Secrets of Film Writing and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.99
  • Save: $1.60 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by owlsbooks
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Book is used, fast shipping and great customer service.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Secrets of Film Writing Paperback – June 2, 2001


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.39
$3.77 $0.01

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Visualize Your Script: Hey screenwriters, check out Amazon Storyteller, a new (and free) tool from Amazon Studios that turns scripts into storyboards. Learn more.


Frequently Bought Together

Secrets of Film Writing + The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style (Hollywood Standard: The Complete & Authoritative Guide to)
Price for both: $32.23

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (June 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312269080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312269081
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #981,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Lazarus has had five feature films made from his original screenplays, including the number-one movie Stigmata, and has written six movies of the week and over thirty hours of network drama. He is also an award-winning educational filmmaker. He has taught screenwriting for ten years as a UCLA Extension Instructor and continues to write screenplays while writing and directing independent features.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
13
4 star
0
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
5
See all 19 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Graves on July 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
I wasn't sure what to think of this book at first. It's a little unorthodox, a little unorganized, a little rambling. But I think there is a method to Lazurus' madness. He manages to bring his ideas across in easily digestable chunks. My one complaint is that the book reads a little more like a rough draft rather than a polished manuscript.
Of all the screenwriting books I own (that would be all the big ones and some of the not-so-big-ones) this most clearly brings out what it is really like to be a living, breathing screenwriter. Lazurus is one. He's not the pedantic Syd Field (who to my knowledge has never sold a script) or the methodical Michael Hauge, but what he offers in pragmatism makes up for any shortcomings in presentation.
-rdg3
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mike Starry on November 10, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Hollywood insider, Tom Lazarus has taken the time to organize his book into understandable parts. He begins with what could be the earliest expectations of the novice writer. Then as he develops the approaches to writing and the usual twists and turns that a writer would encounter in writing a script, he adds the personal comments, anecdotes, and metaphors that entertain as well as elucidate the writer's growth and development and challenges.
Like William Goldman's more autobiographical "Which Lie Did I Tell" Lazarus puts his heart, mind, and strengths right on the table. He writes like a good friend telling you almost everything you want and need to know. He has the guts to tell you what will and will not work. I applaud him for that. As a writer of a How To book, he took the time and risked the emotional upheaval of writing from the heart to give us the goods. He also revised this book enough times to make it easy and fun to read and understand. This book is what you need to know to write a good script. Period.
Thank you for a great book, Mr. Lazarus!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Ervin Nieves on May 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
All readers will be pleased with Tom Lazarus' SECRETS OF FILM WRITING, since it affords all budding screenwriters a welcome alternative to the much maligned three-act structure paradigm. Lazarus, author of five produced feature films, including STIGMATA, allows us to enter his screenwriting mind vicariously: the reader follows Lazarus' thought processes as he teaches screenwriting principles and reinforces them via examples from scripts he has written and/or directed. Best of all, no lesson is omitted. We learn about the traditional three-act structure, and then Tom Lazarus takes us through a screenwriting program unparalleled in screenwriting pedagogy: not only do we learn by reading from a plethora of examples from Lazarus sold/produced scripts, but we also learn key insights from reading some of Lazarus revisions: e.g. five different drafts of one piece of writing. I bought SECRETS OF FILM WRITING today and couldn't put it down until it was finished. I'm sure I'll read it a dozen times. Buy Lazarus' book immediately, read it several times, and add it to your permanent screenwriting reference library: books by Jennifer Lerch, Denny Martin Flinn, David Trottier, Irwin R. Blacker, Paul Argentini, Richard Walter, William Froug, William Goldman, Cristopher Vogler, Michael Hauge, and many other wonderful screenwriting instruction books. Yet despite this long and distinguised list of screenwriting authors, this much is for sure: Lazarus SECRETS OF FILM WRITING is a unique source book in form and content. What an exciting addition to screenwriting pedagogy...a wondrous new paradigm in screenwriting instruction!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elias Rima on July 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
To not being repetitive to what other reviewers have written, I want to add, that this book is first of all, written by a produced screenwriter with his movie Stigmata, so what he writes is based in his actual experience of writing screenplays, being rejected once and again, pitching sessions, until he hit his dream, so for me, this is a book with authority, full of resources and smart advice. I remember that once I had a doubt on how was the correct way to write a phone conversation, so first I tried other more technical books I have, but I couldn't find it, so I tried this and I found it. I have a suggestion for this and other great screenwriting books, PLEASE ADD AN INDEX.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Danny Sigma on November 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Though it has a few decent points, this book feels like a vanity press publication that, in the main, is little more than the author ranting about how Hollywood doesn't appreciate his immense genius, even though that genius has produced nothing other than Stigmata (a film, I should add, whose deep, dark secret - the Gospel of Thomas - is so secret that it has been available as a paperback for many, many years). At one point he claims that most books about screenwriting are merely cynical attempts for failing screenwriters to make a fast buck. He adds that this book is not one of them. He is wrong, it is.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SSAssa@aol.com on March 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Secrets of Film Writing by Tom Lazarus is a great (and perhaps the best) second tier book on screenwriting. By that I mean, it is not among the first three or so books to read if you want to start down that road of long-shot dreams of writing a script and selling it. Those first tier books I recommend are: Michael Hauge's Writing Screenplays that Sell (for my time and money better than the Syd Field books), Sidney Lumet's Making Movies, and (a real sleeper this one) Jon Boorstin's Making Movies Work.
Tom Lazarus's book is a breezy page turner that gives its many insights with economy and clarity -- exactly the style that we all should use in writing scripts. Like a good movie, it has a narrative drive that helps by making the hints entertaining. And it doesn't try to give you hundreds of insights, just three dozen or or so. But the "yield" of key jewels to routine advice is higher than almost any other screenwriting book.
For example on page 53, Lazarus says "try to write an 80 to 85 page first draft" (finished scripts usually end up at 110 to 125 pages long). This does so many things: forces a focus on the spine of the story, eliminates tons of distractions and marginal sub-plots, and leads to real discipline. Then you read that short first draft and figure out where to add depth to the characters, how to twist the plot again, and where to place nuance in scenes without stretching the total length beyond boredom. My experience as an aspiring screenwriter is that we amateurs always try to add too much too soon. We should value economy and clarity above all else. Like Tom Lazarus shows us in this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?