The Celluloid Paper Trail: Identification and Description of Twentieth Century Film Scripts is the first book ever published on film script identification and description. Lavishly illustrated and detailed, designed for any book scholar, including collectors, archivists, librarians, and dealers.
The film script is an example of rare book that defies nearly every norm. It is issued, not published, and rather than having a "first edition," it can be one of many drafts that fit within the development and production of a motion picture. Adding to its complexity is the fact that its method and style of issuance and printing has changed considerably over the course of the 20th century.
The Celluloid Paper Trail is the first book published specifically to aid scholars in the identification and description of the 20th century film script. Visually sumptuous, methodical, detailed, and entertaining, this study is designed to help the rare book scholar ask questions, identify, and comprehend both the content, construction, and history of American and British film scripts. Scripts considered in the book range from the 1920s to the 1980s, the period during which the art of cinema was birthed, developed, and perfected.
Screenwriters hard at work, circa 1950s. Photograph by Peter Stackpole.
Topics covered in the book:
• Overview of the filmmaking process as it relates to script development.
• Script identification with respect to the different roles of cast and crew.
• Bindings, printing, duplication, and identification of later reproductions.
• Understanding various technical annotations made in scripts.
• Understanding scripts from historical and thematic perspectives.
• Detailed breakdown of a sample script, using various reference tools.
• Sample visual history of scripts, with dozens of examples.
• Purple Illustrated paper covered boards, titles in gilt, no dust jacket as issued. 232 pages. 8.5 x 11 inches.
Kevin R. Johnson is a rare-book dealer and a scholar of the nexus of film and literature. He is the author of two previous works published by Oak Knoll Press: The Dark Page and The Dark Page II: Books that Inspired American Film Noir. He has curated an exhibition of rare photographs of film directors on the set at the American Film Institute, and has lectured on the subject of film script identification at Yale University and the University of Virginia's Rare Book School.
Edition of 800 copies