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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The One with the Idiot Teamster

Scriptnotes: Ep. 246

John and Craig welcome writer-director Lorene Scafaria to talk about her new movie The Meddler and some of the unique challenges faced by female directors.

She joins us as we play a new round of How Would This Be a Movie, tackling global hums, killer grannies and airport conspiracies. We also discuss movies that are often used as shorthand in Hollywood, from Raiders to Die Hard to Midnight Run. (But never The ‘Burbs.)

Next week we’ll be making minor server changes. If for some reason the next episode doesn’t automatically appear in your podcast app next Tuesday, you may need to resubscribe. Sorry, but it will be worth it to listen to special guest Lawrence Kasdan.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-22-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Outlines and Treatments

Scriptnotes: Ep. 245

John and Craig look at the non-screenplay things screenwriters end up writing, most notably outlines and treatments. We discuss some of the ones we’ve written (with examples), and offer advice on writing your own.

Also, how do you deal with sudden success? And what should a writer-director say when talking to a Very Famous Actress about starring in his movie?

Our live conversation with Lawrence Kasdan is this Saturday! Find out more about the all-day Craft Day featuring many previous (and future) Scriptnotes guests in the links below.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-14-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The Invitation, and Requels

Scriptnotes: Ep. 244

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi join us to talk about their new movie The Invitation, and what’s it’s like to go from writing tentpole action films (like Clash of the Titans) to comedies (like Ride Along) to chamber-drama thrillers.

While we have them with us, we talk about the new term “requel” — which is not quite a reboot, not quite a sequel. Is it really a new sub-genre or just a helpful way of explaining things to studio execs?

Also, thanks to everyone who helped us out by answering our three-question poll. We have a better sense of who is using the premium feed, and how we can offer alternatives for listeners.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 4-8-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Heroes, Villains and Two-Handers

Scriptnotes: Ep. 243

With John and Craig both on spring break, it’s a clip show this week. We discuss why movie heroes are rarely ambivalent, why villains are so appealing, and why movies with two primary characters require careful attention.

We’re trying to make plans for the future of the show, and could use your help! Please take a minute to answer our three-question poll to let us know how you’d like to hear both new and old episodes.

(Link to the poll below.)

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.


No More Milk Money

Scriptnotes: Ep. 242

Craig and John welcome back Aline Brosh McKenna to discuss what she learned going from writing features to show-running Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — and what’s waiting for her back in movie-land. The three of us came into the business at the height of the spec market, but everything is different now.

We also look at why some movies become classics, while others don’t hold up. Plus, a television show’s responsibility to its fans, and the frustrating death of a gay character on CW’s The 100.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-26-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Fan Fiction and Ghost Taxis

Scriptnotes: Ep. 241

Craig and John look at three stories in the news for another installment of “How Would This Be a Movie?” From fake scientists to figure skaters, we pitch our takes before some actor’s production company buys the rights.

Speaking of rights, a new lawsuit targets the makers of Creed for stealing the idea. The case will almost certainly get tossed, but it raises a discussion about fan fiction and what constitutes an original work.

Links:

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

UPDATE 3-20-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.