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 Episode 264 of Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters. So, way back in Episode 2 we discussed how to get an agent. And in the 262 episodes since then the subject of agents has come up quite often, largely from listener questions. Well, today we are going to speak with an actual agent about what he looks for in a writer client and how he sees the relationships between writers and agents and managers and executives. And so that’s our whole episode is just an agent today.

And that agent is sitting across from me. Peter Dodd is a Motion Picture Literary Agent at UTA where he represents a range of clients, including me. Peter, welcome to the show.

Peter Dodd: Hello guys. Happy to be here.

Craig: Hey, welcome Peter. Welcome. I’m very glad that you’re here, because as much as John and I ramble on and on for 263 episodes, I think honestly everyone out there has been waiting for us to just – can you please just tell me how to get the damn agent? So, we’re really glad you’re here.

Peter: Thank you. Well, I am happy to be here. I’m excited to try and answer some of these questions, so shoot.

John: Great. Well, let’s start with the basics. How long have you been an agent?

Peter: I’ve been an agent for about four years. I’ve been at the agency for around seven years.

John: So that’s a long time. So how do you get to be an agent? What was the process from starting there to becoming an agent?

Peter: The process is everyone starts in the mailroom, like historically is told, that exists. We start delivering the mail.

John: So, classically, when I started out in Hollywood, you were literally delivering mail from like office to office and doing runs. But there’s probably much more to that now in 2016. What does a mailroom person do?

Peter: Well, it’s interesting, I wonder if there’s more or less, because now that everything is digital, you send all of your scripts over email. So you’re not – so the function of a mailroom trainee initially was to pick up scripts and run them to actor’s houses, or drop them off in the mail to be sent to whoever for whatever purpose. Now, you spend your time in the mailroom, A, sort of collecting all the mail that comes in the day, dealing with all the stuff that agents are sending out, and delivering mail that comes in on a case-by-case basis. A lot of it happens to be Amazon packages.

John: So, you’re doing that at the very start, and then what is the process after you’ve been in the mailroom? Do you get assigned to a desk?

Peter: You start in the mailroom. After you spend a sufficient amount of time in the mailroom, you earn the right to interview for agents. And so that becomes the assistant pool that agents can choose from. So, if there are say 20 people in the mailroom delivering mail every day, I might interview five or six of them to be assistants on my desk. And then you select one of them to become your assistant.

So, then they spend the next year of their life basically answering the phone calls, setting meetings, sending scripts out. You know, arranging the life of the agent and manufacturing everything they need to do from the beginning of the day to the end of the day for the agent and for the clients they work with and represent.

John: Great. So on a desk means that you are an assistant to an agent. So, my first interaction with you is you were on David Kramer’s desk, who was my main agent, and so you were answering the phone. Is that when I first met you?

Peter: Yes.

John: So, what is the process from going being the guy who is answering the phones to the person who actually has clients that you’re representing?

Peter: It’s a tricky one. Basically, you have to stay at the agency for a while. No one gets promoted in their first year, although everyone is overqualified to do the job. That’s sort of not the point. It’s not about whether or not you can answer a phone or set or schedule a meeting. It’s about whether you’re doing the job of an agent. And so typically you’ll work for a junior agent for a year, and then you switch desks. You’ll work for a more senior agent for a year. And then you might switch desks again and work for an even more senior agent. And then at that point, when you’ve been there for anywhere from three to five years, there’s an inflection point whereby you either succeed and you make the jump to agent, or doesn’t feel like it’s going to work out and you leave and go work at another place.

Craig: But that sounds like the ultimate disaster. Right? I mean, I’m sure that it’s not for some people who decide, you know what, the agent’s life is not for me. I don’t actually want to be an agent. But, my god, to put in all those years in the mailroom, and then as an assistant, and then as an assistant, and then as an assistant, and then somebody one day goes, “Eh, meh.” That happens, right?

I mean, people do sort of get pushed off of the platform at some point. It has to, right? Because there’s so many agents an agency needs, right?

Peter: It happens all the time. It happens all the time. And, honestly, the job is a tricky one. It’s arduous. It’s not fun much of the time. And if you don’t love it, you’re going to self-select out anyway. And so it makes sense for people to guide you down a different path if that’s the right thing for you.

John: So, Peter, of the cohort of people in the mailroom with you, how many of those people are agents now?

Peter: Just me.

John: Great.

Craig: Wow.

John: And how many people were in that first group?

Peter: I started on the same day as six people. There were probably about I want to say 20 people in the mailroom overall. But on my day there were six of us. Five of them left. Of the five that left, one has left the industry completely. Works in real estate now. The other four are executives, producers, working in film and in TV. One guy is in reality TV. But anywhere from kids’ stuff to producing movies. So everyone has a career in entertainment, for the most part.

John: That’s great.

Peter: But not everyone stays at the actual agency.

John: And just to back up a little bit more, what was your background before going in there? You had an undergrad degree and then you applied to get into the mailroom? How does that work?

Peter: No, I graduated from Harvard with a degree in religion and political science. And after that, I got a job as a consultant. So I was a strategy consultant for big business for like three or four years. I left there and I worked at the Walt Disney Company in corporate strategy, so doing lots of acquisition work for the company. Always trying to get closer to storytelling and closer to movies. And they were actually quite getting there.

And then after I left Disney, instead of going to business school I decided, you know what, I’m going to try this agency thing for a year. If it works out for me, I’ll stay. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll go to grad school and I’ll have felt that I checked that box.

Craig: So you went from working on business transactions at the corporate level to standing in a mailroom with five other people, delivering Amazon packages?

Peter: Correct.

Craig: Wow.

John: I always want everyone to understand the glamour of the industry that you entered into.

Peter: By the way, it’s super sexy. But what’s also interesting is that in the mailroom you have people with law degrees, you have people with business degrees, you have people that went to some amazing schools. You have people from all walks of life. And it’s really, really interesting to see how everyone sort of settles in and how some people last and some people don’t. And the skills that you think it takes to be successful at this job are not necessarily the skills that everyone has. And so it’s an interesting sorting process.

John: What are the skills required for being successful as an agent?

Peter: To be successful as an agent you have to be dogged. You have to be tireless. You have to accept no as only an entry point to a conversation, and not necessarily as the be all and end all of a conversation. You have to love movies, or TV, or whatever it is that you choose to spend all your time in, because frankly you do spend all of your time in it. And in my case, you have to love reading. I love reading. I love good stories. I love writers. That’s why I’ve gravitated towards the literary side is I’m just much more interested in that side of the business. Working with humans, working with actors, working with that side isn’t necessarily for me just yet.

Craig: But you have to find that you also love the kinds of people that you have to represent. And we’re not always the most lovable types. It takes a certain kind of person to be married to a writer. John and I have talked about that. And I presume that you have somewhere in there one of those weird quirky personalities that actually likes talking to writers.

Peter: I guess so. Maybe I do. I don’t know. But for I think the thing that always interested me was, you know, when you work at an agency you’re at the center of all the information. And so you hear everything that’s happening all around town at all times. And I like being at the hub. And I like being able to help disseminate that information to people that I think it’s relevant for, and helping, you know, on the other side to introduce people – buyers, producers, etc. – to people that I think are really special.

So, from my perspective, I’m sort at this nexus point and from either end I can get people excited about new writers or new directors or get new writers and new directors excited about projects or talent that I think are really special. So you’re sort of like at a high level you’re a matchmaker.

John: So, when did you start making matches? When did you have your first clients that were your own? Or when did you start representing other people’s clients? When does that transition happen?

Peter: Well, I have found my way into a lot of client teams just by sheer force and energy. I think if you start doing the job of anyone above you, they will appreciate it, especially at an agency. You know, agents never have enough time to read everything, to know every project, to know exactly what’s going on about every facet of everything. And so what I found when I was an assistant still, even working for David, was if you just pick one or two clients and you say, “Look, I want to work for this person. I want to act as if I’m their agent,” it can become practice.

So I would read for specific directors and I would say, “Oh, these scripts are great. We should call these directors and send it to them.” Or I would say, “Oh, these scripts aren’t so great. We should pass for them, or send it to them with the caveat that we don’t necessarily love it, but they should read it anyway.”

John: You started doing this while you were an assistant for a bigger agent?

Peter: The way that you get promoted is that you demonstrate that you can do the job of an agent. And so while you’re an assistant, you have to do all of the assistant tasks. You have to manage their client lists. You have to deal with all of their submissions. You have to manage them and their phone calls, etc. Plus, on the weekends you are trying to figure out what’s right for their clients, your boss’s clients, and you’re trying to see everything, to read everything, to discover new voices that you can bring into the agency. So, in my – the year before I got promoted, I would just constantly try and bring a new director to agents at the agency that I thought was really special, that I thought they should watch. Or I would try and get a director that my boss represented to take a script seriously.

And it got to the point where I had a relationship with some of these clients where I would just call them myself. I would pitch them material. They got used to talking to me and to listening to me and reading what I sent them. And that worked out really well. So, ultimately, after my assistant time had ended, it’s a pretty natural fit to transition from being an assistant to a boss, to having your own desk, having your own phone, and building your own relationships.

John: So, I introduced you as a Motion Picture Literary Agent, but that may be confusing because people think literary and they just think books, they just think written words, but you represent writers and directors. Is that basically the umbrella of people who are doing that for movies is your specialty, correct?

Peter: Correct.

John: And so if somebody is interested in television, they would also have a television agent who would be representing them for TV at the agency?

Peter: Yes.

John: And you’d all be in conversation about sort of what that person is up to?

Peter: Conversation is one way of phrasing it. I like to think of it as competition for what that person is up to. Because often we have conflicting agendas. I mean, from a larger perspective, we all want the client to be successful, but from a parochial perspective we want the client to be successful in our medium. So I want you writing movies. Your TV agent wants you writing TV. And everyone is competing in a positive way to try and get you work. That’s how it should work.

John: Great. So, who were the first clients that you represented who are sort of your people? The people you brought in and became the people you were representing. You don’t have to say names, but like how did you find those people?

Peter: Pretty much all of the clients that I have, and all of the ones that I’ve signed, have come from recommendations. I am a recommendation based engine. There is so much volume of content and material just out there in the world that it’s very easy for people to get overwhelmed by the 30 or 50 unrepresented scripts they get submitted a week.

So, in the course of my assistant years I spent a lot of time networking, a lot of drinks, a lot of weekends, a lot of commiserating with other assistants who then went on to get promoted as young executives, and those people that survived I think all have amazing taste. And so I sort of cultivated a group of around 15 people whose recommendations I will read always, and quickly. And they are the ones that feed me probably 60% of my clients.

So, all of my early clients came from that group of people.

Craig: And this group of people, they are currently working as producers, studio executives, managers?

Peter: Exactly.

Craig: So they’re not your direct competition.

Peter: No. Because if they were my direct competition, they’re probably looking after the same–

Craig: They wouldn’t tell you.

Peter: Content as well. They’d have incentive to tell me. When you go through the difficulty and the challenges of being an assistant, you know, when you’re that guy trying to set a meeting at ten o’clock at night for 8am tomorrow morning in London with a director client, and you’re on the phone with the producer, or the producer’s assistant who is London and it’s three o’clock in the morning for them, you know, when that happens a few times you begin to develop this connection that exists beyond just email addresses. And so now those people who have been promoted at this point are all people that, you know, you went to battle with, and these people help you, and you help them. And that’s sort of the circle of life.

John: What does that conversation look like? Are they just emailing you out of the blue saying like, let’s invent a writer, let’s say Christina. There’s a writer out there Christina. And so the executives have read Christina’s script and said like, “She’s really good. Hey, you should read her.” Or, are you reaching out saying like, “Hey, tell me who is good?” How does that–?

Peter: No, no, no. It always comes from them. Almost always comes from them. I don’t really solicit.

John: OK. So they start, they say like, “Hey, I read something that’s really great. You’ll want to read her.” And what is the next step for you? So if they said you should read her, are you reaching out to Christina? Are they sending you the script? What’s happening?

Peter: 90% of the time they’ll include the material. They’ll say, “Hey, I just read a great sample for this project. You should check this out. I don’t think this writer is represented.” Or they’ll say, “Hey, I read a great sample. You should check this out. I think this person is unhappy with their agent, or unhappy with their manager. This could be an opportunity.”

John: Great. So, what’s an interesting is none of what you’re saying is about a query letter. Like a writer has not written to you saying like, “Hey, I’m looking for an agent.” Does that ever – are any of your clients based on a query letter, like they reached out to you?

Peter: No.

John: Not a one?

Peter: Never.

John: All right.

Peter: Never happens.

John: No one that you met at a conference who offered you a business card or pitched you a script?

Peter: No. People have tried, but no. None of the actual clients that I work with now have come in that way.

Craig: This is why John and I spend a lot of our time frustrated, because there is – I’m sure you know this – there is a large cottage industry designed to take money from people, and in exchange give them the secrets to getting an agent, and getting representation, all the rest of it. And there’s this obsession over query letters. It’s absurd. It is the most bizarre Fellini-esque circus of nonsense you’ve ever seen.

Peter: And it’s complete highway robbery, because that’s not the way that agents look at or think about material.

John: Do you care about a log line?

Peter: In a submission letter?

John: Yeah.

Peter: I’d actually rather not have a log line frankly.

Craig: I love this. This is so great.

Peter: I’d rather have someone say, “I read this and I love it. You read it and tell me what you think.” Because frankly people suck at writing log lines.

Craig: Well, everyone, because log lines stink anyway. I mean, what are you going to sum up a movie in two sentences? It doesn’t tell you a damn thing. Particularly, it doesn’t tell you if this writer has capabilities to do more than just this one idea, or if they’re the kind of writer that’s written an idea that you now have to go get John August to rewrite because they can’t actually write.

I mean, what’s coming through, which I find so fascinating, and I think it’s hard for a lot of people to get their minds around this who are trying to get into our business is that they think somehow they have to do something to get you. And really what it comes down to is on your side of things you’re looking for people to help you. In other words, you’re looking for writers and somebody says, “This person would be great for you. You should get them before someone else does.” It is an entirely different mindset, but I think on their side they think, oh, no, no, I have to show them how wonderful I am, or something like that.

It just doesn’t work.

Peter: Not at all. You know, I get many, many query letters a day from people that figure out our email addresses and send us these crazy subject lines that obvious click bait. I open them and I’m like what on earth is this, how can delete it faster?

Craig: Oh man.

Peter: I don’t even read them. And if it’s not from someone I know, or I can tell that it’s fake, automatic delete.

John: So, let’s go back to Christina, and so an executive at a production company that you trust, you think has good taste, has recommended you read her script. Has attached the script. When do you read that script?

Peter: That depends on the context with which they send it. So, for example, there was a Christina that was sent to me last year, probably around this time, end of summer last year. The executive that I like said to me, “Managers are chasing this person. He’s meeting with 15 different managers over the next two weeks. This is a hot script. You should read it right away.” I read it that night. I reached out to the writer. Contacted them. Etc.

So, in situations like that where you know there’s a lot of heat and where you feel like that’s true, it goes very quickly. If I don’t know, or if it feels like it might be able to wait, I’ll often just wait till the weekend. And then on the weekends, that’s when I do most of my reading.

John: Great. So, let’s talk about that weekend read that you’re doing. So, you’ve sat down with her script. How much of her script do you read before you decide whether to keep reading or set it aside?

Peter: Honestly, it all just depends on the context of who is sending it to me. Like, typically I will read, you know, the first 30 plus pages. I almost always feel that’s at least giving the person the benefit of the doubt. You know, when I was a young agent I did this exercise. Malcolm Gladwell talks about the thousand hours, or the amount of time it takes to become really good at something. So, when I was a young agent I was like, you know what, I’m going to read every script completely because if I read them all completely I’ll have a great sense of what good writers do.

But what I did was after 30 pages I would always take my notes, whether or not I liked it, who I liked it for, etc., and then I would finish. And then at the end I would look at my notes and say, “Did anything change in reading the subsequent 70 pages from reading the first 30 pages?” And it never changed. You are rarely moved to tears, you are rarely excited by something in the last five pages of a script that you can’t sense in the first 30.

John: Well, it’s also interesting because you’re not looking for is this the movie we want to go shoot. You’re looking at can this person write. Your standards for whether to sign Christina as a client or not are not sort of like is this going to be the best possible movie. It’s like can she write [repeatedly]?

Peter: For us, and for new clients, it’s all about voice. Do you have a voice? And it doesn’t matter if the voice is in the most uncommercial sounding script in the world. That could still be an amazing voice that we can take and use that unconventional/uncommercial script and launch them into the stratosphere as a cool writer.

Craig: I think everyone is listening to this and going, OK, so I’ve learned my lesson. I’m not going to sit here and freak out over log lines. I’m not going to sit here and write cutesy query letters to agents. I’m going to accept the fact that my work has to be of such a nature that now I’m helping them, as opposed to me trying to convince them to help me.

How do they go about getting – I mean, from your point of view, and I don’t know if you know the answer to this because you’re an agent, but how do they get to those people that are going to get to you? How do they start their little chain of recommendations?

Peter: You know what’s funny? I thought this was such a confounding question when I was just getting into the business, because they always say Hollywood is about who you know. And when I moved out here after being in business in New York and in Boston, I didn’t really know anyone that worked at an agency. And so what I did was I went through like my college alumni network. I found a guy who was an executive at a studio. I reached out to him cold. And I said, “Hey, I’d love to come and get coffee with you.” I sort of did the informational interview thing.

And then I asked him who else I should meet. He introduced me to another five people. And it sort of spread like a virus. And it actually wasn’t that hard for me. I sort of feel like everyone knows a person who knows a person in Hollywood. So, if you can get someone to read who is a step or a degree closer to where you want to be, like that’s the way to go. That’s sort of the way in.

So, it’s sort of a non-clear answer, but I think that that at least makes sense to me.

Craig: You don’t stress competitions, contests? Does that mean anything to you guys?

Peter: Yes. Competitions and contests do, if you win.

Craig: You have to win. Yeah, people say like everyone is a semi-finalist. Literally in the world, everyone is–

Peter: Literally everyone is a Nicholl semi-finalist. There are thousands and thousands of people.

Craig: [laughs] Everyone. Exactly. That doesn’t count.

John: So let’s start with the Nicholl finalists. So, would you read through each of those scripts, or would somebody – would your assistant read through all of those scripts? Somebody looked at all of those scripts to see if any of those people are–?

Peter: Yes.

John: So that is actually – they’re going to get read by every big agency in town because they saw you there?

Peter: Correct.

John: How about Austin? Would they read all of the Austin finalists?

Peter: I don’t know. No, not every agent. No. I mean, the ones that people go to are really the Nicholl and the Black List five years ago. To some extent now scripts that are on there and scripts that do really well have already been out in the world, so they’re not as undiscovered gems in terms of representation, even though the rest of the world might not know how great the script is, a lot of them do have agents.

You know, I find another way that we get scripts a lot that works well is by clients. You know, if you were to send me a script, Craig, or you were to send me a script, John, I would trust that a lot more than if my aunt sends me a script.

Craig: Isn’t that interesting?

Peter: Because you’re professionals in the business.

Craig: Yeah. No one ever talks about that. No one ever thinks, “Oh I know, I’ll show it to a writer.” Now, granted, my standard line when people ask me to read a script is, well, A, I can’t. And B, I can’t help you. [laughs] Do you know what I mean?

But, I guess secretly I could.

Peter: But you could, Craig.

Craig: It’s true.

Peter: If you gave your script to your agent, you know, even if your agent doesn’t read it immediately, your agent will have a younger agent read it. And have an opinion.

Craig: If I tell him to read it, he’s reading it. [laughs]

Peter: Right now. Drop everything.

Craig: I will. I’ll make him do it.

John: So, Peter, what would Christina’s script be? Would it be a spec feature? Would it be a TV episode? Like are you only reading features to sign feature client? Or what are you reading?

Peter: No, I’m reading everything. I will read anything and everything that tells a story. So, 90% of the time it is features, but I will read the hot pilot that’s going around. I’ve no qualms about signing a TV writer on the feature side. But the format that it takes is of much less interest to me than the skill that it demonstrates. I’ll read playwrights. I’ll read shorts. I’ll read whatever.

John: So, let’s say you’ve read Christina’s script over the weekend and you like it. What is your next step?

Peter: If I’ve read it and I love it and I have her contact information, I will contact her. I will call her first. I will email her. If I don’t have either of those things, I will Facebook stalk her. I will tweet at her. I will Google search her. I will find a way to get to her.

John: Now, she may not necessarily know that you’ve read her script. Is that correct?

Peter: Yeah. She might not at all. So, often it’s a cold call. But, first of all, every writer or director likes hearing that you like their work, so frankly it doesn’t matter whether they have an agent, or they don’t have an agent, whether they know you’re calling, or whether you’re calling cold. If you call someone and tell them that you love what they’ve done, everyone takes that positively.

Craig: Interestingly, you are going after them. A lot of times what we’ll hear from aspiring writers is, “Well, I know that my script got to an agent. And it’s been a month and I haven’t quite heard back. When can I send them another thing and a follow up and all the rest?” And we give them advice, but in my mind I’m thinking you won’t need to.

Peter: Exactly.

Craig: They’re going to come find you. Or, it’s no.

John: So, my very first script that I wrote, this is while I was in Stark, was this romantic tragedy set in Boulder. And it’s pretty well-written, but it’s not really a movie. And a producer took it over to CAA and she wasn’t really a producer. She was sort of a producer. She took it over to CAA and this agent there was reading it. And four weeks sort of went by. And I just remember looking at the answer machine like why is there no message about this? And then she was like calling to try to get an answer. And then we find out the answer and it’s a no. But it’s sort of course it was a no. it was four weeks and that was just too long. It wasn’t going to be a yes answer.

So, your goal is to read that script over the weekend and then call her on Monday if you like the thing that you’ve just read?

Peter: If I like it, Monday. If I love it, Sunday, Saturday afternoon. Whenever it is I finish it.

John: In that conversation, are you trying to look for other things of hers that you can read? What are you trying to get out of that conversation?

Peter: I love to read second pieces. I think that that’s really important. I think a lot of writers do get signed off of one script, and that’s fine, but I feel like a lot of people have one script in them. I feel like a real writer has two or more. And so it’s important to me to read a secondary piece, just to have that perspective that they’re not just a one-trick pony, or that one script hasn’t been worked on for ten years. Right?

But, no, I’ll call them. I’ll tell them what I thought of the script. You know, if it feels makeable, if it feels like a real play, it’s something we can go after, you know, I might talk to them about some directors or some actors that might make sense for it. And if it’s not makeable or if it’s something that’s super tricky or just less clear path, I’ll just talk to them about where they come from, and their background, and what their aspirations are.

You know, a lot of times you have to suss out whether they really want to be writers or not, or whether they wrote it for some other reason.

John: So, one of the things we stress on the podcast a lot is that agents, mostly they are there to get their clients work. I mean, they are there to be an advocate for their clients. They are there to help support their clients. But mostly they want clients who work. So, at one point do you meet with Christina to see whether she’s a person you think can actually be employable?

Is it all based on what she’s written? Or does that face-to-face meeting change your opinion of whether to sign her as a client?

Peter: The face-to-face meeting is definitely important. I would say it is – if you’re weighting them, I would say it’s probably 80% based on the work. But what you find is that the people that tend to work continuously often are they’re charismatic, they’re fun, they’re people that you want to be around and hang around with.

I mean, in the script process for features, which both of you guys know, it’s a long process. It’s a lot of meetings. It’s a lot of phone calls. It’s a lot of collaboration. And if you are a curmudgeon who can’t talk to people, or you’re someone who writes a script and then thinks that it’s carved in stone, and that it’s not going to have notes, or people aren’t going to have their opinions, then this isn’t the career for you. You should write novels. Or poetry, you know.

So, you have to understand that there is a business side to the art that you do. And that working with other people is a requirement in this business. It’s not just about your words, although it is mostly about your words.

Craig: But you can see how without even pointing it out, it’s second nature to you, but I think it’s surprising for a lot of people that when you read a script by Christina and it is something that isn’t particularly marketable. It’s not something that a big studio is going to make. It doesn’t fit whatever the market is insisting upon at the moment, that doesn’t stop you at all. The idea is, oh good, I found somebody with an original voice. Let me see if I can now get her to work on movies that studios are making. Is that fair to say?

Peter: Right. 100%. And that’s often a part of the matching process in the signing pursuit. When you sit down in that room, you are trying to figure out whether they actually want to make movies and whether they can work. Or whether they want to live in sort of this isolated sphere which is reflected by the sort of beautiful and charming idiosyncratic script that they wrote that got your attention.

John: Great. So, let’s talk about the other side of the equation. So, you have these clients, but you’re also dealing with a whole bunch of other people who are making movies. So, you’re dealing with producers, you’re dealing with executives. How much of your day is spent dealing with them versus dealing with your clients? How much of your life is spent figuring out what they want and how to match up your people to their needs?

Peter: I would say it’s probably 60% spent on my clients. And then 40% spent on what the other people want or need.

John: Do you have like one studio that you are responsible for covering? Or one place that is yours, like within the agency like, “Oh, that’s Peter’s place and he’s responsible for knowing everything that happens there?”

Peter: Yes.

John: OK. And so how do you get that information in general? Is it by talking to the executives? Do you have spies? How do you know what’s really going on?

Craig: Spies. Say spies.

Peter: Spies, yes. That’s exactly it. I spend a lot of time talking to the executives, talking to the producers, and trying to figure out what their real priorities are. You know, every time they make a deal on a project like say they’re going to do a Chutes & Ladders movie, you know, that will be set up at a studio and there will be a producer involved. And the producer’s job is to put that movie together. So the producer will call me and they’ll say, “Hey, we just set up Chutes & Ladders. We’re really excited about it. We’re going to make it like Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s going to be awesome.”

And they’ll be like, “What writers do you have that can write that kind of a movie?” And so I will say, look, these are the ten writers that I think make sense for it. Of the ten, these four are available. And we should send them the material right now. And they’ll be like, “Great. Got to talk to the studio. And then we’ll send you some ideas.”

John: OK. So, I need to come back to you with like, so you say ten and then four, but then those are essentially four of your clients that you’re sort of pitting against each other for this one job. I mean, to some degree you are setting your children against each other to try to get this one thing. Does that weigh on you at all? Is that a factor in sort of how you’re thinking about your job?

Peter: No.

John: No?

Peter: No. you’re not really setting your children against each other, because you also have to imagine that in the larger landscape of any given project. Of Chutes & Ladders, for example, they’re calling every agency. They’re asking every covering agent the exact same question. And if I put one person up, and they put one person up, and the other person puts one person, you know, that’s four or five writers competing. You have the best chance of filling the job as a covering agent by putting up the right people and by putting up a few of them.

Craig: The conflict of interest that fascinates me, and it’s inevitable as well, so I don’t think it’s an ethical thing. I’m just kind of curious how you navigate these waters. Is not between writer clients, but between writer and director clients. When you have a director on a project and you have a writer on the project, and the director is making way more money, and the director say, “I may want to get a different writer from some other place even.” Or, the director wants the writer to do something and the writer is not sure.” How do you navigate that?

Peter: I sort of think you have to keep a separation of church and state. I think you are the advocate for each of these clients individually, but as you address these problems you have to put on your writer hat, or your director hat. And oftentimes if there are real conflicts of interest, like you represent both the writer and the director, you’ll have someone else on the team sort of jump in and be the lead advocate for the writer in this case on a particular circumstance that might happen.

Craig: Because, I mean, ultimately you’re walking this interesting line between keeping something going, but also not ending up favoring one over the over to the extent that one of them leaves, because behind you all the time is this issue of competition. That artists have choices. And they don’t have to stay.

So the tricky job, I mean, that’s the part – you know, when I project myself into somebody else’s job, I always find something that makes me feel very anxious. And I think that’s the thing that would make me feel the most anxious if I were doing the job.

Peter: I feel like the conflicts of interest that you’re talking about though happen very rarely. This is not something that we spend all day/every day agonizing about.

Craig: That’s good.

Peter: These situations do happen, but that is not the day-to-day job.

Craig: Good.

John: So let’s go back to the common scenario, though, so let’s say the Chutes & Ladders movie, and maybe Christina is one of the four writers you want to put up for that, because her spec would be a great sample for that. So, what is the phone call or the email to her to explain what it is? Are you responsible for pitching their take? Talk to us about sort of what that–

Peter: So, the interesting part, you know, you guys bring up conflict of interest and pitting your children against each other as it relates to the selling process. We haven’t even spoken to Christina about Chutes & Ladders. Christina might be like, “I would never write a board game. Why would you even talk about me in this context?”

So, of the four people that I’ve talked about and got the studio approval, and their excitement about, she might self-select out just because she doesn’t even want to participate.

But let’s assume that she does want to participate. So then I’ll call Christina and I’ll say, hey, such and such studio has just set up this project and they’d like you to look at their materials for Chutes & Ladders. In some circumstances, the studio and the producers will have very clear outlines for what they want the movie to be. They might have a treatment or a document or some piece of material they’re going to share with the writer. In other cases, they don’t. They have a title. They have Chutes & Ladders. Come up with a movie.

John: So, classically, the challenge I always face with these is like they were fishing expeditions. You were never quite clear whether there was a movie to be made there, or if they’re just meeting with every writer in town. And so you could be the tenth meeting of the day to go in on Chutes & Ladders. And I felt like I was burning a lot of time doing those.

Like I was lucky to get one of those jobs pretty early on. I got How to Eat Fried Worms, but it was me versus a bunch of very funny Simpsons writers all trying to get this one gig. And I was lucky to get it, but there were a lot of those gigs I didn’t get.

Now a thing I see a lot with these sort of IP titles is these rooms that they’re putting together where they’re basically bringing a bunch of writers on to crack Chutes & Ladders or to figure out how to do all these different board games. What are those calls like for you? And are those good ways of employing your clients? How do you feel about those personally and as an agency?

Peter: Well, I can’t speak entirely for the agency. I don’t think that’s politically correct. But, personally, I don’t like the idea because when you assemble rooms of writers, basically what they’re doing is they’re saying, “I want to pay as little as I possibly can to these people that you believe in as artists and steal their ideas. And then I may or may not hire them to be the writer on the movie.” So, from my perspective, if it’s something that is that ill-formed or that poorly thought out I would rather you write a script that’s original and let me try and sell it. Then have you give your good original idea and let them brand it with a piece of IP or a title.

So, I mean, that’s philosophically how I feel about it. In reality, though, for a lot of younger writers, for newer writers you’re trying to break, it is a good opportunity. Because for a lot of them, A, they get to work with some other writers they wouldn’t know. B, they get to work with someone senior who is running the writer’s room who gets to see how they perform, how they interact, how they collaborate, etc. You know, they get to work with the producer and the studio executive who might not know them. So, in terms of introducing them to the world of features, it’s not that bad.

But, if you’re talking about a writer who has written a lot of movies, or someone who is going to run the room, etc., it’s not really the best use of their time.

Craig: That’s something that I worry about all the time because while there are some new things like these writer rooms, the idea of the fishing expedition and everybody going in to pitch some well thought out ten or 15-minute version of a movie, that’s been around since John and I have been around. But, what’s changed dramatically is the amount of movies that are made and the ratio of developed to made movies, which used to be much, much higher.

So, we have about two-thirds of the amount of movies that we used to get made, and probably a third of the amount that are in development, or fewer. And so I’m kind of curious from your perspective as an agent, are you concerned that the farm system of the newer writers, their only way in are kind of through these arduous things that burn up a lot of time and energy and have a very high noise-to-signal ratio. And that somewhere down the line eventually all of the big money keeps going to the same pool of people. Is it harder to transition writers from baby writer to steadily-working writer to A-list writer?

Peter: 100% yes. Because the only way you move up that chain is by getting your movies made. And so if you spend a lot of time writing and the movies never get made, then you don’t increase your own quote, etc., in the system.

John: All three of us can think of writers who work all the time, but they don’t really have produced credits. So there’s no movies you can point to saying like, oh, that’s that guy’s movie. And they really aren’t moving up the chain. I’m sure they’re making money, which is great, and they’re continuously working, but there’s no way for them to progress because there just aren’t movies with their names on. There aren’t movies that they can really take credit for as being their movies.

Peter: Right. Which is why I think original material is so important. And which is why getting caught in the system and doing just the rewrites and just the roundtables and just the studio types of projects can be a never-ending cycle. You’re just sort of spinning your wheels in a lot of cases.

John: But the spec market is not at all what the spec market was when Craig and I were first starting out. There used to be this truly vibrant spec market where people would sell million dollar scripts it seemed like every week. It was a very frequent occurrence. And that’s not so common now. So, if a Christina says, “OK, I’m going to go off and write a spec script,” do you want her to pitch you what she’s going to write ahead of time, so you know what it is, so you can tell her whether that’s the proper thing? Are you going to try to get her partnered up with a director from the start?

What is your approach to Christina going off and writing her own original thing?

Peter: Well, you’re right, the spec market has totally changed. It’s completely different. You can’t just sell a – I mean, it very rarely happens that a writer goes off and sells a script for seven figures. So, now when we talk about writers writing new material, if they are interested I would love for them to talk to me about it beforehand. I’d love to hear two or three ideas, and then we decide, oh, this one feels like the right one for you.

Often it’s going to be whichever one you’re most passionate about, because ultimately you want a writer to write something they care about. That just gets you the best material for the end of the day. But, if they are interested in input, I would love to participate before they spend two months writing a new piece of material. And then once we get the piece of material, what we try and do is package it with producers, or with talent, or with a director that make the sale more of a fit. That make it going out into the marketplace noisier.

And so you’ll give it to a piece of talent. You’ll give it to an actor or an actress. You’ll give it to a filmmaker because, again, that increases the auspices around that particular piece.

John: Talk to us about managers. So, how many of your clients also have managers?

Peter: Most of them, probably 80%.

Craig: Wow.

John: What is your relationship to the managers?

Peter: My relationship to the managers varies in many situations. In some situations, the managers are nonexistent. In other situations, the managers–

John: When you say nonexistent, like they’re ineffectual? They do nothing?

Peter: Right. In some situations, the managers are on my phone sheet every day and are very omnipresent. And it cuts both ways. You know, oftentimes I work well with managers who are good developers of material. I really like managers who dive into the story and will help a writer sort of crack their story or will read and give feedback and notes and things like that on a script. You know, they can be very detailed and sort of help a writer break a storyline that maybe doesn’t make sense. I like very literary-driven managers. I think they add a lot of value.

I think there are some managers who basically do the same job I do, and they’re calling studio executives, and they’re selling clients, and they’re pitching clients, and they’re sending submissions. And that feels a little bit redundant to me. But my relationship – it’s like any relationship with any person. It just depends on how well you connect with them, what your vibe is together, and what kind of clients, and sort of how you work with these clients.

John: Are there any writer clients who you have declined to represent because they came with a manager you didn’t want to deal with?

Peter: Yes. There are managers I won’t work with.

John: All right.

Craig: Interestingly, you’ve never had to decline a client because they didn’t have a manager. [laughs] That doesn’t come up.

Peter: Correct. Correct. That’s never been an issue.

John: So obviously you’re not going to name names, but how would a writer find out that their manager is a toxic manager, or is a manager who is not well-liked? Any clues that a person could glean, a writer could glean that their manager may not be a good manager?

Peter: I honestly don’t know. Yeah, it’s tricky. I mean, I guess, if the piece of talent were that amazing and the manager was really challenging, I might try and make it work for a period of time and just see if you can tough it out. Because oftentimes you just gravitate towards the material and you work with everything else that comes with it. You know, things that come unencumbered are so rare these days. But, god, you know, you try and protect them if you can.

Craig: I mean, I’m very manager skeptic. I’ve said as much on the show many, many times. I do recognize that there are some managers out there who do work as producers for their clients and in the way that you’re describing, they help them write a screenplay. And I find it a curious position to be in, because sooner or later there’s going to be a different producer on there who will also be producing the screenplay. But, I understand. At least to get it to a place. Very good.

But, it seems to me that a lot of what the management business has become is just a way for people to double up on agents. You can’t have two agents at once. I mean, you can share two agents at an agency, obviously, but that’s the same 10%. You can’t hire CAA and UTA, but you can hire UTA and a manager. And so I agree with you. I think a lot of these people are kind of just extra agents.

John: So, I will speak up for Malcolm Spellman and for Justin Marks who believe that managers are – good managers are fundamentally a blessing. And that they truly help them out a lot.

And I will say that I know some mutual friends of ours who are represented by one agency, yet also have a really cozy relationship with another agency at the same time. It sort of feels like they’re kind of split between two worlds. I see you nodding, so that’s a thing that happens. Is it frustrating when you see that?

Peter: It’s very frustrating. Yes. But I also understand that at a certain level everyone knows each other. You’ve been in this business for long enough, you know, you have relationships that transcend agencies.

Craig: Yeah, I mean, that’s actually really interesting, because I don’t know how that would work. I mean, I’m friends with David Kramer, but I don’t feel like that relationship does anything strange. It’s not like we’re hanging out together at dinner.

What do you mean by the kind of dual agency? I feel like I’m missing out and I should be doing something.

John: Off-air I’ll tell you the name of the person, but a mutual friend of ours, he’s both at UTA and he’s also sort of at CAA at the same time. And it’s always struck me as so strange. But I’ll have conversations with him and like, “Oh yeah, well, my agent at CAA says this, and my agent at UTA says this.” And I think he’s technically only with one of the agencies. Basically he’s managed to not choose between them. And he’s chosen not to choose.

Craig: Interesting.

Peter: I’ve never heard of anybody being that explicit about it, but I do know of people who just have relationships with agents who are at different places, who might run a business question by an agent that doesn’t necessarily represent them that they’re close with. And I’ve heard that and I’ve had that happen before.

By the way, my best friend is a client who is not at my agency. And who I don’t represent. And who asks me questions about his agent all the time. And I’m like, you need to chill out, your agent is doing a great job.

Craig: Good for you.

Peter: I don’t even work with you, but it’s interesting. When you’re friends with a writer, you can really talk to them about what their issues are, and also I think I’ve become a better agent because I get to learn what his particular neuroses are.

Craig: Well, and god help you if he turns to you and says, “You know what? You have to be my agent.” And then you’re like, oh no.

Peter: Yeah.

Craig: I know how crazy you are, bro.

Peter: It’s super tricky. But I found myself defending agents who don’t even work at my agency, just because the demands or the expectations of my friend can sometimes be a bit ridiculous.

John: So let’s wrap this up with Christina. So you’ve managed to land her her first job. It’s an adaptation. So she’s going to be doing it for Sony. What kind of deal are you able to make for her on her very first Hollywood writing job? Is she getting scale? Is she getting scale plus ten? What does that look like for Christina?

Peter: Typically, writers who are making their first adaptation will get scale plus ten. I mean, that’s sort of the starting offer.

John: And we’ll explain scale plus ten. So scale is the minimum that they are allowed to pay you based on the WGA rates. Plus ten means plus ten percent, which basically they have to pay you.

Peter: Right. And then any sort of beyond that is what you get in negotiation based on the heat of the writer, the heat of the project, the talent that’s attached, the importance of the project relative to other projects within the studio. And so oftentimes you can convince them to go beyond that, but that’s sort of the starting point.

John: I bring this up just because listeners may not realize that – we talk about WGA negotiations and everything happens, and WGA only sort of sets the floor. And everything that’s above the floor is the agent’s job, and the lawyer’s job, and manager’s job, I guess, to some degree to raise that floor up higher and higher.

I haven’t talked about lawyers. So, when it comes time to make Christina’s deal, you’re dealing with her lawyer also who is helping you make the deal. Is that correct?

Peter: Mm-hmm.

John: And so what is the discussion between the two of you about what you’re asking for?

Peter: Most of the time, the discussion between the two of us is about what are the justifications for getting them more money than they’ve been offered. It’s not just about – you can’t just say, “I want more.” That’s never an acceptable line of argument. It’s, you know, based on the reviews of their previous movie, it’s based on the box office performance of a previous movie. It’s based on the elements that are attached. It’s based on the need and the demand for the writer. It’s based on their specific abilities within this world that other people don’t have.

So, you have to justify and you and the lawyer work together to figure out what those justifications are as you’re making the calls.

Craig: And you’re not dealing – people may not understand this – you’re not dealing with the people that have hired the writer in the first place, because those people are on the creative side of the studio, the studio executives along with the producer. These are business affairs people who are walled off, church and state style.

Peter: Which is the craziest part of it. The fact that I’m arguing about content, I’m arguing about artists and their skills with people who might not haven’t even seen the movie of the writer we’re talking about.

Craig: Almost certainly haven’t. Yeah, and don’t care. Because they literally have a computer model for what that person should be paid. They talk to each other, so now you have the business affairs lawyer at one studio talking to another one, because they hate setting precedent. If they give you a raise, then they get yelled at by other studios, because the other studio has to pay that higher rate now for your client.

And it’s a very – the only time I ever feel bad on my side as a client is when they’re like, “Well, business affairs says they should only pay you this.” And I’m like, well then no, screw them. And then someone calls them and says, “Stop being a jerk.”

But it’s got to be difficult when you keep coming back to these same people after you just had a fight with them an hour ago, to have a new fight with them about a new client, right?

Peter: It’s wild and crazy. Yes. It’s bizarre. You know, I would say to any writer who is able to do it, the best thing that you can give your agent, the greatest gift, is the power to walk away. If you are willing to say, “No, I just won’t do it for this price,” then your agent can go crazy on the lawyer and know that you’re not going to fire them if they aren’t able to make that deal. That is when it becomes very fun.

Craig: You know, my agent knows – he knows I want to walk away from everything. I don’t want to do anything. So, he has the best gift in the world. You know, any time I say, OK, let’s go make a deal. And he’s like, “All right, but this is what I’m going to ask for.” I’m like, no, no, no. Just understand, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do anything. I want to retire. So, go, armed with that.

And, you know, the truth is that attitude, you technically could have that attitude at any point in your career. It just occurred to me later that I should have it. But what’s to stop you, right?

Peter: You could, but for some younger writers, they need rent money. So, for them making a deal is important.

Craig: They’re going to get it anyway. I mean, you guys know. I mean, my point is you’re not going to let – if you know it’s right for your client, you’re not going to let them walk away. If you know you have a really good deal for the right project for them, then you’ll sit them down and say, “Hey, dumb-dumb, do this.” I presume.

Peter: 100%. I mean, I’m in the business of representing the best voices, the greatest artists, people that should be creating movies and television. And if the person that I’m negotiating with doesn’t recognize or respect that, then I have no interest in doing business with them, or putting my client in business with them. That’s not what’s good for my client. And if that becomes a deal breaker for me and Christina, then so bet it. They’re undervaluing themselves in the marketplace, and that’s not acceptable.

John: Last two questions, both come from trends in television, and I’m curious whether they exist in features and whether you’ve seen them in features. So first off, over the last few years staffing of junior levels in TV, diversity has become much more important. You see a lot more efforts to hire diverse writers at the starting level. Do you see efforts to hire diverse writers for features at those starting levels?

Peter: You do, but nearly as clearly defined as they are in television. I mean, in television they will specifically call covering agents for diverse writers. And diversity means a number of different things, but they are very explicit about it. In features, they will say, “We’d love it if a woman wrote this movie.” Or, “We’d love to have a writer or director of this particular background.” But, no, there’s nothing as clearly defined as it is in television at all.

John: Peter, you’re African American. Do people come to you looking for African American writers or minority writers? Does that happen at all?

Peter: All the time. Yes. Yes.

Craig: Because you guys all know each other? [laughs]

Peter: I’m the resident expert on African American writers at UTA, and WME, at CAA, everywhere.

Craig: Everywhere. It’s amazing.

Peter: Literally everywhere. We all know each other. We all represent – yeah, I know everyone.

John: Good stuff. My other question about TV practices that are hope are not going to ever come over to features, in TV a lot of times they’ll say like, “Oh, you’re a great young writer. Unfortunately we only have one spot and there’s two writers, so we’re going to partner you up and paper team you, pretend you’re a team.” Is there paper-teaming happening in features? Have you ever seen that happen?

Peter: I have seen it happen. It happens pretty rarely, though. That sort of forced marriage is strange and unnatural and doesn’t tend to happen.

The craziest thing is I once saw it happen across agencies.

Craig: Whoa.

Peter: So imagine trying to make a deal with a lit agent from another agency, you’re both advocating for your client. You don’t necessarily know that they’re worth the same. It would be like if I paired you, Craig, with a baby writer, and said, “OK, we want to ask for this much together as a team.” Well, then how do you split it?

Craig: I take everything.

Peter: It becomes very, very tricky.

Craig: I get all of it. That’s not tricky. That person should be thrilled. Thrilled.

Peter: It’s a gift.

Craig: I’m literally giving them the gift of my knowledge.

Peter: That’s the key to Hollywood, really. That’s what you should tell everyone that’s listening. They should just pair with one of the two of you.

Craig: [laughs] Exactly.

John: We have one listener question that I thought was actually much more appropriate for you. So, this is actually an audio question, so we’ll listen to the audio.

Question: Hey John and Craig. What’s the viability of making short films in the current climate as a means to break in to the industry?

Peter: I honestly think short films are pretty outdated in terms of a way to break into the film industry. They work if you want to be a director. In terms of being a writer, no one signs people off of getting their short film made. It’s just not a thing. It works for directors or writer-directors who are transitioning to bigger movies, and only to the extent that your short serves as a proof of concept of a larger movie.

So, if your short is the first chapter of a movie, that’s fantastic. That’s something that people can see, they get a sense of what you want to do with it. And there’s sort of an obvious next step to where the project goes.

If your short sort of lives in a bubble and doesn’t serve as part of a larger hole, doesn’t really help.

John: Gotcha. Cool. It’s time for our One Cool Things. My One Cool Thing is a new podcast, it’s actually the second season of an old podcast, but it was in Australia, now it’s in the US. It’s called Science Vs. It is hosted by Wendy Zuckerman. And what she does is she takes a look at issues in the news, or just general topics, and really looks at them scientifically, sort of to really break down like what’s actually going on behind the scenes and what’s actually true and what’s not actually true.

So, the three episodes I listened to so far, one was on attachment parenting, one was on fracking. She did a two-part episode on guns. And they’re all just terrific. They’re really well-produced. So, if you’re looking for another podcast, I would recommend Science Vs. by Wendy Zuckerman.

Craig: Hmm, that sounds like I might actually like that. The only issue is, of course, it’s a podcast.

John: Craig doesn’t listen to podcasts.

Craig: Why would I? Why does anyone? I don’t understand it.

Peter: People with long commutes.

Craig: I guess, though, it’s the thing. I don’t have a long commute. [laughs] So, my One Cool Thing is maybe the dumbest of all of them, but so I already did one beard related One Cool Thing, because Peter, you don’t know this, but I’m a possessor of a one-year-old beard now. And I’m bald. I mean, I’m not fully full bad, but I’m fairly bald. So I don’t have to worry about like hair stuff. But now I kind of do, which is weird.

Anyway, found this awesome stuff, also Australian, by the way, called Uppercut. And it’s like a beard good that keeps your beard kind of tight, so it’s not flying off your face. And it smells like coconut. Yeah!

Peter: I didn’t even know that was an issue for people with beards, but I guess. I mean, you have hair like everyone else.

Craig: Well yeah, like if it gets frizzy, then you look like a bedraggled sea captain. You know? So you want to keep it natty and everything. And also beards are super dry and this stuff kind of makes it not so crispy.

Peter: Well, that’s interesting because, as John pointed out, I am an African American male, and so my hair is very short. So I almost never think about my hair. I don’t invest in hair products. I don’t really gels or anything. It’s never something that I’m really conscious of. And I also don’t have a beard.

Craig: Well, look, by the way, keep it that way. But I got to tell you, the joy of not having to give a damn about hair stuff is one of the – now that I have to give a slight, slight damn, it’s one of the great joys of life.

Peter: Consider me blessed.

John: Peter, do you have One Cool Thing to share with us?

Peter: Yeah. So my One Cool Thing is a book that I read over my vacation which is called Dynasty: The Rise and the Fall of the House of Caesar, by Tom Holland. The book came out last fall and I read an amazing review of it, which is sort of how I got into it. You know, as agents, while we read scripts all the time, I do try and read for pleasure, because I do want to have informed conversation and I’m just curious about a lot of things. This book is – it’s sort of the latest history on the House of Caesar from Julius Caesar through Caligula. And as you look at the first five Caesars, what you realize is that the Roman Republic wasn’t as republican as it seems, or as it claims to be.

The characters are larger than life. I mean, it reads like a Game of Thrones episode, except minus the dragons, and with more prostitution. So, the book is fantastic.

Craig: Even more prostitution than the actual Game of Thrones, which is prostitution-heavy?

Peter: Oh, very much so. I mean, there was an emperor who used to take all of the young senators’ children basically to an island and make them prostitute to each other for his pleasure.

Craig: Well, we’ve had Denny Hastert. We’ve had a few. We’ve had a few of those guys.

Peter: So, yes, that’s my One Cool Thing.

John: Very, very cool. All right, that was show for this week. As always, we are produced by Godwin Jabangwe, and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Our outro this week comes from Roman Mittermayr. If you have an outro for us, you can send it to us at ask@johnaugust.com. That’s also where you send questions like the one we answered before.

You can find show notes for this episode and all episodes at johnaugust.com. That’s also where you’ll find the transcripts. Godwin gets them up about four days after the episode reads, so you’ll be able to read all about what Peter said.

You can find all of the back episodes of the show at Scriptnotes.net and on the Scriptnotes USB drive which you can get at the store, the johnaugust.com store.

For short questions, I’m on Twitter, @johnaugust. Craig is @clmazin. Peter Dodd, do you use Twitter? You don’t want people reaching out on Twitter.

Peter: No, no, no. Not Twitter.

John: Not Twitter.

Peter: I don’t know anyone who uses Twitter anymore. I feel like it’s dead, by the way.

John: Oh my god, we’re on Twitter all the time.

Craig: That’s the most agent thing of all time.

Peter: Maybe it’s just me.

Craig: I don’t use it, so now it’s dead. Classic.

Peter: It doesn’t exist.

John: Peter Dodd, you were a fantastic guest. Thank you very much for being on the show with us this week.

Peter: Thanks guys. Happy to be here.

John: All right. Thanks.

Craig: Thank you.

Links:

You can download the episode here.