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Publication Date

Spring 2016

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


Scott W. Sublett


Choices, Dramedy, Ensemble, Filmmaking, Frenemies, Millennials

Subject Areas

Creative writing; Literature; Theater


An ensemble dramedy, The Final Cut, examines the brutal and unglamorous world of independent filmmaking. The Final Cut explores themes such as betrayal, the decay of friendships, and reconciliation. In the midst of a career-making opportunity, Ari must make difficult decisions for his career that undermines his personal relationships. Under the patronage of Carmen, an artist and aging trophy wife, Ari sets out to make a short film that will win him a game-changing deal. Ari contends with the sexual advances of Carmen and the resultant jealousy of Carmen's older business mogul husband, Walt. Walt takes his anger out on Ari, making Ari's life as difficult as he can throughout filming. At the risk of damaging his line of funding, Ari attempts to assuage both Carmen and Walt to disastrous results. Zoey, one of the short's actresses and Ari's old flame, complicates matters. Other members of the cast and crew have their own complications.

As the conflict progresses, Ari must juggle the personal needs and wants of his friends and producers, while securing the future of his career by making the best short possible. What happens when his closest friends realize that he is willing to sacrifice their relationship for his raison d'être, filmmaking? Ultimately the conflicts of this group lead them to revelations about their life choices and the permanent consequences those choices have over their future. Avoiding appearing as a cautionary fable, The Final Cut is a love letter to millennials and the tough decisions they are forced to make in the act of shaping the lives they want.

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