Try Premium for 30 days

Live games for all NFL, MLB, NBA, & NHL teams
Commercial-Free Music
No Display Ads
Scriptnotes Podcast-logo

Scriptnotes Podcast

497 Favorites

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


Los Angeles, CA


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.






329 - Five-Star Podnerships

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 a...

Duration: 01:23:36

328 - Pitching Television, or Being a Passionate Widget

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

Daley Haggar shares her experience in the writers room. Originally posted on Lenny Letter. Email us at You can download this Scriptnotes Voice here.

Duration: 00:10:59

321 - Getting Stuff Written

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?

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

212 - Diary of a First-Time Director

John and Craig sit down with Marielle Heller, the writer and director of the acclaimed feature The Diary of a Teenage Girl, to talk about the journey of getting her movie made, from optioning the novel to the Sundance Labs through production. We discuss sex scenes and ’70s wallpaper, anamorphic lenses and leaving subplots on the cutting room floor. Plus there’s a lot of MacGruber. This episode originally aired August 25, 2015. Links: * Scriptnotes and a live Three Page Challenge will...

Duration: 01:13:07

319 - Movies Dodged a Bullet

John and Craig speculate about why the film industry fared better in the transition to digital while the music industry struggled. We also follow up on the WGA elections, hearing John’s priorities as a new board member. Lured back into the intrigue of MoviePass, we discuss new information on this business model. Then it’s another installment of the Three Page Challenge, in which we discuss listener-submitted pages of their screenplays. Finally, we answer the most provocative of...

Duration: 01:25:36

318 - Writing Other Things

John and Craig welcome back Aline Brosh McKenna to talk about writing projects outside the familiar constraints of screenwriting. We discuss the surprises and adjustments involved in the creative processes of different media: Aline’s graphic novel Jane, Craig’s HBO miniseries Chernobyl, and John’s original song, “Rise.” We also dig into why screenwriters sometimes need to be amateurs again. Then we answer listener questions about making fair deals as someone in a different country, and...

Duration: 01:13:23

317 - First Day on the Job

Craig and John debut a new segment: This Kind of Scene, looking at how different movies handle similar situations. The Hudsucker Proxy, The Devil Wears Prada, Hidden Figures and Training Day all need to introduce their heroes to their new workplaces. We examine how those scenes work, both on the page and on screen. We then discuss what it means to write for an international market, and determine what a “therapy piece” is and how to avoid writing one. We also follow up on our discussion...

Duration: 00:58:56

316 - Distracted Boyfriend Is All of Us

John and Craig dive into another round of How Would This Be a Movie, looking at stories (and memes!) from around the world to figure out which ones might lend themselves to big-screen treatment. Will it be the forgotten French spy from World War II? The repentant racist in Arkansas? The fake male founder exposing startup sexism? Or should it be the monthlong meth trip in the Alabama woods? Help us decide. Plus, we follow up on how MoviePass actually works, and why their business model...

Duration: 01:04:34

315 - Big Screens, Big Money

John and Craig offer a 101 on how movies make money at theaters, and why a 1948 Supreme Court case changed everything. Then we look at two recent disruptions to the standard model: Movie Pass and Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky. We also answer listener questions on waiting periods and creative rights. Links: The WGF 2nd Annual Texas Hold ’Em TournamentTuff TurfThe WarriorsPeter Stark Producing Program United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. National Association of Theater Owners CinemaCon...

Duration: 01:12:46

314 - Unforgiven

Craig and John take a deep dive into 1992’s Unforgiven, looking at how the David Webb Peoples script works on the page and on the screen. In the links below, you’ll find the PDF of the script we’re using. It’s also available in Weekend Read. Links: UnforgivenIMDbWikipedia The Unforgiven scriptWeekend ReadThe Addams FamilyGhostGroundhog DayFrozenThe Little MermaidRaiders of the Lost ArkTuff TurfThe Scriptnotes Listeners’ Guide! The USB drives!John AugustCraig MazinJohn on InstagramFind...

Duration: 01:21:41

313 - Well, It Worked in the 80s

John and Craig look at four films from the past and discuss how we could make them today. Then we have more listener questions on internships and alternate jokes. Next week is a deep dive on Unforgiven, so get to watching if you haven’t seen it recently. Links: TriskaidekaphobiaUnforgivenYou Get MeRomancing the StoneFerris Bueller’s Day OffRain ManComing to AmericaWatch Toad get struck by lightning BuzzFeed News Trained A Computer To Search For Hidden Spy Planes. This Is What We...

Duration: 01:11:16

312 - The Magic Word Is In This Episode

Craig and John tackle a bunch of listener questions, along with follow-up on previous discussions. Are road trip movies just a series of coincidences? How do you start the second draft? Should you mention screenwriting awards in a query? Plus: a Redditor insists there is a secret password you have to write within a script for it to be purchased. After 311 episodes, the time has come. We reveal that magic word. Links: ‘Chernobyl’ Miniseries Set By HBO & SkyScriptnotes, 127Big Fish The...

Duration: 01:05:33

See More