Sunday, July 24, 2016

Recommended: 'Save The Cat Goes to The Movies'.

Lately I've been reading some of the screenwriting books that I've managed to gather over the years. I have tried to find out which books in my library are the ones that I would recommend the most for others to read.

In total, I think I have like fifteen to twenty books that are primarily about screenwriting and how movies are supposed to be written. Over the years I have managed to buy almost all the 'important' books that are out there.

Yet, at least in my opinion the best screenwriting book out there is very likely Blake Snyder's 'Save The Cat Goes to The Movies'. This book is very good when it comes to understanding how storytelling structure works.

One of the reasons that Snyder's 'Save The Cat' is so good is that it intentionally keeps things as simple as possible. Unlike most screenwriting books out there, it doesn't make writing look like it's rocket science.

Instead, 'Save The Cat' manages to pay attention to structural plot points that are clear but not too strict or too restrictive. It concentrates on plot points and story beats that can be found from almost every quality screenplay.

These story beats are:

1. Opening Image
2. Theme Stated
3. Set-up
4. Catalyst
5. Debate
6. Break into Two
7. B story
8. Fun and Games
9. Midpoint
10. Bad Guys Close In
11. All is Lost
12. Dark Night of the Soul
13. Break into Three
14. Finale
15. Final Image

Using these plot points, the book breaks down the structure of 50 different movies from 10 different genres. It explains the structure behind movies like Alien, Die Hard, Forrest Gump, Spider-man 2 and Napoleon Dynamite among other films.

In my opinion, these film examples are entertaining, super easy to read and don't require that much time or effort. You get tons of insight just by picking one example from the book and studying the film's story structure.

At least in my case, it has made thinking about movies easier without making it too dull or too academic. It gives you the keys to appreciate good movies and also makes it easier to notice problems with films that don't work.

I mean, I can only speak for myself, but had I not read the book, I for example wouldn't have noticed many of the problems and flaws with Pixar's 'Inside Out'' that had to do with its almost non-existing inciting incident.

That same way, reading this book also gave me the opportunity to appreciate the many good things about 'The Big Short'. Without 'Save The Cat', I wouldn't be as aware of the movie's many strengths in its award winning screenplay.

In any case, when it comes to this book as a whole, I believe that Blake Snyder's 'Save The Cat Goes to The Movies' is a must purchase for pretty much anyone who's interested in screenwriting or storytelling in general. 

As far as I'm concerned, you need to have this screenwriting guide in your library, because not only is the book well written, insightful and full of substance - but it's also a book that keeps you entertained throughout its content.

No comments:

Post a Comment