WGA Negotiations 101

Scriptnotes: Ep. 289
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Craig and John take a deep dive looking at how the Writers Guild attempts to make a deal with the studios on behalf of film and TV writers.

Then we answer listener questions about writing for producers versus writing for the audience, and last steps when finishing up a script.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 3-03-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Betty, Veronica and Craig

Scriptnotes: Ep. 288
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John and Craig look at what screenwriters can pick up from Kellyanne Conway, plus what John learned from going through the copy-editing process on his book.

We also answer listener questions about moving to Los Angeles and whether to use a pen name.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 2-18-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Hollywood is Always Dying

Scriptnotes: Ep. 287
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Craig and John discuss a Vanity Fair article about the impending disruption of Hollywood and are unimpressed. The better question worth asking: if this were the end of the film and television industry, what signs would we look for?

Then it’s finally time to answer listener questions about folktales, translators and writers who just don’t get it.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 2-12-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


On Neutrality

Lewis Wallace, the only transgender reporter working at public radio’s Marketplace, was fired for this blog post questioning whether journalistic neutrality was a futile ideal:

Obviously, I can’t be neutral or centrist in a debate over my own humanity. The idea that I don’t have a right to exist is not an opinion, it is a falsehood. On that note, can people of color be expected to give credence to “both sides” of a dispute with a white supremacist, a person who holds unscientific and morally reprehensible views on the very nature of being human? Should any of us do that?

Referees for sporting matches can be neutral because they don’t have any stake in the game. The same could be said for generations of straight white reporters as they covered civil rights and gay equality. In their hearts, they might be rooting for one side, but it was obvious how to keep their personal viewpoints out of their stories.

In writing about the firing, Wallace points to the Marketplace ethics code. This seems to be the relevant clause:

Marketplace staffers must keep their political views private.

How, exactly? As a transgender person, Wallace’s existence has a political dimension. The same holds true for an African-American, a woman who uses a wheelchair, or an immigrant with an accent.

The ability to keep one’s political views private is a privilege not everyone has.

Marketplace fired a reporter for daring to point that out.


Script Doctors, Dialogue and Hacks

Scriptnotes: Ep. 286
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John and Craig return to the topic of dialogue, looking at how characters talk in film and why dialogue matters.

We also discuss two terms often applied to screenwriters, and why people should stop using them.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 2-06-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.