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Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect, 2nd Edition

Book Description

The only screenwriting book that includes a DVD that contains performances of the short films and screenplays that are featured in the book!

The beauty and power of any story lies in its ability to connect to the reader, listener, or observer. Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect is the first screenwriting guide to introduce connection as an essential, although essentially overlooked, aspect of creating stories for the screen and of the screenwriting process itself. Written with clarity and humor, this book teaches the craft of writing short screenplays by guiding the student through carefully focused writing exercises of increasing length and complexity. Eight award-winning student screenplays are included for illustration and inspiration.

The text is divided into three parts. Part one focuses on preparing to write by means of exercises designed to help students think more deeply about the screenwriter's purposes; their own unique vision, material and process; and finally about what screenplays are at their simplest and most profound level--a pattern of human change, created from specific moments of change--discoveries and decisions.

Part two teaches students how to craft an effective pattern of human change. It guides them through the writing and re-writing of "Five (Not So Easy) Pieces"--five short screenplays of increasing length and complexity--focusing on a specific principle of dramatic technique: The Discovery, The Decision, The Boxing Match, The Improbable Connection, and The Long Short Screenplay.

Part Three presents the five screenplays used throughout the book to illustrate the dramatic principles that have been discussed, and includes interviews with the screenwriters, a look at where they are now and what they are doing, and brief discussion of how each film evolved.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Preface to The Second Edition
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Introduction: The Power and Importance of Human Connection
  10. Part I: Preparing to Write the Short Screenplay
    1. Chapter 1: Connecting to Purpose
      1. Only Connect
      2. The Screenplay Paradox
    2. Chapter 2: Connecting to Self
      1. Le Menu
      2. Depart the Donnée
    3. Chapter 3: Connecting to Process
      1. The Space-Time Conundrum
      2. Madness in Your Method
      3. Creating Rituals
      4. Taking Care of Yourself
      5. Just Do It
    4. Chapter 4: Connecting to Screenplays
      1. Surface and Deep Action
      2. Making Change
      3. The Mood Exercise
      4. The Pearl in the Oyster
      5. Emotional Flow
      6. Everything You Need to Know You Can Learn From City Lights
      7. Demystifying Format
    5. Chapter 5: Connecting to Collaboration
      1. Top Ten Reasons to Write With a Partner
      2. Finding the Right Writing Partner
      3. The Space-Time Conundrum, The Sequel
      4. Co-Drafting the Script
      5. Dealing With Disagreements
  11. Part II: Five (Not So) Easy Screenplays
    1. Chapter 6: The Discovery
      1. The First Screenplay—The Discovery
      2. Choosing an Idea
      3. Developing Character
      4. Developing Story and Structure
      5. Drafting the Screenplay
      6. Rewriting the Screenplay
    2. Chapter 7: The Decision
      1. The Second Screenplay—The Decision
      2. Choosing an Idea
      3. Developing Character
      4. Developing Story and Structure
      5. Drafting the Screenplay
      6. Rewriting the Screenplay
    3. Chapter 8: The Boxing Match
      1. The Third Screenplay—The Boxing Match
      2. Choosing an Idea
      3. Developing Character
      4. Developing Story and Structure
      5. Drafting the Screenplay
      6. Rewriting the Screenplay
    4. Chapter 9: The Improbable Connection
      1. The Fourth Screenplay—The Improbable Connection
      2. Choosing an Idea
      3. Developing Character
      4. Developing Story and Structure
      5. Drafting the Screenplay
      6. Rewriting the Screenplay
    5. Chapter 10: The Long Short Screenplay
      1. The Fifth Screenplay—The Long Short Screenplay
      2. Choosing an Idea
      3. Developing Character
      4. Developing Story and Structure
      5. Drafting the Screenplay
      6. Rewriting the Screenplay
  12. Part III: Seven Screenplays That Make It Look Easy
    1. Chapter 11: Kosher
    2. Chapter 12: My Josephine
    3. Chapter 13: A Work in Progress
    4. Chapter 14: Lena’s Spaghetti
    5. Chapter 15: Cool Breeze and Buzz
    6. Chapter 16: The Making of “Killer Kite”
    7. Chapter 17: Slow Dancin’ Down the Aisles of the Quickcheck
    8. Chapter 18: Conclusion
  13. Appendix A: Available Screenwriting Software
  14. Appendix B: Films Referenced
  15. Appendix C: Further Reading
  16. Index