Sadly, Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD) has announced its closure in 2018. With the academic year having recently concluded, I’ve been asked to stay on as a full-time professor in The Film School (where I’ve been teaching since 2009) for one final year — to ensure that seniors finish their BFA degree program.
As a screenwriting professor, my first priority is providing undergraduates a taste of the process of story development and screenwriting. If all goes well, at least some of those students will find a path into the world of media creation and will always know about some of the challenges and hurdles of screenwriting (rather than thinking any idiot can write a screenplay); a much smaller number may be involved in the development process or even be writing scripts themselves.
The December 5 panel about TV Drama Writing at the Santa Fe Film Festival had a nearly full house at the Jean Cocteau Cinema. Great stories shared about how our panelists got into the business of writing for dramatic television; great insights into why television has truly become the dominant storytelling medium of our time; and interesting walkthroughs of the development process for both limited event series and weekly episodic series.
The panel is under the banner of Black Shirt Reads, an organization that has undertaken a series of unproduced screenplay table readings here in Santa Fe, employing some of the City Different’s best local talent. (They undertake their latest, Enchantment, at 1pm at the Cocteau — just prior to the panel.)
The rest of the summer was dedicated to a couple of under-wraps script projects — and here we are in the Fall already, halfway through the semester’s multiple screenwriting courses that I teach, and deep into Season 4 of The Film School‘s Shoot the Stars!® initiative.
Clearly, diversity in the writers’ room wasn’t the highest priority on Bugs, but hey! — at least we were multi-national. I’m very proud of the work we did on the show: within its genre confines, it was known for being witty and brainy. (Those are adjectives I can live with.)
Though airing only briefly in the States in the early days of the Starz channel, the show was a BBC staple in the late ’90s and was syndicated in dozens of countries: it continues to play to this day…