In this video, I’m lucky enough to sit down with Andrew Kevin Walker! Screenwriter behind projects such as SE7EN, the David Fincher directed crime thriller, starring Brad Pitt & Morgan Freeman! Andrew is also the screenwriter behind Brainscan, Nerdland, he co-wrote Windfall, and he also wrote an episode of hit TV Show, Love Death and Robots! It was such an honour to chat with Andy!
Love, Death + Robots: The Official Anthology. Volume One
The sixteen stories and two screenplays that make up Volume One of the Emmy® award-winning Netflix Original series Love, Death & Robots. Featuring best-selling authors and screenwriters from all over the globe, curated by filmmakers Tim Miller and David Fincher.
Stories and screenplays by: Alastair Reynolds, Alberto Mielgo, Claudine Griggs, David W. Amendola, Joe Lansdale, John Scalzi, Ken Liu, Kirsten Cross, Marko Kloos, Michael Swanwick, Peter F. Hamilton, Steven Lewis, and Vitaliy Shushko.
Love, Death + Robots: The Official Anthology. Volumes Two & Three
The seventeen stories and screenplays that make up Volumes Two and Three of the Emmy® award-winning Netflix Original series Love, Death & Robots. Featuring best-selling authors and screenwriters from all over the globe, curated by filmmakers Tim Miller and David Fincher.
Stories and screenplays by: Neal Asher, Paolo Bacigalupi, J. G. Ballard, Alan Baxter, Justin Coates, Harlan Ellison, Joachim Heijndermans, Joe Lansdale, Richard Larson, Alberto Mielgo, Jeff Fowler & Tim Miller, John Scalzi, Bruce Sterling, and Michael Swanwick.
Love Death + Robots is a Netflix series like no other—a breath-taking journey of mature, high-concept tales told with seductive characters, astounding plots, and explosive action. With each episode crafted by different animation teams across the globe, the thought-provoking anthology covers a vast range of animation styles from edgy 2D to stop-motion to anime to hyper-realistic 3D CG.
In this luxury book, discover the wealth of artwork and stories behind the creation of the series’ first three volumes. Includes interviews with key artists and creatives such as series creators Tim Miller and David Fincher, and is full to the brim with everything from beautiful concept art, character studies, costume sketches, paintings, vehicle designs, storyboards, and early vision decks, through to finished frames. Perfect for any fan of animation.
If you’re a fan of David Fincher and Love, Death + Robots, you’re about to be very happy. Not only is Love, Death + Robots Volume 3 now streaming on Netflix, David Fincher directed one of the episodes, Bad Travelling, and it’s fantastic. Written by Se7en screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, it’s about a giant crustacean and a shark-hunting sailing vessel. I’d love to tell you more…but the best thing about Love, Death + Robots is not knowing anything about what you’re going to watch and just letting it happen.
Shortly after watching the episode, I was able to get on the phone with Fincher for a deep dive conversation about directing Bad Travelling and the making of Love, Death + Robots. During the sprawling conversation, Fincher talked about his history with animation, how he decided on the style of animation for his episode, how they decided where something should end, how everyone involved in the series is doing it for the love of the genre, and if they’ve thought about making a Love, Death + Robots feature film or doing a live-action version. In addition, he talked about his love of director Alberto Mielgo’s Jibaro (another Love, Death + Robots Volume 3 episode) and how he’s “never seen anything like it. I’ve never been that mesmerized.”
Trust me, if you’re a fan of Fincher and this amazing series, you’ll learn a lot about how it’s made.
James Vanderbilt wrote the screenplay for 2007’s Zodiac on spec — meaning he wasn’t commissioned to write it. So he began cutting it down before he sent it out to studios.
“I was just like, ‘This script is too fucking long. No one is going to read it.’ And I think the original script they sent out was 150 pages. It’s the thing you shouldn’t do, is write a 150-page script,” Vanderbilt tells MovieMaker about the film, released 15 years ago today.
Even when David Fincher agreed to direct the project, Vanderbilt was still concerned about its length. But much to his surprise, scenes were often added in development, not removed.
“In the spec, I had written the whole sequence with Brian Cox, and the morning show where Zodiac calls in, and then I cut it before sending the script out,” Vanderbilt says.
“And then one day Fincher was like, ‘You know, Zodiac might have called this morning show?’
“I was like, ‘Oh, I wrote it.’”
Fincher, who had spent months doing his own research on Zodiac, was impressed.
“You did?” he replied.
So Vanderbilt sent him the previously-cut 15 minute sequence.
“And he goes, ‘Well, this has got to go back in,’” Vanderbilt says. “And so it just kind of kept growing.”
Eventually Fincher sat Vanderbilt down and told him to “stop worrying about the length. I’m going to just make everyone talk very fast,” Vanderbilt says.
True to his word, “if you watch the movie, it is very bip, bip, bip, bip — everyone is talking very fast,” he adds.
This week marks 15 years since “Zodiac” was released in theaters, and save for the actors looking 15 years younger than they do now, the film still feels like it could be released today. If anything, “Zodiac” feels more like a product of 2022 than 2007. The country is more obsessed with serial killers than ever before, with true crime podcasts and documentaries continuing to draw massive ratings, Zodiac killer memes being used in presidential primaries, and the latest Batman movie taking the form of a serial killer drama.
That makes it a great time to revisit “Zodiac,” as well as a good opportunity to take a deep dive into the making of the film. “Zodiac” attracted as much attention for its painstaking production process as it did for the finished product, as the always detail-oriented David Fincher went above and beyond to make sure everything in his film was historically accurate. Sometimes his methodical process hurt his relationships with the cast, but one thing is for certain: They made a great movie.
Jeremy is a screenwriter and producer who has written films, computer games, novels, events, and primetime television globally for over two decades.
Each Drysdale Exchange will showcase a penetrating one-on-one interview with an entertainment industry specialist, designed to illuminate an area of film, television, writing, or music which is not generally addressed in the mainstream.
David Fincher called Nev Pierce‘s directorial debut, Bricks, a “classy take on a morbid classic”. Mark Romanek labeled his fourth short Promise“superbly done”. His other films (Ghosted, Lock In) are well praised, too, and not just by A-list directing talents. He’s seen his work played at festivals worldwide, including Fantasia, FrightFest, and the London Short Film Festival. He has various features in development as a director and is also a contributing editor for Empire Magazine.
Today, I sit down with legendary screenwriter Eric Roth.
We talk about his life and his craft and why we should all be more generous of spirit. Truth be told, Eric has been involved in creating so many iconic films that it would have been impossible to try… so I asked him about the films of his that meant the most to me, and he held court and digressed in the loveliest of ways. I hope you have as much fun listening as I did recording this interview. Enjoy!
Eric’s credits include: The Nickel Ride, The Drowning Pool, The Onion Field, Forrest Gump (for which he won an Oscar), The Postman (for which he won a Razzie), The Horse Whisperer, and then one of my favorite films ever, The Insider, followed by Ali, Munich, The Good Shepherd, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. He’s also worked in Television, and seen not one but two sea changes, first with HBO, and then with Netflix and House of Cards. And much more recently he wrote A Star Is Born, Dune, and the new Western being Directed by Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon. He was also a producer on the Oscar nominated Mank, directed by David Fincher, from a script by Fincher’s father.
Today we welcome back the legendary Eric Roth. An Oscar-Winning Screenwriter & Producer.
We talk about how he writes, and blends craft with pure inspiration. He talks about working with Robert Redford. We re-visit Munich & The Good Shepherd. He talks about being re-written, and his unique creative partnership with Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga on A Star Is Born. And last but not least, we talk about writing the new Dune film which he thinks just might be something very special.
It’s a wonderful conversation with one of the very best working in Hollywood today, whose generous not only with his talent, but his spirit. Dig it!
Recommended Viewing: The Horse Whisperer, Munich, The Good Shepherd, A Star Is Born (2018), and Dune (See it in IMAX on October 22, 2021)
For nearly two decades, Hollywood had been trying to make a movie of Zodiac, and for nearly two decades, it had failed. In 2003, producer Brad Fischer, and screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt attempted the undoable, and set their sights on the one filmmaker they felt unequalled for the helm: director David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club). Fincher’s eye for detail, probing mind, and unrelenting quest for answers made him ideal. His personal connection to the case made him perfect.
Author Robert Graysmith, director David Fincher, producer Brad Fischer, and screenwriter James Vanderbilt: “The Untouchables” (Photo: Margot Graysmith)
From Hollywood boardrooms to remote fog-shrouded crime scenes, they battle a huge script that refuses to be beaten, a case that refuses to be solved, and a running time and budget that threaten their film. Follow as they track down missing witnesses, gather the original investigators, visit the original crime scenes, discover boxes of Zodiac case files from an attic, unearth new clues, a videotape of the prime suspect’s police interrogation, and a surviving victim who doesn’t want to be found. To keep Fincher on board, and get their film greenlit, it will take cold leads, private eyes, new evidence, and most of all, perseverance.
About The Author
Robert Graysmith in 2012. Photo: Russell Yip / The Chronicle
Robert Graysmith (Facebook) is an author and illustrator. He was the political cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle when the letters and cryptograms from the infamous Zodiac killer began arriving to the paper. He was present when they were opened in the morning editorial meetings, and has been investigating & writing ever since. He lives in San Francisco where he continues to write and illustrate. He is best known for his books “Zodiac” and “Zodiac Unmasked”.
“Zodiac in Costume at Lake Berryessa,” by former Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith. Surviving victim Bryan Hartnell personally described the costume in detail to Graysmith, after his, and Cecilia Shepherd’s, encounter with the Zodiac on Sept. 27, 1969. Photo: Robert Graysmith
Robert Graysmith, political cartoonist for The San Francisco Chronicle, in 1977. Photo: Gary Fong / The Chronicle
Robert Graysmith wrote the definitive Zodiac Killer book. He breaks decade-long silence to tell us about his upcoming projects
For a fairly famous guy, author Robert Graysmith doesn’t get out much. He hasn’t been heard from in public for about a decade, and he rarely leaves his San Francisco home.
The 78-year-old Graysmith has been crafting manuscripts at such an astonishing pace, printing them out as he goes along, that they now stand in a 5-foot-high stack that breaks down into what he says will be 34 books, ranging from children’s tales and historical explorations to true crime and fictional legends. Most just need a few final touches and editing, he said.
These days, Graysmith is working with a new publisher he knows well: his 50-year-old son, Aaron Smith.
The first in this voluminous new string landed on online sites like Amazon at the end of August, the 383-page “Shooting Zodiac,” which documents the planning that went into making the movie “Zodiac.”
“It’s much more fun working with Aaron on these things, because he can put them out quickly,” Graysmith said. “I figured out you’re going to wait about three years to get a book done, and then you hand them the book, and they’re going to spend a lot of time and then they won’t do anything for another year or so. With Aaron, we can get the book edited and out there in a few months.”
Graysmith’s son — who uses the last name his dad used before he merged Gray and Smith — said he wasn’t really surprised when he realized how many pages his dad had in the hopper.
“Writing is pretty much all he does,” Smith said by phone from his home in Southern California, “and the illustrations.”
Graysmith said he started working on his engagingly told “Shooting Zodiac” before the movie came out, as he was being bowled over by the dedication director David Fincher, producer Brad Fischer and screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt put into the project. They combed over the same material Graysmith had in his books “Zodiac” and “Zodiac Unmasked” to rebuild and advance his narrative around the only suspect ever named by police, Arthur Leigh Allen of Vallejo.
Watching them work was “a marvelous adventure,” Graysmith said.
The new book is as much about greenlighting the movie and hiring actors like Jake Gyllenhaal, who played Graysmith, as it is about how the three filmmakers did their research. It’s also probably the last thing Graysmith will write about the Zodiac, he and his son said.
It’s safe to say that David Fincher‘s 2014 film Gone Girl surprised a lot of audiences (this means that if you haven’t seen the movie, beware of spoilers ahead). But even putting the twists and turns of the plot aside, there was an unexpected move in the promotional campaign that still stands out to me. The first trailer opened with some musical notes that any rom-com fan will recognize as the beginning to “She.”
The song was originally composed and recorded by Charles Aznavour and then famously covered by Elvis Costello to serve as the theme for Roger Michell‘s 1999 film Notting Hill:
For the Gone Girl Teaser Trailer, the song was performed by Richard Butler, and produced, arranged, and mixed by Jason Hill (Mindhunter):