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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 – 14 May 2005


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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 + Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting: A Step-by-Step Guide from Concept to finished Script + Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
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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: 15.9 x 1.3 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By M.J. Milne on 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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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Steve on 9 Aug 2009
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Shaw on 21 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. I do understand that his aim is not to teach the art of producing great screenplays, he says as much in the first few pages - this is a step-by-step guide to producing a saleable piece. Snyder's bottom line IS the bottom line, his assessment of a movie's value is based solely on its box office take.

Page 96: "And if you want to seriously debate the value of Memento in modern society, please go ahead and contact me... But be ready for one hell of an argument from me!! I *know* how much it made."

Great. If you aren't familiar with 'Memento', an early indication of the cinematic promise of brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, then wikipedia has a good page. Yes, it took only $39 million (not a bad return on a $5 million budget), but the Writers' Guild of America West put it in their top 100 screenplays OF ALL TIME. It is an astounding piece of work, so why on earth would Snyder choose to dismiss it? Because it didn't make enough money.

Snyder gives plenty of tips based on his own huge successes in the industry - 'Stop or My Mom Will Shoot' is one of his ($70 million box office from a $45 million budget). Wait. $25 million profit... A fair bit less than Memento then. I'm starting to think that this Snyder guy is running a con. His other big hit 'Blank Check' is also frequently used as a touchstone. Let's see. $30 million box office from a $13 million budget. Critically a dismal failure. He *is* running a con!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Gunston on 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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