Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need Paperback – May 25, 2005
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“One of the most comprehensive and insightful how-to's out there. Save the Cat! is a must-read for both the novice and the professional screenwriter.” – Todd Black, Producer, Hope Springs, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Weather Man, Antwone Fisher
“Want to know how to be a successful writer in Hollywood? The answers are here. Blake Snyder has written an insider's book that's informative ― and funny, too.” – David Hoberman, Producer, Muppets Most Wanted (2014), The Muppets, The Shaggy Dog , Raising Helen, Walking Tall, Monk (TV)
"You'd have to look far and wide to find a better book to help you achieve your goals. Quite simply one of the most practical guides to writing mainstream spec scripts on the market." – Screentalk Magazine
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Save the Cat is basically a book full of little gimmicks for improving a screenplay, as well as pitfalls to avoid. The title comes from the idea of having the hero of the story save a cat early on in the movie to establish his/her likability. It sounds silly, but the examples Snyder gives (it’s not always literally a cat) demonstrate how effective it is. You have to take some of his opinions with a cup or so of salt; he is more concerned with making a script salable than writing something original, which is understandable, except then he proceeds to denigrate Memento, calling it a “low-performing art house film,” and praises the writer of the forgettable Skeet Ulrich movie Chill Factor as a “genius.” (For the record, Memento made $25 million on a $9 million budget; Chill Factor made $11 million on a budget of $70 million. Also, Memento is a cult classic that launched the career of Christopher Nolan of Inception and The Dark Knight fame. Chill Factor is currently chilling at 7% on Rotten Tomatoes.)
Still, Save the Cat is worth reading for the very concrete advice it gives in structuring a screenplay. I think his tips apply to screenwriting sort of the way the rules of grammar apply to dialog: you need to internalize them and then forget them. If you doggedly apply the rules to dialog, you end up with stilted dialog. If you insist on following the advice in Save the Cat to the letter, you may end up with a movie like Chill Factor.
That said, some of what Snyder posits in his book is useful if you are a nascent writer as he writes for beginners. If you are established, know how to write individualized characters and know how to tell a unique, original, intriguing story, you most probably have the intuitive gifts to do it and inherently have the feel for where the arc of development of your work should go. His particularity of pages, beats, etc., are not only formulaic, they are rigid and hackneyed. They are the uber expensive Hollywood film that is being vilified as Indies rise up and take the field. From the films he uses as examples, one may argue with his logic. For example the truly great films do not fit into the page numbers. Many are longer. Many are more interesting in that one cannot see the formula. And because networks like Amazon, Showtime, etc. also are making films, some of what he refers to as "vital" structural beats may be thrown to the winds. I know of stories (from personal interviews) that as a screenplay is being developed by "Hollywood" types, it goes into "development hell" and dies particularly because they are looking to follow structural beats which are SUPPOSED TO WORK and don't. Kevin Costner told his friend to write the book for Dances With Wolves to avoid development hell of his idea. From then on they configured the screenplay and Costner worked closely with the writer to fashion the film. For that example, I can give many others and with Indie films, often the screenplay is just a rough form and the director, actors and the writer work together to fashion the film on the shoot. So MAIN CAVEAT WITH SNYDER'S BOOK, put it into historical perspective and discover other books that are current, go to film festivals, meet directors and writers, interview them and speak to them and get their references. That is the most practical approach to take. Finally, some believe that writers and artists are born and with the correct cultivation they grow and mature. Cultivation means being widely read reading everything, being intensely curious about everything, being open to much and learning about great story ideas. Original stories and those that are based on truth provide great material. Writing is ultimately an internal process from the writer's knowledge base. Start acquiring if you are young and perceive yourself as always learning and growing. The rest will come.
Most recent customer reviews
There are so many books on writing out there, but I always feel like I am digging through them for any...Read more