Archives

Television

The Crossover Episode

John and Craig visit Ben Blacker’s Nerdist Writers Panel for a special crossover episode, recorded in front of a live audience on April 13, 2014.

Old Projects

Maybe I’m hyper-aware because yesterday was the 15th anniversary of Go, but I’m encountering sorts of references to past projects this week.

Draw Your Own Werewolf

Craig delights as John gets @-napped in a Twitter thread about copyright infringement. Then they talk disruption in television, and how it affects writers.

Ghosts Laughing at Jokes

John and Craig talk Lab Rats, multi-cam, and what scenes might mean in their imaginary screenplay format. Craig clarifies what “spec writing” is, and when it’s permitted, both legally and ethically.

Women and Pilots

Carolyn Strauss, executive producer of Game of Thrones, joins John and Craig to discuss female directors and the death of pilot season. In one short hour, they solve all the intractable problems facing the film and television industry. (Not true. Not even remotely.)

Netflix, Nikita, and the sense of an ending

Merrill Barr explains why Nikita’s final six-episode season is mostly for Netflix: The old model was simple: start a show, make 100 episodes, sell-off the syndication rights, continue producing episodes until it’s no longer cost-effective and cancel the series. That was it. In that model, endings mean nothing; they’re just convenient wrap-ups to a story […]

Q&A from the Holiday Spectacular

John, Craig, and guests take questions from the audience at the Scriptnotes Holiday Spectacular. Topics include TV writing careers, what to do once you have an agent, overcoming gender stereotypes, rewriting Dodgeball, and more.

Comparing a scene as written and as shot

Using a scene from my 2003 pilot “Alaska,” I thought it would be interesting to compare the written scene to what it looked like in the final version.

Positive Moviegoing

Aline Brosh McKenna joins John and Craig to discuss watching movies with an open mind and why it’s important to befriend other writers.

Making The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders

Saturday Night Live’s Alex Buono details how they shot one of my favorite bits this year, the Wes Anderson-ian parody trailer for “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.”

Solitude and getting stuff written

Guinevere Turner doesn’t want to talk to you, not when she’s writing.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A city born of fire

Writer Derek Haas (Wanted, 3:10 to Yuma) joins John and Craig to discuss gay slurs, refrigerator logic and his TV show, Chicago Fire.

Villains

John and Craig give heroes the week off and talk bad guys. Not every movie needs a villain, but if you have one, he better be good.

Sprints, marathons and migrations

This week, I’ve been working on a feature, a TV pilot and the stage musical of Big Fish. It’s gotten me thinking about the nature of different forms of dramatic writing.

Workspace: Leo Chu & Eric S. Garcia

TV writing team Leo Chu & Eric S. Garcia discuss their workspace and work habits.

Workspace: Cherry Chevapravatdumrong

Family Guy writer (and YA novelist) Cherry Chevapravatdumrong discuss her workspace and work habits.

Gorilla City and the Kingdom of Toads

John and Craig talk about the new show John sold to ABC, which leads to a conversation about the differences between studios and networks, and how writers end up having relationships with both.

Chosen, or Hey I’m Doing a TV Show!

Josh Friedman and I just set up a new show called Chosen, produced by 20th Television for ABC. I’ll write the pilot, and if the show goes to series, Josh will run it.

Writing big movies for little screens

Stephen Harrigan reflects on his career writing TV movies of the week.

Leaning into the weirdness

I admire the way Happy Endings has morphed from another sorta-like-Friends show to its own weird beast. I wouldn’t want to be friends with any of these narcissistic self-defeating chatterboxes, but I like them together.