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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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Nov 15, 2016

In this very special episode from 2014, Craig and John welcome special guests Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom, B.J. Novak, Jane Espenson and Derek Haas to talk about writing books, movies and especially television.

Aline and Rachel just finished shooting a pilot called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. We discuss the genesis of the project, and how sexism is just stupid.

B.J. tells us about the joy of reading Inglorious Basterds, and how the key to success is apparently editing your high school newspaper.

Jane and Derek teach us what really goes on in the writers room, from secret lingo to codes of silence.

Plus there are songs!

Recorded with a live audience at LA Film School as a benefit for the Writers Guild Foundation. Huge thanks to everyone who came and supported the show.

Links:

You can download the episode here:

 

Nov 10, 2016

In this Scriptnotes Extra, Craig and John discuss the melting dread they experienced this morning and hopefully offer some succor.

You can download the episode here.

 

Nov 7, 2016

John and Craig look at how movies and TV shape the English language, and how writers should think about their role in all of this. We also examine the uncomfortable overlap between rom-com characters and stalkers.

We are coming to you one day earlier than usual because Tuesday, as you may have heard, is an election in the US. And perhaps you’re looking for something to distract yourself from that horrible business.

But Americans, please vote.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Nov 1, 2016

Craig and John listen to the winner of the Austin Film Festival’s pitch competition and discuss what makes it work so well – and why you would never give this form of a pitch in an actual meeting.

Then it’s another round of the Three Page Challenge, with three special guest readers, one of whom Craig likes far too much.

Last call! The all-new 2016 Scriptnotes t-shirts are available for limited pre-order. If you miss out, you’ll have nothing to wear for 12 months. You only have a few days left, so get clicking!

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Oct 25, 2016

John and Craig answer listener questions from our overflowing mail bag on topics including comedy round tables, getting rewritten, coffee meetings, and what comes after moving to Los Angeles.

To kick it off, we try (well, John tries) to help a high school senior with his class assignment.

The all-new 2016 Scriptnotes t-shirts are available for limited pre-order. If you miss out, you’ll have nothing to wear for 12 months. So don’t wait.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Oct 18, 2016

Craig sits down for a late-night session with screenwriters Katie Dippold, Phil Hay, Tess Morris and Malcolm Spellman to finally answer the question, “How does anyone make it in Hollywood.” Plus questions from the packed audience at the Austin Film Festival.

Thanks to our guests, our audience, and our hosts at AFF for a great night.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Oct 11, 2016

John and Craig discuss the psychological barriers facing writers tackling big projects, and offer practical guidance for getting stuff written.

We also respond to a listener question about autism spectrum disorder and how it might impact a screenwriting career.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Oct 4, 2016

Craig enlists the help of another John (Lee Hancock) to hold down the fort with regular John away. The two discuss JLH's career, starting out as a lawyer in Texas and breaking into the film industry as a writer and director.

We also answer listener questions on mystery, copyright and collaboration.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Sep 27, 2016

John and Craig compare mystery and confusion, and how you can have more of the former with less of the latter. We use these lessons as we look at three new entries in the Three Page Challenge.

We also answer listener questions on flashbacks and capitalizing on festival success.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Sep 20, 2016

John and Craig come to the defense of montages in screenwriting, giving examples of how and when the much-maligned device can be employed to benefit the story.

We also share our thoughts on the latest incarnation of Final Draft, plus new listener questions on sex scenes and resuscitating old scripts.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

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