By Steven Maras

Ethics in Screenwriting: New views is a publication that breaks new flooring by means of forging a hyperlink among screenwriting learn and a burgeoning curiosity in movie, media, and narrative ethics. Going past the orthodox dialogue of morality of movie and tv, the gathering makes a speciality of ethics in screenwriting. construction on a brand new wave of screenwriting learn, in addition to a ‘turn to ethics’ in humanities and media reports scholarship, this identify kinds a bridge among those components in a distinct research of a key zone of media perform. each one essay is going past the final dialogue of ethics and media to have interaction with particular points of screenwriting or scripting. Written for readers drawn to questions of ethics in addition to screenwriting, the gathering bargains new views on moral questions linked to Writers and their construction surroundings; reality and heritage; and personality and Narrative.

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Extra resources for Ethics in Screenwriting: New Perspectives

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One of the attractions of normative approaches to media ethics has to do with the way it bolsters a sense of journalism as an autonomous profession that is not solely beholden to the demands of one employer. Normative theories help delineate the responsibilities of journalists as ethical agents that go beyond those defined by their contractual employment with news organizations. This leads us into another area of difficulty to do with the virtuous screenwriter, which is that, as a profession, screenwriting has historically had very low autonomy.

This is the figure of ‘the virtuous screenwriter’. We have already seen at least two versions of the virtuous screenwriter emerge in our discussion of the Hollywood Production Code: the first is the fully wholesome writer of ‘clean’ pictures; the second is the ingenious writer capable of writing with integrity despite the obstacles of the Code. Many other versions of this figure exist. Conceptions of the virtuous screenwriter can emerge from within the community of writers. An example is Joe Eszterhas’s view on Hollywood’s responsibility for cigarette smoking deaths because of its glamorization of smoking (Eszterhas 2002; see also Watson 2004).

Critics complained at the way the Code seemed infallible and unchangeable (Doherty 2007, 294). Evident in many statements by screenwriters is protest at narrowing of representational possibilities. Herman Mankiewicz highlights the absurd treatment of virgins and villains, virtue and vice in films as compared with novels (in Hecht 1954, 479). Hecht skewers the more bizarre aspects of this narrative space which privileges one basic plot, ‘the triumph of virtue and the overthrow of wickedness’, and treats sex in terms of sin.

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