Scriptnotes Podcast



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.


  • 429 - Cleaning up the Leftovers

    03/12/2019 Duração: 01h02min

    John and Craig use Thanksgiving break to finally answer some long-gestating listener questions, ranging from writing television with act breaks to keeping your drafts organized. Plus we’ll look at two moves by the US Justice Department and their impact on screenwriters. In this week’s bonus segment, we do a meme! We’ll compare and reflect on our beliefs at the start and end of the decade. Links: Scriptnotes Holiday Live Show Assistant Townhall Extra Episode Assistant Townhall Full Livestream Justice Department on WGA ATA negotiations Justice Department Moves to End Paramount Decree Scriptnotes T-shirts now featuring all past designs! Writer Emergency Pack Alphabirds John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Jemma Moran (send us yours!) Email us at [email protected] You can download the episode here.

  • Extra - Assistants Townhall

    03/12/2019 Duração: 01h15min

    John moderates the first Assistants Town Hall with panelists Liz Alper and Jamarah Hayne from #PayUpHollywood, Allison Begalman from Young Entertainment Activists, and employment attorney Jennifer Kramer. The panel examines the current conditions for assistants in Hollywood, the need to determine an accurate livable wage, and next steps for assistants and employers. We also open the floor to questions from assistants and viewers from the livestream. This recording is an abridged version of the event, if you’re interested in watching the whole thing please click the link below! Links: Assistant Townhall Livestream thank you to CNT productions and everyone who helped make this event more accessible! Rent Burdened in LA #PayUpHollywood explained: Industry assistants are speaking out about their wages Thank you to Young Entertainment Activists, CNT Productions, and #PayUpHollwood John August on Twitter Liz Alper on Twitter Allison Begalman on Twitter Email us at [email protected] You can download the episode

  • 428 - Assistant Writers

    26/11/2019 Duração: 01h14min

    John and Craig talk about best practices for assistants who write and how to properly credit support staff. We also touch on the state of WGA negotiations on both the studio and agency front, as well as a look ahead to the AMPTP deal. In our bonus segment, we’ll make our final ruling on cats. Links: Buy tickets for our Live Show Thursday, December 12th with Kevin Feige, Lorene Scafaria, Shoshannah Stern, and Josh Feldman! Professionalism in the Age of the Influencer, read the full text of John’s speech Watch the Assistant Townhall Learn more about Agency Affiliates Solar Mirror Breakthrough Archimedes’ Mirror John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!) Email us at [email protected] You can download the episode here.

  • 427 - The New One with Mike Birbiglia

    19/11/2019 Duração: 01h11min

    John and Craig welcome back writer/comedian Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk with Me, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend) to discuss his one-man show “The New One.” When writing about yourself, how much has to be true? What responsibilities do you have to friends and loved ones? Then it’s a new round of the Three Page Challenge, where we look at the first three pages in listeners’ scripts. We also address Akiva Schaffer’s concerns on movie screeners and try our first-ever bonus segment after the credits. Links: Three Page Challenge – F.T.S. by Danielle Motley Three Page Challenge – Dunked by John Bickerstaff Buy tickets to our live show with guests Kevin Feige, Lorene Scafaria, Shoshannah Stern, and Josh Feldman on December 12th at the LA Film School here. Join us or livestream the Assistant Townhall this Sunday, November 24th Spleeter open source music separation library Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep by Jon Hamilton Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker Support lo

  • 426 - Chance Favors the Prepared with Lulu Wang

    12/11/2019 Duração: 57min

    John and Craig welcome writer-director Lulu Wang (The Farewell) to discuss not explaining things and the recipe for creating your own luck. We also answer listener questions on reactive protagonists, finding friends in LA, and Chris McQuarrie’s Twitter thread. Links: The Farewell Chris McQuarrie Twitter Thread A Lot Of Old Sitcoms Don’t Hold Up. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” Does. by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong God Warrior Remains a Beloved Meme, But Marguerite Perrin Isn’t Afraid of Dark-Sided Stuff Anymore by Justin Klein Three Women by Lisa Taddeo Lulu Wang on Twitter John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by James Llonch & Jim Bond (send us yours!) Email us at [email protected] You can download the episode here.

  • 425 - Tough Love vs. Self Care

    05/11/2019 Duração: 58min

    John and Craig discuss when writers should practice tough love vs. self-care. Inspired by Chuck Wendig’s blog post, they examine how real-world issues impact writers’ ability to get work done — but how they can also be used as an excuse for procrastination and laziness. They offer a checklist for helping decide whether it’s time to be harder or easier on yourself. We also follow up on the Austin Film Festival, fan backlash, and show-runner tips for championing assistant pay, especially during the holiday season. Links: The Official Watchmen Podcast with Craig Mazin Susannah Grant on Creative Decisions behind Unbelievable Release Michael Greene Holiday Bonus Twitter Thread Tough Love vs. Self Care:Sharp Rock, Soft Pillow: The Balance Of Self-Care And Tough Love Chuck Wendig: Terrible Minds One Page Dungeon by watabou Superhero Therapy John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!) Email us at [email protected] You can download the episode here.

  • 424 - Austin Film Festival 2019

    29/10/2019 Duração: 01h06min

    Craig hosts Scriptnotes Live at The Austin Film Festival with guests Ayanna Floyd (The Chi, Empire), Liz Hannah (The Post, Mind Hunter), Nichelle Tramble (Truth Be Told, The Good Wife), Malcolm Spellman (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Empire), David Mandel (Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm), David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (Game of Thrones). They discuss the power of television, writing for the binge model, and the value of telling stories you want to watch. We also play a Craig and David Kwong puzzle on movie quotes and host a round of How Do You Follow THAT Up? Huge thank you to all of our guests! Links: Ayanna Floyd on Twitter and IMDB Liz Hannah on Twitter and IMDB Nichelle Tramble Spellman on IMDB Malcolm Spellman on IMDB David Mandel on Twitter and IMDB David Benioff on IMDB D.B. Weiss on IMDB John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Matthew Chilelli (send us yours!) Email us at [email protected] You can download the episode here.

  • 423 - Minimum Viable Movie

    22/10/2019 Duração: 01h02min

    John and Craig discuss how to figure out if a given idea can work as a movie. What are the minimum requirements for story and vision a writer should consider before starting on a screenplay? We also invite Megana Rao and Bo Shim to follow up on our discussion of low assistant pay. Plus follow up from the WGA and video game industry awards, and a look ahead to the Austin Film Festival. Links: Austin Film Festival Schedule Taylor Swift Tiny Desk Concert on NPR What Is the Time Signature of the Ominous Electronic Score of The Terminator? by Seth Stevenson John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Tyler Adams (send us yours!) Email us at [email protected] You can download the episode here  

  • 422 - Assistants Aren’t Paid Nearly Enough

    15/10/2019 Duração: 01h07min

    John and Craig tackle the issue of assistant pay in Hollywood. Last week they called for assistants to share how much they were getting paid and the impact of those wages. They received a record number of responses highlighting the inequities in the industry. Using these emails, they take a look at the biggest issues with current pay and the challenges ahead. We also discuss videogame writing, spec features, and thesauri. Thank you to all of the Hollywood assistants who wrote in for this episode! Links: Hollywood’s Grueling Hours & Drowsy-Driving Problem: Crew Members Speak Out Despite Threat To Careers WGA Will No Longer Award Video Game Writing John’s Post on Assistant Pay Untitled Goose Game Queer Qrosswords John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Naomi Randall (send us yours!) Email us at [email protected] You can download the episode here

  • 421 - Follow Upisode

    08/10/2019 Duração: 59min

    John and Craig follow up on things they’ve discussed in the previous 420 episodes, so you might want to listen to those first. We check in on getting an agent, copyright law, the future of the industry, post-2016 election reflections, assistant pay, and much more. Links: Scriptnotes, Ep 5, Copyright and Work for Hire Real-Life ‘Terminator’: Major Studios Face Sweeping Loss of Iconic ‘80s Film Franchise Rights by Eriq Gardner Copyright Section 203 Friday 13th Screenwriter Wins Rights Battle by Eriq Gardner Scriptnotes, Ep 2, How to get an agent and/or manager Scriptnotes, Ep 389, The Future of the Industry How Ari Emanuel’s Outsize IPO Dreams Were Dashed by Kim Masters Why Endeavor’s IPO U-Turn Was a Surprisingly Brilliant Move by Lawrence Meyers WeWork: At What Point Does Malfeasance Become Fraud by Scott Galloway Scriptnotes, Ep 42, Verbs are what’s happening Extra, This Feeling Will End Ep 335, Introducing Launch Launch Podcast Scriptnotes Ep 419, Professionalism Scriptnotes Ep 403, How to Write A Mov

  • 420 - The One with Seth Rogen

    01/10/2019 Duração: 56min

    John and Craig welcome writer/actor/producer/director Seth Rogen (Superbad, Knocked Up, Good Boys) to the podcast. They discuss Seth’s writing process, evolving with a creative partner, and the cinematic origins of 420. Seth then joins them for another edition of How Would This Be a Movie? looking at stories ranging from corruption, cattle mutilation, and geriatric thieves. Links: 420 origins according to Wikipedia ‘Someone’s Gotta Tell the Freakin’ Truth’: Jerry Falwell’s Aides Break Their Silence by Brandon Ambrosino Mysterious Oregon Cattle Killings, Mutilations Alarm Ranchers by Diana Kruzman An 82-year-old Man Slipped Past Doormen in Upscale Buildings for Years and Stole $400k in Jewelry, Police Say by Madeline Holcombe and Joshua Girsky How to Tighten Up Your Game at Work When You’re Depressed by Captain Awkward Saucey: Alcohol Delivery App Hilarity for Charity National Expungement Week, Seth’s PSA John August on Twitter Craig Mazin on Twitter Seth Rogen on Twitter John on Instagram Outro by Rajesh

  • 419 - Professionalism

    24/09/2019 Duração: 01h01min
  • 418 - The One with David Koepp

    17/09/2019 Duração: 01h05min
  • 417 - Idea Management

    10/09/2019 Duração: 01h10min
  • 416 - Fantasy Worldbuilding

    03/09/2019 Duração: 01h03min
  • 415 - The Veep Episode

    27/08/2019 Duração: 54min
  • 414 - Mushroom Powder

    20/08/2019 Duração: 01h03min
  • 413 - Ready to Write

    13/08/2019 Duração: 56min