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Renegotiating the screenplay: Drawing as a method for narrative development in a short film

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This article considers a non-written form of screenplay. In so doing, it illustrates a trajectory of thinking where drawing methods were employed in the development of a cinematic narrative. These visual approaches replaced creative processing normally associated with writing. In discussing the author’s short film Sparrow, the exposition examines three processes. The first method, gestational drawing, was employed as a ‘story finding’ device. The second, immersive drawing, was used to refine thematic intensity in the work. Finally, directorial drawing was employed as a catalyst for discussion when collaborating with actors and production crew. In discussing these drawing methods, the article proposes the concept of ‘screenplay’ as a verb and an active space where a developer of cinematic narratives might work beyond the parameters of writing, to ideate, refine and artistically compose image-led, cinematic narratives.
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Keywords: compositional space; directorial drawing; gestational drawing; immersive drawing; non-writing-based methods; ‘screenplaying’

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000107057067Auckland University of Technology

Publication date: June 1, 2021

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Screenwriting aims to explore the nature of writing for the moving image in the broadest sense, highlighting current academic thinking around scriptwriting whilst also reflecting on this with a truly international perspective and outlook. The journal will encourage the investigation of a broad range of possible methodologies and approaches to studying the scriptwriting form, in particular: the history of the form, contextual analysis, the process of writing for the moving image, the relationship of scriptwriting to the production process and how the form can be considered in terms of culture and society. The journal also aims to encourage research in the field of screenwriting, the linking of scriptwriting practice to academic theory, and to support and promote conferences and networking events on this subject.
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