HOW TO WRITE
has a foreword by animation icon
Joe Barbera and blurbs by such notables as Jeffrey Katzenberg, Stan Lee,
Andy Heyward and Haim Saban, among others.
HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION is 224 pages of practical information, as well as the complete premise, outline and script from an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles written by Jeffrey. To order a copy just click on the book.
Click on the these links to:
READ THE FOREWORD BY JOE
SEE WHAT THE PROS SAY ABOUT THE BOOK
CHECK OUT THE TABLE OF CONTENTS
FIND OUT WHAT SCREENWRITING BOOKS JEFFREY RECOMMENDS
Once in a while
you meet a person who is so hard-working and dedicated to his craft that his work
stands above the rest. Less often you meet such a person who is also willing to
take the time to cut a trail so that others can follow in the footsteps of his success.
Such a man is Jeffrey Scott.
Fortunately for me, Jeffrey learned the ropes of animation writing at Hanna-Barbera--and learned them fast! Within six months he was made full story editor on Super Friends, which became one of the most successful action series we had ever produced. So successful was Jeffrey's first story-editing assignment that ABC ordered an additional 32 half-hours of the series, a record at that time. Remarkably, Jeffrey didn't just edit these scripts, he wrote them all! Over the next three seasons he wrote nearly a hundred more! And that was just Super Friends. He continued his high-quality, high-production output on Captain Caveman, Trollkins, Pac-Man and Wake, Rattle & Roll, writing over 200 scripts for H-B, more than any other writer in the history of the studio.
Anyone who loves movies and television knows the importance of a good script. Though today this is equally true in animation, it wasn't always the case. I should know, because H-B was responsible for developing the current script writing process for TV cartoons.
When Bill Hanna and I were doing Tom & Jerry for MGM, like Disney and other studios, we never had scripts. Instead, we'd come up with a notion, then brainstorm gags with our artists, stringing them together to make a cartoon. Classical animation relied much more on action and far less on dialogue. But animated action was getting more and more expensive, and by 1958, MGM stopped production of Tom & Jerry. So Bill and I decided to try our luck in television.
Unfortunately, we quickly discovered that there was even less money for TV animation than theatrical. So we had to find a way to drastically cut our budgets. This forced us to come up with what we called "limited animation", by which we turned the classical structure on its head, creating cartoons with more dialogue and less action. Surprisingly, though we used fewer and simpler drawings, by timing the action correctly we were able to create cartoons that were just as funny as those produced in full animation.
Luckily for Bill and me, we had more than good animation timing--our timing was perfect to get into TV animation. People were no longer enraptured by the beauty of full animation shown in theaters. Pretty pictures alone weren't enough to keep them interested. In television animation, the most important elements were clever gags, funny dialogue and good stories.
That's when we realized we needed scripts. Lots of them!
And that's why today's animation market is story driven. Whether full-length animated feature, prime-time animated sitcom, or Saturday morning cartoon, it all begins with the script. A producer can no longer rely solely on artists. He has to have someone who understands story structure, character development and dialogue. In other words, he has to have a cartoon writer.
And if you want to become one, you have to read this book!
With HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION, Jeffrey has cut a clear path that will take aspiring animation writers from their first confrontation with the dreaded "blank page", past the dangers of falling anvils, all the way through to a confident understanding of how to write animation. Jeffrey has done a masterful job of condensing 25 years of experience into an easy to read, step-by-step journey through the cartoon writing process.
If you're new to cartoon writing, this book will give you the tools you need to come up with clever ideas, flesh them out into well-structured stories, develop interesting characters, and transform it all into professional quality scripts. In it you'll find valuable secrets that will help you create your own series and show you how to sell it. But this book isn't just for the novice. If you're already an animation writer there are plenty of helpful tips and tricks gleaned from knowledge that can only be acquired after writing a staggering 600 scripts in virtually every genre of animation.
I can tell you from personal experience that to really succeed in this business you need to create your own style and fight for your ideas. But first you need to learn the fundamentals of your craft and learn them well. And that's exactly what this book will teach you.
So if you want to become an animation writer, just turn the page and get ready to Yabba Dabba Do It!
Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc.
BACK COVER BLURBS
"Writing for animation is both an art and a discipline...and Jeffrey Scott is
terrific at teaching others what he's mastered himself."
"Writers! Add Jeffrey Scott's How to Write for Animation to your required
reading list. As one of the top names in the animation field, a man who's done
it all and done it with style, Jeffrey has not only given us the result of years
of invaluable experience, but a damn good read as well."
"Jeffrey Scott combines that rarest and most extraordinary of talents--he is
a master storyteller, a prolific writer and turns out scripts 'faster than
a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive.' He leaves a legacy
to the world of animation writing that is unmatched and unparalleled and, fortunately
for so many, now memorialized in this excellent book."
Warner Bros. Television
"Jeffrey Scott has written the definitive sourcebook for anyone interested in
the world of animation and script writing. Infused with humor and a love of
the craft, this book is filled with the practical information one needs to get
started, and is a great resource for producers, directors and executives already
in the business."
Vice President Programming
"Jeffrey Scott is without a doubt the most prolific and accomplished writer
of television animation of all time. Action, comedy--he does it all, and very,
very well. I LOVED this book! Maybe if I had read it twenty years ago
I would have stayed a writer and not become an executive."
"Jeffrey's book contains everything you need to know about writing for animation
and then some. Reading this book is a must for anyone interested in excelling
in the field."
CEO & Chairman
How To Read This Book
PART I - GETTING READY TO WRITE
The World Of Animation
Tools Of The Trade
PART II - WRITING FOR ANIMATION
How To Write A Premise
Developing Your Story Beats
How To Write An Outline
How To Write A Script
How To Write Funny Stuff
Feature, Internet & Sample Scripts
Creating An Animated Series
Writing A Presentation, Bible & Pilot
PART III - SELLING YOUR ANIMATED PROJECT
How To Get An
How To Break Into Toon Writing Without An Agent
How To "Pitch" Your Project
How to Prosper In Toon Town
Animation Links & References
To purchase a copy of HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION click here --->
IF YOU WANT TO WRITE ANIMATED FEATURES
HERE'S JEFFREY'S RECOMMENDED READING LIST...
Although HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION has received kudos and acclaim from both beginners and professional animation writers, it was never designed to teach feature film story structure. If you want to write feature-length animated screenplays you need to read books that specifically deal with screenwriting because animated feature film structure is virtually identical to live action. Below is a list of books Jeffrey is continually studying to improve his animation and live-action screenwriting technique. Just click on the images to learn more about them or purchase them at Amazon.com.
STORY, by Robert McKee, Hollywood's most famous screenwriting instructor, is the best comprehensive book on screenplay structure and style. 480 pages of vital information for the screenwriter, whether professional or beginner. If you're serious about becoming a screenwriter, live-action or animation, you MUST read this book!
THE WRITER'S JOURNEY, by Christopher Vogler, has been required reading in Hollywood for years. The book expands on Vogler's legendary 7-page Disney memo for screenwriters entitled, "A Practical Guide to The Hero With a Thousand Faces", based on Joseph Campbell's classic book (see below). "The Writer's Journey" describes the 12 steps of mythical story structure and its dramatic personae in a clear and concise terms invaluable to writers of all genres, but especially screenplays.
THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES, by Joseph Campbell, is a must read for those who want a deeper understanding of the archetypical elements of virtually all effective storytelling. Campbell explores the "mythical structure" that underlies classic stories, breaking down the hero's journey into stages, including the call to adventure, refusing the call, finding a mentor, encountering threshold guardians, crossing the threshold, facing the worst evil, and winning the elixir.
MYTH AND THE MOVIES, by Stuart Voytilla, explores Joseph Campbell's "mythic structure" by analyzing 50 memorable motion pictures, from Casablanca to Star Wars, and demonstrating how they follow Campbell's story stages.
SCREENPLAY, by Syd Field, has its supporters and detractors. They're both right. If you can get past the chaff there's some really valuable wheat within its pages. Syd has developed a very simple act structure that can, in conjunction with McKee's STORY, help the screenwriter to better see the vital elements of screenplay structure.
THE SCREENWRITER'S WORKBOOK, by Syd Field, updates the act structure laid out in his book, SCREENPLAY, adding one more vital element that helps in fully understanding screenplay structure.
SAVE THE CAT!, by seasoned screenwriter Blake Snyder, is a must for anyone who wants some terrific tips for writing good screenplays...and SELLING them! The title itself, "Save the Cat!", suggests one such valuable tip. If you use just one of Blake's tips you will have definitely gotten your money's worth. I highly recommend it.
©2006 Jeffrey Scott, All rights reserved. Reproduction, distribution or transmission
by any means without the prior permission of copyright holder is prohibited.