From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: Zen and the art of film narrative: towards a transcendental realism in film by Erik Knudsen

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Zen and the art of film narrative: towards a transcendental realism in film by Erik Knudsen
 
Nations and peoples are largely the stories they feed themselves. If they tell themselves stories that are lies, they will suffer the consequences of those lies. If they tell themselves stories that face their own truths, they will free their histories for future flowerings. (Okri 1995: 21) What defines the classic narrative is also at the root of its limitations; an epistemology that ties it to a material and psychological paradigm governed by largely explicable laws of cause and effect. Such notions as character motivation, narrative aims, obstacles, climax and so on have evolved to become as overwhelmingly dominant in cinema as the dogma of reason which subsequently the industrial age solidified. It is from this that the moving-image medium emerged: empirical evidence of motivations, mechanistic notions of causes and effects and scientifically based including the pseudosciences of psychology and sociology that provide justifications for events and actions all serve to reinforce the dominance of the classic narrative’s role in the storytelling of the developed world.In this article, I shall call for a different perspective on cinematic narrative form; not with a view to discussing what film generally is, but to make some general suggestions of what it could be, particularly from the perspective of a film-maker trying to transcend the limitations of the classic narrative. The motive is to try and understand how, in practice, one may evolve narrative forms in such a way as to deal with experiences not sufficiently touched by the classic form, as it is currently generally practised in cinema. I shall, in particular, look at the relationship between emotions and feelings and their relationship to narrative structure and bring into this examination some notions and ideas from Zen Buddhism to re-evaluate that relationship. The issues I hope to raise are about paradigms and I shall therefore deliberately base my discussion on general assertions and eclectic contextualization.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

18 Jane Espenson & Marti Noxon from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute 9 seconds)

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18 Jane Espenson & Marti Noxon from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute 9 seconds)

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In honor of Halloween – and in service to my teaching philosophy —

“Words Matter. Writers Matter. Women Writers Matter.”

I presented this holiday lecture “When Women Write Horror” on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019. Researching the many, many women who have written horror stories – in novels, films and television – brought new names to my attention who I am excited to start reading. I hope you will be, too!

Transcript:

I’m also really excited about TV shows as you can see and because TV affects more people — because more people are exposed to it — and so I like to think about who are the women in television and what stories are they putting out there. This is our modern literature in many ways and these ladies, Jane Espenson and Marti Noxon were pivotal to a show that took horror and used it to flip all the gender stereotypes that could possibly flip in one one-hour program and that program is… Buffy the Vampire Slayer right. So we generally attribute the show to Joss Whedon and that is true and that is fine and he did write the pilot and he did show run and managed the show. We have since come to find that he was a me-too kind of guy and we don’t need to talk about him that much anymore. So then the question is how could the show have been so feminist with that mind behind it? Well, turns out these ladies were on staff and I believe when you look at the episodes they wrote it was the soul of Marti Noxon and Jane Espenson which gave us the true stories that last in the Buffy realm.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: First of all, the screenplay problem has to be solved: the public debate on screenwriting in 1930s Finland by Raija Talvio

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


First of all, the screenplay problem has to be solved: the public debate on screenwriting in 1930s Finland by Raija Talvio

In 1930s Finland the new medium of the sound film was regarded as an essential part of modern culture. After the advent of sound, the domestic film industry flourished and the development of the national cinema became the subject of a lively debate in popular film magazines. A large part of this discussion was centred on the screenplay. The choice of suitable subject matter and important themes were investigated, as were the special requirements of the craft for the writer. In this article I explore how screenwriting and the screenwriter were constantly defined and redefined in public discussion in film magazines during the decade and how this discussion influenced the formation of the identity of the screenwriting profession.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

17 Margaret Atwood from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (58 seconds)

Watch this entire presentation

17 Margaret Atwood from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Rosanne’s Channel and receive notice of each new video!

 

In honor of Halloween – and in service to my teaching philosophy —

“Words Matter. Writers Matter. Women Writers Matter.”

I presented this holiday lecture “When Women Write Horror” on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019. Researching the many, many women who have written horror stories – in novels, films and television – brought new names to my attention who I am excited to start reading. I hope you will be, too!

Transcript:

What works I think best is when you blend horror and social commentary. As I’ve sort of been examining as we go through. Obviously, The Handmaid’s Tale and Margaret Atwood also falls into that world looking at a future that is horrific for one particular gender, which happens to be chicks right? This is not a great world to grow up in and she just, some 25 years later, came up with the sequel, Testaments, which is different from the television show. The TV show stopped –the first season stopped at the end of the book and then the people on the show had to create the rest of that. She’s like “No no no. This is where I thought the story was going.” So, as an author, she has the power to say “No this is where I wanted those characters to be not whatever you guys are doing on a weekly basis. So I think it’s really interesting to compare that to the later seasons of the show. I love her early picture and then her current while the CBS while the Emmys are going on. So Margaret’s been writing for a long time. It’s a very long illustrious career writing horror.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: The hero and heroine’s journey and the writing of Loy by Helen Jacey

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The hero and heroine’s journey and the writing of Loy by Helen Jacey

Christopher Vogler suggests an essential humanity beyond gender and sexual difference lies at the heart of the Hero’s Journey archetypal paradigm which he presents in The Writers Journey (2007), yet he still advises readers to go elsewhere for alternative theories on the woman’s journey, recommending key Jungian feminist theories including Maureen Murdock’s The Heroine’s Journey (1990), and Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s Women Who Run With The Wolves (1992). Through the practice of writing a screenplay Loy, a biopic based on the life of modernist poet and artist Mina Loy (18821966), I questioned to what extent is the Hero’s Journey useful as a metaphoric aid in supporting the development of a screenplay with two female protagonists, and to what extent does the paradigm have a masculine bias? This article first sets out the principles of Vogler’s Hero’s Journey and Murdock’s Heroine’s Journey cycle. I then explore the strengths and weaknesses of both models as creative aids during the development of my screenplay, with particular reference to the development of character, structure and theme. Turning to the notion of archetypes as a creative system for characterization, I discuss how I used archetypes in the development of Loy’s protagonists. Finally, I draw on Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s myth of the Skeleton Woman as an effective metaphoric aid for the development of narratives where relationships are central. I conclude that while the Hero’s Journey has key strengths, models from Jungian feminism are particularly rich for screenwriters developing female-led stories.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Listen to the latest “How I Wrote That” Podcast with Screenwriter Laura Brennan from Most Likely to Die, and Faux Baby. [Audio]

Listen to the latest How I Wrote That Podcast with Tera Hernandez of The Big Bang Theory [Audio]

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Laura Brennan’s eclectic writing career includes television, film, theater, web series, fiction and news. Behind the scenes, she has helped production companies develop movies, TV pilots and limited series. She has taught pitching workshops to executives at Netflix and Film Victoria, as well as MFA programs and undergraduate classes at universities including Stephens College, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Boston University and National University.A graduate of Yale University, Brennan has won awards for journalism, television writing and fiction. Her children’s book, Nana Speaks Nanese, tackles the confusing changes brought on by dementia in a reassuring and straightforward way. She hopes it will help families facing a diagnosis of dementia open up a conversation with their young children. Her web series Faux Baby is also for parents, but it is definitely not for children—or even safe for work.

“You are not everything to everyone. And you shouldn’t try to be.  You should figure out what you do best and double down on it. Learn the stuff that you’re not great at so that you are comfortable and confident but narrow down what it is you really bring to the table ” -Laura Brennan

Presented by Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting


Visit the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for more information.

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#MentorMonday 8 - Dawn Comer Jefferson - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

2020 Jan Marino Scholarship to Stephens MFA in TV and Screenwriting Announced at SeriesFest [Video]

2020 Jan Marino Scholarship to Stephens MFA in TV and Screenwriting Announced at SeriesFest [Video]

It was a pleasure to take part in announcing our Class of 2022 Jan Marino Scholarship winner at this year’s (online of course) SeriesFest.

Betsy Leighton, the founder of the scholarship, and I each recorded short videos to be played before one of the major panels of the festival.

I wanted to share the videos here so everyone can join me in welcoming Jen Bosworth-Ramirez to the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting.

Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Alumna Sarah Phillips Batchelder (Class of 2017) in Drama Series Comeptition at SeriesFest

SeriesFest 2020

Staged review – Michael Sheen and David Tennant get meta via The Guardian

Why are the Brits so much better about creativity in challenging technological times – AND at making fun of themselves? In this short Zoom-filmed set of 15 minute shorts we find Tennant and Sheen (of Good Omens) playing exaggerated versions of themselves as two actors who are forced to rehearse an upcoming play (Pirandello’s “6 Characters in Search of an Author”) on Zoom due to the lockdown. — Rosanne

Staged review – Michael Sheen and David Tennant get meta via The Guardian

It is not, overall, a great time to be an actor. Or a director, or a musician, or a writer for the stage or indeed almost anyone involved in the creative arts. The practical effects of the pandemic – and its gross mismanagement – on planned productions (postponed indefinitely), theatre finances (which depend on packed, not socially distanced, houses) and freedom to gather, rehearse, collaborate and generate ideas are already being felt, but their ramifications have hardly begun.

Individual actors have found ways to continue to provide entertainment and add to the cultural conversation (Samuel West, for example, began a series of beautiful and restorative poetry readings requested by followers on his Twitter account, to which more and more actors have added their voices as the weeks have passed), but the brightest chink of light in the darkness so far, and reaching the widest audience, has been offered by the small screen.

Read Staged review – Michael Sheen and David Tennant get meta via The Guardian

16 More On Toni Morrison and Beloved from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (31 seconds)

Watch this entire presentation

16 More On Toni Morrison and Beloved from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (31 seconds)

Subscribe to Rosanne’s Channel and receive notice of each new video!

 

In honor of Halloween – and in service to my teaching philosophy —

“Words Matter. Writers Matter. Women Writers Matter.”

I presented this holiday lecture “When Women Write Horror” on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019. Researching the many, many women who have written horror stories – in novels, films and television – brought new names to my attention who I am excited to start reading. I hope you will be, too!

Transcript:

This ghost comes back into her life after the Civil War is over, because what an awful thing — I didn’t want my children to live as slaves, so I killed her and then the war ended and then there was no slavery anymore and she could have lived and now that guilt is the haunting that’s in her mind forever. So it a really, really, powerful story. Taking the haunted house from kind of pop culture-y goofy to Oh My God, serious literature. That, as well, won a Pulitzer Prize — which is pretty huge.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: The physical and emotional threads of the archetypal hero’s journey: proposing common terminology and re-examining the narrative model by Craig Batty

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The physical and emotional threads of the archetypal hero’s journey: proposing common terminology and re-examining the narrative model by Craig Batty

This article will discuss how, in mainstream film screenplays, the protagonist undergoes both an actual, physical journey and an internal, emotional journey, pulled together by the invisible hand of the screenwriter in order to create the complete narrative experience. Central to the article is an evaluation of how character transformation (arc) is positioned against physical action (plot), arguing that the two can be mapped out as individual yet symbiotic threads of a narrative: the physical and the emotional journeys.After mapping the territory of what is already written on this subject, the works of Joseph Campbell and his protg Christopher Vogler (Clayton 2007: 210) will be drawn together to offer a re-examination of the model of the Hero’s Journey. Assessing these two narrative threads (physical and emotional) as both distinct and symbiotic, it will be clear that a special relationship exists between plot and character, where character transformation is encouraged to take place within the frame of the physical action of the plot. The substance of such a transformation, the emotional core of the narrative experience, is what lives on in the audience, post-text; the physical action of a film story may frame emotion, but emotion has the power to break the frame and take on a life of its own.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!