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.
||Clean392 - The Final Moment||John and Craig examine the final moment in movies, what they do and why they change so often.||3/19/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean391 - When It's All Said and Done||John and Craig welcome back Aline Brosh McKenna to talk about what she learned producing four seasons of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.||3/12/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean390 - Getting Staffed||John and Craig proudly welcome back former Scriptnotes producer Megan McDonnell to tell her journey from film student to getting staffed on her first television show.||3/5/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean389 - The Future of the Industry||John and Craig invite back Chris Keyser, co-chair of the WGA’s 2019 Agency Agreement negotiating committee, to discuss the issues.||2/26/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean388 - The Clown Stays in the Picture||John welcomes Matt Selman, executive producer of The Simpsons, for a deep dive look at the three-year process of developing a single episode from initial idea to the finished product.||2/19/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||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|
I Wish That I Knew Then What I Know Now
If you’re an active screenwriter, an aspiring screenwriter, a storyteller, a director, an editor, a copywriter, a freelance anything, and/or just a fan of movies/filmmaking/story, stop reading this and start listening to Scriptnotes.
Oh. You’re still here. Why are you still reading this? Are you digging for a little more info before you commit to listening to an ad-free podcast?
OK. Here’s the deal.
When I look back on my life at this point, I see squandered opportunity after squandered opportunity with regards to screenwriting. I had people going out of their way to help me, nurture me, guide me… and I blew it. And along the way, I blew through tons of money and, most importantly, TIME. I can only wonder what it would be like if everything I’ve learned from John & Craig over the past five years of listening I knew about 10-12 years ago. If so, I wouldn’t have made every single awful decision I made at that time. And the mistakes you make early… they can cripple and derail you for life.
So, if you really want to give your dreams their best chance of success (or just be a smarter about film, story, and life), don’t repeat my mistakes. And if you really listen and pay attention to John & Craig (and their guests), you won’t.
So, again, please, stop reading… and start listening to Scriptnotes.
Scriptnotes, lapping the competition for years.
I’m a long time Scriptnotes listener who recently branched out to other screenwriting podcasts. John and Craig are easily lapping every single screenwriting podcast out there, except for one.
In a world filled with podcasts hosts of questionable creative authority and intentions, Scriptnotes is as authentic and as valuable as it gets.
I've been listening to this poscast for years. It's probably the best podcast about working in the film business out there. I recommend it to everyone I know who wants to pursue working in entertainment.