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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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Jul 5, 2016

Craig and John look at unforgettable villains, screenwriter billions, and a parallel world with two Nathan Fillions. (The last part is not true.)

We also dig into more about magical dad transformation comedies and why there isn’t a female equivalent.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Jun 28, 2016

John and Craig consider a new master class in screenwriting taught by Aaron Sorkin, and a very old Greek word (anagnorisis) championed by Aristotle. Both are useful!

Then it’s a look at what we mean by “originality,” including a very useful litmus test provided by Lindsay Doran.

Reminder that the 250-epsiode Scriptnotes USB drives are now available. Find the link below.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Jun 21, 2016

With credits ranging from Captain Phillips to The Hunger Games, plus several stints in WGA contract negotiations, Billy Ray knows as much as any screenwriter about the realities of working writers and the turmoil in the industry. He joins us to talk about his new Amazon pilot, The Last Tycoon, which charts the behind-the-scenes drama at a 1930s Hollywood studio.

From there, we look at how much people get paid for a $200 million movie, the wild success of Warcraft in China, and how great television is doing financially.

The 250-episode Scriptnotes USB drives are back in the store, so be sure to grab one before they sell out.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Jun 14, 2016

John and Craig welcome Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney, the Australian creator/stars of The Katering Show (a previous One Cool Thing).

We discuss the process and economics of making a web series, signing with a US agency, and trying to figure out what comes next.

Thanks to our Scriptnotes fans on both sides of the world for making this meet-up happen.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Jun 7, 2016

Jonathan Groff – the Black-ish writer/producer, not the actor – joins John and Craig to explain the new vocabulary of television and why companies are all about ownership.

Then it’s another round of How Would This Be a Movie (or an episode of network comedy). We tackle Peter Thiel, Swiss banks, psychotic sheep, and absent-minded grampas.

Our track record of predicting which of these ideas will go into development has been quite good. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page or Twitter.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

May 31, 2016

It’s a craft episode, with Craig and John discussing allies and allegiances in film and television. Enemies are easy; friends are difficult. We talk through the types relationships characters find themselves in, and strategies for making the most of them.

(This episode has a lot of Game of Thrones geekery, but very few spoilers.)

Also this week, we discuss geographic accuracy, release forms, and showing snippets of plays within movies.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

May 24, 2016

John and Craig look at how the push to increase diversity in TV writing rooms impacts writers looking to staff for the first time.

Fan outrage over the death of a gay character – and the trope it perpetuates – has prompted an online pledge for writers. But is it a good idea? (Not really.)

We also take a look at three new entries in the Three Page Challenge, with visits to Koreatown, Silicon Valley and exploding Greek diners.

Lastly, a request: this podcast is named Scriptnotes, not ScriptNotes. The “n” isn’t supposed to be capitalized. Thanks!

Links:

You can download the episode here.

 

May 17, 2016

Remember the live show in Austin, when we promised we’d read one lucky listener’s script and talk about it on the air? This is that episode.

John and Craig talk with Amanda Morad about her pilot script Betty Bureau, offering praise, suggestions and a few next steps. You can read Amanda’s script in the links below.

We also answer a few short and simple questions about rights and clearances.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

May 11, 2016

John hosts Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creators Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom as they answer audience questions about their show and TV in general.

 

May 10, 2016

John talks with Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, about how they pitched and wrote their critically-acclaimed show.

We focus on the ways they introduced recurring characters in the pilot, and how casting influenced the series. Given recent controversy over casting of Asian roles, our discussion of the Josh Chan character feels particularly relevant.

This episode was recorded live as part of WGFestival 2016 Craft Day. Our thanks to the Writers Guild Foundation and The Academy for hosting us.

John deeply regrets passing up the opportunity to sing the West Covina reprise.

(The script for the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend pilot is available in Weekend Read.)

Links:

You can download the episode here.

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