Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Screenwriter's Roadmap: 21 Ways to Jumpstart Your Story by Neil Landau

From the bestselling author of 101 Things I Learned in Film School and screenwriter of "Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead", Neil Landau, comes The Screenwriter's Roadmap: 21 Ways to Jumpstart Your Story, a new title from the Focal Press out September 28th. Pre-order Screenwriter's Roadmap on Amazon.com here.

In this book, Neil Landau (an established Hollywood screenwriter and script doctor) provides 21 questions for you to ask yourself as you write, to help you nail down your screenplay's story structure, deepen its character arcs, bolster stakes, heighten suspense, and diagnose and repair its potential weaknesses. Originally created as a handout for Landau's UCLA screenwriting class, these vital "21 Questions To Keep You On Track" have been field-tested and utilized in the creation of some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters and critically acclaimed films.

Each chapter is augmented by end of chapter "homework" assignments, examples from recent blockbusters and timeless classic films, as well as interviews with some of Hollywood's most successful screenwriters including Scott Z. Burns (Contagion), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, The Bourne Legacy), Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island), David Koepp (Spider Man), Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can), Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises), Billy Ray (The Hunger Games), Melissa Rosenberg (the Twilight trilogy), Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air), and many others.

The book also includes end of chapter exercises and examples from the latest Hollywood hits, providing practical and inspirational confidence. Neil provides simple explanations and details that will help you get started in writing a great screenplay. I really enjoyed this book and I find Neil's tips were very helpful.


Neil Landau is co-author of the bestselling 101 Things I Learned in Film School (Grand Central Publishing, 2010). His numerous film and television credits include the cult teen comedy "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead," and the new 3D animated feature "The Adventures of Tad Jones" (Paramount, 2012) - which just opened #1 at the box office in Spain, and will next premiere in China, France, UK, Russia, and all over the world.

In addition to his numerous TV credits, including "Melrose Place," "The Magnificent Seven," "Doogie Howser, M.D.," "The Secret World of Alex Mack," "Twice in a Lifetime," MTV's "Undressed," plus one-hour drama TV pilots for CBS, ABC, Warner Bros., Disney, and Lifetime, Neil is also an in-demand script consultant, and worked for Sony Pictures, Freemantle, and Universal; Pictures. He is currently serving as Executive Producer on several new TV projects, for HBO-Europe and Fox TV Studios.

He currently teaches in the MFA in Screenwriting and Producing Programs at both UCLA School of Film & Television (his alma mater), and USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of the book in exchange of my review of this post. I was also provided info from the PR firm/Company to share. Any expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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