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Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!
Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!
by Robert Ben Garant
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.40
64 used & new from $3.11

15 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many distractions for a potentially good book, June 29, 2011
I've been saying for years that I wanted to learn correct formatting for screenwriting, but the books I found on the topic were always about how to sell a movie and not much about the actual text on paper. That's the reason I picked this book up. Was that information covered? Yes.

Cons: The saying is used frequently but it's because it's the truth--less is more. This book would've been a great resource if it excluded the constant need to repeat advice, use all caps (screaming in a book is about as irritating as stereotypical Twitter trending topics), excessive exclamation points, unnecessary underlining, crossed out words and symbols. Not only were they used but the writers seemed proud of using them, which made it worse. The editor who went through this book is either very flexible or cringed through the whole thing and figured, "It doesn't matter. I'm getting paid anyway from guys who have made $1,467,015,501." How do I know this? Because they stated it at the beginning of the book, but they didn't just state it. They felt readers were too stupid to figure out that a billion is one thousand million. Thanks for the math reminder, but can we get to the point?

I went from reading the book to just browsing and skipping over the next sentence because the information was useful but the writers kept trying to drive the point home. Here's an example: ("YES--you need to be in Hollywood, California, if you're going to make even TINY piles of money writing movies...until you're a huge success, you need to be in Los Angeles. Period. Exclamation point...If you're serious about screenwriting, you must be in Los Angeles, California...You have ("have" is underlined) to live in L.A. so that you can go to the studios and meet face-to-face...(all underlined) You need to be in L.A...(next page)They have a theater and school in New York, too, but you already know YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE IN NEW YORK, DUMMY.)

Honestly, I was thinking it was dumber to just constantly beat people over the head with a point. This book was like reading an angry e-mail. Stuff was in all caps that had no need to be. In the section titled "Why does almost every studio movie suck donkey balls?" (yeah, that alone made me roll my eyes), there's an all caps line "HE'S A PRETTY GOOD ROLLER SKATER." I don't care who the roller skater is; it's not necessary to put that in all caps. I'll admit that the chapter on Jackie Chan was cool, but it was cool because of the information given and because the writers used humor without going overboard. The toothpick story and his fans were entertaining enough. I'll remember that. I think the book had a lot of potential if they'd have just toned down all the "screaming" about ten notches.

My advice? Just skip straight to the Appendix for formatting. All the rest is a distraction.
Comment Comments (22) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2011 6:09 AM PDT

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