Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do You Know The Way To Santa Fe?

I'll be teaching at the Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe again this year, and becuase I've postponed my Los Angeles class - this may end up being the only class I teach this year. And it's only a month and a half away!

I'm sure I mentioned before that Santa Fe and the Raindance Film Festival are the reasons why I taught classes in the first place. Both called at about the same time a decade ago and asked if I wanted to teach a class for them, and I told both that I didn't teach classes, and both said: Come out out and try it, you'll like it! I've always been terrible at public speaking, so I thought it might be a good idea to deal with that - so I said yes to both.

Santa Fe was great, and that first year I basically just did a class based on my book Secrets Of Action Screenwriting. I've gone back several times over the years, and was there last year with Josh Olson - who will not read your fucking screenplay (except he read portions of his student's screenplays as part of his class). The great thing about Santa Fe is that Larry tries to keep it Working Professional Writers as teachers. So your teacher may be an Emmy Winner or and Oscar Nominee like Josh or some dude with a bunch of awful action films that play every week on the UK's version of Spike TV like me. But he tries to avoid that thing other conferences do where it's a bunch of Script Gurus with consulting services who have never sold a script telling you how to write... while plugging their own services. At Santa Fe, you learn from people who do it for a living.

And there's access. I mentioned in my blog entries last year that I went out to dinner with a group of students every night I was there - and so did almost everyone else. I was also in the hotel bar every night with some of teh other teachers and many students - and we talked screenwriting. I answered a bunch of questions from people who were not in my class - which is cool because you may get a different answer from me than from one of the other pros (we all have different experiences). Though I'm pretty easy to talk to at someplace like Expo, I've done events where we were kept separate from the students the whole time. Expo is kind of like that - one year at the "mixer" party that students paid money to attend, all of the teachers were in the "VIP room" upstairs. I felt guilty and went down to hang out with the students. Santa Fe - no walls, no separations. There's always a "mega panel" with all of the instructors answering student's questions, and students and teachers eat lunch in the hotel restaurant together - sit at my table if you want.

So this year I'm back in Santa Fe, and in addition to my 3 day class where I tear apart your first ten pages and go through all of the elements of writing (this year we're going to look at concepts, too) - I'm doing a short class based on the *revised* Secrets Of Action Screenwriting book. Kind of a flashback to that first class I did in Santa Fe a decade ago.

If you're interested in taking my class, there are still a couple of seats available, check it out!

The Screenwriting Conference at Santa Fe - May 27th - 31st, 2011.

Here is last year's blog entry on my adventures:
Santa Fe 2010.

- Bill

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Self Discipline - not as much fun as self bondage...
Dinner: City Wok - Tomato Beef
Pages: No sleep yesterday, so no pages written.
Bicycle: Yes, short ride.

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