Screenwriting 2.0: What are the possibilities of screenplay 'datafication'? How the screenplay as data can impact creating and managing, presenting and sharing, analyzing and visualizing textual screenplay content.

Stewart McKie

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Screenwriting software applications have traditionally focused on the screenplay as document, essentially enabling writers to create screenplays in an industry standard format that can be printed or distributed electronically. This thesis explores the possibilities of technology delivering more value if the screenplay content is stored at a more granular level, as data and metadata. This 'datafication' of the screenplay content enables new and interesting possibilities for screenwriting practice.

Managing screenplay content as data rather than 'document' better reflects the dynamic nature of the screenplay and collaborative nature of screenwriting as a social and business process. Screenplay as data also facilitates automated analysis and visualization (‘analytics’) of screenplay content that can benefit both screenwriters and other stakeholders in the screenwriting process. This thesis focuses specifically on the topics of screenplay as data, the screenplay as social network and screenplay analytics.

The practical submissions that complement this thesis comprise a number of online application prototypes that explore some of the propositions discussed in the thesis argument. My final practical submission - Scenepad - is a complete online screenwriting application that is informed by the various prototypes that preceded it. Scenepad puts many of my thesis propositions into practice to deliver an evolutionary development in screenwriting technology I call 'Screenwriting 2.0'. I conclude this thesis by outlining some possible future developments of the screenplay as artefact, and screenwriting as practice.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Ganz, Adam, Supervisor
Award date1 Nov 2014
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014


  • screenwriting
  • screenplay
  • datafication
  • analytics

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