For my Barrett Thesis Project, I completed a total rewrite of the feature-length screenplay I wrote for my Herberger Senior Project. This process constituted completing a full analysis of my original work with my Thesis Director and Second Reader, discussing character motivation, thematic throughlines, story logic, and realism in dialogue. This initial analysis caused me to almost entirely rewrite the original script, adjusting dialogue, sequences of events, pacing and character work.
The majority of this rewrite was spent on fine-tuning character and motivation, strengthening them in some cases and changing them entirely in others. I really strove to emphasize the relationships they had with each other and how the situations and connections affected the state of mind, therefore leading to the chain of events that happened in the script in a much more natural way. I also worked to emphasize certain story elements that benefited the characters and thematic content, specifically my protagonist’s struggle with schizophrenia. In this draft, I turned that character trait into a visual element, which I believe further heightened the visual and emotional stakes of the story and gave the characters an increased sense of motivation and struggle. In this draft I also worked to break down the stereotype connected with my secondary protagonist, a sex worker. Instead of emphasizing her strength and beauty, as many action films with a strong/sexualized woman in a supporting role do, I adjusted her story arc to break her stereotype (and her character) down throughout the story. I wanted to depict her as a person with flaws that extend beyond her choice of profession, though the latter certainly did not help. I believe that the final product succeeds in both main goals.
While working on this rewrite, I also completed a script edit journal that detailed the significant changes in action, pacing or dialogue I made and what my reasoning was behind them.
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