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Save the Cat!: The Only Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need [Paperback]

Blake Snyder
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 8.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 May 2005
He's made millions of dollars selling screenplays to Hollywood and now screenwriter Blake Snyder tells all. "Save the Cat" is just one of Snyder's many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketablle and your script more satisfying - and saleable, including:

* The four elements of every winning logline
* The seven immutable laws of screenplay physics
* The ten genres and why they're important to your movie
* Why your Hero must serve your idea
* How to get back on track with ironclad and proven rules for script repair

This ultimate insider's guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by an industry veteran who's proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat.


Frequently Bought Together

Save the Cat!: The Only Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need + Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting: A Step-by-Step Guide from Concept to finished Script + Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
Price For All Three: 29.00

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (14 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932907009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932907001
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable for some, useless for others 20 May 2010
Format:Paperback
The usefulness of this book is going to greatly depend on what sort of screenplay(s) you are intending to write, as the scope of Blake Snyder's guide is very narrow. If you are yearning to tell the story of how child abuse rips apart a family in a small, Scottish fishing village... then do not look here. It will be of no help. If, however, you are looking to write a mainstream (preferably high concept) idea then this book is, in my opinion, the best out there.

I have read 20+ Screenwriting books and for straight structural insight into the popularist Hollywood model, this is fantastic. People have questioned Synder's own track record in other reviews. That's nonsense. Great actors are not taught by screen legends but by people you've never heard of. It's the same with screenwriting. Syd Field, Robert Mckee, Chris Vogler - when's the last time you saw their names before a film? In fact Synder has more credentials than most out there.

Yes, he picks out some less than briliant examples of cinema (Legally Blonde?!) but the content here is sound and evident in much, much better films than the ones mentioned. This is just good, clear advice on how to plan and fix a particular type of script. It is absolutely not for everyone, nor should every film adhere to this model, but in the narrow (but MASSIVELY successful) market that this is aimed at, it's simply essential.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Craft, not the Art 9 Aug 2009
By Steve
Format:Paperback
Some of the reviews are missing the point; this is not a book intended to make anyone an artist. Sadly I don't think such a book could exist; art is within you or it isn't, it cannot be taught.

Blake Snyder was teaching the craft, the nuts and bolts construction of a screenplay. His rules are no more cynical than Joseph Campbell's work on mythic archetypes, they're just presented in a much more accessible way. This is populist writing about populist writing.

So if you want solid guidelines on building the emotional machinery of a screenplay then this book will help. If you want to try to reinvent the cinematic artform, if your gods are Charlie Kaufman and Harmony Korine, then your journey begins elsewhere and probably inside yourself.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and enlightening! 9 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback
If you're serious about becoming a screenwriter, I can't recomment this book enough!

The notes on 'True Genre' alone are worth the asking price, but the 'Immutable Laws of Screenplay Physics' are also a real eye-opener.

'Save the Cat!' is funny, incisive and enlightening - it is easily up there with the works of Bill Martell, Elliott Grove and Chris Vogler.

I certainly wasn't disappointed and I don't think you will be, either.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all this is not really a book about screenwriting. This is a book about the business of writing for film and how to squeeze yourself into a very particular mould laid out by Snyder in his 15 point beat sheet. For anyone hoping to have some creative freedom when it comes to writing, this book is not for you. This book is more for the 'get rich quick' crowd that fancy dabbling at a screenplay that doesn't require too much thought. As much as Snyder claims that cliche is a bad thing to be avoided, if you follow his instructions you will end up churning out nothing but cliched drivel.

As for the writing style, for a professional writer, it really is quite poor. You can't accuse Snyder of not being clear and concise, but I found him at times to be very condescending and he repeats himself an awful lot. It's almost as though he struggled to fill the book.

This will prove helpful for some, but I would personally recommend people look elsewhere for screenwriting tips. Robert McKee for example.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but Irritating 26 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A clear, well-written guide to presenting your story to other people. It's aimed at screenwriters, but it's also a well-known tool for fiction and non-fiction writers. A lot of the information (such as know your genre, have a one line pitch) will be familiar to anyone who's been following writing blogs or lurking in the query trenches, but if not then it's a great place to start.

It covers lots of essential information, including genres, character archetypes, and my personal favourite the 'beat sheet', which breaks down most plots into a simple structure and can be very helpful for working out pacing problems and structural issues.

Blake can come across as irritating with his every-other-page self-promotion. I loved when he pulled out popular movies for examples of genres and styles, but I got sick of him reference his own ever-so-successful films and TV ideas. I'd never heard of any of them. This would have been fine in a smaller dose, but there was just too much of it.

I think I'll dip into this book occasionally when I need a refresher on cliches, tropes, and plot structures - but it's a difficult book to read from start to finish without Snyder's comments getting on your nerves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Formulaic but effective screenwriting 9 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book delivers what you expect.
It is an easy read and the 12 step beat sheet will be incredibly useful to budding screenwriters.
However, there was one aspect of the book that really made me question the integrity of the author and that is his use of examples of what works as a screenplay and what does not.
He often references his own spec scripts and movies, none of which I have heard off and none of which impressed me.
He uses forgettable films (Miss Congeniality being the best of a sorry bunch) as examples of what is a successful film (yes in terms gross) and then critises films such as Minority Report and Open Range (2 of the most perfectly realised films of the noughties) because they break his rules of structure.
At this point in the book Blake Snyder lost all credibility for me.
It is fine to create a system to simplify the structuring of a screenplay but I did not like the way he dismissed films that are far superior in every department to anything he has been involved in because they did not follow his own set of rules.
The conclusion I came to is this guy knows how to write something that will sell and if that is why you are reading the book then I would have to recommend it despite my dissapointment in the way he references other peoples work.
Souless but effective.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great box, nice format and very experienced advice
Published 11 days ago by George
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyable read
Published 26 days ago by Mrs. Judith C Jehring
2.0 out of 5 stars The EGO has landed.
As soon as he slagged off the script for Memento, he lost me. The advice on screenwriting was okay, but how can I trust someone I no longer respect because of a stupid outburst... Read more
Published 28 days ago by R S J Gregory, Author
1.0 out of 5 stars Simply nauseating. Lies, arrogance, and no original thought.
I am not a screenwriter, nor do I intend to be, but I had heard interesting things about Snyder's guide and was fascinated to have a look at his method. Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. Shaw
2.0 out of 5 stars The Last Book on Screenwriting You Should Buy
Think of those stereotypical snake-oil salesmen, or the Gordon Gekko wanna-bes, who dress in suits and travel around the country, renting conference rooms or even small diners and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Mihai Kolcsar
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of tips from a screenwriter who sold movie scripts rather than...
Having enjoyed and laughed at the very insightful “Adventures in LA-LA land” by Hollywood screenwriter Tim John, I wanted to read more books by writers who had also sold... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jp Rolls
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful for novel writers as well as screen writers
Although I'm not a screen writer, I really liked this book. It made me think a lot about storytelling structure and how I can apply that to my writing.
Published 2 months ago by Yogi Bear
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Lots of ideas, examples and explanations about the workings of scriptwriting. A good book, well worth the money. Probably a good accompaniment to a course.
Published 3 months ago by Mr Alexander Legroux
5.0 out of 5 stars Assertive and instructive
Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need recommended by a Guardian Masterclass Tutor for fiction writers of all kinds - not just screenwriting .. Read more
Published 5 months ago by M
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype
Another example of formulaic scriptwriting that might work for some writers but dismisses anything outside of the box. Read more
Published 5 months ago by zalan k
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