BPS 076: Screenwriting a Multi-Million Dollar Movie Franchise with Aaron Mendelsohn

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Screenwriting a Multi-Million Dollar Movie Franchise with Aaron Mendelsohn

Today’s guest is a screenwriter, director, professor, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Writers Guild of America West Aaron Mendelsohn.  He is best known for co-creating and co-writing the successful AIR BUD family film franchise, which sired eleven sequels and generated millions of dollars over the years. If you have kids then you probably already have seen an Air Bud spin-off film.

Aaron has a number of projects in development including the drama pilot BAD MEDICINE with ITV America and the action-comedy ARMOR HERO with Alpha Pictures.  His romantic comedy LIKE CATS & DOGS aired recently on the Hallmark Channel.  He recently wrote the animated feature PRINCES for Warner Bros, the drama pilot THE ASSOCIATE for Sony, and the animated pilot HOODS for Cartoon Network.

Other produced projects include the perennial ABC Family holiday movie THE 12 DATES OF CHRISTMAS, the Lifetime TV movie CHANGE OF HEART, the Fox TV series KINDRED: THE EMBRACED, the kid’s TV pilot THE ADVENTURES OF TAXI DOG, the family feature THE THREE INVESTIGATORS: THE SECRET OF TERROR CASTLE, and the independent feature CHAPTER ZERO, which he also directed.  Aaron has also written film and TV projects for Fox, New Line, Showtime, Paramount, the Spike Network, New Regency, Hasbro Studios, Bob Yari, Lightstorm, and Arnold Kopelson.

Twenty years into a successful screenwriting career and he still loses his way in the thickets of story-breaking and script-writing. Aaron assembled The 11 Fundamental Questions: A Guide to a Better Screenplay to help guide his path, and they’ve been his road map ever since.

“This is a VERY smart way to deconstruct and demystify the job of screenwriting.”
– Billy Ray, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of “Captain Phillips”

Starting out as a personal story-breaking method and evolving into a masterclass that Aaron has taught around the world, THE 11 FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS is now an ebook (newly revised and expanded for Amazon/Kindle) that shares the secrets of his successful technique. Simple and intuitive, each question in the book is strategically designed to elicit key story points, challenge lazy writing, and stimulate ideas.

Wherever you are in the writing process, and whether you’re writing for film, television, new media, or books, asking yourself the 11 FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS is a great way to enhance your creative process and sell more projects.

This is a fun episode. Get ready to take some notes. Enjoy my conversation with Aaron Mendelsohn.

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