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 • 2.3K 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.

    632 - Mystery and Suspense

    632 - Mystery and Suspense

    John has the flu (or does he?) and Craig is missing, so we’re going back through the vaults to look at the mechanics of mystery and suspense. How do writers exploit the audience’s curiosity? What builds and breaks their trust? How do you use suspense across genres? And what do these techniques look like on the page?
    But first, we look at the current agency shakeups and share our thoughts on OpenAI’s new engine, Sora.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, John and Drew talk about their experience with the Apple Vision Pro.
    Links:
    Scriptnotes 269 – Mystery vs. Confusion Scriptnotes 332 – Wait for It A3 Artists Agency Shuts Down by Aaron Couch and Rebecca Sun for The Hollywood Reporter Verve CEO and Co-Founder Bill Weinstein Leaves Agency After 14 Years by Cynthia Littleton for Variety A few thoughts on Sora by John August GOODY-2 Meet the Pranksters Behind Goody-2, the World’s ‘Most Responsible’ AI Chatbot by Will Knight for Wired Claire Keegan Contextual computing with Vision Pro: My Writing Cabin by David Sparks Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Threads and Instagram John August on Threads, Instagram and Twitter John on Mastodon Outro by Eric Pearson (send us yours!) Segments originally produced by Godwin Jabangwe and Megan McDonnell. Scriptnotes is produced by Drew Marquardt and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

     

    • 1 hr 13 min
    631 - Adapting for Television

    631 - Adapting for Television

    John welcomes writer and showrunner Francesca Sloane (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Atlanta) to talk about her process of bringing a big-screen property to television. She shares how she and Donald Glover found their way into the story, how it evolved in development, building a room that was all women of color, re-writing on set, and the many lessons she learned as a first time showrunner.
    We also follow up on writing partners and phonetic alphabets before answering listener questions on writing samples, casting on the page and why some screenplays are free to read.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, we dig into the benefits (and drawbacks) of film schools and fellowships.
    Links:
    Francesca Sloane on Instagram Mr. & Mrs. Smith on Amazon Prime Video ISPA: Inter-Species Phonetic Alphabet for Transcribing Animal Sounds by Masato Hagiwara, Marius Miron and Jen-Yu Liu Bluets by Maggie Nelson A Unified Theory of F-cks by Mandy Brown Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Threads and Instagram John August on Threads, Instagram and Twitter John on Mastodon Outro by Eric Pearson (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Drew Marquardt and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 53 min
    630 - The One with Celine Song

    630 - The One with Celine Song

    John welcomes Celine Song (Past Lives) to chart her journey from playwright to Oscar-nominated screenwriter. We discuss the intricacies of writing bilingually, the similarities between theater and a writers room, finding the right collaborators and how writing prepared Celine for for the rigors of directing.
    We also follow up on foreign courts, the Tiffany problem, and answer listener questions on American grad schools and table reads.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, Celine looks back on her production of The Seagull in The Sims 4 and reflects on the importance of experimenting with form.
    Links:
    Celine Song on IMDb and Instagram Past Lives The Seagull on The Sims 4 The Wheel of Time A real bald eagle call vs a red-tailed hawk Deadwood and The American President Shottr Baldur’s Gate 3 Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Threads and Instagram John August on Threads, Instagram and Twitter John on Mastodon Outro by Nico Mansy (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Drew Marquardt and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 53 min
    629 - Cork Grease

    629 - Cork Grease

    John and Craig host another round of the Three Page Challenge, where they give their honest feedback on three listener-submitted scripts. They offer insights into using sound realistically, writing action that can be easily directed, finding subtext in dialogue, and navigating complex points of view.
    But first, we dig into several tricky listener questions: How does a writing team discuss their individual work with their reps? When is it ok to say no to inclusive casting? And how do you break up with a producer?
    In our bonus segment for premium members, we delve into tough questions and offer advice to our younger selves.
    Links:
    Weekend Read 2 ROUTES by Colton W. Miller, MEGHA GENESIS by Priti Trivedi, and THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS by Eric Hunsley Delve Deck Zarak by Afghan Kitchen – Vancouver Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Threads and Instagram John August on Threads, Instagram and Twitter John on Mastodon Outro by Matt Davis (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Drew Marquardt and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    628 - The Fandom Menace

    628 - The Fandom Menace

    John and Craig discuss the dynamics of fandom, attempting to chart how things get cool, then hot, then terrible. But how are fandoms organized? Where do subcultures start? And how should you engage with the community that forms around your work?
    We also look at an alternative screenplay format from one of last year’s best screenplays, and follow up on bake-offs, distracting accuracies in fiction, and UK writing credits. We then answer questions on original songs, packaging your script, and what you can do when you suspect you’ve been ripped off.
    In our bonus segment for premium members, John and Craig look at the many various fandoms and do their best to enrage them.
    Links:
    The Tiffany Problem ‘Harry Potter’ TV Series Zeroes In On Premise As Selected Writers Pitch Their Ideas To Max WGGB Screenwriting Credits Agreement Ig Nobel Prize – “Please stop, I’m Bored” Anatomy of a Fall – Screenplay Podcasters Took Up Her Sister’s Murder Investigation. Then They Turned on Her by Sarah Viren for the New York Times Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution by David Chapman Going Zero by Anthony McCarten The Devil by Jessica Mazin on Spotify Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt! Check out the Inneresting Newsletter Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription! Craig Mazin on Threads and Instagram John August on Threads, Instagram and Twitter John on Mastodon Outro by Jessica Mazin (send us yours!) Scriptnotes is produced by Drew Marquardt and edited by Matthew Chilelli. Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

     

    • 1 hr 15 min
    SC38 - Sidecast: The DGA Deal, part 2

    SC38 - Sidecast: The DGA Deal, part 2

    The DGA surprised the town yesterday, announcing an update to their already-signed agreement with the AMPTP. The new deal includes select pay bumps and the streaming bonus gained by WGA and SAG-AFTRA after their lengthy strikes.
    John and Drew are back to look at what we know about this off-cycle development and ask questions like huh? And how? And why?
    Links:
    DGA Announces Revisions To Film & TV Contract, Including Addition Of Streaming Bonus To Match WGA’s by Katie Campione for Deadline John on Twitter, Instagram and Mastodon Scriptnotes is produced by Drew Marquardt Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.

    • 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
2.3K Ratings

2.3K Ratings

Tinker Seafun ,

Insightful, wise and fun

So grateful John and Craig saved me all that money on film school!

Nickname Creater ,

You don’t need to be a screenwriter to love this show!

John and Craig share very practical advice about screenwriting in such an entertaining way that even non-screenwriters (like me) can enjoy it. Thanks, gents!

manytopia ,

what's wrong with hollywood writing rooms

The hosts of the show display a strong left-wing perspective, which reflects a broader trend in hollywood writing rooms and the overall industry. This approach may not align with everyone’s views and could be indicative of current challenges in hollywood’s diversity of thought and representation.

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