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

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.

    434 - Ambition and Anxiety

    434 - Ambition and Anxiety

    John and Craig discuss the difference between ambition and anxiety, and how writers can find a balance. We also follow up on agency developments and a new study that shows the live-action Aladdin is good for your health.
    Then we host another round of the Three Page Challenge, this time focusing on establishing the setting. Thank you to all of our participants, especially Janelle B. Gatchalian, Alex Beattie, and Linda Yardley.
    And for our Premium Members, John and Craig express their views on gift bags, and in particular coffee mugs.
    Special thanks to Bo Shim and Jacq Lesko.
    Links:
    Sign up for premium here Arlo Finch in the Kingdom of Shadows Launch Event: February 9, 2pm at Chevalier’s on Larchmont Gersh Signs Agency Agreement Aladdin Will Save Your Life Download Highland 2 here, professors and students interested in the free student edition, email brand@johnaugust.com Download Weekend Read to read Academy Award nominated scripts Knives Out by Rian Johnson Bruja by Janelle B. Gatchalian Night of Game by Alex Beattie Upward Mobility by Linda Minella Yardley (Story by Carol Gold Lande and Linda Minella Yardley) House of Da Vinci How America Uses its Land Sweetgreen Composting John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Jemma Moran (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 21 min
    433 - The One with Greta Gerwig

    433 - The One with Greta Gerwig

    John and Greta Gerwig (writer/director of Little Women and Lady Bird) discuss adaptation, ambition and authorship. With the screenplay in front of them, they look at specific scenes in Little Women and explore how its non-linear timeline changed how the movie works.
    We also answer listener questions on writing for the page and starting a family as an aspiring writer.
    Craig joins us for the post-credits bonus segment when he shares what it was like winning a Golden Globe for Chernobyl.
    Links:
    Follow along with the Little Women script in Weekend Read Little Women Script NYT Article with John and Megana Hollywood Assistants Are Fed Up by Rachel Abrams Sign up for Scriptnotes Premium here New York in Color Jigsaw Puzzle Behave by Robert Sapolsky Greta Gerwig John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Jemma Moran (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.
    **UPDATE 1-15-2020**This episode was republished due to a production issue. 

    • 1 hr 8 min
    432 - Learning from Movies

    432 - Learning from Movies

    John and Craig discuss what screenwriters can learn from watching movies. They cover techniques for making the most of the movies they watch and the questions you should be asking afterward.
    We also share more advice from listeners about moving to LA and lots of answers FOR listeners who’ve written in with questions.
    And for Scriptnotes Premium members, we have a bonus segment discussing The Mandalorian.
    Links:
    Southern California Counseling Center How I Created A Deepfake of Mark Zuckerberg and Star Trek’s Data by Timothy Lee for Ars Technica Vertiflex Superion John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Adam Locke Norton (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
    128 - Frozen with Jennifer Lee

    128 - Frozen with Jennifer Lee

    In the tradition of the Raiders and Little Mermaid episodes, John and guest host Aline Brosh McKenna discuss and dissect the award-winning, record-setting, paradigm-shifting Frozen. But this time, we have the writer on hand to answer our questions.
    Jennifer Lee not only wrote Frozen, she co-directed it. She talks us through all the twists, turns, and happy surprises on the journey. We go scene-by-scene and song-by-song to look at how it works and how it changed during development.
    It’s an episode full of spoilers. But it’s also totally PG, so if your kids want to listen, let ‘em.
    Craig will be back next week with an all-new episode and no recollection of what happened.
    *This post originally aired on January 28, 2014
    Links:
    Aline Brosh McKenna on episodes 60, 76, 100, 101, 119, 123 and 124 Jennifer Lee on IMDb and Wikipedia Frozen The Frozen final shooting draft Let it Go in 25 languages Our episodes on Raiders of the Lost Ark and Little Mermaid Outro by Scriptnotes listener Matthew Chilelli  
    You can download the episode here: AAC | mp3.
    UPDATE 2-1-14: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    296 - Television with Damon Lindelof

    296 - Television with Damon Lindelof

    John sits down with Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) for a bonus-length discussion of all things TV.
    We focus on getting that first job, breaking story, and how writing rooms work. We also answer listener questions ranging from knowing when to let a pilot script die, to crediting original ideas.
    Finally, we talk about the notion of Idea Debt, and how to say goodbye to projects you’ll never complete.
    This episode originally aired on April 18, 2017.
    Links:
    Damon Lindelof The Leftovers: Final Season Trailer Jessica Abel on Idea Debt How I Got Out of Idea Debt by John Sexton Occupied City Girl John Hodgman’s Only Child John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Find past episodes Outro by Rajesh Naroth (send us yours!)  
    Email us at ask@johnaugust.com
    You can download the episode here.
    UPDATE 4-24-17: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    431 - Holiday Live Show 2019

    431 - Holiday Live Show 2019

    John and Craig welcome Kevin Feige (President of Marvel Studios), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World), and Shoshannah Stern (This Close, Weeds, Jericho), to discuss creating an early aughts period piece, working with co-writers, and making genre movies out of comic books.
    We also introduce Scriptnotes Premium and play games on Real vs. Fake Awards Shows and literal movie quotes. Stay tuned for our bonus segment after the credits when we answer audience questions about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and creative rituals.
    Thank you to the Writers Guild Foundation and the LA Film School for hosting us!
    Links:
    Sign up for Scriptnotes Premium Thank you to our incredible guests: Kevin Feige, Lorene Scafaria, and Shoshannah Stern, for joining us! And thanks to Robbie Sutton and Elizabeth Green for interpreting the show. Scriptnotes, Ep 44: Endings for Beginnings Twitter Block Chain Extension AI Dungeon Bathtubs Over Broadway Soundtrack FDA Approves Transparent Surgical Masks Dolly Parton’s America Podcast Kevin Feige on Twitter Lorene Scafaria on Twitter Shoshannah Stern on Twitter John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro and Intro 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.

    • 1 hr 28 min

Customer Reviews

hayleygrg ,

Wonderful

I'm in a yearlong comedy-focused film school at the moment and I expect my cohortmates have a bingo game about me that has "Scriptnotes", "John August" and "Craig Mazin" as squares. I reference Scriptnotes constantly. It's unbeatable for its thoughtful, potent, realistic advice from two super-smart guys (and their guests!) who truly want to help new talent earn a way in. Thank you for making this, John & Craig!

Motke Dapp ,

A must for screenwriters

I not only love this podcast, I actually talk about it often. Usually to other people.

Musaholic ,

If you wanna be a screenwriter start here!

I happily followed John August’s website for years for top notch screenwriting advice. And one day he physically streamlined his website (no shade just facts), which led to a head-on collision with the archives of this BRILLIANT podcast! And I’ve never looked back!

As someone who’s paid for screenwriting classes over years, I can say firsthand that this is all you need! Seriously. And that’s why it’s my fav podcast hands down. It’s easy to listen to while you’re doing chores or driving or doing anything you dislike bc it’s always entertaining and keeps you engaged and happy and if you have a soul, inspired. I have even gotten an insane amount of writer & creative friends I know to also start listening to this weekly, just by recommending ONE episode. And I say that ONLU bc it proves that it’s a legit info-palooza so good that once you start you likely won’t wanna stop listening. It also gives you up to the minute advice for an ever changing industry.

John & Craig are so different they genuinely balance each other out in a very Oscar & Felix way, lol. Even the bulk of their individual career experiences for the most part cover different sides of the screenwriting industry. Their connections also bring AMAZING guests, and super thoughtful, inclusive conversations about writing and the entertainment industry at large. This includes a bunch of topic specific live shows that address larger ideas about writing and being a writer. Everything from how to write responsibly about mental health, to what networks & creative execs should consider to make the most out of working with writers.

And say like with your kids that you prefer one more than the others even though you’ll never admit it, lol, they have a number of shows where it’s sometimes just one of them (bc of scheduling). Though I will say in all honesty that they are at their best when they’re one-on-one with each other. They also balance each other out when it comes to interviewing guests. Plus their convos with guests are so natural that it feels like they’re letting you hanging out with them, instead of lecturing to you. Plus Scriptnotes has a very interactive online community if being engaged & trying to be a working writer is your thing!

Basically I feel like there is something for every writer & creative somewhere in the world that Craig & John have created. I hope you enjoy it!

Top Podcasts In TV & Film

Listeners Also Subscribed To