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NYC Screenwriters Collective Message Board › RESOURCESBooks, Free Screenplays, Classes, Blogs, Podcasts, Discussions

Books, Free Screenplays, Classes, Blogs, Podcasts, Discussions

New York, NY
Post #: 12

Resources Post


      Follow @ScriptFeed on Twitter for a digest of all the best screenwriting blogs and film web sites chosen by the staff of the NYCSC to give you a single source to stay informed on everything screenwriting, film, and television.

      ­ THE SCRIPT Podcast
      Subscribe to THE SCRIPT Podcast on iTunes, THE SCRIPT is the best parts of our workshop: our best Script Doctors, our hottest screenplays, our special script development methods, and lively discussions on current events in the business of film and television.

      ­Contest Schedule & NYC Screenwriters Trophy Case
      See the NYCSC short list of essential Screenwriting and Television Contests, with deadline and fee information constantly updated by our Contest Director. The TROPHY CASE keeps the list of our NYC Screenwriters who’ve placed and won.


      * Below are the 4 essential books on screenwriting listed by writer's experience level. (But click this link for a wild discussion from the message board on the 100 BEST Screenwriting Books).


        Screenplay by Syd Field

        THE first book to read for beginners (0-1 feature scripts written). The classic guide to writing screenplays, by screenplay guru Syd Field. A step-by-step guide from concept to finished script.

        Save The Cat! by Blake Snyder

        A stunningly effective outlining approach for beginners and intermediates (0-2 scripts written). Pulls all the best ideas on structure from the other great screenwriting books together into his Save The Cat! Method. Must read. Step by step, How-To style.

        NYCSC Keeps a library of ­Blake Snyder Beat Sheets of Oscar nominees and current movies.

        The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler

        Explains how to apply Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" design to your screenplay or story. For intermediate screenwriters (1-2 scripts written).

        STORY by Robert McKee

        THE best book for intermediate to advanced screenwriters (2-3+ scripts written). Provides readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of screenwriting. Encyclopedia style, answers every writing problem you need to look up.

        Adventures In The Screen Trade by William Goldman
        Which Lie Did I Tell? by William Goldman

        In 'Adventures', Two-time Academy Award winning screenwriting god William Goldman takes you into Hollywood's inner sanctums: on and behind the scenes for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men, and other films; into the plush offices of Hollywood producers; into the working lives of acting greats such as Redford, Olivier, Newman, and Hoffman; and into his own professional experiences and creative thought processes in the crafting of screenplays. You get a firsthand look at why and how films get made and what elements make a good screenplay.

        In 'Which Lie Did I Tell?', his fascinating sequel, Goldman brings us up to speed, with the latest lowdown on Hollywood moviemaking. Goldman details his experiences—good, bad, and ugly—over the past fifteen years. He gives us gossipy, terrifying, hilarious, and insightful stories from the set of such films as The Princess Bride, Misery, Maverick, and Absolute Power. He fills us in on what it's like to work with Mel Gibson, Kathy Bates, Michael Douglas, Clint Eastwood, and many other Hollywood players.


        The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script by David Trottier

        The screenplay format reference mentioned most often in our meetings and conversations.

David N.
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 182

    Breakfast With Sharks by Michael Lents

      Understanding a screenwriters career track. A Screenwriter's Guide to Getting the Meeting, Nailing the Pitch, Signing the Deal, and Navigating the Murky Waters of Hollywood

    Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds by Michael Hague

      How to Pitch Your Script. The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read. Your career can be made in 60 seconds - if you make the right pitch! Master the Elevator Pitch, even when you've got less than 60 seconds. Get your screenplay or Novel read by the major power of Hollywood - guaranteed!

    GENRE SPECIFIC BOOKS - Romantic Comedy

      Writing the Romantic Comedy by Billy Mernit Insightful guide to the basics of crafting a winning script will take you step by step from "cute meet" all the way to "joyous defeat."


David N.
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 293



    Are these well known workshops and classes worth it? Read our reviews.

      John Truby's "Anatomy of a Story Master Class" a Review by Scott Simpson (Click Here)

      Robert McKee's "STORY" Seminar : A Review by David Negrin (Click Here)

      Robert McKee's "Thriller Genre" Seminar:
      The Writer's Boot Camp: A Review by Franco Barbeite (Click Here)

      Screenwriting I @ Gotham Writers' Workshop (Click Here)


      Note: It is our position that the NYCSC process for script review is more in depth, robust and creatively supportive than any of the script coverage services out there. But that is no reason we cannot inform you and try to give objective reviews about our members experiences with these services.

      The Black List Pay Site Coverage Service
      , a Q&A review with Lauri Donohue, her script posted an initial score of 9.5/10 (amazing; top 1%) -- (Click Here)


      IFP Filmmaker Conference: A Review by by Scott Simpson(Click Here)

      Screenwriting Expo: A Review by Mario Caiti (Click Here)

      Austin Film Festival
      : A Review by Christine Hinz(Click Here)

      American Film Market (AFM) Pitch Conference - Santa Monica - Notes from Hector Carosso (Click Here)




      Go Into The Story
      A prolific and essential blog on everything screenwriting by UCLA professor, professional screenwriter, and purveyor of the Hollywood Script Black List Scott Myers.

      A comprehensive site with some of the best screenwriting advice out there - it's like filmschool for screenwriters on the web. From screenwriters/producers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean 1 & 2).

      A new must-read Screenwriting Blog. Reviewing the latest scripts in hollywood from a writers perspective.

      The Inside Pitch & Two Adverbs
      Exec Story Editor Christopher Lockhart at ICM--this is definitely the guy you want on your side... Great advice.

      A great site run by screenwriter John August (Charlie's Angels, Big Fish, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory). Lots of his pro Scripts, Outlines, Beat Sheets, Character Backgrounds.

      A great screenwriting blog by screenwriter Blake Snyder. Author of "Save the Cat!" and screenwriter for such blockbuster scripts as Blank Check & Nuclear Family.

      Jane In Progress
      Television writer Jane Espenson (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Gilmore Girls, Ellen, The O.C., Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dinosaurs, Jake in Progress). Her blog is intended to help new writers tackle the job of writing those all-important Television specs.

      A weekly feature from the L.A. Times on the work and professional lives of screenwriters.

      The Artful Writer
      Craig Mazin/Ted Elliott. Lots of useful WGA stuff

      Script For
      Another amazing screenwriting resource. Bridging the gap between what screenwriters write and what producers buy.

      Sam & Jim Go To Hollywood
      A great podcast/blog about the industry from two guys who moved from Minnesota and became screenwriters in Hollywood. Must listen, especially for you Comedy writers.

      Creative Screenwriting PodCast
      From Creative Screenwriting magazine, an amazing, free series of interviews with the greatest screenwriters talking about the greatest scripts: Stephen Gaghan on Syriana, Paul Haggis on Crash, Kurtzman & Orci on M:I:3.

      I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing
      Josh Friedman's blog (War of the Worlds, Black Dahlia, The Sarah Connor Chronicles). Hilarious. Josh Friedman doesn't post often, but they're worth waiting for.­
      A new Web-based community offers a free venue for screenwriters and access to Hollywood studios while saving trees in the process, the site's developers said.


      Final Draft - in case you were wondering, Yes, it is the standard ~ http://www.finaldraft...­

      CELTX - FREE! Not a bad program, does all the basics. And it's free ~­

      SOPHOCLES - an interesting alternative to Final Draft, $120 ~

David N.
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 421

Notable Discussions

Discussions from our message boards and meetings on topics that are important or just come up over and over.


      • SUBTEXT­ - What is Subtext really?
      • Long Blocks of Dialog - An editing example of how to cut down your dialog if you find you've got long blocks.


      • SLUG LINES - A discussion about the proper use of Slug Lines in your script.
      • MONTAGE­ - A discussion on the use of Montage, it's pros and cons, how to do it well or poorly?


      • VIDEO Presentation The 7 Habits of Hollywood's Most Successful Six (and Seven) Figure Screenwriters
      • The Black List -- ('06/'07/'08) the annual list compiled by over 250 film executives contributing the names of up to ten of their favorite scripts that were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with each year but was not to be released in theaters during this calendar year. It has been said many times, but it’s worth repeating: THE BLACK LIST is not a 'best of' list. It is, at best, a 'most liked' list.
      • ICM Story Editor Answers every BURNING Screenwriting Question. Breaking in to the business, story structure, formatting, getting an agent, every burning question you have, I guarantee addressed.
      • 3 Reasons Buyers Buy - a summary of the talk given by Phillipa Burgess a Hollywood creative executive on a screenwriters place in the business.


A former member
Post #: 35
Here are some links to interviews with screenwriters, story analysts and other people in the industry.

Ben Ripley - Writer of Source Code

James V. Simpson - Writer of Armored

ICM Senior Story Analyst Jason Patti

New Line and ICM Story Analyst Josh Kravitz

Focus Features Co-President David Linde

Bob Sobhani - Director of Literary Acquisitions at Zide/Perry

Interview with Screenwriter Jim Vines

ScriptShadow Interview with Scribe Chad St. John
A former member
Post #: 142
Here is a list of recommended scripts by Go Into The Story.­

And here is the media fire library link where you can access the scripts mentioned above broken down by genre and theme.


David N.
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 565

The Independent Feature Project - - I'm a member, I seriously look forward to getting their newsletter each week. Here's what's great about IFP: Membership in today's IFP is the key to an indie filmmaker's career and the smart move for industry execs looking to stay on top of new developments. For networking, exposure, project tracking, talent discovery, and invaluable financing and production information, IFP is the foremost link between the creative and business communities.

New York Women in Film and Television - the preeminent industry association for women in NYC­

The Organization of Black Screenwriters - was formed to address the lack of black screenwriters represented within the industry. The primary function is to assist screenwriters in the creation of works for film and television and help them to present their work to the industry.

NALIP - The National Association of Latino Independent Producers, promotes the advancement, development and funding of Latino/Latina film and media arts in all genres.­

Coaltion of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment(CAPE) - CAPE is a non-profit that addresses the interests of Asian Pacific Americans in the entertainment industry. A New York Chapter was established in 1995 Submissions are now being accepted for the CAPE Foundation's 10th Annual New Writers Award (CFNWA) a partnership with Fox Entertainment Group.

DIVA - Diverse and Inclusive Visionary Artists - Promoting the creative endeavors and maximum visibility of multi-ethnic and/or LGBT artists and professionals of all ethnicity in the media.

Women and Hollywood - News and Commentary about Women in Hollywood from a Feminist Perspective

Reel Ladies - Networking Organization & Community for Women in Film and Entertainment - http://reelladies.rin...­

India EU Film Initiative- Based in London the India EU Film Initiative goal is to serve as a bridge between India and the Western World - especially Europe.­.

InterTribal Entertainment - to provide training and employment opportunities for Native Americans in the entertainment industry and to develop, produce and market film, television and multimedia projects which contribute to a greater understanding of the American Indian experience


African Film Festival of NY Mission - In 1990 AFF’s founders established goals that continue to enrich our mission and organizational development:

To use African cinema to promote and increase knowledge and understanding of African arts, literature and culture; To develop a non-African audience for African films; To expand the opportunities for the distribution of African films in the United States and abroad.


    Ratings Rules (R vs PG-13)

      This is one of several discussions had over at regarding the ratings system; you'll find other there via their search engine.

    Literary & Script Agencies

      Right, so a former colleague sends me this link,, and it leads to a website where this guy, Gerard Jones, rants about literary and script agencies, as well as film production companies. The great thing is that it's full of contact information. The bad thing is that it's not in alphabetical order. Well, you can't have everything.

      Here it is again: http://www.everyonewh...­

    Ten Tips on Pitching
    The first is simply a document from a company that advises people on how to handle pitch meetings.

    The Shape of Screenplays
    The second is based on the ideas presented by The London Script Consultancy, the people that organise the screenwriters group that I go to in London. It shows a line that represents how well the protagonist is doing. It starts with the line lower on the page. As the adventure starts, the protagonist does well - the line rises up the page. At the mid-point, the line falls down the page so that the protagonist is even worse off by the end of act 2. Luckily, due to the lessons learnt during the course of the story, the protagonist does well in act 3 and ends up in a better state than at the start.

    Another point is that each of the eight segments (known as sequences in some literature) also has the same structure within it, as does each scene. This is known as a fractal structure (the same pattern at different scales), but if you don't want to bother with chaos theory, please don't worry about it.

    Our SCRIPT TO SCREEN Project...


From Mike...
Here's a clip from AMC Movie Talk where the guests make a bunch of recommendations for books, classes and programs for people looking to get into screenwriting.­
Timothy S.
user 68545112
New York, NY
Post #: 1
I recently did a book kit review on my website whopeedinyourpopcorn­.com.
I find Epstein's book Crafty Screenwriting to be very helpful.

A book that is helpful, though not explicitly related, is Dan Millman's Body, Mind Mastery. He addresses the tightrope we walk through every screenplay, but in general terms; that is the issue of "How to stay totally relaxed while entirely focused."

I also enjoyed Lumet's Making Moviews - Specifically, I enjoy his high view of our art...his view that the writer's intent is sacred puts in print what we know to be true (even if the execs, workers, et al tell us otherwise).
David N.
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 682
David N.
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 713
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