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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(Adjective) Soldier

Scriptnotes: Ep. 325
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Craig and John open the overflowing listener mailbag to tackle questions on everything from montages to life rights to passive heroes. Plus, we have a definitive answer on whether to number minor characters. (Don’t.)

We also finally address a major controversy: Craig’s missing cover of “Killing the Blues” from Episode 109. It exists, and you can listen to it today.

The Scriptnotes 2017 Holiday Live Show will be December 7th in Hollywood. Mark your calendars! Tickets available soon.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


All of It Needs to Stop

Scriptnotes: Ep. 324
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John and Craig revisit the discussion of sexual harassment in Hollywood, and how to support writers facing it. While the media spotlight is on the predators, it’s the day-to-day bullying and bad behavior that may have a more pernicious effect.

Then it’s another round of How Would This Be a Movie, looking at stories in the news to see which ones might be suited for the big screen.

Is it the story of a prison camp for female firefighters? The shockingly unregulated human corpse trade? Or is it perhaps the anti-racist protestors shut down by other students at a super-liberal college?

We also answer listener questions about British English vocabulary and how to lure expert consultants for a project.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-14-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Austin Live Show 2017 (AKA Too Many Scotts)

Scriptnotes: Ep. 323
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John and Craig talk with uber-screenwriter Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Minority Report, Logan) about how his feature script Godless ended up as a miniseries at Netflix.

We then invite more guests up to discuss what movies can learn from the success of TV:

  • Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, Go Fish)
  • Scott Alexander (Ed Wood, The People v. O.J. Simpson,)
  • Tess Morris (Man Up, “You Had Us At Hello” podcast)
  • Lindsay Doran (producer of Stranger Than Fiction, Sense and Sensibility)

In our final segment, we’re joined by a new batch of writers to play “The Studio Has Notes.”

  • Dana Fox (How to Be Single, Ben and Kate)
  • Megan Amram (The Good Place, The Simpsons)
  • Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street, Shimmer Lake)
  • Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman, Ice Age: Continental Drift)
  • Scott Rosenberg (High Fidelity, Beautiful Girls)

Can our lucky audience member pick out the one fake note among the five real ones? Can you?

Recorded live from the Driskill Ballroom at the 2017 Austin Film Festival.

Thanks to the Austin Film Festival for hosting us, and to a great audience. It’s one of our highlights each year.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 11-6-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The Post-Weinstein Era

Scriptnotes: Ep. 322
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John and Craig welcome Daley Haggar and Dara Resnik to examine the potential impacts of the Harvey Weinstein revelations on Hollywood.

What should have been done? And what should happen next to foster a safer, saner and more inclusive industry culture?

We also explore gender dynamics in a television writers room, discuss ways to address power imbalances and learn what it means to dial something in on the “Penis Phone.”

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 10-31-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Getting Stuff Written

Scriptnotes: Ep. 321
Play

John welcomes Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo and author of Pep Talks for Writers, to discuss the writing process and how to get out of your own way creatively.

We explore the ubiquity of the Other Syndrome and the perils of envy. We also look at pen names, “throw-away writing,” and the advantages of being a beginner.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 10-23-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.