If Save The Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need is your main weapon in testing concept, building your screenplay, or pitching, then this book is your sidearm. I take both books with me everywhere I go.
Like his original book, this is a very fast, entertaining, and insightful read. Most importantly, it is inspiring because it reveals that anyone can apply this technique very easily to their projects or other's. There are many A HA moments in this book.
If you were unclear about the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet (BSBS), Blake shows you how he analyzes many classic, popular, and intriguing films within his genre/structural framework. Blake defines genre as a grouping of stories that share similar patterns and characters. By the time you finish both these books, you will be surprised how easily his method works with almost any film. Instead of merely saying, these are horror movies, he says they are Monster In The House movies, and then goes on to give you some baseline criteria to figure out if you are writing one. You think you're just writing a romantic comedy, but according to Blake you're actually writing a Buddy Love or Golden Fleece. He continues this method of analysis across 10 of his own genre definitions and 50 movies.
Finally, his website www.blakesnyder.com is a wealth of free information, resources, and links to other helpful websites. I also highly suggest taking one of his courses, or seeing him speak. Not only is Blake a kind, generous, and thoughtful teacher, but his energy and enthusiasm is downright infectious. He's also really tall.
Blake's 15 Beats: Opening Image, Theme Stated, Set-Up, Catalyst, Debate, Break into 2, Fun and Games, B-Story, Midpoint, Bad Guys Close In, All Is Lost, Dark Night of the Soul, Break into 3, Finale, Closing Image
Blake's 10 Genres: Monster in the House, Golden Fleece, Out of the Bottle, Dude with a Problem, Rites of Passage, Buddy Love, Whydunit, Fool Triumphant, Institutionalized, Superhero
50 films broken down beat-for-beat: Alien, Fatal Attraction, Scream, The Ring, Saw, The Bad News Bears, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Saving Private Ryan, Ocean's 11, Maria Full of Grace, Freaky Friday, Cocoon, The Nutty Professor, What Women Want, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 3 Days of the Condor, Die Hard, Sleeping With The Enemy, Deep Impact, Open Water, 10, Kramer vs. Kramer, Ordinary People, 28 Days, Napoleon Dynamite, The Black Stallion, Lethal Weapon, When Harry Met Sally..., Titanic, Brokeback Mountain, All The President's Men, Blade Runner, Fargo, Mystic River, Brick, Being There, Tootsie, Forrest Gump, Legally Blonde, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, M.A.S.H., Do The Right Thing, Office Space, Training Day, Crash, Raging Bull, The Lion King, The Matrix, Gladiator, Spider Man 2