Screenwriting Story Structure Made Easy
Why would you want to ‘Save the Cat’? If you are a screenwriter or aspiring one you should have heard by now of Blake Snyder’s game-changing screenwriting book.
In his 20-year career as a film producer and screenwriter, Blake Snyder sold dozens of scripts, including co-writing Blank Check, which became a hit for Disney, and Nuclear Family for Steven Spielberg — both million-dollar sales. Named “one of Hollywood’s most successful spec screenwriters,” Blake sold his last screenplay in 2009.
His book, Save the Cat!® The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need, was published in May 2005, and is now in its 24th printing. When I read this book it really had an impact on my storytelling and screenwriting.
Thankful Blake was not done and apparently it was not the last book on screenwriting you’ll ever need, as the eagerly awaited sequel, Save the Cat!® Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter’s Guide to Every Story Ever Told, was published in October, 2007 — shooting to #1 in the Screenwriting and Screenplay categories on Amazon.com. Blake’s third book, Save the Cat!® Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get Into… And Out Of was published in November 2009.
Blake’s method has become the “secret weapon” of many development executives, managers, and producers for its precise, easy, and honest appraisal of what it takes to write and develop stories that resonate. Save the Cat!® The Last Story Structure Software You’ll Ever Need has codified this method. Blake passed unexpectedly in 2009 but the Save the Cat community carries on Blake’s work.
I had the pleasure of interviewing one of Blake’s main pupils Jose Silerio. Jose is carrying the torch of Blake’s work and travels around the world well…saving the cat.
Enjoy my informative interview with Jose Silerio.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Save the Cat – Official Site
- Save the Cat!® The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need
- Save the Cat!® Goes to the Movies
- Save the Cat!® Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get into …
- The Million Dollar Screenplay
- The Million Dollar Business of Screenwriting
- Indie Film Hustle’s Private Facebook Group
- Bulletproof Screenplay Script Coverage Service – Get Your Screenplay Covered by Industry Pros
- FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Screenwriting Audio Book)
- Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker or via RSS. Additionally, you can also subscribe to the blog and get all of my material (blog posts and podcast) by clicking here.
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Save The Cat! Tutorial Video: BACK TO THE FUTURE
Save The Cat! Tutorial Video: THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
One of the greats! Shawshank shows the power of story told through strong beats, setups & payoffs.
Save The Cat! Tutorial Video: TOP GUN
TOP GUN is not only a classic 80’s film, it’s a perfect tutorial on utilizing strong beats in a screenplay.
Save The Cat! Tutorial Video: TRUE LIES
True Lies is a fan favorite and proves James Cameron knows how to make action & comedy work well together.
Save The Cat! Tutorial Video: ALIENS
Further proof of Director James Camerons’ ability to use strong story beats along with a solid film premise “truckers in space” to great effect.
Some of the BEST Online Screenwriting Courses & Books available:
- How to Pitch Your Screenplay in 60 Seconds
- Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting MasterClass
- Judd Apatow Comedy Writing MasterClass
- Michael Hauge’s & Chris Vogler’s Screenwriting & Story Blueprint: The Hero’s Two Journeys
- Shonda Rhimes Television Writing MasterClass
- David Mamet Dramatic Writing MasterClass
- Jim Uhls’ (Writer of Fight Club) The Screenwriters Toolkit
- Paul Castro’s The MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS OF SCREENWRITING
- Paul Castro’s The Million Dollar Screenplay
- Stephanie Palmer’s Good in a Room – FREE AUDIO BOOK VERSION
- Karl Igelsias’s Writing for Emotional Impact – FREE AUDIO BOOK VERSIONS HERE
- Save the Cat!® The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need – FREE AUDIO BOOK VERSION
- Linda Seger’s Making A Good Script Great – FREE AUDIO BOOK VERSION
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Welcome to the bulletproof screenplay podcast episode number 14 to original cannot begin until you know what you’re breaking away from. Like Schneider broadcasting from a dark windowless room in Hollywood when we really should be working on that next round. It’s the bulletproof screenplay on cast showing you the craft and business of screenwriting while teaching you how to make your screenplay bulletproof.
And here’s your host Alex Ferrari. Welcome. Welcome to another episode of the bulletproof screenplay podcast. I am your humble. Alex Ferrari now Today’s Show is sponsored by bulletproof script coverage now unlike other script coverage Services bulletproof script coverage actually focuses on the kind of project you are in the goals of the project you are so we actually break it down by three categories micro-budget indie film market and Studio film.
There’s no reason to get coverage from a reader that used to reading Temple movies when your movie is going to be done. For $100,000 and we wanted to focus on that at bulletproof script coverage. Our readers have worked with Marvel Studios see a WM NBC HBO Disney scot-free Warner Brothers, The Black List and many many more.
So if you need your screenplay or TV script covered by professional readers. Head on over to cover my screenplay. Not today’s guest is Jose celerio from save the cat Blake amazing book Blake passed a few years ago. But Jose is keeping the torch going on. His amazing work on Blake’s amazing work with save the cat.
If you’re a screenwriter today or you’re an aspiring screenwriter today and have not read the book save the cat. You have to go out. Stop listening go to the go to the show. I didn’t feel most 4/0 71 and click on the link to buy the book. It is a must-read for all screenwriters. It’s remarkable what Blake was able to do kind of revolutionized screenwriting and I wanted to reach out to the save the cat community and wanted to share what Blake had done would say the cat with our community our tribe.
So Jose was nice enough to talk to us about Blake about shave the cat and um all the. Evolutionary ideas that he came up with all those years ago when he wrote save the cats. So without further ado. Enjoy my conversation with Jose celerio. Hey, thank you very much for having us out. I mean, we’re happy from Zenith save the cat to be part of this and you know, just to help out screenwriters as much as possible.
Yeah. I’m I’m a huge huge fan of Blake, uh, Schneider’s work and save the cat. I read all three books, uh, and they’re they’re amazing and they’ve kind of changed the business a lot ever since they were released. So, can you tell me a little bit about uh, Blake and save the cat? For people who don’t know what yeah, definitely, you know, as you said in the save the Catholic sort of became big, uh in the industry and that’s not you know, that’s not just simply a stooping our own horn, but it’s really from our own experience.
Even when Blake was still around we saw how his method is looks really became popular and Blakeley, you know, yes screenwriter that just like most of us, right. Um, we started screenwriting very back in the 80s. He was even. Started working for his dad, uh amazing is that animation, um series doing the voices for the kid in the in this show and all that and he got into screenwriting way back in the 80s and he sold, you know, several scripts throughout his career, um, like I think 12 or 13 all together and they had a couple of them made, um, which is blank check.
Um, And stop your mom my mom get shoot, you’re trying to the more famous ones. He did, uh that came out but I think from Blake really, uh what he did with save the cat and I would kind of how we didn’t vote for him because that, you know, just like everybody else in this year, especially for writers.
There are those ups and down moments. And as a writer you always you know, struggling to sort of Break In even though and I said even though you’re in already. You kind of have to keep proving yourself over and that’s what have you done. It’s like Janet Jackson says what have you done for me lately and I think that kind of came from families, like knowing that the struggle went through to wanted to make sure that other writers following him sort of had it a little bit easier if I can put it that way and he found you know, he had this own method of developing structure.
Um, And because it’s funny because here this little story. Uh, and I can’t remember if it does in the book wherein you know, his introduction to structure was that he you know, this was like early 90s or late 80s system. He want even the one of these development meetings. He submitted descript, you know, the producer was there and they decided to talk about the script and the producer goes to him.
So, what’s your. You know break uh act to break and he was just oh, um, you know, he says kind of just heard of nodding his head and kind of stalking what the story more after the meeting ended in a when all other producers moved out and all that the one producer who see on with him. So the pulled him aside and said, you don’t know what the act of break is, right?
Yeah. I have no idea what to us. So right right start of the game his introduction into creating structure and him realizing that you know, In order to tell a good story regardless of the story we need structure then again, so he developed his own system which eventually begin to save the cat method and again because it’s from his own experience of wanting to help other writers later down the road.
You know, he just simply wanted to share it because it started working for him and in and like you said, you know, once he played he published Zero Save the cat person, but it was published and people gravitated toward it and. He just exploded now. What do you know what we’re Save The Cat Came From the name but the name save the cat itself is eternity uses, you know, and it’s it’s it’s a simple way for your audience to like your your main hero, you know, perfect.
It’s the same that God literally comes from the therm, you know, saving attack, you know, it’s you just put the give your your your hero and an action to do early on in the Indus in the movie in the script. You know that makes a say oh, that’s a nice guy. You know, I like this person, you know, which will make me want to follow this person’s Journey for the rest of the movie which would be the opposite of that would be kick the dog, which we be my book the dog how to be an evil person.
It’s a great way. The introduce a villain right? You can anybody who kicks a dog like that guy’s bad. So it’s a perfect example. Yeah, so that’s where it comes from. Okay, great. Um, so how did you get involved with save the cat? You know, it’s funny. I got involved with save the gothic exactly the same way like everybody discover save the gap, which is I read the book.
I don’t know Blake, you know before the book came out, but when I read the book, You know and list all you know, people all writers are work with I’m a very amazing reader. Sorry to say the book, you know, even the was. A thick a save the cat mean it’s not really the thick it’s not it’s not it’s not a hard read.
Yeah, it would usually a book that thick with even take me something like a weird. You’re really lazy. You’re really lazy right save the cata it Kenyatta. I sat down open page one couldn’t put it down. It just like you said it was a very easily more than being an easy. I think it’s just, you know, you get it right the way you get the biggest talking about and what the thing the nice thing about it is sort of for me.
My reaction was very encouraging. It is really telling me that you know, this is something that I can do and a lot of the things that I found myself like, oh, no as a screenwriter like I’m getting stuck here, you know, he was kind of explaining it and telling me this is all you have to do and that’s how I got into save the cat.
I read the book, you know, he had this email address there which everybody knows of read the book. I wrote him just asking about other stuff and all that and then. One immediate not one day but immediately he asked me saying hey, I need help you um descript a penny and if you can give me notes, you know, maybe we can build something together and luckily, you know, you were at the right place at the right time, you know, uh, the Stars aligned for me kind of you know, that that’s how I got in to save the garden.
That was like way back in 2006 2007. I can’t believe that’s way back. Yeah, that’s like 10 years. Now. Wow, so it so can you explain to everybody what a beach eat is because I I remember the first time I was in an executive meeting and someone goes so where’s your beat and I’m like, so you see the character does this it’s a very similar to a blanket.
I’m like, I just try to keep going with it, but then afterwards I found out what a beat she was well, so can you explain to everybody what a beat sheet is well especially would save the current a lot. You know a lot of other I guess. Eat yours producer. So everybody their own kind of definition for the beach it is but I’m gonna go with the save the cat definition as black Beach.
It really has and for us we have what we call the 15 bits the 15 key beats and it’s what it does is the 15 beats of the beach the saved that the black Snyder be cheap. Um, it just really pinpoints the 15 key beads that your hero must go through. In order to tell a good story. These are moments that must be happening to your hero and your hero must be doing as well.
In order for us to be able to follow that structure that story in a way that’s very familiar for for for for the audience and again when I say familiar, I’m not saying, you know, you’re just merely copying. From other movies other scripts so their books that you read before but you know story structure is something that’s been ingrained in all of us ever since, you know from nursery rhymes jokes, the rears always a structure and and that beats, you know, those 15 bit is something but Blake sort of um, not really developed but and he even says decision known uh covered.
Even like discovered but he just kind of made it clearer for everybody. I got you and he said and he having studied all these films that he felt like, you know, what really successful feeling like, uh, he said, you know, I just he discovered at their word this 15 bits that were. Always present and that’s what you know, I guess a beach it is, you know, you have this this 15 bits that go from save the cat, uh terminologies go from opening image all the way down to 50 the final image, um, that take said earlier that we let your hero must go through so in short, I guess it’s really like an outline or but really it’s a good way to really help you as a writer figure out what’s happening and more importantly when it should be happening.
You’re here, right? It’s kind of well, what I’ve taken from structure is because I when I write I my structure is pretty sound because I like structure. I like having that. Those tent poles to be able to like right to so it’s like okay from here to this point that this point this has to happen. So how I get to point A to point B is up to me as the writer, but I have a place to go without that structure.
You’re just kind of like me rendering all over the place. Exactly. I think it’s what you said, you know, the nice firm with use was Temple, which is exactly uh, You know what Blake also mentions that I think a lot of times and I say this all the time when I went to film school when you know, uh, the writing screenwriting class 101 the thing that they really always got us.
Okay, there’s act 1 act right and the like, oh, very vague. How do you fill it in and that’s what you know, the the save the cat beat sheet. The does is a at least in act one, you know, what should be happening because right the way, you know, which beats must be happening within the pack and where again it’s happening.
Same thing when you go to act two and three. Yeah, it’s it’s pretty amazing. There is a series on YouTube that has uh, they take the save the cat method and they beat it out with movies or if it’s wonderful to watch because you like Back to the Future, you know, terminate or Titanic and you just start watching them and they literally are beating it out.
So they’re like, here’s this this is when this happens in the movie, this is one has happens in the movie and you just sit there and you use examples of it. Can you give us a few examples of. Films that use Save the cat very very well hours hours of the mine, but just a couple of the big ones.
Yeah, um, even at the big one got like, you know, some of the Oscar winners like King’s Speech Argo mean very clear and strong beats, uh an oscar-nominated on which I really like from two years ago was Whiplash Griffin again. All the Beats were there, but the nice thing about you know, this movies where you kind of see is that, you know, you can go there.
Um, and I’m probably biased related by the style at this point right for 10 years at I’m watching their and. But still right I try to avoid saying oh there’s a catalyst. Oh, there’s the midpoint. It’s rough. You know it look I’ll tell you I’ve been in visual effects in post-production for a long time.
And uh, you know, it’s tough for me to go to a movie. Sometimes it’s tough for me to kind of just let go uh, and I just recently let go when I saw Star Wars so I completely was not looking at. Anything technical I was just on the ride and it’s for film to do that to you know, the People Like Us that are really into it.
It’s I mean that’s a really good sign of the filmmaker who’s been able to cut through all of our all of our armor if you will of biases like, oh that green screen didn’t really look that great. Oh, oh that story. That’s the Catalyst. Oh, that’s Turning Point. Um, and I catch myself doing that all the time now with with lesser movies, but like I said the well made.
Really it’s there, but you don’t see it exactly or you look back and you go back to it later and watch it on a second time and then you’ll analyze it may be in the second or third screening of it. But the first time you just enjoy it and you know, it’s coming but you just kind of your in the story as you should be exactly exactly and you know, those are the you know, they did their job will you know, uh, and like you said when we go back to you then we start realizing.
Oh, that’s why you know, we like this part. You’re just building up to the midpoint is going out to the lost and and all that. Now. Did you have you seen Star Wars I have um, and how is it? How is it? How is it hanging in the in the saving the cat? Paradigm well in terms of that that the beach sheet itself of having the Beats there, you know the way the introduce the character so they set up know the setup.
No spoilers. No spoilers. Yeah, very careful, you know, even you know, the big moment the big All Is Lost moment. I think you know, even I’m not gonna say out loud. I think I know you were of course, you know what I’m talk of course, of course, right? So, you know, even though we don’t specifics we know that that because there again, Third after you know what the third back isn’t it the beets are still there.
So yeah, if I think uh, I would love to say that, you know, yeah, of course JJ Abrams and wrote Red Save the cat before of course, I think it uh, but you know, I think great filmmakers great writers. They just know, you know, well the thing is if you look at all the big movies the most successful movies whether they be Blockbusters or Oscar winners.
Generally, they all follow the beat they. Follow the the structure what weather and I think what Blake did so well with save the cat is that screenwriting is a complex scenario. It’s not an easy way to write so much easier to write in many ways of my novel because you can Miranda and you can kind of just delve into the deepness of how the tree looks today and you can’t do that in the screenplay.
It has to be very condensed has to be very concise every word is has to have a meaning and move the story forward and I think what Blake. Did so brilliantly is that he brought it down to the masses where a lot of that kind of terminology was more, uh, upper tier If U will like at the you know at a film school or at the higher like the UCLA, you know screenwriting program these kind of really epic big huge.
Um, Institutions that were kind of like guarding the information and Blake kind of took that information and said now you all may have it and now here here now go and write be well I completely agree with you on that. There’s definitely, you know, if you kind of go to the Joseph Campbell route, of course, which is very again, there’s nothing wrong with it’s a great system as well.
But like you said, you know when with Blake would save the cat kind of brought it down to the masses. Those who weren’t kind of more into methodological. I just wanted to set of just go straight into it. I mean the right with the Riders Journey was or what the hero’s journey is it works? Well, obviously with save the cat it’s it’s it’s there but it’s it’s different.
It’s a little bit not as simple like save the cat is as simple as you can get like if your screenwriter starting out. Read save the cat then go off and read everything else but save the cat is a great base to start from because and that’s again one of the reasons. I want you guys on the show because the book was so influential and then you can go off and read.
A million thousand books. There’s a nice thing a bucket though. It’s up. Well the Blake really started in wrote Save The Catalyst for writers more than anybody for writers of the move forward with their own writing and they feel like their stuff and kind of go but. It’s also a great way to analyze, you know movies.
Oh God. Yes figure out. You know why they’re working. That’s what he wrote that second book, right the the exact that goes to the movies, right? Exactly, which was great. It was a wonderful example to kind of go and he’s just starts breaking down the movies and you just like my God, I remember the first time I I I discover the first book I ever read was, uh Sid fields.
That was when I wasn’t now I’m going way back. This is like the 90s. So uh, and when I discovered that there was uh, A structure because he was the first one I ever heard any kind of structure. Yeah, and I was like wait a minute at 15 minutes this happens and I can’t stand that. I just started going back to all my movies.
I’m like, oh my God this and I thought I’d cracked the code like it was like it was so revolutionary to me for someone who doesn’t understand. It doesn’t know about it. It’s so great. But again, let’s say the cat does so well, is it simplifies it so beautifully and. It’s I don’t want to say it’s like right by numbers because there’s a lot of creativity involved but it gives you those tent poles that you can just make it a lot easier.
You don’t have to think about structure you can you can just decorate the house. You don’t have to worry about the front Asian exactly. I think that’s the best way to put it because there is always and always talk about it because you know, there are always those uh detractors who condensate disciplined by numbers thing and I think when people say that they’re not getting the whole picture because we’re just talkin about structure.
You know your character traits their nylon everything. It’s on the right. I think that’s for you to make your characters unique. And once you add that then it becomes a totally different story. But you have the structure there already. Yeah, absolutely. It’s like I said before it’s like literally you could you could have a house with a complete foundation and structure done.
Now how that’s decorated. It could be a million different ways. It’s all depending on how the writer wants to to to go forward. So can a lot of screenwriters to always hear about coverage like, oh well gonna get coverage and I got bad coverage. I got good coverage. Your script needs coverage from a studio or production company.
Can you explain a little bit about coverage to those who don’t know in the audience? Well, I think like you said, you know covering release more of like, you know, you have the reader obviously you have the higher-ups so can’t read all the scripts of go to their Studios. So they need the cliff notes version scripts have come in and I think that’s that’s when we just kind of what coverage is you have the readers who need it and they put their notes down on the script.
Kind of go in through structure characters dialogue, you know giving it it’s sort of last and you know different Studios have different styles are different methods, but it kinda they have kind of a point system and they point the great degraded accordingly. Um, and that’s you know, I think that’s the simple way of Justice, um describing what coverage yes.
So now that piece of paper and hopefully. For most it’s a one-pager right that goes not to the next junior executive, uh, if it passes if it passes because they might they might exactly right faster than most of them. They read the script and they do their own version of the next higher up coverage.
It goes to the next side of the I um, so that’s you know, I think that’s the simple. Like I said the simple version of explaining. Um, Coverage is a cover letter, you know for for the script kind of just telling us what the script is telling the executive what the script is all about and what and what and how it meets certain criteria for them.
Now. The thing is that as a screenwriter and I’ve gone through the coverage process and the studio system. It’s very frustrating because sometimes you might not get the reader that you that’s really gets it and a lot of people have passed on. Oscar winners, they don’t coverage and happens and that’s very frustrating A lot of times because you like oh my God, I like I forgot there’s some legendary ones.
I just don’t remember any of them off the top of my head, but that got passes at certain Studio. Well Star Wars was past everywhere. I mean just the original Star Wars was like. What you know that’s very true bigger producers going to like I don’t think you know, they don’t even get it. They don’t they don’t get it.
So in the script was like, oh, what’s this with this this giant monkey who’s walking around with this guy? And he’s his sister. What no, forget. There’s incest involve. This is horrible. So, you know, um, so it happens when you said, you know, if there is. I’m sorry involved in it that their script gets to the right person at the right time.
Yeah, you know that the reader is that the reading at the right frame of mind in order to get it and be and hopefully be objective enough. While reading it, I think also one thing that I’ve learned in my my Journeys and from talkin to so many different screenwriters is and recover and producers and Executives.
Is that at a certain point? You have to even if they might pass on it. You have to write something so good that even that go, you know, I don’t get it. But man this is really well written and there’s a lot of that like this is not going to be made into a movie but you’re a good writer and I think that’s what writers should do as best.
They can try to make the best thing as Steve. Martin says be so good that they can’t ignore you. Yeah, and I completely agree with that. You know, this is what I always tell writers. Uh, especially those who say okay, what’s the secret to sort of breaking in? I think the release isn’t the secret the secret come up with a really great script script oddly enough.
Yeah, and and because it’s then I truly believe this because I’ve heard it from a lot of Executives from producers or some selves and they say, you know, the industry is you know, they’re one thing for the great the next great script, right? So the moment you have a great script that goes out you don’t.
It’s going to it’s going to catch fire. It’s gonna spread, you know on its own it’s because of you know, what somebody says there’s a great script out there everybody starts looking for it. And I think that’s sort of the secret to this break-in but you have to do again your homework. You have to show them like you’re saying earlier right as a writer you have to show this people.
The leaders are producers, uh that you know how to write the story. You know what it takes to be able to be to be a good Storyteller. Yeah. I know a lot of writers who put in a script and they said this is not going to work for us, but I want to hire you for another job because you can write yeah and that happens all the time.
And I know a lot of screenwriters who make a living never being produced. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, they just keep optioning or they’re working or their script doctoring and they’ve never had a single credit to their name. Yeah, but they’ve made Millions doing this behind this. There’s many guys who do this in Hollywood and even a lot of those who not just option out, you know their scripts even though the skip the single made, uh, but they get hired to rewrite again, you know other scripts again without being credited for it and you and that.
That’s a great job to have to certain I guess after you’ve made your first two or three million doing that at a certain point. You just want to go, you know, I wouldn’t mind getting something made. Yeah, you know, but I wish I had these problems I don’t know about you but I wish I had that like, you know, I’ve already made my 3 million this year.
So I really would you know, I’m not gonna play around just play around, you know, let’s just follow the passion project to finally finally make that passion project. I’ve been watching about that one-legged hooker and and uh in New York the Puerto Rican hooker who really wants to dance but she only has one leg.
It’s a Sundance winner. I can tell you she has a heart of gold. She has a hard I tell you every time I hear I always tell people that that story they like you want to get into Sundance make a movie about a handicapped one-legged Puerto Rican hooker with a heart of gold who really wants to dance but is beaten by her father her drunken father, you know.
Who also happens to be a transgender? I’m just saying that alone would win Sundance every year guaranteed. Uh, but you have to follow the 15 beats. If not, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work at all. So, um a lot of also with tree and writers, uh, a lot of emphasis is put on the log line, and I know you guys talk a lot about loglines.
Can you. Give a little bit of advice on how to construct a really great logline and explain. What a log line is the people who don’t know. Well, I think there’s a lot going to be I’ll be honest with you a lot going for me. It’s always the trickiest thing to the right. It’s rough. Uh, and I um and I always tell this the writers.
Um, I you know Blake talks about in the book in the save the cat hiss process was, you know, write the log line one of the first things we write the log line right before beating it out. And that’s great because it gives you a good idea of what your story is. Um, but that particular love that you’re right the first logline you right is most probably also not going to be the same logline the same story, you know, but eventually what the script will be, right, um, because it as you start to writing writing things will start changing start discovering more about you know, your characters and stories it will change so there is a log line that I think it’s great.
Um, Who have early on to keep it sort of contrast to what your story? What do you think your story is or what you envisioned it to be but there is also the plug line at the very end really captures the real story and you have to know the difference, um, you know us writers. Um, Per meters of what but regardless of which particular logline you writing on the early on or the one that you really want to stand out already.
Um, the things that I look for are always going to be which you know, this is basic screen writing 101, but they call them the big three which is, you know, it has to. Be able to completely convey who story belongs to which is the hero number one, you know what the hero wants meaning the goal and what stop in the Euro from getting the one you know, what’s the problem?
So the hero the goal and the problem for me at the big three and I think that has to be very very clear in in a lot line to make it really compelling and this isn’t you know, if this is like a a one or two out of three you have to make sure it’s a three out of three. Thing if not, you have no story and if that’s not there in the log line, then you love line won’t have a story.
Uh, so it’s very important to able to make sure that all the three elements have it in in your line that you have it in your line. Another thing that I that I like which Blakely pointed out in the book is having a sense of irony in in the log line and you know and what that really means is that um, I think what you want to show is that.
Why is this hero but the person to go on this journey, I say you want to be able to build up even in your logline, right? That’s why this particular hero is going to be the hero. Why is he going? Why is this journey gonna be the hardest thing that this is going to be so it’s really building that up because what you’re telling us is that.
Of all the people in the world. This is not the right person to do it. Right? It’s not the right person to go in this journey, but that’s what makes it compelling tired. Exactly. Yeah, but if you end up always having you know, Mr. Universe go up against the evil. You know this I think you know, that’s that’s Commando that’s coming.
Steven Seagal is gonna be the end of the day, right? There’s no real there’s never a chance like, you know, maybe Steven might not know he’s gonna let you know, but that’s in that works for who he is right and the characters at the place. Uh, but again, For the rest of you who are not writing, you know action type movies or Commando type movies, right?
You have to find the way to tell us to make sure that you know, just by reading the logline that one sentence, you know line that we understand we make we understand what the story is, but more importantly that it’s a very compelling story and again by doing that again giving us a sense of irony.
In the sense that uh, it’s you know, you’re introducing us to a character who is not supposed to be going on this journey, right? Go ahead. I’m sorry. Go ahead. No. No the way you brought up a really good point. I wanted to kind of focus on real quick that the irony of of a character that he’s not supposed to he’s not supposed to be the one on the journey.
Uh, Ripley from Aliens comes to mind. Uh, uh, Sarah Connor Senator Sarah Connor from Terminator. Um Die Hard John McClane, um, the Lethal Weapon boys, like there’s no reason for them to you know work and they do. Talk about Star Wars, right and Star Wars the young farm boy who’s gone up against the empire.
That’s that’s what speech talk about. Yes the wood became who just started. Right, right exactly. Like he has no like and that’s and at something as simple as that like it’s not a big huge action thing. It’s about a guy who stutters who cast the not stutter and he has to inspire a nation. Like that’s that’s a simple concept.
It’s not it’s not brain surgery, but then I started when you brought that up I start going I just went back through my mental Rolodex of movie. And I’m like, you know, a lot of those 80s action movies like Commando like every Jean-Claude Van Damme movie like every Steven Seagal movie and bad action movies there.
Isn’t that. A bad action movie and don’t get me. I love all those movies because you know, I was young when I saw them and I love them, uh, and there’s character and charismatic things about Arnold and about, you know, Sylvester Stallone and all those things and those certain kind of movies, but the movies that really stand the test of time like you I just watched die hard again because it’s my Christmas movie.
I always watched it because I don’t care what anyone says it’s the best Christmas movie of all time. I don’t care what anyone says I’m know if you don’t see Hans Gruber falling out of a falling out of a window at the end of. It’s not really Christmas for me. So that’s just me. Oh ho ho so, um, but I just literally saw it like a few weeks ago and I was like, I can’t believe how wonderful and how brilliantly it’s done and it literally that movie alone spawned hundreds of ripoffs.
Like die hard in a boat die hard in the train die hard in the plane that all this kind of stuff. It was such a brilliant and Pinnacle movie, but it’s that what you were talkin about. It’s ironic. Irony of that character who has no business doing a predator is another one like even though Arnold and this entire team are big muscle-bound, but they’re up against something.
That’s they have no business. They can’t be and that’s what makes a good really really good compelling story. And I think that’s where a lot of. Writers, uh, especially of bad action movies really could learn something from please, please. I think that’s Die Hard is a great example because you know in the 80s, you know, we were used to seeing all the Schwarzenegger movement, right?
You know, the Rambo Stallone movies are all like this muscle badly, you know, suddenly the interview getting to use the John McClane. It’s not really. But tone no, he’s a normal dude. He’s a he’s a he’s about to get a divorce right through this wife Stay Together. He’s a New Yorker in La which trust me I understand, you know, it’s it’s totally different guy who gets thrown into you know in a bigger-than-life scenario.
Absolutely, and then the Brilliance of you know, the Barefoot and the bleeding and the it’s like it’s just so brilliantly crafted. I don’t know. I forgot the name of the screenwriter of that one. Uh, but it’s so brilliantly crafted so brilliantly directed and it holds. Even though it’s 80s and you could you know, it’s so fun to watch because of you know, all the 80s stuff in it, but it’s so bright another one of those like absolutely brilliant.
Like there’s no reason for that hero to be able to do what he does. Um and go through what he’s going through. So that’s a great. I’ve never heard you and anyone say that but the irony of the character or the hero is something that should be very important in your writing process. I think so. It’s there’s not that sense of irony.
Meaning that your hero is not the right person or shouldn’t be the person to be going against this problem or having this goal. Right as a writer. You’ll find out easily that you’ll end the right you stopped writing by Page 30 because you’re unable to generate more conflict for your hero, right? I think he looks right with that sense of tension.
Because your hero you haven’t as we like the same save the cat you haven’t taken your hero as far back as possible, right if they’re already a great superhero in the first app, right then again, whatever you throw up in front of them. The second that is something that they can easily overcome. And once that happens.
You know your story into page 30 that’s I think one of the main problems with uh, most Superman movies or even telling a Superman story. It’s so difficult to create Conflict for a God and that’s except for the very first one that Richard Donner did and he did it. So magically it’s like every and we’ve all been everyone’s been trying to get back to that.
Uh, but. It’s tough to create conflict like the Batman. That’s why Batman works better than Superman because bats a dude who yeah, he’s a billionaire and he has stuff but he can get hurt he can get you know blood he can get his back broke and he can do all this stuff and his backstory so much more complex was orphaned.
His parents were killed. He told them gets killed, you know, it’s so much so much meteor exactly. You know, it’s not just a physical story but will be more of the emotional story is what’s the process in so I’m really curious. See how this Batman versus Superman. Yeah, I think it’s going to be a fiasco.
That’s just me. But I just my personal opinion. I looked at the trailer the other day. I’m now we’re going off topic here, but I saw the trailer the other day and I was just like. Wow, I don’t know. I don’t know if this is gonna work. I hope it does I’m a fan but uh, you know, but then I saw Captain I saw that Captain America Civil War.
I’m like, this is brilliant. You’ve got to like look at the conflict in that it’s like that. It’s the ultimate conflict of friends that we’ve grown up with if or people have seen through these movies and now they’re fighting for ideologies. It’s just like. Brilliant brilliant. I’m sorry. I’ve gone off on a tangent on superhero movies.
I apologize. So, um, so what are some of the um biggest mistakes you see with screen write screenplays when you read them from like first-time reactors or just screenplays in. I think especially like especially For Us in would say they got to get a lot of the first time screenwriters even the first time, you know, it’s those of within several but haven’t sold anything yet.
And one thing I’ve noticed of late is that a lot of screen writers tend to write off right character? That’s based off another character that they saw in a movie. Really you should are you still seeing a lot of that? Yeah, it is. Uh, it’s like we’re talk about die hard, right? Oh God die hard in the plane.
I heard in the train. I heard enough. It’s not an impact. Don’t forget that one. John Hardin ice rink. So there’s a lot of I think a lot of people kind of do that still, you know, I want to make the next. Taken I want to make there’s a there was after taking came out there. I must have been a thousand taking scripts maker made right or after bridesmaids came up.
I want to make the next bride or The Hangover right after over. I want to make the next hangover. So the right thing characters are acting stories based off other characters have been seen or any or that they simply know from watching right from from the film. It’s not characters that they know. In real life, right?
And I think that that’s one mr. One big mistake, uh screenwriters new especially the new word ones. Um, do nowadays is that you know, they start writing off, you know, uh characters. This is what John McClane would do you’re not I think John McClane anymore and you have to find you know in your own writing again, we mentioned this earlier.
Um, Coming up with your own voice what you know, what makes you unique as a writer. We have to be able to find you know, that what makes your characters unique as well and that’s nearly by you know, right writing characters based of people, you know their life, you know that crazy, aren’t you have you know, or absolutely body you had from high schools now just.
There is truly successful in a bad marriage, but there are a lot of things that you can pull out of real people who surround us and I think you know that makes it more interesting because now we start seeing people who we know, you know can be a little bit more complex who may not necessarily go left when we think everybody’s going left.
You know, what makes them different and then I think that’s something that um, You were writers need to learn more how to build better characters. I think also what you’re saying is advice for every aspect of filmmaking in the sense of. Be yourself and stop trying to be someone else whether that be a writer with a director.
Like I’m gonna be the next Quentin Tarantino. I’m like, no you’re not you can’t because there’s only one Quentin Tarantino. There’s only one Scorsese. There’s only one Shane black. Yeah, there’s don’t I mean, I mean how many people try to rip off Shane black? After Lethal Weapon and after everyone try to write like Shane.
Yeah when he was making in the olden days when everyone was making two million dollars a spec script, you know, uh sales that don’t happen nowadays, but if you just be true to your because if you notice all of those guys, all of those guys are original, they’re all they’re all being themselves.
Yeah, they were in their original voice came out. 10 20 years ago it worked for them. So now it’s time for the new arrivals who want to break into to find what this your original voice for today’s time, right? Because things that work 20 years ago will not work today. Yeah, and that’s that’s a huge and that’s when screenwriting and in filmmaking as a general statement a lot of people keep going at it from that point of view of like I’m gonna do what I’m like, no don’t know it’s a different place different world today.
So I think if I may please have time, but another I think common mistake, uh writers have you were writers have it’s just simply overwriting especially when it comes to the description and the action part of any we’re not it may not necessarily be an action movie. But you know, when they start describing the action of government that’s going on, you know, they described it to a, you know to the most my new.
I thought it like a novelist like an exact or even right even to describe a character the over describe it. I think what does is from reading it? It takes away a sense of creativity on my end because now you’re making me think very specifically of an action of a person and that in a way kind of takes away from the because now my mind is again and this is something that leaders.
I mean, I’m sorry writers have to realize. Is that your first audience is not the person who buys the movie ticket, you’re the first audience is the reader right? And you have to know that you know, they don’t have the benefit of Music they don’t have the benefit of actual faces of actors that they can follow So reading a page is a little bit harder.
They have to work a little bit harder in order to follow the story. So don’t overdo it. By putting in too much detail, but making it to you know to specific you know that your own that the reader themselves attract loosing that that the ability to build the world on their own. And get more into it.
I think if as readers if we’re given that opportunity to build the world a little bit on our own as well following reading the story. Then it becomes more interesting. It becomes more exciting. You know, I was day. I was reading a script that was sent to me by a professional writer like a real, you know with credits with everything for a project and when I read it.
I had been reading so many bad scripts that when I read this when I was like, oh this is what a writer is like it was so brilliant. The structure was Britt was spot-on every word was like and I was analyzing it was I was reading it because I was just so taken by like, oh, ok, so he condensed everything right?
He didn’t overwrite everything. He’d left it open for interpretation. But yeah gave you just enough if there’s that fine balance when you’re riding. Like that and it was just so wonderful to watch to read it was a joy to read as opposed to reading, you know, 98% of scripture. Yeah, which is which is rough.
Yeah. I have had those moments right from a professional. Right? Right, uh-uh, and it’s like before you know, what you write in page 90, right? Exactly and you’re slow reader. I know. This is a good one. This is a and I think that’s also a advice for reader like people who are trying to get readers to get coverage and stuff like that.
They will notice because they read so much crap all the time that when something of quality walks through the door, whether they like the matter the subject matter or not. They’ll recognize talent in the writing. Uh, and it come in a player’s out like that just screams at you. Because you know, it’s not like you’re in a bunch of William Goldman scripts and Shane blacks grips.
And Tarantino scripts are all tossed in your like oh who’s really good? No, it’s like a bunch of crap. And then you get that one piece of gold that comes in every once in a while. Um, so I was fascinated when I was doing a little research for this interview. I found out that save the cat has some software.
Yes. Can you talk a little bit about that? Because I was kind of exciting. Yeah, but actually do have a self and the nice thing about the stuff it really follows. The same of the catheter I’ll enough I said to laid out. I guess what I should have said out in the book in the first book play Blake kind of goes through it step by step, right?
So so even in the software it kind of forces you and if I may use that word it kind of forces you first to come up with, you know, what’s the genre that you want to pick for this story, you know, then it tells you to do the logline and then but you’re not able to jump right away. Into the beach sheet or the board, you know, unless you go through it step by step first and but the nice thing about it is.
If you do follow the steps coming up with log line then only with a logger and you’ll be able to go and do the beach. Once you have your Beach feet, that’s only when you’re able to go and do the board, you know, uh, so it but it has all the elements of what makes the save the cat, uh method, uh, and but they kick said it kind of forces you to go through it step by step.
I think that’s the nice thing about it because it really helps you think and not just. I know there’s a writer’s were always eager to jump to page 1 and fade in right but but that can also always get us into trouble right away. There is take the time the first thing about the idea first about the premise the stories are building the outlines at going structure before you have to go to page one.
And that’s that’s that’s what I think. That’s uh software is good. Um helps you to focus little by little step by step that went by the time you do get to page one faith in you know, you’ve done the hard work already. Um, like I said, it follows all the rules of save the cat and it takes you to the beach sheet, uh, it takes you to the board.
Um the 40 cardboard and you can see it all laid out in front of you and your screen now, can you can you explain I was gonna ask you can you explain what the board is because a lot of people might not know what the board I love using the board when I when I right it’s so helpful. So can you explain it?
Because there’s the software version then you’re obviously taking it from a real life version like actual board and stuff. So, can you explain what that is? Yeah, and it’s the same thing. First my my introduction to the board also came from Blake and how we how we explained it is that you know, he walked into a producer’s room and oddly enough same thing happened to me a few years after he told me about it and he sees, you know, it’s um cork board in front of him were little index cards laid out, uh, and what it is, you know in its say the cat how we have.
Is that you have a big whether it’s a cork board or whiteboard or you know, whatever this your writing you break that board into four rows each row representing an app well, but you can say okay, but this four rows so y for X, well, it’s act 1 act 2 act to be and act three in each row you have we have 10 cards and each card really is a scene or the sequence not um, meaning that again.
It’s always you can start what you’re doing really here. Now with the board you are writing, right and you’re working on scenes already, you’re doing things structure work already here and it allows you to sort of the follow your hero in terms of its plot in terms of its emotional story throughout, you know, you’re able to lay out scenes and if it’s working in act 1 or an attitude, you know.
If it’s not you can move them around but the nice thing about it again, you’re able just in a very visual image sense just by looking at the board. You’re able to look at it right away and see how the story is playing out. You can see how are the characters are moving forward, you know, you can even I think one thing I always emphasize with writer.
So when they do the boards that make sure you’re also able to follow the emotional story in the board, uh, you know, one thing we like talkin about in save the cat is having the B story. And what the B story is for those who are familiar with it, uh what the Trapper sensitive me just the theme of the story, right?
So what would I tell him so if it’s at the subplot or is that a is that a subplot or is that or it’s the emotional story got it that you that there’s that your hero must go so then tight so what’s the emotional story of Titanic? Just so people have a reference. Well, let’s say for roast. The physical story is I’m going to get married to what’s his name Billy Zane right bill is an emotional story for her is that she has to be able to tell her mom.
I’m not gonna do what you’re telling me anymore, and she was afraid my own person. And that’s what Jack uh, which is named Leonardo DiCaprio teaches her because she’s because she’s the she is the character. She is the main character that I agree with it. She is the main character and that’s what like Leo does for is the one who forces her to learn the lesson to learn the theme of the story in order, you know, To be her own person.
So in other words, it’s not a subplot but like exactly like the outside the the obvious thing is like I’m gonna marry this guy and I’m going on this boat. Yeah, but the emotion about of what the intention of her character is this what she’s going after this is the the inner struggle or the inner Journey the inner Journey.
It’s the energy internal story. Got it. Look Skywalker external was taken down the Death Star. I have internal needs to learn to be a Jedi to believe in to trust to trust even so that’s what you know, so going back to the board when they tell writer so you can mark this cards, you know, whether you use color or whatever.
It is the mark them. You know, they say blue is going to be external Story red is going to be internal story. It’s a simple dot that you can put on each card and then you can see where you’re playing out the emotional story as well. So I think the board is like I said, um, hopefully I’m explaining it well enough.
No. Yeah, you’re able to see right away just by standing in front of it. You know what you have where the story is going where they are hero is going and how you’re playing out the physical and the emotional story throughout. But it’s also you know, it saves see if you do it. Now, you know, if you do with the board right away before you start writing Pages, if you see like a certain sequence is not working.
I can the middle of second app, then you can either take it out put it away for another day, or maybe you say after you know, this sequence might work better in act one, but you can do it right away as opposed to doing it later after six months or nine months of having written a first draft. I think it’s a mistake.
Wait a minute page 52 55 wasn’t working. But you know, yeah, I should have known that nine months ago right and save myself the time right? So that’s the beauty of what the board is now this in the software. Do you have that option for the dots? Yes you do. Oh great, you know again get the oil that we won’t have time but there are little places where you can assign color to it.
Perfect. And it’s just a simple thing, but even assigning caller two characters, I think it’s a wonderful little trick, you know, if let’s say green is going to be my villain. But if you’re looking at your board and your entire second row has no green in it. Then you know you’re in trouble because you don’t have a villain in it.
And the villain is the source of conflict. That would be that would be the first Twilight movie. Yeah, the worst films I’ve ever seen. I don’t care what anyone says who’s horrendous the villain shows up 20 minutes. I don’t care spoiling it 20 minutes at the end. I’m like, are you kidding me? Are you kidding?
The first hour? 20 minutes is just of them pining for each other it was. Horrendous, there you go. See if they had the board. They had a well look they made a couple bucks on that. So what do we know but uh the but it’s not definitely not being studied. My screenwriters are wrong for their for their structure a story narrative character or directing but.
I’m sorry. I got I apologize. I just could when you said that I’m like yes, no villain. That’s the first movie that came from I’m like because look what happens in Star Wars first like three or four minutes of the movie. Yeah the best the best opening of a villain arguably ever and everybody and that was a wonderful thing about that film is that I’ve listened to I probably seen every interview with George Lucas ever about that movie, uh about Star Wars and he said that no matter where you were in the world.
Even if you had no idea who Darth Vader was you knew and you didn’t speak English. Yeah, you knew that was the bad guy. Yeah. That was that’s the Brilliance and the universal appeal of of those movies is like you knew and they did that thing with kylo Ren as well that the and the way they designed his mask and I was all very strategic to portray a villain instantly.
It’s not okay another great example if I made you know, which which again was one of my favorites was Whiplash attention. Oh really the introduce the first two minutes. Ah, it’s just just as good as introducing Darth Vader. I mean, I’ll tell you what when I watch that movie it was it was hard to watch that’s a movie that’s hard to watch a little bit because he is so brilliant at being.
Just just a horrible human being exactly he’s so brilliant at it that it just I I felt like I’m like just leave man. Just lie. It’s not worth it man. Just go don’t play the damn drums anymore. Just go we watch but we know not want to walk away. But you know what’s brilliant is and he deserved the Oscar without question because he carries that movie.
That’s the whole movie is him. I know he’s not the main character but he is so overpowering as the actor and the character so overpowering that without him there’s so much he is he’s the empire. Yes, and this poor kid is Luke and it’s like but that’s if Darth Vader was yelling at Luke tired throwing symbols at it a chair with the force over.
It’s just throwing the force I come on Lou, you know three beats mouth Obi-Wan Kenobi three beats with a lifesaver. Come on. So, uh now and you also have an app right to save the cat app. Is that different than the software? No, it’s it’s it’s the same but alligator like you said, it’s an app. It’s for your laptop.
It’s for your iPhone or your iPad or Android. Uh, I’m have to be clear. I’m not sure about that, but I know you can work on your iPhone. But if you go to the same thing, it’s sort of like a miniature version of the. What you can get in your laptop or your computer got it, but it’s the same thing it helps you go through again your logline and then the beats and then you can even do the cards there but each card will be like one because it is just an iPhone.
Yeah, it’s like what card it doesn’t give you the song. You can play around it you can you can I guess what’s the word? Um, Play Between the app and the software. I think you can link if I if I have that right? Okay. So what you have in in your app, we can it goes on a cloud and you know write that in your in your in your computer.
And if you’re at Starbucks writing your your script and you have an idea real quick and you don’t have your laptop, yeah pop it into your iPad. All right, all right phone because I was talkin to another screenwriter. The other day is like, uh people here in La people outside of Italy don’t understand that if you walk into a Starbucks, There’s at least two people writing a screenplay any Starbucks in Los Angeles.
Yeah anytime of the day or exactly exactly never fails never never fails. So, um now comes to the part of the show. That is the toughest questions. I ask all my all my guests. So are you are you ready, sir? All right, I hope so. Okay. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether that be in the film business or in life in general?
Ah, you know what? This is for me. It’s it’s the discipline of writing this for me personally. I think it’s something else that you know, a lot of writers struggle with especially those who want to make writing their career job. It’s time that white page that white page is a mountain. Yeah, but it is really just simply finding the time they in and day out.
Yeah to say I’m gonna write tests for 10 minutes. 30 minutes 1 hour or a page a day, uh, because it’s so easy to get caught up with especially for those the newer ones. I thought especially also have a day job. Um, it’s you can easily get caught up with other things and before you know, it it’s so weak as fast you haven’t done a single page before, you know, it’s two months already, right?
They haven’t written ten pages. So it is it’s not necessarily a lesson. All right, what did this being able to Spring to discipline yourself and say that I will be writing today and again for me. It’s you have to put a goal a daily goal that that’s that this attainable for for you. So, you know. I know other writers to do like a day.
I know who someone who does six pages. They just stop I tried doing six pages a day stop. It sounds a lot easier than it’s tough. But you have to find a system that works for you that makes it like I said attainable each and every date. So whether you go by page count or by minute count now you have to do it and if it means having to wake up a little earlier.
Or tell your kids at the end of the day, you know, sorry that is playing right now on his own exactly you have to do it. Uh, and I think if anything it’s just that you have to keep writing if you want really be a good writer and I tell this to all writers. You just have to write it’s it’s not just writing but also reading scripts not necessarily just watching movies.
Yes watching move this nice, you know, but to read scripts as well. You know and you have to find a way to put that into your schedule as well. Yeah, I think that’s only the best lesson for one, uh become a not a good writer but to be really a working writer, you know, the if I may quote Woody Allen 90% of success is just showing up very true.
It’s and it’s true that consistency of showing up. Every day in doing the work, even if it’s five minutes, even if it’s 10 minutes, but. It’s that everyday thing and that’s what people get hearted. Like if you can get into that routine of just doing it every day little by little and trust me. I know even even Academy Award winning writers have problems.
Yeah writing like that just like oh God, I gotta go and write, you know, it’s like it’s it’s writing is one of the most laborious processes on the planet. One of the most underappreciated parts of the industry without question because without a great script there is no movies and it’s it is rough.
So that’s a great great piece of advice. Now, what are your top three favorite films of all time? Oh man. That’s I think this is even tougher question. All right, uh one would be I think the safe answer but I really loved it. It’s one of those some of the keep watching over and over again. I sank Redemption, of course, of course, it’s one of my top three as well.
Apply a light obviously to put no no, no second a close second was Twilight. No. Um, no Shawshank is it’s amazing. It’s it’s it’s it’s honestly to me it’s as perfect of a movie as you can get it for me because it’s my Generations Godfather very very to I think same thing with me, you know, it’s one of the reason why I love it so much.
It’s really it kind of breaks so many rules, but it all works. Yep, right. It’s ready and he’s right but you’re going to go there at the end of the movie. You’re just like who cares so I was gonna sound like who story and like now you when you asked me that my story is it is it is it Reds? Yeah. I think it’s I think it’s red maybe because he’s the narrator because he’s the new terms of Bennigan for me.
It’s always like who had the biggest change right and it. And it’s red. Yeah, sorry, although you would think a lot of the action or out of the action being instigated was being instigated by Andy. But Andy, but Andy didn’t make that large of a change not as big as he was just doing what he does.
Yeah, exactly. Uh, but read from the moment you see and you actually see them in different temples of the movie when that whole interview with the with the board the parole board. Yeah how he changes and you can literally I mean, he really lays it out for you Frank Darabont does uh, and it’s absolutely brilliant.
Um, and another one of his movies Green Mile I. Love love love love green. So go ahead. Sorry again. I think that’s number one for me. Yeah, um another one I guess again. There’s no really order. Of course. Um, one of the most perfect scripts I’ve read in the movie as well. The nicely was Little Miss Sunshine such a really such a really really I I I tell you’re leading and I tell you this when I read that I said, it’s ass perfect.
Second get reading a script. Yeah, it’s it’s tight and you know, you’re following all these characters again one of those that you know, Michael aren’t did a great job is building all these characters. We get to know all the characters try to in the first 10 minutes or following all their stories.
You know, it’s great and it’s one of those again it my way if we gauging the cricketer favorite of mine, if you know when you’re just surfing the PV. Oh, yeah, nothing if you happen to see it, then you stop. Yeah. Absolutely. Right just one of those Little Miss Sunshine and then the other one a smaller movie, but they really believe really love this.
Well, uh, what’s Billy Elliot? Oh, yeah, I love Billy Elliot. I remember Billy Elliot. That was a really sweet film. Yeah, and I think that this I think maybe just happened to be the time with me. When had my first child when the first came out. So the whole father-son thing was you secretly want to dance.
I understand I love you know, how they played out in kids during of him simply wanting to Dan. Played against the backdrop of what’s happening in this dance world, you know with the coal miner striking and having a bigger theme out there but yet their thing really was just the same. I think uh, it just, you know makes you laugh.
It makes it cry. It’s what the movie should be. That’s a great. That’s a great list. Yeah, that’s mind of my top three. I think for now for now 2016 is the more it may change. Of course, of course now, what’s the most underrated film you’ve ever seen? Uh, this is a tough one. I think a lot that I always look for.
Um, you know in a movie theater every year just like one small movie that comes out that for me to say I didn’t even know that came out in the movie, you know, I watched it in DVD, but I loved it completely right and they’re sort of like they have that in the field but although they’re recognizable actors and I think like in 2013, there’s like the way way back.
Oh, yeah. I like the way way back which is a great movie that Steve Carell Toni Collette, you know great cast. There was um, yes in 2014 the small one with um, the skeleton the skeleton twins this with Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. I haven’t seen that one again. It’s a small smoothie right? It’s very in the I just love how they built the characters and the relationship that they have.
Uh, so, you know, so it goes for me every year. I have kind of the one that they love the big felt like a 2015. What’s 2015? But it’s 2015 for me. I was gonna say but it’s also actually looked at up into happy for 2014. Again This Is Where I Leave You okay, but you know, I think one big one that has photos underrated.
I didn’t even hear about it and got somebody told me was Moon Moon. Oh, yeah, that’s the one with um, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I in terms of like movies is one of those at the wow. This really grabbed me it was like. What the hell is going on here? I don’t need to nice thing about it. He just read the following one character.
Yeah some Rockwell character then it’s like. You’re caught in it. Yeah, you’re in you’re in the web. You can’t get up and you know, because I found out about it simply because somebody told me about it. Uh, and I said, okay I had to watch it then tell everybody have you seen moon. It’s like that’s a brilliant.
That’s the brilliant thing about when you find a little gem like that you like why hasn’t someone else seen this what’s going on? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so so where can people find more about you and more about saving. Oh save the catheter website or black Snyder but it’s the same. I think the easy one to remember save the current and in there, uh, the website talks about, you know things that we do workshops that we have consultations we do but it also uh, Like we also bring out which sheets of movies that have come out, uh, which is always a great resource for writers.
You have some new ones now to fill up some of the most recent movies. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and we have people who contribute um into it. So it’s so that’s kind of the best way to keep up with. Um, let’s save the cat. Um, and again, like I said, it’s an ongoing thing. Um, it’s a way to keeping, uh, you know blacks method and.
Yeah, alive and updated on the time fantastic. Well, Jose, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure talking to you today. I hope you had fun. All right. Thank you very much for having us Alex. Seriously guys, if you have not read this book, you’ve got to go out and get it save the cat is awesome.
Awesome book. It’s just Blake wrote it so wonderfully and it really opens up your eyes to a lot of different Avenues of what it takes to be a screenwriter and how to tell a story uh, and his method is. Pretty amazing how it matches up in the um in the world of movies today and in the actual blog post or the show notes at any film.
Also, I put a couple of videos of how Blake’s method. Master measures up to certain movies and they actually go through scene-by-scene of these very famous Hollywood movies and you can see where all of his points line up perfectly. It’s quite remarkable to watch so definitely check that out. And guys, please head over to screenwriting podcast and sign up and subscribe to the bulletproof screenplay podcast on iTunes and leave us a five star review.
It really helps to show out a lot and helps us get this information out into the world. So thank you so so much. And as always keep on writing no matter what I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for listening to the bulletproof screenplay podcast at bulletproof screenplay.