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Show, don't tell: contemporary screen production research
journal contributionposted on 18.07.2018, 00:00 by S Kerrigan, Craig BattyCraig Batty
‘Show, don’t tell’ is a well-known – if not clichéd – screenwriting principle, ingrained in practitioners to encourage them to use the visuality of the screen to tell their stories rather than rely on dialogue. This includes using actions, objects and worlds to create meaning, and giving performers things to do to show the backstory and inner landscape of their character. It is also a principle that a director or cinematographer might use on-set during filming when they need to turn scripted ideas into performed and tangible scenes. Similarly, we see ‘show, don’t tell’ as being applicable to current creative practice research explorations in screen production – filmmaking in the academy – where there is often more talk about how to do it than examples of what it actually looks like. As such, what we offer here is a range of strong examples of what screen production research is and can be, drawing on areas such as animation, mobile filmmaking and approaches to research degree supervision. There are two articles that address key issues in screen production research, one outlining the complexities of peer reviewing screen works and one on debates within the sector around assessing and evaluating films and screen works as research.