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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 18, 2017

John and Craig step up to the whiteboard to look at the story logic in our scripts, then examine how tricks and gimmicks can help keep scenes interesting.

We also answer listener questions about paying experts for research help, and whether hiring a writing consultant ever makes sense.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Jul 11, 2017

Craig and John discuss the concept of affordances -- player expectations for what videogame characters can do -- and how writers can apply these principles to their film and TV scripts.

Teaching the audience to know what is and isn’t possible can be hard to do artfully, but often makes all the difference.

Also this week: reducing sexism in screenplays, plus answers to listener questions about writers on set and giving feedback on friends’ terrible scripts.

Tickets for the July 25th live show are on sale, GET YOURS!

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Jul 4, 2017

John and Craig explore how story develops from a synthesis of character and plot, and why writers need to continually shift their frames of reference between “inside” and “outside” the experience of their heroes.

We also tackle the idea of “you can’t teach funny” and what to do when you share a famous person’s name.

The Scriptnotes Listeners’ Guide is out, and fantastic, and free! Plus we now have 300-episode USB drives in the store. Links below.

Plus, don’t miss our live show in Hollywood on July 25.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Jun 27, 2017

Craig and John take a look at what happens when the drama is behind the camera, and the difference between what's reported and what's really going on. We also offer some advice on what one should do, should they find themselves caught up in the crazy.

Finally, we answer a listener question on writing for specific actors and the challenges/opportunities this presents.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Jun 20, 2017

Craig and John take on a new Three Page Challenge, looking at three listener scenes to see if they follow the exacting rules set by Screenwriters University. (Ahem.)

We also answer listener questions on vintage screenplays, maturity, Smash Brothers and writing with a budget in mind.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Jun 13, 2017

Craig and John look at how screenwriters describe locations, and how these choices impact production and the final product. Plus, we discuss how podcasts have become a new source of IP for adaptations.

Finally, we address how to deal with the note to make your characters "more likeable."

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

Jun 6, 2017

Craig and John answer listener questions about writer agreements, videogame properties, and page one rewrites.

How should a writer decide whether it’s better to keep revising an unmade project, or start on something new? We try to offer guidelines for when to buckle down and when to move on.

Also, John coins a new term that will forever change film studies.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

May 30, 2017

In a new installment of How Would This Be a Movie, John and Craig take a look at three stories in the news to discuss how to adapt them into award-winning movies.

We also discuss why the studios are allowed to negotiate as one for the WGA contract.

Midnight Blue Scriptnotes shirts are back up at Cotton Bureau for a short time, so don’t miss out. Link below.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

May 23, 2017

Craig and John look at The Addams Family -- not just the 1991 film and its sequel, but the property itself to see what lessons we can learn when adapting for the big screen.

We also answer listener questions on what makes a scene work and writing pilots based on existing IP.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

May 16, 2017

Chris McQuarrie (THE USUAL SUSPECTS, VALKYRIE) joins us to talk through how he went from writing giant movies to directing them.

We talk about the pitfalls directors face as they move from indie features to tentpoles, and the advice he gives them. Chris is currently, and conveniently, in Paris directing the next Mission: Impossible.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

 

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