Movies of the past were mostly made by white people, for white people.
Not so much anymore. Do The Right Thing! offers screenwriting strategies that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. The five films that are discussed are Moonlight, Get Out, Mudbound, Roma, and Always Be My Maybe.
The goal is to teach an already challenging writing mode that requires screenwriters to create complex human experiences through visual storytelling. We are in a critical historical moment where the importance of screenwriting can be of the utmost usefulness in the observation of racism, inequity and inclusion in all media.
The screen representations of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or class are not often explicitly addressed at the “front end” of the film production process, specifically, during the creation of the screenplay (whether original or adapted from outside source material). The idea is to introduce and reinforce the importance of accountability for what you write for the screen. This is not to limit the screenwriter’s creative impulses, but rather to create and engage them in consistent ways that reveal unconscious biases and instances of systemic racism.
We will use five case studies of commercially successful and award-winning screenplays that resist stereotypes to present multidimensional depictions of historically underrepresented groups, such as LGBTQ, African American, Latino and Asian American. In the discussions of each individual screenplay issues such as the adaptation process, plot structure and devices, characterization, setting, symbolism, and genre conventions are introduced and analyzed in depth.