I live in Paris now

Two weeks ago, my family and I moved to Paris. We’ll be here for about a year.

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.

While I’m here, I’ll be writing Arlo Finch. And we’ll still be doing Scriptnotes. We recorded a new episode this week. I think we’ll be able to keep up with our normal weekly schedule.

The biggest adjustment so far has been learning how to navigate Paris as an inhabitant rather than a visitor. For example, setting up a French checking account is a nightmare, but it’s a prerequisite for almost everything else (phone plans, electricity, transit passes). Paris busses are remarkably handy in ways I never considered as a tourist. We don’t have a car, but so far that’s been a plus.

Ex-pat American writers living in Paris is a complete cliché, so I won’t be blogging or tweeting about it much. If you want to see what I’m doing during my days, I’m an active user of Instagram stories. So follow me on Instagram if you want to see lots of pictures of kids carrying baguettes and dogs in restaurants.


Sheep Crossing Roads

Scriptnotes: Ep. 265
Play

John and Craig discuss obstacles, those things your characters hate but desperately need.

We also follow up on the great Peter Dodd episode and answer listener questions on writing action, anecdotes as IP and other topics.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-02-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The One With the Agent

Scriptnotes: Ep. 264
Play

Craig and John speak with agent Peter Dodd about what he looks for in a writer client, and how he sees the relationships between writers and agents and managers and executives.

We ask all the questions: How does he find new writers? Do competitions matter? How about query letters? And once he has a script in his hands, how much does he read before he knows if wants to sign the writer as a client? Peter answers everything candidly. Even we gasped a few times.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 8-26-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Frequently Asked Questions about Screenwriting

Scriptnotes: Ep. 263
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John and Craig introduce “The 100 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Screenwriting,” a curation of questions from screenwriting.io.

We also take on the Three Page Challenge, with stories from Sinaloa, Mexico to the mind of Mark Twain.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 8-19-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Tidy Screenwriting

Scriptnotes: Ep. 262
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John and Craig apply the principles of Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” to screenwriting. How can screenwriters learn to let go of beloved scenes, characters, and entire scripts?

We also answer listener questions, including the recent plagiarism ruling in favor of John Carpenter in a French court.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 8-12-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Don’t Think Twice

Scriptnotes: Ep. 261
Play

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.

Craig and Mike also answer listener questions, including one on assassinating a fictional president.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 8-5-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.