The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting

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University of Texas Press, Mar 1, 2016 - 219 pages
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Veteran script consultant Jill Chamberlain discovered in her work that an astounding 99 percent of first-time screenwriters don't know how to tell a story. These writers may know how to format a script, write snappy dialogue, and set a scene. They may have interesting characters and perhaps some clever plot devices. But, invariably, while they may have the kernel of a good idea for a screenplay, they fail to tell a story. What the 99 percent do instead is present a situation. In order to explain the difference, Chamberlain created the Nutshell Technique, a method whereby writers identify eight dynamic, interconnected elements that are required to successfully tell a story.

Now, for the first time, Chamberlain presents her unique method in book form with The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting. Using easy-to-follow diagrams ("nutshells"), she thoroughly explains how the Nutshell Technique can make or break a film script. Chamberlain takes readers step-by-step through thirty classic and contemporary movies, showing how such dissimilar screenplays as Casablanca, Chinatown, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Silver Linings Playbook, and Argo all have the same system working behind the scenes, and she teaches readers exactly how to apply these principles to their own screenwriting. Learn the Nutshell Technique, and you'll discover how to turn a mere situation into a truly compelling screenplay story.

 

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This book was incredibly insightful. Giving easy to follow instructions and really broke the concept of writing a full-length feature into manageable parts. By far the most informative book on screenplay writing I have come across.

Contents

A NOTE ON THE TEXT
The Solution
Part 1
Part 2
Catch
Crisis
Climactic Choice
Strength
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Annie Hall
Dallas Buyers Club
Sunset Blvd
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Jill Chamberlain is a sought-after script doctor, story consultant, and screenwriting coach who founded The Screenplay Workshop (www.thescreenplayworkshop.org). She has taught the Nutshell Technique to more than a thousand screenwriters around the globe, and many of her students have achieved success in Hollywood, having their screenplays optioned, sold, and made into award-winning feature films.

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