Semiotics for Screenwriters: Break Down Your Favorite Movies Then Write Your Own

Bloomsbury Academic. Feb. 2024. 395p. ISBN 9781501390999. pap. $34.95. FILM
Semiotics is the study of how meaning is created through symbolism and other means. It also focuses on interpretation. Movies have consistently been a way to communicate meaning through stories and images, and many screenwriters (sometimes unknowingly) use semiotic tools to write their scripts. Tierno (emeritus, film and video production, East Carolina Univ.; Location and Postproduction Sound for Low-Budget Filmmakers) breaks down the basics of semiotics as they relate to screenwriting essentials. He does an excellent job of illustrating theoretical concepts with familiar film examples such as The Wizard of Oz and The Godfather. General readers might have a hard time digesting the language in this book, but writers looking for a different view on the formula of scriptwriting can appreciate the work. The best part is the guide to applying semiotics to each stage of writing a screenplay.
VERDICT A great addition to course materials for screenwriting classes and for academic libraries. Approaching storytelling from a theory-heavy perspective like this makes this work unique among screenwriting how-to books.
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