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.
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.
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.
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).
A fun, insightful insider’s look at the nuts and bolts of writing action movies, from concept to completion, by a professional screenwriter and professor of screenwriting. Full of witty anecdotes from the front lines (and tricks of the trade from between the lines), Crash! Boom! Bang! promises an enjoyable and educational read for writers and students of all levels. Although bullets and bloodshed abound in cinema, the lessons within will benefit screenwriters of all kinds of movies.
“What lurks in the shadows, just below waking consciousness?”
Subtext can be the most important element in text and in a performance. It’s an unseen force that speaks directly to the reader’s unconscious, deepening meaning and understanding. Great subtext reveals more than simple dialogue and action and is at the heart of the best books and films. It is what glues us to the screen.
This book goes far beyond dialogue, action, gestures, genre, and images. Written by one of the foremost script consultants in the world and the most prolific writer on screenwriting, this new edition adds new examples with chapters on analogy and love, and provides deeper explanations of how subtext works beneath the text. This edition has been expanded to be relevant to all fiction writers.
For over six years, The Woman in the Story has been the go-to resource for writers who want to be gender-mindful when they figure how to create female characters. Inspired by female psychology and gender issues, this how-to book casts a refreshingly honest and empowering women-centric light on every stage of the screenwriting process.
This groundbreaking guide describes six seemingly different popular movies and genres (Skyfall, The Avengers, The Hangover, A Beautiful Mind, The Conjuring, Gone Girl) and shows screenwriters how they all follow the exact same 120 Universal Story Beats minute by minute. The book also reveals the top 10 archetypes they use, and where and why the Inciting Incident, Act 2 & 4 Quests, Midpoints, and the other five main Turning Points happen in all successful movies.
The writer receives guidance and tips at every stage of the often intimidating writing process with a relaxed, “ten minutes at a time” method that focuses the writer and pushes him or her forward. At each step, writers are encouraged to “Take Ten” and tackle an element of their script using the templates and tools provided. “What You’ve Accomplished” sections help writers review their progress. And “Ten-Minute Lectures” distill and demystify old school theory, allowing the writer to unblock and get writing.
The book’s journey into the future of television begins with “You Are Here,” delving into “The Great Convergence” of television and Internet and the vortex of change we all inhabit now. Then, glancing back, we explore “The Old World” of broadcast television to understand how we got to this moment of transition. Next, traveling “Between Worlds,” we visit cable television and see how the boundaries between network, cable, and Internet are mutating. After that, we enter “The New World” that ranges from empires like Netflix and Amazon down to Kickstarter-funded web series, and all the creative expressions that abound. Finally, we look ahead to the “Far Frontier” of interactivity and transmedia and a distant, fantastic future. All these experiences are focused on how a writer, producer, director, or entrepreneur can use the emerging possibilities to create original television now and in the coming decade.
Screen storytelling is an essentially collaborative process. Writers need feedback but too often the notes they receive stall them and even demoralize them. This book unpacks the whys and what-fors of all the most commonly given notes on scripts, stories, and writers themselves. Coming from the perspective of experienced Hollywood professionals, Notes to Screenwriters offers insightful and concise guidance on the entire storytelling process, as well as what comes before it in the life of the writer, and after it in the marketing of the screenplay. It is a unique blend of classical storytelling principles combined with practical knowledge of the contemporary marketplace. This book is destined to be a resource for every writer who gets past the initial stage of writing a first draft and needs sage counsel for what to do next.