Following up on my Friday post comes a new screenwriting book review! How convenient and timely!
This book is called Screenwriting 101 by Film Crit Hulk. I know that’s an odd moniker to be publishing a book under, but if you’re at all familiar with his work you know Film Crit Hulk is a legitimate critic – Learned and articulate (for a Hulk). His work can be found online at Badass Digest.
What is interesting about this particular screenwriting book (or e-book, to be more accurate, as it’s currently only available to the Kindle) is that the first three-quarters of the book are devoted to theory and then Film Crit Hulk gets into the nitty gritty of formatting and whatnot. If you’re a beginning screenwriter that is looking to get a cheap book on screenwriting and think the big green fist coming down on a typewriter looks like a cool cover, I would probably advise against this. My feeling is that this is a much more valuable book for writers that already have a basic understanding of formatting, theory, and their own writing processes. Of course, this could be because I have a basic understanding of all of those things and I can’t see beyond my own experience to relate to a beginning screenwriter anymore. That’s not it, but it could be.
The real reason the book isn’t for the beginning screenwriter, and why it’s “101” titling is a bit misleading, is because Film Crit Hulk hands the writer so many potential tools to use and describes so many filmic theories it just felt overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong; there’s a ton of good stuff in here. He does his best to challenge our notions of how to write a screenplay. He dares the writer to think differently about structure and plot. And he outlines differing ways to do that. Just be careful with it if you’re a beginning writer, otherwise you may find yourself with too many tools and only a vague idea of how to use them.
On a more nit-picky note, Hulk writes in character at all times. There is a Bruce Banner version that is more traditionally formatted, but even there lies typos and mistakes in grammar. The message is powerful enough to forgive such things, but I am also one of those people that will write off an argument if it’s not properly articulated. That’s more of a flaw with me than the book, though.
In all, I’d highly recommend this book for those who have read some of the other basic screenwriting books. Once you have a solid foundation on which you’ve already began screenwriting, Film Crit Hulk’s book is a good way to continue your education.
Screenwriting 101 by Film Crit Hulk can be found in the Kindle store or by clicking here.