Project Title

Beetlejuice: A Screenplay Analysis

Presenters

Emily RubinFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

Faculty Sponsor Name

Anna Weinstein

Abstract (300 words maximum)

In Michael McDowell and Warren Skaaren’s Beetlejuice (1988), a married couple become ghosts and try to get the family who moved into their home out. They eventually turn to Beetlejuice, a self-proclaimed “bio-exorcist,” but his plans are not what the couple had in mind. In this presentation, I will show how the writers create conflict in the film and its screenplay and how they weave theme throughout the story. Through dialogue and structure, McDowell and Skaaren construct internal and external conflicts for the characters while also subtly revealing the themes of family, a sense of belonging, and death and mortality throughout the story. I will also show a few of the differences between the screenplay and the final film and how the theme and conflict still come across despite the changes. I will use Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! and Eric Bork’s The Idea for my analysis.

Disciplines

Screenwriting

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Beetlejuice: A Screenplay Analysis

In Michael McDowell and Warren Skaaren’s Beetlejuice (1988), a married couple become ghosts and try to get the family who moved into their home out. They eventually turn to Beetlejuice, a self-proclaimed “bio-exorcist,” but his plans are not what the couple had in mind. In this presentation, I will show how the writers create conflict in the film and its screenplay and how they weave theme throughout the story. Through dialogue and structure, McDowell and Skaaren construct internal and external conflicts for the characters while also subtly revealing the themes of family, a sense of belonging, and death and mortality throughout the story. I will also show a few of the differences between the screenplay and the final film and how the theme and conflict still come across despite the changes. I will use Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! and Eric Bork’s The Idea for my analysis.

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