- Paperback: 310 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 10, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 151730945X
- ISBN-13: 978-1517309459
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,448,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Screenwriter's Journey to Success: Tips, tricks and tactics to survive as a working screenwriter in Hollywood Paperback – March 10, 2017
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"I have known Mark my entire life, and he is absolute living proof of the grit and tenacity it takes to make it as a writer in this business. Take your first steps toward your own career by reading the words of this true fighter."-- Matt Reeves, writer/director
(Cloverfield, Let Me In, Dawn Of The Planet of the Apes, War For The Planet of the Apes)
"A great book for anyone who ever aspired to become anything; Sanderson reminds us how important it is to have a life passion, how important it is to work hard at it, and how that, in itself, is a victory." -- J. J. Abrams, writer/producer/director
(Mission Impossible III, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
"Mark's work as a screenwriting guru is as thorough, as painstaking, and as insightful as his actual screenwriting was on Tides Of War, our submarine drama. As aspiring writers soon learn it's a complex, changeable, lonely field of endeavor, so Mark provides not only valid professional advice but also meaningful emotional support for all those who stare into the abyss of an empty page. Read Mark, and your keystrokes will accelerate."
-- Brian Trenchard-Smith, producer/director
(Dead End Drive In, BMX Bandits, Drive Hard, and 40 others)
"Not only have I collaborated with Mark as a writer, more importantly I have found him to be a true artist who walks his talk. Whenever the chips are down, whenever I've needed some creative or inspirational, perhaps technical help -- even if it's at 3:00 in the morning -- Mark has been there invariably. Infallibly. As a screenwriter, director, or producer, this book is the very next best thing to having Mark in your corner at 3 A.M."
-- George Mendeluk, writer/producer/director
(70 credits, over 300 hours of television, and 9 features including the epic Bitter Harvest)
"Mark is a journeyman screenwriter, my good friend and collaborator on several projects. This is a must have book of reference for those not only about to embark in a career in the entertainment industry, but also for those who want to learn from someone who's been there and done that. Mark is extremely candid about what it takes and how hard it is to 'make it' in this business. This should be on everyone's desk right next to their computer."
-- Greg Grunberg, actor and writer/producer
(actor Alias, Heroes, Big Ass Spider, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
About the Author
Mark Sanderson (aka Scriptcat) is a Los Angeles based screenwriter, author, script consultant, and sometimes actor blessed to be living his childhood dream of making movies with thirty-five feature screenplays written in a wide range of genres. His work includes sketch comedy writing and performing as a founding member of The Amazing Onionheads sketch troupe, writing for MTV, his spec sale, and nineteen screenwriting assignments that have produced television premieres and worldwide distribution of his fourteen films. Mark's films have also been recognized at festivals including a premiere and opening the Palm Springs Int. Film Festival, premieres at the Hawaii Int. Film Festival, St. Louis Int. Film Festival, The Rainbow Festival in Hawaii, Newport Beach Int. Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale Int. Festival, and nominated for the Starboy Award at the Oulu Int. Children's Film Festival in Finland. Mark’s long association with award winning Hollywood filmmakers dates back to his first produced screenplay and has since worked with Academy Award® winning producers, veteran directors, and has written films starring Academy Award®, Emmy®, and Golden Globe® acting nominees. He offers screenplay consultation services, workshops, and webinars on his website: www.fiveoclockblue.net
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Mark's book is written in a way that you are traveling through the ups and downs of Hollywood when you are just trying to break in. This is invaluable info!! So many books try this approach but don't achieve what Mark has done here. His chapters are short, but full of exact details. You are on the ride with him through so many of his moments when it comes to actually writing and how it was all received from the producers and directors that read it.. This book is a practical example of how to write, what to write and how to really get in the door.... that's the real goal for any new writer that's not interested in writing for themselves and really wants to sell scripts. I was about 50 pages in, when I realized how good of a writer Mark actually is, because the book itself is a example of great writing! You can picture him going into meetings and dealing with rejection, because the way he writes, IS how to write.
My list is only these 3, the rest are just fluff and repetative:
1-The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
2- Writing the character-centered screenplay by Horton, Andrew
3 - A Screenwriter's Journey to Success: Tips, tricks and tactics to survive as a working screenwriter in Hollywood by Mark Sanderson
A Screenwriter’s Journey to Success is written in such as way that one feels like they’ve grabbed a couple beers (or coffees), pulled up some chairs, and sat down to listen to a buddy talk about his screenwriting career. In fact, that’s what I did: grabbed a drink and a favorite seat to take in Mark’s insider experience.
I noted at times his repeating material, but would learn over the course of the book two things: 1. information can be important to remember from a number of approaches and times during one’s screenwriting career journey, and 2. Mark is outright warning you this isn’t going to be easy. You must not only commit, but be willing to stick it out.
As he points out early on, literally thousands of screenwriters are recording thousands of scripts each year with the WGA. You’re up against a lot of talent and non-talent in a fickle industry always shifting, always looking for the next big thing, yet likes to stick with what is known.
At times it feels like a kick in the gut reminder that if screenwriting is your dream, frankly, you’re nuts. Yet Mark’s passion for what he does is contagious and reminds you - if you truly have the dream - you too can do the work, spend the time, make the commitment, learn the craft, and stick it out whatever may come. If you do that, you just may create a wonderful career.
This isn’t an easy read in that Mark often speaks of the complications a screenwriter (budding or pro) faces along the road. These concepts and warnings are always hard to hear, especially when one wants to believe they’ll be successful based on their talent alone - I think my younger self would have gone running from some of these realities.
Mark covers topics such as facing writer’s block, the process he goes through to create his screenplays, pacing yourself in your writing, editing, and overall career, do you have what it takes, and earning respect in the industry. He talks about topics from both his personal approach and an overall view to the industry.
While other books are well respected for their approach to the process of screenwriting, I believe Mark’s book is a must-read for anyone wanting to know what a real, working, professional screenwriter does day-to-day and overall in their career. These insider tips may help the beginner decide if this journey is worth the effort, the new to moderate screenwriter what works and doesn’t for someone whose been there, done that, and for the pro, provides support for what other’s have or are going through.
I’m glad I grabbed this book and I know I’ll pick it up from time to time to review my highlighted passages as a reminder - on good days and bad - of what a real, working, Hollywood screenwriter has experienced. I believe it’ll make my journey just that much easier.
I am one of those who really read every possible book on writing and especially screenwriting that I could get. I watched countless videos, went to seminars, bought online courses, worked with a coach, all were part of the screenwriting self-study program I enrolled myself to. And yet something was missing. Then comes an interview video on Film Courage YouTube channel and fills that box like nothing else did.
It seems that Mark Sanderson told himself, 'How could I possibly bring the most valuable advice to someone like myself who is further behind the path that I took, and help him walk it with passion, integrity and humility?' and he totally over-delivers.
Every single page is precious with wisdom, and written with generosity, a rarity that I truly did not find anywhere.
After watching the full interview with Mark, everything makes sense. There's a word for men like him - a Mensch.
He comes across as a gentleman, a hard-worker, a modest, and full of stories and emotions, and all of that comes through the pages of this book.
Reading A Screenwriter's Journey to Success book was another way of knowing its writer up close, and it was a transforming experience.