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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Doing, not thinking

Scriptnotes: Ep. 178

John and Craig start the new year by discussing Chuck Palahniuk’s advice to avoid thinking verbs. Then it’s a new round of the Three Page Challenge.

We also do follow-up on the Sony hack.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 1-8-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Cutting Pages and Fixing Holes

Scriptnotes: Ep. 177

It’s a clip show! John and Craig discuss cutting pages from your script, fixing plot holes, and what we’d do if we ran a studio. We’ll be back with all new episodes in 2015, the year of post-outrage rationality.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.


Advice to a First-Time Director

Scriptnotes: Ep. 176

John and Craig offer advice to a director taking the plunge, with guidance on both getting the work done and getting the performances you want. From there, we segue into a discussion of the Perfect Director, the next installment of our Perfect series.

We also pay a visit to the Logic Police, whose notes are often frustrating but sometimes correct.

But we couldn’t not talk about the messed-up situation with The Interview and North Korea. It’s a terrible precedent, but the mistake is putting the blame on any one studio. Without coordinated group action, it’s only going to get worse.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 12-29-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Twelve Days of Scriptnotes

Scriptnotes: Ep. 175

Craig and John welcome special guests Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom, B.J. Novak, Jane Espenson and Derek Haas to talk about writing books, movies and especially television.

Aline and Rachel just finished shooting a pilot called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. We discuss the genesis of the project, and how sexism is just stupid.

B.J. tells us about the joy of reading Inglorious Basterds, and how the key to success is apparently editing your high school newspaper.

Jane and Derek teach us what really goes on in the writers room, from secret lingo to codes of silence.

Plus there are songs!

Recorded with a live audience at LA Film School as a benefit for the Writers Guild Foundation. Huge thanks to everyone who came and supported the show.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 12-19-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Hacks, Transference and Where to Begin

Scriptnotes: Ep. 174

John and Craig talk about where to start a story — how far back should you go? The decision about whether to meet the hero as a child, in their normal rut, or mid-crisis fundamentally changes the narrative, so it’s worth exploring fully.

We also discuss the psychological phenomenon of transference, and how writers’ desire for approval can lead to strange (and strained) relationships with executives and other authority figures. Finally, the Sony hack: was it a one-off, or will this be the first of many?

There are still a few tickets left for Thursday’s live Holiday show. Tickets available through the link below.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 12-15-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The Perfect Reader

Scriptnotes: Ep. 173

Craig and John discuss the qualities of the perfect reader, whether it’s a studio professional or your screenwriting buddy. What should a reader look for, and how should she communicate her thoughts?

We also discuss loan-out companies and why writers need them, and offer advice on starting a podcast. Plus a lot of turkey talk.

In follow up, most of what we thought we knew about Franz Kafka was wrong — but maybe that’s okay. Bob Odenkirk already made a sketch about judging. And if you haven’t purchased tickets for the live show on December 11th, get on that.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 12-10-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.