Sara Zanatta

Series in Search of an Author. Trajectories, position-takings, and identity (crisis) of television scriptwriters

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Television Screenwriters; Media Fields; Creative Identity; Artistic Recognition; Italian Fiction Series.

The article focuses on the professional realm of Italian television screenwriters, a creative work that has received little attention at least in the national produc¬tion studies debate. The author seeks to combine Bourdieu's field theory and Becker's interactionist approach in order to investigate the contextual specificity of such a sub-field of «specialised» writing. Two dimensions of investigation are outlined. First, the temporal dynamic: four back-to-back generations emerged that differ in the circumstances of «getting in» the television fiction writing and in their entry-level capital, both cultural and social. Second, the spatial dynamic: an adaptation of Bourdieu's field model is provided with the degree of consecration and the «residential» attitude (mobility versus permanence) as main axes. Lastly, the «rules of this game» are discussed and the peculiar dichotomy between artist-screenwriters and artisan-screenwriters emphasized. The analysis is based on qualitative data, namely forty-four in-depth interviews and participant observation during brainstorming sessions, syndicate meetings, festival, private parties, and so forth.

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