Enjoy the latest from our blog, member happenings, and industry news below.
Welcome to SmashCut! A PSA Newsletter dedicated to giving you all the industry news in an entertaining and informative way. It’s out with the old and in with the new – Happy New Year…2023 is finally here! As we look to the future with cautious optimism let’s take a moment to reflect on where we came from, where we are and where we want to be. With all beginnings, we start with a blank page, it’s up to us to fill it in. What’s your plan – finish a novel, start a screenplay, finally stop procrastinating and take that trip you’ve always wanted to do? Whatever your plans are for 2023, be sure to include reading SmashCut! If you want to be in the business, you need to be in the know. SmashCut will take you there.
Our guest columnist this month, Bob Saenz (author and screenwriter), will be discussing the realities of being a screenwriter and Jessica Brown (PSA board member and screenwriter) will be doing a little something different this month… while she normally reviews books on screenwriting, this time she will be proposing a challenge to us writers. You’ll definitely want to check that out.
Want to know what’s happening in Hollywood? The deals, the dealmakers, and dealbreakers? Look no further than SmashCut. We do the work, so you don’t have to. From membership happenings to box-office numbers, SmashCut has what you need. So, sit back, pull up your smartphone or tablet and be prepared to spend all day enjoying the wealth of information we have obtained. If you are so inclined, please drop us a line – have any news to share, would like to contribute to the newsletter? We’d love to hear from you.
Carlo Dall’Olmo (Screenwriter/Board Member): Carlo is excited about the upcoming year. The board has been working hard on bringing some great things to Phoenix – we have a writer’s retreat happening along with a writers conference (more to come). On a personal note, Carlo has been granted a sabbatical at Bank of America and will be enjoying one month away from work this summer traveling – where, he’s not sure but it should be fun anyway. On the writing front, Carlo continues to slug it out with the computer…word after word, sentence after sentence…page after page. His New Year’s resolution is to have his first draft completed by his birthday June 8th 2023.
Michael Magee (screenwriter/PSA member): Currently Michael is working on his third screenplay: Brothers and Strangers.
Tagline: Polar opposite family members have to come together after a tragedy to save their family and themselves.
Jeff Gendelman (screenwriter/producer/PSA member): Jeff Gendelman wrote and produced the indie feature film The Surface, starring Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey and Mimi Rogers. The Surface, based on true events, is a survival drama about two strangers, both at the end of their rope, who suddenly meet in the middle of the unpredictable waters of Lake Michigan. The Surface is available on Amazon Prime and many other streaming platforms.
Recently he acquired the film rights to write and produce Headwind, a drama inspired by a true story, about a 5-year-old orphan who defies the odds and perseveres throughout his heart-wrenching journey to adulthood.
Jeff created the TV series, Even Keel, a crime drama, coming of age story for the YA market about a shadow government organization using the latest Virtual Reality technology to recruit exceptional problem-solving teenagers, and transform them into spies. Currently in development in LA.
Susan Magestro (writer/PSA member): Susan just published a new book, Breaking the Cycle of Trauma Through A Daughter's Eyes.
She is having a book signing of three of her books at Anticus Gallery, on Scottsdale Road on Saturday, February 25 from noon-3:00pm.
She just returned to Scottsdale Community College as a Artichoke! Signing up for Bill True's screenwriting class. Happy Holidays!
Beverly Nault (writer/PSA member): Beverly Nault’s SP, Perfect Misfits, made Coverfly’s Red List in the Faith category, currently listed at #6. Also, she is working with a mentor to brush up all my projects. Sacajawea has proven to be the most challenging because she has been searching for an Indigenous person to read and give her insight into cultural sensitivities. Through the mentor, Beverly believes she has found a group who can help, and they have invited her to an invitation-only First Nations Powwow in Canada next summer for in-person research.
Pamela Ryan-Hick (screenwriter/PSA member): Pam’s short movie, Crazy Cat Lady, that she wrote, directed by Stephen Kessen and produced by Maxanne Stevens was selected at the Global Taj International Film Festival and the Kolapur International Short Film Festival. The film made finalist at the Kolhapur Maharashtra India Film Festival and a semi-finalist at the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Kolhapor International Film Festival. It was a Quarter Finalist at the Watchout Film Festival. It is now an International Short Film. Pam is very glad it's getting recognized in the country of India. Happy New Year!
Anne Gentry (screenwriter/actor/PSA member): Professionally, Anne is in Birmingham, AL, acting in a feature. She will be stopping in Austin, TX, on her way back to AZ to place grave toppers on her parents' graves. Mom died earlier this year. Anne’s New Year's resolutions include setting aside more time to write and getting together a new acting reel to post on IMDB and with her two agents. Wishing everyone Peace and Joy this wonderful Holiday Season!!!
Phoenix Screenwriters Association would like to welcome our new members in 2022, we are excited to have you as a member and look forward to watching you grow as writer: Jeff Gendelman and Ashton Thomas
NO, YOU’RE NOT SIGNING YOUR RIGHTS AWAY,
YOU’RE SELLING YOUR SCRIPT.
by Bob Saenz
Occasionally I get frustrated with some of the questions and bad screenwriting advice online and have to comment with just a post of: “Sigh”.
Exasperation? Yeah. Kinda. I’d love for people to stop looking for shortcuts that don’t exist and just do the work. I like to think the best of people and hope sometimes they step back, look at something, and see it for what it really is.
I don’t know about you, but I love the start of a new year. Whether it starts in September, think school, or January, when the calendar reminds us we are getting older. For me, it is all about cleaning up and organizing my writing desk, getting my supplies refreshed, taking stock of where I am at in various projects, and dreaming about my next great tentpole I want to try and write. Ah, a fresh new year!