Screenwriting (54)
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    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.

     


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    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.

     


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    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.

     


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    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.


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    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.

     


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.

     


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    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.

     


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    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 history and theory of the Moral Premise
    • Its components and structure
    • Its use in creating remarkable character arcs, act breaks, turning points and dramatic beats
    • A step-by-step method for embedding a true Moral Premise into a three-act screenplay
    • Understand and embrace one of the most fundamental structural aspects of storytelling, the basis for the most popular movies of all time. Use what has proven to be successful – in the process — entertain, delight, challenge and uplift this generation and the ones to come.

    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.


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    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.


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    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:

    • The four elements of every winning logline
    • The seven immutable laws of screenplay physics
    • The 10 genres that every movie ever made can be categorized by and why they’re important to your script
    • Why your hero must serve your Idea
    • Mastering the beats
    • Creating the “perfect beast” by using… ‘The Board’
    • And how to get back on track with proven rules for script repair

    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.


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    An analysis of over 50 US and foreign films in every cinematic genre, including drama, westerns, horror, action-adventure, romance, comedy, romantic comedy, suspense-thriller and fantasy-science fiction. It reveals why some films continue to touch and connect with audiences.