Who: Writing-producing-directing partners whose first feature, 11:55, will play in theaters this summer. Currently working on a miniseries for Lionsgate and a feature film based on the solo shows of John Leguizamo.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
Ben Snyder: If a scene is extra-hard, that’s usually a red flag for a larger problem. Do you really know your characters? Do you know the world? Should this scene exist at all? Try and listen closely to what’s causing the block.
Ari Issler: There was a time when if I was writing something I didn’t believe in, I would procrastinate until 2 a.m. and then turn to Adderall. I’ve replaced this with belief and green tea. I do miss the sunrises, though.
What are you working on right now?
AI: We have been developing a miniseries with Channel 4 in London and Lionsgate; writing a pilot for BET executive-produced by T.I.; and finishing up a draft of Birthright, our next film.
What’s been your favorite experience at Austin Film Festival?
BS: Going to hear Michael Arndt give a talk titled “Endings: The Good, The Bad and The Insanely Great.” That talk, which is not to be missed, was a huge “aha” moment for me about storytelling and skillful filmmaking. There are so many snake-oil screenwriting gurus out there, so to get the chance to listen to someone like Michael, a true master of his craft, break down his process and insights, was incredible.