Our friend, Ashley Scott Meyers offers some excellent advice and engaging interviews from successful screenwriters on his weekly podcast, The Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. To celebrate his upcoming milestone of 200 episodes, we put together a top 10 list of the best episodes so far. We'd also like to Congratulate Ashley on his upcoming film, "The Pinch."
#10 SYS Podcast Episode 094: Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director, Matt Dy, Talks About The Competition
Matt Dy, Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director at the Austin Film Festival talks about the film festival and its focus on writers. There are good tips and tidbits about putting your best foot-forward and what to avoid when submitting to a film festival. It might be old news, but it's always good to reminder that film festivals are great opportunities to network and get recognized—which begins with having an understanding of how festivals work from the people on the inside and what it takes to make the cut from people in the know.
#9 SYS Podcast Episode 082: Erik Bork (Band of Brothers) Talks About His Career As Screenwriter And Producer
Erik Bork's career path began working in a studio temp pool. By learning the inner-workings of a major studio and commitment, including going back into the temp pool to keep looking for the right fit, working in a writers room and eventually ends up working at Tom Hanks's new production company, where becomes involved with award-winning mini-series like "Moonshot" and "Band of Brothers", and was able to parlay that early success into a long-term career.
#8 SYS Podcast Episode 077: Screenwriter John Jarrell Gives Tough Love Screenwriting Advice
The final installment of a three part interview with John Jarrell. While the first two are worth a listen, this portion of the interview serves as a sobering reality check about pursuing a career in screenwriting. While not discouraging people from follow their passions, this piece is a gut-check for any writer in terms of whether they have the drive, savvy and (yes) talent to make it as a screenwriter.
#7 SYS Podcast Episode 102: Screenwriter Jared Frieder Talks About His Contest Wins, His Black List Table Read, And How He Got His First Professional Credit
Jason Frieder shares how he used his background and how he turned in a difficult period in his life into a contest-winning story, a scholarship at USC and a job as a writer’s assistant. His work continues to get him recognition, representation, and the motivation to keep moving forward in his career. It's a good example of knowing when your personal story is worth telling (which isn't always the case) that begins with find a story during hardship.
#6 SYS Podcast Episode 054: Tawnya Bhattacharya Talks About Her Career As A Television Writer
Tawnya Bhattacharya talks about getting her career started through diversity writing programs, and used that as a springboard to a successful career--most recently "Famous in Love". She provides insight to these fellowships and encouragement keep writing and submitting. While not everyone's going to make it on the first try, the important thing is persistence to continue refining your craft.
#5 SYS Podcast Episode 187: Michael Lucker Talks About How He Broke Into The Business As A Screenwriter
A transplant for the East Coast, Michael talks about getting his start by getting off of a friend's couch and sending a 100 letters to industry folks in search of a production job--one of them lands at Amblin Entertainment and as an assistant to Stephen Spielberg. Michael talks about putting in the work, time and effort as well as the protocols involved with approaching people with your script. Patience and a well-written script paid off with work on both the business-side of the industry and the creative-side as a screenwriter.
#4 SYS Podcast Episode 191: Writer W. Bruce Cameron Talks About His Transition From Writing A Newspaper Column To Screenwriter
An interesting story about how a newspaper column with smart title "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" can gain moment to launch a successful TV show and a career. It seems so simple, but there's definitely something to having the right "hook" for an idea that connects with people. Bruce goes on to talk about his process, which is detailed and structure, but I think the big takeaway comes down to finding a process that works for you and sticking to it.
#3 SYS Podcast Episode 120: Screenwriter Max Landis Talks About His Latest Film, "Mr. Right"
Max Landis talks about his process and how he developed idea that became the spec script for "Mr. Right", which got him noticed in the industry. Max's interview is funny and frank, and it’s easy to see why he can write unusual comedies in such a short amount of time. While his speed alone is admirable, he also talks about the importance of pitching and his enthusiasm for writing leaves little mystery as to why he's had a successful career.
#2 SYS Podcast Episode 145: Writer Edward Ricourt Talks About Now You See Me And Breaking Into The Business
Edward Ricourt talks about working as an assistant on day-time talk shows and later pursuing a writing career, which included his MFA and considering chances of actually making it as a screenwriter. However, he also stresses hard-work and making connections, including on the basketball court, that leads to successful collaboration on "Now You See Me" as well as making the most of out of working on Marvel's writing program, which later resulted in work on the series "Jessica Jones".
#1 SYS Podcast Episode 154: Saw II Writer & Director Darren Lynn Bousman Talks About Breaking In And His Latest Film, Abattoir
Interesting story of making it from film school in Florida to Los Angeles. Back in the days of AOL dial-up, an instant message to a producer in Hollywood, leads to Darren getting a PA job on the X-Files, which opens doors--Particularly, helpful when he talks about working so much on his writing that an AD pulls him aside at tells him he's "the worst PA we've ever had--good luck with your script", because he goes on to sell that script, which leads a successful career, including work on several pictures in the "Saw" franchise.