Writing for the screen is quirky business. A writer must labor meticulously over his or her prose, yet very little of that prose is ever heard by filmgoers. The few words that do reach the audience, in the form of the characters' dialogue, are, according to Robert McKee, best left to last in the writing process. ("As Alfred Hitchcock once remarked, 'When the screenplay has been written and the dialogue has been added, we're ready to shoot.' ") In Story, McKee puts into book form what he has been teaching screenwriters for years in his seminar on story structure, which is considered by many to be a prerequisite to the film biz. (The long list of film and television projects that McKee's students have written, directed, or produced includes Air Force One, The Deer Hunter, E.R., A Fish Called Wanda, Forrest Gump, NYPD Blue, and Sleepless in Seattle.) Legions of writers flock to Hollywood in search of easy money, calculating the best way to get rich quick. This book is not for them. McKee is passionate about the art of screenwriting. "No one needs yet another recipe book on how to reheat Hollywood leftovers," he writes. "We need a rediscovery of the underlying tenets of our art, the guiding principles that liberate talent." Story is a true path to just such a rediscovery. In it, McKee offers so much sound advice, drawing from sources as wide ranging as Aristotle and Casablanca, Stanislavski and Chinatown, that it is impossible not to come away feeling immeasurably better equipped to write a screenplay and infinitely more inspired to write a brilliant one.--Jane Steinberg
"... stimulating, innovative, refreshingly practical." -- -- Lawrence Kasdan, Director
About the Author
Robert McKee teaches his 3Story Structure2 class annually to sold out auditoriums in Los Angeles, New York, London and film capitals throughout the world.A Fulbright Scholar, this award-winning film and television writer has also served as project and talent development consultant to major production companies such as Tri-Star and Golden Harvest Films.He lives in Los Angeles and Cornwall, England.
McKee, who reads his own book of advice for aspiring screenwriters, has given seminars based on this material. In an expansive, occasionally lecturing, tone the author addresses the principal ingredients of good screenwriting and amply illustrates his points with examples from classic films to modern ones, which is interesting. McKee sounds a bit lofty at times, and it's impossible to avoid the feeling that you're being warned about errors you're going to make anyway. However, McKee's advice is very apt and given in an interesting way: as though he is on a spot-lit stage delivering a well-polished presentation to a group of aspiring writers, among whom you are one. J.C.G. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.