audiences will embrace? The answer is simple: Remember what it feels like to be that jaded audience. Tell the story that would win you over, even if you didn’t want to hear it.<br /><br />Today's guest Matt Bird can help you. He is a screenwriter and the author of the best-selling book The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers. <br /><br />To succeed in the world of fiction and film, you have to work on every aspect of your craft and satisfy your audience. Do both–and so much more–with The Secrets of Story.<br /><br />I dig into Matt's story system and breakdown the secrets of story. Enjoy my conversation with Matt Bird.
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BPS 069: Introducing Indie Film Hustle Academy - Premium Screenwriting Education
Well, I've been busy during this quarantine. I was racking my brain on how I could provide more value to the Tribe so I create the IFH Academy. The IFH Academy is the home of exclusive online courses on filmmaking, screenwriting, film distribution, cinematography, and more.<br /><br />I wanted to bring you the best film education I could so I partnered with industry powerhouses like award-winning film producer Suzanne Lyons, master cinematographer Suki Medencevic, A.S.C, and screenwriting guru and best-selling author Geoffrey D. Calhoun.<br /><br />Check out Suki's game-changing cinematography course Light and Face - The Art of Cinematography.<br /><br />This workshop will walk you through how to light the most important and emotional subject you could put in front of your lens, the enigmatic face on a low budget. This workshop is unique in that it will literally guide you through the entire process of making your film. Taught by award-winning cinematographer Suki Medencevic A.S.C.<br /><br />Along with these great instructors I'll be creating exclusive courses as well. After getting bombarded with requests to create this course I finally took action to bring it to you, the Tribe. My first course out of the gate with be: Film Distribution [Confidentail] - The Insiders Look at How to Get Your Film Distributed. <br /><br />This course will be the course I wish I had when I was trying to sell my first film. It will cover how to protect yourself from predatory film distributors and aggregators, what to look for in a distribution agreement, VOD Myths, film deliverables, working with sales agents and producers reps, film markets, and much more.<br /><br />If you are a budding filmmaker/producer and want to learn how to produce a low-budget film then Suzanne's Lyons course The Complete Indie Film Producing Workshop is for you.<br /><br />Award-winning film producer Suzanne Lyons is about to take you from script to screen and beyond in this Mastermind workshop. After producing a number of bigger budget features Suzanne thought producing the SAG ultra-low and modified budget films would be a piece of cake. Boy, was she wrong.<br /><br />Wearing 100 different hats was a challenge and she learned so much. And now she will be sharing all that great info with you. This workshop is unique in that it will literally guide you through the entire process of making your film. <br /><br />If you are a screenwriter we have you covered as well. Screenwriting guru and best-selling author Geoffrey D. Calhoun and I teamed up to create The Screenwriter's Guide to Formatting.<br /><br />Don't let formatting derail your screenplay. Learn how to format your screenplay in the Hollywood Standard. The course walks you through how to properly format your screenplay in the Hollywood standard. We breakdown formatting for the feature film, 30min multi-cam/single-cam television show, documentary, split-screen, scriptments, and the one-hour television drama.<br /><br />Geoffery and I are working on more screenwriting courses cover structure, development, dialog, characters, and more.<br /><br />As you can see I've been busy. I plan to create a Filmtrepreneur Masterclass as well as many more exclusive courses for IFH Academy. So if you are quarantined at home right now, and let's face it you probably are, there is no better time to start adding tools to your toolbox.<br /><br />I truly hope these courses can help you on your filmmaking or screenwriting path. I have big plans for IFH Academy. New courses, world-class instructors, and much more. Take a look around the site and let me know what you think.<br /><br />Be well and stay safe out there. As always keep that hustle going and keep that dream alive. I'll talk to you soon.
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BPS 068: Skipping First-Time Screenwriting Mistakes with Naomi Beaty
Today on the show we have former studio executive turned screenwriting teacher and screenplay consultant Namoi Beaty. She is essentially an on-call development partner to screenwriters, producers, and directors at all levels. From those just starting out, to those firmly established and working in the industry today.<br /><br />She lived and worked in L.A. for over a decade, read thousands of scripts, and worked with hundreds of writers through one-on-one consulting, creating the Idea to Outline workshop, and teaching story structure for Save the Cat. I’ve worked with producers internationally and consulted on the 2016 Raindance Film Festival “Indie Film of the Year” winner, Selling Isobel.<br /><br />As a former development exec-in-training at Madonna and Guy Oseary’s Maverick Films, she worked on projects like Twilight, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and The Stanford Prison Experiment.
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BPS 067: Writing the 90 Day Screenplay with Alan Watt
Today on the show we have screenwriter and best-selling author Alan Watt. Alan Watt is the author of The 90-Day Novel, Amazon’s #1 book on writing, as well as The 90-Day Rewrite: The Process of Revision and The 90-Day Screenplay: From Concept to Polish. He runs the publishing company, The 90-Day Novel Press which has also published The 90-Day Play. Watt has written screenplays for numerous production companies and is the author of the L.A. Times bestselling novel Diamond Dogs.<br /><br />He has taught everyone from award-winning authors to A-list screenwriters, USC business school students, journalists, poets, actors, professional athletes, war veterans, housewives, doctors, lawyers, maximum security prisoners, television showrunners, Emmy-winning directors, and first-time writers.<br /><br />Many of his students have gone on to successful careers, writing New York Times and International bestsellers, appearing on Oprah, winning major literary awards, becoming top screenwriters and television show-runners, and most importantly, developing a craft and methodology that delivers consistent results.<br /><br />We get into the weeds on how to write a screenplay in 90 days. Enjoy my talk with Alan Watt.
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BONUS: Screenwriting Side Hustles to Survive the Pandemic
Many screenwriters thinking is based on two months ago. They believe that the world will go back to exactly how it was before on this pandemic blows over. That might be true and I truly hope it does but hope alone will not pay the rent. Our industry is going through an unprecedented shift. <br /><br />We as filmmakers need to start thinking about how we can pivot your writing skills and knowledge into the new reality that we are living in and very well might be in for some time to come. <br /><br />You have to think about what your customer needs are right now and address them. The companies that are sitting on the sidelines fearful of making any moves will be left behind. You as screenwriters need to change your mindsets. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Entire new industries will rise from this turmoil and if you are smart you will be ready to be a part of the new world.<br /><br />In this episode, I breakdown some side hustles that will help screenwriters not only survive the pandemic but thrive in the new world we will be walking into.
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BPS 066: How to Avoid Cliché Genre Story Plots with Chris Vander Kaay
Today's guest Chris Vander Kaay, breaks down the formulaic and predictable glory that is Hollywood filmmaking and how to avoid it.<br /><br />His new book Spoiler Alert!: The Badass Book of Movie Plots: Why We All Love Hollywood Cliches takes 38 mainstream movie genres, from ‘Teen Sex Comedy’ and ‘Buddy Action Comedy’ to ‘Film Noir Detective Thriller’ and ‘Alien Invasion Thriller’, and through detailed illustrations reveals what makes them so hilariously recognizable: the key lines of dialogue, the essential visuals, the crucial characters and the indispensable cast, scenes, and props.<br /><br />So grab some popcorn and buckle up for a laugh-out-loud ride through the wonderful world of cliché!
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BPS 065: How NOT to Get Screwed on a Screenwriting Assignment
Today on the show I going to be discussing how NOT to get screwed on a screenwriting assignment. According to Wikipedia is<br /><br />A screenwriter can also be approached and offered an assignment. Assignment scripts are generally adaptations of an existing idea or property owned by the hiring company, but can also be original works based on a concept created by the writer or producer. <br /><br />Screenwriting assignments are the holy grail for screenwriters. The problem is that that shiny carrot sometimes blinds you to the reality of what is going on. I spoke to a very season industry screenwriter with many credits under his belt, who shall remain nameless, and was enlightened by how producers and production companies take advantage of inexperienced screenwriters.<br /><br />The predators are not just in the production and distribution waters, they are also alive and well in the development oceans as well. I hope this episode shines a light into this dark corner of the industry and shows screenwriters how to protect themselves and their work.<br /><br />Get ready to take some notes. Enjoy!
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SPECIAL EVENT: Coronavirus and the Effect on the Indie Film Business
We are living in a crazy world, my friends. I wanted to do an episode on the effect the Coronavirus is having, not only on the film industry at large but also on how it will affect the indie filmmaker. With major events canceled like SXSW, MIPTV, and Cinequest, indie filmmakers are already feeling the effect. Twenty four of the largest theater owners in China have pulled out of CinemaCon, the largest convention of international theatrical exhibitors. Is the Cannes Film Festival and Market next?<br /><br />Production has stopped on Mission Impossible 7, which was shooting in Italy and the extremely popular The Amazing Race reality show has been suspended. The new James Bond film No Time to Die has been pushed until Nov 2020. Disney's Mulan, which is a love letter to the Chinese market has canceled it's China premiere and the release date in the US is up in the air.<br /><br />The Chinese box office has been at a standstill. 70,000 screens have been closed since January with no word when they will open. This has cost $2 billion in lost revenue to the Chinese and world film industry. The worldwide box office has lost $4 billion to date and growing each day. The theatrical box office was down 26.6% vs 2018 and this could be a MAJOR nail in the coffin of an already vulnerable theatrical business. We are in crazy times, my tribe.<br /><br />In this episode, I go over how this event is affecting indie filmmakers, what they can do to prepare, adjust and/or pivot in the coming weeks and months. It has never been more important for filmmakers to adopt the Filmtrepreneurial Method. Diversification of revenue streams is the only way filmmakers can hedge their bets in the uncertain times ahead.<br /><br />Sit back, pull up a stiff drink and take a listen.
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BPS 064: Crash, Boom, Bang! How to Write Action Movies with Michael Lucker
Today on the show we have screenwriter, Michael Lucker. Michael is a writer, director, and producer with twenty years of experience creating film, television, animation and digital media. He began his career writing and directing television commercials while earning his undergraduate degree in broadcasting and film at Boston University’s College of Communication.<br /><br />Soon after he landed in Los Angeles working in production on series and specials for ABC, NBC, CBS and HBO before taking a job as assistant to Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment on feature films Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade, Arachnophobia, Joe Vs. The Volcano, Always, Back To The Future II & III and Jurassic Park.<br /><br />He went onto serve in creative affairs at Hollywood Pictures where he worked on such movies as Crimson Tide, Terminal Velocity, Taking Care of Business and Straight Talk. Michael then embarked on a career as a screenwriter, helping pen more than twenty feature screenplays for Paramount, Disney, DreamWorks, Fox, and Universal, including Vampire In Brooklyn, Home On The Range, Good Intentions and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002 as best animated feature.<br /><br />His new book Crash! Boom! Bang! How to Write Action Movies. <br /><br />A fun, insightful insider’s look at the nuts and bolts of writing action movies, from concept to completion, by a professional screenwriter and professor of screenwriting. Full of witty anecdotes from the front lines (and tricks of the trade from between the lines), Crash! Boom! Bang! promises an enjoyable and educational read for writers and students of all levels. Although bullets and bloodshed abound in cinema, the lessons within will benefit screenwriters of all kinds of movies.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Michael Lucker.
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BPS 063: My Screenplay Can Beat Up Your Screenplay with Jeffrey Alan Schechter
Today on the show we have million-dollar spec screenplay writer, director, showrunner, and author Jeffrey Alan Schechter. Jeff has been beating up stories for over twenty years. He is a WGA, WGC, Emmy, and BAFTA-nominated writer, a Gemini award-winning producer, director, and a million-dollar spec screenplay writer.<br /><br />In publishing, Jeff is a co-founder of the award-winning ebook publisher PadWorx Digital Media, and his book “My Story Can Beat Up Your Story!” was published by Michael Wiese Books. Jeff is hip-deep in several other screenplays, television series, book projects, and software ventures. In his spare time, he’s married and has 4 kids.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Jeffrey Alan Schechter.
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BPS 062: The Philosophy of Screenwriting in Hollywood with Pen Densham
Today on the show we Pen Densham. Pen is a successful award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director, with an extensive track record in film and television. He is responsible for writing and producing some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Backdraft, Blown Away along with some of its longest-running television series including The Outer Limits.<br /><br />Starting with his first job in show business, riding atop a live alligator for a theatrical short film made by his parents, Pen decided to leave his English school system at age 15 and has since spent his lifetime in the business of entertainment, selling films and television series, as well as hiring, mentoring and collaborating with A-list writers along the way. His latest film is Harriet, which he is the executive producer of.<br /><br />Pen's latest project, Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing and Not getting Eaten was written with one clear goal in mind: to write the kind of book he would have loved to have read when he was starting out as a writer-filmmaker. Pen is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts.<br /><br />I had a ball speaking to Pen about his time in Hollywood, what it was like to screenwriter/producer monster hits and his screenwriting philosophy on how to make it in Hollywood.<br /><br />Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Pen Densham.
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BPS 061: What are the Essential Elements in ALL Successful Stories with Karl Iglesias
Today on the show we have returning champion Karl Iglesias. His last episode is one of the most popular shows ever in the history of the podcast. I wanted to bring him back to dig deeper into his thoughts on writing for emotional impact and breakdown the essential elements of every good story.<br /><br />Karl Iglesias has been a writer for over 20 years now with varying degrees of success — an option here, a couple of contest finalists and winners there, an indie development deal, many writing and script-doctoring assignments, a TV spot for a Coca-Cola campaign — and of course, his first published book, The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, which ignited my unplanned teaching and consulting career, and my second book, Writing for Emotional Impact. Since then, he has contributed to two other books on the craft, Now Write! Screenwriting and Cut to the Chase.<br /><br />In between teaching and consulting, Karl keeps busy script doctoring for other writers, directors, and producers when the work comes his way, while developing his own scripts, having about ten projects in various stages of development.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Karl Iglesias.
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BPS 060: How to Write Your Screenplay in 2020 – Happy New Year!
I can't believe another year has gone by. 2019 was one for the record books. So many things happened to me and to the IFH Tribe this year. In this episode, I breakdown this past year IFH style and also give you a large dose of TOUGH LOVE to get you revved up for 2020.<br /><br />Don’t wake up Dec 31, 2020, and say<br /><br />"Damn I just lost another year."<br /><br />Don’t let anything stop you from making your dream come true. Don’t let people tell you you can’t do it. People told me I was crazy for jumping into this business. Be smart, educate yourself as much as humanly possible and go for it. <br /><br />Don’t be that angry and bitter filmmaker. Don’t wake up when you are 70 and wished you would’ve taken a shot and your dream. Why haven’t you taken the steps needed to make your dream come true? Let 2020 be the YEAR OF THE FILMTREPRENEUR. Take the power back. Take control of your own destiny and make it happen for yourself.<br /><br />I also go over what to expect from all the companies from IFH Industries. IFH, IFHTV, Bulletproof Screenwriting, and Filmtrepreneur. If you thought I did a lot in 2019 you ain't seen nothing yet. Strap in for the episode you need to listen to get your 2020 off to a great start.<br /><br />Happy New Year to the entire BPS Tribe.
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BPS 059: The Business of Selling Story with Ken Atchity
Today guest is author, publisher, and producer Ken Atchity. Ken recently produced the global blockbuster  (Jason Statham) and is the founder of Story Merchant. Ken wrote the best-seller Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer's Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business. I wanted Ken on the show to discuss the business side of screenwriting, a part of the industry that isn't spoken about enough. We also discuss the "story market."<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Ken Atchity.
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BONUS EPISODE: Is Die Hard The Greatest Christmas Movie Ever - Yippee ki-yay!
I'm here to finally put to rest one of the greatest cinematic arguments of all time, is Die Hard a Christmas movie? I thought I'd tackle this epic question with my good friend Stephen Follows. In this Special Christmas Edition of the Indie Film Hustle Podcast Stephen and I use data to finally put this debate to rest.<br /><br />I believe without a shadow of a doubt that Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie of all time. Stephen is not so sure so we go to the data to find out. Stephen wrote an EPIC article about this a while ago where he does what only Stephen does. Below are some of the graphs he created for his dissection of this issue.<br /><br />From google trends to actual frames from the film that we see actual Christmas references. We leave no stone unturned in this debate. I promise you after this episode you will be armed to debate and film nerd at the next Christmas party. I wanted to create a fun episode for all the film geeks out there.<br /><br />Enjoy my ridiculous and entertaining conversation with Stephen Follows. And don't forget to have a Yippee ki-yay mutha f**king Merry Christmas!
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BPS 058: Confessions of a Hollywood Script Doctor with Peter Douglas Russell
Today's guest is screenwriter and Hollywood script doctor Peter Douglas Russell. I wanted to go deep into the back alleys of what Hollywood script doctors actually do in the business. Peter's conversation was eye-opening, to say the least.<br /><br />Peter Russell sold two television pilots in 2017. He enjoys working on projects both as a ghostwriter and as a consultant.  And he can both write and teach what he knows. So many successful screenwriters and producers have no idea how to teach what they do, and so many teachers can’t actually sell stories. But Peter does both.<br /><br />Peter was UCLA’s Teacher of the Year in 2009. He invented (along with his then partner Cecilia Najar) a process called The Storymaker which you can use to quickly develop an original, complex, vivid story from a single idea — and the Storymaker is helping scores of his students shape wonderful stories.<br /><br />Peter started as a story analyst in the 1990s and has read over 6,000+ screenplays for major film and television giants including Imagine Entertainment, Participant Productions, HBO, CBS, Walden Entertainment and dozens of others.<br /><br />As he read these scripts, he started seeing deep, hidden patterns in the best stories. He wrote these down and started getting jobs FIXING writer’s stories. He got good at it — really good.<br /><br />Peter was invited to teach at UCLA in 2004, and it became a passion, too.  He has now been invited to teach television pilot and film story creation at Pepperdine University’s Seaver College Screenwriting MFA program, at Story Expo in LA and New York, and many others. Meanwhile, Peter has turned The Storymaker into the most powerful tool for helping storytellers create original vivid stories. Simply and quickly.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Peter Douglas Russell.
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BONUS EPISODE: Rise of the Filmtrepreneur - Listen to Two Chapters for FREE
The day is finally here. My new book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business is finally out. I'm so excited to share this with you, the IFH Tribe. I've been working for months to make this happen. I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the book so in this episode, I'll be releasing the first two chapters of the audiobook for your listening pleasure. These two chapters set the tone for the book. In the episode, I even show you a way to download the entire book for free.<br /><br />Here's a bit of what Rise of the Filmtrepreneur has to offer<br /><br />It’s harder today than ever before for independent filmmakers to make money with their films. From predatory film distributors ripping them off to huckster film aggregators who prey upon them, the odds are stacked against the indie filmmaker. The old distribution model for making money with indie film is broken and there needs to be a change. The future of independent filmmaking is the entrepreneurial filmmaker or the Filmtrepreneur®. <br /><br />In Rise of the Filmtrepreneur® author and filmmaker Alex Ferrari breaks down how to actually make money with independent film projects and shows filmmakers how to turn their indie films into profitable businesses. This is not all theory, Alex uses multiple real-world case studies to illustrate each part of his method. This book shows you the step by step way to turn your filmmaking passion into a profitable career. If you are making a feature film, series or any kind of video content, The Filmtrepreneur® Method will set you up for success.<br /><br />I really hope you enjoy Rise of the Filmtrepreneur. I truly believe that the only way indie filmmakers will be able to survive the new film economy is by becoming Filmtrepreneurs. My goal for this book is to show filmmakers and creatives that they have to think differently. The old film economy is DEAD. Traditional film distribution is not set up to benefit the indie filmmaker. The cards are stacked against the creative and things need to change.<br /><br />Filmmakers need to take back control of their films and how they generate revenue from them. The day of handing over your film to a predatory film distributor because you believe there is no other choice is over! There is another way and the Filmtrepreneur Method is that way. Let me know what you think of the book. Enjoy and VIVA LA REVOLUTION!
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BPS 057: The Science of Screenwriting with Paul Gulino
Today's guest is screenwriter Paul Gulino. Paul is the author of Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach and The Science of Screenwriting: The Neuroscience Behind Storytelling Strategies.<br /><br />Paul believes in Hitchcock's adage that "films are made on paper." Although students may obsess about a film's look, all of the visual elements, he says, function to enhance the story. And that, ultimately, comes from the mind of the screenwriter.<br /><br />In spite of the fact that there seems to be a screenwriter behind every corner (in California, at least), screenwriting is something of a lost art, Gulino maintains, having seen hundreds of flat screenplays as a story analyst for Showtime Entertainment.<br /><br />Honing his own skills through writing for the theater and practicing the craft as taught by Frank Daniel and Milos Forman, Gulino secured an agent with William Morris on the basis of his thesis script. With that "real world" confirmation in hand, Gulino went on to write and see produced features, plays and comedy sketches.<br /><br />Screenwriting, he says, isn't a craft you can learn from a book. "The best way is to learn from someone who knows the craft, so you can see how theories can be applied to your own work." There must be something to that. Or at least it's worked for screenwriter Paul Gulino.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Paul Gulino.
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BPS 056: From Synopsis to Subplots - The Secrets of Screenwriting Revealed with Geoffrey Calhoun
Today's guest is screenwriter Geoffrey D. Calhoun. Geoffery is the author of the #1 best-selling screenwriting book The Guide For Every Screenwriter: From Synopsis to Subplots: The Secrets of Screenwriting Revealed.<br /><br />Screenwriting made simple. The Guide for Every Screenwriter is one of the most efficient instruction manuals on the craft. This book cuts past the verbose film school expository, and gets straight to work, delivering sample-driven outlines and templates that anyone can follow. It is quick to apply to your work and serves as a side-by-side checklist for the writing process. This is the book for anyone looking to write a screenplay and for any professional needing a refresher. Whether you are learning how to write a screenplay or are a veteran screenwriter, this is the perfect tool for you. This book reveals the mysteries of screenwriting from concept development, subplots, to format and beyond by using easy to follow templates and examples.<br /><br />Geoffrey D. Calhoun (Heroes from Heaven - S.O.S. - Lily) is the founder of WeFixYourScript.com where he and his team mentor indie filmmakers and support them with all aspects of screenwriting from concept to development, polishing a script, one on one consultation, and even write for hire. Geoffrey is a multi-award-winning screenwriter and is sought out as a script consultant and a re-writer for various stages of development and production. He is the director of the Script Summit Screenplay Contest which is listed as one of the biggest Screenplay Competitions by The Script Lab.<br /><br />He is known for his fast-paced thrillers but has also won awards for comedies and dramas. He has received honors in several film festivals and contests including the Louis Mitchell Award for Excellence in Writing. In 2017 Geoffrey was listed as a Top 100 Indie Writer in the World. He believes everyone is a writer at heart and has dedicated himself to help others learn the craft. His seminars are designed to break down the mysteries of screenwriting by using easy to follow templates, outlines, and modern popular films as examples.<br /><br />Enjoy my inspirational conversation with Allen Johnson.
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BPS 055: Writing and Selling 10 Screenplays Outside of Hollywood with Allen Johnson
Today's guest is screenwriter Allen Johnson. Allen has taken a unique path to become​ a working screenwriter. He has been able not only to sell ten screenplays but has been able to do it without an agent and living outside of Hollywood. Allen lives in South Carolina, not exactly a mecca for screenwriting. In this episode,​​ we dive into how he was able to make a living​​ writing screenplays​ys and discuss his tips and tricks to get screenwriting​ gigs. <br /><br />Enjoy my inspirational conversation with Allen Johnson.​
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How Bad Do You Want Your Screenwriting Dream?
Every other week I'll be posting new Motivation episodes to help the #IFHTribe along their screenwriting path. We all need some help, guidance, motivation or inspiration on our long journey in this crazy business so I hope these videos help in a small way.<br /><br />If you like this please share it with your friends and inner circle. Keep on hustling and never give up on that dream!
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BONUS: Do You Want to Learn How to Make, Market and Sell an Indie Film?
To celebrate the 350th episode of the Indie Film Hustle Podcast I'm launching the first-ever MAKE YOUR MOVIE BOOTCAMP. The Bootcamp is a LIVE two-day intensive designed to show you how to make, market and sell a feature film. I've been working on this for months and I finally get to release it to the world.<br /><br />I wanted to create a workshop that could jump-start people on their filmmaking career but with my flavor of course. Below is a fraction of what I'll be diving into at the Bootcamp.<br /><br />Ideas: Learn how to flesh out your ideas into a marketable film project.<br /><br />Screenwriting Process: We go over the basics of screenwriting and discuss alternative methods of writing like scriptments and improv.<br /><br />Finding Money: Alternate ways to raise money for your film.<br /><br />Crowdfunding: Discuss the dos and don'ts of what makes a successful campaign.<br /><br />Directing Your Film: I breakdown methods and techniques that will jump-start your directing journey.<br /><br />Post Production Workflows: Where many indie films die. This won't happen to you. I'll teach you the proper way to set up your workflow and get you and your film to the finish line.<br /><br />Marketing and Building an Audience: Once you have your film done you need to get it out into the world. I will go over proven techniques that will help you build and target an audience.<br /><br />Submitting to Film Festivals: Tricks and techniques on what to do and definitely what not to do when taking your film on the festival circuit. This one section that will save you thousands of dollars and years of your life.<br /><br />Self Distribution Models: I'll teach you how to run a successful self-distribution campaign by using multiple case studies on how it is done correctly.<br /><br />Avoid Predatory Film Distributors: It is shark-infested waters out there. We go over what to look out for when dealing with traditional and predatory film distributors.<br /><br />Revenue Streams: I do a deep dive into how to create multiple revenue streams from your indie film.<br /><br />Breaking Through Your Fear: I show you techniques to break through your own creative fears and finally make the feature film you have always wanted to.<br /><br />PLUS: Two Surprise film industry heavy hitters will come into Guest Speak and answer questions.<br /><br />Why Do You Need This Bootcamp?<br /><br />Jump Start Your Feature Film<br /><br />It takes a lot of time and energy to get a feature film off the ground, but it doesn't have too. I shot my first film in 8 days and completed the entire process, from idea to final product, within 3 months. The film went on to be sold internationally and was licensed by Hulu. I will teach you the techniques I used to make this happen.<br /><br />Marketing and Audience Building<br /><br />In today's world if you do not understand how to get your indie film in front of the right customers you are dead in the water. I've built a large platform with millions of eyeballs. I will teach you my secret sauce for audience building.<br /><br />Avoid Distribution Pitfalls<br /><br />There are a lot of predatory film distributors in the industry today that are all too happy to take advantage of you. If you are not careful you could end up making a non-tax deductible donation to one of these sharks and loss your film for 15 years. I will show you how to avoid these snakes and how to find a good distributor to partner with.<br /><br />Actually, Make Money with Your Film<br /><br />I will discuss the Filmtrepreneur® Method of filmmaking. Thinking more like an entrepreneurial filmmaker is imperative moving forward in the business. Creating multiple revenue and passive income streams from your film projects is the key to a sustainable career.<br /><br />The MAKE YOUR MOVIE BOOTCAMP will be taking place Oct 26 &27 in Burbank, CA at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Burbank. If you want to get 20% off the ticket price CLICK HERE.<br /><br />This will be EPIC. When you finish this Bootcamp you will be ready to make, market and sell your feature film. I go over the details in this episode so take a listen and I hope to meet you in person at the MAKE YOUR MOVIE BOOTCAMP.
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BPS 054: Writing a Screenplay from the Inside Out with Brian Herskowitz
Today's guest is screenwriter Brian Herskowitz. He wrote the book called Process to Process to Product: From Concept to Script: A Practical Guide for the Screenwriter.<br /><br />Like millions before him, Brian Herskowitz moved out to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.  He soon learned that there was a dearth of roles for shorter leading men and began searching for other outlets for his creative passions.  In 1980 he wrote his first screenplay, an action thriller about a young man who moves to Tokyo to train for the Olympics in Judo and gets caught up in an intrigue with the Yakuza.   <br /><br />Through that script, based on his true-life experience as an international judo competitor, he uncovered a knack and passion for writing.  As a writer, Brian has completed well over a dozen feature films.  His first produced feature was a low budget slasher titled DARKROOM.  He currently has several projects in active development including, THE ABDUCTION, THE EMPRESS OF ELSEWHERE (co-written with Theresa Nelson based on her best selling novel), TAKE A RIDE, and FAIRIES (co-written with Pam Dawber and Andy Tobey).<br /><br />His TV credits include a staff writing position on the NBC sit-com BLOSSOM, multiple episodes of the syndicated series HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS, and ACAPULCO HEAT, the HBO hit comedy DREAM ON, CBS’s RENEGADE, THE EXILE, MURDER, SHE WROTE, the FOX Network’s YOUNG HERCULES, and CBS’s critically acclaimed was series TOUR OF DUTY (associate producer). Brian co-wrote the FOX pilot MANTIC with Jason Alexander.   In addition, he worked as a punch-up writer on BOB PATTERSON, and LISTEN UP.<br /><br />Brian currently holds the title of lead faculty in screenwriting for the prestigious  BOSTON UNIVERSITY IN LOS ANGELES - WRITER IN HOLLYWOOD PROGRAM.  Brian has taught online for UCLA EXTENSTIONS and has had students from every corner of the earth. <br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Brian Herskowitz.
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BPS 053: Forensic Speak - How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas with Jennifer Dornbush
Today on the show we have author Jennifer Dornbush who has written the book Forensic Speak: How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas. We sit down and discuss all thing forensics. We even discuss the im[pact of the OJ Simpson case on the world of forensics. Here's a bit about her amazing book.<br /><br />Crime stories have always intrigued viewers and storytellers. Today, crime shows rule the airwaves and there is truly a procedural drama out there for every personality — and every writer. Born out of the author’s real-life experiences growing up around death investigation, Forensic Speak unlocks the secrets of forensic science for writers and fans alike. With a filmography of 100 film and TV examples and 80 additional resources, the book provides writers direct access to hundreds of ways to make their crime writing more authentic.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Jennifer Dornbush.
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BPS 052: Story$elling Your Screenplay with Heather Hale
Today on the show we have returning champion Heather Hale.  Heather Hale’s new book Story Selling: How to Develop, Market, and Pitch Your Film & TV Projects helps you get your stories out of your head and onto the worldwide stage.<br /><br />From the inspiration and conception of all kinds of creative writing, through the development and refinement of all the elements, to navigating the legal, financial, physical production, distribution and marketing labyrinths of the overlapping businesses of mass media, she explores how (and why) we write, co-create, share and monetize stories around the world today.<br /><br />Pitching is an art form that brings together content and communication channels. Regardless of What you’re pitching . . . Where, When and to Whom . . . the principles are universal. It’s How you pitch that matters ― and there are countless strategies that combine elements in different combinations.<br /><br />Heather's book details all of them, their construction and applications, in a fun and interactive way that inspires readers to create memorable and saleable pitches in order to get their projects made.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Heather Hale.
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BPS 051: The Coffee Break Screenwriter with Pilar Alessandra
I've been trying to get today's guest on the show for months. Pilar Alessandra is an author, podcaster, and script consultant. She is the director of the popular writing program “On The Page” and author of “The Coffee Break Screenwriter.” A sought-after teacher and lecturer, she’s traveled the world teaching screenwriting, pitching and story analysis. As a consultant, Pilar has helped thousands of writers create, refine and sell their scripts and was named “Cream of the Crop” in Creative Screenwriting’s Script Consultant Survey.<br /><br />Her students and clients have sold to Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Brothers and Sony and have won prestigious competitions, including the Austin Film Festival and Nicholl Fellowship.<br /><br />Pilar jump-started her career in film as a script reader for Amblin Entertainment. With the formation of DreamWorks, she became Senior Story Analyst and a reader liaison between the studio and Robert Zemeckis’s company ImageMovers.<br /><br />Her expert script analysis was also sought out by The Robert Evans Company, Cineville Entertainment, Handprint Entertainment and Saturday Night Live Studios. Work at Interscope Communications led her to a position as Senior Story Analyst for Scott Kroopf’s production company Radar Pictures.<br /><br />Pilar was later bitten by the “teaching bug” while teaching screenwriting and story analysis at the UCLA Writers’ Program. In 2001, she started her own company “On the Page,” and in 2004 opened the On the Page Writers Studio in Sherman Oaks, California.<br /><br />In the interest of expanding access to her teaching tools, Pilar created the weekly “On the Page Podcast” with guests from within the industry. Recently, Pilar was listed as one of LA Weekly’s top 100 people in their “Best of LA People” issue.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Pilar Alessandra.
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BPS 050: The Alchemy of Storytelling with John Bucher
We made it to 50 EPISODES! So grateful the show has taken off. Thanks for all the support!<br /><br />Today on the show we have storytelling guru John Bucher, who is a renowned strategist, communicator, and cultural mythologist based out of Hollywood, California. Disruptor named him one of the top 25 influencers in Virtual Reality in 2018.<br /><br />“John Bucher is an influencer. He’s one of our most prolific contributors.” — HBO<br /><br />He is the author of six books including the best-selling Storytelling for Virtual Reality, named by BookAuthority as one of the best storytelling books of all time. John has worked with companies including HBO, DC Comics, The History Channel, A24 Films, The John Maxwell Leadership Foundation and served as a consultant and writer for numerous film, television, and Virtual Reality projects. Currently, he teaches writing and story courses as part of the Joseph Campbell Writers Room at Studio School in Los Angeles and at the LA Film Studies Center. He has spoken on 5 continents about using the power of story to reframe how products, individuals, organizations, cultures, and nations are viewed.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with John Bucher.
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FT004: Creating Revenue Streams from Your YouTube Short Films with Luke Neumann
Today's guest is Filmtrepreneur Luke Neumann. Luke has taken a very interesting filmmaking path. He runs a very popular YouTube channel with over 140,000 subscribers. On his channel, you'll see DIY film tutorials, filmmaking tips and tricks, aerial drone videos, short films and vlogs presented in 4K/UHD, 4K/60fps and 8K. What makes him a Filmtrepreneur is that he leveraged his audience and created multiple revenue streams.
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FT001: From Indie Filmmaker to $1 Billion Sale to Disney with Michael Gallagher
I wanted to have an amazing guest for our first episode of the Filmtrepreneur Podcast and I think I did just that. Today's guest is filmmaker and Filmtrepreneur Michael Gallagher. Michael is one of the co-founders of Makers Studio.
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IFH Presents: Filmtrepreneur® Podcast - Introduction | Show Formalities | What to Expect
After months of preparation, it's finally here, The Filmtrepreneur Podcast! After the success of the Indie Film Hustle Podcast and the Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast, I felt there was another area of the filmmaking process that I could help filmmakers with, how to actually make money with their films. Filmtrepreneur was born.
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BPS 049: Hollywood Screenwriting with Screenwriter John August
Today on the show we have Hollywood screenwriter, director, producer, podcaster and novelist John August. He is known for writing the hit Hollywood films Go, Charlie's Angels, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Big Fish, Charlie, ​and the Chocolate Factory and Frankenweenie, the Disney live-action adaptation of Aladdin and the novel Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire. <br /><br />He hosts the popular screenwriting podcast Scriptnotes with Craig Mazin, maintains an eponymous screenwriting blog and develops screenwriter-targeted software called​ Highland 2.5 through his company, Quote-Unquote Apps.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with John August.
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The One Secret to Making it in the Film Business
Every other week I'll be posting new Motivation episodes to help the #IFHTribe along their screenwriting path. We all need some help, guidance, motivation or inspiration on our long journey in this crazy business so I hope these videos help in a small way.<br /><br />If you like this please share it with your friends and inner circle. Keep on hustling and never give up on that dream!
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BPS 048: Bulletproof: Writing Scripts that Don't Get Shot Down
Today on the show we have screenwriters David and Diamond and David Weissman. Their credits include studios movies like Family Man, Evolution, Old Dogs and When in Rome. We discuss their adventures in the screenwriting trade, working with studios and their new book Bulletproof: Writing Scripts that Don't Get Shot Down.<br /><br />The team of Diamond and Weissman have been writing movies and mentoring filmmakers for decades. In this practical guide, they take the aspiring writer by the hand and guide them through the logistics and tools of writing an attention-grabbing, audience-pleasing screenplay. Readers will learn the interests and needs of managers, agents, producers, executives, financiers, directors, and actors. Diamond and Weissman attribute their phenomenal success to a career-long focus on the motives and priorities of film sponsors and benefactors.<br /><br />Whether it’s a theatrical release or a streaming movie, a major, big-budget tent pole or an intimate, character-driven indie drama, Diamond and Weissman apply their time-tested approach. This fresh way of thinking will resonate with writers, industry professionals, and cinephiles excited to peek under the hood at what makes their favorite films tick.<br />Bulletproof: Writing Scripts that Don't Get Shot Down is the rare screenwriting instructional penned by authors with both massive credits and decades of business experience.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with David and Diamond and David Weissman.
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When No One Believes in Your Screenwriting Dream
Every other week I'll be posting new Motivation episodes to help the #IFHTribe along their screenwriting path. We all need some help, guidance, motivation or inspiration on our long journey in this crazy business so I hope these videos help in a small way.<br /><br />If you like this please share it with your friends and inner circle. Keep on hustling and never give up on that dream!
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BONUS: Can You Help Me with BPS' Dream Guest List?
Can You Help Me with IFH's Dream Guest List?<br /><br />So I'm conducting an experiment. Can the IFH Tribe and I get some of the most amazing filmmakers in history on the IFH Podcast? Well, let's see if we can make that dream come true. There is a list of filmmakers and screenwriters I would love to have as guests on the show. This list is pretty ambitious but hell if you are going to dream DREAM BIG.<br /><br />If anyone out in the Indie Film Hustle Tribe knows or has a way to contact any of these amazing filmmakers please email me at <a href="mailto:ifhsubmissions@gmail.com">ifhsubmissions@gmail.com</a><br /><br />I know this might be a pipe dream but wouldn't it be astonishing if one or more of these filmmakers actually came on the show to share their filmmaking and/or screenwriting knowledge? I want to prove to everyone listening that if you want your dream to come true then you need to put it out into the universe and have the courage to do so.<br /><br />Like I said, this is just an experiment but man wouldn't be cool? Here's my humble list.<br /><br />Dream Directing Guests<br /><br />Robert Rodriguez<br />Quentin Tarantino<br />Steven Spielberg<br />James Cameron<br />Martin Scorsese<br />David Fincher<br />Christopher Nolan<br />Kevin Smith<br />PT Anderson<br />Francis Ford Coppola<br />Steven Soderbergh<br />George Lucas<br />Guillermo del Torro<br />JJ Abrams<br />Ron Howard<br />Spike Lee<br />David Lynch<br />Richard Linklater<br />Mark and Jay Duplass<br />Lena Dunham<br />Tim Burton<br />Mel Brooks<br />Dream Screenwriting Guests<br /><br />Aaron Sorkin<br />Joss Whedon<br />Shane Black<br />Robert McKee<br />Dream Producer Guests<br /><br />Robert Evans<br />Jerry Bruckheimer<br />Gale Anne Hurd<br />Kathleen Kennedy<br />Frank Marshall<br />Brain Grazier<br />I know there are so many other amazing filmmakers out there that I would love to have on the show so the faster we can fill this list up the faster I can come up with the next list. LOL.<br /><br />Email me at <a href="mailto:ifhsubmissions@gmail.com">ifhsubmissions@gmail.com</a> if you have the ability to reach any of these guests.<br /><br />Please share on social media and help get the word out. Thank you for your help IFH Tribe. Let's see what happens = )
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BPS 047: What Makes a Great Screenplay with Stephen Follows (CROSSOVER EVENT)
What if someone could read over 12,000 scripts that were read by professional script readers, who gave the scripts an overall score as well as scores for specific factors including plot, dialogue, characterization, theme, and voice. Then looked for connections and correlations to discover what professional script readers think a good screenplay looks like. Well, today on the show I have that man, Stephen Follows.<br /><br />It's a monster of a report -- 65 pages to be exact -- that examines data from over 12,000 screenplays - mostly written by amateurs, but some of them written by professionals and major Hollywood actors.  Using rigorous data analysis methodologies, Stephen and his team found some fascinating correlations.  <br /><br />Stephen Follows is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The New Statesman, AV Club, and Indiewire.<br />He acted as an industry consultant and guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Business of Film, which was topped the iTunes podcast chart, and has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including the Smithsonian in Washington.<br /><br />I just love Stephen and his amazing ability to crunch numbers for the benefit of the filmmaking community. He's truly doing God's work. Get ready to go down the rabbit hole and see what makes a great screenplay.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Stephen Follows.
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What Have You Done Today to Make Your Screenwriting Dream Come True?
Every week I'll be posting new videos as part of my Bi-Weekly Motivation Series to help the #IFHTribe along with their filmmaking and/or screenwriting path. We all need some help, guidance, motivation or inspiration on our long journey in this crazy business so I hope these videos help in a small way.<br /><br />If you like this please share it with your friends and inner circle. Keep on hustling and never give up on that dream!
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BPS 046: Confessions of a Million Dollar Screenwriter with Diane Drake
Today on the show we have million dollar screenwriter Diane Drake. Her produced original scripts include ONLY YOU, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei, and WHAT WOMEN WANT, starring Mel Gibson.  Her original script for ONLY YOU sold for $1 million, and WHAT WOMEN WANT is the second highest grossing romantic comedy of all time. In addition, both films have recently been remade in China featuring major Chinese stars. And WHAT WOMEN WANT has recently been remade by Paramount Pictures as WHAT MEN WANT, with Taraji Henson starring in the Mel Gibson role.<br /><br />Diane has also been a speaker/instructor for The Austin Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Rocaberti Writers Retreat in Dordogne, France, the American Film Market, Scriptwriters Network, Phoenix Screenwriters Association, Stowe Story Labs, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, University Club, Storyboard Development Group and the Writers Store, among others; and a judge for the Humanitas Prize, the Austin Film Festival and the UCLA Writers Program.<br /><br />In this episode, we get into the nitty-gritty of being a screenwriter in Hollywood. Diane is very open about her experiences, the good and the terrible. If you want to be a working screenwriter in Hollywood then get ready to take notes.<br /><br />Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Diane Drake.
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Listen to This If Your Screenwriting Career is Going Nowhere
Every week I'll be posting new videos as part of my Bi-Weekly Motivation Series to help the #IFHTribe along with their filmmaking and/or screenwriting path. We all need some help, guidance, motivation or inspiration on our long journey in this crazy business so I hope these videos help in a small way.<br /><br />If you like this please share it with your friends and inner circle. Keep on hustling and never give up on that dream!
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BPS 045: How People Around You Can Hurt Your Screenwriting Dreams
I wanted to do an episode on this subject for a long time.<br /><br />“You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” – Jim Rohn<br /><br />I wish I had someone to tell me this early on my screenwriting journey. In this episode, I go over what happened to me when I was starting out, how my friends affected me and my ability to move forward in my career and what happened to me when I moved to Los Angeles over a decade ago. I discuss how the people around you affect you on a personal, professional and even spiritual level.<br /><br />I really hope you find some value in this episode.
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Never Stop the Screenwriting Hustle
Every week I'll be posting new videos as part of my Bi-Weekly Motivation Series to help the #IFHTribe along with their filmmaking and/or screenwriting path. We all need some help, guidance, motivation or inspiration on our long journey in this crazy business so I hope these videos help in a small way.<br /><br />If you like this please share it with your friends and inner circle. Keep on hustling and never give up on that dream!
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BPS 044: The Art of Writing the GREAT Screenplay with Linda Seger (CROSSOVER EVENT)
Today on the show we have the legendary Linda Segar. Linda was one of my first ever interviews back when I launched Indie Film Hustle and her episode is by far one of the most popular ever. Here's some info on our lovely guest.<br /><br />In 1981, Linda Seger created and defined the career of Script Consultant. She based her business on a method for analyzing scripts that she had developed for her doctoral dissertation project. Since then, she has consulted on over 2,000 scripts including over 50 produced feature films and over 35 produced television projects. Linda was the consultant for Peter Jackson’s breakthrough film, Brain Dead and for Roland Emmerich’s breakthrough film, Universal Soldier.<br /><br />She was the script consultant on Pasttime and Picture Bride–both winners of the Audience Favorite Award at the Sundance Film Festival–as well as for the films The Long Walk Home, The Neverending Story II, Luther, Romero, and television movies and mini-series including The Bridge, the Danish-Swedish mini-series (now playing in the US).<br /><br />Other clients include Ray Bradbury who said, “Linda’s technique is a light to see by,” William Kelley, Linda Lavin, and production companies, film studios, producers, directors, and writers from over 33 countries.<br /><br />Having authored nine books on scriptwriting, including the best selling Making A Good Script Great, Linda is one of the most prolific writers in her field. <br /><br />Here new book The Collaborative Art of Filmmaking: From Script to Screen explores what goes into the making of Hollywood’s greatest motion pictures. Join veteran script consultant Linda Seger as she examines contemporary and classic screenplays on their perilous journey from script to screen. This fully revised and updated edition includes interviews with over 80 well-known artists in their fields including writers, producers, directors, actors, editors, composers, and production designers.<br /><br />Their discussions about the art and craft of filmmaking – including how and why they make their decisions – provides filmmaking and screenwriting students and professionals with the ultimate guide to creating the best possible “blueprint” for a film and to also fully understand the artistic and technical decisions being made by all those involved in the process.<br /><br />“A very thorough and fascinating look at the whole filmmaking process – the art and the craft. Highly readable and interesting for filmmakers or beginners with a special emphasis on the power of collaboration. <br /><br />A well-researched​ insider’s guide – like taking the hand of accomplished filmmakers and learning from the best.”- Ron Howard, Oscar-Winning Director and Co-Founder of Imagine EntertainmentEnjoy my knowledge bomb filled conversation with Linda Seger.
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BPS 043: The Meditating Screenwriter - How to Be More Creative
Over the years I have mentioned my meditation practice and how important it is in my daily routine on the show. Many of the #IFHTribe have asked me to do an entire episode on meditation and the importance it has in the creative process. Today is that day.<br /><br />In this episode, I go over:<br /><br />My personal meditation practice<br />Why it's impossible to CLEAR YOUR MIND<br />How to embrace your minds inner voice<br />How science view meditation<br />Neuroscience and what actually happens to your brain when you meditate<br />How meditation can make you more creative<br />I discuss practical everyday uses for meditation in your creative life. Some of my greatest ideas and thoughts have come to me during my meditations. I'll also teach you how to meditate for 10-15 min to start and then over time, you can grow your practice to 1-2 hours a day like I do. Once you start meditating it becomes addictive.<br /><br />Get ready to open your creative channels to full flow. Enjoy!
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BPS 042: No Bullscript - Screenwriting Advice from the Executive's Perspective with Danny Manus
Today on the show we have an author, writer, and former development executive, Danny Manus. Danny parlayed his career as a development executive in Hollywood to becoming an in-demand script consultant and founder of No BullScript Consulting.<br /><br />The author of “No BS for Screenwriters: Advice from the Executive Perspective,” which is now in its 2nd Edition, Danny was ranked in the Top 15 “Cream of the Crop” Script Consultants by Creative Screenwriting Magazine and was named one of Screencraft’s “25 People Screenwriters Should Follow on Twitter.”<br /><br />Danny has taken over 3000 pitches, written almost 250 articles on screenwriting for numerous websites and publications including ScriptMag, for which he is a columnist, and has been a judge for the PAGE Awards four years running. On this episode, I wanted to see what the perspective is from the other side of the desk. <br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Danny Manus.
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BPS 041: Ordinary vs Special World's on the Hero's Journey with Chris Vogler
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.<br /><br />These videos on screenplay structure are from his best selling online course: Story and Screenwriting Blueprint - The Hero's Two Journeys.<br /><br />In more than 4½ hours of lecture, discussion and Q&A, Michael Hauge, author of 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.
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BPS 040: Why Screenwriters Are Programmed to Fail
Before we begin I need to reveal a truth to you.<br /><br />"The Matrix is not a movie, it's a documentary"<br /><br />Believe it or not, this is true. Our internal operating system in our mind was programmed years ago when we were children. That programming runs our life through the subconscious. Don't believe me?<br /><br />Did you drive a car today?<br />Did you brush your teeth?<br />Did you think about walking to the kitchen to make breakfast?<br />Did you think about breathing or making sure your heart beats?<br />Probably not. You would be exhaust mentally if you had to think about all of this every day. This is all run by our operating system (aka the subconscious), the problem is many of us are still running Windows 95.<br /><br />In this episode, I go deep down the rabbit hole and discuss how our subconscious can and does stop us from achieving not only our screenwriting dreams but how it affects all areas of our lives. I discuss how my life changed dramatically when I discovered this and made those upgrades. I also go over the two ways you can upgrade the old operating system in your head.<br /><br />“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” - Morpheus<br /><br />Let's all take that Red Pill and see how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Get ready to have your mind blown, literally. Enjoy!
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BPS 039: Screenwriting Unchained - Master Story Structure with Emmanuel Oberg
Today on the show we have Emmanuel Oberg. Emmanuel is a screenwriter, author and script consultant with more than twenty years of experience in the Film and TV industry. After selling his first project to Warner Bros as a co-writer, he went on to be commissioned by StudioCanal and Gold Circle before writing solo for Working Title / Universal and Film4.<br /><br />He has also designed an internationally acclaimed 3-day Advanced Development Workshop - based on the Story-Type Method® - which he delivers with passion to filmmakers all over the world. Emmanuel lives in the UK with his wife and their two daughters. His film agent is Rachel Holroyd at Casarotto in London. He is also the writer of Screenwriting Unchained: Reclaim Your Creative Freedom and Master Story Structure (With The Story-Type Method).<br /><br />In Screenwriting Unchained, Emmanuel Oberg busts many myths and sets out an innovative method<br /><br />This practical, no-nonsense guide leaves behind one-size-fits-all story theories and offers a modern approach to story structure, making it a precious resource for anyone involved creatively in the Film and TV industry (or aspiring to be): writers, directors, producers, development execs, showrunners and, more generally, storytellers keen to reach a wide audience at home and abroad.<br /><br />Having identified three main story-types - plot-led, character-led, theme-led - Oberg reveals in a clear, conversational style how each of these impacts on the structure of any screenplay, and how we can use a single set of tools to develop any movie, from an independent crossover to a studio blockbuster.<br /><br />This leads to a powerful yet flexible way to handle the script development process: the Story-Type Method®. A new framework that doesn't tell you what to write and when, but focuses instead on why some tools and principles have stood the test of time, and how to use them in the 21st century.<br /><br />According to readers (see reviews below), Oberg's new approach is a game changer.<br /><br />Here are some of the easy-to-understand concepts explored in Screenwriting Unchained that will help you improve any screenplay:<br /><br />How to identify the story-type of your project to make its development faster, easier and solve most story structure problems.<br /><br />How to leave behind the prescriptive, logistical three-act structure based on page numbers or minutes and replace it with a flexible, dramatic three-act structure that will help you design a rock-solid screenplay.<br />How focusing on emotion, character development and managing information will allow you to go beyond the "protagonist-goal-obstacles-conflict" basic chain of drama.<br />How to use the fractal aspect of structure to design not only the whole story but also its parts in order to avoid the dreaded "sagging middle" syndrome and breathe new life into your script.<br />How to clarify what's at stake and increase your chances of getting the project made with a new take on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.<br />How to use subgoals to Sequence the Action and psychological/emotional steps to Sequence the Evolution of your characters.<br />How to keep the audience engaged using tools like dramatic irony, surprise, mystery and suspense, adding a third dimension to your story.<br />How to master these tools and principles in scenes through practical exercises before using them in a short film, a feature film, a TV episode or a whole series following hands-on tips and advice.<br />How to design an attention-grabbing opening and a satisfying ending.<br />How to deal with hybrids and exceptions, as story structure isn't about forcing all narratives into a single formulaic paradigm.<br />With The Rewrite Stuff: 12 Ways to a Stronger Screenplay, how to approach a new draft creatively and efficiently.<br />How to make the difference between selling documents - used to raise development or production finance - and story design tools.<br />Once you've developed a killer script, how to best pitch your project according to its story-type and get enthusiastic partners on board.<br />...and much, much more!<br />Using many case studies including films as diverse as Gravity, Silver Linings Playbook, Crash, Billy Elliot, The Intouchables, Birdman, Alien, Groundhog Day, Misery, Edge of Tomorrow, The Secret in Their Eyes, Cloud Atlas, L.A. Confidential and The Lives of Others, Screenwriting Unchained will transform the way you write, read, pitch, design, assess and develop screenplays.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Emmanuel Oberg.
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BPS 038: The Idea - How to Come Up with a Story with Erik Bork
Today on the show we have screenwriter and producer Erik Bork. Erik Bork is a screenwriter best known for his work on the HBO miniseriesBAND OF BROTHERS and FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, for which he wrote multiple episodes, and won two Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards as part of the producing team.<br /><br />Erik has also sold series pitches (and written pilots) at NBC and FOX, worked on the writing staff for two primetime dramas, and written feature screenplays on assignment for companies like Universal, HBO, TNT, and Playtone. He teaches screenwriting for UCLA Extension, National University, and The Writers Store, and offers one-on-one consulting to writers.<br /><br />Why don’t most scripts have the kind of success their writers' dream of? Because of problems with the basic idea for their story. Which the writer is usually unaware of. While story structure and scene writing choices do need to be top-notch, writers tend to rush into those parts of the writing process too quickly, without vetting their basic concept.<br /><br />This is a mistake professionals rarely make because their agents and managers insist that ideas be run past them first. And this usually leads to serious notes and development before the outlining process even starts.<br /><br /><br /><br />The "Seven Elements of a Viable Story" in The Idea form an acronym for the word PROBLEM, since every story is really about one, at its core. Each chapter focuses on one of these seven deceptively simple-looking aspects of a strong story, which are anything but easy to master. Mr. Bork highlights his own struggles as a writer, and his arrival at an understanding of how each of these elements works -- and how to know if one's idea really succeeds at each of them. A special section devoted to television writing (and its unique attributes) ends each chapter.<br /><br />Whatever your education and background in writing or story, this book and its unique focus contribute foundationally useful information not covered elsewhere -- which may be the missing piece that leads to greater results, both on the page and in the marketplace.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Erik Bork.
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BPS 037: The Toxic Screenwriter Mindset and How You Can Change It
Today we will tackle the toxic screenwriter mindset. That screenwriting mindset. That artist mindset. We discuss the mindset. How the beliefs we have stop and derail our dreams and life. So many of us have belief systems that limit us. Today we are going to break this down and give you some tools to reprogram yourself into the person and screenwriter you want to be.<br /><br />"To have results that very few people have you have to start doing things that very few people do."<br /><br />Please share this episode with anyone you think needs to hear it. Listen to this often. Enjoy and keep on hustling.
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BPS 036: What is Maximum Screenwriting with Jeff Schimmel
Today on the show we have screenwriter and author Jeff Schimmel. Jeff wrote Maximum Screenwriting: 25 Commonly Asked Questions and Straight Answers.<br /><br />Jeff Schimmel began his Writing/Producing career in the 1980's, while attending law school in Los Angeles. When not studying for the bar exam, Jeff wrote and sold his original Cold War spy thriller, Archangel, to Phoenix Entertainment Group. Soon after, Jeff was chosen by comedy legend Rodney Dangerfield and award-winning Writer/Director Harold Ramis to co-write the full-length Warner Brothers animated film, Rover Dangerfield. This led to a sports comedy screenplay assignment from Orion Pictures and 20th Century Fox, and Jeff’s first TV writing job as Story Editor on ABC’s top ten sitcom, Full House.<br /><br />Next, Jeff co-wrote and produced The Schimmel Papers, a series of several short films for Fox TV's Sunday Comics, then went on to write for the groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning sketch comedy series, In Living Color, worked as Story Editor on the WB network’s first-ever sitcom, then served as Writer and Producer on Laughing With The Presidents, NBC TV's final comedy special starring Bob Hope, with appearances by Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, actors Tom Selleck, Don Johnson, Tony Danza, Ann-Margret, Naomi Judd, and many more.<br /><br />In 2016, Jeff took over as Executive Producer of Fuse network’s music intensive Skee TV series, working with hip hop artists like Snoop Dogg, Tyler the Creator, Post Malone, and T.I.  Also in the rap world, Jeff was credited as a producer on three multi-platinum selling CDs by Busta Rhymes. In 2017, Jeff’s book, “Maximum Screenwriting,” was released and has earned Amazon’s five-star rating. Jeff has appeared as a guest lecturer at L.A.’s famed Screenwriting Expo, is a popular speaker at prestigious universities and film schools, and has worked closely with the Writers Guild of America to protect the best interests of writers.<br /><br />25 COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND STRAIGHT ANSWERS<br /><br />The entertainment industry is the toughest business around. To achieve success as a professional screenwriter, you will need every advantage you can get. A writer who faces readers, agents, producers, and creative executives are no different than a soldier going into combat. To have the best chance of survival, both would be wise to bring every weapon they can carry into the fight.<br /><br />This book is ammunition for the battles every screenwriter will face as it teaches: How to create a bulletproof outline, How to build and breathe life into compelling characters, How to defeat crippling procrastination, How to avoid being ripped off, and How to deal with a myriad of situations other books never mention.<br /><br />The one thing this book will not do is tell you what the proper margins are for a screenplay, where to place a parenthetical in dialogue or what is supposed to happen on page 30. There are dozens of books and free online lectures for that. Maximum Screenwriting was written for one reason only: to teach you what other books don’t and to tell you what other writers won’t.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Jeff Schimmel.
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BPS 035: How Bad Do You Want Your Screenwriting Dream?
What are you willing to sacrifice to make your screenwriting dream come true? How bad do you want it? These are the questions I'll be discussing in today's episode. If you are looking for something to get you revved up look no further. This is my "tough love" episode. I keep running into filmmakers and people in the business who just like to talk or hide behind excuses. I have two things to say about that.<br /><br />Life doesn’t care about excuses.<br />The film business doesn’t care about your circumstances.<br /><br />There are 24 hours in a day. I breakdown 24 hours and I promise you will find out that you have, at least, 4-6 hours a day to dedicate to your craft and dream. Yes, even for those who have a 2-hour commute, work 8 hours and has a family. The power to make your dream to become a reality is only in your hands. No one else's! I really hope this episode lights that fire in your belly to make your dream come true.<br /><br />Please share this episode with anyone you think needs to hear it. Listen to this often. Enjoy and keep on hustling.
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BPS 034: The Hidden Tools of Comedy with Steve Kaplan
Today on the show we have comedy legend, author, and writer Steve Kaplan. For years, Steve Kaplan has been the industry’s most sought-after expert on comedy. In addition to having taught at UCLA, NYU, Yale and other top universities, Steve created the HBO Workspace, the HBO New Writers Program and was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre. He has consulted and taught workshops at companies such as HBO, DreamWorks, Disney, Aardman Animation, Sony Pictures Network India, Globo Brazil, and others.<br /><br />In New York, Steve was co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre, where he developed writers such as Peter Tolan (Analyze This, The Larry Sanders Show), writer and producer David Crane (Friends, Episodes), writer/producer Tracy Poust (Ugly Betty, Will & Grace), Michael Patrick King (Sex and The City, Will & Grace), David Ives (Venus in Fur), Howard Korder (Boardwalk Empire), David Fury (The Tick, Buffy, The Vampire Slayer), Lisa Loomer (The Waiting Room), Tom Donaghy (The Mentalist), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea) and Mark O’Donnell (Hairspray) and introduced such performers as Lewis Black, Mercedes Ruehl, Oliver Platt, Helen Slater, Fisher Stevens, Veanne Cox, Sam McMurray, Vickie Lewis and Illeana Douglas.<br /><br />In Los Angeles, he created the HBO New Writers Project, discovering HBO Pictures screenwriter Will Scheffer (Big Love), and performer/writer Sandra Tsing Loh (Aliens in America),; and the HBO Workspace, a developmental workshop in Hollywood that introduced and presented performers such as Jack Black and Tenacious D, Kathy Griffin, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross (Mr. Show), Josh Malina and Paul F. Tompkins. At the Workspace, he was Executive Producer for the award-winning HBO Original Programming documentary DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. Steve has directed in regional theaters and Off-Broadway (including Sandra Tsing Loh’s ALIENS IN AMERICA at Second Stage).<br /><br />In addition to private coaching and one-on-one consultations, Steve has taught his Comedy Intensive workshops to thousands of students in the United States and countries around the world, including London, Toronto, Galway, Athens, Paris, Tel Aviv, Sydney, Melbourne, Rio, Munich, New Zealand, and Singapore. This year, he will be presenting seminars and workshops in Los Angeles, Brussels, London, and via Skype, Sweden.<br /><br />His new book The Comic Hero’s Journey. I can’t recommend it enough.<br /><br />A comic hero or heroine also goes on a journey, but for the comic hero, it’s often quite, quite different. The hero decides to go on the adventure; the comic hero often has no choice. The hero has a wise old man; the comic hero often meets an idiot who inadvertently says something that can teach him a thing or two. Steve Kaplan will show you the diverse paths that comedy takes in The Comic Hero’s Journey.<br /><br />This interview is EPIC! If you want to learn how to create funny in your screenplays or projects this episode is for you.
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BPS 033: Beat by Beat to a Better Screenplay with Jim Mercurio
Today on the show we have Jim Mercurio. Jim is a filmmaker, writer, and author whose screenwriting instruction has inspired tens of thousands of writers around the world. Creative Screenwriting ranked him as one of the country’s top story analysts:<br /><br />“The best example of how an analyst can give concrete help without veering off the track of your story... (Jim) is not just telling you how to rewrite a particular script... but how to apply it to future work as well.”<br /><br />Jim works with Oscar-nominated and A-List writers as well as complete beginners. He adapts to each writer and script.<br /><br />Jim is a true champion for undiscovered writers and filmmakers. He produced Hard Scrambled which, like the horror-thriller he directed Last Girl, was discovered in a contest. The film stars Kurtwood Smith (That 70’s Show) and indie stalwart Richard Edson. It premiered at Cinequest and won Best Dramatic Feature at Garden State Film Festival. His experience as a filmmaker informs his approach to the material. He helps you to execute your vision with vivid and cinematic storytelling that can attract allies like directors and producers.<br /><br />He directed more than 60 hours of Screenwriting education including the first 40 Workshops in the Screenwriting Expo Series including classes by some of the other top screenwriting teachers in the world. His own course Killer Endings was one of the best sellers from the collection. He wrote and directed Making Hard Scrambled Movies, filmmaking tutorials, as bonus material for Hard Scrambled’s original release. The Washington Post called them “a must for would-be filmmakers.”<br /><br />Inspired by his work on the Expo series, Jim applied his entrepreneurial “go big or go home” attitude to the six-disc DVD set Complete Screenwriting: From A to Z to A-List, a behemoth of screenwriting instruction. It is one of the most comprehensive screenwriting resources in the world. It’s a fast and furious ten hours with an hour of stunning motion graphics that help to explain seldom-discussed topics like theme, concept and character orchestration.<br /><br />Together, Jim’s course and book illustrate his forte, to illustrate advanced craft and nitty-gritty insight essential for mastery of screenwriting craft. Enjoy my conversation with Jim Mercurio.
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BPS 032: The Cure for Writer's Block with Matthew Kalil (CROSSOVER EVENT)
Have you ever had writer's block? We all have at one point or another and it sucks! Today's guest, Matthew Kalil, has the cure. He has written a new book called The [easyazon_link identifier="1615932860" locale="US" tag="whatisbroke-20"]Three Wells of Screenwriting[/easyazon_link]. Working from a writer’s perspective, the book explores these Three Wells and helps you consciously draw from them to develop new scripts, or strengthen old ones. It includes 29 exercises and techniques that help you to write stories that contain fresh ideas, intriguing characters, original scenes, inventive dialogue, unique locations, and important themes.<br /><br />I had such a ball with Matthew that I had to make it a crossover episode with the Bulletproof Screenplay Podcast. Enjoy my conversation with Matthew Kalil.
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BPS 031: How to Break into Television Writing with Steven Vitolo
Have you ever wondered what it takes to break into a network television writer's room? Then this episode is for you. Today's guest is Steven Vitolo and he did just that. His latest written episode is on the hit ABC show Black-ish. Steven has over 10 years of experience working in writers rooms, most recently as a script coordinator on the TV series Black-ish, where he co-wrote the episode "Dream Home."<br /><br />Steven Vitolo also is the CEO and founder of Scriptation, the script reading and annotating app for film, television, and video production. Steven developed Scriptation after seeing first-hand the staggering amount of paper that gets consumed on set and is dedicated to promoting sustainable practices that inspire productions to go paperless.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Steven Vitolo.
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BPS 030: Inside HBO's Writers Room with Showrunner Daniel Knauf
Today's guest is writer and showrunner, Daniel Knauf. Daniel Knauf had a couple of small credits to his name—a TV movie here, a stint on Wolf Lake there—when he managed to sell the intricate Great Depression-era genre show Carnivàle to HBO.<br /><br />The series, an intricate blend of meticulously researched period detail and secret-history fantasy, purported to tell the tale of what happened when the last two “Avatars”—superpowered beings of light and darkness—met in the United States on the eve of World War II. The series attracted a cult audience that remains devoted to this day, but a mass audience wasn’t sure what to make of the program, and HBO canceled it after two seasons, saying the show’s story was finished, in spite of Knauf’s plan for a six-season run.<br /><br />We go deep inside the writer's room, what it takes to be a showrunner and many of his misadventures in Hollyweird!<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Daniel Knauf.
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Indie Film Hustle TV: December 2018 Releases
First off thank you for all the support that the IFH Tribe has given to IFHTV. It has been overwelling and that's why I'm so busy acquiring​ and producing amazing new content for you every month.<br /><br />I'll be doing these posts one a month to tell you all about the new releases I have in store for you on Indie Film Hustle TV. I've been a busy beaver and December will have over 20 hours of new content for your streaming pleasure. Also, I'd like to announce IFHTV is now available on Apple TV, Roku and Amazon TV Apps. Just go to the platforms and do a search for "Indie Film Hustle TV" and our app will pop up.<br /><br />Let's get to it.
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BPS 029: How to Pitch Your Screenplay in 60 Seconds 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.<br /><br />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!<br /><br />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. <br /><br />According to Will Smith,<br /><br />“No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.” – Will Smith<br /><br />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. <br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Michael Hauge.
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BONUS: Indie Film Hustle TV is LIVE! It's NETFLIX for Screenwriters and Storytellers
Today is the day. IFHTV is LIVE! Go check it out at <a href="http://www.indiefilmhustle.tv" rel="noopener">www.indiefilmhustle.tv</a>. It's taken me months getting this ready for you and I hope you love it as much as I do. It has been a dream of mine to have a place where filmmakers, screenwriters and content creators could go to get their "fix" of filmmaking behind the scenes, interviews, documentaries, online education, and feature films. This has truly been a labor of love. Here's what you can expect from Indie Film Hustle TV.<br /><br />IFHTV will be the world's first Netflix meets Masterclass style streaming services dedicated to filmmakers, screenwriters and content creators. Thousands of videos to help you on your filmmaking and screenwriting journey. <br /><br />IFHTV is available worldwide and will be accessible on over 1000 devices including, MACs, PCs, streaming media boxes such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus Player. Coming soon iOS devices and Android devices Apps.<br /><br />So what are you waiting for? Head over to <a href="http://www.ifhtv.com" rel="noopener">www.ifhtv.com</a>, kick the tires and let me know what you think. Please send feedback to <a href="mailto:ifhsubmission@gmail.com">ifhsubmission@gmail.com</a>. I really want to make IFHTV the best it can be and I need your feedback.<br /><br />Price is $10.99/month or $120.00/year. After Feb 1st it goes up to the normal price of $13.99/mth and $150/yr so if you are interested sign up now to get that limited time price for the life of your subscription. Go to <a href="http://www.ifhtv.com" rel="noopener">www.ifhtv.com</a>.<br /><br />Thanks again for all the support and happy streaming!
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BPS 028: The Art and Craft of Writing a Comedy with Peter Desberg & Jeffrey Davis
If you ever wanted to know some of the secrets of how to write a comedy then today's guest might be able to help. Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis are the authors of Now That’s Funny! The Art and Craft of Comedy Writing, a new book that provides an intimate look into the minds of twenty-nine of Hollywood’s funniest comedy writers from movies and TV shows like:<br /><br />Saturday Night Live<br />Frasier<br />The Simpsons<br />Everybody Loves Raymond<br />Monk<br />Modern Family<br />The Honeymooners<br />There's Something About Mary<br />Dumb and Dumber<br />Cheers<br />Home Improvement<br /><br />The writers were asked to develop a generic comedy premise created by the authors, giving readers a window into their writing process. There were no rules, no boundaries, and no limits. What emerges is an entertaining look—illuminating and hilarious—at the creative process behind hit comedy TV shows and movies.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis.
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BPS 027: How to Story Map and Break Down Your Screenplay with Daniel Calvisi
Today's guest is author Daniel Calvisi. Dan wrote the book Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT Screenplay. He breaks down stories and shows you how to map out your own by analyzing how the masters construct their screenplays. Here's a bit more on today's guest.<br /><br />Daniel Calvisi is a story analyst, speaker, screenwriter and an author. He is a former Story Analyst for major studios like Twentieth Century Fox, Miramax, Twentieth Century Fox, Miramax Films, and New Line Cinema. He coaches writers, teaches webinars on writing for film and television with The Writers Store and speaks at writing conferences and book signings. He holds a degree in Film and Television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. <br /><br />So stop reading this and listen to the podcast already. Enjoy my conversation with Daniel Calvisi.
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BPS 026: IFHTV - The World's 1st Streaming Service for Screenwriters & Filmmakers
The wait is over! This is what I've been working on for months. May I introduce you to IFHTV (Indie Film Hustle TV), the world's first streaming service dedicated to filmmakers, screenwriters, creatives and content creators.<br /><br />I wanted to create a place where film creatives and storytellers could be informed and inspired, no matter where you lived in the world. When I was younger I would hunt for any content on filmmaking, behind the scenes, screenwriting, etc. Combing through DVDs, Laserdiscs and even VHS.<br /><br />IFHTV is the natural evolution of Indie Film Hustle. My mission is to help as many creatives, filmmakers and screenwriters on their artist path. I hope to grow the platform into a Netflix-style place for people to learn and be inspired.<br /><br />IFHTV will not only be an educational platform but it will also stream content covering the film business, acting, filmmaking, post-production, screenwriting, storytelling:<br /><br />Feature Films<br />Documentaries<br />Series<br />Documentary Filmmaking<br />Social Media and Marketing<br />Distribution<br />Cinematography<br />Film History<br />Exclusive Interviews<br />Exclusive IFHTV Original Content and Shows<br />Inspirational Films as well<br /><br />IFHTV will launch worldwide November 1, 2018. It will be accessible on over 1000 devices including iOS devices, Android devices, MACs, PCs, streaming media boxes such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus Player.<br /><br />The launch special will be $10.99 for 90 days. On Feb 1, 20,19 the price will go to $13.99. <br /><br />Take a listen to this episode to get all the low down on what I'm doing with IFHTV, including content, films, and documentaries we'll be launch with. Thanks for your support and I really hope you love IFHTV as much as I do.
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BPS 025: Writing Screenplays that Actually Sell with Lucy V. Hay
Today on the show we have Lucy V. Hay from Bang2Write. Lucy is an author and script editor, living in Devon with her husband, three children, and six cats. Lucy is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015) both starring Danny Dyer.<br /><br />In addition to script reading and writing her own novels, Lucy also blogs about the writing process, screenwriting, genre, careers and motivation and much more at her blog Bang2write, one of the most-hit writing sites in the UK.
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BPS 024: Screenwriting Confidential - Inside the Dark World of the Script Reader with Deepthroat
Have you ever really wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes at Hollywood's major production companies and studios? How do new screenplays get read, approved and pass on by the script reader? What are the politics behind the scenes that make it almost impossible for a screenplay to make it through the Hollywood System?<br /><br />Today on the show we have a former development executive, current script coverage reader and professional screenwriter. In order for him to be completely honest, he asked to remain anonymous so I just refer to him as Deepthroat. Yes, I know that's a bit on the nose but we both thought the Cloak and Dagger angle would be funny.  He is a screenwriter that has worked in both television and features, a sought-after script doctor (he's worked on some MAJOR studio films), and a script coverage specialist.<br /><br />Deepthroat spills the beans on the inner workings of some of the biggest studios in Hollywood. He discusses how an idea he presented his boss years ago was once stolen from him within the system and was turned into a successful property and shares tips on how to impress those studio readers that are the gatekeepers to getting your screenplay sold and produced.<br /><br />He is one of the amazing script coverage specialists I have working at Bulletproof Script Coverage. Deepthroat agreed to do this interview in order to help screenwriters trying to break into the business. He's tired of seeing so many talented writers get eaten up by the system.<br /><br />The information in this interview is raw, real and will give you a much clearer idea of what happens behind the scenes in Hollywood. If you enjoy this episode, please share it with as many screenwriters and filmmakers as you can. We need to get this information out there.<br /><br />Enjoy my revealing conversation with DEEPTHROAT.
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BPS 023: The Nutshell Technique - Cracking the Secret of Successful Screenwriting with Jill Chamberlain
Today on the show we have author/veteran script consultant Jill Chamberlain who's book The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting has taken the screenwriting world by storm. <br /><br />Jill Chamberlain discovered in her work that an astounding 99 percent of first-time screenwriters don't know how to tell a story. What the 99 percent do instead is present a situation. In order to explain the difference, Chamberlain created the Nutshell Technique, a method whereby writers identify eight dynamic, interconnected elements that are required to successfully tell a story.<br /><br />Now, for the first time, Chamberlain presents her unique method in book form with The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting. Using easy-to-follow diagrams ("nutshells"), she thoroughly explains how the Nutshell Technique can make or break a film script. Chamberlain takes readers step-by-step through thirty classic and contemporary movies, showing how such dissimilar screenplays as Casablanca, Chinatown, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Silver Linings Playbook, and Argo all have the same system working behind the scenes, and she teaches readers exactly how to apply these principles to their own screenwriting. Learn the Nutshell Technique, and you'll discover how to turn a mere situation into a truly compelling screenplay story.<br /><br />Since its publication in 2016, The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting an instant classic. It is the go-to manual many professionals swear by, and it's on the syllabus at colleges across the U.S. including the world-renowned screenwriting program at Columbia University.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Jill Chamberlain.
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BPS 022: Lessons From the Screenplay with Michael Turner (CROSSOVER EVENT)
Today episode is a CROSSOVER between the IFH Podcast and the Bulletproof Screenplay Podcast. I do this every 6-8 weeks when I find a guest that would be great on both podcasts. On this episode, we have Michael Tucker from Lessons from the Screenplay. LFTS is a YouTube channel that analyzes movie scripts to examine exactly how and why they are so good at telling their stories.<br /><br />I've become a HUGE fan of what Micahel is doing and wanted to have him on the show to drop some knowledge bombs on both tribes! I've highlighted some of his work before on the blog: Social Network.
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BPS 021: How to Tell Your Internal Story with Jen Grisanti
Today on the show we have Hollywood Story/Career Consultant and former Studio Executive Jen Grisanti. Grisanti is also a Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former studio executive, a blogger for The Huffington Post and author of Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and her recent book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life.<br /><br />Over twenty years ago, Jen Grisanti started her career as an assistant to Aaron Spelling, who served as her mentor for 12 years. She quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Grisanti was promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered numerous shows including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400 and Girlfriends.<br /><br />In January 2008, Grisanti launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy, Inc., a highly successful consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. Drawing on her years of experience as a studio executive where she gave daily notes to executive producers/showrunners, Grisanti personally guides writers to shape their material, hone their pitches and focus their careers.<br /><br />Since launching her consulting firm, Jen Grisanti worked with over 1000 writers specializing in television, features, and novels. Due to her guidance, over ninety of her clients have staffed as writers on television shows, fifty-three have sold pilots, and six of those pilots have gone to series.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Jen Grisanti.
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BPS 020: The Six Stages of Character Development with Michael Hauge
This week we have a returning guest, screenwriting guru Michael Hauge. On this episode, he discussed The Six Stages of Character Development. A very eye-opening episode. These videos on screenplay structure are from his best selling online course: Story and Screenwriting Blueprint - The Hero's Two Journeys.<br /><br />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 Read; 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.
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BPS 019: How Screenwriters Can Navigate the Hollywood System with Scott Myers
For screenwriters, navigating the shark-infested waters of the Hollywood system can be a daunting task. You never know what the producer or studio is looking for. How do you pitch your story properly? So many questions. I hope today's guest can help guide you a bit through those waters.<br /><br />Scott Myers has been a professional Hollywood screenwriter for over 30 years. Since selling his spec script K-9 in 1987, Scott has written 30 projects for every major Hollywood studio and broadcast network. His film writing credits include K-9 starring Jim Belushi, Alaska starring Vincent Kartheiser, and Trojan War starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.<br /><br />From 2002–2010, Scott was an executive producer at Trailblazer Studios, a television production company. In 2002, he began teaching screenwriting in his spare time. He won the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Outstanding Instructor Award in 2005 and for eight years taught in the Writing for Screen and Stage program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.<br /><br />He has hosted Go Into The Story, an amazing screenwriting website, since its launch May 16, 2008, and is partnered with the Black List as its official screenwriting blog.<br /><br />Scott breaks down the Hollywood system, talks about story and structure and just tells it how it really is in the business. Enjoy my conversation with Scott Myers.
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BPS 018: How to Pitch Your Screenplay Like a Pro with Stephanie Palmer
Ever wanted to learn the dark craft of being able to pitch your story idea successfully? Stephanie Palmer has made it her life's mission to help people do just that. Stephanie Palmer is a former MGM Pictures executive and best-selling author of the book "Good in a Room: How To Sell Yourself (And Your Ideas) And Win Over Any Audience"<br /><br />Stephanie Palmer was the Director of Creative Affairs for MGM where she supervised the acquisition, development, and production of feature films. During my time at MGM, she was named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the “Top 35 Executives Under 35.” Prior to MGM, she worked at Jerry Bruckheimer Films.<br /><br />She has heard thousands of pitches. She knows how to and how not to pitch your screenplay or story idea. She worked on films like Legally Blonde, Armageddon, Con Air and was even on an intern on Titanic, there's a very inserting story there.<br /><br />Learn how to pitch your screenplay like a pro with Stephanie Palmer.
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BPS 017: How to Write a Super Natural Hit Film with Beetlejuice Creator Larry Wilson
If you were a kid of the late 80s or early 90s then today's guest definitely had an impact on your life. Larry Wilson is the co-creator of the cult classic Beetlejuice (directed by Tim Burton), writer of Addams Family and worked on the legendary television show Tales from the Crypt.<br /><br />Larry Wilson was also a screenwriting teacher at UCLA, arguably one of the best screenwriting programs in the world. He has continued to teach through his very popular workshops.<br /><br />Enjoy my spooky and funny conversation with Larry Wilson.
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BPS 016: How to Sell Your Idea to Television with TV Agent Matthew Doyle
Today's guest cracked open a door to a part of the industry I had no idea about, television. Matthew Doyle is a television lit agent at the Verve Talent and Literary Agency. <br /><br />He's an up and comer in the industry and definitely a hustler. My co-host Sebastian Twardos and I wanted to get an "in the trenches" perceptive on the television market and Matthew delivered. He tells a great story on how he got promoted to an agent with a prank by the partners at Verve. Here's a bit on Matthew Doyle:<br /><br />Doyle joined in January as Verve’s first off-desk TV lit coordinator. He implemented a new system for information flow and tracking, redesigned current grids, and helped lead Verve to its most successful staffing season ever, with 80% of clients staffed on broadcast and cable shows. He has been an aggressive recruiter, interviewing and training new employees.<br /><br />Worked with up-and-coming clients such as Arkasha Stevenson and Kirk Sullivan on the television side, and has played an important role in signing clients staffed on upcoming series such as “Pitch” and “Riverdale.” Challenges of the job? “Recognizing that everyone is the protagonist of their own story, and treating them accordingly,” Doyle says. - From Variety - 10 Assistants to Watch 2016<br /><br />All of these Sundance Series episodes are co-produced by Sebastian Twardosz from Circus Road Films and Media Circus.<br /><br />Enjoy our conversation with Matthew Doyle.
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BPS 015: How to Write a Screenplay FAST with Jeff Bollow
Have you ever wanted to learn how to write a screenplay fast? I know I do. This is why I invited on the show award-winning producer/director, best-selling author, film festival organizer and public speaker, Jeff Bollow.<br /><br />He is the author of Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed. Jeff Bollow began as an actor at age 12 in his native Los Angeles (credits include Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and TV's Columbo) before working nearly every job in production, from camera to sound to lighting — and including jobs in development, post-production, and distribution.<br /><br />Jeff has worked on feature films, TV series, commercials, music videos, radio, and corporate productions for companies such as Universal, Castle Rock, Propaganda Films, DNA and the Oxygen Network.<br /><br />After migrating to New Zealand, where he directed television for TV3 and co-founded the Big Mountain Short Film Festival, he moved to Australia, where he launched Embryo Films. Through his company, Jeff has reviewed over 20,000 project submissions and has edited, assessed and/or mentored over 350 projects. He has script doctored in Singapore, Australia, NZ and the US; and has conducted over 80 live weekend workshops to over 1200 writers in 9 cities in 5 countries, with a unanimous "recommend" approval rating.<br /><br />His students have been optioned, produced and won (and placed) in competitions worldwide. He designed FAST Screenplay in 2004 and began officially building it in November 2009. It was finally completed in July 2016, nearly 7 years later. Alongside it, he created the FASTscreenplay YouTube Channel, which now includes over 30 detailed and insightful free videos to encourage writers and screenwriters around the world.<br /><br />In May 2015, Jeff Bollow delivered his first TED Talk, "Expand Your Imagination... Exponentially" (see video below) at TEDxDocklands in Melbourne, Australia, to prepare for the next phase of the larger plan. Jeff's aim is to build an independent film studio that inspires creativity worldwide, to help prepare humanity for the dramatic changes our future holds. When he's not busy helping writers with FAST Screenplay, he is working on a new book, developing a television series, and planning two feature film projects. Enjoy!
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BPS 014: Save the Cat - Screenwriting Story Structure Made Easy
Why would you want to 'Save the Cat'? If you are a screenwriter or aspiring one you should have heard by now of Blake Snyder's game-changing screenwriting book.<br /><br />In his 20-year career as a film producer and screenwriter, Blake Snyder sold dozens of scripts, including co-writing Blank Check, which became a hit for Disney, and Nuclear Family for Steven Spielberg — both million-dollar sales. Named “one of Hollywood’s most successful spec screenwriters,” Blake sold his last screenplay in 2009.<br /><br />His book, Save the Cat!® The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need, was published in May 2005, and is now in its 24th printing. When I read this book it really had an impact on my storytelling and screenwriting.<br /><br />Thankful Blake was not done and apparently it was not quite the last book on screenwriting you’ll ever need, as the eagerly awaited sequel, Save the Cat!® Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter’s Guide to Every Story Ever Told, was published in October, 2007 — shooting to #1 in the Screenwriting and Screenplay categories on Amazon.com. Blake’s third book, Save the Cat!® Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get Into… And Out Of was published in November 2009.<br /><br />Blake’s method has become the “secret weapon” of many development executives, managers, and producers for its precise, easy, and honest appraisal of what it takes to write and develop stories that resonate. Save the Cat!® The Last Story Structure Software You’ll Ever Need has codified this method. Blake passed unexpectedly in 2009 but the Save the Cat community carries on Blake's work.<br /><br />I had the pleasure of interviewing one of Blake's main pupils Jose Silerio. Jose is carrying the torch of Blake's work and travels around the world well...saving the cat.<br /><br />Enjoy my informative interview with Jose Silerio.
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BPS 013: Chris Vogler - Screenwriting & The Writer's Journey Blueprint
If you have seen Star Wars then you know Joseph Campbell's work. If you ever have seen The Lion King then you have seen one of Campbell's best student's, Chris Vogler, work.<br /><br />Chris Vogler wrote the game-changing book  The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. I read this book over 20 years ago and it changed the way I look at story. Chris studied the work and principles of the late master Joseph Campbell. His book The Hero with a Thousand Faces was the bases for Star Wars as well as almost every other Hollywood feature film in the past 60 years.<br /><br />What Chris Vogler did so well is that he translated Campbell's work and applied it to movies. The Writer's Journey explores the powerful relationship between mythology and storytelling in a clear, concise style that's made it required reading for movie executives, screenwriters, playwrights, scholars, and fans of pop culture all over the world. He has influenced the screenplays of movies from THE LION KING to FIGHT CLUB to BLACK SWAN to NOAH.<br /><br />"I teach sometimes, and always say that Chris Vogler is the first book that everyone's got to read." -- Darren Aronofsky , Oscar-nominated Screenwriter/Director, Noah, Black Swan, The Wrestler<br /><br />Pretty high praise from one of the best filmmakers working today. In this episode, I ask Chris to break down a bunch of concepts of the Hero's Journey, why it resonates with people around the world and what makes an amazing hero and villain.<br /><br />Enjoy my conversation with Chris Vogler.
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BPS 012: How to Create a Bulletproof Character Arc with K.M. Weiland (CROSSOVER EVENT)
Today we have a special crossover event between The Indie Film Hustle Podcast and The Bulletproof Screenplay podcast. Since I'm the host of both podcasts I thought it would be fun and educational to do these kinds of episodes every once in a while. Today's guest is best selling author K.M. Weiland, the author of Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author's Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development.<br /><br />K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY, NIEA, and Lyra Award-winning and internationally published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs, as well as Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic, the historical/dieselpunk adventure Storming, the portal fantasy Dreamlander, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, and the western A Man Called Outlaw. When she’s not making things up, she’s busy mentoring other authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.<br /><br />We dig in deep on plot, story structure and of course character arcs. Enjoy my conversation with K.M. Weiland.
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BPS 011: Inside the Spec Script Market with Agent David Boxerbaum
We all have heard about screenwriter selling a spec script for seven figures (see Max Landis) but who are the power brokers who are helping that process along? Enter Verve Literary Agent David Boxerbaum.<br />David is a senior agent at VERVE Talent & Literary Agency, and his impressive client roster includes the likes of David Guggenheim, writer of Safehouse; Ken Marino, writer/producer of Wanderlust and writer of Role Models; Maria Maggenti, writer of MTV’s Finding Carter; and Ransom Riggs, writer/co-executive producer of the upcoming supernatural horror thriller, Black River.<br />At the age of 26, David was listed as one of the Hollywood Reporter’s “Next Generation 35 Under 35,” making him one of the youngest people ever to make the list. He is known for his impeccable taste and his strong industry relationships which help him garner six- and seven-figure sales for his clients in a shrinking spec marketplace.<br />What is an agent like David Boxerbaum looking for in a screenwriter? How does an agent work with a client to build a career? How do you approach a Literary Agent? All will be answered in this episode. Enjoy!
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BPS 010: How to Write a Screenplay That Sells with Michael Hauge
You are in for a treat. This week's guest, MICHAEL HAUGE has been one of Hollywood’s top script consultants, story experts, and authors for more than 30 years.<br />He coaches screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, professional speakers, internet marketers and corporate leaders, helping transform their stories and their audiences using the principles and methods of Hollywood’s most successful movies.<br />Michael has consulted on films starring – among many others - Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts and Morgan Freeman, and has presented lectures and workshops to more than 70,000 participants worldwide.<br />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,<br /><br />“No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.” - Will Smith<br /><br />After our interview with Michael Hauge and I decide to bring one of his best courses to the Bulletproof Screenplay Tribe. We called it the Screenplay and Story Blueprint: The Hero's Two Journeys. (Click here for a special discount)
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BPS 009: How Marketable is Your Film Idea or Screenplay?
So how marketable is your film idea or screenplay? I know so many screenwriters and filmmakers who spend months and sometimes years on an idea that is cool to just themselves. Depending on what you are attempting to achieve with your story, you should always figure out if you idea is marketable or if you have a fighting chance of selling the screenplay or final film.<br />Paul Castro, the writer of the Warner Brothers feature film August Rush (Starring Robin Williams) shares with us his thoughts on how to test and find marketable ideas.
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BPS 008: How to Make a Good Script Great with Linda Seger
How to Make a Good Script Great with Linda Seger<br />Linda Seger is a legend when it comes to screenwriting coaching and script consultant. She's been coaching for over 30 years and pretty much invented the job title. After reading her best-selling book, "Making A Good Script Great" I had to have her on the show.<br />She's  best known for her method of analyzing movie scripts, which she originally developed as her graduate school dissertation on "What Makes a Great Script." She founded the script consulting industry, becoming the first entrepreneur who saw script consulting as a business, rather than an offshoot of seminars or books.<br />Linda Seger has consulted on over 2000 screenplays and over 100 produced films and television shows including Universal Soldier, The Neverending Story II, Luther, The Bridge (miniseries,) etc.<br /><br />“When I arrived I had an idea. Three days later the idea had become a complete and rich outline. Linda’s warmth, guidance and insight helped me structure my story and discover the layers that made it come alive.”  Sergio Umansky<br /><br />Her clients include Oscar® winning writer and director Peter Jackson, Sony Pictures, and Ray Bradbury. Unlike other screenwriting gurus, Linda Seger is not a screenwriter but has focused exclusively on consulting and teaching.<br />Linda Seger has written 13 books, 9 of them on screenwriting, including the best-selling Making a Good Script Great, Creating Unforgettable Characters, and Writing Subtext. (FREE AUDIO BOOK VERSIONS HERE)<br /><br />Ron Howard has endorsed Making a Good Script Great, saying he uses the book when making all of his movies beginning with Apollo 13. <br /><br />Not a bad recommendation. Take a listen to this master class on screenwriting with Linda Seger and get ready to take notes!
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BPS 007: How to Create an Emotional Impact in Your Screenplay with Karl Iglesias
How to Create an Emotional Impact in Your Screenplay with Karl Iglesias<br />This week we were lucky enough to have as our guest best-selling author Karl Iglesias. He has written award-winning books including The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, Writing for Emotional Impact, and Cut to the Chase. (FREE AUDIO BOOK VERSIONS HERE)<br />I discovered Karl Iglesias' work reading Writing for Emotional Impact. It really transformed the way I wrote screenplays and created a bunch of new habits that I still use today.<br />Karl is a script-doctor, author, award-winning instructor and story consultant, specializing in the reader’s emotional response to the written page. He helps writers, filmmakers, producers and advertising executives craft better stories that connect emotionally with an audience.<br />It was a major treat to interview Karl on the show. His work is so specific but yet broad. His one rule that can never be broken,<br /><br />"Always be interesting."<br /><br />I think most films coming out of Hollywood today should take that advice. Keep your audience engaged and emotionally invested. So many filmmakers and screenwriters today don't understand that basic concept.<br />I really asked Karl the tough questions so we could fill this episode with amazing content for you. This is one podcast you won't want to miss. Enjoy!
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BPS 006: How a Screenwriter Becomes a First Time Director with Kelly Fremon Craig
How a Screenwriter Becomes a First Time Director with Kelly Fremon Craig<br />I'm asked all the time<br /><br />"How does a screenwriter get the opportunity to direct one of their screenplays?"<br /><br />That is the question. In Hollywood, more times than not, writers don't have the power or ability to direct their own material. It took a few screenplays before Quentin Tarantino got the shot with Reservoir Dogs. Today's guest is writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig. She got her shot to director her own screenplay on the 2016 critical darling Edge of Seventeen starring Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, and Kyra Sedgwick. Check out the trailer below.<br /> <br />Kelly's adventures through Hollyweird is inspiring to say the least. Enjoy my conversation with Kelly Fremon Craig.
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BPS 005: The Million Dollar Screenplay with August Rush Screenwriter Paul Castro
We've all read in Variety or The Hollywood Reporter of some no-name screenwriter selling his or her screenplay for a million bucks. Ever wonder how they did it? What structure did they use? What "tricks of the trade were" employed?<br />May I introduce Paul Castro, the original writer of one of my favorite films August Rush. Paul Castro is a produced, award-winning screenwriter and world-renowned screenwriting professor.<br /><br />"Structure...is the canvas on which we paint with words." - Paul Castro<br /><br />His project, August Rush was produced by Warner Brothers and starred the late great Robin Williams, Keri Russell, Freddie Highmore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The film took Paul Castro into the belly of the Hollywood beast.<br />The business of screenwriting can be tough, but while a student at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, he was a finalist for the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker's Award for directing and producing his original screenplay Healing, and landed a three-picture screenwriting deal worth $1 million.<br />The lessons he learned not only from selling August Rush but many other Hollywood screenwriting adventures were invaluable. He later went back and became a screenwriting professor at UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, teaching thousands of students over his ten years of teaching.<br /><br />“Paul Castro teaches screenwriting from the inside out.” - Richard Walter, UCLA Screenwriting Chairperson.<br />Enjoy this whopper of a podcast episode and if you haven't seen August Rush do yourself a favor and watch it. It's worth watching for Robin Williams alone!
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BPS 004: How to Sell Your Screenplay with Ashley Scott Meyers
Today's guest is screenwriter/podcaster Ashley Scott Meyers from Sellingyourscreenplay.com. Ashley is a working screenwriter in Hollywood. He also spends his time running a popular screenwriting blog and podcast. His focus is on helping you sell your screenplay. Here's a bit of his philosophy in his own words:<br /><br />If you ask 100 different screenwriters how they broke into the business you’re going to get 100 different answers. There is no “right” way to break in. So my philosophy has always been simple: try as many different angles as possible and figure out what works best for you.<br />Below are two short lists of things you should be doing to try and sell your screenplays. I’ve listed them in order of what I think is most effective (your results may vary). One thing to keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list. You should be thinking of other ways you can market your material and doing those things, too. If you would like to share any of your ideas please email me as I’m always curious to hear how other writers are successfully marketing their material.<br />Also, you may not be able to do everything on these lists, but the more you do the better chances you’ll have. If you’re serious about success, however, you’re going to need to try most of these things, otherwise you’re not going to be giving your screenplay, or yourself, a real chance to succeed.<br />Things you can start doing today.<br />Make phone calls to agents, managers, and producers pitching your material<br />Write query letters for your screenplays and snail mail, email, or fax them to agents, managers, and producers<br />Scour sites like Craig’s List and other online resources for people looking for screenplays and send them your query letter<br />Enter screenwriting contests<br />Try and connect with agents, managers and producers on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook<br />Long term items which you should also be doing.<br /><br />We get into it in this interview so take some notes on this epic conversation. Enjoy!
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BPS 003: Making It in Hollyweird as a Screenwriter with Doug Richardson
Can you imagine having a front row seat to the start of the filmmaking careers of Will Smith, Bruce Willis and Michael Bay? Well this week's guest Screenwriter Doug Richardson did just that. In 1989 20th Century Fox hired Doug to adapt Walter Wager’s novel 58 Minutes into the first sequel to the hit franchise Die Hard. In 1990, it was released as Die Hard 2, Die Harder.<br />Around the same period, Doug Richardson and his one-time writing partner, Rick Jaffa, garnered national attention when their spec screenplay, Hellbent…and Back was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash Bad Boys (1995), Money Train (1995), and Hostage (2005).<br />In addition to writing for the screen and print, Doug posts a weekly blog on his website, dougrichardson.com, where he shares personal anecdotes and insight from his thirty-year showbiz career. The first collection of his blogs, The Smoking Gun: True Tales from Hollywood’s Screenwriting Trenches was published in 2015.<br />I had a ball chatting with Doug and his stories from the set had been mesmerized. He dropped some major knowledge bombs in this interview. Enjoy!
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BPS 002: How to Write a Screenplay with Fight Club Screenwriter Jim Uhls
First Rule of Jim Uhls, YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT Jim Uhls!<br />We I have a MAJOR treat for the tribe this week. I have no other than Jim Uhls, the master screenwriter behind David Fincher's "Fight Club", one of the greatest films in my generation, in my humble option.<br />When Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club was making the rounds in Hollywood, it was a tough sale to be adapted for the screen. But then Brad Pitt got involved; add David Fincher and Ed Norton, throw Jim Uhls into the mix and you've got a modern classic.<br />Jim’s screenwriting credits include of course the modern classic “Fight Club” the feature-film "Jumper" the NBC television film "Semper Fi" and the SyFy miniseries "Spin".<br />In this remarkable discussion, Jim Uhls breaks the first rule of Fight Club: He talks about it, working with David Fincher, why he hates outlines and why you should interview your characters. Step inside the mind of the man who figured out how to conquer Hollywood as he lays down knowledge bomb after knowledge bomb in this eye-opening interview.<br />Towards the end of the interview, Jim gives easily the GREATEST ADVICE ON HOW TO BECOME A WORKING SCREENWRITER I EVER HEARD! This podcast is not to be missed.<br />Enjoy my conversation with Jim Uhls.<br /> 
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BPS 001: What Makes a Good Screenplay with John Truby
Today's guest blew my mind on his approach to storytelling and screenwriting. John Truby is one of Hollywood's premier screenwriting instructor and story consultant.Over the last 25 years, more than 50,000 people have attended his sold-out seminars around the world, with the American Film Institute declaring that his “course allows a writer to succeed in the fiercely competitive climate of Hollywood.”<br />Over the last 25 years, more than 50,000 people have attended his sold-out seminars around the world, with the American Film Institute declaring that his “course allows a writer to succeed in the fiercely competitive climate of Hollywood.”<br />Called “the best script doctor in the movie industry,” Truby serves as a story consultant for major studios and production companies worldwide, and has been a script doctor on more than 1,800 movies, sitcoms and television dramas for the likes of Disney, Universal, Sony Pictures, FOX, HBO, Alliance Atlantis, Paramount, BBC, MTV and more.<br /> <br />Truby’s former students’ work have earned more than $15 billion at the box office, and include the writers, directors and producers of such film blockbusters asRatatouille, In Treatment, Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men I/II/III, Shrek, Mother Mary of Chris, Breaking Bad, House, Lost, Planet of the Apes, Scream, The Fantastic Four, The Negotiator, Star Wars, Sleepless in Seattle, Outbreak, African Cats (which Truby co-wrote for Disney) and more. Truby’s class is also regularly attended by top fiction writers and novelists who have topped the New York Times’ Bestseller List, won numerous prestigious literary awards, and have sold over 46 million books worldwide. Hollywood’s best kept secret, Truby’s classes regularly attract everyone from first time writers to A-list writers, producers, directors, filmmakers, story executives, novelists, fiction writers and more.<br />In addition to his sold-out seminars, John Truby remains on the cutting- edge of technology having created and developed Truby Blockbuster – the bestselling software designed to intuitively help writers learn and understand the art of developing their story ideas into fully realized, professionally-structured scripts.<br />Truby’s principles and methods are the most modern, exciting approach to screenwriting and storytelling to be developed in a generation, which is why his classes regularly attract everyone from Oscar winners to first-time writers.<br />We get into the weeds of story in this EPIC conversation. Get ready to take notes. Enjoy!
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BPS 000: Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast - Introduction | What to Expect 
It’s here! The first episode of The Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast! Now you might be asking...<br /><br />"Alex, why are you launching another podcast dedicated to screenwriting when you cover that on the IFH Podcast already?"<br /><br />Well, it's because I know that screenwriters are really NOT that interested in learning about lenses, self-distribution, or social media marketing. They want to get into the craft and business of screenwriting and storytelling. I found that IFH Tribe members that wanted to learn about screenwriting would have to wait until I had a screenwriting guest.<br />With The Bulletproof Screenplay Podcast, they can get a fresh episode every week dedicated to the craft and business of screenwriting.<br />I'll be grabbing some of my past screenwriting themed interviews and re-publishing them here but I'll also be adding brand new content as well. I already have a bunch of amazing guests lined up for the podcast.<br />So if you're fan of the IFH Podcast you should definitely subscribe to the BPS Screenwriting Podcast as well. That'll be THREE FRESH EPISODES of content every week. Yes, I'm crazy but I'm crazy about providing the best content I can to the IFH Tribe and helping them on their filmmaking and screenwriting journeys.<br />You can download the screenwriting podcast to your computer or listen to it here on the blog. This podcast feed is listed on iTunes, Spreaker, and Stitcher, so you can subscribe there as well.<br />Thanks for Listening!<br />Thanks so much for joining me again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!<br />If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see on the left of this post.<br />Also, please leave an honest review for The Bulletproof Screenplay Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.<br />And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates. Until next time!<br />Special information about the episode such as items mentioned during the session and action items will usually appear below.
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