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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
How do you handle a producer who won’t stop giving notes?
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.
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.
General meetings aside, how many pushes merits cause for concern regarding interest in you/your idea?
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.
At a screenwriting panel last week, Robin Swicord said something that reframed the issue in a very helpful way.
“Based on an idea by” is a rare credit, for good reason.
Rifle or shotgun approach to getting an agent?
Making your movie. Keeping your soul.
Not if it will get you read and your expectations are adjusted.
When to sell and when to hold.
How a writer can stay involved in a producing capacity once the script is written.
How to get producer credit? Use leverage and do the work.
How to handle development meetings. Be open, learn and remember the changes are yours to implement.
A good example of why producers matter.
Selling people on your ideas is critical to keeping control of a movie from the beginning.