Repurposing

I’ve given a lot of thought as to how I’m going to tackle this repurposing project. The whole thing sounds like a giant beast that I have to slay, beginning with choosing the piece of writing that I wanted to use as my starting point. I finally decided on my narrative about family, which makes the argument that family is just a group of people who have learned how to fake a smile together. This was very difficult to think about changing in terms of the audience, because who wants to hear that? I originally thought about writing a short story (or a long work of fiction), but I still wasn’t sure who I wanted to direct it to. ¬†After a slew of really fantastic suggestions from my peers, though, I narrowed my choices down to screenplay or some sort of public service announcement. This still left the problem of the audience. Who wants to hear this mildly depressing argument about family not being that perfect? Probably no one. So then I thought: maybe someone needs to hear it.

Shelley mentioned to me in class something about foster parents or people looking to adopt children, which I think is a very interesting concept. Perhaps these people need to know what they’re getting into before they finally take the plunge and have children. But then there’s also the question of what I want the piece to do. I certainly don’t want to dissuade anyone from adopting children, as I think this is an important aspect of society, and lord knows there are so many kids out there who deserve loving parents. So I now I’m thinking that it shouldn’t be some sort of depressing announcement that makes people feel as though they’re getting into something that they shouldn’t, and they need to rethink all of their choices. I want to make people laugh about it. I want to take my gloomy narrative and make light of it, in the form of a video (or a screenplay that eventually gets remediated into a video).

I think, then that my repurposing project will be redirecting my essay, whose audience was just my professor, toward potential new parents to adopted children. It will be in the form of a funny video with serious undertones, and be used to inform people that life with kids will not be all sunshine and rainbows. I’m picturing a younger sister pounding on a bathroom door and fighting about stupid arbitrary things like who ate the last bowl of cereal. I’m kind of terrified that it’s going to fall flat, though, so I’m also considering other options at this point.

3 thoughts to “Repurposing”

  1. I like how you walk us through your thought process in this post. The thing with this project is that there are so many options and there really isn’t a “right” one. It would be neat to see a piece go from a stationary thing to a moving piece with several real emotions.

    I’m not sure if I agree with you on who would want to hear a piece on this topic because I would be interested it and I think people who enjoy reading about “real life” situations would too. It would present the harsh, overlooked “truth” about families.

    I think you’re going in a good direction and maybe now you know what you want to do with it!

  2. Hi!

    A really exciting and original idea. I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves, and it sounds like you’ve already made some great progress in that direction.

    I had an idea that might be interesting. What if you considered incorporating family photos into your piece? You could take perfectly normal looking photos, where everyone is dressed well and smiling, and then telling their actual stories. You could even begin your piece with your family photo and talk about how you’re all smiling and happy, but that the picture doesn’t tell the whole story. You could use just your own photo or a whole lot of them, giving it a buzzfeed feel. If you’re worried about it feeling too dismal, you could also include some humorous photos. Perhaps this would work as part of a brochure for adoptive/foster parents.

    You’ve got a great idea here!

    1. Thanks so much for your input! I didn’t even think about the whole BuzzFeed thing, but that’s definitely an interesting idea. Maybe it could end up taking on the form of a bunch of testimonials that talk about the reality of having children. I love the idea of incorporating real family photos into it. I could even use the one that my original essay was based on. SO many good ideas!

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