Craig loves the 1990 blockbuster Ghost. John? Ditto. Written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Jerry Zucker, Ghost set the template for the modern romantic drama. It was Twilight before Twilight, Titanic before Titanic. It won hearts, weekends and Oscars, including best screenplay.
Over the last eight years, I’ve become more famous within a subset of people. Because of Scriptnotes, my voice is actually recognized as often as my face. Because of Twitter, I end up interacting with strangers much more often. And because of both outlets, people who recognize me know a lot more about me — at least, a version of me who hosts a popular podcast about screenwriting.
This week, Craig and John tackle listener questions.
To celebrate the third anniversary of Scriptnotes, John and Craig invite Aline Brosh McKenna and her limitless analogies back to discuss box-office journalism, scene geography, emotional IQ and flipping the script.
Chloe Angyal has a great look back at My Best Friend’s Wedding, which in many ways subverts rom-com tropes.
John and Craig take a look at four new entries in the Three Page Challenge, ranging from galactic drama to medieval comedy. Along the way, they talk about the nature of one-hour teasers, trust, plausibility, and how to properly address religious authorities.
The project I’m writing centers on trust. The more I think about the word and the concept of trust, the more complicated it becomes.
From Amazon to animation, there’s drama this week about prices for books and movies and even internships. John and Craig take a look at what happens when companies wrestle over how much things cost, and the effect it has on people trying to make a living as writers.
Craig and I may have taken umbrage at his video about comedy directors who aren’t Edgar Wright, but Tony Zhou’s newest video looking at how filmmakers handle texting and the internet on-screen is all good. Zhou’s underlying point is that we still haven’t settled on conventions for showing texting or the internet. And that’s good! […]
Craig and John discuss the accusations of plagiarism surrounding True Detective — and what plagiarism even means in the context of filmed entertainment. Movies don’t have footnotes, so how should screenwriters give attribution?
John and Craig revisit one of their favorite episodes, in which they sit down with screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo to discuss writer’s block, procrastination, partnerships and more. It’s a can’t-miss episode for aspiring writers and professionals alike.
John and Craig look at the trend towards hiring two writers to work on separate drafts of the same project. Is it better to have writers working in parallel than serially? Or does it end up with studios ordering off a Chinese menu: this scene, that character, that other set piece?
This graphic from 1957 shows how the various elements of the Walt Disney company fit together. You could make very much the same chart today.
John and Craig talk structure and escalation. Structure is simply what happens when. Escalation is how things get tougher.
Maybe Impostor Syndrome is a good thing.
In their first-ever live streaming episode, John and Craig open the mailbag to answer a bunch of listener questions.
Aline Brosh McKenna joins Craig and John to talk about the difficult journey through pages 70-90 of your feature. After that, we talk about procrastination, the Panic Monster and our inner Instant Gratification Monkeys.
A reader’s understanding of a given moment is hugely dependent on what you’ve already established. That’s why the first few pages of a script are so important: you’re teaching the reader how to read your script, and what’s important.
Gregory Maguire, author of the novel Wicked, takes a look at screenwriter Noel Langley’s early draft of the script for The Wizard of Oz.
John and Craig discuss why most characters are liars, and how that’s actually a good thing. John offers seven suggestions for picking character names that will help your readers. Then we look at a three page challenge that’s been filmed to see what worked on the page versus on screen.
Craig and John take a swing at several of the week’s hyperbolic headlines, from conflict-free comedy to Fitzgerald’s failures to Strong Female Characters with nothing to do. In each case, there’s a valid idea lurking beneath the overstated claim, but it’s important to separate good examples from bad.
I’ve reformatted my 2007 post on How to Write a Scene into something you can print or pass out to a class.
John and Craig open the vault to bring you a never-before-heard episode recorded live at the 2013 Austin Film Festival, where we did a Three Page Challenge and met with the writers.
Storyboard Fountain lets you write and storyboard your film simultaneously.
John and Craig talk about what screenwriters can learn from the structure of classical music, then invite journalist Scott Tobias on to discuss how day-and-date video-on-demand releases make it hard to know how indie films are doing, individually and as a group.