John and Craig discuss the digital tools of the trade. From outline to first draft to production rewrites, screenwriters find themselves facing different challenges. We talk about what works for each of us. We also speculate on what impact Highland 2’s gender analysis tool will have. Then we answer listener questions about following the “rules” […]
John and Aline welcome Peter Spears, producer of Call Me by Your Name, to discuss how the film came to be, from optioning the novel through its long development and multiple roadblocks. Through the lens of Call Me by Your Name, we discuss the difficulties of preproduction for an indie film, the process of securing […]
John and Craig ponder worst case scenarios that might usher the end of screenwriting as we know it. What are the odds that screenwriters lose work because an economic crash keeps movies from getting made? That screenwriting gets outsourced? That human screenwriters are replaced by AI? That film as a medium gets replaced? That the […]
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 […]
John and Craig attempt to answer the question that many aspiring screenwriters dare not ask aloud: when — if ever — is the right time to give up on the dream of becoming a working screenwriter? Relatedly, is it okay to omit “aspiring” when describing oneself as a screenwriter? How do you ask friends for […]
Boris Kachka takes an in-depth look at how the final episode of The Leftovers was written, shot and edited.
John and Craig welcome writer-director Lorene Scafaria to talk about her new movie The Meddler and some of the unique challenges faced by female directors.
Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi join us to talk about their new movie The Invitation, and what’s it’s like to go from writing tentpole action films (like Clash of the Titans) to comedies (like Ride Along) to chamber-drama thrillers.
With a live audience in downtown Los Angeles, Craig and John welcome actor/director Jason Bateman to discuss what he looks for when considering a script, and how to best work with a writer on a script.
In preparation for our live show with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, we’re re-running this episode from the Scriptnotes archive.
Craig and John discuss three new entries in the Three Page Challenge, looking at how simple mistakes and confusing word choices can hurt the read.
John and Craig take an in-depth look at two scenes in Damien Chazelle’s WHIPLASH to see how conflicts were structured — and what changed from script to shooting.
John and Craig sit down with Marielle Heller, the writer and director of the acclaimed feature Diary of a Teenage Girl, to talk about the journey of getting her movie made, from optioning the novel to the Sundance Labs through production.
Craig, John, and Aline record the 200th episode of Scriptnotes live with a worldwide audience listening in — and chiming in — as they discuss TV showrunning and whether quality really counts at the box office.
Craig and John discuss backup plans, camera directions, and becoming so good they can’t ignore you. Plus we answer two listener questions about specificity in scene headers and how to indicate that a script is intended for animation.
Jacob T. Swinney built a supercut comparing the first and last shots of 55 notable films.
As longtime readers know, I love me a supercut. This one by Roman Holiday explores the trope of characters sitting up in bed after a nightmare.
Daryn Okada offers a great look at how a cinematographer approaches color-timing a feature in this latest video from The Academy.
John and Craig offer advice to a director taking the plunge, with guidance on both getting the work done and getting the performances you want. From there, we segue into a discussion of the Perfect Director, the next installment of our Perfect series.
Tony Zhou looks at how character choice is framed as going left or right.
John and guest host Susannah Grant sit down with Richard Kelly, Cary Fukunaga, Peter Gould, Dan Sterling and Mike Birbiglia to discuss the role of a writer/director, the wonder of television, and the purpose of table reads.
Storyboard Fountain lets you write and storyboard your film simultaneously.
John and Craig discuss whether screenwriters are better off pursing writing assignments or working on their own material. They also look at the visual comedy of Edgar Wright, and The Shawshank Redemption’s 20th anniversary.
Writer-Director David Wain joins John and Craig to talk about the long journey to bring They Came Together to the screen (on June 27th), the changing nature of spoofs, and the seminal summer camp film Wet Hot American Summer.
I wondered if a filmmaker could pull a beyoncé and release a film without any advance notice. I speculated a filmmaker like JJ Abrams or Joss Whedon probably could pull it off. Then a few weeks ago, Whedon seemed to just that with In Your Eyes. But is it really a beyoncé, or a new variation on direct-to-video?