Abstract

This exegesis investigates the process of screenwriting for feature films, and in particular, science fiction films. It asks the question: can screenwriting templates, or ‘principles of feature film screenwriting’, as found in the multitude of “how to write a screenplay” books, and scholarly works that have been published in the last forty years, actually help a screenwriter craft a ‘better’ screenplay; a screenplay that meets the requirements of investors, producers, and audiences alike? To do this, the author first examines many of the more popular, highly reviewed, and well-regarded screenplay writing books, and scholarly publications. I then examine ten examples of science fiction films – successful and unsuccessful; high budget and low-budget – to see if those films are consistent with the idea that the basic principles of successful screenplay construction correlate with commercial success in this particular genre. This research is then combined with concepts originally formulated by Joseph Campbell, Sigmund Freud, and Constantin Stanislavski, to develop a step-by-step plan for each stage of the screenwriting process. Finally, this development plan is tested by using it as the basis for the creative work associated with this exegesis – the writing of a screenplay for a low-budget science fiction film called The Strange Case of Emily Wilkinson - from its original idea through to a Third Draft ready to present to the marketplace in order to seek production finance.

Year Manuscript Completed

2018

Disciplines

Film and Media Studies | Screenwriting

Keywords

Motion picture authorship.

Primary Language of Manuscript

EN

01Front.pdf (506 kB)

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Screenwriting Commons

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