Point of View

Scriptnotes: Ep. 358
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John and Craig discuss the power of point of view in scripts and how the choice of which characters have storytelling power changes how we experience a movie. Point of view has a meaningful role in creating mystery, expanding scale, elevating characters, and energizing a story.

We also answer listener questions about “Jackman shots,” renaming a character in the middle of a story, and supporting a child who writes.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


This Title is an Example of Exposition

Scriptnotes: Ep. 357
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John and Craig debate and defend one of the most-maligned elements of screenwriting: Exposition. How do you tell an audience what they need to know without being labeled a hack? We offer tips for getting viewers up to speed without them realizing they’re getting fed exposition.

We also follow up on screenplay competitions, the psychology of toxic fandom, fridging as a trope, and the market for lesbian love stories.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 7-10-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Writing Animated Movies

Scriptnotes: Ep. 356
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John welcomes Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Homeward Bound) to talk about her experience writing animated features, from the parallel processes of writing and production to her paltry paycheck for Beauty and the Beast. They consider the blurring lines between live-action and hyperrealistic CGI, as well as the history of animation writers’ exclusion from the WGA.

We also answer listener questions about whether there is such a thing as a bad character want and how to manage story days within a screenplay, which prompts exploration of wardrobe changes, thinking in terms of color rather than time and Linda’s penchant for naked characters.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 7-3-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Not Worth Winning

Scriptnotes: Ep. 355
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In light of the dust-up over Coverfly, John and Craig discuss why most screenwriting contests are essentially useless and should be avoided.

We then look at destructive fandom and ponder how today’s entitled enthusiasts might have responded to the classics.

Plus we answer listener questions about the “gutters” between scenes, whether an employer owns your idea, what the business of big talent-led production companies looks like, and how to maintain momentum after your first sale.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 6-26-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Upgrade

Scriptnotes: Ep. 354
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Craig welcomes Leigh Whannell, writer of the Saw and Insidious franchises, to discuss low-budget filmmaking, sequels on sequels, the horror landscape and his new movie, Upgrade.

We also answer listener questions about sharing an agent with your writing partner and the ethics of hiring someone to punch up your own script.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 6-20-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.