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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Campaign statements and residual statements

Scriptnotes: Ep. 217
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John and Craig discuss the WGA election results, and take a look at the issues that dominated the campaigns. What is a paper team? Do screenwriters really retire? And why does it take us so long to get paid?

We also dive into the mailbag and take questions on visiting Los Angeles, backend and residuals, and what an unrepped writer should do if there is interest in her project.

T-shirts are being folded and packaged this week, and should be in the mail by the time next episode airs. Keep a lookout in your mailbox, and be sure to pack them for Austin.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 10-2-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Rewrites and Scheduling

Scriptnotes: Ep. 216
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Craig and John take an extensive look at best practices when coming in to rewrite an existing script. How do you take the reins when you weren’t the first screenwriter? Whether you’re starting over at page one or executing some surgical fixes, we discuss the psychology and reality of being the subsequent writer.

Then it’s a look at how film schedules work. The translation from screenplay to shooting schedule can be brutal, but a smart writer (or writer-director) can help the budgeting team make clever choices to make the best film. We offer pointers to help navigate compromises inherent in trying to go from page to plan to production.

Scriptnotes t-shirts are being printed this week. Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered a shirt. We’ll have them out the door beginning the second week in October, in time for the Austin Film Festival.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 9-25-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


PG13: Blood, Boobs and Bullcrap

Scriptnotes: Ep. 215

John and Craig discuss the PG-13 rating, its effects and what screenwriters have to keep in mind when dealing with it. Then it’s a conversation about healthy and unhealthy relationships between writers and their representatives.

Also: are your odds greater of being a professional screenwriter or a professional football player? We have a lot of numbers, but no clear answer. The question points out interesting differences when it comes to pursuing one’s dream.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 9-21-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Clerks and recreation

Scriptnotes: Ep. 214

Craig and John tackle another installment of “How would this be a movie?” with a look at the Kentucky clerk, the French train bros, Uber and Deflategate. Who are the heroes and villains, and would there be enough plot to support the running time?

We also explore the happy-sad feeling of finishing a screenplay.

Only two-weeks left to pre-order a Scriptnotes t-shirt. Don’t miss out!

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 9-11-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


NDAs and other acronyms

Scriptnotes: Ep. 213

Craig and John open the mailbag to answer questions on acronyms in dialogue, off-the-air specs and international WGA jurisdiction. Plus we look at the growing trend of non-disclosure agreements on studio projects, and whether the nature of film requires less complex characters.

The big news: we have new Scriptnotes t-shirts! They’re available only by pre-order, and only for a short time. Join us at the store as we talk through the three designs, ranging from the classic logo, to vintage Camp Scriptnotes to an all-new Three-Act Structure blueprint by listener Taino Soba. Orders must be in by THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th. (Link below)

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 9-3-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Diary of a First-Time Director

Scriptnotes: Ep. 212

John and Craig sit down with Marielle Heller, the writer and director of the acclaimed feature The Diary of a Teenage Girl, to talk about the journey of getting her movie made, from optioning the novel to the Sundance Labs through production.

We discuss sex scenes and ’70s wallpaper, anamorphic lenses and leaving subplots on the cutting room floor. Plus there’s a lot of MacGruber.

Heller’s film is in US theaters now, and expanding week-by-week. Don’t miss it.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 8-28-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.