By John August and Craig Mazin
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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.
||CleanScriptnotes, 387: Seattle Live Show 2019||John and Craig head north to host Scriptnotes Live in Seattle. They welcome Emily Zulauf to discuss the process of pitching projects at Pixar, creating stories with heart out of pure misery, and when to admit you “don’t have it” and start over....||2/12/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra: The Agency Agreement||John and Craig offer a special reminder to guild members to attend one of the upcoming WGA Agency Agreement meetings.||2/7/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean386 - The Princess Bride||John and Craig host a live show at the WGA Theatre with a deep dive look at The Princess Bride. They discuss how the “abridged” structure brings us only the best parts of the story and what this means for the characters and world: less exposition an||2/5/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean385 - Rules and Plans||John and Craig discuss when and how to break screenplay orthodoxy, from experimental formatting to narrative misdirects. They also examine why it’s important that your characters create, communicate, and break plans.||1/29/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean384 - Plot Holes||John and Craig dive into plot holes: why they happen, how to fix them, why not to fix them, and how to turn them into opportunities.||1/22/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean383 - Splitting the Party||John and Craig talk about the trope of “Never split the party,” and why, as a writer, you often want and need to divide up your characters to better explore relationships, propel the story forward, give actors something to do, and simply fit everyon||1/15/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean382 - Professional Realism||John welcomes Derek Haas (Chicago Fire, 3:10 to Yuma, 2 Fast 2 Furious) to talk about writing accurate portrayals of different jobs, and when to sacrifice reality for storytelling. They also share their time-management strategies in honor of those New Y||1/8/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit381 - Becoming a Professional Screenwriter||John welcomes Tess Morris, Christina Hodson, Nicole Perlman, and Jason Fuchs to discuss their paths to becoming a professional screenwriter. They track the progression from glass bead day jobs to navigating general meetings to planning inconsistent fina||1/1/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean380 - Double Ampersand||John sits down with Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens to discuss their new film Mortal Engines, and their approach to writing as a team, worldbuilding, and rewriting through production, because one does not simply walk into Mordor.||12/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit379 - Holiday Live Show 2018||John and Craig welcome Pamela Ribon (Ralph Breaks the Internet, Smurfs: The Lost Village), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Into the Spiderverse, The Lego Movie), Zoanne Clack (Grey’s Anatomy) and Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (Family Guy, The Orville) to disc||12/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean378 - The Worst of the Worst||John and Craig examine why and how writers need to make bad things happen to their characters, and the ways in which hero suffering differs between features and television.||12/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean377 - The Second Draft||John is joined by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (The Invitation, Ride Along, the upcoming Destroyer) to talk about the second draft, offering some practical tips for the first big rewrite.||12/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean73 - Raiders of the Lost Ark||Craig and John spend the entire episode discussing and dissecting Raiders of the Lost Ark, looking at both its structure and scene work.||11/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean376 - Commencement||John and Craig discuss commencement, the official moment to start writing. It can be easy to get pressured into free producer rewrites, starting to write before a deal is done and other pitfalls of blurry boundaries, so the WGA is introducing the Start||11/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit375 - Austin 2018 Three Page Challenge||John and Craig review three Three-Page Challenge entries with the help of Lindsay Doran (producer of Stranger Than Fiction, Sense and Sensibility, Nanny McPhee, Dead Again) and Jewerl Ross (manager and founder of Silent R Management). They then invite t||11/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean374 - Real-World Villains||John and Craig investigate actual villains in this installment of How Would This Be a Movie? From the eerily prescient writer of “How to Murder Your Husband” to the dark comedy of Jacob Wohl, sometimes reality provides the character — now you just||11/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit373 - Austin Live Show 2018||John and Craig invite Wendy Calhoun (Station 19, Empire), Phil Hay (The Invitation, Ride Along), Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel), and Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman, Ice Age: Continental Drift) to join them onstage for a discussion||10/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean372 - No Writing Left Behind||John and Craig discuss the dangers of leave-behinds. The “writing before the writing” is an important part of the craft, but giving it away for free is bad for everyone. We also answer a listener question about character wants versus needs, and why||10/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit225 - Only Haters Hate Rom-Coms||John and Craig talk romantic comedies with screenwriter Tess Morris, whose film Man Up is unapologetically part of the genre. We discuss what distinguishes rom-coms from other comedies, and why they get singled out for disdain and death-of articles.||10/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean371 - Writing Memorable Dialogue||John and Craig have a dialogue about dialogue. They discuss how thinking about memorizing lines can help write them, and how to service quieter characters in a scene. We also answer listener questions about adapting plays for the screen, creating a di||10/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
So helpful for writers
Full of lots of practical advice, inspiration, and insights from inside the industry
Definitive screenrwriting for all writers
I've been listening to John and Craig on my commutes to work for almost 2 years now; this review is long overdue. As an aspiring screenwriter and occassional filmmaker, I find something insightful, educational, and inspiring in every single Scriptnotes podcast. John and Craig are highly entertaining and articulate, and always willing to share the straight goods about the craft, the process, the trials and pitfalls, the glory and the fun, the practical business, and every aspect of screenwriting I could imagine. And they're so generous wth their time and knowledge, providing excellent and constructive feedback on listener script submissions, interviewing other celebrity screenwriters, and sharing all things fascinating about their lives and careers as professional screenwriters. I'm practically addicted to my work commutes, since they're the only times I have to escape into the wonderous storyworld of screenwriting, as lovingly told by John August an Craig Mazin (with some regular umbrage thrown in for humorous effect).
Hate to pull out the stereotypical praise, but it’s true: I learned more from this podcast than I did from my entire time at film school. Entertaining and informative in all the right ways.