334 episodes

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.

Bulletproof Screenwriting™ Podcast with Alex Ferrari Alex Ferrari

    • TV & Film

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 256: The High And Lows Of Working In Hollywood With Kevin Reynolds

    BPS 256: The High And Lows Of Working In Hollywood With Kevin Reynolds

    Imagine you are in a film school and you make a student film. Then that student film get's seen by Steven Spielberg and he calls you into his office to offer you a deal to direct a feature film version of that short. Well, that is exactly how today's guests go his start.

    On the show, we have the legendary writer/director Kevin Reynolds. Kevin directed the worldwide blockbuster Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the epic Rapa Nui, and the infamous and misunderstood Waterworld.

    Kevin Reynolds made his big career leap from election lawyer and political speechwriter to pursue his childhood passion for writing - enrolling into film school at the University of Southern California.

    In 1980, Reynolds’s debut film Proof landed him a shot right out of USC to work with Steven Spielberg. The film was later produced as Fandango in 1985, written and directed by Reynolds.

    Five college buddies from the University of Texas circa 1971 embark on a final road trip odyssey across the Mexican border before facing up to uncertain futures in Vietnam and otherwise.

    In 1991, Reynolds directed the $48 million action-adventure film of the time, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, that grossed $390 million worldwide. This action-filled fan favorite follows Robin and his Moorish companion’s adventure to England and his fight back against the Sheriff of Nottingham’s tyranny.

    He followed up Robin Hood with the epic Rapa Nui. The film the love between the representatives of two warring tribes changes the balance of power on the whole of the famous Easter Island. The film failed to find an audience in its initial release but has since become a cult favorite.

    His next directorial outing is the legendary Waterworld starring Kevin Costner. Waterworld was labeled the most expensive movie ever made ($175 million) until Titanic dethroned it a few years later. The press said it was the biggest flop of all time as well but nothing could be farther from the truth.

    When the film was finally released it made $264 million worldwide. The film went on to become one of the most valuable IPs in the Universal Studios library. The company created a theme park out of the film that has last over 25 years in multiple parks around the world and has generated hundreds of millions of dollars for Universal.

    In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.

    Reynolds’s critically acclaimed historical adventure film adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo novel in 2002, which starred versatile actor James Caviezel, was a remarkable comeback project after a five-year hiatus. The film is about revenge after a man, falsely accused by three jealous friends, sought to avenge his wasted years of somewhat imprisonment serving a wealthy Italian cleric.

    Kevin and I discuss the highs and lows of directing in Hollywood, working with Steve Spielberg, his ever-changing relationship with friend Kevin Coster, how he dealt with directing Waterworld and so much more.

    Enjoy my conversation with Kevin Reynolds.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    MONDAY MOTIVATION!: Dealing with Rejection

    MONDAY MOTIVATION!: Dealing with Rejection

    Monday Motivation! We all need a kick in the butt sometimes on our screenwriting journey. These episodes will do just that. Never stop chasing that dream and keep on hustling.

    • 3 min
    BPS 255: Richard Linklater - Slacker, Indie Cinema & How to Become a Writer

    BPS 255: 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.

    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. As a bonus, we will not only dive into the extraordinary career of Richard Linklater but also that of collaborator and longtime friend writer/director Katie Cokinos, the filmmaker behind the film I Dream Too Much. 

    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.

    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 ecosystem.

    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.

    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 undercurrent 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.

    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 a long and transformative coming-of-age story over years, if not decades, something that is unique to him.

    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.

    Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between becoming 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.

    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 Cat which 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.

    Her latest film is the coming of age story I Dream Too Much, co-produced by Richard. Here's a bit about the film: 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,...

    • 2 hrs 7 min
    BONUS EPISODE: Changing Television Forever with David Chase

    BONUS EPISODE: 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. 

    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. 

    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.

    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. 

    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.

    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.

    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.
    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.

    We also talk a bit about David’s five-year, first-look deal to create shows for HBO parent WarnerMedia. More culture moments, please!

    Let’s get into the chat, shall we?

    Enjoy my entertaining conversation with David Chase.

    • 44 min
    BPS 254: Free Screenwriting Masterclass - The Anatomy of Story Genres with John Truby

    BPS 254: Free Screenwriting Masterclass - The Anatomy of Story Genres with John Truby

    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, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and Shrek. The Anatomy of Story is his long-awaited first book, and it 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.

    His new book Anatomy of Genres is NOW Available!

    A guide to understanding the major genres of the story world by the legendary writing teacher and author of The Anatomy of Story, John Truby.

    Most people think genres are simply categories on Netflix or Amazon that provide a helpful guide to making entertainment choices. Most people are wrong. Genre stories aren’t just a small subset of the films, video games, TV shows, and books that people consume. They are the all-stars of the entertainment world, comprising the vast majority of popular stories worldwide. That’s why businesses―movie studios, production companies, video game studios, and publishing houses―buy and sell them. Writers who want to succeed professionally must write the stories these businesses want to buy. Simply put, the storytelling game is won by mastering the structure of genres.

    The Anatomy of Genres: How Story Forms Explain the Way the World Works is the legendary writing teacher John Truby’s step-by-step guide to understanding and using the basic building blocks of the story world. He details the three ironclad rules of successful genre writing, and analyzes more than a dozen major genres and the essential plot events, or “beats,” that define each of them. As he shows, the ability to combine these beats in the right way is what separates stories that sell from those that don’t. Truby also reveals how a single story can combine elements of different genres, and how the best writers use this technique to craft unforgettable stories that stand out from the crowd.

    Just as Truby’s first book, The Anatomy of Story, changed the way writers develop stories, The Anatomy of Genres will enhance their quality and expand the impact they have on the world.

    Enjoy my conversation with John Truby.

    • 2 hrs 11 min
    MONDAY MOTIVATION!: You are What you Believe In

    MONDAY MOTIVATION!: You are What you Believe In

    Monday Motivation! We all need a kick in the butt sometimes on our screenwriting journey. These episodes will do just that. Never stop chasing that dream and keep on hustling.

    • 4 min

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