Here are some of the books I use to teach the History of Screenwriting in the MFA in Screenwriting Program for Stephens College. I’ll touch base on each of these books individually – their strengths and weaknesses (as I see them and as the students have reported them to me in class discussions) over the next few of weeks.
What are your favorite screenwriting History books? It’s a trick question because few film history books focus on screenwriting. They mostly focus on business moguls, directors and actors. But because this is an MFA in Screenwriting, the program Director, Ken Lazebnik, and I decided the writers who come through the program ought to have a deep understanding of the screenwriters who came before them.
- A History of the Screenplay by Steven Price
- What Happens Next by Marc Norman
- Screenwriting by Andrew Horton and Julian Hoxter
- Writers in Hollywood by Ian Hamilton
- Framework by Tom Steeple
- Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood by Cari Beauchamp
- Rediscovered: Film Treatments and Fiction by Anita Loos, Creator of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” by Anita Loos and Cari Beauchamp