Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 12 - Act One Writing Seminar

Oops! I so totally forgot to blog last night! And I was doing so well!!! Here’s the thing… My beloved, Hal, drove in yesterday. Plus, since it was our almost last day, we got out at 5:00. So Hal and I went out to dinner, enjoyed each other’s company (since we haven’t seen each other in a dozen days)… And I was so happy being with him that I never thought of blogging until the next morning! Drat. Broke my perfect record. So here is the blog post about yesterday’s Act One that I should have posted last night.

Day 12: July 2, 2010

9:00 – 9:30 M: Devotion and Prayer
Devotions / Credo presentation by Mirachelle Canada on the armor of God. She sang The Climb (Miley Sirus).

Presentation of assigned Credo stories. (Our Credo story assignment was to make of list completing this statement: “This I know to be true…” Then we were to chose one credo and write a story (or poem, or a medium of our choice) to express that credo. This morning credo presentations were made by: Dianne Butts (short story), Lisa England (short story), Monica Romano (poem).

9:30 – 12:30 Andrea Nasfell: Independent Film & the Business of Hollywood
She wrote the screenplay for Christmas with a Capital C due to release in November 2010 (I think!). We got to see the movie trailer for this movie by Pure Flix. It finished shooting in Alaska last week and stars Daniel Baldwin. It’s about a happy little town that loves Christmas until someone comes to town that doesn’t want the nativity on public land, in the public schools, etc., and the uproar that ensues. Looks like a fun movie.

My goodness this lady knows the business. She made a wonderful game board, based on the game of Life™, that she gave each of us a copy of and we played the game of Hollywood. We each flipped a coin to see if we would move to Representation Swamp (got an agent to represent our screenplays in Hollywood) or Do-I-Yourself Mountain (the way Andrea Nasfell has done it. From there a flip of the coin determined whether we would go to the Studio or Independent film industry. Those who were lucky enough to get the right flip of the coin then ended up in Development Hell. From there some made it to Production, post-production, and finally distribution. At every step Andrea had a wealth of information to tell about every step in the film making industry. Wow. So much information!
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch

1:30 – 3:00 Kris Young: Writing from the Gospels
Before we arrived at Act One, we were sent Kris’ devotional for discouraged screenwriters titled Writing the First Draft of Your Life. Kris didn’t write this to publish, but to give away. Cool, huh? Kris said, “I it to keep you going once you have exhausted yourself.”

Kris talked to us about the Bible and applying it to our careers as screenwriters in Hollywood.

From my notes: "If you graph a screenplay [I guess they do this in film school], it has lots of ups and downs, like you’re cutting out the teeth of a key. These keys can fit into hearts and open them up.""

3:00 – 5:00 Panel: Business of New Media
(Jim Bell was scheduled to talk to us about Dialog but at the last minute he had an emergency and wasn’t able to make it. Please keep Jim in your prayers.)

Have I mentioned that there are actually two classes going on simultaneously? I’m in the class for writers. The other class is Producing & Entertainment Executives Program (PEEPs). We’ve had many classes with all of us together; some separately. Since Jim Bell couldn’t make it, we writers got to sit in on the PEEPs class, which was really, really interesting! Here’s the line up for the panel:

  • Moderator: Chuck Slocum, Assistant Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, West.
  • Jim Brandon, Dorm Life (Attention Span Media)’s most popular web series
  • Brady Brim-DeForest, CEO and co-founder of, the leading authority in the web television industry. (If you’re interested in online TV, they said this is a great thing to keep your eye on to keep up.)
  • Rajeev Sigamoney – Among other things, he shot the web series, Jesus People, viewed by half a million YouTube viewers, which spawned Jesus People: The Movie.
  • Rob Kirbyson – Wrote and directed CTRL for NBC Universal, the first stand-alone web series produced by a major network.
The new media is web content, meaning online TV series. These are very short, often only 5 minutes per episode. They often make 10 episodes per season (50 minutes), and if they get to go two season, then they have 100 minutes which they can string together for a movie. Can you imagine writing 10 or 20 5-minute episodes that all have a complete story including a twist at the end, but that all have an over-arching story line that works when they’re all strung together? Wow.

We got to screen [that means “see”!] an episode of each, plus some clips from the Streamy Awards. You should take a little time and google some of these and watch an episode or two. These are comedies. Another genre that is doing well as online TV is horror.

Brands often want to attached to web shows, for example NesTea sponsored CTRL. So they say you can make a living by making online content.

Check out and

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