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On Story—The Golden Ages of Television

On Story—The Golden Ages of Television

Award-winning television creators and writers discuss the evolution of TV storytelling in these lively conversations from the acclaimed PBS series On Story.

October 2018
208 pages | 6 x 9 |

On Story is film school in a box, a lifetime’s worth of filmmaking knowledge squeezed into half-hour packages.”
—Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is the first organization to focus on writers’ creative contributions to film and television. Its annual Film Festival and Conference offers screenings, panels, workshops, and roundtable discussions that help new writers and filmmakers connect with mentors and gain advice and insight from masters, as well as reinvigorate veterans with new ideas. To extend the Festival’s reach, AFF produces On Story, a television series currently airing on PBS-affiliated stations and streaming online that presents high-caliber artists talking candidly and provocatively about the art and craft of screenwriting and filmmaking, often using examples from their own work.

On Story—The Golden Ages of Television explores the transformation of television’s narrative content over the past several decades through interviews with some of TV’s best creators and writers, including Garry Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show), Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show), Issa Rae (Insecure), Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), Greg Daniels (The Office), Paula Pell (Saturday Night Live), Noah Hawley (Fargo), Liz Meriwether (New Girl), David Chase (The Sopranos), Alan Yang (Master of None), Marta Kauffman (Friends), Jenji Kohan (Orange Is the New Black), and many more. Their insights, behind-the-scenes looks at the creative process, production tales, responses to audiences’ reactions, and observations on how both TV narratives and the industry have changed make this book ideal for TV lovers, pop culture fans, students taking screenwriting courses, and filmmakers and writers seeking information and inspiration.

  • Foreword by Noah Hawley
  • Acknowledgments
  • Biographies
  • Introduction by Maya Perez
    • Up Close with Garry Shandling (2004)
    • Up Close with Greg Daniels (2008)
    • Arrested Development: A Conversation with Mitchell Hurwitz, Moderated by Paul Feig (2009)
    • A Conversation with Alec Berg, Moderated by Pat Hazell (2011)
    • Orange Is the New Black: Up Close with Jenji Kohan (2013)
    • Web Series to HBO: Up Close with Issa Rae (2015)
    • A Conversation with Carl Reiner, Moderated by Barry Josephson (2015)
    • A Conversation with Marta Kauffman, Moderated by Barbara Morgan (2016)
    • New Girl: A Conversation with Elizabeth Meriwether, Moderated by Beau Willimon (2016)
    • Up Close with Paula Pell (2016)
    • Up Close with Alan Yang (2017)
  • 2. DRAMAS
    • Oz: Up Close with Tom Fontana (2003)
    • The X-Files: A Conversation with Chris Carter, Moderated by Damon Lindelof (2012)
    • A Conversation with David Chase, Moderated by Barry Josephson (2012)
    • Lost: Up Close with Damon Lindelof (2012)
    • Up Close with Marti Noxon (2012)
    • Breaking Bad: A Conversation with Vince Gilligan, Moderated by Barry Josephson (2013)
    • A Conversation with Vince Gilligan, Moderated by Álvaro Rodríguez (2013)
    • Rectify: A Conversation with Ray McKinnon, Moderated by Barbara Morgan (2013)
    • House: Up Close with David Shore (2013)
    • Justified: Up Close with Wendy Calhoun (2014)
    • The 10-Hour Movie: A Conversation with Cary Fukunaga and Noah Hawley (2014)
    • Mad Men: A Conversation with Matthew Weiner, Moderated by Robert Draper (2014)
    • Better Call Saul: A Conversation with Peter Gould, Moderated by Barbara Morgan (2015)

Austin, Texas

Perez is a writer and producer who coedited the previous volumes of On Story. She produces the television series Austin Film Festival’s On Story, currently in its seventh season on PBS, which won a Lone Star EMMY Award® for Best Arts/Entertainment Program in 2014 and was nominated for an EMMY Award® in 2016.

Austin, Texas

Morgan cofounded the Austin Film Festival in 1993 and has served as the sole executive director since 1999. She developed and produces the TV and radio series Austin Film Festival’s On Story, currently airing on PBS stations nationally as well as on Public Radio International. She also coedited the previous volumes of On Story.