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The Screenplay and the Spectator: Exploring Audience Identification through Narrative Structure

Finnegan, J. (2015) The Screenplay and the Spectator: Exploring Audience Identification through Narrative Structure. In: Screenwriting, Text and Performance, the 8th Screenwriting Research Network (SRN) International Conference, University of London, September 2015.

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Abstract

In The protagonist�s dramatic goals, wants and needs (2010), Patrick Cattrysse offers a revision of character �want� and �need�, a common trope in screenwriting guides and manuals to develop a protagonist�s arc throughout a story. His revision expands on this theory to include the audience and their subconscious dialogue with a character. This dialogue can bring about feelings of sympathy and empathy, which can lead to identification. It can also bring about feelings of fear or anxiety in the audience based on their knowledge of the character. In Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher (1987), Carol Clover identifies the �Final Girl� theory, a trope found in the Horror �slasher� subgenre. The Final Girl is easily identifiable for both screenplay readers and film spectators, and is an ideal theoretical model to explore the revision that Cattrysse speaks of, and can be further explored through the application of narratological and screenplay theories. This paper will argue that the screenplay and screenwriter can play a leading role in better understanding the audience in film studies, an area that has traditionally been focused on the response and reaction to the completed film. The Final Girl theory can offer a suitable framework for the writing of a screenplay that aims to explore theories of shifting audience identification in cinema, and across genre, through narrative structure.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Creative Studies and Media
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2015 02:09
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2015 02:11
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5509
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