Successfully Breaking the Rules
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About the author
Ken Dancyger is the author of numerous books on screenwriting, editing, and production. He conducts screenwriting forums and workshops in North America, Europe, and Asia. A past chair of Undergraduate studies in the Department of Film and Television at NYU, he is currently Professor of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Jeff Rush is an associate professor at Temple University's Department of Film & Media Arts. He has served as director of the MFA program and as Department Chair in Film & Media Arts. He received an MFA in Screenwriting and Directing from the American Film Institute and an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop. In addition to teaching, Jeff has worked as a freelance screenwriter and has published numerous articles and books.
Alternative Scriptwriting 4E is an insightful and inspiring book on screenwriting concerned with challenging you to take creative risks with genre, tone, character, and structure. Concerned with exploring alternative approaches beyond the traditional three-act structure, Alternative Scriptwriting first defines conventional approach, suggests alternatives, then provides case studies. These contemporary examples and case studies demonstrate what works, what doesn't, and why.
Because the film industry as well as the public demand greater and greater creativity, one must go beyond the traditional three-act restorative and predictable plot to test your limits and break new creative ground. Rather than teaching writing in a tired formulaic manner, this book elevates the subject and provides inspiration to reach new creative heights.
Taylor and Francis
; August 2012
424 pages; ISBN 9781136053696Read online
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Title: Alternative Scriptwriting
Author: Ken Dancyger; Jeff Rush
Beyond the Rules; Structure; Critique of Restorative Three-Act Form; Counter Structure; Narrative and Anti-Narrative; Working with Genre 1; Working with Genre 2; Working Against Genre; Reframing the Active/Passive Character Distinction; Stretching the Limits of Character Identification; Main and Secondary Characters; Subtext, Action and Character; The Primacy of Character Over Action; The Subtleties and Implications of Screenplay Form; Character, History and Politics; Tone; Dramatic Voice/Narrative Voice; Digital Features; Writing the Narrative Voice; Rewriting; Adaptations from Contemporary Literature; Personal Scriptwriting: The Edge; Beyond the Edge;
In the press
Praise for the fifth edition:
"Screenwriting is about making choices. What Dancyger and Rush reveal so effectively in Alternative Screenwriting is just how many options are possible, how the various available choices work and how different decisions will impact screen storytelling. This book substantially broadens every screenwriters' -creative horizons."
-David Howard, USC screenwriting professor and author of The Tools of Screenwriting and How to Build a Great Screenplay."
"Alternative Scriptwriting is invaluable to anyone interested in screenwriting or in directing fiction. Using plain language it demystifies storytelling for the screen, and opens up myriad possibilities for using the cinema with invention, freshness, and imagination." - Michael Rabiger, Professor Emeritus, Film/Video Department, Columbia College Chicago.
"Just as Aristotle's "Poetics and André Bazin's "What is Cinema are an inseparable part of a Screenwriting reading list, Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush's "Alternative Scriptwriting is an absolute must read for a deeper understanding of the structure of Screenwriting. -Dr. John Bernstein, Director, Graduate Program in Screenwriting, Department of Film and Television, Boston University
"Alternative Scriptwriting," by Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush, is one of the few books on the subject that doesn't make you feel stupid while you're reading it.
Instead of the usual boring list of "tricks of the trade" that replaces a real table of content in so many "How To Write A Screenplay And Sell It For A Lot Of Money To An Even Bigger Lot Of Talentless Hopeful People" Dancyger & Rush offer real insight for those who take their screenwriting seriously and are not afraid to venture a little bit "beyond the rules". Both as a filmmaker and as a teacher I have found this volume very precious because what the authors do best is mix American craftsmanship with European sensibility.
An excellent cocktail, if you ask me. And you did."
-Marc Didden - Head Of Screenwriting at St. Lukas Hogeschool, Brussels , Writer/Director ( "Brussels By Night", "Istanbul", "Sailors Don't Cry" )
Praise for the third edition:
"An insightful alternative to mainstream narrative and character analysis that presents the reader with a clear dissection of the mainstream before revealing the alternatives."
-- Script Factory
"[Alternative Scriptwriting] aims to challenge its readers to create writing that is exceptional. While no book can possibly replace your own creative vision, as a resource it's thorough and is a good way to help yourself consider alternative ideas."
-- Plugin Cinema