Back to 100

Scriptnotes: Ep. 198

This week, we time-travel back to our first centennial, a live show in Hollywood with special guests Aline Brosh McKenna and Rawson Thurber. We discuss the rise of the “writer-plus,” the importance of early mentors, and the emails that outline the very origin of Scriptnotes.

Through the past 100 episodes, a lot has changed, so John provides updates on some topics, including how the Golden Ticket winner presaged the later full script challenge. So even if you listened to this episode 97 weeks ago, you’ll find something new.


You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 5-19-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

One Hit Kill is now on Kickstarter

OHK Key Art

Minutes ago, we launched the Kickstarter for One Hit Kill, our new card game of ridiculously overpowered weapons and monsters and cuddly rabbits.

UPDATE: We funded! Really quickly. We’ll be sending out the game in September — and this will probably be the only chance to get it this year, so don’t wait. We also announced our stretch goals and achievements, including an app.


After months of work and testing, we’re damn excited to show you what we’ve designed. We’ve been playing the game non-stop, and it’s time to release it into the world.

With your help, One Hit Kill might become your new favorite game. Please check it out!

How do bad movies get made?

Scriptnotes: Ep. 197

Craig and John tackle a single topic: bad movies and how they happen. Having experienced the process first-hand, they report on how bad ideas make it to the screen, and how good ideas go wrong. There’s no single answer, but a range of patterns that end in terrible movies.

In follow-up, we talk about still-forming plans for the 200th episode, new USB drives, and favorite episodes.

John’s game One Hit Kill launches on Kickstarter this week. Check it out.

And if you work for Bethesda, Craig really wants you to make Fallout 4.


You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 5-17-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

The long and short of it

Scriptnotes: Ep. 196

John and Craig dig into the listener mailbag and take questions on TV producer credits, jealousy over other writers’ success, writing tight vs writing long and plenty of other follow up.

It’s a jam packed episode worthy of a long commute.

We also have information on the card game we playtested in LA a few weeks back. It’s called One Hit Kill, and you can see some of the artwork and play our mini-game at now.


You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 5-7-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Check out the game we’re making

Back in March, I put out a call for playtesters. They answered, and together we took over a game store on Wilshire for one night, working through the new card game we’re developing.

We had temp cards with no artwork — even the title of the game was omitted. Didn’t matter. The players dug it.

“Fun + fast. Catan meets Magic meets Uno.”

“Old-fashioned and modern at the same time.”

“If a mad scientist created a card game, this would be it.”

There’s still plenty more to do, but it’s time to start telling people about the game — including the name.logo

It’s called One Hit Kill. It’s a game full of ridiculously overpowered weapons, drawn from science fiction, myth and popular culture.

It has Krakens and Portals to Nowhere. There are Time Machines, Elven Bows and Railguns. Even Cthulhu’s Granddad makes an appearance.

You can check out some of the weapons and other cards at our prelaunch website:

Sign in, and you’ll get a special URL to share with friends to unlock additional cards. (Yes, even the prelaunch is sort of a game. We can’t stop ourselves.)

The first person to unlock all the artwork will receive one of the numbered decks from the playtest.1

We anticipate launching One Hit Kill sometime next week. Follow us on our brand-new Twitter account for details: @onehitkillgame

Thanks again to our 30 brave playtesters. Excited to show the rest of the world what you helped shape.

  1. Yes, the system logs IPs, so spamming a bunch of fake email addresses isn’t going to win you anything.

Writing for Hollywood without living there

Scriptnotes: Ep. 195

Canadian screenwriter Ryan Knighton joins John and Craig to discuss how you sustain a career writing for Hollywood studios while living a flight away. Knighton’s first screenplay was the adaptation of his memoir about going blind. He’s since written for several studios, including a new project for Ridley Scott.

We also talk about general meetings, pitching, adapting true stories, and the Sundance screenwriting lab.


You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 5-4-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.