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

Flaws are features

Scriptnotes: Ep. 257

Craig and John look at unforgettable villains, screenwriter billions, and a parallel world with two Nathan Fillions. (The last part is not true.)

We also dig into more about magical dad transformation comedies and why there isn’t a female equivalent.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 7-8-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Aaron Sorkin vs. Aristotle

Scriptnotes: Ep. 256

John and Craig consider a new master class in screenwriting taught by Aaron Sorkin, and a very old Greek word (anagnorisis) championed by Aristotle. Both are useful!

Then it’s a look at what we mean by “originality,” including a very useful litmus test provided by Lindsay Doran.

Reminder that the 250-epsiode Scriptnotes USB drives are now available. Find the link below.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 7-1-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


New and Old Hollywood

Scriptnotes: Ep. 255

With credits ranging from Captain Phillips to The Hunger Games, plus several stints in WGA contract negotiations, Billy Ray knows as much as any screenwriter about the realities of working writers and the turmoil in the industry. He joins us to talk about his new Amazon pilot, The Last Tycoon, which charts the behind-the-scenes drama at a 1930s Hollywood studio.

From there, we look at how much people get paid for a $200 million movie, the wild success of Warcraft in China, and how great television is doing financially.

The 250-episode Scriptnotes USB drives are back in the store, so be sure to grab one before they sell out.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 6-25-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


The One with the Kates

Scriptnotes: Ep. 254

John and Craig welcome Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney, the Australian creator/stars of The Katering Show (a previous One Cool Thing).

We discuss the process and economics of making a web series, signing with a US agency, and trying to figure out what comes next.

Thanks to our Scriptnotes fans on both sides of the world for making this meet-up happen.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 6-20-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Television Economics for Dummies

Scriptnotes: Ep. 253

Jonathan Groff — the Black-ish writer/producer, not the actor — joins John and Craig to explain the new vocabulary of television and why companies are all about ownership.

Then it’s another round of How Would This Be a Movie (or an episode of network comedy). We tackle Peter Thiel, Swiss banks, psychotic sheep, and absent-minded grampas.

Our track record of predicting which of these ideas will go into development has been quite good. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page or Twitter.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 6-10-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


An Alliance with House Mazin

Scriptnotes: Ep. 252

It’s a craft episode, with Craig and John discussing allies and allegiances in film and television. Enemies are easy; friends are difficult. We talk through the types relationships characters find themselves in, and strategies for making the most of them.

(This episode has a lot of Game of Thrones geekery, but very few spoilers.)

Also this week, we discuss geographic accuracy, release forms, and showing snippets of plays within movies.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 6-2-16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.