7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2000
I've read several books on and around screenwriting, but this is the only one that manages to be instructive and educational, without being laboured or preachy. Although it is (understandably) focused on Hollywood, there's a special foreword (and wider scope) for British readers which makes a refreshing change - too often these sort of books are pitched at a purely American audience. Michael Hauge writes honestly and with pace, and there is a levity to the book that makes it more friendly and readable than others that are more lecture-style. Rules are only laboured consciously; the important facts are reiterated throughout the book to ensure they are not forgotten, not out of lazy editing. Everything you need to know is packed into a concise guide that leads basic structure, characterisation and plot development into the more technical areas of motivation and themes. It's easy to get into and unputdownable once you are. However, I'm not too sure about his case study script - "The Karate Kid" - but that's just personal preference.
As an introduction or a supplemental guide to screenwriting, this is unmissable. Inspiring, informative and very enjoyable.
on 31 July 2015
A thoroughly professional book written by an industry professional.
It is divided into four sections: Developing the Story; Writing the Screenplay; the Business of Screenwriting; the Commitment to Screenwriting. In other words, every single aspect of writing for film or television is covered, from an initial idea to landing a deal. Although primarily for the American market, the foreword to the British edition is a useful addition.
Essential reading for all aspirants in the field.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2007
This is essential reading for anyone hoping to make it as a screenwriter. I've read many books on the subject, and this one is by far the best. From the offset Michael Hauge injects the occasional snippet of humour into the proceedings - something that is largely forgotten in these 'How to...' books. He also dispels the doom and gloom that often accompanies such publications: we've all heard the scary fact that the chances of making it as a screenwriter are almost non-existent. And while Michael Hauge makes the realities clear, he also instils a confidence in the aspiring writer that none of the other books I have read do. To quote one part of the book that made me sit up and say, "I'm going to do this!"
Hauge offers the following statistics:
"100 percent of the screenwriters who now have agents at one time didn't have agents.
100 percent of the screenwriters who are now working at one time weren't working.
100 percent of the screenwriters who have made money at screenwriting at one time hadn't made a dime."
From having an idea to selling your completed script, thisa covers everything, more than adequately. I have followed his instructions with my first screenplay and have already broken the barriers and had a major producer request my screenplay on the basis of a synopsis.
All I can say is BUY IT!!!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2001
The best thing about this book is that it guides you through the whole process of writing a script from idea to completion. A lot of these type of books simply tell you what a completed script should be without helping with the problems you face getting there. The section on writing and re-writing individual scenes is very illuminating. A very useful book.