Writer For Hire

My Visiting Professorship in Ringling College of Art+Design’s Film Department has officially ended after a wonderful two-year stint (allowing me a chance to experience a part of the country I’d never been in before). Working with Ringling Film‘s undergraduates was a privilege, and I was never more impressed than seeing their grace and equanimity when confronted by this ugly pandemic in the Spring. Having had to essentially flee the campus over Spring Break, they pursued their studies with rigor for the second half of the semester, as we made a new classroom home in Zoom. And I wish them much success as they earn their degrees and commence pursuing their careers.

For the first time in a decade, I’m not employed full-time as a college professor. Which means I’m hanging out my shingle as a writer-for-hire, script doctor and script consultant — while simultaneously writing and producing my own projects under the banner of Tzib Media and Vista Bella Films.

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2-WAY’s Progress Towards Production

You might be wondering, “How does an independently financed feature film move towards full funding and production during a pandemic?”

Specifically, my feature film 2-WAY (which I’ve written and am executive producing).

Well, I’ve got the answer.

Check out 2-WAY‘s Indiegogo site (NOTE: the campaign itself ended in Fall 2019–how time flies!), and click on the “Updates” tab on the page. You’ll get caught up on the latest news. Or, you can click on the screencap below.

(And while we make continued [albeit slow] progress on 2-WAY, I’m hard at work on a new feature film screenplay that we’ll be looking to independently finance later in the year. This is assuming we can ever get safely back to production in New Mexico.)

Academic Pandemic

undefinedConcluded a second year as Visiting Professor in the Film department of Ringling College of Art+Design. Needless to say, this was not a typical year in academia. Mid-semester, everybody picked up and went home on the (wise) prompting of the College, to escape the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Undergraduates completed their courses on Zoom.

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Visiting Professorship During the Pandemic

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Ringling Film Department meeting before the pandemic. I’m “guarding” the Exit door in the back of the soundstage (in ballcap). Perhaps I should have done a little better guarding against the pandemic. Photo: M.Gissing

For the past two years, I’ve served as a Visiting Professor in the Film Department of Ringling College of Art+Design (in Sarasota, FL).

While the weekly commute between New Mexico and Florida was demanding, it’s been a privilege to be part of a highly ranked Film department, filled with motivated undergraduates and top-caliber faculty and staff.

That all changed 2 weeks ago — the end of Spring Break — when the College announced that it was moving to 100% online delivery of curriculum for the remainder of the Spring semester, due to the onrushing coronavirus pandemic.

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Dungball Express — All Aboard

height_90_width_90_dungball_s2e10Recorded in the antediluvian times (March 9, 2020), here I am discussing my feature film 2-WAY (and, as a warm-up, undergraduate teaching) on the New Mexican-originated Dungball Express podcast, hosted by WGA screenwriter Don Davenport and University of New Mexico Lecturer Harry Musselwhite.

If you’re sheltering in place, I hope you’ll give it a listen — you’ll get the latest update on 2-WAY‘s financing and progress towards pre-production. If you’ve got even more time on your hands, go binge-listen to The Dungball Express.

The 20/20 on 2020

It’s probably appropriate that a post about the new year gets published January 31, when the year’s already well underway. (You can see I spend a little time at Albuquerque’s Sunport: here’s a shot just before dawn one Monday morning.) So here’s the professional update:

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“Bite the Pen” Podcast Guesting

Missing Halloween or Día de Muertos already? (Of course you are.) Well, you can get back into the Halloween spirit by listening to the Halloween episode of the Bite the Pen podcast, where my 2-WAY co-producer Claudio Ruben and I opine about 2-WAY’s Indiegogo campaign and also have some fun discussing Tim Burton’s classic Beetlejuice.

These are the final days of 2-WAY’s Indiegogo campaign, and if you haven’t taken a look to see if you can support the endeavour, I humbly ask you to give us consideration. We have Longmire star Bailey Chase attached as the lead; 5-time Emmy winner Dyanna Taylor attached as director; and if all goes well, we think we can be competitive in some top-tier film festivals. But we’re 100% independently financed, and your support makes a significant difference in moving to production.

2-WAY’s Indiegogo Campaign

My feature film 2-WAY‘s in the midst of its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and if you haven’t had a chance to check it out already, there’s never been a better time. 2-WAY is 100% independently financed, and while the Indiegogo is just one of our revenue streams, it’s a crucial one. We need your support to make this film happen.

Wanna know more about the script I’ve written and am now producing? Head to our Indiegogo campaign. We’ve got lots of fun and unique perks attached to contribution levels. All contributions — no matter the amount — are tremendously appreciated. Contributions will open the door to a day on the set, the chance to be a background extra, breakfast with the producers, your name in the credits, a romantic weekend in Santa Fe or Mesilla, and much more.

The campaign’s end is very soon. Support thoughtful, quality independent filmmaking.

2-WAY Media Appearances

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Missed any of my media appearances discussing my feature film 2-WAY? Click here to catch up on radio interviews and print appearances across New Mexico. And if you haven’t already, please sign on to 2-WAY’s Indiegogo campaign! And we’re on social media with a new post every day: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Every follow and every like helps us out, as we complete our fundraising and head towards pre-production.

2-WAY on “Cinema Scope”

I’ll be on KSFR‘s weekly program “Cinema Scope” this Friday at 4:30pm MDT, with my 2-WAY co-producer Claudio Ruben and host Stu Goswick. You can pick up the broadcast signal at 101.1FM — or live-stream the broadcast here. (They’re also on TuneIn.) Learn more about 2-WAY and our Indiegogo campaign, which is now in progress. (And know that your signing on to the campaign is tremendously appreciated.)