Screenwriting Expo 08

I attended the 2008 Screenwriting Expo held at the LA Convention Center last week.

On Thursday, I attended 2 panels. First, I attended the TV Power Pitch Workshop led by Mark & Jeanne Simon which was a very upbeat panel. There was not a dull moment learning about pitching and watching examples of good and bad pitches. Then, I headed over to the Writing for Emotional Impact class taught by Karl Iglesias. From the moment that I walked in, I could tell that it was more of a dull vibe. I thought the class was going to dig deep into writing for emotional impact, although I quickly realized that it was just an overview of what Karl Iglesias would be teaching at the expo in later classes for that very topic. Needless to say, I was not blown away with this class.

On Friday, I attended the Master Screenwriting Panel with Josh Olson (Batman: Gotham Knight), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand), Steve Farber (Wedding Crashers), Dan Waters (Batman Returns) and Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking). This panel was quite entertaining to say the least. Put a few talented writers together and what a riot it will become. I sure hope that Creative Screenwriting Podcast is able to post this as an episode.

After that panel, I made sure not to miss the panel featuring the Guests of Honor for the day, Karen Lutz and Kirsten Smith. Kirsten was unable to make the panel although I can only imagine how much more exciting it would have been with her. These ladies are responsible for writing 10 Things I Hate About You, Ella Enchanted, She’s The Man, and The House Bunny. Based on their credits alone, I already knew this panel would be far from boring and I was right. I am an even bigger fan of Karen Lutz after this panel. Girl’s got spunk. She’s got it. I am so anticipating the ABC sitcom in the works based on the lives of these 2 screenwriters. By the way, Karen loves you, Josh Holloway.

After-wards, I sat through a Final Draft Version 8 Preview Presentation. Final Draft 8 is so incredibly updated…it makes Final Draft 7 look like the first Final Draft. All I need is the release date for Final Draft 8 and then I am counting down the days until I can buy it.

On Saturday, I attended an Agents and Managers Panel, where writers had all of their burning questions answered – from getting an agent/manager to what to do after you have an agent/manager. It was very educational and I enjoyed this a lot.

After-wards was the panel that I had anticipated all week long…the Heroes Panel with Tim Kring! Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander were scheduled to attend but if you have been following Heroes news, you know this. Words cannot describe how I felt sitting so close to Tim Kring, getting a very candid interview from him as he answered questions (so different from the Comic Con frenzy). Not only did I learn more about Tim and Heroes, but the business, and what it is like to oversee not only a hit show but a brand. What an incredible panel this was. I enjoyed every bit of it.

The last day of the expo was on Sunday but I was busy and therefore could not make it. While at the expo, I did pick up the American Beauty script. If you are an aspiring screenwriter and you have not started a script collection, I suggest that you start now.

Honestly, while I enjoyed the expo overall, I do not see myself going every year. While it is beneficial, it seems too loosely organized for my taste. I am so grateful to have been able to attend the panels that I did attend and I will not forget the experience.