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Second Draft Doldrums

Craig and John discuss finding your way back to your story — and your enthusiasm — when writing your second draft. Craig has tips and suggestions. John has sympathy and war stories.

Back to 100

This week, we time-travel back to our first centennial, a live show in Hollywood with special guests Aline Brosh McKenna and Rawson Thurber. We discuss the rise of the “writer-plus,” the importance of early mentors, and the emails that outline the very origin of Scriptnotes.

The Thrill: FHRITP, a TV era ends, and hipster Hamburglar

Our pop-culture podcast talks to CityNews' Shauna Hunt, discusses the cancellation of two defining TV shows, and debates the Hamburglar rebrand The post The Thrill: FHRITP, a TV era ends, and hipster Hamburglar appeared first on

How do bad movies get made?

2 weeks agoArts / Writing :

Craig and John tackle a single topic: bad movies and how they happen. Having experienced the process first-hand, they report on how bad ideas make it to the screen, and how good ideas go wrong. There’s no single answer, but a range of patterns that end in terrible movies.

The Thrill: On Scientology and selfies

Our pop-culture podcast discusses HBO's Scientology documentary 'Going Clear,' and Kim Kardashian's selfie book The post The Thrill: On Scientology and selfies appeared first on

The long and short of it

3 weeks agoArts / Writing :

John and Craig dig into the listener mailbag and take questions on TV producer credits, jealousy over other writers' success, writing tight vs writing long and plenty of other follow up.

The Thrill: Trans in pop culture, and calming Baltimore with dance

Our pop-culture podcast discusses trans issues with a trans writer, and talks to Dimitri Reeves, Baltimore's 'Michael Jackson protester' The post The Thrill: Trans in pop culture, and calming Baltimore with dance appeared first on

Rubyfloetics: A Period Poem Mixtape

I wrote the poem Ruby Flo one summer during my undergraduate years. I was staying at my boyfriend’s family home because my mom and I were steady fighting. His mother didn’t really want me there. I was holed up one evening in their guest bedroom on this amazingly tall queen-sized bed overflowing with the most […]

Writing for Hollywood without living there

4 weeks agoArts / Writing :

Canadian screenwriter Ryan Knighton joins John and Craig to discuss how you sustain a career writing for Hollywood studios while living a flight away. Knighton’s first screenplay was the adaptation of his memoir about going blind. He’s since written for several studios, including a new project for Ridley Scott.

The Thrill: Raffi on Lois, Ben Affleck, pop-culture crushes

Our pop-culture podcast asks Raffi what makes a great kids' entertainer, discusses Affleck's fiasco, and reveals our first pop-culture crushes The post The Thrill: Raffi on Lois, Ben Affleck, pop-culture crushes appeared first on

Song Exploder: "Spring (Among the Living)" by My Morning Jacket

Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians deconstruct their songs and tell the stories behind how they were made. In the past, it's explored tracks from Toro y Moi to RJD2 and more. In the newest episode, musician, creator, and host...Show More Summary

Poking the bear

This week, Craig and John discuss recent events that seem custom-designed to make Craig furious.

The Thrill: Marc Maron, millennial memoirs, lip-sync battles

This week, our pop-culture podcast discusses darkness in comedy, the rise of the essay, and whether Lip Sync Battles are awful The post The Thrill: Marc Maron, millennial memoirs, lip-sync battles appeared first on

Notes for National Corpse Month, Part Three

Three springs ago, I taught a class on documentary poetics. It met in the library of a literary/arts organization near downtown Tucson, Arizona. At the first meeting I showed Stan Brakhage’s The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes (1971): a thirty-two minute film documenting autopsies being performed in a morgue in Pittsburgh. I gave […]

Writing w/Strangers: A Poetry for the People in Philadelphia

You a poet / man? Uh-huh, uh-huh Me too. —Etheridge Knight Sixteen years ago, I was a disenchanted grad student living in West Philly in a second-floor row house apartment. Mark (now my husband) and I lived on a block with plenty characters and some real folks. People like Brother Vance—with his baby locs and […]

How writing credits work

Craig and John do a deep-dive into the world of screenwriting credits, explaining the entire process from the Notice of Tentative Writing Credits, to arbitration to review boards. The system can be confusing, but most produced screenwriters will find themselves facing it at some point, so it’s important to understand how it works. Launches Jed Birmingham’s Podcast

last monthArts : Straight Up

I am STAGGERED! Of course I would be, for obvious reasons. Did I say I want this embedded in my headstone? Click to listen. It is utterly, inescapably humbling. The really wonderful thing about JB’s devotion to books as artifacts is the way he appreciates them as mysteries and teases out their hidden meanings. This […]

Ultima voce del mio destino

2 months agoArts : Parterre Box

Long rumored, here it is: Anna Netrebko sings "Suicidio!" from La Gioconda!

You can’t train a cobra to do that

2 months agoArts / Writing :

Craig and John discuss backup plans, camera directions, and becoming so good they can’t ignore you. Plus we answer two listener questions about specificity in scene headers and how to indicate that a script is intended for animation...

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