Netflix Killed the Video Store

John welcomes Kate Hagen to talk about missing movies and the role that video stores play in archiving film history, preserving access to all movies and creating a sense of community. They discuss some of the barriers to films getting digital distribution, from limited music licenses to struggles with chain-of-title when companies fail. We also […]

Pitching Television, or Being a Passionate Widget

John and Craig share their insight into pitching for television. How is it different that pitching features? How do express your passion for the project? How do you avoid being a Willy Loman pitching to a Willy Loman? (Sometimes you don’t.) We also follow-up on the conversation about sexual harassment, with a focus on how […]

(Adjective) Soldier

Craig and John open the overflowing listener mailbag to tackle questions on everything from montages to life rights to passive heroes. Plus, we have a definitive answer on whether to number minor characters. (Don’t.) We also finally address a major controversy: Craig’s missing cover of “Killing the Blues” from Episode 109. It exists, and you […]

The Scriptnotes Listener’s Guide

We’re crowdsourcing an index to Scriptnotes, with listeners singling out the can’t-miss episodes.


John and Craig pick up loose ends, with follow-up on previous episodes about “friends,” conflict, improv, Kindles, and defibrillation. moves out of beta features more than 100 short articles answering basic questions about screenwriting. After two years, we’re shedding the “beta” label.

Let’s talk about Nikki Finke

John and Craig discuss the polarizing potentate of Deadline Hollywood Daily, then segue into what a healthy entertainment journalism ecosystem might look like.

From Captain Trips to Bowden’s Malady

In the spirit of the season, let us say thanks to Wikipedia for this comprehensive list of fictional diseases.

New questions, new answers

The number of answers at has grown a lot in the two weeks since we launched, with new ones posted every day.

Script Frenzy 2009

Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April.

Does a screenwriter have to be well-read?

If I’ve only read 38 on the list of 1001 “Books You Must Read Before You Die,” does that mean I’ll live a long time?

Picking names popular in their time

“Paul from LA” wrote in with this link to a site I kind of remember using when we were picking a name for my daughter. It lets you type in any first name and graphs how popular it has been (in the U.S.) over the past 130 years. What’s less obvious is that if you […]

Were I to seek examples of the subjunctive…

When the subjunctive shows up, there’s almost always drama.

Script frenzy

Script Frenzy is starting April 1st. I don’t know enough about it to endorse it, but some readers might find the faux-competitive nature of it motivational. Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants attempt the daring feat of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. As part of […]

Test screening questionnaires

DIY audience screenings help your product and save you money. Here’s what to ask.

The Nines, scripted

I promised that as soon as The Nines had reached its widest U.S. opening, I’d be putting the script up in the Downloads section. That time has come. You can find a .pdf of the screenplay here.

Calling on the hive mind: Writing the future

A call to contribute to a lecture on authorship in the digital age.

2007 Insomnia Film Festival

Advice for hasty filmmakers.

Filmmaking, permitted

Update on New York City’s struggle with what to charge productions.

Economics of Screenwriting

Who gets paid what, when and how. Broken down.

Interview up at cecil vortex

Link to an interview on creativity.

I talk with my hands

Video links explaining how film and television writers should approach promoting themselves and their work through the media.

Comments for Jane Espenson

A correction for Jane’s awesome website.

That’s a pretty expensive pad of paper

You really don’t need fancy paper for hand-writing drafts.

The Hollywood Standard

All you need to know about formatting a screenplay, right here (for sale anyway). Second opinions included.