The Craft of Writing for Film and Television: 2011


  December 23:  Tailor Made
The British screenwriting couple of BRIDGET O’CONNOR & PETER STRAUGHAN distill John le Carré’s labyrinthine 450-page Cold War classic Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. 

  December 2:  All in the Family
SAM LEVINSON, son of moviemaking icon Barry Levinson, makes his writing-directing debut with the Waldo Salt Award-winning indie feature Another Happy Day, a darkly comic film about a family, just not his own. 

  November 18:  Paynefully Funny
Academy and two-time WGA Award-winner ALEXANDER PAYNE on his latest release, The Descendants, the origins of his comedic sensibilities, and what he sees as the key to writing a good adaptation. 

  November 11:  Left Behind
GLEN MAZZARA divulges how he and the writers of AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead moved on after showrunner Frank Darabont’s sudden and unexpected departure. 

  October 28:  Hunter and I
Withnail and I writer-director BRUCE ROBINSON channels a kindred spirit, the legendary Hunter S. Thompson, to script his rendition of the gonzo journalist’s first novel, The Rum Diary. 

  October 21:  The War at Home
ALEX GANSA & HOWARD GORDON move beyond 24’s Jack Bauer with their new Showtime hit Homeland, a psychological thriller that questions if, 10 years after 9/11, terrorism can still be viewed through a prism of good vs. evil. 

  October 14:  The Power of Stupidity
JONATHAN NOLAN talks about scripting the Dark Knight Rises, the challenge of leaping from features to showrunning CBS’ new crime drama Person of Interest, and why being stupid can be a superpower. 

  September 30:  Back From the Future
Yes, Terra Nova is a show filled with futuristic time portals, dystopian conspiracies and people-eating dinosaurs, but says executive producer BRANNON BRAGA, the toughest part of scripting Fox’s new sci-fi epic was nailing down the family drama at its center. 

  September 16:  Wrestling Peckinpah
Why would a former film critic remake a divisive classic like Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs? ROD LURIE explains why he took on the job of tackling “Bloody Sam.” 

  September 9:  The Fight Fan Cometh
GAVIN O’CONNOR and first-time scripter ANTHONY TAMBAKIS smuggle a heavyweight drama into a mixed martial arts cage in Warrior. 

  August 19:  A Day in the Life
British author DAVID NICHOLLS finds inspiration from Thomas Hardy to adapt his own novel One Day, the story of a star-crossed couple's 20-year relationship. 

  July 29:  Lucky in Love
Less than a month after DAN FOGELMAN sent Crazy, Stupid, Love to his agent, his spec was in production with an A-list cast. It sounds crazy, but don’t hate him because he’s lucky. 

  July 22:  Everybody’s All-American
CHRISTOPHER MARKUS & STEPHEN MCFEELY hone 70 years of comic book history to script Captain America: The First Avenger and dish on what Marvel told them about writing toward the upcoming Avengers movie. 

  July 15:  A Friend With Benefits
LISA KUDROW takes her online series Web Therapy to Showtime and explains why, when it comes to producing the show, it’s important to her to go Guild. 

  July 8:  After the Fall
Falling Skies’ MARK VERHEIDEN reflects on how TNT’s new Steven Spielberg-produced alien invasion drama takes on new dimensions in today’s troubled times. 

  June 24:  Motherless Children
After a 20-year journey, A Better Life, the father-son story of an immigrant gardener whose truck is stolen, finally makes it to the big screen with a screenplay by ERIC EASON, story by Roger L.Simon and a nod to Vittorio De Sica. 

  June 10:  The Big Not-So-Easy
Treme co-creator ERIC OVERMYER wades through a host of contradictory accounts and half-remembered facts to tell a complex story of life in post-Katrina New Orleans. 

  June 3:  What Happens While You’re Making Other Plans
SHAWN KU & MICHAEL ARMBRUSTER delve deep into a parent's worst nightmare and emerge with a story of hope in the heartbreaking, emotional drama Beautiful Boy. 

  May 20:  About Last Night
Writer and first-time director MASSY TADJEDIN chronicles the story of a married couple’s journey through temptation in her new indie drama Last Night. 

  May 6:  Softly, With Her Song
With her new hit AMC show The Killing, VEENA SUD takes her lifelong fascination with strong female characters in dark places to a new, long-form level. 

  April 22:  Hollywood For Sale
MORGAN SPURLOCK sells out – literally –to expose the shady, increasingly invasive world of product integration and its impact on writers in his new documentary POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. 

  April 8:  Practice Makes Perfect
Source Code’s BEN RIPLEY on how he went from unproduced assignment writer to Hollywood’s influential Black List and why he thinks specs should be an important part of any screenwriter’s arsenal. 

  April 1:  The (Other) End of Violence
Indie veteran JAMES GUNN takes a comedic look at the morality of comic book heroes in his new ultra-violent homage to Asian cinema Super. 

  March 25:  The Fighting Irish
JOHN GRAY draws on his Brooklyn Irish upbringing – and his own pocketbook – to tell the tale of two brothers torn between loyalty, rage and destiny in the blue-collar indie drama White Irish Drinkers. 

  March 18:  Winning
TOM MCCARTHY explains why he chose a high school wrestling mat as the setting for a morality play about why good men do bad things in Win Win. 

  March 11:  Hungry Like the Wolf
DAVID LESLIE JOHNSON digs into a fairy tale’s dark, ancient past to script the new Gothic fantasy thriller Red Riding Hood. 

  March 4:  Destiny’s Child
Screenwriter, scholar and first-time director GEORGE NOLFI ponders whether our lives are determined by fate or free will in the romantic thriller The Adjustment Bureau. 

  February 18:  Making Murder Fun Again
ANDREW W. MARLOWE on how TV’s glut of grim procedurals inspired him to create Castle, ABC’s hit series about a crime-solving novelist. 

  February 4:  Blood, Starz, Sex and CGI Magic
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena’s STEVEN DEKNIGHT faces the challenge of losing his lead actor and takes on critics of the show’s hyper-violent, highly sexual content. 

  January 27:  Good Cop, Good Cop
SHAWN RYAN moves on from Terriers and The Shield to create The Chicago Code, a cop drama where the lead characters are actually the good guys. 

  January 7:  Falling Into Darkness
True Grit’s JOEL and ETHAN COEN open up about their “mushy” writing process, why they chose to remain faithful to Charles Portis’ classic novel, and what they do when they get lost in the narrative woods. 

The Craft: 2010 Archives