The Orange County Screenwriters Association
    Be Inspired, Do Good Work

    Mark Sevi

    Mark Sevi



    "Songs, etc."

    The Southern California Writers Association invites you to its monthly meeting this Saturday, at 10:00 AM, to hear Academy Award Winner, musician, writer, singer, actor, producer, and so much more, who will share his writing methods and muses with us, in addition to perhaps singing a new song. Paul has written some of the biggest hits in music, as well as acted with Brando, worked with Streisand, and constantly has something new going on.

    This month we will take a break from our usual fare of book writing and the business of writing to listen to one of America's great song writers.

    PAUL WILLIAMS (Music and Lyrics) is an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter. “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “You and Me Against the World,” “An Old Fashioned Love Song” “I Won’t Last a Day Without You” and “Let Me Be The One” are among his timeless standards.

    His songs have been recorded by such diverse musical icons as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Ella Fitzgerald, David Bowie, Ray Charles, R.E.M., Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Mathis, Luther Vandross and Kermit the Frog.

    Paul is the president of ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers at

    The meeting is held at the Claim Jumper Restaurant, 18050 Brookhurst Ave., Fountain Valley, 92708.

    Please call me if you would like to attend, at 714 580 5072 for a reservation! Great food, great companions, great time!



    Screenwriters, directors, producers, actors, save your money!!!! Fire the shrinks and tell your advisors to take a hike. Your day of salvation is at hand. Shout hallelujah!

    If you really want to know what works in our profession of the gods, then bow down, raise your arms, and worship Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group. For in early January, they will be celebrating Warner’s 90th birthday anniversary with a celebration that will last for the entire year, and will feature the largest collection of film ever assembled for you to obtain in 100-film DVD and 50-film Blu-ray collections.

    On the studio lot yesterday, Warner chairman Barry C Meyer unveiled the new Warner shield logo which will celebrate the year, as well as “Best of Warner Bros.: 100 Film DVD Collection,” and “Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Film Blu-ray Collection.” And there are no fillers, these films range in age from 1929 to 2010, and bring to you a virtual history of motion picture success right at your fingertips. 

    Along to support Meyers were directors Richard Donner and William Freidkin, and actress Jane Withers. Donner, of course, directed the “Superman” franchise as well as “The Goonies,” Freidkin was responsible for “The Exorcist,” and Withers has been working since 1932, including work with James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, and rock Hudson on “Giant,” in 1956, which was Dean’s last film. All shared that Warner was a real studio, and were so supportive of their work as artists. 

    Warner Bros. has the largest film library in the world – 6,800 features and includes 22 Academy Award-winning Best Pictures, which are the most in Oscar history. Warner Bros. also features the film world’s leading franchises – “Harry Potter,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “Batman,” “Superman,” and “The Matrix.”

    How did they ever accomplish this amazing achievement? According to Meyer, it is Warner’s long-lasting relationships with talent that have brought it success. 

    In a fascinating documentary presented yesterday by Jeff Baker, EVP of Warner’s Home Video and GM of Theatrical Catalog, “Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot,” the story is just that – stories from talent and personalities on the Warner’s lot about Warner Bros. and what that means to them to be working on the lot. 

    Baker’s film contained so many funny and touching stories, and Clint Eastwood’s was so powerful, as he shared he pretty much has had a handshake deal forever with Warner Bros, has always got a green light, and still views his work in the same screening room, #4. This documentary will change how history is shot – it is not a lot of clips from movies, but words from personalities, all filmed on the lot, as the lot was the star, just as Baker wanted it to be.

    The lot is the oldest in Hollywood, and has kept its buildings and water tower from another age, and has protected them and uses them. When you walk on the lot, you feel the history, with building facades you may recognize from a favorite film, you can relax under trees that probably shaded everyone from Garbo to Nicholson to DiCaprio, and co-mingle with talent sipping coffeein a grassy glade, or in the lot’s coffee shop, Central Perk, which of course comes from the Warner hit tv show, “Friends.”. 

    But that’s not all. Warner is also spending a fortune restoring so many films, and one that will get special treatment is “The Wizard of Oz.” A favorite of many generations, it will even get special 3D treatment and be released as a disc and also a kick-off in movie theatres, which will surely soar to the top of the box office charts. When the film was re-released in 1998, it led the box office for several weeks, demonstrating that good stories always work.

    Additionally, as if that wasn’t enough, Baker screened some scenes from a similar film on Clint Eastwood and his career at Warner, and it was an inside look at one of the most prolific and successful men ever to work in Hollywood. Stars shared their experiences, including how Clint inspired them when he worked with or directed them, and also a great tale was Marcia Gay Harden, Meryl Streep, and Gene Hackman revealing what got Clint mad on the set. (Sorry, no spoilers here.)

    And if this sounds to you as if I am shilling for Warner, that’s fine, but don’t blame me when you are out of work, when your career is in the toilet, when you can’t figure out where to go with that story, when one of your characters is killing you, when you are stuck in a 7-11 or in your kitchen eating anything to stop the anxiety, as the remedy for all that and more is right here, at the movies, and Warner is bringing it to your doorstep

    This January, run, jump, and if you have to, fight for the prize, this is something that will change your life and cure what ails you! The gods have been good to us mortals in this treasure. Enjoy, and get to work!! 

    1st event, circa 2009In May 2009 The Orange County Screenwriters Association held its first-ever event (pictured left.) 

    The magnificent Regency South Coast Village Theater was the place where we "opened for business."  The Regency has always been the venue we use for these "big" events.   It is a jewel in the crown of the incredible Regency theater chain and we are eternally grateful to have them as our supporter.

    My longtime friend, producer (with slashes too numerous to list) Clark Peterson, was our first guest.  He  instantly accepted the invitation because of his incredible generosity and was a massive hit with the assembled as he took us through the ins and outs of Hollywood and the feature-film world.

    at the regency theaterAt that time, Clark was accompanied by (TV show runner) Stacy Rukeyser.  They were dating and becoming more serious about their commitment to each other.  When they came down this time, they were married and had their son with them who had just turned 1-yr-old.  A great love story made real.  

    This time around we had Stacy share the dais with Clark since she is quite an accomplished TV writer/producer/show runner (another mega-slash) in her own right.  Between the two of them they cover nearly the gamut of production in Hollywood.

    They talked about their path to their current status as producers.

    Clark's went toward the business side, as an executive.  As creative as anyone I've met, Clark felt that his journey to the ranks of a professional filmmaker would be better served by understanding the business aspects of filmmaking.  In several companies, this allowed him to be present in hundreds of story meetings and business strategy sessions and to amass an amazing Rolodex as he met and worked with directors, producers, writers, on many dozens of productions.  

    Stacy came up as an actress and then a writer.  Her agent at the time suggested a way to get better roles would be to write them for herself.  She was hooked and excelled.  One job led to another and she eventually became so well-thought of that companies began giving her producer work too.  It takes knowledge, creativity, inner strength and common sense and patience to run a TV series - Ms Rukeyser has these in spades.

    These individual paths have crossed and diverged as the years went by.  Both are involved now in all facets of production and filmmaking; Clark has written scripts and become an incredible independent producer; Stacy is an Exec Producer on several TV series.

    I book a lot of guests and every one of them is fantastic.  Clark and Stacy are however incomparable both because of the depth of the understanding of the business but also because they are still massively active in dozens of productions.

    Clark has just wrapped "Devil's Knot," the true story of the West Memphis Three.  He is also co-producing "The Prophet" with Salma Hayek based on the world-famous book of Kahil Gibran.  He's optioned "Blood's A Rover" from author James Elroy and will be producing that film in 2013.

    Stacy's latest TV series for ABC Family Network "The Lying Game," based on a series of YA books is wrapping its 1st season, and she's got pilots out (as Exec Producer) for two more series and a script out for a feature film.  Her Exec Producer credits are beginning to overwhelm her writing credits and that's a good thing for the bottom line of her career since the more she produces, the more she'll be able to produce.

    To cover the entire Q&A would be impossible.  We hope to have film at some point to show. Suffice to say that they held us rapt for almost two hours giving us the benefit of their hard fought knowledge and wisdom.

    I love these two both personally and professionally.  They are hard-working, uncompromising filmmakers when it comes to their professional lives and two of the most generous and gracious people I've met in twenty years in this business.

    I can only wish them continued success in all endeavors and hope that they will once again join us at a future event soon.

    Clark Peterson's Credits IMDB

    Stacy Rukeyser's Credits IMDB

    stacy, clark and benMy buddy, the former chair of the comparative religion department at CalState Fullerton, Dr. Ben Hubbard, was also there to give the closing invocation as he was at our first event.  Thank you, Ben - we love having you come to these events.  You really class up the joint and bring a reminder that we have a higher responsibility as writers than just to make money.

    On a personal note, I was given an honor by OC Screenwriters for running this org for the last three (plus) years.  All I can say is a humble thank you, and that there is no way I could have done it without everyone's help and love.


    Thanks to my amazing and always-pitching, Board of Directors:

    Joe Becker
    Rudy Garcia
    Eric Hensman
    Victor Phan
    Lorenze Porricelli
    Robert Rollins
    Toby Wallwork

    And thanks to all who've supported the OC Screenwriters.

    It's been a great three years and looking forward to many more!

    Be Inspired, Do Good Work!

    A personal message from Mark Sevi, president of OC Screenwriters:

    mark seviHi, all.  Thanks for taking the time to read this.  

    I've been a professional screenwriter for 20 years.  Had 19+ movies produced, more to come.  

    Clark Peterson (IMDB page), my friend, has been responsible for three of them and I hope at some point ten or twelve more.

    Clark ("Monster" "Dear Mr. Gacy" "Dim Sum Funeral" "Rampart") is a remarkable producer/writer/exec.  He's smart, in touch with today's markets, and a hard-working, no-excuses dude.  The movies on which we've worked were fantastic and that continues with everything that Clark does.  

    His recent  film,
    reese witherspoon"Devil's Knot" (original script by me) stars Academy Award-winning actors Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth.  It's one of the most compelling films in recent memory and based in horrifying true events.

    A few years back, Clark fell in love with his soul mate, a talented (and gorgeous) writer/producer/show runner named Stacy Rukeyser ("The Lying Game" "One Tree Hill" "Greek" "Crash")  This not only made his heart happy but the two of them then became one of the more formidable Hollywood  producing teams out there.  

    Clark and Stacy are both in direct touch with today's markets in features and television.  Because they're also both writers, they know 1st hand what it takes to be creative in a business that both rewards and ignores creativity.

    FINDING A BALANCE between those two is essential - they can tell you how.  Clark and Stacy know this business from all angles, intimately, and they will inform and inspire you and your work...


    There are no more informed and industry-aware guests in this business.  If you really care about carving out a career in film, come listen to and ask questions of two of the most dynamic (and nicest) film/television producers (and people) that I have had the pleasure to meet in over 20 years of my professional life.

    Come, learn, listen and network.  See you there!  Details after the jump.

    OC Screenwriters


    Saturday, September 29th 10:00am-12:00pm

    Mega Hollywood Producer Clark Peterson

    clark peterson

    (Monster, Rampart, Dim Sum Funeral, Devil's Knot)

    With his wife and partner - 

    Writer/Producer/Show Runner Stacy Rukeyser

    (The Lying Game, One Tree Hill, Greek, Crash)

    stacy rukeyser

    This amazing "It Couple" husband and wife team cover the gamut of what's moving and shaking in features and television in Hollywood today.

    Between them they are responsible for over 28 features and over 80 television episodes with more coming in late 2012 and 2013.

    Clark was The Orange County Screenwriters Association 1st guest in 2009 when he was producing "Dear Mr. Gacy" and he continues the tradition of great feature films with the stunning "Devil's Knot" the true story of the West Memphis Three which has garnered national attention and stars Academy Award-winning actors Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth.regency theaters

     Join us at the fabulous Regency South Coast Village Theater for a morning of conversation and Q&A and gain real insight from these two fantastic film gurus into how to pitch and sell your script from people who really understand the business.

    What: The 3rd Anniversary of The Orange County Screenwriters Association
    Where: Regency South Coast Village Theater
    When: Saturday, September 29, 2012, 10:00am-12:00pm
    Cost: $2.00 at the door to help cover costs.

    We welcome any & all to this fantastic event. Questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    MAP to theater - HERE

    Congratulations to the Regency South Coast Village for again winning Independent Theater of the Year!

    Regency South Coast Village
    1561 W. Sunflower Ave.
    Santa Ana, CA

    Win a copy of the industry-standard screenwriting software Final Draft !

    Two to be given away!

    Win a Cinebag!



    movie tix

    Movie Tix! Gear! Posters! And other great swag will be given away!!!



    "Rocky!  Rocky!  Rocky!"  Yes, I swear I wanted to stand up and cheer tonight like they did in "Rocky" the movie.

    Why?  Because our guest at The Writer's Room was that inspiring.

    I sat and was delighted tonight by a man who I should know but hadn't met.  We had traveled in a lot of the same film/production circles in the last 20 years and to say that I regretted not meeting him ten years ago is an understatement.

    Rockwell Sheraton is that rare combination of supremely accomplished producer and nice guy.  He was funny, succinct, vast, comprehensive, personable and just...nice.  He made us laugh at his stories of the movie business but he was also just as happy to listen to others talk about their travails and laugh along with them.

    OCSWA board member Joe Becker mentioned Rocky a few months back and I thought he sounded great for this smaller venue event.  What I didn't realize is the Rocky knows or has worked with just about everyone in Hollywood.  He told us trade secrets, regaled us with stories of his career (both music and film,) and provided hugely important information on how to make it in this business.

    Even I, who has had 20+ years of experience as a writer, was amazed at the things he told us\ that I didn't know.

    No, I'm not going to say what any of that that was - next time come to the event and find out.  But here's a tip - we've asked him to come to our Halloween event to sit on the horror panel so don't miss him if you did the first time around.

    Thanks to my board of directors who helped and those who couldn't come tonight for helping with the arrangements.

    And most of all, thanks to Rocky for being a great filmmaker and an even finer human being.

    Rockey's prodco: Cinedicate

    Check him out!


    AUGUST 27 - 30, ONE PER NIGHT AT 7:30 PM
    Regency South Coast Village Theatre will honor the late director, Tony Scott, with a four film tribute of his work, including films, "Man on Fire," "Crimson Tide," "Days of Thunder," and "Top Gun," and each will screen at 7:30 PM on their specific day scheduled. The "Tribute to Tony Scott" will begin on Monday, August 27, and continue nightly through Thursday, August 30, at 7:30 PM daily. Each film features Scott's unique blend of action and drama in his style that was loved by moviegoers, and Regency is honored to bring this to film lovers in appreciation of his work. Monday, August 27, 7:30 PM - "Man on Fire", has Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning, and Mickey Rourke, in the stunning drama of a former assassin who takes revenge on a group who attack a family he is guarding.

    Tuesday, August 28, 7:30 PM - "Crimson Tide", stars Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman in the tense thriller of a submarine captain with an itchy finger on his nuclear weapons.

    Wednesday, August 29, 7:30 PM - "Days of Thunder" features Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Robert Duval is the exciting story of a hot-shot car racer who gets to race at the top levels.

    Thursday, August 30, 7:30 PM - "Top Gun", starring Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis, and Meg Ryan, tells of macho fighter jet pilots competing for best in the class and for the teacher’s affections, it takes us up where we belong!  Plus, Tony Scott always wore a red hat, and this night the first 125 attendees will receive one in his honor.

    Information and tickets can be found at, or at, and tickets are only $7 per show. Regency South Coast Village is located at 1561 W. Sunflower Ave, Santa Ana, CA, 92704, and can be reached by phone at (714) 557-5701 (recording), or (714) 557-5703 (live). Regency South Coast Village is a longtime home of Classic Film, and every Wednesday night at 7:30 is Classic Film Night at the theatre.

    West Coast Film Festival


    Sneak Preview of Warner Brothers Amazing Story

    The West Coast Film Festival is back at Regency San Juan Capistrano Theatre, and will feature an exclusive Warner Brothers World Premiere Sneak Preview of, "Tales from the Warner Bros Lot", a film with Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Barbra Streisand, a variety of independent films, including the major prize winners from Sundance and South by Southwest Film Festivals, classic great film tributes, films by several young Orange County filmmakers of note, and visits by everyone from Elvis to Dueling Banjos, and WCFF runs August 19 - 23, 2012

    The premiere is a special project from Warner Brothers and promises to be a night of many surprises and appearances, as in addition, Warner Brothers executive, Jeff Baker, will be honored by the WCFF.

    The WCFF will screen and celebrate the 40th Anniversary of "Deliverance", offer a tribute to Elvis Presley and a screening of, "Viva Las Vegas," and close with Sam Peckinpah"s "Wild Bunch," as a part of Rodeo Week in San Juan Capistrano.


    Independent films include, "The Manzanar Fishing Club," an amazing testimonial to the Japanese-Americans who were interred in a California camp during World War II, and how they survived. The director and producer, as well as survivors will appear with the film.

    Acclaimed independent films, South by Southwest Film Fest Grand Jury Prize Winner, "Natural Selection," Sundance winner, "Kinyarwanda," "Shakespeare High," and "A Not So Still Life," will also be featured.

    Several young Orange county Filmmakers will have their films showcased, including, "The Last Cry," "The Magic Hourglass," and "Wash Me."

    Special appearances and performances will include, Harold Payne, the music writer for "Manzanar Fishing Village;" Glenn Jordan, and his show, "Elvis is in the House," which will accompany the "Viva Las Vegas," screening; Alan Weiss, screenwriter for four Elvis movies and one John Wayne film; Dueling Banjos will appear before "Deliverance," and all are invited to a birthday celebration to celebrate Warner Brothers 90th Birthday.

    Additionally, "Soul of Rafael," a film made in San Juan Capistrano in 1922, and restored by the Historical Society of SJC, will be featured along with Mary Pickford clips in a special event.

    The WCFF will also have Cass Warner, a granddaughter of Warner’s founder, Jack Warner, who will appear and sign her book, a living history of growing up at Warner Brothers.

    The WCFF is coordinated by founders and filmmakers, Robert Kline and Stephanie Heredia, and is hosted by Regency San Juan Capistrano theatre, at 26762 Verdugo Street, SJC, CA 92675, directly across from the train station.

    Information on all films, their scheduled screen times, and purchase of tickets can be found at, and moviegoers can call, 949 661-3435, for any questions.

    Join the fun! Hollywood Comes to San Juan Capistrano!!! Get your tickets now!!!


    Film Line-Up

    Shows are $10 and a special discounted senior price for only $8
    **$15 general admission for all


    **7:00 PM - "THE MANZANAR FISHING CLUB", an amazing film that looks at the internment camp in, the California Sierras where Japanese-Americans were placed during World War II, and their fortitude and clever ways to survive, which included fishing!

    Featuring: Meet the Producer, Director, and survivors of Manzanar, as well as musician, Harold Payne, who scored the movie and will perform the theme song.


    10:00 AM - "THE SOUL OF RAFAEL", and Mary Pickford clips filmed in San Juan Capistrano. Presented by the SJC Historical Society, "The Soul of Rafael," is a film they have restored, and which was filmed in SJC in 1922. Additionally, clips presented of Mary Pickford films which were filmed in SJC also, a favorite location of hers and director, D.W. Griffith.

    2:00 PM - "SHAKESPEARE HIGH" - is a feature documentary that tells the story of the program that is almost 100 years old and has helped thousands of young people face their problems and move on. Alumni appearing include Kevin Spacey, Val Kilmer, Mare Winningham, and Richard Dreyfuss.

    6:00 PM - DUELING BANJOS - the phenomenal band with the score to the film "Deliverence," will play and duel at Rick's Cafe Restaurant & Wine Bar upstairs at the theatre, and then before the film in auditorium.

    **7:00 PM - "DELIVERANCE" - celebrate the 40th anniversary of a stunning film that caused a stir when it opened and has held its ground ever since. Starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty, as buddies on a fishing trip through the wilds of Georgia.

    9:30 PM - "THE LAST CRY" - a film by Orange County filmmakers, Alan Vo, Jonathan Chase Aranda, and Reza Ghassemi is an action-packed tale of two hit men who kill the wrong man. The young men will appear also for a Q & A after the screening at Rick's Cafe.


    2:00 PM
    - "SPACE JAM/LOONEY TUNES/TOM & JERRY" - all the great cartoons are here for you to enjoy with your family, once again on the big screen! A favorite brought back with all new selections!

    4:00 PM - "AKIRA KUROSAWA'S DREAMS" - Kurosawa's acclaimed film that was a spectacular collection based on his dreams and praised by critics. Special appearance by film participants.


    7:00 PM - WARNER BROTHERS EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PREVIEW PREMIERE OF "Tales from the Warner Bros Lot" - - Warner Brothers brings a special film to premiere at the WCFF, and it stars Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Barbra Streisand and it will be a special highlight of the week. Special appearance by Warner Brothers executive, Jeff Baker, who was instrumental in the film being made. Don't miss this one! Afterward, at Rick's Cafe, a party for Warner Brothers celebrating their 90th birthday and all are invited for cake!

    Receive A Free Memorabilia!

    1:00 PM - "THE BROTHERS WARNER" - a wonderful story of the four brothers who founded Warner Brothers, directed by Cass Warner, granddaughter of Warner’s founder and president, Harry Warner, and it is an enchanting look behind the scenes of how a studio rose to the top.

    Featuring: Cass Warner will appear and answer questions and share remembrances of stars and stories, and will also sign her book, "The Brothers Warner." 3:00 PM "KINYARWANDA" a spectacular winner at Sundance and 7 other festivals, and acclaimed by every critic, this is a stunning look at a Tutsi woman and Hutu man who fall in love during horrible chaos in Rwanda, and along with a soldier and a priest, face unspeakable horror.

    6:00 PM - ELVIS IS IN THE HOUSE - Scott Robertson brings his award-winning impersonation of Elvis to the theatre, and will rock the house from the theatre up to Rick's Cafe!

    **7:00 PM - "VIVA LAS VEGAS" - starring "The King" - Elvis Presley, along with Ann Margaret, as Elvis conquers the Strip. Anyone who wears an Elvis costume receives a prize! A fun night, and a great time with the King of Rock'n Roll, Elvis Presley. Featuring: Screenwriter Allan Weiss, who wrote four Elvis films, along with many others, who will speak about working with the King, and what Elvis was like.

    9:30 PM - "ROBERT ROLLINS," "TAO BROTHERS", AND VICTOR PHAN Young OC filmmakers, including Robert Rollins and his award-winning "The Magic Hourglass," filmed locally and an amazing journey; Winston and Aaron Tao and their film that won the Chapman awards: and Victor Phan, who beings a film of wildest imagination. These young men will screen their films and speak to the audience.


    1:30 PM - "NATURAL SELECTION" - the Grand Jury Prize Winner at South by Southwest, the biggest Independent film festival in the world, makes it premier appearance in the area. Funny and poignant, having discovered that her dying husband has an illegitimate child living in Florida, a devout Christian housewife leaves her sheltered world on a mission to reunite father and son.

    4:00 PM - "A NOT SO STILL LIFE" - will touch your soul. Ginny Ruffner overcame a near fatal car accident in 1991 in order to re-establish her worldwide reputation as an artist, but it is her indefatigable spirit that has influenced so many in and out of the art world.
    Special Event: Randi Peshkin brings the Guild of Artists to the theatre and they will exhibit inspired works for the public.

    **7:00 PM - "THE WILD BUNCH" - celebrate Rodeo Week in Capistrano with Sam Peckinpah's western story of a gang of aged gun shooters last stand, starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine. If you wear a costume, you receive a prize. Go back to the Old West!!

    Special Event: The fun starts at 6:00 PM in Rick's Cafe Restaurant at the theatre, with special appearance by Satin and Spurs, the Old West re-enactors who will create how it was in the Old West. Satin and Spurs will appear again at the film's end at Rick’s Café, as we celebrate the 2012 West Coast Film Festival.




    the writers room logoJOIN US for a discussion with independent producer Rockwell Sheraton (Cindicate) on the state of the industry and how to rise above the noise in this highly competitive market.

    Rocky has been in the movie industry and in music promotions for years and knows first hand what works and what doesn't. An open discussion and networking will follow an exciting presentation by Rocky.

    When: Thursday, August 30th, 6:00pm
    Irvine Valley College / Classroom A202 
    (see campus map)
    5500 Irvine Center Drive
    Irvine, CA

    NOTE:  Classroom may be changed due to overflow on the night of the event but directions will be provided onsite when you arrive.

    Campus Map / Street Map to College

    How Much:

    $7.50 in advance
    $5.00 Student/Educator rate - valid I.D. required
    $10.00 at door (space allowing)


    (You Can Enter Quantities
    at PayPal Checkout)

    Please Enter Your Name
    and Click on Pay Now:

    RESERVATION ($5.00)

    I.D. required at door

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    If you require a different method please CONTACT US

    Limited Space: Please reserve and pay for your seats now!

    dick bealsDick Beals died.  He was in his 80's so he lived a decent span of years and was very successful.  Who is he?  You've heard him even if you haven't seen him.  He was (most famously)  the voice of Speedy AlkaSeltzer, an animated character from the 50's/60's who hawked Alka Seltzer.

    But even if you don't know that character, you probably know "Davey and Goliath" or perhaps "Gumby" or you've heard one of  the 3,000+ voice spots Beals did in his decades-long career.

    What makes Beals so special and inspirational is that he because of a glandular condition, he only grew to a towering 4'6" tall, weighed 70 pounds soaking wet with a triangular face that looked like a happy gnome.  His voice never changed which is why he was able to voice anything from 5yr-old boys to 13yr-old girls until he died.  In fact, he beat out 300 boys who auditioned for the part in an Adams Family animated role when he was 65. (more at link below video)


    Small in stature, his spirit was bigger than anything you can imagine.  And it started when he was a kid.  As a young boy, he couldn't play sports (which he loved) so he became a cheerleader at age seven and carried that all the way to Michigan State where he got his BA and also started doing the radio dramas that would lead to his career  He opened ad agencies, coached Little League, piloted his own private plane; his size never worked against him and most certainly always worked for him.  

    He made a sweet life from a sour start.

    Our world and our business specifically is filled with stories like this.  Here's the point: succeeding in Hollywood is what you make of it.  For all the Will Smiths there are hundreds, thousands of Dick Beals.  If you can't be James Bond or  Jason Borne, then be Speedy AlkaSeltzer.  Mr. Beals died happy, successful, and deservedly fullfilled in a profession that sees a lot of broken promises and dreams.  

    And if he can do it, so can you.

    Plop, plop, fizz, fizz...what an inspiration he is.

    Hello, folks.

    I'm here today to do a "quasi" review/observation. The movie in question is the newly minted second movie, of Harry Potter actor "Daniel Radcliff" (where he does not play a wizard) The Woman in Black, now available at your friendly RedBox after a short theatrical run. 

    This movie enters the much traditional Horror/Thiller genre, that in these lean days of Hollywood, have been the quick bet for all studios heads and producers looking to keep their leased luxury rides.

    I liked the movie from the begining and the production is solid, great cinematography and a great cast of actors surround Mr. Radcliff in his sophore movie playing a character other than the famous wizard. The story is about a young, recently widowed laywer, who is sent to an old house in the English contryside to clean up the "paper trail" of an old widow who lived there. Now, to make matters worse, that house is not only very creepy looking but it's at the end of a long winding road that gets covered by the marsh tide two times a day. And not only that... the people mention that house is haunted.

    So, not only is the house pretty frightening to begin with in the daylight and is unaccesible to others two times a day, but it also comes with it's own ghost - talk about a bad real estate deal. But that's rather here nor there but what is interesting in the how the movie is set up. We as writers always go by the numbers or at least try to do things that will bring the audience to follow and subsequently get hooked on the story. So let's start with what works with the movie and what doesn't.

    Contratct with the Audience: it is done well, right from the get go there is a creepy scene that sets the tone for the movie and it shouts out loud and clear : We're in for a creeper. Great, let's move forward.

    Establishing the character and his stakes. Not bad but a bit weak and for a MAJOR reason that we'll come back to later. Radcliff's character is haunted by the memory of his wife who lost her life giving birth to their son. He has missed work and is now forced to take this assigment or loose his job. Character development O.K.,  establishing the stakes a bit weak. But we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Work is work and we all know in O.C. what it's like these days to loose a job. So he moves towards the village where he has to "tidy" the paper work and leave.

    But once he gets there, the room he booked is not available and the solicitor hired to help him almost rushes him out of town... why? For some reason they don't want him to go to the old widow's mansion. Now, coming to my main point, for this review/observationis on how much, we as writers, must not take for granted the willingness of the audience to believe a characters actions. Character motivation should always be very clear and concise so through the WHOLE movie, so we as an audience will never doubt that the character would do such a thing, or if we haven't been shown anything, doubt what any normal human being would do.

    So Radcliff's character, bound by his duty,  arrives at the run down mansion and starts to work, taking out papers and papers from the craziest of places, all while visiting the most twistedly decorated toy rooms ever seen. And now the movie starts to push the scares, crows fly in! Creepy toys start going off! Noise of doors slam around. No regular person, especially one rasied in the 1890's would stay for one second in that house. You have to be a out of your mind brave, crazy or out to prove a point. I mean this house gives you the jitters when you touch the door knob! 

    And so again the movie continues with the scares, and scales them up nicely and better and better and yes, we get to see the Woman in Black and she scares us very well, thank you... But my problem through the whole movie is this...

    How did this character get so brave?

    Nobody in their right mind. Would stay in this house under normal circumstances, but not only does he stay... He stays the night! And sorts of crazy things start to happen. Here is were they lost me because the guy seems to be following the director's orders to go to door # 2 open - scare, cubbard # 3 open - scare... Window # 1 look out - scare... Why? Because there is no real reason to believe he would be this brave. So now the writers have lost me and therefore the audience and by now we all know it's just a paint by number scare movie. The shame? It never should have been that way. As writers we want to scare the audienc and take them through the ride but please, make me believe this guy has huge brass balls the size of a watermelon. In the movie Radcliff's character is a slow, gentle dazed person that lives the glows of his wives memories but never says anything about being a believer in ghosts a sceptic or anything else. There is a brief set piece by the fire with the great Cyrian Hinds where he's asked if he believed in "spiritualism" and the writers had their last chance to sell me on him being a skeptic... But he says nothing to convince me he has a will of steel. 

    So the movie could have been fixed in the early scene where he's given the job and where we could have been exposed to him being A) A spiritualist, B) studies ghosts or C) Simply has no time for superstitions. But they say nothing, so we assume he's a normal God fearing person and then they get another stab to convince the audience he has the temple to not get scared and they waste it in the fireplace scene. So to wrap things up, it's a great production, interesting story and a O.K. ending, but all ruined by the very poor work at developing the main characters motivation. Attention writers, these guys who did the film are no slouches but I'm amazed they made this jaffe. Don't do this ! And when you create a character always make sure the audience will always, with out a doubt believe the character will do what he'll do because he was properly fleshed out in earlier scenes.

    Time to send to the writers of THE WOMAN IN BLACK to Mark's clase for a little Intermediate Screnwriting, because if they ever had any academia, they sure did not show it here.

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