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Screenplays: FREE Download 2022-2023 Oscar Contenders UPDATED + Over 750 More Film Scripts

UPDATED Oct 2022: If you want to be a screenwriter you need to read a lot of screenplays. And if you are going to read film scripts might as well read some of this year’s best. Below is an active running list of 2022-2023 Oscar Contending Screenplays. I’ll be adding new screenplays as they become available so check back often.

PLEASE NOTE: These screenplays are FREE and LEGAL to download for educational purposes. The studios will only keep them online throughout the awards season so the clock is ticking. Enjoy. 

When you are done reading take a listen to Apple’s #1 Screenwriting Podcast The Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast, with guests like Oscar Winner Eric Roth, James V. HartDavid ChaseJohn AugustOliver Stone and more.


2022-2023 Oscar Contending Screenplays

2021-2022 Oscar Contending Screenplays


2021 Oscar-Winning Screenplays

The Father – (Sony Classics) – OSCAR WINNER (Best Original Screenplay)
Promising Young Woman – (Focus Features) – OSCAR WINNER (Best Adapted Screenplay)

2020-2021 Oscar Contending Screenplays


2019 Oscar Winning Screenplays

Parasite – (NEON) – OSCAR WINNER (Best Original Screenplay)
Jo Jo Rabbit – (Fox Searchlight) – OSCAR WINNER (Best Adapted Screenplay)

2019 Oscar Contending Screenplays


2018 Oscar Contending Screenplays


2017 Oscar Contending Screenplays


2016 Oscar Contending Screenplays


Best of 2015 Screenplays


Best of 2014 Screenplays


Online Screenwriting Courses:


Best of 2013 Screenplays


Best of 2012 Screenplays


BONUS: Oscar Nominated and Winning Screenplays

Bruce Joel Rubin Scripts Collection: Screenplays Download

Bruce Joel Rubin was born on March 10, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Ghost (1990), Deep Impact (1998) and Jacob’s Ladder (1990). He has been married to Blanche Rubin since January 29, 1970. They have two children.

At the age of five, Bruce Rubin had a spiritual experience playing in a sandbox in the middle of the afternoon. The sun disappeared and a dense night sky appeared in its place. Infinite galaxies were swirling in the vastness of his own head and he sensed the entire universe was contained within him. He knew instantly he was one with all there was. In the years that followed, Bruce became an Oscar-winning screenwriter, a spiritual teacher and most recently, a photographer. Each aspect of his life has been a conscious effort to explore and reveal what he learned in that sandbox.
Bruce was born in the middle of WWII and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Sondra and Jimmy Rubin. He has a younger brother and sister, Gary and Marci. There was very little remarkable about him. He wanted to be an actor, writer, director but had no talent to speak of. In 1965 he took a massive (and accidental) overdose of LSD and began a journey which lasted between 3 and 4 billion years. When he returned he knew he would have stories to tell. He also knew he needed to find a teacher, so he hitchhiked around the world for nearly two years in search of one.
After living in ashrams in India and in a Tibetan monastery in Kathmandu, he met his teacher Rudi in New York City just blocks from where he had begun his journey. Rudi taught a meditation practice that became the foundation for Bruce’s spiritual life. He has meditated every day since. 
Bruce’s screenwriting career began late in his life. Earlier he had been an assistant film editor for the NBC Nightly News, and Curator and Head of the Film Department at the Whitney Museum in New York. When Rudi died, Bruce gave up his museum career to continue his spiritual practice with a disciple of Rudi’s in Bloomington, Indiana. While there he was also writing movies, twice locking himself in a hotel room and refusing to emerge without a finished script. He also began teaching meditation to an expanding community of fellow seekers and continues holding classes to this day.
In 1984 Bruce’s first film, Brainstorm, opened and his friend Brian De Palma told him he would never have a film career if he stayed in the Midwest. Blanche got the message, quit her job, put their house up for sale, and said we’re moving to Hollywood. In the next 25 years Bruce wrote eleven movies and directed one of them. During that time, he continued teaching and practicing meditation.
After 44 years of daily meditation, Bruce experienced what is referred to as a spiritual awakening. For him it was a revelation that there was no one to awaken. The illusion of a separate ego dissolved and left him in a state of extraordinary emptiness and inexplicable expansion. It was a profound step in a journey that began in a sandbox and continues to this moment.
Bruce continues to share his evolving experience with his students. His talks can be found on YouTube and on this site. Recently, he also discovered photography as an unexpected opportunity for communicating his spiritual vision. The result of always having an iPhone in his pocket, he describes this new phase in his creative life as the discovery of seeing. As Bruce explains, “The mystery and magic of the world is not hidden. It is under our feet, on old walls, in rusting garbage cans. The beauty, the wonder, never ends.”

Below are all the screenplays available online. If you find any of his missing screenplays please leave the link in the comment section.

When you are done reading take a listen to Apple and Spotify’s #1 Screenwriting Podcast The Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcastwith guest like Oscar® Winner Eric Roth, James V. HartDavid ChaseJohn AugustOliver Stone and more.


(NOTE: For educational and research purposes only).

DEADLY FRIEND (1986)

Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin – Buy the screenplay!

GHOST (1990)

Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin – Read the screenplay!

JACOB’S LADDER (1990)

Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin – Read the screenplay!

DEEP IMPACT (1998)

Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin – Read the screenplay!

STUART LITTLE 2 (2002)

Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin – Read the screenplay!

THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE (2009)

Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin – Read the screenplay!

 

BPS 237: Exploring the Actor’s Process – Inside His Greatest Roles with Edward James Olmos

Our guest today is 80s star, multiple-awards film, and theater actor, and activist, Edward James Olmos.

Olmos’s roles in films or TV shows like Stand and DeliverBattlestar Galactica, broadway musical and film Zoot SuitBlade Runner as detective Gaff, and many others are some of the most memorable of all time and he’s still dominating our screens.

While I could not resist talking about his iconic roles over several decades, we mainly discussed Olmos’ new must-see film, Chasing Wonders.

The picturesque Australian/British drama was the official selection at the Adelaide film festival in 2020. The beautiful cinematography of the film was shot over a five years period to authentically capture the coming of age story by screenwriter, Judy MorrisChasing Wonders is a story of hope, possibility adventure, and overcoming your past – a heart-warming story of a young boy, who, encouraged by his grandfather (Olmos) to live a life of hope and possibility, takes off on the adventure of a lifetime to find the magical Emu Plains. His journey through the lush landscapes of Australia and Spain leads him to the heart of the human condition – learning to acknowledge the complexity of what comes before us but struggling not to be defined by the past.

The Hollywood Walk of Famer earned an Academy nomination for Best Actor in the 1988 drama, Stand and Deliver. He gave a stellar lead performance as Bolivian- American educator Jaime Alfonso Escalante Gutiérrez.

Olmos filmography is quite extensive. Literally, the man has stayed booked and busy since 1974. He’s appeared in over 130 films, TV shows, and plays.

One of his outstanding roles is perhaps,  Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the Miami Vice (1984) as a series regular. A fan-favorite for sure.

But if we do talk about Lieutenant Castillo we must mention Olmos’ role as Detective Gaff in Blade Runner (1982) and a brief reprise in the sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017). Gaff is the Los Angeles police officer who detains and escorts Deckard (Harrison Ford) throughout his mission as a ‘Blade Runner’ to track down bioengineered humanoids known as replicants and terminally “retire” them.

Olmos showed the world his versatility in both the Broadway play and film adaptation of the musical comedy, Zoot Suit. The story weaves the real-life events of the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial – resulting in the racially fueled Zoot Suit Riots throughout Los Angeles. Olmos portrays El Pachuco, an idealized Zoot Suiter, who functions as narrator throughout the story and serves as Henry’s conscience in both adaptations.

Honestly, I could go on and on down Olmos’ filmography, but we can’t spotlight all of his other spectacular films right now. So, let’s get into this interview, shall we?

Don’t forget to click the links in the show notes to watch Chasing Wonders.

Enjoy my epic conversation with Edward James Olmos.

Right-click here to download the MP3

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Alex Ferrari 0:51
I'd like to welcome the show Edward James Olmos. How you doing, Eddie?

Edward James Olmos 3:06
Very, very good man just sitting here. Thankfully, we get to do this together. Yeah, know long term coming.

Alex Ferrari 3:23
Yes, my friend. I appreciate you being on the show. You know, I, we've our paths have crossed many times, especially over at the leaf. I have had a few films play there. And we have a few mutual friends. And it's just been a you know, I've just been a fan of yours, man since since back in the day when I was coming up. But we'll get into all of that. But first, how did you get into the business? How did you get into this crazy business?

Edward James Olmos 3:49
This one was a process that started when I was a little kid. Being I was born and raised in East LA. And I started to learn about discipline, and determination, perseverance and patience. And I started learning that those those values while playing the game of baseball, as a little kid, and I learned how to do something that I love to do. And I learn how to do it every day, seven days a week. And so by from five to about 14 I played ball every day, seven days a week I would either you know read about it, catch, play, catch it, play do it, or I would watch other people do it and talk about it. But I was always inside of the craft sport. And so when I was about 14, I switched. I had started to listen to rock and roll music by 1955 56 when it's hard to hit on the radio You. And it was really amazing that from the stuff that I was listening to, started to influence me, and I got into dancing, and movement. And because it was a rock and roll period, and everybody's dancing, I'm crazy. And so, in 1960, I quit playing baseball on really good people time, while they were grooming me to play professional ball. But I got into a rock and roll man. And they started singing rock and roll. And I started singing rock and roll, like, I played baseball, you know, seven days a week. And, you know, people say, Well, you know, what do you mean seven days like it? Yeah, I would judge the craft every single day in some form. And always, on my mind, always doing it, always exploring. And what I learned was that the 10,000 hour concept, you do something for 10,000 hours, and pretty soon you become as good as you're gonna, you could be after doing it for 10,000 doesn't mean you're better than anybody else. It just means that you're able to, to be the best that you can be inside of that. Craft anything that you didn't think you'd spend time doing that long, that much and consistently, you know, so, in when I got into music, I was 14 by Tim, I graduated from high school at 17. I went to selling Community College, and I took an acting class. And so the acting started would help me out of performance on the stage, as I was singing, and I learned to to encompass both theatre and music and movement, and do 17 All the way up to 31. That was all combined. And then I hit with doing theater. I did Zoot Suit. Yeah, that was a very amazing experience in theater, as well as in film. And that really was the launching pad. Before that I had done I had gotten I got into acting. When I was in 1972, by way of a friend of mine told me that they were looking for some extras, and I went in for a job as an extra. And I got into the job. And then that job, the guy, the director needed some someone to do a certain something for him in front of camera, and he chose me. And it was hundreds of guys there and he chose me. And so I got up and I did it with him and more before and and get that got me my sag card, got Taft Hartley and inside got into it in from there 72 All the way to 78 I was still doing theater and playing rock music. So I was performing all the time every day I was performing on stage or sometimes both both same time. And that's what happened when I sued sued. I didn't at all I sang I dance. I do comedy I did drama. You know, I was it was a live performance. And it was quite an experience. So you asked me how did I get into it? It was a process. That process took me from a five year old of learning that I could discipline myself to do the things I love to do when I didn't feel like doing it into music, into theater, and finally into to film and television and work in front of camera.

Alex Ferrari 8:45
And what I love about your story that the story you just told is that so many people coming up so many young filmmakers, young screenwriters, young actors, all think it's gonna happen for them overnight. And it's like, oh, any any moment, any moment someone's gonna discover my genius. And give me the opportunities that I obviously rightfully deserve and what use and like you were literally doing six years, seven years preparing for Zoot Suit, even though you didn't know that you were preparing for Zoot Suit, but all those skills, all those skills, were there waiting for you.

Edward James Olmos 9:18
Luck comes into play. Okay, and luck. It means the different definition of luck for me, and for a lot of people is when preparedness meets opportunity. That's luck. And you have to have luck. You have to have luck. You cannot make it in anything. You cannot really move into an understanding of yourself without luck, meaning that you have to be prepared for the opportunity when the opportunity arises. I was prepared to do that, but I was prepared to do that role like it gave me something that I did I'm so grateful. It took me so long because there was a lot of my friends who were you know, they were working at age, 1920 years old, 21 years old, still working film, television, and theater and doing everything. And I was working, and I was very happy to be performing live as a singer. And in a rock and roll band, I worked in the Czar's from 1964 through 1968, seven days a week. And I'll go to college, you know,

Alex Ferrari 10:37
And it's and I didn't know that you sang, and you were you are in the Rock and Roll scene, because now that makes your performance and Selena so much more riveting, because you actually, I mean, there was something inside of you were just walking into a character you you might have might as well have been that character in many ways. That experience.

Edward James Olmos 10:55
Yeah, it was a good experience. That was a hard film. I will tell you that. That was the hardest film.

Alex Ferrari 11:02
Why it made any specific reason?

Edward James Olmos 11:05
But yeah, yeah, the the timing, timing of that film was really, really difficult because she had been killed about 13 months before we started filming. Right? Yeah, that's that wasn't enough time. We didn't want to film that the father didn't want to film the family didn't want to make the film right away. They wanted time to pass. But the world wanted to jump. They jumped on, she really, you know, she was anybody can make a movie on her. You know, they didn't need to, you know, all they had to do just get an article, they could do the film on the article. So it was really so they were they were working on five documentaries, like around six or seven books on her life, and they were making the people were starting ready to gear up to make a movie about them. And this was only 7 12 months afterwards. You know,

Alex Ferrari 12:00
I remember. Yeah.

Edward James Olmos 12:04
So, you know, Abraham, your father, got in touch with myself. You got in touch with Gregory Nava. And with Moctezuma Esparza, and we the two, all of us got together, we helped produce it. You know, Greg directed and wrote it, with Barbara Martinez, and they did a wonderful job. That was wonderful. But it was so hard, man. Because every time we do a suit, every government inducing get a look. Every time we did see, the only person who came to watch every single scene that was shot, every single moment of film was the Father. And the kids, none of the brothers sisters, Chris, none of the band, nobody got involved unless they were in the movie. They were in the band and played with us in the movie. And but every time we do a scene, like anyone pick any scene, you remember, and imagine when they holler cut, whether it be you know, playing drums and falling over or driving the bus or boost the caca or all great scenes that we're doing on their life, the humor, the fun after when they were Howard cut. I turned in, I'd see father Abraham, about 1015 20 feet away with his back towards us in heaving sobs. TV, Amy's just destroyed as he's watching the life story of his his daughter, who had just been killed. And it was really very, very ugly. Difficult to make this film. And it was the hardest film I've ever made. Because of emotional being and because you'd be happy. You'd be like having a good time doing all the stuff in the 60s when they will Yeah, teaching them played bass. I don't want to play bass. I know you don't play bass, or you're a drummer, you'll play drums, you play drum, drums, girls don't bleed, you know, all that stuff, you know, and all this stuff about you know, it's tough to be a Mexican American you got to be more Mexican or Mexican or American or American. You got to be able to, you know, all that stuff, all those scenes after scenes of wonderful moments and the one scene that we were able to do that. I mean, the only thing that really just like he only allowed us to shoot at one time was the the scene in the hospital. He didn't want it. He didn't want it in the movie. And Greg said you got we got to put it in. I mean, that paint that paint has to be understood. Two ways around it. I'm sorry. But you know, this movie is about that. That's what this movie is about. It's about you and your family and everything you guys had to go through, and felt at that moment in time along with the rest of the world. That movie holds up pretty well. And I think it's formance Jennifer Lopez,

Alex Ferrari 15:15
And I remember seeing you I remember you on some interview saying, when I saw her get up on stage, I said, Oh, she's got it. Oh, she she, she just got a taste of it. Watch out. She's going to explode or something along those lines. You said, and you were not wrong. She's done. JLo has been quite good. First off. She's, she's done. All right. She's done. All right. Yeah. Very. Now, have you noticed? No, she's, she's, she's, she's wonderful. She's absolutely wonderful. Now, one of my favorite performances of yours is one of your earlier ones, which is in that wonderful sci fi film Blade Runner.

Mike Debbie 15:54
Oh, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 15:55
How I mean, they're, you can't I can't even think of anybody else playing that part. Just like you were built for that part. How did you get involved with that? And what was that experience like on that set? Because I mean, from what I've seen, I mean, I've seen every documentary on that film ever made. So I saw the craziness of like they took over Warren was Warner Brothers right, Warner Brothers backlot and built that entire thing. Like, what was that like? And how did you get involved with with that project?

Edward James Olmos 16:22
Came to me, they asked me to meet with Ridley Scott. And they told me a little bit about the character. And that went in I met him. Remember, I had just finished doing a work been working on Broadway had been doing as it sue for few years, maybe three or four years, and had been had worked on on Wolfen with that.

Alex Ferrari 16:50
Oh, god. What? Not walking? No, um, I just had I just had the ride around the show. Yes, yes. overfitting. I just had the writer on the show. Yes.

Edward James Olmos 17:02
Albert, myself and Gregory Hines. Yes. Rachel are a beautiful, beautiful experience that movie, very dense, very, very advanced. And so when they asked me to go meet with Ridley, I understood the theme and understood the situation. Yeah, it was a very minor role.

Alex Ferrari 17:31
But, but it has an impact. But it has an impact that role.

Edward James Olmos 17:36
It has an impact. But what the one of the great things about working with people who are secure, people who are secure, allow growth around them. And that's really the I've been very fortunate to be working, I've worked with people who are very secure. They allow the expression, they allow ideas, and I had I had, by 1978, when I did due to I gained artistic control and my characters. And that was one of the things that I asked for whatever I worked, I don't mind. You know, collaborating, communicating, collaborating, but let me develop the character. You know, and hopefully, it's what you had in mind. And most of the time, and I'd say about 98 to 99% of time, they had none of this in mind. They just ended up overwhelmed by what they were experiencing at the same time that they were filming, because they didn't know what I was going to do. You know, I'll never forget, I walked in to really the very first time and I said, I love to work with you on this very important piece of work. And I said, this is the future, you're talking about 2019 We were speaking together in 98. And I said, this can be 2019 40 years from today. It's going to be a little different. It's going to be you know, diversity, character, culture will be beaming California and Los Angeles. And, you know, of course, the environment one gotten to a point of it being difficult and everything came true. Everything through the all the cultural dynamics of the city, the the, you know, whether environmental change in warming is happening as everything's changed, and we knew it then TV, oh, discussing the film. And so I asked him if I can speak languages. That said, I'd like to speak languages that good. And he said, What do you mean? I said, well point get home If that was that, I said, I don't know, just tone doesn't just don't but, but you know, just different. It could be anything could be Hungarian with French, and you know, whatever. But that's what it would sound like. And he said, Oh, interesting. And so I gave him a character breakdown off the top of my head and improvised breakdown, a war, my great, great great grandfather came. And while my great great great grandmother came from when they got together, and how they got together and respects and then they had children, those children were born here and Aaron, and they got married here and here. And by the time they got to me, there were 10 different cultural dynamics toward directed different cultures. And so he thought it was because I like it. So he let me go. But then I took off with the script, they had written and I went to Berlitz. And I started to get the different languages that I would use inside of the piece. And, and I was seeing the words that they had written. But I was seeing him in different languages. And so when I got to work, nobody knew what I was saying.

Of course, it was city speak, I had invented city speech. That's amazing. And then with the advent of it being Asian influenced, strong Asian influence. I started doing I remember sitting in the scene, and and I did my first little origami, which was chicken. And I made a very bad chicken, and put it down and then squabbled like a chicken when it was put down, and I was in the scene, but I was waiting the back. And so he was curious to what I was doing back there. And that's what it was all about. It was about being in the scene without being in the scene. And making sure that the realities that I was doing were realities that that had something to do with what we were doing there. And it wasn't just me sitting there wasting my time, or just drawing attention by the fact that I'm sitting there like a tree, just not moving on. If I started to move, I would draw attention myself, which is even worse. So I had to be doing something. And so what I was doing was I found this little piece of paper, it was pyramid, the spearmint gum wrapping and it's white on one side and aluminum on the other side. It was the rapper was inside of a ashtray standing right to my left me as I looked down, because I didn't know what I was going to do. So I looked down, I picked it up. So while the scenes happening, I'm working on a piece of paper. And this little piece of paper ended up being looking like a chicken. And I kept on the whole time the scene was going on with between Decker and the captain in the police station, when they do that thing, that thing there. So I flew in, I finished a course on the scene finished I put the thing down because he didn't want to go do that. He didn't want to because he was retired when he came in I was you're dead. And now I'm still retired. So he was like a chicken, you know, and so and so I put I put the thing down and I and that's good squawk at the end when he said cut. I put it down but and he came over and he looked at what I was doing and he looked at me and he said bring a camera and they got a guy to to make the chicken. So many made the real origami chicken, my chicken one was good. But it wasn't as good as the one that this guy me. And that one a prop guys. And so he made the birthday there and I put it down and that was it. Then we went to another scene where we went to Leon's apartment, and then Leon's apartment. He's walking around do stuff now I had nothing to do while he was doing out exploring, and you know, looking for things and, and what you know, who was he was looking for the replicants and you know, you know, so he's doing all of his research. And it's all about him. So I was back to but I again, I didn't want to cause any, you know what, I wasn't looking for applicants. Okay, I was there to dry. I was like a driver for him. Okay. All right, same time. You find out this happened. As the story evolved, my character then grew with with a certain kind of dynamic to the story. And so I while I was there waiting for him to do his thing. I still Over inside, and I found a match stick. And so I worked on the match stick. And then I gave him a little hard on the little matchstick I put so you could stand up a little guy with a heart on so that was out doing him doing deca, you know, coming to see Leah. So I put it down and of course they filmed it. They filmed it. So now I had to have them on to origami pieces and script. Little did I know until later on when I went to see the the rough cut screening of it. That the last origami was the unicorn. I didn't make the unicorn, I didn't think about it. Okay, I had nothing to do with that unicorn, but really had taken that whole understanding of my character, what I was doing there and how he worked it through and how it worked out what I was doing, that he ended up making it so that the unicorn was found in the elevator right before he went steps in the elevator on the ground. He looks at it and this is past. It's his a dream, a reoccurring dream that he saw at that moment in time. And I thought it was genius man really sparked he made Deckard a replicant. But he didn't know it, but he did not. So isn't it? That's amazing. That was amazing. And so as he did, it was such purity of of understanding how, and that's what I mean, he never confirmed, you know, for years for years. Never confirmed. Good till finally, I guess around maybe 10 years ago, maybe 3030. About 30 years after he finally did confirm it. Yeah. And yeah, Decker was a replicant.

Alex Ferrari 26:59
And the thing that's brilliant about that story is, and you said something, so, so important for young filmmakers to hear is when you work with someone who's confident, who's comfortable, secure, thank you secure in their own skin, as a director, you allow the other artists that you're working with, to bring you all this wonderful stuff that you can do. Because if you try to control it, that's insecurity, when you have someone who's so insecure that they have to control everything, nobody can work properly, and not an artistic standpoint, at least

Edward James Olmos 27:30
No no, it's a community communicated art form in which everybody's touching is artistically involved. You know, everyone, I don't care if you're, you know, makeup by you know, it can be property can be location, you can be, you know, anything wardrobe, all of those divisions, and, you know, they all have an artistic impact on and of course, the director can, you know, sit there and pick every single piece of materials put on on the cloud as you can, every single, artistic, you know, production value could be all his and camera courses, all his and, and he can be working with the best camera people in the world. But he feels that he's, you know, he knows his vision. So we'll put the camera here and won't be open to the suggestion. You know, that because, you know, really, he's really good.

Alex Ferrari 28:32
He's, again, he's done okay, for himself. He's done. Okay, from some

Edward James Olmos 28:36
Really brilliant, brilliant filmmaker, and the gifts that I've been people I've been able to work with through the years. Yeah, extremely good. And so I've been very fortunate that they have all been secure enough to work with me, to allow me to create. And so I've created you know, nobody wrote Lieutenant Casteel Miami Vice, nobody wrote gas. Nobody wrote ELPA Chico they wrote in vector the words that come out of my mouth. And but as far as the physical and the dimension of the psychological and the emotional, and you know, everything, especially the physical. Those are creations by the artists, the actor, unless you are working with someone like Alfred Hitchcock to take 10 steps, turn around, say the line. Okay, 12456789 10 Hi. Hey, that's it. And that until there's very little, you can still use the hi UoK you know, and hi. Hi, how you scratch your face or whether you have your hands in pockets, don't have pockets did the choices that the actor makes to create a reality for the moment but I mean, I will say that you're right security secure working with secure people. It's a really wonderful virtue.

Alex Ferrari 30:13
Now, when you were working on Miami Vice, I mean, I grew up with Miami Vice. And when you showed up, you brought such a authority. And I think it I think it's fair to say that many of your characters, you as a general human being, just there's an authority to you automatically for whatever. And there's people like that they just walk in the room that like, there's respect there. You don't have to say a word. And I think with Castillo, he was one of those characters that you just looked at you at that time in your life, and you're like, do not want to mess with this guy. I remember there was an I still as a kid. I wasn't. I don't want to tell you all that was but I remember watching there was like a, like a character arc for you where you went off like, because you were always the quiet sikita You were the rock. You were the one that was silent, said very few words and just everyone just respected you. I remember there was a character arc in Miami Vice where you were on a revenge kick. Or there was something that you were doing you were off character and you were like, oh my god, Castillo's lost his mind. Oh my god. And that's what was the most fun when the quiet character who's super powerful is like, oh, no, we're gonna see what he's really about now. And you went off for like, I think an episode or two I remember I was just so enthralled is still affected me to this day. I remember that. I'm like, Oh my god. Castillo's losing his mind. This is gonna be amazing. Let's watch this. And but how did you I mean, I know there was another actor. And you and I spoke about this a little bit when we, when we when we spoke earlier, years ago, but there was another actor and then you were you came in to play this part. And then you kind of just went on that? Because you weren't there originally? No, no. Gregory Sierra, at RISD. Fantastic, fantastic actor.

Edward James Olmos 31:58
He passed away just recently, well, this last year. But when when Michael Mann asked me to, to join up with them, he called me on a Wednesday and the film started, we, I needed to be there by Thursday morning, at seven o'clock, to be in character and jump in and start playing this character. And I said that, you know, when he called me the first time, I said, I can't do that. I wish I could, but I can't. And he was very disappointed. And he had offered me a really, more money than my father had made in his entire lifetime, was the first offer. So they knew he knew what he was doing. And he knew that what he wanted. And he came straight to me as a one on one call telephone calls just between me and him. And I said, I wish I could, and, you know, tell him, I said, this couple of things. Why can't I would love, let me tell you something, I would love nothing more than to be on the show. Okay. But I can't sign an exclusive contract with NBC. I can't I wish I could, but I really can't. And, you know, it was pretty young, about 37 36 37 and 1984. And, and I said, you know, I can't I can't send an exclusive contract, and I have creative control on my character. You know, and, you know, by this time I had since 78, again, that, that understanding in that light, I didn't want to work on pieces of that creative control that stopped me from being able to do the work, because people found that there's, you know, he wants creative controls, that wouldn't even call me. So I lost so I'm sure I lost a lot of work, but the people who did call me and allow me to work with them, you know, Selena, me for me, American, and Stan and deliver that device. And the list goes on. They did get something for giving me that opportunity. And so Michael said, you didn't say anything I said, that's the reason I can't thank you very much for calling on the phone. 10 minutes later call back and double the money. I couldn't even believe I couldn't quite grasp what he was saying because I was going to do 20 shows. And those 20 shows whether I worked in them or not. I would get paid. And that's amazing, amazing. And I said listen, Mike, what are you gonna be doing this time next year? And he says, Wow, I'm gonna be doing Miami biocides. Yeah, but what else you're gonna do, as well. I'll be doing man hunter because I've been prepping them for quite a while. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get started next year. So great. So you're going to be doing Manhattan Manhunter while you're still doing Miami buys, but I'm getting paid for it. But you get to go off and make your movie. And, you know, I'm working on at that moment, I was working on the ballot of Gregorio Cortez I was walking around distributing. And so I said, I'm distributing my movie, and I won't be able to do that. And I won't be able to work on the films that I've been trying to develop and moving forward on. So I tell you, I'm sorry. I can't say that man. And and I wish extra money is fantastic. And, you know, the opportunity is fantastic. And I said, you know, but and, you know, my creative control is really, really important to know that you can't do that. I mean, you're a filmmaker, and you're really either had done safe. Yeah.

Yeah, that he had done. And it was a huge success. And he had become mu yesterday. And, but so we hung up, and he called back then, about 10 minutes later and, and offered me more money. And I said, Mikey, I wish I could really do this. This is really amazingly generous of you and wonderful. But I just can't I cannot cannot move forward without having artistic control and without signing with signing a non exclusive contract. And then he says, okay, and he hung up for 10 minutes later, got back up. He says, Well, you got it. I said, What are you talking about? He goes, Well, you got it. You just have to give me a 60 day notice. When you want to leave, and you have to come back. I said, Okay, 60s, two months. So that's fair. I mean, takes you about two, three months to get inside of a character anyway. So I don't want to, I wouldn't want to jump out and do a character next week. You know, hey, I'm leaving tomorrow, I gotta do a movie. You know, I would do that by myself. I would do that. So I said, Okay, two months advance notice, okay. And then he said, then you have artistic control your character. And I said, that's, that's really amazing. And then I said, Wow, that's really amazing. I said, No, I'll take the last offer.

Alex Ferrari 37:30
Yeah, that quadruple that quadruple the original. Yeah, that's the one I want. Yeah, I'll give the last one. Thank you so much, sir. If you want to, if you want to throw a couple more in there. I'm all about it. That's fine. Well, you definitely I mean, you took when you came onto the show a change the show, it changed the energy in the show.

Edward James Olmos 37:48
I don't even want to begin to tell you that what happened. It was it was frightening. Because when I came on the show, and I saw the they sent me real some of the first rough mixes and rough edits of the first three episodes. I was going to be in the fourth. Yeah. And so so I was watching them that was on video. So I was at my house that night, because I had to get on the airplane. I had to be on the airplane at 1030 at night, leaving LAX to be in in Miami by 515 in the morning, and it's a five hour flight and get there about 515 Almost six o'clock. And that had to go straight to the set. And, and put on my wardrobe and go to work. And that's that's a tough one. So I looked at I tried to grasp the whole of the world right away. And so I was watching the first few episodes and they were excellent. They're just really, tom toms Carter directed the pilot. And he did a brilliant job. Really, it was what it was, and this is 1984 it was MTV cop show. It was high intensity music with high intensity drama and in action action. Okay, I mean high intensity, but I noticed something, you know, I had noticed the dismissal that they didn't know they were doing it. Well, I guess they did but they thought it was very cool. And between Crockett and tops, they would look at each other like they would the cameras would be on them. And you know, the be talking to their Lieutenant the first one or the chief of police or the mayor or the governor or the head of the FBI. You know, all these people they had to deal with the CIA, the DEA they were working with inside of all that world. So But wouldn't hierarchy king, they would look at that. Listen to them. Honestly, listen, you know, passionate understanding. And then look at each other. And, you know, kind of like, and then come back together. And you knew on that look that the audience knew on that look that they had they have their own

Alex Ferrari 40:37
As they always do,

Edward James Olmos 40:39
Starsky and Hutch used to do it really well. Yeah. And so he and I had done that show also use music on the 70s, early 70s. So what was funny, was, I said, wow, wow, this is gonna be a tough one. Because, you know, I just felt that by them being able to do that kind of work. Inevitably, it would get a little predictable. They didn't. They didn't care. They were started on the show. As far as they were concerned. They were the show. Without them. There's no, and I said, that's true. But they, they have to have something that's pulling and pushing them. So first episode, the first scene that I did with a long post findable over the inland waterway. Inside of Miami, there's a lot of waterways and we're along the river feeling. And it was an inlet and there was a dead body of a girl half in the water, half potable water. And the scene was I get there and and if I find out, not in the scene, but the people are finding that's Crocketts. Oh, sweetheart, yes. Right. That's right. That's right. Yeah. Okay. It's his high school sweetheart. And so then I'm standing in my community, and I'm standing away from them. Caracas by the waterside, and Tubbs comes out and gets close to me. And he's really close. And he says, you know, this is his, and then he tells me who that is. And then I'm supposed to say something, you know, to him. But I turn when he finishes talking, I turn and I look at him. And I say to him, Don't ever come up to my face like this Detective Detective. And, like, you were I know, going to he did that on camera. He, it wasn't the line. And, and, and then Crockett, you know, he sees it, and comes quickly grabbed him and pulled him away. And the director says, Wow, that was really interesting. I liked that. That was good. I said, Yeah, I liked it, too. That looks good. Doing that one tick, we're done. All right. That was my introduction to Tufts. Okay. And then the next thing that we did was inside the OCB. And it had to be in my office. And when I walked into my office, the very first morning I walked in, remember, I have creative control. So I could change those lines, I could, you know, sit around and do what I needed to do to build something that I was going to start to work on. Okay, with inside my character, they had their thing going and they would show and they were gonna always run the plots and all the character driven stuff would be done through all of us, but they were the ones that were really seeing the whole world through their eyes. So they will have we're gonna have to deal with me. Okay, so I gave my first left hook to Philip Michael Thomas Tubbs. And then I went on FirstNet first of Giustina was going to do with with Crockett was inside the OCB in my office and I walked into my office and there was so much stuff in my office. I mean, that was pictures and there was pipe, things of pipes, like your bad smoke pipes, maybe belong to the old guy. I don't know. But there was junk, everywhere. Oh, you know, dress the hell out of us for years. So I come in, and I tell the set designer, I go hey, can you do me a favor? Because yeah, please take everything out. You just want to take everything. I don't want anything. Leave the desk, the telephone. The left filing cabinet, Mr. Chair, and the filing cabinets protect everything. Not a piece of paper. Not nothing. Oh, and if you can find me some some aspirin little box case they put around. Amazing. Okay, so they did that they did that, you know didn't ask any questions and they did it that no one ever said I don't think we can do or you know, let me let me go ask. Nobody ever said nothing they just did what I asked him just like when I did the scene with they were very respectful and they knew and understood that what I was doing respects of things just like when I asked her my wardrobe, the wardrobe lady call me up and she said, yeah, just need your sizes. I said great. I said that, you know, a 44 Regular and 16 inch neck and 33 inch inseam my sleeve like 16 and I'm giving you an hour and I and she goes okay, I'll get I said do me a favor. And then she goes out she goes, can you get I said can you please get me a black suit from Woolworths or, or CO or some some really cheap place. And to to oh, we have we didn't she tried to you know, calmly because she was this was her show. She was designing I mean she was she had gotten Versace, Armani.

Alex Ferrari 46:38
I mean, they changed. They look Miami Vice changed the way men dressed for years after that.

Edward James Olmos 46:45
And in the world, not just here and everywhere. So because of Versace. And all the big designers who gave them everything. It's just like, the music was so calm and Phil Collins and his mom yeah, it was unprecedented. They have eagles, they had everybody. They had Miles Davis music they had James Brown music they had and they had those characters on the scene and then in the show throughout the duration

Alex Ferrari 47:13
That's how cool that's how cool the show was for everybody. That really want to be in it.

Edward James Olmos 47:18
Yeah, it was really cool to be in the show. But so I'm finished telling the wardrobe lady please put in do me Do me a favor and find me Washington wear suit, put it in the washing machine read as soon as you get it and then hang it up to dry don't dry it in the dryer, hang it up to dry so dry. It's kind of like long and and has no shape just did. And she goes what Mr. Holman said, we have a look and and you know, Michael man, it's a struggle saying Oh, I know. I said I know. I know. Go talk to Michael. And get me a thin tie. Real real thin time because it wasn't the time of the thin tides. Okay. 84 was not the entitlements. Right? Right, right. Be a thin tie. And you can put me in any shirt you want to put me in any color you want to put me but make it a short sleeve. Because I knew I was gonna be Miami first year. That's too damn hot to be wearing long sleeve shirts. And with the suit jacket on Okay, as they put many times they put Crockett and Tubbs and those kind of and it was just ridiculous. humid. Myrtles over rain. So anyway, and I said Oh, and by the way can you get me some? Some? This was the best she almost I can almost feel her like throw up. I go. Can you get me a pair of wrestling shoes? I want to wear wrestling shoes.

Alex Ferrari 48:42
Okay. All right. Oh, come on. Like did you have wrestling shoes?

Edward James Olmos 48:47
Wrestling shoes is the high ankle.

Alex Ferrari 48:49
Yes, I was gonna have to be standing up all day. Oh, but I never I never saw those shoes. I don't remember ever see you.

Edward James Olmos 48:58
If you look back and go back, you'll see. I even used the same style in the same shoe on Battlestar Galactica. Just come to because you're comfortable, comfortable. They're just comfortable shoes to wear. And so she you know, she goes, I have to get back to you to fine. Great. Okay, just talk to Michael manual. He says I believe me. I will. Okay, thank you. I didn't hear from her again. Ever. Again, but I get to work. And of course, there's my black suit. And there's my thin tie. A yellow, a yellow or I think it was out of blue or yellow short sleeve shirt buttoned down collar. You know nothing like the guys were wearing. You guys thought you stood out. And I'm sure I've had I not said anything. I would have probably been wearing an Armani suit. You know,

Alex Ferrari 49:52
That doesn't make sense for your character, but that doesn't make sense

Edward James Olmos 49:57
So anyway, I don't Put me in but she wouldn't have put me in a black suit with

Alex Ferrari 50:13
A wool worth wash and wear suit. For all those for all those listening, I will just Google Woolworth. Google that because I can't explain it,

Edward James Olmos 50:25
It's you know, anyway, so there I am in the scene with Crockett first one. And I'm dressed, you know, and I'm ready to go. And I tell him take everything out of the room. And the director goes, Okay, you ready? Yeah. And okay, quantity illustrators. And so ready. And I said, just, and I go over, and I shut the door tomorrow. And I sit down my desk. And there's nothing on there. I don't have a piece of paper, I had nothing. I had a little box of like I said that aspirin on the corner. And I even think I took it off and put it inside the drawer.

Alex Ferrari 51:03
What business are you doing? Are you doing there's no business for

Edward James Olmos 51:05
I had no business. Right! This was this was the beginning of this. I walk into the damn thing. Carrying a box, my own job, but I don't know anybody. And I'm saying, Excuse me again, tell me where my office is. And they all look at me. And I says I'm Lieutenant and they go right over there. That's your officer. And so that's what, what, that's how I enter the the movie this show, because we had just killed the other guy in the scene in the episode before. So I walk into this see, nobody knows who I am. Nobody knows anything about me. Yeah. So and so I said, Well, that was that was better for me. Because then I could really do some real work, and really throw some curveballs and stuff. And people, you know, some sliders. And people wouldn't know what the heck I was doing. And so which was good for me, and good for the show. Right? Right. Because it knocked everybody into a reality of saying, holy shit, who is this guy? So they weren't looking at me. As the actor coming in. They were looking at me as the lieutenant coming in who they had no fun, you know, this guy was he's kind of weird. You know, and I was weird, because I'm off camera, which is normal that walk around doing that. And I knew I knew them both. And you know, I knew everybody, you know, and I had worked with them throughout the years getting to this, you know, and so I close the door, and I sit down, and the director says, action. And so before he walks in, done, opens the door, and then steps back. And then he wants him and he goes and we do the scene. And okay, and that's okay. They're mirroring. Okay, good. Okay. Okay, we're getting ready to shoot. Okay, everybody. Take one ready bouncer I go just mentally. And I shut the door. And dongles No, no, Ed, Ed, Ed, leaves the door open. I don't leave the door open, and there's no doors here. We're gonna literally use doors because the whole OCB is just like the open area that you walk from one office to the other office. And there's just you're walking through it. And you just, there's no door. I said, when done? Yeah, sure. Right. But I just got on the show. I mean, literally, that walking into the scene, and said You and I don't know you, I don't know anybody. And this is my office and I'm sitting here with nothing. You know, I want the door shot. And he said, Oh, yes, you know, what launches into and I could see the camera department and everybody going,

Alex Ferrari 51:05
Oh, this is okay, we're getting there. But everyone's puffing up their shirts. Now. Let's Okay, let's get ready to star and the new guy. Okay. Let's see. So

Edward James Olmos 54:27
Oh, don't open the camera with me. I said we're done dark. But what are you talking about? Dun dun think? What are you talking about? This is a think of a situation. He goes up. And he walks off the set walks off. And now the director is going what happened? And the first ad is going, everybody just take 10 Everybody and the director, director like I have a very quick call. Really. The first ad has to go over to see what the problem is with Don. So he doesn't come back first and he does. And pretty soon the lighting department and the engineers and, and sound department they everybody's like, gone from the building. I bought myself sitting in the office hours. No out. They just shut down production. He shut down production. I mean, we couldn't move. And then a John Nicola came talk to him in his in his trailer. And after a long, long time period, I don't know how long it took a long time. They finding John Nicola was producing came in and says, Okay, we're ready to go the scope. Good. Okay. So I'm seeing everything okay, down because yeah, yeah, yeah, let's just do it. Okay. I go, Yeah, I'm ready. I'm ready. To comes in the door. I'm waiting. And the director goes, everybody ready? Be quiet. Alright, ready? Now everybody now is I mean, beside themselves. Right there watching the situation happened? As if they were like the audience on the screen. Now, they're watching the same way because they don't know what's gonna happen. Right, right. And sure enough, man, it happened. He comes to the door, he goes action comes the door bangs on it. When does it open? When is it open, and it has venetian blinds.

Alex Ferrari 56:55
And it falls in the 80s

Edward James Olmos 56:57
Was that hit the filing cabinet. Bam, they make a big batch sound. And he comes in and he has a document folder. And he throws a folder on the desk. And he says that's the information on the killing over by the riverside. And he says his lines. And then I don't even look. I'm shocked because now character. I'm the lieutenant. And he comes in that way and throws stuff at me that they're just my mindset. And so we walked out, okay. I didn't look at him. I say my lines and leaves. And and are you there?

Alex Ferrari 57:53
No, I lost you lost your video. Oh, there you are. You're back. You're back on my back.

Edward James Olmos 57:58
Okay, so, Alex, so we, he leaves. And the director goes, cut. And I said, Wow, that really worked well. That really, I like that he's done. He like he wouldn't duck. And, literally, that's how we shot the first scene from that day for them. For the first 20 episodes, I never looked at either one of those two guys in the eyes. I remember MC MC. All the scenes are like this. Imagine me doing my interview with you right now like this. Oh my god, you're asking me questions. me answering those questions. Yes.

Alex Ferrari 58:46
I remember that. I actually remember that. Because it's so hot. Even as a young kid. I'm like, that's just the way humans speak.

Edward James Olmos 58:54
Well, not so much. It just it created conflict. Yes, absolutely. in conflict. Yeah. Anytime I was in the scene, there was a conflict. And guess what? Now when those two guys looked at each other, it wasn't about dismissing the character that I was portraying. It was like looking at each other saying this guy's this good pain. And they were not looking at each other with the subtext that dealt more with the reality of a situation than just the Oh yeah. This is a television show. We're here to makin.

Alex Ferrari 59:28
Yeah, like Starsky and Hutch like so?

Edward James Olmos 59:30
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I didn't mind them. I did mind that. They could dismiss anybody they wanted to. But if they weren't grounded and had a different situation every time they came in, to deal with, right, then they end pretty soon. It became real evident because they started doing tos. Yeah. Okay. And then one moment I remember on the scenes, I looked at the wall stood up and I was looking at the wall. came in. And the director goes, Excuse me, can you like turn a little bit so like to the side of your face? I see why. Shoot the back of my head, shoot the back of my hand and my body. Shoot that. Let that be the don't yet see my face. I don't watch my face all the time, my face. And so remember dancing so bad? It doesn't matter, man. He doesn't look at us anyway. So he was, he was good. Doesn't really matter, man. He doesn't look at us anyway.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:54
And he and he kind of gave he kind of gave up that kind of thing.

Edward James Olmos 1:00:59
Yeah, it changed. It changed everybody's perspective. And I became the villain. I became the bad guy. And the audience, you know, the, the, the, you know, stuff that we'd get back there was built at that time, there was no texting, and there was no, you know, and social media. Yeah, there's no, none of that. And so, but the word was out. Oh, man, we don't really like that tech them and we liked the other guy better. This guy is just like, I don't know, I think he's a bad guy. It's just a bad guy is you know, dressed in black, you never smile and never smile before years.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:34
I know, I know, I never.

Edward James Olmos 1:01:37
But the, that character could not have been written. That was not those those choices would not have they not had the confidence and given me the opportunity to create that character. That character will never materialize in, in, in television, ever. And it changed a lot of perspectives on the unspoken word. The idea of shooting people always talking and while shooting people that were more just listening, and seeing the impact of of things that were being said and done on people who weren't, you know, talking they were just receiving and what it did to them, and how it did that kind of depth in Character Study Group on that show. And well, the people liked it.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:32
I mean, that show, but that show is it's it's unlike any other show. And if you go back, you know, especially those first two or three seasons, it's like watching a masterful feature film every episode. It was just like it was just it was it was so well done. So it was just so out of there was just nothing like it on television, I argued. So there's really nothing ever since of that kind of storytelling that first the use of music and action and character. It the combination it was and Michael Mann just, it was just it was a wonderful, wonderful thing. I have to ask you, because we're we've gone off on down memory road here. I have to ask you about your new film chasing wonders, can you tell me about that project? What drew you to it, and it's it seems such a wonderful.

Edward James Olmos 1:03:16
It's, it's if you get the cheat, I don't know if you had a chance to see. But if you get a chance to see that not too many people will because it was made. It took about six years to make seven years to make. And there's a reason because the actor, the young boy had to grow. He had to get older and so they use the same boy. And that was it was beautifully done. And it's a story a simple story about a family and and the, the unbelievable sacrifices that that people do, you know, common everyday people. This takes place in Australia. Spanish family emigrated to Australia. And when they were in, in Spain, they were they were wine, grape growers for wine. It's really good wine. So he then this takes place on a Greg farm, you know, a winery. And so it's story about a family, simple family and the little boy who has a grandfather actually the grandpa, and that wonderful little story called, you know, the, the, to me, it's become a masterful little piece of work done by most of it's in Spanish, because they wanted that to be Spanish and English. A little more speaks English. You speak Spanish, but he's, you spoke English. And you know, because he's from Australia. He's born there. Kitt Chen. So you see him at the age of about 10 nine or 10 when he starts and then when we come back to them. He's 1617 and starts off with him going back to his father's house in Spain. That's a start, and then backtrack into how we got to be. It's a simple, wonderful little story that the sadnesses people won't be able to see it. It's like, they might be able to see it on streaming. They'll probably.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:25
Yeah, yeah, but it won't be in theory. It wasn't right now theaters is rough for everybody. Yeah,

Edward James Olmos 1:05:30
I had one movie out right now with George Lopez. It was theaters for about a week. Maybe two. But it was a wonderful little story called The Walking with Herb. Oh, yeah. That was a wonderful. Yeah. It's a wonderful story.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:44
Didn't you do? Did you do one in a million with him?

Edward James Olmos 1:05:48
Yes, I did. years ago.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:50
Yeah, I remember that. That was That was amazing. I have to ask you.

Edward James Olmos 1:05:54
One in a million times.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:56
No, no. Oh, God, Jesus. Of course, it was all Paul pop on that.

Edward James Olmos 1:06:02
1 million to 1 million to one. That's Georgia. And I did the puppet show. I did the very last show that he did on the show me the last one. And then this, which I just did, which he did an excellent job. No, George

Alex Ferrari 1:06:19
George's Church is remarkable. I've always been a huge fan of George. And I have to ask you, because I think I think people listening would will kill me if I don't ask you about a little bit about Battlestar Galactica. Because, I mean, it feels like just like, Patrick Stewart was born to play that character in Star Trek, you were born to play your character and Battlestar Galactica, and it's just, again, again, you have that control now that I know that you have creative control over characters. It's changed my entire perspective on your entire career. Because I could I could see now like, okay, standard deliver, got it American meet God, like and you can start going back to all those performances you like, okay, all those choices. Many of those weren't on the page, you actually brought that and to bring what you bring to the Sci Fi world and Battlestar Galactica was just an absolute phenomenon when it when it came out, people were going crazy for it. Go Go fractal, go frack yourself and all that stuff. I remember I was at Comic Con walking around, and I had no idea about it, and I just see these bags, like go frack yourself on like, what is what is fracking? What is going on? And then I started watching the show, I was like, oh my god, this is amazing. How did you get involved with that? And how what was your experience on that show? Because I mean, it was amazing

Edward James Olmos 1:07:36
Experiences the mark because writing was so sure sounds are so well written. It was truly a gift. I gotta say that all the writing so credible. And to me how I got into this was

Alex Ferrari 1:07:58
Last year video that for a second.

Edward James Olmos 1:08:00
Yeah. Yeah. So how I got the role was very simple. The producers asked the casting person we need someone like an Edward James Olmos guy. And one of the producers said the ultra heavy asked him what can be asked of me? Oh, no, man, me. No, we didn't ask you. He turned down Star Trek. So you know, he's that he's gonna do this, that he does. And so they said, we'll just ask him. And so I was working. I was doing a book festival in San Diego, Latino working family Festival, and that I was there working and stuff and something we create a community and been doing it for 20 years. And all of a sudden, you know, my agents call me up and say amen, and they asked me over universal to, to travel. And that traffic, if you come in and talk to about this television show going which is called Battlestar Galactica, the original. Yeah. Wow. I had never seen the original because in 1978, when the original came out, I was doing jujitsu every day, on stage every day, and I didn't have time to watch television. And so but I said, you know, I really it's please read it. Just read it and said, Oh, boy. So I read the first three pages Good, which was a preface it was almost like a sea, like a treatment of how to read the script the world that you're going to enter, had you not had read those first three pages, you would not have understood how this was going to be. Okay. And I must say say that it was a brilliant, brilliant read. And those three pages sold me on reading the whole script. And when I read the whole script this is this is really really exceptional work. So I accepted the invitation to go meet with and I met with them and I met with you know, the directors you know everybody and I will say that the only thing I ask them is that they don't bring about in this world that we're going to create that we keep it like like Blade Runner was Blade Runner when there was no creatures from outer space right there was you know, said keep that integrity you know, cuz I don't mind working with with these. Cylons silent okay, but but don't put us on a world finding this world universal this place all sudden has these creatures you know because the first creature I run into him faint on camera and you're gonna have to write that he had a heart attack and died amazing it was in the contract that was in the contract. That's amazing. Yeah, yes.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:15
It's It's fast. It's fascinating. You're like to hearing you talk now that it's like all these movies and shows that I've grown up with you have had such a major part in at least crafting your story but your your character but by crafting your character, you've craft crafted help craft a show and or movie around your character in many ways. You're not obviously the center of those those movies or anything like that. But you add so much to the tapestry. It's amazing. It's really remarkable. Not going back and reviewing all these performances in my head. It's, it's remarkable. It really is. I'm going to ask you a few rapid fire questions. I asked all my guests, what advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Edward James Olmos 1:12:59
Discipline yourself to do the things you love to do when you don't feel like doing them. And remember that the more time you have in preparing, the better prepared you'll be.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:16
That's I think that's a t shirt. I think that's a good deal.

Edward James Olmos 1:13:22
Ron Moore, the creator started collecting music.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:27
That's a good teacher to have

Edward James Olmos 1:13:29
On the verge of being so ridiculous.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:34
Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?

Edward James Olmos 1:13:49
All people know what they say they're interesting. Yeah. It took me a long time for them to beat that out of me, I always thought or you know, the way that they presented and then all of a sudden you find yourself and you always given and I still do the status much positive. And I give everybody the benefit of the doubt. Yeah, total total benefit. And that to me is the key but it took me the longest to learn. I can't really trust an unforced understanding. So the first time you meet someone, omit 99% of time 98% time you do it right on the head. I mean, basically, your friend is a friend. Nice to you. But it took me a while to really learn that there's always that that side of people that could definitely come in. It really hurts. It hurts Not not so much the person receiving it, but the person is doing it. They're the ones who get really hurt. So the ones who are doing it, me and somebody else problem and giving me the problem, and I don't take the problem, the problem stays with them. And they have to deal with it in the way they have to deal with their problems don't mind. And that's the hardest thing in life period.

Alex Ferrari 1:15:27
On any night and three of your favorite films of all time.

Edward James Olmos 1:15:35
My favorite films I'm Mark, I love Lawrence of Arabia. I love I love it. Give me three. Kurosawa havenly Okay, David. And I have to say blue. And those are three director's films that I really appreciate. I get so much out of it along with you, Fellini. And there's so many brilliant. And here. It's great, great directors have been on the planet to make just exquisite films. You know, I have liked a lot of the new films coming in Korea. Oh, yeah. A parasite. Yeah. Beautiful stuff. Excellent. And and I love I love I run the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. That's what this

Alex Ferrari 1:16:38
I've screened there, sir. My films have screened there, yes, over the years.

Edward James Olmos 1:16:43
So, you know, we get to see films that most people don't get to see. Right, I'm so grateful for doing this festival over the last 20 years, I've been so grateful in the one I've been able to understand view that has helped me as an artist and as a creator and also as a human being, to understand myself better. Because when you're when you're only looking at certain types of films made in one area, United States and the commerciality of the films that they make once a while you find artistic films that really do amount to a lot of great work.

Alex Ferrari 1:17:22
And, and one last question, because I think it's really important to I would love to hear your opinion on this. No, I'm a Latino filmmaker, I am Cuban boy from Miami. And, you know, your films over the years Stand and Deliver American Meat. Those are some of the spotlights when I saw a Latino presented in a different light than the general, you know, way that Hollywood presented Latinos, what do you think, now, because you've been fighting that good fight for, for a long time of trying to get you know more Latinos onto the screen and present it and see yourself as you know, as on screen, and that's why I'm loving the heights when it just came out, which is remarkable. Oh, my God, I was like when they showed the when they showed the floor, and I almost cried. I mean, it was remarkable. So in your opinion, where you see things going now, and there is more representation out there? How do you how do you? How do you feel seeing this, because you've been fighting that fight for decades now.

Edward James Olmos 1:18:22
I love it. I mean, it's all it makes us all stronger and better. And then not only the culture that's being represented, but the the ability for other cultures to experience situations through the eyes, these other cultures, and it really makes a difference makes a big difference. And I gotta tell you, the more we get to do that, the more we have diversity inside of our film world, which is I had a choice to continue to do theater, or, or do film, and to do both, you can, but basically, it's really takes a long time to do a film, you know, to develop, because I produce them, direct them. I help write them. And so each project takes anywhere between a year to 10 years, 15 years, American me to 18 years, and to make and so I had to commit myself, if I was trying to do theater, I wouldn't be able to do that kind of work on film at all. And the choice was Okay, so where does where does the where does it the most impact come from the time that I have? I'm already 75 years old. I've been doing this for years anyone by like that. I got a lot of great work that I've been able to accomplish, but I would not have been able to accomplish as much in film and I don't see it here also. And so I really sacrifice being able to On stage, but I did a lot of theater at theater.

Alex Ferrari 1:20:06
Eddie, I appreciate you, my friend, I appreciate all the work you've done over the over the course of your career and fighting the good fight and helping filmmakers and helping get stories on the screen that need to be told. And, and I appreciate I appreciate you so much, my friend. So thank you. Thank you so much for being on the show. I truly appreciate it.

Edward James Olmos 1:20:22
Thank you, Alex, thank you so much for doing this. You're helping a lot of people.

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James Cameron Scripts Collection: Screenplays Download

What can be said of the most successful writer/director of all time? James Cameron is in a league of his own. His filmography doesn’t have a failure in it. From Terminator to the #1 and #2 biggest movies of all time, Titantic and Avatar. I can wait to see what he comes up with next.

Take a listen to James Cameron Masterclass as he discusses his films and storytelling techniques. The screenplays below are the only ones that are available online. If you find any of his missing screenplays please leave the link int he comment section.

When you are done reading take a listen to Apple’s #1 Screenwriting Podcast The Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast, with guest like Oscar Winner Eric Roth, James V. HartDavid ChaseJohn AugustOliver Stone and more.


Watch James Cameron’s micro-budget short film Xenogenesis.

(NOTE: For educational and research purposes only).

TERMINATOR (1984)

Screenplay by James Cameron –  Read the screenplay!

RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II (1985)

Screenplay by James Cameron – Read the screenplay!

ALIENS (1985)

Screenplay by James Cameron –  Read the screenplay!

THE ABYSS (1988)

Screenplay by James Cameron –  Read the screenplay!

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991)

Screenplay by James Cameron and William Wisher Jr. –  Read the screenplay!

STRANGE DAYS (1993)

Screenplay by James Cameron & Jay Cocks –  Read the screenplay!

SPIDER-MAN (1993)

Screenplay by James Cameron, Barry Cohen, and Ted Newson (UNPRODUCED)–  Read the screenplay!

TRUE LIES (1994)

Screenplay by James Cameron –  Read the screenplay!

T2: 3D BATTLE ACROSS TIME (1995)

Screenplay by James Cameron –  Read the screenplay!

TITANIC (1998)

Screenplay by James Cameron –  Read the screenplay!

AVATAR (2009)

Screenplay by James Cameron & Jay Cocks –  Read the screenplay!

BPS 236: How to Outline Your Screenplay Like a Pro with Naomi Beaty

Naomi Beaty is a screenwriting teacher, screenplay consultant, and former development exec with 10+ years in the entertainment industry.

Naomi is based in Los Angeles, CA. She has worked on American productions and on projects in Taiwan and Australia, including the feature film “Ghost Boy”, based on the novel by award winning Australian author Felicity Pulman, produced by Morning Starr Productions.

Earlier, Naomi worked on the other side of the desk at Madonna and Guy Oseary’s Maverick Films, where she helped develop projects including “Twilight” and “Percy Jackson”.

She just released her new book “The Screenplay Outline Workbook”.

The Screenplay Outline Workbook is designed to give you a clear and manageable set of tools, steps, and exercises so you can turn your ideas and inspiration into an outline and write your best screenplay – whether it’s your first or your tenth.

With this workbook as your guide, you can start with just an inkling of an idea – or nothing at all, even! – and end up with a solid story premise, compelling characters, and an outline that provides a blueprint for writing an emotionally satisfying screenplay.

Inside you’ll find enough instruction and theory so that you know what you need to know, but not so much that it overwhelms you before you even get started. Room to work through your story ideas and collect your notes and flashes of brilliance. A place to organize what you discover about your story as you develop it so that you can easily reference it when needed.

Use the workbook to design a new story from scratch, or jump straight to the topic you need to get your work-in-progress unstuck. With 30+ tools, exercises, and prompts honed through years of teaching workshops and working one-on-one with writers, this workbook will help you:

  • Generate new story ideas
  • Choose a strong idea as the first step in writing a great screenplay
  • Build a sturdy foundation for your screenplay by finding the essential elements of the story
  • Discover the organic three act structure and major plot points that create the framework for the story and screenplay
  • Design compelling characters that help push the protagonist along a meaningful character arc
  • Try one or more suggested outlining methods for mapping out your story

…and so much more!

The workbook lays out a process that’s flexible enough that you can use it for every screenplay you write, yet designed to specifically address the issues readers commonly find in aspiring screenwriters’ screenplays.

With each exercise, you’ll explore ideas and make choices to build your story, piece by piece. You’ll craft an outline that does all the heavy lifting, and be confident in the story you’re telling – which frees you to get creative with characters and dialogue, and discovering the kind of magical, cinematic moments that made us all fall in love with movies in the first place.

If you’ve tried to write a screenplay before but found yourself stuck somewhere in Act 2, having an outline that serves as a map of your screenplay can make all the difference. Consider this workbook the wise but gentle guide that will meet you where you are and lead you to your destination so you can finally make real progress turning the movie in your head into a fully developed story that you’re ready to set down onto the screenplay page.

When you’re done you’ll have more than an outline — you’ll have a rock-solid foundation for your screenplay.

Please enjoy my conversation with Naomi Beaty.

Right-click here to download the MP3

LINKS

SPONSORS

  1. Bulletproof Script Coverage– Get Your Screenplay Read by Hollywood Professionals
  2. AudibleGet a Free Screenwriting Audiobook

Naomi Beaty 0:00
But when you get to writing scenes, you get to have a lot of fun with what happens in a scene, right? Like how does that come to life? What's the most entertaining? Interesting way for that thing that you figured out? That needs to happen? Right? You figured that out in the screenplay outline? What's the most interesting cinematic way for that to play out? You know, in your screen TV screenplay.

Alex Ferrari 0:20
This episode is brought to you by Bulletproof Script Coverage, where screenwriters go to get their scripts read by Top Hollywood Professionals. Learn more at covermyscreenplay.com I'd like to welcome back to the show. returning champion, Naomi Beaty. How you doing Naomi?

Naomi Beaty 0:36
Hi, I'm good. How are you?

Alex Ferrari 0:39
I'm good. I'm good. Thank you so much for coming back on the show. You have a new book, hold on, let me just lift it over here. It's the screenwriting outline workbook. It's really not that big guys, I'm just making it. But it's fast. It's a really great, you know, as I was going through it, it's man, it's really cool, has some really great guidances on how to put together a screenplay, which is now there's not a lot of this out in the marketplace. I haven't seen a lot of this kind of. I mean, there's a couple screenwriting books, not too many.

Naomi Beaty 1:08
There's a few.

Alex Ferrari 1:09
There's a few. But I haven't seen anything like this before. So we're gonna kind of dive into the book and what you're doing in it. But first, can you give everybody a little update on who you are? If the case they haven't heard the first episode?

Naomi Beaty 1:21
Yeah, yeah, well, sure. The first episode was years ago, so much has changed since then, I'm pretty much still the same, though. Still doing the same thing. So I'm a screenwriting teacher and script consultant, I work with writers also, you know, directors and producers, one on one on their projects, giving them feedback on at the script level. And sometimes even starting earlier than that, and helping them develop ideas so that they can get the script written. But yeah, basically just working with anyone who has a movie idea to kind of get that idea, you know, into screenplay form, and hopefully in good shape, so they can start showing it to people.

Alex Ferrari 1:56
Very good. So first question. Yeah. What is a screenplay outline? Because I like how do you go about it? What is it? How do you put it together?

Naomi Beaty 2:06
Yeah, I mean, it's a great question, because I think a lot of people set out to write a screenplay, and they decide they need to outline it. And then they just quickly come to the next question, which is, what is an outline. And I think, you know, when it comes to outlining your screenplay, I just think of outlining as part of the prewriting process. So it's just part of the process that helps you develop your idea and flesh it out and get it to a point where you know enough about it in order to write screenplay pages, and whatever form that takes, you know, what it looks like on the page in the outline form can be a lot of different things. It's what is the most useful to you. So a screenplay outline is really a tool for you to use sort of on the you know, on the path toward getting your screenplay written. For most people, it's, you know, a numbered list of scenes or bullet, bullet point list of scenes or beats, you know, plot beats, that just sort of take you from page one to the end so that you have sort of a map to help you write the actual screenplay itself.

Alex Ferrari 3:11
So the next, the next statement I have is what I always hear from people, especially young screenwriters, they say. But outlining takes all the creativity out of it. It's so so structured and and it's formulaic. And I don't want to be Hollywood, I want to be free flow, I want to be like Quinton, I just want to jump back and forth. And this and that. And I always tell him, I hate to tell you, but quit and use a structure and Pulp Fiction, very structured and actually goes through the beats of, which is why that script is so cheap. It's it actually goes through all the beats, but in different timelines. And it makes the head hurt reading that script and trying to break that script down. But that's a master. And that's what he does. So what what's your answer to people who say that this just takes all the creativity out of it?

Naomi Beaty 3:59
Yeah, I've heard that too. And I, I understand that concern, right, because it sort of feels like if I do all of the creative thinking in the outline form and get everything figured out, and written down before I get to writing screenplay pages, then I'm not gonna have anything left. When I get to the pages, I'm going to be bored by my own story, and just, you know, transcribing it from outline to screenplay page. And I understand that concern, but I wholeheartedly disagree with it. You know, every writer is different, and everyone has their own unique sort of process and way of fleshing out an idea. However, I think that the the outlining process can actually be a really creative part of the process, right? Like, why do you think that just because you're doing you're putting your creativity into the outline, does that mean that there's not going to be any creativity left in your screenplay, right? You're actually doing a lot of that creative, heavy lifting. When you're thinking about, well, how do I structure that So how do I develop the character arc? How do I, you know, make sure the relationships are sort of developed all the way from beginning to end, and they're seamless. And then you have a function and a, you know, an emotion to them and all of that stuff. So I think you can do a lot of that while you're in the outline phase. So that by the time you get to writing screenplay pages, it's not that you've beaten a dead horse, and you've, you know, sort of taken all the fun out of it for for yourself, you've done so much of the heavy lifting and put a lot of creativity in at that phase, that when you get to writing scenes, you get to have a lot of fun with what happens in a scene, right? Like, how does that come to life? What's the most entertaining interesting way for that thing that you figured out? That needs to happen? Right? You figured that out in the screenplay, outline? What's the most interesting cinematic way for that to play out, you know, in your screenplay, screenplay pages, and then in the mind's eye, right? So I think that you can be creative in every step.

Alex Ferrari 5:58
So in other words, like for the structure, literally, you're, you're basically beating it out or putting the points of things that have to happen in each scene. So it's like, Okay, John has to hit Joe, in this scene, because this is the catalyst for this part of the story. Now how that breaks down in that scene, it's completely up to you, you can make it really fun. At the end of the day, he has to get from point A to point B, how you get between point A and point B is completely up to you. And that's part of the creative process. But at least you have something to start with, as opposed to a lot of writers, including myself, when I first started just like, I'm just going to start and see what happens and just let it flow. And it just been a hot mess. It's a hot mess, because you don't know where you're going. And I also don't have the at that, at that stage in my career didn't have the, the craft built up. I mean, if Eric Roth wants to sit down and start writing from scratch without an outline, I'm gonna say it's gonna be better than most right? You know, but But you have to build up that craft. And I think the structure is so needed and you can't build a house without a foundation about structure.

Naomi Beaty 7:04
Right! And you make a really good point because I think like, you know, Eric Roth, Aaron Sorkin if if those guys at that caliber, if they sit down to write a screenplay, they've they've done this for so long, and have such an innate sense of like how a screenplay works, not just story structure, because I think all of us have a little bit of that innate sense of story structure, but they've got it like, ingrained, they know, story structure in screenplay form, and sort of what needs to happen page by page on a screenplay, how the rhythm is, you know, how characters develop, where you see complications and things like that, those guys could probably sit down and write a pretty good draft without, without doing an outline first, but for a lot of us, and for most of us, I think, you know, there are so many things that you have to remember when you're writing a good screenplay, if you're trying to write a good screenplay, so many skill sets, right. And so I think thinking through the plot and character development in the outline phase, actually take some of the pressure off of you, it allows you to kind of, you know, pay attention to certain skill sets at this point in time. And then when you get to screenplay pages, you can pay attention to other skill sets, you can think about dialogue and scene description, and you know, getting in the scene late and getting out early, and, you know, thinking in visuals, like cinematic stuff, right to make it appealing in terms of being a movie. So you have so many skill sets to worry about, I think that, you know, giving some of them your attention in different phases will only help you end up with a better product, you know,

Alex Ferrari 8:36
Without question now. So many times we want to figure out what the ideas are. Do you have any idea generating ways to generate some ideas about this themes about that? Ideas? All that kind of stuff? Yeah, definitely.

Naomi Beaty 8:49
I do have a couple. I mean, thank you, for teeing me up. I do have a couple of exercises in the book that are all about generating concepts for screenplays, right? Because it seems like people who get stuck at sort of the idea phase when they can't decide how to move forward with one project they they have, like, they get stuck in two different ways. One, it's either they have too many ideas, they don't know which one to do first, or to work on first. And then the other thing is like, I don't know, I want to write a screenplay. But I don't have an idea for a movie, right? So one of the things that I put in the book was a couple of exercises that can help you generate concepts by you know, sort of playing games, because I think that's the most low pressure way to do it is look at treatment like a game and just have fun with it. So there are a couple in there about like mixing and matching, you know, different elements and kind of generating concepts. And I think, you know, an important part of it is just generating a lot of ideas because that's the only way you're not going to get precious about the one idea that you're sure is an Oscar winner and it's going to be a million dollar spec sale. If you have lots of ideas, then you can kind of be a little bit more, you know, gracious with yourself and got, like, you know what, maybe that one's not going to work this year because I don't have the craft yet. Or maybe that's not such a great idea. After all, it's a better as a novel or a comic book or something like that. And you can, you know, have allow yourself to, to be a little bit more choosy about which screenplays you're gonna write.

Alex Ferrari 10:16
Now I have to talk to so many screenwriters over the years, I've you know, off air and on I love the off air ones, because that's when I really get some nitty gritty stuff that I can't that I can't broadcast, unfortunately. But I've been told by many of these top screenwriters that they did borrow structure from other movies very, I mean, they call wholeheartedly like, you know, like I saw this movie, and I took it structure, change the story around and change the, the ideas around but and the characters around, but the structure is there. And I always love using this example because it's so blatant. And after I tell this, most people go I can't believe I never saw that before. Fast and Furious. is pointing break. Yeah. I mean, they didn't even try to change it. They just changed surfing to Grace cars, and a couple other cars. I mean, it's pretty much the same movie, right?

Naomi Beaty 11:09
Yeah. Yeah. Yes, I have actually not done like a side by side comparison. I think that'd be really interesting to do, because the broad strokes of it for sure are, it's the same, you know, it's the same story.

Alex Ferrari 11:22
So that's another thing for screenwriters, you know, starting up to look at other movies that they might admire. And start with those structures. I think that's one thing that's always been a lot of people think is taboo. But all the greats, start with other people's all artists, start with other people's ideas, and try to emulate other people's ideas. And then as you start working through it, then you start coming up with your own style, but structure structure. I mean, it's like, why wouldn't you take a blueprint of a house that worked and worked well, and then dress it up, however, you want to dress it up and change the walls, you know, add a door here, put a door there, change the roof side, style, but at the end of the day, it's a structure that sells

Naomi Beaty 12:02
I totally agree. And I always tell writers, especially, you know, writers who are who are trying to get a handle on screenwriting, right, who are kind of early in their in their learning curve, I always tell them to study movies. And, you know, I think we all, we all probably watch a lot of movies, but I do think it's a helpful exercise to like choose one or two and really break those particular movies down and study them. Because I think you learn a lot from not just viewing it once or twice, or even if it's one of your favorite movies, and you've seen it a lot and you can quote it and all that stuff. But if you really like take the time to sort of examine it almost like a you know, doctor patient kind of exam, like, make a list of all the scenes that happen look at that list and examine like, Where does the inciting incident happen? Where does the break into act to happen? Notice the relationships between those two plot points, right? Because there is they have to work together in a particular way. Look at that midpoint and see how does this midpoint work? Like what does it do for the story? How does it you know, make things harder or make things more urgent? Examine all of those big turning points, because I think you'll learn a ton from not just understanding theory and understanding like the definitions of plot points and things like that, but really looking at the way that they work in movies, and especially in one particular movie. And I think that an extension of that exercise, if I can just keep going here is that paying attention to the difference between just like we were talking about, like when you make a screenplay outline, right, you might have a bullet point list of here, here are the things that need to happen. Just point by point, Joe needs to punch Tom, right. That's one bullet point and the next one, something else happens. But making that bullet point list for the movie that you're studying, because then you get to see oh, here's what happens. Joe punches, Tom. But here's how it happens in that scene. Like it's funny, or it's a you know, it's an ambush, or it's a it starts out a romantic scene, it it ends in a punch. How does that happen? Right? Because you get to like, really understand there's a difference between the what is happening, the plot thing that's happening, and the cool, interesting, fun way that that can play out on screen, which can be a million different ways. And, you know, you're saying structure is the same from you know, across sort of lots of movies, right? That's true. And then the the how that how it happens on screen is what makes it uniquely entertaining. You know, it's what makes one movie different from the other one.

Alex Ferrari 14:31
It's the color of the walls is the dresses is the furniture in the room. It's you know, if we're using the analogy of a blueprint and a house, all of that makes a difference. You know, it's all about how you add the little details to it. You know, there is you know, when when, what when we're looking at a movie, sometimes we don't know whose story it is, especially when we're starting to write a movie. We don't know whose story it is. So I always like using Shawshank as an example because I think One knows that by nausea now that I mean, it's my favorite movie of all time. And that at that you I truly and I've asked a lot of, you know experts like yourself like whose story? Is it? Is it Andy story? Or is it read story? Who is the protagonist in that movie? You know, whose story is it? So that's a very important distinction to have when writing because if you don't know whose story it is, you know whose story is fightclub? Right? Is it Tyler Durden?

Naomi Beaty 15:32
Yeah, I absolutely had just another another example, kind of in the same vein, come up or come to me. Yesterday, I rewatched. Fargo. I hadn't seen that movie since I originally watched it back in like 96. Or whenever it came out. In my head in those intervening years, I believed that was March to Anderson's movie, right? And I rewatched it I was like, oh, no, I was completely miss remembering this. This is now I'm I'm totally blanking on his name. But but it's it's a it's a husband. Yeah, it's his it. He's the lead character. He's the central character in that story. It's, we start with him. We're watching what he's doing. It's his actions that are driving the story forward. She comes in like 35 minutes in to investigate, you know what he's been doing. But we're with him from the beginning. I was like, that is so interesting that I remembered it being her story, I think because I assumed the investigator on the scene is going to be the one kind of driving the story forward. But it's actually his story.

Alex Ferrari 16:37
It's really common. You start getting into a complex conversation about something like Shawshank, because I mean, who drives the story is Andy, right. But yet who's telling us the story? Right, so we're seeing the story through reds eyes. And yeah, red does do a few things to help along the way. But and he's the one driving store. Right? You know, and also their interaction is driving this. So it's a very complex. Yeah, idea. Am I right?

Naomi Beaty 17:04
Yeah, absolutely. And same with Fargo. I think that even though I'm sort of like saying that so easily that Oh, no, it's his story. I actually think it almost plays like an ensemble where it's like we start with him. It really is his through line kind of that gives us the movie, it's fine. But the other characters are so equally important that it's not super easy to just say, Oh, no, it's just this character story. And that's all we should be concerned with. You know, it's really all of them that make it work.

Alex Ferrari 17:29
So something like a Sherlock Holmes or knives out kind of scenario, which is a murder mystery, or a mystery in general. It's generally the detective whose story it is because we're seeing everything through their eyes, generally speaking, so knives out, it's Daniel Craig Wright walking through the process, the whole movie we're walking through with Daniel. Daniel Greg's eyes essentially.

Naomi Beaty 17:50
I think so. I actually only saw that movie once. And I think I may have fallen asleep. Not because it wasn't wasn't good. I just I watched it late. But um, but yeah, I think if if the movie is sort of centered on an investigation, almost always it's going to be the person doing the investigating, right? Because that's the sort of like, through line of action that we're that we're paying attention to. It's the reason this story exists is because there's something to investigate and the person doing the investigation is who we're kind of like watching do the thing. And hopefully we're rooting for them, you know?

Alex Ferrari 18:22
So like, clear reason, science with labs. It's, it's her it's definitely her story.

Naomi Beaty 18:27
No, I call it her story. For sure. I don't know if anyone would disagree. But yeah,

Alex Ferrari 18:31
I think it's who you remember from that movies? Not much is Hannibal?

Naomi Beaty 18:35
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you remember, you really remember their relationship. That's a movie that I you know, maybe two or three years ago, I that was one that I really started studying. I was like, I want to understand how this one works. And I think prior to that, I had assumed that Clarys is sort of through line was really about Hannibal and then when I rewatched it, you know, and this was like three or four years ago, whatever. But I started sort of watching it to study it a little bit more. And I realized, oh, no, like she meets him early on. But then her investigation is her investigation. And then she brings him back into it again. But it's not his story at all. It's you know, it's what he can do for her it's him in support of her story. For sure.

Alex Ferrari 19:20
It's, it's, it's fascinating to say and another thing we were talking about structure and finding structures of movies that we that that you know, studying other people's to other other movie structures and possibly using those structures in your own stories. I think a really good exercise is to analyze your top 10 Because it's if it means something to you if you are and then you can start seeing the patterns you like even if you'd like revenge movies. Well, maybe you should write a revenge movie. If you like horror, maybe you should read horror if you love romance, you maybe want to write romance as opposed to like I really love horror but I'm going to make when When Harry Met Sally, like that's probably not going to work out.

Naomi Beaty 19:59
Maybe that It could be a whole new rom com.

Alex Ferrari 20:02
Jason Blum Jason Blum will produce it absolutely. Yeah.

Naomi Beaty 20:04
I like that. No, I agree. And as an as an extension of that, I will say, too, I think when you have when you have a few, like movie ideas under your belt, not that you have to have written the screenplays yet, but when you have like, sort of, you know, practice developing an idea, kind of teasing it out to see kind of what's there and maybe, maybe gotten to an outline stage, who knows. I also think it's really interesting and useful to sort of look at the common themes between those ideas. Because I think a lot of times writers kind of circle the same thematic ideas in their projects without realizing it. And I see this sometimes, you know, not to embarrass anyone, but I see this sometimes because I work with certain writers over several projects. And I'm like, Oh, so this one is also about, you know, familial obligation, or this one, dad. Right. This one is also about, you know, that sort of that same issue that you find really interesting. And I think it's, I think it's kind of funny that, you know, often writers don't even realize they're doing it. They're like, Oh, yeah, I guess I'm kind of writing the same story over again, you know, different concept, but dealing with the same issues or types of relationships or something like that. I think that's really interesting to examine. Because, you know, if you find that about yourself, if you're like, Oh, I kind of keep going back to that same well, because that's an issue that's really interesting to me, then you can lean into that, right, that can become kind of part of your calling card, your voice your portfolio, you know, that you put out there so

Alex Ferrari 21:32
Yeah, I mean, it's your superpower. It's, you're really starting to get that that secret sauce, that's yours. And if you're passionate about I mean, look, Nora Ephron. She really found her superpower, you know what, and found his superpower. And Aaron found that, like, you know, Shannon, Shane Black, they all found that thing that they really resonate with and leaned into it, as opposed to, I mean, I'm sure Shane Black romantic comedy would be extremely interesting. Yes, I think I think a Tarantino romantic comedy would be extremely interesting. But it's not something that they lean into. Right? You know. So that's something to think about, as you're as you're moving forward. Now, in your book, you also talk about the four elements essential elements of a story foundation. Can you tell us what those four elements are?

Naomi Beaty 22:21
Yeah, I mean, I think they're, they sound really basic, but there's something that every story needs, right? So you need your protagonist or your central character, however you want to think about that. Sometimes you're you might be dealing with an ensemble or a pair, but I just sort of for default sake, I call it a protagonist, right? That's number one, the story goal that they're trying to achieve over the course of the story, because the entire movie is based on the pursuit of that endpoint, right? That's the that gives the story, its structure. The opposition, or you can think of it as the antagonist, right? The main obstacle or main thing standing in your protagonist way? And then the stakes? Why? Why do they want to achieve this goal? Why why is it important to them? What happens if they fail? There's some motivation there to keep them going. Right?

Alex Ferrari 23:10
All right. And then always, always find out about the everyone's always figuring and thinking about the hero's journey, or the three act structure. Why is the three act structure the most popular not for actor five Act, or seven act structure that, you know, some some projects, especially plays have? You know, why is it always the three act structure that everyone kind of leans into in Hollywood? Yeah,

Naomi Beaty 23:34
I think by default, we talk about movies in 3x structure, it's sort of become the common language of the industry, right, we sort of have all agreed that like, this is sort of the framework for movies, you have three acts, you have a setup and escalation and a resolution. And that just is sort of, you know, the the baseline is how most movies work. Not every movie, there are certainly exceptions to the rule. But mainstream movies kind of tend to have that structure. And they, they follow a particular rhythm and a pace that we're used to, right. And so those big turning points, those big structural plot points, the inciting incident, the breaking back to all of those, those create the pace of the movie. And that's why there's so much. You know, some people call them rules, right? Like your inciting incident has to happen, like page 12, or page 10, or between 10 and 15. I usually say between 10 and 15. But that's why that's kind of why those rules are accepted sort of rules, right? Because if those big turning points happen, kind of in a timely fashion, where we expect them that gives the story that gives the movie The pacing that we're used to right, it gives us that familiar rhythm, and it feels like things are happening on time and quickly enough that we're not getting bored. Right. So, to answer your question, though, I think that the 3x structure is just sort of what we've all collectively agreed is kind of Yeah, the lowest common denominator structure, and it gives you that setup escalation and resolution that we're all familiar with in stories. And that works so well, with the length of feature films, you know.

Alex Ferrari 25:12
So there's other there's movies, like I remember, like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which has, from what I understand five acts, but you can argue it has 3x. And a lot of 5x, a lot of 3x could be argued that have 5x, and you can start kind of breaking it down. And so is it kind of almost almost irrelevant to a certain extent, as long as you're hitting those beats. But a lot of these movies have different acts that don't line up exactly the way we want it to.

Naomi Beaty 25:41
Yeah, and I would agree that it is largely irrelevant, because we don't have curtains on the movies that tell you when the ACT breaks happen. And so you know what I mean. So this is all sort of like, again, I think remembering that this is all in an effort to have a particular effect on an audience. And that's why we concern ourselves with structure, right, because we want our movies to feel like they have a particular pace and a particular, you know, shape that is somewhat familiar, but also surprising, and takes us on an emotional journey and all of that stuff. So that's why we pay attention to structure. And that's not to say that every movie has to fall into 3x structure, there are definitely movies that you could say have 5x Or sometimes people say they have 4x, right, because you have act to split into into two parts. I don't think it really matters, like you're saying I think it's it's sort of irrelevant. It's how it feels? And is it delivering the effect on the audience that you want it to have? Basically, all of these like rules and tools and paradigms and things that we that we try to study and try to adhere to are in an effort to keep the audience from being bored, and to keep the audience reinvesting in the story. Right? So as long as you can do that, who cares how many acts you've sat down to write it with? But all of all that said, I do think it's helpful for newer writers who are studying, you know, screenwriting and trying to figure out how do I get this story idea out of my head and into a screenplay? I think it's useful for them to study three act structure and to understand like, what is that effect that I'm trying to have on the audience at each turning point or at each particular section of the script? When I teach in some of my my, like, first draft workshops, I use eight sequences. So you could look at those as being eight acts, you know what I mean?

Alex Ferrari 27:36
It's I think, I think what you're saying is just don't get caught up too much in it. But if you're starting out, it is the base, it is the foundation, the hero's journey, as is, which is so famously, you know, brought to our attention by by Mr. Joseph Campbell, is something that every writer, every storyteller needs to know whether they use it or not. Men, it's very difficult to use the hero's journey in a detective story, right? It doesn't, it doesn't it doesn't line up. But you should be able to know those things. These are basic understandings that you need to know as a screenwriter. And if you're going to make and this is a frustration I've seen with a lot of screenwriters is they'll write a screenplay, and think they're very artistic. And then they try to submit it to Hollywood. And it doesn't get any action and the like, why don't they recognize my genius, I go because you haven't played by Hollywood's rules. I don't care if you like it or not. It's I mean, every big movie that gets made any anything's made by a major studio has this kind of structure that we're talking about, has these turning points and point of no return. And it really does kind of follow the hero's journey, if it's if it's according to the, to the genre that they're writing in. So you kind of you know, fall into that now, once you build up, and God forbid, have a career in the business of writing to three, if you've sold three, four, or five, six scripts, and I've produced a whole bunch of stuff and you want to start playing around, right? Then you can start testing the waters because you have a name. If Quinton wants to come out and write whatever the hell he wants to. He can have someone reading a telephone book for two hours. Someone's gonna watch it. Because right so if Sorkin or st black or any of these great writers want to test the medium, or push it, they deserve they've earned that. Right. Right. Can't do that when you walk up.

Naomi Beaty 29:28
Well, and also Yeah, I mean, I totally agree. And also, like we were saying before any of those writers that have really, you know, been kind of in the trenches for a long time and have ingrained those that understanding of, well, here's why, you know, we say the inciting incident goes here, right? Here's the effect I'm trying to have on the audience. They know that that effect is really just about like, grabbing our attention and letting us know the story is starting. So if they have another way to do that, that doesn't feel like a traditional inciting incident. You know, they have that sort of understanding of cause asked whether they realize it or not that they can kind of like do something interesting. And we go, oh, that works because I'm interested, you know, and that's the whole point is like, get your audience interested, kind of like, you know, get us emotionally invested. And then keep us there as you tell us the story. Yeah, so

Alex Ferrari 30:15
But but I think that if you're walking in to Hollywood and trying to get a job in Hollywood, I think living in that structured world, to start is probably the best, the best way to get in the door. And to build up and to build a career up. I'm not saying to be formulaic, but Right, if everyone that I mean, that's what's selling.

Naomi Beaty 30:37
And also Yeah, I mean, writers have, you know, voiced that concern a lot. I think, you know, when you talk about structure, a lot of writers get worried that like, it's going to feel formulaic, it's going to feel like, you know, you know exactly what's coming, and you can expect everything. I don't think that's the case, it's like, understanding that structure is a tool for the writer, right? It gives you a starting point, a jumping off point where you go, Okay, so here's, here's three act structure, I know kind of broad strokes. Here's where the setup happens. Here's where the escalation happens, here's where the resolution happens. That doesn't mean that you have to have things occur in the most expected way, or the way we've seen happen a million times before, right? There's there that just gives you kind of the sandbox to play in. And then it's up to you to find interesting ways to convey the information that we need in order to follow your story, you know, and

Alex Ferrari 31:28
I was watching a movie the other day, and I can't remember because I watched so much content, it's hard to keep it all together in my head. But I remember it was sitting there with my wife watching the movie one night, and it was good. And we were really intrigued with it. And then at the end, where it was like that, that the all is lost moment in the screen, which is towards the end of the second act going into the third act. We didn't see it coming. We knew that moment was going to come but how it came was like, Oh, the mother's the killer was. Yeah, it was just like I didn't you just because the writer and the director did such a good job. You know, throwing red herrings out all over the place that you just did just came out of nowhere, but in a really good way. So there is always ways to surprise an audience, but it's still going to happen around that time to how it happens is up to you.

Naomi Beaty 32:16
Right! Yeah. And I love it when a movie can do that. Right when it doesn't when it doesn't feel expected or formulaic. Or like I've seen it before.

Alex Ferrari 32:25
I mean, let's go back. And this is a spoiler alert. Sixth Sense. If you haven't seen it, it's on you. The greatest one of the greatest twists in movie history. Yeah. happened at a structural point. It happened exactly where it was supposed to happen. But boy, that no one else, no one saw that comment, like no one saw it coming. But it's still happened at the point where you're just like, Huh, that's the point where it was that turning point had to happen. But the way he did it was just like, holy cow. Yeah. And

Naomi Beaty 32:59
It all comes down to the effect on the audience. Right? Because it was like that the audience had been led to a point where that reveal had the most impact. And that's, you know, that's kind of what we're always talking about when when it comes to structure.

Alex Ferrari 33:12
Well, if you look at the movie like psycho, I mean, let's look at that structure for a second. You, you know, again, spoiler alert. 1960. Sorry. But when, when she dies when Norman kills are in the shower. That's the beginning of the second act. But what's so brilliant about that script is now you're like, Okay, who? Whose story? Oh, wait a minute, they swapped out protagonist. Yeah. Which was so brilliant. You just like, in the end, like you killed off the movie star in the first 15 minutes. Like it was such a brilliant way. And no one had ever done anything like that before. But then again, where did it happen? The inciting incident? That's the inciting incident of the movie essentially. Am I right?

Naomi Beaty 33:55
I think so. Yeah, I haven't watched that movie. And so long, but I would believe you if you said this is the inciting incident. Because again, because you know that you're trying to have a particular effect on the audience. And it's like, that makes sense for that to happen right there. Because that shakes things up. Right? It it tells us that something is changing. And the story is starting now, because this just happened, you know

Alex Ferrari 34:14
Exactly, exactly. No, we're not. We've been talking a lot about structure. Let's talk about character a little bit. How do you develop an engaging main character? That's if you have any tips on that?

Naomi Beaty 34:25
It's a good question. And I think there you know, probably a million different ways. However, I do think it's useful to think about like, what is sort of reverse engineer right and think about what are the ways that that an audience or an individual person becomes engaged in a story right, because the story that we're watching comes through the protagonist character, we're watching one particular character story usually. So thinking about like, what engages us and a lot of times it's those those like emotions that you know you can rely on to get somebody invested. So it's, you know, engaging our empathy for a character showing us that there's someone that we that we should care about or you know, want to care about. And there's a reason to care about them, engaging our our sort of like, tension or fear about what might happen for them the anticipation that something bad might happen. So if you put a character in jeopardy, then we sort of lean in and we go, oh, this is this is a character I'm interested in, in following because I want to know what happens to them, and I care about it. And then also, I think, getting us to like a character, there's so much said about, you know, making your character likable. And I know that writers here hate to hear that, that your character has to be like, well, and I'm not saying that at all, actually. But um, but getting us to either like them or admire them or find them appealing in some way, I think is a really useful thing to think about that is so simple and so often overlooked, right? Like, thinking about making your character appealing should be should be kind of a, you know, one of the early things that you think about, because if you think about this in terms of like, it's a product that you're trying to sell to someone, the movie is a product, right? There's got to be appealing, selling points about it. And so hopefully, your protagonist, your central character, is one of those selling points, one of those appealing selling points. So thinking about like, can you make them funny? Can you make them good at what they do? Can you give them like unique talents or skills, or even sometimes just a unique personality that is engaging? Those are little tricks to kind of like hook hook our interest and start to get us to lean in.

Alex Ferrari 36:35
I mean, and a movie in recent years that did this so beautifully was Joker. I mean, Joker, you literally he's the villain. He's one of the great villains of all time, not only cinematic, but in literature. He's really brilliantly written villain. And yet, how do you identify with a villain and man did they just structure that story and that character, so you feel the insanity of what it's like to be The Joker and totally, and you're going through that your journey with them and at the edge? So you feel better? Like yeah, he's doing Amos stuff. But you're like, but I get it, like I can understand where you're coming from. It's not just the twisting of the moustache, one dimension eight, right layer upon layer upon layer upon layer with that movie. Yeah, that was so done so beautifully.

Naomi Beaty 37:28
And if they had relied on, you know, I think this does happen actually, in a lot of sort of newer writers scripts, where they go, Well, this character is just fascinating, because he's a character we love to hate, right? Like, he's just a, an antihero, and he just does terrible things. And that's why he's fascinating. And sometimes I think that that might be able to work. Like I wouldn't say that it can never work. But if you think about it, the thing that made Joker such a such a compelling character, right, is that it played on our empathy it that movie did such a, like you're saying such a beautiful job of like, showing us this character who isn't good. But there's so much that's in him that we can understand why he is the way he is, right? And I think it's human nature to have empathy for other people. So that movie does such a good job of playing on our, our own empathy, like as humans. And then also I think a little bit it plays on kind of the the, the same appeal that like true crime does. We want to understand how this person got this way, and what makes them do the things they do. So like the the sort of dual, you know, qualities in people of empathy and curiosity. I think that movie, like hit it on the head with that character,

Alex Ferrari 38:44
And that they made his maniacal laugh. And illness. Yes, yeah, was a stroke of genius, because that's the cartoony thing about the Joker. It's a comic book character, but that they made it an actual illness. It's like, oh, no, he's suffering when he's laughing. Oh, it's just like, oh, so good. Yeah. And

Naomi Beaty 39:05
It's such a good, you know, it just plays on us, right? Because the first time you're sort of like, Oh, it's just like a real life experience, where you might see somebody doing something that at first puts you on guard, and you're like, Oh, that's weird. I should be nervous, right? But then if you learn, there's actually something behind it. Like they can't help it. It's a you know, it's a disorder. It's a it's a thing that they have to deal with, then you suddenly start to feel bad about judging and then and you know, your empathy is sort of is sort of like rolled out for them.

Alex Ferrari 39:37
Yeah, exactly. ramped up. It's like someone with Tourette's, you're like, oh, that's just a foul mouth person. You're like, Oh, my God, he can't he she can't help it. Right. So it's a completely so they touched on that such a brilliant moment in that and that character development. And, you know, speaking of villains, I think when you were saying that, you know, oh, he's an antihero, he's, he's bad because he's just he's fascinating to look at that right. I'd have played in 1920 doesn't play now we're just too advanced for that. So even a movie like endgame Avengers endgame, where Thanos, who is, you know, the biggest bad guy at the time. He really, if you look at what he was trying to do, and same thing in Black Panther, if I remember the villain and that they both had good intentions, they were just going about it the wrong way.

Naomi Beaty 40:23
Yeah. And I noticed

Alex Ferrari 40:24
That I just wanted to depopulate the entire universe because we were running out of resources. And I saw it on my plan. And I think I want to help everybody else, I'm just going to kill half the universe. So this is just a wrong way of going about it. But it wasn't just like, I'm bad to be bad. I just want to destroy the work that that doesn't play as much as to one dimensional now. Right?

Naomi Beaty 40:46
Yeah. And I, Black Panther is a good example of that, too. And I don't remember all of the specifics. But I do remember thinking that antagonist is such a, it's almost difficult to decide who you should, you know, give your allegiance to, because he, he was a guy who was reacting to the way he was brought up. And he, you know, his background and the circumstances that he found himself in, and he had intentions to that he was like, No, based on all of that, based on what I know, and what I've experienced, here's what should happen, right? And you kind of can't. That's what's so interesting about those characters is that you get to see what motivates them, and understand where they're coming from. And then it's like, it's even more compelling to us, I think, as viewers because we're like, I don't want to agree with him. But I kind of see where he's coming from, you know,

Alex Ferrari 41:34
And that's what and that's what keeps you engaged in the stories that you're following. So why Black Panther was not it was such a monster hit for many reasons. But that if that villain wasn't right, that it would have been, it wouldn't have helped destroy the string of the story as well, as it did. And, you know, we talked about introductions of, or talking about main characters, introducing a character is something so important. And I just when I was reading that in your book, I was like, oh, Indiana Jones Raiders of Lost Ark. Mat, not a word spoken, I think maybe one or two words that have nothing about his character. But that whole opening sequence all the way up until the Boulder is about to crush him. Sorry, spoiler alert. This episode, I mean, I mean, seriously, guys, I can't help it. But the entire time you find out so much about who Indiana Jones is, within the first five to 10 minutes of movie without a word spoken? It's really It's fascinating. Well, I mean, Lance cast and is such a brilliant.

Naomi Beaty 42:37
Yeah, well, he's Yeah, right. And movies. You know, I think that that's one thing that also, it's easy to overlook, again, coming back to the idea that there are so many skill sets to remember when you're trying to write a good screenplay. One of them is how do you introduce your protagonist in a way that conveys? You know, that gives us some information to go on, you want it as quickly as possible conveyed as who is this character? And why should we be watching them? Right? And that's an easily overlooked thing. Because when you're juggling all those skill sets, you're like, Okay, I gotta get my, my protagonist in here, somehow. And so, you know, very often we see that he wakes up, he brushes his teeth, he goes to work. And you know, sometimes that can give us valuable information about the character. But a lot of times, that's just the first thing you thought of, right. So thinking about, like, thinking about what could be a more, you know, a more full introduction to your character, like a more, you know, interesting but also revealing introduction to them that can tell us more about them, just besides, you know, where they sleep and how they brush their teeth. I think the character the protagonist, introduction is such a great place where and again, talking about like not beating the creativity out of your story. By the time you get to writing your script, like coming up with that introduction, you don't want to have all these other things to think about because you want to be able to take the time to like brainstorm what's the most interesting way for me to introduce that character.

Alex Ferrari 44:05
And when you were saying that someone like, oh, they go up or they brush their teeth, and they wash their face. First thing that popped in my head is Jack Nicholson as good as it gets, which is an amazing character introduction, because again, not a word is said, but by his his entire opening morning sequence, you learn like 90% of what you need to know about this character. And the other 10% are kind of revealed beautifully throughout the rest of the script of its internal but you just know so quickly, who this person is. Tom Cruise and Rayman in the first 5010 minutes you've know who this guy is so it's it's it

Naomi Beaty 44:45
It was it Bill Murray in What About Bob? Is that the one where he swallows the toothbrush?

Alex Ferrari 44:52
I think it might be I haven't seen What About Bob and forever but yeah, I think it might be me. Although, I mean Even him in Groundhog's Day, you kind of you know or even know even better his introduction and Ghostbusters when he's yeah what he's doing the the psychic tests that the way he does it and he's being pervy, and he's you know all you just know everything you need to know about Beckman like,

Naomi Beaty 45:17
Yeah, tell really quickly, what made me think about what about Bob is because we were talking about brushing the teeth and I feel like that's that's if I'm remembering right that movie he's like brushing his teeth but he swallows the toothbrush. And it's like, of course that works because that's not the traditional he wakes up, he brushes his teeth, he goes to work. This is a guy who like, you know, his default way of waking up and brushing his teeth is weird, and tells us kind of that he's not normal, which was very important to know in that movie.

Alex Ferrari 45:46
And I think as a good, a good kind of way to have an exercise that you should do as a screenwriter is to look at some of your favorite movies and see how they introduce those characters. Because as we're talking like Tom Hanks, and Turner and Hooch when he was you know, didn't the, you know, doing everything, he's cleaning his nose hairs, like, you know, his whole house, within the first five minutes, you know, this guy's a neat freak. And then of course, Gooch comes into and messes up his world. So it's all beautifully done. So if you start analyzing how these characters are introduced? Well, that's a really helpful thing, because I think in in, you know, beginning scripts and bad scripts, characters are just like, they just show up and there's a one dimensional like, oh, look, he's got tattoos on and he had a suit on like, No, don't, you know, or, Hey, Bob, how's that job? Like? They say that they don't show it. And it's something that we really, it's something we need to fight against?

Naomi Beaty 46:38
Yeah, it is it is it? Well, it's an opportunity for you to be creative, right, it's an opportunity for you to like, give us a scene that we're going to fall in love with both, we're going to fall in love with the movie, we're gonna fall in love with your writing, we're going to fall in love with the character. So that protagonist introduction, you know, no pressure, but it has some, it's a really good opportunity for you to do something cool and interesting and compelling. So don't you know, don't waste it because you only have a certain number of pages for us to be engaged in to fall in love with what you're doing. So that's even a one, even Vin

Alex Ferrari 47:13
Diesel and fast and furious when we're introduced to him. I mean, it's not super complex. It's not nearly as great as gamble as the other ones. But all you need to know about him is laid out in the first time you see him when he's racing and how he races. What he does, it's very important to his character, and how he's introduced. So it's these kinds of things that that screenwriters need to think about with it. Because once you're hooked with the main character, if you do your job, right, you're on the journey with them.

Naomi Beaty 47:42
Yeah, you know which one I'll I'll throw one more at you which character introduction I love is Erin Brockovich. Oh, no, because you immediately know who she is. I mean, it's a it's an it's a scene that could very well be a cliche, because it's a job interview, right? Where she's being asked questions where she's answering questions, but it's an opportunity to give us a bunch of information right up front about who the character is, how she thinks, what her experience in the world is. And then right after that, you know, talk about like triggering our empathy. We see her sight, not sideswiped. What's it called T boned by another car. You know, she's already like, not, you know, not great financially. She's looking for a job, she's struggling. And then this happens. And you know, who doesn't have empathy for her after that?

Alex Ferrari 48:32
I mean, she's the underdog. There's, there's, she's definitely the underdog and you like, but she's a fighter, and like, hey, I want an underdog. I'm a fighter. I'm gonna go with her on this journey. Right. That's it. That's how you go. Now in your book, you also talk about a story chart, what is the story?

Naomi Beaty 48:46
Well, I have a couple of different story charts in in the book. And, you know, they're they're really just like tools and exercises that I put together. Not just when I was writing the book, but with writers that I work with, to sort of try to help people get clear on the story they're telling, right? Because I think one of the one of the instincts that newer writers have sometimes is like, I have an idea. Now I'm just gonna sit down and write the whole thing. And it's like, there are a lot of steps that could help you get a grasp on what it is you're trying to write. Because not knowing what you're trying to write, I think is a very quick way to get stuck and get writer's block and to abandon that project and never finish that screenplay. So I'm trying to help writers not get to that point. I want them to understand what they're trying to write and sort of develop their ideas in baby steps so that it doesn't feel hard. It doesn't feel overwhelming, and they get to the screenplay and can actually write the whole thing. So the story chart that I have in the book is it's basically just taking kind of the broad strokes of a story it's it's almost like the Once Upon a Time then this happened then this happened kind of template for a story, right? It's like that, that traditional sort of story that we all know and understand. It's sort of Have a version of that just taking the broad strokes of a feature film, like, here's kind of what happens in all the big sections, and laying out into charts so that you can use it as prompts to kind of figure out okay, so in my story, in this broad strokes section, this is where we meet the character and understand, you know, kind of where they are in life right now. So you can then brainstorm and fill that in for your story and kind of, again, it's a baby step. It's a way to kind of like, start to get clear on what needs to happen in each section of your story.

Alex Ferrari 50:30
And what's a springboard? I heard, I saw that I love to hear what that is.

Naomi Beaty 50:34
Yeah, that's, we were talking about the eight sequences, right? So I teach, you know, getting through first draft using springboards and sequences. It's one of the methods that I use to outline basically a way to figure out what happens in each part of your story. So the way I teach it is the you know, a screenplay is can be broken up into eight sequences, and in between each sequence is a springboard. So it's a plot point, a lot of the a lot of the springboards that you'll find are actually those major plot turning points, right? So the inciting incident is a springboard the break into Act Two is a springboard. The midpoint is the springboard the break into three. So those kind of turning points are springboards for the next section of the script. So what happens at that plot point, sends us in a particular direction that the next section of script plays out. And that's, that's basically it. Does that makes sense?

Alex Ferrari 51:31
That makes that makes perfect. Now, I'm gonna ask you a few questions. I ask all of my guests. Oh, sure. What advice would you give a screenwriter trying to break into the business today?

Naomi Beaty 51:41
Interesting. Well, there's so much advice to be given. But I guess it depends on who I'm talking to, in terms of where are they in the journey. But if they have written those screenplays that they're really proud of, and are getting good feedback. And they just feel like they need to know some piece of information before they can, like, make that big break, right? I think my best advice is to not rely on one method, I always tell writers to have a lot of irons in the fire to, you know, take a lot of different opportunities that come to them. Because you just you don't know which one is going to be the the thing that sort of breaks you in. And more often than not, I think it's a snowball effect. It's like you get a yes here. And then you can leverage that to getting into this program. And then being in that program allows you to meet, you know, certain executives, and you can kind of like use those relationships to get your foot in the door in a writers room or in you know, something else. So I think it's a snowball effect. So you should say yes to things and sort of have as many irons in the fire as you can. Because cumulatively, that's how you break in, it's not a lottery ticket. It's not one opportunity that's going to suddenly make your career and now you're in and you're never going to stop work gig and you know, and all that stuff.

Alex Ferrari 53:01
All the money just comes by trucks, I think they bring them out and they just pile the money just goes into the front.

Naomi Beaty 53:06
Yeah, that's what I've heard. I mean, I'm waiting. But

Alex Ferrari 53:09
I've been waiting for quite a few years, few decades. At this point. I've been waiting for it. Yeah. Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?

Naomi Beaty 53:20
Deep, so many questions? Wouldn't it have been funny if I had just recycled everything that I said last time?

Alex Ferrari 53:28
Because it's been such a long time, I would have never thought of it. That's a great answer.

Naomi Beaty 53:32
Yeah, I know, I have no idea. Well. So this is I don't know if this is going to make sense. But I do think that the lesson that probably took me the longest to learn and has so many different applications is know your audience, right? And I think that that's true, when you're writing a script, you kind of have to have a sense of like, who is this for? Who is the audience for this? Who would go see this movie, because not because you're writing to the market or because you're pandering or catering just to one particular sensibility or something. But you do have to know that your the thing that you're writing is meant to be seen. And so there is an audience who should want to see this, right. So I think knowing your audience comes in, in that sense. But then also, I think it applies to the sort of working collaborations that you're going to have to have, as you know, in any part of the filmmaking process. You know, you can speak differently to a fellow writer than you can to a director or your producer or you know, whoever it is that you have to kind of do business with. And knowing the difference between a newer producer who doesn't really know what they're doing yet versus a very seasoned producer who you know, you can speak with in a different way. I think knowing your audience is just so important in every every regard.

Alex Ferrari 54:54
Absolutely. I you start talking about big words, start throwing around screenwriting jargon to a young producer. doesn't know what they're doing. And if they have an ego problem, that's when fights start busting out or like it. These are things that they don't talk about. This is not stuff that it's taught at school. So knowing who you're talking to, and knowing your audience is extremely important, your apps great answer Great answer. Now three screenplays that every screenwriter should read.

Naomi Beaty 55:18
Okay, um, well, I think my, my default answer would be choose the three screenplays that are most like things that you want to write, right that are sort of like, if you could choose screen any screenplay to have written, choose those screenplays to study, because I think that that's probably going to help you the most, right, because it'll speak directly to kind of like what you love about those stories. But if you're stuck, and you're looking for suggestions, I think, choose a, you know, I'll use this term loosely but choose a classic choose something pre 19 ad to read, just to kind of like see how stories were put together in an earlier time in an earlier era. And then choose something that's been a, you know, say, an Oscar winner for Best Screenplay in the last 20 years or something, and then choose something off of the blacklist, to to read to get a sense of like, what are what are sort of current trends in screenwriting style? How are people doing things differently now? than they were, you know, 40 years ago and 20 years ago?

Alex Ferrari 56:29
Great advice. That's a great answer. I've never had that answer before in the show. Good, good answer to that question.

Naomi Beaty 56:34
Something new.

Alex Ferrari 56:35
And finally, your three favorite films of all time.

Naomi Beaty 56:38
Oh, gosh, I'm sure that I answered this one before and probably regretted my answer immediately. Because as soon as I say my favorites, I'm like, No, but what about this one? So classics that I just go back to again and again, and I and I love them because of the effect they have on me but also because they're so interesting and have offers so much to think about and study in terms of screenwriting, Silence of the Lambs, for sure. What other one do I always go back to? Oh, you know what I love about a boy, I think that that's such an interesting screenplay and movie and it does such a good job of, you know, we're talking about sort of like, whose story is it and kind of balancing multiple characters. That's a good one to study if you are in that predicament of trying to have kind of a two hander. And then let's see. Third all time favorite. You know, a recent favorite is bridesmaids, I think that that that movie does so much right and took me so much by surprise in terms of like how well how well put together that story is

Alex Ferrari 57:42
Very cool. And where can people pick up your book, The screenplay outline workbook.

Naomi Beaty 57:48
You can get it on Amazon. It's only in paperback at the moment. So it's a physical book that you get, and you get to write in and do the exercises and hopefully, you know, develop your screenplay idea by the time you're, you're finished with it. So yeah, Amazon's the place to see it.

Alex Ferrari 58:02
Naomi, thank you so much for coming back on the show. You're welcome back anytime. I appreciate the good work you do and help some writers out there. You know, battle the problems of getting the first screenplay out there. So yeah, my dear, thank you so much.

Naomi Beaty 58:15
Thank you. Thanks for having me again.

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Ted Tally Scripts Collection: Screenplays Download

Ted Tally (born April 9, 1952) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He adapted the Thomas Harris novel The Silence of the Lambs into the film of the same name, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, the Writers Guild of America Award, the Chicago Film Critics Award, and the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Born William Theodore Tally in North Carolina, Tally was educated at Yale College and the Yale School of Drama, and has also taught at each of them. His most notable credit is the screenplay for The Silence of the Lambs, which won him the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as the Writers Guild of America Award, Chicago Film Critics Award and an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Other scripts include White Palace, Before and After, The Juror, All the Pretty Horses, and 12 Strong.

Below are all the screenplays available online. If you find any of his missing screenplays please leave the link in the comment section.

When you are done reading take a listen to Apple and Spotify’s #1 Screenwriting Podcast The Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcastwith guest like Oscar® Winner Eric Roth, James V. HartDavid ChaseJohn AugustOliver Stone and more.


(NOTE: For educational and research purposes only).

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)

Screenplay by Ted Tally – Read the screenplay!

THE JUROR (1996)

Screenplay by Ted Tally – Read the screenplay!

ALL THE PRETTY HORSES (2000)

Screenplay by Ted Tally – Buy the screenplay!

RED DRAGON (2002)

Screenplay by Ted Tally – Read the screenplay!

BPS 235: Inside the Soulful Sundance Hit Nine Days with Edson Oda

I had the pleasure of watching acclaimed director, Edson Oda’s knockout feature directorial debut, Nine Days. And I absolutely loved it. With the COVID shock, the world has experienced and still going through, this film centers the conversation of existentialism and depicts it quite distinctly. 

Oda’s supernatural drama film, Nine Days was shot at the peak of the Pandemic in isolated Utah, starred Black Panther’s star, Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale, Bill Skarsgård, David Rysdahl, and Arianna Ortiz.

The film is about an interviewer named Will, who spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live POV on TVs of people going about their lives. He interviews five unborn souls to determine which one can be given life on Earth, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates – unborn souls – arrive at Will’s to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma, a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life.

Oda who is a Sundance Screenwriters Lab Alumni took the film home (to Sundance) and premiered Nine Days there in January 2020. It went on to win the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award in February of 2020 and earned two Independent Spirits Awards nominations.

The Japanese-Brazilian director and writer made his start in São Paulo advertising scene and later completed his master’s at USC in Film and Production. Oda has produced and directed several films, commercials, and music videos. 

In 2013, he directed and wrote a short film, Malaria which is about a young mercenary who is hired to kill Death. Malaria combines Origami, Kirigami, Timelapse, nankin illustration, Comic Books and Western Cinema.

Besides top-notch commercials for companies like Philips, Movistar, InBev, Whirlpool, Johnson & Johnson, Honda, Nokia, he’s also a Latin Grammy-nominated director for best music video Tempos de Maracujá.

Nine Days was released in the US on July 30th, 2021 and I am excited to see how well-received it is about to become. I am predicting it may even win an Academy Award. Yes. It is that fantastic!

Please enjoy my conversation with Edson Oda.

Right-click here to download the MP3

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Alex Ferrari 0:02
I like to welcome to the show Edson Oda. How you doing?

Edson Oda 0:16
Good. Good, man. How's it going?

Alex Ferrari 0:17
Thank you. Thank you for doing well, man, I'm so happy to have you on the show man. Like I was telling you before we got on, I had the pleasure of watching nine days. And I have absolutely loved it. I think it's, it's a film that we need in this world now just kind of starts that conversation and starts that conversation about deeper conversation about what we're doing. And I think the pandemic has really made us think about our lives in general. But before we go down the rabbit hole on your film, how did you get into business?

Edson Oda 0:50
Yeah, I was, you know, born and raised in Brazil, and then I start working in advertising, like, straight out of college and then work never that's for like 10 years as a copywriter. And then after that, I moved here to the west, I went to film school, grad film, school. And yeah, and then I just start writing stuff. And there's some point it just real nine days and got to the Sundance labs. And then for the Sundance labs, I got, like, introduce some producers. And then from from there on, we just like started sending out into, like, we got finance and everything. So

Alex Ferrari 1:24
that's pretty That's awesome. So so when you weren't in Brazil, you were working in the commercial world.

Edson Oda 1:29
I was Yeah. I used to work in advertising agency.

Alex Ferrari 1:32
I, oh, very much. So I, commercial director for 20 years. So I yeah, but I've been a commercial director for over 25 years, between music videos and commercials and stuff. So I and before that I was editing in editing commercials as well. So I'm very well aware of the the agency side of the agency side of the business. Now, you know, coming from a commercial background and a music video background, how do you how did that prepare you to jump into your first feature?

Edson Oda 2:06
It prepared a lot actually no, and what was interesting, because when a migrate, you know, I said like, Oh, yeah, not gonna, it's just gonna start from you know, from beginning, you know, but but then, I think as it was just when it was the wrap, and it was feel me, I saw that it was he prepared quite a bit actually, like specially writing because it was a copywriter. It was interesting, because in terms of I think commercials are a very high concept, you know, in, you always try to grab people's attention in like a short span of time. And there's something that even like, 90, if you pitch someone there, there's a kind of element like, Oh, this is, this is weird, this is different. And I think, even when it was coming up with a concept that was trying to go with something that felt kind of unique, somehow it felt it same time, when you in advertise, we always push to just like have the best execution to one single scene. That's usually like 30 seconds, you know, so I think every, every single scene somehow I saw more or less like a, you know, a commercial in a way that I need, you know, tons of execution, just find the one that I feel like all this, this fits well to the story, what it wants to achieve. So it was it was very helpful, to be honest.

Alex Ferrari 3:27
Yeah. I mean, when you're writing when you're writing you, ideally, you're supposed to have a beginning, middle and end in every scene. And with commercial, you are trained to do that every 30 seconds. Yeah, it helps you with your writing a lot, I'm sure. Now, how did nine days come to life? No pun intended?

Edson Oda 3:45
Yeah, no, it's been purgatory. someone's like, it was it was such a, you know, I started writing it. It was like 2015, I think, yes, it was. So it was pretty quick, actually. And then they were like this first draft. And I wanted to ride this kind of, you know, micro budget movie, because I felt like even if people don't, you know, invest money in it. Worst case scenario, just like I do Kickstarter, or something, it just making myself so it felt like, yeah, I'm going to write something that I can produce, we'd like to interact, we'd like 100k or something like that. in a rural, it took me like, I think, one month or something after I figure out what I want to write about one month, just structure all the thoughts in my head. And then after that took me like, three, four months just to you know, write the pages in. So it was more like four months into I had like, a rough first draft. And then I got to the Sundance labs, and after the labs, it just said working on that script for like a year and a half, two years or something like that. And then from then I just liked Just like being producers and and in from from that on it was like it was something that was just wasn't just me, but it was like other people some

Alex Ferrari 5:09
something something took something took over the project at that point.

Edson Oda 5:13
Yeah, yeah. Mostly was me because it was oh the the the person just doing like most of the, you know, trying to sell and try to Yeah, give him money and stuff. But it wasn't. And then people are just like be on my side. Yeah, yeah, give it to him. Yeah, he's,

Alex Ferrari 5:29
he's a good he's a good fella, it's okay, give him some money give us he's gonna do he's not gonna lose it all, it'll be fine. It's always I always I love, I love talking to filmmakers about getting the money for their projects, because I don't care who you are, everyone's got to hustle. Everyone's got to hustle to get there to get their financing. There's very few directors who don't hustle to get their finances, especially for your first film. But when watching that film, but watching the movie, I can see that it could have easily been done for $100,000. You know, it was you know, control locations. I mean, obviously, not as grand of scale, but you could have your push come to shove made an independent version of that without question. We're talking too much about the film, let's Can you tell this to the audience what this film is about?

Edson Oda 6:12
Yeah, this is such a weird movie to pitch, but I practice a lot. So this movies about this interviewer it happens in this, this distant reality, I don't call like, you know, it's a, it's a I load Bible. In them in the same vein of movies like Eternal Sunshine, a Spotless Mind or her. And then there's this like reality, which is kind of pre life reality as a call, it's a before life reality. And there's like this interviewer whose name is Will, in his interview songs to choose one soul for the privilege of being born. And the process, you know, takes like nine days to be concluded into this nine days, it's just gonna, you know, talk to the souls know them better. And then by the end of process, just pick one to be born to be where we all at now.

Alex Ferrari 7:05
So what is your definition of a soul? And that's,

Edson Oda 7:10
that's an interesting question. You know, I think it's, it's everything that's not created through the environment, you know, I think it's, it's things that are innately there, you know, part of us before we interact with one another, but somehow they tell how the interactions in our or how the environment will shape us, but it's kind of, you know, I think, same typically would be our DNA. But it's interesting, but it's not the DNA because, as you can see, you know, there's so many variables, variables, yeah, there's

Alex Ferrari 7:49
variables. Yeah. But on a, but on a spiritual level. What do you think your definition of a soul is? If I may ask,

Edson Oda 7:56
I think I think it'd be more like a DNA of your personality, I think it would be the DNA of your view as not nothing related to a body but it

Alex Ferrari 8:07
as a being as a being as a being Yeah, is it being Is it because I love a lot. First of all, I love the casting and I loved the variety of ages, the ages, the the, the colors, it was like a rainbows fantastic to watch. But I love that, you know, some of the souls that came in for the interviews were older, some were younger, and they were all different personalities. And I found it so interesting that the concept that you know, a freshly, arguably a freshly born soul, which is what I took from the film, that is a is a freshly born soul comes in and goes, Okay, I'm here, I'm going to interview but if I don't make it, I just go back into the mix. And then hopefully, I'll get born again some other time and maybe get another opportunity. But I just love that they all came in with some with attitude. Some were very pleasing, some wanted to please others were very standoffish. It was it was a really interesting character study, I think it was almost socio almost a sociology experiment. Would you agree? Yeah. 100%

Edson Oda 9:14
You know, it was interesting before I chose to become like, advertiser was like in between, like psychology and sociology. Then I felt like always want to somehow understand you know, society or even give something back to society or do something for them. But then but the same time I felt like I was had this kind of selfish desire of creating thing, you know, and just like having the fun of creating that at the time, it was just, you know, when with advertising and in anything later in my life, we just felt like yeah, it was so interesting to do something that was more like a connecting connected to more people. You know, how I feel about the environment. Everyone knows. It's almost like a sociological study. And if there's only nine days is more or less like that. It's like how what happens For something and why we are the way, in always, it's not. It's not about like I feel, trying to just answer anything, but it's more about like just raising the questions and like start discussions which I, for me, it was just very, very interesting.

Alex Ferrari 10:13
Ya know, the film definitely starts questions and it's it asks questions, and definitely we'll start discussions. I have to ask you, how was it to workshop this at the Sundance writers lab? Well, the writer Yeah, it was you broke up a little bit. Yeah. So yeah, well, how was it? How was it to workshop the film in other scripts at the, at the screen at the Sundance writers lab, which is, you know, it was amazing. Yeah, it was, it was just amazing. It was just,

Edson Oda 10:41
I think, since you know, when I got to, I got here and your West, I think I didn't know so much about the Sundance labs, but then when I got to know, I just felt like this is this kind of my dream, you know, I wanted to be in the selected to, to just workshop this group, we'd like the amazing mentors, and they give you feedback in something interesting is not just about the feedback, and how, you know, you meet them, and they, they give you like, notes, but it's more about the environment, you know, it's more about, it's interesting, because, like, my, like my movie, you know, the whole process is very, almost like spiritual, it's, it's like a bunch of people who are there, you know, isolated. And rule number one is just like, let's not here, listen to the industry. Now we are here, we want to do something that that's human, you know, something that makes a difference, something that, you know, it's you are you you, you know, and, and let's just forget what other people you know, are saying, and just find the reason for why you're telling your stories and why it's important. And, and then we After finish this, we just go in and start just like you know, teaching so it was interesting, because the whole place the whole environment and process so much about learning how to be vulnerable, current learning how to be personal learning how to, you know, do our own stories, but not just by you know, telling story for the sake of telling stories, because it has also to do with the How can we help you with the craft, in order to you to tell the story. So it was, it was just like a perfect environment for me like personal but also very technical, too.

Alex Ferrari 12:19
It's like going to Tibet with a monk. It sounds like yeah, it's like it's your, you're completely walled off from the rest of the world. It's a whole bunch of other monks they're teaching you how to meditate in the in the craft of storytelling.

Edson Oda 12:34
Like you know, I don't know if you watch like Cobra Kai, or of course, this guy. That's more like the Miyagi dough. You know, when and in Hollywood is more or less a cup of coffee. You can just after you go to mega though, you can go to you know, Cobra Kai and see like, Oh, this is the script that I brought from Yeah, I did.

Alex Ferrari 12:55
such an amazing analogy of Miyagi doe versus Cobra Kai.

Edson Oda 12:59
And I think like, we know, I'm doing advertising for the Cobra caca. And now that the new season, we're going to learn that both of them that need each other,

Alex Ferrari 13:08
which, at the end of the day is true, because Hollywood does need the independent story. And the independent story needs the infrastructure of Hollywood because all of our great at all of our great directors and writers, they all they all start somewhere, you know, they all start with their independent films, generally speaking, before, they don't just generally come out the gate with $100 million. Striking striking first parking hard, right? Yeah, strike first strike. While we're going right, we're going deep down the Cobra Kai. back. So funny. Are you still can you tell if you can tell us to kind of take a step by step. So you you're done at the at the Sundance lab, you finish the script, you meet a few producers, and then you basically just go out into the world and just start looking for financing and money to try to put this project together. Well, how long did that what was that project? Like? What was the process like? And how long did it take you to do?

Edson Oda 14:05
Oh, yeah, it was so it was interesting, right after the so the the Sundance labs, I just went back to you know, at my desk and you just start writing writing, right, so yeah, okay, now we're ready to just go out. So my managers, you know, my team just like starting to send email to producers and Sundance as well. It's interesting because I was done at Sundance, but Sundance never you know, done with you, they always support you. So and then like for the next like months, that we just started saying script and just start carrying like producer so I think during the one year I started just like working with for this for one year, but it's more trying to you know, find investors and people who would be interested at same time it's just hard for you as you know, first time director to get like money because the way they want to do it, they want to do like you know, more of with more resources and when it when it wanted to do when you really care I do like under K, but they wanted to do with more, more than 100k. So, so when you started like asking investors, they were very interested, but as well, but they were also like, you know, yeah, we'd like his vision, you know, all this stuff, but who would play you know, this character is always that always? Yeah, so there was a time when we just started going, introducing the script to to actors in having meetings. And, you know, from I think that was like, during one year, and then a couple months later, just having conversations the cast when we have like, a amazing cast directors were ready, like, in the beginning of the process with us, Kate gallery, and, and, and just, and Jessica killer, oh,my God, I,I we have to be editors, which are what part ours are cast cast directors, just cast casting directors, and we just like, we just, we just started just saying all this good to everyone. And, and then the actors were so you know, receptive to this crap. And from that, we just, you know, when when people say, Oh, yeah, I want to, you know, play this, this role and everything. We we just, like went back to the investors and they say, like, yeah, we wer just gonna, you know,

Alex Ferrari 16:27
Oh, yes. Yeah, I mean, after that cast, I would invest too. I mean, it was a heck of a cast that you got put together there. I mean, it's an actor's dream this this script is an actor's dream, all the parts, even the small parts have so much meat in them, that most actors would love to play that part. And then the I forgot his name, the will who plays the lead? Well, we can do Yes, he is. He's gonna get he better get a nomination for Best Actor. I mean, he he was a tour de force. performance. I was just I was in I was enchanted and thronged with him. He's just, he has such a presence. Generally, he's a very large man from Black Panther. And, and from us. He's a very large man, but his presence because he wasn't. I mean, he was a little bit there was there was moments where he showed his physicality in the movie, but he was normally just very quiet, very gentle. And he still just had such presence. And and when you start mixing in all these other actors, I mean, what was it like for you? As a first time filmmaker, if not first time filmmaker, but first time feature filmmaker to have a cast like this? What did you feel like going on the set for the first day? Or the table read the first day? Like, what are the nerves? What are like, how did you approach this process?

Edson Oda 17:50
Yeah, that was amazing. Just not not not remember the name? Jessica? Yeah, the both my both guests. Rex is Jessica Kelly and big Gala. Got it? Like,

Alex Ferrari 18:00
they did an amazing job. They did an amazing job deliver that. Yeah,

Edson Oda 18:03
they did a really good job. So yeah, it was it was it was amazing process just like, you know, since day one we were just talking to it was very surreal, because it was my first feature and just having does know, a list actors with you. And, and I remember, like being having all those, you know, actors in the table read, and they just read in your lines and adding like so much in there to, to the work they put in the page. And it was interesting, because I think in the beginning, because there's so much like a collaborative process. And for me, it was like, Okay, I read the those those lines and those pages, but it was interesting that every, you know, person in the team, they just like brought, like different interpretations for who, who the characters were, you know, and even, for example, Winston, he didn't want to play the character was the depressive guy, you know, like, who is always like, one thing? No. And so he was always trying to find, you know, what's what's the what's the happiness behind Well, what's what's what's going on in him and not in a way that he's just like this one little person, but just try and find more of his humanity and, and like, some other characters, like the souls, we had, like deep discussions in a way like how, so how they're going to, you know, interact with one another how they're going to, they're going to like, interact with the world surrounding them. And because since they're all souls one couldn't just like, you know, look at water, say like, Oh, my God, this water does I never tasted before. And the other ones just be like, let's say about waters, there's all cold water, but they do need you to some kind of, you know, same, you know, same kind of energy towards things around and so we have like deep discussions about how would they, you know, act, and everyone had like, really great ideas in a way because it was pretty much like experimental work, if you think of it people who don't have even backgrounds Fast and when you have just find what, you know how they would react to the workouts, you know, outside.

Alex Ferrari 20:07
What was the hardest day on set for you? Where you were just like, Oh my God, because we all have it. Like when we're on set, there's that day, there's that something that happens. We're just like, how are we going to make it through this? There's always something. So what was the hard day for you? I think was we hadn't,

Edson Oda 20:24
we didn't have a lot of days to shoot. So it was like, we had 23 days to shoot everything for photography. Yeah. And remember, and especially like, the less wishes the bicycle, you know, stuff is so beautiful, because it's just one page and scraper. But it's kind of, they take like, a day. But we didn't have a lot of days. So I remember, we we just shot like the bicycle, you know, the beach scene. Everyone says, Now this is great is amazing that the bicycle as well. But then I had this conversation with the producers, as ag producers, and who was you know, doing all the scheduling and say, we're not going to finish this movie, you know? And

Alex Ferrari 21:10
we're behind, we're behind, we can't make it happen.

Edson Oda 21:12
And it was interesting, because we wouldn't, because later we've got some more days, but it was kind of tough to just like we were filming something that we've felt really special, but we kind of got it. We can't, we can make it you know, and it was a day that we everything kind of went really didn't go by, you know, when the projections or stuff. It was just like a different, very difficult, you know, thing to handle. So it was kind of I always had this feeling like, oh, we're doing something special here. But I'm not going to be able to finish. So in that day was the representation of that fear.

Alex Ferrari 21:51
Yeah, listen, I mean, for me, I'm sure Francis Ford Coppola felt the same way through Apocalypse Now. I mean, I read look two and a half years in the jungle, I mean, but we all have many days. I think I don't doesn't matter what what level you are as an as a filmmaker, there are those days that you want to have your vision put up there. But the realities of filmmaking, it's not easy. And when I saw those scenes with the second you said all the scenes with the wishes, I was like, Oh, yeah, I looked at those scenes and like, those don't look easy to shoot. There's a lot of stuff going on the projection, the light the water, there's a it didn't seem easy, but yeah, that was, those are so beautifully shot to the music, the music, the music was wonderful. How did you how did you find the sound for this film? Yeah.

Edson Oda 22:46
I've always been like a huge fan of Antonio Antonio Pinto. I don't know if you're familiar with his work, but he he worked on Central Station seat of God, he worked on all those, you know, amazing, Brazilian, you know, movies, and in the remote his fan of, you know, he was working with a friend of mine, and they got introduced to him. And it was amazing on tour is pretty much like the representation of genius. You know, his bag is very cool guy who just feels like he's just like, not, you know, concerned about things here. And then just all of a sudden, Jesus come with something that, you know, it's amazing. It was working with him during, you know, pre production, and most of the songs he composed before we start preach photography, because he knew the songs before we shooting the girl playing the violin, right, which, like, before he started bass photography, and it was in first was just like, yeah, let's just cap something like stamp, you know, you compose. And then later, we just compose something, you know, more elaborate for the rest of the movie, but the songs are so good that they would just cap capital songs and start just composing. You know, songs based on that, that that main main song, and it was just like, you know, having Skype meetings with him, like the same way we're having now. He was just like, yeah, let me play something to you, you know? And it was just like, yeah, you're his instrument or something. And just like, uh, yeah, and then if I say, I don't know about that, it was just like, play something else and was just like, Oh, yeah, that's exactly that. So it was just like a amazing work anniversary. You

Alex Ferrari 24:15
know, I love the aesthetic of what you did with the film, the production design, with the vintage everything being vintage, which was such a lovely touch. It wasn't super sci fi or, or, or anything like that. It was all vintage and all those vintage TVs representing souls lives. But I have to ask you, how the hell did you shoot all the footage for all the souls that are constantly running? Like how did you shoot was that during production or was that after production production?

Edson Oda 24:49
Yeah, pre production. Almost everything for widows was kind of named here because it was, it was planning you know, the shoot and all this stuff and doing everything prep. And then Later that day, it would just like the picture locking, you know, the the stuff and any we would shoot like, during nine days like the main thing that would go into TVs. And then after that we're just like started like the heavy pre production for Prince photography, but it would still be adding picture locking and stuff that would go into TVs during like baseball tigers. So it was it was crazy. And we shot in Utah. Most of the stuff but also we just found out like with like a show me in Brazil in LA. So most of the stuff that you that you saw, there are all primarily shot, it was all practical on set to Oh, most of them were practical to set. But then there's some you know, feelers, some TVs were not like the hero TVs is call that they then they were like, Great come, yeah, come

Alex Ferrari 25:52
they will come in afterwards. No, it was it was beautiful. I just love the analog aspect of everything that we'll have is writing constantly in the filing cabinet and all that stuff. It was what made by the way, what made you come up with that idea of vintage, as opposed to the, because something like this, you could easily have gone sci fi much more sci fi esque. So what made you do the whole vintage vibe?

Edson Oda 26:15
I think that there's so much about the word. And the feeling that I want people to have is it was more someone's connected to, you know, the nostalgic feeling past and it's, it's hard for me like a word represents my past and represents like my, you know, my, you know, years ago would be like the 80s, you know, there were there was one my childhood happening. And so I knew that would need something like that. And I knew we wouldn't have to be like technological like, you know, x mark, you know, or in just one way, it would be nice to have like this kind of very, this texture of like, whoo, this texture of like glass and not like you know, iPads or iPods or anything like that. And then it creates this kind of cost of that imagine that we'll get in prison during the time period when he died. So like he wouldn't see anything in his house, there's kind of a goal that comes after so he would be leaving this as, you know, time period for the recipes, his existence, because like,

Alex Ferrari 27:20
stuck into it will will will ever become alive again. I don't know. I wish that's the sequel, that'd be 10 days. No, so Okay, so you've, you've made this beautiful film. And you, you put it all together have great cast grades, and then you send it out to the festivals. And you get the phone call that every filmmaker independent filmmaker wants to get, which is the call from Sundance. What was that phone call? like for you?

Edson Oda 27:57
It was amazing. You know, it was such a weird with so working such a tight, that was very short, you know, amount of time to reschedule because we we shot in September, we finished shooting in September. And we just had to add it and finish everything like a cut to Sundance to get into the you know, to screen the festival like January so it was like very, very rushed. And I remember there's so much in terms of pressure in the sense of Yeah, it comes from the lads with not, you know, not some films, you know, from the labs, the screens and that's fast way and, and I remember was just so stressed like how am I gonna make here and I was just in the gym. And you know, someone who actually was someone who went to USC with me, who called me to give me good news and yeah, yeah, she she started working on Sundays and stuff and it was even joke when to start working on Sunday necessarily. Yeah, maybe one day you just gonna give me a call or that my film was accepted or do the q&a and everything and you just let me know and give me a call and just like start yelling and screaming is am I gonna believe it? It is interesting, because during the festival, she was one of the the the organizer who will who did my q&a, which was very cool. So it was almost like a full circle. Yeah. So it was very, very, very special. And it was it was just like, my connection with Sundance in our It was my dream, you know, becoming alumni and then a dream going into the festival and even in now we you know, they're they always so supportive. They love the movie, you know, and I really feel like they're, they're kind of my family. So it was it was great just to be there like in this very, you know, Dave's space and just been screening with other people. So very, very special.

Alex Ferrari 29:56
We're in Where did you screen at the Eccles

Edson Oda 30:00
Trina echoes what was that was nerve racking. He was it was terrible. Like it was, I just couldn't, you know, my stomach was just not doing well. And there was none of my actors watched the movie before the screen. So and everyone was so pumped, there are so much hype, and there's gonna be great. There's gonna beI don't know.No one watched it. So we didn't know what would be the reaction is such a different movie, right? So we don't know. And it was interesting. I remember I remember going to the bathroom and super nervous. And then I met Tony Hale there and he just said, Yeah, just don't, don't don't. Don't let what happens, you know, out there, define who you are, you know, that that was very nice. No, there was something that I think you're gonna carry for the rest of my career, in a sense, like, Yeah, he was, yeah. Because for him, like, we did something special, we did something that were and what they say is just like, you know, can control whatever and just go there and, and but luckily, you know, people, we had like an assailant standing ovation for like, I don't know how many minutes, people were just crying and people who just came to talk to us and it was it was was very special.

Alex Ferrari 31:15
I'm not gonna give the ending away. But I teared up, I teared up, when I watched it, I was just like, cuz I didn't see it coming. I didn't see it coming until maybe until probably probably about four or five minutes before it happened. I was like, wait a minute, could that like, Oh my God, that's the thing. So it I didn't catch it right away. So that's always something fun. Because I've seen so many movies in my life, it's hard to get one past the goalie, in many ways with plots. And that was a really nice touch. But oh, yeah, I definitely teared up after I watched it. It was It was great. The one thing I love about the whole story in the concept is that we as human beings are always defining our happiness, by the goals that we set, like, you know, we're gonna get married, I'll be happy, when I'm married, I'll be happy when I get that job, I'll be happy when I get to Sundance, I'll be happy. When I heard that, and, and your story is like, well, the goal is just to get here. Which is, which is an interesting way of looking at it. Because so many of us are born into this world. And we think that in many ways, your film says you won, you're here. Now what are you going to do with it? Is the question. Yeah,

Edson Oda 32:31
yeah, no, 100% is interesting, because it comes from, you know, the genesis of this word, more or less coming from like, going through, like some hard times and, and feeling like it, you know, this, this, I'm, I'm kind of hating what I'm going through. But what what if this is something just by being here, something that's a privilege, you know, and then be so much about, like, the trying to aim at some goals and say, like, when, when this happens, I will, you know, and for me, it was the same because I remember being in advertising and working in advertising was just like, when i when i when the gold buyer, you know, when can I will you know, and I remember like exactly the feeling of winning it. And I remember like being in the stage and saying, hey, great, and people like revelations, and when they step down, just when I when I went back home, I just felt like, what does it mean is mean anything, or something? And it wasn't? It wasn't one of the moments that I felt like, yeah, maybe I should do something else. Which really interesting.

Alex Ferrari 33:35
Yeah, there's so many times that we put so much emphasis on a goal. And when you get that goal, there's depression afterwards, because you worked all your life. So people are like, I want the Oscar, I want the Oscar. And I've spoken to people who've won the Oscar who's just like after the Oscar, I'm like, I was depressed. Like, where do you? Where do when you get to the top of the mountain? Where do you go, because if your goal of life is to get to the top of the mountain, but the goal of life should be enjoying the ride up to the top of the mountain, and also walking back down and going back off to another mountain and all that kind of stuff. So that's a that's a really, yeah, I'm glad that you had that experience, because I just had the Golden Lion. Look, I got it. What do I do? What do I do now? Um, I'm not at five. So my life is not over yet. What do I do now?

Edson Oda 34:23
It's crazy. I mean, after Sundance, you know, I went back to Brazil. And it felt like what do I do now? Because it was pretty much like, this is my I want to make my first feature. And then I made my first feature, you know, and then it would go to theaters and all this stuff. And I said yeah, and what's what's the what's the point now? What's the purpose? Next? Yeah, what's that really when you when you put all the energy in like goals because then if they you know happen or don't happen, it's just like so much about about it. And if they it's very interesting you brought up about the baby we read achieve the goal, but you can see it

Alex Ferrari 34:59
right? Exactly, we're just so caught up in, in this physical reality that we don't understand that we're like, it's a pleasure. It's an honor just to be here. It's kind of like I'm, I'm honored just to be nominated. It's, it's nice to win, but I'm honored just to be nominated. You know? No one says that, like, I'm honored. I'm honored to be alive. Yeah, exactly. But most people The thing is that right now, as we're speaking, certain, there's there's people right now as we're speaking, leaving this earth. And as we're speaking, new souls are coming in. So I promise you, the people who are leaving many of wish that they continue to have the honor of living out of their affair there. So it should be something that people you know, hopefully take away from this film that this is a it really is an honor just to be nominated. till it's time until security escort you out. Now, you know, you've written this amazing movie about the souls journey. Why do you think we are here? As or? Why do you I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Because after this movie, I would love to hear what you think.

Edson Oda 36:17
I have no idea. Yeah, it's interesting. I I don't know. Yeah. Sometimes I sometimes I know, I'm pretty sure you know, right has a meaning, you know, because I'm pretty much like, half of wheel and Emma. You know, at some moments, I feel like yeah, some some moments, I just feel again, this doesn't make any sense.I think it's justfor me, it's just like this, I think it's gonna be for the rest of my life. Like there's meaning or not meaning there's meaning Are there many, there's some purpose or not purpose. And so it's hard for me just, it's interesting, because people come to me and say, like, Oh, you wrote a movie about, you know, enjoying the word. And then there's this day was just someone was telling me like, oh, how the sunset is amazing. It's not right. It's it's,

Alex Ferrari 37:10
it's not the it's not the Avengers. not joking. Yeah.

Edson Oda 37:18
It's interesting, because there are some moments I feel like, yeah, there's, there's that there is pressure, this kind of energy and there is like, meaning in there. There's some some moments, I just feel very, you know, cynical, you know, bought things out what things happen. So

Alex Ferrari 37:36
that's the upside. That's the up and down. But isn't that the up and down of life, though? I mean, there's days that you like, you're on top of the world and other days, you're like, Oh, God, I forgot to pay that bill. Now my car got repossessed, or something. And you're just like, ah,

Edson Oda 37:50
and you pay the bills? That is you're being very optimistic, because usually, really worth

Alex Ferrari 37:56
being very kind. Yeah, it's, yeah, it could be Yeah, it could be like a million different things that could happen. It is. But that is this crazy thing that we call life. Now, I'd love to, I'd love to ask this one question of you. What do you think your soul's purpose is on this on this journey? What you think you're here to do for, you know, for years, not only for yourself, but for other people? Because this film is for other people, no question about it, not only just for yourself,

Edson Oda 38:23
I think I remember. There is a moment in my life, I felt like very, you know,

lonely in a way that I was, like, I think there's no isolating the way that I was, I felt like it was all by myself, you know, there's no one with it. And it felt terrible. It was in a way that I felt like this. It's so disconnected from everyone and everything, you know, and I remember, I came up with this is a writing thing. And it was interesting, because especially after Ryan nine days, I put a lot of those feelings on the page and how isolated fail how desperate I fell, how, you know, out of hope, I fell in, in then now, people who felt the same at coming to me and telling, like, I felt the same way, you know, this is something that I almost went through, you know, and, and somehow, I felt like so powerful like, I I by showing that, you know, I felt that way it can make people not feel alone, you know, because it's kind of share the same feeling like so it was it was interesting that I think if I can do anything, you know, value here is so much about putting out and, and letting people like me know that they're not alone. And then we're also going to figure it out there. Not Alone. You know? So I think that's, that's something that, that they want to keep doing. That's,

Alex Ferrari 40:05
that's a great, great answer. Because there's so many souls or people in this world that feel alone, whether it be in their professional lives in their personal lives. And I think that's what that's the magic of movies, when you watch a character going through something, and you go, Oh, I'm not alone. And that's the brilliance of what we do as filmmakers. And I think you definitely nailed it with nine days, my friend. Now I'm gonna ask your membership. And I'm gonna ask you a few questions. I asked all my guests, what advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Edson Oda 40:39
Don't try to bake into business things just don't think of it. I think the same thing that we were were discussing here about the goal. And I just I think it would just tell a story wants to tell in something that's not there, you want to see and then things will happen to the consequences, you know, and just, you know, keep keep doing your stuff. And in also don't put your or your, you know, hopes in other people. So maybe if you write something that's very personal, just write in a way that you can do yourself. So you don't, don't live your dreams in the hands of other people who just Okay, so no one does. I just do my things. And

Alex Ferrari 41:20
right and so, so writing, so writing a script that could be done for $100,000. Or it could be done for 10 million. Yeah, that's the idea. Because if you'll be waiting for 10 years for that 10 million if that doesn't work

Edson Oda 41:32
out and just name dropping, that actually was a advice that a Quentin Tarantino gave to me. I met him because they won a competition like a while ago, it was before coming to West 2012. I do like a short and then I had chance to sit with him for like, 30 minutes. Yeah, it was amazing. And then I asked him for advice. And you say like, Yeah, it's pretty much like he was telling me to do the same that he did with Reservoir Dogs. Because he he would make Reservoir Dogs with like, I think $40,000 Yeah. And you could have and you could have, yeah, so in the same way, I wrote nine days, I couldn't make 10 days with like, 100k or something, you know, and I think 100k now is the new version of $4,000. But, uh, right, it was all this inflation and stuff. But, but then I was lucky. Like him, you know, to find people to invest. But if even if, you know, I didn't find people truly investing my dream, I would say, okay, screw it out. I just got to make the movie anyway. So I think that was that was a great advice there just passing forward. Trying to look cool. But I have to admit it's not.

Alex Ferrari 42:35
It's not bad advice to pass for from, from a little from a little known director like winter. Yeah. Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life,

Edson Oda 42:49
it's still a lesson I haven't learned yet. I think it's to live more in the moment, in the same way that Emma lives in the moment and just enjoy the ride. And the way that, you know, I think nine days is a movie to remind me of that as well. Because there's a part of me that yes, can can enjoy them. But there's so much more so many. You know, it's it moments, there's hard to you know, put that into practice. And I feel like that's the happiness is pretty much that, you know, I think that for me, is just being able to just be accept things as they come and be, you know, good with What's life has given you. And not always I can do that. I think I'm getting better. But that's something that I'm still learning that I've learned. I've learned so

Alex Ferrari 43:41
you what you're talking about is almost becoming a spiritual master. Because that's what spiritual like, Yogi's do that, like, whatever comes to them, they just kind of like, life is good. And that's what we all try to get. Yeah, not even that is good, but they just accepted. Yeah, there's an acceptance left sucks sometimes, but he's just like, accepted. Yeah. Like, a lot of times life sucks. I think that's, yeah. Don't use that as your marketing for the film. Sometimes life just sucks.

Edson Oda 44:12
Sometimes, it's just amazing. And I think the combination is right. And it's Yeah, and it wouldn't be amazing if it didn't suck before. So there's almost like, yeah, so it needs to stop.

Alex Ferrari 44:22
I mean, if you if you if you were if you just kept hitting home runs all the time, it would be boring.

Edson Oda 44:29
And now the movies are like that. Yeah, someone is like struggling and stuff and then ecstasy, and Oh, cool. It's great. But you need to struggle, but you need this.

Alex Ferrari 44:36
You need to struggle or also it's a horrible story. If it were three Yeah. If Luke knew the force at the beginning, what's the point? And what are three of your favorite films of all time?

Edson Oda 44:50
Oh, my God. It was raining list right now. So it I have to put the matrix on my top three as well, sir. Yeah, I love this movie. A lot a lot of city lights

Alex Ferrari 45:05
are the shopping will be I love that movie too. He's

Edson Oda 45:07
a good man the other one I want to put it like yeah, seven Sue and have to put earrings are bizarre but yeah I am so American man and including all this. I had to Back to the Future.

Alex Ferrari 45:24
There's nothing wrong with that

Edson Oda 45:26
we're not talking about movies that influenced me as a director, but more as movies that you know, reflect my childhood. I think those movies are movies that are Yeah, I have to go back to

Alex Ferrari 45:37
Texas features one of the most perfect films of all time. Now. I just wanted to, you know, sound a little more artsy. You know, don't I know that people were like, I don't know, Citizen Kane and Seven Samurai Really? Like

Edson Oda 45:47
I had a friend who every time he would tell my movies back to free though he would just kind of, you know, be a little more snobby?

Alex Ferrari 45:55
He would be snobby. Yeah. Of course they love you know, love and seven. Sue I love you. No, no, I mean, look, I love Seven Samurai. I love high low. I love a lot of Kubrick's you know films. Yeah. But yeah, you know, but back to futures on watching it, you know, as the matrix on Hulu, and I'm watching feature two, I think more than 20 times. You like the second one the best when it was a kid and love the video? Oh my god. The future? The Oh god. Yeah. We can geek out. We can geek out about that. And when is the movie coming out? And where can people see it? It's out.

Edson Oda 46:39
Yeah, it's already late. No, actually, it's already in LA in New York. But now it's coming out to nationwide. This Friday. This Friday. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 46:51
That's, that's awesome. Listen, I congratulations on the film. And I wish you nothing but continued success on your journey, my friend. You're, you're doing good work here. And I appreciate and I really do help. I really do hope it It not only entertains people but makes people think a little bit about being just honored to be nominated.

Edson Oda 47:13
Yeah, what if you're not even nominated?

Alex Ferrari 47:15
Well, if you're not ever nominated, then you go out and what happens to the souls happens to the souls You know, I'm not going to ruin it. But that's when that's what happens when you're not nominated. My friend, thank you so much for being on the show.

Edson Oda 47:27
Thank you so much, man. Appreciate okay.

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BPS 234: The Virgin’s Journey & Sexual Awakening with Kim Hudson

Kim Hudson grew up in the Yukon, a Hero’s daughter with a Cinderella Complex.  Basically life taught her many of the things she needed to know to write this book.  Kim spent the first half of her career exploring her masculine side, first as a field geologist and later as a federal land claims negotiator.  Exploring her feminine side became important to her as she raised her two daughters.  This lead me to study Writing for Film and Television at Vancouver Film School, and take courses on mythology, feminism and psychology including a Jungian Odyssey in Switzerland.  This theory was developed by closely observing the archetypal expressions that are all around us in movies, music, television, advertisements and stories of personal growth, including her own.  The Virgin’s Promise is her first book.

The Virgin’s Promise demystifies the complexities of archetypes and clearly outlines the steps of a Virgin’s Journey to realize her dream. Audiences need to see more than brave, self-sacrificing Heroes. They need to see Virgins who bring their talents and self-fulfilling joys to life. The Virgin’s Promise describes this journey with beats that feel incredibly familiar but have not been illustrated in any other screenwriting book. It explores the yin and yang of the Virgin and Hero journeys to take up their power as individuals, and includes a practical guide to putting this new theory into action. 

Please enjoy my conversation with Kim Hudson.

Right-click here to download the MP3

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Kim Hudson 0:00
I can conquer it and I can go out and be active in the world. So that's my relationship to self in a masculine way. And then in a feminine way is I learned how to turn the camera inwards and how to bring something authentic about myself into a physical form almost like alchemy.

Alex Ferrari 0:17
This episode is brought to you by Bulletproof Script Coverage, where screenwriters go to get their scripts read by Top Hollywood Professionals. Learn more at covermyscreenplay.com I'd like to welcome to the show, Kim Hudson. How you doin Kim?

Kim Hudson 0:32
I'm good. Thank you for having me.

Alex Ferrari 0:34
Thank you so much for coming on the show. Like I was telling you earlier. I really love your your book because and please remind me the name I don't have it with me.

Kim Hudson 0:45
The virgins promise the virgins price of feminine spiritual and creative awakening, sexual awakening,

Alex Ferrari 0:52
Obviously, we have to, we have to throw in the sexual awakening it because it's interesting, you really kind of take the hero's journey, which is something that every screenwriter should know. Even if they don't use it, they should know. But you turn it on its head a little bit and look at it from a feminine perspective. And I'm dying to kind of get into the weeds with you for but first, how did you get involved? And how did you get interested in writing a book like this? Because there really hasn't, if Am I mistaken? There's no other book like this right?

Kim Hudson 1:25
Now there isn't, which really surprises me. The biggest thing is that that phrase all story from all the time it's a hero's journey has just embedded itself in people's psyche. So they're not really looking, they'll say, Oh, well, there's the hero line. But no, that's that's the energy of a hero a fear based journey to conquer something, including your own fear. And, and when the day is a very externally focused story. And heroine is just a woman doing that job. Whereas this one, this one is the exact opposite. This is about turning inward, and awakening to your true potential, your, your sense of connection to who you are, what your talent is, what your sexual orientation is, something that's authentic about you. And then how do we go about first discovering that, growing it, and then bringing it to life? Now, what I was gonna say actually didn't answer your question. How did I actually get there? How did I, I think, you know, I grew up I grew up in a in a family that highly valued the masculine. And so I just tried to do everything I could, I played ice hockey, I became a geologist, I jumped over helicopters and grizzly bear country, you know, like I was really given her and even then, I started to recognize that when I was alone, after the helicopter left, I did things in my way. And I was actually good at finding patterns of mineralization all those kinds of things because I was trusting my intuition I was going inward and and discovering where that would take me a trusted walking into the unknown. And all of these things are parts of a virgin journey. And virgin, I always have to say this, if I had $1 for every time, Virgin is what I mean is the original meaning of it, which means to be of value to seen for your value just for being yourself, like a virgin forest. It's commonly used in Union thought.

Alex Ferrari 3:36
So not not as virgin as as in the 1980s comedies.

Kim Hudson 3:41
Yeah, yeah. Not as like men can count on you haven't been taken before, you know,

Alex Ferrari 3:48
Virgin scenario.

Kim Hudson 3:49
Yeah, but it does actually mean I mean, going from Virgin to inactive person and knowing sort of what you like and don't like it's actually is that it's awakening to your sexual orientation. That's one of the most fundamental ways of finding your authentic self.

Alex Ferrari 4:06
It's really interesting, it seems to me from just from the short conversation so far that it is an inward journey more than an outward journey. Yeah, because the hero's journey is all about conquering the the the dragon that is in the cave that is guarding the treasure where this one is about conquering the dragon inside of you and discovering who you really are, which is man it's literally the flip side of the of the coin of the hero's journey literally,

Kim Hudson 4:33
As a matter of fact, as a hero you're conquering you're controlling you're taking control over something outside of you, but actually the dragon inside you you're welcoming. You're you're exploring what does it want me to know what's the you know? It's the opposite in every fundamental way.

Alex Ferrari 4:51
I've said on the show many times I've surrounded by feminine energy constantly. I have no testosterone anywhere near me at anytime I have women I've been around women my entire her life single mother, the whole ball of wax. So I understand more than most about feminine energy not anywhere near as much as obviously you. But I do, I do have a better take on it than most men do. And as I've grown older, what you're talking about is really interesting, because I think at the beginning of a man's career, or man's life, a boy's life, we are about conquering, we are about showing physicality, we are about going in and grabbing the the gold or the treasure and bringing it back. Yeah, all of that kind of, you know, macho testosterone thing. But as you get older, you know, even the toughest guys that I know, you know, Navy Seals and other people like that, they start to when that's done, they start to look inward. And then the beginning of that journey starts at a later time in a man's life. Again, very broad, broad spectrum I'm talking about here, not everybody, but most. And it seems to me that a woman's journey, and please, please correct me, it seems to be more an inward journey at the beginning of her her life trying to figure herself out in the world, is that a fair statement?

Kim Hudson 6:18
I would say there's definitely and particularly today that we're on this place where there's room for women to be themselves, and yet there's still vestiges of like a dependent world, I think we get messages that, you know, either that you might hate what you have to be pleasing, or that it's a male dominated world, and you have to sort of emulate men to get ahead in the world, but there's still those messages out there. So there is this, this starting out where you feel that you're meant for something, and it's in contrast to the environment that you're in, and you have to figure out a way to, to go inward, be strong enough in who you know, you are. And I call it a secret world, like, it's part of the story where you have to find a place where you, you feel like you're, you're surrounded by friends, and then people want you to do well. And then you can play, you can make mistakes, you can laugh, you can step into the unknown and, and then figure out what it what it needs from you or what it has to offer. So we still we have that when we're young. But I would actually say at the time when like it's a circle. So you, your children leave and suddenly all your roles have drifted away. And you need to go back again, you need to circle back and find out who am I now I'm not the same person that I was when I first discovered myself. And you're sort of born again, your third learning again to find out who this authentic person is today and then see that person in the world.

Alex Ferrari 7:50
So let's talk about the actual journey of the Virgin our archetypal journey, which, in the hero's journey, we all, you know, call to adventure and, you know, you know, the point of no return and all these kinds of terms that Joseph Campbell, so beautifully built out. And then Chris Vogler, talked about it so beautifully for the film industry. What is what are those key points in, in the Virgin journey?

Kim Hudson 8:17
Okay, I'll do my little party trick. I think that in five minutes, I can tell you a virgin story. And it can, if you'll hold in your mind, even something like Joker, or Billy Elliot, or coda, Black Swan, all of these are really great examples of virgin story. So I'm going to tell them in a certain order, but one thing I've discovered is it's nonlinear. So you actually could tell these beats in any order, but those beats will fundamentally be part of the journey. Okay? So the Virgin starts out in a dependent world, where messages around her Tell her how she should behave. But there's a price that she's paying, either she's aware of it, and she's hiding it, or she's even asleep to her own potential, but she's paying a price for conformity. Until one day, she gets this opportunity to shine a little taste of what it would be like to be herself. And she takes it, she likes it. And it's usually almost the moment of alchemy, where the dancer gets the shoes and just the putting them on seems to activate something or sexual orientation becomes clearer because they take off their clothes, and suddenly they know what they want. So now that they know, a little taste of it, they want more. So they create a secret well, because they're not ready to blow up their dependent world. These are actually their, their family, their home life. So what they do is they create a secret world so they can go back and forth between the two. And then the secret world as I mentioned, they're learning to become more connected and playing with what it might look like and they've got friends, they can make mistakes. But that going back and forth is crucial. They they're learning the contrast between what they think they want their life to be and what their life is and why Those differences have to exist. And they're kind of building a bridge until one day, they start to expand to the point where they just can't stay contained. And the two collide their two worlds, their dependent world and their sicuro collide and form one. And the kingdom goes into chaos. A lot of pent up energy, there's synchronicities that have been held together, suddenly, there's permission and things start blowing up. But there's this moment where she recognizes because of all that back and forth, that she can give up the belief that she had to behave that way she did in her dependent world, she gives up the belief that was keeping her stuck. But that's not the same as going forward in a new life. So now she's wandering in the wilderness, she's trying to figure out, well, I could go back and take everybody out of their pain, all this chaos, with the full knowledge of that I actually have more potential than this. Or she could go forward, but there's no tangible proof that she can make a life. But she chooses her life, because it's not really living unless she chooses to be herself in that in the world. But when she makes herself visible, someone and even could be herself decides, that is worth protecting, valuing. And I call it the reorder or the rescue. And so the world reorder so that there's a place for her to be in her natural shining form. And amazing things is the kingdom discovers that it needed what the Virgin had to bring, either there's no unconditional love in the world, or there is a new talent that she brought that that has offered something new to the world. And it's better off to do a montage here. And that's the Virgin story.

Alex Ferrari 11:41
So that's interesting. It's a fascinating way of looking at it. Because as you were talking about it, I'm trying to go through movies in my head. I'm like, where is like, you know, my computer's like, like trying to figure out where you can place these. Because the hero's journey, there's 1000 of them. But, but this is interesting, but you said the word Joker, so this doesn't particularly have to be a feminine heroine. It could be male, because it seems like it's an again, an internal journey, it seems as you were explaining it, almost almost spiritual in nature, in the in the way that it, you're trying to find the authentic voice in you. So like, if you really, if you're Billy Elliot, all I want to do is dance. But the world around me doesn't allow me to do that. So then, so it sounds like okay, Billy Elliot, I get the Joker's have really dark version of that. So can we break that? Because Joker is a very popular movie, it was, I loved one of the best movies of that year. And arguably this last decade. Can we kind of break down Joker and it's kind of like go beat by beat a little bit with that. Is that are you? Are you able to do that? Do you remember Joker?

Kim Hudson 12:47
Well, God, I think I've written a blog on that. But you know, I was really hesitant to watch Joker, I can't watch horror it like gets into me, and I never can forget it. Never be alone again, kind of thing. But once I watched it, that is such a spectacularly well written, movie. Everything that's in the background is telling you that dependent world, you'd listen to what's happening on the radio and the interviews and they're all saying the dependent world is that if you do well, then you get your just reward. And therefore, people who are not doing well don't deserve to do well. Either. They didn't work hard enough, or they like so. Doing well means you deserve well, not doing well means you need to suffer. And that's, you know, so there's this guy, and he's trying really hard to smile for his mother. And that's his dependent world, right? He's trying to like, but it's, it's forced, because the world is not accepting Him. And so he goes inward, and he has this fantasy world. And he where this woman loves him. And that's a secret world, right? And it actually starts the two worlds collide, where he actually starts being a joker in his real world. And that's when everything starts to blow up. And the thing about Joker is that the secret world is not always as harmonious as I made it describe. It's his best way to make sense of the world he has around him. You know, it's his mind trying to help him to to navigate this world. Yeah, but it's um, it's harsh. But do you remember when he was sitting there talking with the counselor? And and Yeah, after when he's saying you know, they you're like he's being told you not getting meds anymore? And this and that. And he goes, do you notice you don't listen to me? And do you notice that you know, you're not doing any better off than I'm doing? Like the system is not helping either of us? Well, that's his gives up what kept him stuck moment. He's like, we don't have to conform and play our role in something that's actually not working for us. And so what would be other beats? Because they're not in the in the order. That's A great example of how things don't have to be

Alex Ferrari 15:02
Well, I'm in order. And then I think when I think if I remember correctly when he was on the subway for the first time, and he he, I think he shot those guys or something. He there's a point where he crosses the line, where that kind of point no return, but it's like, the flip side of that, like there's a thing that he does the now he has to you can't go back to where it was he can't there's no way he has to move forward on this journey.

Kim Hudson 15:30
Yeah, yeah. And when he chooses his light, it's kind of at our for a moment where he, he's with the measured and the other guy, and just beat the other guy to oblivion. And he's just like, You know what, I don't deserve this. And then he does. And that's another thing about these stories is that they circle back again. So it happens again, when they mock him on television, basically choose his light. He's like, you know, I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore. It's like, I deserve respect this whole model, where just because I have a learning disability, or I'm on a secret because my father is an important man. And he does and and I'm embarrassment, that does not make me deserve this kind of negative treatment. And he chooses his light, because I will not accept that. And even though at first he was actually just going to go out in a big bang, and make everybody sorry, he ends up choosing his own life over somebody.

Alex Ferrari 16:28
And isn't it interesting that his choice, and this is when you say the world reconfirms around him. And spoiler alert, please, everyone stop listening, or fast forward a few minutes, because I'm gonna talk a little bit about the ending. But when he does all the things he does on the Robert De Niro Tonight Show thing. Yeah. And he basically causes a riot. And the entire world is also like, yeah, we feel like you too. And all of a sudden, it all just literally the world reforms around him. And he becomes this reader icon of this movement, where he was truly just trying to do it for himself. But he realizes that, oh, I'm not alone. There's a lot of more messages in the bottle, if you will, out there.

Kim Hudson 17:18
Right, which is his first moment of having a secret world where he's actually among friends. But it's like the big world. Right? And he even says in his interview, that I wasn't trying to save the world. I don't have some big mission here. I do. I look like a guy who's got a plan. I'm just actually being myself, right? I'm just trying to be real here. And that turned out to be a guy in a joker costume. I'm gonna take control of this.

Alex Ferrari 17:47
And it's so interesting, because talking about you know, feminine energy and spirituality and sexual awakening, you don't think Joker, but because which is a fairly testosterone. I mean, there's a lot of testosterone in that movie, but he has a he has a feminine energy to him. He's he's really struggling. He's, he's really just trying to figure things out emotional Areum when Jesus is the Joker, I mean, very emotional. Like he is. So it's a fascinating study of story structure. Looking at that, because we'll talk about some other examples. But Joker is a fascinating one. Because it is you know, it's something you can think about.

Kim Hudson 18:29
Yeah, one day, I was listening to the whole story of frozen, talking about same storyline, but very different feel to it. Where the Woman Yeah, but you think about it, what is it Elsa? That she has a power, and she's told that it's evil, and she has to keep it in. And then she decides, you know what, I'm gonna let it go. If you listen to the song, let it go. And sort of play the soundtrack or the track for children in your mind.

Alex Ferrari 19:00
I have children.

Kim Hudson 19:03
Yeah, million times. But think about Joker, the movie Joker, and then let it go the song. You put those two together and it's quite phenomenal. It the words speak to what he's trying to say in that movie. Wow. It's really fun.

Alex Ferrari 19:18
That's pretty trippy. i Everyone, please let us know what you think if you could try to listen to let it let it go. While you're watching Joker and see how it connects. It's like was it watching Led Zeppelin with the Wizard of Oz and everything clicks on? Yeah, exactly. It's like the Dark Side of the Moon. That's hilarious. Now um, can you can you talk about because on the hero's journey, there are the archetypes the wizard the trickster? What are those in this journey?

Kim Hudson 19:52
So I have this theory that there's basically three big archetypal journeys that we all have the potential to Go on in our life, I'm, I think in my life a well lived journey, if my life will be a will, well, a journey, I'll go through all three of them. And we actually can do them in a masculine and a feminine way. So the first is your relationship to self. And the hero is I, I, in relation to my fear of life, I can conquer it, and I can go out and be active in the world. So that's my relationship to self in a masculine way. And then in a feminine way is I learned how to turn the camera inwards, and how to bring something authentic about myself into a physical form, almost like alchemy. So those are both a relationship to self. The next is, how do I cross the distance? The distance between me and somebody who is not me? And that's that relationship to another person? And how do I maintain myself and still respect somebody who's different from me, and that would be the warrior king in the mother goddess. And then the last one is this ultimate recognition that we are a part of a cosmos of a bigger picture. And for the masculine that would be the mentor, you know, the philanthropist, this idea that I know, I'm going to die, and I'm going to pass on my knowledge so that there's a benefit from generation to generation. So it's, it's this very concrete recognition that life is finite. And then the feminine side, it's the Crone, it's the sense that, that life is all about connection. And we're about to make a connection into the whole cosmos. So while you're still on the planet, you start to recognize that you can see the connections that other people might be missing and throw like a trickster, you go in there, and you mess with their lives a little bit, just to get them on the track. Because you know, that everything's connected. And their connection to themselves is fundamental to everything else, unfolding the way it's meant to.

Alex Ferrari 21:59
I'm gonna get a little deep here for a second, because as you were talking about that was very interesting, because at the beginning of my career, I went out to conquer, and I went out to go direct, and I make movies and work hard and, and I worked my ass off for 20 odd years in the film industry, working in post production and directing movies and commercials and music videos and things like that. And it was very outward hero's journey was very out must conquer, conquer, conquer, conquer. But then, which is was interesting, I looked inward. When I was unhappy, I was lost for a little while, I opened up an olive oil company, a lot of people who listen to the show understand, that's a whole other story. So I got a little lost. And then I looked inward. And when I looked inward, I said, Hmm, I need to bring up my authentic self, and help the world. And that's when I launched the show. The indie film, hustle shows first and then the bulletproof screenwriting afterwards. But I launched that show. And by being my authentic self, very much like the Joker, not trying to do anything other than just try to help, whoever listened, it grew into where we are today. And is where I found my true happiness, even though I still enjoy going out and directing and the external. My true happiness is here, talking to you sharing information. That's a completely inward spiritual, almost look inside of what I'm doing. Does that make sense in the journey for you?

Kim Hudson 23:28
Absolutely. Yeah. And, and I find that there's two fundamentally different understandings of power. And you you touched on them there. When you're in the Hero mode, it's to assert your will even against resistance. That means hard work long hours, overcoming obstacles, but in a virtual world. Power comes from knowing yourself, and then bringing that self into life, and then supporting others in doing the same. And it's, it's extremely powerful.

Alex Ferrari 23:58
Oh, my God, it's been I mean, it's so powerful, in fact, that in the in the time period where I was doing the external hero's journey, let's say, I would have killed to have access to the people that I get access to now who reach out to me now. It's fascinating. I have Oscar winners, and I have legends and people in the film industry who want to be on my show. And I'm like, and I sit back sometimes, like, isn't this interesting? How this is, this whole story is turned its head, if you would have told me 1015 years ago, this wouldn't be the way you know, it I would be able to do things in is the key is not out. It's in and again, when I was saying earlier, the out is a very young man's energy. It's the warrior in us we need to go out and conquer. And I forgot there's four stages of development. The Warrior the teacher, forgot the four but there's, there's these four archetypes that someone's someone much more intelligent than that. coming out, says MATT Yeah, sent said these four things. And I was like, Oh, that's so true. Because when you're young, you're a warrior, you go out to try to conquer to, to show off physicality. But as the years go on, the physicality starts to go and you start to go inward and you want to become the teacher or the mentor. In other things, there's a couple other the other two stages. But it's so true. But it's so powerful that now by going inward coming out, being authentic and trying to help others, is when all of the things that I was kind of looking for in the warrior journey is now literally handed to me on a plate where I can make relations. It's interesting. It's just fascinating. Hopefully, people listening, this is a little bit more of a philosophical, spiritual, and screenwriting conversation. But it's so true. Any good reason why the hero's journey connects with so many people. It is a metaphor for life, we all go through hero's journey at one point or another.

Kim Hudson 25:55
Absolutely, we need to do both. Like I am never going to say that the virgins promises a better story than the hero's journey. It's, you know, in life, we need to do both. Like there are things to be afraid of, we do need to like set a goal plan to not fall into every pitfall that you know, life is offering. And you have to like you have to save for a rainy day all these things that that give us comfort and safety.

Alex Ferrari 26:23
And not everything. No, it's not everything. You're right. And again, as you get older, you realize that that the hero's journey is not everything in this inward journey is the journey that is much more powerful, much more powerful, because it's tapping in

Kim Hudson 26:39
And yet, yeah. And yet, so underrecognized people often think, Oh, I have to have a plan, I have to like I'll never have any power. And because this is such a, almost a power of humility. In other words, by the more you're, you're doing an offering what you truly love, it's contagious. And it draws people into you that want similar things or that can feel inspired by you. And then you get inspired back, it always gives these unexpected gifts.

Alex Ferrari 27:12
It's so interesting, because I a lot of screenwriters asked me, you know, what do I do to to make it into business? What do I like? What's the secret sauce, and I go, you are, if you can tap into your authentic self, and speak authentically through your writing, there is nobody in the world that could compete with you, because no one can be you. And if you study, and I've had the pleasure of talking to many of these, these really great writers, they're all authentic to who they are Tarantino is authentic to himself, Nolan is authentic to himself. Edgar Wright is authentic to himself, Eric Roth is they're very authentic to their, where it's coming from. And that's something so hard to grasp when you're younger, when you're starting out. They're like, No, no, I have to try to be someone else. That's successful. Michael, No, the thing that makes you successful is being you. And it's scary and terrifying to be you in the in the world as the Joker, as the Joker showed us.

Kim Hudson 28:15
Yeah, yeah. You know, one of the things the screenwriting advice that it really bothers me is that you need to have constant crisis that you have to have ever bigger obstacles to overcome. And people think that it's not an interesting story, if you're not constantly showing this, this fear. And really, this inward story is the quest for love. And love is not always you euphoria you like there's heartbreak, and there's all these things, but you fall in deeper into them. These are not obstacles to overcome, except for things that you need to explore. You know, like, you don't fight back and push away, you actually go, Okay, I'm curious about that. And, and the screen should spend time looking at a person's face and figuring out, you know, are they are they wandering in the wilderness? Are they giving up the old belief making room for something new, you know, like, these things are the challenge and we want to see people feeling joy and and finding their moment. And, you know, it's like about a boy when he stands on the stage and, you know, Little Miss Sunshine when the whole family gets up there because Gladys, I think yesterday, she wants to do a strip song. There's, you know, it's so good. It's and it has nothing to do with conquering some sort of, you know, or achieving a goal. It's about being in the moment and feeling passion and standing up for something.

Alex Ferrari 29:48
Well, it's a story is about conflict, but it doesn't have to be external conflict, it could be internal conflict, internal journey that has to go through and there is, I mean, so if we analyze Is it I know what you were saying like you have to have conflict all the time. Well, interesting situations happen when there is a barrier to break through. So if you don't have a barrier to break through, and that could be an internal barrier, it absolutely could be an internal barrier, we look at Little Miss Sunshine. As such a great movie I have to watch that, again, is actually I might, I talked about, I was talking about my first kind of watch live as such, I don't remember it as well as I remember the ending. Oh, good. But yeah, but that was there was some external conflict there, if I remember correctly, but it was truly about her and her journey to, to express who she truly was as insane as that.

Kim Hudson 30:40
And also, it was about the dad, who had this belief that he had to be conquering the outside world. And when he was finally authentic, in his love for his daughter, he was humanized, he brought his whole family together. And that turned out to be way more important than anything else he was trying to do.

Alex Ferrari 31:00
Which is the moral of that story is, is that when you are able to touch the inner world, and be authentic to yourself, I mean, it's funny, because I always tell this joke is like, as you get older, you give less of a crap about what other people think, like, when you're younger, you were like, Oh, my God, what is? What is anyone gonna think? Like, my daughters are terrified of what I do in public. And I'm like, Oh, that's so much fun. So I try to embarrass them as much as possible. But as you get older, you know, when you get to the 70s 80s, and you see the old man without a shirt on, in his flip flops, and his long and his underwear going out to get the get the mail, and he doesn't care at all. That's the other extreme of that scenario. He is arguably very authentic to who he is. Yes, right.

Kim Hudson 31:48
Wrong. And he's really what really matters.

Alex Ferrari 31:52
In his world, he his mask is gone. He I mean, this is an extreme version, but his mask is gone. And, and you know, all the stuff that we put on like the suits or the armor, if you will, to go out He is literally out there.

Kim Hudson 32:10
Yeah, there's no and why world? He's, yeah, in my role, he's a chrome. He's the one that's like showing us that really, does that matter. And, you know, like, really, you know, think about what you're thinking matters so much. And know that you could just be free and everything is connected.

Alex Ferrari 32:28
So there's, there's certain characters like I know you mentioned in your book like The whore and the verb, like the app, the virgin virgin and the femme fatale How can you like when I was thinking of like Pretty Woman is pretty woman an example this? Is their versions of that in Pretty Woman? Or is it very similar to just a hero's journey?

Kim Hudson 32:50
Oh, I think pretty woman is is a very much a virgin story. Okay. She she believes she's only worthy of bones. And then through this sexual experience, she discovers that she has a talent for business. And, and she's interested in something and she wants more for herself butterfly. So it's, to me it's absolutely a virgin story. And really, the only the shadow side of the Virgin is when she herself becomes disconnected from her value. That's, that's what the horror is basically, where she has lost her sense that she is intrinsically worthy of love. And so then she doesn't take care of herself in the world. And it's, it's, again, it's an internal mentality that that reflects, in the way she's presenting herself. And sometimes, it's because the environment has so consistently shown she's of no value that it sinks in. And that disconnection needs to be reversed and turned into reconnection. Well, I was just gonna say it's the same for the femme Patel, in that, if that's the, that's the second journey of the feminine, where she needs to cross the distance between herself and another person. And she's lost herself. She's manipulating another person in order to have power in the world. Whereas she hasn't recognized that she has her own type of power, and that she needs to bring that into your consciousness. And then she can exist in the world.

Alex Ferrari 34:31
So like a fatal attraction. So like a fatal attraction, let's say, or basic instinct. Those two characters don't realize that there used femininity, or Double Indemnity or duress to kill or any of these, these kinds of these kinds of characters who are using manipulation, using their sexuality using other things to manipulate people because they have not again gone inward, to understand and something happened to them and try elderhood something happened to them in the world, that that that story, that's the narrative that they've built up to, like, I've got to be this way to survive in the world is that a kind of

Kim Hudson 35:09
And it's, and what it's done is that it's caused them to disconnect from the fact that they actually are powerful, that they have their own, you know, their own sense of love for themselves. And that could be enough. And that's what the story has to do is not get them to, like, get some survival power, it's more like, they need some love power, like they need to bring that back to themselves. And then they actually can cross from being the shadow side of the feminine to the light side of the feminine.

Alex Ferrari 35:41
It's really It's, I mean, I feel like this conversation is a therapy session for everyone listening because it's like, really, you started to like, you're like, we're doing inner work today, guys. We're doing some inner work. People are gonna walk out of this listening to this, Jesus, man, I gotta, I gotta touch my authentic self, I gotta go inward. I gotta, I gotta go into that cave inside of me and fight the dragon to get through to get to the treasure to get it out into the world.

Kim Hudson 36:09
Yes, you know, my workshops people write to me, and they say later, like, you know, I, they don't have, they say they don't have writer's block anymore. Because between the hero and the journey, there's always some structure to help them move forward. But the biggest thing is, they recognize it in their life. They'll suddenly go, Oh, my God, I'm wandering in the wilderness. I have people really change their lives. Like, and write to me. I was like, Okay, well, that's on you.

Alex Ferrari 36:36
I'm not just talking about movies here. I'm just about movies and stories. That's it, if you I'm not a therapist, but you know, a lot of the things that we're talking about is, I mean, a good story is an analogy for life. And, and this inner story, which is why I so find this this concept, so fascinating. I mean, I've done 800 episodes, on both of my shows over 800 episodes. And I've never had this conversation with every single great story guru screenwriter, you can imagine. No one's ever had never come up, never approached story in this way before. And it's that's what's so fascinating about this conversation for me, because it is something that's just not talked about, it is not talked about it is not it is not put out into the screenwriting universe. It is it's, you know, the hero's journey. We're good. Chris and Joseph Campbell have done a fantastic job. Right, we are between Star Wars and with Joseph Campbell what Chris Vogler did. I mean, the hero's journey is everywhere. And I saved the cat and all this stuff, but this inner journey is interesting. What other movies that can you come up with? That are great examples, because I want the audience to really kind of have reference points.

Kim Hudson 37:53
Okay, so JoJo rabbit that's got the obvious secret world in it, and he's fighting. He's trying to conform to the Nazi ideal and it's just eventually not working for him, he changes his clothing we can we can see that stress is the part where he gets back to his mother and family. So that's one coda, you know, I that was just fabulous. Her dependent world is like, her non hearing family needs her. And yet it's contrary to what she needs to do for herself. So that was a great one. Oh, good luck to you, Leo grants. Did you see that one? I did not see that one. on Netflix. It's it's new. And it's Emma Thompson, who hires a male prostitute to help her however, you know, with an awakening, it's really good. And it does follow the beats their secret world is in that hotel room. The wife where she her secret world is that she's a ghost writer for her husband. And the coming the clashing of the two worlds is at the very beginning where she has to be the dutiful wife when she her work is actually getting the Nobel Prize. And that causes this. You know, it's a fabulous, fabulous story. There's so many Brittany runs a marathon ladybirds and education.

Alex Ferrari 39:15
Just want you said black swan as well.

Kim Hudson 39:18
Black Swan definitely carry. There's one called love, honor and obey which I there's another one that I never watched Elliott group at brain dead said watch this. And I was like, okay, and I watched like button. It's about it's about a home invasion. And, and this couple that gets brutalized. But anyway, I've watched it for five minutes, and I turned it off. And then I was like, I am a professional. So I turned it back on

Alex Ferrari 39:44
There's a story. As a director, there's lights that come on.

Kim Hudson 39:48
Yeah. Yes. And I tell you, it's a black. It's sort of a black comedy and, and it's about a woman who is forced to recognize what she's accepting from her husband. I don't want give away too much, but it is a fantastic movie.

Alex Ferrari 40:03
Sleeping with the Enemy remember the sleeping with the enemy?

Kim Hudson 40:07
Which was a long time ago. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 40:11
It just came to my head is like maybe that's one as well.

Kim Hudson 40:15
Yeah. Well, I mean, it doesn't make sense that there's a lot of inner work beliefs that need to be let go to get away. Right, that kind of thing. Virgin Suicides that's another one where the the mother has been so oppressive that they can't move forward. The shape of water is a great one. Yeah, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 40:39
Fascinating that there's so many. There's so many examples. Like you're saying that's lala land. Oh, god. Yeah. Lala Land as well. Yeah.

Kim Hudson 40:49
Trying to get her inner talent into the world.

Alex Ferrari 40:51
It's so. So there's been so many examples that have been under our nose, but no one's really ever called it out. Before like, Yeah, this is yeah, this is the story, guys.

Kim Hudson 41:01
Yes, yeah, the pattern hasn't been described. But people, you see the theory of archetypes is that it's in our unconscious, that it's there for us to help navigate through life. And Joseph Campbell made one visible. So it's a lot more you can get to it. And I made another one visible. So you know, and there's in my mind, there's four more. So I'm working on those.

Alex Ferrari 41:23
Or you're working on the other? You're working on the other ones? Yeah, yeah.

Kim Hudson 41:27
My next one will be the how to cross the distance between you and somebody who has taught you. The archetypes of marriage really?

Alex Ferrari 41:37
Oh, yeah. I have been married for a long time I understand. There's, there's something that the title of your book mentioned sexual awakenings. And this is something I just wanted to kind of touch on. Because those films, sometimes they're done perfectly and really well. But sometimes they're not. They're approached at, you know, there's a male energy or, or, you know, it's, it's not done correctly. So can you give me an example of a good one, and a bad one, and the reason why it's good, and the reason why it's bad if you can?

Kim Hudson 42:14
Well, the 40 year old virgin, actually is a great example of delayed and yeah, and then that final moment of awakening, it's and it's it actually follows all the beads. Another one that I've always loved as new Waterford girl, it's a Canadian film. And, yeah, she lives in a small town in Nova Scotia where you're very limited, and you should always stay on the island and she wants to be an artist. So She fakes a pregnancy, she notices that pregnant girls get sent away. And so she fakes a pregnancy. And it's about her sexual awakening and her talent awakening and the whole community going crazy. It's a really funny, really good movie. Yeah, so once we're Brokeback Mountain, another one where it's, you know, secret world and their clash and what society expects from you and, and never being able to overcome it. It's a very beautifully done sexual awakening. You know, I don't really pay attention to the ones that are done really badly. It's like porn to me.

Alex Ferrari 43:30
So porn, not a good example.

Kim Hudson 43:32
You know what I would actually say there's, there's female porn and there's male porn, apparently. And male porn is just really about how can I get some excitement? Like it's just goal oriented? Sure. Which is, is not the same as a sexual awakening to me and sexual awakening is this recognition that we have the power within us for great joy?

Alex Ferrari 43:54
That's the Yeah, we'll leave it there. But I'm just trying to think of in my head of like, bad ones, and I'm like, if they're bad, they're generally sophomore. Sophomore. If it's done incorrectly, that's basically so if you see softcore porn, that's probably not the

Kim Hudson 44:15
Right it's not a virgins journey. But I but I liked they probably been male gaze do.

Alex Ferrari 44:19
Exactly. But I'd like I like that you use a 40 year old virgin because that's a great example of a sexual awakening in a very obviously comedic way. But it was, it was a 40 year old virgin and all that stuff. That's to happen. And Judd Apatow does have has he touches on it even in his comedies. He touches on inner stuff funny people and a couple of his other films. Touch on the inner Yeah, in this and his work I've noticed even while they're being silly. Yeah, yeah. So you choosing her light I I saw that term in the book, what does that mean? Choosing the light choosing her light.

Kim Hudson 45:06
You know, this is saying that it doesn't really matter until it changes within her own heart. So a person like Janis Joplin, you can have all of the glory. But until you actually decide that you are intrinsically valuable, and that you have the right to take up some space in the world and shine your light, you know, the, it doesn't really affect your happiness. And it's, it's starts with the individual person, you need to find your happiness and find your connection. And then like a drop of water, it starts to spread out to other people. So that beak chooses her light shows that it's, it's not about other people saying, Oh, wow, you're amazing. It's about you deciding that you are in value, and really getting that sense of self esteem.

Alex Ferrari 45:56
So that's interesting, because in, in Hollywood, you're surrounded by people going, you're great. You're beautiful, you're great. And yet, we've all seen examples of people who were giant stars, who either sabotage themselves or god forbid, you know, took their life and they just couldn't choose their light that couldn't allow it to for whatever reason, it's some pre built glass ceiling that they put in their heads. Like, I'm not worth this. You know, I mean, John Belushi comes to mind, you know, who number one album, number one show, number one movie in the world? And he was depressed, his auto.

Kim Hudson 46:40
Right! Right. And the guy that was in Mork and Mindy,

Alex Ferrari 46:43
Oh, well, Robin Williams, Robert Robin Williams. I mean, he, he had an illness. So there was a mental, there was a degenerative degenerative thing that happened to his brain that caused him to do that. But But yeah, but many of these, you know, and we've seen it, I mean, people.

Kim Hudson 47:00
So you know, what you were saying there is actually why that beat gives up what kept her stuck, is so important. Because if you don't give up the old belief that told you, you had to conform to that dependent world, then you have this constant dissidents that you're behaving in a way that's not in alignment with one of your, your beliefs. And that will always throw you off track, you'll always try and go back to be in alignment with that. So the Virgin's journey notes that you have to have a moment where you consciously reflect and say, you know, what, I don't actually still have to believe that in might have served me in the past. But now's the time to cue the music, let it go.

Alex Ferrari 47:45
I think, for us it's so true, because there are those limiting beliefs that we all live in now we're getting into the psychology and the youngin aspect of this, of this, of this journey. But if you are told You're not worth it, you're not that you could be the most beautiful human being on the planet. gorgeous, talented. And we've seen these people, we've seen these people self destruct in front of our eyes. And in Nicole Smith, I remember I mean, she had everything. And she, she did not feel worthy of this fame and accurate at that. She just couldn't deal with it. And I mean, whatever happened happened to her, of course. And Marilyn and woman rose a little different. Yeah. But, but there's just like, there's,

Kim Hudson 48:35
There was an element

Alex Ferrari 48:37
She was Norma Jean. She was still she in her head. She was Norma Jean. She wasn't Marilyn Monroe. And to live up I can't even imagine trying to live up to being Marilyn Monroe when she was. I mean, she was she was put up there as the perfection of the female species, I mean, at the time, right? Right, right, who can live who can live with that kind of pressure. So it too, you can break through those own limiting beliefs, or stories that you're telling yourself, you doesn't matter what kind of success you have. If you can't find that light within you, you can't go forward.

Kim Hudson 49:17
Exactly. And you know, people try and tell the story about becoming your authentic self. And they just present obstacles. And then a light went on, and suddenly they were themselves right and it doesn't read through on the screen. We'd never really break it down and understand that there's a lot of steps. You know, like that you're facing the unknown, you have to cocoon for that. You can't it's too vulnerable to face criticism and you and you have to recognize what your your old belief was so that you can let it go. You have to consciously choose for yourself, that you're choosing your light. It doesn't matter if the rest of the world sees you as bright. You know, like there's all these steps to writing that inner journey that would tend to kind of without a structure, just gloss over it. And then suddenly, she got better.

Alex Ferrari 50:08
She's like, boom, one day, she just found her light. And it's done. And so it's all Yeah, it's there has to be scenes that they are consciously figuring that out in one way, shape, or form. And that's interesting. It's an interesting way to write it is make it interesting when you see that, because it's inner work. So it's hard to put that on the screen. So there has to be yes. How would you? How would you so give me an example?

Kim Hudson 50:31
I don't know if you've ever did you receive ever after? Of course. Yeah. Have you got kids? Yeah. So there's this moment where she's been to the ball, and everything's blown up. And she's just like, okay, it is what it is. I'm just going to work hard again. And she's talking to her stepmother. And she says, was there ever a moment that you felt love for me because you're the only mother I've ever known. And her stepmother says, hook it up, I feel love for a pebble in my shoe. And then see, Drew Barrymore's just okay. I accept that. I've been trying to find love from somebody who will never love me. And, and just in a look, she gives up what was keeping her stuck. She's She boldly asked the question, she got the answer, and she accepts it. And so a whole beat done in just a look.

Alex Ferrari 51:24
That's really interesting. That's really you're absolutely right. How many times have you gone to your parents looking for something or gone to a spouse or, or a girlfriend or boyfriend looking for something that they're just not going to give you ever? Yeah. And, and then you go, Oh, okay. I get it. Now. I need to move on. It's okay. Now. Thank you for letting me off the hook.

Kim Hudson 51:48
Exactly.

Alex Ferrari 51:49
Another movie came to mind and chanted. Oh, yeah, that one is that that's a if you start looking at that journey, it's very inward, like at first she's a cartoon princess, and has to stick with in the world of being a princess. And slowly, she starts to realize no, I'm, I'm worth it. I'm not just I'm, I'm a human being and I want to go do this. And I want to go to that. And she comes, she awakens within herself.

Kim Hudson 52:16
I have a full range of feelings. And I want all of that authenticity to be in the world. Yeah. And boy, the aim. Yeah. She just plays it so deeply. You know, somebody could have played that very sufficiently superficially. But she got the whole version, you know. And if the actor gets it in their heart, it just flashes onto the screen. It's really quite something.

Alex Ferrari 52:41
She should have gotten an Oscar for that performance. She was so good. And that she's, she's amazing actress, but that she is. She's perfect. Now tell me about your where can people find your book and the work that you're doing?

Kim Hudson 52:57
It's on Amazon, Amazon, both all kinds. It just recently got released? I think so. That's nice. Yeah, that's true. Michael, we see productions, and

Alex Ferrari 53:12
Your website and find you and your story

Kim Hudson 53:15
Storyarchetypes.com is where my website is.

Alex Ferrari 53:20
Good URL. That's a good URL to have. And I'm gonna ask you a few questions. I asked all of my guests. What advice would you give a screenwriter trying to break into the business today?

Kim Hudson 53:29
We've been talking about be authentic.

Alex Ferrari 53:36
Yeah. Be authentic. Embrace your light, is what you're saying. Now what lesson took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?

Kim Hudson 53:52
Let it go. Have a friend who's a psychic who says she has never met somebody who hangs on to their pain so long? afraid this is my life lesson. Fair enough, gives up what kept her stuck.

Alex Ferrari 54:08
And three of your favorite films of all time.

Kim Hudson 54:11
Oh, okay. shockula, enchanted. And I'm gonna have to say Joker, whoa, parasite. They're both amazing. They're all virgin stories.

Alex Ferrari 54:24
What an amazing collection of films. Great, great collection. It has been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much for putting this out in the world. And I'm gonna do my darndest to get this information out to the screenwriting public because it's something that's just not talked about enough. And I think it's a new way to approach story. And one last question. Can you have the hero journey and the virgins journey overlap each other in the same story?

Kim Hudson 54:55
Yes. As a matter of fact, it's not a person It's an energy and that energy they can, the hero or the Virgin energy can pass through the same person. But if you want an example, just if you were trying to like screenwriting figure out, how do I put the two together and have the stories work, frozen, the two characters Anna and Elsa, and as a hero, Alice's a virgin, and they just you've watched them connect with each other, though, there are stages there, the rescue greet order. That's a place where the hero crosses over with the Virgin story.

Alex Ferrari 55:34
So is does it have to be two characters? Or can this be in the one can this be in one character? And the two both?

Kim Hudson 55:41
It can be both. Yeah. So there's tons where, where the well, ever after she saves herself, the original writing of the pretty woman apparently she saved yourself in the end. And then he came back. They rewrote that. But there's lots. Yeah. So you definitely in and we'll know this in our own lives, that you can be the hero in your own life. And you definitely need to be in charge of your own versions journey.

Alex Ferrari 56:13
We will leave it at that. Kim, thank you so much for being on the show. It's been an absolute pleasure talking to you and thank you again for the work that you're doing. Appreciate you.

Kim Hudson 56:21
You're welcome. Thanks for having me. This is lovely.

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Ronald Bass Scripts Collection: Screenplays Download

Ron Bass was born on March 26, 1942 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for Rain Man (1988), My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) and Entrapment (1999). He has been married to Christine Ann Thomas since June 3, 1978. They have two children. He was previously married to Gail V. Weinstein.

Bass was born in Los Angeles, California. From the age of 3 to 11, Bass was afflicted with an undiagnosed condition that kept him bedridden. His symptoms included respiratory problems and stomach pains with high fevers and nausea. It was during this illness, at age six, that Bass is said to have started writing.

During his teens, Bass began work on a novel, which he entitled Voleur. He completed this work at age 17 and showed it to his English teacher. He took her critique of his first completed project quite hard. She described the writing as very good, but she felt that it was too personal to be published. Bass’s response was to later burn his manuscript. Later in life, Bass recalled “it was like the voice of God telling me I didn’t have what it takes to be a writer, and I should find something practical to do with my life”. Bass would revisit his teenage writings later in life.

Below are all the screenplays available online. If you find any of his missing screenplays please leave the link in the comment section.

When you are done reading take a listen to Apple and Spotify’s #1 Screenwriting Podcast The Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcastwith guest like Oscar® Winner Eric Roth, James V. HartDavid ChaseJohn AugustOliver Stone and more.


(NOTE: For educational and research purposes only).

RAIN MAN (1988)

Screenplay by Ron Bass – Read the screenplay!

MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING (1997)

Screenplay by Ron Bass – Read the screenplay!

STEPMOM (1998)

Screenplay by Ron Bass – Read the screenplay!

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (1998)

Screenplay by Ron Bass – Read the screenplay!

SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS (1999)

Screenplay by Ron Bass and Scott Hicks  – Read the screenplay!

ENTRAPMENT (1999)

Screenplay by Ron Bass and Michael Herzberg  – Read the screenplay!

AMELIA (2009)

Screenplay by Ron Bass and Anna Hamilton Phelan  – Read the screenplay!

 

BPS 233: How I Adapted a Best Selling Novel and Made My Film with Aitch Alberto

Aitch Alberto is a writer/director born and raised in Miami, Florida. She is a Sundance Episodic Lab fellow, recipient of a Skowhegan Artist Residency, a Yaddo fellowship, a Latino Screenwriting Project Fellowship, and an alumnus of the Outfest Screenwriting Lab. Aitch has written on DUSTER, a 1970s-set crime drama series from J.J. Abrams and LaToya Morgan for HBO Max and WBTV.

She also served as a writer on AppleTV+’s BAFTA and Film Independent Nominated anthology series LITTLE AMERICA from Alan Yang, Kumail Nanjiani, and Emily V. Gordon. Most recently, Aitch has adapted and directed the award-winning young adult novel ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Eugenio Debrez producing, from Limelight.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a 2022 coming-of-age romantic film that is an adaptation of the 2012 novel of the same name by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Aristotle and Dante had it premiere at the 47th Toronto Film Festival on September 9, 2022.

She has been included on The Black List’s inaugural Latinx List, as well as the Tracking Board’s Hit List and Young & Hungry List, and NALIP’s list of “Latinx Directors You Should Know”. Aitch has most recently been featured on Variety’s 10 Directors To Watch for 2022 and Indiewire’s 22 Rising Female Filmmakers to watch in 2022.

Enjoy my conversation with Aitch Alberto.

Right-click here to download the MP3

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Aitch Alberto 0:00
Like, how do you go through the journey of trying to be who your parents want you to be? And who your soul calls you to be? And how is their trauma affecting your sort of the way you navigate the world? Right. So it was, I think the subtlety was necessary and sort of like presenting that in a in a naturalistic way that slowly like evolves.

Alex Ferrari 0:20
This episode is brought to you by Bulletproof Script Coverage, Where screenwriters go to get their scripts read by Top Hollywood Professionals. Learn more at covermyscreenplay.com I'd like to welcome to the show Aitch Alberto. How you doin Aitch?

Aitch Alberto 0:36
Hi, how are you?

Alex Ferrari 0:38
I'm good. We were having a good laugh before we got started because it's not there's few of us Cuban filmmakers. In the business. There's there's there are Cuban filmmakers without question. But every time I every time I find another Cuban filmmaker, I get very excited. And we start talking and we started like, Adela and it didn't of course, you're from Miami and

Aitch Alberto 1:01
The lalalalala No, I mean, I love it. It is like a rarity. We are out here and we are doing the thing but there's not many of us. So especially like a Cuban from Miami because there's Cubans everywhere, but like a que cippic And being from Miami is very specific to

Alex Ferrari 1:22
I think filmmakers from Miami is like a whole other conversation. It's

Aitch Alberto 1:26
I heard your name from like, years down the line. And I refuse to age myself. But like, you were in the like the sphere of like Dave Rodriguez and like Caroline

Alex Ferrari 1:36
Ohh stop it. Stop it. Why are you going back that far?

Aitch Alberto 1:40
Yes, I know. But like Dave directed my first short Oh, no, no. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 1:46
You were in that short.

Aitch Alberto 1:48
It was. Yeah. And I also wrote that story. Oh, my God, what do you rest in peace?

Alex Ferrari 1:55
May David. I did I did push for him. I was I did all I did push for him. And then during that, that was when I released my first short film Broken back in the day,

Aitch Alberto 2:05
I've seen broken back into the movie, because I he did push and then like, while push was in post, he fit in my short. And I found him off like Craigslist. I had written the script, it was all like shift left on like a Word doc. I was really young. And it was a really beautiful experience. But I remember your name from then, because I have a sick memory.

Alex Ferrari 2:29
That is, so this would be this the first lesson that will teach in this conversation. It is a small, small world.

Aitch Alberto 2:37
Absolutely. Even smaller industry. I say that. LA's like the biggest, smallest town in the world.

Alex Ferrari 2:45
I mean, that you're like, Oh, my God, I can't believe like I just You took me way back. This is good talking about early 2000s When you don't need a date. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Sorry. I mean, last year, but so. So my first question to you, ah, is how did you get into and why did you want to get into this business?

Aitch Alberto 3:09
That's a very loaded question. I have a very interesting upbringing, being from Miami. And growing up when I grew up, my father was in the drug trade. And was a fugitive for a really long time. And I it was eight years and we lived on the run with him. And movies were always my state. So it was like the thing that brought me comfort and like I never asked for toys. I wasn't like big on anything else. I was obsessed with movies. I just didn't know that you could have a career on all facets and all sides of the film industry. So I acted for a really, really long time.

Alex Ferrari 3:47
Wow, that's so when is the movie coming out of when you were on the run? I mean, there's a movie there. I have to believe

Aitch Alberto 3:54
It's a TV show. And we are yes, it's somewhere that it's being developed right now. And it's written and it's like the thing that it's probably the most honest piece of writing that I ever did. It heals me in so many ways. It was archaic. It like sent me on my journey of my transition. It was it just like unlocked so much to revisit, like a version of myself that always existed, but sort of like life happens and you don't know how to sort of embrace that and be everything that you could be. But that scripts got me to the Sundance episodic lab, it got me my first TV writing job, my second TV writing job and sort of like helped me get me where I am right now to be able to make the film that we're about to talk about.

Alex Ferrari 4:35
That's That's amazing. That's I mean, well, I'm looking forward to seeing that series because I mean, being from Miami. I just I did just see Cocaine Cowboys again. That's just

Aitch Alberto 4:44
So it's very that it's like that was my life.

Alex Ferrari 4:47
So and you were on the run with him with Japan. Yeah,

Aitch Alberto 4:50
I mean, for the year it was a very like interesting experience. And I thought it was completely normal until you like grow up and you're like, Wait, you didn't have that experience.

Alex Ferrari 5:00
Do you mean you weren't running away from the cops and the FBI? And

Aitch Alberto 5:03
It's also a deep trauma, which, you know, thank God right there.

Alex Ferrari 5:07
Right! I can only imagine I can only imagine. Well, that's. So that's that makes sense, I guess. So in other words, movies were your refuge. And you were able to kind of go in into that world and very cinema para DCLs.

Aitch Alberto 5:22
I love that film. It's such a great film,

Alex Ferrari 5:25
Just to kind of escape into movies, I always used to say that movie theaters were like a church. For me, I would go into it. And by myself, I would just go to a movie and just in the middle of Tuesday at one o'clock or something, and just sit there and watch a movie and, and by the time I was done watching that movie, my life has been better for whatever reason, I would have forgotten the problems I was dealing with,

Aitch Alberto 5:46
So one thing that I like Miss during the pandemic, as a writer, it's, I'm great at isolating and like quarantine didn't scare me. But I missed the escape of going to a theater in the middle of the day. And it was always one of my favorite things. My grandmother would take me when I was really young. And she would like skip movies with me and like, she fall asleep and all of them but like she was my like Road Dog and going to see all these movies that I did often see movies that I shouldn't have been seeing at the age that I was like Leaving Las Vegas I saw when I was 10 years old. I went home and wrote my first script online paper.

Alex Ferrari 6:28
That's that is amazing. Wow. I mean, I saw Beverly Hills Cop when I was like seven or eight and I thought that was a little rough. But Leaving Las Vegas it's it's rough for an adult, let alone a 10 year old for God's sakes

Aitch Alberto 6:41
When you're on the run and you're slightly traumatized and growing up faster than you need to.

Alex Ferrari 6:47
I mean, what love Leaving Las Vegas what a drunk killing himself. That's fine. Sorry for spoiler alert, if you haven't seen it, it's on you guys. Sorry. So, um, so you mentioned that you got into Sundance, how was that experience because I've spoken to many people who've gone through that lab and through that process, and I'd love to just kind of get the inside feeling of what it was like being in there and going through that process.

Aitch Alberto 7:10
I loved it. It was one of the most nurturing experiences that I've had as a writer and a filmmaker thus far in my career. And it just like, I was introduced to so many people, it was affirming in so many ways. It was such a goal of mine to like, be validated by Sundance, because I didn't go to film school. I don't have any formal training. Like I taught myself by reading scripts and watching movies at the same time. So like, but I knew that I knew what I was doing, right? Because I loved it so much. And like I worked so hard at it, that like having that validation through that program was really invaluable. And there I met like Lee Eisenberg, who gave me my first writing job on Middle America, season two, and Latoya Morgan, who I just wrote on a show with her for HBO Max called duster, which is also created by JJ Abrams as well.

Alex Ferrari 8:02
That's, that's, that's not a bad that's not bad. Since it's not bad. It's not bad if you could get if it's a good work if you can get it.

Aitch Alberto 8:10
And I think that like who I am, what my perspective is, there's room for me now. So I think a lot of like hard work and timing is what worked in my favor.

Alex Ferrari 8:23
So timing, timing is big with everything, especially in the film industry. Like you know, when I when I talked to some of these guys who were coming up in the 90s, who are the legendary the Robert Rodriguez is and the Richard Linklater and these kinds of people. You know, you know, Rick was the first one to tell me, he's like, I mean, slacker wouldn't make it today. Like, there's just no place for a movie like that today. It'd be difficult. It'd be an art movie. It'd be a back it was he calls him backyard movies. And he was like, that's literally his backyard. Austin was his backyard back then. And, and then I watched it recently, and now that I'm living in Austin, shaped a bit. The city has changed just slightly since then.

Aitch Alberto 9:02
But my lead actor in my film is from Austin and I went to visit I've been a couple of times and absolutely love it. So good for you, Miami.

Alex Ferrari 9:11
Yes, absolutely. No, it's wonderful here. We absolutely love it here. Now, you also directed and wrote a lot of short films I saw on your filmography. What was that? How did that help you develop as a filmmaker because a lot of people like as shorts you shouldn't do it. This or That? How did it work for you and your path?

Aitch Alberto 9:30
Well, I had the foundation of acting, which I think was also invaluable to you know, not only directing actors but understanding story in a way that was very specific. But the shorts were sort of my like, I could do this it was giving myself permission and not waiting for permission from anybody to, to just boots on the ground do it and like I didn't know what I was doing. But I knew that the only way I was going to learn and get better was actually like making something. So that's how that happened. And then it really He became you often when you're in those positions you think you need to like, scale up or have like the ambitions of working or collaborating with people that are further ahead in your career. But what I found to be most useful is that I was collaborating with people that were right next to me that were my contemporaries that have come up with me. So we were learning in so many ways together, luckily, like those films got seen at film festivals and stuff, but like, had they not? That would have been okay too. Because like, I again, not going to film school. That was my film school.

Alex Ferrari 10:31
And like, like Robert Rodriguez, he had 25 I think shorts that no one ever saw before he made mariachi

Aitch Alberto 10:38
Crazy. I wasn't about to make 25

Alex Ferrari 10:42
But you did a lot though. Yeah. I mean, you did what? Like 10 or 12, at least

Aitch Alberto 10:46
In variations. Yeah, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 10:49
But it was an experience even just being on a set, especially when you're coming up is just go much

Aitch Alberto 10:55
100% So that I'm I'm grateful for those experiences, and I think everybody should make it short.

Alex Ferrari 11:01
Absolutely. I mean, I started my career off with shorts and it's it's done it did well for me without question. Now your first film, Harry Kerry, how rock carry are heavy carry IT'S HARD CARRY Hard Carry? Yeah, I was watching it and

Aitch Alberto 11:16
I'm like cringing because it's like one of those buildings that I like, I can't believe that in the world. Sorry. Yeah, like that.

Alex Ferrari 11:22
Listen, no, listen, look, I look at the thing that I like about it. It has a very mumble core vibe to it. It's very Duplass Swanberg, Lynn Shelton kind of vibe to it. So how did it come about? And how and how did you even get that film off the ground? Because it's it's shot, very naturalistic. It looks like it's available lighting. But there's a really great story behind it. And it's, you could see the image you could start seeing through through the cracks, like oh, oh, I see.

Aitch Alberto 11:54
Yeah, there's a point somewhere in there. I call that film an experiment. It premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival and we're seeing distribution through breaking glass. grippy to me that it even saw the light of day, obviously, that's like, in hindsight, I thought I was like groundbreaking Well, obviously,

Alex Ferrari 12:15
No, no, no, this is Hollywood, Hollywood. Now see my genius.

Aitch Alberto 12:19
Like, this is it, I'm doing it on my own. That was I wanted to make a dog one film, like a large dog 1090 95 movie, which is impossible to make, especially like now. So it was an idea that I had. And I just had an outline. And I found really good actors, often friends that were game to play at a camera and a boom mic. And we were out on the road. And just we shot that in two days for like, $2,000.

Alex Ferrari 12:49
Amazing, amazing. And that was that wasn't that far. That wasn't that long ago was like because the mumble core movement and I use the mumble Chroma piano with dogs, obviously dog many fathers, but the mumblecore movement was in the early 2000s. And this film was within like, within seven or eight years ago, if I'm not mistaken.

Aitch Alberto 13:09
I don't even remember

Alex Ferrari 13:12
25th I mean, at least that's why I thought the 2012

Aitch Alberto 13:14
Yeah, that sounds right.

Alex Ferrari 13:16
2015. Exactly. So it wasn't like it was that far back ago. And you were doing that kind of filmmaking. Look, my my first film was mumblecore ask, which I did the exact same thing on my first these last two features I did were completely outlined shot like it one was eight days. One was four days. You just roll and you're like, let's see what happens. You make it?

Aitch Alberto 13:38
Yeah, you just do it. And it's like at the end of the day, it's playing right. And so it's probably one of those films that I could have kept for myself.

Alex Ferrari 13:46
But you distributed worldwide.

Aitch Alberto 13:50
I mean, it was

Alex Ferrari 13:52
Did you do? What did you do? Well, by the way on it? I mean, I mean it cost $2,000 So did you make any money on it?

Aitch Alberto 13:58
I mean money on it. Look at your success.

Alex Ferrari 14:02
You're successful, you're successful filmmaker.

Aitch Alberto 14:05
With it. This is the beginning and it was like huge in Germany. It had like a theatrical screening and everything in Germany. It was like you

Alex Ferrari 14:12
Can you can't walk the streets in Germany, Kenya. Oh,

Aitch Alberto 14:15
I mean, I've changed genders since so maybe I'll get away. Um, but like that. It's interesting because the DVD of the German version of the movie is very graphic. So I think that has a lot to do with why it was a success. I'm telling you way too much. The Cuban from Miami thing really works for you.

Alex Ferrari 14:36
I've done I've done a few of these. So on that film, though, I have to ask you, since it was your first film, and it was an experiment, what was the biggest lesson you learned in that entire process?

Aitch Alberto 14:47
That you need a crew?

Alex Ferrari 14:49
You need money, a crew and a script.

Aitch Alberto 14:52
Money you'll never have enough money but you definitely need a crew and people that are really good at their job because they they make you look good.

Alex Ferrari 15:02
That's very, very true without question. Now, you mentioned that you're working on that on the show duster. With JJ. I mean, I'm assuming you've met JJ. And are you working with Jim? Like, what's it like working with someone like JJ? Because he's such a, I mean, he's such a legend in our business. And he's been doing it at a high level for so long and doing television. I mean, I mean, I could just list off the shows. I've watched the video. So in the television space, what's it like working on a JJ Abrams creative show?

Aitch Alberto 15:35
JJ Abrams is a legend as a human as well, I, we work together often he was in the room. Often he before we went into production, we had like an hour long conversation about the film as well. He's, I consider him like a mentor, in so many ways, a very short amount of time. But what I learned the most from him, was his kindness. He's so capable of listening and being present and actually caring, despite his creative genius. And that, to me, was something that I hope to emulate as my career goes on. And if it ever comes here with JJ is just the fact that he is so successful. And he's worked on such strong and like popular IPs, and was able to maintain this humanity. That to me was very impressive. And I mean, like, he's all over the place. And he's doing too, too much. But it's also like, what fuels him? Brian, I was just in awe of him. From like a real, I also wasn't impressed by him. And that's why we became friends.

Alex Ferrari 16:39
Right! You didn't You didn't geek out, but you are internally impressed by him. But you weren't like, Oh my God. It's JJ. Like you weren't completely fan. You know, fan girl.

Aitch Alberto 16:48
I think like, I was like, if he's a regular dude, who is really good at what he does, and has a real passion for it. Like, I think that's how everybody should approach these people. You know what I mean? Like, I could be JJ, you could be JJ. Like anybody could be JJ. It just takes like a certain level of tenacity, and perseverance, and passion to sort of, like want that.

Alex Ferrari 17:10
Right. Without question. I mean, it's I saw him coming up. And he started off in television, and he wanted to do features and, and he loves Spielberg. And then he get to work with Steven on things. And, you know, he's, and then he gets to do Star Wars. And you know, he's, he's done. Okay, he's done. Okay, he's done. Okay.

Aitch Alberto 17:27
I really, like I really fuck with JJ in a real way. So and

Alex Ferrari 17:30
And that Ted, that TED talk he did with the box. I don't know if I've ever seen Oh, you have to watch that. It's a TED talk he did about a box. It's just like creative muse in so many ways. It's a box that he was given as a child, and he's never opened it. And it's like this. And it's like, what's inside, it's like this magic box. And it's fascinating. It's like a 10 minute Converse them to lecture he does about creativity, but he uses the box, and he brought the box out, and everything is great.

Aitch Alberto 18:02
So I was a lot of that on a daily basis. And he talks about all these toys and like, you know, a listening device when he was a kid. And it's just like, super ate. Every time he talked like, I would have visions of that film, because it was so autobiographical, and so real to his experience, that I was, it's really sweet.

Alex Ferrari 18:21
He's you can you can see the tenderness and the humanity in his work, just like you, just like you see it in Spielberg's work. Like you can see it in et you can see it in Schindler's List, you can see the humanity that comes through their work, and it's something you can't fake.

Aitch Alberto 18:38
No, you can't. And that was something that was really important to me to also implement in making this film. Because I think it was like a redefinition of Latino, Latina, Latin a Latin neck stories, I just want to make sure everybody is included. Right? Yeah. But yeah, like, it's that was, it's a redefining of that, because so often, like our films about our experience, or are violent, or just stereotypical and playing into tropes, and even about the queer experience, as well. So I wanted to make something that felt all American and accessible to everyone. This was just at least from my experience, like the duality of being like, growing up Cuban, but also being American was something that really inspired me because it's like, you feel both, but you are one, right. So and that's some, it was risky for people to sort of understand what I was trying to do, because I don't think they have any, like sort of relatable movies or comps that have done that before because it's just so about the immigrant experience, or about this, just one narrative. And so like, I'm hoping that this unlocks an understanding to that which is rooted in humanity and compassion,

Alex Ferrari 19:51
Without questions. So we're talking about your new film, Aristotle, and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which is

Aitch Alberto 19:58
I've done this before, too. Did you see Hi, segway for you.

Alex Ferrari 20:02
Did you see Did you see how that worked? It was very, it's very professional. It's very, they're very slick, have you? No, no, of course. And then I just watched it. And it's beautifully done. It is hypnotic in certain scenes. It's extremely touching. And there's a humanity that we're talking about in it. And, I mean, the cast is finished and henio and, and Yvonne and everybody else the leads. So beautifully done. But it's done with such a subtle hand, is what I noticed in your in your work in this film, because it's not heavy handed. And it's not preachy. It's human in it. Does that make sense?

Aitch Alberto 20:42
Yes, that's exactly I'm just letting you talk. Because that's exactly what I want someone to say about the film. Right? Like, sure. It's about this, like kids coming of age who's like grappling with his identity and his sexuality and all of these things. But it's so much more than that, right? It's like, how does your family and your experience and your circumstances influenced that experience? Right? Like, how do you go through the journey of trying to be who your parents want you to be? And who your soul calls you to be? And how is their trauma affecting your sort of the way you navigate the world? Right. So it was, I think the subtlety was necessary and sort of like presenting that in a in a naturalistic way that's slowly like evolved throughout it.

Alex Ferrari 21:26
Yeah, it was beautifully done. And I have to give you props for working with a new young and upcoming unknown producer by the name of Lin Manuel Miranda. I've never heard of him. Is I've never anything cool. Doing anything good.

Aitch Alberto 21:38
No, I mean, like he begged me to. So it was a Yeah, I can't get rid of him. Now.

Alex Ferrari 21:46
Bow is like he's on my he's text. He's blown up my phone on a daily basis, like, hey, what do you think Hamilton to? Should I do it?

Aitch Alberto 21:54
We zoomed yesterday. No, I think yo, like he is a force. And he had done I read the book in 2014. I read it in one sitting on locked something inside of me that as a storyteller that I really wanted to tell. And it became my life's work. I didn't know that this book was like a thing. And kids have tattoos. And it was like sold in all these languages. So I had before I found that out, I had a producer friend find out if the rights were available. They were I couldn't believe they were because it was so undeniably great. But it's sometimes when you find those things, it's because they're undeniably great for you. So I was this is serendipitous, I'm going to keep riding this wave. So I wrote the script on spec. Couple of I sat on it for a couple of months. And then I wrote to the author, because there wasn't enough traction for me like the traditional route. So it was like, Yo, I did this thing can I like, come visit El Paso and meet you. So I spent four days there, we became really great friends. And at the end of that, he said, These boys were mine. And now I give them to you. And I was like, crying and like, we were both crying. I was like, fuck, what do I do now? Like, like, now I have this thing that's obviously valuable, and like people love it. How do I make it happen? And so I knew that's where I discovered that Lynn had done the audiobook to REM Dante. And I was like, We need to get him involved in some capacity. I met a producer through a film festival, who helped me develop the script. So that took about a year and then 20 End of 2017 We sent the script to Lynn didn't hear anything back through managers, agents. And that was like, my whole career and anything that I've done has happened because I've made it happen. So I was like, it was New Year's Day 2018 And I was like, hey, Lynn read my script. I tweeted at him no 20 minutes later he replied. And then three months later he was in LA and agreed to produce it I just knew the relationship to the property there like I knew

Alex Ferrari 24:12
I just had to get to him you had to get

Aitch Alberto 24:15
I had and now I can get rid of up no I don't want

Alex Ferrari 24:19
Now what the yappity Yap all the time it's

Aitch Alberto 24:21
A great ideas and the great notes and ya know, it's been really cool and he's been it's not just like someone throwing their name on it like he's been a part of the process since then. In like a real way. He I met Yvonne a pitch and we really connected but he like, she's so wonderful. She, of course. You've interviewed her before.

Alex Ferrari 24:42
Yeah, I don't know. If it's fantastic.

Aitch Alberto 24:46
I was like, Oh, I get why you're such a star and you're unstoppable.

Alex Ferrari 24:52
So no, no without question. And with Eva specifically. Like when you get to meet these people, sometimes you meet them only on zoom but sometimes You get to meet them in person. And you go, okay, I get it. I truly get what everybody sees. And these people, and even I can't wait to see flaming Cheetos.

Aitch Alberto 25:10
That's why I pitched on that. That's where we met. And it's really good. I've seen like snippets of it that she showed me on set. I'm really excited. And I think people are gonna love it.

Alex Ferrari 25:23
And I can't wait for that movie as well. And it's so it's really interesting what you're working with Lynn? And was there any big lesson you learned from him and his process? And the notes in the storytelling? How we approach a story, or producing what did you learn?

Aitch Alberto 25:39
We, I learned so much. And it's hard to distill that because it's like, pieces of information, right. But when we finished because we were editing while we were in production, and I hadn't stepped away from the film at all. And I was literally killing myself to like, get it done for what was supposed to be a festival premiere back then. And he got on the phone with me and just told me you need to step away from the movie. And he was in, post for Tick Tick Boom, at the same time. So he was going through like the same first minute filmmaker vibes that I was going through. And that really hit me once he said that, and that's what I did, I stepped away from the movie. And then we went back into posts and everything started to like, unlock them. So it was invaluable advice.

Alex Ferrari 26:34
It is something that for people listening should really understand is that sometimes as artists, we get a little too close to the project. Yeah. And we're inside the book, and you can't read the book, when you're inside the book, you got to pull back and give time to do now,

Aitch Alberto 26:47
It was seven years, it was a seven year journey from finding the book to like getting to production. So I was entrenched in it. And I just like, I will die without this, you know, but it's like he gave me perspective on that. And I just, I was able to come back to it with fresh eyes with an open heart, because it was like production editing, like, all at the same time. And so the experience of production, the experience of editing something is completely different. And if you're not stepping away to sort of separate those things, you're a, you're not doing your best work.

Alex Ferrari 27:21
Yeah, without question. Now, let me ask you, do you when you're on set? And you know, did you have it? Well, first of all, did you have any problems with the whole first time director even though you didn't make a feature? But you're this is a big jump up from that first two day experiment? With, you know, major actors, I'm assuming the budget was, you know, more than what you did in the first movie? Sure. So did you run into a lot of ocean energy as a first time filmmaker? I don't know if we try. Like, I don't know, what did you think?

Aitch Alberto 27:54
Before what because we there was the other directors attached to, you know, make this before we got to the point, but I always knew, I always knew was my story to tell. So whenever those things would turn out all those false starts happened. I was just like, yeah, because it's supposed to be mine. Through that process, my profile sort of started elevating through the JJs of the world, and lens validation and all of that. So no, I wish there was a bit more trust in me when it was time to go to set. And I also had a very clear vision of what I wanted. So I didn't second guess myself too much. But what I did want to do is find partners and collaborators that were more experienced than me, and were better at what I do. And that was my director of photography, my production designer, my caught all, all the people around me that showed up was so much love is something that I will never forget. And I hoped to have on every film. And that was the same thing with the actors. I think people really believed in the story, they believed in me, and they showed up with that with such a willingness. And, you know, I've been told that I ran a firm, but warm set, which to me is like a big compliment, because we didn't have a lot of time. But like a lot of the work was done in pre production where everybody knew what we were doing. And I'm always super open to hearing someone's idea in the hopes that it elevates what my thought was. And that's what happened throughout this process.

Alex Ferrari 29:31
Did you by any? I know a lot of times when we were, you know, young directors or starting out directors, we get pushback from other people on set, let's say, you know, a grip or, or a DP or anything like that the politics of the set, and I had it you know, I had it meant when I started out like people were like, What do you know, kid? You know, I'm gonna shoot it my way. Did you I imagine you didn't have that because you had so many heavy hitters behind you, supporting you, but did anything Did you have to deal with anything

Aitch Alberto 30:04
You want to all the gossip all the gossip?

Alex Ferrari 30:06
The reason I'm asking you the reason I'm asking you is this and it doesn't have to be on this project on any project, because filmmakers don't know that that's going to happen on a set. And they're not prepared for it, it could destroy a shoot. So I always ask that question of, of every, almost every director, I talked to you, I asked that question, especially when they're starting out, because it's something that is not taught in film school, and it's not really talked about too much. So without giving names, I don't want to call anybody out. But just if you how did you deal with it? If it did happen to you?

Aitch Alberto 30:33
It did happen. It did happen. It did happen from departments that I didn't think it would happen from? And I think it's it's twofold, right? It's not just because I'm a first time director, it was because I was also a woman on a set. And to top that off, I was a trans woman on a set. So I think a lot of men have often gotten away with certain behavior on sets that are rooted sodomy. So there was a dismissive sort of tone, where questions were being asked, and I was asking for things. And they were directed to say, like, my director of photography, who was male, and it was like, I think it took a certain level level of assertiveness. And being from where I'm from, I definitely have. So there was a need for that. And it wasn't something that I needed it or wanted to access or have to, like, move with. But it was there. And I'm happy it was there. Because I wasn't gonna let anybody sort of like walk all over me or walk all over my dream. And I also have, and had the most amazing producer by my side, who just had my back in a real way and was with me every day on set right next to me, and that her name is Valerie Stadler, and she was boots on the ground. And she was with me from the very beginning. After I felt so her partnership, and her having my back throughout, it was just, it was very much necessary because I was able to focus on the work while she dealt with some, you know, drugs?

Alex Ferrari 32:15
Yeah, no. And again, this is these kinds of conversations are important to have in a public forum, because it really does help other filmmakers coming up. I know, just just, they just don't know, it's coming, I had to deal with it. Being the young guy, the young Latino kid, on a set where I might have been the only Latino on the set. And, you know, I had, I had a first ad just a first ad, giving me crap. And I'm like, It's my production company, I hired you, hey, I'm personally writing your check, get on board or get the hell off my set. These are the kinds of things that they're not taught, not talked about.

Aitch Alberto 32:53
So yeah, that department was one of them. And you landed on one of the most amazing human beings that I've gotten the pleasure to work with, his name is montanhas. And he will be with me on every picture. And it was the first time in the last week of shooting, that I was able to walk away from set and know that everything was being taken care of like walk and sit down and do my job. And that I didn't have to sort of like be aware of every aspect of it. Because the person that was supposed to like, ride with me wasn't doing their job. And that often leads to like people seeing your difficult or but it's, it's not that I'm like I I pride myself on being a really good collaborator, and a really good listener, because I think that's what me, Director, but sometimes you do have to put your foot down. And it's like, you do have to assert what your role is in those situations. And that is definitely one of them.

Alex Ferrari 33:56
Listen, when you're coming up, it happens for everybody, every gender, everything. It just happens when Ridley Scott walks on a set, this doesn't happen now. Now, now,

Aitch Alberto 34:07
But I think like for now, because he's earned his respect. And like that's, and I've heard story from other directors. My DP like walked all over me and like, they're, I'm disappointed. I was convinced to do this, my this did this. And it's just like, No, if I'm going to make a mistake, and there's going to be a horrible review, I want it to be my fault. Do you know what I mean? And not be like, I knew that my instinct was this, you know, and that's also something that I like, I advise people who are listening is follow your instinct. They are always right.

Alex Ferrari 34:36
Yeah. And I did the exact same thing. I had DPS walk all over me and convinced me to do things and then I'm in post, I'm going, why didn't I get the shot that I wanted? Why didn't I fight harder? And these are just things that as directors we have to go through. And I think every I think every director goes through that as a one way Scorsese Spielberg all the greats all the Masters they all went through it at one point or another in their careers because it's it's part of the of the process. So becoming,

Aitch Alberto 35:00
I will say production was magic. And if I could have lived in production for the entire time I would have done it

Alex Ferrari 35:08
I was going to ask you about production. It's generally speaking, there's always a day that the entire world's coming down crashing around us as a director, the camera breaks, we lose a location, an accurate doesn't come out of whatever. Was there a day like that? And what was that? And how did you overcome it on any of your projects, by the way, doesn't have to be this one.

Aitch Alberto 35:29
I think every day was like that on this project, because there was such a timing around it. And like I've been told not to say it was but it was not enough time. And it was it made it really hard to sort of like not have room for those situations. But again, everybody really showed up, showed up in a real way passionate, they were so invested in the story. It was it was really lovely to see but yeah, there was always fires to put out and I equate or I give the credit to my producer Val for like putting those out before they really got to me.

Alex Ferrari 36:09
You hear about the the damage later, but you're like the fires that hit me.

Aitch Alberto 36:13
That almost happened on a daily basis. And a lot of those fires there, for example. They're the truck. There's a truck in the movie, which is the like quintessential textbook. Yeah. It's supposed to be this fire red truck, I was pushed into getting this other truck off Craigslist, that I knew was the wrong color. And they're like, it's just the photo. It's just the photo. I'm like, It's not the truck that's there. Um, right. And so like everybody's scrambling to now paint this truck, the right color, and distress it. They painted the same color it was but distressed. This I don't know, while it's happening. It's day one, I get to set. And my production designer is literally painting and distressing. The the truck that I wanted and I would have never known because it was perfect. It's exactly what I had envisioned. But the rigamarole before then, and they wrapped it there was like three steps that should have just been one. It was so funny, but also scary.

Alex Ferrari 37:17
And it's stressful.

Aitch Alberto 37:20
This is why I thought it was like It looks great. And they're like I'm so happy you think so because this in this

Alex Ferrari 37:26
This is day one. This is day one

Aitch Alberto 37:28
Literally we haven't even like shut up. Shut up. Like yes, we hadn't started yet.

Alex Ferrari 37:34
That's That's it. These are the kinds of stories of things I just love bringing out because man even if it's you know you think a lot of filmmakers coming up will look at your story and look at your movie and they're like oh it's got you know Eva and and him yo and Lin Manuel's producing it must you must have had caviar every day and sushi and and just limo brought you like that's not the reality on these shows. It's it's indie filmmaking, no question

Aitch Alberto 38:01
Dawns in Pomona and I stayed in Pomona, like a Motel Six the entire time. Because I'm notoriously late to things that's like my pandemic trauma. So it's like, there's no way I could be late to set so I like had to stay close. Um, but yeah, there was. We lost an actor the day before shooting the horse. It was all it was all the classic stuff.

Alex Ferrari 38:24
You know, it it happens it does happen

Aitch Alberto 38:27
during COVID to like Adam and Jed, we just we had to stop production for we went dark for two days because my lead actor got sick. Meanwhile, I was sick the entire time he was but I was like, I can't be the reason that we shut down. So it was like barreling through and I remember getting set. He's like massive fever. He's really young. This is big, first major role. And he's like, Ah, I can't, I can't do it. And it was like, done. Val got on it. We luckily shut down. We didn't spend too much money in doing that. And we were back up and running again. But everybody was really scared that it was COVID because that would have like, ruined everything. But it was just some sort of flu.

Alex Ferrari 39:11
Oh, that's a whole other level of crap that we have to deal with to make movies in today's world. It's It's insane. Now you your film is going to premiere at TIFF, the Toronto Film Festival. I always love asking this question. What was it like getting the phone call?

Aitch Alberto 39:31
It's it's really emotional. It's like every emotional moment because it was postproduction was so hard. We had been invited to another film festival where we pulled the movie. And so it was a lot of it was painful. As an artist it was a painful sort of decision to make and have to make, but knowing it was the best thing for me in the film. So when this one came, that's also like such a reputable Film Festival that I haven't been to and I'm so excited to be included. It was just it was an exhale, it was like I had been waiting seven years to exhale. And it hadn't happened. Because it felt really real for the first time.

Alex Ferrari 40:10
It's a beautiful fest. I've been there, I was there once. And it's a beautiful festival. And Toronto is a great, great city. It's not Sundance, like Sundance is a whole other experience. Because I love Sundance, but it's different. And it's beautiful. And it's such a they love their filmmakers, they really, really do. And it's one of the, arguably the top five, if not the top three, one of the top three festivals in the world. So it's, you know, when you're coming up as a filmmaker, you have to imagine that you'd have the same dreams that all of us do, is like I want to get into Sundance, I want to get into Toronto, I want to, I want people to look at my work and tell me that I've done a good job, you want to feel that as, as a creative as an artist, and to be accepted into a festival like Toronto, is just monumental, especially at the beginning of your career. You just like, Oh, my God, like I just I, and it doesn't seem like and you've been in being so young, obviously. But you've been you've done a few things in your life that I feel that you it's not going to go to your head, it's not going to be like I'm the great that was in the first movie, like my genius Hollywood come and get

Aitch Alberto 41:22
I mean, that's something that I reflect on. Often, it's like, there was so much desperation and sort of anxiety when I was younger, of having that break. That never came. And I think I think he was, I think it was for many reasons, I think like I had to like unlock something in me to sort of like be ready to exist in the world authentically, and allow good things to happen to me. And once I did that that happened. And I think that that's true for this as well. It's just like, I'm happy, it didn't happen when it was supposed to happen in my head and that it's happening now. Because I'm far more present for it. I'm aware when I'm not. And I bring myself back to it because it is it's like a dream for so many people and I'm living it. And I just really want to enjoy it and have fun with it as much as I can

Alex Ferrari 42:10
Enjoy it because it goes quick. exam was really quick. So enjoy every second of it. Now I have to also ask you the question, you got to work with an henio and Eva. And this is your first big movie and you're working with these veteran actors, some of them legendary actors. How did you approach collaborating with them? You know, I mean, because they're both forces of nature. Both of those specifically, are they? They are forces of nature.

Aitch Alberto 42:39
Alone as well who yes, it mom like I'm all three of them. And Kevin Alejandra as well, all four of them are have such great careers on television and film. It's an interesting question, because it felt so seamless to work with these people. And I joked that the Latinx mafia had to show up in order for this movie to get made. Because we live Huck is going to finance and film about like two brown boys directed by a trans woman. But it was them who again validated my script, it was Lynn, who Haniel and Eva are stepping up and being like, this story is important. And I want to be a part of it. So that validation sort of came in at the beginning of the process. And then working with them was just like a very natural unfolding. And especially with a cameo who was like, so nervous to step into this role, because it was so different from how people know him. And he was so game and trusted me so much. And it was a lot of conversation and a lot of like, just, you know, support and being him being there for him to make choices. That felt scary, but we're right. And it's just like, I think his performance in the film is a revelation and something I'm most proud of.

Alex Ferrari 43:56
Yeah, is I mean and white hair. He looked amazing.

Aitch Alberto 44:00
And that was that was all him up the hair like he was so committed, and so impassioned. And you see it on screen. And like that some Yeah, I am reflecting back and smiling because it was so lovely. And Eva was just a lot of these people were just the roles. They were who people that I wrote with in mine, Eva specifically. So she just stepped into it. Because that's her. She's motherly and she's nurturing and she's like, incredible that it was just like, easy to sort of like hold their hand and guide them through the problem. They're also veterans.

Alex Ferrari 44:36
Yeah. Isn't it nice working with real actors? Yeah, professional, like

Aitch Alberto 44:42
Veronica Falcone as well, and Kevin as well. They're like actors from the theater and they like do the work in the preparation. I've met with both of them and I knew it was them and I didn't want to see anybody else. And it was just like, it's a thing. It's following your instincts and I'm really proud of those decisions.

Alex Ferrari 44:59
You Yeah, because I mean, coming up with you work with non actors or actors who are just starting out, and there's egos and there's this and that. And then the moment I got to work with, unlike an Oscar nominated actor I had to work with and he walked on set, and I was like, Oh, so this is what it's really like

Aitch Alberto 45:17
And everyone's also on their best game, like, everybody's just like, shit, like real.

Alex Ferrari 45:25
Rather, when I make you messing around anymore, these are real actors, we gotta

Aitch Alberto 45:28
Real actors, this people are gonna see this and that there is an energy shift, you know, but those, those two people that are like super massively famous, don't carry that around with them. So that also made it easier.

Alex Ferrari 45:41
Fantastic. Now, I'm going to ask you a few questions. I ask all of my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Aitch Alberto 45:50
Don't wait for permission and delusional confidence.

Alex Ferrari 45:55
I'd love that answer. Delusional confidence.

Aitch Alberto 45:58
Yeah, no one's gonna tell you, you're great. And it's often going to feel like you're not great. So you have to delusionally tell yourself, you're the best. And your voice matters. And it needs to be heard. And that's like, even if you like, shoot for the stars, and like, you land somewhere in the middle. It's worth it.

Alex Ferrari 46:16
Now, what did you learn from your biggest failure?

Aitch Alberto 46:21
I have failures every day. But my biggest failure was not being true to myself. Because in order to be true to who you are, you unlock great or, and like, once you that that's where like the real sort of, you know, your your alignment, and your ability to welcome abundance SNESs and, and have your mind sort of unencumbered by the thought of failure is where like the real magic starts to happen.

Alex Ferrari 46:51
Well, I mean, the delusional confidence of tweeting Lin Manuel, is is genius. It's just a brilliant story. By the way, I think it's I haven't heard that one before, though, to be honest with you how people always like, ask me, how did you get Oliver Stone on your show? I go, I tweeted him. 10 hours later, he's like, I'll be on your show in two days. I'm like, Okay. And it just

Aitch Alberto 47:15
Kept forgetting that right. Like, I want to be able to like as I progressed to give that back to somebody and like even people who are my assistants and stuff, I make sure that I'm bringing a way to like, elevate, you know, I don't want to forever Asst.

Alex Ferrari 47:28
Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?

Aitch Alberto 47:35
It's the same one that we've just spoken about. It's just like, the truth of who you are, is so essential to happiness, and existing in a way I was, I tried to make it for so long. And again, it was like this energetic thing of like, desperation. And people feel that they don't necessarily want to be around that. But once I transitioned, I was able to, I had walked through the thing that was scariest for me since the day I was born. Nothing was ever going to be as scary as that. So it was just like, I'm here, like, I'm in this room, because you think my writing is good, because you've seen my work. Like, I've let you know, like, that's the most I can offer you like, everything else is just like, I don't need you. You know,

Alex Ferrari 48:22
It's kind of like I always tell people, when I was coming up, it was like, I had a cologne called depression, the not not depression, but desperation and desperation, depression, and desperation by Calvin Klein. It was it was like, Jakar, it's stuck. It's, it's, and I used to, like, I'd be on a set and you'd like run up to the producer, like, Hey, I've got this idea. Hey, can you help me? Like it's this kind of like, Help me, help me? Help me, help me help me? And you're like, No, build a relationship be awesome. How can I help you? Is there anything I can do for you? And that's what people connect to much more than I need you to help me. I know, you don't know who I am. But you're famous and big. And you have connections? Generally, people call me all the time. Like, can you connect me to this guest that you had? No,

Aitch Alberto 49:12
No, it doesn't work like that. It just doesn't work like that. And I know that's hard to hear. Because you think we often mystify the film industry as this like thing that's like away from us. And in order to access it, you, you need to go through all these steps, right? Because that's what feels right. But everybody's journey is different. There's nothing everybody's a human, and everybody's showing up and trying the best that they can, if you approach it like that, and exist as a human of people just I'm looking for great collaborators, and everybody usually is right. So if you're like approaching it with that sort of energy, you're going to, you're gonna see the fruits of your labor sort of like come to you a lot easier than if you're just chasing it.

Alex Ferrari 49:54
When you sit back and wait for things, and uh huh, I know it's hard for people listening But it's something I've learned in my older age. I don't like to date myself. But we don't talk about older young, we don't talk about older, but the gray, I actually dye my hair gray on my beard. But the thing I've learned is that when I was chasing and wanting and going after, there is a level of that you need to be able to get up in the morning and hustle. I mean, the whole brand of like do is hustle. But you also have to be ready to receive when it's time is right.

Aitch Alberto 50:33
I love that. And it's trust and surrender. That's my motto. Trust and surrender, trust and surrender, you're doing the work as long as you're showing up, you're writing as long as you're like always looking for ideas and not waiting for it to happen. There's a difference between that hustle versus the chase of it.

Alex Ferrari 50:48
Right! You read a book that touched you, you wrote a spec script, you reached out to the author tackling connected to that author and then after that, then the journey started.

Aitch Alberto 51:00
Yes, that's it. And I mean, that's like distilled in that right so it's just like there was inspired action, but I was not I would there was a sureness to this project that like I just knew was mine. And also like a piece of like advice that I've recently discovered is that there's no arrival that anything you often think when I get into this write writers room everything's gonna like fix itself when I like make this movie like No, like the work keeps going. You want more after that you aspire for bigger because you were able to accomplish and if you just like take it as it comes. It's very freeing in a way that allows the desperation to take a backseat

Alex Ferrari 51:40
Without question And my last question my dear three of your favorite films of all time.

Aitch Alberto 51:49
The professional oh my god, so good. Leon I have a tattoo.

Alex Ferrari 51:53
Oh my god, you Oh, okay. First of all, we refer to it as Leon because that's the proper the on the professional. Well, yeah, I saw it in the theater. When a yo buddy a little bit. I saw it in the theater walked in. And I just like this this French director like lupus. Who the hell's that? And I walked in I was like, oh my god, it's one of the most beautiful films ever made in my opinion.

Aitch Alberto 52:17
Beautiful it's such a tender relationship and onscreen duel. It's soft, like in a way that I don't know I I saw myself in it. I love Paper Moon beautiful. It's such a beautiful film again. It's like father daughter relationship. And I'm I love Badlands as well.

Alex Ferrari 52:39
Oh my god. Yes. Yes,

Aitch Alberto 52:43
Badlands, Virgin Suicides and stand by me were three inspirations for this film.

Alex Ferrari 52:48
I could see that I really truly could see that the influences of that in the film without question. Listen, thank you for being on the show. And congratulations on your success. Congratulations on getting into tiff with this amazing film. And I look forward to seeing what else you come up with. You know as Cubans a Cuban filmmakers, we got to keep keep it going. We got to keep present. We got to represent so I appreciate you.

Aitch Alberto 53:11
Thank you I appreciate to a bunch of us are about a bunch of Cubans from the 305 or descending on Toronto. So I'm very excited. Thank you for making this fun.

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