Digital Development: Using the Smartphone to Enhance Screenwriting Practice

  • Craig BattyEmail author
  • Stayci Taylor


In his chapter “Smartphone Screenwriting: Creativity, Technology, and Screenplays-on-the-Go”, Craig Batty argues that while technological advances might seemingly be breeding new types of screenwriting practice via apps and digital tools, in fact they are almost exclusively responding to market demands and facilitating existing, rather than inspiring new, practices: “every tool and app is still reliant on what the screenwriter brings to it” (Batty, p. 113, in: Berry and Schleser (eds) Mobile Media Making in an Age of Smartphones. Palgrave, New York, 2014). The question still remains: if technology can determine the type, style and form of screen media being produced (e.g. smartphone filmmaking, the web series), can it also influence the ways these works are written, beyond replicating what happens in the analogue world? How might the capabilities of mobile media shape and enhance the story-making practices of a screenwriter?


Mobile script development Screenwriting apps 


  1. Apatow, J. (2007). Knocked up: The shooting script. New York: Newmarket Press.Google Scholar
  2. Batty, C. (2014a). Smartphone screenwriting: Creativity, technology, and screenplays-on-the-go. In M. Berry & M. Schleser (Eds.), Mobile media making in the age of smartphones (pp. 104–114). New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  3. Batty, C. (2014b). ‘Show me your slugline and I’ll let you have the Firstlook’: Some thoughts on today’s digital screenwriting tools and apps. Media International Australia, 153, 118–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernstein, P. (2015, July 7). 7 best screenwriting apps to make life easier. Indiewire. Available at [accessed 5 June 2017].
  5. Bloore, P. (2012). The screenplay business: Managing creativity and script development in the film industry. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Burke, D. (2011, October 26). Flash fiction: Intense, urgent and a little explosive. The Irish Times. Available at [accessed 5 June 2017].
  7. Conor, B. (2013). Hired hands, liars, schmucks: Histories of screenwriting work and workers in contemporary screen production. In M. Banks, S. Taylor, & R. Gill (Eds.), Theorizing cultural work: Transforming labour in the cultural and creative industries (pp. 44–55). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Dalgleish, R. (2013). Where we’re kept: Some consequences of writing sudden memoir. In Creative Manoeuvres: Making, Saying, Being—Refereed Proceedings of the 18th Conference of Australasian Association of Writing Programs (pp. 1–9). Available at [accessed 5 June 2017].
  9. Douglas, P. (2005). Writing the TV drama series: How to succeed as a professional writer in TV. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions.Google Scholar
  10. Hjorth, L., & Lim, S. S. (2012). Mobile intimacy in an age of affective mobile media. Feminist Media Studies, Special Issue: Mobile Intimacies, 12(4), 477–484.Google Scholar
  11. Kerrigan, A. (2015, May 13). 10 reasons you should make a web series (instead of an indie film). Indiewire. Available at [accessed 5 June 2017].
  12. Kerrigan, S., & Batty, C. (2016). Re-conceptualising screenwriting for the academy: The social, cultural and creative practice of developing a screenplay. New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 13(1), 130–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Larson, T. (2007). The memoir and the memoirist: Reading and writing personal narrative. Athens: Swanlow Press/Ohio University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Macdonald, I. W. (2013). Screenwriting poetics and the screen idea. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. New York Film Academy. (n.d.). Screenwriting apps. Available at [accessed 5 June 2017].
  16. Riordan, M. (2015). Editorial. Poetry Review, 105(2). Available at [accessed 12 June 2017].
  17. (n.d.). Best screenwriting apps for iPad. Available at [accessed 5 June 2017].
  18. Taylor, S. (2015). It’s the Wild West out there: Can web series destabilise traditional notions of script development? In What’s This Space? Refereed Proceedings of the Australian Screen Production Education and Research Association Annual Conference (pp. 1–14).Google Scholar
  19. Tofler, M. (2017). Australian-made comedy online: Laughs, shock, surprise and anger. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies. Available at [accessed 12 June 2017].
  20. Whalley, C. (2015). Post-internet poetry. Poetry Review, 105(2). Available at [accessed 12 June 2017].
  21. Williams, D. (2012). Web TV series: How to make and market them. Harpenden: Kamera.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations