Save the Cat! : The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need Paperback
by Blake Snyder
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 216 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions
- Publication Date: 14/05/2005
- Category: Creative writing & creative writing guides
- ISBN: 9781932907001
Showing 1 - 5 of 7 reviews.
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Review by McGrewc
THE book to read if you're just considering screenwriting. And not a bad book to read if you're already well into it. Snyder has been in the business his entire life, and he KNOWS what it takes to make it. His explanation of beats and how to use them is the best I've ever come across, and he's very readable and funny.
Review by SimonLarsen
Very self centered writer and it's very very hard to take a book that claims Miss Congeniality as one of the best movies ever made seriously.
Review by EowynA
This book is aimed specifically at screenwriters, and that focus is clear on every page. It is also useful for novelists (which I aspire to be), because it talks very clearly about story structure - what needs to happen when, who the characters need to be to keep the audience engaged, and so on. He starts with encapsulating and sharpening the essentials of the story - for screenwriters, this is the log line. What that log line needs to communicate in a sentence or two provides clarity for the writer as well as for the audience. He is explicit about the basic genres for stories (not genres like Romantic Comedy or Horror, but rather things like "Rites of Passage" or "Monster in the House"). Then, no matter what genre your story is, how to figure out the "beats" of the story. Why does it pull you forward? because this happens, then that, and so on. I particularly found the discussion of the explicit purpose for each beat to be helpful for plotting out a story. Then he talks about how to look at a story and figure out what went wrong - are the stakes high enough? Has the main character changed enough? and so on.The book is short and to the point. He knows what he wants to say, and gets it out on the page clearly, succinctly, and with examples from movies you have probably seen - dramas, comedies, horror, whatever. Fascinating to see the essentials of telling a story so explicitly and clearly stated. Absolutely recommended for anyone writing a story, whether wholly fiction, or based in fact.
Review by AlexEpstein
Blake Snyder has an interesting approach to feature film formula. He breaks all successful movies into a series of steps, such as "Opening Image" (page 1), "Theme Stated" (by page 5), " "Setup" (page 10), "Catalyst" (page 12), "Debate" (pages 12-25) and so forth.Normally I would reject anything this formulaic, but (a) Blake has sold a bunch of screenplays for big money; and (b) my showrunner friend Shelley uses his system to arc out features she's hired to write. So something's working there. Any time a professional screenwriter uses a system, and is willing to tell it to you, it's worth listening, eh?Moreover, the steps make sense. Blake goes through quite a few hit movies in different genres and shows how the beats apply to them. So while most pro screenwriters probably haven't read his book, he may have discovered a basic structure that we have unconsciously internalized. I will probably try his steps out the next time I write a feature -- or next time I try to figure out if a feature I'm writing is working as well as it should.Blake also takes a shot at defining different genres, such as "Dude with a Problem" and "Buddy Love," and picks out the essential structural elements of each. That's useful if you're trying to figure out what genre you're in, which defines what goods you need to deliver.If you like the SAVE THE CAT! method, Blake has written a second book, SAVE THE CAT! GOES TO THE MOVIES, in which he goes through lots and lots of films and breaks them down into his steps. Handy. If you are writing a horror movies, it's good to analyze other horror movies to see how they do it. Likewise if you're writing a romantic comedy.
Review by Toni_Kenyon
I loved this book. I've always thought I was a pantser, but this book has helped me create a clever way to plot. Excellent!
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