Screen Studies
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How to Write: A Screenplay

How to Write: A Screenplay: Revised and Expanded

by Mark Evan Schwartz

Mark Evan Schwartz is Associate Professor of Screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University, School of Film and Television, in California. He’s a former Head of Story Development for Nelson Entertainment, Story Analyst for the David Geffen Company, and Production Assistant to Francis Ford Coppola. A working screenwriter, he has credits on over a dozen produced feature films and television movies. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2016
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781501340390
  • ISBN:
    9780826428172 (paperback)

    9781441113979 (epdf)

    9781441183729 (epub)

    9781501340390 (online)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
How to Write: A Screenplay
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There are hundreds of books on the market, all trying to teach you how to write a screenplay. Several of them are excellent and useful books. But never – until now – has there been a screenwriting manual written in the form of a screenplay.

Our hero, the aspiring screenwriter Danny, is hopelessly in love with Bebe, a hot young starlet. But Bebe won’t go out with Danny until he proves that he can write a brilliant screenplay for her. Helped along the way by a mysterious guide (Virgil) with seemingly magical powers, Danny travels to Screenwriting Hell to see what happens to writers who never make the grade. Virgil teaches him the tricks of the trade, the fundamental techniques that all screenwriters have to master, no matter how great their ideas. But there’s something a little strange about Virgil, and Danny is never sure whether to trust him or not…

As well as the screenplay itself, the book includes an introduction explaining how to get the most out of the screenplay, the log line, the synopsis, character bios, the treatment, and “The Pitch” – a short scene that shows the author pitching his screenplay to a big-shot producer.