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Global Scriptwriting

Book Description

Global Scriptwriting offers a look at an exciting new phase in screen storytelling, as writers and directors from all over the world infuse traditional forms with their own cultural values to create stories that have an international appeal and suggest a universality among readers, viewers, and listeners. A unique blend of screenwriting technique and film studies, Global Scriptwriting discusses screen stories as they have evolved through the years, focusing first on the basics of scriptwriting, then going on to afford a more sophisticated look at script via different models of scriptwriting: the Hollywood model, the independent model, the national model, and various alternative models. It examines the internationalization of storytelling, and illustrates how particular innovations have helped national screen stories to international success.

This book is the first to incorporate the basics of the classical form with the innovative edge of the last decade, as well the culture specific changes that have taken place outside of North America. It offers readers a view of the enriched repertoire available to writers resulting from the introduction of cultural perspectives into traditional story forms. Specific topics examined include, the ascent of voice, the search for new forms, the struggle between style and content, and the centrality of megagenre.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Full Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
    1. 1 The Basics
      1. The Visual versus the Spoken
      2. Terms—Useful, Critical
      3. A Case Study in the Basics: Elia Kazan's America America
      4. Imagination and Success in the Screenplay
      5. The Short Film and the Long Film
      6. Drama versus Documentary versus Experimental Narratives
    2. 2 Character
      1. Ownership of Story
      2. The Main Character and the Role of a Goal
      3. Sources of Resistance to Character and Goal
      4. The Source of Greatest Resistance: The Antagonist
      5. Character Construction
      6. Myths about Character
      7. Issues of Identification
      8. Character in the Plot-Driven Film: The Films of Joseph Ruben
      9. The Character-Driven Film: The Films of Lasse Hallström
    3. 3 Structure
      1. Three-Act Structure
      2. Act I
      3. Act II
      4. Act III
    4. 4 Genre
      1. The Audience
      2. Issues of the Day
      3. The Role of Character in Genre
      4. The Role of Structure in Genre
      5. The Case of Michael Mann's Heat
      6. The Case of Michael Mann's The Insider
      7. The Case of Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans
      8. The Case of Franklin Schaffner's Planet of the Apes
      9. The Case of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner
      10. The Case of John Frankenheimer's Seconds
      11. Working with Genre
      12. Working against Genre
    5. 5 Tone
      1. The Case of Peter Medak's Romeo Is Bleeding
      2. The Case of the Films of Ang Lee and Stanley Kubrick
      3. The Case of the Films of John Ford, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder
      4. The Case of the Films of Stone, Lee, Mamet, Bertolucci, and Egoyan
      5. Genres that Elevate Voice
    1. 6 The Hollywood Model
      1. The Can-Do Character
      2. The Use of Plot
      3. The Attraction to Genres of Action
      4. The Voice of Possibility over Adversity
      5. The Transformation of the Main Character into a Hero
      6. The Role of Dissent in the Hollywood Film
      7. The Case of Howard Hawks' Ball of Fire
      8. The Case of Saving Private Ryan
    2. 7 The Independent Model
      1. The Centrality of Character: The Case of John Cassavetes—Husbands and Opening Night
      2. Politics and the Independent Film I: The Case of The Ballad of Little Jo
      3. Politics and the Independent Film II: The Case of Slam
      4. Politics and the Independent Film III: The Case of Boys Don't Cry
      5. The Experimental Narrative I: The Case of The Draughtsman's Contract
      6. The Experimental Narrative II: The Case of The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
      7. Breaking the Rules
      8. Breaking the Rules I: The Case of She's Gotta Have It
      9. Breaking the Rules II: The Case of Mean Streets
      10. Breaking the Rules III: The Case of The Nasty Girl
    3. 8 The National Model
      1. The Arts and Their Influence: The Case of Italy
      2. The Art of Possibility: The Case of France
      3. Working with Genre: The Case of the United Kingdom
      4. Challenging Genre: The Case of Australia
    4. 9 New Models
      1. Myth
      2. The MTV Narrative
      3. Women Telling Stories
      4. The Nonlinear Story
    5. 10 Experiments in Voice
      1. The Case of The Manchurian Candidate
      2. The Intellectual Voice: Mike Nichols and Franklin Schaffner
      3. The More Assertive Voice: Arthur Penn and Robert Altman
      4. The Assertive Voice: Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino
    1. 11 The Ascent of Voice
      1. Juzo Itami—The Soft Satirist
      2. Neil LaBute—The Cruel Satirist
      3. Neil Jordan—The Voice of Tolerance
      4. Spike Lee—The Teacher/Preacher
      5. Thorn Fitzgerald—The Voice of Sexual Difference
      6. Clara Law—The Modern Traditionalist
      7. Tod Solondz—The Scream as Voice
    2. 12 The Search for New Forms
      1. Theater as a Model
      2. The Novel as a Model
      3. Television as a Model
      4. Film as a Model
    3. 13 The Struggle of Style and Content
      1. The Subversion of Narrative: The Case of Buñuel and Godard
      2. The Subversion of Realism: The Case of Stone and Scorsese
      3. The Dynamic of the Overwrought Treatment of Narrative: The Case of Bertolucci's Beseiged
      4. The Structural Challenge to Content
      5. Alternating Structures
      6. The Tonal Challenge to Content
      7. Narration Subverts the Narrative
      8. Irony and Voice
    4. 14 The Medium Is the Message
      1. The Pre-McLuhan Era in Film
      2. The Post-McLuhan Era in Film
    5. 15 The Centrality of Metagenre
      1. Melodrama
      2. Docudrama
      3. Hyperdrama
      4. Experimental Narrative
    6. 16 Big Issues Plus National Stereotypes
      1. The Case of Elizabeth
      2. The Case of Fire
      3. The Case of Antonia's Line
      4. The Case of All About My Mother
      5. The Case of French Twist
      6. The Case of Shall We Dance
      7. The Case of The Full Monty
    7. 17 The Search for the Global Tale
      1. The Case of Agnieska Holland's Olivier Olivier
      2. The Case of Mike Radford's Il Postino
      3. The Case of Ang Lee's The Ice Storm
      4. The Case of Sam Mendes' American Beauty
      5. The Case of Mary Harron's American Psycho
  11. Appendix: Script Treatment
    1. Treatment Sample
    2. Master Scene Format
  12. Index