ABSTRACT

I write and make silent films – the kind where trees fall silently in the forest whether you are there or not. This practice-led thesis, DUMBSTRUCK: Lessons in Silence, examines the creative possibilities that this anachronistic practice offers contemporary filmmakers and screenwriters, arguing that taking away synchronous sound encourages authors to re-imagine cinematic story space as a physical, even sculptural place, not one driven by text-based tales alone.

Through the presentation of a feature screenplay, a short film and an accompanying exegesis, DUMBSTRUCK: Lessons in Silence, will investigate what it is to write ‘silence’, what it is to shoot ‘silence’ and what it is to critically consider ‘silence’. These three elements, in combination, will also explore the nature of visual encounter and understanding and talk to, and about, different ways of knowing – the way of knowing things ‘about’ film and way of knowing ‘through’ film.

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