People’s lives are made up of good and bad decisions, histories filled with triumph and pain, behaviors formed from a lifetime of experiences — your characters should be no different. But writing psychologically complex characters requires an understanding of human behavior. Fortunately, you don’t need a PhD in psychology to add complexity to your screenwriting. William Indick will help you add psychological depth to your script with insights from brilliant psychological theorists like Freud, Jung, and Adler. Get ready to create characters and conflict that will have your audience begging for only one thing — more.
Writers’ rooms can be a heaven or hell, depending on a few things. The best rooms foster inclusive and productive creative flow. The worst create a toxic stew of bad feelings and doubt. Both kinds and everything in between require basic knowledge of how the room works. These fundamentals are best learned before you go in. The mystery box of the writers’ room need not stay sealed shut forever. Consider this book your crowbar.
Do The Right Thing! offers screenwriting strategies that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. These are the five film that are discussed: Moonlight, Get Out, Mudbound, Roma, and Always be My Maybe. The goal is to teach an already challenging writing mode that requires screenwriters to create complex human experiences through visual storytelling. We are in a critical historical moment where the importance of screenwriting can be of the utmost usefulness in the observation of racism, inequity and inclusion in all media. The screen representations of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or class are not often explicitly addressed at the “front end” of the film production process, specifically, during the creation of the screenplay (whether original or adapted from outside source material). The idea is to introduce and reinforce the importance of accountability for what you write for the screen. This is not to limit the screenwriter’s creative impulses, but rather to create and engage them in consistent ways that reveal unconscious biases and instances of systemic racism. We will use five case studies of commercially successful and award-winning screenplays that resist stereotypes to present multidimensional depictions of historically underrepresented groups, such as LGBTQ, African American, Latino and Asian American. In the discussions of each individual screenplay issues such as the adaptation process, plot structure and devices, characterization, setting, symbolism, and genre conventions are introduced and analyzed in depth.
What gets your heart rate going more: reading a story about dinosaurs, or being chased by one? The emerging discipline of immersive storytelling recognizes the power of creative works that put the viewer at the center of the action. In Immersive Storytelling, theme park designer Margaret Kerrison shares tips and tricks for writers on teams tasked with bringing a narrative to life. How do you take an idea from inspiration to manifestation? How do you move from telling a story to creating a world? In this richly illustrated book, the first of its kind written specifically for writers, Kerrison lays out the craft of immersive storytelling. She uses case studies to show what works, and highlights the essential role of the writer on a complex creative team. Ready to take the kernel of an idea and turn it into a full-fledged experience? This book gives you the blueprint.
Aimed at both the head and the heart, The Defining Moment plumbs the depths of the most memorable characters ever to appear on the screen, the stage or the page. The book focuses on those moments so pivotal in a character’s formation that they create a distinct boundary of before and after, moments without which the character couldn’t exist and moments through which characters can transform before our eyes. Writers, actors and storytellers of all stripes will discover a powerful new key to unlock any character they seek to develop, write or portray. They may even unlock a deeper understanding of themselves.
The first in-depth study of the essential principles that will redefine the way storytellers understand their characters and themselves.
Essential insights into the forces that create character
Dozens of examples of character-defining moments from film, television, theater and literature
An exploration of pivotol moments: birth, death, discovery, decision-making, injury and healing
An examination of how writers and actors employ defining moments in their deepest and most unforgettable works
Insights into how directors, editors, cinematographers and composers dramatize key moments
Practical exercises for defining and redefining character
Tips for discovering the moments that matter most
Deeply personal stories from the authors’ lives to illustrate the variety of moments that define us.
For every storyteller, no matter their medium, The Defining Moment will redefine the way they understand their characters and themselves.
Becoming a director is not just about making a film, webseries, commercial, or music video. The opportunity to direct for television is not a given because you’ve successfully completed a project in another medium. Turning your passion into your profession requires the ability to make transitions at the exact moment a pivot is needed, with creativity and confidence. Chatmon’s book helps directors across all mediums shape their career with targeted anecdotes, worksheets, and other resources, all of which fall into three designated categories: How-To, Self-Help, and Inspiration.
A Sense of Dread features three main sections. 1) A detailed examination of the biological, psychological, and cultural bases of fear. What fears do we share with animals? What fears are uniquely human? What fears have we learned from our culture? From our families? From our experiences growing up? And what, exactly, is the difference between fear and dread? 2) A Sense of Dread then combines these ideas to explore the roots of human fear and apply them to storytelling for the screen. “The Toolbox of Dread” outlines the techniques for creating terror on the page. A wide array of horror subgenres are also explored, including why they exist, and what challenges each presents to the horror screenwriter. 3) Author Neal Marshall Stevens puts Theory into Practice, using examples from his own work to demonstrate how to apply his “toolbox” and the principles of “Dread” to put real scares into the pages of a screenplay. Finally, we seek to answer the question many people ask: What are you afraid of?
This new 50th anniversary edition of the classic 1971 book The Total FilmMaker is now being released by the Jerry Lewis Estate and Michael Wiese Productions with all-new, never-before-seen photos of Jerry on set and with his family and friends, and a new foreword by Leonard Maltin. The Total FilmMaker was originally written and based on over 480 hours of Jerry’s guest lecture series at USC Film School in 1966, where his then-students included aspiring young filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. From script to postproduction, it covers the complete arc of filmmaking as taught by one of the first and most original writer/director/producer/actors in Hollywood.
Sharing his own process honed over a decades-long career, Emmy-nominated director Dan Attias brings you into the actual experience of directing series television. Whether it’s the high-stakes pressure of solving a last-minute problem on set, or the joy of pulling off a perfect shot by the skin of your teeth, Attias brings you right into the director’s chair, sharing his knowledge and taking you through the process one challenging episode at a time. Offering a fundamental focus on story, and eschewing industry language for plain talk, Attias offers in-depth guidance how best to work with actors, how to “speak” through the camera, how to work with a showrunner, and how to be ready for the many ways a director will be challenged, large and small. Directing Great Television is a fascinating window into television’s best shows, compelling to directors and non-directors alike. Attias’s book transcends other filmmaking guides by detailing his journey to a surprising place of self-discovery, one with applications beyond entertainment.
Editing for Directors guides directors through postproduction, starting with planning for editing during the shoot and ending with the completion of their film. This thorough, well-illustrated book: Describes the artistic, organizational, and technical skills editors bring to the party; Tells directors what to look for when hiring an editor and the best ways to work with an editor; Explains how and why directors should plan for editing before they shoot a frame; Devotes a full chapter to relating the history of editing and cutting tools and how they have affected the language of cinema and present-day editing; Defines and discusses cutting-room terms, practices, and workflows; Reveals how editors approach footage and put shows together; Details the postproduction process from dailies to director’s cut to locked cut; Covers creating and overseeing VFX (video effects); Demystifies spotting the show with the sound and music crew and creating, editing, and mixing sound and music; Describes titling, color grading, the DI (digital intermediate) process, and producing your show’s final deliverables; and Spells out ways to archive your show and why doing so matters.
To make compelling television, our industry depends on enthusiastic new voices with fresh ideas. While there are plenty of books about the mechanics of writing, this is the first time an insider has detailed the invaluable TV executive perspective.
Intended to be kept at a screenwriter’s fingertips, The Hollywood Standard provides what even the best script software can’t: clear, concise instructions and hundreds of examples to take the guesswork out of a multitude of formatting questions that perplex even seasoned screenwriters. Contents include: • When a new scene heading is appropriate and when it isn’t • How to format shot headings, dialogue, direction and transitions • How to control pace with formatting • How to make a script page visually inviting to the reader • What to capitalize and why • How to get into and out of a POV shot • How to handle text messages and Zoom meetings • How Hollywood’s most innovative screenwriters are pushing the boundaries of format • How format for animation differs from live action formats Simply put, Riley knows more about script format than anyone in Hollywood and shares it all in this indispensable guide.
Collaborating with actors is, for many filmmakers, the last frontier―the scariest part and the part they long for―the human part, the place where connection happens. Directing Actors: 25th Anniversary Edition covers the challenges of the actor-director relationship―the pitfalls of “result direction”; breaking down a script; how to prepare for casting sessions; when, how and whether to rehearse―but with updated references, expanded ideas, more detailed chapters on rehearsal and script analysis (using a scene from The Matrix)―and a whole new chapter on directing children. For twenty-five years the industry standard for instilling confidence in filmmakers, Directing Actors perseveres in its mission―to bring directors, actors and writers deeper into the exhilarating task of creating characters the world will not forget.
This edition features a brand new section: The Director’s Survival Guide to Episodic Television and explores the political danger zones faced in the ever expanding world of Streaming, Cable and Network television.
In You Talkin’ to Me?, Linda Seger and John Winston Rainey are here to help with all your dialogue problems. In each chapter, they explore dialogue from a different angle and discuss examples of great dialogue from films and novels.
The Writer’s Journey details a twelve-stage, myth-inspired
method that has galvanized Hollywood’s treatment of cinematic storytelling. A
format that once seldom deviated beyond a traditional three-act blueprint, Vogler’s
comprehensive theory of story structure and character development has met with
universal acclaim, and is detailed herein using examples from myths, fairy tales,
and classic movies.
This is not a beginner’s book on screenplay writing, though a beginner could read it and learn. This is a writer’s consigliere. It’s a book of advice and reflection that will kick ass against just about any screenwriting problem. It’s a series of essays on film and television writing, a deep background on very specific craft issues ranging from punctuation to meaning in your screenplay. Chapters range from “The Antagonist as a Good Guy” to how to establish an emotional core in your script, to one on Katy Perry's use of story in her concerts (Yes, that Katy Perry) to “The Power of Story.” There’s even one called “What Film School Should I Go to?” You’ll want to carry it with you to the Starbucks and consult it like you would your best friend when you run into trouble. It will get you to think about your writing in new ways and to give you the tools to express those thoughts. It’s a writer’s secret weapon, and now you can have it, too.
This revised and updated edition is a complete resource for anyone who wants to write and produce for television drama series or create an original series, as well as for teachers in screenwriting classes and workshops. It leads the reader step-by-step through every stage of the development and writing process, offering practical industry information and artistic inspiration.
The Fourth Edition leads readers into the future and engages provocative issues about the interface between traditional TV and emerging technologies. It’s also the single most comprehensive source on what is happening in original television drama around the world, with surveys of 15 countries.
Working from a writer’s perspective, this book explores these Three Wells and helps you con-sciously draw from them to develop new scripts, or strengthen old ones. It includes 29 exercises and techniques that help you to write stories that contain fresh ideas, intriguing characters, original scenes, inventive dialogue, unique locations, and important themes.
Pilar Alessandra’s popular book, The Coffee Break Screenwriter, taught writers how to outline quickly, write efficiently, and rewrite creatively. It is the “go-to” book for getting one’s story on the page. But now that same writer may be doing a final pass on a project, working with a producer, or coming up with a new project only to be hit with . . . RULES! Should the writer respond to this random list of do’s and don’ts pertaining to structure, characters, dialogue, and formatting? Nope.
Who says you have to follow the screenwriting rules? In this book Pilar reviews the rules writers assume they should follow, discusses why they’re there in the first place, and then shows you ways to creatively break them!
Rules evaluated include those addressing:
storytelling devices like flashback and voiceover
character rules such as empathy and backstory
dialogue faux pas such as writing on the nose
structural issues such as nonlinear writing and act-break placement
formatting sticking points involving emotion and visuals
For every “rule” that’s discussed, Pilar covers:
1. Why the rule exists.
2. Why writers should break the rule.
3. How writers can break the rule.
4. How breaking the rule can break bad (so break with care).