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On ”Writing for visual media” by Friedmann

November 11, 2013 - Posted in Academice Posted by:

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Writing for visual media was most probably a commercial success, with three editions published in a decade. The latest version is almost double text-wise, the old CD ROM has been replaced by a website with examples and demos, script samples, video materials, storyboards and an interactive glossary of camera shots, making the tandem book/website a handy manual for both teaching and learning writing for the audio-visual industry. The successive versions have grown with the online media and mobile telecommunications (r)evolutions, the most significant part of  the current edition being the in depth analysis of interactive narrative and the description of techniques of writing for digital media. It is quite rare that a senior filmmaker (Bartleby – 1970 – written and directed by Anthony Friedmann, was awarded at San Sebastian IFF in 1972) has such an understanding of the digital universe. In this respect, Part 4, Writing for Interactive and Mobile Media, might be the most useful and advanced section of the volume, a memorable reference for one interested in researching writing for new media. Another significant change of the author’s point of view within the latest edition is the ”reflection about the history, evolution and origins of this kind of writing” /…/ ”This is not just a writing manual. It is also a book about the economic, production and social contexts in which writing for visual media occurs” (2010: xviii).  We agree with this definition of a manual – in the very pragmatic American sense – yet the level of success integrating ”history, theory and practice” – as Steven Maras /…/  had accomplished – is debatable. One can acknowledge that this challenge would have not been necessary, or could have been left to a further stage, the fourth edition being already announced. The book had an ambitious challenge from the beginning already – to accommodate all visual media forms and their corresponding formats and writing techniques – so the outcome might be considered a success (in the sense of the above mentioned industry manual definition), but adding to this a historical perspective and (other) theories, could be misleading from the initial goal.  (Excerpts from a text  on the 3rd. ed. of ”Writing for visual media” by  Anthony Friedmann – copyright by Lucian Georgescu for  Journal of Screenwriting, Intellect, UK  2014, (publishing in progress, no reproduction allowed).

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