It’s a clip show! John and Craig discuss cutting pages from your script, fixing plot holes, and what we’d do if we ran a studio. We’ll be back with all new episodes in 2015, the year of post-outrage rationality.
John and Craig offer advice to a director taking the plunge, with guidance on both getting the work done and getting the performances you want. From there, we segue into a discussion of the Perfect Director, the next installment of our Perfect series.
We also pay a visit to the Logic Police, whose notes are often frustrating but sometimes correct.
But we couldn’t not talk about the messed-up situation with The Interview and North Korea. It’s a terrible precedent, but the mistake is putting the blame on any one studio. Without coordinated group action, it’s only going to get worse.
John, Craig and panelists take questions from the audience at the 2014 Scriptnotes Holiday Show.
Craig and John welcome special guests Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom, B.J. Novak, Jane Espenson and Derek Haas to talk about writing books, movies and especially television.
Aline and Rachel just finished shooting a pilot called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. We discuss the genesis of the project, and how sexism is just stupid.
B.J. tells us about the joy of reading Inglorious Basterds, and how the key to success is apparently editing your high school newspaper.
Jane and Derek teach us what really goes on in the writers room, from secret lingo to codes of silence.
Plus there are songs!
Recorded with a live audience at LA Film School as a benefit for the Writers Guild Foundation. Huge thanks to everyone who came and supported the show.
John and Craig talk about where to start a story — how far back should you go? The decision about whether to meet the hero as a child, in their normal rut, or mid-crisis fundamentally changes the narrative, so it’s worth exploring fully.
We also discuss the psychological phenomenon of transference, and how writers’ desire for approval can lead to strange (and strained) relationships with executives and other authority figures. Finally, the Sony hack: was it a one-off, or will this be the first of many?
There are still a few tickets left for Thursday’s live Holiday show. Tickets available through the link below.
Craig and John discuss the qualities of the perfect reader, whether it’s a studio professional or your screenwriting buddy. What should a reader look for, and how should she communicate her thoughts?
We also discuss loan-out companies and why writers need them, and offer advice on starting a podcast. Plus a lot of turkey talk.
In follow up, most of what we thought we knew about Franz Kafka was wrong — but maybe that’s okay. Bob Odenkirk already made a sketch about judging. And if you haven’t purchased tickets for the live show on December 11th, get on that.
John and Craig talk about why writers are often reluctant to show their work, and how film journalists love to focus on the director — even when there’s no director in sight.
Then, it’s part two of our Perfect series, in which we look at what constitutes the perfect agent. Underlying the agent archetypes – advisor, advocate, connector — is a relationship based on honesty and trust. How do you build it? How do you maintain it? We offer our opinions from the writer’s side of the phone sheet.
Come to our live show on December 11th in Hollywood! You’ll find the link in the show notes.
John talks with Simon Kinberg (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, X-Men: Days of Future Past) as part of the WGF’s Writers on Writing series. They discuss Simon’s career as a writer and producer, and take questions from the audience.
Live from the Austin Film Festival, John is joined by guests Ilyse McKimmie of the Sundance Institute and Franklin Leonard of The Black List to give the Three Page Challenge treatment to 2nd round scripts from the AFF screenplay competition.
What are the odds that fivethirtyeight.com’s statistical analysis of screenplays will make Craig angry? Always bet on umbrage. Fortunately, he just finished a script, so we talk about that, and John’s new gig writing Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (which was the project he described phone-pitching the past few episodes).
Then we talk about what makes for the perfect studio executive. It’s a series we plan to continue, looking at the prototypical awesome person in various categories.
Our December 11th live show is likely to sell out, so don’t delay getting your ticket. And Thursday at noon is the last chance to get a Writer Emergency Pack. Links to both below.