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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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Sep 20, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Sep 13, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Sep 6, 2016

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:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Aug 30, 2016

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:

You can download the episode here.

 

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.

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