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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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Aug 23, 2016

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:

You can download the episode here.

 

Aug 16, 2016

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:

You can download the episode here.

 

Aug 9, 2016

John and Craig apply the principles of Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” to screenwriting. How can screenwriters learn to let go of beloved scenes, characters, and entire scripts?

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

Links:

You can download the episode here.

 

Aug 2, 2016

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.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 8–5–16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

 

Jul 26, 2016

John and Craig implore screenwriters to think twice before using the phrase "begs the question.” We know it’s a losing battle, but if we learned anything from 300, sometimes those are still worth having.

We then dive into one of our favorite features, How Would This Be a Movie, looking at listener-suggested stories about anthrax, amnesia and atomic veterans.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 8–1–16: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

 

Jul 19, 2016

Matt Selman (EP of The Simpsons) sits down with Scriptnotes favorites Aline Brosh McKenna and Rawson Marshall Thurber to discuss what went down in the season finale.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Jul 19, 2016

In the season finale of Scriptnotes, John and Craig reveal big changes to the podcast.

After five years, a much-loved supporting character is leaving the show. We look back at his time with us, what he learned and what he’ll take with him to his new screenwriting adventures.

Meanwhile, one of the hosts is leaving Los Angeles entirely. We discuss what’s taking him to a different time zone and the impact it will have on the show.

Finally, a fresh voice joins the podcast, bringing an international flavor and a name worthy of NPR.

If all these changes sound scary, please be assured we’ll be back next week with the start of a new season.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Jul 12, 2016

John and Craig take a look at three new entries in the Three Page Challenge, with scripts tackling kidnapping, dystopia and parkour hackers. We look at both how the writing works on the page, and what the writers seem to be trying to say.

We also answer listener questions about the increased visibility of characters with disabilities on screen, and the differences between the two WGAs.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Jul 5, 2016

Craig and John look at unforgettable villains, screenwriter billions, and a parallel world with two Nathan Fillions. (The last part is not true.)

We also dig into more about magical dad transformation comedies and why there isn’t a female equivalent.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Jun 28, 2016

John and Craig consider a new master class in screenwriting taught by Aaron Sorkin, and a very old Greek word (anagnorisis) championed by Aristotle. Both are useful!

Then it’s a look at what we mean by “originality,” including a very useful litmus test provided by Lindsay Doran.

Reminder that the 250-epsiode Scriptnotes USB drives are now available. Find the link below.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

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