School of Film and TV - Theses

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    Explorative sculpture as a creativity support tool for developing characters and stories for animation
    Wallace, Justine ( 2017)
    This practice-led research examines the use of explorative sculpture as a creativity support tool for developing characters and stories for animated films and video games. The process of constructing three-dimensional representations to visualise and catalyse ideas, is practised in a range of domains, including architecture, fine art and industrial design. These physical representations are sometimes referred to as sketch models, concept models, prototypes, mock-ups or 3D sketches and are used to generate and experiment with ideas during the early conceptualisation phase of the design process. As part of this study, I used explorative sculpture to develop the characters in a screenplay for animation called Kiddo. The resulting explorative sculptures and the story they helped to shape are the central artefacts of the research. The research findings suggest that while explorative sculpture has limitations as a creativity support tool, it also has unique and useful attributes which, when used in combination with other tools, may facilitate the creative process during the early phases of animation and video game development. This study aims to focus and refine my practice as a teacher and maker of animation and games. It was led by my longstanding and persistent proclivity for sculpting, which has been developed across twenty years creating sculpture for museums, stop-motion animation, puppetry, special effects and character design. It was also catalysed when, as a teacher, I perceived a problematic tendency for courses and texts on developing animation and games to privilege text-based approaches to generating ideas. The dissertation that forms part of this study, contextualises explorative sculpture by investigating its use by artists and designers. To examine the process of explorative sculpting in my own practice, I utilised Sullivan’s thinking and making research model. Specifically, I prepared video recordings of my explorative sculpting sessions, during which I verbalised my thinking and decision-making process (Sullivan 2010). I also discuss explorative sculpture considering the following themes: Practicality, Physicality and Touch, Chance, Roughness and Ambiguity and Practitioner Preference. The development of these themes drew on my experience using explorative sculpture as a creativity support tool as well as existing research on cognition, design and creativity. The findings of this study suggest that explorative sculptures are less practical than twodimensional sketching and less useful for rendering a large quantity of rough and ambiguous iterations. However, explorative sculptures, by virtue of their threedimensionality, can convey useful haptic feedback, material qualities and visual information which may facilitate creative responses from students and practitioners of animation and games design. Explorative sculptures also lend themselves well to the incorporation of found objects and the influence of chance. They may also be useful for students and practitioners who benefit from the use of kinaesthetic and visual creativity support tools. I argue then, that explorative sculpting can be a useful creativity support tool for developing characters and stories for animation and games, especially when combined with conventional ideation methods like writing and two-dimensional sketching.
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    On the same page: an exploration of the co-screenwriting experience
    O'Keefe, Andrew ( 2014)
    Most commercial screen product created in the last century has been the result of collaboration between two or more writers. However, while there exists a significant body of research into the areas of both ‘collaboration’ and ‘screenwriting’, very little exists which interrogates their nexus. This practice-led thesis begins to address that gap by firstly investigating the process of co-screenwriting through my writing collaboration with John Studley on the feature-length screenplay, The Last Resort. Throughout the writing of the screenplay I maintained observational diaries, transcribed audio recordings of writing sessions and reflected on communication and collaboration patterns. Secondly, this thesis also attempts to contextualise this collaboration between two screenwriters constructing a feature-length screenplay by examining various co-authoring models used. In spite of the fact that the majority of film scripts are credited to one writer, I suggest that collaborative screenwriting within the film industry is highly prevalent, particularly in Hollywood, where it takes many guises, both overt and covert, willing and unwilling. I further suggest that historically, the rigid modern screenplay format used by many contemporary screenwriters developed as a by-product of studio-enforced collaborations during the silent-movie era of Hollywood and, therefore, this particular form of the screenplay may be ideally suited to co-writing. Through the examination of my own collaborative screenwriting practices, I conclude that a prolonged and well-considered prewriting phase may be highly desirable to the quality of the final screenplay and the health of the collaborative process. I propose that conversational collaboration (writing every word together) can be an effective technique between two screenwriters; and that conversational collaboration significantly enhances the vocabulary required to successfully co-write and strengthens what is, possibly, the most important ingredient of all successful collaborations: trust.