Archives

News

I live in Paris now

I’m not here for work, or to escape this nightmare of an election. Rather, this sojourn has been in the planning stages for several years, going all the way to back to a screenwriters trip organized by Film France back in 2009. My daughter is attending sixth grade here. We’ll head back to Los Angeles for seventh.

Don’t Think Twice

Craig and guest host Mike Birbiglia discuss Mike’s new film, Don’t Think Twice, a comedy about life as an improv performer. The two explore the current state of independent film and the challenges facing aspiring filmmakers.

Anthrax, Amnesia and Atomic Veterans

John and Craig implore screenwriters to think twice before using the phrase “begs the question.” We know it’s a losing battle, but if we learned anything from 300, sometimes those are still worth having.

I wrote a book.

Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire will be the first book in a new series from Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan. It comes out in 2018.

The Exit Interview

In the season finale of Scriptnotes, John and Craig reveal big changes to the podcast.

The Gold Standard

In this special mini-episode, Craig and John tackle the gold standard and why economists think it’s a flat-out terrible idea.

The One with the Idiot Teamster

John and Craig welcome writer-director Lorene Scafaria to talk about her new movie The Meddler and some of the unique challenges faced by female directors.

We’re having a spring cleaning sale

Yesterday, we took a count and realized we have more than 50 shirts in random styles and sizes. They’re doing no one any good sitting on a shelf, so we’re having a spring cleaning sale. Everything in the store is 50% off this week, or until we’re out of shirts.

No More Milk Money

Craig and John welcome back Aline Brosh McKenna to discuss what she learned going from writing features to show-running Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — and what’s waiting for her back in movie-land. The three of us came into the business at the height of the spec market, but everything is different now.

Fan Fiction and Ghost Taxis

Craig and John look at three stories in the news for another installment of “How Would This Be a Movie?” From fake scientists to figure skaters, we pitch our takes before some actor’s production company buys the rights. Speaking of rights, a new lawsuit targets the makers of Creed for stealing the idea. The case […]

Ocean’s 77

Craig and John play “How Would This Be a Movie?” looking at three articles in the news.

Live from Austin 2015

Craig and John return to the Austin Film Festival for a supersize live show with guests Nicole Perlman and Steve Zissis.

Writers Rooms, Taxes, and Fat Hamlet

John and Craig discuss the trend of hiring multiple writers to work concurrently on tentpole features. Can movies be written like television, and should they?

Screenwriter Mark Mallouk on Black Mass

In addition to today’s normal Scriptnotes episode, premium subscribers can find a half-hour interview I did with Black Mass screenwriter Mark Mallouk. We discuss the film’s long journey from book to screen, including how the sudden reappearance of Whitey Bulger in 2011 changed both the script and the production.

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?

Rewrites and Scheduling

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.

Scriptnotes t-shirts, pie chart edition

Tomorrow is the last day to order Scriptnotes t-shirts. We only place the order once, so if you miss out, well, you missed out. Here’s a look at the trends this year.

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.

Clerks and recreation

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?

The International Episode

Craig and John look at how movies are translated, including an interview with a guy who does subtitles for a living. Plus, how Pixar and other companies are localizing movies for international audiences, and what happens when China becomes the largest film market.

Everything but the dialogue

John and Craig take a deep dive into scene description, looking at how seven produced screenplays arranged the words on the page. With samples from Aliens, Erin Brockovich, Oceans 11, Unforgiven, Wall-E, Wanted and Whip It, we tackle verbs and metaphors, ellipses and underlining.

The Scriptnotes 200-episode USB drive

For a limited time, we’re selling a USB flash drive loaded with the first 200 episodes of Scriptnotes — including all the bonus shows, the Dirty Episode, and special interviews. They’re $20 and available in the Store.

The One with Alec Berg

Craig sits down with Silicon Valley writer/director Alec Berg to talk about set ups and payoffs, editing comedy and how writing teams get screwed.

How would this be a movie?

John and Craig look at three current news stories from a screenwriter’s perspective, discussing how each lends itself to becoming a movie.

The 200th Episode Live Feed

On Wednesday, May 27th — tomorrow — we’ll be recording the 200th episode of Scriptnotes. Everyone is invited to listen to the live feed. You can find it right here at johnaugust.com.