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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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May 3, 2016

John and Craig discuss open writing assignments, and how to best pitch to producers and studios looking to hire a writer for a specific property. Most of the work happens before you set foot in the room, so proper planning is essential.

Then we take a look at the controversy over white actors playing roles that could have gone to Asian actors, and how screenwriters can (and can’t) improve the situation.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Apr 26, 2016

John and Craig sit down with screenwriting legend Lawrence Kasdan to discuss Star Wars, Raiders, The Bodyguard and how he’s shaped some of the most iconic big-screen stories and characters of our lifetime.

This 90-minute interview comes as part of WGFestival 2016 Craft Day, and features audience questions as well. Our thanks to the Writers Guild Foundation and the Academy for hosting us.

Links:

You can download the episode here.

Apr 25, 2016

John interviews JUNGLE BOOK screenwriter Justin Marks after the WGA screening of his film.

We discuss the film's unusual genesis, which more closely resembled how animated films are made than live action. The hybrid development process carried over into production, with Justin continually rewriting as the film was shot twice, first with motion capture, then with live-action elements.

It's a great look into how this innovative film was made – and likely a preview into how films will be made in the future.

Also includes audience Q&A.

Apr 21, 2016

In this special mini-episode, Craig and John tackle the gold standard and why economists think it’s a flat-out terrible idea.

 

We don’t discuss screenwriting at all, so feel free to skip this one if monetary theory doesn’t interest you.

 

This episode is mostly to verify that minor changes to our workflow haven’t messed up the Scriptnotes feed. If for some reason this episode doesn’t show up in your regular podcasting app, please let us know at the ask@johnaugust.com account (and re-add it in iTunes).

 

Next week, we’ll be back with our long-anticipated interview with Lawrence Kasdan.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here.

Apr 19, 2016

John and Craig welcome writer-director Lorene Scafaria to talk about her new movie The Meddler and some of the unique challenges faced by female directors.

 

She joins us as we play a new round of How Would This Be a Movie, tackling global hums, killer grannies and airport conspiracies. We also discuss movies that are often used as shorthand in Hollywood, from Raiders to Die Hard to Midnight Run. (But never The ‘Burbs.)

 

Next week we’ll be making minor server changes. If for some reason the next episode doesn’t automatically appear in your podcast app next Tuesday, you may need to resubscribe. Sorry, but it will be worth it to listen to special guest Lawrence Kasdan.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Apr 12, 2016

John and Craig look at the non-screenplay things screenwriters end up writing, most notably outlines and treatments. We discuss some of the ones we’ve written (with examples), and offer advice on writing your own.

 

Also, how do you deal with sudden success? And what should a writer-director say when talking to a Very Famous Actress about starring in his movie?

 

Our live conversation with Lawrence Kasdan is this Saturday! Find out more about the all-day Craft Day featuring many previous (and future) Scriptnotes guests in the links below.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Apr 5, 2016

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi join us to talk about their new movie The Invitation, and what’s it’s like to go from writing tentpole action films (like Clash of the Titans) to comedies (like Ride Along) to chamber-drama thrillers.

 

While we have them with us, we talk about the new term “requel” — which is not quite a reboot, not quite a sequel. Is it really a new sub-genre or just a helpful way of explaining things to studio execs?

 

Also, thanks to everyone who helped us out by answering our three-question poll. We have a better sense of who is using the premium feed, and how we can offer alternatives for listeners.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Mar 29, 2016

With John and Craig both on spring break, it’s a clip show this week. We discuss why movie heroes are rarely ambivalent, why villains are so appealing, and why movies with two primary characters require careful attention.

 

We’re trying to make plans for the future of the show, and could use your help! Please take a minute to answer our three-question poll to let us know how you’d like to hear both new and old episodes.

 

(Link to the poll below.)

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Mar 22, 2016

Craig and John welcome back Aline Brosh McKenna to discuss what she learned going from writing features to show-running Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – and what’s waiting for her back in movie-land. The three of us came into the business at the height of the spec market, but everything is different now.

 

We also look at why some movies become classics, while others don’t hold up. Plus, a television show’s responsibility to its fans, and the frustrating death of a gay character on CW’s The 100.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

Mar 15, 2016

Craig and John look at three stories in the news for another installment of “How Would This Be a Movie?” From fake scientists to figure skaters, we pitch our takes before some actor’s production company buys the rights.

 

Speaking of rights, a new lawsuit targets the makers of Creed for stealing the idea. The case will almost certainly get tossed, but it raises a discussion about fan fiction and what constitutes an original work.

 

Links:

 

 

You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.

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