20 episodes

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.

Scriptnotes Podcast John August and Craig Mazin

    • TV & Film
    • 4.8 • 322 Ratings

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.

    568 - Writing as Acting

    568 - Writing as Acting

    John and Craig analyze what lessons writers can learn from acting techniques (such as staying present) and working with actors (like staying open).
    We also discuss writer retirement, how Craig’s “central dramatic argument” applies to TV, and the skill of cutting a character to save a scene.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, we discuss The Future and what we owe it.
    Links:
    Writer Emergency Pack XL is funded! Support here on Kickstarter! Green Burial Council and Is California ready for ‘human composting’ as an alternative to casket burial, cremation? by Anabel Sosa for the LA Times John’s Blogpost on Fake Tears Scriptnotes Episode 76: How screenwriters find their voice Scriptnotes Episode 403: How to Write A Movie Patton Oswalt on King of Queens Cut A Character Save A Scene on John’s Blog Ants Outnumber Everything by Dino Grandoni for the Washington Post Why Question Words Start with Wh on Reddit Bo Shim’s LA Food Guide: Western Doma Noodles hole-in-the-wall treasure, MDK Noodles in K-town, Zzamong for Jjjangmyun, KyoChon for fried chicken–especially the honey wings, Aliya Lavaland for (lava) mooncakes, Mandarin Noodle House in Monterey Park What We Owe the Future by William Macaskill Candy Corn Infused Vodka Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Twitter John August on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Nico Mansy (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 50 min
    567 - No Stars, Please

    567 - No Stars, Please

    John and Craig discuss movie and television stars. When do you want to cast a huge star, and when is it not a good idea? From big names in small parts to new names in big parts, they try to calculate how much fame a role requires.
    We follow up on the editing process and share advice on staying nimble. We also answer listener questions on recorded pitches, writing left behind, and time management with multiple contracts.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, we play a round of Two Truths and a Lie to test our deception skills.
    Links:
    Get tickets for the Scriptnotes Live Show Livestream Order Writer Emergency Pack XL here! Learn more about the original Writer Emergency Pack here WGA No Writing Left Behind A Year Ago, Nicole Kidman Tried To Save The Movies. She Had No Idea What Would Come Next. by David Mack for Buzzfeed Murray Bartlett and his Emmy’s acceptance speech. Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Twitter John August on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Adam Pineless (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 56 min
    566 - Not Controversial At All

    566 - Not Controversial At All

    John invites writer/producer/actor Ashley Nicole Black (Ted Lasso, Black Lady Sketch Show) to discuss fandoms, cultural appropriation and boycotts over abortion access.
     
    They also answer simpler listener questions: What do TV producer titles really mean? When should you attach a showrunner? And what happens when you disagree with your manager?
     
    In our bonus segment for premium members, they talk parties! John and Ashley discuss the new norms for hosting people post-pandemic.



















    Links:
    Our first post-pandemic live show on October 19 is sold out, but you can still get tickets to the livestream here! WGA West Elections Coalition Of 1,425 Showrunners & Directors Raises $2.5M To Help Women Gain Access To Abortions While Calling On Studios To Step Up on Deadline Scriptnotes Episode 533, We See and We Hear Transcript Find out more about Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward’s Writing the Other book and workshops Hiromi Goto’s 6 Questions on cultural appropriation Critics and Fans Have Never Disagreed More About Movies by Lucas Shaw for Bloomberg Mack’s AquaBlock Swimming Earplugs Thigh Society Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Ashley Nicole Black on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John August on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Bryan C. Sanchez (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 59 min
    565 - Sorry to Splaflut

    565 - Sorry to Splaflut

    John and Craig host a round of the Three Page Challenge, a segment where they offer feedback on listeners’ scripts. This week they discuss the whiplash of cutting too quickly, captivating title pages, and V.O. narration that actually works.
    We also cover the return of MoviePass, 25 years of Netflix, and AI generated language.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, we discuss senior year.
    Links:
    Our first post-pandemic liveshow will be on October 19, 2022 and tickets will be available to premium members on September 9! Order your new Scriptnotes Shirt here! Things I Think Are Awesome: Hunger Stones and Stability, Lynn Cherny’s substack Made-Up Words Trick AI Text-To-Image Generators Discover Magazine This Word Does Not Exist @Dribnet’s Twitter Thread on Splaflut MoviePass beta MoviePass Will Work This Time* Alex Kirshner writing for Slate Netflix turns 25 HBO Max Cynthia Littleton for Variety Secret History of Mac Gaming Happy Halpinmas Mark Halpin’s Labor Day Puzzles Three Page Challenge Selections: Oculum by Larry Bambrick, We’re All Very Tired by Marissa Gawel, Wake by Jordan Johnson Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Twitter John August on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Matthew Jordan (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    564 - Brocal Fry

    564 - Brocal Fry

    John and Craig answer questions from listeners teetering on the precipice of success. What projects do you take after a big win? How can you make the most money in your career? And how do you move forward when your dream project dies?
    We follow up on vocal fry/linguistic tics, HBO Max’s recent announcements, and the trades.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, the guys look at whether the start-up mentality of ‘failing fast’ can be applied to screenwriting.
    Links:
    HBO Max to Remove 36 Titles, Including 20 Originals, From Streaming Gabriella’s short film recommendations: Squirrel, Bev, Savasana, Learning to Walk, Lavender, Home OXO Coffee Grinder Fluid Morph Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Twitter John August on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 55 min
    563 - VFX Deep Dive

    563 - VFX Deep Dive

    John and Craig welcome VFX supervisor Alex Wang (The Last of Us) and VFX producer/writer Addie Manis (Foundation) to pull back the (green screen) curtain on the visual effects production process.
    We ask the VFX experts to break down a sample scene, line by line to explain how they’d turn scene description into an actual scene. From their first read to the edit, they describe how the script guides the visual language for their projects.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, John and Craig talk about friends, both how to make them and how to keep them.
    Links:
    Follow along with the sample scene here. Alex Wang on IMDb Addie Manis on IMDb and Twitter The Perils of Audience Capture by Gurwinder Bhogal Craig’s Favorite Laser Pointer Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Twitter John August on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Aguilera (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
322 Ratings

322 Ratings

Thelarkreturnd ,

Required listening for screenwriters

Two big league Hollywood screenwriters talk about writing for features and TV... and things that are interesting to screenwriters. It's made by the insider insight and Odd Couple pairing of John August and Craig Maizen. Useful on creative work and practical business, but interesting too - even if you aren't a working screenwriter in Hollywood.

tezmabob ,

Regarding ep. 501 on “You’ll never walk alone”

Hi Guys,
As a mancunian I thought you ought to know that the song “You’ll never walk alone” was originally sung by fans of Manchester United until Liverpool fans caught onto it and it became more associated with the Scousers than the Mancs

TreyRoque ,

It’s a little bit like Jesus, really, isn’t it?

This’d be good, informative in the biz and techniques of scriptwriting, if it weren’t so larded with their politics. After a while it gets like hearing the local parson say ‘It’s a little bit like Jesus, isn’t it?’ at the slightest opportunity.

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