Show simple item record Parker, Eric-Alain 2015-08-10T20:53:56Z 2015-08-10T20:53:56Z 2015-05
dc.description Thesis (M.F.A.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2015 en_US
dc.description.abstract Set in Belgium in the 1990s, Wolvendael (Flemish for Valley of the Wolves) fictionalizes the aftermath of one of Europe's biggest scandals. Our protagonist, Arjen Desmet, is an aspiring journalist whose life and relationships are beginning to suffer because of his single-minded obsession with getting "the whole story." Drawing from the tradition of Belgian comics such as Tintin, the whole story, it turns out, is more grotesque and hilarious than we could have anticipated; Arjen Desmet ends up unwittingly above his pay grade as political intrigue, monsters, and comedy convene in this farcical take on horror as a film genre. A screenplay, or film script, is best read as a blueprint for producing a dramatic film. The screenwriter lays the structural and aesthetic foundation by composing the setting, story, pacing, characterization, and visual tone. Only when this blueprint is structurally sound can the director and crew render the words on the page into a film. Screenplays generally follow a three act structure. Act I should be thought of as the set up; since viewers are more open minded at the beginning of a film, world building and characterization need to be solidified at this point. The dramatic premise is introduced and by the end of the act, should culminate in an inciting event--the catalytic conflict that will drive the rest of the story. Act II addresses the ongoing confrontations and obstacles that pull the protagonist out of his comfort zone, eventually landing him at his lowest point. Act III is typically shorter, since it focuses entirely on the resolution. Sometimes dubbed the "final battle," this act lifts the protagonist out of the mire that is Act II so that he can be confronted by or implicated in the climax of the film before the denouement unfurls. Though it adheres to the traditional three act structure, Wolvendael features two notable idiosyncrasies. Like the bulk of Raymond Carver's stories, it begins after a major conflict and focuses on what goes on behind closed doors. Though the context is not as subtle as a Carver piece, tension is endemic to the script's story world, rendering it unstable from the very beginning in spite of our protagonist's obliviousness. Wolvendael's other quirk comes in its favoring of the anticlimax over the climax. The European infatuation with farce (see Voltaire's Candide) maintains that an anticlimactic ending is no less potent than a climactic one--it is simply gratifying for sobering reasons, not redemptive ones. Good examples of successful anticlimaxes occur in Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man and Hayao Miyazaki's animated masterpiece, Spirited Away. Speaking of animation, a two-dimensional rendering of the script could be as, if not more viable than live action since several characters flirt with caricature, sensational and quasi-supernatural events abound, and the script itself was born from a Belgian love for comic art. en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents Anatomy of a screenplay -- Screenplay jargon -- Wolvendael screenplay. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.title Wolvendael en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US mfa en_US
dc.identifier.department Department of English en_US
dc.contributor.chair Kamerling, Leonard
dc.contributor.committee Hill, Sean
dc.contributor.committee Carr, Richard

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