Read Elements of Screenwriting: A Guide for Film and Television Writing by Irwin R. Blacker Online


In the tradition of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, this screenwriter's guide covers writing specific to the film and television industry as well as general writing advice - truly an "Essential Guide" for the screenwriting process. ...

Title : Elements of Screenwriting: A Guide for Film and Television Writing
Author :
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ISBN : 9780028614502
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 168 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Elements of Screenwriting: A Guide for Film and Television Writing Reviews

  • Bahareh Mahooti
    2019-03-07 08:31

    it's a basic book for not so beginners. it does explain the elements of story in a script. I liked reading it. and I learned a lot of new words in screenwriting business.

  • Kathleen
    2019-03-25 07:40

    Didn't have to read the whole book for class; just selected chapters. A lot of common-sense things that anyone writing a story should already know. The formatting was not totally helpful because the page was too small/too strangely formatted to really get a good feel for what was "right." Also, some of the advice was extremely dated.

  • David Sheppard
    2019-03-10 03:28

    This unassuming, no-non-sense little book is one of the best, if not the best, ever written on screenwriting. The book is divided into two parts. The first concerns basic storytelling and is appropriate for any genre: fiction, narrative non-fiction, screenplays, etc. These initial chapters discuss conflict, structure, character, exposition, and dialogue. The second half is primarily devoted to the mechanics of putting a screenplay together. It addresses the look of a professional script and production considerations. The last chapter concerns the business aspects of screenwriting. The book was originally published in 1986, so this 1996 re-publication is simply a photocopy of the original with a new cover. But don’t let the publication date fool you into thinking the material is outdated, even though the material may well show its age. Still, this is the place to start to build the basic skills for screenwriting. Many established screenwriters would do well to heed Irwin Blacker’s sage advice.You can wade your way through Robert McKee’s 465 pages in Story, Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting, and you should, but I find that book unnecessarily complicated when discussing the essence of story. On the other hand, Irwin Blacker understands that story is conflict, pure and simple. Blacker’s book cuts to the chase. It’s his initial focus on conflict and the way it structures the telling of a story that is the most impressive. His description of “locking the conflict” had a major impact on my book concerning novel writing. (Novelsmithing: The Structural Foundation Of Plot, Character, And Narration)Erwin R. Blacker didn’t come upon his expertise by accident. He was a graduate of Ohio University, had a doctorate in English from Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and was the author of twenty-two books of fiction and non-fiction, plus numerous screenplays and teleplays. He was a reviewer for the New York Times and taught at USC from the mid-1960s to 1978. He was an emeritus professor at the USC School of Cinema and Television at the time of his death. Professor Blacker was at work on this book, and indeed, it wasn’t yet complete. His wife, daughter, son-in-law, and teaching assistant completed the work from his class notes and audio recordings of his lectures. He taught many of Hollywood’s most-successful moviemakers. One of them was George Lucas. Professor Blacker died in February 1985 of a heart attack at the age of 65.

  • Jeffrey Borrowdale
    2019-02-27 10:24

    This is based on Irwin Backer's classes he taught years ago at USC from the mid-60s to 1978. Some of the conventions and industry information is dated, and of course the film examples are from older films, with many from literature as well. I see this as a shorter and more concise version of McKee's book. It has some good examples and observations about screenwriting.Blacker bases his approach on the fundamentals of drama going back to Aristotle's Poetics. He suggests that theme and plot come first, then characters. The book is short and concise, with bulleted examples of how to do things and mistakes to avoid. It's somewhat dry and academic in style, but solidly written.Blacker doesn't seem to understand the interrelationship between conflict, plot, character and theme, particularly their connection to the desires, needs, virtues and flaws of the characters. This is a major omission. He also suggests using camera shots and direction, which you're now generally told to avoid.I picked this book up for a buck at a thrift store, read Part I in a few nights, about the craft of writing, and put it aside for a long while, finally finishing Part II, on the business of film making, which, as I expected is not quiet as helpful, due to the age of the book.If you want a primer on the fundamentals of screenwriting, I'd recommend Chris Soth'sMillion-Dollar Screenwriting: The Mini-Movie Method It's current, concise and practical while also being academically rigorous. Moreover, the mini-movie method (the fundamentals of which were originally taught at USC) gives you valuable direction on how to structure your screenplay so you never get bogged down and wonder what should come next.

  • Jeffrey Gold
    2019-02-27 06:35

    Great book for beginners. This is the first book about screenwriting any beginning screenwriter or playwright should read before moving on to Raymond Frensham's Screenwriting (Teach Yourself Series). Blacker has an American sensibility, and Frensham has a British/European sensibility. Both are excellent books.