Writer, producer, animator, and actor Carson Mell was a writer on HBO’s Silicon Valley (created by Mike Judge), and wrote on Eastbound & Down, starring Danny McBride. Carson also created the animated series Tarantula(executive produced by Danny McBride), and wrote road trip comedy The Long Dumb Road, directed by Hannah Fidell and starring Jason Mantzoukas and Tony Revolori. Carson wrote, directed, and starred in his most recent film, Some of Our Stallions, executive produced by Mike Judge and co-starring Olivia Taylor Dudley and Al Di (who also produced the film).
What you will learn:
- Carson’s relationship with “road movies,” the inspiration behind his 2018 film The Long Dumb Road, and what it means to write a script on on “spec.” [0:00-9:12]
- Carson’s personal path to the writer’s room and advice he can give in hindsight to aspiring screenwriters. What the writer’s room for Silicon Valley looked like and how Carson’s connection with creator Mike Judge led to Mike executive producing and playing a character in Some of Our Stallions. [9:12-18:00]
- The story behind how the script for Some of Our Stallions was written, casted, and produced, and how the script was almost forgotten in a drawer for years before being resurrected. [18:00-25:43]
- Why Carson chose to take a nuanced yet realistic approach to the portrayal of mental illness with his character Beautiful Bill in Some of Our Stallions, and the choices he made to protect the Olvia’s and Al’s characters from the usual Hollywood tropes. Why Carson’s friend Al Di views this film as the “first white guy/Chinese guy buddy comedy without Kung Fu in it.” [25:43-33:57]
- Considering all of the options his diverse skill set provides, Carson talks about where he sees his career going, provides first-hand insight into how negotiating and selling a show/script works, and talks about his interest in writing/directing horror films. [33:57-43:26]