This latest installment in the FilmCraft series is a delightfully encyclopedic look into the world of screenwriting from the perspective of those working in the industry. It includes interviews and profiles of prominent screenwriters from Caroline Thompson to Woody Allen, but even when the names don’t sound familiar, the films will. Too often the work of screenwriters takes a backseat to that of the actors or directors involved in a project, but Grierson digs deep, presenting screenwriting as the job it actually is.
Stripped of starry-eyed visions of writing a movie, we see what working in the film industry is really like. Compromises must be made, tedious hours are often kept, and soul-sucking failures sully the glamor of writing for Hollywood, but the flip side is a vision realized onscreen, an artistic legacy bearing your name, and a paycheck for doing something you truly love. The sheer number of films discussed in the book is somewhat mind boggling, but that’s what makes it so great. We’re not just breaking down the most memorable and iconic scripts ever penned, we’re looking at the workaday world of screenwriters. The results range from Annie Hall to Charlie’s Angels, but the act of writing and operating within the industry is surprisingly universal. Grierson’s book works both as a portrait of a career path and as a trivia-rich look behind the scenes of countless films. Use it as your bible on the path to screenwriting success, or keep it as a coffee table book. Its fun facts and lively photographs are as accessible as they are endless.