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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Falling back in love with your script

Scriptnotes: Ep. 140
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Craig and John play marriage counsellor between writers and their scripts, looking at both the first spark of attraction and how to rekindle the flame when the fire has gone out.

There are still some tickets available for the Summer Superhero Spectacular live show on May 15th. Next week, we’ll announce how the Three Page Challenge will work. Don’t send scripts yet.

If you’ve subscribed to Scriptnotes for the back catalog, there’s a bonus panel with John, Kelly Marcel, Linda Woolverton and Scott Neustadter talking about notes and rewrites. You can subscribe at scriptnotes.net and listen through the Scriptnotes app for iOS and Android.

LINKS:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.


The Crossover Episode

Scriptnotes: Ep. 139
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John and Craig visit Ben Blacker’s Nerdist Writers Panel for a special crossover episode, recorded in front of a live audience on April 13, 2014.

writerspanellogoAs television gets more cinematic, what if feature writing was more like TV writing, with multiple writers together in a room? Would movies get better or worse? Could a Joss Whedon or a Vince Gilligan make movies the way they make television?

We have another live show coming up: May 15th, featuring writers from the biggest superhero movies and a live Three Page Challenge. Tickets go on sale Thursday.

This is a two part episode! You can hear the other half at Nerdist Writers Panel. Seach for “Nerdist Writers Panel” iTunes, or follow the links in the show notes.

Our thanks to Ben Blacker and the Nerdist empire for a great evening. If you’re not already listening to his podcast, subscribe.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-18-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The Deal with the Deal

Scriptnotes: Ep. 138
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John and Craig talk with WGA President Chris Keyser about the tentative deal reached between writers and the studios, and why it’s more groundbreaking than it might appear at first glance.

We continue our discussion of a new screenwriting format by looking at how we got here, both the history of “modern” screenplay layout and the alternatives.

Finally, John just delivered a new script, the first one he wrote entirely in Highland. We discuss the difference between drafts and assemblies, and how much we like to know before digging in on a sequence.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-11-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Draw Your Own Werewolf

Scriptnotes: Ep. 137
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Craig delights as John gets @-napped in a Twitter thread about copyright infringement. Then they talk disruption in television, and how it affects writers.

Finally, they answer listener questions about underlining, fan fiction scripts and whether a professional writer’s script would fare well in the Three Page Challenge.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-3-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Ghosts Laughing at Jokes

Scriptnotes: Ep. 136
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John and Craig talk Lab Rats, multi-cam, and what scenes might mean in their imaginary screenplay format. Craig clarifies what “spec writing” is, and when it’s permitted, both legally and ethically.

Then they dive in for another round of the Three Page Challenge, with entries ranging from second-grade bullies to cargo ship pirates to teenage crime.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-28-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


World-building

Scriptnotes: Ep. 135
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John and Craig discuss how you create a fictional universe for your story, and the limits of how much can fit on the page. From location to language to wardrobe, choosing which details to make explicit is a crucial early decision. Too little detail and the reader doesn’t know how your story is special; too much detail and the story gets lost.

Also this week, Resurrection vs The Returned vs The Returned vs Les Revenants — just because it’s an original idea to you doesn’t mean it’s the first time anyone’s ever thought of it. We also provide exactly five minutes of follow-up on last week’s discussion about what should replace the current screenplay format.

And True Detective! Which we loved! It’s only because we loved it that we can point out ways it could have been stronger. Did the traditional once-a-week format help or hurt it? Probably both.

LINKS:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-21-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.