Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Screenwriters Meeting Re-cap

Thank you to everyone who attended the Screenwriters (Television Writers) Meeting we held last Wednesday with our Society’s President Emeritus, Ruben Soto, and our special guest from the City of Angels, Mr. Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

I know there were some of you who wanted to attend this meeting, but due to work or home commitments, were unable to attend. I have jotted down a few notes and present them here in case you would still like to follow-up on the writer’s program that NHMC is sponsoring.

First off, Mr. Nogales and his assistant, Acasia Flores, stressed that television writing is a “young person’s game” and that you have to be able to take criticism from the team of writers you’re working with when writing for a show. They also stressed that if you’re serious about becoming a television writers, you have to be prepared to move to Los Angeles because that’s where the work is (he did mention that the money is quite good).

On average, about 75 people apply to the NHMC Writer’s Program a year. Of the 75 scripts they receive, about 25 (one third) are immediately dismissed due to lack of imagination or because they cover the same tired formula people submit when they write about Hispanics (drugs and growing up in the barrio.). Also, people tend to forget to introduce conflict and resolve the conflict within the 30-minute comedy or 60-minute drama script proposal. Each script should have at least three to four scenes.

Of the remaining 50 or so scripts, each is given a numerical value by a team of reviewers. Generally, only the top 15 to 18 scripts are read by the final reviewer(s). Of those, only a handful is invited to come to Los Angeles to participate in the program.

A useful tool mentioned is a book entitled “The Complete Book of Scriptwriting.” You should be able to find this book at your favorite Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

If you have any questions regarding the program, please call Acasia Flores at (626) 792-6462. Here is the link to the NHMC website featuring the program: http://www.nhmc.org/writers/

Please remember that there is no entry fee to apply for the program. Please act quickly since September 2 is the entry deadline.

Here’s a note from Ruben Soto on the subject:

When you write the summary of the Latino TV Writers meeting, you may want to include the following link found at the Writers Digest website that is specifically for TV writers and screenwriters. It even has ads for screenwriting software.


I found this on the most recent Writers Digest magazine issue (August 2008) where it also has a special section titled "Latino Lit" and subtitled "Major-house imprints and a new marketing approach are opening up opportunities for this emerging genre" in which they interview Marcela Landres and talk about the explosion in Latino literature and the agents that represent Latino authors. This is great information for our writers.

The issue is dedicated mostly to screenwriters and gives great advice to those who are submitting their application to the TV writers program.

Just FYI.