Sex, vows and jellybeans screenplay

Brash, Alan David
Ward, Nicholas
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Master of Creative Writing
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Auckland University of Technology

Sex, Vows and Jellybeans is an irreverent, bawdy, male-skewed comedy feature screenplay. It is reminiscent in tone to films such as There's Something About Mary, The Forty Year Old Virgin and The Hangover. It features two brothers – one single, one married – who engage in a contest to see who can have more sex. The accompanying exegesis takes an auto-ethnographical approach to this project and contextualises the work in relation to various sceenplay structure theories, including genre-specific models. In particular, I used the exegesis to examine the extent to which various screenplay structure models' primary value is descriptive, and the extent to which they are useful as tools in actually writing a screenplay. I also considered whether comedy or romantic comedy film stories have a genre-specific structure, distinct from the more generic models of screenplay structure popularised in the last twenty-thirty years.

   My conclusion was that the more complex models were more "all encompassing" in their scope, but were prohibitively complicated to be used easily in the creative process. Simpler models – such as those espoused by Blake Snyder, Syd Field, and Chris Soth – didn't always feel relevant to every story scenario. But when one "cherry picked" from several models, one could develop a useful "road map" for the creative process that is structuring a two hour screenplay. Finally, the more metaphorical models – such as Christopher Vogler's The Hero's Journey – proved too oblique for a story such as mine. Further, its proponents seemed so intent on conveying the idea that the model is almost infinitely flexible that it didn't provide a useful guide to me in shaping my story.
   In summary: Almost all of these models were excellent at labelling or describing elements of completed films. They were often less useful in assisting a writer create a useable shape for their particular story. Genre-specific models tended to follow a similar pattern to non-genre specific models, often using different terminology to describe similar plot points.
Screenplay , Script , Romantic comedy , Rom-com , Screenplay structure , Three act structure , How to write a script , How to write a screenplay , How to write a comedy , How to write a rom-com
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