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

This Is Working

Scriptnotes: Ep. 190
Play

For the first time ever, John and Craig spend an entire episode on a full-length original screenplay, K.C. Scott’s THIS IS WORKING.

Black List founder Franklin Leonard joins us as we dig into this former Three Page Challenge entry, examining character, story and thematic issues. We get very specific about what’s working in the script now — but also what the movie may want to become. Plus we talk about the road ahead for this writer, and the choices he’s going to be facing.

Listeners are going to get a lot out of this episode — and even moreso if they read the script beforehand. So download the script and give it a read first if you have a chance. (Link below.)

This is a very different episode for us, so let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-5-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Uncluttered by Ignorance

Scriptnotes: Ep. 189
Play

John and Craig dig into the overstuffed mail bag to answer listener questions about scenes, stagnation, subtitles and script breakdowns. Plus we reveal the consensus opinions on whether we should have ads, and look at possibilities for the Full Script Challenge.

We also have a lengthy digression into probability and the proper way to pronounce Los Feliz.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-30-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Midseason Finale

Scriptnotes: Ep. 188

Craig and John wrap up many plotlines from previous episodes, with follow-up on Three Page Challenges, diversity numbers, Road Runner and other rules, plus the Gravity lawsuit in light of the Blurred Lines verdict.

Then, it’s time to start whole new storylines with discussion of the future of the show, including the Full Script Challenge and the possibility of not losing money on this whole venture. We want to know what you think, so tell us via email, Twitter or our long-neglected Facebook page, which we actually promise to check this week.

And there’s more! Weekend Read 1.5 adds iPad and iCloud support. Courier Prime has two new variants, Courier Prime Sans and Courier Prime Source.

Plus John and his compatriots will be testing a brand-new tabletop game in LA next Monday, and need your help. (Link below.)

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-22-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The Coyote Could Stop Any Time

Scriptnotes: Ep. 187

John and Craig take a look at the self-imposed rules behind the Road Runner cartoons, and how limiting one’s choices is different than following dogma.

Then it’s time for three new entrants in the Three Page Challenge, each presenting a range of issues to discuss.

Also this week, the dismal diversity numbers that don’t need exaggerative charts and how even produced screenwriters often live with precarious finances.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-13-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The Rules (or, the Paradox of the Outlier)

Scriptnotes: Ep. 186

John and Craig discuss this year’s screenplay Oscar winners, including the success of Birdman’s outside-the-box approach and Graham Moore’s speech.

Craig asked Reddit’s r/screenwriting sub to collect a list of the so-called rules budding screenwriters are told to follow. From the rules of the page to the rules of the industry, John and Craig look at these commonly-cited rules one-by-one, discussing which ones have merit and which ones are better ignored.

All this, plus follow-up on Tess Gerritsen’s Gravity lawsuit.

Also, John has a new app in the App Store called Assembler. Find out more in the links below.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-10-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Malcolm Spellman, a Study in Heat

Scriptnotes: Ep. 185

Screenwriter Malcolm Spellman joins Craig and John to talk about his big break, blown opportunities, and getting momentum back. Now part of the smash hit Empire, he talks about the changes and challenges African-American writers face both on the small screen and the big screen.

Also this episode, we look at a review that credits the director with the screenwriter’s work and the role trailers play in shaping audience expectation. Plus the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, the Three Investigators, SNL and literally losing your voice.

Trivia: “A Study in Heat” was the name of the sandwich Malcolm ate after recording this episode.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 2-25-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.