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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Love, Aptaker & Berger

Scriptnotes: Ep. 345
Play

John and Craig welcome Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, the writing team that showruns This Is Us and just made history with Love, Simon.

We discuss their experience of breaking into the industry, writing with a partner, running a hit show, adapting YA novels for the screen, and the broccoli/marinara/pudding meals that got them here.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 4-16-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Comedy Geometry

Scriptnotes: Ep. 344
Play

Craig welcomes Alec Berg, executive producer of two current HBO comedies (Barry and Silicon Valley), to discuss balancing productivity and creative energy, “comedy geometry,” and identifying as a craftsman rather than an artist.

We also answer listener questions about committing to a genre, the necessity of act breaks, and how much writers actually get to keep of their paycheck.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 4-11-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The One with the Indie Producer

Scriptnotes: Ep. 343
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John welcomes independent producer Keith Calder to discuss what a producer actually does, how financing and distribution strategies have changed with streaming, and how to approach film festivals as a filmmaker.

We also answer a listener question about which career path to take after being laid-off: climb the Hollywood ladder or bootstrap and just make films.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 4-2-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Getting Paid for It

Scriptnotes: Ep. 342
Play

John and Craig delve into the business of screenwriting from money to managers to medical plans.

We answer listener questions about collecting unemployment, registering as a corporation, firing a rep, quitting your day job and handling the anxiety that comes with such an uncertain career path.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 3-27-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Knowing vs. Discovering

Scriptnotes: Ep. 341
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John and Craig consider how much a writer should know before going into a scene, looking at the perks and pitfalls of planning and letting oneself discover.

We also discuss taking notes from producers and executives. When should you stand your ground? When should you accommodate? What if it’s an excellent drawing of an elephant that’s been eaten by a snake?

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 3-21-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


What’s the Plan, Anyway?

Scriptnotes: Ep. 340
Play

John and Craig speculate what Luke Skywalker’s plan might have been in the opening of Return of the Jedi. They consider heroes’ plans generally, the allowance we grant as an audience for opening sequences and the foul taste of “logic ketchup.”

We then engage in a long-awaited Three Page Challenge, focusing on scripts that play with point of view.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 3-14-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.