Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Writing for Cinema. Writing for TV - SRN International Conference

Sponsored by:

       Master in International Screenwriting and Production


From September 13th to 15th 2018, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore will host the 11th International Conference of the SRN, the Network that gathers academic and practitioners from all over the world who study Screenwriting in its different forms

The main theme of the 2018 Screenwriting Research Network conference is the relationship between cinema and television storytelling. Once two separate worlds, cinema and television narratives are progressively becoming overlapping domains in terms of screenwriting techniques, development methods, careers, contents and audiences.

If authorship, sophisticated drama, address to educated viewers, consideration by the critics had been for long the exclusive marks of stories written for the big screen, this is much less the case today. The cable channels and nowadays the streaming platforms revolution have led to series that have zeroed the distance from cinema artistic quality. Walls between careers have fallen, with prominent screenwriters like Aaron Sorkin, Paul Haggis, Stephen Knight and Steven Zaillian crossing borders between the two industries, writing for both media. Besides, the collaboration of a team of writers/authors in the development of a narrative idea — which is typical of the TV industry writers’ rooms — has started to become a valuable method also in the cinema industry, for example at Pixar, or when narrative potential of comic universes and properties are explored at a studio department as a possible material for franchises.

Yet, differences still exist — cinema is still a director’s medium, whilst TV is a writer’s medium, especially in the American industry that still has a very high share of the markets in any countries — and new ones have emerged — for example the specialization of cinema and TV storytelling in different kind of characters, with heroes and superheroes dominating the big screen, and so called "antiheroes" the TV series.

The conference intends to tackle these issues, discussing them from the wide range of theoretical approaches and professional angles related to the craft of screenwriting.