Determining viable professional careers is one of the most important parts of going to college. Artistic careers, including those in film, are both competitive and dependent on the responses of critics and audiences. People in film careers take different paths; one of them is writing screenplays. Researching screenwriting and the careers of two professional women screenwriters, Diablo Cody and Nancy Meyers, I sought to answer three central questions: how does writing create career paths, what are those careers, and what is it like writing a story?
Through the research on screenwriting, I became familiar with story structures such Joseph Campbell’s theories, which are based in Greek drama, as well as more contemporary theories, such as Freytag’s Triangle and Three Act Structure as discussed by Linda Seger and Linda Cowgill. The research also revealed that Nancy Meyers knew the right film industry people at the beginning of her writing and subsequent directing career. Diablo Cody moved into screenwriting after completing a book based on personal experiences. In general, directing and producing are career paths that often accompany or follow from work as a screenwriter.
In the applied, creative component of the project, I learned what it is like to write a feature screenplay. The work is not easy and not for the faint-hearted. The process confirmed that, while I will not pursue screenwriting as a career, it is an integral part of filmmaking one must understand to perform filmmaking jobs ranging from cinematographer to producer.
Theatre and Film
Dr. Cynthia Baron
First Advisor Department
Theatre and Film
Dr. Lawrence Coates
Second Advisor Department
Read, Victoria, "How Do Stories Affect Careers?" (2023). Honors Projects. 889.