21 Jump Street, a 2012 film by directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, follows two undercover cops in modern day high school trying to bust a drug ring. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play a hilarious duo who help each other out during police training and beyond. They are eventually paired together to go undercover at a high school. Their assignment is to find who has been selling this new street drug, and to find the supply. Jenko and Schmidt are now brothers, Brad and Doug McQuaid. Their journey is full with shooting scenes, cars on fire, and intense chases. It is humorous, and action packed simultaneously.
We converted 21 Jump Street to the western genre. The genre is full of tropes that force westerns to stand out. They both share guns, violence, chase sequences, various conflicts, and the good and bad guys. Along with the shared theatrical elements, there are cinematographic traits they both share. These two films rely heavily on tracking, establishing, close up, and extreme close up shots. 21 Jump Street is easy to adapt to a western because of their similar compositions: different plots, but same features.
The scene we chose to adapt was a sequence where Schmidt and Jenko
are bored on bike patrol in a quiet park, until they spot bikers smoking marijuana illegally. When they confront the bikers, they deny everything and run away, initiating a chase scene. When brainstorming for our storyboard, we decided to keep the characters the same. Jenko and Schmidt are now two cowboys who ride horses instead of bikes. We switched their bike helmets for cowboy hats. Instead of a quiet park, their setting is a desert day time scene with mountains in the far distance. Schmidt and Jenko still carry guns in holsters, but their uniforms are now long coats and cowboy boots.
The camera shots and angles are key elements that ensure western films stand out. Landscape, close up, and extreme close up shots are all heavily incorporated into these movies. These were easily convertible to 21 Jump Street. For the intense scenes, we used extreme close up/close up shots to display the violent nature that was about to occur. Tracking shots were used for chase scenes that needed to keep up with the characters on foot or riding horses. Landscape shots are important: they establish the setting which gives clues to the upcoming events.
21 Jump Street and the western genre collide well. The action packed films keep viewers on their toes with dramatic shots and angles. Contrary to usual westerns, we decided that our adaptation should be more colorful. Westerns have neutral tone settings due to the desert setting. We included cacti and a beautiful montainrange in the distance in our desert. We wanted the liviness of 21 Jump Street incorporated into the storyboard. We emphasized the tropes like cowboy boots, horses, and cacti by coloring them brightly. We still didn’t lose the plot of 21 Jump Street within this because the genre plots of dramatic suspense fit well.
Full Storyboard: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rbpbEK7u1cSuavzd0W1yuARU1HU89U5ZPDON0eRFLeo/edit?ts=5b06d250