Screenwriter/Director Max Landis on the Art of Writing & Selling Scripts

Brian FishbachPodcast

Max Landis is one of the most sought-after screenwriters in Hollywood. From his first big film Chronicle to his upcoming Bright, with Will Smith to his classic YouTube video Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling, Landis is also one of Hollywood’s most prolific screenwriters.

In this episode, Max shares an equally large pile of advice, introspection and reflection about the tension between the struggle to create art and the demands to compromise it to make a living.

This is a must-listen episode for any writer out there, as well as anyone who has ever doubted their own talents. And they discuss the question, “If you know yourself, does your art change?”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How to divorce yourself from your art when selling it.
  • The mindset to have when facing unexpected and unwelcome changes.
  • The four types of screenwriters.
  • How to avoid the seductiveness of cynicism.
  • Max’s secret screenwriting techniques, and what he always does on the first page of every screenplay
  • The one thing to avoid when re-branding yourself.
  • What the open loop is and why it’s paramount to great storytelling
  • Why humans love surprises and how to train their emotions.

Listen ➙ The Truth Barrel, Episode 49: Max Landis, Part 1


Director and screenwriter Max Landis returns to The Truth Barrel for part 2 of his energetic and informative interview on writing scripts and getting movies made. This time, Max discusses the brutal process of pitch meetings, why pitching a script is infinitely more challenging than a first date, and advice that will help you during your next dreaded work “meeting.” Max also shares a detail about an upcoming film that he’s never revealed publicly before…

In this episode you will learn…

  • How Max would have pitched Star Wars.
  • The best advice on pitching films that Max has never given before.
  • What to look for when picking your creative partners.
  • When compromise is victory.
  • How to handle bad feedback from superiors.
  • The importance of organic communication and “the note behind the note.”
  • Why you should talk about your scripts as if they are movies you have seen.
  • How to curate a great reading experience.
  • How to recognize your own false self-diagnoses.
  • How to avoid over-selling something.
  • And Neil and Gabby discuss what they have learned together about their respective interviewing processes as co-hosts in their first fifty episodes of The Truth Barrel.

Listen ➙ The Truth Barrel, Episode 50: Max Landis, Part 2


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Episode 47:
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Episode 46:
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Episode 45:
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Episode 44:
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Episode 43:
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Episode 42:
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Episode 41:
Danny Cipriani – Life and Times of a Rugby Legend, Part 2

Episode 40:
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Episode 39:
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Episode 38:
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Episode 37:
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Episode 36:
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Episode 35:
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Episode 34:
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Episode 33:
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Episode 32:
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Episode 31:
Light Watkins on Meditation, Happiness, and Life After Death

Episode 30:
Marvel actor Frank Grillo on persistence and discipline

Episode 29:
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Episode 28:
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Episode 27:
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Episode 26:
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Episodes 25
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Episode 24:
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Episode 23:
Genetics Researcher, Dr. Dan Reardon

Episode 22:
Art of Charm’s Jordan Harbinger

Episode 21:
Matt Skiba of Blink 182

Episode 20:
Solving Listener Dilemmas with Neil and Gabby

Episode 19:
21-Year-Old Entrepreneur Jared Kleinert

Episode 18:
Sex at Dawn author Dr. Christopher Ryan

Episode 17:
Scott Carney, Investigative Journalist

Episode 16:
Drummer Frank Zummo on the Rise to Rockstar Fame

Episode 15:
Dr. Kelly Starrett on Best Practices for Daily Activities

Episode 14:
Nick Ekbatani on What It Takes to Survive Tragedy

Episode 13:
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Episode 12:
Kevin Reeve on Surviving Disasters, Revolutions, and the Apocalypse

Episode 11:
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Episode 9:
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Episode 8:
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Episode 7:
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Episode 6:
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Episode 5:
Changing Your Habitat for Better Health with John Durant, Part 2

Episode 4:
Changing Your Habitat for Better Health with John Durant, Part 1

Episode 3:
Laird Hamilton and Greg Long on Re-Evaluating Death to Improve Performance

Episode 2:
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Episode 1:
Mark Healey on Facing Fear, Surviving Shark Attacks, & Extreme Breath Holding

Email your questions to Neil and Gabby: [email protected]

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Episodes 49 and 50: Screenwriter director Max Landis on the art of writing and selling scripts

Episodes 49 and 50: Screenwriter director Max Landis on the art of writing and selling scripts

Episodes 49 and 50: Screenwriter director Max Landis on the art of writing and selling scripts