Discover the secrets of Hollywood storytelling in this fascinating collection, in which fifty screenwriters share the inside scoop about how they surmounted incredible odds to break into the business, how they transformed their ideas into box-office blockbusters, how their words helped launch the careers of major stars, and how they earned accolades and Academy Awards.
Entertaining, informative, and sometimes startling, Tales from the Script features exclusive interviews with film's top wordsmiths, including John Carpenter (Halloween), Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia), John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and David hayter (Watchmen). Read along as:
Frank Darabont explains why he sacrificed his salary to preserve the integrity of his hard-hitting adapta-tion of Stephen King's novella The Mist.
William Goldman reveals why he's never had any interest in directing movies, despite having won Oscars for writing All the President's Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Ron Shelton explains why he nearly cut the spectacular speech that helped cement Kevin Costner's stardom in Bull Durham.
Josh Friedman describes the bizarre experience of getting hired by Steven Spielberg to adapt H. G. Wells's classic novel War of the Worlds—even though Spielberg hated Friedman's take on the material.
Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) analyzes his legendary relationship with Martin Scorsese.
Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) reveals why the unrelenting hype around his multimillion-dollar script sales caused him to retreat from public life for several years.
Tales from the Script is a must for movie buffs who savor behind-the-scenes stories—and a master class for all those who dream of writing the Great American Screenplay, taught by those who made that dream come true.
Availability for Tales from the Script by Peter Hanson, Paul Robert Herman
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Reviews forTales from the Script by Peter Hanson, Paul Robert Herman
This could have been a really good collection. But it’s not. The premise is that successful screenwriters are providing insight into the business – how they started, how they do their job, and what any future screenwriter will face. However, execution of the concept and a questionable approach to choosing who will share doom the overall effort. On top of this, there is an occasional attitude that encroaches (accepting defeat to keep moving forward) that drives another nail into this coffin. Let’s look at each individually.First, the concept is to provide short quotes/paragraphs/stories from the screenwriters that fit into the format of the book. This is a tricky approach (the number of times I’ve seen it work can be counted on one hand) and it is not executed well in this collection. The individuals represented here have some very good stories to tell (and they are, after all, storytellers.) By chopping them up into subjects, the thread of their stories is sacrificed for the artificial structure devised by the editors. So, while the editors get to make their points, the joy of reading what these people have to share is damaged.Second, the premise is that screenwriters at every stage of their career are chosen. There are some incredible talents in here. Examples include William Goldman, Paul Mazursky, and Paul Schrader. However, these are outweighed by the individuals that have only one or two successes, and far outweighed by the screenwriters who are responsible for much of the dreck out there. Explain this to me. What is it I want to learn from the screenwriter responsible for Catwoman, Terminator 3, Termination Salvation, and The Game; or the one responsible for *batteries not included, The Fly II, and Hocus Pocus; or the one responsible for Small Soldiers, Underdog, and Mouse Hunt other than how produce junk and get paid for it. (And many of the others are attached as screenwriters to movies that have more to do with special effects and the directors than any real “story”, e.g. the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, Deep Impact, Beavis and Butthead Do America, Total Recall, Laura Croft, etc., etc.)Third, there is a fatalism that depresses me. This is best exemplified by the section at the end of Chapter Five: What’s Yours is Theirs. Each chapter ends with comments by an individual involved in the movie business, but not a screenwriter. In this case, the individual is a director of development for Jerry Bruckheimer – one of the greatest kings of schlock out there. This piece is a constant litany of how the director and producers are the geniuses and how they save every movie; how it takes a village to write a script; how the script is just an idea. This is everything wrong with the auteur theory, and the fact that this book seems to accept and deeply swallow this codswallop says everything you need to know about how wrong the book isAnd, that gets to the point - my ultimate problem with this collection. While it is, indeed, a collection of individuals speaking to how to succeed, it is also a collection explaining how to sell out. And, even worse, seeming to put forward the premise that selling out is the only way to go.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.