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Acclaimed USC screenwriting teacher David Howard has guided hundreds of students to careers in writing for film and television. Drawing on decades of practical experience and savvy, How to Build a Great Screenplay deconstructs the craft of screenwriting and carefully reveals how to build a good story from the ground up. Howard eschews the "system" offered by other books, emphasizing that a great screenplay requires dozens of unique decisions by the author. He offers in-depth considerations of: * characterization * story arc * plotting and subplotting * dealing with coincidence in story plotting * classical vs. revolutionary screenplay structure * tone, style, and atmosphere * the use of time on screen * the creation of drama and tension * crucial moments in storytelling Throughout the book, Howard clarifies his lessons through examples from some of the most successful Hollywood and international script-oriented films, including Pulp Fiction, American Beauty, Trainspotting, North by Northwest, Chinatown, and others. The end result is what could very well become the classic text in the field---a bible for the burgeoning screenwriter.
Ever watch a movie, and despite great production value, fantastic action sequences, a great cast, etc, you come away thinking-I just didn't buy it. Chances are it was because you didn't care about the characters. Screenwriter's Compass presents a new way of approaching screenwriting, examining how effective screen storytelling must be grounded in the vivid imagining and presentation of character. Screenwriter's Compass will not offer formulas to follow but instead will give you the tools needed to chart your own path to screenwriting success. It details useful ways of thinking about writing, as well as practical ideas and concepts to help you discover the unique geography of your own imagination and navigate the problems posed by the struggle to express vision, agenda, and story. You'll learn how to root your writing in motivation and voice, to create screenplays that seduce and make your reader lean forward, and, most importantly, identify with your characters.
Detailing the nuts and bolts of the job of script editing, this book looks at what's required and expected, how script editors assess a script, their approach to working with writers and producers, and their input during rewrites and pre-production, up to a project's completion. It also examines the ways in which writers and producers can benefit from working with a professional script editor as they seek to refine and communicate their vision. This is a valuable resource for anyone developing a script, for writers and producers interested in expanding their understanding of how a script is advanced, and for those pursuing a career in script development.
Writing a Great Movie is destined to become a bible for new and aspiring screenwriters. This book is a state-of-the-art, practical manual on the craft of dramatic writing for film, focusing on seven essential tools for the screenwriter: (1) Dilemma, Crisis, Decision and Action, and Resolution (2) Theme (3) the 36 Dramatic Situations (4) the Enneagram (practical study of personal growth that identifies 9 distinct types of personalities) (5) Research and brainstorming (6) the Central Proposition and (7) Sequence, Proposition, and Plot. Featuring the creation, development and construction of an original screenplay from start to finish, Jeff Kitchen offers his readers a clear picture of how to apply these tools on their own scripts. Everyone wanting to create, develop and write the "hot, new screenplay" will find all the guidance they need in Writing a Great Movie. "Kitchen s seminar is not just theory, it s nuts and bolts...he provides you with a set of dramaturgical wrenches with which you can dismantle, then reassemble your screenplay idea and verify its dramatic integrity." --Michael McDonnell, producer of The Usual Suspects. Offers state-of-the-art dramaturgic theory and technique - not the standard approach to screenwriting taught in film schools or in other screenwriting books. The author is a top-rated teacher praised throughout the movie industry and featured in Creative Screenwriting magazine as one of the top screenwriting teachers today. Jeff Kitchen, a working screenwriter, worked as a dramaturge at New York s Playwrights Preview Productions and has taught dramaturgic writing to teachers at University of Southern California s graduate film school and to development executives at all the major studios, including Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. Also available: 0-8230-8450-7 / 978-0-8230-8450-0 The Weekend Novelist, Revised & Updated Edition (W excl. BC)
Today's screenwriter must be adept at today's popular yet often complex and unconventional script forms, such as the parallel storytelling of 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Magnolia', the multiple protagonist narrative of 'American Beauty', and the complex flashback forms of 'The Usual Suspects' and 'The Sweet Hereafter'. Becoming comfortable with and skilled in such modern script forms is the focus of this text which identifies basic parallel structures, clearly explains how and why they work (or fail to work), and establishes the basic principles of their construction. These modern forms are presented in tandem with and in relation to tried-and-true, traditional screenwriting forms, rendering unconventional structures as easily grasped as conventional ones. Unlike any other screenwriting book, this book combines solid, basic screenwriting craft with a thorough presentation of very contemporary script structures. The result is a unique, wide-ranging, in-depth screenwriting text and do-it-yourself script-doctoring manual suitable for both seasoned and novice writers.
Unlocks the mysteries of commercially successful screen drama.
Invisible Ink is a helpful, accessible guide to the essential elements of the best storytelling by award-winning writer/director/producer Brian McDonald. Readers learn techniques for building a compelling story around a theme, engaging audiences with writing, creating appealing characters, and much more.

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