November opened with another packed classroom for the Screenwriters Association of Santa Barbara at Brooks Institute. The Zicrees are a power couple, known as “Supermentors” in the industry.
Marc and Elaine Zicree have over 100 credits to their name, including series such as Star Trek-The Next Generation, Sliders, Deep Space Nine, Lazarus Man, Beyond Reality and Babylon 5, plus multiple pilots for NBC, ABC and Showtime. They have written for virtually every major studio and network, and their work has been nominated for the Humanitas Prize, Diane Thomas Award, and American Book Award.
Lisa Angle, President opened the meeting by reminding the group that donations to host the speakers coming up from Los Angeles can be made to Chuck Kent.
Also mentioned was a series of shorts out at UCSB coming up on November 30th. Don Hurtzfeldt of Bitterfilms.com, a UCSB graduate whose cult short films have gone on to win big awards will be at the Pollock Theater giving a showing of three plus an onstage interview afterward. See link above for more, and check the Youtube versions at this link to get a taste of an animator at work.
She, gamine and he tall and funny–the Zicrees filled the room with warmth and possibility.
“Be unstoppable!” The group heard that again, if you want to make a film.
“It’s about selling attachments,” they nodded. This means thinking about branding and linking, and that can terrify a screenwriter. There are two reasons for writing a screenplay the Zicrees confirmed. Two goals. One is “My goal is to reach an audience” or “My goal is to write it and sell it for money.” This made the audience laugh. Most screenwriters probably want both.
“Screenwriting isn’t a solo game, it’s a matter of gathering teams.”
Everybody in the audience was given an opportunity to talk about what they were working on as the Zicrees went around the room. Individualized feedback was key.
Teambuilding starts with The Hollywood Creative Directory which got passed around. Go through that book and make a list of 50-100 people that matter in Los Angeles. “Start figuring out how you can meet them.”
“Have a filmmaker you idolize?” You can begin by letting them know. Try and hang out where they do. “Don’t be scared.” You can start going to events and be personable. “See yourself as a peer!”
The Zicrees give classes in Hollywood, where budding screenwriters ready to make the leap into that creative directory set will learn how to chart goals with specific steps, how to really target A-List people, how to pitch yourself and your project and get agents, managers and production partners who really work for you.
Find out more at www.zicree.com and click here to learn about their classes.