Jennine Lanouette is revolutionising the way the art of screenwriting is taught, as Emmanuelle Charlier discovers.

The founder of Screentakes Digital Publishing has developed a series of interactive ebooks for story structure analysis of “great films” such as The African Queen and Thelma & Louise.

“We have a cultural bias about text on a page,” says Lanouette, whose Screentakes offers insights and in-depth studies on screenplay story and structure.

“We think we have to be reading to be learning. My prototype multimedia ebook demonstrates that the combination of visuals, audio and text, plus some interactivity, make for an engaging and enjoyable learning experience, even for the heady, in-depth structural analysis that I provide.”

Screentakes has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to complete the work on Lanouette’s prototype and produce a second ebook while also developing the series for iOS, Android and web streaming.

A sample of the iOS prototype of Screentakes’ first ebook, an analysis of The African Queen, is available for download on the Kickstarter website.

“I chose The African Queen for the prototype because it’s such a beloved classic,” Lanouette writes on the campaign’s site. “I thought it would help people enter into the ebook experience. Plus, it’s very good for introducing conventional structure while also showing how a story can go beyond that.”

For Lanouette, the multimedia ebook platform is essential for conveying her 20-plus years of lecturing experience on screenwriting in a way that does justice to the content while also reaching a broad audience of film professionals, aspiring screenwriters and cinephiles.

“What this means for me is that I get to take this subject I love to teach and make it available to many, many more people than I could ever reach in classrooms,” she says. 

Click here to visit the Screentakes site.