Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay

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Random House Publishing Group, Sep 30, 2009 - Performing Arts - 336 pages
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Yes, you can write a great screenplay. Let Syd Field show you how.

“I based Like Water for Chocolate on what I learned in Syd's books. Before, I always felt structure imprisoned me, but what I learned was structure really freed me to focus on the story.”—Laura Esquivel


Technology is transforming the art and craft of screenwriting. How does the writer find new ways to tell a story with pictures, to create a truly outstanding film? Syd Field shows what works, why, and how in four extraordinary films: Thelma & Louise, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Silence of the Lambs, and Dances with Wolves.

Learn how:

Callie Khouri, in her first movie script, Thelma & Louise, rewrote the rules for good road movies and played against type to create a new American classic.
James Cameron, writer/director of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, created a sequel integrating spectacular special effects and a story line that transformed the Terminator, the quintessential killing machine, into a sympathetic character. This is how an action film is written.
Ted Tally adapted Thomas Harris's chilling 350-page novel, The Silence of the Lambs, into a riveting 120-page script—a lesson in the art and craft of adapting novels into film.
Michael Blake, author of Dances with Wolves, achieved every writer's dream as he translated his novel into an uncompromising film. Learn how he used transformation as a spiritual dynamic in this work of mythic sweep.

Informative and utterly engrossing, Four Screenplays belongs in every writer's library, next to Syn Field's highly acclaimed companion volumes, Screenplay, The Screenwriter's Workbook, and Selling a Screenplay.

“If I were writing screenplays . . . I would carry Syd Field around in my back pocket wherever I went.”—Steven Bochco, writer/producer/director, L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues
 

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Four screenplays: studies in the American screenplay

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What does it take to write a great script? You'll find the answer here, in the latest of Field's critically acclaimed books on the subject of screenwriting (e.g., Selling a Screenplay, LJ 10/1/89 ... Read full review

Contents

Callie Khouri
3
The First Ten Pages
14
The Second Ten Pages
21
The First Half of Act II
37
The Second Half of Act II 48
65
Judgment Day
77
Terminator 2 judgment Day
79
Where the Writer Begins
90
The Bilenee of the Lambs 188
157
From Book to Film
167
Plot Point and Beyond
179
Questions and Answers
193
First Principles
207
Rendezvous
223
Dances with Wolves 887
257
Dances With Wolves 239
258

Writing the Screenplay
98
Setting Up the Story
108
The First Half of Act II
121
The MidPoint and Beyond
133
The Tin Man Gets a Heart
143
A New Life
267
The Trail of a True Human Being
281
The Passing of the Way
295
Casts and Production Credits 509
309
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Syd Field is the internationally acclaimed screenwriter, producer, teacher, lecturer, and author of several bestselling books. He has been a script consultant for Roland Jaffe's film production company, 20th Century Fox, the Disney Studios, Universal Pictures and Tri-Star Pictures, and was the American Screenwriting Association's first inductee into the Screenwriting Hall of Fame. He lives in Beverly Hills, CA.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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