Rank #1: Showrunners on TV staffing season without agents
With TV staffing season well underway, we invited two showrunners, Valentina Garza and Mike Royce, to tell us how they are managing at an unprecedented time in the business. As the Writers Guild battles the big talent agencies, Garza and Royce had to put together writing staffs without the help of agents for the first time ever. They tell us how they’re handling staffing through resources like an online portal, hashtags and meetups. And Royce, who’s co-creator of the canceled Netflix series ‘One Day at a Time,’ gives us an update on the status of that sitcom.
Rank #2: Elizabeth Banks on directing, producing and blazing a trail in the big leagues
Elizabeth Banks is a member of a small Hollywood club: women who make big studio movies. After directing ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ reboot set for release this fall, Banks has even bigger ambitions. Fresh off producing the heartful Hulu comedy ‘shrill,’ Banks tells us about getting bored with acting and moving into producing and directing. Despite the industry-wide talk of opening opportunities to women, she says she’s still run up against some very closed minds.
Rank #3: Director Simon Kinberg on the dark fate of ‘Dark Phoenix’
A big flop is painful even to the most successful filmmakers. That didn’t stop writer-producer Simon Kinberg from sharing exclusively with The Business his perspective on what went wrong with ‘Dark Phoenix.’ Kinberg has worked as a writer and producer on the X-Men movie franchise since 2006. ‘Dark Phoenix’ was his directorial debut. The film got panned by critics and opened to only $33 million in the U.S. We talked to Kinberg a few days after that brutal weekend. He tells us about the reshoots, release dates changes, and working at Fox as it was being swallowed by Disney.
Rank #4: Battle brewing between the Writers Guild and talent agencies; 'Apollo 11'
After Todd Douglas Miller made a short film about Apollo 17, he figured he was done with outer space. Then he got an email from an employee at the National Archives who had found some old film reels labeled: Apollo 11. Some of the found footage was shot in glorious 70 millimeter. Nearly 50 years after man first walked on the moon, Miller has transformed those reels into his new movie ‘Apollo 11.’ He tells KCRW’s Matt Holzman about the enormously difficult task of syncing old audio with the old footage and describes what it was like to show Neil Armstrong’s sons images of their father that they’d never seen before. Plus, we talk to entertainment attorney Jonathan Handel about the brewing confrontation between the Writers Guild and the talent agencies.
Rank #5: Revisiting Elizabeth Banks on blazing a trail in the big leagues
Elizabeth Banks is a member of a small Hollywood club: women who make big studio movies. After directing ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ reboot set for release this fall, Banks has even bigger ambitions. This week we’re revisiting our conversation with Banks, who recently produced the heartful Hulu comedy ‘Shrill.’ She tells us about getting bored with acting and moving into producing and directing. Despite the industry-wide talk of opening opportunities to women, she says she’s still run up against some very closed minds.
Rank #6: Stephen Falk on 'You're the Worst,' the FXX rom-com with a twist
Writer-producer Stephen Falk thought he’d gotten his big break in 2012, when NBC picked up his comedy series ‘Next Caller.’ He moved clear across the country to run the show, but after he’d shot just 4 episodes, the Peacock suddenly pulled the plug, without ever airing it at all. Falk vowed for his next thing, he'd write for himself, not a network. That project would turn out to be the boozy dark comedy ‘You’re the Worst,’ which just wrapped its fifth and final season on FXX. Falk talks to The Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg about going from writing TV recaps, to actual TV--and the road to making ‘You’re the Worst,' which critics concur is actually the best.
Rank #7: Sally Wainwright on her new HBO-BBC series ‘Gentleman Jack’
Growing up in West Yorkshire, Sally Wainwright visited the historic home of Anne Lister, but learned nothing about the extraordinary 19th century businesswoman and gay-marriage pioneer. Once she did, years later, Wainwright wanted to make a series about Lister’s life. But she only got the chance after creating the hit crime show 'Happy Valley.' Now, Wainwright has finally brought Lister to life in ‘Gentleman Jack,’ her new BBC-HBO series. She tells us about reading Lister’s 5 million word diary--the sexy parts were written in code--and about the critical lessons she learned writing British soaps early in her career.
Rank #8: On set with Sebastian Lelio; Steven Yeun on life after ‘The Walking Dead’
Steven Yeun joined us in the studio recently to talk about his role in the Oscar-shortlisted Korean film ‘Burning.’ But we covered many more topics in our conversation, so we’re airing that part of our interview for the first time now. Yeun tells us about the fateful audition that gave him his start in Hollywood. He also explains why after ‘The Walking Dead,’ he’s embraced roles in movies with Korean directors.
Plus, Sebastian Lelio won the foreign-language Oscar for his 2017 movie, ‘A Fantastic Woman.’ His new film, ‘Gloria Bell,’ is in theaters now. We visited him on the set when that movie was shooting and talked about the transition from making Spanish-language films--to working in English. We talk to him and his crew about being in “the vortex.”
Rank #9: Liz Feldman on ‘Dead to Me,’ a funny show about grief
When veteran TV writer Liz Feldman took a casual meeting with some producers a couple of years ago, she was told she didn’t need to bring along any specific ideas. The previous week a close family member had died unexpectedly and, after years of fertility treatments, Feldman had learned she was, once again, not pregnant. So when she showed up for the meeting, she was immersed in loss--and blindsided when she was asked to pitch some new ideas after all. A seasoned improvisor, Feldman delivered. That quick pitch eventually turned into the Netflix series ‘Dead to Me’--a funny show about grief and friendship. Feldman tells us about a twisty career path that led to her twisty turny new show.
Rank #10: Pioneering sailor Tracy Edwards and director Alex Holmes on 'Maiden'
In 1989, a 26-year-old sailor named Tracy Edwards made history when she skippered the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race, and she did it aboard a secondhand yacht named Maiden. Twenty-five years later, Edwards learned Maiden had been abandoned, and at about the same time, someone wanted to make a film about her. Edwards set about saving Maiden the boat, while documentary director Alex Holmes began making ‘Maiden’ the movie. Edwards and Holmes tell us about their parallel ventures and the globe-trotting quest to find the footage from Maiden’s original voyage around the world.