Sometimes It Really Does Take a Village…of Parents

There’s a certain thing that happens when you become a parent. A softening, an increase in empathy. Ever wonder how that affects your creativity? Here’s an interesting discussion of the matter featuring one of our favorite as yet all-too-undiscovered writers, Ms. Cara Winter:

from Moms-in-Film

Cara Winter is the writer and co-director of Division, a short film currently crowdfunding on IndieGogo about a young, interracial couple who find themselves in a long-distance relationship… even though they live in the same city.

Moms-in-Film chatted with Cara about

Cara Winter & son Avery

the film, how she made the leap behind the camera and how childcare affects productions of every shape and size.

What’s your role on Division and how did it come about?

Division is a short film I co-wrote (and I’m also co-directing it, with my collaborator George Ellzey Jr.), and it is my first foray into producing my own work. Division is a short film about a young, interracial couple who find themselves in a long-distance relationship… even though they live in the same city. We think anyone who’ve ever had to sit in traffic for over an hour to see someone who lives less than 5 miles away will relate!

Why do you feel it’s important people see this story now?

In the film, the two main characters (who fall in love) happen to be from different ethnic backgrounds, but that isn’t the main thrust of the film?—?not at all. In fact, I don’t think we ever mention it! This was very much on purpose; to us, diversity is normalcy. All too often, in the great romantic comedies (from When Harry Met Sally to Garden State, to more recently La La Land) the main characters are usually white. (And if one of the them is non-white, it’s a major plot point.) With Division, we felt it was important for people to see two PEOPLE fall in love, who just happen to be from different ethnic backgrounds. But it’s NOT a plot point; they’re just people, falling in love, then trying to make a go of it.

Have you always been a writer/director?

No, I was an actress first; I got my undergraduate degree in Theater from NYU, and then I went on to have a stage career. I wasn’t a parent back then, and I travelled a ton? – ?national tours, summer stock, the works. Then, I got married and had a baby, and right away I was like, “I gotta do something else; I don’t want to travel all the time, I want to read to my son every night!”

Were you writing as well as acting at that time?

Writing was always something I’d done on the side, for fun, but once I became a parent, I started to put it more front-and-center. I wrote a play that was produced in New York, and my friend Howard Emanuel came to see it; he was an actor-turned-writer, as well….

Read it all at Medium.Com

2015 PEOPLE’S PILOT Winners!

24th PEOPLE’S PILOT WINNERS
For contest ending June 1, 2015

sshollywoodsign

ONE-HOUR SHOW

WINNERS

First Prize–EVOLUTION by Cara Winter

Second Prize–TRANSGRESSIONS by Michelle R. Anderson

Third Prize–THE HUNTER by Angela Berliner

 Runners-Up:

1st Runner-Up–KINGDOM OF GOD by Travis Opgenorth

2nd Runner-Up–THE DEVIL’S ERRANDS by Michael Sumner

HALF-HOUR SHOWS

WINNERS

First Prize–UNRAVELING: A SADISTIC MUSICAL by Michael D. Poisson

Second Prize–EDGEWICK COMMONS by Erica Lies & Valerie Nies

Third Prize–AMERICAN HISTORY Y by Skander Halim

 Runners-Up:

1st Runner-Up–Non-Denominational Dave by Michael Riedel

2nd Runner-Up–SELF HELP by Julie Livingston

Let’s hear it for the best of this best in this year’s competition. The judges went at it tooth and nail over the final order in both categories, the One-Hour scripts proving to be even more difficult for everyone to agree on than usual. One thing everyone did agree on: All of the above shows have what it takes to be major television hits.

Our plan now is to catch our breath as quickly as possible and get right to contacting the Winners regarding their prizes, following which LB will start sending out his Feedback on all the entries, letting the writers know the strengths and weaknesses of the work they’ve done.

We’re hoping to have the official Winners notification emails sent out early next week, and Feedback will start appearing in entrants’ email boxes by the end of the week. The Feedback is personal, coming directly from LB, so entrants should be prepared to wait as long as a full month for theirs to arrive. In other words, please, no angry, “Where’s my Feedback, dammit?!” messages until after Labor Day, okay?

That’s it for 2015 – until LB posts his usual round-up of thoughts on the meaning of this year’s People’s Pilot results for entrants, the TV Industry, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll even talk a little about what the results mean to our culture as a whole.

Again, congratulations to the Winners and Runners-Up and everybody who entered. We Really Love You Mean It for all the work you’ve put it and firmly believe you should all congratulate – and love – yourselves for it as well.

Cara Winter sees The IT Crowd

The Anglo Files 13
by Cara Winter

I know how weird this is going to sound.   Nevertheless, here it is:

Some of us don’t care about football – at all.  Like, not at all.  We aren’t excited to hear your drinking stories.  We don’t see any point in watching the Grammys.  And we’re not heading out to see Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend, or any weekend (nor did we read the book).

It can get lonely, being so outside the norm.  The mainstream is just …so… main stream. There are times when it seems as though nobody understands, and that people are just a bunch of bastards, with bad taste in everything.

IT-Crowd-meme

And then, a trusted friend comes to the rescue by recommending The IT Crowd.  And in one fell swoop, our faith in humanity is restored.

The IT Crowd is a British sitcom written by Graham Linehan, starring Chris O’Dowd (an actor most famous for playing the cop-slash-love-interest in the film Bridesmaids),  Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson.  Set in the London offices of the soulless, stereotypically straight-laced “Reynholm Industries”, the show revolves around the 3-person IT Department, whose offices are housed within the bowels of the company’s corporate headquarters.

It’s hard to say what I love most about the show.  It’s pretty much everything, I think?  The writing, the direction, the physical comedy, the laugh track.  Even the sets make me happy.

But no.  No, it really is about the people of the IT department.  First there’s Maurice Moss (Richard Ayoade).  I dunno, maybe it’s his aversion to swearing, or how poorly he lies, or his ‘sweet style’… but I think I may love him?

moss

Yep, I love him.

Then there’s his best friend and co-worker, Roy (Chris O’Dowd), who is clearly inspired by Oscar Madison– a little slovenly, more than a little bit lazy, and thoroughly annoyed by anyone who doesn’t work in IT.

(Here he is trying to get a date with a girl who only likes bad boys…)

it_loner___by_negima56-d4qva4y

Clearly, internet memes were created for these people.  Or, by them. Possibly both.

In the pilot, it is clear that Moss and Roy have been happily ensconced in their underground geek-lair for some time.  Enter (*gasp*, another human being!) Jen, their new manager (Katherine Parkinson, who viewers might recognize from Sherlock) who knows a sum total of nothing about computers, and who is horrified (at first) to be associated with anyone deemed by the main stream to be terminally uncool.

As Jen discovers just how bizarre this geek underworld is… she is also figuring out that she belongs there.  For as much as she wants to hide from it, she is a misfit, an outsider, a freak — just like Moss and Roy.  And for because we love Moss and Roy, we cheer for Jen to just loosen up and learn how to let her freak flag fly… even if it is done somewhat reluctantly, and under an assumed name.

Each episode is a little gem; the one where Moss tries to report a workplace fire (references below); or the one where the gang goes to the theater (to see “Gay: The Musical!“; Roy is caught using the handicapped toilet, and Moss finds himself inexplicably working the wet bar); ah… and the one where we find out what’s behind the Red Door.  I’d tell you what’s on the other side, but… yeah, no.  You’re just going to have to embrace your inner geek, and stream it for yourself.

Trust me.

In short, I love this stupid show. It makes me so happy.  I think it’ll make you happy, too.

(By the way, have you tried Cuke? I know, it’s so good– god, I’m thirsty…)

 

Episodes of The IT Crowd are currently available on Netflix and Hulu.


Cara Winter is a Contributing Editor to TVWriter™. You can learn more about her HERE.

2013 SPEC SCRIPTACULAR Winners

19th Spec Scriptacular Winners

For contest ending June 1, 2013

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.com

SITCOM

    1st Place: VEEP: WHITE HOUSE OF CARDS by Sam Miller
    2nd Place: ANGER MANAGEMENT: THE BI-CURIOUS SWINGERS by Corinna Luise Mendis
    3rd Place: THE BIG BANG THEORY: THE DREAM DIFFERENTIAL by Shayla D. Height

ACTION/DRAMA/DRAMEDY

    1st Place: THE NEWSROOM: BROTHERS IN ARMS by Cara Winter
    2nd Place: ELEMENTARY: THE LADY OR THE DEVIL by Larry Caldwell
    3rd Place: SUPERNATURAL: ALL THOSE YESTERDAYS by Cait Daly

TV MOVIE/SCREENPLAY/SPECIAL

    1st Place: RESURRECTING JANE DOE by Carla Custance
    2nd Place: ENSEMBLE by Chris Mann
    3rd Place: MALE ORDER by Carla Custance

Way to go, gang! These scripts are awesome. The judges had their usual tough time, but all of them agreed on the 1st Place finishers. Just as all of the judges agreed that every one of the teleplays listed above is of top professional caliber.

This is the first time TVWriter™ hasn’t chosen an Overall Winner for this entire contest, and we’re glad we made that decision way back last January. There is no way any of the top teleplays here can be said to be “better” than the others. Good stories, good dialog, the kind of work nobody here could put down until they’d finished reading. We fully expect to find all of you are on show staffs in coming years.

Over the weekend we’ll be contacting all the Winners in both the Spec Scriptacular and the People’s Pilots regarding how to claim your prizes, and during the week LB will post his thoughts about the results – and the entries that prompted them. Next week you all should also start receiving your free Feedback, but please don’t freak out if you don’t get it right away. We’re talking about hundreds of scripts here and that means that this will probably have to be spread out over a fairly long time.

Oh, while we’re at it, we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you to mark your calendars: The 2014 People’s Pilot and Spec Scriptacular competitions open January 1, 2014. And you know how sorry you’ll be if you miss them.

Congratulations to the Winners for their outstanding work and to everybody who entered. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: As far as TVWriter™ is concerned, you’re the best!