The annual meeting was held on Saturday, November 17th from 10 am to 12:30 pm at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. About 26 members gathered to hear updates for the board of directors and special guest speaker screenwriter/producer Pat Proft. Pat presented award certificates to the winners of the Script to Screen contest and a rough cut of the winning short film was screened. Pat spoke about his long career starting out at The Brave New Workshop, moving on to standup comedy, acting, and on to writing comedies such as Police Academy, Hot Shots, and Naked Gun (among others). He emphasized that comedies, even broad comedies, still need to have a story that makes sense and benefit from emotional investment and character development. He also talked about how the profits from comedy films are sometimes what allows a studio to fund more serious and sometimes risky film projects. Pat’s comedic style was on full display, making it a very entertaining talk.
Organization updates included:
Script to Screen contest:
- there were production delays resulting in filming happening in early October, the director made changes to the script with limited input from the screenwriter (May Chaplin), a 12-minute rough cut was shown at the meeting
- next year the format will discontinue partnership with IFP and return to full production by SWW, including securing a director
- same Minnesota related theme, setting, or characters, etc.
- entry fee is now $50 to help cover costs
- the specific funding grant ran out, so changes were made to the program to reduce high costs
- going forward, the only SWW funded staged reading will be of the SWW feature contest-winning script
- participation in 2nd Tuesday table readings no longer qualifies for a funded reading
- through a new partnership with The Playwrights’ Center, members may choose to pay for a staged reading with relatively low costs