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The Screenwright(R) Book Nook

Listings: Personal Reviews | SCRNWRiT | Nicholl | Other Books, Magazines, Music, Software associate[In association with (£) and] Over several years of buying and reading many screenwriting books, I've found a few worth recommending. The following titles deserve a place on any serious screenwriter's shelf, because they're the best available in their respective areas, IMHO. You may order directly from the Internet bookseller linked to the titles, or query the publisher (I simply duplicated the information printed in my personal copy of the book, so the address/price may vary). Alternatively, some of these volumes may be available for loan through your local library: an eMail screenplay collaboration between Hungary and L.A. (includes first draft script "The Fall In Budapest")
by Alan C. Baird with Anikó J. Bartos
US$14.40 from Xlibris Corporation, 436 Walnut St. 11th Fl., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Yes, my fingerprints are all over this one... <g> here's the back cover blurb: Imagine writing your script with a mysterious stranger who's half a world away. Brief phone calls reveal some of the puzzle, but a short-story-filled eMail exchange provides the real key. If you wanted to share this correspondence, what would you do?

Clause By Clause: The Screenwriter's Legal Guide £
by Stephen F. Breimer, Esq.
US$11.95 from Dell Readers Service, Box DR, 1540 Broadway, NY, NY 10036
When I heard, late in the summer of '95, that this was being published, I rushed over to my local bookstore and reserved a copy of the first delivery. This has been one of the few times that my anticipation about a book was entirely justified. Written by an entertainment lawyer, it provides a solid paradigm for how the "business" in "show business" works for people like us. It gave me a way of thinking about what I do that I find to be very healthy. I now know how deals are usually structured under present realities, how those have been shaped by the history of the business, how upcoming deals can be structured, and what to look for in a negotiation. I know what to give up as a lost cause, what to hold out for, and how to supervise my lawyer. When the crunch comes, I hope I'm able to fully utilize these valuable lessons!

The Complete Guide To Standard Script Formats - Part I (Screenplays) £
by Hillis R. Cole, Jr. and Judith H. Haag
US$18.95 from CMC Publishing, 11642 Otsego St., N. Hollywood, CA 91601
This title seems to pop up in screenplay formatting circles more and more these days. Written by two folks who have been running their own script typing service for years, it's an exhaustive overview of how (and why) screenplays are formatted. I found it to be fascinating reading, but then, I was designing a script formatting program at the time... They receive credits in a lot of software, and they got another one in mine.

Screenplay - The Foundations of Screenwriting £
by Syd Field
US$12.95 from Dell Publishing, 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, NY, NY 10017
You've seen ads for his seminars - now read his book, the grandpappy in the how-to area (a fine way for beginners to get their feet wet).

Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting £
by William Goldman
US$16.99 from Warner Books, PO Box 690, NY, NY 10019
Funny, acute observations of Hollywood and the biz by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Maverick, Marathon Man and All the President's Men, among many others. It's required reading, if only because it includes the entire script and inside story of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Making A Good Script Great £
by Linda Seger
US$12.95 from Dodd, Mead & Company, 71 Fifth Ave., NY, NY 10003
Written by a well-known script consultant, this is a guide for writing and rewriting. It's also a classic in the field of structure.

Getting Your Script Through The Hollywood Maze £
by Linda Stuart
US$14.95 from Acrobat Books, PO Box 870, Venice, CA 90294
Linda teaches/taught a course in Story Analysis at the American Film Institute, and writes from a script reader's point of view. She offers some penetrating insight from the other side of the word processor.

I don't own the following, but many members of the SCRNWRiT mailing list have recommended:

The Wachowski Brothers, Spencer Lamm's The Art of the Matrix
Aristotle's Poetics
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen's Fargo
Joel Coen's Barton Fink and Miller's Crossing
Richard Curtis' Four Weddings and a Funeral: Three Appendices and a Screenplay
Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Gus Van Sant's Good Will Hunting: A Screenplay
Frank Darabont, Stephen King's The Shawshank Redemption: The Shooting Script
Robert Duvall's The Apostle: A Screenplay
Charles Fleming's High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess
Larry Gelbart's Laughing Matters: On Writing M*A*S*H, Tootsie, Oh God!, and a Few Other Funny Things
William Goldman's Five Screenplays With Essays: All the President's Men, Magic, Harper, Maverick, The Great Waldo Pepper
William Goldman's Four Screenplays With Essays: Marathon Man, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Princess Bride, Misery
Brian Helgeland, Curtis Hanson, James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential: The Screenplay
[Photographer] Douglas Kirkland, Ed W. Marsh's James Cameron's Titanic
[Editors] Emily Laskin, Anna Lisa Korobkin's Getting Started In Film
Anthony Minghella, Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient: A Screenplay
Paula Parisi's Titanic and the Making of James Cameron: The Inside Story of the Three-Year Filmmaking Adventure That Rewrote Motion Picture History
Georges Polti's The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations
Martin Scorsese, Jay Cocks' The Age of Innocence: The Shooting Script
Kevin Smith's Clerks and Chasing Amy: Two Screenplays
Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction
Billy Bob Thornton's Sling Blade: A Screenplay
Robert Towne's Chinatown & the Last Detail: Screenplays

These screenwriting books were listed on the AMPAS Nicholl Fellowships bibliography:

Paul Argentini's Elements of Style for Screenwriters
Alan A. Armer's Writing the Screenplay: TV and Film
[Compiler] Susan Avallone's Film Writers Guide
Rachel Friedman Ballon's Blueprint for Writing: A Writer's Guide to Creativity, Craft & Career
Robert A. Berman's Fade in: The Screenwriting Process
Irwin R. Blacker's The Elements of Screenwriting: A Guide for Film and Television Writers
Rick Blum's Television and Screen Writing: From Concept to Contract
Ben Brady, Lance Lee's The Understructure of Writing for Film and Television
John Brady's The Craft of the Screenwriter
Stephen F. Breimer's The Screenwriter's Legal Guide
Linda Buzzell's How to Make It in Hollywood: All the Right Moves
K Callan's The Script is finished, Now what do I do?: The Scriptwriter's Resource Book and Agent Guide
Doran William Cannon's Authorship: The Dynamic Principles of Writing Creatively
Hillis R. Cole, Jr., Judith H. Haag's The Complete Guide To Standard Script Formats - Part I (Screenplays)
Dona Cooper's AFI Writing Great Screenplays for Film and TV
Linda Cowgill's Secrets of Screenplay Structure
Hadley Davis' Development Girl
Carlos de Abreu, Howard Jay Smith's Opening the Doors to Hollywood: How to Sell Your Idea
Edward Dmytryk's On Screen Writing
Joel Engel's Screenwriters on Screenwriting: The Best in the Business Discuss Their Craft
Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing
Syd Field's Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay
Syd Field's Screenplay - The Foundations of Screenwriting
Syd Field's The Screenwriter's Guide to Problem Solving: How to Recognize, Identify, and Define Screenwriting Problems
Syd Field's The Screenwriter's Workbook
Syd Field's Selling a Screenplay: The Screenwriter's Guide to Hollywood
Denny Martin Flinn's How Not to Write a Screenplay
William Froug's The New Screenwriter Looks at the New Screenwriter
William Froug's The Screenwriter Looks at the Screenwriter
William Froug's Screenwriting Tricks of the Trade
William Froug's Zen and the Art of Screenwriting: Insights and Interviews
Stephen Geller's Screenwriting
William Goldman's Adventures In The Screen Trade
Erich Leon Harris' African-American Screenwriters Now: Conversations With Hollywood's Black Pack
Michael Hauge's Writing Screenplays That Sell
Katherine Atwell Herbert's Selling Scripts to Hollywood
Katherine Atwell Herbert's Writing Scripts Hollywood Will Love
Neill D. Hicks' Screenwriting 101
The Hollywood Agents and Managers Directory
The Hollywood Creative Directory
Andrew Horton's Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay
David Howard, Edward Mabley's The Tools of Screenwriting: A Writer's Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay
Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434
Erik Joseph's How to Enter Screenplay Contests and Win!
T. L. Katahn's Reading for a Living: How to Be a Professional Story Analyst for Film and Television
Viki King's How to Write a Movie in 21 Days: The Inner Movie Method
[Editor] David M. Kipen's Film Producers, Studios, Agents and Casting Directors Guide
Robert Kosberg, Mim Eichler's How To Sell Your Idea To Hollywood
Richard W. Krevolin's Screenwriting from the Soul
Jennifer M. Lerch's 500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Script Reader
Paul Lucey's Story Sense: Writing Story and Script for Feature Films and Television
Robert McKee's Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting
Howard Meibach's Spec Screenplay Sales Directory
Margaret Mehring's The Screenplay: A Blend of Film Form and Content
William Millers' Screenwriting for Film and Television
Constance Nash, Virginia Oakey's The Screenwriter's Handbook: What to Write, How to Write It, Where to Sell It
William Packard's The Art of Screenwriting: Story Script Markets
Linda Palmer's How to Write It, How to Sell It
Skip Press' Writer's Guide to Hollywood Producers, Directors, and Screenwriter's Agents: Who They Are! What They Want! and How to Win Them Over!
Rick Reichman's Formatting Your Screenplay
Wells Root's Writing the Script
Carl Sautter's How to Sell Your Screenplay: The Real Rules of Film and Television
Karl Schanzer, Thomas Lee Wright's American Screenwriters / the Insider's Look at the Art, the Craft, and the Business of Writing Movies
Linda Seger's The Art of Adaptation: Turning Fact and Fiction into Film
Linda Seger's Creating Unforgettable Characters
Linda Seger's Making A Good Script Great
J. Michael Straczynski's The Complete Book of Scriptwriting
Linda Stuart's Getting Your Script Through The Hollywood Maze
Thom Taylor's The Big Deal: Hollywood's Million-Dollar Spec Script Market
David Trottier's The Screenwriter's Bible
Eugene Vale's Technique of Screen and Television Writing
Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey
Richard Walter's Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television
Richard Walter's The Whole Picture
Brooke A. Wharton's The Writer Got Screwed (But Didn't Have To): A Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of Writing for the Entertainment Industry
Cynthia Whitcomb's Selling Your Screenplay
Rich Whiteside's The Screenwriting Life
Jurgen Wolff, Kerry Cox' Top Secrets: Screenwriting
Meg Wolitzer's Fitzgerald Did It: The Writer's Guide to Mastering the Screenplay
Writers Guild of America, East Professional Writer's Teleplay/Screenplay Format

Check out other scriptwriting (including sitcom-related) books which turned up on several subject searches. Find discount magazine subscriptions, as well!

Track down music recordings (film scores, etc.) at or CDnow.

Software may be purchased online at Digital River.

The elusive Acco #5 Brads (1-1/4" Brass Fasteners) are stocked by Enterprise.

Other Screenwright(R) sites:

Screenwright(R) Screenplay Formatting Shareware
For writing scripts with WordPerfect®.

Screenwright(R) WORDS
Thesaurus, Dictionary, Quotations, Translator,
Pronouncer, Acronyms, Clichés, Credits, and Oscars.

Screenwright(R) Links
Agents, Screenplays, Contests, URLs, Phone#s, Revision Colors, Guilds, Minimums,
Agreements, Registration, Copyright, Synopses, Conversion,
and many other resources.

Screenwright(R) Communications
International Telephone Dialing Codes, Area Codes,
Reverse/Prefix Lookup, Phone Directory, ZIP+4 Codes, etc.

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