Writing 

Piece 1.

In this first person narrative, I recount my personal experience family holiday on the Gold Coast in Australia. On this afternoon, I received the phone call telling me that I had been cast as Fat Sam in Bugsy Malone who was one of my dream roles. 

The Call

The scent of sand and salt drifted through the pushed open window, in an attempt to cool down our humid hotel room. I laid chest down upon my stiff, stubborn bed with my small portable DVD player doing a balancing act on the curved edge next to me. As my eyes fixated on the programme, my fingers danced around the headphone cord, I had always struggled to sit still. While the episode began to reach its climax, I grew more enticed into what could possibly happen next. 

Ping! Ping! Ping! The ringing of a familiar tune echoed through the apartment from my mum’s chirping phone. With a grunt and a thud, my mother’s footsteps shook the ground like an aftershock as she got up to answer her cellphone. Having been disturbed, I pushed my finger along the rigid volume dial, increasing the volume to tune out from her predictably loud conversation. 

Moments past and those same footsteps that had paced to answer the phone began to draw closer to my room. My heart lept into my throat. Could this be the phone call I had been anticipating? As she walked into the room, my mum couldn’t help herself grinning from ear to ear. She held out her arm. “It’s for you.” I grabbed the phone in an pseudo calm manner and firmly clutched it to my ear. This was the moment I had eagerly been waiting months for. This was the moment I would finally learn my fate. 

A brief amount of small talk went by before the lady on the other end of the phone began to reveal the casting news. Her bright voice dropped in pace as she slowly began to talk. “We had a lot of talented people audition and unfortunately we couldn’t cast everyone.” My heart numbed and my head churned with emotions. The role I spent months dreaming of began fading out of reach. I cleared my throat and let the words tentatively squeaked from my mouth, “yeah, I understand.” Accepting my heartbreak seemed like my only option.

Despite feeling helpless, the woman continued to talk: “but we’ve cast you as Fat Sam.” Within a heartbeat, all thoughts left my mind. Had I heard correctly? I sat riveted on the edge of my messy bed. I couldn’t speak. I didn’t know what to say. “Pardon me?” 

“You’re Fat Sam!” she chuckled, knowing the passion I had about wanting this role. A newborn energy jolted through my veins. My silence turned and filled the room with an awkward laughter. “Holy crap, thank you so much!” The tense grip I once had on the phone was lost as it loosely sat in the palm of my quivering hand. My chest collapsed as life returned to my body. I still could not contain my laughter and excitement. 

As the news slowly sunk into my brain, I heard the faint sound of another voice talking. I held the phone tightly to my ear once again to realise that the new voice belonged to the director I would soon be working with. In a flustered state I tried calming myself down to listen to what she was rushing to tell me but it was too late. Her words of advice were over before I knew she had started, leaving me eagerly wanting to know what had been said. As she handed the phone back to the first woman, thanking words spilled from my tongue once more as we mutually ended the call. The buzz of excitement and anticipation still bounced around my stomach.

Slowly, my legs shifted towards the window. I let my eyes gaze across the tall, winding buildings of the foreign city. A light breeze from the open window softly filled my grinning face. Still full of energy, I burst down the hall into the living area. Both parents sat on the couch with large boggling eyes waiting in anticipation. My smiling cheeks ached before I could deliver the news. The words I longed to say now filled my beaming mouth. “I got it. I got the part.”
 

Piece 2.
This piece is written in the form of a fictitious blogpost from a student my age who has just read the book ‘Alive.’ It’s primary purpose is to inform the readers on cannibalism and wether or not it could be considered natural. 


Having recently read Piers Paul Read’s book Alive based on the 1972 survival story of the Andes plane crash, I was intrigued by the thought of the survivors resulting in cannibalism as a food source. While this action was essential for the group to survive, after further research I have found evidence to show that cannibalism may be more in our nature than we care to think. To some surprise, in modern society, there is still evidence of people who currently act on cannibalism. Although this action is seen by society as being vulgar, could cannibalism still be a part of our human nature? 
The book Alive portrays a ‘real life’ example of a group of people being forced into facing the decision to eat human flesh. This situation was one that a majority of the survivors initially struggled with, believing it was against their religious morals. During the initial conversation about eating the dead, Marcelo began asking “what have we done that God asks us to eat the bodies of our dead friends?” From questioning his religion, the readers can understand how deep the emotional impact is of having to turn to cannibalism. Even in a ‘life or death’ situation, cannibalism is still something that many people would struggle with, as seen by Marcelo. Although some were less willing to eat the flesh of their deceased friends, others were more open to the idea. When the suggestion of cannibalism first arose, Dominic stated “if that was the only way to stay alive…I would eat anything.” The author used this quote to show the contrasted opinions as some consider their own survival before their moral code.

After reading a series of online articles, I learnt that cannibalism lies more in our roots than we care to think. One article titled ’10 Engrossing Facts About Cannibalism’ stated that “evidence says our ancestors had cannibalistic tendencies as far back as 800,000 years ago.” This evidence shows that humans cannibalistic traits date back to our early ancestors and is believed that eating other people may have been a regular custom. The same article goes into further detail by telling readers that “the average human adult provides 30 kilograms (66 lb) of food, including fat, muscle, organs, and skin.” This helps to explain why some people turn to cannibalism as the average body contains plenty of food, particularly to those in a survival situation. In an article called ‘Survival Cannibalism’ the author spoke of cannibalism found in our closest relatives, chimpanzees. He mentioned that “in 1976, primatologist Jane Goodall witnessed two females (chimpanzees)…eat three baby chimps.” This shocking information shows that cannibalism is not only embedded in human nature but animals as well. By seeing that our closest relatives have been known to result in cannibalism, this could mean that as humans we could possibly have the potential to act in the same manner. All this evidence points to the fact that cannibalism may in fact be part of our natural survival instincts.

Although cannibalism is no longer common, there are still instances discovered in modern society. An online news source about survival cannibalism mentioned that “as of 2006, the Korowai were one of very few tribes still believed to eat human flesh as a cultural practice.” The tribe believes that they are eating demons who posses the bodies of other tribe members. As it is part of their religion, they do not see cannibalism as being bad, instead they see it as ‘cleansing their tribe.’ Another source discussed where cannibalism is found in the modern society. The article mentions that in 2012 “a Brazilian trio killed a woman and sold empanadas made from her flesh.” Unlike the previous religious example, this was done because the three Brazilians took pleasure from murdering a woman and selling her as flesh anonymous of the meats true substance. There are many reasons why people turn to cannibalism. For some, like the Andes Survivors, people become cannibalistic as a result of needing to survive. Others however eat human flesh for religious reasons or more gruesome, for their own enjoyment.
The text Alive written by Piers Paul Read peaked my interest about wether cannibalism was a natural human trait. In Alive, the group of survivors were forced to eat the flesh of the deceased as their crash location offered no other sources of food. Cannibalistic traits have been found in humans dating back thousands of years. These traits have also been spotted in chimpanzees, further adding to the idea that cannibalism may be part of our nature. In modern society, tribes and small groups of people still practise cannibalism. An article published by the World Heritage Encyclopaedia discussed the reasons why people resort to cannibalism in a survival state. The author used evolutionary theorist Lewis Petrinovich as its primary source of information. According to the article, Petrinovich’s theory states that humans resort to cannibalism “in times of extreme famine because our basic instinct to survive overtakes our usual revulsion.” This helps to prove that although cannibalism would be unnatural for someone living in our society, it may be natural for someone in an extreme life or death situation.
Bibliography:
Alive: Piers Paul Read

10 Engrossing Facts About Cannibalism

http://www.gutenberg.us/articles/survival_cannibalism

The Culture That Still Practices Cannibalism

http://www.aol.com/article/2016/06/29/places-where-modern-day-cannibalism-still-exists/21421203/

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Individual Concept

GENRE: ComedyTARGET AUDIENCE: Young adults

SYNOPSIS: Young girl/boy looking after older neighbours house for the night/weekend while they go away for the weekend. Shortly after them leaving, the teenager accidentally breaks China cup, in trying to clean it up they end up damaging more items and climaxes to the ashes of the neighbours spouse falling all over them. After all this, the neighbour returns having left their keys behind to see the damage.

SHOOTING STYLE: starts slow, pace/tension builds, 

Drama Character Development – Sergeant Hing and Matt Mickleson

Hing:

– Agnostic but goes to church and practices Christianity with Christian family

-Family grew up in Wyoming

-has a daughter (16)

-married

-friendly with everyone

-appreciates the finer things “mountains, blue”

-doesn’t like the medias negative portrayal of all their stories

-age 43

-knows all the locals

-worked as a sergeant for 13 years

-Friday night has quiz nights with work colleagues down at local bar  

To play this role I will lower my voice to make him appear older and when talking to the reporters. This will also help show his maturity and by moving with authority will show the contrast between his job and the lower class of some of the other Laramie residents such as the ranchers. When talking to the news reporters, I will frown and talk with a negative tone to show his frustration with the way the media is portraying the incident. 

Matt Mickleson:

-family man

-proud of heritage (knowing about great grandfather moving to Wyoming in 1862 and Louisa Grandma Swain casting first women’s ballot)

-owns the Fireside Bar

-ambitious about recreating ‘Old Blue Front Opera House’ and possibly franchising it (such as owning gift shop)

-lives with girlfriend of 3 and half years

-26 years old

-friendly 

-Christian

Mickleson has a lot of energy and large hand gestures to show his enthusiasm and youthful spirit. I will also speak with a bright tone to show his positive outlook on life. When on the phone with Gallaway after hearing about what happened with Matthew, I will speak quickly to show his desperation and shock of hearing the bad news.

Media Coverage Essay | Gloriavale

Gloriavale is a Christian community based in Greymouth, New Zealand and live their lives completely devoted to “God”. This is considered interesting and newsworthy because of its controversial nature with people disagreeing whether or not this is a positive way for them to live. It has become a focus of the news due to the fact that everyone has an opinion on the community. The earliest that I have found Gloriavale being covered in the media was in 2009 but since a documentary aired in 2014, they have become a more prominent topic in the media. 
The coverage of this issue is re-occurring because of the subjects controversy. With topics such as religion, everyone has an opinion which gives it a big talking point. With the conflict around religion, Gloriavale is an extreme example which gives everyone something to talk about as we all have an opinion on this life style. There is continuity as year, there is a new investigation that takes place such as finding out that one of their leaders is a convicted sex offender. A small amount of documentaries air about the community eg. Gloriavale: Worlds Apart which aired at the start of 2014. This causes the general public to discuss their opinion over this issue.
The Gloriavale community is in Greymouth so it has been covered in the media because of its proximity to us here in New Zealand. On July 12th 2014, an article was published discussing a documentary that had aired shortly prior. Other than recapping the events of the documentary, the article displayed very little new information therefore the article was published to display the same information online in a different form of media besides the television. Had Gloriavale been overseas then this article would not have been published as no one would be interested in an overseas documentary about a religious community. Another online news article was published on stuff.co.nz on March 10th 2015 explains about a family that had left the Gloriavale community to start a new life in Timaru. This article gives another example of proximity as it was published to show the readers that this family traveled from the west to east side of the South Island in order to retain a new life for themselves. Because this is a New Zealand story, they have gone into more depth about the families travels and success of their new lives as it relates to us and we are interested in what is happening in our own country. 
Gloriavale is a very controversial issue as everyone has a different opinion on the situation. Some articles tell the events in a positive tone but other focus more on the negative issues that surround their community. Articles such as the one published July 12th 2014 on stuff.co.nz focuses on the debate about whether or not they live in a cult or idyllic society which causes the readers to leave debating their own beliefs on the issue. With a situation like religion, everyone believes that they know the correct answer so the media uses these debates to create a talking point. An effect of the controversial nature of Gloriavale can be that the negative feedback gets back to those who live in the community which could leave to more people believing that their society may not be the best place for them and they could leave with the family because of this. Reports of Gloriavales leaders being convicted sex offenders could lead to police investigations and more recently, an anonymous telephone help line for members of Gloriavale who are having concerns has been set up so that the police can try control the actions that may be taking place inside the community. 
There was also a lot of shock value involving the situation as some of the Gloriavale residents had reported various incidents about their communities leaders. An article published online on dailymail.co.uk on the 11th of March, 2015 reported that families had left Gloriavale and were being offered protection from their leaders sexual abuse. the article went into a fair amount of detail about the Gloriavale leaders sexual harassment towards their communities women. This was seen as shocking as the community was promoting their perfect lifestyles yet those running the community have been reported as sexually harassing their women which has now got the police investigating. Other reports also state that the police have set up a phone life specially for those being harassed and wanting to report it. The serious tone of these articles publicising the events make the articles more shocking for the audience to read as it emphasises the importance of the event. 
There are many implications and consequences of the news reports on Gloriavale. With Gloriavale being a regular news story, it has created public awareness on the issue. Because a majority of the news articles are written in a negative perspective, this causes a negative public opinion to form on the issue. When the reports of the leaders being convicted sex offenders were published, the public had a strong negative opinion due to the shock value and pathos towards the women of Gloriavale. Due to the fact that many of our population are believe in other religions or none at all, this forms a bias towards being against the Gloriavale community as we have different believe to the ones that they have so we immediately do not want to agree with them as we believe that our personal beliefs are better than theirs. This also fan lead on to stereotyping Christians to all having beliefs as strong as those who live inside of Gloriavale. Along with the negative articles, there is the occasional positive article on Gloriavale which then causes debated and discussions over the issue on social media websites such as Facebook and the comment sections of news websites. The news reports of Gloriavale have many implications and consequences to their society as well as to the consumers who read he news reports on the events.  

Music Video Log

15/6/2015

Today, Damon and I began to discuss our music video ideas but did not come up with any final ideas as Cat was not here so we did not want to make any decisions without her or without hearing her own idea for a music video. 

16/6/2015

Once again, Cat was not at school so Damon and I progressed without her and decided to do my concept using the song Classic by MKTO. We began to work on our Final Concept work and decided how we are going to cut the song to make it between 2:00-2:30 minutes long. When Cat comes back we have planned to fill her on what we have done and let her know where we are now headed.

18/6/2015

Today Damon and I continued on our final concept and discussed setting and costumes. We have decided against doing the 1950’s time period and instead are replacing it with medieval times set in a forest. Damon began work on the SWOT analysis and I did more work on the final concept. We still need to work out where we want to set the modern day time period in a place that the two lead actors are together which we will do next time. We also disucssed our video with Mrs Brown who seemed happy with our concept and helped us in what to write on our SWOT analysis

19/6/2015

After finalising our lead cast, Jessica Rogers and Caleb Hogan, I continued to work on our final concept and Damon worked on editing the song to take out the last verse so it is under 2:30 minutes and took out the drums at the beginning of the song.

23/6/2015

Cat was here yesterday so we spent 20 minutes trying to let her know what we were doing, what the concept is and everything we have done so far. We have also shown her what we still need to do and she began working and finished the Codes and Conventions, I began work on the story board and Damon continued on the SWOT analysis. 

24/6/2015

Today we decided that the modern day setting was going to take place in a cafe in Orewa. We came up with ideas for back up actors in case either our leads pull out. 

21/6/2015

Today we had to recast our male actor as he was too busy to film with other commitments. Caleb Jamieson is now taking on this role. We are still currently unsure wether our female can film so we have another actress on standby and will be finalised tonight which one will be in the music video. The dance studio we were hoping to film in is unavailable so we are now filming in the Orewa College dance room. We are unsure on if we can use the costumes from Centrestage so we have a back up plan on using the costumes from the school costume department. We have finalised filming dates which are as the following:

Friday 24th July – Dance Room 3:15-5:15

Sunday 25th July- Orewa Cafe/Streets 12:00-3:30

Monday 3rd August – Centrestage 3:15-5:30

Sunday 9th August – Forest 11:00-2:00

24/6/2015

Today we began filming in the school dance room for our 1980’s setup. We filmed approximately half of what we needed to film when the camera died so we could not do any more filming. I am going to talk to Mrs Hilliar about rebooking the dance room but due to everyone’s commitments with the school show, Anything Goes, we will likely have to wait until the week after it closes to be able to film. Because of this, we have taken pictures of the actors (primarily Geena’s) hair and makeup so that when we film again we can match the continuity as much as possible. 

26/6/2015

This morning we met at McDonalds Orewa which was just around the corner we were planning to film at but unfortunately The Coffee Club was very full so we made the decision to change the beginning of the video and instead Caleb was sitting outside on a park bench which resulted in the start making a lot more sense that what it was going to and took a complicated idea and simplified it for the better. I brought a car battery thing that we plugged into the camera which charged it while we were filming to ensure that it won’t die. We filmed everything we needed and will start to edit next period

27/6/2015

At Anything Goes rehearsal, I got costumes from Centrestages costume department for the medieval time period which included a red velvet dress and a white frilly shirt with grey/brown striped pants and be will also have a belt, frog and sword to go with it.

28/6/2015

We began setting up our footage on the computer and sorting through our footage. Once we got everything sorted out, we begun editing towards the end of the period and have the first 15 seconds done and have roughly got the next few shots lined up

29/6/2015

Today our computer was being used so we could not continue to edit. We caught up on work that needed to be done, Damon edited the song so we have a shorter intro and cut out one of the verses. We discussed about where we can find rope for the medieval time period and I will ask my mum tonight about if she has some at her work.

Creative Writing Self Analysis

The hardest part about the process of creative writing was coming up with an idea but once I had the idea, writing the story became quite easy. I think that I came up with a good idea for creative writing but some parts towards the end felt rushed and some bits were not explained very well. I’m not sure how predictable the ending was or if I had hinted too much about what was going to happen. I feel that I used good English techniques and described the events and the environment quite well and hopefully gave the readers clear understanding on what their house looked like. Next time I would rewrite the ending and explain more about why Laura decided to try kill her dad because for me, that plot point felt too rushed and was left unexplained. As much as I would hope to achieve an excellence, I feel that my finished story is only at a Merit level as the ending to my story was not as strong as it could be and it felt a bit too rushed in the middle but I feel that I have used enough different writing techniques to be worth Merit.

Melodrama Self Analysis

1. Does my character actually reflect a stock melodramatic character? How?

My character reflects a stock melodrama hero as I have big, over the top movement and gestures. I use stereotypical hero poses such as hands on my hips and crossing my arms. as the hero, I also defeat the villain and save the damsel and her husband. My voice is loud with over the top expressions to emphasise the melodramatic acting style.

2. Does our play follow the correct theme of a melodrama? Explain.

our play follows the correct theme of a melodrama as it starts with Jenny, the damsel, and her husband in bad situation where they owe sir vile pits, the villain, money but they cannot pay him. Sir vile pits then comes in and threatens Jenny to pay him but Sidney, her long lost brother and the hero, comes in and pays sir vile pits the money and takes Jenny and her husband out of their rundown house to live a rich live happily ever after.

3. What could you personally do better in portraying your character?

Personally, I could improve on being more fluent with the way that I speak instead of always pausing to look at my script but once I have learnt my lines this shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Also, when Sir Vile Pits insults me I get angry right away instead of first being offended and building up to anger so that there is a climax between the two characters arguments. Some of the poses I do are because I feel like I need to do something which then reflects on my performance and makes it feel awkward so I need to try make my actions feel more natural instead of me just doing them.

4. What areas could your group improve on?
Our group could improve on not always going off task as occasionally we would start to muck around and stop taking it seriously which can be good sometimes so we are having fun but some lessons it feels like we get no work done. However, as a group we are progressing really well and we already have most of our skit planned with Que cards for audience interaction and music to make some scenes more sad, some scenes more menacing and some more heroic.

5. How might you add other melodrama features into your play to show your understanding?
To show our understanding of melodramas, we need to add more of the poses and stances of stereotypical melodrama characters. We have que cards for audience interaction and music so know we also need to organise simple costumes and props to make the performance come to life.