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Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories Paperback – January 26, 2010
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“Fascinating tales from the belly of the beast.” (Lawrence Kasdan, Oscar-nominated writer/director of The Big Chill, Wyatt Earp, and Body Heat)
“Tales From the Script gathers notable veterans of the screen wars who demonstrate the basic truth of our adventures in Movieland: Writing is the easy part.” (John Sayles, writer/director of Lone Star and Eight Men Out)
“A must-read for anyone who depends on the screenwriter’s craft. And that’s a lot of us.” (Edward R. Pressman, producer of Wall Street, American Psycho, and Reversal of Fortune)
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Top Customer Reviews
The photos of the writers make it feel like they're sitting right in front of me, and the extra interviews at the end of every chapter are really cool -- it's great to get the viewpoints of a development executive, a movie director, a guy who runs a script contest, etc. Thanks to "Tales from the Script," I have a new appreciation for how hard it is to write a movie, and I loved hearing all the stories about the making of "Bull Durham," "Butch Cassidy," "X-Men," "War of the Worlds," "The Mist," and so many others.
I know friends who write scripts, and I'm going to recommend this book to all of them, but it's not just for screenwriters. If you love movies, you'll enjoy this book as much as I did! Oh, and I can't wait to see the "Tales from the Script" movie when it comes out on DVD!
"Tales from the Script" provides thoughtful interviews with an impressively broad group of writers that ranges across a huge number of films from "Alien" and "X-Men" to "Taxi Driver" and "The Shawshank Redemption". The truth behind the curtain is funny and insightful.
It's a shame that the actors and directors steal all of the limelight!
Tales from the Script is broken down into eleven chapters that capture the highs and lows of the Hollywood screenwriter:
The Adventure Begins
The Marketplace of Ideas
The First Yes
What's Your is Thiers
The Rules of the Game
Slings and Arrows
No is the Path to Yes
Going the Distance
There are more than 300 pages of stories, secrets and anecdotes, so choosing just one representative of the entire compendium is impossible. I flipped back through the book, looking for a quote that best captures what a screenwriter faces. The following quote from Andrew W. Marlowe summarizes the screenwriter's life:
"You never really succeed. You always fail at a higher level. As a screenwriter, the first level of failure is you can't finish your screenplay. I saw a lot of those people in film school. Then you finish the screenplay, and nobody wants to read it. Then you get somebody to read it, and they're not interested. You get them to read it and they're interested, but you can't sell it. Then you sell it, but it's not made into a movie. Or it's made into a terrible movie that you're embarrassed to be associated with. Or, you know, you hit the jackpot. You get the movie made, it's a critical success, it's a box office success -- and everybody turns to you and says, `Okay, you gotta do it again.Read more ›
This is a fantastic book that gives you the inside word from the best, most influential and most legendary screenwriters in the business. If you're working on your first screenplay, have written 50, or you're just a movie buff, this is an invaluable glimpse into a segment of the industry that is absolutely CRUCIAL but rarely explored. I especially like the cross-section of writers and movies here; there's a nice balance of classics and modern popcorn movies and a broad palette of filmmaking styles from the gritty populist films of the 70s up to the cgi action-fests of the 2000s.
If you're a serious screenwriter and fan of screenwriting, there will invariably be a few screenwriters that YOU would have loved to have seen interviewed but are absent, but that's subjective. They couldn't get everyone. Plus, even though I'm tired of hearing ol' windbag William Goldman chatter on about the same movies he's detailed in several books, I have to admit that he is the original "rock star" screenwriter. And talking about rock star screenwriters (an oxymoron in 99.9% of the screenwriting population, let me assure you!) it's pretty much REQUIRED that you interview Shane Black. It's amazing to me that it's been over 23 years since "Lethal Weapon" but he's still SHANE, the legend (and this is primarily for his huge paychecks, the $$$, but you don't get that kind of money in Hollywood without having a powerful, unique voice). And having met him in person at the Austin Screenwriters' Conference, I must say that he's great at offering his wit and wisdom to up and coming writers. Like Black, the other writers are articulate, honest and entertaining in their stories from the trenches. The editors have gathered a fantastic group.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Book. Good information if your learning the business.Published 10 months ago by Jeff Patterson
Interesting read even if you never have a salable script. I enjoyed reading it. Recommended.Published 12 months ago by Scott FS
The author does a fine job of collecting various interviews with successful screenwriters who explain the in's and out's of the struggles and (occasional) triumphs of being a... Read morePublished 15 months ago by R. Trapp
Not what I expected. I thought it would be more guidelines of how the writer's got started and tips.Published 18 months ago by Victoria
Excellent advice on what not to do in writing a script, which I think is more than half the battle of just getting someone to read you first submissions.Published on November 29, 2013 by Rich Duisenberg
I ordered this book for daughter Karis who wants to be a director and screenwriter and simply loves this book. Read morePublished on July 13, 2013 by Susie
This is an excellent book for aspiring screenwriters or simply those of us who enjoy films. I will never look at a movie in the same way again after learning about the obstacles a... Read morePublished on October 14, 2012 by Looking at the Sea