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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: Page 32
Get access to all episodes from SCRIPTNOTES for just 1.99 a month with Premium Access through MyLibsyn.
Nov 13, 2012

Craig and John dive back into the Three Page Challenge entries, along with an overview of the 500+ contenders that have been submitted.

In response to listener curiosity, John and Craig also talk about their recording set-ups, and then follow-up on Star Wars, Karateka and Derek Haas's busy schedule.

All this and more on the 63rd installment of Scriptnotes.

(Note: Moreso than most weeks, we have a lot of links to stuff on Amazon. If you buy through them, you'll help pay for some of our bandwidth costs.)

UPDATE 11-16-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Nov 6, 2012

John and Craig discuss the big movie news of the week: Disney buying Lucasfilm, and with it, the rights to Star Wars.

Everyone's already talked about what it means for fans and stock prices, but what does it mean for screenwriters? It could lead to new jobs creating extensions to the Star Wars universe both in film and television but does the reliance on giant brands make it harder to create the next culturally-defining franchise?

On the topic of new old things, John has his first-ever videogame coming out tomorrow on Xbox: Karateka, a reinvention of Jordan Mechner's seminal fighting game from the 1980s. He talks about the challenges of making an indie game and what his role was as an executive producer.

From there, we answer listener questions. Is it okay to love your own writing? How young is too young to write a screenplay? What can be done about a 212 page script? And what does "going out wide" with a spec script really mean?

All this and more in episode 62 of Scriptnotes.

Special thanks to everyone who's rated us and left comments in iTunes. They help new users find us, so if you haven't left one recently, drop us a line.

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UPDATE 11-9-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Oct 30, 2012

Craig and John ret-con the Austin Film Festival, placing themselves on panels in which they didn't participate. It's a chance to give the answers they would have given without the bother of being asked (or listening to other people's opinions).

For example, Terry Rossio's seminar on "The Throw" his term for how you end a scene was presumably terrific. We didn't attend, but it's fun to spitball what we would have said about this interesting and under-discussed aspect of screenwriting.

Other topics discussed this week include:

  • Setiquette
  • Kyle Killen's secret shower
  • Videogame storytelling
  • Amazon Studios
  • Pilots vs. presentations

Happy Halloween, everyone. Stay safe and dry.

LINKS:

UPDATE 11-2-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Oct 23, 2012

Recording live at the Austin Film Festival, John and Craig take a look at The Black List's pivot to a paid site, and what it means for screenwriters and the industry. Black List creator Franklin Leonard joins us for questions and criticism.

Next, screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, We Bought a Zoo) joins us to talk about the difference between Movie Stories and A Stack of Scenes. She stays with us to answer live questions from the audience.

Big thanks to both of our guests our first ones ever and to AFF for hosting the event. We had a blast, and hope to do more live events in the future.

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UPDATE 10-25-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Oct 16, 2012

John and Craig discuss Frankenweenie and Superhero! before cracking open the mailbox to answer listener questions: What advice would they give to their younger selves? Is a spec with a similar high-concept premise doomed? Should Australian screenwriters use U.S. spelling conventions?

Then, a discussion of what constitutes a plot hole and to what degree screenwriters are to blame.

After that, two new Three Page Challenge entries. We've received more than 500 of these, which is crazy.

All this and what to name an Amanda Peet character in this week's Scriptnotes. Next week, join us for the the first-ever Scriptnotes Live podcast from the Austin Film Festival.

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UPDATE 10-19-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Oct 9, 2012

In the spirit of Looper, Craig and John take a journey back in time, looking at the first scripts they read, the first scripts they wrote, and the common pitfalls of many first screenplays.

Not only that: they share and critique the first three pages from the very first scripts they wrote.

Does John's romantic tragedy from 1994 show potential? Would Craig keep reading his high-concept comedy from 1995? You can be the judge, because both samples are linked below.

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UPDATE 10-11-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Oct 2, 2012

John and Craig discuss what makes an idea a movie idea, and how those differ from TV ideas, book ideas, and other narrative forms.

Some properties like Charlie's Angels work in more than one medium. We take a few hypothetical projects and explain how they might work as movies.

The conversation then turns to press junkets. Fresh off John's Frankenweenie rounds, we reveal just how the sausage is made when it comes to doing publicity for a movie.

The episode ends with a discussion about David Denby's article from The New Republic, in which he asks the eponymous question: Has Hollywood murdered the movies?

All this, plus Two Cool Things on the 57th episode of Scriptnotes.

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UPDATE 10-4-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Sep 25, 2012

John and Craig talk about the new show John sold to ABC, which leads to a conversation about the differences between studios and networks, and how writers end up having relationships with both.

We answer a listener question about what writers mean by a "weekly."

The bulk of the podcast centers on four samples from the Three Page Challenge, covering a range of genres from heist movies to fantasy to broad comedy. You can find all four entries in the links, so read along with us.

As always, our thanks to these brave writers who've shared their work. If you want to send in your own entry, there are some simple rules to follow.

LINKS:

If you're listening to us on the website and like what you hear, why don't you say some nice things about us on iTunes, wouldja?

UPDATE 9-28-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Sep 18, 2012

What's the difference between a reader and a producer? Much more than one high-profile online analyst seems to believe. John and Craig discuss what producers do, and how one plausibly gets started.

From there, we talk pitching. Beyond the plot points, you need to be able to show why you're dying to write this story, and why you'd pay money to see it.

In follow-up, we talk about visas, HSX, and find out how often the screenwriter is actually mentioned in negative reviews vs. positive reviews.

The first-ever Live Scriptnotes is coming this October in Austin. Follow the link for more details.

And we're opening back up submissions for the Three Page Challenge. Follow the link and follow the rules, please.

All this, and Craig takes umbrage at sweet tea, in the new Scriptnotes!

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UPDATE 9-20-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Sep 11, 2012

John and Craig tackle eight questions on the profession of screenwriting, ranging from studio execs to sharing credit to pitching via video.

It's a big show. We cover a lot. And then we talk for quite a while about the unique beauty of Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper, because that's what real screenwriters talk about.

And there's news! Hangover 3 is in production, Big Fish has announced its Chicago dates, and Frankenweenie comes out October 5.

All this and more in episode 54 of Scriptnotes.

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UPDATE 9-14-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

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