Showcase - Brief Follow-Up
The first panel I went to was about pitching and featured Michel Shane (producer of Catch Me if You Can and I, Robot), Bettina Moss (former development exec with HBO films), and "Pitch King" Bob Kosberg, and was moderated by John Scott Lewinski. Unfortunately, Craig Mazin was absent, though he'd originally been scheduled for that panel. I was looking forward to meeting you, Craig! Oh, well.
This panel was certainly entertaining (Kosberg is quite funny), and relatively informative, though I'd have liked to get more solid information. Not that there wasn't any, just a bit less than I'd have liked. Of course, Kosberg did his typical "Here's my number and email, I listen to anyone's ideas" routine, which is certainly valuable.
The second panel I attended was called "Element of Surprise," and was a truly excellent session. It was moderated by Bill Martell, and featured Stephen Susco (The Grudge, The Grudge 2) and Simon Kinberg (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, X-Men: Last Stand). Shane Black was originally supposed to sit on the panel as well, but was AWOL, so John Cox (Sgt. Rock) filled in. (I've also just discovered that I covered one of John Cox' scripts back in August '03. Huh!)
This panel was not only entertaining, but also extremely informative. What I really appreciated about it was that it was very clear how knowledgeable these guys were about the craft of screenwriting. And in fact, that was largely the impetus for the entire showcase -- offering a chance to learn about writing from the professional writers themselves. Not only have these guys done it successfully a number of times, but they also clearly read scripts a lot, and are experts on writing in general.
I will definitely write more about the specifics later on, but I just wanted to get this short post out there now. Have a good weekend!
Tags: Scriptwriters+Showcase, screenplay+pitching, screenwriting