Scriptnotes Podcast

Screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry, everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law.

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The Addams Family

Scriptnotes: Ep. 301
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Craig and John look at The Addams Family — not just the 1991 film and its sequel, but the property itself to see what lessons we can learn when adapting for the big screen.

We also answer listener questions on what makes a scene work and writing pilots based on existing IP.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


From Writer to Writer-Director

Scriptnotes: Ep. 300
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Chris McQuarrie (THE USUAL SUSPECTS, VALKYRIE) joins us to talk through how he went from writing giant movies to directing them.

We talk about the pitfalls directors face as they move from indie features to tentpoles, and the advice he gives them. Chris is currently, and conveniently, in Paris directing the next Mission: Impossible.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 5-22-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


It’s Always Sunny in Star Wars

Scriptnotes: Ep. 299
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Craig and guest host Dana Fox welcome Rob McElhenney (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) to the live show at the Arclight. The four discuss breaking into Hollywood, handling rejection and sticking to your vision as a writer/director.

We also answer audience questions on motivation and holding onto hope.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 5-22-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


How Characters Move

Scriptnotes: Ep. 298
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Craig and John take on a new round of Three Page Challenges. There’s a fat “Elvis,” a bounty hunter White Rabbit, and a guy locked in the trunk of a speeding Mustang.

We also look at how characters move, and how screenwriters can use character movement to their benefit.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 5-15-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Free-Agent Franchises

Scriptnotes: Ep. 297
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Craig and John investigate the future of the 007 franchise, script-reading robots, and the realities of overhauling a movie in the editing room.

We also look at another How Would This Be a Movie idea turning into reality.

The live show at ArcLight is a week away and tickets are almost sold out. Get yours now!

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 5-15-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Television with Damon Lindelof

Scriptnotes: Ep. 296
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John sits down with Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) for a bonus-length discussion of all things TV.

We focus on getting that first job, breaking story, and how writing rooms work. We also answer listener questions ranging from knowing when to let a pilot script die, to crediting original ideas.

Finally, we talk about the notion of Idea Debt, and how to say goodbye to projects you’ll never complete.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 4-24-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.