Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
There are a lot of books out there that are written by people claiming to be self professed gurus on the subject of writing screenplays. Many claming that if you follow their way of writing it'll lead to being a professional screenwriter.
When you actually do a little research on who these people are and what they claim to know. They don't actually know that much, otherwise they wouldn't be spending all their time writing how to books and doing seminars.
The old adage.
"Those that can — do: those that can't — teach."
I've checked the credentials of some of these and found more often than not. Their only claim to fame is being a script consultant. Whatever that means. They haven't actually written anything, sold it and had it produced.
All they've actually done is given their opinions on a story and screenplay. This does not make you an expert on screenwriting.
Does this make you a screenwriting guru?
Do pigs fly?
"There are many self-proclaimed "screenwriting gurus" - though how you get to be a "guru" of something you've never actually done is beyond us."
If there is only one book you are considering buying on screenwriting and you want to get an honest opinion on what the industry is really like. Then you won't go far wrong if you purchase a copy of
Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too! [Hardcover]
The second you see the dust cover, you'll know straight away that this won't be your usual forray into some failed wannabe's writings on the subject.
These guys know what they're talking about. They've been there and done it.
The book is divided into two parts.
PART ONE: SELLING YOUR MOVIE
They explain the differences between agents and managers and what exactly they do.
They discuss the roles of producers and directors.
Of course not all of it is serious. They talk about living in Los Angeles. What hotspots to visit etc.
PART TWO: WRITING A SCREENPLAY
From dealing with structure to battling out who actually wrote the finished product and dealing with arbitration or who wrote this crap.
But their main emphasis is on the actual writing. You have to write.
ALWAYS BE WRITING
Always be writing. Always be writing. Always be writing.
Well worth the money, a fun, entertaining and intuitive read.
Even if you are not a writer and looking for something interesting to read about the toils of the movie industry and how a story goes from screenplay to screen. Then get your hands on a copy of this.