The One with the Guys from Final Draft

The makers of Final Draft pay us a visit to clear up John and Craig’s misconceptions of, well, everything. It’s double the umbrage for your money.

Getting paid on time

Today, the WGAW launched a new initiative aimed at getting writers paid on time by focusing on talent agents.

Egoless Screenwriting

It’s a week of big egos as Craig and John take a look at when (or whether) filmmakers will be able to pull a Beyoncé and surprise-release a feature film, and what Mrs. Carter’s tussle with Amazon and Target means for the future of retail DVD.

Let’s talk about coverage

Craig and John talk readers and coverage, centering their discussion on profound_whatever’s infographic charting 300 submissions and the lessons screenwriters can take from it.

The Scriptnotes Holiday Live Show

Craig and I are doing a live episode benefiting the Writers Guild Foundation on December 19th.

Two ENTJs walk into a bar (and fix it)

John and Craig reveal their Myers-Briggs secrets as they discuss Kevin Spacey’s comments on the state of television, Eric Garcetti’s plans to address runaway production, and the WGA election.

Is 15 the new 30?

Have first acts gotten shorter, or does it just feel that way? John and Craig discuss the pressure on screenwriters to “get to it” faster, and why that’s often the wrong goal.

Scriptnotes Live in LA

Craig and I will be doing two live shows in LA this summer: June 29th and July 25. They’re vastly different, but both should be cool.

Unless they pay you, the answer is no

John and Craig return from the holidays to look at the WGA nominations, the perennially high costs of movies, scene headers and acceptable fonts for treatments.

One-step deals, and how to read a script

Craig and John look at the logic and fallacies of one-step deals for screenwriters, along with advice on reading screenplays and enjoying Skyfall.

WGA Election results

Eight members were elected to the WGAW’s Board of Directors: Chip Johannessen, Katherine Fugate, Michael Oates Palmer, John Aboud, Scott Alexander, David A. Goodman, Marjorie David, Kathy Kiernan.

Some voting suggestions for the WGA board

By now, WGA members should have received their ballots for the 2012 election. This year, I’m a little more connected the process than usual, because I served on the nominating committee, helping to choose the 15 candidates running for the eight open seats on the board.

How to Not Be Fat

Screenwriters are often not the healthiest folk. We do our work at computers, surrounded by snacks, so it’s no surprise many of us get fat. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Craig dreams of sushi

Craig and John look at the results of the WGA screenwriter survey, which found widespread reports of bake-offs, prewriting and other shenanigans.

Setting, perspective and terrible numbers

It’s two parts craft and one part business as Craig and John discuss the alarming earnings report coming out of the WGA, plus a deeper look at setting and POV.

20 Questions with John and Craig

John and Craig open the listener mailbag and sprint through twenty questions in just under an hour.

Anatomy of a script

Robin Schiff and Winnie Holzman’s great discussion series “Anatomy of a Script” is starting up again in March, and highly recommended for film and TV writers wanting to learn more about the craft.

How credit arbitration works

John and Craig take an in-depth look at how screenwriting credits are determined. In some ways, credit arbitration is a luxury problem — the movie you wrote got made! — but it’s one of the most controversial, contentious and misunderstood parts of a screenwriter’s career.

How residuals get divided between writers

If two writers share a credit slot (like screenplay), that portion of residuals is split squarely between them.

How residuals work

Craig and John take a look at awards-season screeners before going deep into a discussion of how residuals work and why they’re so important to screenwriters. Plus, a visit from Craig’s cleaning lady, who thinks he’s insane.

Undervalued simplicity, and WGA coverage for videogames

John and Craig tackle reader questions about self distribution, pseudonyms, separated rights, and studios’ feelings about international versus domestic box office.

WGA, copyright and musicals

In episode five of Scriptnotes, Craig and I dive deep into the esoterica of the WGA, copyright and separated rights as prelude to a discussion of two ongoing lawsuits: Jessica Bendinger vs. the Bring It On musical and Harlan Ellison vs. In Time.

Pitching a take, and the WGA elections

Today marks the inaugural episode of Scriptnotes, a podcast that Craig Mazin and I are trying out. It’s meant to be a weekly-or-so conversation about items of interest to screenwriters, from getting stuff written to dealing with insane producers.

WGA Elections, 2011 Edition

WGA members should have received ballots this week for the 2011 election. You’ll see my name listed on several endorsements for candidates I think are terrific, but I also want to give a more general overview of the issues and personalities involved.

Anatomy of a script series

Every year, the Writers Guild Foundation holds a series of discussions with film and television writers focusing on one of their past or current projects. This year, I’ll be a guest, talking about Big Fish.