What a great weekend!
This past Saturday and Sunday, I was on hand at the Save the Cat! booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA, along with one of my business partners, BJ Markel, and our brilliant script analyst, Jose Silerio — and I was overwhelmed by how many people stopped by to say “hi!”
Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need is the # 1 bestselling book on screenwriting on Amazon, and coming in at #4 is the sequel, Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies. We are outselling every other book on screenwriting and storytelling, and I am the only author with two books in the Top Ten on any given day.
All thanks to you!
You are the one who reads and loves Save the Cat! and passes it on to a friend! You are the one who, like so many people I met this weekend, didn’t “get it” until you read Cat! — and now have been freed to write with greater focus and success!
And I got a chance to meet a lot of you this weekend, and to catch up with old friends who stopped by, too.
More photos etc. will be shown in this Wednesday’s News section. (Just so you know, I post a blog every Monday and Thursday, and we post a News article every Wednesday, so be sure to keep checking in for fresh stuff all week!)
Sharing booth space with us was Anne Lower of Final Draft and our pals at the Writers Store including Dana, Mario, Sam, John and the rest of their top-notch team.
We also saw Signe Olynyk, founder of Great American Pitchfest (where I will be speaking in June), and Julie Gray of The Script Department, who tells me that the contest to “meet with Blake Snyder” is overwhelmed with entries — I am looking forward to getting together with the winner.
I also got to meet Paula Berinstein whose interview with me on her site, Writers Show, continues to be my favorite. We will be doing more with Paula soon.
One of the topics that comes up when film fans get together is obscure movie trivia. (Yes, you can still come to me and ask what movie Jackie Gleason and Tom Hanks were in and I will be able to tell you! I can also tell you what scene and episode of Gilligan’s Island we are watching if you hum the incidental music– yes, it’s a curse, not a gift!)
But the other subject that raised heated debate is the question: What are the three most important movies of the past 40 years? Not best, or most artistic, but important in terms of how they changed the industry?
After batting it around, our choice came down to this:
1. Jaws. In essence, this is the movie that started the “blockbuster” trend that is still with us. Believe it or not, the “huge” opening Jaws had was in just over 1000 theaters, miniscule by today’s standard, but at the time, a paradigm shift that became the basis of the business model we still follow.
2. Pulp Fiction. The clarion cry of the independent movie that bloomed in the ’90s and made stars not just of director Quentin Tarantino, but Miramax and the Weinstein brothers who bet big and won.
3. The Blair Witch Project. Not a great movie by any stretch (and where is that girl and her flaring nostrils?), but it was the first Internet-driven hit that also said: a film doesn’t have to look good to make $100 million at the box office.
Agree or disagree? If you were in on this topic, what three films would you deem the “Most Important.”
And next year, I hope to see all of you at the Save the Cat! booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (where I will be signing copies of book #3, Save the Cat! Strikes Back), so we can have this discussion in person!