Assignment Name: Final Film Proposal Project
Purpose: Analyze multiple perspectives on an issue in U.S. history and propose a resolution
CO8. Consider different perspectives on a problem or controversy related to Modern US History and attempt to reach a resolution about it. (Global Engagement)
Be familiar with founding documents behind institutions of self‐governance in the United States
Be aware of landmark Supreme Court cases, legislation, and executive actions, and historical meaning
Global Learning Co-Curricular Requirement
This is it. You will make or break your dream of becoming a film writer with this proposal. Building upon the first round, make the best film screenplay proposal you can.
Write an extended film proposal based on your chosen SCOTUS case. You should emphasize a historical person, event, or group related to a Supreme Court case made between the period of 1877-1990* that you think would make for an epic feature film, but that has not been well-represented in film or media up to this point. You can do this in several ways: for instance, by presenting a well-known historical character involved in the case in a totally new perspective, illuminating people involved in a well-documented case whose stories were overlooked, or by focusing on a SCOTUS decision that has never been portrayed in Hollywood before.
Your final proposal must be comprised of the following elements:
Professional Cover Sheet and Title
A 500-1,000 word film overview (treatment
(Links to an external site.)
) that clearly articulates the narrative arc of the documentary, the details of the case, and the conclusions that you would draw as the director of the project. (you may include revised elements from your initial proposal here). In addition to a basic summary of the case (your revised synopsis), this should include:
How you will persuade the audience to see your point of view. Be sure to include how you will use music, lighting, etc in your film.
The main and supporting characters. Who are the central characters in this story? What are they like? How are you presenting them?
Provide the names of at least four people you would interview for this documentary. Explain why you chose them and what their perspectives would contribute to this film. Obvious choices would be historians, public scholars, or contemporary witnesses to the events.
What artistic liberties do you take in this film, and why? Can you make a purely factual film? What are the potential benefits and losses of taking artistic liberties?
An argument of why the documentary should be made (~250-500 words). This is your space to argue for the importance of this film. The producer is looking for a movie that will be both captivating to audiences and has something important to say about American history. It should therefore not veer wildly from the historical facts of the case. Think about:
What new and fresh perspective does your proposal bring to this topic?
Are there films or documentaries that have been made of your SCOTUS case that have been very popular? How would your documentary complement or challenge the existing narrative?
What message does this documentary have to say that will resonate with the general public?
Are you going for controversy or consensus?
3. To make your case as strong as possible, you will need to demonstrate that you know the current perspective on this topic in the general public. To do this, find at least one contemporary article or film that portrays or analyzes your case/topic/main character and explain how your documentary project challenges, changes, modifies, or supports the viewpoint in the contemporary piece. (~200 words) By doing this you will also happen to fulfill the Global Learning Co-Curricular requirement for the course.
4. An annotated bibliography of sources that you consulted for use in the film. Minimum 10 sources: must be high quality primary and secondary sources. At least one of these sources must be the contemporary popular media source (within the past 5 years) mentioned in the previous paragraph. You know your stuff. SHOW OFF to the committee!
If you lost count that is 1,200-1,700 words (approx. 5-7 double-spaced pages) total (not including annotated bibliography).
*why 1990? It’s an arbitrary date, but the point is that you should choose a case that is far enough in the past that you can demonstrate historical significance in your project.
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