Baby Steps is certainly no billionaire – and does not wish to pay more taxes as a consequence of this post, thank you very much – but nevertheless it has just become something of a job creator. Friend of the blog and Baby Steps contributor Alex Fu just made the big move from San Francisco down to Los Angeles. Within a few weeks of arriving, Alex got a job opportunity as a trainee editor through a contact established through this blog with another Baby Steps alum Charles Yi.
Baby Steps wishes Alex well in his new role as editor in training at Open Road Entertainment and sends out the very best vibes to Charles for his help and support. This is how our friendly little world should work, so let’s hope it is the first of many stories of new opportunities facilitated by the stories and networking enabled by this little site.
More Baby Steps contributions are on their way, so watch this space. If you have an entertaining, informative or inspiring story of your first moves from college into the media world, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bring back the Douchebag Jar
We don’t usually do TV reviews on this site but New Girl has come up in class three times over the last couple of days and I thought I’d put in my five cents. Now regular readers may be unsurprised to learn that Zooey Deschanel is extremely popular with the cinema students here at SF State. I would suggest that this is due in large part to the fact that even though many many (many) nerdy and hipstery young people see the light and become cinema students, they still have to honor the terms of their previous contracts and fall in love with every magic pixie who comes along.
In the interests of full disclosure, I’m happy to admit that the addition of the talented Ms. Deschanel to a cast list doesn’t exactly reduce the chance of my going to see a movie. I thought she was excellent in (500) Days of Summer, for example. I think the problem starts where an actress whose personal performance style has been honed in the world of indie drama is shoehorned into a sitcom format that is not designed to accommodate her particular brand of whimsy.
In indie world, Deschanel is the Queen of the knowing silence. Her characters’ quips and observations are often punctuated and followed by little moments of shared intimacy and quiet. We might call these her ‘adore me’ beats. Her kook is typically underplayed and she erupts into stories with a carefully calculated whimper, not a percussive bang. In a conventional sitcom – especially one as unimaginative as New Girl – this has the singular effect of fundamentally undermining the whole enterprise.
The problem with New Girl is not merely that it isn’t funny, although it isn’t. It even resorts to desperate prop gags with weird hats to try and inject some life into the climax of this week’s episode. The problem is that any chance the show does have of being funny is denied by the editors being forced to cut to the rhythm of the star’s performance style, not to the pace of the underlying comedy. Add to this the problem that the few funny moments from the pilot such as the Douchebag Jar and Damon Wayans Jr. as the one promising male character, Coach have been excised for the second episode. Who knew Happy Endings would be picked up?
All in all, the experience of watching New Girl is that of waiting for a forgetful friend to remember the punch line of every joke they tell. That experience is not comedy’s friend and Ms. Deschanel deserves a vehicle crafted around her talents, not against them.
Cinema students and faculty, please join us at these upcoming events organized by the Cinema Collective!
Friday, September 30th, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Coppola Theater
Screening of “The Watcher” (2000) with Producer Brian Benson and Screenwriter David Elliot in their running stop-and-start commentary. Followed by Q&A.
Get an insight into the behind-the-scenes stories of the film’s production.
Wednesday, October 5th, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm, Coppola Theater
Open Forum with Cinema Department Chair, Dr. Daniel Bernardi. This is your chance to express your concerns, offer suggestions, and add your voice to the ongoing discussion among the Cinema faculty on how to better serve you.
All Cinema students welcome.
Wednesday, October 12th, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm, Coppola Theater
Screening of “Pearl Jam 20,” a documentary on the band, followed by a discussion moderated by the Cinema Collective. The marketing team of the film has granted us an advanced copy; be one of the first to see it.
Monday, October 17th, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, FA 444
After Effects workshop with Spencer McCall. Walkthrough and introduction of Adobe After Effects Software. Learn to use this post-production tool with an emphasis on Visual Effects and Color Correction.
Friday, October 21st, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Coppola Theater
Screening of “The Hush” with SFSU alumnus Writer/Director, Vincent Cortez. Selection of the 9th Oakland International Film Festival. Followed by Q&A.
Friday, October 28th, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Coppola Theater
Screening of “All About Evil” with Writer/Director Joshua Grannel and Producer Brian Benson. Premiered at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival in 2010. “All About Evil is a dark comedy horror film featuring Peaches Christ.
Followed by Q&A.
Friday, December 9th, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Coppola Theater
Collective at the Coppola. Join the Collective at our bi-annual student film festival at the end of the semester. Will be accepting applications during November.
It’s Nevada from VPF/ScriptCoach hoping all of your writing projects are going great! Through October 1st, we have a 2 FREE PITCHES deal and a great discount on our popular ScriptCoach Special! Details on these are below, but first I’m proud to announce that VPF has just signed 20 NEW COMPANIES, including Heyday Films (the “Harry Potter” franchise) Prospect Park (”Unstoppable“), and The Gotham Group (”The Spiderwick Chronicles“)!
VPF is the only website in the world that enables writers to pitch Hollywood Pros with the assurance of a guaranteed response back. With VPF, query letters are sent directly to execs YOU PICK and responded to within 5 days. We now have 310+ companies all taking your pitches online, including studios, major prodcos, and top agencies.
More of VPF’s BIG PLAYERS include MGM, Warner Bros., CBS Films, The Gersh Agency, Alcon Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Benderspink, Davis Entertainment, Paradigm, Energy Entertainment, Anonymous Content, The Donners’ Company, New Regency, Mandate Pictures and APA. We also have several ”star–led“ companies, including those belonging to Owen Wilson (”Wedding Crashers“),Will Smith (”I Am Legend“) and David Duchovny (”Californication“). Hundreds of screenwriters have received submission requests through VPF, many of which have resulted in representation or script deals! To pitch now, go to www.VirtualPitchFest.com.
FREE PITCHES DEAL
Through October 1st, VPF is offering a cost–saving 2 FREE PITCHES SPECIAL:
12 PITCHES = $90!
To receive your 2 FREE PITCHES, subscribe for free or logon to your VPF account and purchase a VIP PACKAGE. Once payment is received, the freebies will be added to your account!
NOTES & PITCH SPECIAL
In the Biz, you only have one chance to impress. The best way to make that happen? Receive objective, professional feedback on your screenplay. Enter ScriptCoach.
There are many script consultants out there, but what I believe makes ScriptCoach’s David Kohner Zuckerman shine is that he’s a working Hollywood producer with credits that include ”The Fourth Noble Truth,“ hulu’s #1 most watched movie of all–time, ”Strictly Sexual“ – and it’s recent TV series spin–off – ”Caught in the Act“ (Lifetime) ”All I Want for Christmas“ (Hallmark), and ”Chump Change“ (Miramax). David also spent many years heading Development for Silver Lion Films where he worked on ”Man on Fire“ and ”Crocodile Dundee in L.A.“
When David analyzes your screenplay, he not only comments on its strengths and weaknesses, but also offers advice on how to make it sell. His clients have had their films produced, optioned, and win screenwriting contests. Please go to www.ScriptCoach.com to read his many testimonials.
ScriptCoach Special – $299 – through October 1st!
We feel there are 3 MUSTS for a script to sell: 1) great writing, 2) an amazing pitch letter, and 3) access to Hollywood. Through October 1st, ScriptCoach has a special that will help you with ALL of these. There is nobody else who does this.
This comprehensive package now includes a thorough script analysis, a professionally written query letter, and 10 FREE PITCHES on VPF! You will also receive answers to the ”ScriptCoach Seven,“ and a ”ScriptCoach Scorecard.“ Click on ScriptCoach to purchase and then email your script WHENEVER IT’S READY to email@example.com.
Our events, Big 3 for general audiences and Little 3 for kids, will screen on Sat. April 7, 2012
All entries go through Withoutabox.com: https://www.withoutabox.com/
The Earlybird Deadline is October 1st.
For the 3fest, Standard Fee is $11, $6 for WAB. $10 for Students, $5 for WAB students.
The Regular Deadline is November 1st.
3fest pricing is $13 and WAB $8, and Student $11 and WAB $6.
The Late Deadline is December 1st.
3fest…$15 for standard, $10 for WAB. Students $12 and $7 for WAB.
The Late WAB extended deadline for 3fest is…$30 standard and $15. $25 and and $10 for students.
Here’s a reminder about a local festival with FREE workshops coming soon:
The date is approaching fast for the Poppy Jasper Film Festival held this year on the weekend of October 14 – 16 in beautiful Morgan Hill, CA. Over 40 independent films will be shown in categories ranging from Drama to Science Fiction. There will also be parties, workshops, and other special events.
One of the most exciting features of the festival will be the FREE workshops that will be held on Saturday, October 15.
Six workshops will be held on:
the RED camera
Filmmaking on a Budget
Working with Actors
Check out the full descriptions of the workshops here:
And learn more about the Poppy Jasper Film Festival by visiting their website at:
Please tell all your filmmaker peers, educators and students to come and enjoy great films and workshops at the Poppy Jasper Film Festival!
Hope to see you there!
Once Upon A Time… there was a strange Land of Two La’s somewhere beyond the fog. The inhabitants of that region looked to the mystical Writers Store to help them tell the Great Stories… OK, the Writers Store has announced some more workshops down south. Check it:
To kick things off, Corey Mandell lets us in on what should be a writer’s main intent in his article, The Real Objective. Join Corey for his first appearance at The Writers Store on October 8, when he will conduct an informative lab on How the Pros Structure Their Scripts.
Peek in on a day in the life of one of the pros in an exclusive excerpt from Hire Me, Hollywood! Your Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Most Exciting – and Unexpected – Jobs in Show Business. David Janollari shares insight into how he rose to be the Head of Programming for MTV, and his (humble) beginnings on a little show called Friends.
Take things one step further and learn how a script makes it from the page to the screen in Ellen Sandler’s debut Webinar, Anatomy of a Television Show: From Idea to On Air where she breaks down one of her scripts from Everybody Loves Raymond scene-by-scene as you watch the episode that eventually aired.
News of an exciting open event for SFSU students. A panel on Voice Acting for Animation in Coppola Theater, Sunday September 25th at 2pm.
Panel members to include John Erlendson (Talent Agent); Elaine Clark (Voice Over Teacher); Emily Clark (Voice Over Talent Coordinator at Electronic Arts); Khris Brown (Voice Over Director for Lucas Arts) as well as voice over actors.
Submission for the 2011 Grant from the Humane Society is now open.
Believing in the power of filmmakers to make a difference, The Humane Society of the United States is once again presenting the Animal Content in Entertainment (ACE) Documentary Film Grant.
Launched in 2006, the ACE grant is awarded to filmmakers for the creation of a documentary that highlights animal advocacy. The $20,000 prize will be given to a filmmaker that best succeeds in merging animal issues with a compelling narrative. Second and third place will respectively receive $2,500 and $1,000