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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
Top customer reviews
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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
As mentioned by a previous reviewer, this book's focus is NOT structure and format. That's not to say novices wont get something out of it, as I believe screenwriters of any level will find much reward in this book. Rather, this more of a how-to on many aspects of the industry that are (usually) completely ignored in books and film school.
Writing a good screenplay is never easy, but let's say you pull it off and write something a producer actually want to option. What do you do?
Sanderson's book walks you through the "behind-the-scenes" of real-world screenwriting -- from deadlines to networking to protecting your material to (and this is a hard one) always being a team player even when faced with the insanity of producers/filmmakers -- "A Screenwriter's Journey to Success" will help all aspirants and professionals navigate their way through this insane art form.
The book is also filled with anecdotes and stories that will truly make you grin, showing that no one is owed anything in this business and even the most talented have to pay their dues before they reach any level of success. Through real-life examples, Sanderson illustrates that, both in writing and in life, you get what you put into it.
Screenwriting is a nearly impossible venture to pursue, but if you attack it with the tenacity outlined in this book, you'll be one step ahead of most.
I've already recommended the book to a couple writer friends, and would rank it right at the top with "Save the Cat" and Will Akers "Your Screenplay Sucks" as must-read material for ANYONE who wants to give screenwriting a shot.
A little background: Mark is a working screenwriter with about a dozen produced films to his credit. If I was gonna take career advice from anyone, it was gonna be someone who’s actually doing it — and Mark is that guy. "A Screenwriter’s Journey to Success" lays it all out in easy-to-understand terms: The life of a working screenwriter is one that is filled with hills and valleys, highs and lows, and we must be prepared for whatever comes our way.
Written in a manner reminiscent of Stephen King‘s "On Writing," "A Screenwriter’s Journey to Success" is a hybrid of memoir and career guidebook, offering tips and advice on such areas as taking meetings, dealing with executives’ notes, enduring development hell, losing your first (paid) writing gig, collaboration as a means of breaking in, and always — always — presenting yourself in a professional manner. It offers a grounded, yet still very optimistic, point of view for those seriously pursuing the vocation of screenwriting.
“The good news is that you can write anytime and anywhere until your last breath,” writes Mark. “That’s my ultimate plan.”
That’s my ultimate plan as well, and thanks to "A Screenwriter’s Journey to Success", I feel all that much more prepared.