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Producers

Selling without selling out

In their first-ever live streaming episode, John and Craig open the mailbag to answer a bunch of listener questions.

Scriptnotes Holiday Spectacular

‘Twas the Holiday Scriptnotes and at our behest, Craig and John were joined by our six favorite guests.

Young Billionaire’s Guide to Hollywood

John and Craig offer advice for super-rich aspirants about the film and television industry. If you have enough money to do anything, what should you do first? Do you want to make money, or make art? Or do you just want to hang out with famous people? No judgements.

Let me give you some advice

Craig and John go back to basics with an all advice episode, looking at the Dear J.J. recommendations for Star Wars, Tony Gilroy’s advice to screenwriters and whatever’s up with Max Landis.

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.

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?

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?

Talking Austen in Austin

Craig and John chat with Lindsay Doran, a producer and former studio exec who’s made terrific movies, ranging from Sense and Sensibility to Stranger than Fiction.

Producers and pitching

What’s the difference between a reader and a producer? Much more than one high-profile online reader seems to believe. John and Craig discuss what producers do, and how one plausibly gets started.

Casting and positive outcomes

Craig and John discuss the screenwriter’s role in casting, then segue to the New York Times profile of producer/executive Lindsay Doran’s approach to story.

What do producers do?

Craig and John explain what producers do — at least, what they’re supposed to do — and discuss the myriad subclasses of producers that litter the opening titles of many movies.

Endless producer notes

How do you handle a producer who won’t stop giving notes?

When to talk about your idea

Lawrence Turman suggests asking random people for their opinions of your concept. Great idea for a producer, but potentially a bad idea for a screenwriter.

The One-Month Manager

What’s a reasonable amount of time to give your manager to read a draft of your script? It sometimes takes this screenwriter’s manager up to a month.

How many times can a meeting get pushed?

General meetings aside, how many pushes merits cause for concern regarding interest in you/your idea?

Should a screenwriter pay for notes?

If you can’t find that one smart reader amid your circle, it’s possible that you’d benefit from paying someone. I don’t have any names to recommend, but if I were in your place, I’d look for a few things.

The only one who has seen the movie

At a screenwriting panel last week, Robin Swicord said something that reframed the issue in a very helpful way.

Based on an idea by…

“Based on an idea by” is a rare credit, for good reason.

Sending out to multiple agents

Rifle or shotgun approach to getting an agent?

Making unnecessary and possibly horrible changes

Making your movie. Keeping your soul.

Is it risky to spec something in the public domain?

Not if it will get you read and your expectations are adjusted.

Should I worry about a competing project?

When to sell and when to hold.

Writer control

Selling people on your ideas is critical to keeping control of a movie from the beginning.

More on becoming a co-producer

How a writer can stay involved in a producing capacity once the script is written.

Co-producer credit

How to get producer credit? Use leverage and do the work.