Screenwriting Tricks of the Trade


$10.95

  • 150 Pages
  • 5½x8½ Paper
  • Silman-James Press
  • 9781879505131
  • 1-879505-13-4

Screenwriting Tricks of the Trade distills William Froug’s many years as a Hollywood professional and a highly respected screenwriting teacher into a fresh and timeless primer that takes the novice screenwriter on an insightful journey from the first urge to write through the completion and sale of a well-wrought script.

This practical guide eschews formulaic paradigms and leads each writer to the discovery of his or hers own approach to and style of screenwriting. The screenwriter’s filmgoing experiences, in tandem with Froug’s lively presentation of the ins and outs—the invaluable “tricks” and possible pitfalls—of writing for the screen, become the keys that unlock the mysteries of commercially successful screen-drama.

“I wish every studio executive, director, producer and agent in town would read this book…truths is the word that best characterizes what Bill has written.  Not rules, but truths… I can honestly say that I have built a career on these few simple truths… It is a book of wisdom and good, sound advice about the process of screenwriting…I recall as a kid, no matter what small item I bought, there would always be a little piece of paper inside that said, ‘Congratulations!  You have just purchased the finest harmonica (or penknife or compass) that money can buy!’ And I think that sentiment applies to Screenwriting Tricks of the Trade.  …Bill has proven himself to be the screenwriters’ best friend and advocate. After all, where else except this book will you find the movie E.T.  referred to as ‘Melissa Mathison’s story’ without any mention of you-know-who?”
—from the Forword by Jeffrey Boam

William Froug

William Froug (1922-2013) was an Emmy-winning writer-producer, author, and screenwriting professor. His television credits include The Twilight Zone, Playhouse 90,  Gilligan's Island, Charlie's Angels, and Bewitched. While serving as executive in charge of drama at CBS, he pursued teaching and became an adjunct professor at USC’s film school from 1968-1975. Later, he became a tenured professor at UCLA, where he founded it's present film and television writing program. The Producers Guild named him Producer of the Year in 1956, and the Writers Guild of America awarded him their Valentine Davies Award in 1987. He is the author of five books on screenwriting and a memoir, How I Escaped from Gilligan's Island: And Other Misadventures of a Hollywood Writer-Producer.