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Beast Sellers: The Necessary Evils of Paratexts in the Development and Marketing of the Horror-Thriller Screenplay

Armstrong, Shayne (2005) Beast Sellers: The Necessary Evils of Paratexts in the Development and Marketing of the Horror-Thriller Screenplay. Masters by Research by Creative Works, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Monster Business is a feature film project comprising a horror-thriller feature screenplay and an accompanying exegesis. The screenplay is about a best-selling author who is behind on the delivery of the sequel to his money-spinning first novel and is made an offer by an enigmatic stranger to help rearrange his working environment to facilitate the rapid completion of the manuscript. Over the coming hours, then months, the author discovers just how far the stranger will go to complete the terms of this bizarre and brutal new contract.

This accompanying exegesis examines a series of 'paratexts' (a logline, a one-pager and a treatment) that the screenplay has given rise to. The thesis argues that the role of the screenwriter does not end with the production of the core text--the screenplay.

Instead, in order to support the development and/or the marketing of the script into a feature film, the screenwriter is an ongoing generator of supplemental documents or

paratexts. The paper explores the status and function of paratexts (loglines, onepagers, treatments and explanatory development notes). It further argues that developmental paratexts are a necessary evil, providing a sifting or culling mechanism for producers and production executives, and that they are intended to guide a project toward being 'greenlit' but will more often have, at best, benign or, at worst, negative or destructive effects on its development. In this way, developmental paratexts, although ubiquitous and pro forma, are inherently problematic.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16446
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research by Creative Works)
Supervisor: Glover, Stuart
Keywords: paratexts, horror film, thriller, screenplay, Australian film industry, Hollywood, spec script, logline, one-pager, treatment
Divisions: Current > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Department: Faculty of Creative Industries
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Shayne Armstrong
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 14:03
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:48

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