Behind the glitz and glamor, Hollywood can be brutal. For every success, there are many more rejections and failures. Screaming into the Hollywood Abyss explores that world and each week a new guest will talk about dealing with rejection, failure and adversity in the entertainment industry. Writer Noah Evslin and podcaster Dan Rutstein ask the questions.
Take 43 - Novelist Chuck Wendig, Wanderers, The Book of Accidents, Star Wars Aftermath
We talk to the fascinating writer Chuck Wendig.
He tells us about Star Wars fans liking him in real life, but not online, and getting dropped by Marvel over political tweets.
We discuss the politics of cancel culture around Disney, burning the bridge to the comics world and how social media impacts art and artists.
And Chuck advises new writers to be careful about social media - "the juice is not worth the squeeze".
He talks about writing novels, attempted transitions to screenwriting and how the pandemic ruined his Wanderers project.
He explains how he won a screenwriting competition, what he learned and how he moved back in to novels.
A fascinating discussion about a different type of writing, rejection in the literary world and the pain of not making the jump over the fence into TV.
Take 42 - Writers and showrunners Liz Craft and Sarah Fain, Women's Murder Club, Lie to Me, Fantasy Island
We talk to writing duo Liz Craft and Sarah Fain.
They talk about the dynamics of a writing duo, when and how they have disagreements and how they deal with both rejection and success.
The practicalities of splitting pay checks, the book adaptation that got away and how they felt about it and the parallel success of Fantasy Island.
They describe the lost project as like 'an ex-boyfriend who you don't want to see in the street' and explained why they won't ever watch it and why it hurt so much.
We also talk about diversity, how being in a duo shielded them in some ways and how they run their rooms.
A fun and honest discussion about Hollywood and their journey through it together.
Take 41 - Showrunner Hart Hanson, Bones, The Finder
We speak to the fantastic Hart Hanson. He talks about being courteous but cranky, his unwanted reputation for being nice and why he would never bully his team.
He explains the bizarre genesis of Bones, the balance between art and creativity and the practicality of raising a family in Hollywood.
Hart talks about his Canadian politeness, how Bones became a subversive show and his frustrations of later shows not achieving Bones' longevity.
He talks about the novels he writes, the one he really wants to sell and the fun of working with Steve Coogan.
A fantastic and insightful trip around Hollywood with one of its nicest success stories.
Take 40 - Journalist Mo Ryan, Vanity Fair
We talk to veteran journalist Mo Ryan. We explore the complex world of Hollywood, reporting on abuse and toxicity in the industry and the personal toll it has taken on her.
She tells how she approaches these type of stories, her support and compassion for the victims and the lengths lawyers and large organizations go to create obstacles.
Mo talks honestly about her own experience of abuse, the panic attack that hit her and her unrelenting desire to get the truth out.
She explains the complex world of entertainment journalism and the balance between exposing abuse and reviewing tv shows and how she swaps between the two.
A powerful, sometimes dark, revealing and memorable interview about the dark corners of Hollywood from someone who works hard to shine a light on them.
Take 39 - Producer Andy Horwitz, Suicide Squad, Triple Frontier
We talk to film producer Andy Horwitz. He talks about about how to let writers go from projects, trying to treat people fairly but also the principle of 'protect the movie at all costs'.
Adam explains the process of movie making, the difference between TV and film rejection and why he was so desperate to become a movie producer.
He tells rejection stories, his own battles to get Triple Frontier made and what's most important to him - blockbuster money, awards or working with good people.
Andy talks about the original Suicide Squad conundrum of it being a commercial success but a critical failure, how he feels about being attached to projects like that and what he learned from it.
A fascinating discussion with a nice guy in a difficult job.
Take 38 - Writer and showrunner Joseph Mallozzi, Stargate SG-1, Dark Matter
Having written or produced more than 120 hours of television, Joseph Mallozzi has had a stellar career. We talk to him about the relative comfort of working on one show for more than ten years, his impatience when he isn't on a show and the importance of working with great people.
He talks about the frustration of working on a difficult show, with impossible deadlines and budgets and managing the absurdity of the situation. And what he learned from that for when he next ran a room.
Joseph explains the relative strength of a writer's position in tv and features and why he has been so happy working in the TV business. He talks about enjoying working away from LA in Toronto and shares some of the highlights, and lowlights, of his career.
An illuminating and in-depth discussion with an industry veteran.
Essential Listening for Screenwriters
For any writer interested in working in film or television, this podcast is a must-listen. Leading showrunners, writers, agents managers and more share their firsthand experiences and help prepare you for a career in Hollywood. Hearing stories of how some of the most successful people in Hollywood have struggled, been mistreated and sometimes just been victims of bad luck (and survived) is both inspiring and enlightening.
An Inspiration for Everyone
This podcast is top-notch. Technically, very professional. The two host work well together, and ask great questions that have their guests spilling their guts, in complete honesty, about their fears, anguish and frustration, trying to launch -- and then maintain -- a prosperous career in the entertainment industry. What I really love about Dan & Noah is that they stay quiet and don't interrupt their guests as they talk for sometimes 9-12 minutes straight. Very rare in a podcast talk show. Whether you work in the entertainment industry or not, this podcast, and these guests, are very inspirational -- and I look forward to each new episode!
My saving grace
Like so many, I’m in a constant pursuit of screenwriting and getting an “in” to the industry. It’s so easy to romanticize Hollywood, so this delightfully honest show is my constant reassurance that everyone falls on their face even after establishing a career in Hollywood. Thank you, Dan and Noah, for bringing these conversations into the world.