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Screenplay Syd Fields

Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting written by Syd Field provides the readers a glimpse of the things that happen in the film industry. Starting from the brainstorming of ideas and conceptualization of various characters up to the moment of coming up with an acceptable script, the book lists down guidelines for people who want to be screenwriters, with the aim of sharpening their writing skills. Moreover, the guidelines focus on teaching the screenwriters about the importance of catching the readers’ attention with just the first few pages on their scripts and the ways by which they can come up with a script that is complete with a sound dialogue, a good story line, a characters that are easily engraved on the readers’ minds.

PROS

The book sheds new light on the film industry for aspiring screenwriters. It gives the readers a new perspective when it comes to movies, scriptwriting, and making screenplays. The guidelines presented in the book provides the readers a walkthrough regarding the complete process of producing a script. When the author introduces new concepts and ideas, he makes it a point to let the readers know why knowledge of such principles can be very important in their journey towards scriptwriting. The three act paradigm of a screenplay is very helpful in enlightening the readers about the concept of writing a good script.

CONS

Some readers disagree with the author’s advice in using a plot point/page correlation in scriptwriting. For others, the formula that the author presents is one definite way to kill the creativity and impede the evolution of film industry as it dictates that a script must follow a certain format and contains a definite set of story elements.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Syd Field has been called as the “guru of all screenwriters” by a lot of people. His works in screenwriting are also recognized by a number of professionals and people who are widely known in Hollywood. He wrote some best-selling books which include Screenplay, The Screenwriter’s Workbook, and The Screenwriter’s Problem Solver. In addition, Syd Field worked for the Getty Center and as a screenwriting consultant in various countries like Germany, Norway, Mexico, Austria, Germany, and many others. He also received recognition awards like the induction to the Screenwriting Hall of Fame of the American Screenwriting Association and the Final Draft Hall of Fame Award. Syd Field was also known for mentoring some award-winning and nominated filmmakers and writers like Alfonso Cuaron, Frank Darabont, Anna Hamilton, John Singleton, and others.

Rebel Without A Crew

 

 

Rebel Without a Crew written by Robert Rodriguez discusses the various strategies and techniques that helped the author in achieving success with his first film, El Mariachi, even though he was forced to work and make amends with a very small budget. The book is both a journal and a manual, with the author listing down details on the production of his film and relating how he managed to finish the movie in such a tight budget.

PROS

A lot of people will be inspired when they learn about Rodriguez’s struggles when he went on doing the movie El Mariachi with just $7000 in his pockets and his self. The book is written in a very lively and humorous manner making the readers think that they are not reading a book about film making but rather, it’s like they are learning about the adventures of one of their closest friends. Before they finish reading the book, readers will realize that it is not impossible for anyone, even without crew and money, to make a good and quality movie.

CONS

Some readers contend that there is nothing specific about film making that can be learned from the book. Other people on the other hand are looking for further discussions about the author’s shooting and directing styles. The author also mentions some tips about film making but such tips are now inapplicable since the film industry has now adapted the digital and modern methods of filmmaking.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aside from being widely recognized in the industries of screenwriting and film making, Robert Rodriguez has also been known for introducing the “Mariachi-style” and “one-man film crew” styles in the art of filmmaking. Some of the films that he made are Sin City, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, The Faculty, Spy Kids, and Planet Terror. He is also the person behind the establishment of Troublemaker Studios.

Story Robert Mckee

 

 

Our take On The Text Book Story

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting is a book written by the very popular Robert Mckee which provides the readers with knowledge and concepts that are vital in the process of screenwriting. It discusses the various elements of screenwriting and how each these elements work together as a whole.

PROS

The book is well-written and provides the readers important insights about the art of screenwriting. It clearly discusses the process of screenwriting and points out what the writer exactly aims for when writing for the screen. While the book focuses more on the discussion of classical Hollywood narrative, the author does not forget that there are other narrative styles that writers can use in their work. Moreover, the book is divided into several sections with each part focused on discussing an important aspect of screenwriting like the relationship of the writer and the story, the elements and principles of a story, and how writers fare in craft while at work.

CONS

Some people dislike the inclusion of the author’s observations and personal stories as he discusses the ways by which people can write a better screenplay. There are also some who disagree with categories used in grouping the different kinds of stories which of some people, do not really make sense at all. Moreover, the author seems to deviate from the principles that he’s discussing when he starts citing of examples on which principles are supposedly applied.

EDITORIAL REVIEWS

Robert McKee discusses in the book the importance of embedding the character’s dialogue in the minds of a film’s viewers. The book can be thought of as a written version of the things that he teaches in his seminars. The author aims to reintroduce to the readers the process of screenwriting as a craft and not just some means of earning money.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert McKee holds various classes in a number of places like Los Angeles, New York, London, and other areas that focus on the film industry. He has also received various recognitions during his career and has worked for major companies like Tri-Star and Golden Harvest Films.

The Coffee Break Screenwriter

 

 

 

The Coffee Break Screenwriter written by Pilar Alessandra tells its readers the best way to create a screenplay part by part and just by using 10 minutes of their time during each session.

PROS

The book is perfect for busy people or for those who are struggling with multiple jobs because it aims on helping the readers learns about screenwriting using exercises that won’t take much of their time. It also includes discussions on the basic knowledge regarding screenwriting. The book is also filled with worksheets that the readers can use in applying everything that they have learned from the book’s contents. Also, the questions are meant to guide the readers in discovering what they really want to write about and pointing out the correct path to take in order to get there.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Before becoming the director for the Los Angeles writing program, On the Page, Inc., Pilar Alessandra worked for various companies like DreamWorks and Radar Pictures as well as with ImageMovers, Saturday Night Live Studios, and The Robert Evans Company. You can check out her blog and podcast and take online classes from her website.

Save The Cat

 

Save the Cat! is a book that aims to provide the readers with knowledge on how screenwriters can convince people to purchase his script. Basically, it wants to show people the selling the script is just as easy as saving a cat. A beat system used in breaking the script is also introduced wherein a script is dissected to 15 beats just like a number of movies which followed the same beat system.

PROS

The book is perfect for aspiring screenwriters. It also entails the struggles undergone by writers who want to make it big on the industry of scriptwriting. The author does not fail to discuss the importance of various factors like a good title, pitch, and concept in the process of producing a sound a quality script. Moreover, he helps the readers in understanding the importance of making a story that is more or less like the ones written by other people but is also a bit unique on its own. There are also guidelines on how a script should be properly rewritten and reshaped and the final step to be taken once the script is finished. One great thing about the book is that it gives the readers honest discussions and directions that will make it easier for them to understand the basic process of screenwriting.

CONS

Some people think that the book is overrated and the information that it offers can be easily found in other resources. There are also some who disagree with the author in coming up with new schemes and categories of story genre. They greatly think that the author’s aim in refurbishing the various theories and principles on writing make it harder for other aspiring writers to create a sound script.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A member of the Writers Guild of America, Blake Snyder had been a screenwriter and producer for over 20 years. Some of his works include the Blank Check for Disney and Nuclear Family for Steven Spielberg. He also wrote the sequel to the book entitled, Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter’s Guide to Every Story Ever Told; and its accompanying software, Save The Cat! The Last Story Structure Software You’ll Ever Need. The method introduced by Blake has been a great help to other kinds of professionals like executives, managers, and producers.