'CooperStreet' (original screenplay); and, Into the foreground : an examination of setting in the screenplay

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Communications and Arts


Education and Arts

First Advisor

Dr Marcella Polain


This thesis in Creative Writing consists of an original feature-length screenplay and an essay examining the function of setting within the screenwriting discourse. The screenplay, titled 'Cooper Street', is set in future Perth where rumors of an alien presence threaten to disrupt the state's lucrative mining industry. Setting plays a key role within 'Cooper Street'. Scenes are set across giant sweeps of desert, inside sea containers converted to inner-city housing, and within raging sporting crowds to create a believable projection of life in future Western Australia. These characteristics facilitate the accompanying essay, which explores the factors that inform decisions on setting. The topic of setting is approached on several levels. Initially there is an examination of the issue of originality. The possible advantages of using original settings, as opposed to the familiar or cliche is discussed, with several interesting findings. Secondary to this is an exploration of the relationship between setting and activity within a screenplay. Certain types of settings are suggested as being more conducive to activity, and the potential benefits of both active and passive settings are considered. Finally the issue of a setting's thematic potential is addressed. An active relationship is revealed between a screenplay's settings and thematic preoccupations. Examination of the creative implementation of this relationship confirms the potential for setting to be a defining force within screenwriting. Whilst several films are used as a reference within the essay, the main point of analysis will be 'Cooper Street'. Various decisions informing the selection of settings throughout 'Cooper Street' are examined within the theoretical framework outlined, with the aim of establishing a rationale in an area often overlooked by existing screenwriting manuals.

Access Note

Access to this thesis is restricted to the exegesis and to current ECU staff and students. Email request to library@ecu.edu.au

Access to this thesis is restricted. Please see the Access Note below for access details.