Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May meeting: Screenwriting Panel

May will find a panel of local screenwriters presenting their craft.  Panelists include: Tony Brewer, Thomas DeCarlo, Kalynn Huffman Brower, and Manny Knowles.  Shayne Laughter will moderate the panel.

Tony Brewer
Tony wrote his first play (a Star Wars rip-off) in the 3rd grade for extra credit. He wrote short stories in jr. high and high school, then discovered poetry in college. He majored in film at Bard College but ended up with an English degree (with a concentration in creative writing) from IU, where he fell in with an improv comedy troupe that ultimately became a radio theatre not-for-profit, Last Minute Productions, just as WFHB Community Radio was going on the air. Tony directed and produced (and did some sound design and acting and foley) for the group's flagship production, HAYWARD SANITARIUM, which was distributed nationally on NPR Playhouse in 1994-95.

Tony veered back to poetry but continued performing and directing live sound effects, most notably at the National Audio Theatre Festival in Missouri, where he has been on staff since 2001. In 2007, he became a live color commentator for the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls, and also wrote and co-produced several promotional videos with the league's videographers, Chris Rall and Steve Llewellyn. That led Tony to write EIGHT WHEELS OF DEATH, the world's first roller derby zombie romantic comedy. 8WOD premiered at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre on Halloween 2010 and has been screened at the IU Cinema.

ROLLER MORTIS FILMS, as the boys call themselves, continues to produce cheesy shorts and dramatic no-budget video-tainments, including THE TROUBLE WITH BOYS, which was screened at the Iris Film Festival, and entries in the Upland and PRIDE film festivals. While Roller Mortis hasn't trafficked in zombies for a while, every production still includes a rollergirl. Tony is currently writing a zombie comedy, THE LAST BROADCAST, which he will direct at the National Audio Theatre Festival in June 2012.

Thomas DeCarlo
Thomas DeCarlo began making films in high school. He earned a BA in Cinema from Denison University in 2005, during which time he wrote and produced a 35-minute psychological thriller and a 90-minute drama about small town life. Since college, Thomas has been writing short and feature-length screenplays and has been learning computer animation. He is currently doing pre-production for a computer-animated, sci-fi adventure, while writing a sci-fi dystopian thriller that he aims to sell.

Kalynn Huffman Brower
Once upon a time, Kalynn fell in love with paper dolls who came to life on her bedroom floor and first American legends that her grandfather retold around the campfire. As an adult she went to USC film school and in LA edited big studio commercials, small budget documentaries, and multi-screen corporate image pieces. To accommodate parenthood she began teaching, and among other topics, taught screenwriting at IU for 14 years. In that time she fell in love with her kids and her students.

Along the way she also wrote 2 features that were shopped in LA (no purchase) and 3 children's novels (one published/one in the drawer/one looking for its audience). By day she now writes and produces multi-media, corporate training and internal communications and events like TEDxBloomington.

Awards include Indiana Arts Commission individual artist grant; Festivals include LA Freeways. Career highlight: her picture AMONG THE MAGIC MOUNTAINS screened at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC in 1993. Current speculative creative activity: an iPAD story app for early readers.

Manny Knowles
Before moving to Bloomington to become IU Cinema's Assistant Director of Cinema Systems & Operations, Manny Knowles attended -- and then worked for -- USC's film school. His undergraduate degree is in Cinema-Television Critical Studies, and his MFA (in progress) places emphasis on Sound Design and Screenwriting. Manny continues to work on his MFA thesis -- a feature-length screenplay set in the aftermath of a high school massacre. Once written, Manny intends to produce the film locally.

Shayne Laughter
Shayne has been a Staff and freelance journalist, copywriter, editor; administrative assistant; briefly President of Women in Film/Seattle, and a documentary film producer, co-producing KUMBH MELA: SONGS OF THE RIVER - about the 2001 Maha Kumbh Mela spiritual festival in India, the largest gathering of humanity on Earth. She finished a mystery novel, YU: A ROSS LAMOS MYSTERY, in 2006 and won 2nd place in a national literary contest with the ms., then waited 4 more years to find a publisher. She has published short fiction and had productions of her stage plays as well. She is a Bloomington native and graduate of Indiana University, with an undergraduate degree in Theater & Drama. She was a semi-finalist in the 1992 Nicholl Fellowship competition with a science-fiction script and has had staged readings of her screenplays at film and theater festivals.

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