MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
authorin' is funny times
yo. so i've been taking a screenwriting class, and it's the first creative writing class i've ever really taken, so it's the first time in college where i've been creaing my own work. though, like all of you, as the liberal arts college student i am, i've written volumes, none of this really seemed to be like my own work, cuz it's all based on researching something else, it's all done in a framework of a class, etc.
throughout the class, we're supposed to have written a feature length screenplay (80-120 pages). being in this class, while being in senior seminar at the same time has been interesting, since we've been examining deeply what it means to be an author, etc. and now i'm trying it out. I just turned it in today and i'm thinking about the whole process.
one thing that struck me, was the issue of social responsibility. in several of my classes, we've spent time deconstructing films and tv shows, and analyzing how thing either challenge or reinforce notions of blah blah blah. it was really challenging to have that knowledge in my head while trying to write. you also have to think of what is good in terms of story. On one hand you want to be conscious of stuff. for me, why i'm interested in media studies, is that i'd like to see more representations of people of color, women, etc. however, i found myself recycling a lot of the stuff that i think are problematic. it was a lot more difficult than i thought to create characters and storylines that didn't conform to what's already out there. some stuff is repeated so much because it creates conflict in storylines, create nice arcs, etc. for example, going into my story, i was tired of certain types of characters always having to be opposites, like either or. however, that creates conflict, which makes the story better (supposedly). i think it's important to not stay tied to that, and be innovative...but damn, it was harder than i thought!
i guess in the end there's no perfect representation. i remember once in high school, we had to make a screenplay adapting a shakespeare play. my group did othello and made it into a historical martial arts movie (like crouching tiger hidden dragon style). what was challenging there was that you have othello, and then you have desdemona and iago. desdemona would have conformed to the stereotype of asian women as docile and subservient. iago would conform to one stereotypie that asian men are sneaky, cannot be trusted. we thought it would be interesting to make iago a woman, but then that would follow one stereotype of asian women being conniving, dragon ladies. in the end, it's good to create lots of different types of representations, cuz no one is perfect. i think what a lot of marginalized groups complain about is that they're only subject to one kind of representation. what would it be like if OC was the only representation of white folks?