Language : English
Published : 2018-02-08
Pages : 184
The Science of Screenwriting: The Neuroscience Behind Storytelling Strategies
In a world awash in screenwriting books, The Science of Screenwriting provides an alternative approach that will help the aspiring screenwriter navigate this mass of often contradictory advice: exploring the science behind storytelling strategies. Paul Gulino, author of the best-selling Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach, and Connie Shears, a noted cognitive psychologist, build, chapter-by-chapter, an understanding of the human perceptual/cognitive processes, from the functions of our eyes and ears bringing real world information into our brains, to the intricate networks within our brains connecting our decisions and emotions. They draw on a variety of examples from film and television — The Social Network, Silver Linings Playbook and Breaking Bad — to show how the human perceptual process is reflected in the storytelling strategies of these filmmakers. They conclude with a detailed analysis of one of the most successful and influential films of all time, Star Wars, to discover just how it had the effect that it had.
Feature films, television shows, homemade videos, tweets, blogs, and breaking news: digital media offer an always-accessible, apparently inexhaustible supply of entertainment and information. Although choices seems endless, public attention is not. How do digital media find the audiences they need in an era of infinite choice? In The Marketplace of Attention, James Webster explains how audiences take shape in the digital age. Webster describes the factors that create audiences, including the preferences and habits of media users, the role of social networks, the resources and strategies of media providers, and the growing impact of media measures — from ratings to user recommendations. He incorporates these factors into one comprehensive framework: the marketplace of attention. In doing so, he shows that the marketplace works in ways that belie our greatest hopes and fears about digital media. Some observers claim that digital media empower a new participatory culture; others fear that digital media encourage users to retreat to isolated enclaves. Webster shows that public attention is at once diverse and concentrated — that users move across a variety of outlets, producing high levels of audience overlap. So although audiences are fragmented in ways that would astonish midcentury broadcasting executives, Webster argues that this doesn’t signal polarization. He questions whether our preferences are immune from media influence, and he describes how our encounters with media might change our tastes. In the digital era’s marketplace of attention, Webster claims, we typically encounter ideas that cut across our predispositions. In the process, we will remake the marketplace of ideas and reshape the twenty-first century public sphere.
About the Author
James G. Webster is Professor in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. The Marketplace of Attention: How Audiences Take Shape in a Digital Age.
When it was first published in French in 1980, The Ordinary Man of Cinema signaled a shift from the French film criticism of the 1960s to a new breed of film philosophy that disregarded the semiotics and post-structuralism of the preceding decades. Schefer describes the schizophrenic subjectivity the cinema offers us: the film as a work projected without memory, viewed by (and thereby lived by) a subject scarred and shaped by memory. The Ordinary Man of Cinema delineates the phenomenology of movie-going and the fleeting, impalpable zone in which an individual’s personal memory confronts the cinema’s ideological images to create a new way of thinking. It is also a book replete with mummies and vampires, tyrants and prostitutes, murderers and freaks — figures that are fundamental to Schefer’s conception of the cinema, because the worlds that cinema traverses (our worlds, interior and exterior) are worlds of pain, unconscious desire, decay, repressed violence, and the endless mystery of the body. Fear and pleasure breed monsters, and such are what Schefer’s emblematic “ordinary man” seeks and encounters when engaging in the disordering of the ordinary that the movie theater offers him. Among other things, Schefer considers “The Gods” in 31 brief essays on film stills and “The Criminal Life” with reflections on spectatorship and autobiography. While Schefer’s book has long been standard reading in French film scholarship, until now it has been something of a missing link to the field (and more broadly, French theory) in English. It is one of the building blocks of more widely known and read translations of Gilles Deleuze (who cited this book as an influence on his own cinema books) and Jacques Ranciere.
About the Author
Jean Louis Schefer (born in 1938) is a prolific and influential scholar of art history, theology, philosophy, music, and linguistics, as well as an author of fiction.
Narrative and spectacle describe two extremes of film content, but the oeuvres of John Cassavetes and David Cronenberg resist such categorization. Instead, Robert Furze argues, the defining characteristic of these directors’ respective approaches is that of “visceral” cinema – a term that illustrates the anxiety these filmmakers provoke in their audiences. Cassavetes demonstrates this through disregard for plot structure and character coherence, while Cronenberg’s focus is on graphic depictions of mutilation, extreme forms of bodily transformation, and violence. The Visceral Screen sets out to articulate alternative ways of appreciating film aesthetics outside the narrative/spectacle continuum. Cassavetes and Cronenberg are established auteurs, but the elements of their films that appear to be barriers to their artistic status – for example, slipshod method and lingering violence or pre-digital special effects – are reassessed here as other indicators of creativity. In this way, Furze encourages debates of what makes a film good or bad-beyond how much it is seen to adhere to particular, established models of filmmaking.
About the Author
Robert Furze (1971-2013) was a member of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at Dublin City University and taught students of media and film at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
In the digital age, technology has shrunk the physical world into a global village, where we all seem to be connected as an online community as information travels to the farthest reaches of the planet with the click of a mouse. Yet while we think of platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as open and accessible to all, in reality, these are commercial entities developed primarily by and for the Western world. Considering how new technologies increasingly shape labor, economics, and politics, these tools often reinforce the inequalities of globalization, rarely reflecting the perspectives of those at the bottom of the digital divide. This book asks us to re-consider whose global village we are shaping with the digital technology revolution today. Sharing stories of collaboration with Native Americans in California and New Mexico, revolutionaries in Egypt, communities in rural India, and others across the world, Ramesh Srinivasan urges us to re-imagine what the Internet, mobile phones, or social media platforms may look like when considered from the perspective of diverse cultures. Such collaborations can pave the way for a people-first approach toward designing and working with new technology worldwide. Whose Global Village seeks to inspire professionals, activists, and scholars alike to think about technology in a way that embraces the realities of communities too often relegated to the margins. We can then start to visualize a world where technologies serve diverse communities rather than just the Western consumer.”