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.
I’ll be moderating possibly the most high-powered panel about professional screenwriting in the history of Santa Fe, and certainly at the Santa Fe Film Festival — this Saturday, December 5, from 2:30-4pm at the Jean Cocteau Cinema. (You can hear me speak about the panel on KSFR-FM‘s “Cinema Scope” broadcast this Friday, 6:30pm MST. Stream it here.)
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.)
A 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 .
More than half the semester now under our belts in The Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design (where I teach undergraduate screenwriting), and it’s worth looking at a few highlights from this Fall:
- Fellow professional screenwriters Melinda Snodgrass (Star Trek: The Next Generation and Profiler) and Kirk Ellis (John Adams) each visited my Advanced Screenwriting class to lend their expertise to students.
- Santa Fe University has been cited as one of America’s Best Kept College Secrets and The Film School has been acknowledged by Backstage as one of the 5 top college film programs in the country (outside of L.A.).
- The Film School is launching a new BFA in Film beginning in Fall 2013.
- I’m currently mentoring script development and pre-production for a new initiative we’ve begun: Shoot the Stars! — where name talent comes in to topline student-written, student-produced and student-edited films. Luke Kirby (Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz and the upcoming Sundance Channel series Rectify) and Wes Studi (Last of the Mohicans, Geronimo, Avatar) are our first name actors, and we’re excited about having them join us the first week in December.
Once the Spring semester wraps at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, I’ll again be serving on the faculty of the annual Screenwriting Conference at Santa Fe — always a lot of fun and several very intense days discussing storytelling and screenwriting with novice screenwriters.
Fellow faculty members include Emmy-award winning screenwriter Kirk Ellis and fellow WGA members Bill Martell and Emmy-nominated Carolyn Miller (who I’m lucky enough to be married to), among many other fine screenwriting instructors. If you’ve begun pursuing screenwriting on your own and are trying to figure out what the next step is, then coming to Santa Fe May 27-May 31 may be just the ticket.
Wrapped up 3 intense days at the Screenwriting Conference at Santa Fe, with fellow faculty mentors Ian Abrams, Kirk Ellis, Dara Marks, Bill Martell, Josh Olson and Wendall Thomas. Thanks to all the participants who were part of my First Screenplay Lab, to all the consultees, to all who attended my seminar “Building a One-of-a-Kind Protagonist,” and to conference director Larry Stouffer for his yeoman’s work in running a conference for more than 10 years…
I’m excited to be back on the faculty of the upcoming Screenwriting Conference at Santa Fe running from June 1-June 6 in lovely Santa Fe, NM. Heavy hitter screenwriters Kirk Ellis, Josh Olson and others join me on the faculty, and Oscar-winning producer Tony Marks and one of my graduate school professors and thesis advisors (Howard Suber) will be part of the Hollywood Connection portion of the conference. Immerse yourself in screenwriting the first week in June: sign up for the conference!