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: And this is the 3rd intro that I just did for Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting, and things that are interesting to screenwriters. How are you, Craig?
Craig: Uh, I’m exhausted. I’m so tired right now. Anything could happen. I could say anything.
John: Well, today we are going to mostly answer questions, so it should be kind of easy.
John: This won’t be a particularly taxing one is what I am trying to say.
Craig: Thank God. Because normally, normally, I need to be on my A-game for this sort of thing.
John: Yeah. But your C-game, we will let it slide.
Craig: Yeah. Oh, by the way, my C-game may end up being my A-game. We will find out.
John: You never know.
John: We wanted to start off with an update because in a previous podcast we had talked about Toph Eggers who had written a criticism of Steve Koren, who is a fellow screenwriter, that we thought was poorly done. It was a bad choice of something to write about, and it was not the correct thing to do. And we sort of went at length on our feelings about that.
John: But he wrote a follow up piece that was actually pretty nice.
Craig: Yeah. It was a pretty well thought out apology. I mean, I guess that is the headline, really, is that he apologized for it, and seems to own completely that he behaved poorly and boorishly. And not only did he apologize in a very convincing and thorough manner, but he also touched on why what he did was wrong, and why in fact Steve Koren doesn’t deserve harassment at all.
It was an A+ apology. And so I offer Toph Eggers my A+ acceptance.
John: He wasn’t really apologizing to you specifically, but acknowledgement.
Craig: I think he was apologizing to me, because I see everything as about me. [laughs]
John: Oh, I forgot the solipsism and narcissism that draws everything out.
Craig: Yes. Like he performed the role of “guy apologizing to me” extraordinarily well. [laughs]
John: [laughs] But I would say, I like apologies, and I like apologizing. It’s weird that people aren’t better at it. I hate the modern form of apology which is, “I’m sorry you were offended.”
John: This weird way of sort of redirecting it back at somebody, saying, “Oh, it is your fault that you were offended, but I don’t want you to feel bad about it in a strange way.”
Craig: Yeah. Liked I’m not apologizing for what I did; I’m apologizing for the weird interaction between what I did and your thin skin.
John: Yeah. Really apologizing and genuinely apologizing feels so good.
John: It’s like coming out, but of a blame thing.
Craig: That’s exactly right. In fact, I remember during the strike when my blog was hoppin’, and there was an enormous amount of attention, I made a mistake. And the mistake that I made was I gave an interview to the LA Times, and in that interview I was very clear about the way I felt, but perhaps I was not as specific about insisting that they include a certain amount of context in what I said.
And when I read the article the next day, they had basically left out half of what I said and made me sound in a way, frankly, that was unflattering and counterproductive to what I wanted, which was an effective resolution to all of this. I wanted something good for the union and I didn’t like the way they made it sound. And people attacked me.
Now, the people attacking me, that was sort of par for the course; I would get that every day. But on that one, they were right, and the mistake that I made was, frankly, not taking my — not being as careful with the responsibility I had that came with the, I guess, my public presence. And I didn’t manage it well enough. And I apologized. And interestingly, I would say half of the people who follow the blog accepted the apology and took it for what it was, which was my mea culpa, and the other half viewed it as an opportunity to kick even more dirt in my face.
And I find people who do that particularly off, you know. [laughs] If somebody makes an apology, why not accept it? I mean, they are apologizing. If you won’t accept the apology all you are really doing is eliminating future apologies from people like that.
Wait, okay, I just did that thing where I say, “Yes,” and you say something long, and I just said, “Yeah.” It’s part of the drinking game apparently.
Craig: You did the “Yup” thing, yeah. You did the “Yup” thing.
John: I’m so sorry I just “Yupped” you.
John: [laughs] I was reading the transcript of our podcast. One of the unusual things about our podcast is we do actually provide a transcript of all our podcasts a few days later, and it is on at johnaugust.com, you can look for it there. And I was reading through it, which I don’t usually read through it, but I was reading though it and this new person who is transcribing it will put in all of the yeahs that we have, and we say “Yeah” a lot.
Craig: We do.
John: And I tend to say “Yeah” after you have said something long and profound. And I will just follow it up with a “Yeah.”
Craig: I know. It takes all of the wind out of my sails. I feel so good. There is like a brief moment after I finish saying something profound and important where I feel so good. And it usually lasts about a second. And then you say, “Yup,” and then it is all gone.
John: Would you prefer in the future that I just leave a long, awkward silence, and then come back?
Craig: No. I think instead of saying, “Yeah,” because obviously there is nothing wrong with saying “Yeah” but I think a better word would be, “Wow.” [laughs]
John: How about a slow clap. [claps]
Craig: [laughs] I would also like a slow clap! I mean, I’m working my butt of here, man.
John: Maybe we could provide some sound effects that would sort of show the “Ooohh…”
Craig: You know what? We should sweeten this with laugh track and the Full House, “Ooohh!” I love it. Stuart, get that.
John: Stuart is on it. One of the most enjoyable things you can watch if you have about a minute to kill is Big Bang Theory without the laugh track. Have you seen this?
John: So they take like two minutes of the Big Bang Theory, of an episode, and they just take out all of the laughter, and your realize it is just such a creepy, strange show if you take out the laughter. Because they will say these weird things, and then there will just be awkward silence [laughs]. It looks like a show about serial killers.
Craig: That is why I always feel the jump from — and there are people who do it successfully — but jumping from sitcoms to movies is an enormous gulf because there is absolutely no help. And when you whiff, it is brutal. Brutal. Nothing is worse than silence. And, also, impacts every joke after it.
The more you don’t hear laughing, the less you want to laugh.
John: My friend Melissa is on a show now that is shot 3-camera with a live studio audience. And so I was talking with her, and they do pre-tape certain things, or they will stuff, like if they are driving a car and it is a green screen thing, so they may pre-record it, or they will do it just to sort of — they will do it for the live, studio audience with them just sitting on boxes on the stage and do it, and then they will actually go back and film the real thing. And they will patch it up with the laughter after the fact.
But she says it is just so odd when you have the audience there and they are anticipating the laugh, and you are waiting for the laugh, and then you have to try to match it in a context when you don’t have that. It has to be frustrating.
Craig: Very strange. Are you talking about your friend, Melissa McCarthy?
John: I am talking about my friend, Melissa McCarthy.
Craig: That’s my friend, Melissa McCarthy, now.
John: Oh, you get to work with her now.
Craig: Yeah. She’s mine. I took her from you.
John: She’s moving on up.
Craig: Yeah. That’s right. She graduated. [laughs]
John: Let’s get to some questions here.
Craig: Let’s do it.
John: Because questions are easy and I don’t say “Yup” at the end of them.
John: Scott asks, “Recently my partner and I sold our first spec to a major studio. It had been a long process that entailed attaching two major movie stars, and Oscar-winning producer, before it went to the market. When it did finally go out, it ended up in a minor bidding war that ended up with a truly modest deal. My question is, what do we do now? After we finish the two rewrites promised in our deal, where should we be putting out time and energy? What should we be asking our agents and managers to do for us? Should we be trying to pitch for existing assignments? Should we be trying to pitch original ideas? Should we be specking something? Should we try to get on staff for a series? What should we do?”
Craig: Okay, that last one threw me for a bit, because it sounded like they are feature writers.
John: They are feature writers I would say that a lot of feature writers sort of entering right now are really feature and TV people.
John: And I think it is maybe smart. We can talk about that, too.
Craig: Yeah. No, I get that.
John: Don’t limit yourself to one thing.
Craig: No, I get that. I think it depends on how this particular project has gone for them. Assuming, I’m going to assume the best and it has gone well. If it has gone well then you have material and relationships that prove that you can do the job of professional screenwriting. So, if it were me, I would be asking my agents to get me general meetings and specific meetings about open assignments. Even if none of those meetings turn into work, they turn into relationships, which turn into work. Maybe not immediately, but done the road.
And simultaneously, I would be developing a pitch as soon as possible.
John: Yeah. You are going to have to focus your attention in a couple different areas and figure out what is most likely to work for you. But you are going to be going out on generals, which is basically the, “Hey, hello, how are you?” It is the bottled water tour of Los Angeles, where you sit down with all of the junior execs at different places and you see who you like and who you get along with.
Most of those meetings won’t really amount to anything, but they put a face with a name, and talk about stuff you like to write.
John: Some of those things will be going in for open assignments. And open assignments means that there is a movie that they want to make, or they have an idea, or some piece of property that they are talking to writers about doing. You want to go in and pitch on some of those, because some of those will become jobs. They will actually pay you to do them.
They are also incredibly good practice to figure out how to pitch a movie and how to take a nebulous idea and shape it as a movie and be able to present it to somebody. So, you are going to want to do some of that.
The danger, and what I have seen happen a lot, is you end up pitching on so many of these things that you are not writing anything new. So at the end of a year, all you have was that thing that you sold and a bunch of sort of pitches for movies you can’t make because you don’t have the underlying property.
John: So I would say, I don’t know, if it is you and your writing partner, maybe you just break it down by day, or you break it down by sort of overall percentage of your time. But maybe on Mondays you are only going to work on your own stuff, which is you are writing that new spec, or figuring out your own pitches for something you can go out with. And Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday, maybe you are going out on meetings and doing other people’s stuff.
But, you are going to have to plan for both things being possible. And if TV is a real possibility, you are going to have to have an honest conversation with your agents about what is the series, what is the season that they need you to be available to do stuff to go out on those meetings. What do they need from you to be able to show people so they can get you staffed on the show?
John: You are going to probably need to write something new. So it is not just a matter of, “Oh, I will do TV and someone will hire me.” It’s a tremendous amount of work to try to get hired on a TV show.
Craig: That’s the key. It is a tremendous amount of work. I think no matter what you are endeavoring, and this is the time when you must be extraordinarily aggressive with your time. You have to really work hard right now, because the door has been opened slightly. And I know that everybody has a romantic point of view on this, that when you finally get there and you have your break, the door is kicked open. And then you get to trip through the field of daisies and pick the jobs you want.
And, in fact, all they have really done is cracked the door slightly. You are going to have to work, and work, to get to that next thing. You want to be a professional writer, you need not one job, not two jobs, not three jobs. I think five jobs. Now you are one of the workforce. Now you are a known quantity.
And so you actually do need, unfortunately, to do a lot of work. And I totally echo your concern about over pitching on open assignments because here is the reality of those: they are a little bit of fool’s gold because nine times out of ten they end up going to whomever a director or actor wants, or a big writer, and you will exhaust yourself and your creative tools by cracking and solving problems for nothing, over and over and over.
So, be careful with those, which is why I suggest — there is nothing wrong with it. You are right; going on those is great practice. And it also helps show your problem solving side to these people. But general meetings are also great. And, pitch. Find something new and get out there and pitch it, because they are always looking for new stuff. And you guys get to walk into the room as people who have done it before, which is a big deal.
So, work hard right now.
John: Yes. And whatever you are taking out for your pitch should be something in the same ballpark as the thing that you sold. Because people read that script and they said, “Oh, we like this thing,” you know, minor bidding war. They were like, “Oh, there is something here that is promising.” So, if you sold a sci-fi/action movie, don’t try to go out with a comedy pitch next. That shouldn’t be your next spec because people aren’t going to know what to do with that. And they put you on some list, and they want to work with you, but they are not sure what to do with you on what list.
If you are going out to pitch on an open assignment, maybe that is a chance where you are going to stretch yourself to a genre that isn’t necessarily just like your spec. And they can see you do that because it is lower stakes.
Craig: Yeah. I mean, I guess the only thing I would say is if you have a terrific pitch that is of a different kind of thing, but you believe in it, and you think it is sellable, then you just have to make sure that the expectations are managed before you walk in the room. That they here, “Listen, the guys who wrote this great science fiction/action-adventure have actually come up with this, amazingly have come up with this, incredible romantic comedy, which sounds like they wouldn’t be able to do it, but they have. So if you are looking for that, they would love to come in and talk to you about it.”
But, frankly, this is rarely a problem. Usually people have a natural genre. And early on in your career you should be going for depth rather than breadth, if that makes sense.
John: Yeah. You want to be like the guy who they want to do this next project that is sort of like that other project. That can be helpful. A little bit of pigeonholing is helpful very early on in your career.
John: I got pigeonholed as the guy who was adapting kids’ books. I didn’t only want to adapt kids’ books, which is why I wrote Go. The useful thing with Go, just even as a script, is I could go out for comedies with it, I could go out for action movies with it. I could go out for a lot of different kinds of movies with that script.
Craig: Yeah. That’s right.
John: Our next question is from a guy named Ruckus.
John: “When handing in a rewrite, do either of you preface the draft in correspondence? My writing partner and I just submitted a pretty substantial rewrite, and I found myself struggling with the email. There were a few suggestions made by the producer that we didn’t think worked, but we found an alternate and hopefully more elegant solution in the writing. Is it better to let the producer know how you might have veered from the notes going into the reading, or should you let the script stand on its own?”
That’s a really good question.
Craig: Yeah, it’s a great question. First, I must of course say, “Can you describe the ruckus?” John, can you identify that quote?
Craig: “Can you describe the ruckus?” I believe it is The Breakfast Club. “I heard a ruckus.” “Can you describe the ruckus?”
John: Oh, I don’t know The Breakfast Club that well.
Craig: My attitude about it is this: if you feel that you have addressed a problem in a creative and interesting way, that is good, go with it. It is a gamble, but it is a gamble that pays off huge if it works because all I think everyone that doesn’t write, but who advises writers on how to improve their writing, is secretly hoping that you are going to come back and just make them happy. They don’t really want to move your hand for you and type the words for you.
If they could do that, they would be writing. So, if you have a great solution that is off the beaten path of the notes, there is nothing wrong with saying, “Listen. We have in our back pocket the solution we all talked about, but we really wanted to try this.”
And if they don’t like it, just say, “Listen. You know what? It was something we believed in, and we thought about it. We always have the make good back here if we need to kind of go in that direction.” But, there is nothing wrong with showing, in my mind at least, nothing wrong with showing some creativity and some proactiveness, as it were.
John: I agree with you. I think if you have the better solution, let the better solution speak for itself. The only case where I would say to think twice is if you have promised that you are going to do a certain kind of thing, and then you don’t do that. Like let’s say you are working with a director and a studio, and you need to turn in this draft. If you promise a director you are going to do something, and you couldn’t do that thing, and you did this other thing instead, you have got to at least tell him or her that that that is there.
Because if it is going to everybody at once, and then they are surprised, and there is cross-talk that is not involving you, that is going to be a real problem.
Craig: I agree.
John: So there are cases where you want to either have that phone call or have that email ahead of time and everyone knows what is going on.
Craig: Yeah. You know, it is really important to ask yourself, “How surprising will this be? And what if they don’t like it? Is this surprise going to compound the negative reaction?”
If you are going to really surprise them with something big, you have got to let them know ahead of time. Frankly, it has less to do with courtesy and more to do with being effective as a screenwriter. Because when people are shocked and surprised, they start to have an emotional reaction that is going to absolutely get in the way of their experience reading the script. That is just something you have to start to feel out, like what are kind of landmine type changes that you need to let them know about ahead of time to protect yourself and the work, and what are things that you can kind of just sort of go about because you are the writer of the script, and you are not a reactor.
John: Yeah. The more going into this rewrite process, you were talking about the areas that you were going to work on, but not the specific solutions, then you have a lot more freedom to do whatever you needed to do in order to get that thing to work right.
It is when… — A lot of times when you get very close to production and you had to sort of pitch the exact thing that you were going to do, not down to the word, but it is going to be this, and it is going to fit in this little place, and it is going to be this scene here, that is where it becomes tough where if you are doing something that is just very different it is going to ripple through other changes.
John: And then maybe you need to really warn people about that.
Craig: Yeah. And then there is sort of like, “What is the deal with these people? They are just not reliable. I don’t want to hire this guy again because we all discussed something in the room, he agreed, he went off. He came back and suddenly the guy that was supposed to be a little bit more of a mature dad instead of a bumbling dad has become an uncle from out of town who has no kids at all. What the hell is going on here?”
So be respectful of the fact that there is somebody else on the other end of this conversation.
John: Yes. Our next question. Max asks, “I have been writing specs for a while now, and working with producers. I have tons of drafts of several scripts — notes in every draft, brainstorming, what have you. I am just wondering how you, someone who has had infinitely more notes and files to deal with, keeps everything accessible and in place?” So just organization strategy for drafts and files.
Craig: That is a question for you. You are the Sort Master.
John: I am the Sort Master. But I don’t deeply sort. Most things that I am working on actively, I have in Dropbox so that I can reach them through whatever computer that I am in. Or, I can pull them up on my iPad if I need to. So, in Dropbox I have folders for each of the basic projects. So I have one for Preacher, for Frankenweenie, for whatever, and all of the drafts and everything related to it goes in there.
If something is like an email and is attached to an email, I don’t always drag it out of there and stick it into Dropbox. I kind of feel like mail is another way to get to some of that stuff. And a lot of times if I am looking for a specific PDF that I sent through to somebody else, I will just pull it out of mail rather than pulling it out of Dropbox, because at least then I can see the context of what this last thing was that I sent.
But I am just using Dropbox for basically everything. And I am being very lazy, and sort of hoping that Dropbox doesn’t mess it up for me, for my active stuff.
For older backup stuff, I have it on just a “Projects” hard drive. I have a big tower, and I have four hard drive slots in there. I have one that I use for projects, and I just keep everything related to those projects in those folders in there. And that one I back up once a week.
Craig: I don’t really think that there is anything lazy about it, I mean, the way you just described it. Frankly, it is not like our job of archiving is that intense. I do a very similar arrangement to you. I have a folder that is essentially a writing archive. Everything that is done, that sort of sits on a folder, and all of that stuff is mirrored to Dropbox as well. I like Dropbox, just mostly because of the backup factor.
I mean, I take my laptop with me wherever I go, though it is nice to always have mobile access. And the projects that are scripts in progress, that is its own folder. And in that, each of those things, there will be — for instance, in my Identity Theft folder I organize things by sort of treatment. So anything in the treatment folder is all the stuff that led to up to the first draft. Then there is first draft folder. There is the second draft folder. And then once the movie gets green lit, then I create a production drafts folder. And in that folder there is a white folder, a blue folder, a pink folder, a salmon folder, and yada, yada.
John: That is actually much more organized than what I do. I just keep it in one big folder and I sort it by date. And the most recent stuff is at the top, and I can usually find everything I need.
Craig: Who would have thought that I would be the neat one? [laughs] No one!
John: The tidy one.
So now what are you doing with just like little bits of scraps that aren’t quite movies or projects yet? Do you have any sort of dump file for that? I use Evernote for it. Are you using anything like that for storing the bits and pieces of things?
Craig: If I have an idea, or a little bit of something, it is almost always attached to a project. And what I will do is I will just make a folder for that project. So, even if I don’t quite know what it is, if it is like, “Okay, I have this idea for a historical drama,” I will just write a folder that says, “Historical Drama Idea,” and then I will put that stuff in there.
But, I don’t have a folder that is, like, “Ideas” or “Whims.” Everything gets kind of a spot.
John: I started using Evernote because I did have a folder for like bits and pieces, and I would never really check that folder because there were just drips and drabs and stuff. Or, if I made a new folder for something, a year later I would go back and see a folder that had exactly one file in it. And it was like, “Well, that was weird.”
John: It’s like that idea sort of never came to anything more than that. So, the stuff that I feel is kind of interesting, that could be a movie somewhere, I’m throwing that into Evernote right now. It’s not perfect.
I use for my day-to-day keeping track of stuff I need to do, I am using OmniFocus, and I will sometimes — I am debating between the “someday maybe” kind of tag you can put on stuff. And so there will be a little idea, and I will put a “someday maybe” on it, and that way it just kicks up for review every couple of weeks. And so it is like, “Oh, that little thing I was thinking about, is that still something I am thinking about? Or should that just go away?”
Craig: Yeah. I’m okay with the notion that there are… — I mean I have a couple of folders in my Scripts in Progress master folder that I haven’t touched in three years. And I am okay with that. They are there mocking me, and I like it. I like that one day I will have to address either their mortality or breathe some life back into them.
John: Cool. Our next question comes from Salvi from Los Angeles. He asks, “I read about spec scripts or screen rights ‘going to auction.’ Although I am familiar with the concept of an auction, I am wondering if you can explain what exactly this means in a Hollywood setting. What is the process, the formalities? Who manages the auction? How are offers submitted — fax, email, phone call? Where, to whom? How does it work? What is a script auction or a rights auction?”
Craig: Uh…I’m guessing that this is… — A script auction, I believe, has to do with the purchasing of a library of material from a company. In other words, a company is going out of business and being sold.
John: Yeah. In this case he is talking about spec scripts.
John: I think what he is talking about is there is the situation where something becomes a bidding more on a spec. So, let’s say you wrote a spec script that suddenly everybody wants. And it gets to the point where you are getting offers from different people. I used to hear about this more. Maybe it still does happen where at some point the agents will say, “Okay, we are going to start at 5pm and say to just start bidding. And people can call in and say how high they will go.” And they will set a time limit on it.
Craig: Yeah. To that, there is no rocket science. Basically if it is a hot property, and everybody knows about it, then you just say, “We start fielding calls at this hour, and we will let you know what the highest offer is. And if you want to match it or exceed it, go for it.”
Sometimes the companies, in an effort to short circuit a kind of endlessly spiraling competition will say, “I’m going to offer you $1 million for this. You have to take it or leave it right now, or I am out.” They do all sorts of things.
There are script auctions and rights auctions that occur when companies are being bought and sold. For instance, famously The Terminator rights were auctioned off. And those occur the way assets are auctioned off for any business, when they have to disperse assets. But, probably he is talking about what you are talking about.
John: In the case of those big bundle of rights assets, there you would need to know, you have to pre-qualify as a bidder. They have to know that you actually could buy at the price that you are talking about. There would be all sorts of terms and things. But if you just wrote a normal spec script, that is not going to go out as auction in a meaningful way. It is not like Christie’s. It’s not like they say, “We have a new spec script from this writer you have never heard about,” that people can read. That doesn’t happen.
John: You are just desperate for anyone to read that script if it is somebody you have never heard of before.
Craig: That’s right.
John: This I am going to read just because this came in with the whole bundle of questions. This is a guy named Josh. He wrote in, “Cool blog. Went there to wash sneaks. CAngel Full Throttle was excellent!!”
John: And God bless him. He kept it all in the subject line. There was no text that went with it.
Craig: Oh, no, no. Why would there be text? The subject line is there for you to write your entire thing. Yeah.
John: But there was punctuation, Craig, I should point out. There were two exclamation points at the very, very end.
Craig: Oh. Well, do me a favor. Read that again, because I got C. Angels 2, I think, or C. Angels, but say it again one more time.
John: Because when I first read it, I read it as “Cangel.” I’m like, what is “Cangel?”
Craig: Oh, it could be Cangel which was a very good movie. But start from the beginning.
John: “Cool blog. Went there to wash sneaks. CAngel Full Throttle was excellent!!”
Craig: I’m sorry, watch or wash sneaks?
John: Wash sneaks. So, this is something, it is esoteric information that as the person who wrote the blog I can tell you, is I have a random blog post on there that says, “You can wash sneakers.” Because no one every washes their sneakers, but you totally can wash sneakers and they look so much better. And things that you would normally throw out are actually quite wearable again after washing them in the washing machine.
So he probably had Googled “washing sneakers,” ended up on my blog. Saw that I wrote Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle, and that was the movie that he wanted to comment how much he loved.
John: Cangel Full Throttle.
Craig: Cangel Full Throttle.
John: Cangel Full Throttle is due for a remake, I think.
Craig: Um…thanks, Josh.
Craig: Cool blog!
John: So this is a segue for me internally, not to hold it against him, which is a phrase… — Or, actually here is the phrase: let’s not hold that against him. Sometimes in blog posts my name will come up, and they will say, “John August, who wrote Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle, but let’s not hold that against him.”
Craig: [laughs] Right.
John: It’s the weirdest, most backhanded thing. First off, if you are going to cherry pick one credit just to put for me, you are going to put the sequel to Charlie’s Angels as my credit?
Craig: But let’s not hold that against him. And the reason we have to advise you not to hold that against him is because it was a terrible crime.
John: It was a crime against cinema.
Craig: What a bad thing you did, John. Boo!
John: What a terrible, awful thing I did.
Craig: But let’s show our humanity and our magnanimity by advising everyone to not hold it against you.
Craig: Because holding it against you would be an understandable action. Let’s hold that movie against you.
John: Yeah, it’s like a genocide, but it is a film that someone could choose to watch, or not watch, at their time. And there is actually a better movie that stars the same movie, called Charlie’s Angels, that is also available for watching. If you like Charlie’s Angels, and don’t like the sequel, that’s okay. You can just watch the first one.
Craig: I don’t even think we need to go to genocide. Let’s just start with the most mild crime we can think of. Shoplifting.
John: Yeah. Okay.
Craig: What’s worse — Cangel or shoplifting? I’m going to say shoplifting. I’m going to say there literally isn’t one single thing for which there is some kind of statute that is worse than writing the worst movie in the world.
People need to shut up.
John: Oh, you know where people also need to shut up? They need to shut up in freaking movie theaters.
John: So, I went to go see Hunger Games here in Times Square, and yeah, I’m sort of asking for it, going to see a movie in Times Square, but that’s where I was. And so I saw the movie.
So I saw it opening day. Or I saw it the Friday that it opened. And it was a packed house. And I really, really enjoyed the movie. I did not enjoy, first off, the two women who got into a fist fight before the movie began.
John: Which is not great.
Craig: Maybe they were hungry.
John: They were hungry. They were hungry for some…
John: Movies. But the guy next to me, the stranger who was sitting next to me decided that he had to sort of provide commentary on what he was seeing the whole time through. And I originally thought, “Oh, he must be with somebody and he is talking to that person.”
But, no. he was just sort of talking to me, or sort of anyone who could hear, and providing his sort of like, “Well that’s a dumb choice.” “Oh, come on, fire the cinematographer,” because it was all shaky cams.
Craig: Are you kidding? Really? He was doing that?
John: He was doing that.
Craig: I mean, because I understand the whole, “Bitch, don’t go in there!” But, I mean, now you have a film student mocking the movie next to you? Shut up!
Craig: I mean, come on! What a jerk.
John: Yeah. So anyway, that guy — you are a jerk. But, I’m in the middle of the theater, and this is two-thirds of the way through, so I am not going to actually… — It did tamper my enjoyment. Tamper? It muted my enjoyment somewhat of The Hunger Games. But I did quite like it, except for that person next to me.
And as the lights came up, he kind of turned to me to get agreement from me. I’m like, “No, I want to stab you. That is actually how I am feeling now.”
Craig: I always say to those people… — I will just say to them, “Hey, come on man, please.”
John: My husband will speak up, but then it becomes extra awkward.
Craig: I love the awkwardness. It actually makes the movie better for me. And it is hard on a movie like that, because I would imagine it was a packed house. But I will get up and change seats. Anything to get away from idiots.
John: Oh, yeah. In a normal situation I would do that.
Craig: Idiots, yeah. I remember my wife… — I didn’t see The Sixth Sense with my wife. For some reason we saw it separately. And she said the moment came in the movie where he is…
John: Say spoiler…
Craig: He remembers. Oh, spoiler alert, in case you haven’t seen that movie. [laughs] The moment comes where he is sort of flashing back and he sees the ring, and he realizes that he has been dead the whole time, and in the middle of that interesting montage where the filmmaker has cleverly designed a cinematic way to slowly shine the light on you, this older woman behind her, who was with her older female friend says in a loud whisper, “He doesn’t know he’s dead.”
Craig: Got to love that. Just, way to kill it.
Craig: “He doesn’t know he’s dead.”
John: They make television who need to talk back to the screen.
Craig: They also make guns for people who need to talk back to the screen.
Craig: Yeah, one of the great spoof moments in spoof history is in the first Scary Movie, the Keenen Ivory Wayans’ Scary Movie where Regina Hall, a terrific actor, is playing the stereotypical black girl who must yell at the screen, at everything. And the audience all participates in stabbing her to death. [laughs]
John: I remember that.
Craig: Yeah. It was great. It was really great.
John: All right, the next question. Austin, who turns out we actually know people in common; we know some very tall women who are dancers in common. He writes in to say, “My partner and I were taken on at a management company,” whose name I will redact, “after they read our glorious first outing. It was a good script, but they didn’t want to make it, nor did their partners at Alcon. What they did want was for us to go off and write Bridesmaids Part 2, or the Hangover Again, or Bad Teacher Even Worse, or some other been-there/done-that thing.”
Craig: God forbid you write a sequel to a movie like that. [laughs]
John: As I read more about it, it is sort of a dense paragraph here. I think it was that they wanted him to write that same kind of movie. They weren’t literally saying, “Write the sequel to that movie.” They were saying, “Write exactly that kind of movie.”
Craig: Got it. And they don’t want to.
John: They basically didn’t want to. “They turned in outline after outline, high concept for high concept for high concept, piled like cord wood in the WGA Registry. And ultimately this producer/management company dropped us. Here we are six months later with our brilliant original first outing, plus additional treasurer’s trove of stories to be told. We have no connections in this world, other than the producers that just cut the cord.
I read that poorly, but you got the idea of what it is. So, you know what? That’s going to happen a lot. I would say 75% of working screenwriters had exactly that situation, where there was initial spark of interest from somebody who seemed real, who liked your stuff, and you worked your ass off to try to make them happy. They couldn’t be made happy, you weren’t made happy, and you parted ways.
Craig: Yeah. It’s far from a rare circumstance. Although, there is a lesson here: don’t chase. And producers — particularly producers — are notorious for chasing. The Hangover happened in spite of quite a bit of resistance. Bridesmaids, I imagine, happened in the face of some amount of resistance. Almost every surprise hit comedy, particularly in comedy, seems to happen counter to what everyone is chasing. And you can see these kinds of cycles that come and go in comedy.
Right now we are in this kind of Rated R comedy for grownups phase. And we will at some point return to — because these things are cyclical, the kind of character-driven, broader PG-13 comedies that ruled the world in the ’90s. But producers chase because, just a little primer on the economics of producing. Producers don’t get paid to develop. They get paid some sort of insultingly small amount of money. It doesn’t support them. It doesn’t keep them going. All they get paid really is to produce an actual money. It needs to get green lit. It needs to be made.
So they are desperate to give the studios what the studios want to make. However, what that often leads producers to do is chase. Therefore, they then put that on you, especially newer writers who they feel they can absolutely tell anything to, and who will… — Finally here are writers that won’t look at me and go, “No, dummy, I’m going to do what I want.”
So then they force those writers to join the hunt in chasing. If you feel yourself chasing, you are never going to win. You have to write something you actually like, that you actually believe in, that you have actual passion for. And that doesn’t mean that it must be artistic or dramatic. It could also mean the dumbest comedy in the world. But you have to love the dumb comedies. And you have to love that style of movie.
Write what you love. If you, and this is a tough one because we are constantly put in our place as the peons, and yet we really are the leaders. We must lead everyone to something new and good.
John: You have to remember that screenwriting is essentially the research and development of the film industry. And there is a lag time. So by the time that the Hangovers, and all the R-rated comedies have become incredibly successful, well you could back up like three years before that that they actually started to go through the process.
John: So if you write a brand new one right now, it is going to be another three years, and that cycle will have passed. It feels very much like all the people, the other companies are trying to make an iPad competitor. Well, they are racing to try to catch up with where the iPad is right now, but the iPad is going to be, again, better by the time they are done with this thing.
So they end up releasing a tablet that would have been, “Oh, that would have been okay a year ago.”
Craig: Right. And meanwhile Apple, the iPad to them, that’s a small department where that makes minor iterations. The thing that they are going to come out within a year or two, everyone is going to go, “Wait, wait, wait, what?!” And then they are going to go chase that.
And that is what you kind of have to do. And all of the work that I have done that I sort of look at and go, “Huh, I don’t know if that was a good idea,” which is quite a bit of it, was me being involved in a chase. And getting enlisted in a chase. But it took me a long time, and many, many mistakes, and iffy to bad choices to arrive at a place where I understood that that wasn’t going to do anybody any good. And that — just write what you really want to.
And, look, we don’t have to be precious about it. There are a lot of things that get us excited to write. And we can choose to write something that excites us that we also know other people might be excited by. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when you sit down with these guys, and I am really speaking to the newer writers now, and these producers tell you in no uncertain terms that they are not making this kind of movie, and they are not making that kind of movie, they are only making this kind — just understand: they don’t know what they are talking about. None of them do.
Robert Towne, or was it William Goldman? Robert Towne? “No one knows anything.” Robert Towne? I think it was Robert Towne.
John: I think it was William Goldman.
Craig: William Goldman. We will give it to William Goldman. “No one knows anything” is absolutely true.
John: But, we do know the answer to this question, or at least we have two good answers to this next question. Stephen asks about formatting Shakespeare. “When adapting something like Shakespeare to a screenplay, does the original dialogue of the play get formatted like just normal dialogue, or do you do something different with it to show the verses?”
John: You have written a lot of Shakespeare-based screenplays.
Craig: Uh… [laughs]
John: So, I will tell you my answer. If a bulk of your screenplay is going to be in verse, you treat it like as if it was going to be sung. And you are going to have to do something with it so that the lines of text make sense with the… — The end of a line makes sense.
John: And so you may end up doing that thing which I do on some lyrics is I sort of cheat the margins out a little bit, and I put things in. Like Verdana or something. 11-point Verdana. Something a little bit smaller so that the lines can actually line up right.
Craig: But this is a whole script, right?
John: Yeah. Or you can do this thing which is what a stage play does which is when you get to that kind of stuff, you just really block over it like a lot more left, so you can get the whole line in. And you do the true line breaks the way they would be.
John: If you are just doing sort of like Shakespearean-like dialogue, and it doesn’t actually have to — the meter or the rhyme doesn’t matter so much, just make it dialogue.
Craig: Yeah. I guess if I were to sit down and do it, I would probably keep the margins basically the same. I’m talking about adapting directly from Shakespeare. So I am pulling the dialogue from the play. Shift-return would be my friend. So, when you shift-return in screenwriting software, it doesn’t advance to the next element; it just does a character return within the element. But I would probably do little combinations. If there were short lines, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” I would probably… — Well, even that one I would probably shift-return. It’s a pretty big one.
But, you know, you need to be able to break it up a little bit so people can get a sense of the meter and rhyme as you just described.
John: And you have to remember that even if you are using a chunk of Shakespearean dialogue, you still are writing a screenplay, and so you are going to probably break it up in a different way than how Shakespeare would break it up. You are not going to put huge chunks there, because you will probably be interceding it with action and other stuff so that it really is a screenplay.
Craig: It’s an interesting question. You know, I think the smart thing to do would be to see if you can hunt down a copy of one of Branagh’s adaptations. Or…
John: John Logan just did Coriolanus.
Craig: Yeah, exactly. There you go. See if you can track down Logan’s script and see how one of the professionals did it. It’s a really good question. I don’t know.
And nor will I ever have to know. [laughs]
John: I’m going to end with a really easy one today.
John: Tea asks, “Do you have any advice for writing a scene with numerous characters? It is getting confusing who is saying what to whom, and who they are. Is there a limit to labeling people stereotypically just for clarity sake? This scene is in a holding cell with about 23 people and I cannot omit anybody.” [laughs]
Craig: [laughs] Wait, do they all speak?
John: I guess so. So, here’s the thing, the first half of the question is completely reasonable.
John: And so sometimes there is a… — Don’t say Guard Number 2, Guard Number 3 very much, especially if they are talking to each other. It’s good to have a little shorthand for who that person is. And sometimes you will even see this in the movie scroll. You will see like, you know, Old Lady with Bag, or a character who has a weird name which is really kind of their action.
Craig: Or like Sleepy Guard, or Short Guard.
John: Sleepy Guard, yes. And that is fine, and fair, and good, because it helps keep things more clear. But, yes, there is a limit. And there is a limit to how many people can be in a scene and actually talk. Because an audience can’t keep track of that many people. So if people are just piping out one line, it is okay to not even introduce them. And just give them the line. And, so, “SHARECROPPER: He’s a monster.” That’s fine.
John: And you don’t have to sort of keep track. You don’t have to introduce them. You don’t have to say anything about them.
Craig: I mean, look, there is so much… — That question took such a hard left into crazy town.
John: You can’t have 23 people in a scene…
Craig: No! Let’s just start there. Let’s just start with the creative thing.
John: …and have any sense of how you are keeping track of people.
Craig: No. There is no scene with 23 people talking. That doesn’t exist. In movie history there has never been a scene where 23 individual people spoke in the scene.
There is something terribly wrong with your scene. Nobody is interested in hearing from 23 different people. Frankly, that means there is 23 lines of dialogue at a minimum if they only say one thing. That is a really, really long scene already. So I am bored and confused, and I don’t understand why the screenwriter isn’t focusing my attention on what matters.
So, there is sort of a failure of authorial intent there. But, let me also say this: putting aside whether there are 23 people, or 10 people, or 8, when you become a screenwriter that writes for production, the first time you go through it you will become attune to the concept of the day player. When they make movies, there are actors, and the actors that we think of as stars. But then there are what they call day players — people who show up to do that one or two lines.
A typical scene is your star walks into a 7-11, asks for a cup of coffee, and the clerk says, “I’m sorry, sir, we are out.” And the star storms out upset. Well, that guy is a day player. He has got one line. “I’m sorry, sir, we are out.” Day players, by and large, aren’t the best. It is hard to rely on them to be interesting. So you really need to limit what they say.
If you have a scene where 23 people are talking, and we are not going to see them again, obviously. They are all day players, or half of them are day players, not only do you have a scene that is populated by actors that don’t really command the screen normally, but you are also paying each one of those people a lot of money. And productions hate day players. They try and minimize day players as much as possible. They will go through the script and they will say, “Do we need this guy to actually say this line? Or can he just walk up, try and get a cup of coffee, and there is a sign that says ‘No Coffee Today?'”
So, no. No with the 23. What?! [laughs] No. If you are having trouble sorting it through, trust me, the audience will have an even bigger trouble sorting it through.
John: So I am trying to think of situations where you could have 23 characters in a scene. And there is a possibility. Like late in a story, like let say you have met a bunch of different people and they all, it’s like a Cannonball Run kind of movie, where you met a bunch of different people. Or Airplane, where there is a bunch of people in Airplane, and they are all in a similar space. And so they could conceivably, in a scene, everyone could…
Craig: There is no way. There’s no way. Think about it. 23 lines of dialogue. That is the minimum.
John: He’s not promising that all 23 people are going to speak all at the same time.
Craig: In the scene — they all have a line, right?
John: I will reread the question. “It is confusing who is saying what to who, and who they are. Is there…” I guess, yeah.
What I was going to say is there are going to be cases where you have introduced people separately, and they are coming into a bigger group. And there is a concept of keeping people alive in a scene. And sometimes you will notice, and this is important — this is actually one of the reasons why a table read is really good. You realize that a character is in a scene, but hasn’t said anything for a page and a half. And that’s bad.
John: Because in real life, people do say something. And so, “Okay, I need to give that person a line here, or get them out of the scene because it is just weird to have a person standing around there.”
John: I can envision some scenarios in which a bunch of people have come together at sort of the end of a thing, or as like a big rally, and people have come together. And so we know all of those people are there, but not everyone is going to get a line. You are still going to end up treating those people like blocks of people.
John: So it is going to be that the Mad Mothers are there. And it is going to be the Drunk Fraternity Brothers over there. And it is going to be the Kickboxing Team over there. And one person from each of those things is going to be talking in the scene.
Craig: Correct. You will never get to 23. I don’t care if it is the end of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. You are never going to get there. It is never going to happen. It is bad filmmaking. I don’t even know how you direct that, frankly. [laughs] It’s just impossible.
John: Yeah. Every person you add to a scene — this is a useful thing to talk about. Like let’s say you have two people at a dinner table, and they are having a conversation. That is fairly straight-forward. You are going to have to cover — you will get masters, you will get each side, you will get some establishing. A minimum of three shots, probably more.
Craig: You have got your master, mini-master, over the shoulders, close-ups, extreme close-ups. I mean, you could make a meal out of it. But even if you are… — If you are doing 23 people, the problem is either they are all standing in a freaking clump, like in an audience, at which point why are 23 people in an audience?
You just won’t know where to focus your attention. Just think about it from the audience’s point of view. Who am I listening to? Who am I following? Who do I care about? The audience has the capacity for five or six voices, maybe seven, I don’t know. At some point it gets a little crazy.
John: So, wrapping up, maybe we will start doing this every week. I want to talk about one thing this week that I loved. Do you have anything this week that you loved?
Craig: Um, you say your thing.
John: I will say my thing, and then you can talk.
Craig: Is your thing me?
John: [laughs] It’s you, Craig.
Craig: Thank you.
John: I love you. I don’t say that often enough.
Craig: You really don’t. Or ever. Yeah.
John: I love to apologize. I love to tell people I love them.
The thing I loved this week — I saw Once, the Broadway musical version of Once. So, Once is the Irish film that had Falling Slowly in it, and got Oscar nominations, and I think won some good awards. And I loved the movie. I really loved the show.
So the Broadway show of it is the story of the movie, which means it is very small and slight. And you would think it would just disappear at any moment. But what really struck me about it is how literal — it’s not literal… — Theater can be presentational or representational. Representational means that you recognize what space — it can be acting style, too — but you recognize what space you are in. So, if you are in a post office, it will sort of look like a post office. And then you are someplace else and it is going to look to look like a bedroom.
So in Once, you go in there and as you enter the theater it is this Irish bar setup. And it looks like it fills the whole stage. And you are actually able to go up onto the stage and order a drink. And there are people that they are playing music. And then eventually the show kind of starts, but the lights are still on, and you start to realize, “Oh, the people that are playing music are actually the actors.”
And they never leave the stage. And that set is actually the only set. And they never… — So if characters are going someplace else, they are still in that same set, and everyone is still in the thing, and you are just creating the reality of this moment. Like, this piano comes in, and we are in a music store. And it’s fascinating.
Coming from a screenwriting perspective, where things tend be very…
John: …literal, it’s nice to experience things where you just have to — you are asking your audience to use their imagination and trust that these people are in their own space. And that they will do the set dressing themselves in whichever way, and they will ignore the people who are sitting at the edges of the stage until they start playing, or singing, and that’s okay that they can do that at any given moment.
Sometimes, like Lars von Trier made Dogville, I guess, which sort of did that same thing, where everyone was around the whole time. But in a movie it is just really, really strange. And in theater you can get away with it. I recommend the show, but I also recommend just thinking about the difference between literality and representing something, versus sort of presenting what something is. It is very hard in a movie to have a space where like I am not sure where I am.
John: Even if you are filming in Toronto for Washington, DC, you know that you are supposed to be in Washington, DC. And if you don’t have a sense of what this place is supposed to be, you are really uncomfortable as an audience member.
Craig: That’s right. You are not sure where the ground is beneath your feet. Correct. But I do like when films adapt musicals or plays, sometimes they borrow that. For instance, when Rob Marshall did Chicago, I’m thinking of the He Had it Coming sequence. Clearly he went for that sort of representational.
He shot a scene that could have been on stage.
Craig: And yet it was in the movie, and you were okay because he moved in and out, and it was actually a very smart way of transitioning from the non-musical portions of the movie into the musical portions. You would leave the literal representation and enter this kind of interesting representational space.
John: If you were watching Smash you would know that they use that conventional as well.
Craig: Huge if. The big if. [laughs]
John: Big if. If you are watching Smash you would know that what tends to happen is they are starting to rehearse a musical number, and then it will go into one of the actor’s perspectives, and it will come out as the full production as they sort of see it. And then it will go back to the little version.
Craig: Yeah. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, it is kind of a time-tested cinematic device, when the director wants you to divorce yourself from the reality. For instance, if you watch the old Danny Kaye movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, when he goes into his Mitty daydreams, it becomes a set. It is quite clearly a set. And it is representational. It is not meant to be real or literal. And then he comes back to his life, and it is real and literal.
John: Anything that you loved that you want to share?
Craig: You know, I think a lot of people love this, but last night for the 4 billionth time I watched Casino, the Martin Scorsese movie. And I feel like sometimes Casino gets a little overlooked in the shadow of Goodfellas, which I truly love, because.. — And I remember even when I saw Casino in theaters, I thought, “Oh, this is cool. It is sort of like Goodfellas Part 2. And everybody is kind of doing the same thing.”
You know, De Niro is kind of the crafty one, and Pesci is the loose cannon, and it is mobsters and it is ’70s classic rock soundtracks, and corruption, and grifting, and money, and they all come to a bad end. But, there is something wonderful about Casino that is separate and apart from Goodfellas. There is almost, in a strange way, a little more tragedy to it. And I have to say that, what’s her name? [laughs]
John: Sharon Stone.
Craig: Sharon Stone. Sharon Stone is spectacular in that movie.
Craig: Really, really, really good. And there are wonderful moments in that film. Really great stuff. And there is a sequence… — The other thing is, everybody is very familiar with the sequence in Goodfellas when De Niro’s character, Jimmy Conway, I believe, is starting to kill all of the people that assisted him in the Lufthansa heist.
And the soundtrack that plays over it is that great coda to Layla, by Eric Clapton. But in Casino, there is this amazing sequence where they show — where Scorsese shows Pesci and his guys just kind of going nuts, and robbing everybody, and forgetting all the rules about what it means to kind of stay — keep their heads down in this new Wild West of Vegas. And he uses Can’t You Hear Me Knocking by the Stones.
And I think he plays the whole song. It’s a really long song. And it is really great. So, Casino, I think, probably gets its due from a lot of people, but maybe not as many. I love that movie.
John: I haven’t seen it in years. I remember loving it when it came out. And I just remember the sunshine of it. I just remember it being light and sunny in a way that you don’t expect a movie that is going to have the things that it has in it.
Craig: Yeah. Well, and it’s a great choice. And you can see that choice echoed in The Hangover, because I remember when I was talking with Todd about The Hangover, he said it was actually a very important thing to him to show Vegas in the sun, because most movies about Vegas show it at night. It’s so much more glamorous, and interesting, and lit up at night.
John: With Go we shot at night. It’s exactly what you want to see.
Craig: Yeah. But if you are kind of shooting a little bit of a tragedy, a Vegas tragedy, in the daylight Vegas is pretty grim. It is sort of the opposite of most cities where at night they seem grim. Vegas in the daylight is dirty and dusty and a bit absurd, frankly.
John: It’s the woman who is kind of hot when the lights are dim, but then you turn on lights and it is, “Oh my God!”
Craig: Yeah. And the Vegas sun is…[police sirens] Oh, there they go. The Vegas sun is truly bad light. And all the artifice of Vegas is exposed for what it is, which is just cheap.
But at night, I have got to say, at night the Venetian looks quite beautiful.
John: It does.
Craig: In the daytime it just looks dumb. And for a movie about how Vegas is entirely about a kind of false presentation, and what the reality is behind it, it was great that so much of it was during the day. Not much at night. Good call.
John: Nice. Great. So, Once and Casino. And one of them is a Broadway musical, and Casino probably wouldn’t be a very good Broadway musical.
Craig: No. No. No.
John: We will wrap up here, but I was talking with someone else today. It’s odd that there isn’t a Goodfellas or a Godfather of Broadway musicals. And his theory was that the violence just doesn’t work on stage in the way that you would want it to work.
Craig: That’s true.
John: It’s strange that that mafia stuff hasn’t become a central uniting principal of a Broadway show.
Craig: Well, and I must say that breaking into song is sort of a natural… [laughs]. Naturally undercuts the immediacy and the visceral reaction you want to get from violence.
John: Because the Sharks and the Jets, while terrific dancers, are not as threatening…
Craig: No. Even Sondheim could not craft lyrics that made those guys actually sound dangerous.
John: [singsong] Da-da, da-da-da. Dada.
Craig: Yeah. It just comes off, I don’t want to say “gay.”
John: No. You need to not say that. It comes off as less threatening. It’s hard to feel like you are in that much danger when people are singing.
Craig: Yeah, you know what it is? It’s silly. It’s a silly combination. If you are a killer, you don’t dance and sing, frankly. I feel like killers never performed in their productions in school. And they don’t sing. They are just killers. So, yeah, that’s a tough one.
John: Cool. Craig, thank you for another fun podcast.
Craig: That was a good one.
John: We went into this with absolutely nothing to talk about, and we ended up talking about a lot of things.
Craig: We always do. Yeah. And I sang for Stuart while you took a break in the middle there.
John: That was very nice for him. I’m sure he appreciated it. Craig, actually, people should know, has a lovely voice. I have heard him sing a nice Broadway song.
Craig: Thank you. I was not doing particularly well when I was singing to Stuart. [laughs] But one day I will sing for everybody on the podcast. It will be lovely.
John: Lovely. Maybe when we do our live episode. We can do our stuff.
Craig: Yeah! There you go. Excellent. Oh, wait, before you go, one last thing. One last thing. As you know, and I suppose many of our listeners know, I am an avid fan of SiriusXM on Broadway, the satellite radio show tunes channel. And you are working on Broadway, and somehow or another I really want you to get on Seth Rudetsky’s show. I feel this is important to me.
By the way, is Big Fish, it’s a musical so there is no reason you shouldn’t be on Seth Rudetsky’s show. Seth Rudetsky is sort of like 80% of the DJing of that channel. And for whatever reason I am just so taken with this guy. He just cracks me up. And I learn a lot from him, and I am a big fan of his. But I don’t do musicals, so I am not going to be with him. But you have got to get on his show. For me.
John: I will work on it. I feel like we need to be closer to actually being a show-show. Closer down to being a show that people can buy tickets for, and then I will work on that.
Craig: Yeah. But when you get there, you have to do it. For me.
John: Come on, I will.
Craig: For me.
John: It’s a promise.
Craig: Thank you.
John: Craig, thank you again.
Craig: Thank you. We’ll see you next time. Bye.