Kathryn Graham: What Makes ClexaCon Special?

Wynonna Earp’s Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Waverly Earp) and Kat Barrell (Nicole Haught) having a laugh 

by Kathryn Graham

ClexaCon is an inclusive convention held in Las Vegas and London celebrating queer women on screen and behind the scenes. It’s the first of its kind, and that makes it unique in and of itself, but much more than that, here is what I found special:

Genuine human connection, a celebratory spirit, and powerful support.

From Kat Barrell (Nicole Haught on Wynonna Earp) crying about the isolation that older queer women suffered growing up without easy access to their community to Vanessa Piazza (Producer of Lost Girl and Dark Matter) stating outright that when you climb the ladder, you help others up; it’s an atmosphere that’s truly like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.

I’m out here in Hollywood, which isn’t as cutthroat as people make it out to be, but which isn’t exactly the most welcoming space. We have gatekeepers who are always looking at the bottom line (aka “The Business”). People who have firm beliefs that only certain types of characters can sell (prejudiced chicanery). You have to prove, hundreds of times over to many different people, that you’re ‘worth it’, i.e. that you can make everyone a lot of money.

It’s ultra competitive. It’s isolating, even among friends, as you’re always pitted against each other. Even people who enjoy your company can be so busy that you have to ask nine times if they want to have lunch. And it’s fine. It’s the way it is. This industry is demanding. People have other priorities. You have no control over who wins a contest or gets an agent or get staffed. At least not at my level. But that means that sometimes it can seem like no one cares all that much about you except you. You’re a drop in the ocean.

Not so at ClexaCon.

There, people see you. People care about you. They want you to tell your stories, and they want to help you make it happen.

That’s revolutionary.

As a writer, I always thought that queer female characters were a non-starter. Why wouldn’t I think that? For most of my life, we could barely get good roles for women on television (and feature films are worse), let alone main storylines for queer characters.

I expected that if I was ever lucky and dogged enough to get my original work sold, I’d be in long, drawn out battles to keep my main character and her love interest female. Because I knew I’d never compromise.

I believed that no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I improved my craft, no matter how the story came out, it wouldn’t matter because nobody wants to see queer women on television.

Then last year, ClexaCon changed all of that.

Last ClexaCon, Emily Andras (Showrunner for Wynonna Earp) told us that if we ever doubted there was an audience for our stories, then we should take a look around that packed room, and then never doubt again. This year, she reiterated that, and it was more poignant than ever. Because that room was three times the size and packed to overflowing.

Last year, in ClexaCon’s premiere year, I wrote a lot about the ethics of storytelling from panels led by Dr. Elizabeth Bridges and Gretchen Ellis.  A huge number of queer female characters had been killed off on television that season, and it was a depressing subject.

This year, as the panelists noted, there is more and more content – Black Lightning, Everything Sucks, Runaways – whose creators don’t even need to be told how to write queer stories ethically: they already know.

Last ClexaCon, for the first time in my life, I could look around and definitively say: here are my people. They get me, and I get them. This year, I was touched by creators and actresses who aren’t queer but who are as invested in these stories as we are.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have hope that I can reach so many others like me. How heartening it is to see people like my straight, male friend welcomed with open arms and to see his sincere interest in everything ClexaCon stands for. Just a few years ago, I would never have believed that there were so many queer women looking for content representing them. I would definitely have scoffed at the idea that so many people who don’t identify as queer would want the same thing.

So even if the world outside ClexaCon has so much further to go, at ClexaCon you can see where we should be. Because, in a world that can seem so uncaring and disconnected, ClexaCon is genuine love.

Also, bonus: no ‘con funk’ (a haze of body odor at… pretty much every other convention ever).

Photo Credit: Kathryn Graham

Check out more photos from ClexaCon on my Instagram: KateGrahamTV


Kathryn Graham is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor and award winning writer. Learn more about Kate HERE

Most Viewed TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – April 23, 2018

Time for TVWriter™’s Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are:

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

LB: Where Did THE FALL GUY Live?

Top TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – April 16, 2018

LB: Untold Tales of the Animated SILVER SURFER TV Series Ep. 20

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing!

And our most visited permanent resource pages are:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT Writing Contest

THE BASICS OF TV WRITING: Overview

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

The Logline

Big thanks to everybody for making this another great week at TVWriter™ . Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Video Interview: This One isn’t Just for ‘Beetlejuice’ Fans

This TVWriter™ minion has to proclaim the truth for all to hear:

I am a huge Beetlejuice fan and think y’all should be too!!!

That’s why we’re so delighted to have found the following recent interview with Beetlejuice producer and co-writer Larry Wilson. As we’ve said a time or two before, “Watch and learn, kids. Watch and learn!”

Yeppers, this time we really mean it.

As one of the YouTube commenters put it, “Larry [Wilson] is the friend every screenwriter wants to have.”

To which Larry Brody and TVWriter™ say, “Amen.”

LB: Untold Tales of the Animated SILVER SURFER TV Series Ep. 20

by Larry Brody

Over the past several weeks I’ve posted the scripts for Season 2 Episodes 1 through 6 of the FoxKids Network The Silver Surfer animated series I ran for those who wondered what all of us involved in the show back in 1998 intended to come if we hadn’t been cancelled.

Today it’s the turn of Season 2 Episode 7, Down to Earth: Part Two.  This one never got beyond “First Draft,” status because the possibility of the series returning was becoming dimmer. It’s dated May 4, 1998 and continues the the Surfer’s, um, “misunderstanding” with The Fantastic Four.

Let the battle continue!

PREVIOUS SEASON TWO EPISODES:

THE END OF ETERNITY: PART TWO

SOUL HUNTER: PART ONE

SOUL HUNTER: PART TWO

REBIRTH

THE HUNGER

DOWN TO EARTH: PART ONE


NOTE: If you’re new to TVWriter™ and/or to the original animated SS series, you have some backstory to catch up on. Fortunately, TVWriter™ just happens to have a section dedicated to The Silver Surfer. To reach it, CLICK HERE!

And now it’s time for:


THE SILVER SURFER

DOWN TO EARTH: PART TWO

(formerly HOME ALONE: PART TWO)

(#2147-20)

WRITTEN BY
LARRY BRODY

FIRST DRAFT
MAY 4, 1998

THE SILVER SURFER

“DOWN TO EARTH: PART TWO”

TEASER

FADE IN:

EXT. DEEP SPACE

As THE OUTLINE OF THE WATCHER RIPPLES INTO EXISTENCE against
the velvety background of space. He regards US gravely.

THE WATCHER
I am the Watcher, observer of all
events of import in the cosmos…

As he talks, the Watcher turns his head to look at something,
O.S. We ANGLE WITH his gaze.

THE WATCHER
(continuing)
Now must I take notice of what
transpires on a small planet in
what its inhabitants call the
Milky Way galaxy…

Now we FIND:

EXT. SPACE OVER THE PLANET EARTH – (BEGINNING RECAP)

As the SILVER SURFER and NOVA reach it. (NOTE: All SHOTS in
this sequence are all-new animation of events in #2147-19.)

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
When the Silver Surfer agreed to
accompany Nova, the former herald
of Galactus, to this world, known
as Earth…

The Surfer and Nova start downward, into the atmosphere.

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
(continuing)
He hoped to gain a respite from
the burden of responsibility he
felt for the universe he truly had
created…

EXT. EARTH – HIGH IN THE SKY – NIGHT

As the FANTASTIC FOUR wing to the attack, the HUMAN TORCH
flying alone, MR. FANTASTIC, THE THING, and THE INVISIBLE
WOMAN in the FANTASTICAR.

BRODY SILVER SURFER 2147-20 FIRST DRAFT 05/04/98
2.

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
Instead, however, he and Nova
found themselves under attack…

The battle begins!

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
(continuing)
By a group of cosmic-powered Earth
beings called the Fantastic
Four…!

READ THE ENTIRE SCRIPT HERE

Top TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – April 16, 2018

Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are:

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

LB: Untold Tales of the Animated SILVER SURFER TV Series Ep. 19 Teleplay

RIP Steven Bochco

Diana Vacc finally sees “Pitch Perfect 3”

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

The Logline

PEOPLE’S PILOT Writing Contest

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

The Outline/Story

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!