Craig Hates Dummies

John and Craig are back at it with another installment of How Would This Be a Movie? They consider the story of a competitive mass Tinder date, a retirement home for ventriloquist dummies and the McDonald’s Monopoly heist. We also revisit John’s WGA Corner for updates, follow up on the conflict within IATSE, and get […]

Comedy Geometry

Craig welcomes Alec Berg, executive producer of two current HBO comedies (Barry and Silicon Valley), to discuss balancing productivity and creative energy, “comedy geometry,” and identifying as a craftsman rather than an artist. We also answer listener questions about committing to a genre, the necessity of act breaks, and how much writers actually get to […]

Austin Live Show 2017 (AKA Too Many Scotts)

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 […]

Live from Austin 2015

Craig and John return to the Austin Film Festival for a supersize live show with guests Nicole Perlman and Steve Zissis.

The International Episode

Craig and John look at how movies are translated, including an interview with a guy who does subtitles for a living. Plus, how Pixar and other companies are localizing movies for international audiences, and what happens when China becomes the largest film market.

Basic cartographic concepts to understand when first setting foot in New York City

After somehow flipping my mental model of the city, I spent a few years trying to correct my internal map of New York City, one visit at a time. Two decades later, I’m not a native or an expert by any means, but tourists consistently ask me directions — perhaps because they recognize that I was once lost, like them. So here’s a guide I’ll offer to help anyone who finds themselves encountering New York City for the first time.

Why France exhausts me

At the end of any day in which I’ve had to keep up in French, I’m zombie-tired. Research Daniel Kahneman has the explanation.

My schedule for Austin

I’ll be part of three panels at this year’s Austin Film Festival, including a special session on Big Fish.


I flew up to Oakland yesterday for lunchtime lecture and Q&A at Pixar. And wow. It’s really nice up there.

Writing on demand

Screenwriting isn’t a career that only happens in hermit-mode.

On being here or there

I flew to Paris for a meeting this weekend. That’s absurd, of course, spending 22 hours in the air just so I could sit around a small table with two other jet-lagged people. But it was an important meeting, a kind of reality-check on a project everyone wants to see done right. As a screenwriter, […]

France, finished

The sweet, dark gravity of jetlag has subsided, so it’s time I put up a link to the rest of my pictures from France. They’re not all labeled at the moment, but proper titles are coming. For those who don’t recall, I joined a group of nine American screenwriters on a program organized by Film […]

Paris, days 1 and 2

I have photos up from the first two days of the screenwriters’ trip to Paris. Day One We arrived at 5:30 in the morning, and after meeting our hosts, promptly got on police boats to see the city from the Seine, including a trip under La Bastille and a welcome lunch on a barge. The […]

Outta here

I’m off to Paris with nine other screenwriters. I’ll be checking in occasionally, but the schedule they have us on is packed, so there may be some lost days.

Going to France

Along with nine other WGA writers, I’ll be headed to France in November to get a backstage tour of Paris and Marseille, in the hopes of finding cinematically interesting people and places. It’s all sponsored by Film France in the hopes of getting more big Hollywood movies shooting there. It’s a clever idea, one I […]

My schedule in Austin

I’m headed to Austin tomorrow to participate in four panels at the Austin Film Festival. They have me scheduled very tight, so if you’re inclined to introduce yourself, it’s generally easier to catch me at the start of a session than the end of it. As I’ve written before (“Are you somebody?”), in daily life […]

Packing light

I’m headed to Seattle tonight for a quick screening of The Nines. I’m packing almost nothing: my iPhone, my Kindle, toiletries and a change of undies. Over the past year, I’ve found I am packing less and less, to the point that it’s become a sport to see how little I can get by with. […]

Zombies, Bridesmaids and Assassins

A quick trip to London over the weekend gave me 20+ hours of plane time to catch up on reading. I finished three books. The first two had been sitting on my Kindle1, while the last is dead-tree-only at the moment. As I’ve mentioned before, screenwriters spend an inordinate amount of time thinking and talking […]


I spent five days in Maine, writing and researching my next project.


I’m in New York for the second time in a week. This trip is for a director meeting on the studio’s dime. While no one will confuse me for a native, I’ve become a lot more comfortable with the city in the past few years. When people give me cross-streets, I generally have some idea […]