Stray Bullets

Jesse Aaron Hanna, University of Texas at El Paso


Stray Bullets began as an assignment for Professor Cárdenas Advanced Screenwriting class that I had taken in Spring of 2021. For the course we developed a feature length script and began that process from inception to first draft. It was an online workshop class where the students would read and provide feedback on the work. This type of workshopping occurred at every stage of the process of development. From the initial pitch and logline to the treatment until final rough draft. Stray Bullets was the story I started in the class and continued to work on sporadically outside of that class and then eventually chose for thesis I and thesis II. Screenwriting and filmmaking have been my primary interests and pursuits since I have been in college. Before enrolling in the MFA program at The University of Texas at El Paso I received a Bachelor’s in Arts in English and Bachelor of Science in film at the University of Texas at Austin. I pursued both majors because both offer education and training in specific areas that are important to telling interesting stories in film. I enrolled in English because I wanted to have the education and training of understanding narrative through literature. Although film is a visual language, it still primarily focuses on storytelling and the principles of what makes a story function in a novel remain true to the principles of what work in a film. The film was important to teach the equipment, and logistical aspects of the media, as well as using visuals to tell a story. Composition, lighting, editing, performance, movement all work together to not just tell a story but engage the audience with a story more immediately. When a film works well, the audience becomes part of the story, with the characters, in the world and feels the story as much as they are being told. My pursuit of the Master of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at El Paso was important to pursue after getting those degrees because it allowed me to focus on the craft and dedicate my time to producing a substantial work of fiction. I chose a screenplay for my thesis and as my final assignment at the University because it fully encapsulates everything I have trained and worked for in my college education.

Subject Area

Creative writing|Film studies

Recommended Citation

Hanna, Jesse Aaron, "Stray Bullets" (2023). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI30521651.