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4.8 out of 5 stars
Reading Screenplays (Creative Essentials)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2012
From a screenwriter's POV, I have found Lucy Scher's 'Reading Screenplays', one of the most truly useful books for anyone writing in the British film industry. In this concise book, writers can hear a voice that is rarely offered to them - that of the gatekeeper to the production process.

In the UK, the role of the industry reader can seem relatively arbitrary to writers. As most readers are obviously employed by production companies, writers can be excluded from the feedback. However in this book, we have what is expected from writers in regard to their scripts both dramatically and structurally and the potential problems that can arise.

The sooner writers embrace the fundamentals that readers are (hopefully) expecting from them, the sooner we will have more dynamic and symbiotic development process in this country. I wish had read this book before I embarked on my last screenplay.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 February 2012
An inspiring read and invaluable companion for anyone involved in the script development process, this informative volume is equally useful as a guide for those who are new to script reading, and as a refresher for more seasoned developers. The book is also highly recommended for screenwriters - aspiring, established and those who find themselves somewhere in between - to understand the mindset of your potentially greatest ally in the process of getting your project(s) to the screen. Find out how screenplays are assessed, the questions they raise and what makes them work (or not).

With chapters on Storytelling and the Principles of Genre, Script Report Writing, Writing and Assessing Treatments and building a Career in Script Development, Reading Screenplays contains sample synopses and a script report, a useful list of resources and helpful `good reader' tips from producers. This book should be an industry essential.

Not only did the author, Lucy Scher, conceive the UK's first script reader training course, but she also developed the Script Factory and National Film and Television School's Diploma in Script Development - the only comprehensive vocational programme in script development in the UK. She knows what she's talking about - and using her thorough, methodic approach outlined in this book will help to ensure that you do too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2012
I have read this book various times and have really enjoyed it. It is a great dive into script development but also I see it as a great global introduction into storytelling for those who are passionate about. It is a substancial and friendly read.

Read it, and keep it, you will go back to it many times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2013
A compact volume positioned as a book about reviewing screenplays.

Already useful, it's more than that.

It provides the practical insights needed when developing a screenplay and advice that must flitter through most screenwriter's minds as they wonder about varying strategies.

It's aimed at movie screenwriting and there's useful references to sufficiently well-known movies to help the reader grasp the ideas. There's also very useful reference section at the end with useful links to many sources including screenplays available for review/inspiration.

One to keep close at hand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2012
Scher loves the craft of screenwriting and wishes that the study of film scripts could be introduced in curricula. This book is imbued with this sort of passion. As a writer, I found it incredibly useful. It contains brilliant insights into both the art of storytelling and in the way screenplays are actually considered out there, in the real world. It makes it easier for us, toiling away at the keyboard, to understand what is it that actually tickles the readers' imagination. But the great bit here is that the book raises the big dramatic questions that we all, ultimately, need to answer in our creative journey. A must.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2012
This is an invaluable resource for both experienced script readers and editors and those hoping to make a career in this arena. The book offers clear, but never pedantic instructions on how to read and analyse a script. This is the best guide I have read on how to combine artistic and practical considerations. I say this as someone who has worked in script development for 15 years, and read many 'how to' screenwriting books. This book demystifies the process of story design. A great book for both writers and developers. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2012
This brilliant little book walks you through the questions that readers, developers and producers ask when they read your script and consider wither to take it further. It straddles a rare balance between respecting the creative process and the practical considerations that screenwriters need to invest in their work. well worth it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2012
The sooner READING SCREENPLAYS becomes compulsory reading for all development executives out there, the sooner they'll recognise a really good script when they see one! Scher is enrouraging, dynamic, informative and inspiring. A brilliant resource. Makes you look forward to the next draft!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2012
I thoroughly recommend this book as the perfect spring board to improving your appreciation of screenwriting. Whether you're a writer/developer/reader/just want to understand a bit more about structure/premise/character etc within a script this book will help you. It's straightforward, coherent and also a really enjoyable read. I am working in development and it is the perfect reference book to return to time n again for simple and effective tools to help bring out the best in a screenplay.

Buy it - you won't be disappointed . . .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2012
This is an invaluable resource for screenwriters and developers alike. I find myself turning to it again and again to remind myself of the fundamental principles of cinematic story design. It's very well written in its own right - it manages to be crystal clear and highly informative without being pedantic and dull. I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone looking for a primer in script reading, reporting and development.
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