I heard it said once that video or film is a five part process... plan, plan, plan tape/film and edit. Most folks I met want to skip the first 3/5s and get to the 'fun stuff' of the actual movie-making. But it is in that planning process that great stuff is devised.
I get asked occasionally if there are any good resources to learn the planning or script-writing phase. Well there is one I have read that is not at all a text-book but does provide some good insight in the script writing stage. The book is not new, written in 1994, but is a good one.
The author. Syd Field, has a number of books out on script-writing and I found this particular title a few years ago. It was an easy and interesting read. In Four Screenplays, he analyzes four movies that made it to the big-screen: Thelma & Louise, Terminator 2, Silence of the Lambs and Dances with Wolves.
In the book he interviews Callie Khouri, James Cameron, Ted Tally and Michael Blake - the four screen writers responsible for these four screen plays. What's interesting about this book is that each of the four movies are based on four different screen-play 'beginnnings'... from original work to adaptation from short story and novel. From Syd Fields website "This analysis of four groundbreaking contemporary classics, in-depth interviews and comparative remarks will help any screenwriter reach the goal of great writing, commercial success, and winning entertainment"
You can order this book directly from the Writers Store website.
Or visit your local bookstore - the ISBN is 0440504902
If you're looking for more traditional textbook type resources to learn script-writing, check out the other resources at the Writers Store.