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    Frank Pierson

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    NO FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE

    One of the more frustrating aspects of scriptwriting is that rarely are writers as celebrated as in other fields like novels or plays. And actors, directors - even producers get mch more press.

    Case in point: Frank Pierson.

    If you don’t who he is, that’s typical. But when I list his films you’ll be amazed.

    Pierson was a New Yorker born and raised. Chapp - a - qua to be exact. Both Pierson’s mother and father were writers so Pierson’s path was set.

    After an a stint in the army during World War II Pierson started selling teleplays in New York city but soon moved to Hollywood.

    His initial attempts at writing for TV failed so he became a script editor on the show “Have Gun Will Travel” starring...Richard Boone, and did manage to get some of his work produced for that show.

    Success continued as he wrote for such shows as “Naked City” Dr. Kildare, Route 66 and others.

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    Elmore Leonard

    ElmLeo

    This profile was originally part of Plotpoints Podcast #156 / July 10, 2019 iTunes

    You may not know the name Elmore Leonard. Or you may know him solely from the hit series “Justified” starring Timothy Oliphant which was based on Leonard’s character Marshall Raylan Givens. The short story “Fire In The Hole” became the basis of Justified in which Givens is sent back to Harlan County, the area of his birth, as punishment for basically having a old west duel with a drug assassin in Miami Beach, Florida. At a restaurant. During lunch. Not that Givens cared.

    But what you probably don’t know is that you actually do know him from many, many sources because at least 19 movies and 7 TV shows were based on Leonard’s work.

    List

    Justified, Get Shorty both the current TV series and movie, 3:10 to Yuma, Karen Sisco (TV,) Out Of Sight (jlo karen sisco), Jackie Brown, Freaky Deaky, and Hombre to name just a few of the many productions that he had either written into screenplays himself, or that were done by others from his novels and short stories.

    And actually the movie Joe Kidd (Clint Eastwood) which was a wholly original screenplay by Leonard.

    Leonard’s early life was unremarkable although his father’s job required them to relocate frequently. After military service (he was a SeaBee) in World War II, Leonard began submitting his work while still at the University of Detroit and had some minor success.

    In 1951, while still a copy writer, Leonard had his short story “Trail of the Apaches” published. This basically started a run that lasted for decades as he wrote about the old West both in short story and novels.

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    NBFF 2019

    2019 NBFF

    Newport Beach Film Festival 2019by Derek Nguyen

    As always, the Newport Beach Film Festival provides the perfect spot for Orange County film artists to share their craft. With theaters in Fashion Island, Costa Mesa, the Lido, and more, you can hardly imagine a better venue to premiere your films and shorts. It’s well-run, industry professionals enjoy the slower pace of Orange County in comparison to the chaos of Los Angeles, and great food venues like Five Crowns are open for the VIP’s and filmmakers to wine and dine. It’s been five years since I’ve last been here, and while my outlook on filmmaking has shifted, my love for the festival itself definitely remains strong.

    Back in 2014, I was a senior in high school just starting to learn about filmmaking. The ever-fantastic Mark Sevi was teaching me screenwriting and every time he showed me some facet of filmmaking, I was completely enthralled. My technical knowledge of film was nil, I simply knew that I loved the storytelling. So, when I went to the festival for the premiere of “Chef,” I just watched it as a fun movie. You can find my review on this website actually, and my thoughts about the event afterwards. In terms of film criticism, I mainly focus on screenwriting because that was the (small) extent of my knowledge. I looked at the premiere party simply as a fun excursion with good food and drinks. Looking back at all of this and comparing it to how I took in the event this year, it makes me realize just how much my perspective on filmmaking has changed.

    Since 2014, I’ve went and graduated from UCLA, and pursued filmmaking the entire way through. At first, this began with screenwriting and narrative shorts, but as I grew as a filmmaker, I ventured into other mediums such as music videos and branded content. This led to me evolving from a writer to a director, and often times I would work as a producer for my own works too. These experiences necessitated that I learned about all facets of film, from writing to cameras to VFX implementation. So, when I went to the Newport Beach Film Festival this year, I watched the shorts from a much more analytical standpoint.

    I went to two different short showcases, the UK Shorts and the “Realizations Came Shortly” selection, and I dissected them based on scene count, locations, production design, and equipment in order to guess-timate the budgets. I found that most of the shorts from the UK showcase were actually rather expensive and often had a medley of sponsors. It makes sense though, as the UK shorts had to have a sizeable budget in the first place to be submitting to festivals across the world. These shorts often had big casts, many scenes, intricate production design, and expansive locations on top of their top-notch equipment (drones, ARRI Alexa’s, Steadicams and the like). They exuded money, and I wasn’t surprised to hear that the budgets were upwards of $30,000 for most of them. On the other hand, the American shorts I saw in “Realizations Came Shortly” did have some lower budget selections. I could tell right away when a short was lower budget: the camera movement would not be as free-flowing, the casts were small, there would be only one location or continuous scene. As I watched these shorts, I made sure to analyze them to think about how I’d execute my own short. I wasn’t there just to watch them for simple enjoyment.

    That being said, I’m a sucker for good stories. I found myself slowly starting to focus less on the logistics and “ugly” side of filming, and started to focus on what made these stories click. Comparing how I interpreted these stories to how I viewed “Chef” five years ago, it was comforting to know that I still valued stories above all. Reflecting back o nthose shorts now, after I was enthralled by quite a few of them, I realized that I loved the stories when they were distilled to just one, simple narrative. They never needed to be overly complicated or produced. It didn’t matter whether it was a $5,000 budget or a $30,000 budget. A short can be great as long as it had a compelling story.

    After the shorts, I also attended the dinner party at Five Crowns this year, and it was fascinating watching all the networking going on all around. As a freelance filmmaker, I couldn’t help but to think of how great an opportunity that party would be. While I have a portfolio, I definitely needed a short to take full advantage of this party as narrative filmmaking really was the main subject people were interested in. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the well-drinks, the great food such as the delicious tuna tartare tacos, and the cozy environment that Five Crowns has to offer.

    Looking back at this year’s festival, it really illuminated how much there is to know about the film industry. I’m still a novice to say the least, and I feel infinitely more knowledgeable than I did five years ago. Five years from now, I’m sure I’ll think that I knew nothing about film in 2019. I just hope that next time I’m here, I’ll be able to showcase my own stories instead of simply watching them.  At least now I know I don’t need a $10,000+ budget to pull it off! I just got to find the right story to tell.

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    NBFF 2018 Red Carpet with Rudy Garcia






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    Rudy Garcia is an OCSWA board member and an amazing success story.  One day we'll interview him and detail his journey but for now we'll satisfy ourselves with the great red carpet interviews he did at the 2018 Newport Beach Film Festival!

    Janice Arrington, the OC film commissioner and friend of the Orange County Screenwriters Association (even if she can't remember our name 😀), is one of the interviews in this playlist.  Janice, good to see you!  You look fabulous!

    Great job RUDY.  Thanks for traveling down south the help us out.  RUDY'S WEBSITE

    NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL 2018 RED CARPETWITH KGET's RUDY GARCIA      Our (new) YouTube Channel is HERE
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    Jeff Lyons Event - Anatomy of a Premise Line

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    AnatomyOfAPremiseLine cover

    IF A STORY IS GOING TO FAIL, IT WILL DO SO FIRST AT THE PREMISE LEVEL.

    JOIN US ON MARCH 4th, 10:00am to learn from noted story analyst Jeff Lyons how to identify and fix problems in your story BEFORE you begin to write.

    Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success is the only book of its kind to identify a seven-step development process that can be repeated and applied to any story idea.

    SEATING IS LIMITED! BOOK NOW! RESERVE YOUR SEAT

    REGISTER NOW!

    WHAT: Seminar & Bruncheon Cost includes Breakfast Buffet

    WHEN: Saturday, March 4th TIME: 10:00-2:00

    WHERE: Claim Jumper Restaurant Banquet Room 18050 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 (714) 963-6711

    HOW MUCH: $22.50 in advance $25.00 at the door.

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    Mark Sevi

    mark 115x115Mark Sevi is a professional screenwriter, screenwriting teacher (Irvine Vallley College) and the founder of the OC Screenwriters Association.


    BACKGROUND:

    Mark has been a professional writer for many years.  Before he embarked on a writing career he was a professional musician for ten years, and small business owner for a time.

    He's mentioned that in looking back, he feels his entire life had been preparing to work in film and it remains his abiding joy.

    CURRENTLY:

    Mark's scriptwriting career has spanned two decades.  In that time he has sold 30 scripts, had 19 produced into movies, including "Devil's Knot" the true story of the West Memphis Three starring Oscar-winning actors Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth.

    Mark also teach scriptwriting for the past several years at Irvine Valley College.  His classes have never stopped, ongoing for at least a decade and a half. 

    Mark also lectures at colleges and events.

    FAVORITE QUOTES:

    • I am joyfully participating in the sorrows of life. ~ Joseph Campbell
    • Have you ever heard of insect politics? ~ "The Fly"
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    BoD

    • www.marksevi.com
    • contact -at - ocscreenwriters.com
    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0786411/
      • Writer
      • Producer
      • Teacher
      • Graphic Design
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    • Mark Sevi is a professional writer.
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    "Gold" Writing Team Patrick Massett & John Zinman Teach Us How to Write Practical Scenes



    To write "Gold", duo Patrick Massett & John Zinman drew from their background in acting to develop practical scenes. They also looked to "Amadeus" for inspiration on "peeling back layers" and "turning over the final card".

    Don’t forget to subscribe to The Insider View Podcast on iTunes!

    Original author: Final Draft
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    "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" Writer/Director Taika Waititi Talks Keeping Your Audience Engaged



    Writer, actor, director Taika Waititi tells us about creating a new comedy scene in New Zealand and how to keep people feeling like they're a part of your story. He also let slip the inspirations for his What We Do in the Shadows character Viago: His mother combined with C-3PO. 

    Don’t forget to subscribe to The Insider View Podcast on iTunes!

    Original author: Final Draft
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    "Arrival" Screenwriter Eric Heisserer on NASA, Palindromes and Breaking the Rules of Writing



    Eric Heisserer brings the science world to our doorstep and tells us what it's like to break unspoken rules while writing. 

    Don’t forget to subscribe to The Insider View Podcast on iTunes!

    Original author: Final Draft
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    "Jackie" Screenwriter Noah Oppenheim Discusses the Custodian of a Presidential Legacy



    Screenwriter Noah Oppenheim talks with us about writing his first screenplay "Jackie" and the inspiration he drew from Jackie Kennedy as the custodian and myth-maker of her husband's legacy.

    Don’t forget to subscribe to The Insider View Podcast on iTunes!

    Original author: Final Draft
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    "Lion" Screenwriter Luke Davies Talks the "Rapid, Intense Process of Writing"



    Screenwriter Luke Davies sits down with us to discuss how he fell in love with the story behind "Lion". 

    Don’t forget to subscribe to The Insider View Podcast on iTunes!

     

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Hacksaw Ridge Screenwriter Robert Schenkkan Talks Heroism and Writing Battlegrounds

    Hacksaw Ridge Screenwriter Robert Schenkkan Talks Heroism and Writing Battlegrounds

    Robert Schenkkan returns to our podcast to discuss heroism and writing battlegrounds in his latest, Hacksaw Ridge - in theaters now. 

    Don’t forget to subscribe to The Insider View Podcast on iTunes!

    Original author: Final Draft
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    "The Girl On The Train" Screenwriter, Erin Cressida Wilson Talks Inherent Storytelling


    Screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson takes us behind the scenes of the thriller The Girl On The Train and dives back into her days teaching screenwriting to divulge her storytelling secrets.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Robert Schenkkan: "All The Way" from Stage to HBO

    Robert Schenkkan:

    Acclaimed writer Robert Schenkkan talks to Final Draft about Lyndon Johnson, Bryan Cranston and adapting his Tony Award winning, historical play for HBO.

    All The Way premiers Saturday, May 21st on HBO. Check your local listings!

    Original author: Final Draft
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    "Empire" Writer Eric Haywood on Music Videos and Finishing Your Writing


    Eric Haywood, writer and producer on Fox's hit show, Empire, shares his background in music videos and the mindset it takes to get your story on the page. 

    Watch Empire Wednesday nights 9/8c on Fox!

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Bryan Sipe Discusses "Demolition" and His Own Creative Path Through Loss

    Bryan Sipe Discusses

    Screenwriter Bryan Sipe opens up to us about the origins of Demolition and his own struggle through the creative process. 

    In the film, Jake Gyllenhaal's character is told, "to understand what's broken, you have to take it all apart," Sipe says. Here, Sipe deconstructs his writing process for us as well. 

    Demolition is out in theaters today, April 8th!

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Bob Nelson on "The Confirmation" and the Merits of the Dramedy Genre

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    We talked to Bob Nelson, screenwriter of Nebraska, about his latest film The Confirmation, his background in comedy and the origin story of Bill Nye the Science Guy. 

    The Confirmation is out in theaters and on iTunes March, 18th. 

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Julie Delpy Talks About Her New Film Lolo

    Julie Delpy Talks About Her New Film Lolo

    Julie Delpy writes, directs and stars in her new film Lolo. Here she talks with us about the bonds of parenthood, French humor and what inspired her love of writing.

    Lolo is out in theaters Friday, March 11th.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Straight Outta Compton

    American music isn't just jazz.

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    The Big Short Co-Writer Charles Randolph Stops By The Insider View Podcast

    The Big Short Co-Writer Charles Randolph Stops By The Insider View Podcast

    Charles Randolph, co-writer of The Big Short, drops by the Insider View Podcast to chat with host, Pete D'Alessandro about his background in aesthetic philosophy, working with Adam McKay and what makes credit default swaps such a fascinating film topic. 

     The Big Short is out in theaters now. 

    Original author: Final Draft
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