‘Jumangi: The Next Level’ Writers Find Soul of the Sequel
For those of us who grew up watching the original Jumanji (1995), it's hard not to feel nostalgia around the reboot that trades in a magical board game for a video game. In the original film, Robin Williams is at his peak as an actor, bringing epic humanity and humor to his work. Now the torch has lovingly been passed to Dwayne Johnson, Jack ...
Oscar-winner Charles Randolph on Writing Complex Characters in ‘Bombshell’
The amazing ripped-from-the-headlines film Bombshell tells the story of the women of took down Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow), specifically Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), after gross accusations of sexual harassment and assault. Margot Robbie plays Kayla, a fictional character that’s an amalgam ...
‘Playing with Fire’ writer shares his crazy 14-year journey from idea to screen
The new movie Playing with Fire is an adorable family comedy that stars John Cena, John Leguizamo and Keegan-Michael Key as a crew of rugged firefighters who meet their match when attempting to rescue three rambunctious kids. The movie is funny, heartfelt and features some of the best comedic talents around.
I sat down with writer Dan Ewen ...
‘Greener Grass’ writers create a surreal comedy from painful identity
Greener Grass is a surreal comedy of manners, set in a pastel-tinted suburbia where best friends Jill (Jocelyn DeBoer) and Lisa (Dawn Luebbe) do social acrobatics to passive-aggressively impress each other. When Jill notices that Lisa likes her baby Madison, Jill gifts the baby to Lisa who renames her Paige. Later, Lisa becomes ...
Five Things I learned About Writers’ Rooms from Interviewing 55 Writers
For my new book, Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy, I had the honor of interviewing over 50 successful television writers. I chose this book subject because my dad -- Herb Finn -- was a TV comedy writer and I wanted to learn about other writers’ career experiences and ...
Lucy in the Sky writers compare writing to surfing and talk about the missing diaper
You might remember a news story back in 2007 where NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak drove from Houston to Orlando, wearing a diaper, with the alleged intent of kidnapping an Air Force Captain involved in a love triangle. This bizarre story was the launching pad for the new film Lucy in the Sky.
In the film, Lucy (Natalie Portman) plays a NASA ...
What Are Your Characters Hiding?
You’ve got a secret. Don’t you?
If you’re like most of us, you have a secret you don’t want anyone to know. Maybe you’re wearing mismatched socks, maybe you’re the lunchbox thief at work, or maybe you’re a hundred rats in a trench coat posing as a Brazilian spy. The point is: most of us know what it means to worry someone will find out our secret, leaving us vulnerable to rejection and shame.
7 Insider Tips for Getting Into the Sundance Screenwriters Lab
The adorable new indie comedy Before You Know It stars Hannah Pearl Utt and Jen Tullock as sisters who find out their mother, played by Judith Light, isn’t dead, but alive and acting on a popular soap opera. The two women must overcome their biggest flaws and fears to rebuild their fractured family.
Utt directs with a script by Utt and ...
The Rules and Should You Follow Them?
There are shelves and shelves of books on how to write, hundreds of classes you can take, dozens of university programs you can enroll in. All of them are there to tell you the rules—even when they tell you there are “no rules”—and if they’re not telling you the rules they’re not actually telling you anything.
Good Boys writers reveal the secret to making a great comedy
Good Boys is a hilarious comedy about three sixth grade boys who ditch school and embark on an journey to return their father’s precious drone after it’s stolen by some teenage girls. Part Stand by Me, part Ferris Bueller’s Dayoff, it’s probably the funniest movie of the summer.
Writer/director of ‘The Kitchen’ says go for that ‘bold, crazy idea’
The Kitchen, written and directed by Andrea Berloff, is based on the gritty, violent graphic novel by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. We’ve seen many comic books get adapted into movies, but none like this. Set in the 1970s in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, three Irish mob wives, played by Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Hadish and Elisabeth Moss, decide to take over their husband’s operations when all three husbands are sent to prison.
Casey Affleck on writing and directing his mythic tale ‘Light of My Life’
Light of My Life is both a tender and terrifying film about a father (Casey Affleck) and his daughter called Rag (Anna Pniowsky) that is set in a post-apocalyptic America where a mysterious plague has killed off nearly all women. Rag is now 11 and to keep her safe, her father dresses her as a boy. It’s a good idea for now, but soon may be impossible as she gets older.