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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Logic and Gimmickry

Scriptnotes: Ep. 309
Play

John and Craig step up to the whiteboard to look at the story logic in our scripts, then examine how tricks and gimmicks can help keep scenes interesting.

We also answer listener questions about paying experts for research help, and whether hiring a writing consultant ever makes sense.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


Chekhov’s Ladder

Scriptnotes: Ep. 308
Play

Craig and John discuss the concept of affordances — player expectations for what videogame characters can do — and how writers can apply these principles to their film and TV scripts.

Teaching the audience to know what is and isn’t possible can be hard to do artfully, but often makes all the difference.

Also this week: reducing sexism in screenplays, plus answers to listener questions about writers on set and giving feedback on friends’ terrible scripts.

Tickets for the July 25th live show are on sale, GET YOURS!

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 7-18-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Teaching Your Heroes to Drive

Scriptnotes: Ep. 307
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John and Craig explore how story develops from a synthesis of character and plot, and why writers need to continually shift their frames of reference between “inside” and “outside” the experience of their heroes.

We also tackle the idea of “you can’t teach funny” and what to do when you share a famous person’s name.

The Scriptnotes Listeners’ Guide is out, and fantastic, and free! Plus we now have 300-episode USB drives in the store. Links below.

Plus, don’t miss our live show in Hollywood on July 25.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 7-10-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


DRAMA!

Scriptnotes: Ep. 306
Play

Craig and John take a look at what happens when the drama is behind the camera, and the difference between what’s reported and what’s really going on. We also offer some advice on what one should do, should they find themselves caught up in the crazy.

Finally, we answer a listener question on writing for specific actors and the challenges/opportunities this presents.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 7-10-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Forever Young and Stupid

Scriptnotes: Ep. 305
Play

Craig and John take on a new Three Page Challenge, looking at three listener scenes to see if they follow the exacting rules set by Screenwriters University. (Ahem.)

We also answer listener questions on vintage screenplays, maturity, Smash Brothers and writing with a budget in mind.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 7-10-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Location Is Where It’s At

Scriptnotes: Ep. 304
Play

Craig and John look at how screenwriters describe locations, and how these choices impact production and the final product. Plus, we discuss how podcasts have become a new source of IP for adaptations.

Finally, we address how to deal with the note to make your characters “more likeable.”

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 6-25-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.