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.
||Clean293 - Underground Railroad of Love||Special guest Irene Turner joins Craig and John for a new round of “How Would This Be a Movie?”||3/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean292 - Question Time||John and Craig answer listener questions about credits and casting, pilots and professional experience. Does Tom Ford really need his name on the poster twice? Kinda. It’s complicated.||3/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean291 - California Cannibal Cults||It's a new Three Page Challenge, where John and Craig take a look at listeners' scenes and offer their honest critique.||3/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean290 - The Social Media Episode||Craig and John discuss how and whether screenwriters should use social media.||2/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean289 - WGA Negotiations 101||Craig and John take a deep dive looking at how the Writers Guild attempts to make a deal with the studios on behalf of film and TV writers.||2/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean288 - Betty, Veronica and Craig||John and Craig look at what screenwriters can pick up from Kellyanne Conway, plus what John learned from going through the copy-editing process on his book.||2/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean287 - Hollywood is Always Dying||Craig and John discuss a Vanity Fair article about the impending disruption of Hollywood and are unimpressed. The better question worth asking: if this were the end of the film and television industry, what signs would we look for?||2/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean286 - Script Doctors, Dialogue and Hacks||John and Craig return to the topic of dialogue, looking at how characters talk in film and why dialogue matters.||1/31/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Refugee Story||In this bonus mini-episode, John talks with Nima Yousefi, the wizard behind Highland and Weekend Read, about his experience as an Iranian refugee, and his fears for the future in light of the travel ban.||1/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean285 - Sinbad and the Sea-Monkeys||John and Craig take a look at stories in the news -- and elsewhere -- to ask How Would This Be a Movie?||1/24/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean284 - AMA With Derek Haas||Craig and Scriptnotes friend Derek Haas answer listener questions ranging from getting started in Hollywood to interviewing entertainment attorneys.||1/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean283 - Director Disorientation||John and Craig look at the newly-negotiated DGA deal, and what it portends for writers -- in particular, TV showrunners and those who want to direct.||1/10/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean282 - The One from Paris||John welcomes Aline Brosh McKenna to the City of Lights, where they answer listener questions about cheating reality and bilingual characters.||1/3/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean281 - Holiday Homeopathy Spectacular||John and Craig ditch their jobs as screenwriters to play quackery sleuths, investigating the practice of homeopathy and what it can teach us about how narrative shapes belief.||12/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit280 - Black List Boys Don't Cry||John and Craig discuss post-scriptum depression, that low feeling you sometimes get when finishing a screenplay.||12/20/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean279 - What Do They Want?||John and Craig look at how heroes let us know what they're after, with or without a song.||12/13/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean278 - Revenge of the Clams||John and Craig look at phrases that have been banned from comedy writing rooms, and more generally why making a list of what you will never do can help you figure out what you should do.||12/6/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean277 - Fantasy and Reality||Craig and John look at how writers, and screenwriters in particular, impact the way people think about things in the real world. From crime scenes to courtrooms to CPR, we simplify things for storytelling and leave audiences with skewed expectations.||11/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean276 - Mammoths of Mercy||Writer-director Chris Sparling joins John and Craig to discuss his new film Mercy, and what it’s like to make a movie for Netflix. Then it’s another round of How Would This Be a Movie, with stories including ex-girlfriends, fake news, and permafrost i||11/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit175 - Twelve Days of Scriptnotes||In this very special episode from 2014, Craig and John welcome special guests Aline Brosh McKenna, Rachel Bloom, B.J. Novak, Jane Espenson and Derek Haas to talk about writing books, movies and especially television.||11/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
Fear the Emperor
I'm but a loyal serf in John August's rapidly expanding kingdom. In exchange for my monthly bounty of sheep and lamb (and sometimes, my wife), I get blog posts, snarky nerd humor, stellar iOS apps, blockbuster films and now, an informative and entertaining podcast. Where does it stop?!
Craig will grow on you
At first, I found the podcast to be a little annoying. While John tried to make the podcast informative, Craig seemed to be using it as a pulpit to express his personal pet peeves. I've since grown to like Craig a lot and while sometimes his judgment is too quick, he is mostly good-hearted and has a lot to offer. Even his opinions that I disagree with I still find educational. So my suggestion is if you feel put-off a bit at first, stick with it. Craig will grow on you. He is a good-hearted guy though he may not seem like it at first. The podcast has a lot to offer about advice for screenwriters, but the most interesting aspect is learning about how the industry looks to two guys who have been in it since the mid-90s. John August wrote Go, Charlie's Angels, Big Fish, and more. Craig Mazin wrote Senseless, Scary Movie 3/4, and The Hangover 2. So it's at least interesting to hear them talk about their experiences on those projects.
My main criticism is sometimes the show gets a little too craft-oriented and I would advise you as a listener to maybe skip those episodes. While they often disparage prescriptive screenwriting "experts", they tend to offer similar formulaic approaches to screenwriting as they discuss craft. I find that prescriptive approaches to craft limit my inspiration instead of spurring it on. I would avoid those episodes, but listen to everything else. It's definitely the one of the best film-related podcasts.
Short of lucking out and getting a seat at the bar next to two highly successful and chatty screenwriters, its hard to imagine a better way for working or aspiring scribes to spend a half hour. Filled with all kinds of useful information. I actually turn off Howard Stern to listen to this.