I’m going to teach another workshop starting Sunday, Sept 18.
I can’t decide if I want to teach my spec workshop, or my pilot workshop. Check out the link for more info, and for what past students had to say.
If you’re interested in signing up, email me at email@example.com and let me know which class you’d prefer. Thanks!
Notifications have started! Please let me know if you hear any news.
- Nickelodeon Writing Program
They’ve announced the semi-finalists on their Facebook page.
- Nicholl Fellowship
They’ve notified the semi-finalists.
- PAGE Screenwriting Awards
They’ve notified the semi-finalists.
- Scriptapalooza TV
They’ve announced the winners.
- NYTVF Scripts Competition
They chose 21 Official Selections.
Even though we both live in LA, I first met Minty in Austin at the Austin Film Festival! Then we became Facebook friends and I saw that she created a short, so I had to ask her all about it. Follow this super talented lady on Twitter @mintylewis.
Your short has an alpaca and a peanut as the main characters! How’d you come up with the idea for your short?
It’s all kind of blurry when I look back on the origin, almost three years ago at this point. I knew I wanted to pitch something before I knew what I wanted to pitch, so I basically just threw a bunch of ideas at the wall and then saw what stuck for me. One of the things I was thinking about was my aunt Beverly, who has a giant, joyful, reckless personality, but now has Alzheimer’s and spent most of her life in dealing with alcoholism. Specifically, I was thinking about a story of hers in which she decided to audition for a play as she was drunkenly walking by a theater. They called to give her the lead role the next day, but once she sobered up she didn’t have the guts to follow through. The alpaca character (also named Beverly) grew out of me thinking about what it would be like if she could’ve just maintained that sweet spot of drunkenness. Like, maybe great things would have been possible if she could have just held on to that optimism and extroversion and risk-seeking behavior?
Translating these musings into a cartoon character, I’ve landed on a straitlaced alpaca who twisted her bun too tight and turned into a freewheelin’ teenager. The fact that she’s specifically an alpaca isn’t all that important, I just felt like there’d be more range in what I could do with her and the world if she wasn’t a human. People just seem more willing to accept/laugh at dark ideas if there’s a goofy cartoon face in front of them. I’ve always appreciated how nuts alpacas look with all the teeth and the hair, but you can take any creature and make it seem serious/nerdy/sexy/etc. with the details of the character design. The Peanette character grew out of a totally separate path where I was thinking about a “peanut butler,” but after I did some drawings and she turned into a burnout wearing a denim jacket, she seemed like a good pal for Beverly.
Behind the Scenes with Busy Philipps and me
Interview with me about the short
Continue reading interview: Minty Lewis, creator of Bottom’s Butte
I’ve been working on my animated web series, and submitted my bible and first episode to the Sundance New Voices Lab last month.
I figured out the story arc of the first season, and broke out it out into 6 episodes. I’m currently writing the scripts, but made a Gantt chart of all the tasks I need to work on. I hope I didn’t overlook anything.
So besides the writing, there’s art (characters, props, backgrounds), casting, recording the voice performances, storyboards, animatics, animation, editing, music, sound effects.
Continue reading web series – production schedule
Here’s a character description from one of my pilots:
MAYA, 23, naively nice, Asian (like Emma Stone).
This video is old now, but still very relevant. In case you missed it, it does a great job explaining the ridiculousness of the industry:
Here’s another instance by Marvel casting Tilda Swinton to play an Asian character in Dr. Strange. That’s in addition to Scarlett Johansson in Ghost In The Shell, and Emma Stone in Aloha. Ugh.
And for those who weakly try to defend the whitewashing by claiming you need established stars to sell franchise movies, and non white actors don’t sell movies, the Jungle Book, which stars an unknown non white Indian kid, is killing it at the box office.
Thank god for shows like Fresh Off The Boat and Blackish.
So I’ve been thinking about making a web series for years and years, but never did. I just never had an idea that I was passionate about, and other things like fellowships and writing pilots seemed like bigger priorities. But now that I have some writing samples that I like, I really wanted to create something this year. I finally came up with a concept that I’m passionate about, and am eager to get started.
I went to art school and wanted to take advantage of that, so I decided to make it an animated series. But there are a lot of decisions to make now. What’s the visual style? How realistic vs cartoony? 2D or 3D or stop motion? Outline or no outline? Flat cell shaded? Painterly? What software will I use to animate? Flash? After Effects? Toon Boom? Anime Studio Pro? After some research, I think I’m going with 2D animation using After Effects, although Anime Studio Pro looks interesting too.
Continue reading I’m making a web series
So 2015 turned out to be a good a pretty good year. I finally got an agent, had meetings, wrote a new pilot, got some good feedback.
Friends of mine had good years as well. They got repped, got staffed, placed in contests and programs. I’m hoping the good momentum continues for everyone this year!
My goals for 2015 were:
1 – Get an agent.
2 – Get staffed on a show.
NO. I had some meetings though.
3 – Write 2 pilots.
SORT OF. I wrote 1 pilot and started an outline of another, so 1.5.
4 – Work on some other creative project: either a feature, a web series, or an animated pitch.
NO. I came up with a bunch of ideas, but nothing that I loved enough to finish.
Continue reading writing recap of 2015, goals for 2016