Publication hangs by far more than a THREAD

by Beacon Staff • November 1, 2006

However, these are just a few literary ingredients in the recipe for THREAD, Emerson's script-only anthology.

"THREAD started last year as a collaboration between Stephen [Christy] and I," said senior writing, literature and publishing major Amanda Shank.,Plays set in the 16th Century and sex comedies are usually not found within the same publication.

However, these are just a few literary ingredients in the recipe for THREAD, Emerson's script-only anthology.

"THREAD started last year as a collaboration between Stephen [Christy] and I," said senior writing, literature and publishing major Amanda Shank. "He had experience with TV and film [and] I had experience with plays and theatre, and we were both interested in publishing, so we wanted to create a venue for the scriptwriters on campus. There are a lot of great literary anthologies and magazines already at Emerson, but they mainly feature poetry, prose and nonfiction, so we felt there was really a need for THREAD."

Because of the new screenwriting for film and television major and the anticipation of THREAD's second issue, Emerson screenwriters have more outlets for expression, publication and an opportunity to perfect their craft.

"[The new screenwriting major] is going to be a huge thing for THREAD, because here are all these talented screenwriters who are coming to this school, and we want to be something that comes out every semester that is a place for TV, film and play and scriptwriters to have their work published in a really professional-looking magazine that they can take copies of and hand to producers and editors. We want to be able to make something for people that submit to us that will allow them to get their work produced," said Christy, a senior TV/video major.

In its beginnings, THREAD's only two staff members were its co-founders. Due to the workload necessary to producing the publication, Shank and Christy sought to increase the staff size.

"We had a table at the Organization Fair with SPEC and we put out the call for staff applications," Christy said. "It was really tough because we were hoping to have a staff of eight or nine, but we didn't get as many [applications] as we wanted just because we are a new publication."

Although the group's status as a new organization may have hindered its ability to attract more prospective members, THREAD did increase its staff size this year.

"Right now, we've taken on a reading team," Christy said. "We're trying to keep it small because one of the things we've seen with other publications is that some of them have a really, really big staff but in the end that kind of ends up slowing them down."

Increasing the staff not only meant a more even distribution of tasks among several people, but it also allowed for more diversity in the publication itself.

"I'm really glad to have a staff now and to have opinions and aesthetics outside of just Stephen and myself," Shank said.

Even without Student Government Association (SGA) recognition, THREAD has overcome support and financial obstacles by approaching alternative resources.

"SPEC agreed to co-sponsor us so that we were able to get funding through SGA," Shank said. "There's always the process of jumping through hoops to get what you need and that can get pretty tiring, but it's part of the process."

Additional funding in THREAD's early stages came from other Emerson organizations.

"We were also lucky enough to get Frames Per Second (FPS) and Latent Image to donate a few hundred dollars each towards publication of the issue," Christy said.

With funds obtained through SPEC, FPS and Latent Image, THREAD was able to generate a $1500 budget, allowing the free distribution of 350 copies of the 150-page publication.

The founders are currently appealing to SGA for additional funding and intend to print more copies and have more than one distribution date.

"We're printing 500 copies [and] the new issue is going to be 100 pages instead of 150 and we're doing two issues this year," Christy said.

Though Shank and Christy primarily wanted to create a publication that served the screenwriting faction of the Emerson community, they also desired to differentiate their creation from other Emerson literary magazines.

Its unique addition of out-sourced art helped to define the publication.

"We went outside of Emerson to get illustrations, which is something we are doing again this semester, which is really cool because it allows professional and semi-professional student artists to make art pieces that are directly related to the scripts," Christy said. "[At Emerson] there's definitely a lot of really, really good photography people, a lot of film people and digital media people, but what I wanted was hand-drawn art."

THREAD's script variety, its other self-proclaimed unique characteristic, is another aspect of the anthology Christy hopes always exists.

"We want to have as much variety as possible and that's always, I think, going to be the thing with THREAD, as long as it's around is variety," Christy said.

Although obstacles such as limited staff and funding have afflicted creators Shank and Christy during THREAD's creation, they still identify positive aspects of their vision.

"I think [THREAD] was successful because it happened," Shank said. "We introduced something new to the Emerson community.

People have really responded to it and seem eager to see their scripts out there."

THREAD's creators hope the magazine's success continues long after they leave Emerson.

"Stephen and I and most of our staff are graduating in the spring," Shank said, "so I do hope that THREAD continues on and that it keeps evolving."