Despite the fact that the Janson History of Art title bears the name of its original writer, the franchise behind it has changed hands multiple times, so to the point that it no longer bears the hand of the original author or any of his kin. Therefore one could fairly assume that the voice speaking in the original 1967 introduction of the first edition of Janson is quite different than the many voices speaking in the seventh edition. In some respects, this premise would be true. In others, one might be surprised at the wealth of similarities between the two versions.
The enduring factors of the two introductions appear to rest in their respective themes.
Both H.W. Janson himself and the many people behind the Janson name wish to express an understanding and appreciation of varied (and often misunderstood) art forms that even the "layman" can understand. Both versions attempt to communicate the value of artistic integrity and originality, the contemporary context of beauty and aesthetics, the integration of art into daily life and the difference between craft and art. While the newer version of the two introductions uses such examples as Andy Warhol's Gold Marilyn Monroe, and Marcel Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q to vindicate these "misunderstood" art forms, Janson uses Picasso's Bull's Head and Edouard Manet's Luncheon on the Grass, as well as other works of art to draw the same conclusions about originality and vision. In either case, proclaim both introductions, it is not the technical skill that determines and artists worth, but his ability to extrapolate something novel, provocative and stimulating (or at the very least, amusing) out of an original source.
The newer "Janson" goes a step further in embracing "true" art by representing art from female artists through time, as well as introducing such mechanical things as the novel photography. One must, however, take into consideration the social and temporal context of the original Janson, and why, in his time, he might not have considered such things as female artists or photography in a legitimate repository of information on art history. On the other hand, the contemporary writers of Janson suggest that there is a divergence away from its predecessor in mentioning these omissions present in the earlier edition, while still retaining much of the original spirit of Janson's critical perspective concerning art and the state of art in our society.
Once again, a clear connection between the two articles can be made, as they both attempt to describe the difference between not only craft and art, but also art and "good" art. Both the older and newer introductions provide a distinction between "low" art and "high" art. In the case of the original Janson article this distinction is much more severe, separating such things as fashion, interior design and otherwise far apart from sculpture and painting as far as high art is concerned. On the other hand, the newer version seems to be more accepting of innovative forms of art, such as the aforementioned photography.
I believe, however, the major difference between the two can be found in their structures. Although the main arguments of the two introductions are basically the same, or at least very similar, certain structural accidentals which flavour both introductions differ. As I mentioned, time and social context has flavoured either article as far as certain considerations as well as existing art forms at the time. But on a basis of form alone, the two introductions are distinctly different in tone and composition. The original work demonstrates a personal and very fervent, almost impatient perspective point of view concerning art in our world that the author seems to be imploring the reader to consider. He uses a few salient examples to draw his conclusions. On the other hand, the newer article contains a much more impersonal, open manner in explaining many of the same premises. The examples provided are much more plentiful, but the tone of the piece is much more academic than personal (having been written by several "experts"), much colder and laid back, and, in a word, more modernized.
I suppose ultimately, the articles are demonstrating the very thing they attempt to convey about the subject of art in their respective texts. The newer article uses the older one as a reference point from which to express an idea, but opts to do it not exactly as its predecessor, but in its own right. Thus, we see an evolution of culture where certain accidentals change but certain underlying precepts remain. However, we must not forget that Janson is now no more than a name, and so perhaps it is arguable that the original sensibility of Janson the man is now lost. Perhaps, due to the corporate, massed-produced nature of the Janson franchise, we can no longer say that the book is the same credible source of art, but just another craft, like the type the original H.W. Janson would so ardently deride.
There is no magic bullet or secret for instant success in screenwriting for independent films. But there are things that writers can do and learn to create good scripts and screenplays. As a filmmaker and teacher, I have written screenplays and scripts and taught others to write them. Here are Ten Tips to get started.
Tip #1 Listen to Your Imagination. Whether waking or sleeping, tune into your ideas, dreams and thoughts. Your "inner writer" will often speak to you when you least expect it. When you get an idea, no matter how crazy or seemingly insignificant, jot it down. Always carry a small notebook with you for this purpose.
Tip #2 Listen and Observe the World Around You. Life is unfolding around us every day. Good writers are good observers. Watch how people interact--how they speak, how they walk and talk. Take good notes. Get inspiration from every day people and every day life. Remember --"Truth is Stranger Than Fiction."
Tip #3 Coming up with a great idea for an independent screenplay-- OR any screenplay-- is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the writing process. Use what is known as "The Bubble Method" to come up with new ideas and/or new ways to look at old ideas.
-First, draw a circle on a sheet of paper. Write down an idea in the circle. For example, "Sacred Cows." Then draw a series of lines or "spokes" that relate to your main idea. Each spoke is a new but related idea or concept. Brainstorm with yourself or a friend using the "Bubble Method."
-Without thinking too much, you can come up with many different ideas related to the original e.g. Animals in India, Hinduism, Reincarnation. etc. Keep drawing circles and spokes until you have lots of related ideas.
Tip #4 Free write. Choose one one two of your ideas from Tip #3 and write a loose story about them. Begin with the phrase "This is a Story About..." Write without stopping for ten minutes. Let your mind roam free. Then stop and put your paper away.
Tip #5 Write a treatment. This is a document, written in prose, that tells your main story in a few pages. Refer to what you wrote for Tip #3. Describe your main characters or character from Tip #3. Tell what happens to them. Structure a simple story with a Beginning, Middle and End. Make your treatment two to three double spaced pages. Remember all drama is conflict. What conflicts will your character(s) face and how do they overcome or resolve them? This is the essence of your screenplay.
Tip #6 Get to know your main characters. What do they look like? How are they dressed? How do they walk and talk? What do they want and need? When did they grow up? What are their personalities? What is their back story i.e. what were their lives like before we meet them on the page/screen? Write it all down in a 1-2 page "Character Description" for each main character.
Tip #7 Study the Three Act Structure. Read and/or review books by Syd Field ("The Screenwriters Workbook" is a good one) and other well known screenwriters/teachers. Many agree that all screenplays follow a Three Act Structure. Understand the role and function of structure as a "container" for screenwriting. Review your Treatment and Character Descriptions and make any necessary changes,
Tip #8 Read and Review books/article about proper screenplay format. You can google "Nichols Screenwriting Competition" and get a sample format for screenplays. "Writing the Short Screenplay" by Claudia Johnson is a very good book for beginning screenwriters. It has sample short screenplays. Buy a used copy on Amazon.com
You MUST follow the PROPER SCREENPLAY FORMAT or your work will not be read by professionals.
Tip #9 Write an outline for a THREE PAGE SHORT SCREENPLAY. This is also called a "Scene by Scene." Break your story down into a series of scenes. Refer top your Treatment and Character Descriptions when writing.
Tip #10 Write a first draft of your screenplay in three pages. Use proper SCENE HEADINGS, SCENE DESCRIPTIONS and DIALOGUE. These are the building blocks of a screenplay. Show your draft to a trusted friend. Then rewrite. Writing is all about re-writing. Keep writing drafts until you a have a good one.
if you want to continue, read as much about screen writing as you can. Read sample screenplays. A website called "Drew's Script-O-Rama" has free downloads of feature film screenplays. Keep reading and writing. Make it a habit. Find or form a group of fellow writers and share and critique your work. Take a class and find a Mentor. You are on your way!
Did you make New Year's resolutions for your writing? Do create new writing goals every year but then never quite see them all through? There is always a reason why you are not reaching your writing goals. If you are able to pinpoint these reasons, it will help you to improve and to be sure you reach your writing resolutions and goals the next time. It's not too late to revisit your resolutions for this year and try again to make them work.
The first step is to refresh yourself on what your resolutions were in the first place. Sit down and look at your goals again. Are they in writing? writing a rationale [EXAMPLE]? Are they reasonable and attainable? Some people never reach their writer's resolutions because they make their goals too high and unattainable in the first place.
Next, consider if your goals are really in your control. What steps would you have to take to ensure that you could reach these goals? If the power is in your hands to make it happen, then you know you have chosen an attainable goal.
While you are re-evaluating your goals, take the time to notice if you have set smaller, mini goals to help you reach your main goals. If you have only one big goal and no plan to help you get there, then you have not created a resolution that you will be able to reach. This is why it is important to take a second look and create smaller goals that help you to reach your main goals.
Finally, you need to map out the steps that you are going to take to meet these goals in a logical fashion that you can stick to on a regular basis. You cannot stick to your resolutions without a plan that you are capable of maintaining. Some people go into it with great intentions but they are just not able to pull it all together.
There needs to be a regular, daily effort for you to see the results of your plan. Each day you don't have to be going at it 110% but you should at least be doing something each day towards your overall goal. This is how you reach your goals; one small step at a time.
Keep in mind that writing resolutions don't have to happen just at New Year's. You can create new resolutions any time throughout the year that you feel the need. All you have to do is plan out your goals and then sit down and create a step by step plan to reach them. Once you have done this, you can plan and reach writer's resolutions whenever you need to.