Manny P. here…
Last weekend’s event presented by the Orange County Screenwriters Association was amazing by all accounts. It was so good, I don’t know where to begin to sum up the day’s highlights at the Regency South Coast Village Theatre in Santa Ana.
I can tell you – J. Michael Straczynski lived up to the hype! For two hours, the acclaimed screenwriter held his audience like putty in his hands with stories, accounts, advice, and good natured asides, which put his amazing career in the appropriate light. Orange County Register radio columnist Gary Lycan and I were glad we opened for this fascinating storyteller (instead of following him)… Folks from all over Southern California were present, and showed all involved the proper enthusiasm for a memorable Saturday morning.
Kudos to Mark Sevi, President of the Orange County Screenwriters Association, for the organization and discipline it took to pull this off! A short summary of his assessment of the event comes from the O.C. Screenwriters newsletter:
“Saturday we gathered to hear one of the most prolific and versatile writers of our time. J. Michael Straczynski, aka JMS, aka Joe, put aside his crushing deadlines and came to the Regency South Coast Village Theater to take the stage and make us think, laugh, and feel good about being filmmakers…He still continues to dominate the writing world, now as an A-list writer of features. Joe is charming, funny, gracious and as whipsmart as anyone I’ve ever met. His visit was a total experience in that he also stayed long after and signed anything anyone put in front of him.
Also on the program were two more consumate pros: radio personality Manny Pacheco and journalist Gary Lycan. Pacheco has written a really cool tabletop book called “Forgotten Hollywood, Forgotten History” detailing actors and movies that both reflected and had an impact on our world. Gary Lycan, an O.C. journalist of note, wrote the Foreword to the book. Both had great and insightful things to say about Hollywood of yesterday and today, and why an understanding of Hollywood history is crucial for anyone working in the business now. In fact, Manny and JMS had exactly the same message about how important story is to all forms of entertainment. M. SEVI - M. PACHECO - G. LYCAN
It was a fun, informative and exciting morning and afternoon. Those who missed it…missed the chance to hear one of the finest speakers on writing I’ve ever heard.” (Photo courtesy of Tom Sullivan)
Here is a YouTube link to a “Sizzle Reel” capturing the excitement of the day (you really want to check this out):
I plan on being at the next Orange County Screenwriters Association networking event on June 23rd at the Ritz Restaurant in Newport Beach at 6:30pm.
Until next time> “never forget”