Technically Speaking

Do you need technical advice for your latest script? Technically Speaking finds free resources and expert information for writers and talks with the authorities in the field.


April '14: Nailing Sailing
From Waterworld to Pirates of the Caribbean, cinema has long held a fascination with sailing, but one nautical expert says there’s a lot more Hollywood can do to trim the sails of accuracy when it comes to the technical aspects of seafaring.

December '13: How to Write Like a Rock Star
Veteran Rocker Marshall Crenshaw tells Technically Speaking why it’s the details that make a great rock and roll film.

September '13: Sweating the Details
We’ve seen athletes prep for the big game in movies, but how accurate are those motivational training sequences? We ask P90X fitness guru Steve Edwards to break them down.

July '13: The Straight Dope
How realistic are shows like Breaking Bad and Weeds when it comes to the use and trafficking of illegal narcotics? Technically Speaking tracks down a retired drug dealer to get his unfiltered take on how his former profession is portrayed by Hollywood.

April '13: Keeping It Civil
Civil War scholar Gary W. Gallagher renders judgment on the historical accuracy of films like Lincoln and Glory and tells Technically Speaking why the best stories from that time period are those that are yet to be told.

March '13: A Matter of Time
Is time travel possible? Would the universe collapse if you met yourself in the past? Technically Speaking asks expert Nick Huggett these and other time and mind-bending questions about going back to the future.

January '13: Fly Me to the Moon
Technically Speaking blasts off with astronaut Mike Massimino to learn what walking in space really feels like and where to go to research your next script about the final frontier.

October '12: Inside Baseball
Former New York Yankee catcher and Senior Media Relations Director Rick Cerrone advises writers on how to knock it out of the park when crafting that next baseball script.

August '12: Dancing With the Truth
Technically Speaking gets a candid take on dance in cinema from noted dancer/author/historian Jennifer Homans, who argues that filmmakers embarking on a project about ballet might have a greater responsibility than they realize.

June '12: Aye Before E, Except After Sea
Technically Speaking asks one of the world’s foremost pirate experts tells what Hollywood gets right about scallywags like Blackbeard and Jack Sparrow. The answer? Almost nothing.

May '12: Man in Black, Blue or Gray
A former U.S. Secret Service agent tells Technically Speaking what it’s like to be a Man in Black and why, despite what movies would have you believe, they’re not really trained to jump in front a bullet.

March '12: From Here to Maternity
Pregnancy expert Ann Douglas tells Technically Speaking why, when it comes to portraying childbirth, Hollywood has a responsibility to dial down the drama and find the magic in the ordinary.

December '11: Ghostbuster!
Meet Christopher Chacon, “the world's top Anomalist and Paranormal Consultant.” Whether you’re a skeptic or believer, one thing’s certain – this real-life ghostbuster gives a fascinating interview.

October '11: The End of the World, Part Two
In our second end-of-the-world installment, Technically Speaking asks biblical scholar Conrad Ostwalt Jr. if he thinks the Apocalypse is nigh and what Hollywood’s fascination with the End of Days says about us.

August '11: The End of the World, Part One
Hollywood films and TV are rife with stories of post-apocalyptic doom, but what would it really take to survive a global meltdown? Technically Speaking goes off the grid to ask survivalist James Rawles.

May '11: Rome Reconsidered
The real ancient Rome was a time of blood, swagger and sadism, says historian Jonathan Stamp, but he tells Technically Speaking, when writing about the period, one shouldn’t view it through modern eyes.

April '11: One-on-One with the Hollywood Jock
Technically Speaking takes on Rob Ryder, former ESPN writer and tech advisor for the films Blue Chips and White Men Can’t Jump, and asks how writers can put a buzzer-beater thrill in their next hoops script.

February '11: The Devil’s in the Details
Author Matt Baglio, whose experiences following a modern exorcist in training inspired the current film The Rite, gives Technically Speaking a glimpse of what really happens when you shout at the devil.

November '10: We the Peoples
Hollywood has gotten pretty good at making Native Americans look accurate onscreen, but Stanford historian Richard White says it could still use a little help at portraying “Indian peoples” as actual human beings.

October '10: Making the World Go ‘Round
When it comes to writing about finance, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ David Molner advises Technically Speaking where and how to follow the money.

September '10: Money for Nothing
From W.C. Fields to The Sting to White Collar, Hollywood has long romanticized the art of the con. Technically Speaking speaks with con expert Todd Robbins who explains why these criminals are called “artists.”

August '10: Pen Pacific
For writers researching World War II, the volume of information on the subject can be daunting. Historian and The Pacific author Hugh Ambrose tells Technically Speaking where to find the resources to successfully accomplish your mission.

July '10: To Script a Thief
Are you plotting a heist film? Technically Speaking asks one of the world’s foremost stolen artifact recovery experts what a master thief needs to know about real-life art crime before pulling off that one last, big score.

June '10: Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby
Sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman talks candidly with Technically Speaking about the myths movies and TV perpetuate about sexuality and explains just what exactly is a “furry.”

May '10: Just Say Know
What message should Hollywood send when it comes to the portrayal of recreational drug use? Pharmacology expert Dr. Cynthia Kuhn tells Technically Speaking to keep it real.

April '10: Murder 101
Despite what movies and TV might have you believe, serial killers don’t play cat and mouse and aren’t particularly bright. Criminal profiler Pat Brown tells Technically Speaking what goes on in the mind of a real murderer.

March '10: What Happens in Vegas
Craps dealer-turned-tech advisor Robb Conner tells Technically Speaking what really goes on at casinos and why he thinks the Mob was better at running Sin City than the corporations.

February '10: Write Wing Politics
Political commentator and West Wing writer Patrick Caddell gives Technically Speaking an opinionated look at how presidential politics are portrayed in Hollywood..

December '09: The Truth About Santa Claus
The Man in the Big Red Suit takes time from his busy holiday schedule to speak with Technically Speaking and set the record straight..

November '09: Nurse Susie
Susie Schelling, a nursing consultant for ER, Nip/Tuck and Hawthorne dispels some medical misnomers including why doctors never yell, “Get me a (fill-in-the-blank), STAT!”.

October '09: Love at First Write
Are romantic comedies bad for your love life? Technically Speaking gets relationship advice from Dr. Wendy Walsh and asks the love guru where writers can find the next great rom-com..

September '09: These Are the Droids You’re Looking For
Do Androids Make Electric Movies? Technically Speaking asks Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Richard Volpe.

August '09: Mob Rules
Joaquin “Jack” Garcia, an FBI agent who spent years infiltrating the Gambino crime family, knowing his life depended on getting his facts right, gives up the goods on where to get the straight mob dope.

July '09: Writing on the Beat
LAPD veteran-turned-TV writer Randy Walker tells Technically Speaking what writers really need to know about life behind the badge.

June '09: A Few Compassionate Men
Sergeant Major James Dever USMC (Ret) on how screenwriters can keep their Marine Corps-themed scripts Semper Fi.

May '09: Occult Status
Hollywood’s go-to mystic consultant Mary Kara dispels some myths about the occult.

April '09: Writing Islam Right
Michael Wolfe, co-director of Muslims on Screen and Television, a free resource center for writers, tells Technically Speaking how Hollywood can portray Muslim characters more accurately.

March '09: Inside the Intel
Milton Bearden, a retired CIA officer and tech advisor on The Good Shepherd and Charlie Wilson’s War, cuts to the chase about spy genre myths.

February '09: Friday Night Writes
Just because you dominated your fantasy league doesn’t mean you know football well enough to write a script about it. Just ask Allan Graf.

January '09: Kung Fu Writing
Pat E. Johnson, a ninth degree black belt and stuntman/fight coordinator on films from Enter the Dragon to Karate Kid, focuses his chi on movie martial arts.

December '08: The Psychiatrist and the Screenplay
Sopranos consultant Dr. Glen Gabbard, analyzes Hollywood’s treatment of psychiatric disorders and recommends where to get (technical) advice.

November '08: Trial and Error
Need some expert counsel for the trial scene in your next script? Technically Speaking finds out where to go for legal advice.

August '08: The Doctor is In
Dr. D.P. Lyle, an author and consultant for House, CSI: Miami, and other shows lists some of the medical facts that writers always seem to get wrong - and right.