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.
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.
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.
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.
Writer Derek Haas (Wanted, 3:10 to Yuma) joins John and Craig to discuss gay slurs, refrigerator logic and his TV show, Chicago Fire.
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.
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.
TV writing team Leo Chu & Eric S. Garcia discuss their workspace and work habits.
Family Guy writer (and YA novelist) Cherry Chevapravatdumrong discuss her workspace and work habits.
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.
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.
Stephen Harrigan reflects on his career writing TV movies of the week.
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.
Jay Faeber writes in with an update on his earlier First Person post, this time detailing his first year on the writing staff of Ringer.
Ongoing TV shows often develop their own esoteric writing styles, which you notice in scene description.