Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks of your screenplay? Maybe this will throw some light on the subject.
I am proud to announce the publication through Amazon of my book Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader. This is a culmination of many of my blog writings as well as my 2013 movie reviews.
“I got a Kindle addition of Rantings and Ravings about three days ago. I’m maybe a fifth or a quarter of the way into the book. And I see a lot of good things you are pointing out that are mistakes that writers are constantly making in screenplays, and some laughs at some of the unintentional things writers often do. Your book would be $3.00 well spent for 80 or 85% of the writers here…” Eli Donaldson (for the complete review go to: http://ow.ly/CGqhQ )
“Not just a nice perspective of a contest reader but some helpful … hmm, tips is the wrong word … insights (that’s better) into the writing process–again, the wrong word — reading of the writing process. We write to be read. So how one’s screenplay is read is as important as how it was written. This book reminds us of the importance of the read as the read proceeds all the other steps that lead to a viewing.” Tim Lane
“Information that needs to be heard.” L.A. Sidsworth
“Don’t be fooled by the amusing title of this fascinating book. Howard never actually rants or raves, but instead provides a plethora of valuable insights into the art and business of screenwriting. If you’ve ever entered a screenplay contest and have wondered what goes on once your script is received, look no further. Howard pulls back the curtain to give us a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the judging process, and he’s not afraid to reveal the different factors that go into choosing the winners. (It’s not as cut and dry as you might think.) If you are just starting down the path of pursuing a screenwriting career, you’ll definitely want to check out the chapters on common mistakes, what works best and what to avoid. For the more seasoned cinephile, the book is also crammed full of thought provoking essays on the art and craft of cinema, as well as an eclectic assortment of movie reviews. Quite a lot of bang for just a few bucks. And best of all, Howard’s encyclopedic knowledge of cinema, combined with a keen sense of humor, makes for a very enlightening and entertaining read.” Jeremy Carr
To purchase the book, please go to http://ow.ly/xK2L0. More reviews follow:
“An insightful book from the perspective that matters the most…that of the professional reader. As writers we sometime get far too absorbed in the minutiae of our story that we can easily miss the forest for the trees. Howard’s book helps take a couple of steps back and allows the writer to step into the reader’s shoes. I think this book should provide useful and practical advice to any aspiring screenwriter. While this is not a how-to manual on the art of writing, it should nonetheless be a good addition to most screenwriter’s libraries. Highly recommended.” Kays Al-atrakchi
“I read this book to get a perspective from the “other” side, the side of the screenplay contests readers. Howard tells it like it is. His “rantings and ravings” details how screenplays succeed or fail with specifics of what contest readers look for in great scripts or find in horrible scripts. In more than half of the book, Howard presents examples of movies, in different genres, that show original screenplays, successful character development, plots, premises, and concepts that work.” Dinah
“Great read for any screenwriter, just starting or an old dog looking for new tricks. Been following the writer on Facebook and reading his blog for a while now. This collection of his “Rantings and Ravings” is just what a screenwriter needs. Sage advice, encouragement and the truth. As a writer and screenwriting coach I can tell you he speaks to the things that we all need to pay attention to. Not just the obvious, but the little things that really matter. Buy this book! I did.” Steven Esteb, writer/director (Dirty Politics, Baller Blockin’)
“Howard Casner is an amazing writer, reader and screenplay judge who was also the very first person to read and discover my award-winning script in the Slamdance Screenplay Competition. Now he is sharing his invaluable insight and knowledge so that all writers may realize their dreams. THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS Howard!!” Miranda Kwok, writer/actor (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)
“Howard Casner has just published a book called “Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader.” For anyone interested in screenplays, screenwriting or film, I encourage you to buy a copy. It’s only $2.99 and I’m sure you’ll find it well worth the price. I’ve read a lot of Howard’s film reviews, and with each one I’ve been impressed by his insight and knowledge. I’ve learned something valuable from every review of his that I’ve read.” Todd Niemi, screenwriter/producer (Backgammon)
“For all my screenwriting students and friends, Howard’s book is terrific, with some insider wisdom about contests. He is a very interesting, spot on writer. Congratulations, Howard.” Bart Baker, screenwriter (Supercross, Live Wire)
“If you want to know what the bleep goes on in a script reader’s head, Howard Casner’s “Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Consultant” is a good place to start and it’s currently available on Amazon. Tanya Klein on Stormblog, the official blog of Coverage, Ink. http://ow.ly/zD6Ed
After entering your screenplay in contest after contest, have you often wondered why you constantly come up empty handed? Why your entry never seems to make it past the quarter- or semi- or whatever is the lowest of the finals?
I mean, it’s not like the people who manage the contest are going to tell you.
This book is an attempt to answer that question. To give you, the writer, not just more insight into how screenplays are read and judged, but also some idea as to where your particular screenplay may be falling a bit short.
These essays are based on my ten year experience as a reader and judge for numerous competitions, as well as a provider of one-on-one personal consultation. During that time, I have come to notice that writers often seem to make the same sorts of mistakes over and over and over…and over again.
The essays are not rules to live by. They are not an attempt to codify and tell you what you have to do. I don’t believe in that.
The essays are just a way to give you, the author, more of an idea as to what you may need to do to make it up to that next level.
In addition, included are a series of essays on screenwriting in general, as well as reviews of the movies of 2013, reviews that are written from the particular viewpoint of a screenwriter.
For information on my screenplay consultation services, please go to http://ow.ly/xLAhC.
Howard Casner began writing screenplays when he moved to Los Angeles in 2001. In 2003, he became a reader and judge for the Slamdance Screenplay Competition where he discovered the first place winner for that year and for the four years following. Also, though Slamdance, he originated and co-produced the Slamdance on Stage reading series in which the winners of the competitions were given staged readings at different legitimate theaters around town.
Since then he has provided coverage and screenplay consultation for Slamdance Screenplay Competition; Here! Networks/Regent Entertainment; Final Draft Big Break Screenplay Competition; Budget Cheetah; Creative World Awards; Gimme Credit Screenplay Competition; African Film Commission Screenplay Competition; Screenplay Readers and Coverageink.
He has also completed a number of screenplays and written a straight-to-cable screenplay for Here! Networks/Regent Entertainment. His screenplay Rough Trade is a semi-finalist in the 2007 Extreme Screenplay Competition; a quarter finalist in the 2007 Screenwritingexpo Competition; a quarterfinalist in the 2009 Champion Screenwriting Competition; and a semifinalist in the 2012 Outfest Writer’s Lab. His screenplays Rough Trade and Welcome to L.A. both made the top twelve in the 2011 Great Gay Screenplay Competition with Welcome to L.A. making the top five. His screenplay Revelation is a finalist in the 2007 Screenplay Festival Competition.
Most recently, his screenplay The Last Tree Standing Motel made the finalists in the New London Screenplay Competition and semi-finalist in the All Access Screenplay Competition.
In addition, he heads and moderates the Write Club screenwriting group that meets every other week in Hollywood. For more information check out: http://www.meetup.com/Write-Club/.
Prior to his arrival in L.A., his main emphasis had been on writing for the stage and his plays have been seen in Chicago, New York and L.A. His most recent L.A. production was for his dark comedy Queen Christina Goes Roman and in 2002, he received a GLAAD nomination for best L.A. production for his play A Cold Coming We Had of It.