Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need

Category: Movies
Author: Blake Snyder
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by jmyeet   2022-05-24
So the problem with media conglomerates (including big studios) is they want predictable returns. More specifically, they want a formula. Let me introduce you to Save the Cat [1]. This book has become so influential that you can read this book and then watch pretty much any movie and you'll be able to tick off everything in the movie to this structure.

It's why studios love sequels and franchises. They have a built-in audience ie predictable returns.

The biggest innovation we've had in this industry is the advent of highly serialized TV shows, made possibly in large part due to (at first) DVRs and then streaming. 30 years ago it just wasn't possible or practical to do somethin glike this when people had to tune in at a set time. The audience drop off would've been too severe.

For me this has been the true Golden Age of TV. But movies? It's all superhero films now and dull, dull, dull for the most part.

So the lesson Netflix is learning here is you can't just scale up a content business by throwing money at it. Studios would love if it this were true. Netflix has thrown many billions at this problem and not spent it wisely. You can't just write a check for $10 billion and become HBO.

Movies in particularly just don't make economic sense without theater releases. We've seen this durin gthe pandemic with movies that have skipped theaters out of necessity. It just doesn't work.

I agree Netflix needed to create original content given the inevitable "me too" streaming platforms from all the studios would otherwise rob Netflix of their catalog. But they may have just saddled themselves with so much debt that they're forced into ever-increasing sub prices because of decreasing subscriber numbers, which just accelerates the need for more price hikes and so on.

Ironically this is exactly what is killing cable TV.

[1]:https://www.amazon.com/Save-Last-Book-Screenwriting-Youll/dp...

by dmitrygr   2020-12-21
Allow me to ruin all Hollywood movies for you: "Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need". https://www.amazon.com/Save-Last-Book-Screenwriting-Youll/dp...

Once you read this, you'll start seeing that every popular movie today follows this guide, almost precisely to-the-minute. Book says "by page X of screenplay, Y should happen" and you'll see that it does.

by scots   2019-07-21

Dude, we’re shooting the shit about a TV show with dragons, tits and magic.

Yes, Clausewitz said 4:1.

Yes it’s highly situational.

From a military standpoint almost everything depicted on the series has been idiotic.

Stannis vs wildlings: wildlings staying inside the tree line would have negated Stannis’ heavy cavalry charge.

Dothraki vs Lannister loot train: Lannisters fought with the river behind them. Where were their scouts? Had they fought on the other side of the river bank the river would have stalled out the Dothraki cavalry.

Battle of the Bastards was too stupid to put into words.

The writers aren’t writing accurate conflict - they are creating set pieces to create drama and drive the story.

This is so basic it’s taught to aspiring screen writers in books like Save the Cat!

by HybridCamRev   2019-07-21

Hi u/TopherTheIncel - here are my filmmaking "desert island" books:

Screenwriting

  • Save the Cat! - Blake Snyder

Filmmaking - General

  • The Five C's of Cinematography - Joseph V. Mascelli
  • Sculpting in Time - Andrey Tarkovsky
  • The Reel Truth: Everything You Didn't Know You Need to Know About Making an Independent Film - Reed Martin
  • The Total Film Maker - Jerry Lewis (You can get it free here)

Editing

  • In the Blink of an Eye - Walter Murch

Limited Resources

  • Rebel Without a Crew - Robert Rodriguez
  • Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques (This book was written by Jason Tomaric, who made Time and Again for less than $2000 and is now an Emmy winning Hollywood director)
  • If you can find it, I also recommend Tomaric's The Power Filmmaking Kit: Make Your Professional Movie on a Next-to-Nothing Budget. This book is out of print, but is more of a practical "workbook" for movie production than Jason's other book.
  • If you're on a budget and can't afford any of the other suggestions, I recommend 11 Simple Steps to turn a Screenplay into a Marketable Movie: or, How I got a $10k movie to gross $1 Million through Warner Bros - which is $0.99 for Kindle - by Vince Rocca, I have read this book - and it is worth a lot more than I paid for it.

Hope this is helpful and good luck on your filmmaking journey!

by Acornriot   2019-07-21

https://www.amazon.com/Save-Last-Book-Screenwriting-Youll/dp/1932907009

by HybridCamRev   2019-07-21

u/LeeroyM - here are my filmmaking "desert island" books:

Screenwriting

  • Save the Cat! - Blake Snyder

Filmmaking - General

  • The Five C's of Cinematography - Joseph V. Mascelli
  • Sculpting in Time - Andrey Tarkovsky
  • The Reel Truth: Everything You Didn't Know You Need to Know About Making an Independent Film - Reed Martin
  • The Total Film Maker - Jerry Lewis (You can get it free here)

Editing

  • In the Blink of an Eye - Walter Murch

Limited Resources

  • Rebel Without a Crew - Robert Rodriguez
  • Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques (This book was written by Jason Tomaric, who made Time and Again for less than $2000 and is now an Emmy winning Hollywood director)
  • If you can find it, I also recommend Tomaric's The Power Filmmaking Kit: Make Your Professional Movie on a Next-to-Nothing Budget. This book is out of print, but is more of a practical "workbook" for movie production than Jason's other book.
  • If you're on a budget and can't afford any of the other suggestions, I recommend 11 Simple Steps to turn a Screenplay into a Marketable Movie: or, How I got a $10k movie to gross $1 Million through Warner Bros - which is $0.99 for Kindle - by Vince Rocca, I have read this book - and it is worth a lot more than I paid for it.

Hope this is helpful and good luck on your filmmaking journey!

by CJGibson   2019-07-21

Heh, save the cat.