A readable writer’s how-to that goes down smoothly.



A well-organized soup-to-nuts manual for aspiring Nora Ephrons and Charlie Kaufmans, from the faculty of a notable screenwriting program.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program director Venis divides the book into four sections devoted to: preparations for writing the script, writing the first draft, rewriting and polishing, and working the system to get the script produced and your screenwriting career on track. A group of professionals—screenwriters, story analyst and readers—share advice; their film credits include ScreamCitizen RuthPirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black PearlTwilightEvent HorizonI Know What You Did Last Summer, and scores of other projects for major Hollywood studios and TV networks. Encouraging without being unrealistic, the contributors use examples from dozens of award-winning and popular screenplays (The King’s Speech, JunoReservoir DogsBridesmaidsThe Hangover, etc.) to illustrate their points about how to set scenes, develop characters and propel stories through all of the scenes. Their advice to give script buyers—“The same, but different”; i.e., more of what’s selling tickets already, with a twist—may seem stifling to creative types, but it’s based on intimate knowledge of Hollywood tastes. Even if the fledgling screenwriter does not want to follow the UCLA team’s amazingly harmonious advice to the letter, there’s plenty of solid wisdom in the book to warrant giving it a careful read. The contributors insist that you can write a successful screenplay, and it’s hard not to believe them. After following the practical advice included in the book, you will not want to miss Deborah Dean Davis’ deliciously witty and inspiring final chapter on the life of a Hollywood writer.

A readable writer’s how-to that goes down smoothly.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59240-810-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?



Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?