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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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May 24, 2016

John and Craig look at how the push to increase diversity in TV writing rooms impacts writers looking to staff for the first time.

Fan outrage over the death of a gay character – and the trope it perpetuates – has prompted an online pledge for writers. But is it a good idea? (Not really.)

We also take a look at three new entries in the Three Page Challenge, with visits to Koreatown, Silicon Valley and exploding Greek diners.

Lastly, a request: this podcast is named Scriptnotes, not ScriptNotes. The “n” isn’t supposed to be capitalized. Thanks!

Links:

You can download the episode here.

 

May 17, 2016

Remember the live show in Austin, when we promised we’d read one lucky listener’s script and talk about it on the air? This is that episode.

John and Craig talk with Amanda Morad about her pilot script Betty Bureau, offering praise, suggestions and a few next steps. You can read Amanda’s script in the links below.

We also answer a few short and simple questions about rights and clearances.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

May 11, 2016

John hosts Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creators Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom as they answer audience questions about their show and TV in general.

 

May 10, 2016

John talks with Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, about how they pitched and wrote their critically-acclaimed show.

We focus on the ways they introduced recurring characters in the pilot, and how casting influenced the series. Given recent controversy over casting of Asian roles, our discussion of the Josh Chan character feels particularly relevant.

This episode was recorded live as part of WGFestival 2016 Craft Day. Our thanks to the Writers Guild Foundation and The Academy for hosting us.

John deeply regrets passing up the opportunity to sing the West Covina reprise.

(The script for the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend pilot is available in Weekend Read.)

Links:

You can download the episode here.

May 3, 2016

John and Craig discuss open writing assignments, and how to best pitch to producers and studios looking to hire a writer for a specific property. Most of the work happens before you set foot in the room, so proper planning is essential.

Then we take a look at the controversy over white actors playing roles that could have gone to Asian actors, and how screenwriters can (and can’t) improve the situation.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Apr 26, 2016

John and Craig sit down with screenwriting legend Lawrence Kasdan to discuss Star Wars, Raiders, The Bodyguard and how he’s shaped some of the most iconic big-screen stories and characters of our lifetime.

This 90-minute interview comes as part of WGFestival 2016 Craft Day, and features audience questions as well. Our thanks to the Writers Guild Foundation and the Academy for hosting us.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Apr 25, 2016

John interviews JUNGLE BOOK screenwriter Justin Marks after the WGA screening of his film.

We discuss the film's unusual genesis, which more closely resembled how animated films are made than live action. The hybrid development process carried over into production, with Justin continually rewriting as the film was shot twice, first with motion capture, then with live-action elements.

It's a great look into how this innovative film was made – and likely a preview into how films will be made in the future.

Also includes audience Q&A.

Apr 21, 2016

In this special mini-episode, Craig and John tackle the gold standard and why economists think it’s a flat-out terrible idea.

 

We don’t discuss screenwriting at all, so feel free to skip this one if monetary theory doesn’t interest you.

 

This episode is mostly to verify that minor changes to our workflow haven’t messed up the Scriptnotes feed. If for some reason this episode doesn’t show up in your regular podcasting app, please let us know at the ask@johnaugust.com account (and re-add it in iTunes).

 

Next week, we’ll be back with our long-anticipated interview with Lawrence Kasdan.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here.

Apr 19, 2016

John and Craig welcome writer-director Lorene Scafaria to talk about her new movie The Meddler and some of the unique challenges faced by female directors.

 

She joins us as we play a new round of How Would This Be a Movie, tackling global hums, killer grannies and airport conspiracies. We also discuss movies that are often used as shorthand in Hollywood, from Raiders to Die Hard to Midnight Run. (But never The ‘Burbs.)

 

Next week we’ll be making minor server changes. If for some reason the next episode doesn’t automatically appear in your podcast app next Tuesday, you may need to resubscribe. Sorry, but it will be worth it to listen to special guest Lawrence Kasdan.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Apr 12, 2016

John and Craig look at the non-screenplay things screenwriters end up writing, most notably outlines and treatments. We discuss some of the ones we’ve written (with examples), and offer advice on writing your own.

 

Also, how do you deal with sudden success? And what should a writer-director say when talking to a Very Famous Actress about starring in his movie?

 

Our live conversation with Lawrence Kasdan is this Saturday! Find out more about the all-day Craft Day featuring many previous (and future) Scriptnotes guests in the links below.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

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