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Los Angeles

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.

Do you tip studio valets?

I follow the keys rule: only if they take possession of my car keys.

Academy’s Film Noir series

The Academy is hosting a Monday night screening series focusing on film noir of the 1940′s. I’ll be handling “The Dark Mirror” on July 12. (Olivia de Havilland! Twins! Murder!)

Fix or ditch the car?

Should Nick repair or replace his 93 Oldsmobile Ciera before heading to Los Angeles?

Where should Ryan live?

Ryan Nelson, my newly-hired Director of Digital Things, will be coming to Los Angeles this week to start looking for a place to live. Choosing your neighborhood is an important part of any new city. But in a place as big as LA, the area you pick to live in has a huge impact on […]

Prepping for the Directors Close-Up panels

Tonight and next Wednesday, I’ll be hosting the Director’s Close Up panels for Film Independent. Tonight’s director is Jason Reitman, joined by cinematographer Eric Steelberg, editor Dana E. Glauberman and composer Rolfe Kent. We’ll be talking about Up In The Air, Juno and Thank You For Smoking.

Directors Close-up

I’ll be moderating two panels for Film Independent this February at The Landmark in West LA.

What’s wrong with the business

Writers are making less money, and it’s part of a bigger shift in the industry.

Those purple trees

Every May, newcomers to LA inevitably ask, “What the hell are those purple trees?” They’re called jacarandas