Thursday, January 10, 2013

Context for screenwriters

I highly recommend that beginning screenwriters learn something about the world in which they aspire to work. To this end, I recommend the excellent recent documentary, Tales From the Script.

I also recommend the books below, read in the order given.
  • The Hollywood Trilogy by Michael Hollister. A dramatic look at the creation of Hollywood, from the "holy magic" of early movies (Holywood), to the folly of growing ambition and greed (Follywood), to the expanse and international influence of Hollywood movies (Hollyworld). See and feel how Hollywood got where it is.
  • Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting by William Goldman. A memoir by the guru of screenwriting. I'm tempted to be ironic and say the godfather of screenwriting: Goldman was the writer of choice for this classic, and he turned down a million dollars to write it because he refused to glorify the lives of gangsters.
  • Screenwriter by Rafael Lima. A dark comedy that nails the screenwriting life. Nails it! As near as I can tell, available only as a Kindle ebook.
Look before you leap.

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