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I think that’s what we should remember but we don’t and I think we realize it without realizing it because when you talk about movies to your friends you don’t say, “I loved the camera angle in scene seven.” No! You quote dialogue. You quote the lines from your favorite movies whether they’re Pixar or Disney or The Princess Bride. You know the dialogue and that is the work of the writer. That’s the person you should credit but often when I start a class I have students list their two or three favorite films and then who directed those films and then I ask them who wrote that film and they very often cannot name the person who wrote the film they adore. How can you want to be a writer if you don’t remember the writers yourself. So I think that’s a really important thing for us to remember.
A Note About This Presentation
A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.
To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.
Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.
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