of Santa Barbara
"Limping from Hollywood or How I Learned to Embrace the Community Film Studio of Santa Barbara and You Can Too"
Thursday, March 8, 7 pm
27 East Cota Street
Downtown Santa Barbara
FREE and open to everyone!
James Kahn is the author of Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Goonies, and numerous other novels and novelizations, as well as writer-producer on television shows such as Melrose Place and Star Trek: Voyager. He will discuss his career and some lessons learned, plus tell us what CFSSB is and how to participate in it. Come learn how to formulate a story for a script that could be shot entirely in Santa Barbara with limited cast, location, and budget.
J. had his first short story published in Playboy magazine when he was still at the University of Chicago. He graduated in 1974 and did an internship in Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “I realized that if I were to become an internist, I’d be treating patients all day, being on call all night, running into the hospital at 3 am,” he said. “Admirable, but I’d be missing the pieces of my life I’d left behind. Writing and music.” After his residency at USC/LA County Emergency Room he went to work as an emergency physician at various hospitals around Los Angeles.
He scheduled enough free time to do other things he wanted and started publishing science fiction and murder mystery novels. Then in 1981, Hollywood struck. Kathleen Kennedy called the front desk of the ER where he worked to ask if anyone could help her figure out how to resuscitate an alien in a movie she was producing. J. went to Laird Studios, along with a number of other doctors and nurses, where they did the technical consulting and worked as extras on ET: The Extraterrestrial.
While there, he made the acquaintance of Steven Spielberg, and gave him a copy of one of his science fiction novels, World Enough and Time. Spielberg liked it well enough to assign J. to write the novelization of the other movie he was doing at the same time, Poltergeist. J. wrote it under the gun, in a month, and that was the beginning of his Hollywood career.
In 2010 he began to author storytelling music, and wrote and recorded enough to fill out two CDs. You can find music videos, short films, novels and essays on his website.