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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Second Draft Doldrums

Scriptnotes: Ep. 199

Craig and John discuss finding your way back to your story — and your enthusiasm — when writing your second draft. Craig has tips and suggestions. John has sympathy and war stories.

This week, we also discuss ageism and authenticity in Hollywood, the Mr. Holmes lawsuit, and unsung screenwriter heroes.

The 200th episode will be streaming live on the internet! Follow us on Twitter to get details about when we’ll be recording, and where to find us.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 5-29-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Back to 100

Scriptnotes: Ep. 198

This week, we time-travel back to our first centennial, a live show in Hollywood with special guests Aline Brosh McKenna and Rawson Thurber. We discuss the rise of the “writer-plus,” the importance of early mentors, and the emails that outline the very origin of Scriptnotes.

Through the past 100 episodes, a lot has changed, so John provides updates on some topics, including how the Golden Ticket winner presaged the later full script challenge. So even if you listened to this episode 97 weeks ago, you’ll find something new.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 5-19-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


How do bad movies get made?

Scriptnotes: Ep. 197

Craig and John tackle a single topic: bad movies and how they happen. Having experienced the process first-hand, they report on how bad ideas make it to the screen, and how good ideas go wrong. There’s no single answer, but a range of patterns that end in terrible movies.

In follow-up, we talk about still-forming plans for the 200th episode, new USB drives, and favorite episodes.

John’s game One Hit Kill launches on Kickstarter this week. Check it out.

And if you work for Bethesda, Craig really wants you to make Fallout 4.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 5-17-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The long and short of it

Scriptnotes: Ep. 196

John and Craig dig into the listener mailbag and take questions on TV producer credits, jealousy over other writers’ success, writing tight vs writing long and plenty of other follow up.

It’s a jam packed episode worthy of a long commute.

We also have information on the card game we playtested in LA a few weeks back. It’s called One Hit Kill, and you can see some of the artwork and play our mini-game at onehitkillgame.com now.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 5-7-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Writing for Hollywood without living there

Scriptnotes: Ep. 195

Canadian screenwriter Ryan Knighton joins John and Craig to discuss how you sustain a career writing for Hollywood studios while living a flight away. Knighton’s first screenplay was the adaptation of his memoir about going blind. He’s since written for several studios, including a new project for Ridley Scott.

We also talk about general meetings, pitching, adapting true stories, and the Sundance screenwriting lab.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 5-4-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Poking the bear

Scriptnotes: Ep. 194

This week, Craig and John discuss recent events that seem custom-designed to make Craig furious.

An anonymous screenwriter promises to tell you the secrets of Hollywood, including the unspoken dress code. A London-based film production company wants to buy your script — but they want you to pay for some notes first.

But it’s not all bad news. The WGA East has organized the writers at Gawker, so we talk about why and whether it’s a good idea. We also look at GLAAD’s latest report on LGBT representative in feature films.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-24-15: The transcript of this episode can be found here.