Just got back from Beijing, where I participated in a series of seminars for film students from all over Asia. The seminars were co-sponsored by the Motion Picture Association and the CICE (China International Copyright Expo?), and consisted of three days of information exchanged about story structure, development processes, career advice and more. One of my presentations was the use of social media to create a fan base, and although all the U.S. social media sites are blocked in China, I was told that there are local equivalents that can be used in the same ways. The seminars ended with a pitching contest, judged by the international panel of presenters, which included Bec Smith of UTA, Former AMPAS President Sid Ganis, Jon Kuyper of Warner Brothers, screenwriting teacher David Freeman, Lora Chen, who is principal consultant at China Media Consulting and a teacher at Beijing Film Academy, L.A. Lawyer Harris Tulchin, Tropfest founder John Polson and multi-hyphenate Pauline Chan among others.
It was great fun to hear the stories from these smart and ambitious students, and I can only hope that we were of some help to them. Below is a photo of the whole gang.