51 episodes

A podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. 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
    • 4.7 • 60 Ratings

A podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. 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.

    Freaks & Geeks and Spy with Paul Feig

    Freaks & Geeks and Spy with Paul Feig

    Our guest today is a storyteller who knows great comedy. As a director, Paul Feig has manned beloved movies like Bridesmaids, Ghostbuster and The Heat, not to mention memorable episodes of smash hit TV shows like Arrested Development and The Office. When it comes to writing, he more often than not passes the baton to brilliant collaborators, like Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig and Katie Dippold, concentrating on bringing their scripts to life from the director’s chair. On the occasions that he does write his own screenplays, however, it’s always an absolute laugh riot, full of warmth, affection, inclusivity and infectious positivity. 
    In the late ‘90s, Paul created Freaks and Geeks – a deeply influential sitcom following the exploits of a band of high school misfits. The actors portraying those misfits would go on to dominate American comedy for decades to come: James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel all got their breaks in the show, which ran for just one season in 1999.
    Its legacy has lived on, though, as has Paul’s reputation as a storyteller who aspires to bring people together in the movies and shows he creates. In this revealing conversation, he breaks down for us not only that show’s pilot, including the scene that he believes got the show cancelled, but also elements of his hilarious 2016 espionage comedy Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy,  for a sense of how writing comedy for TV  back in the '90s differs from writing comedy for the big screen today. It’s a fascinating conversation – 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, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Hacks with Jen Statsky

    Hacks with Jen Statsky

    We owe one of the most moving comedy-dramas in recent TV history to a monster truck rally. Jen Statsky was en route to Portland, Oregon to film a comedy sketch at the Monster Jam rally back in 2015 when she got chatting with her road trip accomplices, fellow comedy writers Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs. They spoke about the history of pushed-aside women in the entertainment industry – female comedians like Singin' In The Rain star Debbie Reynolds, whose careers were derailed by misogynistic practices in Hollywood. On that day, Hacks was born – a HBO series up for a number of awards at this year's Emmys and deservedly so.

    The show – starring Jean Smart as a comedian in the twilight of her career and Hannah Einbinder as the young comic sent to write new material for her – is as funny as you'd expect from Jen, whose previous TV writing credits include The Good Place, Parks and Recreation and Broad City. But it's also tremendously emotive. She and fellow series creators Lucia and Paul have crafted a show that's both heartwarming and heartbreaking in its depiction of an unlikely female friendship that makes each party look at the world a little differently. 

    In this episode, Jen talks about the thousands of titles explored for the show before they landed on Hacks, the evolutions in the streaming market that have allowed for shows like this and Barry to so ambitiously blend comedy with drama, and how some of the show's most memorable moments to date were written. This is a spoiler conversation so you might want to catch up on the series in its entirety before tuning in.

    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, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 57 min
    Westworld with Lisa Joy

    Westworld with Lisa Joy

    Violent delights have violent ends, to quote one of the most daring TV shows of the last decade. And listeners, we are now officially approaching that end of that incredible series. Today on Script Apart, Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy reflects on the creation of the smash-hit HBO series, reveals the thinking behind some of the thrilling creative decisions within its gripping fourth season and confirms that next season will be the show's last, should HBO officially give it the greenlight.

    With Westworld, writer-director Lisa and her husband Jonathan Nolan have delivered a dazzling, dystopian vision of a future in which AI has run amok. Originally centred on a theme park recreation of the Wild West, the show has since zoomed out significantly to depict a robot uprising that, by season four, is threatening to bring an end to the human race. Though the show's ambitious philosophising hasn't been to everyone's tastes, there arguably hasn’t been a show more packed with mystery and intrigue since Damon Lindelof’s Lost. The constant swings Westworld takes demand to be admired.
    Lisa was born in New Jersey to immigrant parents, and grew up balancing a love of poetry and storytelling with a sense of obligation to her parents, who longed for her to follow a career path with plenty of job security. Which is how she became a lawyer, before deciding to risk it all to pursue her love of writing. In this episode, we talk about how that immigrant background influenced some of her storytelling sensibilities and how everything changed while pregnant with her first child, when she wrote a brilliant spec script titled Reminiscence, that announced to Hollywood that here was a writer capable of threading huge questions about nostalgia and the nature of human existence into captivating popcorn entertainment. 

    We also delve into the shocking twists in Westworld that were originally going to happen in the show’s pilot, as she and Jonathan debated how to pace this series and the many secrets contained within. Also if you’re wondering what’s in store in season five, we have you covered. Lisa speaks eloquently in this episode about the parallels between the ending of Westworld season four and the predicaments that we as a species are staring down in real life right now.
    This is a spoiler conversation so be sure to have caught up with the show before tuning in.

    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, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 1 hr 13 min
    The Orphanage with Sergio G. Sánchez

    The Orphanage with Sergio G. Sánchez

    Un, dos, tres, toca la pared. In 2007, there was no more chilling a sentence for moviegoers, as the gripping ghost story El Orfanato swept cinemas worldwide. The Orphanage, as it was known in the UK and America, was an instant classic tale of grief and obsession that remains a cherished piece of ‘00s horror cinema. It followed a mother, Laura, who must grapple with the mystery of what happened to her adopted son, after he disappears at a party in the former orphanage she and her husband have bought and made home.
    The film was directed by JA Bayona, produced by Guillermo Del Toro and written by our guest today, the talented Sergio G. Sánchez. Sergio, as you’ll discover in this episode, reached deep into his own childhood to write this moving tale, interweaving stories like Peter Pan, into a script that confronted his own experiences of severe illness as a child. He told us all about his fight to keep the movie a Gothic slow-burn, resisting studio pressure to turn the film into a carnival of jump-scares. We get into all of the hidden meanings and messages of the movie, including the mythology of the orphanage itself that formed a big part of his original script, and the movie’s many misdirects that craftily keep viewers guessing till its dying embers. Also broken down in detail is the film’s devastating final reveal and bittersweet closing moments, and the plans for an American remake that never came to fruition.
    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, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Dune with Eric Roth

    Dune with Eric Roth

    Where to begin describing today’s guest and his lengthy list of accomplishments? Eric Roth is the Academy Award-winning writer responsible for films like Forrest Gump,  The Insider, Munich, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and 2018’s A Star Is Born. At 77-years-old, Eric is as potent a storytelling force as ever: last year, he delivered a sci-fi epic so huge, you’d have had to have buried your head pretty deep in the sand of a distant sand planet named Arrakis to have missed it. 
    Dune, co-written with director Denis Villeneuve and previous Script Apart guest Jon Spaihts, achieved the impossible. It translated one of the densest, most complex and widely beloved science-fiction novels of all-time into a thrilling blockbuster spectacle that somehow remained true to its source material. Timothée Chalamet starred as Paul Atreides, young prince of the noble House Atreides, as an intergalactic battle erupts over control of the deadly, inhospitable desert planet. 
    Author Frank Herbert wrote the book as a warning about society's tendencies to “give over every decision-making capacity” to a charismatic leader. Eric, Jon and Denis did a terrific job threading that insight into a “chosen one” story that challenges and interrogates that narrative template. For many, the film felt like the moment that theatrical cinema felt “back” after the closures of the pandemic. In a captivating conversation recorded earlier this year, Eric told us all about how the film’s towering sense of scale was achieved, how the opening he originally envisioned for the movie would have bankrupted the entire production and what keeps him hungry after all these years. Next on the docket for Eric is a collaboration with Martin Scorsese, penning the upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon. There’s no slowing down for this veritable titan of the screenwriting universe.

    This episode contains spoilers for Dune.
    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, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 52 min
    Mission: Impossible with David Koepp

    Mission: Impossible with David Koepp

    Greetings, Script Apart listeners. Your mission today, should you choose to accept it – listen to the one and only David Koepp regale us with fascinating stories and insights from an astonishing three-decade career in Hollywood. Having written movies totalling over $9bn at the box office, David is a giant of the screenwriting world. Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, Carlito’s Way, Panic Room and War of the Worlds are just a few of the iconic films that David has penned over the years, making the decision of which movie of his to cover today a tricky one. We threw the question over to him to decide, and his pick of the bunch was 1996’s masterful Mission: Impossible – a Tom Cruise espionage epic that spawned five blockbuster sequels, with two more now on the way.
    David’s Mission: Impossible was markedly different to the most recent instalments in the series. His adaptation of the 1960s TV series was a lean, patient spy slow-burn that had action and excitement, but thrived on tension and paranoia. It followed Ethan Hunt, a secret agent framed for the murder of his friends and colleagues following a botched mission in Prague. It’s full of the sort of storytelling smarts that is commonplace in David’s work, evident in everything from his 1989 debut Apartment Zero to last year’s collaboration with Steven Soderbergh, the Covid thriller KIMI. 
    In this wide-ranging conversation, David tells me about the chaos that submerged Mission: Impossible at multiple points in its development, the explosive prison break scene that was cut from his screenplay for budgetary reasons, the artful exposition that’s a regular feature in his storytelling (seriously, study the Mr. DNA sequence in Jurassic Park if you don’t believe me) and how he approaches screenwriting versus his work as a novelist. Last month, he released Aurora, his second novel, about a solar flare that knocks the Earth’s electrical grid out and sends society into disarray. It’s soon to be made into a movie, with Katheryn Bigelow.
    This episode will not self-destruct in five seconds – but you should still hurry to listen to it, because you don’t want to miss David’s incredible stories and advice for emerging writers. This was a one fun. 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, Arc Studio Pro and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
60 Ratings

60 Ratings

LaRue223 ,

Informative

Love this podcast, very informative!

amyrb123 ,

Love it

Fantastic, eye opening conversations!!

alexis-learns-screenwriting ,

The best interviewer

This is absolutely my favorite interview style screenwriting podcast. I’ve listened to so many interviewers talk with screenwriters and Al is SUCH an amazing interviewer. The balance of being personable, respectful, asking the best questions and bringing out the the best answers from the interviewee without overly inserting himself into the conversation/interrupting/etc. These interviews are informative, delightful, and so helpful for an emerging screenwriter. I can actually relax while listening instead of being filled with secondhand social anxiety like I normally am. Ha. Thank you Al for being so wonderful!

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