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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Only Haters Hate Rom-Coms

Scriptnotes: Ep. 225
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John and Craig talk romantic comedies with screenwriter Tess Morris, whose film Man Up is unapologetically part of the genre.

We discuss what distinguishes rom-coms from other comedies, and why they get singled out for disdain and death-of articles.

Also this week: Amazon Storywriter, overused dicks, and follow-up on Whiplash.

This episode originally aired on November 24, 2015.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.


Writing Memorable Dialogue

Scriptnotes: Ep. 371
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John and Craig have a dialogue about dialogue. They discuss how thinking about memorizing lines can help write them, and how to service quieter characters in a scene.

We also answer listener questions about adapting plays for the screen, creating a different experience for your reader than your viewer, and whether to trust sketchily worded release forms.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 10-16-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Two Things at the Same Time

Scriptnotes: Ep. 370
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John and Craig look into simultaneity and how to visually articulate two things happening at once with the temporally-limited medium of written word.

We also explore how simultaneity can ramp up tension, fracture narrative and play with expectations. Then we apply what we’ve discussed to three new entries in the Three Page Challenge.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 10-11-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


What Is a Movie, Anyway?

Scriptnotes: Ep. 369
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John and Craig welcome Franklin Leonard to weigh in on the current definition of “movie.” In the age of streaming, this distinction is not only important for audiences and awards, but has a meaningful effect on how writers are paid.

We also take umbrage with Awards Season as a Hollywood fixture, and follow up on a five year-old prediction about iPads in movie theaters.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-28-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Advice for a New Staff Writer

Scriptnotes: Ep. 368
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John welcomes Alison McDonald (American Dad!, Nurse Jackie, the remake of Roots) and Ryan Knighton (In the Dark) to talk through the basics of the TV writers room, covering how they got in, how much to talk, how to make a living, what to wear and what’s for lunch.

In follow up, we look at disappearing digital purchases and the further fallout from Les Moonves.

We have new Scriptnotes T-shirts available — Colored Revisions! Thanks to Alison, Ryan now knows about magenta.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-27-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


One Year Later

Scriptnotes: Ep. 367
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Aline Brosh McKenna joins John and Craig to discuss the progress made in the year following the Weinstein revelations. Have the systems for reporting and preventing sexual harassment improved, or are we still just dealing with hurricanes?

We also follow up on The Academy’s decision to nix the Popular Film category, the IATSE agreement, missing movies, and Craig’s distaste for ventriloquism. And Final Draft teaches us that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-19-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.