A History of the Screenplay

Overview

Today's Hollywood screenplays have a uniform appearance, but it has not always been this way. The earliest film writing used theatrical plays and prose fiction as models, and the silent cinemas of Germany, Russia and the United States all developed their own traditions, culminating in the unique 'screen poetry' of Carl Mayer. Hollywood studios adapted to writing for sound in different ways, while European author-directors such as Ingmar Bergman made film writing as personal a form of expression as poetry. Later, ...

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Overview

Today's Hollywood screenplays have a uniform appearance, but it has not always been this way. The earliest film writing used theatrical plays and prose fiction as models, and the silent cinemas of Germany, Russia and the United States all developed their own traditions, culminating in the unique 'screen poetry' of Carl Mayer. Hollywood studios adapted to writing for sound in different ways, while European author-directors such as Ingmar Bergman made film writing as personal a form of expression as poetry. Later, American writers as diverse as William Goldman, David Mamet and Charlie Kaufman showed that the screen writer could be as important and distinctive a figure as any director, while today's digital technology is transforming screenwriting once again. Steven Price traces the history of the screenplay, illustrating its transformations with detailed discussion of a wide range of examples from the beginnings of cinema to the present day.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230291812
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/26/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

STEVEN PRICE teaches English and American Literature and Film at Bangor University, UK. He is the author of The Screenplay: Authorship, Theory and Criticism (Palgrave, 2010), The Plays, Screenplays and Films of David Mamet and (with William Tydeman) Oscar Wilde: Salome. He has also contributed to a number of edited collections of essays, and is editor of 'The David Mamet Review'.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Prehistory of the Screenplay
2. Copyright Law, Theatre, and Early Film Writing, 1904-1912
3. Outlines and Scenarios, 1904-1917
4. The Continuity Script, 1912-1929
5. The Silent Film Script in Europe
6. The Coming of Sound
7. The Hollywood Sound Screenplay to 1948
8. Narrative Fiction and European Screenwriting, 1948-1960
9. The master-scene Screenplay and the 'New Hollywood'
10. The Contemporary Screenplay and the Screenwriting Manual
11. Screenwriting Today and Tomorrow
12. Conclusion
Bibliography

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