Friday, April 30, 2010

At Focus on the Family...

What a lovely place and group of people. I spoke to a gathering of the staff and then did a few interviews. There will be a podcast coming up on Plugged In. Look for it somewhere here.

I'm off to CT tomorrow for a couple days and then on my way to Spain on Wednesday. There is a symposium being hosted by the Catholic University in Valencia next week, at which I will be speaking. My talk will be on heros and the movies. It will be a development of a talk I first gave a couple years ago to the San Diego Christian Writers Guild. I've been warming to the topic even more in recent years and am looking forward to presenting on the topic in Spain.

Eventually, I will get back to blogging regularly.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Boston Area: Cinematic Storytelling Workshop

Skip the BBQ on Memorial Day! Come and talk movie writing with us!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

See Barb in Boston!

If you are serious about writing and producing movies, skip the BBQ on Memorial Day and come up to Gordon College in Boston!

The Craft and Business of Cinematic Storytelling:
A Day-longWorkshop for Writers and Producers (And Those Who Want to Be)
Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, 9am-5pm

Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA 01984

Featuring Hollywood writers, instructors and script consultants,
Charles Robert Carner and Barbara Nicolosi

- What makes a movie great and why does the world need them?
- How do you craft screen moments that will haunt the viewer?
- What’s the best way to introduce a character to the audience?
- What kind of ending sends the viewer spinning away satisfied and delighted?

It’s no secret. The global movie audience is starved for great stories. As the generations change in Hollywood, the impulse to find fresh storytelling voices has never been greater. And the opportunities for getting a movie made and out to the audience have never been broader. But if ten million YouTube movies have taught us anything, it’s that in the end, excellence of craft, talent, and a brilliant story will mean the difference between a few minutes of fame, and a lasting career in entertainment.

Lots of people talk about how to write great stories, but few thinkers bring the practical experience, broad societal vision, and dynamic articulation of Charles Robert Carner and Barbara Nicolosi. Together, they have over forty years of experience in Hollywood in producing, directing, screenwriting, script doctoring, and mentoring young filmmakers. For the first time, they will be together on a public stage in Boston, for an intense day that will delight anyone who loves the movies, and challenge to the next level anybody who wants to make a serious go at the craft of cinema storytelling.

Limited to thirty participants! Register today by emailing! (You will be sent an evite invitation.)

Specific Topics to be covered:

- Should it Be a Book or a Movie? : Elements of a Great Screen Story
- Creating Haunting Moments on the Screen
- Creating Rich, Intriguing and Compelling Characters
- Movies that Really End and Don’t Just Stop
- The Current Commercial Landscape
- How to Get Started As a Screenwriter or Producer
- The Ethics and Societal Meaning of the Movies

Cost for the Workshop, 9:00am – 5:00-pm
- $125 per person
- $100 for students with ID
- (Optional) $15 lunch
- (Optional) $25 for fifteen minute one on one meeting

Barbara Nicolosi is an screenwriter and has an M.A. in Cinema from Northwestern University. She is the co-writer of the 2011 Lionsgate/MGM release Mary, Mother of the Christ, wrote Polosuasion for IMMI Pictures in Beverly Hills, and is currently writing Fatima, Miracle and Message for Origin Entertainment of Manhattan Beach, CA. She is an Adjunct professor of cinema in the Seaver Graduate School at Pepperdine University, in Malibu, CA and lectures on cinema and screenwriting at universities and conferences around the world. Barbara was the Founding Director, and is now the Chair, Emeritus of the acclaimed Act One program in Hollywood, CA. As such, she has been instrumental in launching hundreds of young people into Hollywood careers as writers, producers and executives. Barbara has also worked in the industry as a Director of Project Development, a documentary researcher, a theater producer, and as a consultant on features and television shows including The Passion of the Christ, A Foreign Affair, and Saving Grace. She is the co-editor of the 2006 Baker Books release Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith and Culture.

Charles Robert Carner was the valedictorian of his film school class at Columbia College in Chicago, before movie to Los Angeles for a long and successful career as a writer, director and producer for both television and the big screen. He has personally written over fifty screenplays, and has directed twelve of his projects for some of Hollywood’s top companies. Some of Charlie’s credits as a writer and director include, the Lionsgate 2008 release, “Witless Protection,” the award-winning Showtime feature, “The Fixer,” and one of the highest rated cable movies of all time, “Crossfire Trail,” for TNT. He has been a jury member for the Angelus Awards Student Film Festival, and is a member of both the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America, and is on the Board of the City of Angels Film Festival and Family Theater Productions in Hollywood.

Directions to Gordon
From Points West:
- Take an east-bound highway (e.g., Mass Turnpike, Route 90) to Route 95 North
- Stay on Route 95 North until it separates from Route 128
- Take Route 128 North towards Gloucester, passing through Peabody, Danvers and Beverly
- Take Exit 17, Grapevine Road
- Turn left at end of ramp, going 0.6 mile to main entrance

From Points North:
- Take Route 95 South to Route 128 North
- Remain on Route 128 North, passing through Peabody, Danvers and Beverly
- Take Exit 17, Grapevine Road
- Turn left at end of ramp, going 0.6 mile to main entrance

From Points South:
- Stay on Route 95 North until it separates from Route 128.
- Take Route 128 North towards Gloucester, passing through Peabody, Danvers and Beverly
- Take Exit 17, Grapevine Road
- Turn left at end of ramp, going 0.6 mile to main entrance

From Logan Airport:
- Leaving the Boston/Logan Airport, look for signs for 93 North
- Take 93 North to Route 95 North
Follow the directions (above) for "From Points South"

Another Act One Alumni Movie!

Dear Snowpeople --

Well in case you were wondering — finally — there are SNOWMEN in the forecast!

We have been “officially” invited, and SNOWMEN has just been “officially” accepted to make it’s WORLD PREMIERE this Saturday, April 24th at the TRIBECA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.

SNOWMEN was one of 5500 entries and the only family film of the 85 films selected.

Below are all the screening times, location and demographic breakdowns for Tribeca. Would love you to pass along and invite any friends/family/associates/Studio Execs/wealthy investors/fans/facebook stalkers etc who might be in the greater NY area.

Saturday, April 24, 2:00 pm, SVA 1 333 West 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) New York, NY 10011 (Silas): Seats 479 In competition for the “Audience Award”. This will be our “premiere” screening and will have Ray Liotta, Josh Flitter and Bobby Coleman(other cast TBA) in attendance. We need this screening to be filled! A small private party is TBD.

Sunday, April 25, 12:00 pm, VEC-01 Village East Cinemas (VEC) 181 Second Avenue (at 12th Street) New York, NY 10003: Seats 370 In competition for the “Audience Award”. Stars Ray Liotta and Bobby Coleman will be in attendance.

Thursday, April 29, 2:30 pm Village East Theater 3 Village East Cinemas (VEC) 181 Second Avenue (at 12th Street) New York, NY 10003: Seats 155. In competition for the “Audience Award”. Rob Kirbyson will be in attendance. This screening is a smaller setting for those who would benefit from a more intimate experience of the film.

To purchase tickets:

Let's support Robert Kirbyson and his first feature film DEBUT!

Our director Rob Kirbyson just finished building the new website. Yes, he writes, directs...and designs websites. It's here

The festival put up a transcribed interview with Rob on their website. (The festival is tracking hits to this link so every click counts. Thanks!)

Meet Robert Kirbyson, director of the TFF 2010 family film Snowmen, a sweet movie that is one of the few TFF 2010 films perfect for families!

More info here:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Movie Night

Dear Popcorn Lovers,

It's that time again. You're invited to another Fourth Friday Movie Night this Friday, April 23rd. This one's a little different.

We'll be watching the Allen Wolf movie In My Sleep on it's opening night.

Executive produced by an Act One faculty member and connected in various ways with the Act One community, the film is described by The Hollywood Reporter as "a well-stirred titillation that will appeal to twenty-something audiences and movie-buff viewers who appreciate the pursued-pursuer, Hitchcockian style of suspense."

Instead of meeting at the Act One Office, we'll be meeting at the Laemmle Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, 90046:


It's probably a good idea to get tickets in advance, just in case it's sold out.

Buy ($11) tickets here:

Let's try to meet in the lobby at 6:40, 30 minutes before the show. Let me know if you're coming so I can look for you.

Hope to see all ya'll there.

Act One staff

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Still Stirring it Up

Here is an interview that I did a few months ago for the web site Patheos. I expect lots of email for suggesting that EWTN and CBN are doing more harm to the Church culturally than Hustler and Big Love.

Bring it on.

Some newish thoughts here as I have been in semi-interview retirement this past year and have had time to put some things together. Here's a new one:

I am a political animal in many ways. It's a big hobby for me. But I have, with the rest of my generation, almost completely lost confidence that real good in society can be achieved through politics. I don't think that's the pathway to lasting good. I think that politics can clear the field for good to be done, but I don't think it actually achieves anything. I think culture is what creates good in the world. That's the realm of the artist: the storyteller, the musician, the poet. And I see myself as a storyteller.

Also some of my favorite beasts to beat. Like this familiar and (beloved) psychoses:

Things are changing, too. The boomers are dying and ceding power, and the power is going into the very troubled, introspective hands of the Generation Xers, people like Jason Reitman, who made Juno and what I consider this year's best film, Up in the Air. These folks are completely ambivalent about the promises of the sexual revolution. They don't have other options, but they know the way they were raised was wrong.

You're starting to see this in so many movies. I think four or five of this year's academy award nominees are very hopeful pictures. They're seeded with hope, not infected with the kind of cynicism that the boomer generation had come to. The boomers, after exhausting themselves with every kind of sexual license and permissiveness and me-centeredness, basically had come out with a "whatever" attitude in their movies. That is not the spirit of the Gen-Xers

Thanks much to the very patient Timothy Dalrympal for transcribing my hour-long rant.