John and Craig pick up loose ends, with follow-up on previous episodes about “friends,” conflict, improv, Kindles, and defibrillation.
Then it’s that Peter Bart episode, which is enough to cause a heart attack.
Finally, we get to some listener questions about referring to collective characters, INT/EXT, deaf assistants and ellipses.
Next week, we hope to have two episodes: a normal one and the NSFW dirty show for the premium feed.
Aline Brosh McKenna joins John and Craig to discuss the how movies featuring good mentors (Dead Poet’s Society, To Sir with Love) differ from films with bad mentors (Whiplash, The Devil Wears Prada). It’s not just that the teachers are bad guys; rather, the stories are structured completely differently.
John asks Craig and Aline about some ethical quandaries he’s been facing, ranging from awards voting to who is a “friend.”
We also discuss the “default male problem,” especially how it relates to comedy and the cleanest version of a joke.
Craig and John discuss conflict – why it’s bad in real life but essential in screenwriting. We define six forms of conflict common in movies, then look at ways to sustain conflict within a scene and throughout a story.
We also look briefly at Whiplash, both the conflict between its two main characters and the controversy over whether it should be considered an original or an adapted screenplay.
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John and Craig start the new year by discussing Chuck Palahniuk’s advice to avoid thinking verbs. Then it’s a new round of the Three Page Challenge.
We also do follow-up on the Sony hack.