Hotel Rwanda. Philadelphia. Silkwood. Some of the most important films ever made have tackled real-world social issues, from genocide to homophobia to corporate greed. As storytellers, activist screenwriters recognize that social issues make great stories that can be gut-wrenching, heart-tugging, funny, tragic, and interesting to watch. The Screenwriter Activist helps screenwriters tell those stories in compelling, non-preachy, and inspiring ways.
The Screenwriter Activist is an in-depth, practical guide, appropriate for students in intermediate or graduate screenwriting courses in Film and English Programs as well as professionals who want to write a movie that can make a difference in the world. Using examples from classic and recent popular films, The Screenwriter Activist:
Explores the motivation and sensibility a screenwriter needs to embark on a social issue project
Gives techniques for choosing compelling subjects
Provides historical context for social issue movies
Explains how characters legitimize social issue themes
Puts forward specific models for structuring advocacy screenplays
Lays out a roadmap for how screenwriters can get a social issue movie made
If you care deeply about social issues and recognize that films can be highly effective platforms for motivativng audiences to civic involvement and social action, this is the one screenwriting book you need to read.
Marilyn Beker is the Senior Screenwriting Professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and the author of Screenwriting With A Conscience: Ethics for Screenwriters. She has written extensively for all forms of media-especially television and film and lectures internationally on screenwriting.
Introduction 1. Motivation 2. Taking Action 3. Inspiration 4. Character 5. On the Shoulders of Giants 6. True or False 7. Plan of Attack 8. Research 9. Getting it Made Afterglow