We’ve recently received this email from screenwriter Robert Henny:
One day, while surfing for answers on how best to approach story structure, which speaks volumes about the library of books I already owned on the subject, I stumbled across Save the Cat! I soon found myself buying wholeheartedly into your approach and signed up for your seminar. I had no idea what I wanted to write, but I knew I had to have something to bring to class, so I grabbed an idea that had been brewing in my mind for years but had never managed to make it to the page. That scenario, unfortunately, described most of my ideas to that point. Dialogue I get. Structure had eluded me. So, in the few days before the weekend class began, I took the idea from the cluttered confines of my mind and created a title and a crudely constructed beat sheet. AfterÂ your course, I had a stack of 40 cards, each with a scene that seemed to create a coherent story, and for the first time in my writing career, I knew exactly what scene was coming next and how I was going to get there. And I got there quickly, firing out the first draft in a few weeks. A few more weeks and some constructive notes sessions later, I wrote the second draft, and before I knew it, I had a pretty good script of a concept I could never get my mind around. It is called “Pee Wee,” and it’s an Out of the Bottle comedy about a workaholic father who, after pegging his son’s peewee football field as the site of his new condo complex, turns into an 8-year-old boy.
Cut to a few months later when I asked a producer friend of mine to give it a read. He then passed it on to Judd Payne and Matt Rhodes of Persistent Entertainment as a writing sample for some of their future projects. They read the script, decided it was more than just a writing sample, and called me in for a meeting. I expected to hear a series of notes, concerns, script problems, etc., but all they did was slide me a list of directors and asked which ones I liked. The next week, Persistent Entertainment, having just inked a deal with Capitol Films, optioned “Pee Wee.” Now, those big-name directors on that list are being sent my script. Thank you, Blake, for your constant encouragement, but, more importantly, thank you for your wisdom and insight. Although I still have a bookshelf full of screenwriting books, yours are the only two I use.