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How To Write Groundhog Day [Kindle Edition]

Danny Rubin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

Why aren’t all movies as good as "Groundhog Day"? Did screenwriter Danny Rubin know what he was doing when he wrote it? That it would star Bill Murray and become a hit?  That it would become a touchstone for major religions? That psychologists would come to prescribe the movie to their patients?  

Follow this unique screenplay’s exciting journey through agents, directors, studios, stars and the writer’s own confused brain to emerge as one of the most delightful and profoundly affecting comedies of all time. For movie lovers and screenwriters alike, "How To Write Groundhog Day" includes the original screenplay, notes, scene sketches, and a personal tour of the Hollywood writing process from this popular screenwriting teacher.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2777 KB
  • Print Length: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Triad Publishing Company; 1 edition (January 27, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0072PEV6U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,831 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is not just for screenwriters! February 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was very hard to put down. What a great find. Both this book and the movie are an Alice in Wonderland trip down the rabbit... ahhh... groundhog hole. Groundhog Day is one of those great timeless classic movies. This is true because Groundhog Day mixes humor with metaphysics in the proper proportion to both entertain and enlighten. I am not a screenwriter. This book is not just for screenwriters. It is a great read for anyone. This book is a fascinating, entertaining, and humorous behind the scenes journey into the mind of a great screenwriter and the making of a classic movie. After reading this book I was compelled to watch the movie again and enjoyed it even more. Here is some of what I liked about the book:

1. It contains the original screenplay. So you get to experience the original unedited movie the way Danny Rubin created it.

2. The screenplay has embedded insider notes from the author.

3. This book shows how a timeless story was created from birth pains to major motion picture success.

4. The book contains fascinating insights into the screenwriting process.

5. The book answers interesting questions that remained a mystery in the movie, such as how long did the immortal Phil actually live? Was it months, years, or many lifetimes?

6. The book vividly portrays the tug of war between the writer and the studio as the screenplay was changed into a major motion picture.

In the end I found myself wishing there were two Groundhog Day movies made from Danny Rubin's screenplay; the classic that was produced by Columbia and a second one that fully matched what the writer had in mind for his movie. Buy the book and enjoy... then watch the movie again and enjoy... then wake up in the morning and do it all over again. It's Groundhog Day.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect companion to the film February 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
How to Write Groundhog Day is a brilliant book. It's fascinating for fans of the film and essential for those interested in screenwriting.

It is NOT a step-by-step 'How to..' guide, however. There are other good books which cover that topic; Blake Synder's Save the Cat being the best deconstruction of how high concept scripts are (usually) structured. Danny Rubin's book, rather, explores in depth what happens when you come up with a genuinely brilliant idea and try to execute it in a fresh and interesting way.

It's an incredibly honest and therefore revealing account of what happens during the life of a script. From concept, through writing, development, casting, production and editing; it really paints a picture of how collaberative the business of making movies is. What makes it work so well is that Rubin's first draft is excellent and easy to fall in love with. This makes the decisions that shaped the final film, decisions which have created something so perfect in so many eyes, all the more fascinating. It is not the story of a poor screenplay made good. It's the story of how something that's already very good still inevitably has to change as the process rolls on. Rubin is very open about how the Studio, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray all helped shape the eventual film. This could easily have been the story of a lovely screenplay ruined, so it's to the credit of everyone involved that the script evolved in a way that didn't dilute its original charm.

The book shares this charm, and thus reveals Danny Rubin to be the source of it. You can't help but finish the book feeling happy for him. In an industry obesessed with making the same films over, and over, and over... it's nice to share in a rare moment when a good one makes it through.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Humility and Genius February 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
If Groundhog Day is a movie you consider fondly, this is the literary equivalent of meeting the characters, investigating their past, finding their inspiration in the author, and continuing the story into parallel universes of fiction. If you are a screenwriter, well, then, you've just come across the most humbling, instructive, and entertaining guide to the craft available in mainstream publication. Get ready to take in the rivers and streams, gulfs and valleys, and the long stretches of nothing that aided the conception of a modern day classic. They spill out for you in all different directions as you read this book, like a map telling you new stories about the place you've walked so many times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great examples, a lot to learn, and a great read! February 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Sometimes it is hard to take very much away from a book on screenwriting because many of them lack enough specific, in-depth, concrete examples of their principles -- and even if they have them, they're rarely shown in traditional screenplay-formatting. This book is full of them and it's very relevant and refreshing. It's exciting to see how the story and script developed over time and the links are a great feature that you get from the eBook. Plus, it's a fun read. I highly recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'How To' should have been 'Writing' Groundhog Day March 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Simply put, great anecdotes about Rubin's career path, notes, process and curiosities about the film's production, but if you're looking for screenwriting advice, go check out authors Brian McDonald, Karl Iglesias, John Vorhaus, Lajos Egri, Ellen Sandler, Linda Aronson and Bill Johnson.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Gem April 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a screenwriter, I've read my share of "How to" books. There are a few which speak to "the rules" (formatting, three act structure, etc) which I could recommend, but the large majority fall flat. In my humble opinion, once you have a grasp of the basics, there's no better learning tool than reading actual produced screenplays. Even better is to read the working drafts of a screenplay to see how the script evolved and what changes were made in the rewrite process. Thankfully, there are many sites online which offer multiple versions of various screenplays.

But what if you could also get inside the head of a produced screenwriter? Learn his thought process? See his notes? Learn how the nugget of a high concept idea develops into an 110 page screenplay? Well, now you can thanks to Danny Rubin and his fabulous e-book, How To Write Groundhog Day.

Danny details the entire history of Groundhog Day from concept to completion. It's all here. The challenges. The choices. The strategy behind both the writing process and career direction. But the crown jewel is the addition of Danny's first draft of Groundhog Day. It's a masterpiece of structure and form. Blacker than the shooting script. Fascinating on every level.

What follows is a master class in film collaboration as Danny explains, in humble, self-deprecating fashion, how he worked with director Harold Ramis and star Bill Murray to lighten the tone without sacrificing the message or the voice. Why he fought for certain elements and relented on others.

For screenwriters of any level, I simply cannot recommend How To Write Groundhog Day enough. It's a must read.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
OK, probably better for those interested in thw screen writing process. I was more interested in the occasional anecdote, and the original view of what the story was to be.
Published 6 days ago by David M Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book. Danny Rubin is great!
I'm a frustrated screen writer. His book has given me a lot of hope. I love how he went through all the rewrites with Harold Ramis, may he rest in peace!
Published 28 days ago by Paul S.
4.0 out of 5 stars Tales and lessons from the writer of Groundhog Day.
It's not often that you get to read a first draft of a screenplay, but in this case you get that plus stories and notes from the writer.
Published 2 months ago by Tad A Leckman
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Insights
Great humor, insight, details (even the early script of the movie), and an insider perspective on the movie. A must read for the Groundhog Day enthusiast!
Published 2 months ago by M. Olson
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting view into the making of a classic
I really like the movie and if you want to be a screenwriter, Groundhog Day is a great script to study. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Patrick J. OToole
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little book.
If you are a fan of the movie and have ever discussed or wondered how long Phil kept repeating the same day, this book gives you information to assist you with figuring the answer... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Marianne Stranich
5.0 out of 5 stars It reveals the development process behind one of cinema's greatest...
By far the best book on screenwriting I read in a very long time. It reveals the development process behind one of cinema's greatest classics and a bonus it contains the original... Read more
Published 4 months ago by ozzywood
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and insightful
Great insider view of the screenwriting and movie making process and a moving spiritual analysis of the story. Good, fast read.
Published 13 months ago by Michael A. Berkowitz
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating inside look at screenwriting
Danny Rubin provides a detailed blow by blow account of the work involved in creating one of my favorite films. This would be a great read for any screen writer.
Published 14 months ago by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars I can go for some Flapjacks!
Great Read. Quick Read, but interesting in seeing the development of the story that help inspire a great movie. It takes more than one writer to create a great movie. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Daniel Kemer
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More About the Author

After many years writing for professional theater companies as well as scripting industrial films and children's television, Danny Rubin began writing screenplays. His screen credits include Hear No Evil, S.F.W., and Groundhog Day, for which he received the 1993 British Academy Award for Best Screenplay and the Critics' Circle Award for Screenwriter of the Year, as well as honors from the Writers Guild of America and the American Film Institute.

Rubin has taught screenwriting in Chicago at the University of Illinois, Columbia College, and the National High School Institute; at the Sundance Institute in Utah; the PAL Screenwriting Lab in England; the Chautauqua Institution in New York; and in New Mexico at the College of Santa Fe. He is currently the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer on Screenwriting at Harvard University.

Rubin holds a BA in biology from Brown University and an MA in radio, television, and film from Northwestern University.


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