The development of a film screenplay is a complex and collaborative process, beginning with an initial story and continuing through drafting and financing to the start of the shoot. And yet the best ways of understanding and managing this process have never been properly studied. The Screenplay Business is the first book to do exactly that, addressing such questions as:

  • How do film scripts get written, and what are the tensions between creativity and business?
  • How can the team of the writer, producer, director and development executive work together most effectively?

The Screenplay Business presents a theoretical and practical framework for understanding the business of independent script development, and encompasses ideas about creativity, motivation, managing creative people, value chains, and MBA leadership theories.

This book will help producers and writers to nurture their stories through the long development process to the screen. It explains the international film business, and contains new research and extensive interviews with leading industry figures, including practical advice on how to run script meetings and handle notes; how to build a sustainable business; and how to understand what really happens when a script is written.

The Screenplay Business is a new key text for academics and students researching film and media, and indispensable reading for anyone working in film screenplay development today.

chapter |6 pages


A world of stories and money

part I|122 pages

The complex world of film development

chapter 1|21 pages

The bigger picture

How films are developed

chapter 2|22 pages

Show me the money

The business of film and the value chain1

chapter 4|23 pages

The creative triangle

Building development relationships

chapter 5|23 pages

The reality of development

Power and influence in a dynamic system

part II|156 pages

Managing creative people in film development: control versus freedom

chapter 7|11 pages

Defining creativity in the movie business

chapter 8|22 pages

Who creative people are and how to motivate them

Psychology and insight

chapter 10|24 pages

The script meeting

Listening and feeding back

chapter 12|17 pages

Working with the Hollywood studio system

Being independent in a world of prefabricated daydreams

chapter 13|19 pages

The writer

Surviving development and negotiating success

chapter 14|20 pages

Into the future

A creative way to develop better films