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Scriptnotes Podcast

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Each week, screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters, everything from the craft to the business to the best ways to actually get yourself writing.

Each week, screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters, everything from the craft to the business to the best ways to actually get yourself writing.
More Information

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Description:

Each week, screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters, everything from the craft to the business to the best ways to actually get yourself writing.

Twitter:

@johnaugust

Language:

English


Episodes

337 - The One with Stephen Schiff

2/13/2018
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John is joined by The Americans’ executive producer Stephen Schiff at a live Scriptnotes taping in New York! They discuss grounding an outrageous premise in character, suspension of disbelief, premium act breaks, and writing for a foreign language. We also answer audience questions about New York writers rooms, expert consultants, expecting comparisons, first drafts, and how to write a period piece when history is full of spoilers. Links: * Stephen Schiff currently works on The...

Duration:00:49:07

65 - The Next 117 Pages

2/6/2018
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John and Craig talk about everything that comes after the oft-discussed First Three Pages, speculating on the kinds of issues they’d spot if they were looking at full scripts. They also answer listener questions on topics ranging from proper spacing protocol to novelists rewriting their screenplay adaptations. This episode originally aired on November 27, 2012. LINKS: * Scriptnotes T-shirts are available for one more week, including some old favorite styles, like Gold Standard and...

Duration:01:04:54

336 - Call Me by Your Name

1/30/2018
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John and Aline welcome Peter Spears, producer of Call Me by Your Name, to discuss how the film came to be, from optioning the novel through its long development and multiple roadblocks. Through the lens of Call Me by Your Name, we discuss the difficulties of preproduction for an indie film, the process of securing book rights, the opportunities that adaptation presents, and what this movie means in the Hollywood landscape. Links: * Thanks to Peter Spears for joining us! * Read the...

Duration:01:02:03

335 - Introducing Launch

1/23/2018
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John and Craig introduce Launch, John’s new podcast about making a book. Over the course of six episodes, the series tracks the process of writing and shipping a novel, from idea to printing. The first two episodes are available today, with new episodes coming each Tuesday. Not to worry — Scriptnotes isn’t going anywhere. We’ll have new episodes on Tuesdays as well. Subscribe to Launch today: http://wondery.fm/launch Links: * Subscribe to Launch at http://wondery.fm/launch or wherever...

Duration:00:36:33

334 - Worst Case Scenarios

1/16/2018
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John and Craig ponder worst case scenarios that might usher the end of screenwriting as we know it. What are the odds that screenwriters lose work because an economic crash keeps movies from getting made? That screenwriting gets outsourced? That human screenwriters are replaced by AI? That film as a medium gets replaced? That the WGA falls apart? We also answer listener questions about communicating with actors and waiting on optioned IP to get produced. Links: * Wonder, adapted from RJ...

Duration:01:10:53

333 - The End of the Beginning

1/9/2018
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John and Craig tackle that tricky stretch of screenplay between crystalizing what the story is going to be and the protagonist actually embarking upon it: the end of Act 1. We also answer listener questions about writing for new media, why working outside of a WGA contract hurts everyone, what people want when asking for a “writing sample,” and adapting novels without the rights. Links: * Bathe in my Milk and the NY Post article about it. * The Apple Pencil works pretty well! You can...

Duration:01:11:20

332 - Wait for It

1/2/2018
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John and Craig discuss suspense and its function in all genres, from thrillers to romcoms. They examine suspense of the known and of the unknown and the techniques available to construct it. We also answer listeners questions about registering scripts with the WGA, how to overcome creative paralysis and unconventional sluglines. Links: * The WGA’s page regarding sexual harassment * The Wedding Planner, Die Hard, Three’s Company, Man Up, and the old ketchup commercials are great...

Duration:01:12:09

331 - We Had the Same Idea

12/26/2017
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John and Craig offer advice to those who suspect their work has been stolen, providing a checklist to help determine if a claim has merit and suggestions for how to best proceed if it does. We also answer listener questions about taxes on agent commission, being a conservative voice in a writers’ room, and using real celebrities as characters. Links: * Firelight, the How Could This Be A Movie that is, indeed, a movie * Amazon’s deal for The Lord of the Rings TV rights * Amanda Hess’...

Duration:01:17:17

330 - A Cop's Cop Show

12/19/2017
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John and Craig give notes on a pilot script by our Homecoming Live Show Winner, Andrew Thalheimer. The Harrows is an hour-long police drama that centers on the relationship between a straight-laced new recruit and his street-wise father after they are assigned to be each other’s partner. In talking through The Harrows, we discuss the limits of suspension of disbelief, the importance of the central relationship, and the need to set up your series early. Huge thank you to Andrew, who has...

Duration:00:53:01

329 - Five-Star Podnerships

12/12/2017
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John and Craig discuss showrunning, remaking existing IP, staffing, and fan behavior with Julie Plec (Vampire Diaries, The Originals), Michael Green (Bladerunner 2049, American Gods, Murder on the Orient Express, Logan), and Justin Marks (Jungle Book, Counterpart). In light of the big Fox/Disney merger, we contemplate which other podcasts we should consider teaming with to preserve our market share and bottom line. We also take a look at some questionable five star reviews. Recorded with...

Duration:01:23:36

328 - Pitching Television, or Being a Passionate Widget

12/5/2017
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John and Craig share their insight into pitching for television. How is it different that pitching features? How do express your passion for the project? How do you avoid being a Willy Loman pitching to a Willy Loman? (Sometimes you don’t.) We also follow-up on the conversation about sexual harassment, with a focus on how men, bosses, and unions can work to make a safer, more comfortable workplace for everyone. Reminder that the Scriptnotes Holiday Live Show is this Thursday in...

Duration:01:05:24

327 - Mergers and Breakups

11/28/2017
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John and Craig explore the possibilities and consequences of Disney’s potential purchase of Fox film and television studios. What might prevent the sale? What does each side stand to gain? To lose? What could it mean for writers? Then, it’s another installment of “This Kind of Scene,” in which we dissect the mechanics of an effective breakup scene by looking at Casablanca, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, (500) Days of Summer, Love and Basketball, Brokeback Mountain and Breakfast at...

Duration:01:13:32

326 - Austin 2017 Three Page Challenge

11/21/2017
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John and Craig review four Three-Page Challenge entries with the help of Daniela Garcia-Brcek (Literary Manager at Circle of Confusion) and Cullen Conly (Literary Agent at ICM). We then invite the writers up to discuss the notes. It’s not just craft, though. Our special guests give us a behind-the-scenes look at the realities of representation. What do agents and managers look for when they read (or “look at”) scripts? How important is a logline? Who reads queries? Daniela and Cullen tell...

Duration:01:12:03

325 - (Adjective) Soldier

11/14/2017
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Craig and John open the overflowing listener mailbag to tackle questions on everything from montages to life rights to passive heroes. Plus, we have a definitive answer on whether to number minor characters. (Don’t.) We also finally address a major controversy: Craig’s missing cover of “Killing the Blues” from Episode 109. It exists, and you can listen to it today. The Scriptnotes 2017 Holiday Live Show will be December 7th in Hollywood. Mark your calendars! Tickets available...

Duration:01:05:55

324 - All of It Needs to Stop

11/7/2017
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John and Craig revisit the discussion of sexual harassment in Hollywood, and how to support writers facing it. While the media spotlight is on the predators, it’s the day-to-day bullying and bad behavior that may have a more pernicious effect. Then it’s another round of How Would This Be a Movie, looking at stories in the news to see which ones might be suited for the big screen. Is it the story of a prison camp for female firefighters? The shockingly unregulated human corpse trade? Or...

Duration:01:11:09

323 - Austin Live Show 2017 (AKA Too Many Scotts)

10/31/2017
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John and Craig talk with uber-screenwriter Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Minority Report, Logan) about how his feature script Godless ended up as a miniseries at Netflix. We then invite more guests up to discuss what movies can learn from the success of TV: - Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, Go Fish) - Scott Alexander (Ed Wood, The People v. O.J. Simpson,) - Tess Morris (Man Up, “You Had Us At Hello” podcast) - Lindsay Doran (producer of Stranger Than Fiction, Sense and...

Duration:01:01:55

322 - The Post-Weinstein Era

10/24/2017
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John and Craig welcome Daley Haggar and Dara Resnik to examine the potential impacts of the Harvey Weinstein revelations on Hollywood. What should have been done? And what should happen next to foster a safer, saner and more inclusive industry culture? We also explore gender dynamics in a television writers room, discuss ways to address power imbalances and learn what it means to dial something in on the “Penis Phone.” Links: * Scriptnotes T-shirts are here! We’ve got Classic (in ...

Duration:00:33:32

Scriptnotes Voice: Snitching on Sexism

10/23/2017
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Daley Haggar shares her experience in the writers room. Originally posted on Lenny Letter. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com You can download this Scriptnotes Voice here.

Duration:00:10:59

321 - Getting Stuff Written

10/17/2017
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John welcomes Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo and author of Pep Talks for Writers, to discuss the writing process and how to get out of your own way creatively. We explore the ubiquity of the Other Syndrome and the perils of envy. We also look at pen names, “throw-away writing,” and the advantages of being a beginner. Links: * Grant Faulkner’s website and Wikipedia entry. * Pep Talks for Writers by Grant Faulkner is available here. * You can participate in NaNoWriMo,...

Duration:01:04:18

320 - Should You Give Up?

10/10/2017
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John and Craig attempt to answer the question that many aspiring screenwriters dare not ask aloud: when -- if ever -- is the right time to give up on the dream of becoming a working screenwriter? Relatedly, is it okay to omit “aspiring” when describing oneself as a screenwriter? How do you ask friends for career help without burning bridges? Is that criminal record a problem? We also address listener questions about why the Paramount Decree isn’t an issue for streaming services, plus...

Duration:01:02:30

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