The original post for this episode can be found here.

John August: Hello and welcome. My name is John August.

Craig Mazin: My name is Craig Mazin.

John: This is Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters.

Craig, you are doing our first live from the field reporting.

Craig: That’s right. I’m at the Austin Film Festival here in Texas. It’s a big deal. I mean, it’s not a big deal that I’m here but the film festival is a big deal.

John: The Austin Film Festival is one of the few festivals that is really setup for screenwriters. Screenwriting is the focus of the festival I would say.

Craig: That’s exactly right. There’s the National Screenwriting Conference but that really isn’t a film festival. That’s specifically just about screenwriting. The Austin Film Festival does have actual films.

It has a pitch competition, a screenplay competition, a ton of panels and seminars and big, big names here. Larry Kasdan’s here and John Lasseter from Pixar and I believe Johnny Depp is in town, your buddy.

John: Good stuff.

By the time this podcast is actually up on the site it’ll probably be past and no one can come see you at your speaking engagements, but what panels are you going to be on? What are you going to be talking about?

Craig: I already did two today. Today I did a how to pitch seminar and then they do these round tables where you sit down and just meet people and talk to them and then after 20 minutes you go to the next table, a little bit of a speed dating thing. Then tomorrow I’m doing — I’m flipping through the book to see what I’m doing tomorrow.

I think I’m doing a thing on comedy. Yeah. It’s called Comedy: The Hardest Genre, and it’s at nine in the morning, so yeah — at nine in the morning it is the hardest genre. Then something else. Then there’s some creative — I don’t know John. [laughs] Honestly I should know and I keep checking this booklet and I keep forgetting what I’m talking about, but hopefully I’ll be fascinating when I say it.

John: Last year I was at the Austin Film Festival and I gave a special master class seminar on Big Fish which was scheduled super early in the morning. It was like a 7 AM session on Big Fish.

I enjoyed doing it. The challenge was that I had to talk about Big Fish as if it was some project I had worked on many, many years ago, because at that point we hadn’t announced that we were doing the Broadway musical.

So there were several moments during the presentation on the choices of the adaptation that has to say like, “Now, if you were going to do this, for example, as a Broadway musical, you might make some different choices about these kinds of things,” but it couldn’t be too specific.

Of course I was literally hopping on a place to fly from there to work on the Broadway musical so it was a strange thing. People said, “Wow, you seem to remember that story very, very distinctly and clearly. Did you bone up for it for the session?” No, it was all there. It was all live.

Craig: No one bones up for anything.

John: No. We pretty much show up and talk about the kinds of things we know to talk about which is screenwriting and answering questions about screenwriting, which is why I thought today we might take one of our listener questions that came in. This came in today from a young woman. I assume it’s a woman. I assume she’s young.

These are just random assumptions. A person named Alana. She writes:

“I’m a pretty new working writer. Last year was the first year I did real work for a studio, and now that I’m done with that project and back on the merry-go-round of meeting some producers, I don’t really know how to plan my career or, indeed, if that’s even a thing people do. When your agent and manager bring you possible projects or people who would like to meet you, should you just say yes to everything, pitch on everything, develop ideas with every producer who wants to, or should you pick things that you think will lead you in the overall direction you would like to do? Basically, should you have rough goals for the next few months, the next year, should you have a five year plan?”

This is a very broad question I thought could be a good… Let’s talk about your first couple years as a screenwriter jumping off place both in career advice but also overall life advice.

Craig: That’s a great question. It’s a great question. I feel like I’m still wrestling with that one to some extent. Almost all those things I could answer yes to all those oppositional questions. Should you plan? Yes. Should you say yes to everything? Should you be picky? Yes. I feel like I’m always vacillating back and forth between those poles. I don’t know about you.

John: Definitely. So I think it’s going to be best if we break this into smaller, manageable chunks that we can address. So let’s talk about career advice in terms of Alana as a screenwriter. Let’s talk about meetings. Should she take every meeting that she’s offered at this point?

Craig: Yeah. I would say so.

John: I would agree. Your agent and your manager are going to send you out to meet with a bunch of people, and a lot of those are people who they have other clients working with, people they know socially. They’re basically going to throw you against a lot of walls and see what sticks.

The reason behind this is people will have read your stuff but nobody’s going to feel comfortable hiring you to do any project unless they’ve sat with you in a room and seen, “Oh, she’s this kind of person, this kind of writer. I can see calling her on the phone and talking about a specific project.”

So you’re very unlikely to get hired for any of these early jobs unless you’ve actually sat in a room and talked with these people.

Craig: It’s true. Sometimes there’s a magical little thing that happens. Inevitably, these meetings have some context. They say general meetings, but there’s no such thing, because everyone that’s having a meeting with you has something they need and they’re going to mention it.

“We would love to have somebody write a movie like this.” Every now and then you have one. You have that thing that they’re looking for, even if it’s just the germ of an idea, and you might just start talking about it and they might just get excited and suddenly you’re generating a possible job.

I always think of general meetings as specific meetings that just don’t know what they’re specific about yet.

John: I’ve talked about this in sessions like the Austin Fall Festival but I don’t know if we talked about it on the podcast is that every one of these meetings has the same kind of template, which is that you will show up at the office, you will be a few minutes early, the assistant will offer you for something to drink.

You should ask for a glass of water or a Diet Coke or something that they will have, so they can get you something and bring you something and feel like they’ve done some part of their job.

The meeting will start a little bit late. You’ll go into that person’s office, you’ll sit in whatever chair is appropriate to sit in, and you’ll spend the first five minutes talking about nothing important at all.

It’s just really general chitchat about the most recent movies, about random stuff, where you grew up, where you went to school. At some point it’ll segue to “This is what we’re working on. Tell us what you’re working on. Is there something together that we should be working on?” A lot of times this is the same template as going in for a pitch, where there’s the general stuff before you get to the meat of it.

In a general meeting it’s just, “I’ll show you some of what we’re doing if you show me some of what you’re doing.”

Craig: Exactly, and usually there’s some pretext for the meeting, even if it’s just, “I love your agent, he insisted that I meet you and then I read your thing and I really liked it.” There’s always some pretext. Nobody really has a meeting with somebody that is a complete blank with them. There will always be a little something to talk about.

John: At the same token, you should be able to have a conversation about the kinds of things you want to write and the kinds of things you want to work on. So you don’t have to be able to pitch specifically what it is you’re trying to do.

If you’re the kind of writer who is working on thrillers you might say, “I’m working on a thriller set in the Boston financial market,” which I’m not even sure makes sense.

It’s a general enough pitch that describes the kind of idea that you’re working on without giving up all the details of what specifically you’re trying to do. If you just sit there and respond, “Oh, that sounds good,” or “That sounds interesting,” they’re not going to have any more specific idea of what to pitch to you when something comes three months down the road.

Craig: Yeah. It’s an opportunity also for you to start showing them what you can do. They might say, “Well you know we’ve had this idea that we’ve been working on for a while that’s the kind of thing we love and it’s this,” and they briefly describe it.

There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I really like that. When you pitched it to me where I was thinking it was going was this or this.”

The truth is that’s what they’re hiring you to do. They’re certainly not looking for people to go, “Oh, Okay. Thank you for spoon feeding me something.” They want people with an opinion, as long as it’s a smart opinion. So it’s a chance for you to begin to show off the quality of your mind. So I would say take every meeting you can when it’s early on in your career.

John: The more challenging decision is whether to pursue every project that comes up, every project that enters your universe of maybe-you-could-be-hired-to-do-this. When you and I were both starting, projects would come up.

The first idea I ever pitched on was How To Eat Fried Worms, which is an adaptation of a great kid’s book that Ron Howard’s company was doing.

It was presented to me as this is something you might be considered for. This was before I’d written Go. I’d just written a romantic tragedy and the novelization of Natural Born Killers, so it wasn’t a great choice on paper to be doing this.

But it was a book I knew and a book I liked so I pursued it hard and tried to get it, and I was able to get it.

There were a lot of those kinds of opportunities, and you had to be careful about which ones you were going after, because you could spend all your time chasing these projects that either aren’t real or were that they’re meeting with 15 writers and your odds of actually landing the job are pretty small.

Craig: That’s gotten worse, I would say, with the contraction of the release schedule. They just make fewer movies now, so there are fewer things to go in on, which means that the group of people that you were going up against — that cohort — has increased dramatically.

Early on in my career, most of the stuff I was working on was self-generated with my partner. So we would come up with ideas and pitch them and just try and get our own stuff going, which is always a great way to keep these meetings going because it’s a relief for them. They don’t feel like they have to do all the work and that they somehow are convincing you to let them pay you for something.

But when it’s early on you have to ask the fundamental questions: “Okay, do I need money?” “Am I starving?” “Am I making my rent?”

If you need money and a job comes in, take it. If you’re doing okay and there’s not going to be massive opportunity costs and a job comes along that just seems like a bad idea, you have to push the plate away.

That’s a lesson that it took me a while to learn, and I think I suffered, frankly, because I wouldn’t push the plate away. I grew up with… My parents are public school teachers and it was a very firmly middle class life where somebody offers you money you do the work.

I had to shake myself out of that a little bit, because eventually you start to become connected and associated with those jobs whether you like it or not.

John: The second scenario, though, that you’re talking about, where somebody comes to you with a job and you say, “No, no, I don’t want to do that job,” that’s a luxury problem, and I feel like this early on in her career that’s probably not going to happen very often.

It’s unlikely that someone’s going to come to her and say, “Hey, do you want to do this movie for us? You don’t have to pitch against nine other people. This job is yours if you want it.” That’s going to be unlikely where she’s at right now.

Craig: So the question is whether or not she should be pursuing the chance to write something?

John: Exactly. My instinct is if it’s a job she really wants then she should pursue it, but she should also be asking her agents and her managers how many other people are going out for this, which is information which I think contractually the studio has to say how many people are going out for it.

Producers will sometimes fudge and not really say how many people they’re bringing in or how many people they’re talking to about a project. If you find out that fifteen writers are going in for this adaptation of this book they just bought, that may not be the best use of your time.

Craig: If you love it then I think there is a case to be made that it’s good practice. Again, if you’re early on in your career it’s good practice. God knows how many stories I broke early on in the pursuit of chasing down work. It’s a way of honing your craft and getting better at it while exposing your potential value to people who hire writers.

But if you’re marginal on it or if your agent is excited about it for you but you’re not then, yeah, you might be better off working on your own thing.

John: What might be important to talk about is how many days to spend prepping that first coming in with your idea. Don’t spend two weeks on it.

I think it’s a great thing to be spending a couple days figuring out your take on it, being able to pitch what your idea is, but if you are writing a ten page outline even for yourself on that project you’re probably spending too much time pursuing something that’s not a real job for you.

Being able to go in and pitch a good version of a movie, especially if you’re one of the youngest writers, the most junior writers, going in on the project, that may at least impress them and get them thinking about you for the next job, certainly.

Craig: Yeah. And these things have levels in that you want to go in and pitch a take on it. You don’t need to give them your scene by scene description of the movie you would write; give them your take, your vibe, your approach. If they get really excited by that that is a green light for you to continue on it because there is a real possibility. If they’re lukewarm or negative you just saved yourself a bunch of time.

John: Absolutely.

Now let’s talk about the types of projects she should be pursuing, because in her question she didn’t say what kind of project it was that she got hired on, but my instinct is whatever it was she got hired on was probably based on other stuff she’d written before.

So if she’s a comedy writer she had written some comedy specs, she wrote a comedy for these people, the first studio job, and that’s what people are seeing her as.

This is not the time for her to say, “I’m going to write a political thriller.” I think if she’s being perceived as a comedy writer she would do herself best by continuing to write comedy and continuing to go out and pitch comedy.

Craig: Certainly from the point of view of building a continuing career, no question. Everybody’s a little concerned about being pigeon holed, but the truth is that is a rich writer’s problem.

You can write yourself out of your pigeon hole. You can’t write yourself into a career if you’re all over the place. People want to know what list they should put you on, and they do have list. Your agent, too — by the way, your agent will get very confused.

John: Yeah. If your agent doesn’t know which jobs to put you up for, that’s going to be a real problem, so you need to be honest about that. To a degree, to broaden your perception of how people see you as a writer, that’s why you need to be continuing to write specs even while you’re going out after these assignments.

You need to be working on your own stuff that is not beholden on anyone else hiring you to do stuff so that you can have new stuff to show.

Craig: I would say that the nice thing about specs is if you do want to branch off and show another side, I feel like you’re always allowed to do that in a spec, because the proof’s in the pudding. If you are getting comedy work but then you go turn around and sell this amazing horror spec, now you’re a double threat and that’s great.

In terms of pitching and going after jobs, don’t really think that anyone’s going to take you seriously if they don’t have evidence that you can deliver.

John: My first two jobs were How To Eat Fried Worms and A Wrinkle In Time, so at that point I was perceived — and pigeon holed — as being a guy who adapts kids’ books. So I was getting sent everything that involved gnomes, elves, dwarves, and Christmas. I liked those movies, but it wasn’t the only thing I wanted to write.

The luxury of having Go as a spec is that people could read Go and say, “Oh, this is a guy who writes comedy or writes action movies or writes drama or whatever.”

People could read Go and see whatever they wanted to see in it, and even before we made the movie it was very helpful for me getting considered for lots of different kinds of projects.

I would only be able to have a writing career at all because I had written these other movies that were so safely pigeon holed.

Craig: I don’t get really fussy or embarrassed about whatever it takes to break your way into the business. There are very glamorous, apparently creatively honorable ways to get in, but I’m not obsessive over purity.

It sounds great to say, “I wrote an incredibly heartfelt spec that was shatteringly brilliant and that’s why I am the biggest writer in the business,” which I’m not, but you don’t have to be that.

That’s an unnecessary burden to place on yourself, particularly when it’s early on.

John: While she didn’t ask the question I will append the question: She should also be considering TV. If you’re a future writer who likes television you should also consider TV, especially at this early stage in your career. You don’t know that you’re going to get another feature job for a year or two years or ever.

There’s more jobs in TV overall, so if TV is something that you like and something that you feel like you can write, I think you’re doing yourself a service in 2011 also writing television and trying to get television shows set up, trying to get staffed, trying to make good television shows, because that’s where the best writing and the most writing is happening.

Craig: Makes sense.

John: Let’s talk more life stuff for her in terms of a five-year plan. In terms of a five-year plan I think you have to ask yourself, “€œWhat kind of writer I perceive myself as being?€ Do I want to be a feature writer who is known as a brand of a writer?” If so, then probably picking a genre and being very true to that genre will serve you very well.

If you want to be a writer/director you need to start thinking about, when are you going to direct a movie? If you perceive yourself as being a writer/producer, like Kurtzman/Orci or Simon Kinberg, you need to start thinking about writing the kinds of movies that require such care-tending.

— Care-tending? Care-taking?€

Craig: I like care-tending€ Own it.

John: — Care-tending that requires such oversight and such producorial function that people start perceiving you as the guy that can keep the ship from sinking. You look at the writer/producers who do that and they are responsible people who are good writers but are also able to deal with all the politics and all the personalities of getting a movie made and can deliver a movie for a studio.

Kurtzman/Orci do it for Dreamworks; Simon Kinberg does it for Fox. There’s a lot of value.

Craig: The thing is, you have to know what your goals are and lay out perfect what the options are. Plan implies that you can chart a course that is followable, and I have to say I don’t think there is such a thing. What we’re dealing with is a highly chaotic business, and at its best there is still this enormous questionable outcome.

Even if you get your movie made, who knows how it’s going to hit the audience, how it will perform, how it will be received within the business, how the perception of you as a writer or writer/producer or director changes?

The important thing is to keep your goal in mind. Try and nudge this thing towards the goal, keep moving forward as best you can, but prepare to adapt, because you will get thrown curveballs. You may say, “I want to be a writer/director,” and you may turn out to be a writer/producer or just a writer, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Hard to plan, I have to say.

John: I think it’s hard to have a plan. It’s easier to have templates. I remember as I was first getting started, Go’s production offices or pre-production offices were actually shared with Kevin Williamson’s space. I would see Kevin Williamson writing Dawson’s Creek.

I’m like, “Oh, that seems really, really hard but I see that he’s working really, really hard and I can work really, really hard so I could probably have a show on the WB as well,” and I did. It was good to see that.

I always kept Kevin Williamson as an aspirational figure in those early years. Here’s a guy that’s making movies and doing TV shows at the same time and it’s all good and happy.

I think now with the rise of the show runners — or at least the publicity we now have for show runners — you have a better sense of whether it’s JJ Abrams from the Alias days or Joss Whedon, people who are running these major shows.

You see what it’s like and you can say, “I want to get to the stage where I can create a show and become a show runner and that’s not going to be easy,” but that’s a template.

You can see how those specific people did it.

Craig: Right. You define a goal, you look at how other people achieved the goal, and then you move towards it the best you can, but be open to things that you didn’t think would be there.

I never thought of myself as producing movies until I started producing movies. Keep your knees bent and stay loose because it’s going to turn out differently than you think. Over planning is just going to choke the life out of you. You need to be able to be prepared when serendipity strikes.

John: On the topic of being prepared, let’s segue to the life advice, particularly money, because you talked about, “Should I pursue this job? I need the money.”

Money was a huge concern for my first four or five years as a screenwriter in that what’s so different about screenwriting versus other jobs is we don’t get paid regularly. We get paid in these chunks and then that money dissipates.

So what I would do is as I would get paid to start a new draft…

Actually, I should explain how screenwriters sort of get paid in case people aren’t familiar with it. When we are hired to work on a project, we are given a certain amount of money to start the first draft. And then when we deliver the first draft, we’re paid the other half of that money.

So usually, the biggest chunk of money comes from that first draft, and we’re paid half upfront and half when we deliver. If we’re brought on for the rewrite, we get half upfront and half on delivery for that rewrite.

Once you’re hired onto a job, you have some sense that money is going to be coming in and you have some control over when that money should be coming in — hopefully they’ll pay on time, based on how long you know it’s going to take to write stuff.

Being an organizer and a planner, I would make a spreadsheet that would list all the months ahead. I would mark when I was expecting money to come in and I kept really careful track of all of my expenses.

I would say like, “Okay. This is how much it’s costing me to live each month in Los Angeles. This is my rent. This is how much I’m paying on food. This is how much I’m paying for my car. This is how the money disappears.”

And I could track that. Like, “I would be okay for six months at this point and hopefully, I will have another job before then to keep paying. And hopefully, I will overlap some of these checks so it’s not just, ‘Watch all of John’s money disappear.'”

But that’s very much the experience of being a screenwriter. You’re not getting a weekly paycheck, and without getting that weekly paycheck, you have to really be looking quite a few months down the road.

Craig: Certainly the best financial advice I could give to a screenwriter who is working and is early in their career is: live beneath your means.

Think of yourself like a professional athlete. You’ve managed to make it all the way past all the barriers to achieve this incredible goal of playing professional sports. All it takes is one torn ACL and you’re out. You’re done.

And things can happen in the movie business and suddenly the work goes away. It happens all the time, often terribly, terribly unfairly. Live beneath your means.

It’s funny listening to your heuristic of how you analyze what you should spend and all the rest of it. I made it really easy myself. I just said, “I’m going to spend as little as I can, just in general, so I don’t have to do much math. Just spend as little as I can. Keep socking it away. Keep socking it away.” And then at some point, adjusting that floor upwards as money would come in.

It is a difficult thing for anyone to master, the kind of financial planning with intermittent, unpredictable income levels. It is that much more difficult for people who aren’t naturally inclined to these things. The venn diagram of writing doesn’t overlap quite neatly with the venn diagram of financial planning.

And look, I know writers that have run into real trouble. And when you run into trouble, then the problem is this business is very high school. No one wants to date the guy that needs a date. When that pressure starts kicking in and suddenly you need a job and you need the money, they can smell it. It’s not good news.

John: You were talking about living beneath your means. The first four or five years I lived in Los Angeles, I didn’t have a bed. Instead, I had the two of those egg crate foam mattress pad covers and that was my bed and that was absolutely fine. I ate a lot of ramen.

Craig: Dude, so much ramen. I had a futon mattress, not the frame. I had the mattress on the floor. My first apartment I shared with a college buddy. The rent was $705 a month. Now granted, it was 1992. But the point being, it was like a game. “How little can I spend?”

I’ll tell you, there’s really nothing better for you, frankly, than to be in your twenties and live right on the edge of what you can get away with because then, man, you appreciate it so much more when you’ve earned it, and you have it, and you get it.

John: I think it’s important for people to understand here and dangerous if you were to miss it is that we’re not talking strictly about the people who are aspiring to become screenwriters, who are living cheap with like that dream, “One day I’m going to get paid to write.” We’re talking about like when you are actually getting paid to write.

People are paying you money. The problem is you just don’t know how long that money is going to keep coming, so living beneath your means is so crucial at this point. And basically pretending you don’t have some of the money you do have so it can last a lot longer is crucial.

Craig: And it’s crucial for people to know that sometimes the numbers seem like a lot more money than it is. I’ll give a real life numbers example. The first script I ever sold with my partner in 1996 I believe. I believe we got paid — we were guaranteed a payment of $110,000.

John: Oh, my god. That’s so much money, Craig. You could live forever on $110,000!

Craig: Let’s do the math. Shall we, John?

First of all I had a writing partner, so let’s whack that in half. It’s actually $55,000. Now let’s remove 10% for the agent. So now we’re down to roughly $50,000. Let’s remove another 10% for the manager I had at the time and most young writers do have a manager. Now we’re down to $45,000.

Let’s remove 5% for the lawyer, so now we’re down to about $42,500. Now let’s take out federal income tax. Let’s take out state income tax.

John: It’s not fun if you take out the taxes, Craig.

Craig: Yeah, I know. But you have to because it turns out you go to jail like Wesley Snipes if you don’t.

And so, your big deal for $110,000 is actually putting maybe $30,000 in your pocket. Now interestingly when this deal happened, they said, “Okay, we’re going to pay you guys $110,000. Commence writing.”

Then they send over this contract that says, “We don’t actually pay you until this contract is signed,” which seemed totally reasonable to me until it occurred to all of us that the studio was taking a very, very long time to actually amend the contract to a place that was reasonable for our attorney.

So we had already finished the script by the time that contract finally got done. They withheld payment the entire time. So now we’re two months in and finally at the end of that rainbow, you get your commencement.

Now the commencement, that $110,000, that covered two steps of writing. The first step is always — you get a little extra in the first one. So I think it was something like 70/40. So okay, $70,000. But the commencement is half of that, 35. But remember, I split it with my writing partner. So that’s actually 17.5 and then the manager, the agent, the lawyer, the taxes.

Suddenly after all that time, maybe I had four or five grand in my pocket. And that’s what people need to get. Even if you write on your own, even if you make $500,000 and it’s just you, it’s less than it sounds like.

Oh! And I forgot. The Writer’s Guild takes a percent and a half plus an initiation fee of $2,500. I think I netted zero by the time the commencement was complete.

John: But you got paid $110,000, so the big party you threw because you got paid money to be a screenwriter was probably a little premature.

Craig: It was lavish.

In practice, I changed nothing. I took it all in stride. I did the math. I said, “Uh-huh. I get it. This is going to be awhile.” And it is going to be awhile.

People need to understand that there is no fast rise to the million dollar level, and these numbers seem bigger than they often in practice are. You have to, have to, have to save. You have to. No way around it.

John: So in general, my advice to Alana who’s at this early stage — and I guess this would be five figure advice. It’s not quite six figure advice, but she’s getting paid money to write projects with is awesome — I don’t know that she needs to keep a day job. I don’t know if it would be conceivable for her to really keep a day job and still take all the meetings she needs to take.

It would be great if she had a significant other who is also working to help even out the peaks and valleys of this monetary income. But in many ways, the degree to which she can pretend that she’s had no success at all will probably help her financially at this point.

Craig: And creatively by the way. I mean, stay humble in all regards.

John: Good. I think this is a good, sobering look at that first couple of projects for a working screenwriter.

Craig: I think we saved a lot day. [laughs]

John: We might have.

Down the road, I do want to have the more challenging but also more fun discussion of the six figure advice, which is for those writers who actually are working relatively regularly who have to start thinking about things like becoming a loan out corporation, and health insurance, and disability insurance.

You talked about the professional athlete who tears an ACL. At a certain point, I had to get disability insurance because quite rightly my business manager pointed out that if I got hit by a bus, it would be really, really bad and traditional insurance wasn’t actually going to help me out there.

Craig: We’ll call that “Rich Guy Podcast.” But there’s a lot of stuff that does need to be sorted through. We’re all in isolation, so I think that’s a great idea to talk about that stuff because a lot of it is boring procedural stuff. And yet, you can really, really screw yourself up if you do it wrong.

John: And I suspect you probably know how to do it right, so that’s why you’re a good person for this discussion.

Craig: I bet you do, too.

John: Craig, enjoy the rest of your Austin Film Festival.

Craig: Thank you, sir.

John: Are you going to have some barbecue tonight?

Craig: Tonight I think it’s Mexican food, which the only place in America that I think outdoes LA is Texas. So a little Mexican tonight, but there will be some barbecue in there somewhere for sure.

John: Sounds good. Thanks so much.

Craig: Thank you, John.