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Paperback 500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Script Reader: Writing the Screenplay the Reader Will Recommend Book

ISBN: 0684856409

ISBN13: 9780684856407

500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Script Reader: Writing the Screenplay the Reader Will Recommend

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Book Overview

If Your Screenplay Can't Get Past the Hollywood Reader, It Can't Get to Hollywood This ultimate insider's guide to screenwriting is designed to get you past the fiercest gatekeepers in Hollywood: the Hollywood script readers. This small army of freelancers will be among the first to read and evaluate your script and then to recommend it -- or not -- to the studios, directors, and stars. Designed for quick and easy access, these 500 points are a step-by-step...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

500 Reasons You Should By This Book

Forget the bad reviews; this book is a WINNER. It may not teach detailed structure or delve into the intricate process of creating a solid concept, but I don't think that's the point. IMHO, this is more of a book for *quick* starters, or intermediates / pros. Once you already know you have a good story and know the ins and outs of structure, read this book and it'll put you over the top. For one, it forces you realize that you are writing for an audience, who is expecting to see certain things. In this respect, Lerch's perspective is invaluable. After reading Rob McKee's Story, Trottier's Screenwriting Bible and also books by Seger and more, I think that this book's exploration of 'Act Goals' is a superb resource that I haven't seen anywhere else. I imagine that I'll constantly refer back to these gems as I write. To sum it up, DO NOT PASS this book. The best $12 I've spent all year.

The Rosetta Stone On Hollywood Storymaking and Structure!

Jennifer Lerch's 500 WAYS TO BEAT THE HOLLYWOOD SCRIPT READER is an amazing down-to-earth, clearly worded "Rosetta Stone" for writing a three-act script that avoids hackneyed characters, boring plots, predictable endings, and slipshod story structure. After reading practically every book on screenwriting still in print (and a few out-of-print), I must say my recent return to Jennifer Lerch's wonderful book -- my fifth reading! -- proved as edifying as my first. After reading eighty or so books on screenwriting, I can only continue to enjoy and admire the practical, nuts and bolts advice from a seasoned Hollywood reader who's not afraid to let common readers know what the industry looks for and demands in feature film scripts. Jennifer Lerch is a wonderful messenger in this respect, and I'm grateful for her book. Now who else places her email at the back of her book and actually continues to provide you helpful advice on screenwriting even after you've already purchased her book? Only an author who cares! Thanks Jennifer. My script cries out to be finished, but when it is, I feel confident I'll be "ready to sell" and make my contribution to our wonderful American tradition in film. Your 500 WAYS TO BEAT THE HOLLYWOOD SCRIPT READER is irreplaceable advice on screenwriting. A bona-fide MUST BUY for every serious writer!

Immensely Helpful Book But Only For Certain Screenwriters

Lerch has written an enormously useful book worth far more than its cost, but only to a certain set of apprentice screenwriters.In contrast to a reviewer who said this book would be most helpful for beginners, I think the book is most helpful for non-beginners. Indeed, I think the negative reviews on the book owe to the fact that the book takes for granted the reader is knowledgable about the nature of "story." Not just the story of screenplays, but the nature of general story, whether in the form of short stories, novels, plays, or even song. For someone not terribly familiar with the nature of story, this book will seem like a waste of their time, or, worse, a theft of their money. For it is not written in narrative. It is an enumeration of 500 "ways" that Lerch offers on the craft of screenwriting. A beginner will definitely be disappointed.However, for someone knowledgable about story who is interested in learning about screenwriting (or even more fitting, someone, such as myself, who is a fiction writer aiming to convert to screenwriter), I haven't seen a better book on the shelves, and I have been looking. When I read it, I used a third of a notebook taking notes. Some points she makes could quite literally save someone's entire dreams of screenwriting. For instance, did you know when a Hollywood reader receives a script with an address outside L.A. the script is essentially dismissed as the work of an amateur? (Out-of-staters have to rent an L.A. P.O. Box.) Cruel? Perhaps. But important to know for the apprentice screenwriter? Without doubt. Just that point alone for someone outside L.A. would be worth the $12.The book abounds in points of equally great importance, whether they be on character, on formatting, or on the nature of "The Biz."One final comment. Perhaps the most impressive part of the book is Lerch's authority. As the book states, she's been a reader in Hollywood for more than ten years, eight of them at William Morris. For those who don't know, in Hollywood, William Morris is just about the Holy Grail. Stories are legion of movie moguls beginning their careers in the William Morris mail room. (David Geffin began his career there.)Thus, if you're an apprentice screenwriter knowledgable about story and want to learn the ins and outs of the craft of screenwriting, I doubt you'll find a more useful or authoritative book. If you're a beginner, this isn't the book for you. Because I've found this book singularly helpful, if anyone has anyone questions about the book, I'd be happy to offer my thoughts. Or you can e-mail the author herself, as she gives out her e-mail address in the book. I wrote her with a question and she promptly responded with an answer.Good luck and good writing all.

THE BEST TEN BUCKS YOU'LL SPEND THIS YEAR

I am an optioned screenwriter and disagree with the negative posts of this book.If you have written only a screenplay or two, this book will add to your formatting and structure knowledge. If you're just starting out, it will be a valuable reference.The succinct tips kept the book rolling and I personally think it was very much worth my time to read this book. Screenwriters: even if you only learn one or two things you're doing wrong, they may make the difference. Don't let the burnouts posting here detour you from a good source of information. I also suggest reading Flinn's HOW NOT TO WRITE A SCREENPLAY. I read both books in the same week and they compliment each other nicely.

Essential Information Made Simple

As a story editor for a major production company in Hollywood, I would recommend this book highly to budding screenwriters. Ms. Lerch has encapsulated over ten years of experience into under 200 easy-to-understand pages, that impart VERY PRACTICAL advice on getting a reader's recommendation. After reading "500 Ways" you will know to avoid the common mistakes that prejudice a reader before page 10. More advanced writers will still find it a helpful reminder on how to keep each page fresh and engaging. I have not seen any other book that so focusses it's attention on how your script will be read - and judged - at this first critical step on it's ambitious pilgrimage toward the screen.
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