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The Screenwriting Life with Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna

The Screenwriting Life with Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna

By Meg LeFauve & Lorien McKenna
Welcome to The Screenwriting Life.

Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be.
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Currently playing episode

54 | Showrunning: Anything & Everything You Need To Know

The Screenwriting Life with Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna

54 | Showrunning: Anything & Everything You Need To Know

The Screenwriting Life with Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna

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62 | How To Find Truth in Comedy w/ Sam Bain
Sam Bain is one of our industry’s premiere comedy writers, having co-created multiple beloved sitcoms including the UK’s cult hit Peep Show. But today Sam reveals that the most important ingredients for comedy are truth and pain. Buckle up!
58:55
October 17, 2021
61 | Writing Across Multiple Genres And Finding Your Voice w/ Sean Presant
Longtime TV vet Sean Presant has an eclectic resume includes features, shorts, and TV in ALL genres from multi-cam sitcoms, to reality competition, to prestige crime shows. So how has Sean managed such an impressively wide variety of work? Is it really possible for us to "pull that off?" Sean talks about the signature themes in our work, how they inform our voice, and how we can discover it ourselves!
01:03:15
October 11, 2021
60 | How To Break Into A TV Writer's Room w/ Stacy Rukeyser
If anyone knows her way around a writer's room, it's producer Stacy Rukeyser, who has worked at every level from staff writer, to creator/showrunner. Stacy has a fascinating perspective on how the culture of a TV writer's room has both remained steady and changed wildly in her nearly 25 years in the business. Buckle up!
01:09:08
October 3, 2021
59 | LIVE From the London Screenwriter's Festival: Why Do We Write?
Every writer inevitably faces this painful question somewhere along their journey: "why the hell am I doing this?" Today, we answer that question.
01:00:55
September 26, 2021
58 | LIVE From the MCX Screenmaker's Conference: Marrying Lava With Craft
Enjoy the LIVE conversation from the MCX Screenmaker's Conference!  For its seventh edition, the national MCX Screenmakers Conference program of panel sessions, case studies, in focus presentations and insightful conversations will be held online over two jam-packed days on 10 and 11 September, making it accessible to delegates from across the country. The impressive line-up of national and international industry speakers and presenters include LA based screenwriters and producers Lorien McKenna and Meg Lefauve from The Screenwriting Life podcast, a trip through storytelling and activism with Benjamin Law and Michelle Law, and we’re especially thrilled to host an in-conversation with the co-founders of Hoodlum Entertainment, tracing their journey from producing online show Fat Cow Motel in 1999, to being one of Australia’s most successful production companies producing content for the global marketplace to having an office at the Walt Disney studios in Hollywood. Program highlights include creative sessions such as the exploration of the ‘dark art of development’, craft sessions on narrative writing for games, a case study of the ABC hit TV series Aftertaste with the team from Closer Productions, and business sessions including how to maximise the monetisation of your intellectual property.
52:54
September 19, 2021
57 | Million Dollar Ideas w/ Matt Lieberman
All great works of art start with ideas, and ideas STILL reign supreme in Hollywood. In today's conversation w/ celebrated writer Matt Lieberman we discuss how to generate high concept ideas, come up with ideas, embrace the importance of a good idea, and even sell feature specs.  Once again, we want to say thanks to our fabulous intern Jess Fisher for helping us put this episode together!
01:03:10
August 30, 2021
56 | BONUS: Ask Meg Anything About Writing
We've had some AMAZING guests on this show, but the truth is, one of our greatest secret weapons is Meg herself! Today, she dives into some of the MANY lingering questions that you all have been posing on the Facebook, and we get into it! If your question wasn't answered today, don't worry, Meg WILL be getting into soon.
40:34
August 26, 2021
55 | You Got Your First Big Writing Win...Now What?
Most of us assume that once a writer sells that spec or books that job or secures representation, they've "made it." Now all they need to do is ride into the sunset and remember to thank their agent when their inevitable Oscar shows up. But of course, much like writer, it's much more complicated than that. Today, Meg and Lorien walk us through THEIR biggest "a-ha" moments after their breaks, what we should lean into, and what we should avoid. Once again, we'd like to thank JESS FISHER who produced this episode while Jeff is getting his feet back on the ground!
50:45
August 24, 2021
54 | Showrunning: Anything & Everything You Need To Know
We're back! Meg, Lorien, and Jeff have all been traveling, producing, and on set, and oh, do we have UPDATES. Lorien - who is now entering post on the project she SHOWRAN - answers all of your questions from what kinds of writers she's looking for in the room, and what her expectations for them are once they arrive.  THANK YOU to our intern Jess Fisher for producing and cutting this episode! You've been a rock for us in some of our busiest times. 
48:59
August 16, 2021
53 | Honor Your Calling As A Creative & Screenwriter (Create Out Loud w/ Jen Louden)
FOR MORE CREATE OUT LOUD: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/create-out-loud-with-jennifer-louden/id1559415253 What would it take for you to turn down an offer from JJ Abrams (you know the guy who created Lost among other block-busters)? Ask Meg LeFavue, the Oscar-nominated writer of Inside Out, who had to do just that after committing to her creative calling to become a screenwriter. Meg LeFauve and her frequent writing partner and podcast co-host Lorien McKenna get extremely candid about the challenges and essential importance of committing to your artistic path and sticking with it.
01:00:26
July 11, 2021
52 | Screenwriting: The Joys, The Rage, The Legacy
Writing isn't just about craft and science. It's about translating the highs and lows of being a human being into art, and that journey can be a roller coaster, whether you're an emerging writer or a seasoned pro. Speaking of seasoned pros, today, we ask them those tricky questions: what brings you the most joy about writing, what pisses you off about writing, and what scene do you want to be remembered by.  The guests, in order of appearance:  John August - Episode 35 Andrew Stanton - Episode 39 Marti Noxon - Episode 40 Sheila Hanahan-Taylor - Episode 43 Javier Grillo-Marxuach - Episode 46 Michael Arndt - Episode 49 Vanessa Taylor - Episode 51
40:05
July 4, 2021
51 | Vanessa Taylor On Non-Verbal Storytelling Secrets
Not only is Oscar-nominated writer Vanessa Taylor's resume impressive, it's beautifully varied. Vanessa has written on serialized network TV shows, high-concept prestige premium cable dramas (GOT anybody??), a YA novel adaptation, and even a creature feature love story w/ celebrated filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro (yes, we are talking about The Shape of Water.) But Vanessa sees powerful themes that tie her work together like a commitment to propulsive story engines driven by high-agency characters who tell us WHO they are, through their behavior. Vanessa offers us BEAUTIFUL advice in today's episode, and we can't wait for you to hear it!
01:04:49
June 27, 2021
50 | The Day To Day Process Of Screenwriting
50 Episodes! How did we get here? Hard work EVERY DAY. Today, we're focusing on the day-to-day, minute-by-minute process of writing. How to we title our documents? How do we comb through our material? How do we edit. All of that gets answered today!
49:52
June 20, 2021
49 | Michael Arndt's Act 1 Masterclass
Little Miss Sunshine's script, penned by our guest Michael Arndt, won almost every major industry award, and for good reason. Its warmth, humor, and surefooted commitment to its themes makes it one of the finest scripts written this century. And SO many of those themes show up in Act 1. Michael has become a bit "obsessed" with act 1's lately, because it's our chance to maximize the "rooting interest" around our hero so that our audience has no choice but to keep watching.  FOR MICHAEL'S (AMAZING) WEBSITE: https://www.pandemoniuminc.com/
01:20:36
June 13, 2021
48 | Connecting Craft To Money And Career (As Screeenwriters)
To enter contests, or NOT to enter contests? Do I need to live in LA? What if I'm not your run-of-the mill white dude writer? What if I'm OLDER than my competition? All of these questions are answers, no-holds-barred, in today's episode where we take YOUR questions.
01:11:14
June 6, 2021
47 | Nine Writing Secrets From Our A-List Guests
It's a GREATEST HITS Episode. We've had such amazing guests, that we wanted to curate some of their best moments. Enjoy! 1:20 - John August on Important Rules For Worldbuildling (Ep 35) 6:09 - Marti Noxon on Writing Samples That Will Get You Staffed (Ep 40) 9:05 - Sheila Hanahan Taylor On Rookie Mistakes (Ep 42/43) 17:33 - Kemp Powers on When To “Break The Rules” in Your Writing (Ep 36) 20:15 - Andrew Stanton On The Differences Between Storytelling and Writing (Ep 39) 25:31 - Ed Solomon On The Essential Value Of Rewriting (Ep 32) 31:12 - Mike Jones On Overcoming Stage Fright During Pitches (Ep 25) 34:24 - Kemp Powers On Dealing With Bigotry and Racism in Hollywood (Ep 36) 41:12 - Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn On What Makes Great Writing (Ep 23)
52:14
May 30, 2021
46 | Writing Great TV Characters w/ Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Though best known as one of the Emmy Award-winning writer/producers of Lost, Javier Grillo-Marxuach is a prolific writer of television shows, comic books, movies, and the occasional critical essay. He's a master-storyteller, with a deep understanding of character, no matter how "otherworldly" the project. Today we're going to deep dive on longform character development and Javier's philosophies on "operational theme." And of course, we'll be answering your questions! Check Out Javi's Website: http://okbjgm.weebly.com/ Follow Him On Social: @OKBJGM
01:07:31
May 23, 2021
45 | Overcome Dry Spells In Your Writing w/ Self-Compassion (Jen Louden)
Find yourself asking the question 'Why bother” when it comes to your writing? Creative people are asking that question now more than ever, but bestselling author and world-renowned creativity expert Jen Louden wants you to go deeper and really ask the question, really think about it.  On today's show, she walks us through why it's important for us to bother about what really matters, and how asking that question and approaching our writing with "self-compassionate grit" can help us get back on the page. For Meg And Lorien’s Episode of “Create Out Loud”: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/create-out-loud-with-jennifer-louden/id1559415253
01:11:31
May 16, 2021
44 | Drawing Boundaries For Yourself And Your Characters
Even though pop culture often draws artists as free-spirited goofballs that "go-with-the-flow" true artistry lies in the art of self-discipline, self-esteem, and BOUNDARIES. The truth of getting work done means being willing to draw boundaries in your own life, around your work, and around your ART. How will you draw boundaries this week?
01:10:41
May 9, 2021
43 | Pitching & Meetings: EVERYTHING You Need To Know (Sheila Hanahan Taylor Pt. 2)
This topic comes up ALL the time on our Facebook group, and finally, we have definitive answers, and LOTS of them. How long should my pitch be, what should it look like, what should it actually include. WTF actually is a DECK??? How can avoid nerves for a meeting, what is my responsibility during a general.  A-List producer Sheila Hanahan Taylor has EVERYTHING you need to know!
58:46
May 5, 2021
42 | Rookie Mistakes & The Power Of Genre (Sheila Hanahan Taylor Pt. 1)
After decades working with writers in this business, Sheila Hanahan Taylor - A-List producer behind many beloved edge-of-your seat genre films like the Final Destination films - has brilliantly assembled a list of common mistakes she sees "rookies" make. And speaking of genre, Sheila brilliantly counters some of those condescending perspectives with her own experiences as to why genre may be the secret to getting your emerging work of the ground. She will FOREVER re-think the way you think about genre.
42:27
May 2, 2021
41 | Your Screenwriting Emergency Toolkit
Feeling blocked, stuck, uninspired, or just BLAH? We're here to save the day! We were initially going to run an episode on boundaries (don't worry, we still will!) but a NUMBER of hurdles interfered with our ability to make that happen, so our intern Jess pitched a great idea to cut together a greatest hits "emergency" toolkit compilation to get you though this week! If you LOVE a highlight and want to listen to the full episode, here are the past episodes we compiled from: Episode 9 - How to overcome writer’s block Episode 14 - Outlining/Chunking In Your Writing Episode 20 - Importance of play Episode 21 - Overcome Excuses Episode 24 - Perfectionism kills your writing Episode 29 - The Long Road For Writers
01:04:54
April 25, 2021
40 | Marti Noxon On TV Writing (EVERYTHING You Need To Know)
Marti Noxon is a force in our business. Known for her sharp voice, social commentary, and darkly funny writing, all of which is tied together by a knack for complicated and richly drawn female characters, she's on TV's most important voices. She's worked on everything from beloved genre projects like BUFFY to prestige crime dramas like SHARP OBJECTS, and she's here today to help us get a full and detailed look at the current landscape for writing in television. Learn what we REALLY mean when we say story engine, what makes Marti quit reading a sample while staffing, and whether we should pitch with a bible, treatment, or one page when we take a show out. 
01:03:38
April 18, 2021
39 | Andrew Stanton's Storytelling Master Class
Do you have a pen and paper? Might want to grab them now... Andrew Stanton wrote and directed Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, and Wall-E, all of which consistently rank among the best films of this century, and best animated films ever made. In live action storytelling, he's become a critically acclaimed director, working on shows like Stranger Things and Better Call Saul. Andrew is considered one of the finest storytellers working in our industry. Andrew has given lectures for TED and Google, and he's joining us today to help us in our own understanding of story.
01:33:36
April 11, 2021
38.5 | Minisode: Why Character Problems Are Your Solution
We had SUCH a great tangent on last week's episode, that we wanted to feature this conversation as it's own short MINISODE. Do you have a great character want that doesn't feel URGENT enough in your Act I? We're almost SURE it's because you haven't created a clear enough problem for your character yet. Listen to find out EXACTLY what we need...
18:52
April 7, 2021
38 | Writing Antagonists (And Why They're Really About Your Hero)
What do Voldemort, Regina George, and Hans Gruber have in common? They're great antagonists, of course! Whether it's an action movie, a comedy, or even a contemplative drama, story needs conflict, and antagonists CREATE conflict, so we're going to discuss what makes a great antagonist today on the show. For NPR's FULL Coverage Of Die Hard: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/18/978734467/die-hard-welcome-to-the-podcast-pal
55:23
April 4, 2021
37 | LIVE From The London Screenwriter's Festival: Writing Emotion
Emotionally rich writing has always been a Hallmark for both Meg and Lorien in their writing, and on today's show, we dig into the meat of what makes it work and why. TSL family member Savannah Morgan hooked us up with the London Screenwriter's Festival, and moderated an AMAZING interview w/ Meg and Lorien where they got into all of it. It's an amazing listen!
01:24:04
March 28, 2021
36 | Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter Kemp Powers On Adaptation
Kemp Powers is a playwright, screenwriter, and co-director, and this year, he's one of the most talked about writers in our business. Kemp has not one, but TWO highly talked-about films in the 2021’s awards circuit, Pixar’s Soul (which he co-wrote with Pete Docter and past guest Mike Jones, as well as co-directed) and One Night In Miami, which he adapted from his own play, AND which was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. As someone who has adapted a feature from previously existing work, AND written for one of our industry’s most coveted IPs (Star Trek), Kemp is the perfect guest to discuss the art of ADAPTATION in screenwriting.
01:06:46
March 21, 2021
35 | John August On Worldbuilding In Your Writing
John August? Yes. THAT John August. We're thrilled to feature Screenwriting PODfather John August, famous for many things. Among them, award-nominated studio juggernauts like BIG FISH and CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, to his critically acclaimed Screenwriting podcast Scriptnotes, which I'm sure most of you already listen to.  Today John is answering YOUR questions about Worldbuilding in your writing. How do we balance concision, economy, and "necessary details." Why are so we naturally inclined to write in a master shot rather than up close? We answer that question, and more, today on the show! CHECK OUT SCRIPTNOTES: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/scriptnotes-podcast/id462495496
58:40
March 14, 2021
34 | Putting Yourself (And Your Writing) OUT There
Emily Dickenson's poetry, The Girl w/ The Dragon Tattoo, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, these are all works we ALMOST didn't see because the authors ALMOST hid their work from the masses, and imagine the beautiful art we would've missed out on! Writing is all about being vulnerable and putting yourself out there...so why are we so afraid to do it? What's at stake if we do, and more importantly, what's at stake if we DON'T? We ask all of these questions and more on today's episode, plus, a great question about dialogue. Will you put yourself out there?
01:23:49
March 7, 2021
33 | Anne Lamott: Make Your Writing Fears Work For YOU
Anne Lamott is one of culture's most celebrated voices when it comes to creativity and writing. Her book Bird By Bird is a modern classic (Ed Solomon says it's the best book on writing ever published), but Anne is uniquely positioned as someone who is beloved for BOTH her fiction and her non-fiction. On today's show, we discuss the importance of finding hope to unlock our best creative selves, how we can quiet that inner critic (yes, even 10 times NYT Bestselling Author Anne Lamott gets paralyzed by creative anxiety), and how we can turn our fear into excitement. TO PRE-ORDER Anne's Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JKK77V2/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 For SHAPES OF TRUTH: https://www.shapesoftruth.com/neal-allen-bio
55:33
February 28, 2021
32 | Writer Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted, MIB): Finding Emotional Truth In Every Story
Ed Solomon is one of Hollywood's most recognizable writers, who represents a rare intersection of critical and commercial success. His 16 feature films have grossed over 1.6 Billion Dollars at the Box Office, and he's the creator or co-creator on three of Hollywood's biggest franchises: Bill & Ted, Men in Black, and Now You See Me. But he'll be the FIRST person to tell you that he's not a "fancy" writer. He bristles at the idea, and argues that ego is one of the quickest ways to tank a career, especially a creative career. Instead, he feels that humility, curiosity, and daring are the keys to success, especially as a writer. Ed is a disarming orator, passionate teacher, and a great dude. So much to learn.
01:19:21
February 21, 2021
31 | Finding INSPIRATION In Your Writing
Maybe your facing the blank page, maybe you're facing the second act, or maybe your facing your millionth rewrite; EVERY writer has hit that wall where there's nothing left in the tank, even though you need to get that car HOME. Where do you find inpsiration? It's in there, and Meg and Lorien are going to help you get there. Maybe you need some help with plot, or maybe you need to learn how to love your characters again, but WHATEVER it is, we're giving you strategies to get there!
01:12:14
February 14, 2021
30 | 5 Crucial Questions On Craft + Writing
It's your turn! For this week, we've gathered some of our most frequently asked CRAFT related questions for a deep dive on how to fix, tweak, tinker, and elevate your writing. Tricky questions around note-taking, essential questions about beefing up conflict with things feel flat, and other crucial craft questions get their due today, thanks to our brilliant hosts. FOR MORE Info About NOTES: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/1-getting-notes-on-your-work/id1501641442?i=1000467504323
54:27
January 31, 2021
29 | The Long Road For Writers
As a writer, you're in it for the long haul. And that's NOT a bad thing! It's a beautiful journey, filled with ups, down, highs, and lows, and it's made all the sweeter when you can SET your beacon! Remember, the road may be long, but it's worth it. 
01:04:32
January 24, 2021
28 | Getting Perspective: Taking The 30,000 Foot View Of Your Writing
The details of your writing are a beautiful thing. They provide the nuance, voice, and texture that make your writing special. But the details can be crippling if they prevent you from seeing your work as it REALLY is. Today we talk about how to see your work from a broad perspective, by Zooming out and getting that all-important "30,000 Foot View" of your writing. It's a game changer!
01:06:48
January 17, 2021
27 | Self Talk Your Way Into Loving Your Own Writing
Why is it so easy for us to love, trust, and nurture our characters, but so hard for us to do that for ourselves? Positive self-talk is an essential part of embarking on The Screenwriting Journey, and today, we get talk ALL about it!
01:02:36
January 10, 2021
26 | SPECIAL: Meg & Lorien INTERVIEWED By Jeff (2018 Throwback)
Hope you had and are having an AMAZING Holiday. We're going to be doing something a little different for this week's show. Meg and Lorien are taking some MUCH-deserved time off (we hope you can too), but we had a little chat about content we could possibly run, or re-run to keep you going through the Holiday's. In 2018, Jeff brought Meg and Lorien on his show "The Unproduced Table Read" for a special interview, and that's the moment they began collaborating professionally. It's a really engaging interview, and it's a fun chance for you all to get to know them even better - their time at Pixar, their work collaborating on a pilot together, and, because it's them, a thoughtful and compelling conversation about emotion, bravery, and the work behind the work.  Anyways, we hope you enjoy the conversation and we'll see you all in 2021! LISTEN TO THE UNPRODUCED TABLE READ: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unproduced-table-read/id1197673735
55:09
December 27, 2020
25 | Q&A w/ Pixar's SOUL Screenwriter Mike Jones
There are many reasons Pixar Animation is culturally hailed as one of the most profound and emotionally resonant studios working in filmmaking today, but the deep, richly drawn writing is one of them. Today we answer YOUR questions with SOUL screenwriter Mike Jones about the overcoming the fear that accompanies any journey into writing, how to generate confidence,  what the Pixar Brain Trust is really like, and Mike even bravely shares a life-altering "lava" moment that ended up cinching one of Soul's best and most important scenes. SOUL drops on Disney+ on Christmas.  Script Consultations w/ Pat!: https://patverducci.com/
01:06:54
December 20, 2020
24 | Perfectionism Kills Your Writing
Why are so many writers perfectionists? Maybe it's that need for approval, or that desire to see exactly what's in your head show up on the page, but READ THIS: perfectionism is the death of creativity. As celebrated psychologist Dr. Anne Wilson Schaef offers: “Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order." How do we move PAST perfection? Tune in to find out!
53:23
December 13, 2020
23 | Q&A w/ Million Dollar Producers Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn
We answer your BURNING questions from two of Hollywood's top producers in the game, whose production company Mockingbird Pictures has been nominated for Oscars, among many other accolades. More about our guests: Julie Lynn formed Mockingbird Pictures in 1999, with Bonnie Curtis joining in 2012 after more than 15 years working with Steven Spielberg.  Together they are producing film and television across a wide variety of genres, with movie budgets that range from under $1 million to over $100 million.  They have produced for brand-new filmmakers, as well as experienced, award-winning directors.  They are still thinking about what non-profit work they are going to cook up together after they retire from filmmaking … but they are hopeful that day is still many years away.  They are most proud of all the “repeat customers” amongst their collaborators, as well as the fact that they were able to successfully take their families on a joint vacation, because they clearly don’t see enough of each other at work.
01:17:07
December 6, 2020
22 | Finding Your People (Writers Need Writers)
It may feel like it's just you and the page, but as we always say during this show: "you are NOT alone on this journey!" You need to find your people, but how do you do it? Who are your people? And more importantly, who AREN'T your people? PLUS, we finally clear up the murky waters around all of the "story" people on film sets (supervisors, managers, producers, etc.) What does it all mean? Tune in to find out!
01:15:21
November 22, 2020
21 | Overcome EXCUSES & Keep Writing!
Last time, we talked about how to keep your writing fun, but we also KNOW it's not always going to be fun.  It's easy to make excuses as to why we're not writing, but don't forget, those excuses might be pointing to something deeper like fear, or shame, or those "other voices" that get in our way. The good news? That's your LAVA! Today, we talk about how to overcome those excuses and get INTO your writing! FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/689651718467504/
01:04:09
November 15, 2020
20 | Importance of PLAY In Your Writing (And Life)
Remember when you wanted to be a writer because it was FUN? It seems like an obvious point, but so many of us have lost our ability to enjoy the FUN of writing, which is why we got into it in the first place! Enter: PLAY. Maybe it's exercises with your characters, maybe it's a no-holds barred workshop with your writer's group, or maybe it's FINALLY signing up for that improv class (or that sculpture class - cough, cough, MEG) that you've been eying for weeks. Let go, and have some FUN today!
59:16
November 1, 2020
19 | How "Too Many Voices" Can Affect Your Writing
Last we talked about finding YOUR voice, so naturally, we have to ask, what about all of those OTHER voices? Unproductive voices may be in our own head, or they may be friends, or even family (read: FAMILY). But,  the sociocultural voices that permeate our lives can also sabotage our work. How do we know which outside voices are helpful, and how do we know which ones will inevitably sabotage what makes us our writing special? Other voices are the main cause of IMPOSTER SYNDROME, which is something we all deal with, which is the focus of our question of the week! Remember to join our Facebook group, and thanks in advance for those beautiful Apple Podcast reviews! 
01:02:36
October 25, 2020
18 | Voice: What It Is And How To Find It
Some of Hollywood's greatest writers are known for their "voice" - Nora Ephron's witty female leads. Aaron Sorkin's talky, moving monologues. Charlie Kaufman's mind-bending, sardonic humor. But what IS voice? Is voice something that we need to be taught, or is it something that we already have? How do we HONE our voice? Meg and Lorien answer all of these questions and more! PLUS: Producer Jeff is taking a terrifying leap into his own lava and inviting you all to join.  On Sun, Oct 25 @ 3p PT, he will be conducting a live, virtual table read of his own script he plans to direct with producers, his DP, a group of great LA-Based actors, and many many people watching. If you'd like to join, please RSVP: JeffGrahamDigital@gmail.com. By RSVP-ing, you'll be getting a ZOOM link to join the many viewers, and a copy of the pre-pro script in it's current form. As we discussed on the show, notes aren't nessecary, but they are very welcome!
51:33
October 18, 2020
17 | Screenwriting As A Career (+ WGA Questions) w/ Jonathan Fernandez
Questions about the professional life of a screenwriter? WGA questions? We've got you covered; we're THRILLED to be joined by writer Jonathan Fernandez, who, in addition to writing Rob The Mob starring Ray Romano, is a board member for the WGA. But first, of course, we give you our adventures in screenwriting, and very important burrito talk.
53:57
October 11, 2020
16 | Diving Into (Or Back Into) Your Writing
You just had a GREAT notes call, and now you're ready and excited to jump back into your script - but, wait a minute - why is this not as easy or exciting as I thought it was going to be? Diving BACK into your material (or even diving into your new idea) can be daunting, but Meg and Lorien are BACK to help you through it.  PLUS, we answer our listener question from JOHN WIKSTROM about structure and screenwriting "rules": are they a roadmap, a formula, a way to diagnose problems, or something else entirely? Meg and Lorien may surprise you with their answer! Make sure to SUBSCRIBE and enjoy new episodes of The Screenwriting Life every Sunday @ 6p EST.  RESOURCES: Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/thescreenwritinglife
01:00:18
October 4, 2020
15 | Don't Give Up: The Importance Of Hope As A Writer
This can be a heartbreaking industry, but as writers, we have to hold out hope. @StoryMeg @LorienMcKenna #JeffreyCGraham - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk Merch - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/PopcornTalk/
53:31
July 11, 2020
14 | Outling/Chunking In Your Writing
One of the secrets to great storytelling is great outlining, and today we discuss just that! Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk On “Genius”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86x-u-tz0MA&t=756s Michael Arendt’s Views on Structure: http://www.pandemoniuminc.com/ts3-mistakes-made-lessons-learned?fbclid=IwAR3rGuN5m7bVO6QH2ONca7bfaKr9WecD_iSH3yDH33Bhn-LzARNxAF0aJmc #PopcornTalk #ScreenwritingLife #Outlining We've talked a lot about chunking and outlining on this show, and now, we finally get into the dirty details! Get those index cards ready! @StoryMeg @LorienMcKenna #JeffreyCGraham - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk Merch - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/PopcornTalk/
48:16
June 27, 2020
An Update - The Screenwriting Life
Producer/Co-Host Jeff Graham gives an update on The Screenwriting Life for this week and moving forward. Meg, Lorien, Jeff and all of us here at Popcorn Talk so appreciate you and this community as we continue to write, learn, and grow together. @ThePopcornTalk @StoryMeg @lorienmckenna @JeffreyCGraham   Make sure to subscribe to Popcorn Talk! - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork  HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk
00:46
June 12, 2020
13 | Tips On Navigating Hollywood
#PopcornTalk #TheScreenwritingLife #Hollywood #InsideOut Whether or not we want to admit, part of making it as a writer in the entertainment industry is understanding the "politics" of Hollywood. How can we play the game strategically to maximize our chances of having our work seen and produced? How important is "networking" if we want to make it? And finally, is having a time-consuming industry job worth it if we aren't actually writing? @StoryMeg @ThePopcornTalk @JeffreyCGraham  Make sure to subscribe to Popcorn Talk! - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork  HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk Merch - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/PopcornTalk/  ABOUT POPCORN TALK: Popcorn Talk Network is the online broadcast network with programming dedicated exclusively to movie discussion, news, interviews and commentary. Popcorn Talk Network is comprised of the leading members and personalities of the film press and community including E!’s Maria Menounos.  Current Roster of Shows: -Anatomy of a Movie -Box Office Breakdown -Meet the Movie Press -Guilty Movie Pleasures -Marvel Movie News -DC Movie News -Action Movie Anatomy -Watchalong Series!
46:47
May 30, 2020
12 | Imbuing Characters with Agency
Nothing hampers storytelling more than an inactive protagonist, and on today's show, Meg and Lorien are going to talk through how to create determined protagonists with real wants, and most importantly, AGENCY. Plus we answer some questions that came straight from you! Only, on The Screenwriting Life!  Make sure to subscribe to Popcorn Talk! - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork   HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk Merch - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/PopcornTalk/  ABOUT POPCORN TALK: Popcorn Talk Network is the online broadcast network with programming dedicated exclusively to movie discussion, news, interviews and commentary. Popcorn Talk Network is comprised of the leading members and personalities of the film press and community including E!’s Maria Menounos.  Current Roster of Shows: -Anatomy of a Movie -Box Office Breakdown -Meet the Movie Press -Guilty Movie Pleasures -Marvel Movie News -DC Movie News -Action Movie Anatomy -Watchalong Series!
47:59
May 26, 2020
11 | Working With Directors (As A Writer)
All writers dream of that moment when a producer says, "we want to make your movie," but then comes the nuts and bolts of what that actually means. What if we disagree with the notes? What if we can't deliver on what's being asked? We're going over all of these questions today! Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna. @StoryMeg @LorienMcKenna #JeffreyCGraham - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk Merch - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/PopcornTalk/
37:55
May 15, 2020
10 | Working With Producer (As A Writer)
All writers dream of that moment when a producer says, "we want to make your movie," but then comes the nuts and bolts of what that actually means. What if we disagree with the notes? What if we can't deliver on what's being asked? We're going over all of these questions today! Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna. @StoryMeg @LorienMcKenna @JeffreyCGraham @thePopcornTalk - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk Merch - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/PopcornTalk/
49:34
May 8, 2020
9 | How To Overcome Writer's Block
It happens to all of us. That dreaded moment when you sit down to write, and nothing is coming out. Today, Meg and Lorien give you practical tips to overcoming that hurdle, with takeaway. And of course, we answer some of your questions! #TheScreenwritersLife #InsideOut #WritersBlock - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk Merch - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/PopcornTalk/
51:40
May 2, 2020
8 | Enduring The Roller Coaster of Rejection
The journey of the entertainment industry is a bumpy one, and today, Meg and Lorien talk you through practical strategies to survive it! PLUS, as always, we answer your incredible questions, here, on The Screenwriting Life podcast! Make sure to subscribe to Popcorn Talk! - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna. HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk Merch - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/PopcornTalk/
50:59
April 25, 2020
7 | Mastering Structure In Your Screenplay: Part II
If you haven't listened to last week's episode, jump back and make sure you're caught up, because this week, we're picking up at the midpoint. PLUS, as always, we answer your incredible questions, here, on The Screenwriting Life podcast! Make sure to subscribe to Popcorn Talk! - http://youtube.com/popcorntalknetwork Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna. HELPFUL LINKS: Website - http://popcorntalk.com Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/thepopcorntalk Merch - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/PopcornTalk/
45:15
April 17, 2020
6 | Mastering Structure In Your Screenplay: Part I
Writers dread the idea of feeling confined by a structure, but what they don't realize, is that structure is one of the greatest gifts that they can be given as a writer. Structure = story, and the best films ever made know how to "play within the rules." Today, we go over those rules!   Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna.
37:19
April 11, 2020
5 | Writing With A Partner
Some of the best movies and the world were written by partners: FARGO, SPLASH, ELECTION, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, and PARASITE, for example, were all written by a writing partnerships, and in the best world, choosing a writing partnership may be one of the most creatively inspiring and generative decisions you make as a writer. At the same time, it can be crippling, so today, Meg and Lorien (who do write together!) are going to give you their best practices for writing with a partner! Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna.
42:24
April 4, 2020
4 | Uncover the Theme of Your Screenplay
If you haven't listened to last week's episode, stop this, hop back, and then return. We're picking up RIGHT where we left off to dig into what theme really means in a screenplay! Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna.
40:35
March 28, 2020
3 | What Actually Is THEME In Your Screenplay?
Theme is the essence of good storytelling, but what does it actually mean, and how does it play into screenwriting? Meg and Lorien deep dive today, and answer your questions, here on The Screenwriting Life! Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna.
44:13
March 21, 2020
2 | Turning Ideas Into Screenplays
We all hear it: "I've got this great idea for a movie," or, "they should totally make that into a movie," but why do so few people take the next step and actually write the script? Well, today, Pixar alum Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna answer that question, getting into all the nuts and bolts of "idea to page," and answer YOUR fan questions. Welcome to Ask Me Anything Screenwriter's Edition. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna.
37:09
March 7, 2020
1 | Getting Notes On Your Work
Every writer knows that feeling of getting notes - do I need to take them? What if I don't agree? Who should I ask? We go over ALL of that today, on The Screenwriting Life. Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. And now Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna.
43:50
March 5, 2020