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.
||Clean301 - The Addams Family||Craig and John look at The Addams Family -- not just the 1991 film and its sequel, but the property itself to see what lessons we can learn when adapting for the big screen.||5/23/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean300 - From Writer to Writer-Director||Chris McQuarrie (THE USUAL SUSPECTS, VALKYRIE) joins us to talk through how he went from writing giant movies to directing them.||5/16/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit299 - It's Always Sunny in Star Wars||Craig and guest host Dana Fox welcome Rob McElhenney (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) to the live show at the Arclight. The four discuss breaking into Hollywood, handling rejection and sticking to y||5/9/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean298 - How Characters Move||Craig and John take on a new round of Three Page Challenges. There’s a fat “Elvis,” a bounty hunter White Rabbit, and a guy locked in the trunk of a speeding Mustang.||5/2/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean297 - Free-Agent Franchises||Craig and John investigate the future of the 007 franchise, script-reading robots, and the realities of overhauling a movie in the editing room.||4/25/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean296 - Television with Damon Lindelof||John sits down with Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) for a bonus-length discussion of all things TV.||4/18/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWe’re voting yes. But.||In this special mini-episode, John and Craig talk through the upcoming WGA strike authorization vote — what it actually means, and why they’re both voting yes.||4/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit295 - The Return of Malcolm||Malcolm Spellman returns to help us answer a bunch of listener questions, including the most important one: what’s Malcolm up to? (Warning! Adult language.)||4/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean294 - Getting the Details Wrong||Craig and John discuss chess, bad news, baseball, God, and screenwriting competitions.||4/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean99 - Psychotherapy for Screenwriters||A pernicious cold has stolen John's voice, so he and Craig reach into the vault to unearth their conversation with screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo, in which they discuss writer’s block, procrastination, partnerships and more. It’s a||3/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||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|
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.