Five-Star Podnerships

Scriptnotes: Ep. 329
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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 a live audience at LA Film School as a benefit for the Writers Guild Foundation. Huge thanks to everyone who came and supported the show.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


Don’t search with your eyes

This week, I’m editing the manuscript for the second Arlo Finch. I do most of my edits on paper because I find I catch a lot of mistakes I’d otherwise miss just scrolling on the screen.

One of the frustrations with this process can be trying to match up the errors you’ve found on paper with what’s in the file. You’re constantly scrolling, looking for the trouble spot. Highland 2 has a sidebar navigator and inline page numbers, both of which can help. But I’ve found the fastest solution is to stop scrolling altogether and use the built-in search function.

Let’s say you’re fixing a typo, like a missing ‘d’ on the door had been force open. It’s halfway down on page 183, but that doesn’t matter.

Hit Command-F and type had been force then return.

Boom. You’re right there. Fix the mistake and keep going.

Note that you want to search for a string of words, not just the one with the typo. You may have used force a dozen times, but you’re almost certain to have typed had been force just once.

In Highland 2 — and most Mac writing apps — the Find command starts searching from wherever your cursor is, so if you’re working through edits in order, you rarely have to be particularly narrow in your search query. Even if you use its claws scraped more than once in your book, it will always give you the next one first. That’s likely to be the one you want.

This technique probably saved me half an hour today, and a lot of eye fatigue. So try it out next time.


Pitching Television, or Being a Passionate Widget

Scriptnotes: Ep. 328
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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 Hollywood. Ticket link below.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 12-13-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here


Mergers and Breakups

Scriptnotes: Ep. 327
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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 Tiffany’s.

The Scriptnotes live holiday show is December 7th in Hollywood, with special guest writer-producers Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), Michael Green (American Gods) and Justin Marks (Counterpart). Ticket link below.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-29-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here


Austin 2017 Three Page Challenge

Scriptnotes: Ep. 326
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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 us the unvarnished truth.

Thanks to the Austin Film Festival for hosting us and to our brave participants!

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-29-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


(Adjective) Soldier

Scriptnotes: Ep. 325
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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 soon.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-20-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.