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Michael Thompkins
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Shrinking Writing: Meet Shelly Frome

by Michael 2/22/2009 3:00:00 PM

With the help of the writer conferences I teach at and this blog,I have a habit of picking up new author penpals at a regular clip; my newest pal is Shelly Frome who is a retired college professor from back east. He is just launching his newest book on screen writing and sent me (prepub) the Introduction for the ShootingShrink blog.

The Art and Craft of Screenwriting.  North Carolina & London:   McFarland & Company, Inc., 2009 by Shelly Frome.  Advance copies available at Amazon.

Introduction  

            Dateline Hollywood:  First impressions.

 

Among the magazines and newspapers that line Al’s open-air newsstand on fashionable Beverly Drive, arguably the most prominent are preoccupied with the entertainment industry along with screenwriting ploys to breach the barriers.

            A featured article in one issue of Los Angeles declares that L.A. is the mecca of movies and television, “the two most powerful cultural forces of the last hundred years.”  It also underscores the city’s preference for pop culture over high culture.  For those who are adept at networking and trying to get an edge, there are the trades like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.   Here you will find the daily changing currents: which company is buying what kind of scripts and who brokered the deal, the movements of various development execs and story editors, a list of films that are going into production.  For the seasoned veteran, these are clues to current trendy material.  

For the hopefuls that are not in this league, Fade In magazine is available, touting yet another annual Hollywood Pitch Festival where, for the price of $400 dollars, starry-eyed screenwriters from all over the country are given a chance to be one of the first in line outside the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel (not far from Al’s newsstand) to give  a seven minute pitch of a sure-fire “high concept.”  Those on the receiving end of each face-to-face encounter are Hollywood buyers and brokers, scouts from top talent agencies like Endeavor or management firms, studios and production companies.  Aspirants who arrive later than 6:30 a.m. may find themselves pitching to lesser lights:  younger agents and junior executives from second-tier outfits who, as a rule, don’t accept unsolicited ideas or scripts.  Though only a small percentage of those who have spent hours rehearsing their notions are deemed worthy of follow-up, everyone in line appears optimistic. More...


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.