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Also, think about how important names are with your characters. You all know from your childhood Cruella de Ville. Y’all knew what that was really, of course, maybe not when you were five but eventually you caught on. She was the devil, right? Think about all the movie characters Luke Skywalker walks through the sky right? Han Solo flies alone. I guess you forget about Chewbacca and that right? Names mean something. Ginny Fields. Ginny is the nickname for Virginia which means her name is Virgin Fields. She’s never had sex. (Audience) She’s never been plowed. She has never been plowed. Seriously. That is literally what her name is telling you. Is that not crazy? That.. is it’s wonderful. She’s right. I love that. So you really have to think about, my gosh, what was that message telling young girls right and who decided that was the message they needed.
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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