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1st Edition

Analysing the Screenplay

Edited By Jill Nelmes Copyright 2011
    ISBN 9780415556347
    288 Pages
    Published October 21, 2010 by Routledge

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    ISBN 9780415556330
    288 Pages
    Published October 27, 2010 by Routledge

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    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.


    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.

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