Cover art for podcast Beyond the Screenplay

Beyond the Screenplay

92 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.

92 Episodes | 2019 - 2021

Episode 90: Moonlight

July 30th, 2021

1:15:06

The BTS team discusses Moonlight's evocative screenwriting and cinematography, the film's triptych structure, and how Barry Jenkins externalizes Chiron's inner journey.


Show Notes

Beyond the Screenplay Patreon:

Episode 89: Mean Girls

July 23rd, 2021

1:15:52

The BTS team tries to make fetch happen.


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Episode 88: Heat

July 16th, 2021

1:31:11

The BTS team discusses Heat's surprisingly quiet midpoint dialogue scene, the film's incredible iconic shootout, and how both central characters' arcs engage the themes of family, loyalty, and crime.


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Episode 87: Titanic

July 9th, 2021

1:31:01

The BTS team discusses Titanic's incredible cultural impact, Rose's characterization and moving character arc, and what it took for James Cameron to …

Episode 86: Forrest Gump vs. Benjamin Button (with Patrick H. Willems)

July 2nd, 2021

1:29:52

The BTS team welcomes back YouTube creator Patrick Willems to compare Forrest Gump and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The team discusses the films' strangely similar premises, dissects the movies' plot structures …

Episode 85: Nightcrawler

June 25th, 2021

1:09:48

The BTS team discusses Nightcrawler's heightened sense of reality, how the unconventional direction contributes to the film's voyeuristic feel, and why Lou Bloom's story satirizes success in a bloodthirsty society.


What We’re Watching: Loki (Ep. 1&2)

June 18th, 2021

49:06

In this first episode of a patron-exclusive mini-series, the BTS team discusses the formal aspects of the new Marvel shows, how the first episode of Loki delivers exposition while being fun, and how the second episode …

Episode 84: A Quiet Place: Part II

June 11th, 2021

1:08:21

The BTS team discusses the movie’s tense action sequences, what John Krasinski's directing brings to the movie, and what makes for a satisfying sequel.


Show Notes

Beyond the Screenplay Patreon:

Episode 83: The Mummy (1999)

June 4th, 2021

1:13:21

The BTS team discusses The Mummy's comedy twist on a classic adventure story, the film's effective focus on Rick and Evie's romance, and why the lead …

Episode 82: The Iron Giant

May 28th, 2021

1:03:18

The BTS team discusses The Iron Giant’s midcentury look and influences, the film’s unique place in animation history, and whether the story’s …

Episode 81: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

May 21st, 2021

1:25:38

The BTS team discusses Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s efficient opening sequence, the film’s meticulous pacing and striking style, and how every detail …

Episode 80: Lost in Translation

May 14th, 2021

1:12:47

The LFTS team discusses Lost In Translation's strong sense of style and mood, the characters' relationship and stakes, and why the film's inaudible final line makes for the perfect ending.


Show Notes

Beyond the …

Episode 79: Mass Effect (with Mark Brown of Game Maker's Toolkit)

May 7th, 2021

1:03:53

The LFTS team welcomes Mark Brown, creator of the YouTube channel Game Maker's Toolkit, to talk about the design of Commander Shepard, the epic …

Episode 78: Paddington 1 & 2 (with Patrick H. Willems)

April 30th, 2021

1:11:01

The LFTS team once again welcomes back Patrick H. Willems to discuss the movies' meticulous filmmaking, the design of the wonderful antagonists, and …

Episode 77: The Big Lebowski

April 23rd, 2021

1:21:43

The LFTS team discusses The Big Lebowski's hilarious dialogue and supporting characters, the film's philosophical subtext and themes, and the enduring mystique of "The Dude."


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Episode 76: Breaking Bad (The Pilot Episode)

April 16th, 2021

1:26:54

The LFTS team discusses Breaking Bad’s exemplary pilot episode, including its solid narrative structure, efficient scene work, and how it sets up the …

Episode 75: Knives Out (with Sage Hyden)

April 9th, 2021

1:19:10

The LFTS team once again welcomes back Sage Hyden (Just Write) to discuss Knives Out's clever genre-switching, how the film controls information, and …

Episode 74: The Disaster Artist

April 1st, 2021

1:07:23

The LFTS team discusses The Disaster Artist's "buddy comedy" structure, the meta narrative surrounding the making of The Room, and the endless enigmatic appeal of Tommy Wiseau as a person and character.


Show Notes

Episode 73: The Favourite 🐇

March 26th, 2021

1:23:32

The LFTS team discusses The Favourite’s three iconic central performances, the dialogue’s bawdy sense of humor, and how the wide-angle cinematography enhances the film’s absurd tone and themes.


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Episode 72: Edge of Tomorrow

March 19th, 2021

1:15:20

The LFTS team discusses Edge of Tomorrow’s surprising approach to a time-loop premise, the filmmaker’s decision to expand the world of the story, and why the beach scene makes for such a thrilling set piece.


Show Notes

Episode 71: Moulin Rouge!

March 12th, 2021

1:26:12

The LFTS team discusses Moulin Rouge!’s frenetic editing, debates the place of excess and melodrama in entertainment, and praises the film’s lavish …

Episode 70: The Lighthouse (with Maggie Mae Fish)

March 5th, 2021

1:03:16

The LFTS team welcomes YouTube creator Maggie Mae Fish to discuss The Lighthouse's dense mythic symbolism, both leads' committed performances, and …

Episode 69: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

February 26th, 2021

1:07:25

The LFTS team discusses the function of Birdman’s one-shot visual style, the binary of theme of art vs. entertainment, and different readings of the film’s ambiguous ending.


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Episode 68: Our Favorite Films of the 2000s

February 19th, 2021

1:00:42

The LFTS team counts down our favorite films of 2000-2009, discusses what makes various films important to each of us, and uncovers a few surprises along the way.

Show Notes
Beyond the Screenplay Patreon:

Episode 67: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

February 12th, 2021

1:36:29

The LFTS team discusses Eternal Sunshine’s translation from script to screen, the characters’ conflicting desires, and why embracing paradox at every level enriches this bittersweet masterpiece.


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Episode 66: Hidden Figures

February 5th, 2021

1:09:23

The LFTS team discusses Hidden Figures’s cleverly constructed subplots, the story’s relationship with historical accuracy, and the filmmakers’ strategic approach to getting the film made.


Show Notes

Beyond the …

Episode 65: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

January 29th, 2021

1:57:28

In this third and final episode on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the LFTS team discusses the filmmakers’ incredible dedication to getting the series made, when adding “movie stuff” is the right call in the adaptation …

Episode 64: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

January 22nd, 2021

1:29:09

In this second of three episodes on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the LFTS team discusses the technical and character aspects of Gollum’s appeal, …

Episode 63: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 🗡

January 15th, 2021

1:22:51

In this first of three episodes on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the LFTS team discusses Fellowship’s compelling quest narrative, the series’ historical, grounded feeling, and the palpable love the filmmakers poured …

Episode 62: Soul

January 8th, 2021

1:22:49

The LFTS team discusses Soul’s blended soundtrack and score, the story’s powerful imagery, and what the theme of finding one's "spark" means to each …

Episode 61: Mank

December 28th, 2020

1:16:26

The LFTS team discusses Mank's "old Hollywood" visual style, the scripts's unusual structure and meandering plot, and where the film fits into  David …

Episode 60: The Muppet Christmas Carol 🎁

December 18th, 2020

1:15:06

The LFTS team discusses A Christmas Carol's clear five-act structure, the balance of humor and sincerity in a Muppet movie, and why Scrooge's journey always feels emotional.


Show Notes

Beyond the Screenplay Patreon:

Episode 59: Run

December 11th, 2020

1:05:03

The LFTS team chats with the creative team behind Run, Aneesh Chaganty & Sev Ohanian, about working with actors, the challenges of making a feature film, and the unique state of the film industry. Run is available …

Episode 58: A Few Good Men

November 27th, 2020

1:21:49

The LFTS team discusses A Few Good Men’s ostentatious character intros, the complexities of Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue, and what makes Col. Jessep such …

Episode 57: The Last of Us Part II (with Sage Hyden)

November 17th, 2020

1:36:52

To celebrate the launch of Story Mode, our new video game-focused channel, the LFTS team discusses The Last of Us Part II with Sage Hyden of Just Write. They discuss the game's emotional gut punches, shifting …

Episode 56: V for Vendetta

November 5th, 2020

1:21:34

The LFTS team discusses V for Vendetta's unique genre-blending, why plot logistics don't always need to be overly-clear, and how the film embraces its theme of "artists using lies to tell the truth."


Show Notes

Beyond …

Episode 55: Coraline

October 23rd, 2020

1:17:58

The LFTS team discusses Coraline's stunning stop-motion cinematography, the filmmakers' incredible attention to detail, and how all these elements and more perfectly express the story's theme.


Show Notes

LFTS Video on …

Episode 54: Black Panther

October 16th, 2020

1:22:34

The LFTS team praises Black Panther's inspirational vision of the future, the complexities of each character, and how the film impressively engages …

Episode 53: Stranger Things

September 30th, 2020

1:15:39

The LFTS team discusses the cultural impact of Stranger Things, the differences between the first three seasons, and how the series balances …

Episode 52: Moonrise Kingdom

September 18th, 2020

1:17:12

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

1:21:34

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 (with Sage Hyden)

August 28th, 2020

1:13:43

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

1:43:46

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

1:19:09

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

1:35:22

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

1:17:35

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

1:20:11

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

1:16:26

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

1:23:12

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.


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Episode 42: Apocalypse Now 🚁

June 5th, 2020

1:23:08

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

1:23:45

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

1:09:01

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.


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Episode 39: Sunset Boulevard

May 1st, 2020

1:10:05

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

1:06:28

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

1:10:29

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

1:32:02

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.


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Episode 35: A Quiet Place

April 3rd, 2020

1:15:42

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

1:13:21

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

1:12:22

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.


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Episode 32: Casino Royale

February 28th, 2020

1:16:40

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

1:07:48

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.


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Episode 30: When Harry Met Sally

February 14th, 2020

1:13:35

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

1:12:31

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

1:24:58

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

1:02:44

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

2:25:31

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

1:45:03

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.


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Episode 24: Star Wars — The Original Trilogy

December 2nd, 2019

1:31:17

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

1:16:13

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

1:19:15

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

1:22:07

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

1:06:41

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: https://youtu.be/4x9mplwN3Lo


Beyond the …

Episode 19: Ocean's Eleven

September 20th, 2019

1:09:09

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

1:04:52

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

1:20:25

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 (with Patrick (H) Willems)

July 31st, 2019

1:06:36

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 (with Alt Shift X & Just Write)

July 26th, 2019

1:08:09

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

1:15:19

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

1:04:40

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: https://johnaugust.com/scriptnotes

Episode 12: Minority Report

June 14th, 2019

1:39:10

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

1:15:02

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

1:18:01

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

1:21:52

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

1:31:04

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 (with Lindsay Ellis)

March 29th, 2019

1:11:59

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

1:17:10

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

1:14:55

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

1:07:34

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 (with Aneesh Chaganty & Sev Ohanian)

February 7th, 2019

1:09:04

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

1:08:10

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

1:06:14

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

1:29

“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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