Now that you've had a few weeks to absorb my last lesson plan (by which I mean, watch someone else's videos), it's time to give you a second taste of the TNMC Film School. I'm going to stick with new media and point out the staggeringly awesome Creative Screenwriting Podcast.
Being a screenwriter is my primary interest in film-making and this podcast is one of the absolute best resources for learning about the craft of screenwriting. Every week, usually Friday, Jeff Goldsmith, senior editor at Creative Screenwriting Magazine, posts an interview with a film-maker, almost always a screenwriter. The occasion actor or director slips in but the great majority of the interviews are writers. The interviews are generally timed to match the release date of a movie, so it's always current and always a talk with a working, produced writer. There are tons of resources out there to get the opinion and advice of people who aren't actually working screenwriters and I'm always baffled by that. I want advice from people who actually do the work and get it produced. They've been through the trenches and found success. That gives them a bit more merit in my opinion.
Goldsmith is a first class movie geek and an excellent interviewer. He generally skips the celebrity softball questions that dominate most entertainment journalism. If he asks one, it's only for a joke. What he does question them on is the process of writing, the back story of the movies they've made and how they broke into the business. You know, the stuff you actually want to know when you're just starting out.
The interviews are usually conducted in front of a live audience immediately after the screening of the writer's movie. And after Goldsmith gets through his questions, he opens it up to the crowd to let them ask questions. It's a lively format that often provides very detailed explanations of how and why a writer arrived a specific parts of the script. Typically the interviews last about an hour but the more talkative writers can push that out considerably. The record goes to Christopher McQuarrie, who was there to talk about Valkyrie and managed to crack the two hour mark. That may sound excessive but I challenge you to listen to that and say it wasn't completely worth the time.
The podcast is a magnificent resource for aspiring writers but it is also great entertainment. By the nature of their job, screenwriters are natural storytellers and after going through the film-making process, they're all bursting at the seams with great stories to tell. If you want to learn the craft, this podcast is a must, but if you're merely interested in film-making, it's still very much worth your time.