Archive for October, 2009

Steven Fischer at Script DC

October 19, 2009

Script DC is a conference for screenwriters and takes place each year, as one would suspect, in Washington, DC. This year I was asked to speak with Lisa Goldman and Kristin Harris on the subject of Writing for Animation. The audience was comprised of both novice and professional writers, all eager to participate and ask questions. We screened some of our respective animation work and answered questions on everything from basic format to breaking into “the biz” and the relationship between the writer and the animator.

I enjoy speaking at events like this because it gives me a chance to contribute and share the lessons I’ve learned along my journey.

Lisa and Kristin are great people and terrific animators. Lisa is the president of Women in Animation, and Kristin runs a successful business called Kristin Harris Design.

Steven Fischer and Lisa Goldman speak about Writing for Animation at Script DC 2009 (photo: Amy Stern).

Steven Fischer and Lisa Goldman speak about Writing for Animation at Script DC 2009 (photo: Amy Stern).

Animation vs Live Action

October 14, 2009

An interesting article from writer Todd Alcott (Antz) on when animation and live action are most effective.

Tomas Arana, Herman Leonard, and Allen Moore

October 5, 2009

The Next Old School New School subjects are…

Cinematographer Allen Moore. He’s one of Ken Burns’ trusted cameramen and has served as cinematographer on Burns’ classics The Civil War, Thomas Jefferson, The West, The National Parks. His own films are equally as amazing. The Shepherd of Berneray is an extraordinary documentary of a year in the life of a Gaelic-speaking island community in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

Actor Tomas Arana is also on board to appear in Old School New School. He is probably best known for the role of Quintis in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, but his credits extend way beyond…. ER, Pearl Harbor, The Bodyguard, CSI, 24 … and a ton of work throughout Europe. The list goes on. His connection with fine artists such as Andy Warhol and the lessons he learned about creativity had me completely engaged in our chat.

Actor Tomas Arana.

Actor Tomas Arana.

And legendary photographer Herman Leonard has agreed to appear in the movie! Quincy Jones once wrote that any image a person has in mind of Jazz history is probably one of Herman Leonard’s photos. He’s photographed everyone from Louis Armstrong to Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando not to mention Clark Gable, Harry Truman and Albert Einstein!

Legendary photographer Herman Leonard.

Legendary photographer Herman Leonard.

Old School, New School producers Diane Leigh Davison and Steven Fischer with Herman Leonard (far left) at a gallery opening in New York City. (2009, photo by Rick Edwards)

Old School, New School producers Diane Leigh Davison and Steven Fischer with Herman Leonard (far left) at a gallery opening in New York City. (2009, photo by Rick Edwards)

Having chatted with him, I’ve discovered Mr. Leonard to be a terrific storyteller. He told a fascinating story of a conversation he had with Albert Einstein and Einstein’s thoughts on the creative power of improvisation. I’m looking forward to this one. Details soon.

More details to follow. Many thanks to Diane Davison for making it happen!

Steven Fischer to Appear at ScriptDC

October 1, 2009

“I don’t know why they need you to write for Bugs Bunny, he’s funny enough on his own,” a grandmother once said to her young writer grandson who had just shared his excitement in landing a job at Warner Brothers writing scripts for Bugs Bunny cartoons.

I was recently invited to speak at the Script DC conference (Oct 15-18). I will be part of a panel talking about writing for animation and how animation can be used for effective storytelling. The administrators of the event said they wanted to use one of my animated movies as an example … of what not to do, I guess. ;0)

Panel details:
Oct 17th, 2:30 to 4:00 pm
Saturday, October 17, 2009
University of California, Washington Center
1608 Rhode Island Avenue, NW

I was excited to learn that my friend Kristen Harris will also be on the panel! She was one of five animators I highlighted in my 2006 documentary Draw the Line.

The weekend will include workshops, networking, a screenplay competition, and some amazing speakers. Screenwriters Megan Holley (Sunshine Cleaning), and Jeff Porro and Robert Eisele (The Great Debaters) will be joining other invited local and national industry professionals to ensure that all conference participants gain the skills, knowledge and connections they need to be successful.

ScriptDC is presented by Women in Film & Video, TIVA-DC, DC Shorts Film Festival, Virginia Production Alliance, and The Actors Center. This event is possible with the support of the DC Office of Film and Television Production, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Julia Barbara, Sapling Pictures, Ann Barbara, and Leeza Gibbons.