As we all know, Blake had boundless energy and enthusiasm. He was constantly sharing new ideas about how to continue to spread his message and theories throughout the creative community. These ideas are part of his legacy, and they constitute a foundation upon which his team — led by business partners BJ Markel and Rich Kaplan, and advisor Anne Lower — will continue to build, with the ongoing input and spirit of the countless creative people touched by Blake’s work… including you.
The New Book
Blake will continue to offer guidance in the form of his body of work, and, most importantly, his third book in the Save the Cat!® series, completed before his death and scheduled to be published by November 1. In this most personal work, Blake expands on his vision — sharing everything he learned from his students in the four years since the publication of his first book. With more tips, tactics, and techniques to help you create stories that resonate, Blake adds his most intimate thoughts, his triumphs, and his less lauded moments, in an intensely reflective way.
We talk about the “All Is Lost” point all the time in our scripts, but what about when it happens in our careers? From the pitch we love — that dies, to the rewrite we dread — that thrives, to moments in our professional life when we “hit the wall” — yet rebound! Coming back from these dark moments is the most exciting and rejuvenating aspect of what we do. That is my topic, and I can’t wait to share some success strategies! – Blake, from his May 11, 2009 blog
The word “community” meant a lot to Blake — writers helping writers. He developed the Save the Cat!® forum, a virtual place where writers gather to share their experiences and ideas. With Cat! leader John Austrian at the helm, the forum has nearly 1200 registered users and features sections devoted to individual Cat! groups around the globe, including Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Chicago, London, and Vancouver. The forum will continue to be a destination for writers eager to discuss how Blake’s ideas and methods influence their craft.
If you are isolated in your town, sitting in front of your computer in an echo chamber of your own design, go to our forum and connect with others in Cat!Nation and get feedback. – Blake, from his June 29, 2009 blog
Workshops, Script Consultations, and Our Online School
Perhaps more than anything, Blake loved to teach. His classes and workshops were a special source of pride and inspiration. For the last two years, our Development Director José Silerio has been integral to the success of Blake’s workshops and classes, working alongside Blake, schooling writers in the Cat! method. As a teacher and consultant, José has helped numerous writers learn Blake’s paradigm and apply it to their projects. Blake found José to be a gifted teacher, eminently qualified to continue teaching the Beat Sheet Workshop and Master Class, not only in person, but with the inaugural launch of Blake’s online school, Save the Cat!® University. There has been an outpouring of gratitude for all the great work José did with Blake, and many have expressed their hopes that he will continue teaching about all things Cat! Please watch this space for future announcements about our workshops, script consultations, and online school.
The iPhone App
The top of a scene card on The Board for Spider-Man 2 on the iPhone screen
The bottom of a scene card on The Board for Spider-Man 2 on the iPhone screen.
Blake was always about moving forward. Part of the movement was the idea that technology could transform writers’ lives by making story structure and the organization of beats and ideas more manageable. Because of this belief, Blake worked with software developer Bob McFarlane to create the Save the Cat!® Story Structure Software. It’s a product that he was so proud of, because he believed it heralded the future of storytelling. In addition to the software, Blake was eagerly anticipating the release of the Save the Cat! iPhone application. If you knew Blake, you know how much he loved his iPhone. This unique new tool allows writers to carry their virtual storyboards anywhere — perfect for an on-the-go scribe like Blake and those he mentored. The iPhone app will be available soon online at the Apple Store.
We intend to celebrate Blake’s ideas, looking forward to new challenges and new opportunities for the brilliant community of writers that has grown from one man’s passion to share. That is what he would have wanted. It is as simple as that. And, luckily for us all, we have his input and inspiration for so many projects that will still come to life.