Screenwriting : Phillip's philosophical question for a Fabulous Friday by Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Phillip's philosophical question for a Fabulous Friday

And here it is... wait for it... Do you consider your screenwriting results art?

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

I shall get the ball a rolling on me own thread. The answer for me (and rendered with the greatest modesty and humility) is hell yeah! And some of my scripts are shall we say, more arty than others.

Aray Brown

Philip, cosign! We're artists, like rappers and singers. Our ideas are our 16 bars/verses

Owen Mowatt

Agreed 100% but just wondering how long before we get the obligatory answer about what the market/audience/studio wants....blah,blah,blah.....Transformers was shit but who cares it made a bucket of money....blah, blah, blah. Oscar nominated pictures generally are box office flops...etc

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Owen *LOL. Blah blah blah, coming soon to a thread near you!

Edwin Adrian Nieves

Wouldn't a work of art have to be in its final form to be considered an art work. For example, a painter like Van Gogh sketches before painting...would his sketches be on the same level as his finalized paintings? Some write screenplays that may be published as literature--something Quentin Tarantino says he always aims for--making the script itself a contained work of art. Others write screenplays as blueprints for something that in its final form will be considered art work, the film. One way or the other, this doesn't take away from the creative work put behind writing, but scripts that result in art are those that resemble literature--well-written, authoritative, engaging literary works that aren't just a jumping board for a film to take-off, they are entities in of themselves.

Niksa Maric

A screenplay, book or any other form of writing is considered as art, in written form. Just like a painting or sculpture.

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Aray: I am a singer and drummer. A lot longer than I've been a writer. And that reflects in my writing as well. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Dan Guardino

I don't consider any of my screenplays art. They are just words on paper that can be used to make a movie.

Tim Johnson

There's obviously a difference between a building blueprint and the building, and not too many people hang the blueprint on the wall (architects might, and really appreciate what goes into it). But there's another thing called the "artist's rendering", which I think is maybe more like what we do - a construction crew can't build a building from an artist's rendering, they really need a precise engineered blueprint. But the artist's rendering with crayons and charcoal is probably what convinced people to put up the money in the first, by giving just enough to engage their imagination. So yeah, it's art! :)

Aray Brown

@Edwin Mona Lisa was unfinished. Are you saying that is not art?

Edwin Adrian Nieves

@Aray The Mona Lisa--its "most famous art work" status due more to its 1911 theft and the scandal reported by worldwide newspapers--may be finished or unfinished. I can only assume because da Vinci said to have never completed a work, the "unfinished" idea is accepted. But to this I'd like to go to the Valery quote "A poem is never finished only abandoned," which is a summary of what he wrote in an essay, "In the eyes of those who anxiously seek perfection, a work is never truly completed—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned" (a concept we filmmakers can also apply to our work). Regardless, the Mona Lisa isn't a sketch. Going back to my comment, if the painter's sketch is a blueprint for her or his finalized work, the painting, then the Mona Lisa, the painting, is an art work.

Cherie Grant

No I don't consider it art, but I do consider the results (film) art. There's too much strict formatting rules to follow to allow it to be art. This from someone who studied Fine Arts.

Jorge J Prieto

Always. Sometimes disturbing, but passionate ARTFUL, yes, my dear friend. Lol!

William Martell

Art requires the test of time, and screenwriting is not a finished form... but I consider my work danged crafty. (as if a craftsman creating an amazing object which will then be used for a specific function - like a wood cabinet or maybe a marble counter).

Beth Fox Heisinger

Sorry, but an artist's sketch is not a blueprint. It's a sketch. And sketches are considered art. :) The Mona Lisa is one of Da Vinci's most famous pieces for several reasons. He utilized many innovative techniques, inventing “sfumato” which means "without lines or borders"—he did not start with an outline. So, this particular painting, The Mona Lisa, redefined the rules of contemporary art at the time. Plus, that enigmatic smile, and of course the eccentric artist himself! The theft of the painting just added to the allure. Lol! Anyway, art is always tricky to define but for simplicity here's a possible definition: "art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination." I'd say screenwriting falls into that general description. ;)

Bill Costantini

That depends by whose definition of art I go by. Do I go by Plato's definition? Kant's? Wittgenstein's? Kristeller's? Nietzsche's? Dewey's? Shoppenhaeur's? Picasso's? Warhol's? Dan's? Mine? Your's? So many choices, you know....so many choices....

Cherie Grant

No Beth, a sketch IS a blueprint. It's used to build a painting over it.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Exactly. Art is tricky to define, especially when comparing one branch of art to another. But at its core is expression. :) Bill, do you have a degree in fine art as well?

Regina Lee

An ICM writer once told me, "Screenwriting is an art, but it's a patronage art."

Beth Fox Heisinger

Cherie, I'll kindly disagree as I am an artist. Sketching is not a "blueprint," or rather, it's not really considered quite in those terms within fine art—that's more an architectural term. And, as a studied painter myself I can tell you that not ALL painters work that way—some do, sure. An artist may do preliminary sketches. But, sketches or drawings (charcoal, graphite, ink) is yet another art medium. Many sell sketches. Picasso's sketches sell for thousands. ;)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Regina, I love that. And so true! Every artist needs patronage. Lol!

Antonio Ingram

That's profound, Regina. I've never heard that before.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Anyhoo, to answer Phillip's question, yes, I consider screenwriting an art in and of itself. :)

Regina Lee

Ha! Yeah, I take no credit for Todd, the ICM client's profundity. I could also argue that while Todd wants to sell his work, other writers are perfectly happy writing for themselves, not trying to please potential patrons. Like every situation, it depends. Like Beth said, one size does not fit all. (I know you're sick of hearing me say "it depends.")

Cherie Grant

Beth, I think we need to differentiate between sketches and illustrations. Illustrations are intended as finished works, sketches are not. It doesn't matter that they sell. When there's a big name attached people go nuts for fame. People will buy used toilet paper from a big name. And I've seen sketches from Picasso and Gustav Klimt etc. They're rubbish. They belong in the bin. They are not art, but since these sketches were made by big name artists they will of course be revered.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Cherie, I threw out that fact about Picasso's sketches just to make a point. Anyway, I disagree with you so profoundly on so many levels that I'm just going to let it go. We probably wouldn't reach a consensus, so no need to discuss any further. :)

Dan Guardino

The question was not whether or not screenwriting is art. The question was "do you consider your screenwriting results art?" Obviously some people are going to consider their screenplays art and some people like me don't consider my screenplays art.

Edwin Adrian Nieves

It's, again, a matter of intent and execution. My earlier statement tried to emphasize the "final form" as indicative of something being an art work or not, while in no way discrediting the creative work and time put behind the preliminary work. But let's step away from the painting world to be more direct. Jean-Luc Godard is credited for the screenplay of Breathless, of which actor Jean-Paul Belmondo said, "When I accepted the role, [Godard] gave me the script. Three pages, on which he’d written: 'He leaves Marseilles. He steals a car. He wants to sleep with the girl again. She doesn’t. In the end, he either lives or dies--to be decided.' That was it. So every morning, I learned about Poiccard’s further adventures. I had no idea what would happen to me that day. I found out each morning." Now read a script by Ingmar Bergman or the Coen Brothers. Clearly, one is more art work and the other blueprint. So to my initial comment, scripts that are works of art, being that the expressive language of the script is the written word, resemble the art of literature while other scripts are more blueprints for works in the art of cinema, a form with a language expressed through images and sounds.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Okay, yes, as I said, I do consider my screenwriting or screenwriting as art in and of itself. Screenwriting results? I'm not sure what that means? Finishing a script? Making it to the screen? Regardless, it depends on how one defines "art." Personally, if I didn't consider it so, I don't know if I would bother. It is a creative endeavor, is it not? It's expressive, uses one's imagination and utilizes creative skill, yes?

Cherie Grant

Should everything creative be considered art? Cooking can be creative. Designing is creative. Fan fiction? I think it's a very blurry line. I just go with my gut feeling.

Bill Costantini

Beth - no fine art degree here, but I had recently said I wished I had an MFA in writing for film and television from a place like USC or UCLA. I'm pretty sure neither school requires a BFA for admission consideration, but I'd imagine it helps, since USC selects like only 30 applicants out of hundreds of hopefuls each year. Ouch.

Bill Costantini

Not to get off-subject....but since the beginning of time, the creation and interpretation of art has been and continues to be personal and subjective. I wouldn't say "this isn't art" if someone else feels that it is. Like Phillip Hardy's hair, for example. Man....that is some piece of art, bro! How do you do that? I'd need at least a 50% wallpaper powder ratio mixed in with 25% spray and 25% gel to achieve that type of hold and effect

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Bill: Here's the hair secret. I cut is short and spikey like Kirk in Spartacus. Then while it's damp, I use Crew extra hold molding stuff and then spray with any cheap hairspray, voila! it's a quick, easy regimen and I'm blessed to not have a ridiculous comb over like the leading Republican candidate.

Linda Bradshaw Rogers

LOL, that was great Phillip. And yes, I believe screenwriting is art...actually fine art.

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