Two Screenplays, One Writer, National Voice

  • Rose Ferrell


This chapter interrogates two screenplays by the same screenwriter that began with the same premise and characters, but that are written using different ‘voices’. The screenplays are Cashflow (Ferrell, 1996) and Calico Dreams (Ferrell, 2014). Cashflow was identified as having an American voice when Australian readers first encountered it. Calico Dreams is the writer’s attempt to rewrite Cashflow using an Australian voice. Voice is described as the ‘authorial presence’ of the writer (as described by Abrams, in A Glossary of Literary Terms), whose consciousness controls and shapes every aspect of the screenplay. It is argued that any writer’s voice reflects not only their skills, knowledge, personal preferences and aesthetic sensibilities, but also displays aspects which can be related to their socio-cultural and national background. This, it is argued, creates a national accent or inflection within the voice (and therefore the text) which may be discerned by readers. Using examples from both screenplays and descriptions of the creative practice of writing, the chapter illuminates voice and national inflection by explaining the changes which needed to be made to successfully create an Australian voice from Cashflow (Ferrell, 1996). These insights intersect with the central concern of this volume, that is, how ideas and intentions become realised through practices and processes during the development of a screen concept.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rose Ferrell
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia

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