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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They Won’t Even Read You

Scriptnotes: Ep. 251

John and Craig look at how the push to increase diversity in TV writing rooms impacts writers looking to staff for the first time.

Fan outrage over the death of a gay character — and the trope it perpetuates — has prompted an online pledge for writers. But is it a good idea? (Not really.)

We also take a look at three new entries in the Three Page Challenge, with visits to Koreatown, Silicon Valley and exploding Greek diners.

Lastly, a request: this podcast is named Scriptnotes, not ScriptNotes. The “n” isn’t supposed to be capitalized. Thanks!

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 5-30-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The One with the Austin Winner

Scriptnotes: Ep. 250

Remember the live show in Austin, when we promised we’d read one lucky listener’s script and talk about it on the air? This is that episode.

John and Craig talk with Amanda Morad about her pilot script Betty Bureau, offering praise, suggestions and a few next steps. You can read Amanda’s script in the links below.

We also answer a few short and simple questions about rights and clearances.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 5-20-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


How to Introduce Characters

Scriptnotes: Ep. 249

John talks with Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, about how they pitched and wrote their critically-acclaimed show.

We focus on the ways they introduced recurring characters in the pilot, and how casting influenced the series. Given recent controversy over casting of Asian roles, our discussion of the Josh Chan character feels particularly relevant.

This episode was recorded live as part of WGFestival 2016 Craft Day. Our thanks to the Writers Guild Foundation and The Academy for hosting us.

John deeply regrets passing up the opportunity to sing the West Covina reprise.

(The script for the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend pilot is available in Weekend Read.)

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 5-13-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Pitching an Open Writing Assignment

Scriptnotes: Ep. 248

John and Craig discuss open writing assignments, and how to best pitch to producers and studios looking to hire a writer for a specific property. Most of the work happens before you set foot in the room, so proper planning is essential.

Then we take a look at the controversy over white actors playing roles that could have gone to Asian actors, and how screenwriters can (and can’t) improve the situation.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 5-6-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The One with Lawrence Kasdan

Scriptnotes: Ep. 247

John and Craig sit down with screenwriting legend Lawrence Kasdan to discuss Star Wars, Raiders, The Bodyguard and how he’s shaped some of the most iconic big-screen stories and characters of our lifetime.

This 90-minute interview comes as part of WGFestival 2016 Craft Day, and features audience questions as well. Our thanks to the Writers Guild Foundation and the Academy for hosting us.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 4-29-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The Gold Standard

In this special mini-episode, Craig and John tackle the gold standard and why economists think it’s a flat-out terrible idea.

We don’t discuss screenwriting at all, so feel free to skip this one if monetary theory doesn’t interest you.

This episode is mostly to verify that minor changes to our workflow haven’t messed up the Scriptnotes feed. If for some reason this episode doesn’t show up in your regular podcasting app, please let us know at the ask@johnaugust.com account (and re-add it in iTunes).

Next week, we’ll be back with our long-anticipated interview with Lawrence Kasdan.

Links:

You can download the episode here.