Date of this Version
Eubanks, Gabe. Mask Fealty: Developing A Feature-Length Screenplay. University of Nebraska - Lincoln Honors Program, 2021.
Throughout my time as a student of the Johnny Carson School, there is one skill that played a role in every project, task, or collaboration I was a part of. I have undoubtedly enhanced this skill through in-numerous repetition in courses and assignments, as my creativity was constantly required and applied. This skill is, of course, my storytelling capability. From theatrical productions, to collaborative film endeavors, to nearly all genres encompassing “media,” I have developed my ability to tell stories in various mediums by constantly testing the lengths of my own individual creativity. For my honors thesis (or the culmination of all my prior undergraduate creative work), I knew I had to challenge myself further - partaking in my most laborious, but rewardful project to date. I challenged myself to create a story and plot for a feature length screenplay, and then materialize this vision into a completed deliverable. For my separate Film and New Media Capstone project, I wrote, produced, and led the sound department on a 15 minute short film titled Rosie’s Watch. My new feature length screenplay would be a continuation of this story, as Rosie’s Watch would act as a prequel and “proof of concept” to production houses who might wish to produce my feature screenplay. It was a challenge juggling these two thesis projects alongside my various other creative outlets, but I am extremely proud of my grit in challenging myself to achieve above and beyond the status quo. The ideation process for this project started collaboratively with my Capstone partners. In January of 2020, we spent hours together bouncing ideas off one another to hone in a unified story for our project. From there, I began writing the original short screenplay Rosie’s Watch - which was eventually produced in the Fall of 2020. Throughout the previous summer, and well into the school year, I began expanding on these larger narrative ideas that my group had originally discussed. I was aided through the early plot formation through a recent graduate of my college and talented screenwriter - my good friend Maya Peirce. Maya had recently completed their own first feature length screenplay, so they had plenty of helpful guidance to assist my creative process. When the countdown for deadlines began rapidly approaching, I found myself frequently hitting impassable walls of writer’s block. For the entirety of this project, I felt inspired to type away and think up ideas; it was no longer as enjoyable with hard deadlines looming over my head. In perhaps the greatest thing I’ve learned in all of college, I realized my flaw in attempting to overachieve: you cannot force creativity. Through all my projects thus far, the scope was not nearly as large as what I set out to accomplish with my honors thesis. Although I am proud of how much I was able to accomplish, I only wrote half of the 100 page screenplay I originally intended to write. That being said, I plan to complete the remainder of this screenplay over the summer, when I will have much less to obstruct my creative process. While I was only able to halfway complete my actual screenplay, I learned much more about the process of creating feature length stories - and the scope of such a project. The plot, characters, and overall story of my screenplay are all completed, with nearly half of the scenes actually written. The following documentation records the story outline, character sketches, and the completed scenes so far.