Holiday Gifts for Screenwriters (Part I - Top 10)
I've been meaning, for quite a while now, to list some of my favorite screenwriting books, so I figured I'd just make a bigger list here, sub-categorized to a degree, and list lots of my recommends. I realize that most of you reading this are the screenwriters themselves, so either buy yourself a gift, or feel free to drop the link to this to some of your friends and family members.
There are a lot of links/products here, so I'm splitting them into a few different posts. I hope you'll skim and browse a bit, and just view it as Fun Joel's mini screenwriter's catalog (that's a mini-catalog for screenwriters, not a catalog for small writers!).
Here we go:
The Soup-to-Nuts 10-pack
First off, I've selected 10 items that are essentials (I think) for nearly every writer, spanning the experience level from beginner to pro (or at least, near-pro). These are my absolute top picks!
Final Draft -- The top screenwriting software out there, and what I type all of my screenplays on.
Movie Magic Screenwriter -- This is, of course, an equally good option. Despite all the arguments floating around the scribosphere, it honestly makes little difference which program you use. Final Draft may be a bit more popular, but this one happens to be on sale right now!
The Screenwriter's Bible -- A great guide to formatting, plus.
Screenplay -- The classic study of screenplay structure, by the master, Syd Field. Now in a brand new, revised edition!
The Writer's Journey -- A great study of how the motifs of the mythic Hero's Journey can be applied to modern storytelling, and screenwriting in particular.
The Hero With a Thousand Faces -- Or, you can (and probably should) go back and study one of the major sources. Campbell, in this classic, elucidates how the majority of world myths, across cultures, are really just retelling of a single uber-myth (hence, one hero with many distinct faces).
The Godfather -- One of the greatest films ever made, and an excellent and audacious screenplay. The script is out-of-print, though you can probably find one online. But the film itself is a great gift as well!
Jaws -- Another out-of-print script, but a film that is often mentioned as having perfect structure.
scr(i)pt magazine -- The magazine I write for regularly. Buy a one-year subscription!
Hollywood Creative Directory - Representation -- Once a screenwriter is ready to look for an agent or manager, this is the absolute best resource for finding them.
Reading for a Living -- I've often said that becoming a pro reader is the best training for a screenwriter, or for any other job in film. Well, this is the best (and only, that I know of) book about how to do the job. I recommend it to anyone interested in becoming a reader, and I still consult it on occasion myself.
Tags: holiday+gifts, screenwriters