From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 1: The protagonist’s dramatic goals, wants and needs by Patrick Cattrysse

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 protagonist’s dramatic goals, wants and needs by Patrick Cattrysse

Screenwriting manuals tell us that narratives should have a protagonist and that a protagonist should have an important dramatic goal to achieve. With respect to this goal, manuals often mention another common distinction, that between a protagonist’s want and need. Wants are generally understood as external and/or conscious dramatic goals, whereas needs are defined as internal and/or unconscious dramatic goals. This essay argues that these tools could be made more powerful if defined in a more precise way. Whereas wants refer to the goals of characters at the level of story, needs play at the level of the interaction between plot and real audience. This re-definition links the wants and needs debate with the much wider and far more complex study of audience involvement and its relationships with the value systems expressed in a narrative and those experienced by a viewer; a subject which stretches far beyond the limits of a single article.


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 1: Teaching screenwriting in a time of storytelling blindness: the meeting of the auteur and the screenwriting tradition in Danish film-making by Eva Novrup Redvall

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


Teaching screenwriting in a time of storytelling blindness: the meeting of the auteur and the screenwriting tradition in Danish film-making by Eva Novrup Redvall

This article analyses how the approach to screenwriting in Danish cinema has undergone major changes from an auteur-oriented film culture in the 1960s with basically no professional screenwriters, to a collaborative auteur industry where screenwriting is now a recognized craft and screenwriters are established professionals in the film industry. Focusing on the historical development of the Screenwriting Department at the National Film School of Denmark, the article discusses how the educational emphasis on teaching screenwriting has had an impact on Danish cinema both by introducing a basic understanding of screenwriting models and tools for a new generation of Danish film-makers, and by developing a common awareness of the importance of screenwriting as well as successful collaborations in creative teams. The article highlights how, after widespread enthusiasm over the emergence of successful screenwriters, there are currently debates about the dangers of professionalization as well as critical voices calling for a return to a more personal kind of auteur film-making. Finally, it is suggested that further investigation of the nature of close collaborations between directors and screenwriters, now more prevalent in Denmark, can provide interesting material for new perspectives in discussions of authorship.


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 1: So it’s not surprising I’m neurotic The Screenwriter and the Screen Idea Work Group by Ian W Macdonald

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


So it’s not surprising I’m neurotic The Screenwriter and the Screen Idea Work Group by Ian W Macdonald

The Screen Idea Work Group (SIWG) is a flexibly constructed group organized around the development and production of a screen idea; a hypothetical grouping of those professional workers involved in conceptualizing and developing fictional narrative work for any particular moving image screen idea. In this article, I use the notion of the SIWG to draw together the views of key workers about how the process of screen idea development works or doesn’t. My findings are based on a small ethnographic study I undertook in 2004, in which, through in-depth semi-structured interviews with seven SIWG workers, I attempted to understand how they came to occupy their role, how they felt their judgements were made and received, and how far the SIWG’s view of the screen idea accorded with the screenwriting doxa (characterized as how to do a good piece of work). As detailed below, their answers were concerned with status, a sense of self-worth and respect, points of tension, power, control, collaboration and trust, and the nature of the doxa itself.


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 1: After the typewriter: the screenplay in a digital era by Kathryn Millard

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


After the typewriter: the screenplay in a digital era by Kathryn Millard
 
This article aims to contribute to contemporary debates about screenwriting as a process of developing the screen idea; about the ways in which formatting conventions from an earlier era of cinema may restrict innovation in screenwriting; and about shifting practices of screenwriting in a digital era in which images and sound play a potentially more significant role. Additionally, it questions the use of terms such as blueprint to describe the relationship between the screenplay and the proposed film that it represents. The article draws on the author’s body of practice-led research as a writer and director of feature films and documentaries, as well as histories of screenwriting, film production, comics and the graphic arts.


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V3 Issue 1: ‘To see a script’: Jean-Luc Godard’s re-envisioning of screenwriting in Passion (1982) and Scénario du film Passion by Jill Murphy

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


‘To see a script’: Jean-Luc Godard’s re-envisioning of screenwriting in Passion (1982) and Scénario du film Passion by Jill Murphy

In the film Passion (1982) and its video scenario, Scénario du film Passion (1982), Jean-Luc Godard attempts to re-envision the conventional script by placing an emphasis on visual rather than verbal forms. In this article, I examine Godard’s development of narrative through image in Passion and his description of this process in Scénario du film Passion. In addition, I consider the concurrent emphasis he places on the visualization of narrative in the diegetic film around which the storyline of Passion is based. To contextualize the process of narrative construction that Godard applies in the films considered in the article, I present some earlier examples of his screenwriting practice that illustrate how Godard’s screenwriting evolved towards an image-based approach..


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 3: From dialogue writer to screenwriter: Pier Paolo Pasolini at work for Federico Fellini by Claudia Romanelli

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


From dialogue writer to screenwriter: Pier Paolo Pasolini at work for Federico Fellini by Claudia Romanelli

Pier Paolo Pasolini was a poet, novelist, essayist and filmmaker who also worked as a screenwriter for some of the most important Italian directors including Mario Soldati, Mauro Bolognini and Bernardo Bertolucci, to name a few. While Pasolini’s poems, novels and films are widely studied, his work as a screenwriter has not attracted much critical attention. This is partly because Pasolini tended to collaborate with directors whose artistic tastes were very different from his own, making it difficult to understand what he could possibly bring to the films on which he worked. The fact that he took his first steps in the screenwriting teams for which Italian cinema was famous has also contributed to downplay his screenwriting activity. One such example is his contribution to Federico Fellini’s screenplays. Fellini first approached Pasolini because he wished to revise the dialogue in Le notti di Cabiria, which he thought lacked the authentic feel of the language spoken in the Roman slums where the film took place. Although critics have always assumed that Fellini discarded Pasolini’s revisions to his scripts, archival sources tell a different story, revealing Pasolini’s key contribution to Fellini’s work and his eagerness to leave a lasting impression on it.


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 3: Reel by reel: Jan Stanislav Kolár’s narrative poetics in the context of transition to feature-length format in Czech silent cinema by Martin Kos

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


Reel by reel: Jan Stanislav Kolár’s narrative poetics in the context of transition to feature-length format in Czech silent cinema by Martin Kos

This article examines the screenwriting practice in Czech silent cinema in the late 1910s and 1920s. It focuses on Jan Stanislav Kolár’s narrative poetics as a case study of specific storytelling choices within the transitional era from one- or two-reelers to the feature-length format in the context of local technological restrictions in exhibition – inevitable breaks of changing film reels in single-projector cinemas. Poetological analysis of Kolár’s Řina (1926) with his other surviving scenarios and pictures shows that meant not only the necessity of adapting to these limitations, but also became a productive way of achieving particular effects on the audience. Semi-independent narrative acts, thrilling moments occurring at the end of the reel, or significant shifts in space and time between two reels were integral parts of his own original stories as well as adaptations of various novels. Nevertheless, the article outlines more general perspective in relation to film reels as structural narrative units and screenwriting practice among Czech filmmakers as well.


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 3: Once again into the cabinets of Dr. Caligari: Evil spaces and hidden sources of the Caligari screenplay by Alexandra Ksenofontova

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


Once again into the cabinets of Dr. Caligari: Evil spaces and hidden sources of the Caligari screenplay by Alexandra Ksenofontova

This article poses a question previously overlooked in the tremendous body of research on Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari: why does the cabinet take such a prominent place in the title alongside the protagonist? The question is approached through a reading of the Caligari screenplay, which reveals that its narrative can be fruitfully conceived as a struggle of ‘evil spaces’. Pursuing the origins of this original spatial structure, the article uncovers a close connection between the script and the popular fantasy novels of the early twentieth century, in particular the only novel by the Austrian graphic artist Alfred Kubin. It is finally argued that acknowledging this connection to fantasy novels as well as the importance of the spatial structure in the Caligari script allows us to reconsider the crude opposition between the script’s narrative and the film’s set design that is prevalent in the existing research on the film.


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 3: Die Filmprimadonna (The Film Primadonna, 1913): A case study of the fiction of a screenplay and the process of filmmaking in German early cinema by Jan Henschen

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


Die Filmprimadonna (The Film Primadonna, 1913): A case study of the fiction of a screenplay and the process of filmmaking in German early cinema by Jan Henschen

A case study on Urban Gad’s German shooting script for Die Filmprimadonna (The Film Primadonna, 1913) reviews the screenplay in the production process shortly after the emergence of multiple-reel feature films. In the dramatic story of the rise and fall of a film prima donna, a fictitious screenplay plays an idiosyncratic function in filmmaking that sketches, for the cinematic audience of that time, a specific idea of how and why an appropriate script has to be made. The article offers an analysis of Gad’s preserved script and demonstrates that this screen-idea contrasts with the value and agency of screenplays in the historic mode of production in 1913. Inasmuch as the plot of the movie simply highlights the function of acting, Die Filmprimadonna as a script itself functions as a complex and highly composed agent in the process of filmmaking – as both a narrative and, equally, a production schedule for the film.


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. 

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

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 1: More therapy with Dr Melfi (the character who guides viewer engagement with Tony Soprano): Relationship arcs in serial antihero narratives by Fernando Canet

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


More therapy with Dr Melfi (the character who guides viewer engagement with Tony Soprano): Relationship arcs in serial antihero narratives by Fernando Canet

Antihero narratives constitute a common thread in the current boom of TV fiction. The Sopranos (HBO, 1999–2007) could be considered an early example of this tendency. The antihero is a complex character who demands equally complex responses from viewers. The title of this article is an allusion to Rob White’s article, ‘No more therapy’, in which White explores Dr Jennifer Melfi’s role as a narrative mechanism used to undermine viewer sympathy for Tony Soprano at the end of the series. Here I seek to explore this role further since Dr Melfi’s responses to Tony’s actions serve as a narrative strategy used by The Sopranos writers to guide viewer responses in their relationship with Tony Soprano, a pioneer example of the antihero figure. In doing so, it is my purpose to demonstrate the relevance in antihero TV series of the evolution not only of the antihero themselves but also of their relationship with other major characters over the course of the series. I call this evolution, through which the creators develop the transformational arcs of the two characters concerned: the ‘relationship arc’.


From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 1: Creative resistance tactics in the work of English Canadian screenwriters by Kerry McArthur

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!


Screenwriting Research Network Conference 2020

Join me at the Screenwriting Research Network’s Annual Conference in Oxford, UK



* 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!