Friday, February 11, 2005  

The Amateur Screenwriters Bookshelf

You love to write. This idea, this story you've conjured up in your head is dying to be told. This brilliant idea would be a great movie. Where do you begin? What do you do?

The best advice I have for anyone thinking about writing a screenplay is to read every book that's available by author Syd Field. The amateur screenwriter's bookshelf should contain a collection of his works. I've read three of the books listed below. They're fantastic. Filled with a handsome wealth of informative topics to help you study the craft of screenwriting.

Syd Field has become one of the most respected teachers of the craft amongst his peers. Read his books. This is where you begin.

Read and write. Read a little more. Write a little more. Re-write. Watch a movie. Read more. Write. Re-write more. This is what you do.

You'll soon learn if the desire to turn that great idea into a movie is worth the challenge of learning how to do it. I've bought into this theory and have chosen to accept the challenge. I hope you do to.

The following books are available at The Writers Store. Be sure and see the other great products available from Syd Field.

Syd Field Book
Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
From concept to character, from opening scene to finished script.... Here are easily understood guidelines to make film writing accessible to novices and to help practiced writers improve their scripts. Syd Field pinpoints the structural and stylistic elements essential to every good screenplay. He presents a step-by-step, comprehensive technique for writing the script that will succeed. -Why are the first ten pages of your script crucially important? - How do you collaborate successfully with someone else? -How do you adapt a novel, a play, or an article into a screenplay? -How do you market your script?

Syd Field Book
The Screenwriter's Workbook
This tried-and-true workshop approach to teaching the mechanics of screenwriting has been a hit since 1984. This popular teacher helps you define your idea, create the paradigm professionals use, and bring your characters to life. Discover how to make dialogue really sound believable and use techniques like voice-overs, subtitles, flash forwards (and backs) effectively and gracefully, and structure your screenplay to work from page one to end-credits.

Syd Field Book
Selling a Screenplay: The Screenwriter's Guide to Hollywood
This is the classic text on discovering what they want, who to see, and what to do afterwards. Field helps you analyze where to market, studios or the independents; how to connect with networks, or cable; how to get an agent, and why you need an attorney before you sign the contract. Frank, information-packed, essential basics for everyone in the industry. Interviews with today's top screenwriters gathered by the author of Screenplay and Four Screenplays.

Syd Field Book
Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay
Field analyzes Thelma & Louise, Terminator 2, Silence of the Lambs and Dances with Wolves and interviews Callie Khouri, James Cameron, Ted Tally and Michael Blake about how their clear knowledge of technology, myth and transitions got them from idea to the box office. This analysis of four groundbreaking contemporary classics, in-depth interviews and comparative remarks will help any screenwriter reach the goal of great writing, commercial success, and winning entertainment.

Syd Field Book
The Screenwriter's Problem Solver
All writing is rewriting. But what do you change, and how do you change it? All screenplays have problems. They happened to Die Hard: With a Vengeance and Broken Arrow-and didn't get fixed, leaving the films flawed. They nearly shelved Platoon-until Oliver Stone rewrote the first ten pages and created a classic. They happen to every screenwriter. But good writers see their problems as a springboard to creativity. Now bestselling author Syd Field, who works on over 1,000 screenplays a year, tells you step-by-step how to identify and fix common screenwriting problems, providing the professional secrets that make movies brilliant-secrets that can make your screenplay one headed for success...or even Cannes.

Syd Field Book
Going to the Movies
Watching a movie is easy. But it's hard to figure out how its structure, images, acting, camera work and scripts can make us respond so powerfully. Writing in a chatty, informal manner, the author of several popular screenplay-writing manuals (including Screenplay, which is used in numerous college courses) turns to autobiography to meditate on what makes a movie great. Whether he is addressing his friendship with the great French director Jean Renoir, whose masterpiece La Grande Illusion Field considers one of the foundations of modern cinema, or about his classes with the great feminist film director Dorothy Arzner, Field conveys an enormous amount of technical and practical knowledge.


At 11:47 AM,Anonymous Anonymous said...

is Syd Field related to the WWF wrestler Syd Vicious?