The original post for this episode can be found here.
John August: Hello and welcome. My name is John August.
Craig Mazin: Hi ya’ll. My name is Craig Mazin.
John: And this is Episode 456 of Scriptnotes. It’s a podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters. Today on the program we’ll be following up on a bunch of topics we’ve been discussing, include police on screen, assistant pay, short seasons, and restarting production. We’ll also be answering some listener questions assuming we have time because we’ve got a lot on the Workflowy here, Craig.
Craig: Let’s just mulch through this. Let’s go with expedience.
John: We will speed with heed. But no matter what happens in our bonus segment we will be talking about computers. I’m curious what Craig’s initial experience was with computers, what he’s using right now, and what he wishes to use in the future.
Craig: Yeah, sure. I love listening to a computer talk about computers. [laughs]
John: Ah, it’s good stuff.
John: Last week on this program we were talking mostly about police on screen, police on TV. And we covered a lot, but a thing we didn’t talk very much about was some of the shows that are doing an interesting or better job of depicting police on screen.
Craig: Yeah. Which is always good to call out people that are doing well.
John: Yeah. So I’ll link to an article by Bethonie Butler in the Washington Post where she singles out some shows that had good approaches to it. Some of them are not classically police shows. But she mentions Atlanta, Blackish, New Girl. Obviously people talk about The Wire, which wasn’t focused exclusively on police but sort of everyone around the community.
Craig, you did a whole podcast on Watchmen with Damon Lindelof. I thought that was a fascinating depiction of police and policing.
Craig: Yup. Very much so. I mean, it’s interesting. Every show that will touch on policing and the community and any issues regarding police brutality and specifically as it interfaces with the Black community is going to be scrutinized. And I think that’s fair. When you make – let’s call it, I think sometimes people misuse the word brave when it comes to culture. We’re not actually going in and facing down bullets or anything. We’re making shows and things. But when you are being let’s just call it creatively ambitious you’re going to open yourself up to scrutiny.
And it was interesting watching over the last couple of weeks as some people attacked Watchmen, which was curious to me because I thought they actually did quite a brilliant job. But then again that’s how things go. I mean, everybody kind of looks at things from different points of view. I thought that one of the things that was great about Watchmen, at least I thought, was that quite a number of the writers were people of color. So, you at least felt like you were getting this accurate representation of different viewpoints as opposed to just the standard Hollywood “and now white people explain everything” kind of point of view.
So, big fan of that show, and all shows, but you know, I think we should all be aware that as we tackle these issues that there’s going to be pushback all the time. And that’s healthy.
John: Yeah. And I also want to acknowledge that we probably aren’t talking about a lot of shows that really did try to some of these things and just never caught on. Like public defender shows or other things that were trying to take a very different approach and didn’t work because they got drowned out by police procedurals. And I’m sure there are a tremendous number of conversations happening in executive suites and writer’s rooms around town as these shows start up for another season about like can they change, will they change.
And it’s just really difficult based on how a one-hour procedural is set up to imagine what the better version of that show could be. Because as we talked about it’s a problem-solving show. And because it’s a problem-solving show you want to end the episode with a success. And you want things to happen, not not-happen. You don’t want to have interventions that mean that there is no gun fight.
Craig: Whereas of course in reality the problem doesn’t end. It is not solved. And all of these – anyone making a show, I think, especially if they’re in any kind of procedural format is going to also face a reasonable suspicion that they’re doing it cynically. No one wants to imagine that anyone is going to try and capitalize off of something. And yet, you know, Hollywood makes culture and it follows culture. So, it’s a tricky one.
You want to try and now make art that addresses the way we’re thinking about policing and how police function in our communities, but you don’t want to be seen as somebody that’s just doing it because it’s “the hot thing.” And I have to say I don’t have a lot of faith that that won’t happen. I think that is going to happen. And I think it will be interesting to watch people react.
John: In a strange way I feel like American culture in the last two weeks to a month as the discussion has focused on what do we actually really want the police to do, so this discussion of defund the police, or sort of how we’re going to change and reform how policing works is that I think Americans would like to see police actually do the kinds of things that they are sort of limited to doing on their on screen depictions. Which is to solve crimes. To stop murders. To protect people who are about to be killed by some outside force, and not do all of the other things which we sort of put on the police to be responsible for.
Craig: Well, you know, much like as is the case with the medical profession, what we see on television is not what the average day in a medical professional’s life is. And that’s because we wouldn’t want to watch that. It’s boring.
Reality and I would argue responsible, good, careful, thoughtful policing in a community should be boring. Meaning it’s not exciting to watch. It’s not titillating. You’re not eating popcorn. You’re not leaning forward. It’s supposed to have a different function. It’s not supposed to be dramatic. So when we make drama out of these things we are hashing it up a bit automatically. It’s an interesting – this is an interesting conversation that we are just starting to have which is how our culture interfaces with reality to make things either better or worse. Hollywood tends to over-emphasize or imagine how much impact it could have on the world in terms of good.
I think it under-emphasizes how much impact it can have in terms of bad. And I’m going to be watching this discussion carefully. This is an interesting one. And a necessary one.
John: Absolutely. So policing is only the first part of the criminal justice system. We got a letter in from a listener who works in the second half of the criminal justice system. Do you want to read what Lisa Steele wrote?
Craig: Yeah. Lisa writes, “I’m a special public defender for Massachusetts and Connecticut working in appeals. Yes, the public defender offices are busy. And, yes, most cases are resolved by plea, not trial. But if a client says “I didn’t do it” or “I want a trial” their attorney will do their damnedest to get them a fair trial. There are huge institutional roadblocks to overcome. But I’d be hard-pressed to see a public defender unhappy about taking a case to trial if there’s any hope of success. The ones with no hope, yes, we’ll try to persuade the client that trial is a bad idea.
“I’d love to see a dramatic series with an ethical public defender or a criminal defense attorney at the center. Better Call Saul is entertaining but does perpetuate the sleazy lawyer trope.”
So, what do you think about that, John?
John: Well, I think we have many listeners who could rise to this challenge. So it’s the question of what does the show centered around a public defender look like? And I know there have probably been shows every season developed along this line. Different pilots that have been shot. Some things that have gone to series and I have not seen them, so I apologize to listeners who said like, “I had that show.” But this does feel like a moment at which the right show, the smart show that did this could break out. And so it’s the way that Scandal broke out. The way that you have a show that this is your central character but there’s something else there so that it’s on a weekly basis. We’re not tuning in just for the public defender of it all, but for who these characters are.
Craig: Yeah. I have no doubt that Ms. Steele is correct about where she is working. One thing to be aware of is that our country does not have any kind of unified or therefore equitable justice code across the United States. Obviously that is true for federal statutes. But local, state-level, different laws. Different functions. Different ways of administering justice.
So for instance there’s a story in the third season of the Serial podcast about a public defender whose client is innocent. He knows she’s innocent. She knows she’s innocent. She wants to go to trial. And the DA is saying, “No.” And the DA offers a plea bargain and the public defender in one of those rare moments says, “No. She didn’t do it and we’re going to trial.” Just as Ms. Steele is describing here.
But in Cleveland, where this occurs, public defenders receive their assignments and therefore their salaries from the judges. So a case comes in, the public defender charges somebody, the judge assigns a public defender. And if you want to go to trial you’re going to have to answer to the judge who does not want to conduct a trial, because it’s too much work. So, what happens in that case? The public defender says, “I want a trial,” and one of the bailiffs comes to him and says, “The judge wants to see you.”
And the judge basically says, “What are you doing. Just, no.” [laughs] “Don’t do this.” And it’s not that you can’t, it’s more like quietly implied if you do maybe I just won’t be picking your name out of the hat anymore. And there goes your salary. There goes your livelihood.
Well, that’s insane.
Craig: That’s just a terrible system. So, we have problems. Something like that I think is just an easy one. Like we should get rid of that. But easier said than done as our entire nation is fragmented into 50 different codes. And then within those 50 codes lots of other different codes.
So, I think Lisa is right. And I also think that in other places what she’s saying is not exactly as clean as that.
John: Yeah. And you’ve listened to the Serial podcast which is based on True Stories, I can imagine though if this were put into a fictional context we would not necessarily believe it. Like I feel like it’s only television true story that would get me to take any action to say that that is outrageous and that has to change. If I just saw it happening in a TV show I don’t know if I would believe it in a way.
Craig: You need it to be based on facts, right.
John: Yeah. Dramatizing it is just not enough.
Craig: Dramatizing it is not enough. We just presume that drama is drama. And we presume that because the characters that we’re seeing are not real people. So, obviously nothing that happens to Jimmy on Better Call Saul is real because Jimmy is not real. It is a great show, though. I do love the show.
John: Cool. Now, Craig, I just want to remind you and remind our listeners that behind the scenes of all of this there’s still Coronavirus. There’s still a pandemic raging.
Craig: Oh boy is there ever. Yeah.
John: There is. So as we’re recoding this, middle of June, LA is reporting its highest number of cases ever. Deaths are up. And, yet, we’re opening up the town. We’re doing new stuff. So, it’s a challenging time.
So, personal news here. I got my first coronavirus test and antibody test this past week. This was the classic swab up the nose for the coronavirus and the antibody test is a finger prick. The antibody test, right there they can give you preliminary results, and then the afternoon, like a couple hours later, they give you the official results. So I did not have antibodies for coronavirus. I thought it unlikely but possible because I was in Korea for Big Fish right as the outbreak was happening. And my husband and daughter did get sick while we were there. So, that seemed possible. But all of us did not get coronavirus. So, we are like most Americans, did not get coronavirus.
Craig: Well, I mean, so good and bad news. You can still get it. Although, of course, people who have gotten it can also still get it. We’re not quite sure how long that immunity lasts. It appears that our country in its absolute vacuum of leadership has just said, “Meh, I guess people are just going to keep dying.” Because we are selfish. I don’t know how else to put it. We’re selfish. And we want what we want. We meaning the general public seems to just want to do what they want to do. And they’re selfish. And also they’re not thinking straight.
And people are going to die. So, the numbers are going to go back up. The numbers were going to go back up anyway in the fall. So this is already bad news. And there’s no question that the size of the protests and the lack of social distancing between protestors is going to exacerbate the problem. In no way am I saying that we shouldn’t have been protesting, but that’s just – you know what shouldn’t have happened was police murdering a guy. That would have been preferable.
So, it’s bad. And it’s going to get worse. No question.
John: So, when we first talked about this topic it was a bonus segment if you can remember that. Like way back in the day. That’s a bonus topic. We’ll talk about the coronavirus, this thing that could potentially happen.
John: And it’s funny going back to think through what my assumptions were then. So I wanted to record some of my assumptions right now just so six months from now I can listen back and say like, oh my god, I was so incredibly wrong. So, the assumptions going into this epidemic was that handwashing was super important. We all learned to wash our hands for 20 seconds. To maintain six-feet of social distancing. To be scrupulous about wiping down surfaces. And some people were doing like mail quarantines and all this stuff. And eventually the instruction came out like, oh, we said don’t worry about masks but, yeah, now do wear a mask. Masks are good.
I would say my assumptions right now, and this is again middle of June 2020, I think we’re going to find out that masks are actually incredibly important. And that we should have done those from the start and that that is probably more important than the other things I’ve put on my list in terms of keeping this thing from spreading. I think we’re figuring out that it’s more of a thing that is spreading through the air rather than you pick it up off of things.
John: But that’s my guess. That’s my guess right now.
Craig: I think that is – we can upgrade that from a guess to an educated guess. And I think in part we were told so much about handwashing and wiping down surfaces simply because there were no masks to give. So, I’m fairly certain that people like Dr. Fauci looked around and said, “OK, the number one thing we should do is the number one thing they’re doing in Asia already which is wear masks to prevent airborne transmission.” And then someone said to him, “We don’t have any. And the few that we do have we desperately need to conserve for medical professionals.” At which point we were told other things. Part of – and then we get frustrated. Why are we being told “yes mask, no mask, no mask, yes?” Because we screwed up.
Because we didn’t have this. We should have a national stockpile of personal protective equipment. Of course we should. We spend billions of dollars on a single jetfighter. And we don’t have masks to give people? God, we’re stupid right now.
So, I think you’re absolutely right. Now that masks are plentiful they will be crucial. If you wear a mask and other people wear a mask your chances of contracting COVID do reduce dramatically.
John: Yeah. And it just basically makes sense. The simplest description I’ve seen of this is the someone pissing description. So, if two people are standing next to each other and they’re naked and one of them starts urinating the other person will get sprayed by urine. If that person who is not pissing has pants on they’re less likely to get wet. But if the person who is pissing is wearing pants that urine is not going anywhere. And that’s really the simplest description of why you wear a mask. It stops it from getting out of your body so easily.
Craig: I would have used the example of someone – it’s like if someone were sneezing as opposed to somebody sneezing with a mask. [laughs]
John: Yeah, but I think pissing is more fun.
Craig: Listen, the fact that we started with two nude people–
John: Yeah, got to start with two nude people.
Craig: You start with two nude people and then one of them is just like, “Here we go. It’s happening.” I love it.
John: It’s going to happen. So, again, the backdrop for why we’re talking about this on this podcast is the entire production of film and TV has shut down because of coronavirus and now there’s – well, Craig, it’s all back.
John: The governor put out guidelines this past week.
John: And I’ll just read you the guidelines. “Music, TV, and film production may resume in California recommended no sooner than June 12, 2020,” a couple days ago, “and subject to approval by county public health officers within jurisdictions of operations following the review of local epidemiological data, including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a healthcare surge, vulnerable populations, contract tracing, and testing.” Wow, that was a long sentence. I can’t believe I got through it.
Craig: The government tends to not truncate their clauses.
John: No. “To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to office workspace guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”
That just says not a whole hell of a lot. The interesting part here is you should work with safety protocols agreed to by labor and management, so let’s talk about labor and management and safety protocols and what we know.
Craig: Well, to start with the fact that the state government is saying you can resume film production doesn’t mean that it’s going to. And the biggest concern of course is with actors. Everyone on a set can be – people on a set can wear a hazmat suit if they want, except for the actors, who can’t even wear a facemask, or gloves, or keep any kind of social distancing. In fact, they may need to kiss each other.
This is a huge issue for them and they are going to drive this. There is a whitepaper – I’m still stuck on your peeing guys – so there’s a whitepaper from the AMPTP that was done in conjunction with every union except the Writers Guild here in town. And it’s about how to do this all safely. Of course, writers will also be required to be on set for televised work. It’s going to be driven almost entirely I think again by the actors. When the actors agree to do this it will be done. This also may start happening ad hoc. In other words the actors union is likely to say, if they haven’t already, “It’s up to the cast.” And then it’s about the cast.
Now, that’s tricky because this is people’s livelihood. This is their income. And when you start to say to people are you willing to trade your safety for your livelihood that puts them in a difficult spot. Especially when they aren’t what we think of – when we think of actors we think of George Clooney, or Meryl Streep. But in fact, you know, most working actors are making a living wage. Meaning they need the wage to live.
John: Yeah. When you’re number 13 on the call sheet you don’t have a lot of leverage there.
Craig: No. And so you may be willing to put yourself in danger. That’s difficult. And I sympathize with the position that SAG/AFTRA is in. Because on the one hand they don’t want their members to feel jammed into trading safety for employment. On the other hand if they ban it entirely they are also then curtailing the economic welfare of their own members in a way that may be just as detrimental.
This is a tough one. And I think probably one of those situations where there is not a perfect answer at all.
John: No. So let’s talk about the solutions that are being proposed and sort of what the general areas of discussion are. So we’ll link to the AMPTP paper. We’ll link to Lionsgate put out their guidelines. And it largely tracks with what our friends who are showrunners are discussing with their production entities about how to get back into production. So, it’s a lot of testing. It is a recognition that actors are masked until they can’t be masked and then you are keeping as few people on set as possible. You are maintaining social distance.
We’ve talked before on the podcast about French hours which is a limited timeframe. It also skips over lunch. There’s different ways to do that kind of limited timeframe. But that feels like a good idea to get rid of that break where everyone is congregating together. And also just get you off that set sooner.
Some of these things are just kind of frustratingly bullet pointy. The lines get things a little bit more of a template, a little bit more of a this is how we’re going to do it. But it’s really difficult. One of the things I found fascinating about the Lionsgate document was talking about what to do when you’re on location. And like if you’re going to a set that’s a practical location how do you know that that set itself is actually safe on a COVID level. It’s really complicated.
So the shows that can film on a soundstage that would normally be sitcoms but you just don’t bring in the audience, that feels much more controllable. It’s the things that do need to be out there in the world that are going to be challenging.
Craig: Yeah. And there are about six of those left? So most stuff is going to be done in a way that is challenging. And, by the way, even a sitcom set, all you need is one person to just start coughing and that’s it. And, again, all of this, no matter how much ink is spilled and no matter how many bullet points are dashed off and whitepapers are printed out, the virus doesn’t give a damn and will do what it does. And we are living with it now and like you and I said I think this is pretty safe to say this is going to get worse before it gets better. I do feel like we are in for some more trouble.
And until there is a reliable safe and effective vaccine this is kind of how it’s going to be.
John: Yeah. Before we close out this topic I do want to circle back to this idea of protests and sort of mass gathering. I, too, was really nervous when I saw a bunch of people together. What gave me some heartening was that when I saw these mass protests I saw a bunch of people in masks. And that made me feel better about that than a bunch of folks not wearing masks and sort of protesting against wearing masks in other parts of the country. So, including Orange County which is right next door.
Craig: Orange County, they are nuts.
John: So, it will be hard to suss out exactly to what degree protests were involved versus the general easing of restrictions. But individually I think we need to be really thoughtful about – like the description of a risk budget. How much risk is it appropriate for you to take given your circumstance and who is around you? And really figure out ways to mitigate that risk and not spend that risk budget when you don’t need to.
Craig: I don’t know if you saw this video. There’s an amazing video of a Karen in Orange County. I don’t know how else to say it. She’s a Karen. She gets up at some sort of city hall meeting where they were talking about imposing a requirement for masks in public spaces, which they should. And her argument against it was that god, so this is already great, god had given her the ability to remove carbon dioxide from her body by breathing out. And a mask would make her breathe the carbon dioxide back in.
And I thought it’s rare that someone could say something and every part of it is wrong. Every single part.
John: If she were to write it down the punctuation would be wrong. That’s just how wrong it is.
Craig: Everything. It’s just like, god? God? I mean…
John: All right, Craig, I think we deserve some good news. So let’s move onto our next bit of follow up. A few episodes back we asked our listeners, hey, if you were a previous Three Page Challenge entrant who we talked about your entry on the show we’re curious what’s up with you. So write in and give us an update. And so we had an update this week from Ashley Sanders. Let’s take a listen.
Ashley Sanders: Hi John. Hi Craig. I’ve just listened to Episode 449 of the podcast. I’m a few weeks behind because of lockdown. And you were asking about any follow up from people who had been on the Three Page Challenge. My TV pilot 419 was on the challenge about three years ago and you were both ludicrously nice about it.
After you discussed it on the show I got some [unintelligible] from TV companies over in the States. I’m in the UK. Sent it over and then panicked. I realized I didn’t know what I was doing and suddenly thought I might need someone to protect my interests. So it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to call an agency.
An agent read the script and [unintelligible] signed me. The most wonderful agent has been so proactive. My career has since – I couldn’t wish for a better agent. And I wouldn’t have made that phone call if it wasn’t for Scriptnotes and the Three Page Challenge. I’m now writing a couple of movies I wouldn’t be writing if I hadn’t made that call off the back of being on the challenge. 419 got optioned by a great UK indie super smart, developed it further, and ended up with an absolutely killer product.
Unfortunately we failed to find a home for it in the UK as the show is a little high concept. It’s currently joined with a US company and will hopefully get made.
So, really your challenge was responsible for giving me the shot in the arm to jumpstart my career. So, thank you. I can’t thank you guys enough. From me and everyone else out there like me please keep doing what you’re doing. It’s unbelievable.
John: Well hooray. Congratulations Ashely. We are looking forward to seeing this project and other projects. Listen, I am glad that your being on Scriptnotes gave you some exposure. I don’t want to claim any more credit than that. You clearly were a good writer. You were a good writer when we read you. Someone else would have discovered that you are a good writer as well.
It sounds like you’re doing the right things to keep moving forward. And even when you have setbacks in the UK figuring out a way to do that same project here is good. So, again, it sounds like this one thing you wrote is attracting some attention. But you’re also focused on what else you could write and how to get hired writing other things. That’s exactly what you should be doing.
Craig: Yeah. I feel like at best what we’re doing is maybe speeding along something that would have happened anyway. That’s the most credit I’m willing to give us. But we do love hearing this because, you know, we’re doing this pointlessly. [laughs] I mean, most of the time I must admit I’m just doing it pointlessly. But then again sometimes every now and again you’ll see like, oh yes, there is in fact a point that you are impacting people. And even if while we’re talking to – how many people listen to our show now?
John: Oh, like 50,000 a week.
Craig: 50,000 people a week. Even if five of those 50,000 people a week are going to end up being professional screenwriters, I’m glad that we’re talking to those five. Even more glad I hope that we’re bringing in some other people that may have not considered doing it and now are. So that’s always lovely to think.
So, I guess the point is that Ashley Sanders has proven that we guarantee success for you. [laughs]
John: Oh my, yes.
John: Yeah, statistics.
Craig: 100% of people that wrote us about this have gotten jobs.
John: Oh, good stuff. One core constituency of our listenership are assistants. Assistants in the film and television industry. And over the last year we’ve been talking a lot about assistants and particularly assistant pay in this town and how low it is. And how it needs to improve. And we made some progress on that. We actually got some major employers to raise their rates and actually start conversations about how to be paid better and really what people should be thinking about as their minimums. And then a pandemic hit. And so a lot has changed.
So, to explain a little bit about sort of how assistants work here and the different kinds of assistants, on set we talk about PAs. PAs generally have no union, but they’re often reporting to the AD which does have a union at the DGA. But in writer’s rooms and people who are just working for a writer like a showrunner we’re really talking about sort of classically two jobs. There’s the assistant who is taking notes in the room and a PA type who is running and getting the lunch order. And we talked a lot about the lunch order on the show and people not paying the PA back for lunch order orders and stuff. Those are classically two functions you would need to have happen.
One of the strange things about this pandemic is as all of the writer’s room stuff have become virtual those writer PAs who were getting the lunch order, there’s no lunch order anymore. Like that’s a whole big part of the job gone. But there’s still a lot of need for someone to be taking notes and sort of organizing things. And so that’s been a challenge. And a lot of the virtual rooms that I’m hearing from, they basically just got rid of one job entirely and now they just have the one person taking notes.
Craig: Yeah. Like many segments of the population assistants have been impacted significantly and very negatively by the shutdown. It does seem like when these things happen unfairly it’s the folks at the bottom of the earning pyramid who take the biggest hit.
I have heard and seen with my own two eyes honorable, decent, good people at the top of the pyramid who have gone out of their way and made personal sacrifices to ensure the health and welfare of the people at the bottom of that economic pyramid. I like seeing that. It does happen. I don’t want people to think that this is just a town where rich people mouth slogans and then give nobody a dime. That’s not what’s happening. People are being gracious. Sometimes. [laughs]
There are some people who are not. And it would be great if the multinational corporations with hundreds of billions of dollars in market value did it anyway. But they don’t.
John: Now, Craig, as I introduce the topic this is how long we’ve been in this state of emergency that I forgot that at the very start of the pandemic you and I helped raise like a half million dollars to pay support staff.
Craig: We did do that.
John: I completely forgot that was a thing we did. And so–
Craig: We did that.
John: Those checks went out and those people got paid a little bit more. They’ve been getting unemployment insurance in many cases which is fantastic, which is great. But now stuff is starting up again and it’s challenging for these assistants, many of whom are aspiring writers, to be employed properly. So, I had Megana reach out to her assistant boards and her contacts to sort of get some feedback about what’s actually happening. Do you want to start with this first one, anonymous, who wrote in?
Craig: Sure. Anonymous writes, “There’s been some chatter among assistants that even though the bulk of writer’s rooms plan on working remotely indefinitely, some are planning on meeting in person now that production is starting back. I’ve seen a few posts in which assistants are being put in a position where they must weigh the risk of going back to work, especially PAs, who will have to expose themselves while picking up lunch and groceries.
“I’ve also seen job postings looking for drivers and personal assistants. One of the posters even commented that their boss was ‘breaking away from social distancing’ as they start preproduction and are scouting locations. With studios and production companies impacted by the shutdown, they’re offering assistants even less pay while asking assistants to potentially risk their lives.”
Well, I certainly don’t like the less pay part. I mean, if you’re going to ask people to risk their lives you’ve got to at least give them what they were being paid before. Good lord.
John: Yeah. There’s so many elements at play here. So part of that is I think a thing that’s been happening since the pandemic began which is that we offload our individual risk onto someone else. It’s like someone else who is delivering our food to us is taking the risk for us. And that’s a whole complicated set of issues. And I think the change here is that these assistants who were staying home are now sort of being put into that role of being the person who goes out and gets the thing and brings it to a place and is absorbing some of that risk for the showrunner, for the other writers in that room.
But really you can generalize this second part of like, OK, if we are going to start getting together in person that is going to increase our risk overall. And that risk may be disproportionate for different people in that room because some people might be immunocompromised or have someone in their family who is immunocompromised. And it’s a bigger gamble for certain people than others and it’s really uncomfortable to say that in a room.
And just as we said 13th on the call sheet for actors, there’s going to naturally be kind of a hierarchy of writers in that room. And some people who would be confident speaking out if they were the co-EP wouldn’t speak out if they were the staff writer or story editor.
Craig: This has always been the situation, right? And we’re as an industry trying to improve things. Assistants and people who are entry level who are struggling to either get or keep these very small number of desirable jobs have always been put in these situations where they were exploited.
And there’s different kinds of exploitation. And as an industry we are trying to improve kinds of exploitation. I mean, the fact that everybody used to say the phrase “casting couch” like it was a goof and now we understand that just the words themselves are referring to a very serious crime is a sign of how we are improving, one would hope.
But then there’s stuff like this, which is new. This was not a problem. Hollywood in the ‘60s didn’t have a COVID problem where PAs were coughing and dying because idiots made them get lunch in ways that were unsafe. So, we have this new avenue of potential exploitation that we have to struggle with and we have to come to grips with. And, again, this is not going to be easily solved until there is a vaccine. It’s just not.
John: Now thinking through this, that assistant who is running out to get the lunch order every day, like they were assuming some risk because they were driving in LA traffic. There was some risk that was naturally there. It was lower than what we’re talking about with COVID-19, but there was some risk there. And I guess we really weren’t thinking about that risk that that assistant was taking.
I do feel like we’re getting closer to understanding what the risks are for going to a place and picking up a thing and leaving a place that is pretty secure the way that our food handling has seemed to have gotten. So, I’m concerned for that person who has to do it, but I’m more concerned about sort of the novel situations, or the situations where like well because Chris is already doing that thing and picking up the lunch order we can also send him to do this or to do that or to do this third thing and just increase his exposure and increase his risk. That’s troubling for me.
Craig: Yeah. And there’s a continued possibility of risk shifting, so if the PAs on a show say we’re not comfortable going to get these lunches then the show will say, great, we’ll just use Grub Hub. And so those people will now be getting lunches. Some humans will be getting the lunches. And, yeah. So it’s going to be trouble. There’s going to be trouble for a while. And I think the least that we could do, that we must do, is if we cannot solve the state of safety because the world is inherently unsafe, we have to at least compensate people fairly and decently, or we are compounding the problem. We have to. We can’t offer assistants less pay. That’s insane.
John: Yeah. So, Megana also added to our Workflowy a list of other questions and concerns that she was hearing from assistants as she was talking with them. So, I’ll just sort of read through these.
Is everyone getting tested prior to showing up to work?
Are people isolating outside of work?
Will assistants get hazard pay?
How will safety protocols be enforced?
How are we communicating about sick leave?
What are the daily systems in place to check how everyone is feeling on set or in the room?
Will someone be taking people’s temperatures?
If someone isn’t feeling well how should they communicate that? Are we still paying that person?
Are we requiring everyone to wear masks and gloves? What about people who are already choosing not to? How will this be enforced?
And, finally, many assistants don’t have insurance. Most of the people are not 871 script coordinators. So, are we paying them some sort of healthcare stipend because of the situation?
Craig: Well, in terms of that last one they already should be paying them that.
Craig: These are great questions. And much as we were referring earlier to the United States which has this uniform federal code and then four billion different state and county and municipal regulations, so too are our businesses fragmented among various networks, studios, and then inside of those, shows, and production companies, all of which are going to probably be approaching things in their own way. There is no simple answer to this. I mean, ideally you answer these questions moving the dial as far to the right as you can on the safety-ometer. Yes, everyone should.
I mean, I’m not sure about gloves because there’s an argument that gloves actually make things worse.
Craig: But masks – I mean, if it were me, if I were running a writer’s room, I would require masks. If we’re all sitting around the table talking at each other for hours, yes, I would require masks. Yes. I think taking temperatures in the morning, checking in with a thermometer is a great idea. Yes, if people got sick they should get sick pay. Yes, everyone working in your office should have health insurance. Those all seem like good policies to put in place.
John: Yeah. Also I feel like we’re in California. You can be outside. Try not to be in a room for a super long period of time with people if you can possibly do that.
Craig: Now everyone has skin cancer, so good job.
John: Tents. Tents. They’ll have tents.
Craig: Ah, tents, yes.
John: Finally, Charlie asks, “Are there any resources that can help people navigate working remotely? I think a lot of what’s happening is that writers don’t like the online boards. We all bought laptops so now one has a monitor that can see what’s actually happening in the room. So what software are rooms using and liking and can we share best tips and practices?”
This is a request out for if you’re listening to this right now and your room is working really well because of something you’ve discovered that’s working great, write in to us and let Megana know what you’re using and we’ll share this on the next episode or the episode after. Because different rooms are trying different things in terms of duplicating the experience of what would be on the whiteboard, what would be cards, how stuff is working. Some people are using Zoom. Some people are using other stuff. So next week or the week after we’ll do a segment where we talk about what writer’s rooms are using and liking because we’ve got to share this information.
Craig: Yup. No question.
John: Cool. So next up is equity and inclusion. Every year the Writers Guild publishes a report that shows who is working in town in terms of writers and the demographics of those writers who are working. And so we’ve talked about this I think every year of the podcast. The report came out this last week. It got overshadowed because of everything else happening in the world. But there was some interesting stuff in here. Craig, have you had a chance to take a look?
Craig: Yeah. This is what I have traditionally called the Bad News Report where we read it and go, yup, more bad news. But it’s not all bad news this time. There is clearly a positive trend going on. So, we’ll just sort of do the top line stuff here. The most encouraging statistics are along the axis of gender. So currently television writers for the 2019/2020 TV season, so reflecting what we just had, it broke down 44% women, 56% men. Is that parity? No. Women, however, are up 5%. And those numbers were not anywhere near 44% ten years ago. This is a really encouraging trend. I think we’re doing excellent work there. And I have no reason to think that that trend won’t continue. We should be able to get to gender parity in rooms.
Let’s talk about race. People of color at 35% and white at 65%. That’s also not disastrous given the actual racial demographics of the United States of America. It’s not perfect by any stretch. Good news though. Up, again, 5%.
And this is an area where I think we can actually do better than the demographics of the United States because we’ve done so much worse than the demographics of the United States. So, I think this is an area where we do need to aggressively not worry about the scale per se and matching. I think it would be nice to see that number actually also at 50%.
John: Absolutely. And we will link to this whole report. But if I’m talking about a page number it’s from this PDF which will be linked here. Page 11 talks about TV writers by level and that’s where you can see where there are still some glaring disparities, particularly in race in terms of as you move up the ranks from staff writer to showrunner the percentage of people of color in those different roles drops. Drops after like supervising producer. It starts to slip a lot.
Some of this is just the climbing the ladder issue. It’s a number of years and credits that sort of move you up that ladder. But as we’ve talked about on the show before sometimes the ladder in the pipeline is kind of broken. So there’s a real question of like with time would this get fixed? Or is there something more fundamental that needs to happen to make sure that writers of color can move all the way up to the top of showrunners?
Craig: I’m sure it’s a combination of both. So, on the one hand you would expect this that there’s going to be a lagging effect because as people enter the industry they enter at entry levels. And so over time in theory if the advancement scheme is fair then those numbers will improve. If it is not fair, those numbers will not improve. Or we’ll be lagging behind the process in the entry level stuff. So we’ve got to keep any eye on it. In general we know that the more people of color in positions of leadership the more likely it is that more people of color will then be promoted to positions of leadership.
We’ve always had a vicious cycle that’s been downwards, and now we’re hoping for sort of a positive spiral going upwards.
John: A virtuous cycle.
Craig: A virtuous cycle. Now, all of that applies to television. However, in the screenwriting business, so features AKA the Bad News Business. Not good. So, OK, plus side of things, 4% more women employed as screenwriters in 2019. 2% more people of color employed as screenwriters in 2019.
Bad part. 27% of screenwriters were women. Only 27%. And only 20% of hired screenwriters were people of color.
Now, some things to think about, aside from the fact that that’s horrendous. The job market in screenwriting, of course, continues to sort of be retract-y and regressive. And not as attractive honestly as the television business. So, one consideration is that when there is an unfair system people who are traditionally discriminated against are going to go to the avenues where they are being less discriminated against. So there is some sort of natural movement there.
It is only, therefore, more evidence that the way people are hired in the feature business is just not good. It’s just not good. And I don’t know why it has gone up slightly. I can’t get too excited about it because when you look at the numbers of employment, I mean, these percentages are a little bit of a lie. When we say 2% more people of color were hired as screenwriters in 2019 that 2% is applied against a very small number compared to the 5% increase of people of color in television, where the base is much bigger.
Craig: So, just in sheer numbers that 2% more people of color could mean four people. It’s just not great.
John: Now so one thing I do want to single out here, we have a perception that the feature business is falling and that few people are working in feature, but that’s actually not the case. There’s more writers employed in features this past year than the year before. There is actually an uptick because even as the studios have sort of compressed Netflix and Amazon and other people have come online. So there’s been more folks working in features than before.
But you look at sort of the work that you’re actually doing and our own experience we’ve talked about so much on this podcast is that it is structurally not very appealing to work in features. And if you are a young writer of color who is making a choice between like do I want to work on this TV show, or do I want to work on this feature given that I’m going to be doing so much free work on this feature. I’m going to be – I don’t know when I’m going to get paid for this feature.
Craig: It’s also certainly true that there are writers of color who want to work only in the feature business and who are struggling and one of the institutional issues you have with the screenwriting business is that it’s not room-based. It’s individual-based. And when it’s individual-based the compounding factor of experience dramatically multiplies.
Craig: So you and I have written dozens and dozens of screenplay. We have been hired many, many times over the course of 20 years. So, when someone is looking for somebody to write a screenplay, at the very least they know that you and I have done it a whole lot. And the experience gap is enormous because there is no room. There is no entry-level position. There is no ladder. There’s nothing to climb.
They will continue – even as they increase the number of jobs available the pool of people that are experienced will dwindle. And so you have a lot of repeat business among a narrowing group of people and that will always, given the way that the businesses function, benefit white men. So, there has to essentially be an overt effort to get people experienced. And I was talking about this the other day here in the office. And it’s interesting you have to give people the right to stumble and fail. You’re not going to be able to get experienced writers of color in the feature business if you don’t give them the same right to stumble and fail that the feature business has always given white guys.
Craig: It just needs to happen. You just need to absorb it. Because you’ll hear people, “Oh well we tried, you know, we tried hiring but then this person didn’t do a great job because they’ve never done it before.” And I’m like, mm-hmm.
Craig: Do it again. Do it again.
John: As we’ve talked about on the show the first thing I was hired to write I got through three official drafts on it. So the movie never happened, but I got to actually get paid for multiple drafts in ways that new writers never get these days. And so one-step deals and the lack of a guaranteed second step creates this impossible situation where that writer is never going to be able to deliver the thing that makes everyone happy, that everyone has a good experience with. They’re not going to get the experience of how to do multiple drafts and how to sort of work through a feature in development.
Craig: That’s such a good point. And that’s exactly why we need to get this clause through negotiations and the companies need to do this. Give writers earning under a certain small multiple of scale a guaranteed second step. You need to. It’s the only way you’re going to learn. You can’t learn writing one script and then rewriting that script for some dopey producer who has no clue. You work for the studio and the need the ability to be trained through experience. It’s the only job in Hollywood where most people who do it have never actually done the other half of it. The first half is writing a script. The second half is writing a script that gets turned into a movie. And working on the movie as it’s in production.
We need to get more people who are not just white men into those slots and the only way to do it is to increase the on-the-job training. Because there’s no room to follow.
John: I agree. All right. So that is our quick look at the equity and inclusion report. But there’s actually a lot more in here, so do follow through the link in the show notes to see sort of what’s there and where progress has been made, but where progress is sorely lacking.
We’re going to skip over our little bit here about short seasons. I will say that short seasons are related to the problem of experience and sort of developing experience in television. A writer I follow on Twitter was saying that like by the time he was running his own show he had worked on 100 episodes of TV. And no one can work on 100 episodes of TV easily these days with so many short seasons, or get the longevity of things. So, I feel like short seasons are a related factor to sort of the challenge of equity and inclusion in the TV business.
Craig: Yeah. And they’re not going anywhere. And they will become the new norm because also creatively speaking I would argue that creatively short seasons are why television is producing the best work it has ever produced. But, yeah, there are costs.
John: So one thing I do have some hope about is that as I see people who have big deals at streamers and other places, I’m thinking of the Berlantis and the Ryan Murphys, those writers do tend to hop from show to show, same with Shonda Rhimes. Those writers do tend to hop from show to show within that little ecosphere and I feel like even if these shows have short seasons I hope that those writers are getting an ongoing experience of making a bunch of stuff because that’s really what they need.
Craig: Yeah. I absolutely agree. And they do have an opportunity – I mean, Greg Berlanti is kind of his own network. So, Greg and Ryan and Shonda, these folks are continuations of this like what used to be the old school, like a Stephen J. Cannell where there was like a producer who had tons of shows. And so they’re still there. They still exist. And they become their own networks. And they are uniquely positioned to advance these causes and improve the diversity of the workplace. And I think that they do. It doesn’t hurt that Greg and Ryan and Shonda are all people that are in traditionally underrepresented categories in the business.
So, it’s good to see and you have to hope that it will continue that way.
John: Yeah. All right. Two last little bits of news. This Saturday I’m doing a local author event at Chevalier’s which is the bookstore in my neighborhood. It was originally supposed to be a couple weeks ago but then sort of the world happened and it was not an appropriate time for a happy discussion of kids’ books and local authors. So that is happening on Zoom this Saturday at 2pm. So, join us. So, Aline will be there. Derek Haas will be there. A bunch of local authors. Some of them are kids and middle grade authors. Some are grown up authors. We’re talking about our favorite books. We’re talking about summer reading lists and things we’d recommend people read.
There’s a link in the show notes. You can see my summer reading list, but also other authors about what they are recommending.
Finally, David Koepp, was a guest on Episode 418. We talked about his book a little bit on that episode, but I hadn’t really read it yet. I finished it this last week. It’s really, really good. I started reading it and worried it was going to be a pandemic book because there’s an outbreak of a thing, but it’s actually not. It’s a thriller. If you can imagine Jurassic Park but in an underground storage unit. It was really well done. So, check that out. And check out his movie, You Should Have Left, which is based on a book that I really liked, a German book I really liked. And that was supposed to come out theatrically. Now it’s coming out on video everywhere June 18. So check out his movie. The trailer looks terrific.
Craig: Fantastic. Love that David Koepp.
John: Craig, One Cool Thing time. What do you got?
Craig: Oh. This one is easy this week. My One Cool Thing is The Last of Us Part 2. It is a masterpiece. Obviously I’m a big fan of The Last of Us. I think that much is clear by now. I have had a chance to play The Last of Us Part 2. I’m in my second play through now. It’s a shattering, brilliant piece of art. And in the videogame business reviews are essential. Nobody really cares about television reviews. They sort of care about movie reviews. But I made a career of movies that critics didn’t like but people did.
So you can get away with that. It’s not a necessary aspect. But in the videogame business it’s huge. And specifically Metacritic. That’s what everybody looks at. Metacritic compiles, aggregates all the videogame reviews. Calculates them on a scale of zero to 100 and gives you an aggregate number. To get really good games I think you’re talking about the high 80s. Excellent games you hit a 90. The Last of Us clocks in at 96.
John: That’s great.
Craig: And it deserves it. It is a spectacular game. And it is a thought-provoking challenge to what we understand to be the function of heroism and villainy in narrative. I can’t say enough about it. I hope to god that Neil and I do a good enough job on the TV side of things to be able to tell that part of the story. Because it’s something else. I don’t think you’re a big PlayStation guy, but–
John: I’ll definitely get it. So I downloaded The Last of Us Part 1.
Craig: Oh great.
John: I guess it wasn’t Part 1 because they didn’t know there was going to be a Part 2. I downloaded that this past week and I haven’t started playing it yet, but I will. So I’m looking forward to checking it out.
John: Cool. My One Cool Thing is an episode of Decoder Ring. It’s a podcast hosted by Willa Paskin and written by Willa Paskin. And this episode I loved so much was about the Metrosexual and sort of the branding and a discovery and creation of this concept of the metrosexual. This man who cared about fashion and taste and seemed gay in a lot of ways but was not gay in other ways. And the birth of Details Magazine.
It was just a great time capsule of this little moment that happened. And the importance of how applying a word to it defines a space. And without the word metrosexual all that stuff would have been there but it wouldn’t have coalesced the way that it happened at its moment. So a terrific podcast, but especially this episode on metrosexual I thought was great.
John: Cool. That is our show for this week. Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao.
John: It is edited by Matthew Chilelli. Our outro this week is by Joey Hillenbrand. If you have an outro you can send us a link to it at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s also the place where you can send longer questions. For short questions on Twitter, Craig is @clmazin. I am @johnaugust.
We have t-shirts. And they’re great. So go to Cotton Bureau and look for them, or just there’s a link in the show notes for them.
You can find the show notes for this episode and all episodes at johnaugust.com. That’s also where you find the transcripts.
You can sign up to become a Premium member at Scriptnotes.net where you can also get all the back episodes and bonus segments like the one we’re about to record. Also, you can gift memberships to Scriptnotes. And so a lot of people have been doing that this last week for whatever reason.
John: So if you want to give a gift for that there is a link in the show notes for giving a gift of Scriptnotes to somebody if you’d like to give them something for a birthday or some other celebration.
Craig: Mm. Spectacular.
John: Nice. Craig, thanks for a fun show.
Craig: Thank you, John.
John: All right, Craig, let’s talk computers. What was the first personal computer that you used?
Craig: Excluding like goofing around on a friend’s Atari 400 with the membrane keyboard and the tape recorder storage, my father and I went into Manhattan in I want to say 1983 and we purchased a Franklin Ace 1000.
John: Oh yeah.
Craig: Which was a clone of the Apple 2. Franklin then was quickly sued. I believe the price was $1,400, which for my family was a lot. But, you know, it was just something that my dad really wanted. But I was the only one that used it. And I used it every day. I have one, by the way, in my office.
John: Oh that’s great.
Craig: Yeah. I went online years ago on eBay and was like I’m going to get myself a Franklin Ace 1000. It won’t turn on or anything. I’m just going to stick it in a corner. And I bought it for $1. Yeah.
John: $1,400 to $1. My first computer was an Atari 800. So no the membrane keyboard, but the one that actually had a keyboard-keyboard. And what younger listeners probably don’t understand is that those computers actually hooked up to TVs. And so you’d wire it into your TV. Rather than having a separate monitor they hooked up to the TV. And the picture wasn’t great. None of it was great.
We originally didn’t even have the tape drive to save stuff on. So basically we would type up programs from the magazine and watch them run. Or play the game and then we’d turn off the computer we would have to retype the whole program. That’s how it all worked for us. Fast forward to a couple different Ataris along the way. That’s what I did my first early writing on.
Then my first Macintosh which was in high school using it for my school newspaper. And that was just a revelation. It was the first computer that just truly adored using on a daily basis.
Craig: Oh yeah.
John: When did you get your first Mac?
Craig: Let’s see. I think I got my first Mac actually for college. So, I was using – I can’t quite remember what version of Apple I was using at home with like a daisy wheel printer to clackety-clack out the term papers and things. But when I went to college, so that was 1988, I got a Mac SE20.
John: I had the same computer.
Craig: Pretty standard.
John: And did you have a hard drive or two floppies?
Craig: Oh god, no, no, no. Floppies. No hard drive.
John: I sprang for the hard drive.
Craig: Actually, I take it back. That’s what the 20 was. The 20 was a hard drive. I think it was a 20 megabyte hard drive.
John: Yeah. That’s what it was.
Craig: Which would now hold one file of – it would a PDF.
John: It would not hold this episode of Scriptnotes.
Craig: Good lord, no.
John: No. What’s crazy is I remember I ended up buying that at a University of Colorado bookstore, or the computer shop at the bookstore, and my had come with a check for me to buy it, like a cashier’s check or something. And it was like $3,000. It was so expensive to buy it and yet it was worth every penny of it. Because just the amount of writing and stuff that I got done on that computer was remarkable.
Craig: Hugely necessary. Do you remember when – because when I bought it I believed I got a little bit of extra memory? They were running a deal for students. To get the memory in there they had to use a special tool to crack the case open. They had a special Mac case-cracker. Like a Slim Jim for a car. And then they would pop the whole thing off. It was quite a process to do any of that stuff. Now, of course, you can’t actually do any of that at all. When you buy a laptop it’s sealed.
John: Yeah. Things tend to be sealed now. So, what got me thinking about early computers is I put in an order for a new Macintosh because my iMac that I’m recording on right now is like four years old, maybe five years old. It’s pre-Paris that I had this computer. And it’s a little bit old. As we’re playing Dungeons & Dragons on this there have been times where it’s sort of spun out a bit. Like, OK, I think it’s time for this computer to move on.
John: So I put in an order for a new iMac and then it became clear that, oh, you know what there’s actually going to be a whole new iMac coming because they’re switching to a new processor so I canceled that order and now I’m waiting to see what the next Macintosh will be. And I’m kind of excited about it. What I find so fascinating is that the Apple hardware and Apple chips and the iPhones and iPads they really are more powerful than many of the Macintoshes we’ve become accustomed to. So I’m curious what’s going to happen once I can get this into my computer.
Craig: I mean, if you have an iMac that’s four years old whether you get an iMac today or whatever the next gen is that they release in a couple of months it will be – OK, this one is 1,000 times better and this one is 1,500 times better. The difference is going to be vast. I don’t have an iMac. I have a MacBook Pro. So I run everything on that. And it is pretty astonishing what it can do and how fast it can handle things. I mean, we used to have concerns about like speed and memory. When was the last time, well, I mean, you have an old iMac, so maybe you do. But I never think about speed or memory ever.
John: And honestly I don’t think about it that often. It was a rare case where like the Dungeons & Dragons stuff was overloading the system here. And truthfully, listen, my company makes Highland and Highland runs incredibly smoothly on my computer. There’s very little that I’m encountering with my iMac that makes me feel like, oh, this thing is too slow. It’s a dinosaur. Partly because I have an SSD in it. So, that’s making everything feel a lot faster.
John: Weirdly a thing I have noticed though is that the front-facing camera in it is pretty terrible. And so it’s a small thing, but well it was a small thing until the pandemic and now that I’m using this a lot for video camera stuff it’s not good.
Craig: I mean, most front-facing cameras suck. But, yeah, the older ones really suck. That is an area where when my son was born in 2001, you know, I was like I better go get a camera. Got to take pictures of my kid. So I went and got myself like a Casio 3 megapixel. That’s what we would do. And had a little digital card inside of it. And over time they have essentially made that camera but ten times better and the size of my thumbnail. It’s incredible. Absolutely incredibly the way that that technology has evolved. So, yeah, the four-year difference on camera will be pretty remarkable.
John: Yeah, I saw on Twitter this week a 1 terabyte SD card and that’s like the little mini SD card, but it’s one terabyte. The amount that we can cram into these small spaces.
Craig: Oh yeah. Awesome.
John: So, lastly, the other thing I’ve been working on a lot is the new version of Highland, internally we have a version of Highland for the iPad. And it’s been fascinating to look at making this app that I use every day and making it work on an iPad just because you really recognize how differently you work on devices based on whether it’s an iPad or like a MacBook.
And so even like I got the iPad that has the new laptop-y kind of style keyboard. It folds together. It’s really a terrific–
Craig: It’s cool. I like it.
John: It’s a really good system. I think it’s great. But it’s still not the same as a MacBook. And there’s things just do work differently and your expectations about files and not having menus, it does such a brilliant job with the cursor. It’s just remarkable how clever they figured out how to make the cursor work. And yet still figuring out where to put certain things that would normally be in menus has been a real challenge design wise.
Craig: Yeah. I am reliant on the finder. I like finder.
John: Yeah. I do, too. Because we grew up in the finder.
Craig: Yeah. We grew up with finder. I mean, there’s files on the iPad, but that’s really just like your cloud storage. If they could make finder that would be nice.
John: Yeah. That’s what we want. We want a finder.
Craig: Yeah man.
John: We solved it all. Craig, thanks.
Craig: Thanks John. See you next week.
- Chevalier’s Local Author Event, Saturday June 20th at 2pm
- Police officers are often glorified on TV shows. Here’s what it looks like when they aren’t. by Bethonie Butler
- WGA Inclusion and Equity
- Shorter and Fewer Seasons, Is TV Sabotaging Itself?
- The Metrosexual episode of Decoder Ring by Willa Paskin
- Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt!
- John August on Twitter
- Craig Mazin on Twitter
- John on Instagram
- Outro by Joey Hillenbrand (send us yours!)
- Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao and edited by Matthew Chilelli.
Email us at email@example.com
You can download the episode here.