Monday, March 7, 2016

Listening as a Writer: An Informal Guide to Podcasts

I like to listen to substantive conversations (at least 20 minutes, preferably an hour or more) with writers, producers, directors and others in the worlds of film and theater as I walk or bike (or drive), and have discovered that there's a seemingly endless stream of these conversations available online.

Here are a handful of them, in no particular order. If you have a favorite podcast that's not here, feel free to add it in the comments section.  

The Producers Perspective with Ken Davenport
An incredible array of guests. Some recent favorite conversations: Jeanine Tesori, Diane Paulus, David Henry Hwang, Ralph Sevush, Theresa Rebeck.

BAFTA – The Guru Podcasts
This is a goldmine of material, including a screenwriters’ lecture series, in focus masterclasses, and conversations.

Indie Film Academy Podcast/Learning Filmmaking from Filmmakers. 
Recently, I’ve especially enjoyed Alan Watt, author of “The 90-Day Screenplay.”

Some of these have been formatted specifically for audio, but the video ones can also be downloaded just for listening.  Some terrific ones include Shonda Rhimes “My year of saying yes to everything,” Jehane Noujaim (“My wish: A global day of film”); Deborah Scranton (“An Iraq war movie crowd-sourced from soldiers”). There are also playlists of curated talks, such as 12 talks gathered as “The power of film,” which includes two of the above talks.

National Theatre, London: Podcasts

The Dramatists Guild’s “In the Room” Series
Conversations with and between artists including Stephen Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, Emily Mann, John Guare, Tina Howe, Kirsten Greenidge, Wendy Wasserstein and more, drawn from the Dramatist Guild archives.

Others worth noting:
HowlRound: A knowledge commons by and for the theatre community
A couple of series: Matthew Gray’s “Living the Dream” and David Dower’s “Friday Phone Call”

Fresh Air – host Terry Gross often brings on writers, actors, directors, etc.

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