John and Craig examine why almost all of the top-grossing movies are part of a franchise -- and the chicken-or-egg question at the heart of it. You don’t get Minions without Despicable Me.
With a live audience in downtown Los Angeles, Craig and John welcome actor/director Jason Bateman to discuss what he looks for when considering a script, and how to best work with a writer on a script.
Where do screenplays go when they die? John and Craig take a look at their movies that never were, looking for patterns among dozens of their unproduced works. What can screenwriters learn from the dead, and is it ever worth trying to resurrect these flatliners?
Craig and John play “How Would This Be a Movie?” looking at three articles in the news.
Watch Martin Luther King Jr. giving his greatest address, the “I have a dream” speech of Aug. 28, 1963, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Listen to his peerless “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” of April 16, 1963, in which he defends direct-action nonviolence, explains its principles, expresses his disappointment with […]
Craig and John discuss the impact of Star Wars knocking down all the records, both for the industry and big-screen sci-fi.
With Craig out of town, John invites Aline Brosh McKenna and Rawson Marshall Thurber over to discuss three of the best-picture contenders and their unusual scripts. None of them have classic protagonist-antagonist setups, and all three upend expectations of narrative structure. We talk about both how they work and why they work.
In preparation for our live show with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, we’re re-running this episode from the Scriptnotes archive.
Now, understand, this is the snippiest of snippets, but it is indeed the first hint of Anna Netrebko's Turandot!
Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee joins Craig and John to answer listener questions that have nothing to do with screenwriting.
It's hard enough compiling best-of lists for single cities — try the world.
John and Craig welcome special guests Malcolm Spellman, Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome and Alan Yang to the third annual Scriptnotes Holiday show, recorded live on December 9th, 2015 in Hollywood. Malcolm Spellman is a producer on EMPIRE, and one of our most popular Scriptnotes guests ever. He also set a new record for swearing. Riki […]
Craig and John discuss three new entries in the Three Page Challenge, looking at how simple mistakes and confusing word choices can hurt the read.
Craig and John discuss epic world-building, and the promises and pitfalls for writers attempting to create fictional universes.
Our Thanksgiving team of William S. Burroughs and Norman O. Mustill has been a happy pairing. It still is. But the Straight Up staff of thousands added a sweetener, something like cranberry sauce, to last year’s celebration. Here ‘tiz again: Words by Heathcote Williams, narration and montage by Alan Cox. And from Straight Up’s Thanksgiving […]
John and Craig talk romantic comedies with screenwriter Tess Morris, whose film Man Up is unapologetically part of the genre.
John and Craig take an in-depth look at two scenes in Damien Chazelle’s WHIPLASH to see how conflicts were structured -- and what changed from script to shooting.
Your task this week: Name That Orpheus!
John and Craig look at some of the least helpful notes screenwriters receive, and strategies for dealing with them.
Craig and John return to the Austin Film Festival for a supersize live show with guests Nicole Perlman and Steve Zissis.