Craig and John discuss the screenwriter's role in casting, then segue to the New York Times profile of producer/executive Lindsay Doran and her approach to story.
Doran argues (persuasively) that successful movies are often less about whether the hero wins or loses, but rather how his achievements are measured. For example, a character's victory is much more satisfying when there is someone to share it with
the real moment isn't the game-winning touchdown, but when the quarterback kisses his wife afterwards.
She's not pitching happy endings, but rather positive outcomes. It's an interesting way to look not just at how we tell stories, but also which stories we tell.
We also touch on the advantages of mentally casting your movie as you write, writing (or rewriting) for the cast you are given, and the delicate art of making someone think he came up with an idea on his own after you plant it in his head.
This and more mind-control tips on the 21st episode of Scriptnotes.
UPDATE 1-26-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.