Los Angeles

Campaign statements and residual statements

John and Craig discuss the WGA election results, and take a look at the issues that dominated the campaigns. What is a paper team? Do screenwriters really retire? And why does it take us so long to get paid?

2015 Scriptnotes shirts now available for pre-order

Every podcast needs a t-shirt. The 2015 Scriptnotes shirts are the best we’ve ever made, and that’s coming from experience. They’re available for pre-order right now, and only through September 17th.

Craig is running a few minutes behind

Recording the podcast today, Craig apologized for being a few minutes late. I said, “No worries.” And felt a strange bit of deja vu.

The End of Teen Drivers

Over the weekend, I was talking with a fifteen-year-old. She had no immediate plans to get her permit, or her license. She felt no urgency whatsoever. She just didn’t see the need.

Saving water and power

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.

Writing for Hollywood without living there

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

On Being Somebody

Over the last eight years, I’ve become more famous within a subset of people. Because of Scriptnotes, my voice is actually recognized as often as my face. Because of Twitter, I end up interacting with strangers much more often. And because of both outlets, people who recognize me know a lot more about me — at least, a version of me who hosts a popular podcast about screenwriting.

Dressing like a screenwriter

We’ve re-opened the John August Store with new shirts for Scriptnotes and Highland, plus our first ever hoodie.

The Scriptnotes Holiday Live Show

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

What’s Next

John and Craig discuss what it feels like to finish a project — the combination of excitement and relief, joy and sadness — as Craig advises John which project he should write next now that Big Fish is set to open.

Two ENTJs walk into a bar (and fix it)

John and Craig reveal their Myers-Briggs secrets as they discuss Kevin Spacey’s comments on the state of television, Eric Garcetti’s plans to address runaway production, and the WGA election.

50 Random Questions

As promised, John and Craig answer a bunch of listener questions on everything except screenwriting, on topics ranging from sex to science to sushi.

Writing effective transitions

How you get from one scene to the next can be just as important as the scenes themselves. Craig and John talk techniques and tactics for making those cuts count.

Storytelling in the digital age

I’m hosting a panel for the Academy next Wednesday, May 15th, to discuss how technology impacts cinema — both the kinds of stories we tell, and how we tell those stories.

Unless they pay you, the answer is no

John and Craig return from the holidays to look at the WGA nominations, the perennially high costs of movies, scene headers and acceptable fonts for treatments.

Adam Davis, year five

Adam Davis wrote one of the original First Person posts for the site back in 2007, when he first moved to LA. Five years later, it’s time for an update.

House-sitting for ghosts

My last house-sitting gig was in 1995, taking care of Vincent Price’s old house in the hills. I lasted one sleepless night. Despite the promise of easy escape — the master bedroom had sliding glass doors to the patio — the accumulated creaks and bumps and footsteps in the dark were too much for my fertile imagination.

20 Questions with John and Craig

John and Craig open the listener mailbag and sprint through twenty questions in just under an hour.

Workspace: Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi

Writer/comedians Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson explain their workflow.

Newly arrived in Los Angeles

Matthew Hickman was born and raised in rural Georgia. After dropping out of law school, he started working an hourly-wage job at a UPS store, and saved money for a year in hopes of moving to Los Angeles to begin a screenwriting career.

Looking for more First People

To date, most of the First Person posts have come from white just-post-college guys. While that’s a huge chunk of the aspiring screenwriter demographic, we’re sorely lacking some diversity, not just in background but ambition.

Writing for Hollywood without living there

Bradley Jackson is trying to start a Hollywood screenwriting career while staying put in Austin. He writes in with his experience trying to work LA as a visiting screenwriter.

Married and moving to Hollywood

Starting your new job in Hollywood isn’t much different than getting hired as an investment banker in New York, as a coder at a start-up in San Francisco or as a fighter pilot for the Air Force. It’s long hours and a lot of stress, regardless of the actual field you’re working in. It can take its toll on relationships.

To live and not die in LA

Perhaps because of freak crimes like the Ronni Chasen murder, Americans perceive Los Angeles as being much more dangerous than it is.

So you’re moving to Hollywood

George Sloan is a writers’ assistant on “How I Met Your Mother.” He graciously agreed to write up a primer for recent college grads considering making the move to Hollywood.