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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: March, 2012
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Mar 27, 2012

Craig and John offer advice on handling revisions once your screenplay moves into production.

Why do you lock pages? How do you add scenes once the script is locked? Why are some pages different colors? And what comes between page 15 and 15A?

Get it right, and it should be smooth sailing. Get it wrong, and you have a frustrated crew and a lot of cleanup.

Television series generate so many scripts that they generally have their own internal systems, with designated staffers to handle the process. But for small-to-medium-sized features, the screenwriter is the script department.

The good news is that it's usually pretty straightforward, especially if you follow some best practices to make life easier.

Also discussed this week: science fair projects, historic atrocities, and the origin of "wackiness ensues."

Standing on the shoulders of giants in episode 30 of Scriptnotes.

LINKS:

UPDATE 3-28-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Mar 19, 2012

Craig and John tackle five listener questions on topics ranging from greedy managers to lazy agents to throwing in the towel.

  • What happens when a manager wants to attach himself to your spec?
  • How much detail should a screenwriter provide about wardrobe?
  • When is it okay to give up on screenwriting?

Also discussed: St. Patrick's Day, The Book of Mormon (the musical), and the Koren/Eggers idiocy.

All this and Americans Against Mayonaise in the new Scriptnotes.

LINKS:

UPDATE 3-22-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Mar 13, 2012

John and Craig turn from the pen to the knife to talk through the whys and hows of cutting pages both the cosmetic trims and the deep cuts.

Your script is probably too long. Here's how to fix that.

Craig also discusses his WGA seminar on surviving the feature film development process, and his vision for a screenwriters training program analogous to the well-regarded TV showrunners program. He drafts John to teach one segment.

The last few minutes degenerate into a conversation about Skyrim, Arkham City, American Idol and uxoricide. So, be forewarned.

From killing your darlings to killing your wife, all in this week's Scriptnotes.

LINKS:

UPDATE 3-16-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Mar 6, 2012

Celebrating Leap Day, John and Craig play the game of "What If?" Specifically, what if we each were handed the reins of a major Hollywood studio?

We discuss what we'd movies we'd make, what standard practices we'd change, and how we'd address the shifting realities of movie-going and home video.

Could we really do it better? Doubtful. It's easy to play make-believe, but much tougher when you're reporting to a major multinational corporation.

Still, there are things that everyone seems to get wrong, and it's worth the conversation about what could be done better. And if any tech billionaires feel like investing, you know where to find us.

Before that long conversation, we answer a bunch of follow-up questions:

  • When optioning a novel, is there a rule of thumb for what percentage of the total purchase price the option should cover?
  • Does the WGA cover a novelist's based-on credit?
  • What does it mean when a novelist has a producer credit?
  • What is Daniel Wallace's role in the Broadway version of Big Fish?
  • What's to stop a screenwriter from writing a novel version of his spec, and then having his script be "based on" it?

All this and more in this episode of Scriptnotes.

LINKS:

UPDATE 3-8-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

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