1. Venom.
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    Venom. Member

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    Best Script-writing books?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Venom., Jul 1, 2011.

    What are the best books that can teach you script writing? I've recently ordered 'SCREENWRITING FOR DUMMIES' but are there any others?
     
  2. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    Have you tried Syd Field's Screenwriter's Workbook? You can also read some sample movie scripts on simplyscrips website or the Internet Script Database.
     
  3. Venom.
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    Venom. Member

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    I have his other book, Syd Field's screenplay which seems quite good. :) What's the workbook like?
     
  4. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    The workbook has some good examples on creating an idea for your movie or TV show. It also helps you to structure your story by constructing a paradigm. It gives you advices on how to hook a reader into reading more of your screenplay by the tenth page.

    It offers advices on what to do when you are encountering writer’s block and so forth. And it helps you to write an outline of your story by laying out your scenes on 3 X 5 cards. It also gives you an understanding of "spinning" your story into another direction, called Plot Point. It is a good book.

    I heard about Syd Field’s Screenplay book and good critics that followed.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=7289

    see my 'tools of the trade' list there for the best...

    syd's 'workbook' is his best how-to and the only one i recommend of his... it's the best around, for showing a newbie in easy to follow step-by-step fashion, how to develop plot and characters, how to take a idea and turn it into a script...

    the others i use myself are trottier's 'bible' and argentini's 'elements of style'...
     
  6. AES256
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    AES256 New Member

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    My suggestion is going to be blunt: don't waste your time on money on these self-proclaimed gurus of screenwriting. If you take a look at Syd's IMDB or Wiki profile, it barely makes mention of any screenplays he himself has written. That is because he hasn't done much. I would recommend picking up this book. It actually makes sense and isn't filled with useless crap from a self-proclaimed "Guru" of screenwriting.

    Writing Movies for Fun and Profit, by Robert Ben Garant and Tom Lennon.

    These are two gentleman who are actual gurus. Their films combined have made over $1.5 billion dollars in revenue. To quote a segment of the book:


    I bought the book when it came out and it made sense. It teaches you quite a lot compared to those self-proclaimed "gurus" out there. I used to read Syd's material religiously and wasn't getting anywhere. Please note that I'm in no way connected to the authors or the book. I just feel that no one should waste their valuable time reading rubbish. Trottier, Feld and others may have sold one or two scripts, but their works have never been heard of or are so obscure that there isn't any point in putting faith in their words. How can you argue with Garant and Lennon?
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    despite your obvious personal animus, it makes no sense to trash how-to's like field's and trottier's when many seasoned pros in the industry recommend them to beginners as helpful in re learning the basics...

    your favorite doesn't teach newbies how to write spec scripts... it deals with how to write for the studios... and while it does contain some useful advice, it isn't really the kind of 'how-to' a beginner needs... syd's and dave's are...

    and whether or not they were/are successful screenwriters themselves isn't really important, since they are good teachers!
     
  8. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    There are hundreds of movie scripts - even blockbusters- available in usually a pdf form on the net. Just google it.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, you can and should download scripts to study the best... the most reliable sites are www.script-o-rama.com and www.imsdb.com

    but be aware that many you'll find there are only 'transcripts' and not actual screenplays... so don't study any that aren't the real thing... also keep in mind that you won't find any spec scripts by newbies and the pros can get away with a lot that you can't, with a spec... keep yours 'lean and clean' and free of fancy styling, don't include any editing/camera directions, scene numbers, etc. that you'll find in the director's or shooting scripts...
     
  10. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    If you have the chance, you can read a short script in the IMSDB called "My Mother Dreams The Satan's Disciples in New York." That has minimum editing transitions and directing on the screenplay, though it's not technically a "spec" screenplay.
     
  11. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    You may also try Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee.
     

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