Thanks everybody for your anniversary wishes and feedback. It's great to know you're out there.
I think the attendees of SITCOM ROOM 4 are just now catching up on sleep. No one ran screaming from the event so I consider it an irrefutable triumph! Thanks to all those who participated. Hope you learned a lot, discovered some talents you didn't realize you had, and had FUN.
Some random thoughts:
For the first time we had more women attendees than men.
We also had three people from other countries. Austria, Australia, and one gentleman flew in from Ireland, arriving just an hour before the seminar began. He then stayed up late into the night rewriting thus simulating what it was like to be on the staff of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.
One of our attendees was an Emmy winner. Well, an Emmy contest winner. She was the girl who sent in a video and was selected to be at the Emmycast and do a few on-air comedy bits like sitting behind the Harlem Globetrotters, that sort of hilarity. It’s a good thing she never read my Emmy review.
A few meeting rooms over was the Kevin Trudeau “Make Millions” seminar. The point man for publicizing that was someone named Ken Levine. That didn’t cause too much confusion. For a moment I thought of combining our two seminars – showing the way to make millions as a TV writer or pork belly futures speculator.
It was a busy weekend at the LAX Hilton. On Sunday the hotel also hosted the Christian Faith Fellowship Service and Glamourcon.
Glamourcon is essentially a convention hall filled with porn stars, Playboy Playmates, “models”, and “actresses” who sign autographs and (for an additional fee) will let you take a picture with them. Among the notables who attended were Ida Ljungqvist (2009 Playmate of the Year, otherwise known in the adult world as “Eyechart”), Hiromi Oshima, Irina Voronina, and Judi Dench.
It was not hard to spot these model/actresses wandering around the hotel. Rarely do you see a platinum blond in 8” heels wearing only a bikini top and anal floss just hanging out in the lobby espresso bar.
One of our writing teams reported there was some porno movie being filmed in the suite across from theirs. Sleazy-looking guys with camera equipment and lights would duck into the room, followed by heavily made-up trollops clad only in bathrobes. You try coming up with a story fix when you hear that kind of commotion next door.
During my Saturday morning lecture most everyone was on their computers. Two or three were actually taking notes. The others were Tweeting or playing Minefield.
The scenes the groups rewrote were performed on Sunday and all were impressive! Every one had good laughs and very imaginative ideas. One had a condom joke and they weren’t even the group next to the porn shoot.
As usual, the writing teams really bonded. After the event they stayed together, either down at the bar or at Glamourcon. I meanwhile, had to dash off and host a three-hour show on KABC radio, talking about the prize fight and all the football games I didn’t see this weekend.
Our panel discussion was a big hit. Tom Straw, Fred Rubin, and Marley Sims regaled the attendees with horror stories and sage advice on how to get into the business, what producers are looking for in specs, new media opportunities, advantages and disadvantages of partnerships, and what it was like writing for Captain Kangaroo. We heard how one showrunner and his star both had bodyguards to protect them from each other (“collaboration” Hollywood style), and maybe the line of the day was from Fred describing an actor who was so bad “he couldn’t say a line the same way once”.
Many thanks to my partner, Dan O’Day; the actors: Andy Goldberg, Barbara Howard, Mark Chaet, and Lucy Adden; the dreaded “studio”: Howard Hoffman; panelists Tom, Fred, and Marley; and production assistants: Dow Chemical & Brock.
All in all it was a great weekend. For me it had a “happy ending” but I’m sure that has a very different meaning at Glamourcon.