Scriptnotes Podcast

Scriptnotes Podcast

Denmark

Screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry, everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law.

Episodes

278 - Revenge of the Clams  

John and Craig look at phrases that have been banned from comedy writing rooms, and more generally why making a list of what you will never do can help you figure out what you should do.

We also answer listener questions about character names, life rights and sticking to a genre.

Links:

Scriptnotes Midnight Blue T-shirt Scriptnotes Gold Standard T-shirt No, Gotham, That’s Not How Tightropes Work Jay Allan Zimmerman's Broadway Concert John Quaintance's Tweet The List of Clams The Good Place on NBC Mike on Join Us in France Watch Dogs 2 Trailer John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Eric Pearson (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

277 - Fantasy and Reality  

Craig and John look at how writers, and screenwriters in particular, impact the way people think about things in the real world. From crime scenes to courtrooms to CPR, we simplify things for storytelling and leave audiences with skewed expectations.

In follow up, Craig invited Final Draft into his life (and office), actors' accents got analyzed, and more news came out about fake news.

We also be answer listener questions about LA neighborhoods and the gulf between getting read and getting paid.

Links:

The Black Widow "I’ve Been Making Viral Fake News for the Last Six Months..." Dialect coach Erik Singer Wendy Zukerman on Science Vs. The CSI Effect FTC Labeling Alan Levinowitz for Slate: Will labels backfire? Duolingo How to carve a turkey John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Victor Krause (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

276 - Mammoths of Mercy  

Writer-director Chris Sparling joins John and Craig to discuss his new film Mercy, and what it’s like to make a movie for Netflix. Then it’s another round of How Would This Be a Movie, with stories including ex-girlfriends, fake news, and permafrost ivory.

Plus we answer listener questions on cosplay, criticism and parallel structures.

Links:

Mercy Trailer Dear Mike’s New Girlfriend How a Fake News Writer Earned Donald Trump the White House 9 'Onion' Articles Taken Seriously How One Amazon Kindle Scam Made Millions of Dollars The Mammoth Pirates Seasonal Flu Shot USB-C Rise of the Boogeyman John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Pedro Aguilera (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

175 - Twelve Days of Scriptnotes  

In this very special episode from 2014, Craig and John welcome special guests Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom, B.J. Novak, Jane Espenson and Derek Haas to talk about writing books, movies and especially television.

Aline and Rachel just finished shooting a pilot called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. We discuss the genesis of the project, and how sexism is just stupid.

B.J. tells us about the joy of reading Inglorious Basterds, and how the key to success is apparently editing your high school newspaper.

Jane and Derek teach us what really goes on in the writers room, from secret lingo to codes of silence.

Plus there are songs!

Recorded with a live audience at LA Film School as a benefit for the Writers Guild Foundation. Huge thanks to everyone who came and supported the show.

Links:

The Writers Guild Foundation Aline Brosh McKenna on episodes 60, 76, 100, 101, 119, 123, 124 152, and 161 For Universal Pictures, Zero Blockbusters Equals Record Profits on Forbes Showtime Nabs Comedy With Musical Elements From Aline Brosh McKenna on Deadline Rachel Bloom and on IMDb and YouTube B.J. Novak and on IMDb The Book With No Pictures and One More Thing, both by B.J. Novak Jane Espenson and on IMDb Derek Haas and on IMDb and episode 83 Aaron Sorkin sad that Newsroom writer’s objection to rape plot violated his privacy on A.V. Club Intro by Scriptnotes editor Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!)

You can download the episode here:

 

This Feeling Will End  

In this Scriptnotes Extra, Craig and John discuss the melting dread they experienced this morning and hopefully offer some succor.

You can download the episode here.

 

275 - English is not Latin  

John and Craig look at how movies and TV shape the English language, and how writers should think about their role in all of this. We also examine the uncomfortable overlap between rom-com characters and stalkers.

We are coming to you one day earlier than usual because Tuesday, as you may have heard, is an election in the US. And perhaps you’re looking for something to distract yourself from that horrible business.

But Americans, please vote.

Links:

Scriptnotes Gold Standard T-shirt Scriptnotes Midnight Blue T-shirt Michael Sheen on 30 Rock Philadelphia Story Robert Lowth Megan Garber in The Atlantic Stalking Is Love “How to Talk to a Woman Who is Wearing Headphones” Time Travel: A History by James Gleick on Amazon Maanasa Mendu John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Eric Pearson (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

274 - Welcome to Gator Country  

Craig and John listen to the winner of the Austin Film Festival’s pitch competition and discuss what makes it work so well – and why you would never give this form of a pitch in an actual meeting.

Then it’s another round of the Three Page Challenge, with three special guest readers, one of whom Craig likes far too much.

Last call! The all-new 2016 Scriptnotes t-shirts are available for limited pre-order. If you miss out, you’ll have nothing to wear for 12 months. You only have a few days left, so get clicking!

Links:

Scriptnotes Gold Standard T-shirt Scriptnotes Midnight Blue T-shirt Three Pages by Christopher Rock & JR Mallon Three Pages by Astride Noel Three Pages by Isaac Lipnick Harry Potter and the Translator’s Nightmare The Americans on FX UGG Ascot Slippers on Amazon John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Rich Woodson (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

273 - What is a Career in Screenwriting Like?  

John and Craig answer listener questions from our overflowing mail bag on topics including comedy round tables, getting rewritten, coffee meetings, and what comes after moving to Los Angeles.

To kick it off, we try (well, John tries) to help a high school senior with his class assignment.

The all-new 2016 Scriptnotes t-shirts are available for limited pre-order. If you miss out, you’ll have nothing to wear for 12 months. So don’t wait.

Links:

Scriptnotes Gold Standard T-shirt Scriptnotes Midnight Blue T-shirt Understanding the Spectrum Gil Elvgren’s Pin-Up Girls Erin Hallagan on Twitter John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Ben Grimes (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

272 - The Secret Live Show in Austin  

Craig sits down for a late-night session with screenwriters Katie Dippold, Phil Hay, Tess Morris and Malcolm Spellman to finally answer the question, “How does anyone make it in Hollywood.” Plus questions from the packed audience at the Austin Film Festival.

Thanks to our guests, our audience, and our hosts at AFF for a great night.

Links:

Katie Dippold on IMDB Phil Hay on IMDB Tess Morris on IMDB Malcolm Spellman on IMDB John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

271 - Buckling Down  

John and Craig discuss the psychological barriers facing writers tackling big projects, and offer practical guidance for getting stuff written.

We also respond to a listener question about autism spectrum disorder and how it might impact a screenwriting career.

Links:

Forest and Nature Ambiance Snowstorm Ambiance Howling Wind Ambiance Julia Roberts to Star in PTA Mom Film Chuck Wendig Blog Wikitravel Writers Guild Foundation Poker John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Pedro Aguilera (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

270 - John Lee Hancock  

Craig enlists the help of another John (Lee Hancock) to hold down the fort with regular John away. The two discuss JLH’s career, starting out as a lawyer in Texas and breaking into the film industry as a writer and director.

We also answer listener questions on mystery, copyright and collaboration.

Links:

John Lee Hancock A Soft Murmur Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Tim Gerth (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

269 - Mystery Vs. Confusion  

John and Craig compare mystery and confusion, and how you can have more of the former with less of the latter. We use these lessons as we look at three new entries in the Three Page Challenge.

We also answer listener questions on flashbacks and capitalizing on festival success.

Links:

Three Pages by Gabrielle Mentjox Three Pages by Jesse Gouldsbury & Brendan Steere Three Pages by Mitchell LeBlanc Send us your Three Pages Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Jeff Probst John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

268 - (Sometimes) You Need a Montage  

John and Craig come to the defense of montages in screenwriting, giving examples of how and when the much-maligned device can be employed to benefit the story.

We also share our thoughts on the latest incarnation of Final Draft, plus new listener questions on sex scenes and resuscitating old scripts.

Links:

Starting a Screenwriting Career Outside of LA, New York or London AFF Pitch Contest On Story Book The Henley Regatta in The Social Network Witness Barn Scene Invasive by Chuck Wendig The Marvel Symphonic Universe John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Rajesh Naroth (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

267 - Dig Two Graves  

John and Craig reprise their roles as development execs in “How Would This Be a Movie?” Looking at four true crime stories, the duo discuss what makes a great screenplay idea, and conversely, which stories work better as a serialized TV drama.

We also attempt to brighten the spirits of aspiring writers living outside of LA, New York and London, sharing the experiences of Scriptnotes listeners across the globe who have found their way into the Hollywood system from abroad.

Links:

Writing for Hollywood Without Living There Florence Nightingale and The Woman in Disguise The Perfect Mom Amateur Sleuth Revenge in Irvine How to Tell a Mother Her Child is Dead Obduction John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by Rajesh Naroth (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

266 - Stranger Things and Other Things  

John and Craig dive into Netflix’s Stranger Things, discussing how macro writing decisions contributed to the show’s success. (There are inevitably some spoilers, so if you haven't seen it yet, you can skip from the start of that segment to the next one, which begins at 41:22.)

We also look at the upcoming WGA election and the candidates.

Next week, we will be doing a new installment of How Would This Be a Movie, so follow the links below to read ahead.

SPOILER ALERT: If you’re still to watch Stranger Things, skip CHAPTER SIX (15:13 to 41:22).

Links:

The Nicholl Fellowships Stranger Things Trailer WGA Election Florence Nightingale and The Woman in Disguise - suggested by Craig Mazin The Perfect Mom - suggested by Brett Thomas in Sacramento Amateur Sleuth - suggested by Rachael Speal Revenge in Irvine - suggested by Phil Hay Angelo Badalamenti explains how he wrote “Laura Palmer’s Theme” HD 164595 John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter Get your 250 episode USB Find past episodes Outro by John Venable (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

265 - Sheep Crossing Roads  

John and Craig discuss obstacles, those things your characters hate but desperately need.

We also follow up on the great Peter Dodd episode and answer listener questions on writing action, anecdotes as IP and other topics.

Links:

Scriptnotes, 264: The One With the Agent The 100 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Screenwriting Rawson Thurber on IMDB Aaron Sorkin’s Masterclass Gone Girl Screenplay Analysis Sara Benincasa: Why Am I So Fat? Nuka World! John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter Outro by Matt Davis (send us yours!)

You can download the episode here.

 

264 - The One With the Agent  

Craig and John speak with agent Peter Dodd about what he looks for in a writer client, and how he sees the relationships between writers and agents and managers and executives.

We ask all the questions: How does he find new writers? Do competitions matter? How about query letters? And once he has a script in his hands, how much does he read before he knows if wants to sign the writer as a client? Peter answers everything candidly. Even we gasped a few times.

Links:

Science Vs. Uppercut Deluxe Beard Balm Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar Get your 250 episode USB John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter Outro by Roman Mittermayr (send us yours!)

You can download the episode here.

 

263 - Frequently Asked Questions about Screenwriting  

John and Craig introduce “The 100 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Screenwriting,” a curation of questions from screenwriting.io.

We also take on the Three Page Challenge, with stories from Sinaloa, Mexico to the mind of Mark Twain.

Links:

Gen Con True Dungeon The Katering Show Download The 100 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Screenwriting Three Pages by Salvador Medina Three Pages by Laura Bailey Three Pages by Tim Plaehn Send us your Three Pages The Greenland Shark The Suicide Molecule John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter Outro by Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!)

You can download the episode here.

 

262 - Tidy Screenwriting  

We also answer listener questions, including the recent plagiarism ruling in favor of John Carpenter in a French court.

261 - Don't Think Twice  

Craig and guest host Mike Birbiglia discuss Mike’s new film, Don’t Think Twice, a comedy about life as an improv performer. The two explore the current state of independent film and the challenges facing aspiring filmmakers.

Craig and Mike also answer listener questions, including one on assassinating a fictional president.

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