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Pitching an Open Writing Assignment

16 hours agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

John and Craig discuss open writing assignments, and how to best pitch to producers and studios looking to hire a writer for a specific property. Most of the work happens before you set foot in the room, so proper planning is essent...

The One with Lawrence Kasdan

John and Craig sit down with screenwriting legend Lawrence Kasdan to discuss Star Wars, Raiders, The Bodyguard and how he’s shaped some of the most iconic big-screen stories and characters of our lifetime.

The Gold Standard

In this special mini-episode, Craig and John tackle the gold standard and why economists think it’s a flat-out terrible idea.

The One with the Idiot Teamster

2 weeks agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

John and Craig welcome writer-director Lorene Scafaria to talk about her new movie The Meddler and some of the unique challenges faced by female directors.

Outlines and Treatments

3 weeks agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

John and Craig look at the non-screenplay things screenwriters end up writing, most notably outlines and treatments. We discuss some of the ones we've written (with examples), and offer advice on writing your own.

The Invitation, and Requels

4 weeks agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi join us to talk about their new movie The Invitation, and what’s it’s like to go from writing tentpole action films (like Clash of the Titans) to comedies (like Ride Along) to chamber-drama thrillers.

Heroes, Villains and Two-Handers

With John and Craig both on spring break, it’s a clip show this week. We discuss why movie heroes are rarely ambivalent, why villains are so appealing, and why movies with two primary characters require careful attention.

No More Milk Money

Craig and John welcome back Aline Brosh McKenna to discuss what she learned going from writing features to show-running Crazy Ex-Girlfriend -- and what’s waiting for her back in movie-land. The three of us came into the business at the height of the spec market, but everything is different now.

Fan Fiction and Ghost Taxis

2 months agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

Craig and John look at three stories in the news for another installment of “How Would This Be a Movie?” From fake scientists to figure skaters, we pitch our takes before some actor’s production company buys the rights. Speaking of rights, a new lawsuit targets the makers of Creed for stealing the idea. The case […]

David Mamet and the producer pass

2 months agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

In an episode consisting entirely of answers to listener questions, John and Craig discuss David Mamet, internet trolls, post-credit scenes and English actors attempting American accents. Plus, who would win in an all-out brawl to the death? The answer will probably not surprise you. Links: David Mamet’s memo to writers of The Unit Craig’s Twitter […]

What is good writing?

2 months agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

It’s an all-craft episode as John and Craig discuss what they mean when they say good writing. Quality isn’t an objective measurement but rather a subjective experience. It’s the relationship between the reader and writer. From vulnerability to voice, consistency to surprise, good writing shares many characteristics with good acting. We then look at three […]

The job of writer-producer

2 months agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

Dana Fox joins John and Craig to discuss her role as both screenwriter and producer of How to Be Single. Like Simon Kinberg and Chris Morgan, Dana is one of a handful of feature writers taking responsibility for delivering not just the script, but the finished movie. We look at how and why she made […]

Are The Arts The Answer to Our TV Obsession?

2 months agoArts : Createquity

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Listen In: Steve McLaughlin Talks to the Amazing Angela Genusa

Stephen McLaughlin had the wise idea to talk to poet, artist, and all-around genius Angela Genusa for his Jacket2 podcast, Into the Field; and now we are the fortunate listeners. “It seemed like you appeared from nowhere. I had never heard of you, and suddenly, this person with this full body of totally relevant and […]

Sexy But Doesn’t Know It

3 months agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

John and Craig look at how to introduce characters in a screenplay -- and how to avoid being mocked by a Twitter feed for it. We go back through previous Three Page Challenges and several of the screenplays nominated for awards this year to examine trends and techniques.

A major breakthrough in physics is heard, not seen

When you imagine inquiring in the universe, your first idea is probably someone looking at something – an image. But there are other ways of sensing and studying the world, too. Last week’s detection of gravitational waves, confirming...Show More Summary

Franchises and Final Draft

3 months agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

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.

The one with Jason Bateman and the Game of Thrones guys

3 months agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

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.

The Script Graveyard

3 months agoArts / Writing : JohnAugust.com

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?

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