From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 1: ‘To make you see’: Screenwriting, description and the ‘lens-based’tradition by Adam Ganz

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


‘To make you see’: Screenwriting, description and the ‘lens-based’tradition by Adam Ganz
  
In this article I look at the descriptive writing in the screenplay, and link this to a tradition of ‘lens-based writing’, the precise visual description of phenomena observed through a lens for an audience unable to see what was described, which can be traced from the writing of Galileo and van Leeuwenhoek, through scientific and travel writing, to early fiction (with particular emphasis on Robinson Crusoe). I identify the most significant features of lens-based writing – the use of simple language and the separation of observation and deduction to communicate what has been seen through a simultaneous act of looking and framing, and show the similarities between this and screenwriting practice. I also make some observations about what this model can offer screenwriting research.

In this article I look at the descriptive writing in the screenplay, and link this to a tradition of ‘lens-based writing’, the precise visual description of phenomena observed through a lens for an audience unable to see what was described, which can be traced from the writing of Galileo and van Leeuwenhoek, through scientific and travel writing, to early fiction (with particular emphasis on Robinson Crusoe). I identify the most significant features of lens-based writing – the use of simple language and the separation of observation and deduction to communicate what has been seen through a simultaneous act of looking and framing, and show the similarities between this and screenwriting practice. I also make some observations about what this model can offer screenwriting research.


Journal of Screenwriting Cover

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!

46 Screenplays As Literature from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute)

Watch this entire presentation

46 Screenplays As Literature from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute)

Subscribe to Rosanne’s Channel and receive notice of each new video!

 

Transcript:

So to me the question of why has researching screen readers — screenwriters always mattered is because of all these reasons I’ve noted. Also one of the biggest things that makes me so excited is people are beginning to read screenplays as literature. I think maybe 20 years ago I saw a book publish the top five screenplays of the year and I was amazed that I could read the scripts in their format on a page right and so the more we see that happen — somebody like William Goldman who’s very famous in the states, he published several of his screenplays. I remember when Rocky came out they published a screenplay because it’s Rocky, so everyone loves Rocky, but the idea that now we really know this isn’t a blueprint. We’re going to look at this script. We’re going to read the action lines and we’re going to hear the voice of the writer in a way that we can’t on screen because those things aren’t what the audience is given right.

Watch this entire presentation

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.


 

* 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!
† Available from the LA Public Library

A Woman Wrote That – 12 in a series – Private Benjamin (1980) by Nancy Meyers

This new “A Woman Wrote That” post is an echo of the Writers Guild campaign of a few years ago (“A Writer Wrote That”) where they noted famous movie quotes and credited the screenwriter rather than the director.  The difference here being that we will be posting lines from films written by female screenwriters.  Feel free to share! — Rosanne

A Woman Wrote That - 12 in a series - Private Benjamin (1980) by Nancy Meyers

JUDY

Look at this place. The army couldn’t afford drapes?

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V3 Issue 2: Development of a fundamental ’19-Sequence Model’ of screenplay and narrative film structure by Melvyn P. Heyes

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


Development of a fundamental ’19-Sequence Model’ of screenplay and narrative film structure by Melvyn P. Heyes

To understand the utility and value of sequences in the construction of screenplay narratives and the emotional experiences of audiences, I developed and utilized composite definitions of ‘sequence’ and ‘scene’ to quantify the sequence content of 133 feature-length Hollywood-style and independent films made between 1941 and 2010 that were produced in the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Germany and Japan. The 3-Act Model was used as familiar reference points. I also contrasted the results to Frank Daniels’ 8-Sequence Model as described by Gulino. I argue the results directly support a fundamental 19-Sequence Model of screenplay and film narrative structure. I propose that sequences expand vicarious and empathic emotional experiences of audiences into ‘contextual emotional meaning’, where significant autonomous emotions are generated that create the enjoyable and satisfying experience of what the story means to both the characters and viewer.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V3 Issue 2: Development of a fundamental '19-Sequence Model' of screenplay and narrative film structure by Melvyn P. Heyes


Journal of Screenwriting Cover

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!

45 Universal Themes in Samantha! from Brazil from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (37 seconds)

Watch this entire presentation

45 Universal Themes in Samantha! from Brazil  from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (37 seconds)

Subscribe to Rosanne’s Channel and receive notice of each new video!

 

Transcript:

So when I watched Samantha!, I thought, “Okay so how does this work? Oh, you know what? Pretty universal. She wants to be important. She wants to matter in the world. That’s what everybody wants, right, and she wants to be loved. That’s — that’s ridiculously universal but every story that teaches that theme just gives you the details the writer had to offer and to me, that’s one of the most beautiful things because that’s how we learn we’re all the same. All this nonsense — about borders and walls and things I don’t want to talk about — it’s nonsense because we’re all the same right? That’s what we need to learn.

Watch this entire presentation

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.


 

* 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!
† Available from the LA Public Library

A Woman Wrote That – 11 in a series – Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

This new “A Woman Wrote That” post is an echo of the Writers Guild campaign of a few years ago (“A Writer Wrote That”) where they noted famous movie quotes and credited the screenwriter rather than the director.  The difference here being that we will be posting lines from films written by female screenwriters.  Feel free to share! — Rosanne

A Woman Wrote That - 11 in a series - Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

ANNIE

You make a million decisions that mean nothing, and then one day you order take-out and it changes your life.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V3 Issue 2: Storytelling in Bhutanese cinema: Research context and case study of a film in development by Shohini Chaudhuri, Sue Clayton

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


 

Storytelling in Bhutanese cinema: Research context and case study of a film in development by Shohini Chaudhuri, Sue Clayton

Screenwriter and director Sue Clayton and academic Shohini Chaudhuri consider storytelling structures in Bhutan, a country that has, until recently, been relatively culturally isolated but is now moving towards entering the global stage. As in the rest of South Asia, the dominant cinematic model in Bhutan is that of Bollywood, yet Buddhism, the oral tradition and supernatural beliefs form a rich repertoire of stories that screenwriters of the emerging film industry are increasingly attempting to mine. In this article, we show how cinematic storytelling in Bhutan functions as a kind of ‘secondary orality’ through our analyses of an earlier international co-production Travellers and Magicians (2003), two local DV films, and the film project that Clayton is developing in dialogue with Bhutanese writers, Jumolhari. We argue that Bhutan’s Buddhist, animist and oral traditions challenge and transform classically established cinema conventions of story structure, decentring individual human subjectivity as the controlling force and producing an altogether different kind of hero’s journey.

 


Journal of Screenwriting Cover

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!

44 Samantha! from Brazil from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute)

Watch this entire presentation

44 Samantha! from Brazil  from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute)

Subscribe to Rosanne’s Channel and receive notice of each new video!

 

Transcript:

In watching Brazilian television I found Samanta! which I thought is adorable. I’m amazed we haven’t copied that in the United States yet because this experience of being a child star is something that is, sadly, universal and I think that it’s important to realize that a program can travel to many cultures because themes are universal and that’s why when we start writing from a theme we know that it’s something that going to work. We talked about Harry Potter this morning. It amazes me that we’re talking about a billion-dollar piece of merchandise that is entirely built around the theme, you have to have friends. You have to have friends you can trust. That’s all. That’s the theme of every single book and every single movie and look how powerful that has been. We need that message. We go to movies and television shows, we go to stories, to learn those messages.

Watch this entire presentation

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.


 

* 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!
† Available from the LA Public Library

A Woman Wrote That – 10 in a series – When Harry Met Sally (1989) by Nora Ephron

This new “A Woman Wrote That” post is an echo of the Writers Guild campaign of a few years ago (“A Writer Wrote That”) where they noted famous movie quotes and credited the screenwriter rather than the director.  The difference here being that we will be posting lines from films written by female screenwriters.  Feel free to share! — Rosanne

A Woman Wrote That - 10 in a series - When Harry Met Sally (1989) by Nora Ephron

HARRY

Men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Where’s Her Movie? Civil Rights Activist, Rose Matsui Ochi – 6 in a series

“Where’s HER Movie” posts will highlight interesting and accomplished women from a variety of professional backgrounds who deserve to have movies written about them as much as all the male scientists, authors, performers, and geniuses have had written about them across the over 100 years of film.  This is our attempt to help write these women back into mainstream history.  — Rosanne

Where's Her Movie? Civil Rights Activist, Rose Matsui Ochi - 5 in a series

Ochi broke barriers as the first Asian American woman to serve as a Los Angeles Police Commission member and as an assistant U.S. attorney general

she particularly cherished her contributions to the successful campaigns to win recognition and redress for the mass incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II — including her and her family.

from The Los Angeles Times