Monday, December 27, 2010

Riding The Alligator

Strategies For A Career In Screenplay Writing (and not getting eaten) 
by Pen Densham

Book Review
By Ann Baldwin

Pen Densham is an accomplished and award-winning writer-director-producer and a principal of Trilogy Entertainment Group. He’s spent his lifetime in the business of entertainment, selling films and television series, as well as hiring, mentoring, and collaborating with A-list writers along the way. Pen created the story for the revisionist Robin Hood; Prince of Thieves and co-wrote and produced the screenplay with his Trilogy partner John Watson. He wrote and directed Moll Flanders for MGM, as well as writing and directing Houdini for TNT. Pen and Trilogy have produced fourteen feature films such as Backdraft and Blown Away and worked with talent like Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Jeff Bridges, Robin Wright, Bill Murray, Ron Howard, Kevin Costner, & Sylvester Stallone. Pen is proud to have personally revived both The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone franchises for their return to television. Pen is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts. In his newest book, Riding The Alligator: Strategies For A Career In Screenplay Writing (and not getting eaten) (Michael Wiese Productions 2011), he welcomes you into the Pen Playground to show you the ropes, teach you to harness your imagination, and encourage you to ride into your adventures.

Pen’s natural enthusiasm and genuine desire to support others is a refreshing break and blessing for screenwriters. He has a special gift for inspiring and educating writers through his humor, insight, playful creativity, use of analogies, and candor about his various experiences. He shares his unique techniques for and philosophies on creating complex characters, story structure, editing, selling, pitching, and embracing your Imaginary Bears.

Because Pen knows that “no two writers think about our process identically”, he invited other successful screenwriter friends and colleagues like Shane Black Lethal Weapon, Nia Vardalos My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Eric Roth Forrest Gump, Robin Swicord Little Women, Ron Shelton Bull Durham, and Laeta Kalogridis Shutter Island to share their wisdom. He also includes an Instant Screenwriting Library of suggested reading with a review of each book, written by his USC students.

Riding The Alligator is highly recommended for all writers who want to put the PLAY back into their screenplay writing and color it with PASSION.

To learn more about Pen Densham you can visit his site at and purchase a copy of Riding The Alligator at Michael Wiese Productions, Amazon, The Writers Store, Barnes & Noble, or Borders.

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