John August: Hey, this is John. So, today’s episode has some swearing in it, so if you’re in the car with your kids, maybe save it for later.
Hello and welcome. My name is John August.
Craig Mazin: My name is Craig Mazin.
John: And this is Episode 280 of Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters. Today on the podcast we’ll be discussing post-scriptdom depression. That low feeling you sometimes get when finishing a screenplay. We’ll also be looking at some of the trends in the most recent Black List. And a protest over Boys Don’t Cry, which has me shaking my damn head. But, first, we have some news. Craig, tell us the news.
Craig: Well, very exciting. Our friend and friend of the podcast, so by extension your friend at home, Malcolm Spellman is developing a television series based on Foxy Brown, the 1974 cult classic film. Malcolm will be one of the executive producers, along with Ben Watkins, another guy we know, we I think created or show-runs Hand of God, which is an Amazon show.
Craig: And Malcolm and Ben are going to be writing the script and running the show, so that’s going to be on Hulu. And, you know, what a world, because if I had said that three years ago it would have been like, “Aw, that’s sad.”
John: Your little show on Hulu.
Craig: Yeah, like, aw. Wow, that’s awesome. That’s better than basically everything. So, what a crazy world. Anyway, congratulations to Malcolm Spellman. Foxy Brown, by the way, I love that movie. I love Foxy Brown. I actually think it’s a brilliant idea for a TV show because it’s so TV-able.
Craig: By the way, I don’t know anything about creatively. I haven’t talked to him about it yet. I don’t know creatively how they’re approaching it. But, man, I hope it’s period. I hope. Hard to do, because it’s expensive. But…
John: Yeah. I’m very excited to see it as well. And I think what you say about it being a TV idea is absolutely true, because it’s the characters. It’s centered around this character. And it’s not about the one journey the character is on. It’s about her adventures. It’s about sort of what she’s doing and the trouble that she is solving. And so that is going to be great. So, I’m so excited for Malcolm. It feels like a perfect match.
I’m going to have my tiny little rant about Hulu. So, I pay for Hulu because Hulu is how here in France we watch New Girl. It’s how we watch The Simpsons, South Park, and other great shows that we love. So, because we are paid members of Hulu, I feel like I should be able to watch Hulu while I’m here, and I cannot without a VPN. So, if you are a person who works at Hulu, can you make it so that if I’m a paid, logged in member of Hulu I don’t have to use a VPN to watch your program while I’m here? That would be awesome. Thanks.
Craig: That would be awesome.
John: So, the other weird thing is Hulu actually follows me on Twitter. Like I got the little notification on my phone, like Hulu is now following you. So, great. I will also tweet them to ask them to please turn this off. Because Netflix, notably, does not VPN block you. I guess because they have a Netflix France, and that’s what I’m watching.
Craig: Well, that’s what it comes down to, right? I mean, Hulu must have some sort of partner in France that they’re demanding your view instead, right?
John: I suppose so. I don’t know who the Hulu partner is. So, like, for my HBO shows I’m watching them through OCS. That is where I watched Westworld. But I don’t know who the Hulu equivalent is here. And I don’t know where I’m supposed to watch The Mindy Project, for example, which is only a Hulu show, if not through Hulu on the VPN.
Craig: Like at the very least, if you’re trying to access Hulu and you’re not in a territory that is Hulu-accessible, they should tell you go here instead. Right? They shouldn’t just give you some dumb thing like, “Sorry.” Because I assume that the deal is that Hulu charges some French company to deliver their content, therefore that French company is like, fine, but then you can’t deliver it, only we can if we’re paying you for it. That makes sense. But then just tell me where to go.
John: Yeah. I think there’s also some logic. Like as they’re cutting out their deals, like if someone is actually a paid member who is like paying you in the US for this thing, I feel like that should be carved out of the sort of like we have France kind of stuff.
I know it’s complicated. And most of the people listening to this show are either – they’re living in America and they don’t have to worry about it, or they’re living internationally and have been dealing with this their entire lives. So, to have me complain about it is a little bit pointless. But, anyway, that’s my little Hulu rant.
Craig: Oh John.
John: Let’s get to things we actually do know about – our t-shirts. So, our friends at Cotton Bureau have received so many requests for our Scriptnotes t-shirts, our last two Scriptnotes t-shirts, that they will be printing a new run in January.
John: So, hooray. So, if you are a person like Craig Mazin who ordered a women’s medium shirt, rather than a men’s medium shirt–
Craig: Huge disaster.
John: You can fix that. So, when they actually have the t-shirts up, I’ll tweet about it. Craig may even tweet about it. But if you want to make sure you don’t miss the deadline for them, you should go to Cotton Bureau right now and put your email address in there so that they will notify you the minute they become available, so you can get a t-shirt of your own. Either the Three Page Gold Standard, or the Classic Scriptnotes logo.
Craig: They’re both very, very good. Jennifer Simard, Broadway star, Tony nominee, very worked up over her failure to get a t-shirt. Tried to work the angle with me to get her t-shirt. No.
Craig: No. No, no. I don’t care how many Tony nominations you have. I do, actually. That’s the thing with me. Regardless, Jennifer, I know you listen. So you’re going to go to Cotton Bureau, like so many others of you, and pre-order your shirts so that John August can get richer.
John: Yes. So much richer. It’s nothing but money for me.
While we’re talking pure commerce, the thing I actually do make money off of that is not even sort of paying for the podcast is Writer Emergency Pack, which is the thing I Kickstarted, which is now sold on Amazon. If you’re looking for something to buy for the writer-friend in your life, or if you just want one because no one else got something cool for Christmas, they are available on Amazon and at WriterEmergency.com. So, that’s a thing you can buy if you want to support me and not Craig.
Craig: That’s right.
John: That’s a thing you can buy, too.
Craig: And you do. It is a good gift for your writer-friend or lover.
John: Mm, yes. Especially good for lovers. What’s also good for lovers is movies, especially movies in France.
Craig: Segue Man!
John: In the last episode we discussed how and why Moana is called Vaiana here in France, and some other countries. We also talked about how The Hangover was released here as A Very Bad Trip. So, we got an email in from somebody who actually knows the reason why Craig’s movie was not called Hangover here.
Craig: Yeah. So, Kristof in Paris writes, “According to industry friends, The Hangover had too little time to play off of it’s a hit in the United States, and no stars to push, so the title was translated to Very Bad Trip in order to recall Pete Berg’s Very Bad Things, which over-performed in France, and was deemed to be a not un-useful connection for moviegoers to make.”
That’s fascinating. It’s fascinating on so many levels. I mean, first of all, Very Bad Things, I’ve seen that movie. I don’t know if you have, John.
Craig: Not only not a hit, but almost invisible. Like an incredibly small movie here in the United States. And surprising that it would be that market meaningful in France. But, that makes sense. There had to be some reason, right? I mean, so, that makes sense.
John: It actually makes a lot of sense. And think about it, in the abstract, if you were like to squint and look at both movies you could say like, oh yeah, they seem like the same kind of movie. It’s both about like horrible people going on this trip. They both happen in Vegas, I think. Did the first movie happen in Vegas?
Craig: Yeah, but they’re so tonally different. I mean, Very Bad Things is sort of a nauseatingly dark thriller about men covering up the death of aScriptnotes, Ep 280: Black List Boys Don’t Cry — Transcript