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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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Now displaying: September, 2011
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Sep 26, 2011

In episode five of Scriptnotes, Craig and I dive deep into the esoterica of the WGA, copyright and separated rights as prelude to a discussion of two ongoing lawsuits: Jessica Bendinger vs. the Bring It On musical and Harlan Ellison vs. In Time.

Most installments of the podcast are very back-and-forth, but this is a case where Craig simply knows a lot more than I do, and can explain it better, so I shut up and let Professor Mazin do the talking.

The truth is, most screenwriters never need to worry about the vagaries of copyright and labor law that make our professions possible the same way cinematographers don't need to know the exact chemical formulations of developing baths, and gaffers don't worry about the overall power grid for Southern California.

But it's still good to be aware of the issues affecting your part of the industry, because small disruptions can ultimately have big consequences. In particular, I'm worried that a string of copyright-infringement cases could lead to situations analogous to the patent warfare happening in technology.

Links:

UPDATE 9-28-11: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Sep 16, 2011

In episode four of Scriptnotes, Craig and I discuss migraines, kidney stones and zombie apocalypse preparations before we segue to the main topic: how screenwriters work with directors, from the first meeting to on-set etiquette to giving notes in post.

Screenwriters and directors often come at a project from different directions. The writer is trying to explain the movie he's already written; the director is trying to explore the movie he's planning to make.

By understanding what a director wants and needs, you stand the best chance of getting your movie on screen in a way that satisfies both of you.

Links:

UPDATE 9-24-11: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Sep 12, 2011

This week, Craig and I follow up on our earlier comment about kids being the death of screenwriters, then dive into the process of outlining a script, from index cards to whiteboards to spreadsheets.

Along the way, we discuss Curious George, Torchwood and V.

Some links:

We're now listed in iTunes. You can subscribe here. Ratings and raves are welcome. Questions and feedback are much better posted below, since we can answer back.

We are also listed in Sticher and several other podcast directories. If you are using a third-party player, you can find the podcast feed here.

UPDATE 9-21-11: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Sep 6, 2011

For our second podcast, Craig Mazin and I decided to tackle the question we've both been ducking since we started our blogs: "How do I get an agent and/or manager?"

It's an intractable question because while most working screenwriters have representation, no two of them got it the same way. If you ask a panel of writers, you'll hear a series of anecdotes, but you won't get a better sense of what next steps you should take.

Craig compares it to losing your virginity, which seems fair. I opted to flip the question to ask, "How do I get the right agent or manager to notice me?"

We won't typically devote an entire episode to one issue, but this one seemed to require it.

In related podcast news:

  • We're now listed in iTunes. The first episode is up, and the rest will begin posting automatically. You can subscribe here.
  • Transcripts. Several days after an episode airs, you'll find the text of the podcast appended to the post (c.f. episode one).

Using a non-iTunes podcast reader? You can find the podcast feed here.

UPDATE 9-7-11: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

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