Thursday, November 01, 2012

A great quote about how writing improves the quality of one's life, especially the life of the mind. This link is to The Daily Dish but the post there is a chain of recommendations. Follow it to the original if you want to read more.

When I have a piece of writing in mind, what I have, in fact, is a mental bucket: an attractor for and generator of thought. It’s like a thematic gravity well, a magnet for what would otherwise be a mess of iron filings. I’ll read books differently and listen differently in conversations. In particular I’ll remember everything better; everything will mean more to me. That’s because everything I perceive will unconsciously engage on its way in with the substance of my preoccupation. A preoccupation, in that sense, is a hell of a useful thing for a mind.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Alison Bonn will be performing at The Aphrodite Caberet

Join us Thursday, Sept 27th from 8 - 10pm as we kick off this years Broad Humor Film Festival with the Aphrodite Caberet hosted by BHFF's own Claire DeLune, it is sure to be a raucus mix of comedy, sketch, song and dance.

Among our list of performers will be Alison Bonn who will be sharing a hilarious mix of raunchy songs including the OBGYN song. 

25 Magic Words of American Television

One of the Broads sent along this link from NPR and titling TV network and cable shows. It's called The 25 Magic Words of American Television. Check out the full article out on the NPR website or look below the fold and play with the list of words here. Let us know your title and pitch it!

Friday, September 14, 2012

2012 DIY Day Workshops on Friday, Sept 28

The schedule is up for the 2012 Do It Yourself Day Workshops at the Broad Humor Film Festival on Friday Sept 28th from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. Those attending can expect to walk away with valuable information of how to use the web to build your film career, the importance of pre-production, how to get professional looking production quality on a microbudget, tips for streamlining the post production process, how to best take advantage of the new forms of Distribution and more.

For the full schedule and to buy tickets click here

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Workshop with Todd Rohrbacher of the Actors Comedy Studio

We are pleased to announce that Todd Rohrbacher, Founder of Actors Comedy Studio, will be joining the panel for our web production workshop entitled Production Values where he will be sharing tips on directing actors in comedy. The workshop will take place on Friday Sept 28th at 1:00 pm.

Todd has been teaching, writing, directing, acting and producing comedy in Los Angeles for nearly twenty years. He was recently voted LA's Favorite Scripted Comedy Coach in the Backstage 2011 Reader's Choice Poll and was also mentioned as one of the best Audition Technique teachers in the city, as well as a favorite On-Camera instructor for his Acting for Sitcoms class. Todd has taught comedy workshops at Disney Animation Studios, New York Film Academy, American Academy of Dramatic Arts and festivals across the country.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

High Heels, Low Tide (Weekend aan Zee) at Broad Humor

The Belgian dramedy, High Heels, Low Tide (Weekend aan Zee), screens at 9pm on Saturday, September 29 at the 2012 Broad Humor Film Festival in Venice, CA. This sassy, poignant film is another great girlfriends movie about four BFFs who gather every year for a weekend of letting loose and letting by the sea. Watch the trailer and then go buy your tickets online at Eventbrite.
  Check out the rest of the festival at

Friday, September 07, 2012

Casting Director Caroline Liem joins panel for DIY DAY

Casting Director CAROLINE LIEM is on board for Broad Humor's all-day workshop for independent filmmakers, DIY DAY: Production for The New Paradigm. A pro with a feel for comedy, Caroline will be sharing some insights on how to set your project up to succeed by getting the right talent in place.The workshop will take place on Friday, September 28th from 11 - 5 pm. 

CAROLINE LIEM has been discovering new talent and has worked with some of the top directors and producers on over 50 feature films and television shows and pilots. Her credits include Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3, Anomaly, X2, The Perfect Sleep, Devour, Blade Trinity, When Do We Eat?, Boogeyman, Auto Focus,  Silent Witness, Life With Bonnie, Two Guys and a Girl, Popular and VIP.

At Disney Studios she has enjoyed working in both their feature and television casting departments overseeing such projects as Gone In Sixty Seconds, Pearl Harbor, 102 Dalmatians, Gangs of New York, Annie, and Geppetto. She most recently served as the Casting Executive for the award winning late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! and is currently casting a Nickelodeon series.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

WGA to Reprise Brunch Discussion Session

Just spoke with Kimberly Meyers over at the WGA Diversity department, and she has agreed to  reprise their fabulous conversation about opportunities for women, minorities and, actually, all independent filmmakers at this year's festival on Sunday morning, Sept. 30. This event will be for badge holders and broads only. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Announcing The Unwritten Rules panel with creator Kim Williams

It’s 2012, and the most popular portrait of a funny Black female is Tyler Perry’s Medea. What’s that about? Now, from the realm of New Media, authentic African American voices rise in a new comedy web series with a distinctly feminine point of view. Join the creator, cast and crew of the Unwritten Rules, a new comedy about being the only Black person in the workplace.  The panel will be moderated by OBS instructor and screenwriter Hilliard Guess (The Baby Writer's Cheat Sheet).

Based on her celebrated novel 40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule: The Diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman, creator/executive producer Kim Williams explores the comical situations and misunderstanding that persistently complicate race relations in the twenty-first century workplace. Panelists for the Unwritten Rules includes: actress/producer Aasha Davis (Friday Night Lights, Pariah), director Natasha TASH Gray (Let’s Stay Together) and writer/director Angie Comer, winner of Broad Humor’s 2010 Award for Best Short with Career Virgin

“the Unwritten Rules is a comic look at the fact that we all still have a lot to learn from one another; but are we willing to do the work to get there?”

the Unwritten Rules Panel is just one of many great workshops, parties, screenings, readings, and networking opportunities happening during the four-day Broad Humor Film Festival, which promises to have something for everyone. Detailed information on each day’s offerings is available at

This panel will take place on Saturday, September 29 at 5pm. Tickets - $10 advance purchase / $15 at the door

The 7th Annual Broad Humor Film Festival tales place September 27-30 at the Electric Lodge in Venice, CA. Broad Humor is the only film festival dedicated to women-created comic content. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Scripts Needs an Audience

Today, I'm thinking about the difference between playwrights and screenwriters, and in particular what screenwriters can learn from their theater counterparts.  It's a jumble, so this may or may not coalesce into lucid ideas.  I'll give it a go.

Playwrights exercise absolute control over material, screenwriters do not.  Part of the reason is that the playwright controls timing while in movies, the director and editor control timing. If you write comedy, timing can make or break a  laugh, but drama is also about the building and delivering of emotionally triggering moments. Screenplays just are not as complete as play scripts. Screenwriters don't know if their story works so long as it is only on the page, which makes it hard to grow and get better. 

Playwrights also can't know from the page either if their play works as theater, only if it works as literature the way Shakespeare does. Text on the page doesn't tell you if a joke will work as dialogue.  Reading Moliere, I don't laugh. Yet almost any production of Moliere delivers one belly laugh after another.  Playwrights have opportunities to get a read from real audiences on their work at every stage of their development. They get plays produced by small theaters and hear their words come out of the mouths of various performers. They cannot blame the director or actors if the same scene falls flat in two different productions. They learn how to write scenes that actors can act and that audiences will respond to.  Staged readings will draw an audience and allow playwrights to test their work in a theater with live actors.  But readings of scripts are not the same as readings of plays because the screen is not a stage.  What is a screenwriter to do?

Storytelling Our Way to Happiness

I'm still thinking about the question of women's happiness which I have blogged about before. While I was cleaning today, I accidentally ripped an old, graying newspaper clipping stuck on the side of my refrigerator. Before throwing it away, I read it over again and realized why I've kept it all these years.  I love the ideas of the philosopher, Richard Rorty, about storytelling and self-creation. We can make and remake ourselves through the stories we tell. If you have a philosophical bent, read on.

In his ideal of self-creation ... Rorty's new twist is to stress language and literature. The task, as he sees it is to replace the descriptions and labels imposed on us by others – family, professions, culture – with our own descriptions, our own language.  We create ourselves by telling our own story.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Letter to Submitters

Once submissions close and before decisions are made, I like to send a letter to everybody who made the effort to submit a film or screenplay.  The impulse came from my own experiences with rejections letters supposedly softened by comments about how many people submit,  how hard it is to choose from so many good projects, blah blah blah.  All I could read was the rejection and I hated the sugar coating.  But it is true.  Good work does not always get in. So I tell the broads that their work matters separate from the yes or no, which is subjective and based on practical as well as artistic considerations.
To all the broads and the broad-minded:

Submissions have closed for the 2012 Broad Humor Film Festival.  Within the next ten days, I personally will have watched or read every entry. Other members of the team who have been viewing or reading will meet with me and we will make our selections. You can expect to hear a thumbs up or down by the end of next weekend.  Sooner if we can, but we want to make sure all the submissions get a full review before making our decisions, so we're not going to rush.

Once again, I have been stunned by the energy that everyone has put into telling stories for the purpose of laughter. The number of people who wish to write a screenplay or make a movie are legion; the ones who actually do it are rare and in my opinion should be honored for that very fact. So I say congratulations to you all.  Please accept our appreciation for sharing your work with us.

Sadly, we cannot show all the films nor honor all the screenplays. Selection is not objective, cannot ever be completely fair, and will not do justice to the work you have done. Every year we turn down scripts or films that go on to win other festivals.  Taste is subjective yet we must choose according to ours. 

We will do our best to keep you all informed as we move forward.

Kudos to you all!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Greenhouse Studios to offer Filmmaker Awards at this year's BHFF

The Broads are happy to report that Greenhouse Studios, a post production facility dedicated to providing high quality post services to independents and high-end clients alike, has lent their support again this year offering two Filmmakers Awards. The prizes include a very generous post production package (including free Offline Editing time, HD Color Correction and Graphics) to the winners of both the Best Feature and Best Short. We can’t thank the folks at Greenhouse Studios enough for their commitment to the independent women of comedy.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Broad Humor DIY DAY: Paradigm Shift

We are starting to put together the panelists for our all-day workshop for independent filmmakers - DIY DAY: Paradigm Shift on Friday, September 28. Independent film is still struggling to find some solid ground in the new transmedia world, and we've got a whole day planned to take folks through the process of preparing, creating, and promoting your own content instead of waiting for someone else to pull a Prince Charming. For both professionals and newcomers who want to polish their production tools and get a handle on the process of building a career-sustaining audience.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NYC Theater Rental Rates for Screenings

Saw a list of theaters for rent around NYC with prices for renting them for screenings.  Anybody got a similar list for here in LA?  Click thru to see details if interested...

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Sending Your Project "to School"

As I watch movies and read scripts for this year's competition, I am struck over and over by the unfulfilled promise of many works.  It is clear there is a story or characters there to love. And that love is getting in the way of the life of the work in the same way an overbearing parent can smother a child.  School does not treat your precious baby as well as you would like.  Social requirements are made.  It is painful.  But to learn to "play well with others" is the goal and reward of socialization.  Too many of these creative "darlings" have not learned that skill.  I can see what you love.  But you must cut the apron strings (aka cutting pages and scenes) by getting feedback from loving teachers.  Not all teachers are great, but most are not bad for the simple reason that if your story loses them, they will tell you and you will have to fix it. Don't argue.  Their solution might not be the right one, but try it.  Try other things.  Learn to help your baby "play well" with any audience. It breaks my heart when a work with legs is still crawling because the creator "loved it too much" to help it become what it could.

Friday, July 06, 2012

WTF of the Week - Fox/NYTVF Comedy Script Contest

25 finalists announced in the Fox Comedy Script Contest.  Only one woman out of 25 finalists (Santa Sierra) plus two co-writers (Heather Huntington and Tasha Gordon-Solmon).  Kudos to these women for making the cut, but come on.  We know from Broad Humor that women write wonderfully funny movies.  We know from a Meryl Streep speech at the Crystal Lucy Awards that women-oriented movies give a better return investment on average.  At the same event, wasn't Fox just honored by Women in Film for having so many women execs?  So I ask

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pixar Story Rules

The blog for the book The Pixar Touch posted a great compilation of tweets from Emma Coates distilling gems from her senior colleagues on creating great stories.  The blog gives you 22 examples of her tweets.  They are fantastic.  For example:

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

After reading hundreds of scripts from so many different writers over the years, I would like to paste this one on the wall above every screenwriter's computer

The one I committed to memory for myself was this succinct nugget:

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

Check them out and share your favorites.  Follow her on Twitter.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Julia Camara in WIFI Panel May 13

One of our Broads, Julia Camara, will be part of a WIFI panel on Sunday, May 13 in Hollywood about filming not in Hollywood, but abroad. It looks like it's going to be a great event.

         Women In Film International (WIFI) Committee In Association with
                             New Filmmakers Los Angeles presents
                            "That's Right, You're Not in Hollywood!"

Join us for an evening with International Directors Julia Camara, Deepika Daggubati,
and Christine Yoo as they share their often hilarious experiences shooting indie films
in Brazil, India, and South Korea 
Sunday, May 13th
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Sunset Gower Studios
6040 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Light Refreshments will be served
LIGHTS! CAMERA! And wait ... 24-hour work days, wild snakes you could step on, and using the actual weight of human beings to balance your camera crane - Welcome to the world of global independent film making in Brazil, India, and South Korea- where craft service is a cup of instant noodles, the temperature in the jungle is like a cranked up oven, and where any serious director needs 4 assistants just to push through an instant flash mob of 1,000 onlookers simply to call "ACTION!"

Topics include: Working with International Actors, Crews, and Production Systems 

Street parking available (Enter at Main Gate, Sunset Gower Studios at 6040 Sunset Blvd.)

WIF/New Filmmakers Members: $10 / Non-Members: $15 (Cash or Check Only)
(Include number of guests and and WIF member number; Limited Seating)

Julia Camara is an award winning Brazilian writer and filmmaker. She wrote the screenplay for "Area Q" with director Gerson Sanginitto. The sci-fi drama stars Isaiah Washington and Brazilian star Murilo Rosa. "Area Q" screened at the Hollywood Film Festival and opened in theaters nationwide in Brazil on April 13th 2012.

Deepika Daggubati is an Indian-born filmmaker, raised in Texas and based in Los Angeles.  Her industry experience includes screenwriting (Disney; Colucci Productions), development (Valhalla Motion Pictures), and editing (Saban Research Institute).  Deepika's feature writing/directing debut, the award-winning WAKING DREAMS, is a West Texas meets Bollywood coming-of-age comedy that FILM RADAR called "a witty, romantic delight for all ages!"

Christine Yoo's feature film debut is the award winning "Wedding Palace," the 1st US-Korea independent co-production. Shot in Los Angeles and Seoul, Korea, the film will be released theatrically in the US, Fall 2012, and has screened to sold out festival audiences and college campuses nationwide. Prior to co-writing, directing and producing "Wedding Palace," Yoo worked as a film & TV writer and editor in features, television and commercials.

Event Produced by WIFI Co-Chair Ruby Lopez and WIFI Advisor Chair Tobie Loomis

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 Submissions - Off to a Great Start!

The first batch of films have come in! The Early Bird Submissions have given the judges some great laughs. We've gotten films from overseas, festival alums, film students... If these films are any indication, it promises to be a great festival come September 27th!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Caption This Billboard

I drive around and see billboards all the time with images of women that strike me as carrying a wtf semiotic subtext. Particularly tv and movie billboards. I'm going to start posting them and invite folks to caption the REAL message they carry. Here's the latest.

Look at those women photoshopped within an inch of science fiction and then look at the guy that goes with it and the message it conveys. It boggles my mind.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Female Centered Movies Mean Profit

Great article by producer Susan Cartsonis on the box office value of "women's" movies. 

Women Make Good Box Office--Really Good $$$$

Woman-created films and woman-centered stories make financial good sense, and still she has to fight the conventional wisdom that is just plain wrong. (This is also true in theater, btw, where a recent LAFPI study showed that woman-authored plays in NY gross about 25% more than those written by men.  Yet out-dated, skewed perception means that women account for only about 12% of the playwrights produced at any given moment.  If it were really only about the money...)

Hat tip to Julie Janata for posting on the Alliance of Women Directors newsletter.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Graphic Novelize

Sometimes a girl can't get no respect as a filmmaker.  So I was thinking...well perhaps not thinking but something close enough...about graphic novels.  There's a lot of buzz these days for films based on graphic novels, and bidding for the rights to make movies of them can run pretty darn high.  Six figures is a lot of respect if you ask me.  Now, I don't have the "wrist" to draw what's in my head, but I certainly have the skills to film it.  I decided to take a look at one of my shorts, Little Miss Malice, and see if I could pull out pages and turn it into a graphic novel.  Here's what I've come up with so far...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Broads Co-op for WGA credit

I had an idea this morning.  I have been trying to figure out a way for web writing to give our broads credit toward WGA membership.  It is fairly simple credit to get, but requires that we incorporate ourselves instead of just being under a non-profit umbrella for fiscal sponsorship.  That costs a bit more than we have in the bank for miscellaneous fees.  But then, if the various broads who write pitched in a few bucks each, then it would be doable.  We're talking about $1500 for a LLC that includes the hefty California fees.  Broad Humor could make the deal with the guild, and you all could shoot your web videos as co-productions and have it count as points toward WGA membership.  A win for all.  Email me if you have any interest in this, or post a comment with your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2012 Goals?

In the spirit of looking forward to the year and making, if not resolutions, then plans, I'd like to know what folks are working on. Writing or filmmaking, making a public statement before the world is a way of infusing some discipline into the mix.

My goal is to put something out in the world every single day, be it a blog post, a video, a vlog, even a comment on someone else's blog will count so long as it is an expression of my ideas.  In addition I hope to finish a short film and to write a feature script over the course of the year.  But my resolution is the 365 days of getting some kind of output in the world.