103 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
    • 4.7 • 139 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.

    The Blair Witch Project with Eduardo Sánchez

    The Blair Witch Project with Eduardo Sánchez

     If you went down to the woods in July 1999, you were in for a big surprise. The Blair Witch Project – our movie this week, one of the most notorious horror films in modern movie history – was a phenomenon that no one saw coming. Its reverberations are still being felt today, not just in horror but in movie-making at large. Is tale of a group of indie filmmakers out in the wilderness, making a documentary about a mythical witch, is credited with birthing the found footage genre – a huge staple of blockbuster filmmaking for decades to come. But maybe more importantly, the film announced to emerging storytellers that, in a new era of digital video and the internet, anyone could be a filmmaker, able to make and market a film to audiences. All you needed was imagination. 
    The Blair Witch Project was written and directed by Daniel Myrick and our guest today, Eduardo Sánchez – two friends fresh out of film school. In the conversation you’re about to hear, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the movie, Ed looks back at the film’s conception. We get into what psychological tricks found footage as a format plays on the audience’s brain to heighten their sense of terror. And you’ll discover how deep mythology of the Blair Witch goes – a mythology that, as you’ll hear towards the end of our chat, isn’t finished scaring audiences yet.
    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 and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Stage Apart: The Hills of California with Jez Butterworth

    Stage Apart: The Hills of California with Jez Butterworth

    Today on Script Apart – another in our "Stage Apart" series about great plays! Our guest this week is a storyteller beloved across stage and screen, whose 2009 play Jerusalem is frequently referred to as the best play of the century so far. His acclaimed theatre productions includes 1995’s Mojo, 2012’s The River and 2019’s The Ferryman – but movie fans might know him better for films like Edge of Tomorrow, Ford v Ferrari, the James Bond movie Spectre and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. 

    Yes, Jez Butterworth is here, discussing his triumphant return to London’s West End with The Hills of California, directed by Sam Mendes. The play tells the tale of a group of sisters reuniting in the faded seaside town they grew up in, aspiring towards musical stardom. Decades after the death of that particular dream, they’re left to reckon with what their lives became versus what they once imagined for themselves – with one painful secret no longer able to be confined to the past. It’s an incredibly moving and at times, hilarious meditation on regret, Britishness and the vultures that circle showbiz – inspired in part by Jez’s run-ins with disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, who the playwright once punched in the face.

    In the spoiler-free conversation you’re about to hear, he tells us why he continues to gravitate towards  “death of a dream” stories. We also discuss how the experience of tragically losing his beloved sister informed the play, and have a beautifully vulnerable discussion about a period of Jez’s life in which his mental health was suffering – and how that intersected with his experience of working on Edge of Tomorrow. 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 and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 47 min
    Civil War with Alex Garland

    Civil War with Alex Garland

    This week on Script Apart – a storyteller who began penning films like 28 Days Later and The Beach, before stepping behind the camera as the writer-director of stories that go to fascinating philosophical places, asking borderline unanswerable questions about humanity along the way.  Alex Garland's fourth time in the director's chair, Civil War, is his most explosive film yet – a film that riffs on America's intensely fractious present by imagining a future in which the country has torn itself in two.

    The tale of a group of photojournalists – led by Kirsten Dunst’s Lee – travelling towards Washington as the country unravels is a tour de force on par with Ex Machina, Annihilation and other movies in Alex’s impressive filmography. But how does the movie connect (or decline to connect) to our current political landscape and what are the storytelling philosophies that continue to make Garland one of the most interesting filmmakers operating today? Find out by 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, Final Draft and WeScreenplay.

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


    Support the show

    • 44 min
    Stage Apart: Stranger Things – The First Shadow with Kate Trefry

    Stage Apart: Stranger Things – The First Shadow with Kate Trefry

    This week on Script Apart, we’re broadcasting from the Upside Down. Yes, grab your Eggos and Metallica CDs for a special, spoiler-free conversation all about Stranger Things: The First Shadow – the first theatre production that we’ve covered on the show, as part of a new strand of episodes called "Stage Apart."

    The First Shadow is a show that, as reviews have underlined, accomplishes things not thought possible in a play till now; as a spectacle, it's breathtaking in the way it conjures all manner of demogorgon-related chaos, live in front of you. But also staggering is what the show achieves as a piece of storytelling. Which is why this week, we’re delighted to be joined by the wonderful Kate Trefry – writer of a great many of the show’s best episodes, and writer of The First Shadow.

    Working from a story created by Jack Thorne and show creators The Duffer Brothers, Kate penned The First Shadow as a prequel, pulling the curtain back on how and why the Upside Down came to Hawkins in the first place. Set in 1959, it introduces us to younger versions of fan favourite characters like Hopper, Joyce and Bob Newby, as a mystery unfolds in their sleepy hometown; beloved household pets are turning up not just dead but grotesquely disfigured. This spate of killing coincides not just with the production of a play at Hawkins High School that Joyce is directing, but also with the arrival of new kid Henry Creel – a kid that, those up to date with the latest season of Stranger Things will know, has a dark future he’s about to inherit.

    Stranger Things is one of the biggest TV shows of the last decade by pretty much any metric and in the conversation you’re about to hear, we talk to Kate about why that is. We get into how the tale of Eleven, Hopper and co has become almost a new American myth – and discuss what The First Shadow does to extend and complicate that fable. Without giving anything away, we discuss how The First Shadow ties the horrors of the Upside Down to 1950s racism and America’ involvement in World War II. You’ll also hear about the supposed “real-life” incidents – including a horrifying alleged event called The Philadelphia Experiment – that intersect with what happens in Hawkins in the astounding The First Shadow. Listen out, also, for a tease at what season five has in store, as Stranger Things approaches its final ever episodes.

    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 and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 1 hr
    Script Club: Children of Men with Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties)

    Script Club: Children of Men with Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties)

    Welcome to another Script Club episode of Script Apart, in which storytellers we admire pick a film or show they love and talk about why it's special. Today, revered Folio Prize-winning author Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties, In The Dream House) breaks down the dystopian delights of Alfonso Cuarón's Children Of Men, co-written with Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.

    Based on a 1992 novel by P.D James, this 2006 action thriller forecast a Britain in the mid-2020s on the verge of collapse, governed by a party waging a cruel war on asylum seekers as a distraction from its problems. The UK may not currently be staring down a fertility crisis like the one depicted in Cuarón's film, but Children Of Men was, in other ways, eerily ahead of its time in some of its predictions.

    In the spoiler conversation you're about to hear, Carmen shares what she finds so impactful about the tale, and the influence it has had on stories of her own, such as 2017's chilling Inventory.  Carmen is one of Al's favourite working writers, and someone whose work has been a north star in his own fiction, so we were delighted to have her on the show, breaking down a drama that only grows more relevant with each passing year.

    ** COME TO OUR FOURTH BIRTHDAY LIVE SHOW! Script Apart presents Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa with Neil and Rob Gibbons at Picturehouse Central, London – March 11th **

    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 and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Expats with Lulu Wang

    Expats with Lulu Wang

    “We are what we survive.” That’s the message of Expats, the powerful new limited series from our guest this week, Lulu Wang. Lulu is a writer-director whose stories are unflinchingly intimate portraits of characters captivatingly full of contradictions. In this show, adapted from a novel by Janice Y.K. Lee, those characters are three women, different in age, class, personal circumstance and relationship to motherhood, who become linked by an unthinkable tragedy. These women’s stories combine to tell a tale of grief and privilege in a modern day Hong Kong battered by typhoon weather and simmering political dissent. And they do so movingly.

    Lulu till now has been best known as the writer-director of 2019’s The Farewell, based on a radio story she wrote in 2016 for This American Life, about her own Chinese-American immigrant family. This follow-up to that breakout hit sounds like from the outset some kind of thriller: Nicole Kidman plays Margaret, an American living in Hong Kong whose youngest son disappears at a night market. Instead of a pulse-pounding pursuit, full of cops, clues and criminals like most abduction dramas, Expats instead unfolds at a meditative, mournful pace, against the backdrop of the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests in Hong Kong.

    In the spoiler conversation you’re about to hear, celebrating the magnificent finale that dropped today, Lulu discusses about what happened to Margaret's child Gus, why the show refused to give an explanation for his disappearance and instead prioritised what it means to grieve; how grief doesn’t shrink, leaving us instead to grow around it.

    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 and WeScreenplay.

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

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
139 Ratings

139 Ratings

Ecrivant ,

More movies please

I’m sure it can’t be easy to get these writers on your show, but each is so insightful and I love hearing the thought process of these successful writers. Appreciate both the respectful, but not fawning, interviewing and the generosity in sharing their process.
I just wish there were more…

birdrock001 ,

Fantastic. The best screenwriting podcast.

Al’s questions are always very thoughtful and draw out insightful answers from his guests. I find I have to stop the episodes every few minutes because there are SO MANY good ideas I need to joy down. Brilliant show, brilliant guests. Also: totally professional production.

The best! Bravo.

Hzgpxofz ,

Absolutely Inspiring!

As a college student who is an aspiring screenwriter it is amazing to hear these stories and be inspired by industry professionals. It’s also great to be exposed to amazing tools to use as a screenwriter who is still getting their feet wet in the industry. Script Apart has been my daily listen and I absolutely love it!

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