Jul 30

New Bible Has Screenplay Format? No So Much

The Associated Press has just published this story claiming that The Voice, a new translation of the Bible, is “written like a screenplay. The problem? It isn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2012/07/30/new-bible-has-screenplay-format-no-so-much/

Jul 28

Danny Boyle’s Olympic Opening: the Future of Screen “Writing”?

The Liverpool Echo has this interview with screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce on his role in the conceptualization of Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony production. His description of the process and tools used to plan the Olympic ceremony reminds me of Kathryn Millard’s exploration of prototypes and simulations in her contribution to Analysing the Screenplay (ed. Jill Nelmes). Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2012/07/28/danny-boyles-olympic-opening-the-future-of-screen-writing/

Jul 27

More on the WGA Annual Report

In my recently published essay in Frames Cinema Journal, “Screenwriting 2.0 in the Classroom? Teaching the Digital Screenplay,” I tried to make a point about the employment challenges facing aspiring screenwriters:

Screenwriting instructors have little incentive to change the way they teach because, in spite of the advent, indeed the proliferation of screenwriting software programs in the last fifteen years, the screenplay itself has hardly changed in sixty years. “This works . . . and has through all remembered time.” (5)

As the industry goes, so goes institutional instruction. The problem with this whole line of reasoning is that it rests on the prime assumption that professional screenwriting is a vocation a student may reasonably hope to enter after graduating from university or college with a degree in that field, an assumption that is absurd on its face. Screenwriting is a vocation like playing professional football is a vocation. Most university programs in screenwriting teach students how to write a spec script to be sold on the open market in Hollywood. Box Office Mojo tracked just 120 new feature films released by the six major Hollywood studios in 2011, (6) but the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) boasts more than 12,000 members and registers more than 65,000 new screenplays every year. (7) Only 4,244 of the Guild’s members reported any income from screenwriting in 2010. (8) These odds make taking a university screenwriting course a little like studying to win the lottery. “This is why the craft of teaching the craft of the screenplay is for many more lucrative than the craft of the screenplay,” writes Howard Rodman. (9) Given these harsh realities, it may be time for screenwriting instructors to rethink our pedagogical principles. In my essay, I will engage in a little speculation about whether it may indeed be time for ‘Screenwriting 2.0’ and the digital screenplay.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2012/07/27/more-on-the-wga-annual-report/

Jul 27

Stereographic Screenplays

I’ve been thinking recently about writing for 3D: do screenwriters work differently when they know their material will be realized in stereographic projection? Stereographer Clyde DeSouza argues they should. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2012/07/27/stereographic-screenplays/

Jul 26

Screenplay as Tech Startup

Today I stumbled upon a Wall Street Journal article from two days ago that began with the following sentence: “It seems like everyone is working on a screenplay these days, and if they’re not working on a screenplay, then they’re working on an idea for a tech startup.” I was disappointed to keep reading and discover the lede was a total non sequitur — the article had nothing to do with screenwriting — but I loved that opening line. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2012/07/26/screenplay-as-tech-startup/

Jul 25

More Screenwriting 2.0

Last August, I blogged about a paper I presented to the University Film and Video Association called, “Teaching the Digital Screenplay and Its Role in Conception and Execution.” In that paper I began to use the term “Screenwriting 2.0” to refer to the application of Web 2.0 principles and processes to the craft of screenwriting. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2012/07/25/more-screenwriting-2-0/

Jul 25

Dog Day’s Frank Pierson Dies: NYT Obit

Dog Day Afternoon is one of my favorite scripts/movies, so I was sad to hear of Frank Pierson’s passing a few days. One of my colleagues, Jesse Wolfe, was lucky to count Pierson as a mentor at AFI and had this to say:

He was imposing and made us all quake in our boots when we were called before the school to present and then defend our student films.  You sat there next to him and he barely looked at you, then all of sudden whip around and his eyes blazed into yours just as he was making his point.  But behind the blaze was sheer glee at the chance to help a young filmmaker find their voice.  He spent dozens of hours(secretly laughing at me) as I argued my points with my usual passion and zeal, and then he would pat me on the back and say “I’d hate to be the producer that ever has to clash with you Mr. Wolfe”….but where many a professor would leave it at that, he’d ask another probing question that would get me going again…and he’d smile and listen.   I got away with absolutely nothing.  He wore my ego down to the nub.  And he made me a better filmmaker and person.  I now hear him in my own dealings with students, and hope I am doing his influence on me justice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2012/07/25/dog-days-frank-pierson-dies-nyt-obit/

Jul 25

Deadline Reports 2011 WGA Screenwriter Survey Results

Nikki Finke’s Deadline | Hollywood has published the results of the 2011 WGA Screenwriter Survey:

The major findings of the newly released 2011 WGA Screenwriter Survey (click here for full report) are that “screenwriters believe their status in the industry has significantly deteriorated over the past several years. The most flagrant studio practices contributing to this decline, ranked in order of frequency, are: free rewrites, sweepstakes pitching or bake-offs, late payment, free prewrites, and idea theft.”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2012/07/25/deadline-reports-2011-wga-screenwriter-survey-results/

Jul 25

And we’re back!

This blog has been inactive for quite a while, but in the coming months you should see lots of activity.

In addition to more regular blog updates, you can expect some updates to our “static” content pages as well.

Stay tuned!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2012/07/25/and-were-back/

Sep 12

Review: Unforgiven (Unspecified Shooting Script: 1992)

Unforgiven, originally written by David Webb Peoples in 1976 as The William Munny Killings, effectively flips the moral conventions of the 1950s era classical Western genre (typified by such screenplays as High Noon), by asking the audience to invest in an outlaw’s efforts against an unsympathetic lawman. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.screenplayology.com/2011/09/12/review-unforgiven-unspecified-shooting-script-1992/

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