Of all the creative elements that go into making a movie, probably none is more misunderstood by those outside the industry than the role of the screenwriter. A writer but not an author, indispensable yet utterly disposable, the screenwriter exists in an unwieldy blend of creative and write-to-order mercenary functions. A Screenwriter’s Notebook is one insider’s explanation of the ways screenwriters and screenplays actually work (and don’t work) in moviemaking.
About the Author
Bill Mesce, Jr. is a screenwriter as well as an award-winning author and playwright. He is currently an adjunct instructor at several colleges and universities in New Jersey where he lives with his family. Among his many books are several respected works about film and television, including Overkill: The Rise and Fall of Thriller Cinema, Inside the Rise of HBO: A Personal History of the Company that Transformed Television, The Rules of Screenwriting and Why You Should Break Them, and most recently, The Wild Bunch:The American Classic that Changed Westerns Forever.
I had already won three Emmys when I first met Bill Mesce, and from day one I learned as much from him as he did from me. Don’t just read what he says; believe it and follow it.
—Bill Persky, writer/producer/director
Bill Mesce knows the business over, under, sideways, down. His insights into the business combine the best of passion and practicality. This book is time very well spent.
—Josh Sapan, CEO AMC Networks
A sometimes funny, sometimes horrifying, but always frank and honest insider’s view of the life and craft of a screenwriter. If you want to be a screenwriter, you gotta get this book!
—Gerald W. Abrams, producer
A fascinating collection of one writer’s experiences and observations in and around the craft of creating screenplays for the Hollywood movie machine. You will feel you are there as Bill Mesce works with legendary filmmakers and award-winning television writers and directors. Mr. Mesce takes you down the rabbit hole with a spotlight as he illuminates the pitfalls, joys, and frustrations of writing for the big screen. This bouquet of essays is a keeper by an American screenwriter with a keen eye and open heart, who has the guts to tell it like it is.
—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author and filmmaker
Every great movie starts with a script. Every aspiring screenwriter should start with A Screenwriter’s Notebook.
—Stephen Whitty, film critic
Bill Mesce shares his valuable personal experiences and intriguing insights as a screenwriter and teacher of this subject. While extremely helpful to wannabe screenwriters and people already working in this field, the book boasts considerable appeal for film critics and for avid movie fans like me. It’s highly entertaining and packed with fascinating details about so many movies! I want to read it again.
—Betty Jo Tucker, film critic and award-winning author of Confessions of a Movie Addict and CINEMA STANZAS TWO: Poet Laureate of the Movies
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