The Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast shows you how to make your screenplays bulletproof. Weekly interviews with Oscar® and Emmy® award winning screenwriters, story specialists, best-selling authors, Hollywood agents and managers, and industry insiders. We cover every aspect of the screenwriting process. This is the screenwriting podcast for the rest of us. No fluff. No BS. Just straight talk that will help you on your screenwriting journey.
Some of the past guests include 3X Oscar® Winning Writer/Director Oliver Stone, Eric Roth (Dune, Forest Gump), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Slacker) James V. Hart (Dracula, Hook), John August (Big Fish, Aladdin), Jim Uhls ( Fight Club), Peter Rader (Waterworld), Diane Drake (What Women Want), Daniel Knauf (Carnival, Blacklist), Derek Kolstad (John Wick) and Pen Densham (Robin Hood, Backdraft) to name a few.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy my conversation with J. Mills Goodloe.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Gil co-wrote Ghostbusters: Afterlife with his friend writer/director Jason Reitman.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BPS 150: Screenwriting Masterclass with Oscar® Nominee John Sayles
Today on the show we have legendary independent filmmaker and Oscar® nominated screenwriter John Sayles.
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.
John has been named by American critic Roger Ebert as
"one of the few genuinely independent American filmmakers",
which John modestly denies!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sit back, relax and get ready to take some notes. Enjoy my epic conversation with John Sayles.
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.
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.
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.
But like most quests, mine has been neither easy nor straightforward.
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.
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.
Tracking wonder is not kid’s stuff. It’s radical grown-up stuff.
Jeff lives with these burning questions that shape his days:
How does Story change us?
How is creating a signature brand with integrity a meaningful, creative endeavor?
How is wonder the source of every human being’s original creative genius?
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?
The result has culminated in this quest for tracking wonder.
His new book is called Tracking Wonder: Reclaiming a Life of Meaning and Possibility in a World Obsessed with Productivity.
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.
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.
“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:
The six facets of wonder—key qualities to help you cultivate the art of wonder in your work, relationships, and life
How wonder can help us fertilize creativity, sustain the motivation to pursue big ideas, navigate uncertainty and crises, deepen our relationships, and more
The biases against wonder—moving beyond societal and internalized resistance to our inherent gifts
Why experiencing wonder isn’t really about achieving goals—though that happens—but about how we live each day
Inspiring stories of people whose experiences of wonder helped them move through the unthinkable to create extraordinary lives
Practical exercises, tools, and reflections to help you begin your own practice of tracking wonder
A refreshing counter-voice to the exhausting narrative...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.