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Writing for the Screen

Book Description

Writing for the Screen is a collection of essays and interviews exploring the business of screenwriting. This highly accessible guide to working in film and television includes perspectives from industry insiders on topics such as breaking in; pitching; developing and nurturing business relationships; juggling multiple projects; and more. Writing for the Screen is an ideal companion to screenwriting and filmmaking classes, demystifying the industry and the role of the screenwriter with real-world narratives and little-known truths about the business. With insight from working professionals, you’ll be armed with the information you need to pursue your career as a screenwriter.

  • Contains essays by and interviews with screenwriting consultants, television writers, feature writers, writer-directors of independent film, producers, and professors.

  • Offers expert opinions on how to get started, including preparing your elevator pitch, finding mentors, landing an internship, and moving from an internship to the next step in your career.

  • Reveals details about taking meetings, what development executives are looking for in a screenwriter, how and when to approach a producer, and how to pitch.

  • Explores strategies for doing creative work under pressure, finding your voice, choosing what to write, sticking with a project over the long haul, overcoming discrimination, and reinventing yourself as a writer.

  • Illuminates the business of screenwriting in the United States (New York and Los Angeles) as compared to other countries around the globe, including England, Ireland, Peru, France, Australia, and Belgium.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. CONTENTS
  6. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  7. INTRODUCTION
  8. CHAPTER 1: GETTING STARTED
    1. EXIT STRATEGIES Preparing to Leave School and Begin Your Screenwriting Career
    2. ▶ By Gabrielle Kelly
    3. TEN ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE To Be an Active Hero in Your Career
    4. ▶ By Jen Grisanti
    5. IMPRESSING THE DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE
    6. ▶ By Trai Cartwright
    7. WRITING FOR TELEVISION What It Takes
    8. ▶ An Interview With Fern Field Brooks
    9. WHERE DO YOU BEGIN? Notes From the Screenwriting Guru
    10. ▶ An Interview With Erik Bork
    11. FROM WRITER’S ASSISTANT TO SHOWRUNNER Interning, Knocking on Doors, and Making Connections
    12. ▶ An Interview With Stacy A. Littlejohn
  9. CHAPTER 2: STICKING IT OUT
    1. THE SCREENWRITER’S JOURNEY
    2. ▶ By Pat Verducci
    3. WHAT IS A PITCH …? And Why and How Do You Do It?
    4. ▶ By Joshua Malkin
    5. BUILDING A SCREENWRITING CAREER Advice From the Entertainment Career Coach
    6. ▶ An Interview With Carole Kirschner
    7. A SCRIPT READER’S PERSPECTIVE How to Love What You Do When You Can’t Do What You Love
    8. ▶ By James Napoli
    9. THE ART OF DISCIPLINE AND PERSISTENCE Moving Toward Creative Success
    10. ▶ An Interview With Anne Fontaine
    11. A VETERAN PRODUCER’S TAKE ON SCREENWRITING An Interview With Bruce Gilbert
    12. ▶ By Chuck Erven
    13. NEGATIVE FEEDBACK How to Find the Positive
    14. ▶ By Hugo Van Laere
  10. CHAPTER 3: FINDING SUCCESS
    1. BUILDING YOUR TEAM Insights From the Screenwriting Consultant
    2. ▶ An Interview With Linda Seger
    3. INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING Working With an Independent Film Producer
    4. ▶ An Interview With Mary Jane Skalski
    5. DECIDING WHAT TO WRITE
    6. ▶ By Kira-Anne Pelican
    7. A WORKING SCREENWRITER’S JOURNEY IN AUSTRALIA
    8. ▶ By Susan Macgillicuddy
    9. THE PATH TO WRITING AN ICONIC FILM Navigating the Business of Hollywood
    10. ▶ An Interview With Barry Morrow
  11. CHAPTER 4: GETTING AHEAD
    1. A BOLD MOVE Running With an Unexpected Story
    2. ▶ An Interview With Mary Harron
    3. SURVIVING AND THRIVING IN HOLLYWOOD Eight Principles to Empower Your Writing and Your Life
    4. ▶ By Jim Jennewein
    5. FROM CREATIVITY TO CRAFT IN SCREENWRITING
    6. ▶ By Mark Readman
    7. WRITING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE A Strategy of Forward Motion
    8. ▶ An Interview With Claudia Llosa
    9. RISKS AND REWARDS Following a Passion
    10. ▶ An Interview With Jay Paul Deratany
    11. SCREENWRITING AND MENTAL FITNESS Thoughts From a Mental Health Professional
    12. ▶ An Interview With David Silverman
  12. CHAPTER 5: STARTING AGAIN
    1. REINVENTION Writing the Next Great Script
    2. ▶ By William Rabkin
    3. ART VS. COMMERCE The Cage Match in My Brain Continues
    4. ▶ By Shalom Auslander
    5. EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD … I Learned From Writing Scripts
    6. ▶ By Rosanne Welch
    7. STARTING OVER IN AMERICA From Writing to Directing and Back Again
    8. ▶ An Interview With Kirsten Sheridan
    9. LIFE LESSONS IN WRITING FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES Wisdom From the Head Writer for Sesame Street
    10. ▶ An Interview With Lou Berger
  13. INDEX