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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: 2014
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Apr 29, 2014

Nothing is cut-and-dried this week. John and Craig talk Game of Thrones rape, allegations against director Bryan Singer and the new report showing the same low employment numbers for female writers in film and TV.

 

Then, what happens when a writer writes fan fiction for the novel she wrote but doesn't own? We talk about the weird situation L.J. Smith finds herself in with The Vampire Diaries, and what it could mean for screenwriters.

 

We're now taking entries for the special live Three Page Challenge on May 15th. Click the link in the notes for details. We're delighted to have Susannah Grant as our special guest judge for the evening.

 

LINKS:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Apr 22, 2014

Craig and John play marriage counsellor between writers and their scripts, looking at both the first spark of attraction and how to rekindle the flame when the fire has gone out.

 

There are still some tickets available for the Summer Superhero Spectacular live show on May 15th. Next week, we'll announce how the Three Page Challenge will work. Don't send scripts yet.

 

If you've subscribed to Scriptnotes for the back catalog, there's a bonus panel with John, Kelly Marcel, Linda Woolverton and Scott Neustadter talking about notes and rewrites. You can subscribe at scriptnotes.net and listen through the Scriptnotes app for iOS and Android.

 

LINKS:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Apr 18, 2014

John hosts a panel on rewriting, featuring Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks), Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland) and Scott Neustadter (The Spectacular Now, 500 Days of Summer). We discuss getting feedback and getting focus as you move beyond your first draft.

 

Recorded at the WGA Theater on April 12, 2014 as part of a craft day sponsored by the Writers Guild Foundation.

 

Links:

 

Apr 15, 2014

John and Craig visit Ben Blacker's Nerdist Writers Panel for a special crossover episode, recorded in front of a live audience on April 13, 2014.

 

As television gets more cinematic, what if feature writing was more like TV writing, with multiple writers together in a room? Would movies get better or worse? Could a Joss Whedon or a Vince Gilligan make movies the way they make television?

 

We have another live show coming up: May 15th, featuring writers from the biggest superhero movies and a live Three Page Challenge. Tickets go on sale Thursday.

 

This is a two part episode! You can hear the other half at Nerdist Writers Panel. Seach for "Nerdist Writers Panel" iTunes, or follow the links in the show notes.

 

Our thanks to Ben Blacker and the Nerdist empire for a great evening. If you're not already listening to his podcast, subscribe.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Apr 8, 2014

John and Craig talk with WGA President Chris Keyser about the tentative deal reached between writers and the studios, and why it's more groundbreaking than it might appear at first glance.

 

We continue our discussion of a new screenwriting format by looking at how we got here, both the history of "modern" screenplay layout and the alternatives.

 

Finally, John just delivered a new script, the first one he wrote entirely in Highland. We discuss the difference between drafts and assemblies, and how much we like to know before digging in on a sequence.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Apr 1, 2014

Craig delights as John gets @-napped in a Twitter thread about copyright infringement. Then they talk disruption in television, and how it affects writers.

 

Finally, they answer listener questions about underlining, fan fiction scripts and whether a professional writer’s script would fare well in the Three Page Challenge.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Mar 25, 2014

John and Craig talk Lab Rats, multi-cam, and what scenes might mean in their imaginary screenplay format. Craig clarifies what "spec writing" is, and when it’s permitted, both legally and ethically.

 

Then they dive in for another round of the Three Page Challenge, with entries ranging from second-grade bullies to cargo ship pirates to teenage crime.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Mar 18, 2014

John and Craig discuss how you create a fictional universe for your story, and the limits of how much can fit on the page. From location to language to wardrobe, choosing which details to make explicit is a crucial early decision. Too little detail and the reader doesn’t know how your story is special; too much detail and the story gets lost.

 

Also this week, Resurrection vs The Returned vs The Returned vs Les Revenants — just because it’s an original idea to you doesn’t mean it’s the first time anyone’s ever thought of it. We also provide exactly five minutes of follow-up on last week’s discussion about what should replace the current screenplay format.

 

And True Detective! Which we loved! It’s only because we loved it that we can point out ways it could have been stronger. Did the traditional once-a-week format help or hurt it? Probably both.

 

LINKS:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Mar 11, 2014

John has questions about the questions Craig answered on his Reddit AMA, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg as we answer six great listener questions:

 

  • What’s the deal with the “mystery insider” Twitter accounts?
  • Can a screenwriter use the n-word?
  • If we had to start from scratch, what would we do?
  • What did we mean by “lens selection?”
  • To CONT’D, or not to CONT’D?
  • Starting over after big life events.

Also, a reminder to Oscar winners: if you’re going to thank the creative team, don’t neglect to thank the screenwriter.

 

LINKS:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Mar 4, 2014

John and Craig pay their respects to Harold Ramis with an episode devoted entirely to Groundhog Day.

 

Ramis and co-writer Danny Rubin fashioned a deceptively simple story that upended expectations and essentially created a new genre of supernatural predicament comedies. Often imitated but never surpassed, Groundhog Day is smarter than you remember, cleverly side-stepping logic traps to explore deeper philosophical questions.

 

So grab your toaster and give Ned Ryerson a hug. It’s time to relive Groundhog Day.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

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