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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: April, 2012
Get access to all episodes from SCRIPTNOTES for just 1.99 a month with Premium Access through MyLibsyn.
Apr 24, 2012

Craig and John take a brief look at the misguided Girls backlash and complaints about nepotism in Hollywood, before segueing to a bigger discussion of spec scripts and positioning:

  • What are "spec farms," and how can you avoid them?
  • What should you do if you and your reps/producers disagree about whether your script is ready to send out?
  • Is it a good idea to post your script online?
  • How should you introduce characters in an ensemble? How many is too many?

Todo esto y más en el 34° episodio de Scriptnotes.

LINKS:

UPDATE 4-26-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Apr 17, 2012

Craig and John just have to talk about the double-barrel craziness of the Joe Eszterhas/Mel Gibson spat. How often do you have screenwriters lobbing incendiary accusations at movie stars?

Well, pretty often, actually. But almost never so publicly. And the already-certifiable, formerly-A-list-ness of it all makes it especially gossip-worthy, so forgive us if we go on for a while.

That settled, we follow up on the Amazon Studios deal and what it means for screenwriters not currently in the WGA. One listener calls Craig an idiot, which leads to a discussion about what "professional screenwriting" even means.

John wants aspiring screenwriters to stop using the term "breaking in," because it doesn't accurately reflect the early stages of a writer's career. Meanwhile, Craig takes umbrage at the idea of "trust fund screenwriters."

We end with some questions and answers:

  • What is a screenwriter's quote, and how does it get determined?
  • How do international screenwriters get U.S. visas?
  • Can animation writers get WGA coverage?

All this and more in the new Scriptnotes.

LINKS:

UPDATE 4-19-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Apr 10, 2012

Craig and John answer questions about specificity, television and what to do when your great idea sounds too much like a movie that's already been made.

The big news this week is potentially very big news: Amazon Studios has completely revamped their business model, ditching the terrible parts and transforming into something potentially very good for writers. Notably, Amazon is now a WGA signatory, which offers the promise of residuals and credit protection for screenwriters.

Will it work? It's too early to say. But when a new player with deep pockets enters the film industry, it often helps loosen the purse strings. More importantly, the Amazon deal sets a precedent for other tech companies considering taking the plunge.

Along the way, Craig talks about directing and John takes his daughter to work. All this and more in this episode of Scriptnotes.

LINKS:

UPDATE 4-12-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Apr 3, 2012

Craig and John take a look at Toph Eggers's apology, which segues to a discussion of apologies in general and laugh tracks.

The bulk of the episode is spent on listener questions:

  • After making a spec sale, what should a writing team do next?
  • When handing in a rewrite, should you preface your changes in an email?
  • How do you handle file-keeping with multiple projects and drafts?
  • What is a "spec script auction?"
  • What do you do when your manager keeps pushing you to write things you're not interested in?
  • How do you format verse (like Shakespeare) when it's used as dialogue?
  • What do you do when your scene has 23 characters in it?

All this and more in this week's Scriptnotes.

LINKS:

UPDATE 4-5-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

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