A Video Series Tribute to Blake Snyder: Video Tribute 1 (Back To The Future)


One year ago today a great man tragically passed away.  His name was Blake Snyder.  He was only 51.  For those who knew him, they knew he was as passionate as he was creative.  He inspired countless writers and filmmakers with his groundbreaking book, “Save The Cat!”  I am one of those people.  After reading Save The Cat! I finally understood that, while writing a good movie isn’t easy, it IS possible and his book de-mystifies that process brilliantly.  I would STRONGLY encourage any young screenwriters and filmmakers to read it cover to cover, then read it again!  Even if you subscribe to the Robert Mckee school of screenwriting or Michael Hauge or any other story structure guru, Save the Cat! will only enhance your storytelling skills.  With that said, here’s what I’m doing…

My production studio, Mediajuice and I are producing and releasing 10 “Save The Cat!” Tribute & Training videos, all using the “Blake Snyder Beat Sheet” or as fellow “Cats!” know it, the “BS2”.  We will be showcasing 10 of the most beloved films of all time, such as Back To The Future, ET, Aliens and Top Gun (to name a few).  Each film will be dissected and “beaten out” using the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet.  I can’t tell you what an absolute joy it has been using the BS2 to break down some of the greatest films of all time.  Its worth noting here that I understand the phrase “greatest films of all time” is extremely subjective, but I should be honest and admit that I subscribe to the Blake Snyder theory of film-making, which is summed up beautifully in one of Blake’s archived blogs about the film “Memento” by Christopher Nolan, which incidentally is one of my favorite films.  Blake had this to say about Memento “…You’ll note when Christopher Nolan was recruited by Hollywood, they didn’t put him to work making more Memento’s. They gave him something they could do something with: Batman….”  He then qualified that argument by saying this, “…I desperately want my readers to beat a system in which 50,000 screenplays were registered with the WGA last year (estimate) and only 100 sold…”

After working on these tribute and training videos for over 6 months (in our spare time at the studio) one thing is clear, Blake Snyder’s “Save The Cat!” process is alive and well in just about every movie you watch. Different films use it in different ways, but all of them have those signature beats Blake preaches over and over.  For example, one of the beats that usually takes up the most time in every movie is the “Fun & Games” beat, which typically happens in Act 2 of a movie and delivers all of the “trailer moments” and gives the audience the “promise of the premise” of the movie.  This is true in almost all the films we’ve broken down using Blake’s method, but Shawshank Redemption seemed to have a much longer “Bad Guys Close In” than most films.  With that said, some viewers would interpret Shawshank’s “Bad Guys Close In” as Fun and Games since it is alot of fun to watch (even though it is literally “bad guys” closing in on the hero).

So, why am I doing this?  Why are we creating 10 “Save The Cat!” video tributes?  The answer is simple; Blake Snyder inspired me with his book and even more by being a personal mentor and friend.  He replied to every email I ever sent him and even took the time to talk to me on the phone several times.  I was constantly amazed by his humility and transparency.  He sincerely wanted to equip and inspire new screenwriters to succeed, and his attitude and outlook has inspired me to do the same.  These video tributes are my way of “paying it forward”, Blake Snyder style, to all the aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers out there.

So, without further adue,…here’s the 1st tribute and “Save The Cat!” training video for all those up and coming “Cats!” trying to master the Blake Snyder method.  The 1st tribute video will be the uber classic 80’s film ‘Back To The Future’.  This film was a pure joy to break down using the BS2.  When you get to the Mediajuice website, the following link should automatically take you to the “Save The Cat!” section, however it you don’t see the video right away, click on the small “Cat icon” in the bottom right hand side of the site.



One Response to “A Video Series Tribute to Blake Snyder: Video Tribute 1 (Back To The Future)”

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