A study of the filmmaking process from screenwriting through production and post-production

Plan Author

  • Jenny Smyth, 2016

Fields of Concentration

  • Film and Video Studies

Sample Courses

Project Description

A short film produced from an original screenplay.

Faculty Sponsors

  • Jay Craven

Outside Evaluator

  • Jesse Kreitzer, Burlington College


This Plan involves the production of a short film, titled “What Happened at the Party,” based on an original screenplay. The film follows the shifting relationships and mercurial attractions that occur on a college campus. The Plan also includes an independent component composed of a paper about the tragic but comic heroines found in Pedro Almodovar’s films.


Interior of Elsa and Lex’s dorm room. Evening. Lex and Elsa get ready to go out and party.

LEX: So you really don’t like Mason?
ELSA: No. He hates me.
LEX: Okay good.
ELSA: I mean he’s super attractive but his personality turns me off.
LEX: I know, I love how misanthropic he is. I’m gonna text him to casually mention there’s a party tonight.
ELSA: Alright, but don’t mention I’m going or he might not want to go.

The beauty of Almodovar’s three Noir Comedy female protagonists lies not in their femininity but in their ability to see beyond their gender’s conventional limits or tragedies that they suffer while embracing their womanhood. That is, they learn to define for themselves what it means to be a woman beyond what the men in their life want or don’t want from them. Raimunda, for instance, accepts that she cannot erase the abuse that victimized her in the past, but she does decide not to let it cast a permanent shadow over her and Paula’s life. By the end of Volver, she has returned, as the title indicates in Spanish, from the grief caused by the trauma of her earlier life. Manuela’s positive revelation comes out of realizing she will survive the deep sadness caused by her son’s death through the inspiring new life of Rosa’s baby in All About My Mother. Pepa may not have a man in her life, as mentioned previously, when we last see her in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, but she has something better: her own self-respect.


The inspiration for my Plan was a stage play that I wrote a year and half before I started Plan. That stage play was itself inspired by my social experience as a freshman at Marlboro. The most interesting part is that I shot a short film using locations that were entirely on Marlboro campus. Most of my actors were fellow students as well.

My Plan relates to what I’m doing next because it is a comedic film, and that is the area of art that I want to go into after graduation.