Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories [NOOK Book]

Overview

Discover the secrets of Hollywood storytelling in this fascinating collection, in which fifty screenwriters share the inside scoop about how they surmounted incredible odds to break into the business, how they transformed their ideas into box-office blockbusters, how their words helped launch the careers of major stars, and how they earned accolades and Academy Awards.

Entertaining, informative, and sometimes startling, Tales from the Script features exclusive interviews with ...

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Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories

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Overview

Discover the secrets of Hollywood storytelling in this fascinating collection, in which fifty screenwriters share the inside scoop about how they surmounted incredible odds to break into the business, how they transformed their ideas into box-office blockbusters, how their words helped launch the careers of major stars, and how they earned accolades and Academy Awards.

Entertaining, informative, and sometimes startling, Tales from the Script features exclusive interviews with film's top wordsmiths, including John Carpenter (Halloween), Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia), John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and David hayter (Watchmen). Read along as:

Frank Darabont explains why he sacrificed his salary to preserve the integrity of his hard-hitting adapta-tion of Stephen King's novella The Mist.

William Goldman reveals why he's never had any interest in directing movies, despite having won Oscars for writing All the President's Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Ron Shelton explains why he nearly cut the spectacular speech that helped cement Kevin Costner's stardom in Bull Durham.

Josh Friedman describes the bizarre experience of getting hired by Steven Spielberg to adapt H. G. Wells's classic novel War of the Worlds—even though Spielberg hated Friedman's take on the material.

Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) analyzes his legendary relationship with Martin Scorsese.

Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) reveals why the unrelenting hype around his multimillion-dollar script sales caused him to retreat from public life for several years.

Tales from the Script is a must for movie buffs who savor behind-the-scenes stories—and a master class for all those who dream of writing the Great American Screenplay, taught by those who made that dream come true.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this companion to the documentary of the same name, filmmakers Hanson and Herman distill advice, anecdotes and warnings from 50 screenwriters, including Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), John Carpenter (Halloween), Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia), and William Goldman (The Princess Bride). Divided by topic, the text covers a wide range of issues regarding the notoriously elusive career, including the ins and outs of a first sale; dealing with producers, directors and actors; staying positive and productive in the face of rejection; and the Hollywood system at large. Aspiring screenwriters will instantly recognize most of the bold-faced names, though they won't find much help regarding the mechanics of screenwriting. Anyone who's wondered how their favorite scribe landed her first film job, or what happens behind the headlines of a high-profile spec sale, will find plenty of information, as well as general advice and inspiration.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
Hanson and Herman, screenwriters and producers of a documentary of the same title that was an official selection at the Newport Beach, Palm Springs, and Sonoma film festivals, present a behind-the-scenes look as 50 veteran Hollywood screenwriters who take readers through the whole screenwriting process as they experienced it. This is a quick read that shares a lot of pertinent information from such screenwriters as William Goldman (All the President's Men), Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), and Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) on what the life of a screenwriter is really like in Hollywood. In another recent book of screenwriters' stories, McGilligan (film, Marquette Univ.; Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light) continues the highly acclaimed "Backstory" series with this more academic look at screenwriting, featuring detailed and personal interviews with screenwriters who made their marks in the 1990s, e.g., Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle), Barry Levinson (Avalon), and Albert Brooks (Mother). VERDICT Anyone with an interest in screenwriting or Hollywood careers will learn a lot of practical information quickly from Tales from the Script. Backstory 5 is a well-documented, detailed, and more academic selection for students and fans of the previous four Backstory books.—Sally Bryant, Pepperdine Univ. Lib., CA
Booklist (starred review)
“Captures the excitement, frustration, and reality of being a working screenwriter in an accessible and essential volume that aspiring screenwriters will devour.”
Lawrence Kasdan
“Fascinating tales from the belly of the beast.”
John Sayles
“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.”
Edward R. Pressman
“A must-read for anyone who depends on the screenwriter’s craft. And that’s a lot of us.”
Booklist
"Captures the excitement, frustration, and reality of being a working screenwriter in an accessible and essential volume that aspiring screenwriters will devour."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061988004
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/26/2010
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Michigan native Peter Hanson studied film at New York University and journalism at the University at Albany-SUNY. He is the author of Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel (a finalist for the Theatre Library Association Award), and The Cinema of Generation X. He directed the documentary feature Every Pixel Tells a Story and the award-winning short Stagehand, and co-wrote the narrative feature The Last Round. His articles have appeared in Script and Written By. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Paul Robert Herman graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in psychology. He earned his teaching credentials from the University of Colorado at Boulder, specializing in creative writing and film. After moving to Hollywood, he completed UCLA's Professional Program in Screenwriting. He worked for several years as an assistant producer for an entertainment company in Pacific Palisades before branching off on his own. He has written, directed and produced short films through his multimedia company, Jade Tiger Productions.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 The Adventure Begins 1

The Educator's Perspective Kris Young 26

2 Breaking In 33

The Contest Administrator's Perspective Greg Beal 57

3 The Marketplace of Ideas 63

The Reader's Perspective Kat O'Brien 86

4 The First Yes 93

The Agent's Perspective Richard Arlook 114

5 What's Yours Is Theirs 121

The Development Executive's Perspective Charles Vignolav 143

6 Power Players 149

The Director's Perspective David Dobkin 174

7 The Rules of the Game 181

The Screenwriting Guru's Perspective Richard Walter 205

8 Slings and Arrows 211

The Writers Guild Arbitrator's Perspective Jonathan Lemkin 239

9 Taking Control 245

The Maverick's Perspective Duncan Tucker 261

10 No Is the Path to Yes 267

The Therapist's Perspective Dennis Palumbo 294

11 Going the Distance 301

The Veteran's Perspective Melville Shavelson 319

Meet the Screenwriters 325

Acknowledgments 345

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