Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Legal and Business Aspects of Writing Books and Scripts

Screenwriters Association of Santa Barbara Presents

Entertainment Lawyer & Literary Agent

Paul Levine

Thursday, April 8, 7 pm*

*Come a half hour before our usual time (7:30 pm) to join in interactive discussion, get to know each other, and network with local talent.
Downtown Borders (Upstairs)
900 State Street
FREE and open to everyone!

With over a quarter of a century of legal experience, Paul S. Levine began handling entertainment transactions and litigation directly out of law school. Now, through his private law practice, he represents a diverse clientele ranging from individual “creatives” to large production houses, in a wide range of media, including: film, television, music, visual arts, and book publishing.

Levine is one of the few lawyers on the West Coast who specializes in book publishing. As such, he offers comprehensive literary legal services and acts as a literary agent. He particularly enjoys assisting screenwriters who wish to adapt books into screenplays, as well as “reversing the process” by working with writers who have “reverse-adapted” their screenplays into books, helping them sell their novels to publishers, and finally selling the “movie rights” to those novels, along with their screenplays, to “Hollywood”.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Meeting minutes for Thursday, March 11, 2010

The meeting began at 7:25 p.m. with Lisa Angle, the association’s ‘PR Czar’, welcoming the attendees. General announcements were made in regards to the groups Twitter and Facebook Groups.

Rashi Bahri, the association’s president, was introduced and she then introduced the other officers of the association.

The evening’s speaker, Mary Rose Betten, a retired character actress, poet and playwright was then introduced. She was here to speak about humanity; how to work with the best of you.

“Look around you. Don’t wait. What are these things you know, that you see about other people? Be faithful to that. Do you really watch people? Do you watch how they react? In writing, you want to really capture a character. Anger isn’t interesting. Come back to humor. Begin to look for the goodness in things. This is where you’re really going to find humor. Open your humanity to really see other people. Living in the goodness of yourself. Humor is a condition most natural to childhood.

The four elements of humor are: surprise, reverse logic, exaggeration and conflict.

How can you bring humor into your life? Get the ‘room tone’. Feel the writing in the air. When you see somebody, see if you can get the room tone of them.”

As an exercise at the meeting, the attendees were invited to ‘go back’ to find comedy. The two options were:

Go back to when you were fourteen years old. Eighth grade going into high school? Go back for that feeling. Or look at the 1949 picture of the young teen girls provided. Go back to the feeling from that time or the picture. Who was your hero when you were fourteen? Write what comes from that feeling of those characters.

Take the short story about a priest and a prostitute provided to set the stage. What happens next? Write what comes from that feeling of those characters.

“Look into all these characters. When you are a writer, you can really keep going. Nowadays we don’t make the time to get to know people. Take the time to get to know these characters. If you begin to care, you’ll get to get insights that were never there before. If we care enough, we will see things other people don’t see and that will fascinate people.”

The attendees wrote for five minutes. At the end, Mary Rose invited attendees to volunteer to read their work. Brief examples were read and enjoyed by the group.

The meeting concluded at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Danielle Greene, Association Secretary