What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting

Paul Jarrico
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www.cantinesanpancrazio.it/components/lamorysap/605-come-faccio-a.php Ideologically, his scripts are all over the map, but movies like the hippie-killing fantasy Joe and the slave exploitation flick Mandingo share a fundamental lack of inhibition. He invented his Tramp character in and began writing and directing shorts for him later that year.

Is it a visual medium? Not entirely. Film has the opportunity to present a sublime truth in front of you — unanticipated but instantly recognized. Chaplin worked with methodical preparation. It takes enormous planning to be effortless. Screenwriting takes many forms; not all of it with a cup of coffee in the morning at your keyboard. Decades later, the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award is handed out at Sundance each year to the best screenwriters in the business. This is actually the essence of E.

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His scripts provide no easy answers, exploring dark corners of the human psyche with irreverence, glamour, and panache; his films feel fresh and challenging, particularly when it comes to detailing the nature of desire. Ramis not only wrote Ghostbusters but co-starred as weirdo scientist Egon Spengler, mirroring his real-life niche as the goofball intellectual of his sketch-comic peer group. Ramis excelled at writing jokes and banter in the voice of his cast members, making improv-bred comedians sound so much like themselves they barely had to improvise.

It helped that his regulars included Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, who knew a few things about timing. His sense of structure and story matured immensely from the early days Stripes, Caddyshack, Animal House to Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day , the films critics most admired. But his influence as a writer was undeniably seismic. Of course, there is no Manhattan or Crimes and Misdemeanors without Bergman.

His ability to work similar themes over and over again in his films — often with the same rotating cast of actors — also offered an example of a working style many others including his most notorious devotee, Woody Allen have tried to emulate. Through the ideas that he explored in his films — our place in the universe, the silence of God, the subtle power of influence and identity — and the way he explored them, Bergman pointed several generations of filmmakers toward an engagement with the biggest questions of our time.

Frankly, we could use a couple more like him today. His subject is the human heart, which he mercilessly exposes and breaks down until there is nothing left but the soul, the starkly existential. When Herman J. Mankiewicz first met Orson Welles he was, to put it mildly, a mess.

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Mankiewicz was first a newspaperman acting as a Berlin correspondent for the Chicago Tribune as well as a drama critic for The New Yorker. His knowledge of this landscape led to much of the touching particulars used in Citizen Kane to construct the megalomaniac at its center.

He was at the height of his prowess through the s and s with much of his work going uncredited including Dinner at Eight, Dancers in the Dark, and uncredited input on a little film called The Wizard of Oz. His humor was sleek, his satire bracing, his handling of character steadfastly nuanced. Mankiewicz embodied a sparkling levity that he made look easy, which embodied a signature of Hollywood at the time that is sorely missed. Sometimes, nice guys finish first. Levinson, like Woody Allen before him, began his career writing jokes for variety shows, which led to a partnership with Mel Brooks, with whom he co-wrote High Anxiety and Silent Movie.

Hecht was famously brought to Hollywood by a telegram from Herman J. One of his greatest gifts was undoubtedly his dialogue, which was tough, sly, and brimming with panache. Selznick who hired Hecht for ultimately uncredited work on Gone With the Wind. Hecht brought wit to gangster films and noir like Notorious, had a hand in definitive screwball comedies including His Girl Friday and Monkey Business, and injected bracing emotional truth into action-adventure films like Gunga Din.

For a film auteur so steeped in mystery, David Lynch has let the public in on an awful lot of his creative process. The mind-bending collapsing of story, the melding of characters, the startling images; you enter a dream when you see one of his films.

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Mulholland Drive? Never mind that you have to figure out a way to interpret the crazy creatures and lands Tolkien imagined. You also have to organize it so it makes sense, make all the hard-core fans happy, and keep it moving quickly enough that your average casual moviegoer is eager to hand over 15 bucks to watch 10 hours of your childhood obsession. And not just from husband-and-wife duo Jackson and Walsh. What they produced ultimately feels as magical as the worlds it created. Their fourth would not suffer the same fate. Back to the Future , which Zemeckis directed, was a smash hit sci-fi comedy that launched Michael J.

Fox to stardom, spawned two sequels and remains a part of the pop-culture Zeitgeist 30 years later. Not that anyone could have predicted it. Finally, with the help of Steven Spielberg, Zemeckis and Gale got the movie made and followed it with two successful sequels, all of them relying on the wry humor of exceedingly relatable characters existing in a completely unrealistic world. The two screenplays that Scott Frank considers his most uncharacteristic also, in some sense, contain the secret to his success.

That would be Out of Sight. Or Minority Report. Or Logan. Or Get Shorty. Or … But they embody his ease with emotions. He crafts classy, high-level, character-driven hits. The heir apparent to James L. Brooks and Cameron Crowe, Apatow navigates the tricky middle ground between comedy and drama, landing in the realm of the great humanist filmmakers, who see life as something worth laughing and crying about in equal measure.

For the duration of his singular career , Linklater has simply done things his own way, precisely how he wants them.

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This is not to say Linklater has never changed: There is a wisdom and comfort in his recent work, an old dog not afraid to learn some new tricks. Turns out the slacker was the ultimate professional the whole time.

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Everyone from Owen Wilson to Noah Baumbach has collaborated with him. We believe in his movies because we feel the love and care he puts into every page. Though his sensibility and fingerprints are on every single one of his films, Spielberg has only one solo screenplay credit: Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It may be the most humanist film to ever climax with the arrival of an alien spaceship. Artificial Intelligence. And you know what?

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It works. As a screenwriter, you have to appreciate that. His scripts for Gladiator, The Aviator, and Hugo balance a taste for sheer epic grandeur with a deep sympathy for strugglers thrust into extraordinary and extraordinarily demanding circumstances. Whether working with Shakespeare or Sondheim or James Bond or Xenomorphs, Logan knows how to mine a fascinating idea or two from what could easily be a cut-and-dry adaptation job or franchise gig. He makes blockbusters for the adventurous, thinking moviegoer, who appreciates a bit of self-doubt in or homoerotic tension between two Michael Fassbender—played robots.

Maybe Arriaga just needs time to develop into a director worthy of his own writing. Or maybe the partnership was inimitable, a temporary marriage of egos that helped lead the 21st-century Mexican film Renaissance. There was a period in the late s when just about everybody had The Usual Suspects on their list of the greatest scripts ever written. Not all of these movies were hits, but they have all helped to make McQuarrie the kind of screenwriter whose name in the credits immediately makes discerning viewers take notice. Which is odd, because Foote was a chronicler of small-town life, his tales filled with subtle longings, simmering regrets, and muted emotions — a far cry from the blistering works of fellow TV pioneers Rod Serling and Paddy Chayefsky.

Foote was never one to take random gigs or to compromise his vision; he stuck to writing about the people and places he knew best, and he wound up doing it for almost 70 years, a career of startling longevity. His adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird is arguably the greatest literary adaptation in history. Gary Ross worked as a political speechwriter before moving to movies full-time, and his best work has the feel of an American fable.

An ordinary man becomes the president of the United States. A teenage girl from the backwoods takes a stand against an oppressive government. To borrow an image from Pleasantville , Gary Ross paints in vibrant primary colors. He writes with so much heart and confidence. She passed away in at 62, shortly after turning in her draft for The Empire Strikes Back ; Lucas would go on to rewrite the script with Lawrence Kasdan, but he ultimately gave Brackett co-credit alongside Kasdan because, as some film scholars have opined, her core story beats survived.

Post- Matrix , the Wachowski siblings have gotten a bad rap.

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Additionally, we have complete and unrestricted access to both an old Anglican church and rundown, early 's square foot mansion. Small Cast. Film has the opportunity to present a sublime truth in front of you — unanticipated but instantly recognized. Sometimes, nice guys finish first. Return to Book Page. And not just from husband-and-wife duo Jackson and Walsh.

But few purveyors of popcorn material approach their work with as much humanity and emotional intelligence as they do. Even in their breakout indie film Bound is as sweet a love story as it is a smart little clockwork crime yarn. But the Wachowskis are filmmakers who think in big-budget scale because the themes they return to — heroes transcending a restrictive society, and tapping into their secret, quasi-mystical potential — are big-budget themes.

Few screenwriters in the past two decades have been as fearlessly inventive. And the script for Cloud Atlas is also brilliant. It was the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with Howard; the pair would team up with Opie again on Splash , Parenthood , and EDtv. Their lines are sharp, hilarious, and play much deeper than gags are supposed to play.

But his two films co-written with Nicholas Pileggi are arguably the peak of his career. Though The Departed comes close. Few writers could capture basic human phenomena like Robert Altman. Even Fairfax, well-known in the business by the s, experienced this problem. Women, particularly those who had long careers in the industry, handled these problems with autonomy and authorship in a number of ways. They also became writing department and company heads, joined or formed independent units or companies, held multiple positions as writers, directors, and producers, and organized writing guilds.

Marion quickly discovered that the only way to maintain complete control over her script was to be the writer and director. Sidney Drew. Wing and William E. The collaborative, egalitarian nature of their work and their presence in the upper echelons meant they had a hand in the final product. In addition, women were tackling inequities as active members of societies and leagues launched to protect authorship and autonomy.

Johns helped her secure the meeting with Weber that launched her career. The industry that afforded them jobs and sometimes lucrative careers had altered drastically. Maher argues that the transformation of Hollywood into a business with both a national and international market and a centralized producer system pushed women from positions of power and left little room for both the independent and collaborative working culture women were used to.

She notes, however, that such changes affected predominantly producers, directors, and editors, as women screen writers continued working into sound. Johns, did make the transition into sound, but they faced a severely altered professional environment. Drew and Williams, who made names for themselves in serials, discovered the form no longer desirable. Though long out of the business by the coming of sound, Gauntier noted in a letter to Photoplay that changes in the industry had made it impossible for her to continue working. I went with Universal for a short time, when the new plant, Universal City, was opened.

After being master of all I surveyed, I could not work under the new conditions. They were quickly fading from the public limelight. Women who wrote for the screen in the silent era, however, did leave their mark. They were a significant part of concretizing the language of their craft.

They legitimized writing for the screen as a new medium at a time when screen writing was not a discipline and only beginning to be a business. And they offered constructive views on the art of photoplay writing. There is still much work to be done on how women distinguished themselves as writers, sometimes resisting the formulaic Hollywood model of storytelling.

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Studies also need to explore how they struggled to establish authorship in the wake of industry changes, and how and why some women writers adjusted to these changes. This essay does not have a selected bibliography, please see the complete project bibliographies for more resources. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Overviews Pioneers Resources About Search. In Partnership with. Table of Contents:.

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Anita Loos, June Mathis, circa s. MGM portrait, Frederica Sagor, Mary Pickford and Frances Marion. See also Holliday, Norden also notes that women in the teens were poorly paid and frequently did not receive screen credit. He mentions the case of Grace Adele Pierce who was not credited for adapting Judith of Bethulia from the Bible, poem, and play. Jordan, , 9. Doran Company, , ; see also Carr, McCann, , 15, 35, May Hershel Clarke. Clark, eds. She also argues on the same page that there are more women than men writing in Hollywood. W and f.

See also note Toronto: University of Toronto Press, , Scott, Hollywood. Johns Dies. The book plays out generally chronologically, with major sections devoted to major events and major writers, particularly those who best encapsulated a particular era or were a force unto themselves Ben Hecht, Paddy Chayefsky. Jun 05, Steven rated it really liked it. Really cool history of the film industry from the perspective of the writer from the silent era, through talkies, the blacklist, Easy Rider days, 80's blockbusters and post modern Tarantino.

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What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting [Marc Norman] on ipunalukuv.ml *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. “Fascinating.” — Los Angeles. What Happens Next book. Read 14 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Screenwriters have always been viewed as Hollywood's.

The early writers were interesting characters themselves. Cool insights into the writing of Star Wars and a breakdown of Pulp Fiction. Sep 25, Karen Krizanovich rated it it was ok. A bit overwritten so far but hey Oct 10, Mike Horne rated it liked it. Nice little history of Hollywood from the perspective of screenwriters. Read it for my Film Studies class. Good reading! May 27, Brynn rated it really liked it Shelves: Fascinating history. The writers so often get shorted in favor of the stars, directors and even producers.

It was great to finally read a book about the industry that puts the story tellers first. Oct 25, Nancy Loe marked it as to-read. Dec 27, Sidney rated it it was amazing. A fascinating book for anyone with a serious interest in the history of the film industry. Phil Thompson rated it really liked it Feb 20, Matthew Richards rated it it was amazing Jan 03, Christian rated it really liked it May 13, Matthew Zoni rated it it was amazing Nov 17, Clay Griffith rated it really liked it Apr 14, Jonathan rated it it was amazing Jan 14, Max Lance rated it it was amazing Nov 23, Bing Gordon rated it really liked it May 07, Graham rated it really liked it Dec 21, Isaac rated it really liked it Feb 28, Nick Martin rated it liked it Feb 11, Deek Kay rated it really liked it Nov 09, David Copelovici rated it really liked it Feb 07, Edward Crawford rated it really liked it Dec 02, Adam Morgan rated it liked it Mar 27, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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