questions of gender in screenwriting practice
This article is concerned with the ways in which a screenplay might be ‘gendered’ or gender identified and, more specifically, how screenwriting practice is informed by, and performs, notions of gender. It asks, in what ways might screenplays be gendered? What is the role of gender in the individual screenwriter’s own practice? And how might cultural assumptions around gender be enacted by and within screenwriting practices (especially mainstream script development processes) and discourse? The article discusses the potentially gendered biases of mainstream screenwriting frameworks (and the how-to market disseminating the same), and then the ways in which this impacts, in particular, the practices, perspectives and representations of women coming to the page, and also briefly examines the tactic of writing for gender-blind casting, concluding that this liberal feminist strategy does not address the inherent cultural assumptions at play in script development processes. Ultimately, the article argues that in cultural system that are inherently gendered, then gendered assumptions may underpin the commercial mainstream script development process.