University of Iowa Honors Theses

Thesis Title

Dogman's Ensemble

Major Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Degree

BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2016

Honors Major Advisor

Marie Kruger

Thesis Mentor

Brooks Landon

Abstract

Dogman’s Ensemble is a crime/action/comedy with an ensemble cast. Its major influences include the work of the Coen brothers and Quentin Tarantino, specifically Pulp Fiction. It is what is considered a “low concept” film, focussing primarily on the characters and their relationships. Oftentimes scenes are composed almost entirely of dialogue, to the point that dialogue may even overpower the action. As a writer I am particularly interested in what characters do in their downtime as much as how they spend their time pursuing a goal. In this way the script attempts to mimic real life, in which people do take the time to stop and chat about nothing in particular. Naturally, it became challenging at times to keep the scenes interesting, which put more pressure on the dialogue to establish a palpable rhythm and cadence to each scene. In a way this script attempts to push the boundaries of what a viewer will tolerate and accept in terms of action, which scenes hold their interest and which bore them to death. Ideally of course, the viewer is never bored.

The film is arranged in a five-act structure, although the act breaks are not denoted. Act one introduces the conflict, or the inciting incident that sets the rest of the film into motion. Act two presents further complication of the conflict, bringing the characters together in ways that increase dramatic tension. Act three presents an even further complication, a turning point in the story, resulting in a climax-like scenario, in which one or more of the characters makes a decision from which they cannot turn back. Act four is the spiral, in which a number of actions are taken quickly and without much forethought, as the urgency rises. Act five is the resolution, in which the action is resolved somewhat violently, and from there the film ends. The film is as much an experiment in structure as it is in character.

Keywords

Screenplay

Total Pages

109 pages

Copyright

Copyright © 2016 Samuel Feldstein

Included in

Screenwriting Commons

COinS
 

URL

https://ir.uiowa.edu/honors_theses/24