97 episodes

A podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies and TV shows. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. Hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.

Script Apart Script Apart

    • TV & Film
    • 4.5 • 4 Ratings

A podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies and TV shows. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn’t and why on its journey to the big screen. Hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek.

    How To Have Sex with Molly Manning Walker

    How To Have Sex with Molly Manning Walker

    Today on Script Apart, we're heading to Malia with Molly Manning Walker, writer-director of How To Have Sex. Since wowing audiences at Cannes last summer, the sun-sea-and-consent drama has proved a box office hit, been hailed as one of the strongest feature debuts by a British filmmaker in recent year and sparked long-overdue, nuanced conversations about the attitudes towards sex that young people inherit. The film  tells the tale of Tara, a sixteen-year-old played by Mia McKenna-Bruce, on a rite-of-passage summer holiday blowout with friends while she awaits school exam results. What begins as a sun-soaked adventure, full of borrowed hair straighteners, karaoke and bright-blue-coloured cocktails, soon becomes something bleaker when the girls meet a group of lads in the holiday rental apartment opposite them. Amid the thumping music and blinding lights of Malia’s club scene, a taboo-shattering expose of everything wrong with the way teenagers are encouraged to view sex unfolds – and it's absolutely heartbreaking.

    Molly wrote the film while revisiting memories of going on a number of clubbing holidays herself between sixteen and eighteen, and realising what little room there was for discussion about the pressuring sexual elements of those trips and the harrowing experiences they can result in. When she was the victim of a sexual assault at age sixteen, she remembers “wanting to talk about it. But I’d walk into rooms and it would suck the air out of the room. How are people supposed to move on if no one’s allowed to talk about it?” How To Have Sex is a movie that does to talk about it – and does so movingly without ever lurching into lecturing or sentimentality.

    In the spoiler-filled interview you’re about to hear, Molly break down key scenes from the film, including the heart-wrenching final exchange in the airport between Tara and Skye – what isn’t being said in that moment, and why. We talk about what she’s learned about how global the problems depicted in How To Have Sex are by the response to film beyond Britain – and how working on this film at the same time as Scrapper, Charlotte Regan’s brilliant surrealist comedy set out on a UK council estate – taught her about the necessity of female coming-of-age stories.

    Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on thescriptapartpodcast@gmail.com.

    Support for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Magic Mind and WeScreenplay.

    To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.
    Support the show

    • 45 min
    American Fiction with Cord Jefferson

    American Fiction with Cord Jefferson

    American Fiction is two films at once – a farcical comedy take-down of white gatekeepers who only want one type of Black storytelling and a beautifully tender drama that underlines the richness possible when filmmakers of colour are allowed to operate outside of the boxes they’re often put in. Written and directed by Cord Jefferson, whose past writing credits include work on Succession, The Good Place and Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen TV adaptation, the film tells the tale of Monk, a frustrated academic played by Jeffrey Wright, who becomes an accidental literary sensation when a manuscript he writes as a joke, perpetuating Black stereotypes, becomes a best-seller. There’s sensitivity beneath the scathing satire of that premise, however: American Fiction is a movie that reels you in with its funny premise, then moves you to tears with its elegant portrait of a family as they search for meaning in grief and growing older.
    In this spoiler conversation, Cord tells Al what struck him about Erasure, the 2001 novel by Percival Everett that American Fiction is an adaptation of. We get into the personal experiences that helped him relate powerfully to Percival’s story – and what inspired the changes from page to screen, such as the omission of a storyline involving a murder by an abortion protestor. Listen out, also, for what Cord has to say about the film’s meta ending and the symbolism behind the enigmatic image that closes the film. 
    Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on thescriptapartpodcast@gmail.com.

    Support for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.

    To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.
    Support the show

    • 55 min
    The Holdovers with David Hemingson

    The Holdovers with David Hemingson

    Alienation, abandonment and dislocated shoulders: not really your usual ingredients for a tender festive heart-warmer. But then again, The Holdovers – unequivocally one of our favourite films of the last twelve months – isn’t your average Christmas movie. Directed by Alexander Payne and written by our guest today, the brilliant David Hemingson, it's a drama steeped in the pain of reaching the so-called “most wonderful time of the year” and feeling nothing but loneliness.

    The film tells the story of three loners thrown together by circumstance over the  Christmas break at a New England boarding school, each disillusioned with a world that doesn't seem to want them. They have their differences. One – Paul, played by Paul Giamatti – is a miserly middle-aged academic with an odour problem. Another – Angus, played by newcomer Dominic Sessa – is a brash student of his, on the brink of being sent to military school. The third and possible heartbeat of the movie, Da'Vine Joy Randolph's Mary Lamb, is their school cook – a woman who recently lost everything. These characters find a richness in each other that's uplifting without ever feeling schmaltzy or sentimental. It's a staggeringly beautiful film.

    In the spoiler conversation you're about to hear, David tells us about Uncle Earl, the real-life family member he based the character Paul on. You'll hear how his first draft involved a woman Paul used to date with porcelain fingers, after injuring her hand in a car accident. We also spend some time debating the words "not for ourselves alone are we born" – the lesson, if there is one, of The Holdovers, and a mantra we could all doing with reminding ourselves of more in our fragmented 2024.

    Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on thescriptapartpodcast@gmail.com.

    Support for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.

    To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.
    Support the show

    • 1 hr 4 min
    All Of Us Strangers with Andrew Haigh

    All Of Us Strangers with Andrew Haigh

    This week we're joined by writer-director Andrew Haigh, whose new metaphysical drama All Of Us Strangers is a bruise in movie form: all swirling blue and purple hues, symbolic of hurt and longing to heal. The film tells the tale of a quiet screenwriter named Adam, played by Andrew Scott, who lives in a lonely London tower block, divorced from the world. His only neighbour is Harry, played by Paul Mescal, who one night makes a drunken move on Adam, only to be turned down. Instead, we follow Adam as he boards a train and visits his childhood home. The unexpected reunion that follows takes the film on a dream-like turn representative of the scars he still wears as a gay man who grew up in conservative 1980s Britain. As the drama goes on, that dream quickly curdles into a nightmare.

    In the spoiler conversation you're about to hear, Al speaks to Andrew about the "aloneness" rather than loneliness that powers All Of Us Strangers. We get into the construction of its devastating twists, the process of adapting the 1987 Japanese novel on which it's based, the meaning of the pop music threaded into the house and the catharsis of writing this powerhouse story – one that audiences have found themselves unable to shake for weeks after viewing.

    Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on thescriptapartpodcast@gmail.com.

    Support for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.

    To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.
    Support the show

    • 51 min
    Maestro with Josh Singer

    Maestro with Josh Singer

    The acclaimed new Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro is about more than just the life and times of arguably America’s most famous composer. It’s about the idea of genius and what allowances those in the presence of gifted creatives sometimes permit, at great personal cost, to allow that artistry to flourish. Starring Carey Mulligan and Bradley Cooper, who also directs, the film’s another example of the supreme storytelling talents of Josh Singer – a screenwriter renowned for telling the true-life tales of people who sent ripples through our culture for decades to come. 
    In the Oscar-winning Spotlight, it was a team of Boston journalists who exposed a church cover-up. In Damien Chazelle’s First Man, it was astronaut Neil Armstrong – the first man on the moon. When it comes to writing dramatically compelling, non-sensationalised biopics, you won’t find many better. In our latest episode, the 51-year-old breaks down his latest exploration of a public figure and the demons hidden beneath the surface of his fame. It’s a fascinating spoiler conversation about how and Bradley Cooper co-wrote the script, spanning the meaning of its ambiguous title and how he approached the movie’s devastating ending.

    Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on thescriptapartpodcast@gmail.com.

    Support for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.

    To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.
    Support the show

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Beau Is Afraid with Ari Aster

    Beau Is Afraid with Ari Aster

    This week, we're joined by the great Ari Aster –  one of the boldest and most enigmatic voices in American cinema right now. He’s a filmmaker that Al first met in May 2019. The New York-born writer-director’s debut horror, Hereditary, was a few months old at the time, and Ari was deep in the edit for Midsommar at the time. Al had been sent by Empire Magazine to write a profile that championed him as a new king of horror. Which made sense in the moment: Midsommar, his Wicker Man-esque follow-up to Hereditary, about a Swedish cult, promised more frights, more decapitations.

    One problem, though. Ari rejected the idea of himself as a horror filmmaker. He kept emphasising to Al, in his quiet, charming way, that horror wasn’t where his heart was. At least, not exclusively. No, Ari longed to make a comedy. A comedy musical, if possible. What would a comedy musical by this filmmaker, best known for chilling audiences to the bone, look like? In 2023, we got our audience – the jaw-dropping Beau Is Afraid.

    Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Beau Is Afraid is indeed a comedy. Its punchline just happens to speak to the existential treadmill-to-nowhere that life can sometimes resemble. It may not have songs to qualify it as a musical, but its case is populated by icons of musical theatre, known for their stage work (Nathan Lane, Richard Kind). Following a middle aged man on an Oedipal trip through an absurdist America en route to his mother’s funeral, the movie began life as a short film in 2011. In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, we get into what evolved from Ari’s initial vision for Beau, as the character made his way to the big-screen. We talk about how in early drafts, the orphans of the forest weren’t a theatre group but a cult – something Ari had to change when he realised his first two movies had dealt heavily with cults and he couldn’t go three-for-three. We also discuss the horror and hilarity of the monster in the attic and what the religious iconography of the movie represents in Beau’s journey.

    It’s a riveting peek into the mind of a filmmaker out here making films unlike anyone else. We hope you enjoy.

    Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on thescriptapartpodcast@gmail.com.

    Support for this episode comes from ScreenCraft, MUBI, Magic Mind, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.

    To get ad-free episodes and exclusive content, join us on Patreon.



    Support the show

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

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