Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] Journal of Screenwriting 9.3 published

Fri Jan 18 19:09:05 GMT 2019

Intellect is delighted to announce that the Journal of Screenwriting 9.3 is now available!

Special issue: Animation

For more information about the issue, click here >>,id=3677/


After Hitchcock: Animation – ‘the bastard form of writing’
Authors: Paul Wells And Chris Pallant

Analysing the advantages of Aristotle’s two-act structure in comparison with Syd Field’s three-act structure in short comedic animation scriptwriting
Authors: Sara Khalili

This article investigates Aristotle’s two-act structure as an alternative for short comedic animation scriptwriting, and examines its advantages in comparison with Syd Field’s three-act structure. In this study, I am more interested in independent short form animation that finds comedy in dramatic situations, rather than being directly constructed as a series of gags. In certain cases, the three-act structure has been attributed to Aristotle. However, as Tierno implies, Aristotle merely suggests a two-act structure in his Poetics, consisting of complication and denouement, which has similarities to and even overlaps with Syd Field’s three-act structure (set-up, confrontation, resolution), so that they have been assumed to be identical by mistake. Meanwhile, there are subtle differences between the two structures, which will be separately discussed in this article. The three-act structure is widely used in Hollywood live-action and animation features. It is also applicable in short scripts but it sometimes appears to encumber, especially in very short animations. A short animation scenarist, who tries to be as minimal as possible, may not want to sacrifice the clarity of the story for the sake of this brevity. By applying an adaptive approach with an analytical-descriptive method, the present article shows how, in Aristotle’s two-act structure, it is possible to create a structured story in the shortest possible form by omitting the ‘set-up’ section and stepping into the heart of the story. The findings of the study reveal that the two-act structure could be a suitable alternative for comedic plots in which stereotypical characters appear as protagonists and the audience is not expected to spend much time building deep identification with them.

How to write a screenplay with a chainsaw
Authors: Dennis Tupicoff

The idea for Chainsaw began in two newspaper obituaries steeped in romanticism, anthropomorphism and death. One celebrated the life of an Australian rodeo bull called Chainsaw, the other a Spanish bullfighter. Subsequent research linked to other subjects, from the dangers of chainsaws to Hollywood sex triangles and more: all non-fiction and all, apparently, far from animation. In Chainsaw rotoscoped animation is reality; archival B&W footage is used ironically in the Hollywood dreams and nightmares of the fictional characters. The chainsaw itself is a powerful metaphor for a type of story and a narrative structure. The fictional and non-fictional stories are linked in various ways, set in motion by human drives and desires, cutting through space and time and through the characters’ lives. An old chainsaw safety video provides us with the fictional couple Frank and Ava Gardner, seen then and now, as they move to a bloody denouement. The ‘real’ worlds of bullfighting, rodeo and Hollywood – strange ceremonies devised for entertainment – are saturated in fantasy and romance. In the natural world there is the collateral killing of which humans are unaware. But the trees and beasts and birds will endure after all the human drama and romance are played out.

Screenwriting animation in the essay film: The challenges presented by silenced history
Authors: Romana Turina

This article explores the use of animation in the essay film and analyses how screenwriting animation becomes a complex process of translation of the message the film wishes to address. With a focus on issues encountered in the development of two short essay films, Lunch with Family (2016) and San Sabba (2016), the article maps the process that in both cases guided the scripting of animated sequences, and analyses why in the editing room the director chose to use stills from the animations, instead. An example of the narrative techniques applied to mediate silenced history and postmemory in film, this contribution intends to add to the larger discussion on the current state of the art in screenwriting non-fiction.

Performing without the use of a net: Making an animated feature without a storyboard
Authors: Jan Bultheel

Generally we think that the storyboard is the holy grail when making animation movies. But that same storyboard can also be an obstacle to improvisation, intuition, free artistic expression and last-minute ideas. Reflecting on this dilemma, I devised an alternative way to make an animated feature based on mocap technology and the talent of a cast of professional actors, skipping the storyboard entirely and having the freedom for changes almost until rendering. Cafard (2015) is that experiment. It is on the crossroad between theatre, cinema and game technology, combining the best of each world.

Creating The Lion King: Story development, authorship and accreditation in the Disney Renaissance
Authors: David Chandler

The Lion King, Disney’s most lucrative property, began life as the most successful animated film to emerge from the Disney Renaissance. It was developed against a background of creative transformation and personal feuding at the studio, as Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg attempted to introduce a new, script-led method of making animated films. This article examines the accreditation given to writers in the film’s credits, Katzenberg’s claim to have originated much of the story himself, and the actual slow process of story development from first concept (1988) to finished screenplay (1993). Emphasis is placed on the original creative brief, to produce a Bambi-like film based on ‘[r]eal lion behaviour’, the first story treatment by Thomas M. Disch, the additions to that story made by later writers and directors, and the conflict between more realistic and more fantastical visions of animal behaviour that slowed the movie’s development for years. Based on collections of primary source material not in the public domain, and personal correspondence with many people involved in shaping the movie, this is the first full history of the screenplay of The Lion King.

Discussing the notion of ‘writing for animation’: The case of Dragonkeeper (2020)
Authors: Pablo Castrillo

The project Dragonkeeper (2020) is an animated, international co-production between Spain and China, with the involvement of Dragoia Media, Movistar Plus, Atresmedia Cine and China Film Group, the largest film company in the Middle Kingdom. The film is based on the first of a series of novels by Australian author Carole Wilkinson, published by Walker Books: Dragonkeeper (2003), followed by Garden of the Purple Dragon (2005), and Dragon Moon (2007). This wealth of source materials and diversity of players provides a fertile environment to explore and question the meaning of ‘writing for animation’, as the process advances along the various stages of development of an adaptation and pre-production of an animated feature film. Here it is argued that the screenwriter’s role in an early stage of development should not be affected by the particularities of the medium, but rather, on the effective design of a story that must appeal to global audiences. The true process of ‘writing for animation’ begins once a director provides a unifying vision for the film’s development, entering a collaborative relationship with writers, artists and producers, through the visual means provided by concept art and storyboarding.

Adapting children’s literature for animated TV series: The case of Heidi
Authors: Eleonora Fornasari

Children’s literature includes some classics that are pervasive, thanks to media adaptations that have made them known worldwide such as, among many, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Carrol 1865), Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (Barrie 1906), and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Dahl 1964). It is not by chance that with each new generation, fresh adaptations of children’s classics appear. The following article will focus on the specifics of writing for animated TV series aimed at a children’s audience, comparing two adaptations of Johanna Spyri’s 1880 Swiss novel Heidi: Arupusu no Shôjo Haiji, Heidi (Heidi, Girl of the Alps) (Fuji TV, 1974) and its 3D reboot Heidi (TF1, 2015). Heidi, Girl of the Alps first appeared in Japan in 1974, marking the beginning of the so-called ‘anime-boom’ that lasted till the mid-1980s. The series, comprised of 52 episodes, was produced by Zuiyo Enterprises. Directed by Isao Takahata, it boasts the drawings of Oscar winner Hayao Miyazaki and can be considered the initiator of the ‘Meisaku’ genre, also known as the World Masterpiece Theatre that showcased animated versions of the most beloved western children’s novels. Heidi 3D, instead, is a CGI animation remake of the 1974 anime adaptation, and was produced by Studio 100 in 39 episodes. In this version, Heidi appears as a modernized, more colourful 3D incarnation of herself. The comparison between the two adaptations will show not only how the original material has changed in the transition from one series to the other, but also how animation affects the way in which a story for television is told and plays a role in keeping classic stories ever-new.

Authors: Anna Weinstein And Sarah Whorton And Laura Kirk And Claus Tieber

The Aspiring Screenwriter’s Dirty Lowdown Guide to Fame and Fortune: Tough Lessons You Need to Know to Take Your Script From Premise to Premiere, Andy Rose (2018) Creat ing Compelling Characters for Film, TV, Theat re and Radio, Rib Davis (2016) The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild, Miranda J. Banks (2015) Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960, David Bordwell, Janet Staiger and Kristin Thompson ([1985] 1988)
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