Real Screenwriting: Strategies and Stories from the Trenches

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As news of screenwriters getting seven-figure deals leaks to the masses, it's no wonder hundreds of aspiring screenwriters come to Hollywood each day for a chance at easy money and glory. However, the reality is that writing and selling a screenplay is far easier said than done and requires that the author not only write a cohesive and complete script (and not just have an idea for a movie), but that he also have the knowledge of the filmmaking process and industry necessary to market and sell the screenplay. Real Screenwriting: Strategies and Stories from the Trenches provides the real deal on the art, craft, business and everyday life of a screenwriter. Written by a former entertainment lawyer turned successful Hollywood film producer and produced screenwriter, and gleaned from the author's popular screenwriting seminars at UCLA Extension school, this book provides aspiring writers with the inspiration and tools they need to get their stories on the page, and eventually onto the screen. Real Screenwriting also presents personal "in the trenches" anecdotes, invaluable insider tips and strategies, plus the helpful Hollywood survival skills every screenwriter needs to write a marketable screenplay, network himself, get an agent, protect his work, and develop a writing career.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (December 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592009573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592009572
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds

Customer Reviews

Highly recommended!

 on May 4, 2015
By The LanterFly
I just recently went through Ron’s beginning screenwriting class at UCLA. He doesn’t push this book but he should. There’s some solid reality here, well written, about the process of writing and the hard (not insurmountable) realities of working for the industry in LA. Highly recommended!

An excellent reference with great anecdotes

2 people found this helpful.
 on August 23, 2006
By Fry Boy
Suppa is giving out a lot of information in this book. It’s like several books rolled into one. All the information is good except for the introduction/preface by Lew Hunter. Hunter must have been all wired up on some new drug, because his delivery is disjointed and unorganized.

Buy It Now!

12 people found this helpful.
 on February 1, 2006
By Rick Smith
The first thing you will notice about Ron Suppa’s book “Real Screenwriting” is that it is heavy. One person can carry it, but it is 400 pages. And it is not just heavy because of the page count. This book is heavy with valuable, useful material, thoughtfully presented.

Ron Suppa provides good advice for those who are beginners in screenwriting

 on July 28, 2014
By Cee Cee
Ron Suppa provides good advice for those who are beginners in screenwriting. The chapters are organized and the ideas are clear. Do not expect it to be a step-by-step guide; the book serves more as a motivational tool, although it offers good references regarding how the process of screenwriting is —from the creativity to the conversion of the script into a motion picture.

A Compulsory Purchase

5 people found this helpful.
 on April 14, 2006
By Mary Dove
If you are serious about fulfilling your dream to become a screenwriter and cannot attend Ron Suppa’s classes at UCLA, it is compulsory you buy this book. It offers a rare blend of instructional criteria directly applicable to your work, with philosophical wisdom from Aristotle to David Mamet. Wondering how to define your characters or exacerbate your conflict? Accomplish that goal using his point by point “Strategies”, or the plethora of easily relatable examples he gives from a treasure trove of cinematic masterpieces. Along the way you will be both entertained and impressed by his “From the Trenches” segments, priceless personal experience from a bona fide raconteur.

Any screenwriter – even those already successful – needs REAL SCREENWRITING

2 people found this helpful.
 on September 23, 2006
By Midwest Book Review
Ron Suppa is a successful film producer and instructor: he’s taught fine courses in the UK on the topic of screenwriting and here offers in book form the contents of his course, which packs tips with personal experiences and polish. REAL SCREENWRITING: STRATEGIES AND STORIES FORM THE TRENCHES covers everything from movie dialogue and spec teleplay plots to understanding the importance of the entertainment lawyer. Any screenwriter – even those already successful – needs REAL SCREENWRITING to hone and perfect skills.

The best book on screenwriting ever written, period.

4 people found this helpful.
 on February 23, 2006
By Richard LeVine
As a film editor, I “write” movies in the editing room so I have read a lot of books on screenwriting and taken the usual courses. I am totally blown away by this book! First of all, it is SO well written, so much fun to read, it reads like a great novel! Not to mention the invaluable strategies and tips on every aspect of the art and craft and business, and so many great ON POINT anecdotes and stories from the writer’s real world experiences as a screenwriter — no wonder this book is a hardcover — it’s packed thick and heavy and not a word wasted! Buy this book and love it, or just read the forward by Lew Hunter and see why even the pros are blown away by this book.

A requisite for budding Screenwriters

2 people found this helpful.
 on July 8, 2007
By Franguccio
Wow, this book is a terrific combination of writing academics, insight and personal agony experienced by a one time actor attorney, producer, writer and current UCLA professor. The dark text at the end of each lecture “from the trenches” imparts Ron’s actual experiences with some very famous people and movies. It is priceless and makes this book a fascinating read. The last chapter recounts the “Real Rocky” story, and this alone makes the book worth the money. Ron keeps it interesting and by the end of the book you feel as if you’ve been through the mill with him.

Must Read!

4 people found this helpful.
 on February 8, 2006
By Elizabeth Gast
Fantastic! If there is ever been a “how-to” book that covers it all, this is it. Real Screenwriting is the most complete guide to the art and business of screenwriting. Mr. Suppa takes you from the beginning stages of writing and through the Hollywood maze, including how to go about selling your script. It is so packed with valuable information that I found myself re-reading paragraphs to make sure I’ve absorbed them fully. I have no doubt it will soon become the “bible” for all screenwriters. (It’s become mine.) A definite must read for anyone serious about screenwriting.

A reference book for the craft!

3 people found this helpful.
 on January 27, 2006
By S. Parent
Wow! A must read! As soon as I got my hands on this book, I had a feeling it would be a great one. I’ve been reading Mr. Suppa’s articles for years and have always learned from his real world experiences. He is one of the few in the business who can both do it and teach it. Thank you for putting together what I consider to be the definitive book on screenwriting!

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