University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Teaching Rules or Teaching Creativity: a Paradigm Shift

Bovey, Simon (2016) Teaching Rules or Teaching Creativity: a Paradigm Shift. In: Screenwriting Research Network Annual Conference 2016, 8th - 10th September 2016, Leeds Beckett University. (Unpublished)

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Structure is everything in a screenplay we are told. If indeed there are any rules to screenwriting then this would be carved in tablets of stone. Within pedagogical frameworks we are diligent in our instruction of the three acts, advocating it as a paradigm. We pass on tools for the analysis of character that are gleaned from psychology. But I have seen students struggle with this toolbox. They feel constrained by concrete techniques. So often seeing principles as rules, structure as restriction.

The stifling of free-form ideas is further compounded by the plethora of books that claim the path to glory lies only in structural devices. Some even purport to have a formula, a simple prescriptive model that will bestow almost certain success. Yet this is an industry that abhors formula, that hungers for the fresh and the new.

Without bravado, imagination and experimentation with character and form, the best structured screenplay in the world is merely a typing exercise. As educators we have a duty to retain a balance between letting a student’s mind dance and keeping them to the tempo.

This study will compare a variety of diverse structures, from Hegel to Alcoholics Anonymous, Kubler Ross to Jung. It will analyse recent journal articles, on both new techniques in teaching creativity and new approaches to the instruction of screenwriting, to suggest a model of how best to inform the application of structure to HE students and keep creativity uppermost. A structure of emotional truth. An equal appreciation of both the tools of our craft and an imaginative exploration of character and world that can unlock our originality and our artistry.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: screenplay, structure, screenwriting, creativity, teaching rules, teaching principles
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Simon Bovey
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 09:44
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:14

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