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.

View in iTunes

Descending Into Darkness

Scriptnotes: Ep. 169
Play

Craig and John shake off their Halloween candy hangovers by taking a look at three new Three Page Challenges, full of post-apocalyptic portals and strange signals.

We also discuss writing dark things. Weepy things.

John just launched his first Kickstarter, and we all know how Craig feels about crowdfunding. Will Craig be a backer or bah-humbugger?

In follow-up, we look at the now-announced Marvel superhero slate, and a terrific podcast about pitching.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 11-10-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Austin Forever

Scriptnotes: Ep. 168
Play

John and guest host Susannah Grant sit down with Richard Kelly, Cary Fukunaga, Peter Gould, Dan Sterling and Mike Birbiglia to discuss the role of a writer/director, the wonder of television, and the purpose of table reads.

Then it’s questions from the audience: How do you know you’ve found your third act? How does one become confident? Does impostor syndrome ever go away?

This episode was recorded live at St. David’s Episcopal Church as a certified blasphemy-free part of the 2014 Austin Film Festival.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

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


The Tentpoles of 2019

Scriptnotes: Ep. 167
Play

Craig and John discuss the 31 superhero movies slated for the next few years. Is it good business or a trainwreck in the making?

How do you move from a vague idea to an actual pitch? We talk about what you say when you’re in the room pitching on a project, and why passion trumps plot in most cases.

We also look at copyright and how the current system is broken for everyone.

Next week will be Craig-less, because we’re recording live at the Austin Film Festival with a bunch of amazing guests.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

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


Critics, Characters and Business Affairs

Scriptnotes: Ep. 166
Play

John and Craig were delighted to join the Slate Culture Gabfest on stage to talk about the gulf between critics and creators. We have the audio from that, and additional thoughts on the issue.

Then, how many characters does your movie need? We talk about how to figure out the Goldilocks spot where you have enough characters to make your world feel real, but not so many that they’re tripping over each other.

Finally, business affairs, and how understaffed legal departments create problems for writers and studios.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 10-20-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Toxic Perfection Syndrome

Scriptnotes: Ep. 165
Play

Craig and John discuss that delusional period in which you’re convinced your script is the best thing ever written — and the inevitable heartbreak when someone tells you it isn’t. (TPS is close cousins to the Oscar Speech in the Shower.)

Also this week: SF terms and tropes, Adam Sandler’s Netflix deal, and what the WGA should focus on.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 10-11-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Guardians of the Galaxy’s Nicole Perlman

Scriptnotes: Ep. 164
Play

Craig and John talk with Guardians co-writer Nicole Perlman about the development of this summer’s blockbuster, and her two years as part of Marvel’s in-house writing program. It’s a great look at how movies get started, and the dozens of drafts you didn’t see on the big screen.

Nicole stays with us as we discuss which city would take over if Hollywood fell into the sea, why IMDb credits rarely reflect a writer’s real career, and the worst ideas we were ever pitched by a producer or studio executive.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 10-3-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.