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Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The great challenge in writing a feature-length screenplay is sustaining audience involvement from page one through 120. Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach expounds on an often-overlooked tool that can be key in solving this problem. A screenplay can be understood as being built of sequences of about fifteen pages each, and by focusing on solving the dramatic aspects of ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published April 2004)
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Kali Srikanth
Sep 18, 2013 Kali Srikanth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: both novice and experienced screenwriters alike.
Recommended to Kali by: Gopi Mohan
4.5* by 5.

Gulino does not tell us why the sequence approach to writing ended but he does tell us why he believes it should be revived. Any screen-writing method that makes the writer’s task easier and focuses on the audience’s experience is worth examining.

A typical two hour film, Gulino tells us, comprises eight sequences – two in the first act, four in the second and two in the third. Each sequence is a short film which mirrors the structure of a complete film. But while complete films have co
Feb 11, 2007 Nathaniel rated it liked it
read the first chapter then skim the rest. useful.
Glenn Mitchell
Nov 29, 2014 Glenn Mitchell rated it really liked it
This is a helpful book for screenwriters that will help them avoid a sagging story during the second act. Paul Gulino learned this approach at USC. So did Chris Soth, who markets this same approach in a more formulaic way as the Mini-Movie Method.

I enrolled in the Mini-Movie Method class from ScreenwritingU, after reading partially through this book. I dropped the class because the book is much better. The book avoids the incessant hype, the need to tie it to Joseph Campbell's idea of an heroic
Sep 08, 2009 Maria rated it really liked it
Sequencing seems to lend itself to some good approaches for sustaining audience interest in a story, however, as the author readily admits, don't get the idea that sequencing is the only useful way to look at screenplays.

I do however think this is definitely a good book to have in your screenwriting library, and I did pick up some useful techniques from it. Unlike "Story," it's pretty boring, but it does focus on taking apart scripts sequence by sequence--so if you rent the movies while reading
Ramsey Ess
Mar 20, 2013 Ramsey Ess rated it really liked it
Someone on here said to read the first chapter and skim the rest and they were right, so that's what I did.
Abner Rosenweig
Dec 31, 2014 Abner Rosenweig rated it really liked it
An instant classic in the field, STSA is essential reading for any screenwriter, and helpful for novelists, too. Gulino joins Aristotle/Syd Field (3-Act) and Joseph Campbell/Chris Vogler (Mythic) by offering a third paradigm of screenplay structure, the Sequence Approach.

90% of the value of the book lies within its first 19 pages, where Gulino lays out the sequence approach and discusses its merits, in addition to a fine--no, an outstanding--primer on the basic principles of drama. The rest of t
Emma Sea
Very useful book, although it ends rather abruptly. I would have liked some kind of conclusion, rather than just being dumped out of the book. The first chapter is definitely the meat of the content, but I highly recommend the analysis of Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, to get a very clear unpicking of why the film is so visually attractive and yet utterly unengaging.
Jun 21, 2014 Nikki rated it liked it
Pretty useful. It shows the structure and flow of different genres of films.
Rasha Dbakrly
Mar 01, 2013 Rasha Dbakrly rated it really liked it
Very useful and professional. Good to read!
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