It’s fascinating to look at something so old yet so familiar. Most modern televison writing goes through an outline stage, at which point the studio and network signs off on the story — or sends it back with notes.
Screenwriter Malcolm Spellman joins Craig and John to talk about his big break, blown opportunities, and getting momentum back. Now part of the smash hit Empire, he talks about the changes and challenges African-American writers face both on the small screen and the big screen.
John and Craig discuss exploding scripts and stock scenes. Then in the second half of the show, we welcome two very special guests.
Craig and John welcome special guests Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom, B.J. Novak, Jane Espenson and Derek Haas to talk about writing books, movies and especially television.
John and guest host Susannah Grant sit down with Richard Kelly, Cary Fukunaga, Peter Gould, Dan Sterling and Mike Birbiglia to discuss the role of a writer/director, the wonder of television, and the purpose of table reads.
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 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.
Craig and John, along with their talented panelists, answer questions from the audience at the May 15, 2014 live show.
Robin Sloan wonders whether all-at-once seasons like House of Cards work against the shows by denying viewers the joy of anticipation.
It can be strangely satisfying to surrender your ego and imagine yourself as a wholly different writer.
Dara Resnick Creasey writes about her first time being the [staff writer on set]
Nothing is cut-and-dried this week. John and Craig talk Game of Thrones rape, allegations against director Bryan Singer and the new report showing the same low employment numbers for female writers in film and TV.
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.
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.
Craig delights as John gets @-napped in a Twitter thread about copyright infringement. Then they talk disruption in television, and how it affects writers.
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.
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.)
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 […]
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.
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.
Aline Brosh McKenna joins John and Craig to discuss watching movies with an open mind and why it’s important to befriend other writers.
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.”
Guinevere Turner doesn’t want to talk to you, not when she’s writing.
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.
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.