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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: 2012
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Dec 25, 2012

It's Christmas, so John and Craig are exchanging the gift of answers, tackling listener questions on topics ranging from musical books to punch-up sessions.

December is also Black List season, and we're happy to see some familiar names among the most-liked screenplays this year, including a Three Page Challenge entrant.

John's long-in-the-works Karateka is finally in the App Store, ready for purchase, while Craig's trailer for Identity Thief just dropped. So pour yourself a glass of Craig's most despised holiday beverage and join us for episode 69 (tee-hee) of Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting.

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UPDATE 12-30-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Dec 18, 2012

Craig and John chat with Lindsay Doran, a producer and former studio exec who's made terrific movies, ranging from Sense and Sensibility to Stranger than Fiction.

Topics include the role of producers, developing scripts with screenwriters, and the importance of good hair.

UPDATE 12-19-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Dec 11, 2012

John and Craig talk about perspective both within a scene and the overall story. It's not always obvious to the reader which characters are in the driver's seat, so it falls on the screenwriter to make that clear.

We have four new Three Page Challenges this week, with genres ranging from horror to sex comedy. John begs you to never try to establish a character's backstory by featuring them on a magazine cover.

All this, plus an update on John's experience writing his most recent script entirely in Fountain, in episode 67 of Scriptnotes.

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UPDATE 12-14-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Dec 4, 2012

Craig and John take a break from writing scripts to talk about how screenwriters should read scripts. Paper or iPad? Single or double-sided? And how do you keep track of your notes for future conversations?

Then it's a session of roleplaying and maximum umbrage as we look at the logic and fallacies behind one-step deals for screenwriters.

Cleansing our palette, we look at Skyfall. Spoilers, folks. Spoilers!

Craig closes the podcast with a remembrance of his friend, screenwriter Don Rhymer, who died last week after a long and wittily-observed battle with cancer.

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UPDATE 12-7-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Nov 27, 2012

John and Craig talk about everything that comes after the oft-discussed First Three Pages, speculating on the kinds of issues they'd spot if they were looking at full scripts.

They also answer listener questions on topics ranging from proper spacing protocol to novelists rewriting their screenplay adaptations.

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UPDATE 11-29-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Nov 20, 2012

Screenwriters Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein sit down with John and Craig to talk about writing movies, writing television and writing together.

We met at the Austin Film Festival, which is where we recorded this episode. Both John and Craig assumed Abby and Marc were a couple but it's a lot more complicated than that, and any screenwriting teams who have considered sharing more than an ampersand will want to listen to the details.

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UPDATE 11-24-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Nov 13, 2012

Craig and John dive back into the Three Page Challenge entries, along with an overview of the 500+ contenders that have been submitted.

In response to listener curiosity, John and Craig also talk about their recording set-ups, and then follow-up on Star Wars, Karateka and Derek Haas's busy schedule.

All this and more on the 63rd installment of Scriptnotes.

(Note: Moreso than most weeks, we have a lot of links to stuff on Amazon. If you buy through them, you'll help pay for some of our bandwidth costs.)

UPDATE 11-16-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Nov 6, 2012

John and Craig discuss the big movie news of the week: Disney buying Lucasfilm, and with it, the rights to Star Wars.

Everyone's already talked about what it means for fans and stock prices, but what does it mean for screenwriters? It could lead to new jobs creating extensions to the Star Wars universe both in film and television but does the reliance on giant brands make it harder to create the next culturally-defining franchise?

On the topic of new old things, John has his first-ever videogame coming out tomorrow on Xbox: Karateka, a reinvention of Jordan Mechner's seminal fighting game from the 1980s. He talks about the challenges of making an indie game and what his role was as an executive producer.

From there, we answer listener questions. Is it okay to love your own writing? How young is too young to write a screenplay? What can be done about a 212 page script? And what does "going out wide" with a spec script really mean?

All this and more in episode 62 of Scriptnotes.

Special thanks to everyone who's rated us and left comments in iTunes. They help new users find us, so if you haven't left one recently, drop us a line.

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UPDATE 11-9-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Oct 30, 2012

Craig and John ret-con the Austin Film Festival, placing themselves on panels in which they didn't participate. It's a chance to give the answers they would have given without the bother of being asked (or listening to other people's opinions).

For example, Terry Rossio's seminar on "The Throw" his term for how you end a scene was presumably terrific. We didn't attend, but it's fun to spitball what we would have said about this interesting and under-discussed aspect of screenwriting.

Other topics discussed this week include:

  • Setiquette
  • Kyle Killen's secret shower
  • Videogame storytelling
  • Amazon Studios
  • Pilots vs. presentations

Happy Halloween, everyone. Stay safe and dry.

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UPDATE 11-2-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Oct 23, 2012

Recording live at the Austin Film Festival, John and Craig take a look at The Black List's pivot to a paid site, and what it means for screenwriters and the industry. Black List creator Franklin Leonard joins us for questions and criticism.

Next, screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, We Bought a Zoo) joins us to talk about the difference between Movie Stories and A Stack of Scenes. She stays with us to answer live questions from the audience.

Big thanks to both of our guests our first ones ever and to AFF for hosting the event. We had a blast, and hope to do more live events in the future.

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UPDATE 10-25-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

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