What Is a Screenplay?

  • Ted Nannicelli


This chapter offers a critical survey of philosophical debate about the nature and definition of screenplays, their relationship to finished motion pictures, and the screenwriter’s claim to authorship. Screenwriting may be studied as a kind of (literary) art practice in its own right and as an integral part of most sorts of filmmaking. This chapter focuses on the latter and outlines some of the ways in which screenwriting and screenplays connect to a number of philosophical questions about motion pictures—in particular, authorship, ontology, and evaluation in both artistic and ethical terms [1].

[1] For a sustained discussion of screenwriting as an art practice in its own right and screenplays as literary artworks, see Ted Nannicelli, A Philosophy of the Screenplay (New York: Routledge, 2013).


Screenplay Screenwriting Authorship Ontology of film 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ted Nannicelli
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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