In Who is the Author of a Film? The debate between scriptwriter and director is sparked and eventually goes unanswered. Both individuals are said to be of great importance to the end result. This argument also carries on for Balázs in The Script. Balázs notes that “deeper meaning” can indeed be created through moving pictures/film without “symbolic or ‘metaphorical’ shots, they are all quite real, ordinary pictures”(220).
I found myself wondering, does this realization of a “deeper meaning” by an audience come about because the script/story actions alone creates this or is it truly a combination of the work of the director’s approach, organization, style and essentially, direction, of the script of a film? Does this happen or can this happen solely because the story/plot allows it to or must it also be a result of the ability of the director to translate this script to the picture medium?
Balázs also discusses the element of parallel actions. Balázs explains, “the film can interrupt the continuity of a scene not only by not showing all the persons in a scene all the time- the whole scene itself can be interrupted…[and later] continued (221). This reminded me of films like Pulp Fiction and Memento in which only when the viewer has finished watching the film are they able to truly piece together all of the puzzle that is the plot of the film. I wonder, how might the relationship between scriptwriter and director work in these cases? Does a screenwriter write out the full story in “correct” sequence, later altered with artistic purpose by the director or does the screenwriter write a script in such a scrambled order with that purpose in mind to be transferred to the screen? As I thought about these possibilities I realized, in talking about film and in taking into account the idea that films take a great deal of both work and people, to finally come to fruition..what about the role of a film editor? Either when working with a more complicated plot structure or with a more traditional or simple sequence of events, does the final word (or should I say final image) truly lie with a screenwriter or director? Hours and hours of film is captured yet the final film may only last two, two and half hours. If a screenwriter creates the story, and the director films it, does the film editor not actually do the legwork of piecing together all the amazing “deeper meaning” imagery that has been created to make the end result?
P.S. In case anyone is interested, and since we’re talking about scripts- there is actually a website like imdb but for scripts.