Scriptshadow Secrets (500 Screenwriting Secrets Hidden Inside 50 Great Movies)

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Scriptshadow Secrets is the first book from popular screenwriting blogger, Carson Reeves. The book was written as an answer to the glut of tired A-Z screenwriting books that have flooded the market over the years. Instead of another extensive How-To guide, Scriptshadow Secrets looks at 50 popular movies from the past six decades and offers 10 (give or take) screenwriting tips from each. The idea is to not only teach screenwriters valuable lessons, but show how those lessons have been incorporated into successful films. This way, writers learn by example, instead of having to take the author's word for it. From Aliens to Pirates Of The Caribbean to The Hangover to The Empire Strikes Back, Secrets teaches you screenwriting lessons from the greatest films of all time.

Author Carson Reeves began as a screenwriter himself, yet struggled to figure out the elusive formula for writing a successful screenplay. Then, about seven years ago, he started getting his hands on spec sale scripts and reading them. Within weeks, he'd learned more about screenwriting than he had in the past seven years combined. He then turned his attention from writing to helping others write. This was the genesis behind the Scriptshadow website – a way to teach screenwriting through reading professional screenplays.

The site blew up but quickly became controversial, due to Reeves breaking down material that Hollywood considered private. As such, the site's become a "love it or hate it" fixture in both Hollywood and the screenwriting community. Still, the site has tens of thousands of aspiring screenwriters who visit daily and make it the most popular screenwriting site on the web. The site's most popular feature, the "What I learned" section at the end of each review, was the main inspiration behind Scriptshadow Secrets, as Reeves saw how positively writers responded to quick context-relevant tips.

Product Details

  • File Size: 603 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Publication Date: November 26, 2012
  • Sold by: ¬†Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews

Modest price for loads of big bang a must for all storytellers!

 on May 23, 2017
By Alma Pagan
I have always been a fan of reading scripts, now that I’ve become a writer I wanted to see the other side. I write in deep 3rd POV and was trying to learn how to write more as if you were in a film. I found this gem of a book which blew me away. Carson Reeves knocked it out of the ballpark for me. His explanations were clear and concise. His actual film comparisons were on point. But what I enjoyed more was how he created a snapshot of the films “Scene Agitator Alerts”, “Backstory Alerts”, Show Don’t Tell Alerts” & “Irony Alerts” these topics were invaluable to connect the dots and cross the t’s. Yes, he created this book for screenwriters but honestly, we are all storytellers and this book is filled with nuances & powerful observations to help develop greater stories for all genres and mediums. Hope to see some more from this astute author.

I shouldn’t be surprised….

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 3, 2012
By Gary Murphy
But I am.

[XX] Worth the read

One person found this helpful.
 on January 16, 2013
By Flight
I picked up a digital copy of the book for two reasons: one, I’ve been a long-time reader of Scriptshadow and wanted to support the site and its author, and two, I wanted to see if this book could deliver on the promise of its premise. It didn’t disappoint.

Recommended read for anyone serious about scriptwriting

One person found this helpful.
 on December 10, 2012
By carsten
I’m one of the constant readers of Carson/Chris’s blog ( and have also read most of the ‘screenwriting bibles’ from the screenwriting gurus (Truby, Hauge, Campbell, Snyder etc) and also most of the ‘novel writing bibles’ from novel writing gurus (Hemingway, King, Lamott etc), and also most of the articles on the main sciptwriting blogs (GITS, HULK, August, etc) On the basis of this level of overview over the ‘writer’s help’ book and article landscape, I’d like to attempt a global summary of the worth of this new advice book in comparison to the already existing books and articles out there.

Learn and be inspired.

 on November 3, 2013
By Mr Main Event
The only reason why Oscar, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award winning screenwriters have not yet thanked Carson Reeves during their acceptance speeches is because he is the champion of a new legion of writers.

A Fresh Read for Screenwriters

One person found this helpful.
 on December 8, 2012
By Flash
Say what you want about Carson Reeves, but I believe the man is the most helpful asset amateur screenwriters have. His book is no exception.

Great read for people who already understand the mechanics of screenwriting.

 on December 31, 2013
By Matthew P. Riddle
I, like many would-be screenwriters, have purchased more than my fair share of screenwriting books. I’ve read the gamut, everything from The Screenwriters’ Bible to Save the Cat, from Syd Field to Linda Seger, and everything else in-between. It’s difficult to find a book on screenwriter that isn’t just rehashing the same material. What’s good about this book is that Reeves takes his experience reading scripts, and pre-supposes the reader already understands the mechanics of writing and skips through to the reasons why a script is good or bad, and why some conventions work, and some don’t.

Solid and practical

 on November 16, 2017
By lika
A well of solid and practical information rooted in examples. An easy read and jolts your mind in applying offered techniques to your lagging pages or reworking some based on his advice.

Awesome example of practical knowledge

One person found this helpful.
 on December 7, 2012
By David Ross
This is an excellent reference book for screenwriters who want to get over the hump or just get some really informed inspiration from successful screenplays. Not every ‘teacher of the craft’ will tell you to go out and read a bunch of screenplays to get better. They focus the majority of their teaching on the writing, they think just because you are a good writer then you can make a screenplay that sells. Wrong. You need to know what Hollywood has bought, and more importantly some insight as to why. This book gives you that insight. It helps fill in the why’s in ways that you may have not thought of before.

One of the best screenwriting books out there

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 7, 2012
By Fallen Alice
There are a few good books on writing and screenwriting out there…

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