Vale's Technique of Screen and Television Writing is an updated and expanded edition of a valuable guide to writing for film and television. Mr. Vale takes the aspiring writer through every phase of a film's development, from the original concept to the final shooting script. Teachers of the craft as well as writers and directors have acclaimed it as one of the best books ever written on how to write a screenplay.
This book combines practical advice for the aspiring or established writer with a lucid overview of the unique features of this most contemporary art form, distinguishing film and video from other media and other kinds of storytelling. It teaches the reader to think in terms of the camera and gives practical advice on the realities of filmmaking. At the same time, Vale, who began his own career as a scriptwriter for the great French director Jean Renoir, provides a solid grounding in the history of drama from the Classical Greek theater through the great cinematic works of the twentieth century. Both philosophical and pragmatic, this is a very readable book for students and active professionals who want to improve their writing skills, and for film enthusiasts interested in knowing more about what they see on the screen.
Mr. Vale is that rare combination, a practitioner of great experience who can offer a lucid explanation of his craft.
Eugene Vale was born in Switzerland and began his career in France in the 1930s. He was an award-winning novelist, film and TV scriptwriter and teacher, whose works include the bestselling novel The Thirteenth Apostle and the scripts for Francis of Assisi, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and The Second Face. He also worked in many other areas of the motion picture industry, including directing, producing, cutting, distribution and finance. His archives are held by Boston University and University of Southern California. Mr. Vale died in 1997, shortly after he completed the updated version of this handbook.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Exciting New Media* Part I: The Form* The Film and TV Language* The Sources of Information* Enlargement and Composition* The Scene* Selection of Information* Division of Knowledge* Three Types of Storytelling* Part II: The Story* Characterization* Transition of Action* Disturbance and Adjustment* Main Intentions and Subintentions* The Effect Upon the Audience* Television, Cable and Pay TV, Video, Satellite Broadcasts* Part III: The Dramatic Construction* From Idea to Final Form* How to Choose Story Material* Understandability, Probability, Identification* Story Content* The Writing of the Script* The Young Filmmakers* The Daring Conviction* Glossary* Appendix on Script Formatting
'Eugene Vale, who knows whereof he speaks, has summed up the screen writer's problems in a book that is brilliant, and loaded with common sense.'
The New York Times Book Review
'Extremely interesting, for the layman as well as for the professional.'
'The definitive book on this subject, and of immense value to anyone, amateur or professional.'