BPS 098: Screenwriting a Road Trip Comedy with Jason Shuman

I have a treat for the tribe today. Last week we had screenwriter Eduardo Cisneros on the show discussing his new film Half Brothers. Today we have his co-writer and producer of the film Jason Shuman. Jason is a writer and producer who has made over 20 motion pictures grossing more than $500 million worldwide as well as produced over 100 episodes of television.

Shuman has produced four films that reached number one at the box office with Darkness FallsThe MessengersBangkok Dangerous, and the critically acclaimed Lone Survivor. Other well-known films include the 2017 docudrama Rebel In The Rye, Little Black BookDaddy Day CampMiddle Men and the beloved comedy Role Models.

On the television side, Shuman has also produced shows including TBS comedy Are We There Yet? with Ice Cube, and served as Executive Producer on the FX show Anger Management and the Emmy® nominated TV movie, Dawn Anna. His new film is Half Brothers.

Renato, a successful Mexican aviation executive, is shocked to discover he has an American half-brother he never knew about, the free-spirited Asher. The two very different half-brothers are forced on a road journey together masterminded by their ailing father, tracing the path their father took as an immigrant from Mexico to the US.

I first met Jason years ago at the Sundance Film Festival where I spoke to him on the Indie Film Hustle Podcast about the film he had in the fest called Rebel in the Rye. In this episode, we discuss his career as a producer, how he went “all in” to become a serious screenwriter, how Danny Strong (Gilmore Girls, Empire, Billions) helped him become a better storyteller, and his epically funny new film Half Brothers.

Enjoy my conversation with Jason Shuman.

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Alex Ferrari 0:03
I'd like to welcome to the show Jason Shuman, man, how you doing Jason?

Jason Shuman 0:24
Hey, good. Great to be back. Alex. Good to see you. Thank you for having me.

Alex Ferrari 0:34
Yes. This is your first time on the bulletproof screening podcast but you are a friend of the show from indie film hustle back in the day. We we did a when I did my I think it was my first Sundance interviews. When I was at Sundance doing interviews and you were one of my I was lucky enough to talk to you while you were there with rebel in the Rye.

Jason Shuman 3:51
Man, that was a for me. That was an amazing Sundance, my favorite Sundance that I've ever experienced. It was so great.

Alex Ferrari 3:58
And it was the shining outside it was snowing so much that year it was like, like, but no joke was like a like a dilution of snow outside. It was insane. how crazy

Jason Shuman 4:12
It was special because I loved rebel and working long and so I was so proud of the movie, but also because I had so many friends that wanted to come to be a movie premiere. So I rented this like house and it was like about 14 of my friends. Some who brought their wives. So it was couples and it was like a fraternity house I had there were like four rooms and the rooms had bunk beds in it. So they were like husbands and wives sleeping together and bunk beds all so if there was this I had a great sort of thing and I was like, Hey look, I'll I can promise you as if you come with me everywhere. I can get you in if you roam on your own. Good luck to you. And so everyone was like it was like my little entourage Had the whole time it was best.

Alex Ferrari 5:03
Do you remember? Do you remember what we what we did the interview in that in that penta. And that kind of like penthouse area was like it was like that. That's where I was staying. So it's like this kind of kids camp for grownups going to Sundance. It's like camp for grownups, if you stay anywhere within the vicinity of Main Street, unless you're rolling really hard, and you're one of the big stars, you get your own private everything, but generally, but generally, there's just no space. So that you have to get you got people, you know, who are very high end, like people in the industry, big producers and directors and actors. And they're, they're doing exactly what you said, they're sleeping bags around the corner somewhere to Matt. They're like the two of them in a bunk bed. Like it's,

Jason Shuman 5:50
Happy to be here.

Alex Ferrari 5:51
Yeah, it's, it's, it is such an it's just an amazing experience. And I can't wait to actually experience it again. Hopefully, I don't get it back, you know, hopefully after it. But so before we get started, can you tell the audience how you got into the business because you have a unique path to your screenwriting side?

Jason Shuman 6:11
Well, I mean, I look i was i was a film geek. Since I was 10 years old, I was riding my bike to the mall to see everything in anything. I had a note from my mom, that in the movie theaters knew me to let me see R rated movies if I wanted to. Because I had that note that would never fly today, by the way, like I was just a little film geek dreaming of going to Hollywood and making movies and, and my dream was to go to USC film school. So when I got in, I thought like the heavens had parted. And like I was anointed the next coming. And then you get to orientation. And you realize, so did the other 60 people that got in everyone felt the same way. So you kind of have to have a big wake up call and say, all right, you know, I'm just an 18 year old freshmen time to work. And so I got to go to USC film school and meet the most incredible group of friends that I still am very close with to this day. And I had a wonderful experience there. I got to do internships because I was living at USC, and you get to be so close to Hollywood. And so I didn't know I was just doing everything in anything making movies on the weekends, doing internships on days, I didn't have classes, and one of my internships led to an internship with a guy named Marnell, Koeppel Sim, who passed away two years ago. But that was a big thing. Because he was he was a huge producer at the time, she's huge and won an Oscar for Petunia, just a couple years earlier, it had the fugitive, which was not only ox opposite, but got nominated for an Oscar. And he was in the middle of making seven devil's advocate eraser. outbreak. And so there I was interning for this for this company, this man, he had this huge production company at Warner Brothers. And so I felt like I had like the king of the world, even though I was just making copies and getting coffee. And that led to a job when I graduated. So I got some my first, you know, big break coming out of there. But to be honest, I kind of had wanted to be a writer, director, as we all do, and we, but because I was offered this job, everyone was like, Well, why don't you just take it? You can just learn what do I know? I'm 22 years old. So I took the job. And I spent a couple years there and it was a great sort of induction into the business from a Reno film school is not real reality.

Alex Ferrari 8:48
No, stop, stop. Stop it. You mean to tell me when you're out in the real world. They don't talk about Kurosawa all the time.

Jason Shuman 8:59
My favorite freshman year, my buddy herb Ratner, still a close friend. He goes, he calls me up. It's like a Tuesday night and he goes, man, there's like a sneak preview of Philadelphia, with Denzel and Tom Hanks, we got to go and I was like, I have a geology test tomorrow. And he's like, we're talking about, you know, who cares about the geology is let's go see this movie. And I was like, you're right. I'm a college student. Now I don't have to study for the geology does that though. So my, my, my going rogue as a college student was not going to that party and getting drunk on Tuesday night. It was like going to the man's Chinese and see a sneak preview. That to me was like being the rebel.

Alex Ferrari 9:45
This was your Animal House. This was your house.

Jason Shuman 9:49
So there was a lot of that in college, a lot of sneaking off. So, um, so I worked for Arnold for many years and rose up there. And then I had this most amazing opportunity to start my own production company with a guy named William sherek. And so we went off and I quit, I quit that job, I went, and we started to make some movies. And one of the original ones was darkness falls, which I can't believe now was like 18 years ago.

Alex Ferrari 10:24
And if I, if I can stop you for a second, because when we spoke the first time, I actually know the story of darkness falls, how it got produced. I'm, like, one of my co hosts was with me, Sebastian, he was like, how do you know that? I'm like, dude, I'm a film geek. And any story about a filmmaker who made it like that any because that was a lottery ticket. Essentially, he had a great short, that he had a great short that got picked up. And then they turned it into a feature, which then was a big hit at the time. And I was like, of course, I know that story every you know, if you have to know that just kind of like they'll mariachis and the clerks and like he was one of those. He was one of those guys that had that that window. Yeah. So it was great.

Jason Shuman 11:08
Like he was he is and was the nicest guy Jonathan, he became close friend of William and eyes. And so it was a magical experience, because we go off and make this movie. We're all in our mid 20s. And we shot it in Australia and, and anyway, we bring it back in the studio didn't know what they sent these three guys off doing. And then they just put it God bless Tom sherek. Who, who was like, let's put it out on Superbowl weekend. And everyone was like, Super Bowl Weekend. That's a two day weekend. No one goes to the movies on Super Bowl Sunday. And he's like, Yeah, but there's no competition. So we came out in 2003 Superbowl weekend and we were number one for this little movie. And that sort of helped William and I get a deal at the studio and and and then we were off to the races making a bevy of movies over the next 10 years. And we just flying over genres like we did the Messenger's Sony we did little black book, we did role models, we were just hopping all over the place with comedies with horror with romantic movies, some family movies, so it was a great run. I really loved it.

Alex Ferrari 12:24
Now, let me ask you a question though. How as a as a producing team or as a production company? Yeah. The the standard frame of thought is to pigeonhole yourself or at least it's your, your, the heart like Blum house, he's like, you can't Blum house, you know, slapstick comedy, I'm not gonna probably go see. But, um, maybe I would, because I'd be curious. But generally as a as a production company, or as a producer, you kind of want to knit yourself like Arnold was an action. He was the action dude, he was the actor. He was like, he reminded me very much of Joel Silver like him and and Joel

Jason Shuman 12:56
Intern are as well.

Alex Ferrari 12:58
Yeah. So that's, we have to have a conversation about that another day. But, but yeah, those kind of guys. So you were jumping all I saw me when looking at your IMDb, you're everywhere, like role models horror, like it's all over the place.

Jason Shuman 13:11
That's my own fault. And probably to my own detriment, because we had we came right out of the gate with two fairly successful horror movies and darkness falls and the messengers, and we were getting a lot of offers for people like can make horror here can make horror there. But the truth is, I'm just I love movies, and I love stories. And I love all kinds of movies. Like I'm just not I see everything. I don't care small, big, which genre you are. I see it all indie movies, and, and I just was like, William, I can't sit in another meeting and talk about the mythology of these of the ghosts and what their motivations are. And I started to become creatively stagnant because, you know, yeah, we had to meet in a row and they were hits but we probably developed 15 others at the time. So I was in so many meetings and reading so many scripts having to do with this thing and that thing, you know, blumhouse came later and certainly he grabbed that with paranormal and he wrote it and that's probably what William and I should have done. But I was so excited to read little black book. I was so excited to read Bangkok dangerous, so excited to deal with being meetings on role models and talk about like, the big set pieces because I loved Judd Apatow and I our offices were right next to Judd Apatow and I was like, but I want to make movies like him too. So it's great. Just to have my own wanting to flex the that muscle of like being just telling different kinds of stories. So that's what we just kept doing.

Alex Ferrari 14:53
And it seems to have worked out okay for you. You've done, you've done no complaints. It's like and I think Once you've set yourself up as either I mean for screenwriters would you recommend screenwriters stay kind of on, on on a genre at the beginning, so at least they kind of put themselves in that box. And then they can kind of spread out like once you're Aaron Sorkin, you can write whatever you want. Once you're Shane Black, you can pretty much write whatever you want. But at the beginning, the town kind of likes to know what you are, if you're a horror, got your horror, got your comedy, comedy,

Jason Shuman 15:24
because your reps need to know how to sell you they need to know how to introduce you to the town. And that is done easier for them. And for you, if you kinda like this is the I want to make the next blumhouse movies or I want to be the next jet Apatow if you can kind of sell yourself that way. It just makes their job easier, whatever that is,

Alex Ferrari 15:45
right. But but you actually because you were jumping all over the place that became kind of your brand. Like, oh, he he does everything.

Jason Shuman 15:54
That's what people don't. They're like, Well, yeah, you you can look at my IMDb and you're like Jesus, but I you have to understand when I went in to make daddy day camp, which seems funny now, right? But Sony called William and I and said, Would you be interested in producing it? Like the kid in me is like I grew up on those Herbie the lovebug movies and can't movies like meatballs. And I was just like, Wait a second, I am going to submerse myself in can't movies. And I am going to try to make the greatest can't movie for the this generation of eight to 12 year olds. So it's like you think like, Schumann, why would you go off and make daddy day camp? It's like, well, because to me, that was an exciting opportunity to give kids of that generation, a camp movie that maybe they would watch over and over again. And I went nuts. I watched so many camp movies, not just the ones that I remembered. I was trying to submerse myself and what made camp movies fun, what kids would want to see today. So it's like, even though the result may have not been this beloved, like legendary can't movie that was the attempt that was and that goes for everything. When we were making Bangkok dangerous, you know, it's like, we were thought we were making, we tried to make an action movie that could parallel, you know, the action movies that they and we thought there would be like, this was Bangkok dangerous, then there would be like Shanghai dangerous, then there would be we were trying to set up so people have to understand sometimes it works like role models, lone survivor, etc. And sometimes it does, you tried everything and just fell a little short. It's not like you didn't work any harder. Right? You did any more to make it a great movie. So you just put them out there and go, let's see what happens.

Alex Ferrari 17:56
Now I was when we spoke. When we spoke at Sundance those years ago, you were at that point talking about getting into screenwriting, and that you were moving to New York to work with the work with Danny Thank you, Danny, with Danny strong and, and kind of just like, you know, go under his wing a little bit. You were telling us like, Hey, I'm gonna, I'm gonna learn how to be a screenwriter. So what made you jump from being a producer to wanting to go into the very non competitive world of screenwriting?

Jason Shuman 18:30
There's many things, it's just you get a little older. And you start to say to yourself, how do I want to keep challenging, but there was also that kid in me who look I had what William and I got to do at the young age, we got to do it and the opportunities I had learning from Arnold at 22 years old. I wouldn't take that back for anything. But there was that 1415 year old and me that was like, but I wanted to, I wanted to write I wanted to create stories from the beginning not to sit with writers who and I love and respect Good, good screenwriting. So I thought either I put my money where my mouth is, and see if I have it in me, or just, you know, go and continue to be a producer and keep trying to evolve that way. And it was Danny who called me and said, I want you to drop everything. And I want you to move to New York. And I just want you to like, Come meet with me every day. And just let's talk screenplays let's I want you to write and I'm going to read your stuff. And I'm going to critique it. And I'm just going to give you a bootcamp and I was like, how can I turn this down? That's amazing. We had been pals since 18 since USC film school, but like Danny at that time was, was at the like he had just won every award for game change and the height of the butler coming out and he he hadn't even created Empire yet. Which I got to be sitting there with him while he wrote the pilot for empire that was pretty cool. He kept like turning his computer going like, Is it me? Or does this seem seem really fun to you? And I'd read it and it'd be like cookie, doing something like they have the vision for cookie way, way at the beginning. So I owe it all to Danny. Like, really?

He I did. I did what he said, I left my life in Los Angeles, and I moved to New York. And I sat and wrote every day with him, he texts me in the morning, here's the cafe I'll be at, I'd show up. I do my stuff. He'd be doing his stuff at lunch, I'd asked him a bunch of questions. And when I was ready to show him stuff, he'd read it. And he was brutal. He was brutal with me, but it was helpful. He'd give me all the ways he approached writing all the sort of mottos that he would take how he approached a blank page, how he would approach characters, how we would approach everything. And I just tried to make that habit. And it took a while he, it was a year and a half of writing, handing him stuff and him Wow. shitting on it. And finally, after a year and a half, he thought that maybe I had morphed myself into a writer who could be consistent. I don't think he was looking for a good scene here. And there. He was looking for consistency. He was looking for, like my storytelling to have evolved to a place where he felt like, now I could go off and maybe sell some stuff or, or or had honed my voice. I mean, that's a hell of a friend.

Alex Ferrari 21:39
I gotta say,

Jason Shuman 21:40
yeah. One of the greatest things he taught me. So any screenwriters listening was, he was like, sit down and write write down a list of things you love, and things you hate. Like things, things that anger you because that's where recount came for him. It's like, it's like, he hated that election process, the 2000 election, he was angry about the outcome, and it really boiled his blood. And so, you know, then he goes and buys some books and reads about the Florida recount. And that turns into a story that he outlines. And so that was a big thing for me. You know, like, if you look at a lot of the projects I'm working on now, this show I have at Apple. Eduardo and I are writing short circuit, my HBO show about the Lakers. It's all stuff in the 80s because one of the things I wrote down on that when I would do those exercises is I love the 80s I just do. Yeah, that was my era. I love the music. I love the television. I love the movies. I love the campiness, I love the outfits, I love my memories. I like what malls looked like I liked just that. And so it that list he had me do really reverberated in the work. Not all the work that I've done in the last four or five years, but a lot of it is like things that really angered me are things that I just love so much that I want to live in that world and with those characters. So that was just every I could we could do a whole couple hours on the Danny strong method and how well it works. But it really was,

Alex Ferrari 23:24
I'm not sure I'm not sure everybody can afford that, that that seminar for a year and a half. And I'm not sure Danny has the bandwidth. I know I'm joking, I'm joking. You should you should actually call Danny. Like Danny, I'm just gonna I'm just gonna put out a seminar, it's gonna be called the Danny strong method. I'm not paying you anything, unfortunately. But I think Danny strong. That's amazing. So you said something really interesting. Like, how do you approach a blank page? How is there? is there is there are there some tips because that is the most one of the most daunting things a writer has to do is, and it's not a page anymore. Is that blinking cursor? Generally speaking, yeah. How do you approach a blank screen?

Jason Shuman 24:10
This is it was Danny had always sort of taught me that. Don't get it right, get it written. I don't care if it's the worst scene you've written in the world. And Eduardo subscribes to that same theory. So when I started working with Eduardo was nice to see that like, I have friends I have very successful screenwriter friends, who they'll spend the whole day on that one page so they get it perfect. And God bless them. But I found that what Danny's method and Eduardo's method, which is just just write the worst version of the scene, I don't care because the rewriting it to us is the fun part. So I feel like I've written the most amateurish worst awful scenes that I wouldn't show like my closest friends, but then you go back and you immediately start to realize how lazy it is how cheesy the dialogue is. But at least you're not looking at a blank page anymore. At least you're looking at some semblance of a scene. And somehow, even if you're rewriting the whole thing from scratch, it somehow to me makes it mentally easier. If I'm rewriting a scene that exists, then then staring at that blank page. So that's what I've always done these last couple years.

Alex Ferrari 25:29
I mean, from I can't agree with you more, I always find the rewriting process so much easier than the writing process for me. And when I'm like, I write a lot of Britain, but my books and, and I do my writing, I write, like seeing the announcement from our iPod, my blogs and stuff, but it's just starting sucks. It sucks. But the rewriting part, so sometimes I'm writing I'm like, this sucks. I know. It sucks. I'm just gonna keep Yeah, that Oh, that was horrible. Let me just keep going. Or is this is this is atrocious. I'll never let anyone read this. And I'll just keep going. And then the next morning, I'll come back and like, Okay, this is exactly what I thought it was really hard. But why don't we do this? Why don't we move over this over here. And let me rewrite this, oh, I have a brand new that this really bad paragraph that I wrote, has now set me on another path in my mind. To write a brand new paragraph has nothing to do with the old paragraph. But it's a complete rewrite from basically and just go. So it's, it's it keeps it keeps the thing flow. And it keeps the things it's kind of like editing I've been I've been an editor for 20 odd years. So like when you edit the scene, you edit a horrible, just get it all just cut it just cut it. It's master shot theater, there's no nuance, get it up there, then you could start slicing and dicing

Jason Shuman 26:42
same, it's the same. And I wish you know a lot of writers beat themselves up and like everyone has their process. Everyone approaches it however they want. This works for me. And the tidbits that Danny's taught me or at least the ones that I retained are that way because I think they spoke to me. But like I remember I showed up one day. And I got a terrible sleep. And I was just kind of groggy. And I was like, Danny, I don't know if I feel it today. And he's like, doesn't matter. Keep writing. And I'm like, I got like two hours of sleep. And he's like, let me tell you something. When you read your screenplay, you got 126 pages of crap, that you're ready to sit down and read through. You won't remember which scene you wrote on that day when you came and you're like, Oh, I feel great today. Remember which scenes we felt great about which seat because it's all just sort of blends in. So the goal every day should just get those two pages done, get those three pages each day, just get that done. Because then when you stack it all together, you probably won't even remember and it probably won't even be as bad. Just like on those days where you think you wrote brilliance. And then you go read it next day. You're like, wasn't that brilliant? I mean, I walked away. I walked away the day before thinking like, Man, what a great day of writing. It's, it's it's the same thing. It's never as good as you thought it was. But it's also never as bad as you thought it was. And so just keep doing it. Just keep writing. Don't let yourself get excuses. And just kind of keep powering forward and like that. That's what makes Danny Danny because it's like yeah.

Alex Ferrari 28:31
I and I think it's I always find it to be better to be prolific than to be perfect. Yeah, there's a lot of directors, a lot of screenwriters out there who just put out stuff. And yeah, they're not all home runs. But a lot of them a couple might be strikeouts, but there's a lot of singles, a lot of doubles, a lot of triples, and there's maybe a one or two homerun situation in there. If I may, if I may be as cliche is to use a baseball metaphor with it, but but I always find that it works. Baseball metaphors work. That's why it's so cliche.

Jason Shuman 29:02
One of my favorite stories from Forrest Gump because I got to work with this guy, Charles Neuwirth, who was the UPN line producer on Forrest Gump. And he said like Zemeckis had been talking about the shots he wanted to get, and it took like six hours to set up, and they could only do it during a certain time of the day. And so they get it all ready, they're rehearsing it, they go to shoot the scene. It's not quite what he wanted, and he just turned to Charles and what they can all be gems. can all be gems, but when you mix it in with Forrest Gump, you have so many great things about it. Does it matter that not everything is and I try to remember that they can all be gems, but if you've got enough gems in there, yeah, it'll be good stuff. it sparkles. It

Alex Ferrari 29:48
will sparkles. Now, as you know, obviously you've been around town for for a while you've been working in town when you started to go out as a screenwriter. How did the town respond to you? As you know, because everyone used because this town is very loves boxes and loves putting people in boxes. So when you came out from, hey, you've been a successful producer. But here's my script I need you to read. How did the town respond to you? I'm curious. Um,

Jason Shuman 30:19
I had to fight that I had to convey my conviction in my heart and soul that that this was like, not just a thing I was trying that this was a full commitment that I was making, that I wasn't looking to just sort of dabble my foot in it. And I meant it. When I packed up and moved to New York. I was like, I'm all in. And so I had to convey that this was not just some hobby, and I was hoping that I was going to succeed by hook or by crook. And so yeah, I had to deal with it was nice that when agents would read it, and they didn't know who I was, because I'm not, I'm not Brian Grazer. I'm not just like, not everybody knew who I was. So I ended up having some, when I started sending my material out to agencies, tried to send it to people I thought maybe didn't know who I was, but who I knew and admired. And so those were some initial meetings that went really well. And I did, I was honest with them that I have a producing career, but I'm hoping I'm hoping that my knowledge and my background of producing will only make me a better, better writer, especially in television, where TV or TV show running and TV writing, a lot of it is producing too, I have hung around enough a TV shows to see that the the show runner, half your job is overseeing the writers and the other half is dealing with the network and the studio and dealing with the politics of and that is in itself producing. So I knew I could combine both in a way that could be advantageous to the writing. And then along the way, I almost wanted to call up every writer I've ever worked with as a producer, and say, I'm so sorry that you have to take notes from me, because now that I've given myself a grad school in screenwriting, and I feel like I understand screenwriting, so much better now than when I did as a producer. I'm like, you had to sit there and listen to my notes. Like, and now I feel like I was just talking out of my ass. Like, how did I not do this sooner, at least sort of dive into screen, right? I feel it makes you a better producer to sort of understand the nuances of not only being a writer, but just on how story works and structure and characters and God just like it's just crazy to me that that the way this town is built where you could get a really good job like I was given right out of college, and in a room with million dollar writers and have Arnold Coppola single, like Jason read the script, meet with me with that million dollar writer give him notes. And they have to listen to me. And they're very cordial and respectful. Because I represent Arnold COPPA Xin. But I'm like thinking back upon that now, not only was I I should call those people up and be like, thank you for not just being like your biggest moron Jason, who sent you into this room.

Alex Ferrari 33:39
And that's isn't that amazing. But that is that is the way this town works. It is just ridiculous that there's a huge producer, a legendary huge producer, who sends in a 20 something and goes, I kind of like I trust your taste, Jason, go read it. And then go talk to this million dollar plus screenwriter and give him notes. Who's been who's written probably 30 or 40 screenplays in his life, probably even more, you've never written one. And you've written you've read maybe five, so maybe 10 I'm being generous. So give him you're giving me notes based on the video store experience you have.

Jason Shuman 34:20
I would do that. I would prepare all night. I'd be like in order to make this character more three dimensional. This is what you should do this to do. And I was prepared on it. But Jesus Lord, okay, all right. I guess my youthful, like, fake it till you make it kind of stuff.

Alex Ferrari 34:41
And that's and that's, you know, that's a really good lesson for screenwriters listening today, because you're gonna deal with young Jason's. And by the way, Jason is one of the nicer ones that I've I've ever met in this business, but you're gonna get, you know, we all deal with people who are put in positions of power that don't have they shouldn't be there. Especially talking to creatives who might know it's, I mean, it's this. It's the oldest, I mean, manque. I mean, manque just came in late. I mean, so it's been happening since the dawn of our industry. Someone just said, you know, someone told Chaplin, you know, when you fall, it's not really ringing true. So can you put the banana peel over to the like, there's telling you, you're doing it wrong, or wants to put in their stuff. But so how did you deal with? How would you? How do you suggest screenwriters deal with notes? Because that is something that every screenwriter no matter what, what level they're at, unless you're Tarantino, or one of these big writer directors who have every does every Yeah,

Jason Shuman 35:46
sure. Yeah. Um, look, I think one of the skills of the good screenwriters, the ones who have a lot of success working within the studio, and the network system, is learning how to address notes and interpret notes without just being a typist, like your job. And I think they expect this of you is not to literally take the notes and just go and do note number one, and just go into the document and change it. They're giving you what's bumping them about what you've written, and they're trying to articulate it, hoping that you will get it. And then that's, that is an art form that I'm constantly trying to work on. And having Eduardo getting to work with Eduardo makes it easier because we're just two of us. So we can talk it through. You know, people like Danny who works solo, Danny just has an interpretive mind. So he's like, Okay, I know what they want. I, I can read between the lines. And so I guess it's just something you should, if you're a writer, if you have a partner, a room that you work in, talk it through, maybe from talking it out loud, you kind of like, oh, here's Okay, I see what they're and then you bring your own creativity to the note and your changes, so that it doesn't mess up the overall tone and theme that you were going for. That is an art form and of itself. And if you can become good at interpreting network and studio notes, you will be a successful writer. I'm still working on it to this day, I do feel like my past as a producer helps. But believe me, there are still plenty of documents I get, or I'm like head scratching like shit. This is bumping them. But the note is confusing me. It's confusing me and I don't understand what exactly they want. And sometimes it takes a few days of it. And I like talking it through like did they mean this? I mean, look, if you have a good relationship with them, you can call them and ask them to explain it. But a lot of times we've done that, and I'm even more confused.

Alex Ferrari 37:58
Exactly. Now how did you get it? Now how did you get involved with Eduardo and and what is it like writing with a partner? You know, because I'm also a soloist I I've written with partners before and sometimes it's been great sometimes it hasn't been good. Eduardo loves working with you because I had him on the show as well obviously. So he speaks nothing but high highly of you sir. Except off off air off off air. off air. He was destroying you, but on air. He really really enjoyed working with you wasn't working with how is it working with it with Waldo? And how did you guys meet?

Jason Shuman 38:36
Well, look, Alex, I'll go deep. I have had no luck in my personal social life finding a like as to my mother's dismay, like, finding some married started family. Yeah. Not for lack of trying. I just can't seem to click with with someone out there. I know. It's harder. Now we're in a pandemic. But even before I can't use that as an excuse, somehow in my business world. I've had two partnerships, me and William sherek. And me and Eduardo. And they both came very naturally. It was not forced. It was not anything. It was like I met William. In college, we totally clicked. And then naturally we got we just started working together. There was no sort of like, like formal like, thing. It just felt so natural that we were into each other's Yang like and then the same thing with Eduardo like I just met him. Coincidentally, it was kind of full circle from co Pilsen because my sort of mentor at Cobo Wilson was this executive named Sanford panitch. And he's sort of the opposite of what I was just describing. He was a young executive who was brilliant, just brilliant, even at a young age, and he found Arnold so many of those movies like like, seven and future And devil's advocate, and eraser, he found those scripts and he developed them. And he was like 2526. At that time, he's amazed. And now he runs. Well, he's president of Sony under Tom Rothman. And he's just that good. He's just that good. And I was having breakfast with them. And he had read some of my stuff that I had been writing and he thought it was good, thank God. And he said, Look, I just signed this deal with this guy, Eduardo Cisneros. He just wrote and produced this massive hit called instructions not included, which Sanford couldn't speak highly enough of. And he said, The guy is like the Judd Apatow of Mexico. He He's created all these hit shows. Now he's created his movie. I just signed an overall deal with them. Why don't you meet them? And if you guys come up with an idea that you can work on together. Great. Do it here at Fox at that time, Sanford was at Fox. And so it was Sanford. He kind of like

Alex Ferrari 41:01
Matchmaker, he's a matchmaker.

Jason Shuman 41:04
And so we we met in a conference room at Fox, and I came with like, literally 10 ideas that I had prepared. I was always the Judd Apatow when I had offices near him. He always said like, when he worked the comedy clubs, and when Sandler would say like, Hey, man, could you write me like three jokes. And he would write like 20 jokes, because he just wanted to show Sandler like that he was up for the challenge that like, he wasn't going to waste this opportunity. So that always kind of like, Okay, I'm gonna come prepared every time and I wrote down 10 ideas. And I pitched them all to him, and Eduardo hated all of them. So then we were like, well, then we just started shooting the shit. And then we just started talking. And then I somehow stumbled on a germ of an idea that he was interested in, but it was not fleshed out. And then we ended up meeting for coffee another day, talking about the idea more, which led to more meetings. And then we eventually took the idea to Sanford, he bought it. And then we were able to write our first script together. And I'm not kidding. It's kind of like, it was so easy. It was so natural, that, like, his strengths were my weaknesses. Vice versa. His work ethic was the mine, in terms of like, you know, being available for each other, we didn't have other stuff going on, like, that frustrated each of us. And so it was such a wonderful process that when that was over, he was like, hey, I've had this other idea. Maybe we could work on it together. And we ended up selling that as a TV show to Fox didn't get made. But we got to write another thing together. And in during that is when he said like, Hey, I have this idea for this movie called half brothers. And then he's like, now we just pitched that one together. So it just happened very naturally. Where would there was never like an official, hey, let's shake on it. We're working.

Alex Ferrari 43:05
We're writing tea.

Jason Shuman 43:07
It just happened naturally. And so I'm just grateful. I'm just grateful to the universe, that in my work life, they brought me to partnerships that have just been magical, where in my personal life, I'm like, still waiting, still dealing with the phone calls from my mother being like,

Alex Ferrari 43:26
Oh, my God, I dealt with that so much that my mom, my mother actually connected me with my wife, she actually matched make me with my wife, believe it or not. And it worked. It works. By the way, it was a swing and a miss of a handful of times before. But it was Oh, man. on that. Yeah. Cuz it was like, every time she would try to hook me up with something I'm like, this is Do you even know who I am? Like, why did you Why would you send her to me? Like, this makes no sense. But yeah, so that's, that's great. And then as far as writing, I mean, cuz you wrote by yourself for a little while before you start writing with a partner. So yeah, when you're writing with a partner, what Eduardo said at least was that you guys just kind of, you'd be you have, you'd have someone to bounce ideas off of, and you can kind of bounce things back and forth.

Jason Shuman 44:14
A lot of people have asked me, What, don't don't you get frustrated because I have my own voice. As a writer, I have all my life experience that I bring to it. Do you get frustrated and I could see how people could ask that because when you're just up by yourself, you may be get frustrated with yourself but you're not arguing over this jokes, funnier, that jokes funnier. But I think that with Eduardo and I, we just haven't had that issue. It's been a total sort of two one plus one equals 10. We feel like we get 10 times more done. We're not hurting each other's voice. Sure. Do we argue about like I think that's funny and he doesn't think it's funny or vice versa. But we just let it go find keep your joke. Um, early on, I Eduardo, getting getting to know him. He had such a mission with his writing. You know, my mission was just to try to make people laugh. I just grew up Jerry Seinfeld, David Letterman, Mel Brooks, I just I just wanted to make the world laugh. I didn't have specificity specificity that Eduardo did with what he not only wants to make the world laugh. But he wanted to change the stereotype of, I'll say, Latin x people for him, specifically Mexico. But he really had a goal with his laughter. And that changed my world, to be honest, Alex, because I had just sort of grown up thinking like, oh, laughter is the best medicine. But to meet Eduardo, and have him talk about, yeah, I want to make people laugh. But I also want to create characters that defy the stereotypes. And I'd like to do it by sort of, like putting cheese on the broccoli. Like, maybe we can change hearts and minds by creating positive Latinx stereotypes, like having characters that would normally just be a white doctor, or a lawyer or a successful businessman. But why can't we can Mexican Cuban, South American, and somehow the comedy can just come and somehow People will laugh and see the movie, but then they'll walk away, not realizing that like, Oh, it was a Latino character that wasn't just a garden or a made a Narcos, a rhino. And so, when, when he started to talk to me about that, it was to me, I was like, sign me up, Eduardo, sign me up, because I want to go on that mission with you. So to me, helped me understand where the last many decades have gone wrong in in their portrayal of Latino characters, and let's try to let's try to make a positive impact on the way it brought a whole nother depth to what I was just thinking of just gonna be another funny Jewish guy, to being to having more of a purpose to the writing. In an entertaining way, obviously, first and foremost, we're trying to entertain Sure. And so, with that goal in mind, can we also elevate what we're trying to do?

Alex Ferrari 47:45
That's, uh, if you can combine those two things in your professional life in your creative life, that is a very honorable way to to approach it. It really truly is. I mean, for me, I mean, I'm Cuban. And only two main Cuban influences in pop culture are Ricky Ricardo, and Scarface who happens to be Italian. So he, you know, so, and for years, you know, like, Hey, man, how you doing, man? Like it was constantly that throughout me when I was growing up, you know, because Scarface was the 80s By the way, nothing gets missed a poem. I think Scarface is a tastic film. And I think Chino did a fantastically a performance of what it was, it's a it's a bit over the top, I'm just saying just a bit over the top, and it's just a bit but he's a patina. But it's but it's true. And and I think now with what's going on in the world, and there is a lot more awareness of, of bringing these kind of characters, and I think you guys are at the forefront, and I can't wait to actually see half brothers, but from the trailer. It looks hilarious. Like, I'm like, I told my wife about it. Like, we kind of watch this when this comes out. This is gonna be amazing.

Jason Shuman 48:54
Thank you, I love the movie. It was everything Eduardo and I wanted to do when we set out to write it, to produce it, and bring on the team of Luke and Luis. Like, it's, I'm, I'm so proud to have been able to make a movie like this that is very contemporary, very, we think, but also follows the classic structure of movies that I grew up loving, like planes, trains, and automobiles. I mean, I, I worship these movies, and I've watched them hundreds of times. So to get to kind of live in the genre of some of my all time favorites, but try to create a modern movie with also the intention of like what we were saying to to just change the stereotype a little bit change the perception. So it was it was a fulfilling experience from top to bottom.

Alex Ferrari 49:52
You know, you know what's funny is when I was watching the trailer, and I saw that scene with when he's running towards the car with the goat By the way, everyone You can see the trailer at the at the show notes. So it doesn't sound like we're like talking weird, but definitely watch the trailer. But when he's running towards the goat first image that popped in my head, I don't know why it was planes, trains and automobiles. Like I just like it just it just felt very john Healy to me, which was great. And I was like, oh, now that you said that, it makes all the sense in the world because you can see that, that that kind of tang to it, it has a flavor of of those kind of old midnight run. Especially midnight, I just recently watched midnight run again.

Jason Shuman 50:34
Oh, my God grown and consider anything, anything, even if one little moment in a movie that I'm a part of reminds me of john Hughes, like, we're good. I'll take it cuz that's, I don't I could never make planes, trains if I tried. It's such a brilliant movie. But we just tried to bring the funny in the heart and the warmth and the characters that were that could make it an entertaining movie, and still take you on a trip and take you on a journey. And so we can have another conversation after you watch. I'll come back anytime.

Alex Ferrari 51:10
I can't wait. No, I can't wait. I can't wait to see it. And, okay, just let me lose my train of thought. Um, we were talking about john Hughes. All right, I forgot. We'll go on to the next question. So with with half brothers, in you, obviously now, sitting on both sides of the table as a producer and as a screenwriter. What advice do you have for screenwriters on approaching a project approaching a producer? How What does that screenplay? How does that screenplay have to be? How should they approach it? What's the do's and do nots? Should we just show up at your house? and knock on the door with a screenplay? I mean, I heard that's the way it's done in Hollywood. I've seen movies. How do you? How do you look at it?

Jason Shuman 52:00
choosing a producer? It's it? You know, you got to be careful because there are a lot of producers around around town. And like I don't know. And

Alex Ferrari 52:12
can we use the air quotes with the words producers, because I

Jason Shuman 52:17
Hit a producer.

Alex Ferrari 52:18
But also you could just go down to the FedEx store and or UPS store and get a business card made up and say you're a producer? There's no accreditation.

Jason Shuman 52:27
That's the scary part. Yes, sir, is so important. Because as I've learned, if they give up on your script, it's good as dead, like the producer has to keep that boulder being pushed up the mountain, you're a screenwriter, you know, unless you happen to have a career as producing like I had luckily done. So we sold in this case, we sold the pitch to focus there were no producers attached at the time. But I knew what to do as far as how to get keep the studio as as we kept doing drafts. And we got Luis attached to star and we got Luke interested in directing. That was me just instinctually taking over and saying I've got a script that I'm really proud of. And I think there's a movie here, I'm just gonna keep putting it together. So when it came time to the studio saying like, I think we're gonna make this, then they were just like, Well, why don't you just produce it? Why don't you and Eduardo just produce it since you've kind of been acting as producer anyway. So that was just a lucky situation where I turned to Eduardo. And I was like, wow, that's, that was it? We get to make it ourselves. But I do I do. Really. I don't take for granted good producing. Because even in my writing career, I've I've now been able to work with producers, that unlike they have skills that I don't have as a producer, I think they are they've helped me see things that I'd like to do in my producing game. And people that I just respect immensely. And so if you're a screenwriter, and you've got a script, like you can, you can either take your chance on a young ish producer or a new producer, if they have a lot of excitement for your script. But don't, don't, don't, don't sell your soul away. Like if they dropped the ball, you got to be willing to change it up. Because you can just sit dormant with a producer's kind of given up on it. And then it's just the if you go with a big company, like a big grant, Brian Grazer type company, well, they're great and Brian's amazing, but you're probably going to be dealing with their executives which is okay to just make sure that you get along with them. Make sure that you have a rapport with that executive and you feel like this executives got your back has the same vision of you do of trying to get it where it needs to be? There's no right answer, Alex, because every producer is gonna have a different set of skills, they're gonna have different contacts. Like, I only know the people that I know. Right? So if you bring me your script, I know the agents that I've known for 20 years, I know the talent that I know. And I have a way of doing things that might be totally different than somebody else who's like, been doing it the same amount of time I have and their connections are totally different. So the attachments that they might pitch you the agents they might talk to. So it's sort of an instinctual thing. You got to meet with producers, you got to hope there's enthusiasm, you got to look into their eyes, male or female, and you got to say, I trust them. I got a good feeling. You know, bring another Danny strong story when when when he wrote recount, and HBO was like, Danny, like, Who do you want to team up with on this movie? Because Sydney Pollack, who was the original Director Producer of recount passed away, like months before they were going to go shoot. And so Danny was given carte blanche to like team up with so many different and I find named you some of the director and be like, Lord, but he met with Jay Roach, and Jay Roach at the time. This is before Jay Roach has gone on now to do a bevy of dramatic work. That's amazing. But at the time, he had had the Meet the Parents movies, and the Austin Powers movies. But Danny met with them. And I'm gonna steal his story. He felt much better. But he just said, I met with him. And I was like, this guy's a winner. This guy, it's like, could I go with some of these other people who have more dramatic stuff on their resume that I admire too? Sure. But I sat there with Jay. And there was just something about this meeting, where I was like, Yes, I want to, I want to go down a road with this guy. I want I just this guy's a winner. And everything he touches turns to gold and I'm in and that was just Danny's instincts. That was just Danny's instinct saying like, I you could talk me out of it. But But am I gonna let you because? And I feel like that's what as a writer, you gotta send your stuff out there. You got to be fearless in that and then the meetings you take. If somebody seems shady. If somebody seems a little suspect, don't do it. Don't do it.

Alex Ferrari 57:37
But that doesn't happen. That doesn't happen in Hollywood, Jase. I mean, everyone who is so nice and upfront, and they didn't do anything shady here. Right. That's sarcasm, if anyone did not pick up on the sarcasm, that sarcasm, I'm just both Jason and I have gray hair for a reason.

Jason Shuman 57:58
I was always taught, like, a good deal with a bad person is a bad deal. Yes. And a bad deal with a good person is a great deal. And I don't forget that like if I meet with somebody, and they're offering me less money, but, but I just feel like such a good person. And I asked around about them and people speak lovingly. And then there's this other person who just don't know but but they're offering me more money 10 times out of 10 I'll go with the less deal but with the good person because it will in the long run it will pay off to me.

Alex Ferrari 58:39
That's a great, great advice. And I've just remember what I lost my train of thought the one thing I was gonna say it's so great that Focus Features you know, is producing films like a half brother because in the studio system that's that was very commonplace, but nowadays, yeah, you don't you don't get films of this because that halfway there is not a tentpole. You know, it's not $200 million movie so generally the studio's that's what that's what they're doing. And now specifically with the way the world is like no, but like what Warner Brothers just released the other day was just like, holy cow. This is this is changing the game. I mean, who knows what's gonna happen in the next year? So it's so cool that they actually are putting so many resources in a really, it truly is. It truly is.

Jason Shuman 59:26
That was a testament to Eduardo his work with Oh, honey. Oh, derbez. Um, you know that that Eduardo had worked with him not only on instructions, but Latin how to be a Latin lover had helped him out with overboard. And so those movies, Oh, honey, it was a brand. So those movies performed really well. And focus was willing to take a shot to kind of create their own division or at least their attempt to kind of get into that market. If we're just talking about from a business standpoint. They saw that there is a niche being created by Eduardo and no henio and Ben Odell and their company. And it was just sort of like, and look, we're in a pandemic, so the movies come out. And it's doing fine for pandemic wise we're doing great. But you know, in a real world, the box office would have been more on par with like Latin lover and overboard and instructions, but the world's changed. And so most people will safely watch it on their on their things. But if they happen to be in and around a theater, or drive in, I went to the drive in this weekend to watch it was so fun. And but if you're in Phoenix, or Texas, or Florida, or somewhere where there's a theater and you feel safe, you can experience it how Eduardo and I intended it to be experienced, but eventually it will come out and hopefully still do the same kind of numbers that that those other movies did. Over the lot.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:00
Yeah, and I want to ask you a few questions. I asked all of my guests sir. What are three screenplays every screenwriter should read?

Jason Shuman 1:01:10
One, my first and foremost is network.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:14
So good. It's been Yeah, that's, that's been on that list a lot.

Jason Shuman 1:01:18
A lot. I refer to it quite a bit. And it's just brilliant to me in every way, shape and form. I could never use the word so easily that he uses. so brilliant. I really do love a Paddy Chayefsky as a writer but also the movie network. The other ones I sort of flip around from a genre perspective. I love Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire script. Because I think that drama D is a difficult, difficult genre, trying that the critics often crush you. And it's like, when you get it, right, though, when you do Terms of Endearment when you do a movie that has comedy, but also has a ton of drama in it. And it's about someone like Jerry Maguire, like just taking a small step forward in life. And so I love reading that script all the time, because I think how he pulled that off, we created a big movie about a sports agent is quite brilliant. And then, God, the third one that I would say, because I read so many scripts that I often refer to, I, I would this is gonna come out of nowhere, but Oliver Stone, his script for wall street is very influential to me. Because he created a world created a world that I'm very fond of. He created a pace and a character. And that character's goal is to make money and to be like this. This like Gordon Gekko guy who's supposed to be the bad guy, but turned into this iconic, like, good guy. And so when I read Wall Street when I read Wolf of Wall Street, also another great script, similar vein, they create these worlds that are so fun to live in. They're so intoxicating. Yeah, though, they're sort of nefarious worlds. And so I often refer to the wall street screenplay as well. So I know that's kind of all over the place. But I use those those three scripts have inspired me a lot.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:55
Well, you and I are of similar vintages. So Wall Street, in my video store days, I must have seen Wall Street It was a religious experience to watch Wall Street for me. I can read I can recite the greed speech right now off the top of my head. I'm not joking you I could go off the top of my head and read that because I just, it was such a you and I never really understood it. But you actually said something really, very pointedly there that it's intoxicating. That that world at that time was I wanted to be Gordon Gekko so bad when I was a freshman in high school. Like I was just like, um, like, I started reading Wall Street books. I started reading, you know, investing books. I started like, you know, oh, yeah. I mean, I had the poster, the greed poster. There's they said they sold greed posters, with the whole speech. And I had it framed in my room. Oh my god.

Jason Shuman 1:04:50
Wait, it's not just the greed speeds. It's like when he's in the limo and he says, You're either inside or you're outside. And I'm not talking about some schmo making 300,000 living comfortably I'm talking about liquid rich enough to own your own jet, you know as a 15 year old the movie's supposed to be a tragic of a guy who's sold his soul to the devil. Yes pays the price. But But our generation saw it as as like a beacon of light of like how to live our lives.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:28
The funny thing is that the devil is the thing that you love the most about the film and that's what the devil is good at. Yeah, he's good at it at a toxicated bringing you in. And and I actually like the second one, Wall Street. Money doesn't sleep.

Jason Shuman 1:05:42
I don't want to talk about that you don't like my good friend Allan Loeb wrote it and I love him. He's one of the best screenwriters. But it was hard for me to watch because I the first one is so perfect. why he's such a perfect movie, that it was just I don't think there was any version of the sequel that would have made made you happy. It's just like, if somebody made Apocalypse Now, too. I probably go like I can't.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:06
I can't do it. I can't I don't care if it

Jason Shuman 1:06:09
Perfection. How do you top that? Just let it be.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:12
I don't care if Coppola goes back in time and writes it in the in the jungle while he's shooting? The first one. I'm not watching it. I'm not watching

Jason Shuman 1:06:21
Can't do it.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:22
Now. What advice would you give a screenwriter wanting to break into the business today?

Jason Shuman 1:06:27
Very simply, I have a couple mantras I live by them. It's like, first off, you got to be all in. Yeah, like playing poker, you got to look at your hand, whoever you are, if you're whatever culture you come from, whatever males like female, binary, whatever you see yourself as whatever you look in the mirror and identify as you've got to look at the hand you've been given. And you got to say, I've got a lot to say, and I'm in it to win it. And you got to put your chips in and say I'm all in. I'm all in. And I'm gonna keep going until I die until I have a heart attack. And because it is so tough, it is so competitive. And you gotta just say, I'm just like, whenever my time is, and I do feel like everyone gets their shot. That you got to just keep writing every day. No excuse. Just tell your stories. I don't care if it's, as Danny would tell me. I don't care if it's making a list of things you love and hate. I don't care if it's just going off book and just in your journal writing extemporaneous scene, you've got to write every darn day, you have to even Sundays, like you got to adjust. Jerry Seinfeld says he has a calendar. And he makes sure he writes at least one joke every day. And then he puts an X in his calendar so that he looks back on the year. And it's like, okay, I wrote 360 a minimum I wrote 365 jokes. So you should be able to look back and say I wrote every single day. And I promise you, if you do that one year, then two years, then three years, stuff will happen. It just Will you unless you're just too scared to show it to anyone then I don't know what to tell you. But like, if you just do it, just just put your chips all in the middle and say whatever this hand is, I've been given in life. I'm all in on it. And I'm gonna I'm gonna keep evolving obviously as a human being and as a writer, but I'm I'm in it to win it as a filmmaker and a storyteller. That would be my

Alex Ferrari 1:08:41
that's awesome advice. Yeah. And again, just perseverance man, perseverance. Just that's it's it's a lot of times I found in this business. It's not about the who's the best or the most talented. It's the one who just keeps grinding it out and keeps going keeps showing up.

Jason Shuman 1:08:55
I don't love Jay Leno. I wasn't the big Jay Leno fan. But man, that guy had a work ethic. He would write he jokes on Saturdays on Sunday is in the morning at night. He was like, I'm not the best looking guy. I'm not the funniest guy, but I'm gonna work harder than everyone else. I'm gonna just if I'm, like, I don't have that natural charisma, like Letterman does, or everyone just loves Letterman. But you know, and my I have a lot of respect for people like that. And so that these are just the people like the Judd Apatow story I said, where he'll wrote 15 jokes. There's a theme to what we've been talking about. And that's just how I see it. I'm just like, I'll put in the work. I'll deal with the rejection. And it's no fun Look, I don't like it. I have plenty of friends who have dealt with lots of hours of phone call me being like, uh, uh, but then I get up the next morning and just keep going. Just keep keep it going.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:55
Keep keep keep the keep the hustle. Keep the hustle. Last question, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

Jason Shuman 1:10:06
So easy to answer that enjoy the process? Mm hmm. So results oriented, that you can't, you just cannot be, it can't just be the selling of the script, or just getting the movie made or the TV show made. You gotta try to enjoy the process of writing that you're like, every day, you get to sit there and tell your stories, you know, and some days are good, some days bad, but try your best anything in life. Try to enjoy that you today, the goal is to write three pages. And if you did that successfully, go have yourself a beer or a nice meal or pat yourself on the back. Because that, you know, enjoy the little victories enjoy the process, and then the outcome will be what it's going to be. I don't I have no control a lot over that. And yes, I used to. I used to start having grandiose things of like, oh, maybe I could sell this for a million dollars and get it made with Brad Pitt. And great, great when it happens. I've been lucky enough to have it happen a couple times like that as a producer. But in general things happen in ways you never saw come in. So just try to the process. And and then half brothers is out right now as we as we speak in theaters, and then as a coming up. Do you know when it's coming out? Oh, no. We'll be out on VOD, Amazon, all that stuff, but it will at some point.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:39
And I will I will put all that in the show notes. Jason and I appreciate you coming back on the show man on this show. First time, it was an absolute pleasure talking. I know we can keep talking for at least a couple hours. Just and I'm the first one to sign up for that Danny strong seminar you're going to be creating soon, so I appreciate that

Jason Shuman 1:11:58
Thank you Alex anytime.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:01
I want to thank Jason for coming on the show and sharing his journey with us if you want to get links to anything we spoke about in this episode, including how to watch his new film half brothers. Head over to the show notes at bulletproofscreenwriting.tv/098. And guys, if you have not checked out, indie film, hustle, TV, and all of the amazing screenwriting courses and filmmaking, lessons, workshops, movies, documentaries, things like that, head over to indiefilmhustle.tv and check it out. Thank you so much for listening, guys. As always, keep on writing no matter what. Stay safe out there. And I'll talk to you soon.


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