Screenwriters Share Industry Secrets

Screenwriters share industry secrets at DePaul’s Page One writing confab

CHICAGO – Screenwriters for Steven Spielberg, “Scandal” and “South Park” are among the speakers at DePaul University’s Page One Entertainment Writing Conference May 3 from noon to 6:30 p.m.

Hosted by DePaul’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media in the College of Computing and Digital Media, the daylong forum is designed to highlight the works of leading writers and offer insight into the many aspects of entertainment writing from breaking into the business, to the business of writing the Hollywood blockbuster. The workshops aim to help students, local artists and writers become better at their craft to further cultivate the film and television community in Chicago and Illinois.

“This is the third time we have held this event and each year it continues to grow in size and scope. We are thrilled to be able to offer the greater Chicago community a chance to learn from these incredible filmmakers and industry professionals,” said Kristyn Jo Benedyk, chair of the screenwriting program at DePaul who launched the Page One conference three years ago.

The event is free and open to the public. All sessions will take place in the College of Computing and Digital Media Theatre in the lower level of the Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Building, 14 E. Jackson Blvd.

Conference workshops include:

“Writing the Franchise, Genre Writing and Writing with a Partner” Noon-1 p.m.  The writing duo of Peter Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg who wrote “Sorority Row” and the “Piranha 3D” franchise.

“The Business of Writing: The People Who Represent and Hire Writers” 1:15-2:15 p.m. CDM alumna Daniel Willis, previously with Walt Disney Pictures and currently on staff at “Grey’s Anatomy;” Lenny Beckerman, veteran manager of writers and directors, has worked on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Babel;” and Sara Rastogi, story editor at Scott Free Productions, discoverer and developer of new writers and projects.

“Multiple Hats: Writers Who Produce, Direct, Act and More” 2:30-3:30 p.m.  Actor-turned-comedy writer Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal, a Second City alumna, has written for “South Park” and “How I Met Your Mother;” and actor-writer Guinevere Turner, of “Chasing Amy” and “Treasure Island,” who wrote and acted in “The L Word.”

“Breaking In: Landing That First Writing Job” 3:45-4:45 p.m. Severiano Canales, former assistant to Shonda Rhimes, the Executive Producer/Creator of “Private Practice” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” Canales is now a regular staff writer on her latest hit series, “Scandal.” Aisha Muharrar, previously a staff writer for “Sit Down, Shut Up;” and writer-actor David Dastmalchian, recipient of the Special Jury Prize for Courage in Storytelling at Austin’s SXSW Film Festival for “Animals,” his feature film screenwriting debut. Dastmalchian, a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University, appeared most recently in “Prisoners.”

“Writing The Hollywood Blockbuster” 5:30-6:30 p.m. Jeff Nathanson has written numerous films for Steven Spielberg including “Catch Me If You Can” and “The Terminal,” and is working on the latest installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Steve Conrad has such written blockbuster films as “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Pursuit of Happyness” and “The Weather Man,” is writing and directing the John Belushi biopic. Together, these screenwriters’ movies have grossed billions of dollars at the box office.

For more information about DePaul’s Page One Entertainment Writers Conference, visit their Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/1nzMQHd. Contact: Kristyn Jo Benedyk kjb@cim.depaul.edu 630-408-5898

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