The Writers Panel with Ben Blacker

Second City luminary Craig Cackowski (Community; Veep), and Second City alumni Mark Gagliardi and Hal Lublin (Thrilling Adventure Hour) discuss improvisation techniques and uses for aspiring actors at a panel at Chicago's C2E2. So much of this applies to writing as well—after all, what is improv but creating worlds, situations, and characters in the moment—that it seems well worth sharing.

Recorded April 27, 2014

Direct download: nwp142_improv.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Creator/co-showrunner Kevin Biegel (co-creator, Cougar Town) and co-showrunner Mike Royce (co-creator, Men of a Certain Age) discuss the critically beloved Fox comedy, why it's personal for them both, breaking stories, and more.


Direct download: nwp141_enlisted.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Creator/executive producer Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight; Interstellar) and executive producer Greg Plageman (NYPD Blue; Cold Case) sit down to talk about the hit CBS show, balancing procedural, sci-fi, and personal stories, working in the room, and more.

Direct download: nwp140_interest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Ben Blacker sits down with Children of Tendu hosts Javier Grillo-Marxuatch (Helix; creator, The Middleman) and Jose Molina (Sleepy Hollow; Terra Nova) and their mentors Rene Echevarria (Star Trek: TNG/DS9; Dark Angel; Medium; Terra Nova) and Naren Shankar (Star Trek: TNG/DS9; CSI; Almost Human) to talk about room behavior, good bosses and great bosses, first scripts, and lots more.

For part 1 of the CoT/NWP crossover, go to

Direct download: nwp139_xover.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Judalina Neira (who went from the NBC writers program to being writers' assistant on Do No Harm) and Heidi Cole McAdams (who moved from development to writing for ABC's Intelligence), so-called “baby writers,” staff writers who recently have been given their first break, sit down with Ben Blacker and Wade McIntyre (Intelligence) to talk about breaking in, agents, and everything new TV writers should know.

Direct download: nwp138_writers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, writers of Captain America: Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, The Chronicles of Narnia, and more, chat about their process, being architects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being pleasant to work with, and more.

Direct download: nwp137_america.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Scriptnotes hosts John August (Big Fish; Frankenweenie; Go) and Craig Mazin (The Hangover 2; Identity Thief) join NWP's Ben Blacker to talk about what Craig and John are working on, their writing habits, take questions from the audience, and more.

For part one of the podcast, go to Scriptnotes:

Direct download: nwp136_crossover.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Jonathan Groff (creator, Andy Barker PI; Happy Endings; Scrubs); Rob Doherty (creator, Elementary); Steven Maeda (Helix; Pan Am; Lost; X-Files).

Recorded March 16, 2014

Direct download: nwp135_maeda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

UCB co-founder Matt Walsh (actor, Veep, Dog Bites Man) talks about his present project as writer/director, A Better You, which is currently running an IndieGoGo campaign to pay for post-production. Matt chats about scripting an improvised film, writing sketches, the early days of Comedy Central, and his influences.

Direct download: nwp134_walsh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Andy Daly, writer/actor Andy Blitz, and writer/director Jeffrey Blitz discuss their terrific new Comedy Central show Review. How the show was made, Andy's character “Forrest McNeil,” how episodes are broken, and the arc of the show are discussed.

Direct download: nwp133_review.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT