Please note: Throwback Fridays are archival episodes from the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. After many requests from the IFH Tribe to bring back some of the show's best episodes, I decided to create Throwback Fridays. These episodes will not be posted every week but at least twice a month...if not more.
There's so much amazing info and knowledge bombs in many of these past episodes and I don't want them to be lost in the sea of IFH Content so I'll be putting a spotlight on them in Throwback Fridays. Enjoy!
August Rush: The Million Dollar Screenplay Paul Castro
We've all read in Variety or The Hollywood Reporter of some no name screenwriter selling his or her screenplay for a million bucks. Ever wonder how they did it? What structure did they use? What "tricks of the trade were" employed?
May I introduce Paul Castro, the original writer of one of my favorite films August Rush. Paul Castro is a produced, award winning screenwriter and world-renowned screenwriting professor.
"Structure...is the canvas on which we paint with words." - Paul Castro
His project, August Rush was produced by Warner Brothers and starred the late great Robin Williams, Keri Russell, Freddie Highmore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The film took Paul Castro into the belly of the Hollywood beast.
he business of screenwriting can be tough, but while a student at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, he was a finalist for the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker's Award for directing and producing his original screenplay Healing, and landed a three-picture screenwriting deal worth $1 million.
The lessons he learned not only from selling August Rush but many other Hollywood screenwriting adventures were invaluable. He later went back and became a screenwriting professor at UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, teaching thousands of students over his ten years of teaching.
“Paul Castro teaches screenwriting from the inside out.” - Richard Walter, UCLA Screenwriting Chairperson.
I took the course myself and all I have to say is WOW! Paul teaches with an elegant style that's extremely understandable and straight to the point. Success leaves clues and so do masterfully crafted screenplays that sell for millions of dollars.
Paul Castro shows you those secrets. Not trying to do a hard sell here but I just love this course.
“What clearly resonates with me is Paul’s love for and dedication to his students and to storytelling. He is a composed and practical artist and teacher, yet highly imaginative in his approach.” - Michael Eisner, Former CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
Here's some of what Paul covers in his course:
- Professional screenwriting techniques
- Plot development for the big screen
- Creating compelling characters to attract movie stars
- Winning dialogue
- Structure to serve as the blueprint for your movie
- Scene construction to evoke suspense
- Sequence writing to manage an ensemble cast
After taking his course I reached out to him and asked him to be a guest on the podcast. What followed was not only a master class in screenwriting but also lessons on the film business and he also discussed how to discover your own voice as an artist. Pretty mind-blowing.
Enjoy this whopper of a podcast episode and if you haven't seen August Rush do yourself a favor and watch it. It's worth watching for Robin Williams alone!