KEN LEE has been working with Michael Weise and his production / consulting / publishing company from almost the very beginning. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ken met Michael through a friend’s referral, and several hours into their first lunch together they joined forces. We talk about the stories behind many classic film & TV books including Christopher Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey”, Steven J. Katz’s “Film Directing: Shot by Shot”, Judith Weston’s “Directing Actors”, and Blake Snyder’s “Save The Cat!”, which helped rewrite the entire vernacular of Hollywood. Ken and I discuss all this plus the mechanics of book publishing, growing a business organically, and more.
Carl King (composer):
This week I’m cross-posting an 8-minute shortie episode to both “If I Knew You Better” and my original, retired podcast “Big Fish in the Middle Kingdom”. There are THREE recent episodes of my other show, “How China Works” (co-hosted with Yingying Li), that I really don’t want you to miss. Check out those shows and our guests MARK LEVINE, FU HAN, ISABEL CROOK, & JESSE APPELL via the links in the shows notes, and subscribe to “How China Works” and “If I Knew You Better” so you don’t miss anything. Enjoy!
MARK LEVINE show -
FU HAN links -
AUDIO VERSION & MORE INFO: https://www.howchinaworkspodcast.com/fuhan
JESSE APPELL links -
“HCW” Podcast: http://howchinaworks.libsyn.com/jesse-appell-at-the-us-china-comedy-center
Jesse Appell's episode of “Big Fish in the Middle Kingdom”:
SEARCH “How China Works” everywhere or LISTEN here:
ALL PLATFORMS: http://howchinaworks.libsyn.com
Returning Champion KEVIN GEIGER swings back by the studio to have an unfiltered chat about, among other things: spinning plates, Brexits big & small, the comedy & tragedy of film financing, the care & feeding of billionaires, the ever-changing China mental map, plus Brendan’s upcoming speaking engagement in Vegas, among other things. We riff far and wide with this one, name-checking Robert Anton Wilson & “model agnosticism", Gordon White & “Fortress America”, Marshall McLuhan’s “The map is not the territory", Korzybski & General Semantics, and the coming relevance of the 2013 Matt Damon dystopian sci-fi movie ELYSIUM to our daily lives. Enjoy!
“If I Knew You Better” - LISTEN
APPLE devices: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/if-i-knew-you-better/id1457785319
ALL devices: http://ifiknewyoubetter.libsyn.com/website
Christopher Vogler’s seminal work The Writer’s Journey distilled the key lessons of Joseph Campbell’s classic The Hero With A 1000 Faces in a way that took first Hollywood and then the world by storm. It’s influence over the last 25 years has been profound, yet while it remains as relevant as ever (see: the box office results of the Marvel Comic Universe for a few billion dollars of evidence), Vogler has hardly remained static. His upcoming, updated edition of the book will add even MORE amazing tools to the storyteller’s arsenal and he teases some of them here with me. This is the longest episode yet but it flies by, and we are already planning the sequel. Enjoy!
The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers: https://mwp.com/product/the-writers-journey-mythic-structure-for-writers-3rd-edition/
This show is on hiatus until September, but I wanted to let you know about another podcast I just released that I think you’ll like, too. This week on my other show, “How China Works”, my cohost Yingying Li & I had our first “HCW Live!” event at The Bookworm in Beijing. We interviewed a force of nature businesswoman named Fu Han, along with special guests. Learn more about it below, and I’ll see you again here soon!
“How China Works” LISTEN - APPLE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-china-works/id1440747395 / ALL PLATFORMS: http://howchinaworks.libsyn.com
Writer-Producer-Director Kevin Geiger & I had a long-running “bonus feature” on my old show called the “Fretful Laowai Radio Hour”, which was a chance for us - two American entertainment guys in China - to chop it up in a free-form conversation about all sorts of current events and issues we were dealing with. I’m very pleased to bring the Fretful Laowai to THIS show as a recurring feature. Enjoy!
Michael Wiese has lived an extraordinary life as a writer, artist, filmmaker, philosopher, businessman, & much more. His namesake company Michael Wiese Productions (MWP) is the leading publisher of film, tv, & media books in the world, & his Divine Arts imprint produces spiritually-focused works of similar consequence. We discuss the 60s, Bali, Bucky Fuller, Michael Murphy & Esalen, Cornwall, and treating Parkinson's disease with ayahuasca in the jungles of Peru, among many other topics. Enjoy!
GREG LOFTIN is a screenwriter, director, editor, & professor, and the author of Writing For The Cut. He has developed an innovative approach to crafting screen stories that starts by considering how they will end up in the final edit. We talk about how his method improves upon the traditional writing process, what he's learned from Walter Murch & other legends, and much more.
GREG LOFTIN links:
Get TICKETS to “The Future of Story” event (w/Greg Loftin & others): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-future-of-story-panel-and-social-hour-tickets-64939432591?fbclid=IwAR21MPX1ueCd6e7kifaOzRM83fOIbZHG4eK8Kh7yEgKvZ2eFQSPwmGosic0
interregnum [ in-ter-reg-nuh m ], noun: any pause or interruption in continuity. I’m just back from one myself, which I briefly (~5 mins) explain the reasons for here. Plus: a quick look back, and a happy look ahead. Please enjoy!
Nick Cheng is a popular British comedian based in Beijing, and a natural storyteller. And he has some great stories to tell: some are funny, most are fascinating, and a few - discussing a family member’s suicide attempts, his coming out while a member of the Royal Navy - are wrenching. But all are worth hearing, and I am glad to share them with you on this very special LAST REGULAR EPISODE of “Big Fish in the Middle Kingdom”, cross-posted here. Please enjoy!
NICK CHENG contact -
Michael Nakan is the founder of Clipper Media Capital, a London-based production and packaging company. He cut his Hollywood teeth on the US version of “House of Cards” and then in NYC at HBO before returning home to the UK to work in development for DARKEST HOUR director Joe Wright. He's also established a China office of his UK firm and is successfully bridging the gap between the two markets. A great talk!
MICHAEL NAKAN / Clipper Media Capital: https://www.clippermedia.co.uk
SEARCH “If I Knew You Better” in all podcatchers OR listen / learn more here:
WEB PLAYER: http://ifiknewyoubetter.libsyn.com/website
Weiko Lin was born in Taipei, Taiwan, & he continues to work throughout Asia, but it’s in Hollywood that he’s really made his name. His upcoming book, Crazy Screenwriting Secrets(Michael Weise Productions, avail July 1) is both a solid art & craft writing manual, AND a knowledgable how-to on navigating the often-treacherous waters between China and the global cinema industry, as epitomized by Hollywood. If you follow the world entertainment business with any degree of seriousness, YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS SHOW. Just sayin’. Enjoy!
FULL BLOG POST: https://www.crazyinagoodway.com/home/weiko
Fei Wu is host of the Feisworld podcast & a documentary filmmaker based in Boston. She's been revisiting her China roots to support her artist mother, whose paintings illustrating Chinese literature classic The Dream of the Red Chamber made her famous. In the Intro, I also discuss the recent death of my father, but it's a fun and thoughtful show in general. Please enjoy this very special episode, and visit the full blog post for links and more.
FULL BLOG POST & LINKS: https://www.crazyinagoodway.com/home/fei-wu-knew
Steven D. Katz has possibly the most eclectic background and resume of anyone I’ve ever spoken to. He caught his first big break debuting a short film on “Saturday Night Live”, pioneered the first digital previz system, became a writer-director-producer, was Michael Jackson’s personal filmmaking tutor, and along the way, he also wrote the classic textbook and reference Film Directing: Shot By Shot, published by Michael Wiese Productions. This is an EPIC show, cross-posted on “Big Fish in the Middle Kingdom” as well, and a mind-blower. Please check out the more detailed blog post below, and enjoy the show!
FULL BLOG POST: https://www.crazyinagoodway.com/home/steve-katz
SEARCH “If I Knew You Better” in all podcatchers OR LISTEN here - APPLE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/if-i-knew-you-better/id1457785319 / WEB PLAYER: http://ifiknewyoubetter.libsyn.com/website/ LINKS https://www.crazyinagoodway.com/knew-resources
Elliott Zaagman has built a professional life as a writer, podcaster, investor in, & consultant to the leaders of some of China’s most famous (& infamous) tech companies. He appears in print & on-air internationally speaking truth about that environment. Ell co-hosts the China tech Investor podcast w/James Hull and has been on my other shows several times too, so we started from a place of comfort and dove deep from there.
Elliott Zaagman LINKS:
on Twitter: @elliottzaagman
on “How China Works”: http://howchinaworks.libsyn.com/025-investing-yingying-li-brendan-davis
on “Big Fish in the Middle Kingdom”: http://bigfishmiddlekingdom.libsyn.com/066-tech-writing-leadership-in-china-elliott-zaagman / http://bigfishmiddlekingdom.libsyn.com/078-elliott-zaagman-on-podcasting-tech-ponzi-schemes-more-big-fish-side-dish
Millions of people in the tech & startup world know Steve Hoffman as “Captain Hoff” from Foundersspace, a leading incubator from Silicon Valley that is now omnipresent throughout China. But very few people know that his FIRST career was as a development executive in Hollywood, and this is the first time Steve’s talked about all this in-depth since beginning his China adventures. The lessons he's learned from his success shaping startups & stories are invaluable, & applicable regardless of your vocation or location. This was a very fun and special conversation, so I hope you check it out.
FULL BLOG POST: https://www.crazyinagoodway.com/home/steve-hoffman-2019
LEE CHEN's life story is more incredible than the many films & TV shows she’s appeared in. She got her start in a "Chairman Mao Thought" propaganda performance troupe towards the end of the Cultural Revolution in China, studied acting with Jeremy Piven’s parents at the Piven Theater Workshop in Chicago, & more.
FULL BLOG POST: https://www.crazyinagoodway.com/home/lee-chen
CARL BRESSLER is an actor & advisor with an extensive career in Hollywood & a profound business network around the world. He studied acting with Stella Adler & learned agenting the hard way: face first. Carl is one of my closest friends & my most important mentor; if I had a big brother, it would be him. My life has expanded exponentially in large part to the positive example he’s set & the excellent guidance he’s given me over the years, so I'm thrilled to introduce you to him, too.
Carl Bressler on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlbressler/
RAYMOND MA is a talented and hilarious actor who has worked with everyone from Ali Wong and Awkwafina to Chuck Lorre and Aaron Sorkin. He was born in Hong Kong, discovered by Jack Lord on the original “Hawaii 5-0”, & lives in Los Angeles. This talk is funny, practical, & gets a little deep, too.
Raymond Ma on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0530882/
STEWART CARARAS is a songwriter-musician as well as a music engineer & producer in Los Angeles. He’s from Monroe, Louisiana, and his road to Hollywood is positively cinematic. Great talk!
Central Command Studios: http://centralcommandstudios.com/team-view/stewart-cararas/
Frederick Taylor is an award-winning director & producer & the founder of Tomorrow Pictures (https://www.tomorrowpictures.com). I’ve known Fred for 30 years, but it was great to sit down with him and REALLY get into it all. Great first talk; enjoy!
Tomorrow Pictures: https://www.tomorrowpictures.com