A filmic adaptation of the Lorraine Loots's Ek is Suzie

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The aim of the creative project was to adapt an autobiographical illustrated novel, Ek is Suzie, into a screenplay for a full-length feature film. Using a combination of live action and animation, the two main narratives play out parallel to one another – representing the past and present tense. The explication is intended to offer a reflection on the process of writing the screenplay, on filmic influences that shaped it and on the kinds of theory that illuminate what I was trying to accomplish. Thus, I investigate various creative and technical decisions made during the writing of the screenplay – dropping the novel’s narrator, the mixing of languages, the use of dream and, especially, the play between live action and animation. I note the debate on fidelity in adaptation especially as this debate applies to graphic novels and take special account of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, not only because of its engagement with the process of adaptation, but also because of it seminal use of animation as a serious medium of communication, dealing with trauma and childhood. Other (popular) filmic influences are In America, My Left Foot and Garden State, dealing with the dominant themes in my screenplay – childhood trauma, self-discovery, friendship, family and love.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 13-15).