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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So Many Questions

Scriptnotes: Ep. 134
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John has questions about the questions Craig answered on his Reddit AMA, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg as we answer six great listener questions:

  • What’s the deal with the “mystery insider” Twitter accounts?
  • Can a screenwriter use the n-word?
  • If we had to start from scratch, what would we do?
  • What did we mean by “lens selection?”
  • To CONT’D, or not to CONT’D?
  • Starting over after big life events.

Also, a reminder to Oscar winners: if you’re going to thank the creative team, don’t neglect to thank the screenwriter.

LINKS:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

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


Groundhog Day

Scriptnotes: Ep. 133
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John and Craig pay their respects to Harold Ramis with an episode devoted entirely to Groundhog Day.

Ramis and co-writer Danny Rubin fashioned a deceptively simple story that upended expectations and essentially created a new genre of supernatural predicament comedies. Often imitated but never surpassed, Groundhog Day is smarter than you remember, cleverly side-stepping logic traps to explore deeper philosophical questions.

So grab your toaster and give Ned Ryerson a hug. It’s time to relive Groundhog Day.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-6-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The Contract between Writers and Readers

Scriptnotes: Ep. 132
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John and Craig look at the implicit contract made between screenwriters and readers — and ultimately, movies and their audience. That’s a natural introduction to our Three Page Challenge and the three new entries we look at this week.

Also: Late Payments suck. You shouldn’t tolerate it, and neither should your agents.

There are still a limited number of tickets available for the great Scriptnotes/Nerdist Writers Panel crossover live show on April 13th. You can find a link in the show notes.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 2-27-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Procrastination and Pageorexia

Scriptnotes: Ep. 131
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Craig and John get in your head to talk procrastination, pageorexia and generalized anxiety. They also move beyond the psychopathology to discuss all the changes in the industry, from cable mergers to lawsuits to disruptive technologies. You’re not as paranoid as you think you are.

John’s new app Weekend Read is in the App Store now, and free. So check it out.

The long-fabled crossover episode with Nerdist Writers Panel is happening April 13th at 5pm. Tickets are $15, and will sell out, so get on that. Link below.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 2-21-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Period Space

Scriptnotes: Ep. 130
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John and Craig tackle the greatest controversy in screenwriting: how many spaces to put after the period. From there, it’s follow-up on the Final Draft episode, including some behind-the-scene details.

Why is it often better to write in public spaces? How do you keep your hero in the driver’s seat? What do you do if you’re dating an emotional vampire? We have some answers.

We also have annoyances: the $1 billion lawsuit against Tom Cruise, similar hijinks with The New Girl, and Time Tailor.

The Big Fish cast album is available on iTunes and Amazon. A few last Scriptnotes t-shirts are available on the John August Store.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 2-17-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The One with the Guys from Final Draft

Scriptnotes: Ep. 129
Play

The makers of Final Draft pay us a visit to clear up John and Craig’s misconceptions of, well, everything. It’s double the umbrage for your money.

Then we discuss Quentin Tarantino’s leaked script, the upcoming WGA negotiations, and how to make it clear you’re attached to direct your spec.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 2-6-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.