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Screenwriting Unchained

The Dogma-Busting Method

In this first volume in the series, written for storytellers eager to reach a wide audience at home and abroad, Oberg sets out a dogma-busting method that will transform the way you develop screenplays.

Average Rating: 4.9 stars (based on 19 ratings)
The Screenwriter’s Troubleshooter

The Survival Kit

Building on his ground-breaking approach, Oberg identifies forty of the most common screenwriting problems and helps anyone involved in the script development process to resolve them. “A Masterclass in getting unstuck”.

Average Rating: 5.0 stars (based on 5 ratings)
Writing a Successful TV Series (Coming in 2023)

The Showrunner’s Secrets

In this third volume, Oberg explores the specifics of TV Series writing, providing hands-on advice and detailed case studies (Stranger Things, Sex Education, Big Little Lies and many others). The ratings below are based on the course.

Average Rating: 5.0 stars (based on 25 ratings)

Despite its cheesy title and cover, this book really delivers. It acknowledges the existing formulas but also allows for the fact that not all movies adhere precisely to the three act structure. Story structure advice is simple and practical. Ironically, many craft books are unfocused and wordy but “Screenwriting Unchained” covers a lot of ground in a concise way. This book has a lot of astute analysis of modern films that I found insightful. The concepts in this book are clearly and simply explained. I found it very useful to my writing and my understanding of film.

Une façon d'aborder l'écriture de scénario très complète et originale. A recommander.

Contrairement à beaucoup de manuels verbeux, trop théoriques ou sans consistence, celui-là vous permettra certainement de passer un cap dans votre travail d'écriture. Emmanuel Oberg vous tient la main sans vous prendre de haut et vous délivre un concentré d'information et d'astuces.

Nachdem ich wirklich schon viele gute Bücher über das Schreiben gelesen habe, dachte ich, es gäbe nix neues mehr, nichts was mich überraschen könnte. Irrtum. Oberg hat mir mit seiner Unterteilung in characterled/plotled/themeled Dramaturgie sehr geholfen. Auch die Zusammenhänge mit der Bedürfnispyramide von Maslow hat für diverse Aha-Erlebnisse gesorgt. Er befreit von einer "zwanghaften" Dramaturgie und bringt viele neue Impulse, die auch für RomanautorInnen sehr erhellend sein können. Sein Englisch ist klar und gut verständlich. Absolute Leseempfehlung!

Another way to look at dramatic writing. Tends to be a bit repetitive but, that's okay.

One of the best books on screen writing so far. Very detailed and to the point, Emmanuel goes to the insights of a project in a very clear and understandable way. This is not a how-to kind of book, but one that gives you the tools to analyse and approach your story in a more natural way. I was lucky enough to attend two workshops in where Emmanuel expands the contents presented on the book. Absolutely worth it.

This is a fantastic handbook for screenwriters, or for anyone working with them. It is clear enough to be accessible if you are new to screenwriting, but deep and wide-ranging enough to work as a guide for experienced professionals, or for producers or development executives. The theory is explained clearly, with great examples from a wide range of films. I particularly like the practical exercises, which make the process of writing less intimidating, and help you 'self-assess', both on scene writing and overarching story structure. I have read many books on this subject, and this is among the best out there.

An essential resource for screenwriters. Hope-Denée Fortier, Screenwriter

I think I have read most of the decent screenwriting books available and this one is by far the best value for money/time/effort. It is not overridden with theory but it manages to present a simple and easy-to-follow model, supported by plenty of examples. There is no magic - it all boils down to what the story of your characters is and who they are faced against (someone/something external or themselves, for example). I read it in one day and it answered many of my questions and I am sure I will read it again and again. If you want to read on this topic or if you are writing scripts (like me) - this is the first book you should buy (other sources I find too complicated or too simplistic - there are for example handbook that explain how to write good dialogue without explaining the story is).

One of those seldom books that makes you rethink what you know and inspires you to look outside the Hollywoodian paradigms.

I really hate to review this book, because I don't want the competition knowing about it--it's that good. But I'm doing it to support and encourage Emmanuel's brilliant efforts.

Nous organisons des ateliers pour les professionnels du cinéma et avons décidé d'utiliser ce livre comme référence en l'achetant pour chaque nouveau participant. Son approche, tout en faisant la synthese des approches classiques de l'écriture de scénario, apporte aussi une nouvelle vision plus adaptée au cinéma du 21e siècle, prenant en compte des formes d'écriture que les "manuels" classiques ne pouvaient pas concevoir. Excellents case studies et bons outils pratiques pour la réécriture.

"As a late starter in screenwriting, I have worked through more than a hundred screenwriting books over the last six years, rarely completing most as they tend to repeat the same content absorbed in previous books. Screenwriting Unchained is the exception. Brilliant content, great structure and a refreshing perspective utilizing Maslow's well-known hierarchy of needs as a critical point of reference in screenwriting. Great book and well presented - a must read for new and experienced screenwriters." I believe in organising - I dislike like being chained!

This book really resonates with my approach to stories and writing - the parts on character-led stories are something fresh after seeing book after book talk solely about protagonists with a want who must overcome obstacles to defeat etc etc etc. It helps fit together the pieces of some more human-journey style films like Groundhog Day and Silver Linings Playbook, and is already helping me get greater clarity on a few stories I'm working on. It's written clearly, and there is a ton of detail once you get into some of the worked examples. If you're not convinced by some the stuff you've read on how to go about writing a 'Hollywood' film, then check this book out.

I am so happy I bought this book, it's just what the doctor ordered. Working on a feature narrative I applied many of the lessons I learned, which resulted in a much tighter and more compelling final draft. Oberg's instruction on optimizing story framework is invaluable.

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