Scriptnotes Podcast

Scriptnotes Podcast
John August and Craig Mazin discussing things screenwriters talk about.
358 - Point of View
Jul 10 • 51 min
John and Craig discuss the power of point of view in scripts and how the choice of which characters have storytelling power changes how we experience a movie. Point of view has a meaningful role in creating mystery, expanding scale, elevating characters,
357 - This Title is an Example of Exposition
Jul 3 • 59 min
John and Craig debate and defend one of the most-maligned elements of screenwriting: Exposition. How do you tell an audience what they need to know without being labeled a hack? We offer tips for getting viewers up to speed without them realizing they’r
356 - Writing Animated Features
Jun 26 • 47 min
John welcomes Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Homeward Bound) to talk about her experience writing animated features, from the parallel processes of writing and production to her paltry paycheck for Beauty and the Beast. They consid
355 - Not Worth Winning
Jun 19 • 58 min
In light of the dust-up over Coverfly, John and Craig discuss why most screenwriting contests are essentially useless and should be avoided.
354 - Upgrade
Jun 12 • 67 min
Craig welcomes Leigh Whannell, writer of the Saw and Insidious franchises, to discuss low-budget filmmaking, sequels on sequels, the horror landscape and his new movie, Upgrade.
353 - Bad Behavior
Jun 5 • 59 min
John and Craig discuss the hot new trend of firing jerks from successful TV shows. Why is it happening now like never before? Is there an important distinction between being “difficult” and being a jerk?
352 - Infinite Westworld
May 29 • 72 min
John and Craig welcome Lisa Joy & Jonah Nolan (Westworld) and Stephen McFeely & Christopher Markus (Avengers: Infinity War) to our annual live show benefitting Hollywood Heart.
351 - Full Circle
May 22 • 56 min
John and Craig talk about the way that movies tend to bring their stories full circle, and what that means for writers trying to figure out their story beats. They discuss rhyming, bookending and how properly setting up the central thematic question help
350 - Limerence
May 15 • 58 min
John and co-host John Gatins sit down with Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom to discuss the experience of writing the third season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, from breaking story in hot tubs to adjusting genital-related dances in compliance with Broadcast
349 - Putting Words on the Page
May 8 • 57 min
John and Craig discuss the digital tools of the trade. From outline to first draft to production rewrites, screenwriters find themselves facing different challenges. We talk about what works for each of us. We also speculate on what impact Highland 2’s
348 - All About Family
May 1 • 59 min
John and Craig partake in another installment of How Would This Be a Movie? Which story is destined for the big screen: The millennial mother with her surprise, Youtube-guided childbirth? The couple that has the same fight for decades? The Japanese famili
347 - Conflict of Interest
Apr 24 • 61 min
John and Craig examine the myriad conflicts of interest that arise in Hollywood, from self-dealing studios to packaging fees to pilot season.
346 - Changing the Defaults
Apr 17 • 56 min
John sits down with screenwriter Christina Hodson to discuss race, gender, and representation in Hollywood, and how screenwriters can help correct the status quo with the one thing they can control: the words on the page.
345 - Love, Aptaker & Berger
Apr 10 • 57 min
John and Craig welcome Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, the writing team that showruns This Is Us and just made history with Love, Simon.
344 - Comedy Geometry
Apr 3 • 56 min
Craig welcomes Alec Berg, executive producer of two current HBO comedies (Barry and Silicon Valley), to discuss balancing productivity and creative energy, “comedy geometry,” and identifying as a craftsman rather than an artist.
343 - The One with the Indie Producer
Mar 27 • 52 min
John welcomes independent producer Keith Calder to discuss what a producer actually does, how financing and distribution strategies have changed with streaming, and how to approach film festivals as a filmmaker.
342 - Getting Paid for It
Mar 20 • 59 min
John and Craig delve into the business of screenwriting from money to managers to medical plans.
341 - Knowing vs. Discovering
Mar 13 • 56 min
John and Craig consider how much a writer should know before going into a scene, looking at the perks and pitfalls of planning and letting oneself discover.
340 - What’s the Plan, Anyway?
Mar 6 • 58 min
John and Craig speculate what Luke Skywalker’s plan might have been in the opening of Return of the Jedi. They consider heroes’ plans generally, the allowance we grant as an audience for opening sequences and the foul taste of “logic ketchup.”
339 - Mostly Terrible People
Feb 27 • 68 min
John and Craig evaluate another set of exceptional news stories for their fitness for the big screen in this week’s How Would This Be a Movie?