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   Training Review
   Screenwriting for Teens
   Author: Christina Hamlett
   Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions
   Format: Instructional Book (246 pgs.)
   Topic: Screenwriting

   MSRP: $18.95

   Special Pricing :  Click Here
   Website: Michael Wiese Productions
   Release Dates: November 1, 2006

   Review Date:
June 15, 2006
   Reviewed By: Kari Ann Morgan

Final Score:

For most teens, trying to get them to write is like trying to pull teeth from a live, pissed-off piranha. Get them brainstorming about movie ideas, however, and it's a whole different thing. Screenwriting for Teens guides the reader through the fundamentals of screenwriting: plot structure, character development, genres, style, etc. Each chapter is only two pages long, and includes examples from popular movies and television shows, helpful websites, and brainstorming activities to develop the concept discussed in the chapter. The great thing about this book is that you don’t have to be a teen to find this book informative.

Screenwriting for Teens is very easy to follow. It is broken down into 100 two-page chapters, and while the sequence of chapters does not necessarily follow a specific pattern, topics move logically from one to the other. Much like in the actual writing process, different aspects flow into each other: plot development is related to characterization which is related to conflict, which is related to… well, you get the idea. It assumes that the reader doesn’t have any previous knowledge of the screenwriting process, but goes through and explains the various aspects in an easy-to-understand way.

Depth of Information
This book is a good introduction to the world of screenwriting. For the creative writer who has written stories (but no screenplays) or for a reader who is interested in learning more about the basics of writing for film, this is an excellent book. It conveys the important essentials of screenwriting, and how it differs from conventional story writing.

One of the things that best conveys the concepts covered in each chapter are the "Look and Learn" examples. Taking examples from well-known films such as Lethal Weapon, the Incredibles, Casablanca, and Die-Hard, Hamlett illustrates how these concepts are conveyed and why they are effective. Also included in the “Look and Learn” section are helpful websites for things like script formatting, treatments, etc. Together, these resources give the reader additional information into the screenwriting process.

Interest Level
Because of the short chapters, this book is very easy to read; the concepts covered in each chapter are brief but succinct and informative. You can pick it up and start reading just about anywhere, and skip around to different parts as needed. Additionally, the references to popular, well-known films to illustrate the different concepts help the reader to follow along. (To prove this point, just try reading a book that uses examples of obscure foreign films; it’s almost impossible to follow, because you have no point of reference for them!)

This is a book that you will definitely be reading again, especially if you’re interested in screenwriting. The concepts covered in this book are ones that are essential to writing for film, and, unlike many screenwriting books, you won’t have to slog through pages of esoteric instruction if you need to review certain things. This book will be a good reference manual that will be relevant and helpful for years to come.

Value vs. Cost
For about $20, you can take a beginner's course for screenwriting, complete with helpful brainstorming activities that you can do by yourself or with friends. The information and resources in Screenwriting for Teens, together with its reusability, makes this a very good book to invest in.

Overall Comment
Screenwriting for Teens is not just for teens; anyone interested in learning more about screenwriting will find this helpful, whether you’re fifteen or fifty. It's format makes it easy to read, while relevant examples and helpful resources aid in comprehension, and will make this book one you can continue to use long after the initial reading. This would also be an excellent as a textbook for a high school screenwriting class.

Depth of Information            
Interest Level            
           Value vs. Cost            
Overall Score           
A powerhouse in management, Kari Ann Morgan successfully produced a feature length film before coming to work at Microfilmmaker as Assistant Editor. In addition to writing for the magazine, she's been successfully working with various distributors to get microfilmmakers the chance for theatrical distribution.

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