Big Fish

Splitting the Party

John and Craig talk about the trope of “Never split the party,” and why, as a writer, you often want and need to divide up your characters to better explore relationships, propel the story forward, give actors something to do, and simply fit everyone in the frame. We also follow up on screenwriting scams, sequences, […]

You’d hardly recognize Arlo Finch overseas

Arlo Finch came out in February 2018 in the US and Canada, but the international editions are only now debuting. And in many cases, the book you see in stores overseas looks very different.

Full Circle

John and Craig talk about the way that movies tend to bring their stories full circle, and what that means for writers trying to figure out their story beats. They discuss rhyming, bookending and how properly setting up the central thematic question helps make the answer feel meaningful. We also answer listener questions about putting […]

On Big Fish, inclusion and family-friendliness

“Family-friendly” shouldn’t mean ignoring reality. Let’s remember that in America there are all kinds of families, including ones with two dads, two moms, people of all gender identity, color and creed. Family-friendly is something bigger than it once was.

Really Short Stories

Daniel Wallace, who wrote the novel Big Fish, sent me the syllabus for the college writing class he’s teaching, including a first-week requirement of a 100-word short story.

Spalding Gray, depression, and the Big Fish connection

Writing for The New Yorker, Oliver Sacks recounts his interactions with monologist Spalding Gray, and how his death was connected with Big Fish.

The ruins of Spectre

Kelly Kazek looks at what became of Spectre, the magical little town in Big Fish.

Writing an album in two weeks

In an interview with Billboard, producer Patrick Leonard talks about writing “Like a Prayer” with Madonna. Their process is a great example of actually making things.

Old Projects

Maybe I’m hyper-aware because yesterday was the 15th anniversary of Go, but I’m encountering sorts of references to past projects this week.

Big Fish, Jimmy Buffet, and seeing shows on a budget

The producers have agreed to restore my SCRIPT discount code for Big Fish on Broadway, but only through December 22nd — and they might pull the offer at any time.

The challenge of filming inside a theater

The new 30-second spot for Big Fish features a lot of footage from the show. Filming it was much more complicated than I would have guessed, so I thought a rundown of the process would be interesting for both film and theater folk.

Scriptnotes Live from New York

John and Craig welcome their largest live audience yet for a conversation about Kickstarter, movie pilots and musicals. Joined by special guest Andrew Lippa, they talk about the special challenges and opportunities that arise when characters break into song.

Big-screen dramas on stage

USA Today’s Elysa Gardner interviewed me and Andrew Lippa about Big Fish and the influx of movie-based dramas on Broadway this season: “The musicals that have been very successful with audiences over time are generally the ones that traffic in big emotions,” notes Lippa, whose credits as a composer and lyricist range from Broadway’s The […]

Big Fish on Broadway, iteration and why I’d love to see you in September

With the Broadway edition of Big Fish imminent, a discussion of iteration and the value of feedback.

Big Fish box office opens

The box office at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York City opened this morning, selling tickets for the Broadway incarnation of Big Fish. First performance is September 5th. Official opening is October 6th. Tickets are also available online of course, but Ticketmaster charges a fee and doesn’t even have ice cream coming at 1pm. […]

Shotgun marriages and terrible roommates

Andrew Lippa and I did an interview for Big Fish about our collaboration. We recorded it in the lobby of the Oriental Theater while the show was playing, so in the background you can hear Kate Baldwin singing “I Don’t Need a Roof” from the second act.

Big Fish Rush

Big Fish starts previews in Chicago tomorrow, April 2nd. Eep. A bunch of readers asked about rush tickets, so I asked our general manager, who asked Broadway in Chicago, who consulted the great oracle of all things ticket-related. Here’s the official word: $25 Student/Senior/Military/Industry Rush Tickets A limited number of rush tickets will be available […]

Tech Starts, Time Stops

We’ve started tech rehearsal for Big Fish in Chicago, and has an exclusive first listen at a song from our show: Time Stops.

From book to movie to musical to commercial

My college professors will be happy to know that roughly 20 years after getting my advertising degree, I finally wrote a television commercial. This 15-second Big Fish spot is airing in Chicago now.

Big Fish previews, and special unlock code

I’d love to see some friendly faces in the crowd for Chicago run of Big Fish. For the first four performances, you can see it for $26 instead of $70.

Rhythm and Blues

John and Craig talk homesickness and daddy issues before diving into a discussion on what Rhythm and Hues’s bankruptcy means for the film industry — and similar scenarios screenwriters might face down the road.

Big Fish in Chicago

Big Fish musical begins performances April 2, 2013 at the Oriental Theater in Chicago.

Breaking down Big Fish

A reader forwarded a link to this structural analysis of Big Fish, which attempts to break down my screenplay down into five plot points

New Big Fish cover

Earlier this week, I blogged about a series of Big Fish-inspired artwork. Turns out Daniel Wallace’s novel is getting a new cover as well.

Artwork inspired by Big Fish

The Silver Screen Society chose Big Fish as their December project, asking designers to come up with concept art rather than traditional one-sheets. The results are pretty great.