Why would you want to ‘Save the Cat’? If you are a screenwriter or aspiring one you should have heard by now of Blake Snyder’s game-changing screenwriting book.
In his 20-year career as a film producer and screenwriter, Blake Snyder sold dozens of scripts, including co-writing Blank Check, which became a hit for Disney, and Nuclear Family for Steven Spielberg — both million-dollar sales. Named “one of Hollywood’s most successful spec screenwriters,” Blake sold his last screenplay in 2009.
His book, Save the Cat!® The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need, was published in May 2005 and is now in its 24th printing. When I read this book it really had an impact on my storytelling and screenwriting.
Thankful Blake was not done and apparently it was not quite the last book on screenwriting you’ll ever need, as the eagerly awaited sequel, Save the Cat!® Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter’s Guide to Every Story Ever Told, was published in October 2007 — shooting to #1 in the Screenwriting and Screenplay categories on Amazon.com. Blake’s third book, Save the Cat!® Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get Into… And Out Of was published in November 2009.
Blake’s method has become the “secret weapon” of many development executives, managers, and producers for its precise, easy, and honest appraisal of what it takes to write and develop stories that resonate. Save the Cat!® The Last Story Structure Software You’ll Ever Need has codified this method. Blake passed unexpectedly in 2009 but the Save the Cat community carries on Blake’s work.
I had the pleasure of interviewing one of Blake’s main pupils Jose Silerio. Jose is carrying the torch of Blake’s work and travels around the world well…saving the cat.
Enjoy my informative interview with Jose Silerio.
Alex Ferrari 0:15
Jose man, thank you so much for joining us on the indie film hustle podcast. I really appreciate you taking the time, man.
Jose Silerio 3:17
Hey, thank you very much for having us. Alex, it's I mean, we're happy from Sema from save the cat to be part of this and you know, just to help out screenwriters as much as possible.
Yeah. I'm a huge, huge fan of Blake Snyder's work and save the cat. I read all three books. And they're, they're amazing. And they've kind of changed the business a lot ever since they were released. So can you tell me a little bit about Blake and save the cat? For people who don't know?
Alex Ferrari 3:44
Yeah, definitely. You know, as you said in the save the cat three sort of became big in the industry. And that's not you know, it's not just simply us tooting our own horn. But it's really from our own experience. Even when Blake was still around. We saw how his his method, his books really became popular. And Blake, really, you know, he's a screenwriter yet, just like most of us, right? He started screenwriting way back in the 80s. He was even he started working for his dad in his in his dad's animation series, doing the voices for the kid in the in the show and all that and he got into screenwriting way back in the 80s. And he's he's sold, you know, several scripts throughout his career. I'm telling you, I think 12 or 13, all together in in in a couple of their made which is blank check and stop or your mom or mom does shoot which are kind of the more famous ones he did. That came up. But I think from Blake really what he did with save the cat and how it kind of how we didn't vote for him was that, you know, just like everybody else in the industry, especially for writers, there are those ups and down moments. And as a writer, you're always you know, struggling to sort of break Even though and I said that even though you're in already you kind of have to keep proving yourself over and over it's
Jose Silerio 5:07
What have you done it's like Janet Jackson says What have you done for me lately?
And I think that kind of came from him knowing that that struggle who went through you wanted to make sure that other writers following him sort of had it a little bit easier if I can put it that way. And He found you know, he had his own method of developing structure and which you see it's funny because he had this little story and I can't actually remember if it's it was in the book where in his introduction to structure was that he you know, this was like, early late 90s or late 80s system where he was he went into one of these development meetings, he submitted a script you know, the producer was there and they decided talking about the script and the producer goes to him so what's your you know, break after break? And he was just Oh, um, you know, he says kind of just sort of nodding his head and kind of just talking what the story more than after the meeting ended in a way when all other producers moved out and all that the one producer who's really only with him pulled him aside and said you don't know what the actual break is right? Yeah, I have no idea what to do. Right sort of became his introduction into creating structure and him realizing that you know, in order to tell a good story, regardless of the story, we need structure and again so he's developed his own system which eventually began to save the cat method and again because it's from his own experience of wanting to help other writers later down the road you know he just simply wanted to share it because it started working for him and in and like you said, you know once he published the road save the cat The first book was published and people really gravitated toward it and it just exploded
Now we're good you know what were save the cat came from the name
But the name save the cat itself is a term that he uses you know and it's it's it's a simple way for your audience to like your your main hero You know perfectly it's the same the cats literally comes from the term you know, saving a cat you know what it is it's it's you just put you give your your your hero and action to do early on in the industry in the movie in the script, you know, that makes us say Oh, that's a nice guy. You know, I like this person, you know, which will make me want to follow this person's journey for the rest of the movie
Alex Ferrari 7:25
Which would be the opposite of that would be kick the dog which would be my book, kick the dog how to be evil person.
It's a great way to introduce a villain
Right! You kill anybody who kicks a dog like that guy's bad so it's a perfect example Yeah, so that's where it comes from. Okay, great. So how did you get involved with save the cat?
You know it's funny I got involved with save the cat exactly the same way like everybody discovers save the cat which is I read the book. I didn't know Blake you know before the book came out but when I read the book, you know and I tell this to all you know people or writers I work with I'm a very lazy reader I'm sorry to say the book you know even was thick a save the cat man it's not really that thick. That's not it's not it's not a hard read. Yeah, it will usually a book that thick won't even take me something like a year to read.
Jose Silerio 8:15
You're really lazy, you're really lazy writer reader.
Save the cat, a Kenyatta Indeed, I sat down open page one couldn't put it down it just like he said it was a very easily but more than being an easily. I think it just it says, you know, you get it, right. The way you get the bag is talking about it, what the thing, the nice thing about it really, so sort of, for me, this is my reaction. It was very encouraging. It is really telling me that, you know, this is something that I can do and a lot of the things that I found myself like, Oh, no, as a screenwriter, like, I'm getting stuck here, you know, he was kind of explaining it and telling me you know, this is all you have to do. And that's how I got into save the cat, you know, read the book, you know, he had this email address there, which everybody knows have read the book. I wrote him, can you just ask him about other stuff and all that and then one day, he can tell immediately, not one day, but immediately he's going to ask me saying, hey, I need to help you with a script that we need to read. And if you can give me notes, you know, maybe we can build something together. And luckily,
you were at the right place at the right time. Exactly.
You know, the stars aligned for me kinda you know, so that's how I got into say the gap and it was like, way back in 2006 2007.
Alex Ferrari 9:24
Can't believe that's way back. Yeah.
Jose Silerio 9:28
10 years now.
Wow. So So can you explain to everybody what a beat sheet is? Because I remember the first time I was in an executive meeting, and someone goes so where's your beat sheet and I'm like, so you see the character does this. This is very similar to what Blake did. I'm like I just tried to keep going with it. But then afterwards, I found out what a beat sheet was. So can you explain to everybody what a beat sheet
is? Well, a BGA especially you know, we'd save the cat and a lot of, you know, a lot of other I guess, teachers producers, so every everybody has their own kind of definition for the beat sheets. Okay, so I'm gonna go with the save the cat definition, it's really as Blackboard you know, the beat sheet really has an end for us we have what we call the 15 beats, the 15 key beats and this what it does is the 15 beats of the beat sheet the same that the Blake Snyder beat sheet it just really pinpoints the 15 key beats that your hero must go through in order to tell a good story. These are moments that must be happening to your hero, right and your hero must be doing as well in order for us to be able to follow that structure that story in a way that's very familiar for for for for the audience. And again when I say familiar I'm not saying you know, you're just merely copying from other movies, other scripts or other books that you've read before. But you know, story structure is something that's been ingrained in all of us ever since you know from Nursery Rhymes like jokes there's always a structure and and that beats you know, those 15 beats is something that Blake sort of not only develop, but he even says this isn't all discovered but even not discovered but he just kind of made it clear for everybody gotcha gotcha. And he said and he having studied all these films that he felt like you know what really successful film really like he said you know, I this he discovered there were just 15 beats that were always present. And that's what you know, I guess a beat sheet is you know, you have this this 15 beats that go from in save the cat, terminologies go from opening image, all the way down to 15. The final image that, like I said earlier that we that your hero must go through So in short, I guess it's really like an outline, or, but really, it's a good way to really help you as a writer, figure out what's happening, and more importantly, when it should be happening to your hero,
right? It's kind of well, what I've taken from structure is because when I write I my structures pretty sound because I like structure I like having that those tent poles to be able to like write to so it's like okay, from here to this point to this point. This has to happen so how I get to point A to point B is up to me as the writer but I have a place to go without that structure you're just kind of like meandering all over the place.
Alex Ferrari 12:24
Exactly. I think it's what you said you know, the nice permit to use was temple which is exactly what Blake also mentioned that I think a lot of times and I say this all the time like when I went to film school way back when you know the writing screenwriting classes one to one The thing that really always got was okay there's act one act two and yeah right and they're like oh, that's very vague. You fill it in and that's what you know the the save the cat beat sheet of Blake the assessor at least in Act One you know what should be happening act one because right away you know which beats must be happening within the PAP and where again it's happening then same thing when you go to act two and act three
Jose Silerio 13:03
Yeah, it's it's pretty amazing there's a series on YouTube that has a they take the save the cat method and they beat it out with movies. It's wonderful to watch because you're like Back to the Future Ed, you know Terminator Titanic and you just start watching them and they literally are beating it out. So they're like here's this Pete This is when this happens in the movie this is when his happens in the movie and you just sit there and you use examples of it Can you give us a few examples of films that use save the cat very very well? hours the hours of the minute but just a couple of the big ones
Alex Ferrari 13:36
Yeah, even that big one guy like you know some of the Oscar winners like King's speech. Argo mean very clear and strong beats an Oscar nominated one which I really liked from two years ago was whiplash briefing again all the beats were there but the nice thing about you know this movies where you can see is that you know you can go there and I'm probably biased already by this night at this point right and done this for 10 years but right now I'm watching there and But still, right I try to avoid saying oh, there's the catalyst. Oh, there's the midpoint. Oh, it's
Jose Silerio 14:10
rough you know it's in Look, I'll tell you I've been in visual effects and post production for a long time. And you know, it's tough for me to go to a movie sometimes it's tough for me to kind of just let go and I just recently let go when I saw Star Wars so I completely was not looking at anything technical. I was just on the ride and it's for film to do that to you know, people like us that are really into it. It's at me that's a really good sign of the filmmaker who's been able to cut through all of our all of our armor, if you will, of biases like oh, that green screen didn't really look that great. Oh, oh, that story point. That's the catalyst. Oh, that's the turning point. And I catch myself doing that all the time now with with lesser movies, but like you
said, you know, the well made ones really are those where you forget what's there, but you don't see it.
Exactly oh you look back you go back to it later and watch it a second time and then you'll analyze it maybe in the second or third screening of it but the first time you just enjoy it and you know it's coming but you just kind of you're in the story as you should be.
exactly exactly and you know those are you know that they did their job well you know and like I said you know when we go back then we start realizing oh that's why you know we like this part because yes it was building up to the midpoint it's going down to the last and and all that
now did you have you seen new Star Wars? I have and how how's it how's it How's it hanging in this in the saving the cat paradise
Alex Ferrari 15:36
thanks very well in terms of the beat sheet itself of having the beats there in the way they introduce the characters of the setup you know, the setup,
no spoilers, no spoilers.
Yeah. Very careful. You know, even you know, the big moment the big all is lost moment. I think, you know, even though I'm not gonna say it out loud. I think I know you would definitely you know what I'm talking horse? Of course, of course. Right. So, you know, even though we don't specifics, we know that that beat was there. Till your third act, right, you know, what, the third app? Yes. And it did the beats are still there. So yeah, I think I would love to say that, you know, yeah, of course, JJ Abrams, and never wrote read save the cat before. Yeah, of course, I think. But, you know, I think great filmmakers, great writers, they just know, you know,
well, the thing is, if you look at all the big movies, the most successful movies, whether they be blockbusters or Oscar winners, generally they all follow the beat, they all follow the the structure, whether whether and I think what Blake did so well with save the cat is that screenwriting is a complex scenario, it's not an easy way to write, it's much easier to write in many ways a modern novel because you can Miranda and you can kind of just delve into the deepness of how the the tree looks today and you can't do that in the screenplay has to be very condensed has to be very concise every word is has to have a meaning and move the story forward. And I think what Blake did so brilliantly is that he brought it down to the masses where a lot of that kind of terminology was more upper tier if you will like at the you know at a at a film school or at the higher end like UCLA, you know, screenwriting programmer, these kind of really epic big huge institutions that were kind of like guarding the information and Blake kind of took that information and said now you all may have it and now here here now go and rights be well
Jose Silerio 17:36
I agree with you on that yeah there's definitely you know if you kind of go the the Joseph Campbell route of course which is very again there's nothing wrong but it's a great system as well but like you said, you know, when when Blake would save the cat he kind of brought it down to the masses those who weren't kind of more into mythological stuff but just wanted to set up this goes straight into well
Alex Ferrari 17:55
I mean the right idea what the writers journey was or what the hero's journey is it works well obviously with save the cat it's it's it's there but it's it's different it's a little bit not as simple like save the cat is as simple as you can get like if you're a screenwriter starting out, read save the cat then go off and read everything else but save the cat is a great base to start from because and that's again one of the reasons I wanted you guys on the show because the book was so influential, and then you can go off and read a million 1000 books. There's a nice
Jose Silerio 18:31
thing about that though, is that you know, Blake really started in roadsafe The gap is for writers really more than anybody for writers to help them move forward with their own writing and they feel like they're stuck and kind of go but it's also a great way to analyze movies oh god yes and figure out you know why they're working
Alex Ferrari 18:49
that's why he wrote that second book right the the exact the cat goes to the movies right? Exactly. Which was great. It was a wonderful example to kind of go in he's just started breaking down the movies. And you just like oh my god, I remember the first time I discussed with the first book I ever read was Sid fields. That was when I wasn't now I'm going way back this is like the 90s so and when I discovered that there was a structure because he was the first one I ever heard any kind of structure. Yeah, and I was like wait a minute, at 15 minutes this happens and I can't stand that I just started going back to all my movies. I'm like, oh my god this and I thought I'd cracked the code. It's like it was like it was so revolutionary to me. For someone who doesn't understand it doesn't know about it. It's so great. But again, let's say the cat does so well is it simplifies it so beautifully. And it's I don't want to say it's like right by numbers because there's a lot of creativity involved. But it gives you those 10 poles that you can just make it's a lot easier. You don't have to think about structure. You can you could just decorate the house, you'd have to worry about the foundation.
Jose Silerio 19:50
Exactly. I think that's the best way to put it. Because there is always an eight always stuff about it. But the serious you know there are always those the detractors who come to say disappointed by them. First thing and I think it when people say that they're not getting the whole picture because we're just talking about structure, you know, your your character traits,
Alex Ferrari 20:10
they're not a log everything exactly, it's
Jose Silerio 20:13
on the writer right and that's for you to make your characters unique and once you add that then it becomes a totally different story but you have the structure there already.
Alex Ferrari 20:22
Yeah, absolutely. It's like I said before, it's like literally you could you could have a house with a complete foundation and structure done. Now how that's decorated, it could be be accurate in a million different ways. It's all depending on how the writer wants to, to go forward. So a lot of screenwriters to always hear about coverage like oh, well can I get coverage and I got bad coverage, I got good coverage and your script needs coverage from a studio or production company. Can you explain a little bit about coverage to those who don't know in the audience? Well, I
Jose Silerio 20:51
think like you said, you know, coverage really is more of like, you know, you have the reader obviously, you have the higher ups who can't read all the scripts that go through their studios, so they need the cliff notes version scripts that come in, and I think that's that, to me, that's kind of what coverages you have the readers who who read it, and they put their notes down on the script that they read, kind of go into structure characters dialogue, you know, giving it it's sort of last and you know, different students have different styles, different methods, but it can be they have kind of a point system and they point they graded graded accordingly. And that's you know, I think that's the simple way of just describing what coverage is that now that piece of paper and hopefully, for most it's a one pager right? That goes not to the next Junior executive
Alex Ferrari 21:43
if it passes if it passes because they might they might have
Jose Silerio 21:46
exactly right it passes and goes to them they read the script and they they do their own version of the next higher up coverage it goes to the next higher up guy so that's you know, I think that's a simple like I said a simple version of explaining with Cobra GS it's really a cover letter you know for for for the script. Can you just telling us what the script is we're telling the the executive what what this group is all about and what what in what and how it meets certain criteria for them
Alex Ferrari 22:12
Now the thing is that as a as a screenwriter and I've gone through the coverage processes in the studio system it's very frustrating because sometimes you might not get the reader that you that's really gets it and a lot of people have passed on Oscar winners, you know in coverage and it happens and that's very frustrating a lot of times because you're like oh my god i like i forgot there's some legendary ones. I just don't remember any of them off the top of my head but that guy passes at certain studios will Star Wars was passed everywhere. I mean, just the original Star Wars was like what Yeah, you know,
Jose Silerio 22:46
that's very true. Yeah. Bigger producers going to like I don't think you know, they don't didn't get it.
Alex Ferrari 22:52
They don't they don't get it. So in the script was like, Oh, what's this? What's this? This giant monkey? Who's walking around with this guy? And he's his sister. What? No, forget there's incest involved. This is horrible. So yeah. So it has to do like
Jose Silerio 23:08
you said, you know, if there is it's sort involved in it, that your script gets to the right person at the right time. Yeah. So that they, you know, they that to ever the reader is that they're reading it in the right frame of mind in order to get it and be in, hopefully be objective enough. While while reading it.
Alex Ferrari 23:30
I think also one thing that I've learned in my my journeys and from talking to so many different screenwriters is and recover and producers and executives is that at a certain point, you have to even if they might pass on it, you have to write something so good, that even though you know i don't get it, but man, this is really well written. And there's a lot of that, like, this is not going to be made into movie, but you're a good writer. And I think that's what writers should do as best they can try to make the best thing as Steve Martin says, be so good that they can't ignore you.
Jose Silerio 24:03
Yeah, and I completely agree with that. And and, you know, this is what I always tell writers, especially those who say, okay, what's the secret to sort of breaking in? And I think the release isn't the secret. The secret is you come up with a really great script.
Alex Ferrari 24:17
script, oddly enough.
Jose Silerio 24:19
Yeah. And because it's then I truly believe this because I've heard it from a lot of executives from producers themselves. And they say, you know, the industry really is, you know, they're one thing for the great, the next great script, right? So the moment you have a great script that goes out, you know, it's going to, it's going to catch fire. It's going to spread on its own. It's because of you know what, once somebody says, there's a great script out there, everybody starts looking for it. And I think that's really sort of the secret to this breaking in but you have to do again, your homework, you have to show them like you were saying earlier, right? But as a writer, you have to show this people the readers or producers, that they know how to write the story. Know what it takes to be able to be to be a good storyteller?
Alex Ferrari 25:03
Yeah, I know a lot of writers who put in a script and they said, this is not going to work for us. But I want to hire you for another job because you can write. Yeah, and that happens all the time. And I know a lot of screenwriters who make a living, never being produced. Yeah, they just keep optioning or they're working or their script doctoring. And they've never had a single credit to their name. Yeah, but they've made millions doing this and behind the scenes, there's many guys who do this in Hollywood
Jose Silerio 25:32
and there's even a lot of those who not just option out you know, their scripts even though the script the single made what they get hired to rewrite again, you know, other scripts, again without being credited for it. You know, that's, that's a great job to have
Alex Ferrari 25:48
it to certain I guess, after you've made your first two or 3 million doing that, at a certain point, you just want to go you know, I wouldn't mind getting something made. Yeah, you know, but I wish I had these problems. I don't know about you, but I wish I had that like you know, I've already made my 3 million this year. So I really would you know,
Jose Silerio 26:08
they're not gonna just play around they may just play around you know, let's just follow the passion project and
Alex Ferrari 26:13
finally violin make that passion project I've been watching about that one legged hooker. And in, in, in New York, the Puerto Rican hooker who really wants to dance, but she only has one leg. It's a Sunday. It's winter. I
Jose Silerio 26:24
can tell you she has a heart of gold
Alex Ferrari 26:27
as Yes, yes. I tell you every time I hear I always tell people that that story that like Echo, you want to get into Sundance, make a movie about a handicapped one legged Puerto Rican hooker with a heart of gold who really wants to dance but is beaten by her father, her drunken Father, you know, who also happens to be a transgender I'm just saying that alone would win Sundance every year guaranteed. And, but you have to follow the 15 beats If not, it doesn't work.
Jose Silerio 27:00
doesn't work at all.
Alex Ferrari 27:03
So um, a lot of also with screenwriters, a lot of emphasis is put on the logline. And I know you guys talk a lot about loglines. Can you give a little bit of advice on how to construct a really great logline and explain what a logline is to people who don't know?
Jose Silerio 27:17
Well I think there's a lot going to be I'll be honest, a lot of FM is always the trickiest thing to write through. And I and I always tell this the writer so I, you know, Blake talks about it in the book in the save the cat that his process was, you know, you write the logline, one of the first things he did was write the logline right before beating it out. And and that's great, because it gives you a good idea of what your story is. But that particular login that you write, the first log line you write is most probably also not going to be the same log line, the same story, you know, that eventually what the script will be, right? Because it as you start to write in writing, things will start changing, you start discovering more about you know, your characters and stores will change. So there is a log line that I think it's great to have early on to keep sort of on track as to what your story what do you think your story is, or what you envision it to be, and, but there is also the log line at the very end that really captures the real story. And you have to know the difference in US writers, but permit us of what what regardless of which particular logline you're writing on the early on or the one that you really want to stand out ready the things that they look for are always going to be which you know, in this basic screenwriting one to one but they call them the big three, which is you know, it has to be able to clearly convey historic belongs to which is the hero number one, you know what the hero wants, meaning the goal and what's stopping the hero from getting the wand you know, what, what's the problem. So the hero the goal, and the problem for me are the big three. And I think that has to be very, very clear in a logline to make it really compelling and this isn't, you know, if this is like a one or two out of three, you have to make sure it's a three out of three thing. If not you have no story. And if that's not there in the logline, then your logline won't have a story. So it's very important to able to make sure that all the three elements have it in in in your logline that you have it in your logline. Another thing that I that I like which Blakely pointed out in the book is having a sense of irony in in the logline. And you know in in that what that really means is that I think what you want to show is that why is this hero, right? The person to go on this journey. So you'll want to be able to build up even in your logline. Right? That why this particular hero is going to be the hero. Why is he going to why is this journey going to be the hardest thing that this year is going to be? So it's really building that up because what you're really telling us is that of all the people that I this is not the right person to do it right? This is not the right person to go on this journey but that's what makes it compelling diehard Dyer exactly right? Yeah. If you end up always having you know, Mr. Universe go up against you know, the big evil you know this right but you know
Alex Ferrari 30:20
that's good that's commando that's coming
Jose Silerio 30:24
Steven Seagal is gonna be the end of the day
Alex Ferrari 30:28
right? I just there's no real there's never a chance like you know maybe Stephen might not want no he's gonna
Jose Silerio 30:35
write me no no then but that's that that works for who he is right and the the characters that the theater plays but again for the rest of you who are not writing, you know action type movies or commando type movies, right you have to find a way to tell us to make sure that you know just by reading the logline, a one sentence, you know, line that we understand we make we understand what the story is. But more importantly is that it's a very compelling story. And again, by doing that it's again giving us a sense of irony in the sense that it's you know, you're you're introducing us to a character who is not supposed to be going on this journey. Right.
Alex Ferrari 31:15
Go ahead. Sorry, go ahead. No, no, you brought up a really good point I wanted to kind of focus on real quick that the irony of a character that he's not supposed to he she's not supposed to be the one on the journey. Ripley from aliens comes to mind, you know, Sarah Connor, Senator Sarah Connor from Terminator. diehard john McClane, the lethal weapon boys like there's no reason for them to, you know, work. And they do what? Star Wars right? And Star Wars The young farm boy who's going up against the Empire?
Jose Silerio 31:49
Exactly. That's that's what think speech robot? Yes. The Word became just starters. Right? Right.
Alex Ferrari 31:57
Exactly. Like he has no real like, and that's and it's something as simple as that. Like, it's not a big huge action thing. It's about a guy who stutters who cast the not stutter, and he has to inspire a nation. Like that's, that's a simple concept. It's not it's not brain surgery. But then I started when you brought that up, I started going I just went back through my mental Rolodex of movies. And I'm like, you know a lot of those 80s action movies like commando like every john Claude Van Damme movie like every Steven Seagal movie and bad action movies. There isn't that a bad action movie? And don't get me i'd love all those movies because you know, I was young when I saw them and I love them. And there's character and charismatic things about Arnold and about you know, Sylvester Stallone and all those things in those certain kind of movies. But the movies that really stand the test of time like you could I just watch Die Hard again, because it's my Christmas movie I always watched because I don't care what anyone says. It's the best Christmas movie of all time. I don't I don't care what anyone says. Oh, yes. has no if you don't see Hans Gruber falling out of a falling out of a window at the end of the day. It's not really Christmas for me. So that's just me. Whoa, whoa, whoa. So um, but I just literally saw it like a few weeks ago. And I was like, I can't believe how wonderful and how brilliantly it's done. And it literally that movie alone spawned hundreds of ripoffs like Die Hard in a boat, Die Hard in the train, Die Hard in the plane, that all this kind of stuff. It was such a brilliant and Pinnacle movie, but it's that what you were talking about. It's the ironic irony of that character who has no business doing that predator is another one. Like, even though Arnold and this entire team are big muscle bound, but they're up against something that's they have no business. They can't be. And that's what makes a good, really, really good compelling story. And I think that's where a lot of writers especially have bad action movies. Really could learn something from please, please
Jose Silerio 33:56
I think that's a die hard is a great example because, you know, in the 80s you know, we were used to seeing all the Schwarzenegger movie right? They know the Rambo Stallone movies. They're all like this muscle Bodley, you know, and suddenly we interview we'll get introduced to john McClane. It's not really the tone of it.
Alex Ferrari 34:16
No, he's a normal dude. He's dude, he's in his locker,
Jose Silerio 34:20
and he's about to get a divorce. Right? by the state together.
Alex Ferrari 34:25
He's a New Yorker in LA, which Trust me, I understand.
Jose Silerio 34:29
I think you know, it's significant. He's totally different guy who gets thrown into, you know, in a bigger than life scenario.
Alex Ferrari 34:40
Yeah, absolutely. And then the brilliance of the you know, the barefoot and the bleeding and I it's like, it's just so brilliantly crafted. I don't know I forgot the name of the screenwriter of that one. But it's so brilliantly crafted, so brilliantly directed, and it holds, even though it's 80s. And you can you know, It's so fun to watch because of you know, all the ad stuff in it. But it's so Britt Robocop another one of those absolutely brilliant, like, there's no reason for that hero to be able to do what he does, and go through what he's going through. So that's a great I've never heard anyone say that. But the irony of the character, or the hero is something that should be very important in your writing process.
Jose Silerio 35:24
I think so because again, it's, there's not that sense of irony, meaning that your hero is not the right person, or shouldn't be the person to be going against this problem or having this goal, right. So right there, you'll find out easily that you'll end the write up stop writing by page 30. Because you're unable to generate more conflict for your hero, right? You lose right with a sense of tension. Because your hero you haven't as we like to sing, save the cat, you haven't taken your hero as far back as possible. Right? So if they're already a great superhero in the first app, right, then again, whatever you throw out in front of them the second that is something that they can easily overcome. And once that happens, you know your story ends at page 30
Alex Ferrari 36:09
that's I think one of the main problems with most Superman movies or even telling the Superman story it's so difficult to create conflict for a god and it's except for the very first one that Richard Donner did and he did it so magically it's like every and we've all been everyone's been trying to get back to that but it's tough to create conflict like the Batman that's why Batman works better than Superman because Batman is a dude who Yeah, he's a billionaire and he has stuff but he can get hurt he can get blood he can get his back broken he can do all this stuff
Jose Silerio 36:43
and his backstory is so much more complex he was orphaned his parents were killed he saw them get killed
Alex Ferrari 36:50
you know it's so much so much Meteor.
Jose Silerio 36:53
Exactly you know it's not just a physical story but really more of the emotional story is what's what's pulls us in
Alex Ferrari 36:59
so I'm really curious to see how this Batman vs Superman yeah fiasco I think it's going to be a fiasco that's just me but I just my personal opinion I looked at the trailer the other day I'm now we're going off topic here. But I saw the trailer the other day and I was just like wow, I don't know if this is gonna work I hope it does. I'm a fan but you know, but then I saw Captain I saw that Captain America Civil War I'm like, this is brilliant. You've got to like look at the conflict in that it's like that. It's the ultimate conflict of friends that we've grown up with if your people seen through these movies, and now they're fighting for ideologies, it's just like, brilliant. Brilliant. I'm sorry, I've gone off on a tangent on superhero movies. I apologize. So um, so what are some of the biggest mistakes you see with screenwriter screenplays? When you read them from like first time writers or just screenplays in general?
Jose Silerio 37:56
I think especially especially you know for us and I would say that we get a lot of for the first time screenwriters even though when they say first time you know it's those within several months haven't really sold anything yet. And one thing I've noticed of play is that a lot of screenwriters tend to write off write a character that's based off another character that they saw in a movie
Alex Ferrari 38:22
really you see are you still seeing a lot of
Jose Silerio 38:24
that Yeah, it is. And it's like we're talking about Die Hard right right. Oh God I die hard in the plane I heard in the train here I didn't know she had sudden
Alex Ferrari 38:33
Sudden Impact Don't forget that one john climb on top of a die hard in a ice rink
Jose Silerio 38:38
so there's a lot of builders I think a lot of people kind of do that still you know I want to make the next taken I want to make
Alex Ferrari 38:45
no there's a there was a after taking came out there I must have been 1000 taken scripts make made
Jose Silerio 38:51
Yeah, right. Or after bridesmaids came up I want to make the next bridesmaid or the hangover right after having overcome I want to make the next time over. So the writing characters writing stories based off other characters have been seen already or that they simply know from watching right from from the film, it's not characters that they really know, in real life. Right? And I think that that's one miss the one big mistake. screenwriters new especially the newer ones do nowadays is that, you know, they start writing off, you know, characters at Oh, this is what john McClane would do. But again, you're not writing john McClane anymore and you have to find you know, in your own writing again, we mentioned this earlier, um, coming up with your own voice what we know what makes you unique as a writer, you have to be able to find you know, that the what makes your characters unique as well. And that's really by you know, right you writing characters based off people you know in real life. Right? You know, that crazy art but you have you know, or you know, absolutely the body, you have from high schools now Your mother is really successful, but in a bad marriage, but there are a lot of things that you can pull out for your people who surround this baby. Right? And I think, you know, that makes it more interesting because now we start seeing people who we know you know can be a little bit more complex who may not necessarily go left when we think everybody's going left you know, what, what makes them different. And I think that's something that newer writers need to learn more how to build better characters.
Alex Ferrari 40:30
I think also what you're saying is advice for every aspect of filmmaking in the sense of Be yourself and stop trying to be someone else whether that be a writer whether that be a director, like I'm gonna be the next Quinn Tarantino I'm like, No, you're not. You can't be because there's only one Quentin Tarantino there's only one Scorsese there's only one Shane Black. Yeah, no, there's don't I mean, I mean, how many people try to rip off Shane Black? After lethal weapon. And after, like, everyone tried to write like, Shane? Yeah, when he was making dough, in the olden days, when everyone was making $2 million, a spec script, you know, sales that don't happen nowadays. But if you just true Be true to them, because if you notice, all of those guys, all of those guys are original. They're all they're all being themselves. Yeah.
Jose Silerio 41:18
They were in their original voice came out 1020 years ago. Right? It worked for them. So now it's time for the newer writers who want to break into to find what is your original voice for today's time?
Alex Ferrari 41:32
Right? Because things that worked 20 years ago will not work today. Yeah. And that's that's a huge and that's when screenwriting and filmmaking is a general statement. A lot of people keep going at it from that point of view of like, I'm going to do what Chamberlain like no, don't know. It's a different place different world today.
Jose Silerio 41:49
So I think if I may, yes, please have time. But another, I think, common mistake that writers have, your writers have an artist is a simply over writing. Especially when it comes to the description and the action part of any we're not, it may not necessarily be an action movie. But you know, when they start describing the action of government that's going on, you know, they describe it to a, you know, the most minute
Alex Ferrari 42:15
or they write it like a novelist like, or even
Jose Silerio 42:17
write it to describe a character, they over describe it. And I think what this does is, especially for me, as I'm reading it, it takes away a sense of creativity on my end, because now you're making me think very specifically, of an action of a person. And that in a way kind of takes away from the read. Because now My mind is again, and this is something readers I mean, I'm sorry, writers have to realize is that your first audience is not the person who buys that movie ticket. Your first audience is the reader, right? And you have to know that you know, they don't have the benefit of music, they don't have the benefit of actual faces of actors, then they can follow. So reading a page is a little bit harder, they have to work a little bit harder in order to follow the story. So don't overdo it. Right? But But prove by putting in too much detail by making it too, you know, too specific, that you know that your own that the reader themselves that aren't losing that, that ability to build the world on their own and get more into it. I think if as readers, if we're given that opportunity to build the world, a little bit on our own as well, following reading the story, then it becomes more interesting and becomes more exciting.
Alex Ferrari 43:33
You know, I was the other day, I was reading a script that was sent to me by a professional writer, like a real, you know, with credits with everything for a project. And when I read it, I had been reading so many bad scripts, that when I read this one, I was like, Oh, this is what a writer is like, it was so the structure was was spot on. Every word was like and I was analyzing it was I was reading it because I was just so taken by like, oh, okay, so he condensed everything right? He didn't overwrite everything. He left it open for your interpretation. But yeah, gave you just enough. If there's that fine balance when you're writing like that, and it was just so wonderful to watch to read. It was a joy to read as opposed to reading, you know, 98% of scripts. Yeah. Which is, which is rough.
Jose Silerio 44:27
Yeah, no, I I've had those moments. Right. From a professional. Right, right. And it's like, before, you know what you read in page 90.
Alex Ferrari 44:37
Right? Exactly. And you're a slow reader.
Jose Silerio 44:42
Until I know, this is a good one.
Alex Ferrari 44:44
This is a good and I think that's also advice for readers like people who are trying to get readers to get coverage and stuff like that they will notice because they've read so much crap all the time that when something of quality walks through the door, whether they like the matter The subject matter or not, they'll recognize talent in the writing. And it's in a come in in a blares out it like that just it screams at you. Because, you know, it's not like you're in a bunch of William Goldman's scripts. And Shane Black scripts and Tarantino scripts are all tossed in, you're like, oh, who's really good? No, it's like a bunch of crap. And then you get that one piece of gold that comes in every once in a while. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. So, so I was fascinated when I was doing a little research for this interview, I found out that save the cat has some software. Yes. Can you talk a little bit about that? Because I was kind of exciting. Yeah, we
Jose Silerio 45:46
actually do have a software and the nice thing about the software, it really follows the save the cat method.
Alex Ferrari 45:51
Jose Silerio 45:52
I said, too late out, I guess what I should have said, laid out in the book in the first book today Blake kind of goes through it step by step, right? So So even in the software, it kind of forces you if they may use that word, it kind of forces you first to come up with, you know, what's the genre that you want to pick for this story, you know, then it tells you to do the logline. Right. And then but you're not able to jump right away into the beat sheet, or the board, you know, unless you go through it step by step first. And but the nice thing about it is that if you do follow the steps coming up with logline, then only with a logline, you'll be able to go into the beat sheet. Once you have your beat sheet, that's only when you're able to go into the board, you know. So it has all the elements of what makes the same the cap method. And what they said it kind of forces you to go through it step by step. I think that's the nice thing about it, because it really helps you think and not just, I know there's arthritis, we're always eager to jump the page one and fade in, right. But it but that can also always get us into trouble right away, there is you know, you take the time, the first thing about the idea first, the premise and the stories are fleeting thoughts that will be the outlines and building structure before you actually go to page one. And that's that that's that's what I think this software is good at. It helps you sort of focus little by little step by step, that when by the time you do get to page one fade in, you know you've done the hard work already, right? Like I said, it follows all the rules of save the cat, it takes you to the beat sheet, it takes you to the board, the 40 cards board and you can see it all laid out in front of you in your screen
Alex Ferrari 47:35
now Can you can you explain I was gonna ask Can you explain what the board is? Because a lot of people might not know what the board is. I love using the board when I when I write it's so helpful. So can you explain it because there's the software version, then you're obviously taking it from a real life version, like actual board and stuff. So can you explain what that is?
Jose Silerio 47:52
Yeah, and it's same thing, you know, when when, first my introduction to the board also came from Blake, and how we how we explain it is that, you know, he walked into a producer's room. And oddly enough, same thing happened to me a few years after he told me about it was the end he sees, you know, it's corkboard in front of him where your little index cards laid out. And what the test is, you know, it saved the cat, how we have it is that you have a big letters, cork board, or whiteboard, or whatever it is you're writing, you break that board into four rows, each row representing an app, well, but you're gonna say okay, but there's four rows. So why 4x? Well, it's x 1x, two, a x to be an x three. And in each row, you have, we have 10 cards, and each card really is a scene or a sequence. Not meaning that again, it's always you can start what's you're doing really here now with the board, surely, you are writing, right, and you're working on scenes already, you're doing scene structure work already here. And it allows you to sort of the follow your hero, in terms of its plot in terms of its emotional story. Throughout, you know, you're able to lay out scenes and see if it's working in Act One, or in Act Two, you know, if it's not, you can move them around. But the nice thing about it is that again, you're able just in a very visual, immediate sense. Just by looking at the board, you're able to look at it right away and see how the story is playing out. You can see where the characters are moving forward. You know, you can even I think one thing I always emphasize with writers, so when they do the boards, make sure you're also able to follow the emotional story in the board. You know, one thing we like talking about in save the cat is having the base story. And what the beast story is, is for those who are familiar with it, what it represents, it's really just the theme of the story. Right? So what what they don't do
Alex Ferrari 49:52
is that it's at that subplot or is that the B is that is a subplot or is that
Jose Silerio 49:56
a subplot? It's the emotional story got it. That the Yeah that you that you're stoked that you're here almost go so
Alex Ferrari 50:02
then tight. So what's the emotional story of Titanic just so people have a reference?
Jose Silerio 50:06
Well, let's say for rose, right? The physical story is, I'm going to get married to what's his name? Billy Zane. Right, Billy is the emotional story for her is that she has to be able to tell her mom, I'm not gonna do what you're telling me anymore. And she wants to be my own person. Right? Right. And that's what jack? What's his name? Leonardo. The capital teaches her
Alex Ferrari 50:27
because she's she's, she is the character she is the main character.
Jose Silerio 50:31
I agree with you. He is the main character. And that's what it likes it Leo does for he's the one who forces her to learn the lesson to learn the theme of the story in order to be her own person.
Alex Ferrari 50:42
So in other words, it's not a subplot. But like exactly like the outside the the obvious thing is like, I'm gonna marry this guy, and I'm going on this boat. Yeah, what the emotion about what the intention of her character is this, what she's going after, this is the the inner struggle or the inner journey, the inner journey,
Jose Silerio 51:02
it's the inner journey, it's the internal story, got it. with Luke Skywalker, the external was picked on the Death Star, right, the internal, so he needs to learn to be a Jedi to believe and to trust to trust, and even. So that's what you know. So going back now to the board when it does right there. So you can mark this cards, you know, whether you use color, or whatever it is, it's the market, you know, let's say blue is going to be external story. Red is going to be internal story. It's a simple that that you can put on each card, and then you can see where you're playing out the emotional story as well. So I think the board is, like I said, hopefully I'm explaining it well enough. Now, yeah, that you're able to see right away just by standing in front of it. You know, what you have, where the story's going, where your hero is going, you know, how you're playing out the physical and the emotional story throughout. But it's also you know, it's same see if you do it now, meaning, you know, if you do get the board right away before you start writing pages, if you see like a certain sequence is not working, like in the middle of second app, then you can either take it out, put it away for another day, or maybe you say after, you know, this sequence might work better in Act One. But you can do it right away. You're supposed to doing it later, or after six months or nine months of having written a first draft, but instead to say, wait a minute, page 50 to 55 wasn't working. But you know, I should have known that nine months ago. Right? Right, and save myself the time. Right? So that's the beauty of what the board
Alex Ferrari 52:34
is now this in the software, do you have that option for the dots? Yes, you do. Oh, great.
Jose Silerio 52:41
You know, again, get the all of that we won't have time, but there are little places where you can assign color to it. Perfect. Sounds wonderful. And it's just a simple thing, but even assigning color to characters. I think it's a wonderful little trick. You know, if, let's say green is going to be my villain. But if you're looking at your board, and your entire second row has no green in it, then you know you're in trouble. Because you don't have a villain in it. And the villain is the source of conflict.
Alex Ferrari 53:08
That would be that would be the first Twilight movie. The worst films I've ever seen. I don't care what anyone says. Who's horrendous. The villain shows up 20 minutes. I don't care spoiling it. 20 minutes at the end. I'm like, Are you kidding me? Are you kidding? The first hour and 20 minutes just have them pining for each other. It washorrendous. horrendous
Jose Silerio 53:32
There you go. See if they had the board.
Alex Ferrari 53:34
They had what? Like look, they made a couple bucks on that. So what do we know? But they but it's not definitely not being studied by screenwriters. For their for their structure, a story narrative character or directing. But I'm sorry again, I apologize. I just couldn't like when you said that. I'm like yes, no villain. I that's the first movie that came to them. Like, because look what happens in Star Wars first, like three, four minutes of the movie? Yeah, the best the best opening of a villain arguably ever and everybody and that was a wonderful thing about that film is that I've read I've listened to I've probably seen every interview with George Lucas ever about that movie about Star Wars and he said that no matter where you were in the world, even if you had no idea who Darth Vader was you knew and you didn't speak English Yeah, you knew that was the bad guy. Yeah that was that's the brilliance and universal appeal of of those movies is like you knew and it did that thing with Kylo Ren as well that and the way they've designed his mask and it was all very strategic to portray a villain instantly. Yeah, it's
Jose Silerio 54:47
another great example if I made is you know which which again was one of my favorites was whiplash which I mentioned. Cyber the way they introduced the first two minutes. For me, it just Just as good as introducing Darth Vader
Alex Ferrari 55:02
I mean I'll tell you what when I watched that movie it was it was hard to watch that's a movie that's hard to watch a little bit because he's so brilliant at being just just horrible human. Yeah, exactly he's so brilliant at it that it just I felt like I'm like just leave man just it's not worth it man just go don't play the damn drums anymore Just go
Jose Silerio 55:28
get rewatch but we know you're gonna want to walk away
Alex Ferrari 55:31
but you know what's brilliant is and he deserved the Oscar without question because he carries that movie does the whole movie is him as I may know he's not the main character but he is so overpowering as the actor and the character is so overpowering. That without him there's so much he's he's the Empire. He is here and this poor kid is Luke and it's like, but that's if Darth Vader was yelling at Luke throwing symbols at its
Jose Silerio 56:01
chair with the force
Alex Ferrari 56:02
yes just throwing the force like come on Luke three beats three beats with the lightsaber Come on. Now and you also have an app right to save the cat app is that different than the software?
Jose Silerio 56:18
No, it's it's it's it's it's the same but and again, like you said it's an app it's for your laptop, it's for your iPhone, or your iPad or Android. I'm have to be clear and I'm not sure about that. But I know you can work on your iPhone but it helps you go through the same thing it's sort of like a miniature version of what you can get on your laptop or your computer got it but it's the same thing it helps you go through again your logline and then the beats and then you can even do the cards here but each card will be like one because it is just an iPhone
Alex Ferrari 56:53
like wild card it doesn't give
Jose Silerio 56:54
you the slot you can play around it you can you can get what's the word play between the app and the software I think you can link it if I if I have that right okay so what you have in there in your app we can go from the cloud and you know write about in your in your in your computer
Alex Ferrari 57:11
and if you're at Starbucks writing your your script and you have an idea real quick and you don't have your laptop yeah pop it into your iPad or iPhone because I was I was talking to another Screenwriter The other day is like people here in LA if people outside of La don't understand that if you walk into a Starbucks there's at least two people writing a screenplay at Starbucks in Los Angeles at any time of the day Yeah,
Jose Silerio 57:33
Alex Ferrari 57:34
Exactly never fails never never fails so I'm I'm now comes to the part of the show that is the toughest questions I ask all my all my guests so are you are you ready
Jose Silerio 57:44
sir? All right, I hope so. Okay,
Alex Ferrari 57:47
and what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether that be in the film business or in life in general
Jose Silerio 57:53
Ah, you know what? This for me it's it's the discipline of writing this for me personally I think it's something also the you know a lot of writers struggle with it is especially those who want to make writing their career job
Alex Ferrari 58:11
it's time that white page that white page is a mountain
Jose Silerio 58:13
yeah and but it is really just simply finding the time day in and they are yeah to say I'm going to ride literatures for 10 minutes 30 minutes yep one are you are a page a day because it's so easy to get caught up with him especially except for those the newer ones especially those who have a day job it's it you can easily get caught up in other things and before you know it a week has passed you haven't written a single page before you know it's two months ready. Right? You haven't written 10 pages. So it is it's not necessarily a lesson right? But this being able to spring to discipline yourself and say that I will be writing today and again, for me it's you have to put a goal a daily goal that is that is attainable. for for for you. So you know, I know other writers who do like a page a day. I know who someone who does six pages a day we just stuff I tried doing six pages a day. It's it's sounds a lot easier than London. Yes. But once you do it, it's tough. But you have to find a system that works for you that makes it like I said, attainable each and every day. So whether you go by page count or by minute count, you have to do it and if it means having to wake up a little earlier or tell your kids at the end of the day you know story that is playing right now on its own Yes, exactly. Oh man that you have to you have to do it. And I think if anything, it's just that you have to keep writing if you want really be a good writer, and I tell this to all writers, you just have to write it's it's not just writing but also reading scripts. Not necessarily just watching movies, just watching movies is nice, but lead scripts Well, you know, and you have to find a way to put that into your schedule as well. Yeah, that's certainly the best lesson for for one, to become a not just a good writer but to be really a working writer.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:14
You know, the, if I if I may quote Woody Allen 90% of success is just showing up. Very true it's and it's true that consistency of showing up every day and doing the work even if it's five minutes, even if it's 10 minutes, but it's that everyday thing and that's what people get heart like if you can get into that routine of just doing it every day little by little and trust me I know that even even Academy Award winning writers have problems Yeah, writing it like they're just like, oh god, I gotta go and write you know, it's like it's it's writing is one of the most laborious processes on the planet and it's one of the most underappreciated parts of the industry without question because without a great script, there is no movies and it's it is rough so that's a great great piece of advice. Now what are your top three favorite films of all time?
Jose Silerio 1:01:07
Oh, man, that's I think this is even the tougher question Yes, yes, yes, this big three All right. One would be I think the safe answer, but I really loved it and it's one of those movies I keep watching over and over again. Is Shawshank Redemption of course.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:19
Of course it's one of my top three as well why Twilight obviously too but no no Shawshank knows second a close second was Twilight No. No Shawshank is it's it's amazing it's it's it's it's honestly To me it's as perfect of a movie as you can get it for me because it's my generations godfather
Jose Silerio 1:01:39
through Yeah, very very true. I think Same thing with me. You know, it's one of the reason why I love it so much is because it really it kind of breaks so many rules, but it all works. Yep. Right? It's all a cool story to read. Is it Andy's? Right? What? You're going to go there at the end of the movie, you're just like, Who cares?
Alex Ferrari 1:01:58
So I was gonna say like, whose story and like now you when he was asked me that my whose story is it? Is it it is? Is it rent? Yeah, I think it's, I think it's read maybe because he's the narrator.
Jose Silerio 1:02:10
Because he's the news. In terms of and again, for me, it's always like who had the biggest change? Right? And it's, and it's read. Yeah. You read his story, although you would think a lot of the action or out of the action being instigated was being instigated by by Andy.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:26
But Andy, but Andy didn't make that large of a change not not as big as he was just doing what he does. Yeah, exactly. But read from the moment you see and you actually see them in different temples of the movie when that whole interview with the with the board the parole board. Yeah, how he changes and you can literally I mean that he really lays it out for you Frank Darabont does, and it's absolutely brilliant. And another one of his movies Green Mile, I love Love, love, love green mo so go ahead sorry
Jose Silerio 1:02:57
about Shawshank again I think that's number one for me yeah um another one to I guess again there's no really order of course. One of the most perfect scripts I've read in the movie as well came out really really nicely. was a Little Miss Sunshine such a
Alex Ferrari 1:03:14
really good movie it's such a brilliant movie
Jose Silerio 1:03:16
I I tell you an evening I met Elvis oh right this when I read the script, I said it as as perfect as I could get reading a script. Yeah, it's, it's tight. It's a tight vibe. And you're following all these characters again, one of those that you know Michael Arndt did a great job is building all these characters. We get to know all the characters right there in the first 10 minutes. We're following all their stories in it's it's great. It's one of those again, it's my my way of engaging like it's a favorite of mine. If you know when you're just surfing the BVI. You happen to see it, then you stop. Yeah, absolutely. 50 pounds ready before, right? It's one of those Little Miss Sunshine. And then the other one, a smaller movie that I really, really, really loved as well. Was Billy Elliot.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:00
Oh, yeah, I love Billy Elliot. I remember Billy Elliot, that was a really sweet film.
Jose Silerio 1:04:04
Yeah. And I think that this I think maybe just happened to be fine with me when when I had my first child when they first came out. So the whole Father Son, thing was,
Alex Ferrari 1:04:12
you secretly want to dance I understand.
Jose Silerio 1:04:17
I love you know, how they played out in our kids journey of him simply wanting to dance played against the backdrop of what's happening in his dad's world, you know, with the coal miner striking and having a bigger theme out there, but yet their theme really was just the same. I think it just makes you laugh. It makes it cry. It's what the movie should be. That's a great that's a great list. Yeah, so that's kind of my top three I think. For now.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:46
For now. Yeah.
Jose Silerio 1:04:48
2016 Yes, Mr. Morrow, it may change. Of course, of course.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:52
Now, what's the most underrated film you've ever seen?
Jose Silerio 1:04:54
Ah, this is a tough one. I think a lot there. I always look for you know, good movies. Every year just like one small movie that comes out that for me to say I didn't even know that came out in the movie as in I watch it in DVD but I love that completely. Right and there's sort of like they have that in the field but although there are recognizable actors in nature, sure, right, I think, like, in 2013 there's like the way way back. We Oh, yeah, I like the way way back, which is great movie that Steve Carell Toni Collette, you know, great cast. There was, yes, in 2014. There's a smaller one. With the skeleton, the skeleton twins. This is Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. I haven't seen that one. It's again, it's a small movie, right? It's very indie ish. I just love how they built the characters and the relationship that they have. So you know, so it goes from me every year, I have kind of the one that they love that they felt like was real. And so 2015 was 2015 2015. For me. I was gonna say, but it's also actually looked at not being too happy to for 2014. Again, this, this is where I leave you. Okay. But you know, I think one big one that I thought was underrated or just I didn't even hear about it until somebody told me was moon. Everything moon.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:12
Oh, yeah, that's the one with some rock. Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Jose Silerio 1:06:16
I in terms of like, thriller, movies. is one of those episodes. Wow, this really grabbed me. It was like, What the hell is going on here? Really? Just nicely. Why don't you just read the following one character? Yeah, some Rachael Rockwell character, right? And then it's like, you're caught in it.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:35
You're in, you're in the web,
Jose Silerio 1:06:36
you can't get up in you know, like I said, I found out about it simply because somebody told me about it. And I said, Look, I had to watch it, then to not tell everybody. Have you seen movies?
Alex Ferrari 1:06:47
That's a brilliant. That's the brilliant thing about when you find a little gem like that, like, why hasn't someone else seen this? What's going on? Yeah. So where can people find more about you and more about save the cat?
Jose Silerio 1:07:00
Well save the cat. So website, savethecat.com or Blakesnyder.com. But it's the same, I think the easy one to remember, save the cat.com. And in there, the website talks about you know, things that we do workshops that we have, consultations, we do but it also like we also bring up big sheets of movies that have come out, which is always a great resource for writers.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:23
You have some new ones now to fill up some of the most recent movies.
Jose Silerio 1:07:27
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And we have people who contribute into it. So So that's kind of the best way to keep up with with save the cat. And again, like I said, it's it's an ongoing thing. It's a way of keeping, you know, Blake's method in alive and updated all the time.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:47
Fantastic. Well, Jose, man, thank you so much. It's been a pleasure talking to you today. I hope you had fun.
Jose Silerio 1:07:52
All right. Thank you very much for having us, Alex.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:55
Appreciate it. Seriously, guys, if you've not read this book, you've got to go out and get it save the cat is an awesome, awesome book. It's just Blake wrote it so wonderfully. And it really opens up your eyes to a lot of different avenues of what it takes to be a screenwriter and how to tell a story. And his method is pretty amazing how it matches up in the in the world of movies today. And in the actual blog post or the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/071. I put a couple of videos of how Blake's method, mastery measures up to certain movies, and they actually go through scene by scene of these very famous Hollywood movies. And you can see where all of his points line up perfectly. It's quite remarkable to watch. So definitely check that out. Now, guys, again, if you want to be part of the indie film, hustle, tribe, and community, that's what we're really about. We're trying to connect not only you guys to me, but you guys to each other, and create a community where we can share knowledge, share information, and share resources to get our movies made. And I've kind of put together a hub for everybody to go to and talk and communicate and exchange information and so on. If you go to our Facebook group, our indie film, hustle, private group on Facebook, and all you got to do is go to indiefilmhustle.com/Facebook. And not only do you get like, first cracks at all of our new articles, and posts and videos and things like that, but you get to watch and listen to other filmmakers and see what they're doing, and see how they can help you and learn from them. And if you have any information about things you've read on the line somewhere that might help the community, please post it there as well. So definitely check that out. indiefilmhustle.com/Facebook. And as always, please go to filmmakingpodcast.com and leave us a honest review of the show. It really helps to show out a lot and it helps us get the word out and what we're trying to do with indie film hustle So, thank you guys so much for all the amazing emails and messages I get from you guys, I've really it really keeps me going and really helps me on those tough days where I don't want to get up and don't want to do a new pod guys, but I love doing this for you guys. And I love helping you guys out as much as I can. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support and well wishes. And I will continue to do the good work that we're doing here at indie film hustle for you guys. We got some really cool stuff coming up in the next few weeks. Got some announcements coming up in the next few weeks. So stay tuned for all of that. And I wish you guys nothing but the best on your filmmaking journey. And it is a glorious one. If you know what you're doing. Thank you guys. I'll see you soon. Keep that hustle flowing. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
- Save the Cat – Official Site
- Save the Cat!® The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need
- Save the Cat!® Goes to the Movies
- Save the Cat!® Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get into …