While most of the Austinites were complaining of Cabin Fever this weekend – I’ll admit, I absolutely LOVED having an excuse to stay indoors and do whatever I wanted (even though, let’s face it, there aren’t really many rules around Casa de Blanche).
One of the things on my indoor to-do list was attend a virtual screenwriting summit – cool!! I signed up for it a few months ago, but the trick was, it was only free for 48 hours. Little did the hosts, The Script Lab, know, I’d be locked inside for exactly THOSE 48 hours – HA HA!
Okay, so I’m sure they don’t care, but regardless, I watched several hours of this summit and I’m so glad I did. If you’ve been following my updates on my 2017 goals, giving time to my interest in screenwriting is something I’ve been sucking big time.
We’ll consider this a step in the right direction! Once I accessed the summit, there was basically a page of videos to choose from. These were broken down into categories including Studio Execs, Feature Film Writers, TV Writers, and Managers + Producers.
I stuck to the TV Writers section and watched the full interviews with Cathryn Humphris, Niceole Levy, and Jerry Perzigian.
Cathryn Humphris is an award-winning TV writer, having worked on “Once and Again”, “Supernatural”, “Dead Man’s Blood”, and “Mad Men”. Along with her notable career, it should also be said that she’s got a pretty terrible attitude.
She was rude during the interview and seems pretty snippy that while she came up the “assistant” way (i.e. the once traditional way of coming up through the ranks), now it’s just willy-nilly and anyone can do it. It was annoying and frankly, it was difficult to watch her entire interview. So, there’s that. Moving on…
I loved Niceole Levy. She explained that she’s the poster girl for “never give up”, because she tried and applied to make it as a TV writer for 10 years before she actually did, and her hobby of watching everything on TV paid off!
She also offers the advice to those of us who want to break in to start writing our own specs, which will give us practice for when we actually get a job writing on a show. This is going to be my next step guys!
She also talked a lot about different writing programs and what it’s like to be in a writer’s room (PS. it sounds fantastic).
This guy… wow. He has been a writer, show runner, and a producer for some of the best shows on TV including (but not limited to) “The Best Damn Sports Show Period”, “The Jeffersons”, “The Golden Girls”, “Cousin Skeeter”, “Frasier”, and “The Nanny”, among many others. He’s also won an Emmy Award. Daaang.
I liked watching his interview because he was so nice and open, plus he now teaches TV writing (I believe in Chicago), so that’s awesome. He had lots of sound advice, especially for older folks trying to break into the business, and since he writes comedic TV, he talked a lot about how that works in writers’ rooms.
All in all, a pretty cool little free session. I’m making it my goal to continue to to find events/opportunities like these (and hey, I went to the orientation for the Austin Film Festival last night!) to keep my brain moving in this direction – slowly, but surely.