From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 2: Britain’s First Suicide Bombers – The script and the screenwriter in dramatized documentary for television by Garry Lyons

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Britain’s First Suicide Bombers – The script and the screenwriter in dramatized documentary for television by Garry Lyons

This article centres on a drama-documentary developed by the author, an experienced screenwriter, producer and academic. The project in question was a major featurelength film for the BBC about the first suicide attack carried out by UK citizens. Aside from the significant difficulties posed by the subject matter, the mixed-genre nature of the film made its development problematic, falling between two distinct and contrasting traditions of programme-making. This case study locates the project in the context of a rising fashion for dramadoc within the BBC post 2000, identifies unforeseen difficulties with screenwriting that arose with the use of the form, and illustrates how those difficulties became amplified in this particular production. The analysis deals with the status of the screenwriter in a process where the script is no longer sovereign, raising questions of authorship, division of labour and collaborative exchange. It contributes to the ongoing debate between documentary values of sobriety and objectivity as opposed to dramatic ones of inner truth and emotional understanding, and makes the case for an ‘accumulation of voices’ as a justifiable representation of reality in contrast to a linear expository narrative. Finally, it commends further study of mixed genre drama/ documentary as a way of reappraising orthodox screenwriting theory, offering as it does production methodologies that frequently dispense with the formal screenplay.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 2: Greenaway’s books: Peter Greenaway’s published screenplays by Miguel Mota

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Greenaway’s books: Peter Greenaway’s published screenplays by Miguel Mota

Greenaway’s published screenplays – screenplays produced and consumed as discrete material objects – function both as fluid, hybrid texts and as material books that stand ambivalently and therefore suggestively and productively poised between print and film technologies. Ranging from the early scripts published by Faber and Faber in the mid-to-late 1980s to the later and still-ongoing series of scripts produced by the French publisher Dis Voir, Greenaway’s published screenplays are fascinating examples of print film texts that produce and demand unique ways of reading and looking. By addressing these books as visual and material objects, distinct from the films, we might evince and extract from the pages of these published screenplays entirely new texts with a plurality of narrative possibilities, in which juxtapositions and relationships amongst different cultural discourses can give rise to innovative visual and verbal structures. Such an approach to Greenaway’s published film scripts as material events might contribute a curious but compelling chapter to the history of the ontology of the screenplay, affording the published script a visibility it often otherwise lacks.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 2: Escape from the stage? From play to screenplay in British cinema’s early sound period by Victoria Lowe

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Escape from the stage? From play to screenplay in British cinema’s early sound period by Victoria Lowe

In this article I discuss the evolution of the screenplay from play to film of Escape (1930) through a detailed examination of the archive correspondence between its producer Basil Dean and the original writer of the play, John Galsworthy. My aim is to provide a more nuanced account of the relationship between stage and screen practices at this time, one that goes beyond histories that have understood the adaptation of stage material to have been a burden from which British cinema had to escape, in order to create its own distinctive identity. I argue that the relationship between the two practices was affected by the coming of sound, and the cultural anxiety and debates around the film industry and national identity formations that it engendered. I then examine Basil Dean’s thoughts about the adapted screenplay, in particular his ideas around the retention of the original author’s dialogue, and his practical response to the issues in terms of his collaboration with Galsworthy in the writing of the screenplay of Escape, one of the first talkies made in the United Kingdom.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 2: The first screenplays? American Mutoscope and Biograph scenarios revisited by Steven Price

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The first screenplays? American Mutoscope and Biograph scenarios revisited by Steven Price

This article builds on the earlier work of Patrick Loughney in discussing a series of texts written by Frank J. Marion and Wallace McCutcheon, and registered by American Mutoscope & Biograph (AM&B) at the Library of Congress in 1904–05. It assesses the arguments for regarding these as the earliest surviving texts that were written specifically in order to be filmed. Significant historical contexts include copyright disputes between the studios, developments in narrative film since 1902, and the problematic classification system at the Library of Congress that prompted AM&B to register a sequence of films as both ‘photographs’ and ‘dramatic compositions’. A comparison of the scenarios to the films provides evidence that they were written prior to filming. The formal arrangement of the scenarios is almost indistinguishable from that for contemporary playscripts, which may have been due to a deliberate attempt to facilitate their registration as ‘dramatic compositions’.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 2: An uneven marketplace of ideas: Amateur screenwriting, the Library of Congress and the struggle for copyright by Torey Liepa

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


An uneven marketplace of ideas: Amateur screenwriting, the Library of Congress and the struggle for copyright by Torey Liepa

In 1912, with demand for story material increasing in a growing market, writing was becoming ever more essential to commercial film production in the United States. With several important legal developments that year, however, the marketplace for story material would begin to collapse as amateur screenwriters failed to gain the same legal protections as those producing finished films, rendering their creative material entirely susceptible to piracy from above. Despite several initiatives by advocates for non-professional writers and a few members of Congress, screenwriters would not receive legal protection for unpublished material until 1978. Throughout the Golden Age of Hollywood, then, but dating back to the origins of copyright protection for finished commercial films, US copyright law encouraged Hollywood to produce story material in a closed, intellectually isolated and commercially protected shop, more closely resembling an enigmatic ‘culture industry’ than a ‘people’s art form’. This article examines a convergence of state institutions, private enterprise and commercial trade press that helped to radically re-define the creative processes underwriting film production and the system of compensation for creative material that would delimit relations of production at the beginnings of the American film industry.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 2: Lost and gone for ever? The search for early British screenplays by Jacob U. U. Jacob

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Lost and gone for ever? The search for early British screenplays by Jacob U. U. Jacob

The systematic collection and preservation of film and TV scripts at a national level has never been implemented in the United Kingdom. While the British Film Institute National Library (BFI) has a respectable collection of around 25,000 scripts, this has been built up from donations over the 75 years of the BFI’s existence. The silent film period, to 1930, is particularly affected by this lack of national care; the BFI has less than 100 British scripts from this period. Researchers from the University of Leeds spent several months in 2007 and 2008 seeking and collating information from around the world, with grant-aid support from the British Academy. The intention was to find out if any British silent film scripts had found a home in both British and foreign institutional collections, or elsewhere. The results were in general as expected – no major new collections were unearthed – but in part surprising. As a result of this a database has been compiled. Why should we search for scripts? It is now being realized that screenplay and other documentation hold information about the provenance and development of the screen idea that a film cannot provide. For some, the script may be a useful substitute for a lost film, but more importantly understanding how the film was envisaged before principal photography can reveal much about the industrial assumptions associated with film production in general, and about that screen idea in particular.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 1: Creative decision making within the contemporary Hollywood studios by Alexander G Ross

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Creative decision making within the contemporary Hollywood studios by Alexander G Ross

This article seeks to contribute to the current debate about the decision-making process within the Hollywood studios and the marketing-driven quest to micromanage the creative process in order to manufacture more consistently profitable films. The author outlines the process to which scripts are subjected in order to determine their suitability for production and how this impacts the quality of the scripts. There are compelling questions about whether the current business model hinders relevant, definitive cultural narratives and how this affects both the quality and profitability of contemporary films. In addition to considering the existing literature dealing with the topic, this article also draws on the author’s fifteen years’ experience in Hollywood as a screenwriter, agent and producer.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 1: The plot point, the darkest moment, and the answered question: three ways of modelling the three-quarter-point by Patrick Keating

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The plot point, the darkest moment, and the answered question: three ways of modelling the three-quarter-point by Patrick Keating
  
Many contemporary screenplay manuals, following Syd Field, encourage writers to place an act break approximately three-quarters of the way through the story. Although this would appear to be an area of widespread agreement, this essay argues that the manuals do not always define the 3/4-point in the same way. One common approach is to define the 3/4-point as a causally significant plot point; another approach is to regard it as an extreme point on an emotional curve, typically the darkest moment; and a third approach is to conceive of the 3/4-point as the answer to a previously introduced question. Taking a closer look at these three competing models of the 3/4-point can help us uncover the manuals’ competing assumptions about narrative structure, showing how they conceptualize causality, emotion and comprehension.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 1: If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage: screenwriting, national specificity and the English-Canadian feature film by Janice Kaye and Charles H Davis

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage: screenwriting, national specificity and the English-Canadian feature film by Janice Kaye and Charles H Davis
  
Like other film-producing nations, Canada’s movie landscape was long ago colonized by US interests. While other nations also welcome American movies, the Canadian case is extreme: Canada has the lowest market share in the world of its own movies on its own screens. Living next to the world’s most powerful country, Canada occupies geographically, economically, linguistically and culturally a position unique in the world. The historical and ongoing predicament of the lack of success of English-Canadian feature films has been variously attributed to similarities to the United States in language and culture, lower production budgets, and weaknesses in distribution, exhibition, marketing and quality. The role of screenwriting, however, is little understood and rarely broached. In this article, we argue the importance of screenwriting in understanding national cinemas; show that it has institutional, sociological and nation-specific dimensions; and present Canada as an ideal case to begin examining such factors. The first dimension the institutional is defined by auteurism as well as the collaborative nature of production. The second the sociological is greatly affected by exclusionary networks and various levels of discrimination based on such factors as gender, ethnicity/race, age, sexuality and economic class. The nation-specific area pertains to diverse historical, cultural and institutional practices particular or exclusive to the country or region. English-Canada, for instance, experiences a unique and complex cultural policy environment. Moreover, its fractured and regional history is one that has resulted in the production of obsessively performed narratives of national identity, particularly imbricated with Qubec, the United States, Britain and France. Our analysis draws together strands of intersecting disciplines, combining film theory and history with production studies, close textual analyses, political economy and nation theory, calling for a more complete picture of the role of screenwriting in national cinemas.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 1: An evolving present within a past a history of screenwriting practices in popular Hindi cinema by Anubha Yadav

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


An evolving present within a past a history of screenwriting practices in popular Hindi cinema by Anubha Yadav

This article studies the mutual and exclusive relationship between the history of popular Hindi cinema and the writing of the screenplay by finding dominant points of reference in their individual and overlapping histories. It connects the unique storytelling tradition of Hindi cinema with the subsumed creative identity of a screenwriter. To do this the article focuses on significant historical markers in Hindi cinema: the Silent era, the Talkies, the Golden era of the 1950s, the New Wave of the 1960s, the SalimJaved era of the 1970s and the New New Wave of today. The New New Wave in Hindi popular cinema aims to recognize and legitimize the presence of the story and the screenwriter. The article studies the evolution of this recent phenomenon and examines the academic and industrial variants that have led to the coming of this change in Hindi cinema.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!