Knowing vs. Discovering

Scriptnotes: Ep. 341
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John and Craig consider how much a writer should know before going into a scene, looking at the perks and pitfalls of planning and letting oneself discover.

We also discuss taking notes from producers and executives. When should you stand your ground? When should you accommodate? What if it’s an excellent drawing of an elephant that’s been eaten by a snake?

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 3-21-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


What’s the Plan, Anyway?

Scriptnotes: Ep. 340
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John and Craig speculate what Luke Skywalker’s plan might have been in the opening of Return of the Jedi. They consider heroes’ plans generally, the allowance we grant as an audience for opening sequences and the foul taste of “logic ketchup.”

We then engage in a long-awaited Three Page Challenge, focusing on scripts that play with point of view.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 3-14-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Mostly Terrible People

Scriptnotes: Ep. 339
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John and Craig evaluate another set of exceptional news stories for their fitness for the big screen in this week’s How Would This Be a Movie?

We consider stories about counterfeit debt collectors, the worst roommate ever (beside’s Craig college roommate), the girl who posed as a grown man online and began exhibiting genuine symptoms of toxic masculinity, a family that fights to preserve their daughter after she’s been declared brain dead, and a cruise ship that descends into anarchy.

We also follow up on the mystery of MoviePass with a listener that has seen a new film each day for months. Did we judge this model too quickly?

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 3-6-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


We’re Back, Baby

Scriptnotes: Ep. 338
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John and Craig reunite to answer our backlog of listener questions.

We follow up on what it means to utilize white space on a page, the conventions of musical numbers, the value of a victory lap, and what the hypothetical destruction of Los Angeles would mean for the industry.

We also answer listener questions on the rules of awards voting, what to consider when writing a proof-of-concept short for a feature, and what to do when a deadline approaches and the script just isn’t good.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 2-26-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The One with Stephen Schiff

Scriptnotes: Ep. 337
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John is joined by The Americans’ executive producer Stephen Schiff at a live Scriptnotes taping in New York! They discuss grounding an outrageous premise in character, suspension of disbelief, premium act breaks, and writing for a foreign language.

We also answer audience questions about New York writers rooms, expert consultants, expecting comparisons, first drafts, and how to write a period piece when history is full of spoilers.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 2-20-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Arlo Finch in the Bookstores of America (and Canada)

My first novel, Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire, comes out today in stores throughout North America.

I’d love you to, well, buy it. People buying books makes future books possible.

It’s available at massive online stores, national chains and your local indie bookstore.

Arlo Finch is middle-grade fantasy fiction. That’s the broad category that includes Harry Potter, Stranger Things and Star Wars. If that’s not your speed, you may have a son or daughter or nephew who would dig it.

How old does a kid need to be for Arlo? All kids are different, but eight seems a good general guideline. The audiobook might be a good option for younger sorts.

But if you’d like to help me out, there are a few other things you can do.

  1. Review it on Goodreads and Amazon.
  2. Recommend it to parents, teachers and librarians. They’re the ones who put books into kids’ hands.
  3. Post about on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

And if you’re in a bookstore in the next few weeks, find it on the shelf and take a peek inside. During my visit to the printing plant, I put special stickers in five books. I’m eager to learn where they turn up, so if you find one, let me know!

If you’re not listening to the Launch podcast, the first four episodes are now up. Today’s is my favorite so far.

I hope you dig the book. I’m really proud of it, and hope to be able to make more of them. Your help can make that dream possible. Thanks!