Unlike most how-to books on screen writing, "Writing in Pictures" is highly practical, offering a realistic guide to the screen writing profession, as well as concrete practical guidance in the steps professional writers take to write a screenplay that comes from the heart instead of the pocketbook. The reader is taken through the nitty-gritty process of conceiving, outlining, constructing, and writing a screenplay in the professional format, with clear and concise examples offered for every step in writing a short dramatic film. "Writing in Pictures" offers straight talk, no mumbo-jumbo or gimmicks, just a methodical, step-by-step process that walks the reader through the different stages of writing a screenplay - from idea to outline to character biography to treatment to step outline to finished screenplay. Using well-known films and screenplays, both contemporary and classic, to illustrate its lessons, "Writing in Pictures" also offers comments from famous screenwriters past and present and insightful stories (often colorful and funny) that illuminate aspects of the craft.
"Impressively readable, unpretentious, and remarkably useful. Based on a lifetime of experience and observation, as well as conversations with some of the greats (like Orson Welles, John Ford & Howard Hawks), Joe McBride's comprehensive yet very succinct work should become a standard text."
--Peter Bogdanovich, screenwriter, director, film historian
"I must confess that" "I had never read a how-to book straight through for the sheer pleasure of it, and I never expected to--until I got my hands on the splendid "Writing in Pictures." . . . A word of warning: in this book you will "not" find the Six Keys to Compelling Characters, the Seven Secrets of Successful Plotting, or the Eight Jungian Archetypes No Studio Executive Can Resist. There are no magic formulae here--but if you do have a story to tell, this book will give you the solid practical advice you need to tell it in the most effective way. "Writing in Pictures" is a short course in how to think cinematically. It will change the way you write. It will change the way you watch."
-- Sam Hamm, screenwriter of" Batman, Batman Returns, "and "Homecoming"
"If this isn't the greatest screenwriting book ever, I'll eat my hat! " Writing in Pictures" is the kind of how-to book Ben Hecht would have written on that subject: a Socratic tour of the profession the novice aspires to, filled with screenwriting lore, for illustration and entertainment. If you want to judge someone's work by how personal it is, this may just turn out to be Joe McBride's masterpiece."" "
--Bill Krohn, author of "Hitchcock at Work" and Hollywood correspondent, "Cahiers du Cinema"
"In this unique contribution to the screenplay literature, Joe McBride invites writers to connect themselves to literary tradition, relying less on formulas and more on intelligent uses of classic storytelling technique. He blends general precepts, concrete examples, hard-won experience, and lively anecdotes into something more than the usual