Abstract >>This article argues that establishing the screen city begins with the script, and the author makes a case study of her own screenplay, set in an alternative Melbourne where gender hierarchies are reversed. Drawing on scholarship, focusing “attention upon worlds as they are created in films” (Walters, p. 215) this article considers cities as they are created in screenplays. Writing into a gap in screenwriting scholarship, where screen cities are rarely explored, this article seeks to position the work of the screenwriter in creating cities for cinema. Acknowledging screen cities are an illusion, even when shot on location, the discussion suggests they nonetheless begin on the page, skewed by narrative and cast design, as explored through the practice of screenwriting Melbourne.
Cities are not merely replicated in cinema, but constructed anew; reimagined or repurposed according to directorial and photographic point-of-view and the role of the city within that vision. As Richard Koeck and François Penz suggest, the practice of urban planning intersects with filmmaking, in that “filmmakers have had to construct a ‘filmic space’ and render on the screen a ‘city image’ which would be ‘legible’ to a viewer”.1 Little attention, however, is paid to the role of the screenplay in representing – re-presenting – the city in cinema. In the process of screenwriting, how does a city setting inform storyworld, narrative and cast design, and how does the city function therein? Where in the scholarship on screen cities and the ‘city film’ might sit the screenwriter’s contribution to this virtual urban planning? If a city itself becomes its own screen language through light, colours, architecture and costumes,2 does it follow that the city becomes its own screenplay language and, if so, what does that look like? Making a case study of my own Melbourne-based, flipped-reality, comedy screenplay, Funny/Peculiar (2016), this article explores possible answers to these questions, informed and complicated by the story’s representation of both a familiar and an alternate Melbourne; two different ‘city images’ rendered on the page.
The screenplay hinges upon the story of a female protagonist explicitly navigating the challenges of her sex and gender, from positions of both subjugation and privilege in keeping with the flipped-reality premise. Therefore, this exploration of writing the city must also be informed by notions of the gendered city – and, in particular, the gendered screen city. Recognising “the screenwriter, in each screenplay, constructs a specific universe for specific characters suited to bringing out distinctive storyline elements and thematic threads”,3 this quest to write the city brings with it the gendered specificities of the storyworld, further informing the version/s of Melbourne re-presented on the page. This article, then, discusses city and screen city in relation to gender, and then comedy, before exploring the unique task of rendering the flipped and skewed points-of-view of Melbourne inherent in the screenplay’s premise. Finally, I examine the challenges of screenwriting a specific city into existence, especially as complicated by the above considerations.
This article is not a script-to-screen analysis of where the aligned (but, oft thought, separated) practices of screenwriting and filmmaking might intersect in the chain of a film production to create the screen city. As unproduced, the screenplay “reflects the distinct vision of a single writer-researcher” with writing “informed more by discipline specific knowledge than by commercial demands or the expectations of wider audiences or readerships”.4 In other words, this article tracks the discrete practice of screenwriting a city, and the process assumes only a speculative position in the chain of screen production – albeit, informed by the understanding that the text produced is designed to disappear into another, namely, a work of cinema.5 Thus, the focus of the discussion centres upon the screened city in consideration of screenplay conventions, such as storyworld and narrative, and, given that the case study is a screenplay in development, is as much about revising a city, Melbourne, as it is about writing one. While analyses are made within cinema studies of “the role of editing, light and sound in the building of a screen city”,6 few if any examine the role of the perspectives of the city manifested by the screenplay, through techniques of narrative, world building and cast design, perhaps as a result of the relatively sparse analysis of produced screenplays in general, given their perceived lack of literary value.7 Therefore, this article also offers its insights into the challenges of writing the city for editorial consideration in screenwriting revision processes.
Writing the Gendered City
The screenplay under exploration in this article uses the sequencing model8 of feature film screenwriting, and the inciting incident sees the protagonist transported to a Melbourne in a parallel present; a flipped-reality where gendered hierarchies, behaviours and expectations are reversed. As Jo Little, Linda Peak and Pat Richardson wrote nearly 30 years ago (yet which continues to resonate), “as gender relations change so does the way in which men and women create, reproduce and change the environments in which they live. In turn the environment and its transformation, reflects, reproduces and alters gender relations”.9 Taken from the position of cultural geography, this sense of how environments are transformed by notions of gender can be repurposed for the construction of screen cities which, after all, may “influence the perception of our cities in quite a profound way”.10 When attempting to write Melbourne, then, a screenwriter working with gendered themes must also understand that cities, as Gülsüm Baydar writes, are “governed by a masculinist discourse based on hierarchy and coherence”.11 In this way, it becomes clear that while the first of my Melbourne versions is offered to be understood as the existing city – within what Mary Russo would call the ‘indicative’12 world (the world we know) – the protagonist’s point-of-view sees a city already re-gendered, or, at least, one where the hegemonic gendering is critiqued:
While “the sight of a familiar space in a film can momentarily banish the sense of marginality that haunts even the most central urban locations”,14 the writerly choices in this sequence of scenes serve to foreground that same marginality through a deliberately skewed perspective. The ways in which women might not experience “the right of inhabitants to ‘full and complete use’ of urban space in their everyday lives”15 is explored through verb choice (e.g., ‘looms’) and visual storytelling that necessarily pinpoints key events and moments, rather than makes any attempt at a full and faithful rendering of all facets of contemporary Melbourne. The screenplay understands that to write the city – or build screenworlds more broadly – it is important the screenwriter “discards other ‘real world’ elements that could distract the audience from narrative and thematic comprehension”.16 The screenplay makes similar, but opposite, discretionary choices for its first introduction of ‘Melbourne’ as those that skew the New York of Sex and the City (1998).17, as one “belonging to women who are free citizens of their polis [in] a city defined by its people, and most of the people onscreen are interesting and energetic women” 18 This Melbourne, though, belongs to the indicative world, within which exists “the marginal position of women and others”.19
That my screenplay is a comedy is not irrelevant here; the protagonist is deliberately positioned as a misfit within the narrative, and supplies the comic perspective, one which can be described as “a character’s unique way of looking at the world, which differs in a clear and substantial way from the ‘normal’ world view”.20 Assuming “the notion of the universal human being in traditional Western thought who is presented as neutral but is actually founded in a male standard”,21 my protagonist, as female, automatically lacks the ‘normal’ perspective: her way of looking at the world is already ‘unique’. The unquestioned norms of the city, then, ones that may have been “historically decided by men who have shaped the places and spaces of the city along specific notions of appropriate gender behaviors and visibilities”,22 are exposed in my choices as screenwriter, in terms of what is seen, and through whose eyes. For instance:
As the sequence continues, traveling from the leafy suburbs of the domestic sphere to the Friday night macho melee of King Street in Melbourne’s city centre, the two characters negotiate both their full bladders and the dark laneways for both relief and safe passage to their next public transport. From the protagonist’s perspective, the historically gendered city reveals itself to retain a male, and masculine, dominance.
Thus, the work of defining a screen city thematically skewed by the protagonist’s perspectives of sex and gender begins well before the ‘switch’ into the parallel world. The protagonist is a single woman with infrequent income and, as such, lives in a shared house with three others – a domestic space that rejects categorisation as “a private enclosure associated with women and the spatial hierarchies that govern the single-family”.23 Although she has career ambitions pertaining to her live comedy pursuits, her living situation is never presented as a predicament, nor is it transcended through the machinations of, say, a love plot. In this way, the screenplay positions itself within “critiques of models of urban structure that assumed society was composed of nuclear families with traditional sexual divisions of labour”24 and, as such, claims the Central Business District as its territory and site of investigation. The specific universe of this Melbourne, then, sits in contrast to a Melbourne-set comedy such as The Castle (1997)25 where the world is confined to “the very margins of suburbia, where the city meets a wasteland”.26 In fact, their Melbourne deliberately bypasses the city centre, “as it is not only unnecessary to the story, but it also seems superfluous to the daily lives of the characters”.27
This is of relevance, here, in terms of the relationship between the story – the labour of the screenplay – and the representation of the world; for our purposes, the city and, specifically, Melbourne. For Sitch et al.,28 their Melbourne’s aesthetic was, in part, budgetary; in part a deliberate disruption of the “wide-screen mythologizing of the Australian rural landscape” but also, as Justine Lloyd continues, the “emphasis on story rather than filmmaking craft”.29 Here the assumption is that screenwriting and filmmaking are mutually exclusive; that story is separate to the craft of filmmaking. We might consider instead that screenwriting is one component of the filmmaking craft; that story carves out the territory, and therefore the work of building the narrative is part of the work of screening the city. Screenwriter and director Wong Kar-wai acknowledges such work in his assertion that stories arise from the setting, “Because if you know that, then you can decide what the characters do in this space”.30 To write a screenplay, then, is to have already identified the world – and, in the case of this Melbourne, one defined by the perspective of a female protagonist struggling within gendered hierarchies.
Melbourne as Alternative World
The screenplay conforms to a structure that first gives “a sense of what the protagonist’s life would have been like if the events that lead to the story hadn’t interfered”,31 after which the protagonist, literally as well as figuratively, enters the ‘new world’ of the second sequence. In the story of this screenplay, the ‘new world’ is an alternate version of the Melbourne already portrayed. The challenge already, when adhering to such a structure, is that the screenplay has had only a few pages to establish its ‘Melbourne-ness’ – in this case, with laneways, trams, suburban archetypes and as a city suffering an acute (Australian Rules) football ‘fever’.
In terms of narrative theory, the second ‘Melbourne’ of the screenplay might be considered a ‘possible world’ and the screenplay a fictional text offering a world “which imposes its laws upon the reader and determines its own horizons of possibilities”.32 Possible worlds, then, stand in contrast to ‘actual’ worlds and, while a full critical engagement with this term is beyond the scope of this article, it is useful to borrow the suggestion that “‘the ‘actual world’ means ‘the world where I am located’ and all possible worlds are actually from the point-of-view of their inhabitants”.33 While one reading of this notion might suggest my protagonist travels from ‘actual’ Melbourne to ‘possible’ Melbourne, I argue that both of my Melbournes are ‘possible worlds’ in terms of a deliberate imposition of perspective. However, as C. Paul Sellors notes in rejecting the direct mapping of digital imaging upon the ‘possible worlds’ thesis: “it does not necessarily follow that non-actual states of affairs in visual fictions produce possible worlds”.34 Although I do not necessarily accept “that fictions can never articulate possible worlds”,35 I propose that for my second ‘Melbourne’, the differentiation may fall instead to the term ‘potential’ world, whereby protagonists (like mine) “are presented with a potential world that is as tangible and completely formed as the world they depart from.36 I offer, then, the terms ‘Melbourne-skewed’ and ‘Melbourne-flipped’ to describe the cities of my screenplay. Just as stories set in a near-future “emphasize the portrayal of urban visions ‘just around the corner’”,37 ‘Melbourne-flipped’, set in a parallel present, does not offer a feminist utopia; rather, a version of Melbourne, limited by the imagination of the protagonist according to what she thinks she wants. The screenplay anticipates a film that James Walters would classify as belonging to a discrete group within alternative world films, that being those “that include an audacious or inventive narrative development”.38 Specifically, the arrival of ‘Melbourne-flipped’ is facilitated by an inadvertent wish, and thus the city is constructed, in part, by the wish’s wording (a desire to be ‘at the top’) and the perspective of a protagonist already established as politically unengaged and resigned to the systems within which her ambitions flounder. In this way, her perspective is aligned with a version of liberal feminism, as defined by Chris Beasley, whereby she wants “what men have got, rather than questioning its value in any thorough sense”.39 Guided by this perspective, the screenplay creates a Melbourne which gives her “access to opportunities associated with men”,40 by flipping her lived experience of the Melbourne from whence she came:
While not suggesting screenplays do the work of the production designer, labour that would hypothetically extend and advance upon the offers made on the page, my point here is that the narrative, as developed in the screenwriting practice, has directly informed the ‘skew’ of the city. The cast design, where ideally every character, however minor, has a narrative purpose, functions to assemble multiple perspectives through which to see the world; in this case the world of the possible, potential or ‘subjunctive’42 Melbourne. The driver, in the excerpt above, brings an early sense of the dominant world view to a protagonist slowly coming to terms with the flipped reality within which she has found herself, and functions to reinforce and illuminate (for the protagonist, reader and, ultimately, viewer) the subtle changes in the city fixtures.
Melbourne-flipped presents itself as simultaneously strange and familiar. In transplanting the protagonist into a city where she is known by everyone (she is the Prime Minister in this parallel present), and yet no one (her friends have never met her), the screenplay is underpinned by postmodern feminism’s acceptance of multiple and contradictory identities. Moreover, the flipped-reality rests upon a rejection of hierarchical dualisms, especially power and knowledge binaries of Enlightenment thought.43 The screenplay operates under the understanding that an “attack on the dualisms of rational/irrational, subject/object and culture/nature is central to both postmodern and the feminist critiques”.44 The narrative is theoretically and thematically informed by a postmodern feminist sensibility that believes to “overcome the privileging of the male and the devaluing of the female” is to “reject the epistemology that created these categories”,45. The protagonist makes manifest in the screenplay ideas of identity that are “comparativist rather than universalising, refusing unitary notions […] in favour of plural and complex”,46 given she is literally living out two versions of herself within alternate possibilities. By this I mean, while the protagonist first introduced by the screenplay travels from Melbourne-skewed to Melbourne-flipped, it is later revealed the former Prime Minister (that is, the alternate version of herself) has experienced the reverse ‘switch’:47:
This scene repeats and reorients the tram ride made earlier in the screenplay by the original version of the protagonist. As is the tendency of comedy, this scene ‘calls back’ to earlier visual ‘gags’ and extends upon them. The scene, then, focuses on only one aspect of living in the world as a woman, that being, the saturation of unattainable ideal body images and the tactics of the powerful weight loss industries. This Melbourne (and the patriarchal system within which it operates) is seen through the new eyes of, ostensibly, the same character, and thus questioned from an ‘alien’ perspective. In this way, multiple points of view are explored over the two attempted versions of ‘Melbourne’ made by the screenplay. Through these perspectives, the protagonist (both of her) ultimately learns that what she wants is not necessarily what she needs, as part of the redemptive arc of transformation that is a tendency of the three-act structure (to which the sequencing model conforms, with its eight sequences over three acts). She becomes more interested in “destabilising the manifold operations of power” than enjoying the privilege that comes with being part of “a (positive) distinguishable group identity”.49 In other words, a postmodern feminist framework is built into the very fabric of the screenplay, and inflects the re-presentation of the city in similar ways to its intended final medium.
Revising Melbourne’s Melbourne-ness and the Gendered City
Having argued for the place of the screenplay in establishing a screen work’s world and, specifically, carving out the representation of the screen city, I now turn my attention to the challenges of this labour for the screenwriter. I have written elsewhere of the slippery category of practice that is script development50 but, by most commercial definitions, this screenplay – conceived as a research artefact within the academy – has not been ‘in development’ in the mainstream sense. However, in the practice of shaping a story into a narrative through plotting and drafting,51 the screenplay is in development insofar as it has enjoyed multiple drafts and awaits further revision – with the next ‘pass’ homing in on ‘writing the city’. In other words, further drafts can hone the gender perspective more specifically to Melbourne and less generically to gendered cities.
To revise is to understand that “each draft script becomes one more fixed version” and that the “final film […] is another such version”.52 Thus, I note the following strengths and shortcomings of the current draft not to detour into a reflection on practice; rather, to demonstrate the aspects of screenwriting technique that can be honed to inform and propel a cinematic vision; one that promotes the “clear ‘lingering effect’ of films in the fabric of the city portrayed on the screen which may affect our perception of a particular location”53 – in this case, a screened Melbourne.
If, as Wong Kar-wai believes, “the most important thing about the script is to know the space it takes place in”,54 then to set a comedy about comedy in Melbourne is to understand its international standing as a comedy capital with, for instance, the third largest comedy festival in the world.55 In this way, the setting works with the comedy mode56 to dictate what is described and how. The Melbourne of this screenplay, then, simultaneously absorbs and projects the tone, as in this excerpt where the protagonist explores her new – ‘flipped’ reality:
Maureen Thomas writes “It is characteristic of the vast majority of cities in the movies that they focus not on architecture per se, but on architecture as it affects, and is interpreted by, citizens”.58 In terms of presenting a potential, subjunctive Melbourne informed by gendered perspectives, the screenplay understands, to a degree, that the city changes beyond the attitudes of the characters within:
Although this extract explores, through its established comic tone, the ‘Melbourne-ness’ of, firstly, trams; secondly, the city’s unique relationship to the national sport and, thirdly, the existing cityscape that includes Flinders Street Station’s copper dome, here the writing is trying harder to present a gendered city than a version of Melbourne. The work of the text (redressing both the paucity of women’s bathroom facilities and surplus of imagery peddling semi-dressed, unattainable body types) currently functions, through visual storytelling, to flip the reality women experience in any number of contemporary, Western cities. In this way, it understands that “Awareness of the departure from the norm – and hence awareness of the norm – is one of the key ingredients of the comic effect”,60 but it could work harder to populate the scene more vividly with Melbourne, as well as gendered, norms.
At the same time, the screen cities of the screenplay (two Melbournes) could more keenly explore women’s freedom to move safely through cities and “gendered exclusions from the right to the city caused by issues of fear and safety”,61 as in this raw sequence which was not developed further for the current draft:
While this scene’s inclusion may not propel the plot, it presents a Melbourne where the population unites around netball; re-presenting the atmosphere of the sports-obsessed city on the night of a grand final. The characters wander into one of Melbourne’s laneways without risking the high levels of sexual harassment that women might typically experience at night in the Melbourne Central Business District; a city that warrants its own digital map, created by and for women, upon which to report streets as more or less dangerous and “gender neutral”.62 This flipped-reality Melbourne, then, as Thomas writes of the New York of Sex and the City (1998) and which can be similarly applied, “is not the traditional screen city, where men are challenged to take on the violent but exciting streets and protect – or exploit – the women who frequent them, way out of their feminine element”.63
The challenge of screenwriting a city into existence is, as previously noted, related to editorial discernment – the same visionary ability at other stages of the filmmaking chain required to carve out a version of the city that serves the unique universe of the screenworld. Further, a city’s familiar iconography – trams, laneways and landmarks – are tempting yet, in themselves, inadequate elements for incorporation by a screenwriter seeking to write the screen city beyond the simple specifics of location. Writing the experience of the screen city is a broader endeavour, and one perhaps informed by an understanding of point-of-view – foregrounded and facilitated, in my case, by the attempt to write flipped and skewed versions of Melbourne, informed by a postmodern feminist sensibility.
This article asserts that part of the role of the screenwriter is representing – and re-presenting – a city in cinema. Screenwriting practice understands that the city setting informs storyworld, narrative and cast design, and I propose the reverse is also true – that is, these very techniques have the potential to carve out the eventual screen city. The ‘screen idea’ is a term coined by Ian Macdonald and defined, in part, as “a central imaginary that can be viewed from different perspectives.”64 I have argued, then, that if the city is, or is part of, the screen idea, the central imaginary of the city can be viewed – and made manifest – by the different perspectives and practices inherent in the collaborative production of cinema.
The two Melbournes of my script are written with the understanding that a screenplay protagonist “will belong to a specific world, [and] then is likely to be transported to another world, either literally or metaphorically” and that therefore the screenwriter must “know what these worlds are, and how they work for the story”.65 For any film that begins with a screenplay, it is the screenwriter in the first instance responsible for “casting the world”.66 In turn these characters – in a thoughtful cast design – contribute to shaping the version of the screenplay’s city. As Thomas puts it:
Movies most often tell stories, and these stories are usually about people and the relationships between them, so the cities they show are primarily visible on the screen and significant because they are the habitat of the characters in the dramas.67
Thus, the screenplay necessarily incorporates notions of the gendered city, and these considerations create its two Melbourne/s in more far-reaching ways than does the surface iconography. If our screen cities are called into being according to “film-makers’ (sic) relationship to urban space”,68 this article argues they are also intrinsically informed by the characters and story within, and around, which they live.
While cinematic cities are indisputably realised in the vision of screen producers (for example, directors, directors of photography and production designers), and choices are made about “what they take out of our cities to project on to the silver screen”,69 it is often overlooked how this work starts on the pages of the screenplay. Here, decisions are made to determine a knowable world from the endless possibilities inspired by the city – “a semi-permanent but ever-changing built environment or milieu”.70 Just as different directors will project different versions of familiar cities,71 so will different stories, and the perspectives through which they are told, as crafted by the screenwriter. In this case of screenwriting Melbourne, those perspectives are gendered, and the stories influenced by inner city territory claimed by the central characters. As this article argues, while the screenplay “refers only to the screen idea in the head”,72 the specific skew of the city is already established by the screenwriter’s choices, in terms of who inhabits the city, and the eyes through which we see it. As such, cast design and narrative development, each born of the screenplay, are significant contributing factors to the rendering of our screen cities.
This article has been peer reviewed.
- Richard Koeck and François Penz. “Screen City Legibility,” City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action 7, no. 3 (2003): 365. ↩
- François Penz, “Screen Cities Introduction,” ibid.: 363. ↩
- Jule Selbo, “The Constructive Use of Film Genre for the Screenwriter: Mental Space of Film Genre First Exploration,” Journal of Screenwriting 1, no. 2 (2010): 76. ↩
- Dallas Baker, “Scriptwriting as Creative Writing Research: A Preface,” TEXT Special Issue 19: Scriptwriting As Creative Writing Research (2013): 4. ↩
- As French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriére suggests, “the destiny of a screenplay is that it is never complete – or rather that it is only complete when it vanishes or disappears into the film”, as cited in Steven Maras, “The Film Script as Blueprint: Collaboration and Moral Rights,” Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, no. 93 (1999): 147. ↩
- Patricia Kruth, “The Color of New York: Places and Spaces in the Films of Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen,” in Cinema and Architecture: Melies, Mallet-Stevens, Multimedia, ed. François Penz and Maureen Thomas (London: British Film Institute, 1997): 70. ↩
- As Steven Price has put it, “The most familiar and insidious argument against the literary status of the screenplay is that it is nothing more than a planning document” The Screenplay: Authorship, Theory and Criticism (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 44. ↩
- Described by Paul Joseph Gulino as “eight to fifteen minute segments that have their own internal structure – in effect, shorter films built within the larger film” in Screenwriting: The Sequencing Approach (New York and London: Continuum, 2004): 2. ↩
- “Introduction: Geography and Gender in the Urban Environment,” in Women in Cities: Gender and the Urban Environment, ed. Jo Little, Linda Peak, and Pat Richardson (Washington Square: New York University Press, 1988), 12. ↩
- Koeck and Penz, 373. ↩
- “Wo/man in contemporary architectural discourse” in Negotiating Domesticity: spatial productions of gender in modern architecture, ed. Hilde Heynen and Gülsüm Baydar (Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2005), 35. ↩
- The Female Grotesque : Risk, Excess, and Modernity (New York: Routledge, 1995), 60. ↩
- Stayci Taylor, “Funny/Peculiar: A Creative Practice Approach to Flipping Perspective for Female Protagonists in Comedy Screenplays” (Dissertation, RMIT University, 2016), 80-81. ↩
- Patrick Keiller, “The City of the Future,” City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action 7, no. 3 (2003): 382. ↩
- Tovi Fenster, “The Right to the Gendered City: Different Formations of Belonging in Everyday Life,” Journal of Gender Studies 14, no. 3 (2005): 219. ↩
- Selbo, 76. ↩
- Darren Star, “Sex and the City,” (USA: Home Box Office (HBO), 1998). ↩
- Thomas, 410. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- John Vorhaus, The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You’re Not (St. Leonards, N.S.W: Allen & Unwin, 1994), 31. ↩
- Chris Beasley, What Is Feminism Anyway? : Understanding Contemporary Feminist Thought (St Leonards: Allen & Unwin, 1999), 82. ↩
- Maureen A. Flanagan and Maryann Gialanella Valiulis, “Introduction: Gender and the City: The Awful Being of Invisibility,” Frontiers 32, no. 1 (2011): xiv. ↩
- Baydar, 41. ↩
- Little, Peak, and Richardson, 11. ↩
- Rob Sitch, “The Castle,” (Australia: Village Roadshow Entertainment, 1997). ↩
- Justine Lloyd, “The Politics of Dislocation: Airport Tales, The Castle,” in Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context, ed. Mark Shiel and Tony Fitzmaurice (Oxford and Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2001), 171. ↩
- Ibid, 175. ↩
- Director Rob Sitch co-wrote the screenplay with Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Jane Kennedy, as part of Working Dog, a team which “appears to exemplify ‘true collaboration’ with the team working across all projects in a variety of ways” Lisa French, “A ‘Team’ Approach: Sue Brooks, Sue Maslin and Alison Tilson,” ed. Lisa French, Womenvision: Women and the Moving Image in Australia (Melbourne: Damned Publishing, 2003), 293. This suggests, perhaps, that the oft assumed discrete processes of ‘screenwriting’ and ‘filmmaking’ are already collapsed in their process. ↩
- 174. (emphasis added) ↩
- “The Place Comes before the Story,” in Moviemakers’ Master Class: Private Lessons from the World’s Foremost Directors, ed. Laurent Tirard (New York and London: Faber & Faber, 2002), 197. ↩
- Gulino, 14. ↩
- Marie-Laure Ryan, “Possible Worlds Theory,” in Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory, ed. David Herman, Manfred Jahn, and Marie-Laure Ryan (London and New York: Routledge, 2005), 447. ↩
- Ibid., 446. ↩
- “The impossibility of science fiction: against Buckland’s possible worlds,” Screen 41, no, 2 (2000), 205. ↩
- Ibid, emphasis in original. ↩
- James Walters, Alternative Worlds in Hollywood Cinema: Resonance between Realms (Bristol and Chicago: Intellect Books, 2008), 113. ↩
- Koeck and Penz, 368. ↩
- Walters, 213. ↩
- Beasley, 52. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Taylor, 98-99. ↩
- Russo has termed as ‘subjunctive’ “the possible world of the topsy-turvy”, 60. ↩
- Susan J. Hekman, Gender and knowledge: elements of a postmodern feminism (Cambridge: Polity, 1992), 8. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Lucy Bolton, Film and Female Consciousness: Irigaray, Cinema and Thinking Women (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 3. ↩
- As argued previously, the flipped reality device functions differently from other ‘switch’ narratives where “the default world remains the same, with all of its entrenched cultural, social and political norms still intact” – see, Taylor, S 2016, ‘In Her Shoes: flipped-realities and female perspectives in comedy screenwriting’, Senses of Cinema no. 80 <http://sensesofcinema.com/2016/new-directions/in-her-shoes-flipped-realities-and-female-perspectives-in-comedy-screenwriting/> ↩
- Taylor, 154-55. ↩
- Beasley, 82. ↩
- See, for example, Stayci Taylor and Craig Batty, “Script Development and the Hidden Practices of Screenwriting: Perspectives from Industry Professionals,” New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing 13, no. 6 (2015). ↩
- Linda Aronson, for instance, breaks down the process of this individual pursuit into twenty-five “development strategies”: The 21st-Century Screenplay: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Tomorrow’s Films (Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 2010), x-xi. ↩
- Ian W. Macdonald, Screenwriting Poetics and the Screen Idea (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 4. ↩
- Koeck and Penz, 373. ↩
- 197. ↩
- https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/about-us/background. ↩
- Like film scholar Geoff King, I reject the classification of comedy as ‘genre’, believing, as he suggests, that “Comedy is a mode – a manner of presentation – in which a variety of different materials can be approached, rather than any relatively more fixed or localised quantity” and that “any genre might be treated as a subject for comedy” – see Film Comedy (London: Wallflower Press, 2002), 2. ↩
- Taylor, 108-09. ↩
- Thomas, 410. ↩
- Taylor, 108. ↩
- King, 130. ↩
- Fenster, 218. ↩
- Olivia Lambert, “Women reveal harrowing stories of sexual harassment and abuse they cop on Melbourne Streets,” 29 March 2017 <http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/women-reveal-harrowing-stories-of-sexual-harassment-and-abuse-they-cop-on-melbourne-streets/news-story/9e15de77fe471d8e71822cdd5ffd61d8#sharehash> ↩
- Thomas, 410. ↩
- Macdonald, 6. ↩
- Craig Batty, Screenplays: How to Write and Sell Them (Harpenden, Herts: Kamera Books, 2012), 47. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Thomas, 410. ↩
- Kruth, 70. ↩
- Penz, 362. ↩
- Elizabeth Grosz, “Bodies-Cities,” in Sexuality and Space, ed. Beatriz Colomina (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992), 244. ↩
- See, just for one of many examples, the New Yorks of directors Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese as discussed by Kruth. ↩
- Macdonald, 187. ↩