Drawing of John August & Craig Mazin

Great Bromances #32 – John August and Craig Mazin aka ‘Umbridge & Reason’

By JKrage | You Rock Life | 14 Jul 2021

This is part of an ongoing series exploring great bromances throughout history.


John and Craig are heavy hitters in Hollywood. Hugely successful scriptwriters, each has worked on epic titles such as HBO’s Chernobyl, The Hangover II and III (Craig Mazin), and Big Fish, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and Corpse Bride (John August). Each of them has independently generated millions of dollars of IP, and both are in high demand by major studios.

Together they host the acclaimed Scriptnotes podcast, “a podcast about screenwriting, and things that are interesting to screenwriters.” The show is successful not just because it offers practical information about the craft and business of screenwriting from successful industry insiders, but also because of the brilliant juxtaposition of the hosts core personalities.


John and Craig’s different points of view are so distinct that listeners have nicknamed them “Umbridge & Reason”.  Craig’s deeply emotional responses to injustice, incompetence and general ineptitude often results in impassioned monologues excoriating people and systems (hence ‘Umbridge’). John’s willingness to hold space for multiple perspectives, delivered in his trademark calm and reasonable tone, offers countering opinions and explanations (‘Reason’). The combination is thought provoking, challenging, and often very entertaining.


What keeps the podcast on an even keel is that the relationship between the pair includes all the hallmarks of any successful and sustainable relationship (bromance or otherwise): mutual respect, personal integrity, a willingness to accept their differences, and a shared mission to serve the listener.

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