CSCI Research Seminar Series: Screenwriting in the Academy

Events — Research Seminar Online
13 April 2021, 15:00

Screenwriting’s history within the academy is relatively new, but as every aspect of our lives has been enveloped in screen culture over the past 20 years, so the question of how we research and teach screenwriting has become increasingly important. Organisations such as the Screenwriting Research Network (founded 2006) and Intellect’s Journal of Screenwriting (first published 2010) speaks to the rise is this interest and activity, as well does the overall increase in UK UG and PG courses offering screenwriting as a subject.

Please join us for this seminar presenting four perspectives on screenwriting as practice research and as an industry production tool and reflect on some of the questions that arise. Are there differences between screenwriting as research and screenwriting within the context of industry production? What is the value of a screenplay beyond its function as a blueprint for screen production? What can a screenplay uniquely offer as a research tool?

The seminar will take the format of a panel presentation and discussion with Q & A. PhD researcher Mike Gibas will introduce his current screenwriting research methodology around the biopic and cinematic ‘origin’ stories and reflect on how he devised a conceptual framework for this work, in conversation with his supervisor, Laura Dietz. Writer and AL, Toby Venables, will talk about his experience of co-writing the Netflix socio-horror film His House and how his industry experience impacts his teaching. Researcher and lecturer, Sarah Gibson Yates will discuss how she deployed an adapted form of screenwriting as a narrative strategy within her novel for young adults as part of her Creative Writing PhD thesis.

Participant Biographies:

The Researcher: Mike Gibas is a Creative Writing PhD student at ARU. His research project involves the creation of a biopic screenplay based on the lives of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the two men behind the multi-billion-dollar Marvel Comics Universe, combined with an analysis of cinematic ‘origin’ stories, their enduring popularity and cultural power.

The Research Supervisor: Laura Dietz (Senior Lecturer, ARU) is a novelist who combines writing fiction with the study of reading, science in literature, and digital literary culture. She supervises and examines PhDs in Creative Writing, including screenwriting projects. The Industry Expert and Lecturer: Toby Venables (Associate Lecturer, ARU) is a screenwriter, novelist and journalist who also lectures on related topics at ARU. He is currently working on a TV series using virtual production techniques and was co-writer of the Netflix socio-horror film His House (2020), Directed by Remi Weekes, premiered at Sundance earlier that year. His House has so far received four BIFA awards and four BAFTA nominations.

The Researcher, Filmmaker and Lecturer: Sarah Gibson Yates (Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Film and Media Combined Hons., ARU) is a multimodal writer of fiction and non-fiction that explores our relationship to the digital and to the screen mind. She has a background in fiction, non-fiction and experimental filmmaking, an MA in screenwriting (UEA) and has taught screenwriting within HE for over 14 years.

Script Fragment - Simon Payne
Script Fragment - Simon Payne

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