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May 28, 2024

John and Craig explore one of the most powerful and versatile tools in episodic television: the cold open. But how does it work? What kind of scenes does it showcase best? How can it play with point of view, perspective and time? What makes it memorable? And how do you make it work for your story?

We also discuss new...


May 21, 2024

John joins Mike Birbiglia on his podcast Working It Out to share direct, practical screenwriting advice that you’ll actually use, whether you’re an aspiring screenwriter or you want to pursue creative work of any kind.

They explore John’s screenwriting process, from defining his expression “breaking the back...


May 14, 2024

In this compendium episode, John and Craig demystify the the relationship between writers and the people who represent them, looking at how to acquire, work with and (if necessary) fire your agents and managers.

How do you get an agent or a manager? What are they looking for in a potential client? What frustrates them?...


May 7, 2024

Why are things so rough in Hollywood right now? John and Craig look at the industry’s current contraction, its historical analogues, and offer suggestions for what might fix it.

We also follow up on streaming ad breaks and New York accents, before answering listener questions on being paralyzed, whether it’s by your...


Apr 30, 2024

John and Craig investigate what characters know and how we know they know what they know. It’s something that can be as confusing as that last sentence was, but they offer clear guidance on building informed characters, audience expectations, and how to get everybody on the same page.

We also look at how ad breaks...