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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, 2013
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Apr 30, 2013

John and Craig discuss when to stop rewriting a project and accept that it's just not going to become a movie. Then we go bigger to look at when to give up on the dream of being a screenwriter -- which starts with a hard look at why people seek out the career in the first place.

Also in this episode, we talk reviews and the virtues of not reading them, plus a look at Zach Braff's Kickstarter situation.

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UPDATE 5-5-13: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Apr 23, 2013

Craig leads the discussion on how to survive a notes meeting. As screenwriters, our instinct is to defend, deny and debate -- but these are almost always the wrong choice. By reframing the discussion about the movie rather than the script, you can often end up at a better place.

From there, John opens the listener mailbag so we can answer questions about cheating scene description and romantic obsession. Plus we talk about Slugline, Highland, Final Draft and the plethora of screenwriting apps available to screenwriters today.

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UPDATE 4-28-13: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Apr 16, 2013

John and Craig discuss the odd dislocation writers experience when writing movies in coffeeshops and windowless offices. We're literally "someplace else" with our characters, but learning how to work in less-than-ideal circumstances is part of the screenwriter's trade.

Then it's another round of Three Page Challenges, wherein we wrestle with the question of why "two months earlier" keeps cropping up. Whatever the reason: stop it.

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UPDATE 4-21-13: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Apr 9, 2013

Craig and John look at two recent court decisions that could have a big impact on how movies get sold and resold and how writers get paid. First-Sale Doctrine is one of those intractable issues that involves freedom and control, bits and atoms, creators and consumers.

From there, we take a look at whether comedy is necessarily funny on the page, and why jokes can work or fail based on tiny details. Then we tackle productivity and happiness, concepts that may not be as directly related as you believe.

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UPDATE 4-15-13: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Apr 2, 2013

Writer Derek Haas (Wanted, 3:10 to Yuma) joins John and Craig to discuss gay slurs, refrigerator logic and his TV show, Chicago Fire.

In addition to writing for big and small screens, the extraordinarily prolific Haas writes books, including The Right Hand and The Silver Bear. He also created the short story site Popcorn Fiction.

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UPDATE 4-4-13: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

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