Working the Film Script: Hidden Production Histories

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Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

Prince of Wales Road

Exeter

EX4 4SB

United Kingdom

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Event description
A symposium to illuminate the otherwise hidden labour of individuals who work with film scripts. (Registration closes midnight 11/03/19).

About this Event

Schedule

9:15AM - Sign-in

9:30AM - Welcome talk

10AM - Keynote: Dr. Melanie Williams, 'Script girls, script work: exploring the gendered labour of script supervision'

11AM - Short Break

11:30AM - Women Behind the Script: Agency and Expertise

  • Steven Roberts, 'Pamela Davies’ Stills, Continuity Supervision and the Spectacular Film circa 1950-70'
  • Dr. Carol O’Sullivan, 'Ladies of Title: UK Subtitlers in the 1930s and 1940s'
  • Prof. Helen Hanson, 'Sounding the Script: Women’s Work in Sound from Page to Screen'

1PM - Lunch

2PM - Understanding Scripts: Commerce and Collaboration

  • Kieran Foster, 'Phantom Film Scripts: Hammer Films, Bryan Forbes and the Unmade Screenplay for Nessie: The Loch Ness Monster'
  • Dr. Barry Nevin, 'Adapting Gorki under the Front populaire: Charles Spaak, Jean Renoir and Les Bas-fonds (1936)'
  • Prof. John Wyver, 'Another kind of script: camera scripting Shakespeare for live cinema'

3:30PM - Short Break

4PM - Boundary-Pushing Practice: Writing and Editing Scripts

  • Sean Robert Daniels, 'Ruffling Feathers - A Personal Case Study of the Challenges faced by an English Speaking South African Screenwriter Adapting an Afrikaans Short Story into an Afrikaans Feature Film'
  • Abigail Davies, 'Developing new Deaf screenwriting talent'

5PM - Farewell

Summary

Film studies has increasingly relied upon collaborative models of authorship to avoid overly romantic notions of cultural production. Recent production studies and feminist film historiographies strategically distinguish the work of academically marginalised agents from within their respective networks. Various scripts bear the marks of this collaborative process. Symposium speakers will respond to recent developments in the field and debate case studies which demonstrate how scripting (broadly understood) has involved underappreciated efforts to share or silo time, energy and artistic expertise within hierarchical or communal production scenarios. The symposium will illuminate the act of scripting film narrative and style in production contexts, using wide-ranging examples of specialist labour: plotting shots, managing continuity, literary adaptation, the iterative process of screenwriting, subtitling, sound work, and so on.

The Venue

We are also looking forward to discussing production histories that showcase revisionist methodologies and archival resources, in keeping with the choice of venue: The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. Among the Museum’s 75,000+ items are published and unpublished screenplays, novelisations of popular films (including the ‘Reader’s Library’ series), source texts, various filmmaking manuals, programmes and press books containing plot summaries, and relevant individual collections including Gavrik Losey (film producer), Pamela Davies (continuity supervisor), and the filmmaker Bill Douglas among others. Delegates will be invited to explore the Museum and browse a sample of items which thematically complement the symposium on the day.

Enquiries

Enquiries addressed to scriptwork@exeter.ac.uk will be checked by Steven Roberts (PhD Student and Museum Intern). The symposium is being coordinated by Steven during a six-month AHRC placement at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum (where he is cataloguing the Pamela Davies collection), with organisational assistance from University of Exeter colleagues.

Photograph: Script supervisor Pamela Davies takes notes during the production of 'Richard III' (Laurence Olivier, 1955). Photograph taken by Norman Hargood. Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.

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Date and Time

Location

Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

Prince of Wales Road

Exeter

EX4 4SB

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

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