Screen-writing is a unique literary form. Screenplays are like musical scores, in that they are intended to be interpreted on the basis of other artists' performances rather than serving as "finished products" for the enjoyment of their readers. They are written using technical jargon and tight, spare prose to describe set directions. Unlike a novella, a script focuses on describing the literal, visual aspects of the story rather than on its characters' internal thoughts. In screen-writing, the aim is to evoke those thoughts and emotions through subtext, action, and symbolism. Prominent Hollywood 'script doctors' include Steve Zaillian, William Goldman, Robert Towne, Mort Nathan, Quentin Tarantino etc., while many up-and-coming screenwriters work as ghost writers.
This book is a modest catalogue of some of the most prominent screenwriters, listed from A to Z. The good are sometimes bad, and they can be even... Ugly. Many comments herein included were googled in deference to the multiplicity of information available today, yet they reflect exactly - or almost - what I thought. An amazing thing today is how anonymous commentators on the Internet rival and even surpass the poor quality of professional media and specialised literature. It all comes down to watching "the truth 24 times per second," to quote Jean-Luc Godard's phrase. Not to mention that such 'truth' may include sex scenes, violence, pedophilia, etc. We know that a literary masterpiece like Henry James' Portrait of a Lady became a film of very poor quality as scripted by Laura Jones. We know, conversely, that a mediocre writer like Mickey Spillane inspired at least one film as remarkable as Kiss Me Deadly, thanks to A. I. Bezzerides' script. As a former screenwriter, Mr. Correa must avow that he found the job most gratifying. Writing that looks effortless is often hellish to write and revise. It was something he did have to slog through, but it proved particularly pleasing. Editing, discussing & finishing your work is particularly gratifying. Identifying your flaws and working to mitigate them is also gratifying. It is a general perception that creative careers are more interesting and fun than others. But the privilege of earning money through imagination and creativity is effectively hard-won. Please comment at will. Please disagree at will. Be facetious in your remarks, but please be neither vicious nor mean-spirited.
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