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

305 - Forever Young and Stupid  

Craig and John take on a new Three Page Challenge, looking at three listener scenes to see if they follow the exacting rules set by Screenwriters University. (Ahem.)

We also answer listener questions on vintage screenplays, maturity, Smash Brothers and writing with a budget in mind.

Links:

Sony Won’t Release Clean Versions of Films if Directors Disapprove The History of the Screenplay Steve Zissis Three Pages by Wyatt Cain Three Pages by Azhur Saleem Three Pages by Ashley Sanders Sarah Silverman - A Speck of Dust Mark Gatiss John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Sam Brady (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

304 - Location Is Where It's At  

Craig and John look at how screenwriters describe locations, and how these choices impact production and the final product. Plus, we discuss how podcasts have become a new source of IP for adaptations.

Finally, we address how to deal with the note to make your characters "more likeable."

Links:

Screenwriters University Clean Movie Versions Homecoming Alex, Inc. Paris Circle Map Roman Roads Monument Valley 2 Human Resource Machine John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Rajesh Naroth (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

303 - 75% of Nothing  

Craig and John answer listener questions about writer agreements, videogame properties, and page one rewrites.

How should a writer decide whether it’s better to keep revising an unmade project, or start on something new? We try to offer guidelines for when to buckle down and when to move on.

Also, John coins a new term that will forever change film studies.

Links:

Scriptnotes Midnight Blue T-Shirt Portal: No Escape (Live Action Short Film by Dan Trachtenberg) This is why you want a writer’s agreement WGA Collaboration Agreement Rebecca Solnit: The Loneliness Of Donald Trump Faraway Puzzle Escape John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Rajesh Naroth (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

302 - Let's Make Some Oscar Bait  

In a new installment of How Would This Be a Movie, John and Craig take a look at three stories in the news to discuss how to adapt them into award-winning movies.

We also discuss why the studios are allowed to negotiate as one for the WGA contract.

Midnight Blue Scriptnotes shirts are back up at Cotton Bureau for a short time, so don’t miss out. Link below.

Links:

Scriptnotes Midnight Blue T-Shirt The Seed Vault is Fine You May Want to Marry My Husband Scriptnotes, Episode 293: Underground Railroad of Love The Beleaguered Tenants of ‘Kushnerville’ My Family’s Slave The Mystery of the Wasting House-Cats Dear Mr Darcy John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro Dear Mr Darcy by Esther Longhurst and Jessica Messenger (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

301 - The Addams Family  

Craig and John look at The Addams Family -- not just the 1991 film and its sequel, but the property itself to see what lessons we can learn when adapting for the big screen.

We also answer listener questions on what makes a scene work and writing pilots based on existing IP.

Links:

Addams Family TV Show Opening The Addams Family Official Trailer Addams Family Values Trailer The Moon And Me Master of None - Season 2 | Official Trailer New Paint Colors Invented by Neural Network John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Rajesh Naroth (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

300 - From Writer to Writer-Director  

Chris McQuarrie (THE USUAL SUSPECTS, VALKYRIE) joins us to talk through how he went from writing giant movies to directing them.

We talk about the pitfalls directors face as they move from indie features to tentpoles, and the advice he gives them. Chris is currently, and conveniently, in Paris directing the next Mission: Impossible.

Links:

Chris McQuarrie Valkyrie Official Trailer Mission Impossible 5 - Rogue Nation AutoDraw Zip Zap Fidget Cube Chris McQuarrie on Twitter John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Rajesh Naroth (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

299 - It's Always Sunny in Star Wars  

Craig and guest host Dana Fox welcome Rob McElhenney (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) to the live show at the Arclight. The four discuss breaking into Hollywood, handling rejection and sticking to your vision as a writer/director.

We also answer audience questions on motivation and holding onto hope.

Links:

Rob McElhenney It's Always Sunny: The Gang Tends Bar Rian Johnson Looper Trailer The Last Jedi Trailer Dana Fox John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

298 - How Characters Move  

Craig and John take on a new round of Three Page Challenges. There’s a fat “Elvis,” a bounty hunter White Rabbit, and a guy locked in the trunk of a speeding Mustang.

We also look at how characters move, and how screenwriters can use character movement to their benefit.

Links:

Three Pages by Ted Wilkes Three Pages by Gerald Decker Three Pages by Phillip Rogers Kent Handmade Moustache Comb A Large-Scale Analysis of Technical Support Scams John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Andres Cantor (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

297 - Free-Agent Franchises  

Craig and John investigate the future of the 007 franchise, script-reading robots, and the realities of overhauling a movie in the editing room.

We also look at another How Would This Be a Movie idea turning into reality.

The live show at ArcLight is a week away and tickets are almost sold out. Get yours now!

Links:

Scriptnotes, Episode 214: Clerks and Recreation French Train Bros Scriptnotes, Episode 232: Fun with Numbers ScriptBook ScriptBook Sample Coverage The Battle for James Bond Passengers, Rearranged Important, Not Important Stephen King Pop Songs Pinball Arcade: The Addams Family John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Rajesh Naroth (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

296 - Television with Damon Lindelof  

John sits down with Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) for a bonus-length discussion of all things TV.

We focus on getting that first job, breaking story, and how writing rooms work. We also answer listener questions ranging from knowing when to let a pilot script die, to crediting original ideas.

Finally, we talk about the notion of Idea Debt, and how to say goodbye to projects you’ll never complete.

Links:

Damon Lindelof The Leftovers: Final Season Trailer Jessica Abel on Idea Debt How I Got Out of Idea Debt by John Sexton Occupied City Girl John Hodgman's Only Child John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Rajesh Naroth (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

We’re voting yes. But.  

In this special mini-episode, John and Craig talk through the upcoming WGA strike authorization vote — what it actually means, and why they’re both voting yes.

Voting begins Tuesday in person, and Wednesday online.

We also discuss how strike authorization votes are a strange bit of negotiation theater, which Craig in particular would like to see end.

Links:

Scriptnotes, Episode 289: WGA Negotiations 101 WGA Strike Authorization

You can download the episode here.

 

295 - The Return of Malcolm  

Malcolm Spellman returns to help us answer a bunch of listener questions, including the most important one: what’s Malcolm up to? (Warning! Adult language.)

Along the way, topics include sex on screen, bad managers, and thanking the writer.

Tickets for the live show are now sale! Visit Hollywood Heart to get yours.

Links:

Scriptnotes Live Show Tickets The Hatton Garden Job Patrick Lenton's Dog Story MLB The Show 17 Fantastic Negrito Malcolm Spellman on Twitter John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Jeff Bayson (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

294 - Getting the Details Wrong  

Craig and John discuss chess, bad news, baseball, God, and screenwriting competitions.

We also share exciting news about the live show, now scheduled for May 1st in Hollywood.

Links:

The Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest Adam Sternbergh's Tweet Good Times - DAMN DAAAMN DAAAAAAMN Jonathan Coulton - All This Time Portal - 'Still Alive' Every Noise At Once John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Ben Singer (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

99 - Psychotherapy for Screenwriters  

A pernicious cold has stolen John's voice, so he and Craig reach into the vault to unearth their conversation with screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo, in which they discuss writer’s block, procrastination, partnerships and more. It’s a can’t-miss episode for aspiring writers and professionals alike.

In fact, this was most-reviewed episode in the still-nascent Listeners’ Guide. We’ve included a few of the reviews to give you a taste.

Links:

Dennis Palumbo, author and psychotherapist Dennis's book Night Terrors: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery on Amazon Impostor Syndrome on Wikipedia The Imposter Paper Karma helps you control your mailbox The Secret in Their Eyes John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Stuart Friedel (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

293 - Underground Railroad of Love  

Special guest Irene Turner joins Craig and John for a new round of “How Would This Be a Movie?”

In this episode, we look at Jake Halpern’s article on Canada-bound refugees, Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s moving personal ad for her husband, and the porn-filled saga of Prenda Law.

Irene’s latest film, The Most Hated Woman in America, debuts March 24th on Netflix.

Stay tuned after the closing credits for a bonus segment from the new rom-com podcast You Had Us at Hello by Tess Morris and Billy Mernit.

Links:

Most Hated Woman in America | Official Trailer The New Underground Railroad A Safe House for Refugees You May Want to Marry My Husband Prenda, Copyright and Porn Prenda Law Couch to 5K 5K to 10K You Had Us At Hello I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore Irene Turner on Twitter John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Victor Krause (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

292 - Question Time  

John and Craig answer listener questions about credits and casting, pilots and professional experience. Does Tom Ford really need his name on the poster twice? Kinda. It’s complicated.

The live show with Rian Johnson has been postponed, likely to April. We’ll keep you posted.

Links:

Scriptnotes Listener Guide The Vanity Credit Turns 100 "The Cunning “American Bitch” Episode of “Girls”" Stop John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

291 - California Cannibal Cults  

It's a new Three Page Challenge, where John and Craig take a look at listeners' scenes and offer their honest critique.

We also discuss techniques for letting the audience know your characters' names. Plus, Craig has been stockpiling his umbrage for weeks, and may have found a worthy target.

Huge thanks to special guest narrator Elizabeth Banks.

Links:

ScriptShadow Scriptnotes Listener Guide Three Pages by John Lambert Three Pages by Nathaniel Nauert Three Pages by Alexandra Gioulakis Jack Thorne Beat The Boss 3-in-1 J8 phone Prison Phones and the FCC John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Panic Moon (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

290 - The Social Media Episode  

Craig and John discuss how and whether screenwriters should use social media.

We also invite longtime listeners to tell us which episodes are worth pointing out to newcomers, and answer a listener question on writing short films.

Links:

UltraViolet Stop Using Filler Words Homeopathic Teething Tablets Scriptnotes Listener Guide Fruji It's Not About The Nail Archive.org Ballotpedia Rusty Lake: Roots John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Eric Pearson (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

289 - WGA Negotiations 101  

Craig and John take a deep dive looking at how the Writers Guild attempts to make a deal with the studios on behalf of film and TV writers.

Then we answer listener questions about writing for producers versus writing for the audience, and last steps when finishing up a script.

Links:

Kellyanne Conway’s interview tricks, explained On shared false memories Allison Schroeder Avoid a Screenwriting Trap: No Film School article Greece Fran Bow John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Kristian Gotthelf (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

288 - Betty, Veronica and Craig  

John and Craig look at what screenwriters can pick up from Kellyanne Conway, plus what John learned from going through the copy-editing process on his book.

We also answer listener questions about moving to Los Angeles and whether to use a pen name.

Links:

Riverdale Promo Kellyanne Conway Google Ngram viewer for toward, towards Spare-A-Rose Campaign Eurostar Snap John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Panic Moon (send us yours!)

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

0:00/0:00
Video player is in betaClose