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Story Expo 2015

September 14, 2015

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!

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