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In development : scriptwriting polices and practice in the New Zealand Film Commission 1978-1995

Author: Hester Isabella Joyce
Publisher: 2003.
Dissertation: PhD--Film, Television and Media Studies / English University of Auckland 2003
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript   Archival Material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This thesis has two intersecting lines of inquiry. The first is a historical analysis documenting the formation and operations of the New Zealand Film Commission from 1978 until 1995. The second is a record and analysis of scriptwriting practices, which developed both in the Commission and independently within the New Zealand film industry over that period. The history is an institutional analysis of the Commission  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript
Document Type: Book, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Hester Isabella Joyce
OCLC Number: 155856125
Description: v, 324 leaves ; 30 cm
Responsibility: Hester Isabella Joyce.

Abstract:

This thesis has two intersecting lines of inquiry. The first is a historical analysis documenting the formation and operations of the New Zealand Film Commission from 1978 until 1995. The second is a record and analysis of scriptwriting practices, which developed both in the Commission and independently within the New Zealand film industry over that period. The history is an institutional analysis of the Commission within the context of the film and television industries and government policies that affected the organisation's operations. A discussion of the notion of national cinema compares New Zealand filmmaking with the Australian and British national cinemas and the Hollywood film industry. The thesis research draws from extensive primary research in the form of interviews with scriptwriters, collection of policy documents, scripts, correspondence, and archives associated with scriptwriting and development. It considers changing approaches to the development of scripts and analyses a selection of New Zealand films, their production, development and narrative strategies. This necessarily involves a discussion of international scriptwriting techniques and a discussion of classical Hollywood narrative structure as advanced by Robert McKee and Linda Seger through the Commission. This material comprises a theoretical analysis of narrative strategies employed in script development and offers close-readings of the work of New Zealand's foremost scriptwriters. This thesis argues that scripts are primary documents in narrative feature film production. They are industrial products that blur the commerce/culture distinction. By examining New Zealand filmmaking through development it shows that cultural, legislative and industrial forces act upon scripts in a complex way. Each film in turn offers a case study of how these forces relate to representations of national identity. The study shows the difficulties inherent in sustaining a film industry in an antipodean country at a distance culturally and geographically from the dominant filmmaking model, Hollywood. The thesis shows that the struggle for local representation in films is manifest at an institutional level and a textual level and that the Commission's attempts to secure a commercially viable industry are inevitably at odds with its cultural and creative motives.

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