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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
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 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 + Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told + Save the Cat! Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get into ... & Out of
Price For All Three: 37.87

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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable for some, useless for others 20 May 2010
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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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Craft, not the Art 9 Aug 2009
By Steve
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best as an introduction 18 Mar 2009
Snyder is not trying to tell you how to create a classic all time masterpiece. That can probably not be taught. He is however giving you the rules to get a film made by the cynical risk averse "you have 2 minutes to sell me your film" hollywood execs.
The book is NOT perfect. Snyder does get a little too specific (page 11 and only page 11 or the catalyst?). Snyder does lift from other books. But taken with a pinch of salt, and saving you have to read entire other books for the couple of nuggets they contain, this book is a fantastic reference. And the classics you want to write will be even better if they keep somewhere near these structural points.

1) remember the maxim: Know the rules before you break the rules.
2) For a beginner, staring at 90-130 minutes of blank paper, the structure really helps.

Note that the sequel: "Save the cat goes to the movies" is also worth a read - even for people who don't want to write a script.
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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
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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7 of 8 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 5 days 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 2 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 2 months ago by zalan k
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
simply buy, read and then write. you will not be let down. clear, witty and informative. you'll be biting at the bit to write your film idea
Published 2 months ago by alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Save your life
One of the most invaluable books on screenwriting ever written because it's different to all the McKees, Fields, Parkers, Voglers and Yorkes. Why? Read more
Published 3 months ago by Neil Scott-sills
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, cheerful and fun ...
It's not the only book you'll need to read on screenwriting, but it is fun, light-hearted and informative enough to motivate and offer structural writing guidance without turning... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
The title of the book says it ll, great read with really good advice for any level of screenwriter;-) A must for anyone interested in screenwriting;-)
Published 4 months ago by Brendan magan
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect fade in
This is the ideal book for anyone who is thinking about starting to write a screenplay. Easy and fun to read. Read more
Published 4 months ago by _nM_
5.0 out of 5 stars I am satisfied with this buy. It is even better then I expect.
Package was good, delivery on time. I will buy again over amazon.

(This I am typing this to fill required words slots :P)
Published 6 months ago by Miroslav Georgijevic
1.0 out of 5 stars utter rubbish
I wanted to buy a book to help me write a screenplay. This book was the most disappointing things that's ever happened to me. Don't be fooled into buying it.
Published 7 months ago by Tovj
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