Storytelling for Film and Television : From First Word to Last Frame book cover
1st Edition

Storytelling for Film and Television
From First Word to Last Frame

ISBN 9780815371793
Published May 1, 2019 by Routledge
198 Pages

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Book Description

Storytelling for Film and Television is a theory and practice book which offers a definitive introduction to the art of storytelling through writing, directing, and editing. Author Ken Dancyger provides a comprehensive explanation of the tools that underpin successful narrative filmmaking and television production.

The book takes a unique approach by connecting the different phases of the creative process of film and television production. It shows how writing, directing, and editing all contribute to the process of storytelling and function together to advance the narrative goals of a screenplay, to tell the best story. A case study approach provides numerous examples of effectiveness and brings together the core areas of aesthetics and production to make these concepts more accessible. Case studies include classic and modern films, foreign films, limited and series television, with examples including Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Revenant, and Son of Saul.

This is the ideal text for film and television production students at all levels. It is written in a style which makes it accessible to anybody interested in learning more about the storytelling process and is written for a global audience addressing a global industry.

Table of Contents


SECTION I Narrative

  1. Introduction
  2. The Narrative Tools
  3. The Technical Dimension
  4. The Creative Possibilities
  5. Three Case Studies of Excellence
  6. SECTION II Directing

  7. The Directing Tools
  8. The Technical Dimension
  9. The Creative Possibilities
  10. Three Case Studies of Excellence
  11. SECTION III Editing

  12. The Editing Tools
  13. The Technical Dimension
  14. The Creative Possibilities
  15. Three Case Studies of Excellence
  16. SECTION IV The Storytelling Experience from Beginning to End

  17. Elia Kazan’s Splendor in the Grass
  18. Sidney Lumet’s Daniel
  19. Laszlo Nemes’ Son of Saul
  20. Conclusion


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Ken Dancyger is Professor of Film and Television at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He teaches script and post-production workshops worldwide and is the author of seven books on screenwriting, editing, and production including Alternative Scriptwriting, 5th edition with Jeff Rush; The Technique of Film and Video Editing, 6th edition; Global Scriptwriting; and The Director’s Idea.


‘Ken Dancyger has done the impossible – synthesizing decades of insight about the power of screenwriting, directing, and editing into one volume. Classic and modern examples, from both film and television, precisely illustrate his unified theory. I can’t imagine a more comprehensive vision of the art and craft storytelling.’

Eric R. Williams, Screenwriter, Author, and Director of the MFA in Communication Media Arts program, Ohio University