Archives

QandA

Putting your pain second

In this bonus episode, Craig and John and special guest Andrew Lippa answer audience questions after the New York live show, addressing topics ranging from sustaining your passion for a project to dealing with difficult gatekeepers. We had a great crowd with great questions, and Craig especially rose to the challenge.

Scriptnotes Live from New York

John and Craig welcome their largest live audience yet for a conversation about Kickstarter, movie pilots and musicals. Joined by special guest Andrew Lippa, they talk about the special challenges and opportunities that arise when characters break into song.

Two ENTJs walk into a bar (and fix it)

John and Craig reveal their Myers-Briggs secrets as they discuss Kevin Spacey’s comments on the state of television, Eric Garcetti’s plans to address runaway production, and the WGA election.

Risky Business, and the choices you make

Jake Malooley tracks down writer-director Paul Brickman, who more or less vanished after Risky Business.

Ender’s Game, one-hours and alt-jokes

John and Craig discuss the impact of author Orson Scott Card’s personal toxicity on Ender’s Game, and what it means for that movie and how it will this affect studio decisions moving forward.

Disaster Porn, and Spelling Things Out

John and Craig discuss Damon Lindelof’s interview about how plot stakes have escalated lockstep with budget, perhaps to the point of absurdity.

Hits, misses and hedge funds

Craig and John take a look at one investor’s campaign against Sony Pictures, and George Clooney’s strong reaction. From there, we examine why studios have multiple labels — TriStar is back! — and how that affects writers.

101: Q&A from the live show

In this special bonus episode, John and Craig answer listener questions from the 100th episode with help from guests Rawson Thurber and Aline Brosh McKenna.

Scriptnotes, the 100th episode

John and Craig are joined by Aline Brosh McKenna and Rawson Thurber for the 100th episode of Scriptnotes, recorded live at the Academy Lab in Hollywood. It was a great night with an amazing audience.

Psychotherapy for screenwriters

John and Craig 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.

Long movies, producer credits and price-fixing

John and Craig discuss the Apple ebook price-fixing lawsuit and its lessons for Hollywood, before segueing to the new credits system for producers. Then: Have movies gotten too long, and would making them shorter really save money?

Is 15 the new 30?

Have first acts gotten shorter, or does it just feel that way? John and Craig discuss the pressure on screenwriters to “get to it” faster, and why that’s often the wrong goal.

The Origins and Formatting of Modern Screenplays

John Hess gives a terrific overview of the history of the screenplay format, and how changes in the film industry changed how the words are arranged on the page.

Eating dessert first

Joss Whedon’s productivity advice is to figure out what you actually need to do, then do the most fun stuff first.

Notes on the death of the film industry

John and Craig discuss the death of the film industry as foretold by four prominent filmmakers. Is the way we make movies unsustainable? Is the system fundamentally broken, or just changing into something new? And why don’t we make romantic comedies anymore?

10 Questions, 10 Answers

John and Craig tackle the bursting mailbag, answering listener questions on topics ranging from the variable length of the TV season to underachieving agents to embarrassing IMDb credits.

Let’s talk about Nikki Finke

John and Craig discuss the polarizing potentate of Deadline Hollywood Daily, then segue into what a healthy entertainment journalism ecosystem might look like.

End today’s writing with a plan for tomorrow’s

Chuck Wendig offers ten writing tricks, including an old standby that shouldn’t be forgotten.

The Little Mermaid

Craig and John spend an entire episode discussing and dissecting 1989’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, looking at both its structure and scene work.

Sounds teenagers make

James Harbeck analyzes some of the common annoying sounds in teenage speech, many of which are hard to portray in dialogue.

Mason and Finley

The 22-year old twins at the center of my 1999 TV show D.C. were named Mason and Finley. Rare names at the time, but increasingly common.

Bechdel and Batman

It’s a week of pondering other people’s opinions. First, Craig and John take a look at the Bechdel Test: is it a useful metric for screenwriters, or just meaningless checkbox-ticking?

The life of the unknown screenwriter

Justin Marks offers a look at what it’s like to be a working screenwriter you’ve never heard of.

Writing effective transitions

How you get from one scene to the next can be just as important as the scenes themselves. Craig and John talk techniques and tactics for making those cuts count.

Ugly children and cigarettes

Has a statistician cracked the code on successful screenplay formulas? John and Craig cast a skeptical eye at a New York Times article on Vinny Bruzzese, who claims to have done exactly that.