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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The Invitation, and Requels

Scriptnotes: Ep. 244
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Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi join us to talk about their new movie The Invitation, and what’s it’s like to go from writing tentpole action films (like Clash of the Titans) to comedies (like Ride Along) to chamber-drama thrillers.

While we have them with us, we talk about the new term “requel” — which is not quite a reboot, not quite a sequel. Is it really a new sub-genre or just a helpful way of explaining things to studio execs?

Also, thanks to everyone who helped us out by answering our three-question poll. We have a better sense of who is using the premium feed, and how we can offer alternatives for listeners.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-8-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Heroes, Villains and Two-Handers

Scriptnotes: Ep. 243
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With John and Craig both on spring break, it’s a clip show this week. We discuss why movie heroes are rarely ambivalent, why villains are so appealing, and why movies with two primary characters require careful attention.

We’re trying to make plans for the future of the show, and could use your help! Please take a minute to answer our three-question poll to let us know how you’d like to hear both new and old episodes.

(Link to the poll below.)

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.


No More Milk Money

Scriptnotes: Ep. 242

Craig and John welcome back Aline Brosh McKenna to discuss what she learned going from writing features to show-running Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — and what’s waiting for her back in movie-land. The three of us came into the business at the height of the spec market, but everything is different now.

We also look at why some movies become classics, while others don’t hold up. Plus, a television show’s responsibility to its fans, and the frustrating death of a gay character on CW’s The 100.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-26-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Fan Fiction and Ghost Taxis

Scriptnotes: Ep. 241

Craig and John look at three stories in the news for another installment of “How Would This Be a Movie?” From fake scientists to figure skaters, we pitch our takes before some actor’s production company buys the rights.

Speaking of rights, a new lawsuit targets the makers of Creed for stealing the idea. The case will almost certainly get tossed, but it raises a discussion about fan fiction and what constitutes an original work.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-20-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


David Mamet and the producer pass

Scriptnotes: Ep. 240

In an episode consisting entirely of answers to listener questions, John and Craig discuss David Mamet, internet trolls, post-credit scenes and English actors attempting American accents.

Plus, who would win in an all-out brawl to the death? The answer will probably not surprise you.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-11-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


What is good writing?

Scriptnotes: Ep. 239

It’s an all-craft episode as John and Craig discuss what they mean when they say good writing.

Quality isn’t an objective measurement but rather a subjective experience. It’s the relationship between the reader and writer. From vulnerability to voice, consistency to surprise, good writing shares many characteristics with good acting.

We then look at three new entries in the Three Page Challenge, trying to apply what we just discussed.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-3-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.