Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Review: WRITING AND SELLING CRIME FILM SCREENPLAYS by KAREN LEE STREET
What I loved about this book was Karen Lee Street’s obvious passion for her subject and the historical overview of the genre. I think this would be an excellent book for the film studies student, such is the breadth of information on the historical aspect. Her case studies are varied and numerous, as are the quotes by giants in the film business, making the subject fascinating to someone who thought she’d never written a crime screenplay, though I now realise I have! Injustice of one sort or another is found at the heart of many a story. They certainly made me realise how much crime stories are part of the bedrock of human culture and how inventive you have to get, as a writer, to put a fresh spin on old tropes.
The detailed exercises will give your writing muscles a thorough workout. For the aspiring screenwriter it’s full of practical exercises to hone the skills, but it’s perhaps not for the absolute beginner. It’s an ambitious, well-researched book and rewards the reader willing to expand their knowledge base in genre. An invaluable addition to any writer’s bookshelf and I don’t doubt, soon to be seen on Facebook on various ‘shelfies’.
You can get it here.