A former playwright with only two movies under his belt, Anthony Minghella took Hollywood by storm in 1996 with The English Patient, a universally lauded epic described by Roger Ebert as "[A] poetic, evocative film . . . told with sweep and visual richness." This robust romance garnered nine Academy Awards, amongst them Best Picture and Best Director. His follow-up, The Talented Mr. Ripley, combined stunning vistas with the masterful suspense of studio-era Hollywood; praised by the New York Times' Janet Maslin as a "hypnotic, sensually charged adaptation," the film also found the attention of the Academy, receiving five nominations. With yet another ambitious adaptation creating tremendous buzz--Charles Frazier's best-selling Cold Mountain--Minghella is well on his way to becoming one of the most respected directors of the decade. A thorough craftsman painstakingly involved with each step of the moviemaking process, Minghella here shares knowledge gleaned from years of experience as a musician and writer for the theater. Praised for his ability to adapt the psychological density of the novel to the silver screen, he discusses the screenwriting process at length, imparting valuable lessons regarding pacing and narrative with a refreshing perspective as unique as the characters that pass before his lens.