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The Tools of Screenwriting: A Writer's Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay

The Tools of Screenwriting: A Writer's Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay
Your Price: $24.95 CDN
Author: David Howard and Edward Mabley
Introduction by: Frank Daniel
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 320
Pub. Date: 1995
ISBN-10: 0312119089
ISBN-13: 9780312119089

About the Book:

The Tools of Screenwriting is an essential book for anyone who wants to write a script that will be filmed. It is a core text used at top film programs worldwide.

Screenwriting is the art of telling stories dramatically – and it can be learned. Acclaimed USC screenwriting teacher David Howard has guided hundreds of students to careers in writing for film and television. Although there is no standard formula for writing a screenplay, there are central principles that all good screenplays share.

Edward Mabley wrote Dramatic Construction about the craft of playwriting in 1972, and Frank Daniel discovered and adopted it for his own use in teaching screenwriting. Twenty years later, even though the book had gone out of print, it was still the book of choice for giving a simple and clearly laid out introduction to dramatic theory to screenwriting students. But the book was difficult to find so David Howard (influenced by Frank Daniel) dedicated his time, energy, and thought to transforming the original book into The Tools of Screenwriting. Keeping the core of Edward Mabley's ideas and concepts intact, he redirected all of the tools, examples, and quotations toward film, expanded and explained the critical elements, and analyzed their use in a variety of important scripts.

David Howard gets to the very core of screenwriting in The Tools of Screenwriting, focusing on the principal elements a script, like plot, dramatic structure, dialogue, character development, setting, imagery, and how they specifically apply to the special art of filmmaking as opposed to other forms of writing. These elements are guideposts for the aspiring screenwriter, and they can be used in different ways to accomplish a variety of ends. By using specific examples found in sixteen famous scripts, including like Citizen Kane, E.T., One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Chinatown, and The Godfather, he shows how these elements look when masterfully applied.

What people say:

"The Tools of Screenwriting tosses aside ponderous paradigms and takes you directly to the heart of good writing. I hope every aspiring screenwriter reads it." — John Furia Jr., a prolific writer for movies and television who wrote episodes for many popular series, including Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, The Waltons, and Hawaii Five-O

"This is not simply a book about making bucks with your screenplays. ...The authors show an important connection between learning to screenwrite and examining the elements of theater." — Film Threat

"Howard and Mabley dearly define the building blocks of storytelling." — Booklist

"An excellent volume for the student of screenwriting at almost any level. Recommended." — Classic Images

"David Howard calls this book 'a writer's guide.' I think it's a wonderful and indispensable producer's guide to story, storytelling, and screenwriting." — Lawrence Turman, producer of The Graduate, Running Scared, The Flim-Flam Man, and other films

"What David Howard has done with The Tools of Screenwriting is to reveal for me and for all readers just how stories work; he shows that there are no absolute rules, but there are principles that can help a beginning writer gain understanding of all the elements that go into the creation of a 'good story well told'." — Diane Keaton

"The Tools of Screenwriting is the best primer on the craft, far better than the usual paint-by-the-numbers sort of books that abound." — Frank Pierson, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Cool Hand Luke, Dog Day Afternoon, Presumed Innocent, and A Star is Born

About the Author:

David Howard is an internationally known American screenwriter, script doctor/consultant and educator. He has taught at USC's School of Cinematic Arts for 24 years and was the founding director of its Graduate Screenwriting Program. He has led screenwriting workshops around the world: from nearly every country in Western Europe to Korea, New Zealand, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Cuba. He has worked as a professional script doctor and story consultant on dozens of produced projects for film, television and other media around the world.

Edward Mabley (1906-1984) was an American playwright and television director. He wrote radio and television plays, had two plays produced on Broadway, and directed for CBS-TV from 1952 to 1969. He also taught at the New School for Social Research and was the author of Dramatic Construction.

Frank Daniel (1926-1996) was a Czech-American screenwriter, film director and teacher. He is known for developing the sequence paradigm of screenwriting. He was Dean of FAMU, the Czech film school, during the 1960s Prague Spring. He was the first dean of the Center for Advanced Film Studies at the American Film Institute. He went on to become the first dean of the newly expanded USC School of Cinema-Television. He was also an Artistic Director of Sundance Institute.

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