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

Everything but the dialogue

Scriptnotes: Ep. 206

John and Craig take a deep dive into scene description, looking at how seven produced screenplays arranged the words on the page. With samples from Aliens, Erin Brockovich, Oceans 11, Unforgiven, Wall-E, Wanted and Whip It, we tackle verbs and metaphors, ellipses and underlining.

You can look at the show notes to see the exact scenes we’re discussing.

Also this week, Paramount has cut a deal with two exhibitors to greatly shorten the window between theatrical and home video on two upcoming releases. We look at why, and what this experiment means for writers in the near and long-term.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 7-17-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The One with Alec Berg

Scriptnotes: Ep. 205

Craig sits down with Silicon Valley writer/director Alec Berg to talk about set ups and payoffs, editing comedy and how writing teams get screwed.

Also this week: Tess Gerritsen gives up, but that’s not the end of you-stole-my-idea lawsuits.

The 200-episode USB drives are in the store, but for how long? If you want one, don’t wait. (Note: In the podcast, I misspoke: the discount code give you 10% off, not 20%. You’ll save $2, which is about what shipping costs in the U.S.)

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 7-9-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


No one makes those movies anymore

Scriptnotes: Ep. 204

Craig and John look at why certain genres of movies — mid-budget thrillers, adult dramas and romantic comedies — aren’t getting made, and whether there’s any way to get them back.

We also look at Apple Music, and what streaming means for screenwriters. Finally, we chart the screenwriter’s job from pitch to premiere, and how few of those steps are actually paid.

Big news: we have brand-new USB drives with the entire Scriptnotes catalog available at store.johnaugust.com. Quantities are limited, so don’t delay.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 7-2-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Nobody Eats Four Marshmallows

Scriptnotes: Ep. 203

John and Craig take an in-depth look at turnaround and reversion, and how screenwriters get their scripts back from a studio.

We also look at the latest developments in the Gravity saga, and answer a bunch of leftover questions from the live 200th episode.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 6-25-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Everyman vs. Superman

Scriptnotes: Ep. 202

From Wolverine to The Rock, male action heroes have literally gotten bigger over the last decade. Craig and John look at how that impacts story. Is there hope for the the ordinary man in an extraordinary situation? Will we ever get back to Kurt and Keanu?

Then it’s time for three new Three Page Challenges, with entries ranging from campus riots to suburban detectives.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 6-22-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


How would this be a movie?

Scriptnotes: Ep. 201

John and Craig look at three current news stories from a screenwriter’s perspective, discussing how each lends itself to becoming a movie.

Would FIFA’s Stepp Blatter make a better Coen Brothers hero or a Sorkin villain? Could the Large Hadron Collider lend itself to a romantic comedy? Is there even a movie to make about campus sexual politics and academic freedom?

Also discussed: the trap of “Do what you love.”

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 6-12-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.