Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks of your screenplay? Frustrated that your screenplay isn’t getting the reception you need or want? Do you want to try to expand your vision as a screenwriter? Try the second edition of my screenwriting book, More Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1XP9Y
These essays are based on my twenty 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.
“I’d read Casner’s excellent “Starving Artists” short story collection (terrific and original stuff, btw) and, being a reformed screenwriter and one time reader, was curious about these essays in the, ahem, dark arts. I was not disappointed. I will say up front that this is a volume for people familiar with the craft of screenwriting… but that’s only to put a label on it. I found it insightful, amusing and full of solid advice that writers everywhere can put to good use. Not only are Casner’s ideas sound, but with his comprehensive knowledge of film and theater history he’s able to illustrate virtually everything he posits with real-world evidence. This is huge because it enables the screenwriter to see practice in action, so to speak (although I must admit that I haven’t seen every one of the numerous films he cites!) He also writes with a humorist’s flair; on most every page I found myself smiling at something witty. My recommendation? Pick this one up. Enjoy, laugh, learn.”
“The author’s wealth of knowledge of movies across all ages and cultures is beyond impressive. The rantings and ravings from his experiences reading scripts for contests are fascinating and insightful. I don’t always agree with his viewpoints (such as the chapter about if a movie is good or bad and thinking critically about it), but I’m still surprised and impressed by the book as a whole and found it educational in so many ways, it’s a must read!”
Casner’s witty, chatty style wiggles its way through such thorny patches as, “Is a Who or a What Driving the Story?” or, “Do Screenwriters Have Anything to Say?” Admittedly, he wrote it after reading for two film fests, closing with a chapter named, “Where Have All the Good Screenplays Gone?”
Casner tries to clarify some issues and pre-warn you about others. “Screenplays are nothing more than blueprints for a film,” he states. Pretty clear. One of his chapters is titled, “What I Look for and What I Like in Screenplays.” Lots to learn.
I was shocked to learn, for example, that as a professional script reader, he reads 30 to 40 scripts a week, regularly skims action/chase/fight scenes, and each time he tries to “Recommend” a brilliant script with iffy formatting, it gets killed by the next reader!”
“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