Friday, January 23, 2009

Group Field Project

The Group Field Project, worth thirty percent of the course grade, is to prepare a dramatisation proposal of Ford Madox Ford's 1922 modernist masterpiece Parade's End for broadcast as a period mini-series for BBC television. The dramatisation will concentrate on the incomparable and dominant character Sylvia Tietjens.

The BBC has previously broadcast a three-part dramatisation of the novel, back in 1964, on their Theatre 625, with a powerful cast (listed under imdb) and well-received.

Parade's End is read as one of our five primary course texts; a substantial work of world literature; a crucial modernist text; and from an author instrumental in the practical rise of modernism as a literary and academic movement.

The project is structured as follows.

Four Research Groups.
  1. Rivalry. Valentine Wannop, Suffragism and the New Woman.
  2. Femme fatale. Sylvia Tietjens, marriage and adultery, and sadism.
  3. Tory. British class system, death of the aristocracy, triumph of the middle class & capitalism.
  4. War. Mobilisation, trench warfare, shell shock, Edwardian culture & setting.

These four groups are comprised of five students each. The members of each group take notes through the reading of Parade's End on sections of text pertinent to their group's area. The members then meet, discuss, and collate their group's notes. This collation is then organised into a format which can be used as material for a script centred on the character of Sylia Tietjens. The four groups represent an effective four-part structure of an appealing dramatisation.

Each group can themselves decide whether they prefer to work in egalitarian manner, or to designate one member to collate and format the notes, in consultation with the full group.

The loose date for delivery of the final research work is March 16th.

Script-Writing Group

This group is responsible for developing a script or script outline, a series title, and an idea for the series structure, using the material collated and formatted by the four research groups. An idea and general outline will be nascent before the March 16th date of delivery of the research work.

Note that,in terms of script, there are obvious thematic connection across all four research divisions. For instance, the theme of politics connects "Suffragism & the New Woman," "marriage and adultery;" "triumph of the middle class;" and "war."

Filming Group

A group of up to three students responsible for arranging and organising the filming of a series trailer: this includes setting, wardrobe, directing and camera.

Organising Tribunal

A group of three students will form a tribunal to oversee, facilitate, direct and track the on-going progress of the project, including the drafting and distribution of the pitch bible.

The completion date for the project is April 13th. Seminar time will be apportioned for work on the project, concentratedly during the five course weeks set for lecture and seminar work apart from the Field Project on the novel itself.

Note that each student is expected to contribute no more than, and no less than, thirty percent of the course effort on the Field project, in addition to project work done during seminar.

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