Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434

While Jack Brislee is trying to con himself into believing there are actually things more important than screenwriting (let alone The Story Department), I stumbled upon this review of Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434. A review of a review.

Lew Hunter writes:

“…the main reason why flashbacks, flashforwards, and
narration are generally undesirable as storytelling devices today.
These devices call the audience’s attention
to the fact that they are watching a movie…”

Plausible in my opinion and I dare say a generally accepted perspective in our industry.

Our reviewer doesn’t agree:

-Sorry Lew, this may be true in writing flavor of the week made for TV films (which is what Lew is famous for) which thrive on mundane factoids and hype from news stories, but you are simply wrong. Gee, lew, what could have made them realize that they are watching a movie, perhaps that they ARE STARING AT A FREAKING BOX ON THE WALL? This guy is a completely inept buffoon.

And given it’s Melodrama Week on The Story Dept, the following is another relevant part of the review. The reviewer clearly had not read Mystery Man’s article:

Lew Hunter on Melodrama:

“Melodrama is most simply a story in which
guns are available to solve the character’s problems.”

“Melodramas nearly always have chase sequences
in their running screen time”

Rather than check his own sources, the reviewer rants on:

-Uh, sorry Lew, but that is not the definition of a Melodrama, the term you are looking for is ACTION FILM! I am not going to go into the definition of melodrama. why waste my time? The point is that this guy is quite simply WRONG in many regards and therefore should not be trusted to give advice to someone who actually wants to make quality flicks.

Finally, I’m not sure what to make of the following statement:

If you have any kind of natural storytelling talent, this guy will only de-evolve your thinking.

Is he implying that he has this talent himself? Hmmm. So where does he get the authority…

I’m not saying Lew Hunter’s book reinvents screenwriting (I haven’t read it), it’s just interesting to see what basis people use to review books.

Anyhow, I prefer Jack’s reviews. Just hoping he might resurface soon.

Here is the link to some more reviews of Lew Hunter’s book to balance your opinion.

About the Author

Karel Segers

Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplay at age 17. Today he is a story analyst with experience in international movie rights acquisition, script development and production. He has trained and consulted to filmmakers all over the world, including award-winning screenwriters, and Academy Award nominees. Karel founded this website, as well as Logline.it!, ranks among the most influential people for screenwriting on social media, and speaks more than a handful of European languages (which should come in handy in his present hometown of Sydney, Australia).

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