But if you haven't...
It's a screenwriting book, but more so, it's a tool, and one of the better ones I've encountered. Oh, there are plenty of good ones, but this one stands out because it helped me look at screenplays by taking a step back and studying its structure. Sure, there are plenty of helpful tips in there, depending on who reads it and what they read into it. But for me, it was a structural thing, mostly. And it kinda made me look at movies differently, for better or for worse.
I bring this up because I think that, regardless of your opinion on the book (or it's sequel, Save The Cat! Goes to the Movies), it's a good idea to read them. Plenty of Hollywood executives are, so at least one can have an idea what the hell they're thinking.
The author of these books, Blake Snyder, passed away Tuesday morning at 52. I never met him or exchanged e-mails with him. I can't say I loved the movies he wrote but I understand the appeal for the studio. And I think his wink-wink style as an author can alienate some readers.
But there is no denying the fact that his book was pretty damn on the money, at least for the types of movies he dissects and discusses. I think a couple are pretty far out, but I will not deny the influence his structure has had in finding my own path as a writer.
So the least I can do is suggest to whoever is interested in a career writing screenplays (or reading a bunch of them to decide which one to make) is to check out his books. I think it might be of a bit of help, but at worst, it can't hurt.