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From Chariots of Fire to The King's Speech
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Over the past decade, movie audiences have become hungry for films based on real people and historical events. Never was this more evident than during the best-picture showdown between The King’s Speech and The Social Network during the 2011 Academy Awards, a scene then repeated, with Argo, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty in the 2013 awards.. While Hollywood moguls have come to recognize the box-office revenue and critical acclaim that accompany such films and are now fast-tracking many docudramas into theaters, there remains a need for more reality-based film scripts.


In From “Chariots of Fire” to “The King’s Speech,” writer, director, and producer Alan Rosenthal presents a manual for screenwriters to develop their bio-pic or docudrama from concept to completion. This comprehensive guide begins with an overview of the genre before providing screenwriters with all the techniques and insights needed to navigate the often intimidating landscape of screenwriting for reality-based scripts. Included within the volume are tips for such challenges as inception and research, developing dialogue and narration, and capably addressing any legal and rights issues that may arise. Also included are appendixes containing useful marketing tips and broadcast guidelines.


A practical, down-to-earth manual for experienced and novice screenwriters alike, From “Chariots of Fire” to “The King’s Speech”  is the only manual dedicated explicitly to writing the bio-pic and docudrama. Rosenthal shares his decades of experience in the film industry, along with hands-on tools and maps, to help screenwriters completely master this popular film genre.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. C-C
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. Part One: Clearing Your Head
  2. pp. 9-10
  1. 1. The Popular Genre
  2. pp. 11-14
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  1. 2. What Is Docudrama?
  2. pp. 15-18
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  1. 3. Choosing a Dynamic Subject
  2. pp. 19-32
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  1. Part Two: Starting to Work
  2. pp. 33-34
  1. 4. Research
  2. pp. 35-46
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  1. 5. The Dramatic Elements
  2. pp. 47-62
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  1. 6. Shaping the Total Drama
  2. pp. 63-80
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  1. Part Three: From Treatment to Script
  2. pp. 81-82
  1. 7. The Outline Treatment
  2. pp. 83-102
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  1. 8. Writing Dialogue and Narration
  2. pp. 103-121
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  1. 9. Beginning Your Script
  2. pp. 122-128
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  1. Part Four: Special Considerations
  2. pp. 129-130
  1. 10. Adaptations
  2. pp. 131-153
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  1. 11. Print the Legend?
  2. pp. 154-162
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  1. 12. Rights and Legal Issues
  2. pp. 163-176
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  1. Afterword
  2. pp. 177-182
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  1. Appendix A: Broadcast Guidelines
  2. pp. 183-185
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  1. Appendix B: Marketability
  2. pp. 186-188
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 189-197
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  1. About the Author, Back Cover
  2. pp. 198-199
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