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 – that doesn’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 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 not only do so many queer women want queer stories, but so do so many others who don’t identify as queer.

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

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

Cord-Cutting isn’t the Answer for Everybody

LB’S NOTE: I’ve been trying to cut the cord for eight years now, but something always gets in the way. All this time, I thought I was alone in not being able to  find a way to watch all the shows I love without having cable or satellite service. Now, though, I, and others like me, can take comfort in this:


7 Reasons Cord Cutting Might Not Work For You
by Justin Pot

Cord cutting—ditching cable or satellite TV and watching stuff online instead—is great. It’s also not for everyone.

Cable TV is expensive, which is why millions of people are opting to stop paying for it every month and subscribe to various online streaming services instead. People often save money doing this, and for most tech savvy people, we highly recommend it.

Having said that, it’s not for everyone. There are a few reasons that cord cutting might not be for you—here’s a few to think about.

Your Broadband Options Suck

Streaming online video only works if you have reliable broadband access, and millions of Americans don’t—78 million by one estimate. This is true in rural areas, as most people know, but a shameful number of urban and suburban areas also don’t have broadband access.

It sucks, but if you’re one of those unlucky people, cord cutting might not work out for you. Services like Netflix need to buffer a lot on slower connections (and often reduce image quality), which is annoying but not necessarily a deal breaker. But anything streaming live events is going to be basically unusable, because you’ll end up missing a lot to stutters and buffers.

And if you have multiple people in your home that like to watch different things at the same time, forget about it.

Your ISP Has Low Data Caps

This is related to the previous point, but it’s worth thinking about on its own. Many ISPs cap the amount of bandwidth you’re allowed to use in a month, after which they either slow down your connection or cut you off completely. If your ISP caps your data, cord cutting might not be a good idea, because streaming a lot of television can cause you to hit this cap quickly.

Look into this before cutting the cord. Your provider might offer an unlimited data plan for a fee, or you might consider switching to an ISP without caps if you have that option….

Read it all at HowToGeek.Com

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

by Larry Brody

Over the past several weeks I’ve posted the scripts for Season 2 Episodes 1 through 5 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 6, Down to Earth: Part One.  This one never got beyond “First Draft,” status because the possibility of the series returning was becoming dimmer. It’s dated April 24, 1998 and features the supergroup that started the original “Marvel Age of Comics.”

That’s right. This episode features my favorite heroes of all time, The Fantastic Four. Let me know if I got them right!

PREVIOUS SEASON TWO EPISODES:

THE END OF ETERNITY: PART TWO

SOUL HUNTER: PART ONE

SOUL HUNTER: PART TWO

REBIRTH

THE HUNGER


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

THE SILVER SURFER

DOWN TO EARTH: PART ONE

(FORMERLY “HOME ALONE: PART ONE”)

(#2147-19)

WRITTEN BY

LARRY BRODY

FIRST DRAFT
APRIL 24, 1998

THE SILVER SURFER

“DOWN TO EARTH: PART ONE”

TEASER

FADE IN:

EXT. DEEP SPACE – CLOSE ON A GOLDEN STAR

BLAZING brightly against the blackness of space. Suddenly,
part of the star moves, and we SEE that it is in fact NOVA,
literally swimming through the heart of this sun. She LAUGHS
gleefully, having a great time, as:

NOVA
Surfer! C’mon in, the water’s
fine!

THE SILVER SURFER

On his board, circling nearby. TENDRIL-LIKE sunspots cling
to him and then vanish as they are absorbed.

SILVER SURFER
I have no need to immerse myself.
I can absorb all the energy I need
from right here.

WIDER

Nova dives into the star, comes back up with flame streaming
from her the way water would on Earth.

NOVA
I’m not talking about nutrition,
Silverado, I’m talking about fun!

The Surfer soars closer to her, and Nova “splashes” him with
FLAME. With a backhanded BOLT OF THE POWER COSMIC, the
Surfer EXPLODES THE FIRE before it comes near him.

SILVER SURFER
How can I think about enjoyment?
This very universe is my creation,
yet is it filled with injustice!
(hard)
Why can I not make it perfect?
Why?!

Frustrated, the Surfer FIRES ANOTHER BOLT. We ANGLE WITH it
as the BOLT passes Nova and goes into the star, which ERUPTS
like a volcano with coronal energy.

BRODY THE SILVER SURFER 2147-19 FIRST DRAFT 04/24/98
2.

ANOTHER ANGLE

The ENERGY SWEEPS OUT at the Surfer and Nova, and they ride
along with it.

NOVA
Where I come from there’s an old
saying — “You deserve a break
today.”
(beat)
How ’bout you take some time off
your blamestorming and come with
me?

SILVER SURFER
You have decided where you are
going now that you no longer serve
Galactus?

NOVA
Only one place I want to go — a
sweet little mudball called Earth!

The Surfer considers for a short beat and then nods. The two
of them are soar away together, speeding up and
FORESHORTENING INTO WARP as we

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SOLAR SYSTEM OF EARTH – THE SILVER SURFER AND NOVA

WARPING IN together just beyond Earth’s moon. Nova CLAPS HER
HANDS like an appreciative audience.

NOVA
Check it out, my friend, Pink
Floyd territory…

The Surfer follows Nova’s gaze to:

THEIR POV – THE MOON

Its far side facing us as:

NOVA (O.S.)
The dark side of the moon. And
beyond it —

We TIGHTEN PAST the moon to the surface of the Earth, and the
familiar outline of North America beneath swirling clouds.

BRODY THE SILVER SURFER 2147-19 FIRST DRAFT 04/24/98
3.

NOVA (O.S.)
(continuing)
Home sweet home!

BACK TO THE SILVER SURFER AND NOVA

As the young woman streaks toward Earth.

SILVER SURFER
Nova, wait! You are not who you
once were — and just as I found
when I returned to Zenn-La, your
world may be also be much changed!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Nova isn’t listening. She continues downward, and we HOLD ON
the Surfer’s look of concern. Quickly, he soars after her,
and we ANGLE FROM THE TWO OF THEM TO:

READ THE ENTIRE SCRIPT HERE

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – April 9, 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?

RIP Steven Bochco

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

LB: Untold Tales of the Animated SILVER SURFER TV Series Ep. 18 Teleplay

‘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, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT Writing Contest

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

The Logline

Spider-Man Unlimited

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!