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Fun Joel's Screenwriting Blog


-- On Screenwriting and Related Topics

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

I moved from NYC to LA in October, 2003. And though I still think NYC is the greatest city in the world, I'm truly loving life here in the City of Angels. I'm a writer, reader, and occasional picture-taker.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Expo Update

On Monday I plan to finally post my update regarding my Africa trip. But I wanted to address the more current first -- the Screenwriting Expo.

So let's see now. Got back to LA on Monday, and nearly immediately dove into finalizing my preparations for the Expo seminars. Didn't even have time to process my thoughts about the trip. As you know, I added two new seminars to the two I'd taught previously. Which meant more prep than would have otherwise been necessary. I'm happy to report, however, that I got everything ready on time.

Thursday was my big working day, with three seminars to teach. As opposed to last year, when I was sorely disappointed in the tiny size of the rooms they stuck me in, this year I had a good sized room, and the same one for all of my seminars (which made things a drop easier). Plus I got all of the equipment I requested, also unlike last year. The only real technical snafu was that They had asked me to let them videotape one of my seminars for inclusion in the Screenwriting Expo DVD Series. I was obviously excited to be asked and agreed, but due to a scheduling mix-up, that taping never happened. Oh well. Maybe I'll try to arrange to speak a different time and produce the DVD on my own. Or there's always next year!

My seminars were successful and I had a nice turnout, but my third seminar, one of the two new ones, attracted my largest audience ever. It was the seminar on Effective Use of Flashbacks and Voiceovers, and I had 70 people there. I used excerpts from a number of films, many of which were recommended by commenters in this old post.

Thursday night I went to the networking party, and got to chat with old friends, new friends, etc. Henry, who I met at the Expo 3 years ago. Viorica, who I met last year, and who was my assistant for my classes this year. Becky and Jack from Chicago, who had been in my class earlier in the day, along with their friend Priya. And others. Then I hung out around the hotel and met more people from the Expo, including two lovely ladies (Fiona and Fionnoula) who came to the Expo all the way from Ireland (though Fiona is originally from Scotland). This is the stuff I love about Expo -- just meeting people, hanging out, having a good time with other writers, etc. In fact, one of the first people I ran into when I got to the Expo was David, who I had never met in person before. Good to meet him (even if I didn't make his Twitter feed).

Friday morning, bright and early, I had my last seminar. It was designed to be a workshop follow-up to the Verbalizing the Visual seminar I had taught the day before. In that workshop, I go through various screenplays to see how they wrote non-verbal, active sequences. Physical comedy, chases, fights, sex, general action, sports, etc. So the plan was to work with the class to build some new scenes using the techniques highlighted the day before.

Things did not go exactly as planned, however. Only one person who showed up for the workshop had been at the original seminar. So I ended up spending about 1/2 the class reviewing (in brief) the seminar material, and then rushed the workshop portion. While I think we had fun with it, it was probably less illustrative than I would've liked. But I hope that people liked it anyway, and found the effort informative.

I also love hanging out in the speakers' lounge at the Expo, because it gives me the chance to chat with some really nice and intelligent people, and people who are doing similar things to me. Among others, I chatted with Robert Flaxman, Brad Schreiber, Philippa Burgess, Coleman Hough, Karl Iglesias, Steven Barnes and Heather Hale. Others that I've run into around the Expo include Chris Soth and Julie Gray.

I stayed home today, and plan to head back tomorrow for more hanging, and maybe a seminar or two. I am out of business cards, so I ran out tonight to pick up a batch of "print-your-owns" from Office Depot, so I'd at least have something to give people who ask. And I actually am happy I did, because even though they look a bit cheesy, I did get to finally use this logo. I hope to meet many more of you, and if you are checking in here following one of my seminars, welcome and please stick around. Hope to see many of you at Champions tomorrow night, for drinks, post-Expo!

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Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Thannks for the update, funjoel. You're really blowing the lid off the old sterotype of us writers being sky, contemplative, sheepish nerds -- good for you!

Glad to hear all your classes went so well too. Wish I could have been # 71 at your "Effective use of Voiceovers and Flashbacks," maybe next year.

Get ready for a rush of new blood posting responces on you blog page. Can't wait to hear from some of your NBF (new best friend: a Lynda Obst term).

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

5:04 PM  
Blogger Scribe LA said...

Jampacked weekend... Didn't make it out to the Expo, but a scribosphere meet up in the near future sounds like a plan. Cheers.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Richard McNally said...

Comradely of you to post a note on my web log. I'm looking forward to hearing about your safari.


11:45 PM  
Anonymous David Anaxagoras said...

Joel, I was so happy to run into -- if only for a few moments -- at the Expo. I want to publicly apologize for being a no-show for drinks Sunday. I had a long drive ahead and was very concerned about staying awake all the way home.

Perhaps next year we should have a scribosphere breakfast? :)

5:34 AM  
Anonymous David Anaxagoras said...

Joel, I just re-read your post and noticed you mentioned my Twitter feed. Just wanted you to know -- I DID Twitter you :) but the Tweet got stopped by signal-proof rooms of the Expo seminars. I didn't realize until much later that the SMS message never got sent from my handset. Next time -- you get a Tweet and a photo post!

7:29 AM  

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