Gender and the Screenplay
Processes, Practices, Perspectives. An Introduction.
While plenty has been written about gender representation on screen, much less has been written about gender in regards to screenplays. Emerging scholarly research around screenwriting practice often focuses on questions of the craft – is screenwriting a technical or creative act? – and whether or not the screenplay’s only destiny is to disappear into the film (Carriére, cited in Maras 1999, 147). Thus there might be room for further exploration into screenwriters and their practice – to ask who (in regards to gender) is writing screenplays, especially considering the assertion of Dancyger and Rush that the three-act structure (a dominant screenwriting practice) is ‘designed to suggest the story tells itself’ (2013, 38). Moreover, questions of gender representation on screen might be considered from the perspective of screenwriting practice, given this same ubiquitous structure means that barriers, including those related to gender, ‘are still presented as secondary to the transcendence of individual will’ (Dancyger and Rush 2013, 36). This special issue of Networking Knowledge, then, brings together a collection of scholarly perspectives on screenwriting theory and practice through the lens of gender.