John talks with Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, about how they pitched and wrote their critically-acclaimed show.
Craig and John discuss epic world-building, and the promises and pitfalls for writers attempting to create fictional universes.
Craig and John take an extensive look at best practices when coming in to rewrite an existing script. How do you take the reins when you weren’t the first screenwriter? Whether you’re starting over at page one or executing some surgical fixes, we discuss the psychology and reality of being the subsequent writer.
Craig and John tackle another installment of “How would this be a movie?” with a look at the Kentucky clerk, the French train bros, Uber and Deflategate. Who are the heroes and villains, and would there be enough plot to support the running time?
John and Craig take a deep look at how descriptive audio for the blind works, with clips from Daredevil and an interview with a woman who does it for a living. It’s a fascinating form of writing, with many of the same challenges screenwriters face.
John and Craig look at three current news stories from a screenwriter’s perspective, discussing how each lends itself to becoming a movie.
Bragging about efficiency plays into the worst stereotypes of California: smug, self-righteous and self-congratulatory. Yet conspicuous underconsumption has actual public benefits. You’re showing what’s possible, and helping to nudge trend lines and public policy in the right direction.
A screenwriter friend just emailed me to ask how she could get one of her scripts to look good on the Kindle. You can’t. It’s the wrong tool for the job.
John and Craig offer advice to a director taking the plunge, with guidance on both getting the work done and getting the performances you want. From there, we segue into a discussion of the Perfect Director, the next installment of our Perfect series.
Craig and John welcome special guests Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom, B.J. Novak, Jane Espenson and Derek Haas to talk about writing books, movies and especially television.
Craig and John discuss the 31 superhero movies slated for the next few years. Is it good business or a trainwreck in the making?
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.
Screenwriters often find themselves with PDF of a screenplay when they actually need a Final Draft (.fdx) file that they can edit. Here are three ways to convert from PDF to fdx, ranging from painful to sublime.
John and Craig discuss the difference between character intention and motivation, before segueing to conversations on working with actors and on-set writing.
Craig and John take a look at an old post that found new life this week when it got picked up on Twitter and Reddit. We go beyond the bullet points to look at the process of writing a scene, from asking the basic questions to getting the words on the page.
Craig and John start the year with a look back at three very early episodes not currently on iTunes, discussing outlines, agents and the Good Boy Syndrome.
John and Craig turn from the pen to the knife to talk through the whys and hows of cutting pages — both the cosmetic trims and the deep cuts.
Matt reports from a special Sundance session in which Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler talks about how indie filmmakers can best use the site.
If you’re having a hard time finding a character’s voice, get him talking about something unrelated to the scene at hand.
Helpful audioclip from productivity guy Merlin Mann.
A scriptcast on how to begin a scene for more impact.
Synthian Sharp taped my Q&A in Rancho Mirage, and has it available on Vimeo.
A new screencast (scriptcast?) on writing action beats.
A YouTube lesson on making more-readable scene description.
Read this before you cash that first check.