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Writing Screenplays That Sell [Paperback]

Michael Hauge
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 1 1991 0062725009 978-0062725004 Reprint
The up-to-date, acclaimed guide to writing and selling screenplays to today's film and TV markets. This is the new screenwriter's bible.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

If you've got a half-finished screenplay in the drawer, these two unflaggingly optimistic additions to the how-to literature will make you want to dig it out and get to work. Aimed at beginners, both are by academics who not only teach the subject, but are professional screenwriters themselves. In agreement on most of the basic points, each gives a solid discussion of the craftcharacters, story development, etc.and industry; lays out the all-important details of format; then tells how to market the finished product. Hauge's volume is a detailed manual offering a step-by-step methodology, a scriptual analysis of a hit film, The Karate Kid , and handy chapter summaries. Walter's is more general and breezily written. Both authors argue that screenwriting is a developable craft rather than an art and stress the overpowering need for strong-willed commitment to achieve success. They also agree that, despite all the high-paid, well-established hacks, especially in TV, if you don't have talent, perseverance, imagination, and some luck, you're in the wrong field. For those libraries that can buy only one more title in this crowded field, Hauge is the preferred choice. Two other recent books are Jurgen Wolff and Kerry Cox's Successful Scriptwriting, Writer's Digest, 1988; and Ben Brady and Lance Lee's The Understructure of Writing for Film & Television, Univ. of Texas Pr., 1988. The latter seems aimed at replacing Brady's Keys to Writing for Television and Films as the standard college text. Ed.David Bartholomew, NYPL
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The most practical and best single book on the subject." -- --Hollywood Scriptwriter

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People do not go to the movies so they can see the characters on the screen laugh, cry, get frightened, or get turned on. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY NOTHING SPECIAL Jan. 16 2000
By A Customer
While there is nothing BAD about this book (as there is in Viki King's wierd, little tome) there is absolutely nothing special about it either. It kind of reminds me of the proliferation of O.J. Simpson books out there right after the verdict--if you've read one, you've read them all. This book offers no new insight, no special spark, you know what I mean. And who in the heck is Michael Hauge. I used to work in Hollywood and, as far as I know, he doesn't write screenplays! As I did in my review of Viki King's book, I recommend Syd Field and Lajos Egri. Field has thousands of hours of re-writing to his credit--he's a real professional who knows this business INSIDE and OUT. And Lajos Egri? What more need be said. His ART OF DRAMATIC WRITING is a classic that can help any writer--screenplay, stage or novelist! If you're someone who's trying to make it in the tough world of Hollywood screenwriting, you REALLY owe yourself the BEST--and that's Syd Field's SCREENPLAY and Lajos Egri's ART OF DRAMATIC WRITING. Bibles of the industry, written by men who know!
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By A Customer
I am a former film student from the USC School of Cinema-Television, Los Angeles, CA, and I have probably read ALL of the books on screenwriting.
Michael Hauge's book: Writing Screenplays That Sell, is the BEST book I have ever read on screenwritng because of the way the information is PRESENTED, the PROCESS through which Michael Hauge guides you in THINKING through your story, ORGANIZING it and then LAYING it down.
What REALLY SURPRISED me is that it was not INCLUDED in the USC curriculum and since then, I have RARELY seen this book included with books about screenwriting on the internet. I simply just don't get it. It is not only a good book, it is the BEST! It far surpasses Syd's book...sorry Syd, but it's true! EVERY SERIOUS screenwriter should have this book and recommend it to their friends. I am happy to FINALLY see it beginning to get the RESPECT that it is due. Thank you Michael for your wonderful and invaluable GIFT!
Louise Baskin
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best 'first book' for screenwriters. July 21 2001
"Writing Screenplays That Sell"
Michael Hauge's book is an extremely pleasant read; it offers insight into both writing scripts and the industry you are attempting to enter. His advice is realistic yet optimistic; Hauge presents you with an honest account of the script market while managing to maintain, even encourage, the reader's belief in success.
The book offers several partial script breakdowns - including The Karate Kid and Body Heat amongst others - which are very helpful when applying his ideas to your own script. Hauge doesn't attempt to revolutionise scriptwriting with his own unproven theories, he mostly attempts to reinforce the basic steadfast rules of the Hollywood scriptwriting system while offering interesting and convincing explanations of why they work, which is encouraging.
I recommend this book for all scriptwriters, both beginners and the more experienced who, like myself, sometimes feel in need of a bit of a refresher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best July 18 2001
This is by far one of the best books on screenwriting that I own. Hauge is a skilled and experienced teacher and his methods are communicated clearly. I find that the book is a perfect blend between the over-technical school (Syd Field) and the "just write it" school (Lazarus, Viki King). Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beginners start with this book March 22 2001
This was fortunately one of the first books I started with and it was a dandy. Much better than Syd Field and several of the other starting books. Hague remains upbeat (something you need to break in to screenwriting) and covers all the main points and questions for starting out. Even more important, he talks about why you should and should not be doing it and living a good life.
When you're read for something intermediate, check out Armer's WRITING THE SCREENPLAY and Thom's THE BIG DEAL (about spec scripts that sold in the last decade or so).
And, for advanced techniques go to: Lagos Egri's THE ART OF DRAMATIC WRITING (more for plays but it does apply) and McKee's STORY . . . and, of course, the superlative WORDPLAYER.COM with free articles by two working screenwriters . .. Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great place to start. July 7 2000
By A Customer
Very useful. This book not only provides some light artistic advice on how to write a decent screenplay, but also sound advice on the way the business works and how to format, lay out and even bind your screenplay. Very practical and clear-headed when compared with the muddled, crazed English of Lew Hunter, for example, who (ironically given his capability) only seems to discuss the creative end of screenwriting. If you're a beginner who knows nothing at all about the process, this book has all you need.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a GREAT book on the subject April 28 2000
This is a no nonsense, get to the core book that really works. I am a filmmaker who had a successful film and the Sundance film festival and received a lot of offers but unfortunately the script that I was showing was not being well received. After reading Michael Hauge's wonderful book and applying his theories I secured a deal and am now making the film. Writing screenplays that sell does exactly that! Mr. Hauge's technique is easy to grasp and profoundly exciting. A MUST READ!
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