The Return of Malcolm

Scriptnotes: Ep. 295
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Malcolm Spellman returns to help us answer a bunch of listener questions, including the most important one: what’s Malcolm up to? (Warning! Adult language.)

Along the way, topics include sex on screen, bad managers, and thanking the writer.

Tickets for the live show are now sale! Visit Hollywood Heart to get yours.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 4-19-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


On not reading reviews

Amanda Peet has a terrific piece in the NY Times about why she doesn’t read reviews, and how strange it feels when rest of the world knows something you don’t:

The morning after we opened, nobody called me. When I talked to my mom, she sounded like a cheerful acquaintance who isn’t sure if she’s allowed to know about your terminal cancer diagnosis. My agent said he was coming down with something and had to get off the phone. As I made my way to the theater, every newsstand I passed was a test of my resolve. I felt like a reformed gambler who had been air dropped onto the Vegas strip.

I don’t read reviews either, but I’ve made a compromise: my husband reads them and gives me the gist.

At least for me, this strikes a helpful balance where I’m not paralyzed by the actual criticism or the imagined criticism.


Getting the Details Wrong

Scriptnotes: Ep. 294
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Craig and John discuss chess, bad news, baseball, God, and screenwriting competitions.

We also share exciting news about the live show, now scheduled for May 1st in Hollywood.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 3-28-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Psychotherapy for Screenwriters

Scriptnotes: Ep. 99
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A pernicious cold has stolen John’s voice, so he and Craig reach into the vault to unearth their conversation with screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo, in which they discuss writer’s block, procrastination, partnerships and more. It’s a can’t-miss episode for aspiring writers and professionals alike.

In fact, this was most-reviewed episode in the still-nascent Listeners’ Guide. We’ve included a few of the reviews to give you a taste.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


Underground Railroad of Love

Scriptnotes: Ep. 293
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Special guest Irene Turner joins Craig and John for a new round of “How Would This Be a Movie?”

In this episode, we look at Jake Halpern’s article on Canada-bound refugees, Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s moving personal ad for her husband, and the porn-filled saga of Prenda Law.

Irene’s latest film, The Most Hated Woman in America, debuts March 24th on Netflix.

Stay tuned after the closing credits for a bonus segment from the new rom-com podcast You Had Us at Hello by Tess Morris and Billy Mernit.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 3-16-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


We’ve had enough of these freeloading lottery winners

The American Health Care Act is only 122 pages long. It’s so short that White House spokesman Sean Spicer gave us yet another meme when he compared two stacks of paper to show how lean it was.

Clearly, this is a tight and focused document. No cruft, no useless bureaucratic nonsense.

Except for the six pages about lottery winners and whether they are eligible for Medicaid.

No, really. You can download the full thing and check it out for yourself.

This bill is bad news for nearly everyone but the very rich. So why does the lottery winner section bother me so much?

I think it’s because it so clearly shows the Republican animus towards the poor. It’s another chapter in the fiction of “makers versus takers” and “welfare queens.”

I’m certainly no fan of lotteries. I think they’re a way of shifting state expenses onto citizens who can least afford to pay for them.

But targeting lottery winners for special scrutiny is ridiculous scapegoating. It’s ginning up a problem that seems easy to solve, rather than actually addressing health care in America.