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Screen Plays: How 25 Scripts Made It to a Theater Near You--for Better or Worse

David S. Cohen

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ISBN 10: 0061189197 / ISBN 13: 9780061189197
Published by HarperEntertainment, 2008
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Instructor's Edition. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP87478047

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Screen Plays: How 25 Scripts Made It to a ...

Publisher: HarperEntertainment

Publication Date: 2008

Book Condition: Good

Edition: Teacher's Edition

About this title


In this fascinating survey of contemporary screen craft, David Cohen of Script and Variety magazines leads readers down the long and harrowing road every screenplay takes from idea to script to screen. In interviews with Hollywood screenwriters from across the board—Oscar winners and novices alike—Cohen explores what sets apart the blockbuster successes from the downright disasters.

Tracing the fortunes of twenty-five films, including Troy, Erin Brockovich, Lost in Translation, and The Aviator, Cohen offers insider access to back lots and boardrooms, to studio heads, directors, and to the over-caffeinated screenwriters themselves. As the story of each film evolves from the drawing board to the big screen, Cohen proves that how a script is written, sold, developed, and filmed can be just as dramatic and intriguing as the movie itself—especially when the resulting movie is a fiasco.

Covering films of all kinds—from tongue-in-cheek romps like John Waters's A Dirty Shame to Oscar winners like Monster's Ball and The HoursScreen Plays is an anecdote-filled, often inspiring, always revealing look at the alchemy of the movie business. With Cohen as your expert guide, Screen Plays exposes how and why certain films (such as Gladiator) become "tent poles," those runaway successes every studio needs to survive, and others become train wrecks. Full of critical clues on how to sell a script—and avoid seeing it destroyed before the director calls Action!—it's the one book every aspiring screenwriter will find irresistible.

From the Author:

When I was asked to take over the "From Script to Screen" series for Script Magazine, I was a struggling screenwriter, living alone and barely surviving in 1990s Hollywood. Fifteen years later, when I gave the series up, I was a thriving journalist with a family and a pretty well-reviewed book based on the "Script to Screen" series: Screen Plays. I don't think my transition would have happened without the inspiration of the writers I interviewed, and my experience of crafting their stories into articles. That experience was only enhanced when I revisited those stories for Screen Plays.It's been a while since Screen Plays was published. Writers keep discovering it and liking it. Every now and then one will send me an appreciative email. Keep 'em coming! I wrote the book for writers, but I think that anyone who works in a creative, collaborative field will get a lot out of it. And oh yeah, movie lovers. I think you'll enjoy the book if you love movies. So if you read it and like it, don't be shy reviewing it on Amazon, or about dropping me an email. And spread the word.  -- David S. Cohen, Los Angeles, Nov. 2014

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