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Hollywood Unscripted

Episode 28 - Mark Bomback:

A Stuck at Home Special

MB Headshot - Courtesy of Apple.jpg

Image Courtesy of Apple

Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard, Wolverine, War for the Planet of the Apes) joins host Jenny Curtis and guest co-host Dana Gourrier to discuss his illustrious career as a screenwriter and his first time as a showrunner with Apple TV plus series Defending Jacob.

Jenny, Dana and Mark discuss how being at home during quarantine has affected and influenced them as artists. (1:00) Mark shares his experiences in Westchester, NY – as it was a Coronavirus epicenter – and how life is becoming ‘the new normal’. (3:15) They share experiences on how you have to include these new experiences and current events when shows go back into production and how you tackle these new challenges to stay relevant.


They move on to discuss Mark’s newest endeavor: being showrunner for Defending Jacob (4:37). Mark shares what brought him to the project, how ‘It’s not the kind of movie we make anymore - it’s more in the train of television.’  And how reading the book drew him in and made him want to work on it. (6:13) Mark expands on this sharing how he develops a screenplay from a book, and how he makes the changes and how when you retell the story in the most cinematic way possible , it sometimes results in changes to really experience the story and characters.


Dana asks Mark who his biggest influences are (9:36) and Mark explains why he’s been influenced by these people and what he believe the role of the writer is.


Mark explains his experiences and change when you become the showrunner (from the writer) writer and the challenge of being both roles at the same time. From casting to crew, you’re involved in every decision(13:20), the evolution of the show from the beginning of being hired to creating the cast, including how Chris Evans became part of the project (15:55).


The conversation goes back to Defending Jacob (20:00) as the hosts ask Mark if he believes - Jacob did it?


Mark shares his experiences of how he started in the film world (25:00), including his first job and how his perseverance and determination – along with taking a few free jobs, and making the right connections – kept him working and his experiences working on a multitude of projects helped him truly develop his skills. He explains that on Live Free or Die Hard it helped develop relationships for a long-lasting career.


Jenny asks mark about part of his job as a writer – doing rewrites (34:47) - and what it’s like not being recognized for a lot of his work. Mark answers with what he loves about those jobs and the most important job of the screenwriter - how you make everyone happy, the joy in rewriting versus your own ideas (39:33), and the privilege of objectivity.


Before ending, they discuss a shared connection between host Dana and Mark (43:00), having both worked The United States vs Billie Holiday. Mark explains how he evolved to Executive Producer roll on this film and his goal of bringing is Suzan-Lori Parks.


They wrap the show with Mark sharing his favorite memories from the production of Defending Jacob (47:03).

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