My question is about the Screenwriting Expo and other industry seminars. I realize that you are speaking this year, but is it really a worthwhile event? It seems like just another one of the money-sucks preying on desperate fledgling writers. Thanks!
Los Angeles, CA
To be honest, I don’t know if the Screenwriting Expo is any good or not. I’ve never been, so I can’t vouch for it. I suspect some of you readers out there have been to it, and can give Corey the thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
I’m one of the “Guests of Honor” at this year’s Expo, along with a bunch of other really good screenwriters. I’m not on a panel per se, nor am I teaching a workshop. Rather, I guess I’m just a featured speaker, or doing a Q & A.
I guess I should ask. I really have no idea.
Public speaking used to terrify me, but I’ve gotten a lot better at it over the past few years. Some of that’s just from success; it’s a lot easier to speak to an audience that’s actually interested in what you’re saying. But a fair amount of it is just practice. I’ve survived enough panels, roundtables and TV interviews that the experience isn’t as intimidating as it used to be.
Whatever it is I’m doing at the Expo, it happens at 2 p.m. on Friday, November 11th, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event is listed as being free, so I assume you don’t have to register for the whole thing if you just want to come see me talk.
In general, I don’t speak at anything that charges a fee, unless it’s part of a larger film festival. I recognize that’s a fairly arbitrary rule, since I do speak to university classes, and college tuition can run $30,000 per year. But, like you Corey, I’m troubled and annoyed by the commercialization of screenwriter education. USC or UCLA might be expensive, but I don’t believe they’re profiting on false hopes and unrealistic expectations.
If any readers do come to my thing at the Expo, don’t be shy. Introduce yourself. The few minutes after a talk are always chaotic, with a bunch of awkward hand-shaking, but I’m happy to do it.