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Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting
Robert McKee
0060391685
October 1997
Hardcover
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Book Review
Writing for the screen is quirky business. A writer must labor meticulously over his or her prose, yet very little of that prose is ever heard by filmgoers. The few words that do reach the audience, in the form of the characters' dialogue, are, according to Robert McKee, best left to last in the writing process. ("As Alfred Hitchcock once remarked, 'When the screenplay has been written and the dialogue has been added, we're ready to shoot.' ") In Story, McKee puts into book form what he has been teaching screenwriters for years in his seminar on story structure, which is considered by many to be a prerequisite to the film biz. (The long list of film and television projects that McKee's students have written, directed, or produced includes Air Force One, The Deer Hunter, E.R., A Fish Called Wanda, Forrest Gump, NYPD...


The Writer's Guide to Writing Your Screenplay: How to Write Great Screenplays for Movies and Television

0871161915


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Mike Rich, screenwriter, Finding Forrester
"As valuable for the longtime writer as for the first-timer.”

Linda Seger, script consultant, author of Making a Good Script Great
“Thorough, accessible, informative, and entertaining.”

See all Editorial Reviews


Finding Fish
Antwone Quenton Fisher
0060539860
Dec 2002
Paperback
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Book Description
A New York Times bestseller, Finding Fish is the remarkable story of an African American boy abandoned in an abusive foster home in Cleveland who rises to liberation, manhood, and extraordinary success (in Hollywood). Born in prison to a single mother after his father was shot and killed, Antwone Fisher soon became a ward of Cleveland's foster care system. By the time he was five years old, he had been transferred to several different families. Eventually he came to live with the Picketts, an older couple with grown children of their own. During his stay with the Picketts, which lasted until he was 17 years old, Antwone suffered near-constant verbal and physical abuse at the hands of ‘Mizz Pickett’, and sexual abuse from a neighbour. The damage to his self-esteem was tremendous, yet Antwone managed to...


Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
Syd Field
0385339038
November 2005
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Screenplay is one of the bibles of the film trade and has launched many a would-be screenwriter on the road to Hollywood. This third edition is updated to include the specifics of writing via computer.Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description
For almost twenty-five years, aspiring screenwriters have turned to guru Syd Field for clear and insightful step-by-step guidelines on the art and craft of writing screenplays. Now, with a totally new, up-to-date perspective on today's film industry, Syd Field again proves why he is revered as a master - and why SCREENPLAY remains the bible of the film industry. From inception through completion, from opening scene to finished script,...


The Donnie Darko Book
Richard X. Kelly
0571221246
Oct 2003
Paperback
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Review
"Few filmmakers of any age have blended the sensibilities of pop and art so effortlessly, or combined them with such a haunting tale of loss and redemption."--Andrew O'Hehir, Salon*

"The most original and venturesome American indie I've seen this year." --J. Hoberman, Village Voice

"[The] kind of movie that calls out not merely to be experienced but to be solved."--Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times


Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need
Blake Snyder
1932907009
May 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
This ultimate insider's guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz Veteran who's proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat!


Screenwriter's Problem Solver: How to Recognize, Identify, and Define Screenwriting Problems
Syd Field
0440504910
February 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
Can't get your characters to shut up? Is the bit player in Act II more compelling than your protagonist? Do your scenes drag on f-o-r-e-v-e-r? Whatever your problem, screenwriting guru Syd Field can help; he's written four previous books on screenwriting, teaches worldwide, and is "involved in the reading and writing of about a thousand screenplays a year." Screenplays bog down in vague and mysterious ways, says Field; identifying a screenwriting problem is half the battle. Fixing a screenplay that seems dazed and confused might seem like Mission: Impossible, but you've got to have courage under fire. By identifying symptoms in the writing, Field isolates about 20 different screenwriting problems, each related to plot, character, or structure (after all, what else is there?). His fixes generally involve getting to know your...


Screenwriting For Dummies
Laura Schellhardt
0764554867
January 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
Includes all the essentials for writing a screenplay, from crafting dialogue to marketing a script
Packed with easy-to-understand guidelines and writing projects, Screenwriting For Dummies makes film writing accessible to novices and helps more experienced writers improve their scripts. This engaging guide walks readers through the essential elements of every good screenplay, from character development, to creating a story, to writing compelling dialogue, to adopting a screenplay from a different source. It also includes all the specific formatting details that go into writing a visual screenplay from scripting character introductions, to writing the camera into the script, to creating a cinematic collage. In addition, Screenwriting For Dummies covers the important task of selling a screenplay,...


How to Write a Selling Screenplay
Christopher Keane
0767900715
Apr 1998
Paperback
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From Library Journal
There are a lot of fine "how to write a screenplay" titles out and about, but what makes Keane's How To Write a Selling Screenplay unique is the examination on a step-by-step basis of a screenplay, The Crossing, that the author wrote. The teacher/pupil-type exchange, as you closely examine the screenplay, reads almost as if you were asking pertinent questions in class at just the right moments. Keane discusses each screenwriting point (opening sequence, inciting incident, plot point #1, etc.) as it occurs in his screenplay. This makes for twice the fun as you learn solid screenwriting tactics and get to read a thrilling story to boot! Wilson's Inside Hollywood is an eclectic sampling of Tinseltown, never too much information, never quite enough, but a perfect starting point for anyone interested in the motion...


Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach
Paul Gulino
0826415687
June 2004
Paperback
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Book Description
The great challenge in writing a feature-length screenplay is sustaining audience involvement from page one through 120. Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach expounds on an often-overlooked tools can be key in solving this problem. A screenplay can be understood as being built of sequences of about fifteen pages each, and by focusing on solving the dramatic aspects of each of these sequences in detail, a writer can more easily conquer the challenges posed by the script as a whole. The sequence approach has its foundation in early Hollywood cinema (until the 1950s, most screenplays were formated with sequences explicitly identified), and has been rediscovered and used effectively at such film schools as the University of Southern California, Columbia University and Chapman University. This book exposes a wide...


The Writer's Journey, Second Edition : Mythic Structure for Writers
Christopher Vogler
0941188701
October 25, 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
At the beginning of The Writer's Journey, Christopher Vogler asserts that "all stories consist of a few common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies." Some may be hard-pressed to accept this idea (and will wonder how storytellers from Homer to Shakespeare to Robert Altman might respond to the proposition). Others may imagine that since Vogler uses movies like the Star Wars trilogy and The Lion King to defend his mythological philosophy, he is, unwittingly, listing the reasons why Hollywood films of the last 20 years have been so unimaginative. But there's no doubt that Vogler's notion, based on psychological writings by Carl Jung and the mythmaking philosophy of Joseph Campbell, has been profoundly influential. Many screenwriters have used Vogler's volume to understand why certain...


Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting
Read by Robert McKee
0060856181
January 2006
Compact Disc
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From AudioFile
McKee, who reads his own book of advice for aspiring screenwriters, has given seminars based on this material. In an expansive, occasionally lecturing, tone the author addresses the principal ingredients of good screenwriting and amply illustrates his points with examples from classic films to modern ones, which is interesting. McKee sounds a bit lofty at times, and it's impossible to avoid the feeling that you're being warned about errors you're going to make anyway. However, McKee's advice is very apt and given in an interesting way: as though he is on a spot-lit stage delivering a well-polished presentation to a group of aspiring writers, among whom you are one. J.C.G. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Book Description
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Once More, with Feeling
Various
068985918X
Dec 2002
Paperback
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Book Description
Giles (to Buffy): "What did you sing about?" Buffy: "I, uh...don't remember. But it seemed perfectly normal." Xander: "But disturbing. And not the natural order of things and do you think it'll happen again? 'Cause I'm for the natural order of things." Since she's been brought back from the dead (for the second time), Buffy the Vampire Slayer hasn't quite been feeling her calling. Sure, she still gives the underworld a run for its money, but her heart just isn't in the job. Luckily, she's been able to keep her lack of enthusiasm a somewhat secret. Until now. When someone accidentally summons a music-making demon named Sweet, Buffy finds herself belting out her most private emotions. And she's not the only one -- before the battle is done, each of the Scoobies will have uncovered -- through song and dance, for...


Advanced Screenwriting: Raising Your Script to the Academy Award Level
Linda Seger
1879505738
October 2003
Paperback
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LIBRARY JOURNAL, January 2004
" . . . Seger, an experienced professional script consultant, examines selected Academy Award-winning and -nominated screenwriters to determine what made them great."


Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434
Lew Hunter
0399529861
May 2004
Paperback
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Aaron Spelling, Spelling Entertainment
If you want to learn about screenwriting, this is the book for you.

Book Description
For decades, Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434 class at UCLA has been the premier screenwriting course, launching a generation of the industry's most frequently produced writers. Here, he shares the secrets of his course on the screenwriting process by actually writing an original script, step by step, that appears in the book.

See all Editorial Reviews


Documentary Storytelling for Video and Filmmakers, First Edition
Sheila Curran Bernard
0240805399
October 31, 2003
Paperback
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Review
'Bernard is keenly aware of the power of persuasive images, and her insistence on complexity and integrity is a consistent theme throughout the book.'
- The Independent

"What a valuable aid to documentary filmmakers. The importance of a topic won't cut it if the story isn't told well and Bernard's book cuts right to the chase."
- Paul Stekler, producer/director of "George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire"

"Sheila Curran Bernard's Documentary Storytelling is an essential, pragmatic, common-sense approach to making non-fiction films for the student and/or first-time filmmaker, based on the author's deep awareness of documentary film history and theory, and her intimate knowledge of how today's most important documentarians formulate their works."
- Gerald Peary, film critic, The Boston...


The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script
David Trottier
1879505843
September 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
How does a spec script differ from a shooting script? What kind of fasteners should one use to bind a script? How did the term MOS come to mean without sound? You'll find the answers to these pressing questions and much more in David Trottier's eminently usable Screenwriter's Bible. The avuncular Trottier--a writer-producer, script consultant, and seminar leader--has written a friendly guide through the Hollywood morass. He touts it as six books in one: it's "a screenwriting primer, a screenwriting workbook, a formatting guide, a spec writing guide, a sales and marketing guide, [and] a resource guide."

Much of Trottier's advice is common sense: "Don't write anything that cannot appear on the screen"; to keep casting options open, don't make your physical descriptions too specific; "don't say Ron Howard is...



Developing Story Ideas
Michael Rabiger
0240807367
Oct 2005
Paperback
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Review
"Using the tools of the screenwriter's trade, in a way that is slightly academic at times, Rabiger reveals how to chart a scene and represent its intensity as a dramatic arc, as well as exploring how to analyse stories for effectiveness, meaning and purpose, which is relevant to film and video creators at all levels." - What Digital Camcorder

"Rabiger does a nice job, guiding the reader through the writing process from selecting a genre to creating the plot to developing interesting characters. If you'd like to become a better scriptwriter, this one is well worth the money." - Videomaker Magazine

Review
"Rabiger does a nice job, guiding the reader through the writing process from selecting a genre to creating the plot to developing interesting characters. If you'd like to become...


The Other Side of Me: A Memoir
Sidney Sheldon
0446532673
November 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestselling novelist Sheldon's memoir is reminiscent of his colorful novels, a rags-to-riches yarn replete with struggle, an indomitable hero and eventual glamour. It opens with a 17-year-old Sheldon preparing to commit suicide in Chicago in 1934. "[L]onely and trapped," he wanted to attend college but couldn't afford it. Thankfully, his father intervened, and the young man got a new lease on life. He went from being an RKO theater usher to a struggling songwriter, then a top-flight Hollywood screenwriter in a few short years. For the next 30-odd years, Sheldon wrote and directed films, meeting studio honchos and stars like Kirk Douglas, Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe. The author's impressive achievements include a WWII flying stint, a screenwriting Oscar for 1947's The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, a Tony for...


Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Writer Should Know
Jennifer Van Sijll
193290705X
August 25, 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
What the industry's most succcessful writers and directors have in common is that they have mastered the cinematic conventions specific to the medium.


How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make
Denny Martin Flinn
1580650155
May 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
How Not to Write a Screenplay is an invaluable addition to any aspiring screenwriter's shelf--and you'd best make the shelf within arm's reach of the computer. Author Dean Martin Flinn, an experienced script reader, details the common rookie mistakes that drive script readers crazy. Flinn makes no pretense of being able to teach anyone how to write the next Great American Film--or for that matter the next Stupid Summer Blockbuster. Instead he offers information that will help keep the novice screenwriter's opus from being immediately tossed on the trash pile (arguably a more valuable service). As Flinn says in his introduction, if you follow the advice in this book, "you may not write a particularly good screenplay, but you won't write a bad one." Flinn offers practical advice on formatting, such as the proper form for a...


Making a Good Script Great
Linda Seger
0573699216
November 1994
Paperback
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