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.
||Clean265 - Sheep Crossing Roads||John and Craig discuss obstacles, those things your characters hate but desperately need.||8/30/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean264 - The One With the Agent||Craig and John speak with agent Peter Dodd about what he looks for in a writer client, and how he sees the relationships between writers and agents and managers and executives.||8/23/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean263 - Frequently Asked Questions about Screenwriting||John and Craig introduce “Frequently Asked Questions about Screenwriting,” a curation of questions from screenwriting.io.||8/16/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean262 - Tidy Screenwriting||John and Craig apply the principles of Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” to screenwriting. How can screenwriters learn to let go of beloved scenes, characters, and entire scripts?||8/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean261 - Don't Think Twice||Craig and guest host Mike Birbiglia discuss Mike’s new film, Don’t Think Twice, a comedy about life as an improv performer. The two explore the current state of independent film and the challenges facing aspiring filmmakers.||8/2/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean260 - Anthrax, Amnesia and Atomic Veterans||John and Craig implore screenwriters to think twice before using the phrase "begs the question.” We know it's a losing battle, but if we learned anything from 300, sometimes those are still worth having.||7/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDuly Noted: Let’s Talk about Episode 259||Matt Selman (EP of The Simpsons) sits down with Scriptnotes favorites Aline Brosh McKenna and Rawson Marshall Thurber to discuss what went down in the season finale.||7/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean259 - The Exit Interview||In the season finale of Scriptnotes, John and Craig reveal big changes to the podcast.||7/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean258 - Generic Trigger Warning||John and Craig take a look at three new entries in the Three Page Challenge, with scripts tackling kidnapping, dystopia and parkour hackers. We look at both how the writing works on the page, and what the writers seem to be trying to say.||7/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean257 - Flaws are features||Craig and John look at unforgettable villains, screenwriter billions, and a parallel world with two Nathan Fillions. (The last part is not true.)||7/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean256 - Aaron Sorkin vs. Aristotle||John and Craig consider a new master class in screenwriting taught by Aaron Sorkin, and a very old Greek word (anagnorisis) championed by Aristotle. Both are useful!||6/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean255 - New and Old Hollywood||With credits ranging from Captain Phillips to The Hunger Games, plus several stints in WGA contract negotiations, Billy Ray knows as much as any screenwriter about the realities of working writers and the turmoil in the industry. He joins us to talk about||6/21/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit254 - The One with the Kates||John and Craig welcome Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney, the Australian creator/stars of The Katering Show (a previous One Cool Thing).||6/14/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit253 - Television Economics for Dummies||Jonathan Groff -- the Black-ish writer/producer, not the actor -- joins John and Craig to explain the new vocabulary of television and why companies are all about ownership.||6/7/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean252 - An Alliance with House Mazin||It’s a craft episode, with Craig and John discussing allies and allegiances in film and television. Enemies are easy; friends are difficult. We talk through the types relationships characters find themselves in, and strategies for making the most of the||5/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean251 - They Won’t Even Read You||John and Craig look at how the push to increase diversity in TV writing rooms impacts writers looking to staff for the first time.||5/24/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean250 - The One with the Austin Winner||Remember the live show in Austin, when we promised we’d read one lucky listener’s script and talk about it on the air? This is that episode.||5/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit249 - How to Introduce Characters||John talks with Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, about how they pitched and wrote their critically-acclaimed show.||5/10/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean248 - Pitching an Open Writing Assignment||John and Craig discuss open writing assignments, and how to best pitch to producers and studios looking to hire a writer for a specific property. Most of the work happens before you set foot in the room, so proper planning is essential. John and Craig||5/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit247 - The One with Lawrence Kasdan||John and Craig sit down with screenwriting legend Lawrence Kasdan to discuss Star Wars, Raiders, The Bodyguard and how he’s shaped some of the most iconic big-screen stories and characters of our lifetime.||4/26/2016||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?!
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.
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.