Scriptnotes Podcast

Screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry, everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law.

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Mystery Vs. Confusion

Scriptnotes: Ep. 269
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John and Craig compare mystery and confusion, and how you can have more of the former with less of the latter. We use these lessons as we look at three new entries in the Three Page Challenge.

We also answer listener questions on flashbacks and capitalizing on festival success.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


(Sometimes) You Need a Montage

Scriptnotes: Ep. 268
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John and Craig come to the defense of montages in screenwriting, giving examples of how and when the much-maligned device can be employed to benefit the story.

We also share our thoughts on the latest incarnation of Final Draft, plus new listener questions on sex scenes and resuscitating old scripts.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-27-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Dig Two Graves

Scriptnotes: Ep. 267
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John and Craig reprise their roles as development execs in “How Would This Be a Movie?” Looking at four true crime stories, the duo discuss what makes a great screenplay idea, and conversely, which stories work better as a serialized TV drama.

We also attempt to brighten the spirits of aspiring writers living outside of LA, New York and London, sharing the experiences of Scriptnotes listeners across the globe who have found their way into the Hollywood system from abroad.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-22-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Stranger Things and Other Things

Scriptnotes: Ep. 266
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John and Craig dive into Netflix’s Stranger Things, discussing how macro writing decisions contributed to the show’s success. (There are inevitably some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you can skip from the start of that segment to the next one, which begins at 41:22.)

We also look at the upcoming WGA election and the candidates.

Next week, we will be doing a new installment of How Would This Be a Movie, so follow the links below to read ahead.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-09-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Sheep Crossing Roads

Scriptnotes: Ep. 265
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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
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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.