Friday, January 21, 2011

Teaching Writing-- Easy. Writing-- Hard!

I teach writing to HS and college students, which often illuminates the writing process for me. It is almost shocking to hear advise that you dispense so easily to others, that are so difficult to follow when writing by yourself.

The first obstacle many students face is writer's block. I tell them begin at the rough draft stage. "Did you brainstorm?" I'd ask. I say it is too early to worry about grammar. Brainstorm, writing in fragments, bullet points, the easiest, simplest way that'll allow you to put your thoughts down. Secondly I tell them, to spill their gut. This is definitely not the time to judge your own writing, that's for later. There will be ample opportunities later to revise what you wrote but first you have to put something down. The goal at this moment is to be creative, be free, go for the wildest ideas you have and dial it back a bit or push forward even more. You feel scared and insecure? That is normal. Professional writers have told me personally that they're terrified when they write.

I think the proper mindset can be summed up by a quote I heard today (which I'll paraphrase), "There can be no self-esteem without a sense of progress." If you expect perfection from the get-go, you will have nowhere to go, your mind will go sterile. Humble yourself and find joy in the process itself.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Social Network: The Sound Show

My friend, Scott, posted this invite, which I'm reposting here. Seems like an awesome opportunity to learn about sound, which is after all half of the picture as they say. Plus, this movie is absolutely one of the best of the year. 

You and your friends are invited to hear the story of the sound of the critically acclaimed movie about the creation of Facebook.

Special clips will be presented by key sonic artisans offering a rare chance to hear some of the discrete audio elements that were connected into a network of aural information.

AND this unique presentation will be made at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, a venue that prides itself on offering the best in sight and sound technology.

Want to know what’s better than a million bits of digital sound? 
A BILLION bits of digital sound presented by the people who helped make them!

Sharing their craft and experience will be supervising sound editor/sound designer Ren Klyce, re-recording mixers David Parker and Michael Semanick, picture editors Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, and producer Scott Rudin.

One night only!  And Free!  Friday, January 7, at 7:30 pm at the ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 West Sunset Boulevard.

RSVP to or call 818/506-7731.
Please provide your full name and any industry or school affiliation.   Seating is limited.