Beyond the page: Crowdsourcing as a case study for digital screenwriting techniques

Finnegan, John ORCID logoORCID: (2017) Beyond the page: Crowdsourcing as a case study for digital screenwriting techniques. New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film, 15 (2). pp. 209-228. ISSN 14742756

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Abstract / Summary

Research has shown how the practice of screenwriting has always been affected by technological shifts. These moments in history both mirror the current state of digital screen production and provide a rationale for debating the twenty-first-century changes in screenwriting practices. The origin of the screenplay form is linked to the evolution of the cinema apparatus and though many sectors of cinema have benefited from a migration into the digital realm, the field of screenwriting practice has been slow to follow. In Screenwriting in a Digital Era (2014), Kathryn Millard draws parallels between the screenplay and other forms of visual storytelling and describes screenwriting as a multimodal craft. Changing production practices combined with recent shifts in independent film production demonstrated how screenwriters incorporate new and unconventional methods of communicating what Ian W. MacDonald refers to as the ‘screen idea’ into their work. Kickstarter fundraising campaigns, as one example, is one such method of communicating the screen idea through multi modal methods. An analysis of these campaigns reveals a surprising lack of attention given to the screenplay, instead relying on social media blurbs, visual pitch trailers, conceptual artwork and a multitude of other media. This paper will present a case study based on a short film, Still Life (Mac Coille, 2014), that used a crowdfunding campaign in its production, which included a combination of the screenplay and visual aids, such as conceptual artwork and a pitch trailer. The thesis of this article will be further bolstered by other examples that support the hypothesis that future screenwriting practices will include these new technologies and methods as a mainstay.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1386/ncin.15.2.209_1
ISSN: 14742756
Subjects: Writing & Journalism > Creative Writing
Technology > Digital Works
Film & TV
Film & TV > Film > Hollywood Film
Writing & Journalism > Creative Writing > Professional Writing
Writing & Journalism
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > English & Writing
Depositing User: John Finnegan
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2018 11:13
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:28


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