Synopses & Reviews
Discover the secrets of Hollywood storytelling in this fascinating collection, in which fifty screenwriters share the inside scoop about how they surmounted incredible odds to break into the business, how they transformed their ideas into box-office blockbusters, how their words helped launch the careers of major stars, and how they earned accolades and Academy Awards.
Entertaining, informative, and sometimes startling, Tales from the Script features exclusive interviews with film's top wordsmiths, including John Carpenter (Halloween), Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia), John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and David hayter (Watchmen). Read along as:
Frank Darabont explains why he sacrificed his salary to preserve the integrity of his hard-hitting adapta-tion of Stephen King's novella The Mist.
William Goldman reveals why he's never had any interest in directing movies, despite having won Oscars for writing All the President's Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Ron Shelton explains why he nearly cut the spectacular speech that helped cement Kevin Costner's stardom in Bull Durham.
Josh Friedman describes the bizarre experience of getting hired by Steven Spielberg to adapt H. G. Wells's classic novel War of the Worlds—even though Spielberg hated Friedman's take on the material.
Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) analyzes his legendary relationship with Martin Scorsese.
Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) reveals why the unrelenting hype around his multimillion-dollar script sales caused him to retreat from public life for several years.
Tales from the Script is a must for movie buffs who savor behind-the-scenes stories—and a master class for all those who dream of writing the Great American Screenplay, taught by those who made that dream come true.
"In this companion to the documentary of the same name, filmmakers Hanson and Herman distill advice, anecdotes and warnings from 50 screenwriters, including Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), John Carpenter (Halloween), Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia), and William Goldman (The Princess Bride). Divided by topic, the text covers a wide range of issues regarding the notoriously elusive career, including the ins and outs of a first sale; dealing with producers, directors and actors; staying positive and productive in the face of rejection; and the Hollywood system at large. Aspiring screenwriters will instantly recognize most of the bold-faced names, though they won't find much help regarding the mechanics of screenwriting. Anyone who's wondered how their favorite scribe landed her first film job, or what happens behind the headlines of a high-profile spec sale, will find plenty of information, as well as general advice and inspiration." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Tales From the Script gathers notable veterans of the screen wars who demonstrate the basic truth of our adventures in Movieland: Writing is the easy part.” John Sayles, writer/director of Lone Star and Eight Men Out
“A must-read for anyone who depends on the screenwriters craft. And thats a lot of us.” Edward R. Pressman, producer of Wall Street, American Psycho, and Reversal of Fortune
“Captures the excitement, frustration, and reality of being a working screenwriter in an accessible and essential volume that aspiring screenwriters will devour.” Booklist (starred review)
“Fascinating tales from the belly of the beast.” Lawrence Kasdan, Oscar-nominated writer/director of The Big Chill, Wyatt Earp, and Body Heat
Few modern art forms are as misunderstood as the craft of creating movie scripts, because the collaborative nature of filmmaking and the dominance of celebrity actors and directors obscures the contributions of screenwriters. So if you′re a writer eager to break into Hollywood or simply a movie buff excited to learn the stories behind your favorite films, this unique book will captivate you with insights into the wild and mysterious world of Hollywood screenwriting.
Meet the men and women who dreamed up some of the world′s most beloved movie characters. Revel in the exploits of Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), John Carpenter (Halloween), Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption), Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally), William Goldman (The Princess Bride), David Hayter (Watchmen), Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost), Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver), Ron Shelton (Bull Durham), and dozens of others. Learn how they surmounted the incredible odds against breaking into Hollywood, and discover the myriad ways in which they transformed their ideas into films that topped the box office, launched the careers of major stars, and earned Oscars. The stories behind the storytellers are as exciting, surprising, and inspirational as the narratives of their celebrated films.
TALES FROM THE SCRIPT puts readers into the trenches of the Hollywood development process through colorful stories about Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and many more. Entertaining, startling, and uplifting, this collection of exclusive interviews with Hollywood′s leading screenwriters is pure pleasure for those who dream of penning the Great American Screenplay -- it′s a master class taught by those who made that dream come true.
About the Author
Michigan native Peter Hanson studied film at New York University and journalism at the University at Albany-SUNY. He is the author of Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel
(a finalist for the Theatre Library Association Award), and The Cinema of Generation X.
He directed the documentary feature Every Pixel Tells a Story
and the award-winning short Stagehand
, and co-wrote the narrative feature The Last Round
. His articles have appeared in Script
and Written By
. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.
Paul Robert Herman graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in psychology. He earned his teaching credentials from the University of Colorado at Boulder, specializing in creative writing and film. After moving to Hollywood, he completed UCLA's Professional Program in Screenwriting. He worked for several years as an assistant producer for an entertainment company in Pacific Palisades before branching off on his own. He has written, directed and produced short films through his multimedia company, Jade Tiger Productions.