Pitching an Open Writing Assignment

Scriptnotes: Ep. 248

John and Craig discuss open writing assignments, and how to best pitch to producers and studios looking to hire a writer for a specific property. Most of the work happens before you set foot in the room, so proper planning is essential.

Then we take a look at the controversy over white actors playing roles that could have gone to Asian actors, and how screenwriters can (and can’t) improve the situation.


You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 5-6-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Three Days to One Hit Kill

Next week we’re consolidating our One Hit Kill inventory, which means counting, boxing and shipping games from four different warehouses.

We’d much rather these copies of One Hit Kill be in players’ collections than Amazon’s shelves. So through Friday, we’re selling One Hit Kill at 50% off on Amazon.

It’s a great chance to nab a copy, or one for a friend. OHK expanded ohk-makers ohk-core

One Hit Kill is only available on Amazon’s US store. (International buyers can find it at the OHK site.)

The One with Lawrence Kasdan

Scriptnotes: Ep. 247

John and Craig sit down with screenwriting legend Lawrence Kasdan to discuss Star Wars, Raiders, The Bodyguard and how he’s shaped some of the most iconic big-screen stories and characters of our lifetime.

This 90-minute interview comes as part of WGFestival 2016 Craft Day, and features audience questions as well. Our thanks to the Writers Guild Foundation and the Academy for hosting us.


You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 4-29-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

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.

We don’t discuss screenwriting at all, so feel free to skip this one if monetary theory doesn’t interest you.

This episode is mostly to verify that minor changes to our workflow haven’t messed up the Scriptnotes feed. If for some reason this episode doesn’t show up in your regular podcasting app, please let us know at the ask@johnaugust.com account (and re-add it in iTunes).

Next week, we’ll be back with our long-anticipated interview with Lawrence Kasdan.


You can download the episode here.

The One with the Idiot Teamster

Scriptnotes: Ep. 246

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.

She joins us as we play a new round of How Would This Be a Movie, tackling global hums, killer grannies and airport conspiracies. We also discuss movies that are often used as shorthand in Hollywood, from Raiders to Die Hard to Midnight Run. (But never The ‘Burbs.)

Next week we’ll be making minor server changes. If for some reason the next episode doesn’t automatically appear in your podcast app next Tuesday, you may need to resubscribe. Sorry, but it will be worth it to listen to special guest Lawrence Kasdan.


You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-22-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

We’re having a spring cleaning sale

Update: We sold out! Congrats to everyone who bought one of our last shirts.

Whenever we come out with a new Scriptnotes t-shirt, we sell it only by pre-order. We print just the t-shirts we need, then send them out in one big batch.

So we don’t really have “inventory.”

Except we kind of do. In the corner of our office is a set of shelves holding stray t-shirts left over from previous print runs. They exist because we overprint by roughly 10 percent just in case orders get lost or damaged.

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.

In addition to the t-shirts, we have 10 remaining Scriptnotes 200-episode USB drives. They’re 50% off.

We also have Writer Emergency Packs. They’re 50% off. (And also 50% off on Amazon.)

At the moment, we don’t have any One Hit Kills on hand, but we’ve marked them 50% off on Amazon, too. If you’ve been curious about our card game of ridiculously overpowered weapons, this is the cheapest you’ll find it.

Finally, we have one wondrous misprint. It’s an Umbrage Orange t-shirt that missed one of the steps during silkscreening, leaving it oddly faint.

I hope to see someone wearing it one day at a live show. Like all our shirts, it’s better in your closet than our shelf.

So stop by the store and take a look.