Thoughts on Assignment 1

I’m frustrated that I haven’t posted on this blog for a while. Life has been busy and I haven’t been able to spend enough time on my coursework. I’m glad Assignment 1 is not submitted for formal assessment!

I felt that I rushed the first assignment. I wasn’t able to meet my deadline and had to push it back by a week. I’m not overly enthusiastic about my three synopses either…doubting my ideas and the fact that I hadn’t spent enough time on the exercises. Having said that I have read some screenplays: Little Miss Sunshine (screenplay by Michael Arndt), Atonement (screenplay by Christopher Hampton) and American Beauty (screenplay by Alan Ball). I’m hopeful that by reading more scripts I will get to grips with the process of screenwriting and begin to feel comfortable with writing in this format.

Writing visually certainly makes me think more about what I put on the page. Adapting an extract from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was the second part of the assignment and I think I enjoyed this more than coming up with my own three synopses (should I even admit that?) I downloaded the adapted screenplay by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pierce and started to work on the extract. Whilst I endeavoured to capture the scene with slight adjustments, I’d forgotten to reference point of view and descriptions about each character. My tutor also remarked it was a little on the short side; I’d just about managed 3 pages but could have stretched to four.

I think I was a bit daunted about doing my first screenplay exercise and thought it better to err on the side of caution, however, it limited my creativity by doing so and therefore resulted in silly mistakes.

Advice by my tutor to make certain adjustments has helped me to understand what I need to do going forward, certainly for Assignment 2. In crafting conflict for the next assignment, I must pay attention to the contrasting voices of each character and think about what makes them unique and how that can be visually expressed in the scene. Thinking about how conflict is going to move my character along to a state of resolution will hopefully satisfy the viewer. Easier said than done!

Finally, since starting ‘Scriptwriting’ I am more aware of what I’m watching on television and screen and how what if’s tantalise the viewer. For instance, does a scene engage the viewer and satisfy them. Is it far-fetched or realistic?  Am I rooting for the protagonist or the antagonist? Am I engaging with what I’m watching? The other night I shrieked at my television “would that really happen?” whilst watching The Replacement. Well, I must’ve been engaged to cause that reaction even though the scene was very far-fetched. In fact, for me, much of them were. As for satisfaction, the juries still out…








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