These successful veterans of “the Biz,” work one-on-one with aspiring writers, helping them hone their material, and then effectively “pitch” their concepts (and themselves) – essential elements of breaking into Film and/or TV Writing, and winning.
Sharing their experiences and answering questions about how to launch one’s career. Sherman, Sawyer and Katchman’s popular, widely acclaimed course is now in its 6th year at the Eugene Festival. And, Retreat students will benefit from the addition of Terryl's tutorial on storyboard development to the curriculum. More about Sawyer, Sherman, Katchman, and Ms. Whitlatch, plus class schedules and sign-up information, is available at http://www.eugenefilmfest.org/retreat2012. Register for the Retreat here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/254630.
TOM SAWYER BIO
Screenwriter, novelist, playwright Thomas B. Sawyer was Head Writer/Showrunner of the classic CBS series, Murder, She Wrote, for which he wrote 24 episodes. Edgar and Emmy-nominated, Tom has written 9 network TV pilots, 100 episodes, both comedy and drama, and was Head Writer/Showrunner or Story Editor on 15 network TV series. He wrote/directed/produced the feature-film cult comedy, Gosh, Alice Goodbody. His documentary film, Reunion, was honored by the New York Film Festival, and received national theatrical release.
Tom is co-librettist/lyricist of JACK, an opera about John F. Kennedy, backed by the Shuberts, that has been performed to acclaim in the US and Europe. He is publisher of Storybase 2.0 writer's software. Tom's book, Fiction Writing Demystified, and Storybase are Writer's Digest Book Club Selections. He's taught writing at UCLA, at other colleges, at writers conferences from Maui to Cape Cod, Florida, Las Vegas, Dallas, Biloxi & elsewhere.
Tom currently teaches Storytelling online at Writers University. A member of the DGA, WGA, MWA, ITW and ATAS, his current novel is the best-selling thriller, No Place to Run. His next: Cross Purposes, a thriller-with-humor, will be published in 2013. www.ThomasBSawyer.com
KEN SHERMAN BIO
Ken Sherman is President of Ken Sherman and Associates, a Los Angeles-based literary agency. An agent for more than twenty years, Ken represents screen, television and book writers, and also sells film and television rights to books as well as life rights.
Ken's clients include David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars, Tawni O'Dell, whose screenplay of her international bestselling, Oprah Book Club first novel, Back Roads, is about to become a major, Adrian Lyne movie (starring Spiderman Andrew Garfield), Anne Perry, the world's best-known Victorian murder mystery writer and author of 60 books, and Starhawk, considered the best-known witch in the world. David Cronenberg's movie, A Dangerous Method, released last October, is based on client John Kerr's book. Ken also represents the estates of Luis Buñuel, John Hersey, and Simon Wiesenthal.
Ken has lectured extensively at venues including UCLA, USC, Loyola University in both New Orleans and Los Angeles, Santa Barbara Writer's Conference, Maui Writer's Conference, University of Oklahoma, Sherwood Oaks Experimental College, Santa Fe Writer's Conference, The Novelists, Inc. Conference/San Diego, San Francisco Writer’s Conference, Aspen Institute, and The Aspen Summer Words Writer's Conference.
Since graduating from the UC-Berkeley as a psychology major, Ken has taught his course, The Business of Writing for Screen, Television and Publishing, at both USC and UCLA for more than six years.
Ken maintains strong community involvement, serving as an Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissioner in the City of West Hollywood, is a founding member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles (BAFTA) and is a member of both the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the International Advisory Board of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.
TERRYL WHITLATCH BIO
After studying illustration at the California College of Arts and the Academy of Art University, Terryl began working with major studios and effects houses as a Storyboard Artist, and sought-after Creature and Concept Designer. Clients include Industrial Light and Magic, Lucas Film Ltd., Pixar, Walt Disney Feature Animation, PDI, Entertainment Arts, LucasArts, and Chronicle Books.
Terryl was principal Creature Designer for Star Wars — the Phantom Menace, designing most of the alien characters and creatures, including Jar-Jar Bing, Sebulba, the pod racers, the undersea monsters of Naboo, and the Naboo Swamp creatures. She worked closely with George Lucas in the redesign of such pre-existing characters as Jabba the Hutt and the Dewbacks.
She is the creator/illustrator of three books: The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide, The Katurran Odyssey, and the newly released Animals Real and Imagined. Terryl is currently working on a new cutting edge industry project, Tales of Amalthea.
Terryl was Storyboard Artist for the feature-film The Indian in the Cupboard. She assisted in Storyboarding Star Wars — The Special Edition, as well as Star Wars — The Phantom Menace, for which she was also Concept Artist/Principal Creature Designer. Her storyboarding work has included commercials for Budweiser, Nestle Honeycomb Cereal and other national brands.
MIKE KATCHMAN BIO
Following his successful career in home video marketing, sales, and acquisitions, Mike Katchman was recruited by Orion Films, quickly moving into management where he flourished during the golden era in which Orion set the pace with such hits as Dances with Wolves and Silence of the Lambs.
From there, Mike became involved with film acquisitions as well as marketing. Rising to Senior VP of Sales, Mike became responsible for all of Orion's entertainment sales in the U.S. and Canada. When Orion was sold to MGM, he filled a similar role until being drafted by Lionsgate. In his three very productive years with Lionsgate, their revenues rose from $32 million to $110 million. Lured away by First Look Studios, from 2004-07 Mr. Katchman was central to an even more dramatic 500% increase in sales.
Following that achievement, Mike decided to break away from the establishment and create a brand new entity, Rivercoast Media, which has become the next great success story, spawning such innovations as Reel Click, the gateway for independent filmmakers to get their movies seen. Among their recent, critically acclaimed hits: 4129: The Crowning of the Hit King, and American Meth.
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