Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Screenwriter's Compass: Character as True North by Guy Gallo

Ever watch a movie, and despite great production value, fantastic action sequences, a great cast, etc, you come away thinking - I just didn't buy it. Chances are it was because you didn't care about the characters. Screenwriter's Compass: Character as True North by Columbia Film Graduate School Professor, Guy Gallo presents a new way of approaching screenwriting. Addressed to both the motivated beginner and seasoned professional, Screenwriter's Compass examines how effective screen storytelling must be grounded in the vivid imagining and presentation of character.

I was given the opportunity to review this interesting book and one of the best books so far about screen writing. It is very informative and provides you key points about screen writing. Screenwriter's Compass gives you the tools needed to chart your own path to screenwriting success. It details useful ways of thinking about writing, as well as practical ideas and concepts to help you discover the unique geography of your own imagination and navigate the problems posed by the struggle to express vision, agenda, and story. This is a great book for anyone (professional or even a beginner) who is into writing screenplays.

Each chapter explains the basics and provides key points and steps on successful screenwriting.

* Chapter 1 - First Things: Gearing up, screenwriting is writing, and craftsmanship
* Chapter 2 - Groundwork: Reading theory, character vs plot, fable and construct
* Chapter 3 - Getting Ready: Master Shot Screenplay, reading screenplays, composition, character histories, treatments, and adaptation
* Chapter 4 - First Draft: Scene and action description, empathy, structure, and breaking a block
* Chapter 5 - Revision: First reader, looking again for logic, questions, challenges and pitfalls
* Chapter 6 - Finishing: Wrighting a screenplay, screenplay format, proofreading, and submission
* Chapter 7 - Getting ready again: Passion and purpose, happy accident, intuition and analysis, and lessons

Screenwriter's Compass is not simply another How-To guide to screenwriting. It is a how-to-think book, an elegant presentation of fundamental concepts of dramatic construction. In addition to using contemporary and classic films, Gallo mines both Aristotle and modern literary theory for ideas that can be turned to task in composition. This new book shows screenwriters not just how to create characters, but to root their screenplays in motivation and voice, to create stories that seduce and make the reader lean forward.

WHERE TO BUY:  The book can be purchased through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or at local retail bookstores.

About the Author:

Guy Gallo's screenplay of "Under the Volcano" was directed by John Huston and released in 1984. Since then, he has written over a dozen feature screenplays, including "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" for American Playhouse and "The Enormous Radio" for Tales from the Darkside. He has taught advanced screenwriting for twenty years in the Graduate Film Division of Columbia University's School of the Arts, and drama at Princeton as well as New York University.

Links: Screenwriter's Compass Blog | Guy Gallo on Facebook | Screenwriter's Compass Facebook Fan Page

One (1) lucky reader will have a chance to win their very own copy of "Screenwriter's Compass: Character as True North" by Guy Gallo. Chosen winner will be selected via Random.org through Rafflecopter and is open to US & Canadian residents (ends April 13, 2012 at 11:59pm EST). Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize. Mandatory entry is required to unlock the additional optional entries.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the above mentioned book from the company/PR Company in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed in my review are my own personal and honest thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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  1. A very well-written post. I read and liked the post and have also bookmarked you. All the best for future endeavors
    IT Company India

  2. I would love to win this for my brother. He writes and directs short films.

  3. Shared your giveaway on my blog:

  4. Shared on my Facebook page as Lisa's Free Stuff

  5. A friend who really wants to be a writer.

  6. I would love to win for my BF

    Facebook share: http://www.facebook.com/#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=191198807661600&id=611836186
    Google+ Suzie B

  7. I'd love to win this for myself. I'm very interested in learning more about screenwriting.


  8. My husband and/or I. We both love to read.

    swak50 at hotmail dot com

  9. I shared.


    swak50 at hotmail dot com

  10. I am in the process of writing an original screenplay.

    It would be great to have this book as a resource.

    Thanks for offering this giveaway opportunity. ~Pauline


  11. would like to win it so both me and my wife could read it

  12. I would like to win this for myself :) (I would share after I finished it though!)

    andrea_hockeygirl at hotmail dot com