The Broken Projector Movie Podcast (screenwriting)
A movie podcast that isn't boring.

This week, we answer your screenwriting questions about character bio pros and cons, and whether you need an online presence to break into Hollywood. 

Send us more questions on Twitter @brokenprojector or

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode111vd.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT

"We can make our own Wally World out of that."

This week, we answer your screenwriting questions about using brands and IP in your script, what to do when your character names suck, putting personality in your descriptions, using banana computers and more.

Direct download: brokenprojector-0304vd.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Your screenwriting questions, answered. This week, we look at some red flags that might tell you that it's time to get a new agent (if they're charging you money to take out scripts, RUN), try to figure out the puzzle of self-evaluation, decry feelings of worthlessness in the face of a difficult career goal and talk an unusually appropriate amount about Nana's birthday party.

Send your questions to us:

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode110vd.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 3:04am EDT

How much unfilmable material can you have in a script? What contests and festivals should you spend money on? Can a new computer program tell how emotional a script is? Your screenwriting questions, answered.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode109vd.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 11:29am EDT

Your screenwriting questions, answered. This week: how much outlining and when to diverge from it; when to give a character a specific race; what Hollywood trends are on the rise and fall (and why that doesn't really matter).

Direct download: brokenprojectorpodcast-episode107vd.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 2:08pm EDT

Two years to finish a screenplay? Novelistic scripts? How important is reinventing the wheel? Your screenwriting questions answered.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode106vd.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT

Your screenwriting questions, answered. This week we cover the ideal first ten pages, crafting emotion and what to do when you lose your agent.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode105vd.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 2:37pm EDT

Your screenwriting questions, answered. This week we cover scene and character descriptions, fundamentals for short films and how to ensure a pilot script stays uncluttered. 

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode104vd.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 3:20pm EDT

Filling in for Geoff this week, Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham hangs out for the hour, so we use Age of UltronBack to the Future and his Kaiju-battling film to discuss plot density (and the 2015 trend of convoluted messes) in big adventures.

We also discuss his newest project, a directorial debut called The Curiosity that was born out of the abject despair of getting his television show at Fox canceled before it even aired. After dedicating his life and hard work to something that will never be seen, he's found redemption in a new idea and new learning curve.

Gigantic robots and hard-working people making good. What's not to love about this episode?

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode102.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 9:12am EDT

What does it really mean for a movie to be "patriotic"? Every list of patriotic movies features the same rah-rah films celebrating our military prowess, our national history and our small town pastimes, but what if you had to make a list of patriotic movies that didn't include The Patriot or The Sandlot or Saving Private Ryan or any of the others?

Is it possible that a mockumentary about a beauty pageant can both celebrate and make fun of tradition? Are the rebellious teenagers of Dazed and Confused more American than apple pie? Can the married owners of The Birdcage be emblematic of family life in this country?

These questions and more as Geoff and I explore 8 unconventional patriotic movies. Plus, even more quandaries as we answer your screenwriting questions about compelling characters, villains who want to get caught and more.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode99.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 4:25am EDT

Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 are both out this weekend, and since we're nothing if not topical, we're covering both because they make an excellent double feature.

First up, special guest co-host John Gholson will review Fury Road without spoilers, while placing it within the larger context of the Mad Max Universe and explaining why we should feel free to buy into the hype. Then, he and I will discuss the issue of the dearth of Black Widow action figures and why we can't be too quick to call the toymakers evil.

For the grand finale, Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 screenwriter Kay Cannon joins us to explain what's inherently funny about placing two naked people into a scene about joining a collegiate club and to talk about how her experiences on 30 Rock helped pave the way for writing feature films.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode96.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 8:59am EDT

Do you have to move to Los Angeles to become a professional screenwriter?

This is probably the most common question that aspiring professional screenwriters have. The answer is also the most hated, most despised, most likely truest pieces of screenwriting advice that aspiring professional screenwriters can get. However, instead of merely ending the conversation by insisting you uproot your life in order to make your dream come true, Geoff and I want to dissect and explain exactly why living in Los Angeles is so vital to creating and maintaing a career as a screenwriter.

Plus, we explore and revel at the concept that Cinderella, Captain America and Harry Potter are all the same character.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode89.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 8:56am EDT

If you've ever stuffed DVDs into envelopes or furiously filled out Without a Box submission forms in order to prepare your baby, your darling, your movie to be sent off to a film festival for their harsh and final judgment, this one's for you. DC Shorts founder and programmer Jon Gann joins us to discuss some common mistakes made by filmmakers attempting to get their work screened and to talk about the philosophy behind how his team chooses what movies they pick.

Plus, Geoff and I answer your screenwriting questions about avoiding procrastination, specialized drafts and how to write scene description without going overboard.

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode88.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 6:08am EDT

Gary Whitta got a big break with The Book of Eli, a spec screenplay where he doesn't so much save the cat as he kills it and cooks it over a spit within the first few pages. Now he's coming off writing for one of the stand-alone Star Wars movies, he's working with Mark Millar on Starlight, and his debut novel "Abomination" is available for pre-order through an innovative publishing platform. It has everything in the above image and more.

Whitta joins me this week as our special guest co-host (Geoff is on assignment in Kazakhstan), and we discuss the dominance of The Empire Strikes Back, the slightly ironic relationship movies have to comic books now and why he might not have done the very thing that brought him success knowing what he knows today.

Things get educational, so grab a notepad and a splashguard.

You should follow Gary (@garywhitta), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode86.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 10:59am EDT

Our hero wakes up, yawns and stretches. It's a typical day, and that's a really boring introduction. Imagine it with an explosion instead. Thanks.

This week on Reddit, a user asked for some dead giveaways that a screenplay was written by an amateur, and the hivemind (probably made up of angry script readers and finicky producers) didn't fail. One such reader and producer offered a laundry list of bad habits, and we've invited him on for an open discussion about cringe-worthy mistakes that any aspiring writer can make (and avoid).

Grab a pencil, realize you're on a computer, and then take notes with that.

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Please review us on iTunes

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode78.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 9:03am EDT

This week the world lost a peerless filmmaker (and EGOT winner) who delivered a hot tub full of fantastic films. Mike Nichols put Dustin Hoffman in a compromising position, tortured Meryl Streep and found a grounding commonality even with his most extraordinary characters. We'll celebrate his work with Professor John Whitehead, author of "Mike Nichols and the Cinema of Transformation," and try to recapture what made his stories so moving.

Plus, Geoff answers your screenwriting questions about third person expository openings (so to speak), the new trend in query letters and whether you should get a script consultant.

Double plus, we'll chat briefly about Bill Cosby and the question of enjoying good art from bad people.

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Please review us on iTunes

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode77.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 9:06am EDT

Is Fight Club satire? That's the question we'll attempt to settle this week with a knock down, drag out debate where two men enter the ring, and two men also exit the ring safely. Fortunately, we've got special guest moderator Eric D. Snider to keep us honest, and since he takes bribes, I've got this one sewn up.

Plus, we'll discuss whether data can help make you a better screenwriter, and The Bitter Script Reader drops by to discuss his new book, "Michael F-ing Bay: The Unheralded Genius in Michael Bay's Films," where he argues that the much maligned director's movies are more than meets the eye.

You should follow Eric (@ericdsnider), The Bitter Script Reader (@bittrscrptreadr), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode76.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 6:33am EDT

There's only one, iron-clad, sure-fire, can't-miss, hyphen-toting method to finishing a screenplay in only six weeks. Fortunately, we know the secret and are willing to share it with you (for less than $600). The trick is, in order for it to work, you have to follow the 1,008-step process exactly or it doesn't work. If you think you're up for the challenge, listen to the episode. We'll also need all of your credit card information, your blood type and what you'd do for a Klondike Bar.

Beyond sharing the trick to writing a script in a month and a half, we'll answer a few screenwriting questions about the nature of negotiating a script fee and laugh about the supposed ban on jokes that Warners has set up for its superhero movies.

You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode70.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 6:37am EDT

Last year around this time we were growing tired of the summer blockbuster bloat, so we took a break by looking ahead to the future that's now the present. We're feeling a bit winded yet again by all the city-stomping, stadium-lifting largeness, so it's time to take refuge once again in the eternal potential of amazing movies that we can't see for another year. Yes, the summer blockbusters of 2015.

Fortunately, old robot Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hulk are here to guide us.

Plus, we'll discuss the concept of raising stakes in screenwriting by examining some movies that do it well, and we'll praise Tom Cruise's decades-long excellent for no other reason than to praise him.

Follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis.

Please review us on iTunes

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode61.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 8:07am EDT

Canceling the Apocalypse

The dynamite is going boom this weekend with Pacific Rim, so we've got an interview with screenwriter Travis Beacham about building monsters with his brain. Plus, we present a handy pop quiz on earth-threatening, stories-tall beasts and some of the most ridiculous examples of them in movie history. You can play along at home, but just know that if you lose, Godzilla will find you and smash your house.

And as a magical bonus, Geoff has some advice about how to approach working screenwriters on Twitter for advice.  

Speaking of which, you can follow Travis Beacham (@travisbeacham), interviewer Jack Giroux (@jackgi), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) for more fun stuff on a daily basis.

And, as always, we welcome your feedback.

Direct download: brokenprojector-episode24.mp3
Category:Screenwriting -- posted at: 5:04am EDT