Lucky in London
I will be heading back to London to give a special two-day seminar on the weekend of May 2-3.
This is my third trip to England in the past four years. I love London, and I feel luckier every time I go!
I have made so many friends in the UK, writers who have embraced the concepts of Save the Cat! and applied them successfully to their work. And the crowd gets a little bigger at each of my appearances there. From the first at the Cornwall Film Festival where I gave a week-long class in a castle, to meeting with my pals at London Script Consultancy in a fantastic three-hour event in the West End of London, to my last trip where my appearances at the famous Foyles bookstore, and my class for students at Raindance, spawned the first London Cats! writers group… everyone I meet and every event has led to a wonderful response.
This time I am bringing the first glimpse of my third book in the screenwriting series, Save the Cat! Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get Into… and Out of. The sub-heading of Cat! 3 suggests it’s about “trouble” and why I believe “hitting the wall,” “being all typed out,” “having no new ideas,” and even “I quit! This business is just not for me!” are only starting points of greatness. Cat! 3 includes all new ways to work out your pitch and logline for better “grabosity,” a brand new map to see every single beat that a story requires (including new ones such as “Stasis = Death,” “Moment of Clarity,” and “Dig, Deep Down” ) — each pinpointed in the exact spot they must occur in order to deliver the transformation every story needs to succeed. I’ll also tell you how to back up out of career-ending dead ends and roar on to glory!
The seminar wilI include topics I’ll be talking about at the Great American Pitchfest in June, like new discoveries on why “death” is the first thing to address whenever mounting a story — even those “death moments” associated with the profession and the art of screenwriting and moviemaking. And for those who have not heard “Everything You Need to Know About Screenwriting Is Found in a Tom & Jerry Cartoon,” I think you will have a great, new, unforgettable reference point to crack every story problem.
Included among my favorite new London friends is delightful columnist Jaci Stephen, who came out to Los Angeles to take our Beats Weekend and has already landed a representative based on the story she worked out in class. I look forward to seeing her again in the London seminar. We will also have several returning writers who have gotten agents, and optioned and sold scripts since their last visit with me in a UK class.
I am thrilled the Cat! family is growing.
Please look for a terrific new article about my third book in Moviescope Magazine by screenwriter and author in the making, Rick Drew. We will be announcing several co-operative ventures with Moviescope, and I have invited the editors to be my special guests at the event in May. I’m really looking forward to that!
Thanks to our friends at Final Draft and Movie Soft for helping us make this event possible.
- Alex Tucker
Will you be incorporating any new elements from STC3 in your BS workshops?
- Bradford Richardson
Blake: Have a terrific time. Duh, you will. Bring an umbrella. Wait, are umbrellas forbidden by the airport authority? First you conquered America, now the world, the only thing left is, outer space. That’s it! I propose a new deep space Voyager mission, Voyager III, featuring MapQuest directions to our planet and an audio version of SAVE THE CAT, for Extra Terrestrials. What better way to enable aliens to conquer Earth.
- Bradford Richardson
Or… vice-versa :)
- Brett Slater
Your new book sounds great, Blake.
If there’s one area of screenwriting that hasn’t been covered thoroughly, it’s the day-in, day-out process of writing.
I’m about 95% done with the second screenplay I’ve written since the NYC Seminar.
- Clee Davis
This was a wonderful web page to read and down to earth. Real and insightful and you picked one of my favorate movies to breakdowna nnd did it clearly. Thanks much and how nice to lened your knowledge on beat sheet and screenplay structure to all for free… true writing buddy.. for the world reading this.. i don’t know this guy.. just a great simple insight web page by an unbloated clearly learned writer… thanks!
- Clee Davis
Oh, yes and sorry for mispelled words… and such..
- Alex Tucker
I think Mernit’s follow-up post is even more trenchant.
This man is obviously a consummate pro who takes great pride in his chosen career. After seventeen years of reading some truly bad screenplays, the poor guy sounds ready to gnaw his own leg off:
“How weird it is, to preach the tenets of mindful, elegant craft one evening, and to clean up the mess left by bloated, mindless philistines the morning after. Clearly the tension between these roles has been getting to me, as you can see by my last post.”
That sort of candor is remarkable. Personally, I believe Mernit is slyly using a negative (breaking rules) to reinforce a positive (mind your craft). Then again, maybe he really does means it. When scripts that break every accepted rule of screenwriting wind up winning Academy Awards, what else can he do except throw up his hands and say, “Just get it read and sold, people.”
Mernit’s posts have only raised more questions. Is it REALLY okay to “tell, don’t show”? Are you allowed to break the rules, provided you know what they are beforehand? Is this serious advice from Mernit, or is he just blowing off steam?
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I signed up for this course the day it appeared on the website, and, looking at the programme, am very glad I did so.
Just wondering what people make of this controversial but extremely interesting article: “The genius of bad writing.”
Well worth a read.