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The Understructure of Writing for Film and Television

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This unique, comprehensive introduction to screenwriting offers practical advice for the beginning writer, whether college student or freelancer. Based on their experience as professional writers and as teachers in a large, successful screenwriting program at California State University, Northridge, the authors provide a progression of assignments at manageable screenwriti This unique, comprehensive introduction to screenwriting offers practical advice for the beginning writer, whether college student or freelancer. Based on their experience as professional writers and as teachers in a large, successful screenwriting program at California State University, Northridge, the authors provide a progression of assignments at manageable screenwriting lengths for beginners. They lead students through development of a premise, treatment, stepsheet, and, finally, miniscreenplay--essential elements in writing a longer script. A major feature of the text is the use of many example scenes from contemporary and classic American films, such as On the Waterfront, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Godfather, The Graduate, Tootsie, and more. Other scenes are drawn from international films and dramatic literature. The criticism of these scenes invites students to develop their own comparative models, while simultaneously providing exposure to the central analytical terms of good dramatic writing. The authors also place screenwriting within the larger tradition of dramatic writing in order to put the beginning writer in touch with the wealth of art, experience, and practical ideas the drama contains. They provide an up-to-date, practical discussion of marketing and copywriting a screenplay, with addresses of relevant professional societies. Most importantly, they never offer an ill-advised shortcut or restrict students to only one way of thinking about a character, situation, or scene. In The Understructure of Writing for Film & Television, the student's thought and creativity are central.


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This unique, comprehensive introduction to screenwriting offers practical advice for the beginning writer, whether college student or freelancer. Based on their experience as professional writers and as teachers in a large, successful screenwriting program at California State University, Northridge, the authors provide a progression of assignments at manageable screenwriti This unique, comprehensive introduction to screenwriting offers practical advice for the beginning writer, whether college student or freelancer. Based on their experience as professional writers and as teachers in a large, successful screenwriting program at California State University, Northridge, the authors provide a progression of assignments at manageable screenwriting lengths for beginners. They lead students through development of a premise, treatment, stepsheet, and, finally, miniscreenplay--essential elements in writing a longer script. A major feature of the text is the use of many example scenes from contemporary and classic American films, such as On the Waterfront, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Godfather, The Graduate, Tootsie, and more. Other scenes are drawn from international films and dramatic literature. The criticism of these scenes invites students to develop their own comparative models, while simultaneously providing exposure to the central analytical terms of good dramatic writing. The authors also place screenwriting within the larger tradition of dramatic writing in order to put the beginning writer in touch with the wealth of art, experience, and practical ideas the drama contains. They provide an up-to-date, practical discussion of marketing and copywriting a screenplay, with addresses of relevant professional societies. Most importantly, they never offer an ill-advised shortcut or restrict students to only one way of thinking about a character, situation, or scene. In The Understructure of Writing for Film & Television, the student's thought and creativity are central.

32 review for The Understructure of Writing for Film and Television

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tom Sutton

    Most useful, clear-headed guide on scene mechanics I have found thus far. Sounder theory and better communicated than other screenplay how-to's concerning scene construction, what makes a good scene, and how to write one. Worth reading for the novice and professional, to refresh on fundamentals. Most useful, clear-headed guide on scene mechanics I have found thus far. Sounder theory and better communicated than other screenplay how-to's concerning scene construction, what makes a good scene, and how to write one. Worth reading for the novice and professional, to refresh on fundamentals.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nika

    Very helpful for formating.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Klatann Thomas

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paloma Pelayo

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ric Simpson

  7. 4 out of 5

    C.N. Wolf

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adam Webling

  9. 5 out of 5

    Von Bismarck

  10. 4 out of 5

    John

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nathanael

  12. 5 out of 5

    Helen Rigby

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brent Perdue

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steve Lozier

  15. 4 out of 5

    Randy

  16. 4 out of 5

    University of Texas Press

  17. 4 out of 5

    .LAG

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy Simons

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cooper Mckim

  21. 5 out of 5

    Felipe

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alex Higuera

  23. 4 out of 5

    Phil

  24. 5 out of 5

    Criss

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  26. 5 out of 5

    Phương Huyền

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ashlyn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Bzour

  29. 5 out of 5

    Flax

  30. 4 out of 5

    Haroon Amin

  31. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Granger

  32. 4 out of 5

    Pnpnpn

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