Scriptnotes Podcast

By John August and Craig Mazin

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Category: TV & Film

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Subscribers: 1452
Reviews: 1


 Oct 7, 2019

Description

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.

Episode Date
556 - Let's Catch Up
52:57

John and Craig are back together! They chat about the box office (it’s also back!), guns in Hollywood, writing credits, and follow up on what to call the [interstitial] page in a script.

We answer listener questions on imperfect story logic, writing authentically in a different language, and when it’s time to be a team player.

In our bonus segment for premium members, we talk about penmanship! Craig encounters the ultimate puzzle: John’s handwriting.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Jun 28, 2022
555 - Marveling with Michael Waldron
55:24

John invites Michael Waldron (Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Loki) to share his origin story and offer advice on how to make the most of film school/internship opportunities.

We discuss writing characters that cross the TV/film barrier and answer listener questions on preparing for success, looking for rejection, and how to track ideas.

In our bonus segment for premium members, we discuss what writers need to know about working in Atlanta.

Links:

 

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Jun 21, 2022
554 - Getting the Gang Back Together
01:04:23
John and Craig offer guidance on wrangling groups of characters. This episode features a collection of craft topics that address how to build community on the page.

They cover how to introduce relationships, structure features with multiple protagonists, reasons to split up the group, and how to reunite characters.

In our bonus segment for premium members, John and Megana welcome our summer intern Drew Marquardt to discuss group dynamics in Stranger Things season four, part one. (Warning: conversation contains spoilers and unabashed Steve Harrington adoration.)

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Jun 14, 2022
553 - Adapting Station Eleven
01:09:50
John welcomes writer/showrunner Patrick Somerville to explore the development process for Station Eleven. From finding the source material, organizing the writers room, to writing production drafts, they walk through the steps of creating a limited series.

Along the way, Patrick explains how he transitioned careers from novelist to television writer, and advises a listener on prepping for staffing meetings.

In our bonus segment for premium members, John and Patrick discuss creating a pandemic show during a pandemic.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Jun 07, 2022
552 - Parentheses Would Help
01:19:06
John and Craig host a round of the Three Page Challenge where they look at listener pages and offer feedback on what’s working and how to avoid common pitfalls. This week we look at time jumps, reveals, and ticker-tape dialogue. We follow up on confusing credits, then answer listener questions on narrative geography, professional development and when it’s okay to take your pitch somewhere else.

In our bonus segment for premium members, the guys share the secret to social media.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

May 31, 2022
551 - Making the Modern Comedy Series
45:37

John welcomes writers John Hoffman (Only Murders in the Building, Looking) and Brittani Nichols (Abbott Elementary, A Black Lady Sketch Show) to bring us behind the scenes of the comedy writers room. They explain ‘alts’ (alternative line jokes), crafting tone, and the process of pitching.

We also discuss the sophomore season and different comedic engines. We answer listener questions on whether you need to live in LA and how to choose a writing sample.

In our bonus segment for premium members, the group chats about being openly queer writers in Hollywood.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

May 24, 2022
550 - Entrances and Exits
54:07

John and Craig discuss the mechanics of getting characters in and out of scenes. They cover why writers might show a character’s entrance or exit, both what it accomplishes for the story and the expectations it sets up for the audience.

We get an update from ‘Please Convince Me to Drop Out of Film School’ and answer listener questions on mortifying managers, cocktail conversations, and whether or not to use trigger warnings in a script.

In our bonus segment for premium members, the guys discuss the longevity movement and whether they’d choose to live forever.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

May 17, 2022
549 - The Sideways Effect
54:56
John welcomes Willa Paskin on to discuss Sideways Effect, centering on an episode of her podcast Decoder Ring. Willa looks at how dialogue in the 2004 film upended the red wine industry. John and Willa then look at other movie moments that have have shaped cultural behavior, including Clark Gable’s missing t-shirt sales and the scene that inspired the name Madison. Willa shares her research and writing process for a nonfiction podcast.

In our bonus segment for premium members, Craig is finally back! We catch him up on what he’s missed and hear what he’s been up to.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

May 10, 2022
548 - Made for Streaming
01:01:42

John and Aline Brosh McKenna welcome writing team Dan Gregor and Doug Mand (How I Met Your Mother, Most Likely to Murder, Chip ’n Dale Rescue Rangers) to chat about made-to-stream movies. They discuss the joys of niche IP and how changes in the film landscape have resurrected certain genres.

We follow up on ‘Murder House Architecture’ and the economics of shorter seasons. We also answer listener questions on gender-neutral casting, pilot presentations, and page density.

In our bonus segment for premium members, we discuss life and work with newborns.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

May 03, 2022
547 - Good Energy
48:52
John invites Anna Jane Joyner and Quinn Emmett from Good Energy Stories to discuss climate change on screen. Climate change affects every creature on our planet, so why don’t we see it more on television? They discuss opportunities for writers to inspire change and raise awareness to capture the environmental concerns of our time.

We follow up on disability representation in Hollywood with the release of the Cost of Accommodations report from the Inevitable Foundation.

In our bonus segment for premium members, we talk about asking people for money, whether it’s to finance a movie or launch a campaign to save the planet.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Apr 28, 2022
Episode 547 on Thursday
26

This week's episode is airing on Thursday 4/28!

Apr 25, 2022
546 - Limited Series
01:22:41
John welcomes writer/creators Liz Meriwether (New Girl, The Dropout) and Liz Hannah (The Girl from Plainville, The Post) to discuss the genre/form of “limited series based on actual events.” Meriwether and Hannah explain what compelled them to each project and the process of realizing each story on screen. We also play a lightning round of How Would This Be A Movie, looking at movements like ‘Birds Aren’t Real’ and #FreeBritney.

In our bonus segment for premium members, the Lizzes share their experiences making their shows while pregnant.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Apr 21, 2022
It's a Thursday Episode
25
Episode 546 with Liz Meriwether and Liz Hannah will be released on Thursday 4/21/22 - we promise it's worth the wait!
Apr 19, 2022
545 - The Nuclear Episode
53:25

John talks with Joan Rohlfing (Nuclear Threat Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy) and author/reporter David E. Hoffman (Washington Post) about nuclear energy, nuclear safety and nuclear war — both the current reality and how these issues are portrayed in Hollywood.

Joan and David explain how the nuclear landscape has changed over the decades, the stories Hollywood has missed, and the importance of getting them right moving forward.

Thanks to our friends at Hollywood Health & Society for helping put this episode together.

In our bonus segment for premium members, John and Megana catch up on Scriptnotes behind-the-scenes from the past few weeks, including John’s not-great-not-terrible Covid experience.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Apr 14, 2022
Thursday Not Tuesday
21

This week's episode of Scriptnotes is going to be released on Thursday not Tuesday. We'll be back on a normal Tuesday schedule soon!

Apr 12, 2022
544 - 20 Questions with Craig
01:25:16

Craig answers listener questions ranging from craft to career: how do you find your voice? What questions should you ask before writing a new project? When should silence carry a scene? Craig offers professional advice and gets dangerously close to starting a cult.

We follow up on Barton Fink, writer’s block, and keyboards.

In our bonus segment for premium members, Craig and Megana discuss millennials and how Hollywood can invest in R&D.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Apr 05, 2022
543 - 20 Questions with John
01:13:46

John answers listener questions on craft and industry. When are you ready to send a script? How do you rewrite scenes during production? Is it cool to take a picture with your celebrity crush on set? John offers professional advice for writers on the page and in real life.

We follow up on screenwriter dexterity (typing speed) and ergonomic keyboards.

In our bonus segment for premium members, John and Megana discuss ‘Murder House Architecture.’ What makes contemporary homes so scary and who are the contractors constructing these basements?

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Mar 29, 2022
542 - Betrayed!
01:02:13

John and Craig investigate backstabs and double-crosses onscreen and share how writers can set up plot twists on the page.

We answer listener questions on imposter syndrome, negative feedback, and hear about John’s journey to find the right ergonomic keyboard. We also follow up on meet-cutes, charismatic aspiring writers, and angry costume designers.

In our bonus segment for premium members, we discuss which reality competition show we’d enter and how we’d win.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Mar 22, 2022
541 - Intelligence vs. Charisma
01:09:59

John and Craig breakdown the ideal attributes of the “screenwriter” character. Looking at the ratio of craft to charm, they debate which combinations lead to success in Hollywood.

We also host a round of the Three Page Challenge. Samples this week range from stories on earthquakes to community theatre, but all feature surprising reveals. The guys offer advice on cutting scenes, introducing characters, and punching up dialogue.

In our bonus segment for premium members, John and Craig discuss a Vanity Fair article on film score production and rumors of ghostwriting for composers.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Mar 15, 2022
540 - Nice to Meet-Cute You
01:07:20
John and Craig bump into/trip over/spill coffee on the ‘Meet-Cute.’ They look at the history and mechanics of that moment when two lead characters meet each other in a romantic comedy, with advice to writers on how to keep it fresh.

We answer listener questions on packing for set, branding yourself as a writer, and staggered success in a relationship.

In our bonus segment for premium members, we talk about onboarding, specifically in the game Elden Ring.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.

Mar 08, 2022