This week in my downtime I’ve been mainlining the Scriptnotes Podcast by A-list Hollywood screenwriters John August (Go, Big Fish) and Craig Mazin (Hangovers parts two and three, Identity Thief). I’ve spent a couple of months away for one reason or another, but am now back and am running through the episodes. Caveat emptor, Scriptnotes is pretty addictive.
If you’re a screenwriter, or – as John’s never-changing intro has it – in’erersted in things in’eresting to screenwriters, then there’s no other single resource I’d recommend more. The episodes are packed with a nice balance of industry and craft, and Craig and John speak with an incredible level of wit and authority – they have indisputably been there and done that.
One of the best recurring Scriptnotes segments is “three-page challenge“. Aspiring screenwriters send in the first three pages of their scripts to be pored over, deconstructed and thoroughly note-ified. A few years ago, one of my own scripts featured (which was personally horrifying), but the level of finesse and seriousness the guys give every single script – regardless sometimes of quality – is incredible. There’s nothing more important to us writers than to get real, solid, and specific advice from people who know what they’re doing. This focus on actual pages is a terrific delivery mechanism for doing exactly that.
The best thing about Scriptnotes, however – a little like a great script – is its characters. There’s a touch of the odd couple about our hosts. If John is rationality, Craig (as he often reminds us) is umbrage. John is comfort; Craig, tough love. John is Super-ego; Craig, Id. As the show progresses you see their relationship grow from a couple of guys that seem to kinda know each other, to a ying-yang co-dependence: I suppose you could say it’s a sort of a love story.
In short, couldn’t recommend it more.