9781580650038 / 1580650031

Elements of Style for Screenwriters: The Essential Manual for Writers of Screenplays


Publisher:Lone Eagle



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About the book:

For many first-time screenwriters, the most daunting aspect of getting underway is learning the proper format. Paul Argentini lends a helping hand with Elements of Style for Screenwriters. It's a good nuts-and-bolts introduction to the terminology of filmmaking and a step-by-step guide to making sure your opus is properly formatted. Argentini starts with a short sample screenplay as a concrete example, peppered with annotations as simple as "use plain Arabic numbers" and as complex as "(continuing) not needed here--LUDVINNIA (O.S.) and LUDVINNIA are separate elements." Don't worry, when it's all laid out on the script it makes a lot of sense. Most of the book is set up as a glossary of film terms, though Argentini does not stop at mere definitions, also filling the book with practical advice. He explains that a "talking heads" scene refers to one that is all dialogue and no action and points out that it will doom your script. The second portion of the book--considerably smaller--lays out the elements of style for playwriting in a similar sample and glossary fashion. Argentini also helpfully explains the broader differences between writing for the stage and writing for the screen (in a nutshell, the playwright can get away with those talking-head scenes.) A good, practical manual that should take a lot of the fear out of diving into that first script. --Ali Davis

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