Most producers and directors acknowledge the crucial role of the screenplay, yet the film script has received little academic attention until recently, even though the screenplay has been in existence since the end of the 19th century.
Analysing the Screenplay highlights the screenplay as an important form in itself, as opposed to merely being the first stage of the production process. It explores a number of possible approaches to studying the screenplay, considering the depth and breadth of the subject area, including:
- the history and early development of the screenplay in the United States, France and Britain
- the process of screenplay writing and its peculiar relationship to film production
- the assumption that the screenplay is standardised in form and certain stories or styles are universal
- the range of writing outside the mainstream, from independent film to story ideas in Bhutanese film production to animation
- possible critical approaches to analysing the screenplay.
Analysing the Screenplay is a comprehensive anthology, offering a global selection of contributions from internationally renowned, specialist authors. Together they provide readers with an insight into this fascinating yet complex written form.
This anthology will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students on a range of Film Studies courses, particularly those on scriptwriting.
Table of Contents
List of Figures Notes on Contributors Acknowledgements Permissions Chapter 1. Introduction Jill Nelmes Part I: History of the form Chapter 2. Entertaining the Public Option: The Popular Film Writing Movement and the Emergence of Writing for the American Silent Cinema Torey Liepa Chapter 3. Screenwriters who Shaped the PreCode Woman and their Struggle with Censorship Jule Selbo Chapter 4. Screenwriting in Britain 1895-1929 Ian Macdonald Part II: Development, Craft and Process Chapter 5. An Impossible Task? Scripting 'The Chilian Club' Andrew Spicer Chapter 6. Boards, Beats, Binaries and Bricolage – Approaches to the Animation Script Paul Wells Chapter 7. The Flexibility of Genre: The Action-Adventure Film in 1939 Ken Dancyger Part III: Alternatives to the conventional screenplay form Chapter 8. "Let the audience add 2 + 2 and they’ll love you forever": The screenplay as a self-teaching system Adam Ganz Chapter 9. The Screenplay as Prototype Kathryn Millard Chapter 10. A similar sense of time: the collaboration between writer Jon Raymond and director Kelly Reichardt in Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy JJ Murphy Chapter 11. On Screenwriting Outside the West Sue Clayton Part IV: Theoretical and Critical Approaches Chapter 12. Character in the Screenplay Text Steven Price Chapter 13. Realism and Screenplay Dialogue Jill Nelmes Chapter 14. Analysing the Screenplay: A Comparative Approach Mark O’Thomas Chapter 15. Beyond McKee: Screenwriting In and Out of the Academy Barry Langford Index
Jill Nelmes is a senior lecturer at the University of East London, UK. Her research interests include gender and film, and screenwriting. She studied screenwriting at UCLA, has had a number of screenplays in development and was a script reader in Hollywood for over two years. Jill Nelmes is editor of The Journal of Scriptwriting and Introduction to Film Studies, currently in its 4th edition.