#28 - Paul Bae - Writer, Director, Producer

A conversation about how who we are impacts our writing and our pitches.

The talented Paul Bae, writer/director/producer/actor and former stand-up comedian, joins Leah and Angel to discuss his latest projects, representation in media, how our identifies and our pasts can inform our pitches, and how everything that happens to us is an opportunity to learn and craft our own narratives. Paul is an entertaining, joyful, humble, hard working professional, and there's plenty of valuable insights in this episode whether you want to be a screenwriter, a podcaster, a producer, a director, or just a decent human being.

Episode Summary

  • Paul Bae, author and audio drama producer, joins the show.
  • Teaching experiences and stand-up comedy. 1:02
    • Paul taught English Lit, gifted programs, and special needs programs at the high school level.
    • Paul also has a background in stand-up comedy.
  • Storytelling, pitching, and personal narrative. 3:53
    • Paul notes how teaching informs his writing and taught him to value listening and empathy.
    • He discusses how his role as a teacher was helping students craft their own narratives, adding to those of their family and friends, to create a more complete tapestry of who they are as people.
  • The importance of personal connection in pitching stories. 10:33
    • Paul discusses the importance of personal storytelling in pitches, citing examples from his stand-up comedy career.
    • He believes analytical-type executives may not be swayed by personal stories but can still appreciate the emotional journey they evoke.
    • Paul emphasizes the importance of "why me" in pitching, sharing a personal connection to the story.
  • Creative partnership and screenwriting process. 14:17
    • Paul wrote multiple screenplays before partnering with Terry Miles to create the Black Tapes podcast.
  • Pitching and rejection in the entertainment industry. 16:53
    • Speaker 2 struggled with pitching, feeling intimidated and inexperienced.
    • Rejection is a part of everyday living for creatives, and it can lead to growth.
    • Persistence and passion helped Paul land a deal with NBC
  • Finding the right connections in the industry through empathy and understanding. 22:52
    • Speaker reflects on experiences in pitch meetings, including rejection and success.
    • Speaker shared a twist story about selling a horror movie to AMC, highlighting the importance of empathy in networking.
    • Executives appreciate genuine connections and recognizing their humanity, leading to successful partnerships.
  • Cultural differences reading social cues and how they impact screenwriting. 26:14
    • Paul attributes his ability to read a room to skills learned while teaching and the experience of growing up Korean.
    • Angel Murphy discusses cultural differences in communication styles and the importance of collaboration in screenwriting.
  • Prioritizing joy and learning over reaching goals. 32:15
    • Paul reflects on reaching his writing goals and prioritizing joyful moments over a ladder-climbing mentality.
    • He aims to savor everyday experiences and create lasting memories, rather than focusing on future success. He also seeks to learn from showrunners to improve craft and live life to the fullest.
  • Pitching TV shows in LA and Vancouver during the pandemic. 35:34
    • Paul reflects on dating and relationships, comparing it to meeting potential partners for work.
    • He shares his experience living in Vancouver while pitching shows in LA, mentioning the benefits of Zoom technology for reducing travel stress and allowing more flexibility.
  • Writing, podcasting, and music with a focus on gratitude and collaboration. 39:01
    • Paul describes how moving to a small village with a population of 1200 has been beneficial for his writing. More time and space to focus on his craft.
    • Paul's wife is a successful businesswoman, building her own career and creating a podcast studio in their home.
  • Storytelling as a form of security and entertainment. 44:44
    • Paul shares why he writes: for fun, security, entertainment, and to be heard.
    • His early storytelling experiences in grade school taught him the power of storytelling.
  • Storytelling, representation, and the entertainment industry. 47:22
    • Paul reflects on the importance of representation, sharing a personal experience where a young Asian man was moved by his work.
    • He recognizes the impact of identity on the stories he tells and the people he reaches. This is why diverse perspectives in media are so imporant.
    • He has several projects in the works, including an audio horror and a comedy.
    • He's hopeful about the future, despite the current challenges in the industry.
    • He's always eager to share the lessons he learns from his experiences with his listeners.

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