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Showing posts from April, 2016

The nicest person in Hollywood

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Today, I wanted to send birthday greetings to the amazing Carol Burnett.
  Several years back, I was in L.A. and had the opportunity to meet her when she was doing a television piece for a friend. During a break, instead of staying with the cast members and people she knew, Carol got up and moved to "mingle" with the folks off the set. I figured she'd just make a quick round and head straight back. I was wrong.   She stopped and chatted, spending time with each person she met. I mentioned to her that my wife was a huge fan (which I'm sure she hears all the time). She asked for her name and asked if I wouldn't mind giving her our address. I scrounged a business card, wrote it down and handed it to her. She went off and, honestly, I didn't think any more about it. There were a ton of people there and I was sure she was just being polite.   So, I went home and got busy with life. A week or so went by. Then a package arrived, addressed to Becky (my wife).   Insi…

Why winning screenplays win

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Recently, Max Adams posted an item on her timeline. (For those of you who may not know who Max is, she runs The Academy of Film Writing and has several produced studio films to her credit.) Anyway, Max shared a letter home from a Marine boot. We had a bit of discussion over it that I wanted to share. But it's important that you read it here here first.
  Have you read it yet?... I'll wait...
  Okay... What I loved about the this was how great it is when you totally don't see the twist coming, but it is totally organic to the story! In this case, you're thinking you're seeing the twist, because the humor is in how easy the basic training is for someone from the country. And it's truly funny. But then, you get hit with it at the end, signed "Your loving daughter, Alice". And that just rachets it up a whole two levels!
  I have read for a number of competitions and generally keep track of how scripts I liked progressed. And I've noticed how this typ…

Happy Birthday, Wilbur!

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On April 16, 1867, Wilbur Wright was born. His younger brother, Orville, would arrive four years later. Sister Katherine would arrive three years after that (she would also play a major role in bringing about the airplane era). 
  My dad was in the Air Force. He was a navigator in a B-29 bomber. Later, he owned his own airplane and flew everywhere. Aviation has been a major part of his life. So I was thrilled when I got the assignment to work on the feature screenplay adaption of Col. Walter J. Boynes' acclaimed book about the Wrights: DAWN OVER KITTY HAWK 
  Many people know who the Wright Brothers are, but very few know their actual story... 

  Wilbur and Orville Wright were poor, estranged from each other after grade school, had no college education, no aviation experience... and were facing the most brilliant scientific minds of the time who were backed extensively by their own or government funding...
  And everybody else had a head start...

DAWN OVER KITTY HAWK is the unknown, …

Cowgirl Up!

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Amberley Snyder ran her last college rodeo this past week.  Seven years ago, she was a national rodeo champion.  Six years ago, she was in an accident that has left her legs paralyzed. The doctors said she'd never walk again, certainly never ride. 
  But this is the daughter of Cory Snyder, Olympic medalist, former pro baseball player and current hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners franchise. His work ethic is simple: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." Amberley certainly inherited that drive. 
  Although it's easy to see that Amberley got her mother's beauty, what you don't see is that Tina is another source of Amberley's inner strength. She's tough - whether tossing hay bales into a loft or facing down doctors who think they can tell her what her daughter can't do, she is a force to be reckoned with. 
  But the ultimate source of strength for Amberley has been her faith. Her favorite verse is Phillipians 4:13: "I can…