Archives

Follow Up

Puppet update

I spent several months meeting with puppet specialists only to discover the project I’m making is better without puppets.

Yes, screenwriting is actually writing

Craig and John take a swing at several of the week’s hyperbolic headlines, from conflict-free comedy to Fitzgerald’s failures to Strong Female Characters with nothing to do. In each case, there’s a valid idea lurking beneath the overstated claim, but it’s important to separate good examples from bad.

How to Write a Scene, now in handy two-page form

I’ve reformatted my 2007 post on How to Write a Scene into something you can print or pass out to a class.

From Debussy to VOD

John and Craig talk about what screenwriters can learn from the structure of classical music, then invite journalist Scott Tobias on to discuss how day-and-date video-on-demand releases make it hard to know how indie films are doing, individually and as a group.

Wet Hot American Podcast

Writer-Director David Wain joins John and Craig to talk about the long journey to bring They Came Together to the screen (on June 27th), the changing nature of spoofs, and the seminal summer camp film Wet Hot American Summer.

Green Umbrage, or That Escalated Quickly

Craig Mazin wrote in to respond to criticism of his remarks in last week’s Scriptnotes.

Checking batches of PDFs

Automator can easily assemble the PDF metadata I want.

Photoplays and archetypes

In a wide-ranging episode, Craig and John look at a 1912 screenwriting book, Levinson’s beef with the WGA, and the Periodic Table of Storytelling.

Which apps are screenwriters using?

We had 57 entries for the Three Page Challenge we’re conducting on May 15th. I wondered which apps these screenwriters were using, so I checked the metadata for each file.1 App # of Entries % of Total Final Draft 8 18 32% (unclear)2 7 12% Fade In 7 12% Final Draft (Windows) 6 11% Slugline […]

The ruins of Spectre

Kelly Kazek looks at what became of Spectre, the magical little town in Big Fish.

Full Whedoncé

I wondered if a filmmaker could pull a beyoncé and release a film without any advance notice. I speculated a filmmaker like JJ Abrams or Joss Whedon probably could pull it off. Then a few weeks ago, Whedon seemed to just that with In Your Eyes. But is it really a beyoncé, or a new variation on direct-to-video?

Try to open this PDF, cont’d

No standalone file is safe from someone with enough time and the right tools. But for something like a screenplay, encryption is quite a bit better than I expected.

Uncomfortable Ambiguity, or Nobody Wants Me at their Orgy

Nothing is cut-and-dried this week. John and Craig talk Game of Thrones rape, allegations against director Bryan Singer and the new report showing the same low employment numbers for female writers in film and TV.

Subscribing to app developers

Cameron Bonde wants the App Store to take a page from YouTube and Twitter, allowing users to subscribe to app developers.

The Grimm side of marriage

Grimm’s fairy tales offer uniformly terrible marriage advice.

The Deal with the Deal

John and Craig talk with WGA President Chris Keyser about the tentative deal reached between writers and the studios, and why it’s more groundbreaking than it might appear at first glance.

Draw Your Own Werewolf

Craig delights as John gets @-napped in a Twitter thread about copyright infringement. Then they talk disruption in television, and how it affects writers.

Ghosts Laughing at Jokes

John and Craig talk Lab Rats, multi-cam, and what scenes might mean in their imaginary screenplay format. Craig clarifies what “spec writing” is, and when it’s permitted, both legally and ethically.

World-building

John and Craig discuss how you create a fictional universe for your story, and the limits of how much can fit on the page. From location to language to wardrobe, choosing which details to make explicit is a crucial early decision. Too little detail and the reader doesn’t know how your story is special; too much detail and the story gets lost.

Outros needed

Every episode of Scriptnotes starts with the same five notes: Beginning with episode 98, every episode ends with a new listener-created outro, each one a variation on that same five-note theme. We’ve had some amazing outros, both because our listeners are geniuses and the basic melody is so adaptable. You can hear all of them […]

Period Space

John and Craig tackle the greatest controversy in screenwriting: how many spaces to put after the period. From there, it’s follow-up on the Final Draft episode, including some behind-the-scene details.

Final Draft and WGA registration

On their website, Final Draft claims to be the preferred format for WGA registration. But that doesn’t gibe with the WGA’s own site.

The Scriptnotes Holiday Live Show

Craig and I are doing a live episode benefiting the Writers Guild Foundation on December 19th.

PDF to FDX

Final Draft emailed me to recommend an alternate workflow to convert a screenplay PDF to FDX.

Shirts back in the Store

Through Friday, November 15th, we’ll be taking orders for a new batch of shirts. They’ll ship starting December 2nd, in time for the holidays. Like last time, we’ll only print what people order, so if you want a shirt, you need to order now.