Female Rising

Stone, Kathleen
Milligan, Christina
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Master of Creative Writing
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Auckland University of Technology

The purpose of this exegesis is to share my exploration and understanding of film genre and to illustrate the development process in creating my thesis, a screenplay titled Uncommon Sense. I consider the use of my chosen film genres throughout my study and compare my works to established works in those genres. I share my understanding of film genre and how it factors into a range of historical and contemporary art forms and industries.

I explore various genre and define a genre for my script. I provide examples of works from the same genre, for comparison. This approach explores key signifiers and common elements which define that genre. I test using these signifiers and argue that it belongs in the genre I have chosen. I speculate and argue for a yet to be determined genre, which my script would likely fit into.

The second part of the exegesis is about my specific learning and processes writing three different scripts, finally choosing one to develop into a second draft. I define an emotional truth which is at the heart of my story and why it is important for me to share this truth in my script. I explore my motivation through my personal history. With synopses and analysis, I chronicle the process of creating the work from a half page pitch through beat sheet outlines, then first, and second drafts and finally a polished second draft. I identify various techniques I used and considerations encountered in my story development. The techniques include defining a dramatic question, plot and relationship lines, character arcs, the clarity around the character roles and character triangulation. Attention is drawn to how escalating tension and urgency, essentially raising the stakes, can contribute to better story. The creating of turning points in the story and providing a genuinely satisfying ending, which satisfies the dramatic question, are reflected on. I note where I use shifting points of view and other methods to increase dramatic tension. I reflect on experimentation with fluctuating character empathy in key characters. I define my desired themes of social justice and universal spiritual quandary.

The trials and errors made during the creation of my stories challenged and developed me as a screenwriter. I identify and reflect on learning from a few of the challenges I faced working on the script/thesis. An advantage of the convoluted road my writing has taken, is that it took me to some foreign crossroads where I was forced to make difficult decisions. Sometimes I had to decide to turn back to more familiar territory and get my bearings. Pursuing this endeavour has revealed that I have learned a good deal about what to write, and also, what not to write. I hope that, in time, I can implement these dramatic storytelling lessons in increasingly efficient and dynamic ways.

Mother daughter , Paranormal , Thriller , Film script
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