Author: Sarah Almi

The Development of Screenwriting and the Hollywood Studio System

In the beginning of the 20th century, the introduction of cinema radically changed the world of art. During the outset of silent cinema, filmmakers made actualities; short clips that depict a single scene or action. However, not much time had passed before filmmakers started moving towards narrative film. As a result, the idea of structuring a story for film beforehand一or screenwriting一came to fruition. Due to the fact that narrative films were becoming the norm, screenwriting went through multiple phases of development, which led to the creation of many new jobs, and the birth of Hollywood and the studio system.   It is important to make the distinction between screenwriting as a profession, and the idea of planning out the actions of a film beforehand. In The Literary Side of Pictures, by Epes Winthrop Sargent, he states that photo dramatic writing began between 1894 and 1896.[1] These writings, however, were short captions used to describe what would happen in the film. These captions differ from screenplays. Also, this is vastly different from the profession that would …

Sarah Almi is an OU student with a Cinema Studies major who will be graduating in 2021.