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Scriptnotes Podcast

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.
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Dec 6, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Nov 29, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Nov 22, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Nov 15, 2016

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:

You can download the episode here:

 

Nov 10, 2016

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.

 

Nov 7, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Nov 1, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Oct 25, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Oct 18, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Oct 11, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

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