Cover art for podcast Beyond the Screenplay

Beyond the Screenplay

53 EpisodesProduced by Michael TuckerWebsite

“Lessons from the Screenplay” creator Michael Tucker and the LFTS team do deeper dives into the storytelling of individual movies and chat with the creatives behind those films.

episodes iconAll Episodes

Episode 52: Moonrise Kingdom

September 18th, 2020


The LFTS team compares our levels of tolerance for Wes Anderson’s stilted style, breaks down how the film attempts to establish weighty stakes, and …

Episode 51: Collateral

September 11th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses Collateral’s gritty portrayal of Los Angeles at night, the film’s tightly-contained plot and structure, and why the dual …

Episode 50: The Dark Knight Rises (ft. Sage Hyden)

August 28th, 2020


In the culmination of the 3-part series on the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy, members of the LFTS team are joined by Sage Hayden from the …

Episode 49: The Dark Knight

August 21st, 2020


The LFTS team discusses The Dark Knight's unique structure, disturbing themes, and its enduring legacy. Plus, you know, how amazing Heath Ledger's performance is.

Show Notes

LFTS Video on The Dark Knight:

Episode 48: Batman Begins

August 14th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses Christopher Nolan’s grounded approach to the previously goofy Batman franchise, how the structure of Batman Begins …

Episode 47: Dark

July 31st, 2020


The LFTS team discusses the thrilling difficulty of following Dark’s plot, the show’s thematic debate about free will and determinism, and whether or …

Episode 46: Trainspotting

July 17th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses Trainspotting’s adrenaline-fueled opening sequence, debates the film’s approach to its difficult and gritty subject matter, …

Episode 45: Pride & Prejudice

July 3rd, 2020


The LFTS team discusses the delightful wittiness of Jane Austen’s writing, Joe Wright’s clever, more realistic approach to a classic period film, and …

Episode 44: Mad Men

June 26th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses Mad Men’s striking use of symbolic imagery, what the show suggests about American advertising and ideals, and the complex …

Episode 43: Jaws 🦈

June 19th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses how Brody, Hooper, and Quint make the perfect team, Jaws's grueling production process, and why constraints and delays on a movie can sometimes be a blessing in disguise.


You can try …

Episode 42: Apocalypse Now 🚁

June 5th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses Coppola's ambitious filmmaking, the merits of simplicity in story design, and the harrowing behind-the-scenes struggle to get …

Episode 41: Captain America: Civil War

May 29th, 2020


The LFTS team debates whether the MCU movies are products or films, if Bucky is a real character or a plot point, and if Civil War successfully …

Episode 40: Inside Llewyn Davis

May 8th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses Inside Llewyn Davis’s cyclical structure, the metaphorical meaning of the cat, and why the film’s music makes the themes and characters so compelling.


Use this link to get 2 free months …

Episode 39: Sunset Boulevard

May 1st, 2020


The LFTS team discusses the surprising similarities between Sunset Boulevard and Parasite, dissects some of the film’s complex symbols, and hails the …

Episode 38: Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)

April 24th, 2020


The LFTS team chats with screenwriter and showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna about how she approaches breaking a story, the appeal of skewering genre on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and why The Devil Wears Prada remains so beloved …

Episode 37: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

April 17th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses the film's “hippie Western” characters and themes, the intriguing ambiguity in the three central characters’ relationships, and why the movie’s humor is so surprising and effective.

Show Notes

Episode 36: Jurassic Park 🦖

April 10th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses our childlike obsession with dinosaurs, Jurassic Park's landmark visual effects and brilliant sound design, and how the characters represent two sides of a rich thematic debate.


You can …

Episode 35: A Quiet Place

April 3rd, 2020


The LFTS team discusses the importance of sound in cinema, the power of characters having a "ghost," and when to get experimental with your screenplay formatting.

Show Notes

LFTS video on A Quiet Place:

Episode 34: Parasite

March 27th, 2020


The LFTS team (remotely!) discusses Parasite’s shocking midpoint reversal, how the film uses symbols and motifs to concretize abstract themes about …

Episode 33: Arrival

March 13th, 2020


The LFTS team breaks down the difference between the Arrival script and the short story, how the themes of communication and choice are woven throughout, and the power of film as its own language.


You can try …

Episode 32: Casino Royale

February 28th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses what audiences expect from a James Bond movie, Casino Royale’s place in the overall Bond timeline, and why so much of the film seems fresh and exciting.

Show Notes

LFTS video on Casino Royale:

Episode 31: Our Favorite Films of the 2010s

February 21st, 2020


The LFTS team counts down their favorite films of 2010-2019, compares what they want from a movie, and unpacks the writing and filmmaking techniques in some of cinema's newest classics.


The first 500 listeners …

Episode 30: When Harry Met Sally

February 14th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses When Harry Met Sally's elegant use of time, unpacks the Jess and Marie subplot, and lauds Nora Ephron's iconic monologue and …

Episode 29: Logan

January 31st, 2020


The LFTS team discusses Logan’s family dynamics, the incredible performances from all three lead actors, and why making a smaller, darker superhero …

Episode 28: Children of Men

January 17th, 2020


The LFTS team discusses why Children of Men is the perfect marriage of technique and subject matter, the layered iconography of the film, and how the exposition and world building are delivered effortlessly from the …

Episode 27: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

January 10th, 2020


The LFTS team chats with the writing team behind Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order about the process of writing a video game and the unique place the …

Episode 26: Star Wars — The New Films

December 16th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses the new Disney Star Wars films, exploring the various things that we want from a Star Wars movie and how to make a film that has that ineffable "Star Wars feeling."

Show Notes

LFTS video on Rogue …

Episode 25: Star Wars — The Prequel Trilogy

December 6th, 2019


In this second of three episodes on the Star Wars Saga, the LFTS team discusses the good, the bad, and the valuable filmmaking lessons found The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith.


Episode 24: Star Wars — The Original Trilogy

December 2nd, 2019


In this first of three episodes on the Star Wars Saga, the LFTS team discusses the amazing storytelling found in the original films, how the …

Episode 23: Blade Runner

November 22nd, 2019


The LFTS team discusses how Blade Runner expertly borrows from film noir, how the themes evolved for the sequel, and which version of the film is …

Episode 22: The Shining

October 30th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses the psychological power of creepiness, whether or not the movie’s magic is intentional, and how the very process of writing …

Episode 21: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

October 18th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses how the evolution of technology influences filmmaking, whether or not an "every-person" still exists in film language, and …

Episode 20: Aliens

October 8th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses space marines, the differences between horror movies and action movies, and why Ripley's backstory matters.

LFTS video on Aliens vs. Terminator 2:

Beyond the …

Episode 19: Ocean's Eleven

September 20th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses the importance of perspective when revealing information, what constitutes "lying to the audience," and how Ocean's 11 is …

Episode 18: The Social Network

September 3rd, 2019


The LFTS team discusses the intricate structure of the film, the collaboration between Sorkin and Fincher, and the incredible score.

Beyond the …

Episode 17: Inglourious Basterds

August 16th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses the history of nazis as on-screen bad guys, the importance of foreign languages in the film, and all things Tarantino.

Episode 16: The Matrix (feat. Patrick (H) Willems)

July 31st, 2019


The LFTS team chats with YouTube creator and filmmaker Patrick (H) Willems about The Matrix's excellent storytelling, its exquisite production design, and why Keanu Reeves was the perfect Neo.

Patrick (H) Willems

Episode 15: Game of Thrones (feat. Alt Shift X & Just Write)

July 26th, 2019


The LFTS team chats with the creators of YouTube channels Alt Shift X and Just Write about Game of Thrones. We discuss how the mode of storytelling changed in the later seasons, how we as creators approach creating …

Episode 14: Before Sunset

July 19th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses the hidden structure of Before Sunset, the relationship of the films in the Before Trilogy, and what we would want from a …

Episode 13: John August (Aladdin, Big Fish, Go)

June 28th, 2019


The LFTS team chats with screenwriter John August about his writing process, his latest film, Aladdin, and his screenwriting software, Highland 2.5.

John August

Scriptnotes Podcast:

Episode 12: Minority Report

June 14th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses Steven Spielberg's take on film noir (is it actually a film noir?), explore the ways in which the film is such a great example of design fiction, and debate the morality of Precrime.

Minority …

Episode 11: Inside Out

May 31st, 2019


The LFTS team discusses why the Bing Bong scene always makes people cry (and terrifies Michael), the importance of emotional authenticity for …

Episode 10: Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame

May 10th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses the unique storytelling challenge inherent in these movies and how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has affected our idea of …

Episode 9: Gone Girl

April 26th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses how Gone Girl came to be the first video on the channel, how the film cleverly reveals its information to the audience, and …

Episode 8: Adaptation

April 12th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses the neurotic brilliance of the movie Adaptation, the process of creating our Adaptation short film, and all the reasons why writing is hard.

Adaptation LFTS Video/Short Film:

Episode 7: Independence Day (feat. Lindsay Ellis)

March 29th, 2019


The LFTS team chats with video essayist and writer Lindsay Ellis about Independence Day. We discuss her video comparing Independence Day with War of the Worlds, disaster movies in a post-9/11 world, and the challenges …

Episode 6: The Silence of the Lambs

March 8th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses how our videos can change dramatically as we develop them, the differences between the original screenplay for The Silence of the Lambs and the final film, and how the directorial choices …

Episode 5: Good Will Hunting

March 1st, 2019


The LFTS team discusses the importance of considering the psychological journey of a character, the lengthy development process of Good Will Hunting, …

Episode 4: Groundhog Day

February 15th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses Groundhog Day (1993) and how it exploits its premise, the profound philosophy found within the story, and how to truly force …

Episode 3: Searching (feat. Aneesh Chaganty & Sev Ohanian)

February 7th, 2019


The LFTS team interviews Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian, co-writers of Searching (2018), about how they took a traditional thriller story and adapted it to take place entirely on screens, their rigorous approach to …

Episode 2: The Devil Wears Prada

February 7th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and how it efficiently sets up its story in the first ten pages, the long process most scripts go through to become great, and determine that casting Meryl Streep in …

Episode 1: Shaun of the Dead

February 7th, 2019


The LFTS team discusses Shaun of the Dead (2005) and how story should come from character, the similarities between horror and comedy, and the movies …

Trailer — Beyond the Screenplay

February 5th, 2019


“Lessons from the Screenplay” creator Michael Tucker and the LFTS team do deeper dives into the storytelling of individual movies and chat with the creatives behind those films.

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