Monday, June 12, 2006

Pod People

Finally, I have a miniature device with which to consume audio while mobile!

Stop yawning. This is news for a gadget late adopter like myself. My MP3 player is replacing a Panasonic walkman thingie. Cassette tapes. Not pretty.

In addition to music, there some great podcasts out there, and now that I have my new toy, I can really take advantage. Yeah, yeah, I know you don't need a mobile player for these, but sitting at my computer just listening to something feels weird, and I can't multitask when intelligible voices are involved (I listen to instrumental music while writing for the same reason).

So, all this may be ancient news to those who didn't carry around a 5-year-old bricklike Nokia phone until finally shamed into upgrading, but here are some writing-related podcasts worth checking out.

  • Creative Screenwriting Q&A Series - Creative Screenwriting magazine arranges some fun screenings, and these podcasts are recordings of the Q&A sessions with the movies' writers. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (MI:III, THE ISLAND, ALIAS) share some fascinating insights on the MI:III podcast, including how writing for TV prepared them for features and how they went from being assistants on HERCULES to spitballing dialogue with Tom Cruise in his trailer.

    They also describe an interesting outlining method, one J.J. Abrams uses, in which action is jotted down in a circle, the face of a conceptual clock that represents an hour of screen time. 6 o'clock is 30 minutes in, 12 is one hour, etc. It apparently is an effective visual way of seeing how the story unspools. Something to try out.

  • Martini Shot - Rob Long's a TV vet with a whole mess o' credits, and Martini Shot is his weekly commentary that appears simultaneously on KCRW (for LA area types) and online. Funny, sometimes snarky, occasionally moving peeks behind the Hollywood writer curtain.

  • Sam and Jim Go to Hollywood - I love these guys. Sam and Jim started off as restauranteurs in Minneapolis, and moved their lives and families out here to be TV writers. A writing team, they've sold a pilot and several feature scripts, taken dozens of meetings, and use this podcast to document their writerly euphoria and heartbreak as it unfolds.

  • Battlestar Galactica Writers' Meeting - Holy cats, this is gold. Ever wonder what it's like to be a fly on the wall (or a Diet Coke on the table) in a real writers' room? How about the writers' room for one of the best TV shows out there? Load up this series and bask. Fun extra tidbits include Ronald D. Moore narrating his way around the Universal lot (he confesses to sneaking in the back entrance to the theme park, to ride Jurassic Park as a break).

    John David Roberts said...

    And don't leave out The Business, a podcast produced by KCRW, which also brings us The Treatment. The Business is news, interviews, features, and a little attitude about the past week in Hollywood, the industry. The latter is Elvis Costello's very intelligent interviews with movie makers, and not only the one's being rolled out this week on press tours. Thanks for bringing the others to light, Fresh.

    Kira said...

    Thanks for the additions, John! I actually have not yet heard those two. Links:

    The Business

    The Treatment

    Kira said...

    Spotted this one on too:

    Watching Television