Writing For Screens – Introduction

In about a month, I’m going to presenting an academic paper and twenty-minute “talk” to a symposium at the University of Portsmouth in the UK called “Writing for Screens.” My topic, unsurprisingly, concerns screenwriting, but it is more specifically about how approaches to screenwriting can adapt and evolve in the 21st Century.

Why would approaches to screenwriting need to evolve at all? How is writing a movie in 2019 any different than writing a movie in 1969? Aren’t the basic tools of storytelling pretty much the same as they were when Aristotle wrote Poetics? Regardless of the internet, interactivity, transmedia, gaming, and virtual/augmented/alternate realities, isn’t writing a movie pretty much the same as it has always been?

Well, my premise is in the paper is “no.” Things are not the same, and approaches to screenwriting and storytelling need to evolve. As I write the paper, record a video presentation, and interact with others who are attending “Writing For Screens,” I plan to share my work here on Undergrids as it develops (and by posting daily on Ask a Screenwriter.)

So stay tuned. Please feel free to comment (and challenge my conclusions.)

More to come…

2 thoughts on “Writing For Screens – Introduction”

  1. While story structure itself will never change – I’m excited to hear your ideas about how expressing those stories for the screen must evolve. James Joyce’s Ulysses immediately comes to mind, in which he drew on the many forms of information and communication that were available to him then. We’ve got so many more forms now – it’s exciting to think of a work of art for screen that would incorporate multiple streams. I’ m sure there’s a 16 year old busy at work on one right now.

    1. You’ll see what I’m getting at as I continue… It’s not that storytelling has changed (you’re right, the core elements don’t change,) it’s that there are added challenges that the old tools aren’t designed to handle.

      It seriously made my day that you both commented and referenced Ulysses.

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