Pitching Television, or Being a Passionate Widget

Scriptnotes: Ep. 328
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John and Craig share their insight into pitching for television. How is it different that pitching features? How do express your passion for the project? How do you avoid being a Willy Loman pitching to a Willy Loman? (Sometimes you don’t.)

We also follow-up on the conversation about sexual harassment, with a focus on how men, bosses, and unions can work to make a safer, more comfortable workplace for everyone.

Reminder that the Scriptnotes Holiday Live Show is this Thursday in Hollywood. Ticket link below.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


Mergers and Breakups

Scriptnotes: Ep. 327
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John and Craig explore the possibilities and consequences of Disney’s potential purchase of Fox film and television studios. What might prevent the sale? What does each side stand to gain? To lose? What could it mean for writers?

Then, it’s another installment of “This Kind of Scene,” in which we dissect the mechanics of an effective breakup scene by looking at Casablanca, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, (500) Days of Summer, Love and Basketball, Brokeback Mountain and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The Scriptnotes live holiday show is December 7th in Hollywood, with special guest writer-producers Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), Michael Green (American Gods) and Justin Marks (Counterpart). Ticket link below.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-29-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here


Austin 2017 Three Page Challenge

Scriptnotes: Ep. 326
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John and Craig review four Three-Page Challenge entries with the help of Daniela Garcia-Brcek (Literary Manager at Circle of Confusion) and Cullen Conly (Literary Agent at ICM). We then invite the writers up to discuss the notes.

It’s not just craft, though. Our special guests give us a behind-the-scenes look at the realities of representation. What do agents and managers look for when they read (or “look at”) scripts? How important is a logline? Who reads queries? Daniela and Cullen tell us the unvarnished truth.

Thanks to the Austin Film Festival for hosting us and to our brave participants!

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-29-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


(Adjective) Soldier

Scriptnotes: Ep. 325
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Craig and John open the overflowing listener mailbag to tackle questions on everything from montages to life rights to passive heroes. Plus, we have a definitive answer on whether to number minor characters. (Don’t.)

We also finally address a major controversy: Craig’s missing cover of “Killing the Blues” from Episode 109. It exists, and you can listen to it today.

The Scriptnotes 2017 Holiday Live Show will be December 7th in Hollywood. Mark your calendars! Tickets available soon.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-20-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


All of It Needs to Stop

Scriptnotes: Ep. 324
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John and Craig revisit the discussion of sexual harassment in Hollywood, and how to support writers facing it. While the media spotlight is on the predators, it’s the day-to-day bullying and bad behavior that may have a more pernicious effect.

Then it’s another round of How Would This Be a Movie, looking at stories in the news to see which ones might be suited for the big screen.

Is it the story of a prison camp for female firefighters? The shockingly unregulated human corpse trade? Or is it perhaps the anti-racist protestors shut down by other students at a super-liberal college?

We also answer listener questions about British English vocabulary and how to lure expert consultants for a project.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-14-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Austin Live Show 2017 (AKA Too Many Scotts)

Scriptnotes: Ep. 323
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John and Craig talk with uber-screenwriter Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Minority Report, Logan) about how his feature script Godless ended up as a miniseries at Netflix.

We then invite more guests up to discuss what movies can learn from the success of TV:

  • Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, Go Fish)
  • Scott Alexander (Ed Wood, The People v. O.J. Simpson,)
  • Tess Morris (Man Up, “You Had Us At Hello” podcast)
  • Lindsay Doran (producer of Stranger Than Fiction, Sense and Sensibility)

In our final segment, we’re joined by a new batch of writers to play “The Studio Has Notes.”

  • Dana Fox (How to Be Single, Ben and Kate)
  • Megan Amram (The Good Place, The Simpsons)
  • Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street, Shimmer Lake)
  • Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman, Ice Age: Continental Drift)
  • Scott Rosenberg (High Fidelity, Beautiful Girls)

Can our lucky audience member pick out the one fake note among the five real ones? Can you?

Recorded live from the Driskill Ballroom at the 2017 Austin Film Festival.

Thanks to the Austin Film Festival for hosting us, and to a great audience. It’s one of our highlights each year.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-6-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.