By Film Threat Staff | February 7, 2005

Cinequest 15 presents two dynamic movie making forums during the closing weekend of the festival. Day of the Writer and Day of the Producer are geared towards both the established professional and the emerging artists and students who seek further education on the writing and producing aspects of movie making. These two days of programming will feature educational seminars, panel discussions, and forums by well-known industry professionals. New for forum attendees this year is the choice of two different informational tracks during Day of the Writer on Friday, March 11. The morning session will be divided into two concurrent sessions — one for beginning writers and one for those who already have a screenplay under their belt. Both groups will then converge for the second and third sections of the day. The three winners of the Cinequest 15 Screenwriting Competition will be announced before the Writing the Great Screenplay panel. On Saturday, March 12, Day of the Producer delivers a powerhouse lineup of some of the industry’s top development and acquisition executives in the Make It, Sell It seminar. This will be a must-attend event for anyone looking to strike a future deal on his or her concept, screenplay or finished product.

Day of the Writer

Part I Track A: The Nuts and Bolts of Story Development
If you’re unfamiliar with the basics of creating a master screenplay or need a refresher course, Barnaby Dallas, Head of Production and Professor of Script Writing at San Jose State University, will provide you with the essential tools and strategies that you need to maximize your story’s potential. Renowned for his “cut to the chase” lecture style, Barnaby will quickly bring you up to speed on the fundamentals of dramatic structure, character development and dialogue: the fundamentals needed to create a master screenplay.

Part I Track B: Script Analysis Class
If you attended The Nuts and Bolts of Story Development last year, have equivalent experience or have written your first screenplay, then you can choose this class. Presenter James Dalessandro will answer questions about scripts on which attendees are working and will analyze film clips illustrating key screenwriting concepts. Dalessandro has written three novels: Citizen Jane, Bohemian Heart and 1906. He has optioned more than a dozen feature-length screenplays during his career. Warner Brothers Films is scheduled to begin production on 1906 later this year. Dalessandro also recently optioned a television series titled S.O.S. to QMedia. This will be an entertaining and empowering opportunity for screenwriters to take a script to the next level.

Part II: Structuring the Script: Three Act Linearity
Whether you’re a novice or a pro, this class will enable you to polish your script. San Jose State University professor Scott Sublett will cover the fine points of story and scene design, including step outlines, plotting, conflict, set-ups and payoffs, foreshadowing and reversals. With his engaging style, Scott will equip the audience to shape written material for maximum dramatic impact.

Part III: Panel Discussion: Writing the Great Screenplay
Want to write great original Maverick screenplays? Don’t miss this panel that will address narrative conventions of the various Hollywood genres, as well as international and independent films and how to keep an eye on effective innovation in storytelling. Andrew Horton, award-winning screenwriter and author of sixteen books on film, will moderate the panel. The panel also features DeAnza College instructor and screenwriter Ed Alzant, scr(i)pt magazine writer and Cinequest 15 Screenwriting Competition final jury chairperson John Kim, as well as filmmakers Karen Folger Jacobs and Paul Martin.

Cinequest 15 Screenwriting Competition
In only its second year, the Cinequest 15 Screenwriting Competition received submissions from 634 screenwriters around the globe. During September through December, jury members selected 10 electrifying scripts for the last phase of the competition. A final jury of leading industry professionals will announce the three winners before the above panel begins. The finalist screenplays are:

2 Bedroom, 1 Bath, Scott Liapis
Comfort, Benjamin Jones
Falling Into Skye, Mia McKenzie
Icarus the Clown, Markus Griesshammer, William Kowalski
Kemosabe, Luis Aira, Michael Aronin
Ruby Dice, Karl Fink
Shalott, Ami Hendrickson
Stagolee, Tim Curley
Stories Just Off The Turnpike, Alan Roth
Willing, Jason Coleman

(For detailed information on the Cinequest 15 Screenwriting Competition please see specific release.)

Part I: Make It, Sell It
It used to be a major accomplishment to simply make an independent feature movie with professional production standards. For years, Cinequest has led the way to a more level playing field by championing and showcasing digital technologies that have made movie making much more accessible. However, it seems no easier today to actually sell an independent movie than before. Cinequest offers a dynamic, informative and diverse panel of industry leaders representing various capacities that effect the promotion and sale of a motion picture.

This is a rare opportunity to get the inside picture of the distribution and marketing business. The stellar lineup of panelists includes:

Rob Aft, Adelphia

Brittney Ballard, New Market Films

Peter Belsito, Film Finders (moderator)

Jon Fitzgerald, Right Angle Studios

Dan Levin, Seventh Art Releasing

Thomas Mai, Katapult Film Sales

Ivan Oyco, Spyglass Entertainment

Bic Tran, Lakeshore Entertainment

(Additional panelists announced in February)

Part II: Creative Producing
A panel of experienced and successful producers will explain and explore making movies using proven as well as leading-edge strategies. Some of the questions and issues for discussion will be: How does a producer succeed with traditional and creative funding methods? How important are bankable names in a movie, and how do you get them? What is the role of a producer’s rep? How does a sales agent compare to a distributor? What about the various delivery media: Theatrical, DVD, Television and Internet? How does one best secure sales and distribution worldwide? How can film festivals help? What about industry screenings? What do attorneys, consultants and publicists do? How does a producer best create a strategic sales plan and execute it?

Back by popular demand, the panel will be moderated by Robert G. Phelps, Cinequest board member and Day of the Writer producer, who was graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and from Hastings College of the Law. He works as a deputy public defender in Santa Clara County.

Panelists include:

Andre Bennett – Cinema Esperanca International

Jacques Thelamaque – Filmmakers Alliance

(Additional panelists announced mid-February)

Part III: Democratization of Digital Motion Picture Production

The Day of the Producer ticket includes admission to the DXD forum Democratization of Digital Motion Picture Production. (Please see the DXD press release for full information.) Cinequest recommends that producers also attend the DXD forums on other days, all of which are relevant to producing.

For more info, visit the Cinequest website.

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