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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Splitting the Party

Scriptnotes: Ep. 383
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John and Craig talk about the trope of “Never split the party,” and why, as a writer, you often want and need to divide up your characters to better explore relationships, propel the story forward, give actors something to do, and simply fit everyone in the frame.

We also follow up on screenwriting scams, sequences, websites, and liking things that others don’t.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


Professional Realism

Scriptnotes: Ep. 382
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John welcomes Derek Haas (Chicago Fire, 3:10 to Yuma, 2 Fast 2 Furious) to talk about writing accurate portrayals of different jobs, and when to sacrifice reality for storytelling. They also share their time-management strategies in honor of those New Year resolutions to get writing done.

We also answer listener questions about the necessity of entertainment lawyers, how to keep your energy high pitch after pitch, Story By credits, and how to stay alive after that first staff writing job ends.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 1-18-19: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Becoming a Professional Screenwriter

Scriptnotes: Ep. 381
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John welcomes Tess Morris, Christina Hodson, Nicole Perlman, and Jason Fuchs to discuss their paths to becoming a professional screenwriter. They track the progression from glass bead day jobs to navigating general meetings to planning inconsistent finances to actually calling oneself a writer and even getting paid.

We also answer audience questions about career longevity and leaving writing behind.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 1-9-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Double Ampersand

Scriptnotes: Ep. 380
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John sits down with Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens to discuss their new film Mortal Engines, and their approach to writing as a team, worldbuilding, and rewriting through production, because one does not simply walk into Mordor.

We also answer audience questions about the difference between ideas for television and movies, and working through dialogue out loud.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 1-2-19: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Holiday Live Show 2018

Scriptnotes: Ep. 379
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John and Craig welcome Pamela Ribon (Ralph Breaks the Internet, Smurfs: The Lost Village), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Into the Spiderverse, The Lego Movie), Zoanne Clack (Grey’s Anatomy) and Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (Family Guy, The Orville) to discuss writing animated features, breaking into television, and how to disappoint your parents.

We also rescue another genre, the big-screen holiday comedy, by playing a game about movies of Christmas past. Then we answer audience questions about useful notes and being the only woman in the room.

Thank you to the Writers Guild Foundation and the LA Film School for hosting us!

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 1-2-19: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The Worst of the Worst

Scriptnotes: Ep. 378
Play

John and Craig examine why and how writers need to make bad things happen to their characters, and the ways in which hero suffering differs between features and television.

We also answer listener questions about WGA jurisdiction, becoming a signatory, timing a script for television, and why all scripts aren’t available online.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 1-2-19: The transcript of this episode can be found here.