Pamela Wallace admits in print that she co-wrote the screenplay to the Harrison Ford thriller “Witness.” Hey, who wouldn’t? It won her and her two partners an Academy Award. She then admits that she spent the next 10 years learning all the things she really needed to know in order to write a good screenplay.
Fame is all too often a “good news-bad news” joke.
The good news is that Wallace is here to share everything she learned, having stuffed it all into her 114-page book, “You Can Write a Movie.” The index, heavily weighted with the names of movie stars and big box office titles, runs an additional four pages.
The bad news is that, despite her hard-won education, Wallace hasn’t come close to winning her second gold statue. And, maybe worse, she’s moved to Fresno, Calif., where she writes for television and occasionally judges screenwriting contests.
But it shouldn’t matter where you live — what’s really important are Pamela’s three golden rules for screenwriting success: Believe in yourself, write from your heart and learn the craft.
Happily enough, that’s just where “You Can Write a Movie” comes in. It promises that you will learn all the essentials to developing and writing a compelling, fresh and original script or adaptation. And when that’s all done (at the end of page 97), the next 15 pages tell you how to win an agent, pitch that puppy to a six-figure sale and drag fame and fortune into your corner … where it belongs, darnit, because “You CAN Write a Movie!” (or “YOU Can Write a Movie!” or “You Can Write a MOVIE!” We’re not exactly sure which word someone is supposed to shout when reciting the book’s multi-font title.)
Please don’t misunderstand this review. “You Can Write a Movie,” as the cover says, provides “Valuable Instruction at a Great Price.” Did we mention the price? Just $14.99 (that’s 12¢ a page) and you’re on your way.
See you in Hollywood!