The Network was established in 2006 by Ian Macdonald as the ‘Re-thinking the Screenplay group’ when it became clear that there was interest across the world towards research on screenwriting, but individual scholars tended to be isolated. At that time screenplays were not the focus of sustained analysis.
Screenwriting, the generation of ideas and the process of development of the screen idea before production are complex collaborative creative activities. They raise questions about existing and future industrial practice, structures, and power, about cultural variation and influence and about individual taste, judgement and habitus.
The screenplay is both process and product, surrounded by industrial convention and rarely questioned as an appropriate industrial tool. Its defining conditions and values are often assumed to be ‘natural’ rather than critically understood. The research undertaken aims to demonstrate where the screenplay form is limited, to offer reasons why this is the case, and to suggest other possibilities for expressing, or understanding the expression of, the screen idea.
The value of research activity on screenwriting is important both for practitioners and for theorists, if indeed these are separate. It lies in the comprehensive critical analysis of the screenplay form and of screen idea development practice from different informed viewpoints, in mapping conventional practice and in the possible development of potential forms of expression and documentation of the screen idea outside the current conventions.
The SRN constitution can be found here: SRN Constitution 2012 am 2014.
In September 2016 at the 9th SRN Conference in Leeds, the Fifth Annual General Meeting elected the new executive council (2016-17). The six members of the council are:
Claus Tieber, Chairperson, is lecturer at the University of Vienna. Head of several research projects. Habiliation (post-doc thesis) about the history of the American screenplay (Schreiben für Hollywood. Das Drehbuch im Studiosystem. Münster et al: Lit Verlag 2008), Publications about storytelling in silent cinema (Stummfilmdramaturgie. Erzählweisen des amerikanischen Feature Films 1917 – 1927. Münster et al: Lit Verlag 2011), Hindi cinema and filmmusic. Website: tieber.wordpress.com
Kerstin Stutterheim, Deputy Chairperson, is a filmmaker, practice-based researcher and Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Bournemouth University. She is author of Handbuch Angewandter Dramaturgie. Vom Geheimnis filmischen Erzählens – Film, TV und Games / Handbook Applied Dramaturgy. About the secrets of cinematic narration – Film, TV and Games (2015, Peter Lang Publishing) and has also published on media production and the cultural background of the Third Reich, and the history and aesthetics of documentary film. Kerstin led the EU-funded practice-based research project “Anything is a Story Telling Device”. She acts as editor for the book series Media Production & Media Aesthetics at Peter Lang Publishing and is on the Editorial Board of Klassiker des Osteuropaeischen Kinos (Classics of East European Cinema) at Schueren Verlag. Memberships include AGDok, SCMC and Cinegraph Babelsberg. Kerstin has a page at Academia.edu
Carmen Sofía Brenes, Treasurer, full professor of poetics and screenwriting at Universidad de los Andes (Chile), Carmen is interested in the practical and professional current validity of Aristotle’s Poetics in screenwriting. Following Paul Ricoeur and Juan José García-Noblejas, she sees an analogy between the theory of human action and the theory of the audiovisual text. She has published two books on screenwriting, and has conducted screenwriting and film reception workshops in Latin America and Europe. She also works as a consultant on screenwriting projects in Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, Spain and Belgium. She has a page at Academia.edu and tweets with @csbrenes
Ronald Geerts originally trained as a photographer, cinematographer and screenwriter. He teaches theatre and film at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and screenwriting history and theory at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He was guest lecturer at the drama and at the writing departments of RITCS, School of Arts, Brussels and held the André Vandenbunder Chair at the University of Antwerp. His research interests and publications stretch from contemporary Flemish theatre in its international context to the use of narrative and dramaturgical strategies in theatre, film and television, the genetic study of the screenplay and the history of screenwriting in Belgium. Ronald is vice chair of the ‘Arts du spectacle’ department at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, serves on the Board of the Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema and Sound (RITCS), School of Arts, and is a member of the selection commission of the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF). He has a page at Academia.edu
Ian Macdonald, Secretary, is Senior Lecturer in Screen Studies at Leeds University. He researches and teaches media practice, with screen narrative and screenwriting as his main research interest. Since 2010 has been Co-Editor of the Journal of Screenwriting (Intellect Books), and since 2012 co-editor of the book series Palgrave Studies in Screenwriting. His last book, Screenwriting Poetics and the Screen Idea, has being published by Palgrave Macmillan. He has a page at Academia.edu
Virginia Pitts, Communication, is a filmmaker and independent scholar. She has held lectureships at the University of Kent and the University of Waikato. Recent practice-based research explores how improvisation, kinesthetics and musicality can be harnessed to invigorate collaborative screenplay development techniques. Virginia’s films have screened at 30 international film festivals (including Berlin, Montreal, Locarno, Chicago), toured art galleries and sold to television. Virginia has published on collaborative screenplay development, low-budget digital filmmaking, intercultural filmmaking, literary adaptation and political documentary. She has a page at Academia.edu and a website here
This site is hosted by the ICS, University of Leeds
The web pages were developed by Dr Jamie Sherry, lecturer in Screenwriting, Bangor University, UK.
Our warmest thanks for Jamie for the valuable work!