COMM 546 Lecture 3 - Women Set The Tone

COMM 546 Lecture 3 - Women Set The Tone - Dana Coen COMM...

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Dana Coen COMM 546 (History of American Screenwriting) Spring, 2010 Lecture #3 WOMEN SET THE TONE Recap…. Filmmaking in the first decade of the 20 th century is dominated essentially of…. 1) Documentaries and the restaging of sports events. 2) Tableaux features and the first official film scenario, Salmi Morse’s theatre script for “Passion Play.” It represents, along with “A Trip to the Moon,” the coming together of screen and play . 3) Storyettes…comic film sketches and the medium’s first dedicated screenwriter writer, Roy Mc Cardell. Projectionist Edwin S. Porter joins the Edison Company and creates the basic model for film language . Film studios spring up everywhere, a factory environment begins to develop …And women enter the business…. Gene Gauntier joins the Kalem Company as an actress and eventually a scenario writer (pronunciation). After spending a short time at Biograph running their story department and influencing the career of D.W. Griffith…. .
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2 …She returns to Kalem where she writes and acts in numerous films over the rest of the decade. By 1910, she’s burnt out, and crosses the Atlantic with her director and cameraman. The most significant milestones up to this point .... Theatrical dramatic convention sets the rules for narrative filmmaking. The process of recording moving images allows audiences to have the same experience at different times. ..thus expanding the medium’s reach. Edison considers narrative films as “entertainment” more than art. Art is considered the property of the artist. Entertainment is regarded as the property of those who would market it. Women control the early narrative content of American films and bring a literary sensibility to process. Present…. In 1912, while touring the Middle East, Gene Gauntier writes and stars as the Virgin Mary in her what is regarded as her masterwork…. “From the Manger to the Cross” The first American film about the life of Christ, it’s been preceded by a French tableaux film …. …“The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ”
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3 As in the case with…. 1) The factory theatre writing of Alexandre Dumas… 2) The outdoor experiments of the Lumiere Brothers… 3) And the cinematic magic of George Melies…. The French tend to predate and influence American filmmakers when it comes to realizing the potential of the medium. And this will continue well into the century. TCM describes “From the Manger to the Cross” as the greatest silent film about the life of Jesus Christ. When Kalem is bought at the end of the decade by Vitagraph…. …The film is released again with an overabundance of qospel-quote title cards. But Gene Gauntier will become best known for a Supreme Court copyright infringement case…. …involving her script for 1907’s Ben Hur
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This document was uploaded on 10/28/2011 for the course COMM 546 at UNC.

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COMM 546 Lecture 3 - Women Set The Tone - Dana Coen COMM...

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