Scriptnotes Podcast

20 EpisodesProduced by John August and Craig Mazin

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.

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396 - Big Numbers

April 16th, 2019


John and Craig talk big numbers, from the latest developments in the WGA/agency situation, to the announcement of Disney+ and the final installment …

395 - All in this Together

April 9th, 2019


John and Craig explore the challenge of creating a movie with a group of heroes and multiple points of view. They’ll discuss options for structuring …

394 - Broken but Sympathetic

April 2nd, 2019


John and Craig welcome back Can You Ever Forgive Me? director Marielle Heller to discuss the challenge of creating a hero the audience can root for while also establishing that the character must change.

We also answer …

393 - Twenty Questions About the Agency Agreement

March 26th, 2019


John welcomes WGA negotiation committee members Chris Keyser and Angelina Burnett to answer listener questions on what’s happening and what to …

392 - The Final Moment

March 19th, 2019


John and Craig examine the final moment in movies, what they do and why they change so often.

We also take on vaccines, corruption, and extreme …

391 - When It's All Said and Done

March 12th, 2019


John and Craig welcome back Aline Brosh McKenna to talk about what she learned producing four seasons of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Aline shares the …

390 - Getting Staffed

March 5th, 2019


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.

We then review a batch of Three Page Challenge …

389 - The Future of the Industry

February 26th, 2019


John and Craig invite back Chris Keyser, co-chair of the WGA’s 2019 Agency Agreement negotiating committee, to discuss the issues. Specifically, they look at the difference between “packaging” and “packaging fees,” and …

388 - The Clown Stays in the Picture

February 19th, 2019


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 …

Scriptnotes, 387: Seattle Live Show 2019

February 12th, 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, …

Extra: The Agency Agreement

February 7th, 2019


John and Craig offer a special reminder to guild members to attend one of the upcoming WGA Agency Agreement meetings.


386 - The Princess Bride

February 5th, 2019


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 …

385 - Rules and Plans

January 29th, 2019


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.

We …

384 - Plot Holes

January 22nd, 2019


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.

We also respond …

383 - Splitting the Party

January 15th, 2019


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 …

382 - Professional Realism

January 8th, 2019


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 …

381 - Becoming a Professional Screenwriter

January 1st, 2019


John welcomes Tess Morris, Christina Hodson, Nicole Perlman, and Jason Fuchs to discuss their paths to becoming a professional screenwriter. They …

380 - Double Ampersand

December 25th, 2018


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 …

379 - Holiday Live Show 2018

December 18th, 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 …

378 - The Worst of the Worst

December 11th, 2018


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.

We also answer listener questions about WGA …

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