Friday, September 19, 2003

act one: writing for hollywood and reel spirituality present,


A two-day seminar,
Oct. 23 and 24, 2003,

in conjunction with the Tenth Annual CITY of the ANGELS FILM FESTIVAL

and featuring:

John Tinker (Writer, St. Elsewhere, Executive Producer The Practice)
William Romanowski(Author, Pop Culture Wars, Eyes Wide Open)
Steve McEveety (Producer, The Passion, Braveheart)
Todd Komarnicki (Producer, Elf, The Flash)

...And many more!

Within the church, there is a divide between those who study film and television and those who create it. Many pastors and educators teach and minister about entertainment without any first-hand knowledge of the industry that creates it. Many writers, filmmakers and executives fail to contemplate the larger ethical and aesthetic issues that surround their work.

Oct. 23rd and 24th, theory and practice come together for an intense, two-day conference sponsored by act one: writing for hollywood and reel spirituality. Held in conjunction with the City of the Angels Film Festival, “Mere Entertainment” will bring together pastors, thinkers, and industry veterans to share practical experiences and consider the deeper issues at stake in Hollywood.

The ultimate goal of the conference will be to employ both theory and practice in drafting an aesthetic credo: a positive statement to which Christians can assent that articulates how to use the medium of cinema to create enduring works of beauty.



Thursday, October 23

8:30 a.m Registration / Continental Breakfast

9:15 a.m. Opening Prayer and Greeting - Barbara Nicolosi

10:00 a.m. The Hollywood Divide - Ron Austin

11:30 a.m. A Filmmaker’s Progress - Scott Derrickson

12:45 p.m. Lunch Break

1:45 p.m. Writing for TV in the Real World - John Tinker, Dean Batali, Sheryl Anderson

3:30 p.m. Pop Culture and the Classroom- William Romanowski, Read Mercer Schuchardt, Barry Taylor, Scott Young

5:00 p.m. Dinner Break

7:00 p.m. Screening and Discussion: D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance

Friday, October 24

8:30 a.m.Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. The Post-Modern Shift: Beyond Body Parts and the “F” Word - Craig Detweiler

10:30 a.m. The Bottom Line: Art and the Executive - Panel of Creative Executives TBA

1:15 p.m. A Credo for Christian Filmmakers - Barbara Nicolosi

3:00 p.m. Imagining The Passion - Steve McEveety (schedule pending)

7:00 p.m. L.A. Premiere of Resistance, starring Bill Paxton and Julia Ormond, plus a discussion afterward with writer/director Todd Komarnicki.



The Mears Center
First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood
1760 N. Gower Street
Hollywood, CA 90028


The Directors Guild of America
Sunset Blvd. at Fairfax
Hollywood, CA



Sheryl Anderson has been a television studio executive, a half-hour writer (Parker Lewis Can't Lose and Dave's World), and an hour writer (Charmed).

Ron Austin, most recently of USC School of Cinema, is a writer and producer with over one-hundred primetime television credits, including Mission: Impossible, Charlie's Angels, Hawaii Five-O, Matlock, and The Father Dowling Mysteries. Ron has authored numerous articles on film and culture and serves on the editorial board of Image Quarterly: A Journal of Art and Religion.

Dean Batali is Co-Executive Producer of FOX's That 70's Show. He wrote for the initial two seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (WB), and served as co-producer on ABC's recent remake of Fantasy Island.

Scott Derrickson was the co-writer of Urban Legends and the co-writer/director of Hellraiser: Inferno(Miramax). He has written films for Disney, Dimension Films, Artists Production Group, and Jerry Bruckheimer. He is currently writing films for Martin Scorsese and Firm films.

Craig Detweiler is Associate Professor of Mass Communication at Biola University. He made the award-winning short Williams Syndrome: A Highly Musical Species. His feature credits include The Duke and ExtremeDays. With Barry Taylor, he is author of A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture.

Todd Komarnicki is Producer of the upcoming holiday comedy Elf, starring Will Ferrell, and Executive Producer of The Flash television series, based on the popular comic book, for the WB. He is writer/director of the feature Resistance as well as a novelist and playwright.

Steve McEveety is a producer and one of the principles at Icon Productions. He executive produced Braveheart and What Women Want and produced We Were Soldiers and the upcoming The Passion.

Barbara Nicolosi a Los Angeles area screenwriter, is Director of Act One: Writing for Hollywood. She has been a director of development, a member of Gabriel Award, CIMA and the Angelus Award film juries, and a consultant on many film and television projects.

William Romanowski is Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Calvin College. He has been published in numerous books, journals, and popular magazines. He is author of the acclaimed books Pop Culture Wars: Religion and the Role of Entertainment in American Life and, most recently, Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture.

Read Mercer Schuchardt is assistant professor of media studies at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. He is the contributing editor on media and culture for Regeneration Quarterly magazine, founder of CLEAVE: The Counter Agency and the publisher of Metaphilm (, a film interpretation website. This year and next, Spence Publishing will release his first two books, Metaphilm: Seers of the Silver Screen and The Disappearance of Women: Technology, Pornography, and the Obsolescence of Gender.

Barry Taylor teaches pop culture, cultural change and faith as an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. With Craig Detweiler, he is author of A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture.

John Tinker started in television as a staff writer on St. Elsewhere. He went on to co-executive producing jobs for L.A. Law, Home Fires, and The Road Home. He wrote for the short-lived yet well-received Tattinger’s, and since then has been an executive producer on Chicago Hope, The Practice, Snoops, and HRT.

Scott Young is an instructor at Fuller Theological Seminary and the 2003 Chair and Co-Founder of the City of the Angels Film Festival.



For the conference (including the two screenings and meals), the price is $150. For the conference plus admission to The City of the Angels Film Festival, the price is $200. (For Act One alumni, the prices are $85/$135.)

To register by phone, call 323-462-1348.

To register by mail, send your name, address, phone number or email address, check or credit card number and expiration date to:

Mere Entertainment Conference
Act One: Writing for Hollywood
1763 N. Gower St.
Hollywood, CA 90028

or, you mail email the information to

The registration deadline is Oct. 17, 2003.

Act One: Writing for Hollywood is a month-long comprehensive training program for screenwriters from the Christian community. Its goal is to foster and instill artistry, professionalism, substance and concern for moral content in entertainment writers. For more information, visit

Reel Spirituality is a creative encounter between the church and Hollywood, bringing together leading filmmakers, emerging pastors, and rising scholars around our image driven culture’s primary texts – film and television.

The City of the Angels Film Festival grew out of a dialogue between filmmakers and theologians who believe that spiritual perspectives are indispensable to the filmmaking process. It is dedicated to screening quality works that not only celebrate film as art but also raise vital religious and social issues. For more information, visit



Call Act One at 323-462-1348 or email aplatipodis@fpch.or

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