Well, this got pushed back a bit, thanks to still trying to adjust to my new life schedule, but managed to scrape some time together to put some thoughts at my time a couple weekends ago at Story Expo 2016. For those unaware, Story Expo is an annual event in Los Angeles that focuses on writing and story, and sees attendance from novelists, screenwriters, writers and all types of storytellers (veterans and amateurs alike). This year was the fourth year of the event, and the second time I attended in consecutive years with my partner-in-crime Alex Willging (follow him over on his WordPress).
While I can still say I’m glad I went, I can’t help but feel the weekend was somewhat lackluster in comparison to the previous year’s whirlwind of activity. Last year featured many panels, including a few classes by industry veteran Pilar Alessandra, whose On The Page seminar I attended with Alex was extremely helpful in breaking down our original sci-fi pilot. In addition, the pitch sessions were abuzz with many hopeful screenwriters, all standing in line excitedly supporting each other and practicing their own pitches with each other.
Not only did attendance feel much lower this year, it just lacked the heart of the event I loved in 2015. No books on sale, no booths out in the hallway, no networking mixers. I’m not sure what happened that caused attendance to drop or if something happened behind the scenes that cause the event to scale back, but I just can’t help feeling it was a wasted opportunity. Regardless, I still registered for the event next year, but I’m going to make an effort to attend other events for networking and such as I think Story Expo no long holds the appeal it once did.
Despite all that, there were quite a few panels that made me very satisfied with my decision to attend this year. The two standouts were a class on nailing the all-too-important first 10 pages of a story with DMA (I caught a class at the Expo last year, and highly recommend her if you get the chance), and a sci-fi genre seminar from long-time script doctor Peter Russell which I enjoyed immensely. The sci-fi class was in particular of great interest to me, not only for bringing up Battlestar Galactica as an example of great science fiction in modern television but because I’ve co-written a sci-fi pilot with my friend and am aiming to break ground on a new one.
All in all, I had a very good time. Even if Story Expo itself didn’t impress as much this year, it represents something even more important- a fresh start towards the dream.
Until next time!
So it’s the tail end of an incredible week in Mammoth Lakes with the family, after a drought of a full family vacation for nearly 10 years. But now we’re back home and everyone’s moving back to their respective homes and lives. Anyway, I was not able to get to my planned postings before heading out for the week so I’ve been pretty much a non-entity in that regard, which I plan to change.
Keep on eye on my other blog for a piece bearing my thoughts on a certain infamous film I may or may not have caught a viewing of up at the Minaret Cinemas.
So I’ve gotten my new entertainment blog up and running and I think the new direction has really helped me focus with my writing seeing as how I’ve actually written multiple pieces somewhat regularly, so huzzah. But good news: I have a new job! I got a position at a website creation company right in town where I’m working as the new content writer and project coordinator. It’s a small office, the people are great, and best of all I finally have a job that’s tangentially connected to my career path.
The best part is that even though it’s full time, the short commute gives me time outside to focus on my creative work. It’s not my dream but it’s what I need right now.
Next week I’ll be going up to Mammoth on vacation for the first time in maybe a decade. In the meantime I’m planning to schedule a few blog pieces on a couple comic runs done by Geoff Johns, who got promoted to President at DC Comics this week.
So I decided to create a new blog to use for all my entertainment-related examinations that should help to give me more focus in creating writing content. Check it out over at Naughty Looks!
I’ll still be using this blog piece for more general thoughts and life-related stuff, but I’ll be sticking to a much more strict posting schedule over at the new site. See you there!
So I’ve been letting this blog get away from me again but after hearing about Darwyn Cooke’s passing in the last 24 hours, I knew I had to write something about the man who created one of my favorite graphic works.
Back in 2011, when I was just getting into comics and trades, I attended the San Diego Comic-Con for two days after greatly enjoying a day at the event the previous year. DC’s New 52 project was just getting started and many writers were going to be present at the days I was attending. I had bought and read both volumes of DC: The New Frontier and was excited to meet Darwyn Cooke, who created the series as both the writer and the artist. While most western comics are done as a collaboration between a writer and artist dedicated in their respective fields, Cooke excelled at both and crafted a story that serves as a tribute to DC’s comic lineage. Cooke was a very gracious person when I met him (anyone willing to put up with me is by default) and I got to speak with him very briefly about the merits of a story like The New Frontier making it easy for a comics-illiterate like me at the time to get into these characters without 60-70 years of history or baggage (I’m a massive casual, so sue me). He signed both volumes, which I have on my bookshelf behind me as I’m writing this, and I went on about my day.
I’d have never considered that less than five years later, I’d be writing about him in the past tense.
After news broke out that Cooke was going to be starting palliative care for cancer, he passed away overnight less than a day later at the age of 53. As someone whose family comes with a history and genetic predisposition to cancer, my heart goes out to his family and loved ones in this trying time.
I’ve been inactive on this blog as all hell lately, but I haven’t been just sitting at home counting the days! My writing partner and comrade-in-arms Alex Willging and I have submitted a pilot concept to a writing fellowship and have our fingers crossed for good news come April. In addition, the actual draft has been written and we’re in the rewriting stage while we’re working on our own other creative pursuits.
You can check out Alex’s blog over at Rhapsodist Reviews.
As of this blog, I’ve got a big entry that I should be posting sometime this weekend dealing with an upcoming DC Animated flick. Stay tuned!
Oh yes, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Drink responsibly (or don’t, see if I care)!
Well, it’s been quite some time since I’ve tried blogging, so quick recap of the last couple years. Since my last post, I have-
- Left my position at Saddleback
- Took up a position at Chapman
- Left Chapman (and the company I worked for) entirely
- Started working freelance
- Started doing content work for web group
- Web group overseas work has dried up
- Looking for freelance work elsewhere
- Applied for career jobs
- Have had applications ignored
- Applied to fellowships
- Have not been accepted into fellowships
Have things gone as I would have hoped? Not ideally, but life’s a journey and I play the long game.
A month ago, a collaborator of mine from my content writing position told me about Story Expo, an annual event I had not heard of but immediately became interested in. This same collaborate recommended a screenwriting seminar I enjoyed immensely, so I decided to check it out.
Attending the event with my partner-in-crime Alex Willging, the weekend did much to revitalize my writing drive and focus, which has been suffering as of late from a series of discouragements, both career-related and otherwise. While many of the available panels were very informative, including a character study session from CSU Northridge professor Eric Edson and a segment on writing dramatic TV with award-winning television writer Pam Douglas, it was a pair of two-panel sessions that really got my creative mind racing.
After a Friday class with veteran script consultant Linda Seger, I attended a set of classes taught by script analyst (and author of The Coffee Break Screenwriter) Pilar Alessandra. I had attended a pilot-writing seminar taught by Pilar back in the spring, and if you live in the Los Angeles area (Studio City in particular) then I highly recommended looking up her classes. Both classes covered not only beneficial ways of writing a pilot or feature, but how to tidy up a dull-looking script, something that many “mechanical” screenplays could hugely benefit from.
The next day, I attended two panels taught by long-time script guru Jen Grisanti, both of which addressed the topic of constructing a television pilot as well as pitching it. Given that my writing focus is currently attempting to break into the TV industry, both these classes were a necessity for me, and I was so impressed with the first class that I ended up changing plans to come back for the second.
The event itself boasted a very diverse range of talent in attendance, with writers of all different ages, races, genders, and nationalities in attendance (one panel had about 60% of attendees hailing from outside the US), all bonded together by a common desire for storytelling. Given the supposed reclusive nature of many writers (myself in particular), I was very pleased to see that everyone at the event was so open to each other, happy to share their thoughts, projects and ideas. It makes for a very positive experience to offset the oftentimes discouraging path of the career-hopeful writer.
Story Expo made for an excellent weekend and I’m already looking forward to the next one. I hope to see you there in 2016!