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May 22, 2012

John and Craig open the listener mailbag and sprint through twenty questions in just under an hour.

➤ When John sets a timer for himself, what is his work/break interval sweet spot? (1:12)

➤ How do you break up with your manager? (2:16)

➤ Are there any tricks for organizing files when writing out of order? (3:42)

➤ Why join the WGA? (5:35)

➤ What "lingo" do Craig and John use in story meetings? (13:48)

➤ Will a writer be held back by English being her second language? (17:33)

➤ Is it better to release a short through festivals or by putting it online in parts? (19:37)

➤ Do John and Craig have tips for juggling multiple writing jobs? (21:17)

➤ What is a safe LA neighborhood with good schools for a writer/father who is making the move? (25:56)

➤ Do Craig and John's finished movies look like they imagined while they were writing them? (30:23)

➤ Is it a smart idea for a 23-year-old aspiring screenwriter to pick up and move to LA? (34:05)

➤ If a character's race is not specifically mentioned, why is he or she assumed white? (34:57)

➤ Is it okay to refer to specific actors while pitching? What about in the script itself? (39:12)

➤ How did John and Craig meet and decided to collaborate on Scriptnotes? (41:18)

➤ Are screenwriting contests or studio writers' programs the right step for a 30-year-old mother of one living in Ohio? (42:34)

➤ Why would anyone would want to become a screenwriter in today's studio climate? (46:38)

➤ If your spec pilot begs to be a premise pilot, is it better to use a non-pilot episode as your sample? (49:15)

➤ Why does page length change when converting files from Movie Magic to Final Draft? Which page count is correct? (51:29)

➤ If your historical epic has a lot of required backstory, is it okay to meet the protagonist on page 30? (53:41)

➤ Is there shame in running with an idea someone else freely posted online? (55:23)

All this and just slightly more on episode 38 of Scriptnotes.


UPDATE 5-24-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.