When: February 11-16, 2013
Time: 3pm Pacific Daylight Time
Screenwriting (topic suggestion provided by Michaelbrent Collings).
How to get involved in the industry, the pitfalls and problems, the success stories. Screenwriting is a natural extension of story writing, but it is also a completely different art form. Let’s look at how it differs, and how difficult it is to create visual scenes for filming. And the end result; is it always how you viewed it would be? Are there any tips or suggestions you can offer for those just starting out, things you’ve learned along the way?
He published his first “paying” work – a short story for a local paper – at the age of 15. He won numerous awards and scholarships for creative writing while at college, and subsequently became the person who had more screenplays advance to quarterfinals and semifinals in the prestigious Nicholls Screenwriting competition in a single year than anyone else in the history of the competition.
His first produced script, Barricade, was made into a movie starring Eric McCormack of TV’sWill & Grace and Perception, and was released in 2012. Michaelbrent also wrote the screenplay for Darkroom, a movie starring Kaylee DeFer (Gossip Girl, Red State) and Elisabeth Rohm (Angel, Law & Order, Heroes). Darkroom is currently set for a 2013 release.
As a novelist, Michaelbrent has written numerous bestsellers, including Apparition, The Haunted, The Billy Saga, The Loon, Rising Fears, and others. In addition, he has also written dozens of non-fiction articles which have appeared in periodicals on several continents.
Michaelbrent is also a member of the WGA (Writers Guild of America) and in addition to selling, optioning, and doing rewrites on screenplays for major Hollywood production companies, he is currently developing several movies and television shows.
He hopes someday to develop superpowers, or, if that is out of the question, then at least to get a cool robot arm.
Michaelbrent has a wife and several kids, all of whom are much better looking than he is (though he admits that’s a low bar to set), and also cooler than he is.
Signe Olynyk – President/CEO of Protagonist Pictures, Inc. in Los Angeles, and Twilight Pictures, Inc. in Canada. She has associate produced two feature films, as well as written and produced several documentaries, one hour specials, TV pilots, and a six part series. Her work has been seen on the CBC, Discovery Channel, FOX, the BBC, and she has professional credits on more than 120 productions. To write BELOW ZERO, she arranged to have herself locked in the slaughterhouse freezer where the film was shot. As the driving force behind BELOW ZERO, she brought that same level of dedication to all aspects of the production.
Signe created and founded the Great American PitchFest and the Great Canadian PitchFest as a way to help other writers meet the people they need to know for their careers to move forward. As a direct result, more than 60 writers have had their scripts optioned, been hired for writing assignments, or signed with agents or managers. The PitchFest has also allowed Signe to develop relationships with more than 500 industry executives around the world, and she routinely partners new writers with these companies and agencies for representation and script development. The first Great British PitchFest in London was recently held in partnership with the London Screenwriters Festival.
Signe is currently in pre-production on “Breakdown Lane” a zombie thriller written by her producing partner, Bob Schultz.
Matt Lohr – A native of Pittsburgh, PA, MATT R. LOHR is an award-winning screenwriter, essayist and critic. He holds an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman University in Orange, CA, where he first met Dan O’Bannon and agreed to work with him on this book. His views on contemporary and classic cinema can be found on his blog, “The Movie Zombie”.
Matt is also the host of the forthcoming Dan O’Bannon Writing Workshops™, which will bring a hands-on presentation of Dan’s “dynamic structure” screenplay system to seminars, pitchfests and industry events worldwide. More information on these events, and on all upcoming projects and programs relating to Dan’s works and teaching, is available online at the official Dan O’Bannon website, www.danobannon.com. Matt can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he is available on Twitter by following @TheMovieZombie.
Matt currently lives in Los Angeles.
Brad Hodson – Originally from Knoxville, TN, Brad C. Hodson lives in Los Angeles. He’s written several award winning short films and has a few feature options out there. He co-wrote (and co-funded) the low budget horror comedy George: A Zombie Intervention and his first novel, Darling, was recently released from Bad Moon Books.
When not writing, he sneaks into your house and watches you sleep. It’s a little creepy. You might want to think about getting a dog.
Check out his work and musings on various topics over at www.brad-hodson.com.
Pen Densham– Oscar nominated Writer, Producer, Director and co-founder of Trilogy Entertainment Group, Pen started in films in the UK at the age of four – riding an alligator in a theatrical short they made. He has produced 15 features and 300+ hours of TV with his producing partner, John Watson, including ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, MOLL FLANDERS, THE OUTER LIMITS and TWILIGHT ZONE revivals. His first solo directing gig was THE KISS a horror movie! His latest feature as a Producer, PHANTOM (Written and Directed by Todd Robinson – starring Ed Harris, David Duchovny) will be released March 1st on 3,000 screens in the US. (http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/phantom/) Pen occasionally lectures at USC Film School. His impassioned educational book on screenwriting is “Riding the Alligator”. A free chapter aimed to inspire creativity can be downloaded here – ridingthealligator.com.
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