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Podcasts we love: Creative Screenwriting Magazine

August 31, 2009

By Nat

Creative Screenwriting Magazine’s Jeff Goldsmith is a hard worker. That’s the first impression I got listening to his Creative Screenwriting Magazine podcast.

Every week he interviews a screenwriter of an opening film, asking in-depth, at times exhaustive, but typically interesting questions that show he’s done his homework (I’m not completely sure of how it’s setup, but my understanding of the venue is that the film is shown before an audience and afterwards comes the interview). Goldsmith covers his subject’s previous works (if any), influences, the trials and tribulations that occurred during writing, breaking-in stories, production costs, cut scenes, what scenes were the most difficult to write…it doesn’t seem like he misses much.

He also holds a Q&A session with the audience after the formal interview’s concluded. What’s surprising is that the audience tends to ask good questions; what’s smart is that the podcast is edited so that we don’t hear the original questions and instead hear Goldsmith repeating them. As a long-time listener of many podcasts, I can’t tell you how irritating it is to hear a question-and-answer session where the audience is barely audible and you’re left trying to figure out what was asked based solely on the response.

That said, there are some flaws. Discussions frequently get off track, and Goldsmith’s a bit of a puppy-dog and tends to fawn over his interviewees. I can understand that when it’s Charlie Kauffman, but the writers of The Ten? Come on…

The audience questions can also wear out their welcome or at times be downright silly, and Goldsmith’s introductions often go on too long. I know he’s giving us a rundown on the interviewee, but I feel he could trim a few details of their backstory or credits and not lose too much.

But again, Goldsmith is a very good interviewer, obviously in love with his job (sometimes a little too much, but hey, wouldn’t you be, too?), and he knows how to get his guests to talk.  And even though I get bored sometimes, I usually learn something from each interview—even when the movie’s pretty bad.

All in all, Creative Screenwriting Magazine’s podcast is interesting, informative, and very, very well put together.

I attended the taping of the podcast following The Brothers Bloom, and Jeff did tell the audience that he would be repeating all questions so that audience members at home would be able to understand.  You can find my article about that particular show here. –Shannon


One Response to “ Podcasts we love: Creative Screenwriting Magazine ”

  1. Nat on August 31, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Ha! I haven’t even seen Brothers Bloom, but, based on that installment, I’m buying the DVD to watch Robbie Coltrane’s deleted scene!