Archives for October, 2017

11th Screenwriting Research Network (SRN) International Conference

· Conferences, News

Writing for cinema. Writing for TV.
11th Screenwriting Research Network (SRN) International Conference

Call for Papers

The 11th Screenwriting Research Network (SRN) International Conference will be hosted by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.
It will take place from Thursday September 13th to Saturday September 15th, 2018.

Abstracts for original paper presentations and panels may be submitted until December 15, 2017.

The main theme of the 2018 Screenwriting Research Network conference is the relationship between cinema and television storytelling. Once two separate worlds, cinema and television narratives are progressively becoming overlapping domains in terms of screenwriting techniques, development methods, careers, contents and audiences.

If authorship, sophisticated drama, address to educated viewers, consideration by the critics had been for long the exclusive marks of stories written for the big screen, this is much less the case today. The cable channels and nowadays the streaming platforms revolution have led to series that have zeroed the distance from cinema artistic quality. Walls between careers have fallen, with prominent screenwriters like Aaron Sorkin, Paul Haggis, Stephen Knight and Steven Zaillian crossing borders between the two industries, writing for both media. Besides, the collaboration of a team of writers/authors in the development of a narrative idea — which is typical of the TV industry writers’ rooms — has started to become a valuable method also in the cinema industry, for example at Pixar, or when narrative potential of comic universes and properties are explored at a studio department as a possible material for franchises.

Yet, differences still exist — cinema is still a director’s medium, whilst TV is a writer’s medium, especially in the American industry that still has a very high share of the markets in any countries — and new ones have emerged — for example the specialization of cinema and TV storytelling in different kind of characters, with heroes and superheroes dominating the big screen, and so called “antiheroes” the TV series.

The conference intends to tackle these issues, discussing them from the wide range of theoretical approaches and professional angles related to the craft of screenwriting.

We are particularly interested in abstracts for presentations on the following topics:

  •   The validity of canonical film narrative structure in writing a TV series.
  •   The different potentialities of television and cinema storytelling for the practice of filmadaptation.
  •   How new platforms and spectatorship habits are influencing the way stories areconstructed for TV.
  •   Do different target audiences (mainstream cinema audience, pay TV channels audiences,broadcast audiences, independent cinema audiences) require a different narrativerhetoric and/or different stories?
  •   Making documentaries for cinema, making documentaries for TV.
  •   The two different production cultures and development processes of cinema and TV.
  •   The superhero narrative: reasons, values and flaws, successes and failures.
  •   The antihero narrative: constants and variations, cultural meanings and social influences.
  •   National specificity in writing for cinema/for Tv
  •   Manuals for TV writing: a not yet fulfilled market demand?

We would also like to invite abstracts for presentations beyond the theme of the conference. We are looking forward to abstracts that cover the wide field of screenwriting studies, including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  •   Practice-based research in the field of screenwriting.
  •   Different screenwriting practices and formats.
  •   Case studies on individual writers or texts.
  •   Historical perspectives on screenwriting and screenplays.
  •   Screenwriting and narrative theory in writing for short films.
  •   Screenwriting for games and animation.
  •   Screenwriting for new media forms, online, transmedia, etc. Are stories fully transferrable from one medium to another?
  •   How does the digital age change screenwriting?
  •   Writing for games (including video games and ARGs)
  •   Writing for online video as a new genre and profession
  •   The history of screenwriting around the globe, including Hollywood
  •   Screenwriting and the pressures of globalization
  •   Screenwriting traditions in different national contexts
  •   Screenwriting and adaptationProposals for individual presentations and pre-constituted panels:
    Time allotted to each paper is 20 minutes plus discussion. Abstracts for original paper presentations and panels may be submitted until December 15, 2017. Earlier submissions are welcome.
    Please note: original, in-person paper presentations only (no repetitions from other conferences or former SRN conferences. Video presentations are not possible).
    Proposals for pre-constituted panels should include no more than three presenters (20 mins for each paper), the overall issue of the panel, abstracts for all of the presentations and, if possible, the name and a short biography of the chair of the panel. The chair should not be one of the presenters. If a proposal for a panel does not include a chair, the conference committee will appoint one.Please send abstracts (250-300 words) as a Word document, with the email subject heading “SRN2018 Proposal” to:
    Remember to state your name, affiliation and contact information. Also include a brief biographical statement (100 words) detailing your publications and/or screenwriting practice.The organising committee plans to notify acceptances/rejections by January 31, 2018. Please see our SRN2018 website at:

    It will be updated with general informations about the conference (keynote speakers, housing, etc.).

    Paolo Braga Armando Fumagalli

SRN Executive Minutes September 2017

· Executive Council

Screenwriting Research Network Executive

Minutes of Executive meeting 14:00 (Vienna time) 22nd September 2017 (by Skype)

Present: Claus Tieber (Chair), Ian Macdonald (Minutes), Ronald Geerts, Carmen Sofia Brenes, Christina Milligan, Anna Zaluczkowska


  1. Executive Council

The Chair opened by welcoming our two new EC members Christina Milligan and Anna Zaluczkowska, and proposed a vote of thanks to the two outgoing members Kerstin Stutterheim and Virginia Pitts, for all their hard work on our behalf. Carried nem con. CT will contact KS and VP.

Action: CT

The division of roles was discussed and apportioned as follows:

Chair                                       Claus Tieber

Deputy Chair                         Christina Milligan

Secretary                                Ian W. Macdonald

Treasurer                               Carmen Sofia Brenes

Membership Secretary        Ronald Geerts

Web Coordinator                  Anna Zaluczkowska

IM offered to provide a contact for VP, to AZ, to allow a hand-over conversation about web and Facebook issues. CT referred to the need to update biogs of EC members, on the website.

Action: IM

  1. New Zealand conference report

IM, CM and CSB reported on what was generally agreed to be a successful and enjoyable conference. Seen to be very well organised and a pleasing mix of industry and ‘academic’ attendees, with no observable divisions between these two camps. It was noted that both academia and industry had sponsorship interests, which might be significant in running a good conference. There was thought to be a good range of papers, some good debate and good networking opportunities, and a notable presence of younger delegates. IM noted that there would be a survey undertaken of those attending, at the behest of the NZ Tourist Board, which includes a couple of questions specified by the SRN.

CT proposed a vote of thanks to Davinia Thornley and her team for their extraordinary work, and including within that the sterling liaison work of Virginia Pitts. He will contact them.

Action: CT

  1. Milano Conference

CT reported he was in touch with Armando Fumagalli, who had shared a draft of the Call for Papers. In discussion, it was expressed that CT’s conversations with AF should note our desire to see a 50/50 balance between industry and academia with keynote speakers.

Action: CT

  1. Action Plan

The EC discussed the Action Plan, as presented to the AGM, point by point. Individual members of the EC were appointed to lead specific activities as follows:

(3) Working Groups: AZ

(4) Archival Project: IM

(5) Bibliography: IM, CSB

(6) Projects Survey: RG

(7) discussed and no action needed

(8) newsletter: CM and CSB to discuss and present ideas next meeting

(9) search for an Early Career Research rep: IM

(10) Awards: all to contact CT with notes on different models for awards. CT will then summarise these for discussion in January.

(11) Survey questions: RG

(12) RG is to consider how membership surveys and information might be used to extend membership in unrepresented territories. IM to discuss with Steven Price, in relation to the Journal of Screenwriting.

(13) CT to contact AF about making a meeting place and time available.

(14) Finance. After some discussion, CT proposed we all consider two questions. First, if we had funds, what would they be used for? And secondly, how to other organisations (SCMS etc.) raise and use their funds? All to report back to CT.

Action: all

  1. Date and time of next meetings

EC members are in agreement that 14:00 Vienna/Brussels time, on the third Friday of the month, are acceptable for future meetings. IM will draw up a list of dates.

Action: IM