1st Edition

Collaborative Screenwriting and Story Development A Global Guide for Writers, Story Teams, and Creative Executives

By Marc Handler Copyright 2024
    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    This is a comprehensive guide to teach writing and story development from a collaborative global perspective.

    This book teaches writers how to take full advantage of emerging opportunities, both locally and globally. With an increasing number of international co-productions and many screenwriters now working collaboratively in writers rooms and development groups, author Marc Handler explains how to work cooperatively with others to break stories, plan seasons, create characters, and build series. To succeed, readers will learn how to give and receive feedback effectively, adapt to the style and constraints of executives and brands, and contribute to the team building process, all within an increasingly global media industry that is in constant flux. This book will help readers develop a global perspective, ensuring that they are prepared for new opportunities as they arise. Marc Handler provides cultural insight and understanding as he describes the fundamentals as well as advanced story skills.

    This book is essential reading for students taking classes such as Screenwriting Fundamentals, Writing for Film and TV, Introduction to Television Writing, and Advanced Screenwriting, as well as aspiring and early career screenwriters, showrunners, producers, and creative executives.

    Introduction: How to Tame Your Story  1. Creativity  2. The Prime Directive  3. What It's All About  4. Structure  5. Character  6. Story Worlds  7. Dialogue and Visuals  8. Stop Making Sense  9. Surprise Me  10. Enhancements and Intangibles  11. Story Planning and Script Production  12. Evaluation  13. Working across Cultures  14. Why Do We Do This?  15. Your Place in the Future of Global Media  16. Conclusion  Appendices


    Marc Handler is a former executive producer at The Walt Disney Company, China and is currently an international consultant for CCTV, China’s largest media company. He is an award-winning screenwriter who has written two popular animated feature films, and several animation series in China, Japan, and in the U.S., and has been a development executive for several successful live action TV series. His company, Thruline Productions, does development for American, Asian, and European media projects. He has taught screenwriting classes and workshops at the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles City College (LACC), and at various venues in the U.S. and China.

    If you want to be a mainstream professional writer, this book gives a solid foundation and lots of insights into how Hollywood works. But it also targets writers who color outside the lines, people with their own artistic vision. There’s a lot of focus on core creativity and unique storytellers that break new ground. It examines blockbusters, indie films, and hit shows that you never heard of because they were made in countries far away. As a writer, this will give you more tools, more lethal weaponry, and more ways to surprise your readers. It’s ninja training for screenwriters.

    Tab Murphy – Academy award nominated screenwriter, Writer: Disney’s TarzanGorillas in the Mist


    This is a field that requires an encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject matter with a global perspective, and that’s exactly what this book provides. It is the most comprehensive book on screenwriting I’ve yet encountered.

    Tom Musca – Writer / Producer - Stand and Deliver, Head of MFA Screenwriting, University of Miami


    As a film producer, I need to collaborate with writers effectively. This is the only book I’ve seen that tells writers and producers how to form effective creative teams. It tells how to develop stories, make creative decisions, solve story problems, plan out seasons and make movie magic as a group. This is essential information, especially if you are a writer who hopes to become a showrunner or creative executive in the future.

     Wang Pingwenan, Producer, Shanghai Senxun Media


    The multinational aspect of the book opens exciting new vistas and new ways of thinking that stimulate good stories and interesting characters. Most of us have only been exposed to the Western “rules” for telling stories, and Handler’s clever weaving of international structures and characterizations opens up endless possibilities for any writer or producer who is willing to learn.

    Mark Byers – Screenwriter: The Treatment


    This is an essential guide for anyone who wants to learn about the art and science of screenwriting. It is also useful for those who are teaching screenwriting and for anyone interested in how best to tell a story for an international audience.

     Sid Goldstein – Author: American Pastimes, Writing teacher – University of Hawaii Manoa