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
    • 5.0 • 2 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.

    585 - Do Muppets Bleed?

    585 - Do Muppets Bleed?

    John and Craig take a look at ‘writer fingerprints.’ They break down how idiosyncratic choices make up an individual’s style on-the-page and offer advice on how to mimic someone else’s voice.
    Follow up includes pet rock, a defense of script consultants, the preface page in Tár, and the anti-“actually” mindset.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, we offer advice to a producer who needs help working with a writer who can’t seem to finish — or deliver — a script.
    Links:
    Scriptnotes episodes with 2023 Oscar Nominees Sarah Polley, Rian Johnson, Daniels, Pamela Ribon Weekend Read Beta Try it out — now updated with all FYC scripts! Writing in another writer’s style on John’s blog with advice from Dara Resnick Creasey Algorithms were able to figure out that Robert Galbraith was JK Rowling Good Conversations Have Lots of Doorknobs by Adam Mastroianni The Case of The Golden Idol game 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 Luke Yoquinto, who discovered it in the score to Coming to America by Nile Rodgers (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 1 min
    584 - Adapting Your Own Novel

    584 - Adapting Your Own Novel

    Taffy Brodesser-Akner joins us to discuss her journey adapting her bestselling novel “Fleishman Is in Trouble” into an acclaimed limited series. We chat about drawing inspiration from the familiar, learning how manage others, and presenting multiple sides to a story.
    We also answer listener questions about naming characters, decorative dialogue, and the renaissance of the television half-hour.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, we dig into the art and structure of the celebrity profile, a genre in which Taffy is herself an expert.
    Links:
    Fleishman Is in Trouble on Hulu, and the book Taffy’s GQ Celebrity Profiles This Film Does Not Exist By Frank Pavich for NYT, Tron reimagined by AI in the style of Jodorowsky’s Dune, images by Midjourney This Voice Doesn’t Exist – Generative Voice AI VALL-E Neural Codec Language Models are Zero-Shot Text to Speech Synthesizers Vintage Contemporaries by Dan Kois Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Taffy Brodesser-Akner on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John August on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Ryan Gerberding (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
    583 - The One with Sarah Polley

    583 - The One with Sarah Polley

    John and Craig invite writer/director Sarah Polley to discuss her critically acclaimed feature “Women Talking.” They cover twice-removed adaptations, the world’s best eye-roll, and the power of narration.
    We also look at “Run Towards the Danger” — the title of Sarah’s book as well as her personal philosophy.
    In our bonus segment, we talk about child actors. Sarah shares her perspective as a former child actor and what it’s like to have her own kids on set.
    Links:
    Sarah Polley on IMDb and on Instagram Women Talking film and novel by Miriam Toews Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory By Sarah Polley Find the Women Talking Script by Sarah Polley here The DIY Scientist, the Olympian, and the Mutated Gene by David Epstein for ProPublica Mophie 3-in-1 Charger with MagSafe Till film 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 Timothy Lenko (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 1 min
    582 - Who Can You Trust?

    582 - Who Can You Trust?

    John and Craig dissect expertise and “why you should think twice or thrice before taking someone’s advice.” They look at how survivorship bias, pride, and luck should factor into how we judge sources of authority.
    We answer listener questions on raising kids in LA, writers for videogames, and Megana asks about creative-comedowns.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, we discuss natural disasters in Los Angeles and preparation plans. 
    Links:
    The Last of Us premieres on HBO 1/15/23 at 6pm! Can “The Last of Us” Break the Curse of Bad Video-Game Adaptations? by Alex Barasch for the New Yorker Use PROMO code ONION for $10 off an annual Scriptnotes Membership email help@supportingcast.fm if you run into any issues Scriptnotes, Episode 574: Difficult Scenes, Transcript Erik Grankvist’s Video of Building a Log Cabin Shottr screenshot app Humans Walk Weird. Scientists May Finally Know Why by Katrina Miller The Big One – Probability Earthquake Will Occur in Los Angeles ARK Storm and The Great Flood of 1862 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 Nica Brooke (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
    581 - A Guide to Good Writing

    581 - A Guide to Good Writing

    John and Craig (and Aline!) discuss the elements of quality writing in this collection of craft conversations.
    As we work on the Scriptnotes book, producer Megana Rao has been collecting wisdom from the archives to write an introductory chapter to define good writing. In these segments we cover how to find your voice, spot confidence on the page, and actively watch films.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, John and Megana discuss the Scriptnotes book and rumors of upcoming industry strife.
    Links:
    Scriptnotes Episode 239 – What is good writing? Scriptnotes Episode 76 – How screenwriters find their voice with Aline Brosh McKenna Scriptnotes Episode 432 – Learning From Movies Sign up for Scriptnotes Premium to listen to the episodes sampled as well as the entire archive. Use promo code ONION to save $10 on annual subscriptions. Dangers of Elite Projection by Jarrett Walker Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think About Abortion by Gabrielle Blair Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Aline Brosh McKenna on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John August on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Martin Kubitzky (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao with segments by Stuart Friedel and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    580 - Finding a Way In, and Out

    580 - Finding a Way In, and Out

    In this How Would This Be a Movie case study, John interviews screenwriter William Nicholson (Les Misérables, Gladiator) on the challenges he faced with his script for Thirteen Lives, a film that follows the attempted rescue of a Thai soccer team trapped in a cave in 2018. They cover issues of life rights, competing projects, narrative point of view and cultural sensitivity.
    Before that, John and Craig discuss end-of-year news in Hollywood, the recent changes to HBO Max, and what that means for creators and audiences in the new year.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, we discuss our aspirations and resolutions for 2023.
    Links:
    William Nicholson on IMdB Watch the conversation between John and William here Thank you to the Writers Guild Foundation for organizing the event! Use Promo Code ONION for two months free in our annual Scriptnotes premium membership Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Welcome to Digital Nomadland by Kyle Jeffers for Wired Fleischman Is In Trouble on Hulu Andor 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 Michael Lane (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 9 min

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