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Analysing the screenplay: A comparative approach

Analysing the screenplay: A comparative approach

O'Thomas, Mark ORCID: 0000-0001-9264-8813 (2010) Analysing the screenplay: A comparative approach. In: Nelmes, Jill, (ed.) Analysing The Screenplay. Routledge, London, pp. 237-251. ISBN 978-0415556347

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Screenplays are functional objects – they exist to provide a blueprint for filmmakers to construct their films. In this sense, they are not simply screenplays or plays for the screen in the same way as their theatrical counterpart: the play. Plays are written down and often published, which enables them to be read by an interested readership and also serves to authenticate the place of drama in a literary canon. However, the central and most important consequence of plays being documented in this way is that it affords them the possibility of being performed again. The publishing of plays, then, carries with it enormous historical importance in the continuation of a dramatic tradition and enables us not only to reflect on aspects of dramas written long ago but also offers up the opportunity to reproduce such dramas in new and invigorating ways. The screenplay, in contrast, is a frozen entity – published after the fact of its making in celluloid, it serves in this post-production, post-blueprint guise as documentation of the film that already exists. Whereas plays can work hermeneutically in a circle of birth and rebirth, screenplays, post-event, will always figure as a referent to another kind of text entirely.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: screenplay; play text; creative writing
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Department of Literature, Language & Theatre
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2018 15:52
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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