[Gardner's Guide to Screenplay: From Idea to Successful Script (Gardner's Guide series) Summary] E-pub By Join or create book clubs

Review Gardner's Guide to Screenplay: From Idea to Successful Script (Gardner's Guide series)

Practical and inspiring for both beginning and experienced screenwriters this guideshows how to structure afilm story by focusing on character development Featuringthe Eleven Step Story Str I got this from the library and had to buy it It s a textbook easily readable with actionable steps to start and complete a screenplay Going well beyond usual writing prompts it explores deeper themes with milestones for practical writing skills

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Gardner's Guide to Screenplay: From Idea to Successful Script (Gardner's Guide series)

Ucturea templatethat takes the haphazardness out of the process of writing the book reasons thata strict outline can be turned into a strong script with room for creative and original ideas Strap in it s a long one I bought Selbo s book as reuired reading for a screenwriting class I m about to take and ended up reading through it all before class has even begun As someone who loves writing I have tons of trouble reading so that says something to me The book kept me mostly interested but not totally enthusedI ll start with the Pro s The book provides basic information regarding three act structure the expected yet malleable page numbering midpoint all that stuff that any beginning screenwriter can appreciate For a while after this the useful information stalls for a while until the proper formatting for Loglines and Treatments are given As someone unfamiliar with industry standards on these things I personally found these tidbits to be the most useful Like after dragging the book has a rebound at the end that goes over the WGA agents managers and attorneys for a chapter that had me lingering on every word Other than that there were occasional genuinely good ideas and advice scattered throughout that I found I agreed with But these were scarceWhich gives me a killer segue to the Con s Some may jump onboard with the must do storytelling methods but a lot of writers wanting something different or having seen plenty of classics will uestion it particularly the major selling point of the Eleven Step Story Structure Anyone who s read it probably already knows what I m talking about The notion that every movie does and MUST be driven by one character wanting something is pretty shaky Sure many do as provided in the book s many examples on that later but the book continuously sells that you need to follow the structure to have a successful and emotionally satisfying screenplayAnd what about classics that don t follow it I couldn t think of how it could be applied to Goodfellas without it being shoehorned Henry is denied what he wants from his dad hitting him And has conflicts about a major second opportunity when the mob beats up the mailman for him Or The Shawshank Redemption a screenplay repeatedly used in examples Andy s first logical steps toward his want getting out of Shawshank work out the first time around it just takes the whole movie so not to sound dickish here but what givesIn the back of the book lay a bunch of examples of the movies which are helpful but there s already a crazy amount of examples Examples make up like a good 40% of the book throughout already referenced with having the Eleven Step Story Structure applied and I looked for Shawshank to find out if I was missing something and it was nowhere to be found Toy Story was though and the Structure was so shoehorned for the most part you can t help but chuckle and go Wait what not to mention some events were out of order and applied in the wrong steps Buzz seeing the commercial of himself actually comes at All Falls Apart not the Climax as stated in the bookThen for this whole thing about focusing on one character and no one else it doesn t even mention ensembles or buddy movies until one sentence toward the end stating that there are some movies like that but usually one character will still take dominance And when they don tSelbo is also very very repetitive I understand you have to hammer some points home but it feels like a little over halfway through she couldn t figure out how to fill in some of the blanks so she just kept repeating one idea it s like Never make things easy for your character Add obstacles Make sure the journey is hard on the character Add obstacles An easy journey isn t satisfying add obstacles Got some obstacles there You do Well here have some Good advice for sure but it just gets to be really grating after a while This falls into the category of lots of duh details which I ve encountered in Film classes as well where you re taught over and over about basic things the half observant movie watcher picks up like The main character and his world should be introduced in the first act But if one doesn t have that experience then it should be very helpful I supposeNow for two final critiues that were nitpicks at first but became legitimate concerns after continuously seeing them especially toward the end Typos There were heaps of them As another reviewer here mentioned Brockovich becomes Brokavich in the same sentence Other than that are mostly keyboard errors pf instead of of one uote ends with and throughout there s just missing letters and words completely Just seemed careless for a writer The second critiue is the movie information errors lots of character names wrong Rafiki becomes Zazu Buzz Lightyear is now Bud Lightyear Lord Faruaad becomes Lord F dunno if she forgot his name or didn t want to reference the dirty joke some movie events didn t happen in the order she seems to remember I just don t feel comfortable learning from someone that s supposed to watch and read with an analytical eye and misses these basic detailsThere are some other gripes but this review s already too long In short if you have little to no experience writing or analyzing movie structure then Selbo s book is probably a decent starting point But even though I haven t read any other screenwriting books I have to imagine there are better ones Despite the truly good advice and points subplots should usually tie to the A story the story should be driven by character I have a hard time recommending it If this book s an indication of what my Screenwriting class will be like or is held as the screenwriting bible there I m no longer too psyched about it

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Many examples exercises and story breakdowns of major motion pictures are provided tospark creativity as well as adviceon necessary selling informationto get the scriptinto the right hands This how to manual is one of the recent additions to the growing number of books marketed towards the wannabe screenwriter Following the lead of Field McKee and Truby this author pitches the 11 Step Story Structure as its magical formula but there s nothing new here beyond a re packaging of what you ve already read However if you ve never read a thing on screenwriting before this one wont hurt you It s easy to read because the 300 pages contain 250 pages of examples but only 50 pages of true contentMy suggestion Use your library Read Aristotle s Poetics But dont spend a small fortune accumulating these titles like I once did I wound up dumping all but a select few on eBay I only know of this one because I was forced into buying it as the reuired text for a courseAlso this book contains an incredible number of spelling errors and typos It seems as though it was poorly proofread or not at all and rushed to marketExample Erin Brockovich turns into Erin Brokavich in the same sentenceThe index is carelessly devised as wellExample If you look up the movie Network in the index you ll find some page numbers for the film but you ll also find some page numbers for networking mixed in with no way to distinguish between the two SloppyIn considering that this is a book on writing these problems will not instill confidence in the reader It made me feel that the author was less than serious in writing a thorough and comprehensive text and interested in rushing some product to the wannabe screenwriter market


5 thoughts on “Gardner's Guide to Screenplay: From Idea to Successful Script (Gardner's Guide series)

  1. says:

    I got this from the library and had to buy it It's a textbook easily readable with actionable steps to start and complete a screenplay Going well beyond usual writing prompts it explores deeper themes with milesto

  2. says:

    Strap in it's a long one I bought Selbo's book as reuired reading for a screenwriting class I'm about to take and ended up reading through it all before class has even begun As someone who loves writing I have tons of trouble reading so that

  3. says:

    This how to manual is one of the recent additions to the growing number of books marketed towards the wannabe screenwriter Following the lead of Field McKee and Truby this author pitches the 11 Step Story Structure as its magical formula; bu

  4. says:

    Screenwriting is a very difficult task One must master the difference between story and plot This book by an experienced screenwriter and teacher simplifies the task of constructing a tale There's nothing really new in this book that can't be found it the other screenwriting books But it's presented in an easier to understand form

  5. says:

    Jule Selbo has fashioned a comprehensive toolbox for creating a screenplay; a blueprint for success if you will Using an