Saturday, March 12, 2011

Meeting minutes for Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Screenwriters Association of Santa Barbara convened in a cozy corner of Borders in Goleta for an evening with screenwriter, director, actor and keynote speaker Perry Lang.

Prior to Mr. Lang’s introduction, association president Rashi Bahri opened the floor to the audience for input on the Association itself in regards to what those present were looking for in future meetings. Email Rashi at with your input and suggestions.

Also announced was next month’s speaker:

April 14 – Goleta Borders - Leo Brady, teacher and author of The Hollywood Sign: Fantasy and Reality of an American Icon.

For those planning to attend, please take note that Borders will be hosting a special event prior to 7pm, therefore there will be no admittance into the store until 7pm.

Perry Lang was introduced and immediately opened up the floor for questions.

As for his current projects, he has created a twenty-one episode web show entitled Blue Bell. The show can be viewed at: In the past, he has written and directed action, comedy, broad comedy, drama and teen shows.

He is teaching a class at UCSB this summer on making a pilot for a web series, where students learn to write, create and shoot a web pilot.

Perry described his process of writing as being flexible: sometimes he outlines or cards pieces out and sometimes he just starts writing. Once he reaches the stage where he’s writing in script form, he uses Final Draft. Starting out as an actor, it helped him become a ‘detective’, which only helped his writing. He wrote to keep himself engaged while acting; starting out with prose. His favorite genre to write is comedy, stating it’s just more fun.

Right now, it seems the advertising world still thinks television networks are worth investing in, but he thinks eyeballs are going toward the web these days. His idea is to take narrative drama and build sponsorship into that narrative. It’s product placement taken further, very much integrated.

Perry’s tips for your screenplay: Make it as succinct as possible. The people reading your script want to love it. They want to start reading and get through it to the story. How does an idea germinate? The whole narrative can fall off the boat or it can be like pulling teeth. You can always get started by making notes and writing stuff that may not work as a way of moving forward. One of the most valuable things he has learned in his writing are that character and structure are the same thing; they should live together. When you see your structure go awry, it’s usually the character going awry. As for how to work on writing weaknesses? Write, write, write and get a good mentor.

The meeting adjourned at 8:50pm.