Download Blake Snyder - Save the Cat Strikes Back PDF

TitleBlake Snyder - Save the Cat Strikes Back
File Size19.7 MB
Total Pages201
Table of Contents
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Document Text Contents
Page 1

More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get Into... and Out Of




Page 2

from Dean DeBlois
co-writer and co-director of How to Train Your Dragon

"Blake’s whole approach was used in structuring
the story that Chris Sanders andIbrought to the
project when we took it over. We had just over a

year to rewrite, storyboard, edit, animate, and light
the entire film. A crazy undertaking — and time
was of the essence being that the release date was
immovable. Our task was to take the world of the
source children’s book and broaden its audience

by giving it a dynamic, fantasy adventure story that
would deliver on the promise of the premise. Chris
andIalso saw an opportunity for strong emotional

payoffs within its central relationships, so we made
them our primary focus.

Our first step was to lay out our concept accord¬
ing to Blake’s Beat Sheet, and from there, we laid
out the detailed structure. The Board became our
foundation, and we never veered from it as we felt
our way through the moments of the story. I’m a
bigbeliever in Blake’s approach because everything
he teaches was proven true in the years of story work
Idid prior to reading Save the Cat! The theories he
touches upon are undeniable, universal truths of
human storytelling, and Blake did us all a huge and
lasting favor by putting them in a digestible form
that people can immediately use and rely upon.”

Page 100


But there were two problems: Because of the hero’s character
and condition, he seemed unmotivated. Both his "tangible goal”
and his "spiritual goal” were blurred into a nightmare without di¬
rection and a Theme that seemed MIA. Part of Kathy’s dilemma
was based on the premise: As an alcoholic in the final stages of his
disease, the hero didn’t care. Even when accused of murder, he
ambled from one clue to the next. By givinghim a tangible goal —
to prove his innocence — we gave the hero a clear driving force.

But where was the spiritual goal? What was this about? After
hashing it out, we found the Theme... in the title. Amends is a story
about taking responsibility and making it right, and though the
hero finds the truth by script’s end, he also realizes his part inhis
wife’s death, which gives this story meaning for both the character
and the audience. Allbecause we asked: What’s it about? and insisted
we give the hero both tangible and spiritual goals!

In each of these cases, the story spine was crooked — but how?
By asking the five questions, we got to the heart of why, and in each
case figured out what was wrong. Storytelling is problem solving,
and as long as we approach it as such, without self-recrimination
but as steely pros seeking answers, we let go of our fear of being
wrong — and just fix it!

AndIlove the process.
Of courseIdo. It’s not my script!


Whether you think you have a crooked spine of a script, or
know you do, it’s best to deal with it by making sure. Story scoliosis,
the crooked tale that meanders every which way except the way we
want, is no longer a problem... so long as you’re aware of your
tendency and take note if you wander off the beam.

You must offer us the biggest journey, the greatest change, the
most dramatic beginning and end, and meaning inbuckets. It must
have a hero who changes, and we must be able to show how those

Page 101



i iissl
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a B


The Wages of Fear: Zut alors, we are stuck
in zee mud of our plot. If only I had straightened
zee spine of my story!

changes look from the first glimpse ofhim to the last. We must show
milestones of change throughout withbreathtaking clarity.

And the easy remedy is this checklist:

The Five Questions to Straighten Your Spine:

1. Who’s the hero? Whether it’s a solo journey like Maria Full of
Grace or an ensemble like Crash, pegging whom this story is about is
vital; it’s who we’ll follow from beginning to end.

2. What’s theproblem? Without a set of defects, both in the hero’s
character and his world, why bother watching? We cavemen are
looking for clues to fix our lives, so show us yours!

Page 200


The Last Storv Structure Software You'll Ever Need



Structure your screenplay the Save the Cat!, way and create stories that resonate!

This software will help you:

Develop a powerful Logline and Title.

Choose one of 10 Genres, each with recognizable traits that will help you write
something that is “the same, only different.”

Fill in a Blake Snyder Beat Sheet with the 15 key beats for every screenplay.

Use The Board, the fabled device seen in executive offices all over Hollywood,
which allows you to “see” your movie when you create moveable, numbered,
color-coded scene cards before you begin writing.

With a page count of up to 1,000, whether you're writing a short film or a long
novel, the beats will appear in proportion. And with the Save the Cat!, Cloud, you
can choose to use our Cloud to place your file into your own personal queue from
which you can download it to any device or computer.

With the iPhone/iPod Touch
and iPad versions of the
bestselling Save the Cat!.
Story Structure Software, you
can carry your screenplay
ideas with you wherever you
go, so you'll be ready whenever
inspiration strikes.

Available on the

LJ App Store

Page 201


Blake Snyder, author of Save the Cat!* and Save the Cat!* Goes to the Movies,
has delivered the book countless readers and students have clamored for.
Inspired by questions from his workshops, lectures, and emails, Blake listened
and provides new tips, tactics, and techniques to solve your writing problems
and create stories that resonate:

><The 7 warning signs you might have a great idea — or not

2 sure-fire templates for can’t-miss loglines

The difference between structure and formula

The Transformation Machine that allows you to track your
hero’s growth step-by-step

The 5 questions to keep your story’s spine straight

The 5-Point Finale to finish any story

The Save the Cat!* Greenlight Checklist that gets to the heart
of every development issue

The right way to hear notes, deal with problematic producers,
and dive into the rewrite with the right attitude

Why and when an agent will appear

How to discover the potential for greatness in any story

How to avoid panic, doubt, and self-recrimination... and what it
takes to succeed and dare to achieve your dreams



HGet ready to face trouble like a pro... and strike back!
a“A dazzling expansion on Blake’s original insights, this essential screenwritingtool is practicalandprofound."

- Mark Hentemann, Writer/Executive Producer,Family Guy
K"Blake Snyder has given us another gem. From the most generous and

genuine writer/teacher of our time, this book will inspire the reader to scale
allof those seemingly insurmountable brick walls andkeep going. A must


- Alyson Noel, #1New York Times Bestselling Author,Evermore,
Blue Moon,Shadowland

"Blake’s best yet. It gives us a deeperpersonal insight to the relentlessly
positive mindset thatpoweredhis great success andhis generous spirit. His
work andhis inspiring legacy willremain timeless.”- Rick Drew,movieScopeMagazine


ISBN-13: 978-0-9841576-0-0
ISBN-10: 0-9841576-0-3

5 19 9 5



CAT! 9 780984 157600

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