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Product Code: SW1-MPBK
The Moral Premise
Harnessing Virtue and Vice for Box Office Success
by Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D.
Book for Filmmakers and Film Fans

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CLICK HERE to access the MORAL PREMISE WEBSITE and related links.

CLICK HERE to See the Table Of Contents
and Read the First Chapter


The Moral Premise describes how successful motion pictures are always structured around a psychological premise based on true moral values, and how screenwriters can appropriate the structural elements of the moral premise to write successful movies.

The moral premise is at the heart of all successful story telling from ancient history right up to the modern day. We find its controlling nature in the writings of Plato, the Bible, and Aesop. We find it in English Classics from Henry Fielding on...and in the many good stories of modern stage, movies, and television. Most respected writers on screenplays mention it, but they use a variety of confusing terms and never tell us how important it is...except Lajos Egri in his "The Art of Dramatic Writing."

But Egri's book is about stage plays and doesn't lay out for us, in practical terms, how to apply the moral premise to creation of a new work. In The Moral Premise I not only concentrate on motion pictures that dominate the American box office, but I provide a practical step-by-step approach to incorporating the moral premise and setting up a screenplays' structure for success.

While the physical, explicit story or plot line is what a movie is about, the psychological or moral premise is what the movie is "really" about. And the sooner a screenwriter and filmmaker understand its importance, and how it needs to be incorporated into every nook and cranny of a story, the faster the screenplay will get written, and the more successful the final film will be at the box office.

Although every successful screenwriter and filmmaker pays homage to the moral premise by ensuring the story is structured consistently and truthfully around it, there is no book that I am aware of that explains where the moral premise comes from, how it works, or how to apply it in new screenplays and films. Until now.


Product Details
  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • 10 pictures, Research Appendix
  • Indexes: Films, Texts Cited, Topic, Moral Premise
  • 16 tables, 6 figures, 105 footnotes
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (June 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1-932907-13-0
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Product code: SW1-BK
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