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On Story—Screenwriters and Their Craft
Author: Barbara Morgan, Maya Perez
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292754604
Pages: 176
Year: 2013-10-15
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Introduction / by Barbara Morgan -- 1. Inspiration. A conversation with Randall Wallace -- 2. Story. What makes a great story : a conversation with Bill Wittliff ; Steven Zaillian on where the story originates ; Peter Hedges on crafting story ; Lawrence Kasdan on story and theme -- 3. Process. A conversation with John Lee Hancock ; Sacha Gervasi on getting started ; The basics with Nicholas Kazan ; Advice from Bill Wittliff ; Anne Rapp's writing routine ; Caroline Thompson's writing process ; Lawrence Kasdan on the challenges of writing -- 4. Structure. Structure and format : a conversation with Frank Pierson, Whit Stillman, Robin Swicord, and Nicholas Kazan ; Caroline Thompson on structure ; Lawrence Kasdan on the rules of script formatting ; Visual storytelling : a conversation with John August, John Lee Hancock, and Randall Wallace -- 5. Character and dialogue. Building characters and mapping their journeys : a conversation with Lawrence Kasdan and Anne Rapp ; Nicholas Kazan on writing characters ; Crafting characters : a conversation with Lawrence Kasdan ; Dialogue and finding the voice : a conversation with John August and John Lee Hancock -- 6. Rewritng. Writer's block : a conversation with Bud Shrake and Bill Wittliff ; Bill Wittliff on when to let something go ; Steven Zaillian on defining scenes : what to keep in, what to leave out ; Anne Rapp on keeping writing fresh ; Nicholas Kazan's rewriting process ; On rewriting : a conversation with Daniel Petrie Jr., Peter Hedges, and Sacha Gervasi ; Lawrence Kasdan on how to know when you're done -- 7. Collaboration. A conversation with Steven Zaillian ; Peter Hedges on collaborating ; Lawrence Kasdan on writing with a partner ; Randall Wallace on working with other writers -- 8. Go forth.
On Story—Screenwriters and Filmmakers on Their Iconic Films
Author: Barbara Morgan, Maya Perez
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 1477310908
Pages: 246
Year: 2016-10-04
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“On Story is film school in a box, a lifetime’s worth of filmmaking knowledge squeezed into half-hour packages.” —Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times Austin Film Festival (AFF) is the first organization focused on the writer’s creative contribution to film. Its annual Film Festival and Conference offers screenings, panels, workshops, and roundtable discussions that help new writers and filmmakers connect with mentors and gain advice and insight from masters, as well as refreshing veterans with new ideas. To extend the festival’s reach, AFF produces On Story, a television series currently airing on PBS-affiliated stations and streaming online that presents footage of high-caliber artists talking candidly and provocatively about the art and craft of screenwriting and filmmaking, often using examples from their own films. On Story—Screenwriters and Filmmakers on Their Iconic Films presents renowned, award-winning screenwriters and filmmakers discussing their careers and the stories behind the production of their iconic films such as L.A. Confidential, Thelma & Louise, Groundhog Day, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Silence of the Lambs, In the Name of the Father, Apollo 13, and more. In their own lively words transcribed from interviews and panel discussions, Ron Howard, Callie Khouri, Jonathan Demme, Ted Tally, Jenny Lumet, Harold Ramis, and others talk about creating stories that resonate with one’s life experiences or topical social issues, as well as how to create appealing characters and bring them to life. Their insights, production tales, and fresh, practical, and proven advice make this book ideal for film lovers, screenwriting students, and filmmakers and screenwriters seeking inspiration.
Screenwriters on Screen-Writing
Author: Joel Engel
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 1401305571
Pages: 320
Year: 2013-02-12
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Before any lights, camera, or action, there's the script--arguably the most important single element in filmmaking, and Screenwriters on Screen-Writing introduces the men and women responsible for the screenplays that have produced some of the most successful and acclaimed films in Hollywood history. In each interview, not only do the writers explore the craft and technique of creating a filmic blueprint, but they recount the colorful tales of coming up in the ranks of the movie business and of bringing their stories to the screen, in a way that only natural-born storytellers such as themselves can. These and other screenwriters have garnered the attention of the movie-going population not only with their words, but with headlines announcing the sales of their scripts for hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars. Anyone interested in writing, making, or learning about movies will enjoy reading this fascinating behind-the-scenes compendium that brings together some of the most prominent and talented screenwriters in modern-day filmmaking. Screenwriters interviewed include: Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost), Ernest Lehman (North by Northwest, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Amy Holden Jones (Indecent Proposal), Ted Tally (The Silence of the Lambs), Horton Foote (To Kill a Mockingbird, Tender Mercies), Andrew Bergman (The In-Laws), Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands), Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King), and Robert Towne (Chinatown, Shampoo).
Tales from the Script
Author: Peter Hanson, Paul Robert Herman
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061988006
Pages: 368
Year: 2010-01-26
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“Tales from the Script gathers notable veterans of the screen wars who demonstrate the basic truth of our adventures in Movieland: Writing is the easy part.” — John Sayles, writer/director of Lone Star and Eight Men Out “Fascinating tales from the belly of the beast.” — Lawrence Kasdan, Oscar-nominated writer/director of The Big Chill, Wyatt Earp, and Body Heat Tales from the Script is an unprecedented collection of exclusive interviews with dozens of Hollywood screenwriters—including industry legends Bruce Joel Rubin, David S. Ward, Nora Ephron, Paul Mazursky, John August, Steven De Souza, and Paul Schrader. In these conversations, they reveal the secrets behind their successes and failures, offer uplifting stories about how faith in their talent has empowered their careers, and share colorful, entertaining anecdotes about popular movie stars and films.
Screenplay
Author: Syd Field
Publisher: Delta
ISBN: 0307423263
Pages: 336
Year: 2007-12-18
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From concept to character, from opening scene to finished script.. Here are easily understood guidelines to make film-writing accessible to novices and to help practiced writers improve their scripts. Syd Field pinpoints the structural and stylistic elements essential to every good screenplay. He presents a step-by-step, comprehensive technique for writing the script that will succeed. •Why are the first ten pages of your script crucially important? •How do you collaborate successfully with someone else? •How do you adapt a novel, a play, or an article into a screenplay? •How do you market your script? From the Trade Paperback edition.
Screenwriting Down to the Atoms
Author: Michael Welles Schock
Publisher:
ISBN: 0988848708
Pages: 268
Year: 2013-01
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There are many books on screenwriting that claim to have all the answers. Unfortunately, quite often the more aspiring writers read, the more confused they become as they encounter contradictory statements, incomplete perspectives, and methods that fail to do more than scratch the surface. "Screenwriting Down to the Atoms" was written to end all the confusion. It picks up where the best leave off and makes up for where the rest fall short by looking closer and digging deeper to reveal the "true" principles beneath great cinematic stories. No confusion. No contradictions. "Atoms" provides a light in the dark to give a full, simple, and truly effective understanding of the craft. "Screenwriting Down to the Atoms" takes the basics "far beyond" the basics. It begins by putting the entire field under the microscope to challenge, and often refute, ideas writers have been taught to assume for decades. It then builds a simple, systematic approach clear enough for any writer to understand and put directly into use. Readers will discover storytelling's "golden key" - an elegantly-simple structure that forms the basis of all other structures. They will learn how to satisfy viewers by meeting the responsibilities of the "storyteller-audience relationship." They will understand how to creatively control story information to give a narrative the greatest dramatic impact. Most writers toil for years to learn these principles. With "Atoms, " you can have this knowledge from the very start. Whether you are working on your fifteenth screenplay or your first, "Screenwriting Down to the Atoms" gives indispensable knowledge found in no other source. "Atoms" is screencraft for the 21st century. The next generation of guides for the next generation of writers.
Screenwriting Fundamentals
Author: Irv Bauer
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317214145
Pages: 184
Year: 2016-11-03
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Screenwriting Fundamentals: The Art and Craft of Visual Writing takes a step-by-step approach to screenwriting, starting with a blank page and working through each element of the craft. Written in an approachable anecdote-infused style that’s full of humor, Bauer shows the writer how to put the pieces together, taking the process of screenwriting out of the cerebral and on to the page. Part One of the book covers character, location, time-frame and dialogue, emphasizing the particularity in writing for a visual medium. Part Two of the book focuses on the narrative aspect of screenwriting. Proceeding incrementally from the idea and story outline, through plotting and writing the treatment, the workshop-in-a-book concludes with writing the First Draft. A unique emphasis on the visual elements of storytelling because the camera is always present—the screenplay must act as a guide for the director and the editor. A "workshop in a book" approach that walks the reader step-by-step through a screenplay—focusing on character, location, time frame, visual components, and transitions—with plenty of exercises that generate material for the narrative writing process. A process-oriented approach, combined with a lighthearted tone and approachable style, that allows the reader to ease into the daunting task of writing a First Draft and takes them all the way through to the end— First Draft in hand.
Screenwriting is Rewriting
Author: Jack Epps, Jr.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1628927380
Pages: 272
Year: 2016-01-28
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If there is one skill that separates the professional screenwriter from the amateur, it is the ability to rewrite successfully. From Jack Epps, Jr., the screenwriter of Top Gun, Dick Tracy, and The Secret of My Success, comes a comprehensive guide that explores the many layers of rewriting. In Screenwriting is Rewriting, Epps provides a practical and tested approach to organizing notes, creating a game plan, and executing a series of focused passes that address the story, character, theme, structure, and plot issues. Included are sample notes, game plans, and beat sheets from Epps' work on films such as Sister Act and Turner and Hooch. Also featured are exclusive interviews with Academy Award® winning screenwriters Robert Towne (Chinatown) and Frank Pierson (Dog Day Afternoon), along with Academy Award® nominee Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich).
The Nutshell Technique
Author: Jill Chamberlain
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 1477303731
Pages: 219
Year: 2016-03-01
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Veteran script consultant Jill Chamberlain discovered in her work that an astounding 99 percent of first-time screenwriters don’t know how to tell a story. These writers may know how to format a script, write snappy dialogue, and set a scene. They may have interesting characters and perhaps some clever plot devices. But, invariably, while they may have the kernel of a good idea for a screenplay, they fail to tell a story. What the 99 percent do instead is present a situation. In order to explain the difference, Chamberlain created the Nutshell Technique, a method whereby writers identify eight dynamic, interconnected elements that are required to successfully tell a story. Now, for the first time, Chamberlain presents her unique method in book form with The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting. Using easy-to-follow diagrams (“nutshells”), she thoroughly explains how the Nutshell Technique can make or break a film script. Chamberlain takes readers step-by-step through thirty classic and contemporary movies, showing how such dissimilar screenplays as Casablanca, Chinatown, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Silver Linings Playbook, and Argo all have the same system working behind the scenes, and she teaches readers exactly how to apply these principles to their own screenwriting. Learn the Nutshell Technique, and you’ll discover how to turn a mere situation into a truly compelling screenplay story.
Story Sense: A Screenwriter's Guide for Film and Television
Author: Paul Lucey
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
ISBN: 0070389969
Pages: 336
Year: 1996-01-01
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This is the first true textbook for a course in screenwriting. Story Sense provides specific strategies for writing story, character, and script. A wealth of techniques are suggested so that screenwriters can select those that work best for them. The book has been conceived as a working manual for screenwriters and offers hands-on advice for solving the many problems that crop up as the work progresses. In addition, the book includes examples of script format, a glossary of film terms, the Writer's Guild's compensation terms, and such insider examples as a sample studio script evaluation form, a sample script analysis, a sample studio reader's questionnaire, and a sample re-write.
Classical Storytelling and Contemporary Screenwriting
Author: Brian Price
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1351373234
Pages: 244
Year: 2017-12-14
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Since we first arrived on the planet, we’ve been telling each other stories, whether of that morning’s great saber-tooth tiger hunt or the latest installment of the Star Wars saga. And throughout our history, despite differences of geography or culture, we’ve been telling those stories in essentially the same way. Why? Because there is a RIGHT way to tell a story, one built into our very DNA. In his seminal work Poetics, Aristotle identified the patterns and recurring elements that existed in the successful dramas of his time as he explored precisely why we tell stories, what makes a good one, and how to best tell them. In Classical Storytelling and Contemporary Screenwriting, Brian Price examines Aristotle’s conclusions in an entertaining and accessible way and then applies those guiding principles to the most modern of storytelling mediums, going from idea to story to structure to outline to final pages and beyond, covering every relevant screenwriting topic along the way. The result is a fresh new approach to the craft of screenwriting—one that’s only been around a scant 2,500 years or so—ideal for students and aspiring screenwriters who want a comprehensive step-by-step guide to writing a successful screenplay the way the pros do it.
Inside Story
Author: Dara Marks
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1408142252
Pages: 384
Year: 2015-01-05
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'In the beginning there was Syd Field. Then came McKee and Vogler. Now there is Dara Marks. Marks has long ranked among the top screenwriting theorists, now her teachings are available to everyone.' Creative Screenwriting 'Offers fresh insights into screenwriting structure, enabling writers to hone their craft and elevate their art.' Prof Richard Walter, UCLA Screenwriting Chairman 'This is a book you can read with each script you write, as both guide and inspiration.' Lisa Loomer, Screenwriter, Girl Interrupted and The Waiting Room 'Destined to become a classic.' Scriptwriter magazine Inside Story offers the most important advancement in screenwriting theory to come along in years. This innovative method for structuring a screenplay is designed to keep writers focused on the heart and soul of their story so that plot, character and theme create a unified whole. Marks' method offers an easy to follow template for story construction, helping the writer to identify what the story is actually about: the thematic intention. It then uses the internal character development of the protagonist as a vehicle to drive the thematic intention and the line of action within the story.
The Craft of Interviewing
Author: John Brady
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307778282
Pages: 260
Year: 2011-02-02
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John Brady, editor of Writer's Digest and himself an accomplished interviewer, has put together an indispensable guide to the art of questioning. In a lively, down-to-earth manner, "The Craft of Interviewing" covers all aspects of the interview process -- getting the interview, doing research, handling the subject face-to-face, hurdling hazards, getting tough, taking notes (on the sly, if need be), taping, dealing with off-the-record types, concluding the interview, verifying it, and writing it up. Brady has also filled the book with a myriad of anecdotes revealing the experiences of some of the best known interviewers of our times. A noteworthy appendix on the history of the interview is included. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Anatomy of Story
Author: John Truby
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429923709
Pages: 464
Year: 2008-10-14
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John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood's most successful films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and Shrek. The Anatomy of Story is his long-awaited first book, and it shares all of his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby's own unique approach for how to build an effective, multifaceted narrative. Truby's method for constructing a story is at once insightful and practical, focusing on the hero's moral and emotional growth. As a result, writers will dig deep within and explore their own values and worldviews in order to create an effective story. Writers will come away with an extremely precise set of tools to work with—specific, useful techniques to make the audience care about their characters, and that make their characters grow in meaningful ways. They will construct a surprising plot that is unique to their particular concept, and they will learn how to express a moral vision that can genuinely move an audience. The foundations of story that Truby lays out are so fundamental they are applicable—and essential—to all writers, from novelists and short-story writers to journalists, memoirists, and writers of narrative non-fiction.
Story Engineering
Author: Larry Brooks
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books
ISBN: 1582979987
Pages: 288
Year: 2011-02-24
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What makes a good story or a screenplay great? The vast majority of writers begin the storytelling process with only a partial understanding where to begin. Some labor their entire lives without ever learning that successful stories are as dependent upon good engineering as they are artistry. But the truth is, unless you are master of the form, function and criteria of successful storytelling, sitting down and pounding out a first draft without planning is an ineffective way to begin. Story Engineering starts with the criteria and the architecture of storytelling, the engineering and design of a story--and uses it as the basis for narrative. The greatest potential of any story is found in the way six specific aspects of storytelling combine and empower each other on the page. When rendered artfully, they become a sum in excess of their parts. You'll learn to wrap your head around the big pictures of storytelling at a professional level through a new approach that shows how to combine these six core competencies which include: Four elemental competencies of concept, character, theme, and story structure (plot) Two executional competencies of scene construction and writing voice The true magic of storytelling happens when these six core competencies work together in perfect harmony. And the best part? Anyone can do it!

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