Larkin, Kim

SAE Institute

Dual Language screenplays and Hybrid Identities

Abstract:
This study explores the use of multiple languages within screenplays as a method of cultural representation. Code-switching between languages has been a common occurrence of people with multiple cultural identities. The examination of dual languages and code-switching within a screenplay offers insight into the representation of hybrid identities and extends the understanding of co-existing cultural experiences. Code-switching language within a screenplay acts as a signifier to alternate between the different cultural worlds, experiences and consciousness of characters within the text. Representation within film is often studied through the aesthetics of a finished film, or by the experiences of the film’s creators. However representation can also be explored through the script, understanding the literary positions established prior to its interpretation by directors and actors. This paper comprises of case studies of the scripts ‘The Farewell’ by Lulu Wang and ‘The Half of It’ by Alice Wu. It does this through an exploration of issues of self-representation by first-generation Asian-Americans female screenwriters who create content for English-speaking and post-colonial audiences. This research explores the value of dialogue and its importance in strategic narrative and character creation. It examines how Wang and Wu use code-switching between languages in their screenplays to explore and convey multiple consciousnesses, perspectives and realities. Using multiple languages within a screenplay offers an extension of the understanding of borderless representation. These case studies generate insight into the unique experiences and perspectives of hybrid cultural identity and how self-representation can be demonstrated globally through global identities.

Bio:
Kim Larkin is a recent Masters of Creative Industries graduate from SAE Institute Australia and holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Monash University. She has a strong interest in media representation and globalisation, and is currently researching self-representation within screenwriting, with a particular focus on women of colour. Kim’s recent thesis “Identity before Production: an analysis of representation in screenwriting” explored how first-generation Asian American women demonstrate their identity and experience on screen through the screenplay discipline. She has a strong interest in Asian media, intersectional feminism and the future of film and television with the emergence of hybrid cultural influence and globalisation. Kim is planning on pursuing this line of research in 2022 as she embarks on a PhD.

Langkjær, Birger

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Social schemes and the unexpected: The scenic unit in Ruben Östlund’s storytelling

Abstract:
Most film narratives use characters to forward the plot. These characters are psychologically specified (a type of character with a particular backstory) and they have wants and inner needs, which shape the story arc. In this account, each scene is a stepping-stone, or a beat, that reveals character traits and gets the plot going. This is not quite so in the films of Swedish director/scriptwriter Ruben Östlund. First, his focus is less on the story arch than on the single scene. This is not to say that there is no story, only that the unfolding of the complete story is less salient than the unfolding of single scenes, which tend to have standalone qualities, also in terms of their duration. Second, the scenic unit does not reveal single characters and their psychology as much as it plays upon and deepens the audiences’ understanding of the social nature of the situation. Scenes often depict challenges and disturbances to the execution of complex social performances by social actors, often leading to embarrassment. As a result, the characters do not advance, nor do we get to know them in any detail. Rather, the scenic situations of which they are part develop due to their social logic, yet in unexpected ways. I intend to analyze this emphasis on the scenic in some detail.
The center of my analysis will be on how the structuring of each scene through social schemes actually infuses the scenes with entertaining surprises.

Bio:
Birger Langkjær is Associate Professor in Film Studies at Dept. of Communication at University of Copenhagen. His main research is in cognitive film theory, narratives and emotions, sound and music in film and television series, realism in Danish cinema as well as experimental approaches to aesthetic issues. He has published in numerous journals and edited volumes, and he is the author of three books

Langebek, Line

Regent's University London

Zoom Rooms: Lessons learned from a Children’s TV Series writers’ room during a pandemic

Abstract:
In 2019, the writing began on the children’s TV series Royals Next Door (recently premiering on RTE in Ireland), a 52-episode series produced by Finnish animation company Pikkukala with Ink and Light and Walking the Dog. Whilst the writing team was always intended to be pan-European, with writers from Finland, the UK, Ireland and Spain, the original idea was for the ‘room’ of the writers to meet and work together at various points. The pandemic put a stop to that, but the writing carried on regardless through 2020, now instead with regular meetings online. The production had an advantage in that animation often is a huge collaboration between animators and production teams in different countries and much already happens online. However, the lessons learned from this writers’ room – as became evident when the room was brought together for an online interview in January 2021– felt worthy of further examination. The interview of the all-female writers’ room, discussing writing for children, writing different national audiences and how to create a unified voice whilst meeting only on zoom – also touched upon how it had been to write during a pandemic, where most of the writers had also been home schooling. On the 17th of May 2021 the campaign organisation Raising Films launched the survey ‘How We Work Now’, closing 5th July 2021. How We Work Now surveyed around 500 people working in the film and TV industries in the UK and the subsequent report1 revealed that the caring issues faced by the screen industries had only been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier research carried out by Raising Film has previously suggested2 that care giving costs is one of the reasons people drop out of the industry, and those who fall away first are women, ethnic minorities, and people from a working class background. Those who cannot afford to stay. This has a direct effect on who gets to tell the stories that we see on our big and small screens. 
This paper will examine the writers’ room conversation in January 2021, as well as the lived experience of being a writer in the Royals Next Door writers’ room, and how a room centred on care functioned and perhaps helped to unify the stories that were needed for the show too. The ethos of kindness became a theme for the writing itself too as the creative director and producer behind the show wanted to create a comedy series for kids that didn’t laugh at the main characters but with them, a series that helped celebrate being different, and the space that was allowed for the writers’ lives in order for them to each carry out their job whilst also writing during a pandemic could perhaps be said to have helped the writing of this theme too. If we create space for different ways of working, perhaps we can create space for different storytellers and change the stories too?

Bio:
Line Langebek is a Danish-born writer, living in London. She has worked as a commissioned writer on numerous shorts and feature films in the UK, US, France, Denmark and Norway, as a freelance script consultant (for both London and LA production offices), as well as a literary translator and subtitler for TV. Her credits include the feature film I’LL COME RUNNING, the 30-min drama SINK OR SWIM for Channel 4, the documentary DUAM DRÏTE: WE WANT LIGHT for French television and FIELD STORY for BFI's big budget Shorts Scheme. She’s also written a dozen episodes for the children’s comedy TV-series ROYALS NEXT DOOR. Line is currently working on feature film commissions for the BFI and DFI. She is a co-founder of Raising Films, campaigning for change for parents and carers in the film and TV industry and is an active member of the WGGB. She teaches screenwriting at Regent's University London

Krauß, Florian

University of Siegen

Glocal and extended screenwriting in DRUCK/SKAM Germany

Abstract:
Local and national aspects are still highly relevant in a globalized world. The intersection of global and local dimensions has been termed glocalization (e. g. Robertson, 2014) and becomes particularly visible in format adaptations: These are on the one hand embedded in a transnational television market (see Chalaby, 2012) and on the other hand made for specific territories. In my paper I concentrate on DRUCK (2018–), the German adaptation of the Norwegian youth transmedia drama SKAM (2015–17) and analyse a glocalization in its screenwriting process on the basis of interviews with different production members. I argue that it has been particularly online media which shaped the glocal screenwriting of DRUCK. The show’s project network (Windeler and Sydow, 2001) and screen idea work group (Macdonald, 2010) took up the real-time approach of SKAM (in which scenes and sequences that comprised the full episodes were first published as online clips at the exact times when they took place in the fictional story world, see e. g. Sundet, 2020). However, the practitioners updated this real-time, transmedia narration and distribution to the online media environment which had changed both in Germany and globally, in the young target group and through transnational platforms since the SKAM phenomenon. To handle the different platforms and the linked transmedia world-building (Jenkins, 2007) in screenwriting and further production steps a new social media production department was created. Together with the head writer, the social media producer had to think of the series’ wider fictional universe and decide if posts on online platforms fit the larger narrative and the characters (see Krauß and Stock, 2021). With the new profession of the social media producer, DRUCK does not only point to adaptations which can be labelled as glocal but in addition to extended areas of the screenwriting.

Bio:
Florian Krauß is a research fellow at the department of Media Studies at the University of Siegen, Germany. He was previously a substitute professor in Media Literacy at the Technische Universität Dresden, a lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Siegen and a research associate at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, Potsdam. Furthermore, he is a co-founder of the Netzwerk für Drehbuchforschung (Network for screenwriting research in the German-speaking world) and works as freelance script editor for Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR; “Bavarian Broadcasting”, member of the public-service ARD network). Recent publications on media industry studies and screenwriting research in Journal of Popular Television, VIEW Journal of European Television History & Culture, Critical Studies in Television, and others.

Koskinen, Arto

Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Department of Film, Television and Scenography

Teaching Screenwriting Inside Out

Abstract:
This paper discusses the vital importance of expanding screenwriting curriculum to include the teaching of screenwriting technics and tools derived initially from students’ own life experiences, emotional memories, and insights. On one hand it emphasizes the importance of learning the basic tools and traditions of screenwriting, and on the other hand challenges the order in which basic elements need to be taught to students. My paper highlights the inherent problem found in certain screenwriting students “race for originality” that tends to imitate films they have already seen rather than deriving inspiration from a world which they are better familiar with. The paper discusses the common experiences shared by screenwriting professors and introduces examples and results where the stories have first been solidly rooted in the writer’s own experiences. The paper is based on qualitative research materials collected from workshops I have conducted for screenwriting students in various film schools in Finland and Belgium during 2017-2021. The workshops were structured so that students commenced by finding ideas derived from certain single life experience or memoir and applied them onto film scripts inspired by David Colb’s experiential learning method (1984). Later, the students and their teacher’s answered questions about the experience, whether the process was rewarding, unpleasant, beneficial and so on in finding and writing a story. In the conference presentation I will open on the method and process used in collecting the material and introduce the result of the inquiries. I will suggest that instead of emphasizing traditional structures and tools of storytelling in teaching screenwriting, teachers should first and foremost guide students towards their personal sources of their individual experiences and memories, highlighting their own personal potential and originality

Bio:
Arto Koskinen is a Doctoral Candidate in Aalto University, and his research focuses in the Screenwriting pedagogy. Arto Koskinen works as a Senior Lecturer in Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland. He teaches screenwriting and dramaturgy as well as directing. Arto has written and directed screenplays for screened couple of short films, tv-movie (Hiding place for two), one Theatrical movie (The Handcuff King), documentaries (among others: “Nokia Mobile – Story of a mobile phone”) and true crime podcast series. (Felix Kersten Files and Mannerheim’s Agent

Kokeš, Radomír D.

Masaryk University

Narrative construction in Czech silent cinema storytelling: National and international tendencies

Abstract:
In my paper, I will ask two more general questions that are related – and for which such a small and peripheral national cinema like Czech cinema seems to be a suitable explanatory tool. In doing so, I am going to focus on the silent period, when Czech cinema represented a relatively diverse and still rather unexplored field of artistic possibilities. My project follows the research tradition of the poetics of cinema, so it works with a combination of detailed analysis of films, knowledge of particular scripts and screenwriting manuals, and taking into account contemporary practices within the filmmaking community. First, I am interested in what identifying features of international models of screenwriting and narrative can tell us about such cinema, whose production is primarily intended for a local audience. In what ways have filmmakers responded to these models? What has this meant for the shape of local screenwriting and films – and to what extent? Second, I am interested in what modes of narrative construction alternative to the internationally established practices of the 1920s can tell us about international narrative norms. What patterns of other options can we discern in the silent period and why? In my paper, I will develop these two perspectives using the example of the Czech silent period. We can observe (a) several synchronic alternatives of the narrative construction of feature films and (b) successive diachronic shifts in the artistic choices of specific filmmakers. As the ability of Czech films to compete with foreign films in Czech distribution grew more robust, the dilemma of following and not following the Hollywood model entered a new context.

Bio: 
Radomír D. Kokeš is an assistant professor in the Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. Primarily he examines the narrative and stylistic poetics of Czech cinema through 1933, the spiral narrative as an innovative schema of audiovisual storytelling, and features of seriality in fictional worlds. He published two books in Czech – Rozbor filmu [Film Analysis] (2015) addresses techniques of systemic film analysis and in Světy na pokračování [Worlds to Be Continued: Analysis of the Possibilities of Serial Storytelling] (2016) he introduces his own serial fiction poetics.

Keusch, Donat

Analyzing Screenplays presented on the international market: Development, Practice and Benefits of “The SSO- or *40-Steps-Method” From practical use to theory and back again

with Gabriele C. Sindler

Abstract:
The multilingual team of dfk*script*service analyzes 150 scripts per year from all over the world. Based on the concrete needs in film production and investment, domestic and worldwide distribution we offer analysis, evaluation, and improvement of scripts. Our basic tool is the newly developed and approved technique: the Story-Step-Outline (SSO) | *40-Steps-Method. For many years, we worked with this highly objectifying method for current film projects as well as for classics in teaching. This tool is designed to deconstruct the script into a concrete number of events, and sheds light to the author’s intentions in a psychoanalytical way. In a challenging learning process between theory and practice, the SSO | *40-Steps-Method was brought to life by • experiences in film production and distribution, • the encounter with František “Frank” Daniel – the best teacher of script writing and analysis. This political refugee was as decisively as discreetly involved in the worldwide successful ONE FLEW OVER THE COCKOO'S NEST and many others, • Paul Schrader’s’ meticulous and unique approach to script writing (his early work), • studies of drama theories, psychoanalysis, and the best films/scripts. Every successful film is based on a great script. The story, the characters and their universe, the topics and every other aspect must be fully worked-out AND fully adapted to the specifications of the 7th art. Our research and our experience show: a fully developed story for cinema consists of around 40 Steps in a 90 to 120 minute film. This is as true for classics as it is for current films:

• SOME LIKE IT HOT | 121’ | 40 Steps • THELMA & LOUISE | 130’ | 42 Steps
• AMADEUS | 153’ | 45 Steps • AMERICAN BEAUTY | 122’ | 41 Steps
• TITANIC | 194’ | 54 Steps | based on the analysis of the 156-page original screenplay dated Mai 7, 1996.
Too many European films hardly achieve 25 steps. The detailed SSO | 40*-Steps Script Analysis identifies the existing story-steps. It allows to ask questions and to provide comments on every story-step for making a good script great. We improved and discussed our approach on 3 continents with very divers filmmakers, producers, and experts. 

Bio:
Academic studies Psychology, Journalism and Sociology at the University of Zürich.
Further Training Script analysis and script writing workshops with František “Frank” Daniel, Paul Schrader, Robert McKee and many more.
Studies of story and script writing theories.
Tutor and Board Member Co-founder and board member of FOCAL, the Swiss foundation for further training for film professionals; as well tutor at film schools and workshops in Europe and Africa.
Expert in film business & screenplay – Distributor (260 films released in Switzerland, theatrical and tv) – Producer (24 films, 116 awards at film festivals, amongst them a Golden Palm and the Jury Prize at Cannes, Silver Bears at Berlin, Golden and Silver Leopards at Locarno, Oscar and Golden Globe Nominations, French Césars, Italian Donatellos, etc.) – World Sales (154 films, the first awards for Turkish and Indian films at international film festivals) – Story editor and Script analyst, not mention or pen named, ghost analyst/writer.
After teaching together with Frank Daniel and Paul Schrader dfk developed the basic of a very refined script analysis approach: “The SSO- or *40-Steps-Method” (link: 40-story-step-outlinesystem).
The production “YOL” (The Way) was awarded with the Golden Palm at Cannes and was released again as completed and restored film 2017 at the Cannes Classics programme as “YOL – The Full Version”. 

Igelstrom, Ann

The Universal Language of Storytelling: a help or a hindrance?

Abstract:
A universal language understood by screenwriters and other members of an international co-production team is increasingly essential for a project to succeed, particularly given the growth in collaborations across borders and continents. This paper discusses what a universal language within the film industry might look like and if relying on ‘traditional’ dramaturgical concepts and formats is a help or a hindrance. First the well-known traditional concepts are identified and terms such as the three (or five) act structure, turning points, inciting incidents, crisis, etc., are examined. The second step is to see in what way this traditional terminology is used during international co-productions involving more than two countries. The aim is to see if the terminology brings members of the production team from different countries closer together or pushes them apart. The paper also investigates if there is a ‘universal language’ when discussing characters and emotions, and if so, is that terminology as fixed as the traditional dramaturgical one? In its conclusion, the paper raises the question if there is a true need to modernise and change the traditional terminology or if the old ways provide a stable platform to work from.

Bio:
Ann Igelstrom completed her PhD on screenplay text analysis at Bangor University in 2014. She is currently based in Edinburgh and works as an independent researcher, guest lecturer and script consultant. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming Bloomsbury Handbook of International Screenplay Theory and organiser of the 2021 SRN Early Career Researcher Symposium. 

Ianniello, Marco

University of Notre Dame Australia

Character Composition in Serial Drama Are “western” paradigms of character development relevant to scripting long form characters arcs in serial television drama?

Abstract:
Crafting and managing long-form character arcs has been at the core of serial storytelling since the Dickensian era, through to the evolution of the soap opera to the current streaming era of designing and scripting long-form serial drama. Perspectives on character development in television drama varies in both scholarly and industry texts: from those advocating a prevalence of stability and lack of change (see Pearson 2006, Yorke 2013, Mittell, 2014), to writers acknowledging that character change is occurring in both drama serials and series (See O’Meara 2015, Douglas 2011, Smith 2006).  This paper will respond to the question: Are western paradigms of character development (hero’s journey) relevant to scripting long-form characters arcs in serial drama? It will contribute to the discourse, linking theory and practice to investigate the nature of the character arcs in recent television dramas to create a framework through which both screenwriters and theorists can discuss long-form character arcs in serial narratives.  What this paper will arrive at is new term: character composition, and propose a shift in how screenwriting practitioners and scholars consider discussing and writing characters in serial drama. This highlights a need to start moving away from dominant Western paradigms of Hollywood features, such as hero’s journeys or linear arcs, and think more about character composition – which can greater express and illustrate, not only the physical and thematic journey of a character but the accumulation and depth of character commonly expressed in the literature. This research proposes a way to not simply appropriate Western feature film terms or discuss complex characters, but to have a more expansive, yet specific framework to craft and analyse the purposefully composed characters that must be meticulous crafted in serial dramas.

Bio:
Marco  Ianniello  is  head  of  Film  and  Screen  Production  at  The  University  of  Notre  Dame  Australia.  He  is  an  award-winning  filmmaker  and  screenwriter,  and  his  work  has  screened  at  festivals  around  the  world  and  on  Australian  television.  He  is  currently  completing  a  screenwriting  practice  Ph.D  investigating  the  structuring  of  long-form  screenplays  and  the  nature  of  change  in  the television drama protagonist. Marco has recently published a number of papers derived from this research.

Herold Solon Pilegaard, Nathali

University of Southern Denmark

The creative potential of storyworlds in screenwriting and -development

with Heidi Philipsen

Abstract:
When you read books written by the so called ‘gurus’ of screenwriting like Field, McKee, Aronson, Walther, storyworlds (also called ‘world-building’) are rarely mentioned as a key tool for development of screenplays. But the usage of storyworlds is an essential way of handling and presenting the creative stimuli’s which can be a starting point for compelling stories for film or television. Whereas world-building processes typically initiate drawings, models, maps, and other visual tools, pre-phases in screenwriting are often dominated by written words and dramaturgical tools (e.g., a three-act-structure). Especially nowadays, in a time where storyworlds are huge players in audience engagement and fan behavior (Jenkins, 2006) it seems peculiar that the concept of storyworld is not a part of more screenwriting books. There are exceptions like Truby (2007) where this concept is included. In our presentation we wish to address the following topics from the conference call: Screenwriting teachers ‘gurus’ and their influence around the globe, and how toxic is the doxa? Paradigms of screenwriting and their global hegemony. Our research question is: How can world-building at an early stage of a screenwriting process initiate a foundation for the story to build upon? And does it represent a scaffolding or obstruction to the creative process? We conduct an empirical qualitative production study carried out at the ‘Screenplay Development’ program at The University of Southern Denmark. We have collected data through a survey and a case-study. Our aim is to reflect on possibilities and challenges when using world-building early in the development of a screenplay. Our study is theoretically based on storyworldand world-building perspectives from e.g., Ryan (2014), Ford (2007), Klastrup & Tosca (2020), Wolf (2012) and the understanding of ‘scaffolding’ from Wood, Bruner & Ross (1976) and Philipsen (2009).

Hermansson, Joakim

Dalarna University, Sweden

The hero's thematic journeys in advertisement films

Abstract:
In this paper, I examine how successful advertisement films can be understood through the complex thematic progression of the hero’s journey, as it outlined by Joseph Campbell, with theme as the actual hero. As Campbell, Patrick Colm Hogan, and others argue, characters and narrative structures in film and literature adopt global and evolutionary patterns. However, whereas the narratives of successful feature films commonly match inner, physical, and thematic dramatic developments in eleven, seventeen, or twenty-two steps, and forty to sixty scenes, the intense complexity of advertisement films, of six to sixty seconds long, is commonly ignored, and they are often analysed in much simpler terms, on the basis of three or four rhetorical factors and stages.  I have previously argued that the stages of the hero’s journey can be translated into a purely thematic line of argument. In feature films each step in a thematic line of reasoning stretches over several scenes and perhaps ten minutes. In advertisement films the screenwriter may only have a half to three seconds to communicate each step of the rhetorical argument. In this presentation, I apply that model of reasoning to varied Swedish and American examples, ranging from Volvo and Klarna banking, eyeglasses, to Coca-Cola, to demonstrate how the multimodal complexity of award-winning commercials follow universal conventions, regarding perception and narrative structures communicate thematic content, with intense multimodal means. As a result, the presentation advances the notion that quality advertisement films demand complex screenwriting skills, and that the hero´s journey presents a universal tool for the transfer between conventional screenwriting and the production of content for social media.

Bio:
Joakim Hermansson teaches film production and screenwriting at Dalarna University. After a master in linguistics and literature, he gained his phd at Gothenburg University with a dissertation on what happens to the concept of adulthood as novels are adapted for the screen, with the screenwriting process in focus. He has published with Journal of Screenwriting, Journal of Adaptation, Literature/Film Quarterly, Cormac McCarthy Journal, and in New Perspectives on Adaptations. He is currently involved in a project regarding the narration in information and advertisement films

 


Hart, Phoebe

Queensland University of Technology

The Local Impact of the Global #MeToo Movement – The Female Voice in Contemporary Australian Screenwriting

with Marilyn Leder

Abstract:
This paper evolves out of a study of three case studies of female feature filmmakers in the low budget, independent sector of the Australian screen industry since 2017.  Filmmakers often face endemic sexism when it comes to the formulation of female voices and screen characters. Australian screenwriting academic Radha O’Meara argues that while male characters are commonly named and described expansively in screenplays, female characters are often unnamed, described meagrely, highly sexualised and infantalised. This in turn ‘impacts on production practices, the nature of workplaces, the films produced, and the gender representations we see daily on our screens’ (O’Meara 2017, 79). Since the #MeToo era of social media activism and awareness-raising the tide has begun to turn. The participants of this study observed that while some impediments to expressing female voices in the low budget, independent sector continue, others have subsided and a considerable number of promising developments are emerging. Screen Australia’s Gender Matters and other initiatives by State-based screen agencies have encouraged this progress, but changes in the global socio-cultural discourse have been influential.

Bio:
Dr Phoebe Hart lectures in film, television and digital media at the Queensland University of Technology, and is principal of Hartflicker, a video and film production company. Phoebe’s research interests include the representation of gender, disability and sexuality on screens, documentary studies and creative practice theory and education.

Hardy, Ann

University of Waikato, New Zealand

Is Storytelling the same as Creativity? Screenwriting culture in Aotearoa New Zealand

with Arezou Zalipour

Abstract:
Sitting as screenwriting does at a junction between craft and creative writing the balance between them can be differently weighted in particular cultures. Since the late 1980s New Zealand has welcomed Anglo-American models of script-development, with the New Zealand Film Commission sponsoring tours by global screenwriting gurus such as Robert McKee, Linda Seger and Stephen Cleary. In parallel, there has been a necessary recognition of scripts arising from initially Māori (Barclay, 1990, 2005), Pasifika (Hardy, 2019), and subsequently, multiple Pan-Asian immigrant cultures (Zalipour, 2015, 2019). The main organizations currently encouraging both diversity and professionalisation in screenwriting are led by the NZFC, its programme for indigenous writers, Te Rautaki Māori; the NZ Writers Guild;and the Script to Screen trust: they provide local training courses, mentoring and competitive funding for both aspiring and experienced writers.

While these programmes of support have provided the desired international successes, the authors’ experience and research suggests attention to creativity in screenwriter development should supersede the use of scriptwriting templates and paradigms. Currently the organisations that shape New Zealand screenwriting use a dominant discourse about storytelling and identity. Script to Screen says its mandate is “to support New Zealand screen practitioners to tell exceptional stories that reflect who we are”, while the Writers Guild believes that “our primary storytellers need to be unleashed and offered diverse pathways for developing these stories”. Te Rautaki Māori helps “Māori filmmakers find pathways to bring their stories to life”. Implying that ‘stories’ are selected from cultural storehouses and re-animated through writing, this discourse provides little explicit recognition of the creative dimension of an individual writer’s multi-layered interactions with their own psyche, self, specific experience and aesthetic preferences, as well as with shared or customary realities.

This paper brings secondary research about the creative process, both in general (Townsend, 2019) and in scriptwriting specifically (Bourgeois-Bougrine et al. 2014) into conversation with our own interview research with staff and scriptwriters at the above institutions. We ask what conceptions they have about creativity, what importance they place on its role in the writing of screenplays, and how creativity can be engendered and supported in New Zealand scriptwriting culture.

Bio:
Ann Hardy (PhD, Waikato, Dip. Creative Writing, Victoria, NZ) is a Senior Lecturer in the Screen and Media Programme, University of Waikato, Hamilton NZ. Ann has published extensively on New Zealand screen production and its audiences. A former writer/director in television and documentaries she teaches screenwriting at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Gutiérrez, Ruth

Showrunners of Spain: Outlooks and Challenges in the Post-TV Writers’ Room

with Pablo Castrillo and Isadora García Avis

Abstract:
Over-the-top media services (OTT) such as Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video have disembarked in Spain in full force since 2015 (Sáez, 2019). Local media groups like Atresmedia and Movistar+ have also emerged with their own VOD services and content brands in an attempt to compete against these global multinational giants. Consequently, the demand for original scripted content has soared, involving ever larger numbers of individual creators and production companies. Traditionally, the relationships between writers-producers and networks have been hierarchical, ruled by a customer-supplier mentality. The new players, however, have seemingly introduced different approaches in the creative processes, yielding more autonomy to the writers’ rooms or, when applicable, to writers-producers or showrunners. In this paper we set out to illustrate the new practices, styles, and perhaps also difficulties faced by Spanish writers’ rooms in the still fresh environment brought about by the digital platforms. In order to do so, our methodology will combine a) a survey for Spanish screenwriters; and b) a series of in-depth interviews with writers-producers of hit TV shows created in Spain in recent years, such as Money Heist (Atresmedia; then Netflix), Cocaine Coast (Atresmedia), Cable Girls (Netflix) and Patria (HBO Max), among others. As screenwriters who have worked in the Spanish industry for over fifteen years, our questions for these industry practitioners will revolve around the changes they have experienced inside the writers’ rooms since the cord-cutting wave; the ways in which the relationships between creators and outlets have shifted; and most importantly, whether these alterations, presumably caused by their migration to new digital platforms, have had a meaningful impact in their writing process and in the narrative-poetic configuration of their stories.

Bio:
Dr. Ruth Gutiérrez Delgado is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Film, TV & Digital Media, as well as Vice Dean of Students at the School of Communication (University of Navarra, Spain). She lectures in Epistemology of Communication and Screenwriting for Film and TV. As Visiting Professor, she also teaches a course on Fiction as Knowledge at Universidad de los Andes (Chile). Her research focuses on audiovisual poetics, myth and hero. She is part of the Research Group Knowledge, Myth and Action at Universidad Panamericana (Mexico).

Grendene de Souza, Fabiano

Pontifical University Catholic of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS - Brazil)

The Short Film Screenplay in Brazil: Space, Dialogue and Social Criticism

Abstract:
Even though there are American books on short film screenplay, in Brazil, what can be seen is the influence of canonical script manuals, such as those by Syd Field and Robert McKee. Within this aspect, some of these authors' concepts (the three-act structure and the types of story plots) are transplanted to the short film format without significant adaptations. In this context, our research project emerged: "Creating Epiphanies in Minutes: The Art of Writing Short Films." This research project seeks to relativize the validity of the teachings of feature films for short films. At the same time, it aims to compare the format with theories about the short story and seek some characteristics in Brazilian short films that can support thinking about the short film screenplay. This presentation focuses on Grace Passo's short Republic (República, 2020, 15 minutes). In the film, a black woman is awakened by a phone call from a friend telling her that Brazil is a dream. As the country could end at any moment, she is in shock.

Shot in an apartment during the Pandemic, Republic is an example of how the unity of space can be used and subverted. Like many short stories, the action remains in just one space. On the other hand, in the film, the window, the door, and the phone conversations transform the place into a mirror of Brazil, bringing in such proposals a post-colonial discourse that is highly critical of the government of President Bolsonaro. This discourse is underlined by dialogues and monologues with theatrical lines, allowing comparisons with Cinema Novo. In this way, from Republic onwards, we will debate issues related to the short film script, bringing approximations with the literature, highlighting particularities of Brazilian cinematographic production.

Bio:
Fabiano Grendene de Souza is head of the Audiovisual Production Technology Undergraduate Program of Pontifical University Catholic of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS - Brazil). He wrote and directed eight short films: Five Suits (Cinco Naipes, 2004) received more than 20 awards in Brazil and abroad.  He wrote and directed three feature films:  The Last Road to the Beach (A Última Estrada da Praia, 2010), Change (Mudança, 2020) and Two Girls Descending the Stairs (Nós Duas Descendo a Escada, 2015). The process of writing of the screenplay of this last film was presented in 8th SRN International Conference (London). At the moment, he is developing the research project “Creating Epiphanies in Minutes: The Art of Writing Short Films”.

Gonçalo, Pablo

University of Brasília

Chains, escape, freedom: speculating with Frances Marion’s unfilmed screenplays

Abstract:
This paper aims to shed light on some key aesthetic styles of Frances Marion, one of the most influential screenwriters in classic Hollywood. From 1912 to 1945, Marion wrote more than 180 film scripts, was twice awarded with Oscars, and directed two pictures. In addition to that, she was the head of the MGM Story Department for many years. Although Marion had a recognized career, this paper will emphasize unseen elements in her film dramaturgy. Using a speculative archeology methodology, I will look at two of Marion’s unfilmed screenplays: Chains, which is undated, and The Betrayal, which was written in 1943. Both screenplays tell stories of women characters looking for true love while fighting against pre-established ideas about marriage, sexism, and the traditional values of their isolated communities. Their plots explore the tensions between old marriage models and modern love, the feelings of complicity between mothers and daughters, and what the paths those women characters chart in order to achieve freedom. These screenplays display some themes and plots often found in many pictures written by Marion. Therefore, this essay will build up a retrospective archeology. Side by side with those unfilmed scripts, I will analyze films as Stella Dallas (1931), Minn and Bill (1930), The Champ (1931), and The Scarlet Letter (1926). Through a speculative archeology of unfilmed screenplays, I will point to aspects of her dramaturgy that were present but not evident in the pictures that made it to the screen. I propose a kind of critical fabulation and the historiography of its marginal stories and archives. I claim that unfilmed screenplays, and a speculative approach to them, may have a central role in digging up dispersed traces of screenwriters’ authorship. Even if a screenwriter was famous and awarded, as it happened with Frances Marion, she worth such archeology.

Bio:
Pablo Gonçalo is an assistant professor at the University of Brasília. He has been teaching undergraduate students for the last 14 years, in many Brazilian and international universities. He has been awarded key grants from different countries and continents, such as DAAD and Fulbright, and has been presenting in film congresses and seminars, such as SCMS, Film-Philosophy, NECS, Screenwriting Research Network, among other conferences held by Brazilian film studies associations. Pablo Gonçalo has been publishing constantly in journals, newspapers, and film review magazines. In 2016, he published his first book, which investigates the partnership between Peter Handke and Wim Wenders, as well as the role of screenwriters in film history. Focusing on a historical outlook on unfilmed screenplays, Gonçalo has been proposing a speculative archeology methodology. In his Post-Doctoral research, he has collected and analyzed unproduced screenplays written by classic Hollywood screenwriters and Brazilian filmmakers.

Gee, Maxine

Bournemouth University, U.K.

Practice Based/Led Working Group – Table Read Panel

This panel presents three research screenplay excerpts that explore a range of practice research processes undertaken by members of the working group. In one, transnational and posthuman filmmaking practices examine globalized screenwriting processes, in another the European murder mystery genre is transposed to South America, while the final excerpt explores a crossing of cultures and traditions. Each excerpt will be read by actors and last 10-15 minutes, with a preface by the researcher establishing the screenplay’s research context and key questions. The three researchers will attend in person, while the actors will join via a virtual medium (e.g. zoom).

Abstract:
Two people meet for the first time in a new city. While they don’t speak the same language, they manage to easily communicate as they spend a day getting to know each other and friendship flourishes. Are they both human? Are either of them really in the city? This research screenplay explores ideas of translation, human/posthuman interactions and the universal desire to form connection. This short screenplay also explores the intersection of human/posthuman writing practices; an experiment in collaboration between a human screenwriter and an A.I. The project is a collaborative piece of research between Dr Imke van Heerden, Principle Investigator of AI as Author (https://authorai.ku.edu.tr/), Visiting Assistant Professor in Department of Comparative Literature at Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey; Dr Anil Bas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering at Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey, Senior Researcher: AI as Author (https://authorai.ku.edu.tr/); and Dr Maxine Gee, screenwriting practice researcher at Bournemouth University.

Bio:
Dr Maxine Gee is a Senior Lecturer in Screenwriting at Bournemouth University and Programme Leader for the BA in Scriptwriting for Film and Television. She holds a PhD by Creative Practice in Screenwriting from the University of York. In 2015, she was a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Summer Fellow, while in 2016 she became a Doctoral Fellow for the Humanities, film Research Centre at the University of York. As a creative practitioner, Maxine has written science fiction  theatre and prose and is the co-writer of Tales of Bacon, a medieval comedy web series. Maxine has published on science fiction screenwriting for BSFA FOCUS magazine, and on posthuman noir in Cinema: Journal of Film and Philosophy. Her award-winning short films Terminal (2018) and Standing Woman (2020) have screened internationally at a range of film festivals.

García Avis, Isadora

Showrunners of Spain: Outlooks and Challenges in the Post-TV Writers’ Room

with Ruth Gutiérrez and Pablo Castrillo

Abstract:
Over-the-top media services (OTT) such as Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video have disembarked in Spain in full force since 2015 (Sáez, 2019). Local media groups like Atresmedia and Movistar+ have also emerged with their own VOD services and content brands in an attempt to compete against these global multinational giants. Consequently, the demand for original scripted content has soared, involving ever larger numbers of individual creators and production companies. Traditionally, the relationships between writers-producers and networks have been hierarchical, ruled by a customer-supplier mentality. The new players, however, have seemingly introduced different approaches in the creative processes, yielding more autonomy to the writers’ rooms or, when applicable, to writers-producers or showrunners. In this paper we set out to illustrate the new practices, styles, and perhaps also difficulties faced by Spanish writers’ rooms in the still fresh environment brought about by the digital platforms. In order to do so, our methodology will combine a) a survey for Spanish screenwriters; and b) a series of in-depth interviews with writers-producers of hit TV shows created in Spain in recent years, such as Money Heist (Atresmedia; then Netflix), Cocaine Coast (Atresmedia), Cable Girls (Netflix) and Patria (HBO Max), among others. As screenwriters who have worked in the Spanish industry for over fifteen years, our questions for these industry practitioners will revolve around the changes they have experienced inside the writers’ rooms since the cord-cutting wave; the ways in which the relationships between creators and outlets have shifted; and most importantly, whether these alterations, presumably caused by their migration to new digital platforms, have had a meaningful impact in their writing process and in the narrative-poetic configuration of their stories.

Bio:
Dr. Isadora García Avis is Lecturer in Audiovisual Narrative at the School of Communication Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain), where she teaches modules on film and television narrative, screenwriting for television formats and transmedia storytelling. She obtained her PhD at the University of Navarra (Spain), with a doctoral dissertation on transcultural remakes in television. Her thesis was awarded the First Prize of Research in Audiovisual Communication, issued by the Audiovisual Council of Catalunya. Her main academic interests focus on adaptation studies, screenwriting, and television formats (more specifically, scripted series). She is a member of the SRN Executive Council since September 2021.

Ganz, Adam

Royal Holloway University of London

Suggesting stories,  Storyfinding Venatic narratives, and screenwriting

Abstract:
William Uricchio has recently began to use the concept of “Storyfinders “ which he contrasts to storytellers   building on historian Carlo Ginzburg’s concept of “venatic narrative ” [From Latin vēnāticus (“of or pertaining to hunting”] Ginzburg posited that “the actual idea of narration .. may have originated in a hunting society, relating the experience of deciphering tracks.”

What Uriccihio calls Ginzburg’s” linkage of narration with the age-old practice of hunting, with making visible the invisible and drawing meaning from signs “ 

These ideas are developed by archivist filmmaker and theorist Rick Prelinger who posits that  “Narrative is, at worst, packaging—and many films are already fairly arbitrary assemblies of emotional triggers, presented as attractive packages. A good yarn weaves its own scarf; it needs no excessive trim…. As we walk through a cemetery, the stones suggest stories.”

In this paper – drawing on three years experience working as head of the Writers Room at StoryFutures Academy   a partnership to train Filmmakers and writers in immersive between Royal Holloway University of London and the  UK’s National Film and TV School look at ideas of assembling narrative- and discuss on how I have been developing these in practice working with Marc Isaac’s The Filmmaker’s House (2020) which British film journal Sight and Sound called:

"an exploration of the notion of hospitality and its limits – but it also continues as a cinematic dialogue about creation, authorship, production, and product”

Bio:
Adam Ganz is Professor of Screenwriting at Royal Holloway University of London and Head of Wrtiers Rooms at StoryFutures Academy a UKRI funded collaboration between Royal Holloway University of London and the National Film and TV School to provide training and research in the immersive sector. Adam is co-author with Steven Price of Robert De Niro at Work: From Screenplay to Screen Performance  (Palgrave 2020).
He has written for film TV and radio and is currently collaborating with Marc Isaacs on a sequel to The Filmmakers House

Fumagalli, Armando

Università Cattolica del  Sacro Cuore

Dark Protagonists in Cinema and Tv

Abstract:
The narrative techniques of the last decades have been pushing boundaries for what regards the moral characteristics of the protagonist. While the old classical Hollywood formula suggested that the main character should be –especially in high budget movies- a good guy confronting some big and unexpected problems, more and more the writers have make a point of honor and of professional challenge to tell the story of characters with big moral flaws - if they are not what we would simply call “bad guys”, using technique more typical of independent and European films. The paradigm of this new wave has been in 2019 the incredible and unexpected commercial success of Joker. Also, a very successful recent film (both in box office and critics) has been JoJo Rabbit, who dared to present as a main character a young boy who is a nazi and admires Hitler…

This did not come as completely new, as we have seen more and more complex characters as protagonists in recent films like The Wolf of Wall Street or The Big Short. This revolution has arrived also in animation, with characters like the “not so good” Carl in Up or the “not classical good guys” in films like Wrecking Ralph and Despicable Me, all of them really big successes in terms of box office.

The fact of having a character with big moral problems for sure  is also today not easy to manage: it requires some specific devices in terms of narrative rhetoric. Still, the viewer has to feel some empathy for these characters, also if he/she has these moral problems.

Is this a real revolution, or it is only a more sophisticated application of some good old rules of storytelling?

Starting from the analysis of rhetoric devices used in Joker and Jojo Rabbit and expanding to other contemporary films with bad guys as protagonists, the paper will try to explore this International new trend in writing for the mainstream audience.


Bio:
Armando Fumagalli is full professor of Semiotics and History of Cinema, and Director of the Master in International Screenwriting and Production at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, a program that since 2000 has trained a new generation of successful writers and producers in Italy. 

He is also, since 1999,  a script consultant for the production company Lux vide: he has been consulting for many international TV series, like the 3 seasons of Medici. Masters of Florence (Rai – Netflix 2016- 2019) and Leonardo, starring Aidan Turner (Poldark) and Freddie Highmore (Neverland, The Good Doctor).

He has been working as consultant also for companies like Barilla, Endemol, Mediaset and Rai.

He has published and edited many books.. His book on the cinema industry Creatività al potere. Da Hollywood alla Pixar passando per l’Italia, Lindau, Torino 2013, has been published also in Spanish in 2014, Creatividad al poder, Rialp. His most recent book on screenwriting are L’adattamento da letteratura a cinema, 2 vols., 2020; Storia delle serie Tv (edited with Cassandra Albani and Paolo Braga), 2 vols, 2021 and also Paolo Braga – Giulia Cavazza –Armando Fumagalli, The Dark Side. Bad guys, antagonisti e antieroi del cinema e della serialità contemporanea, 2016;

He has been lecturing in Universities and screenwriting schools in Buenos Aires, Ciudad de Mexico, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York, Pamplona, Santiago del Chile, Seville, etc.

Friedmann, Joachim

ifs Cologne

Africa Scripting Africa: Interrogating Dominant Western Paradigms in Nollywood Cinema

Abstract:
In 1992, the blockbuster Living in Bondage was produced on video and distributed via VHS in the Nigerian film industry. It had no conventional film script, had orally contracted agreements, produced for small screen, shot on low budget. Following its success, many other video films were produced in seemingly similar, unprofessional manner. By 2002, the industry had become popular, coining a trademark – Nollywood. In comparison to existing western standards, Nollywood films were produced on ‘low budget’, appearing “unprofessional” by western standards. Nollywood stories resonated with the popular audiences, but met with harsh criticism in film scholarship and among African elites whose tastes have been changed by the consumption of films from the Global North. With transformations, such as the influx of young professionals especially from the diaspora and corporate funders, which have been likened to a gentrification of the industry, changes are occurring in the kinds of stories told and how they are told. But Nollywood audiences appear nostalgic over the early films, now considered classics, which defined and inspired the rise of film industries across Africa. What defines storytelling in Africa? What would be an authentic expression of indigenous narrative traditions? Which elements of storytelling can be considered as transcultural phenomenon and what would be, on the flip side, Western vs. African gaze? Even if film dramaturgy owes a lot to Hollywood narrative cinema, filmmaking just based on this tradition might limit the scope of African artists, prevent them to find an individual narrative voice, rooted in their own traditions and culture. Our research aims to conduct a narrative analysis of selected Nollywood films to determine the extent to which Nollywood classics can be considered indigenous, identify the storytelling modes adopted by its diasporic cinema and how much Western paradigms dominate their modes of narration.

Bio:
Professor Dr. Joachim Friedmann is a German script- and head writer for awarded TV series, Games and Graphic Novels. As a storytelling consultant, he worked for institutions and companies like Microsoft or the German Federal Ministry of Environment. He is teaching serial, transmedial and interactive Storytelling at several German and international film- and art schools. In 2016, he received his doctorate with a thesis on Transmedia Storytelling. Since 2017 he is Professor for Serial Storytelling, heading the Masters Course of the same name at the ifs in Cologne.

Freitas, Tom

The art of subverting: The post-horror narratives in Robert Eggers work

Abstract:
The horror genre has been constructing its own ways of storytelling through the history of the cinema. Naturally, each period has been equally contributing to this continuous construction of the horror storytelling. Nowadays we come across the term post-horror, which means a new wave of horror films that have not only its specific aesthetics but also its own subversions and innovations in the narrative structures. Assuming that posthorror is influenced by several waves outside Hollywood, I examine the question of the globalization of the horror narratives in our times. My research, then, aims to explore how Robert Eggers’s work contributes to the continuation of the horror storytelling in the cinema and how its subversions are echoes from the globalization of the cinema. I first explore what post-horror means and how the films of the auteur fit in this so-called wave. With these defined questions, I also aim to recognize the narrative subversions that the post-horror brings, using the Eggers films The Witch (2015) and The Lighthouse (2019) as example. Ultimately, my conclusion efforts are to find out how can the post-horror contribute to the screenwriting theory.

Bio: Tom Freitas, 28, born in São Paulo, Brazil, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Communication from FAPCOM (Brazil) and Master Degree in Film Studies from University of Beira Interior (Portugal). Tom works as screenwriter for films, TV and internet shows since 2016 and has written short films like Astenia (2018), IGOR (2020) and The Devil’s Village (2021), besides the TV series As Cidades Azuis (2020). His academic research focus is the relationship between narrative structures and horror films, as well the influence of these elements in the film industry

Finnegan, John

Falmouth University

Credit Where Credit is Due: Evaluating the Cost and Creative Value of Screenwriting Labour.

Abstract:
The validity of the screenplay as a cultural artefact is tied, both legally and artistically, to the completed film and its production. Screenwriters are credited for their writing only when a film is made. Therefore, the pursuit of successfully adapting a script to screen is also a pursuit to be credited for one’s creative labour. Research suggests that, even now, many government-funded schemes, such as Screen Ireland, or the BFI, do not assign sufficient value to the screenplay or the writer in the development stages of a production model, where ownership and authorship are already problematic concepts.

These issues can be traced to the historical origins of the craft, particularly in the west. In Screenwriting: History, Theory and Practice, Steven Maras refers to the 1911 court ruling which “institutionalised the use of ‘ironclad’ release forms for freelance material” which prohibited the “free use of theatrical and literary source materials” (2009: 139). This, in turn, led to the demand for writers to sell their work to the American studios and has arguably resulted in a harmful culture of screenwriting where credit, authorship and the literary status of the script is intrinsically linked to the completed film, even today and on a global scale.

In the digital age, where terms such as ‘industry’ take on a more globalized meaning, there exist other avenues for the screenwriter to receive appropriate validation and accreditation. International screenplay competitions are one such pathway, as is the rise of the ‘academic screenplay’ (Batty and McCaulay), a work which is considered as more than just a ‘spec’ script in scholastic circles.

This paper will present evidence that supports the hypothesis that the screenplay is presently undervalued and, in some cases, invalid as a piece of creative work in certain mainstream circles. I will argue that this harmful view is an imported one from a so-called ‘Hollywood’ model and the paper will offer a case study in the form of a podcast series, The Script Department, which was created as part of my work to give my own screenwriting students greater exposure and accreditation as writers, before they enter the competitive film and television industry. This case study underpins the need for a shift in how exposure and recognition for the writer and their work are considered in an ever evolving and international industry.

Bio:
John Finnegan is a Senior Lecturer in Screenwriting at Falmouth University and is a practicing screenwriter for film and other screen media. His research is practice-led and explores the relationship between screenwriting and digital technologies. He has published research on the application of theoretical processes of spectatorship in screenwriting practice and the use of digital technologies in the development of the screen idea.

Figuero Espadas, Javier

The role colonization plays in writing series and films scripts

Abstract:
This paper examines the role colonization plays in writing series and films scripts that depict certain historical events and characters. More specifically, it analyses the contrast between Peter Morgan’s portrayal of Lord Mountbatten in the Netflix series The Crown and Gurinder Chadha’s vision on the matter in the film Viceroy's House (2017). Even though both works address his actions during the period of the British Raj —in which Britain ruled over the Indian subcontinent due to imperialism—, they differ in their approach. Therefore, the nationality of the screenwriters who were in charge of developing the series and the film influences how they tell stories since it follows their life experiences and mindsets. The Crown and Viceroy's House share a common feature: the context. However, their traits are different even though they deal with many common topics. To carry out this study, the essay inspects the glaring disparities between the British and the Indian way of representing Lord Mountbatten and his actions. The objective of this paper is to prove that presenting events from the perspective of colonized screenwriting frequently jeopardises a representation of historical characters. It also aims to assess the consequences this has since they are paramount in building up a character’s image. Although the behaviour of Lord Mountbatten receives persistent critics in The Crown, especially from the point of view of other members of the British society such as Winston Churchill, his impact on the Indian subcontinent is tackled more extensively in Viceroy's House. Hence, de-colonized screenwriting would convey a more accurate representation of historical events and characters.

Bio: Javier Figuero Espadas is lecturer of Screenwriting at CEU San Pablo University. His books include Los inadaptados de Tim Burton (2012) or Guion: nociones sobre la escritura audiovisual (2013). He has published film and television research in numerous magazines such as Communication & Society or Fotocinema. Figuero is also a film critic in Pantalla90. In addition, he used to work as screenwriter for various television series such as Médico de familia (Telecinco), Menudo es mi padre (Antena 3), or Esquimales en el Caribe (TVE). He has also directed several short films which have received some international awards, including Milagros (2006), Tablas (2009), The Most Beautiful Thing (2015), and The Monster (2019).

Ferrell, Rose

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

What drawing can teach (screen)writing: visual language and the development of a screen text

Abstract:
This paper presents an overview of the creative practice / exploration I have been pursuing while writing a multiple protagonist screenplay in which the central character is a passive naif character. In a desperate attempt to find a suitable working model which helps me to keep track of the entwined storybeats of multiple characters, I developed a methodology called the Eternal Dance. The eternal dance is on one hand a picture metaphor for a model of screenplay structure. On the other hand, it offers a developmental framework through which the writer can interrogate the beats in the drama, and to a large degree finesse the dramatic design through drawings which preempt or extend writing practice. Through using the methodology, the writing process can be streamlined considerably as the intentions of the writer are tested and clarified through visualisation.

The fundamentals of the methodology are described more fully in the Palgrave Handbook of Script Development. This paper complements the chapter there by examining the ways by which drawing clarifies the writer’s intention for the drama. It proposes that the tools and strategies which become available to the writer through the use of these drawings have mostly been associated with the domain of the director, and yet can be made good use of by the screenwriter in developing the text of the screenplay. The paper then, seeks to reveal the ways in which drawing unlocks information about drama itself, and the powerful ways in which visual language is operative within the craft of screenwriting.

Bio:
Dr Rose Ferrell is a screenwriter, researcher and adjunct lecturer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Her background as an independent screenwriter and filmmaker with three decades’ experience across writing and production of drama, documentary and commercial production enhances her research endeavours, where screenwriting creative practice is often her focus. Rose’s specialist research is on the screenwriter’s voice, particularly exploring the interrelationships between cultural inflection and voice. She is author of an international questionnaire and report on how screenwriters experience voice in their work. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Screenwriting, and other publications, the most recent of which is The Palgrave Handbook of Screen Production (2019) and The Palgrave Handbook of Script Development (2022). Rose’s latest dramatic work is a stage musical, Her Latest Flame.

Ezepue, Ezinne

University of Nigeria

Africa Scripting Africa: Interrogating Dominant Western Paradigms in Nollywood Cinema

Abstract:
In 1992, the blockbuster Living in Bondage was produced on video and distributed via VHS in the Nigerian film industry. It had no conventional film script, had orally contracted agreements, produced for small screen, shot on low budget. Following its success, many other video films were produced in seemingly similar, unprofessional manner. By 2002, the industry had become popular, coining a trademark – Nollywood. In comparison to existing western standards, Nollywood films were produced on ‘low budget’, appearing “unprofessional” by western standards. Nollywood stories resonated with the popular audiences, but met with harsh criticism in film scholarship and among African elites whose tastes have been changed by the consumption of films from the Global North. With transformations, such as the influx of young professionals especially from the diaspora and corporate funders, which have been likened to a gentrification of the industry, changes are occurring in the kinds of stories told and how they are told. But Nollywood audiences appear nostalgic over the early films, now considered classics, which defined and inspired the rise of film industries across Africa. What defines storytelling in Africa? What would be an authentic expression of indigenous narrative traditions? Which elements of storytelling can be considered as transcultural phenomenon and what would be, on the flip side, Western vs. African gaze? Even if film dramaturgy owes a lot to Hollywood narrative cinema, filmmaking just based on this tradition might limit the scope of African artists, prevent them to find an individual narrative voice, rooted in their own traditions and culture. Our research aims to conduct a narrative analysis of selected Nollywood films to determine the extent to which Nollywood classics can be considered indigenous, identify the storytelling modes adopted by its diasporic cinema and how much Western paradigms dominate their modes of narration.

Bio: Dr. Ezinne Ezepue is an expert in African storytelling, focusing on Nollywood studies. She works with the University of Nigeria where she teaches film, Nollywood studies and documentary filmmaking. As part of her vision to empower African youths to tell authentic African stories, she hosts Africa on Script Initiative, a scriptwriting workshop which aims at rebranding Africa and inspiring youths to productivity through storytelling. Ezinne received her doctorate in 2018 with a thesis which interrogated a possible gentrification of Nollywood

Doherty, Amanda

Queen’s University Belfast

Dismantling the patriarchy through screenwriting: Biopics as a tool for readdressing the silencing of women’s history

Abstract:
George F. Custen illustrated through his work how Hollywood helps shape our understanding of history, however when framed through the lens of feminism, it is important to assess how it has helped reduce our understanding of women’s history specifically.

As highlighted by Natalie Wreyford, amongst others, women’s opportunities within screenwriting are frequently limited. The screenwriting industry remains today an overly homogenous, male dominated industry. Women are given less opportunities to pursue screenwriting, and to reach higher levels of screenwriting professionally.

One effect of this is that within biopics, it is often male figures who are preserved in cinematic history. However, even when women are historicised through screenwriting it is more often through the male gaze. When opportunities are repeatedly given to the same demographics, the same biases and viewpoints are repeated and become assumed fact.

Biopic screenplays allow men the opportunity to be held as the ‘great individual’ in contrast to women who are held as members of the collective. Is the narrative structure of the biopic inherently masculine or simply a reflection the freedoms of emotional labour which men enjoy in real life?

How can screenwriters work actively against this today? Can we better use the screenwriting practice in biopics as a tool of feminism?

This presentation includes analysis of 3 screenwriting texts: On the Basis of Sex, Jackie, and Bombshell- examined alongside the creative practice of the researcher, a feature length biopic of Kay Graham.

Bio:
Amanda Doherty is a PhD candidate at Queens University, Belfast, from where she also holds an MA in Film (Distinction).  Her practice-based research is a case study of Kay Graham, the American publisher, which she uses to examine the representation of women’s history in biopics. In this way, screenwriting is a valuable tool for audiences to engage with, understand, and examine history.

She is also a professional actor and award-winning theatre maker whose work has toured across Europe and the USA. Classically trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London, she works for film, tv, and stage. Credits include The Fall, Scúp, and Seanchaí for the BBC, and The Lyric Theatre, Belfast, amongst others

Deak, Andre

Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM) — Worldbuilding Consortium

“Global storytelling”, World Building Consortium - Project Junk – São Paulo, Brasil

Abstract:
“To postpone the end of the world is to be able to tell one more story”, says the Brazilian environmental activist Ailton Krenak (2019). Not the same stories we all already know about dystopias, but new ones. Not the hero journey (CAMPBELL), not the three act structure (COMPARATO), but the old cosmovisions from the Global South, told ages ago mouth to mouth by women, black communities, indigenous people, everyone on the resistance. Stories about collaboration, nurturing, and other forms of life. The carrier bag theory of fiction (LE GUIN) explains this very well: “If, however, one avoids the linear, progressive, Time’s-(killing)-arrow mode of the Techno-Heroic, and redefines technology and science as primarily cultural carrier bag rather than weapon of domination, one pleasant side effect is that science fiction can be seen as a far less rigid, narrow field, not necessarily Promethean or apocalyptic at all, and in fact less a mythological genre than a realistic one.” What would be a Global South narrative of the future? Is it possible to have a Brazilian specific look of the world? How immersed are we in the mainstream narratives of dystopias and waiting for the hero or some magic technology to save us all? The "Worldbuilding" methodology, developed by Alex McDowell, allows you to design a world in a systemic, holistic and collaborative way. The world solidly built and supported by rigorous research, becomes a narrative container of rules, stories, characters, scenarios and situations that emerge logically and organically from its core giving rise to multidisciplinary processes of creative innovation. In the built world, design, technology and storytelling converge, generating the development of innovative ideas and the discovery of solutions to problems that are perceived in the fictional world but can be applied to the real world. During the creation process, the "Worldbuilders", - designers of worlds, use a certain ethnographic base, as a place from which to begin to imagine future possibilities. USC Media arts and world building institute (WBI) has invited ESPM SP to join a global initiative to build a massive open world, the largest in the history of the WBI called Planet Junk. The "Junk" world developed by professors and students at ESPM SP from Brazil will be presented, guided by Alex McDowell and in parallel with a Consortium of Universities from around the world. The idea was to create a future fiction escenario that would develop in the territory of Sao Paulo, the biggest South American city, with 22 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. The work was based on ethnographic research around the population. And conflicts and future scenarios of a world threatened by climate change were projected.

Bio: Andre Deak is an Executive Producer for multimedia projects, digital communication consultant, teaches New Narratives for journalists and filmmakers at graduation school.Doctoral candidate in Design at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo with a smart cities project and Master at the School of Communication and Arts at USP in Communication Theories. Human Rights Awarded, curator of Google Street Art Project São Paulo. Invited by X Media Lab for keynote and consultancy in Switzerland on Transmedia projects.

Davis, Northrop

University of South Carolina

Manga and Anime’s Global Adaptations - How to Make them Well

Abstract:
Manga and anime have swept the globe. Originally a visual storytelling form unique to Japan, manga followed its Japanese limited animation cousin (anime) out into the world over the subsequent decades. Now Hollywood and movie and television studios and international entities attempt to adapt anime and manga into live action movies and television shows, with mixed results.  This paper addresses the problems and obstacles faced by adaptations of manga/anime into other cultures, languages and forms. And points the way forward to successful adaptations of these vibrant creative forms.  It also focuses on my own manga project, which includes some of my graduated students as staff, which is university grant funded, and that I plan to adapt into a movie or television series having utilized the things I learned through my research. 

Bio:
Northrop Davis is the author of the book "Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood"-- and a screenwriter-- and is now writer of his first three manga (Japanese style comics) volumes -- who teaches screenwriting, television writing and manga/anime studies. As writer, Davis has sold three Hollywood projects: his science fiction script to Warner Brothers and two pitches-- one to Columbia/Sony Studios and another to 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, both of which he subsequently wrote as screenplays. He has lectured at the Writers and the Directors Guilds of America, Duke University, Cal Arts, UCLA Professional Screenwriting Program, U.C. Irvine, and nine years at Anime Expo-- and was interviewed in 2020 by Lionsgate Entertainment for the 25th Anniversary of the legendary "Ghost in the Shell" anime Blu-ray/Steelbox 4k Home Video release featurette-- and by French television studio Canal + for a documentary about Hollywood anime adaptations and by BBC News.  He has been invited four times to lecture internationally, including at the premiere manga program at Japan's Kyoto Seika University (2015).  A member of the Writers Guild of America West, at the University of South Carolina, he received the Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award. In 2015 he was named a Breakthrough Star “awarded to faculty from a wide variety of disciplines, who show phenomenal commitment to their fields through research and scholarly activity.” His articles have appeared in leading publications in his field. Davis and his book-- which was published in 2016 by Bloomsbury Academic-- were quoted by France’s newspaper of record "Le Monde" (May and August 2017 and in 2021). The American Library Association’s "CHOICE" magazine recommends [PDF]] his book for all ages. The book is in over 900 libraries worldwide. Volume one of the manga he wrote and that his former student, Louise Wang, is a lead artist on, "The Hole," will be published in 2022, followed by "The Hole: Space Airport"(vol. 2,  which is currently in production). For more information, including about his teaching/mentoring, students' current activities and career successes, please go to: https://web.archive.org/web/20210125173101/https:/www.wemakemanga.com/articles

Davies, Rosamund

University of Greenwich

Authorship and Collaboration in Screenwriting aka How Many People Does it Take to Create an Author?

Abstract:
Recognition and understanding of authorship in screenwriting relates not only to the creative process, but also to the exigencies of industrial labour division and the establishment and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Any discussion of authorship in the context of screenwriting studies is also informed by recent debates in film and literary theory, which have attempted variously to both champion and challenge the notion of the author. Bringing together these different frames of reference, this chapter will investigate several creative and organizational contexts of idea development and writing for the screen, including transnational co-production, considering how they may facilitate different enactments and understandings of collaboration and authorship. It will examine the range of ways in which the development of a screenplay may be deemed a process of collective creation, considering aspects such as what might be the differences between co-operation and collaboration; different approaches to collaboration; the dynamics of power and status within the collaborative process, and the commercial and legal structures within which authorship may be defined.

Bio:
Rosamund Davies is a member of the International Screenwriting Research Network and a senior lecturer in screenwriting at the University of Greenwich.

Her research focuses on writing practices within the media and publishing industries and the production and business structures in which they take place. 

Rosamund has contributed several articles to the Journal of Screenwriting, including ‘The Screenplay as Boundary Object’(2019) Journal of Screenwriting, 10 (2). pp. 149-164.

Other recent publications include:

‘Nordic noir with an Icelandic twist: Establishing a shared space for collaboration within European co-production’ (2020). In: Craig Batty, Stayci Taylor (eds.), Script Development: Critical Approaches, Creative Practices, International Perspectives. London: Palgrave Macmillan

She is co-editor (with Paolo Russo and Claus Tieber) of the book The Handbook of Screenwriting Studies (forthcoming 2022). London: Palgrave Macmillan

Davies, Brett

Meiji University, Tokyo

First Empire: Re-examining Leigh Brackett’s authorial presence in The Empire Strikes Back

Abstract:
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) is widely considered the best instalment in the Star Wars saga (Ebert 1997, Bradshaw 2018). George Lucas provided the initial story, while Lawrence Kasdan wrote the final two drafts of the screenplay. However, the very first version of the script was by Leigh Brackett, the veteran screenwriter (The Big Sleep [1946], Rio Bravo [1959]) and science-fiction novelist, who completed her draft just before her death.

Since then, Brackett’s contribution has been downplayed, both by her co-writers and in scholarly discourse. Kasdan said that Brackett’s work was ‘in an entirely different mode’ (Rinzler 2010), while Lucas called the script ‘unworkable’ (Duncan 2020), assigning Brackett co-writing credit only because ‘she was sick at the time […] and she really tried her best’ (Bouzereau 1997). This version of events has remained mostly unchallenged by critics for 40 years, with Kasdan cited as the person responsible for ‘Empire’s stunning disengagement in style from the original film […] with an emphasis on character’ (Kaminski 2008).

The release of Brackett’s draft, though, allows us the opportunity to examine the relative contributions of the three writers. My qualitative textual analysis reveals that Brackett’s script contains many of the elements found in Kasdan’s final draft, including structure, key plot points, character/relationship development, and a move towards a more mystical understanding of the ‘Force’ that would resonate throughout the saga. Furthermore, unused aspects of Brackett’s screenplay would be resurrected in future episodes, contradicting the contention that her ideas were incongruous to Lucas’s vision of Star Wars.

While these findings have obvious implications regarding authorship of The Empire Strikes Back, they also raise wider concerns as to why the work of the only credited female writer in the 11-film Star Wars series has been minimized so drastically, both by her fellow filmmakers and the academy.

Bio:
Brett Davies is an associate professor in the School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University in Tokyo. He has published extensively both in linguistics and cinema studies, and his Master’s dissertation demonstrated how a corpus of film screenplays could be used to improve conversational language use among Japanese students of English. He is currently a PhD candidate in film studies at De Montfort University (UK), with his thesis analysing the career of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan. His research interests include the use of homage and pastiche in modern Hollywood cinema, and thematic relationships between Japanese and American films.

Dabner, Matthew

University of Technology Sydney
University of South Australia

What ails the nation? Culture and theme in scripted SVOD dramas

Abstracts:
Expanding on Marieke Jenner’s (2018) concept of an emerging grammar of transnationalism in serialised scripted dramas on Netflix, this paper examines how screenwriters from outside the US and UK, developing projects for SVOD, can represent their culture to the world, by paying closer attention to theme. In her book Netflix and the re-invention of television, Jenner outlines the features of what she terms a ‘grammar of transnationalism’ in the dramas that are finding a truly global audience on the service. Connecting this concept to the long-standing debates in Film Studies about the way nations can assert themselves thematically in films (Hjort 2000) this paper looks at whether ‘themes of nation’ should therefore become an active consideration for the screenwriter who is developing a series for an SVOD with global reach. Taking several of Netflix’s recent top-rating international television shows as case studies – Squid Game (2021), Money Heist (2017-2021) and Lupin (2020-21) – this paper will argue that in addition to embodying the elements of Jenner’s grammar of transnationalism concept, these series have represented the concerns of their originating cultures in the ways that they have explored and presented their themes. Furthermore, might streaming services be the latest venue on which domestic audiences can see their own stories, whilst simultaneously showcasing themselves to the world? While presently only Netflix appears to be pursuing a content strategy that sets out to find, develop and export local dramas to all the corners of the globe, there are signs that other SVOD players such as Amazon Prime and Disney+ are readying themselves to follow suit. This paper intends, therefore, to contribute to the ongoing conversation about how local stories can be successful in finding global audiences, by centring the discussion on a screenwriter’s approach to theme.

Bio:
Matthew Dabner is a Lecturer in Media Arts & Production at the University of Technology Sydney and a PhD student at the University of South Australia. Active in the Australian screen industry for of over twenty years, Matthew has credits as a screenwriter (The Square), producer (Cedar Boys) script editor (Riot, The Family Law) and investment consultant (Screen Australia). Trained at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Matthew’s career began with development roles at Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions and Alex Proyas’s Mystery Clock Cinema. Matthew’s experience in education includes teaching postgraduate screenwriting at the Australian Film and Television Radio School, before commencing his current position at UTS. Matthew’s creative practice PhD looks at the opportunities presented to the Australian scripted drama in the emerging age of internet-distributed television.

Cummins, Michael

University of Huddersfield

Screenwriters in the Global Twittersphere

Abstract:
This research examines the relationship between the screenwriter and social technology. Globally, there are currently 6.4-billion smartphone users. Given that the title ‘screenwriter’ defines the actual job role, how have screenwriters adapted to these mobile screens and the new social media workspace created by these devices?

The study explores the Twitter usage of 49,000 self-identifying screenwriters over a six-month period (September 2019 - February 2020) spanning 15 nations. In analysing over 225,000 tweets, the research builds up a complex profile of the modern screenwriter, combining professional practise, home life, politics and more. In doing so, we question at what point aspiration and self-identification emerge into professionalism. We also consider how the use of Twitter moves the traditionally isolated task of screenwriting into the public arena as an act of performance. The research expands on this to consider to what degree live Twitter interaction with others during the creative process affects the texts being produced. Large scale Twitter analysis is supported by interviews with screenwriters from across career stages.

The focus of this research is to explore what writing for the screen means in the social technology era. In doing so, we discover a changing job role that sees a shift from viewing the screenwriter primarily as a dramatist, to that of a content creator across multiple platforms encompassing a range of skills and written texts. This includes a reassessment of what screenwriting is in the post-social age. The implication of a vast but fragmented social media audience suggests that screenwriters are no longer reliant on traditional, legacy outlets for their work.

Bio:
Mike Cummins is currently in the final year of his PhD at the University of Huddersfield (UK), researching the interaction between screenwriters and social technology. Previous to this he achieved an MA (Distinction) in Screenwriting from The University of Salford.  His research is focused on the screenwriter as the creator of texts over the texts/screenplays produced. Mike has written and co-produced several budget shorts and features (see: www.mikecummins.net).

Mike has taught film and media production for 20-years. His aspiration is to use his current research to develop new approaches to teaching screenwriting practice, with equal focus on the wider skillsets required beyond the creative writing first approach found in many institutions and screenwriting courses.

Cotta Ramosino, Luisa

Catholic University of Milan

A broader allegiance How an Israeli show about an ultraorthodox family became a global hit

Abstract:
Shtisel, a little tv show about the eponymous Haredi (ultra-orthodox Jewish group) family in Jerusalem, was first aired in Israel in 2013. By 2021, the series, now broadcasted globally by Netflix, has become a hit both in European and American market (with a potential remake in US territory). 

The life of the members of Shtisel family are affected by a complex system of rules and restrictions, and their desires and aspirations must come to terms with a Weltanschauung that imposes a number of expectations on the individual. The religious element imbues every aspect of existence, from food to clothes, from professional to emotional life, in a measure unknown for today’s secular society.

It might seem a mystery that a show so strongly rooted in a very specific religious, social and political reality and shot in Hebrew and Yiddish may appeal to such a broader audience, but Shtisel managed to gain a faithful and affectionate following by opening the doors of a normally secretive world and trying to explore the lives of their members in a sympathetic and respectful manner.

The speech will address the narrative patterns of the series, a successful example of extreme glocalization, with a specific attention to the way it translates some universal themes as personal vocation, love, parenting, death and mourning in its specific context.

Bio:
Luisa Cotta Ramosino is  Director for Italian Originals at Netflix Italia. Before that she has been for years a freelance screenwriter and a creative producer for leading Italian television companies. She has been involved in many international projects (among them Medici and Devils) and she has created and written (with Laura Cotta Ramosino and Paolo Marchesini) Made in Italy, a TV series about the birth of Italian Fashion system. Luisa has a PhD in Applied Linguistics at Catholic University in Milan  and attended a Master in Media and Entertainment Management at the Institute for Media and Entertainment in New York. She collaborates with the Master in International Screenwriting and Production of Catholic University in Milan.  She is author of a book about the image of Roman history in cinema and television (Tutto quello che sappiamo su Roma l’abbiamo imparato a Hollywood, 2004) and a number of essays on Italian Television productions.

Cotta Ramosino, Laura

Catholic University of Milan

A broader allegiance How an Israeli show about an ultraorthodox family became a global hit

Abstract:
Shtisel, a little tv show about the eponymous Haredi (ultra-orthodox Jewish group) family in Jerusalem, was first aired in Israel in 2013. By 2021, the series, now broadcasted globally by Netflix, has become a hit both in European and American market (with a potential remake in US territory). 

The life of the members of Shtisel family are affected by a complex system of rules and restrictions, and their desires and aspirations must come to terms with a Weltanschauung that imposes a number of expectations on the individual. The religious element imbues every aspect of existence, from food to clothes, from professional to emotional life, in a measure unknown for today’s secular society.

It might seem a mystery that a show so strongly rooted in a very specific religious, social and political reality and shot in Hebrew and Yiddish may appeal to such a broader audience, but Shtisel managed to gain a faithful and affectionate following by opening the doors of a normally secretive world and trying to explore the lives of their members in a sympathetic and respectful manner.

The speech will address the narrative patterns of the series, a successful example of extreme glocalization, with a specific attention to the way it translates some universal themes as personal vocation, love, parenting, death and mourning in its specific context.

Bio:
Laura Cotta Ramosino was a story editor for the Italian Public Broadcaster RAI, taking part in the development of more than 80 tv projects. She is now a creative producer in Cattleya, one of the leading Italian tv production companies, for local and international projects. As a screenwriter she is the author (with Luisa Cotta Ramosino and Paolo Marchesini) of tv series Made in Italy, about the birth of the Italian Fashion System, that has been broadcasted on Amazon.

She has a PhD in Ancient History and is the author (with Luisa Cotta Ramosino and Cristiano Dognini) of a study about  the evolving image of Roman history in  cinema and television (Tutto quello che sappiamo su Roma l’abbiamo imparato a Hollywood). She has taught docudrama in Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Palermo and regularly collaborates with the Master in International Screenwriting and Production of the Catholic University of Milan.

Cossoy Paro, Iana

San Antonio de Los baños International Film School - Cuba

Sound in screenwriting

Abstract:
The aim of this paper is to share some thoughts based on the master research "​​Writing sound: search for sound's space inside movie scripts", in which I investigate screenwriting processes in which the soundtrack is a narrative and dramatic element built from the script. The theoretical research is based on an analysis of script manuals and guides about sound in the audiovisual media. The objective of this analysis is to find the circumstances in which the soundtrack is considered an integral element of the writing process of audiovisual works. Our main question is whether there are rules and standards for the production of texts that establish the function of the sound from the initial creative process of composition of an audiovisual work, considering the dialectics sound-image. Empirical research is based on the analytical reading of scripts by different authors, in order to understand how each of them describes or announces the soundtrack. Our goal is, through this research, to contribute to the theoretical and practical resources that a writer can refer to when developing a cinematographic or audiovisual story. The main questions that support the study are whether it is possible to systematize specific rules and forms for sound writing and what screenwriters need to know to incorporate elements related to sound into their scriptwriting. Rather than finding direct answers, this paper attempts to provide ways for screenwriters to think about the possibilities of sound as a narrative of its own, as an argumentative and aesthetic element emerging from the script. This is carried out with a textual analysis complemented by a comparative study between script and film scenes.

Bio:
Iana Cossoy Paro (Brazil, 1979), screenwriter, teacher and researcher. Current Head of the Screenplay Department at EICTV International Film School, in Cuba. Master's degree in Audiovisual Media at the University of São Paulo, with a thesis on "Writing sound: search for sound's space inside movie scripts" (2016). Feature films as screenwriter include “Three Summers” (2019) and “Eu te Levo” (2017). Currently works as a screenwriter and consultant for different Latin American projects. Member of the Vermelha Collective, which studies and promotes actions related to the participation and representation of women in audiovisuals.

Chinita, Fátima

Lisbon Polytechnic Institute, Portugal

Updating Allegory for the Post-Cinematic Age: Complexity, Discontinuity, and Desire as Aesthetic Border Crossing

Abstract:
Allegory is a structural narrative device connoted with dogmatic thinking. However, some commentators have claimed that it can be a stimulating and an up-to-date narrative structure with visual impact. Walter Benjamin stresses how the allegorical complexity of the Baroque style, “a real eruption of images which results in a chaotic mass of metaphors”, presupposes the flaunting of technique and its illusionist virtuosity. For Craig Owens, who envisions allegory as mixing media and crossing aesthetic boundaries, artistic processes based on the manipulation of images are both allegorical and part of modern art. Joel Fineman compares the allegorical process with the Freudian dream work, stressing the exegesis required by both types of material highlighting the reciprocity that exists between allegory and critical activity. Lynette Hunter reports that the arts have turned to allegory as a way of exploring complexities and difficulties of speaking about the not-yet-said. 
I wish to proceed further along this path, validating allegory in specifically postcinematic times, and in integrating it, against all apparent odds, in the narrative movement towards complexity and cognitive challenge imposed on viewers and reception in general. Taking the cue from Torben Grodal’s “art films” (Embodied Visions, 2009), Carl Plantinga’s “artefact emotions” (Moving Viewers, 2009), Jan Alber’s “allegorical reading” (“Impossible Storyworlds”, 2009), Kiss and Willemsen’s allegorical “naturalization” (Impossible Puzzle Films, 2017), as well as James Elkin’s Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles? (1999), I will argue in favour of allegory as a refashioned post-modern narrative device used in mostly digital art-house films as a type of codified thinking and stylized form, contributing to a pattern of decrypting that is highly exciting for film viewers both in narrative and visual terms, and which, ultimately, results in repeat viewings. I will use Peter Greenaway as the ϋber example of this trend, seconded by other like-minded filmmakers.

Bio: Fátima Chinita holds a PhD. in Artistic Studies (Film and Audio-Visual Media), an MA in Communication Sciences, and BA’s both in Literature and Cinema. She is an Associate Professor at the Theatre and Film School of the Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon (Portugal). She did a post-doctoral research in Intermediality and Inter-arts studies at IMS – Intermediality and Multimodality Centre at the University of Linnaeus, in Sweden. She is the author of The (In)visible Spectator: Reflexivity from the Film Viewer's Perspective in David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE [in Portuguese] and publishes on Narrative, Intermediality, Authorship, and Media.

Chiarulli, Raffaele

Department of Communication and Performing Arts,

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

From Italian Concept to High Concept. Different ways to a global screenwriting

Abstract:
Looking for the origins of narrative ideas is a difficult yet stimulating challenge that has always put to the test the studies of cultural processes. Understanding how narrative concepts take root in an imagery concerns also Screenwriting Studies and different Histories of Film around the world. Parent-Altier (1997) described screenwriters as artists indifferent to the origin of their ideas and as authors of a “creative magma”, which only following analysts will be able to make out. In some Italian writers’ opinion, dramatic insight comes mysteriously to the artists, since it naturally and unconsciously emerges from the richness of their knowledge and the variety of their experiences. There are exceptions, though, and we can explore some screenwriters’ creative universe thanks to their memoirs (for the Italian context see Incrocci:1990; Pirro: 2011), useful in Screenwriting Studies thanks to the “discourse frame paradigm” (Maras: 2009).

The screenwriter’s inspiration sources can be verified because they are generally rooted in a series of universal parameters set at the heart of the human experience and placed in the cultural traditions. As well as the studies and sources able to testify to some resisting narrative trends inside the history of Italian cinema (Eugeni: 2008), the paper means to stimulate a reflection about the Italian cinema imagery, its ideas and its creative industries in connection with the possibility this imagery has to become global (Aresu: 2020; Peluffo: 2020).

It also means to answer some questions about Italian cinema as seen in the light of “high concept” (Thompson: 1999) and find traces of this notion within the screenwriting practice of Italian movies. So, it intends to highlight broader themes of reflection between film history and screenwriting studies and, above all between theory and practice.

Bio: Raffaele Chiarulli earned a PhD degree in Communication Studies at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan), where he teaches Audio Visual Languages and Contemporary Italian Cinema and collaborates with the MISP - Master's Course in International Screenwriting and Film Production. He wrote Di scena a Hollywood. L’adattamento dal teatro nel cinema americano classico (Staged in Hollywood. Adaptation from Stage to Film in Classical American Cinema; Milan 2013) and Social Movies. Dal cinema digitale al cinema del sociale (Social Movies. From Digital Cinema to Social Cinema; Milan 2015). He edited, with Armando Fumagalli, a commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics for screenwriters (Rome 2018). In 2021 he won the SRN Award for Best Journal Article.

Chakravarty, Indranil

Eurocentrism in Screenwriting Pedagogy

Abstract:
The presumed distinctiveness associated with the notion of national cinemas presupposes that different countries and cultures not only have unique stories to tell but also different narrative traditions. However, the universal guidelines and the dominance of Hollywood-centric screenwriting manuals is a refutation of that contention. If there are no books on screenwriting ‘Indian style’ despite being the largest film industry in the world, neither are there books on how to write film-scripts in the European style or the Latin American style. Does this mean that below the veneer of diverse filmmaking traditions, the principles of storytelling are the same? Does it imply that the Hollywood/Aristotelian way of telling stories is actually the only ‘right’ way of doing it? The contestation to Hollywood’s claim to universality has become increasingly feeble in a globalising world. As a teacher of screenwriting in India, one has to confront this uncomfortable question because there are no clear answers or alternative methods though India has an elaborate treatise on dramatic theory that pre-dates Aristotle’s Poetics. Despite an awareness of cultural difference, screenwriting pedagogy in India (and other similarly different cinematic cultures) has entailed a reinforcement of the Eurocentric model by taking the Hollywood manuals as normative and then, merely highlighting idiosyncratic departures. This paper relates the cultural predicament of unwillingly enforcing a Western dramaturgic model where the only way to reflect on one’s own cinematic Self is through a dialogue with the cinematic Other.

Bio:
Indranil Chakravarty currently heads the Screenwriting department of Prasad Studios in Chennai, India. He studied filmmaking at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (Havana) and holds a PhD in Creative Practice (Screenwriting) from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ. He has been professor of Screenwriting at FTII (Pune), Whistling Woods Film Institute (Mumbai) and SRFTI (Calcutta). His publications include The New Latin American Cinema (1996), India’s Audiovisual Industry: An Analysis (2006), Redescubriendo a Tagore (2011) and articles in several peer-reviewed journals such as ‘Sightlines’. He works as a script mentor for web-series for Prime, SonyLiv, etc.

Černík, Jan

The Department of Theatre and Film Studies, Palacký University, Czech Republic

Frank Daniel: The beginnings of a famous screenwriting teacher

Abstract:
Frank Daniel is considered one of the great gurus of screenwriting. According to legend, he was a teacher of David Lynch, collaborator of Robert Redford and he worked at major institutions like American Film Institute, Columbia University and University of Southern California. Even a quarter of a century after his death, he is known as an influential teacher of screenwriting, and transcripts of his lectures circulate the internet. All of it is true, but a significant part of Daniel’s life story is omitted. Who was Daniel before emigration from Czechoslovakia? What were the foundations of his theory? How was his beginnings in the USA? I believe that forgotten events and information may show Daniel's teaching method in a new light.

In the first part of my paper I will briefly introduce Daniel’s life before emigration in 1969, and essential thoughts of Daniel’s pre-emigration understanding of screenwriting teaching will be retrieved from his Czech books. Daniel wasn’t just screenwriter, dramaturg, teacher of screenwriting and manager. Besides he was an author or co-author of five never-translated theoretical books about screenwriting, which I want to briefly introduce. In the second part I will discuss the circumstances of Daniel’s emigration and how his teaching method developed during the first decade in the USA, with special emphasis on his lesser-known workplace at Carleton College (MN).

My ambition is to show Daniel’s career as a search for a method of teaching screenwriting, and to introduce the basics of his screenwriting theories.

Bio:
In my research I combine an interest in the topics of Czech and Czechoslovak cinema, film industries, and screenwriting with a theoretical framework of analytic philosophy. I believe that in an exploration of audiovisual culture, we have to consider the applicability of our findings. I graduated in film studies and philosophy and received my Ph.D. degree in film history in 2018. Recently I edited a special issue on screenwriting in Studies in Eastern European Cinema. Besides research in screenwriting history I am interested in the stylometry of screenplays, and cognitivist theories.

Cavazza, Giulia

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milano)

Developing empathy: the adventures of Pinocchio between USA and Italy

Abstract:
Pinocchio is one of the Italian book most frequently adapted for the screen, both in USA and in Italy. There are many reasons that make this story especially appealing for an international audience, such as the universal themes and the flexible structure. But the original book presents also challenging obstacles to screen adaptation and screenwriters from different countries and cultural backgrounds chose different way to overcome them. This paper is focused on one of these problems: how to make the audience empathise quickly with a main character that is not immediately likeable. In fact, in the first part of Collodi’s book, Pinocchio is often selfish, arrogant and unfaithful, especially toward his benevolent father Geppetto. Moreover, screenwriters had to rely mainly on Pinocchio’s action, because cinematographic form does not allowed many insights into his mind to explain his behaviour. Every screen adaptation chose his particular way to deal with it. The Disney version (1940) changed deeply the character of Pinocchio, making him kinder and naive, with an external conscience (Jiminy Cricket) with which is possible to interact. This choice aimed to meet audience expectation but had a deep impact on the narrative structure and on the theme of the story. In Italy, during the years, many attempts were made to create a more “faithful” adaptation of the original book: from the animated version of 1971, Un burattino di nome Pinocchio, that was almost philological in his intention, to the most recent film directed by Matteo Garrone in 2019. This paper, focusing on some significative incipits, wants to compare the American and the Italian way to deal with the empathy problem, and the enduring influence of the Disney version even on screenwriters that chose different paths.

Bio:
Giulia Cavazza (1991), after a degree in Modern Philology, attended the Master program in International Screenwriting and Production at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milano). She worked for three years as story editor in Lux Vide, especially on the first season of Doc and Blanca, both successful tv series sold internationally. She is now a PhD student in Linguistic Sciences and Foreign Literatures, with a research project about the evolution of adaptation strategies in the history of Disney Animation Studios. 

Castrillo, Pablo

Showrunners of Spain: Outlooks and Challenges in the Post-TV Writers’ Room

Abstract:
Over-the-top media services (OTT) such as Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video have disembarked in Spain in full force since 2015 (Sáez, 2019). Local media groups like Atresmedia and Movistar+ have also emerged with their own VOD services and content brands in an attempt to compete against these global multinational giants. Consequently, the demand for original scripted content has soared, involving ever larger numbers of individual creators and production companies. Traditionally, the relationships between writers-producers and networks have been hierarchical, ruled by a customer-supplier mentality. The new players, however, have seemingly introduced different approaches in the creative processes, yielding more autonomy to the writers’ rooms or, when applicable, to writers-producers or showrunners. In this paper we set out to illustrate the new practices, styles, and perhaps also difficulties faced by Spanish writers’ rooms in the still fresh environment brought about by the digital platforms. In order to do so, our methodology will combine a) a survey for Spanish screenwriters; and b) a series of in-depth interviews with writers-producers of hit TV shows created in Spain in recent years, such as Money Heist (Atresmedia; then Netflix), Cocaine Coast (Atresmedia), Cable Girls (Netflix) and Patria (HBO Max), among others. As screenwriters who have worked in the Spanish industry for over fifteen years, our questions for these industry practitioners will revolve around the changes they have experienced inside the writers’ rooms since the cord-cutting wave; the ways in which the relationships between creators and outlets have shifted; and most importantly, whether these alterations, presumably caused by their migration to new digital platforms, have had a meaningful impact in their writing process and in the narrative-poetic configuration of their stories

Bio:
Dr. Pablo Castrillo is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Film, TV & Digital Media of the University of Navarra, where he has also served as Vice Head of the Master’s Degree in Screenwriting (MGA). He obtained his M.F.A. in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University under a Fulbright Scholarship (2010-2013), and obtained his PhD in Communication/Film Studies at the University of Navarra (2013-2017).

Aguas, Claudia

The role colonization plays in writing series and films scripts

Abstract:
This paper examines the role colonization plays in writing series and films scripts that depict certain historical events and characters. More specifically, it analyses the contrast between Peter Morgan’s portrayal of Lord Mountbatten in the Netflix series The Crown and Gurinder Chadha’s vision on the matter in the film Viceroy's House (2017). Even though both works address his actions during the period of the British Raj —in which Britain ruled over the Indian subcontinent due to imperialism—, they differ in their approach. Therefore, the nationality of the screenwriters who were in charge of developing the series and the film influences how they tell stories since it follows their life experiences and mindsets. The Crown and Viceroy's House share a common feature: the context. However, their traits are different even though they deal with many common topics. To carry out this study, the essay inspects the glaring disparities between the British and the Indian way of representing Lord Mountbatten and his actions. The objective of this paper is to prove that presenting events from the perspective of colonized screenwriting frequently jeopardises a representation of historical characters. It also aims to assess the consequences this has since they are paramount in building up a character’s image. Although the behaviour of Lord Mountbatten receives persistent critics in The Crown, especially from the point of view of other members of the British society such as Winston Churchill, his impact on the Indian subcontinent is tackled more extensively in Viceroy's House. Hence, de-colonized screenwriting would convey a more accurate representation of historical events and characters.

Bio:
Claudia Aguas Albero is a student of the Master’s Degree in Cinematographic and Television Series Script at the Rey Juan Carlos University. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Studies, and her research project analysed Lady Bird (2017) as a subversive coming-of-age film. In 2019, she took part in an exchange programme and studied for her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Portsmouth, where she wrote a Cinematographic Script, After Belchite (2020). In addition, Claudia attended Un Perro Andaluz film school, and there she directed and wrote several short films such as Cuantos más mejor (2014), Lo que importa (2015), ¿Cara o Cruz? (2016), and Endless (2017).

Carey, Mark

University of South Australia / University of Plymouth, UK

Screenwriting as 'Strategy': towards a working definition of narrative fiction filmmaking methodology

Abstract:
Screenwriting as 'Strategy': towards a working definition of narrative fiction filmmaking methodology Abstract: Using the recent Australian-UK feature film Disclosure (2020) as a case study, writer/director Michael Bentham and cinematographer Mark Carey will analyse the script-to-screen process of a key third act scene to demonstrate the fluidity of the notion of scripting in the digital era. The merging and augmentation of the traditional (Hollywood) screenplay format with mood boards, sound design, and annotated photo storyboards illustrate what Kathryn Millard refers to as 'cinematic scripting'. Crucially, cinematic scripting is not simply a delineated written text for the finished movie, but part of a collaborative filmmaking process of fluidity and flux, "an open text that sketches out possibilities". In this paper Bentham and Carey draw on nonrepresentational theory to argue that cinematic scripting can be thought of as one of a series of creative strategies that filmmakers use in the creation of a 'filmic utterance'. The notion of screenplay as strategy builds on recent scholarly work that aims to articulate screenwriting (and screen production) as research. To this end the paper will offer a working definition of narrative fiction filmmaking as methodology, in which scripting and mise-en-scène operate as core strategies in generating new knowledge

Bio:
Mark is an award-winning cinematographer whose credits range from feature films to fine art installations and documentary, collaborating with leading directors including Martin Scorsese and Alex Gibney. His work with artist Jasmina Cibic has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, and was the recipient of the Jarman Award, 2021. As Associate Professor in Filmmaking at the University of Plymouth, Mark is generating practice-led research around notions of the 'empathic' lens.

Braga, Paolo

Department of Communication Sciences and Performing Arts
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan

Movie speeches – a classification proposal

Abstract:
The “inch by inch” speech delivered by Al Pacino’s character to his team in Any Given Sunday, the exhortation to the Scottish army by Mel Gibson/William Wallace in Braveheart, the virulent verbal attack by Jack Nicholson/Colonel Jessep in A Few Good Man… Monologues are often pieces of great screenwriting. They challenge actors to give prove of their talent. They not rarely are memorable scenes that leave a mark beyond the story they belong to, the excellence of which monologues usually are a sign of. The proposed paper addresses this topic, seldom taken into account in screenwriting studies.

I will first present the few contributions on how to write a movie speech offered by the main authors of screenwriting manuals (Robert McKee, John Truby, Michael Hauge).

I will then sketch a map of the fundamental kinds of movie speeches. Drawing on two basic oppositions (the speaker marking his being different from the audience VS. his belonging to their group; the speaker stressing the conflict with an antagonist VS. the strive for a goal) I will argue that the protagonist, when addressing his listeners, can play one of four major oratorical archetypical roles: the Fighter, the Inspirator, the Pioneer and the Fustigator.

I will analyze the structure of each kind of speech, showing that they represent different ways to motivate an audience, counting on four different “emotional transitions”: from mediocrity to excellence (the Pioneer), from depression to hope (the Inspirator), from fear to courage (the Fighter), from duplicity to truth (the Fustigator).
Finally, I will make the hypothesis of an emotional correspondence between the fundamental kinds of speeches and some basic narrative structural steps (the worst point, the choice to undertake the final action, the battle, the resolution). 

Bio:
Paolo Braga, Ph.D., is lecturer at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, where he teaches Screenwriting. At Università Cattolica he also teaches at the Master in International Screenwriting and Production. He has published extensively on the topics of the construction of empathy with character and of US television series. The rhetorical and persuasive dimensions of storytelling are his general research area, which he has treated in several articles and essays. Among his most recent publications is Words in action. Forms and Techniques of Film Dialogue (Peter Lang, 2015).

Bouschinger Christensen, Katrine

University of Copenhagen

Writing entertaining family fiction with a natural science mission: The case of the Danish television Christmas calendar ‘Christmas of the Comets’

Abstract:
Based on findings from the research project ‘Reaching Young Audiences’ on film, serial fiction and storyworlds for children and young audiences (RYA 2021), this paper analyses the writing of the television Christmas calendar Christmas of the Comets which was shown as 24 episodes on the commercial public service broadcaster TV 2 in December 2021. The Christmas calendar genre is quite unique to Scandinavian television as a very popular form of fiction that gathers families for shared viewing during the month of December (Agger 2013). The TV 2 television Christmas calendar of 2021 was unique in the way that the idea for the series came from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen where astrophysicist Anja C. Andersen and television producer Marie Breyen developed a plan to create a greater interest in the natural sciences through the making of an inspiring fictional universe marked by fascinating natural science elements. TV 2 and the production company Nordisk Film were fond of the idea and hired showrunner Jenny Lund Madsen to head the writing of the series. Based on literature on writing for children and family audiences (Brown 2017; Hermansson and Zepernick 2018; Redvall and Christensen 2021) and qualitative interviews with Jenny Lund Madsen, Marie Breyen and Anja C. Andersen, document analysis (of e.g. the press material, reviews) and observation studies at industry events (such as THIS Series festival in 2021), the case study explores the process of creating a Christmas calendar with an arena and a storyline where natural science elements are naturally integrated in each episode. Building on theories of transmedia storytelling (Ryan 2015), the case study also explores the extensive transmedia universe ‘Universet udenom’ (the universe around) which was created around the series and the way in which this mirrored the action and conflicts of the fictional story.

References

Agger, Gunhild (2013) ‘Danish TV Christmas Calendars: Folklore, Myth and Cultural History.’ Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, 3(3): 267-280.

Brown, Noel (2017) The Children’s Film: Genre, Nation, and Narrative. London and New York: Wallflower.

Hermansson, Casie and Janet Zepernick (eds.) (2019) The Palgrave Handbook of Children’s Film and Television. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Redvall, Eva N. and Katrine B. Christensen (2021) ‘Editorial: Screenwriting for children and young audiences.’ Journal of Screenwriting, 12(3): 259-268.

RYA. 2021. Project website for the Reaching Young Audiences research project. https://comm.ku.dk/research/film-science-and-creative-media-industries/reaching-young-audiences-serial-fiction-and-cross-media-storyworlds-for-children-and-young-audiences-rya/

Ryan, M,-L. 2015. ‘Transmedia Storytelling: Industry buzzword or new narrative experience?’ Storyworlds, 7(2): 1–19.

Bio:
Katrine Bouschinger Christensen completed an MA in Film and Media Studies at the University of Copenhagen in 2017. Since then she has been working as a social media project manager and team leader for digital content for the national broadcasters DR and TV 2 before becoming a PhD fellow in the collaborative research project ‘Reaching Young Audiences: Serial Fiction and Cross-Media Storyworlds for Children and Young Audiences’ at the University of Copenhagen. Her PhD project focuses on the current production strategies in film and television for children and young audiences. Katrine has published in Critical Studies in Television and co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Screenwriting on writing for children and young audiences.

Bosch, Teresa

Universidad Austral; Buenos Aires Argentina. Facultad de Comunicación.
Worldbuilding Consortium (Junk Planet)

World Building Storytelling - Junk Global Consortium - Argentina Chapter

Abstract:
The "Worldbuilding" methodology, developed by Alex McDowell, allows to design a world in a systemic, holistic and collaborative way. The world, solidly built and supported by rigorous research, becomes a narrative container of rules, stories, characters, scenarios and situations that emerge logically and organically from its core, giving rise to multidisciplinary processes of creative innovation. In developing this process design, technology and storytelling converge, generating the development of innovative ideas and the discovery of solutions to problems that are perceived in the fictional world but can be applied to the real world. During the creation process, the "World builders", -designers of worlds, use a certain ethnographic base, as a place from which to begin to imagine future possibilities. How can “Worldbuilding” impact the way we tell stories? How does this methodology allow students from different fields and countries to co-create a world by changing the traditional way of Storytelling? Based on a collective provocation the different perspectives nourish an organic world, a new alternative reality that is visualized through multiple systems of representation. In this process, a feedback loop is created whereby imagining a new world we can understand our own and envision new possibilities for the future. The world of "Junk" developed by professors and students at Universidad Austral from Argentina will be presented, guided by Alex McDowell and in parallel with a Consortium of Universities from around the world. The idea was to imagine a fictional future and a collective story that would develop in the territory of the Iguazu Falls, located in Misiones, Argentina. The “World builders” explore the possibilities of the territory. For example through the lenses of experts on Iguazu Falls, Artificial intelligence and sustainable construction. The mandala framework gives the possibility to create the rules of the world in a collective, organic, transdisciplinary and holistic way where every participant creates characters and stories that converge and live in the world.

Bio:
Teresa Bosch is Phd Candidate. Professor and Researcher at Universidad Austral and Montevideo University, Uruguay. Her work is focused on Transmedia Storytelling, World Building, Story Development and Interactive Media. She has a Master’s Degree in Screenplays for Film and Television (University of Navarra, Spain). Visiting Scholar in the Media Arts and Practice division of The School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California (USC). Content Developer for Latam and US Hispanic media entertainment industry at Mediabiz Talent Agency. She is member of the board at Universidad Austral. Director and co-founder at Austral Worldbuilding Lab

Bentham, Michael

University of South Australia (UniSA)

Screenwriting the Other: an evaluation of the objections to using empathy as method in the construction of biographical fictional representations

Abstract:
Continuing my series of papers examining the process of writing a biopic, this text explores the notion of empathy as a core method employed by screenwriters to bridge the gap between the self, living in the present, and the (emotional) interiority of a biographical referent, situated in the past. When discussing historical fidelity there is a well-documented expectation that (screen)writers of historical and biographical narrative fiction defend their process on the broadly empirical terms of the historian. As a result, as soon as the conversation turns to the use of imagination and empathy as methods of accessing the past, there are no shared reference points to frame the discussion. The conversation begins to break down. Significant objections to the use of empathy as method have also emerged from the broader interdisciplinary field of cultural studies. Here, the objection is situated within the framework of colonial and post-colonial power structures where, it is argued, attempts at empathic understanding can lead to cultural appropriation and acts of epistemic violence towards people from oppressed positions in society. In common with the historian's objection, the cultural studies position on empathy also references notions of fidelity. In this paper I will examine these objections, and argue that the writer of biographical fiction is pursuing a kind of knowledge that not only sits outside the academic field of the historian, but sits outside empirical research activities into our understanding of the emotional interiority of others per se. In other words, to gain meaningful insights into the intersection between the narrative fiction (screen)writer and the interiority of a biographical subject, the scope of the enquiry needs to move away from empirical frameworks, and centre around the locus of praxis in which writers of biographical and historical fiction operate.

Bio:
A graduate of the UK’s National Film and Television School, Michael’s work as a writer/director spans feature films, documentary and shorts. His recent feature drama, Disclosure (2020), was nominated for an AACTA (best indie film), ADG (best direction) and ATOM (best feature film) Award. Michael's research activities at the University of South Australia are currently exploring the articulation and application of moving image narratives as methodology.

Benis, Rita

CEComp/FLUL (Center for Comparative studies, Falculty of Letters, University of Lisbon)

How migrant filmmaking shaped Portuguese screenwriting models

Abstract:
The diversity of Portuguese screenwriting practices is somehow linked with its early day’s cinema history. Namely, to the foreign migrant who became active players in the Portuguese silent film period (until the first half of the 1920s). The so-called “Portuguese cinema made by foreigners” (Baptista 2008) period was largely directed by Italians and French technicians (hired by the first Portuguese film companies). Mimes and the art of pantomime, with its importance of the rhythm, shaped this cinema who evolved under a strong rhythmic, musical, ascendancy (rather than a narrative one). Roberto Nobre's book Horizonte de Cinema [Cinema Horizon] (1939) – the first Portuguese book to address screenwriting formats – was written already in the sound epoch. Significantly, it is divided in two chapters: the aesthetic function of rhythm (whether in images or fiction), and the performance of actors (emphasizing the importance of pantomime). Through this thematic division (rhythm and performance), we realize how the construction of a film at the time was not yet fully under the domain of narrative conventions. Today Hollywood storytelling models are increasingly present in Portuguese audiovisual culture. Still, we can witness the coexistence of different styles of screenwriting and a wide variety of formats – from the industrial models to the more alternative, non-standard, experimental screenplays, heirs of a more exploratory matrix, still linked to a freedom which reverberated in the silent film period. In this paper we will explore how the early wave of foreign filmmaking, combined with some modernist poets’s screenwriting experiences, left an indelible trace in Portuguese screenwriting culture. A subtle rhythmic influence that would later be reflected in the work of some writers-directors: from Manoel de Oliveira's first screenplay (1931), with its syncopated phrases in a dizzying pace, to Pedro Costa or Teresa Villaverde’s writings, where rhythm and tension are defining marks.

Bio:
Rita Benis is a researcher at Center for Comparative Studies (Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon). With a grant from FCT, she’s currently finishing her doctorate on Manoel de Oliveira’s screenwriting. Master in Comparative Literature, taught Screenwriting and History of Cinema. Member of the research project Cinema and the World, she co-edited the electronic magazine Falso Movimento – escrita e cinema [False Movement – on writing and cinema]. She has translated and published books and articles on the relationship between image and writing. Latest book: Benis, Rita and Elisabete Marques (org). 2020. Escrita e Imagem [Writing and Image], Lisbon: Documenta/Sistema Solar. Award-winning screenwriter, works in cinema since 2000: collaborated with Teresa Villaverde, Margarida Gil, Jorge Cramez, Inês Oliveira, António Cunha Telles, Vincent Gallo and Catherine Breillat, among others.

Batty, Craig

University of South Australia (UniSA)

The Dominance of the English Language in Screenwriting Research

Abstract:
For several years now, in many countries and sectors, we have been talking increasingly about social and cultural diversity and inclusion. Studies have been conducted, events organized, articles and books writen, and hegemonic structures challenged in order to better name and understand the systemic discrimination experienced by different social groups in different contexts – the ultimate goal being to collectively develop new mechanisms and models of integration, interaction and acceptance. In terms of research and artistic practices, diversity is generally approached in connection with issues related to accessibility and representation. Therefore, the legitimacy of (historically) marginalized voices is now progressively recognized. From many countries, the work of SRN members contributes in a significant way to this important momentum. However, the SRN does not escape an unintended discriminating phenomenon linked to the globalization of research – i.e. the domination of the English language within the academic world. Indeed, despite the linguistic diversity of the Network’s members, official and informal communications, conferences and publications are conducted mainly (if not exclusively) in English. While a significant proportion of SRN members speak English as their mother tongue, for many affiliated researchers, fluency in English is rather an imperative to their professional integration and to ensure adequate dissemination of their work. Although many researchers cope well with this, members who do not speak English as their first language are systematically disadvantaged. With this paper, we do not seek, under any circumstances, to “bring to trial” the SRN. Rather, we want to account for phenomena associated with the dominance of the English language within our Network – keeping in mind that those issues necessarily outflow just as much as they integrate the Network. In our paper, we will cite work on systemic discrimination and the linguistic dominance of English in research. Both sitting at different ends of the “Anglo-spectrum”, we also intend to use our personal experiences of the dominance of English in the academic world as exemples. Our goal is to highlight some problematic aspects of the current language status quo and, we hope, spark a collective reflection within our Network.

Bio:
Craig Batty Professor Craig Batty is Dean of Research (Creative) at the University of South Australia. He is the author, co-author and editor of 15 books, including Script Development: Critical Approaches, Creative Practices, International Perspectives (2020), The Doctoral Experience: Student Stories from the Creative Arts and Humanities (2019), Writing for the Screen: Creative and Critical Approaches (2nd ed.) (2019) and Screen Production Research: Creative Practice as a Mode of Enquiry (2018). He has published book chapters and journals articles on the topics of screenwriting practice, screenwriting theory, creative practice research and doctoral supervision. Craig is also a screenwriter and script consultant, with experiences in short film, feature film, television and online drama.

Bardi, Anat


Royal Holloway University of London, UK

Towards an understanding of the role of film and viewer value-alignment in local and global fiction film preferences

Abstract:
Many film and screenwriting scholars suggest that mainstream fiction film narratives express social values and that viewers prefer films whose (characters’) values align with their own (e.g., Cattrysse, 2010; McInerny, 2013). However, this idea has not been tested empirically yet - a gap the present work seeks to start to fill. To determine the content of film and viewer values, the Schwartz (1992) Theory of Basic Human Values was employed, which defines four higherorder values – such as self-enhancement (e.g., wealth, success according to social standards) and self-transcendence (transcending selfish interests, e.g., justice, caring for close others) – that have been investigated empirically by numerous cross-cultural studies. Respondents of an online questionnaire were shown one of four different types of film loglines, each of which described a protagonist motivated by one of the four higher-order values. Study participants were then asked which values they expected the film as a whole to endorse (for more details on the proposed relationship between character and film values see the study on film value communication presented at SRN 2020/21), to rate their own values, and how interested they were in watching the film. These data were analysed by forming an index of the alignment of the expected film values with participants’ own values, which were then used to predict film interest. The conference paper will present the findings of this study and discuss their relevance for local and global mainstream fiction film preferences based on the seven world regions of cultural value orientations identified by Schwartz (2006) and on the pan-cultural value preferences identified by Schwartz and Bardi (2001).

Bio:
Danica Renn-Giles is a psychologist with a longstanding interest in screenwriting and the application of psychological insights to character development. Having completed a BSc and MSc in Psychology at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and worked as a behaviour change consultant with the private and public sector, she is now pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD in psychology and screenwriting at Royal Holloway University of London (UK), supervised by Prof Anat Bardi and Prof Adam Ganz. She is also a regular guest lecturer for the MA Screenwriting at Royal Holloway and has worked as story and audience insight consultant for StoryFutures, a government-funded initiative supporting creative businesses with R&D of immersive technologies.

Anat Bardi is a professor of psychology at Royal Holloway University of London in the United Kingdom. She has been researching the nature of human values for almost 30 years, and has over 40 publications, some with over 2000 citations, mostly on values. Her research has contributed knowledge on similarities and differences in values across cultures, on how values relate to behaviour and on how and when values change. She has also been advising non-profit organisations on issues related to values and their use, such as on values in texts and value change. She served as Editor in Chief of the section Personality and Social Psychology in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, and she is serving now as the Deputy Secretary General of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Banks, Miranda

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Screenwriters Take On Hollywood Agents

Abstract:
In April of 2019, 7,000 American film and television writers fired their agents during television’s most-important staffing season. This year and a half long stand-off between the Writers Guild of America and the Association of Talent Agents serves as a touchstone to examine questions about the changing nature of creative labor in Hollywood, of content creation for the screen, and of professional roles in Hollywood. The WGA has been in more labor disputes than any other Hollywood union. Most of these have been with studios. The focus of attention around labor and Hollywood has long been on studios versus talent. Not only was the length of this skirmish significant, but also this wasn’t a strike. This was a firing of writers’ agents. My research asks, what happens when your support team becomes your competition?

Hollywood is a fascinating ecosystem—as commercial entertainment industry, where meetings outweigh interviews, and where lunch has long been seen as a sport. Here I examine the relationship between writers and their agents to see transformations in the industry pipeline for female writers and writers of color. Agents serve as advocate for clients in the hiring process and in their contract negotiations. The power they wield is not just in emotional labor—or soft skills of reading a room and the art of persuasion. They know what people are making and what studios are willing to pay them. In this moment of increased visibility around inequities, the power an agent cannot be understated. Here I point to two trends in how labor and creative production are changing as the financialization of Hollywood becomes an inevitable reality. Talent agencies went from being in the business of representing clients to representing content. Second, agents have had a longstanding practice bundle talent around a piece of intellectual property.

Bio:
Miranda Banks is Associate Professor of Film, Television, and Media Studies at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television. Her primary area of research is the American film and television industries, with a specific focus on power dynamics in creative production. She is author of The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild (Rutgers 2015), and she has written extensively on the history of film and television writers in the United States. She co-edited the collections Production Studies (Routledge, 2009) and Production Studies, The Sequel! (Routledge, 2015). Banks previously served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies and is a founding member and Co Director of EDIT Media. She is co-editor of the Palgrave Studies in Screenwriting.

Azatyan, Shmavon

Cultural Transformations in the screenplay Pam and Dave

Abstract:
This paper concerns itself with the transformation of cultural elements in my process of writing a screenplay, Pam and Dave, in a collaboration with producer/director Raj Mehrotra. The project, which features a century-old story, originally written by an Indian fiction writer, is set in modern-day Canada. As the author of the screenplay, I discuss how ‘transnational’ collaboration impacts the original story in that it requires a certain transformation of cultural elements that become the axis, around which the development of the screenplay revolves. I argue that the transformations occur on two levels: first, they are locally required and preferred by author; second, they are expressed by implications arising from the cultural context the screenplay is set in.

The article uses D. Shaw’s categories of ‘transnational collaborative networks,’ ‘film and cultural exchange,’ and ‘transnational modes of narration,’ and R. Burgoyne’s and J. Middents’ theories to position Pam and Dave within the framework of ‘transnational’ cinema. Further, drawing on the views of S. Datta, the discussion traces the representation of gender dynamics in Indian Cinema and takes an insight into their transformations in Pam and Dave. The transformations are, firstly, required by the cultural context, and secondly, preferred by the producer and writer. I claim that certain cultural attributes are required in that they stem from limited choices; while others are preferences in that they are afforded by unlimited choices. Also, I argue that the ideological and cultural beliefs underlying the same ‘action’ by the same ‘character’ in Pam and Dave may be interpreted differently depending on the audiences’ cultural milieu. The ‘ideal love’ rampant in Indian Cinema is an ‘alien deposit’ in Pam and Dave; Dave’s struggle for Pam implies fight for ‘individual freedom’ in the Western context, while for Indian viewer it is a self-sacrificial struggle for true or perfect love.

Bio:
I received my PhD in Screenwriting from La Trobe University in 2019. Since then I have been tutoring Humanities subjects and conducting independent research. My research interests lie in filmic narrative, spatial narration, sex in film, reality and cinema, and Soviet and Scandinavian cinemas. My research articles and essays on film have been published in PEOPLE: International Journal of Social Sciences (2017), Journal of Media, Communication and Film (2018), Film International (2019), Offscreen Journal of Film and Media (2019), Taylor & Francis (2020), and an article is due soon in Journal of Scandinavian Cinema. I have also participated in conferences, such as SRN 2017 in Dunedin, The European Conference on Media and Mass Communication in Brighton (2017), International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities in Lisbon (2017) and others. In addition, I write screenplays, and currently I am working on a few projects. 

Akam, Kingsley Oyong

Script to Screen: Portraying Social Realism and the Metaphor of Rape in Emem Isong’s Code of Silence (2015)

Abstract:
Globally all forms of exploitations such as rape and other inhuman abuses have no boundaries regardless of race, gender and age.  In order to get rid of these social vices especially rape there have been enlightenment campaigns across the world using various media including the film medium. It is against this background on global advocacy and enlightenment against the menace of rape and gender inequality that Hollywood, Health & Society, Nollywood Workshops, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation developed the idea of Code of Silence (2015), ‘‘a mainstream Nollywood film tackling issues of rape and gender equality’’ (Rosenthal, 2016, p.2). Bola Aduwo wrote Code of Silence and directed by Emem Isong a woman director working in Nollywood (Nigerian cinema). The aims of this paper centres on looking at the director’s malleable approach and reinterpretation of the script in the course of making the film and to examine elements of social realism in Nigeria regarding rape and how rape works as a metaphor of exploitation in Code of Silence. I will be taking a metaphoric approach besides social realism regarding ethical and unethical issues surrounding rape in Nigeria, I will be interpreting the character of Adamma (Makida Moka) the victim as mother earth representing the exploited and oppressed citizens by greedy individuals as portrayed in the characters of Chief Arthur Igwe (Kofi Adjorlolo) the assailant and his cohorts. I will situate this study on Transnational approach of cinema based on Naficy (1996) ideas linking with that of Higson (2000) and Ezra & Rowden (2006). I will do a textual analysis of the film as a finished product on screen from the script as a blueprint for the director in ensuring that the film Code of Silence serve as an instrument for social change and advocacy for the ‘‘fight’’ against rape.

Bio:
My research interests are not limited to nation-state/transnational cinema; health-filmology; sociology of film/drama; gender studies, postcolonial issues, social realism and Afrocentric colonialism.  I have lectured in the Department of Theatre and Media Studies, University of Calabar, Nigeria from 2016-2021. I am a prolific and gifted stage/screen writer, actor, director, producer and cinematographer interested in using theatre and film for positive transformation of the society.  
I have published scholarly articles and book chapters
as well as attended conferences for intellectual discourses. I wrote, directed and produced The Crippled Giant (Play) (2019) which is now in print as The Honey Badgers. I am currently a postgraduate researcher pursing my PhD in Film Studies; working on ‘‘Female Nollywood Filmmakers and Values/Citizens Reorientation towards Good Governance’’ in Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), Lancaster University, United Kingdom

Aguilar, Florencia

World Building Storytelling - Junk Global Consortium - Argentina Chapter

Abstract:
The "Worldbuilding" methodology, developed by Alex McDowell, allows to design a world in a systemic, holistic and collaborative way. The world, solidly built and supported by rigorous research, becomes a narrative container of rules, stories, characters, scenarios and situations that emerge logically and organically from its core, giving rise to multidisciplinary processes of creative innovation. In developing this process design, technology and storytelling converge, generating the development of innovative ideas and the discovery of solutions to problems that are perceived in the fictional world but can be applied to the real world. During the creation process, the "World builders", -designers of worlds, use a certain ethnographic base, as a place from which to begin to imagine future possibilities. How can “Worldbuilding” impact the way we tell stories? How does this methodology allow students from different fields and countries to co-create a world by changing the traditional way of Storytelling? Based on a collective provocation the different perspectives nourish an organic world, a new alternative reality that is visualized through multiple systems of representation. In this process, a feedback loop is created whereby imagining a new world we can understand our own and envision new possibilities for the future. The world of "Junk" developed by professors and students at Universidad Austral from Argentina will be presented, guided by Alex McDowell and in parallel with a Consortium of Universities from around the world. The idea was to imagine a fictional future and a collective story that would develop in the territory of the Iguazu Falls, located in Misiones, Argentina. The “World builders” explore the possibilities of the territory. For example through the lenses of experts on Iguazu Falls, Artificial intelligence and sustainable construction. The mandala framework gives the possibility to create the rules of the world in a collective, organic, transdisciplinary and holistic way where every participant creates characters and stories that converge and live in the world.

Bio:
Florencia Aguilar is an industrial designer, coordinator and educator at the Austral University. She is a co-founding member of the Austral World Building Lab and since 2020 she has been granted the honor of leading the "Connect the dots" project, to develop an interactive platform together with students and teachers from other disciplines. A permanent collaborator in different Worldbuilding workshops applied to smart cities and entrepreneurship. She is also working on a technology project doing research for UX design. She is co-author of a publication on World Building and education for social innovation that will be published in the 30th edition of the Knowledge Forum at UANL in Mexico. She is a candidate for a Master in Content Management (MGC) from the Austral University. Her work is about designing learning experiences in multi-user virtual environments.