Let’s Talk Screenwriting – Creativity, Viewing Metrics and Performance

#2 Data-Driven Screenwriting

 25 November 2019, 14:00-15:30

Utrecht University, Department Media and Culture Studies
Kromme Nieuwegracht 20 (entrance via Muntstraat 2A), 3512 EV Utrecht
Grote Zaal


  • Martin van Steijn (screenwriter/actor)
  • Michael Leendertse (screenwriter)
  • Judith Keilbach (UU)
  • Hanna Surma (UU)


  • Willemien Sanders

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/478573929409819/

Online content providers such as streaming video on demand-platforms collect a wealth of data on users and their viewing behaviour. What do those data mean for the development of new content?  How do screenwriters in the Netherlands experience the proclaimed shift towards ‘data-driven’ screenwriting? How might current forms of gathering, analyzing and utilizing viewing data such as datafied industry audience research affect the work of screenwriters, now and in the future? What are the potentials of artificially intelligent script analysis?

Martin van Steijn (freelance screenwriter/actor), Michael Leendertse (screenwriter, Winchester McFly), Judith Keilbach (Utrecht University) and Hanna Surma (Utrecht University) will discuss how novel forms of data deployment and audience research affect the work of creative practitioners in the Dutch media industries, how screenwriters reflect on and negotiate these current changes, and what potential consequences data-driven screenwriting practices might have for educational programmes and the training of screenwriters.

This is the second of three sessions in the Let’s Talk Screenwriting series on Creativity, Viewing Metrics and Performance. During the last two decades, transformations in the media and television industries have brought about significant changes in production processes and the work (and role) of screenwriters in particular. In the sessions scholars from across Europe will work together with screenwriters and other professionals to examine how these changes alter creative practices, what they mean for rendering a screenplay into a performance, and how new technology driven information, such as viewing data and direct feedback through social media, impact screenwriting processes. The aim of these gatherings is to get academics and screenwriters into a productive conversation with each other by reflecting on the relationship between and knowledge from both research and practice.

Programme Let’s Talk Screenwriting – Creativity, Viewing Metrics and Performance

#1 Screenwriting and Creativity (28 October 2019)
with Bridget Conor (King’s College London), Annemieke van Vliet (Fiction Valley) and Astrid van Keulen (AVROTROS)

#2 Data-driven Screenwriting (25 November 2019, 14:00-15:30)
Martin van Steijn (screenwriter/actor)
Michael Leendertse (screenwriter)
Judith Keilbach (UU)
Hanna Surma (UU)
Willemien Sanders

#3 From Screenplay to Performance (16 December 2019)
with Carly Wijs (actress/author/director) and others

Let’s Talk Screenwriting: Creativity, Viewing Metrics and Performance is an initiative of the Media Research Group. All students from BA- and (R)MA-programmes, scholars in media, communication, and arts, screen­writers and other media professionals are cordially invited to all sessions.