Research: Life is Messy: An Exploration of Parallel Storytelling (exegesis) Tied: A Short Film Script (project)
Abstract: “Parallel narrative” films depicting several main protagonists and intertwining plotlines are becoming increasingly prevalent in mainstream Hollywood cinema. These complex narratives “present[s] a particular craft challenge” (Bordwell 2006c, pg. 99) to contemporary screenwriters.
My honours project is a short film script of thirty minutes based on a particular mode of parallel narrative entitled “fractured tandem”. Fractured tandem possesses a number of specific traits such as non-linearity and a focus on the themes of coincidence, tragic accidents and consequences. The aim of the script is to adhere to some of these principles of fractured tandem whilst containing the story to thirty pages of script.
This exegesis contains a discussion of the possible origins of parallel narrative, its unique characteristics, and why it has gained such relevance in commerical cinematic storytelling over the past two decades. It also addresses the issue of how to approach parallel narrative, particularly fractured tandem, from a screenwriting point of view, providing a number of models and devices upon which parallel structures are based. Finally, the exegesis contains a series of detailed reflections documenting the process of writing my short fractured tandem film script.
Author: Jasmine Roth
Supervisor: Christine Rogers