The Craft of Writing for Film and Television: 2009

December 18: An American Accent
Brothers’ DAVID BENIOFF re-imagines the Danish film Brodre about a tragic love triangle of Shakespearean proportions.

December 11: His Story
South African-born writer ANTHONY PECKHAM tackles history with his adaptation of Invictus, the story of Nelson Mandela’s attempt to unify South Africa by winning the Rugby World Cup.

November 20: Taking on Tonight
MIKE SWEENEY switches coasts while staying above the late night fray as head writer of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.

November 13: Precious Salvation
GEOFFREY FLETCHER makes use of his own experience as a struggling writer to adapt the heartrending indie drama Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.

November 2: Broncos, Hipsters and Latter Day Saints
Gentlemen Broncos’ JARED and JERUSHA HESS describe life as a married writing couple and how their Mormon faith affects their work as every hipster’s favorite comedy writers.

October 16: Lost and Found
DAVID S. GOYER and MARC GUGGENHEIM take on the challenge of filling the shoes of Lost by building their own unique mystery in the new ABC thriller FlashForward.

October 9: On a Roll
SHAUNA CROSS skates to success by writing about her experience as “Maggie Mayhem” of the L.A. Derby Dolls” in Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut Whip It.

October 2: The Prettiest Lie
MATTHEW ROBINSON teams up with his comedic hero Ricky Gervais to script The Invention of Lying and explains why a world without lies is not a good place to be.

September 25: A Kinder, Gentler Family Guy
The Cleveland Show’s MIKE HENRY opens up about why his new animated spin-off is a less angry version of Family Guy and how the politics of race affects the show’s comedy.

September 18: Insider Joking
Screenwriter SCOTT Z. BURNS finds the humor behind one of history’s most famous corporate mole cases in The Informant!

September 11: The Long and Winding Road
CHARLIE PETERS recounts how a night of drinks with George Hamilton and 10 years of hard work brought the Renée Zellweger road picture My One and Only to the big screen.

August 28: The Cost of Freedom
Screenwriter-producer-film historian JAMES SCHAMUS expounds on Taking Woodstock, his latest film about the man that made music’s most famous festival happen, and why the term “independent film” is a misnomer.

August 21: How to Make a Paper Heart
Paper Heart’s NICK JASENOVEC follows writing partner Charlyne Yi on her quest to understand the meaning of love and co-scripts an affair to remember.

August 14: The Transcendental Highway
The Time Traveler’s Wife screenwriter BRUCE JOEL RUBIN meditates on the nature of love, life and death and reveals his ultimate tool for writer’s block.

August 7: A Sober Savior
Co-creator JONATHAN PRINCE tranforms the real-life story of a junkie-turned-addict interventionist into the gritty, morally ambiguous A&E series The Cleaner.

July 27: Two Cute
MARIANNE and CORMAC WIBBERLEY, the married writing team behind the guinea pig summer pic G-Force, get their cute and kick-ass on.

July 17: Jackie, Blue
Nurse Jackie co-creator LIZ BRIXIUS re-imagines the TV hospital genre and opines on how addiction can be a part of writing.

July 14: Black Hats, White Collars
JOHN ROGERS and CHRIS DOWNEY’s TNT show Leverage gets back at capitalism’s real crooks.

July 2: Bombs Under Baghdad
Navigating the emotional minefield of an Army bomb disposal unit in Iraq, The Hurt Locker’s MARK BOAL creates one of the year’s most memorable characters.

June 26: It’s Hard to Write Goode
King of the Hill vets JOHN ALTSCHULER & DAVE KRINSKY team with Mike Judge to poke fun at the obsessively PC left on the new animated series The Goode Family.

June 19: The Genesis of Comedy
Year One’s HAROLD RAMIS takes a historical look at the changing face of comedy and gives a status update on Ghostbusters III.

June 11: King Lear
His Royal TV Highness NORMAN LEAR delivers his state of the modern sitcom address and ruminates on his lasting legacy.

May 21: Reprise of the Machines
JOHN D. BRANCATO and MICHAEL FERRIS reboot Skynet to launch a new franchise trilogy with Terminator Salvation.

May 13:  The Function of Dysfunction
STEPHEN BELBER goes beyond dysfunction to create dimensional characters in his off-kilter comedy Management.

April 24:  Biderman’s Beat
Southland's ANN BIDERMAN steps into void left by the departure of NBC’s ER by telling the messy, heartbreaking truth about crime.

April 10:  Scripts like Sugar
ANNA BODEN & RYAN FLECK explain why, after their success on Half Nelson, their new baseball follow-up Sugar doesn’t come from out of left field.

April 2:  Mr. Mottola’s Wild Ride
GREG MOTTOLA recounts one misspent ‘80s-era summer in the coming-of-age comedy Adventureland.

March 20:  The Mentalist
SEAN MCGINLY transforms his real-life experience with The Amazing Kreskin into the personal, poignant comedy The Great Buck Howard.

March 6:  Pitch Men
HUNT BALDWIN and JOHN COVENY, two former Chicago ad men, bring their pitching expertise to the new TNT drama Trust Me.

February 27:  That ‘70s Show
ANDRÉ NEMEC chases great stories while navigating tricky present-day perils in ABC’s acclaimed retro-cop show Life on Mars.

February 20:  Cody in Chaos
DIABLO CODY freestyles about everything from “snarkage” to her new Showtime series, United States of Tara.

February 13:  Killer Friday
DAMIAN SHANNON & MARK SWIFT flashback to the ‘80s with the franchise reboot of Friday the 13th.

February 9:  Moving Between Worlds
HENRY SELICK, the director/visual artist behind films like Nightmare Before Christmas, shifts to screenwriting with the 3-D animated fantasy Coraline.

January 30:  The Script Assassin
How Taken’s ROBERT MARK KAMEN went from writing films like The Karate Kid to working with Luc Besson and living happily outside the Hollywood system.

January 23:  Liar, Liar
Playwright-turned-showrunner SAMUEL BAUM explores the science of fabrication on the new Fox series Lie to Me.

The Craft: 2008 Archives