Gulp! (or…putting my money where my mouth is)

A month or so ago, I got a surprise email from Reilly Tillman at IFP Minnesota.  He said the buzz around town was that Dean and I were the hot ticket when it came to training people how to pitch movies.  I was flattered and a little taken aback.  I had been sought out!  Wow…

We agreed that Dean and I would present the same pitch training we did in Seattle and LA, as well as for MNWIFT, through IFP on January 31 from 10 AM – 3 PM.  I am quite excited about this, as I continue to get email after email from people who have either been trained by us or heard one or both of us speak, saying they’re getting meetings and reads and options and sales…and attributing a good portion of that success to our teaching.

This, of course, brings me great joy.

Bringing that value home to the TCs brings me even greater joy.

Okay…that means if you’re a screenwriter or filmmaker in or around (or passing through or flying into) the Minneapolis/St. Paul area on that day (January 31), click here if you’re interested in participating in our workshop.  IFP is capping the attendees at 20.  There’s already been a lot of interest expressed, so you might wanna sign up sooner versus later.

Anyway…as if that’s not enough, a couple of weeks later, I get this email:

Hi Bill,
My current beginning screenwriting instructor just informed me he won't be able to teach our beginning class this winter due to a major schedule conflict with MCTC, where he also teaches. Would you be interested in taking on this class?

I was double flattered and double taken aback.  And a little scared.

“Yes!” is what I wanted to say, but my stomach was a jumble.  I mean, it’s not as if I’m not…umm…busy.  Just slightly.  But I love teaching, and it’s been a dream of mine to teach a screenwriting class someday.

I didn’t, however, think that “someday” would arrive on my doorstep quite so quickly.

Robbye and I talked it over.  Or rather, Robbye told me to calm the hell down.

“This is a dream of yours.  Obviously, these people trust in your writing ability and your teaching ability.  You’re ready, and you want to do it.  Just do it.”

So…a deep breath later, and I was typing this:

I talked to Robbye about this.   She said, "You've been talking about doing something like this for years.  Go for it!"  So I am.  I would be happy to teach the class, and I am honored you asked.

I am truly honored.  See, unlike some others, I don’t subscribe to the old “those who can’t…teach” adage.  My take is that those who “can” make the best teachers.  Moreover, it’s my firm belief that those who “can” have a responsibility to share their knowledge with and lend a hand to the folks following in their footsteps.

I know that I have something valuable to offer these students.  That's that, I guess.

On a side note, I have selfish reasons for accepting IFP's invitation, too.  Because I also believe this: through teaching I learn.  I know that teaching this class will make me a better screenwriter.

Yet, I gotta tell ya…it feels a little like one of those dreams where you show up for school or work and all of a sudden you realize you don’t have any pants on.  It's certainly a more exposed and vulnerable feeling than when someone's reading or watching my work.

Time to put my money where my mouth is how it most feels.

On that note…if you’re in the Twin Cities on Thursday nights from January 22-March 12, and if you wanna join me on (what I think will be) a fun and enlightening adventure, head on over to the IFP website and register today.  They’re limiting the class size at 12, so hurry before it closes.




One moment, please…

There are moments these days when I glance at the Typepad bookmark button and sigh.  I wanna click on it.  I wanna post something.  But I am on the run.  Not a whole lotta time to think, much less put together a coherent post.

Just wanted to touch base with all of my OLU friends, though, and let you know that all is well.  Busy, but well.

We're making some big announcements at SagePresence right now, which is exceedingly cool.  And I need to pay attention to them and make them work because in both cases I kinda got us into these fine messes in the first place.

INCARNATION is going equally well.  It's hard to talk about progress at present because so much is still in the air and loose lips could quickly sink this particular ship.  I can say what I've already told the Facebook crowd, there is a faint glow of green on the horizon. The script is getting a great reception, with one production company exec stating, "The writing is *excellent*. Great characters, great story…reminiscent of an Arriaga movie."  And we're in the process of attaching cast.  I hesitate to write the words that I am about to write because I am superstitious about such things…but here goes: it's starting to feel kinda real.

But keep your fingers crossed anyway.

Trying to keep up with my writing schedule for MANIACAL ENGINEERING, but it's been tough.  I am a little behind, but still up for completing the first draft sometime in January.  It's been amazing.  Never before have I gotten so much buzz and interest on a title.  Me…the guy who sucks at titles!  (Case in point: MICHAELS LETTERS=I loved, everyone hated and it became RUNAWAY; THE ANGEL ON THE HORSE=I loved, everyone hated and it became INCARNATION)  One screenwriter friend of mine, who's just finishing up an assignment at Disney, wrote to me, "You know how I know that MANIACAL ENGINEERING is a *great* title? Because I'm mad I didn't think of it first!"  We'll see if I can follow through and live up to the excitement with…you know…the actual script.

All that said, bear with me over the next few days.  I will return.