The Pollock Theater will launch its “Script to Screen” series through screenings of the movies Dead Poets Society and 10 Things I Hate About You, which will be followed by Q&A sessions with the respective screenwriters.
Both events will be held at 7 p.m. and will be split between two dates, with a showing of the Dead Poets Society as well as a Q&A session with its Academy Award-winning screenwriter Tom Schulman being featured tomorrow. 10 Things I Hate About You will be screened on Nov. 29 and will also be followed by a Q&A session, which will be featuring screenwriters Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz.
The series was first created by Pollock Theater Director Matt Ryan and UCSB Academic Advisor Joe Palladino, who developed the series in an effort to provide students and other attendees with a behind-the-scenes look at how screenplays are translated into film. Cost of attendance is $5.00 for all attendees and those attending tomorrow’s event are encouraged to dress as dead poets for the chance to win a prize.
According to Ryan, the screening of Dead Poets Society will entertain audience members while providing them with the thought process that produced the screenplay as well as showing them the effectiveness of this approach to the craft.
“We are going to screen the movie and do a Q&A with [Shulman] and halfway through, we are going to do a screen reading,” Ryan said. “Every patron will get a copy of the script and he will break down the process of how he wrote the script.”
Colleen Kleinefelter, a third-year film and media studies major, said the guest screenwriter will offer a real world outlook on screenwriting, enhancing the basic classroom understanding of film.
“A lot of professors that teach screenwriting have screenwriting experience, but this is an added perspective,” Kleinefelter said. “These events usually give a lot of insight not just on the creative process but also on the logistical issues.”
Palladino said the film series will draw attention to how writers and directors develop an initial idea into a full-blown screenplay and film.
“Writers tend not to get the spotlight; actors and directors seem to be the people that everyone gloms onto,” Palladino said. “One of the benefits of this event is seeing how stories develop — what is the mechanism of getting from an idea to the screen?”
Schulman has also written screenplays for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Welcome to Mooseport, What about Bob?, 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag and Medicine Man, winning an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1989 for Dead Poets Society. In 2009, he was also elected to Vice President of the Western branch of the Writers Guild of America.
Ryan said the screening of 10 Things I Hate About You — whose screenwriters also penned Legally Blonde, She’s the Man and Ella Enchanted — will differ from Shulman’s appearance in that it will focus more on the comedic side of screenwriting.
“It will be a similar layout but a different genre movie, so it is going to be more fun,” Ryan said. “They are going to break down comedy [and] different aspects of writing genres.”