George RR Martin Screenwriting Grant

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment
L to R: George RR Martin, Dirk Norris, Ginny Cerrella, Ed Khmara, Carolyn Miller, Terry Borst. Exclude Dirk, and you're seeing the majority of the WGA membership in Santa Fe.

L to R: George RR Martin (yeah, you know who he is), Dirk Norris (Director of the New Mexico Film Foundation), and screenwriters Ginny Cerrella, Ed Khmara, Carolyn Miller, Terry Borst outside the Jean Cocteau Cinema. (Photo courtesy L.Carfagno.)

I had the pleasure of participating in the inaugural George RR Martin Screenwriting Grant as one of the WGA professionals judging submissions and selecting a winning entry — which turned out to be a proposed television series entitled “Disempowered,” written by Santa Fean Kevin Atkinson, and awarded to him on November 8 at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe.

The grant was administered by the New Mexico Film Foundation, aiming to grow the above-the-line talent in the state, and was open only to state residents.

You can soak up some of the vibe from the award night (which also dovetailed with the 20th anniversary screening of Earth 2, a TV series shot in New Mexico and at Garson Studios), and catch a few more photos of me hanging out with my screenwriting colleagues at this NM Film Foundation photo album.

OVF 2014 Recap

October 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Black Shirt Reads This Monday, Oct.20

October 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Black Shirt Reads logoBlack Shirt Reads launches this Monday, October 20, 6pm, at George R.R. Martin‘s Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe.

Co-principals Kathleen Dexter and Joanna Smith-Thole are launching a quarterly screenplay table reading series featuring some of the best actors in Santa Fe, including my Santa Fe University of Art and Design faculty colleagues Liam Lockhart (fellow UC Berkeley and UCLA alum) and Alaina Zachary.

The event has asked me to offer professional commentary and facilitate some discussion at the conclusion of the table reading.

Table reads are always illuminating, and though the actors will have scripts in front of them, this is a real, rehearsed performance. So come on down if you’re in Santa Fe on this Monday evening, and help kick off this series — definitely a new venue for work in The City Different.

Guesting on KSFR-FM’s ‘Cinema Scope’ Oct.17, 6:30pm

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

KSFR 101.1 FMA brand-new script reading series — Black Shirt Reads — is debuting in Santa Fe next week (more details to come), and as part of that, I’ll be guesting on KSFR-FM‘s weekly Cinema Scope this Friday night (October 17), 6:30pm, at 101.1 on the old radio dial. (If you’re out of the broadcast area, or have decided radios are a relic of the 20th century, you can also stream the broadcast live, of course.)

Black Shirt Reads is the brainchild of co-principals Kathleen Dexter and Joanna Smith-Thole, who have both studied with local screenwriter Kirk Ellis and placed well in screenwriting competitions. With the demise of the long-running Screenwriting Conference at Santa Fe (where both Kirk and I served as faculty for a number of years), they’ve developed a quarterly event to produce and deliver table readings with some of the best actors in town .

Read more…

In the Classroom

September 21, 2014 Leave a comment

Making History in ‘Game Over’ Scenes

August 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Blair drowning his sorrows - "game over" in Wing Commander IVPerversely proud to be included in Cracked‘s round-up of “The 5 Most Sadistic ‘Game Over’ Scenes in Video Game History.” (Wing Commander IV, the script for which I co-authored, made #4.)

My partner Frank De Palma and I were always looking for ways to have a little more fun with “Game Over” sequences. In Wing Commander III, “game over” meant you actually got to see your coffin shot into space like a photon torpedo. (Cold comfort, but at least the government spent money on you when you bought the farm!)

I’ve never been above a little bit of sadism in a creative context.

Coincidentally, Wing Commander III is being offered for free via Origin’s “On the House” promotion through September 2, 2014. To quote IGN, “download some retro-style space combat.” See how it was done nearly a generation ago…

Original Dramatic Content on Audible.com

June 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Attended a seminar on e-publishing at the WGA in Los Angeles this past Saturday (a lot of screenwriters, including me, also write books): the e-book ecosystem has grown exponentially in just a few years, and Hollywood has been paying attention! Corroborating my own personal observations, speakers and panelists all agreed that the entertainment industry is ever more interested in setting up pre-existing source material (a book, a graphic novel, a play, etc.).

Read more…

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