The original post for this episode can be found here.
John August: Hello and welcome. My name is John August.
Craig Mazin: Mera naam hai Craig Mazin.
John: And this is Episode 90 of Scriptnotes, a podcast this week not so much about screenwriting, but things that could be interesting to screenwriters.
Craig, how are you?
Craig: I’m fine. I have to tell you that I just spoke Hindi and you didn’t even — you didn’t care.
John: Yeah. I just accept that you’re going to do weird things every week, so I just…
Craig: I spoke Hindi, per a listener’s request.
John: That’s pretty great.
Craig: Yeah! I feel good about it.
John: You should feel good about it.
Craig: Thank you.
John: I’m sorry. I should acknowledge when you jump out of your comfort zone.
Craig: [laughs] Because it doesn’t happen very frequently.
John: I should tell listeners that I offered to let you actually do the intro today, and you said, “No, no, no.” And now I know the reason why you didn’t want to do the whole intro is because you’d already practiced how you were going to do your Hindi for just your one thing. And that’s why you didn’t want to do the whole “Welcome to Scriptnotes.”
Craig: Allow me to embarrass myself. I didn’t even think that through.
John: Okay. [laughs]
Craig: [laughs] I really just think, you’re right, I mean, in retrospect that’s a good point. But more than anything I’m just becoming Rain Man-ish, and I don’t like change.
John: Yes. So, last night I hosted this thing at The Academy and it was tremendously fun. And we had like a thousand people there, which was great and nuts, and so I want to thank everyone for coming.
John: People came up afterwards. But, it struck me — I knew I would need to start off the evening, and I just wanted to get through the first three sentences without messing up. And so I was going to start like, “Hello and good evening on behalf — my name is John August — on behalf of The Academy it is my pleasure to welcome you.”
But because I always start the podcast as, “Hello and welcome,” it was so hard to break myself of that. And so before I was going up on stage I was just in a loop going, “Hello and good evening. Hello and good evening. Hello and good evening.” But I got through it!
Craig: You got through it, buddy. I’m super proud of you.
John: Oh, thank you so much. And it made me think about our live episodes of Scriptnotes coming up this summer and how excited I am about those.
The one for the Writers Guild Foundation is a lock. And that is definitely going to happen. The second one in July, dates could be shifting a little bit, but there’s going to be something in July to celebrate our hundredth anniversary. So, I look forward to seeing more of our people in person then.
Craig: Yes, our people.
John: Our people.
Craig: Come to us, our people.
John: Craig, you had two items for the agenda before we get to all of these great questions that listeners have submitted. So, let’s talk through the agenda items first.
Craig: Yeah, real quick, because we have so much to talk about today. So many questions to answer. Two topics. One, Zach Braff redux. And, two, what’s going on with E! and the Fashion Police strike.
So, real quick on Zach Braff. There was kind of a weird thing that happened over the last couple of days where The Hollywood Reporter basically said, “Hey look, this other film financier came in and gave him a whole big bunch of money, like another $8 million or whatever.” So, he is, according to that article, he is funding his movie with traditional funding and all of you people that gave him $2 million, why? Why would you have done that?
Turns out that’s not exactly the case. Really what’s going on is that it’s gap financing. And Zach Braff had always said in his Kickstarter, “Look, I’m going to fund this movie through Kickstarter and foreign presales.” And foreign presales kind of work in such a way that you sell the movie to people before you make it based on who’s in it. And they say, “Okay, we’ll buy it for this.”
But you need to make the movie now. That’s money is not showing up for awhile. So, these gap financiers come in and say, “We’ll loan you that money, because we have the collateral of all these people who have agreed to pay you the money.” And so that’s kind of how that works.
However, I should just add, I don’t think people really understood how foreign financing presales work and, frankly, the truth is even though he told you this from the start, he was really saying, “Look, I’m going to finance this movie half traditionally for people that get something for what they give, and half not traditionally — you get nothing for what you give.” So, I’m not surprised that people are confused. This is going to come up and up again.
John: I didn’t follow it all that closely, but it seemed like there was backlash. And there was backlash-backlash, and it just becomes this big cycle of whatever. It’s very common — what you’re talking about with gap financing — is actually very, very common. It’s how a lot of indies get made. And so there’s nothing wrong with that. It just gets swirled into all of this crowd sourced excitement and enthusiasm and it just becomes weird.
So, I can understand everyone’s perspective on why they’re frustrated.
Craig: Right. Normally this isn’t an issue because films are financed by financiers who are in it for profit and not for joy and pro-social activity. Now, we’ve kind of — it’s a strange thing to fund an enterprise with both charity and traditional profit investment.
John: Now, while I know almost nothing about the Zach Braff situation, I know even less about this E! Fashion Police thing, so catch me up to speed on that.
Craig: So, Fashion Police, I don’t know if you ever watch it.
John: No. I don’t. I never actually turn on E! — like for years I haven’t seen E!. So, tell me about it. It’s a Joan Rivers show?
Craig: It’s a Joan Rivers show. So, it’s a panel show, Joan Rivers, and Kelly Osbourne, and a very thin woman, and a very funny fashion guy, they critique red carpet fashion. And it’s just a super gay catty show and it’s really, really funny. My wife watches it religiously, so I kind of absorb it. You know, she has her thing of Fashion Police and then The Soup. And it’s actually really, really funny. I mean, Joan Rivers is still super, duper funny.
But, the problem is that the writers of that show just haven’t been paid very well. And they essentially want to be unionized. They want it to be a WGA show. A lot of them are WGA writers, which kind of drives me crazy a little bit, because if you’re a WGA writer you’re not allowed to write on shows that are not WGA shows if there is a contract that exists to cover that show, or that could cover it. You know what I mean?
Craig: It’s one of our rules. And it kind of makes me nuts, but I guess it’s so widespread you can’t do anything about it. Long story short, they walked off and basically said, “Look, we want a union deal.”
And E! said, “Um, yeah, listen, um, all you have to is vote. If you just have an official union election governed by the NLRB then we’ll let you be WGA.”
And I just wanted to tell people following along at home, if you’ve read that, that’s basically baloney. The deal is the writers have already expressed that they want t be union. The great majority of them want to be union. E! has the ability to just say, “Oh, okay, you all want to be union, or a great majority of you want to be union. Poof. Let’s just start negotiating a union deal.”
The reason they’re insisting on an official NLRB election process is because that drags it out, it gives them a lot more control over the process. They have the potential to try and fire some people, even though that’s illegal they do it all the time. They also have the ability to put a lot of pressure on the writers to not vote. They get a chance to make their case very strongly. It’s essentially a union-busty kind of thing.
But the fact is all they have to do, when they’re like, “Just vote.” They don’t need to vote. Everybody that understands how unions work knows what they’re doing, so anyway, what I’m really saying is, hey, E!, come on. They want to be Writers Guild. It’s the right thing to do. It’s a funny show. I’m sure you guys make a lot of money on it. Please, just come on.
John: Yeah. In previous situations we’ve talked about reality shows and it’s a question of like is that really writing, what are they really doing, and there was a whole controversy when the WGA was trying to cover these shows. There was a real question of is that the kind of thing that should really be covered.
But here, this is writing…
Craig: Oh, clearly.
John: You’re writing material that’s being performed on the show.
Craig: Yeah, it’s a comedy variety show. So, come on, E!. Enough with the, “Oh, we need an election.” Gee, golly, if only they would just vote.” Yeah, come on, please. Too smart for you.
Okay. So, those were my follow ups.
John: Hooray. My only bit of news that I will launch before we go into our big questions is Highland Version 1.0.2 is in the Mac App Store right now, so if people are using Highland they can download the new version. The new version has a really cool way of making things uppercase. You can hit shift-return and it makes that line uppercase, which is incredibly useful in Fountain.
And it has lyrics, because I needed people to sing. So, this is completely scratching my own itch. I needed lyrics, and now there are lyrics.
John: But our podcast today, I’m so excited, is all about things other than screenwriting. That will be the last screenwriting thing we’ll mention today, because for now on it’s just John and Craig talking about stuff we are probably not really qualified to talk about, but we’re going to talk about anyway. We’re going to answer these questions.
John: So, people wrote in. We had 90 questions or something. We had a tremendous amount of questions. We culled the list down a little bit. People wrote in at firstname.lastname@example.org. They sent us Twitter questions. They went on our Facebook page and asked questions. So, let’s hit it.
Craig: Let’s do it.
John: Maybe we’ll alternate, so I’ll start with the first question which is from a guy named Jason. “If I someday have the opportunity to be uploaded into a robot body, should I do it?”
John: I say yes also. And, obviously, the topic of mortality and sort of what it means to be alive are valid questions. They’re good philosophical questions. They’re good questions for a movie. But, if I had the opportunity to like not die, and be a robot, I’m okay with that.
Craig: Yeah. You definitely want to do this, because you are just your brain. I’m assuming when you say “uploaded into” you mean your brain as exists uploaded in.
I’ve often wondered what happens if — I guess it doesn’t matter — you upload your brain, you make a copy of your brain into a robot. Now, you and your robot friend are kind of in that moment the same, but now it’s just that your robot friend who is you just diverges from that point because of their different experiences.
Craig: But, it would be fun to know that person.
John: It’s like the software has forked and it’s gone in different directions. It comes down to the question of software and hardware. And is the person the hardware, is the person the software? I am a software person. I think the person is the code that’s running. And if that code can run without your physical body, I’m cool with that.
Craig: Totally. Now, the key for me is if you upload me into robot body, I kind of actually want you to kill my other self. [laughs] Because there can only be one.
Next question. Do we say who wrote in, or no?
John: Yes, we’ll say the person, but not the last name. But you can say Vancouver.
Craig: Yeah, Sarah in Vancouver. “This year I decided to stop coloring my hair and let my natural dusky silver grow in. Seeing as you’re both the same vintage as me, and the kind of men I’d be attracted to…”
Craig: Oh, hmmm…”I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the attractiveness and sex appeal of women with gray hair. I seem to be the only one excited about being natural again. People either find it amusing or disturbing. Am I alone out here? What should I do?”
John: Yeah. She didn’t include a photo, so we don’t know whether she’s a woman who looks amazing with gray or silver hair.
John: Look, I think natural can be awesome. And I think if you like being natural the way your hair is, that’s great. The most important thing about being attractive is being confident. And if being natural gives you confidence there, that’s terrific.
Craig: Yeah. I basically agree. I mean, definitely what happens is your physical appearance is the thing that kind of starts the ball rolling with men, but those of us who are into women, a lot of it then is what happens after. So much of it is what happens after. What happens when you open your mouth and you start talking? Are you interesting? Are you fascinating? Are you funny? Are you cool?
It’s a fact that biologically men are programmed to be attracted to youth. It just comes down to the whole spread your genetic material around pregnancy, animal behavior theory of sex and sexual attraction. So, it will probably stop a few guys in their tracks. It may make it a little more difficult for some guys.
But, you know, whatever. Who cares? If you’re cool and you’re awesome, I don’t really think it’s going to stop anyone.
John: I would agree. Next question comes from Ben in San Angelo, Texas. “If you had to start from scratch, let’s say your current mind got zapped to your teenage body, would you do it all over again?”
Craig: Interesting theme that keeps emerging. Well, yeah, I would do it all over again because I love my life, and I love all of it, even the parts that are terrible.
John: Yeah. I thought about this a lot. And if I could go back and sort of do junior high and high school, all that stuff over again, I would because there was stuff I definitely enjoyed, but there is stuff I know I would enjoy differently knowing what I know now.
Craig: Oh, wait, you know what you know now?
John: Yeah. That’s the trick of the question — do you get to take your current experience with you back to the past?
Craig: Oh, no, I don’t want to do that. I just want to basically do everything that’s happened already again. I want to rewatch the episode.
John: Yeah, I don’t know that I want to do everything that’s happened again. I mean, I’ve had…
Craig: So, you don’t want to meet Mike? You’re going to meet some other guy. You might not have a kid. You get run over, [laughs], by a cart.
John: Yeah. There’s a Sliding Doors quality of like if you got to live your life again would stuff necessarily turn out better for having the information. Maybe not.
Craig: All right.
John: All right. Cool.
Craig: So, finally a difference there. Justin from Arlington, Virginia with a great question. “Croissant, English muffin, or biscuit?”
John: I think they’re all excellent choices. I can enjoy any one of those things. I find that a great biscuit at the right moment with a little butter, a little honey, there’s maybe nothing better.
Craig: I find biscuits to be big handfuls of glue and croissants are too greasy for me. I’m an English muffin guy.
John: English muffin for a hamburger, by the way, a fantastic choice.
Craig: Yeah, I do it all the time. Whole wheat English muffin. Hard to beat.
John: Ed writes, this is a question for you, “What E-cigarette brand do you recommend? Any cons to e-cigging?”
Craig: Interesting that this question comes up because I quit smoking those things.
John: I’m so glad, Craig.
Craig: You know, you don’t have to be that glad. It’s not that big of a deal, although I have to say it’s — ugh, quitting nicotine is the worst. What it does to your brain? Ugh, anyway. It’s been a weird week. You can imagine.
So, look, what I recommend is just not starting, but if you’re smoking regular cigarettes, definitely. And you don’t want to deal with cold turkey. Definitely switching over to e-cigarettes is good. I recommend just generically using the Boge Cartomizer. That’s B-O-G-E.
And you can get standard — there are these standard batteries. I can’t remember the model number, but they’re sort of skinny black batteries with either blue or red tips at the end. If you go to — there’s a cool website called Cignot. Cignot.com. They sell all that stuff.
And then in terms of the liquid, I recommend Johnson Creek because they are made here and it is actually looked over by people that seem to care as opposed to, I don’t know, a Chinese factory somewhere just dumping spare melamine and liquid lead into a vat. [laughs]
Yeah, the cons of e-cigging: incredibly addictive and when you quit those it will suck.
John: Did I tell you that we were at Disneyland, and so we were on the Silly Symphony which is those swings that spin around? There’s never a line because it’s never actually all that fun.
Craig: I know those, yeah.
John: But my kid likes it. So, there’s this woman in front of me and she had something glowing in her hand. I’m like, oh my god, she has an eCig and she’s like using her eCig while she’s on that swing.
Craig: Cool lady. I mean, she just doesn’t care. [crosstalk] Yeah, I like it.
Here’s a question for you, [laughs], from…
John: I think it’s really a question for you.
Craig: I know, it’s really a question for both of us, I think. It’s from our friend TS and he wants to know, “Should I seduce a married man?”
I’m pretty sure we have the same answer.
John: I would say probably not.
Craig: No. No.
John: Yeah, here’s the question — are you wrong to go into, not knowing what somebody’s marital situation is. You know, somebody could be married but they could be separated, or they could have an open relationship. There could be reasons why you’re not a terrible person for going into that situation. You’re not a morally terrible person.
Are you going to be emotionally hurt trying to seduce a married man? Yeah, very likely. So, I think you’re better off sticking with people who are actually available.
Craig: Yeah, it’s the word “seduce” that’s the problem.
Craig: I mean, “sleep with,” if the guy is living a closeted life and he’s into you, whatever. But “seduce” is sort of, that’s a tougher one.
John: Yeah. Should you seduce anyone? Well, yeah, I guess you can seduce a single person.
Craig: Yeah, no of course. Yeah, sure. But seducing married people is kind of — don’t do that.
John: Yeah. It’s kind of crappy.
Craig: That’s not nice.
John: Clint asks, “I’m considering replacing my lawn with Buffalo grass. If memory serves, John August made the change a while back. How is that working out? Is it worth the expense and effort? Anything you’d do differently?”
So, yes, and I’m actually looking at the Buffalo grass that is growing in our backyard right at this moment. And it was pretty good.
So, the deal with Buffalo grass is unlike normal grass where you can put out a seed or you can roll out the big long strips of it, Buffalo grass actually has much, much deeper roots, and so you have to plant little plugs. It’s sort of like you are getting a hair transplant and they’re putting those little plugs into the dirt.
And that’s a hassle and it just took a tremendous amount of work. And the crows came after the plugs and pulled them out, so we had to scare away the crows and redo it. But, once it grew in it’s been really, really solid. And you kind of don’t have to water it much at all. And it looks pretty good. So, I would do it again.
We used UC Verde Buffalo Grass. It was the type that they figured it… It was the UC System that studied all the kinds of Buffalo grass and this is the one that actually works well on lawns.
It’s been really solid. And if you have dogs or cats or whatever, they won’t burn holes in the lawn they way they can with normal grass. So, that’s a good thing.
Craig: Nice. That would be — maybe I should think about that.
So, Patrick here in Los Angeles writes, “What’s your favorite weeknight meal to cook for your families?”
John: Do you cook, Craig?
Craig: I do. I love cooking. But when I cook it’s either like a big, adventuresome cooking thing, or I tend to do little smaller things like on-the-spot breakfasts or lunches. So, I don’t have a routine weeknight meal that I cook. But my daughter does love my famous grilled cheese sandwich. I like making a nice grilled cheese with a little tomato soup. But when I cook I go crazy and I just go nuts.
I like making desserts.
John: Yeah. So, I am by nature more of a baker rather than a cook. So, for a long time I would make like a lot of desserts. And I’d bake cakes, and cookies, and all that kind of stuff. And now I don’t do that very much anymore because we don’t eat that kind of stuff anymore.
My husband does most of the daily cooking, but when I do do cooking, turkey meatloaf is sort of a good staple for us. We have a really good turkey meatloaf that we like. Mini turkey meatloaf — that’s the crucial thing. When you make that giant meatloaf, only the little outside of it gets browned. But if you make little small meatloafs, then it all gets good and brown.
Craig: Like in little ramekins?
John: No, you actually do it on a baking sheet, flat on a baking sheet.
Craig: Oh, okay. You just make like little mounds on it.
John: Little mounds. And the key I have learned is to sort of mound them up like a shark fin, because they will sort of soften down a bit as it bakes, but it will end up with a nice shape if it’s sort of pointy at the start. And every little bit gets a little more ketchup. So, that plus roasted cauliflower and maybe some spinach or something else, that’s a really good weeknight meal.
Craig: That’s good. I’m still kind of into making desserts. I like making pies from scratch, crusts from scratch.
John: I like pie crust, too.
Craig: Chocolate mousse. I like chocolate mousse. I like making complicated things. I feel like I like the chemistry a little.
John: And people are always intimidated by like a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Turkey is one of the easiest things you could possibly ever make.
John: Well, yes, we’ve talked about the brine. But essentially, you know what you do? You clean the bird and you stick it in a hot oven. People make too much of a deal of it.
Craig: Brine it, stick it, don’t put stuffing in it like a dope.
All right, so what do we have next?
John: Billie Jean asks, “What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done in front of an idol, or a celebrity, or a mentor?”
Craig: [laughs] Well, I can remember mine. It’s so stupid. So, it was — I’m going to say it was 1993. And I was sitting with a friend. We were by Johnny Rockets at the Beverly Connection. And we look over, it’s like around 10pm actually. And we look over and there’s Jerry Seinfeld talking with a friend.
Oh my god. Jerry Seinfeld. You know, it’s 1993; Jerry Seinfeld is the king of the world. And I’m like, “I got to go, I got to go say hi to Jerry Seinfeld. I’ve got to shake his hand or do something.” And he’s like, well, do it.
So, as we’re leaving, I start walking, I’m parallel to Jerry Seinfeld. I’m too scared. I’m now a step past him and I’m like, no, no, no, I can’t not do it. So then I just whirl around and I go, “Mr. Seinfeld, it’s really nice to meet you.”
And he was like, “What?” Because he really thought that I was going to stab him. Because that’s the motion I made. It was the motion of a guy walking past somebody and then suddenly flinging themselves into their personal space and then saying, “It’s really nice to meet you.” But he hasn’t met me. There’s just a man suddenly in his face. It was terrible.
John: That’s pretty bad.
Craig: It was so stupid.
John: Mine is not embarrassing as much as just like really, really awkward, and especially awkward because there’s a photo of it that my husband insists on keeping because it’s just so awkward.
So, this is at the opening of the USC Film School. They had this big gala event where they had celebrities and famous people there. And so I was downstairs touring the post-production area and Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are there. And so I know Katie Holmes but I hadn’t seen her in years. And so, they’re like, oh, say hi to Tom and Katie. Like, oh great.
So, we’re in this really narrow space, and so I’m shaking hands with Katie. And it’s like, “Hey, how are you?” Trying to talk about her kid, because we have a kid about the same age. And I meet Tom Cruise. And Tom Cruise, anyone who has met Tom Cruise, he sort of like locks eyes on you. And it’s just this weird sort of like tractor beam thing that Tom Cruise does.
And so there’s this photo of us having this really awkward meeting in this narrow hallway from this angle, and I look bizarre in it. I look like I’m some sort of Martian who is talking to people from Venus. And it was incredibly awkward because of just…and then of course the whole Tom and Katie of it all, because this is right when, you know, their sort of sudden relationship and what all that was.
Craig: Yeah. That does sound weird.
John: That’s an odd thing.
Craig: That is odd.
John: One thing I should say about meeting a celebrity is it’s also that always awkward thing of like, you know, “Hi, I’m this person,” and they’ll say their name back. It’s like, well, of course you’re that person because you’re Tom Cruise.
Craig: I know.
John: So, when they say like, “Hi, I’m Tom,” it’s like, yeah, I know you’re Tom Cruise.
Craig: Isn’t that funny? There’s like a weird contract that you have with famous people that they’re going to tell you their name and you’re going to go, “Hi, I’m Craig,” like, I did not know that. This is a normal meeting. You’re not famous.
John: What I found, like even last night at The Academy thing, when someone is coming up, and there was a little bit of a receiving line kind of quality that happens, the next person that comes up, I’ll just say, “Hi, I’m John,” because it just starts the conversation. So, it’s natural that we do it.
Craig: Maybe that’s why these people do these things. I find it easier to deal with celebrities and famous people now because I think once you hit 40 you start to realize you’re older than a lot of them.
Craig: You know? I’m older than Bradley Cooper. It’s kind of weird.
John: It is weird.
Craig: But I am, because I don’t know, he seems like a man. He is a man.
Here’s a question from JD. “You’re both in love and in some states both married.” I think you’re just married. “Do you think it’s important to have more common interests than not with a significant other? Or, are opposite interests okay as long your personalities and respect for one another’s wants and needs remain constant?”
John: I would say that shared interests are very, very useful so that you have something to talk about. And I think it’s going to be hard to get very far in a relationship if you don’t have some good overlap in things that you are interested in other than sort of like kind of generally digging the person. But you don’t need to have that 100 percent match. And there should be things that one person loves and obsesses over and the other person couldn’t care less about, as long as they don’t openly mock. That’s good and fine.
But you want to be able to go places and do things and have some reason to be able to go out to certain events at nighttime. If one person hates the theater, that’s fine. You’ll always find other people to go to the theater with. But, if that person hates theater, and movies, and concerts, and everything else, and you like those things, then it’s not going to work out well.
Craig: I tend to shade a little bit more to saying opposite interests are actually a great thing. And what keeps us together as bonded pairs is our intangible love and assistance for each other. And the things that are going around outside of us are so much less important. And, frankly, it’s nice to be able to get away from my wife and do things I like doing that she doesn’t care about and vice versa.
It’s so hard to find someone, I mean, of course, if really there is no common interests it is unlikely that the two people will fall in love anyway. But, I think that sometimes people make too much of “we both like doing the same thing.” Uh, yeah. It’s that we do something for each other that we like.
John: Absolutely. I mean, the ideal spouse is somebody who is always on your side, is like always on your team. And that’s a really crucial thing. It doesn’t mean you have to have 100 percent alignment on everything.
I’m always amazed though by the mixed marriages where people have radically different beliefs and somehow they make it work. And that I just don’t know how they do it.
Craig: I get it. Because, the truth is for those people they’re getting something from the other person that’s so much more valuable than agreement on a topic. You know, there are things that go to our survival, our sense of safety and security and feeling loved.
You know what? Look at children and their parents. So many children have different political views than their parents. The still love their parents. The parents still love the kids, you know?
John: Well, that’s a central theme of Big Fish, though, is that throughout your entire life you get to pick your relationships, you get to pick the people who are going to be your friends, you get to pick the people you are going to marry, but parents are just sort of assigned to you. It’s just like a big lottery and you end up with these people. And you’re supposed to have this amazing relationship with these people.
But, you didn’t pick them. They didn’t pick you. And somehow you’re supposed to get along on everything. I think sometimes we put unrealistic expectations on what that relationship is supposed to be, “Because he’s your father, how could you not love him?”
“Well, I didn’t pick him.”
Craig: Yeah, you don’t have to get me started on that topic.
Craig: Yeah, no, I totally agree with you on that one.
John: Kristen in Seattle writes, “I would like to know if you guys like cats. And if you know why of all the animals in the animal kingdom cats purr?”
Craig: Well, a two part question. No, I don’t like cats. I find them annoying. I love dogs. Actually, I once talked to a veterinarian about this whole purring thing, and the truth is they don’t really know. I mean, there’s like some cockamamie theory that purring helps healing because there’s like some vibration thing that happens. I don’t believe that.
I think it’s probably just something they do.
John: Yeah. Because I think big cats purr, too. So, it’s not something that we kind of bred into cats. I think it’s a natural thing that cats do. But, it’s like there’s lot of other animals that do weird things, just they’re not around us all the time so we don’t notice it.
I like cats. And I did not grow up with cats. And I’ve always been very allergic to cats. But I learned to love cats because my friend, Elizabeth, had cats. And so I would talk to her on the phone, this is sort of pre-internet, so we would just talk to each other on the phone for like an hour a night. And so I would hear all about her cats. And so I knew all these details about her cats.
And then in our house here we don’t have cats because I’m allergic to cats, but in Los Angeles people should understand that there are cats everywhere. Los Angeles is just full of cats. And so there are some feral cats, but also some house cats that sort of just wander through our yard. And they’re really cool. And like one of them is actually Patricia Arquette’s cat wanders through our yard.
Craig: Is her name Patricia Arcat?
John: Wouldn’t that be amazing? I never even thought of that. That’s why you’re the comedy writer.
Craig: Yeah, that was a really good joke, man. [laughs]
John: That’s a great joke. You could get fifty bucks for that on Fashion Police.
Craig: At least.
John: [laughs] Rollie is just the best cat in the world. So, we eat lunch outside — Stuart, Ryan, and I eat lunch outside — and Rollie will just come over and hang out. Just the best cat in the world. But I like cats that are sort of like dogs, and that’s why I like Rollie so much.
Craig: Yeah, I mean, cats don’t do it for me.
John: Cats are great.
Next up is Victor from Pittsburgh.
Craig: Victor, yeah. Are you reading this one? I’m reading this one?
Craig: Okay, this guy is moving, and Victor is “moving into an apartment that for the first time is all [his] own, a real home to call [his] own.” I guess he’s been living in dorms and things like that. “It’s a blank slate coming with no furniture. As the hip artsy fellows that you are, I’m sure your lovely LA homes are decked out with only the finest in furniture and decor. What do you suggest for a first time home renter? Goodwill, IKEA, or anything else? Standing desk? Specific recommendations? First time apartment stories worth sharing?”
John: I think IKEA gets a bad rap. I think some stuff from IKEA is absolutely fine. And, I mean, that’s the motto for IKEA: For now it’s fine. That should just be their tag line. I give it to them for free.
Because there’s decent stuff you can get that will work okay in your apartment for a while. So, IKEA or CB2 or sort of the lower rent brands for sort of the big furniture companies, they’re absolutely fine. I would say you’re not going to have a lot of stuff, so sort of embrace a nice minimalism that looks good.
The best thing you can do for your apartment to look nice is to clean it and to not let it be a mess.
Craig: Yeah. I totally agree. Don’t get cluttery with it. Apartments are small. In general, small spaces look best when they are minimally appointed, because they can’t handle a lot of clutter, they can’t handle a lot of different heights, and shapes, and things. Low, sleek, simple, small. I totally agree on IKEA as far as, you know, look, your job at this point is to succeed and move on save your money. Don’t spend money on furniture now, that’s crazy.
So, yeah, sure, go to IKEA. Get disposable Swedish furniture. Enjoy putting it together yourself. There are some nice tasteful things that they have there. And just do it.
There are people that really get into, “Ooh, look at my cool vintage sofa that I found at Goodwill, that’s full of bed bugs or smells.” Eh, you know, you’re going to have to move it, you know? You’re not living in this apartment the rest of your life. Think about that, too.
John: One of my favorite pieces of apartment furniture was something I found in the dumpster of the apartment building. It was this big green dresser. And it had these really handles on it, so I took them off and I put like cool handles on it. And that was my dresser for six years.
And that stuff is fine and good, too. Yeah, don’t worry about it too much.
Craig: Do not.
John: Steve asks, “How much can you guys bench press?”
Craig: Hmm, good question. Well, I haven’t been to the gym lately, and you know, my maximum bench press, I was never that strong. I think like one time, like one up and down, I think maybe like — I don’t know — probably I could do 200 pounds or something like that.
John: I did 205 for eight.
John: Yeah, so I was checking with my trainer today, because I asked him. And he said, “Oh, that’s what you can do.” So, that’s great. I actually probably couldn’t do that right now because I’ve been in Chicago and I haven’t had a trainer for awhile, but that’s what I could theoretically do.
Craig: Yeah, I was more, I like dumbbells. So, I like to do multiples with like two-50s. You know, not 250s, but two individual 50-pounds dumbbells and do like twelve reps or something like that.
John: Yeah, I do find that dumbbells, I don’t have that fear of dying, because there’s not going to be that bar that’s going to crush me.
John: That’s the thing about bench pressing is that fear of like you’re actually going to be trapped underneath this forever. At least I could also like drop free weights.
Craig: And dumbbells are harder because you have to individually steer and balance, you know, whereas the bar of a bench press bar helps kind of stabilize.
Kyle from Salt Lake City says, “If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?”
John: I would choose flight, the two-handed arms pointed out at the sky flight.
Craig: I would go with invisibility. Super useful.
John: Yeah, that one is really useful.
Craig: Super useful. Flying, though, would be great though.
John: Yeah. Lawrence from New York City asks, for me, I guess, “Are you spoken to in a different manor because you are gay/straight??? Do they expect more or less of you because of your sexuality??? Do they believe you should be better at melodrama and weepy stuff, and sports films or action??? How does sexuality affect your career??? Does it???” All of these questions end with three question marks, which…stop doing that.
Lawrence, stop asking questions with three question marks.
John: So, Lawrence’s basic question is has being gay impacted my career at all in Hollywood. I don’t think it’s had a huge impact. I think, yes, I don’t get considered for sports movies as much. That’s not a huge tragedy in my life. But John Logan who’s gay, he wrote Any Given Sunday.
Craig: Yeah, I don’t think that’s because you’re gay.
John: No. I think it’s because I don’t give a rat’s ass about sports.
John: But I write action movies and people call me in for that. I don’t think that it ever comes up that much. I will say that when I was writing the first TV show I did, D.C., it was the only situation in my whole Hollywood time where I walked into a room and I felt like “faggot” had just been said, because it was this weird energy that had happened.
And I’m not sure who it was, or what was going on, but it was really, really uncomfortable. But that’s kind of been it.
And so a lot of times I will, they’ll ask me like, “Hey, do you want to become a bigger part of the Writers Guild Gay Writers Group?” I’m just like I don’t know that I need it. I don’t know that we need it. I don’t know that it’s actually a hue problem. It hasn’t been a huge problem for me, so I don’t relate to it.
Craig: Now there are so many gay producers, so many gay executives. It’s just, I don’t know. Yeah.
John: I think it would be much harder to be homophobic in this town than to be gay.
Craig: Openly homophobic? Oh, yeah, good luck. [laughs] I don’t think that can work. No.
John: It’s not going to go well.
Craig: I don’t think that would work. And, frankly, you’re just in the wrong business. I mean, if you don’t enjoy gay people and you don’t enjoy the expression of gay culture and gay humor and gay aesthetic, you’re just in the wrong business.
Earling writes, “Can either of you actually sing? Which musical production do you wish you could have had the chance to experience in person? And which musical to film do you think has resulted in the greatest or poorest film adaptation?”
John: Great. So, we’ve established that Craig can sing, because Craig sang on an earlier podcast.
Craig: Yeah, come on Earling.
John: Yeah, go back and do your research.
John: I can sing well enough to get the point of a song across. And so I’ve gotten to be a better singer through Big Fish. So, I can sing a little bit. I can’t sing the way that the actors can sing in Big Fish, but I can sing well enough that I’m not scared to sing.
Which musical production do you wish you could have seen in person? I don’t know.
Craig: Good question.
John: I mean, I’ve never actually seen any production of Funny Girl, but Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl was probably awesome.
Craig: It probably was awesome. Yeah. I’d probably go with Fiddler on the Roof. The original Fiddler on the Roof. I just love that show. And I just think that would have been amazing to see that. Every song is just so great.
And what do you think about this musical to film, up and down?
John: I loved Chicago. And I love Chicago as a stage play, but I love it as a movie, too. And I think it was just a really, really smart version that captured the stuff I loved about the stage version and made it a movie.
Craig: It did. That’s a very good choice. I would probably go with West Side Story only because it may be the best musical ever and it also happens to be a great, great film, too. So, that’s a very high risk/high reward kind of thing to go from something that’s truly brilliant, take it to film, and not blow it.
Poorest, you know, I hate doing this, but The Producers, because The Producers was a great movie, and then they surprised everybody by doing a terrific musical of it. But the movie of the musical of the movie just didn’t work.
John: I have not seen it.
Craig: It just didn’t work. And I love everybody in it. And, yeah, it didn’t work. Plus, they cut out the best song, King of All Broadway.
Anyway, those are our answers.
CC from Calabasas asks, “I love to hear about your solar panels and your electric cars. What are some other fun high end toys or home improvements that you recommend?”
Craig: Well, there’s one thing that I’ve signed up for, you know, when they make a big splashy thing, “Look, we have this new product coming but it’s not ready yet,” so you put your email on it and they tell you when it’s ready. And it’s called Kevo and it’s basically a lockset for your door that fits right in the regular deadbolt that locks that thing, but it’s controlled by your phone.
Craig: And I think it’s as simple as like a Bluetooth thing. So, you walk up to your door and it unlocks.
John: That would be great.
I like our Nest Thermostats. They’ve been really useful for us.
Craig: Love those.
John: I love that I can on my iPhone app see like, is the air conditioner running? I will turn it on. Or, I can turn it on like when I’m at the restaurant saying like let’s get it cooled down before I get home. That’s been awesome and great.
My husband has also been really good about sort of switching out all of our light bulbs to LEDs and energy efficient lights. So, throughout the whole house we’re all that way, and that’s part of the reason why we’re able to generate so much power and sell so much power back to the City of Los Angeles. We actually use very little power now which has been terrific.
John: Next question, John Ligget asks, “Hey, I think you should talk about food on your podcast and your favorite restaurants.”
Favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. I love Mozza. I love — both Osteria Mozza and the Pizzeria Mozza are fantastic. What are your favorite restaurants in Los Angeles?
Craig: You know, I’m not like a favorite restaurant guy. I guess if I had to say one, I really love Sasabune.
John: Okay. I don’t know what that is.
Craig: Sushi place on the west side. And Sushi Nozawa and Sugarfish. I like really, really good sushi. But I’ll go to any restaurant. I’m pretty easygoing about restaurants. I’m not really a foodie. I love interesting food. I love the food that foodies eat, I just don’t love obsessing about food, and the trucks, and, oh, this new spot, and this guy used to own this place, and opens that place. And when people start having that discussion my eyes roll back in my head and I lose consciousness.
John: Yeah. I like to go to dinner with friends, but I’d much rather go to a mediocre restaurant with good friends than a great restaurant with people I don’t like.
Craig: 100 percent.
John: Next up.
Craig: All right, next up we’ve got Hanu Carl. [laughs] Hanu Carl — so cute, in the Valley, question mark, exclamation point, exclamation point. “Kwanzaa or Diwali? Which of the non-Christmas holidays is cooler? Feel free to address history, music, fashion, and food.” My answer is none of them. The only cool holiday around Christmastime is Christmas. Sorry.
John: I’m 100 percent Diwali. I love Diwali. I love kind of everything Indian and I love Indian food. Come on, Diwali for me.
Craig: I love Indian food, too. I love everything Indian. I’m a big fan of the culture. I don’t need to celebrate Diwali though, or Kwanzaa. Frankly, I don’t even celebrate Christmas. Here’s the truth: I’m the Grinch and I don’t like celebrations. But I do love Indian food.
John: You’ll love the hundredth episode of Scriptnotes celebration, though. That’s a celebration you’ll endorse?
Craig: Yeah. It’s not a holiday, you know?
John: I heard they’re actually going to shut down the town, though. I mean, everyone is going to take the day off and it’s going to be big deal.
John: Carmen in Missouri asks, “What are your thoughts on bacon? What are your thoughts on bacon in desserts?”
Craig: Yeah. Bacon is very good, it’s very tasty. I don’t care for the ridiculous internet obsession with bacon. You know, this is the worst of the internet. Take something that’s perfectly good but a little downscale and then turn it into like a meta, quasi-ironic worship thing. Yeah, it’s bacon, whatever. Isn’t there other stuff to talk about?
I do think that bacon in desserts is perfectly fine in the sense that savory plus sweet can be a nice thing. But, the whole bacon thing, it drives me nuts.
John: I’m glad to hear you say, because it drives me nuts, too.
Craig: What is that, John?
John: I don’t know. It’s the obsession over things that you don’t need to worry about being obsessed with. So, I don’t eat normal bacon, because I don’t eat beef, or pork, or mammals. So, I eat turkey bacon. And so I obviously like suspect because I eat turkey bacon which is not really a thing and I should be shunned for eating turkey bacon.
But I like turkey bacon just fine.
Craig: Turkey bacon is good. I like turkey bacon.
John: It’s delicious. And so whatever you want to do with bacon, great, go for it. But don’t push it at me.
Craig: Yeah. And like stop inventing fake obsessions, the point of which is that obsessions are silly but yet cool. All right, hipsters, go ahead with your bacon.
Ooh, Fabrizio from Italy. “If your podcasts weren’t about screenwriting or anything related to filmmaking, what would it be about?” Huh? What?
John: Mine would be yet another tech podcast, another sort of Mac Geekery podcast. And so I guest on some of those podcasts at times and I enjoy talking about that stuff, but really we don’t need another one, so I shouldn’t do it.
Craig: Yeah. I don’t think I would talk about anything else. I’m just simply not qualified. I’m barely qualified to talk about this. Let’s put it that way.
John: Chris Han in East LA writes, “What lessons do you have for nerds for a successful marriage?”
Craig: Uh, I don’t know. Because they’re nerds?
John: Or for anybody.
Craig: You know, okay, here’s my big lessons — these are not shocking. Be faithful to your spouse. Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of time on your own. Don’t be afraid if they spend a little bit of time on their own. Don’t be contemptuous of your spouse. And, you know, avoid things like violence. I mean, it’s not really — I’ll tell you the number one, the number one thing. Honestly, everybody’s going to give you a bunch of platitudes. Number one thing: Be faithful. Be faithful. There you go.
John: I think all your points are very good. The other thing I would say is to always understand that your spouse is his or her own person and to always keep in mind what do they want or what do they need to do. And to figure out how you can be supportive to what they want or what they need to do, because their needs and wants may not immediately line up with what your needs and wants are. But you need to be aware of what they are so you can together both get to places you want to get to.
John: So, part of that is respect, but that’s also understanding that it’s not just about the two of you. It’s also about you as individuals.
Oh, look at this, Robert…
John: Robert James Cross asks…
Craig: Robert is, yeah, he’s going for this question we’ve kind of trotted all over, kind of gone over this a little bit. “Where’s the best place for sushi or pizza in Los Angeles?”
John: Yeah, so when I was in Chicago we had the conversation about Chicago pizza and New York pizza. Honestly, the pizza I love the most is Los Angeles pizza. It is at Pizzeria Mozza. I think it’s just the best pizza you’re going to find.
Craig: That pizza is not what I call pizza, but that’s sort of what I call Italian fancy pizza. And that is excellent Italian fancy pizza. No question.
For traditional pizza, the kind of pizza that comes from New York, there are a couple places in and around there. There’s a Joe’s, I think, in Santa Monica now which is a transplant from New York. And there’s actually a little booth in The Americana on Brand in Glendale that sells pretty good pizza.
Sushi wise, like I said, Sasabune. Big fan of that. Nozawa. Sugarfish.
John: So, I go to Nobu and I like Nobu quite a lot. I’ve been to Nobus in many different countries, but the Nobu in Los Angeles is lovely, as is Matsuhisa.
But my favorite sushi, actually Sushi Azami which closed, but the owner Niki has opened up another restaurant on the west side which is amazing, but it’s always omakase, and it’s like a three-hour thing to eat dinner there. It’s completely worth it, it’s just that you have to plan for three-hours to do it. So, I’ll have a link to her restaurant.
Craig: That’s interesting that it’s three hours long, because Sasabune is the same thing, it’s omakase, but it doesn’t take that long.
John: Yeah. I was with Josh Friedman and we drank a lot of wine, so maybe that’s why it took three hours.
Craig: Maybe you thought it was three hours, it was 20 minutes.
John: Ha. We actually had to walk around the block just a few time just to, you know, settle your stomach and feel like you could actually move in a car again.
Craig: I like it.
John: “You’re on the first passenger flight to the moon,” oh, this is a question from Jessup, I love Jessup, from Vacaville. “You’re on the first passenger flight to the moon. Because of carryon restrictions you only get to bring one book, one snack, one beverage. What are they?”
Craig: I don’t care.
John: I have answers for all of this. My book would be Pride & Prejudice, because I just love Pride & Prejudice. I could just read it again and again. One snack would be almond butter. And it would specifically be Whole Foods Almond Butter, the one that you can actually get from the grinder. Like fresh ground almond butter is one of the best substances on earth. And one beverage, I suppose if I’m going to go…well, it’s a question, do you go for the alcohol? You’re flying to the moon…
Craig: You’re going to the moon. This is what I don’t understand about this question. You’re going to the moon and you’re reading? My eyes are glued. I’m like, I want to just watch the trip entirely. I don’t care what my snack is. I’m going to the moon!
John: Yeah, the moon.
Craig: You know what I’ll have, moon snack. Whatever moon plane gives me. I feel so simple.
John: I will say one of the things I miss most about Chicago is a chain called Protein Bar. And Protein Bar is this sort of healthy fast food that is all over Chicago, and I haven’t seen here, and I really which were here. But they have these amazing smoothies. And they have like a peanut butter/chocolate chip smoothie that’s actually kind of healthy that’s really great. So that would be my beverage.
Craig: That sounds good.
Josh from San Luis Obispo. “If you had the option to either own a real life light saber, or an actual working hover board from Back to the Future, which would you choose and why?”
John: I’m full on light saber. I would love to have a light saber.
Craig: Yeah, of course. That’s not even a good question.
John: It’s not a good question at all.
Craig: No, it’s not a fair question.
John: It’s a light saber. How can you not pick light saber?
Craig: Yeah, working hover board? Who cares?
Craig: “Oh, look at me, I’m on my hover board. Whoop-de-do.” All right. Or, you can just go get a Segway and also look like a dork.
Or, you can have a light saber. Come on, Josh. [laughs] I’m getting angry.
John: Mark Thorson writes, “Now that even Rush Limbaugh has admitted the gay marriage issue is lost, what’s the next milestone for gay rights? The only thing I can think of is the first gay president. Is anything more important that happens earlier?”
Uh, yeah, I think marriage is happening really quickly, and I’m delighted that it’s happening so quickly, and delighted that just last week we picked up another giant state. And whatever the Supreme Court decision is, it will be incredibly useful. And I’m excited to be able to get off of planes and be married in more states. That’s a wonderful thing.
I talk to the people who run these organizations and one of the things I say when I talk to these people is it’s fantastic that gay and lesbian couples can have the rights they need, I think the next frontier is going to be to make sure that people who don’t fit into nice categories, transgendered people, get the same rights that everyone else does. And I think that’s one of the things where, you know, we talk about gay people as minorities. Those people are super minorities. And making sure that they have full and inclusive rights to things that every American should have.
Craig: Yeah. I mean, ultimately the most meaningful milestone beyond this one is that there’s no longer a topic because it’s just nobody cares and everything is equal and fine and it’s just not an issue.
I think that employment rights are probably where I would look if I were running one of these organizations, because there are going to be states soon, I think, if the Supreme Court rules in favor of federal gay marriage — there are going to be states where it is legally possible for two men to get married but also legally possible for both of them to be fired from their jobs because they’re gay. That’s bizarre.
John: Yeah. That is bizarre.
Craig: So, I mean, it’s bizarre right now, obviously. So, that’s where I would probably — that’s where I would load up my ammo.
Let’s see, we have Brian from Tampa, “Morally speaking, what’s the worst thing you’ve done to get out of some type of obligation?”
John: I will say personally I feel good that I’ve never used my kid as an excuse. I’ve never pretended that it was like my kid that was why I couldn’t do something. But I have, I feel like I’m coming down with something, I have done that. And I feel terrible when I do it. And sometimes I get sort of the symptomatic cold that I imagined from doing that. But, I’ve feigned some illness to get out of a meeting or to reschedule something.
Craig: Yeah. I’m sure I’ve done that, too. I mean, it’s hard to quarrel with somebody who’s telling you that they just threw up. Even if you think they’re lying, even if you think there’s a 90 percent chance they’re lying, that means there’s a 10 percent chance that you’re forcing somebody to show up in your office and they might throw up.
John: Yeah. You don’t want to do that.
Craig: Near you. Yeah.
John: Malibu Jack asks, “If the universe is infinite, how can it be expanding? And if space is mostly empty, how can it be warped by gravity?”
Craig: I can’t answer the first question, because I don’t know. The second question I think misunderstands gravity and space time. But, I’m not smart enough to explain why. I just know that in my head I’m looking at that diagram in A Brief History of Time and Thinking. No, that’s not a good question.
John: I think it’s a reasonable question, but it’s not a good question in the sense that we are not — as human beings we’re not well set up to deal with things at a giant, giant, giant scale, or at a really tiny scale. We’re used to being able to deal with things at a scale that we can see.
Our whole mind is set up for like there’s that bison over there. I will throw this rock and hit this bison. And so our minds work really well for that scale of thing. And so scale of things we can see and scale of things we can do.
And so we have this tendency to try to use our understanding of that kind of world and apply it to much bigger things, and it actually just doesn’t hold up very well. And so we say the universe is expanding, but it’s infinite. Well, that makes sense at the giant levels that we’re talking about. And, you know, say, “Well what is this expanding into?” It’s like, well, that’s actually not meaningful in a way that you sort of want it to make sense. This is because we think in very physical, relatable terms that aren’t actually accurate to how the big universe works or how the tiny universe works.
Craig: Yeah. Or, spice.
John: The spice. The spice explains it all.
Craig: The worm. The spice. What is the connection?
Craig: That’s my favorite line from a movie ever. “The connection is that the worm is the spice.”
John: The worm is the spice.
Craig: And then he just kept asking the question. “It’s got to have something…the worm and the spice. What is it?” [laughs] “They’re the same. They’re the same thing.”
John: Let’s skip this next question because another one down the list asks the same thing.
Craig: Yeah. Agreed.
John: Ferdinand from Constantinople asks, “If Craig and John did a life swap, who would be better at being the other?”
Craig: I think I’m good at impressions, so I think I could actually convince some people that I was you.
John: Yeah. I think you’d actually do a pretty good job with my life. And my life is not that difficult. I think I would have a harder time being you because I don’t care anything about baseball and I would not be able to coach your son’s baseball team.
Craig: Yeah. But there are lot of dads that also can’t coach their kid’s baseball teams. And, you know, you would just watch.
John: But I could love your woman. There’s no question.
Craig: [laughs] I’d like to see you try!
John: [laughs] Gary from Orlando, Florida asks, “Craig, how’s the Tesla been so far?”
Craig: Awesome! Greatest car in the world. And it was terrific to see that Consumer Reports, which is very fussy, super nerdy guys — one thing I like about Consumer Reports, when they review cars they don’t get a car from the factory. They have somebody go and buy a car anonymously. So, it’s actually just a random car and they put it through ridiculous paces. And it got a 99 out of 100. Only one other car in history has every gotten that. It was a Lexus from 10 years ago.
And they said essentially, “This may be the best car we’ve ever tested.”
John: Oh, fantastic.
Craig: It’s an awesome car. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
John: Hooray. And for the record, I still love my Leaf. It’s been a great car, too.
John: Doug Jay asks, “What are your thoughts on automobile safety ratings? Would a bad safety rating be a deal breaker for you?”
Craig: It would for me. Absolutely.
John: It would for me, too.
Craig: Yeah, this guy mentions that the Camry rated poor in the IHS Small Offset Crash Test. Well, it turns out that most crashes are offset. I mean, very few people just slam into each other headlight to headlight. And if a car structurally is doing very poorly in a test like that, well, yeah, of course it’s a deal breaker. What, like a Camry is so awesome that I need to overlook the fact that it could possibly be a death trap? It’s a Camry.
John: I honestly feel the same way about motorcycles. Because, you know what, no motorcycle survives a crash well.
Craig: That’s right. No, motorcycles are just dumb. And, listen, if you ride a motorcycle, I get it, and that’s cool. I understand. My wife has this whole theory — you deserve to die. It’s the whole “you deserve to die theory.” That she just can’t muster sympathy for people who die doing things that are kind of safe but just generally not safe. Like it’s kind of safe to go skydiving. But not really. So, if you die skydiving, screw you. [laughs] That’s basically her theory. So, I don’t do a lot of — I used to go diving in the ocean. Don’t do that as much anymore. No.
Craig: Bryce from LA wonders, “What were both of your drinking habits before you made it and while you were rising the echelons of the industry? Perhaps to a lesser degree, what are they now? And would you mind speaking to Hollywood’s atmosphere of rejection in conjunction with the drunken writer stereotype?”
John: Yeah, so I think, you know, we have this stereotype that like writers are drunks who, you know, are functioning alcoholics and that kind of thing. And there are some. I don’t think there’s very many. And you won’t meet a lot of drunks and you won’t meet a lot of drug addicts who are actually working in the industry. That’s been my experience.
Craig: Yeah, people go through their phases, like everybody else. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with alcohol, at all. I’ve had a problem with nicotine, food, wanking. I don’t have any problems with drinking. I am that guy who can have one or two glasses and then just drop, in fact, prefers to stop.
You know, it’s funny — I often think, sometimes my wife will buy like a cake. And the cake will sit there for four days in the fridge. And I’ll think, “How is she buying the cake and not eating it?” Like if I buy a cake it’s to eat it. Do you know what I mean? So, she’ll just buy a cake and just leave it there. And then I think, but wait a second, that’s the way I am with alcohol. Like I’ll buy a bottle of wine or a fancy bottle of scotch or something. I won’t open it for a year. I don’t care. So, there you go.
John: Yeah. I feel like I’ve been pretty lucky, too. So, I will have a glass of wine or two, and that’s been fine, and great, and good. And I was never much of a drinker-drinker. So, you go through your periods of your 20s, and those are going to be those times when you’re out drinking with friends and you’re going out to much and drinking too much with people. But you sort of grow out of it, and I just grew out of it. And I was happy and lucky.
So, there is some sort of going out with the gang to do stuff, or that sort of social drinking, that happens. But it’s not awful. I would also say that my husband when he went to get his MBA, that crew would drink so much. And they would drink all the time that it was really surprising and kind of crazy to me that they were able to sustain a graduate school program.
Craig: You know, I live in La Cañada, this little town, and it’s not a Hollywood town. It’s very kind of finance and law and accounting and so forth. Good god people drink in my town. I mean, I go to these parties, [laughs], and people get wasted. And they’re adults. I don’t get it.
John: I want to fall back on a piece of advice I gave on the blog a long time ago, but I would say if you’re out drinking, my basic rule is alternate with water. So, if you don’t want to get drunk, you don’t want to be problematically drinking, you have a drink, great. Have a full equal glass of water before you get your next drink, and that will slow you down. It doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be — it doesn’t mean you’re safe to drive, but it means that you’re not going to make a horrible decision if you were to stick to that plan.
Craig: Good idea.
John: Josh asks a series of questions that we’re going to get to really quickly. “How much weight, if any, do you give to conspiracy theories about the new world order, water fluoridation, 9/11, JFK assassination, etc?”
Craig: I give negative weight to those.
John: I give negative weight. And anyone who believes them, I have a hard time taking seriously.
Craig: Yeah. I just don’t like you. I think you’re an idiot.
John: “Do you believe in reincarnation?”
John: No. I think you die, you die.
John: “How have your feelings about money changed throughout your life?”
Craig: They haven’t.
John: I would say they really haven’t. I’ve always been like hold on to as much money as it makes sense to hold onto.
Craig: Save. Yeah. Don’t spend a lot. Don’t need to.
John: “Do you believe we are alone in the universe?”
John: No, there have to be other civilizations. Here’s the thing — I don’t think the Earth is actually all that special. I think we’re going to find that there’s actually a lot of earth-like planets and it’s going — other planets will have life that has existed or will exist. Will we be able to talk to those other civilizations? I don’t know.
Craig: Not any time soon. [laughs] No, that’s narcissism to believe that we happen to live in the time…
John: The best of all possible worlds.
Craig: Yeah, exactly. No, no, they’re out there, but they’re way out there.
John: Yeah. “What’s the secret to a close and comfortable shave?”
Craig: Get yourself in the shower, get a nice hot shower going. Get your face nice and steamed out. And then shave with the grain, not against the grain. And then after you’re done shaving with the grain, which changes depending on what part of your face your shaving, then go against the grain.
John: Yeah. Shave in the shower. That’s where you should do it.
John: David in Wellington, New Zealand asks, “I’m ready to propose for marriage next month.” I love that he says “propose for marriage.” That’s not how we would say it in the US.
Craig: Yeah. Propose for…
John: “Can you give some creative ideas on how to ask the big question. Cheers. Please no Hobbit jokes.”
Craig: Well, Gimli, oh no, he was a dwarf, sorry. No, no Hobbit jokes whatsoever. I like people from New Zealand. They’re very cool people. They’re good people.
I can only tell you how I did it. I had kind of a cool idea. And that was I like cold places. So, I surprised my then girlfriend by flying us to Alaska. And, by the way, I wasn’t rich. I had no money, but it just seemed funny. I saved my money and then I flew us to Alaska. And I went all the way out to the middle of Alaska in Fairbanks, and it was around the beginning of April. And I had sort of timed it because I knew that the Northern Lights were super, duper active around that time.
And so we went outside at night under the Northern Lights and I proposed to her.
John: That’s beautiful.
Craig: Thank you.
John: Nice. But she kind of had the idea that you were going to propose if you were…
Craig: Oh, for sure.
John: So, I didn’t have the proper proposal because essentially we always talked like, oh, whenever marriage becomes possible let’s get married. He’s like, so of course. And so suddenly the California Supreme Court decision came down saying that yes they have to have marriage. And so suddenly it just could happen.
So, I was in Arrowhead writing on something. And so Mike called. He’s like, “Oh, it went through. Great. So, let’s get married.” And like we literally picked a date. But neither one of us asked the other person. It just happened.
Craig: Right. You guys actually kind of got saved. I mean, the truth is that men don’t really care about any of this stuff. We just want to jump to the conclusion. Women care.
Craig: So, even if this hadn’t been shortchanged by legal maneuvering, my guess is that you probably would have been like, “Marriage? Yeah, cool.”
Bin Le asks, “When can we hear Stuart’s voice on the podcast?”
Craig: I don’t know. I mean, we could just keep him like Maris, Niles’s wife on Frasier. [laughs] Just sort of a presence.
John: Yeah. So people last night, Stuart was there, and people would ask, “Is Stuart…?” And I was like, yeah, I pointed, “That’s Stuart. He’s a real person. He’s not Snuffleupagus. He’s a real live little boy.”
Craig: And you pointed to an empty space in the room.
Craig: And everyone slowly backed away from you.
John: Indeed. It’s like in Fight Club the whole time through. I’ve actually been Stuart the whole time through.
Craig: Hercules Rockefeller the Third, certainly his real name, asks, “How can someone stop falling for the wrong woman and/or man?” Answer, you can’t.
John: You can’t. The heart wants what it wants.
Craig: That’s why they call it falling. If you can stop falling, that would be great. But, eh, I don’t think so.
John: But, going back to an earlier topic, you know, maybe don’t fall for married people.
John: That’s a good choice. And so look for what your type is and find your type in a type that is actually available. Because maybe your type is unavailable people because you don’t actually want that commitment of a relationship. And then you need to have some therapy and deal with your issues.
Craig: Yeah. Deal with your issues, Hercules.
Who’s next, Hector?
John: Hector from Canada writes, “Serious question here, perhaps life’s most serious question. How do you cope with mortality? Does the inevitable prospect of death borrow you? If not, why not? If so, how do you cope, or do you?”
Craig: It bother me now, but I know that when I am — assuming that I don’t die an untimely death — I’ve talked to enough elderly people to know that you, your mind starts to prepare you for death as you get older. And you get to a point, frankly, where you’re not afraid of it at all. It’s just a natural thing. It’s almost like, well, this is what all my friends are doing. Might as well do it, too. It’s cool. It’s okay.
You don’t get scared anymore. I asked my grandmother. She was 94. And she said, “No, somewhere around like 82 or 83 you totally stop caring.”
John: Maybe so. I’m afraid of death, but not in a weird way. Not so much the fear of like well I will stop existing, because I don’t believe in an afterlife necessarily, but just having a family and a young kid, that’s what I think about, sort of most afraid of sort of mortality wise. And you want your kid to be able to get to a place in life where they are stable and they don’t need you as much.
John: But, the truth is, they always kind of need you. And as I face sort of my own parent’s mortality, that’s, you know, it’s tough.
Craig: It is, but the truth is, let’s say you’re 85. You’re daughter will be 40-something I assume, or something like that, right? She’s an adult. She’s your age now.
Craig: She’ll be fine. She’ll have her own kids, you know.
Clint Williams asks…
Craig: Good question. Yeah, Clint Williams.
John: “Adoption of the designated hitter by the National League? Idle chatter? Good for the game? Umbrage?”
Craig: I think it’s idle chatter. I don’t think it’s good for the game. I don’t have any umbrage about it. I’m a Yankee fan, so I grew up in the American League. So, the designate hitter isn’t a matter of religious objection to me. But, you know, we’ve changed so much about baseball in the last ten years. You know the wild card, and the expansion of playoffs, and teams bouncing around from national, to interleague play. All this stuff. Yeah, leave it. Leave it the way it is. No DH in the National League. No DH.
John: I barely understood a word you said.
Craig: Fantastic. You’ll understand this. John from Albany, New York, says, “Should I buy my 16-year-old son condoms now that he has a steady girlfriend? And at what age did you lose your virginity? Full disclosure: I was 16. So, that’s why I ask question number one above.”
John: So, number one question, yes, you should buy your 16-year-old son condoms. And you should have those frank conversations. People freak out way too much about having the conversations about sex and they shouldn’t. Just have the conversations. It’s awkward at the start, but then it’s fine.
John: It’s better that you have the conversations. And don’t be intrusive but just make sure they know that it’s an option there and it’s there and you want them to be around.
Craig: Yeah, he could also buy his own condoms. That’s what I did. [laughs] I mean, he doesn’t have to have daddy go buy him condoms. There’s no condom law, is there?
John: Yeah, there’s no condom law. But, I think it’s a good first gesture to buy condoms for your son.
Craig: I totally agree. And at what age, and certainly you should not just let him go condom-less. At what age did you lose your virginity, John?
John: If we were going to define virginity in a sense of the activity that I was engaged in if I was engaging with a woman could have led to a baby…so, like, it’s a question of virginity. Like, what’s fooling around and what’s more than fooling around?
Craig: I would say penetrative sex is virginity.
John: Penetrative sex — 23.
Craig: I was 16. I was a man-whore, obviously. [laughs]
Kevin Williamson, for real.
John: The real Kevin Williamson?
Craig: The real Kevin Williamson, creator of Scream and so many other wonderful television shows, Dawson’s Creek and so forth, his simple question, “Zoloft or Lexapro?”
John: I’m on neither anti-depressant, but I think they’re both good choices for people who need an anti-depressant.
Craig: Neither am I. I’m not on anti-depressants. And I suspect that they don’t work as well as people think. But, you know what does work? Kevin Williamson.
John: Yeah. He works hard.
Craig: Best guy ever.
John: Nima, the actual Nima, wrote in to ask, “I want Bride & Prejudice,” which is apparently a movie. “iTunes has it in SD to buy and HD to rent. Should I buy SD or wait for HD?”
So, I would say you should never wait. I think waiting for almost anything that’s going to cost $3 or $4 or $5 is never a good idea, because the world could end tomorrow. So, if you want to watch this movie, do whatever it takes to watch this movie now and don’t wait another second.
Craig: Yeah. Totally. Just rent it. Yeah, of course. I mean, how many times really are you going to watch this thing? Also, I should say that we do better on residuals when you rent things.
John: Yeah. Rent it.
Craig: Matthew Kingshot wants to know, “Where does the podcast’s opening musical riff come from?”
John: So, that actually is something I wrote and it is from The Remnants, which was a web pilot that I did during the strike, so 2008. And I needed some opening little jingle, so I wrote that opening little jingle. And I liked it and I needed something for the podcast, and so I put it there.
So, if you go back to really early episodes of the podcast, I would use sort of super hero or cartoon music for the thing, and I just got really tired of looking for new stuff every week.
Craig: Finding new ones, yeah.
John: Yeah, so I went to [hums opening]. And that’s what it is.
Craig: [hums opening] What’s next? We’ve got David Wells. David Wells, great picture.
John: Yes. He writes, “What surprised you about being a father?”
Craig: I think the — when I had my son and I became a parent I was surprised by the amount of innate violence that had been in my bloodstream and I didn’t realize it was there. I’m not a violent person. I’ve never been in a fistfight. I don’t believe in hitting. I don’t hit my kids. I don’t spank them or do any of that stuff. I’m not a violent person.
But, I remember somebody accidentally waking my baby up and I wanted to kill them. Not like, ha-ha, I want to kill them; I mean, I actually wanted to kill them. It’s powerful stuff.
John: I would say that I was not prepared for sort of how, I would say sort of like your violence — how primal it feels when you have a newborn kid who you are protecting. And how you are — it’s like this beautiful jailor who has like locked you to care of them. And how day becomes night, night becomes day, and you’re just in this weird dreamed fugue state of taking care of the newborn.
And eventually you sort of pass through that thing. But, because of that intensity you feel this tremendous connection to this kid. So, like any scratch on the kid becomes an affront to you.
Craig: Yeah. It is intense. Indeed intense.
John: Jeff Orrig writes, “How would Craig redesign Kickstarter?”
Craig: You know, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t redesign Kickstarter. I would just simply say to the people who are participating on Kickstarter to Kickstarter Emptor, you know. Oh, I’m sorry, Caveat Kickstarter. I got it totally backwards.
Just really think critically before you toss your money out there. Kickstarter can be a good thing. Kickstarter appeals to your most pro-social noble instincts. That doesn’t mean that the people appealing to you are pro-social or noble themselves. So, just be skeptical, be cautious, and if somebody is asking you for money that you think ought to just be asking a traditional investment community for money, don’t give them money. There’s other things you can do with your cash. That’s all.
John: Sounds fair.
Craig: Yeah. Let’s see, we got Mike Bowman in LA saying, “We often hear about the crazy things athletes and actors do with their money or fame once they have it, what was the craziest thing you did once you became a working screenwriter simply because you had the money or recognition to do it?”
John: So, this wasn’t right when I first became successful, but I really liked the movie Lost in Translation a lot. And so we got the idea, my husband and some friends and I, like let’s just go to Tokyo for 48 hours. And so we did. And it was kind of amazing. So, we flew to Tokyo. We stayed at the Park Hyatt, the same hotel they used in there. I swam in that same pool they shot. And we had like a Lost in Translation weekend. And it was kind of amazing.
And we sang at karaoke bars. And we went to the Imperial Palace, which happened to be open that day. And it was kind of great. So, it was a lot of money to blow, but it was also a really great time and a great experience.
Craig: I haven’t done really crazy things with money. I mean…
Craig: Well, is that really crazy? I mean, it’s a car and people have cars and people have expensive cars. I don’t know if that’s that crazy. You know, it’s okay. Does that count? Okay, Tesla.
John: I think it counts.
Craig: Okay. That’s it. Cool.
John: Hawke from Berlin, Germany writes…
John: [Ho-ka], sorry, I should have put the E in there. “I always feel guilty for the Holocaust. I am 30-years-old and I had nothing to do with the war, or the Holocaust, or anything. Even my father was born in 1947 when the war was already over, but I want to apologize as soon as I meet a Jewish person. Do you think that a person should carry the weight of the most horrible crime ever, or let it die after my grandfather left this world?”
Craig: Hawke, you are adorable. No, Hawke, you should stop. That’s ridiculous. You don’t — first of all, don’t apologize as soon as you meet a Jewish person. As a Jewish person, that would probably be the only thing you could do to me that would make me feel kind of awkward and weird.
You didn’t do anything! And your dad didn’t do anything. And, frankly, people who were alive during the war, a lot of them didn’t do anything. A lot of them did, but a lot of them didn’t. And a lot of them were just kids, you know.
And the truth is that it was a terrible thing that happened but I don’t believe collective guilt. I don’t believe in sins of the fathers. And, no, you should just stop. You should just stop and breathe easy and be a good person. And you’ll be fine.
John: Yeah. Sins of the father just drives me crazy in that sense of like things carry over past a generation. You didn’t choose to be born to that person, so why should you inherit any of their guilt for things? That’s nuts.
And so we have the equivalent in America, it would be slavery. And so slavery was a terrible thing that we can look at, learn from. We can recognize, are there aspects of what happened there that are still happening in society now. But we can focus on what is the present tense and not focus on that thing that happened back then, or of feeling culpable as a modern day human being for what that was then.
We can acknowledge what happened and try to avoid that sort of situation happening again. But, we shouldn’t feel guilt about it.
Craig: Yeah. It’s not about you, basically. You know what I mean? It’s not. You don’t have to feel this personal connection to that because you’re not personally connected to it. And that’s just a fact.
Let’s see, Tim says, “Describes your home entertainment setup and talk your tech in general perfected platform/gamers. Outside of movies, what’s the first thing you read or seek information about each day?”
John: That was too much. Let’s just talk about home entertainment center.
Craig: Home entertainment center. Done. What do you got?
John: Our main TV, our DVR is just the standard Time Warner, no, I’m sorry, it’s the DirecTV box, which is actually just fine. It’s the DirecTV DVR.
Craig: Yeah, that’s what I have.
John: It’s just fine. And I was for a long time holding onto my TiVo but then I got this thing. And you know what? It’s just fine. So, we use that and then we use a Mac Mini that we use as both our DVD player and to watch things off Hulu or Netflix or anything else with that. So, we just switch between the two. It’s fine, it’s painless, it’s easy.
Our old house had a projector and all that stuff, and we never used it because it was a giant hassle. Some people love the projector stuff, but I honestly believe in a TV that you can turn on, you can watch, and it sounds good.
Craig: Yeah, we have TVs and we have the DVRs for DirecTV. And then we have a couple of nice setups with surround sound, which I like. Surround sound things are — one particular super cool surround soundy thing which I like a lot. But, yeah, you know, nothing crazy.
John: I think people will spend way too much time and money tweaking and adapting their situations which they shouldn’t.
Craig: Well, and that entire industry is based on a fastidiousness that simply doesn’t apply. It just doesn’t apply. It’s ridiculous.
John: Treat asks, “So, how do you and Craig feel about marijuana? Have you ever smoked before writing? Do you know other screenwriters who do this, or on an occasional or regular basis?”
Craig: I mean, I don’t care about marijuana. I had my get high a lot in senior year of high school phase, and then I smoked a little bit in college but not that much. The truth is I don’t smoke marijuana. I don’t get high ever really anymore just because I kind of don’t want to. Again, it’s sort of the alcohol thing, frankly.
And the other issue with marijuana is the dosage concept, because I know exactly how much alcohol is in a glass of wine, or in three fingers of scotch. I just don’t know if I’m smoking marijuana, what is it, how much — how intense is it? There are so many different kinds.
No, I wouldn’t smoke before writing. I just think that that’s crazy. I don’t drink before writing, either. I just think that would be dumb.
John: Yeah. I don’t smoke pot. I smoked pot in college some, and a little bit since then. But, the problem with pot for me is I’m really stupid the next day. It just lingers with me for a while in a way that’s not helpful or useful. So, I think it should be legalized. I think we should tax and regulate it and treat it much the same way we treat alcohol, but it’s not a useful thing to me.
Craig: Yeah. I’m with you on that one.
John: Next question.
Craig: Oh, Hugo von Giggle-Bottom.
John: Ha. Hugo von Giggle-Bottom writes, “I’m interested in your opinions on baldness, John more than Craig, because you are winning the race to hairlessness. Do you care? Does it affect your confidence?” And related questions.
So, here’s my hair situation. I started to lose my hair in my early 20s. And at a certain point, my friend Tom Hoffman says, “You know, if you ever want to just shave all your hair off, I’ll totally do that.”
And I was like, “You know, we should do that, and we should do it as a public event.”
So, I was at my friend Jen’s house and it was sort of like a white trash party and we were watching Miss America. And it was like, yeah, shave my head. And so we shaved it. And I don’t regret it at all. I never looked back.
The weirdest thing about shaving your head though for the first time is I would catch my reflection in a mirror or even just like walking by a window it was like, “Ah, who is that?” I did not recognize myself for a while. But, then, god, my life is just so much easier not having to think about hair.
Craig: Yeah. I would totally shave my head, I guess, but my wife doesn’t want me to. She just likes a very close-cropped balding look. The one thing I won’t do is anything to delay the balding. I don’t put any medicine in there. I don’t put any of that stuff. I don’t take the pills.
I know guys that are injecting stuff directly into their scalp. I don’t do anything. I don’t care. This Dr. von Giggle-Bottom, who is German nobility, apparently, says he’s been struggling with hair loss for years and “I just can’t seem to get comfortable with being a bald guy.”
Dude, you’re not a bald guy. You’re a guy. No one cares.
John: No one cares.
Craig: No one cares. Honestly. It’s just hair. It’s hair.
Let’s see, Jessie asks, “Did Craig ever get to read the rest of the script for that three-page challenge he likes so much? Did he like it?”
I did. And I did. It turned out that it was actually a short. It was about 10 pages, so I got super lucky. Because, you know, you ask to read something, you’re like, oh boy.
It was a very fun read. And when I read it I thought it felt very — it felt like a script for something animated which didn’t come through necessarily when we read it as just three pages. And it was a little reminiscent of Paper Man, the Oscar award-winning animated short. So, I’m actually hooking up the writer with somebody at Pixar who is going to read the script as a writing sample.
John: Great. That’s a perfect choice for that.
Craig: Yeah. I would think so.
John: Matthew from California writes, “I have a hard time waking up in the mornings, no matter what I do, no matter how much sleep I’ve gotten, I cannot seem to rise when my alarm says it’s time to start the day. Part of me thinks it’s a habit ingrained to me after a long period of depression, but regardless of its origins it’s really messing with my ability to get stuff done. Any advice?”
I would say that you are not a morning person and you should somehow rearrange your life so that you don’t have to be a morning person. I think it’s honestly kind of maybe okay that you’re not a morning person. Just take night shifts or something.
Craig: Yeah. That’s possible. There are a couple things that you generally ask in a situation like this. What is your caffeine intake? Try stopping all caffeine after noon. Don’t smoke. Exercise a little bit more. And then just try for three or four days to wake up when your alarm says wake up, let’s say 8 o’clock. So, don’t get crazy and say, “I’m waking up at 6:30.” 8 o’clock. Give that a shot. Do that for three or four days in a row and see if you don’t start to get super tired around midnight.
And then you may be able to adjust, if it’s important to you.
John: I will say the 11 weeks I was gone in New York and Chicago, that whole time I did not have to set my alarm once, and I could just wake up when I woke up, and I was so much happier for it.
Craig: Yeah, for sure.
John: Jonathan writes, “Two questions because I’m a greedy bastard. What was the clichéd love at first sight when dating? Or was there a clichéd love at first sight meeting? And since you guys are fairly popular, what would you say is the proper etiquette for people to come up and say hi?”
Craig: You walk past them two steps and then turn around, thrust yourself at them.
John: And say, “So good to meet you Jerry Seinfeld.”
Craig: “So good to meet you.” And then walk away.
John: So, let’s handle the second question first. It’s fine to say hi if we’re not clearly engaged in some other conversation or place. It’s situational, but I was at a restaurant and the server recognized who I was and could say, “Oh, I’m a big fan of your podcast.” That’s lovely. That’s great. If I’m in the middle of doing something, or if I’m sort of like doing stuff with my kid, that’s the only time it gets kind of weird, because I’m busy doing other stuff here and there isn’t a great time for me to talk with you.
But, our fans are super cool, so I’m never scared about that.
Craig: Yeah, it’s a good rule of thumb to not approach any famous people or people that you don’t know when they’re with their children for the aforementioned reason that parents get — they’re like bears with cubs. They just get weird about that. I mean, the people that have said things to me that I’ve met about the podcast have been very nice.
And, look, the truth is there’s not a great reward. There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of meeting me. I just go, “Oh, that’s nice, good to hear.” And then I just move on. But, yeah, just don’t trust yourself into my personal space, because that’s the sort of thing an idiot does to Jerry Seinfeld.
John: Yeah. Don’t be an idiot like Craig Mazin.
Craig: Don’t be an idiot like Craig Mazin.
For me and my wife it was not love at first sight. It wasn’t not love at first sight. It was interest at first sight. I don’t know if there is a love at first sight. I’m suspicious of that sort of thing.
John: Yeah. I think there’s lust at first sight. And so we weren’t love at first sight, either. We were like, this is good. This is great. And then three dates became four dates, became ten dates, became, you know, everything else. So, I think sometimes we’re guilty in movies of creating this situation of love at first sight and it becomes the expectation about how love is supposed to work. And that’s not how love usually works.
Craig: That is exactly right. It is not.
Craig: So many books just are lies. The world is a huge blanket woven from threads of lies. We just cover ourselves in it.
John: Craig, that was actually our last question.
John: That’s so anticlimactic, but that was love at first sight, so that’s a good way to end a podcast.
Craig: Why not?
John: Why not? So, I have no One Cool Thing, because I thought that was about 90 Cool Things.
Craig: Oh my god, yeah, no, we can’t keep talking. That would be ridiculous.
John: But thank you everyone who sent in these questions. I’m looking at the list now. There were 106 questions. We answered maybe like 50 of them. That was a lot of questions.
Craig: We answered a lot of questions. I think we answered them well. We didn’t fight.
John: No, we didn’t really fight. We didn’t even disagree. I would say our answers lined up much more than I would have guessed they would.
Craig: Well, because, here’s the truth — the two of us are right.
John: That’s the thing.
Craig: We’re right. And I wish people would just stop fighting it.
Craig: Just let us be right.
John: Craig, thank you for another fun podcast.
Craig: Thank you.
John: Standard boiler plate language here: If you like the show, find us on iTunes, give us a rating, tell people that you like the show. And if you have questions about screenwriting, which is mostly what we talk about here, you can send them to email@example.com. And you can follow me on Twitter. I’m @johnaugust. Craig is @clmazin. And thank you very much and we will talk to you guys next week.
Craig: [hums opening] See you later.
John: Thanks, bye.
- The Writers Guild Foundation presents The Screenwriter’s Craft: Finding Your Voice featuring Scriptnotes Live
- Zach Braff’s response to The Hollywood Reporter’s article on his film’s gap financer
- The Hollywood Reporter on E!’s Fashion Police writers strike
- Highland v 1.0.2 brings shift + return caps, lyrics and various minor bug fixes
- Try Cignot.com for all your eCig needs
- Thumbs up for UC Verde Buffalo Grass
- Kevo is on its way
- The Nest Thermostat is fantastic
- For LA pizza, check out Pizzeria Mozza, Joe’s Pizza in Santa Monica or the pizza kiosk at The Americana
- And for LA sushi, we like Nobu and Matsuhisa, Sugarfish and the former Nozawa, Sasabune and Chef Niki Nakayama’s n/naka
- If you’re in Chicago (or Washington D.C.), try Protein Bar
- Craig still loves his Tesla and John still loves his Leaf
- Alternate with water when you’re drinking
- OUTRO: George Michael’s Father Figure covered by Cantaloop