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.

View in iTunes

Writing Other Things

Scriptnotes: Ep. 318
Play

John and Craig welcome back Aline Brosh McKenna to talk about writing projects outside the familiar constraints of screenwriting.

We discuss the surprises and adjustments involved in the creative processes of different media: Aline’s graphic novel Jane, Craig’s HBO miniseries Chernobyl, and John’s original song, “Rise.” We also dig into why screenwriters sometimes need to be amateurs again.

Then we answer listener questions about making fair deals as someone in a different country, and how best to read one’s script before rewriting.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


First Day on the Job

Scriptnotes: Ep. 317
Play

Craig and John debut a new segment: This Kind of Scene, looking at how different movies handle similar situations. The Hudsucker Proxy, The Devil Wears Prada, Hidden Figures and Training Day all need to introduce their heroes to their new workplaces. We examine how those scenes work, both on the page and on screen.

We then discuss what it means to write for an international market, and determine what a “therapy piece” is and how to avoid writing one.

We also follow up on our discussion from episode 310 on the WGA deal and explore why animation writers aren’t included in the WGA.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-18-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Distracted Boyfriend Is All of Us

Scriptnotes: Ep. 316
Play

John and Craig dive into another round of How Would This Be a Movie, looking at stories (and memes!) from around the world to figure out which ones might lend themselves to big-screen treatment.

Will it be the forgotten French spy from World War II? The repentant racist in Arkansas? The fake male founder exposing startup sexism? Or should it be the monthlong meth trip in the Alabama woods? Help us decide.

Plus, we follow up on how MoviePass actually works, and why their business model shares so many similarities with early Netflix.

Reminders! It’s WGA election season so be sure to cast your ballots. Plus, Big Fish is coming to London in November. You can find links to both below.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-11-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Big Screens, Big Money

Scriptnotes: Ep. 315
Play

John and Craig offer a 101 on how movies make money at theaters, and why a 1948 Supreme Court case changed everything.

Then we look at two recent disruptions to the standard model: Movie Pass and Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky.

We also answer listener questions on waiting periods and creative rights.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-6-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Unforgiven

Scriptnotes: Ep. 314
Play

Craig and John take a deep dive into 1992’s Unforgiven, looking at how the David Webb Peoples script works on the page and on the screen.

In the links below, you’ll find the PDF of the script we’re using. It’s also available in Weekend Read.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 8-30-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Well, It Worked in the 80s

Scriptnotes: Ep. 313
Play

John and Craig look at four films from the past and discuss how we could make them today.

Then we have more listener questions on internships and alternate jokes.

Next week is a deep dive on Unforgiven, so get to watching if you haven’t seen it recently.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 8-22-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.