Memo From the Story Department offers a battery of storygenerating engines and storyimproving tools, and reliable methods tested on hundreds of Hollywood productions. It goes far beyond the standard advice given in most screenwriting manuals. Drawn from sources as varied as vaudeville, classical Greek comedies, and Russian fairy tales, the book outlines a series of practical templates for creating believable characters and emotionally satisfying plots.
My Story Can Beat Up Your Story is the same powerful, easy-to-learn system that industry insiders have used to generate millions of dollars in script sales and assignments. In a clear, step-by-step fashion, this book is a fun, eye-opening, brain-expanding, and often irreverent guide to writing stories that sell. Covering everything from heroes to villains, from theme to plot points, from cooking up good ideas to a business plan for smart writers, this book forever eliminates that horrible feeling every writer goes through — staring at the blank page and wondering “what comes next?”
Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story” is a practical and spiritual guide to drawing upon your own story and fictionalizing it into your writing. As a Story Consultant and former VP of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, most of the author’s work with writers has focused on creating standout scripts by elevating story.
A bestseller that is the first artist-friendly screenwriting guide to success by an Oscar nominated Hollywood insider whose productions have grossed more than a billion dollars.
Riding the Alligator is different from other screenwriting books in that it takes a non-dogmatic approach to finding your own personal creative process, and shares Pen’s best kept secrets for selling your creations and yourself.
Pen is your own, warm, funny, personal mentor as you read this book. Actress Robin Wright says: “It is like getting a UC screenwriting course for under $30!!!”.
Pen draws from his own extremely simple breakthrough techniques, shares his inspiring philosophy of finding a personal well of creativity from your inner voice, to overcoming the many challenges in a unique business, managing stress, the real secrets to selling your work, finding the right agent and being true to one’s nature to create a lasting and passion filled career.
The book is hailed by Hollywood luminaries like Ron Howard, Paul Haggis, Jeff Bridges, Morgan Freeman, as well as heads of major motion picture studios and academics from top film schools including USC, UCLA, NYU and AFI.
Also included are short, personal essays by A-List Hollywood scripters such as Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), Robin Swicord (Memoirs of a Geisha), Ron Shelton (Bull Durham/White Men Can’t Jump), Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island/Avatar), Todd Robinson (White Squall/Phantom), Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center), Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes) and more.
Additionally, Pen provides an ‘Instant Library’ summarizing 10 other popular books on Hollywood, as reviewed by his USC Film Students.
In these pages, readers will find priceless information that explains the ins and outs of show business. In highly readable prose, the writer explains how to get ahead and what to expect in meetings, negotiations, and social situations, launching you and your now-saleable screenplay down the road to Hollywood success.
Former Hollywood literary agent Michele Wallerstein explains the secrets of maneuvering in the world of Hollywood screenwriters. Get all the great information regarding how to open those golden doors.
This book includes chapters on the agent-client relationship, how to network successfully, and the differences between agents, personal managers, business managers, and lawyers, as well as how to write the right query letter, what’s hot and what’s not, and much, much more.
You will be head and shoulders above all of the other new writers who don’t know how to get their screenplays read, represented, and sold. Mind Your Business will give you all the tools you will need.
The Virgins Promise demystifies the complexities of archetypes and clearly outlines the steps of a virgin s journey to realize her dream. Audiences need to see more than brave, self-sacrificing heroes. They need to see virgins who bring their talents and self-fulfilling joys to life. The Virgin s Promise describes this journey with beats that feel incredibly familiar but that have not been illustrated in any other screenwriting book. It explores the yin and yang of the virgin and hero journeys to take up their power as individuals, and includes a practical guide to putting this new theory into action.
Here, readers can learn why horror works and how to write a solid horror screenplay well grounded in the tricks of the grave. The book is ideal for screenwriters, writers, university film students, and horror film aficionados that want to gain a deeper understanding of the genre.
You’ve found it! This is the definitive guide to professional script formats used in Hollywood, written by Hollywood’s foremost authority.
Thousands of promising scripts never get a fair read from Hollywood because their format is wrong. Poor formatting is the mark of an amateur and in the ultra-competitive world of screenwriting, the wrong first impression can kill your dreams.
The simple format rules found in this book, which you can learn in an hour. come from Hollywood’s top expert on script format and will guarantee that your script makes a winning first impression.
Intended to be kept at a screenwriter’s fingertips, The Hollywood Standard gives you 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.
Eliminate common mistakes so your script will look professional • Reference hundreds of clear examples to see how it’s done by the pros • Use format to communicate your ideas clearly and powerfully • This new edition has been expanded and updated, and features easy-to-use, lay-flat binding.
Simply put, Riley knows more about script format than anyone in Hollywood and shares it all with you.
Buy this book. Learn the rules as if your career depends on it…because it does.
All beginning writers make the same mistakes — and many “pros” do, too! Because nobody in Hollywood will give your script a second chance, it better be perfect the first time out. No longer will you worry that a producer or story executive will toss your script in the garbage at page fifteen because Your Screenplay Sucks! Akers’ checklist will eliminate all the flaws in your screenplay, guaranteeing a cover-to-cover read.
This book includes the most comprehensive checklist of fatal errors all writers make — and then provides the tools to fix them.
In today’s highly competitive story market, this is the only book that finds the flaws in your script — like a heat-seeking missile — and shows you how to eliminate them.
Who doesn’t love the Dark Side? Darth Vader, Cruella De Vil, Tony Soprano – everybody loves a great villain. And every story needs dramatic conflict – internal and external – to really resonate. This comprehensive, accessible book gives you tools to write the most despicable villains.
Conflict is the very heart and soul of drama, and Smith’s latest work explores character conflict and the various ways to portray it both in scripts and on the stage.
Defining the Dark Side helps you select and clarify the worldview that influences your character’s actions.
The udated and revised third edition provides new insights and observations from Vogler’s ongoing work on mythology’s influence on stories, movies, and man himself. The previous two editons of this book have sold over 180,000 units, making this book a ‘classic’ for screenwriters, writers, and novelists.
In the long-awaited sequel to his surprise bestseller, Save the Cat!, author and screenwriter Blake Snyder returns to form in a fast-paced follow-up that proves why his is the most talked-about approach to screenwriting in years. In the perfect companion piece to his ﬁrst book, Snyder delivers even more insider’s information gleaned from a 20-year track record as “one of Hollywood’s most successful spec screenwriters,” giving you the clues to write your movie.
Designed for screenwriters, novelists, and movie fans, this book gives readers the key breakdowns of the 50 most instructional movies from the past 30 years. From MAS*H to Crash, from Alien to Saw, from 10 to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Snyder reveals how screenwriters who came before you tackled the same challenges you are facing with the ﬁlm you want to write — or the one you are currently working on. Writing a “rom-com”? Check out the “Buddy Love” chapter for a “beat for beat” dissection of When Harry Met Sally… plus references to 10 other great romantic comedies that will make your story sing.
Want to execute a great mystery? Go to the “Whydunit” section and learn about the “dark turn” that’s essential to the heroes of All the President’s Men, Blade Runner, Fargo and hip noir Brick — and see why ALL good stories, whether a Hollywood blockbuster or a Sundance award winner, follow the same rules of structure outlined in Snyder’s breakthrough method.
If you want to sell your script and create a movie that pleases most audiences most of the time, the odds increase if you reference Snyder’s checklists and see what makes 50 ﬁlms tick. After all, both executives and audiences respond to the same elements good writers seek to master. They want to know the type of story they signed on for, and whether it’s structured in a way that satisﬁes everyone. It’s what they’re looking for. And now, it’s what you can deliver.
The Way of Story is an integrative approach to writing all forms of narrative, illustrated with evocative insights from the author’s own professional journey. Craft alone is not enough. It is the integration of both solid craft and experiential inner discovery that makes this writing book unique.
No other writing book offers the solid craft to guarantee a good story along with the intangible inner dimensions of writing. This book is a rare gift to writers – it feeds the soul of a writer and provides practical tips on making a successful commercial script.
What are Elephant Bucks? Simply stated, Elephant Bucks is the really big money and the enormous satisfaction you can earn by writing successfully for a television sitcom.
This book is a comprehensive guide to writing that killer spec sitcom script and launching a career as a TV sitcom writer. Includes detailed inside information on how to choose the right series to spec, how to pick the right story and detailed, step-by-step instruction on how to write the scripts that will get you work. Also, how to use those scripts to get your big break in Hollywood.
Includes unique first-hand experience on how to handle TV pitch meetings, freelance writing assignments, staff work, agents, executives and stars.
Sheldon Bull has been earning Elephant Bucks as a professional television sitcom writer, producer, and director for thirty years. His career has included writing for MASH, developing, writing and producing the hit CBS sitcom Newhart starring Bob Newhart, writing and producing the ABC hit sitcom Coach and producing, writing and directing the ABC hit series Sabrina – The Teenage Witch. He has worked on the staffs of eleven different prime time network television situation comedies. He has personally written or rewritten over three hundred sitcom episodes.
Each chapter of ‘Screenwriting for Teens’ defines a concept, illustrates it with examples of current and/or classic films, and challenges its readers with creative writing, analytical, and discussion exercises. The material has application to coursework in English, media, theatre, journalism, and psychology.
A revised and expanded sequel to Stealing Fire from the Gods, this 2nd edition includes important new revelations concerning the ultimate source of unity, the structures of the whole story passage, the anti-hero’s journey, the high-concept great idea, the secrets of charismatic characters, and the analyses of many important new stories and successful films.
This book explains how the Moral Premise, a statement of truth about the protagonist’s psychological predicament, is a fundamental part of every successful movie’s structure. It is also a book about how you, the filmmaker, can appropriate the Moral Premise to create great motion pictures that resonate with large audiences.
You will learn:
The author, Stan Williams, is an internationally award-winning filmmaker, writer, and instructor. During the past 30 years, he has produced, written, directed, shot, or edited over 400 projects.
Dialog is one of the best known, and obvious, elements in a film. But the language of cinema is more subtle and sophisticated than dialog alone. From Metropolis to Kill Bill, this remarkable reference guide reveals 100 of the most potent storytelling tools of the medium, compelling cinematic devices beyond dialog for screenwriters and directors to pump up action, develop characters and energize a motion picture’s plot.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
17 basic building blocks of cinematic language
100 examples of cinematic techniques that create layering and more powerful scenes
100 definitions of cinematic tools
How to use sound, picture and camera motion as storytelling devices
How to show character change without using dialog
How filmmakers marry story and technique
All this and more illustrated by over 500 frame grabs and 76 script excerpts from the most memorable moments in film history.
The mastery of cinematic storytelling unites all successful film artists who share a fluency in the sight, sound and motion of movies. If you want to take your screenplay or your film appreciation to a higher level, this book will get you there.
He’s made millions of dollars selling screenplays. Now “one of Hollywood’s most successful spec screenwriters” tells all in this fast, funny and candid look inside the movie business. Save the Cat is just one of many iron-clad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying and saleable, including:
This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a showbiz veteran who’s proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat.
Building Conflict in Your Script.
“My writing partners are Freud, Jung and Campbell…who are you working with now?”
Hitchcock once said: “Drama is just human life with all the boring parts cut out.”
This book will help you tap into these great psychological resources to learn how to write and reflect real human drama.
William Indick, who lives in Brooklyn, NY, is a screenwriter, author and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Dowling College.