August 4-6, 2011 – Portland, OR
Willamette Writers Conference

Good time pitching THE FIX to Scooty Woop Entertainment, Magnet Management, Zero Gravity Management, and Agile Entertainment, among others.

300 writers inspired by speeches from Gus Van Sant the Distinguished NW Writer Award (just published his novel Pink); Barry Lopez, Lifetime Achievement Award, author of Of Wolves and Men and so much more; and keynote speaker Robert Dugoni, author of The Cyanide Canary.

October 21-25, 2009 – Austin, TX
Austin Film Festival Dispatches

While attending the Austin Heart of the Screenplay Conference as a Semifinalist with THE FIX, I filed the following dispatches:

Midnight check-in: haven’t been to Texas in awhile, so of course, the jalapeno bison burger is a must.

The next time you fly, remember this: hung out with two Jet Blue pilots who also write screenplays … while on autopilot at 30,000 feet.

Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) advice to screenwriters: "writing is about the shapes."

Tall skinny guy in a baseball hat: on the way to the conference wrap party, a 10 minute lockstep walk & conversation with Ron Howard.

Victory and defeat: Won the 4th heat of the :90 pitch competition with THE FIX but was first at bat in the finals, taking the sacrificial bullet for my new screenwriting friends (the other 15 contestants). Judges included Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Herschell Weingrod (Trading Places). They were very nice …

Bat bridge: hotel room overlooks Austin’s famous Congress Bridge where something like 15 million bats emerge every night at dusk. Watched a lot of people watching. Too dark to see the bats.

Generic writing advice: dead zones happen during the process of writing. Many scripts die there. Don’t give in to the dead zone.

More Shane Black advice to screenwriters: "Someone enters through a door, you have a play. Someone enters through a window, you have a situation."

Trivia: Lawrence Kasdan wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark on a legal pad before putting it on a PC.

Wrap party: had to squeeze past Woody Harrelson eye-to-eye while moving through a wall-to-wall crowd juggling a beer, a scotch and a gin & tonic in both hands.

Best Shane Black advice to screenwriters: “Faith over fear.”