Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
John Scott Strickland
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Film and Media Studies | Radio | Television
For my honors thesis project, I chose to write a screenplay entitled, “Tears of a Clown”. This story, which is roughly based on my life, is about two clowns who wind up falling in love and working together in the circus. This story loosely shadows my life in the sense that I myself wanted to pursue a career in standup comedy rather than clowning. The main difference between my life and the life of the main character was that despite the fact that I did not fail at being a standup comedian, I chose to pursue an alternative route of learning to be a comedic writer.
I developed the initial concept for “Tears of a Clown” back during my days in middle school. One day, I decided to make a short film about a clown whose girlfriend left him for the cotton candy vendor in the circus. This was the birth of what would later become the basic idea for my script.
In, the fall of 2005, I began my first screenwriting class. One of the first assignments was to pitch three ideas for the screenplay that you were considering to write during the course of a semester. I chose to write “Tears of a Clown” over the other two ideas because when I had gone to dinner, I heard the song “Tears of a Clown” and took that as a sign from above. The actual process of writing the script was an entirely new experience for me. Being that this was my first script, I spent a great deal of time trying to create nothing less than perfection. In the end I was happy with the product that I had created.
In conclusion, I now realize that when writing a screenplay, there are usually several drafts that are completed until the final product is completed. I look back at this experience and realize what a wonderful opportunity it was because it allowed me to gain a perspective on what it is like to be a screenwriter.
Knobler, Adam, "Tears of a Clown" (2006). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 635.
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